Tracking Our Smartphone Usage + Cooking A Lutein-Packed Meal :D

mobile phone usage in Singapore

You probably know of someone who’s a smartphone addict, right? You might even have spotted quite a few of them “glued” to their cellphones while they’re crossing the road, walking to the MRT platform, or even have them bump into you accidentally as they aren’t watching where they are going. In fact, the Chinese have a term for these mobile phone zombies – δ½Žι ­ζ— (literally: folks with lowered heads). You may or may not have a smartphone addiction problem but have you actually tracked how much time you spend on your handphone every single day? I have, and I can tell you the result is surprising!

As I’m curious about how much time other people spend on their phones as well, I invited two of my friends (Philip‘s 50 years old and Steven is 70!) to track their screen time for a week too. Guess who spent the most time on the phone? πŸ˜€

My phone usage (around 4 hours) vs. Philip’s (almost 7 hours) and Steven’s (8.5 hours)

singapore handphone screen time tracking

*Steven’s on holiday (as usual) so he made me tell you this: He’s using his phone more often than usual for photo-taking, uploading of pictures to his social media accounts, etc, and that retirees aren’t actually that “free” so please do not be mistaken. πŸ˜€

I’m actually quite surprised, though, that both of them spent more time on their phones than I did / do. In fact, Philip (who’s 50) spent over 12 hours on his phone on one particular day! He wasn’t catching Pokemon – it was just a really busy work day for him. πŸ˜€

Truth be told, I don’t spend as much time on my handphone compared to these two as my phone’s pretty old. I’m using the Samsung S5 which refuses to die. But it does run out of battery juice pretty quickly so I try not to do too much work on it. I abhor phone calls too (so please don’t call me) and I got myself out of just about every Whatsapp chat group as just reading the messages alone consumes too much precious time.

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Have you ever wondered how much ‘screen time’ you clock every day? Add the time spent on your handphone plus your computer plus time spent watching television or reading an ebook on your ipad. I bet you are spending a lot of time with your digital devices… and consequently getting exposed to blue light from them.

And don’t forget about blue light from the sun AND fluorescent and LED lighting! πŸ˜›

Point is, we’re constantly being bombarded by blue light. And what are we doing to protect ourselves? Your answer might be… “nothing”. (>_<) But you’ve definitely felt the ‘effects’ of using your digital devices for prolonged periods of time. Ever experienced dry, tired eyes that doctors term ‘digital eye strain’? And what happens in the long run? πŸ˜‰

Why the fuss over blue light exposure, really?

Blue light does more than just tire your eyes out. Blue light reaches deep into the eye and can potentially cause damage to the retina. Doctors warn of its involvement in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) too! If you’re concerned about AMD and/or cataracts and want to protect your eyes starting today, make sure you up your intake of Lutein and Zeaxanthin so as to block out blue light.

In a recent study, researchers also noted an improvement in the “overall sleep quality, and reduced frequency of headaches, eye strain and eye fatigue,Β as well as improvements in visual performance measures in the macular carotenoid (Lutein) group compared with the placebo group.” So, besides blocking out blue light, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are great for overall health!

Not sure how you can get a sufficient dose of Lutein and Zeaxanthin (which are found in food)? There is a simple solution: just drink a bottle of BRAND’S Lutein Essence. Just one bottle a day is all it takes.

BRANDS Lutein Essence

If you’d like to win BRAND’S Lutein Essence and give it a try (I recommend drinking it chilled – so tasty) then here’s another giveaway for you! πŸ˜€

{ GIVEAWAY }

As the first giveaway featuring BRAND’S Lutein Essence was well-received, I’m back with another one! πŸ˜€ This time round, I’m picking three winners to each receive a $120 Blue Light Protection Kit from BRAND’S! Each kit will include:

2 packs of BRAND’S Lutein Essence
$50 Nanyang Optical voucher
Eye drops
Eye mask

And all you need to do is to head over to the giveaway post on my Facebook page and submit a photo of your meal with at least 2 food items containing Lutein. πŸ˜€

Here’s my dinner on Tuesday night:

food high in lutein

The prawn dish has broccoli, carrot and brussel sprouts (underneath) – all good sources of Lutein. The salmon dish has ‘crispy skin salmon’ sitting on a bed of spinach (great source of Lutein) and mushroom. And there’s also the stir-fried tomato and scrambled egg dish (*eggs contain Lutein, but as I have shared in my previous post, there isn’t enough for our daily requirement unless we’re eating over 80 eggs, which is plain impossible).

