About Grace Tan

Grace owns the award-winning business and lifestyle blog, WorkingWithGrace.wordpress.com. She is also the author of the best-selling book 'Blogging For A Living'.

Food Review: Big O Cafe & Restaurant at Paragon. Recommended!

Big O Cafe and Restaurant

We had dinner at Big O this evening and I have to say that it was a pretty enjoyable meal. Located at B1-08 of Paragon, Big O is a great place for date nights and the portions are, as the name suggests, BIG.

We ordered the 2 Meat + 2 Seafood platter and our choice of 3 side dishes arrived first: french fries, ratatouille, and mash. Do not be deceived by this photo. The sides come in really substantial portions. Just that bowl of mashed potato would be sufficient for dinner for a regular adult diner. Don’t ask me how we finished all this food. I really don’t know either. Just good conversation, and taking things slow. LOL.

The side dishes were passable, and nothing to shout about. But I do love dipping the fries into the mash – any one of you do that too? :D

The mains were awesome!

There was roast duck, pork sausage, salmon and calamari.

I am not a fan of duck. My friends know that I don’t eat duck so we don’t order it when we have our meals together. But interestingly enough, in a bid to help finish this platter of food, I found that I love the roast duck here. The meat is really tender and almost falling off the bone… like baby back ribs done well.

The pork sausage is good too. The sausage casing/skin is just a tad thick but the meat is well seasoned.

The salmon is delicious though the calamari is just so-so.

However, it’s still a perfect meal because the service staff are great. It’s been a long time since I called a waiter over just to ask for his name. I did so tonight.

His name is Isaiah and he’s from Malaysia.

Wrote an email to the management when I got home. So feel free to read it if you will:

Big O Paragon

I think it’s important to commend service staff when they deliver great service, and to commend them ON THE SPOT. Also, it’s nice if you drop the management an email too so they know who’s performing well at work and delighting the customers.

Don’t just send complaint letters, ok? :P

So there you go, my recommendation of a makan place if you want to dine at Paragon. :) I heard Big O is famous for its dessert too but we were just too full today! Till next time!

Finding The Best Wedding Vendors in Singapore On Bridestory

Remember my previous post about Bridestory and how I said I’ll share about some of the local wedding vendors I’ve found on their site? :D Well, here are my picks for bridal gown, hair and that all-important wedding cake…

(1) Gown by Ted Wu [Picture from Ted’s portfolio on Bridestory]

Ted Wu Bridestory

No long gowns for me as I’d hate to trip on my dress, and also because shorter gowns make more sense in our climate, especially if you’ll be taking pictures outdoors. The main trouble I’d have with this gown is the need to shape up those arms first… OR… I could just keep my hands on my hips the whole time. Hahaha! :D I love the ruffles, the lace and the ribbon details. And while I’m shaping up those arms, I’d have to get my legs toned too. On second thought, a long gown might not be such a bad idea after all. XD

(2) Hair and Makeup by Cleo Chang [Picture from Cleo’s portfolio on Bridestory]

Cleo Chang bridestory

Truth be told, I hate hair wax and hair spray of all kinds. Once these things get in your hair, they are terribly difficult to wash out and get rid of. I’d like to just get my hair tonged and curls pinned up with not too much fuss, and not too much hair spray either. And then a few tendrils let loose to make it all look effortlessly chic and carefree. Some bling won’t hurt too. :D

(3) Wedding Cake by Febspantry [Picture from Feby’s portfolio on Bridestory]

FebsPantry bridestory

I’ve actually interviewed the owner of Febspantry before! Check out my interview with Feby here. Feby makes really pretty cakes and cupcakes, so yes, who better to bake me a wedding cake than this talented lady? :)

You really should check out Bridestory for your wedding needs if you’re getting married soon! Wedding planning doesn’t have to be a chore if you visit a one-stop site like this one. :)

Jade Garden Seafood Corner in Sungai Rengit, Johor: Fantastic Food! :D

Jade Garden Seafood Salted Egg Crab

On Monday, I went on a ‘road trip’ to Johor with my pals. It was a road trip because we took almost 3 hours to locate this seafood restaurant that my pal had visited some three years ago. (We got lost) Back then, it was located in a coffeeshop setting. But now, it’s a full-fledged restaurant likely capable of hosting wedding banquets. Check out my pictures at the end of this blogpost! :D But first, here’s the food.

