Trust the magic

Design, Thoughts

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”
– Meister Eckhart

2018 has been the best year of my life – SO FAR. When 2018 rolled around, I told myself that 2018 was going to be a year of wander. And it was. It was a year of wander and a year of firsts. First time in Disneyland (yes, I’m a 20-something adult who still loves, and will always love Disney), first adrenalin-packed adventure, first time travelling solo, first time in Europe, and first camping trip.

I felt so free and more alive this year.

I met a handful of amazing people while I was in Europe. I met people who I would happily invest my time in, if only they lived in the same city as I do. These are the people who made me forget about my phone, people who watched Brooklyn 99 with me, people who showed me their city, people who made me laugh (and cry… after they left). I don’t know if I’ll ever meet any of them ever again, but I can only hope that I’ve inspired them, or simply left them with something unforgettable.

I learned more about myself this year – that I am tougher, smarter, more creative, and (dare I say it), more beautiful than I give myself credit for. I realised that solo-travelling is a concept that can be scary to some, but not to me.

I love being lost. In a good way.

And I also I fell in-love with art again, thanks to Gaudi and Barcelona. Barcelona felt like a place where the artist and the writer in me could grow, thrive, and be nurtured.

I was extremely inspired. To just keep creating, to make mistakes and learn from them, to be bold, to be brave, to push creative boundaries, to be crazy enough to believe in myself and write again, paint again, draw again, design again, create again. And maybe even dance again?

I also said goodbye to my job at the end of 2018. To be honest, I was waiting for fear to come around, but it didn’t. Instead, I was excited for everything that 2019 holds (and for everything that I could make out of it). This new unknown didn’t feel as scary as it would have been – because what if… what if the best is really yet to come? I can move to a different city (or country), I can switch careers entirely, volunteer abroad, study again. A blank slate gives me endless possibilities and opportunities. And that excites me. Because I know that the greatest years of my life are always ahead of me and never behind me.

There really is magic in beginnings, and I’m gonna trust that the universe (or God) is conspiring to give me the best.

I have grown. And achieved a lot of things – things that my teenage self would be astounded at, if she could see where I am now. An old friend of mine found me on Instagram few weeks ago. He told me, “You are now doing the things that you once dreamt of doing.”

Yes, I am.

But being the dreamer (and the list-writing, goal-getter person) that I am, I still have a lot of things that I want to do and there are still a lot of places that I want to see. To be honest, at times, I still feel “left behind”, but I’m still growing and I’m learning. I’m learning – to love myself more, to break down my walls and let people in, to be braver, to be okay with the season I am in, and to trust the timing of my life.

And I hope you do the same – that you continue to grow and learn. That this new year, this new season, brings you adventures, hope, joy, happiness, love, and good beer (or wine!)


Let’s create pretty things


A list of the things I love/obsess over

  • stars and constellations
  • moon
  • probably every other celestial body
  • Harry Potter
  • geometry
  • symmetry and balance
  • flowers
  • gold foil
  • stories
  • symbolism
  • Greek mythology
  • zodiac signs
  • love letters
  • ancient history and architecture
  • art deco
  • lights (and things that shine)
  • a teeny-tiny touch of anime

This year, I am challenging myself to create things that reflect that.

Let’s go on more adventures

Design, Travel

This time next week, I will be starting my first Europe adventure. I think it’s only fitting that for this week’s post (and thoughts) on this little blog, I create something travel related.

“Let’s go on more adventures” is a little phrase that I coined back in my art print selling days (fun fact: it’s not over, I’m just trying to deviate a little bit from hand-lettering and trying to create something more dreamy and whimsical. But more on that next year.)

That gold foil print became the most popular, so it was actually the first – and hopefully not the last – that has to go on a re-print. When you have a little side hustle, something like a re-print is worth popping an eight dollarest bottle of wine for.

Anyways, I feel like I have treated this blog with care and produced a lot of quality content this year (another thing worth popping an eight dollarest bottle of wine for), so I just wanted to let everyone know that this blog will be quiet for the rest of the year. You are welcome to follow me along on Instagram for snaps and stories (stories using words, not the Stories feature).


Love, Eleah.

First Friday Freebie #04

Design, Freebies

For this month’s First Friday Freebie, I’ve decided to collate a few of my favourite verses from the book of Psalms and turn them into desktop wallpapers. Psalms is one of my favourites book in the Old Testament, because it’s just so… relatable. You can see the range of human emotions in that book. There are days when you don’t “feel” God’s presence, and days when it feels like you’re at war, and of course, there are days when you are fully rejoicing in His presence. Psalms remind you that your emotions are valid, and that you can tell God every single thing.

If you need reminders that you can read once every tab is closed, I’ve created these wallpapers for your laptop or desktop. Just right click on one (or all) of the images below, open image in a tab, right click again and then save.

This is probably my last freebie for this year (who knows) as I will be travelling very soon and for quite a long time too, but I know I’ll be back with a lot of stories and a whole lot more of inspiration. If you still want to be updated, follow my adventures on Instagram – @eleahmaye

Escape to: Siem Reap

Thoughts, Travel

I will be travelling again soon (YAYYYYYY!) and this time to Europe. Before I go, I thought I’d finally share my way too overdue story on Siem Reap, Cambodia. This was my very very first time to travel completely solo (I’ve flown solo a few times before…), and to be honest I LOVED IT.

