Selfie Coffee at Haji Lane

From latte art to 3D coffee art… to selfie coffees. Just how many ways can we decorate a humble cup of coffee? :) I’m not a coffee drinker but was happy to accompany my pals and their super-cute toddler to Selfie Coffee at Haji Lane. And while they tried to figure out how to stick the straws in without ruining the pictures (hur hur), I happily sipped on my Mango Passionfruit Ice Blend (with no selfie on top).

Selfie Coffee Singapore

It remains to be seen whether this novelty factor will fade off, and whether this quaint cafe will survive by the strength of its F&B offerings alone. For me, it’s kind of like going on the Singapore Flyer, whereby once is usually enough.

I love how the cafe’s all decked out though. They’ve converted a whole wall into a huge menu that’s super colorful. The dining area upstairs is rather cramped with too many chairs and tables in too small a space. But look around and look up too to see monkeys and vines and all.

Selfie Coffee Haji Lane

It’s great that this cafe largely caters to young people because there’s a fair bit of stair-climbing if you don’t sit at the alfresco area outside the cafe, and instead choose to sit at level 2. Upon entering, you’ll have to head upstairs to check if there’s an available table. And once you’re done chope-ing a seat, you head back down to place your order. Then you head back up again while your order is being prepared. And once the buzzer sounds, you come back down to collect your drinks (and food if any), and then you head back upstairs again. When you’re done with your photo-taking and makan, you will, of course, head backn down again. Haha!

It’s great exercise. So if you are one of the lazy ones… sit outside or else don’t complain ok? ;)

And oh, Selfie Coffee sells rainbow cake too. I shared a slice with Kelly, but we still couldn’t finish it. Good for pictures la. *wink*

Rainbow Cake


11 Haji Lane

Tel: 6341 7212

The Main Reason I Visit Rivervale Plaza: Nasi Padang

Rivervale Plaza

I kid you not. The main reason I look forward to visiting Rivervale Plaza is for a meal at the Indonesian Padang stall. Some people call it ‘Chumpo Chumpo’ while others call it ‘Chumpo 2’. Either way, this is the one:

Rivervale Plaza Chumpo Indonesian Padang

One thing you need to note about this stall is that the good food runs out really fast. And I don’t know why they can’t just cook more of it. Go for dinner at 7+? Well, you might not have many dishes to choose from already. You need to head there early. This is the reason why I’ll sometimes pop by wanting a nasi padang meal, but end up heading next door for some laksa instead.

If you’ve never visited Rivervale Plaza before, well, drop by and try the nasi padang.

Also, this HDB shopping complex looks rather small from the outside, but it houses over 40 shops for all your shopping needs. There’s NTUC for your groceries, a number of bakeries, fast food outlets, a wet market (there’s a stall selling durians for S$2 now!) and there’s not just one but TWO foodcourts (imagine that) within Rivervale Plaza!

Anyway, the main reason for this post is to have you join me in voting for your favorite shop in your favorite HDB shopping centre. I’ve voted for Chumpo in Rivervale Plaza, of course. *wink*

Vote for Chumpo Rivervale Plaza

From now till 31st October, you stand a chance to win prizes in the Top 50 Favorite Shops contest. And oh, I voted for Unity too. Just did a S$15 health screening there on Monday. The staff are really nice – no Monday blues at all, which is weird. :D So, thumbs up:

Vote for Unity

If you’d like to vote and stand a chance to win some prizes, download the app (for Android) – it’s called ‘myfavHDBmall‘. Sign up for an account and you will be sent an activation link via email to verify your email account, before you can access the app.

Also, I found the HDB Gift Redemption (temporary) booth near the security guard post at Rivervale Mall. Just spend S$20 and redeem a luggage cover:

Luggage Cover

Take note of the redemption dates though! :)


There are also two other contests you might be keen on, with more prizes to win…

1) #myfavHDBmall Photography Competition: 

Photography Competition

Register here:

2) Help create the largest SG50 logo made from stamps!

