Category Archives: Lifestyle & Health

Korea Trippin’ 2016: Busan the Beach Club

 

Things to do in Busan

Busan, a coastal city with a cool beach.

 

Busan is a charming little city that although has fewer people than Seoul, also has something a bit more than what Seoul can give. It’s got a city center, where you can do some shopping if you like, and where the shops aren’t too many in numbers or don’t all sell the same thing. There’s a great night scene in this city, where clubs are still sounding strong at 10pm on a Sunday night – at least from the outside.

 

Street food stalls go strong till late at night, and you also feel safe where you are. My favourite part of this city is Haeundae Beach, but maybe only because I’m a beach girl at heart. We went there three times in our four days here! If you love seafood, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Check out our travel video below.

 



 

Here are some things to do in Busan, if you’re looking for something other than Seoul to visit.

 

1. Shop at the Seomyeon Underground Shopping Center

It rained half the time we were in Busan, but thank God there are still things to do when the weather threatens to spoil everything. Shopaholics may enjoy this underground shopping center, but beware of shops that do not display prices.

 

2. Visit Seomyeon, the city center, in the day and night

Seomyeon is where everything happens. You’ve got shops, tons of restaurants and even street side food stalls. ‘Nuff said! In the day, it’s just like any other lively city but things liven up a lot at night. The neon lights, flashy signs and music escaping clubs’ entrances will remind one of Tokyo, even if you’ve never been there yourself.

If you’ve missed Yoogane before, you can try dining here too. There is an Artbox branch, where I ended up buying a card reader and selfie lens for my camera. I was so tempted to get one of those cute cloud night lights but stopped myself because I don’t really have space at home for it. Oh, and I might have also bought a new pair of sports shoes from one of the several Nike stores located in this area.

 

3. Visit Beomeosa Temple

Beomeosa Temple is one of the temples that can be found in Busan. It’s in the north of Busan, and you can easily get there if you can get by with the metro in a foreign land. It rained the whole time we had planned to be there, and even when we optimistically paused at a cafe at Beomeosa’s metro exit to wait for the rain to stop, it didn’t. Needless to say, we ended up not visiting this temple even though we were so close. Maybe next time.

 
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Korea Trippin’ 2016: Seoul Far Seoul Good

 

A photo posted by Roxanne C. (@lacedivory) on



 

Oh my God. This year’s trip to Korea has been nothing short of awesome! Should I write a blog post that’s more like a guide to fellow travellers, a diary of sorts for friends who read my blog, or something that’s more for beauty mavens who just want a dose of Korean beauty? Yet thinking about it, writing this blog post in only one of those formats doesn’t really do Korea justice. So here it is, my blog post that’s all of the above!

 




 

Here are my 11 top things to do in Seoul, in no particular order except for their appearance in the video above.

 

1. Shop at Edae (a.k.a. Ewha Women’s University Shopping Street)

Edae is where shopping comes cheap. Almost all clothing stores sell their items in free size, which is sadly too big for me. I didn’t do much clothes shopping but skincare is another thing all together. I finally went and found the Tomaru store after walking around for ages and realised I couldn’t find it because the store front had changed its design from the last time I visited. This is what it looks like now.

 

Edae Tomaru Store

The Edae Tomaru storefront.

 

To get to the Edae Tomaru store, just head straight down the main shopping street once you exit the metro station. When you get to the end of the street (it ends just before reaching the university), turn left. The Tomaru store will be on your left, maybe about 100m after you turn, and it is opposite a Banila Co store. I hope you find it, because it seems that the Tomaru store is the only place you can find Dear Packer masks, and that’s pretty much the only thing I bought this time there too! I featured these masks in my haul video last year, and you can check it out here.

Just a note that this is not the only Tomaru store in Korea. I’m not sure where the others are, but I’ve seen them around now and then during our trip. It’s just that this seems to be the most straightforward branch to find.

 

2. Shop or sightsee at Myeongdong in the day and night

Myeongdong is one of the most active areas in Seoul. It’s got all the skincare and fashion shops you can find, and is ever so lively at night. I skipped all the deep-fried food, but the strawberry mochis that are being sold at any street side food stall are a must-try.

 

3. Try Dakgalbi at restaurant chain Yoogane

We visited the newer of the two Yoogane branches in Myeongdong. It’s quite an interesting experience if you’re looking for authentic Korean food but aren’t quite ready to try live squid yet. The dish is cooked in several stages in the hot pot right in front of you, complete with a timer for 3-minute intervals and a member of the staff who would do everything for you each time the timer rings. Watch my video above and you’ll see what I mean!

