Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

papier photobook The perfect Christmas gift of happiness in a Papier photobook.

Do you find it difficult buying Christmas presents for your parents or in-laws?

I certainly do , for two reasons : Firstly, we have different tastes and second they have everything.

I’ve realised the things they value most may not be the expensive things we think they would like.

It’s the little things such as happiness and memories that are most treasured.

I know they love their grandchildren, and so creating a beautiful photobook of them as a gift will definitely bring joy.  Nowadays there are so many online photobook services, but one that has shone above the others is Papier photobooks. I adore the soft coated books they offer, printed on beautifully textured paper to give it a coffee table feel.

You have to check out the cover templates on their site too, they are stunning with lots of pretty pastels.

All the formats and fonts are just gorgeous. I picked a pretty sky blue cover.

It was so easy to create. Once I’ve picked the cover, all I had to do was to upload my edited photos from my  computer.

You could add captions or change layouts, but I kept mine simple with no words and let the picture do the talking. My photos were all taken during our family Summer holidays in Malaysia and Singapore.

In addition to photos of the kids, I added images of memorable moments , like this delicious yoghurt ice cream we chanced upon whilst hunting for that “instagram worthy restaurant” in the sweltering Kuala Lumpur heat. Can you spot that sunset by the beach in my Papier photobook? That was the romantic stroll I took with my husband whilst in the Tropical island of Langkawi.

There are loads of captured images of the kids too. I don’t want to spoil it for the grandparents in case they are reading this. I can’t believe I’ve managed to cross two gifts off my Christmas list.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it has helped you with some of your Christmas gift ideas. Capturing those moments in a book is so precious, as often these moments get lost in the sea of digital images on our camera roll.

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

( All styling and photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little big Bell. This is a paid partnership post with Papier. All opinions are my own).

An afternoon in Penang – an Insider’s guide of the best things to do.

For as far back in my childhood as I can remember, we always take a family holiday in Penang.

If you are new to Penang, it is an island off the Malay Peninsula, in the Strait of Malacca.

If you are staying longer than 24 hours, then there are loads of beach resorts. We normally stay in Rasa Sayang hotel at Batu Ferringhi.

If you are only there for a short visit, I thought I’d show you my favourite places. The capital of Penang is George Town. What I love about George Town are the beautiful British colonial buildings with a Chinese twist. The colonial buildings are all scattered over George Town. I love how colourful they are. Penang street art Another fun thing you could do in George town, Penang, is the street art walk.

Ernest Zacharevic was commissioned in 2012 by the Penang Municipal Council to create a street art project in Georgetown called ‘Mirrors George Town’ in different locations of the old town.

The little children on the bicycle art by Ernest can be found in Lebuh Armenian. Nearby on Lebuh Cannon is ‘Reaching up’, also by Zacharevic. Isn’t it adorable? Strangely nostalgic too.  This “I want Bao” mural , found in Armenian street is by Ming Xiang Tai. I really love this ‘Prayer’ street art, found in Armenian Street art alley.

As yet, I am unsure who the artist is. If you like seafood, then head to the Da shu xia (Tree shade) seafood restaurant at 177C Lebuh Victoria in George Town.

You know the seafood is fresh there because, you get pick your own fish or crab from the aquarium before cooking.

Hidden inside the restaurant is this mural by an unknown artist. The tins of Milo and Ovaltine malted chocolate drinks brought back childhood memories. I’m sure you would be hungry after a busy morning of street art.

Here is a hidden gem, only known to locals for lunch. Ha! The secret is now out.

This is Mo Teng Pheow located in Jalan Masjid, off Chulia street in Penang.

This is Penang’s famous 60 year old kuih factory. Kuih are bite sized Malaysian cakes made from rice or glutinous rice, and they used to be sold by street vendors as illustrated in the mural. Penang hidden gem restaurant Behind the kuih factory lies this canteen – the secret!

Check out the decor. Love the tiles, brick wall and pops of yellow and red. At a very affordable price, you get to sample all the Malaysian classic dishes, cooked in the traditional way.

On the right hand side, you can see the colourful plate of kuih.

We ordered Nasi Lemak (my favourite dish) – coconut rice with, spiced anchovies and tamarind prawns. Then there is assam Laksa – a noodle dish with a spicy and sour fish broth, and Nasi Kuning (yellow sticky rice) with a chicken curry.

Goodness me, I’m feeling so hungry now.

Finally, hope you have enjoyed this post and will find it useful when you visit Penang in Malaysia.

There are lots to do in Penang, but I thought I’d just share my favourite from this Summer.

Have a lovely week all.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell).

Urban cabin Shared and small space living in Beijing with MINI Living’s latest Urban Cabin.

I may have missed London Design Festival this year, but I saw plenty of amazing design in Beijing, China.

After seeing the MINI LIVING Urban Cabins in London and LA, I was so excited to see their new concept for a habitable space in Beijing.

The image above is the MINI Urban cabin from London Design Festival. You can see more images here. LA Design festival This is the beautiful MINI Living Cabin showcased at L.A Design week. small space living urbanisation Here’s MINI Living’s Urban Cabin in Beijing, a collaboration with local architect Sun Dayong from Penda.

Urbanisation and the lack of housing space is becoming a huge issue. As you can imagine with China’s fast growing population, this issue is ever more pressing.

The aim of the MINI LIVING Urban Cabin projects were to address this problem by developing concepts for small space living.

According to Sun Dayong, Beijing’s population had grown to 18,777 million in 2017. The theme for this Urban Cabin was “Reflect”, a  design inspired by China’s ‘Hutong’ courtyard living format.

A Hutong combines private and public living spaces.  The MINI LIVING Urban Cabin can connect with the outside world in its open format and close off when privacy is needed.  The bed can also be pushed out as an inviting day bed. A table can rotate outwards for a shared meal. I love how the space further plays on the word “reflect” in its design. One of my favourite features was the mirrored surfaces used in both its exterior and interior. Sun Dayong used the principle of a periscope to design the “courtyard like experience” room at the centre of the Urban Cabin.

Whilst sitting on a swing, you get to experience the perspectives of people who once lived in the Hutong, seeing the public go about their daily activities from their private residences.  Looking up at the mirrors you see the changing patterns of the outdoors being reflected back. small space living kitchen ideas Small space living can’t be easy, but MINI LIVING seem to have perfected the art of doing so.

Using the concepts of ‘Pull, Fold, Rotate and Stick’, they seem to have been able to create multi-purpose use furniture and fittings for flexible living in a space just 15 square meters in size.  An example here is the wall peg board and shelving that allow adaptation and storage in a space. Walking around the inhabitable space has made me reflect on how I see myself living in the next 10 years.

Would space be still an important issue for me or would I embrace social mobility and shared space living?

What sort of accommodation do you think you’ll be living in, in 10 years’ time? Is small space living for you? Finally, I have some exciting news. MINI LIVING will be revealing the first MINI LIVING building in Shanghai early next year. I can’t wait to see it and hopefully get to show you.

( All photography are by Little Big Bell. This is a paid partnership post with MINI Living but all opinions are my own. AD ).

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