Welcome to WorkingWithGrace! :)

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Hi! I’m Grace. Welcome to my blog, WorkingWithGrace. 🙂 I have interviewed a number of inspiring people for my blog, many of whom are celebrities, millionaires and entrepreneurs. Here’s one of them…

Meet Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Peter was one of my former interviewees, and here’s a quick clip for those who have never met him before:

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Since 2013, this blog has received awards and recognition from many brands. I’ve been blessed with awards such as these ones:

2013 Best Individual Blog WINNER at the annual Singapore Blog Awards
2013 Aries Gold Watches’ Blogger Contest WINNER
2013 Zespri Blogger Challenge WINNER
2013 StarHub Blogger Challenge WINNER
2014 BRANDS’ Blogger Challenge WINNER
2014 Influr Blogger Challenge WINNER
2014 rolleyes x Panasonic Blogger Challenge WINNER
2015 SingSaver Blogger Contest WINNER

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I’ve been blogging since 2010 (that seems like such a long time now) 😀 I’ll be tagging some of my favorite 2017 blogposts here. Just scroll on to read the latest posts…

#1: CNY Floral Arrangement @ Bright Hill Evergreen Home

Bright Hill Evergreen nursing home

Continue scrolling to read more of my latest blogposts! 😀

The Durian 5KM Run. Yes, You Run 5KM With A Durian In Hand.

Pic: Ci Yuan CC – Facebook Page

I know Singaporeans are crazy about runs. After our paper chase, we want to collect race medals to prove we deserve to be the #Fitspiration for our lazy couch potato neighbors and friends. But, seriously, the durian run? Have we run out of ideas (pun fully intended) already? Since when has it become a good idea to run with a durian in hand?! Actually, I think it’s best you wrap up the durian and put it in a backpack or something. You really don’t want to be holding the durian in hand as you run, ‘cos when the sweat begins dripping down your brow, and you raise your hand to wipe it off, you’ll promptly stab yourself in the eye. And you most certainly don’t want to hit a fellow runner too.

Oh dear.

If you think this is one novelty run you are up for, here are a few reasons why you just might want to sign up right now:

#1: The Run fee is just $15! 

It’s probably one of the cheapest runs ever. Note too that entry to the run is limited to the first 388 participants to register. The closing date for signing up is 16 June 2017 though I’m quite sure they’ll hit their target number very soon as many Singaporeans love durians.

#2: The Run Fee Goes To Charity

This is a fun run where all registration fees will be donated to Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Community Development Welfare Fund. What? You get a durian plus all the other runner entitlements, and you do good at the same time? Go for it!

#3: The Most Hilarious Runner Entitlements Ever

You get a Run For Good t-shirt, a Finisher Medal upon completion of the Run, your WHOLE DURIAN, a COCONUT upon completion of the Run (no need for sports drinks or bananas, ya!) and 1 lucky draw chance!

#4: The Wackiest Lucky Draw Prize

20 lucky runners will get to win prized Mao Shan Wang durians. Now, I wonder what sort of durians they were all carrying during the run. Hmm…

Durian Run 2017

Pic: runpilgrim.com

If you’re up for the challenge, go ahead and register right now:

http://runpilgrim.com/durianrun/front-page-features/register/

Shaw Premiere: Menu, Price, Review

shaw premiere tickets

I watched ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’ on Wednesday at Shaw Premiere (Nex) and absolutely loved the experience. At the same time, I worried that watching movies in ‘regular’ theaters in future would just be plain disappointing. And well they should. Shaw Premiere tickets are about 2 to 3 times more expensive than your regular cinema tickets but expect plush recliners, blankets to keep you warm, and if you need a drink or some extra popcorn, press a button located next to your seat and the staff will come attend to you! Better than watching a movie at home! 😀

Together with our tickets were two $5 F&B vouchers which we, of course, decided to use since there’s no minimum spending required. Even though we’d already had our dinner at Nex (oops), we ordered the Roti Prata with Nonya Chicken Curry ($10) to share.

shaw premiere review

I like the grilled roti prata – it’s crispy and there’s hardly any oil. The curry was decent, with small chunks of chicken and potato within.

We also ordered the Cookies & Cream Cheese Cake ($6) to be eaten while watching the movie. (We ate the prata in the Premiere lounge area) The cheese cake was a tad disappointing as it was slightly dry and crumbly, not moist and rich like I’d wished it was.