Each order is for two servings, so go with at least one other person. We added one serving of ramen and lots of cheese in ours. That’s why it looks so good. You can also check out The Seoul Guide’s review on the main restaurant here.

 
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10 Interesting Instagram Hashtags to Remind You Not to Let Life Pass You By

 

Roxanne at Laced Ivory

When life happens, you just got to roll with it.

 

My goodness, it’s already May. Where did all that time go? Slow down, I’m not ready to celebrate my next birthday yet.

But of course, who am I kidding. Time never slows down. Tick tock, tick tock, it goes on and on. And in the midst of our busyness from day to day, there are many things we forget. Things like calling a friend up for coffee, sitting down to read a good book by your favourite author (Neil Gaiman I’m looking at you) and watering the bouquet of peonies we placed in the living room. So here are 10 interesting Instagram hashtags that I recently discovered, which I think you should check out to remind yourself to sometimes just take it slow.

 

1.  #nothingisordinary

 

#nothingisordinary

 

In life, if you truly and fully experience it, nothing is ordinary indeed. If you just slow down and let life infiltrate your veins, you’ll find magnificence in the littlest things.

 

2.  #theartofslowliving

 

#theartofslowliving

 

Take some time out when you need to. Recharge, breathe and maybe do some yoga by the beach. Living life slowly is an art which escapes most, and I hope you do find the time to just reflect upon your life and reassess where you’re headed.

 

3. #aquietstyle

 

#aquietstyle

 

There’s a reason movie stills have great success in evoking emotions. Pause. Stare. Feel. And listen to your heartbeat.

 
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Tip of the Day: How to Incorporate Copper into Your Office

 

How to Incorporate Copper in Your Office - Laced Ivory

 

Getting out of bed in the morning and then heading to work shouldn’t have to feel like a chore. In fact, if you’ve got things in order, heading to the office should be something to look forward to each day.

 

To make it easier, look around you as you settle into your work desk for the day. If there were things you could change – and most of the time, it’s definitely possible – what would you change? Perhaps some clutter needs to be cleared, old motivational posters need to be taken down, or you need some table plants (try terraniums). And if you’ve got a home office, lucky you, there’s more room for improvement!

 

If you’re looking to remodel things a little, how about something sleeker and more sophisticated? Here are some of my tips on how you can incorporate copper into your office.

 
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Confession: The Struggles of Being a Blogger (Part 2 of 2)

 

Struggles of Being a Blogger (Part 2)

The struggle is real.

 

{I recently wrote the first part of this in a previous entry, and you can find it here.}

 

Being a blogger is no easy task, especially when we do it while holding a full-time job and fulfil other commitments as well. It’s tricky when it comes to balancing everything and only bloggers who really have passion in what we do will outlast the rest. That said, here are some other things that all bloggers struggle with, no matter how long we’ve been blogging and what we blog about. Enjoy!

 

7. Balancing a full-time job with blogging.

Most bloggers in Singapore aren’t paid when we do sponsored posts. We hold full-time jobs because Mama has to put food on the table and buy that Naked palette. Most of the time, our full-time jobs aren’t exactly aligned with the nature of what we blog about, so it’s pretty common to have a financial banker working 12-hour days and finding time in between all the other commitments to blog. Note that blogging also includes attending events, networking sessions, pitching to PR companies, photoshoots and writing emails. Tons and tons of emails.

This is why you’d believe a beauty blogger with a full-time job when she recommends you a good under-eye concealor.

 

8. Not being paid for our work.

There is a reason many European and US bloggers can carve out a living from blogging and Singaporean bloggers can’t. It’s simply that companies here, unlike the ones overseas, would rather not pay bloggers to blog about their products or services than to be strategic about their outreach campaigns. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. And I’m also trying to change it (like how a few other bloggers are), but one day at a time. If companies here were willing to change the way they approached the blogging industry, given the calibre of the pool of bloggers we have in Singapore, it wouldn’t be difficult to have our versions – or better ones – of Aimee Song, Chiara Ferragni and Jessica Stein.

 

9. Being perceived as wannabes.

Not all bloggers want to be popular or be a star. Sometimes, we really just do want to blog, that’s all. Maybe we have outfit shots or vlogs, but for some of us, what really matter are the photography, the videography, the behind-the-scenes actions, the people we meet (who later become friends) while collaborating on blog entries and attending events to stay in the know of latest industry updates. The best kinds of bloggers give you value, amaze you with their work and you always learn something new from them.

 
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Confession: The Struggles of Being a Blogger (Part 1 of 2)

 

Struggles of Being a Blogger

If only my desk were this perfect all the time.

