Welcome to WorkingWithGrace! :)

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Hi! I’m Grace. Welcome to my blog, WorkingWithGrace. πŸ™‚ 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.Β 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

… and more. πŸ™‚

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CNY Catering

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Making A Hello Kitty Phone Case With A 3D Doodling Pen :D

3D Doodle Pen project

I’ve been loving STEM projects recently. And it all started with the Micro:bit, then I moved on to the drones, the robot, and finally, it’s the 3D doodling pen now! πŸ˜€ It was my first attempt at making my own phone case and I tried to make it a Hello Kitty one. With the time constraints, it certainly was no easy task. But one certainly feels a sense of accomplishment at the end. And if you’ve never seen one of those 3D doodling pens before, here’s what it looks like:

3D Doodle Pen

You insert the “filament” (which looks like thin plastic wiring) from the top, and it comes out from the tip like ink you can use to draw based on your design. In a matter of minutes, you can create any object you’d like. And when it cools and solidifies (which happens quickly), tah-dah!

It’s fun, intuitive and relatively inexpensive, I’d say. You can get one of these pens online for S$40 or less. And the filament can be purchased (in bulk) from SKP in a variety of colors.

You’ll be able to make your own toys, spectacles, gifts, etc. But I won’t recommend letting kids under the age of, say, 9 play with this as the tip of the pen can get pretty hot. πŸ˜€

Reserving Judgement On Reserved Train Seats

Just saw a post shared on Facebook that originated from a Facebook user, ‘Ken Lee’, who alleges that a younger person snatched a seat that his 62-year-old father wanted to take on a Joo Koon-bound train. And there’s a picture of a slim-built young man in a blue long-sleeved top apparently asleep in the reserved seat, clutching a backpack. And sure enough, other Facebook users were quick to pass judgement on this person in the photo, with choice words like “asshole”, “disabled”, “stupid”, etc.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FKenLee999%2Fposts%2F10157308045134578&width=500

Only 1 person tried to be the voice of reason and ask:

“Where is the video of him confronting ur dad? Would like to see and judge. Base on this picture cannot judge what u said is true. U mentioned 62 yo is nt old either and those seats are reserved for disabled, pregnant, old people with walking stick and Mother carrying babies. Yr dad obviously doesn’t fit those bills. Again, I don’t understand why people (incl the man and yr dad) cannot even stand for a 30mins ride in a aircon train? If cannot tahan, better stay at home.”

It’s easy to get upset when we read such stories of younger people apparently snatching seats from their elders. It reeks of disrespect. Yet there has been no fact-checking and no corroboration of accounts. Is there a credible witness who can confirm that such a thing happened? Or better still, was there a video clip of the incident?

And this account was not even posted by the older Mr Lee, who was supposedly the victim of a snatch-and-snooze on the MRT train. It was posted by his son, who was not even at the scene.

So before we get upset and start a witch-hunt for this guy, it’s better to just sit back and chill first.

What do you imagine a 62-year-old man looks like? Is he frail? Or is he even fitter than men half his age? Let’s not be so quick to judge a person we’ve not even met. As for the guy in the photo? Well, it’d be good to hear his side of the story (if he was not actually asleep at that time).

And it appears that even though the 62-year-old Mr Lee did not sustain any injuries after the young man allegedly ‘bumped him out of the way’, Mr Lee decided to take a picture of the man in the reserved seat. For what purpose? What did seniors do in the past before there were handphones? Did they get someone to draw a portrait of the offender and stick those ‘posters’ all over the kampongs? (Ok, it’s a joke. But you get the idea, ya? ;))

Having reserved seats on the trains does not mean seniors are entitled to seats all of the time. We do each make a judgement call (however arbitrary) according to the circumstances. For instance, if a healthy-looking senior is seated on a reserved seat in a packed train, reading a newspaper, and a heavily pregnant woman carrying multiple bags boards the train and walks toward the senior, should the latter give up the seat to the pregnant lady? Who needs the seat more? If you’re seated next to the senior, would you ask him to give up his seat? And if the pregnant lady gets the seat, and a young man hobbles onto the train with the aid of crutches (looking like he recently got into an accident), should the pregnant woman stand up and offer the injured fella the seat then?