Here’s the menu for Shaw Premiere, if you’re curious:

shaw premiere menu price

If you’re a fan of popcorn, you really should order the premiere Popcorn Set ($11). You get a glass of soft drink and FREE FLOW of Shaw’s signature popcorn. WOW! It’s just too bad that I don’t eat popcorn. Perhaps they can start serving free flow chips or fries? 😀

shaw premiere menu

Here’s a pic I took while in the cinema…

shaw premiere nex

You can recline fully in these brown armchairs. There’s a blanket to keep you warm too. And if the movie is boring, well, at least you’ll be guaranteed a good, comfortable rest well worth the price of the ticket! 😀

 For 2D movies, tickets cost $20 each on Mondays to Thursdays (except opening titles and sneaks which’ll cost $25), and $25 on Fridays to Sundays, Eve of PH and PH. You’ll also be entitled to entry to the lounge, where there’s also a restroom you can visit (so you don’t have to use the common restroom open to all the other cinema patrons). There’s real exclusivity here. 😉

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I found the staff at the lounge to be attentive, welcoming and generally, very pleasant. I wished someone remembered that I wanted the cheese cake served during the movie screening though. No one brought the cake over so we had to get the attention of the person who looked like he’s the manager. And he brought the cheese cake over promptly.

I’d initially thought that the best seats in the house would be those in the middle but our two seats at the side (next to the wall) were better as we wouldn’t get distracted by the light coming in from the back each time staff came in with trays of food and drinks.

And yes, when the staff are serving people seated in the rows in front, they’ll block a small portion of the screen. *sigh*

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As for the movie ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’, wow, I really enjoyed it. Awesome as usual. And I love how those dead sharks can be re-animated once returned to the water. There’s action, there’s humor, and even though the seats are so comfy, I never once fell asleep! 😀 Go catch the movie if you haven’t already done so!

Does Giving Out Free Samples Help Businesses? Here’s The ‘Jelly Bee’ Example.

jelly bee ice jelly honey lime

I’m always wary about offers on Facebook. I’m particularly concerned about those which ask you to sign up to do surveys and earn cash (many just want to sell your particulars, so please be careful). For some strange reason, when I saw a Jelly Bee offer of 4 free sample cups of their ‘Ice Jelly Honey Lime’ drink, I signed up. After all, they were offering to deliver those free samples to my home, so why not? I waited… and that delivery never came. When I’d just about forgotten about this freebie, I received an email telling me that due to overwhelming response, the company isn’t able to do any further deliveries BUT I can head to their office (in some ulu location) and get 8 sample cups instead of the original 4 promised.

I’m sure that put a lot of people in a fix. It’s like ‘I want to get angry at you for not delivering on your promise (pun fully intended), but you’re offering me double the number of samples now so… hmm.”

Thankfully, I have the sweetest other half, who went to collect the 8 sample cups for me. Hehe! 😀

So… does giving out free samples actually help a business?

The straightforward answer: Yes and No.

It really depends on the execution of the free sampling.

#1: Do What You Said You Were Going To Do

I guess it’s no excuse to say that ‘we didn’t expect this overwhelming response’. Singaporeans LOVE freebies. You could have pulled the plug on that promotion once you hit your ‘target’ number. You could have stated that it’s limited to the first (X-number) of customers. So then you don’t take (what seems like) forever to deliver the samples and you don’t disappoint those who aren’t sent those samples.

And I’m sure a lot of people won’t bother ‘chasing’ the company for the missing samples. A few did… via their facebook page. I wouldn’t, as it’d make me feel desperate / cheap / greedy if I were to do that. Even though I can understand it may be a matter of principle for some people: You offered to send me samples, so I gave you my particulars (including my address), so you’d jolly well send me those promised samples.

In short, make it easy for your potential customers to trust and love your company and your brand.

#2: Provide A Call To Action

Unlike in a supermarket, where you can try a sample of the mini hotdogs or the instant coffee, and decide on the spot whether you like it or not, and whether you want to purchase the product right away, samples delivered to someone’s home or collected from an office doesn’t provide this option. There’s no ready stock sitting around for them to grab and go (pay for).

So you need to include, for instance, a coupon that comes with a time-sensitive discount code. “Like our product? Order within the next 15 days and receive free delivery PLUS 25% discount off our retail price. This special offer is not available anywhere else! Code expires on 10th June 2017, 23:59hrs. BUY NOW!”

You don’t want people to take the samples (especially all 8 cups of them) and take their own sweet time to drink it all, then not buy anything, and forget all about the brand / drink.

Once they open the plastic bag containing the 8 samples, there should be at least a slip of paper to notify the potential customer that he/she is doing a sampling, and there’s a special offer to purchase this product and the offer expires very soon, so he/she has to make a decision quickly.

So as I’m enjoying this cold treat, and silently thanking your company for the generosity, I’ll be thinking of whether I should be stocking up our fridge with this drink, or offering it to guests at someone’s birthday party, etc.

Also, there should be a call from the company within a week of me receiving the samples, to ask if I have feedback (so important for companies) or would like to place an order (take my money now!) Assuming each person who receives a call and places an order ends up buying 2 cartons ($48), and each call takes about 5 minutes, in one hour, 12 calls can be made, yielding $576 revenue. Assuming the staff doing the calling just works for 3 hours, that’s $1,728 revenue in a day. Multiplied by 20 days, that’s $34,560 in revenue that month just from the sampling + follow-up calls. And that’s just a very conservative estimate since there was an ‘overwhelming response’ to the free sampling.

