Review: Hada Labo Surprise Box (Really Worth Buying!)

Hada Labo Surprise Box

December was truly a month full of surprise boxes, and I’m not referring to Christmas presents (that’s for another upcoming blogpost!) I’ve already shown you what’s in the Etude House surprise box and Hysses surprise box. Now it’s time for another of my favorites: The Hada Labo Surprise Box. It costs just $29.90 but has over $106 worth of goodies within.

  • 2 x Care Cera High Moisturising Body Foam Wash (450ml) Exp: 30/09/20
  • Sunplay Skin Aqua UV Mild Gel SPF30 PA+++ (110g) Exp: 31/10/20
  • Sunplay After Sun Gel (200g) Exp: 09/2020
  • Hada Labo Lotion (170ml) Exp:06/2021
  • Hada Labo Hydrating Light Cream (50g) Exp: 08/2019
  • Mentholatum Lip Pure (4g) Exp: 11/2021

I like that they don’t stuff soon-to-expire items into these surprise boxes. There are boxes from some brands which really amaze me with their generosity. Take this Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion, for instance, which already retails at $22.90. It’s in this box which costs just $29.90. Madness, isn’t it? *ahem* I mean… isn’t it awesome? If you’ve managed to get your hands on one of them, consider yourself terribly lucky! ๐Ÿ˜€

You might be concerned about what to do with items that you don’t really use but come in the surprise boxes. Well, you can sell them off on Carousell and probably earn enough to pay for this box. Alternatively, you can wrap it up and gift them away during Christmas. XD

I do love online shopping but yes it does create a lot of wastage especially with the boxes the items come in, the packaging materials (bubble wrap and whatnot) and when there are so many items that you forget about some of them and they expire and have to be thrown away. Perhaps I should challenge myself to forego online shopping for a month or two. It’ll be insanely tough but worth a try. (@_@)

 

Today @ Crab In Da Bag: No Potatoes, No Burgers, No Air-Conditioning?!

Crab In Da Bag review

Crab In Da Bag at Nassim Road serves up good prawns though – plump, juicy, and despite being served with the shells intact, seem to require no deveining as the prawns are clean within! That was really the restaurant’s saving grace today because they were out of potatoes (HUH?!), burgers (seriously?!) and instead of air-conditioning, I felt the breeze only from this fan near our feet…

Crab in Da Bag Nassim Road

Not exactly what you’d expect from a restaurant at Orchard.

And the weather has been brutally hot recently so good air-conditioning would be much appreciated. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s a portion of Crab In Da Bag’s menu:

Crab In Da Bag Menu

To add the Red Skin Potato to your bag of seafood, it costs just $1 (but they were out of potatoes), so we went for the corn ($2.50) and Chicken Bratwurst Sausage ($4). As for the sauce, pick their Signature ‘Caboodle Mix’ which has garlic and butter over the ‘Mum’s Special’ sauce. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I like the creativity in making the bag also double up as the serving ‘bowl’…

Crab In Da Bag GIF

The decor in Crab In Da Bag is overwhelmingly nautical. I’d suppose couples may want to have their photoshoots here if they happen to favor this theme! ๐Ÿ˜€

Crab In Da Bag Singapore

And when you’re done with your meal and want to wash your hands, you’ll have to exit the restaurant via the glass door at the back and head into the mall, following the sign to the washroom, which is INCREDIBLY tiny. The ladies washroom has just one mini sink and two cubicles, which seem to be for kindergarteners, not fully grown adults.

I’m not sure if we’ll be back again. But if we do return, we’ll definitely order those prawns again, which are super fresh and therefore delicious!

Crab In Da Bag is at 1 Nassim Road, #01-01, Singapore 258458.

Tel: 6732 1311

Never Buy Insurance To “Support” A Friend!

Friend

You won’t be 2gether for long. ๐Ÿ˜›

I was ‘inspired’ to write this post after I found out what had happened to a friend of mine who had cancelled his original plan with ‘Insurance Company 1’ to get a plan from ‘Insurance Company 2’ to “support” a friend who’d just joined Company 2. There had been no major change in his life to warrant the switch – he didn’t get married, didn’t have a kid, etc – and basically had no reason to make the switch. He did it just to help this friend get started in Company 2. And get this… this switch meant he was paying THREE times the premium that he was paying previously. I thought that’s nuts! Was he mad or was he trying to woo the person, and even then he’d be madly in love? ๐Ÿ˜€ (If she’s a hot babe, I can totally understand ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

And you’ll probably have guessed by now. Things turned sour. A couple of months after getting the plan with Company B, he went for a medical checkup and in the course of speaking with the doctor at the polyclinic before getting a referral to a specialist, somehow certain health-related complaints were noted down by that doctor. When my pal wanted to make a claim for the medical bills, because of what the polyclinic doctor had recorded, Insurance Company B rejected the claim on the basis that he should have notified the company about the condition of his health when he’d signed up for a policy with them. (But isn’t that the agent’s duty? To fact-find? And to note down any ailments or medical issues the client might have before submitting anything to the underwriters?!)

