Wow.

Has it really been an entire month since I last posted? I am so slack. I am so sorry. I could promise to post more often but we all know how that’s gonna go. :)

I really like Chicago. Everything is awesome here. Unlike Nevada where many things felt wrong for me. And do you know what takes the cake? The house is literally full of spiders. Tiny jumpers and web spiders are everywhere. I am constantly vacuuming webs and insect remains, and I am always pleased to see jumpers walking around. We even have a pet Phidippus Audax, that Mitch caught when we were at his sister’s house for 4 July. We named him Dave. He is just adorable.

How many people would say a house full of spiders is a good thing? :)

I am having an awesome time playing with my outfits over here, with the nice dry air and lower humidity. My Free People wardrobe has expanded rather crazily due to free and faster shipping, and the environment which is perfect for all those glorious layers. I have a tonne of outfit peektures accumulated, which are all on Instagram. My Instagram is pretty much updated everyday, so please feel free to hit me up over there @jessicaval if you are tired of waiting for this blog to be updated. :P

I will attempt to post some peektures tomorrow. For now, it’s bedtime. :)

I hope everyone is well!

x o x o
bB

Chicago, Chicago

Hi everyone!

Gosh, it is so difficult to get back into posting! And as each day goes by, I keep chalking up more peektures! :)

It was a crazy few hours getting onto the flight out of Singapore. I hereby announce my gratitude to Eric for being such an awesome friend, who not only helped me get my two massive luggage hardcases into the cab, but also came with me to the airport and stayed to make sure I was going to make it to the plane. Basically what happened was, I had an anxiety attack a coupla hours prior to leaving, which messed up my stomach and digestion, leading to indigestion and crazy nausea. I felt sooooo ill, I thought I was gonna die. What made it worse was, I was trying to keep myself hydrated because I didn’t want to fall sick with flu. So I was drinking way too much water than I should have. With all these factors combined, I was a very uncomfortable little puppy.

Miraculously, I made it. To be honest, in my past years of flying around, I have never even considered missing my flight, the way I did that Friday night. For a moment, I thought I wasn’t gonna be able to get on the plane.

I managed to rest pretty well on the plane, considering the state I was in. Or maybe because of the state I was in. I’m not sure. :D But it worked out well.

Japan Air was a pretty good airline to fly with. Service was top notch and food was quite good too. I landed in quite a decent (and coherent) state.

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First home-made brekkie in Chicago was pancakes!

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My regular brekkie on weekdays, the usual cornflakes and berries. So happy to be back in the land of abundant berries!

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This is such an unglam peekture, but I caught my first fish at the lake right next to the house! :)

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And here’s me trying on my first pair of Old Gringo boots. Check out that embroidery. The detail is just amazing.

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My half of the closet. :)

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My favourite Spell bags on the bedroom wall. :)

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Here is my happy wall of boots in the living room. Temporary, because they will have their own shelving unit in my work room when it’s done. :)

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My first pair of Old Gringo boots was a size 5.5, which felt a little big. I ordered the 5 just to try, and it turns out, I am a 5. I just love how easy it is to return stuff here. Literally within half a day of sending them back, Amazon issued me a refund.

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This is the first outfit peekture I took in Chicago, after being lazy and jetlagged for several days. This is my Woodstock Maxi dress from Spell, my Balenciaga moto jacket, and Old Gringo boots in Grace. I just love how soft and comfy the Woodstock Maxi is.

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And the Old Gringo boots are super comfy too. Zero break-in required! They fit like I have had them forever!

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In this outfit, I got to wear my Scallop Edge Lace Crop in White from Free People. I have been looking forward to putting outfits together using Free People’s Intimates pieces. I held off until I came to Chicago… and now I am here! Absolutely loving it! The blue cami is from Abercrombie. Denim shorts from Abercrombie Kids.

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And here is my host in Chicago!

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Snapping a beautiful sunset from the car when we were driving back from a mall.

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When I first got to Chicago, it was colder than I thought it would be for summer. Mitch says this summer has been a little weird. So we had to go shopping to get me some tights. I wanted to get some from Macy’s, but they were no longer selling warm tights. So we found some at H&M. Little white dress and lace bralette are from Hollister.

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I threw on this cheap sweater I bought from Bangkok (I think it was $8) and we were off to fish again! That is my fishing bag. I bought it from ShopBop just for fishing. I wanted a cheaper, non-leather bag that I could wash easily if I needed to. And it’s roomy enough for me to throw my Sony NEX into, and extra jacket if I needed one.