#3: Make Sure The Product Is Amazing

ho lim jelly bee

I really do like this drink. It’s like a calamansi drink with jelly that, when served cold, is so refreshing and thirst-quenching. Also, according to Mom, it whets the appetite. I think this drink would be great with, say, sambal stingray or laksa. 😀 #IAmHungry Bubble tea lovers will certainly like this one. Instead of these little cups they come in (with those impossible-to-tear-open lids that you have to stab with a fork or straw), the drink should be packaged in bottles, like the new Milo Peng bottles. I certainly won’t mind getting a bottle of this ‘ice jelly honey lime’ instead of my usual (overpriced) bubble tea.

That said, I do wonder why ‘jelly’ isn’t listed in their ingredients list. It states “Water, Sugar, Lime, Lemon, Honey and Permitted Preservatives”. So where’s the ‘jelly’?

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That’s all for now. I just thought I’d put together this blogpost after I saw how the initial generosity of a company might not give it the sales figures it desires because certain parts of the sampling process needs tweaking. It’s not that sampling doesn’t work, it’s just that the process needs work. I have a few other ideas for them that I may or may not convey to them privately. We’ll see. 😀

50 People Share The BEST Life Advice From Their Parents

Best advice from Dad

Chinese parents are fond of telling their children “我食盐多过你食米” (lit. I’ve eaten more salt than you’ve had rice) to indicate that they’ve accumulated more life experience, and therefore their words carry more salt *ahem* I mean, weight. In this blogpost, you’ll find life advice from 50 people, who first heard it from their parents. I’ve arbitrarily grouped those 50 pieces of advice into 8 categories: Money, Attitudes, Work, God, Family/Children, Relationships, Health and Dreams (and not in any particular order). Have a read and see which ones you can especially relate to. 🙂 *Have edited certain quotes for clarity and length.

Here are 3 nuggets of wisdom I found didn’t quite sit nicely in any category, but which I love anyway:

#1: My mum’s best advice to me is “Don’t do anything against your conscience, be true and good to yourself and others!”

#2: My late dad’s best advice to me: “Don’t make decisions when you’re angry. Don’t make promises when you’re happy. We should always weigh the pros and cons in order to make a sound decision.”

#3: My mom once said “Always believe in yourself. Even if your chances are slim, or when everyone else doesn’t believe you can succeed, persevere! People will look up to you because you’re sticking to what you believe in, and they will admire that in you.”

MONEY

#4: My parents’ best advice to me is to always be on the selling side and not of the buying side. This taught me to always think of ideas and ways to sell or be a seller instead of always spending money!

#5: My parents’ best advice to me was to help the less fortunate when we can, and not to waste food.

ATTITUDES

#6: My parents’ best advice to me is to BE HAPPY! Stay positive & always have a smile no matter what happens. Life is much simpler when you’re happy & carefree!

#7: My parents’ best advice to me is to never give up despite all odds. Looking back, I realise that all the problems were so minute as compared to what the adults were facing. At that time, I was only concentrating on my issues and felt so stressed – be it BGR or studies. I’m sure my parents had much bigger problems than I had; putting food on the table, job security, taking care of the household & the kids, etc. Despite their struggles of being poor and needing to feed us kids well, my parents never gave up encouraging us that it is OK to try and fail and we should never give up trying. I am so thankful for this advice as it stuck with me till today and it’s the same I’m telling my kids today! Hope to instill the same values in the next generation!

#8: Always be humble and never proud and arrogant even if I have done well or surpassed others!

#9: My dad’s best advice to me was to “Be grateful for everything and everyone that has crossed your path. Even if the person has fed you only a morsel.”

#10: My mom’s best advice to me is to always think positively and never ever let negative thoughts or words bring me down..

#11: My mother’s advice to me: never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. A setback is never a bad experience, just another one of life’s lessons.

#12: “No one can make you feel inferior except yourself’.

#13: My best advice from my parents is to be humble and to not give up easily.

#14: Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right.

#15: The best piece of advice my parents ever gave me is to enjoy life in the moment. Of course, they advise me about planning for the future and about saving up money but they also understand we get just this one life and we should go on as many adventures as possible.

#16: My mum’s best advice to me is to live life to the fullest, even during hard times. Life is short, so lead a meaningful one, be compassionate, kind-hearted, and helping people in need. There are bound to be ups and downs, challenges and obstacles in life but be positive and never give up. Be brave and determined to conquer any difficulties because when there is a will, there is a way, just like sunshine after the rain.

#17: My mother’s best advice to me is to take one day at a time, don’t worry as worries will not take you anywhere. Everything will be alright and will work out for me. Make the best of everything I do and be kind to everyone.

WORK

#18: My dad’s best advice is to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. That way, you will learn more.

