Welcome to our website !

20 years ago, before the advent of iPhones, laptops, and other techy gadgets, I like to believe that people led a quieter pace of life. People spent time communicating face to face rather than through text messages. They read more and when they did, they read books not Kindles. They posted letters rather than  clicking the “send’ button on an email.

Sadly, this way of life seem like a remnant of the past, a quaint habit…a yesteryear nostalgia. Take my memories of 20 years ago, for instance. I remember in my school days, a research paper for a class would necessitate a visit to the library where I would search for books in catalogues and lumber around with heavy encyclopedias crammed with information. There was no internet and Wikipedia for a shortcut until later in my high school years.

When doing roadtrips with the family, we referred to actual maps, creased and worn from repeated use. There was no convenience of Google maps.

All through my childhood, I devoured books, getting lost in tales of fantasy, sci-fi adventure, and mysteries. Now I devour newsfeeds on Instagram and Facebook.

All this seems so “vintage-y” now and it’s with a twinge of nostalgia that I look back on those days. So many of the conveniences afforded by technological advances have made our lives easier. So much so that it's practically unrealistic to go back to doing things the old way, like using encyclopedias or real maps. But before technology took over our lives, we were also less siloed, less distracted, less harried. How many times do you look at your phone when having dinner with your loved one? I know I’m guilty of repeatedly checking my phone during mealtimes. And let’s face it, we all use our smart phones as a social crutch when sitting and waiting for someone or while eating alone so we don’t look like complete losers! Whatever happened to just sitting and watching the world go by or doing some quiet self-reflection?

So what am I trying to say here? This writing is a reminder to myself to strike the right balance and not fall victim to the ringing phone, the beep of a newly arrived text message, and the constant need to respond to an email right away. It’s okay to step away from it all and enjoy some retro activities…like talking to a real person in front of me. 

Dress: Zara | Purse: Marc Jacobs | Bracelet: Gorjana | Watch: Kate Spade | Shoes: Bangkok 
Photography by Utek Leong. Check out his photoblog on www.youtakephotos.com or his instagram account @utekkie.
People say Singapore is a "little red dot" with only a limited number of things to do, that it eventually gets stifling and mundane if you live here long enough. As I continue my exploration of this island country, I'm constantly surprised by the interesting places I discover. I suppose I'll reach a point where I've exhausted all the places to visit and things to do in Singapore. But I don't anticipate that happening anytime soon.

Last weekend, I made a jaunt to the Green Corridor, a heritage nature trail that connects several green spaces along a 24-km stretch of land. The lush grassland offers a refreshing change from the downtown cityscapes. Adding to the sense of charm and mystery is the presence of an old abandoned railroad (Bukit Timah Railway). I found the Green Corridor intriguing from both the historical and recreational perspective. Historically speaking, the railroad was first built in the 1900s and connected Singapore and Malaysia until it was decommissioned in 2011. Although it has only been a few years since the cast iron railway was silenced for good, nature has already reclaimed it as her own. From a recreation point of view, the Green Corridor is waiting to be explored by hikers, bikers, runners, and casual strollers! Depending on how ambitious you're feeling, there are routes of various distances along this green stretch. As a first-timer, you could start from the railway bridge and make your way over to Holland Village. Yup, a respectable walking distance of 1 mile (1.6 km), which would end with food & drinks (map here). Now, doesn't that sound like a nice weekend activity?
Adventures await! (Bukit Timah railway track)
Top: H&M | Skirt: Bangkok | Earrings: Crazy&Co | Purselet: India

Photography credit goes to Karnan who captured lovely pictures of the railway and surrounding area. You can visit his website as www.luminosity-pictures.tumblr.com.
I've always been intrigued by historical buildings and, if you've ever passed by Chijmes in the heart of the city, you know right away that this place has an interesting story to tell. From the outside, there's no mistaking that it's a church. But did you know that it's actually a 19th century Gothic-style chapel designed by a French priest and architect? The chapel was restored in the 1990s and as goes the way of most things nowadays, the site was converted into a commercial complex. I might sound rueful about it but it's actually quite nice! I loved the Gothic arches and the breezy passageways, the picturesque courtyard, and the surrounding restaurants and cafes. In the middle lies Chijmes Hall, the restored chapel with its high ceilings and stained glass windows that came from Belgium when built in the 1800s (no idea whether the stained glass windows I saw were the originals or not!). It's a charming place in which to wander around and enjoy a meal or drinks over the weekend. In my opinion, Chijmes is probably best visited during the daytime when you can see and admire the architectural details of this heritage building.

