Thursday, June 18, 2015

Let's Talk Jewellery

Are you ready for my first ever jewellery post? I sure hope so! I guess it's obvious that I don't always talk about jewellery. When I think of jewellery, I do adore them. I'm always intrigued by little or big pieces of jewellery, wherever I see them, and I do wish I'd owned more of them. (Jewellery? Jewelry? The longer you stare at this word, the stranger it looks)

There are plenty of things to love about jewellery. I think aside from fashion and clothes, the pieces of jewellery that a person decides to wear speaks a lot of who they are. Do they wear more metallic, silver, or gold pieces? Do they wear only a few at a time, or like to pile on tons of necklaces and bracelets on an everyday basis? I like to think that accessorising with jewellery is a more delicate way of how people could express themselves. Sometimes they carry memories, stories, but sometimes they simply wrap around you and makes you feel nice about yourself.

Today, I'll be talking about my favourite pieces of jewellery out of the ones I own in this brief post, as well as introduce you to a website I had recently come across called Invaluable. So, let's talk jewellery.

As for favourites, this anklet has to be on the top of my list. I bought it when I was in the Netherlands in one of their large department stores. I've started wearing it a lot more now, and I am so intrigued by its gorgeous colour and ambiance. I bought my friends identical ones, and my sister a purple one. 

It's really a pretty piece of jewellery, and wearing it reminds me of my lovely time in the Netherlands, so bonus points for that. This piece is perfect for summer, specifically because of the colours. I'm so in love with how the soft colours flow along the golden chain, it actually makes it look very classic and simple. (It also happens to reflect light beautifully.)

An edgier item of jewellery that I have is this very special necklace I've owned since I was 13. At that time, I went to Forever 21 with my mom and I remember coming across this beautiful thing and I instantly wanted it. This might sound silly but I'm obsessed with this cross arrow detail because I can wear it with practically every outfit I put together. The length of the chain is also great because the arrows rest perfectly on the collarbone.

I think dainty and little jewellery is always gorgeous, but it's good to go for something a little darker and different. It reminds me of a sense of purpose, and how life is like an arrow: Sometimes we have to be pulled back before being thrown forward in our direction.

This Audrey Hepburn necklace is an item I've kept for a long time as well. Personally, I am head over heels in love with the lovely, iconic lady Hepburn, and I feel like this vintage, classic piece is absolutely perfect. From where I am, it's rare to actually come across something like this so I've been treasuring this timeless piece ever since.

Last but definitely not least on the list (tongue twister alert) would be this gorgeous gold H&M necklace with a doe charm. No words can describe how much I adore this piece. My lovely stepsister gave it to me as a gift, and I love wearing it on special occasions because I'm such a huge fan of nice gold jewellery. The charm is very dainty and pretty, and it also goes well with my mostly neutral outfits like white or nude colours. This item reminds me of pure innocence and grace, and I find it quite lovely.

So basically if, like me, you have a soft spot for nice jewellery, Invaluable is the place to go. This website is actually quite revolutionary because they provide this space of an online auction marketplace. They have a great variety of not only jewellery, but also antiques, collectibles, art pieces, and more which you can bid on, gathered from various auction houses all over the world.

The type of lovely jewellery you could find on this website also varies from pendants, rings, earrings, and more. They even feature pocket watches! The very idea of how you can bid for these gorgeous items is quite wonderful for me. Basically, it gives you wide access and a great opportunity to make brilliant deals on very high quality, stunning items from various designers and brands (even Rolexes are available.)

Seen above is a compilation of my favourite pieces found on the website, so if you are looking to add a little more sparkle to your collection, do check them out!

And that's all I have for this post! I'll be going away on an all-girls camp with one of my good friends, Nikki, for the weekend which I'm looking forward to, and surely enough, I'll be home and up with a brand new post, much likely regarding this event. I'm so excited because it happens to be a motivational, spiritually uplifting camp specifically for girls, so we're fairly thrilled. But anyway, I'll talk to you soon!

Have you heard of Invaluable before? Do you have any favourite pieces of jewellery? Leave a comment below, I'd love to know all about it!

