Street Sweet / Gaston Luga Backpack Review

IMG_8722Keeping it sweet on the street

WHAT’S UP YOU GUYSSSSS AND GIRRLSSSS! I feel like it’s been ages and don’t you miss these OOTD titles? 😛

So I recently received this gorgeous backpack from Gaston Luga and I just want to talk about how it’s really a great addition to any outfit!

When the team at GL got in touch with me and asked me to review their bags I immediately said yes because I was looking for a new backpack – my existing ones weren’t all that work appropriate because they were really brightly coloured or had Hello Kitty plastered all over them. So even though I could really bring a lot of stuff in the traditional backpack, I wanted something a little more complementary to my adulting lifestyle. What perfect timing!

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I had a choice between three different backpacks (you can view them on the site), the Clässic, the Pråper and the Clässy. I picked the Clässy bag in Navy & Brown because I love how preppy it looks! Also I’m not that big of a fan of the double clasps design because I find it a hassle most of the time when I’m digging for stuff in the nerd’s Herschel, so I think the single clasp design of the Clässy is perfect because it’s a balance of functional and polished design!

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The bag body is made out of canvas and that’s great for durability and the corners at the bottom have these metallic feet that will prevent the bag from having holes at the corner from wear and tear! There’s also a laptop sleeve inside so it’s perfect to bring out for a study session, or a lunch work meeting.

Also, I really like the neutral and classic design of this bag that makes it so easy to match with most outfits.

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At the back, there’s this passport pocket sleeve that’s meant for keeping your passport safe during travelling but I just keep all my makeup and cards in there and IT FITS! During that day I stuffed my ez-link card, my house key, my concealer, my lipstick and lip balm inside and I didn’t feel a thing carrying it on my back so that’s a major plus point in my book. The sleeve makes up for the chunky-looking front pocket most typical backpacks have!

This backpack has a lot of thoughtful design and I am LOVING IT. I always throw a lot of my stuff into a really big bag like my Longchamp or Jansport etc, and everything gets lost inside and trying to retrieve anything is just really a waste of time as I usually spend like a good 5 to 10 min trying to find something in the abyss of my bag. But there are actually two pockets inside the bag apart from the laptop sleeve, and they are PERFECT for slipping in your portable battery, camera or any smaller items that might get lost in the bag easily. For me, it’s also a good place to store my extra period products and my trusty hand sanitiser.

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I also really like how this bag is a sleeker take on the classic double clasps backpack silhouette because it’s really catered for petite girls like me! I never bought a Herschel for myself because I find that it overwhelms my frame and this is the perfect size.

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Top: Hollister | Skirt: H&M | Shoes: Adidas | Bracelet: Naiise | Necklace: Lovisa | Bag: Gaston Luga

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Decided to edge up the backpack by dressing a little more street-style and I love how it still matches the look 🙂 As I usually dress pretty feminine, I think this is a mixture of “street” and “classy” that’s still within my comfort zone! I really like how the millennial pink pays homage to my usual style and it blends well with the metallic elements of my coordinate. (Is this self praise over yet, haha)

Just FYI, I was carrying my dance stuff in the bag and they fit inside together with my huge wallet and all my other usual stuff – it gives the bag a nice shape as well hahaha.

If you’ve been patient enough to scroll through my genuine praise for this bag, there’s also a SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR MY READERS!

I know that the bag is more on the pricier side so this discount will really come in handy if you do decide to purchase it!

They offer FREE shipping for Singapore,  and there is a 20% off as tax rebate (from non-EU country). On top of that, if you use my discount code “huiminxoxo15”, you get an ADDITIONAL 15% off the total price!

Also, shipping is done via express DHL shipping so your bag will come in 2-3 working days and that’s really really fast!

I am really loving this bag and I’m so excited to bring this around on my travels because it’s so handy and stylish!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it! Hopefully I’m going to have some time to update on my recent trips on this space and do some reviews I’ve been wanting to!

XOXO,
HuiMin

All photos shot with iPhone 7 Plus and Canon G7
This post is a sponsored post, but all opinions are of my own after I have tried and tested the product on numerous occasions. 

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Village Hotel Changi Staycay

Decided to book a staycation at Village Hotel Changi to celebrate the nerd’s birthday on 15-16 Apr! I also made a short vlog so go ahead and click above to watch it!

I’m still using iMovie to edit so it isn’t anything too fancy! Just a heads up, haha.

– The Coast Settlement –

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Flat white & milo dinosaur

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Portbello mushroom & eggs with kale chips

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Berry Waffles

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Me vlogging

Overall, the menu isn’t particularly impressive and I still prefer Chock full of Beans! It’s cheaper for average tasting food. TCS is great for the atmosphere, not so great if you were expecting food that better blow you away for the hefty price tags.

