Not exactly a gift guide (though feel free to lift liberally from it for gifting ideas) but a random assortment of things that made me go oh wow in 2018.
1. Wireless Chargers
I am in love with wireless charging. I have a standing wireless charger in my office which is made by Samsung, and I bought a Belkin one off Amazon as well. The Samsung one is significantly easier to use, and I feel like it charges phones faster too, but the Belkin is cheaper and still functional. Wires? Pft. Wireless charging is the very chi chi future.
So simple but so effective. If you’ve ever known the pain of a mosquito bite itch, which is part of the guarantee living in a tropical country like Singapore, then this is pretty much a godsend. The Suubalm moisturiser is a menthol product which makes the spot where it’s applied to feel minty, which works to distract you from the itch till it goes away. It’s formulated at the National Skin Center Singapore, which gives me faith that it’s all of the good things. Obviously I drank the gov’s kool aid.
3. Scented Candles
See this blog post for backstory, but yes, belated to the party as I am, I am now extremely into scented candles and I think they make excellent gifts.
4. Short hair
I went to the salon to try and get my hair dyed pink and they cut it all off instead, which proves that my stylist really knows best because I LOVE IT. In fact I am now particularly excited whenever I see another girl with short hair, it’s like being in a secret club. My boyfriend is not amused by this (like all boys, he likes the hair long), and he was like please dont when I said I wanted to go even shorter. I was all like, who cares what you think?!?!?! I dont live for some mans approval!!! and he was all like, … we’ve been dating five years..
5. The High Low Podcast
I’m new to podcasting(ish), I’d dabbled in it before, earlier in the year, but they were all very specific podcasts that had to do with one topic or were basically musicals, so they weren’t habit forming per se. I got into podcasts again during my time in the UK because everyone there listens to podcasts, and on the recommendation of a colleague I started listening to pop culture podcast The High Low by journalists Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. I listen to it when I’m doing housework or driving, so basically whenever I cant be using my hands or eyes (ruling out reading or watching TV), and I am really loving it! I now feel like Dolly and Pandora are my friends, which of course they arent, so I kind of hope I never run into them IRL because I will probably definitely be extremely uncool about it.
6. F45 Training
I started working out at f45 this Feb and something about it just makes you want to commit. Alright, it’s probably the money. It’s pricey but essentially boutique gym price (meaning you pay the same as say if you’re into spin or boxing), and it’s the kind of workout that triggers momentum, so you feel compelled to keep going back. Reader, I kid you not: I feel guilty when I miss a day. Anyway, having a workout routine feeds very well into the whole becoming more of an adult business, so I’m very pleased about this.
7. Multiple books, all of them.
I read a lot in the second half of 2018 by virtue of the editorial traineeships I did in London. First half of the year was insane, and I am ashamed to say I barely got any reading done. But I more than made up for it in the second half because not only did I read a lot, I read a lot of good books. Will post a list soon, but the books are usually more or less all on my IG story highlights. Yay! #bookstagram
8. Elizabeth Arden’s Skincare & etc
I know it’s odd to be impressed by like, a whole brand, but I only got on Elizabeth Arden this year and my word I love it. I’m obsessed. I haven’t tried a single thing from them that I dont like yet. My favorites are the Superstart Probiotic range (the 1 min clay mask and skin booster) and the Retinol ceramide capsules which I am basically addicted to. I let my sisters try them and they are very annoyed at how much they like the capsules because EA is totally not student-budget range. Haha. But yes I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve tried from them so far, skincare wise.
Since we’re on the topic of skincare, I was also very taken by the local products I tried in Okinawa whilst on shoot there earlier this year. The Suisavon clay mask and the Nuchima-su sea salt in particular I am loving. The sea salt works as a scrub, which you can use maybe 2x a week for exfoliation, with immediate and visible brightening results. The Suisavon clay mask spreads like a dream and leaves your skin really fresh and soft.
The travel show I did with Okinawa Tourism Board and Jetstar, here
9. The Google Home Mini
Also a longer backstory at this blog post, but I love my google home mini so much I actually bring it with me when I travel. Hot tip: I’ve customised my google home to trigger a series of routines when I get home by saying ‘google I’m home’, and it immediately a. welcomes me home b. sets an alarm for 11pm (which is my bedtime) c. reads out my next day’s events pulled from google cal and d. plays this ultra chill home playlist which I curated myself on spotify thank you very much! Unimaginatively, it’s called Google I’m Home and you can listen to it here.
My friends and I are always looking for new things to do together and this year we alighted on wakeboarding/ wakesurfing. One of the benefits of living in a tropical country is the easy access to water sports, either locally or in the region, and I’m a total waterbaby. I used to wakeboard in school as an elective but I was all kinds of horrible, so it’s a relief that adults have better balance (it seems). Still, in addition to regular wakeboarding, I tried wakesurfing for the first time and I freakin love it! I texted my boyfriend and I was like, youre so lucky cos youre obviously dating the next wakesurfing olympic champion. He’s obviously used to my nonsense because he wasn’t even fazed, he was like, aight.
Anyway, I love it.
I’m sure there’s more stuff I was impressed by but here are the top ten off the top of my head. In retrospect there arent that many there that can be repurposed as gifts, but, yknw, whatever, this aint a gift guide.
Till next time x