If you too, growing up, lived under a hand-painted sign that read Work Hard, Play Hard (possibly pinned near a stack of extra-curricular maths problems and a ragged vocabulary pad, contents of which has magically wiped out over the ensuing years after high school graduation and replaced by ‘bae’ or ‘fleek’) then come in for a hug. I feel you. To be fair, for my mother it was more of an ‘advice’, a friendly guidance, what have you, to self-assess whether I have earned the right for that evening at the bowling club at age 15 and accidentally letting eleven missed calls from the house phone happen. That’s when you shit your pants a little and accept the fact that you will forever suck at doing your own taxes, even as an adult. Because the truth is, that equation doesn’t actually cancel out, not to a tiger mum, to whom Play should be with purpose, like a Sims activity that has a blue progress bar on top of your head, like chess (+1 Logic Skill!).

I had started this blog as an escape from my university work load, working hard on my assignments (albeit all last minute), and playing hard on this blog. For years I’d kept it separate, used an alias that helped distinguish ‘real life’ business with ‘blog’ business, and piped on about having no ads. Then from a certain point it became apparent that more and more emails were being addressed to ‘Shini’, and I was being compensated for my efforts. There was undeniably a blue progress bar above my head, and it was filling up. My point is, when you apply enough ‘Hard’ to the equation, Work becomes Play, and vice versa – all you have to remember is to breathe in the middle, because sometimes it does get tricky.

Someday, perhaps I too can become Mayor of Pleasantview and go to work in a helicopter if I continued to play hard.

Created for
Minions, and I dunno, Aladdin.
Brogues – Chanel. Journal & Journal coverShinola. Necklace – JetSet Candy. Lip Balm – Creme de la Mer.


I like assorting DESK ESSENTIALS (like this Shinola journal cover) where I can see and access them easily. Sometimes I look up and realise I’m working within a setup that resembles an Instagram flat-lay and chortle at the ridiculousness of this to-the-core blogger lifestyle. I then proceed to organizing the pens and pencils in order of height and colour, and realise it’s perhaps a bigger problem.




As much as I pipe on about pizza and burritos, there’s nothing better to soothe a congested mind than to immerse into PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, or simply taking the time to listen to your own BREATHING. Again, I recommend the 30-day yoga challenge for those chickenshits like me, who can’t commit to a whole year of gym membership.

iPad holder – Shinola. Dermaclear clay mask - Dr Jart. Bracelets – X Jewellery.


I say ‘Play’ because most of this ends up down the front of my shirt and I end up smearing paint all over my chesticulars and smearing them on a sketchbook and/or canvas. There may also mysteriously be some Jessica Simpson playing in the background and soap bubbles floating around. PLAYTIME.
Animal Egg cup – Liberty. Leather Pouch & Sketchbook – Shinola. Bracelet – X Jewellery. Watch – Shinola.




DIY floral laces: Fasten your shoes, Spring is a-coming!


What you’ll need
Lace-up shoes of any sort – sandals, trainers, ankle boots; patterned bias binding (mine’s from Liberty) OR a long scrap floral fabric (re-purpose an old scarf/PJs or buy new from Liberty) OR classic ribbons, hair pin, scissors


Pull out and the original laces from shoes


Use the laces to measure out the right length from the new fabric.


Cut 1.5inches (or 4cm) wide, and then cut again lengthwise in half – voilà, you have a pair of laces.


Using a hairpin (thinner the better!), slip through a small section of the end and use that to guide the laces through the eyelets.


Weave in the laces zig-zag as you would normally do – with some shoes you’ll find that lacing while wearing them on your feet will make the task easier.


Et voila! And more ideas…


Black heels – Zara. Red heels – Kurt Geiger Magdalena. Fabric & bias binding – Liberty. Photographer: ASSHOLE TRIPOD.

This is an age-old trick in the book but since 1) we’re all in a rut of some sort and 2) it’s clear that Spring is using Apple iOS6 Maps to find Europe and will probably take a cab from Africa around June I thought it might be fun to distract ourselves otherwise. If you’re like me, you’ll remember the joy of yanking out dirty laces from your trainers for a pair of spankin’ clean ones to realize you didn’t actually know how to lace them back in.  Once I got my head around it (at an embarrassing age, I think it was), no strip-looking thing in the house was to survive without having gone through some dirty eyelets on my Adidas originals: broken earphones, retired necklaces, some twines that may or may not have held the mackerel in the kitchen, ethernet cable (back when I knew not the value of being connected to the wall)… let’s just say I’m glad I met my husband in highschool because otherwise I’d now be captain of Weirdo-train until 35.

A few tips:

  • For sandals narrower strips (with edges fraying) tend to look better, while for trainers, wider laces give a more ‘plump’ look. If you have another fabric, weave in two, or three different patterend/textured (think lace trimmings and bobble fringes!) laces into the same shoe for even more full-on effect – Try out the lattice or checkerboard weave if you dare!
  • Cut longer than the original lace so you’ll have extra length to wrap around the ankles a la Alaïa.

Have fun!