Monday, June 15, 2015


The unquestionable comeback of the culottes are already floating upon us and so I thought it was only appropriate to turn it into a Sunday Inspiration post! Culottes are actually a fashion trend that was blossoming around springtime of this year, but I think that they carry such an awesome fashion statement that it should be considered acceptable for casual everyday fashion, regardless of what season it is.

Okay technically, they should probably be stashed away for winter, but other than that, I think culottes can be worn very easily and do have a way of making your outfit look very expensive. You can wear it with a good halter top, or a simple shirt, blouse, or whatever way works. It's quite easy to pull off, not to mention how awesome it is that it gives you the freedom of wearing pants, but the silhouette play of wearing a skirt.

I love this trend, and as I'm still on the quest of finding a good pair to purchase, it's no question that they create a very well-structured, put-together look. Effortless, yet very chic. Laidback, but stylish. Loose, but sophisticated. Old-fashioned (for it actually started way back in the 80s), but modern and sleek.

I think culottes are best worn with a widening silhouette towards the bottom, meaning that it would be best to choose a top that's quite simple, maybe form-fitting, a crop, or just loose with a normal length. Culottes should be the highlight of the outfit, because it takes up most of the room for attention. It shows off your ankles so you can wear it with any flexible type of footwear (although perhaps boots won't be such a great idea.) Sandals and heels would work best.

To wear this great fashion piece, you don't have to conform to a certain body type. It can hang perfectly from the waist of any body figure and flatters the legs quite nicely. Unlike flare jeans or pants, you don't have to be 6'1" to wear them.

Here are some links as references for the trend:

So this year, if you are trying to upgrade your wardrobe and step up your game with the everyday outfits, culottes are definitely a must-try trend. Frankly, this one simple item could actually make you look like one of those rich fashion bloggers on Pinterest. No, seriously, try one on.

*All pictures were taken from Pinterest

Thursday, June 11, 2015

TRAVEL: Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées

This is another throwback post of my time in Europe last year. Paris was obviously a dream, and a while ago I already did a short little post of the Eiffel Tower. There were so many places that we got to visit in Paris so this time, I decided to do a post on the lovely Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées.

I absolutely adore Arc de Triomphe. I don't know if it's just because my name happens to be Joanne and my mind kind of associates it with the Joan of Arc (my mind works in mysterious, complex ways sometimes) but I've always really loved the architecture of this great tourist attraction. Sometimes I like to imagine what it's like to just live in Paris where you could just casually drive past the Eiffel and the Arc de Triomphe everyday or something (although I highly doubt it since they are quite distant from each other.)

We were incredibly lucky because just like our day at the Eiffel, our day at the Champs-Élysées was beautiful as well. Blue skies, sunny day, making the whole thing quite picturesque! For a little while, we enjoyed catching a late lunch at one of the restaurants by the street (which was fairly crowded too), and we actually spent most of our time there shopping!

There were huge clearance sales happening in places like H&M, etc, that I felt like it was so heavenly. (We even managed to purchase two pairs of H&M pants for only 5 euros each!) Aside from spending a lot of time inside the stores, we also walked a bit more before finally heading back to the hotel. The whole romanticisation and idea of "shopping in Paris" kind of just made me love it even more.

Champs-Élysées was beautiful. It felt very Paris to me, although I do wish it wasn't so packed with tons of people while we were there, although obviously you can't expect anything much different while you're in Paris. And so, if you ever find yourself in Paris, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you to "stop by" this area because I'm sure you'll visit it nonetheless, but it would be a lot more glorious during sales season. I'm just saying.

The pictures I took really convinced me about how I felt about Paris: How I wish it never changes at all. The trees, the buildings, the streets, the people. As the lovely Audrey Hepburn once said, the city is always a good idea.

Many things to love about Paris, and many more to come on my blog, so be sure to stay tuned!

Monday, June 8, 2015

LIFE: Turning Sixteen

Disclaimer: Beautiful typography above done by my cousin.

It was my birthday last Wednesday and I just realised that I haven't actually written about it in a blog post so here it is: Ta-daaa. Birthday post.

