oh hello.

Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.

13906589_10153899922388111_8916555095445845686_nMaybe late nights, the flu bug and high strung emotions are the perfect concoction to inspire one to get back writing? It’s been a while.

The month of November was definitely trying. With the last 2 weeks bringing on the peak of emotional uproar. That terrifying feeling of being immensely lost and alone in this world, in spite of being surrounded by great wealth of love and support from close friends and family.

I can’t tell you if what I am going through is a “life crisis” but if you can relate, it is probably because we all go through this at different points of our wonderful twenties, each with different intensities. But the best part, is what comes after; relief and strength – and this is tried and tested.

My emotional exhaustion and flu-med induced grogginess aside, I assure you, nothing worth having comes for free. And with each storm, your sanity will be restored, and whether is a new world view, or a less rosy one – You will be thankful.

What actually inspired me to write tonight, was for 1, I turn 28 in a couple of months. And realising how many things that I used to enjoy, that I had neglected. Like writing. Writing was a big thing in my life; having majored in philosophy, but more importantly how much I love the way words can make an impact; the way words always leave me wanting more, and sometimes wanting less. A dance that begins in the mind, before we choose to express it.

My love for words aside, what I really meant this post to say, is to remind anyone who reads this and who is lost, that you will survive. The greatest pain comes when we cannot reconcile what logic tells us with what our gut says. But the thing about life is that its never always black and white.

So here are the 10 things that I’ve come to terms/coming to terms with that does it job to restore some level of sanity:

  1. “At your best, you still won’t be good enough for the wrong person. At your worst, you will still be worth it to the right person” This is not to say you aren’t good enough; no you are in every sense worth a place on this earth, so don’t settle.
  2. You are human, and so are others; you will hurt, you will make mistakes, people will never be perfect. What’s harder, but more valuable is that you forgive and move on.
  3. Time exists; Know that not everything is immediate. Sometimes, things need time, space and distance to grow. But that shouldn’t petrify/stall you. Time moves, and so should you
  4. Let go of things you can’t control, but be accountable for those that you can; Like your behaviour and how you handle your emotions. It is ok to cry when it hurts, but it is not okay to scream at someone just because you feel like it or when you can’t have your way.
  5. Stand your ground and explain feelings in a thoughtful way; Equally so, it is important to stand by your guns and remind people of your boundaries. If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything and people will simply walk all over you.
  6. Show up, remember your promises and honor your words – AN IMPERATIVE
  7. Cherish your loved ones; and it doesn’t hurt letting them know every once in awhile
  8. Do all the things you wanted to do and achieve; no time like now to start cracking!
  9. Take care of your health and metal well-being; money doesn’t solve all problems
  10. Be compassionate to yourself, and extend the same respect that you have for others to yourself; you owe yourself that.

 

Take heart, always remember that you are loved.

 

xx

T.

 

 

 

27

“You’ve got this life and while you’ve got it, you’d better kiss like you only have one moment, try to hold someone’s hand like you will never get another chance to, look into people’s eyes like they’re the last you’ll ever see, watch someone sleeping like there’s no time left, jump if you feel like jumping, run if you feel like running, play music in your head when there is none, and eat cake like it’s the only one left in the world!”

   
   
  

Drafting this as I wait for my dinner company, thoroughly enjoying my cappuccino. I turn 27 today; and it’s not a big deal. Motivational articles, TV and books seem to have phatomed the late twenties to be some challenging and crazy point in people’s lives; anxious over the fact that the big three-o looms. 

And I’m not about to write a list of “27 things you learn at 27” – but I guess more of an open letter, to my younger self, and for my older self to look back to. 

Life – it’s full of ugliness, of sadness; pain, weariness and disparity. But this is where we find the beauty in life, and strength. That no matter what happens – you are loved. And you matter to those around you. They have accepted you for everything that you are and are not. The cliché – it’s one’s flaws that make them beautiful; I guess what it means it reminds us of our humanity and to always be humble, and those are the things that make a person, stunning. 

It is very clear who the people who care for us are. Quietly, but surely. And they will never make you run after, or beg them to. 

Love truly is everything. 

