International Gift Exchange: My Presents To & From the Philippines and Malaysia :D

It’s this blog’s 4th anniversary this month! :D And I thought it should feature presents of some sort. Last year, on the 3rd anniversary, I brought 3 blog readers to Orchard Road for a sponsored shopping trip (out of my own pocket). And this year, I thought I’d go further.

I’ve been doing an international gift exchange, and it’s currently still ongoing. But here are the presents I’ve sent out and received thus far…

[First gift to and from the Philippines]

International Giveaway

For this “gift”away, the presents must be made in the gifter’s home country. And only 1 gift is required. So for the very first gift, I sent the limited edition bottle of ‘Splash’ EDT from Singapore Polytechnic to Hoover from the Philippines. :D It was made by SP students to celebrate the school’s anniversary. And what did I get in return? A sling bag and two Philippine jeepney models in a beautifully gift-wrapped box. It was such a delight to unwrap that box, I tell you! :)

And the participants in my gift exchange do not follow the rules, or well, that one rule about just one gift required. So I sent to Hoover another package with Sticky rock candy which come with Uniquely Singaporean words like “Paiseh”, “Jialat”, “Wah Lau”, etc. It felt like I was literally sending a piece of Singaporean culture overseas – and I think he was quite amused by the candy too…

International Giveaway

And I think he definitely loved the cologne:

International Gift Exchange

For my second gift to the Philippines, I decided that I’d better add in a little something extra, in case the person is a generous gifter like Hoover. There was a pasar malam near my home at the time so I ordered a personalized key chain for Melanie:

International Giveaway

Unfortunately, though, the gift from her end never made it to me. Here’s the explanation she sent over:

International Gift Exchange

I didn’t hear from her regarding the key chain and rock candy I sent over as well. *shrugs*

Another person I sent the rock candy to was Cherry from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. And she sent me an amazing gift box filled with items like keychains (4 of them!), a purse with pearl accessories, a notebook, and a handmade pouch with 2 similar, smaller pouches inside. She even went so far as to detail each item in her really sweet letter.

I was so touched that I put together another present for her, with items I purchased in Bangkok during my recent holiday trip – with a makeup pouch from Naraya, a drawstring pouch, pretty earrings and a bracelet.

Gifts from and to Cherry (Sabah)

International Giveaway

And then for my gift to Kim Tan from Johor Bahru, Malaysia, I decided I had enough of the rock candy. And so I sent her a gift with two items from Ang Ku Kueh Girl, a decidedly local brand. :D Of course, I got her the handmade soap shaped like (what else?) ang ku kueh… and a journal from their online store.

She knew I’m a huge Hello Kitty fan so she sent over some Hello Kitty cookies, wet wipes and a hello kitty x tokidoki accessory.

International Giveaway

What I’ve gained from this experiment in the form of an international gift exchange is:

1) The immense joy from opening presents. If you’ve read about the 5 love languages, mine is ‘Gifts’. So receiving presents makes me really, really happy. If someone were to help me carry some groceries, or offer some words of praise, or spend loads of time with me, I probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much as when I was given a meaningful little gift.

2) A better understanding of what a really good gift is. Imagine putting a gift together for someone in another country; someone whom you’ve never met before. If you put that gift together with as much love and heart like Cherry from Sabah did, I can only infer that you must be one generous, big-hearted, and loving person. And the best part is, people tend to respond in kind.

3) Networking with bloggers across our borders. Kim happens to be a fellow blogger and she has invited me to join her for reviews in JB. :)

4) Understanding that not all gifts are suitable gifts. I’d bought some Tiger Brand plasters and AXE brand oil thinking that these made-in-Singapore items would be fantastic as gifts. The fiance stopped me from sending them out, saying that recipients might not be happy about getting them because one uses these things when unwell, right? Uh-oh. Not so good thinking there on my part. OOPS. Thankfully, no harm done.

So yes, some people might wonder why I’m doing this international gift exchange. My answer to them is “why not?”. It’s freaking fabulous! I’ve learnt so much and loved the gifts I’ve received so very much, and I think I’ll keep it going! :D

~ To Participate ~

If you are not a resident of Singapore, you are most welcome to take part. You simply have to send me a gift that is made in your country and I’ll send you one from Singapore.

