How Many Cameras Can I Fit Into Maku Store’s Camera Bag?

image

Maku Store has everything from key pouches to luggage. And it also has camera bags! Here, I review their Sky Blue & Neon Orange one (S$49.90) which I find super spacious!

image

Inside the bag, I have 1 DSLR, 1 Lumix and 1 Instax camera. And there’s still more space!

The pouch in front is great for storing an ezlink card, SD cards, tissue, and a few other things for a photoshoot!

It’s hard to find a camera bag that can fit all my cameras and still look good. So this one is for keeps.

The only downside is that, beyond the sling, it doesn’t have a small handle / strap at the top of the bag.

All things considered, it’s affordably priced, offers a lot of room, and is so eye-catching.

Get yours now at Maku Store (#03-20 Bugis Junction). Show the staff that you are a fan of my facebook page, and theirs, and you get 15% off your bill. Check in-store for more promotions and other T&Cs. :)

The Digital Detox Challenge – I Dare YOU!

I broke my ‘digital fast’ this morning, and was rather amused to find an article in The Straits Times regarding “smartphone zombies“. Most people would feel really lost if their handphone ran out of battery juice or if the connection went dead (as with StarHub recently). Not for me, I hope. I’ve been putting myself into ‘cellphone and computer rehab’ lately.

Why?

I’ve noticed that things are getting pretty bad.

Health: I’m getting really stiff shoulders and tired-looking eyes, no thanks to long hours on the computer and scrolling through newsfeeds on my phone.

Relationship: While he’s talking to me, I’m checking my Facebook feed or replying to a non-urgent email. I didn’t think it was offensive, till the day we were having a (romantic) chili crab dinner and he set up his iPad right in front of him. I would be dining with the crab, and him the iPad. (@_@)

~

Over the weekend (Fri – Sun), I did a 3-day digital detox again. The first time I did a digital detox was in September, and a grand total of 2 friends discovered my (quiet) disappearance. LOL. Apparently, it is highly unusual if I’m not seen on Whatsapp or posting stuff online. I’m thankful they did not phone the police.

And that first attempt was definitely tougher than pouring a bucket of ice water over my head. I constantly wanted to pick up my phone (even if it was just for telling the time) and struggled with ‘separation anxiety’ when I had to leave my home without it. Strange, but true.

This time, I was quite content to leave it aside.

In fact, it felt like I was on HOLIDAY, right here in Singapore!

I woke up when I wanted to. I slept at 10pm. I didn’t care about what’s trending on facebook or in the blogosphere. I had no urge to update facebook or instagram.

When I sat down with a huge, fluffy waffle and two ginormous scoops of ice cream at Punggol End, I just went ahead and ate it, instead of thinking about how best to photograph my rapidly-melting dessert. Simply because I didn’t have a phone on me! :D

I read all the books I wanted to read. I felt alive.

In fact, I read 4 books in 3 days! That’s probably more than what some people read in a year!

digital detox

‘Woman On Top’ was a really good read – funny, enlightening, relatable. The author, Dr Loretta Chen, is the baby sister of Channel 8 heartthrob, Edmund Chen. Here are 2 of my favorite quotes from this book:

“Be an independent woman, make your own money, have your own career and stand on your own two feet. Don’t rely on anybody, especially a man. In fact, don’t get married if you don’t want to. Don’t have children if you don’t want to. It’s a lot of work. Just have your own life. And if you meet somebody, guy or girl, just be happy.” – advice from Loretta’s mom (pg 51)

“Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.”
– Poem by Dorothy Parker (pg 75)
~

The illustrated book about Warren Buffett was interesting too – an easy-to-read biography of everything you need to know about Warren.As for the detective novels, I liked ‘Dead Tomorrow’ more than ‘The Complaints’ though the latter was almost half the length.

