About Grace Tan

Grace owns the award-winning business and lifestyle blog, WorkingWithGrace.wordpress.com. She is also the author of the best-selling book 'Blogging For A Living'.

Up Close With An Electric Bike in Singapore :D

I gave my friend, Jiahe, a lunch treat at Carousel yesterday, and he actually cycled to Royal Plaza on Scotts on his electric bike! Here he is, all geared up with cute helmet and anti-UV clothing. I have NEVER seen anyone our age on an electric bike before, and I’ll confess I’ve never ridden one either. SO this is exciting! :D

Electric Bike Singapore

[You may have seen him modeling in my blogpost about *celio some time back]

He bought the bike for S$888 and cannot stop raving about it. :D He also made some cool modifications to the bike, such as adding on a basket and a holder for his handphone so it instantly becomes his vehicle’s GPS system. Smart fella, this one!

I could not resist a photo:

Electric Bike Singapore

There are a number of restrictions from LTA regarding electric bikes. So it’d be good to get familiar with them before making your purchase!

“For the safety of cyclists and other road users, only low-powered models approved by the LTA and affixed with an LTA seal are allowed for use. The electric motor can cut in only when the rider starts to pedal, and it must cut off when the bicycle reaches a speed of 25kmh or when the pedalling stops.

Motorised bicycles are permitted for use only on public roads, and should not be used on pedestrian pavements. Anyone found using or keeping an unapproved motorised bicycle may be charged in court and, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of up to S$1,000 or three months’ imprisonment.

For modifying a motorised bicycle illegally, the person found liable would be subject to a fine of S$2,000 or three months’ imprisonment upon conviction.”

(Source: todayonline.com)

Jiahe shared that the battery requires charging for 10 hours, but such a bike is friendly to the environment as it does not produce fumes, unlike motorcycles and cars. In Singapore, these bikes are only allowed to go at 25kmh though, so it makes sense only if you need to travel back and forth multiple times within a small area, e.g. if you do food deliveries in the CBD area. :)

Carousel’s Award-winning Buffet – At Royal Plaza on Scotts

I had lunch today with my pals at Carousel Buffet at Royal Plaza on Scotts. For the price I paid, I felt it was a really good lunch, though 2 hours seemed like too little time for makan and catching up with my friends. :D

Here’s the buffet price list (accurate as at 15 Sept 2014)..

Carousel Buffet - Pricing [Source: Carousel's website]


Menu Description:

Carousel Buffet - Menu Description

I really liked their sashimi, which was really fresh. The prawns and shellfish were good as well. What blew me away was the Black Chicken Ginseng Soup – I’ve never visited a buffet that served Chinese soup. It was nothing short of amazing! After you’ve been eating the sashimi and drinking cold water, that little bowl of hot soup just hits the right spot and make you want to go “Aahhhhh”. :D

Carousel Buffet - Sashimi

And of course, dessert was flawless. One chocolate fountain might need company. So why not have three of them? :D (The middle one tastes the best)

Carousel Buffet - Dessert

They also had what looked like a giant lava cake (which they called chocolate pudding, or something along those lines) with an amazingly chocolately centre, which I paired with their Chocolate Obsession ice cream. It was a nice mix of warm cake and cold ice cream, and lots of chocolate. I died and went to dessert heaven.

I didn’t eat any of the salads or cheese, nor too much seafood. But I really love the selection of Asian cuisine at Carousel. I just DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME!

I’ll definitely be back. For dinner in future. So I can eat for three hours instead of rushing to complete my meal in two. :D

If you’re heading there, do make a reservation first! The easiest way to do this (the hotline’s really busy) is to head online – to the Carousel Buffet website: http://www.carouselbuffet.com.sg/.

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot Clarke Quay 海底捞火锅: It’s All About The Service

Hai Di Lao

Some time back, I went with my pal, Steven, and one of my trainers, to Hai Di Lao at Clarke Quay. It’s apparently fully booked most of the time, unless you go for an early dinner, for instance.

