Some Of My Favourite Things In March 2017

451b521b5d3d01f55c839c8cd9bbeb8dAs each month farewells, it’s a gentle reminder of the importance of making the most of our time. Each month is like a chapter, with different stories and memories. Do you ever listen to a song repeatedly for a month, and then switch to a different one that really reflects how you’re feeling in that period of time? Here are a few of my favourite things this month!

Songs / Better Days, Electric Twist, Now Is The Start最好的安排, This Is Living, Slow Love, What A Beautiful Name, Lights Down Low.

Food / 葱油饼, 蘿蔔糕, Hubbards Light & Right Fejoa Cereal, Taro Bun, Sushi, Vegetarian Dumplings, Soba Noodles, Berries, Oats and Peaches.

Blogs / Empty, tere romances, frankie.b, well hello monday, the bright mornings, love from zar, Love, Lucy RebeccaI Accidently Ate The Whole Thing, Laura Bruj, Misty Prose.

Scent / Sweet smell of Jasmine flowers, Green Tea, freshly washed sheets, the beautiful morning clean air, a cats fur, walking past the Asian bakery. 0621b77d2cd6bbe75fe1f6ff5e2317bcArticles / Tiny Clay Creatures, Casual Denim Style, You Are What You Read新西兰航空的Dior空姐制服太有范了!

Movies / Midnight in Paris. The atmosphere, music and story all in beautiful Paris.  我的少女時代. This movie made me laugh and cry. It’s a great film.

Products / Natio sunscreen SPF 50+, Love Your Skin Manuka Honey Vitamin A Balm, Ecostore shampoo, Pears hand moisturiser, CROP facial moisturiser, Essano Coconut Body Wash.

Fashion / Black Turtlenecks, long sleeved shirts, cropped pants, loafers, black boots, gold jewellery, long skirts, tailored pants, minimal makeup.9949752eb6f75f06494055ffa0ea7c6fVideo / Biggest Lies & Problems of The Fashion Industry, What is pretty?, No One Knew I was Depressed, How I turned my life around.

Place / The Library, Parnell Rose Gardens, home in the comfort of my room, the little pathway surrounded by trees.

Artist / Yelena Bryksenkova. There’s something about her style that I find really wonderful. Newly discovered Ji min Yoon has really lovely artwork.

Cats / The neighbourhood grey cat that is a little chubby, but very friendly and sweet. This cat right here and here.

Grace Coddington in Puss Puss Magazine Issue #5

grace-high-res-cover.jpgPuss Puss Magazine is a space for cat lovers who are interested in culture, fashion, music and the creative things in life. There will be no advice on how to take care of your cats, but instead, “beautiful photography, illustration intelligent writing, interviews and more by established as well as up-and-coming creatives from around the globe.” The cover with Grace Coddington and her cat for Puss Puss Magazine is photographed by Juergen Teller. The biannual magazine features the creative director with her cat. There are four covers from Issue 5 to choose from when you purchase. Other covers for the issue feature portraits of India Menuez, Jane Moseley and Ren Hang.

The magazine has a good mix of culture, fashion, music, art, photography and everything in between. As editor in chief Maria Joudina says in an interview “…it’s actually more about the people behind the cats than the cats so to speak. It’s easy to find cat lovers – you just need to look at their instagram. If you have a cat, it will definitely feature heavily on your feed!” She goes on to say “ We had Ai Weiwei in our first ever issue, which was actually part of the reason why I decided to go ahead with this. I wanted to feature him and make it clear from the start that the mag is not about fluff, in both senses of the word. I thought if someone like him is into it, we must have something good!”india-high-res-coverren-high-res-cover.jpgjane-high-res-cover.jpg

The Nine Ways INFJs Are Like Cats

b6eddc61601ab424fffad7466b172e52.jpgIf you’re a fellow INFJ and cat lover, then you may appreciate the ways cats tend to remind us of certain aspects of being an introvert. Cats like humans, can be more of an introvert, extrovert or in between. Every cat is vastly different, and every person for that matter! Although, unlike their canine friends, they tend to be a lot more calm, quiet and independent. They are a book readers greatest companion and a writers lap partner. Cats are intelligent, curious and full of personality and character.

