4.24.2012

Goa



India oh how I miss the peace of mind that you gave me. Here are a few photos and scribbles of my travels...

Red round sun magical and omnipotent, like an eye of a god rises over the palm trees. Dogs free from worries are roaming the beach and running after each other like carefree kids, we walk in a morning meditation. We are meant to keep our minds quiet and I am trying to still my thoughts, (a pretty difficult task to be honest, but I am trying).

Each day is magical, some days though are tougher than others. Sometimes I have energy, other times I just lay outside my hut reading and sleeping. I came wanting to change things, find answers, focus and clarity. After two days I realised that I was setting too many goals again. I let go of the goals and finally relax.

Few of the things I remember from the classes:

Everything you are looking for is inside of you already. Peace, strength, focus, clear mind, determination it's all there you are just not letting it come through when you rush around and try to do it all at once. Stop running just sit down for 5 minutes a day and listen to yourself. (You must put the iphone down while doing that)

You don't know what you don't know: simple right? Well the thing is we always assume things, like oh I am going to get stressed out... because my boss, friend, colleague, husband (insert your own) is going to do this and then it will annoy me and then I will have a bad day and then... How often do we pre-assume things, work ourselves up about something that has not yet happened? We can never predict the outcome, so we must stop getting stressed about things that have not happened.

Learn to listen to people. Without gestures, nodding, without interrupting, without thinking of 10 other things. Just listen and then you might actually hear what they are saying.

There were many more things, but these three just stuck in my head. During the week I became addicted with to the resorts home made nutty granola, amazingly delicious vegetarian food and paneer (Indian ricotta cheese that is to die for), I also finally managed to do a head stand. I reached a level calm that I have not felt since I was 19, then suddenly just like that the week was over.

I am in a car on the way to the airport. I stick my head out, smelling the air: burnt wood, spice, cooking, fragrant flowers, not so fragrant cow poop and plastic bag forests. The smells of the countryside. People lives and stories, dreams and sorrows, some visible to the eye just like the rows of clothing hanging on the ropes, some hidden beyond the walls, all flicker in front of my eyes. Goodbye Goa...

Few hours later I land in Mumbai, I have a 9 hours connection so I head out into the city. After Goa, the city is like an explosion, a visual overdose, intoxicating and wild. All has a rhythm, all has a beat, Mumbai is messy, rich, dirty and regal. It's a cacophony of sounds and smells, it's constantly moving and singing it's spiritual, yet very entrepreneurial and money hungry. It's addictive.

The smells deserve a paragraph, a melange of exhaust pipes, sewage, spice and flowers it's sweet and overpowering and surprisingly alive.

Honking is a national sport. It's a never ending dialogue, that turns into strange music. Flamboyant and kitch the city is crazy. Monkeys and goats, ancient palaces and Louis Vuitton shops, high and low all mashed into one ball.

I rush to Gandi's museum and get lost in history for an hour. The man who changed India, who wrote letters to Hitler, Tolstoy and Roosevelt, who practised restraint and mindfulness and managed to inspire both peasants and intellectuals. After the museum I have two hours left, but as I am dragging around my luggage my movement is restricted and I head to dinner at the Taj Hotel to have some paneer and ice tea, I read newspapers and magazines soaking in the last few hours in India. A quick walk along the promenade and it's time to fly back to Hong Kong.





4.19.2012

The mini Capsule Wardrobe Lookbook part 2



So here it is, a project I spoke about so much, all over in a second. It has been really amazing to realize how little clothes I really need and that having a well edited wardrobe indeed makes a huge difference. In fact I almost took 30 minutes to get dressed yesterday morning as I had my whole wardrobe again in front of me, which led to a brain confusion :)

It really does feel like I came off a detox. A real eye opener of a detox! Things feel more cluttered than ever, my wardrobe is still full of clothes I do not need: substitutes, impulse buys, "great" bargains. It seems no matter how much I reduce it there are always more clothes lurking in the background. I am going to take a very drastic approach and try and get rid of everything I just don't love. There are so many pieces that are ok, but they are not amazing. They would look better if I was taller, thinner, younger, older, black haired, but they do not look good right now and haven't actually looked good in a few months, years, if ever.  

