3 Lifestyle Changes in 2018


3 lifestyle changes

YEAR 2018

2018 is coming to an end. Early this year, I did not set out ‘Goals-for-2018’ because what I practice daily pretty much leads me to the ACTUAL goals I want to achieve this year, or even years to come. With that said, I made 3 huge lifestyle changes this year. Thanks to my family, supportive af partner and two good reads.

(one) More Financial Planning

I’ve started financial planning (starving and eating moulded bread) since 18 but back then it was mainly to fund my travels and finance bigger purchases. More ‘earning and saving’ than ‘earning, saving and investing’. Since graduating from university, I took baby-steps by investing in funds, precious metals, foreign currencies and shares. Eggs were scattered. It was due to calculated risks that I ended up with more investment gains than losses. So why change Viviene? Because it’s time to level up.

Fast forward to now, my priorities have shifted to creating additional income source(s), building a solid emergency fund, keeping reserves for opportunities and drawing my retirement plan. The usual investment groove continues but my whole financial plan has broadened its spectrum into what future Viviene would be proud of.

(two) Zero Collection(s) Zero Backup(s)

It took me 26 years to understand the meaning of a collection and how my idea of collection has shifted from Shoe Collection and Candle Collection to Experience Collection and Memory Collection. I’m grammatically at fault but you know what I mean. Since 2016, I have gotten rid of at least 70% of my wardrobe and other belongings. It was through decluttering and simplifying my lifestyle made me realize that collecting NOTHING makes me the happiest :) Currently wheezing through my perfume stash (5 in total, 2 finishing soon) and progressively downsizing physical obsessions that are now a collection of dust (no pun intended).

Part of my childhood teachings was always having back up(s) for just-in-case moments or when ‘it’ stops selling in the market. The idea of having backups made me spend more money in advance for items that end up sitting in the drawer waiting to be used. but honestly when? The only back-up I have now is a back-up plan for when I lose my job or decide to start a business.

(three) More Conscious Spending

Back in those day, I would go out (or online) shopping searching for great deals or just to look out for what’s new in the market. Sounds reasonable until I had 50 pairs of shoes and clothes that could last me at least 3 months without repeating. Then, I made a promise to myself to only buy things that I truly love. That curbed my shopping habits, but it wasn’t effective enough. In 2016, I took up the ‘5 Piece French Wardrobe Challenge’ and that made me see how much unnecessary money I was spending. Conscious spending has grown deeper into my roots since then. Fast forward to 2018, how I perceive ‘shopping’ has changed drastically. However, mistakes were made early this year and we know it still is a learning process. or a lifetime process :)

A year from now, you will wish you had started today.

- Karen Lamb -

It’s currently 21:30 and the night is starting to get chilly. I shall leave it here for now, go make myself a cup of ginger tea and start packing for tomorrow! T-minus 50 days till Christmas.


Hua Hin

A mother-daughter excursion ended up being a family trip! (blame the word beer)
Before hopping onto the plane, I briefed everyone: Just eat (i.e. drink beer) and relax (i.e. get daily massages).
In my case, get as much sun as humanly possible before flying back to China.
Currently nipping as I’m drafting this post. #bloodywinter


Our stay at Norndee was fabulous. Travelling around the world means we go through all sort of accommodations, from budget bunk beds to fancy-ass hotels, very often seeing it as a temporary stopover but not somewhere we would go back to. Therefore, it was alarming when I told mum: I want to come back!


Santorini Park @ Cha-Am is a great place for taking outfit shots or pictures in general. However, if you are expecting more than that (like us), you’d probably be disappointed. Aside from small theme parks, sparingly scattered restaurants and repetitive shops, there isn’t anything else that could make up for the entire afternoon. (p.s. admission fee required) We spent an hour here before heading to Premium Outlet Cha-Am for retail therapy.


Hua Hin Station

Getting roasted in the sun was not part of the plan (as you can tell from the picture it was already 5pm) but we had a great time waiting for the train from Bangkok to stop by. Choo-choo.

Coconut Ice Cream

Mum said this was the BEST coconut ice cream she had so far. Bold statement. However, dad and I don’t fancy coconut processed anything (except for fresh coconuts) yet we find this deliciousss. Worth the trip to Wat Huay Mongkol just for ice cream. [Concoction: Coconut ice cream, kidney beans, glutinous rice, corn and nuts]


Mango top; No-Brand jeans; Lacoste hoodie; Converse sneakers; Coach handbag; North Face backpack

Hua Hin is the perfect place to simmer down. People were friendlier and more laid back compared to what we experienced at larger cities in Thailand. Even though Venezia Hua Hin and FN outlet both let us down, I would still go back with Mr. Valentine perhaps just a tweak in itinerary. Couple of days in Hua Hin and Cha-Am then 2 days in Bangkok? We shall see :)


Ho Chi Minh

Just over two months ago, we made a trip to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam in hopes of taking a short break off work.
It was Mr. Valentine’s first time in HCM (my second!) so it was interesting to see how we both traveled with the same itinerary.
If we were to sum up the trip with only three words, it would be: Banh Mi, Pouring Rain and Banh Mi.
Wait. Did I repeat myself?

Lunch @ Rice Field

Rustic interior, delicious home-cooked Vietnamese cuisine and aesthetically pleasing tableware made up to a cosy afternoon. Blessing in disguise as we sheltered away from the pouring rain. No doubt one of THE best rice paper rolls we had in HCM. [Vegetarian options available]

Vietnamese breakfast combination we had almost every morning.
Rice vermicelli with eggs, fresh vegetables and lime drizzles. AND iced milk coffee.
Hidden gem in an alleyway, strategically situated below our Airbnb just right among where the locals live.


Pham Ngu Lao

We tried searching for a pub with less-loud music and minimal crowd but failed with disgrace. After a 15mins beer session, we left with greasy hair, wet clothing (it was raining) and realization that we no longer fit into the existing planet. [p.s. we bought beer from convenience store and stayed in watching Christmas films. Yes, in August.]

We wore a raincoat every day and did so much walking our feet were crying for assistance.
Travelling during the rainy season made us see how the Vietnamese doesn’t let the rain stop them from anything.
Literally, I mean selling barbecue in the rain.
A solid few days in Ho Chi Minh living life like the locals made us want to experience Vietnam even more.
Danang and Hoi An next?