ViolinStar.NET

  • Posted On: March 15th 2021 at 10:17 pm | 2 Comments
    Categories: Fashion, Friendship, Insights, Korean related, Makeup, Personal life, Rants, Shopping, Wants, Work

    I was watching YouTube and saw 1 video from a YouTuber about minimalism spending. I thought it will be a good topic to talk about in ViolinStar.NET too. I haven’t been blogging as much as I hope to this year. I also haven’t post any photos on my Instagram accounts in 2020 and 2021 so far.

    One of the first few things I realised after turning 30 in last December is that my health/body is not as strong as before. I can’t stay up late without impacting my mornings. I really need at least 7 hours of sleep everyday. I can no longer work so hard because I will get burn out. I need to pace myself in both personal life and work life.

    I also need to save up for the future and rainy days. After seeing 1 of my friends who got cancer when she is the same age as me back in 2019, I cannot underestimate the amount of money and insurance coverage I need to protect myself. Having a deep pocket provide more options for treatment too. Insurance is important if you don’t have really deep pockets. Hence, I really should not spend wastefully like what I did in my 20s.

    These are the categories that I want to spend less in my 30s as I learn from my mistakes in my 20s after reviewing my expenditure in my 20s. Yes, I do track all my expenses ever since I started work in an Excel file. :smile: I should have done it over MySQL on hindsight but oh well. Data analytics will be much easier if I am not tracking in Excel. :sigh:

    (1) Buy less lower quality bags

    I spent quite a bit of money buying fashion bags that are either in trend or of poor quality (such as Charles and Keith) when I was in my 20s. I even bought a Steve Madden bag from San Francisco. I thought it was leather but it turned out to be PU. It only lasted for a few months? It really cannot carry heavy stuff and it was the most expensive backpack I ever own at that time? It was US$54.44 (S$79.16) and only lasted a few months. :sigh: I have now discovered Fjallraven Kanken and got the second original kanken bag in Beijing after my first bag lasted for more than 2 years. We are talking about more than 2 years of daily use. It could have lasted even longer if I didn’t see a sale at Beijing store and decided to replace my old, dirty and worn out bag.

    I will still buy bags but I think I only want to buy the better quality ones. For backpacks, I am sticking to Fjallraven Kanken or Thule. For other bags, I think I want to either get real leather bags which I can send for servicing/repairs or nylon/cloth bags which can be dried which I can bring out on rainy days.

    (2) Buy less makeup

    I spent my 20s exploring different types of makeup and also going for makeup classes. I bought mascara that I end up throwing away after using 2 to 3 times? Yeah, it’s the cheap ones from Innisfree/Watsons but to use them for less than 5 times before throwing it away because they have a expiry date of 6 months is just too wasteful. I still like lip and eye brow makeup though. Sadly, this pandemic has force us to wear masks all the time when we are out so there’s really no need for lip makeup anymore. Maybe when we don’t need to wear masks, I can go back to using lip makeup again. :happy:

    I definitely want to buy less mascara or eye shadow palettes or eyeliners since I am just too lazy to put on full makeup and these items expires too fast for me to use them up.

    (3) Buy less costume jewellery

    When I am in my 20s, I really love to buy earrings and sometimes necklaces. I used to buy at least 20 pairs of earrings when I go to South Korea for vacation. I buy earrings and necklaces in whichever country I go to. I have some that I really love and some are just brand new which I haven’t wore. I have some that is very dressy which I can only wear when I go for wedding lunch/dinner. I really like accessorising my outfits and spend quite a bit on them. It makes me very sad and I can’t bear to throw away the ones that has either tarnished or rusted. As a result, I am always running of space to store them. :sad:

    I have learned to buy fine jewellery in recent years. These don’t rust and I can send them for professional cleaning at the jewellery stores. My first fine jewellery necklace is a silver necklace from Tiffany and Co. It’s from their Return to Tiffany collection and I bought it when I went to San Francisco in 2018. I remembered walking in to want to buy the music note necklace but they don’t have it so I fall back to my backup plan of the Return to Tiffany necklace. I have sent it for professional cleaning in Singapore boutiques numerous times. Silver is not really a fine jewellery piece but since I paid a premium (because it is Tiffany and Co), I decided to consider it as a fine jewellery piece. :smile: I was quite sad when my pendant was badly scratched after using for some time. I even brought it to ask if they can polish it and the sales associate told me it costs S$40 for polishing. :shocked: Ever since then, I decided not to get another silver piece for a few hundred of dollars. It’s either yellow gold or white gold for me.


    Posted On: March 8th 2021 at 12:32 am | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Fashion, New stuff, Personal life, Wants

    I wanted to send my Hermes Evelyne 29 bag for Hermes spa since I discovered a patch where it looks like I scratched it. I got a cheaper bag insert from Etsy (JennyCrafts) and I think it was not suitable so end up damaging my bag. :sad:

    I called Hermes customer service hotline to make appointment with my SA since I don’t have his mobile number. Then he whatsapp me back and I scheduled my appointment on the same day (22 February 2021).

