Maku Store Singapore: Something Fishy, Something Delightful

Maku Store Singapore

I thought it’d be difficult to find another wallet that I’d like more than the current Maku Store one I’m using. But once again, Maku Store has a surprise for me. :D This pastel blue wallet is made of a sponge-y (or as I like to say, squishy) fabric-lined material and my only concern is that I can’t keep some people’s grubby fingers off it. Ha! :D

It also comes just in time for Chinese New Year, when everything linked to ‘fish’ is deemed rather auspicious, because the Chinese word for fish sounds like the one for abundance, hence 年年有余.

More awesome when the fish print is on a wallet, which connotes more money and prosperity. :D Definitely go get one of these wallets at Maku Store Singapore (Bugis Junction #03-20) now as stocks of each design are extremely limited. *Don’t worry, it’s very affordable; more so when you show the staff proof that you are a fan of my facebook page :D

Maku Store Singapore

This wallet comes with A LOT of compartments. There are 8 card slots, one coin compartment, and slots for everything else – I expect to store a lot of namecards, vouchers and miscellaneous items in this wallet. :D

And once again, there’s a strap so you can ‘hang’ this wallet round your wrist. I believe all ladies know how useful this strap can be when you find your hands full with grocery bags, wallet, umbrella, etc.

Definitely another Maku Store wallet to treasure…

Maku Store Singapore

Book Review: Public Relations 247 by Andrew Chow

Andrew Chow and Grace Tan

I had lunch today with a great pal of mine – fellow author, social media strategist, PR expert, and all-round great guy, Andrew Chow. This book review is inherently biased because I’m featured in the book (pages 186 and 187 to be exact) and I have already bought 5 copies at the book launch of ‘Public Relations 247′ even before reading the book! :D Yup, if I’m featured in this book, it has to be pretty awesome. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what else is in the book, and especially, the key takeaways I got from it…

(My feature on pages 186-7)

Andrew Chow Public Relations 247

This book wows right from the start, with a foreword by award-winning radio presenter, Bharati Jagdish from 938LIVE. Because Andrew is such a gem of a friend, it is not surprising that Bharati went out of her way to give great nuggets of wisdom even in crafting a foreword for a book. I got to know what she thinks about news pitches that reach her email inbox and how she selects newsmakers to feature on her program. In short, you have to buy this book.

Here are a couple of other things I have learnt from Andrew and from ‘Public Relations 247′:

1) Be A Giver: Andrew shares in the book that he has accumulated “close to 300 interviews, mentions, and features” about himself and his business and has “helped over 100 business associates appear in the press”. I have been on the receiving end of Andrew’s generosity, and I do hope to be able to help add to his tally of interviews and features soon. :D

2) Difference between the terms “publicity” and “public relations”: They tend to be used interchangeably so you’ll have to read this book to find out what the crucial differences are!

3) Definition of Media Terms: On pages 38 and 39 is a list of “media terms” which I didn’t even know about till I read this book. Yes, I have been interviewed on radio multiple times, appeared on TV, and been featured in print media quite a few times, but I’ve never been told what “On background”, “Not for distribution” (it’s not what you think it is), “Deep background”, among other terms, mean! *gasp*

4) How to ‘Identify A Reporter’s Interview Style’ on pages 40-42: Please beware of the “I’m your buddy”, “Please help me!”, “Provocative” and “Rumour Starter” types! There are a total of 11 styles listed in this book. If you foresee yourself having to interact with reporters in the near future, or would like to engage them, please do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book. In the past, I relied on Andrew’s tips (delivered verbally) to get through some of my interviews. Now, I have this book! :D I even made sure to get 5 copies so I could share them with my closest and dearest friends.

Yes, that’s 5 copies we are holding, actually:

Andrew Chow and Grace Tan

So far, I’ve given out 3 copies – to my pals Jimmy Chua and Steven Lek, and one of my interviewer friends. One more copy to go. That lucky friend will receive a copy by the end of this month!

Here’s what Jimmy had to say about the book:

“As an F&B entrepreneur, I find this book useful for business owners as it provides many case studies and ‘scenarios’ to prepare ourselves for. It is a good read and great prep for events such as meeting members of the media!”

5) Tips for TV interviews in chapter 11. Literally everything you need to know, from the color of your clothing to your posture and tone of voice!

And guess what, there are even tips on blogging in this book, some of which I didn’t even cover in my book ‘Blogging For A Living’. How cool, right? We just keep learning from each other. :D

And I’ve also found that my favorite quote from this book is:

Online comments can be both positive and negative – we cannot control what others say about our posts. The crux is to manage the heat calmly and manage the love humbly.

