About Fari

You may have just stumbled onto this page, or you may have met me in person in Melbourne or Singapore. If you have, welcome!

This is a quick brief on what I am involved in, and I would be more than happy to collaborate with you with anything suitable. My full portfolio can be viewed at FariWu on Wix.

 

- Barcode Magazine

Barcode is a Singapore magazine catered to 18-30 year-olds that will launch in Nov 2014, by Indochine Media. Indochine Media also publishes Robb Report, a luxury publication that caters to the affluent market.

- Meld Magazine -

Meld is an online magazine that caters to the international population in Melbourne, Australia. They garner over 30,000 visitors per month.

- Really Melbourne – 

Really Melbourne is a city guide that reaches 9000 visitors per month and mainly reaches out to readers through social media.

- Personal Writing – Creative Flash Fiction – 

Other than this blog, I am the owner of literarynarrative, a site dedicated to flash fiction under 500 words.

- SYN Radio – 

I manage the Twitter account for SYN Media, as part of a team. Previously, I was a radio DJ talking about faith-related topics on SYN Radio.

- UMSU International – 

I am a media officer for UMSU International, the international branch of the student union of University of Melbourne. We handle the welfare of international students, as well as organise large-scale events for students to mingle. I am also in charge of the social media accounts.

 

If you think you’d like to collaborate with any of these affiliations, do contact me. I am also looking for people who would like to write guest posts on this website. If you are interested, do email your completed submission to farwxy@gmail.com. If you have an idea or a pitch you think is suitable, you are welcome to get in touch.

Make those Mid Year Resolutions now!

In case you haven’t noticed, or are too caught up with the joys and sorrows of everyday life, more than half of 2014 has passed.

Yikes!

I’ll pause here for a moment to let that sink in.

Yup that’s right, we are now closer to Christmas than we were to the 2014 New Year celebration. How has time slipped past our fingers in such an effortless manner? There are still days when I wake up and think that the year is 2013. But it won’t be much longer till we have to write the word “2015” whenever we fill in forms.

Not only that, it’ll be time to make yet another set of New Year resolutions.

time

We constantly make long lists of resolutions on 1 January, then discard them just as quickly as we made them. Why are resolutions so impossibly hard to keep? I think a big factor is based on how long we think a year is. 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, it seems like a very long time to be going to the gym, or a long time to learn the guitar. We’ll think, oh there’s always tomorrow to start on it.

We have plenty of time, we’ll get it started tomorrow, or next week maybe. Things just get in the way, and we have other commitments to attend to. So we think we can slack off or do it later. This just snowballs and before we know it, 1 January is upon us again. And it’s time to make that resolution. Again.

At the beginning of this year, my editor handed out sheets of paper and asked us to write down what we’d like to accomplish throughout the year. I wrote down that I’d like to learn the ukulele. I first got the idea of learning it from this video: Josh Kaufman demonstrates how 20 hours is enough to learn something in it’s most basic level. Case in point, the ukulele.

Learning an instrument is never quite easy, but the feeling of accomplishment certainly makes the time and effort worthwhile.

If only I could actually bother to pick up the ukulele, that is.

Half of 2014 has gone, and the only time I ever picked up a ukulele this year was to half-heartedly attempt to strum it.

In the back of my mind, I keep thinking, there’s always tomorrow. There’s always another time. I’d like to watch this YouTube video now. I’d like to go swimming instead.

And just like that, 8 months has flown by. There’s less than 4 months till Christmas and the beginning of yet another year.

Did you do the same? What were your New Year resolutions and what did you do about them?

Rather than moaning about it, I can look on the bright side. 4 months is a long time to accomplish a lot of things. Here’s what we can start doing to make the best of the rest of 2014 (dang, that nearly rhymed):

 

1. Spring clean.

Spring-Cleaning-Simpsons
Spring cleaning helps to declutter not just our space, but our mind. But the end of the year may not necessarily be the best time to spring clean. After the parties and celebrations, after the bubbly, and after the reminiscing of old times, it’s hard to get in the mood to throw things out when all you want to do is hold on to the memories. That’s why now is a great time to crack open the cupboards and dump out bits and pieces that don’t belong in your life any more. We are constantly burdened by material things that we can’t bear to let go, but it is amazing to see and feel the difference once the clutter is gone.

 

2. Review New Year Resolutions.
Again, the best time to review New Year Resolutions isn’t at the end of the year, where guilt has caught up because you feel you haven’t done enough. Half a year is a fairly good time to examine the resolutions you made, whether it is exercising more, living healthier or learning a new instrument. This can also help you to get back on track with your plans.

Time for me to finally pick up that ukulele!