SG Book Of Records

Donate your used or unused stamps at the specially designed post boxes at a HDB shopping centre near you: details HERE. A total of S$2000 cash vouchers are up for grabs!

I don’t know about you, but I’m loving all the freebies, competitions, and activities surrounding the celebration of our nation’s 50th birthday! :) I’m glad that even malls in the heartlands are joining in the fun! Time to celebrate with more nasi padang! Haha!

Interview with Dr Jonathan Obaje, Pain Relief Expert From URAH (Unique Recipes for Active Health)

Are you currently taking oral glucosamine and experiencing gastric irritation, nausea, shortness of breath or wheezing?

Have you purchased creams or patches to soothe your aching muscles but find that they don’t actually provide relief?

Are joint pains and body aches stopping you from leading an active lifestyle or going back to work after retirement because of knee problems?

Firstly, Glucosamine is a good biological molecule produced naturally in your body and used to make soft tissues such as cartilage, ligament, collagen and synovial fluid for the body. However, Glucosamine is difficult to deliver to the body (unlike most health supplements) because of low absorption in the gastric system. Glucosamine compounds are also acidic and can cause gastric irritations and ulceration.

And secondly, many of the off-the-counter products claiming to provide pain relief tend to put menthol or capsaicin to provide the “cooling” or “warm” sensation that makes you THINK the product is “working”. This is largely a temporary placebo sensation that may not give you any real benefit.

I’ve done an interview with URAH scientist, Dr Jonathan Obaje, and found that the company focuses research on degenerative diseases because they believe immobility is the root of many chronic diseases. URAH therefore makes products which help to keep people “mobile” and enjoy ‘active’ lifestyles again.

Confident that the technology is capable of moving into the international arena, MP Inderjit Singh came on board as the Chairman of URAH, and with more investors joining, I’m excited about the upcoming new products which will help more people regain their mobility and lead pain-free lives. :)

But first, here is the current URAH product range. The brand has been around since 2009. I’m using the Sporting Cream because I do sometimes injure my knees from running:

Urah cream review

Sporting Cream: Is designed for active folks, both young and old. It is very good for sprains and body aches you experience after exercising.

Joint Health: Is recommended for those above age 45. In addition to relieving the pains, it also helps people who experience numbness by improving their blood circulation.

Bone Health: Is a “Double Barrel” cream useful for both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. It helps to increase bone density by about 10% after 7 to 8 months of usage.

Odourless and non-greasy, these creams provide quick relief for everything from neck pains and backaches to pain in the fingers and wrists from typing too much – what bloggers like me, and office workers, tend to face.

Urah sporting cream

URAH products are available at Unity, Watsons and Guardian stores. Check in-store for the latest promotions. :)

URAH Dr Jonathan Obaje

Dr Jonathan Obaje

1) Dr Obaje, why are there so many conflicting reports about Glucosamine therapy, with some articles saying it works and others saying it doesn’t?

The current misunderstanding and misinformation about Glucosamine is linked to the historical development of Glucosamine as a therapeutic agent. The first group of scientists who studied the therapeutic application of Glucosamine were biochemists (in Sweden 1950s). They tested Glucosamine on biological cells in test tubes and they discovered that the cells grew better when Glucosamine was added. They repeated the experiment and confirmed that Glucosamine indeed enhanced the growth of chondrocyte (cartilage) cells. They published their research findings in 1958 in a scientific journal. Then a pharmaceutical company in Europe saw the article and thought that Glucosamine would be a good drug for people suffering from arthritis and joint pain so they began to manufacture and market Glucosamine capsules, tablets and even powders. This assumption was later discovered to be naive as Glucosamine has low absorption in the gastric and may also cause gastric acidity.

In the 1980s, the European company went to USA to register their product with FDA. FDA refused to register their Glucosamine product as a drug because according to the scientific understanding of Glucosamine, our bodies produce it naturally to make proteins (proteoglycans) used for making soft tissues. Since Glucosamine is naturally produced in our body, it does not qualify as a drug, and should be classified as a health supplement because it supplements what your body already has. This was good news for the company because no rigorous clinical trials were required and the product could be sold straightaway in the US market.