  
Xoxo,

T

Happy Boxing Day – DIY Cheese Board 




Christmas is a big thing for my family – with all the feasting up until Christmas Day, Boxing Day is often a lazy sluggish day. But food is still a must.

Great thing about cheese platters – the only thing that’s needed for washing once the meal is done is the board, the knives and any small serving bowl(s) one might have used to keep wet condiments in. With some planning and some homework, they are actually really simple to set up.
1. Find out what cheeses your guests like – went for a soft young cheese and a young gouda. Though I’d recommend having a third sharper or more pungent cheese to the board to make things interesting.

2.  Fresh fruit, dried fruit, something nutty and something savory: I chose fresh cherries and grapes, dried figs, spiced and salted nuts, and sundried tomatoes

3. Crunch: Meiji Crackers (table water would do too) and apple crisps

4. Wine Pairing – Pinot Gris made a good pairing with this board. The Huffington Post has a good guide: here

5. If I had a bigger group, I’d add on another fresh fruit and a meat (melon and Jamon) and maybe even a fresh minty leaf salad.
Have fun!

What would you add to your cheese board?

XX

T.

Love deeper than an ocean

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“If you have been brutally hurt, but still have the courage to be gentle to others then you deserve a love deeper than the ocean itself” – Nikita Gill

Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club is the oldest Winter Swimming Club in Australia. Drawn up by its founders in 1929 and held on to till this day, the club’s constitution states that it is compulsory for fledgling members to do their time during the winter season even when temperatures plummet to single digits.

The purpose is to foster winter swimming and encourage participation in sport for all.

To be an Icebergs you must complete 75 swims over 5 years. The Icebergs swim races are handicapped races to cater for all levels of swimming ability.

I can’t say any more about how I fell in love with Bondi.

 

2015

A year of life lessons; in my younger years the concept of “life lessons” seemed to connote an origin from a major life event. Instead I found those moments transient, the conclusions – “things” I’d hold on to forever.

Admittedly, I allowed myself to fall into the trap of a routine that only comprised of work, exercise, teaching, dancing, and meeting people who’d call me away from my schedule.

While that works for some and I fully agree that this is the time we make decisions that would ripple through the next 10 years – none of it would make sense at the cost of losing love, family and friends.

From me to you, the 10 standouts of 2015:

  1. Not every good act is appreciated, sometimes credit is taken away from you – definitely hurtful, but I found that sometimes this is a good thing (for you)
  2. Being the bigger person hurts at first, but what comes from it is magical – you will wince, you may curse. But you leave the situation a better person
  3. Compassion STARTS WITH being compassionate to YOURSELF – I admit to being a perfectionist and highly conscious about my fitness. But over doing exercise, self criticism for having emotions does nothing for your overall well-being.
  4. Be honest and direct, especially to those who you appreciate – Appreciate the ones you love. They deserve to know.
  5. Everything doesn’t need to have a reason – Sometimes things just are.
  6. Savour simplicity – and maybe, even hardship.
  7. The greatest words are “You are doing fine, you are fine” – you are fine.
  8. You don’t have to be perfect – cause imperfect means “i m perfect” (cheesy I know but it is true)
  9. It pays choosing the cheaper alternative (sometimes) – not every expensive thing is worth the price it commands
  10. Stay humble
 
 Merry Christmas, happy 2016.
You deserve a love deeper than the ocean itself.
XX
T.

The Protagonist – A little bit about Gin & Copper

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“Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.” – David Deida

After a string of rather disappointing interactions, I decided it was time to do a little self reflection. So this weekend found me reading about personality types, my own personality type, strengths, weaknesses, dynamics. Possibly, it is an insatiable need to understand the human condition or more broadly, the insatiable need to understand.

A little self reflection doesn’t hurt every now and then now does it? And the more in-tuned we are to the persons that we are, the better we are able to cope with the world around us.

Gin

The name gin is derived from genièvre (French) and jenever (Dutch), both of which mean “juniper,” of which this spirit derives its predominant flavor from. Gin is one of the broadest classifications of spirits, with a varied range of origins, styles and flavor profiles revolving around the flavor of the juniper berry.