To get started, drop me a private message on my Facebook page right HERE.

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House at Sentosa Cove

Blue Lotus

Tucked away in one corner of Sentosa Cove is Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House. I love the lanterns, really! :D

Their Signature Chili Pomelo Crab is apparently a must-try dish here! Compared to my previous crab dinner at Dancing Crab, an atas location like Sentosa Cove means you can’t really feel at home unless, well, you actually stay at Sentosa Cove. :P

Here’s what we ordered:

Blue Lotus

We ordered the lemongrass prawn sticks (S$18) for starters [bottom right in the picture above]. I thought it was unimpressive. It’s just oddly bland on its own and depends on the citrus spicy sauce for flavor. Like I said, I’m not impressed by this dish at all.

Similarly, the fried french beans with minced pork in xo sauce (S$22) was nothing to shout about despite its promising name. This dish was also a tad too salty. Thankfully, we’d ordered white rice.

The wok-fried kagoshima wagyu beef tenderloin with peppercorn (S$48) was lovely. The beef was tender and juicy and my only complaint is that for S$48, I should have gotten more of those bite-sized chunks of beef! I want more!

The signature chili pomelo crab (S$7.80/100g) was really good though. The pomelo added an interesting touch to the dish – I found it strangely addictive when slurped up with the saue! :D The crab was fresh (how delightful!) and the sauce they made from fresh tomatoes (not ketchup, mind you), chili padi and a host of other ingredients was yummy, if not a tad too spicy.

To end the meal, we had lemongrass gelo with lime sorbet (S$9), which was simply wonderful! A great mix of sweet and sour, it will leave you craving for more! Possibly the most intriguing jelly dessert I have ever eaten! #MustOrder

Where drinks are concerned, I liked the fresh coconut juice (S$8). The iced honey & lemon (S$6) was not the most pleasant. I guess I really should have gone with their iced lychee tea (S$6) which comes with real lychee! #IfThereIsANextTime

~

I’m very impressed by how their menu and prices(!) can be found on their website, albeit without stating which are the recommended dishes to try – you can only find this on the physical menu at Blue Lotus.

Promotion: There is a 1st Anniversary Giveaway going on from 2 July to 29 September. Receive a S$50 Blue Lotus voucher with every S$200 spent in a single receipt. Check in-store for details!

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House
31 Ocean Way, #01-13 Quayside Isle
Singapore 098375

Lunch: Fridays – Sundays
11.30am to 3pm (last order 2.30pm)

Dinner: Mondays – Sundays
6pm to 10pm (last order 9.30pm)

Closed on Tuesdays

http://www.bluelotus.com.sg/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/bluelotusrestaurant

Singapore Blog Awards 2014: Please VOTE! :D

Because of a new Singapore Blog Awards ruling (which I found quite lame), this blog is not participating in this year’s blog awards. HOWEVER, two of my blogging students have successfully made it into the finals on their first attempts! So I would like to request for your help in voting for them! :D

First, here’s the ruling I was telling you about:

Singapore Blog Awards 2014

I can safely say all blogs are “commercial” platforms. Do bloggers turn away advertisers? I’d think not. At least I don’t know of any blogger who turns down all advertorial requests.

Anyhow…

Please help vote for my 66 year old blogging student and dear friend, Steven Lek, as well as travel blogger, Simon Chan! :)

Here’s how you can participate and also win some cool prizes along the way:

Step 1: Go to the Singapore Blog Awards site, click on Editors’ / Judges’ Choice

Singapore Blog Awards

Step 2: Log in with your facebook account so they know you are not a robot. Your info will be kept secure! :)

Singapore Blog Awards

Step 3: Decide whether you want to participate in the Lucky Voters’ Contest

Singapore Blog Awards

Step 4: Scroll down till you see the Best Individual Blog and Best New Blog categories

Singapore Blog Awards

Step 5: Click on the circle to reveal the list of finalists and vote for Steven

Singapore Blog Awards

Step 6: Click on the circle for Best New Blog and vote for Travelled Paths

Singapore Blog Awards

To Win A Mystery Prize

Send your screenshot to gracewwg@gmail.com. Your screenshot should look like this:

Singapore Blog Awards

If their pictures appear in the circles, it means your vote has been counted. Also, I should be able to see the date and time in your screenshot of your desktop! :) [Mine's in the bottom right hand corner!]

