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styling & art direction SHINI PARK photography SHINI PARK & BRIAN LEAVY production BENJAMIN DEAMER project manager BRIAN LEAVY. in collaboration with BALLY

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Python bucket bag – Bally ‘Paula’

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“I love you a million cheese pizzas” is what I imagine my Valentine’s Day note would read, if I ever managed to live through this ‘holiday’ without wringing my eyeballs out. That message of course, represents everlasting, spell-binding, Disney-grade love. Because duh, pizza. Sprinkle in some love you a thousand glazed-donuts, tacos, cheese-fries…etc into the equation, and it means tonight we’re probably going to get it on. Alas, for the sake of professionalism we went for another line on this Valentine’s love-story we shot for Bally, but coincidentally one I hear every morning: Good morning, my love. (I however, cannot confirm whether my husband says this to his breakfast bowl or to me.)

Handwritten notes, before emails
patent iconic ‘B’ wallet BALLY

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Mens stripe wallet & USB Keychain – Bally

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Cherry-red accents and nude lips
clutch-bag BALLY

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Joking aside, this year my husband and I mark our tenth year together, and as much as we love to hate on the commercial holidays, when I look back it had really been a decade of very happy unValentine’s days, with nine Valentine’s days in the midst. The timing is perfect, even if the very notion of the ‘holiday’ induces a mini barf, and if there ever was a brand out there that I would work with to ‘celebrate’ the actual day, it’d be Bally. Nonpretentious, gluten-free, grown up sort of love. A modern relationship that is all about good design and functionality. And a few pink bags strewn around just for the fun of it all because you know, glazed-donuts. So here’s my Bally love story, produced and photog-assisted by the two favourite boys that make my life easier (Brian and Ben), and composed by yours truly.

Cotton shirt and suede skirt – Bally RTW

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Bikini-top – Victoria’s Secret. Straw bag – H&M Home. Paleo – Tallulah & Hope. Necklace – Monica Vinader

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La RÉsidence des Cascades
Soma Bay, Egypt | www.somabay.com/

“Well this is perfect”, I said – the minute we stepped into Soma Bay’s La Résidence des Cascades lobby – in my dad’s voice. Then I gave my apple-scented e-cigarette a long drag and tottered around patting my beer belly. You see, my dad’s a classic Korean middle-aged man who keeps an emergency golf club in his trunk – not for roadside mischief or helping the neighbour’s boy retrieve his basketball from under the car – but for practicing his downswings in the car park before the next meeting. One of the larger hotels on the Soma Bay strip, the Cascades, in its terracotta-orange walls and latticed-corridor goodness overlooks a vast 18-hole par-72 championship golf course. It’s dad heaven. Don’t ask me what those numbers mean because for the past fifteen years I’ve waved off golf lessons for club sandwiches.

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Top – Mango. Leather shorts – H&M. Bag – L.K.Bennett Rosamund. Watch - Larsson & Jennings. Rings – Monica Vinader.

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It’s a classic fly-and-flop destination, especially when drab-coloured midwinter skies of London is your origin and a fiery red sunset is the destination. For those who, like me, think ‘18-hole’ is something to do with a nice big donut, will probably choose to appreciate the abundant Egyptian sun, Red-by-name-but-very-blue Sea, and a rather vigorous (?) dip in the Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool. Also if you’re travelling with buddies like Carrie and Abi you may end up spending the whole afternoon horsing off in the pool with the entire hotel’s balconies as audience…

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool containing 830 m3 of sea water

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Great for: family fun, golfing, and overflowing breakfast buffet.

Park & Cube was a guest of Soma Bay, all views and opinions are my own.

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Hat - Hoss Intropia. Top – American Apparel. Floral shirt – Zara shirt worn as skirt.

