Starting up my very own eCommerce platform during the lockdown may be a great thing as I don’t have much to do for work. I did thorough research on product development, trending markets, and upcoming styles. It’s been a while since my last session in a classroom where I have to participate virtually and have collaborated class assignments. This week has been very grueling, however with patience and consistent performance on a personal level it has made this lockdown somewhat a blessing in disguise.
Today’s blog post will be different, Eid is just around the corner, and being in lockdown has made society spend less in general and even more in the festivities. If one thing COVID-19 has taught us, from a business point of view, never to have your eggs in one basket. For the employers that I work for as well as other businesses where the operation is a standstill because of this global pandemic. Millionaires have multiple streams of income and businesses. Just like investments, you don’t buy stocks for one public listed company. You buy a few. Apart from that, you buy variants such as bonds, insurance, and perhaps blue chips. For me, it is the start of a new business venture on something that I enjoyed doing, designing. This would be my third stream of income, and hopefully, I get to build more through partnerships in the future.
I am launching a new t-shirt line that comes in Fall 2020. I have designed and curated a proper collection with a new movement in manufacturing towards sustainability. With the ever-evolving audience worldwide, I hope to make a difference. See you soon!
I am excited to share with you the release of my latest orange box of happiness from Hermés. But that would be insensitive as the world’s economy is going in a downward spiral. Unemployment is rising due to this economic contagion. A lot of set-back and sacrifices need to happen as we are indeed in the midst of perhaps a great depression.
On the other hand, escaping the reality once in a while is healthy. Getting away from the depressing news would be a luxury to keep your mind at ease. Let’s take a minute and escape from it. As I was re-modeling my walk-in closet, I couldn’t help but wonder about the families who were living from paycheck to paycheck. They have no financial freedom, let alone free from debts that accumulated with fluctuating bank interest rates. The struggle is real. I used to be one of them until I’ve made a life-changing decision. It was the pivotal moment in my life that I knew what the hell I am doing. I was living beyond my means. My mortgage was extremely high, along with my expensive tastes for designer labels. I turned my life around at the late age of 37. No savings, no investments with only one insurance policy that I thought about giving up prematurely.
The Lord does work in mysterious ways. I downsized. Who needs a two-storey duplex apartment when you only need a 1 bedroom apartment? By then, I had paid all my debts and fully paid on my current living situation. I’ve also made a few sound and rather lucrative investments in stocks and bonds securing my future. I hope to inspire anyone by writing this blog on the importance of financial freedom. The world might be going through difficult times ahead, but I don’t need to be. I am now 47. It takes me 10 years to correct it. Take the first step to being debt-free. Follow by completing your mortgage. From there, whatever you earn is yours to spend and save.
A bit of a history lesson with the iconic orange box. In the beginning, it was brown. During World War II the Nazis occupying Paris, Emile-Maurice Hermès later chose this shade for the newly acquired pieces. But the original brown shade still remains with the logo stamp as well the thin borders around the box.
The Kelly bag was renamed after the late fabulous Princess Grace of Monaco when she shielded her pregnant belly from the paparazzi. And the celebrity bag of status was inspired by Jane Birkin in a flight where she can’t find a bag that would fit everything for her carry-on bag. The third trinity of the holy grail would be the Constance bag, carrying the shiny ‘H’ depicting the brand of epitome in luxury and class. These are the fundamental knowledge of the brand you will know before getting yourself into buying the brand as a lifestyle. Hermès place significant stories about their brand history and captivate the audience.
Each time you made a purchase when you took the product home, the unboxing experience is like a dangerous drug. Adrenaline rush comes rushing when you are browsing the boutique and the dopamine really hits you hard after you have done with the current purchase, you have already thought of what to buy next! It’s really a marketing genius creating real-time desires with a follow-up desire for future sales. It was designed to ensure that you will be hooked for life! Why do you think many Hermès collectors have many stacked up orange boxes?
