Bali, Design, Girlfriends, Life, Love, Personal, Photos

Lifehacked.

It’s been almost 30 hours, so just 6 more to go. That’s what you’re supposed to do when your phone has gone swimming – turn it off, place it into a ziplock bag full of rice and leave it untouched for 36 hours.

And it works! This morning (somewhere at the 14th hour mark), I turned it on and it worked! Just to be safe though, and because it’s strangely weird and liberating to not have a phone, I left it until the full 36-hour window has passed.

It’s crazy that for such an important thing, phones are so incredibly not water-resistant. It wasn’t like it actually went swimming; all that happened was a bottle of water spilled inside my bag and because Bottegas are just so water-resistant from the inside, I didn’t even realise until I got into the car.. meh.

Anyway, Bali was a blast! The weather was so good, and we both managed to top up our tans even at SPF90 throughout. The theme of our trip was: do nothing. We were just so tired from everything here in Singapore that we didn’t even want to be adventurous in where we stayed or what we did. The only new thing we did this trip was make a trip to Canggu where our friends live, and in the process of doing so, got stopped by a traffic police and fined 2mn rupiahs (1mn after ‘discount’). Oh, and we also tried a new taco place, first time tacos in Bali, although we have yet to discover this ‘hole-in-the-wall’ tacos place that Cheryl keeps talking about.

And in other news, we are getting an office. This is such a OMFG moment, at which we now need to make even more money than before in order to pay rent and our team, but I can’t help but be excited. It comes bare with huge windows and a 4m-high ceiling so it’s got a nice loft feeling – you know, the sort that you see on Pinterest, and in Europe only. So the possibilities are endless, but of course we need to first install the lights and air conditioning and all that jazz. Baby steps!

And because I am a champion of amazing things.. here are my favourite new and notable brands at Naiise:

  • snug.studio – hailing from Germany, I LOVE their cumulus cloud shaped cutting board because it’s so dreamy and whimsical, as well as their super-sustainable cardboard vases.
  • Vicara – continuing my current cardboard obsession, fuelled by flat-packed sex appeal and a recent appreciation for sustainable living
  • Love Limzy – beautiful flower + watercolour prints by talented artist @lovelimzy whose artwork has gone viral and comes with its own hashtag #wearflowersinstead
  • Parasolbag – a homegrown designer we should be proud off, Tiffany uses off-cut canvas from parasol factories and turns them into one-of-a-kind bags that are uber resilient and waterproof (probably very good for letting your iPhone swim in water lol)
  • Wood & Lead – beautifully-illustrated whimsical stuff for hipsters who love cafes and food

I also re-designed all our slider banners so please hop on over and tell me it’s beautiful. Well, I think they’re beautiful, I think I have sharpened my design skills quite a bit via ‘on-the-ground training’ lol!

Happy (filtered) pictures here ❤

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Shout-out to my mom who bought this beautiful Zimmermann bikini for me! There are many cut-outs on the bralet; had to keep looking down to make sure my nipple wasn’t playing peekaboo, and I also had a really, really weird tan line after. (Like 5 love bites along the sides of each boob!)

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Yup, that’s a really big close-up of us! Horrifying.

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Day 2 I busted out in this really beautiful bikini too from Cheryl! Omigosh, I have such cool family and friends! Everyone knows a bikini really gets high, the way heels do for other women.

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 More.. (sorry, please indulge me – I’m turning 30 next year!)

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Our hippie momma friend Crystal and her equally hippie son at Echo Beach, Canggu

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Chilling at The Betelnut Cafe and having a power smoothie with dragon fruit and coconut milk, and all that cool jazz. It was VERY filling! That’s not me, I wish I got that seat 🙂

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(He’s not the kind of guy to re-post this on Instagram and hashtag #mygirlfriendtakesnicepictures.) So I do it.

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Beautiful you.

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Brunch with girlfriends is the best invention of the 21st century

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Bali, Family, Food, Life, Love, Naiise

Three Days to Bali!! + Happy Pictures

TGIF folks!! It’s a rare moment of freshly-showered peace, and I’m just simply, looking forward to a well-deserved break in Bali.

It will be the first vacation I’ve had where being away actually means work piling up. One of the most overlooked luxuries of working in a larger organisation is the assurance that someone capable will cover your duties while you’re away. I am guilty of overlooking that one too, so treasure it if you do! Say thank you very much to your colleagues.

That said, our little team has expanded over the last few weeks, and I’m really happy and thankful that there are more hands, legs and fingers to keep the show running faster, and at a more manageable pace for everyone. I love it too that we are able to find, and work with, people who are passionate about making the business grow and succeed.

This morning was spent looking for offices – it’s probably one of the most exciting things that can ever happen for a company. The exhilaration of contemplating empty spaces and turning it into an amazing place where people can work happily.. is frankly, quite fantasy-inducing.Industrial spaces can be so beautiful with their double, triple volume spaces, I don’t think I can quite adjust back to shoebox apartment hunting.

We had a great past couple weeks with good coverage, and we’re also excited to introduce the launch of our new food section which features locally made food from small-scale makers here. Like the rest of our designers and makers, our food producers do amazing things with produce we already have here, and we love being able to support them on our platform.

I’ve tried the jams and granola so far, and they are very, very good. In fact, I personally swear by a bowl of Greek yogurt and Coconut Gula Melaka granola every morning, and I think I’m losing 500g everyday without even trying to. There must be some wisdom in the old adage “Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner”. Cf: funny local publication My Mother Says 😉

Plus bonus: and of course it’s the only place you can get my sister’s famous macarons without having to camp on Instagram and wait for one of those SALE posts which close in like an hour -_-”

In non-work news, WE ARE SOOO LOOKING FORWARD TO BALI. All I want to do is lie at the beach and stare out into the open sea, pillion on a bike behind D, head back to our villa and jump into the pool. Maybe find that mysterious taco place in Seminyak that we’ve always wanted to find, but never quite were able to. And, of course, dine at our all-time favourite La Lucciola (so good it doesn’t even have a website).

