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The Rabeanco Satchel

Friday, July 31, 2015

Hello Internet, meet my first 'luxury' handbag, now as a side note, I'm not bragging- I saved a lot & thought about investing in one for about three years, so I think of this as my first 'grown up girl purchase.' Also, you may not have heard of this brand so I'm not sure whether it's considered 'luxury' in the namesake, but the price is a tad dear. It's becoming more of a popular brand in Hong Kong, as it did originate in Hong Kong and sources it's leather from Italy.

I'm quite a practical person when it comes to bags, and the people who know me most knows I love a good compartmentalised bag - i.e- a lot of zips. So this bag for me, definitely fit that style. I chose the light brown in calfskin leather (Rabeanco offers a huge range of colours with this style).

The bag comes with an extendable and removable strap, you can carry it through the main handle at the top (which I usually do- T Swift style) or as a loose off the shoulder.

It's gently structured with plenty of space and sections, the front for example has a small pocket, perfect for quick essentials- keys, tissues etc. Inside there's the front pocket- where I usually store my miscellaneous items- blotting tissue, anti-bacterial hand gel. Then the main inside pocket has plenty of space for my junk- phone, external battery charger, umbrella, purse etc. The back zip pocket is great too, I usually use this for my phone so I can quickly grab it and use it to access the MTR. I absolutely adore this bag, it has the softest leather and the colour goes with so many of my outfits. If you're a pretty practical person like me (hoarder tendencies) then I would definitely recommend this bag, it's a nice alternative to the Cambridge Satchel too- which I find to be very tough and structured.

3280 HKD (price at the time of writing)

Hello Sailor!

Monday, July 27, 2015

You may have already seen these similar pictures from Apple's post about Penfold Park( 彭福公園) but because these items of clothing were all new additions to my wardrobe, I wanted to talk more about them ;)

I felt the whole sailor vibe going down, especially with the stripes. The top is from H&M and it's also my first crop top too! I love stripes and I feel like with full t-shirts tucking them into skirts make them very bulky. I have always felt a little hesitant to buy crop tops- I don't have the flattest stomach, but with a high waist skirt it definitely hides my lower belly pooch.

The cerulean blue skirt is from Lowry's Farm - it also has pockets, when I spin around I do feel like a elegant, albeit slightly dizzy lady. The shoes that actually match the skirt are from Oriental Traffic, the slight heel at the back makes the shoe more comfortable compared to wearing plain flat shoes. 

I loved this whole combination, it brings out the Taylor Swift, girl next door vibe that I always want to achieve (on days where I want to get out of jeans) add a splash of that red lip, classic, bring your biggest diva sunglasses (Egg) et voila- your outfit is complete!

*Bailey is priceless & storeless 

15 thoughts of a half-foreigner in Hong Kong

Sunday, July 26, 2015
Whenever someone asks where I'm from, I have to stop and think. The answer isn't that simple - I was born in Hong Kong, but my parents are from Malaysia and Korea. I spent the first few years of my life in HK, but the rest in Malaysia, and now I'm back in HK. And no, I do not speak Korean. So I think I'm "officially" a Hong-Konger, but I'm Malaysian at heart, with Korean blood and looks. uhh.....I confuse myself.
- Apple

For me, I've grown up in the UK all my life- born and raised there, I look Chinese, and my parents are from Hong Kong but honestly HK confuses me and there are still some things I don't understand. I've never felt like I fully fit in the UK either, but I don't feel at place in HK. Always drifting between the two, problems with intercultural identities.

Even though I can blend in, sometimes I still feel like an outsider in this city that never sleeps. These are some thoughts I have as a half-foreigner in Hong Kong, maybe you can relate.


There are queues at the MTR, at the restaurants, at the doctor's clinic, at the mall's washroom, outside Louis Vuitton, at the pet groomer's, at the pharmacy, at the club - if there's one place where there's more grass than humans, it must be Hong Kong.

Just look at Mongkok (HK's must-visit hot spot), the district with the highest population density in the WORLD.

130,000 people per square kilometre. Fwoah...How is that even possible?!

Hong Kong Mongkok
Hong Kong Mongkok Houses


I know someone who has three Filipino helpers (one cooks, one cleans, the third I'm guessing is a backup?!), lives in a three storey semi-detached house, buys tea leaves that cost HKD$20K, and has never rode on public transport. 

I also see, every day as I walk to work, a frail-looking old woman who must be in her 80s or 90s, picking up cardboard boxes that shops have disposed of, to sell to collection companies for money. 

