Hey there! My name is Flora and I love to travel, live well and eat well. I write about things in Life that inspire me - fashion, food, friends and special daily moments. To get in touch, drop me a note at flora@floraisabelle.com

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flora isabelle

fishy business

I work on a Macbook Pro, the boy calls me one of those i-faggots who can’t live without their iphone, ipad and macbooks. (Though he was the one who bought me the laptop… just saying).

The boy, on the other hand, owns a desktop (custom job, is that the term?) and a huuuggee MSI computer that makes me wonder how on earth can it be classified as a laptop? Great graphics for him to play his Diablo 3 - that’s what he said.

So imagine my surprise when I came out of the shower last night to find him hunched over MY macbook.

"Hey! What are you doing with my com?"

"Oh baby.. do you have photoshop on your com?"

"HUH?! Why the hell are you using photoshop?!"

"I want to upload this picture of this 2.5kg kim bak lor I caught today!!! But I don’t want anybody to know my secret spot… so I want to photoshop away the background!"

Sheesh, I don’t see him practicing any QC when it comes to uploading my makeup-less photos. You know, that ones where I am grinning like an idiot with chocolate all over my lips and teeth?

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Here’s presenting to you my husband and his love. Hmppphh

Brisbane!

OMG I can’t believe how insanely fast time flies these days… it seems like only last week that we were all Hello July-ing on Tumblr and now it’s almost time to close the month! Gosh… And I was just commenting to the boy yesterday that you know what? I was in Australia half a month ago (aka two weeks but the former for dramatic effect lol). Before you know it I’ll be in a nursing home, all wrinkly and gross wtf.

Anyway, back to our #garryfloraoz vacay…

So I was there for two weekends, and the first weekend we spent it at the Gold Coast and the other, we went to Brisbane!

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Setting off! It’s about an hour and a half from Toowoomba to Brisbane.

And when we reached Brisbane, the boy asked what I wanna eat and I replied FISH & CHIPS … lol! I ate it every other day but somehow still didn’t get sick of it at all.

So he brought me to Swampdog!

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The fish & chips was gooooodddd but you know what?

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These fried shrimps were even better!

Then we checked in to the Meriton :) You know the issue we previously had about hotels vs serviced apartments - so this time round I gave in and booked the Meriton at Herschel Street because he kept telling me how I’d love the place and how it’s really new and swanky…

And boy was he not kidding. The place had this techy fancy mancy lift where they are no buttons in the elevator (the system will assign you a car beforehand) andddd I was absolutely floored by the view from our apartment. 

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TADAAAAAAA!

Took a nap, bummed around and watched the sun set into the distance.

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Then we took a stroll around the hood before dinner!

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Treasury casino….

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City Hall! I think there was a wedding/ weddings going on cause there were all these people dressed up to the nines in gowns and all… while I was prancing around happily in my winter jacket and uggs ><

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Pretty good flourless matcha cake at some hipster cafe where the patrons and waitstaff turned out to be all Asians somehow wtf. The only Caucasian in the place was the trainee barrister o.O

The next morning…

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Good morning Brisbane :) Was feeling really bittersweet at this point cause while we had a full day of exploring ahead of us… I was also scheduled to fly back that night :(

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View from the other room.

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The boy was craving something Asian, so it was Pho at Sunnybank! I was quite impressed with the Asian community here… there were hair salons (managed by Asians for Asians) and even eyelash extension parlours that look pretty much like what we have at Far East Plaza lol.

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Walked around for a bit after lunch. Had coffee, went to the biggest mall Indooroopilly Shopping Centre where I bought things I’m pretty sure I don’t need including a faux fur jacket and yet another Samsonite suitcase. (Couldn’t resist! It was on sale!)

Had dimsum for dinner… when I started crying into my charsiewsoh. Just typing this now and reliving the moment feels so painful.  I don’t know how am I going to deal with his departure again next month. Sigh.

And then it was to the airport, emotional goodbyes and all. 

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But we did have the happiest of days chasing sunsets…many more to come I hope ;)))

Rest of the Australia diaries here x

[In other news]

This week’s new arrivals are seriously too pretty!! I don’t usually get involved with design.. but this time round I interfered provided some feedback and….

