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


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:

  • – 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!)


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

China, Personal

Half-year report.

Much of this week at work was spent on the team’s half-year review and like everyone, I had to make a presentation evaluating my performance over the past half-year. At first, I was planning to just get up there and list down what I’d done – ‘assist Ray in blahblah, assist Tiger in blahblah’ – because as an intern, I had no business to review, no projects to boast of, no pay raises to wrangle for.

But the presentation I eventually delivered was surprising, no one more surprised than myself. For 30 minutes, I stood in front of James the big boss, the managers and the rest of my colleagues, telling them most confidently what I’d done, what I’d learnt, even offering suggestions that James kept saying was ‘on the right track’. It was, strangely, the most relaxed presentation ever; as if somewhere in the last 5 months, I’d become so familiar with my work that I could tell an entire story from beginning to end, without having to strive for a conclusion or search for a plot twist somewhere.

When I’d finally finished telling my grandmother’s story, my usually-caustic supervisors Tiger and Ray got up to thank me for my contributions and told James ‘I was the best gift that James brought to EMEA’. At which James decided to recount the time he’d interviewed me: “Let me tell you all a story about Amanda. When I interviewed her, my secretary asked ‘So how?’ and I said ‘Think I’ll take her. So she said ‘Because she’s pretty right?’ Well, look at how well she’s done. I’m glad Amanda has proven herself.”

2 kinds of accolades mean the most to me: those from people I work directly with, and those with underlying themes of proving others wrong. To have Tiger and Ray put away their one-liners and say something genuine to me for once, that meant a lot; the other one, well, I’ve been trying to surprise people since 1985. Lol.

James didn’t lie when he said at least 6 months is needed to really learn something. If it had only been a summer internship, I’d have gone back learning nothing more than data entry. Instead, I’ve gained so much and for that, I’m grateful for the opportunity and proud that I made it good.