I was in a particularly flamboyant and colorful dressing mood the day I visited Chijmes. Against the cool white backdrop, my orange top and floral pants definitely pop! My little partner in crime was only too happy to accompany me, playing a game of hide and seek behind the pillars.

Many thanks to Liyana Lim, my patient photographer who managed to capture many precious moments of myself with my son and also my style shoot against this beautiful backdrop. You can check out her photography website at www.snapsnapliyana.tumblr.com.
Blouse: Banana Republic | Pants: Sheinside.com | Shoes: H&M | Cuff: Charles & Keith |
Tassle necklace: Lovisa
Full view of Chijmes Hall from the inside courtyard
Cafes peeking through the Gothic arches
Endless rows of pillars and arches
Don't mind me, I'm just hanging around...
Stained glass windows inside Chijmes Hall
Front facade of Chijmes

Haji Lane is a well-known street in Singapore that reminds me just a touch of the SoHo neighborhood in NYC. A stroll along this narrow street will charm you with its rows of trendy boutiques and quaint cafes. What makes this neighborhood unique is its eye-catching street art with images that literally pop from the walls. What's more, you can experience the different flavors of Haji Lane depending on the time of day. During the day, the boutiques are fun to browse through, even if you don't end up buying anything! Plus, the cafes are great for a daytime catch-up session with friends. By nightfall, Haji Lane transforms from a shopping district into a spot for night time revelers. Bars invite passerbys with live music performers in a cozy, intimate setting. One of my favorite places is Bar Stories. There is no menu, you simply describe to the mixologist what tastes you're in the mood for in your drink and voila, they create a concoction just for you. (Psst, just a tip - request something with fire.)

This past weekend, I had a great time shooting with a talented young photographer. Many thanks to Utek for this photography collaboration. Check out his photoblog on www.youtakephotos.com or his instagram account @utekkie.
T-shirt: sheinside.com / Boyfriend jeans: Gap / Pumps: VNC (Bangkok) / Cuff: Mumbai shopping / Ring: House of Harlow / Shades: Bangkok street shopping
You know you will visit a place again when you leave wanting more. That's how I felt on my first trip to Australia a few weeks ago. Despite a 10 day trip to the land Down Under that consisted of visits to Sydney, Melbourne, and the Yarra Valley wine region, I felt like I had just scratched the tip of the iceberg. So many places to still see and explore in this vast country!

Let me let you in on a little secret: Traveling with kids isn't easy. Thus, we kept this vacation relatively simple in terms of the types of activities planned since we were traveling with the little one. So sadly, I didn't visit the Outback or rough it up Blue Mountain or climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge this time. But that doesn't mean we didn't have a good time. We opted for more child-friendly activities and a less hectic pace of taking in the sights. It proved to be worthwhile: happy kiddo = happy traveling parents! The first stop was Sydney. We strolled along Bondi Beach and neighboring beachfronts. We checked the box with a visit to the Opera House followed by an afternoon of walking along the harbor and downtown area. Then there was a day trip out to Chowder Bay with its seafront cafes and restaurants. All very doable in a four day visit if you're traveling with a family, or even otherwise.

(More on what we did in Yarra Valley and Melbourne in future posts so check back soon.)

A trip to Sydney is incomplete without a visit to Bondi Beach
Opera House on a hot summer day
Sydney Harbor Bridge
Took part in Australia's fine coffee culture
Fell in love with this cafe/bar in Chowder Bay. Check out the East Coast Lounge for sure if you go!
A view of Chowder Bay