Rich People Problems By Kevin Kwan Book Review…

February 18, 2019
Rich Peoples Problems Pretentious Fringe Book Review

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Have you watched Crazy Rich Asians? One of the funniest movies of 2018 depicting the lives of the Asian elite whose endless amounts of money afford them the most extravagant of lifestyles. Years ago I read the book, Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan and absolutely loved it. Kwan’s background as part of an established Chinese family, living in Singapore, means that you can guarantee lots of the story is inspired by real events! With Singapore as the backdrop the story centres around the Young family and their various offshoots. The reality of the family politics rings so true for me as various members vie for the attention of the matriarch, Su Yi, or actually compete for her wealth and properties when she passes on. Rich People’s Problems by Kevin Kwan* is set two years after the previous novel in the trilogy.

The Story.

I started to consider the curtains and I began to imagine how they would lookin the fron windows of the town house I would buy in London. Victoria

Nicky Young and his wife, Rachel continue to be the main focus of Kwan’s narrative alongside the same generation cousins. Relunctant to return to Singapore, Rachel convinces Nicky to return and make up with his grandmother. A quick hop on a jet later and we are back in Singapore hearing about the families desperate antics to determine who is the sole heir of the family fortune. As each family member fantasises about their life after Su Yi’s death, not everyone wants Tyersall Park, some manipulative behaviour sees Nicky and Astrid barred from the estate.

Kwan’s writing.

Then they drove up a long winding gravel lane that had been cut through thick trees, giving way to an avenue lined with majestic palm trees, until suddenly the most magnificent building she had ever seen came into sight – Ah Ling

Kwan’s descriptions of the details of the Asian elite bring you into a world accessed by the few. The stunning island of Singapore extend this time to India where there is a surprise proposal! No expense is spared with dancers and elephants just the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile back in Singapore the narrative describes in detail the palatial Young estate hidden on the island. All 64 acres that only no one on the island seems to know about or notice exists! The peacefulness and tranquillity that Nicky feels in this one spots cannot be replaced.

My Thoughts.

I expected the book to finish with the reading of the will declaring Nicky the heir, but a surprise twist means we get more story. Yay! Over the last few chapters there are so many twists and turns the final owner/s of the Young estate changes hands multiple times and then boom we are transported a year in the future. I love this series from Kevin Kwan and whilst this book neatly ties up the loose ends and finishes the story I want more! Hope you enjoy Rich Peoples Problems*. Here’s hoping that Kwan writes something else soon! PF xo

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The Truth About Bullet Journals…

February 13, 2019
Picture of my bullet journal closed, surrounded by stickers and kikki k coloured pens.

Have you ever looked at bullet journals and dismissed them as they looked too complex? The beautiful designs of each bullet journal page painstakingly drawn to depict each topic. Neat handwriting and intense colour coding. Having learnt, made and used a bullet journal for over a year here are the four things I know will encourage you to have one.

I’ve always admired bullet journals and anyone who has one. Those that have them have always produced theirs willingly. Showing off their beautiful handwriting and organisational skills. I saw a session at my local West Elm run by Ghenet and Kikki K and thought I would give it a go. We had a fantastic time and Ghenet gave us all her tips to head home and make our own bullet journals.

Picture of my bullet journal open,  showing a list of monthly chores.  Surrounded by stickers and kikki k coloured pens.

It is a list keeper not a journal.

Getting my head around making a bullet journal made more sense when Ghenet explained it was for list making. The word journal was throwing me off and this made a lot more sense. I love a list and putting them all in one place is freeing. So much better than all the bits of paper I used to carry around!

Picture of my bullet journal open,  showing my calendar of activities.  Surrounded by stickers and kikki k coloured pens.

It doesn’t have to be a big notebook.

Ghenet had small A6 booklets for us to create our bullet journals in. As we worked on them I felt I would want something a bit bigger as all my lists were running over multiple pages! Heading to Kikki K I purchased a notebook with grid lines but when I got home I felt it was too much to add to my handbag. Despondent I flicked through the pages and realised I could pull apart the notebook and create a book the perfect size for me. 32 pages were covered in navy cardboard I had laying around and thread tied it all together.

