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We're half-way through the middle of the year and I just can't believe where the time has flown by. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you will know that I mentioned that I've had a hectic last few months with several work and personal things all going on at the same time - an upcoming apartment move, a school change for Krishnav, work travels, personal vacations, work on pending tasks which had been put off for too long, etc. I tell myself to take each day as it comes. And to look good while doing it! So here goes my June 2018 look book!

Look 1: This boho top with the flared sleeves adds a dramatic effect to what would otherwise be a boring black outfit. I paired it with a black pencil skirt and tied a bright belt and added a colorful clutch to add that needed pop of color. Voila! I can imagine wearing this top in a more casual setting with a pair of blue jeans and sandals too.
Boho blouse from ShopBop | Pencil skirt from H&M (old) | Juicy Couture belt | Shoes from VNC in Bangkok (old) | Georgio Armani sunglasses | Clutch from Mumbai

Look 2: I've always seen white on white look good on others but couldn't figure out how to make it work for me. Then I realized it's about combining different textures and shades of white. This gold polka dot, ruffled top paired with white jeans works and is complimented with the brown tones seen with the shoes and bag. Clean and simple look but still with a style factor to it.
SheIn Gold Dot Print Top | Espirit white stretch jeans | Charles & Keith shoes | Burberry purse

Look 3: I love this checked skirt from H&M. I bought it when I was on maternity leave last year but it wasn't fitting me then. Now that I've lost a bit of the postpartum weight (still a long way to go!), I'm able to fit into the skirt. I opted to keep things simple with a solid black top. What might also look good is print-mixing the checked skirt with another printed top. Something to try for next time! Throw in the tassel earrings for a fun addition to the look and you're good to go. This is an outfit I wore to work earlier this month. 
H&M checked skirt (no longer available) | Forever 21 black top (old) |
Staccato flats | Just Gaya's white tassel earrings | Miu Miu purse
 (similar here)

Look 4: It's okay to be matchy-matchy but sometimes I just like to throw in an unexpected element to a look. This floral dress is pretty and sweet. But the green bag, although it doesn't match at all, still adds something interesting and unexpected to the look. Some might say it works, some wouldn't. But hey, it's just a bag. So let's not overthink it, right?

Pink Floral Print Dress from Lulu's (no longer available) | Marc Jacobs cross body bag | Charles & Keith shoes | Ralph Lauren sunglasses (old)

Look 5: Living in a tropical place like Singapore means you're able to get away with wearing clothes which have a summery, beachy vibe to them. This smock dress with the watermelon-shaped straw clutch and pom-pom sandals looks like I could be vacationing somewhere in a tropical beach destination. But nope, it's just a regular chill day in Singapore. This dress is simple but the pop of bubblegum pink stands out. I threw in some accent accessories for fun. I love this look!
Vero Moda Tiered Off-Shoulder Midi Dress | Ammos Accessories Atalanta sandals |
Clutch from Zhai Eco Collection

Look 5: June was also the month that my little baby-boo turned ONE! Yes, what a milestone! I can't believe it's been a year since this little butterball entered our lives and enriched it with his dimpled smiles and mischievous laughter. We celebrated with our family in Bangkok with a party! I chose to wear this light yellow Indowestern outfit purchased from a boutique in Bangkok. Additional tailoring touches were thrown in for a better fit and look. I love the embroidered design on the dupatta stole and on the dress itself. 


Mallika's Boutique in Bangkok

Now your turn to talk: Which of these 6 looks did you like best? I'd love to know! 
How do you travel light and yet manage to create different looks and outfits while on vacation? The key is to bring articles of clothing or accessories that can be reworn in different permutations and combinations. It’s simple enough to do. All it requires is a bit of advance planning while packing instead of dumping everything into your suitcase!

If I had to break it down into 4 simple steps, I’d say:

1. Bring 1-2 purses that can go with almost all outfits. I like to bring one big handbag for the flights and for carrying lots of items when out and about during the day. Then I also bring a smaller one for the evening occasions/dinner when you don't need to carry everything under the sun. 