Unfortunately, due to the loose regulation of Health supplements, many more pharmaceutical companies jumped onto the bandwagon to manufacture and sell Glucosamine tablets and capsules in the US market.

By 1990s, almost every pharmaceutical company in USA had its own Glucosamine brand, choking up the market. Patients would read about Glucosamine on websites and even went to hospitals to ask for Glusosamine prescriptions from their doctors.

But doctors and pharmacists, who were never taught about Glucosamine from the universities, were embarrassed to be educated by patients about the benefits of Glucosamine. Doctors and pharmacists began to complain to FDA about the lack of research done as to whether swallowing this Glucosamine stuff has any benefit at all.

In 2000, one of the US authorities agreed to sponsor an oral Glucosamine clinical trial. There were two groups of participants – one ‘active’ group swallowing Glucosamine tablets, and another ‘placebo’ group. This took about 3 years. The results were collated and analyzed at the end of the clinical trial. It was shocking to find that there was no difference between the active and the placebo group. This was a real blow to Glucosamine therapy. The full result was published in a very reputable journal in the US in 2006 (The New England Journal of Medicine Vol.354 No.8 Feb 2006). Their conclusion was that whether you take Glucosamine alone or combined with Chondroitin, it has no significant effect.

URAH’s research team was curious to know why Glucosamine is effective on the cells in the test tube but not effective when humans swallow it. Research began to show that there is little absorption of Glucosamine in the gastric system. When swallowed, not much of it gets absorbed into blood circulation. The second problem is that Glucosamine compounds are acidic and can cause gastric irritation. Many people are suffering gastric problems from Glucosamine but they don’t know about it. Some people, after taking the usual 1500mg Glucosamine tablets in the morning, ignorantly top it up with a cup of coffee too (adding on to the acidity levels)! The gastric side effect will not take long to show up.

2) So if Glucosamine is applied in the form of a cream, it is fine? 

Initially, Urah Scientists thought topical application of Glucosamine will solve these issues BUT later discovered it is difficult to formulate Glucosamine into creams because Glucosamine makes the creams separate into two layers of water and oil. This is why some of the products in the market come with a “shake before use” label, because they don’t have the technology to blend Glucosamine into cream form.

Some other companies add very little Glucosamine into the cream and they don’t state the exact amounts on the packaging. You will not see any effect from using those creams because the concentration of active Glucosamine is too low. The onus is on the consumer to choose the right product. As mentioned already, health supplements are not regulated like drugs.

The second problem of making Glucosamine cream is the skin penetration. Some brands of Glucosamine Cream which claim to have high concentration of Glucosamine do not have the technology to deliver Glucosamine across the skin layers. When you rub the cream on your skin, after 8 to 10 minutes of application, if you rub the spot again pressing a bit harder, you will notice Glucosamine powder rubbing off from your skin like powdery residue because the skin is an excretory organ and not meant to take in stuff.

Our skin is a natural barrier for taking in any drugs. In fact, what good cosmetics do is “window-dressing” of the top coat of skin to be radiant by moisturizing them for some hours. The dead cells on your skin are just going to be washed away in a few days and cosmetic products do not go past the skin layers! No matter how good your cosmetic product is, if you stop using it for one month, you may not like what you see. That’s the difference between cosmetic and transdermal products – the latter goes through the skin and into the blood circulation.

It took URAH Research scientists many years of research to come up with the Micellar Delivery Technology which is able to “deceive” the skin into “opening up” and taking in Glucosamine for delivery into the blood circulation. That is what makes URAH unique and different from all the other Glucosamine products in the market. URAH’s special technology delivers Glucosamine right to where it needs to be. And Urah formulation is based on patented Urah technology in Japan, USA and Singapore.

In 2009, we voluntarily performed clinical research, and worked with about 20 clinics in Singapore. Patients diagnosed with arthritis volunteered to use URAH products for 8 weeks each. Two of the doctors were so impressed with the results that they agreed to collate the results together and publish it in a scientific journal in 2011. URAH is the 1st and still the only Transdermal Glucosamine product with a technology patent number, and has also done clinical research and published the findings on the efficacy of the products.

