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'.

Coffee Nowhere – The Food Is Good Too!

Coffee Nowhere

Earlier this month, I was invited to a food tasting and coffee appreciation session at Coffee Nowhere at West Coast Plaza (#B1-06/07). Coffee Nowhere (pronounced “Coffee Now Here”) serves specialty coffee which is surprisingly good, and should come with a warning that you’ll probably not like your kopitiam coffee as much after trying theirs.

*I like how they have kids’ high chairs stacked near the entrance; it serves as a “Welcome” sign to parents with children. ;)

One fellow blogger, Steven, brought three children and they sure had fun. You’ll see a picture of one of his daughters (super cute!) later in this blogpost.

Also, check out the pictures Coffee Nowhere fans took and posted on Instagram:

Coffee Nowhere

Interesting coffee art! :)

Us bloggers had the privilege of learning about coffee appreciation from one of the few Q graders in Singapore, Mr Ian Consulta. If you pop by, head to the Brew Bar where lessons will be conducted. :)

Coffee Nowhere

But here’s a quick guide if you don’t know what the terms “Syphon”, “Aeropress”, “French Press” and “Pour Over” mean in relation to cofffee…

Coffee Nowhere

Go ahead and try one of each if you want to find your favorite. :) As for me, I like the aromatic coffee brewed using the Syphon method.

What I believe makes Coffee Nowhere stand out from the crowd of ‘coffee places’ is the quality of the food they serve. After all, it is most troublesome to have a cuppa at a cafe, then up and leave for food elsewhere. At Coffee Nowhere, just sink into a comfortable seat and enjoy the brew and the food.

Here are my favorite items from their menu:

Cheesy Fries (S$8.80) – This is one guilty indulgence. A tad pricey, but worth the calories. :D

Coffee Nowhere

Pizza Nowhere (S$19.80) – First time I’m seeing lychee on pizza! Together with smoked duck, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese and their homemade tomato sauce, this is one yummy pizza.

Coffee Nowhere

Wild Mushroom Pizza (S$16.80) – I’m a fan of mushrooms so I love this pizza too. The crust is so thin that yes, 2 people can probably finish eating this pizza together.

Coffee Nowhere

Burger Nowhere (S$14.80) – If you’re ordering this, my advice is “Don’t Share!” as you’ll want to eat the whole burger on your own. The beef patty is juicy and tender, and I love the fries too! :D And yes, 8 of us shared 2 of these burgers, and now have to return for more.

Coffee Nowhere

Chili Crab Spaghetti (S$14.80) – We ordered two plates of this yummy spaghetti and somehow it still wasn’t enough. I think their homemade sauce does the trick, though I haven’t discovered the secret behind the sauce.

Coffee Nowhere

As for dessert, oh boy, it was divine. The reason I ordered the Granny Smith Apple Cheesecake was ‘cos I’ve never eaten such a cheesecake before. Why Granny Smith Apples? I don’t know. But the cake is absolutely delicious. And the chocolate-y drawing is too cute…

Coffee Nowhere

The brownie with ice cream tastes as good as it looks:

Coffee Nowhere

And there’s the little girl posting for pictures. Steven is so lucky to have adorable kids like this little angel.

Coffee Nowhere

I skipped the waffles as I was feeling too full by then but I was told that the waffles are pretty decent. And at a promotional price of S$9.90, it’s affordable too.

Coffee Nowhere

The next time I pop by West Coast Plaza, I’m heading back into Coffee Nowhere for a burger and coffee. Plus that yummy cheesecake! :)

154 West Coast Rd #B1-06/07

https://www.facebook.com/coffeenowhere.sg

Rest In Peace, Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew

I’ve transcribed the English portion of PM Lee Hsien Loong’s 8am address on TV.

“The first of our founding fathers is no more. He inspired us, gave us courage, kept us together, and brought us here. He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans. We won’t see another man like him.

To many Singaporeans, and indeed others too, Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore. As Prime Minister, he pushed us hard to achieve what had seemed impossible. After he stepped down, he guided his successors with wisdom and tact. In his old age, he continued to keep a watchful eye on Singapore.

