Taking stock: December 2017

Taking stock: December 2017

I’ve spotted these ‘taking stock’ posts (first seen at Meet Me at Mike’s) around the place. I haven’t taken part in it before, but being the end of year and feeling all 懐かしい (find the meaning here) I decided to take some time out and declutter my brain. I don’t know about you but I don’t really make any new year’s resolutions either. I like to think I just go with the flow. 

December has been a blur of constructing greeting cards, wrapping presents and just general life. We purchased an apartment off the plan and now it’s coming to completion, it feels as if there are a billion and one things on the list that never, ever seems to get shorter.


Making: A bunch of knitted Christmas gifts. I can’t reveal what they are just yet, but I thought I had started early on these. Turns out not early enough. I’m making a mental note for next year to start earlier if I want to go down this path again.

Cooking: Over the weekend we had a dinner party with some friends, on the menu were marinated chicken wings, roast pork, veggies, lasagne and a hummingbird cake. So good.

Drinking: Copious amounts of water. Sydney weather is forecast to be in the high thirties, so staying hydrated with my fancy new Memo Bottle.

Reading: Classic Style by Kate Schelter. Well really I’m admiring the pretty watercolour illustrations that accompany minimal living.

Next read: There isn’t anything on my list at the moment, but I’m really into biographies these days. I recently finished reading a book by Yeonmi Park, a North Korean defector.

Wanting: Time off work. It can’t come soon enough. I thought this time of year would be winding down, but nope. It’s all gogogogo.

Looking: For my next craft on-the-go project. I like having something to do on my (short) train ride into work.

Playing: A really interesting YouTube video on why people are awkward. See here.

Deciding: On which phone to purchase next. Tossing up the X or the Pixel. Both have their pros and cons but I am running out of time and need a new phone, stat.

Wishing: For the Sydney weather to show some mercy for the Christmas break.

Enjoying: The prospect of having 2 weeks off work. No meetings. No phone calls.  No emails. Yes.

Waiting: For this day to be over. Meetings hurt my head.

Liking: This taking stock process. It is forcing me to reflect back on myself and what I’ve achieved this past few weeks.

Wondering: If I’ll do this more regularly. It feels quite therapeutic.

Loving: A giant therapeutic stuffed bear I bought from MiniSo the other day. He sits on my bed and looks super cute.

Pondering: How many questions are left on this thing?

Considering: Finishing this later, I’m running out of steam here. Hah.

Buying: Nothing really, I’m trying to stay away from the shops these last few days. I hate hate hate the holiday crowds.

Watching: Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan. I’ve been meaning to watch it since it came out, and got super excited when I spied it whilst browsing SBS on Demand last night.

Next watch: The OA on Netflix. It stars Emory Cohen who starred in the previously mentioned Brooklyn.

Hoping: The lead up to Christmas would slow down a little. I love this time of year. Being able to enjoy festive food and celebrate non-stop!

Marvelling: At all the Christmas lights in my neighbourhood. I love it.

Cringing: All of the vloggers clutching at straws for vlogmas. Taylor R started her viral Christmas tree eyebrow trend the other week.

Needing: Coffee. All. The. Time.

Questioning: Whether I want to redo the layout of this blog.

Smelling: Wild Bluebells from Jo Malone. Loving this scent for summer. It is just so floral and fruity at the same time.

Wearing: Dresses and skirts. Aforementioned heat has dictated it be so.

Following: A bunch of JVLOGGERS. I’m getting obsessed with Japan all over again in preparation for my next trip and I’m SO EXCITED.

Noticing: The ladies that wear slippers to work. Is that appropriate in a corporate environment?

Knowing: There are only 5 days to Christmas. Eep!

Thinking: About how much there is left to do before Christmas! Double eep!

Admiring: How creative some people are getting with wrapping their Christmas pressies.

Sorting: Through life.

Getting: Antsy.

Bookmarking: I’ve been pinning loads of homeware and furnishing ideas lately.

Coveting: A capsule wardrobe. But I like things too much and that will never, ever happen. A gal can dream.