3) So why do people buy those other products?

As a scientific research company, we rarely do advertisements. You can usually find us in the laboratories. While other companies focus on big advertising, we are more focused on giving scientific results and education to the Doctors and Pharmacists about Glucosamine therapy.

Many products in the market which do not have technology to deliver glucosamine add chemicals such as menthol or capsaisin to create the ‘warm’ or ‘cooling’ sensation. Many people think because they ‘feel’ it so the product must be working. We call it a ‘temporary placebo sensation’. URAH scientists decided not to add any of these. You won’t feel a warm or cooling sensation when you use Urah products but after a few days, you will notice that your pain is gone.

We need business people to take the product to the market. But so far, the product has been able to ‘sell itself’. People who use it recommend it to their friends and even doctors are beginning to support us by recommending Urah Creams to their patients. Urah products are now in most government hospitals and in all major pharmacies in Singapore.

4) Can URAH products be used on everyone?

Yes, young or old, you can use URAH products. The sporting cream is designed for people who are active. It is good for sprains and body aches you experience after exercising.

Joint Health is recommended for people above age 45. In addition to relieving the pains, it also helps people who experience numbness by improving their blood circulation.

Bone Health is a “Double Barrel” Cream useful for both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. It helps to increase bone density by about 10% after 7 to 8 months of usage.

And did you know about the danger of swallowing calcium supplements?

Urah was the first to start talking abt this. Research has shown that people who swallow oral calcium supplements are at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases and kidney stones. Why? Because when you take oral calcium, it is quickly absorbed into your blood circulation and it stays there. It does not get taken up to make bone cells. Within the blood, calcification takes place and blocks arteries, leading to cardiovascular issues. Some get filtered out to the kidneys, forming kidney stones. This is well-researched and published in many journals.

Calcium is best absorbed from natural sources, from milk, etc, because it needs the presence of other vitamins and minerals to create the right environment for calcium to be used by the blood for bone cells. That’s why we came up with URAH Bio-Calcium + Glucosamine + vitamins – for their synergy – and delivered by our micellar technology.

We focus on degenerative diseases and on how to help people lead active lifestyles. The reason they cannot lead active lifestyles is due to joint pains and body aches. So it doesn’t matter how long you preach to them about exercise; they listen then they sit back because they already have knee pains. The government promotes active aging and encourages retirees to go back to work. But what if they cannot stand for even one hour due to knee pains? MOBILITY is key to a healthy life. Anything that hinders you from being mobile is dangerous to your health. Immobility is the root of a lot of chronic diseases so it is important to get people moving.

5) And how long should we use URAH products for?

Try to finish at least one tube in 1-2 weeks, depending on your condition. If the pain is due to wear-and-tear for a very long time, and you have been advised by your doctor to go for knee replacement surgery for example, then you need to use the products for an extended period of time because the cells need time to start repairing.

But if it is a sprain, or swelling, within one hour of application, you can feel the pain going down.

One of our customers did 2 X-rays, with the doctor advising him to go for knee replacement surgery. He used URAH for a year and he can now can climb stairs without problems, and has not had to go for surgery!

Our body naturally produces Glucosamine so continue to use the products for the purpose of replenishment and maintenance of your health.

Why do we feel pain in the first place? It’s because our body cannot make enough Glucosamine, and the soft tissues start wearing out. When your bones rub against each other, you’ll feel the pain. Use URAH and you rebuild those tissues, but once you stop, the natural process kicks in again. Even if you don’t have pain, don’t wait, use URAH as a lifestyle. Some ladies use URAH as a body lotion and they say it is because they have experienced pain previously that they don’t want to go back to the same situation again.

URAH products do not help just at the point where you rub it on. It goes into your blood circulation and helps your whole body recover. There are no side effects even if you apply the whole tube in one day.

6) How did you get interested in science / biochemistry?