So on June 3rd, I turned 16, in which I suffered a slight case of emotional attachment issues (which involved me being attached to being 15.) A lot has happened in my 15th year as a grown individual. Here's the recap:
  • I entered high school and realised that there are a lot of things to love, but also a lot of things not to love about it, and soon after realised that it was okay.
  • I went to Europe and traveled to 4 different cities, all of which I loved.
  • I created quite a lot of things, and made a few good stuff for my portfolio. Like this painting  that I'm quite proud of (which I actually finished the night before my birthday):

  • I moved into my own personal bedroom (finally not having to share one with my sister.)
  • I changed glasses (which made a huge transformation, actually, and changed my look entirely.)
  • I actually also bought contacts and learned how to use them without feeling so vulnerable.
  • I became a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding.
  • I welcomed into the world an adorable baby nephew.
  • I gained weight, then lost weight.
  • I started wearing makeup (and I actually enjoy it, ha!)
  • I learned that life is greater than relationships and your ambitions should revolve around greater things than just a boy who can make you laugh.
  • I gained a lot of confidence, learned a lot about how important it is to love and respect yourself. I also developed a much thicker skin, and I think became a lot better in interacting with people (despite my little social anxiety.)
  • I kind of figured out that I was a total, hardcore feminist?
  • I cried a lot, and laughed a lot too.
  • And now, I do not regret a single moment.
There are obviously also plenty of other things that came up among the time I was fifteen, but I guess that's all I could mention for now. Turning sixteen, obviously nothing has changed. My life is still pretty much going on at its progressive, rough, awkward phase. But I do feel the need to take responsibility over some things, and to start doing and looking at things differently. It's like a slight personality shift, like a brand new self-consciousness to just take it differently from here on out.

This year, my birthday went really nicely. I woke up in the morning, and I don't know if anyone else feels the same on their birthday morning, but I always feel that it's like Christmas morning except you don't want to look like you're too excited. (Is it just me?)

After waking up, I stepped outside my room and my mom hugged me and wished me a happy birthday, as usual, and so did my stepdad. After that, there was the long stream of messages and notifications coming from friends and relatives saying "happy birthday". Some of them had very long, sweet, thoughtful messages, some are actually pretty simple, but all of them really meant a lot to me. Ahh, very delighting.

I went to school that day to run some errands, and that's where one of my good friends, Jen, gave me this gorgeous bottle of moringa-scented body mist from the Body Shop. Have I been using it everyday now? Um, yes. It smells so good and it made me so happy. (Jen, if you're reading this, I love you.)

When I was home from school and chilling at home with my mom, my sister, and my baby nephew, one of my friends told me she was going to drop off a book she borrowed. I initially found that hard to believe but I went with it anyway. She asked me to come down and to come outside (which obviously left my senses tingling) and when I stepped outside my garage, all of my best friends were there forming this single row, singing Happy Birthday.

The whole thing was actually so thoughtful and sweet of them that I feel like it certainly made my life. They were holding a tray with some nice cronuts (croissant donuts, eh?) with candles poking out of it, and held letters forming my name. They yelled the letters one by one like cheerleaders and I have never felt so loved and special like how I felt in that moment.

And of course, after that, by the old tradition we have in our country, they showered me with eggs, soda, and other ingredients, leaving me cold and looking completely, completely pathetic. But hey,  those are just perks of being the birthday girl.

That night, my mom decided to take all of us out for dinner celebrating the special occasion. After a lot of consideration, we decided to go to the Shangri-La hotel, and eat dinner at Portofino, which is basically the Italian restaurant that they had in the Shangri-La.

It was such a stunning night. Not only was the food amazing (I got the Australian tenderloin steak  topped with BBQ sauce served with mashed potatoes and veggies on the side, and we also ordered margarita pizza which I didn't get to take a photo of, sadly) but it also felt really special because I had the whole family with me. That obviously meant a lot more to me than anything. 

My brother, who's still in college out of town, also managed to call and we got to have a little chat. He's coming home this Monday which I'm so thrilled about.

