Pay As Little As $3 To Learn A New Skill! I Chose Yenji Clay Craft :D

I was invited to attend one of the Xpress classes at selected community centres and I chose to attend the Yenji Clay Craft Xpress class at Tampines East CC. :) The classes cost only S$3 for senior citizens (aged 60 and above)! And the younger folks pay only $10 with an additional $1 off if you are a Passion Card member.

It was a 1 hour class, and I was very pleased with the result:

Yenji Clay Craft

Is that owl cute or what?! :D

I made the entire owl from scratch, and I must say it is really satisfying to see the end result! I noticed early on in the class that for this owl to look really cute, you have to pay more attention to the eyes. Doesn’t matter if the beak is a little crooked or that one wing is bigger than the other, and one foot more prominent than the other – it all makes the owl look more realistic.

Interestingly enough, before the class began, an elderly Indian lady took a seat next to me, and was shocked that I was attending the class. “Isn’t this class for senior citizens?!” she exclaimed.

An elderly gentleman corrected her and said seniors just pay a lower fee, that’s all. :P

I actually do think that young people should go for such classes. Simply because the duration is short (just 1 hour) and you know you must have something to show at the end of it. So you have no time to check your phone or your emails, and you just focus on the task at hand, and if you are lucky, you get into ‘the zone’, which is a wonderful, creative space to be in. :)

I get nervous if I am asked to draw or paint because admittedly, I don’t draw nor paint very well. Never had prior, proper training in those.

However, if I have to make something out of clay, I sure can. It’s easy to iron out any mistakes. And if I ruin one glob of clay, I just roll it all back together again and start from scratch. It’s not as easy with a painting. Haha!

Courses that might interest you: Pop Rock Guitar, Laughter Yoga, Paper Quilling, Flower Origami, Zumba Gold, Pilates, Inline Skating, Korean, etc

Find these courses at one.pa.gov.sg -> Search for Course Xpress. Sign up now! I might be your coursemate in one of these classes! ;)

The Oral-B Pro-Health Range: Best Floss and Toothbrush I’ve Ever Used!

Oral-B Pro-Health

Half a bottle of mouthwash, a used toothbrush, and some floss. What’s up?

It’s just my current dental health regimen, really. And to show you these are products I’m actually using daily; and not just for a review.

This pink Oral-B Pro-Health toothbrush is, truly, the best toothbrush I’ve ever used. I’ve never used any fancy battery-operated ones, so there’s no comparison with those. But among the toothbrushes I’ve used previously, this ranks as #1.

Because of the way the bristles are arranged, I can cover more ‘surface area’ of my teeth at one go and even clean the usual hard-to-reach places. The best part is that there are blue indicator bristles that fade halfway so I know when I should replace my toothbrush with a new one! :D

This brush retails at S$8.90.

Because we should brush, floss and rinse at least twice a day, I’m also using the Oral-B floss and mouth rinse.

I don’t quite like the mouth rinse from Oral-B. In all honesty, the ones from Colgate are more to my liking. But just pick a mouthwash you like best, and stick to it. Rinsing your mouth after brushing and flossing can help prevent plaque buildup, reduce the risk of gingivitis, help maintain healthy gums, fight bad breath, and keep teeth cleaner longer (versus brushing alone).

The Oral-B rinse is priced at S$12.50.

As for the floss, it is also my favorite because it comes with a suitable width and is great for extracting the larger pieces of food stuck between my teeth. The thread-thin floss from other brands just isn’t as good. You’ll pay a little bit extra for the Oral-B floss but I can assure you it’s worth every cent.

Get the floss for just $6.50.

Remember to Brush, Floss & Rinse twice a day! :D

Kenjo Salon Mucota Color Review

[ Grace: This blogpost is by my guest writer, Kirbie ]

Blog Readers – You get 15% discount if you are a first-time customer at Kenjo Salon! Simply show this blog post at the Salon (this promo will be valid infinitely!)