This picture you see above shows the Salted Egg Crab we ordered. It cost RM126 (S$42) and could be shared among three of us!

Then there’s the awesome lobster…

Jade Garden Seafood Special Fried Lobster

It looks deceivingly nondescript, as if it doesn’t taste quite special. But… (in a singsong voice) IT IS AMAZING!!~~~

If you like cereal prawns, you’ll love this dish because it’s even more yummy than the best dish of cereal prawns I’ve ever had! I don’t know what does into making those tasty, super crispy bits of crunchy goodness on top of the lobster but it’s definitely worth the drive into Johor!

Jade Garden Seafood Homemade Tofu

The homemade tofu (RM10) is really good as well. Not sure why there’s sotong and the other vegetables because the tofu just shines on its own already!

Jade Garden Seafood Sambal Lala

Sambal lala (RM20) that I did not eat much of because I’m nursing a sore throat. We also ordered a plate of ‘nai bai’ (veg) that tasted good! It’s like this restaurant can do no wrong when it comes to food!

Our total bill for 4 pax came up to just RM 387.20 (S$129) :D It would have been a lot more if we didn’t stop the waitress from sending us two crabs instead of one (one of us doesn’t eat crab) and two lobsters instead of one. LOL! Make sure you check that the wait staff have got your order correct before they send it off to the kitchen!

Here’s what the restaurant looks like:

Jade Garden Seafood

It felt like we were attending a wedding banquet :D

Then there’s the wall of photos taken with celebrities – something every famous restaurant must have :P

We spotted George Yeo, Fann Wong, Li Nanxing, etc…

Jade Garden Seafood Johor

The address: Lot 4785, Lorong Siakap 1, Sungai Rengit, 81620 Pengerang, Johor (It’s next to a primary school and government clinic).

Contact numbers: 010-800 5903 (Ms Len, Manager) / 07-826 5460

Lady First SG Season 3 Episode 2: Fashionista Mums

Lady First Singapore Season 3

This second episode of season 3 seems to be a first for Lady First Singapore, in which celebrity moms are invited and they bring their young children with them! As you can see from the picture above, the kids are not quite content to stay seated. There’s Jaime Teo’s daughter in the midst of vacating her seat, and Eelyn’s son could be heard screaming during a good portion of the show. Lina and Shuqing’s children were less… erm… active.

But it’s interesting to watch how the moms react to their kids’ behavior during the filming. :)

Gurus Kevin, Dawn, and Keith dished out advice for moms who want to look their best even after having children. Here are some tips I’ve gotten from watching this episode:

Lady First Singapore Eelyn1) If you don’t want to have an uneven skin tone, make sure you wear sunscreen (and ensure it covers your neck and collar bone).

2) Applying too much loose powder makes you look like you have too much makeup on and it also makes your fine lines more visible. If you have dull or sallow skin, don’t use pink lipstick. Instead, pick a coral shade.

Lady First Singapore Lina Ng

3) If you want to adopt Victoria Beckham’s fashion style, choose outfits with high necklines so it’s harder for kids to grab at your clothes when you carry them. Choose clothes in bright colors too if you’re not wearing any accessories (again because the kids will grab at them). You can even make your kids your ‘fashion accessories’ by dressing them in handsome outfits. *wink*

Lady First Singapore Season 3 exercises for moms

4) Make sure you keep exercising even after having children. It helps keep you in shape and can also be a good bonding time for you and your children. Here, Dawn demonstrates the ‘Superman’ exercise. You can also do squats together with your kid – work those thighs (especially the inner thighs)!

Lady First Singapore Shuqing

5) When using a BB cushion, use light, patting motions instead of spreading the product onto your face! Use a cream blush and apply it a bit higher than usual for a more youthful look!


To find out more about the featured products, episodes, and contests, head over to


CupoNation Sale: Get Discounts / Free Delivery From Zalora, Rakuten, Charles & Keith!

If you’re stuck at home due to the haze and feeling miserable, trust me, I know exactly how that feels. We’d thought a day trip with our pals to Desaru yesterday would be a welcome “escape”, but we jumped out of the frying pan to head straight into the fire, it seemed. The haze situation is much worse over in Johor. (@_@) But the food’s amazing! I’ll save that for another blogpost. Meanwhile…

It’s probably a better idea to just stay home and indulge in online shopping.

