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I love how blazers or jackets can totally turn around the look of any outfit. They can be worn in any number of ways - with a dress, shorts, skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, jumpsuit, high-waisted pants, etc! Whether you're looking to make a professional appearance for work or trying to up your "chic" factor for a casual outfit, blazers and bomber jackets are for you. But how do you style them without looking like you're headed for a job interview? 

Here are my styling ABCs to help you get on board with jackets/blazers:

1. Go for color! Bright colored blazers instantly transform your appearance. They serve to give you a put-together together, classic look without making you looking too serious. I love my pink and orange blazers (pictures below). They're a closet workhorse and I've worn them multiple times in and outside of the workplace setting. 

2. Play around with different cuts and styles of jackets/blazers. By that I mean try a cropped blazer (see my look with the orange blazer), a long blazer (see the pink blazer I wore). or a bomber jacket style. All of them give very different looks but achieve the same purpose of pulling the look together effectively. You may find that you gravitate towards certain cuts and styles more than others. 

3. Pair your blazer or jacket with contrasting or complementary colors in your outfit. The idea is to have fun with paring without being too matchy-matchy and veering into the territory of a formal "job interview" look. 

4. Consider proportions. Basically, certain blazer lengths may work better with certain outfits. For example, a long blazer looks balanced with skinny jeans or a dress of similar length without adding bulk to your appearance. Alternatively, a cropped blazer looks good with high waisted pants (as seen in the pictures below with the orange blazer).

5.  If you own only a black or white solid color blazer, make it casual by pairing it with jeans, a T-shirt (maybe one with stripes or a graphic print), and rolling up the sleeves of the blazer. Ta-da! You got the "stylish without looking like you tried too hard" look. 

On a related note, for reading about how to transition from work to evening wear: read my blog post here

The East Coast is among my favorite places to hang out in Singapore. Wide open green spaces, the ocean front, paved paths for scenic bike rides, playgrounds, restaurants/cafes, and areas for picnics are all part of what the East Coast has to offer. It's a great hangout spot for kids and adults alike. Which is what led me to the idea of having my birthday party there a few months ago. I booked one of the picnic grill spots and threw a BBQ party. We had a great time and the party was a success partly because the location was just so great. A lovely breeze and a romantic view of sailboats bobbing in the ocean in front of us were the perfect props to the party. Being by the beach allowed the kids to be happily occupied with playing in the sand while the adults could get their time together. In addition, I had hired a BBQ-er and ordered a variety of different foods (veg and non-veg) through HungryBBQ.com, a great service if you're looking to outsource the messy job of BBQing food yourself. Someone comes and takes care of everything from setting up the grill, cooking the food, and cleaning up so that you can focus on the main task at hand - socializing with friends without the burden of cooking! Everything went off perfectly. Something to consider next time you're planning a party! :)

Moving on to the pictures...I'm sporting a boho chic look here with my hat (purchased from a hat store at Haji Lane), my tasseled Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag, and my Urban Revivo top (read about this relatively new brand here and how I love it!). I got here just in time to catch the sunset and it was beeeautiful!
Urban Revivo top | Gap jeans | Shoes from Charles & Keith | Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag | Hat from street shopping at Haji Lane | Gorjana bracelet

Amongst the biggest challenges for many working moms is making time for exercise. There are always too many reasons and excuses to fall back on, such as a hectic schedule of juggling work and kids that demands so much of your time and energy. And the less time you get for working out, the more guilty you feel. It’s a vicious cycle. Am I right? Yep, I’ve been there and I don’t like it one bit. So I came up with a simple solution that works well for me. Start small. I decided to take a piecemeal approach to exercise. While making time to have an hour long workout may seem daunting, a short “bite-sized" workout (as I like to call it) always seems so much more doable. Ask yourself, can I make time for 20 minutes of exercise in my busy day? The answer is yes! 