2. Bring up to 2 pairs of shoes that can go with almost all outfits - perhaps a pair of cute, trendy flats and a pair of comfy sneakers. Maybe one pair of heels if you expect to be dressing up for an evening out.

3. Bring bottoms (pants, shorts, etc) that can be mixed and matched with different tops. So basically, the ratio of tops to bottoms should generally be 3:1.

4. Bring one piece of accessory that can elevate your look. It can be anything, like a cute hat, a headscarf (which can be worn any number of ways!), or a cool pair of sunglasses! 

I’m sharing some of the outfits I wore on a recent trip to Bali. You’ll notice that I really only carried 2 pairs of shoes and 2 verstatile purses (one was more of a travel day bag, the other a clutch). Incidentally, I seem to be wearing yellows and blues a lot but that was entirely unplanned!
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Look 1:
I love the idea of elevating a "shorts and tee" look with a slouchy blazer. You've seen me feature this Bershka yellow blazer on the blog before. This time, I wore it in a more casual setting and dressed it down with white sneakers. Comfy yet chic. 

Uniqlo eyelet shorts | Zara sleeveless blouse (old) | Bershka blazer | Calvin Klein handbag | Rubi shoes | Charles & Keith sunglasses 

Look 2:
While on vacation in a tropical clime, shorts are the way to go. I loved the Uniqlo eyelet shorts in black (worn above) so much that I bought a pair in white! I paired that with a gingham top purchased online a while ago (I can't even recall where, to be honest) and cute pom-pom sandals from Ammos Accessories. 
Uniqlo eyelet shorts | Gingham blouse (old) | Ammos Accessories Atalanta sandals |
Hat from Singapore street shopping 

Look 3:
Here I wore an old Club Monaco dress bought several seasons ago along the hat and sandals previously seen above along with my watermelon clutch 

Club Monaco dress (old) | Hat and sandals linked in pictures above |
Watermelon clutch from FoliAge Singapore

Look 4:
I fell in love with these harem pants from Baliza. Made of 100% organic cotton, the design and pattern of these pants is so sweet and pretty! Baliza is a store that makes comfortable and trendy beach and resortwear collections while working with and supporting women from disadvantaged communities. These pants were the perfect item to pack for this trip and I paired it with a casual top embroidered top from Uniqlo. Also, notice how those sandals made a reappearance? 

Uniqlo Cotton embroidered blouse | Harem pants pink flowers from Baliza 

Look 5:
Last but not least, you can never go wrong with a pair of jeans and a casual top. Pair it with white sneakers and a cute clutch and you're ready to go for a walk around the beach town or visiting temples.

ESP Jeans | Bow top from SheInside (old) | Watermelon clutch and sneakers mentioned above 


Another month, another lookbook! Let’s get to it…

A summer dress that can double as a beach cover-up…or a beach cover-up that can double as a summer dress? Either way, it works! I got this cute, tasseled dress from Edit Lifestyle, a store in Singapore which has an amazing collection of summery, beach outfits and resortwear. The straw bag is from the store too. The items in Edit Lifestyle are on the pricier side but if you really like something, it may be worth a splurge. Or better yet, wait for their sales or check out their in-store sales rack!

Edit Lifestyle Dress & Straw bag 
Yet another SheIn dress that's a winner in my book. This bright mustard yellow dress (only $17!) is great for dressing up with heels or down with flat sandals. I paired it with this embroidered clutch purchased from Ammos Accessories, an Australian-based online store which has a great collection of boho chic accessories.

SheIn Ruffled Hem Dress | Clutch from Ammos Accessories (this one is no longer available online but similar here) | Zara necklace (an old purchase) | Charles & Keith heels
I talked about this Kate Spade dress when I shared this photo on Instagram. I loved the dress when I saw it on a trip to Hong Kong but it was too expensive to buy. So instead, I waited out for a sale and bought it on eBay for a much lower price. I guess the dress has a gypsy, boho vibe to it. But the flowy, feminine look of the dress makes me feel great!

