Tag Archives: Christmas

Tivoli Christmas Market By Night

Tivoli is an amusement park in Copenhagen, and being the second oldest amusement park in the world, where it was opened in August 1843, this is definitely a place worth visiting. Tivoli is a fun place for both adults and children, where there are rides for all ages, and you can enjoy Denmark’s famous and delicious soft ice (soft ice cream), as well as other savory foods, while intaking the lovely view of the Tivoli Garden.

Tivoli entrance

I’ve never been to Tivoli during the winter season so when i found out they were having a Christmas market during December, i was more than thrilled to see it with my very own eyes. The entrance of Tivoli always amazes me and this time was no different, except it looked even more beautiful with it’s dreamy Christmas lights shining amidst the night. There were also some baby reindeers not long after we walked into Tivoli, which is a fun event for those with children and an opportunity for them to learn about animals. Or you can even stand in que and wait to take a photo with santa clause.

There were a lot of shops selling cute Christmas decorations, and some shops serving hot drinks, such as mulled wine, warm waffles with jam and chocolate sauce, and savory food, to fight off the cold weather. One of the best things about visiting Tivoli at night during Christmas, is just how magical the place turns into, with all the pretty lights shining everywhere.

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A few of my favorite spots at Tivoli was the Taj Mahal building lighting up with a beautiful white peacock at the front, the very fairy tale looking swings, and the one that really made me stand still in admiration was the tree that had these lovely red hearts hanging down.

I was also lucky enough to witness the water and light show, just as we were on our way to leave Tivoli, as it was near closing time. The music playing in symphony along with the water, while the lights changed to different colors, was such a beauty.

I will definitely be going back to Tivoli, just a matter of when.

Tivoli - Chinese Stage

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Photo source: all photos by me

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Top Things To Do In London

When it comes to traveling, i will definitely say i am a planner, where i will always have a rough idea of the things i want to see and do (i carry both a mental list and a written list, for the perfectionist that i am). And revisiting a place i been before such as a vibrant city like London, makes no exception either. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not those freaks who sticks to every single detail of a plan, and depending on my mood and the weather, i sometimes do enjoy those laid back moments where i just go with the flow, realizing the unknown is just as fun.

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My trip to London back in December didn’t involve too much planning as my friend that came with me was a laid back traveler so it was perfect for me, considering how many times i have been to London. But i definitely had a mental list of things to do with my friend and i’ve decided to compile a list of top things to do in London, in case you shall ever visit this lovely city. Hope you guys enjoy these tips.

Piccadilly Circus is definitely a place to visit in London. It’s in the center of London, and you really get a feel of the buzz and hype that this metropolitan city has to offer. There are loads of shops if you are into shopping, whether its high end or low end fashion, or restaurants and cafes to visit if you ever fancy a cup of coffee or experience a proper afternoon tea, the British style.

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One of the afternoon tea places that i really wanted to try was Fortnum & Mason, which i learned about from the fabulous and lovely British blogger, Milla. Although i didn’t get to try their afternoon tea, the shop itself was enough to impress me. The entire shop was filled with lovely packaging of their food and tea products everywhere, but displayed in moderation. The signature color of their products are in this lovely turquoise color, but i was also very much attracted to these purple tined Earl grey biscuits that i spotted minutes within walking in there, and of course i had to buy them. I ended up buying loads of their teas, such as the green tea flavored Elder flower tea, Earl Grey, and English breakfast. I wanted to try their macarons, being the macaron fan that i am, but i guess i was too overwhelmed by all the things inside Fortnum & Mason that i completely forgot to try some.

Ever since i spotted these alphabet mugs from other bloggers, which are available in Anthropologie, i made an immediately pit stop to their store in London. Lucky, i didn’t even have to buy it that day because my sweetest sister had already bought it for me as part of my Christmas gift, after she heard me talk about it for like ever and ever.

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An afternoon tea session is a must if you visit London, a city that is well known to serve the best scones ever. I decided to pay a visit at Sketch, which i’ve not tried before yet heard good reviews of it from other British bloggers. The entrance of Sketch was very mysterious, where you are guided through this dark hall upon entering the lobby.

The interior and ambiance inside was very relaxing and with a lot of wooden and green color incorporated into its design. One of the things that really got me attention was this giant chandelier that hung in the middle of the ceiling, where it had these wooden branches look alike branching out. My friends and i ordered two sets of the afternoon tea and we did not finish it. The thing with afternoon tea is that the food are bite sizes but the fullness slowly creeps up on you. The savory and sweet dishes were both delish but up to this day, i still haven’t tried an afternoon tea place that has blown me away. One thing for sure was that their sea salt caramel and pistachio flavored macarons were yummy!

Another interesting thing about Sketch is their wash room. I know, you would think what? Upon entering the washroom, you will see these individual oval shaped toilet cubicles. The  colorful neon ceiling also gave it a very out of space feel to it, and it definitely gave it a whole new meaning and experience for washrooms.

