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:

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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:

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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

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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. ;)

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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*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

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[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.

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

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

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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. ;)

Get $10 Just By Liking A Facebook Page! Sweet!

This must be the coolest EDM I have received in a while. Are they really giving out $10 just for liking a page?! But since I have benefitted from the earlier $100 ACTIVESG credit… why not?

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Just ‘like’ the SEA GAMES 2015 fb page, select up to 5 sports you support, and key in your IC number.

And you get $10 in ACTIVESG credits! :)

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It took less than a minute.

And I now have an extra $10 to spend on trips to the pool. Hehe. This is too cool. Make sure you claim your ‘free’ credits too! :)

Emma Watson’s Speech At HeForShe 2014 (with a transcript)

Today we are launching a campaign called HeForShe. I am reaching out to you because we need your help. We want to end gender inequality and to do this, we need everyone involved. This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN – we want to try and galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change. And we don’t just want to talk about it. We want to try and make sure it’s tangible. I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women 6 months ago.

And the more I’ve spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago.

When I was 8, I was confused at being called bossy because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents, but the boys were not. While at 14, I started to be sexualised by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear muscly. At 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

I decided that I was a feminist. And this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating and anti-men, unattractive even.

Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one? I am from Britain. And I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.

But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights. No country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality. These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones.

My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influences were the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it but they are the inadvertent feminists who are changing the world today. We need more of those.

And if you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It is the idea and the ambition behind it because not all women have received the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.

In 1997, Hillary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly, many of the things that she wanted to change are still true today. But what stood out for me the most was that less than 30% of the audience were male. How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcomed to participate in the conversation?

Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society, despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men, between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are. When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom. I want men to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too, reclaim those parts of themselves they have abandoned. And in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.

You might be thinking: who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing speaking at the UN? I’ve been asking myself the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make it better. And having seen what I’ve seen and given the chance, I feel it is my responsibility to say something. Statesman Edmund Burke said all that is need for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.

In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly “if not me, who? If not now, when?” If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you, I hope that those words will be helpful. Because the reality is that if we do nothing, it will take 75 years or for me, it’s nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates, it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls can have a secondary education. If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists that I spoke of earlier. And for this I applaud you.

We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is that we have a uniting movement – it is called HeForShe. I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen, and to ask yourself “if not me, who? If not now, when?” Thank you very very much.

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. Also, despite the 10hrs of charging, it’ll only cost you 20 cents! 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. :)

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…

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“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