29 noteworthy albums of 2013

January 5, 2014
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An overwhelming number of great albums were released in 2013, from today’s biggest pop music icons like Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne, breakout artists such as Lorde and Ariana Grande, Christian pop artists such as Britt Nicole, to alternative singers like HAIM and She and Him. I’d like to share 29 studio albums of 2013 that I have come to love, hoping this will also help kickstart your own music discoveries this year. Click the play button on the music player below each album art to listen to one of my favorite picks. Here’s to a music-filled year ahead!

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Food + Dining

Breakfast at Spectrum

December 31, 2013

I spent Christmas Day quite differently this year. My boyfriend and I met up on December 25, for the very first time in the entire six and a half years of our relationship. He is usually abroad during Christmastime, while I stay at home with my family. This year, we spent an unforgettable first Christmas together.

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9 films fit for the holidays and after

December 23, 2013

This movie list doesn’t include Home Alone, The GrinchLove Actually, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Instead, this is a selection of movies, mostly romantic films, some of which are not necessarily set during Christmastime that I believe are fitting to watch during this time of the year, but also even way after the mistletoes and fairy lights are put away.

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12 Holiday albums: Music beyond the usual carols

December 20, 2013
gold album final

What is the most effective way for you to be able to truly feel the Christmas spirit? Mine is listening to festive holiday songs. Every holiday season, I unearth my Christmas song collection in my iTunes library, which I make a point to leave unchecked and out of sight for the rest of the year.

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Travel Diary: Hong Kong & Macau 2013

December 19, 2013
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Last September, my friends and I went on a short trip to Hong Kong and Macau. Since 90% of all the past trips I had was with my family, traveling with friends is always a different kind of adventure altogether. My friends and I traveled to Hong Kong already a couple of years ago before Christmas, in which we were all still studying then. This year, most of us are now working and beginning to chart out our own individual paths and careers. This trip is simply a much-craved for break from the hustle and frenzy of Manila, and a chance for us to catch up on each other’s lives in a four-day long escapade to new and familiar places.

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Books, Features

20 books that have moved me in some way

December 16, 2013
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Whoever has seen my room can immediately understand how much I treasure books. Reading perhaps makes up half my life. I have since then grew to enjoy reading a wide range of genres: psychology, philosophy, religion, graphic novels, anthologies, essays. But I get the most pleasure from fiction, especially those with romantic plot lines and beautifully crafted sentences.

I’ve been meaning to write about books that moved me and helped shaped the way I think and perceive the world. It’s quite timely that my good friend Sheena tagged me in this Facebook challenge asking people to list down ten books that have touched them in some way.

Because I can’t help breaking rules, I’m placing my list here instead of a status and listing down an additional ten titles – I’d like to take this chance to perhaps give recommendations to those who might be looking for their next good read!

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© 2014 Desiree Grace Tan. All Rights Reserved.

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