I guess we can only say our society is a gracious one the day that seniors and pregnant women and mobility-challenged folks enter train cabins and immediately, people who were actually seated all rise and offer their seats to these folks who need them more. And we can take off those silly “Reserved Seating” stickers.

Instead of promoting graciousness, we’re breeding a certain sense of entitlement. There are seniors who do not join the queue at the MRT platforms, and instead waltz their way into the cabins when the train doors open. Should the young queue-abiding commuters take pictures of the seniors and post them on social media? Of course not. We just live and let live.

Also, some parents believe (erroneously or not) that young children deserve to take those reserved seats. I’ve seen kids in the reserved seats, with parents beside them, and I wonder why they deserve those seats? Some are certainly too young to have to pay the train fare so they are riding for free, and most of them are definitely not disabled. So why do parents not seat young children on laps, and leave the reserved seats for other commuters? What should we do upon witnessing such a sight? Take a photo and post it on Facebook?

*sigh*

D’Best Skill Fishing At Pasir Ris: Price, Catch Rate, Things To Note

d'best fishing pasir ris

Recently, we had a good harvest at D’Best Fishing in Pasir Ris Park, even though previous visits involved poor catch rates and ‘donations’ of fish from other fishing ‘shifus’. That day, we took home our very own catch of 3 ‘pomfrets’ and 5 larger fish (snapper and seabass, I believe). And he even caught one very small fish that he insisted on taking home (I would have released it back into the pond. LOL) And this was done within 3 hours and using just 1 rod which we shared. So I’m trying to wrap my head around this bountiful harvest and figure out just what it was that made this fishing ‘outing’ so different from the earlier ones.

*If you’re wondering, it costs $45 for 3 hours of ‘Skill Fishing’.

#1: The weather and day of the week

pasir ris fishing

It was a rainy day so by the time we were done fishing, we were thoroughly drenched. We were so ill-prepared that besides an umbrella, we didn’t have much else to shield us from the rain. Meanwhile, other anglers had raincoats, boots, etc. Amateur much.

But the rain also meant that few people wanted to come fishing, and this means less competition. There’s obviously a limited number of fish in the pond so the fewer ‘experts’ there were fishing next to us, the better for us. πŸ˜€

And on the topic of quantity, this time round, we popped by on a Friday afternoon, right after lunch at the newly-opened Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre next door. I might be wrong but I’m guessing the operator releases more fish into the ponds on Fridays, since more people might pop by in the evening after work, and also early in the morning on Saturday.

#2: Ponds just got topped up with fish from the fish truck

skill fishing at pasir ris park

There’s this truck carrying fish that will back into the park and offload lots of fish at a certain time of the day. But the new additions to the pond will take a while to get used to these unfamiliar surroundings. You’ll see the fish sink to the bottom like rocks once they hit the water. They don’t show signs of life till much later.

So if you spot the truck, it’s a good idea to wait a while before commencing fishing. We were prawning then, and since we had the entire place to ourselves, it was a really good prawn harvest too.

The corner where he’s standing has a death trap too. Lines usually get snagged here…

pasir ris prawning

#3: Avoiding ‘death traps’ is key! Prevent fish from escaping or the line from snapping…

pasir ris park fishing

I’ve circled the wooden platform and the ‘structure’ you’ll find in the middle of ponds. If fish you’ve already got hooked swim under that platform in a desperate bid to escape, you can almost say goodbye to this catch already. He even broke a rod when that happened and had to pay the $10 penalty.

As for me, another fish I’d almost gotten swam round the circular structure in the middle of another pond and bye bye… I should have released my hold on the rod. πŸ˜›

I don’t know why but that circular structure in the middle of ponds gets fishing hooks stuck to it… and it’s almost impossible to release. So make sure you avoid it.

#4: Movement

I watched an ‘uncle’ fishing and noticed he dragged the line across the pond in a sort of ‘darting’ fashion, the way I’ve seen small fish move. I guess it makes the bait seem ‘alive’ and prompts the big fish to snap at it. Anyway, this technique appeared to really work for me. The bigger fish on this trip were caught by me but, of course, with his help as I’ll share in the next point…

#5: Teamwork

It’s best to work as a tag team. One person gets the fish hooked and brings it close to the surface, while the other person helps pull the line (and fish) out of the water. There are very few people (I’ve seen) who can do both tasks themselves and get the fish out successfully.