An old woman who collects cardboard to exchange for money.
I once asked her when she was pushing a trolley piled full of cardboard how much she can get for that. She said, HK $10. 

Just stop and think about this for a minute.


Hong Kong isn't just shopping paradise, it is also a food wonderland. In Central alone, other than the usual scatter of local Cha Chaan Teng's and Dim Sum restaurants, you can also find: A Russian restaurant (serving rabbit meat :S ), Greek food, NY style pizzaauthentic Indian curry,  delicious Japanese ramen, Malaysian cuisine, and the list goes on.... 

Hong Kong Dim Sum

Foodies out there, Hong Kong is the place to be!


When you're on the street, you can always tell who is local and who isn't. And I don't mean from the colour of their skin, I mean from the speed that they walk. Hong Kong people are always, as they put it in their own terms "趕住去投胎" (rushing to be re-incarnated), which is a funny saying that means spirits have to rush to the place of reincarnation within a certain period of time, or they will end up as drifting ghosts forever.

Hong Kongers Walking Fast
Friends of mine who've come from every corner of the world, be it laid back Malaysia, bustling Singapore, busy London, Spain, Denmark or Korea - always find that when they return to their own countries, they've developed a faster walking pace than the norm after being "brainwashed" by HK's speed.


HK's Metro System (MTR) is one of the most efficient in the world. The cashier lady at 7Eleven can serve at a speed of 1 customer/30 seconds. We have a freakin' (amazing) Octopus card system so we can pay everything by touch-and-go, from the MTR, bus, convenience store purchases, supermarket groceries, movie tickets, etc. Ain't nobody got time for someone to slowly count their small change. 

Hong Kong's Octopus Card

Actually if you're slow, you will get a lot of angry glances and Tsk Tsk's coming your way. Pressure is on, people!


Maybe this is usually the case for most cities, but I feel that people here tend to distance themselves emotionally from others. I often feel there's a lack of heart-to-heart conversations with my local friends. The mindset here seems to be that family is always key, and friendship is merely companionship. This is just me speaking from personal experience by the way (friendly HK readers please don't feel offended). In this concrete jungle, people are always busy making money to survive & people don't know their neighbours.

Hong Kong Rush Hour
There is a lack of trust in this city. Perhaps it's because it is important to hold a certain kind of status in this realistic society. And perhaps revealing true emotions or allowing yourself to fully trust someone is just too much of a risk. A vulnerability.

I feel that Hong Kong has moulded me into a more stoic individual.


For me growing up in the UK, it's quite rude to be late to things, but I've noticed that yes- Hong Kong people like to rush around (they will literally run to the MTR even if the next one will be in another minute) yet they walk into work 5 to 10 minutes late (sometimes even later!), whistling without a care in the world. As well as going into meetings later than their starting time too.


For a city that stares when I wear bright red lipstick or wear a top that is considered 'low cut' here, the PDA of couples is intense.  Going back to the point of people being quite emotionally closed off here, when it comes to displaying affection, they go all out. Expect when you go on any escalators here, the said couple will turn to each other and start making out.



Hong Kong people are definitely hard working, usually people use the excuse 'I've been working really long hours at work, I can't make so and so...' but here, it's probably the truth. I know people here that work till 9pm every night, and even have to go in on Saturdays too. There are rumours that people are overtiming to make themselves look good, but when will this culture ever end? Why can't people work more efficiently and finish on time. Work will always be there and it will never end, so why waste extra hours when it won't ever mean the workload will reduce. Work smart.


The mobile phone is pretty much glued to your hand here, each time you sit down for a meal, the cameras will come out and people spend a good 5- 10 mins taking pictures of the food, with the food- (be careful, you might drop it!), so there's a saying called ' the camera eats first.' I've begun to become slightly guilty of this too, but we do have a blog instagram to update ;)

This is a controversial topic, as of now Hong Kong is part of the People's Republic of China, therefore it means a lot of visitors from mainland China come to visit Hong Kong each day. They are known to bring their suitcases and buy a lot of products because Hong Kong is safer for things like Milk powder, beauty products etc. There was a milk powder crisis in Mainland China a few years ago- milk powder was contaminated with nasty chemicals which led to a lot of Mainland China people coming over and buying milk powder. This led to a decrease in supply for Hong Kongers. Nowadays places are known as Mainland China tourist hotspots. There are also crisis with Mainlanders being rude, or defecating on Hong Kong public transport. Hong Kongers hold a very strong and negative opinion towards Mainlanders which is a shame because the ones that do this, is the extremely small population of mainland China tourists and they are giving a bad name to them.