~
Are you up for the challenge? ;)
If you’d like to wean yourself off this over-reliance on technology, or take the first step to combating your addiction to your phone (and computer), do this digital detox. If you’d like to be able to go to bed early on consecutive nights, and wake up with glowing skin (as if you’d gone for a facial), do this digital detox. If you’d like to have more time for the things that matter (such as a long-neglected hobby) or experience a holiday without having to pay for one, do this digital detox.
~
All you need: 3 consecutive days without your phone, computer / laptop / iPad, and TV
~
How will you spend your time: You could read the papers, go for a swim, take a long stroll with your pet or spouse (or both), read a book (or four), cook yourself three meals a day, tidy up your room, journal, take a nap, etc. Just stay away from all handphones, computers and television sets. ;)
~
I’m going to challenge three of my pals to do this digital detox – 2 of them discovered my disappearance during the first one, and 1 of them is constantly glued to his cellphone. Whoever does the 3-day digital detox in Singapore by the end of November 2014, and survives to tell the tale, will get a treat sponsored by me – either a facial treatment or massage worth at least S$149. :D
~ Good Luck ~
1) Andrew Chow
2) Steven Lek
3) Terence Chiew

Maku Store: Giveaway + Corporate Gifts! :D

I popped by Maku Store at Bugis Junction (#03-20) again recently and found yet another pretty, limited edition wallet! :D
image

image

It is pastel pink all around, unlike the Maku Store wallet I am currently using which is half green.

This one has 9 card slots, 2 SIM card slots and a huge compartment for coins!

image

And guess what? I’m going to give this away! :D

[I’d initally wanted to keep this wallet but the current one is still working well. So I am sharing the love!]

It is the only one of its kind in Singapore so it’s Super Limited Edition!

To win this wallet, leave a comment on this blogpost and tell me why I should pick you! :)

Besides the wallet, I also found corporate gifts:

image

Maku Store Singapore does cater to corporate customers as well. Whether it is a cute souvenir (above), a card sticker (below) or any other customized product like luggage you need, speak to the awesome Maku Store folks. :)

image

*And if you are getting any of the Maku Store items at their Bugis Junction outlet, show them you are a fan of my facebook page and get 15% discount off your purchase. Awesome much? :)

The Patissier: A Visual Feast… then Dessert Heaven

image

I had the most amazing gym session today. Before the session started, my trainer asked if I’d like to go for cake first. Because the cakes might be sold out by the time we were done with gym.

Heh! :D Cake? No one needs to ask me twice.

It was my first visit to The Patissier at Mohd Sultan Rd and the meringues are pretty good. Not too sweet, just crumbly and light. :)

image

Probably the only place in Singapore with cake slices costing eight dollars and THREE cents. Lol.

And here are the opening hours and contact details for anyone who’s keen on visiting them:

image

The Best of You exhibition at Marina Sq & Embroidery Workshop

I’m a sucker when it comes to picking up new skills. I love all things creative. And if it happens to come free, it’s even better. Heh. Thus, I found myself at Marina Square today, on a lazy Saturday, attending an embroidery workshop (for free) from 2pm to 4pm.

I can’t say it was as useful as I had expected. We were basically given the tools required and left alone to stitch something based on who or what brings out the best in us.

Here’s my creation:

image

It’s actually not me. It’s supposed to be SuperMom. I’ve always been impressed by women who seem capable of juggling so many things at one time and yet still “have it all together”.

So I stitched a house, milk bottle, fish, laptop, pot and a carrot too.

And oh… the bag is from Maku Store Singapore. It’s the only one in SG. :D Lovely sponsor I have, no? *If you’re a fan of my fb page, just show it on your mobile phone in store and get 15% off! :)

Also, I saw one lady stitch the word ‘hope’ in beautiful calligraphy-style. Thought-provoking. Hope brings out the best in her… what about you?

There are many exhibits to view at the Marina Square Central Atrium this weekend. And today we got to hear from Kumar. Michelle Chong will be sharing tomorrow so make your way down if you want to be inspired and entertained tomorrow! :)

Here’s one particular exhibit which caught my eye:

image

If I remember correctly, the artist was inspired by the people at home who put heart and soul into each meal.

