Retro Clip-On Earrings Are Back This Fall And Why We Love Them!

I’ve always loved how a pair of earrings can easily dress up a boring outfit!

My mom never had my ears pierced as a kid. As a teenager I got them pierce and found out with disappointment that my body rejected the piercing and refused to properly heal. I persisted for a while and eventually let them close up. But I wasn’t going to give up on earrings. And this was the start of my collection of clip-ons.

There are clip-ons of all shapes and sizes however, I’ve learned with time that my favourites are the chunky, drop, generally big jewellery eighties style! That’s because for one smaller earrings can look a bit awkward as the clips needs to be conceived, and for 2 (for me), if I’m going to wear earrings, it might as well be a statement piece! So you can picture my excitement when big jewellery were coming back, and this fall they are literally everywhere! Zara has an impressive collection of eighties style clip-ons, which makes me extremely happy. This that before I had to rely on vintage shops and hours and hours of online jewellery hunt.

So why do we love big bold clipping jewellery pieces?

  • For the Statement Pieces: that’s right, clip-ons are the only way to wear a statement piece, as it would put too much pressure on the earlobe otherwise;
  • With clips the bold design sits perfectly on the earlobe without looking like it’s pulling and hurting;
  • The novelty of the item itself: there is a lot of history behind clip-ons, as piercing were considered uncivilised in the Victorian era. Clip-on earrings came with women abandoning the bonnet and styling up their hair, a critical moment in fashion.

Inspired? Net-a-porter offers a nice range of statement pieces, but they are not given! Etsy is great (and more wallet friendly) place to find vintage gems (shop those beautiful Tortoise shell print slip ons here) and those fall-winter 2018/19 Chanel Clip-ons are my absolute fashion dream!

– xoxo-

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The Master Cleanse, Why I Love it

Often referred to as the Lemon Detox, the Master Cleanse is somewhat very controversial. My post Cayenne Pepper Lemon Detox – Get Your Beachbody Ready was very popular so I decided to write this follow up to clarify on some points.

The original detox program called Master Cleanse was introduced by Stanley Burroughs (purchase publication here) in 1940s. The concept is quite simple: the cleanse help you flush out toxins to improve overall health. The controversy comes from the fact that Burroughs claimed the juice diet cured a number of diseases, which it did not.

The diet plan, although does not cure for a lot of diseases is a great detox to achieve better health and rapid weight loss. Many celebrities like Beyoncé, Demi Moore, Angelina Jolie and many more have endorsed its effectiveness.

The cleanse consist of a 10 days (can be longer up to 14 days depending on your needs) lemon juice diet – made with fresh lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. There is also a relaxed version here. I have done this diet 5 times over a period of many years and know my body needs pretty well. My lifestyle is for the most of the time pretty healthy, and I’m happy with my weight. I love this cleanse because it re-energises me and clears my skin. I enjoy the quick couple of kilos loss, but I always regain those within the following couple of months. I recommend it to everyone who feel like they want to realign themselves for healthier habits, or feel like they need to flush some toxins. The 5 times I have done it was always after a high stress period in my life where I felt I needed to take sometimes to focus on myself – yes life, careers, everything else, can be very stressful, and I will opt for the easy option when I’m tired and this over a prolong period of times makes me feel every more tired and from here it’s a vicious cycle (a lot of us knows this tool well unfortunately).

I have done the full 10 cleanse, but I did feel for myself that past the 8th day my energy level dropped, and the cleanse was not productive anymore. So I came up with my own version of a quick detox that can easily fit in a busy schedule [see my post on]. I’m very transparent with my friends about the possible side effects when recommending this regime, and advise them to be aware of your body – how you feel physically. It’s not for everyone and before going to stock up on 10 days worth of fresh lemons, my advise would be to try the cleanse for a couple of days and see for yourself (see my lighter version of this cleanse here).

Obviously be smart about this cleanse. Like any major change in diet, be aware of your body. If you have prior medical conditions, do consult your doctor and if you feel too light headed, ill or extreme fatigue, you want to stop this program. I hope I was able to bring additional clarifications and please do not hesitate to ask me any questions in the comments below 🙂

-xoxo-

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My Coloring Therapy

I picked up this coloring book for adult during my last trip to Bali.

