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.



Bag – Bally

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IFA Berlin with Samsung



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Announcing the newest member of the Club des Chefs



Michel Troisgras


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Davide Olandi


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Doina of The Golden Diamonds

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Davide Olandi, Michel Troisgras, Elena Arzak and Christopher Kostow



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And a fridge about the size of my first London flat.


Wearing: Bag – Bally. Top – Uniqlo. Jeans – James Jeans. Boots – Acne Jensen.

I will be the first to admit that I am exactly who they call a bad worker, someone who blames her tools for flaws in skill. I burn tea because the “kettle is old”, or, my scrambled eggs are on fire, because the stove just doesn’t… understand me. Also, I suck at blogging because my laptop is SO DAMN SLIPPERY. Yes, they call me the creative one. Lest we forget, the more you complain, the more you squirm to find a tool that will do your job better (or entirely for you). This particular ‘bad worker’ goes to IFA Berlin (trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances) and comes across a particular Samsung oven that won’t burn cookies to ash – an oven that gets you – and discovers features that will allow her to bake a perfect batch of peanut butter cookies, but also a sloppy lasagna on another shelf – all at the same time – and screams WHAT? NO WAY, SHUT THE FRIDGE DOOR. Now imagine, what a good worker brings to this equation – innovators and diligent thinkers. Like Michelin starred chefs, seven of whom Samsung have appointed into a superhero club (Club des Chefs) and borrowed the passion and expertise to produce a revolutionary new line of kitchen appliances (namely, the Chef Collection). Samsung took a couple of us out to Berlin to experience this first hand, which included a cooking demonstration in the Samsung Premium Lounge by four of the chefs themselves. The good workers bustled about, marrying cod with chorizo, negotiating temperature with the oven (the one that gets you). In the meantime, the bad worker blamed my fork for slow eating and resorted to shovelling in as much Michellin-blessed food with my hands. It was kitchen magic, a keen partnership of master and machine – finished with a fairy-dust sprinkle of crispy shiitake mushroom shreds.

A big thank-you to Samsung for a deliciously refreshing experience!





Will instagram for food, I kid you not


Jenny from the (Swiss) block (of cheese)






(All instagram-style additions in this post shot with the Samsung Galaxy Camera)









Military coat – Zara. Jeans – James Jeans. Shoes – Isabel Marant. Scarf – Highlands tartan scarf. White cashmere turtleneck – Uniqlo. Travel wallet – LV Mon Monogram; Thank you Jen for the shots of moi!

Last weekend my life turned a corner… correction, my crusade for a hyperglossed online representation of my life turned a corner. Berlin had won the Most Photogenic City as part of Samsung’s Life’s a Photo social campaign around the new Samsung Galaxy Camera, and I was part of 45 bloggers that were invited out in celebration. Guys, this camera changes nothing, and absolutely everything – I’m having a whole new instagramming experience with this. See, I’ll still pause a perfectly civil dinner to do Taichi moves over the food with an image-capturing device, but those photos will be crisp and juicy in colour. I’ll still look like a complete douche-baguette fondling my phone at the dinner table but this time I’ll be editing my photos instead of flipping between filters that make the chocolate dessert look like cold poop, or hot poop. I will still get pinched nerves on my shoulder thanks to weight in cameras (nothing replaces the Canon beast), but I’ll have agility with this beauty tucked in my sleeve. And get this, I will still overshare the mundane things of my life, but I may or may not use the 21x zoom to shoot the better looking food across the room because haven’t you heard, bragging about stuff that ain’t yours is the next level, yo. See – nothing, yet EVERYTHING.

On an unrelated note, and I’ve spoken about this before, there it was again – the odd sense of comfort when travelling with a bunch of bloggers where an eyebrow shrug towards a corner means outfit shots, now, and collectively tackling snow in four inch heels until we’re reduced to communicating in 140-character grunts, mostly using words like feet, hurt, hungry, cold, hotel. There were many, many bloggers/photographers/instagrammers (I’ve never seen that many MEN in a press trip) at this event and at the end of the day we were inevitably sat around a round table having to make small talk and seem normal. Of course, being bloggers and inherently introverts – we all kept our head dipped and noses in this amazing new apparatus, affixing clip-art party hats on photos of eachother using the editing software, silently laughing at jokes that was never heard past the salt & pepper shaker point on the table. The waitress thought we were in group-prayer for the entire evening. Best party ever, really.