The first thing that I noticed about Siem Reap is how similar it is to Philippines. Except I think it’s definitely a lot hotter, and the soil is red. I was not expecting that. Also, in Siem Reap (and I think the rest of Cambodia), they use USD and don’t have coins. If you get a change that needs is lower than a dollar, it gets converted into riel. Weird. I know.

I was lucky enough to be there during their New Year, which lasts for a few days – and it was chaotic. In a good way, don’t worry. The Cambodians like to celebrate their New Year water festival style. If you were at Pub Street during one of the nights, there are pools of people (pun fully intended), carrying water guns. There were A LOT of pick up trucks loaded with a drum, which I assumed to be filled with water and people at the back – all firing at will. I felt like it must’ve been the zombie apocalypse. Minus the zombies. If you stayed on the sidewalk though, you won’t get soaked – it’s only on the road that the water chaos happens.

The best thing that I saw was Phare, a mini circus company that gathers disadvantaged youth and former street children and educates them in the arts – theatre, dance, and music. The profits from the shows goes to help and support these disadvantaged youth and street children. I love knowing that there is hope for these kids, regardless of their past circumstances. I’m pretty sure they run shows all year round, so if you’re ever in Siem Reap, please please check them out and show your support.

Things to do

Other than the obvious, which is temple hopping and Pub Street, my non-touristy activities included: Pottery Class + Quad Bike (I also checked out a couple of museums which names I can’t remember).

When you’re in Siem Reap, enjoy the cheap noodles, cheap roti pancakes, and cheap foot massages ($1 USD for a half hour foot massage, yes please.) I was spending $10 USD ($15 NZD) a day and that was me eating for two, but probably three. I was also having dessert for appetiser, and then dessert again for dessert.

I had one blank day in my itinerary, so what do I do with it? I checked out a cafe called Temple Coffee & Bakery. Apparently, you can take the Aucklander out of Auckland, but you can’t take Auckland out of the Aucklander. I practically stayed there for the whole day because they have beds instead of seats. Yes. Beds. Instead of seats.

Where to stay

I stayed at this hotel that I found through Airbnb and I highly recommend it for so many good reasons. You get way more than you paid for. It’s a 15-min tuktuk ride from the city centre, but I didn’t mind it at all. It’s nice to be able to go to a little haven (with a swimming pool!) after roaming around temples and night markets on a hot day. The hotel owner is always happy to help you – especially with tuktuk rides and general getting around Siem Reap. When I went temple hopping, he organized my tuktuk ride. And my tuktuk driver had a chilly bin filled with water bottles and cold face cloths. Amazing, I know. Okay… I did get lost because I couldn’t find my tuktuk driver. I’d completely forgotten what he looked like! Oops…

I hope I get a chance to visit Cambodia again. Honestly, I absolutely loved travelling solo. I’m sure travelling with someone will have resulted in better Instagram worthy photos and all that (what. a. millennial.), but I can’t wait to do it all over again in October. This time, for six weeks. Around Europe.

An open letter for the anxious


I know how it feels.

Your lungs are heavy and filled with water.
You’re suffocating. But you’re not.

You’re crying out for help, but no-one can hear you.
Because you’re not.

You’re screaming, but you’ve also lost your voice.

The room feels smaller, the walls are closing in.
But it’s not.

You break down.
And you don’t know why.

It’s a battlefield – one that no-one really notices. After all, who knows better about the monsters inside your head than yourself?

I don’t know why or how you are battling anxiety – maybe you had your life planned out, and you thought you’d be successful at 23. But you’re not. Or maybe you thought you’d be married by 24. But you’re not. Or maybe you thought you would be a mother at 27. But you’re not.

And I know you’ve heard this a thousand times, but you need to hear it again and again, until it sinks in… It’s okay. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. And it’s going to be okay.

I want you to dismantle your preconceived notion of how your life should play out. Take one day at a time, one minute at a time and just breathe. Breathe, because this is just a season. Breathe, because seasons come and go. Breathe, because you don’t know the wonder that tomorrow (or today) could bring. Breathe, because you are growing. And you are learning to fight the monsters inside your head, the ones who haunt and taunt you in the middle of the night.

Anxiety is paralyzing, with all these thoughts swarming in your head. But those thoughts are all lies. Who told you that you’re not smart enough? Or lovable enough? Or pretty enough? Or good enough? Who told you that?

And when did you believe the lies?

Don’t buy the lies that anxiety is trying to sell you.

The truth is that you are loved.

And cherished.

And seen.

And wanted.

And adored.

And accepted.

More than you know.

Just because.

I know it’s not easy to get out of your own head and it’s definitely not easy to change your thoughts like a light switch. But, please. Promise me, you’ll try to listen to the truth and not the lies. Give yourself the chance to choose which voice to listen to, because anxiety is just another voice.

You just chose to give it a megaphone.