This is not my first coloring book and I highly recommended as a relaxing activity that can be practiced daily. I picked up this art therapy – it’s a therapy for me as it helps me relieve stress as I focus in the moment, it works for me and I’ve encouraged friends to try, but keep in mind it might not work for everyone – when I was living in the UK. Back then it was more of a Sunday, rainy day, hobby, where I get to let my inner little girl out, but I found myself picking my book up when I had a not so good day at work and this is when it became my way of meditating.

I have read a number of articles about coloring books for adults and coloring as a therapy. There are numerous people claiming coloring can be a stress relief, lower anxiety levels, train the brain to be more creative, and many more, you can read about them in 7 Reasons Adult Coloring Books Are Great for Your Mental, Emotional and Intellectual Health from the Huff Post. A number of researches have also been done on coloring for adult and it does seem to support that it can reduce anxiety, however do keep in coloring can be therapeutic, but doesn’t replace therapy! Do try it! There’s no need to old school like me, there are thousands of printable free coloring sheets online that can be downloaded from Crayola, Faber-Castell and Just Color!

Comment below to let me know what is your art favourite art therapy!

-xoxo-

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The Perfect Tan Hack – Because It’s Hard Work

My friend pointed out how pale I am a few weeks back. For reference I’m currently 3 foundation shades darker than my winter foundation, in fact I’m using a medium dark bb cream, because the last time I was able to achieve a darker tan was years ago. So you can imagine how I got a little… dismayed? All kind of thoughts were going through my mind: I’ve never worked so hard on my tan (I was on the beach or on a boat every single not rainy weekend), and the results are obviously not impressive. It was pretty clear, I needed some help.

The first easy fix solution is getting a spray tan, considering my sun exposure hours, a sun bed is obviously not what I needed. However we’ve all heard or worse witnessed spray tan gone wrong, so I did some research. After a few late night spend googling and reading product reviews I’ve settled on 6 self tan products (it’s still quite a lot i couldn’t make up my mind, it’s was 3 body product and 3 for face).

loved 2 of them:

(I’m only reviewing the 2 products that I love and worked for me, as I believe the other self-tanning lotions and products I tried were also good, but the 2 below just worked better for me. Also different skin reacts to differently to specific formulas, therefore I do not want dwell on the other very quality products that I’m going to pass on to friends 🙂

Note that I’ve tried all the lotions at least 1 time and stop immediately if I didn’t find it efficient or gave uneven marks the next day. I’ve then waited around 1 week to try the next product on.

CLARINS Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster (face)

  • I cannot begin to say how much I love this product. It come in a small convenient cylinder bottle (especially for travel) and you simply mix it to your moisturiser. The label says 1 to 3 drops, but obviously you can adjust it to your needs. I used it for face, neck and eventually upper body too (Note they do have a Glow Booster for Body too, but I couldn’t try everything this time and decided to go for the Isle of Paradise drops) 1 drop is barely noticeable, I’ve increased it to 5 drops during my holidays.
  • Because it’s mixed with your usual moisturiser, there are less risk of breaking out especially for sensitive skin like mine. And no uneven patches. I’ve mixed 1 drop with my serum and it worked like a charm too!
  • It’s a small bottle, it’s not given, but a little goes a long way, I’ve been squeezing it everywhere and my friend has been using it too and we haven’t used even 1/4.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops – Medium

  • This is another mixed with your moisturiser type of self tan, but it comes in a number of range of tanning shades: light, medium, dark.
  • Note that this Vegan brand has also the self tan water and a mousse. I’ve read a few reviews and decided to go with the drops, which I was very happy with.
  • I’ve been using it on my legs mainly and I love it! It works like the Clarins glow booster, but it’s a bit stronger and you get more product for less!
  • The thing I love about this is that I’ve been mixing it with my sunscreen (YES!) and it really accelerates the darkening process.
  • one last thing, don’t forget to use a mitt!

Let me know what’s your perfect tan hack I should try!

