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Exploring Tiong Bahru: Cupcakes at Plain Vanilla, Strangelets, Books Actually

By | Food, Home / Lifestyle, Shopping, Sweet Treats | 6 Comments

Plain Vanilla.

I’m quite new to cupcakes, you know. I remember tasting my first – at Guerlain’s launch of their La Petite Robe Noir and that was just a few years ago. I was amazed by how awesome and searched for cupcakes – and the one that I fell so super, duper deeply in love with… Plain Vanilla.

I never thought I could love anything other than Red Velvet till I tried their White Chocolate Strawberry, with a cream + dried strawberry centre. PERFECTION.

Some found it too sweet (I have to admit, it is quite sweet at times) but the best way to down this is with a cup of tea and you balance out the sweetness! May I suggest Earl Grey too? Haha.

Ever since they opened this outlet in Tiong Bahru I’ve been meaning to visit but was thrown off by the limited parking lots in TB area, till I realized that PV is located in a very convenient location actually, it’s pretty near an exit of the carpark, where Nana & Bird is located.

Prior to visiting I didn't even so much as take a peek of how their store looked like on their facebook page, so I was really swept away by the sweet decor! Bicycles outside. Check. Bunches of dried something (Lavender ah?) hanging over the front of the shop.. and the inside.. oooh.

Prior to visiting I didn’t even so much as take a peek of how their store looked like on their facebook page, so I was really swept away by the sweet decor! Bicycles outside. Check. Bunches of dried something (Lavender ah?) hanging over the front of the shop.. and the inside.. oooh.

So, Plain Vanilla at Tiong Bahru doesn’t just sell cupcakes – there’s also other bakes, refreshing drinks, party decor (mason jars, striped straws and even greeting cards), cookware and seasoning!

Outdoor bench - no indoor seating at the moment, unfortunately!

Outdoor bench – no indoor seating at the moment, unfortunately!

It's a nice place to sit down, have a cupcake and just chill!

It’s a nice place to sit down, have a cupcake and just chill!

And best of all, there’s a huge square table for you to sit down at and just do your thing or chill with your friends. There’s even a little play area for children, which is just beside a comfy bench!

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Notebooks, books & greeting cards too!

Notebooks, books & greeting cards too!

Teas available <3

Teas available <3

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Wooden cookware

Wooden cookware

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If you ever drop by PV, don’t forget to pick up the White Chocolate Strawberry! Introduced it to Trisha and Yina and they LOVE it. I like it more than their red velvet even! ; )

PV’s cupcakes are $3.50 for one, or $19 for 6. They also do customizing and deliveries, all information can be found on their website here: www.plainvanillabakery.com. They are closed on Mondays.

Exploring Tiong Bahru, Part 2

Strangelets is a quirky store along Yong Siak, and they sell fashion accessories, stationery, children’s gifts and even candles & tea sets!

On display, curious figures around broken porcelain pieces

On display, curious figures around broken porcelain pieces

Gazel the sunny mor-dahl

Gazel the sunny mor-dahl

The shop features quite a number of items by local designers and the HDB plates are something I've been dying to get and keep! 家里没有位子 ; (

The shop features quite a number of items by local designers and the HDB plates are something I’ve been dying to get and keep! 家里没有位子 ; (

A shelf full of prettily patterned chinaware!

A shelf full of prettily patterned chinaware!

These notepads.. If only i were working in an office, I would totally get them!

These notepads.. If only i were working in an office, I would totally get them!

All the way from Paris - I sniffed all the candles and was disappointed that I couldn't find a scent I liked or I would have carted one home cos of how pretty the label looks!

All the way from Paris – I sniffed all the candles and was disappointed that I couldn’t find a scent I liked or I would have carted one home cos of how pretty the label looks!

More random knick-knacks, including some childrens' toys...

More random knick-knacks, including some childrens’ toys…

Like these "alphabet" blocks! I really like them.

Like these “alphabet” blocks! I really like them.

Very nice leather woven bracelets!

Very nice leather woven bracelets!

Fabric tape with glitter!

Fabric tape with glitter!

Hehehe I can totally see my hairstylists using this

Hehehe I can totally see my hairstylists using this

Could get this for my husband lol

Could get this for my husband lol

Strangelets is located at 7 Yong Siak Street, and they’re opened daily till 8 pm (sometimes they open at 10am, some days at 11). Visit their website here!

Beside Strangelets, there’s also Books Actually, one of the more prominent shops along Yong Siak street, thanks to the beautifully hand drawn decor.

