2014 Chit Chat and Round Up
Hello friends! I’m not quite sure what this post will be about but I just felt the urge to write something, not a usual type of post but a more rambly one, which is pretty uncommon on my blog. In fact, this might be the first such post!
This year literally flew by so quickly. Everyone always wishes for the new year to be better than the current one, I’m no different but let’s take a look back at the year.
This year, I had been blessed to try out so many different beauty brands that I never used to know and I actually found some gems in the items that were initially given to me which led me to repurchase myself. Many of these gems were in the beauty department, you can check some of them out here:
I have also been pretty slack in putting up posts on the blog or my Youtube channel (guilty). There’s no excuse except that I just didn’t have the mojo to cook up engaging and informative posts for you. Hence, I became more active on Instagram and shared some of the products that I used on a daily basis so if you had questions you could just leave a comment there 🙂
This has also been the year that I got introduced to a whole bunch of different foundations. This is incredible because 4 years ago, I never wore foundation and now, I can’t live without it. Not so much as a mask but to achieve the “my skin but better” look.
The foundation that stood out for me this year is the Dior Star Foundation. I never expected to love a longwearing foundation but I do! It’s a trusty super duper longwear foundation.
One of the things I love most in life apart from family, friends and beauty, is traveling. When my hubby and I moved back to Singapore in 2008 from Scotland, we made a pact that we would travel every 2-3 months in order to make up for the lack of opportunity to just drive to a different state or city like we used to in the UK. This year has been FANTASTIC because I think we really kept to our promise – we had 5 trips this year, and only 1 was less than 5 days!
Bali in January where we stayed in the W Retreat and Spa. It was my first stay at the W and it was fantastic. Service was brilliant and I spent 6 days lazing by the pool and bar. Finished reading Divergent and a couple magazines while I was there. The only downside of this resort was the lack of a beach which was a bummer because it was meant to be a beach holiday.. But oh well, the resort made up for it.
Sydney in May. This was a 2 week long trip where we spent 8 days in Blue Mountains exploring a number of the amazing hiking trails. My hubs and I fell in love with hiking after our 4 hour hike in Tasmania to Marion’s Lookout. It was a test of endurance and stamina to make it to the peak because we were greeted with the most breathtaking view. Blue Mountain trails were not quite as challenging and it didn’t have views like Tasmania. Nonetheless, we still managed to really enjoy one particular trail where we went off track (accidentally) but it was well worth it because we found ourselves at the bottom of one of the most beautiful waterfall.
Maldives in August – This was my 5th trip to the Maldives and we decided to give Baros Maldives a shot. I had originally wanted to return to Conrad Rangali but it was fully booked! Baros was picked mainly because it has a “no kids under 12” allowed policy islandwide. Not that I dislike kids, but if I’m after a relaxing holiday after all the hiking in Blue Mountains, I want peace and quiet. We spent 8 days in Baros, and the first 2 days happened to be jellyfish season where we had pink and blue jellyfish (the more lethal ones) floating everywhere, even right below our water villa. Bummer!
Thankfully, they cleared up and activity in the water resumed. Baros was the 3rd resort ever built in the Maldives and has a legacy of 43 years. I was so impressed at how well maintained it was. It was indeed the most peaceful resort ever!
I also managed to squeeze in several dives, including a night dive which was amazing. This trip, I also managed to snap some pretty amazing underwater pics as well. This resort has one of the most beautiful house reefs I’ve ever been to. It’s even got 12 resident turtles and I spent a good 10 minutes with one while snorkelling. There was also no lack of Moray Eels which used to be hard to spot.
Hong Kong in October. This was just a 4 day trip to HK to visit an ex-boss of mine and do some hiking. I’ve been to Hong Kong so many times, most of which were for work so I never really visited the more residential areas like Repulse Bay or Stanley Market. I was pleasantly surprised that HK has some awesome hikes, yes it’s not just a highly populated city but it’s also got amazing views and mountains. I wish we had some of that in Singapore! We also visited HK Disneyland, the one that completes all Disneylands in the world that I’ve visited, with the exception of Magic Kingdom in Florida. It was quite a small park but probably one which I enjoyed the most because there were no crazy long queues for the rides! I suppose this was because most of the visitors were Chinese and they seemed to be more interested in posing in front of the rides than actually riding them. Yay for me!
London and Germany in December for 2 weeks. This was our first trip back to Europe ever since 2008. We fell in love with Christmas Markets in UK and Europe but never visited one in Germany where they originated, so the key focus of this trip was to go Christmas Markets hopping.
It was nostalgic to return to London. I went back to the location of where I used to work and eat, and found that everything has changed. There were more glass buildings around London, less of the heritage architecture which I was used to. This was pretty sad because I felt that London has lost some of it’s charm and character. It has also gotten a lot more polluted, with construction at every corner and copious amount of smokers. Couple the pollution with the cold winter air and it felt like a club in Singapore in the 90’s where indoor smoking was still allowed.
Germany – we travelled across a few cities (Berlin, Dresden, Nuremberg and Munich), visiting at least one Christmas Market a day. One of the things I love most about Christmas Markets was the Glühwein and food. Glühwein is mulled wine that is served warm, perfect for the winter weather and the ones in Germany had different variations like Strawberry, Apple and Blueberry. One thing I learnt about the Germans is that they really drink A LOT! Yes, if you enjoy beer, you have to go to Munich for Octoberfest!
I have lots more photos which I haven’t uploaded to my Macbook. But if you are interested, leave a comment below and I can do a guide to German Christmas Markets!
This year, I also indulged in a more domestic activity – BAKING! Bought an oven (finally) and whipped up a few recipes, so far, they have been pretty well received. Other than driving, baking is the next most therapeutic activity. It’s amazing how you can transform packets of flour into yummy treats. The most highly requested cake was my carrot cake!
Yoga – this year, I also picked up a new workout and joined a new Yoga Studio. Ditched Fitness First and Bodycombat for a bit while I give yoga a shot in an attempt to treat my chronic back pain. Through yoga, I found peace, strength and stamina. I never thought of yoga as being athletic but trust me, it gets your heart-rate up as high as running. I love how I’m able to hike without feeling tired like I used to (yup Tasmania hike in 2013 almost killed me). Today, 10 months after practicing yoga, I finally managed the side crow pose. Although I could only hold for up to 5 seconds, it was good enough for me, for now at least.
Friends have also played a big part of my life this year and many were made through blogging. The Beauty Anonymous girls celebrated the second Christmas this year and it’s just been more than amazing. We have gone from sharing an interest in beauty, makeup and blogging to sharing our lives, and more importantly, our love for martinis!
Isn’t the above picture beautiful! Thanks to the very talented Sara aka Icyabstract.
In a nutshell, 2014 has been smashing (wow! I thought it was a “blah” year before this post). I wish 2015 would be just as awesome and more! It’s funny how I had to sieve through my Facebook account to grab the pictures, especially the travel pics. I’m thinking in 2015, I might throw in some travel posts and more personal chit-chat posts like this… if you are interested, that is. In the next few weeks, I will be posting a number of Best 2014 type products, so stay tuned for more.
Most importantly, thank you to my readers and followers, both on my blog and Instagram. I really appreciate it and I hope this is interesting for you and it’s my way of letting you into my life.
Here’s wishing everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR and may you have a smashing 2015!
Love you 🙂