So overall, it was a very, very special birthday. I had so much fun and felt the love of those around me, and I am so incredibly blessed to have gotten the privilege to celebrate such a delightful birthday. I have a few plans for the time I'm 16, here are some that I can name:
  • Learning how to drive (the drivers' license is coming in next year, after all)
  • Planning out what to do on my 17th birthday (so here, the tradition is that we celebrate a sweet 17 instead of a sweet 16, so there are a lot of things we do differently. Although, I'm  still considering between celebrating a sweet 17 with a simple garden party, or just making travel plans to a nice destination with my friends.)
  • Getting better at my cello and piano, and at my art. Definitely my art.
  • Starting sewing lessons! Which is crucial for me to complete my portfolio for university.
  • Doing plenty of traveling.
  • Do a lot better in school. I don't do bad, but let's just say that it's been quite a tough semester.

And that's all for my super long birthday post! I hope you guys enjoyed reading about this and about how it all went. Overall, it was immensely special to me, and I thank God for the many things in my life right now, and also for the many things that are about to come.

Lastly, I hope you find that the life you're living now is a life that you're proud of, and if you find that it is not, I hope you find the courage to start over again.

From the girl who's now, apparently, sixteen,

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DressLink: The Tale of Two Cardigans

Hello, everyone!

I'm just a few small steps to finishing the school year for good, which feels very delightful. I'm super excited to share with you this post which has been waiting for about a week to emerge.

Several days ago, I finally received my Dresslink order package, and all of a sudden, it felt like Christmas morning. I ordered two cardigans, one was a very big, fluffy, warm and knitted one with this trendy tribal print, and the other is this very convenient, classy, draped cardigan. Both are in beige (because you can never go wrong with those) and I tried them on and it felt fantastic.

CARDIGAN 1: Buy here

This first cardigan has to be one of my favourite cardigans already. The subtle beige clearly makes it work incredibly well with practically any outfit. Other than that, the fabric is very comfortable and for me, the piece just fits me wonderfully. It's absolutely gorgeous, and I love it so much that I spent the whole day wearing it last Friday. And I didn't even have anything to complain about.

The smooth fabric has just that perfect level of transparency, and the black accent on the seams really make me adore it even more. A piece like this can be conveniently worn with a white tee, or a nice tank top or camisole. I went for as simple as I can with a black cami and a pair of nice black leggings. You can wear heels to make it look classy, or sneakers to make it look effortless and casual. I think this is definitely a good investment because of its versatility.

My stepsister helped take these photos outside of the house, and it was in the afternoon where the light was actually quite pretty, so that and the garden complemented the cardigan quite nicely.

CARDIGAN 2: Buy here

In case you have never heard of Dresslink, they're basically an online clothing store selling very nice women's apparel, shoes, and accessories, all for incredibly good prices! The special thing about them is that they sell a very wide variety of clothes suitable for all seasons, and every single one is actually fairly affordable!

This second cardigan is actually perfect for autumn and winter. It's not as versatile as the first cardigan, but looks just as great. It comes in beige with black accents as well (I'm starting these colours are just my weak points), but this one has this trendy aztec/tribal print going on from the front to back. The fact that it's a big, knitted cardigan really makes me adore it because it's a perfect cardigan to wear for chilly days.

I'm obviously a sweater person, as you can tell, and I think I love this because of how you can very easily snuggle into this cardigan and call it your best friend. Other than that, it's also very easy to make this cardigan look good, because it will make your outfit for you. Obviously you don't have to play with silhouettes anymore when wearing this. Throw on a pair of good jeans and you're good to go!

And that is all for this post! I highly recommend you guys checking the website out if you haven't. Either that, or just to take a look at both these amazing products. I'm immensely grateful to Dresslink, of course, for giving me this great opportunity to showcase such awesome products. I am very impressed by how they turned out. I will definitely be making future purchases from this online store. If it's your first time in the website, I do recommend these two items!

What did you think of these cardigans? What do you think about Dresslink? Have you checked them out? Do leave a comment below, I'd love to know what you think!

This post is sponsored by Dresslink.