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The power of two is strong, see Daft Punk. And twins. Need I say more? Actually, maybe I should explain. There’s something intriguing about putting two wardrobe-classics together and finding a refreshing way of wearing them, but then again, why not – salt and pepper were always BFFs. (Although I imagine wearing boyfriend jeans under skinnies would be the equivalent of soy sauce and vanilla sugar…) This was all inspired by Clarins’ best-selling Double Serum, which is my new obsession and one neat product that carries two-formulas-in-one, literally in a sense there are two separate cylinders inside the tube, delivering a combination of the two essentials for skin: water-based and oil based formulas. It’s a godsend for someone with dry skin, and chronic laziness, who usually needs both functions yet can barely wash her face. Apply this same technique to style and I think it does a good job in covering up the fact that I’ve run around the flat yelling I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR every morning since the turn of the year.
Here’s three simple ideas…

Photography: Mr Tripod

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the power of two | ONE
Double denim
This one’s a given, but for colder weathers I find that instead of denim shirts, pairing a denim jacket with jeans works equally well (if you’re adventurous, or a child of the 90’s, I suggest also wearing that denim shirt UNDER the jacket and see the world implode around you), just throw on a heavy coat on top.
Tip: Button all the way up to your neck for a more pulled-together, office look.

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the power of two | TWO
Double shirting
This is a bit of a cheat I’ve been using for a couple of years now and the hubby hates me for it, but it’s best for slightly warmer weather or days working from home – unbutton the top three buttons of an oversized/mens shirt and slip it on like a skirt, then finish off by tying the arms around your waist. I usually tuck the sleeves in for a clean shape.
Tip: Don’t forget to iron the skirt-shirt to avoid looking like a hobo.
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the power of two | three
Double knits
Made popular again in recent trends, this is actually an old trick in the book, just ask your mother. Works with any colour/knit texture combination, but minimal/classic designs generally tend to go better together. Layer over one shoulder or tie around the waist; try flecked grey wool with a chunky cream knit. (Sounds like ice-cream flavours and this makes me happy.)

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What’s your own go-to wardrobe classics and beauty essentials that work great in two’s when it comes to your style? (Don’t tell me it’s Tacos and Nachos because then I think I’ll be in love with you)

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Area rug – Ugg Australia. Top – Zara. Jeans – Topshop

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You know me: the perpetual homebody, king of pillow fort, dungeon dweller… I’d choose spending ten days socializing with my (half-wilting) cacti over one potential great night out in civilization, and I find eating a mysterious something scraped out of the far end of a freezer drawer equally rewarding as finding a hot-spot in town. I love being home – that’s the simple truth. It was what shaped a career into webdesign, and later, blogging – because it was all homework and as long as I had three-legged friends and some Skype credit, it was party 24/7.

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Loungewear bottoms – Ugg Australia

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Loungewear bottoms & sheepskin slippers – Ugg Australia

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I had fallen in love with this London flat on the first viewing with the estate agent, and despite the concrete floors/absolutely no storage space to speak of, I decided I wanted it before he even had a chance to bring up the occasional mouse problem. I then told him heck, cacti AND mice*, I’m going to be some kind of a socialite here and took the flat. For the ensuing four years it was a mission in homemaking, warming up the cold, grey floors with woolly, sheepskin bits – mostly from the Home department of UGG Australia (there goes my best-kept interiors secret) – and adding life to the walls by way of books and DVD, sorted by colour (which BTW makes no logical sense). Looking back it was really this gentle accumulation of things that made a clothing factory-conversion loft, a home.

Plaid melange pillow cover, sheepskin rug and knit pillow (opposite) – Ugg Australia

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It was with this realization that I decided to partner up with UGG Australia in sharing the warmest corners of my loft, and also some physical evidence as to how naps can genuinely be accidental (and totally avoidable – just play ‘floor is lava’ with the sheepskin-covered areas). For example, that grey rug happens to be my little Bermuda triangle, because apparently once you hit the sheepskin sack, you never go back (close cousin to once you snack, you never go back).

In collaboration with Ugg Australia. Photography: Mr Tripod & help from Koo
*ONE tiny mouse in the whole of four years, which basically rounds down to no mouse.

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Welcome to a fresh new year! This year I’ve decided not to make any half-hearted resolutions because I have recently come to terms with the fact that my memory lasts about a week these days and I simply will not remember. If I were a memory stick I’d be one of the ancient 128MB ones that barely holds an MP3 nowadays (Is this why the Let it Go song is STILL stuck in my head) that my agent says would only be good enough to give to her seven-year-old sister. Yeah, that’s me. So here’s five things I look forward to this year – five things I am quite certain will happen regardless of whether I remember it or not.

1/ More webdesign
Does my ‘search’ button look big in these jeans?

