How To Pronounce Hermès, Adidas, Porsche, and Other Often-Mispronounced Brand Names

My pal, Samy, shared a link to a Business Insider video on Facebook, and I found it extremely useful. Hence, I’ve taken screenshots from the video about 15 brand names that people keep mispronouncing all the time. :) I find ‘Hermès’ particularly hard to pronounce, since the time I was told that there’s a certain nasal sound that has to be articulated, as with so many French words. I’ve almost been resigned to calling it the ‘H’ brand. And how about ‘Porsche’? Is it ‘Por-shay’ or ‘Porsh’? Turns out both are wrong. (@_@)

Business Insider

First up that brand whose name, if you mispronounce, will rhyme with herpes. One you get from having too much sex, the other from having too much money. Or, it could be the other way round, I’m not sure. :D

How to pronounce Hermes

I have no problems with pronouncing ‘Adidas’. You?

How to pronounce adidas

Never even heard of this next one before. Apparently, it’s one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. The company mainly manufactures prescription medicines for diabetes, HIV, hypertension, stroke, etc…

How to pronounce Boehringer Ingelheim

Fage is a Greek dairy company, and on their facebook page with over 1.3million fans is this description: “FAGE (pronounced “fa-yeh”) is known for FAGE Total, all natural Greek strained yogurt.”

How to pronounce Fage

And some more-familiar brand names:

How to pronounce Givenchy

How to pronounce Guerlain

How to pronounce Kinerase

This next one is a “yoga-inspired athletic apparel company”… lulu-lemon :D

How to pronounce Lululemon

And a couple more that you might be familiar with…

How to pronounce Miele

How to pronounce Hoegaarden

How to pronounce Saucony

How to pronounce Stella Artois

How to pronounce Stila

How to pronounce Zagat

And for the record, it’s por-sha, not porsh or por-shay. :D #NowWeKnow

How to pronounce Porsche

And what about words like “esplanade”, ‘clemenceau”, “reservoir”, etc that Singaporeans tend to struggle with? Well, that’s a blogpost for another time. ;)

Maku Store Singapore’s Hot Pink Sling Bag

Maku Store Singapore

Back when I was working for someone else, I’d always get bags in dull and drab colors, namely, black and brown. It’s been a while since I quit my job in 2011… and my bags and accessories are all getting bolder and brighter in color, just the way I like them. I used to carry an agnes b handbag back when I was working for Adam Khoo. I still have that bag but I probably use it just once a year. I am now in love with bags in vibrant shades that are a delightful pop of color to match any outfit. :D This sling bag in hot pink from Maku Store Singapore is one of them.

The two clasps in front can give you a little bit of trouble if you are carrying many shopping bags but need to get your ezlink card or wallet out of the bag. :D Otherwise, it’s great, with an additional zip inside to ensure the bag’s contents do not fall out.

Maku Store Singapore

Also, there’s an inner compartment (zipped) in the middle, and another by the side. The usual phone and card slots are in there too. The presence of the inner compartment means I can’t place a slightly more bulky item into the bag, such as a book, for instance. But for everything else, there should be space. I’ve had an umbrella, wallet, phone, Sonny Angel toys, and tissue in the bag.

And it comes with another compartment at the back – can place that ezlink card in here. And of course, that all important sling comes with the bag too. :)

Maku Store Singapore

Reader privilege: Get a discount when you shop at Maku Store Singapore (#03-20 Bugis Junction) just by quoting my name / blog name. Check in-store for more details. :)

Would You Pay S$260 For An airweave Pillow?

airweave singapore

I attended the official launch event of the airweave futon earlier this week, and was given the airweave pillow you see above as a gift. It also happens to cost S$260. *gulp* Gracing the event that day was the gorgeous Paula Creamer, the golfer who won last year’s HSBC Women’s Champions. (Sadly, after this event, she did not go on to defend her title, losing out on the US$1.4million prize)

[ Paula, Mr Takaoka and the media folks :D ]

airweave paula creamer

This company ‘airweave’ was founded in 2004 by Mr Motokuni Takaoka who was inspired by his uncle’s company which made injection moulding machines to produce fishing lines and nets. The 3-dimensional resin fibres in the airweave products helps you to “turn over easily whilst sleeping and promotes a deeper sleep”

airweave singapore

Also, it “helps to dissipate heat and moisture generated by the body during sleep…[and] helps keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.” The cover is machine-washable while the core can be rinsed with water.