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Seafood prices tend to go up when CNY is approaching so it made a lot of sense to head out and catch our own prawns and fish. πŸ˜€

fishing in singapore

homecooked fish

steamed pomfret

πŸ˜€

MAKER UNO: Your Robot Pet With A Motion Sensor

Motion Sensing Robot

I spent an hour today learning how to make this robot pet you see in the picture above, and I consider it an hour well-spent. This Maker Uno project turned out to be even more difficult than learning to program and fly a drone. I have zero knowledge of circuitry and things like motion sensors, breadboards, and even jumper wires! (>_<) So it was certainly an intense hour. Once the robot is assembled, though, it can move forward on its own and once it detects an obstacle in front of it, it reverses. Apparently, the sensor uses echolocation (like bats do) to measure the distance between itself and the obstacle. How cool is that?!

Here’s what it looks like when all the wires are in the ‘right’ place, and before I stick everything together with tape:

Maker Uno Singapore

If you think it looks like one big mess, yup, I think the same way too. πŸ˜€ But it’s really cool – when you connect it to your laptop or a powerbank via USB, the wheels start turning immediately.

Now I just have to figure out the coding portion for the Maker Uno, and dress up my robot pet! πŸ˜€Β 

Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre’s Popular ‘Handmade Fishball Noodles’ Stall

Pasir Ris Central hawker centre food

As the new Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre is located just next to where a prawning + fishing venue is, it made perfect sense to dine here just before indulging in one of our favorite hobbies. πŸ˜€ Since we were new to the place, and didn’t know what’s good (many food bloggers haven’t visited this place yet?), we decided to order from stalls with the longest queues. There’s a particular ‘Handmade Fishball Noodles’ stall that seemed to draw a constant queue of about 6 to 8 people so we thought it’d be a good bet for a satisfying lunch. Surely, the people who stay near the hawker centre have tried the food here and know which stalls are the best? πŸ˜‰

Unit #01-22…

Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre fishball noodles

I tried both the fishballs and the meatballs and I have to say that the fishballs are better. The meatballs didn’t taste special to me, and whether they are handmade or not really made no difference. Also, instead of the meepok ordered, the chef dished up meekia. But since they’re busy, it’s ok to make do. [Teochew noodles $2.80, Fish + Meat Ball soup $2 for 6 pieces]

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I love dumpling noodles as well so I tend to order them everywhere I go. The dumplings here are slightly smaller than those I get elsewhere. And the green chili seems like it hasn’t been pickled long enough. Obviously, I’m no expert when it comes to pickling chilies but those served here seem a little too hard and crunchy. That said, everything else was fine.

Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre

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There’s a tray return counter here too, and we happily returned our trays. What does it take to get more Singaporeans to return the trays after they are done eating? I think incentives and penalties don’t work. It takes one person in a relationship or a family to get the ball rolling, so to speak. And the other person (or family members) will feel ‘paiseh’ that this one person is returning the trays all the time though they are dining together and therefore have a shared responsibility. And then they begin to take turns returning trays, and eventually it becomes a habit even when dining alone. πŸ™‚

*Also, while this is a ‘Foodfare’-run hawker centre, where you can supposedly use your linkpoints earned from shopping at FairPrice to pay for your food here, both hawker stalls we got our food from did not accept the card / points, preferring to collect cash instead. I wonder if this will be the case in the long run. Let’s see. πŸ˜‰

8 Cool Bouquets You Can Buy Or DIY For Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Bouquets

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and people selling bouquets in Singapore are putting out some fresh ideas and very cool blooms. There’s that Old Chang Kee goodies bouquet, for one. (I hope it comes with their signature chicken wings which are so tasty!) I’ve rounded up some of the prettiest bouquets you can get on Carousell in this blogpost, and they don’t involve pricey flowers. It’s actually a good idea to order a bouquet from a trusted online seller or a less-famous florist if you don’t want a repeat of last year’s Valentine’s Day fiasco, when two popular florists couldn’t fulfill over 350 orders, leaving many people disappointed. It’s an even better idea to DIY the bouquet yourself. I’m sure she (or he, let’s be fair) will be very touched by the gesture. πŸ˜€

Chicken / Old Chang Kee Bouquet (*replace the ‘Happy Birthday’ topper with an ‘I Love You’ one :D)

