June Goals

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Hello there my lovelies. Yes, I know I have been pretty quiet and haven’t not been investing time on this space. Life definitely got the better part of me, which I think is not necessarily a bad thing.

To pick up from where we left and to celebrate the arrival of yet another new month, I thought I would create a list of things that I really want to focus on this month.

01. Declutter and update my wardrobe. You may well have read my previous post where I wrote about how I am getting better than buying investment pieces rather than short term key trends. This is one of my proudest achievements in the shopping department. But the time has come now that my wardrobe needs updating and the key driver this time is that I’ve lost weight! (Hurray!).

02. Plan for next holidayssss. Note the plural form :). I just returned from an amazing 3-weeks holiday where I witnessed two lovely people exchanged vows in Melbourne and spent some time with the family in Kuala Lumpur – more to be written in a separate post. I still do have a rather substantial number of leave that I will need to take before the end of the calendar year and I’ve no other holiday plans booked so far.

03. Up the effort on property search. I have been keeping my eye on the property market since September last year. What I have also learnt during this period is, I am definitely more selective this time around compared to when I was in the market for my first property (which I am currently living in). I am pretty clear of what I am looking for and I believe I am in a good place to be more active in this space.

So these are my top three priorities for the month. What about you? Do you have any goals that you wish to achieve this month? Do share them as I’d love to hear about it. x

Aladdin The Musical, London West End

Aladdin The Musical is one of the latest musical productions that is currently showing in the London West End. At the time of writing this, the show is expected to last until beginning of June 2017.

Having seen the show around Christmas time last year, I have nothing but great things to say. The show definitely lived up to all the raving reviews that it has been getting from the press as well as word of mouth from the masses.

It’s an absolute magical theatrical production – one of the best I’ve seen thus far and I have seen quite a lot in the last 11 years of living in London.

The sets and the staging are simply breathtaking and the lighting effects turn the stage into one heck of a spectacular grandeur scenes. It doesn’t matter whether it is the scene of a local market, Princess Jasmine’s chamber, the Cave of Wonders or the majestic castle – every single one was just magical.

The costumes were bursting with colours, lavish and regal, fit for prince and princess, as it rightly so given the love story of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.

It is no surprise that the main highlight for me was the magic carpet scene – I mean what would an Aladdin show be without the flying carpet. It was so breathtakingly beautiful that I not only gasped with amusement, but also got goosebumps and teary eyed as I was so moved by the whole thing – the flying carpet magic, the accompanying music and the voices as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine sang ‘The Whole New World’. It just took my breath away. Simply stunning and magical.

Aladdin The Musical is currently showing at the Prince Edward Theatre, London. Tickets are often sold out especially for weekend shows and due to high demands, they tend to be on the high end side of things. So if you don’t want to miss it, I’d highly encourage that you plan well in advanced to avoid any disappointments.

(Credit: Photos are taken from Aladdin Musical Production)

 

How To Deal With Post-Holiday Blues

deathtostock_meticulous-09Hurray! It’s a wrapped and we survived the first week back at work in the new year.

It goes without saying that the first week of January is the most dreadful time of year. Not to mention, the first day back at work is the most depressing day ever.

After almost two weeks of holidays, copious amount of food and drinks, and practically living in pyjamas the whole time, even the most highly motivated and ambitious individuals often need to re-learn the art of getting back to work, how to re-engage the brain and be productive.

With that in mind, I thought I’d do a little write-up on tips that I always find useful when returning to work – every time after a holiday. Essentially these are tips on how I survived the week that had just gone.

  1. Block your diary – I often to do this before I switch on the out of office before I kicked off the holiday. If you have an assistant, tell him/her to not accept any meetings on the first day of your return. If you can’t avoid a total no-meeting day, at least block the first couple of hours for yourself. This way you have time to go through the things that you need to attend to, re-plan and re-prioritise your work accordingly.
  2. Set realistic expectations – It is after all your first day back at work. Expect to be slow and ease gently. Just like the engine of a car, your brain needs time to warm up especially after a few weeks of not being fully engaged with technical and complex matters.
  3. Tackle the easy tasks first – This is the complete opposite of what any productivity guru will tell you. It is often believed that you need to tackle the most difficult task of the day first thing. However, I always find getting the easy tasks out-of-the-way helps me to get back into the swing of things more effectively. It also helps to get all the admin/ mundane tasks done and dusted. These could be deleting those no-longer-relevant emails (I am looking at you Christmas Jumper Day or Bring Your Child to Work Day emails – which obviously are so yester-years), setting up periodic meetings with key stakeholders (e.g. monthly 1-2-1 with your boss/team etc), accepting meeting invites that have been sent to you or simply blocking your diary on days when you want to hit the gym at lunch time/ after work or for a date night with your partner. Even better, if you have already worked out your next holiday plans, go ahead and block those dates in your diary or your leave system. What better way to get back to work by thinking about your next holiday, which means you already have something to look forward to!
  4. Set time for breaks – Unless you have been writing a thesis during your holiday, chances are your brain is not used to being engaged continuously for a very long time. Break your tasks into smaller chunks and give yourself a break – top up the water bottle, have coffee breaks, walk to another colleague’s cubicle and exchange your holiday stories – not only you’re moving but also building relationships with your colleague).
  5. Leave on time – If your new year’s resolution is to have better work-life balance, then don’t kick off the year by staying at work longer than required (unless you are in a crisis, then you have to do what you have to do!).

Remember, we are humans and not robots after all. Applying one of these steps should help you get over the holiday blues and get you back into your regular routine – gently.