Hong Kong is a very crowded area, and I'm definitely used to roomy England where people have oodles of space to queue and do their things. I've noticed that personal space really isn't a thing here. From sardine packed MTR carriages and buses to even crowded lifts. When I'm using an ATM here, this for me is a very private thing- I'm entering my personal bank account details but I can literally feel a person behind me hovering and breathing down my neck. It makes me feel extremely uncomfortable - just give me my personal space dude!


Hong Kong is definitely humid, but the air con here is turned up to the coldest. You need to pack clothes for two types of weathers here- the humidity outside- a fan, some water, but inside it's a whole other temperature- you need your scarves and jackets because it feels like the arctic in some places. Shopping malls and hotels are a big fan of colder temperatures- I think they just want to kick us out!


Transportation is definitely something I love about Hong Kong, it's extremely convenient and if I'm ever lost I know that I just need to look for an MTR sign and I can pretty much find my way home. However, if I want to find some other alternatives to get home, for example the minibuses- it's a whole secret society here. There are no clear signs for where the minibus stops are and it's a back and forth game of trying to find where the stop is, in the end I just give up and call a taxi. My friend once told me she spent half an hour with her husband looking for one of these 'special mini buses' to get home. Think of the Night bus in Harry Potter- it's more efficient than the minibus locations here.


If you've ever complained that your apartment is small, consider the living space of some HK people. I kid you not, 'pigeon cage homes' or 'cage homes' is an actual term for human habitats in some areas in this city. You've probably heard that HK is notorious for its sky-high housing prices, leaving some without a choice but having to succumb to habitats that obviously too small for living. I'll let these pictures speak for itself.

HK Housing

HK Cage Homes


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

1) Cute cat graffiti found in my favourite place- Sheung Wan
2) The cutest cat ever, cat goals right there. It had the softest, dreamiest patterned fur and adorable short stubby legs
3) After 8 long months of Instagram screenshots, I finally tried the Elephant Grounds famous Ice Cream sandwich, and it was well worth the hype

4) Beautiful fountains in Sheung Wan, close to some of my favourite spots for food too
5) A week ago, I went to D2 place in Lai Chi Kok where they had some weekend independent stalls set up, there was a booth set up for temporary tattoos. As soon as I saw the lightning bolt, I knew it was the one (HP for ever!)
6) Went to visit my auntie and saw the beautiful view of Tseung Kwan O

7) Another picture from the cat cafe, how cute this this little one?!
8) Awful OOTD but nonetheless I wanted to snap a picture of my 'Hogwarts Alumni' T-shirt- absolute bargain from Primark at £6 (which HK desperately needs!)
9) The sleepiest of kittens and pretty much how I feel every morning, especially Mondays.

Simple But Delicious Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Monday, July 20, 2015
Today I'd like to show you just how easy it is to make spaghetti bolognese at home! This recipe is intended for beginners in the kitchen, or for those who are trying out spaghetti bolognese for the first time.

It takes no longer than 20 minutes and doesn't require much skill, so it's one of my favourite dishes to put together after a long day at work. All together, the ingredients should cost you no more than HKD30 (enough for two persons), so if you're on a plan to save some money, cooking at home is definitely a great way to start.

Ingredients (Serving for two), Cooking Time: 20 minutes

  • 1 x Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Cooking oil (preferably olive oil)
  • Ground black pepper x 1 teaspoon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Button mushrooms x 1 box
  • Onion x 1/2
  • Garlic x 2 cloves
  • Minced pork or beef
  • Dry Spaghetti - 70g-100g for each person

You can also slip in a few drops of red wine to add acidity and an instant flavour-boost to the sauce.

Repulse Bay, Hong Kong

Friday, July 17, 2015




Oh how I do love being by the seaside. It's amazing that in a metropolitan jungle like Hong Kong filled with skycrapers and smoggy skies, you're blessed with some amazing beaches that makes you feel like on you're on a getaway island. One of my favourites is definitely Repulse Bay, located near Central you can catch the 260 Stanley Express. 

The Pulse is the newly opened shopping centre/ food spot for Repulse Bay- filled with treats like Lab Made ice cream, Haagen Dazs and even supermarkets if you need to stock up on beach treats. The centre has a rooftop patio which was sadly closed, we discovered the coolest artsy lift and found the Chamber of Secrets.

Michelle and I firstly headed over to Limewood for some Caribbean and Asian fusion food. The food is so fresh and definitly exotic with a twist, my favourite was the pork skin chicharon guacamole, guacamole & the beach is just the perfect combo isn't it? You can never go wrong with it. We also decided to have a cheeky cocktail, because hey it was a Sunday- I chose the creamy Pina Colada & Michelle went with a tangy Pineapple Mojito.

