Dress Made From M&M’S Chocolate Lentils

 

[From one of my creative craft sessions]

M&M’s are ranked as one of the most unhealthy snacks you can include in your diet (think extra weight gain, as in this article on cnn.com) with a tad too much saturated fat and sugar. But they are so colorful and tempting, and one lentil will lead to another. It’s kinda like snacking on chips.

The good thing about this candy when used in crafts is that it doesn’t melt in your hands. There is a wax-like covering over each M&M shell so it doesn’t get messy easily.

So instead of eating M&M’s, I put together a dress (which only Barbie dolls or the like can wear) :D I used fabric glue to stick them on – and thankfully, the dress has not attracted any ants yet. The bodice is made from ribbon.

What do you think? :)

M&M'S Dress

I did a giveaway as well – as I’m always sharing the calories with people around me who can afford it. Hehe!

The goodie bag includes a limited edition M&M’S tee PLUS two packs of M&M’S I bought in Perth – in Raspberry and Vanilla Shake flavor! I think these flavors are unavailable in local stores. *wink*

The giveaway attracted 50,688 views (!!!), 2341 shares, 1328 likes and 1428 comments! I’ve also just realized there are some nice 4D numbers right here. :D

M&M's giveaway

[Advertisers] Interested in having me craft a creative advertorial and fantastic giveaway to spread the word about your product or service? Drop me a note at gracewwg@gmail.com now. :)

Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Loot From Taiwan! :D

Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary

These are some of the Kitty items I bought when I was in Taiwan last month. I was glad that he brought his luggage just for me, or I would definitely have run out of space, considering that I bought THREE pairs of kitty shoes, among other things. :D

Anyway, this pair of sneakers is from the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary range, and I have not worn them since the fitting in the store. They just might end up in a glass case in my new home in future, unless I find some occasion to put them on. LOL!

Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary

I spent NT1264 on these shoes and I happen to think they are worth every penny! :D

The folders cost NT190 and the pouch set cost NT590 (before discount).

I really like the print and design for the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary collection. I am amazed that I didn’t buy more stuff back. I’m not sure when I’ll head back to Taiwan, especially after the MRT stabbing incident. Hmm…

NoQ Store: Books At Great Discounts, No Queue But A Wait Of 2 Weeks

I love to read and I hold the membership cards to all our (remaining) large bookstores in Singapore. So I was quite happy when NoQ Store, the e-commerce arm of Times Publishing, found me and asked if I’d like to do a review about their store.

One thing I love about the e-store is the huge variety of books at great discounts:

NoQ Store

Did you spot the Richard Branson book going for S$4.98?!

Here’s my first order with NoQ Store, which took just over two weeks to be delivered to me:

NoQ Store

NoQ Store

I bought the Limited Edition Mickey Mouse Moleskine Notebooks. :D If you don’t already know, I am a HUGE fan of moleskine notebooks. This obsession started just this year! If you want to buy me a Christmas gift, get me a Limited Edition Moleskine, thank you very much. #shamelessrequestforpresents

To entice you further, there is FREE Delivery within Singapore for any order over S$25!

NoQ Store

There is absolutely no reason not to like NoQ Store. Perhaps the rather long wait of 2 weeks for delivery, yes. But my order came perfectly wrapped and in a box so there was no damage. If they had included just a card or note which said “Thank you for shopping with NoQ Store. Enjoy! Here’s a discount code off your next purchase”, I’d have logged on immediately. :D

Anyhow, NoQ Store has offered me a Discount Code for all my readers: Get 15% discount off all purchases at NoQ Store when you use code GRACE at checkout.
(This discount code is valid from 30 May – 31 August 2014)

*Because I always do my checks to ensure that I offer you, my readers, the BEST discount codes currently available, I found that NoQ Store has a Groupon offer going on now, which essentially entitles you to a whopping 50% discount! If you miss this, you’ll blame yourself later. If you get this in time, you can thank me after. :D

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Groupon for S$20 worth of book purchases at only S$10. Click here -> Offer ends in 3 days’ time from point of writing. :) [S$20 and S$30 options available; shipping charges are excluded for some options so CHECK first]

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Shop Now: http://www.noqstore.asia/

Overwhelming Response! LUX World Class Perfume Shower Cream Giveaway

Thank you all for your participation! The winner for the LUX World Class Perfume Shower Cream giveaway has been announced! :)

This giveaway attracted 18320 views, 590 likes, 501 comments and most importantly, 2175 shares!

LUX World Class Perfume Shower Cream

Continue popping by my Facebook page for more exciting giveaways! :D

How I’d rank the shower creams by scent:

1) Soft Touch – a truly lovely floral scent! It comes with a french rose infusion.