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They actually don’t just sell books – once you wander in-store and delve deep, you’ll find plenty of vintage items, ranging from records, rattan baskets, to glasses and even old photographs! They have the largest selection of vintage glasses I have EVER seen. When I have my own home I’ll need a few of them, man.

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Did I mention that they have a house, no... shop-cat? Haha. Such pretty blue eyes!

Did I mention that they have a house, no… shop-cat? Haha. Such pretty blue eyes!

Them bookcases look like they could have hidden treasures somewhere - makes me wanna dig for books and special finds.

Them bookcases look like they could have treasures hidden somewhere – makes me wanna dig for books and special finds.

How cute?! They carry plenty of local works.

How cute?! They carry plenty of local works.

 

See the little entrace, jus tunder "Gift Ideas?" Btw, it's a step down - I almost fell down and crashed into the crates of glasses, so be careful!

See the little entrace, jus tunder “Gift Ideas?”
Btw, it’s a step down – I almost fell down and crashed into the crates of glasses, so be careful!

Wine crates used as shelves, full of vintage glasses! By the way, it seems like the entire row of Yong Siak shops makes use of Wine crates heavily - from PV to Strangelets to Woods in the Books to Books Actually! Are they all getting some kind of good deal somewhere?!

Wine crates used as shelves, full of vintage glasses! By the way, it seems like the entire row of Yong Siak shops makes use of Wine crates heavily – from PV to Strangelets to Woods in the Books to Books Actually! Are they all getting some kind of good deal somewhere?!

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飘呀飘呀~ 飘向云天

飘呀飘呀~ 飘向云天

You can find Books Actually’s flagship store at 9 Yong Siak St – They’re open daily, mostly till 9pm except for Mon & Sunday, when they shut their doors at 6pm. Website here!

This concludes the end of my TB exploration for now, till I head back again for more makan! ; ) Please drop me a note if you know of any nice places for brunch or sweet treats!

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I got my limited edition Washi Tapes from MT Expo Singapore!

By | Fun, Home / Lifestyle, Life, Shopping | No Comments

Whoop whoop! I chanced upon the mailer quite by accident (I don’t usually read ION’s mailing list that thoroughly) but when I saw it I was like, MUST GO!!! And go I did!

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MT Expo Singapore
26 July – 11 August (2013)
10:30am – 9.30pm
ION Sky, Level 4 (ION Orchard)

The initial plan was to head there during the afternoon with Trisha, but plans changed and I joined Yina for an early dinner instead – only headed down to ION only at dinner time. Braved the jam and decided to valet so that I have more time to enjoy looking at the washi tapes! (Ridiculous much)

And believe it or not, we spent an entire hour at the expo. (Even more ridiculous when the expo is not any bigger than the smallest H&M in Singapore)

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You’ll be greeted by an explosion of colors everywhere in the expo/exhibition! SUPER CHEERFUL and it really did cheer up the rest of my evening as I slowly savored the entire exhibition, bit by bit haha.

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The entire hallway was taped with washi tapes! And the pillars were full of happy, colorful prints!

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And so were the decorations! The little beach balls are actually made of washi tapes – please do not squeeze them! (The huge balls are also made with washi tapes, don’t lean on them!)

First thing I did? ZOOMED IN ON THE LIMITED EDITION WASHI TAPES.

Initially (before the expo) I was like oh cheh it’s just tape. I had the vision of say maybe the red merlion on white tape. Sorta like a washi rendition of our plastic bags with the Merlion print on it (that would be cool haha).

But then Trisha told me there was BATIK and she also included the magic words “SOLD OUT” and I panicked a little! I was thinking to myself, “Shit, we HAVE to get there NOW. Why do I have to pee before heading in!? And why the hell is the toilet so far away from the expo!?”

Pee aside, here – the only two Singapore LE designs that were left at the expo (there were two more LE designs at the expo, but I wasn’t interested in any of the designs lol)

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The kebaya/batik print with multiple languages on them!

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The Peranakan prints GOT ME AT FIRST SIGHT. I grabbed all 3 for myself! (You are only allowed a maximum of 3 per limited edition design!)

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The five Singapore Limited Edition Washi Tapes available at the MT expo. Only the Peranakan and Batik ones were left as of yesterday – I think they’ll be wiped out today. I’ve heard that the stars one would be restocked earliest Wednesday… and I’M GONNA BE THERE FOR IT.

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I picked up the star one! ; ) MT for kids are snaller rolls – my guess is so that they’ll fit into kids’ hands nicely. But that doesn’t mean the very old me cannot buy one home!

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MOUNTAIN!

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Almost purchase the wax seals one, but put it back at the last minute. Phew.

