Pick a Nic!

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Just over the weekend, J and I headed to the park for an open air screening of Despicable Me. Can I just digress and say that it is one of my favorite movies, with so many funny and awwww moments that I’ve watched it twice this year and was not sick of it at all. We decided to pack with us a simple meal, which included ham&cheese (grilled of course), egg mayo, and a slice of carrot cake. Everything but the cake was homemade by us, which was easy to accomplish. I’ve had a couple of picnics with friends in the past, and I absolutely enjoy them! Let me share a couple of trade secrets of a picnic-er with you, since its summer all year round in Singapore and almost always a good time for one, unless its pouring out.

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First off, where to have a picnic?
A park, some sort of a garden, by the beach, by the pool, or even indoors!

My favorite picks would be by the pool or Singapore’s Botanic Gardens (so cliche but it can’t be helped). The best spots are those with shade (think big big trees), soft grass, little to no buildings so that there’ll be a breeze, and if possible, some flower bushes by the side for aesthetic and smell purposes.
I’d say that as long as you have a picnic mat and basket, it’s officially a picnic. I’ve had a picnic indoors and the air conditioning can sometimes make it a lot more fun, especially when you can throw pillows around and spend some quality time watching a good movie.

Key point to note – never go for a picnic between breakfast and lunch. Always have it in the afternoon or evening or you’ll definitely end up regretting it after you’ve been burnt by the sun and/or meet with heat fatigue. If you’ve found a great shaded area and aren’t too bothered by the sun / or do not live in a tropical country, by all means have a brunch picnic!

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What to pack for a picnic (non-food items)
Picnic mat, and a picnic basket that can fit your yummies.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have that meaty of a butt (like me), I would suggest bringing a sleeping bag – an idea of J’s which I really loved! You should also consider the following: A box of tissues, a paper fan, a pack of wet tissue, mosquito repellant, and a garbage bag for you to dump your trash after for easy clean-up! If you have more than enough space in your boot or more than enough people to carry stuff, bring some pillows and flowers for some additional fun & comfort. You can consider some stainless steel cutlery and tin cups that are environmentally friendly and easy to wash if required.

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Food to pack
Here’s where it gets really interesting (for me at least).
Fresh fruits are always a must – strawberries, cherries, grapes, pears, blueberries and peaches are my favorite picks! Stocking more of these for your picnic is great when you don’t want to spend too much time preparing – even an all-fruit picnic would work.

Sandwiches – ham & cheese is a must, and I love putting cheddar cheese, emmental cheese, apple baked ham and soft white bread. I’ve a couple of favorite recipes pinned and shall share with you guys – 1, 2, 3,

Dips & Chips – the easiest things to put together, so grab your favorite baked chips and pair it with hummus or guacamole. (both of these are epic recipes.) For a healthier option, swap the chips out for cucumber or carrots.

Desserts – my favorite part. I’d pick a tart or a light cake for this, and here are a couple of recipes you can try – 1, 2, 3. A quick brownie recipe or tiny cupcakes work best, and you should bring some sort of icing to dip them in, yum! Click for 38 more healthy picnic recipes from The Greatist!

Drinks – as I am highly guilty of always having an Asian glow after drinking alcohol, I wouldn’t recommend much alcohol at picnics unless they’re bottles upon bottles of Somersby! I would also say a great lemonade or icy chilled juice would work. You can consider freezing your drink up into ice cubes, so that once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll have a lovely ice cold liquid to sip on. Other drinks to consider should include watermelon juice, iced honey lemon, iced blueberry or peach tea, or even just iced water with strawberries in them!

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Picnic Activities
Sure, it could be all about eating, but there are tons of other things you can do at a picnic. If its just you and a friend or your beau, you should each grab a book and read together, or you could read out your favorite parts to each other. With your smartphone by your side, you could also bring along a tiny portable speaker and share music with friend. Other activities you can consider include a game of frisbee, a card game (like Bridge or Saboteur or Cards of Humanity), hide & seek (if you’re in a park!), a game of five stones, kite flying, or even just snapping thousands of photos to commemorate your day out.