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Mad love this jacket!! People who know me in real life know I wear cardis like every day haha and this is now my new wardrobe staple. Love the textured fabric and the gold detailing. Retailing at only $29 here!

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Comfy casual chic :) Olivia Top’s by emerging Indonesian label NFRT.. so happy to have them on board!

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This tweed-like checkered skirt is available in peach & mint! $19 each!

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Andddd this Paris Dress is to die for. It’s going to be my work to wedding dinner essential now!

See all new arrivals here!

sweet nothings

The husband said we were going out for dessert and we ended up at Ponggol Nasi Lemak...

Me:: I thought you said dessert?!

Him:: Ya... The chilli sauce is sweet what!

Long bus rides

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the bus… Where I’m typing this from.

I googled - it says I have 23 stops to go so I’m guessing it’ll take me an hour?

Part of me is wondering if I should get off ‘at the next stop’ and attempt to flag a cab because it’d get me to my destination ‘faster’ but truth is, I have over an hour to spare. Which makes me wonder - why the hurry then?

You know, when I was younger, I used to love bus rides. No kidding. The teenage me used to think it was quite a romantic affair to take a long bus ride with my then-boyfriend and just look out of the windows at the world out there.

12 years ago when I was doing my O levels (now you know how old I am lol), I used to take a bus from one terminal to the other while reading my textbooks - probably my secret to scoring those 8 As.

These days however, it’s all about how fast we can get to our destinations… And when I’m driving I tend to grumble incessantly about how the lights aren’t changing fast enough, the guy in front ain’t responding quick enough and what’s up with that fella who can’t make up his mind?

But now that I’m not behind the wheel zooming from one meeting to another, I’m actually starting to notice roads and buildings and cars and trees… you get the idea. 

And texting the boy every other minute to tell him about the “new building” and “new road” Flora the explorer has discovered. 

This bus ride thing is actually pretty cool huh?

Me: So what hair style are you cutting?
The boy: Crew cut lor.
Me: What’s crew cut? The NS boys cut ah?
Him: Aiya you don’t know one lah.
Me: You tell me lah… Tell me then I know already what!
Him: Ok. The cut already will make me look like Channing Tatum type of cut ok?

Me: So what hair style are you cutting?

The boy: Crew cut lor.

Me: What’s crew cut? The NS boys cut ah?

Him: Aiya you don’t know one lah.

Me: You tell me lah… Tell me then I know already what!

Him: Ok. The cut already will make me look like Channing Tatum type of cut ok?

of transformers and marriage

The boy returned yesterday (yay!) and today we finally caught Transformers.

After the movie (which was really longgggg btw), he asked, “So how do you find the movie?”

"Not too bad lah… tell you a secret, I only chose it because you like these kinda action action movies. I would have preferred Planet of the Apes cause got gold class screenings for that.” I replied. 

His reply? “Aiya!!! Why you never say earlier? Actually I already watched it in Australia with my friends. I only agreed to it cause I thought you really wanted to watch it!” 

-_-“’

But I guess this means we’re getting the hang of this whole “marriage is about the other person” thing, right?

Beauty that Counts!

Recently, I was contacted by Mary Kay about their global Beauty that Counts initiative.

For more than 50 years, Mary Kay has been committed to enriching the lives of women and children around the world.

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Part of the proceeds from each sale of this limited-edition Beauty that Counts fragrance will be donated to charity. Since 2008, Mary Kay has donated almost US$7m to organisations benefitting women and children globally!

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I’m a sucker for packaging and I loveeee how pretty and sweet this is :)

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Each set comes with a Journey of Dreams fragrance and hand cream.

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My new favourite hand cream!

I love how it’s so rich and pampering… I brought this with me on my recent Aussie trip and it kept my hands (and legs and err… body too) conditioned and moisturized throughout the long flight and harsh wintry conditions in Australia that would have left my skin totally dried out otherwise.

A little goes a long way and it kept my skin hydrated for hours! It’s now my handbag staple!