-xoxo-

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Types of Friends You (Will) Have in a Lifetime

I’ve been really excited and looking forward to this week because my childhood friend and all time best friend is coming to visit me in Hong Kong. We actually haven’t been able to see each other very often since I moved away, but every time we see each other it’s like we’ve never been apart. We started reminiscing about the good old times, friendships and new friendships… And this is what we came up with:

  • your work bff: this is your go to person for coffee breaks, afternoon cookie sharing and bathroom gossips. You message them discretely to tell them how you can’t stop yarning in your meeting and how you really are looking forward to Friday. This is also one of the decisive person you consult to determine what to wear for office parties.
  • the friend who can party: yes we all have one, or a few. You probably never met them sober for more than 20 mins, you can count on them to be out or wingman you out! You’ve known them forever, and knows probably too much details from certain areas of their lives and they yours, but you know you both are in a safe place 😉
  • the one you always make plans with but never hang out: they are cool people, you met them perhaps at this social event or a party, you exchanged contact and loved the idea of continuing your conversation, but somehow never find a good time. You know what I’m talking about.
  • the out of town high school/college bff who know everything about you and you talk regularly if not daily: there’s no need for further description, they support you the best, they <3 comment all your insta pictures.
  • friends of your friends (or possibly your other half’s friends): I only referring to the cool ones whose makes you smile when you ask “who else is attending?” You have them on insta and fb, but never bother making plans, cause they are someone else’s click.
  • your childhood (best) friend(s): your bridesmaid(s), sister from another mother, wifey on social media, you name it!

<3

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Bad Tan Lines? Here’s How To Get Rid of Them Faster

Despite applying sunscreen and re-applying a layer every hour I still got burned and pretty bad on my back. All that snorkeling under direct sun was unforgiving. Swimming with sea turtles and chilling with a family of Nemos was totally worth it, but now it’s time to get right of those back and butt tan lines and work on that beach glow!

If you’re reading this then you probably don’t want to hear about prevention, because like me you’re ready to hit the beach again, and don’t want to be limited to that same swimsuit you got those deep tan lines… Here’s how you can accelerate those those tan lines fading:

  1. Exfoliate. Regular exfoliation will remover the layers of dead cells and make space for new cells. You can easily find local natural ingredients at your supermarket and market your own exfoliants – here are 3 DIY recipe for lip scrubs, but you can increase the quantities to make a body version! 😀
  2. Moisturise. With tanning damages, affected areas of the skin are dry and needs moisturising, especially after exfoliating, it’s important to provide plenty of nutrients for your skin to keep it’s healthy texture and regenerate. Natural moisturisers like almond oil, coconut oil and Aloe Vera are the best! I like to apply Aloe Vera, wait 10 mins until your skin absorbed all the moisture and layer natural essential oils on top!
  3. Drink water and have a healthy diet. We all know vitamin A, C and E are just amazing for the skin! So Make sure you eat plenty of food that will help your skin regenerate from the inside! Food high in vitamin A includes carrot, sweet potato, and kale. Kiwi, strawberry and citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and make sure you get some almonds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts in your tray mix, for your vitamin E.

Make sure you stick to those and apply plenty of sunscreen on the affected areas and you’ll be ready in no time to enjoy the newly purchased bikinis for the season!

– xoxo –

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El Nido A Snorkeling Paradise + A Few Things You Probably Need To Know

El Nido was one nice little surprise! We booked an extended weekend get away on the famous Philippines island of Palawan without much research I must admit. For those who came across my previous posts 5 days in paradise & 2 potential cyclones this comes with no surprise as I’m quite the last minute traveler, and planning is definitely not my forte! I did hear from friends that Palawan was beautiful, but let’s say that I did not expect just how breath taking the undisturbed lagoons and private beaches would be. No wonder it was voted #3 in Condé Nast Traveler out of 25 best island beaches for swimming and snorkeling!

We stayed 4 nights and roughly 4 days (minus the travel time), which was just enough time for me! We booked 2 almost full day tours and spend our free time exploring nearby beaches.

For the tours there are 4 main ones: A, B, C & D! Easy to remember right! A was the most popular one (and probably the most instagrammed one too :P) so we opted for this tour on our first day. The big and small lagoons were beautiful, and we did some snorkeling in between, which was nice. However, what really took us by surprise was the tour C. (We decided on the tour C, because it was the one recommended from Lonely Planet, and friends.) The scenery was as breath taking as in tour A, but it was a lot quieter.The water was so clear and the islands close to virgin! We had the chance to see from pretty close coral, fish and starfish of all shapes and colors. We were lucky and came across a family of Nemo (clown fish) and bumped into a couple sea turtles. Simply amazing. Note that a lot of snorkeling spots were in pretty shallow water, so for the ones who don’t feel comfortable hanging out too long in deep water, it’s perfect too!