So snap a picture of your meal and you’re on your way to winning this fabulous prize.

Pretty simple, right?

brands lutein essence

If your meal is full of Lutein goodness, you just might be one of the three lucky winners of BRAND’S Blue Light Protection Kit featuring their Lutein Essence! Entries will be judged based on creativity, number of food items with Lutein and how delicious they look! πŸ˜€ There is no limit to the number of entries per person (as long as the pictures belong to you). All the best!~ πŸ™‚

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Hennsley Mattress Review: How To Pick The Right Mattress + Costly Mistakes To Avoid

Hennsley Singapore mattress review

Mattresses (usually) last a really long time, and as my parents have been picking out mattresses for me my entire life, it was not until recently that I went and purchased a mattress for the first time. Mom’s great at maintaining mattresses (she’ll rotate or flip them around so the mattress doesn’t sag or get a depression from where I’m used to sleeping). I thought that picking out a mattress should be a piece of cake: lie down on the various beds in the showroom and pick the one that feels the comfiest and is within my budget. Right?

Not too long after purchasing the first mattress, I felt it was time to go get a replacement. (Don’t ask me about the brand of the first mattress – it may not have been the most comfortable for me, but I’m sure it’s good for other folks). And this time, I went with a local brand and decided I should find out why the showroom beds are always more comfortable. πŸ˜›

Hennsley sells premium bedding products like mattresses, pillows, bedframes, etc. It is not to be confused with Hemsley which sells bathroom accessories (I know. The names look so similar). Hennsley’s pillows and mattress protectors can be purchased online at lazada.sg and you can also check out the mattresses at Courts showrooms (Courts Megastore, Courts Toa Payoh and Courts Jurong Point), or visit the Hennsley headquarters in Ang Mo Kio.

Hennsley Mattress Singapore

The delivery was a little wonky. I’d chosen the 2pm to 6pm timeslot. They changed it to 12pm to 2pm, which I could still accept. Then they arrived just after 11am, and thankfully I was at home. So, here’s a heads-up for you: Be home.

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3 Important Things To Note When Selecting & Purchasing A Mattress

#1: What you see or feel at the showroom is not what you’ll eventually get

You’ll be getting a brand new mattress delivered to you, versus the ‘seasoned’ one at the showroom. Previously, what I’d tried and liked at the showroom was a relatively soft mattress that many people had sat on, laid down on, maybe even bounced up and down on… for who-knows-how-long. And some customers are probably ‘heavyweights’ too. I found the showroom mattress comfortable and soft, and as I’m a side sleeper (read: I tend to sleep on my side), the mattress allowed my shoulder to sink in comfortably.

What gets delivered is an entirely firmer mattress which I’m not used to. So when I picked a new mattress from Hennsley, I chose one with a ‘Pillow Top’ and ‘7-zoned SoftTouch Pocketed Innersprings’ to ensure that it’s soft from the outset.

The arrow’s pointing at the pillow top portion, which my previous mattress did not have:

Hennsley Singapore mattress review

To check out Hennsley’s range of mattresses, you can click on the link below:

http://www.hennsley.com/our-products/mattresses/

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#2: The pillows truly make a difference

Coupled with (normal) pillows that were bundled into the first deal, I experienced a ‘stiff neck’ regularly due to poor sleeping posture.

As with the mattress, I’m not taking any chances this time, so instead of two similar pillows with the mattress, I opted for one memory foam contour pillow (with a 3-year warranty) and a latex bow-shaped pillow (with a 5-year warranty). Turns out I prefer the memory foam one better.

Hennsley pillows

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#3: Couples should shop for mattresses together

This is something I learnt while picking the second mattress. If a couple (especially the newly-wed) have differing preferences for a mattress, it’s good to find out early, especially since mattresses can cost anything from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands!

In other countries, there are half-and-half beds. So one person can get the firmer half while his/her partner enjoys the softer half. I’m not sure if this is even available in Singapore, but I suppose you can always get it customized. (And if you happen to be especially tall, you can get your bed and mattress customized to your height too!)