I was curious to find out how this place draws the crowds. The answer is simple: the impeccable service.

A waitress constantly hovered near our table to attend to our needs. The staff are also generous with their compliments, and they were happy to call us “美女” and “帅哥”. It always makes me feel uncomfortable when a PRC man or woman calls me 美女. Case in point – the other day at the MRT station:

Me: (engrossed in the fb newsfeed on my phone)

PRC lady: “美女”

Me: (Giving her a look that asks “What do you want? My money or my phone? Or both?!)

Turns out she just wanted directions.

~

Dinner that evening at Hai Di Lao was passable. Two soup bases (tomato and chicken), lotsa meat, a fruit platter, some vegetables and the bill came up to S$122 for 3 pax. There’s also a fruit buffet corner where you can eat all the fruit you want.

Too bad I didn’t get to experience the free manicure. But we were given plastic ziplock bags for our handphones, warm towels, cloth to prevent splashes onto my bag, wiping cloths for handphone screens (which the guys took home).

I’m not exactly impressed with the quality of the food. It just ranks as ‘normal’ to me. But if you order some noodles, a guy will come by your table and stretch and swing the dough around your head like a super long whip, crafting noodle strands out of it while you wonder if the dough touched your hair, or the floor, or the back of that chair. Clapping is optional.

If you’d like to impress a visitor with the awesome service standards in Singapore, then head to Hai Di Lao. If not, just eat anywhere else. ;)

Address: 2nd Floor, 3D Building, River Valley Road, Clarke Quay,Singapore
Tel: +65 63378626 / 63378627

Opening Hours: 10.30am to 3am (yes, 3am! Supper for you?)

I Created My Own Perfume at Singapore Poly’s Scent Lab! Woohoo! :D

Boys and Girls, you can call me Professor Tan! :D

SP Scent Lab

Upon SP’s invitation, I made my way down to their Scent Lab today. Truth be told, I once took a module on cosmetics and perfumes in NUS, so I’m no stranger to top notes, base notes and all. But making my own perfume? It was definitely a first for me, and super exciting. :D

SP offers a Diploma in Perfumery & Cosmetic Science (DPCS) – the only full-time diploma course in Asia for people interested in perfumery! For more information, head to http://www.sp.edu.sg and search under ‘Courses’.

And back to the perfumes I created…

SP Scent Lab

I’m holding Grace No.1 in this picture above, named after Chanel No.5. LOL. There is a Grace No.2 as well – it comes with a hint of jasmine.

The perfumer and lecturer were both impressed with my formulations. I guess it is because of several factors:

1) I chose only the scents I liked. So cedarwood, for instance, did not make it into my formulation.

2) I wrote the ‘ingredients’ down on paper first and listed the quantity by the side, before trying to put it all together. Sniffing and mixing as you go does not help. Even if you get a fantastic scent, you’ll have no idea what went into it, and in what proportion too. :)

3) I used more of the Apple Base and the ‘CK One’ base (the CK One fragrance is one of my all-time favs)!

Did You Know?

  1. There are Top Notes, Middle Notes and Base Notes. So do not hurry to buy a perfume at first sniff. Once the top note wears off, you may or may not like the middle and base notes. ;)
  2. The ‘Apple’ scent is synthetic. Unlike oranges, you cannot extract oils from the skin of apples.
  3. If you are experiencing nasal fatigue from smelling too many scents, you can take a sniff of coffee beans OR smell your own sleeve!
  4. Any scent with jasmine is likely to be expensive because you need 8,000 flowers to get 1gram of jasmine for your perfume.
  5. CK One is the first unisex fragrance ever created.
  6. There is a machine which can distill any perfume and figure out its composition. So you can re-create your favorite ‘branded’ perfumes in the lab. Hehe. ;)

If you’re a student about to enrol in this diploma course, good for you! *envious* You’ll definitely have a lot of fun! :D

Factory Tour: Julie’s Biscuits, Malacca

Julie's Biscuits

Thanks to Julie’s Biscuits / Perfect Food Manufacturing, I had the opportunity of touring one of their factories in Malacca and also bringing home lots of their yummy biscuits! :D

