Friday, July 31, 2015

LWD at the Beach

Life is always better at the beach, isn't it? The other day we went to Sentosa. Stephen randomly said, "Man, I wish we could go to the beach. That sounds so relaxing…" and I said, "Ummm… but we can. We live on an ISLAND." #coolstatement  

I found this heavenly white dress at the thrift store and it was one of those moments when you pull out an unassuming piece from the rack and in the second you realized you found a unicorn, you instantly you look over your hunched shoulders and scream inside your head, "Miiiiiiine!!!! Hands off my precious!!!!" No? Just me? I mean, if this is you too, you better tell me so we can be BFFs pronto. 

Gollum moment aside, Little White Dress are obviously the *new* LBDs and have been for like, 5 seasons. I have bought multitudes and haven't regretting by a single one (now mixing them accidentally in the laundry hamper is another thing…) This one is great because of the textured fabric (what is it called???) and the huge fluffy ruffle at the end. It's like walking on a cloud. 

And no cloud is complete without a little misty-minty air, as in this dreamy kimono. And then the watermelon purse. I saw it on someone else blog (I'm so sorry, I forget who!) and I knew it had to be mine. And it was only $16! Heck yes! Because it's that clear shiny plastic, I kinda feel like a 7-year-old playing dress-up but in the best of ways. 

Have you had any Gollum moments recently? Or maybe just more relaxing beach days...? Tell me! I wanna know I'm not the only weirdo! :) 

 Dress: Thrifted | Kimono: H&M | Sunglasses & Bracelets: Cotton On | Purse: Abaday

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blogging while Depressed

Photo from my Instagram
I've been going back and forth to discuss this topic because even though I'm an open book if you ever met me… the internet is the internet, y'all. However. I can't get these words out of my head so maybe it is something that just needs to be said. 

*deep breath*

I'm clinically depressed. I have good days and bad days but I try to be very careful to handle my day-to-day as healthily as I can. I believe I have been depressed off and on for much of  my life and am probably genetically programmed to be a chemical hot mess. If you are interested in me talking more specifically about my depression, let me know and I can visit that for another post. 

But today, I want to talk about blogging while depressed. That's a new one for me (having only been blogging for a year and a half). Here are three ways depression affects my blogging and blogging affects my depression. 

"You are only as good as your last post." I read that somewhere and it stuck with me. One, it's great and very true advice for a blogger. But a blogger that's depressed - it sends me into a tailspin. There are days, weeks, maybe even months where I am able to be very productive. I feel inspired, I conjure up meaningful outfits, find a picturesque location,  I orchestrate photo shoots one after another, edit the all photos, write and organize the blog post and promote the posts on social media. Yay! I'm winning at life! I feel accomplished and proud of my work and can see myself growing as a blogger, stylist, writer and creator. It's a great feeling and honestly, highly addictive. 

But. There are also days, weeks, maybe even months where doing ONE of those tasks is TOO much. Brushing my teeth in the morning is too much. Putting on a tulle skirt in this damn heat and twirling around and smiling for the camera - are you out of your damn mind? I would prefer to sob into my Coco Puffs, thankyouverymuch. 

So I tell myself that it's okay to rest, lounge by the pool, read lots of books and catch up on all 10 seasons of Grey's Anatomy. Because it is okay. But then the Evil Depression Voice hits: You're lazy. You've lost all your momentum. You'll never get it back. You're loosing your hard-won readers as we speak. 

It can be a struggle at times and I have to remind myself to tell that voice to go shove it. 

The Evil Depression Voice (Mr. EDV for short) is really good at saying other things to me as well. Most of the time I gorge myself on all my other favorite bloggers on bloglovin. It's one of my favorite things to do to relax and wind down from the day. I find so much inspiration from the beautiful and clever posts these ladies create every day. 

But Mr. EDV likes to steal inspiration as much as he does productivity. On good days, I look at a one of my favorite bloggers' recent posts and think, "I really like how she matched those orange pants with that gingham top. Brilliant. And how clever to capture her earrings in that angle! Oh! And how the sun hits her hat to show us the perfect basket-weave detailing… And that pose! I need to remember that pose! It's a nice, natural way to show off a medium-sized clutch. I need to pin this right now. I'm gonna try and recreate that. Good stuff…

On bad days he says things like, "You can't do that. What's the point? Those people have more talent, more resources, more drive. You won't ever get that good. Also, you're fatter than her and you wear the same boring things all the time.