IF my pal had stayed with Insurance Company 1, his claim would very likely have been processed, he’d have gotten his money, and gone on his way. Because of this switch, now he’s STUCK. Insurance Company 2 refuses to pay, and also wants this medical condition excluded, which means anytime he’s hospitalised because of this condition, he’ll have to foot the bill himself. Even if he cancels the plan with Insurance Company 2, Insurance Company 1 would now know there’s this condition, and would similarly want it excluded.

So… because he tried to “support” a friend, he’s now left unsupported. When I went with him to meet the agent and also her (female) manager, who were at a roadshow in Sengkang’s CompassOne, both of the ladies were adamant that they had to stand on the side of the company, and also pointed out that the company should rightfully be suspicious of how this person is making a claim so soon after getting a policy.

How quickly things change!

At the start, you’ll find that your friend will always be listening to your needs, and supposedly helping you make prudent financial decisions, to safeguard your future and that of your family. Once the commissions have been pocketed, you’re on your own, dude!

So, folks, make sure you NEVER EVER get insurance policies just to “SUPPORT” a friend. If a friend joins a company and then asks for your “SUPPORT”, RUN! Run as fast as you possibly can.

Here are 5 points, as a summary of sorts:

#1: When Money Is Involved, Friendships Can Easily Dissolveย ่ฎฒ้’ฑไผคๆ„Ÿๆƒ…

Note that your friend is a ROOKIE a.k.a NEWBIE a.k.a NOOB a.k.a NEWCOMER. Would you trust a person new to nursing to give you an injection? Would you trust a new doctor to perform a surgery on you? Would you trust a noob pilot to fly the plane you’re in?

I’m hoping your answer is no to all three. So why would you entrust your financial future to a newbie agent? Even if that person is your friend. No, scratch that. Because that person is your friend (and I’m assuming you value that friendship), you SHOULD NOT BUY a policy.

Rookies are usuallyย full of enthusiasm at selling in order to hit a target set by the company, secure basic pay every month, go on an incentive trip, get an iPad, etc. <- Yes, this is actually what the agent’s manager said the agent was getting!

You might be swayed by that enthusiasm. Just say no. Buy that person KOI bubble tea when she’s working at a roadshow. Treat her to a meal after a hard day of work. Write something nice about her on LinkedIn. Whatever. Just don’t buy a policy when YOU ALREADY HAVE ONE.

Don’t enter into business with a friend unless you’re truly prepared to lose that friendship. Yes, it’ll happen. You can bet on it.

#2 Your Long-Term Commitment VS. Your Friend’s Maybe-Short-Term Career

You should definitely get insurance when you’re young. Lock in the premiums when they’re ‘cheaper’, and you’ll continue paying the same amount for many years to come. Don’t switch, please. Unless you’re getting a way better deal. And that’s unlikely.

Now, be aware that your long-term commitment may have to contend with your friend’s short-lived career in the financial planning line. Are you prepared to end up as one of those (what I would call) ‘floaters’ or (what industry folks call) ‘orphaned accounts’ – clients whose agents have left the company?

#3 Look For Someone Who’s Not In It For The Money

Gosh. This is easier said than done, right? I know. But I’m SURE there must be people like that. For instance, so many people want to become influencers and bloggers. I got into blogging not wanting to make a single cent. It’s true. Even if I’m not paid, I’ll continue blogging.

If I get a licence to be a financial planner, yes, definitely get a plan from me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t need your support but you can count on me to recommend what’s best for you, even if it is to keep your current plan and just buy me KOI bubble tea – Yakult Green Tea with aloe vera and konjac jelly, if you must know. ๐Ÿ˜€

#4 Don’t Commit At Roadshows, Or At Least Know There’s A Free Look Period And Cancel Before That!

Talk for half an hour at most, say you definitely have to think it through at home, and watch the person’s facial expression. Why? Because if there’s annoyance, or any hint at all that the person feels you’ve just wasted his/her time, you know this agent is NOT looking out for your best interests. ๐Ÿ˜‰ He/she is just in for a quick buck, needs to cover the ‘rental cost’ of that space for the day, and is simply looking for gullible people to con-vince.

