Karen Ashley is a petite blogger who is currently the fashion ambassador for ClubCouture. She currently resides in Singapore but has travelled to places we can only admire on postcards.
"I'm an travel junkie blessed with a job that allows me to be rather flexible. I love my 2 dogs and secretly hope I have the time and effort for more, I speed on the roads, I love horses, I love to bake, I speak my mind and worry about it later, I can't sing but sing anyways, I love horse riding, water rafting, mountain hiking and eat ice-cream straight out of their tubs. I look forward to Christmas and birthdays but don't really drink. I shop more than I like to admit. If I could have a superpower, I want to be able to teleport."
Ain't she a doll? This adventurous lady reveals more about herself...
Tell us, why Renzee?
It's pronounced as Ren-zee but spelled Renzze. I had that nickname from my first love. We were together for 7 years so that nickname really stuck even after the flames sizzled.
I used it mainly because it was one of those nicknames that was unique enough to let me sign up on most forums or websites online at the first try. (If I went with Karen then I probably be Karen1243435363567!!!) Of course these days it seems that there are more "Renzze" appearing as well.
You have a section on “What Renzze Is Wearing today!” You stopped from 2008! Why so?
I've been posting up my outfits for a couple of years now. And I am still doing so everyday. What started out for fun is now habit. (bashfully) I haven't updated the " What Renzze Is Wearing Today" page since I changed my blogskin in 2008. I've been meaning to do a revamp on that page to sort out the year, month and different outfits in a more viewer friendly way but sorting 5 years of outfits is a little daunting.
Hopefully I'll have a time for revamp before the end of this year. Meanwhile, readers that would like to see my outfit everyday can still do so from the posts that I put out as regularly as I can.
You moved to Singapore from Brisbane. Where you born there?
I'm a true blue Singaporean. But the travel bug hit me from an early age and so I've moved around to work or study in several places. Brisbane, Australia is one of them and before that I was in Florida, USA. I'm still moving from place to place even now and have plans to shuttle between 2 homes. But at heart, I'm always a Singaporean and I always come home.
If you can live in a city of your choice, where would it be and why?
This is a tricky question cause living in several countries before I know that there is never a perfect place. Friends and love ones are the main draw that makes everything homely and comforting. I've been lucky to have friends and family scattered across the globe so there's a always a warm and friendly face.
At the moment, I'm considering buying a retirement home in Canada because the beauty of that land is very enticing. Summers in Canada with lots of mountain trekking and winters in Florida where the weather is kind and I have family to spend Christmases with.
You are a dog lover. Tell us more about your dogs.
I would love to own horses but it's not too practical in Singapore so I own 2 dogs. Louis, a 5 year old English Cocker Spaniel and Emmie, a 4 year old Kline Spitz ( same family as Pomeranian). They are both extremely loving dogs that enjoys beach runs and a cool dip in the ocean once a week.
Louis is the intelligent but naughty one. He'll tap on me and show me his food bowl when he's hungry or his water bowl when he's thirsty and taps on the main door if he feels he needs a walk. My dogs stop eating when it's enough so I just feed them whenever they ask. He puts his head on a pillow when he sleeps and hugs soft toys.
Emmie is has more typical doggy behavior but she is extremely obedient and loyal. I almost never have to scold her cause she rarely ever makes any mistakes. She's extremely fond of cuddling and acts like a baby but is actually the independent one between the two of them.
I don't exactly have a fix routine and my dogs are the same. When they wake up in the morning and see that I'm still asleep, they won't wake me up. But the moment I open my eyes, they'll rush to me like they haven't seen me in days and want their morning cuddles. It's a lot of work having dogs but it's really hard not to fall in love with them. They make you their everything.
You are the fashion ambassador for Club Couture. How is their style similar to yours?
I love experimenting with different styles but I always fall back on the classics and I think ClubCouture is the same that way. They bring new types of outfits every season and it pretty trendy yet you'll also notice that they always have a good selection of classic styles that will work for every girl. One of the things I love most about them is their fast and excellent customer service.
They respond to queries within 60 mins and have the people behind the emails are real human beings with deductive reasoning and not just throwing out automated replies. How many web store can you say would provide such dedication? That's they way I like to run things too... the human touch.
What keeps you busy daily?
For most parts, I'm working as a researcher in developmental psychology. I look after my 2 dogs and travel a lot. I'm also planning my time between 2 homes in KL and Singapore and co-writing a research paper with an old friend so those are extremely time consuming. The remaining pockets of time are spent with what matters most, love ones and helping others.
In your own definition, what makes a woman modern and smart?
With the availability of educational opportunities, I think most women these days are both tech savvy and intelligent. But it's also important for a woman to be wise. Wisdom and intelligence are not the same thing.
For a woman to be both modern and smart, she must embrace the understanding of situations beyond what you can see on the surface. She is empowered to make insightful decisions with the knowledge she has. Not afraid to assume women roles like nuturing or mothering yet strong and independent enough to have a boardroom of intelligent minds respect her opinions and authority.
What, to you, is being financially independent? Do you think you are financially savvy and smart? Why?
Being financially independent to me is to be able to not work and be able to live off my personal wealth indefinitely. As such, financial independence vary from person to person because of the lifestyle they choose to sustain. If I choose to survive on simple basic necessities then the income that I can generate without working is more than sufficient but I don't only want to survive but to achieve a sustainable lifestyle.
I can't say I'm financially savvy when I can't resist the temptation to gorgeous silk and hand stitched leather but I do believe I have financial common sense and would never buy beyond my means or get into debt. I plan reasonably enough for my wants and always make sure I have enough for my needs.
What does the phrase “My Fat Pocket” remind you of?
It reminds me of an art assignment I did when I was 12. I drew the back of a jeans pocket with hearts overflowing. In each heart I wrote my desires. "My fat pocket" brings that overflowing image of abundant hopes and dreams to mind.