Acquiring a Birkin is not money well-spent. It is money well-invested. Why? Simply because when you purchase it first, it is at retail but depending on the rarity of the bag in question, materials used and, how coveted it is (demands meet supply concept) You may just end up selling it at a handsome profit! Not too shabby. Certainly not as risky as buying stocks, bonds and, unit trusts.
The handbag, which also comes in cow, calf or ostrich leather, is made entirely by hand in France. Each bag takes anywhere between 18 to 25 hours to finish. But the coveted handbags recently became the focus of an expose by rights group Peta on crocodile farms from Texas to Zimbabwe, where the reptiles are allegedly crammed into concrete pits before being “cruelly hacked” to death. It takes two or three crocodiles to make one Birkin bag.
Having said that, however, it is what it is. I’m not going to sugar-coat the subject. Since the dawn of time, mankind has been using animals to fulfill their survival. We are at the top of the food chain after all. Though the topic is subjective, I find myself drawn into the world of fashion and orange boxes.
Your home should be the reflection of your personality, style, and taste. Splash across many high gloss magazines, there is endless style group on home interiors. In trend styles, people keep up with the time almost like Keeping up with the Kardashians. Their houses are fabulous.
I got my house keys a few years ago, but not much is being done. I was battling cancer. Getting your own home is a huge undertaking. I was fortunate enough to have paid my mortgage in full. Not everyone is so lucky. Though it’s not a big flat, it is home. I got really lucky with my unit number and the address I lived in to be of the same digit – 222. Nestled on a high floor like a regal eagle’s nest. You don’t have to over-decorate, it just needs tidiness. However, remember that Phillipe Starck furniture that I was eyeing? I finally got it! I bought myself a Kartell La Bourgie lamp in addition and 2 Kartell Louis Ghost chairs. Financing a home needs planning and commitment. There is renovation cost, flooring, water piping and lots more to it if you desire a perfect home. There is also furniture selection and home styling if you can afford to hire an interior designer. My 42 sq meter of personal space is quite minimalistic by design. My kitchen is simple. I don’t need bells and whistles with a lot of features.
Here are some fundamental things to cross against your checklist: • Lighting • Bathroom • Kitchen or Pantry • Bedroom • Walk-in closet • Living room • Air-conditioning
Getting the basics done is easy. Go to IKEA! There have a plethora of items to get your basics covered. Spend big on the major purchase as they will last a long time and get smaller purchases. Get some designer accent pieces. Spending a bit more will go a long way on great pieces. I’ve had my 2 Kartell La Marie transparent chairs for 12 years now, and they are still in immaculate condition. By spending on a few designer pieces not only break away your home style like an IKEA catalog, but it also gives character which may reflect your persona.
Your electronic and other appliances are essential when you want to make your house a smart home. It is your daily ritual, like waking up and turning the radio by your voice, making your morning coffee, and getting ready to seize the day. Believe it or not, my favorite part of the day is starting it right. Enjoying my morning coffee while listening to what’s in store for me on my Google home and commanding the lights off before that, yes I sleep with a night light! When you are in a good mood at the start, nothing will go wrong later in the day. While selecting my clothes for the day before taking my shower makes the experience enjoyable.
If you always dine outside most of the time, you don’t need a full kitchen. Just a pantry will suffice. Having the cooking basics covered through steam and grill makes you eat more healthy. I don’t use a microwave oven, and I don’t have a refrigerator mainly because I do not drink ice cold drinks, but I do have a drink fridge for my guests tucked hidden from sight in my pantry cabinet. I love the hidden design, no distractions to the eye when it travels. If you are living alone, you end up cooking a lot more food than usual. Not to waste food has been my mantra.
When you are in a good mood at the start, nothing will go wrong later in the day…”
My bed is the most comfortable place next to my sofa, you spend one-third of your life sleeping, and my bed is a lux hotel quality. A 42 inch Samsung smart TV for Netflix and chill around the sofa is a must. A dining café style for two as a dining area next to my pantry is adequate. Spending a little more on security such as a digital lock gives you peace of mind, convenience to your friends or family members.