    I went in and he advised against sending it for spa. Well, I went back in December 2020 and asked about the Hermes spa pricing and it was S$385. He seems ok for me to send it in. Now the prices have increased to S$405 and he said it looks brand new to him and perfectly fine. I listened to his advice and decided not to send it in. It will take 6 months for it to be cleaned/checked anyway. In the end, I opt for buying a twilly to try to cover the patch up. I should have bought a twilly last year before the price increase. It was S$260 previously and now due to price increase, it is S$280. :shocked: Oh well. There aren’t many choices for twilly too. I opt for the Jungle Love rainbow collection (red twilly) instead.

    I also asked to look at some calvi and bastia. There aren’t many calvi card holders to choose from but there were many bastia coin pouches to pick. I have always love their bastia designs. In fact, I wanted to ask Eunice to help me buy during her staff sale when she was still working at Hermes. She has never seen bastia available in staff sale so I didn’t manage to get any bastia before she left Hermes. I was thinking that since I always like the design and I foresee myself buying one in future anyway, I decided to just pick one I like in the store on the day. I picked the Chevre Chamkila leather one in a brown shade. Because of the leather type, it costs S$440 for the bastia.

    Yes, very expensive purchases made at Hermes when I only went there with the intention to send my bag for Hermes spa. :happy:


    Posted On: February 6th 2021 at 1:41 pm | 2 Comments
    Categories: Personal life

    It’s the second month of 2021 but somehow it feels like this year is not going to be different from 2020.

    I am still working at home. Even though I have changed my job, I have not stepped into the new office. I have a colleague who went back a couple of times and he took some photos for us (the newbies) to see. It looks like a nice office but I wish I can see it in person.

    I am still spending a lot. In fact, I burst my monthly budget in January. :sad: I shall make it a point to spend less this month and save up for something that I really thinking of getting.

    Several stocks are reaching their all time high even though unemployment rates are high. I wonder what the new monetary policy the new US administration will take and how it will impact the stock market. There have been talks about stock market for years but it seems like it keeps growing instead of bursting. Will it be another dotcom burst? Will the financial institutions fail? How much money will we actually lose? Cryptocurrencies are also at all time high for BTC and ETH. The amount of greed and FOMO in the market is scaring me.


    Posted On: January 11th 2021 at 7:05 pm | 1 Comment
    Categories: Insights, Personal life

    Happy 2021! 2020 has been an interesting year that I am sure many won’t forget. The pandemic has been with us for close to a year and accelerated many technological advancements which will probably take another 5 to 10 years without COVID-19. Who would have thought that a pandemic would drive technological advancements in such a high pace?

    I wanted to review the following new year resolutions I had for year 2020. I didn’t manage to fulfil all of them but I did try.

    1. Sleep early everyday, even on weekends. I failed these miserably. I am even sleeping at 3am sometimes. Sigh.
    2. Eat more healthily. Yes I am drinking more probiotics. Healthier eating and less fried food. Can I consider this as done?
    3. Exercise more. Thanks to the pandemic, I am staying at home even more hence got more chance to workout. Like Chloe Ting workout videos and Yoga Movement on Zoom.
    4. Practise violin more. Sigh, didn’t manage to hit this. :sad:
    5. Spend wisely. I am less prone to impulse buying but I got a luxury bag this year. I think I am going to fail this badly in 2021 though.
    6. Spend more time reading up on investments and invest for the future. I still didn’t get to learn how to invest although I did make a few investment decisions this year. 2020 is a good year for investment which I wished I am more brave to make the decisions to buy certain stocks.
    7. Get a technical certification this year. I got 5 in 2020! 3 Azure certifications, 1 AWS certification and 1 Splunk certification.

    4 out of 7 completed in 2020. What should I set for this year? Hmm… maybe I will set the following and strive to complete as many as I can.

    1. Sleep before 1am everyday, even on weekends.
    2. Continue to eat more healthily.
    3. Workout at least once a week.
    4. Practise violin more.
    5. Spend wisely and keep to the budget.
    6. Be brave and make the investment decisions needed to improve my finances.
    7. Get another technical certification this year.

    Hopefully I will do better this year than 2020.


    Posted On: December 27th 2020 at 11:12 pm | 2 Comments
    Categories: New stuff, Personal life, Shopping

    This Christmas is an unique one. There were no any gatherings because of COVID-19. I also haven’t met some of my friends for some time since we have a limit of 5 people for gatherings. However, this limit will be increased to 8 after 28 December 2020 as Singapore enters the Phase 3 reopening due to COVID-19.

    Because of travel restrictions, I couldn’t travel out of the country this year. Because of the bad economic situation (due to COVID-19 border closures, etc), the retail industry has taken a hit. Even the Christmas gift wrapping papers aren’t as pretty as before. The Christmas decorations are very limited as well. No more ironic big Christmas tree at Takashimaya.

    I got myself a Dior Nude Air loose powder for Christmas. I also got a new camera lens (SEL20F28) from Harvey Norman when they are selling it at a huge discount this month ($200 instead of the usual $349). I got it because it is a pancake lens and it is much lighter than most of the lenses in Sony E-Mount APS-C collection. Hopefully I will use my A6500 camera more.

    Hopefully Christmas 2021 will be better. This year, 2020, is really one of the most unique year for me so far.