:D

To find out more about this book ‘Public Relations 247′, head over to this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PublicRelations247

(Movie Review) Fifty Shades Of Grey: Boobs, Bondage and Badassery

Fifty Shades Of Grey

[image credit: popsugar.co.uk]

I’ve yet to read the book, but since it’s all the rage now, I decided to watch the ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ movie. The end to the movie was abrupt, no doubt, but what a thought-provoking, mind-blowing, eye-opening movie it was. Good grief. Yes, it’s all boobs, bondage and badassery. And many questions to keep you thinking.

I’ll leave the ‘boobs’ portion to your imagination, or till you watch this movie. Let’s skip to the badassery bit since the boyfriend (who watched the movie with me) asked, after the show, if I thought the same (BDSM) storyline would work if the male lead is a poor lad. Without hesitation, I told him “of course not!” and that I’d bet the not-very-rich fella would get thrown into prison faster than you can say “pervert”.

After all, who can forget that helicopter scene?

Fifty Shades Of Grey

[image credit: mercedesblog.com]

How many of the people you know go on a first date with a guy and it involves a helicopter ride (medical evacuations not counted)? I’d say it’s close to none, right? While watching this in the cinema, I was thinking “Why a helicopter? Hmm… why not? ‘Cos chauffeured car rides are just too mainstream?”

And the other scene in which they are in a carpark and she asks him which of those expensive-looking cars is his, and his reply is that they’re all his? Wow.

If you are this rich, I guess you can have just about any woman you want, even if you have a fetish for, let’s just say, unusual sex acts. And in this movie, he reveals that he has a room in his apartment for these women to stay in. The female lead is guest #16.

I don’t know if he is confident because he is rich, or the other way round. But that kind of sell-your-car-and-buy-you-a-new-one-just-because behavior really displays confidence that can sweep many women off their feet.

*Spoiler alert* Skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to read a summary of the movie!

Fifty Shades Of Grey

[image credit: nydailynews.com]

A very quick summary of the movie: 21-year-old Anastasia interviews billionaire 27-year-old Christian Grey for a student newspaper. He later appears in the hardware store where she works, and buys cable ties, masking tape and rope. He sends her a gift of (expensive) books and picks her up when she gets drunk, and she ends up in his hotel room. They go on a date (remember the helicopter?) and he wants her to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. He shows her his playroom full of BDSM equipment. He reveals that he lost his virginity at age 15 to one of his mother’s friends. They eventually have a dominant/submissive contract, and she gets spanked. He gives her lavish gifts like a new car. When she finally asks him to punish her so she can understand the worst extremes of a BDSM relationship, she is horrified, after the 6 lashes. And the movie ends with her leaving his apartment.

And then there’s the BDSM sh*t…

When ordered to, she is supposed to get naked, and kneel at the door to his ‘playroom’. And oh, she has to have her hair in a plait. Pretty sick sh*t.

Fifty Shades Of Grey

[image credit: nydailynews.com]

I guess it seems kinky at the start, then it rapidly becomes really freaky. At some point, you might even think she has become his sex slave.

And while some people slam this movie for portraying women in a submissive role blah blah blah, I do think the female lead character was flirtatious, knew (most of the time) what she was getting herself into, and she was not raped. Even that final (punishment) scene? She was the one who told him to do whatever he wanted to do to her. Why get so upset after that then? Right from the start, he had already given her a laptop and told her to do some ‘research’ on the topic. I would argue that she should have known.

And once again, she displays that horrible female trait – that stupid insistence that we can help men heal their (emotional) wounds, that we can change them for the better, that they just need to share their feelings with us. Haiz.

All in all, I think this movie is great for couples who could use some help with their sex lives. Ladies, bring your husbands to watch this movie. And no, don’t go buying ropes, cable ties or handcuffs and the like, please! That’s sick! Just use ice cubes and feathers (maybe from your feather duster?) and try not to choke on ice cubes from laughing too hard :D #justkidding

~

~ Picture from the movie premiere ~

Fifty Shades Of Grey

[image credit: mirror.co.uk]

Not sure why Dakota Johnson chose this dress. Having already seen her boobs in their entirety (multiple times) during the movie, a plunging neckline now seems like a joke. Would have been better if she chose to cover up. And I can’t say I like her choice of lip color very much too. Kind of vamp-ish when coupled with that dress. Hmm.

I also think Jamie Dornan should ditch that beard. XD He seems more handsome in the movie. Ha!