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It’s also great fun to experience London by night. The night time of the city with the beautiful lights lit up is a breath taking view for sure. Regent Street is an area that i would recommend visiting, where they always display these beautiful Christmas lights during the festive season. A night out with my girls was definitely on the list, and what better way to celebrate than going to Aqua at the Shard, and enjoying a glass of wine while admiring the night view from the 32nd floor. The Shard also claims to be the tallest building in  the EU (according to Wikipedia), which gives you  another reason to pop by this place.

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For those that are more on the arty side and like some entertainment, make sure to leave a day out to watch a musical. Cheap tickets can be purchased at ticketing booths in London as well, and i often go to the one in Leicester Square, near China Town. I remember watching Phantom of the Opera in London before and it was the best musical ever. Although no other musicals have topped Phantom of the Opera on my list, i decided to give Wicked a chance, and it didn’t disappoint. The music was great, where the costumes and stage settings were gorgeous. Due to the heavy rain fall and strong winds, my friend and i decided last minute to go One Canada Square bar (located at Canary Wharf) to enjoy some wine and cocktail before we called it a night. Since Canary Wharf is a central business district, it was no surprise that the entire bar was filled with men in business suits but since it was the closes bar to our home, it was the perfect spot. I would only recommend going to this bar if you are within this area, otherwise there is nothing special about it. Although we were served by a very friendly Italian waiter so that is a bonus. Good customer service is always appreciated!

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Last but no least, it’s also fun to visit museums to learn some history and better understand a place, from a different perspective. So a trip to the British Museum was arranged, and with its free admission fee and the sun shining, we headed out earlier that morning, in an attempt to make the most out of our last day in London.

If you are into markets, you should not miss out on Covent Garden. It’s a market that sells a lot of delicious food, desserts, art, clothes, and other nick nacks. I visit this market whenever i’m in London. One of my fave things to do is eating their Belgian waffles with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, as i sit in the center of the market and enjoy a bit of my people watching moment.

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securedownload-35Photo source: all photos by me

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A look back into 2013…

Time awaits for nobody and with that, 2 months passed by me in the blink of an eye since my last blog post. As we enter the second month of 2014, i thought it was about time to get back into blogging before my laziness got the best of me.

Looking back, 2013 was indeed a great year, filled with both good and bad times, a balance much needed in order to appreciate even the simplest of things in life. Great adventures took place such as discovering new eateries in the city, spending quality time with loved ones over family gatherings, catching up with friends over coffee by day, and cocktail by night, and spending some alone time by myself to do things i enjoy. Celebrations were in full swing with Chinese New Year, Mid Autumn festival, birthdays, and friends from across the globe coming to visit. Of course, a trip back home to Denmark to see my friends and family over Christmas and New Year, was the best and perfect way to end the year.

I am grateful for every moment shared with my nearest and dearest, as well as every single new friend i befriended, and new experiences that i encountered over the year. Here’s a quick glimpse into my 2013.

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My first experience of indulging in a box of macarons from Laduree in Hong Kong, as my BFF knew my love for these gems and gave them to me as a surprise. Trying on my new American Apparel nail polishes and kicking the new year in style with some glitter. As every year, there were gorgeous flower decorated at home to welcome the Chinese New Year. It was also another year of festive Chinese decorations and flowers seen everywhere in the city, and firecrackers could be heard from a distant in our village back in Shenzhen, China. A free heart shaped cookie gifted to me from a staff at Pret A Manger, upon my routine morning coffee run there, really touched my heart and it’s such small gestures that really gets to me. The perks of living in a small city like Hong Kong, are discovering new bars, such as the recent Lily & Bloom, in Lan Kwai Fong, which serves absolutely divine cocktails. The bartender was ever as friendly and surprised me with a cocktail that wasn’t on the menu, when i asked for what cocktails to recommend. My all time fave Japanese Pop singer, Namie Amuro, who i have adored since high school, was finally coming to Hong Kong for her ever first concert, for her 20th anniversary Asia Tour 2013. I was standing and dancing, and singing all the night long to her good old 90s songs, such as Body Feels Exit, Can you celebrate, Dont wanna cry, and many more.

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Audrey Hepburn fever in full swing after watching her movie, Sabrina, and spontaneously bought her book “How to be lovely”. The book  is an easy read and great way to look into the life of this stunning and iconic lady during her time. Furniture and home decor shopping is one of my fave past times and i was beyond excited when i spotted these wooden alphabets in the home section of Cotton On. I am still deciding what alphabet to get and in what color. One of my good old friend from Canada was in town, which offered the perfect opportunity to take her around the city, which we both grew up in. A visit to the Man Mo temple seemed like the ideal thing to do after brunch’ing in the area. It was truly fun to rediscover Hong Kong and explore around like a proper tourist. Mothers day was celebrated over steak for dinner and some lovely flowers to surprise her. Topshop had finally come to Hong Kong, where i received their goodie bag with a lipgloss, leaflet, and a magazine. Getting all dressed up in my LBD (little black dress) with cute ruffles and a red clutch, to meet some friends to try out this new Italian restaurant on a Saturday night.

