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About Me

About Me
CrystalPhuong.net is a Personal Style & Travel Blog based in Singapore, written by Crystal Phuong. The blog was nominated FOUR times in Top 10 Best Fashion Blogs in the annual Singapore Blog Award from 2012- 2015, voted as one of the Best Lifestyle Blogs in Singapore in 2013 by Hotelclub.com, and Best Travel Blogs in 2016 by Foodpanda.com. Crystal hopes to connect and inspire young women to lead a healthy and happy life. Be confident, be positive, and be kind.
Showing posts with label LIFE WITH CRYSTAL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LIFE WITH CRYSTAL. Show all posts


Crystal Phuong- Home Decor

I couldn't find a more appropriate time than my birthday to share one of the big news about my life with you. If you still follow my Instagram, you've probably already known that I decided to move to a new house mid of this year. When I spoke to some of my friends about this decision, everyone seemed surprised as they knew how much I loved my old place. I even invested time and money to redecorate it and blogged about it here. Then, less than a year later, one day, while I was reading a book about getting out of the comfort zone, all of a sudden, my mind spoke to me, "Crystal, it's time to move." Then the fear held me back and said, "But you've invested so much in this place? How to find such a spacious bedroom elsewhere? Why need to leave when no one asked you to". That conversation repeated in my head for months, plus other factors to consider. I couldn't decide, so I relied on faith. Typical Asian me, I know. But experiences have proven to me many times that if something is meant to be, it will happen. So I keep holding to that thought whenever I have to take the leap of faith. Some people relocate so easily like they change clothes. I admire them. When I left Vietnam for Malaysia and left Malaysia for Singapore, I had only 2 pieces of luggage. 12 years later, I had 30 large carton boxes, 5 pieces of luggage, and dozen pieces of furniture to take with me. Hence, moving house is my worst nightmare. Besides, it reminds me of the teenage memories where we had to move house every year for nearly 10 years. It was sad.   

I tried to stay as long as I could. Then, a couple of things happened that made me feel like it was the right time to change. After a few months of thinking and seeking advice from my most trusted group of people, I finally decided to move out and move forward. That was in April 2021. 

I viewed nearly 20 houses within one month. Tiring, frustrating, disappointing, exciting, drooling, disheartening were the emotions I processed every week whenever I went for house viewing. And yet, in my mind, I was so sure that I'd find the house, or the house would find me. I viewed the last house on May 2nd, and it was not even on my top 3 list. But people often "Save the best for last.", who knew the Universe was doing the same to me. I was curious about the last house. 

As soon as the car arrived at the condo entrance, I heard the soothing sound of the water fountain. Almost immediately, I felt like this could be the place that I call home. By the time I took my first few steps in the house, I knew I no longer had to schedule another viewing after that. It felt right. Right time, right place, right people. 

June 8th, I moved to a new house. It was an auspicious day, as advised by my Dad. The house was empty without any furniture. It's like a blank canvas for me to paint a new artwork. Although I'm terrible at painting, I'm not too bad at home decoration, I think. 

It took me 2 months to turn this empty space 

Crystal Phuong- Home Sweet Home

into something I'm proud to call HOME. 

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 2

It's much smaller than my last house, but it's cozy, bright, and windy. Exactly how I like it. 

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 3

I buy fresh flowers every week as they make me happy looking at them. I enjoyed staying home during the lockdown before, but I love spending every minute in my new home much more now. A perfect morning routine to me (if I'm not working) is switching on the water fountain, opening the window, playing soft piano music, having my coffee and breakfast, reading a book, or playing with my piano. It's simple yet so satisfying. 

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 4

Moving from a big house to a smaller one has turned me into an organized freak, in a good way, of course. You can tell from my work desk with no messy cables around, considering the number of devices I have. Wait until you see how I organized my closet. I'll save that for the Instagram stories maybe, so do follow me if you want to see.  