And don’t you think that meals cooked with love are the best? :)

*The exhibition is brought to us by Julie’s – the biscuit manufacturer. You must have seen at least one of their many ads; at bus stops, mrt stations and in the papers. :D

Organic Gluten & Wheat Free Pancakes at Real Food

image

Felt like having banana pancakes for breakfast on Sunday, so I did. My love for banana pancakes goes way back to the time I was in kindergarten.

The kindergarten cook made the most delicious banana pancakes, which I devoured during teatime on those days when it was on the menu.

I have yet to find banana pancakes as good as those she made from anywhere else. :(

Anyhow, those from Real Food are organic on top of being wheat and gluten free (don’t they mean the same thing?)

The pancake is at least 1cm thick and quite fluffy. However, there are only 4 miserable slices of banana on top.

There is just a small amount of jam yet the tartness of the jam is very refreshing and I wished there was more of it!

The small chunk of warm banana in the middle came as a surprise.

Overall, I think it was good enough, as a gluten free pancake. But I won’t order it again, when there are better pancakes elsewhere. :D

*This place is my fav for noodles though. Their fried vermicelli and dumpling noodles (dry) are both very good. Ask for the chilli too. ;)

image

S$10.80
Original Pancakes: Organic gluten and wheat free fluffy pancakes with banana, organic fruit jam and agave. Waiting time is at least 15 minutes.

{ Real Food at Killiney }

The Power Of A Positive Attitude

[Saw this being shared on FB by my pal, Terence. His original fb post here :)]

A small girl was auditioning with her classmates for a school play. Her father knew that she had set her heart on being in the play just like all the other children hoped too. Like any other parent, her father feared how she would react if she was not chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, the little girl’s father went to the school to fetch his daughter. The little girl rushed up to him, eyes beaming with pride and excitement. “Guess what Dad,” she shouted, and then said the words that provide an invaluable lesson to all of us, “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.”

Thoughts are very powerful. They affect your general attitude. The attitude you carry can also affect people around you. The type of attitude you carry depends on you. It can be either positive or negative.

Positive thoughts have a filling effect. They are admittedly invigorating. Plus, this type of attitude usually energizes the people around the person carrying positive thoughts.

Negative thoughts on the other hand have a sapping effect on other people. Aside from making you look gloomy and sad, negative thoughts can turn a festive gathering into a funeral wake.

A positive attitude attracts people, while a negative attitude repels them. People tend to shy away from those who carry a negative attitude.

We can also define attitude as the way of looking at the world. If you choose to focus on the negative things in the world, more or less you have a negative attitude brewing up. However, if you choose to focus on the positive things, you are more likely to carry a positive attitude.

You have much to gain from a very positive attitude. For one, studies have shown that a positive attitude promotes better health. Those with this kind of attitude also have more friends. Projecting a positive attitude also helps one to handle stress and problems better than those who have a negative attitude.

A positive attitude begins with a healthy self-image. If you love the way you are and are satisfied, confident, and self-assured, you will also make others around you feel the same way.

A negative attitude, on the other hand, has, of course, an opposite effect. So, carrying a negative attitude has a two-fold drawback. You feel bad about yourself, and you make others feel the same way.

If you want to have a positive attitude, you have to feature healthy thoughts. This is probably very hard to do nowadays since, all around us, the media feeds us nothing but negative thoughts. A study [in] self-development: The power of positive attitude shows that for every 14 things a parent says to his or her child, only one is positive. This is truly a saddening thought.

If you want a healthier outlook in life, you need to think happy thoughts, and you have to hear positive things as well. So, what can you do? Well, you could watch a comedy, play with your children or tell jokes to your friends. All these activities fill you with positive stimuli, which in turn promotes positive attitude.

Although it is impossible to keep ourselves from the negative things around us, you can still carry a positive attitude by focusing on the good things, the positive things in life.
And this positive attitude you now carry can be of benefit to other people. Sometimes, when other people are feeling down, the thing people mostly do is try to give them advice. But sometimes, all they need is someone to sit by them, and listen to them. If you have a positive attitude, you may be able to cheer them up without even having to say anything.