As a child, I had no choice. Very early in my life, I couldn’t pass Arts subjects (e.g. History). But anything to do with Science, I could score an ‘A’ with very little effort. Therefore you can say I had no choice. :D

That’s how I developed my passion, and an interest in the history of Glucosamine. I had initially written it off because of the initial published research findings then I became more fascinated as we learnt more. I guess I’m naturally quite inquisitive. :)


Head over to URAH’s website for a special buy-2-get-2-free scheme: Purchase 2 tubes and URAH is happy to sponsor another 2 free tubes of URAH creams for you! :)

*If you are wondering why some products have 8% Glucosamine concentration and others, 10%, the 10% ones are for those who have arthritis AND are concerned about osteoporosis. If you don’t have osteoporosis concerns, then the 8% is good enough.


Urah cream review

If you have tried URAH products, or if you are going to purchase and try them, send me your testimonials (email gracewwg AT gmail DOT com) and URAH will send giftsets to those whose testimonials end up being featured! :D

Similarly, send in your questions for Dr Jonathan Obaje as well, and you just might win a prize too! *wink*

Shangri-La The Line buffet: Get 15% Discount Plus FREE Parking

Shangri La The Line

We had an early Valentine’s Day celebration today, with a buffet lunch at Shangri-La’s The Line. I’d made a reservation online earlier this week and so we enjoyed 15% off our bill. Pretty cool, yes? Remember to book a table online before you next visit The Line. You are welcome. :)

Lunch today cost S$58++ per pax. On Valentine’s Day, it’s *ahem* S$118, I guess. Anyway, I had a S$100 voucher courtesy of my pal, Clarence Chin! (You’re da best, dude!) Only paid S$16.05 for our meal today. Hehe!

Now, as for the food…

As you can see in the first picture above, I had some sashimi and oysters. Everything else on the dish was so-so. I found the oysters not as meaty as I would like them to be. Not shiok enough, if you understand Singlish. The sashimi was fine but I found it hilarious how the cuts of sashimi changed over the course of the lunch. At the start, we had thick, generous slices, but towards the end of lunch, it became little slivers of sashimi I almost had trouble picking up with my pair of chopsticks. They ran out of salmon??? :D

There’s a good range of Indian food at The Line. I think our Indian friends would love this buffet. The prata is decent. I also had some satay (quite yummy indeed! I approve!) and a little bit of phad thai, scallop char kway teow, and some beef noodle thingy whose name I have forgotten.

There’s a nice selection of dim sum too. But I took just that one piece of siew mai:

Shangri La The Line

The duck breast dish and the roast chicken were both pretty good. There’s laksa too, which I did not try as I figured dessert would be sinful enough, after the prawn noodle soup I had ordered.

And here’s dessert. Mind you, that cute little thing in the middle is a toy I’d brought with me. It’s NOT edible. If you’re curious, google ‘Sonny Angel’ to find out more about my latest ‘collectibles’ craze. Ha!

Shangri La The Line

The mini ang ku kueh looks better than it tastes, but I love just about everything else. Only the red velvet cake was a disappointment.

There’s also a yoghurt machine! And a nice selection of ice cream – I tried the matcha and chocolate flavors. Nothing fantastic, but ice cream after a meal is always welcome, no?

And of course, a chocolate fountain…

Shangri La The Line

Possibly the best part of the dessert section. But I was too full by then. This just means I have to come back to The Line. :D


Shangri-La’s Address:

22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350

(The Line is at the basement. Take the escalator down after entering the hotel’s main entrance)

To enjoy free parking, just get a ‘card’ from the staff at The Line counter, before you are shown to your table. We saved something like S$12 on parking, just by asking. He’d initially told me there was no way they’d give us complimentary parking but I told him that there’s no harm in asking.

So he did.

And I am right. Women always are. ;) Heh heh!