The fight for simplicity and de-clutter continues ....

P.S. because I do not have a photographer these photos are a hapzardous collection of instgram shots and a mini lookbook I shot this weekend.

P.s.ss. Just arrived to Koh Samui this morning, I wish I never had to go back to the city.... Imagine living on the beach forever?



4.15.2012

Weekly New Designer: Fleabags

I was never meant to take a long holiday from blogging, but somehow a week in Goa stretched into two weeks without a post.  To be honest a week away from Hong Kong, made me realise that my favourite and much loved hobby of writing and day dreaming turned into a second job: the multiple projects, the events, the endless meetings about collaborations, ideas, twitter, instagram, suddenly I found myself with two full time jobs. Taking a break from it  all made me realise that I was spreading myself too thinly; running around without a purpose trying to prove something to myself and to others. 

I am not one of these amazing people who naturally multitasks between a multitude of projects with computer like efficiency of a social butterfly. I have a tendency to get stressed out about things and take things personally, so in the next few months I want to focus on much fewer projects that I can do well, rather than a thousand things that I do half way and end up stressed out because I never have time to just stop and breathe.

I have been so relaxed and at peace since my return that I have not even started editing the Goa photos I will try my best to get through them this week and if I don't I hope you will forgive me. 
On another note its the last day of the 15/30 project. I have shot the final lookbook this weekend, I cannot believe the challenge is over, I think I am going to miss the simplicity of the wardrobe dilemmas.

Anyway enough of blabbing it's been a while since I have introduced you to a new designer and this weekend I came across a perfect candidate for my almost weekly designer post.  NYC born Fleabags are locally made, in limited edition, by hand, in small production runs. I love the simple, but quirky designs, the typography of the website, the clean aesthetics, the originality of each bag and the beautiful and effortless lookbook. 

So who is behind the brand?
Shira Entis, a fashion designer and lover of all things tiny and over-sized, and Alex Bell, a lawyer and seeker of adventures, have been fleamarket addicts since they met at Brown University. Frustrated by the inconvenience and environmental hazard of accumulating plastic bags while marketing, they craved a convenient and fashion-hot tote that could fit all of their wares. Fleabags are designed as their ideal solution - dapper, large, lightweight and sturdy carry-alls - that are also eco-minded.

Added bonus?

Fleabags strives to create products that are as green as possible while maintaining high quality and covetable design. Fleabags are made with organic and vintage materials, vegetable-tanned and re-purposed leathers, and other parts all sourced in the USA.


P.S. I have not shopped for a month and this blue and cream clutch is definitely on my wishlist of things to buy.



4.04.2012

Simplicity


I returned from Goa on Monday morning. It was an absolutely incredible experience. Life for a week was simple: wake up at sunrise, beach walk in the morning, practise yoga for 2 hours, eat, sleep and swim, practise in the evening, then more delicious food for dinner and finish the day with meditation. I only opened my laptop once and I almost didn't use my phone. Three instagram uploads and a few calls to "worried mom" (are there drugs and malaria mosquitoes she asked) sum up my mobile tech use.  

I was really happy (no drugs or mosquitoes involved). It's amazing when you realise how little you need in life to feel content. 

Of course the return to reality has been rather harsh. I have been wandering around Hong Kong like a Zombie wrapped in cotton wool. City buzz, twitter, work anxiety, worried busy multi-tasking  non-smiley people, Hong Kong has been feeling very empty and foreign.  I am veryyyyy slowly de-relaxing. 

I will upload all the Goa photos this week.