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I haven’t talked much about work here in 2014, in fact, I don’t think I actually ever explained what I do outside this blog other than professionally eat burritos. My only explanation to this is that throughout the past year I genuinely had no idea what I was, professionally. (I am, however, sure that I am some kind of a ninja turtle with the rate I’m going with pizzas) I scratched my head, shoulder, knees, and balls every time someone asked what I do for a living and took much pleasure in their discomfort. I started 2014 as a full-time blogger, charging at life atop a (borrowed) French bulldog with a fistful of pastel-coloured macarons, then around mid-year my design workload got heavier, and had to take an unintentional, unofficial hiatus from said blog. Today I start the first working day of 2015 as a web-designer-cum-blogger-cum-photographer-slash-I DON’T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE, but happy to know for a fact that I will be making more ‘read more’ buttons this year than last, and actually looking forward to it all. In the meantime, here’s a small selection of my work from 2014:

Shine by Three · Peony Lim · Soraya Bakhtiar · LeiVanKash · Harper & Harley
2/ Faraway Worlds
Cabin Crew, doors on automatic, cross-check and report

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Speaking of unofficial hiatus, I had momentarily ‘come back’ July of last year with a monthly series called Faraway Worlds, which had been one of many short-lived spurts of resuming the blogger title. This means, in 2015 you will be subject to some heavy backlog of travel that happened in a galaxy far far away, but also a much better-thought-out edit of some of the places that I guarantee you will be adding to your Places to Visit list in 2015. Ahh, don’t you love how sometimes shortcomings lead to good things… I wish I can say this about my aversion to shower. Here’s to another adventurous year in travel, and in the meantime, check out these destinations I had the absolute pleasure of visiting (and writing about) in 2014:

Pittsburgh · Seoul · Paris · Thailand (part 1 | 2) · Florence · Turkey · Berlin · Oxford
3/ Kiss my ass, Eczema
A knuckle duster solution I am dying to share
Dress – ASOS. Necklace – EFFRA

This, my friends, is the smug face of someone who has successfully kicked eczema in the ass in the past year. High five! Chest bump! Celebration snog! no? (please?) If I can sum up 2014 in terms of skin, it’d be beat it, eseon account of how my skin went from a violently itchy, weeping, bleeding mess to miraculously healthy and smooth. The best part is, I think I have a good solution (tested and tried) that I can share with those that suffer something similar, and nothing vague and impossible along the lines of ‘eat only free-range, gluten-free grass’. I look forward to talking more about this, and hopefully helping some of you kick it too. This is another topic I refused to discuss in depth here in the blog, but here are a few occasions in the past year for those who would like to read up on the back-story.

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4/ London re-dial
London calling, voicemail, redial

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Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be living in a city as dynamic as London, and occasionally dare to fantasize what life would be like had I lived in the Alps, sleeping at 7pm and milking goats at sunrise. (Hubby just muttered yeah, that’s not how it works from the other room) I love London for the tradition, diversity of culture and all the little quirks, like its complete inability to deal with snow like an adult, but my all-time-favourite has always been the food scene. I didn’t manage to share as many of my favourites last year, so I’m keen to change this. 2015 is a promising year for food and I can’t wait to explore the next hot thing here. Secretly I hope to see more Korean fusion cuisine in the horizon but if that doesn’t work I suppose I can take a thing of Kimchi to every restaurant and be happy with that.

See all London posts from 2014
5/ DIY: Tricks of the trade
No more, ‘How do you edit your photos?’ ‘I edit with wingardium leviosa‘s, I promise

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I’ve been selfish with what I know when it comes to photography or webdesign in the past year lifetime, keeping trade secrets under lock and key of my own big mouth (it’s actually a minor miracle), but I’m slowly coming to realize that sharing, really, is caring. And I care for my readers because there are some amazing blogs out there and you still make time to visit mine. You’re good peeps. Also, just because you have instructions for the iron-man suit doen’t mean you’ll know how to work it. *CACKLE*. Did I just compare myself to Iron Man? I did indeed, but I happen to beat eczema last year and my skin now resembles a freshly-ironed silk blouse so I think I very well deserve that title. You can call me an asshole now.

Here’s to another year full of hopes and sugary-sweet dreams, mistakes to learn from, and tremendous success. I wish you a very Happy New Year.