Will YOU be watching this movie? :) I think I’ll grab a copy of the book. I’ve heard that it’s crappy fan fiction with horrible writing – we’ll see. Book review next, maybe? :D

Book Review plus Giveaway: ‘Leading Women’ by Nancy D. O’Reilly

Leading Women Nancy D. O'Reilly

This book ‘Leading Women’ begins with a bold statement on page 3 of the introduction. The author (or shall I say, compiler) acknowledges Sheryl Sandberg’s book, ‘Lean In’ as a bestseller – “sold more than 150,000 copies in its first week” – but goes on to say that “Although Sheryl’s book is inspiring, it offers few specific tools. That is where this book comes in.”

Let’s just say it was a jaw-dropping moment for me. And if you don’t already know, Sheryl Sandberg is COO of Facebook.

Leading Women

The author, Nancy D. O’Reilly, compiled 19 essays from other “influential women” and calls this her book – ‘Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life’.

And this book ends before you expect it to, as pages 195 to 254 have just the profiles of the contributing writers, additional resources and an index. That’s 23% of the book allocated to things which the average reader will not be interested in reading – at least, I wasn’t.

And about that bold claim by the author that this book will work where Sheryl Sandberg’s has (apparently) failed? I DID derive quite a few nuggets of wisdom from this book, so I cannot say that gutsy author has over-promised and under-delivered.

It’s kind of like the National Achievers Congress (NAC) in Singapore; the speakers give you just-enough information for you to want to find out more, but… you’ll wish they’d just given you what you wanted. For instance, on page 65 of this book, bestselling author Marci Shimoff writes about the 14 ‘keys’ for experiencing Unconditional Love she has discovered in the course of her research for her book ‘ Love For No Reason’ but only shares 3 of them in this book; a pretty-obvious hint to go buy her book. :D

Happiness

[image credit: positiwitty.com]

Still, if you get just ONE nugget of wisdom from a book, it is already a good book. If the book is life-changing, it’s a great book. This particular book is a good book. And here are 6 of the key takeaways I’ve gotten from reading it:

1) [From Lois Phillips: pg 29 to 34] Four empowering strategies to increase your self-confidence when speaking before an audience:

  • Flaunt Your Track Record – let them “leave with your elevator speech at the tip of their tongue”. Also, “take control by preparing and providing the moderator with a Speaker Introduction cheat sheet” and if there is a printed program, “provide a written list of specific successes that reinforce your expertise, and e-mail it to the person preparing it.”
  • Share the Stage - “extend your reach by adding layers of voices to your presentation by including respected colleagues or experts, board members, or partners.”
  • Learn from Outspoken Women Who Can Take the Heat - examples are Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. “Take a stand, hold your ground, and never apologize for who you are and what you believe.”
  • Connect with Your Audience – include your personal narratives.

~

2) [From Claire Damken Brown: pg 39 to 44] How to manage interruptions, exercise the art of the brief response and to prevent idea theft.

I agree with the finding on pg 40: “Men interrupt women more than women interrupt men” (when speaking in a group comprising men and women).

A woman can say “Just a second”, “I’m not quite done yet”, “I’ll be with you in a moment”, “One minute while I finish”, “I’ll continue now without interruptions”, “Hold that thought”, etc.

(Want to find out more about managing interruptions or preventing idea theft? Buy the book, or try to win a copy in the giveaway below *wink*) 

~

3) From Marci Shimoff [pg 66] Practice Self-Compassion

Throughout the day, ask yourself, “What’s the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?” or “What’s the most loving way I can be with myself right now?”

Marci Shimoff

[Marci Shimoff – image credit: na-ntx.com]

~

4) From Marcia Reynolds (pg 101) Ask yourself:

What is my highest potential? I might be good at what I am doing, but am I doing my best work with the skills, gifts, and talents I possess?

~

5) From Janet Rose Wojtalik: Seven Keys to Unlocking Female Leadership

If you have a daughter, I highly recommend that you read this chapter!

The seven keys include: Branding, Independence, Thinking, Learning, Authentic Beauty, Education and Awareness.

~

6) From Aurea McGarry (pg 191)

(When crises happen) I do not give any thought or any time to “What if I can’t? What if I fail?” I only give my attention to “I have to try.” I always pray before I speak, “Give me the words to speak today that the people need to hear, even if it changes just one life.”

~ Giveaway ~

Leading Women

This book ‘Leading Women’ is available in bookstores for S$24.25 before GST. To win a copy, leave a comment on this blogpost and tell me why you want to win/read this book! :D

Teddy & Me At Marina Square: That Mr Bean Cafe :D

Teddy & Me

I’ve been past this Teddy & Me cafe a few times in the past, but never stepped in for a meal. Yesterday, in-between meeting an advertiser and running some errands, I had a late lunch here. There were no other diners past 2pm and it felt like I’d booked the entire place. Good thing, too, as I found myself chuckling while having lunch. And I was eating alone. (@_@)

Teddy & Me

If you’re a Mr Bean fan like I am, you’ll love this place. Check out this picture above – there are so many photo possibilities! :D

And here are the tables… with really cool Mr Bean cushion covers. And yes, that’s my new clutch bag on the table. It reads ‘Off Duty Blogger'; but as you know, we don’t really have off days. This blogpost is a case in point. LOL!