1. Giving a cold and distant impression, but are actually warm at heart. This depends on every persons personality. Most of the time, if I’m meeting a stranger for the first time, I am usually friendly and try to make an effort. However, if I’m in an environment that I’m not completely comfortable in, sometimes I feel much more reserved.Cats tend to be more weary of those they don’t know, and over time they become warm and affectionate once they become closer to the person.

2. Don’t always want to conform to social norms. Generally speaking, cats tend to do what they want without caring what others think. Perhaps that may be why they are often not as popular and sociable as dogs in some cases. Many introverts enjoy doing certain things on their own, and are not always agreeable to popular opinion. They tend to have their own opinions that they may not always vocally express.

3. They have resting sad face, but are not necessarily sad. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I may have a very blank face that causes people to ask if I am okay. 90% of the time I am indeed fine, but I find cats are often this way. They have a very stern and aloof face, but many of them are very affectionate and full of personality.

4. A lone wolf who prefers spending more time alone. Introverts need alone time to recharge and in order to regain their energy. Cats can spend a lot of time alone sleeping and doing their own thing, but are sociable for short periods of time. Mostly they like to be left alone. INFJ’s are similar in the sense that they need some of the most time alone, yet they still feed off of those small moments of socialising.

5. We tend to have a calm and quiet demeanour. Not all introverts are necessarily quiet, but many may appear calm. The reason why I love cats so much is because they tend to be a lot more laid back (with an exception of playful kittens). I love dogs, but they can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if they jump around me and try to lick me.

6. Getting to know someone one on one. We want to know people on a deeper level, rather than engage in constant small talk. INFJ’s like to reserve their energy in meaningful conversations, rather than large gatherings. They thrive off engaging topics and are passionate individuals. Often in group situations, they will be in the background or the person nodding their head. However, introverts often have some of the greatest ideas to contribute.

7. Choosing friends carefully and more selectively. Unlike dogs who are loving to those they see, cats are more particular about who they give their affection to. Similar to INFJ’s, we tend to be more careful of who we choose to be a friend as we tend to want it to be long term, meaningful and deeper.

8. Enjoying the simple things in life. Whether it be a good book or a walk at the park, most INFJ’s enjoy the simple tasks. Cats are easy going and spend most of the time sleeping, eating, exploring and being the curious felines they are. They can easily amuse themselves with the most simple things.

9. Getting to know someone more once you spend time with them. INFJ’s don’t tend to show their full personality to just anyone. It takes time for them to reveal parts of themselves, as they gradually become more and more comfortable with the person. Cats are similar, in the way that at first they may appear a certain way eg. No. 3. However, once you take the time to get to know them, you see them in a completely different light.

Photography by Lena Ermakova

Taipei Minimal Cafe 極簡咖啡 & Taiwan Diary

15207983_365998583754429_75452040_n.jpgMy first time going to a cat cafe meant a lot of cat patting, staring at cats, drinking tea, taking pictures and talking. We arrived there at 2:00pm and stayed until 5:00pm. During that time, most of the cats were fast asleep and minding their own business. There is free wifi at the cat cafe, and you can order food and drinks. The cats are able to be patted, but are not allowed to be carried. Also, make sure to switch off your flash photography function on your camera. I enjoyed the experience and there were always many customers coming and going.

information.jpg

The cafe was clean and the cats had many scratching poles, sleeping areas and cat furniture. Sometimes a cat might come and sit beside you and maybe even on your sweater if they feel like it. Other times they will fall fast asleep beside you. There was a particular cat (I think it was the grey one) that could be very talkative when it wanted to. Otherwise, the cats are pretty quiet and well behaved. Did you know cats sleep around 16 hours a day? I used to have 3 cats, and they used to be extremely awake during the night and go out hunting, but sleep under the trees during the day.