– Infinity Pool –

Went for a swim after we digested our lunch! It was a PH weekend so it was super duper crowded with families and the pool was a ruckus so we didn’t stay very long. Went back for a dip before check-out on Sunday and the pool was almost empty!

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I think people I know are all scratching their heads over my recent spam of me frolicking in my bikini at the pool on my Instagram (@huiminxoxo) since I’m no influencer hahaha. I NEVER edit any of my bikini shots, with the exception of filter and lighting. What that means is I don’t photoshop any lumps, rolls, scars, marks etc away. I don’t enhance or shrink anything either. What you see is pretty much what you get. I’ve been working hard on being ok with what I see in the mirror and in my photos and I feel that posting my photos online kind of forces me to accept that I’m not perfect but I can still look good. I can still feel myself despite my flaws, nobody notices them but me.

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Love the gorgeous kimono from TEMT

– La Catina –

Had dinner at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and its classic decor brought me back to Italy.

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Me with my veggie pasta!

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Was super hungry after the swim so I ordered “pizza bread” and OMG it’s the best shit on earth. I hate cheese, even vegan cheese, so this is perfect as it’s just the pizza base and tomato salsa omg yum. The nerd and I both agreed that it’s delish!

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Le cutie

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Thanks for spending the weekend with me!

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Wearing one of my favourite dresses from MDS! But the material is super clingy so uh, best not to eat too full. Or use flash photography. Or breathe. I kid.

– Chock Full of Beans –

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Used to be able to do foam art on hot drinks grandfather time ago but when we went there we were told they only do for cold coffees now!

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My hello kitty not very kitty leh ):

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After that we went to catch some Pokemon at Changi Beach! I managed to catch a Pikachu and a Jinx! Wearing this gorgeous forest green scallop skater dress from MYSASSYDREAM.

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Make of the day ~

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Decided to go cycling with one of the many o Bikes parked there!

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Final dip in the pool!

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To the nerd, I love you and Happy birthday!

XOXO,
HuiMin

I DON’T WANT KIDS

I may live to regret this if I do eventually decide to pop out a little one and they accidentally find this…. But for now, this is what I’m feeling and I am not ashamed to say it.

I don’t plan to have any children of my own.

This anti-procreation sentiment is particularly strong after being barraged by our respective parents during the Chinese New Year period and I have this sudden overwhelming urge to pen my thoughts down.The nerd and I have discussed this before and it’s definitely not a one-sided view. 

“Faster get married and have children, then I can be a grandparent!” 

 I am honestly super annoyed by this statement. Do people not realise this is essentially saying that I want you to have kids so that I can gratify my own needs and happiness?

How do I even respond to that thoughtless and selfish request? To ask me to withstand morning sickness, my internal organs being cramped by a growing melon of a baby, loads of false scares, anxiety even before the baby is born just so you can add a new title to your family member status?

Why do I have to have children? Am I not enough for you?

It’s actually really funny to me how the government keeps saying that we aren’t producing enough babies blah blah, doomsday prediction and all, when majority of my friends whom I have talked about having our own kids with are actually very keen to have their body (or their partner’s) ravaged by childbearing.

As long as I can remember, I have always been the one who frowns in confusion when my girlfriends exclaim loudly over the cuteness of so and so kids on the streets and on the Internet.

And I am extremely frustrated by the response I get every single damn time I tell people I don’t want kids. 

They kind of make me feel like I’m Moana, and I should burst out singing “What is wrong with me?” for deciding on something that is different. 

They kinda go like this: (like seriously I swear this is the shit people say to me no kidding)

1. “You’re still young, you’ll change your mind next time”

Really? You can read the future? Sarcasm aside, WHY CAN’T MY MIND STICK IN ONE PLACE FOR THE ENTIRETY OF MY LIFE? No, seriously, who are you to decide for me and my body that MY choice should be to have kids?

Why can’t your response just be a “okay” or even better, “I don’t care whether or not you want to have kids”?

2. “Huh why? Kids are so cute!!!” *in a high-pitched squeal

You find them cute, I don’t find them cute leh. Especially not when they are wailing their little throats off on the train three cabins away from me. And damn right not when they are spoilt and bratty af. So many kids I see on the street annoy the shit out of me with their lack of manners.

I have actually pictured what it would be like if I ever had kids. I need to survive on very little sleep, take care of their physical health, mental well-being and emotional needs before mine, face judgement from everyone regarding my parenting decisions etc etc – and most of all make sure they aren’t a screwed up person. On top of that I have to shower them with unconditional love.

And the truth is?

I’m not sure I can do that. I’m not sure I am selfless enough to be able to fully and properly care for a tiny, vulnerable human being and the thought of being responsible for its everything scares the living shit out of me. It’s kind of like having a pet (am I gonna get so much flake for this?) and you have to think carefully about whether you are even competent enough to care for it. I have seen too many living examples of what I wish to avoid, and the reality is that I am not sure I won’t repeat the same mistakes as a parent. I’ve actually thought things through and decided this 24/7 job isn’t for me. 

