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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Going on a student exchange is definitely up there as one of the best decisions I've ever made. I have so many fond memories from my time away but if I had to narrow it down to a list of truly standout moments, this would be it;

Meeting my roommate
Choosing to have a roommate while on my exchange is another decision I'm glad I made. Before I met her, I had no clue what to expect. The first day I arrived, she'd set up already and was no where to be seen. So I spent the entire day not knowing who she was. It wasn't until late that night that I finally got to meet her. The first thing we talked about was the lizard that had decided to inhabit our room. Lizards are everywhere in Singapore! She seemed so easygoing and nice to talk to that I instantly liked her. Now I consider her one of my closest friends from the exchange! 

Exchangers Night Out
This was an event organised by the student exchange coordinators at my host uni. There was a group of us that travelled by MRT to the city. It was a really nice night - typical for Singapore - and it was my first time seeing the Marina Bay Sands and Merlion since the start of my exchange. The event itself was okay but we ended up leaving early and walking around the city doing our own thing. It was still a very memorable night and I definitely wouldn't have interacted with so many different exchange students had I not gone. 

First time in Tiong Bahru
Tiong Bahru is my absolute favourite neighbourhood in Singapore. In fact, if I were to live in Singapore, that's where I'd like to live. I first heard about it from a friend who mentioned a really nice bookstore being there. I decided to go check it out and I instantly fell in love with the area. It was so quiet and quaint. Not chaotic and busy like the city parts of Singapore. Also the bookstore was one of a kind! There was a vending machine outside that dispensed mystery books wrapped up like presents. So the book you pick is a complete surprise! 

Jetskiing in Langkawi, Malaysia
During the recess week, I went to Malaysia with two of my friends. That entire trip in itself was a standout memory but the one evening I especially remember was on our second day when we arrived in Langkawi. In the airport was an advertisement for jet skiing so on a whim we decided to ask our taxi driver to take us to the closest beach. It worked out so well because by the time we got on the water, the sun was starting to set and the sky was a canvas of colour! 

Every ballroom dancing class
This is a bit of a cheat answer because it's not a one time thing but I really loved all my ballroom dancing classes. I made it my goal to join at least one club while on my exchange and because I used to really enjoy watching Dancing with the Stars, I decided on ballroom dancing. It was also something new and challenging so I thought why not? 

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Travelling alone was such a learning experience for me. Before my student exchange, I'd only ever flown by myself once and that was a one hour flight to another city in the my home country. Travelling 12 hours total to Singapore was definitely a step up from this and while it was quite scary and daunting at the time, I feel like I took so much away from everything that happened. I know travelling is a bit of a touchy subject at the moment, but I feel like I have so much to say about my student exchange, I just really want to throw out as many blog posts as possible while the experience is still fresh in my mind.

1. It's okay to feel lonely
As freeing as it is to travel by yourself, there's no denying it can get pretty lonely. I really missed having a familiar face sitting in the seat next to me on the airplane. When you're so used to travelling with other people, the first flight alone can be really hard. Feeling lonely is completely normal and it's totally okay. This was something I had to keep telling myself on the way to Singapore and by the time I'd landed, I felt a lot more comfortable with being by myself. 

2. Do your research
Make sure you know what is required of you at the airport in terms of travel papers and documents. I feel like this is something people do already but don't forget to check your info is up to date and if possible, keep checking that none of the information has changed up until the day you leave. I remember in Singapore, I was going to travel to Vietnam with two of my friends however there was a last minute change to one friend's visa requirements which meant she couldn't actually go. This was amidst everything that was happening with the virus so things were already very susceptible to change however it just showed me that this sort of thing does happen and that checking online is really important. 

3. You have to be adaptable
Don't expect everything to go as planned. Not to sound contradictory, but even with all the research and preparation, you can't exactly predict what will happen next. There are some things that are simply out of your control. Travelling during a pandemic definitely taught me that. Learn to be flexible when things don't go the way you want them to. The situation is not always ideal and definitely frustrating at times but I'm a firm believer in things happening for a reason and sometimes you just need to go with the flow. 

4. Don't be afraid to ask for help
When you're flying solo for the first time, there will be things that maybe your friends and family helped you do in the past so you don't really know how to do yourself. Thankfully there are a lot of other people to talk to for assistance. Normally all the airport staff and flight attendants are more than happy to help. In fact, that's one of the main reasons they're there. To point you in the right direction. Also airline companies. I remember when booking my flights home, I called my airline company almost every single day leading up to my departure. In retrospect, that may have been a little excessive however getting reassurance from them was super important to me at the time. 