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Getting into healthy mode and enjoying my morning hikes again, where my surroundings consist of  lovely flowers and a beautiful scenic view of Hong Kong. That very moment of reaching the top, and breathing in all the fresh air and having the sun beam on my face is priceless. One random trip to Starbucks for my cold lemonade and i met a complete stranger, whom i disguise as Mr. A here, happened to be from my home town, Denmark, and the rest was history. I arranged for a trip up to the peak with Mr. A, upon his request,  and it was an experience that was absolutely unforgettable and worthwhile. We had some delicious steak over red wine, where the night ended with this breath taking night view of Hong Kong, with all the sky scrapers lit up in unison from afar. Celebration for my birthday with close friends over a nice meal and great company, and a surprise of two mini birthday cakes, which just completed this special day of mine. One of my good friend from high school, being as thoughtful as she always is, got me a Tiffany jewelry bowl for my belated birthday. It’s a perfect storage space for my precious Tiffany necklace and bracelet. During the mid September month, along with the moon being fully rounded in shape, it was blatant that Mid Autumn festival was upon us. With my sister and her boyfriend in town, we decided to visit the local Mid Autumn Festival market in Causeway Bay. A market packed with people taking photos everywhere, we patiently savored the moment and enjoyed the sight  of beautiful lanterns designed in all sorts of form, such as dim sum, lotus flowers, Chinese goddesses, and etc. A weekend getaway from the busy city to Lamma island. The peaceful and scenic view of this island, which is only an hour away by boat, never fails to refresh my mind and soul.

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Stashing up on my fashion magazines to stay updated on the current fashion trends. Enjoying a quiet weekend on my own over brunch at this new restaurant i discovered, with my fave eggs benedicts and a cup of cappuccino.  I always think that “me time” are very vital and precious, and it’s a good time to reflect on myself. Lying in on a lazy weekend and catching up on my fave old American series, Sex and the City, is the best way to combat the cold winter season. Doing research at home for my up coming Europe trip with a friend, to London and my home town, Copenhagen. Started my health morning breakie at work again, where i have oatmeal topped with a lot of fruits and sunflower seeds. At the Christmas market in Tivoli in Copenhagen, where i was in awe by the sight of this tree filled with hearts and this Christmas tree behind it.

May this year bring everyone even more happy memories and fulfilling experiences to live by. Happy New Year and welcome to 2014!!!

Photo credits: all photos by me

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Christmas and road trip in Vancouver

While i know we are fast approaching the end of March and spring is just around the corner, i suddenly remembered that i haven’t finished uploading the photos of my Christmas in Vancouver. So why this post is terribly delayed, i thought it would be nice to show you all how my first every Christmas in Vancouver went.

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Christmas 2012 in Vancouver was filled with house parties with friends and families, where eating and drinking was non stop. While this is not as common in Hong Kong, due to the limited living space in most households, I was beyond thrilled to enjoy such a joyous holiday with so much love, joy, and laughter. The greatest thing was also getting to meet a lot of new people via BFF’s friends and families.

We went to BFF’s brother’s new flat for an early Christmas dinner and a giant Christmas tree covered in all silver decor was standing beautifully in the living room, and i could not take my eyes off it. Another detailing i really liked was this giant mirror with this white frame that was laying against the wall next to the Christmas tree. I’ve always dreamed of having a mirror like this in my future home.

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Over the weekend before Christmas, we decided to go on a road trip to the states for some shopping at the premium outlet.  BFF’s parents came along where her dad volunteered to drive us there. He warned us that it was a grueling 3 hours drive in the snowy weather, and with BFF’s rusty driving skills due to not driving for almost 4 years in Canada, we accepted his kind offer.

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As we drove on the high way, i noticed the spectacular view of these mountains that were covered in snow and an endless row of trees that stacked beautifully together. It was an absolutely breath taking view.

I have heard about Tim Horton’s cafe for the longest time and i have been meaning to try their coffee and pastries on this trip of mine. So when we dropped by a Tim Horton’s cafe for breakfast prior to our road trip, i quickly decided to get a hot latte and my fave cinnamon bun, which I must say, was a good kick start for the day.

IMG_8865Upon arriving to the premium outlet, my eyes could not stop looking from left to right and back to forth. All the well known designer brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, Burberry, Ralph Laure, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, and etc were confined together within the premium outlet, where they were stacked to each other from shop to shop. It was quite overwhelming as we only had around 3 hours to shop but we managed to stick to our schedule, and drove into the night as we headed back to Vancouver. One of my favorite purchase was my Kate spade iphone case and Michael Kors rose gold watch.

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After spending so much time with friends and families, my 2 BFFs and i decided we needed a girls night out with nobody but us three only.  We went to the Cactus Club cafe, which is situated in the English Bay. It has a nice wooden design both from the outside and the inside. I really like the earthy tones and contemporary style of the interior decor along with the dim lights. It’s a great place to chill with friends or with your other half.

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cactuscafeNow don’t even get me started on the cocktails.  Their cocktails tasted really fresh and BFF explained that it’s due to more access to fresh resources in Canada. Whereas in Hong Kong, i noticed that most of the cocktails  i tried are normally sweet. I started with a Flirtini, where it’s name was derived from the American series, Sex and the City. My second cocktail was the Cohiba, which was just as nice, and it had a really nice flavor of mixed berries to it, very refreshing. For main course, i ordered their creole steak and prawn in cajun spices, which was served with mashed potato and veggies. I wasn’t too impressed with the steak as it was more on the dry side.   

