31 July 2014

Judging

I follow Rebecca Judd on instagram and she wrote this great post recently on her blog responding to an article about parent shaming and bullying.  I really like what she wrote and agree with many of her points.

I don't want to get into a debate on my blog about who is 'right' or 'wrong' but I agree that there seems to be an awful lot of 'judgy-ness' out there that is just completely unnecessary.

  • Breast feeding vs formula feeding
  • Stay at home parents vs working parents
  • Natural birth vs c-section
  • Kids vs no kids
  • Married vs unmarried and the list goes on..

Bec touches on celebrity bashing in her post but I know many of us have been subjected to it in our day to day lives.  I have had all sorts of judgy comments thrown my way eg I am sending my kid to daycare when she is too young, why do I want to work full time and leave my kid, did I feel ok about having a c-section (like it was a bad thing), why did I only take 5.5 months off for maternity leave and isn't that a bit short and not enough time to bond with my baby or look after her properly...

It really is a bit ridiculous.  I think people just need to get over themselves and we all just need to do what is right for us and our own individual and personal circumstances - whether that is as a single, partnered up, with or without kids.

I don't know where the judgy comments stem from.  Perhaps jealousy, insecurities or just arrogance but just let people live their own lives!   If you don't want to see people being happy or don't agree with their life choices then don't hang out with them, don't follow them on social media or read about them and stop with the judgyness.

As Bec said in her post:
Memo to everyone, stop worrying about what Teresa, Miranda, Jodi and Giselle are doing and think about why another woman’s life (usually a strangers) affects yours so much? That’s the bigger issue here. Focus on yourself and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. 

30 July 2014

73 Questions and Preserve with Blake Lively

I know there are some haters out there but I like Blake Lively.  She just seems nice, cool and someone you could be friends with.  I don't know if it was scripted or rehearsed beforehand but I liked her even more after seeing the latest 73 Questions video from Vogue.  Watch it here.

As a follow up from my recent post, Blake has also recently launched her own lifestyle site, Preserve.   Part blog and part online shop it will highlight and curate (everything seems 'curated' these days!) American artisans, stories and products.   I haven't had a chance to have a proper look yet so my verdict is still out.





29 July 2014

Bali Love

We just got back from the most wonderful week away in Bali.  A full week of family time - swims, lazing around, reading, massages, eating lots of yummy food, walks and shopping.  You know you had a good holiday when the time away felt longer than it really was and you forget your work computer password on your first day back in the office!

The Mr and I hadn't been to Bali since our honeymoon a few years ago and my how it has changed and built up.  But I do really love Seminyak as you get a real mix of the urban (good restaurants, bars and shopping) along with beach and pool time.  We are thinking it may become an annual holiday :)

Accommodation:
We stayed at the W in Seminyak in the Petitenget area.  Beautiful resort with beach access and super lovely staff, it was the perfect backdrop for our holiday.   The onsite restaurants, Fire and Starfish Bloo, are super yum and the Woobar is the perfect place for sunset drinks.  There are little golf buggys that can drive you around the resort and out to the front street entrance which the little Miss was obsessed with.  It was always "buggy!" whenever she saw one.

I think for our next trip we may get a private villa for the extra space and potentially so we can holiday with a couple of other friends.

Restaurants: 
Bali is a foodie mecca.  Some of the restaurants we tried and loved are listed below.

These are mainly kid friendly places in Seminyak as we stayed away from the places that had warnings on their websites re: kids (eg Sarong, Merah Putih, Metis).  I would have loved to try/gone back to those places but we figured it would've been way too much stress that we just didn't need.

Petitenget - yummy food in a lovely bistro setting.
Motel Mexicola - kitschy cool Mexican
Taco Local - just next door to the W.  Yummy Mexican and I preferred the food here over Motel Mexicola. Make sure to order the nachos, quesadillas, margaritas and pork tacos.
The Salty Seagull - kitschy cool Fish and Chips
Potato Head Beach Club - a fun place to hang out for a couple of hours.
Biku - Their signature beef pie was good but I was underwhelmed by their Beef Rendang
Sea Circus -  Restaurant, Bar and Coffee Den.  I tried my first ever Acai bowl here which was yum (the little Miss loved it too).  Good coffee.