And that ladies and gentlemen, is why I do not want kids. Because I would rather be a non-parent than a bad parent. Can you imagine if your kid turns out to be a shitty person and it’s all your fault? (murderer, con artist, thief, pervert etc you name it… I sure as hell will be fing ashamed to be the parent of some guy who secretly take upskirt photos of ladies everywhere.)

While I agree that it takes guts to try your best to be the best parent you can, often times people fall short. People are human. People get lazy. People forget. Some simply don’t even make the effort. I think it takes more guts to admit your human limitations and being at peace with it.

Don’t even get me started on the lack of mutual support between mothers and parents. It’s so competitive, and not many people talk about caring for themselves before for their kids – post natal depression, rivalry between working and home moms, character attack on other parents, gossip etc etc.

And also, I don’t need to justify my decision to you. MY BODY IS MINE, so please gtfo.

3. “Won’t you be so lonely next time? Who will take care of you when you are young?” 

Are you actually telling me you are giving birth just so you can have some companionship when you get old and tired? Is your child a ticket to financially coasting your retirement?

Why not work hard, invest smart and then you can also enjoy your retirement worry-free?

There are many ways to reach the same goal, please respect my path as I respect yours.

4. “What if all your friends have kids? Won’t you feel left out then?”

I mean honestly?! Do you have kids to fit in your clique? 

What is this, primary school? Must all be the same then can be friends? So much for being able to thrive on differences…

I mean, of course I will not be able to relate to all the pregnancies experience, first whatever etc. I can still visit the kid and spoil the shit out of them right! Doesn’t mean I have to stop hanging out with my friends, although if they prefer to go on double playdates kinda thing without me, then I guess I can enjoy my facials and hit some snooze and gain some tans on 2d1n island trips myself, lol. I know that definitely and most likely I will be left out unless I make the effort to try and relate. And I’m okay with that. 

I don’t know man. If you still want kids after thinking it through and discussing with your partner (BECAUSE HELLO IT’S A DECISION MADE BY TWO PEOPLE, NOT JUST YOU), then good for you. 

I just wish I could be me, and that would be enough.

Till next time.

XOXO,
Hui Min

 

 

 

HERA Lipsticks Review

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I couldn’t resist adding these beauties to my collection…

Got them as a last minute purchase at the airport; apparently there was a promotion for a free beauty kit if I bought three lipsticks. If I remember correctly, it was 72000 won for the whole set. The display retail price for one lipstick was about 38000 won / 50+ sgd so I decided to try them out!

The packaging of the lipsticks is really simple and elegant – their signature glossy black with gold rim that is reminiscent of high end luxury beauty brands. You can clearly tell how HERA is trying to brand itself. If you’re into that sort of thing, Jun Jihyun wears HERA lipsticks in Legend of the Blue Seas. In case you can’t tell, I stumbled upon this fact that i couldn’t care less about on Google.

Upon first swatch in the airport store I noticed that all of the lipsticks there were really glossy, even their “matte” collection and darker shades had a little bit of sheen to it. Perhaps an homage to the dewy look so sought after by K-beauty fanatics. For a girl that really loves her liquid lipsticks and her mattes, it was a tad disappointing. If you’re looking for vampy lips, turn around and try someplace else.

However, I have to say that the colours are really pigmented and appear easily upon swatching:

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L to R: 136 Rouge Holic, 346 Rouge Holic, 334 Rogue Holic Exceptional

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I did not open them before the counter staff sealed them into the plastic bag, and upon opening them back at home, I noticed a weird black streak along the two darker shades. However, it did not appear to affect the application or colour payoff. Maybe that’s why they were on sale?

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The lipsticks themselves are extremely soft and creamy, you almost feel like you’re using a lip balm stick! I did not have to put on a bottom layer of chapstick as these are super moisturising and did not dry my lips at all, no cracks whatsoever. They also have a slight floral, jasmine-ty scent to them, a nice change from the waxy feel and smell of other brands.

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You know how sometimes when you buy a lipstick and from the packaging it looks so pretty but when you put it on it looks like a completely different colour?! Well, HERA lipsticks claim to solve this problem once and for all.

The colours are made with “True Shade Pigment”, meaning that the colour that you see, will be the colour that will appear on your lips. I can attest to this for all three shades that I bought! I was apprehensive at first; my naturally dark lips meant that often lighter or sheer shades are completely unseen on me. Yet HERA managed to pleasantly surprise me.

Shade 146 

Shade 146 is a sheer glossy pink, with the most obvious satin finish out of all three shades.
Definitely my go-to for a natural look.

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Shade 346

Shade 346 is a deeper reddish pink with a slightly cooler tone to it. Very flattering for people with warmer skin tones.