After filling our bellies and  stocked up on some ice cold drinks, we walked over to the sand. Repulse has three levels of sand, towards the top near the stairs it's really coarse- perfect if you want a quick foot scrub. The middle section is a bit softer, still filled with a lot of granite. Finally the third section is where the silky soft sand is, this is the best spot. However, since it was a furnace outside, we decided to find some shelter under a tree, Hong Kong sun is intense- I spent the whole day in shade with sunscreen on and I still left the beach with tan lines galore. Even with the crazy tan lines, we had the best time just relaxing, listening to our babe Taylor and sipping on the slightly warm drinks. 

We ended the day with a sneaky Haagen Dazs ice cream and cold Japanese noodles! Beach days are definitely worth leaving the house.

Embracing Change

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
“You're always you, and that don't change, and you're always changing, and there's nothing you can do about it.”
Neil Gaiman 

I think back to stubborn 15 year old Sophia with her doey eyes and straight line way of thinking, she had a real plan of what she wanted to do and would freak out if things didn't go accordingly. That girl was definitely not a fan of change. However, I don't know how and I don't know when, I started to shed that side of me, I embraced change and took it whenever it came my way.

I have always been a planner, I probably will always be one, however, the one thing that has changed is my ability to let go of the plan, because honestly sometimes life happens. Life literally shits on your big plan, you think you have it all mapped out to the T, but it doesn't work like that. Things change, situations change and people change, most importantly you also change. I really did hate it when a plan fell through or if something didn't look like it was the way I'd hoped it would go. But, I can tell you now, I've learnt to let go of these things, some things you really cannot plan as much as you want to hold on to that part, maybe it's so you feel like you're in control. Honestly though, you're not really in control, therefore don't fret and fuss over the things you can't change, but focus on the ones that you can.

Learn to adapt, accept that change is inevitable and plans are just ghost plans- they could or could not happen really. As someone once put it so kindly, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

Monday Motivation

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday has rolled around again, how did you spend your weekend? Was it jam packed and productive or did you have a relaxing one? This week I helped a friend move house, tidied my own house and got my place ready for the arrival of my family. They're coming over for a month and I'm so excited to spend time with them (let's see how I feel at the end of the month).   

Here's some of my tips to handle Mondays
  • Make a to-do list, I love using Google Keep and setting reminders too
  • Plan your meals for the week if you do that, mine is all set for the week
  • Treat yourself to a end of the day pamper and reruns of your favourite tv show
  • Compliment someone, it'll make you feel good too
  • Focus on your Monday meeting, maybe something important will come up for later
  • Catch up with a friend you haven't spoken to in a while
Here's to Mondays! They suck but you need them so that Fridays will come around quicker.

-Sophia x

Penfold Park, Hong Kong (彭福公園)

Sunday, July 12, 2015
Welcome to Penfold Park, 20 acres of doggy wonderland! Hidden in the centre of the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Shatin, this park is not a place that you just happen to pass by. In fact, I discovered this place through a search online for a dog-friendly park in Hong Kong (which may also be the reason you're reading this post), and it took a little bit of asking around to finally find it.

source: Wikipedia

The park is filled with acres of greenery, some huge trees with dogs lying under for the shade, picnic tables scattered across the park, a fountain area with a couple of waterbirds, oriental horse statues and artworks - and most importantly, many many dogs.

If you're thinking of taking your pooch to Penfold Park this weekend, and you travel by MTR (with your dog secretly hidden in your bag), get off at Fotan and locate exit C, then cross the road and follow the signs. It's around a 7-10 minutes walk. If you travel by car, there's a huge parking space available right next to the park.

- Apple

For the Girl Who is Ambitious

A is for Ambition.

The more I talk to people about what they want to do, the more I realise that I'm highly ambitious, I've got goals and dreams of my own that I hope to achieve within my lifetime. I definitely don't think that being ambitious is viewed as a bad thing, embrace that you know what you want and that you won't stop till you get it. I'm not sure if I've always been ambitious, but I know that I've been brought up by parents who instilled good values in me like work hard and it'll pay off. I'm lucky enough to have a supportive network of family and friends to push me and help me grow as a person. However, even though I'm ambitious I do question myself each day which can be a challenge in itself, there are days when I'm a little lost but I have an idea of what my end dreams are.