Teddy & Me

I opted for the S$14.80++ weekday lunch set meal of 1 main and 1 drink:

Teddy & Me

I had the Teddy Beef Bolognese (u.p. S$12.80) and the Strawberry & Mango Iced Tea (u.p. S$5.60). The iced tea was so diluted and lacking in taste that it might as well have been iced water with a few drops of tea. My meal here was nothing to shout about, but as you can see, I only had 1 main and 1 beverage. Perhaps their other mains and even the desserts might be yummy. I might give this place another chance, we’ll see.

Here’s the menu for your reference:

Teddy & Me

Teddy & Me

And yes, remember I said I was chuckling during my meal? Scroll up and see those iPads at each table? You don’t really use them for ordering food (the wait staff come and take your order) but you can watch Mr Bean videos on those iPads. I dare say that’s a first for me – eating alone and chuckling over my beef bolognese. Lunch here cost me S$17.40 (after tax) but the feeling of having the entire place to myself and funny videos to watch is – I would say – priceless.

Mr Bean Teddy

~

#02-207A Marina Square

6 Raffles Boulevard

Singapore 039594

SingPost’s SG50 Hello Kitty Plush Collectibles: Pre-Order Online!

*Update: I’ve managed to purchase 3 of the S$108 limited edition sets which are now SOLD OUT. Check out my blogpost HERESingPost SG50 Hello Kitty Plush Collectible Set

In celebration of Singapore’s 50th year of independence, SingPost has collaborated with Sanrio to release exclusive SG50 Hello Kitty Plush Collectibles and MyStamp Folder Sets. Hello Kitty is dressed in five specially-designed outfits and Vanda Miss Joaquim ribbons. Don’t miss the SG50 Hello Kitty MyStamp Folder which will feature Hello Kitty with some iconic Singapore landmarks too! :D Needless to say, I SHALL be pre-ordering these! :D

(The set of 5 plushies above – each 18cm tall – costs S$88) For more details on where to pre-order them, read on…

SingPost SG50 Hello Kitty Bundle Set

The SG50 Hello Kitty Limited Edition Bundle Set (above) consists of the 5 Plush Collectibles, the SG50 Hello Kitty MyStamp folder and lanyard set, and a certificate of authenticity at a special price of S$108. Only 1,000 sets are available! :D

Pre-orders for SingPost’s SG50 Hello Kitty Limited Edition Bundle (S$108) and SG50 Hello Kitty Plush Collectible Set (S$88) will start from 10am on 23 February 2015 at www.sg50hellokitty.com

SingPost SG50 Hello Kitty MyStamp Folder and Lanyard Set

The SG50 Hello Kitty MyStamp Folder and Lanyard Set will be launched at the River Hongbao 2015 and is available for purchase at the SingPost booth on-site. Members of the public can also purchase it online at http://www.sg50hellokitty.com from 10am on 17 February 2015, and at all post offices, from 4 March 2015.

The unique SG50 Hello Kitty MyStamp Folder and Lanyard Set (S$21.80) features Hello Kitty wearing a Vanda Miss Joaquim ribbon and ‘I LOVE SG’ outfit. Against the backdrop of some iconic Singapore landmarks like the Singapore Flyer, Cable Cars, and the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Hello Kitty holds a SG50 balloon as she walks in the park. This exquisitely designed folder contains a limited edition Hello Kitty MyStamp souvenir sheet with 7 stamps.

~

The SG50 Hello Kitty Plush Collectible Set includes:

1) Hello Kitty in Cheongsam: The cheongsam is a traditional one-piece Chinese dress for women. Created in the 1920s in Shanghai, cheongsam was made fashionable by socialites and upper class women. Today, it is popularly worn during the Chinese New Year period and formal occasions.

2) Hello Kitty in Baju Kurung: The baju kurung is a traditional Malay costume for women. A knee-length blouse worn over a long skirt, baju kurung is simple, graceful and comfortable to wear at all times, including special occasions such as weddings, engagements and public functions.

3) Hello Kitty in Saree: Originating from India, the saree is a female garment consisting of a drape varying from 5-9 yards in length and 0.67-1.33 yards in breadth. It is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, baring the midriff.

4) Hello Kitty in SG50 Outfit: Hello Kitty proudly celebrates Singapore’s Golden Jubilee by wearing a red and white T-shirt with the logo, “I love Singapore”.