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Hope you enjoyed that and that this post inspired you enough to head out and spend some time at a picnic with the people you love. Let me know how it goes!

xx Kate

All White Errthang

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Probably everyone who knows me well enough knows how much I adore the color black – even adore might be too light a word, perhaps obsessed would be more like it. The words “All Black Errthang” sit on my laptop in the form of a sticker, and I quite literally cannot get sick of black dresses.

However, it has come to my recent attention the cleanliness and beauty of all white everything – black and white, yin and yang, they both work in perfect harmony, but when only one is in play, the depth it brings is intense.

Am now considering a pair of white Birkenstocks, since I wear my black Arizonas to death. I think it would be a great note to add that white seemingly adds a couple of kilos to your frame, which has hindered me from fully donning the color. Let’s see how this plays out and if I can integrate a couple of all white outfits into my daily life.

Hope everyone’s having a fabulous weekend – mine was filled with lots of sleep and great food.

xx Kate

Keeping It Clean

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Skin issues – since we all have them. Nothing I’m saying here really is anything new (to me at least) and I’ve read a lot of these tips from various publications & sites, but I thought I’d give my personal take on them and let you know that they stand 100% true for me.  Since I don’t wear make-up, it’s essential for my skin to stay clear, dewy and even-colored. Here we go –

  • Drink lots of water or unsugared tea – I love roasted green tea.
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep. When I don’t catch enough ZZZZs, it is extremely clear that my skin goes down the drain.
  • Bedsheets and weekly changes – cleanliness of the surface that you put your face on always matters.
  • Don’t touch your face – when you go through the day doing work, tapping away on your laptop etc, your fingers get a lot of grime and germs on them so try your best to steer clear of touching your face! This applies for your shower or face towel as well – always send it for a wash after 3-4 days, and don’t re-use damp towels that haven’t dried out properly.
  • On a related note, clean your cellphone with an alcohol swab every 2-3 days – you might not realize this, but your phone literally smooches your face every time you’re on a call.
  • Diet – bread, sugar, fried stuff make my skin breakout. Tried and tested – after I binge on a ton of sweet stuff like cakes or chocolate with the boy, I end up having lots of little spots come out. It varies between individuals, but you can test it out and see what food you eat starts a war on your face.
  • Skincare – I realize that my skin (and this applies to a lot of my friends as well) works best when I change it up every 3 months. I have 2-3 products I rotate between when it comes to cleansing and moisturizing. You can see my holy grail 3-item skincare routine post here.
  • I’ve grown a fond attachment to Lush’s Aqua Marina – it leaves my skin extremely soft and moisturized, and after using it for a couple of weeks, going back to Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin seems a bit harsh so I’ve decided to alternate between the two. I’ve also swapped my face mist out for No. 7’s Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream – I discovered this a couple of years back when I was in London, and I still have 2 unopened tubs in my room from when I stocked up on it a while ago. It can get a bit oily, but I love how moisturized and smoother my skin feels. I’ve also added on No. 7’s Protect & Perfect Intense Eye Cream to my night routine (when I do remember it) as my dark eye circles have been steadily getting darker – does the job and I have no complaints!
  • If you’ve any scars on your face, my best kept secret would be Hiruscar – scars of any sort will miraculously disappear if you religiously apply this for 2 weeks, cross my heart.
  • As for little bumps and pimples, I have yet to find a miracle product that really works, and I’ve tried all of the “cult products”. What works for me at the moment though is Clinique’s Anti-blemish Solutions Spot Treatment Gel.

That’s quite possibly about it. As I sit here, there’s a tiny zit on the side of my left cheek that’s annoying me, and with a quick Google search, 10 different home solutions come up. Apparently apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and tomato juice are top ways to aid my problem – I’m quite skeptical and am afraid to try this for fear of aggravating the current situation. Any past experiences with this?

xx Kate