Chicken bouquet

From Carouseller @gubahancinta ($90)

This is a chicken and Old Chang Kee (goodies) bouquet. Each food item is individually wrapped so that’s hygienic but if your date is all about #zerowaste, be warned that this wouldn’t be the best bouquet. That said, if you’re watching a movie on Valentine’s Day, I wonder if the cinema staff will stop you guys from entering the theatre with this bouquet as it’s (outside) food, isn’t it? πŸ˜€ But if you do get to watch the movie with this bouquet, you can certainly ditch the popcorn. Sotong balls, please! πŸ˜€

Vegetable Bouquet

From Carouseller @magicalblooms (Price unknown)

I’ve never received a fruit and vegetable bouquet before, but I think it’d be pretty cool. It certainly won’t be for parading down the streets with, but would make for a healthy and delicious dinner. πŸ˜€

Chocolate Bouquet

From Carouseller @rohmini ($50 bouquet only, or $55 with box and card)

A chocolate bouquet is always a good idea, except when you’ll be out in the sun. πŸ˜‰

Ferrero Rocher Bouquet

From Carouseller @rohmini ($95)

Hello Kitty Cookies Bouquet

From Carouseller @aomsin_bakery (Price unknown)

Cupcake bouquet

From Carouseller @lizbridalroomdeco ($50)

Teddy Bear Bouquet

From Carouseller @caramelcustard (incredibly low price of $5 – check first!)

Tsum Tsum Bouquet

From Carouseller @myhannahouse (Price unknown)

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Disclaimer: If you were to purchase any of these bouquets seen here, do assess the credibility of the sellers before placing any orders or making any payment. I will not be held liable for any losses whatsoever. πŸ˜‰

BRAND’S Lutein Essence Promo Code (Lazada)

lutein essence promo code

If you’d like to try BRAND’S Lutein Essence, there’s no better time than right now, when there’s a $3 discount code plus free delivery. πŸ˜€ The lutein essence is on sale right now at lazada.sg (S$21.90) and you can use my promo code and get an additional discount of $3, so you pay just $18.90. So it works out to just over $3 per bottle. Delivery is free.

It’s a small price to pay. Buying vegetables like kale, asparagus and brussel sprouts to give me an equivalent amount of lutein would cost me way more than S$3.

So I’ve paid for yet another box of lutein essence. It’s delivered in a huge cardboard box… πŸ˜€

brand's lutein essence lazada

This code is valid only till 31st March 2018. So, hurry and get S$3 off your purchase of BRAND’S Lutein Essence from Lazada. πŸ™‚

When Your Dinner Of Mud Crabs Comes With Mud Too (>_<)

Yi Jia South Village Seafood Restaurant review

The Chinese have a saying that no matter how old you are, there will still be things that amaze you. I think we must have been amazed or just too shocked at discovering that our dinner of steamed crab came with mud that we did not kick up a fuss like any other disgruntled or disgusted customer might have. I put the pieces of crab that had mud on them on a small plate, walked over to one of the restaurant’s wait staff and requested that she kindly get the mud washed off the crab, please. If you’re wondering which restaurant this unfortunate incident happened at, it wasΒ Yi Jia South Village Seafood Restaurant at Citimac (MacPherson). Apparently, that’s just one branch, and not the main outlet.

Thankfully, we did not order Black Pepper Crabs. I wouldn’t have been able to spot the mud otherwise. And I might have licked it off together with the black pepper sauce. (>_<) We ordered steamed crab because it’s actually overlooked too often as a great choice of cooking method for crabs. Had such yummy steamed crab at VLV Singapore previously.

Alas!

yi jia south village review

Here, we have the crab that’s washed and with some more egg white added to it, returned to our table. I chickened out and didn’t dare to eat it. So my lovely dining companion did. πŸ˜€

yi jia south village citimac

If you’re wondering, no, there was no discount on the meal. Apologies were rather halfhearted too. Waitress says she warned the chef. And much later on, a rep from the company (could be the lady boss) wrote to me to say both the waitress and the chef received what she called a “last warning”. Why did the waitress get a warning though? I’m puzzled.