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Ms. C and I were also introduced to try Japa Dog, which is a Japanese style hot dog. I though that this was a pretty interesting concept and so we off we went to to find our Japa dogs. We ordered two flavors to share, the Kurobuta Terimayo and Oroshi. I absolutely loved the Kurobuta Terimayo with the teritaki sauce, it was delish! The Japanese staffs were also super friendly and helped us to take a photo with their Japa dog food stand.

We also managed go out on Christmas Eve for some lovely Japanese dinner, where we took it nice and easy. The sashimi served was really fresh and the sake was totally divine!

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securedownloadTowards the end of trip, we did some of the things that we hadn’t managed to do, such as exploring around BFF’s neighborhood in Coquitlam, as we seemed to never wake up in time during day time to see the area, thanks to the late chit chats til 5am! There was one night where a friend drove us around Coquitlam to track down Christmas lights and decorations on people’s houses because i’ve never seen this in my entire life, apart from the time when i saw it from the movie “Home Alone”. We did our last minute shopping in Robson Street and wandered around down town like a proper tourist, and kept looking at street names and maps for directions.

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As i had to catch an 11:30am flight to fly back to Hong Kong, my last day in Vancouver was not for long. BFF and Ms. C had already taken off to Toronto the day before to spend New Years Eve there, and so BFF’s dad had offered to give me a lift to the airport. It was a bittersweet good bye as i was not ready to leave Vancouver just yet. But i know that i will be back some day, hopefully in the  summer time.

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Have you ever spent Christmas in another country and what were your most memorable moments there?

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Day trip to Granville Island

As those that follow my blog will know, i went to Vancouver for my very first time in December, where i spent my Christmas there along with my two BFFs. I was beyond excited to celebrate such a festive holiday at my BFF’s home town, in a new surrounding and along with new experiences to remember by.

One of the must see places if you ever visit Vancouver is Granville Island. It’s a shopping district located in the False Greek and is one of the major tourist attractions. It’s also interesting to know that this much relaxed area was once an industrial and manufacturing area, and i always like to visit places that has a bit of history to it.

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So it was much to my delight when i found out that BFF had arranged for a chilled lunch for us and some of her friends at “the sand bar”, a restaurant that serves fresh and delicious seafood in Granville Island. Ms. C and i were just as delighted knowing we would get to eat delicious food as we were in meeting some new faces, and quickly dragged out lazy butts out of bed.

Upon arriving to the sand bar, we were greeted by a lovely view of Granville Island, and there was even a bit of sunshine to welcome us. The sand bar is a lovely restaurant with wooden interiors and tall windows that allows a great view while you eat away in great company. There were 2 floors and we decided to sit on the lower floor where we quickly ordered our meal. I slowly and surely savored my black cod served with rice and veggies, where the black cod was  sweet, juicy, and smooth in its texture. It was definitely one of the best meals i had throughout my entire trip.

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A walk in the Granville Island market was up next in our agenda as everyone were craving for a coffee fix. As this market was indoors, it was also the perfect way to stay out of the cold as the sun started setting in. Like a proper tourist, Ms. C and I wandered around the market where we found ourselves swarmed by endless stalls with people selling their local produces and goodies. The varieties of souvenirs to take home was endless, ranging from fresh fruits, chocolates, candies, pastries, maple syrup and maple syrup tea, to even rainbow colored lollipops with a quirky name like “suckers”. I have to confess, not the best of names for lollipops but it definitely caught my attention.

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The non food zone within the market did not fail to ignite my curiosity or admiration either. A quick browse through the flower stands where i stood and admired the gorgeous colors was all it took to make me smile from within. It’s these small things in life where we really need to hold onto that very moment and live it . The were also plenty of DIY stalls for those that are more into the arty stuff.  I could not stop but stand in amazement when i passed by this stall where this lady was selling and making these really cute hand made Christmas decorations.

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As the end of the day drew closer, we finished up getting our souvenirs, mostly food, and sat outside the benches to enjoy the view before biding farewell to Granville Island.

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Have you ever been to Granville Island? And what great adventures did you have there?

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Looking back at 2012…

As we enter the second week of 2013, I cannot help but think how fast the time is moving. It feels like only yesterday that I was still in beautiful Vancouver having a lovely Christmas holiday with friends.

If I had to sum up 2012, I would say I had a pretty fruitful year where I accomplished a few new years resolution that I had set out earlier in the year. One of my biggest accomplishments was joining Toastmasters, where I conquered my fear of public speaking. This opened doors for me to other public speaking opportunities, such as being the MC for my company’s annual dinner at the Four Seasons hotel. I also made 2012 my traveling year where I traveled to Beijing, Europe, and Canada. It was the best thing that i could had ever had done, with special and memorable moments that will always stay with me. Of course, there are also the smaller things but that means just as much to me, which I enjoyed throughout the year. Such moments that I truly appreciated were the quality times spent with friends and families, high tea’ing over hours of rambling with girlfriends, a trip to Paul Lafayet for my macaron fix, pampering myself with a new manicure or just simply buying myself a small gift to brighten my day.