Kate Spade Marigold dress | Purse from Mumbai street shopping | Charles & Keith heels
Bimba Y Lola is a store I equate with bright colors and a mod, funky design aesthetic. Found on sale, I really liked this blouse for its colors and keyhole slit in the front. You can wear almost any color bottom with it because the top itself has many colors to play against. I usually like wearing it to work with black pants or with casual denims for a weekend outing.

Bimba Y Lola blouse (no longer available) | Zara denim jeans | YSL purse | Charles & Keith shoes
Make your closet work for you with styling the same piece in different ways. The top I’m wearing here is actually a dress (an old summer dress that I purchased online from Lulu's. Side note/FYI: this store has cute stuff and they do free international shipping for orders over $150 USD, otherwise $15 for economy shipping). I just wore a black midi skirt with it and threw on some pink heels to complete this look, which I work to work the day this picture was taken. The key to wearing dresses as tops is that the dress itself should not be too thick so as to avoid adding bulk to your look.
BB Dakota Pauline Black Shift Dress from Lulu's | Mango black midi skirt | 
Charles & Keith shoes | Michael Kors purse
FashMob is a nice online site for shopping for affordable, on-trend apparel. I was drawn to this magenta dress right away. The sash detail is really unique (you can tie it in the front as a bow or in the back – your choice) and the cut is very flattering. It makes for a great cocktail dress or for any dressy event. The tassle earrings and ikat cluth (made with Uzbekistan silk material) is from Just Gaya’s, another online store based in Singapore with an amazing collection of accessories. 

FashMob Akira Sash Dress | Just Gaya's clutch and tier tassel earrings |
Charles & Keith cuff and heels

I’ve received a lot of compliments on the Juicy Couture skirt that I posted on Instagram a couple weeks ago. I also talked about it on my March Look Book here. Indeed, this pleated maxi skirt is so pretty. I love how feminine and girly it makes me feel!

Polka dots are timeless and depending on how you dress it up, you can achieve a vintage mod look or a modern chic look. Here I’m sharing with you a few of my favorite polka dot bottoms (pants or skirt).

FashMob: I love this Singapore-based online store for its stylish and very affordable collection of clothes. I’m loving the Hamilton Polka Dot Pants for under $40. They are perfect for wearing to work with a blouse or for a casual weekend look.


Mango: This black and white polka dot skirt gets edgy with a fringe design. I’m totally loving the unexpectedness of the fringe to the whole look. Keep it simple with a plain white or black blouse. This skirt costs $89.90.


Zaful: This blue midi-skirt with white polka dots has a mod-look to it. I love the button-down design and pocket detail on it. I can imagine styling it with espadrilles, a hat, a cropped yellow tee or button down blouse with the front knotted up. You can see one type of styling of the skirt here. Being under $25, you can’t fight this price point! (P.S. – Zaful does free international deliveries, including in Asia, for orders over USD $49).

ASOS Bandeau Bow Front Dress: This online store is my go-to source for my closet essentials and on-trend clothes at prices that don't bust the budget. So this next item isn't a skirt or pants but I just found this bandeau polka dot dress super cute (under $50). So perfect for a summer vacation outfit or for a casual weekend look. For cooler temperatures or for modesty, you can throw on a denim jacket or a colored cardigan (basically using one of the colors of the polka dots - a red or pink cardigan would look great!)


ASOS Wrap Skirt: Go to any store these days and you'll notice a wrap skirt. They're trending right now and are quite flattering on most shapes. I quite liked this mini-wrap skirt with its polka dot design. You can opt to keep it monochromatic with a top that is gray, black, or white in color. Or go with a mustard yellow or red top for a more fun look! 


You'll notice from my picks that I prefer the smaller polka dot designs. It's just a pattern I'm drawn to more so than the large polka dots. Just a personal preference! What about you? Tell me which of these picks you liked best!

Photo credit via websites links provided
I’ve always touted Singapore as an extremely kid-friendly place to live. Indeed, the mere presence of clean and inviting nursing rooms in every mall, the abundance of indoor play areas for children, and the emphasis placed upon providing educational and social learnings for children here is commendable.