Disliking: Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy. I really admire Jake as an actor, but this movie did not do him any favours.

Opening: The Hey! VINA app on my phone – I love finding (platonic) friends to match with on the app, but I’m so terrible at

Giggling: Not really.

Feeling: Like I really need to go to the bathroom after drinking aforementioned copious amounts of water to get through this heatwave.

Snacking: ThinkFood Munch snacks. I love the entire range but almond trail is probably my go-to right now.

Hearing: Sia’s Christmas album (on repeat) – after seeing her in concert the other week, she has pretty much dominated my playlist.

Visions are seldom all a dream

Visions are seldom all a dream

Blast from the past

I’ve been on a trip down memory lane reading posts from when I was in my late teens. I pulled the photo above from an entry where I was obsessed with Hello Kitty and hazelnut latte’s from Starbucks. Those were the days. Of course clearly visible is my keyboard cover from the times I’d frequently eat in front of my computer. I gotta say, it preserved my keyboard well.

This post isn’t about anything in particular really. I need to figure out what I should make for dinner tonight. I’m contemplating making some risotto with the porcini stock I have procured from last night’s dinner. But, this involves me purchasing some more ingredients to round out the meal. I’ve been obsessed with having freekah and chia in salads lately. I’m not on any particular health kick really. I just like the texture of both.

I have so much on my to do lists that it isn’t funny. Luckily I’m on top of my email-reply lists, so I feel somewhat more accomplished than usual. But I still feel like I have 20 jillion things left to do. Which I can’t do until later tonight. Woe is me.

My life in five paragraphs

My life in five paragraphs

My life is really a non-event these days. So apologies for the paragraphs of mundane text. The highlight of my week has got to be making my iPad a secondary screen for my MacBook Pro. It isn’t the best (as I don’t have a retina display, only an iPad 2) but it is useful enough for those times when I’m out and about and need a second screen for when I’m doing some light design work.

On the plus side, I’ve discovered a place near my work that does coffee happy hour between 10:00-11:00 am in the morning. I usually get coffee with soy milk – which is normally a 50 cent surcharge at most places. Anywhere that does it for under is a bargain.

I think I’m becoming more cynical as I grow older. And I’m not really doing it consciously. I’m a bit over things in my life and can’t really be bothered fretting over it as much as I would normally do. Is anyone else noticing this as they get older? I guess maybe I’m realising that things aren’t as important as they used to be.

The Bachelor Australia was abysmal to watch. That said, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I enjoyed it. It was cheap entertainment and I will probably keep watching for a few episodes yet. I still much prefer the American version, although it has waned quite a bit since it first started (as with all reality series).

I got a random email asking me to quote them on the price of a 3-tier cake with butter icing and yellow roses. This is amusing as I’ve never really baked many cakes (other than the odd layer cake here and there). I’m no professional baker by any means. I’m pretty sure they have the wrong person. Oh and for reference, here’s the photo of the cake they wanted me to copy. Umm. What?


My redeeming grace(s)

My redeeming grace(s)

I’m struggling to keep my head above water at the moment. I’m essentially procrastinating as I type this, but a girl’s gotta have an outlet. I can never imagine what it is like to be busy when I’m idle. If that makes any sense whatsoever. I’m quite thankful to be busy – it’s always good to keep your mind occupied and have deadlines and targets to aspire to. I must remember to keep drinking water though. Being busy often causes me to skip the essentials.

Two things that did keep me relatively sane today are my current manicure (spots, stripes and florals) + my bright blue Ant that I brought in with me today. I rarely have green mani’s so it was a nice refreshing change. Not sure about the red flowers though. I might change that soon. I generally don’t bring the Ant with me to work, but I felt like a bit of colour in my outfit.


On the food front, I popped by Lorraine’s Patisserie today to try a pie. It was lovely and delicious and flakey. The beef pie is more tomato-ey than gravy-ey as H pointed out, but I still really enjoyed it. It was a teensy bit on the oily side, but it made up for it in taste. I also went to Sassy Red earlier in the week for nasi lemak. I think this I’m OD’ing a bit on the comfort food this week.