Aaptiv is an app that I’ve found super conducive to my “working mom workout” needs! It’s an audio fitness app which offers various types of workout programs. What I like about it is that it includes the voice of well-known, professional trainers directing your workout and motivating you against the backdrop of high-energy beats. So whether it’s a cardio workout, a deep stretch, yoga, marathon training, or strength training that you’re looking for, Aaptiv has it all. I got attracted to it for its prenatal and postnatal workouts led by pregnancy guru and founder of FitBump, Kira Kohrherr. Aaptiv has these stroller workouts which you can do anywhere – your home, outside, or in the gym. They are all about 20-30 minutes long. To ensure that I lose as little time as possible, I quickly change into my gym clothes, roll out my yoga mat, put my baby Arjun on the bouncy chair in front of me, and get started one of the stroller workouts in my own living room. Super easy set-up and no time lost in commuting to the gym. This is how I’ve been getting my bite-sized workouts with the voice of a trainer that keeps me going. I honestly find it so effective and easy to fit into my day. As moms, we all know how you can’t always plan everything out. So whenever I see an opportunity to squeeze in a short workout, I do it. Sometimes it’s in the morning before work, other times in the evening. I aim to do these short workouts 3-4 times a week and while I may not always succeed, I feel glad knowing that I’m incorporating at least some level of fitness activity in my life! Postpartum fitness is a long journey and we all have to start somewhere. 

So what are you waiting for? Give my “bite-sized workout” idea a try and see if it works for you! Start off, start small. If you’re keen to try Aaptiv, download the app on your phone and use code BURPEES for a free 30-day trial (the app already gives new users a 7-day free trial). Good luck, busy mamas!

*We all know that everyone's pregnancy and post-pregnancy conditions are different. So for the maternity workouts, please be sure to consult your doctor first! 

Dress and shoes from Urban Revivo | YSL Purse | Sunglasses from Cole Haan
Guys, I think I've found my new favorite store in town. Have you visited Urban Revivo? I had never heard of this brand before I passed by its newly opened location in Plaza Singapura recently. It's actually a brand that started in China and is making its way across other cities in Asia. The store itself is huge and kind of reminded me of ZARA in terms of its setup, displays, and style sensibility. After trying on tons of stuff, I bought clothes for going back to work after my maternity leave and also some casual outfits. Case in point, this floral dress and yellow lace-up flats pictured below. I love the bright colors of the outfit against this whimsical mural. After all, I'm a sucker for color! 

As someone who travels often for work and for leisure, I have my packing routine down to a tee. One of the ways I make packing simple is by having a makeup/toiletry bag ready with all the essential travel-sized items. This way, everything is ready to go and I don’t need to think twice about whether I forgot to pack my lipstick, moisturizer or toothpaste.

So here are a few of my recent favorite beauty-related things which I can’t do without when traveling:

1. A comprehensive makeup case: If you’re like me, you probably have a couple different pouches to carry all your toiletry and makeup needs. But how about consolidating them and getting a case that can fit everything? The Kinzd Travel Cosmetic Case is super roomy and able to fit all my makeup and toiletry essentials. I’m talking compact, foundation, lipsticks, toothbrush, toothpaste, travel size face washes & moisturizers, and the bigger bottles and jars! It also has a separate compartment for storing makeup brushes, pencils, and eyeliners. It’s an ultra practical and spacious carrier for all my beauty needs. For all my followers, use code KINZD30 to get 30% off this cosmetic case (available in other colors too) and other products from the website. It is also available on Amazon at this link

2. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: For day or night use, this cleaner is great for all skin types. I love how my skin feels light and fresh after using it. I even love the smell of it, a very spa-like essence, which makes me like this product even more!

3. Erborian Yuza Double Lotion: This is a Korean brand which I only recently came to know about. A liquid lotion that you put on your face as a moisturizer? Yup, and it works so well! Yuza is a citrus fruit from Jeju Island in Korea. This explains the fresh, cistrusy smell you get from using this product. This lotion moisturizes while still being light on the skin. Highly recommend this for use in hot, tropical climates like Singapore!

4. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: Let’s face it, I’m no spring chicken. This Estee Lauder product is a night serum that promotes skin renewal and fights signs of aging. I’ve been using it daily and I feel like it gives my skin a dewy glow in the mornings.

5. Nars Powermatte LipPigment: Forgive me for being a bit slow to jump on the Nars bandwagon but wow! This Nars lipstain is amazing, you guys! The color lasts forever….and I mean, FOREVER. I wore it in the morning before leaving for work and it was still on at the end of the day. Pretty impressive! And perfect when you’re traveling and can’t be bothered to carry a lipstick with you everywhere for touchups.

Do try these items out if you can, they're perfect for traveling and keep your face looking fresh and hydrated! Do you have any beauty-related items that you absolutely must have when traveling?