Happy times lie ahead, and happy pictures for the post below 🙂

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Farewell to the beautiful people at NONG

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Me and D, shot by the awesome Weekend Cheoks, a lifestyle blog run by Stacey and her two sisters who’ve been very supportive of Naiise x

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Then we had another photo shoot and an interview where we were asked the question “So, who wears the pants?” It’s actually pretty nice to have pictures of us taken by someone else! 😛

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Then we had the ‘act natural’ picture – I like this lots 🙂

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And which self-respecting person these days wouldn’t have a mandatory hipster shot when hanging around in grimy areas? We’re such fun.

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Last weekend’s bento picnic with the family, D and Kira. LOVE, DIE HARD LOVE.

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Bali, Hotels, Travel

The Rest of Bali

Clearing out the rest of my vacation pictures, because you know, soon there will be.. another one. Muahaha. This time back to Lombok, where we are going to stay at this secluded beach camp in the south, where it will just be you, me, the sea and the forest. Wow! Super cannot wait!

The good thing about being un-professionally-employed, is that we get to go on off-season holidays, which can be a third to half the price you would pay if you were a peak-season traveller. I recall paying upward of US$1k a night during NYE, and being forced to attend a mandatory dinner which sucked, with bad buffet food and a terrible Karaoke singer.

That hotel in question is Eskaya in Bohol, Philippines, and it was the worst hotel I have ever stayed at. I’m not sure how it is like now, but back then, their staff were not in uniform and every night I would have a very suspicious-looking person knock on my door, offering me suspicious-looking snacks. I don’t discriminate against lack of uniforms, but if you had seen the setting (like in the middle of a wasteland), you would question all food brought to you. The receptionist was rude, the food was bad, the hotel banned outside food (so we had to throw away our supermarket-bought emergency supplies), and the ‘complimentary’ gift was a pair of fake Havaianas. For a king’s ransom type of rates, I would have expected more, a lot more. Ultimately we paid even more to get flights out of that crap hole, and I swore to write a very bad review on Tripadvisor. However, I forgot, and forget – and since the experience is, by now, a good 2-3 years ago, I don’t think it would be very relevant anymore. Hopefully, things have improved.

Total sidetrack. Sorry! Back to the vacation pictures 🙂

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The gracious Alila Manggis, reminds me a little of Amanwella, with the huge lawns and mad, wild coconut trees

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This is the mandatory human shot, unfortunately we have little of these. If only we had one of those roving photographers on Instagram.

“I’ll swear that a White House photographer follows them around,” said Ms. Mermelstein. “The full family of four is in every photo. Whether it’s the first day of school, apple picking, summer camp, the playground or on vacation, all four super-happy family members fill each and every frame.”

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Alila Ubud – great, great pool with a magnificent scenery to boot!

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Our meal at Ibu Oka Warung. Unfortunately by the time we tracked this little family compound down, the suckling pig had sold out so we settled for this other dish which looks like nasi campur to me. Then again, everything looks like nasi campur to me! Eating in a family compound = kind of awkward, because the family members are milling around pruning their trees while you eat.

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Ubud Market, first time for me! Two different drivers, on two different occasions, have supposedly brought me to “Ubud” but all I saw were workshops, and never Ubud Village itself. What gives? #scam

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It’s a good life, it is.

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Our amazing tree villa at Alila Ubud

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Yeah it’s very nice. Even Mr. Naiise is totally digging it while he taps away at his Apple.

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Typical Bali ❤ ❤ ❤

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Just a random shot of the Mountain Villa at Alila Soori. If you are thinking of staying there, these padi fields (now watermelon due to the season) are what you’ll see at the back. Very beautiful inside too.

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Bali, Travel

A Bali Good Time

OK, I ripped this title off a hashtag I saw on Instagram, I thought it was pretty cool, and apt. 😀

While looking through my camera, I realised most of my Soori pictures were of sunsets and the beach, which is no surprise considering we spent pretty much most of our time staring into the endless blue. I don’t think I even managed to take many pictures of our villa, or the resort, but I think Google should suffice. It’s very beautiful, no doubts about it, plus it’s only 4 years old so no weird algae growing anywhere.

I think one of the most important things to me when choosing where to stay is the beach. And I’ve designed a rigorous way to conduct my research before checking in anywhere: Instagram. 1) I search for the hotel’s hashtag, then 2) I identify its location pin, then 3) I spend a good few minutes scrolling through the image feed.

If you don’t find beach pictures, it usually means the beach is crap, or non-existent. Where user-generated content is concerned, Instagram also makes for a much prettier viewing experience, with the filters and all, because – have you looked at Travellers’ Photos on Tripadvisor? Utterly scary – unprofessionally taken and un-Photoshopped pictures manage to make even the most beautiful places look like slum towns.

Try it next time! 🙂 It has worked out pretty well for us on our last few trips, haven’t really had a dud yet. Plus it’s also nifty for deciding what to pack when you’re travelling during those finicky Summer-Fall transition periods, when you’re not quite sure what a 12-25 degree weather forecast really means. Instagram = real time feed of what real people in target destination are wearing. I used it for Berlin, and I also used to to gauge what to wear to climb Rinjani ha, ha.

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A Bali Good Beach – Kelating Beach, pretty unknown (even to the locals) until Soori arrived

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Pretty Swathes – But you’ll be advised against swimming in the ocean due to the undercurrents. We did it anyway, and survived. Lots of volcanic pebbles to be admired and picked, if you’re into these kind of things, as D is.

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