Here is a sneak peak into my 2012, and i know 2013 will be just as good, or even better.

Jan-Feb

Beautiful flowers, kuamquat (tangerine) trees, and delicious Chinese treats were everywhere during Chinese New Year, where families gathered together to watch fireworks, as a way to welcome the year ahead. I had the opportunity to be the MC for my company’s annual dinner at the Four Seasons hotel,which was an unforgettable experience. Got spontaneous one day and decided to try a new Israeli nail polish brand, Laka. The numerous choices of colors lured me to their mini express manicure shop, where I purchased 3 lovely colors in green, pink, and lavender. Took BFF to the luxury Armani Aqua restaurant to celebrate her big 30, where it served a mixed fusion of Japanese and Italian food. It was a lovely and chilled night where we laughed non stop about anything. Finally went to a live jazz performance to see the talented English jazz singer, Clare Teal, who sang with such passion and lit up the entire room. I got to speak to her in person while she signed her latest album “Hey Ho” for me, and she is such a down to earth person.

Mar-May

Easter came before i knew it, and a short trip to Beijing with my BFF was arranged so we could visit our dearest Ms. C in Beijing to keep her company. We did all the things a tourist could do – ate their local Peking duck at the infamous “DaDong”, boat pedalling in the Summer Palace where we saw the sun set, and of course, went to the Forbidden City to admire their historical Chinese architecture. It was my first ever gift giveaway to celebrate my blog’s 3 years anniversary finally , where i presented a lovely Parisian themed calender, lip gloss and nail polish set. Reading mode was back on track and i bought 3 books to help kill time for those long train rides going home. Took mom and dad out for high tea at “The Parlor” on Mothers day for an relaxing afternoon and got her a lovely bouquet of red roses. My fave Japanese pop singer, Namie Amuro, had released a new album called Uncontrolled, and i bought it the minute i found it. The song “Love Story” is super good.

Jun - Aug

Light shopping spree for no particular reason, got some colorful flats and the SATC movie version DVDs. I practically lived on the SATC series during my studies in London and how i miss those days. Beautiful fireworks were up in the air at Victoria Harbour to celebrate the 1st of July, to commemorate the hand over date of Hong Kong from the UK to the Peoples Republic of China in 1997. My dearest BFF, Ms. C, came to Hong Kong where we all celebrated her birthday at a Japanese restaurant and enjoyed some delicious plume wine. A new scent, Hermès Jardin Sur le Toit was introduced into my new perfume collection, which added a nice and refreshing touch for the summer days.

Sep

Traveling mode made it a memorable summer, where i celebrated my big 30th birthday with my families back home in Copenhagen. I felt so blessed that the people i care and love for, were there with me on my special day. They prepared the traditional Danish birthday cake along with the Danish flags decorated on it, where it was enough to serve 25 people!!! Family trip to Europe included our home town, along with London and Paris, which proved to be the best family trip ever. Enjoyed a lot of Parisian macarons and pastries, gazed upon the “La Tour Eiffel” in admiration, revisited old places during my studies in London, such as China Town, London Eye, the shopping zone “oxford circus” and especially Primark, and feeling like a kid all over again in the M&M shop at Leicester Square. Caught up with friends after Euro trip and got treated to some lovely belated birthday drinks in Lan Kwai Fong, talking the night away and with a lot of will power to not get drunk, lol. My first every macaron making class was arranged by my BFF as part of my birthday present, where i failed terribly. But they still tasted good!

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October and November were busy months with families visiting. Took my brother and his family to go on the Ngong Ping 360 crystal cable car to go see the infamous Tian Tan Buddha, located at Lantau island in Hong Kong. The crystal cable car had a glass bottom floor, which allowed us to see everything below our feet as we crossed mountains and land. My younger cousin was in town for her 26th birthday, where we celebrated in style with Thai food and wine. Trips to Lan Kwai Fong with my cousin for our cocktail fixes was like a revisit back to the good old times when i used to be a regular there. A visit to Paul Lafeyet for my macaron craving after a bad day at work made everything all better, at least for that brief moment as i slowly savored an Earl Grey flavored macaron. Finally opened the new Gucci perfume i got as a birthday gift from my family and was filled with excitement as i always do when putting on a new scent. I had the honor of being the mc for my toastmasters club’s 3rd year anniversary dinner and was presented with the Brand Building Award, for my contribution to the club as a Vice President of PR.

Dec

Busily setting up the Christmas tree and gazing at beautiful Christmas ornaments as the count down for Christmas began. Christmas shopping spree was in full gear, where i bought gifts for families and friends. Laduree finally arrived to Hong Kong on Dec 1st, 2012, and the que was pure madness! I been told that people had to wait for 2 hours and i have yet to try their macarons, and that shall happen after the frenzy dies down.