My old pillow (which probably cost less than S$20) and the S$260 airweave pillow:

airweave singapore

The Verdict: I slept on the airweave pillow for one night, and woke up not noticing very much of a difference. My old pillow is more ‘squishy’ and I’m obviously more used to sleeping on it than on the airweave which is firmer and offers more ‘bounce’. The airweave doesn’t get as warm as regular pillows so I guess it is great for people who are bedridden, whether in hospitals or otherwise. I’ll need to spend more time with this pillow before I can tell if I’ll shell out S$260 for one. The boyfriend borrowed it for a night too and did not notice any difference in sleep quality. Perhaps it takes time.

There are also other airweave products. This next picture contains the pricing of the individual items. They are available at Isetan Scotts (Level 4) and at Takashimaya (B1).

airweave singapore pricing

http://airweave.sg

Book Review: ‘The Life Of A Banana’ by PP Wong

The Life Of A Banana by PP Wong

The day I got my hands on this book, I completed reading it before bedtime. Yes, being able to speed-read helps. :D My gut feel about this novel is that it is part-fiction, part-truth because it knows too intimately the traumatic experience that is bullying in schools.

I’ll also give this book extra marks for the conclusion, which many writers fail to nail adequately. This one, however, delivers a punch to the gut as the protagonist (Xing Li) – and the reader – learns the truth about her grandmother’s life.

This book explores various topics: school bullying, racism, deaths of loved ones, euthanasia, among others. They are all really moving, and if you’d like a recommendation for a book to read on a lazy Saturday or Sunday, this would be it.

Some quotable quotes from the book:

1) “Lil sis, time is important. Life is about playing more and working less. People always think Chinese people are working hard but actually they’re smart and they’ve finished the work by lunch break so they can play games on their computer.”

2) “We have to pick our battles – be wise. Sometimes being quiet is wiser than saying a hundred words.”

3) “When life is tough, you have a choice. You have a choice to curl up in a ball and wither away like the crocuses in winter. Or you can fight like the fir trees that grow come snow or rain.”

4) “Mama once said that being strong was a blessing and a curse. When you are strong, people expect so much out of you. They rely on you to be the friend who they can turn to or the colleague who will stand up to the boss at work. You are the person who will have the right word, the one who will give them the strength to carry on. But when your heart is collapsing inside who can you turn to?”

~

I even came to love how this book helps me understand the Chinese people and their idiosyncrasies a little better. Such as how a Chinese person can be on a Business Class flight yet still do something as odd as stuffing his/her pockets with the free toiletries, or even think about swiping the airplane headphones. Or why they have to TALK SO LOUDLY. :D

I’ll not say more. You simply have to pick up a copy of this book and read about ‘The Llife Of A Banana’. I’m sure you’ll love it. :)

Unprofessional: AIA, Ho Lee Yen, and agent Kenny Toh

Remember my blogpost on Feb 3rd about AIA and how it gave customers a S$50 angpow and then took it back? (Read it HERE) And true to my word, I contacted MAS regarding this lapse in service on AIA’s part, and the improper conduct from their agent Kenny Toh.

And here is the reply that AIA sent to me, after MAS instructed it to reply to me directly within 14 business days:

AIA Ho Lee Yen Kenny Toh

This is another one of those letters which is an absurd waste of time to read. Please don’t kill any more trees, AIA. I can sum up your letter in one sentence:

“We thank you for your feedback, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

Hello???

I want to know:

1) Is AIA allowed to use vouchers to entice customers to sign up for policies, and two, if this is allowed then does AIA not have a duty to follow up on its promises and deliver those same vouchers?

2) AIA agent Kenny Toh has been making some disparaging remarks online. What sort of action is AIA going to take against him?

3) Why in the world is AIA’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ho Lee Yen, keeping silent? Shirk responsibility or hide behind the Customer Service department? Since her signature is on all the letters given to customers, whether it is the original redemption letter or the sorry-there-is-no-redemption letter, shouldn’t she step out and say something? Hello??

~

MAS and AIA, I am NOT satisfied. Despite what I have heard about the financial planning industry being a heavily-regulated one by MAS, I have seen otherwise. AIA has failed, on so many levels, to convince me that its leaders walk the talk and are accountable for their actions, and their agents (either Kenny Toh or the one serving my friend) have either failed to be responsible online citizens or failed in their duty to alert the customer to any mistake in a timely fashion.