OR if you are using your handphone to vote:

Singapore Blog Awards

THANKS for voting! You Are AWESOME!

1 Vote Per Day If You Can! :D

Dancing Crab at The Grandstand: Why Do People Like Eating There?!

Initially, I wanted to title this blogpost ‘I’m So Glad You Are Alive!!!’ because of what happened before yesterday’s dinner at Dancing Crab. :D To cut a long story short, due to a mis-communication and an iPhone which decided to hang at the most inopportune moment, we waited for each other for over an hour at different spots outside the Botanic Gardens (but were just, maybe, 150m apart). LOL! When Max, Kelly and myself finally got “reunited” with Steven, after nearly starting a nationwide manhunt for him because this guy is never late, we were just so glad he’s alive. :D

Dancing Crab The Grandstand

[From left: Max, Kelly, Me, Steven]

I guess the fact that we very nearly didn’t make it for our Dancing Crab dinner meant we relished it even more.

And the place was about 70% full on a Tuesday evening. At a location like The Grandstand, it is nothing short of astounding!

5 Reasons Why I Liked Dancing Crab:

1) Dining Off The Table – No Cutlery Needed: It is probably not that novel an idea anymore but it was my first time being forced to eat in public without any cutlery. It truly makes more sense to peel a prawn with your bare hands (and eat the prawn while it is still hot) than try to de-shell it with a knife and fork.

Dancing Crab The Grandstand

[Server pouring a bag of seafood onto our table... and 1 prawn landed in front of me. It was evidently mine. :D]

I really dislike those atas events where I have to keep my elbows off the table while eating, try not to cut up my steak too violently, and dab at the corners of my mouth with a napkin every so often.

Needless to say, Dancing Crab, I will be back again. It’s just like eating at home, where I can eat with just my fingers and no one thinks it is rude. :D

2) An Interesting Visual Feast

Unless you are allergic to prawns, you definitely have to order the Flaming Moonshine Tiger Prawns, because of, well, the flaming spectacle when the prawns are cooked right before your eyes by the server who wheels the portable stove over.

Dancing Crab Grandstand

The prawns are sweet and juicy, and taste really good with the sauces provided.

*Prawns – S$8/100g, with a minimum order of 500g

3) No Usage Of Handphones – Not A House Rule

I can safely say that all 4 of us are handphone addicts. We just CANNOT help but fiddle with our phones during mealtimes, catch-up sessions, and just about any other time during the day.

At Dancing Crab, because our fingers got filthy, we had no choice but to concentrate only on eating and chatting. And it was a LOT of fun!

You know how some people go to restaurants with their friends, and everyone puts their handphones in a pile and promise not to use the phones, with the person who breaks his/her promise first footing the bill for everyone else? At Dancing Crab, there is no need for that. We can’t wait to drop our phones into our bags so we don’t get them dirty. LOL!

4) Yummy Food

I did not expect the crab cakes (just S$13) to taste so good! The prawn dips and the crab did not disappoint either.

The lobster roll was nothing fantastic, though, so I won’t order it again.

I do suspect that it’s because we were eating without using any cutlery, that the food tasted exceptionally good. Imagine eating at KFC but instead of using your fingers, you have to use a knife and fork. It will no longer be “Finger Lickin’ Good”!

5) Affordable

Our meal for 4 (including drinks) came up to about S$170+ after tax. It was pretty reasonable.

*A note about the drinks: The homemade iced lemon tea was VERY sour. I think they remembered to add the lemon but forgot about the sugar. Healthy but cringe-inducing.