Shopping: 
Petitenget:  I really loved this area and it was way less touristy than the main drag.   Cool shops include Carga for homewares, Magali Pascal for the prettiest lace and other luxe clothing, Prisoners of St Petersburg for vintage and other cool clothes and homewares
Coco and Ginger: for the most gorgeous handmade girls' clothing. They also have a small rack of womenswear and I picked up a lovely cut out lace white kaftan for myself (see pic at the top)
The White Peacock: bohemian and vintage
Main drag and side streets around Jalan Oberoi, Jalan Seminyak and behind Seminyak Square.

Bali guides: 
There are loads of other places that we didn't get to.

For some other Bali recommendations see:
The Bali Bible (thank you to the kind soul who added this to the comments on my blog but you logged in as anonymous so I can't thank you in person!)
Little Bali Love (for kid friendly ideas)
Lindy Klim's Bali Bible



15 July 2014

Wish I Was Here...



It's been a while since I have written a music post.  Life gets in the way, we get busy and I had forgotten how wonderful it is to make new music discoveries and listen to a beautiful song for the very first time...

Zach Braff has a new movie coming out.  Similar to his debut film, Garden State (which had an awesome soundtrack) Wish I Was Here boasts an equally impressive lineup for its soundtrack.

A few songs have been released on NPR for listening.  Do yourself a favour and have a listen...

Cat Power and ColdPlay: listen here
Bon Iver: listen here
The Shins: listen here


08 July 2014

Mondays...


What a tiring day to start the week.. It started off with me reading up on financial markets regulatory reform to prepare for an industry conference I am speaking at on Wednesday and ended up with me googling 'how to deal with toddler tantrums' after a big and quite a long tanty thrown by the little Miss... I am tired! But I do genuinely love being challenged by both in my life (on most days anyway).

For those parents out there, I did find an interesting article talking about the science behind toddler tantrums. Apparently they are primarily caused by their little brains not having developed the ability to understand reasoning, logic and self control yet.  I don't know.. I think the little Miss understands a lot more than she lets on sometimes and is just super duper determined.  So I don't think I will or should stop saying no to her #poorkidwithatigermum #imaginewhatshewillbelikeasateen

I hope the week ahead will be a little more drama (and tantrum) free!


03 July 2014

Choosing success


I recently wrote about success when I was making a difficult career decision.  Today I read a post by Deepak Chopra on Linkedin. A little bit new age and some may think a bit airy fairy but I thought it was worth sharing as good food for thought when making work and life decisions.

I have extracted some of the article below but the full article is in the link above.  As he writes:
Success is a magic word, and I believe in it too. When people are given the opportunity, almost all will pursue some kind of success. But matching opportunity with success is trickier than one might suppose. If Bill Gates had had the opportunity to fill Mother Teresa’s shoes, or vice versa, what would have happened? ... 
In India there's a term for the life that leads a person to the right path of success: Dharma. The word comes from the Sanskrit verb "to uphold," implying that the universe will support you when you find the path that is right for you. How do you know if you are in your Dharma? It's a delicate matter, because everyone is complex enough that mind, personality, interests, education, and background pull in different directions... 
Modern life gives far more latitude for choice, and yet external opportunities, important as they are, don't solve the question of how to find your dharma... In the midst of everyday life, the signals that direct us toward the best existence are constantly being given. 
Positive signals - "You're on the right track"
  • You welcome the next challenge.
  • You feel confident that you can meet the challenge.
  • You enjoy what you're doing.
  • You feel freer today than you were a year ago. 
  • There's something new to discover and explore. 
  • When you look around, your surroundings fit the life you want to live.
For many generations, these signals didn't pertain to the work a person did, they fit retirement. ...however, and now it's fair to say that given the opportunity, most of us want everything on this list today, not somewhere in our distant "golden years."  On the other hand, contrary forces still pull the other way. 
Negative signals - "This is where you have to be."
  • You can't wait to go home from work.
  • You feel underused and under-appreciated.
  • You work for the paycheck.
  • You find it hard to motivate yourself in your job.
  • There's pressure to conform, and you give in to the pressure.
  • You don't want to be here, but you can't figure out how to leave
These aren't huge existential matters - on an everyday basis you can begin to foster the strengths needed to move toward success... Only when your mind faces up to your situation, with all that's good, bad, or indifferent in it, can you create a space for change. Getting stuck is your enemy, and stuckness is an inner state... No matter how you define dharma, it's always an open, accepting state where you feel that you are growing and evolving...