~

As for the agent, Kenny Toh, who accused me of being an attention seeker who blogs “without finding out the real facts”, well well well. He has removed his LinkedIn page, I believe. But here’s the profile on http://www.affluence.sg:

*screenshot*

Kenny Toh AIA agent

And I quote… “He strongly believe [sic] his role is primarily that of a communicator, listener, counselor and facilitator”. LOL!!! #laughdieme This brilliant communicator, listener, and whatever-nonsense did not even get his facts right before he decided to accuse me of behaving like some Taiwanese reporter:

Kenny Toh AIA

You can read our whole conversation over at my previous blogpost, where Kenny proves that he’s not very proficient in English, and yet likes to engage bloggers as a keyboard warrior.

AIA, Ho Lee Yen and Kenny Toh, come, I clap for all of you.

I’m A Fan: Dancing Crab and Wai Wai Instant Rice Vermicelli (Crab Flavour)

Dancing Crab Singapore

I love crab. And I’m a huge fan of Dancing Crab. Thanks to my student and pal, Steven Lek, who first brought me to Dancing Crab, I am now hooked on their Cajun-style crabs. Earlier this week, the bf and I gave Steven and his family a Dancing Crab treat. We also had their interesting Dancing Yu Sheng (S$48++ for 4 pax).

Instead of chopsticks, use your (gloved hands) and HUAT AH:

Dancing Crab Singapore

I initially had my reservations about the Dancing Yu Sheng. Sure, it’s a novelty but I really don’t like smoked salmon. Give me fresh salmon slices any day. However, the smoked salmon is not as salty as those served elsewhere and the fried salmon skins were awesome! I really did enjoy this Dancing Yu Sheng. Yes, it is non-traditional. But what do you expect? When you dine at Dancing Crab, you don’t use cutlery, you eat using your hands, so don’t be an old fogey and just toss your yu sheng as the patrons here do. :P

We also ordered the Combo Bag 1 (S$88) with an extra crab (S$65) in the first picture you see above. Plus my favorite Crab Cakes (S$18.50) and Steven’s Cornbread (S$5). Including drinks, the bill came up to S$282.50 after tax and service charge. That’s S$56.50 per person. And we also agreed that it’s way more value than Blue Lotus – totally not going back there.

If you don’t already know, Blue Lotus is located at Sentosa Cove. Steven Lek brought me there previously. In terms of service and how welcome guests are made to feel, Blue Lotus pales in comparison despite the obviously way-higher prices.

After our dinner at Dancing Crab, their staff Wai Linn (who always greets us cheerily and makes us feel welcome on EVERY visit, plus we even have his mobile number for making reservations) came over and offered us coffee. Only my bf and Steven ordered coffee… which to my utter surprise, was “on the house”!!! When my bf told me the post-dinner drinks were on the house, probably ‘cos we are regular customers, I told him “No lah, where got such thing? Want to bet or not?”

I lost the bet. The coffee was INDEED on the house. Compare this with my last Blue Lotus visit…

Previously, Steven brought me to Blue Lotus (our 2nd visit, I think it was) and he brought a voucher along with him. He had been given that voucher on an earlier visit and he was looking forward to utilizing it. Unfortunately, he did not read the fine print that it was only valid for certain days and timing. (@_@) And even though BOTH THE BOSS AND LADY BOSS were there, and they appeared so friendly towards Steven, they did not want to honor the voucher.

And when the Boss came to bid us farewell because he was going to drive some guests to buy cigarettes, he proudly told us that he always ‘goes the extra mile’. I wanted to vomit. I could not help but ask if he indeed goes the extra mile, he would not disappoint an old customer like Steven who constantly brings new friends and introduces them to Blue Lotus. Alas, the Boss did not budge. #sohorrible #notgoingbackever

In Chinese, we would term what Blue Lotus did as ‘不会做人’. Dancing Crab has done really well in giving their staff the ‘authority’ to reward regular customers with certain perks that are not stated or published anywhere. Meanwhile, the Blue Lotus boss cannot even authorize a discount (for a regular customer) that they would have given on any other day. *rolls eyes* #comeiclapforyou

~

Moral of the story: If you are going to Sentosa Cove, you know where not to eat. And if you are a crab lover like me, go to Dancing Crab. ;)

