Backpacked and ready to go

Do you remember your first encounter with Moleskine? Do you remember your first Moleskine?

Maybe I have a strange love affair with stationary; with paper; with objects. Perhaps this also leads to my slightly unhealthy borderline hoarding status. But I remember exactly where I was the first time I had a true interaction with Moleskin – I was at my (then) workplace, speaking with a customer from Ethiopia (who, at that point was working for HDB, designing flats for ‘the masses’à la Singapore) , and he drew out a map of his country just to give me a better idea of where he came from, and how beautiful his country was.  Writing about this encounter now, it sounds a little bit creepier. Because he did say to contact him if I ever found myself in Ethiopia. But I also remember thinking, I’ll probably never meet anyone else from Ethiopia, how cool is this encounter.


If you haven’t had that first Moleskine encounter yet, all that may change now that Moleskine is rolling out a range of bags.

Starting late August, Moleskine is rolling out a line of slick bags islandwide – backpacks, totes and duffle options are available in colours such as black, steel blue, myrtle green and slate grey.

This bag series draws inspiration from the Moleskine notebooks – minimalistic, rounded corners and deceptively unassuming. There is also, hidden in the interior of each bag, a little label which reads, ” In case of loss, please return to: ___ “, just like their notebooks. Love this detail!!

If you’ve been looking around for a suitable work bag. One that is easy to carry around, looks professional and doesn’t break the bank *too* bad, this range is worth considering. Prices range from $148 to $279.

Personally, the Classic Tote Bag ($178) is something I’d definitely consider getting. It reminds me of my old tote that I used to carry EVERYWHERE. Before I spilled water in it and then it disintegrated ):  But the Classic Backpack ($239) looks sooo good to travel with. I’m contemplating planning a holiday around this bag. lol!

I’ve been using the Classic Backpack (lightly) the past 2-3 days. And I’m surprised by how well the material holds up. It’s soft but stiff/firm. It holds its shape very well even if there’s little inside. It stands on its base, and doesn’t tip over, which really impresses me a lot, honestly. I do notice that the backpack doesn’t quite sit so ergonomically on my shoulders. So I may have to adjust the straps a bit more to find the optimal length to fit more comfortably.

Other than that, I do hope that Moleskine expands the colour range to include colours such as Mushroom and Taupe, still professional, but slightly more adventurous colours.

Bag Packed and Set

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Just got back from Seoul and my family is already in talks about traveling somewhere this year-end! Thankfully we have a penchant for staying within the region, so the monster named ‘Jetlag’ doesn’t rear its ugly head too much. But regardless of the destination, I more likely than not to be equipped with a backpack. A tote is all dandy and good, but when you are lugging around all the typical travel essentials AND a DSLR and, sometimes, 1 litre of water. The feeling of a strap biting into the flesh on your shoulder is just not fun.


From my Seoul 2013 trip (above).

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I was quite intrigued to stumble across this High Sierra editorial while surfing yesterday. Firstly the concept of the bags “leaping off the pages” was brilliant. And as an SMU graduate, I can attest that looking like a million bucks whilst jumping is not a walk in the park. So good job model! *clap clap!

Especially in the shots where he’s carrying four bags, flying through the air and keeping a straight face. Well casted High Sierra.

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Looking at the designs, I can see myself owning a backpack (or two).

I also lament that backpacks didn’t look this cool while I was in school. But, High Sierra’s prices are away cool! These beauty retail for between $39 to $139. I remember crushing on my neighbor’s Mambo bag back in the day. I don’t even know who this girl was, but she’d sometimes alight at the same stop that I did and I’d walk (a distance) behind her and just crush on her bag. It had big buckles across the front and was a very sweet (can’t believe I’m using the word ‘sweet!) baby blue and pale yellow accent colours.

I recall saving up money to get one too, and I remember that process of saving up money took too long because my future bag came with a hefty price tag. Alas, that colourway was sold out, but I had a much more neutral blue and red combo which worked out well in any case.

