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Wake Up Songs

Over the weekend, it occurred to me to switch my alarm clock tune to a song. Okay, I’ve got to admit, it’s not the sort of thing you want to think about on a weekend. But when you’re freelancing, the days get blurred sometimes.

So, anyway, once in a while, I hear music in my dream and actually wake up because of that. But, it isn’t the most reliable method, no?

I’ve been using Strum as the wake-up song on the iPhone for a few years. I like it, but why not get something I really like? Since it’s a song now, and not a not generic tune, I demand more from it. It’s got to put me in a good mood and maybe get me feeling a little inspired. While going through my iTunes library, I revisited these favourites. Not only do I like them for the first ten seconds of the songs, but also for the entirety.

 

Gotta love Ray LaMontagne’s vocals and the soulful sound.

Sung by the quiet Beatle, this song’s more relaxing vibe is a nice one for a less busy day.

This song comes from one of my favourite albums from Mraz. If the first minute doesn’t work, the gospel bit, the horns or the trombone solo would get you up and going. The song is just filled with positivity, it’ll clear the clouds in no time.

Enjoy!

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Maison & Objet Asia 2014

Though a fraction of the size of Maison & Objet in Paris, the exhibition held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore brought together an exciting range where standards were kept high. Here are some photos from Maison & Objet Asia 2014.

 

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Out and About in the Blue Mountains, Australia

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I’m glad to finally get around to sharing some of the photos I took at the Blue Mountains recently. Considering I live in a city, surrounded by buildings, finished and unfinished, and the din of the traffic all day (really), no trip anywhere is ever complete without making my way to wide open spaces. Of course, the Greater Blue Mountains Area, that’s all of 1.03 ha, is a World Unesco Heritage site, so it should not be missed.

After a morning of trekking down and up ultra-steep steps to Wentworth Falls and then down to Jamison Valley – I didn’t take much pictures because I was trying hard to keep myself from falling, stop my legs from shaking and keep up with our nimble-footed guide David – we then went up to the Scenic Railway, coined the steepest railway in the world. It was definitely steeper than the tram ride up to The Peak in Hong Kong.

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David, our guide, being nonchalantly photogenic while telling stories

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We had stayed overnight in the town of Katoomba, so the next day was spent leisurely checking out the area. With flowers in bloom everywhere, I couldn’t resist taking some shots of them. If only I knew what the many different types of flowers were called though.

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Some really nice folks here in this little place

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Hope in a Card

Hope in a Card

 

It’s been a month since typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines and 4 million people are still displaced. It is devastating and I truly cannot imagine how I would be if I were to lose my home. For us in sheltered Singapore, we should acknowledge how lucky we are geographically. Our worries when it comes to the weather are limited to the occasional storm, some pretty scary lightning and, yes, the flash flood. Which is why, in small or big ways, we should do our bit for our neighbours when such disasters strike.

A very good friend of mine is involved in a fundraising project for typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Philippines. She is one of 12 Singapore-based Filipino graphic designers who have contributed a postcard design for Hope in a Card, a postcard series inspired by the colours and cultures of the Philippines.

All proceeds will go to the rebuilding efforts in areas affected by typhoon Haiyan. You can get a set of 12 Christmas postcards for $12. Find out more about the Hope in a Card project on their Facebook page.

 

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Good Things #2

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Okay, I think battling a persistent cold warrants another love list.

1. Glimpsing Workspaces: When I look at the state of my desk, I comfort myself with Einstein’s quotable quote: If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign? I don’t know about you, but I like getting a peek into others’ workspaces. FvF is an excellent online magazine that gives a glimpse into people and their homes or working environments.

2. Books: Naturally, the desire to write was birthed from a deep love of reading. I’m sure there are many others who read at a faster speed than I do, but I’m happy to have reached a momentum of one book a week. Some of the fascinating reads lately include A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and currently Aleph by Paulo Coelho. I’m on a roll, so I’m looking to reread some old favourites, even the, um, entire Harry Potter series.

3. Great Editors: Having been a freelancer for a couple of years, I’m lucky to be working with great editors. In gratitude.

4. Screen Magic: Some time ago, I got to chat with actress Joan Chen, who’s in the HBO Asia series Serangoon Road, on the phone for the piece on SilverKris.com. I love a good story, be it on the big or small screen, and I’m enjoying the series so far. Also glad that I caught the new space thriller Gravity starring Sandra Bullock. It’s a frightening story, but I would still want to go to space given the opportunity.

5. Day One App: I used to journal regularly, but I’ve stopped for a number of years. With its clean user interface, the Day One app is a good space for journaling. And while I still grapple with going digital, there are a few benefits that I absolutely love: the search function, the iCloud syncing and the fact that I can actually read what I had written.

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