Dancing Crab Add: 200 Turf Club Road, Turf City, #01-20/21/22, Singapore 287994

Tel: 64663303

~

Now… if you can’t be bothered with paying for a pricey crab meal, you can also try the Wai Wai Instant Rice Vermicelli (Crab Flavour). It costs just S$1.75 at NTUC. I bought one pack on Friday as I noticed there were only 2 packs left on the shelve, as if it’s really popular. So, I had to get one pack to try. (*I KNOW it’s junk food with too much MSG, so I don’t eat instant noodles very often either)

Wai Wai Instant Rice Vermicelli Crab Flavour

Takes just 3 minutes to prepare… but of course, I had to add other ingredients…

 Wai Wai Instant Rice Vermicelli Crab Flavour

Tah-dah! My pot of yummy vermicelli:

Wai Wai Instant Rice Vermicelli Crab Flavour

I added chicken, prawns, egg, tofu, mushrooms, chili padi, asparagus, broccoli and chye sim.

And though I had used 2 packets of vermicelli, I added only the seasoning and chili powder for 1 packet. :D

Still, it was a potent mix. This is very, very spicy. But so yummy! :D

Once again, I don’t advocate the consumption of instant noodles. It’s just an occasional indulgence. And when you do eat instant noodles, be sure to add in other ingredients to make it a more balanced meal, ya? *wink*

Final Blogging Workshop For Q1, 2015 – Sign Up Now!

Blogging Workshop

I concluded the final ‘Intermediate’ workshop for this quarter today. There’s still a ‘Beginners’ workshop happening next week – 14th March 3pm to 5pm. Click HERE for more details. :D I don’t have workshops planned for April yet as it seems to be a busy month, with a speaking engagement overseas. And I’m also planning for blogging workshops in Malaysia – since my book ‘Blogging For A Living’ is being sold there, why not ya? ;)

Today’s session was too much fun… such that one student (Monica) gave me feedback that she wishes the session was longer. :D By the way, it was all of 2 hours plus a bit more already.

Blogging Workshop

I also enjoy having my ex-students come back for a ‘refresher’ too, as blogging in a group is generally a lot more fun than blogging alone. Also, if you’ve lost the momentum for blogging, it’s always good to attend a ‘refresher’ and get back into the groove.

We had a short discussion about ‘Writer’s Block’ today and I’d like to share with you some of the tips which came out of this session:

1) Commitment – Decide once and for all that you are going to blog for ‘x’ times a week and STICK to it. When I first started this blog, my commitment (to everyone, but most importantly, to myself) was that a new post would be uploaded every Friday at 5am. It really helps when you commit to blogging, like you commit to bathing or brushing your teeth. There is no room for negotiation – it just HAS to be done.

2) Accountability Partner – Have someone hold you accountable for the number of posts you say you will do. I am the Accountability Partner for some of my students, i.e. I will kick their ass and nag them to death if they don’t do what they say they will do. :D Of course, I don’t offer my ‘services’ to everyone because I do pick the people I want to mentor. #brutalfactoflife

3) Schedule Posts – When you are super inspired, craft as many blogposts as you can, and schedule them for uploading, say, every two days. Thus, it might seem that you are very consistent in uploading blogposts when actually you did it all when inspired. Smart, eh? ;)

Apart from countering writer’s block, we also discussed Blog Monetization, did a little activity (hehe!) and engaged in some healthy blog critique.

We probably had so much fun that Time just flew past, but 2 hours is really all I can spare without tiring myself out. Contrary to popular belief, I am actually introverted. Spending time with people drains me of energy. Spending time alone, with a book or what not, helps me recharge. So you get the best of me in 2 hours. :D

To join me for my next workshop, simply do a bank transfer of S$275 to posb savings 126-85658-0 and drop me an email at gracewwg [at] gmail [dot] com. More details HERE.

blogging workshop

Singtel’s UnexpecTech Deals bring their BEST tech-show deals to you, NOW!

SingTel UnexpecTech Deals

I love the awesome bargains at tech shows but the place is always so crowded and it is extremely tough to get to the deals that I want. Haven’t you experienced this before too? ;) This year, Singtel’s helping us enjoy their tech show deals in a rather unexpected way – with their UnexpecTech Deals. :D There is just one catch though – it’s still fastest fingers first, but this time round, you can hunt for those deals in the comfort of your home!

Does that sound good already?

You will get the chance to take advantage of their best tech show deals before the tech show even starts! And that’s not all! You can enjoy these deals at the Singtel Shop or get them online!

And it’s also a lot of fun.