I’m doing a giveaway of the biscuits in a LINE collectible tin. So if you haven’t participated already, hurry on over to my facebook page:

Julie's Biscuits

The company, Perfect Food Manufacturing, was established in 1981 and since then it has exported its biscuits to countries all around the world, been accredited with ISO 9001:2008, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), HACCP, OHSAS, etc. Also, many awards have been won – recent ones include the ‘Industry Excellent (Food Industries)’ award at the Malaysia Business Awards 2013, Gulfood Highly Commended Best New Baked Product 2013 and Best New Bakery Products 2013 by Fine Food Australia.

I love their Peanut Butter Sandwich and Cheese Sandwich biscuits. And the Le-Mond Puff Mango Flavoured Sandwich has been my favorite for a very long time. My Dad has also been purchasing their Oat Cookies recently. I guess we each have our favs because of the stunning variety of baked goods in the Julie’s Biscuit range!

All of us bloggers were met with a really warm reception at the factory…

Group Picture with all the other bloggers:

Julie's Biscuits

Lunch was Malaysian style and nothing short of amazing. I loved the sambal prawns. I really need to learn how to cook those. And though we were all starving from the long coach ride, we still took the necessary pictures first. Hahaha. As I couldn’t get near the food, I gave up and took this picture. LOL…

Julie's Biscuits

We also sat through a very informative session after lunch and got to learn more about the company. What impressed me most was not the emphasis on baking with love (‘cos we know that already, don’t we?) but the care for their workers. Those who joined the company and were deemed “too skinny” were given 2 eggs everyday with their meals at the staff canteen, for an entire month! Also, there’s a hostel for them, and they get free food at the canteen everyday (unless they get sick of the food and venture outside for meals).

Here I am with Regina and HP, two of the nicest bloggers in the group. :D

Julie's Biscuits

And one final picture… from the presentation. At the launch event of their Julie’s x LINE biscuits, they had the awesome mascots go on stage for photos and some fun. However did I miss this?!

Julie's Biscuits

Thank you Julie’s / Perfect Food Manufacturing! :)

RivaLife – Police Report Filed (CNA)

In April this year, I’ve already blogged about this company called RivaLife, to advise all my readers to exercise caution. Read the post here.

Now this:

Rivalife police report

Make informed decisions when you sign up for anything, whether online or offline. It’s very tempting when they send you emails almost every single day, with offers for everything from makeup to petrol to SP Services. LOL. But it’s just the same offer every time, but “borrowing” various reputable brand names like ‘Sephora’, etc.

Check out my earlier blogpost regarding the membership fees you have to pay if you want to take them up on this offer. ;)

Häagen-Dazs’ New Limited Edition (6-Months-Only) Flavour: Classic Milk

Häagen-Dazs launched its new flavour (Classic Milk) yesterday at NOX Dine in the Dark. I was invited to partake in this unique sensory dining experience. There was no need to bring a camera to take any pictures. There was even no need to keep our eyes open. LOL!

Nox Dine in the Dark

We lined ourselves up and with our hands on the shoulders of the person in front, we were led up some stairs to the dining area in total darkness. It was pitch-black, and definitely rather uncomfortable at first. There were the appetizers, then the mains, and finally dessert. I lifted each bowl and shoveled food into my mouth with the spoon, which seemed the safest way to eat without spilling stuff.

I truly had no idea what I was putting into my mouth, and even with the 4-course dessert, I could only identify the macaroons. (@_@) We were eventually told that we ate things like wagyu beef, cod fish, and even pig tongue (the thought of it was revolting, for sure).

