Farewell 2015

Road trip

Where did time go?

Does time have wings?

Our little children always laugh at our questions.

As we take stock of a year that will soon pass, we realize we are no longer the same person from last December, and even from yesterday. Our favorite yoga teacher Stella once said only the living dead does not evolve.

It has been a year of change, to say the least. When we found the courage to ditch our security blanket and venture far beyond the comfort zone, we did not sink, as we initially feared. We picked up new skills, unlearned and relearned so many things, released past conditionings that no longer serve us.

Most of all, our dedicated home practice on the [yoga] mat equipped us with tools that helped us go through change with grace. More than ever, yoga has become our rock.

We are looking forward to 2016. Our dreams have not grown much bigger but there is a newfound clarity that will guide us forward.

There have been some changes on the home front. We are so sorry some of you came all the way to look for us only to find the shutters down. We are immensely grateful you support the work we do. It makes us feel we are not alone in this journey of conscious living. We are working on accessibility. This much we can divulge for now.

In the spirit of slowing down and setting our intentions for the new year, this will be our last blog for the year. We want to wrap up the year with one of our favorite quotes.

“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” Emmanuel Teney

100 Good Things will close from Dec 24th and reopen on Jan 11th.

‘Tis the season for conscious gifting

Fetsive hamper

This festive season is a little special for us. Our little children, who love running imaginary shop/cafe at home, now have a real shop with genuine customers and merchandise. The real shop has to be – surprise, surprise – cleaned, products stocked, arranged, tagged and counted, and you can’t roll onto the bed when your back is aching. Then there’s the holiday season to fuss over.

This year, instead of planning a yearend getaway, the family got together to dress up the shop for festivities ahead. We are grateful we have our loved ones with us as we take on this new role. We are thankful we can change lives through what we do. We are inspired by our eager and curious children as we are by the artisans we work with.

Yes we are ready for your stockings! We have something for everybody, from babies and fashion conscious to the ardent gourmand. Everything has been sourced with care, consciousness and understanding. We are two minds about packaging excesses so we keep it simple and minimal. We resist painting our own wrapping paper and gift boxes like we always do at home. For you, we use recycled kraft paper. And we took the trouble to shred used paper so we can avoid buying brand new paper for stuffing. Of course, we understand it is Christmas and if you like some bling, we can oblige.

We are so excited to be living this holiday season with a sense of purpose. Conscious living is close to our hearts and we are grateful for the opportunity to take steps to manifest our intentions. We want you to join us on this journey. How about starting with mindful gifting?

Green is the new black

We try our best to live by a green manifesto at home: Something will be junked only if it cannot be reused, repaired or upcycled. This essentially means we have really old things sitting around waiting for a second lease of life because, frankly, anybody juggling the demands of a fulltime job and parenthood knows that time is short every single second. It’s more fun to be out there enjoying the sea breeze then being stuck at home stitching up a pair of old socks.

We all have the best intentions, so they say. When we saw, firsthand, bales and bales of textile remnants from Cambodia’s garment industry, which is still the backbone of the country’s economy, we were truly mortified our insatiable demand for fast fashion is not doing the planet any favors. We thought we could and should repurpose what’s left from the cutting room floor. Does your home need new pillow covers? Why buy new when you can refashion with existing resources?

We decided to make pillow covers from fabric that, in our wretchedly untrained eyes, still look pretty perfect. We had so much fun mixing and matching colors and prints with Vichara, a self-taught seamstress we have grown rather fond of. If you have not read her story from our previous blog, the widow is now able to send her 12-year-old to English classes, thanks to her employment with a progressive company that provides her with good wages and flexible working hours, benefits unheard of in many garment factories. For Third World citizens who reside at our backyard, English language is the ticket to a better life.

We have incorporated piping for a plush touch.

Piping

There are no zips on our pillow covers because we think they are safer for our young children (plus being stabbed by a zip fastener is no fun). Then we waited, with bated breath, for our pillow covers to arrive.