Kartell La Marie La Bourgie lamp by Ferruccio Laviani.
It is originally introduced by Kartell in 2004, the polycarbonate La Bourgie lamp by Ferruccio Laviani has been completely re-imagined with a series of alternate designs, each boasting its unique flair. From being ironically interpreted by decorative costume jewelry and typical french symbols like the Eiffel tower. A fresh thinking of exaggerated ideas in modern contemporary design.
Kartell Louis Ghost Chair by Phillipe Starck
The story of the Louis Ghost Chair, as it’s named, begins with a man named Louis XVI — the King of France. During the reign of the 19-year-old monarch and his better half, Marie Antoinette, a refreshed interested in classical Greek and Roman design developed, which manifested itself in all sorts of trendy architectural and interior design elements throughout the king’s reign. Louis XVI Chair inspired from a Gustavian period. This formal chair remains one of the most popular chair designs today and is a timeless classic. It is re-imagined in polycarbonate by Phillipe Starck, a genius product designer.
Lastly, say it with flowers. There’s nothing worse than having plastic flowers in your home. My late mother loves having fresh flowers in the house. I got the inspiration from her that she passed on to me. A flower arrangement lasted for a week. I have some tips for you to stretch it to 9 days in my new post. Not only it brings good energy to the house, but it also brings homey vibes. Potted orchids, on the other hand, lasts over a month. You may alternate the choice. I also place a bowl of fresh fruits in my kitchen. It encourages you to eat fruits for supper before bedtime.
I don’t usually review or put my name on something credible after trying out something immediately. Skincare regime needs time and patience for it to work. Three months is a noticeable timeframe to deliver a review. La Mer – the ultimate skincare regime has resuscitated my badly damaged skin from three years of undergone chemotherapy. The effects of oral medication, intravenous, and radiotherapy have indeed damaged the lipids in the dermis. As we age, your lipids and skin cells are no longer round in shape. Aging also means the products that you are so used to using will not work as your skin conditions have changed. Eventually, you need other types of slightly invasive aesthetic treatments to correct the issue.
Big brands out there developed all types of products for a specific area of your face to entice you to buy a lot more. The truth is, you don’t need all of that. Let’s start by saying, you don’t need to buy expensive cleansers simply because they don’t stay on your skin. You don’t need eye serum, because the serum for your face works well enough for your eye area. Finally, you don’t need neck night creams because your usual night cream will do just that. I can say the same with essences and toner, if you use one, you don’t have to use another. They are essentially humectants. Did you know you have to use a sheet mask until it’s dry? Because serums are humectants and need water around the environment to work well. The absorption rate is faster because molecules are way tiny that they disappear into the skin.
I purchased this La Mer products and streamlined it into just 3 products.
Treatment Essence Lotion
Eye Contour Revitalising Cream
Moisturising Créme de la Mer
I alternate my nighttime routine with this and with a Vitamin C serum, Glycolic acid toner, and Retinol correcting lotion by Ordinary. After the whole 3 months of using this regiment, I must say I begin to see my fine lines softened. Your skin cell turnover generally regenerates every 28 days, depending on your age and lifestyle. The more you take care of yourself, the results will rapidly improve. The beauty myth is, I heard some influencers are comparing this product to Nivea cream. Though Nivea does work to a certain extent, it is not comparable with what you are paying for. I believe products need to be absorbed by the skin and not stay on the superficial layer. If you want a quick fix with results, go for Botox. With the harsh environment that we lived in today, please use a sunscreen with 50 SPF. If you don’t protect it, the products you use will be in vain.
Verdict: Yes! I will re-purchase this, but I will alternate with other products so this can last me for a quarter.”