Y'all. EDV is mean. And I know what he says is not true. I'm sorry if you're one who hates inspirational quotes but I love them. They help get me through the day when I have to listen to this guy. One of the quotes is, "Comparison steals joy" and it is so true. When Evil Depression Voice is trying to rob me of my joy, I have to just shut my computer and do something else. Which honestly pisses me off. Because like I said, I love reading all the fashion blogs! 

Speaking of fashion bloggers, people talk about this all the time: are bloggers - fashion or otherwise - fake? Maybe I'm biased but I think that's a loaded and unfair question. 

I am not happy all the time. Obviously. My instagram looks pretty happy. I'm not having a huge melt-down anywhere on my blog either. But do you honestly make the effort to click here of all places (when there are so many cat videos out there calling your name!) so that you can see my "real" life all the time? Many days I don't bother to wear any make-up, much less style my hair and I'm lucky if I wear an outfit that has any sartorial-inclination whatsoever. You don't go to a fashion blog to see that crap. I don't look in the mirror so I don't have to see that crap. Why would I subject you to that?!

I also believe blogging is somewhat of an escape. At least it is for me. It's a place where I can create a beautiful world where everything in my immediate surrounding is vintage, or tropical or kitchy. YOU KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE. I KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE. I'm creating an illusion. A snap-shot. It's fun! I'm not trying to depict this perfect, fake world but instead a world that is crafted from my point of view. I view the world in beautiful dresses and lipsticks but that doesn't mean I don't feel real, raw emotion. If you saw me IRL, I make no secret that I'm not always feeling like a ray of sunshine. Also, when you click on a picture of a watermelon purse, do you really want to hear my sad emo-thoughts? 

I'll leave you with one of my favorite favorite songs by Rilo Kiley that gets me through the day and makes me feel like I'm not so alone. They get it. 

Have you ever been depressed? How do you handle? Are these struggles that you as a blogger ever go through? 

I sincerely hope you know that when I write these words, I am not humble-bragging or hoping to get your pity-follows or anything like that. I just felt I needed to share with you and to be ME. I'm proud of me and I'm proud of my struggle. I'm proud of my blog. However, thank you so so so much for reading!  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Santorini, Greece: Boat Trip

Sailing Away 
While in Greece, I wanted to take a small, intimate boat - perhaps a yacht - to spend the day exploring the neighboring islands.  Well, the cheeky Greek man working at the travel agency kindly reminded me that I wasn't Gary Pepper Girl or Barefoot Blonde. Hmmmph. (Okay, he didn't exaaactly same that but it was the same idea.)

So Kristen and I ended up going on a very very large boat with many people for 20 euros. And ya know what? It wasn't that bad! I do get sea sick though which I think is completely unfair given just how much I absolutely LOVE the ocean and being on the water. Has anyone tried the seasickness bracelets? Do those work?

The highlight of the trip was to go to a volcano where you had the option of hiking to the summit. Ha! No, thank you. However we did walk up the half way mark to take in the view and we were not disappointed. Across the deep blue water we could see the cluster of white buildings of Oia. We felt like we were aliens in a weird land with only rocky hills stretching out of view.

FYI, there are many mixed reviews on Tripadvisor about this type of day trip but we really enjoyed it. But honestly, I think Kristen and I could have enjoyed exploring a paper bag (I'm glad we got to see more than that though!) Funny story: when we were climbing up a suspiciously high and precarious edge of the volcano, Kristen stops to take a picture and then says, "Wait! I'm out of memory!" and I thought she proceeded to delete photos ON THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN-VOLCANO. After we safely arrived back on level terra firma we then tried to think of all the most ridiculous examples when a tourist would make people stop and say, "Wait! I need to delete my repeats!" (Can you think of any?) Just trust me. It. was. funny. We are available for re-enactments, if necessary. Have your people contact our people.

BTW, if you haven't already, be sure to check out my post about our first day in Santorini

The Outfit
The best part about being on the boat was the laissez-faire everyone had about clothing. I've become accustom to the general Asian mentality of boat trips: hide from the sun by any means necessary and unless you are a size 0, cover yourself. But the Europeans have a very different take that is very refreshing: they go for it. Every age and size was in varied states of dress. Some were in full bikinis sunbathing on desk, others in see-through cover-ups and then others were wearing non-beachwear. It made for a very comfortable holiday atmosphere! 

I only wore my long-sleeve button-up because I was afraid of being burnt to a crisp (not a good look, trust me). Underneath I wore my custom-made-to-fit high waisted swim suit from Surania which if you know anything about me, you know I'm absolutely obsessed about this suit; proof from this post and my instagram. You can see a better image of the suit here

What are your favorite pieces for beachy-travel & exploration? Got any go-to cover-ups? 

