In this feature of Lark and Peony Interviews, we have the ever-youthful blogger Ai Sakura.
This mother of one has a fervent passion for travel and fashion, but the way we see it, her greatest love will always be her daughter, Lil Pumpkin. We had the pleasure of having Ai drop by the L&P home office with her beautiful family, and even managed to snap a few pictures. Here, Ai shares a little bit of everything in her life with us.
Hi Ai! How would you describe your personal style?
I dress to the occasion and sometimes can go a little crazy on colours, but I usually like classic styles that can stand the test of time, with statement jewelry pieces that I can pass on to my daughter.
However, I’ve always had a soft spot for cheongsams as they remind me of a nostalgic time of classic elegance and quiet glamour, where life seems much simpler. It is feminine without being too sexy, and graceful without being too ostentatious. So, I’m slowly adding more to my wardrobe and trying to make it my “signature style”.
Has your personal style changed after becoming a mother?
Since I became a mum, I’m more inclined to wear more comfortable and simpler designs as it’s much easier when nursing and faster to put on when rushing to get out of the house with a kid in tow!
Working full-time, making time to exercise, being a mother and wife – managing all these at the same time must be tough! What is your idea of the perfect way to unwind after a long day?
I love snuggling up with my family in bed watching one of our favourite movies to unwind. It’s what I used to do with my parents when I was younger too, and brings back lots of fond memories growing up.
You recently hit the fabulous 3-0, and we see that you’ve accomplished quite a lot on your 30-before-30 list. What would you say is your proudest checked item on that list and why?
Hmm that’s a hard one. I think so far it would be starting on a detox program, and still sticking with it. I’m not really a health freak, but these past few years I’ve been making a conscious effort to take better care of my body, mind and soul.. to basically live a more wholesome life. I want to have enough energy to keep up with Lil Pumpkin, and to live long enough to see her achieve her dreams!
I’m still working on that list by the way!
You’ve travelled quite a bit lately (UK, Vietnam, China and Japan – lucky you!). Which would you say was your favourite vacation and why?
I think my favourite destination this year (so far) was to London. It was my first time back in almost 2 decades and I loved walking through the old streets and parks in the crisp winter mornings, and admiring all the amazing architecture. It’s terrific how they kept all the heritage buildings and incorporated new life into it.
Wish Singapore would do more of this instead of tearing down the old parts, and building new developments. It saddens me to know that Singapore is changing so rapidly, and a lot of childhood places may not be here when my daughter grows up.
And where is your family’s next travel destination?
We’re heading to Australia next for about 2.5 weeks. I’m attending an international bloggers conference then soaking up the sun in Gold Coast with my family.
Tell us about your tattoos! When did you get them and what special meaning do they hold for you?
I’ve had various tattoos done the past 10 years in Japan and Singapore. Each marks a special time in my life and holds special meanings for me, like the couple tattoo I got with my husband (then fiancé) on my left wrist or an old Japanese phrase inked on my lower back to remind me to live life to the fullest with no regrets.
Tattoos may not be appealing to everyone, but I think that they are a beautiful form of self-expression. No tattoos should be done in haste, or in dodgy establishments though.
You mentioned that you like matching Lil’ Pumpkin’s outfits with yours so it feels like she’s a mini version of you. Cute! Which of your traits do you hope Lil’ Pumpkin picks up from you?
I hope that she’s bold in her dreams and travels, but with her heart centered at home. She is not just my mini me, but the best part of me.
We see that you make bentos really often – what is the one effortless bento you’d recommend other mummies to make?
Simple onigiri or rice balls. You can basically stuff any fillings inside and they are so easy to make!
How did you first get into blogging?
I started to blog about 8 years back when I moved overseas to study. It was a way for me to keep in touch with my family and friends. My “Sakura Haruka” blog actually started in 2011 to focus more on my life as a mother juggling work, home and everything in between. I hope to share more insights and ideas about our parenting and lifestyle, and to connect with others who do the same.
Tell us about your blogging process.
Writing a post can take anything from an hour to a few days. It usually starts with an idea about a family activity, a lifestyle event, or just something that happened to touch us recently and grows to become a blog post with text and photos. I usually take my own photos and try to keep things current.
You looked forward to your 30th birthday – what advice would you give to other ladies out there who are approaching the big 3?
Don’t worry; your life won’t end after 30! It’s just the start of a new and exciting chapter!
Ai blogs at www.sakuraharuka.com