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Little Forest Movie Review

On the flight back from Japan I scrolled past the usual blockbusters and settled upon the this Korean film. “Little Forest” is adapted from a Japanese slice of life manga series written and illustrated by Daisuke Igarashi. The story follows Hye-won, a recent graduate who fails her final teaching examinations in Seoul and returns to her childhood home, in a traditional Korean village. Hye-won finds solace in the “Little Forest” or the loving home created by her single mother, who is no longer there but has given her a happy childhood. Through the seasons she reflects upon her experiences in big city life that drove her home and navigates through her journey of self-discovery with the help of her childhood friends. The theme for this movie is nourishment. With her roots in the country, Hye-won is hungry for nature, home-cooked meals, genuine human connection and a slower pace of life. The movie is filled with gorgeous cinematography of country life and delicious Korean dishes from each season, reminding us of life’s simple joys. There are …

Book Notes: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying

Marie Kondo is a polarizing figure. Like many, I binge-watched her series on Netflix and soon found myself folding shirts so that they could stand by themselves and wondered if the ripped pair of shorts I couldn’t bear to throw were still ‘sparking joy’ by collecting dust in my wardrobe. (Later on, I realised the real reason. I was hoping I would one day fit into them again). Her sweet Japanese demeanour, unusual way of ‘greeting houses’ by kneeling down to show gratitude and ‘waking up books’ by knocking them gently has left some skeptical about her ‘KonMarie’ method. It’s quite funny to see her American clients flash quizzical looks when she first asks them to thank their houses before they start tidying. My husband rolled his eyes a little too. I skipped some of these ‘unnecessary’ steps. But after watching her interview with Stephen Colbert, her response to why people love her philosophy convinced me to read her book! Stephen: “Why do Americans love your philosophy and your cleaning up so much?” Marie: “Of course we all have problems tidying up our homes, but …

My Ideal Home: Berlin Inspired Apartments

Now that Reuben and I are in the process of getting a new place, I’m obsessed with surfing home decor websites. We applied for a tiny 3-room HDB flat at Joo Seng Road, not far away from my parents’ place. After sleeping in strangers’ apartments around the world for a year, you’d think it’d be easy for me to decide what style I’d want to go for. But there are so many choices out there that I can’t really put my finger on it – Japanese Zen, Scandinavian Chic (this seems particularly popular at the moment), Minimalist / Essentialist / Quirky / Eclectic. It seems that I’ve gotten it all wrong. It hit me that this was a great opportunity for me to re-create a space that I’d always wanted to live in, even though I couldn’t physically be in the country. Then it struck me – hands down, it would be Berlin. Berlin? Yes, Berlin. From the minute I stepped into the youthful, spirited, hipster capital of Germany, I knew this would be one of the …