Tips: When purchasing a luxury brand, do not shy away. Ask questions and challenge the beauty advisor. Get recommendations, though you don’t need to adhere to it. Don’t be afraid to ask for multiple free samples to try.
I couldn’t help but wonder what life is like without love. Some people say you might have three great loves in your entire life. I was lucky enough to have two great love of mine. Meeting people, dating and getting into relationships have certainly advanced, nowadays. We communicate differently in today’s fast-moving society and how we anticipate love to happen. But most of the time, the act of anticipating is a thrill itself. The chase and hunt get your adrenaline pumping, endorphins are released to stimulate you to heighten senses through dopamine.
It is a normalisation of nuances towards the new millennium. Old-fashion introduction just doesn’t cut anymore as society moved forward with the time. Studies have shown how men swipe indicate a simple and predictable pattern versus women who swipe capriciously.”
Let’s face it from Grindr to Tinder from across the board, there are all kinds of apps to be downloaded and profiles to be judged. People who collect photos or syncing photos from other individuals from a cloud-based app make what it is today in modern-day dating. The use of hashtags and geotagging has become a new norm for secret admirers or stalkers to accidentally bump into you. The algorithm for love and lust predicts a probable match between the data it gathers and intercepts. It’s a normalisation of nuances towards the new millennium.
Back in the day when personal ads run on papers or magazines, things are a little slow. Life was simple. The earliest form of personal classified ads or lonely hearts ads dates back to the 1800s. Ultimately, people want to search for a companion at the end of the day. We create our presence online because we want our profile portrayed in a certain way. Creating a perfect profile affects the way people see themselves. Often describing some realness through images, obtaining validation from others. People love the ideology of compatibility and amicability. A vision of acceptance but sometimes narcissist.
Companies designed dating apps are out to make money and believe me, they made a whole ton of cash through subscriptions. Multiply that by the number of the population who are single, separated, divorced or even married and still looking something on the side. It is capitalism at its best. This is how economics is forged through the masses bringing lucrative yields with recurring returns. The more premium you pay for your subscription, the higher the chances of meeting a quality candidate. Advanced smartphone app changes the way we meet people, we travel, we dine, the way you date and the way you have sex. The visibility from a profile monetized the industry simply because all the information is key and sex sells. All searching for love and orgasms one swipe at a time.
“It’s a Dating Revolution or just a Dating Apocalypse?”
What seems to be the dating revolution, it would also mean the death of courtship as the majority of people do not know how to communicate face-to-face. They found themselves awkward in situations and does not hold brilliant conversations. While they are geniuses with technologies and gadgets but they have zero social skills. These have made them become introvert by nature. It is okay of getting rejected if you swipe left or get accepted by swiping right. Once the connection is made, its a swipe for success! The courtship between couples plays an important role. It deciphered the major characteristics of a person’s likes and dislikes. It eventually pivoted the decisive notion to be a couple. Millennials using slangs, and abbreviations that no older generation understood. It is an extreme disconnect. They break every dating rule on the handbook to be more susceptible to the new society. Have we finally discovered the algorithm for love? Swipe right now!
Singapore was in lockdown or circuit breaker mode since early April this year was extremely tough. Though I have no issues working from home but dare I say it I do miss the human interaction, not to mention retail therapy. Going to work in your morning routine now is so easy. Brush your teeth, hit the Nespresso machine, and open your laptop. It is perhaps the new norm. You don’t even need to shower unless you have a ‘Zoom” video conference with the team. This nano-virus has made us changed our way of life. This virus which is inhumane, makes us realize that we are humans after all.
On the other hand, your cooking skills have never been better. I live alone, so I am a great believer in dining out twice a day, 7-days a week. Besides cooking for one person is the least inexpensive. Take-out deliveries, cafés, and restaurants are my best friends. I only have soft-boiled eggs on toast or yogurt with mixed nuts for breakfast at home. Today marks the first that I have been cooking at home straight for 30 days! I have another 30 days to go until the business is as usual. The company that I work for is bleeding out their cash flow even with the government’s assistance but however manageable. Honestly, every SMEs in Singapore are suffering from economic contagion. Conglomerates are steady however, retailers and the service sectors suffer the most.