Singtel has hidden all their fabulous deals – from extra mobile data, to free months of fibre and great discounts on phones – in the one place you’re used to searching for stuff: your web browser! Say what?! Yes!

Get online and get everything from Free data, Extra Talk Time, Free 3 Months Off Fibre Broadband, $0 Samsung Phones, Xiaomi Powerbanks and more! As I’ve mentioned, it’s fastest fingers first as some of these are limited in quantity, so you’ll have to really swoop in fast.

Don’t worry though, as they have put clues all over the place to help you search for the deals. Just keep your eyes open for them…

Here’s one clue I found:

Hint: Milky Way is not a bar.
unexpectechdeals/_ _ _ _ _ _tab4forfree

;)

Have a lot of fun, get good deals, plus stand a chance to win some great prizes too! You’ll have to act fast because some of the really cool ones are available for a limited time only! *wink*

For more details on how to play, visit Singtel.com/unexpectechdeals and keep an eye out for all of these #unexpectechdeals :D Good luck and happy shopping!

SingTel UnexpecTech Deals

Smiggle Sale – March 2015! :D

Smiggle Singapore

It’s been a while since I last did an interview feature on Smiggle. Read it here. That was done way back in 2011! *gasp* Since that time, Smiggle stores have sprouted up everywhere in Singapore. And I’m not ashamed to admit this – I love their stores, products and sales!

Just last week, I popped by one of their outlets and bought a set of scented stamp markers (S$5 after discount) and macaron erasers ($7.95). The macarons did not come with any discount but I thought they were too cute to say no too.

On one hand, I’m happy that I’m now able to afford any of those cute stationery I see in stores, unlike those times when I was in primary school and my daily allowance did not allow for any of these frivolities. On the other hand, I’m shocked at the amount of money parents would end up spending if they allow their kids to walk into one of these Smiggle stores. Lunch boxes, notebooks, colorful stationery – gotta get them all. And not forgetting those bags, headphones, note pads, umbrellas, water bottles, etc. (@_@)

Maku Store Singapore

I took out those macarons for one of my product photos for Maku Store Singapore. While the macarons look all vibrant and colorful, they come with a very strong smell. Most of the products made in China don’t smell too awesome, and yes, Smiggle’s products are manufactured in China. Though I have to admit that the scented markers smell great.

Besides Smiggle, there is another company that specializes in selling stationery and has stores all over as well. Cannot recall the name now but it sells stickers, pens, notebooks, diaries, etc.

I think Smiggle definitely has a great chance of surviving and thriving in Singapore as they constantly have new and exciting product ranges and everything’s so colorful and cheery. As for the other store, I’m not too optimistic about it. After all, how many stickers can a student buy? *Will update this post when I get a picture of one of their stores.

Maku Store Singapore’s Beautiful Pastel-Colored Sling Bag :)

Maku Store Singapore

Yes, I have yet another new bag from Maku Store Singapore! It comes in a combination of 3 beautiful pastel shades that makes me think of macarons, for some reason. :D And pictured above are my Sonny Angels, and some macaron erasers from Smiggle Singapore. Aren’t they all just too adorable?

This sling bag is just the perfect size for dates and meetup with pals, when I don’t want to carry a bag that is too big or heavy. This one is just right, and makes me carefully consider what I want to put inside.

Maku Store Singapore

There’s a compartment at the back (as you see above) and it comes with a detachable sling which you can remove if you want to carry this as a handbag.

*Sudden brainwave: Instead of using the sling, I can hook on a little dangly accessory by the side. I’ll definitely have to look out for either a furball or hello kitty one. Hehehe.

And here’s what I had in the bag for this shoot. There’s my umbrella, a book (which I will review soon), my Maku Store limited edition wallet and a powerbank from Julie’s Biscuits! :) And of course, my handphone will fit in there too, except that I used my phone to take these pictures.

Maku Store Singapore

The bag also has an inner zipped compartment and some card and phone slots too. I usually stick my ezlink card and a tube of eyelash glue into those slots.

Maku Store Singapore

This is definitely one pretty bag you will want to treasure. To check out this design, and many more others, pop by Maku Store Singapore at Bugis Junction #03-20 and be sure to quote my name / blog name for exclusive discounts and privileges. And don’t forget to check out the limited edition items in store. For barely any difference in price, you can be the sole owner of that particular design (bag, wallet, etc) in Singapore! Yes, no one else has this particular wallet featured above. *WINK*