My last minute trip to Vancouver to spend a hopefully white Christmas with my two BFFs. It was an unforgettable Christmas where i met such great people and enjoyed a lot of delicious food at Christmas house parties, did a road trip to the states for some outlet shopping, experienced my first ever Tim Horton’s latte, visited the Granville market which was filled with fresh produces, their local maple syrup, and beautiful Christmas decorations, and spent quality times with my BFFs where we would talk til 4 or 5 in the morning almost every night! The trip ended with a sad good bye but a bottle of ice wine and ice wine chocolate truffles that i purchased at the airport, was a sweet reminder for me to take home.

The Christmas month also had some good news that came along with it, one of my good old friend from high school was getting married to the love of her life, at the Repulse Bay resort. It was such a lovely and sweet night where i witnessed true love between 2 people, where i was overwhelmed by all the emotions that filled the room that night. Cute “Maison du chocolat” dark chocolates were gifted for guests to take home and mini sweet bites were presented after dinner and dessert. It was definitely a sweet and memorable way to say good bye to 2012!!!

photo7x1“Christmas in Vancouver, Canada – Dec 2012″

Looking back into 2012, i am truly blessed and will always cherish each and every moment that had moved my heart. It is sometimes the smaller things in life that we take for granted, which turns out to be the more important things. I hope that we will all remember to stop for a moment in our daily busy lives and remind yourself what is most important to you. With that said, I really look forward to a great 2013 and i’m sure it will be a great year and if not, i shall make sure of that. I want to say a big thank you to all of you bloggers for supporting my blog throughout all these years and it really means the world to me.

Wishing you all a happy and fabulous new year in 2013!!!!

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Christmas in Vancouver baby!!!

As I write this post, I am waiting patiently at gate 49 to board my 19:45 flight, to spend a hopefully white Christmas in Vancouver, Canada!!!! Yes, that is where i will be spending my very first Christmas ever in Canada so the secret is finally revealed, my lovely bloggers! I’m already super excited about reuniting with my 2 BFFs who will be waiting for me there!

I really wish for a white Christmas this year because I can’t remember the last one I had. And most importantly, it will be my first time in Canada so that will make it extra special. There are so many things that I am looking forward to already. Walking in the snow, sipping on gingerbread lattes in a cafe, spending cosy moments with friends over chocolates and wine in front of the fire place, a quick road trip to the states, girlie shopping time, picking up maple leaves (if im lucky), and embracing the nature such as walking my friend’s doggies around their home area, which is on top of a mountain.

I will be away from my blog for about 9 days but mean while I wish you all in advance, a very merry Christmas where it will be filled with joy, laughter, and love, with your families and friends. Keep warm and safe everyone wherever you are this Christmas!!!

Much love and warm hugs,

Cinz

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I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

Yes, it’s that time of the year again where i get all over excited about Christmas!!!! I normally get hyped up about setting up my Christmas tree and Christmas shopping for loved ones, and although it is stressful at times, just the smile and laughter i see on the faces of my families and friends makes it all worth while.  It’s also a time where it’s about  giving, sharing, loving, and having a good time with people we care for during this special holiday season. It’s a moment that marks the last month of a year where we reflect on the past and look forward to a brand new year ahead of us.

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I finally got around in doing the Christmas decor prep work at home and managed to set up the tree tonight. As i will be going away for a white Christmas this year, i have decided not to buy any new Christmas ornaments and just stick to the old ones i used before. As for where i’ll be spending Christmas this year? That’s a secret for now but if you follow me, i’m sure you’re bound to find out soon!!!   And here is my gorgeous mini Christmas tree!

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Hope you all have fun decorating your Christmas tree as well!!!

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Oh what a year it was, 2011…

2011 was definitely a memorable year for me in many ways, both good and bad. As always, i was busily consumed with numerous adventures and all sorts of celebrations with close friends and families, such as birthdays, holidays, friends visiting me, and of course, many events of delicious high tea’ing, dining, and dessert’ing.

Now while i do look forward to a fabulous 2012, i thought it would be good to start the year by reflecting back on what 2011 has given me, and what i have learned from all my experiences over the year. So here goes a quick recap of my 2011!!!

The year kicked off with a festive Chinese New year spending it with families in China. The celebrations in China are always over the top with the lovely flower decorations and fireworks that was heard from a distant in my parent’s village. We had the luxury of celebrating our company annual dinner at the sophisticated 1930′s Shanghai inspired, China Club, which is for members only. There was delicious and traditional Chinese food served, whilst people anxiously waited to see who would win the best 1930′s Shanghai costume of the night. Art jamming was in session to show some creativity with painting for BFF’s birthday! High tea’ing at the Four Seasons to start the year with my 3 lovely BFF,  fresh warm scones and Earl Grey tea kept me sane for those excruciating cold winter days. Got big fat bonus at work and had a big blow out at the YSL make up counter. Merci YSL, i love you!

I was going through a rough time with my relationship in the early months of 2011 and i was so grateful that i had my 2 BFF’s continuous support and for being there for me. Their countless times of happy hours and coffee breaks with me was definitely a mood booster, i love my girls!!! My brother and his entire family including my cute nephew and 2 nieces came to Hong Kong for a visit. It was a fun day at the amusement park, Ocean Park, packed with walking, witnessing sea animal in the under world, and trying rides with the kids. Discovering the new froyo shop Smiles, for froyo lovers like myself, definitely put a big smile on my face! They even have these cute pretzel sticks that’s covered in different flavors.  Finally bought the Elle Singapore issue as i was trying to be fashionably spontaneous one day, and i never looked back!