#19: My dad’s best advice to me is “Always give your 101% in everything you do. If you succeed, give yourself a pat on the shoulder. If you fail, try, try, try again, and even if you have to fail again, at least you know you’ve tried your best and have no regrets.”

#20: My dad’s best advice to me: Put your head down and work hard. Never wait for things to happen, make them happen for yourself through hard work and not giving up.

#21: My mom’s best advice is that life is all about hard work and treats. Work hard every day, always strive to achieve your greatest potential, and then treat yourself with small rewards like dark chocolate, a good cup of coffee or a nap. Also, whether they are mental, physical, or anything in between, people’s disabilities do not define them. Thirdly, be your own best friend and you’ll never feel lonely. And always remember to be true to yourself.

#22: My parents’ best advice to me is “the grass is greener on the other side but grass doesn’t grow on its own. There must be water, sunlight and someone’s effort to maintain it. If you want something, there’s no easy way out. You just have to work for it.”

GOD

#23: My parents’ best advice is to love and prioritize God and the rest will come naturally.

#24: My mum’s best advice to me is “don’t compare your life with others; the grass always looks greener on the other side. Pray and thank the Almighty for the blessings He has showered upon us!”

FAMILY / CHILDREN

#25: My parents’ best advice to me is to LOVE your child the way we love you. Spread the love in the family.

#26: My parents’ best advice to me is “Love your family and you will have a rewarding life and filial children in your lifetime. Live your life to the fullest!”

#27: Best advice given to me from Mak was “Never separate a son from his mother, for she is still his heaven. A respectful son to his mother is as respectful to his wife and children.”

#28: My mum’s best advice to me is “You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak”. Often the conversation ends in fights and arguments because one of us fails to listen sincerely. I think this advice is really great and looking back on 36 years of marriage, I think we have followed her advice wisely.

#29: My dad’s best advice to me was to never love my husband 100%. That we, as wives, deserve to love ourselves with at least 40% from that total, because we are the ‘backbones’ (the support) to our husbands. The rest of that percentage, you can give to your children (I have 4 haha!). Always take good care of yourself. Life is short, so love your family properly but never forget about yourself.

#30: My parents’ best advice to me was on the day of my wedding. They told both of us the following: 1. Never put each other down (criticize, insult, make negative remarks, make negative/disparaging jokes, etc.) either in private or in front of others, including your own family. Always ensure that you maintain each other’s dignity. 2. Always be sensitive to each other’s needs. 3. Identify the issues which your spouse is sensitive about, try and understand why your spouse is sensitive about these things, and avoid raising these issues or creating these sensitive situations. 4. Always respect each other as husband and wife. 5. Each spouse has an equal/balanced role to play to maintain the marriage, family or household, especially when it comes to decision making, as well as family or household chores. When deciding on something major, both sides should have a say. 6. In-laws and relatives (and friends). It is important to get on well with everyone as much as possible! 7. Do not forget important days, like birthdays and anniversaries, and celebrate the occasion. 8. Don’t always go with convention/follow the crowd. Be practical. 9. Have pleasant surprises (which do not have to be expensive/costly) for each other now and then. But make sure the surprises do not inconvenience your spouse or put him/her in a spot. 10. Make sure you give each other adequate space – to hang out with your own friends now and then, do your own things, etc. 11. When you do something for your spouse, don’t keep counting them and expect your spouse to reciprocate in the same manner! 12. Finally, everything said and done, if you do or say something which hurt your spouse, intentionally or otherwise, don’t wait too long to apologize.

RELATIONSHIPS

#31: The best advice from my mum was to learn to give up on my ex-bf (3 years) when he ask for a break up with me. I was so heart broken. I cried every night in her arms. Those were the darkest months of my life. Thanks to my mum, I managed to survive that episode.

#32: My mum’s best advice to me is don’t let other people make the choices for you and don’t let no one push you around. Be confident and proud of yourself!

#33: My parents’ best advice to me was: a marriage isn’t 1 + 1 =2. It is 0.5 +0.5 =1. Marriage is about removing each other’s bad habit(s) to become one. Marriage isn’t about possession, but it is about appreciating each other, loving each other through good and bad times.

#34: My mum’s best advice to me is to consider marrying a good man who is kindhearted and faithful, not based on looks alone!

#35: My parents’ best advice to us came not in words but in actions. They have shown us how to be appreciative, thankful and kind. In short, to show respect to all regardless of one’s profession and to never look down on others. And when the going gets tough, that’s when we have to be tougher! To keep going and never give up!

#36: My mum’s best advice to me is that there is no Prince Charming. Even if he exists, you shouldn’t count on him to provide for you or be the only one who handles financial issues. You should be a strong, independent woman. Mom taught me early on to understand financial basics and to set myself up for a stable future regardless of whether I have a partner to share that future with. Because of her, I always try to save 20% of my pocket money and invest my savings in fixed deposits.