Singapore was his abiding passion. He gave of himself in full measure to Singapore. As he himself put it towards the end of his life, and I quote ‘I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There is nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up?My life.’

I am grieved beyond words at the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I know that we all feel the same way. But even as we mourn his passing, let us also honor his spirit. Let us dedicate ourselves as one people to build on his foundations, strive for his ideals, and keep Singapore exceptional and successful for many years to come. May Mr Lee Kuan Yew rest in peace.”

You can watch the video of his speech here.

~

Tears fell as I watched our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong struggling during the Mandarin portion of his speech. I’m proud of him for putting on a nice shirt and a brave front for Singapore, in his time of grief.

It is a very sad day for us in Singapore. We have lost a great man, a charismatic leader, a courageous fighter. Let us continue to “strive for his ideals” and keep up Singapore’s success, and make Mr Lee Kuan Yew proud of us.

May you rest in peace, Sir.

Watami Japanese Restaurant: Looks Atas, Actually Quite Affordable

Watami Japanese Restaurant

This is not an advertorial, and I have never been sponsored meals here before. :D I just think it’s a fab restaurant because it looks so atas, and yet offers its members pretty good deals. I only got to know about Watami early this year when my trainers and I went to Ion for a late lunch and we just randomly picked Watami. The Ion outlet looks quite posh (from the outside at least), and I would ordinarily not pop in if I’m dining alone and visiting it for the first time.

However, on my second visit, I noticed that it has a really awesome membership program. Pay S$30 to sign up and you will get 2 x S$30 vouchers to use to offset your bill at your next 2 visits. Any other restaurant would have a minimum spending requirement before you can use the voucher, but Watami doesn’t! It’s so awesome that I’m telling all my friends to sign up!

And the food’s decent too. I like the beef don, which I’ve ordered many times already.

Watami Japanese Restaurant

This post shows some of the food my bf and I ordered when we were at Watami’s City Sq Mall outlet last week. We went to that mall to collect our race packs for an upcoming run, and so we had dinner at Watami. :D I was so happy when I spotted their banner that said members get a free platter of salmon sashimi (the usual price is S$11 or so, if I remember correctly) if the bill comes up to S$30. I’m a huge fan of salmon sashimi though I really shouldn’t eat so much raw fish, what with that bacteria and all. We were also allowed to use one of our membership vouchers of S$30 (thumbs up for this company) and still get the free salmon sashimi.

He ordered a Zen Udon Nabe set (S$26) while I had the Udon-suki (S$19.80), and there was also an OCBC promotion!

Watami Japanese Restaurant

Total of 15% discount! We ended up paying just S$15.80 for our meal. Shiok!

If you have a craving for Japanese food, do pop by Watami. And make sure you sign up for their membership program, while those freebie vouchers last. It really seems too good to be true and yet I’ve already used up my 2 vouchers! Got my bf to sign up, and received 2 more. Hehe!

Top 5 Highlights of Watsons’ Girls Day Out PLUS A GIVEAWAY

On Monday evening, I attended Watsons’ Girls Day Out upon their kind invitation. The event was held at Serangoon NEX and let’s just say I didn’t go home empty-handed. The goodie bag I was given probably weighed more than 8kg, and like one of my Facebook fans noted from a picture I posted, it seemed to have one of everything from the Watsons catalogue, though that’s definitely an exaggeration. :)

Here are the top 5 highlights of Monday’s event. It’s probably one of the best events I’ve attended this year – lots of fun plus fantastic prizes:

1) Game Booths and Watsons prizes

Treats by Watsons

The bloggers were all divided into groups, and each group leader decided which booth we would visit first.

For my group of 3 bloggers, the leader brought us to the ‘game booths’, which required some interaction and involved some prizes. Himalaya Herbals gave us a small gift bag for visiting their booth while the next booth (I think it was Pure Beauty’s) had us participate in a ‘matching’ game – to match the product ingredients with their stated benefits. That was fun!