Address: 200 Turf Club Road, #01-20/21

Tel: 64663303 [Call to make an appt, but if it's a weekday, no matter what they say, just turn up anyway. We were told there were no tables till 8pm, but went in around 7pm and got seated. :D Don't try this during Public Holidays and/or Fridays. I take no responsibility whatsoever :P]

5 Lessons From Winning The Luxe Snap Contest

Victory

*I won by 2021 points. There were just 2 people actually competing for the grand prize in this contest. ;)*

[The background]

When I did a blogpost about Luxury City, I did not expect to take part in their Luxe Snap contest. But since my photographer friend, Max Clyne, had taken such lovely pictures of me within the Luxury City store, I thought I’d just submit a photo for the fun of it.

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Then things got serious.

Before I knew it, I was in the Top 3. Because the other participants had a maximum of around 200+ points only, it was rather easy to take the lead. (Every vote you get can give you up to 5 points)

I thought I would sail to the finish with just 400-odd points. Easy peasy.

Then, enter ‘pink lover’ – a lady toting a pink Kate Spade bow bag – as the ‘dark horse’. She was obviously gunning for top spot as well. I could not back down from a good fight.

Yesterday morning, I was leading by just 200+ points. At any time within the day, she could have easily overtaken me and gotten top placing. The battle began…

[Lessons I Learnt]

1) Always have people you can count on for help

I may have over 11,000 fans on my facebook page, but due to facebook’s settings, not all of them would be able to view my posts asking them to vote. In fact, only a tiny fraction of them saw my posts. A couple of personal friends were even in the dark about this contest when I messaged them.

I have a whole list of people I’d like to thank for their help, a number of whom are in my Blog Club: Carol, Flore, Kirbie, Simon, Eng Beng, Denny, etc. And especially to Steven Lek, who blogs at retiredowhat.com. He sent private messages via facebook to many of his over-1000 friends asking them to vote for me. He was sending messages at such an alarming rate that Facebook sent him warnings twice, telling him to slow down! I am eternally grateful, Steven! :D

2) Be more deserving of these friends you feel you don’t deserve

A number of people helped me out a great deal this time even though they stood to gain nothing. I did not pay them and they did not even receive prizes in any of my giveaways. They basically got nothing out of it than the satisfaction of helping a friend.

They didn’t just help to vote. They also shared the links on their own facebook profiles or sent messages to their friends!

Thank You

Max Clyne, Steven Lek, Derek Gue, Carol Lim, Chris Shia, Francyn Tan, Andrew Chow, Clarence Chin, Amanda Teng, Terence Chiew and many more I have not tracked down and personally thanked! :)

Fans from all over the world also got their friends and family members to vote. There are people from Croatia, Russia, Germany, France, Malaysia, Philippines, etc! [Some of you probably did it for the prizes but I love you anyway!]

I’ll be doing my best to return the favors and also bring more of my well-liked giveaways back. :D

3) Do whatever it takes – if you want to win

I knew that Saturday was extremely crucial if I wanted to win this contest. Trust me, I don’t care about the bag. I have too many bags at home. I just do not back down from fights – unless the person is wielding a knife, in which case, I’ll run.

So what I did was postpone all my appointments on Saturday. Yes, it was crazy, no doubt. But that is just me. If I am committed to doing something, I do it. I am glad my pal, Steven, knows exactly what I am talking about. Because he has the same trait. :D

This thing about commitment is what I TRY to teach some of my Blog Clubbers. Unfortunately only a handful have “gotten it”. There are some who still have no idea what commitment is about.

I spent the entire Saturday at home messaging friends, harassing them on Facebook (if I saw them online, they’d get a message), and basically replying emails and requesting that people keep voting.

Before I knew it, 8am became 5pm. Time really flew for me yesterday. I probably set a national record for email replies. Everyone who sent me an email got a reply within the hour, some within a minute.

I was THAT committed to winning this. And by the time I went to bed, I was leading by over 1507 points.

That is how I won this contest. But there will be some people who make senseless remarks… like this lady…

4) There will be sour grapes and people who hate your win. Learn to love them.

Sherry Ho

Who is Sherry Ho?

*Disclaimer: I understand that some people do create fake accounts on Facebook with other people’s photos.