5) Hello Kitty in Colonial Postman Uniform: From colonial times to the late 1970s, Singapore’s postmen wore khaki-coloured cotton uniforms that were ironed with starch to stiffen them up.

*Both Hello Kitty in SG50 Outfit and Colonial Postman Uniform will also be sold individually at S$19.65 each from June to August 2015, whilst stocks last.

~

CheatSheet: Where to buy the SingPost Hello Kitty Collectibles:

SingPost Hello Kitty

 You are welcome ;)

Tampines’ Seafood Park (海鲜食霸) Tze Char: Our Valentine’s Day Dinner 2015

If you think you have a boyfriend who is very ‘practical’, wait till you meet mine. :D He bought me flowers before flower prices went up, and all his gifts (yes, more than one) are really, well, practical. Don’t ask me what they are though. And today, we had our romantic Valentine’s Day dinner in a HDB heartlander fashion. Not that I’m complaining; I actually find it pretty amusing that we did not succumb to the lure of restaurant meals that will cost an arm and a leg. Instead, we had dinner at a kopitiam in Tampines. Not just any kopitiam, mind you. One that had such brisk business, we had to wait an hour for our tze char dishes.

Yes… lots of time to gaze into each other’s eyes. (@_@)

The best part of dinner, really: The awesome Iced Lemon Tea (we had seconds!)

Seafood Park iced lemon tea

Seafood Park (海鲜食霸) is located at Blk 823A, Tampines St 81 #01-02 (Hint: they take reservations).

We placed our order for 3 tze char dishes and we were told that it’d take 30 minutes for the food to be served. Looking at the number of hungry diners waiting to be served, we figured it’d take longer than that.

So we had chicken chop from the Western food stall while waiting. And then popiah from the popiah stall too.

The Western food tasted so-so, and I don’t have a picture to show you. But here’s one of the popiah. I loved that it had parsley in it. :D

popiah

Note to self: Must learn to make popiah! :D

The first tze char dish to be served was the Cereal Pork Ribs. Despite the rave reviews on blogs, I found this dish unremarkable. There’s not very much cereal, for one. And while the first mouthful tasted pretty good, it got quite jelat by the second. I think it’s the combination of mayonnaise and deep-fried food – you just can’t have too much of it without getting sick of the taste. Only redeeming quality: no bones whatsoever, which is pretty awesome!

 Seafood Park Cereal Pork Ribs

 After what seemed like an eternity, the homemade tofu dish was served. It’s actually pretty decent. Not too salty at all. Very silky smooth and all in all, one of the best tofu dishes I’ve eaten in a long, long time. Go ahead and order this one:

Seafood Park homemade tofu

The final dish was a little underwhelming. But considering how we’ve already eaten chicken chop (with fries and all), popiah, and 2 tze char dishes with rice, we were already 99% full by then. The claypot brinjal dish was too salty for my liking. But if you like savory dishes to go with white rice, then yes, order this dish:

Most of it eaten before I realized I’d forgotten to snap a picture:

Seafood Park claypot brinjal

So that’s our Valentine’s Day dinner. LOL! We spent just S$31 on this tze char meal, not including the cost of the pork chop, popiah and drinks, of course. But add everything up and it’s probably cheaper than a decent Valentine’s Day bouquet.

If you’d like to pop by Seafood Park, they have a number of outlets (Clementi, Victoria St, Eunos, Pasir Ris, and two in Hougang). To contact this one in Tampines, here’s the number: 6260 0548.

~

It’s almost the end of Valentine’s Day so before it’s midnight, I’d still like to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to you! :D

If you are single, don’t fret. Like I tell all my friends who are single, it is better to be single and happy than to be in the wrong relationship and unhappy. Really.

Saw a female blogger posting on Facebook about how her wedding has been cancelled (without giving many details) and I’m thinking that yes, while that’s sad (considering how they must have spent money on booking this-and-that for the wedding already), it’s still better than getting married and living with regret or having to file for a divorce, especially if they are having kids after the wedding.

If you are in a relationship, it’s probably time to evaluate it. What’s working right, and what isn’t. Never wait till it’s too late to fix what’s not working.

If you are married, and happy, great! If you are married and unhappy (like another of my friends on Facebook), then quit whining, get moving, say goodbye. Life is short, and even good friends can only tolerate so much of your whining. <- Note to self too. :D

Toys For Children with Special Needs

I received a press release on February 4th 2015 about Christmas gifts from Duracell and Hasbro which were given to students in the early intervention programme at Rainbow Centre Singapore.* This press release came later than a #latergram but I thought what could be salvaged from it is useful information about toys which are suitable for children with special needs.