We are absolutely delighted to see the fine handiwork of Vichara and her two mute colleagues. We are launching these lovely pillow covers at Green is the New Black, a festival celebrating conscious living. We will be there with dozens of conscious businesses.

Remember our pillow covers are sewn from excess fabric from garment factories. We are unable to repeat these designs once we are done with whatever we are left with. Which makes them all the more beautiful.

See you at Green is the New Black:
Nov 28th, Saturday
11am – 8pm
The Working Capitol
1 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089109

 

Three ideas for honey lovers

Raw forest honey

Tell you a secret. We were never honey worshipers until we tasted the raw honey we now carry at our store. This honey comes from bees that forage in the wild, in the forest of remote Northeastern Laos. The environs are untainted by pollution of any sorts and the honey is harvested by members of one industrious family, who like most locals, rely largely on subsistence farming for survival.

This honey goes straight from the hives to the jar, with some filtration by hand in between, of course. Neither mechanical process nor heat is introduced so the goodness of raw honey is intact.

Income from the sale of this honey has helped pay for medical bills, school fees and motorbike fuel.

Our favorite ways to use this raw forest honey:

DIGESTIVE AID
Combine equal parts lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, some julienned ginger, top bottle with water, add raw honey to taste. We always have a bottle of this in the refrigerator. Too much work? Add two tablespoons apple cider vinegar to water and raw honey to taste. Consume either concoction 15 minutes before meal.

THROAT SOOTHER
Our go-to recipe at the first sign of sore throat: Water with the juice of one lemon and two tablespoons of raw honey.

DEEP-CLEANSE NOURISHING FACE MASK
Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay, one drop lavender essential oil and one teaspoon raw honey. Leave on face for 15 minutes. Great for combination and oily skin.

Do note hot water destroys the beneficial enzymes present in raw honey. Happily, our raw honey dissolves readily in room-temperature water.

Any day with honey is a sweet day!

Our delicious raw forest honey (250g) retails for S$13.90. It is available at our Balestier Road store and Swiss Butchery on Tanglin Road.

The ethically and sustainably produced merchandise at 100 Good Things are sourced with care, consciousness and understanding.

Time to incubate

Stella wears an intricately carved brass bangle repurposed from bomb shells

“You have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important.”

These are words from Raf Simons, on his departure from Christian Dior. Doing six shows a year with little time left in between to, in his own words, “incubate,” can take a toll on the most driven person.

As a parent who is too quick to yell “I count to five and you better be done!” and as a yoga practitioner who is well aware of the virtues of quieting down and tuning in, learning to take time off and to give time is a lifelong practice.

I took a little time off recently to reboot myself. This time, I did not over-plan my travel itinerary. I ensured there’s time to sit at coffeeshops and shoot the breeze. There’s time to give another human being my undivided attention because I was not in a great hurry to rush to another place. There was time for some TLC at the spa after my yoga practice. More significantly, there was space to go with the flow, change course, or let go, if so required. Truly, the equanimity that comes from being in the present moment, instead of being so destination-oriented, changes the experience of the journey.

When we give time, there is space to immerse ourselves in the experience, gain insight, fail and pick ourselves up again.

“Mama, what’s the hurry?” was one annoying question my child had the audacity to ask whenever I was trying to beat the clock. “It’s all about your self-imposed timeframe,” chipped in the eminently patient husband. Upon reflection on the [yoga] mat many years later, indeed, what’s the great chase about?

Mr. Sopheak at work

Try telling Mr. Sopheak you need him to produce 2,000 bangles in a day. It takes the talented self-taught craftsman two days to carve, file, smooth, polish and cajole one piece of this brass beauty into shape. Slowly and steadily, he produces our bestselling bangle, two days at a time. Does the Third World craftsman have no sense of urgency or is the First World being too consumed by life he has forgotten how to live it?

The ethically and sustainably produced merchandise at 100 Good Things are sourced with care, consciousness and understanding. To purchase them, visit 100 Good Things store.

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