Sherry Ho timeline

She apparently works at “Singapore Airlines” according to her profile.

Interesting how an SQ Girl cannot even get her ‘face’ within the profile picture thumbnail. Was this photo misused by someone else? ;) She also seems to have sarcasm you won’t expect from a Singapore Girl. Hmm. *I did not include a close-up of her picture here just in case it was stolen by someone malicious for the setting up of this account.

I didn’t pay anyone to vote for me, but I did run giveaways in order to get more votes. Pretty much the same as how Luxury City ran this bag giveaway to get more likes/fans. Perhaps “Sherry” could not comprehend that. :)

I am always of the opinion that if I were to ask someone to help me out, or do something for me, I need to provide a reason for them to do so.

Hence the giveaways.

Help me win this bag, and I’ll give you a prize. Fair trade, no?

I don’t suppose cabin crew will be sweet to me if I have not paid for a seat on their flight too. :) (Though I am a shareholder in SQ. Ha!)

5) Celebrate Your Win

At the end of the day, sour grapes will be sour. Victory is sweet. Do not let other people’s bitterness rob you of the sweetness of your win. :D

Gonna celebrate with the people who matter. Those who want to get sarcastic / sour / jealous can go get pickled in a vat of vinegar.

As a blogger for almost 4 years now, I have seen much worse. :)

Roy Ngerng Soliciting Donations for his ‘Legal Defense Fund’

Roy Ngerng

In yet another video, Roy thanks his supporters and asks for their financial assistance towards his legal battle with the PM, which (according to him) could last for many months, to even a year.

Most of his “supporters” are donating $10 each, with a minority asking for tshirts to be printed, and at least one person pledging 20% of retrieved CPF monies to Roy.

If it’s going to be a long drawn-out battle, the funds Roy is getting now would definitely not be enough. But since Roy appears to be firm about not giving up without a fight, I’ll have to say he has got guts indeed. Good luck, dude.

~

Have been reading many nasty comments about the PM online. I guess few would want to be in his position, and have to deal with online dissent.

If the PM did not serve that lawyer’s letter to Roy at the start, the latter would have gotten bolder, made more (wild) accusations, and the online community might begin to take the PM’s silence as an admission of guilt.

If the PM tries to protect his reputation, and stop baseless accusations about himself by suing Roy, then he gets flamed too, for not being “magnanimous” and being absolutely “petty” [actual words used by netizens].

If the PM accepts the $5000 that Roy had offered, and closed an eye towards his video and emails to local and international media, he would thus have traded his reputation (to an international audience) for a 4-figure sum.

If the PM rejects the $5000 as ‘derisory’, he is accused of being money-faced, trying to wring too much out of a ‘poor’ healthcare worker, and is following in the footsteps of *ahem* people before him, and crushing the opposition like cockroaches, with the weight of the legal system.

Now, the question is: Who would like to be the Prime Minister? In his shoes, you cannot try to please everyone for you will fail terribly.

If the government continues with the CPF structure, people will complain that their monies are being locked up, and that they might have to die before they can retire and get their lump sum payout. More accusations about misappropriation of CPF monies will follow.

If the government abolishes the CPF structure, people will complain that they don’t have money for retirement, that they have trouble paying for their homes and their children’s education, etc. And in order to care for the (complaining) retirees who have no savings for their retirement, taxes will have to be raised. Then the workers will complain about the taxes, businesses might relocate, unemployment rates might shoot up, and there will be more complaints that the government is not doing anything.

In the case of PM Lee vs Roy Ngerng, the Prime Minister can and should only decide to ‘please’ himself. If his reputation is important to him (and I am sure it is), then only a truly sincere Roy should be let off the hook. No funny tricks, no emails to media.

In the case of Govt vs citizens-unhappy-about-CPF, the government should please the majority of folks; people who are happy there is a forced savings structure in place to help them get through those important phases in life: marriage and that first property, children’s university fund, retirement, etc.

-

Roy Ngerng, it is NOT about the money

Roy Ngerng vs PM Lee in Court: Don’t We All Know The Outcome Already? 