(*Rainbow Centre is a voluntary welfare organisation catering to students below 18 years old with special needs associated with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, developmental delay and multiple disabilities)

(**All pictures in this blogpost were provided by the PR firm working for Duracell and Hasbro)

Rainbow Centre Singapore

Some Toys Suitable For Children With Special Needs:

1) Cupcake Tower (pictured above) or Cake Mountain

“Hasbro toys like Play-Doh’s Sweet Shoppe series are a hit with children as they are colorful, large and have functions such as cranking to roll out the dough into little balls, squeezing the Play-Doh out of the syringe to create noodles, and the molds that enable children to create different shapes. Some children will engage in pretend play with others using Play-Doh to create food items.”

2) Baby Alive

Hasbro Baby Alive

“Hasbro toys like Baby Alive’s Snack and Spill Baby are great for eliciting social interactions for familiar activities like feeding. It can be used to facilitate learning of routine, day-to-day activities like using cutlery and simple feeding actions.”

3) Color Me Hungry Hippo

Hasbro Color Me Hungry Hippo

“A great Hasbro toy that caters to either younger children or children with high supports needs is the Color Me Hungry Hippo that gives children some sensory feedback when they play and interact with the toy. The chips required to place into the Hippo’s mouth are easy to hold and slot, and the sounds and lights enhance the play experience and motivate the children to engage. The overall quality of the various toys also ensure safe and fun playing opportunities for the children.”

~

*Disclaimer: I have received neither monetary nor non-monetary incentives for uploading this post, and I cannot vouch for the effectiveness of these toys, having never played with any of them before. Please exercise your own discretion, or seek professional advice, before purchasing any of these items for your children.

Absolute Slimming – Finally… A Slimming Program That Works!

[Remember my previous blogpost about Absolute Slimming that mentioned how my guest writer, Kirbie, will be undergoing the treatments and sharing about her experience? Well, this is it. :)

While Absolute Slimming highly recommends that clients complete the 8 sessions in 1 month, Kirbie had to stretch them over 2 months because of work commitments. And she wasn’t able to follow their diet plans very strictly either – she’s kind of like me; we don’t say “no” to good food! :D And yet, despite not being their most obedient client, Kirbie has benefited from Absolute Slimming’s expertise in body shaping and toning. And at the end of her review, you’ll also find two testimonials from Absolute Slimming’s clients. Read on…]

Absolute Slimming

It’s Kirbie again! :D I jumped at the chance of reviewing an 8-session program at Absolute Slimming and now, it’s time for my review after the 8 sessions with, of course, my results.

I’d like to state upfront that there are just two things about this program that made me feel slightly uncomfortable, but if you can overcome them, then you should go ahead and try the sessions:

1) Level of Pain

The treatments involve guasha (scraping) and cupping. My pain threshold is pretty low, so the guasha gets unbearable at times. Sometimes I will get bruises that can last for 2 to 3 days.

You can ask your therapist to reduce the amount of strength applied if you really cannot bear the pain, but I think it is probably supposed to be good pain. No pain, no gain right?

I tried to imagine the guasha “scraping” fatty deposits off my body. And, trust me, it really helps! :D

I went to one of the sessions with a slight backache and after the guasha, that back pain disappeared. It’s pretty amazing stuff!

Cupping, on the other hand, involves a mini suction tool (different from the big, dome-shaped transparent ones that we see with baguan). It sometimes stings a little as the tool will stick itself onto the skin with just a small amount of pressure. The pain usually subsides in under a minute.

2) Cupping Marks

I was told that the marks left by the cupping has a correlation with the amount of toxins in the body. The toxins coagulate on the surface of your skin, which results in the cupping ‘marks’.

While I’m not too fond of them, the marks on my arms usually remain for less than a week. The marks on other parts of my body disappear the very next day. Thankfully, the marks on my arms can easily be concealed with short-sleeved clothing.

I was told that for most people, cupping marks generally fade away within 3 days. It really differs from person to person.

~

And now, here’s what I liked about the program :D

1) Comfort

I don’t know about you, but I have been to quite a few beauty salons which have made me feel very uncomfortable with how pushy their staff are – up till the point where I asked myself why I was paying good money to suffer!

At Absolute Slimming, it’s just the opposite:

Warm greetings: Each time I pull open the center’s sliding door, Irene and her staff would greet me cheerfully, without fail. It definitely helps put me at ease as I get ready for the treatments.

Soothing music: Relaxing instrumental music will be played throughout the session. Great way to unwind after a tiring day of work!

Excellent service: The cupping tools can sometimes fall off, and Irene or her staff have to come stick them on again. They attend to me promptly and I do feel quite loved there!