2) Magical Spell – contains black orchids and juniper oil. Kinda smells like lavender to me.

3) White Impress – with mulberry and honey. A very mild scent.

Have you tried any of LUX’s world class perfume shower creams? :)

My Recent Phenomenal Success With Facebook Postings

I’ve hosted two giveaways on Facebook recently (one uploaded this afternoon), and I am taken aback by the phenomenal number of likes, shares and comments that the posts have garnered!

I currently have 10,758 fans on my facebook page. But this Herbal Essences giveaway post has been shared 1740 times! On top of that, the post itself was viewed by 14,896 people! <- That is even greater than the number of fans I have. The post also received 493 likes and 440 comments.

Herbal Essences giveaway

Similarly, this Cornell Hello Kitty Toaster giveaway, uploaded this afternoon, has been well-received with 592 shares, 334 likes and 203 comments. The post has already been viewed by 9296 people!

Cornell Hello Kitty Toaster

Both these posts were not “boosted” and I did not take out any ads to promote them either. So I am pleasantly surprised at the number of people taking part.

I guess my takeaway (to share with all my fellow bloggers reading this) is to keep giveaways simple. Avoid having too many steps for people to follow, i.e. too many hoops for participants to jump through, before they can win the prize.

A ‘like’ plus a ‘share’ is something most people are willing and able to do. :)

We Should Raise Productivity, But Are Bosses Ready?

[Giveaway worth S$82 at the end of this post: WIN one of two Limited Edition Moleskine notebooks!]

There has been so much talk about “Productivity” – how some industries are productivity laggards, how we should bring mature women back into the workforce, etc. But what exactly do bosses THINK productivity is all about? And are they ready to implement changes which may not necessarily be comfortable?

In my previous job, my manager did not allow sales people to work from home. He wanted us to physically “check in” every single day, even though our jobs could be done at home, as only a phone is required. I detest the train commute to work (and back) as trains are always packed and I get to the office not in the best of moods. Also, there are distractions aplenty, such as colleagues stopping by my desk for a chat, or worse still, an invitation to an overly-long lunch or coffee break. Lunch or a break can last as long as 2 hours sometimes, and ironically, it’s perfectly fine. As long as your laptop’s on your desk, your bag is on your seat and people know you have come into the office today, all’s fine.

In some ways, yes, it does sound like a dream job, but I could most certainly have done more if I could work from home. I could have made more calls (in my PJs), taken shorter breaks, and had a healthier work-life balance by investing more time in reading and exercise, for instance. I wouldn’t need so many days of annual leave just to “recharge” too!

But the strange thing is, the manager needed to ‘see’ his people in the office to think they are at work. (Of course, they could be checking their facebook feeds)

Here’s a quote from the (really quite fabulous) book ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook: “Still, the traditional practice of judging employees by face time rather than results unfortunately persists. Because of this, many employees focus on hours clocked in the office rather than on achieving their goals as efficiently as possible.”

Exactly!

And when one employee quits, they don’t hire another immediately, and just let the remaining employee(s) take over the person’s job. Same thing happens when someone goes on maternity leave, or a holiday. The other employees cover the person’s duties. They think that is productivity, I guess.

I think this whole notion about raising Productivity deserves more attention, especially since even coffeeshops are harping on Productivity!

Last weekend, I had lunch at a coffeeshop in Pasir Ris Drive 6. Pasted on the pillars were notices like this one:

productivity poster in coffeeshop

“Please support our productivity drive. It will be faster if you order and collect your drinks at our counter, thank you.”

I believe this to be a lie. Will I get my drink FASTER if I order and collect it from the drinks counter? If everyone starts ordering AT the drinks counter, a queue will form and I will spend more time waiting in the queue! This is why I sometimes forego drinks altogether – just eat my food and leave. Usually what happens is I’ll just get my food and if the drinks uncle or auntie comes by to take my order, I’ll place it with him/her and eat my food while waiting for my drink, which usually is served before the end of the meal!

I am worried that this coffeeshop’s “productivity drive” might mean the coffeeshop staff who come round to our tables to take our orders might lose their jobs. Of course, it could be that their enlightened employers give them other tasks to do, such as collecting the glasses or serving those customers who don’t wish to place their orders at the counter. But I highly doubt it.

I don’t know what they think “productivity” is. Perhaps it means “more profits” for them, but waiting in line at the drinks counter is not a productive use of my time.

And what can employers do if they DO want to raise productivity levels?