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There are many spiders around the house, but I only saw fat web spiders for the first few days. Just as I was wondering if I would see any of my favourite spiders, several came out to say hi one fine morning. I was so happy.

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I have seen people wear this combo of the Knot a Lot Top and Lace Halter Bra from Free People all the time, and I always wanted to try it. I finally did! Khaki shorts were from Abercrombie Kids. Boots are Frye Carmen Harness Tall boots in Light Tan.

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And with my Spell Voodoo Crochet Tassel bag.

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Here is the arrival of my Dreamweaver bag in Cream from Spell. Loves it!

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More happy combos with a Free People Lace Halter Bra. I just love this bra! I am so happy that I can wear it and it’s not too big for me. It seriously solves the problem of strapless and strappy tops and dresses, because I dislike wearing strapless bras. These are soooo comfy and so cute when visible! I now have them in five colours.

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Wearing my Dreamweaver bag in Cream for the first time!

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Here we are on the way to H Mart, an Asian supermarket that I have been with Vickie when I was in Boston with her. So happy that there are TWO in Chicago!

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I had this Korean meal at the foodcourt of H Mart, and they gave me 13 side dishes. Thirteen!

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Remember this dress I bought in Singapore from Bershka? It was a little too big for me. I had it chopped off into a tube, empire-line babydoll dress. And this is the difference. I love how it makes me look less like a chopstick now.

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Some pretty socks I bought from H&M…

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Sunsets are just beautiful here. Pink clouds are the norm. <3

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The updated wall of happy Spell bags!

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One day, there was a massive storm. I stayed at home all day and slummed around in my favourite Free People Shaggy Knit sweater. So glad I decided to bring a few of them. I was thinking I wouldn’t need them for summer. Who would have known, summer would be kinda cold?

And I was also trying out my Frye lizardskin boots here. Remember how happy I was to win them on eBay for $31? Well, the seller wasn’t honest. It turned out to be a pair of 6.5, not 5.5 like she said. The older Frye boots do run small, so they fit me like a size 6. With thick socks, they are actually okay. So I am wearing them around the house to see if I am going to keep them.

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Shappo sharing a lollipop with me…

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One of my home-cooked meals: Congee, eel, sweet potato leaves!

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OMG. Bunnies in the back yard. I squeal every time they appear. I wish they would come by everyday!

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There is an abandoned nest in the roof of the patio, and one morning, I was delighted to see a pair of finches renovating it to take over. I hope I get to see baby birds!

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Here’s my host, painting my work room, where my boots and bags are going to live, with my moto.

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Simple lunch/brekkie on a weekday of congee with seaweed strips and kimchi.

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Love deliveries from Free People. :D There will be many, many…

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Giving an old maxi dress a new lease of life with my Free People Lace Halter Bra. <3

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Making brekkie on a weekend! Damn, that steel frying pan is a pain to use when frying eggs. Mitch doesn’t like non-stick pans because they are bad for you. :P This is really gonna test my skills.

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We are addicted to these fruit bars. OMG they are so awesome. Pomegranate is the best flavour. They have become a staple on the grocery list.

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Wearing one of my new dresses from Singapore! With one of my Free People Lace Halter Bras! Boots are Frye Carmen Harness Tall boots in Grey.

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And with my Spell Dreamweaver bag in Cream.

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We went out to catch a movie – Man of Steel. Yes, like everyone says, it rocks.

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It was quite an experience in the cinema. The layout was like a lecture hall in school, with rows of tables and office chairs. Menus are on the table and food can be served during the movie. That part was awesome! The not-so-awesome part was, like everywhere in the US and Canada, it is free seating. Which means, it may be difficult to get good seats. We ended up sitting quite near the front.

I was happy wearing my moto in the cold, cold theatre.

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That’s it for now! I have chalked up more peektures since uploading these, but I will save those for next time! I will try to post more often! :P

x o x o
bB

48 hour Flash Sale @ Spell Designs

Good news people! Spell and the Gypsy Collective is having a 48 hour flash sale!

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I nabbed a Dreamweaver Bag in Cream. After using my Antique Brown one, as well as my Voodoo Crochet Bag in Cream, I realised I absolutely needed the Dreamweaver in Cream, because I love the size of the Antique Brown Dreamweaver, yet I lovelovelove the way the cream leather looks! <3

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The Dreamweaver is quite a large bag. Do check the item info page for the dimensions. For those who are curious, the bag sold on Free People under the same name is not the same size despite the same name. It is the smaller version. I also noticed the bag on Free People has a straight bottom, while the larger one from Spell directly has a curved bottom, which I prefer.