 

OK I’ll admit it. Even before I typed the first word of this blog post, I actually Googled “struggles of being a blogger” to see what other bloggers in the rest of the world are struggling with. And it seems – after reading several articles and one particularly funny post filled with gifs on Buzzfeed – that bloggers do suffer from very similar things regardless of the genre of blogging.

 

I started blogging in 2010 because I loved writing (and makeup). Yes, I’m a chemist and I love to write. But I also cannot stand the emotive demands in literature (sorry folks), which seem way too tiring for me to catch up with. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good Neil Gaiman every now and then, but asking me what the poetic devices used in a poem imply about language is alien speak to me. So, the only way for me to continue my love affair with words, other than the occasional trips to the bookstore, is to write. And what else to write about than my other passion in life – beauty?

 

There are many problems that bloggers face in their time as a blogger, and here are some of the biggest ones I faced or are facing as a style and beauty blogger in Singapore.

 

1. Buying a new product and not using it till photos are taken.

So I just bought a new lipstick in a new never-worn-before shade from Tom Ford. I’m dying to use it this weekend while cafe hopping, or during the next big day at work (to remind me that all that hard work is worth it). The only thing is, I can’t. Because before I even dare to apply one layer of it on my skin, I need to make sure I’ve taken all the best photos I can of it for my blog review and Instagram. Same goes for skincare products and clothes for outfit posts. Yup, no chances taken.

 

2. Finding a photographer.

We all know the golden hours to take shots outdoors are the one just after sunrise and the one just before sunset. Good luck trying to find someone who’s also available during those times to take that shot for you. Not only that, but that certain someone should preferably like photography as much as you like having a nice photo of you put out there for all to see. Thank God for boyfriends and Instagram husbands now, shall we?

 

3. How often to post.

I used to post an entry every other day of the week at the very least, even if it was a small Tip of the Day entry. That was back when I’d just graduated from university and had some extra time on my hands. However, with what little amount of time I have now, there is a need to strategise. We know that quality trumps quantity, but we also know that readers get bored easily and won’t come back if we only post once a month or so.

 
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Link Love: What’s Your Life Made up of?

 



 

Kiss me hard before you go, summertime sadness. Oh, my God, I feel it in the air. Telephone wires above all sizzlin’ like your stare. Honey I’m on fire I feel it everywhere. Nothing scares me anymore.

 

Today’s Link Love post is inspired by my own thoughts lately about life in general. Right now, I’m in a spot or phase where I’m feeling all sorts of jaded by everything that’s going on around me. I suppose we all do get into a pit like this sometime in life, once or twice, and for some others, maybe more often. It’s not a nice place to be, not seeing or finding meaning in whatever it is that you do. So you need to just take a deep breath and do what it takes to get you to a better place.

 

Summertime Sadness Link Love - Laced Ivory

 

  1. The peeps at Senatus share Jimmy Choo’s 2016 new bridal shoes collection.
  2. Nikaela writes at Kinfolk‘s 9th issue about the art of being idle.
  3. Cassandra at Goodyfeed lets us in on the 10 restaurants in Singapore with the best views.
  4. Check out the second volume of free online magazine SOFFA.
  5. Mr. Smit (I named him) at Smitten Kitchen shares his recipe for making broccoli melts.
  6. Caroline asks on NY Times why we teach girls to be scared.
  7. The peeps at Pantone reveal the official FW 2016 Pantone colours.
  8. Kashmira talks about the 12 worst Tinder horror stories on The Independent.
  9. Elizabeth at Style Me Pretty shares her picks of flat wedding shoes for the girl who values comfort and style.

 
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A Year Older, a Year Wiser

 

Jiyugaoka Matcha Cake

If only all matcha cakes were made this good.

 

I don’t know the best way to put this but I’m officially 30! What started as something that had never crossed my mind – a future so distant I could only dream it – became a reality that hit me quite hard. To put it simply, I didn’t take it very well the night before the sun was set to rise again. As I lay in bed, tears welled up in my eyes while I pondered upon what this new decade would mean to me, horrified at the prospect of possibly turning into a soccer mum.

 

OK, I might be exaggerating a little. But turning the big three-o did make me reflect upon my life and where it seemed to be headed. I mean, I’ve now ventured irreversibly into the big unknown and that is pretty scary. If I could relive my last 30 years, I’m not sure what I would do differently, or if I would even have the chance to.

 

As the night wore on, a story I once read came to my mind, one about the biggest regrets of the dying elderly. I didn’t know what my biggest regret was that night, because all of those seniors did teach me after all to live my life to the fullest and spend time with loved ones. But it struck me one day later that if I were to have any regrets at this point in my life, it would be that there are only 24 hours in a day and that I can only do so much.