The cafe is open from 12pm to 11pm everyday. The address is: No. 42, Lane 2, Taishun Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106 (台北市泰順街2巷42號) and the contact phone is: 02 2362 9734. It may take roughly a 10 minute walk from Guting Station, if you are traveling on the MRT. The location is on a narrow road, and might be difficult to drive in with a car, but it’s convenient for biking. We just parked our bikes outside the store. The cats are pretty photogenic and don’t mind having pictures taken.

There were seats outdoors which are great for a sunny day, however we went on a rainy day. It was very warm and cosy indoors, especially during the colder months. We ordered a rose tea and sandwiches. I believe the food price is higher than usual, but partly because you are paying for the experience as well. The cat above sat on the seat during the 3 hours we were there. I’m convinced it’s his favourite seat! There was also some cute resting areas for the cats.

There were little cupboard holes that I think might be for the cats to sleep in. However, they looked very comfortable sleeping beside the customers or on the chairs. The ginger cat was very sleepy and sweet. I nicknamed him Garfield because he is a little chubby. There were lots of little cat statues decorating the store and some lovely Cat art work on the wall.

The customer service was great and the waitress who served our table was lovely and very helpful. We didn’t wait long for the food, and it was very efficient and friendly. The rose tea and sandwiches were delicious. The only thing I want to note is that one cannot expect the food to be amazing for the price. It’s a great cafe for socialising, studying, patting cats and having a relaxing experience.

Every customer will need to order a drink or a meal. This might be because it’s easy for a group of people to take a whole table, and when they experience busy periods, there is no money earned if customers buy a small amount but stay for a few hours. The atmosphere is very relaxed and you will see anyone from workers on their laptop, friends doing their homework together, people on a date or a group chatting away.

I was glad to have a positive first experience at a cat cafe, as it was something I have been meaning to do for quite a while. The two cats above were so affectionate with one another, and cuddled and cleaned one another very sweetly. The white cat was not shy to stand up for me as soon as it saw my camera. The vibe is easy going, relaxed and there are around a dozen cats that I saw. They are well fed and the cafe was not smelly from my experience. I mention this, as I’ve read a few reviews that have mentioned a strong odour, however I didn’t smell any. Overall, I recommend it for any cat lovers or anyone who wants a nice experience. You might feel the time fly by.

Taiwan Food Diary

Photography by Katie Kuo

Raising Awareness On National Black Cat Day

blackcat.jpgNational Black Cat Day was on October 27th in the UK to raise awareness and encourage people to adopt a black cat. As a fellow cat lover, I feel that all cats deserve love and care. Unfortunately, black cats are often the least popular option for adoption. This is due to a lot of old superstitious tales that tell us that black cats are bad luck. They are seen as bad omens, company of witches or having magical powers. One of the popular reason, is that most people want to have a colourful cat, as black and black and white cats are very common. In the past, the cats we adopted into our home were based on personality. Sometimes it was the cat that chose us. I remember the moment we left the adoption centre, one of the cats that we patted ran to the window as we drove off. He was scratching and meowing loudly, telling us to take him home and we ended up picking him.

“If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work … the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp … The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.”
― Muriel Spark, A Far Cry from Kensington

artwork by Taiyo Matsumoto

The Subtle Signs That Mean You Are A Cat Person

6ecb14289121daeecdbda091c6c748bb.jpgMy boyfriend and I constantly have a battle between why cats or dogs are better as a pet. Cats have always been part of my childhood growing up, as I had a ginger, tabby and black and white cat. My simple reason is that cats need less training, in terms of behaving and toilet training. They sleep for most of the hours of the day, are a great companion when sad and have a wonderful way of cheering you up by getting comfortable sitting on your lap. Cats are very clever and cheeky animals, but also incredibly loving. My old cat Summer used to regularly bring us home a dinner by placing it nicely in front of each persons door.