Picture of my bullet journal practise pages where I have tried different heading fonts and drawings.

Practise the headings and drawings first.

Practice makes perfect and I’ve never nailed one of the drawn headings the first time. Instead I have used some spare pages to practice my drawing. There are plenty of examples of pages online and with some patience you can replicated any you like. I’ve made a whole pinterest board here to get you on your way!

Picture of my bullet journal open,  showing my blank calendar ready to fill up with events.  Surrounded by stickers and kikki k coloured pens.

It’s going to get messy.

Once I had laid out my pages and started using the bullet journal it took a while to develop a system. For my calendar I wanted to implement colour coding distinguishing appointments from fun friend catch ups. The first couple of months navigating this saw a lot of mess on the page! I quickly realised that regular gym sessions didn’t require noting as the times and days didn’t change. I also reduced my five colour key to two, making my life a lot easier and the page a thousand times neater. Once I got in the swing of things the pages became significantly tidier and ready to show off to others!

I’d love to see your bullet journals. Send me a picture or tag me on Instagram. PF xo

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Saving For Best…

February 11, 2019

When I was in Bristol staying with my friend, she was telling me about all the clothing and homewares that she had kept after a massive clear out. Moving from her family home in London to a small bedroom in a Bristol sharehouse had given her an opportunity to refresh.  We started talking about how we had both been taught to save for best.  Often this meant keeping something nice aside, bringing it out when someone to be impressed was around.  I laughed and said recently I had cast aside this notion and started wearing all my good things.  And then I caught myself.

I wasn’t telling the truth!

I realised whilst this was something I had changed, living in my flat for a couple of years had seen a few habits sneak in. Packing for my weekend away I had deliberately brought my best pyjamas and slipper socks.  There was another set at home that had seen better times. I was still choosing to wear these everyday. There were quite large holes in those slipper socks and they never stayed up. Each night I did an elaborate folding system to keep the socks in place!  These new socks, which for some reason I was saving until next winter, were so comfortable and most of all stayed up!

Caught in a saving for best cycle.

Where was this saving for best mentality coming from? When I grew up I was acutely aware that our family didn’t have lots of money.  My parents were much younger then my peers and at different earning levels.  There were always good outfits to be saved for special occasions, usually with the grandparents! 

When I got my first job I bought lots of beautiful candles that I wanted for so long.  I was in love with the different canisters, and the colour of liquids as they created rainbows in the sunshine on my walls.  They sat patiently on my dressing table waiting to be used. I waited for a special occasion.  It was not meant to be. I quickly learnt that candles sitting in a hot, timber house resulted in their perfume leaving quite quickly. Such a shame!

Influenced by advertising.

Having items that are for best or everyday use has also stuck me as a consumption habit that advertising promotes. Outfits for work, outfits for the weekend, outfits for Friday nights out.  Getting your winter wardrobe out and putting summer clothing away.  This has never been something I have done preferring to have everything on show to choose from each day.  My budget has never streached to seperate wardrobes for different seasons!

Something changed.

When I moved into this new flat I was keen to replace the plates and bowls. For the first time I considered purchasing my favourite plates to use everyday. Previously I have loved these but it never made sense to have a good set, alongside an everyday set.  This is not uncommon in Australia and my parents have three china sets! 

For years their wedding set sat for best in the cupboard alongside the silver cutlery, only coming out for dinner parties and Christmas.  We make an effort now to use all the different sets.  I bought my favourite plates and limited myself to a set for two.  They are expensive and I realised I could have what I wanted if I didn’t go crazy with a set for 6 people. Why do we have to buy sets in such large numbers? Clever advertising!

No more saving for best!

Coming home from Bristol I unpacked those ‘best’ pyjamas and slipper socks and put them on my bed. Digging out the worse for wear ones I threw them away. I’d like to say I reviewed my entire wardrobe and flat due to this reepiphany, but truth is I stuck to the pyjama drawer.  A few items went to Australia for rags for my dad’s motorbike and a couple of things went to landfill.  I’m casting my eye over by bathroom cabinet next and using up all my expensive creams and samples.  No more saving for best!  PF. XO

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