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There were also longer and wider washi tapes for you to decorate bigger items – check out the tapes on the wall!

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Other than the tapes on sale, there were also books and tools for the tapes!

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How to have fun with masking tape – I wished I had more time to flip through the book – I sure need some good ways to use up all the tape I have! Maybe I’ll go paste it all over my camera like Yina did ; D

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There’s also a free washi corner – you’re free to stick and use the tapes whatever way you want! I saw a girl gleefully sticking her entire phone with the tapes, haha. I would have totally done that if my casing wasn’t bejewelled! The washi tapes are reusable so you can actually tear some of the tape off (please be considerate and not take the entire roll of tape!) and bring it home for some minor decorating (or if you are an avid tape collector!).

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Some ideas of what you can do with tape. Gift wrapping, decorating…

And eh, what’s this?

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There were two gacha machines at the back of the room, and Trisha very quickly explained that you have to purchase tokens to be fed into the machines – it’s $2.50 for a token and you’ll get gachapons with random tape designs inside.

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And also randomly packed were WINNING SLIPS. Lady luck was definitely with us that night – we scored like 5 lucky slips! (We purchased a total of $40 worth of tokens. Yes more ridiculous amounts of money spent on frivolous things. It’s okay you don’t have to understand because I don’t either. It’s the thrill of gachas.)

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… and also the thrill of getting MORE limited edition tapes which CANNOT be purchased!

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There were two boxes full of limited edition tapes from other expos – and I very easily settled on 2 that I wanted!

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Make a good guess on what designs I’ve picked XD

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And even more exciting information!

  • Spend $25 min and get to join their daily lucky dip! I have no idea what you’ll get for winning please get lucky anyway!
  • Spend $50 and get a free MT Tape bag! It’s canvas, and it’s tiny – can’t fit A4 but good enough to hold two bottles of mineral water!

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Thank you Trisha for the great company!! I think we are the super bad influences for each other – first nail polish (thankfully I’ve stopped), and now this!

Nah, what I brought home!

The bag is in the background so yes, I hit $50… on tapes. : x

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MT Wrap was something I’ve always wanted to get all along – they’re actually patterned sheets with adhesive at the sides of the roll so you can cut to your desired size, into an envelope / pouch of sorts and use it to store things like cards small items which aren’t too bulky! There were two sizes available and I took the bigger one which was going for $26.90.

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These are the little rolls of tapes I got from the Gacha machine! They’re evidently much smaller than even MT Kids – the full sized ones are for sale, though! ; D Thank you Trisha for gifting me the teal one!

I can’t wait to decorate my scrapbook and instaxs with these tapes! *reminds self to bring the instax out more often!*

— bitchy side rant, skip if you’re not into ramblings —

After attending the expo Trisha and I left to pick up Yina for supper/dinner round 2, and I was super hungry by then because I only had one slab of fish + french toast so far for the entire day. We went over to River South Hoe Nam for the best prawn noodles ever, but to our dismay, they were closed – seriously they need to stop being so erratic with their opening hours – and then we decided to head somewhere near Trish’s and my home, and the answer was Bukit Timah’s Boon Tong Kee.

We circled the entire area’s carpark twice and it was ALL full. We were super hungry by then and it was already 11pm! And while waiting for a car to vacant their lot (drivers just got in), the car behind me wanted to steal it. So I was quite pissed and was ready to fight him for it, until we both realized that there was another car coming out and so we just patiently waited for it. Both of us kindly decided to let another car pass and guess what? THAT !$##%% STOLE OUR LOT. WTF? I got really pissed and honked him to death but the dude just calmly turned off his lights and car engine and then even STARED at me while they strolled off. WTF?

To the two guys who came out from that said car and parked in my lot at UPPER BUKIT TIMAH / CHEONG CHIN NAM ROAD – dude, THAT WAS NOT NICE AT ALL. We were nice enough to let you pass by first but instead you stole my lot? DID YOU NOT SEE TWO CAR’S HAZARD LIGHTS? Seriously. SGJ867E you LOT STEALER! Pui! I should have decorated your car with eggs! (No I didn’t. I’m very nice, even though Yina seriously contemplated confronting him.) All I wanted was DINNER!

Because these figures do not come by from just losing weight.

Keeping Fit with Amore Fitness – Part 2

By | Home / Lifestyle, Keeping Fit, Life | 3 Comments

… continuing from part 1 here!

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Here comes the toughest part. Your diet.
I’m not talking about crash dieting or going on a water detox programme, ya? That’s unhealthy.