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 5

This year, I've taken a big step back from social media. I went completely offline for a few months and didn't miss it at all. As if packing, moving house, and working weren't busy enough, I decided to go back to school. I took a couple of leadership & management courses from Harvard Business School Online to improve my skills and knowledge. More importantly, it was my dream to study at Harvard when I was in college. I couldn't do it then, so I do it now. As a result, I barely had 8hrs a day to sleep, but when these two certificates came into the mail, they made all the sleepless nights worth it. I'm still not done with my study, and I still have two more certificates to earn. But I can finally cross the "Study at Harvard" off the younger Crystal's bucket list. What's on the older Crystal's bucket list? Well, it's for another blog entry. 
For now, here are some more photos from my lovely place. Oh, I also started learning piano. Why? I don't know. Covid made me do it. 
Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 6

May the new home be filled with sunshine, love, and abundance.  
Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 7

A typical breakfast at C's! 
Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 8

Coffee with Crystal corner! 
Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 8

Having a clean, organized kitchen motivates me to cook more at home now. The spice and condiment containers are bonuses.  

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 9

I have a much smaller bedroom in the new house, and I don't have a walk-in closet anymore, so I had to be super creative about keeping all the shoes and bags. Although it's smaller, it's super cozy, clean, and comfortable.

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 10

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 13

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 14
These babies have a new home and I think they are happy 
Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 11

The beauty corner
Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 12

Once a while when I feel like I need a at-home spa day. 
Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 15

An afternoon walk after work in the neighborhood has become routine every week. I can never feel upset looking at this view, especially with a sunset view like this.  

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 18

This view never gets old. 

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 17

Every time I look at this, I feel immensely grateful for many things, especially this year. The global pandemic lasted much longer than we all expected. So many people lost their family members, their jobs, their hopes, and their dreams. Yet, I moved to a bigger house. Saying this out loud made me feel that I'm so spoiled. But the truth is, after 16 years of living abroad, moving from a shared bedroom to a storage room, from a storage room to a partitioned room (picture below), from a partitioned room to a master bedroom.

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 19

Finally, I moved from a master bedroom to a whole house. 

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 20

It was a significant change that I didn't see it coming myself. But here I am celebrating my 37th birthday in my lovely home with a grateful heart.

Crystal Phuong- Home Decor 21

Thank you to my family, my guardian angels, for guiding me on my journey! Thank you to my friends for staying with me through ups and downs and supporting me! For now, I need to go to sleep (it's 4.09am) so I can have energy to celebrate tomorrow. 

Thank you so much for reading!

Crystal Phuong

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I felt like I just celebrated my 35th birthday not so long ago, but now, I'm already 36 years old. Where has the time gone? I thought I would have a quiet, low-key birthday celebration this year with just one or two closest friends. But I ended up having many birthday celebrations instead. I'm not complaining.

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

We started with a yacht birthday party in the morning. (Thanks to my BFF Stefanie for arranging everything, and to everyone for spending their time to celebrate with me! I'm so touched). I just needed to bring my bikini and show up. We had a delicious birthday cake from American Express, too much wine, a good dose of vitamin sea, and endless laughter. 

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

The weather had been gloomy with heavy rain all week, and the sun came on out my birthday to play. I also wanted to thank Mr. Ang, owner of  No Name Yachts Pte Ltd, and his team for taking a good care of us that day. We had a great time. It was so perfect. 

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

My initial plan of having a quiet birthday was spending the weekend at Marina Bay Sands hotel, swimming at the sky infinity pool, reading books, or going for a walk at the Gardens by the bay. But, nothing can be quite quiet when my girl, Stefanie, shows up. In a good way, of course. She always brings sunshine wherever she goes. We checked in the hotel room just enough time for me to have an important meeting that I couldn't afford to skip. The hotel also offered the birthday girl a free upgrade to Deluxe room with a sky-view (exactly how I wanted) and sweetened my stay with a surprise birthday cake. Then, we had another birthday cake when we had lunch the next day at one of the restaurants. 

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration
Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

In the evening, I went out to have dinner at an Italian restaurant with my friends and colleagues. Thanks to Stefanie for arranging this again! Mazzo restaurant team surprised me with a flamingo Lamborghini shot and a delicious birthday cake. Thank you, Patrick & Mazzo team! I had way too much fun that night. My jaw hurt from laughing too much.      