 

30 is still a young age, and the next 10 years are going to be the prime of my life. And a part of me looks forward to finding out how my life is going to change (and be more awesome, obviously). But a part of me knows that having my cake and eating it is going to be a struggle.

 

There are people who don’t believe that you can have it all in your life. But I honestly beg to differ. Life is what you make it out to be but you need to let that sink in and digest it before you can truly understand what that means. There are tons of things I want to do and achieve, and many people I want to hold on to as a facet of my however transient life. But that’s the thing, the crux of it all – that I only have one life. And so, I need to be selective.

 
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Resort Love: Ayodya Resort Bali

 

Ayodya Resort Bali Review

 

Have you ever stayed in a resort so good that you just don’t know where to begin to describe it to people? That’s the fix I’m in right now. Granted, I’ve not stayed in many five star hotels but Ayodya Resort Bali was such a great experience that I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again the next time I’m in Bali.

 

This resort is currently ranked #14 out of 46 hotels in Nusa Dua on Tripadvisor. It doesn’t currently have a Certificate of Excellence by the travel site but I wouldn’t be surprised if it earns one soon enough. We booked a deluxe room via Booking.com, but the staff there made our stay even better when they gave us a free upgrade to a suite for our entire stay.

 

Location

Ayodya Resort Bali Review

A volcano in the near distance, the gorgeous beach, an overly friendly squirrel and just so much space.

 

The resort is located in south Kuta and faces the east. It’s great for catching the sunrise, though you won’t be the only one doing that. It’s address is Jalan Pantai Mengiat | PO Box 46Nusa Dua, Bali 80363, Indonesia (click on the link to see it on Google Maps). Getting there is pretty convenient – just take a plane to the airport in Denpasar and then hail a cab to take you directly to the resort. 

 

If you ever find yourself wanting a unique experience, I highly recommend the Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (it’s just a short drive away). That’s where we adopted a one-month-old baby turtle, named her Lily and watched as she swam away into the ocean when we released her into her real home.

 

Baby Turtle

This is not Lily, but a barely one-day old baby turtle that had just hatched in the morning before we got to the centre. This little one and I, we definitely had a moment there.

 

{I do know that the survival rate of turtles is pretty low, and that Lily may not still be alive today, but that’s nature. I do not believe that this centre is a scam or anything of the sort because they take very good care of all the turtles they have. The centre actively seeks to protect any wild ones that have strayed onto shore (especially if they’re injured from human trash), keeping them safe and in good hands until they are ready to be released again. The centre is run by volunteers who are passionate about what they do and who make sure to explain anything you want to know about turtles and the exploitation of these beautiful creatures. It’s free entry for everyone and any amount that you spend in the centre goes into the conservation work that they do there.}

 

Room

Ayodya Resort Bali Review

The wonderful suite we got upgraded to.

 

Our suite was nothing short of amazing. It had a guest restroom; a living area with a dining table (perfect for in-room dining), a work desk, a TV and sofa; a separate bedroom with another TV and dresser; a gorgeous bathroom with a separate shower and tub; and a balcony that stretches for the entire length of the room.

 

Ayodya Resort Bali Review

The spacious bathroom that’s got more than enough space for two people.

 

Say, I don’t think I’ve ever stayed at a hotel that’s got a bottle opener inbuilt onto the walls of its bathroom – until now. If this isn’t luxury, I don’t know what is anymore. One thing though, the toilet bowls do get flooded or stuck from time to time but it’s a good thing there are two.

 

Service - the Ayodya Palace

The service is pretty decent. The staff is friendly and polite all the time, and nobody starts giving you looks when you, say, go for your third round of free crêpes during cocktail hour. The suites are located in the Ayodya Palace, where Palace guests have our own pool and beach chillout area, complete with beach towels and lounge chairs. Palace guests can check in and out at the Palace lounge, and there are also books and DVDs to rent if you just want to spend time in your room. To make things better, you also get free daily breakfast, free high tea in the afternoon and as I mentioned, there’s free cocktail in the evening too.

 

Overall & Price

The resort isn’t anything too expensive for a five-star accommodation (I wouldn’t otherwise have booked a room there). Although there are reviews by a handful of previous guests that there are better accommodation options out there in Nusa Dua, I find Ayodya Resort Bali to be pretty indulgent in its own way.