In The Straits Times on Wednesday last week, I noticed two almost-full-page ads about productivity:

Straits Times ad on productivity

Polar Puffs & Cakes has found that their pastries can be heated up 10 times quicker using a microwaveable bag. I’m not a fan of microwaved food (I got Mom to dump the family’s microwave oven some time back) but I guess this is an instance of how more food can be prepared in a shorter period of time so as to serve more customers, without necessarily reducing the number of service staff.

The Way To Go site is pretty informative too. And the case studies are pretty cool, such as this one about Han’s (F&B) Pte Ltd, which had a compliment to complaint ratio at 1:10 back in 2006, and by 2009 managed to improve this to 1:1.5! I applaud Han’s incentive programme: “Han’s also implemented an incentive programme, which distributes 15 per cent of the group’s profit as staff bonuses and provides comprehensive insurance coverage and staff benefits. In addition, cash grants received under the Jobs Credit Scheme are paid back to employees.”

The e2i site also has a Sakae Sushi case study: The lack of communication between service staff and the kitchen caused long waiting times for food. With the use of equipment like walkie-talkies and cameras to improve communications and monitor operations, waiting time has been reduced and productivity increased, with 1 staff serving 33 customers instead of the original 25.

And here’s the other ad:

Straits Times productivity ad

The EnterpriseOne site will put you in touch with business advisors so you can get all the help you need with regard to raising productivity levels.

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In the Budget Debate speech by Minister Lim Swee Say, he notes that many industries have embraced the move towards higher productivity.

“For example, in conservancy cleaning, with ride-on sweeper, cleaners can now clean pavements, drains and grass patches easier, smarter and safer. Much faster and at the same time, save labour and earn higher wages.

ride-on sweeper

In landscaping, workers can now cut grass using a remote control grass-cutting robot. Again, faster with less labour and higher salary.

In hotel, hydraulic pumps under the bed helps the mature worker to clean the hotel room easier, smarter, safer, and faster too. Being able to clean more rooms means more pay for the workers and at the same time, it means less need for manpower for the hotels…

In food factories, installation of packaging machines has improved productivity by many times. Again, higher wages with fewer workers.

In F&B, the use of mobile ordering, installation of up-to-date kitchen equipment, nurturing of management trainees are helping some F&Bs to grow faster and more profitable too. Workers are, at the same time, paid better…

Lim Swee Say fb

An F&B outlet, Eighteen Chefs, has recently installed a machine [that] will produce eggs after eggs at 64 degrees Celsius, and it will always turn up eggs that are perfect every time. It makes the jobs of the workers easier, faster, safer, and yet at the same time, because of higher productivity, they are paid more too.”

Eighteen Chefs

I think it is great that the companies and industries mentioned in the speech have raised the wages of workers even after investing money in machinery and all. It is my hope that more (if not, all) employers will follow suit.

{ GIVEAWAY }

WIN one of two *limited edition* Moleskine notebooks worth S$41 each! :D Take your pick: The Hobbit notebook OR Star Wars notebook! To take part, provide ONE TIP for raising productivity in your workplace.

Moleskine Notebook giveaway

One great tip I like sharing with friends is to come up with a list of 5 things you MUST accomplish in each particular day, and don’t head home till you complete all 5. This To-Do List will help you get through your day with laser-sharp focus. One of the items on my list could be “Call 40 customers” when I was in my sales job previously. :D This is why the prizes for this giveaway are moleskine notebooks – for you to craft your to-do lists every single day! :D

How To Win:

Step 1: ‘Like’ my Moleskine giveaway on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegracetan

Step 2: ‘Share’ my Moleskine giveaway post on Facebook

Step 3: Comment on THIS blogpost and provide one tip for raising productivity in your workplace, e.g. “Log out of Facebook during office hours / Schedule a power nap during lunchtime”. I’ll pick my favorite 2 comments/tips! :)

Results: 22nd April, 2014.

Giveaway: New Arrivals From Japan!

Update:

Thank you all for your participation! The winners for this giveaway have been selected at random. My heartiest congratulations go to:

1) Robi: Hoover Cole Mon
2) Masks: Yap E Chin
~ Congratulations! ~

Read my blogposts about the New Arrivals From Japan fair happening at Isetan Scotts and my meeting Mr Tomotaka Takahashi, Founder and CEO of Robo Garage and you’ll know I’ve been given some pretty cool gifts this week.

I want to share them with you! :)

Here’s what is up for grabs:

New Arrivals From Japan

Original PREMIUM Robi Sticker set and Limited Edition collectible, AND the Milk Essence Masks from Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi – the masks contain sake, rice bran and collagen to make skin resilient and supple!