<Pre-treatment>

A BIG thank you to Grace for offering me this opportunity to review the services at Kenjo Salon! My hair is really a boring mess so I jumped at the chance. Grace’s students always get the best perks. ;) [Grace: I agree ;) ;)]

Kenjo Salon

Kenjo Salon is located at #04-72 of Plaza Singapura (at the new extension), near Standard Chartered Bank. It’s hard not to notice the salon as its decor is really bright and classy! And I like that I get to choose where I want to be seated and what to drink. Most salons only offer me warm tea, but here at Kenjo Salon I get to choose from a comprehensive list :

a) Organic Tea (Hot)

b) Green Tea (Hot)

c) Black Coffee (Hot)

d) White Coffee (Hot)

e) Milo (Hot)

f) Mocha (Hot)

e) Warm Water

g) Orange juice (cold)

h) Mineral Water (cold)

Next, I was assigned to Joseph, the director stylist of Kenjo Salon. After he attentively found out about my needs, he recommended the Mucota Color + Mucota Treatment for me. He told me that I will definitely love what he chose for me. Boy, do I love confident hair stylists so I decided to take whatever he advised. (side note : I visit hair salons to seek professional hair opinions, so I hate it when I ask for opinions and the stylists give me a color chart and ask me to choose my own colors -_-)

<Treatment Time>

And the treatment begins!

Step 1. Joseph trimmed my hair ends a little to get the “hair shape” out.

Step 2. Next, he chose Mucota ash brown as the base color of my hair and applied it to my entire hair length. Dye was left to set for about an hour.

Step 3. Washing off dye time (which is also the head massage time, wheeee!) Hair was then blown dry.

Step 4. Applying of the bottom pink dye color. To the naked eye, it was a real shocking pink, but the color that the hair absorbed is much more natural. Dye was left to set for about an hour as well.

Step 5. Wash and blow dry again.

Step 6. Another trimming session to ensure the ‘hair shape’ looks perfect.

Step 7 (optional). Joseph tonged my hair for temporary curls, and taught me how I can do the same at home. (A permanent perm can’t be done due to the nature of the pink dye)

<Rating of the treatment:>

Staff rating : 4 / 5

The second shampoo guy was a little rough, so if you do go there pick the skinnier one to wash your hair for you. But the stylist Joseph was superb. I was in awe when he told me he has a whooping 16 years of experience as a hair stylist!

He was also very generous in giving me styling tips, such as letting me know that off-shelf dye products won’t work for me as I have too much hair. (I would need at least twice the amount of products to see any visible effects -_-). And if I want to change my hair parting, I should only do it when my hair is reasonably wet for the effect to stay on. His professional tips will likely stay in my head for a long time.

The other staff there were very friendly and attentive to my needs too, including hanging up my bag for me when I first entered the salon. This may be a small gesture but I really appreciate it, as I have had to “hug” my bag all the way through my hair cut sessions at other salons.

Kenjo Salon

Product rating : 4.5 / 5

Ok you may think I am overly generous with this. But I really love the Mucota Colors!

It doesn’t prick my scalp like other dye products do. I found out that the Mucota color is actually scalp-friendly and contains gentle ingredients that are even beneficial to the scalp. (The same ingredients are found in some hair growth tonics)

And the effects! So many friends praised me for my new hair color after I posted my pictures on Facebook. I am over the moon!

What’s best is that while other similar dyes can only last a maximum of 2 weeks, the trendy Mucota pink color can actually last 6-8 weeks!

I also used the Mucota shampoo and conditioner the day after. I am particular when it comes to shampoo scents but I was quite happy with Mucota’s shampoo. The conditioner had zero smell (O_O) but my hair felt super smooth after! Highly recommended as well!

Conclusion on Kenjo Salon : I highly recommend it, especially if you like Korean hairstyles and want to refresh your look like me. Plus, it’s super near the MRT station.

< 3 interesting facts about Kenjo Salon >

1) There’s free Wi-Fi at the Salon so I end up surfing quite a lot at the Salon. A quick visit to their facebook shows that they are only a few months old but already pretty popular. They have close to 1.5k likes on Facebook and a group of raving fans: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KENJO-Salon-%EC%82%B4%EB%A1%B1/293791920773570?sk=photos_stream

2) The name “Kenjo” doesn’t really have any meaning ;)

3) They are the only salon in Singapore to have the entire range of Mucota products.

Lady First SG Episode 13: Queen of Elegance

{ For a list of the products featured in this episode, click here }

It’s the last episode of Season 2. :( I was rather surprised the crew didn’t bid us adieu in this episode, making me hopeful there’s a next ep. But there’s no preview for another ep on the official website so this is it, I guess.

This episode is about elegance, so, if you have learnt nothing at all from the entire season, at least get some final tips on elegant hair and attire from gurus Keith Png and Wu Yi Lin.