Not sure about you but I don’t like paying full price when there are discounts easily available. So before I pay for my purchases online, I like to check if there’s a discount code floating somewhere in cyberspace by googling the brand name + the words “discount code”, e.g. “zalora discount code” and look for any relevant ones before I do a ‘checkout’ on my shopping cart.

And here’s one popular site shoppers get their discount codes from… I like it because the codes I’ve used actually work: http://bit.ly/1LLNNIk

I did a quick video while I was on the site, for sharing with my facebook pals, (head over to my facebook page to view it) and if you hit on ‘play’, you might notice that my voice sounds different due to a sore throat. #thankyouhaze

It’s really simple: Just head to CupoNation’s website and select the discount code you want for your shopping…

*Here are my screenshots of my favs*

CupoNation Zalora

CupoNation Rakuten

CupoNation Charles and Keith

Hurry and grab those shopping codes before they expire! :D

-> http://bit.ly/1LLNNIk <-

Interview With Self-Made Millionaire, Nagarajan Raman

Nagarajan Raman

I got to know about Nagarajan Raman (a.k.a Raj) via one of the people he has mentored. And I’ll definitely be at the next run of his Million Dollar Plan workshop (‘cos I’ll have to miss the upcoming one). So the best I have now is an interview with this very young self-made millionaire, who went from school drop-out to straight-As, and from being a magician to becoming a millionaire. Are you intrigued already? :D Read on…

1) You went from being a school drop-out at one point to becoming “one of Singapore’s youngest self-made millionaires”. Was it ever a dream of yours to become a millionaire?

Yes, Grace. It is more of a personal target that I’ve set for myself at the age of 21 to achieve at the age of 24.

2) You currently offer a “Million Dollar Plan” and you have a workshop to impart to attendees your “exclusive never before shared tips” for just S$180! Why the low price, and who should attend this workshop?

I made it my primary objective to assist anyone in need and my secondary objective to work with them to guide each individual towards their first million. If you are in the B2C industry and if you are willing to work smarter, you must attend this intensive workshop.

3) How did you first get acquainted with magic at a young age and how did you get started with magic performances? Did it pay well? :D

I’ve always been intrigued by magic as a kid. At an early age, I understood that there are 2 kinds of magicians. One, the magician & two, the guy with tricks. Huge difference. I used to perform magic during recess at the back of my school canteen and this amazed teachers, HODs & the head of discipline.

This art flourished into a professional sense where people started paying for my appearances. Throughout my years performing, I started to understand people, their thoughts, their actions and their characteristics. This art taught me vital life lessons, lessons that can be only learnt through experience. And no, it’s not as financially rewarding as you might think it is.

4) You were a straight-As student in Republic Polytechnic’s Aerospace Avionics programme during your first semester. Any regrets not pursuing this career path or passion?

I have no regrets. It was never my passion to trade in my time for something that I never believed in. Living for a monthly payday, no matter how safe and secure it may seem, you may be given a ’30 days notice’ at any point of time to leave. What’s your plan next? Letting another person be in control of my financial status and my life was too much of a risk for me to take.

5) Before that, you studied at the Dover Institute of Technical Education. How would you encourage students studying in the ITEs, who often have to deal with social stigmas (e.g. that infamous “It’s The End” label)?

It is never the end in ITE. Get educated. Not only through books and lessons in the classroom, but start understanding much bigger things – the organizational structure, their distribution channels, disciplinary enforcement, staff loyalty etc. You’ll never know when this knowledge might come in handy.

6) You’ve taught magic to students in schools. Any memorable experiences? Did knowing how to perform magic tricks make you exceptionally popular in school when you were a student?

For the lack of a better word, it made me extremely popular. Everyone knew me as “Satan”. Haha! When you get a title that needs no explanation, you know you’ve done a good job. Currently I’m being referred to as the “Miracle Maker”. I’m still trying to make sense of it…

7) Indeed it’s quite a miracle – how did you turn your initial business losses of 50K to profits of 12K and then 1 million?