5. Trust your own instincts
With travelling alone comes a whole lot of decision making. At the end of the day, it's up to you what you choose to do and how you'll go about doing it. I like to think that's one of the perks however with this comes great pressure and responsibility. There were a lot of tough decisions I had to make while I was away and I almost always went with my gut feeling in the end. Of course I liked to get a second opinion every once in a while but most of the time, I had the answer all along. 

Q: Have you travelled alone before? 

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Saturday, June 13, 2020

My bedroom is my absolute pride and joy. When I was away on my student exchange, I missed my family, my friends and last but not least, my room. I've done a room tour post on my blog for 2018 and 2019 and they're both two of my most popular posts to date. Honestly, not much has changed over the years but it's like a game of spot the difference. From a distance, the photos look pretty similar but then you take a closer look and all the finer alterations are revealed. I like to shuffle things around on a regular basis - it's a little bit of a hobby of mine! - so it's not surprising things aren't where they were in previous years. 

I made sure to take these photos on a day where the sun was shining. Unfortunately I only have natural light for a couple hours a day just because of where my room is in relation to the rest of the house. My window doesn't have the prettiest of views but a couple of years ago, I painted a couple of leafy branches on the wall just to give it a little bit of life. 

The black jewellery tree you see above is something I fished out of my drawers a couple of weeks ago. For some reason, I didn't think it fit the aesthetic of my room so I hid it away. I brought it out again and it's now one of my favourite items. I hung all my dangly earrings on it and am so happy with how it looks!



My desk space is probably my favourite spot in my entire room. It's become my ideal place for productivity and getting stuff done. I also think it's the area that undergoes the most changes whenever I'm doing one of my room revamps. Also how cute are the three pigs on my top shelf?! My dad got them for me last year as a farewell present before my exchange and I absolutely adore them!

Q: What's your fav part of your room? 

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Friday, June 5, 2020

It's already halfway through 2020. Usually every time June rolls around, I think to myself where has the past 5 months gone? This year however is different. It feels like it should be Christmas by now. So much has happened, it's scary the rate at which this year has been changing. I didn't get a chance to do a New Year's resolution post and since this is my second post back from my blogging break, I thought a list of June goals would be the next best thing. Here are some things I'm hoping to achieve this month. 

1. Solve a Rubik's cube without help
This random skill is something that I've wanted to try my hand at for the longest time and I figured quarantine would be the best time to do just that. Funnily enough, it was only once I'd finished quarantine that I actually picked up the Rubik's cube for the first time. I found a really good YouTube video that took me through the process step by step as well as explaining the different algorithms to use. I still need to refer to the video from time to time but before the end of this month I'd really like to be able to finish the whole cube on my own. 

2. Get my full drivers licence 
I was quite nervous to get in the front of the steering wheel again after 4 months overseas. It was the longest time I'd spent without practicing my driving. Turns out I had nothing to worry about because as soon as I got in the car for my first drive since being away, muscle memory kicked in and everything came quite naturally. I decided to book my full drivers test for the end of this month, just to have something to work towards. Having an end goal in sight has definitely helped me stay motivated with my driving practice. 

3. Maintain a good workout schedule
During quarantine, I downloaded a workout app to ensure I was still exercising. Once lockdown in my country ended, gyms reopened and I was able to start attending physical classes again. Sometimes, especially now that's it's winter where I live, I don't feel like going into the gym so having the app gives me the option of a home workout which I really like. Having two different workout regimes has been a massive help with my fitness motivation and will hopefully make it easier for me to stick with the weekly timetable I've set myself.  

4. Sketch every single day
I used to not like putting too much pressure on myself to draw but recently I've been turning on Netflix or Youtube while I sketch and it's been a real game changer. For some reason, I feel more inclined to draw when something is playing on my laptop in the background. Since the start of June, I've managed to do at least a little bit of drawing practice each day and I've definitely noticed some small improvements. 

5. Finish 'Little Women' 
I downloaded a whole collection of classic novels on my iPad to read. I'm still a bit iffy towards ebooks but I will say the dictionary function is a really great advantage to this form of reading. It's so quick and easy to search a word definition up and make a note of it so you don't forget the next time you read it. I started Little Women almost a month and a half ago and I really want to get through it this month. I'm really enjoying the story but I think I'm still getting used to reading off my iPad and that's definitely slowed down my reading progress.

