Week [0103].

photo-11

How’s 2014 treating you so far? Given the two-day work week, I’d say it’s been good to me. (Oops.)

Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in China for the past few years, but the “New Year” never feels like it begins until after Chinese New Year. This year, that will be on 30 Jan. And this year, like the last, I will be celebrating in London. And maybe Paris.

I’ve just signed on to do another travel guide, and am happy that 2014’s heading in the direction I want it to. I’m never one to make resolutions but keep having thoughts pop up about what I should/shouldn’t change/do. These range from things like the typical 1) Sleep earlier, 2) Eat healthier, 3) Get off your butt, to the random yet important, 4) Book that dentist appointment. The more personal ones I’ll save for discussion later. Maybe.

I have trips to plan and books to read this weekend, and some New Year hellos with friends, too. Staying connected in person when I can, learning more about my trade, and taking advantage of travels are definitely items 5-7 on that ever-growing list.

I hope you have, in your own way, thought about how you want 2014 to be for you. And I hope, even more, that that’s what it will be, and much, much more.

In the meantime…

So very Canadian: Nanaimo Bar cupcakes.

The Shanghai art scene kicks off 2014 with another must-see exhibit: Yayoi Kusama.

Looking forward to my “Welcome Back to London” tea, hosted here.

Revamp your 2014 wardrobe on the cheap.

Veering off-track already with those resolutions? My latest picks for JADE Magazine will keep you motivated.

Have a calm, rejuvenating weekend!

 

Photo: New York, 2013.

Week [1227].

418390_10151277777655646_2140386120_n

It just occurred to me that this is the last [Week] post of 2013.

Huh.

We wrapped Issue 11 yesterday and the office is closed for a few days next week. Hooray. Time to ring in the New Year with a little time away from work stress and to think more about the “big picture” of 2014.

And it shall be big!

The year will kick off with another annual trip to my beloved London. Might be my last for awhile. I will have a few work-free days and usually I will get greedy and hop over to another country, but this year I think I just might indulge in the city a little bit. Get reacquainted with my former home. Stroll through my favourite Kensington Gardens. Have lunch at Borough Market, grab a Monmonth Coffee and do my favourite Tate Modern-Millennium Bridge-St.Paul’s Cathedral-Trafalgar Square walk. Can’t wait.

So hopefully this change of pace will give me a kick-start to the year.

And I hope you have a fantastic time ringing in 2014, because it shall be great.

In the meantime…

Heading to Hong Kong? See my must-do recommendations, commissioned  by AFAR.com.

The 100 books to read to become “well-read”.

Beat the holiday bloat with these juices.

A gender-neutral Chinese character represented by letters of the Roman alphabet? I have yet to encounter this.

This box of tea fuels both my obsession and indecisiveness perfectly.

Have a wonderful, celebratory weekend!

Photo: London, 2012. 

Happy Holidays.

ffd97d1eff508e7fb1678d835d2cbd46

Hello, Christmas Eve.

Christmas spirit hit me late this year, but when the huge wave hit me this past weekend, it was a speedy effort to get all the baking, wrapping and crafting done.

Being in a country where Christmas is a haphazard holiday does take the majority of the fun away. But really, with something as special as Christmas, there’s really no excuse to not celebrate. So, lesson learned: You must indulge what’s in your heart and make it happen for yourself.

white christmas

And come on – just look at the beautiful things this holiday inspires!

What I miss most are those huge family gatherings when we were young, with cousins flying in from around the world, stacks of presents under the tree, and even a lucky draw. What fun.

This year, I’m so glad to have signed off on our Issue 11 just in time to give the team the day off on the 25th. The Chinese New Year issue always ends up going into production around this time, but this year we managed to give ourselves a break. Hooray. This also means I have less than 24 hours to whip up a fancier version of Christmas dinner that I’d anticipated.

Screen shot 2013-12-24 at 15.56.34

With that said, after December is over, January will be the beginning of the end. Ominous for a time like this, I know, but it’s the twinkles and sparkles and merriment that’s making me feel rather positive about the “unknown” of next year, when some major changes are going to happen. (This is the bahumbug being pushed out of my system…)

I wish you a very lovely, warm and memorable Christmas season, filled with joy and laughter shared in great company. Happy holidays!

Truck & tree / Advent / Mitten Cookies / Ornaments Table / Toys / Window

 

Week [1129].

unnamed

They’re back. And I’m re-obsessed with these Starbucks’ Red Cups (yes, capitalised). I blame nostalgia. I blame that music retreat we had back in highschool when these cups were not yet red – just festive, baby blue and bright purple swirled in corrugated wonder. Since then, I’ve been unstoppable. 

I actually downsized my drink yesterday because they ran out of grande Red Cups. Because what is the point of lining up and walking away without it? (Apparently our up design has wider white borders than those in other parts of the world.)