In the area of El Nido

There are a few beautiful beaches accessible 10-15 mins in tricycle (cost around 100-150 pesos, depending on your luck or negotiation skill :P)! We went to Las Cabañas. There are a number of really nice beach bars and restaurants with swings instead of stools, and there are a number of relax beach activities like kayaking and paddle. You can walk all the way to the Las Cabañas beach resort on the far end, end from there you have access by foot to Depeldet Island, where you can do zip lining.

Private beach dining

Although there are a number of cute restaurants, and cute restaurants on the beach, if you feel in the mood for some memorable romance, you can book a private beach dinner. A private boat will come pick you up right before sunset and take you to an island with a private beach, where you and your love one can enjoy a romantic dinner surrounded by candles on the beach. You won’t find those in travel tours or online bookings, but your resort will know. What you need to do: contact your hotel or resort and they will help you organise a nice evening. You will be able to pay either online or either cash when you get there!

A few other things you need to know

Before you go on ad plan your next beach escape, snorkeling tours and the private romantic dinners, here are a few things you need to know before going to El Nido!

1. El Nido is not cheap. Compared to Cebu and other areas in the Philippines, El Nido is a mainly touristic place. You would roughly need to prepare extra budget. The ride from the airport cost 350 pesos, any main course will cost around 300 pesos (a full meal – starter, wine desserts would cost around 1000 per person). Lunch is inclueded in the tours, but there are a number of extras for the activities, 400 if you want to kayak and 80 for a beer 50 – 70 for a coconut.

2. The other thing is there is about 1 ATM in the whole area, and most places only accept cash, so make you come prepared. If you do run out of cash, and the ATM is empty (which happens fairly often apparently), here’s a work around: a lot of the spas and tours will accept car payment with a 7% charge, and you can negotiate to get cash back when you pay for your tour/or massage. You can get 2000-5000 (which would last you 1-2 days comfortable) depending on their available cash on hand.

3. People live on island time, which means be patient. A tour starting at 9am might very well start at 10am and a private boat coming to pick you up at your resort at 6pm might just mean whenever the captain can, which is 7:15pm. But hey when this happens just remember you’re on holidays and in one of the most paradisiac place on earth! Lucky you!

4. Ecological tax is a 200 peso tax you need to pay if you want to do island hoping, and will last for 10 days. The only thing is you need to make sure to get the receipt or the number the first time (we didn’t know for our first tour.. don’t make the same mistakes as us!)

5. Medical, there are no pharmacies and not hospitals close, nothing will probably happen, but it’s worth bringing some ointment and over the counter painkillers.

6. Buy a waterproof bag before going on a tour, it’s necessary and you can find it pretty much everywhere in every size!

– xoxo –

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48 Hours in Tokyo

I’ve always dreamed of traveling to Japan, and Tokyo was the classic place to start!

As you probably know, there’s no one more last minute than me when it comes to booking a holiday, however, I really wanted to experience the cherry blossoms, so this time it needed a little bit of coordination. On top of not excelling at planning, I usually also do not like to have a very charged and pre-laid out schedule (I like to wander around, and let the local culture I encounter guide me, which has always taken me to amazing places :). However, what you need to know is that Tokyo is a very big city and Taxis are the most expensive in the world. We only had 4 full days in the city and wanted to make the most of it, so I agreed to some planning! 2 days on a schedule to be exact!

Here’s my recommendation for 48 hours in Tokyo and how to make most of the touristic must!

First 24 Hours

  • Tsukiji Fish Market: We really wanted to see this legendary fish market, where the world’s best Tuna are auctioned, but what we didn’t know is that there is an extension of the market where you have small sushi restaurants and various other fresh Japanese product for sale. We already grabbed breakfast at the hotel, which was honestly very good (we stayed at Hotel The Celestine), but I would recommend holding your hunger a bit and have your breakfast at the market before walking around the endless display of fresh products from the sea.
  • Midori Sushi Ginza: This place came highly recommended from a friend who has been living in Tokyo for a couple of years (trip advisor link here). There’s usually a 30 min to 1hour waiting queue, but it’s worth the wait! The area is busy and the new Godzilla Statue is located 5 mins walking from the restaurant, so you can explore during the queuing time.
  • Imperial Palace: The area around Chiyoda is absolutely beautiful, and it’s perfect for a digestif walk! If you are in season you’ll be able to catch the magnificent Sakura (cherry blossoms), otherwise, the area is still very impressive with century-old trees all around. You can rent a little boat, and ride around the palace. I’m not sure if this was romantic, but it was definitely fun!
  • Orchard Bar Ginza: This also came as a recommendation, and the cocktails are absolutely amazing!

