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in Personal Musings, Uncategorized

That Extremely Late Year Ender

When it comes to year ender posts, this has got to be one of the last that will come out. However, I still wanted to do it for reasons that are quite sentimental.

The past year was indeed something a lot of people would like to forget. I admit that there were some things that did leave me feel gutted despite being physically (and somehow even figuratively) detached from them. Like the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Alan Rickman as well as news of violence all over the world and of course, there’s politics – but I wouldn’t go into that anymore.

Despite all of those things, 2016 ended up being good year for me personally. It was a year that brought me a lot of good things. From my career to my relationships, it’s been pretty great and I’m nothing short of thankful.

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in Beauty & Fashion, Expat Life, KL What to Do, KL Where to Go, Uncategorized

Kuala Lumpur’s Perfect Zen Hideaway: EOS Wellness (Discount code inside!)

If you know me personally, you must have seen how stressed I have been the past couple of weeks.

Events, write-ups for news sites I work for, marketing work, some freelance work with the United Nations (which I finished today, yay!), diplomat’s wife duties, and there’s also The Binge. 😉  Of course, I’m not complaining. My career is on a pretty good roll, and I’ve never been this fit. Alvin has been constantly reminding me to slow down though since I’m quite overworked. He is kinda right.

My eye bags looked more like luggage and I’ve been experiencing some back pain despite my regular workouts. 😭  My brain is constantly on overdrive that sometimes I even dream of work! I truly needed a moment of relaxation as my husband suggested!

EOS Wellness invited me over just in time and I swear, I made the right choice to squeeze it into my already-packed schedule. A lot of times, we just need to hit the pause button and just relax. I needed a full on reboot and I got it that day in the couple of hours that I spent there.

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in Diplomatic Incidents, Personal Musings, Uncategorized

Expat Life: On Making Friends and the Struggle for Something of My Own

It’s always a lot harder to do this when you’re older, no? But let me back track a little.

When I first moved to KL with my husband, I would have to admit that while I was looking forward to our new adventure, I found myself feeling sad during the first few months. This is probably the first time I am ever talking about this. But I guess, it’s time.

I was in a different country with no friends, no job to keep me occupied, and nothing to do for the first few months except scour the internet for interior design inspirations and trying to nail down a ‘look’ for our new home. A job that I was even sharing with my husband who also has a passion for interior design and homeware. (A post on this later, I promise)

I won’t say I was homesick as I have always been very capable of adapting to a new place. I didn’t get the urge to hop on a plane back to Manila and I was hell bent on making it through whatever it was that I was feeling.

It’s the first few weeks or months where you have nothing to keep you busy that are the hardest. I was on my phone a lot – a lot more than usual – bugging my closest friends from home and egging them on to tell me about what’s been happening back home. I was in the mall a lot during office hours, window shopping by myself and thinking to myself – for the first time ever – that it would be nice to have a friend around.

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Carrera Y Carrera, Jewellery, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Starhill Gallery, Spanish,
in Expat Life, KL Shopping, Kuala Lumpur, Uncategorized

Art + Jewellery: Carrera Y Carrera’s Exquisite Pieces

 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I know a lot of you out there are on the hunt for the perfect gift for your long-time special someone and I think I have just the right suggestions.

I actually have this gift-giving philosophy that I just want to share since we’re on the topic of romantic gifts. Personally, I don’t believe in giving extravagant presents at the start of a new relationship. (That’s why I said ‘long-time’ special someone earlier)

Gifts, I believe, should get better in time because they symbolise all the work and effort you’ve been putting in your relationship. During the beginning, it’s always sunshine and rainbows but as the years go by and once you get married, you will definitely encounter challenges making life harder and being together a challenge.

A friend of mine, who has been married a long time, recently said something along the lines of “People nowadays gush over hardships after one year anniversaries. I want to hear what they have to say on their 15th.”

To me, gifts aren’t about the price tag as well. It’s about what you can afford without breaking the bank and veering away from your priority expenses as well as the meaning that it comes with. BUT for long-time couples who can afford to splurge or for those that are celebrating special milestones this year, I think my recent visit to the Carrera Y Carrera store in Starhill Gallery might be interesting.

I was invited to check out their current collections. The Spanish jewellery brand has been here in Malaysia for a while now providing beautiful, handmade pieces.

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Paris, Travel, France, Versailles, Chateau de Versailles, Marie Antoinette, Europe, 2015, Summer, Paris during summer, Summer Versailles,
in Uncategorized

Travel: Château de Versailles

We reserved the first half of our last day in France for a short trip to Château de Versailles. Seems fitting doesn’t it? Also, considering the itinerary my husband drew up for our Paris trip, it seemed better to venture out of the city on our last day.

I’ve always been fascinated by this place – even before the public’s whole Marie Antoinette obsession that followed the release of Sofia Coppola’s movie. Side note: Didn’t like the movie. It lacked character development. Great shots and soundtrack though. Also, Kirsten Dunst was perfect for the role.