Happy shopping!

x o x o
bB

My week in peektures (and words)

Another week has gone by and we are down to one week before I leave for Chicago! At this point, I’m not sure if I would get around to editing and posting all peektures from Bangkok and winter in the US, but I will always update with my crappy iPhone peektures. :P

So, I currently have a coffee dilemma. My choice of coffee is Nescafe’s Cafe Menu in Vanilla Latte. It’s perfect for me, I lovelovelove the taste and the caffeine content isn’t high. I brought 10 boxes (containing 10 sachets each) to the US when I last went and I had some leftover when I came back. I recently finished all of them, and was searching everywhere to stock up again, to no avail! Not sure what is going on, but only Hazelnut Latte could be found. That’s what I’m drinking now, but I have not given up on my Vanilla Latte yet. I wrote to Nescafe on Facebook, did not get a reply. I will ring up their Singapore office on Monday.

Hazelnut Latte is not too bad, but my first choice is still Vanilla Latte. :(

My Laduree macarons have been slowly savoured, with much enjoyment. :) Yes, I work on a very messy desk. I like to think of it as an organised mess.

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I also busted out a new mug to use. I have all four of these — red, blue, green, orange. The red is my favourite and blue is my second favourite. Best mugs EVER.

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I have to say, the Hazelnut Latte has a nicer, more consistent foam than the Vanilla one does. Not sure why this is so.

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Early last week, Kate and I went out to Gardens by the Bay to catch the last few days of Tulipmania. And this was what I wore.

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White tee with lace detail from Promod (few years ago), white denim shorts with embroidery from Bershka (current season), Carmen Harness Tall boots from Frye, Dreamweaver Tassel Bag from Spell and the Gypsy Collective. 

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And this is bB out and about with my Sony NEX.

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I have a tonne of peektures taken at Gardens by the Bay on the Sony NEX. We’ll see if I can get around to processing them at some point, maybe I will do that before I deal with the Bangkok and US peektures? If anyone has any preference, please feel free to comment. :)

After an awesome time at the Gardens, I carried on with my summer shopping at Ion Orchard (again).

I was in a tulip-y mood, and this skirt reminded me of tulip petals! Loved the waist details as well, and it actually stays on my skinny ass. Bought it. :D From Pull and Bear.

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This one was very nice but literally falling off my non-existent hips. Passed on it!

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I luuuuurve cutwork detailing on clothes. Have not seen many lately that are nicely done… Grabbed it. :D From Pull and Bear.

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This dress was hanging on the mannequin and I really liked it. Had to beg the store manager to take it off the mannequin so I could try it. Sadly, it didn’t work for me. The armholes were massive and I didn’t like it enough to invest in alteration fees on it. The material was wonderfully soft though.

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And then, I popped into Topshop. I hadn’t been in this store since many years ago, when I used to stock up on their basic round-neck tees. For some reason, they stopped making these perfect tees and so I stopped going to them. I happened to walk by, saw a few Coachella inspired dresses and so I went in.

This dress had very interesting details on the bodice, subtly sexy. But a pity it was too big for me, though it’s not obvious in the peektures. I could grab about two inches of loose fabric around the waist. Passed on it.

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And then! I found the perfect bikini! So, so happy! This awesome little find made my foray into Topshop entirely worthwhile. The top ties at the back and neck for a perfect fit. And I just love the crochet effect. LOVE! Sorry, no bum shots. Only one person gets to see those. ;)

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I found this old peekture from many years ago, when I went to Tioman with my Architecture classmates. My good friend, Clay, took this of me. Still one of my favourite travel peektures ever.

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More boot news! I bought my very first pair of Old Gringo boots! Old Gringo boots are like works of art. I scored these (Grace in black) on 50% off Amazon. They have arrived in Chicago. I cannot wait to rip the box open! Let’s hope I got the right size.