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  Shade 334

Shade 334 is from the Rogue Holic Exceptional line, which is slightly higher priced. Shade 334 is a warm red with a slightly coral tone to it. Tbh to me there’s no discernible difference between the two lines, although HERA is trying to tell me different.

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Pros:
Super creamy and luscious lipsticks. Soft, pretty colours that are quite vibrant and true to shade. Very moisturising.

Cons:
Not transfer proof in the least, will require multiple touch ups in the day. Definitely not a long wear lipstick.

Overall Verdict:
More suitable for people who prefer natural looks that aren’t too intense.

I hope you enjoyed this little review. Happy Valentine’s everyone!

XOXO,
HuiMin

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Essentials Holiday Set Review

IT SET

I LOVE the holiday season because it’s basically heaven for a makeup junkie like me. Sephora starts stocking all the gorgeous holiday gift sets and they are just calling out to me, asking for a space in the unicorn land of my beauty collection. And this time, I’ve decided to splurge on the IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Essentials Your Superhero Eyes Must-Have Set. Phew, that was a mouthful!

The reason why I purchased this was because I’ve been hearing a lot about IT Cosmetics from the beauty YouTube community so I’ve been really wanting to try this out. And when I went into Sephora and swatched this, I was like I have to get this. And so… I walked out with a $45 dent in my pocket. (No, I didn’t purchase this on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I’ve stopped most of my impulse buying when sales happens because I find that I usually regret the purchase as I typically buy it just for the low price.)

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Let’s all take a moment to appreciate my efforts at a flatlay. Thank you my gorgeous ombre sheets for being my background.

IT NATURALLY PRETTY ESSENTIALS

The Naturally Pretty Essentials eyeshadow palette comes with six matte shades and one highlighting shadow with a pearlescent finish. I love the girly glam packaging because it’s right up my alley, plus the slim compact is a snug fit inside my travel beauty bag! But I would have to deduct points for a certain lack of practicality because I am sure to get makeup all over the case and it would probably look terrifying in a few months.

IT NATURALLY PRETTY SWATCH

Swatch from Top to Bottom: Imagine, Wonder, Dream, Passion, Intrigue, Allure

The matte eyeshadows are incredibly soft and creamy. They are of a velvety texture that makes you feel all luxurious for using them. Fancy! Each colour is super pigmented but the payoff varies. Particularly for Passion, which took quite a few finger swatches for the colour to be substantially visible. However, the palette is called “naturally pretty”, so perhaps the softness in colour payoff was intentional for a day-to-day look.

Application wise, using my Sephora brushes, they picked up well and transferred well. Colour does show up easily and blends surprisingly seamlessly, which alleviated my fears about the blending ability of matte shadows.

The “Hello Transforming Light” lends a multi-purpose dimension to this whole palette, which makes it more bang for the buck. This highlighting shade is able to work well alone, and also turn your matte shadows into satin ones! This would work great on the colour for the middle of the eyelid. Do note that shine factor is minimal, do not expect tons of shine that you find in foil shadows.

I find that the glitter specks for this are a little too large for my liking, so I would not use this to highlight the inner corners of my eyes. I would instead use it to line my lower lash line, as well as highlighting the brow bone for standalone highlighting duties.

IT SUPERHERO

I. am. in. LOVE. with this mascara. !!!
I know I say this about almost every new addition to my collection, but I am feeling Superhero right now. As you can see, the brush comb is not overly thick / dramatic as compared to mega volumising mascaras such as Better Than Sex. I find these much easier to comb through more of my sparse Chinese girl lashes. It definitely lengthens, and its effect is much more subtle and natural, suitable for a day look.

THE LOOK:

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As you can see, there are no clumps on my lashes! Usually I have to clean up the clumps for wetter formulas and bigger brushes, but this one has the right combination of brush and formula. I am very pleased to report that it does not smudge after 12 hours.

This subtle cat eye look was achieved by first layering the base shade Imagine (I love this clever name, Imagine what look I can do next after this!) and then Dream for the middle of the eyelid and Intrigue for the ends. I also lined my eyes with Allure before applying my liquid eyeliner from Heroine Make. I don’t know why the two eyes look uneven in this pic but I swear they look the same irl fml because obvi I didn’t spam one brown spot at the inner eye area right?! LOL

I also highlighted my brow bone with the Hello Transforming Light.

IT COSMETICS MAKEUP LOOK 1

Overall, the naturally pretty essentials delivered what it promised – a natural eye look that makes you look younger! Mostly because of the neutral shades and the low-key matte shades that are the polar opposites of unicorn circus Instagram makeup looks.

I am very happy with this purchase because it is 100% cruelty-free and is made of natural ingredients good for your skin.

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FINAL VERDICT:

IT Cosmetics has thoroughly impressed me with its excellent quality. Definitely a great buy! I would definitely repurchase the mascara when this travel size runs out for sure!

PROS:
Long-lasting, smudgeproof and creaseproof; godsend for someone who hates touching up her makeup.