And after that, divinia’s sales reps had us net as many plastic globes as possible in just one scoop from a big glass tank. If a plastic globe contained one of their product ingredients, e.g Ceramide, Olive Extract or Double Hyaluronic Acid, it’d be counted as 1 point. The blogger with the most points wins.

And for our efforts, we won things like the ‘Treats by Watsons’ gummy bears and gummy fizzy letters, and Watsons mini hankies you see above. I’m keeping the hankies and giving the sweets to my gummy-loving pal.

It was a really good start to the whole event. Though it ended past 10pm, and our feet were sore, everyone agreed it was most enjoyable. :)

2) L’oreal Revitalift Magic Blur and an Instagram post for a S$50 Zalora gift card

Loreal Revitalift Magic Blur

The brand which wow-ed us most with their generosity was L’oreal. All we had to do was post a picture on Instagram about the L’oreal Revitalift Magic Blur product, and we’d get a Zalora $50 gift card instantly. That’s probably the easiest $50 I’ve ever earned!

This product “instantly blurs the look of pores, lines and imperfections” and retails at S$41.90 (50ml).

I’ll be reviewing this product soon. Because the gift bag is filled with so many goodies, I just didn’t know which product to start reviewing first. :D

3) Kinohitmitsu EyeBright and JointPro360

Kinohimitsu EyeBright and JointPro360

Kinohimitsu was yet another generous brand. When we visited their booth, we were given a bag with the two products you see above – EyeBright and JointPro360. We were also given a sachet of EyeBright to try on the spot. I would have thought that the ‘powder’ had to be mixed with water before consumption, but I was told to just eat it like I would a sweet.  It tastes quite good too. And don’t hold your breath for a giveaway of these products; I definitely need EyeBright as my eyes are always tired from working on my laptop for too many hours every single day. Ha! And the JointPro360 goes to the future MIL. XD

EyeBright is retailing at S$59.90 (Introductory Offer right now: S$55.90)

JointPro360 is retailing at S$69.90 (Introductory Offer right now: S$65.90)

In the bottom right hand corner of the picture is a tiny bottle of bird’s nest from a brand I shall not name. We were given only this tiny 30ml bottle – how to review? It’s not even a mouthful, in my opinion. :D And *ahem* it costs S$95 for 6 small bottles in stores. Honestly, I don’t think it’s worth the price lah but you can check it out at Watsons and tell me what you think.

4) Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain and PhotoReady Airbrush Effect

Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain and PhotoReady Airbrush Effect

At the Revlon booth, we were introduced to the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain by means of a powerpoint presentation. We were also given snacks and an aloe vera drink. THEN… we were tested on whether we had paid attention to the presentation. LOL!

I’ve forgotten what the question was, but the answer was Aloe Vera and Vitamin E… and I won the gift set you see above (sans the lipstick, which came in the goodie bag). The set of Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect in the shades Ivory and Natural Ochre are encased in that camera-lookalike box. It is not for sale, but you can win it in my giveaway at the end of this blogpost! :D

*These new lipsticks provide immediate lip hydration and are available in 8 shades (S$20.90 each).

*PhotoReady Airbrush Effect is available in 5 shades and retails at S$30.90.

5) Watsons eStore and S$100 Shopping Cart Challenge

Watsons Sally Hansen and Revlon ColorStay Eyebrow Liner

Watsons has once again proven that they understand the needs of their customers best. They know that crowded stores, long queues (!!!) and heavy shopping bags are some of our frustrations so the Watsons eStore has been set up! Woohoo!