#37: My parents’ best advice to me is to open my eyes BIGGER & marry the right guy!

#38: My Dad’s advice to me is ‘Treat others as you want to be treated’.

#39: My dad’s best advice to me is never disturb other people’s rice bowl no matter how much you despise that person.

HEALTH

#40: My parents’ best advice to me is to stay healthy and happy because these two are the most important things in life!

#41: My parents’ best advice to me is ‘study hard, play hard and health is wealth!’

#42: My mother once told me “Do the best you can every time. Sometimes, people will think that your efforts are not enough, that you are not good. But the important thing is how do you feel about it. Did you do your best? If the answer is ‘yes,’ you can feel proud, even if, to the world, you look defeated”. And my father once told me: Always remember that you work with people. People like you, with problems, with loved ones, with sad days and joyous days. So, every time you do something, think of the repercussion that your actions will have on other people, because that person on the other side is not really different from you!

#43: My mum’s best advice to me is to give and take. I learned from her that giving is a lot harder than taking, but the former is much more satisfying when it is done. She told me that giving makes one happy. I am sure she is right because half of her life, she has been giving me what I need, and in spite of all those years of giving, she is happy.

#44: My dad’s best advice to me was : “Don’t owe anyone any favor. When they ask it back from you, it will never be something you can return.”

#45: My mum’s best advice to me is to have integrity in life; it takes a long time to build a character that is trustworthy but just one moment and one foolish deed to tear it down!

DREAMS

#46: My mum’s best advice to me is never give up on your dreams and as long as you have done your best, never regret your decisions.

#47: My parents’ best advice to me is “be true to yourself and you will find the path that suits you the most!”

#48: ‘Doers achieve what dreamers believe. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.’

#49: Be Strong enough to overcome failure and Happy enough to overcome sadness!

#50: “No matter what you’re given, do the best you can and give your all. In all things, compete against yourself. Be better than you were yesterday. You have a name – so leave your mark and continue moving forward.”

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Have a nugget of wisdom your parents shared with you? WIN a 3D2N Sentosa stay PLUS $200 spending money by taking part in Tendersoft’s contest.

Why 7-Eleven’s Marketing Campaigns Are So Tempting, And What Your Company Can Learn

711 sanrio line friends mug

Do you remember 7-eleven’s previous campaign with the Sanrio marker pens? Those were SO adorable and I almost got sucked into that one (keyword here: almost). Now, there’s their ceramic mug collection and I’ve already bought one. Why, you ask? I suppose I could use another mug at home, alongside the other 5,721 mugs I already own. 😛 ‘Cos I want the Hello Kitty mug, of course! And what are the odds of getting one? Sigh…

As you can see in the picture above, I got the Sally mug. And let’s just say these mugs don’t come cheap for consumers. You need to collect stamps in order to ‘redeem’ them. Spend $4 on products at 7-11 and you get 1 stamp. Collect 6 stamps (i.e. spending $24 or more) and you can purchase a mug at $6.90. *Note that you CANNOT choose the mug design you want. You’re given what collectors call a ‘blind box’ (even the staff don’t know which mug is inside). Then you rip off the seal and hope you get the one you desire.

Alternatively, you can collect 20 stamps (i.e. spending $80 or more) and get the mug for free. And it still may not be the design you desire. If you’re in-charge of buying drinks and snacks for your gathering or hot snacks for your fellow colleagues, then you could charge the expenses to the company, and either just top up $6.90 and get a mug or if you have enough stamps, get a mug for free. I guess that’s possibly the only way you could make the most of this campaign.

Pic Credit: 7-eleven SG’s Facebook Page

~ Why This Particular Campaign Is So Tempting And Addictive ~

#1: There are opportunities to earn Double Stamps

This isn’t new, but I love that I can get twice the number of stamps by purchasing certain products. Yesterday, at Vivocity’s 7-11 outlet, I was told that there were 4 products which would give me double stamps: 2 kinds of beverages (I bought one), 7-11’s Kimchi Fried Rice (I bought that too) and a packet of Eclipse’s chewy mints (which I also bought).

This makes it seem like a GAME. And like children, adults love games.

I remember Laneige’s previous roadshow event at Ion. My goodness. Their target audience: mainly working females. But there were claw machines, exercise stepper games and more. People had a whale of a time, collected many freebies, and probably won’t forget about the brand anytime soon.

So if your brand is just conducting Facebook giveaways (which have gotten a tad boring, and often appear at the same time as the giveaways by other brands), you might want to shake things up a bit.

#2: It’s like the lottery, with near-misses

If you’ve noticed (yes, eagle-eyed you), the mugs don’t just have one character on them. My Sally mug has Keroppi on it, happily riding a bicycle. The Brown mug and Leonard mug both have Hello Kitty on them too. If I’d gotten either the Brown or Leonard mug, I really might have made another purchase and hope to get the actual Hello Kitty mug!