Anyway, I hope everyone’s week is a bit saner than mine is at the moment!

Liebster award

Liebster award

Liebster is a German word that means dearest, and this award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers who you think deserves more recognition. I was nominated by the lovely Sass and Spice a couple of weeks ago now, and I’ve been so bad at getting around to doing it.

I love the idea of finding more about bloggers this way.

Here are the rules:

  • List 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions which are given to you by your nominator
  • Ask 11 new questions for all the bloggers that you nominate to win the award
  • Nominate 9 bloggers with less than 200 followers to win the award
  • Go to each of the blogger’s pages to let them know about their nomination
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you by mentioning them and link back to their blog

Here we go, 11 random facts about me:

ONE. A weird one, but I can’t bring myself to walk in between two similar inanimate things. Yes that’s right. It’s really odd. Unless it will endanger my life or the lives of others, I won’t walk in between two inanimate objects. Two poles, two signposts. I’m not OCD – Although I’ve been labelled OCPD. I just prefer not to walk in between things. :S

TWO. Leading on from that – I won’t open umbrellas indoors. Nor will I walk under a ladder. Which makes me think that this behaviour is more superstitious than anything else. I don’t think anything bad will happen if I do, but yes. Haha!

THREE. I’m into old people hobbies – i.e. crafting, knitting, sewing, gardening. I don’t quite know how to crochet just yet, but I definitely will learn. One day. I love making my own birthday/special event cards and sending it via snail mail to its recipient.

FOUR. Both my first name and second name mean ‘Christmas’ – but I was born in April. I think my parents just liked the names more than anything. I’m not really sure why my names have a great affiliation with Christmas.

FIVE. Growing up I never had a favourite colour. I latched onto blue because it was what all the cool kids were doing in primary school, but deep down I knew it really wasn’t my colour. I grew up and realised I loved purple. And now I have purple everything. Well, a bit of an exaggeration but I do like purple (within reason).

SIX. I secretly like trashy TV shows. I’ve gotten the boy watching Keeping up with the Kardashians. There’s nothing like mindless entertainment to play in the background while you do your household chores.

SEVEN. A little embarrassing but my friends know not to make me laugh whilst I am drinking a beverage. I had an unfortunate encounter during high school with chocolate milk coming out of my nose. I was really surprised at how much it hurt :S So it makes me think soft drink would be 10000 times worse?

EIGHT. I’m still into Hello Kitty. And Sailor Moon. I went through a phase last year where I had to watch all the episodes of Sailor Moon in order. I have a couple of SM paraphernalia. Also a Hello Kitty clock, money bank and other random bits and pieces around the house.

NINE. I published a paper during my university years. I based it on my thesis topic, and I ended up travelling to Cairns in tropical Northern Queensland to present it at a conference. It was pretty nerve racking, but overall an amazing experience. I got to do a bit of scuba diving on the side as well.

TEN. I was supposed to be left handed. My mother believed left-handedness to be the sign of the devil, so she often swapped the pen from the left to the right. I brush my teeth and my hair with my left hand as they were self-taught tasks.

ELEVEN. My party trick is doing a clover shape with my tongue. There was a family gathering where I was entertaining the kids, and managed to teach my nieces how to do this. Which probably isn’t really a good thing. But hey, they were proud of themselves once they knew they could do it.

And now, the 11 questions for me:

ONE. How tall are you?
I’m pretty short actually. I’m about 150cm tall, and this isn’t part of the original question but my shoe size hovers between a 5 and a 5.5.

TWO. What’s your ideal holiday?
Hmm, probably going to a city with a lot of history and just exploring. A foodie holiday would be a bonus. I’d love to go around Asia and eat my way through it all!

THREE. What is your favourite dish to cook?
I’m definitely a meat and potato type of girl – I love making steak in garlic/diane sauce with shoestring fries and fresh herbs throughout. Second to that would be gnocchi.