The eStore will have the products sold in stores, and also some exclusive ones which are too bulky and typically not sold in physical stores. What are these? Head to http://www.watsons.com.sg to find out. Register and place an order, and you’ll also get a surprise gift throughout the month of March because it’s Watsons’ 27th anniversary! *You can pick up your purchase from selected ‘Click & Collect’ stores or get it delivered for free (min. $80 spending).

http://www.watsons.com.sg/

I won the items you see above because we were given tablets and told to select as many items as we want in under a minute, within a S$100 budget. The blogger whose shopping cart bill came closest to S$100 wins everything in his/her cart. And I won! My ‘bill’ was S$98.10 and I honestly don’t know how I did it. I simply picked some Sally Hansen items I have been wanting to buy and a Revlon ColorStay Eyebrow Liner. I have fast fingers?! :)

~ GIVEAWAY ~

WIN the set of Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup OR the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain lipstick:

Step 1: ‘Like’ my Revlon giveaway on Facebook

Step 2: ‘Share’ my Revlon giveaway on Facebook

Step 3: Comment on THIS blogpost and tell me which item you want to win: PhotoReady OR Lipstick :D

It’s that simple. Giveaway ends 18 March 23:59hrs and is only for residents of Singapore.

The Patissier’s Passionfruit Meringue (My Pre-Workout Snack)

image

Bought 2 slices of this Passionfruit Meringue (S$8.03 each) from The Patissier at 4 Mohd Sultan Rd (Tel:67373369), near my gym. It’s my pre-workout snack for today. Lol. *And no, don’t try this if you are battling a weight issue. Get something less sweet.

For some reason, it’s my trainer’s favorite cake shop. (@_@)

I like the meringue… crisp, chewy, tangy from the passionfruit and altogether, delightful. Because meringues are so sweet, it’s good to have the passionfruit ‘counter’ it.

The Patissier has another outlet at 18 Ann Siang Rd #01-01 (Tel: 62205565). You can check it out if you’d like. I’ve never been to that branch before.

I’ll likely update this post in future with other purchases from The Patissier. There are a few other pretty creations I wanna try. Oops. :)

And yes, despite the family history of Diabetes… eat first, talk later lah.

Arrived: The SingPost SG50 Hello Kitty Limited Edition Sets

SingPost SG50 Hello Kitty

These have to be the highlight of my day! :) The 3 limited edition sets that I ordered have arrived today. These SingPost SG50 Hello Kitty plushies are just too adorable. I can’t wait to take them out and snap some pretty pictures!

There were just 1000 sets for sale, and they were all sold out within 12 hours. This is truly a collection to treasure because SG50 only happens once.

And here’s a size comparison of the SG50 kitty with one of those from McDonald’s in the past:

SingPost SG50 Hello Kitty

And they come with a certificate and lanyard too :)

SingPost SG50 Hello Kitty

As for the stamps, it’s pretty obvious they are just for collectors to keep and admire from time to time. I don’t think anyone will be able to rip one out and stick it onto an envelope. Ha!

SingPost SG50 Hello Kitty stamps

Did you get a set too?

Mentally-Unstable Woman Infiltrates IDA Seminar as “Jurong Health Staff”

Cheryl Chua Jurong Health nutcase

[I gave her googly eye glasses to protect her privacy, for now]

I attended IDA’s full-day seminar (Enabling Digital Retail) today at the Mapletree Business City. After I had quickly finished my lunch during the lunch break, I ventured back into the freezing-cold auditorium to set up my laptop and do some work.

Mapletree Business City

Took the seat closest to the door as I intended to leave early (around 3pm). Was doing my work and minding my own business in the largely-empty auditorium, when the white-haired lady (pictured above) rushed in and DEMANDED to know why I was in her seat.

I looked around at all the other empty seats and wondered why the seat I was in was… hers.

I told her that it’s free seating, and she and I can sit anywhere we each liked. But she insisted I had stolen her seat. I tried to explain that I didn’t. Her name is not on the seat, she did not leave any belongings on it, and there was no way of telling the seat is “hers”. And if she could please stop accusing me, thank you very much.

Then she goes on to ask me “Why do you want this seat?!” and “Why is your bag on the other seat?!” But hello, you can sleep across three seats if you want. Free seating plus not all participants were back from lunch. (@_@)

I didn’t know how to answer her silly questions, so I asked her to go check with the staff. She did… and they told her it was indeed a “free seating” arrangement.

And I gave her the seat, of course. Even though she is a rude, annoying, crazy woman.