Multi-purpose palette of great quality, value for money.

Matte eyeshadows blend easily and highlighting shade acts as a backup disguise for mistakes, so this palette suits both well-versed and beginner users.

The palette is a timeless, classic good-to-have in your collection if you’re sorely in need for matte shades like me.

CONS:
Not the best packaging in terms of practicality and durability – cardboard packaging = no water whatsoever, so no doing your makeup in the bathroom!

Colour payoff varies, especially for lighter shades.

Only for natural, no/less makeup looks.

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT TO A FRIEND:

Yes, if you’re not a beginner.
Yes, if you’re a fan of neutral looks.

I hope you found this review useful and here’s to more beauty reviews coming soon! 🙂

Happy holidays!

XOXO,
HuiMin

Meow

kitty (2 of 5) Channelling a little Ariana

The well-known secret to the perfect crop top look is going high-waisted. And if you’re harbouring a full-time food baby like me, that’s a strong hallelujah. A girl knows showing just a peek of skin adds a little coyness into the mixture, and you get bonus points for extra comfort. Protip: pair two different textures together to add more dimension and extra details to your coordinate! If your idea is for them to complement, try looking for pieces with just a hint of texture (such as the black shorts with a small lace border that I’m sporting here) to go with a piece that is solely made from texture, like the knit crop top I’m wearing. I find that I tend to gravitate towards knit crop tops because they’re sturdier and provide a nice textured look. For accessories, I picked this gorgeous rose cat ears that I picked up at TEMT for only $9.90. Since my headgear is pretty loud, I opted for subtlety for my necklace and went with a thin grey beaded choker. I’m not loving the thick choker trend because well, chokers choke.

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Crop tops, cat ears, chokers…. reminds you of anyone? Ariana has always been a style icon known for popularising her signature cute style and tbh, a toned-down made for real life version of her celebrity clothes is pretty much what I would wear all the time! So I’m sure it’s no coincidence why I’m sort of twinning with her 🙂

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Top: Ximending | Shorts: Shilin Night Market | Choker: Lovisa | Headband: TEMT |Ring: Pandora

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Check out the short vlog I did of my staycay at W Hotel, where these pictures were taken in our wonderful Away suite!

I can’t wait to show you guys more pictures of my amazing staycay at W Hotel!

XOXO,
HuiMin

The Yacht Life

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Life’s a yacht.

Ladies, hemlines are key to nailing the perfect dress. The loveliest design can be sabotaged by an unflattering hemline that makes you look frumpy or shorter than you really are! This gorgeous MDS straight-cut dress was love at first sight, and I got it despite it being in between lengths. Neither a tea length or a floor length, the in-between hemline is a tricky terrain to navigate. Choose a dress with a visually shorter top that cinches in at the waist to instantly elongate your legs – great for petite girls like me! Don’t forget the neckline, choose one that accentuates your collarbones or shoulders to balance the extra cloth at the bottom, such as a thin strap halter neckline or even a sweetheart neckline. Pair it with shoes that have slim straps to add an elegant finishing touch. Nude or cream heels are also a great option if you want a closed toe design for more formal events. Accessorising should be minimalistic in this case, dainty accessories with simple details are the best way to go! Try a crystal choker to add a 90’s vibe that’s all the rage right now. That can also bring a more casual feel if you’re just going for a nice dinner, which I was.

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Before heading for our seafood dinner at the Sentosa Cove area, just outside our W Hotel staycation! (aka before my food baby pops out, heh)

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Shades: Tokyo | Dress: MDS | Bag: Furla | Shoes: Taobao | Choker: Lovisa | Rings: Taipei night market

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It’s funny because I never went near a yacht that day – the boats (will the rich kill me for calling them yachts this) were cordoned off and a security guard was at the barricade so only members were waved in. I guess there’s always next time, right?

XOXO,
HuiMin

Dusty Pink

DUSTYPEARL (3 of 4)

Yeoboseyo!  Hello in Korean seems apt to kickstart yet another Fashion roundup from my Grad trip earlier this year, this time in the heart of the National Palace Museum in Seoul. Keeping everything easy and on the go is always key to enjoying your travels, and the secret lies in a trusty pair of sneakers. I’ve been lugging my clumsy feet around in my Adidas running shoes forever, and I don’t plan on changing it until my shoes give way – they’re that comfy!

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Craft a coordinate with the perfect mix of masculinity and femininity by mixing softer colours with darker tones! Here I paired a dusty rose top with a dark grey midi bandage to achieve this look. A high crew neck complements the mid-calf length of my skirt, and a fitted silhouette accentuates curves (read: food baby) and peppers sophistication into your outfit. As with all travels, I am seen with my hardy Elle bag that is a sure staple due to its functionality! I prefer to use a dark, safer bag in order to match most of my outfits on vacations rather than carry novelty bags for particular outfits and wasting precious luggage space!