Anyhow, we got to taste the new Classic Milk ice cream after successfully navigating our way back down the stairs in the dark. *Phew*

It’s definitely tasty if you have a little scoop of it, but after a while, it might get a bit boring. Hence, you might want to check out the Classic Milk creations below…

~

“Häagen-Dazs’ Classic Milk is currently available at all Häagen-Dazs cafes and leading retail outlets throughout Singapore for the next six months, while stocks last. In addition to the pint-size package (S$14.50) and scoop servings, Häagen-Dazs cafes are also offering two stylish and tasteful in-store creations that accentuate the newly launched flavour:

· Classical Medley S$24: An elegant mélange of Classic Milk, Raspberry Sorbet and Mango Raspberry ice cream. Each lavishly placed in four mini glass vases, the scoops sit atop decadent brownie bites, sweet waffle cone shards, apple crisp granola and dark chocolate or peanut butter crumble. At the base of each is a swirl of rich chocolate, caramel or strawberry syrup with freshly whipped cream to finish.

Häagen-Dazs Classical Medley

· Pure Delight S$20 and served with coffee/tea: An afternoon tea time pleasure with a duo of petit Classic Milk ice cream cakes, each decorated with lavish toppings. Freshly whipped cream and dark chocolate or peanut butter crumble, garnish one of the petit fours, while strawberries, freshly whipped cream and almond nibs, embellish the other.”

Häagen-Dazs Pure Delight

Review: The all-new LACOSTE L!VE plus a GIVEAWAY

Lacoste Live

“The epitome of energy and creativity, the fragrance was created to inspire its wearers to get creative. Blending edgy style and authenticity, this fragrance brings to mind all the new possibilities in life, beyond one’s current lifestyle and experiences to a whole new dimension.

Bottled in an expertly crafted cube, it’s time to get bold and fresh with a new perspective with this new fragrance. Available in September 2014, it’s time to awaken your man’s senses with a new perspective, with LACOSTE L!VE.”

~ My Take ~

The Bottle: The bottle sure looks interesting on any dressing table. But oh my, is it unwieldy! Either my fingers are too short to get a good grip around the bottle, or it seriously is not within the grasp (hur hur) of many. It’s not very user-friendly but I guess it serves one purpose: in making the user give up after one spray, which is more than enough for this long-lasting scent.

The Scent: The top notes are sharp and stinging, but after some time, it becomes a more acceptable scent which grows on you. I think this scent is for someone who likes being the center of attention, who likes making his presence felt wherever he goes, and is always unafraid of speaking his mind. Hmm ;)

Price: LACOSTE LIVE MALE EDT 100ML SGD117

{ Join The Giveaway – Head Over to My Facebook Page }

Lacoste Live

Cancer Is Curable

I sat through a long almost-2-hour documentary last night titled ‘Cancer is Curable’, so you don’t have to. What really struck a chord with me is how diseases don’t kill, but the lack of knowledge does. Also, how people would rather die than make the lifestyle changes necessary to survive.

After watching the video, I became rather guilty about eating cake with a cancer patient recently. Also, that fast food meal I had last week (which ended up making me feel sick) – yikes! I recently spoke with the wife of someone who had ‘recovered’ from cancer after his surgery. It seems they are not making any changes to their diet – preferring the savory over the healthy, and their very young kids are no longer willing to eat food which is not tasty, having been introduced to what their parents eat.

I also witnessed first-hand how someone recovering from a stroke can eat ice-cream, sugar rolls, etc, and expect to get well.

It is tough to make those changes. Because the very things that we should not be eating are the same things which are highly addictive. Think french fries, chips, cakes, donuts, ice cream, etc.

But I guess it all boils down to one question: Do you want to live happily or do you want to live healthily? ;) I’m not saying you can’t be happy if you eat healthy, but you’ll definitely have to put in more effort into locating those healthful foods which you actually like and which are good for your body. Some examples of those foods for me are avocados and almonds.

That ice cream is going to make you very happy now – and for the next hour, maybe – but you don’t know what that sugar and excess fat is doing to your body.

Also, we expose ourselves to all sorts of toxins everyday – from the household cleaners we use, to our electrical devices, makeup, synthetic flooring, etc. Add to this equation the food toxins from fast food, aspartame, food coloring and all, and you wonder why some people fall ill?