6. Get better at touch typing
This is one of those skills that can often slide under the radar. I took a touch typing elective in high school but from my typing today, you wouldn't think it. I remember where the keys are but I sometimes get lazy and just look at what I'm typing. Because I'm starting to get back into blogging, I want to make sure I'm touch typing as much as possible. The more I use my laptop, the better!

Q: What are your goals for this month?

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Friday, May 29, 2020

I think I speak for the entire world when I say 2020 has been a very sad, strange, scary and confusing time so far. Nobody has been untouched by the effects of this global pandemic. In the last five months our lives have been placed our hold, turned upside down and changed indefinitely. 

When I boarded my flight to Singapore on the 9th of January this year, I could never have predicted what was in store for me on the other end. Before the virus really became a major cause for concern, my exchange started off like any other. We had the usual formalities; first day orientation, various tours and other organised gatherings and meet ups. It was the ideal programme for any exchange student trying to make their way in this very new and unfamiliar territory. I can still recount those first few weeks quite vividly. It was a time of adjusting and settling in. I was getting used to a new class timetable, trying new foods, finding new shortcuts around campus and meeting so many new people during the course of a single day. The best part was finding time outside of class to travel into the city and explore both the tourist traps and hidden gems. Since I knew I had four and a bit months in Singapore, I didn't mind dedicating a whole day to one specific location. I thought I could afford to take my time with things. Little did I know this mentality was really going to be put to the test. Singapore had its first case pretty early on, around the end of Jan. At that time though, I was still very much consumed by the normal exchange student fears of overcoming homesickness, passing classes and making friends. Unfortunately this resulted in me paying little attention to the media and lacking a lot of knowledge surrounding the virus. 

My wake up call moment happened around the end of Feb. I had booked a trip to Japan and South Korea with a group of other exchange students during a week long semester break however a couple days before we were due to leave, there was the major outbreak in Daegu. The gravity of the situation really sunk in then and we immediately cancelled our trip. All throughout March, exchange students were flying back to their home countries. This was honestly the most difficult part of the entire exchange for me. Having to say goodbye to so many of my friends so much earlier than expected made the parting process that much harder. There were very few exchange students left on campus by the time April rolled around. In fact, there were very few students left on campus period. When Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong announced the circuit breaker on April 3rd, I moved out of my hall accomodation and into my Uncle's apartment. During my stay, I was able to complete all four of my classes which felt like a real accomplishment amidst everything that had been happening. I also felt oddly proud about being able to finish my coursework in Singapore even though there was no real requirement for me to do so since submissions were online. Although classes were over, the hardest challenge was yet to be resolved. As long as I was in Singapore, there was a lot of planning, emailing and phone calling to be done in order for me to get home. 

Finding flights that were confirmed to be going ahead was no easy feat. Luckily for me, I got in touch with two other exchange students from my home country that were able to point me in the right direction. We flew out together which was such a great decision and it was a reasonably smooth trip home. It's been about two weeks since I've been back and it feels so surreal to recall all that has happened this year. Writing this blog post has been a real opportunity for me to organise the jumble of thoughts in my mind. People ask me whether I regret going on my exchange or wish things had gone differently. My answer to them is no. I'm so thankful for this experience and it was still worthwhile to me in every single way. Singapore and the people I met there (you know who you are) will forever hold a place in my heart. Nothing, not even a global pandemic, could change that. 

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Friday, August 2, 2019

As much as I enjoy digital illustration, I know it's important to practice the traditional methods as well. This is why I make sure to keep up with my analogue sketches alongside my iPad drawings. For today's post, I thought I'd share what's in my pencil case. You'll also be able to see what my favourite equipment for illustrating is.

For my initial sketches, I have a normal lead pencil and a mechanical pencil. I usually switch between the two. It just depends on what I feel like using that day. My eraser isn't too special, just a plain white rectangle, but it does the job pretty well. 


A majority of my pencil case is made up of markers. I have my two tombow brush pens and a copic ciao. I use the copic for colouring skin and the tombow brush pens for shading. Basically all I draw nowadays are people and figures so these pens are essential. I've also got a range of different coloured highlighters and felt tips for colouring in outfits and backgrounds.

Finally, I have my black fineliners for outlining and my white gel pen for highlights. These are what I use last. If you've read my Bullet Journal Essentials post, you'll have seen these pens already. It's great that I can use them for both sketching and journalling.

Thanks for reading!
Q: What's your favourite pen brand?

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

I used to hate watching tv shows. 

