Life, Love

ERMYGAWD…

… Yes, I am alive!! And well!!!

I’ve never been happier, more fulfilled and more busy.

But I’ve also taken to playing with data in my spare time instead of spending some good ol’ “alone time” with my blog. So here it is, marking the revival, and my return. But I’ll keep it short, gotta ease into it.

Leaving you with some Facebook chat quotes of the night – it perfectly characterises who we are 🙂

A: my favourite program is excel lol
A: i feel v relaxed while seeing numbers lol
A: and when they’re in a nice small size
D: My fav is keynote
D: Where I can draw diagrams

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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 🙂

NONG

 

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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Life, Love

Learning Through Work and Play

Working with the boyfriend teaches me a couple of things about him. It’s like travelling together.

1) He’s big picture and all great-leader oratorical like, driving home a single, salient point in 30 minutes. I prefer to say a single point in 1 sentence, but of course the effect isn’t quite there.

2) He’s slow, I’m fast. I would rather speed through things with less accuracy, than plod through at 100% accuracy. Good thing my years in banking has raised the accuracy bar from 50% to 90%, while keeping speed high. Lesson learnt: sample sanity check helps a great deal.

3) He’s humble (for-the-people) and believes in full transparency. I’m a little arrogant. Although I hate to admit it, I subscribe to appearances and will work to preserve it.

4) He’s vision and creativity, I’m math and productivity. I guess it’s good and complementary, as long as we argue less and learn from each other 🙂 Lesson learnt: patience.

#lifelessons

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Love, Random

Happy, Merry Anniversary Every Day

Oh, my, god. I have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to visit this little place on earth.

I was clearly deluded when I imagined my so-called unemployed life as consisting of long luxurious baths, daily yoga sessions, and an hour or two each day to pen down my thoughts and upload pictures, if any.

But when you get a sense that things are picking up, gaining traction, it’s all worth it. There’s nothing worse than just plowing along, waiting for change to happen, I don’t know – some kinda of metamorphosis (?)

Business traction aside, my body – I think – is even starting to show signs of renewal, with some muscle mass miraculously finding its way into my abs, biceps and back, courtesy of yoga and pilates, and good, clean natural oils on my skin again. It’s pretty cool, it’s kind of what I imagine Richard went through in The Beach, when he first peered at himself in the mirror after spending enough time at the beach community. Tanned, healthy, alive.

That was my favourite scene incidentally. It’s like going to a fat camp, but a beautiful and exciting one.

Anyways, I promise to blog soon, especially about my latest find – a hippie gem of a yoga studio in the East 🙂

Tata, for now as I have an early yoga session tomorrow. I leave you with a picture of yours truly and his truest.

Happy anniversary baby. I’m never good with dates and occasions (although that needs to change, especially when we have kids), but I hope you enjoy the every day with me! ❤

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Love, Travel

It’s Slow Down Zone in East Bali

Selamat, checking in from our suite at Alila Manggis! 😀

The good people here were nice enough to give us an upgrade and we’re totally loving it, with enough space for us to have a bubble bath, lounge separately on two divans, play ping pong, work on a desk with our laptops and roll around in bed – all at the same time. It is a very good (and large) room.

I love the resort too – it’s got that old-world glamour feel to it, with a huge square pool fringed with deck chairs, coconut trees and duplex suites on the compound. It’s big, airy and spacious, with lots of green lawn. Old is gold sometimes – space is rare among newer resorts, and I much prefer the ‘traditional’ resort architecture to today’s newfangled concrete-and-glass structures.

We were a little afraid that the resort would be old, well I guess it is old, but it is also very well-maintained. I was just telling D that I think they use the same kitchen top counter material as walls in the smaller rooms – that’s how they keep it well-maintained, versus painted wall or wallpaper. Yes, I am very observant on hotels – it’s one of my favourite things to do on vacation. Must have been a hotelier in my past life, ha ha.

The only drawback so far is, expectedly, the weather, given that we are in the down season. We hoped against hope that the sun would choose to shine, but nope 😦 Ended up spending lots of time lounging around the pool, working and occasionally flipping through my “Massive Book of 100 Conspiracy Theories”. Right now on the Bilderberg group.

Other moments are spent learning photography – not going so well so far, I still think my iPhone takes better pictures – and walking through the somewhat desolate town of Candidasa. It is even sadder than Lombok’s Senggigi and Khao Lak, if that can even be possible.

At times like these, I realise how much I love hanging out with D, even when there is absolutely nothing to do. We just talk and walk and explore, and take it like a little jaunt through nothingness. Decisions are made mutually, on the destination, hotel, location and once they’re made, we just.. live it.

I recall a quite different period of time in my life when I actually would feel guilty for selecting a place that turned out to be bad. Or when boredom in general would lead to restlessness, dissatisfaction and the occasional fight.

Quite different times indeed, I am thankful ❤

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Life, Love

The tougher love gets..

While a good many people around us are getting engaged/married/a firstborn/a second born, there is also a fair share of people still unravelling the mysteries of love, getting tangled in difficult relationships, nursing a broken heart after emerging from one.

Yes it still happens, adulthood doesn’t automatically qualify you for a perfect life, although one could be mistaken by scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, seemingly picture-perfect worlds. Just that grown-ups have learned better than to scream and shout about it, I guess.

Breaking up is never easy, but breaking up as you get older is exceptionally hard. You count back the long, long years and realise that suddenly, after everything that has passed and possibly could pass, you’re back again at square one, along with many sixteen, eighteen, twenty year olds.

And I can imagine, the world must seem a much scarier, much lonelier place. 😦

Let’s all be a little kinder. Everyone is struggling as well.

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Brunch, Kira, Love

May you be healthy, goofy and silly always

For a day without agenda, today was surprisingly eventful.

For a start, D got into the papers for a feature on Naiise.

It was also Kira’s 2nd birthday which meant lots of mucking around our living room with party hats and sequin bow ties, and a special brunch outing because Kira – like the rest of us – loves brunches. The cherry on the topping, though, was mom and dad’s gift-wrapped present to Kira which included healthy treats, and a set of toothpaste and toothbrush LOL.

To my dearest Kira: Happy birthday, and may you be healthy, goofy and silly always. It’s a real miracle  you survived all the illnesses you had as a puppy and somehow that makes your existence all the more precious. Love you very much from grandma, grandpa, dad, mom and aunt (?) What do I call you, Nat?

P.S. Tried a new brunch place today, Revolution Coffee, mm – think we’re sticking to Symmetry..

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Love

Love upfront

Lesson of the day: it pays off to be honest and upfront about every little thing, no matter how silly you may think it sounds. After a very long, convoluted – and confused no doubt – email from me, he set everything right and clear again – all in a matter of four short paragraphs.

Now, about our future, it’s important for us to plan ahead!!! If I could (and I had been more immature), I would have asked you to come over already. But things are different so we have to think seriously…

I don’t want you to stop looking ahead for what concerns your career. You should continue striving for a promotion.. because we will only be together once we are financially independent, and that won’t happen tomorrow. But soon, I think.

And when that day comes, I will be the one to tell you to make this crucial choice! I told you we will make it. I am not looking for a perfect and mature girl, I am looking for you. The next thing I want from us is to live together 24/7 and have our first fight, as you wrote.

There’s no right timing in my opinion, just the right certainty that it’s that person!

Fuck me, I am really blessed. Sometimes I like being a follower in relationships, er – despite popular opinion. This is one of those times. Ahh, I miss him so much now 😦

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