If you don’t want to splurge on a customized bed, then the least you should do to ensure a good night’s rest for both of you is to shop for the mattress together. Lie down on the bed together then have your partner ‘toss and turn’ or get in / out of bed and you can decide if the mattress allows for all that movement without disrupting your sleep. I’ve found my Hennsley mattress fairs a lot better in this aspect.

*And no, don’t get the salesperson to do this experiment with you because your spouse is at work and can’t come shopping. To encourage you to get the pricier mattress, the salesperson might jump onto the cheaper one (you’ll definitely feel that movement if you are lying there with your eyes closed).

Take your time to select your preferred mattress, and always remember point #1. And oh… here’s a bonus point: Get the biggest bed that’ll fit your room. Big is always better when it comes to beds, unless you (and your partner) sleep like the dead. πŸ˜›

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When shopping for a mattress, the advice from my pals was to “get a good one” as mattresses can last for many years (usually 10 or more) and if you get one that’s unsuitable, poor sleep quality will surely impact your quality of life. I’ve heard of people who don’t bat an eyelid at paying for a $30,000+ mattress, but Hennsley’s value-for-money promotions are more wallet-friendly. During their ‘Free Upgrade Promotion’, my mattress cost just $3,399. If you’re looking for a new mattress, do pop by the showroom and take advantage of existing promotions while they last. πŸ™‚

Hennsley’s HQ / showroom is at 3 Ang Mo Kio Street 62, #04-16, Link@AMK, Singapore 569139. Tel: 6266 9580.

Exploring Pasir Ris | Georges @ The Cove, Prawning Venue, Spotting Chicken + Boar

Exploring Pasir Ris

Our “lazy Sunday” last weekend very suddenly became an exploration of another part of Singapore on our bikes. The initial (rough) plan was to visit a fish farm while on the way to Georges @ The Cove located at Pasir Ris Park. But Life is always full of its own surprises, and we ended up discovering lots of chickens in the Sungei Api Api area, stumbling upon a herd of wild boar late at night (the horror!) and cycling past big dogs trotting towards us. Thankfully, there were no misadventures, and we lived to tell the tale. πŸ˜€

Here’s a quick video:

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Catch the previous post about our cycling trip to Ang Mo Kio here.

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First up, here’s our makan at Georges @ The Cove. It offers splendid sea views, with people paddleboarding, and you can even watch soccer matches here. I really could get used to dining here. πŸ˜€ We ordered only the burger and a full rack of pork ribs for our early dinner…

georges at the cove review

The burger was decent. Nothing to write home about, really. Just a decent burger you might want to enjoy with fries and a coke. *burp*

georges @ the cove pasir ris park

The pork ribs came divided in half. The half I picked tasted ‘normal’, while he kept raving about how soft his half of the pork ribs were. So I had a bite from his side and… he’d gotten the portion which was fattier and hence more delicious. Thankfully, we’d ordered the full rack instead of just half (we might have ended up with only the firmer half). The BBQ sauce looks like it was squeezed out of a bottle haphazardly, and there was too much sauce anyway so I had to scrape it all off with my knife. Too few fries too, if I may add! πŸ˜›

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Then he brought me to this prawning + fishing place that I didn’t know existed. We just hung around to watch these folks prawn and catch tiny fishes. By tiny, I mean ‘nasi lemak kuning fish’ tiny. On our second visit this week, we managed to catch 3 fish, and someone else gave us 3 more fish. πŸ˜€

Prawning at Pasir Ris

Then we checked out the resort, malls, etc… and even got rewarded with a nice view of Wild Wild Wet.