It came as a shock to see Lina cry in this episode. But she’s been an actress since forever, really. (I used to watch her in City Beat – who remembers that?) So I’m not sure if she was really moved to tears by just a change of hairdo. Hmm.

Yi Lin gave her a low ponytail look, which I’m not exactly in favor off. Cos she looks matronly both before and after. Haha! But I love the tip of using a blusher brush to get hair spray onto her hair, and tidying up the loose ends, instead of spraying it on directly from the can.

Lady First Singapore

Lady First Singapore Lady First Singapore Lady First Singapore

~

Silver is a fan of the fashionable ‘punk’ looks that Arissa Cheo (wife of Van Ness Wu) likes putting together. She’s hot, for sure:

Arissa Cheo

Arissa Cheo

(You HAVE To check out her blogpost (from 2012) about her room tour – she has a serious shoe collection: http://www.carteblanche-x.com/arissa/2012/01/a-w-i-s-s-a-s-room-k-e-e-p-o-u-t/)

Keith was super embarrassed during this segment, but still managed to get Silver to get a change of bra, and introduced Triumph’s new Forever Young collection.

Also, I loved how he showed us examples of outfits which look good but need not cost very much, such as this gown going for just $36:

Silver 1

Lady First Singapore

~

For Kelly’s new hairdo, Yi Lin recommended that she use a hair thickener or mousse, and that she must choose the right styling products if she doesn’t want to use too many bobby pins.

Lady First Singapore

Lady First Singapore

~

As for Cheryl, she wears black outfits to work thinking it represents power and authority. However, the color looks too stern and lifeless on her. Keith puts her in an absolutely gorgeous outfit from Ted Baker instead, and she looks stunning! I love the splash of color and those floral pants (though I don’t think they’ll suit everyone!) :D 

Lady First Singapore Lady First Singapore Lady First Singapore

Also, Keith helped her accessorize with pearl earrings and bracelet, and a crystal-studded watch from Swarovski. I love the whole look. Keith is truly a fashion genius!

~

Candyce looked like a disaster before her hair makeover. Because permed hair gets frizzy easily, use hair wax to tidy the look.

Lady First Singapore

Lady First Singapore

She looks so much better after the makeover! :D

~

Well, that’s it for the entire season! I’m not sure if there’ll be a third season. But I love the changes this season – subtitles, fitness tips, featured product lists, etc. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, ladies!

Head over to this same post on StarHub Community, leave me a comment, and you might be the winner of the Samsung K! :D

Hello Kitty Run Singapore: Check Your Pre-Registration Status

Read my earlier post about the Hello Kitty Run – Singapore pricing, route and entitlements. I emailed the organizers to find out what happens after pre-registration. Their reply:

“If you signed up during the pre-registration period, an email with instructions for the official registration will be sent to you soon. Each participant will then be given a week to complete their registration. If registration is incomplete after a week from receiving the email, the slot will be automatically forfeited and given to the public for registration.

Further details of the race will be announced soon, so do keep a look out on our Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hellokittyrunsg for more updates, thank you for understanding!”

~

Remember to check your email, folks!

If you’d like to check the status of your pre-registration, head over here: https://www.digitalracesolutions.com.sg/cgi-bin/registration/hellokitty2014/closed.cgi

This Is Possibly The Best Neck Cushion You Can Find In Singapore

Muji Neck Cushion

Just last weekend, my blogger pal, Regina, introduced me to this MUJI neck cushion which is super versatile and just what I need for my travels.

As you can see from the picture, it comes with a clasp so you can hang this cushion on your backpacks, etc. Also, there’s a zipper on it because the outer casing can be removed for washing! This is simply awesome. :D

The neck cushion is also not just a neck cushion. It can double up as a bolster (when unfastened), wrapped around your waist if your lower back is aching, and even flattened and used as a footrest!

It’s definitely one of my best buys this year. :)

It retails for S$33 but I bought it this week as there was a 10% off promotion. :D

5 Things Newbie Bloggers Should Know About Full-Time Blogging

I’ve just read a blogpost from someone who has been blogging for 8 years, regarding the 5 things about being a blogger that she wished she had known earlier. :) Here are my 5 things I think newbie bloggers should know about full-time blogging a.k.a blogging as a career:

#1 – Learn To Say No

Bloggers need to learn how to say no. I have come across too many blogger pals who got burnt out from saying yes to all event invites, and eventually having no time for themselves, their friends or their family. I am now very selective about the invites I agree to – even if I have absolutely NOTHING to do that day, I’ll turn down the invite if it’s too far from home and/or would cause me to get stuck in peak hour traffic and give me a blood pressure spike (I hate crowds).