Digital video conference with your teammates is great but nothing is like face-to-face in person. It is the same with shopping online and experiencing full-on retail therapy. I miss human interactions and the sensorial experience.
My blog has always been about lifestyle, travel, and fun stuff. The last few posts are a little bit more real. The health caregivers and the front admin staff are doing such a courageous job. The rest of us should be indoors to help flatten the curve of Covid-19 (Corona Virus pandemic). I’m not going to repeat what the news is announcing, but I will tell you this. The upcoming months will be very hard. If you have been through hardships before, this would be a walk in the park. But you haven’t walk a mile in an unfortunate person’s shoe before, this would probably be hell for you.
I cannot stress how imperative it is to be debt-free or at least minimize your liabilities. If the next great depression struck, it is a world’s problem. Economic recovery will be at least in the next 6 months to 1 year. The year 2020 is supposed to be auspicious because of the double digits in Chinese. Perhaps it remains to be seen.
I have stopped my weekly flower subscriptions along with the unnecessary subscriptions that I might not use. Trying hard to be frugal though I don’t need to. I’ve also made some donations over to a few bodies as a Muslim, the month of Ramadhan invites one to be more giving in this difficult time. While I am trying to be a good Muslim, I will pray that the Almighty might make things a bit better for everyone. Stay safe.
I probably had this lust after this bag for the longest time ever! The Louis Vuitton keep all bandouliere in Daimler graphite in 45cm. It was indeed a 10-year wait for me and, I am finally getting it today.
My first keep all bag is a 60cm in the classic monogram that has been with me through thick and thin, like a good friend. I got it when in Singapore for only $880! Yes, it’s vintage-like my age. I got it in my twenties back in the hay-day of circa 1990s. Like me, this bag has aged very well and patina to tanned leather. It survived 22 years of traveling to 3 continents. Because of its size, i had to checked-in the duffel bag whenever I traveled. It is still in a mint condition with the inevitable scuffs and marks in the base of the luggage. Today’s price-point in this bag have sky-rocketed close to $3,500. That’s one thing about buying in a designer’s product, it appreciates over 10 years and, it depreciated after.
The pièce de résistance, I present to you the bag that I ever wanted for traveling as a carry-on. Understated checked pattern with a distinguished brand that is Louis Vuitton. My initials are stamped with a silver hot stamp bearing my first and last name. I.K. Idham Kardashians! hahaha kidding, it’s Khairon.
Luxury goods when purchased wisely, it is money well-spent. How I justify paying $2,560 is if a product can last you for 10 years, it is $256 per year. You divide that between 12 months and you get $21.33 per month. Now that is luxury that’s within reach.
So when you are questioning whether or not you should make an expensive purchase, use this rule of thumb. If the item in question lasts more than 10 years, it’s a no brainer. But whatever you decide, as long as you are happy, everyone else perception of you is irrelevant. You work hard for your money and I believe you deserve it.
Years ago when I was in a relationship of 10 years, I got a Cartier Trinity ring that signifies our love. The ring represents our love, devotion, and, friendship. A piece of jewelry especially a ring is significant. When you are no longer with your partner, I think its only right that you return the ring. The symbol of the relationship is no longer valid. Therefore it is meaningless to keep it. I saw this beauty awhile ago. My god-sister have it with diamond. The Cartier Love ring denotes eternal love. That’s why the screw motif is all around pretty much like the Cartier Santos watch that I’ve purchased myself. Back then, it retail for $5,000. But now, its closer to $10,000. The price has doubled since 20 years ago. Investing in a dressed watch is like having a tuxedo in your wardrobe. You always need one dressed watch in case you need to attend a fancy dinner. Besides, you can never go wrong because of the value it holds. This time I decided to complete the set with the Love bracelet and the Love ring. The bracelet is about $5,600, and the ring is priced at $1450 which I will get for myself by Christmas. Though you are paying for the brand name, Cartier is coveted and it is treated like currency.