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Starting to tidy up miscellaneous things around my desk in preparation of leaving, and I took peektures of my souvenirs from Vienna and Paris. These two adorable postcards were from Vienna. I have a soft spot for creatures with bug eyes. @.@ And I love octopuses and owls! <3

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My Laduree charm from Paris. I hesitated a little getting this, because I have stopped using charms on my bags, but it was pretty cute. And I love macarons, so… :)

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There was a scorching hot day when I perspired all day while working at home. And in the evening, it suddenly became much cooler. I still felt very warm and sticky, and overcompensated by taking a cold shower, after which I sat under the A/C for a little while. Hence… I caught a cold. LOL! Yes, I can be pretty stupid like that. Took some Airborne and slept in the next day. Was right as rain after that. :)

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Yesterday was another errand day. I had planned to go for all my salon appointments, grab some stuff, and go home after that. Brought my beloved Voodoo Crochet Tassel Bag from Spell and the Gypsy Collective.

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I took my outfit peektures in this adorable fitting room in a store at Ion Orchard. Isn’t it pretty?

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Plain white tee with elastic waist from Promod (few years ago), tulip skirt from Pull and Bear, Carmen Harness Tall boots from Frye, Voodoo Crochet Tassel Bag from Spell and the Gypsy Collective.

After braving the queue for the fitting room, I snagged a few dresses from H&M. They definitely need to be hemmed. LOL.

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Kate came out to join me and we went to Bershka again, where I nabbed a beautiful white maxi. No peekture of it yet, but rest assured you will be seeing it in Chicago. Those of you who are following this blog for the fashion peektures, I have good news for you. There will be lots of proper summer action peektures taken outdoors, of my outfits daily, because someone likes to go fishing. I would even be staying next to a lake. :D

ps. I think I have enough dresses now. What do you think? LOL!

Have a good weekend, everyone! <3

x o x o
bB

Brunch, Shopping and Macarons!

It was a wonderful day out in town with Kate! We have both been holed up, working too hard, and finally had a day out to enjoy ourselves!

(All peektures are click-able for larger, clearer views)

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Blush peasant blouse from Supre, denim shorts from Abercrombie Kids, Dreamweaver Bag from Spell and the Gypsy Collective, Carmen Harness Short boots in Burnt Red from Frye.

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We started off with brunch at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, which was awesome. I had the Croque Madame which was absolutely delicious and the serving was so generous I had to leave one piece of toast behind. And I have always enjoyed the side salad they do at every outlet for their breakfast items.

After we were more than adequately fed, it was time to shop. We were barely able to move out of a certain area, because for some strange reason, the cluster of stores around that particular stretch in Ion were carrying many, many clothes in styles I love! You know how sometimes, you are out to buy but find nothing you like? And sometimes, you find a whole lot of stuff when you least expect it? That was what happened, and it hasn’t happened in a while! It was quite satisfying. Loot peekture at the end of this post!

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I didn’t buy this Spanish style maxi dress even though I quite liked it. Kate and I were both not sure I would wear these colours very often.

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Hours later, we hit Laduree, which has finally opened in Singapore! In case you don’t know, Laduree is my favourite maker of macarons. I was so excited when they opened in Singapore, but due to drowning in work, I wasn’t able to get my little ass there till now.

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We went away with a little loot of six macarons. <3

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Kate and I shared three macarons and I took the other three home to slowly savour… She found them still a little too sweet for her taste, though she quite liked the dark chocolate macaron.

We had an awful experience at Robert Timms, by the way. Not only did they serve me horrid coffee, the service was terrible. I won’t go into details, but we probably wouldn’t go there again.

And here’s my total loot of the day! Can you tell I am getting ready for my Chicago summer? :D

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I also have some exciting eBay news! Last week, I scored my first pair of vintage Frye boots and my first exotic leather anything! These luscious deep red lizard skin boots, vintage and unworn, retailed for $500 back in the day, and I scored them for… $31. Woohoo! These are auction peektures I grabbed off eBay. They are being shipped to Chicago and I will see them when I get there. You can bet your last dollar they are gonna be a big part of my summer wardrobe!

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I hope everyone is having a good week so far!

x o x o
bB

My next adventure

Just received my ticket today for my next adventure, so it is time for a little announcement!

My next destination is… Chicago. Departing 1st June. I will either be back in September, or not at all. LOL!

Just kidding. I will definitely miss my mom, so I will be back… at some point. :)

Having gotten the Vienna peektures out of the way, I will try to finish posting Bangkok and San Francisco/Reno/Enfield/Boston peektures from my Sony before I take off again.

