Braving Shorts

Anyone who knows me knows I have a phobia for wearing shorts thanks to my wonderful cellulite ridden untoned thighs, so its a big surprise that the shorts came out of my wardrobe today. And to be honest, I loved wearing this look! Casual, comfy and fun! 

Let's Get Military

Currently obsessed with my new military jacket from Pinko. It's the new favorite piece in my wardrobe! Styled with a simple white polo jersey and jeans, it adds an updated fun and understated cool chic to an otherwise ordinary outfit. The best part of the jacket is the back!

Jacket: Pinko Polo neck: Uniqlo (similar)

Jeans: G-Star Raw Bag: Gucci

 Bag charm: Fendi (similar) Shoes: Isabel Marant

Necklace: Lovisa

Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren

Dubai For A Weekend

A 7 to 8 hour flight and a 4 hr time difference for 3 days away. Crazy? Well maybe just a little, but then again it’s always fun being in a different city and emmersed in a different culture.  Plus if you haven’t quite figured it out yet, I am just a little travel addicted.  Ok… ok… maybe a lot travel addicted but hey what could be better than that.

So what is there to do in often referred to sand pit (and a beautiful one at that)? A lot actually but it really does depend on you. Having visited the city about three times prior with my first visit in 1995, I was really keen to re-visit the old parts of Dubai and of course enjoy the finer fun filled luxuries that Dubai has to offer. Here's a look at what I got up to with my other half:

Old Dubai

Of course the first place that we ventured was the souks (traditional markets), where haggling is name of the game. We started at the famous Gold Souk where all that glitters actually is gold! Next, we headed to the Spice Souk which was next filled with an array of exotic aromatic fragrances.

After some time, we found ourselves at the Dubai creek. A casual stroll at night showcased not only the beautiful view of New Dubai in the distance but the opportunity to see the traditional wooden dhow boats with carry cargo to be transported to to Iran, Oman, India and beyond. A startling contrast between old and new.

Along the creek, there are various water taxi (also known as abra) stations allowing one to cross the creek from Diera to Bur Dubai. As can be expected we caught an abra from Sabkha Abra station to the Dubai Old Souk Abra station, where we wandered through the Old Textile Souk.

Exploring Old Dubai is a must if you plan on immersing yourself in the city.

Beach

The beach is always on the list of things to do. Previously we visited the beach at Juemriah beach hotel which is lovely, however this time we went somewhere slightly different albeit walking distance to the previous beach we had visited.

The Cove Beach club was phenomenal! Great food, great view, great music… what more could you possibly ask for?

Dining

Food is always an important part of our travel. Previously we dined at Pier Chic at the Madinat Jumeraih which has not only wonderful seafood but a great view and overall dining experience. As much as we wanted to go back, it was fully booked. So if you do wanna book, don’t try to do so on the day cause you will find yourselve out of luck.

Of course there are many dining options in Dubai with a lot of my London favourites in Dubai. So it was no surprise, that we drawn to Zuma. Once again, they were fully booked too. Needless to say we were bummed, but tried our luck anyway by going in person and managed to get a place at the counter. Score!

The food was incredible as always, but the absolute stand out was the roasted boston lobster in shiso-ponzu butter. Phenomenal doesn’t even begin to describe how amazing it was. Honestly, I would fly back any time just to have that dish again!

Bars

Once again there are so many bars in Dubai. However we only managed to find our way to two.

The first for a relaxed afternoon drink (or tea in my case) at the Bahri Bar at Jumeirah Mina A'Salam with a beautiful view overlooking the Burj Al Arab. Do note though that it does get quite packed on a Friday evening and the once relaxed atmosphere turns loud very fast.

The second for an evening drink at Atmosphere located at the Burj Khalifa (the tallest buidling in the world) on the 122nd floor.  The view is quite something and definitely a must. Just be sure to make a reservation, otherwise you risk not being able to get in which would be a real bummer.

Dubai Fountain

The world’s largest musical fountain set on the Burj Khalifa Lake. To describe this, all I can say is wow. You honestly need to experience it for yourself. One tip though, view it at night.

Shopping

Frequently dubbed a city for shopping, its no surprise shopping made its way onto the list. Not to mention that Dubai houses one of world’s largest shopping centers (Dubai Mall) and also takes the concept of a mall to new heights with an indoor ski center at the Mall of the Emirates.

With regards to the shopping itself, I know my fellow fashionistas are curious to know whether its worth while shopping for designer goods in Dubai. The honest answer from a price perspective is no, however from the range of goods available, a definite yes. For example, if you are miss big foot like myself you will know that getting a size 42 in Loubitouns is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Its beyond impossible! However, the store in Dubai actually stocks a fair number of options in a size 42.

What are your favourite places in Dubai? Let me know by posting a comment below.