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Shades: Tokyo | Top & skirt: Dongdaemun | Socks: Uniqlo Japan | Shoes: Adidas

DUSTYPEARL (2 of 4)

Seoul was amazing, the shopping was jaw dropping fantastic and I can’t wait to go back!

Here’s to more travels in the future!

XOXO,
HuiMin

Graduation

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YAY! I GRADUATED!!!

FINALLYs:

  • After 4. frikin. years. of torture!!! Kidding, now that school is over I really miss it.
  • Blogging about my graduation that happened in July LOL

School was really tough for me because despite the three/four camps I went for, the CCA I joined, the OCSP I volunteered for, and consequently the many people I met, no one really stuck around.

Everyone from my JC class went to FASS /NUS, a couple went overseas but I was the only one in SMU.  I was truly alone – I don’t know how I managed to find out where to sign up for what camp…

Not that I didn’t manage to make good friends here and there, but I never managed to find a group of friends to do everything with. I guess what I’m saying is, I was unable to replicate my secondary school experience of belonging in a clique and ding everything in a clique. I truly envy those people who do have a clique, it must be nice to always have a safety net and know people will have your back no matter what.

I don’t know why I never saw most people ever again, most of them don’t even recognise me in the school hallways and if they do, avert their eyes and avoid saying hi after the first few months. Maybe my personality was too off-putting, or maybe I was too dumb for people to ride on my intelligence. I wasn’t pretty enough, popular enough, happening enough, good enough for people to hang around with. I was just … me.

It was quite lonely for me as I had to take many modules myself due to the fact that I had the maximum number of exemptions (like 5 or 6 mods). So I could already take the more advanced modules when people were still taking Uni Cores, or clearing introductory mods.

At the start, I also only somehow managed to befriend people from Economics. I had no Business friends, I also didn’t have any friends that were interested in Marketing. I remembered bidding for Business Process alone, and I ended up doing the group project by myself because everyone else had a group and I literally didn’t know anyone.

Suay Suay I ended up bidding for some prof that apparently taught more in-depth than the others and when I asked for help from some of my new friends that were also taking BP, no one knew what the flying hoot I was going on about. Thankfully, I had a good friend helping me to do my project and I will never forget that even though we rarely talk now! Thank you, you know who you are (: 

So, this process repeated itself (not the help I got, just the alone-ness) throughout my Modules. I had no senior, so I couldn’t count on them to tell me which profs were good, I had no friends so I didn’t have shared resources from my friend’s friend’s senior etc. Everything I learnt in uni, I mostly did it alone for the first two years. So that was four semesters of having four classes, and only occasionally one of them I had someone I could sit next to in class.

That’s literally how shitty the first half of uni was for me.

Yes, I could have just spoken to the person sitting next to me and befriended them but c’mon, after the first semester, who wants to make friends anymore? I would probably be judged for being a weirdo, and there really isn’t much time to talk enough to make friends during classes. And after seeing how shitty most of my group mates for projects were, I had ZERO desire to befriend anyone. It made me realise how selfish/irresponsible everyone was and how they didn’t have a good work ethic at all.

To make it worse, I had NO IDEA how the bell curve worked. LOLOLOL So smart hor me. I played like mad in my first semester, slept in class, didn’t do my homework because I thought it was like JC where I could cram the topics in the last few weeks of school. Landed face down because I got a C and a D that semester and a pathetic 2.7 – I panicked, stopped dancing and started studying for my mods during the first week of school the next sem. Try as I might, still ended up with shitty grades. However, I managed to graduate with Merit, SO GOOD JOB ME! LOL.

It’s just difficult to feel intelligent/competent when your grades tell you otherwise. I had to really find my self-esteem from within, from my character, from my personality etc. I can’t rely on the grading stick because tbh according to that I suck like mad at life. To make things worse, your final paper never ever gets returned so you’re left wondering wtf did you do wrong, why you not smart enough to give correct answer without knowing wtf went wrong. You couldn’t technically improve even if you wanted to; it was too late.

I was very ‘depressed’ – I don’t mean clinically, but I was in a funk, I constantly felt like shit about myself, like I was a failure in life. Somemore I was dating a genius nerd that constantly topped his class who somehow has the bad habit of feeling like he’s “going to fail” for all his tests, then I just couldn’t help comparing our scores. (FYI he graduated with the highest honour also ok, I’m not exaggerating) Like wtf does someone so smart want to date someone so dumb like me. LOLOL. I was seriously damn stressed and sad, I think it affected my health so much I was in and out of the school clinic every month.

Ya, damn fucking dramatic I know.

**Didn’t help that I was in a very toxic environment in one of my extra curricular school activity that led me to quit because it was constantly putting me down.

Because to a kid whose essays that used to consistently be shown in class since secondary school days, who managed to score decently despite not studying much for major exams, suddenly being told you don’t match up to the elite elite was like a hard smack in the face lah. Like suddenly I realised I was a big fish in a small pond and now I’m drowning in open waters.