#2 – You’ll Only Make Money From Blogging If You Are Smart About It

I take part in many blogger competitions because I can actually sell the prizes, on top of having the “bragging rights” of being the winner (the winner ‘high’ doesn’t last very long anyway). I once won an iPad Mini which I quickly sold on eBay for S$530. Not bad for one blogpost! :D

Also, I have written and published a book called ‘Blogging For A Living’. It gives me passive income. This means that even if I am SLEEPING, my book can still be sold in bookstores, and earn me money!

When I got featured on TV, and the producers wanted to film me going about a “typical day in a blogger’s life”, I roped in a few companies which paid me for the opportunity to be featured in my TV feature. Get it? Most bloggers would be so happy to be featured, they’d forget about thinking how they can be paid. The producers were certainly not going to pay me. ;)

If you’re not usually the ‘street smart’ kind, it’ll be extra tough for you if you want to be a full-time blogger.

#3 – Not All Bloggers Are Friendly / Nice / Fair

Competition is inevitable. And sometimes you get other bloggers hating you for reasons you know nothing about. Once, I heard from a female blogger that some of the younger bloggers (I don’t even know who they are) don’t like me very much because I conduct blogging workshops. I even wrote a page about these ‘haters’ in my book. It’s crazy because what I do is none of their business. If people believe I have something to teach them and they are willing to pay me to teach them, why can’t I start blogging workshops? Jealous? Too bad!

It got tougher when I got more “famous” and more media exposure. It definitely got worse after I published my book about blogging. Suddenly, many bloggers became my enemies overnight. I don’t know what they say about me behind my back (and I honestly don’t care). But I am aware of the “tall poppy syndrome” – the more famous you get, the more people envy and hate you. Part of the package, I guess.

#4 – Some Advertisers Get Star-struck by Numbers, Not Quality of Blogposts. Live With It.

I know of a blogger who just re-posts news about scandals, or juicy pieces of gossip on her blog, and gets into many “Most Popular Blog” lists because her blog draws a lot of traffic. No original content, but getting eyeballs due to sensationalized news. And she gets quite a number of advertisers too! I do some eye-rolling whenever I see her “random news” blog in those “Most Popular Blog” lists, but I do know there’s nothing I can do about it, unless I want to follow in her footsteps.

There are definitely some advertisers who pick the right bloggers to work with, but I guess the majority of them have to be “educated”.

#5 – If You Start Blogging For The Money, You’ll Always Be Disappointed

You really have to be passionate about what you are blogging about. Because it IS hard work. Take food blogging, for instance. People think it is simple – I have a camera, I have a healthy appetite, I can string a few words together, I can be a food blogger. NO!

It’s more than that.

I know of bloggers who put together list posts like “5 Best Char Kway Teow Stalls in Singapore” / “10 Cafes With Free Wi-Fi in Singapore”, etc. They actually have to do all that research – go around the island, snap magazine-worthy pictures, include relevant text and tags, answer reader queries, and so much more!

If you blog because you are PASSIONATE about something, then yes, you’ll be able to find a way to monetize your blog eventually. (But take Point #2 into consideration ya!)

So there you have it.

The 5 things I think newbie bloggers should know about full-time blogging.

There are probably more than 5 things you need to know. But this should scare you enough for now. Hahaha!

No one ever said blogging as a career is easy. So if you love it, just do it. If you don’t, do something else. ;)

My Top 3 Online Sites That Help You Save Money While Shopping

I do a lot of shopping online so this post is about where I get the best deals and coupons for gadgets, fashion purchases and other lifestyle-related items.

My 5-year-old Hello Kitty computer mouse died on me recently, and I’ve just bought a new one online. Those sold in physical stores here cost at least S$40, which is wayyyy too high a price to pay for a mouse, even if it lasts for 5 years, simply because there are cheaper alternatives online! :D

So I bought one for S$11.80 (inclusive of registered mail) from qoo10!

Hello Kitty Computer Mouse

In case you are wondering, yes, it’s exactly the same as the one which died on me.

So that’s one site I go to for my online shopping. I recently bought a push-up bar too which, unfortunately, has been left to collect dust somewhere. That’s the trouble when you get things cheaply – they often get tossed to the back of the wardrobe. :D

I also go to NoQstore for books and agoda.com for hotels (book via the DBS-agoda website to get 5% – 7% off).