The romantic bangle was designed by Cartier’s Aldo Cipullo in 1969″
I purchased the slimmer new version of the bracelet. The cheaper one! The original cost closed to $9,000. I am not willing to part with my money yet. For the ring, I fancy myself an 18K gold Love. It is a wedding band however, it’s alright. It was indeed Love at first sight. The idea is that with your bracelet, which fixes onto the wrist with screws, you show the world that you are ‘locked into a relationship.’ The romantic bangle was designed by Cartier’s Aldo Cipullo in 1969: he was inspired by the idea of men locking up their wives in chastity belts to ensure they would remain faithful.
Although you are not in a relationship or marriage, you can still purchase this collection as love for oneself. You are worth it. You don’t need someone to buy for you because if you are independent and make your own money, you are everything. I have friends who rely on their partner to get fine-jewelry like so. The truth is, I find that they can’t even last a week without their other half should anything goes wrong. All my two times I’ve been in a relationship I learned one thing. By giving people trust is giving your life away. Trust is the most powerful thing a person can have power over you. It’s great if you found someone who is your soulmate. In such instances, such a situation is a fairytale. Searching and having love is a wonderful thing. A luxury that not everyone gets to experience.
Something is fascinating about making your fragrance. A friend named Fariha decided to top her birthday celebrations extravagantly by having a perfume workshop. It was an astounding initiative. Every year, her plans for her birthday celebrations get even wild with unique ideas. It put the rest of us to mortification distress. Though this post is rather belated, I must write about this unique experience. The workshop consists of an introduction to various scents. It consists of an introduction to various scents. It explains the range of notes from the base, middle, and top notes. There are a variety of scents and how it reacts differently when in contact with the skin.
A fragrance has an impact on a person. It brings memories of a time that passed, a person that you might fell in and out of love. I get so comforted when I whiff the scent of Chanel No. 19. It reminded me of my beloved late mother. Whenever she went out to get ready for her Sunday’s wedding invitations, she would spritz that heavenly scent all over the skin and dress. I felt that I am loved and secured. Since she had passed on some years ago, I bought a bottle and place it on my nightstand. From the scent of love goes to the opposite, Fahrenheit by Christian Dior. I have such bad memories with that scent because of my ex-partner used to wear that fragrance. The power that a scent gives is magical. Almost like you are in a time-traveling machine. Your mind just travels back to the period of that particular situation.
Oo La Lab creates a unique experience for friends to bond on something. A common ground that friends might have some differences in opinions, coming together with their similarities on passion. Crafting fragrances is chemistry, something that I am not good at when I was in school. I have more artistic talent. A big nose is what Parfumeur is called. He or she should have a sensitive smell and can distinguish a scent. A perfumer is an expert on creating perfume compositions, sometimes referred to affectionately as a Nose(French: le nez) due to their fine sense of smell and skill in producing olfactory compositions. The company uses sustainably sourced ingredients that encourages the goodness of the environment. There’s a candle making workshop as well as organic soap making. We tried and tested several scents to suit our persona. After we decided on the final scent, the instructor demonstrates the multiplication technique of how much liquids of your choice should be in proportion. Apart from learning the formula, we also discovered how to seal your bottle using a fancy machine. The final product, your brand scent for the taking. See the video on instastory here.
At the end of the workshop, everyone gets to bring home their creation, a bottle of 50ml Eau de Parfum. The workshop cost about $250 Singapore Dollars per person. An equivalent amount if you purchase a designer Tom Ford fragrances. But I think it’s a great experience that not everyone is lucky enough to participate. The mixing and matching of scents accordingly to suit your preference.