Maybe I just had a really short attention span back then but I used to get so bored of the same characters and storyline that I never got to the end of a series. My family got Netflix last year and since then, my attitude towards tv shows has changed dramatically. I still tend to avoid shows that exceed 5 or 6 seasons but nowadays, I'm more likely to choose a tv show over a movie and that's something I definitely wouldn't have done a couple of years ago. In today's post, I'm going to be sharing 5 shows that I love so much and would recommend to anyone and everyone. I'm going to keep the descriptions brief as I tend to spoil things quite easily. 

1. Sense8
This is a Netflix Original series and when I first started watching, I was a little hesitant at first. It took a couple of episodes for me to get my head around the main concept of the show but once I did, I was hooked. Basically the series follows 8 individuals from all around the world. Each of the characters have their own story whilst being part of one massive story as well. I think the best thing about this show was the main cast. I promise you, you'll fall in love with the characters so quickly. 

2. The Good Place
The idea behind this show is so clever. It portrays a completely different afterlife to what you're probably used to seeing. It also takes a more comedic approach which I thought made it a lot more lighthearted and easier to digest. I absolutely loved Kristen Bell in this series. She's such an amazing actress. The characters are also super loveable and very, very different from one another. 

3. W - Two Worlds Apart
This was the first k-drama I ever finished. I've watched a couple of k-dramas since this one but to me, none of them compare. The story is so unique. In a nutshell, it's about a doctor who falls into her father's webtoon and gets close to the main protagonist of the comic. It's cute and a little cheesy at times but I think that's why I like it so much. 

4. The Society
I've heard people describe this show as a combination of The Maze Runner, Lord of the Flies and Lost. It took me a little while to properly get into this series because unlike the last three, I found the characters a little harder to like. Most of the characters ended up being okay in the end though. When I first finished the series, I researched into all the different theories. There are definitely some far fetched ones out there but there are a couple that I could totally see being right. 

Thanks for reading!
Q: What's your favourite tv show ever?

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

This week has been an interesting one.

Two things happened on Monday. The first was that I started back at Uni. The second was that my family jetted off to Aussie leaving the house to me for a week. For five whole days, I got to experience what living on your own feels like. Because I'm so used to sharing my house with four other people, it was definitely a little disconcerting to come back from the airport to nothing but silence. I thought I'd hate how quiet the house was all the time but after a day, I found I didn't really miss the noise and chaos too much. 

I think there's definitely a difference between living alone and flatting. There's a lot of self discipline involved with having a place to yourself. It really keeps you on your toes. There's no one to remind you to throw away expired groceries or close all the lights before going to sleep. Since I flatted for a month last year, it was interesting to be able to compare my two experiences. 

Because it was still my childhood home, nothing was too unfamiliar to me. I could still go about my day to day routine like normal. The only thing that was different was the absence of my parents and brothers. Because I know my home like the back of my hand, this probably made it a less accurate representation of what living alone is actually like. Nonetheless, it was still a great learning experience for me. The main thing I realised was that I'm not as unprepared for moving out as I initially thought I was. I'm actually perfectly capable of managing and maintaining a place of my own. Moving out is always at the back of my mind and even though I don't know exactly how far into the future it's going to happen, it's nice to do things like this so I sort of know what to expect. 

Thanks for reading!
Q: Have you lived/do you live by yourself? 

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Friday, July 12, 2019

In just a few short days, I'll be back at Uni for my second semester!

I know most people probably don't want to be thinking about school while on holiday but I think it's important to dedicate just a couple of days to getting ready for your first day. It doesn't hurt to make sure things are in order. That way everything should run like clockwork from the moment you start back. Here are three tips to prepare for back to school!

Set Your Alarm
One of the best parts of being on holiday is staying bed til noon. In saying that though, you want to make the transition from holiday mode to study mode as smooth as possible. My number one bit of advice, if you've gotten so used to sleeping in, is to start setting your alarm for early. The weekend before you're due to start, make an effort to get up like you would for school. That way it's not such shock having to wake up on day one of your new semester. 

Write Down Your Timetable
Before you start back, get to know your timetable. There's nothing worse than arriving to a class late or not knowing where the actual location of a class is. Get out your yearly diary and jot down when and where you have each of your different classes. It's always good to check through this properly in case there are any problems with your timetable that need sorting. I also like to take note of any important dates or events that may be happening during the semester. 

Organise All Your Equipment 
Make sure you have everything you need for all your different classes. This includes any textbooks, stationery, or items of clothing. Look carefully at the list of requirements so you don't miss anything out or face any surprises on your first day back. I always find this step really enjoyable because I can use it as an excuse to go on school-related shopping spree! 