Roy Ngerng vs PM Lee in Court: Don’t we all know the outcome already?

Yesterday, when I wrote that “One just does not make claims about the PM in a blogpost without being ready to take it to the courts“, I did not expect Roy Ngerng to have the balls to defend himself in court. So, kudos to him for this surprise move. 

I would not call him “brave” because it is always smarter to live to fight another day. Don’t fight battles that you know you are going to lose. Or does Roy think he stands a chance of winning? In which case, he must really be out of his mind.

Two very silly mistakes that Roy made:

1) Apologizing without any intention of honoring his word thus publicly demonstrating that he is not quite trustworthy.

2) Sending emails to local and international media thereby revealing that he is rather self-seeking and quite silly because local media would definitely make it known that his Youtube video had not been removed and that his blogposts were still accessible elsewhere. *facepalm* Also, I don’t like the idea of bringing in the international media. Though we are a small red dot, I’m sure we can resolve our internal affairs ourselves without external interference. Please don’t make us a laughing stock.

If Roy can only afford $5000 as damages because of his job as a healthcare worker which doesn’t pay very much, then it would be financial suicide to take on the PM in court. Sure, some folks online are eager to offer Roy money to finance his legal pursuits but I wonder how many of them will actually send the money over. Also, Roy has already lost some support because of the two silly mistakes listed above.

Here’s a screenshot of comments on his latest blogpost:

Roy Ngerng

At the end of the day, we Singaporeans are better known for being moviegoers. If there is a good ‘show’ about to be screened, we will be grabbing our popcorn tubs and watching as spectators. Don’t expect much more from us. But thank you for being another example of what not to do if we want to engage the government on matters of concern.

Roy Ngerng, it is NOT about the money

Roy Ngerng, through his lawyer M Ravi, has offered the Prime Minister $5000 as damages, in what the lawyer deems a “reasonable offer”. It would be “reasonable” if the person being defamed is just another blogger.

Roy must be out of his mind to think that the PM would accept just 5K.

It’s really not about the money.

The amount is supposed to be an indication of Roy’s sincerity in offering his apologies, and whether he has understood the gravity of the situation. One just does not make claims about the PM in a blogpost without being ready to take it to the courts.

Taking down an offensive blogpost as requested, then uploading a video, sending out emails to the media regarding the posts, etc, is just not acceptable practice. Roy has been ungentlemanly.

I don’t think anyone is happy about the Minimum Sum being raised, or how our money seems all locked up in our CPF accounts, or how our government thinks retirees are incapable of managing their own finances and will fritter all that money away… BUT Roy’s not someone I will back. He can try to get an NMP position (haha!) but I’m looking for someone with more substance – someone more credible, someone who keeps his word, someone who knows when to “cease and desist” when things are clearly not in his favor.

Thanks for making all that noise, Roy. Now, save your own skin, and take this via another route (NMP or not).

p/s: Try offering a 5-figure sum, instead of $5K. Also, tell your supporters to stop all that graffiti lah. If you love your country, you don’t stain it like that.

The Royal Mail: Some Hits, Some Misses

The Royal Mail Pan Seared Foie Gras { Pan Seared Foie Gras S$24 }

I have to state this upfront: I do not usually eat foie gras. I try to avoid eating foie gras whenever possible. But at The Royal Mail’s tasting session on Friday, I was starving! We had to wait for slightly more than a hour since we arrived before the starters were served. Imagine that. So when really tender and tasty foie gras was served, well, consider it devoured.

The Royal Mail mains and sides

[Clockwise from top left: Roast Prime Rib S$58, Duck Fat Baby Potato S$8 & Casserole of Mushrooms S$8, Deboned Sea Bass S$52, Sous Vide Half Maine Lobster S$24]

The Prime Rib was a huge disappointment (I ate barely half of it), the Sea Bass was cut up real terribly by the server, and the lobster was just so-so despite the very pretty presentation. I liked the baby potatoes and mushrooms though.