LBP: Little Black Playsuit

Move over LBD, LBP is so much more fun! For starters, it's makes for a great effortless chic casual look. Coupled with a pair of statement gladiator sandals and a bright coloured body bag you're good to go from day to night.

What is your preference LBD or LBP? Post a comment below and let me know.

How to Find That Piece You Saw And Loved

Have you ever found something that someone is wearing amazing and wanted to find the same thing or something similar that fits your budget and be able to buy it? If you're anything like me, you'll start to obsess over the item, looking for it everywhere online and offline. Clearly the downside of being a die hard fashion lover. Thankfully, the clever peeps at Seezona have built a nifty online platform that allows you to find what you're looking for with visual search, find similar items that fit your budget and buy.

So how does it work? Simply upload a photo of what you're looking for, select the category, price range and start your research. Quite cool right?

The downside? Well, you can't search for shoes or accessories. A big problem for me personally considering I'm bag and shoe obsessed. Let's hope the folks at Seezona can change that soon. 

Next time you're looking for something give it a try and let me know what you think. The visual search isn't perfect but it's definitely the future of online shopping.

Off Duty Style

After a whole week of work, there is nothing better than climbing into a pair of jeans and sneakers. Keeping it comfy and stylish with timeless aviators, sneakers and bright colours. Once again accessories make the look. Something as simple as a bag can make all the difference. Maybe that's one of the other reasons I am bag obsessed.

T-Shirt: H &M (similar) Jeans: G-Star Shoes: Isabel Marant

Belt: Hermes Bag: Hermes

Bag charm: Swarovski Sunglasses: Burberry (similar)

Bag Heart Break

Might be difficult to understand being heart broken over something as silly as a bag. What you may not know, is that I actually love to collect handbags. A somewhat strange addiction brought on by my sister’s love of bags. I distinctly remember that day about 15 years ago, when she introduced me to the world of Vuitton. I was enthralled by the craftsmanship, style, travel and luxury of the brand and their bags.

 Bag: W PM Vuitton ; Sungalsses: So Real Dior

Bag: W PM Vuitton ; Sungalsses: So Real Dior

Since then my collection has grown year by year. Each piece holds a story and a memory of different moments, places and much more.

So getting back to my bag heart break story. Walking around in the sweltering heat of Singapore today, I decided to carry my beloved W bag around town. Unfortunately for me, the glue on the handles began to melt staining my crisp white shirt. A bit annoyed but concerned cause I love this bag, I visited the Vuitton store to get the bag repaired. Unfortunately for me, Vuitton can not repair the bag as some of the the initial W bags had a fault. As dismayed as I was there was a glimmer of hope… I was informed that I could choose another bag to replace my W. So I figured I will just get another W. I knew that it would be impossible to get the exact same piece and colour combination, as I had bought the last piece of this particular bag in the flagship store in Paris and I have not seen it in any of the other stores I had visited.  While these thoughts were rapidly going through my mind, the Client Advisor proceeded to inform me that the W bags are no longer in production. To say I was gutted was an understatement.

This bag meant so much to me. It was bought on a beautiful weekend getaway with my better half to Paris, after working intensively with little to no sleep on the launch of the tech startup I was involved in at the time. It is the only bag in my collection that was an impulse purchase. It was not only a gift from my other half but a reward to myself for everything I had achieved. I had managed to transition from being a medical doctor to successfully pulling of a launch in London while being based in Singapore as the Head of Marketing. Needless to say I am shattered.

I guess sometimes I need to learn to let go. Two years have gone by and a lot has changed again in my life. And with a new bag (albeit a replacement) comes yet another story of a different time, place, moment and memory.

So the question remains, what do I choose next?

Traditional V Day Gift Makeover

Valentine's Day is just a few days away, and trying to find that perfect gift can seem an impossible task.  But it's not only Valentine's Day that can be tough, given a good friend of mine frequently asks for advice on what to buy when it comes to his loved one. So, I figured why not re-look at 5 of the traditional gifts and jazz them up.

1. Flowers

As clichéd as they are, flowers are always a must in my opinion. They always manage to put a big smile on my face and brighten my day. And guys a helpful hint, don’t just wait till Valentine's Day or special occasions to give flowers, give them any time.

If you wanna change things up and steer away from the classic red roses, why not try a bouquet of tulips. Currently loving the “The Marissa” tulip bouquet from ABetterFlorist.

  PRICE: SGD 81   (Source: ABetterFlorist.com)

PRICE: SGD 81 (Source: ABetterFlorist.com)

2. Macaroons

I personally couldn’t think of receiving anything better to be honest. I am obsessed with macaroons. My all time favourite are the pistachio ones from Laduree. If you haven’t tried them, you really should! Maybe try them after you have gifted them, cause if you are anything like me you will run the risk of eating them and needing to go out and buy more. They really make a great change from receiving chocolates. Plus they are packaged in the most beautiful of boxes at Laduree. You definitely can’t go wrong!