I also had to keep telling her that we respect the elderly in Singapore but it doesn’t mean that she can bully people younger than her or abuse her (perceived) “authority”. (And to please stop screaming at me; want this seat, just ask nicely)

The nametag on her lanyard reads “Cheryl Chua, Jurong Health”.

Thankfully, some of the staff came in and spoke with her. One guy in particular, Matthew, was really helpful. I have videos of their conversation, and I might upload them here later, depending on how this unfolds, as a video means no ones privacy is protected anymore.

I called Jurong Health after the fiasco, at about 1.24pm, and informed Joey about this incident. She said they would investigate.

At 3.22pm, Anny from Jurong Health called and said that ‘Cheryl Chua’ does not exist in their database, and that her colleagues had seen this lady at other seminars. Apparently White-haired Lady likes attending seminars, whether as an imposter or not. I then asked Anny to please send me confirmation that this lady is not their staff via email.

Jurong Health

Ahhh… how the plot thickens.

At 4.09pm, I called IDA’s Quality Service hotline and spoke with Fatimah. An investigation is probably underway as to how this #WhiteHairedLady managed to infiltrate an IDA seminar as… wait for it…. an imposter. :)

And the irony is not lost on me. Today, we learnt about collecting data, managing data, and analyzing and working with data. How EVER did IDA allow a mentally-unstable person to register for today’s seminar, and even give her an official tag and lanyard??? And what are they going to do with this new ‘data’? Hmm…

SK-II’s #ChangeDestiny Museum and What the “SK” in “SK-II” Stands For

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

I had a lunch appointment at Orchard Road yesterday and had some time to visit the SK-II #ChangeDestiny Museum at Paragon. It was the last day of the “museum”/exhibition, so if you’ve missed it, you’ll have to wait for their next event, I guess. :D I got to learn some new things about SK-II even though I have been a user of the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for many years now. For instance, what does the “SK” in “SK-II” stand for? Make a guess, and I’ll reveal the answer in a bit.

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

Got a surprise when I spotted myself in their video (picture above) at the museum. I was one of a number of bloggers/SK-II users who were ‘interviewed’ at an event in the past. So yes, you might have seen “me” at Paragon recently. LOL!

And now… for the reveal:

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

The first bottle of Secret Key II Facial Treament Essence was launched in Japan on 21 December 1980. That’s even before I was born – I’m suitably impressed knowing this. :)

And that’s not all. I’m usually lazy about applying toner, or what SK-II calls their Facial Treatment Clear Lotion. So my very helpful (museum) guide did a demonstration on the back of my hands. The Clear Lotion was applied only to my right hand – it removes dead skin cells and helps with the absorption of other products. Then she dropped an equal amount of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (FTE) on both hands, and the one which had toner applied beforehand quickly absorbed the FTE. However, without the toner, the FTE just stubbornly stayed on the surface of my left hand.

SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion

So yes, I am now convinced that I should always apply toner first, so any other (expensive) products I apply next will not go to waste.

SK-II also created many beautiful ‘experience corners’ for museum visitors to get acquainted with their products.

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

One of their products I don’t own (yet) is the Auractivator CC Cream:

SK-II Auractivator CC Cream

A small amount was applied to my right hand (“a little goes a long way” according to my guide) and the result is pretty obvious. The skin on my left hand (without the CC cream) looks more yellowish.

The best part? This CC cream smells really good too, unlike the FTE which has no fragrance added to it. Be sure to grab a sample at any SK-II counter and try this product – I think you’ll like it. :)

What I’ll be doing next, over 2 weeks, is finding out which brand is better – SK-II or Sulwhasoo. I’ve long heard that Sulwhasoo is Korea’s answer to SK-II. And I have been gifted some Sulwhasoo products from a friend so I’ll be doing a little experiment. *I’m not paid by either company. So you can be assured of a very fair review. Stay tuned.

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin Changes A Facebook Cover Picture To Avoid Endorsing MLM

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin was in the news today (The Straits Times) in an article about retirement plans for younger workers so I went to his Facebook page to see if netizens had left similar comments of annoyance there.