Then I was whisked away to a six months adventure of a lifetime with my nerd and exchange really taught me that there’s so much more to life than just being academically inclined. My bad experiences taught me that I valued being moral, being nice, kind, humble and polite to people more than being extremely intelligent in the taking tests sense.

I decided I wanted to be the best me, and then when I came back, had the craziest busiest sem ever and strangely, it was the sem where I did the best. Still not a 3.4, but close.

I was starting to be fulfilled. Since I couldn’t score well on tests and even doing my best on projects couldn’t save my grade, I decided to do external activities. Working, competing, dancing etc. Somehow this sense of fulfilment translated to better grades as well. I think because I was starting to exert more positive energy in my every day environment!

Landed a part-time internship by fate and that’s where I’m now gainfully employed LOLOL.

To be honest, I don’t regret choosing SMU one bit. It really made me open my eyes and see how the world of privilege works. (Let’s save that for another post ya) Forcing us to go for internship made me have working experience before graduating, forcing us to go for charity/volunteering experience made me remember and appreciate how fortunate I was, and made me better understand those who walk a different path in life. I say force because these were compulsory graduation requirements, and I am so glad they are!

SMU’s teaching style also forced me to be more outspoken, overcome my fear of public speaking and learn how to give and make a proper presentation.

I like to think of my experience as SMU’s tough love style of prepping me for adulthood. (Give them the benefit of the doubt lah hor hahaha)

SO!

If you’re currently not doing so well in school, remember that the bell curve is a way of capping the number of students who can do well. Remember that you’re more than grades. Remember that life still goes on after Uni, still goes on despite bad grades and bad grades doesn’t mean everything else is bad, opportunities exist everywhere!!

Plus, if it’s any consolation, if you score below 3.4 only your name is going to be read out during the graduation ceremony, and it turns out A LOT of people are in my boat HAHAHA. And there I was, worrying that I was going to be one of the few people who didn’t have any honours.

Long story short, DON’T WORRY SO MUCH! You’ll survive and come out of this mostly unscathed and if you’re extremely lucky + hardworking, shining like a blinding bright star.

Heres’s an encouraging cheesy af song hahaha:

(If you’re doing damn well you can go stuff it goodbye)

Going to post up some of the awesome photos Atikah took for the nerd & I for our grad photoshoot! Like I said I have no clique so it’s just the two of us hahaha. (In case you can’t tell, I’m fucking sad no one jio me for grad shoot lol fml)

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Our Harrods bears Cookie and Creamy from our trip to London 🙂 Gab got the graduation gown costumes from Build a Bear! I requested for the sash as well hehe

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 WE GRADUATED!

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Sometimes I think I should be considered an SOE student as I spend 80% of my time in this building…

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Where it all began! (Didn’t make any lasting friends there btw don’t waste your time – is it still compulsory? LOL)

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Where we met each other … ♡

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手牵手我们一起走

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To the one that always makes me laugh ❤

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Taking photos in the one place I never stepped foot in during my four years… Maybe that’s why my studies sucked LOL

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Studious af ok

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This picture accurately describes how tiny I am compared to him – five inches taller and I am still way shorter than him hahaha

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Goofing off is our relationship staple

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Thankful every day that we found each other 🙂

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Irrelevant caption BUT I REALLY LOVE MY ELIZA LITZ SHOES! 😍

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My favourite photos of all! I love you 💗

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WE DID IT!

XOXO,
HuiMin

Barcelona & Coasta Brava

HELLO INTERNET!

It’s been quite some time since I updated this blog because I’ve been swamped with work. The past month had me covering some extra duties and I’ve yet to properly had time to take a breather. On my off days I just want to lay in bed and watch cartoons all day, so. Bad news to the crazy backlog of unedited photos in my memory cards ): But I’ve decided to clear some of my exchange photos so I can refresh my memory on my awesome adventures with the nerd and also motivate me to get a vacay real soon. Desperately need one but broke af. It’s been a while since we both had time to go on a proper date and I just hate how life gets in the way… SO GTFO LIFE!!! Adulting is hard… If you’re reading this and you’re somehow below 18, SLOW THE F DOWN. Don’t grow up so soon, trust me.

As you can tell from the title of this post, today’s photo diary is from our lovely trip to Barcelona June 2015 LOL

DAY 1

(I say day 1 but this is actually the last leg of our Europe travel! Before this I was actually travelling in Nice and Monaco for 3 days already before arriving in Barcelona, maybe I’ll share about that next – chronological order means nothing at this point. Also if I get any details like names, places wrong please forgive me as I am writing this from memory more than a year after this happened.)

I chose to stay in Residencia Melondistrict Marina, Barcelona – a hostel-hotel that’s actually not that cheap because I got the private room and bath but then the location beside a crematorium and it being 15 min near an off central train stop sort of cancelled it out. The room was tiny though, but we only stayed 2 nights so we made do!