“Hi Grace! We are so sorry of your bad experience in our restaurant. We have reprimanded the chef as well as the waitress in not handling your case properly. We have given them last warning and to follow strict cleanliness on the food served. Hopefully you can come to our main branch so that i can make a replacement for it. You can look for [redacted]. She will handle ur case. Thanks & God bless…”

And later…

“Thanks for the reply. Pls do visit my main branch coz the main chef is there and many of my customers who dined there really loved our food. Again, so sorry and I do hope to meet you and say my apologies in person. Thank you…”

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From her responses, it appears to me that the food’s only great over at the main outlet, and people supposedly love the food there. Come to think of it, the family seated at the table next to us actually sent their prawn dish back to the kitchen and asked for the prawns to be de-shelled and the sauce to be less spicy. I should have picked up on the warning signs. Especially when that same wait staff I returned the muddy crab pieces to had been complaining to her colleague about how unhappy she was to be working here.

I do think that (1) The company should have some sort of protocol for staff to follow when something nasty is found in the food served to diners, e.g. 50% off the bill together with apologizing profusely, maybe? And (2) staff should be made to feel fulfilled (and definitely happy) about working here – that’s something Daniel Ong mentioned in his talk recently. Happy staff will take care of your customers, and make them happy too. Unhappy staff will turn customers away.

Truth be told, I’ve prepared crab dishes before and I know how tedious it is to clean crabs properly. There was once I even used an old electric toothbrush to ensure all the mud and dirt is removed! πŸ˜€ Still, there were only a few tables with diners that evening, so serving up mud crab with mud on it is just… unacceptable.

Learning To Program A Drone Was Fun, Even In A Class Full Of Kids

airblock singapore

I’ve always wanted to fly a drone so today, even though it was really awkward being an adult participant in a class with kids less than a third my age, I relished the opportunity to get a hands-on session with the Airblock. It’s a really cool drone with 6 removable parts so it can be transformed into various shapes. The Airblock can fly (obviously), be a hovercraft, and also work on water (but that we did not try). It’s entirely crash-friendly because of the material (EPP, which is like styrofoam). I liked this class even more than the Micro:bit one.

If you want to find out more about the Airblock, you can check out its Kickstarter page, where they got funded over 800K when the initial goal was only 100K! *It’s actually from this Shenzhen company calledΒ Makeblock – they make lots of cool stuff.

Here’s what the box looks like:

airblock review

Pros: Great practice tool for kids to learn about drones and how to program one. Crash-proof. Relatively cheap. Parts can be replaced if damaged without having to get a total overhaul.

Cons: Battery takes very long to charge but gets depleted fast. Blades actually come off (sometimes) during a crash, and can be a pain to find. It’s not very consistent – flight path may not go the way you programmed it.

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You can easily order your own Airblock online. While it launched on Kickstarter for just USD89 (super early bird price), it now costs over S$200. I found it selling for $269 on Lazada and $260.75 on toytag.

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I’m totally amazed at what young children are learning these days. And us adults have to really keep up. It helps that things like drones are such fun to play with. And you can even use it to teach principles of physics. So tempted to go buy a drone now. πŸ˜€

Meeting Straits Times’ Cartoonist, Lee Chee Chew

Lee Chee Chew I'd Say Book

A modest crowd turned up for the (note)book autograph session πŸ˜€

The Straits Times Press has recently launched two notebooks featuring illustrations from Straits Times’ artists Lee Chee Chew and Miel. You might have seen their comic strips in ST at some point. I bought two of the “I’d Say” (is it a play on ‘Aiseh’?) notebooks by Chee Chew, who’s donating all the royalties to help a Vietnamese boy.

I was hoping he could draw a short comic strip with the idea I had in mind, but he said he usually just draws one of his characters and add the words “This belongs to …” (>_<) Maybe I should have offered to buy 10 more. πŸ˜€

I'd Say notebook by Lee Chee Chew

I’m so inspired to learn how to draw cartoons now!

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notebooks

I felt the session was a little awkward as there are two artists and so it’d be pretty obvious who has more fans. I don’t think I saw anyone buy both notebooks except for a Straits Times journalist who came to cover the event and show his support by getting 1 of each notebook. πŸ˜€

I’d think that if there was a short demo session on how to draw cartoons, there’d actually be more people keen on popping by. Even if it costs S$30, I’d sign up!

*Final note: The notebooks cost $13.91 each. If you’re a Times member, you can get a discount. πŸ™‚ I used my 20% discount voucher when getting the 2 notebooks.