Wild Wild Wet

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While getting bubble tea, I watched a mother trying to direct her kids to behave properly within a snow globe photo booth. I found this hilarious. πŸ˜€

Snow globe Photo booth

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Not sure where cycling will take us to next, but I’m looking forward to exploring another part of Singapore. πŸ˜€

BRAND’S Eye Health Talk: What Blue Light Does To Your Eyes, And How To Get Enough Lutein

Brand's Eye Talk 2017

At BRAND’S recent eye health talk, held in partnership with StarHub, I came to realize new things about eye health I didn’t know before. For instance, that I can go for Lasik surgery a second time – which would be great since my myopia (with astigmatism) symptoms are back again, about 7 years after I had Lasik done. And for the rest of the audience, what probably came as a revelation to most is that we don’t have to wait for cataracts to “ripen” and risk complications in the process, the role our diet plays in promoting eye health, and what Lutein and Zeaxanthin are and how important it is to have them in our diet to combat digital eye strain because of the blue light from the environment and our increased usage of digital devices. Read on for my 5 takeaways from the session, and find out how you can win BRAND’S new Lutein Essence (which I’ve tried and enjoyed) from my giveaway.

Finding out I need glasses again… (>_<)

Brand's Eye Talk

Doesn’t come as a surprise since we can’t escape from all sources of blue light…

blue light

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Here are my 5 takeaways from the talk which featured 3 speakers: a prominent ophthalmologist, a nutritionist and BRAND’S own scientist:

Dr Leonard Ang

#1: Dr Leonard Ang: Don’t wait for cataracts to “ripen”

There is no age restriction, so you can go for the surgery even if you are 80 or 90 years old. The treatment is permanent too, unlike glaucoma which requires constant maintenance. But the key is to get it done early, so it doesn’t lead to complications in later stages.

And if you’re wondering how prevalent this is, well, more than 30% of people in Singapore, age 45 and above, have some form of cataract. This figure goes up to a stunning 80% for people over 60!

#2: Apart from taking breaks, there are many other ways to combat Digital Eye Strain

Digital Eye Strain

Just 2 consecutive hours on a digital device can cause eye strain and fatigue! And I do often spend more than 2 hours in front of my laptop. 😦 That blue light can also increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which slowly leads to a loss of vision. I’m definitely worried. While cataract surgery is safe and fast (10 – 20 minutes) these days, I do want to keep my eyes healthy for as long as possible to avoid multiple surgeries, especially if I’m getting Lasik done again. <- The tearing and discomfort is not something I look forward to.

#3: Julina Halim: We don’t get enough Lutein in our diet

Julina Halim

Lutein goes directly to your eyes, and is concentrated in the macula. Unfortunately we don’t consume enough of it. We need about 6mg a day, but we get only about 2mg (or less) from the food we eat, but supplements can provide up to 10mg. Having too much fibre in your diet, however, slows down the absorption of Vitamin A and carotenoids, impacting the absorption of lutein in food.

#4: Block blue light and prevent incident cataracts with sufficient intake of Lutein + Zeaxanthin

filtering blue light

In a decade or so, I might be one of those folks having cataracts and considering surgery options. So what I can do now is to take care of my eyes by having adequate eye breaks from digital devices (follow the 20-20-20 rule Dr Ang recommends), wear sunglasses when I’m outdoors, and have a pair of glasses which blocks blue light for when I’m facing digital screens. I used to own a pair that was sold at Watsons, and I’ve indeed realized my eyes get tired less quickly when I’m wearing them. But after they were dropped and broke, I’ve yet to replace them.

Getting enough Lutein from my diet is also important, so dark green leafy vegetables like kale are now appearing on the dinner table. If I’m eating out, then a supplement would definitely come in handy.

#5: BRAND’S, long known for their chicken essence, now has a Lutein Essence too

Brands Lutein Essence Singapore

Apart from Lutein and Zeaxanthin, there’s also Vitamin E in that petite bottle. You’ll only need to drink one bottle of Lutein Essence a day, with or after your meal. Each bottle has 10mg of Lutein, which is more than enough for your daily requirement. So don’t worry about needing to drink it 3 times a day with each meal (because you don’t have to).

Dr Tan Zhen Wei from BRAND’S Health Supplement Division also shared that you can get Lutein and Zeaxanthin from the food you eat, if you consume enough of them, which can be anything from 80g of spinach to 84 eggs…

lutein and zeaxanthin in food

~ GIVEAWAY ~

Brands Lutein Essence

I’m picking 3 winners to each take home TWO boxes of Lutein Essence (worth $45.20).