There’s just something so intriguing about this palace. From its grandeur, the lavish lifestyle of its former inhabitants, and for it being the setting of their downfall as well. It actually makes you want to wish that the walls can talk.

To this day, the château remains to be a symbol of France’s absolute monarchy or what they call the ‘old regime’.

Paris, Travel, France, Versailles, Chateau de Versailles, Marie Antoinette, Europe, 2015, Summer, Paris during summer, Summer Versailles,

Getting there:

The easiest way is by taking the RER train (not the Metro) to the Versailles Rive Gauche station. From there, the palace is only a short walk. There will be maps all over the station.

Tickets:

It’s best to book your tickets online as lines outside the palace are horrendous. Especially if you’re visiting in the summer. We were lucky that it was starting to get cold during our visit so we didn’t end up sweating and burning under the sun while we waited to get inside, tickets in hand. We stood in line for about 15 minutes which isn’t so bad though. But of course, on warmer days, the wait will definitely be longer. A ticket that will take you through the palace and the gardens is at 15 Euros. This price also includes the audio guide. If you want to enter the Trianon estates, there will be extra fees.

The château

Located about 20 kilometres from Paris, Versailles used to be a sleepy village but nowadays, its a bit of a posh suburb. Louis XIII had a hunting lodge built in this area but it was later on expanded and renovated by the Kings that followed him: Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI.

Paris, Travel, France, Versailles, Chateau de Versailles, Marie Antoinette, Europe, 2015, Summer, Paris during summer, Summer Versailles,

Paris, Travel, France, Versailles, Chateau de Versailles, Marie Antoinette, Europe, 2015, Summer, Paris during summer, Summer Versailles,

Paris, Travel, France, Versailles, Chateau de Versailles, Marie Antoinette, Europe, 2015, Summer, Paris during summer, Summer Versailles,

Paris, Travel, France, Versailles, Chateau de Versailles, Marie Antoinette, Europe, 2015, Summer, Paris during summer, Summer Versailles,

The château has indeed come a long way from its stone and brick hunting lodge days. It’s the epitome of grandeur – with art and gold leafing in almost every corner, painted ceilings, intricate sculptures, and lavish furniture. It can be overwhelming.

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in Uncategorized

Travel: Paris Streets and Shops, Notre Dame Cathedral, Shakespeare & Co., Sacré Cœur, Montmartre (Paris Day 3)

One of the things I love about Paris is the abundance of interesting stores and cafés that can be found in its various streets and alleys. They’re like little surprises.

France, Travel, Paris, Europe, Holiday, Summer, Paris Streets, Paris Shops,

France, Travel, Paris, Europe, Holiday, Summer, Paris Streets, Paris Shops,

Caught window shopping by the husband. 😉

If you’re a fan of luxury bags, there are a LOT of stores selling pre-loved ones all over Paris. Lili Rose Luxury in Rue Dauphine actually offers pretty good deals. However, if you’re from Asia, I’d say the shops in Tokyo still offer better prices. 😉

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France, Travel, Paris, Europe, Holiday, Summer, Paris Streets, Paris Shops, River Seine,

France, Travel, Paris, Europe, Holiday, Summer, Paris Streets

France, Travel, Paris, Europe, Holiday, Summer, Paris Streets, Paris Shops, Paris Streets, Love Locks, Love Locks Paris, Pont des Artes,

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in Uncategorized

Travel: Paris Day 1 – Musée de l’Armée + Les Invalides + Napoleon Bonaparte Tomb + Eiffel Tower

Back to travel posts! Right after we arrived in Paris, my husband and I freshened up and went straight to exploring for a bit. The first stop was Musée d’Orsay.

And since it’s summer in Paris and it was about two in the afternoon, we found the longest line known to mankind.

Of course, my spirits weren’t dampened. We each have a Paris Pass! Surely, there’s a special line. Yes, there is! But it’s also equally long. *insert disappointed face emoji here 😒*

For those who haven’t heard of the Paris Pass, it’s your ticket to a lot of the attractions in Paris and includes a lot of perks and freebies too. Oh, you can also opt to get a train ticket with them that will give you unlimited Metro rides for the duration of your stay.

Some would say it’s kinda gimmicky but you actually save money and time by using it if you plan to go to a lot of museums and attractions. Since it’s the husband’s first time in Paris, we had a pretty tight itinerary so we could go to a lot of the ‘must-sees’.

Sadly, we had to skip Musée d’Orsay for this trip due to the crazy line. I really wanted to go show him my favourite Renoir which can be found in this museum. 🙁 Weird enough, we didn’t have the same problem with the Louvre. But I’ll talk about this on a different post.

We then moved on to Musée de l’Armée which is something we’re really excited about.

Almost Diplomatic - calorific - Diplomat’s Wife - Travel - Paris - Musée de l'Armée

France’s National Military Museum is located inside Les Invalides. A compound in the 7th Arrondissement that houses a couple of beautiful buildings that relate to the country’s rich military history. Aside from Musée de l’Armée, you can also find a couple of war monuments, a hospital and retirement home for war veterans, and even a former Church that houses Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb. We’ll get to that in a bit. 😉

 

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