Sunday Loves

I love Sunday. Sleeping in, brunch, staying in my pyjamas for as long as possible, curling up with a good book, listening to music, relaxing and rewinding…

Today, I’ve been loving: 

Priscilla Ahn – ‘Dream’

A few weeks ago, a friend recommended Pandora for finding music. Turned out that I had signed up for it a long time ago, well, long enough for me to forget my password. Now I can’t get enough of it – especially the Joshua Radin radio station, which I’ve been listening to almost every day. I love listening to it while catching up on the blogs I follow on Bloglovin and drinking a nice cup of tea. Through the Joshua Radin radio station, I discovered Priscilla Ahn and this song:

 

I’ve been listening to it on repeat lately. It’s hauntingly beautiful; the kind of song that makes you want to stop what you’re doing and close your eyes. Because that’s the best way to enjoy it.

A Beautiful Mess

I’ve been reading a lot of lifestyle/interior design/home decor/cooking blogs lately, and this is one of my favourites. I’ve also been loving Design Sponge and Decor 8. So much inspiration for my future home (whenever that may be…)! I think I need to start using Pinterest…

Blue Jasmine

blue_jasmine

Cate Blanchett. What more do I need to say?

The Wolf of Wall Street 

TheWolfofWallStreet

Three hours of debauchery. At one point in the film, I was disgusted by what seemed to be an ode to wealth and status, a not so subtle attempt to glorify greed and justify psychopathic behaviour. The film could have benefited from a tighter plot and more drawn out characters, but overall, I did quite enjoy the film. I do generally enjoy Wall Street films though. The acting was superb. (Oh, Leo.) And I didn’t even realise Margot Robbie was from the Neighbours! It was only after I looked at the cast carefully did I remember who she was… though my only recollection of her is in school uniform. 

Baking

I found a good cinnamon teacake recipe so I decided to try it out! The prep wasn’t too difficult, though I did find creaming the butter and sugar a little messy. As it was baking, the kitchen was enveloped with the warm aromas of cinnamon and butter. YUM. The cake was quite delicious indeed. Although I probably should have made it earlier in the day, as eating cake late at night is probably going to be very unforgiving… on my waistline. But that’s why I have a gym membership, right?

Australia

Happy ‘Straya Day!

What are your Sunday loves?

Advertisements

Recent reads: Crazy Rich Asians and Without Reservations

steinbachkwan

One of the best things about being on holiday is probably having ample time to tackle that to-read list. And indulge in some light reading. Joyce, Hemingway and Proust can wait, right?

1. Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan)

Yesterday I started and finished Kevin Kwan’s popular debut novel Crazy Rich Asians. It provides a satirical glimpse (and my, what a glimpse!) into the lives of three ultra wealthy Chinese families. In this world, haute couture, chauffeured Rolls Royces, private jets (equipped with state-of-the-art yoga studios) and impromptu getaways to private and secluded islands are part of the everyday. However, beneath the opulent displays of wealth and tradition, we see a world of hypocrisy, competition and vanity.

While laden with stereotypes of those within the Chinese diaspora, Crazy Rich Asians breaks many of the western stereotypes of Asian men and women. None of the characters are sidekicks – they are leaders in their own world, and play by their own game.

I thought this was quite an interesting read. Think Downton Abbey meets Baz Luhrmann. I thought of Downton Abbey when I read of the aristocratic lifestyles of the upper echelon of Chinese society; a hierarchal society that is driven and shaped by tradition, romance, ambition and desire. Maintenance of the status quo is of utmost importance, but only possible with treachery, gossip and dishonesty. At the same time, Crazy Rich Asians is vividly flamboyant in style and content. Its dazzling, over-the-top descriptions of the characters’ lifestyles borders on the unrealistic and it has the glitziness and exploding fireworks (both metaphorically and literally) of Luhrmann’s films.

2. Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman (Alice Steinbach)

I finished reading Without Reservations a few days ago. It has been on the to-read list for a couple of months now, ever since I did some research into good travel fiction/memoirs. Travel fiction/memoir is easily one of my favourite genres – if you don’t have the opportunity to travel right now, the next best thing is to travel vicariously through someone’s writing, right?

Without Reservations is a travelogue of Alice, a divorced fifty-something journalist who spends a few months travelling solo around western Europe. Although she is very much an ‘independent’ woman in our understanding of the word – having always made her own choices and financed her own lifestyle, she chooses to embark on a journey to discover her independent identity – one that is not defined by her role, or the people and things around her.  Alice seeks answers in Paris, Oxford, Florence and Venice, and along the way, falls in love, befriends people of all walks of life, says ‘YES’ to new opportunities and experiences, and develops a deeper understanding of herself.

I really enjoyed her writing. Maybe it’s because of her background as a journalist, but I felt that even though she was writing about herself, her experiences, and her reflections, her voice never came across as too strong or too self-absorbed. We get a good dose of her own musings, but also some simply but beautifully written descriptions of her surroundings and the people she encounters. I think I will reread this in a few years!

2014 Resolutions

I’ve been thinking long and hard about whether I should write a post on 2014 resolutions. The cynical me often finds New Year Resolutions to be lacking in any real meaning, and merely a ritual of self-gratification. I mean, we’ve all heard it before. We can make a change in our lives and set new goals any minute, hour, day or month of the year. Also, writing a checklist of vague or otherwise overly ambitious (read: borderline unachievable) goals and actually working towards these goals and accomplishing them are two completely different things. And here, the first thing that springs to mind (my mind, at least) is Bridget Jones’s Diary: ‘Resolution #1: Obviously, lose 20 pounds’. But how exactly do you plan  to lose the 20 pounds (9.07 kilos)?

Before you know it, summer is in two weeks and all you can think of is:

BJD - a little bit fat

But then I thought about it. There’s nothing wrong with the possibility of falling short of achieving your resolutions. It’s really more about the process and the experience of working towards those resolutions that counts. Fearing that sense of shame and disappointment come December isn’t a reason to not make resolutions. Because after all, contrary to what we often lead ourselves to believe, resolutions don’t have to be static. Over the course of the year, while we’re working towards the goals we had in mind, we might come to the realisation that increasing our level of fitness and eating healthily is more important than simply losing 9 kilos. Well, what I’m really trying to say, very inarticulately (oh dear, another Bridget Jones’s Diary reference…), is that New Year Resolutions can simply be taken as a guide as we strive towards whatever we believe will make us happier and more fulfilled individuals. They don’t have to be goals that fit neatly over 365 days, starting from the 1st of January. Instead, resolutions can be a way for us to better understand both our medium to long-term aspirations, and who we are.

So, in no particular order, my New Year ‘Resolutions’:

1. Make the most of my last year of university.

2. Add more recipes/methods/techniques to my cooking repertoire.

3. Maintain work/life/uni balance.

4. Incorporate running into exercise routine and train towards a 5k+ (timed) run. Also, continue to exercise regularly and follow a roughly 80/20 rule when it comes to food.

5. Be more open about new experiences, ideas, and people. Say YES more often!

6. Find beauty in the everyday.