 

3. Make better Mid-Year Resolutions.
Sometimes resolutions are just too vague. What does exercising more mean? Does it mean running every day after work, or does it mean going swimming twice a week? Tweak resolutions into set goals so that they are achievable.

Personally for me, I’ve changed my resolution from:
Exercise more.

To:
Go for yoga classes twice a week and pick up gymnastics.
I feel much better now because I know I have a specific goal. Can’t wait!

 

4. Reward yourself.

gold present
Resolutions are not to be feared. They are goals in our lives, and when a goal is met or being met, success should be celebrated. With that being said, please don’t celebrate by undoing every single bit of work you’ve already done, like indulging in an extra large piece of chocolate cake after a week of cycling. Moderation is key.

Resolutions aren’t something to shy away from, but maybe we just haven’t been making them at the right time.

Enlightenment in nature

Question: How are your New Year Resolutions going? Have you made new Mid Year Resolutions? Share them with me down below! 

- Fari Wu

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Linkedin

Fari Wu for Really Melbourne

I have an exciting announcement…

I’m blogging with Really Melbourne!

This collaboration came about when the Really Melbourne team decided to open up their website to other bloggers. I sent an application in then forgot about it, because I had assumed that I wasn’t quite what they’re looking for, being an international student living in Melbourne for less than 2 years. I felt like I probably didn’t quite know the ins and outs of Melbourne City in the way that a local would.

Really Melbourne, in case you’re not familiar, is a website dedicated to showcasing the beautiful city of Melbourne, Australia. They talk about the adventures and events happening, the scenic tourist spots that you absolutely can’t miss out, the food and coffee that will make you salivate for more. They’re dedicated to talking about the best of Melbourne, basically. However, instead of just being a normal tourist-like website, they reach out to the everyone by using social media, and they have a more casual style of interacting with people. I love how social media really breaks down a lot of barriers, by letting people ask more questions, talk more, and just learn more about something without formal emails or calls or boring press releases.

They have 1600 fans on Facebook, 1300 followers on Twitter, and 6100 followers on Instagram! That’s a whole lot of followers.

So obviously I’m really excited to find out that I’ve been chosen to blog with them. This is also the first time that the Really Melbourne team has opened up their website to collaborate with other bloggers, so we’ll be part of a revolutionary happening.

I guess that what drew them to me was that I’ll be able to provide a unique perspective to living in Melbourne (that’s what I’d like to think, anyway). Having lived in Singapore for the majority of my life, moving to a completely different city in a completely different continent comes with new found experiences and appreciation. After all, sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to appreciate what you’ve left behind, as well as  appreciate whatever new comes along. I’ve been very blessed to live in Melbourne, and the idiosyncrasies that come with it. The weather is always a huge talking point, there’s always someone new to meet, and the fact that Melbourne city is so multicultural means that you’ll always learn something new from someone of a different country. Not that Singapore isn’t great, but Melbourne certainly has a vibrancy of its own.

5

Hanging out at a coffee joint is definitely one of the great things to do in Melbourne. If you love reading about cafe hopping, don’t forget to read!

All these things will be what I hope to talk about in my collaboration with Really Melbourne, so check my website out! I’ll be updating as much as possible, and probably linking some back here too so you won’t miss out on it.

 

As a contributing blogger, this is the list of my posts with them: http://reallymelbourne.com.au/author/fariwu/

 

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

 

- Fari Wu

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Linkedin

Bath and Body Works Singapore (and Haul)

So Bath and Body Works is an American retail brand that specializes in bath products, home fragrances and hand sanitizers. It’s very popular on YouTube, where beauty gurus will wax lyrical about their hauls and collections. While I really liked the brand myself, I thought that it would never expand into Singapore due to our relatively small market size.

So imagine my surprise when I walked into Marina Bay Sands and encountered this!

Bath and Body Works exterior

Incredibly exciting. It is situated next to Sephora, in B1.

Bath and Body Works exterior 2

So it opened at the end of February, and when I went to check things out, it was completely thronged with people. They were mostly boyfriends and husbands following their girlfriends and wives around, and there were people of all ages. I guess I wasn’t the only one excited to see the opening of Bath and Body Works in Singapore.

Bath and Body Works Cinnamon Sugared Doughnut candle 1

After much debate, I ended up coming out of the shop with a 3-wick Cinnamon Sugared Doughnut candle and a huge smile on my face. And indeed, it totally smells like a bakery whenever I burn this candle. I bought the candle during the Great Singapore Sale, where the candles had a 30% offer. However, despite importing, I do think that some of the products are overpriced especially because you can get 3-wick candles at 2 for $22 in the United States.

