Style Musings

When I had my first charm, a camera, I didn’t know what my next charm will be. As mentioned in my post then, I want my future charm bracelet to be special so instead of buying charms in one go, I’m creating my charm bracelet one charm at a time.

A few months after my camera charm purchase, Pandora came out with the Spring Collection and it included Cherry Blossom charms! I was soooooo happy. It was the perfect charm to buy! At that time these charms came out, the Husband and I were preparing for our comeback to Seoul for the Spring Festival, where the city will be filled with Cherry Blossom trees in bloom.  

Why a Cherry Blossom flower?

I’m enamoured with Cherry Blossom flowers. I first saw them when we travelled to Seoul in 2011 and I fell inlove with its dainty beauty. Whenever I see Cherry Blossom flowers, all my Husband can hear me say is, “They’re sooooo pretty” with matching dreamy look (hahaha). I’m really charmed by them.

Cherry Blossoms signifies my love for Seoul and Korean culture. After a few years of learning about Korean culture and travelling to Seoul twice, the Husband and I feel a connection to the place and its culture. It’s not just a simple fascination. It’s something deep and wanting that we simply say that Seoul is our third home now.

Spring is my favourite season. This Cherry Blossom charm will remind me of our Romantic Spring wedding. This charm will remind me of the beautiful flowers we’ve seen during Floriades in Canberra. This will remind of all the Cherry Blossom flowers I’ve seen during Spring time. Most of all, this charm will always remind me of beginnings and hellos, which for me are happy moments of life.
Style Musings: Pandora's Cherry Blossom Charm

The nice thing about Pandora was that they came out with Cherry Blossom earrings and rings too. When I arrived at the store and saw the earrings, I can’t help but buy a pair. The flower comes in pale pink, although in these photos, they are somewhat white due to lighting at home.

Style Musings: Pandora's Cherry Blossom Charm

Since I don’t have charm bracelet yet, I used my two-toned necklace for the Cherry Blossom charm and wear it on my neck for now. 

Style Musings: Pandora's Cherry Blossom Charm
I love these Cherry Blossom charms. Simple, dainty and very significant. 
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Would you believe I haven’t transferred our Manila and Seoul photos to my computer? It’s taking me a while to get around to doing our post-travel tasks. Work is taking a lot of my time lately that some days I go home a little exhausted. Last week though I started seeing friends after work. What a joy it was to see friends again. It helps a lot in going back to “our normal”.

Yesterday, I spent an hour sorting out some of the stationery and knick knacks we got from our trip. These were all shared in my instagram (@ibyang) but I would also like to share it because it might be useful reference for some who will visit Manila and Seoul too.

As my love for stationery had been awakened, I kept an eye on stationery during our travel. Other than rekindling my childhood love for stationery, I’m now more appreciative of design and artwork. Maybe the Husband’s “artist fairy dust” is working on me. 

Here are the ones from Manila:

Stationery from Papemelroti. Yes, buhay pa ang Papemelroti! 🙂 They still produce the brown stationery they are known for but this time I found some Manila artwork on their paperie. I especially chose papers with Jeepney artwork. I also got a small Manila poster with “salawikain” written on it. I plan to frame this poster to put on display at home.

Stationery from Fully Booked. White pad paper with Kalesa and Sorbetes art. They’re colourful and reminiscent of life in Manila.  The little sticky notes with flowers are Japanese-inspired art designed in America. 

Coffee-themed calendar planners from our dear friend Agnes. The moment we saw these, we were so amused because it is so Us! 🙂 Grateful for friends who know we love our coffee.
Starbucks Planners gifted by friends Majo and Monet. Husband and I don’t use these kind of planners anymore but we appreciate these ones still because we can add them to our stationery collection and use them for our creative projects. We especially love the book magnets that came with them.
Important men in Philippine history immortalized in stamps. These are used stamps but curated for selling to stamp collectors like me. I plan to frame these in order to preserve them. We found them during our visit to the Ayala Museum.

 An “I Love Manila” fridge magnet. This was the last thing I bought before I got on our plane to Sydney. We were already boarding when I realised we haven’t bought a Manila fridge magnet so I went back out to the shops in NAIA 1 and bought this.

Here are the ones from Seoul:
Seoul is stationery haven! We found a lot of stores that sell gorgeous stationery and pretty little things.

Hanbok Card. One of the fanciest stationery I’ve owned. The design of the hanbok was embossed on the paper. 

 Paper and envelopes with dainty designs. It has my favourite art: dots, flowers and stripes.

 Note pads and Sticky Notes. The note pads came had Korean icons (palace, king, queen, N Seoul Tower) while the sticky notes had dainty-looking designs.

Stamp Stickers. I only bought a few. Two of them had Korean icons while the third one had Alice in Wonderland art.

Souvenirs from where we’ve been: a post card from N Seoul Tower, phone accessory from Hello Kitty Cafe (which we will convert into a fridge magnet), notebook from the Teddy Bear Museum and a pen from Mango Six Cafe (which will also be converted into a fridge magnet).

King and Queen Bookmark. Aren’t they the cutest? It also has an “I Love Korea” embossed on them. 