FOUR. Describe your usual Saturday night.
Cooking dinner at home. Watching my stories. I’m boring and old fashioned.

FIVE. What is your most treasured piece of clothing/jewellery and why?
At the moment it’s probably my Ryan Storer ear cuff. It’s so pretty and sparkly. But yes, this would change month to month. I like me some variety.

SIX. Style wise, who is your icon?
I quite like the style of theclotheshorse. I don’t think I have one particular icon, but I like to draw inspiration from a couple of pretty ladies.

SEVEN. How would you describe your home interior?
Victorian – the dark woods, embellished gold, with a few low-brow art prints thrown around for some prettiness.

EIGHT. What would you do if you suddenly won $10 million dollars?
That’s hard. I’m not really sure. I’d probably invest half in stocks, then buy a house, then help pay off the parents debt, and. I don’t know! Def donate some to charity too.

NINE. How would your friends describe you?
I’d say loud. Which is funny because people at work would probably describe me as quiet.

TEN. How do you stay healthy?
I’m pretty lazy so I don’t exercise a whole lot. I do a daily brisk 30 minute walk from work, but besides that and (trying) to watch what I eat, I embarrassingly don’t do very much else!

ELEVEN. What was one of your resolutions for 2013?
To blog more. Which I think I’m somewhat failing at. But trying!

My nominees (a small selection of the lovely ladies I follow in no particular order):

  1. Zygomatic Fiend
  2. Jadore Lamour
  3. Food Porn Nation
  4. My Cats Say Meow
  5. Curious Charlie
  6. Ineffavle
  7. A Shoe Affair
  8. Nesstopia
  9. A Matter of Instinct

Questions for the nominees:

  1. Do you have a signature scent/perfume and if so, is there an interesting story behind it?
  2. If I were to buy you a drink, what would it be?
  3. What was your dream job growing up?
  4. What talent do you wish you had?
  5. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  6. What do you do to relax after a busy day?
  7. Name three things you regret doing.
  8. What are the top 5 most played songs on your music player?
  9. What are you afraid of most?
  10. What five people would you want with you in an apocalypse?
  11. What are some goofy rituals you and/or your friends have?

I’d love to hear the answers from anyone else interested in doing it! Remember to leave me a comment if/when you choose to fill out the questions so I can take a look! 

Lazy Lunching at Spice I Am

Lazy Lunching at Spice I Am

I usually shy away from hot and spicy foods. The exception to this rule has got to be the basil crispy pork belly at Spice I Am. H and decided to stop by last Sunday for a lazy lunch. We ordered the pork belly (a definite MUST), a beef penang and some steamed rice. We ended up getting there close to 3pm so there weren’t any crazy crowds. Getting here early or late is a definite as they do not take any bookings.

I also ordered a Thai iced coffee, which was pleasantly sweet and extinguished the flames induced by the crispy pork belly dish. I will admit that the best iced coffee I’ve had so far is Vietnamese iced coffee with the intriguing metal contraption.

basil crispy pork belly

beef penang curry

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What’s in my make-up bag right now?

What’s in my make-up bag right now?

I’ve never really put that much thought into what goes into my make-up bag. It is usually an assortment of stuff that I throw in there. I decided to clean it out today and weed out the stuff that I don’t need. I’ve been noticing my bag getting somewhat heavy these days. Though that could probably because of my iPad.

The contents of my kit, top to bottom, left to right:

  • Shu Uemura Blush in Peach 47, yeah I need more of this
  • MAC Hello Kitty Eye Shadow Palette in Lucky Tom, great for the basics
  • Nail Clippers, just in case of emergencies
  • Stila Perfecting Concealer, a staple.
  • Vaseline, another staple – but I’m slowly converting to Korres Lip Butter
  • Philosophy Lip Gloss in Cinnamon Buns, adds a nice shimmer PLUS a yummy scent
  • Lancome Hypnose Mascara, recently converted from Definicils, no regrets
  • Clarins Eye Balm, Great for those eye bags, le sigh.