If you’d like to change consumer behavior, consider how you can create these near-miss situations. Not too long ago, Mr Bean launched their scratch-and-win campaign. Buy a pancake + drink, for instance, and get a scratchcard. I bought such a set specifically because I wanted to take part in the campaign and win something. I got one of those ‘Thank You For Participating’ messages and was disappointed. Some time after that, I visited another Mr Bean outlet and bought the same thing; and was again disappointed. I don’t think I’ll be going back again. Even if I had ‘won’ a 50-cent discount off my next purchase, or gotten a buy-1-get-1-free coupon, I’d have gone back again and again because winning makes me feel good, and it seems like it’s easy to win / feel good.

So, for your business, can you help customers feel like they are winning? Maybe they can win a sample of another product they haven’t tried yet? Or perhaps they can win a free consultation with your staff. The more they return to you, the more likely they’ll create a habit of coming back.

For instance, when I pay for my bubble tea drinks at Koi, using my membership card, I get a receipt stating how much more I need to spend before I get a free credit top-up. Will I buy drinks from the other bubble tea store next door? No. I’m not getting anything there. Koi also gives me two free drinks during my birthday month! Now you know why there’s always a long queue at their outlets!

#3: There’s a possibility of swapping a mug for the one you want

Head over to 7-eleven Singapore’s facebook page and you’ll find many people commenting on the ceramic mug posts to state which mugs they’ve gotten, which ones they are looking for, which ones they have extras of and which mugs they want to trade for.

So the risk of me having to keep a mug I don’t want is greatly reduced. Say, for instance, I get the My Melody mug and I’m really not a fan. There are probably at least 5 people at any one time who will swap their mugs with me or buy the My Melody one from me.

These 3 factors, on top of the obvious one of wanting to ‘catch em all’ (i.e. collect the full series), makes this campaign so tempting and addictive. Yes, there are spoilsports who will ‘helpfully’ comment on 7-11’s post saying the same mugs can be found on Taobao for less, but it’s just not as fun as working for something and scoring a reward. Sure, you can stay home and cheat while playing Pokemon Go so you can collect all the pokemon without leaving your home, but you miss out on the fun of heading out, chasing down the pokemon, missing some, then eventually scoring victory after victory. It just ain’t the same.

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It’s interesting how this mug can cost $24+ and an additional $6.90, and people are still willing to pay for it. Meanwhile, there are mugs sitting in Sanrio stores, for instance, that can be acquired for the same price or less, AND YOU GET TO CHOOSE THE DESIGN YOU WANT, but few people are buying them. Isn’t that strange?

And 7-eleven can, knowing people are on the hunt for double stamp items, push sales of certain products. It’s the first time I’m buying their Kimchi Fried Rice. I probably wouldn’t order Kimchi Fried Rice in any eatery or restaurant (much less a convenience store), but I got it from 7-11. Basically, they can make people buy any product. Isn’t that brilliant?

Say, if you have a certain product in your store that’s close to their expiry date, or you really need to clear out your stock, think of how people will buy what you want them to buy as long as they think it gets them what they want. Think win-win.

Meanwhile, I’m going to get a drink using my Sally mug right now so no one can accuse me of getting this expensive mug and letting it collect dust at home. Heh heh.

Unique Gifts For Men: Watch Movement Cufflinks (Giveaway + Promo Code)

The Little Link Discount Code

My other half owns 7 pairs of cufflinks: 1 for each day of the week, I guess. Out of those 7 pairs, 2 are watch movement cufflinks. These days, you can get cufflinks customised with the pictures of your family members, engraved with your name on them, or even get a pair featuring your favorite movie character, e.g. Iron Man. But if you want something out-of-the-norm or cufflinks that are bound to impress (those who don’t have them 😛), then watch movement cufflinks are the ones to go for. 🙂 Read on for details of my giveaway of a very cool pair of watch movement cufflinks from The Little Link, and why I picked this particular pair of cufflinks out of all those featured on the website.

The Little Link Customised Cufflinks

Photo Cufflinks $59.90, Engravable Cufflinks $49.90, Iron Man Cufflinks $19.90

This particular pair, the ‘Watch Movement Adam’ ($89.90) comes with tarnish-free rhodium plating and beautifully exposed mechanical detailing. Just wind it up and watch the dials spin. And that lovely gold color is deliciously eye-catching. If your husband or brother is very ‘hiao‘ (vain) or if your dad’s favorite color is gold, why then, this would be the perfect pair of cufflinks for him! 🙂

Watch Movement Cufflinks

‘Watch Movement Adam’

On top of the pretty aesthetics, there’s also that octagonal design, which you’ll also find on Singapore’s one-dollar coins. 🙂 The Chinese believe that it brings good luck. Gorgeous design + good luck. Don’t you wish you own a pair of these cufflinks? Make sure you take part in my giveaway happening over at my Facebook page then.

