Little Gifts to Show We Care

We are back from our US adventure, jet lagged, tired, but full of love. I’m trying to get back on schedule, but that 12 hour time difference kicks me in the pants.

While we were gone we asked some friends to stay in our apartment to take care of our cat {she’s needy and hungry}. To say thank you we left a little welcome gift of Japanese chocolate covered potato chips. I wrapped them up with ribbon and a note. IMG_6895

 

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For our friends and family in the US, we wanted to share a little taste of Asia. The green tea taste has won us over, so we got some mini green tea KitKats to hand out. I added our contact information to each package. I attached the strips with special edition washi tape of the Hong Kong Star Ferry and skyline.

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We hope everyone enjoyed our gifts!

Insta Friday

I apologize I’ve been sporadic in my posts lately. The last month sped by, and the next is nearly as fun, with a trip back to the US. Here’s a bit of my life from Instagram over the past 6 weeks or so.

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1. Bali’s outdoor shower.

2. Popsicles at the beach. Does it get better?

3. Wellness Day.

4. Mexican corn in Singapore.

5. Art Basel

6. Tokyo at the Miro Museum

Thoughtful Encounters

Lately, I’ve come to realize how much I value thoughtfulness. I’ve always recognized thoughtfulness, both having it and the absence of it, but not given it much weight past that. But it’s becoming clear to me how important it is.

My very favorite yoga teacher is here in Hong Kong. She has been my instructor since 2005 and I have never found another yoga teacher, here or across the US, that approaches her style. Her classes are well planned, leading from one posture to another, preparing you for the next one. Her style is calming and encouraging, accepting and kind, but the attention she puts into the class flow is really what draws me in.

It really hit me with our recent trip to Bali. We stayed in this little boutique hotel in Ubud called The Purist. With only seven rooms, their attention to detail was incredible. In fact, I’m not big on tipping generally, but there we did, as the service was that outstanding. The staff remembered our preferences and took care of our every need. They greeted us by name, made arrangements for us outside of their normal schedules and made us feel special. And their beautiful setting didn’t hurt.

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I try to remember this when planning an event as well. It’s not about how much you spend, or if all of your decorations are the same colors. It’s the thoughtful touches that really make your party memorable. Maybe it’s wraps on the back of the chairs in case guests get cold. Maybe it’s cold towels on hand on a hot day. Or maybe it’s even as simple as a bowl to toss your olive pits. Those details are the ones that make guests feel cared for and special. And, really, isn’t that what we all want?

Travel Lust

In the last 2 weeks I’ve been to Singapore and Manila. In the next 2 weeks I’m going to Bali and Tokyo. Half for work, half for fun, my travel schedule (and passport!) is full.

While I’ll be the first to admit that traveling is tiring, and can wear me out (particularly for work, what’s that about?), I gotta admit I’m pretty lucky. I’m a bit of a wanderlust to begin with, and I love going new places and meeting new people. Often roles in Asia are regional, so traveling is a part of life. Then you add on public holidays with amazing nearby destinations, and you end up with a life full of beautiful memories and a battered suitcase. Just another reason that this place is my home.

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Thinking I might need this cork globe to keep track of it all.

Singapore, Manila, Bali and Tokyo images.

A wonderful quote.

Beach Loving

My husband and I recently celebrated 5 years married {which also means 10 years together}. We decided that was a decent milestone, so we took off to a destination we’ve always wanted to visit– The Maldives.

As a popular destination for the rich and famous (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes honeymooned here, and William and Kate were on an island the same time we were visiting), its hard to get to and not cheap when you do. So we only managed it for a few days, but loved every second. It’s truly an island paradise– white sand, crystal blue water, private villas, and the best snorkeling we’ve ever seen.

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It was so special to have this experience together and a different way to celebrate than with the traditional anniversary gifts. I loved it, I loved being my husband, and hope we can go back together sometime soon!

Some Cool Things

A few things I’m thinking about right now…

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I’ve been looking for a small bag to go inside a bigger tote. Could this be the one?

I love these luggage tag save-the-dates.

These quinoa breakfast bars look yummy and hearty.

If they made this tea towel in a card, I’d be ready for Valentine’s day.

Beautiful Cupcakes and More

When we were in Australia over the Christmas holidays, we were lucky enough to take a side trip to Newcastle and visit this perfect little shop that recently opened.

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After reading Naomi’s blog for years, drooling over her beautiful cakes and cookies, it was such a treat to try her goodies. And believe me— they were as good as they are cute!

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And we got to meet Naomi herself! It was a bit like meeting a celebrity– I’m sure my face was bright red. But she couldn’t have been nicer. It may have been one of the highlights of my trip!

If you are nearby, you must visit Naomi and her bakery. I read her menu to my husband daily (it changes regularly) and even he has pondered when we are going back– or if we should move closer. :) And if these cupcakes aren’t enough, the town of Newcastle is full of wonderful delights, definitely making it a must- destination.

If you go, tell Naomi I say “hi!”