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

The next day, Stef and I had a morning swim at the famous infinity pool, took a couple of photos, and enjoyed the city view while sipping our cup of coffee. We didn't get to stay long as our appointment slot was only for one hour per day. Who would have thought that we had to make an advanced booking to swim at the hotel pool before? But this is the reality we live in now during the pandemic. A lot of adjustments, changes, new rules applied. I did what I wanted to, and I was happy, regardless. 

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

After the swim, we had lunch at the hotel restaurant and went to the casino right after because Stef was feeling lucky. Thirty minutes later, we walked out of the casino with an extra $200 in Stef's wallet. It's my birthday. Of course, everyone is feeling lucky! At least, I like to think so. 

At night, we went to have drinks and dinner with my good friend, Javi, at the Fairmont hotel. Not only did I have a great laugh, but I also had another birthday cake, and a happy birthday song sang in Spanish, by the most fun & good looking Spanish man, I know. A big hug and thanks to Emmanuel, General Manager of Fairmont hotel, for the champagne. 

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

On day 3 of my 36 years old, I celebrated with two women whom I dearly love and admire. There are not enough words to express how grateful I am for their support, patience, and guidance in the last three years. They watched me grow and celebrated with me every important milestone in my career and now personal. 

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

Have I done all the celebrations yet? Probably not. I'm the kind of person who, if I can wake up and be happy every day, I will celebrate no matter how big or small. But every birthday, it's a chance for me to reflect, to look deep into my soul (and sometimes my insecurities), to question myself, "How much have I grown?", "What have I accomplished?" "Am I happy?". Then, I started looking back at old photos. 

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

The photo on the left was Crystal 2.0 ten years ago. She was young, innocent, ambitious, energetic, and impatient. The image on the right is the Crystal 3.0 now. She is still young at heart, more experienced, always ambitious, more patient, understanding, and compassionate. What have I lost over the last ten years? Perhaps, the insecurity about my flaws, the doubts about my ability, the negativity when I hit the roadblocks, and the need to find someone make me happy. What have I gained on the contrary? Some wrinkles on my face, a few pounds on my body, a lot more patience and emotional maturity, and a longer list of work-life experiences, and the contentment in life that is so hard to find. 

Crystal Phuong- Singapore Lifestyle Blog- 36th birthday celebration

There will still be days when PMS syndrome hits me; I'll feel like I've not accomplished enough, I won't have time to achieve all the goals I set for myself, I haven't spent much time with the family, where will I be in the next 5 and 10 years, and the list goes on. But as soon as those doubtful feelings got me, I quickly realised that the hormones rollercoaster is trying to give me an emotional ride. I can let it swing my mood up and down, or I can choose to say, "Stop it. It's enough". Whether I'm at v2.0 or v3.0, I'm still fighting my own battles every day like everybody else. But at 36 years old, I learn to choose what's worth fighting for and what to let go. I'm lucky to be surrounded by many great people. Some help me before even meeting me in person. Some spoil me with their love and support. Some help me to grow from my mistakes. Some motivate me to go after my dreams. Some push me out of my comfort zone. My memory sucks, but I'll never forget these names. 

I'm always a work in progress because I'm nowhere near perfect, and I will never be. But I know what I'll bring to the table, and I'm not afraid to express myself. I love the woman I've become, and I am enough. 

As always, thank you for reading! To all my beautiful friends, thank you for being a part of my journey! 

Crystal Phuong

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It's scary to think how fast time flies. The first time I wore this green dress was on my 30th birthday, and the second time was on November 5th, 2019. Five years have gone by so quickly that I felt like I didn't achieve much. 

How did I feel when I turned 35? I honestly loved it, and one month after my birthday, I still love the Crystal at 35. Besides, I had a fabulous celebration. 

It was the first time I celebrated my birthday overseas with my girlfriends. We flew to Bali, Indonesia, on November 1st, to attend our close friend, Jessica's wedding. 