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The more I look at these pictures, I feel compelled to look at them. And maybe pick up some tips (? :D)

Hahas, if my practice pictures turn out any good, I’ll post them up!

Stay tuned.

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Image credit:

2015 and an ’emerging local fashion scene’

_MG_9737_Singapore won year-long bragging rights at the announcement that we’ve clinched top spot on Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2015. It beat Namibia, Lithuania, Nicaragua, Ireland, Republic of Congo, Serbia, The Philippines, St Lucia and Morocco for pole position.

Personally, I would have awarded Namibia and Republic of Congo tied first positions. But that decision is highly likely clouded by my South Africa experiences. I love (South) Africa, and would love to explore the Botswana, Kenya and see silverback gorillas up close in the Republic of Congo. Photos from my most recent safari can be found here, here, here and here.


In any case, the announcement was made at Singapore’s own version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – 2am:dessertbar. Found out that 2am:dessertbar also has a dinner menu (am quite curious to try that).

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No surprises that Lonely Planet’s recommended ‘Life-changing Experience’ in Singapore involves food – hawker fare or celeb restaurant or latte art to tickle your fancy. They recommend starting the day ‘with crispy, sweet kaya toast’, which served as the centre-piece for the announcement.

On-hand were Janice Wong, owner of 2am:dessertbar and two other chefs/mixologists to demonstrate kaya interpreted different ways.


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Janice presented at deconstructed kaya dessert, which we also had a hand at attempting to plate as well, but more on that later. Components for this desert included pistachio crumble, meringue, gula melaka ice cream, coconut foam, dill, cake (?) and some form of thin wafer (?)


Above is Janice’s plated sample of the dessert. (Sorry it’s poorly lit)

After that, we kinda broke off to the assembly station to try our hands at plating.


In the process, half my side of the table got sprayed with coconut foam (on my new sweater too!!) I cried a little inside at the foam explosion, and cried a little more at the fact that no one extended their help.

But after cleaning up the mess, here’s my plate.

Hehs. More practice is obviously in order.


Slightly random as well, but I was very drawn to the textures and colours of the pandan pulp and pistachio crumble.

Wanted to bring the pandan pulp home with me. Not sure what I’d do with it. But it was such a beautiful shades of green.

_MG_9588 _MG_9589 _MG_9592We also got a chance to try freshly made, piping hot kaya, fresh from the stove.

Felt that the taste was too eggy for my liking. The smooth consistency and eggy flavour conjured up the impression of soft boiled eggs (another Singapore breakfast classic, in my opinion, and one which I do not EVER indulge in. Kinda hate the taste of egg, unless its scrambled and cooked thoroughly)

Call me weird, whatever. Werqing the weird!

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The last segment of the session was a cocktail presentation by Bitters & Love. However, as I had an appointment with my cousin, Jade from Time Taken To Make A Dress, I had to rush off and missed this!

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In any case, the Lonely Planet book also credited Singapore for its ’emerging fashion scene’ and I really wished they had dedicated precious page square footage to expand on this statement more. Alas, they don’t. But had they included a section, I sure hope that brands such as Hansel, Vice & Vanity, In Good Company, By Invite Only, Ling Wu are in the mix, and multi-label stores like Front Row, Actually, Soon Lee and Surrender make the cut too. They make my cut, at least.

A consolation was there there was a little bit of local fashion at the event too.


Seoul six

Six days in Seoul, Korea, in pictures. Although not immediately evident, we definitely ate our way through the capital. All pictures of Korean BBQ are omitted, obviously because we were too busy eating!!


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We could be as tall as giraffes



If you have a particular fondness for giraffes, this is right up your alley. Although not intentional, I guess I saw a lot of giraffes that day.

Some random facts about giraffes, 1) they have as many bones in their neck as do humans. 2) they clean their noses with their incredulously long tongues. 3) drinking water can be dangerous for them, not only because their heads are lowered and aren’t looking out for predators, but also because too much blood will rush to their head if they keep it down too long.  If you have any other giraffe facts, send them my way on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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