In the documentary, we are advised to eat fresh, uncooked, whole organic foods. The living enzymes in these are crucial for maintaining good health. When eaten raw, the enzymes in the food are used to digest the food. When cooked, the food has to be digested by enzymes from that little store we were born with, eventually leading to depletion over time.

Then there are things like ‘emotional toxins’ – from trauma, fear, depression, anxiety – which suppress the immune system. Why do people say stress causes cancer? Because stress leads to the production of cortisol, which makes cancer cells very happy. And by the way, we each have about 750,000 cancer cells in our bodies. So, you can almost say we are fighting a losing battle unless we take personal responsibility for the state of our health.

  1. Exercise
  2. Oxygen is crucial
  3. Get into the Sunshine
  4. Eliminate sugar and alcohol from our diet
  5. Alkaline is best – cancer cells thrive in acidic environments
  6. Detox – Eat 80% Raw 20% Cooked Food
  7. Choose Organic Produce
  8. Detox regularly
  9. Vitamin C
  10. Enzymes
  11. Passion for life – think joyful, happy thoughts, meditate, be grateful

I know it’s not easy, but for the sake of living a long and healthy life, I’ll have to make those necessary changes. You? :)

Hassle-free Selling Online with Lazada Singapore

Looking for a Place to Sell Your Products Online?

Not generating enough traffic and revenue from your brick-and-mortar store or online website? Looking to sell online but not sure where to get started?

The Internet is huge and there are bound to be many similar-looking websites out there. Yours could just be one of the tens of millions out there. And if it doesn’t stand out, then people will not take notice and want to shop there. Imagine your online stores as a real physical store, stuck in some out-of-the-way poorly lit back alley with little human traffic, and think, would you shop there?

Sell on Lazada Singapore !

LAZADA is Southeast Asia’s fastest growing online shopping mall, with operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. LAZADA is pioneering eCommerce across some of the fastest growing countries in the world by offering a fast, secure and convenient online shopping experience with a broad product offering in categories ranging from consumer electronics to household goods, toys and sports equipment. LAZADA is always striving to offer its customers the best possible offering – including multiple payment options, free returns and extensive customer service and warranty commitments.

Sell Online Singapore -  Lazada Singapore

Lazada Marketplace Model – Selling Online Singapore

Sell Online Singapore -  Lazada Singapore

The operating model behind Lazada Marketplace is fairly straightforward, similar to that of eBay. All you have to do is list the product description, images and prices and you’re good to go. It offers a much more user-friendly platform, making it easy to navigate between pages as compared to Qoo10. Selling on Qoo10 is rather challenging and familiarizing with its platform (QSM) takes much longer given its messy layout and non-user friendly interface.

You get your own backend system (Seller Centre) where you can manage everything. This includes orders, products or shipping information. It even comes with a sales report, account statements, stock accounting all for your use! The seller centre also features all the essential functions for sellers to manage (esp. for people who are not technically savvy or do not have the time or budget to set up and manage a professional website).

Sell Online Singapore -  Lazada Singapore

To sum it up, I would highly recommend any aspiring entrepreneur or seller who wishes to establish an online presence in the E-commerce industry to get started by selling on Lazada’s Marketplace. Selling on Lazada is basically risk free! No significant upfront capital required and no expenses are incurred when there are no sales. That being said, Lazada can help you to gain a competitive advantage as it provides you access to its wide customer base and its massive community of fans. LAZADA’s Marketplace also provides customized support for logistical arrangements, state-of-the-art online marketing initiatives and a tailored shop-in-shop visible to its huge visitor base. They will be following up periodically to inform you on the upcoming marketing campaigns and promotions they will be pushing and how you can be part of it to boost your sales and revenue.

Getting Started – How to Sell on Lazada?

Sell Online Singapore -  Lazada Singapore

To get started, you simply have to register as a seller with LAZADA. A representative will contact you and follow up with the necessary procedures to get you started. Once all the necessary information is acquired, a dedicated account manager will be assigned to guide you through the entire process and educate you on the various eCommerce best-practices. Talk about personalized service! :)

So get started and register as a seller with Lazada Singapore today!