You can work out 3 times a week, but if you eat like there’s no tomorrow, there’s no way you can shed those flab off your arms or waist.
I learnt that the hard way when I went on a one week break and had a feast in Thailand!!! I didnt work out for a good 1.5 weeks and actually gained more fat *sobs*

Your diet makes up 70% of weight loss – and I had to cut down my staple carbo rice and noodle intake – beehoon is not any healthier but a better alternative to yellow noodles, and brown rice is healthier than brown rice. And I tell you, THE URGE TO EAT CARBS, oh god. I have this INSANE bread and potato craving after cutting down noodles and rice! I don’t even usually take potatoes!

Adieu...

Adieu…

Replace white bread with multigrain bread, cut off your soft drinks intake because sugar = carb, say goodbye to cakes, cupcakes, pizza, and pasta (unless you eat the healthy kind) and switch to healthier alternative like soups.

Thankfully, I LOVE soups and I can have soup all day long.
Soup spoon’s my favorite eatery now, and you will not be able to believe how much money they’ve gotten from me within that 3 months time.

By the end of this you’ll probably be asking. Then diet can liao what, exercise for what?
To tone up, to raise metabolism, to help you to lose excess weight faster, to build muscle for definition. FOR STRENGTH.

Because these figures do not come by from just losing weight.

Because these figures do not come by from just losing weight.


Do you have any idea how much sugar are there in the food you eat?

“Be mindful that on packaged food, ‘no added sugar’ doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no sugar at all; the product may in fact already contain large amounts of naturally occurring sugar. Some foods have high levels of sugar, but provide vital nutrients. For example breakfast cereal, yoghurt, and fresh and dried fruit.” – link to article here.

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You get the drift. Eat well, eat right. Eat less sugar, less salt, give yourself an occasional cheat day (I do it to prevent myself from going nuts), read labels, count calories if you must (ONE single macaroon is 110 calories!! I could eat 6 in a single seating leh!!) and PUT DOWN THAT FAST FOOD BURGER!!!

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Now, let’s get back to working out.

I was really glad that they assigned Nani, our Private Trainer to us, so that we could ask her questions (which we did every time we saw her) and she was such a joy to have around even if seeing her meant that I’ll be sweating and cursing away while she made me do non stop push ups for 3 sets of 45 seconds.

Our usual 1 hour workout session usually consists of her asking us “how’s your diet?”, and 5-10 minutes of warm up by running/jogging on the treadmill. Make sure you have a light breakfast at least 1 hour before your workout.

Then after, she will tekan(torture) us with various kinds of training, like weight training – squats and lunges with barbells and medicine balls to work on our lower bodies, planks for 45 seconds for core strength, curls and pushups for our triceps and biceps and back, mountain climbers and we would alternate between using our own body weight, the machines or the trx straps.

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It’s great having Nani to guide us, telling us how much weight we should use, how many reps and aiding us on how to use the machines so that we don’t end up injuring ourselves, but yet push ourselves the furthest we can without breaking our bodies. Picked up tonnes of tips and ticks to do on the exercise ball – finally, I can do something without falling off it, haha! She also corrected my posture while doing push ups and planks – which was really helpful. I have an UBER weak core and it was important that I don’t do it the wrong way.

After all that vigorous training, we have to stretch so that we don’t get cramps. After that, we usually see if we have the time to join in a class or two (usually just one, haha) depending on how intense our workout was.

Amore Fitness Classes

Amore Fitness Classes consists of:

    • Amore Signature Blitz classes
    • Cardiovascular and toning classes
    • Dance classes
    • Body.Mind.Soul classes
    • Introductory classes

Amore’s signature classesCardioBlitz, BodBlitz, CardioLatino, BollyBlitz, FunkBlitz, BellyBlitz and stepBlitz are pretty intensive and fun, specially tailored by their instructors and they burn a good amount of energy per hour class – e.g. CardioLatino – 210 kcal, BollyBlitz 278 kcal, BellyBlitz 176 kcal, BodBlitz 278kcal etc. * these figures are calcualted based on my weight and fat mass – everyone has different results and you can see the calories on your BCA.

My favorite classes would be Pilates, StretchFit and it was a pity I couldn’t make it for Kickboxing due to conflicting schedules (I prefer afternoon classes). I love Lara’s classes, and I’ve heard of a famous instructor whom the ladies actually follow everywhere cos his class is just so fun!

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From time to time, Amore would arrange for themed/special classes for their members, and in November, Yina and I attended their Retro class which saw us grooving to music from Bananarama, Belinda Carlise and I felt like I was in Zouk on Wednesday for Mambo Night! The instructor was a hoot as well.