And here’s the buffet pricing for the non-holiday period:

Lunch Buffet (Prices are inclusive of coffee and tea only):
Monday to Friday: $58++ (adult), $29++ (child)
Saturday & Public Holidays: $68++ (adult), $34++ (child)
Sunday Champagne Brunch:
$158++ (adult) inclusive Champagne and house pour red and white wines, draft beer, soft drinks and chilled juices
$108++ (adult) inclusive free flow of soft drinks and chilled juices, coffee & tea
$54++ (child) inclusive of free flow of soft drinks and chilled juices

Dinner Buffet (Prices are inclusive of coffee and tea only):
Mon, Wed & Sun (International): $76++ (adult), $38++ (child)
Tues & Thurs (Marine Harvest):
$98++ (adult) inclusive of house pour sparkling wines, red and white wines, draft beer, soft drinks and chilled juices (adult)
$44++ (child) inclusive of soft drinks and chilled juices
Fri & Sat (International): $88++ (adult), $44++ (child)

Beverage Packages
$9.90++ for free flow soft drinks and juices
$35++ for free flow soft drinks, juices, house wines, beers and sparkling wines

(*All accurate at time of writing. Please check online before making your reservation:

Carnarvon House Penang & My Feature in ZaoBao (联合早报)

Feature in ZaoBao

I was featured in the 5th Feb 2015 edition of ZaoBao (联合早报) wearing a cheongsam and photographed in a “vintage” setting, which is actually Carnarvon House in Penang. :) I will not be reproducing the article here, as the ‘copyright’ belongs to Singapore Press Holdings.

[The gist of the article is that I quit my high-paying job at age 24, turned to blogging full-time, won a blog award in 2013, and am conducting blogging workshops now, with a 67 year old student of mine becoming a Top 10 Finalist at last year’s Singapore Blog Awards. And that student is none other than Steven Lek, who blogs at ]

Looking back, I think it is quite amazing how that picture for ZaoBao came about. It might sound like there was a divine plan. Let me explain.

One of my students, Kirbie, posted on Facebook one evening that there were cheongsams being sold cheaply on Gmarket. So I took her recommendation and went to purchase one. Little did I know that it comes with a pretty high slit at the sides (see picture below) and I knew I COULD NOT wear it in Singapore unless I wanted wolf whistles from lecherous old men everywhere I went.

Then I had a Penang trip planned almost on a whim and my blogger pal, Sock Peng from Penang, linked me up with the boss of Carnarvon House, Terry. It was a really last-minute decision, so thankfully, Carnarvon House still had a room for me. So I brought the cheongsam with me, thinking that I MIGHT be able to get some nice pictures wearing it in the really retro-looking Carnarvon House.

And while I was there, my pal (Jimmy) messaged me to ask if I’d be keen to be interviewed by a ZaoBao journalist (his friend). And of course I said yes. And when we met, the journalist didn’t bring a photographer. So I asked if she needed me to send her pictures. And guess what? I had all these “cheena” pictures of me in a cheongsam (in my phone) so I sent them to her on the spot [since it’s mainly the Chinese who read this paper]. Divine plan, yes? Didn’t know what possessed me to buy a cheongsam (of all things) till I realized it was perfect for ZaoBao. LOL!

And Carnarvon House is really beautiful. Room pictures are already up in an earlier post here. The rest of Carnarvon House looks fit for a Jay Chou-style MV. Check this out…

Carnarvon House Penang

*Crazily high slit not suitable for Singapore*

Where I am seated is the ground floor dining area. Carnarvon House does serve breakfast to its guests. The food will not be unfamiliar to Singaporeans – it just has a local, Penang twist. I had the ‘min chiang kueh‘ (you can google the term if you’d like) with peanut butter and sweet corn inside. It’s an interesting combination of ingredients you won’t get in Singapore though the kueh itself is something Singaporeans eat for breakfast too.

And here’s another picture… I’m standing on level 2 in this one:

Carnarvon House Penang

*Kind of looks like I’m a tai-tai of some sort, ya?*

For the first night at Carnarvon House, I stayed in the Carnarvon Room (behind me in this picture) and I loved how there’s a sofa in the room for lounging on and putting all my barang (stuff) on. For the second and third nights, I stayed in the Kimberley Room, which doesn’t have a sofa, but comes with a lounger.

