One of my favourite countries in the world, to the point that it lists as one of the places I would move to for its effervescent culture and lifestyle. My first time in Italy was so long ago that I couldn't find pictures of it because while digital cameras has already existed, cloud storage did not. XD
My dad took us to Venice in the early 2000s, and I continued exploring the rest of the country and its many unique spots many years after. I love Italy so much; I have a gigantic tattoo of Italian gelato on my arm, and a sailboat representing the catamaran which I traversed Southern France and Italy in.
I always tell people that once you eat pasta in Italy, your standards will increase to heavenly heights and the only way to taste it again… is to go back! Sometimes, I dream of the pasta in Bologna because it's that special, being handmade by little old Italian ladies in the afternoons day after day, year after year. No new chef can replicate the energy that goes into food to taste like how local veterans make it!
Besides flavours, Italy is just so RICH in culture.
These are photos shot from more than a decade ago, hence the super short hair!
Buongiorno! Grazi mille!
The remnants of Italy's history linger proudly in the 21st century with its current music, architecture, people, and food. Italy was even the main port through which all coffee passed before being sent across the continent, first receiving beans that came from ancient Ethiopia and subsequently mixed with Indian Arabica.
Legends say that 18th-century Venice saw intellectuals and artists socialising in coffee houses whilst indulging in music and literature. Imagine what a time to be alive back then!
We can't travel back in time, but we can evoke historical atmospheres via taste and scent, like how Nespresso's Coffee Houses flavours hope to capture. Through complex flavours of their new limited edition coffee blends, each Nespresso Coffee Houses flavour transports us to two distinct moments in history where coffee culture has since thrived, paving the way to the coffee we enjoy today.
I was gifted the Caffè Venezia and Café İstanbul capsules to try, which you can get at their boutiques in Gardens Mall, 1 Utama, or online!
Caffè Venezia, recognizable from its golden baroque capsule design, is potent, complex and fruity with wild and floral notes. Lots of depth for someone who loves their coffee strong but not too intense!
This Inissia machine has been a godsend - it's been so quick to prepare coffee for guests the past few months, and I don't have to pop outside for a pick-me-up anymore!
The rich, generous foam naturally formed during the brewing process is called crema, and is a main characteristic of Nespresso coffee.
Apparently, that is my naughty face when I'm up to something, according to my photographer Mr. Valentine.
So terrible (not Wonderfruit, but ME!) cos i went for the fest in 2017 and took hundreds of super amazing pictures and never blogged about it... BAD fairy! I just find it so difficult to put aside time to edit pix + blog these years. I may spend a few hours editing pix, then only end up writing the post WEEKS later... or worst still, NEVER.
This time, i'm adamant a post will go up!!!
I first heard bout Wonderfruit in their debut year cos Tame Impala was performing, but it was during a period when i'd just started the company and we ran a lot of events, and December was our busiest. Going away in December was out of the question. Cue years later, our business and my scope of work has changed (phew!!). So i went to Wonderfruit in 2017 with Way and Marcus - we had the BEST time cos we all gave each other permission to just BE who we were. One day i'll write about EVERYTHING i've experienced in a book...
But today, it's gonna be about the most recent Wonderfruit i went to!
As i grow older, i tend to lean back from making plans ahead of time cos i don't know where i'll be or HOW i'll feel when the time comes. What if i suddenly feel like being somewhere / doing something else? So i didn't commit to Wonderfruit. Till Rahul confirmed he got us comp tix a mere month prior and i was like 'Jeahhhhh meant to beeeee'
The boutique camping / glamping spots sold out rather quickly in 2018, so we resorted to sharing a villa 15 minutes away with a bunch of Rahul's friends - Sophie, Sarah, Cher, Charme and Charlie - all based in diff SEA cities. I did have a time remembering their names cos the first vowels were similar.
Rahul and i were super chill on the 2nd night of the fest (the day we arrived) cos we were just really tired from work. All i wanted to do was eat dinner there, suss out the vibe and go home :p #feelold
Speaking of, when we were catching our flight from KL, i received a notification that it got delayed by 30 minutes and decided not to inform him (cos y'know, he might run late). In the end, he did... and was wondering why i wasn't all over him when he picked me up 30 mins before check-in shut (we actually still had a full hour left). Haha. #RahulOhRahul
Managed to catch Goldie, but i could feel i was forcing myself to sway to the music; cos i was too knackered!
Went home at 1am.
Next morn, i woke up at 9am, did some emails and WAS SO READEHHHHH
I bought this rainbow skirt 5 years ago and never wore it... knowing i loved it but never having the perfect occasion cos it was a wee bit transparent. Boots from Palladium, which i've worn at EDC Las Vegas, hiking thru Utah, and Burning Man.