To 48 Hours

  • Mochi for breakfastOiwake Dango: Mochis are made of sticky rice filled with all kind of sweet paste, green tea, strawberry, red bean, etc.) If you have never tasted it, it’s a must! It does taste a bit sticky and strange at first, but it gets really addicting! You can also take a few to go to enjoy for the next stop!
  • Shinjuku Park: One of the prettiest park I’ve had the chance to stroll around! If you’re in the park for the sakura season, the view is absolutely mesmerizing! Note that there is an entry fee and the park closes at 5 pm*
  • T’s Tantan – Vegan Ramen: This place was absolutely delicious! I’m usually not the biggest ramen fan, as I don’t each much pork and I try to trade as many products for an animal-free alternative. I had the black sesame base and drank every drop of soup from that bowl! Yummy! Note, it’s not the easiest place to find as it’s located in Tokyo station, but Japanese people are very nice and we asked the shops around and they were very happy to point us towards the restaurant 🙂
  • Shopping in Shibuya: You’ve most probably heard or seen in documentaries and movie the Shibuya crossing. It’s a bit underwhelming,  but it was a Tokyo Must! The energy was quite vibrant and did some shopping in the quite fun boutiques, which was very nice! We ended the day with a nice cold Asahi! Happy day!

I can definitely see why Tokyo is one of the world’s most coveted cities to travel in the world! Absolutely recommend, and i think the cherry blossoms are worth the planning!

– xoxo –

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Spicy Cocktail Recipes – Can you Handle The Heat?

Hot chilli sauces are not only good for adding intensity to dishes, but also great to spice your favorite drinks! Here are 3 cocktail recipes to spice up your weekend!

Spicy Carrot Sunrise Mimosa

For this spiced version of the classic brunch cocktail, you’ll need:

  • 4 ounces of sparkling wine or champagne of your choice
  • 1-ounce carrot juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • Dash of cayenne pepper powder

Mix the carrot juice and orange juice together with the dash of cayenne pepper, then add the sparkling wine and slightly stir (if needed) with a mixing spoon. serve in a highball glass or champagne glass with fine orange slices!

Habanero Mojito

A mojito is always refreshing and to add a kick to it (classic recipe here) all you need is to replace the tsp of brown sugar with:

  • Habanero simple syrup

Habanero syrup can be easily found ready to use in a bottle, or you can make your own. Take 1 or 2 (depending on taste) chopped habaneros, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, boil for 1 min, cool and strain (details steps on all recipes here).

Chilli Martini

Who doesn’t love a good martini, and with its endless variants, there’s definitely a martini for every taste! For this spiced up chilli martini you’ll need:

  • 2 ounce of vodka
  • 1/2 of passionfruit puree
  • 1/4 of lime juice
  • 1/4 of simple syrup
  • 1 fresh Thai chilli

Split the chilli in the middle and remove all the seeds, then shake all ingredient. Some chilli can be quite spicy, make sure to taste the drink before serving it (if too spicy, you can take out the chilli add 1/4 of simple syrup).

– xoxo –

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Traditional Taiwanese Breakfast + Weekend Flower Market

One of my favorite things to do in Taipei is breakfast. Yes, it’s a thing.

Taiwanese people definitely know their food. With their famous night markets, countless local delight restaurant and desserts shops, Taipei is definitely on my list of top destinations for good eats! One of my 2 favorite foodie pleasures is traditional Taiwanese breakfasts & Bubble Teas.

As you probably guess, there are quite a number of famous traditional breakfast places, but I chose Yong He Soy Milk King – 永和豆浆大王 or simply known as Soy Milk King because they have a great variety, it’s very reasonably priced and their crispy sesame pancakes alone is worth the trip (the best after a night out :P)!

Here’s their full menu (they do have an English and Japanese one :D)

Love love watching the cook’s expert hands work on those delicious treats!

  

Absolute Yumms!

After this fulfilling breakfast, the Jian Guo Weekend Flower Market – is just over 10 minutes walk from Soy Milk King. Ths market has something for every taste – peonies to cactus and even Siamese fighting fish – the Jian Guo flower market offers quite an impressive sight. Plus for the bloggers and photographers out there, it is the perfect scenery for amazing pictures.

Just the breakfast and flower market is worth the weekend trip to Taipei! Let me know what’s your favorite weekend morning stroll <3

– xoxo –

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