Recently, while flipping through the vast collection of photos amassed on my iPhone from the last three years, I realized I’ve done my fair share of exploring places and exposing my kids to different experiences around town. This virtual trip down memory lane inspired me to put these experiences “down on paper” as a blog post – essentially, my own personal list of go-to places around town for my children. If it happens to spark ideas of places to go for my readers or benefits families making plans to visit Singapore, then all the better!

Note: The list I made below is by no means exhaustive and is in no specific order. Do note that it doesn’t include indoor or outdoor playareas, which is a list in and of itself.

So here goes…

1. ArtScience Museum: This is probably amongst my son’s favorite places to visit. “Future World” is a permanent exhibit that provides an immersive high-tech, interactive experience for children. I know that sounds pretty abstract but trust me when I say that it is worth taking your child there for an incredible experience into a world of art-meets-science. A recent exhibit called “Treasures of the Natural World” borrows artifacts from the Natural History Museum in London to take you on a journey back into the era of Charles Darwin and his study of Galapagos turtles and when dodo birds.


2. McRitchie Reservoir: Outdoor exploration is such an important part of play. I have always enjoyed bringing Krishnav here ever since he was 2 years old. The monkeys which roam freely (caution: never bring food in front of these creatures who won’t think twice before snatching your bag of chips), the open green space, and the view of the reservoir are all so refreshing. You can even do short treks with the kids, including the McRitchie Treetop Walk, a well-known freestanding suspension bridge between the two highest points in the Central Catchment.
 


3. Visit the Central Fire Station on Hill Street: Every Saturday between 9-11am, the Central Fire Station on Hill Street holds an open house for kids to come visit their premises. What a treat for the little ones who get to climb and sit inside fire trucks and ambulances and do pretend play! The friendly firefighters here also give a tour of their facilities and a demo on how they respond to emergencies, including use of their giant fire hose to put out fires!


4. Visit Little India and its temples: Regardless of whether your child is Indian or not, a visit to Little India is sure to provide an immersive cultural experience for your child. On a regular day, you can take your child to one of the temples which are rich in eye-catching works of art and carvings depicting scenes form Hindu mythology. During the Hindu festivals, such as Diwali or Pongal, festive street stalls pop up in certain areas and the entire length of Serangoon Road is decorated with lights and colorful banners.



5. Singapore Flyer: Admittedly, it’s a somewhat costly ride, but I believe everyone should do it at least once during their time in Singapore. After all, it’s an integral part of the skyline. Why not experience it up close? You get an incredible view of the ocean below and the view of downtown Singapore. The kids quite like the experience of it.


6. Gardens by the Bay: This place is a must-visit for any local or tourist. For kids, it’s a gold mine of activities to do! Let’s see…there is the water sprinkler park, the outdoor kids play area in the sand, a mini Cactus Garden and aquarium, the magnificent Super Groves and the Domes (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest). What’s not to love?

7. Marina Barrage: Just a short walk down from Gardens by the Bay is a little hilltop and one of my favorite corners of Singapore. Arguably the southwestern-most point of the island, Marina Barrage provides a view of the sea on one side and a view of the Singapore skyline on the other. We love coming here for picnics and kite-flying. Invariably, there is someone ever willing to help us out as we often fumble and struggle to get our kites up!


8. Biking along the East Coast: Rent a bike from one of the many locations (Greenland Park is one of them) and cruise around with your little one on the back. I love bringing my son (and friends visiting from out-of-town) for a reasonably active and fun outing. Something about the view of the palm trees lining the streets, the beach, and families hanging out here really makes me happy!


9. Murals, anybody?: I’m a huge fan of artist Yip Yew Chong’s murals and have taken Krishnav to see the ones on Everton Road (known as the Everton Murals) and Tiong Bahru. He has a lot more murals in other locations which you can find out about here and I personally have written about them here.  It’s a great way to expose the kids to art that tells stories and to ignite conversation on what they see and think…for free!


10. Kid-friendly animal farms around Singapore? Yes, it actually exists. I’ve actually written a whole article on this topic and you can read all about it here on Sassy Mama!

The remaining 10 items on this list will be continued in part II of this series...Stay tuned!