I also love the fragrance :) I’m not one for intoxicating scents and I like how this eau de parfum features a light, translucent blend. There’s a bit of mint, apricot musk and water lily all sheerly blended together… which makes it perfect to wear daily in our kinda weather!

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Find Mary Kay: Website // Facebook

I could get used to life like this.

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When I was in Australia, I spent most of my time in Toowoomba, this little town 1.5 hours from Brisbane. It’s on a hill or something so the temperature was lower than in Brisbane & Gold Coast. Definitely needed those Uggs when I went out at the night.

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It’s a quaint little town… I just googled, the population’s errr a grand total of 131, 258. The place gets dark by 5pm and everything’s just about closed by then too.

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This is where we were putting up. 

It’s right next to a funeral parlour, something that would creep the hell outta me back here in Singapore, but somehow I was pretty cool about it there. I think it’s because angmoh ghosts don’t freak me out as much as Asian ghosts aka Sadako wtf.

When the boy goes to work in the day (or night sometimes when he has night flying), this was my routine every day.

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Wake up early and head out for brekkie with the boy. Best Eggs Benny ever at Cafe Inferno

Come back, clear my emails, blog, edit pictures, reply WhatsApp messages so that my friends know I’m still alive then take a shower - which is an adventure on its own. There were only two options I can choose from: arctic ocean or molten lava.

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Then head out to the mall to get my own lunch. Sometimes I would get lazy and I’ll head to the supermarket and get a buncha soups and head back, pop them into the microwave oven and spend the afternoon watching Suits with my soups.

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If I am less lazy, I’ll spend the afternoon at a coffee place with a cuppa, pastry and my book (which ironically is my Abu Dhabi travel guide lol)

Australia is 2 hours ahead of Singapore.. so the first half of the day is usually reallyyyyy slow for me. I’ll look at the time 10am and tell myself that it’s only 8am in Singapore, too early to get any work done so I’ll just laze around.. and then when the afternoon comes around, I’ll end up scrambling for time - in the midst of replying emails at 2pm Singapore time, I’ll soon realise WHAAAATTT? It’s already 4pm Aussie time and the boy will be home in an hour FML! *scrambles to blow hair, apply make up etc*

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Sometimes I’ll have a few minutes before the boy reaches home and I’ll pop outside to marvel at the sunset right above my head.

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Then we’ll go out for dinner! We usually end up at Fitzy’s on Church because the boy really likes the food there and it was here that I had the best spaghetti carbonara of my life no kidding. Nothing particularly special about this place.. beer, poker machines and everybody seems to be everyone’s neighbour of a neighbour if you get what I mean. 

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Some nights we’ll get lazy and order in - there was one night we had Domino’s with The Great Gatsby on the telly.

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OH, and there’s KFC Tuesdays too! 9 pieces of cheeeken for only $9. Can eat till get fat and die wtf. 

Thursdays were a little special cause there’s late night shopping! By that I mean the shops errr, open till 8pm.

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And there was one night we popped into his colleague’s place for a dinner party. So grown-up sounding wtf. I was afraid they’d trust me to burn grill the prawns but thankfully the two men were both kitchen nazis and I didn’t have to go near the fire at all lol.

Some days the boy ends work like really early when he ain’t flying and we get to go out for lunch!

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The boy’s favourite burger joint in the world! Phat Burgers was so orgasmic that it puts our Omakase Burger to shame seriously. At a fraction of the price too! I had the Van Helsing and this came with garlic premium beef, caramelised onions, fresh tomatoes, beetroot relish, iceberg lettuce, lemon mayo, horseradish and bbq sauce. OMG my stomach just growled typing that out.

But good food, amazing sunsets and friendly people aside, what I really enjoyed about life there was life. I loved how I had time to do the things I want to do (like catching up on Suits), how I didn’t feel compelled to reply another email before I can take a toilet break, or how I didn’t feel guilty about taking time off to blog - something I often berate myself for back here. Not that anyone is making me do all these.. but I guess it automatically comes from being in Singapore. I’m such a conformist lol.

And I guess it’s for this reason that I left Singapore for Bangkok all those years ago.

So when the boy asked if I could see myself living overseas again… I think you already know my reply.

Rest of the Australia diaries here

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