How to win:

1) ‘Like’ My Facebook Page

2) ‘Share’ my giveaway post

3) Comment on this blogpost and tell me which you want: Robi OR Masks

Giveaway ends 1st March, 23:59hrs. Winners will be notified via email by 3rd March.

BRAND’S CNY Gift Hamper: For The First 20!

BRAND’S sent over a gift hamper yesterday! :D It contained BRAND’S Essence of Chicken and Bird’s Nest, with a pack of angbaos. YOU can win a CNY Gift Hamper too! (Details below)

BRAND'S Essence of Chicken

BRAND’S Essence of Chicken:

  • Contributes to a relaxed mood
  • Increases mental concentration
  • Improves short-term memory
  • Regular consumption helps improve immunity;
  • Alleviates task-induced stress;
  • Increases metabolic rate
  • Boosts energy
  • Increases levels of stress tolerance

BRAND'S Bird's Nest

BRAND’S Bird’s Nest:

  • Glycoprotein helps enhance immunity, cleanses lungs
  • Prevents ‘internal dryness’
  • Helps maintain youthful, smooth and wrinkle-free skin
  • Helps stimulate appetite and aid digestion

WIN a BRAND’s CNY Gift Hamper!

Be one of the first 20 customers to flash this invite on your mobile phone at the BRAND’S roadshow:

BRANDS roadshow

Can’t make it on Jan 16 or 17? Then head over to any of the other roadshows for a chance to win from BRAND’S 8 treasure boxes. Details at BRAND’S website:

http://www.brandsworld.com.sg/

Have a roaring good year! :D

BRAND'S CNY Hamper

Packeverything: My Gift Packaging Sponsor

Because it’s the Christmas season, and because I love giving people presents, a sponsor like PackEverything.com.sg is most welcome. :D

I recently gave away 3 boxes packed with goodies – from energy bars to cosmetics. :D Here’s one of them:

pack everything

And here are presents wrapped with kraft paper:

kraft paper singapore

I received everything from boxes and tissue fillers, to gift seals and stickers from packeverything! :)

You can register as a member online to enjoy $5 off a minimum purchase of $50 for your first order! There’s also free delivery for purchases above $200.

Packeverything provides a wide range of packing solutions. You can purchase a cake box, zip lock bags, and even glue guns and silica gel online!

For all your packaging needs: http://www.packeverything.com.sg/

Winner Announcements: Watsons, Olay and Tiramisu Boutique giveaways :D

Congratulations, all of you! I’m beginning to feel like Santa Claus once again. Hohoho! :D

Watsons Giveaway

Watsons Giveaway

As stated in the giveaway blogpost, this giveaway is open *only* to Singaporeans. If I have (unknowingly) picked a winner from overseas, he/she has the options of paying for postage, picking up the prize in Singapore, or forfeiting it altogether.

Set 1) BeautyBiotics UV White Sunscreen + Whitening Mineral Powder SPF50 PA+++ AND Brigitte Glamorous Volume Mascara

Winner: Lu Siu Ching

Set 2) Dr. Vincent Auchane Hydra+ Active Spring Moisturizing Serum AND Collection’s CreamPuff Moisturizing Lip Cream and Hotlights Lip Gloss

Winner: Sheryl

Set 3) SkinBiotics EVEN+WHITER Skin Booster (21 capsules)

Winner: Siew Feng

Emails have been sent to the winners. Please respond by 21st Nov, 2013, 23:59hrs to claim your prize. Prizes left unclaimed by the stated date and time will (strictly) be forfeited. ;)

Olay AquAction giveaway:

Olay AquAction

Winners:

1) Toner: SY Tan

2) Moisturizer: Jade Almazan

Emails have been sent to the winners. Please respond by 21st Nov, 2013, 23:59hrs to claim your prize. Prizes left unclaimed by the stated date and time will (strictly) be forfeited. ;)

 Tiramisu Boutique Giveaway:

Tiramisu Boutique Giveaway

Winners:

Set 1: Tan Kim 

Set 2: Ash Jain

Set 3: Ng Qi Yan

Set 4: Queenie Zhang

Set 5: Ben Oh

Set 6: Rena Ismail

Emails have been sent to the winners. Please respond by 23rd Nov, 2013, 23:59hrs to claim your prize. Prizes left unclaimed by the stated date and time will (strictly) be forfeited. ;)

But wait… there’s MORE!

If you think this is it, and that there are no more giveaways, ha! You don’t know what’s coming your way! :D

Another Mega Giveaway will be launched in a bit so keep your eyes peeled and stay tuned! :D

Till later!~