The Royal Mail desserts

[Eton Mess S$15, Truffle Mashed Potato, Banoffee Tart S$13, Chocolate Fondant]

The mashed potato (S$10) was really yummy! I didn’t even mind the carbs! The Eton Mess (said to be served at Eton College) helped end the dinner on a ‘sweet’ note. I didn’t get to try the Banoffee Tart. But the Chocolate Fondant was a letdown. I’m quite sure it’s not worth the S$18 pricetag; get your chocolate fix elsewhere.

Still can’t quite figure out why dinner took 1 hour to start. I guess I waited it out because of the company, and because I don’t usually head into the CBD for dinner. It was good to meet my blogger pals like Dawn, whose hubby (Adam) was a real good sport when it came to photo-taking and being a ‘hand model’. :D

The Royal Mail A Blogger's Plus One

influr.com: Linking Content Creators And Businesses

In this blogpost, I will apply makeup on a fruit, show you pictures of my bare face without even a tinge of makeup *gasp* and tell you how your posts on social media can earn you exclusive rewards. Ready?

Laneige BB Cushion Pear Experiment

It all began last Thursday with influr.com’s launch event at Marriott Hotel.

Introducing influr.com }

For Influencers, influr is a platform that measures your social influence (based on how many people like, share and comment on your posts) and awards you Treats from your favorite brands via influr’s rewards program. Elite influencers also get the opportunity to become Brand Advocates for exclusive assignments.

Elite Influencer

One of the available treats:

influr treat

For businesses, influr serves as the link between companies and top content creators whose loyal audience could become their next potential customers. The blogosphere is not an easy one to navigate, so influr can help companies make wise marketing decisions.

To sign up, head over to influr.com

{ The Venue: Marriott Hotel’s Pool Terrace Pavilion }

influr’s launch was held at Marriott Hotel’s Pool Terrace Pavilion on level 5. The Pavilion is usually a dining area for patrons of the Pool Grill, but was converted into an event space for the launch:

Marriott Hotel Pavilion

Marriott Hotel Pool Grill

Usually occupied by a few tables and chairs, and (mostly) angmohs chilling with their beer, cigarettes and laptops…

Marriott Hotel pavilion

I had dinner there on Monday with my pal, Steven. He’s 66 but never too old for a cutesy pose in photos. He inspires me because he is constantly in the pursuit of knowledge and does not take himself too seriously so he always makes me laugh with his jokes. He’s a fantastic dining companion, and I have so much to learn from him!

We even learnt something new over dinner. Being ignorant is not being foolish; choosing to be ignorant is…

Marriott Hotel Pool Grill

I ordered the Roasted Cod Fish (S$36) while Steven had the Yellowfin Tuna ($32). Steven wondered what that bright yellow ‘package’ next to the tomatoes contained. I thought it might contain a dessert of sorts (maybe jelly?) and asked him to untie it. And lo and behold, it was half a lemon (for his tuna, geddit)! Both of us had a good laugh, and Steven quickly re-tied it before anyone else noticed. :D So silly and so funny, but now we know. ;)

As an event space, the pavilion offers a cosy and intimate setting for 20-30 guests comfortably. Otherwise, you might want to dine indoors at the Pool Grill as smoking is allowed within the pavilion.

{ Laneige BB Cushion: My review }

At the launch, I was also introduced to a best-selling Laneige product: the BB Cushion.

Laneige BB Cushion review

If you don’t already know, I do not use makeup nor sunblock! Simply because I don’t like having gunk on my face and the consequences of not removing makeup properly. I’m serious – all I use in the form of “make up” is a pair of false eyelashes. Period.

The only drawback thus far is that when I am tired, it shows on my face. Also, people can’t help but gasp when they hear that I have neither makeup nor sunblock on. Yes, I know how damaging the sun can be to our skin! 

Thanks to influr, I got to know about Laneige’s BB Cushion which not only provides long-lasting, natural coverage but also has comprehensive UV protection of SPF50+, PA+++!

I received a small sample of the product in No.13 True Beige, which is the lightest shade in the range for Asian skin. But I don’t have very fair skin (no sunblock, remember?) so I headed to the Laneige counter at Isetan, Nex, to purchase the full sized product in No. 23 Sand Beige.

