Saturday, September 6, 2014

Treat Yourself Saturday

Having self-time is a priority for me. Even if someone has a great relationship with family and friends, a woman needs to have some moments to herself. Go for a walk, have some merienda on a cafe, bring a new read along with you, go window shopping.. Anything to get those creative juices flowing.

I had time for myself a couple of days ago at Chez Karine. It's a relatively new and coming bakery over at Serendra. While having a latte, I opted to try out their macarons (dark chocolate is the best for me!) and it made my afternoon. I walked around the area and visited Fully Booked, reserved a few books that were out of stock. I slowed down my pace with a bit of effort. I'm always moving too quick that simple pleasures pass me by. See how a few hours for oneself is essential for sanity. :)

  • I'm an introvert. According to new studies, introverts get energized either when their on their own or when they are doing things with just a friend. Sometimes I imagine the future. Having my own home + inviting a couple of friends over + making kwento for hours. I need to have a way to set up a snack bar that is both yummy + effortlessly pretty to look at. This bagel bar setup is one of my inspirations.
  • Awesome travel instagrammers that will make you hop on a bus and go somewhere new!
  • If there's a brand that I'll splurge on, it's Kate Spade. I know I'm not the only one! I especially love the array of bright colors they have--from shoes, to pouches, to bags.
  • It's the weekend and it's the perfect time to go out and enjoy the places you don't normally visit on weekdays. Do so in style by  giving new life to your outfit staples by these simple tips.
  • Writing has been a silent guilty pleasure for me. The slow outflow of energy from my mind to my fingertips relaxes me and gives me a sense of satisfaction. It's always a treat to read a few tips about simple grammar rules here and there.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Natural hues

Why do I love this room?

1. The walls seem like a blank slate and it lets the various colorful pieces speak for the personality + lifestyle of the people who stay there.

2. The bed is a bit on the low side, which I love. This encourages a deeper comfort level since I find high beds too formal. This bed is perfect for lounging and playing around without ruining the beddings (yes, I care about that). You can also use the space below the bed for storage.

3. The room is well lit. This design is feasible for small spaces as well. The part of the room not in the picture can be the area for storage + a vanity desk maybe.

4. It's like a vacation home. Your house do not need to look like a storage area or be cluttered with too much stuff you collected over the years. Make it breathe-able. To personalize the design above, move the crib and place a work desk in front of the window instead. It will be a nice space for inspiration since you can see nature outside.

5. It has a lot of potential to be more.. It has so much space for you to do more: crafts + yoga + workouts. It's an area to be "more".


Monday, September 1, 2014

Wild for Books: Crazy Rich Asians

The Crazy Rich Asians.. Where do I even start? :)

Well, it's the newest book by Kevin Kwan and it's selling like pancakes everywhere. Being an Asian, it naturally made me curious how the author will knit the intricate Asian culture into a supposedly love story.

Synopsis from GoodReads

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.

Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

The whole book centers on Rachel and Nick's romance but it's way more than that, it's tells a lot of small love stories here and there about different characters. From the way other girls fight for the rich bachelor to the way a reputable businessman creates quick wealth for a competitor.

Each chapter was told on a different person's perspective. There will be unwarned perspective changes mid-chapter that will keep you alert while reading. Kwan showed readers a new, unexplored view of Chinese families, especially those in the $$$ income brackets. There are moments that will leave you awed and pleasantly surprised that certain decisions and situations are possible--I know they are. Absurd but possible!

Grab this from the bookstands now! Have you read this too? Let me know what you think ;)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Treat Yourself Saturday

I bought a new book! I seldom buy paperbacks since I cannot carry them in my bag anywhere. This one though.. This deserves to be given some love and time! I'm dedicating my weekend to the Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan for the following reasons: (a) I'm Asian, (b) It's hilarious. Kwan slips in a lot of cultural tid bits in the book and I love learning about those. If paired with a naturally funny flow of writing, it's irresistable. How's your weekend so far?
  • Maginhawa Food Street has been gearing up some noise since a few years back because of the array of food choices being offered in the town. They have a food joint in almost every other house! Even the cuisine offerings and interior decor are unique from one place to another. You can check out this map for Magingawa Food Street and check off all that you've visited.
  • I've visited one of Maginhawa's premiere breakfast places, Ally's All-day Breakfast.
  • Speaking of breakfast, there's a new study about coffee being taken an hour or two after waking up, especially if you're waking up within the 6am to 8am window. That window is when your body naturally generates cortisol, your own personal caffeine. So if you drank coffee at the same time that your body's generating cortisol, your body becomes used to the caffeine from the coffee and will immunize you to its effects. The best time to have that cup of joe is late morning, around 9-11am and in the afternoon, 1:30-5pm.
  • Having some crazy schedule lately, I need to have a go on these tricks to boost willpower.
  • I try and always find time for blogging and reading. I want to have some outlet to give room for my own creativity to flourish. I don't naturally get the chance to do it at my day job so I have to force it in little bits throughout the day or on weekends. Are you in the same rut? While on a work meeting, try doodling. It will give you that boost you need while also being present at work.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Move it, move it

I crave for experiences. There's always a desire to try and look for something I want to delve into, an activity to discover more of myself + have some fun. Having a 9-5 job* limits my options but if there's a will, there's a way!

I have the same aspiration for workouts. There's a new age for being active nowadays. Back then, it was just running + gym. Now there are Barre3, Jukari Fit to Flex, TRX (Total Resistance Exercise), pole dancing, Bollywood dance class + a lot more! I started being active around 6 years ago** and I've tried Barre3Bikram yoga, various types of yoga and the normal gym equipments. It was a pretty long fitness journey for me but it was all worth it.  Let me list the reasons why you should do the same thing:

(1) You will learn the fundamentals--which is really what we all have to have to serve as foundation for whatever exercise we want to try out. Doing yoga and pilates gave me body awareness. It taught me the basics of each pose, which is normally the starting position of other exercises.

(2) You'll figure out what you love doing. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a destination. If you reached your goal weight, it doesn't stop there. Consistency is key to maintain your health, or else you'll just be back to square one--nobody likes that. That's why you should do what you enjoy. Sweat on doing something that makes you smile, an activity that won't make you drag your butt out of bed, an exercise that excites you. Try a new workout for 1-2 weeks. You might hate it at first as it's too hard and your body's adjusting. But after quite some time, you'll be strong enough to decide.

(3) You'll gain new friends. Studios and gyms usually engage new members. They really talk to you about your goals, the FAQs of the exercise (this is SOP for Bikram first-timers), and ask how your first time was after the class. Studios also have seasonal parties and you might get invited into those too!

* Or more realistically, 10-9. Whatever time I finish what I had to do for the day.
** I have only realized how many years have passed since I started college.