Monthly Roundup for October, 2018

The next few months for me are extremely deadline driven. I basically eat, work and sleep, with a little bit of a break on Sundays and Monday afternoons. Currently, I’m wrapping up projects from the previous year, while simultaneously working on new ones. It’s now gotten to a point where I’m having trouble keeping track of all my notes from each project, and I have papers flapping everywhere at work and at home. My solution for now is that I just put everything in one notebook, and use dividers to demarcate between each project.

I don’t know about you, but I never use up an entire notebook from start to finish with just one subject, so this method is a good way for me to get maximum mileage out of one notebook. Plus, the tabs are removable, so I just move them further back if I need more pages for a particular topic.  Such a simple solution, but I’m not quite sure why it took me so long to figure it out!

Another noteworthy mention for October is that I’ve also started receiving paper magazine subscriptions again. I had forgotten how luxurious it feels to page through the pages of a magazine. (Somehow swiping pages through an iPad screen doesn’t quite feel the same). Currently, I have subscriptions to  Monocle and The New Yorker. Monocle is a monthly issue, while The New Yorker is a weekly issue. It feels so decadent to read them at a quiet coffee shop on Sundays.

One of my absolute favorite moments of this month was seeing “A Star is Born.”  Quite honestly, I went for Bradley Cooper, but I ended up being absolutely awestruck by Lady Gaga.  I bought the soundtrack off of iTunes as soon as I left the theatre, and have been listening to it on repeat since.

But in addition to being enthralled by the music, what also resonated with me was the underlying messages of the movie; your accomplishments in life depend on your own hard work and dedication, but also by the types of people that you choose to surround yourself with. Those people can contribute and support your ascent, or send your hurtling to your descent.  At the end of the day, you hope that the person that you care about the most sees you, understands you, and admires you for the person that you are, and for whatever your contribution is to the world.

Enjoy!

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Monthly Roundup for September 2018

The start of September was marked by torrential downpours~ afterwards, it seems like all of the city has been washed shiny and clean again. I think I appreciate the clear (and slightly) cooler nights even more after a few hours of lashing rain.

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Monthly Roundup for May 2018

There is only one word that can be used to describe May this year:  Frühjahrsmüdigkeit, which is German for “spring lethargy.”  It’s the season where tasks seem to drag on and on… with no conclusion.  May is also the time of year to file taxes in Taiwan, so that adds to the general feeling gloom and doom.

  1. Currently, I’m generally behind in everything, including blog posts, so this cartoon from the New Yorker seems very appropriate, to describe the current state of affairs:

Cartoon from The New Yorker

2. Although, I’m proud to report that I pulled it together this weekend and managed a spot of spring cleaning.  I sort and put away my winter clothes, set aside sweaters and scarves for dry cleaning, and got out my summer clothes. I also rounded up all my skincare and makeup empties and took them to the trash bin downstairs.

Some of the products that I’ve repurchased over and over again are: the primer from Sofina (Primavista Ange) It’s lightweight, absorbs quickly, and has SPF 20. I also love the body gel from Curel for the same reasons. I’ve also gone through two bottles of Dior foundation(the Forever and the Star) ~ which I find that have good, medium coverage, and the ability to withstand the brutal humidity of Taiwan’s summer season.  My favorite perfume, Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom also deserves a shout out. I discovered this perfume about 12 years ago … (I literally followed my nose to the best smelling perfume counter) and it’s been my signature scent since then.  Products that are new to my repertoire are the morning and night masks (not shown). I think I am definitely more of a morning mask person. I keep these in my fridge during the summer, and I put one on while I’m making coffee.  I won’t be re-purchasing the night masks, because this particular formulation from Saborino has lavender in it, which I don’t enjoy. Plus, nighttime is the chance for me to use my other sheet masks, so adding another kind of the mix seems to be extraneous.

3. Lastly, it’s that time of year we have to run the air conditioning almost 24/7~ which translates to ginormous electricity bills at the end of the month.  So I’m thinking of all sorts of ways to maximize my time away from home to avoid turning mine on until the absolute last minute… I had success at this bookstore/cafe, around 5pm. In addition to a delicious white chocolate matcha latte, I also finished editing a paper.  Definitely a win-win situation. 🙂

Well, that’s it for May. Hopefully my Frühjahrsmüdigkeit will pass soon, and I can get back to regularly scheduled programming.  I’ve got lots of ideas for posts in the works, so please check back soon!

Enjoy!

 

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Monthly Roundup for January ~ February 2018

The last few months of 2018 can only be described as a tumult.  I lost my grandmother this past December.  She was a feisty, strong-willed woman, with a quick laugh, and was actively present in my everyday life.  When I first came back to Taiwan, before college, and afterwards to work, I would stay at her house, and we would spend hours together cooking, watching TV and chatting.  I think the reason why my conversational Chinese improved so rapidly over the years was because I always had an enthusiastic grandmother to chat with.  (My parents always found it a little amusing that she also picked up my speech patterns in her everyday speech, such as “uh-huh” and “ok,” “yeah” and “天啊” tian-ah~ a Mandarin version of, “oh my!”)