Dieting and Gymming goes hand in hand for a healthier you and a more effective workout regime. I found this infogram about eating right for working out and wanted to share it with everyone!

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Pants are looser. Hell yeah.

Andddd the results from all these gymming sessions? I haven’t dropped an entire size (more on that later), and I haven’t lost kilos (remember what I said about 5lbs of muscle taking less space than 5lbs of fats?) but there is definite improvement on the overall.

BCA Comparisons after 1 month!

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This was just after 1 month of eating clean, and going for classes 2x a week!

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And after 3 months, we measured ourselves again
Chest: 85cm -> 82cm [3cm loss]
Waist: 68cm -> 63cm [5cm loss]
Hips: 88cm -> 86cm [2cm loss]
Thigh: 44cm -> 40cm [4cm loss]

I ACHIEVED MY GOAL OF REDUCING THE FATS ON MY LEGS!!!
YES!! ALL THOSE KILLER LUNGES WERE WORTH IT!!
*tears of joy*

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Other than having a slightly perkier butt, I noticed an overall improvement in other things too!

  • I have better stability when walking in heels. (though, walking in heels weakens your core)
  • I’m not so tired anymore – I used to get really lethargic but now I have much more energy
  • My back doesn’t ache as much anymore after continuous walking (I used to have bad back problems)
  • I can sleep better these days
  • I actually don’t hate running that much anymore (especially if I’m watching tv shows while doing that)

On the overall? IT WAS ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT.

I feel good inside and look better outside, and I am also actually armed with more knowledge about working out and what exercises I can do myself at home and I feel so, so so much better these days without all that lethargy.

ILOVEAMORE


Thank you so much, Amore Fitness!

(Thanks, Kai, Hayden, Nani and Immelia!)
17th Dec actually marked the last day of our PT session – I’m gonna go concentrate on having kids!

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If you want to experience all sore muscles, and start keeping fit, move quickly!

From 20th Dec 2012 to 10th Jan 2013, quote ‘Amore Evonne’ at any of Amore Fitness’ fitness outlets to enjoy a 1 week unlimited fitness pass! No personal training with this pass, but you can enjoy their awesome classes (kickboxing, kickboxing! 462 calories burnt for one hour session!). Go try out their classes now and get fitter before you start all your Christmas, New Year’s and CNY feasting!

Alternatively, if you don’t mind paying a little for a slightly better deal, for the month of December they actually have a promotion going on till the end of December!

The $78 Holistic Wellness Package includes:
– Body Composition Analysis
– 2 Weeks Unlimited Fitness Package
– Botaroma Swedish Massage

If anyone recalls, I said something about naturally skinny people bulking up – yes, you skinny people (I’m looking at you, Felicia N and Peiling!!!) can bulk up at the gym too, by doing the right exercises! Get a personal trainer to give you advice on what to do and what not to do – Our Personal trainer, Nani, was actually very very skinny – but she bulked up just a little bit, she’s still fairly lean now, but very much toner and she looks really healthy! Go for a BCA and determine if you need a personal trainer to help out – Good luck!!!

Bye bye Nani! See you soon for *healthy* lunch someday!

Bye bye Nani! See you soon for *healthy* lunch someday!

I don’t think this will be the last you will see of me and Yina… But, thank you so much for taking part in this with me, Yina!
Really happy to have bonded with you more over the last 3 months (I think see till almost sick already hahaha) YZ, I’m returning your Yina to you lah!! ; p

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Keeping Fit with Amore Fitness – Part 1

By | Home / Lifestyle, Keeping Fit, Life | 3 Comments

You know how some couples end up getting fat together because they’re happy together? It’s true.

When I met Yang, I wasn’t exactly stick thin, but thin enough. I was 42kg – at my lowest, I was 39 or 40 kg? It may sound alarming, but sheesh, I’m just 1.54m tall yo. And to be honest – deep down inside I was really unhealthy and unhappy back when I was at my skinniest. As the years spent with Yang passed by I realized that my husband was getting more and more rotund. And oh god. So was I!!!!!

at around 40-42kg (was one of my skinniest times lol) you can see my arms were much smaller and i was er, flaunting them hahaha. i've always had problems with losing weight on the top half of my body and these pictures were totally not photoshopped!

at around 40-42kg (was one of my skinniest times lol) you can see my arms were much smaller and i was er, flaunting them hahaha. i’ve always had problems with losing weight on the top half of my body and these pictures were totally not photoshopped!