A series of celebration followed on with  Mother’s Day, my BFF in Canada came for a visit and we spoke like we never left each other while sipping over Cosmos, and i finally managed to watch the Kylie Minogue Aphrodite live concert!!!

May also marked the month where my relationship reached a turning point and went for the worst, i was no longer with the BF. Though the following months were and still is painful,  i have learned that  through lost and vulnerable moments, we discover who we are and what we want, and everything in life seems to have a whole new meaning to it. I see life and the small details that’s made up of it, very differently as opposed to 7 months ago, and i do believe that this is a valuable lesson gained. In a way, i am thankful for each and every experience that i have been through, no matter how hard it was, because it has made me the person that i am today.

But i learned to enjoy life again, in ways that i haven’t done in a while, i went biking with friends and just catching up for lost times, and everyone was very supportive and stood by me.  I don’t know what i would had done without them. Finally got around in picking the perfect photo for my lovely zebra print mirror photo frame. Yes, it’s Audrey Hepburn, she is absolutely stunning and her beauty takes my breath away!

Summer came before i knew it, and hiking trips with friends were scheduled. Lovely breath taking view at the peak and rewarded ourselves with dim sum for lunch. Shopping splurge was on full gear, bought summery floral dresses, vibrant colored make up, and the biggest gift of all, my iphone 4! As the saying goes, we lose some, we win some. Through my rough times during the break up, i had gotten to know one of my casual friend better and we are so much closer now. High tea’ing was in session at the Marco Polo Hotel on a lazy Saturday afternoon, sipping on English tea whilst laughing the afternoon away.

Healthy bike rides underneath the beaming sun and indulging myself with macarons from Paul Lafayet.  Organized one of my good old friend’s 30th big birthday bash at our friend’s recently opened Pizzeria. My birthday celebration over karaoke with close friends, singing the night away. My sweet sister all the way in London, got me a special gift, a Jo Malone perfume! I attended church for the first time and befriended a London bloke,  who is the wackiest person i’ve met. Cheap good local food, long night strolls and talks are mostly expected after our church meetings, and chatted the night away one time until sun rise. Simply most beautiful sight i’ve seen.

Traveling mode made it a memorable November, with a family weekend trip to Singapore and a one day trip to Macau with a friend.  Happy hours at The Peninsula Hotel inside the chic 1930′s Shanghai inspired “Salon de Ning” bar or as they call it “”Paris of the East”, listening to good old 80′s and 90′s music with delish and quite pricey cocktails. More dosage of high tea at “The Parlour” was much needed after a long day of shopping, and the mini green pistachio sponge cake was utterly divine.  Paid my respects to our ancestors at their graves, which was an emotional moment. Its been 2 years since my grandma passed away and i still miss her dearly. She is the funniest grandma you can ask for, she is just so cute in the smallest way, like how we used to arm wrestle for fun or i would comb her hair to beautify her, lol. But i know she is in a better place now.

Happy news was up in the air to end 2011 beautifully, my high school friend was getting wedded at the Sheraton Hotel.  The entire banquet was lovely done up with all these different tones of beautiful purple flowers. Absolutely a magical and unforgettable night! Prior to the wedding day, a crazy hens night took place  at the posh Armani Aqua with non stop alcohol and food!!! More delicious food with fairytale Christmas decorations displayed at the Aberdeen Marina Club made it an excellent company lunch party. Pre Christmas dinner with my BFF was fun times, admiring the view of Hong Kong at its finest moment. Super  excited upon receiving my very first Christmas card of the year from London, my heart just melted at the sight of the red glitter of the iconic London bus and post box.

Christmas times jam packed  with setting up my Christmas tree, gift shopping, and lots of eating.  I received a cute Prada teddy bear key chain for Christmas! More post – Christmas dinner with delicious Korean BBQ and Korean Hite beer while catching up with New York friends. Christmas Eve and Christmas day in Macau with a friend to watch the much anticipated  water show, “The House of Dancing Water”. The dance and acrobatic moves were impressive with beautiful costumes, and the stage setting really did wonders where it creates a water and non water based floor within minutes! Quick dinner at the Venetian food court followed by a night of chit chats in our hotel room, while nibbling on Belgian truffles and sipping on Portuguese Rose Wine, Mateus, into the morning hours. Juicy Beef burger and red wine at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel was the way we rolled to enjoy our lovely dinner on Christmas Day. Just got super lucky and witnessed a lovely musical water show outside the Wynn casino, a perfect ending to our Macau trip!

Christmas in Macau 2011

2011 was definitely a life learning and life changing year for me. I have learned a lot through my good times and bad times, and i feel like i have re-known myself in another light. I am so blessed to have such great friends and families that care for me, and showed their support when needed. I am more opened to opportunities now and try to seize every moment, where i take each day as it comes because we never know what tomorrow will bring.

