15 Jul 18
We spent five days in Penang, Malaysia, last week. Our second vacation with Seth. He enjoyed every minute of it – new hotel room to explore, riding in the car with no car seat (hooray for him! boohoo for me!), swam every day, went to the beach every day, ate tasty salty food all day, had the holy trio of TV/iPad/iPhone – living his best life, really.
Even though we didn’t get to see any of the Instagram-famous street art in Georgetown, or join the long queues at roadside hawker stalls, this trip was a good one in my books. So much so we want to head back again soon! To eat more durian, to try their version of Hokkien Mee and meet more Penangites, they could not be more low-key but friendly, warm people.
27 Jul 16
In April, Ben & I headed to Tokyo & Kyoto. Tokyo was hard to grasp as a city for first-timers so I approached our days with the intention of returning to the city in the future. There is just too much popular food to eat and too many coffee shops to try! I find it hard to photograph in cities too, for some reason, so even though we were there during sakura season (which is gloooorious!), I took like 3 photos in Tokyo.
Kyoto is so beautiful, I was wholly surprised at all the nature it had to offer. The old charm of the city automatically made me move at a slower pace. At the end of our stay, I wanted to just live out the rest of my life there.
Arashiyama bamboo groves
Ryoan-Ji, where this famous zen garden is
I plan to write another post with my recommendations!
27 Jun 16
Hey guys! I’m collaborating with Ikea Singapore for a couple of months and this time, the focus is on the bedroom. I wanted to talk a bit about how almost after two years of living in this house, I’ve found ways to improve my sleep and sleeping patterns. I initially wanted to say ‘quality of sleep’ but really I don’t know how to measure that so let’s just call ‘sleep’ sleep. It’s gonna be a lengthy post but I promise some useful tips throughout.
I’m starting out by talking about quilts
Right after moving in, we treated ourselves to a fluffy new quilt from Ikea. (Long-time users of Ikea bedsheets, quilts and pillows!) We decided on a ‘warmer’ quilt thinking our AC is new and be blasting with full force, a warm one would keep us nice and snuggly. It kept my husband nice and snuggly while leaving me… sweaty. Maybe I suffer from night sweats, maybe not but I stuck with this warmer quilt for over a year. We all know it’s not the cheapest thing to replace, even harder to do it when it’s so new. We used our oldoldold Ikea quilt throughout the years we stayed in rentals – that’s about five years – and we only replaced it because moving into our first home was a pretty monumental step for us. But ah, I couldn’t continue using it any longer. A few months back, I got us a ‘cooler’ quilt and we quickly realized, it was perfect. Well, almost-perfect for me. I’ll elaborate below.
When Ikea reached out, I knew I wanted to use this opportunity to try out bedspreads. This, my friends, is what my body’s been asking for!
SOMMAR 2016 bedspread
I’m always touching the bedspreads on display at Ikea stores but I thought of it as a frivolous thing stylists used in interior magazines. Now I know, it works beautifully for our climate. I sleep a lot happier now. The ‘cooler’ quilt still stays because >> husband << and we’re not modern enough to try two separate quilts, something I saw on Cup of Jo recently.
Don’t hesitate to change them once they turn soft, or that gross yellowish colour. My husband’s ‘body-pillow’ had an annoying habit of shedding A LOT of feathers, which made changing sheets a nightmare, there would be tiny feathers flying all over. So we replaced that stat.
RÖLLEKA pillows for our head & AXAG pillow for hugging
Mood & feels
Candles does wonders, it’s not news but I neglect mine when I get too busy. So this is a gentle nudge to go light some today.
BORRBY lantern & FENOMEN unscented block candle
I’ve become sensitive to scented candles so I usually light those for a short while and blow them out. But on days I still want a subtle lingering fragrance, I use my MAD et LEN black lava potpourri.
Two other things I want to share a bit about are: meditation and using a sleep tracker
I’ve been practicing on and off and recently really stuck with it daily for over a month now. Meditation means different things to different people, for me, I discipline myself to do it mostly for the action of non-doing. Most days for twenty minutes, on busy days I squeeze out five minutes. To be still and have awareness, for a while every day, I think helps you learn to be still and be present bit by bit, in the face of anything. I love this app for it, there is a vast variety of guided meditations/timed meditations and the best part, a community. If you’re thinking sitting still is not your thing, there are meditations for lying still as well. Perfect for before bedtime… I’ve drifted off into sleep many times.
The sleep tracker is something I’ve only very recently got into. I use an UP2 tracker by Jawbone. Before this, I’d count the number of hours I slept simply by when I go to bed – like go into the bedroom and lie on the bed – and when I wake. So I’ve been sleeping a lot less than I thought. For sure the tracker gives me more accurate readings, but what truly helps me the most, is wanting to go to bed earlier, so my readings are smiling back at me tomorrow. Doing it for yourself, even if it seems competitive to want to hit your goal, or beat your goal. It’s all for you in the end.
Here’s a quick recap:
– Replace anything that is old, not working out for you anymore. I try not to think of it as wasteful, more like finally figuring out what works.
– Candles help lift your mood & spirit, without fail, I don’t know why. I like to use the action of lighting a candle before meditating as a signal to begin quiet time.
– Trackers push you to do better for your health by sleeping earlier and taking more steps, embrace the technology!