It just reminds me of home.

So the cold has arrived and the bundling up has begun. I’m flying off to Hong Kong tomorrow to escape for a few days, from what has been exciting yet stressful days at the office. I look forward to the family fun, the delicious food, the drinks over memories with friends, and the Christmas festivities that are already lining the streets. It’s always the holidays when I miss “Western” life the most  as we don’t have official Christmas days off in China. In fact, the week through Boxing Day will be the busiest one for us this issue. But such is life, the compromising of good and bad, and the balancing act of it all.

In the meantime…

NYT’s great piece on modern families.

Most recent favourite book for the kiddies.

My 2013 Holiday gift guide, as seen in JADE Magazine.

Love this DIY advent wreath.

Cold temps call for cosy drinks, like this bourbon spiced cider.

Grammar alert: The evolution of the word “because.”

Have a fantastic weekend! (And I promise a coffee-free photo next time.)

Photo: Shanghai, 2013. 

Habit.

coffee

Daily coffees (no sugar), taking the same route to work everyday, right shoe on before the left, reaching the airport gate RIGHT before boarding…these are all habits that I cannot change. Not that I have to (do I?).

As an editor, my work life revolves around discipline and planning, two things I’m not naturally good at, but somehow comes naturally when deadlines abound. Sure, I “plan”, but the conclusion of planning is execution, completion. In life,  I think I just like to think – a lot.

How long does it take before something becomes second nature?

I really should take fewer taxis. And hoard fewer lipsticks in shades I can’t wear every day. Then I should also switch to green tea, and walk more, and sleep earlier.

I should also love this blog in actuality other than just in my mind.

It’s been a few months without a thorough peep from me on this blog. It’s not that I don’t have lines and lines jotted in notebooks with ideas, nor is it that I don’t have folders of photos from my recent travels that I don’t want to share. In fact, it has been a big couple of months. I suppose I haven’t conquered the biggest concern I had before committing to a blog in the first place, that I wouldn’t keep up with it.

Well. With time came changes and decisions and a change of perspective, so I shall work hard on making blogging a habit, and see where this takes me. I feel the need to keep at it, and hope that with perseverance, something good – great – will come. There will come a day when writing in here becomes a natural part of sitting in front of the laptop (with a coffee in hand, no sugar, of course).

Photo: Shanghai, 2013.

Home.

Screen shot 2013-09-17 at 16.41.37

“Home”.

I always say, having moved around so much, that I’m not sure where “home” is. That’s still my answer whenever someone challenges me to choose the one place, from all that I’ve loved, to call “home”.

But really, it’s always going to be the place where I grew up, where the happy memories are, and where my childhood lies. Where I head to when I begin to feel lost.

Vancouver.

The above is what’s NOT going to happen tomorrow…but what might happen when I return, especially since I’ll be taking a detour to my other “home”, New York.

I’ve looked forward to this trip for so long, but all that I can see and want is not the food, nor the shopping, nor the places I want to (re)visit. All I picture is taking a deep breath the minute I set foot outside YVR. It’s the fresh air and parks and ocean that is the biggest draw on this trip, and what I’ve been missing and craving. (Not to say that I won’t be over-eating and stocking up on North American goodness…)

Off I go. I can hardly wait.

Photo: London, 2010.

Week [0913].

Screen shot 2013-09-13 at 17.06.24

 

Friday the 13th. 

Save for a flash thunderstorm that has parts of Shanghai flooding, there has been no other notable  unluckiness today. Yet. (As I type this, thunder ROARED.) Fingers crossed. 

Aside from being inundated by NYFW updates this week, I haven’t forgotten about other memorable events. Even if it’s a bad one. Twelve years ago this past Wednesday the 11th, I dashed out of Advertising class to take a call from my mom to let me know that my sister, who worked in Manhattan then, called to say she was okay. I got in trouble for running out of class so abruptly but it was a sprint that couldn’t be fast enough. Then at lunch time we all huddled around the TV at the student centre to watch the horrendous events unfold. We don’t, and won’t, forget. 

It’s funny how anticipation works. Overdo it and the excitement might just pass you by before the event actually occurs. I hope this isn’t what’s happening with my trip that begins next Wednesday! As usual it’s the rush to get everything before going on leave and making sure all loose ends are tied and packing and meetings and more packing and gift shopping and goodbye-for-now brunches and…yes. Deep down inside I’m jumping up and down…and wondering if it’s strange that I’m just looking forward to even the flight itself.  

In the meantime…

Cutest hair accessories

A Corbusier-inspired home. Bonus: It’s in Paris!

Esprit Dior on exhibit in our very own MoCA Shanghai. 

If famous writers had Instagram.

Then Man Booker Prize shortlist has been announced.  

Have a lucky weekend!

Photo: Vancouver, 2012.