I'm ambitious because I have had people telling me that I can't do it.
I'm ambitious because I want to achieve the best that I can.
I'm ambitious because I've been told I don't need to try so hard as I can just 'get married'.
I'm ambitious because I have expensive taste.
I'm ambitious because I want to be proud of my achievements.

I will put my career and goals in the front line and work my hardest to gain what I want and I'm definitely not afraid to let people know that I'm ambitious too. 
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't achieve your goals, go forth and pursue them.

- Sophia x


EAT.it Italy Eatery @ Causeway Bay

Saturday, July 11, 2015
My friend took Apple and I to this place, it is a rustic, authentic Italian restaurant with a twist located in the remote corner of Causeway Bay. Decorated with the cutest light bulb signs and fairy lights in the outside glasshouse. The restaurant runs on an individual person's 'swipe card', after you're seated each person gets a swipe card and goes to each of the counters to choose their selected item and you have a huge range to choose from.

I was a little overwhelmed with the choices, I feel like at a buffet your eyes are bigger than your stomach but each food item gets swiped so be sensible ;) I've visited this place twice now and both the week after each other. So the first time, Apple and I chose to share a fresh pasta between us- the pasta is made fresh and there are a few selection of sauce bases, from classic tomato, fresh pesto, and creamy carbonara. We opted for the carbonara and loved it, the ratio of cream and pasta was the right balance. I usually avoid carbonaras because I think they are too creamy and sickening but I really enjoyed this one. The second time I went, I shared a pesto pasta with delicious basil and crunchy pine nuts on top.

Aside from the pastas, there's delicious fresh individual slices of pizza to chose from too if you want to avoid the pasta. In addition, there's a healthy fresh salad buffet to choose from, you can either chose from three or five depending on how hungry you are- we decided on the aubergine, coleslaw and cous cous.

If that wasn't enough food, I decided to try the Italian hot chocolate, and I definitely did not regret it, the chocolate was luxurious, bordering between a mix of dark and milk chocolate - afterwards I felt like it was such a good bed time night cap for the non alcoholics ;)

Topping it all off (if I wasn't in a food coma already!) I ended the meal with a lemon meringue pie, a combination of tangy and sweet with the fluffy meringue to blend it in together.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this place 100% to anyone, I can't wait to go back and the calamari starter is next on my list to try!

10 of out 10 Blushes

Eat.it Italian Eatery Shop 1, G/F, 9 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Jo Malone describes it as 'The essence of charm.  Peonies in voluptuous bloom, exquisitely fragile.  Flirtatious with the juicy bite of red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose and gillyflower.  Mingling with the sensuality of soft, blush suede.  Luxurious and seductive.'

This is my first Jo Malone perfume purchase and I absolutely adore it, I love light, sweet scents when it comes to perfumes and after having an intense sniffing session in the Lane Crawford Hong Kong branch a few months ago I was hooked.

Post holiday blues, walking around Heathrow Terminal 3 and pretty much feeling sorry for myself, I remembered the Jo Malone store and wandered in. The ladies there were ever so helpful, inquiring what scents I usually gravitate towards- I highlighted that I loved the floral ones, such as Marc Jacobs Daisy, stronger ones like Lola, and she kindly picked out a few of the popular floral ones. After smelling Peony & Blush Suede several times I knew this one was the one for me. Personally I would describe it as a summer's day in the park, the flowers are blowing in the wind and you can detect light jasmine scents, and an attractive baby powdery cologne as the after smell. 

This is definitely not a heavy perfume, it's not one that lingers after you've left a room, however, sometimes you catch yourself with this scent (I usually spray it on the back of my wrists and nape of my neck) and fall in love with it all over again. I already have an idea of what to pair next with this perfume, (as you can layer Jo Malone perfumes) so watch this space.

-Sophia x

Monday Blues

Monday, July 6, 2015

The weekend is over and Monday is here again, it's a new week and a time to think positive. Here's some quick ways to brighten up your Monday
  • Put on your favourite song and dance around whilst you get changed, I recommend Style- Taylor Swift
  • Splash your face with cold water, have your morning shower- sing as loud as you can
  • Get your morning coffee/ tea or whatever you fancy- give yourself 5 minutes to just sit and enjoy it
  • Check your phone notifications, screenshot those new places you want to visit for the week ahead
  • Message someone Good Morning
  • Apply your favourite lipstick & have a quick pamper
  • Get in the zone at your workstation, eye of the tiger it- breathe and just finish your tasks
  • If you can take a quick stroll outside and breathe in some fresh air
Monday's over and you've done it, you go glen coco.

-Sophia x