If a positive attitude is really great, why do people choose to adopt a negative attitude instead? One who carries a negative attitude may be actually sending a signal for attention. Feeling sad, angry, or gloomy is not wrong itself. But dwelling on these thoughts for far too long is not healthy either. There is a time to mourn.

As always, if you are beset by troubles, even in your darkest hour, focus on the good things in life. This gives rise to hope and the problems become something you can overcome.

Other people can determine where you live, what you do every day, how much you earn, and countless other conditions in your life. But your attitude is different. It is the one thing that no one else can determine for you. Where your attitude is concerned, you are in complete control. And when you choose a winning attitude, you create a winning future. If you can keep your attitude positive even in any kind of difficult situation, it will lead you to triumph. So, what’s not to like about a positive attitude? Adopt one today.

“Attitude is the little thing that makes the big difference.” – Winston Churchill

~

Hua Lamphong / Chinatown (Rest Day: Sunday), Silom Complex, MBK, Siam Discovery, Siam Center

[Day 3 in Bangkok – Blogging ‘Live’ from the Land of a Thousand Shopping Malls. LOL]

We took the MRT to Hua Lamphong station in the morning. He wanted to bring me to Chinatown. Turns out Chinatown’s shops are open only at 1pm on Sundays. Lol. We didn’t want to wait in the sweltering heat. Besides, there was nothing to do there.

So we went to Silom Complex next to Silom BTS station instead.

We had a not-very-memorable Thai lunch there: tom yum goong and pad thai with a papaya salad.

Bought macarons too. Not the best I have eaten, for sure.

image

Next on the itinerary: MBK – next to National Stadium BTS.

image

image

image

MONT on level 2 of MBK serves good toast. We paid 134 baht for 2 sets of toast (coconut custard and nutella) and 2 drinks. :) The place was packed when we were there. *I’ll definitely be back again the next time I visit MBK.

I bought Super Girl shirts (extreme left in the picture below) for 295 baht each. :D He got 3 work shirts tailored for 1000 baht each: not the cheapest in BKK, obviously but he had gotten shirts tailored there before.

image

Then we went to Siam Discovery and Siam Center. Had a quick bite at Hachiban Ramen:

image

Next: Amarin Plaza – nothing there. Then, Central World… and Platinum (but it was closed. Did manage to buy a bag from one of the stalls by the road for 200 baht though. :)

Dinner was at Yayoi. I had the Mackerel set with ice cream. Pretty good! We ended the day with some grocery shopping at Big C. And are now getting foot massages at the spa within our hotel.

image

*Haven’t taken a tuk tuk or taxi on this trip. It seems that most drivers aren’t keen on going by the meter, and just want to ferry the highest-paying tourists. So… lotsa train rides and walking. :D

Goodnight, from the Land of a Thousand Shopping Malls ~

Grand Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok: Room, Pool, Gym, Breakfast

image

image

[BKK Travel Journal – Day 2] * ‘Live’ from Bangkok*

Grand Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok must be very popular with tourists from China. The whole place seems to be overrun with them. Breakfast was a nightmare. Doesn’t matter if the seat next to you is taken – if she wants to sit there, she does.

image

The pool seems pretty enough, but deserted. I guess everyone was jostling for food in the restaurant.

image

Likewise, just one lone ranger in the gym. The equipment is old though the place is spacious.

image

image

Breakfast was passable. I like the pancakes. There’s a nice range of Indian food, so I guess Indians must frequent this hotel too.

I love the fruits at the breakfast buffet. Just had some of the most fragrant papaya ever! (The PRCs take so much of the fruit only to realize they don’t like it. LOL)

*One way to identify PRCs, apart from when they speak, is when you see them piling fruits onto their plates. ;)

(Gonna head out for shopping soon. Didn’t buy anything last night except for Matcha-flavored Pocky)

*Did not know that the plastic bottles of mineral water in the room were not complimentary. Had to pay 70 baht for the 2 bottles. Reception claims the water in glass bottles are free. But there were no glass bottles in my room. Did not want to argue. ;)