Juniper berries carry a flavor often described as “piney” and is often used in European and particularly in Scandinavian cuisines to impart a “bright and fresh” flavor to meat dishes, in particular game meats.

There is an interesting Facebook page dedicated to the spirit – https://www.facebook.com/ginandtonicreviews . Providing honest and straightforward reviews of Gin from all over the world, providing notes and flavors of both neat and when with tonic. I would even say it is educational, and might help you decide what Gin is right for you for your next Gin & Tonic.

drinks // Copper, Singapore (Now closed, sadly)

photo // iphone 6, VSCO App.

XX,

T

Living Like a Sydneysider (2) – I left my heart in Bondi

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

  

A long delayed 2nd posting of my trip to Sydney. But this is where I left my heart – Bondi. “Bondi” is said to have come from an Aboriginal word “boondi” meaning “water breaking over rocks”. It is located 7KM east from the Sydney CBD.
The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is probably one of the musts visiting this area. The walk promises to display to you how Bondi got its name; waves crashing on the rocks. You will also be met with baths and other beaches along the way, a cemetery, wild waves as well as clear and calm waters.

About Life Bondi Junction – 31/37 Oxford Street.

A supermarket and wholefoods cafe is housed in each of their locations. Great to stock up on them muesli and granola. Not to mention coconut yogurt!

Jed’s Foodstore – 60 Warners Avenue, Bondi

Great place to pick up breakfast. Love the vibe and coffee is good here too.
    Orchard St., Bondi – 2 Brighton Boulevard, North Bondi

Cleanse, heal, nourish and grow.

    Bondi Whole Foods – 1/30A Hastings Parade, North Bondi

One of my favorite spots, its got a supermarket well stocked with organic goods and produce. A cafe that serves up a good breakfast. For coffee, request for a dirty chai latte.

  

Porch and Parlour – 17-18/110 Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi

Expect to queue here over the weekend for brunch. They serve up a hearty green bowl for breakfast amongst other awesome plates.

  


Balcony and views from the apartment I stayed in.

It was my first time using Airbnb, and a pleasant one. This accommodation booking platform definitely has its charm and if you do decide to book your accommodation with Airbnb, always always ask questions.

The apartment was located along Bondi Road – along the road connecting Bondi Beach and Bondi Junction and Westfield mall. And almost equidistant between the two. It was easy walking towards either direction. Alternatively, there is a bus stop right at the foot of the apartment building, with buses that take you to the beach. Across, the bus stop takes you to Bondi Junction where there is a mall, and where you can catch a train out to the rest of Sydney. Bondi Junction station is just 4 stops from Martin Place (Sydney CBD).

While on the small side, the apartment was cosy and had all we needed – Bed, shower, fridge and kitchenette, and a small balcony. Lots of sunlight in the day. Bed was comfy so I always had a good night’s sleep.

If you wish to check out the apartment – https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/4465427

Also, if you wish to book via Airbnb, here is my discount code that gives you S$35 credit for your booking: https://www.airbnb.com.sg/c/tpoh30?s=4&i=1

XX,

T.

Pursuits – Living like a Sydneysider (1)


“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ― Dr. Seuss

I MIGHT be biased here, but Sydney has left me wanting more. Located on Australia’s east coast, the state capital of New South Wales is the most populous city in Australia. A bustling harbor city rich in culture and natural sites.

Surely as with every city, it has its touristy spots and ‘grammable cafes; but Sydney has its charm – a hint of romance in the air and energy in the pavements that lead you to an alluring find of a cafe, bakery or pub frequent by locals.

With cafes and sights in coming posts, here’s some of my favorite brands to pick up while in Sydney.

Shopping Needs

Lululemon – 330C George Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Premium workout gear (http://www.lululemon.com)


Birkenhead point – Outlet shopping that can have really good discounts. Shop Listing here. Gorman is a must: http://www.gormanshop.com.au/


Aesop – multiple branches located across Sydney and in major shopping malls. Alternatively, you can Click and Collect with David Jones. Current loves: Fabulous facial cleanser, Geranium leaf body cleanser, Camellia Nut facial hydrating cream.

photos // By T, all taken using iPhone 6. Edited with Snapseed and VSCO Apps.