Head over to my Facebook page for the giveaway! πŸ™‚

GrabShuttle Plus: Good Way For Getting Around Punggol

grab shuttle plus

If you’re wondering how GrabShuttle Plus works, well, I’m learning something new after my second and third rides (all free, by the way, thanks to their promo code for 4 free rides). Today, we boarded a ‘new’ shuttle bus, which you see in the picture above. This one can easily seat about 24 people. And as usual, it’s a pretty exclusive ride with no or few other passengers on board. πŸ˜€

My first two rides were booked a few days in advance so I could head to the bus stop way ahead of the planned arrival time of the GrabShuttle. This evening, we decided (on a whim) to have dinner at the Punggol East Container Park, and so I booked a ride for us.

I’m not sure where the shuttle bus was to begin with. But I made the booking at 6.05pm and our ride was supposed to come by at 6.10pm. We had barely enough time to collect all our things (wallet, handphone, etc) and rush out of the flat, running down the stairs to get to the bus stop. The shuttle came by at 6.09pm!

I received SMSes to tell me when the shuttle service is around the corner already and I’m the next to be picked up, and I can also track my ride to see where it is exactly using the app. For folks who like everything to be efficient, and loathe waiting around for a bus or LRT train yet don’t want to walk / run, this is perfect. It’s like having a chauffeur at your beck and call. Just get ready to be at your bus stop within 5 minutes if you pick the earliest / fastest shuttle service!

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Dinner at the Punggol East Container Park was at this place called Pump Station 1965. Service was great, though I found a sickly sweet smell in the air rather disturbing. I’m not sure if it’s from shisha, or a diffuser, or something else. But it was rather uncomfortable. Still, we didn’t want to sit outdoors as I was afraid it’d rain, as it does so often these days.

A small piece of unagi (for $10.90, I think) but tasty enough. Thai minced pork with rice was good too.

pump station 1965 review

The vongole spaghetti was a disappointment, though. But the clams were cleaned very nicely; so props to them.

pump station 1965 punggol

*We used a Fave voucher for this meal, so with the Fave discount + Fave promo code + ShopBack cashback amount, this meal probably cost around $18 for 2.

There’s an Uncle Ringo carnival nearby too. But there were few people at the games booths. Quite depressing, actually. Not the bustling sight when it was near the Punggol MRT station. I guess having the fun fair here at Punggol East is not the best idea.

Uncle Ringo carnival punggol

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For getting around Punggol, I think the shuttle service is a good idea. Perhaps we’d book a ride to Punggol End next. No need to look for a parking lot, and neither do we have to wait for the SBS bus service (which isn’t that frequent anyway). πŸ™‚

Punggol Settlement (Food Review) – Just The Place 1 For 1 Mains

Punggol Settlement restaurant

Punggol Settlement is very quiet these days; if you’re looking for a dinner spot that’s not crowded, has a nice sea view and offers value-for-money promotions, you might just want to head there. Some restaurants have taken to Groupon (a.k.a. Fave) and Eatigo in a bid to boost their business. Others have simply folded. We had dinner at Just The Place using a Groupon voucher and I’ve shot a quick video you can see below. πŸ™‚ In other news, that awesome waffle / ice cream place ‘Wayne’s Chill Out’ has shut. They never really put up a sign or statement online to say that they’ve shut for good, and more than once, I’ve seen people walk past thinking it’s Wayne’s off day but that longing for ice cream is clear on their faces.

That “chat” between the terrapins is based on real conversations πŸ˜€

When the food was served, his first comment was “Looks promising, ah”. Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving. The Seafood Marinara ($22.90) had plump prawns, squid and clams. But the portions of fried fish were small. And the sauce lacked one thing: spice. Adequate spice would give it that “oomph” the dish sorely lacks. This dish tastes so mild that I believe parents can feed it to young children without any issue. I would love to have some ‘heat’ in it; maybe some chopped up chili padi?

Just the place review

As for the Cajun Boneless Chicken ($18.90), I have to say that the sides certainly outshine the lead. The baby potatoes and the mushroom ragout are DELICIOUS. The chicken itself is visually appealing, but offers no surprises taste-wise.

Just the place punggol settlement

Would we be back for the 1-for-1 mains, which we’re told could be offered till the end of the year? YES! Next time, we won’t bother with getting a Fave voucher. πŸ˜€

Just The Place is at #02-07/08 of Punggol Settlement. Tel: 6702 7370.