In the meantime, I was looking through the photos Sam took of me before I left and saw these three close ups. While I like the arm stacking trend on other people/bloggers, when I try to wear lots of bracelets I feel like a clanking Christmas tree, so I prefer wearing two to three arm pieces at a time at maximum. Some days when I want something really simple I will wear just one bracelet and no other jewelry. As I continue to detox my wardrobe, I am also starting to clear out my jewelry drawers, keeping only the things of value whether emotional or monetary, getting rid of random buys, gifts, things that I will never ever wear. I like the idea of having a few pieces to cherish over many pieces you care little about. 

Pink ribbon from Merci Paris, all bracelets and ring courtesy of Georg Jensen


3.26.2012

The mini Capsule Wardrobe Lookbook


Goa is getting the best of me. My days involve 4 hours of yoga daily, swimming, hiking and lots of sleeping. This place is so quiet and simple. I almost forgot what it felt like to feel completely calm and not do anything. This is the last update for this week, at least until Sunday as I want to try and completely disconnect from the world :) Let's see if I manage to do that.

As for the photos, because I don't have a "photographer boyfriend" or the second best (a tripod) I rarely manage to do outfit posts. Here Sam kindly lent me a hand last Saturday and shot few of the outfits I wore last week as part of the capsule wardrobe challenge. The blue work pants that I lived in were at the dry cleaners so some outfit days are missing.

Still cannot decide which one is my favourite piece... Maybe the Maison Scotch jumper..





3.24.2012

The Holiday Essentials


I have been a very bad blogger mainly due to the various very exciting projects that I am working on at the moment. It feels like this week has been a blur of endless brainstorming sessions and as a result it wasn't until yesterday that I finally had time to shoot the capsule lookbook. I have to say I am still loving the challenge and am very tempted to cull another 50% of my wardrobe. Well edited simplicity is addictive!

I promise to post the "lookbook" within the next 2 days. I would post it now, but due to the jetlag and a lack of sleep; my brain is refusing to function. I am currently writing this from the Mumbai airport, I am on my way to Goa for a yoga retreat. I have wanted to do something super granola like a yoga retreat for ages, so hope it doesn't disappoint.

Here is a quick snapshot of my further edit of the capsule wardrobe, to an even smaller holiday baby capsule. 

P.S. hope you don't think I am a cheater, but I did take yoga leggings, scarves and two bikins with me :)

P.S.S. Check out our  Project 15/30 Pinterest mood boards for inspiration and feel free to join in!

3.20.2012

Weekly New Designer: MonkStoneKnitwear


Nothing beats a hand made wooly jumper. Cosy and soft, it cocoons your skin, giving you a level of protection, comforting and kind, it becomes a part of you. When I was little and lived in Moscow I loved stealing my dad's wool jumpers and wearing them over jeans. They felt so comforting and warm and I loved their smell, tobacco and Colonge, I pretty much lived in them during the winter months.

3.15.2012

Let the Challenge Begin!


Day one of the wardrobe detox! I cannot even begin to explain the relief that I felt this morning when I looked at my rack of clothing (pictured above). The lack of choice was refreshing and the fact that I did try my best to edit the clothes meant that everything actually went together. It took me 5 minutes to get dressed for work. Quite an achievement I have to say.

It's still not too late to join us.

Here are the rules (just in case you forgot!)

-Any 15 garments from your wardrobe X 30 days
-Accessories (incl. hats, scarves) /gym clothes/pyjamas/socks are not included in the 15 pieces
-No shopping for 1 month
-DIY on the existing 15 pieces is permitted
-Document any way you wish

I'll tell you about each piece as we go along and will post mini lookbooks of seven days worth of outfits at the end of each week. For more frequent updates you can follow me on Instagram @TlikeBubbleTea. 

P.S. I am really excited as the feedback has been really great so far and at least 20 people (non bloggers) have said that they will be joining us! Below is the list of bloggers that have been confirmed so far. If you are a blogger embarking on the challenge drop me a line and I will link back to your blog.

Sam of SamisHome 
Karen of Tomimito
Alicia of Kitten Masks
Joy of Of Stranger Sensibilities
Monique of Petite Avenue
Clare of Curious Looking Glass
Caitlin of Wanderlustings