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August 2015

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Best Summer Ever : Barcelona

August 30, 2015

It was one tiring and stressful day I stared blankly at my Mac and decided, you know what? I need a break. I needed a big trip to let loose and reward myself for all the hard work, sleepless nights and quarrelsome days with my suppliers. It was a very stressful period for me settling lots of problems at work (one of the many was a missing shipment worth 4 digits on my birthday itself and I broke down) and it was just crazy doing everything on my own which I’m glad won’t be the case very soon. If you’re curious, I’ll finally be getting an office and hiring girls to share my load so BIG BIG YAY to that! So I decided, ok let’s just do a summer trip to Europe before I come back to hunt for office and do a final retouch to TJM’s new website (Just thinking of the amount of work I have for the next few months is stressing me out again, great). Also, I thought it would be pretty cool to do a #TJMGOESTOEUROPE on Instagram so you can see the upcoming pieces from the hashtag and how I matched the pieces.

So I called Ange, who’s one of my best friends working in Sweden that I was gonna go visit her during summer and maybe we could tour around Europe a bit. And voila, my Euro trip!

Here’s a part of my Barcelona trip. Will be splitting it up cos there are too many pictures!
DSC02428DSC02424  La Familia Sagrada, one of Gaudi’s ingenious creation. The church has been under construction for the past 133 years and will only be done in 2026 or 2028! Almost 150 years of building this crown jewel of a church!DSC04904 DSC04903Casa Batllo, another of Gaudi’s creation! Barcelona has such amazing architectures!DSC04909 DSC02802 DSC02798 DSC02794Super yummy churros from Xurreria Sagrada! Only wish the chocolate sauce was thicker!DSC02601 DSC02599 DSC02597Raw cod fish salad from Bar Mut. Barcelona has definitely captured my heart with its incredible food. Can’t even begin to describe how much I love their tapas already! And Bar Mut is a must go if you’re in Barcelona! A tad pricey but their food is exquisite and they have top notch service.DSC02596 DSC02591 DSC02590

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Visited La Boqueria Market along La Ramblas after shopping! So much meat and fresh produce there. Barcelona is truly a food paradise!DSC04914 DSC04923 DSC04913 DSC02466W hotel party! It was our only night of partying in Barcelona but it turned out to be such a great night. Barcelona has a huge partying scene so it’s easy to find a club just along La Ramblas or other prime area! DSC02517 DSC02519More tapas! (:DSC02476 DSC02583 DSC02588 DSC02572 DSC02569

Barcelona has a reputation for their tapas, beaches and partying but have you ever heard of a bakery hotel before? I was fortunate enough to be able to stay 2 nights in the world’s first bakery hotel, Praktik Bakery Hotel! Can you imagine waking up to the aroma of breads and pastries and having a bakery for a lobby?!DSC02386 DSC02389 DSC02563 DSC02545 DSC04901 DSC04898Fresh bakes all day every day!DSC04900 DSC04875 DSC04891And of course, bread and pastries for breakfast! They also provided Nespresso coffee to complement the bread basket.

DSC02558DSC02540DSC04850Glass ceiling for natural light at the breakfast area! It is such an interesting concept and boy, I really felt happy just being there. What pleasantly surprised me even more was the room that I stayed in was so comfortable, clean, minimalistic and spacious! I loved the whites and open space!DSC04825The bed was big enough to fit us 3 asian girls (:DSC04828 DSC04827 DSC04826 DSC04837A reading/computer area just outside our room!

I’ll definitely stay at Praktik Bakery hotel again if I visit Barcelona the next time. It’s located conveniently just a street off Passeig De Gracia which is one of the main shopping streets (also my favourite) and it’s super affordable by European standards! If I remember correctly, it’s about SGD$150/night. Some rooms even come with a balcony!

That’s about it for the first part of Barcelona. I’ll be back with Montserrat photos next (:

Leave a comment below if you have any questions!

Featured

Guide to shopping on Taobao : Skycart [SP]

August 6, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 7.17.44 pmScreen Shot 2015-07-09 at 7.18.37 pmScreen Shot 2015-07-09 at 7.36.40 pmWell well, who’s that hahah!
So not too long ago, I worked with Skycart on a video tutorial on how to shop on Taobao and I decided to try it out myself! So here’s a guide on shopping with Taobao with Skycart! I’ve always been a noob when it comes to shopping on Taobao, or any chinese shopping platforms to say the least cos the mandarin plastered all over the website is just extremely intimidating. If I see chinese characters, I leave the page.

But at the same time, I don’t want to miss out on good deals on Taobao since SO MANY people shop there and only have good things to say. My friend’s parents even buy furnitures and basin from Taobao for their house. And even my male friends buy random stuff like socks and underwear there cos it’s cheap!

So bottom-line, if you aren’t exactly the sort with a strong command of mandarin like me but still wanna shop on Taobao then you gotta read on. Promise you will be a master of Taobao after this post (okay, maybe not master but you get my drift!).

