Category: Ponderings

We’re in business!

Yikes loves, I’ve been awol for some time.  Well there’s been some changes around here at Caribbean Living HQ.

Where to start…well firstly I guess Caribbean Living HQ actually has a new name now: Elly MacDonald Design – Interiors + Urban Landscapes.  Yeehaw, we are in business.  And by ‘we’ I in actual fact mean ‘I’, for the time being anyway – I’m doing the designing, the project execution, the admin, the marketing, the website design, the graphic design, the photography, the business side of things aaaaand flipping instagram.  I’m a busy busy bee these days, so please forgive my errr year-long absence?  I’ve been sitting exactly in this spot working my bot off:

joo chiat duplex singapore elly macdonald design - office3 (2)

{credit: Elly MacDonald Design}

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Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

I don’t usually write about serious stuff on here but I wanted to pay my respects today.

The founding father of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, sadly passed away yesterday.  He was an incredible man who built an incredible country, and he has this ang mo’s deep respect.  It’s a very sad time for Singapore, please take a moment to send some good wishes over here.

remembering lee kuan yew


Philippines appeal

Hey loves – no design post today I’m afraid, I wanted to share some information on the devastating typhoon in the Philippines.  I don’t normally write about things like this on le blog but this one is just so so bad.

I’m sure you’ve read about it in the news (see here if not) so I won’t go on about how truly dreadful the situation is, but I thought I’d share some donation links in case anyone feels like doing a good deed today:

– Philippines Red Cross (American Red Cross, British Red Cross)

– Philippines UNICEF (American UNICEF)

Tons of other options here.

It’s one of the worst typhoons ever to hit land mass, and has killed upwards of 10,000 people already.  Entire towns and cities have been wiped out and people are already getting desperate for clean water and food, there’s looting and violence going on.

To make matters even worse, in the Philippines GDP per capita is under $3,000 ($50,000+ in the States, $40,000+ in the UK).

How about foregoing that latte today and sending a little help their way?

Sorry it’s not my fault!

We’re back from the deepest darkest depths of China, having survived the loooongest train journey of all time, landslide danger and packaged junk food chicken feet…

Pics to follow later in the week, but I wanted to apologise dear readers for my total lack of posts lately.  I wanted to blog a little from China but managed to forget that they totally censor the crap out of the internet over there, so you literally cannot even access WordPress.  Oopsy.

crazy busy


Anyhoo, this is what I look like today, back to normal tomorrow, promise.


Busy busy bee

No time to post today, aargh.  I’ve finally leapt back into my design course after getting to the point when I’m literally ready to start my business tomorrow but need the pesky letters after my name to get my work permit, dammit!

So today I shall be busy with the following:

drafting gardening yoga curry

{credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4}

Have a fab weekend lovelies, what are you up to?

Friday musings…

So this has nothing to do with interior design.  Stop reading now if that’s what you’re after and head on over to Design*Sponge or some such fabulous design blog.

economist cover


I’ve been feeling somewhat unsettled the last few days.  So way back when I lived in London I used to be a big boffin-y GEEK and read The Economist magazine back to front every week on my commute dans le Tube.  I still love the mag but fell out of the habit when I moved to Cayman and started having higher priorities like re-educating myself about the Land of Design and writing this lil’ bloggy.  Anyhoo I’ve been making an effort this year to keep up to date and was reading the latest edition on the flight to HK.  This week they have a special report on tax havens and tax evasion and other yawnfully dull topics if you’re not into all that.

However rather unfortunately both areas apply to former versions of myself.  I used to be one of those accountants in the Big Four in London (not saying which one…) who would help their big corporate clients by cheating the UK government out of tax revenues with clever little tricksy restructurings etc.  All totally legal and above board, but still just not really cricket.  I’m talking millions and millions of $$.  And not just the UK either, also developing countries with seriously poor populations whose governments really need all the wonga they can get their hands on.  I loved it – I was working 60/70 hour weeks with people at the top of their profession, in a very technical and fast-paced industry.   Until it struck me one day exactly what it was that I was doing.  And so I unwittingly probably made it even worse by moving to a tax haven (see parrot above) and working (indirectly) for the tax-dodgers over there, ha.  But then I quit, which was possibly the best day of my life after our wedding day…

I think it was all these memories flooding back upon reading the report, combined with arriving ‘back home’ in Hong Kong, that’s just really made my brain explode a little – I felt like we were ‘back home’ when we stepped off the plane in Cayman back in November too, think my subconscious just doesn’t know where I belong we’ve had such a bananas year!