I once spoke to an agent at a roadshow at Punggol MRT. She claimed she was offering higher interest rates for savings accounts FROM (FREAKING) POSB! I decided to play along, took the freebie, left her fake contact details, let her do all the paperwork, and at the end of the day, she thinks my name is Cheryl. People at roadshows aren’t out to meet financially savvy folks; they want the ‘easy targets’ e.g. housewives, recent graduates, people who don’t do so well with numbers, e.g. me, people who don’t know what questions to ask, easy-to-close folks. Be prepared.

#5 Get A Referral: Ask For A Recommendation From Your Friends

If you are not someone who is good at intuitively sizing up people, e.g. you can talk to conmen and not detect anything strange about them, then you’d better ask friends whom you trust with making good recommendations.

~

While my pal might be able to “look on the bright side” and see that this incident has shed some light on this person who’s supposed to be a friend, I think the price he has to pay is too high.

If he’s hospitalised, wouldn’t he rather this person come to visit as a concerned pal, instead of an agent who’s dragging her feet to come by to help with the paperwork for his claims, because he demanded she do so?

Yes, it’s sad to see a friendship end over some thousands of dollars but I think it’s sadder still if this insurance headache is not resolved and if *touchwood* something happens to him and he has to foot the entire bill. That’s a crying shame.

Fish & Co @ Waterway Point: The Chips Are Back!

fish n co truffle fries

This is not some arty-farty picture I took. My camera somehow gets me these kinda shots.

The last time I had a meal at Fish & Co at Waterway Point with my pal Samy, they ran out of chips. Which is unimaginable – ‘fish & chips’ without chips? Yesterday, thankfully, the chips were back in action and the truffle ones (that you see in the picture above) are really good! I like that the lunch sets at Fish & Co are available till 5pm, so you can have an early dinner and enjoy the promotion (you basically get a free drink). ๐Ÿ˜€ While prices aren’t low, you’ll find that the fish is cooked perfectly – crispy on the outside, tender and juicy within. So it’s a treat you might want to indulge in once in a while.

I ordered the same thing I had previously:

fish n co white fish with ebiko

Interestingly, ‘the curse of the second visit’ happened yet again. While he enjoyed the food, I thought it paled in comparison with my first visit. I can’t quite put my finger on it: is it that there’s less ebiko this time? Was the rice less flavorful (yes that might be it), or was the coleslaw in too watery a sauce?

Here’s a pic of the previous meal, and yes, it seems like there was more ebiko then ๐Ÿ˜›

fish and co review

So they definitely need to work on consistency. But my desire to return to Fish & Co a third time has been dampened already.

Fish n co waterway point review

~

I like that Fish & Co serves water (iced / warm) and they don’t provide extra straws for your water (which would be added wastage). I do think it’s a bit tedious to do the post-meal surveys via the iPad provided because it’s kind of lengthy and some questions are ridiculous, e.g. which is your usual mode of transport – walking, car, bus, MRT? I chose the walking option even though I usually cycle to Waterway Point. LOL.

And unlike at Subway or even McDonald’s, you don’t get any free chips or cookies at Fish & Co when you complete the survey. Bummer.

10 Best-Dressed Mickey Mouse Figurines At The Raffles City Exhibition

Mickey Go Local exhibition at Raffles City

The one in the middle was designed by singer JJ Lin! But it didn’t make it into my Top 10.

I’ve read so much about the Mickey Go Local exhibition at Raffles City that I simply had to pop by and have a look. There are apparently some 90 Mickey Mouse figurines on display. And they’re special because they were all dressed up by Singaporeans from all walks of life – from President Halimah Yacob to singers JJ Lin and Nathan Hartono, to regular folks like you and me (I think I saw some designed by secretaries, medics, etc). If you’re wondering why it’s 90 figurines when we’re only celebrating Singapore’s 53rd birthday this year, it’s because Mickey is 90 lah. While some of the 90 ‘designers’ went all out in decking the 60cm-tall blank Mickey figurines they received, others painted parts of (or all of) Mickey in one color and called it a day. One even twirled celluloid film around blank Mickey and called it a wrap. Alamak! How can?!ย So this blogpost is to celebrate those 10 ‘designers’ who showed real effort, creativity and skill in putting together Mickey figurines that are definitely worth bidding for in an auction.

Mickey by Henry Liew

Mickey by Business Director, Henry Liew

This is Mickey after my own heart. There’s Pandan cake in his right hand, Pandan Cheese Rolls for ears, an Ondeh Ondeh nose, Sagu Kueh shoes, etc. This isn’t the only Mickey with an ondeh nose (who copy who ah?!) but this version looks delicious. I like.

Mickey by Nick Shen Wei Jun

Mickey by Celebrity, Nick Shen Wei Jun. Hard to snap a good pic of this Mickey without getting a hand or ear of another Mickey in the shot. Haiyah! Placement, guys, placement!

Chinese opera has been a big part of Nick’s life and his passion for preserving this Chinese traditional art is commendable. Top marks for that spirit!