I use Skycart to place my order and process my shipping procedure so…

STEP 1 : Open 2 tabs : www.skycart.com and www.taobao.com (preferably with Google Chrome so you can google translate it if you need) Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 7.56.46 pmThis is how Skycart homepage looks like, very straightforward.
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Once you have opened up Taobao you can start browsing and when you’ve found something you like, simply copy the Taobao item link and paste it into the box that says “paste Taobao url here to grab your items” as shown above.

So, STEP 2 : Copy and paste your Taobao url and click on grab. It should say “Grabbing…” like this so just wait for awhile while Skycart locates your item.
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It should bring you to this page
STEP 3 : Click on “I want this.” if it’s the correct item
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STEP 4 : Choose the size, colour and quantity. Click on “Cart This” to add to cart and move on to “Checkout” if you’re ready to make payment. However, if you still want to add more items, simply press on the big “X” at the top right hand corner after carting your item. This way you can continue pasting more url and carting more items before you checkout at one go.

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Once you’re ready to checkout, you should come to this page which shows you the price of the item plus domestic charges in SGD.

STEP 5 : Click on “Proceed to Shipment”
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STEP 6 : Choose the type of shipping and collection method.
The first column refers to types of shipping method from China to Skycart warehouse in Singapore and second column refers to the shipping method from Skycart warehouse to you directly. The extreme right also shows the estimated date of arrival and shipping rates. Once you’re done choosing, click on “Proceed to Payment”.
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STEP 7 : Make your first payment (cost of item + domestic charges). Once your items arrive, you will need to make a 2nd payment for shipping charges.

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And voila, you’re done!!! Isn’t that just so easy and straightforward?
If you wanna track your order, just log into your account and you can see the status of your shipment. Can’t wait for all my items to reach me hehe.

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What I love about using Skycart besides how easy and straightforward, it actually helps you to check your items in their China warehouse to ensure it’s not defected or the wrong item to skip the whole sending-back-to-seller-and-waiting process. Also, if somehow the item is OOS or if the seller requires more information from you, there is a live chat support for you to address your concerns. Skycart also protects its buyers by performing refunds, returns and exchanges on customers’ request within the seller’s returns period.

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Didn’t I say you would be a master of Taobao after this post? You get what I mean now right!
I wish I knew about Skycart earlier cos I’ve been trying to learn to buy things from Taobao for years but this only took me one day to learn!

Other than purchasing from Taobao the way I just mentioned, there is also a #skycartishere page showing other users’ buys and Skycart’s featured items for users who are extremely lazy or can’t read chinese(or use google translate)!
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The guide is a bit more detailed but if you’re still a little confused, you can watch the video tutorial below!

Personally, I really like using Skycart to shop on Taobao cos it’s secure and easy to use! It also shows the final fees in SGD and allows me to track my orders so it’s very straightforward. My orders just reached me so I’ll do a haul post soon! Alternatively, you can watch out for them on my Instagram (:

You can save your thank yous and go shop at Taobao with Skycart now that you’re a pro.
Simply sign up for an account and use this discount code “RUNWAY” when checking out to get $10 off! No minimum spending required!

https://www.skycart.com

XX
Sophia

Conversations Featured

Dear Daniel,

August 3, 2015

Thank you. Thank you for being, you. I can’t and don’t ever want to imagine life without you. You’re my stem of support and pillar of strength. These words sound so cliche but they are so true. I’m so glad we fit so well like a jigsaw puzzle. You complement my strengths and accept my flaws, you give me sound advice when I need an opinion and give me space when I want to think quietly on my own. You and I, we are on the same page in almost every aspect and that’s rare. Even though we lead very different work lives, you’re so ever supportive in every way and go out of your way to help. How is a guy working in the finance sector ever interested the fashion/blogging industry. How does a guy who hates taking pictures stay with a girl who takes picture for a living (somewhat, for my blog and IG) for almost 6 years? Sometimes, we defy norms but we always find a way simply because we know we are worth the fight. We both hate painting a picture-perfect couple image on social media platforms but sometimes you still tell me that I should do it cos readers are interested in that stuff (though we really end up just not doing it cos it’s just…not our thing). You’re so understanding, so compromising, so loving, and so supportive and our relationship is just amazing as a whole.

You recently asked me “Why do couples want to stay together when there’s no more passion left in their relationship?” and then it hit me, our passion doesn’t fade with time. It actually grows with time and how often do we find such relationships. You’re my so-many-things-in-one guy. My lover, my soulmate, my best friend, my listener, my gossip girl and everything I can ever ask for. Though you can be an ass quite often and laugh at me in my face even when I’m crying, I still love you very much and there’s not a thing about us that I want to change. I’ll do anything within my capability for you, and you should know it by now.

This is random but who needs a special occasion or a curated photo shoot to express their love right?

I love you, Daniel. I hope you cry reading this.

XX
Sophia