The Little Link Singapore

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Promo Code for 10% off your shopping cart at The Little Link: GRACE10

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Besides cufflinks, you’ll also find ties, leather goods, etc on The Little Link. I got a LINE FRIENDS x Moleskine notebook to add to my collection. 😀 It comes with limited edition stickers and a ballpen too! I find Cony ridiculously cute, hence the ‘photobombing’ in this picture:

Line Friends Moleskine Notebook

Since Father’s Day is just around the corner (next month, in fact), go ahead and get a gift for him. If cufflinks and notebooks aren’t his thing, you’ll also find everything else from socks to pens and shirts on the site too! Plus, get 10% off your first purchase at The Little Link by using this code ‘GRACE10‘ 🙂 Happy shopping, y’all!

Paulinni: Really Good Pizza @ Chinatown Point

paulinni singapore menu

Here’s another Groupon hit: the pizza at Paulinni, Chinatown Point. People usually pop by Paullini for their wraps, coffee and gelato BUT I’ve found that what they TRULY excel at is their pizzas. In particular, the Ortolana Paulinni pizza you see in the picture above. For just $16, you get about 8 slices of this delicious pizza. The ingredients are so fresh (just check out those avocado slices), there’s just the right amount of cheese, it’s so tasty, the pizza crust is just the right thickness (not the pretentious thin crust pizzas, and not those thick enough to give you a jaw workout). Put simply, I’m in love with this pizza. 😀 I’d even go so far as to say that it was better than the world-famous pizzas I had at Motorino, Genting! (*Also, I love how it’s not burnt at the bottom; you can lift the pizza slice and check – it’s not black all over underneath)

Then there’s the wrap we tried: $12 for Soba Heaven. You won’t feel like you’ve gone to Heaven, but I like how the fresh veggies, tofu and soba make for an interesting wrap. It’s quite filling too, therefore it’s good for sharing.

paulinni chinatown point

We also had a waffle with 3 scoops of gelato (dark truffle, mango and rum& raisin) that cost $13.80. When ordering ‘sweet’ flavors like chocolate, I’ll order something else a little tart or outright sour (like the mango) so there’s a nice balance. The waffle itself is uninspiring so it was pretty fortunate that we liked the gelato! 😀

paulinni review

Wow. That’s a lot of food-related blogposts I’ve been sharing. I do feel like I’ve been overeating now. ANYWAY… the reason I’m blogging about what I eat is because it serves as a really good food diary for me. If I forget where I ate that yummy pizza with avocado on top, just a quick search on my blog will take me here. 🙂 If you’ve tried something that I recommended, and you like it too, let me know. 🙂 If you didn’t like it, however, I don’t need to know (‘cos taste is subjective anyway). LOL 😛

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Paulinni is located at #01-05 Chinatown Point, S059413).

paulinni

老街坊: Old School Snacks And Toys @ Chinatown

He told me to meet him at Chinatown this afternoon as he had a surprise for me. I have a (perhaps) love-hate relationship with ‘surprises’. For one, I was supposed to have gone for a floral jamming workshop from 1pm to 2.30pm today, but surprise surprise, when I reached the shop, the guy who’d liaised with me told me there had been a mistake and the workshop would only happen at 2.30pm. I left… more than a little peeved. So… when my man told me he had a surprise in store for me at Chinatown, my first thought was “oh boy… here we go again *cringe*” Thankfully, this stall on the third floor, above the hawker centre, had a few of my favorite snacks. The surprise? He’d bought a Groupon voucher allowing us to get $20 worth of snacks at 老街坊 (Lao Jie Fang) . SNACK ATTACK TIME!

Lao Jie Fang

I simply love biscuits out of those tins. My favorite ones are the iced jem biscuits and the ones with pineapple jam in between. 😀

Singapore Old School Snacks

We bought $21 worth of snacks, but spent only $11. Thank you, Groupon!

Lao Jie Fang Chinatown

Yup, I’ve been feeding my face wayyyy too much lately. Boiled veggie diet starts tomorrow. And oh… have you visited the Thai Festival? If you have, drop me a comment over at my Facebook page. I’d love to know about your experience there.

I like supporting small businesses like this one. You can grab a pack of biscuits at $2 or $2.50 and because it’s in a small pack, you are unlikely to overeat, compared to, say, if you bought a big bag of chips from the supermarket. You’re usually tempted to get the biggest pack because it’s more value-for-money. Sometimes there’s a promotion, e.g. buy 2 packs and get free Old Chang Kee curry puffs (I’m serious… I actually spotted that promotion). Who can resist those?! So do yourself a favor and get snacks in small quantities…

Old School Snacks in Singapore

Of course, I’m not the biggest fan of the location. I avoid going to the Chinatown hawker centre if I can. There are a couple of reasons for that. But the main one is an encounter with a tissue peddler who gave me a shock back then. He didn’t look old (probably in his late thirties) and he looked to be able-bodied. So when he came by to sell his tissue, I declined to buy any. He went down on his knees. Straightaway, I took $5 out of my wallet and gave it to him. He placed three packs of tissue on the table; I shifted them a little so they’re closer to the table’s edge and any other tissue peddler who came by would spot them (and not approach me). He actually took it as a sign that I didn’t want his tissues AND HE TOOK THEM BACK. I was flabbergasted! All I had wanted was a simple meal with a friend. This was totally unexpected. 😀 #IAmInAStorytellingMoodToday

Anyway, I won’t mind returning to Lao Jie Fang for more snacks next time. *If you’re keen, the Groupon vouchers are still on sale. Go ahead and buy one and get snacks at half price. That’s a really good discount!