Bath and Body Works Cinnamon Sugared Doughnut candle 2

Hypnotizing! But this wasn’t the first haul I had ever made with Bath and Body Works. My first retail encounter was in Florida Mall in the United States. Unfortunately, I was there at the time when they had not introduced their new stock yet, so there were very little choices.

Bath and Body Works candles

The first haul of Bath and Body Works candles I have ever made. They were all shipped from Florida to Singapore, and I bundled them into thick coats because I was so terrified that I would break them! The largest is a 3-wick Frosted Cupcake, the other one is a small candle also in Frosted Cupcake, and the front two are mini candles in Market Peach and First Bloom. I love the sweet and bakery-type of scents so it’s no surprise that I love Frosted Cupcake, although I do occasionally find that they are too sweet. The Market Peach is also a great option if you like fruity scents but I would not repurchase the First Bloom again.

Bath and Body Works Frosted Cupcake candle

One thing I love about BBW is that the designs of their candle packaging change a lot! You could go into a store in a few month’s time and see the exact same scent in a different packaging with a silver lid, or gold lid, or different picture on the front. It mixes things up a bit and makes things interesting.

Now, there’s even more exciting news because Bath and Body Works has just opened their second retail store in Takashimaya! I’m sure those who work and shop in Orchard will be very pleased. There’s currently a discount for 3-wick candles going at 2 for SG$50. I for one will be going to get a Honey Crumbcake candle next.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on some candles or bath products, you should follow Bath and Body Works Singapore official Facebook page or @bbwsg on Instagram, the unofficial BBW SG Instagram fan page!

- Fari Wu

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Linkedin

 

How’s your experience with Bath and Body Works? Do you love their products or do you think they’re overpriced? Let me know in the comments section or contact me to write a guest post! 

Photography: Is your iPhone good enough?

Nowadays, everyone has a camera phone with them everywhere they go. This means that we can take pictures at any time, and store those memories. But having a camera doesn’t automatically make you a professional photographer, does it?

More importantly, I thought that camera phones would definitely not be good enough in a professional capacity. If I had to submit something to a newspaper to print, or a news website, can I send a photo I took from an iPhone without compromising on the quality and resolution?

I mean, photos taken with DSLRs just have this amazing quality to them, provided you do know how to use one properly. Not only that, whipping out a phone to take pictures just doesn’t have that same professional look or effect.

But there are iPhone photography awards out there that prove that indeed, the best camera might just be the one in your pocket.

Image by: IPPA Awards

This is one of my favourites. I love the details captured in this photo, and her haunting eyes. This was a 2013 winner.

Image by: IPPA Awards

This is a great shot taken at the perfect time. It does have that mysterious Casablanca-style look going for it too. This was a 2014 runner-up for Photographer of the Year.

 

Gerard Collett from London, UK - 1st place News/Events

Image by: IPPA Awards

This photo proves that you don’t have to travel all the way to a distant place or hire a helicopter to get the perfect shot. You just have to find the opportunity and take it. This was a 2014 1st place winner, in the category of News/Events.

 

Not only that, Garance Dore (a YouTube vlogger, and one of my personal favourites) has a whole video detailing whether everyone can be a photographer with something they already have with them.


Journalism school are also beginning to teach students how to shoot news videos and photos with their phones. After all, it’s a lot more convenient compared to lugging around heavy equipment and going through security checks.

So I went out with Meld Magazine to a Korean Festival in May to experiment. They taught me that the camera quality of the iPhone 5 is indeed decent enough for the photos to be presented in a professional capacity. iPhones? Photography? Is that possible?

Meld Korean bracelets

This is one of my favourite photos, if not my favourite. I absolutely love shooting in macro, and just getting right in front of something or someone. Of course, the bright colours really helped the picture, but I honestly think this is a good enough quality for a professional newspaper or news website.

Meld Korean showcase

Well, I like this but I don’t love it. This is a great photo-journalism shot though, but definitely not in the category of photography.

 

Here’s an UnKorean-related photo taken by an iPhone. I do think that there is a fairly good quality to it.

 

In all, I suppose that camera phones are really catching up. But in the end, whether you’re using a DSLR, a compact camera or a camera phone, it’s really the skill that matters most. Much of a good photo also depends on the lighting, the angle, the colours, the exposure and the composure of the photo. But that’s just what I think. What exactly do you think makes a good photo great? Does the equipment really matter?

 

In fact, if you think your iPhone photo is good enough, the IPPA Awards 2015 is now accepting submissions! Are you game?

 

Fari Wu

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Linkedin

 

Do you agree? Disagree? Have you had personal experience with professional photography done on iPhones? Would you like to do a guest post on it? Let me know.