Celebrity Lifestyle Blogs

Gwyneth started it with the launch of Goop in 2010 and I have noticed that increasingly celebrities are getting on the bandwagon and launching their own lifestyle websites. 

I know there are a lot of critics out there but I personally enjoy browsing through them.  For pop culture fans like me, you can really get a feel for the person behind the celebrity and get lots of tips in the meantime or even if it is just for a stickybeak.  

I give them credit for being entrepreneurial, finding an additional income stream and being in control of their own image and brand. 

Aside from Goop, a couple of my other favourite celebrity sites are: 


Recently launched by Meghan Markle (who plays Rachel Zane on one of my favourite shows, Suits), The Tig is described as 'a hub for the discerning palate - those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty".  Her posts seem very genuine and this page has become one of my frequent reads. 



I never watched her on The City but I do love Olivia Palermo's style.  Her site is more style than general lifestyle and the "I want what she's wearing" category is always full of outfit inspiration for me.  

30 June 2014

Holidays: Bali


I cannot wait for our holiday in a couple of weeks.  We are escaping for a week to Bali and splurging a little by staying at the W.  We're really looking forward to the break and especially the Mr who has been working his butt off recently.

We haven't been to Seminyak since our honeymoon so I can't wait to show it off to the little lady and try out some of the recommendations from my friend Andrea.

Yay for holidays!

26 June 2014

Good Vietnamese food in Singapore

Mrs Pho from Burpple

My mum is visiting us at the moment so I have been relishing in all the Vietnamese home cooking - she is so sweet and the first thing she did when she arrived was go to the supermarket and buy ingredients for dinner!

I love it when she visits as I can really get my Vietnamese food fix.   People often ask me where we go and find good Vietnamese food in Singapore.  I have to admit it isn't great but I can recommend a couple of places that are better than most compared to the other pretty average offerings around town.

Mrs Pho

Opened up by friends of friends, this tiny little restaurant on Beach Road serves up a decent Pho and the best pork chop rice I have had so far in Singapore (most have been pretty abysmal).  The Pho's broth is full of flavour (so many places here have watery or bland soup for their Pho) and they use fresh noodles not the dry stuff out of the packet.   My only complaint is they don't give you enough fresh basil with your noodles but that is a common issue in Vietnamese restaurants here!   The Mr didn't rate the pork and spring roll vermicelli so I say stick to Pho or the rice when you visit.  Cute decor and a great vibe.

Nam Nam Noodle Bar

Opened up by the Les Amis group, several of these stores have popped up in various shopping centres around town after their initial opening in Raffles City. They serve up some yummy Banh Mi and decent Pho.  There is generally always a line (regardless of time of day) so that's a good sign.

Long Phung

A couple of Vietnamese places are located on Joo Chiat Road on the East.  We have been to Long Phung before and it was pretty good and filled with lots of other Vietnamese people.   Offering up more than just Pho, this would be a good place to visit as a group to enjoy a good mix of dishes.   It can get pretty crowded so there may be a bit of a wait.

Baguette

My go to place for some comfort food when I am at work.  Not the greatest but not the worst, it serves up some pretty tasty banh mi and noodles if I need a Viet food fix at lunch time.  I was pretty happy when they opened up an outlet below my office at Marina Bay recently.



Singapore Guide: Design for Mankind



images from Design for Mankind

I saw this written up on my friend's blog and I couldn't help but share - such a delightful little insight into our lovely city.   Plus I am biased as it mentions a lot of our favourite places too!

Read the full "What to Do in Singapore" here.
 

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