Mickey by Li Nanxing

Mickey by Li Nanxing

Actor Li Nanxing’s Mickey is not the only one at the exhibition holding sticks of faux satay. But his looks the most realistic. I think I read somewhere that the actor cut up pieces of sponge and burnt them to achieve this satay look. Top marks for effort, ok? Also, this Mickey, like a few others, is donning the ‘Good Morning, Singapore’ towel. But this one looks neat and clean.

Mickey by Melissa Tan

Mickey by Artist, Melissa Tan

It could easily have turned out cat-astrophic if attempted by anyone else. But because it’s the work of artist, Melissa Tan, it looks fabulous. Should be a piece any cat lover would treasure. I like how there’s a white cat in the pupil of Mickey’s left eye. ๐Ÿ˜€ More importantly, the cats all have tipped left ears – the tips of the left ears have been clipped to indicate that the cats have been sterilised, as is common among community cats in Singapore.

Mickey by Lester Lim

Mickey by Creative Director, Lester Lim

The inspiration behind this piece was the Grand Prix and Lester was aiming for a “retro vibed aesthetic”. The creativity of this Mickey figurine design is definitely miles ahead of many others. ๐Ÿ˜€

Mickey by Dennis Chew

Mickey by Dennis Chew

This Mickey is every driver’s nightmare! ๐Ÿ˜€ The parking attendant’s (or “summon auntie”) job is definitely one that’s been phased out (quite rapidly) with cashcard parking everywhere. It’s a good time to remember the cute auntie who often put fear in people’s hearts. ๐Ÿ˜€

Mickey by Zi Qi

Mickey by Artist, Zi Qi

It’s almost unfair to pit celebrities and normal folks against actual artists, no? ๐Ÿ˜€ In any case, this is artist Zi Qi’s contribution to the exhibition – Mickey as an ice cream. Should be placed next to the ice cream booth in Disneyland, or even Universal Studios Singapore! ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s that pretty!

Mickey by Gina Tan

Mickey by Actor/Singer, Gina Tan

This blinged-out Mickey is supposed to have “elements of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian”. So, go figure! I think that’s a songkok, and there are gold bangles, and what else? It’s too dazzling and my eyes hurt. And oh! It’s placed, unfortunately, next to an escalator so itchy fingers have already removed some of the sequins on Mickey’s left shoe. Pity!

Mickey by Janice Ling

Mickey by Student, Janice Ling Li Ying

I like the stars on Mickey’s cheeks. And that Merlion theme – it’s a must-have, no? And those YouTube and Instagram logos on Mickey’s hand? I’m not sure. I wish I can feel it in my bones. I’m guessing social media has put information within easy reach.

Mickey by James Seah

Mickey by Actor, James Seah

“Phua Chu Kang Mickey. Best in Singapore and the whole wide world” reads the caption. ๐Ÿ˜€ This Mickey will definitely bring a smile to any Singaporean’s face. I like that James included the obiang gold chains.

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So there you go! My Top 10 Best Dressed Mickey Mouse Figurines list. ๐Ÿ˜€ I do actually have one Mickey on my Worst Dressed list. I’ve been contemplating whether I should share a picture of it (the ‘artist’ might get upset, right?). But I guess art and especially “fashion sense” is highly subjective. So… *deep breath*, here we go…

Mickey worst dressed

On Mickey’s ears are the characters that form the word for ‘Xinyao’ – “a genre of songs that is unique to Singapore. It is a contemporary Mandarin vocal genre that emerged and rise to fame in Singapore between late 1970s to 1980s” according to Wikipedia. Then there are names of some singer-songwriters repeated here and there and titles of songs.

At first glance, I thought someone had put some kind of potent curse on Mickey. What with the red between and above his eyes. Really unfortunate, I think.

I’ll be honest. I actually wondered (hopefully not out loud) why this Mickey was allowed to be placed in this exhibition. It’s as non-inclusive as one can get – how will the Malays, Indians, Eurasians, and many others e.g. tourists know what this is all about? Why not just write “O$P$” in red across Mickey’s forehead? More ‘local’ and just about anyone who has lived here for some time will know what it represents. ๐Ÿ˜›

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I do think that the gift store at Raffles City should sell a miniature of this Mickey figurine so people who visit the exhibition can purchase one and decorate it. I think I’ll be happy to shell out S$50 or more for one. And then upload a picture of it on IG to take part in Raffles City’s contest. Wouldn’t that be more meaningful than getting cushions and tshirts and water bottles? That said, I did get some wristlets and pouches! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

That’s all from me. Do you have a favorite Mickey figurine from the exhibition? I’m curious about how much you’ll pay for it in an auction! ๐Ÿ˜€