 

The beach is peaceful but not completely quiet because you’ll hear the waves crashing some hundred metres away – and they don’t stop. There is a tide that comes and goes, and for the more adventurous, you can try windsurfing in the late afternoon. Although the sand on the beach isn’t white as snow, it’s after all still a private beach, which spans a large area. That’s only because the resort itself is huge. It’s so huge that you need to take some time to explore it. There are several pools, as well as a lagoon with some wildlife living in it. Scattered around are other lounge areas, restaurants, bars, pool tables and more. And did I mention the squirrels that would take food out of your own hand? OK I admit, I couldn’t resist saving a bun at breakfast each day for these furry creatures.

 

Ayodya Resort Bali Review

The resort’s iconic infinity pool.

 

If you’re looking for some water activities, there is also a water sport station at one end of the resort. And if you would like someone to look after your child while you relax for a bit, there’s even a childcare corner with fun stuff for your kid to do or beds for your little one to nap in. In short, there is something for everybody.

 

I definitely recommend this resort for its value for money, the facilities and the endless number of things you can do while you’re there.

 

Spirited away,

Roxanne

Review: Sai Kaew Beach Resort

 

Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

With a gorgeous view of the beach like this, you’d want to visit more often than you can.

 

I’m a beach babe through and through. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’ve got a supermodel-esque body. I just mean I love the beach and everything that’s got to do with it. The fine sand, the water, the breeze – and how it’s the one place where earth, water and sky meet.

 

We travelled recently to Ko Samet, Thailand and stayed at Sai Kaew Beach Resort. This resort currently ranks #8 of 20 hotels in Ko Samet on TripAdvisor and has a Certificate of Excellence. We booked a Double Premier Seaside room for 2 nights via Hotelopia and had no problems with our reservation.

 

Location

 
Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

Such a gorgeous beach. Ko Samet, everybody.

 

Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

If you get a room that’s at the front-most of the resort (nearest to the beach), it comes with comfy chairs that let you overlook the beach down below.

 

The resort is located in the north of Ko Samet and faces southeast, in case you were thinking of either catching the sunrise or sunset. It’s right on the beach and has its own private beach for its guests. It’s address is 8/1 Moo 4 | Phe, Mueang RayongKo Samet 21160, Thailand (click on the link to see it on Google maps). If you don’t catch the ferry from Ban Phe pier to get to the island, you can get a speedboat that costs a little more and it will take you right to the beach of the resort. Of course, this means you’ll be getting your legs wet as the boat can only take you so near to the land.

 

Room

 
Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

Snaps of our Double Premier Seaside room.

 

Our room was very spacious for the price we paid. There was so much room to move about even after placing our baggage wide open beside the bed. We didn’t even make use of the balcony, which could fit 6 people nicely if some wouldn’t mind sitting on the floor. I love how the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors allow sunlight through, so the room is bright in the day. Everything was clean and tidy when we got there.

 

Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

So much space. Our large baggage is between the bed and bathroom (you can’t see it here).

 

Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

The bathroom.

 

Even the bathroom was huge. Right there in the shower area, you can fit 3 people and still have space to move around (not that we tried). You could probably slow dance as a couple in there too (we didn’t try this either). There are also 4 towels provided by the resort – 2 blue ones for the beach and 2 white ones for the bathroom. The only gripe I have with this room is the shower, which alternates on its own between hot and cold water when all you want is something warm.

 

Service

 

The service met our expectations. Room service came in an appropriate amount of time and everyone was very pleasant. We realised that our electrical plugs didn’t match the ones in the wall, and tried our luck by asking the receptionist for an international adapter. Again, they had what we needed, which as great. The staff also understood English well, a feature which I have found to be lacking in some other establishments in Asia. Actually, now that I think about it, this doesn’t happen only in Asia but that will be another review for another day.

 

Overall & Price

 

Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

Some words to live by.

 

Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

Like my outfit? See it in detail in my blog post here.

 

Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

Oooh oooh, throw your hands in the air. Oooh oooh, like you just don’t care.

 

The resort itself is excellent in terms of price, value for money, service and location. The beach can be filled with activities, as many visitors to the other parts of the beach try their hands at water sports, so if you are looking for a quiet time, you might prefer lounging by the pool instead. There’s enough greenery around the resort but what strikes me most are how near it is to the beach and the amount of space you get. Even the restaurant that serves the daily buffet breakfast has such a high ceiling, you just feel like you’re getting the amount of oxygen you rightfully deserve.

 

Sai Kaew Beach Resort Review

The restaurant of the resort, and a part of it that’s closer to the beach.

 

We paid about S$530 for the two nights we were there, which included breakfast and free wifi. Based on our experience at Sai Kaew Resort, I definitely recommend this resort to anyone looking to visit Ko Samet.

 

 

Travel far and wide,

Roxanne