Paying Customer’s Review Of RedMart’s Online Grocery Shopping and Delivery

redmart online grocery shopping

I’d initially wanted to title this post “Honest Review of RedMart…” but figured there might be people who will think I’m implying their reviews aren’t honest. Clearly, there’s a difference between a sponsored blogpost versus a paying customer’s experience of the same company’s services. So I’m just going to share about my very first RedMart order, placed this month, and my account of how it went. Truth be told, I was very curious about whether “delicate” items would get crushed during the handling and delivery. So I ordered, among other things, a tray of eggs and a loaf of Sunshine bread together with a whole honeydew and a whole watermelon! πŸ˜€ Plus, there were TEN 1.5-litre bottles of Ayataka green tea. You can probably already picture in your mind all the fragile items getting crushed in the back of a van, right? So what was smashed during delivery?! Read on… πŸ˜€

#1: (Some) groceries are cheaper online

I’m not exactly crazy about Ayataka unlike some of my pals, but the reason I bought 10 bottles from RedMart is because it’s much cheaper than if I went to a supermarket nearby to get it. It’s mind-boggling how I can lug home all these heavy bottles and still be paying a premium compared to someone else who clicks a few buttons at home and waits for it all to be delivered. I don’t remember the exact pricing now but when I was clicking around the site, I found the Ayataka drinks about 30% cheaper than when I got them at ntuc.

The chicken’s about the same price, though, but way smaller. I like being able to select the plumpest chicken at the supermarket. πŸ˜€ So I guess I’m still buying whole chickens in person.

#2: Fragile items will (not) get squashed

And even if they do get damaged during handling or delivery, I’m sure you can request for a refund. Remember to take pictures!

It was my first time trying Sunshine’s Hokkaido Milk Toast and OMG, it is the best! I like it so much that I even ate the top and bottom slices, which I usually let someone else at home have. πŸ˜€

The delivery guy wheeled his trolley up to my doorstep and it looked like he had different boxes for the items. Perhaps one that keeps stuff cool (like the chicken), another to separate the heavy items like the drinks and fruit from the fragile ones like the bread and eggs.

#3: The fruits and veggies are fresh (if you eat them immediately)

I checked that everything looked good when I received my order, so I didn’t think too much about keeping the fruits at home for a day or two before cutting them open. The delivery happened on a Tuesday, and by Thursday, I noticed a bad smell coming from the bag with the honeydew in it.

This had happened:

redmart review

I sent redmart an email, attaching pictures of the rotting (or rotten) honeydew, and they very quickly processed a refund. You can choose to have a refund in redmart credits for your next purchase or get it refunded via your payment method.

#4: You create more waste: an extraordinary number of plastic bags

redmart plastic bag

I think I’ve watched too many ads. Delivery people usually hand over a bag of groceries in those ads and perhaps it’s a brown paper bag, or a sturdy looking carrier that can contain everything from milk cartons to green veggies.

What I did not expect was for my order to come in so many plastic bags. Watermelon’s in a bag. Honeydew is in another. Bread’s in a bag. Potatoes in another bag. And so on. I ended up collecting so many of redmart’s plastic bags!

And the quality of the bags isn’t too great either; many had holes in them so they’re not exactly the best for lining trash bins or your wet umbrella (imagine the leaks!) The only good thing is that they are supposedly oxo-biodegradable.

#5: It’s so impersonal a drone might as well have been sent

Once again, I’ve been deceived by ads. Remember that smiling delivery guy who shows up at your doorstep with the groceries you’ve ordered? Well, I received an (automated) SMS about 5 minutes before he showed up at my door.

I opened the door, said Hi (and got no reply), and he held out the two packs of redmart facial tissues I’d ordered, with a delivery note in between. Butter fingers kicked in, and I actually dropped the tissue pack placed below. Then he passed me bag after bag. Eventually he asked me to sign on the device (with a cracked screen) he held. And he was gone.

No greeting, no verification if our household was indeed the one which had placed the order, no goodbye.

I’d read another blogger’s (sponsored) review and she said the delivery guy even asked her to check if the eggs were damaged during the delivery ‘cos he’d quickly get her some new ones. She was amused that he had a hidden stash of eggs somewhere, and was clearly impressed. As for my delivery guy… well, never mind.