So there you have it, the confession’s out!  But I figure it’s ok, right?  People grow and people change and I am certainly not the same person now that I was back in London, or even Cayman really if I’m honest.  I guess interior design is not a particularly noble profession either, but it’s for sure an improvement…

Have a happy weekend peeps, see you Monday xx

Sumo anyone…?

Morning folks, hope all had a lovely jubbly weekend??

Apols but this has to be a bit of a cop out post today – we’ve managed to get hold of tickets for one of Japan’s six annual Sumo Wrestling tournaments today and are about to peg it to the stadium.  Not exactly sure what to expect (!) but am thinking it will be something along the lines of…


Will be back with some interiors-related ramblings tomorrow, promise!

Caribbean Living’s 2nd Birthday

Crumbs, I cannot believe Caribbean Living is 2 years old already – time is flying by!


It practically seems like yesterday that I gritted my teeth and shakily-kneed handed in my notice to the Land of Accountancy, but here I am one continent later having (still, ahem) nearly finished my design course and started working for my first client, with one successful wedding design under my belt and having ‘met’ a whole bunch of fun fellow bloggers.

I would love to throw a Bloggy Bash today to celebrate but instead will be pegging it around Hong Kong looking at wallpaper samples and frantically trying to find outdoor cushions that cost less than $1 mill…  But if I were to have a p.a.r.t.y I would like it to look a little like this!

(credits – Rue Magazine)

I’ve put together a cute tablescape using this as inspiration, maybe next year I’ll find the time to use it!

{clockwise from top left: red/white swatch, pink/white swatch, flatware, crockery, chargercandle holder, vases, wine glasses, carafe, cake stand

And to prove I really am still working on my course, here are some images of the paperwork I’ve just finished putting together for Elly MacDonald Design – I was up late last night working on my riveting Terms & Conditions document (YAAAWN), but my business cards are rather more exciting, yay.

Alrighty, off to Kowloon I go, toodles!


So that rain storm I was bitchin’ about yesterday…turns out it was the first front of a T10 tornado typhoon (oopsy, morning caffeine obviously has not kicked in yet) that hit last night, eek.


The authorities issued the T8 signal late last night and it’s still in force this morning, which means that all the hard working peeps of Hong Kong get a day off.  Apart from me, because I can do my work from anywhere (including the beach, ahem) – no biggie though, as I love what I do.

Anyway, so yesterday I was feeling a smidge bummed out about the weather, after an awesome weekend out and about, but then came across this:


I was pootling around on Pinterest finding bloggy images, when I came across a whole huge page of images people have pinned from my very own blog!  It was such a wonderful thing to look over – people getting inspiration from these pages and writing sweet notes about the blog.  I even saw that the new hubs and I were pinned onto wedding inspiration boards.

Writing a blog like this is a real labour of love.  Coming up with new content every day takes a lot of effort, but it always feels so worth it when I receive a lovely comment from one of my readers or see my images inspiring people to make Pinterest boards and whatnot.

So why not leave me a comment, and let me know who you are, what you’re up to, what you’re interested in.  I love getting post requests from readers, and helping with a specific interiors problem they’re having.  Fire away!  Most of my readers are from the UK, States, Hong Kong and Oz, but I often get hits from places as far away as Suriname, Uzbekistan and (once) the Congo – I have no idea what those countries are like, please drop me a line and say hi!

Also check out the delectable pastel buttons at top right – it’s easy to connect with Caribbean Living via Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Bloglovin’, or subscribe to receive emails of my daily, errrr, ramblings…?

Let’s show some Caribbean Living love people!


Peace out, I need to go find me a brolly…

Ode to sunshine

I have not seen the sun in about 2.5 weeks people.  This is very serious – my vitamin D levels are plummeting and my skin doesn’t quite know what’s happened to it after 2.5 years of permanent sunshine.  Not impressed thus far with the Hong Kong weather and it’s not getting any better any time soon:


I guess that’s what I get for being a smug git in the Carib for so long.

Anyway, so I came across this crisp clean image the other day, and suddenly wham bam started craving a little nook to hole up in with a great book and cuppa cha – a craving I don’t think I’ve had once since leaving the UK in November 2009…


And here’s what I’d take with me!

How about y’all?  Read any good books lately…?