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Our first stop was the famous La Sagrada Familia. It was super gorgeous and breathtaking, all the intricate details of the architecture was seriously impressive. However, my camera lens is way too narrow so we did not attempt any selfies (this is taken across the street lol). There were a lot a lot of people there, no kidding.

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We then went to Placa de Catalunya to fill our tummies and do some serious shopping for Spanish fast fashion brands! I love how everywhere is so perfect for people watching in Europe. You can just sit anywhere in the open space and look at people walking pass all day.

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Went up to one of the department store at the square for the food court to get some sky view dining for our cheap asses.

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In case you’re wondering, the salmon is mine and the two rolls of bread was the nerd’s lunch as he didn’t fancy anything on the menu LOL. We shared the blackcurrant chocolate cake! The lighting makes the food looks super delish even though it was so-so irl BUT I AM SO HUNGRY LOOKING AT THIS RIGHT NOWWW

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BARCELONA (16 of 23)After lunch and spending too much time at Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius etc, we wondered down the streets into this gorgeous square inside the Gothic Quarter.

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Gorgeous sea port view that the nerd and I sat down and enjoyed for a little while.

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 Ate dinner at this yucky tourist trap of a place and SUPER REGRET believing the waiter instead of what I read online. I ordered paella to share for both of us, and he told me the paella is meant for one pax, so the nerd ordered a Hawaiian pizza as well. I FINISHED THIS BY MYSELF BECAUSE I WAS SO ANGRY AT THE WAITER OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE IT NOW NO WONDER I GREW FAT LOL. The table of two ang moh dudes next to us were perfectly happily sharing their paella. Waiter was rude and unattentive af, super bad attitude. I felt sooo cheated and super regret choosing that diner -____-

DO NOT EAT ALONG THE TOURIST TRAP!!!! Instead, just go to the Carrefour there and get your salad, bread, cup noodles etc! Much cheaper and won’t get cheated by all these rude ass waiters booooo

DAY 2

Day 2 is the EXCITING day because I kind of forced the nerd to do something he hated – kayaking. I was quite sick of shopping, church viewing etc because tbh Europe architecture look pretty much the same everywhere and after 6 months I was sick of it. So I decided to do something different, something slightly more adventurous so I booked a tour to Costa Brava, an hour drive from Barcelona. It’s still pretty under-discovered as there’s little to no information about this area online (in English at least) but the beach is super beautiful and we spent about one to two hours out on the ocean kayaking.

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Travelled through this beautiful park before arriving at the pick-up location. I only visited Parc de la Ciutadella – Cascada Monumental because the statue on top is actually called Aurora hahaha

BUT DAMN CHIO CAN!!!

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 Hello, beautiful.

OMG TAKE ME BACK PLEASE T.T

Booked Excursions Barcelona for 60 Euros for 2 incl sandwich for lunch. Tbh I felt a bit cheated as the photos look damn nice on their site but the actual photos that they took for me were…. questionable at best.

hahahhahahaha damn wth hor!!!! Feel so sad that I didn’t get my  waterproof casing the day before (was shopping around for it but failed) then I can snap pics. Damn wtf.

But it was funny because the nerd & I teamwork fail and cannot keep the bloody kayak straight for nuts. We travelled in a zigzag line all the way. I think it’s me (reference to my horrible sec 3 OBS experience). I was quite pissed at that time because I was seriously dehydrated and we were going sooo slowly. Also I cannot do snorkelling for nuts water keeps getting into my mouthpiece CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHY. I bite on it damn hard also cannot wtf!!!

But I was proud of myself for volunteering to jump off the tiny ledge after the first dude. I screamed and didn’t close my mouth in time so I drank some Spanish sodium chloride that day.

I paid 60 euros to find out I should just stick to malls and churches….

BUT! The pics at the beach was gorgeous 🙂 I quickly wolfed down my sandwich and grabbed my camera to snap some pics by the beach because the waves were seducing me.

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WHAT I WOULDN’T GIVE TO RUN MY FEET THROUGH THE CRYSTAL CLEAR OCEAN AGAIN…

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Thank you to the nerd for being willing to get out of my comfort zone with me. ♡

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Dropped off the bus and went to explore more of the main square and the famous buildings by Gaudi.

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Yeah I tan super easily even though I religiously applied sunscreen every chance I could on that kayaking trip. But ok lah, tan then can hide my roundness hahahah

That’s the end of my stay in Barcelona before moving on to Madrid, will cover that sooooonish here promise!

Feels good to be blogging again and it feels lovely to revisit my travels! I’ve found Flickr as a solution for my gallery limit problem, so yay to more posts soon I hope! (If work doesn’t kill me)

Loads of hugs and kisses, hope everyone reading this is well! 🙂

XOXO,
HuiMin