These subtle (and not so subtle) points are mostly from my experience, but hopefully some cat lovers cat relate.

They sleep with you on the bed. Under covers, beside your head or across your legs. Purring through the night. They love to cuddle beside you and share your body warmth.

You prefer their laid back nature. With the exception of their hunting hours and night time adventures. I do love dogs, but there are some that can be very overwhelmingly energetic.

Your clothing always has cat hair on it. Especially if your cat loves to be held or sit on your lap, you are more than likely to have cat hairs around the house.

When you go to the toilet, you leave a gap open. Believe it or not it happens more often, as this article here mentions. My cat would always sit outside if I left the door closed.

You leave the unpacked boxes for your cat. There’s something about cats with small spaces. They love it. Christmas time was a very happy time for them.

Playing with them with a string. Cats and strings can be so entertaining.

Taking photos with your cat. I can’t count the amount of pictures I’d take with my cats with a smile on my face, while they look sweetly unimpressed.

You get excited when you see a cat on the street. Living in Sydney, there was often a black cat that I regularly saw. Each time I see a cat I feel like a child again, curious and eager to pat it.

image via

Living In A World That Is Always Busy

A cat is a wonderful example of taking life one day at a time. Do you ever wonder how common it seems that when we ask people “How have you been?”, often the response is “I’ve been very busy”. At least, for many of the times when we have had a hectic week, a lot has been happening or because it has simply become socially accepted and almost encouraged and praised to be a busy person. It is something that has become admired for sounding productive, hard working and always on-the-go. I felt the need to write this, because I feel there is an incredible need to embrace the art of relaxation (as the ginger cat appears to show).

Relaxation is an art of living, breathing and soaking in life. Truly there are weeks where we simply are very busy and it is inescapable, and there are other times where we cause ourselves to feel busy. At the same time, time is something that is often a term loosely thrown around. The truth is there is always time. Busy has become an excuse, over exaggeration, over used and a term made to make us feel a sense of business so to speak. As a country girl at heart, I deeply felt that sense of business when I moved to the city. Everything was always moving, going and never stopping. Many strangers faces looked stressed or occupied. Where as in the country side, people took the time to say hello, good morning and have a chat.

How much work do we really achieve when we are busy? You may of heard of the words: Quality not Quantity. The term busy, actually increases the chances of feeling stress and imbalance in ones working and private life. Life requires balance and ultimately enjoyment. A schedule and lifestyle is very often something that comes from our choices and attitudes towards it. A messy wardrobe can become easily minimal and simple if we make the choice and time to clean it out.

A few years ago, I was working at a lovely cafe. Each Saturday, a co-worker would ask me “What are you getting up to this weekend?” and most of the time I would reply with “I’m just relaxing” or “I’m doing nothing”. She would look concerned and say “Just nothing?”. However, when I made the effort to ask everyone, there would always be an exhausting list of things that many people plan. It’s a simple example, but there is a wonderful enjoyment in doing nothing or just relaxing that we often overlook.

Many people believe time is always running out and money is there to make, therefore adopting a busy lifestyle is expected. Yes, we all need to survive through work, but there is always a part of me that feels the need to escape into an adventure and live, truly live life. Even just taking time to read a good book or spend an afternoon listening to music. Everything is possible, when we make the time for it. The world feels non-stop especially with the rise of technology and living a life online and offline.

The decision to live a life that is simple and enjoyable is always in our hands. Take moments to reflect what the little things you enjoy in life. The early morning sunshine, quiet moments to rest, daily walk outside or the meal you had for lunch. Living a life by putting importance on peace, relationships and inner well being is far more important than running a never ending schedule. Believe it or not, we are the choice makers in our lives. Bask in the wonderful things you enjoy, such as the hobbies one makes time for. Life needs those moments to step back, take a deep breath and pause.

cat via