Also, Most Photogenic City in the world? Discuss.

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Daytime tote’n: 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli satchel via Monnier Freres

Front/rear lights for my bicycle that I never realized I had – I swear this bag belonged to Mary Poppins
Cutler & Gross sunnies, window reflection sadly does not come with.
LC-A+ camera because I’m too cool for school, or too poor for the Canon EOS M.
3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli satchel in pine green, AKA our Christmas tree this year.
Urbanears in ‘do-not-disturb’ tomato-red, and best noise cancelling headphones.
Spare battery and memory card for the beast that bears the name of Canon + business cards for this enterprise.
Samsung Galaxy SIII – another one of my horcruxes.
House keys and oyster card, if I’m clumsy enough to lose this I should be put into jail.
Fashionary planner 2013 (also featured in first image) and assortment of pens + portable watercolour kit
Wallet from Chloé, red for ‘warning’ or ‘danger’, or would yellow wallet be a better reminder that I don’t have unlimited funds?
Tapestry pouch, stolen from mummy who had it since we lived in Austria in the late 80’s.
Leather gloves from ASOS with slits, for knuckle dusters, naturally.
Not pictured, but the main culprit for carpal tunnel and all known diseases, Canon 5D Mark II + lens

I carry my laptop if I feel particularly insane that day.
Beauty bag: YSL Rouge pur Couture lip stain (10), Estee Lauder lipstick (Lilac) & lipliner (in 03 Tawny), Valentino Valentino mini Eau de Parfum, bobby pins, Chanel bronzing compact

… and a compressed version of that for the evening: DVF Carolina lip bag via Monnier Freres

Stella McCartney Falabella zip pouch as a thin wallet alternative.
YSL travel compact, bought at the airport under pressure of ‘duty free’
DVF Carolina lip bag, bumping strangers in the tube with the lips and being awkwardly intimate.
YSL Touche Eclat for lightening touchups, perfect for under-eye baggage.
Samsung Galaxy SIII – another one of my horcrux.
Chanel ‘Laser’ lipgloss for the impromptu jedi battle, naturally.
Balenciaga Eau de Parfum purse spray (mini vial), also can be pepperspray, depending on situation.


Samsung Wave II, courtesy of Spreading Jam & Samsung

Shots from London Underground, LFW, home, home 2 (Warsaw), Freemasons’ Hall, Next HQ, airport, Topshop… etc

I think the reason I agreed to take part in the Samsung Now Project was predominantly the fact that the Wave II phone spoke Korean – what a novelty it was to be able to type in Korean to my friends (by friends I mean ramen bowls with eyes drawn on)…  later when I read the small print I noticed keywords like facebook, filters and competition… aych, them speedbumps are never visible at first glance. But alas, the only ‘speedbumps’ I let get in my way were my boobs while squeezing under the BFC camera at the PPQ show. For the past 2 months I’ve been putting the Canon to bed early and going out with the Wave II to snap some ‘Now‘ moments. Then I’d come home, jazz it up with a filter equivalent of rabid racoons (Cute in essence, BUT VISUALLY SO WRONG) and putting it up on their Facebook gallery.

I think I was also meant to let you know the submission was open to everyone and 50 winners would have their photo displayed in the Design Museum, and the top 25 were to win handsets… but I think there was some selective reading on my part.  No, this post is just severely delayed, you can see by the fact the amount of time passed for me to have caught shots from the air, from underground, from London, from Warsaw, from a fashion show, from a spaghettihouse… a week more and I would have managed to capture a shot from inside the British embassy in Warsaw. An arrest might’ve been the highlight of the week.

Unfortunately the competition is now closed, sorry :(
Also, bit of an irony that this Samsung Wave II post landed on top of the tsunami post, uncomfortable occasion to find a pun…