If you are curious about the pricing, for the double rooms, the rate starts from RM128, which is about S$48. Extremely affordable and great value-for-money because the place is really clean, very good for photos (as I’ve demonstrated), and the people running the place are friendly. Eunice was a great host; she made all the guests feel at home.

Actually, staying at Carnarvon House is like staying at a close friend’s house, or at, say, your grandma’s house. Clean, homely, and feels like you have gone back to Singapore in the 60s. :D

Carnarvon House Penang

There are a total of 7 rooms at Carnarvon House. Two of them are really big ones, which can accommodate families with children. Room rates for these start from RM328 (about S$123). Check their website for more details –

Carnarvon House Penang

If you’ve noticed, you can’t see my feet in any of the pictures in this blogpost. Hehehe. The reason for this is simple. I didn’t know what footwear would match this cheongsam. ‘Modern-looking’ heels or strappy sandals will not do. So I was wearing the slippers that Carnarvon House thoughtfully provides for guests. :D

When you next visit Penang, I highly recommend that you stay at Carnarvon House – 28 Lorong Carnarvon, 10100 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Tel: +604 262 4682. Email: 

~ For More Information about Carnarvon House ~

How Many Cameras Can I Fit Into Maku Store’s Camera Bag?


Maku Store has everything from key pouches to luggage. And it also has camera bags! Here, I review their Sky Blue & Neon Orange one (S$49.90) which I find super spacious!


Inside the bag, I have 1 DSLR, 1 Lumix and 1 Instax camera. And there’s still more space!

The pouch in front is great for storing an ezlink card, SD cards, tissue, and a few other things for a photoshoot!

It’s hard to find a camera bag that can fit all my cameras and still look good. So this one is for keeps.

The only downside is that, beyond the sling, it doesn’t have a small handle / strap at the top of the bag.

All things considered, it’s affordably priced, offers a lot of room, and is so eye-catching.

Get yours now at Maku Store (#03-20 Bugis Junction). Show the staff that you are a fan of my facebook page, and theirs, and you get 15% off your bill. Check in-store for more promotions and other T&Cs. :)

The Digital Detox Challenge – I Dare YOU!

I broke my ‘digital fast’ this morning, and was rather amused to find an article in The Straits Times regarding “smartphone zombies“. Most people would feel really lost if their handphone ran out of battery juice or if the connection went dead (as with StarHub recently). Not for me, I hope. I’ve been putting myself into ‘cellphone and computer rehab’ lately.


I’ve noticed that things are getting pretty bad.

Health: I’m getting really stiff shoulders and tired-looking eyes, no thanks to long hours on the computer and scrolling through newsfeeds on my phone.

Relationship: While he’s talking to me, I’m checking my Facebook feed or replying to a non-urgent email. I didn’t think it was offensive, till the day we were having a (romantic) chili crab dinner and he set up his iPad right in front of him. I would be dining with the crab, and him the iPad. (@_@)


Over the weekend (Fri – Sun), I did a 3-day digital detox again. The first time I did a digital detox was in September, and a grand total of 2 friends discovered my (quiet) disappearance. LOL. Apparently, it is highly unusual if I’m not seen on Whatsapp or posting stuff online. I’m thankful they did not phone the police.

And that first attempt was definitely tougher than pouring a bucket of ice water over my head. I constantly wanted to pick up my phone (even if it was just for telling the time) and struggled with ‘separation anxiety’ when I had to leave my home without it. Strange, but true.

This time, I was quite content to leave it aside.

In fact, it felt like I was on HOLIDAY, right here in Singapore!

I woke up when I wanted to. I slept at 10pm. I didn’t care about what’s trending on facebook or in the blogosphere. I had no urge to update facebook or instagram.

When I sat down with a huge, fluffy waffle and two ginormous scoops of ice cream at Punggol End, I just went ahead and ate it, instead of thinking about how best to photograph my rapidly-melting dessert. Simply because I didn’t have a phone on me! :D

I read all the books I wanted to read. I felt alive.