1) Qoo10

This site truly needs no introduction. You can find everything from clothes to cameras here. Do read the customer reviews before purchasing any item though. I’d rather pay a bit more for the same item from a reputable seller versus from a new seller or one who has had negative reviews.

For some items though, I get them on other sites, like SGshop.

2) CupoNation

When I first found this site, I thought it was the best kept secret ever! I found coupons for discounts like 25% off Zalora’s women’s brands, $5 off all orders from deal.com.sg, and the crazy $20 off orders above $25 from foodpanda.

cuponation foodpanda

This is one site you’ll have to explore yourself to uncover some hidden gems that will save you a lot of money when you shop online. You can thank me later.

3) SGshop

I get my zumba attire from Taobao, via SGshop.com. Many people wonder about the difference between SGshop and 65daigou, so I did a little experiment recently by shopping for the same five items on both sites. Here are the results:

65daigou S$92.25

65daigou review

SGshop S$89.80

sgshop review

Even before shipping fees, I’ve already saved S$2.45 with SGshop. Also, there was an “anniversary promotion” when I was doing my shopping and I am entitled to 20% off shipping fees. :D

~

So there you have it. My top 3 favorite online sites for saving money while shopping online. If you have a site to share as well, please leave me a comment or drop me an email! :D

What The DrownProofing Test Teaches Our Naval Divers

My friend, Samy Rajoo, shared this post on Facebook and I found it so good that I just had to share it with you. Here’s the original post uploaded by Liow Zhong Fa:

DrownProofing

“One of the skills acquired during my NS stint as a Naval Diver is this – drown proofing. It is a test still practised by the US navy seals whereby we are thrown into 3m deep water with our hands bound behind our back and legs tied at the ankle. With that, we are to take a breath, release it completely such that we would sink to the bottom of the pool, and then kick ourselves up to the surface to catch another breath – and then repeat it for about 10 times.

Following which, we are to use our lungs as “floats” and trap water for about the same number of breaths, following which, we would have to swim a distance “dolphin style” – and yes, with hands and legs still bound.

Last but not least, we have to sink to the bottom of the pool after the swim, perform a front somersault underwater followed by another back somersault, pick up a dive mask from the bottom of the pool with our teeth and bring it back to the surface.

Upon completion, that’s when we are considered to have passed the test.

Bringing it into context with real life, I think some important lessons I have picked up through this training:

1. Reacting vs responding – When we are caught up in an unfavourable situation, our first instinct is always to react. Singaporeans just love to complain over the most minute thing – just look at FB, Instagram and Twitter.
Always choose to respond – ask yourself how you can tackle the problem, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. More often than not, when we react, we think the worst of others – which reflects a lot about ourselves.

2. Stop, think, breathe – One of the things that caused divers to fail the drown proofing test is that we tense up. When you are tensed, you tend to sink.
That’s the fact of life too.
Always stop, think and take a breather. Being tensed will not diffuse an already tensed situation.

3. You have it within you to resolve an issue – This drown proofing test taught us to use our lungs to help keep us afloat, without the use of flotation devices.
Some of us think that we don’t have it within us to resolve certain issues. More often than not, there’s always a silver lining – and our perspective matters. When we are too single minded towards a certain bias, we take on a passive posture of “Nah, nothing I do will matter”.
That’s not true – how we deal with failure matters!

4. Which brings me to my last point – For most of us, we usually take more than 2 tries before we could pass the test.
Failure doesn’t define us. Identifying what went wrong and then trying again can be a fearful thing – but the important thing is to keep trying. Making improvement is as important, if not, more important than succeeding – for some of us stop trying to improve once we have succeeded.

That said, after having passed the test, the water confidence we have has rocketed a few notches. And I’m sure in life, that’s the case too – we become more resilient.

So the next time when something unfavourable happens or you are at the end of some criticism or you are shrouded with negativity -

Stop. Think. Breathe
Respond, instead of react”

Video: What If You Were Invited To Your Own Funeral?

I watched this video once, when the sound on my computer wasn’t working. I cried. Then I got the sound fixed, and watched it again. Cried again. LOL. Your turn:

I guess this video is so powerful because it forces people to think about how their actions have consequences which are sometimes so disastrous that there’s no turning back.

We should do such videos for compulsive smokers, repeat drug offenders, gangsters… you get the drift. ;)