The trial and error method is only for those who can afford it. I’ve incurred a lot of debt during my first year because of this. My advice to beginners and graduates alike: never ever perform the trial and error method unless you have loads of cash that you wouldn’t mind spending. Never take advice from someone who has not been through what you are going through. I drafted a strategy, a few tactics and stuck with the plan based on what I’ve learnt throughout the process and then amplified my current results to cater to an ever growing audience. Here’s an age old saying: Work smart. Not Hard.

8) You’ve coached numerous business owners. Please share with us some of these success stories that you are the most proud of.

The truth is, I’m proud of all my clients. When you’re committed and work smart in the field of business, you will definitely see progress. All my clients have seen progress in their businesses if we take into account their humble beginnings and their current profits. A handful of them are raking in 10 to 12k per month. If I really have to pick one, I’d pick Swatish Tailor – a clothes vendor in Little India. Hers used to be a failing business. But close to a year later, she’s raking in 5 digits (on the higher end) per quarter.


To find out more about Raj, his Million Dollar Plan workshop, and his company, head over to http://www.jbunetwork.sg/

My Top 3 Tips To Help You Pursue Your Dreams and #ChangeDestiny

*29/9/15: This post has been updated

This post is sponsored by The 7th Chamber. The message, meanwhile, is entirely from me :)

Priscilla Shunmugam

SK-II has done a survey and found out that only 17% of women dare to pursue their dreams and change their own destiny. This concept of changing one’s destiny might sound ‘iffy’ and difficult to understand, but what it means to me is the question of whether I’m currently doing what I love to do. If I am, then there’s no need to change anything unless I’m not happy.

Are YOU perhaps feeling ‘stuck’ in a job? Are you feeling burnt out from work yet unwilling to leave the comforts of a regular paycheck behind? Do you sometimes feel like you’d much rather do something else, or live someone else’s life?

Some people are able to break out of that mold themselves while others need a push, kick or shove. Renowned fashion designer Priscilla Shunmugam left her previous job as a lawyer to become a fashion designer (I believe she broke out of the mold herself and you can watch the video below) while I was ‘pushed’ out of my S$114,000 job due to various factors, not just the lure of full-time blogging. :D

Find out more here: http://po.st/SGChangeDestiny

But here are my 3 tips for you if you would like to take a step in the direction of your dreams but don’t know where to start…

1. Start Where You Are

If you’re in a job which pays the bills but doesn’t feed your soul, and you know you’d much rather be doing something else, well, do it without quitting your job! It’s what I did too. I love interviewing people so I started my blog and conducted those interviews (for free at first) while I kept my S$114,000 job. Everyone needs a hobby, right?

I know of a home baker who works for a non-profit organisation (click on the link to read the interview) and who bakes and sells premium and oh-so-beautiful cakes as a (money-making) hobby.

2. Begin With The End In Mind

I’m not talking about any random task here, I’m talking about your life! Imagine that you’re now 70, or 80 years old, and looking back on what you have achieved. Will your thoughts be full of “I should have…” or “If only…” statements?

Some people will say “Don’t Live With Regret”, I’d say “Don’t Leave With Regret”. If there’s something you’d like to do now, do it.

3. Listen To Your Heart

We listen to much of the well-meaning advice from family, friends, and the society at large. Their voices are amplified while we mute the murmurs of our hearts.

I conducted a blogging workshop for a group of university alumni once, and one lady who attended the session was actually sent by her father-in-law, who attended (and loved) an earlier session I conducted. The heavily-pregnant lady, who is a lawyer, was visibly bored – she had zero interest in blogging and was there only because she was sent by her FIL.

I spoke with her, and as always, asked if she loved her job as a lawyer. Her answer was unsurprisingly, that she didn’t enjoy her work. I asked her what she’d rather be… and her answer: architect (while her eyes lit up). But her family wanted her to be a lawyer so she became one.

Yes, she’s well-to-do. Yes, she’s in a “stable career”. Yes, she can buy everything she wants.

But can she buy happiness? :)

My friend, make a change today. :)

Lady First Singapore Season 3 Episode 1: Bosom Buddies

Lady First Singapore season 3

I cannot be happier that Lady First Singapore is back again – and it’s already SEASON THREE! :D The set is now even more eye-catching, and I’ve noticed that everyone who appears in episode one has formidable brows. (No, seriously!)

Missed an episode? Just press the ‘VOD’ button and you’ll be able to watch it. And if you’re staying indoors since the haze doesn’t seem to be getting better, you might as well pick up some beauty and fashion tips, and win some prizes too! :)

And here are Kevin and Keith – notice those brows, especially Kevin’s?