It was my first time attending a wedding in Bali, and boy, it was truly magical. The location was fantastic, the decoration was beautiful, the couple looked lovely, and the food was delicious. We danced until midnight when the couple tossed their bouquet. Guess who caught it? 

This girl. 

Does that mean I'll be getting married next year? I don't know. That story will leave for another time. For now, I just wanted to share with you my roller-coaster ride to the 35th birthday. So buckle up! 

We booked a two-bedroom villa in the heart of Seminyak. It was my first time celebrating a birthday overseas with my girlfriends. We spoke about this trip a few months in advance, so I was excited. We had our breakfast at a cute Australian cafe in Bali, then went shopping along Legian street. We spent our late afternoon drinking at a beach bar in the Marriott hotel, laughing at each other's jokes, taking way too many #wefie photos, and enjoying the sunset view of Bali. 

In the evening, we found our way to Alila hotels for a lovely dinner by the beach. The day couldn't be better.   

On the second day, I booked a private tour for three of us to check out some famous places in Nusa Penida. We first went for snorkeling at Crystal Bay with the hope to swim with the majestic manta rays of Nusa Penida, but we weren't lucky enough to see any. I was just happy to be underwater, regardless. 

Then we drove up to the mountain to catch a magnificent view of Kelingking beach that popped up on my Instagram feed almost every day. The photo doesn't do this place justice. You have to make a trip here to witness its beauty yourself. 

After Kelingking, off we went to Broken Beach. This beach is not like any other beach that I saw before. Probably from thousands of years ago, when the waves hit the rock consistently, it created a giant hole in the middle of the cliff. Now, the imperfect cliff makes Broken Beach become one of the most popular destinations in Nusa Penida.

By the time we came back to our hotel, this was what I saw. A bedroom was full of roses on the bed, in the bathtub, and on the floor. That was the loveliest birthday surprise I've ever received from my girlfriends. 

The next morning, we had breakfast and went for a photoshoot around the villa, specially arranged and paid for by my girl, Jessica. 

At night, we went to Motel Mexicola, one of the sexiest, most colorful and quirky Mexican bar and restaurant in Seminyak. I had a surprise birthday cake, we drank a few rounds of alcohol and danced until our feet hurt. My heart was bursting with joy and love.

Love these girls to bit Rebecca on my left and Stefanie on my right.

It would have been my perfect birthday celebration if only a burglary didn't happen at our villa that night. We were so careful to keep all our valuable items away in a locked suitcase and a safety box. Somehow, someone managed to open our villa gate, room doors, and knew where to find all our money and high sentimental value items. It was unfortunate that this happened on my birthday. From feeling extremely happy and grateful, to extremely angry, upset, anxious, and scared, we experienced all levels of human emotion on one night. Like the craziest roller coaster, we rode on. I was glad that we were safe, but still I was enraged. Some closest friends also reached out to offer to send me money in case we needed cash to go home. For that, I'm thankful! 

I've known Rebecca for almost four years now, but this was the first time I saw how calm and yet strong she was to deal with the situation. She never shed a tear when speaking with the hotel staff and the police, but broke down the next morning when telling Stefani and I how much the rings meant to her. I love and admire this girl so much.

This is life! Nothing is perfect. There will be many unexpected circumstances happen that are out of our control and imagination. It will make you wiser, stronger, and braver. On a brighter note, I had the most unique and memorable 35th birthday celebration. I can't wait to see what this new chapter in life has for me. 

Thank you so much for all these lovely wishes, presents, and cakes! 
Crystal Phuong

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[name=Crystal Phuong] [img=https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2rX6quipNhI/XFfam4j35qI/AAAAAAAADZ0/AFDn5ZbYgqYT6sRbDXwMStFHz5PPDHFMgCK4BGAYYCw/w345-h245-c/Crystal-Phuong] [description=Singapore Travel & Lifestyle Blogger, hoping to connect and inspire young women to lead a healthy and happy life] (facebook=https://facebook.com/crystalphuong) (twitter=https://twitter.com/ncrystalicious) (instagram=https://instagram.com/crystalphuong)