And last but not least, i want to give a big shout out to all my wonderful bloggers out there, wherever you are, for following me over the past year. Your sweet comments, touching emails, and all of your support means a lot to me! It just puts a smile on my face when i see how this blog has blossomed, filled with lovely memories from you all. A big thank you to each and everyone of you! Here i am wishing you all a happy new year,  all the best to 2012!!!!

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Christmas – filled with joy and love

I can’t believe that Christmas has already come and gone but as with everything, there’s always an end to every start and a start to every end. With that said, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year is just around the corner so the celebrations are endless right now.

On boxing day…

While the days leading up to Christmas always tend be a bit crazy, I do enjoy all the fuss involved in it, such as fighting for my life in the crazy Christmas shopping crowd for those last minute gem finds/bargains, setting up the Christmas tree whilst humming to Mariah Carey’s  “All I want for Christmas is you” (I kid you not!), non stop gobbling down delicious but ohh so bad for you festive food, downing Christmas edition Chocolates, and of course, what better excuse than Christmas to enjoy non stop flow of wine and cocktails!!!

Christmas ornaments at Franc Franc

Mini glass Christmas trees, Franc Franc

Santa and snowman snow globes, Franc Franc

Christmas at Lanvin

Bottega Veneta Window Display (BV bag shaped candles)

I’m not sure what it is but I always find this excitement when I go hit the shopping malls to find special Christmas gifts to close friends and families. One of my favorite places to go Christmas shopping or just to get some indulgent dosage of eye candy, is Franc Franc. They have so many cute, interesting, and stylish things that you normally won’t find in the local shops around here.

First round of Christmas shopping

As expected, during the high festive peak seasons like now, i  have to fight the mad crowd just to squeeze in for a sniff  of the latest perfume imported from Paris, or to stare up close  in admiration at the beautiful Christmas ornaments and Santa snow globes that are neatly stacked on the shelves.

Sending off warm Christmas blessings to loved ones

To say Christmas shopping isn’t a lot of work is a lie, as all the shopping malls are packed with people either looking at things, or queuing to try something. I actually had to do my Christmas shopping three times on different days and on top of that, the crowd on the train ride home was chaotic, where everyone carried bags and bags of shopping goodies. But I always feel that it’s all worth it, especially when I see that big smile on the faces of my friends and families when they open their gifts, and it’s simply priceless. After all, Christmas is about giving and caring right?

Last batch of gifts for 2011!!!

Of course, i was also very blessed and received some fabulous gifts from my families and friends. My favorite was the Harajuku Lovers Christmas limited edition – Jingle G perfume, that my sweetest sister sent to me all the way from London. The doll looks utterly cute in the santa outfit and that girlie tied hair ribbon!

Harajuku Lovers Fragrance "Jingle G" (x'mas edition)

For this Christmas edition perfume, there’s also a red string hoop on her head so you can put her on the Christmas tree! How creative is that, eh? One of my friend was also super thoughtful and got me 2 lip balms from Kiehl’s as she knows i’ve got chapped lips all year round. She is such a darling!! There’s a night time  lip balm with cranberry flavor without color and a day time lip balm with a tint of this light brown/bronzey shimmery in it. So far it’s been helping my chappy lips! My friend from New York also got me a rose ring from Betsey Johnson, which doesn’t fit me as it’s too big!!! But i’ve come up with a brilliant idea and that is to use it for a necklace pendent;) Quite versatile piece of jewellery, i would say!

Jingle G on my Jingle tree, hehe

Kiehl's lip balms - super thoughtful gift for my chappy lips, hehe

I managed to meet up with a few close friends over some lovely dinner and it was definitely a great catch up! There was a mix between Vietnamese, Italian, and Korean, and they were all as yummy!!!

There was a new Italian restaurant named Manzo Italian Steak House  that my friend and i stumbled upon by accident and decided to give it a try. We ordered Carpaccio for starters and it was delicious. I ordered a Sirloin Steak for main course, which was really juicy and meaty. For wine, i decided to go for a New Zealand brand and it was just perfect, not too sweet and very smooth, and as always, i forgot the name of the wine, haha. I really should keep a note of the names of the wines that i try.

Christmas date with old friend, Manzo Italian Steak House

Our company Christmas party was held at Aberdeen Marina Club this year, and i have to say, i was impressed. The buffet lunch had a lot of varieties ranging from western grilled salmon steaks and parma ham with melon, to Asian dishes such as pad thai noodles, Vietnamese spring rolls, and sushi. There were a few team building games to end the party and we were all gifted Agnes b chocolates, where everyone left happily swinging it in their hands.
All in all, the moments leading up to Christmas and on Christmas day was a very joyous one filled with lots of love, and I feel so grateful that to have so many caring friends and loving family that are always there for me. This Christmas was truly a blessing and filled with many thoughtful gifts, delicious food, and special memories. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas as well!!!

Company Christmas Lunch, Aberdeen Marina Club

Gifts to take home - Agnes b chocolates

Christmas Decor at the lobby, Aberdeen Marina Club

Red nails for the holidays (alessandro international no. 206)

Christmas gift - giant rose ring (Betsey Johnson)

Festive Christmas cake treats at work

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