In fact, I read 4 books in 3 days! That’s probably more than what some people read in a year!

digital detox

‘Woman On Top’ was a really good read – funny, enlightening, relatable. The author, Dr Loretta Chen, is the baby sister of Channel 8 heartthrob, Edmund Chen. Here are 2 of my favorite quotes from this book:

“Be an independent woman, make your own money, have your own career and stand on your own two feet. Don’t rely on anybody, especially a man. In fact, don’t get married if you don’t want to. Don’t have children if you don’t want to. It’s a lot of work. Just have your own life. And if you meet somebody, guy or girl, just be happy.” – advice from Loretta’s mom (pg 51)

“Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.”
– Poem by Dorothy Parker (pg 75)

The illustrated book about Warren Buffett was interesting too – an easy-to-read biography of everything you need to know about Warren.As for the detective novels, I liked ‘Dead Tomorrow’ more than ‘The Complaints’ though the latter was almost half the length.

Are you up for the challenge? ;)
If you’d like to wean yourself off this over-reliance on technology, or take the first step to combating your addiction to your phone (and computer), do this digital detox. If you’d like to be able to go to bed early on consecutive nights, and wake up with glowing skin (as if you’d gone for a facial), do this digital detox. If you’d like to have more time for the things that matter (such as a long-neglected hobby) or experience a holiday without having to pay for one, do this digital detox.
All you need: 3 consecutive days without your phone, computer / laptop / iPad, and TV
How will you spend your time: You could read the papers, go for a swim, take a long stroll with your pet or spouse (or both), read a book (or four), cook yourself three meals a day, tidy up your room, journal, take a nap, etc. Just stay away from all handphones, computers and television sets. ;)
I’m going to challenge three of my pals to do this digital detox – 2 of them discovered my disappearance during the first one, and 1 of them is constantly glued to his cellphone. Whoever does the 3-day digital detox in Singapore by the end of November 2014, and survives to tell the tale, will get a treat sponsored by me – either a facial treatment or massage worth at least S$149. :D
~ Good Luck ~
1) Andrew Chow
2) Steven Lek
3) Terence Chiew

“Cookoff” with Dr Leslie Tay and Wendy (Xiaxue)

[Edited: As XX doesn’t want her image on my blog. All pictures are my own.]

Because I won Lee Kum Kee’s blogging challenge (and S$1000 in cash), I got to participate in a filming session with Dr Leslie Tay from ieatishootipost and Wendy aka Xiaxue. :) I’ve interviewed Dr Tay for this blog back in 2011 (click here) and it was really nice to meet him again.

Lee Kum Kee event

I was initially worried about the “cookoff” as I have no culinary skills to speak of. I love one-dish meals and don’t do any frying, deep-frying, pressure cooking, etc, at home.

As it turned out, we were following Dr Leslie Tay’s recipes and putting together 3 dishes and 1 soup “within 30 minutes”. Thankfully, he was helping us along the way and taking over when necessary.

It was quite a learning experience for me. Learnt:

1) How to make meatballs from scratch

2) Reason why chinese cabbage is put into soup (the glutamates make soup tasty)

3) How to make a nice Korean ‘sambal’ for french beans

4) And more… watch the video when it is out! :D

Maku Store: Giveaway + Corporate Gifts! :D

I popped by Maku Store at Bugis Junction (#03-20) again recently and found yet another pretty, limited edition wallet! :D


It is pastel pink all around, unlike the Maku Store wallet I am currently using which is half green.

This one has 9 card slots, 2 SIM card slots and a huge compartment for coins!


And guess what? I’m going to give this away! :D

[I’d initally wanted to keep this wallet but the current one is still working well. So I am sharing the love!]

It is the only one of its kind in Singapore so it’s Super Limited Edition!

To win this wallet, leave a comment on this blogpost and tell me why I should pick you! :)

Besides the wallet, I also found corporate gifts:


Maku Store Singapore does cater to corporate customers as well. Whether it is a cute souvenir (above), a card sticker (below) or any other customized product like luggage you need, speak to the awesome Maku Store folks. :)


*And if you are getting any of the Maku Store items at their Bugis Junction outlet, show them you are a fan of my facebook page and get 15% discount off your purchase. Awesome much? :)