At the same time, I’m about to start a new work project. And I will have to start preparing 101 things for my upcoming summer in Chicago, so it is time to go into overdrive (again)!

x o x o
bB

The Mother’s Day incident

Prior to Mother’s Day, I was hatching an idea for a surprise for Mom. She has recently gotten back into gardening again, and has a healthy collection of potted flowering and non-flowering plants on our balcony. Dad likes to nag her about buying plants, so I thought it would be nice if she could blame it on me for buying them.

I found a site that had an option of three potted miniature roses, and ordered them promptly for delivery on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, on Saturday night, they informed me that it would take two days for them to get the plants! Pretty annoying… Why did they not state that on the site? They tried to convince me to switch to a bouquet of cut flowers, which I refused and asked for a refund. Was it just a sale tactic to force people into buying something from them? Not impressed.

So, Sunday morning, I woke up super early to try to make alternative plans. I rang another nursery, and was pleasantly surprised that they not only had the miniature roses, they could even deliver within two hours! I was stoked. The delivery went smoothly, including a ninja mission where I met the delivery guy downstairs to make the payment first, so Mom doesn’t know how much I’m paying. The pots of roses were beautifully wrapped, and Mom was happy.

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However! Upon closer look, the pink rose plant did not seem to be doing well. I only noticed it was slightly droopy at first. But after about three hours, it was obviously dying. Every flower and leaf had turned downwards. I rang the nursery and was told to water it. That seemed strange because the soil seemed wet. Mom had gone out for her choir class, and when she came back in the evening, we inspected the plant again and she pointed out that the stems and roots were all dark. The plant was probably sick well beforehand.

The next day, the red rose plant appeared to be starting to droop as well. I rang the nursery again, told them the problem, and said we would be happy to take the plants to them for an exchange, to which they agreed.

It turned out to be a rather fun excursion for Mom and bB. She was like a kid in a candy store. We poked around all the nurseries there, exchanged the sick rose plants for two healthy, happy ones, and also brought home a tiny pot of miniature orchids.

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They did not have any more red rose plants, so we picked a dark pink and a baby pink. They are gorgeous! And doing extremely well! So it turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

We also had a lot of fun repotting them into proper, bigger, more comfy pots. Both pots consist of several small plants in each, and the darker pink plants were all growing sideways in their original pot. So it was a bit of effort to separate them and replant properly. Totally worth it though. They are absolutely flourishing now.

It has always been difficult to get Mom any pressies because she has always lived simply and doesn’t like luxury goods. It is even difficult getting her to go out for a meal! But now, I have endless options of gorgeous plants to get her!

x o x o
bB

Spell and the Gypsy Collective (again)

… and again, and again!

I’m sure there will be many of these posts because I just love Spell and the Gypsy Collective! My second package arrived from these wonderful ladies from Byron Bay and they are as fab as the first items I received!

I bought the Woodstock Backless Maxi Dress in Blush, which has sold out a second time now (but you can buy the Cream dress here), and the Dreamweaver Bag in Antique Brown.

(All peektures are click-able for larger, clearer views)

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Blush cap-sleeved tee from Cotton On, denim shorts from Abercrombie Kids, Carmen Harness Tall boots from Frye.

The Dreamweaver Bag is much larger than my Voodoo Crochet Bag (which is also sold out in Cream now, but you can still get the Antique Brown). There is a fair bit of extra room, which comes in very handy. The leather was just as silky soft. The bone detailing was carefully wrapped and the entire bag was beautifully constructed. I did have a small problem with it though – after using it the first time, my Molang rabbit iPhone jack (a white bunny) became stained in brown from the dark brown lining inside. Strangely I have yet to observe any colour transfer onto my Balenciaga wallet and coin purse, but I am absolutely unable to clean Molang up. Could this be some sort of a reaction between the type of plastic and the dye? Or did humidity have a hand in it?

I still love the bag, regardless, especially for its awesome size and intricate boho detailing. I will observe further for colour transfer issues.

Below is an outfit I wore the second time I took my Voodoo Crochet Bag in Cream out. Now that I have seen how gorgeous the Antique Brown leather is, I may get the Voodoo Crochet Bag in Antique Brown as well. Then I would have options for a smaller or bigger size according to my needs for the day. Maybe I also need the Dreamweaver Bag in Cream? Options are always good to have. Right, girls? :)

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Floral sundress (so old I can’t remember where I bought it), Carmen Harness Short boots from Frye.

I can’t wait till they release some new stuff. I hope there are new bags coming! I just adore their bags!

The Mother’s Day 20% discount on selected items is still on! Use the code lovemum at the checkout. Have fun!

x o x o
bB