To my utter surprise, the cover picture of the Minister’s Facebook Page showed him holding a “You Should Be Here” blue banner and smiling gaily with three others:

Tan Chuan Jin World Ventures

I then sent him an email (his email addresses are on his Facebook page) and received a reply from the Minister himself within 35 minutes.

Tan Chuan Jin Email

For the record, the Minister is “not endorsing them” (i.e. World Ventures).

[Sidenote: I am very impressed that the Minister sent me a reply so promptly and even more appreciative about the fact that he asked me what I do for a living. And yes, I am a full-time blogger]

The Minister’s new Facebook Page Cover Picture:

Tan Chuan Jin FB Page

The Minister candidly shared with me that he manages his own Page and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised that he took action in changing the picture so quickly. He is a man of his word, it seems.

Sneaky or otherwise, the people from this MLM company are quite adept at getting political figures to appear in their pictures with the “You Should Be Here” banner. Satirical news site, newnation.sg, ran an article last year with the headline “PM Lee revealed as member of World Ventures”. The site (newnation) is known for their brand of humorous (fake) news – as evidenced in their tagline of “50% real news”.

(Read the article here: http://newnation.sg/2014/04/pm-lee-revealed-as-member-of-world-ventures/)

PM Lee World Ventures

And one of their readers actually bought into the story (@_@)

PM Lee World Ventures

This is how scary it can be when political figures, or any other influential figure, agree to a photo without requesting that people lay down their props, banners, products, or any other promotional material. They become unwitting endorsers of these products and services.

My recommendation to Minister Tan Chuan-Jin was to grab a copy of ‘Public Relations 247′ by Social Media and PR expert, Andrew Chow. Chapters 8 and 9 would be extremely beneficial for any politician to read. In fact, I noticed that MP Tin Pei Ling was also at the book launch for PR 247. :)

When told about the Minister’s facebook picture and my email, Andrew’s advice is…

“All photos posted on social media can become marketing material for unethical business. Protect yourself with the privacy settings and prepare a standard disclaimer in case of being misrepresented. Looking at the bright side; if your social assets are leveraged by others, it means you are seen as an influencer. It can happen to anyone; the more improbable it is, the more sensational it becomes.”

And for the record, again, I do not endorse this particular MLM company. Sure, I think MLM companies like Tupperware are great, but I don’t like this travel one. Not one bit.

Sonny And The Giant Tomatoes (My First Attempt At A Kid’s Story, Ok)

So, it’s Monday and I have some Cocktail Truss Tomatoes still sitting in the fridge for about a week now. And I felt like I had to do something with them before they started rotting. I thought they were simply giant-sized cherry tomatoes, but a Google search found that…

“Truss” refers to the fact that these tomatoes are ripened on the vine (as opposed to being picked unripe and then left to ripen actually off the vine) which maximizes their flavour. They are then picked still attached to their stem. Also, the tomatoes at the top of the vine, the truss, ripen the first. If baking, pierce the skin to avoid the tomatoes exploding. Keep them out, in a bowl, at room temperature; don’t keep them in the fridge – the cold spoils their flavour.

Oops. Didn’t know they should be kept at room temperature. Oh well.

Anyway, I came up with a quick 5-picture story, or comic strip if you’d like, about my Sonny Angels and the tomatoes, hence the title ‘Sonny And The Giant Tomatoes’. :D

Sonny And The Giant Tomatoes

Sonny And The Giant Tomatoes

Sonny And The Giant Tomatoes

Sonny And The Giant Tomatoes

Sonny And The Giant Tomatoes

Ok, I have no idea what they were doing in the last bit. :D Kinda like what people do at the fountain of wealth, I guess. Just going round in circles.

And if you are a parent, feel free to share this story with your kid and ask:

1) Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? *wink*

2) If you find something strange on the ground, and you think it might be food, should you pick it up and eat it?

3) If you find a lot of yummy food, should you eat it yourself or share it with your friends?

(In case you are wondering what those toys are, and where to get them, check out my blogpost about Sonny Angel HERE)