2011. OH GOD THE HORROR. This was for Shiseido's mailer. I have no idea how I looked that big in the photos.

2011. OH GOD THE HORROR. This was for Shiseido’s mailer. I have no idea how I looked that big in the photos.

I used to be able to wear size 32 shorts (going by UK sizing) – and now I need a size 36. THAT’S TWO SIZES. 2. DUA. TWO! It was really depressing for quite some time but I wasn’t eating _that_ much! : (

For you entertainment only okay.
This was how I looked like when I was trying out wedding dresses hahahahaha admittedly this was a super horrible shot of me taken by my unprofessional husband. (I should have called off the wedding when he uploaded this picture!!! wahlao!)

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A little history about my lifestyle.

I work late. I do design. I prefer working at night. So usually, for the past 7 years of my life (or more), I’ve been sleeping at 3-5am, and waking up at 11am-12pm-ish, eating my 3 meals a day still (supper counts) and I absolutely HATE exercising – especially RUNNING. I abhor it. I’d rather dissect a frog than run my 2.4 in secondary school.

I know I’m not fat-fat, obese fat, but I have a muffin top and flabby back. That coupled with flabby arms which I have lived with all my life. But, when my thighs started to buah against each other while walking, I knew it was time to do something about it.

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And along came Amore Fitness.

I was offered a 3 month gym membership + private training sessions, and all I needed was a gym buddy.

And since my time was up to me to manage, I needed to find someone who had a rather flexible schedule.

And that person ended up to be Yina – ran her own blogshop, could schedule her own work time – Check. Want to tone up / lose weight – check. Easy to get along with – check!

(For people who don’t know – Yina and I actually go way back. We met at least a good ten years ago on an online anime forum, and she excelled in art (even till now!) while I was a… Hobbyist heh. We were never more than acquaintances back then, but we started running into each other at events and we’re much closer now!)

Having a gym buddy is the best motivational tool, other than if:
i. you’re constantly being laughed at for being fat
ii. your other half is also losing weight.

In which case, my other half was completely nua for quite a while so I’m glad Yina was there for me the whole 3 months!

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We both eat healthy lunches after gymming (try having soup spoon almost every time I see her), and encourage each other (and also take cheat days together, haha). Seeing her lose weight motivates me – it also helps that she runs from time to time, and encourages me to run further if I can because she has more stamina.

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Amore Fitness has been around since 1985 – that’s a really, really long time and a testament of how successful this fitness chain is – it is as old as I am!

It started out as a women’s only gym and still primarily is one, but to cater to women with families who still wish to work out, they’ve made their newest CitySquare mall branch into a family oriented one with a kid-fit club, which has planned activities for your kids while you work out – there’s even a wii for the kids to play with! For those who love the water, Amore at Tampines also has a swimming pool and offers aqua aerobic classes! I wish they’d bring that to the west, too.

“Today, Amore has 17 fitness and spa clubs strategically located island-wide, with over 500 fitness classes to choose from every week complemented with a wide array of spa, facial and body treatments!

Wellness comes closer with Amore Boutique Spa, a Category One licensed spa holder for its quality standards, service excellence and professionalism. An extension to the family is Amore Define, share with your loved ones the secret to luxurious spa pampering, for both him and her.

Into the next leap of fitness revolution, the dynamic business presents Amore Living that integrates elements of varied lifestyles, wellness and fitness for the whole family. It serves as a perfect bonding platform for today’s modern family who are hip, savvy and young at heart. More than keeping fit, it’s keeping pace with your loved ones. ”

With the exception of Amore Plaza Singapura, which is in town, Amore has many branches which are located in many of the heartland areas – Jurong Point, Tampines, Heartland Mall, Thomson Plaza, Woodlands Civic Centre, and Bugis junction, all easily accessible by the MRT.

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Yina and I chose Bugis Junction because of it’s proximity, food choices in the area, shopping (there’s Kinokuniya!) and also *ahem* availability of parking lots.

I really like the fact that Amore is mainly a women’s only gym, which makes me more at ease. They have all the basic facilities – showers, steam room, lockers, and a station for you to freshen yourself up after some intensive gymming – hairdryer, cotton swabs / buds and tissues. The place is also always kept clean and smells really good (lemongrass, I believe!).

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Gym equipment are always clean, well placed and there’s sunlight peeking into the gym since the gym is located on the 3rd level and Bugis Junction was built in a way to let sunlight come through, which I really liked! One thing I really liked was that this branch has laminated floors instead of those rubbery mats.

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They also have really spacious and clean studios – I’ve visited branches at Heartland Mall, Plaza Singapura and Bugis Junction and I love how the staff are always friendly and instructors are always very encouraging, especially Lara who teaches Pilates and Stretch fit – her figure is my biggest inspiration at the gym, haha.

