Making It Matter

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The question of purpose and our existence often requires introspection but it's also a discovery that comes with looking, and stepping, out. The beauty of diving into the unknown is knowing that you're not alone in your search and when you find a group of people that share the same heartbeat, suddenly the deep end isn't so deep anymore and you start to feel your feet touch the ground.

Late last year, I spoke to the team at MATTER and asked if we could work together to produce a capsule collection of head wraps motivated by their mission: to inspire consumers to value provenance and process, and pioneer industry change and sustainability for rural textile communities. I was confident they would say yes, and that I would have the opportunity to partner with an amazing team who would guide, support and teach me. What I didn't expect was to gain a family that would remind me that it is possible to reach beyond myself, and in the coming weeks, discover a true sense of purpose. 

MATTER WRAPS is a collection inspired by the Creators, Dreamers and Warriors in our lives and we can't wait to share it with all of you. Co-designed with MATTER and produced by SukkhaCitta's Field to Fabric initiative in the Jlamprang Village of Semarang, the wraps are handcrafted in the ancient art form of batik, with all proceeds going back to the initiative to cover land rental for another three years and build an Indigo Vat and workshop. In the last year, the initiative has provided stable employment for 10 women, of the 150 women in the village which engages mainly in coffee and rice cultivation.

There is so much to share so I will have to do it in parts. In the meantime, you can follow our journey to Jlamprang on all our socials and keep close until the launch. #MakeItMATTER #KampongGlam #AkanDatang.

Photos by Cherlynn Lian

March Must-Dos

It's ironic that the weekend I choose "RELAX" as an activity over anything else, is the same weekend all these great events kickstart around the city. Instead of doing what I usually do and throw out my own plans to make room for these (because #FOMO), I'm going to stick to this relaxing post-anniversary weekend with Kevin and share this list with you while I binge on TV and Krispy Kreme at The Warehouse Hotel.

 The Frontliners in Action showcase at the National Design Centre.

The Frontliners in Action showcase at the National Design Centre.

 

  1. GastroBeats @ iLight Marina Bay - iLight is one of my favourite riverside festivals and it runs from 3-26 March this year. The Bayfront area lights up with a series of light art installations all made from sustainable materials and it's quite a sight! See you at GastroBeats for FOOD + MUSIC + PLAY.
  2. Noise Art Mentorship Showcase: Between Home and Home - There isn't much time left to check this out. The showcase runs till 12 March at Objectifs. Noise Singapore is dedicated to making noise about the creative talent of young people and a movement I love. Discover more art while you're at the Centre too.
  3. Singapore Design Week - Running from 3-12 March, with some showcases that will stay for longer, discover the future and innovation of design with over 100 local and international events and activities. This weekend, the Frontliners in Action showcase is open at the National Design Centre and it looks beautiful. 
  4. Beauty & The Beast - The live action version of Disney's 1991 creation is out on 16 March! Equally exciting is the launch of Carrie K's limited edition collaborative collection for the film. Trust me when I say the collection is very cool (read: very wearable). The collection launches 6 March.

That's it for now! Have an awesome weekend, you guys.

Our Love.

Once upon a time, it seemed like everything in the world was against us. In fact, sometimes the very things that stood between us were ourselves; so sure about who we were and what we wanted that it scared even us. But everyday, as sure as the sun rises, I am grateful that we are fighters. That we fought hard for this, for love, for us. So that now I have you.

Always yours.

Wrapping up 2016 Right and Starting 2017 Early

I’ve never been a fan of the “new year resolution”. If I wanted something done, it had to be done immediately. In fact, it’s when I wait to act upon my goals that the initial spur to achieve them wanes. I’ll admit that some of it is laziness, and a whole lot of it is just me finding reasons why a supposed goal doesn’t have to be on my priority list.

For someone who used to be really active, it’s almost shameful to say that I haven’t been consistent with an exercise routine since Ari was born. That’s a whole 16 months! Let’s not even get started on my nutrition. I don’t eat a lot of meat and so I pile on the veggies at every meal. It makes people think, “Oh, Aarika is so healthy” when in truth it’s really because a girl still gotta eat and veggies fill me up! No one is on my back about getting into shape or eating right, so I’ve been cruising by.

But parents and children have a way of reminding you about the importance of making better life choices. I spent a week in Perth with my family recently and as I watched my children run to my mother, calling out for her to pick them up in her arms, I was reminded that I have bigger responsibilities than just answering to myself. I have a parent who is getting older to care for and little ones to nurture and I’m not doing either of them any favours by not looking after myself.

So while I’m sitting here dipping my slice of bread slathered with crunchy peanut butter (not even the all natural organic kind) into my 100% caffeinated instant coffee, I’ve decided that I need a better plan for my health and it should begin now. 

Here’s my game plan and if you think of any other helpful pointers, let me know. And if you want to jump on this bandwagon with me, all the better! Let’s do this together. 

1. EAT BETTER

I often try to pick the healthier option at meal times and a sure way of knowing that I’ll have the best alternative is if I pack it myself. As much as I love strolling down every aisle at the supermarket to pick out my weekly groceries, I don’t necessarily have the time. A little hack my more diligent lunch-packing friends have shared with me: they get their groceries online!  iHerb and Redmart are favourites. And Giant has a wide range of choices too. If you’re like me, a little packing motivation like this Smart Planet Collapsible Meal Kit will help too.

2. DRINK MORE WATER

Friends know that I drink way too much soda – I love fizzy drinks! I still drink my water but I could probably use a lot more. 

Two ways I plan on keeping track of, and increasing, my water intake: 

Measuring Hydration with my FitBit  - I’ve had my FitBit Alta for awhile now and it’s awesome. I’m obsessed with tracking how much and well I sleep (which is not well and much at all haha) but I can also keep track of how much water I’ve been drinking by logging my water intake throughout the day. 

• Carry a water bottle - I find myself drinking more water when I have a water bottle. The vessel itself is usually bigger than a regular drinking glass so I’m automatically drinking more with each refill. I’ve started carrying around my Swell water bottles everywhere so now I use it even when I’m at home or at my desk at work. I’m digging these infusion bottles too!

3. GET ACTIVE

I need to stop using the kids as an excuse for being active and include actual muscle conditioning and cardio to my life. I used to do yoga or run almost everyday and I haven’t done that in months! 

For starters, I’ve renewed my package at Yoga Movement (soon to open their doors in the East! Woohoo!), and I’ve been looking around for a good yoga mat and weights for the days I can’t make it to a class. These mats from Lazada have caught my eye! And in true vain pot fashion, the right kind (read: fashionable and functional) of active gear while working out is also a must.

4. MAKE TIME FOR ME TIME

Lastly, I know I need to carve out time for myself – not to indulge in anything per se but to just give my mind a break. In the last year, I’ve found that my memory hasn’t been on point and I think it’s because I’ve been trying to do too many things and keep track of all of it at the same time, without much sleep to give it its due rest. It’s time to change that!

I think 4 steps to start the ball rolling is more than manageable. If you too want to complete your own resolutions to end 2016 right, start putting your list together and make haste so you can cash in on all the deals this Black Friday /Cyber Monday and holiday season as you invest in some items to help you on your way.

A big thank you to my family at PayPal for helping me with my personal fitness resolution.

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