Thursday, January 19, 2017

Inspiration: The Kinfolk Home

"A house truly becomes a home when you fill it with people's feelings and stories," Hideki says."
- The Kinfolk Home, p.338

This is a book by the Kinfolk team headed by Nathan Williams (editor in chief), showing 35 homes all over the world that  exemplifies the Kinfolk look with its emphasis on "slow living". If you are familiar with the magazine, then you know what kind of images you will see here.

I will admit I haven't bought the mag, but have perused through some issues in our local bookstore and visit the website once in awhile. When I saw the sample images from this book, I knew I had to get it. (The price after the discount is almost the same as the mag, so there's that:D) I'm not really well-versed in interior design, but like everyone, there are some arrangements I just gravitate to. (Plus, I just looking at interiors of other people's houses.:D)

This book does not disappoint. Every image is truly inspiring and beautifully shot, with well-written essays discussing the families that live in each home and their design philosophy. The aesthetic might not be everyone's cup of tea, but you can't deny that the dwellings in this book are just a joy to look at.

Below are just some of my was really hard to narrow down, you guys!

My #1 favourite: Tok and Hiromi Kise's home in Osaka, Japan

Are you a Kinfolk fan?

Monday, January 16, 2017

You've been warned.

I'm a repeat offender when it comes to my clothes. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, then most of my outfits are ones you see over and over again over the years. Well, guys, since I've decluttered and got rid of a lot of stuff, I'm just letting you know that you will see repetition more so than ever. What can I say? There's something very fulfilling about just having stuff you really love...but maybe not too good when you're blogging about your outfits. Oh well.....

old Banana Republic sweatshirt I cut up  and Ugg Australia boots (seen here), dress I sewed (Kiomi dress pattern last seen here)

Do you have a certain piece of clothing you just wear over and over?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

All about that drape

This is the latest apparel I've sewed. I can honestly say I've never had anything like this is my wardrobe before, which has made this an instant favourite. Definitely something that sparks joy:)

Pattern: Vogue  by Lynn Mizono V1410
V1410 dress worn with Saks 5th ribbed turtleneck, no-name leggings, Timberland boots

The best thing about this dress: there are three lengths you can choose from. Here I am wearing it full-length...pretty cool, eh?



At Home Depot...natch!

And guys, just want to let you know...I was picked as PatternReview's Member in Focus!!! Weeeeeee! There are actually some stuff in here you guys might now know about me, so in case you're interested, here's the link. Thanks, PR!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Oh, the weather outside is frightful....

We've had an extreme cold weather alert here lately. These shots were literally taken in 5 seconds. In and out, my friends.
an old Nicole Miller cardigan and dress I sewed (using the Bantam pattern from the Merchant and Mills Workbook), no-name leggings, Adidas sneakers
I've always loved how this cardi drapes, and it's super comfy.
Windy too...sigh....
Their faces froze like that!

I hope it's warmer where you are!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Currently loving #33

Things I've been loving lately:)

1) The documentary Minimalism
My obsession over Marie Kondo's method of de-cluttering has led down the rabbit hole of the "less is more" movement, which eventually led me to this film (available on Netflix).

I highly recommend this documentary even to those who don't practice minimalism. It really makes you think about the whole capitalistic notion of buying all the time and more importantly, "compulsive buying". Do things really bring us joy?
image from
2) GOOP Clean Beauty
Even though this has Gwyneth in the cover, she actually only wrote the foreword. What the book is is a great guide to clean beauty, written by the editors of GOOP, many of whom are experts in the field (ie.Dr. Laura Lefkowitz, Karen Behnke). It not only deals with skin care and makeup products, but also how we take care of our bodies (what we eat, how much we sleep, etc.)

It has recipes for a detox diet, different stretches, discussion of toxic ingredients in beauty products, makeup and hair tips....just a fountain of information.  Can't recommend this enough!

3) That Winter, The Wind Blows
I tend to watch light Korean romantic comedies, but Rowena recommended I see this. Ehr....mah....gerd! Such a great series, you guys! Thank you as always, sunbae:)

 In terms of cinematography and acting, this ranks right up there for me with Misaeng! I cried like a baby in several scenes, and was on pins and needles at the end of every episode. So many memorable lines to boot. I seriously wish they made this into a 20-episode drama instead of 16.

Jo In Sung and Song Hye Kyo are seriously just beautiful people.
image from
This is another game changer for me when it comes to skin care. I haven't used a clay mask before, and Rowena mentioned this is a good product to try when I did my acne post. Luckily, this is pretty easy to find where I am so got it right away. I saw a big difference in my skin right after the first use, and I now use it about twice a week.
(Thanks again, Rowena!:))

What have you been loving lately?

Monday, January 2, 2017

This is how I do it.

I usually wear red for New Year (both for January 1st and the Chinese New Year) for good luck. Here's to an awesome 2017!
a dress I sewed awhile back using the Bettine dress pattern, Timberland boots

with my trusty North Face coat

How was your New year?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Life changing indeed

Japan has a cleaning ritual at the end of the year called ōsōji. As my last post for the year, I thought I would discuss a method that has totally changed the way I tidy up and thus welcome the new year with a clean and fresh state.

What am I talking about? The KonMari method.

I first heard about Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up through goop. I saw it in a lot of TV shows as well, with the author promoting the method. I then read on Vanessa's blog how she applied the KonMari method in her home. It was really inspiring. I thought, however, that I just didn't have the discipline to do what she did.

I did eventually get the book around March 2016, but it sat on my shelf. Then, in November, I had to help my mom clear her place. Boy...what a wake up call that was. My mom had a lot of stuff, and I mean A LOT! She kept everything, not only her stuff and my late dad's stuff, but all the memorabilia from our childhood (I have two sisters.). School notes, newsletters, theatre programs, old letters, report cards, photos....everything! It was such a challenge to clear out.

I then realized that our house needed to be de-cluttered as well. Even though we have no plans of moving, I needed to tidy up. I needed to get rid of stuff, but where to start? That's when I decided to finally crack open the book.

That is what the basic tenet of the KonMari method: keep only the things that spark joy. I will not go into details about the book, but basically, Marie Kondo states that one way to do de-clutter is to clear stuff up by category in one go (clothes, then books, then paper, then miscellany, then memorabilia) instead of room by room, and to physically touch each item and think whether it sparks joy or not. If not, then out it goes.

Not gonna was a lot of work especially with three young kids. Just doing the clothes part for my kids and I took about four days (had to re-fold the clothes as well the KonMari way). I've always been brutal with editing my closet, but we still ended up donating bags and bags of shoes and clothes. Got rid of a lot of stuff (DVDs, books, etc.), shredded up so many old receipts, bills and was exhausting, y'all, but in the end, it was such an uplifting and positive experience.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It just clicked for me, so much so that I had to get her second book Spark Joy as soon as I finished the first one.

Just for reference, here are some before and after pics I took. (I wish I took more "before" pics, because I really did see a tremendous change in many sections of the house.)

Before (my closet- not too bad bust still not as neat as I would like):

My main closet

My second "mini" closet 

After (daughter's shirt drawer)

Before (one kitchen cupboard):


After (tea cupboard)

 After (the boys' school items shelf)

NB: One thing I promised myself I wouldn't touch though, are my husband's stuff, and my kids' toys. I told them that when they are ready, then I can help them do the method.

For those of you interested, here's a video discussing the cleaning tradition in Japan:

Have you heard of the KonMari method?

Anyhoo, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy New Year!
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