Shirt, Shorts & Hat: H&M | Shoes: Rack Room | Earrings & Bracelets: Lovisa
Sunglasses: Cotton On

Photos by Kristen

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Little India, Singapore

Little India 
My boyfriend and I are utterly obsessed with Little India in Singapore for a multitude of reasons. First of all, it is so colorful. These pictures (which you might have seen on my Modcloth Travel Bug post)  barely scratch the surface of this beautiful and dynamic rainbow-region of Singapore; the buildings, wall murals, street vendor wares, the marigold necklaces…  And don't even get me started on the saris! There's so much to take in and look at - not to mention buy! 

Another reason we can't enough of Little India is the food. Stephen is curry-crazy and eats it any chance he can get. For me, I'm all about the mint-corriander chutney and butter masala at Delhi Restaurant. Oh, and butter nan. (Basically anything with butter. You can take the Southern girl out of the South but you can't take the South outta the girl…) In between wandering around and shopping, we always get roti prata with gravy and lime juice for a snack at one of the side street hawker centers. We usually will grab a few beers at Countryside Cafe, too. It's this charming little bar on the backpacker's street where the lovely and welcoming owner, Shiree, will gladly chitchat with patrons. I don't think she's ever met a stranger! 

Stephen and I also always feel nostalgic when walking around Little India. Even the smell of incense takes me back to three years ago. In summer 2012, Stephen was planning a month long trip to Northern India and at this point, we had been dating for about a month. He asked me to go with him and I laughed in his face! I thought he was insane. But luckily, Kristen and he convinced me to go and I'm so glad I did. It was hard work traveling there and India is full of crazy extremes but we experienced so much there and created so many memories together. The beginning of a long-lasting relationship is incredibly exciting anywhere but to do that in India…! So Little India holds a special place in my heart, personally. 

For this particular visit, I actually went with my friend Lauren from Fried Green Kimchi. She had recently moved to Singapore so it was only too fun showing her my favorite little haunts and she did such an incredibly job capturing all the colors of the area! She also does amazing things with fusion food on her blog so I'm really curious to see what she'll cook up for the Singaporean-Indian-Western dishes... (**hint, hint**)

The Outfit
I bought this dress years ago on super discount at Target. I almost didn't get it because it's just a smidge too big for my taste. Or so I thought. But with the loose shift dresses being a huge trend now (and very necessary) for summer, it's just the ticket! And who can resist red and turquoise together in a bird print? No one in my book, that's who. To me, this dress is very much the style of many young Singaporean women I see: a fun and casual dress to easily throw on, a simple tote bag, great sandals. The girly little bow was a Lindsey touch, though! 

Dress: Target (old) | Shoes: Thrifted | Tote: H&M | Sunglasses: Cotton On | Ribbon: Coach 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cherries & Raspberries: Mix and Match Swim Suit

This past weekend we went to Sentosa in Singapore to check out a beach bar called the Wave House. A few weeks ago I did a post about another Sentosa beach bar, Tanjong Beach Club. Maybe I should do a whole series about all the beach bars on the island…? I mean, if y'all reeeally want me to I guesssss I could. Anything for the blog. 

At Wave House they have 2 different type of wave pools where you can surf. I was too busy enjoying their Wednesday special buy-one-get-one free (for long-term residents & Singaporeans only) that I didn't take any decent pictures of the wave pools. We did enjoy watching folks wipe out though! And of course, they have just a regular pool or the beach to jump back and forth in between pina coladas. 

While at Tanjong I opted for a retro look, this time I decided to keep it more casual. Besides, I was having a good natural hair day and THOSE are rare to come by. 

Y'all know else is rare? When you uncover the most sublime thrift store find, obviously. I saw this top in the $2 bin and squealed in delight. This top epitomizes all that is holy this summer: fruit prints & off the shoulder. To top it off (pun intended) it matches my favorite high-waisted bottoms! A match in mishmash heaven (also pun intended. Man, I'm on a roll… wait, I'm in a swim suit. No one talk about rolls.) 

Okay, sorry. Let's get to the bottom of this. Wearing my Surania high waisted bottoms. If you follow my instagram, you might have already seen the full swim suit. It was my first time getting a custom made swim suit which made me nervous at first but when you have a big booty and a small waist, any custom made bottoms sound like a dream. It was totally worth it! 

What places have you been exploring this summer? And of course, what are you wearing while exploring? 

Swim Suit Bottom: Surania | Swim Suit Top: Thrifted (New2U) | Sunglasses & Bracelets: Cotton On 

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