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Lao Jie Fang is located at Blk 32 New Market Road #03-1074 Singapore 050032.

Day 2 Of The Thai Festival 2017 Singapore :)

thai festival 2017 singapore

I visited the Thai Festival yesterday but went back again this morning. 😀 Yes, it is a great alternative to booking a flight to Thailand. Hehe! 😀 And since he was with me, I got to try a few more items today. I ordered Tom Yum Egg Noodles and bought coconut water and a coconut jelly while he got Pad Thai and Thai Milk Tea. Total expenditure: $23.60 only.

thai fest 2017

There are a few things you might want to note if you’re heading to the Thai Festival over the weekend. For one, you’ll want to head there early. Since it opens at 10am, why not show up at 10am? Avoid the crowds, and enjoy your makan before it gets hot in the afternoon. The only drawback is that some of the vendors might not be ready to serve you yet. I ordered the $3.90 Mango Sticky Rice from this Thai Super Bowl stall yesterday, but today, they weren’t ready to serve customers even as long queues formed for other stalls…

thai festival singapore

I’m not sure why their Mango Sticky Rice is priced at $3.90 (perhaps they’re just really nice people, so order from them) as there’s another stall selling the same thing at $5. While queuing for tom yum egg noodles, I overheard an OL telling her colleague that she’d bought Mango Sticky Rice from a stall at $6. I didn’t have the heart to tell her she might have picked the most expensive one. 😀 It’s good to walk around and compare prices first. 😛

The Tom Yum Egg Noodles from this other stall were delicious! The best part, really, is that you get to add the bean sprouts yourself. So go ahead and give yourself a generous serving of the sprouts… I did.

thai fest singapore

When you read a book a second time, you’ll learn something new. When I visited the Thai Festival a second time, I discovered the MASSAGE corner. It’s not Thai pricing, if you get what I mean. It’ll cost you something like $15 for 20 minutes. But hey, you saved on airfare, remember? 😀

thai fest sg

Two more days to the conclusion of the Thai Festival. If you miss it this time, you’ll have to wait a year for the next installment so pop by, rain or shine. There’s adequate tentage for shelter, and fans and cooler units, plus beer, performances and lots to see, try and buy. 😀

Gold Grill: ‘Singapore’s First Infrared Light Grilling’ BBQ Restaurant

Gold Grill Upper Thomson

Gold Grill at Upper Thomson Road is a Korean-Thai Fusion BBQ Restaurant that I didn’t know existed till he bought the voucher via Groupon (now called Fave, by the way). Besides the novelty factor of having a rotating grill and infrared light to cook your food, I found that the marinates and sauces they use here are very tasty. Make sure you try the infrared light grilling. Your food will get cooked really fast so beware of charring! 😀 We were feeling very hungry after our MacRitchie treetop walk so it was great that we didn’t have to tolerate a long wait before the food could enter our tummies.

*Do beware of burns too if you’re seated close to the grill. I wouldn’t recommend you seat children near the grill as well. He complained of some discomfort after the meal. Apparently the arm that was closer to the grill experienced something akin to a mild sunburn (?). I thought it was weird ‘cos he should have moved away from the grill if he had felt any discomfort earlier on. I experienced no such discomfort.

They have cool packaging for the wet wipes though:

Gold Grill bbq restaurant

I might pop by again if I’m in the area and up for a treat. Since we tried only the chicken platter, there’s still the beef and pork platters to try. At this point in writing, the Groupon / Fave voucher is still on sale so head over to myfave.com to get yours. 🙂

You’ll enjoy free flow drinks if you purchase the Fave voucher too. Just two options though. When we visited, it was lime juice and passionfruit. It might be different during your visit. Alternatively, you can order the drinks on the a la carte menu and pay for those separately.

*I did Google to find out if infrared grilling is safe, especially when we are using it to cook food. Apparently, it is. But if the food gets charred, and you eat it, then it might not be great for your health. I’ll leave you to do your own research, and draw your own conclusions. My take is that the marinated chicken here is delicious, and that special sauce they use for the prawns is good too. I heard that customers love the mushrooms here, but I didn’t try those during our visit. So I just may go back again. 🙂

Infrared light grilling

Gold Grill is located at 215 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574349. Tel: 9329 4978.