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Many people have misconceptions about online grocery shopping: that produce won’t be fresh, that fragile items like bread and eggs will be damaged, and you should only purchase bulky items like toilet paper, milk powder, diapers, etc.

From this first experience of shopping on redmart, I’d say that I got a good bargain on items like the green tea and chocolates so I won’t hesitate to make a second purchase if the price is right. But for items like poultry, I’ll want to visit a physical store and make my own selection.

And oh, I’d purchased a Fave voucher before shopping on RedMart. I’d paid $5 for a $20 RedMart voucher. So that offered significant savings already. The voucher’s still available on Fave if you’re keen. πŸ™‚

GrabShuttle Plus: Promo Code, Review Of Shuttle Service Within Punggol

Grab shuttle review

I’m not sure why us Punggolians are so lucky as to have Grab launch its shuttle service in our estate first. πŸ˜€ I tried the service this week as the first 4 rides are free with a promo code from GrabShuttle. The usual fee is $1.20 per ride. I’m including a promo plus a referral code at the end of this blogpost, so do check it out. But right now, I’ll share with you more about how my first GrabShuttle ride went…

Here’s a quick video clip I shot on my mobile phone:

You’ll have to download the GrabShuttle Plus app first. It’s a separate app from the Grab one.

grabshuttle singapore

screenshot from grab.com

Then it’s simple enough. You book a ride by keying in your pick-up location (it’ll be a bus stop near you) and your destination. These two places must be within Punggol.

Then you’re given a list of timing options. I picked one that offers a decent buffer, so in case the vehicle breaks down or gets into an accident or doesn’t show up, at least I have time to flag down a cab or get onto the LRT and still get to my destination on time.

If you have friends or family members who are also living in Punggol, just some distance away from your home, this is really convenient. And you’re always guaranteed a seat! (<- why it beats taking a bus or LRT) If you’re visiting someone in Punggol, you might as well book a GrabShuttle ride from the MRT station to the bus stop closest to your friend’s home as the LRT service (direction) can get pretty confusing.

*You can book a shuttle service immediately or up to 3 days in advance.

Some disadvantages:

  1. You’re given a timeframe during which the shuttle may be expected to arrive e.g. 10.25am to 10.31am and you have to be at the bus stop before that timing. The driver will only wait 30 seconds. If you’re the kind of person who’s usually late for everything, then just go flag down a taxi or take the bus or LRT. πŸ˜€ With GrabShuttle, you pay upfront, so if you miss the shuttle… too bad.
  2. You can only book up to 3 days in advance. Some folks may need the service every single day (e.g. to get to the Punggol MRT station) or on certain days every week (for grocery trips, or to send the kids to enrichment classes) so it would be great if bookings can be done up to a month in advance. Having to place the same booking everyday seems so troublesome.

What I do love about GrabShuttle is that there were no stops during my trip. I was the only passenger during the timeslot I’d selected! πŸ˜€ So the driver sent me directly to my destination. The minibus doesn’t look like it’s brand new (at least, not inside) but it looked clean. I’ll certainly take a couple more rides soon.

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{ Code expiring on 31st Dec 2017 }

SHUTTLEPLUS

{ No Expiry code }

Here’s my referral code if you’d like to get $2.40 in free ride credits: dt7xmtzh

*If you try the service, I will get $2.40 in free ride credits too. So you’re welcome, and thank you too! πŸ˜€

Elegance Beauty & Slimming: We Tried The TCM Body Massage At Tanjong Pagar

elegance beauty & slimming

[screenshot from myfave.com]

There’s one Chinese phrase which perfectly describes how I am feeling today:Β θ…°ι…ΈθƒŒη—› (both my waist and back are hurting). The worst part is that I’m not even sure if it’s a good thing. You see, we went for a massage together yesterday and the therapists seemed so knowledgeable and they were locating knots in places I did not know could have knots (like at my waist area) and after that massage, even pulling my shoulder blades together hurts. Yikes!

He’d purchased a Fave voucher for a massage at International Plaza and so we went to Elegance Beauty & Slimming. I went into the centre first as he’d gone off to look for a parking lot. And initially I was taken aback at the strong smell of smoke in the air. Possibly why the glass doors to Elegance were left wide open too. I couldn’t tell if it was cigarette smoke or not. Asked the lady (M) at the reception counter and she said it’s from moxibustion. But are the smoke detectors in the building not working? (>_<) Shouldn’t there be an alarm or security officers running over?