My Favourite Home Scent

It is often believed that the sense of smell is linked to our memories. I genuinely think this must be true. I am sure I am not the only one who have experienced a deja vu of either  transported back to a particular time or place a result of smelling something.

So today, I thought I’d share three of my favourites home scents – two of which have been re-purchased, including one which was shipped directly from the US. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is?

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Blanc from The White Company

The scent Blanc from The White Company is my all time favourite scent and the one that I have at home all year round. I often buy this in the diffuser form as I want my living area to be filled with this scent constantly . If candles or room spray is more of your thing, the range comes in those as well.

This scent has a very modern, clean and fresh feel to it which mainly comes from the combination of two main notes which are white geranium and juniper berry.

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Sloe Gin from The White Company

I recently ran out Blanc and while I was at The White Company I decided to give one of its Christmas scents a try. There are a variety to choose from their Christmas Collection – Winter, Mistletoe, Mulled Wine, Fir and Berry and Sloe Gin – but it was the Sloe Gin that made it into my shopping basket. These are all limited edition and exclusively available for the holiday season only which was the reason why I thought I should give it a try now, otherwise I will have to wait for another year!

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The Sloe Gin has a subtle fresh yet warm cozy scent from the mixture of succulent sloe berries, spicy juniper and juicy plum with a touch of coriander. I’ve had it for about a week or so now and I am loving it. Despite that it has a lot of spicy and berry notes in it, none of the scents are overpowering which means my home still smell fresh and clean but with a hint of warm and coziness thrown in.

Spiced Pumpkin from PF Candle Co

This is my perfect scent and ultimate love for the autumn and winter season. Stumbled upon while I was in New York City last year, this candle brings the holiday scent to a whole new level. The smell of ripe pumpkin, creamy butter and brown sugar topped with toasted cinnamon and nutmeg is such a classic Thanksgiving scent, which in my opinion marks the start of the holiday season and the countdown to Christmas! Unfortunately this brand is not widely available in the UK. I’ve seen some in Urban Outfitters but they don’t carry the full range. Thankfully PF Candle Co do ship directly to the UK (beware of shipping and custom duty costs – you’ve been warned!).

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So there you have it. My top three favourite home scents. I may switch things up in the new year, who knows…we shall see! I hope you are all having a relaxing Sunday and have a great week ahead. x

Bonus Post – Black Friday, Cyber Weekend Codes, Promotion and Sales

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If you have been following my blog you would notice that I hardly ever do a post on a weekday. But today is no normal day and while it’s not really celebrated in the UK, it’s a big holiday event in our neighbouring country across the Atlantic pond.

I am talking about Thanksgiving Day, which is a national holiday in the Canada and the US (although each country celebrates it on different days – 2nd Monday of October in Canada and the fourth Thursday of November in the US).

As a person who obtained her undergraduate degree from the US, Thanksgiving Day or Weekend will always have a special place in my heart. I mean, what’s not to love?

Firstly, it’s a four-day weekend. Secondly, the food spread – from turkey with the stuffing, trimmings and gravy, pumpkin pies to eggnog. And last but not least, Black Friday sales. My flatmates and I used to sacrifice our sleep for our annual ritual shopping trip to the outlet malls on Black Friday. Obviously, we were poor students and didn’t have a lot of money to spare, but we never fail to grab A LOT OF STUFF because the discounts were insanely good!!

Fast forward to the present, aren’t the digital age great and aren’t we lucky as we no longer have to leave our home (or sofa even) to participate in Black Friday sales extravaganza (or is it madness)? We surely have A LOT to be thankful for (pun intended) the world that is known as online shopping and discount codes.

With that in mind, I thought I’d do a round up of Black Friday, Cyber Weekend Codes, Promotion and Sales. I will try to keep the list updated as my inbox get bombarded with online codes.

Fashion

ASOS – 20% off everything; code GOGOGO

Zara – 20% off on selected items; from 24 Nov @ 23:00 to 25 Nov end of day

Mango – 20% off everything; all weekend; code BLACK

GAP – 40% off online; code FRIDAYGAP until 27 Nov

Anthropologie – 20% off until 28 Nov; code GIFT

Zakti – 20% off exclusive to members only; code ZBF20

LK Bennette – 20% everything; code BLACK20

Pure Collection – up to 20% off until 28 Nov; code UKEE1402

HOBBS – 20% off everything until 28 Nov

Monica Vinader – 30% selected items until 8am 29 Nov

Beauty and Skincare

The Body Shop – Online exclusive bundle; code BUNDLE while stocks last

NARS – 20% off until Monday 28 Nov; code GIVE&TAKE

Beauty Bay – up to 30% off selected items

Cult Beauty – £5 off when spend £50, code BLACK5; £15 off when spend £100, code BLACK15, £30 off when spend £150, code BLACK30; until 25 Nov

Perricone MD – up to 50% off selected items

Kiehl’s – 20% off with purchase of two products until 26 Nov; code BLACK20

Fabled – 20% off until 28 Nov; code VOU385908465

Home

Le Creuset – Up to 50% on selected items, while stocks last

India Jane – 20% off everything; code BF20

ecookshop – extra 15% off until Monday 28 Nov; code EXTRA15

Designer Guild – 20% off; code GIFT20

The White Company – 20% off until 28 Nov; code B901T

Department Stores

Harvey Nichols – exclusive to Rewards members and limited on 24 Nov only; 25% off Fashion and 10% off beauty online and instore

Liberty – exclusive to Liberty Loyalty members until 28 Nov, up to 20% off

Selfridges – 20% off and 10% off Beauty and Fragrance until Sunday 27 Nov; code SELFCCE

Happy shopping guys! And please do share what you managed to grab as I would love to see them all!