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HAHAHA this #gymbunny hashtag is an ongoing joke between me and Yina. Ahem.

Since I’ve NEVER gone exercising before, my wardrobe has everything (boots platforms slippers heels) but exercising shoes and clothes, so I set myself on a shopping trip!

Scored myself a decent pair of running shoes (Lunarlon!) from the Nike Factory Outlet – West Coast Plaza has quite a few outlet stores for workout clothes and grabbed a few from Cotton On.

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I initially bought a so called yoga sports bra from CottonOn Active, but have come to realize that it was of meh material and offered no support whatsoever. It is extremely important to get proper support for your boobs while you’re running or exercising! I hated those typical sports bras because it was so hard to wear, take off and I had a difficult time breathing cos of the nonadjustable elastic band. was really glad to have found this gem Impression Lingerie – their Sports Bras are SUPER comfy, and the straps are adjustable too! There are hooks on the back to attach tighter/looser, so wearing this is a breeze as compared to squeezing myself into nonadjustable sport bras.

Amore Fitness also has a small selection of sports wear for sale, in case you forgot yours or need a new one or two!

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I knew I wanted to tone up and slim down, but I wasn’t sure which exercise to do – cycling makes your thighs big, swimming makes your arms broader, blablabla… so exactly what should I do? I tried those gym ball exercises at home – but fell flat on my back and hurt myself instead haha.

Was glad that Amore Fitness paired us up with our own Personal Trainer, Nani, who did a fitness assessment + body composition analysis (BCA) for us, and specifically asked us about our target areas, problems etc and she was a delight to work out with (despite all the torture sessions haha)!

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The fitness assessment determined our heart rate + our flexibility, and she also took our measurements (height, weight, arms, chest, thighs etc). Because I’m not obese or fat to begin with, losing “weight” / toning up for me meant that I use my clothes and inches as a measurement instead of the actual weight.

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While looking at the scales is a good indication of how much weight I’ve gained, it is not a number to look at when you’re trying to lose fat, and exercising right because you will burn fat, and gain muscle. Especially for me, since I have super low muscle mass!

Plus, we all know 5 pounds of muscle takes up less space than 5pounds of fat!

image from http://acchupehsprogram.blogspot.sg/2012/04/busting-health-and-fitness-myths.html

image from http://acchupehsprogram.blogspot.sg/2012/04/busting-health-and-fitness-myths.html

The BCA takes into account your height, weight, and tells you your current BMI (body mass index), WHM (weight mass ratio), PBF (percentage body fat) against the normal range, and how much weight you have to put on/lose, etc.

Apparently, though my weight is normal, I have an alarmingly high PBF (it was 36.4% against 28% which is the normal range!!!) and extremely low SMM (skeletal muscle mass) – 15.2 vs 18.4 ~ 22.5 which was the normal range. YIKES!

(I also got a blood test done separately and turns out I have borderline high cholesterol – yes, at my age and at my size. Because… I love eggs, potato chips and seafood.)

The BCA also tells you how much energy expenditure aere each of Amore’s signature classes (1 hr) for your weight – for me, 30 mins of kickboxing burns 232 calories! I’m totally regretting that I never got a chance or time to try this out. Pilates burns about 82 calories per 30mins, CardioBlitz burns 162 every 30 mins and AquaAerobics, 105 every 30 mins! Wah!

So where do I start?

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Some people are pear shaped, some apple, whereas I am… the inverted triangle.

what shape are you?  image from http://thestyleaficionado.com/2009/11/identifing-your-body-shape-women/

what shape are you?
image from http://thestyleaficionado.com/2009/11/identifing-your-body-shape-women/

It is important to know your body shape and identify target areas to lose weight.

I know that I am top heavy – basically it is much, much harder for me to lose weight on top (all my weight gain goes to the top) and I never had huge legs, so to actually have my thighs rub against each other when I walk (the horror) means that I am gaining way too much weight due to inactivity and slowing metabolism. THAT HAS TO GO!

So when Nani asked me what are my problems, I said… “I want to lose weight, be healthy for pregnancy/childbirth, strengthen my core (I have a weak core), and especially, I need my thighs to stop touching each other!”

That’s right. I am actually intending to conceive and like any other woman, I’m deathly afraid of not being to able to shed the postpartum weight. Better to tune up my slowing metabolism first, right?

Nani is actually certified at training pregnant woman to keep fit – how’s that?! I actually have half a mind to go look for her at Amore if I ever have a problem with weight gain during a future pregnancy XD

This is getting too long, so I’m breaking this into 2-3 parts! I’ll post part 2 up soon!