Lady First Singapore Kevin and Keith

The first episode of season 3 is kind of in-your-face as it’s all about boobs. And Kanny’s bosom buddies definitely stole the limelight right from the start. The ‘makeover’ was most welcome and I guess the most important thing people learn from watching this episode is about how to look sexy in a tasteful manner:

Lady First Singapore Kanny

5 Takeaways From This Episode:

  1. Instead of wearing bras in bright colors under a see-through top, pick a bra that is skin-colored instead.
  2. Don’t wear a bra that is one size smaller and try to make your breasts look bigger. It doesn’t work that way and ugly bulges will appear (even at the back)!
  3. Small-busted? Get a bra that gets your breasts focused inwards. An added benefit is that you’ll also look (more) slender.
  4. Wearing the wrong bra can result in the thickening of fats and pigmentation due to abrasions. Poor blood circulation, sagging and shrinkage can also occur.
  5. Want bigger, firmer breasts? Use a breast-enhancing mousse and massage your breasts in the daytime and at night. Exercise helps too! And while you’re doing the massages, it helps rid your body of lymphatic toxins, and it could also serve as a breast examination in which you can check for lumps or other abnormalities.

For a list of the products featured in this episode, and fabulous giveaways, head over to:


Interview with Yeen Teck, CEO of Helpling Singapore

Yeen Teck Helpling Singapore

1) You started off with Spickify before it was acquired by Helpling (very quickly, if I may add). What have been the benefits of this acquisition for the company you founded and its future?

I co-founded Spickify with my partners with a clear objective – we saw that hiring reliable cleaning help was very difficult, and we felt that there were many people able to offer such services without a good way to locate these customers. The deal with Helpling has allowed us to achieve this objective and much more quickly than with Spickify alone. Helpling is active in over 200 cities in 14 countries around the world. That kind of scale has provided us with a lot of support in Singapore, both in terms of funding as well as technical and marketing support. We are the clear leader for this market segment in Singapore, and are in a position to provide even better value to our independent cleaners and their customers.

2) I’ve read that Helpling SG has its roots in a community project to help low-income Singapore residents obtain flexible part-time cleaning jobs. Why is giving back to the community important to you?

I was previously in the civil service and spent several years at the Ministry of Manpower. One of my portfolios was to find ways to make sure that lower-income workers weren’t being left behind.

There are many things that the Singapore government has been doing to help such workers, but at the same time there are certain things that it cannot and should not do. For instance, providing them with the actual jobs and work, which has to be done by the business community. This was initially a community project in my neighborhood helping residents from lower-income households find part-time domestic cleaning work. As it grew bigger, my partners and I needed to turn it into a proper business. This eventually became Spickify, and later Helpling. The values behind the community project remain a big part of what we do at Helpling. Many of our cleaning partners come from low-income households, or are unable to pursue full time work because of childcare needs or elderly care responsibilities.

3) What percentage of the cleaning fees paid goes to the cleaners?

Helpling takes 20 percent of the cleaning service fee, which goes into insurance (which the cleaners cannot obtain on their own) as well as overheads such as dedicated 7-day customer service support for both the cleaners and their customers. Our cleaning partners take home at least $16/hr for every job they take through our platform, which is more than triple what they would make in, say, a fast-food restaurant.

4) Is it true that all cleaners from Helpling SG are interviewed by your staff before they can take on cleaning jobs? What do you look out for during these interviews?

Yes, each of our cleaning partners goes through a thorough screening process before they can accept any jobs on Helpling’s platform. This includes: a personal interview; an aptitude test to ensure their knowledge of home cleaning meets the high standards expected by their customers; as well as police background checks. Trust, reliability, and cleaning experience are key attributes we look for in every cleaning partner.

5) Each cleaning session is backed by $1 million liability insurance – any claims made thus far? 

While we have had to manage some disputes between cleaners and their customers, we have not had to make any claims so far. The fact that we are the only service in Singapore with such insurance underscores the trust that people place in our platform.