It was a fun hour sorting all thru the knick knacks we brought home. I can’t wait to use these pretty paper in creating our travel scrapbook. Ahhh but first, we need to sort out our photos. When will that be? I can’t say but I hope soon.

Have a great week ahead!

After travelling to Asia in a span of two years, most of my winter clothing these days seem to come from three brands: Uniqlo, Muji and H&M.  In 2011, I did massive shopping at H&M and Muji but this year, Uniqlo was where I found a lot of clothing pieces I liked as they have good quality material at reasonable prices. I’m especially thankful to discover their HEATTECH clothing which generates heat and provides insulation too. Their HEATTECH range includes shirts, leggings, socks, cardigans, beannies and scarves.

I chose the long sleeve shirts for my first HEATTECH purchases. These are base layer shirts perfect for layering during cold season. The clothing material is soft, comforting and fits nicely on the body. 

I used them when we travelled in Seoul where we experienced 4-11 degree Celsius temperatures. Where I would normally have four layers of clothing, I survived the cold with just three layers and even had to ditch the scarf at times.
The next time I come across Uniqlo‘s HEATTECH range, I will try their other pieces such as the cardigans and scarves.

By the way, Uniqlo will soon open their first branch in Australia by end of this year. I’m happy that we will finally have one here down under, however, it will be in Melbourne which is a state away from where I am (and no we’re not flying to Melbourne just so we can shop for Uniqlo stuff). But we’ll never know, right? We might have one here in Sydney too in the future.

My love for pretty stationery goes back to childhood when I’d collect and exchange colourful, and sometimes perfumed, paper with my playmates. The art of writing by hand and using lovely paper will never grow old. And I don’t think my love for well-crafted stationery will ever be lost even in this digital age. I remember conversations with the Husband when we need to write business mail and I’d sometimes ask, “Can I use stationery paper???”. And the Husband will laugh, amused at my absurdity and “kikay-ness“. 

I have stopped collecting stationery and I have stopped writing letters (but I still send post cards though). Emails, texts, twitter and direct messages are now the norm in my world. But oh how I feel happy whenever I see and use beautiful paper. I often visit lifestyle stores and stationery boutiques to lust over creatively-made stationery. Sometimes I come home with a small notepad to appease my longing. But rarely do I come home with a set because I don’t want to start collecting and create clutter at home

I think the universe took note of my paperie desires as two months ago, I received a lovely birthday gift in the guise of a box set of stationery (Thank you, Rache!)
Writing with Style

It was perfect! It came with little note cards, big cards, writing paper and envelopes in different sizes.

Writing with Style
Writing with Style
Writing with Style
Writing with Style
And it came in a pretty box too. 
Writing with Style
My good friend surely knows me well as the design of the stationery box set she gave is so Me! It has pinks, greens, dots and one of the drawings looked like a coffee cup.

Being gifted pretty stationery has certainly awaken my love for pretty paper. I have used a few of the cards from the box set and I really find joy in using them and writing on them. Makes me feel that the person receiving it will feel more loved by me.

Now that I have a pretty box (pictured above), I plan to fill that in with pretty stationery that I find in the future. Not meaning to collect but just having enough writing paper and cards that we can use for writing to loved ones.

It took me years to find hair stylists in Sydney that can cut my hair the way I want it. My hair need is simple: soft-layered hair and a bit thinned out.

When I moved here, the instinct was to find a Filipino stylist which I did. I found one or two salons in Sydney Metro but I was never satisfied. The last Filipino salon I went to did an average job but I was just so tired of stylists making me wait, “unpolitely” chatting me up and doing experiments with my hair just because I am a Filipino. So I vowed to never again go to a Filipino salon here.

I started another quest to finding a good stylist in 2010. I tried having my hair cut by a Chinese stylist and that didn’t work out. I had issues with how the stylist cut my hair. 

Then I searched online and the name of a Korean salon came up. Walked in Kim Sun Young Salon at Pitt Street, Sydney and met a pretty Korean lady that styled my hair the way I want it. Since then, she has become my official hair stylist.

When my stylist is not around, I have a secondary stylist who also cuts well and can blow dry my hair with use of her hands (yes, just her hands!) which results to me having straighter hair.

Another thing I appreciate when I go to Kim Sun Young is that they never ask you too much about getting hair treatments, hair colours or buy their products. My stylist once suggested I should have my hair coloured because I have white hair showing. But I told her I’m not yet ready to colour my hair and thoughtfully added that maybe in a year or so I’d have it coloured. She never asked me again.

A big bonus is that I feel at home at Kim Sun Young. If you’ve followed my blog entries, you probably know how much our life is influenced by Korean culture. When I visit the salon, I get to look at Korean magazines where I get to see photos of my favourite Korean celebrities. The staff all speak Korean (they are like me who migrated to Sydney) and I don’t mind. I can understand a few words they say and it’s like I’m part of a real life Kdrama. The best part is I get to talk to them about Korean stuff and they tell me about their life in Korea and in Sydney.

Finding a hair stylist or salon is like finding a gem. It should be a place where you know your hair (or nails, etc) will be safe and well-taken cared of. This is a big deal for me because I want my money’s worth and leave the salon smiling because I loved the results my hair cut experience.