I've moved on...
...to a different domain. Why, what were you thinking? The truth is, I just woke up one day and decided it's time for a change—a metamorphosis, if you will; or, in layman's terms, if Britney can shave her head, then maybe so can I? Nevertheless, it's been a rather handsome 10 years of talking to you, and thank you for putting up with all my moodswings and terrible dad jokes. Fear not! The hormonal imbalance and jokes are more terrible on CUBICLE, see you there.

If you too, growing up, lived under a hand-painted sign that read Work Hard, Play Hard (possibly pinned near a stack of extra-curricular maths problems and a ragged vocabulary pad, contents of which has magically wiped out over the ensuing years after high school graduation and replaced by ‘bae’ or ‘fleek’) then come in for a hug. I feel you. To be fair, for my mother it was more of an ‘advice’, a friendly guidance, what have you, to self-assess whether I have earned the right for that evening at the bowling club at age 15 and accidentally letting eleven missed calls from the house phone happen. That’s when you shit your pants a little and accept the fact that you will forever suck at doing your own taxes, even as an adult. Because the truth is, that equation doesn’t actually cancel out, not to a tiger mum, to whom Play should be with purpose, like a Sims activity that has a blue progress bar on top of your head, like chess (+1 Logic Skill!).

I had started this blog as an escape from my university work load, working hard on my assignments (albeit all last minute), and playing hard on this blog. For years I’d kept it separate, used an alias that helped distinguish ‘real life’ business with ‘blog’ business, and piped on about having no ads. Then from a certain point it became apparent that more and more emails were being addressed to ‘Shini’, and I was being compensated for my efforts. There was undeniably a blue progress bar above my head, and it was filling up. My point is, when you apply enough ‘Hard’ to the equation, Work becomes Play, and vice versa – all you have to remember is to breathe in the middle, because sometimes it does get tricky.

Someday, perhaps I too can become Mayor of Pleasantview and go to work in a helicopter if I continued to play hard.

Created for
Minions, and I dunno, Aladdin.
Brogues – Chanel. Journal & Journal coverShinola. Necklace – JetSet Candy. Lip Balm – Creme de la Mer.


I like assorting DESK ESSENTIALS (like this Shinola journal cover) where I can see and access them easily. Sometimes I look up and realise I’m working within a setup that resembles an Instagram flat-lay and chortle at the ridiculousness of this to-the-core blogger lifestyle. I then proceed to organizing the pens and pencils in order of height and colour, and realise it’s perhaps a bigger problem.




As much as I pipe on about pizza and burritos, there’s nothing better to soothe a congested mind than to immerse into PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, or simply taking the time to listen to your own BREATHING. Again, I recommend the 30-day yoga challenge for those chickenshits like me, who can’t commit to a whole year of gym membership.

iPad holder – Shinola. Dermaclear clay mask – Dr Jart. Bracelets – X Jewellery.


I say ‘Play’ because most of this ends up down the front of my shirt and I end up smearing paint all over my chesticulars and smearing them on a sketchbook and/or canvas. There may also mysteriously be some Jessica Simpson playing in the background and soap bubbles floating around. PLAYTIME.
Animal Egg cup – Liberty. Leather Pouch & Sketchbook – Shinola. Bracelet – X Jewellery. Watch – Shinola.



Write a Comment


  1. Love the layouts! Makes me wanna accessorise my own desk :)


  2. “working hard on my assignments (albeit all last minute)” – clearly some things never change through the course of time haha. my current motto in life is more along the lines of “pretend work doesnt exist, play, play, play, panic”.

    lovely flatlays, goes without saying.

    xx Faiyaz

  3. This is a wonderful post. The message is important to remember, and I love the flat lays!

    Amber | y a c h t s m a a n

  4. Beautiful post as always. I wish I could say I look up sometimes to a desk resembling an instagram flatly but all I see is candy, coffee mugs & an assortment of snacks sprawled across my desk. Love your curated flatly here though. They’re always a pleasure to view.


  5. i absolutely loved the BTS of these photos hehe ;)

  6. Amazing flatlays… Wish my playtime looked like that :)

  7. anon

    And the scissors are from ….

  8. Love the vintage scissors!

    ❤ Kisses from http://www.withorwithoutshoes.com

  9. Ha, if your flat-lays were a house, I’d move right in! So purrty!
    I’m seconding “anon” above: where did you get them scissors? No idea if it’s pleasant to work with, but I sure love the shape ♥

  10. As always Love your layouts! and you Makes me wanna redecorat my own desk. (:


  11. I’m all about the inclusion of the Shinola pieces. Really well though out layouts.

    Buckets & Spades

  12. […] Work, Breathe, Play, Repeat. […]

  13. La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    A parfait eye for complete composition. An artist at heart. Fabulous photos! :)

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

  14. I have following your blog for years now and I can’t congratulate you enough your success Shini!

    My 30 day yoga challenge is turning into a 60 day challenge ;P


  15. There is so much wisdom and truth in this post, Shini. You treat your readers well because it’s always so evident you were playing while working. Love this post and especially your feet in the photo. :) BTW, thanks for the 30-day yoga challenge tip. Except that I injured myself a little bit two days ago, it’s very helpful. haha

  16. I had a little sneak peak into the behind the scenes of this shot on snap chat~ as always, you both look like you had fun (well amidst cake breaks, ballet twirls, and moments of mental breakdowns)! I hope that my play can be work and vice versa…that’ll take a while though~. Anywho, for now, I still gotta listen to my Dragon Mom.


  17. This is exactly how my work desk looks like, too, during or after intensive use… ;-)

  18. Most beautiful still lifes i’ve seen in a long while <3

  19. So inspiring, and the flat lays are perfection.
    Glamoury Armory Blog

  20. I love a good stationery and don’t mind splurging on buttery soft leather items, thank you for introducing this brand, I’m now obsessed. Your flatlay is on-point!

  21. Oh my oh my I just found your blog and I’m in love. This website is like walking into an elegant, dreamy storefront in London or something, where you sell beautifully displayed anecdotes and wisdom.

    So much love, thank you for making my mornings soothing.

  22. I love Yoga with Adriene <3 And your flatlays, I love your flatlays too.

  23. I loved this post, Shini. Obviously love the creative direction, but I felt that the writing was more personal :) I am a firm believer that if I started a gym that launched on 1 January, everyone will join… and then gradually it will turn into a fast food court! People will definitely renew their membership, right?

    ALSO! I love Shinola so much. They put Detroit on the map again after the economic decline in the US and I think their products are gorgeous! x

  24. glory

    Glad you made this post, haha.
    Like I said on IG, loved this site in your(and my) uni years, still love it now.
    Don’t mind that I haven’t commented in years.
    (I really don’t know how I found your blog back then…)
    So happy to see your ‘play’ turned ‘profitable’; you deserve it!
    As always, God bless~

  25. <3 this post and amazing flatlays.

    xoxo Aela

  26. Must say this is one of your best post.

  27. How I wish my desk resembled this, and that my mother had been more of a tiger. I worry about my vocabulary sometimes, despite writing words for a living!

    Laura x

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