  PRICE: SGD 23.70   (Image Source:   Unknown)

PRICE: SGD 23.70 (Image Source: Unknown)

3. Wallet

I know what you are thinking... a wallet? How boring. I couldn’t agree more but then I came across this adorable Marc Jacobs card wallet adorned with hearts and I absolutely loved it. I had to put it on the list!  Its fun, its valentiney and it’s practical for us ladies to hold our essential cards in a clutch.

  PRICE: SGD 142.36   (Source: Noordstorm)

PRICE: SGD 142.36 (Source: Noordstorm)

4. Teddy bear

A teddy? Yes, but what I’m suggesting isn’t exactly a teddy. It’s a Fendi bag bug. It's fun and makes for a great bag accessory. My favourite is the minty bag bug. It’s worth noting that they are quite pricey but that’s because they're made from real fur. If you or your other half is against fur in any way, then this gift would be a no go. If you’re not against fur and find the bag bugs a bit too fun, then you can always opt for a personalized ABC charm, which is just as gorgeous.

  PRICE: MINTY BAG BUG (L) GBP 545 ; ABC L CHARM (R) GBP 400   (Source: Fendi)

PRICE: MINTY BAG BUG (L) GBP 545 ; ABC L CHARM (R) GBP 400 (Source: Fendi)

5. Jewelry

Jewelry is always a winner but can be super costly especially if you have a budget. So as the fashion obsessed person that I am, I managed to find a piece of costume jewelry from Montblanc that’s young, stylish and simple.

  PRICE: GBP 95   (Source: Montblanc)

PRICE: GBP 95 (Source: Montblanc)

So, what are you getting the love of your life on Valentine's day? Post a comment below. Would love to know. And in case you’re curious what I’m getting for Valentine's day, I’m getting a bear! ;)

For all the ladies reading, feel free to share the link with you know who. After all sharing is caring right? ;)

Ripped Jean Staple

Usually when I have no clue what to wear, want to make an effort to get dressed up but couldn’t care less cause I'm just plain lazy… my instant go to are my ripped jeans, white shirt and pumps. Why? It creates an effortless casual chic look that actually is comfortable. Best of all you can always change up the look with different jackets, pumps and bags. Don’t be afraid to try daring colours and have fun!

Shirt: Uniqlo Jeans: Miss Sixty (Similar) Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Jacket: Pinko (Similar) Handbag: House of Sheens

Credit: MUA and Hair - Shradha Agarwal ; Photo - Penn for House of Sheens #bts

3 Things Being a Model Taught Me

Being back in Milan last week for a day was not only amazing as always but also a moment of reflection. 10 years have passed since my very first time to not only the city but also the country.  It's weird that no matter how much time has passed by, the places I used to frequent were the same in so many ways but I was not.

While there I got the chance to meet up with a good friend who models in the city. Our casual chats took me on a stroll through memory lane. Memories worth remembering. Memories definitely worth forgetting. Memories of a shy introvert small town medical student going to the fashion capital of the world to model in an industry where one is constantly being judged. You're either not thin enough, tall enough, beautiful enough and the list goes on. It's a harsh hard reality. Not quite the glamorous life that most would expect. Modelling in South Africa was one thing, but modelling in a foreign country where you know no-one, can't speak the language and it's your first time staying away from your home country... is a whole different story. By far one of the most defining experiences of my life which taught me these 3 things:

1. Love yourself

This has to be one of the hardest things to learn, but perhaps the most important one. The first step was concentrating on all the things I did actually like about myself and the second learning to accept myself as I am with all my imperfections. So you may be thinking, what do I know about imperfections? Well, a lot actually. I have really bad stretch marks over my inner thighs, cellulite, sunken eyes, dark circles, eczema, lots of hyperpigmented marks and the list goes on. I used to constantly worry about what the casting directors would think or worse yet what a client that had booked me would think. Not to mention what the makeup artist or photographer would think. Should they have gotten another model cause the photos are just horrendous because of me? I was overly self consious and then again maybe I still am to a degree.

Its a strange juxtpostition when you see yourself one way but other people see you in another. I didn't quite understand why people would stare or follow me around the streets of Milan. Nor did I understand why people would randomly want to take photos with me as they still occasionally want to in the present day. What is it that they saw that I didn't? Perception is a strange thing. I've learnt to accept it as a compliment and a reminder to not be so judgemental on myself.

2. You are your brand

I have always believed in showing kindness, being respectful and showing professionalism in everything that I do. So when I heard back from people, who praised my professionalism and or kindness, I was over the moon to be remembered in a postive light. More often than not one always hears the stories of a model being a diva or being difficult to work with. I guess actions definitely speak louder then words especially when language is a barrier.