Anyway… I thought we were off to a bad start as I really hate when there are strong smells. And the air here made me choke. I was coughing so much they asked if they could get me a glass of water.

But when it came to the massage, all I can say is that it was really good. Sure, I hated the white translucent paper undies and so wore the blue paper boxers for men over it as well, but everything else was good.

tanjong pagar massage

My masseuse (S) and his (J) are from China, and clearly skilled at providing massages. And according to him, they’re really good at sales too (he said he’d poach them if he’s opening a massage parlor, but I guess he’s kidding).

I’d requested a “Relaxing” massage as I don’t really like massages; I basically tolerate them. Anything that’s painful or ticklish… is not my thing. He went for “Medium” strength, and his masseuse looked double the size of mine. LOL. But S, though petite, managed to make me scream in pain. I’d made it quite clear that I didn’t want any ‘baguan’ or ‘guasha’ or anything that would leave a mark on my skin so I escaped unscathed except for some aches here and there. When he got home though, his back still looked like this:

guasha massage tanjong pagar

Not a great look if you’re going swimming (people might think you have some severe skin issues) or just before you head off to a beach holiday, ya? πŸ˜‰

*And oh, S wanted to do naval candling (at least I think that was what she meant in Mandarin) for me but I refused even though she claimed it’d make my tummy feel all warm and fuzzy. Nope, thanks. No fire or heat or scraping or cupping or all of that. πŸ˜€ I’ve read too many horror stories in media reports already.

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The sales pitch after the massage went pretty well. I wouldn’t say there was any hard-selling. M tried to have us sign for a package:

10 sessions for $888 / 20 sessions for $1500 / 50 (+6) sessions for $3888

And when we said we’ll go back to think about it, she asked if we’ll just pay for 1 additional session. It did seem a little bit desperate but overall, she was pretty nice about it and we left the place satisfied.

And no, we didn’t pay for any of those packages. If we decide to return, we’ll just pay per session. It’s too much of a risk, really.

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Do you like / enjoy massages? Lucky you! I’d say this 1-hour massage at Elegance was worth the price he paid for it. $46 for 2 pax is decent; cheap, even. If you’d like to go try it yourself, I believe the voucher is still available at Fave (previously Groupon).

Why Getting A Sports Bra From Triumph Actually Makes Sense

Triumph Triaction Singapore

I’ve been so used to buying sports bras from the various sporting brands, and it’s only about a month ago that I got one from Triumph. I was initially seduced by how good they look on the mannequins and models, but a chat with their manager in the store made me think that it is actually a good idea to get underwear from the brand that was founded in 1886 (a good hundred years before I was born) as they know intimately what fits us women best.

In the past, I went for sports bras which have the underwire because I thought it’ll provide extra support, but it eventually gave rise to more pain than good. Those without the wiring are infinitely more comfortable but sometimes the fit can be wrong too. This is because the sizing is limited to just S / M / L /XL and doesn’t quite take into account the different cup sizes.

So I got one of the sports bras just for cardio workouts, and realized just how much thought went into the design of those bras.

And I don’t mean just the aesthetics…

Triumph Triaction

Watch this very short clip below – I show you how the bra becomes a racerback bra in an instant:

And yes, it has all the ‘benefits’ of usual Triumph bras like the push-up effect. πŸ˜€

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I have 3 x $150 vouchers courtesy of Triumph to give away. All you need to do is ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ my giveaway post on Facebook, and leave a comment under this blogpost telling me why you want to win the voucher. πŸ™‚

Contest ends on 18th Nov, 23:59 hours, and is only for residents of Singapore.

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Update: The contest has ended and the 3 winners are:

  1. Rachel Kim
  2. Jasmine Ong
  3. Jiaojiao Li

I will contact you three ladies via the email address(es) you submitted together with your comment. If you do not receive the winner notification email by 20th Nov 2017, please send me an email instead.

Congratulations! And thank you all for taking part. Watch out for my next giveaway coming right up tomorrow! πŸ˜€