Safe and relaxed environment: I don’t follow the diet plan very strictly, and so there are days where I will lose only 200g-300g per session. Irene or her staff will set aside time to go through my current eating habits and point out areas for improvement which can lead to faster weight loss. It’s challenging – but it helps to know where you have gone right or wrong!

2) Sessions are the same every time

What I don’t like about other centers is that most of them will try to sell me a different treatment every time I visit.

Irene and her staff will occasionally educate me about how a different treatment will help for a different type of slimming, for example, spot reduction.

They never once tried to hard-sell me on any add-on products or services, which I am extremely grateful for. I mean, when customers want to buy we will willingly take out our wallets; there’s never a need to be pushy, right?

So I know exactly what to expect for the treatments, because it’s the same every time:

Step 1: Lie facedown on bed. Irene/staff will begin guasha on my arms, back and legs. They may concentrate guasha on spots that they think have more stubborn fats.

For me, Irene focused on my back as she told me about how the shape of my figure has been contoured by my ‘bra line’. Sounds a bit sad, but I am glad she told me I have such a problem with my body shape.

Step 2: Cupping begins. The cupping locations are exactly the same every time, which means Irene and her staff really know where the crucial acupoints are for the best slimming effects. I have read reviews for other centers in which customers complain about cupping positions shifting every time they visit. How can we trust those centers if this is the case? Do they put the cups wherever they like? Hmmm…

Step 3: Turn, lie face-up on bed. The guasha and cupping methods are repeated on the front for arms, legs and tummy. During the treatment, they will apply their homemade cream to reduce the friction. The cream is odorless; so I can safely go for dates after the treatments!

3) Simple diet plan

Diet is, of course, the killer in many slimming plans simply because we are in Singapore! The lure of good food is just irresistible, and I am no exception to the norm – I really love indulging my tastebuds!

Fortunately, the diet plan that Irene gave me is quite simple to follow. The general idea is not to avoid all my favorite foods, but to shrink my appetite so that I can exercise better portion control. This will prevent you from eating excessively and interfering with slimming treatments.

Some of the things I am allowed to eat:

Plain wholemeal bread. I like eating wholemeal bread, so this was great news. I’m allowed to eat 1-2 slices of wholemeal bread in the morning, and 1 slice during tea break, or whenever I am feeling extremely hungry.

Since one loaf of bread typically lasts a week, I bought different brands of wholemeal bread to ensure I don’t get sick of the taste. Sometimes I also bought walnut wholemeal breads for the extra crunch. To me, it is important that I vary the food options I have, as I am looking at a long-term diet and lifestyle change.

Fruits – I was advised to include more fruits in my diet. This was a little hard for me initially, and I ended up snacking on bread for supper (this is a no-no, by the way). The hardest part is getting through the first two days. After which my tummy did miraculously become smaller and I was able to achieve 80% satiety (or that ‘full’ feeling) with just a small meal.

For many customers, appetite reduction is a huge part of the treatment process, as it helps you to control your diet during the 1-month treatment.

HL Milk – 200ml packaging only. For both fruits and milk – it is advisable not to consume too much of either. As mentioned before, the idea is to give my stomach the chance to shrink quickly and significantly.

Healthy biscuits such as chia seeds biscuits. Thanks to Grace, who bought them for me in Malaysia! I don’t think they are available in Singapore. This is what the biscuits look like:

Absolute Slimming

Meats and vegetables – It is all right to steam, stir-fry and add a little seasoning to your meat and vegetables. The only thing to avoid is, of course, fried food.

Although the diet seems pretty strict, it was not hard to follow as I brought a small electric lunch cooker along to work. I had some cheat days on weekends (of course, please cut down on cheat days if you’re really serious about paying money for their slimming treatments!), but Irene taught me how to make up for it by eating certain foods afterwards.

Also, I did ask if exercising is recommended and Irene suggested that I do only mild exercise such as climbing the stairs, as intense exercise will increase muscle mass and affect my net weight loss.

4) Sustainable results

I lost about 3kg and this weight loss was sustained throughout the 8 sessions. Not once did it rebound even though I did not follow the diet plan very strictly!

This is what I look like after close to a month from starting the sessions. There might not be a huge difference on camera, but my face and body shape is now slimmer and I do ‘feel’ the difference when I put on my clothes.

Absolute Slimming

As with all other slimming plans, the amount of weight lost depends greatly on each individual. Some of Irene’s clients can lose up to 2 kg with just one session.

For best results, Irene’s advice is to go for treatments twice a week. That explains why my weight loss was so much slower – because I was busy and could only attend one session a week at times, and sometimes even none.

It was also during the holiday season! And I could have overeaten, well, a little (hehe). But I am still very happy that my weight loss can be maintained. Especially since I do not need to exercise!