One week pass at Amore Fitness for you!

If you’re interested in getting healthy, but lost on what to do, and where to start, get a consultation with any of the personal trainers at an Amore branch near you to understand your body first – the results might be shocking (and also confusing) – sit down, and let them explain how they can help you. It’s always best to hear words of advice from a professional.

From 20th Dec 2012 to 10th Jan 2013, quote ‘Amore Evonne’ at any of Amore Fitness’ fitness outlets to enjoy a 1 week unlimited fitness pass! No personal training with this pass, but you can enjoy their awesome classes (kickboxing, kickboxing! 462 calories burnt for one hour session!). Go try out their classes now and get fitter before you start all your Christmas, New Year’s and CNY feasting!

Alternatively, if you don’t mind paying a little for a slightly better deal, for the month of December they actually have a promotion going on till the end of December!

The $78 Holistic Wellness Package includes:
– Body Composition Analysis
– 2 Weeks Unlimited Fitness Package
– Botaroma Swedish Massage

Head over and check out the promo now if you’re interested! Good luckkkk!

Some motivational quotes to keep you going (or get you started!)

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Note: I do not promote people being unhealthily skinny – I know some people cannot help it and are born skinny – actually, that can be worked on, but that’s a story for another day. I do not recommend crash dieting, or starving yourself because that is just plain unhealthy.

Sir Antonio beckons.

The Tiramisu Hero ❤ Grammah Opening!

By | Food, Fun, Home / Lifestyle, Shopping, Sweet Treats | No Comments

TheTiramisuHero is an online “bakery” started by Peggy (sixpegs) and previously, you could only order the food online – but they’ve progressed on to selling their wares at a physical space!

Dearest Peggy invited some of us (Yina, Jayne and I) over to the opening of her little space as well as the shop opening where Sir Antonio’s little corner is located in! (Erm, does that make sense?)

Sir Antonio beckons you in.

Grammah aka 我的阿妈 (actually, I think it’s written 嬷…)

The Tiramisu Hero’s corner in Grammah!

Go straight for the 杂货店 for nostalgic items and snacks!

Somebody’s grandma’s IC. ; )

大哥大,旧照片,旧相机… ❤

Yina, Me & Peggy! Thank you so much for inviting me dear!!!

You know where to go to get your tiramisu fix!

Nonnahero NOM NOM NOM! At this size, it’s best to share between 2-3 people…

Peggy’s Tiramisu creations are delightful and easy to carry around with the string handles – and the cupcake sized miniheroes are great for parties (ordered some for my cousin’s birthday), plus they can be customized – for kids, no alcohol, for me, extra creamy (and sinful!) and such!

The Tiramisus can be kept for up to 1 week in the fridge, and 1 month in the freezer – Of course I recommend eating it fresh, but as you know I’m on a diet, so….. I eat half, close the cap back in and throw it back into the fridge for tomorrow XD The jars really come in handy for this hahaha. And Nonnaheroes are sooooooo huge… I think I may tapao a few for Christmas gatherings to share!

I looooooooveee the shop. It just brings me back to the 90’s…

Vintage bags, clothing embellishments, the cute lamps at the cashier and omg those doll figurines!!!

Toy Soldier necklaces, sewing machine chops (which says “happy birthday” haha), My Little Ponies and SUPER OLD 电视广播周刊 MAGAZINE featuring Pan Ling Ling on the cover!

We were all given $66 each to shop, and this must be the quirkiest loot of this year.

I got…

An old school looking beer tray (but it’s actually very very very new haha) feauturing a bull dog, Lord Brian.

Mamee! Bee Bee! Ling Mong tablets for my mummy : D I recalled her eating loads of this when I was younger

Studs and Rivets for personalizing my clothes with XD
They were going at $0.10 – $0.15 for each stud, and Grammah has a huge variety to choose from. My favorite were the stars (in two different colors)!

Mini bucket bag! This is so tiny and cute – it’s only $10!

Love the grey color which goes with almost everything, and the pattern!

Read more about Grammah on this AsiaOne article! : )

Thank you Peggy for the MommaHeroes!! Super yums.

You can find Tiramisu Hero in a corner of Grammah, located at 66 Haji Lane.

TuttiHeroes (cake pops) are $3 each, MiniHeroes are $3.5 each, CuppaHeroes are $6.50 each, MommaHeroes are $7.50 each and NonnaHeroes – made for sharing or a person who really loves tiramisu costs $17.50 each.

Follow Sir Antonio’s adventures on Instagram at @thetiramisuhero, on facebook, and visit their website at thetiramisuhero.com.

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