The Laneige BB Cushion retails at S$59, inclusive of one refill! Twice the amount of product for one price. I like. ;)

Laneige BB Cushion

The Laneige consultant told me that Sand Beige is the closest to my skin tone and would result in a natural, no-makeup look. If I decide to select one shade lighter (No. 21 Natural Beige), I would get an even more radiant, dewy look, but there might be a color difference between my face and my neck. (@_@) Obviously, I picked the color that would look most natural on my skin: No.23 Sand Beige.

 My Before & After application comparison (no filter)

Laneige BB Cushion Before and After

My skin tone seems more even after application and I look more radiant. It was really easy to apply and I now know why the puff (or applicator sponge) is so popular! It grabs onto a sufficient amount of the product and cleanly transfers it onto your face, leaving little to no residue behind on the puff! I am very impressed! For those who are particular about keeping the puff clean, either wash it or purchase new ones at S$5 per piece whenever you need a change! *Psst: the refill pack also comes with a new puff! :D

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I made a serendipitous discovery as well. I’d wanted to test if the Laneige BB Cushion can conceal skin imperfections such as freckles. So I took a spotted pear from the fruit bowl and conducted an experiment. To answer your question and mine, no, this product is *not* a concealer. BUT, it does give you really radiant skin. Watch out for that light spot on the pear. I applied the BB cream only on one small portion, and noticed that it made light from my ceiling lamp reflect off the pear, even though it doesn’t conceal/cover any dark spots!

Here’s what to look out for in the video later…

Laneige BB Cushion experiment on pear

The portion which I used the BB Cushion on became rather light-reflective. See the bright spot that the pink arrow is pointing at? Watch how it disappears when I rotate the pear over to the side without the BB cream. And back and forth again.

Are you amazed too?!

(*If the vid doesn’t load, click here)

Conclusion: I am absolutely SOLD on this product. Sure, I doubted their marketing claims that TEN BB Cushions are sold worldwide EVERY SECOND. But now I think it could very well be true.

This product does give a natural finish and very visible radiance. It’s worth every cent.

{ The influr Video }

And to conclude this post, here’s a video about influr.com:

influr video

How I would write the description for this video: “influr empowers the dreamers, the creative spirits, those who dare to be and dare to try, those who take time off to be inspired and to inspire others.”

If fortune favors the bold, influr favors the creative! :D Now, what is your interpretation of the video? ;)

I asked for your comments about this video on my facebook page and here are some of your replies:

fb comment

fb comment 2

Just this evening at an event, I was introduced to someone who began asking me about what I do for a living.

Ms X: “I heard you are a blogger. So what do you blog about?”

Me: “I blog about business and lifestyle topics” (when prompted about the business portion) “I interview businessmen, entrepreneurs, even some celebrities.”

Ms X: “So, do you have a real job?”

Me: [I don't get offended anymore] “I’ve been blogging full-time for over 3 years now. And last year, I published a book titled ‘Blogging For A Living’. You can find it in bookstores.”

The above is an actual conversation that is not a first for me. People tend to think I am joking when I tell them I blog full-time. Till they spot me on TV, or read my book, or see me featured in the papers. It has not been an easy journey. Even my closest and dearest have, at some point or other, doubted that I can ‘make it’ in this career choice of mine.

But as the poet Robert Frost wrote in ‘The Road Not Taken’,

” I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

I am thankful that platforms like influr.com have been set up to empower bloggers and those who want to take the road less traveled. There will always be people who doubt your capabilities and people who envy your success and try to drag you down. But there will also be those who support you on your journey. So dare to dream. And dream big.

Now, go be beautiful… and live your dreams! :)

Laneige BB Cushion Barbie and Pear

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Update: This post won influr.com’s Blogger Contest. :)

WON

Prizes: Staycation at Marriott Hotel (worth S$390++) and Laneige White Plus Renew Hamper worth S$306! 

Pictured with me is Max Clyne, the photographer who helped shoot the photos in my award-winning blogpost! 

Connect with Max here:
https://www.facebook.com/maxbg12?fref=ts
https://www.facebook.com/maxclyneatwork