6) How important is cleanliness to you? Are you a cleanliness freak? :D

I wouldn’t say I’m a cleanliness freak! But it is important that my home is neat and tidy. When I first set up Spickify, we needed to make sure we understood what our cleaning partners would go through, and what their customers would expect. So my team and I went out and cleaned customers’ homes ourselves. Over time, we have picked up a number of tips for tackling various cleaning tasks. It has been a busy time at Helpling now, but we still want to keep that “ground feel” with us. Recently, we teamed up with some grassroots volunteers in Boon Lay on their Project Facelift. We brought together our staff, some of our cleaning partners, as well as other volunteers to clean the homes of underprivileged residents in Boon Lay.

It was great to go out and get involved in the practical side of the business again, especially for such a good cause! You can see the video here.

7) Will cleaning fees go up during peak seasons, e.g. before Lunar New Year?

No, our fee of $18 for regular bookings and $20 for one-off bookings applies whenever you make a booking. Supply and demand of our cleaning partners will of course differ at certain times of the year, and consequently there might not be as many available cleaners on public holidays. We encourage our customers to make bookings early. But the price remains the same whenever you book. Our transparent pricing model is one of the major benefits of our service. Our customers know exactly how much their home cleaning will cost in advance, so there’s no unwelcome surprises at the end!

Let Helpling assist you in booking cleaning services in Singapore. Hire a legal and vetted part-time Helpling cleaner from just $18 per hour.


Lady First Singapore Is Back With Season 3! :D

Lady First SG Xiao Kai Lao Shi

I attended the recent Lady First beauty workshop held at Suntec City two Sundays ago, and once again got to see Xiao Kai in action. He’s arguably the most handsome guru featured on Lady First Singapore and it’s little wonder why. He takes pride in looking his best at all times. Apparently, he takes 2 hours to get himself ready before he heads out of the house. This is why he looks so flawless.

When it comes to dispensing beauty advice though, he keeps to three words most of the time…

” 凭感觉 “

It literally means “it’s based on how you feel”.

It can be quite frustrating to hear these words if they are uttered by a less-charming host. It’s like when you’re trying to learn a new recipe and the chef is unable (or unwilling) to tell you exactly how much of each ingredient you should add. This means you are unable to replicate the dish at home if you need precise instructions.

It’s the same with this beauty segment. There are no straightforward answers from Xiao Kai.

Ask him what shade of blusher suits your skin tone, and he’ll use those 3 words. Ask him how thick your brows should be and he’ll use those 3 words.

His rationale is that even if he says a certain color will look great on you, but you do not like it, then you won’t use it anyway. So you must feel good first before you will look good. And in a strange way, it does make sense!

So make sure you catch Lady First Singapore Season 3 every Tuesday evening – on StarHub’s E City (CH 111/825). Get as many tips as you can, and test them out to see if it suits you and if you feel good, then incorporate it into daily living! :)

Lady First SG giveaway

And, of course, there were lots of prizes given away. Even shoppers who stopped by just to listen in could win fabulous prizes after answering some questions. :)

And the stage games were hilarious. This one involved the sticking of cotton pads onto their faces using the Albion Skin Conditioner. I thought the lady would be the obvious winner since she’s probably the one with the most experience using cotton pads and skincare products, but the winner was actually the guy in the white shirt! :D

Lady First SG stage game

If you’d like to win some prizes too, then head over to StarHub Community – there’s a Samsung Galaxy Note 5, an Apple Watch, and other prizes up for grabs! Link here: http://community.starhub.com/t5/Latest-Contests-and-What-s-New/Share-your-favourite-beauty-care-item-and-stand-a-chance-to-win/m-p/123595

And if you’re curious about what each episode of Lady First (Season 3) is about, here’s a list:

Episode 1: Bosom Buddies (胸有大志傲人秘笈)
Episode 2: Fashionista Mums (时尚妈妈速成班)
Episode 3: 101 ways to get his attention (让男人为你转身的秘诀?)
Episode 4: Get Yourself a Celeb Bod (至少瘦5公斤,享瘦绝招大公开)
Episode 5: Secret to Staying Young Forever (冻龄美丽魔法)
Episode 6: Impress at First Sight (初次见面必杀技)
Episode 7: Say Goodbye to Acne (拯救痘痘脸,无暇肌肤大作战)
Episode 8: Beauty Hacks for Power Women (职场常胜军)
Episode 9: Beauty Round the Clock (美丽24小时不打烊)

Happy Watching and Stay Beautiful (and Dashing) !!!