Until a year ago or so, she always used to say to me “I feel like a young person in an old person’s body.” She loved doing what she referred to as “young people’s activities,” such as going to Starbucks and playing Angry Birds and Fruit Slice on her iPad.  As her only granddaughter, I was indulged and protected by her love,  and this is something I will remember and carry with me for the rest of my life.  I’m not sure how I will get used to not having her around, but I am trying my best.

I had originally planned a trip to Melbourne for this winter, and I almost didn’t go. But my mom and dear friend Peter convinced me that a change of scene would do me good. Aside from a few wobbly moments during the trip~ one was while shopping and realizing I didn’t have to bring back a present back for my grandmother, and one was after arriving back in Taipei, when I absentmindedly dialed her number while waiting for my luggage at baggage claim, for the most part, I really enjoyed the trip; it really helped to be in a completely different environment, frame of mind and pace of life.

The last time I was in Melbourne was 10 years ago, and the city has changed so much since then. This post will highlight 10 of my favorite moments from the trip, in no particular order, just as they pop into my head. In addition, I will write a “Hello Melbourne!” series,  which will be more organized, and similar to my other travel posts (Hello Tokyo! , Hello Seoul! and  Hello Hong Kong!)

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Monthly Roundup for December 2017. See you next year!

As 2017 draws to a close, instead of the usual monthly 5 things,  I wanted to recap and reflect on some of the more significant moments on the blog.  Blogging has fallen to the wayside a bit these past few weeks, but I will be back, with great enthusiasm in 2018.

  1.  The year started off with a trip to Tokyo.  Highlights from the trip include a journey to my beloved Traveler’s Factory and cake and coffee at Harbs. 
  2. I discovered two new favorite places to enjoy dessert: QuelQues and Chantez.
  3. I tried my hand at being a minimalist.  I’ve discovered that it is harder than I expected, but it’s worth the effort to be living a much more streamlined lifestyle. So far, it’s very much a work in progress.  But I watch this video whenever I feel my resolve waning.
  4. I also started writing Monthly Roundup posts on my blog this summer, and it’s a post that I look forward to writing each month.
  5. Finally, for inspiration, I’m reading New York Time’s Smarter Living article on How to Make (and Keep) a New Year’s Resolution.  Find the link here.

Happy New Year everyone! I’ll be back to blogging in full force in the New Year.  See you in 2018!

 

Monthly Roundup for November, 2017

November is home to one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving.  Now that I’m living in Taiwan, this holiday has taken on different iterations.  One part that remains the same is that I still make sure to take some time to reflect on all that I am thankful for. This season, I am thankful that I have a strong support network, thankful for a career that is almost equal parts challenging and rewarding, and also thankful that I have some time to pursue my interests and hobbies, with cheerful abandon.

This month has been a particularly trying one for me and my family, and in the midst of it all, I’m trying my best to keep everything afloat.  A method that has worked particularly well is to make meticulous lists of things that I have to do~ which really brings a sense of calm and order.   The other method is to find a few moments everyday to do something that occupies both my mind and hands in a happy and healthy way (which really rules out sitting in front of the TV and eating potato chips!)

Early this morning, I spent a few minutes wrapping this adorable gift for a friend’s baby, and it made me feel happy and content knowing how much she would enjoy it.

P.S.: I may have to delay my posting scheduling here for the next few weeks. But I’ll try to update when I can!

This was not a sponsored post. I paid for all items shown here with my own money, and all opinions are based on my own experiences. 

Monthly Roundup for October 2017

This month, we were fortunate to have two holidays~ one midweek for the Mid-Autumn Harvest Moon Festival (中秋節)and the other was a four day weekend, celebrating Taiwan’s birthday.  Since I am fantastically busy from now until the end of January, I made no major plans for either holiday, beyond having lunch with my family for the Mid-Harvest Moon Festival.  The rest of the time was spent catching up on sleep and work, and just some general stay-cation activities.

1) I discovered this tea place during one of my meetings. The admin assistant running the show had this fabulous, eye-catching icy and refreshing drink, while the rest of us sat around the table sipping cups of lukewarm tea.   Turns out, it was from the drink shop nearby, called Bao-Guo.  (I normally just pass right on by on my way to meetings, because I thought it was a bread shop). Coincidentally, I was in the neighborhood during the break, so I decided to try their iced grapefruit tea (regular ice, 50% sugar). I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s full of sliced grapefruit and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.

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Monthly Roundup for September 2017

Whenever September rolls around, I’m always reminded of the opening scenes of one of my favorite movies, “You’ve Got Mail,” when Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks stroll down the streets of New York City to the background music of Dreams, by the Cranberries.  Bouquets of sharpened pencils, anyone? Yes, please!

 

1) Speaking of bouquets of sharpened pencils, one rainy afternoon, I took stock of all my writing utensils (pens, pencils, etc) and threw out all the worn out, dried out items.  Now I have good idea of what I have (a lot) and what I need to buy (not a lot)

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