I guess slimming down is actually more of a “mind-over-body” thing. Set a big enough goal and I am sure we can all achieve even more. With Absolute Slimming, I don’t feel that slimming is such a lonely journey and I can get advice from Irene any time I need it! This has been a wonderful chance for me to kick-start my slimming journey and get even more kilos off my weight.

Most of their clients are ladies, but Irene says their treatments work well on men too!

*If you choose to have your treatments on weekends, bear in mind that the place will be super crowded! You may also have to wait a little, as there are only 8 rooms available at Absolute Slimming. I prefer weekdays when the place is quieter and I can really relax.

Also, Absolute Slimming has a special gift for readers of this blog:

“Quote workingwithgrace at the point of purchase and get 10% off your first cupping package! For first-time customers only. Valid till 28 Feb 2015.” (check in-store for T&Cs)

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.Testimonials from 2 more clients of Absolute Slimming:

Absolute Slimming

Serene, 41

“As an overweight mother of three kids, my confidence was so low that I would only wear comfort jeans and baggy shirts that covered my body shape, especially my stomach. After 12 sessions with Absolute Slimming, and with disciplined eating on my part, I shed 6 kg of stubborn fats and lost inches around my waist and thighs.The toning was amazing! I’ve gone back to wearing figure-hugging clothes again, and both my husband and children have noticed the boost in my confidence ever since undergoing treatment.”

Absolute Slimming

Michelle, 44

“I’ve been piling on weight recently and had hoped to slim down before Chinese New Year. Fortunately, I came to know of Absolute Slimming through a good friend of mine who had gone through the treatment herself and saw wonderful results. After going through 8 sessions of Absolute Slimming’s weight loss program, I have lost more than 5kg and went down by one dress size – and all within just 1 month! Since then, I’ve signed up for another 4 sessions to continue shedding weight.”

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Absolute Slimming’s address: 211 Holland Avenue, #03-14, Holland Road Shopping Centre, Singapore 278967

Tel: 64630360 or 98613123

Email: info@absoluteslimming.net

Web: http://absoluteslimming.net/

Qoo10 Raises A 5-Figure Sum For SPCA :D

Qoo10 and SPCA

(Qoo10’s GM Yeo Se Jin and SPCA’s Executive Director Corrine Fong)

I’d usually ignore similar-sounding press releases because it’s usually about a company which decides to incorporate some CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility into its daily operations so as to get media publicity. But I have a soft spot for anything involving SPCA and/or animal welfare.

So, here goes…

Qoo10, in partnership with the Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (SPCA) Singapore, has raised S$14,906.77 to support its daily animal welfare operations including its animal shelter and animal rescue services.

Qoo10 users could choose to donate loyalty points earned on the site or buy certain items which pledged parts of proceeds to the charity drive. A total of 5,704 users and 380 merchants participated in the activity.

The cheque was presented by General Manager for Qoo10 Singapore, Mr Yeo Se Jin, to SPCA’s Executive Director Corrine Fong on 11 February 2015.

“E-commerce is a great enabler for businesses but it can also be used for good, charitable causes. SPCA has a long history of being an advocate for animal welfare and we wanted to provide a channel for our users to make donations to the charity,” said Mr Cho Hyun Wook, Country Manager for Qoo10 Singapore.

“We thank Qoo10 Singapore and its members for this generous donation. Indeed the animal and shelter operations take a massive chunk of money to run, and Qoo10’s donation come at an opportune time. We hope to continue this collaboration with Qoo10 Singapore for a long time.” said Ms Fong.

About Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is a registered animal welfare charity and our two main objectives are to promote kindness to animals and to prevent cruelty to animals. Relying mainly on donations from the public and fundraising, the Society provides various animal welfare services including a 24 hour emergency service, cruelty investigation, education programme for schools and organisations, a sterilisation voucher programme for strays as well as running an animal shelter for abused and abandoned pets and strays. For more information, visit http://www.spca.org.sg

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I’m so glad it’s the year of the goat. If it’s the year of the rabbit or dog, we might see sales and then abandonment cases of these animals increase in number. But ha! It’s not quite possible to get a pet goat in Singapore, is it?

Parents, don’t buy animals for your children just because they want to own a pet. It’s irresponsible, especially if the family has neither the time or knowledge regarding the care for these animals. Also, it’s a life-long commitment (usually based on the animal’s lifespan, unless you are keeping a turtle as a pet, I guess).

If you absolutely have to buy a small animal because it’ll bring you good luck for that particular year, wait till the year of the Rat then go to Bukit Batok to get a pet. I heard there’s a rat infestation issue there. ;)

Be kind to animals. And maybe, people.