Thanks for reading!
Q: What's a tip you have for going back to school?

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Friday, July 5, 2019


So if you look at the date of my previous post, you'll see that I've missed quite a few weeks of posting. I've been going through a really weird patch with my blog but I think I've managed to push past it now. My Uni break is coming to an end and even though I'm sad to lose my sleep ins, I'm glad to be able to start studying again. 

During my break, I was able to fly to Auckland for a shopping trip with my friend. Of course, I had to take some photos while I was there. The Sky Tower was definitely the subject of many of my photos. Probably because I saw it every day while I was in Auckland. Our hotel was super close to the Sky Tower so it was a great landmark for when we were lost and couldn't find our way back. I've only shared three photos here but trust me when I say there are many more on my camera and phone. The other photos are just ones I took around the CBD and Auckland Harbour. 



Thanks for checking out this week's post! 
Q: Have you travelled to Auckland before?

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Friday, June 14, 2019

It seems like everyone I know is sick at the moment. Even I'm sick at the moment. I think it's typical around this time of year. Winter is just around the corner and with the amount of cold and rainy days we've been having recently, I don't think anyone's going to forget that anytime soon. Here are some ways I got through my sick day at the start of this week. 

1. Drink Lots

Staying hydrated is super important, especially when you're sick. Getting lots of fluids is a vital part of the "getting better" process. It helps to flush out all the bad stuff from your body. Try to stick with water if you can. I like to add a slice of lemon for a bit of extra taste. On top of this, you could add honey and ginger if you feel like something more. I know that lemon, honey and ginger water is a popular remedy drink for when you're feeling ill. Stay away from coffee and fizzy drinks. 

2. Stay in Bed
Get as much rest as possible. Don't dismiss your sickness. If you're not feeling 100%, just stay in bed. Sometimes getting up and going out only makes things worse. The only time I'll take a nap during the day is if I'm sick. But it really does make a difference. I took a solid two hour nap on my sick day and I felt a lot better than what I felt like in the morning. 

3. Keep Everything You Need Close by
Depending on your illness, set up a little bedside table of everything you need. Tissues are a must-have and if you have medication, keep a large drink bottle nearby as well. Make sure you're well stocked up on everything so you don't have to keep making several trips back and forth. If you need more of something, make sure to call a family member or friend to retrieve it for you as soon as they can. 

4. Binge-watch Your Favourite Shows
If you can't sleep, it's good to distract your mind so you're not constantly thinking about your sickness. When you're not focusing on your symptoms, it's easier to pretend they're not there. Having your favourite tv show playing is sure to keep your mind busy while also making you feel slightly happier in the process. 

Thanks for reading!
Q: When was the last time you had a sick day?

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Friday, June 7, 2019

After a stressful couple of weeks, I'm happy to report that semester one of 2019 is officially done and dusted. I'm excited to get back into the blogging swing of things and start creating content on here once again. 

In today's post, I'm going to be talking about a pair of writing gloves I received from the online store Literary Book Gifts. As an enthusiastic writer and avid reader, the web store name itself hooked me in right away. I was so excited to receive these gloves and am so thankful to Melissa, the founder, for sending them out to me. They couldn't of come in the mail at a better time. The weather where I live has been horrific recently, so I've been trying to stock up on all the winter clothing I can find. 

The first thing that really pleased me was the colour. On the website, you have the option to choose from 13 different colours. I went for Light Heather Grey. It's quite a safe colour which means if I wanted to wear these gloves with an already completed outfit, they're less likely to clash with the overall look. 

I love that these gloves are fingerless. I definitely prefer fingerless over normal whole hand gloves. In fact, all the gloves I own at the moment are cut off at the fingers. It's a million times easier to write with a pen when your fingers have a better grip. These gloves definitely take this into consideration. I was also super stoked with the fit. They're tight and snug which means they trap heat in and prevent cold air from getting through. I was quite surprised by how long the bottom of the gloves were. I didn't expect them to cover so much wrist but I actually really like that they do. 

The material is very pliable and lightweight so perfect for throwing in your pocket when you don't need them. If you prefer gloves that are somewhat firmer, these gloves may not be a right fit for you. They're made of 35% cashmere wool which I thought was pretty good. I'm always interested in what percentage of certain materials are used. Overall, I really like the way these gloves feel and look. They'll definitely be keeping my hands toasty and warm these next couple of months!

Q. Do you prefer fingerless or whole hand gloves?
Thank you again to Melissa! Definitely check out Literary Book Gifts if you have the chance!

* I received this item in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. *
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