3. Be confident

Being a shy mouse made the casting directors even more intimidating then they already are. The experience could not have gotten any worse. I figured I needed to do something to make these castings more bearable. So I decided to pucker up some courage and actually attempt to have a conversation with the casting directors in a clear and confident voice. This was by far the best thing I did. It made the casting directors appear more human. Although they were occasionally still harsh and I may not have gotten the job, I certainly felt alot better about myself.

The castings were only half the battle. When it came to shooting for a job, I used to spend the time in front of the camera thinking about what everyone else was thinking. Was the expression on their faces, the secret conversations one of regret about having hired me? The overthinking and second guessing was consuming. Instead of concentrating on the job at hand, I was thinking about everything else leading to poor photos and probably the reaction I had thought up in my head and feared. It was a vicious cycle to say the least. So how did a break the cycle? I started to ask questions about what I could do better and if the shots were okay. This way instead of thinking up things, I was getting useful actionable insights and could better concentrate on the job at hand.

I am sure many (if not all) of you have had defining experiences in your life from which you have learnt alot. If you would care to share your story, pop a comment below as I would love to hear your story.

Chiang Mai for the Weekend

Almost a 3 hour flight away from Singapore, one may argue that it's a bit too far for a weekend away. That said, it's definitely worth exploring the mountainous north of Thailand. It made a good change from my weekend trips to Bangkok or Hong Kong.

So what exactly is there to do in Chiang Mai? Well quite a bit actually from trekking to elephant training and temple hopping. Unsurpirisngly, I didn't partake in any trekking as it's not really my sort of thing. Who would have guessed? On a serious note, if you are someone that loves trekking, this place is a must.

For all the non-trekkers like myself, here are some things you can get up to while in Chiang Mai:

1. Temple Hopping

The best way to see the various temples is to walk around. However if you want to go to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, it's best to use songthaews (red pick up trucks) or a cab. For those that aren't aware, songthaews are like big tuk tuks. It's is a shared ride with others. It's easy, convenient and only costs 30THB per person compared to the Tuk Tuks that try to charge 150THB upwards for a short trip.

So back to the temples.... I recommend seeing the following: Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Phan Tao. There are of course plenty more temples to explore. 

If you do visit Wat Phran Tao during the day, make sure to go back at night. It's magical!

2. Elephant Training

If you're keen to bond with the elephants, have a full day to spare and feel like getting down and dirty then it's worth considering one of the full day tour options. If that's not your cup of tea, you can visit the Mae Taeng Elephant Park where you can see the elephant show and ride an elephant. I know what you're thinking, why see a show? Well, these elephants are quite incredible. They play soccer, paint and throw darts! It's also great fun, as the elephants really do have a lot of personality and seem to have fun showing off.

3. Tiger Loving

So maybe this is a bit crazy, but it's something I've always wanted to do... pet a tiger. At the Tiger Kingdom, you get to spend some time with a few tigers if you so wish. We stopped here for a quick lunch, which was surprisingly quite good. I recommend the tofu green curry.

4. Saturday Night Market

Like any market in the region, it's an intense place. It's bussling with people, street food and lots of random things. I was quite overwhelmed and completely forget to take any photos. Oops! Anyway, my one great find was virgin coconut oil! It smells heavenly and acts as a great moisturizer for my horribly dry skin.

If you do tend to be agorophobic, this might not be the best place. To say that it is packed with people, is an understatement.

So where is this place? It's in Wua Lai Road.

5. Karen Long Neck Village

Like most people, I was curious to learn more about the culture where women and girls elongate their necks with golden rings. This village however was not a true village, it was a more a market place which costs 500THB per person to enter. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed as I was hoping to see a bit more of the daily life of the Karen tribe. That being said, you do get a chance to meet the Karen woman, see how they hand weave scarves and buy various merchandise.

For those of you contemplating visiting, I highly recommend taking a direct flight from Singapore to Chiang Mai. Doing a stop over in Bangkok makes the journey that much longer and far more tiring. I've definitely learnt my lesson. As for airline carrier, it doesn't make too much difference whether you are flying SilkAir or a low cost airline.

If you've already visited Chiang Mai and have any suggestions on other things to see and do, please pop a comment below as I would love to hear them. Also if you have any questions, let me know... I promise to get back to you as soon as I can.

Monochrome Loving

If you know me well, you will know that I am obsessed with the colours black and white. But then again who isn't slightly obsessed with those colours? Lets be honest ;)

So to change up my monochrome loving, I added a touch of colour and fun with a printed white shirt from Desigual. Let me know what you think by posting a comment below.

Shirt: Desigual Skirt: Pinko Sneakers: Isabel Marant

Handbag: Chanel Jumbo Double Flap Caviar Leather

Sunglasses: Dior

Bracelet: Hermes Watch: Apple