Cher and i got lost together for a bit, and bumped into Moe whom i met at 2017 Wonderfruit!
My grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday on the eve of Deepavali this year. Following the lunar calender is how we know her birthday comes around every time -- when it's Deevali, it's her birthday! Aunt Gerry planned her massive birthday dinner well in advance by a year, so relatives could plan their flights in to KL just for it. Mama herself made her trek back to KL from London (as she does every year to avoid winter right up till Chinese New Year).
Grandkids from her youngest - Nick & i
A phrase translated from Mandarin in a letter Mama wrote to Uncle Mark's late parents some time in the 80s - in regards to her own three children she had with my late grandfather.
I regretfully have to admit that every year Melinda has her Fashion Suites event, i'm not around. This year, i was surprised to receive the invitation (again) and told her so: "Can't believe you still invite me after i don't turn up for yearS!!"
With the award-winning fashion designer herself. Read more about her *here*
Right: After 3 secs notice and deciding to make more effort
That morning, I picked Chelsia up (who was my +1) after a product shoot, and headed to the venerable W Hotels where the event was held.
As we were standing at the lifts on the parking floor, she gazed at the design on the facade displaying the lift floors. It looked like one of the symbols was melting, and Chels subsequently mentioned, "Why is the design like that? Did they make a mistake?"
And i retorted confidently, "The W doesn't make mistakes."
We got ourselves up to the Presidential Suite (which i discovered was a lot larger than expected, 3 hours later...) and were a little late but i can blame noone but myself and my commitments... i couldn't cut short a shoot i had* to complete before my next app! Edwin (who was hosting the event) spotted us wondering where to sit, and announced on the mic, "CHELSIA NG! And Joyce The Fairy! Please find your seats! There is some space at the front here!"
So much for an incognito entrance.
Heads down, eyes indignant; we made our way to the front lounge.
I'm not the most disciplined person when it comes to my facial skincare. After my skin dried the heck out at Burning Man and i contracted allergies due to the dust and heat (super painful and sad case), i couldn't wait to come home and get a facial -- not something i usually prioritize at all.
Every skin therapist and doctor i've seen has begged me to hydrate hydrate hydrate my skin more. I say yes, do it for a while, then nada. A couple of months ago, i went for a Cryo Facial at Astute Clinic, and the same thing happened - "Joyce, please hydrate your skin more! Wear masks every two days!"
Every two days? Damn... It just seems like a lot of effort!
I placed all the skin masks i have on my bathroom counter in plain sight so i'd be constantly reminded to put one on... at some point!
Every two days isn't realistic for me... but the mounting definition of fine lines pushed me TO JUST DO IT. I think i got a facial mask in every 3-5 days, and wanted to credit some of the organic ones i've been letting my skin drink in.
I've been using The Herb Farm moisturizer on my holidays, and when i feel like a more earthy scent (it seriously smells like a rich salad!). Actually, all their products i've tried so far smell amazing, you should just go sniff it some time at TNS Skinlab stores. Been gifting their serums to gfs who are into organic products for their birthdays!
The brand uses traditional herb knowledge with latest innovations and is made in New Zealand with 100% natural products. Of course, it has no parabens, SLS, GMO, artificial colours/fragrances, silicones, and all those nasties we read about.
It's a creamy face mask that smells sweet without being overpowering, and is applied overnight to deeply hydrate skin so you wake up to nourished skin.
🌿 Powerful natural extracts help to prevent moisture loss and provide collagen support as your skin repairs while you sleep
🌿 Borealine® Expert is scientifically proven to help minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
🌿 Peony extract is a powerful antioxidant and promotes repair and rejuvenation for soft, smooth skin
Trilogy is a fully certified natural brand, also from NZ, whose cult Rosehip Oil is sold every 20 seconds globally. They're the brand who introduced the world’s first rosehip oil skincare range in 2002.
The first product i used from them was the Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil. I'm BIG on cleansing oil to effectively glide off all the event make up (and layers of eyeshadow) without tugging at my skin with remover and cotton pads. For awhile, i stuck the cleansing oil at the back of my cupboard cos i had eyelash extensions and you can't get oil near those lashes. But now, i've given up on extensions (just too much trouble atm... and my natural ones have grown back nicely and i want them to stay!) so the cleansing oil is back in my shower.
Out of all the organic facial products i've had the pleasure of trying, this one below has been my absolute favourite. There was one night i wanted to test how many times i could apply this overnight mask to my skin cos it kept on absorbing so easily, and i counted 6 applications where my skin just DRANK IT ALL UP.
Can't tell you how plump it felt after...
Now, i don't just use it as an overnight cream, i even use it as a morning cream when i'm staying in having a no-make up day cos it smells like a spa >>>