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Life

Shopback x VISA!

By | Life | No Comments

What can $100 get you in Singapore?

  • 3 MAC Lipsticks
  • A tank of gas for a Japanese car
  • Set lunch for two at Tatsuya
  • An Instax camera
  • An Apple Magic Mouse
  • 27 rolls of MT Masking Tape
  • Approximately 40 plates of chicken rice

Imagine how much more you could have gotten if you had shopped online via ShopBack – for a merchant with a 10% CashBack, spending $1000 equates to $100!

I would want to think that I’m one of the most “auntie” person in the groups I hang out with – especially when it comes to things like:

  • Shopping (you want what? I have 20% off!)
  • Carpark advice (don’t park here, very narrow – park here after 5, it’s only $3!)
  • Grocery Shopping (xx is cheaper, the pork in yy is more fresh, this place always got discounts)
  • Life Pro Tips (Put this in your car and there will never be cockroaches)

But when it came to online shopping, apparently I’m a dunce, because I don’t use ShopBack as much as my friends do.

D :

I’ve heard of ShopBack (they keep mentioning it in the chats), but I never really paid attention to it till my recent craze with chia seeds and then only realising that I could get it cheaper online via iHerb, and save even MORE with ShopBack! shopback

What ShopBack does is that it allows you to get back a portion of your shopping expenditure when you buy products through their online shopping aggregator service. With over 500 merchants from around the world, you can always get a great deal online – from clothing on ASOS, to getting electronics via Lazada (I’m looking at household stuff like steam irons and ovens!), booking accommodation and travel tickets with Expedia, and even purchase health food with iHerb!

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And using ShopBack is easy-peasy; simply

  1. Login to ShopBack’s website, and look for the merchants you’re keen on shopping with
  2. Click on the merchant logo, surf, and check out your items!
  3. The cashback will appear in your ShopBack account within 48 hours of payment
  4. Once it’s been validated by the merchant (no exchange/returns within 60 days), it will be redeemable.
  5. And then all you need to do is request for your payout (min $10) and it will be credited into your designated bank or paypal account!

(For more information on how ShopBack works, click here!)

I feel extremely late to the game – the site sees over 120,000 people per month using this service, but I am sooooo doing all my online shopping via ShopBack from now on!

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I shop often on ASOS, and I use Expedia / Hotels.com, as well as redmart for my heavy groceries. On the average in a month, my shopping can amount to approximately $2000, and that is not including holidays which would incur a larger credit card bill. IMAGINE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY I COULD HAVE GOTTEN BACK VIA SHOPBACK for the past YEAR I’ve not been using it, and what I could have done with it. Argh!  

Sweetening the deal is ShopBack’s collaboration with VISA, which allows you get up to 12% + extra 2% back from your online shopping!

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Guess who’s gonna get her groceries on RedMart (11% Cashback!) and watching movies at Cineleisure (4% Cashback) this weekend?!

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But wait… did you know that there are actually SUPERSIZED promotions on top of that? I did not realize it till I checked my email recently and that’s when this mailer was screaming my name, asking me to go shopping online:

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HELLO? It’s an extra Visa cashback perk for all Visa card holders! It’s a no brainer – you’d want to shop with ShopBack. Before I cleared my  chats there was one part where people were just talking about how much they’ve saved from using ShopBack… and I was hitting myself for not booking everything through ShopBack!

That just means that you really need to pay attention to your emails from ShopBack (unless you have friends like mine, who will make public service announcements hahaha)

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My job is done here, sharing this important piece of information with you – so bye for now guys, I’m gonna go get busy shopping (online)!

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28th May – Mummy, Happy Birthday!

By | Birthdays, Life | 2 Comments

My mummy turned 52 today.

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Had a great meal at Beauty In A Pot over at ONEKM – Other than their very obviously great collagen broth, I also love their mala (it’s a bit more herbal than spicy) and we all loved how we did not end up smelling like cooked food at the end of the session because of their fantastic ventilation! Props to the Paradise group for being so thoughtful.

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Mum: “Wah I look big in the photo!”
Me: “But you are big what… NO MORE SODA FOR YOU.”

Someone messaged me on SnapChat and said that my mum has pretty hair, like mine. I laughed and said that we both have the same unruly, curly hair.

Yup, I inherited my curls from the woman who sacrificed all the fun she could have by giving birth to me at a tender age of 21 years old.

Love you and Happy Birthday, Mummy!

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Take a step closer to your aspirations with PhilllipCapital

By | Life | No Comments

{ advertorial }

Even though I was a financial planner previously and passed my M5 & M9 exams, I wasn’t confident enough to tackle investments. I’ve always been more artistically inclined and bad at math, plus, it was such a broad and scary subject to me.

It still is. Please don’t trust me with splitting the bill. Hahaha.

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If you’ve asked me 5 years ago about investing, I would have said things like…

“Huh? Really can make money meh?”
“Will lose money not?”
“Wahlao my head hurts from hearing all these”
“I’m not good at math, it’s okay I’ll just marry someone who can invest hahahaha”

Back then, I wasn’t earning a stable income and I just decided that such things aren’t for me – I’m a low-risk taker, and conservative with my options.

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However, I’m no longer that bushy-tailed 21 year old girl I was. Things have changed – I’m earning a relatively stable income now, I now have many more responsibilities in my hands, and yes, I’ve gotten married – but not to someone who knows how to invest, hahaha. It’s okay, who says a girl can’t do it on her own?

Life isn’t exactly at a standstill, and I’m comfortable right now – but that doesn’t mean that I should ride along with it.

I’ve become a beauty blogger, I’ve taken up Japanese language lessons, I’ve picked up new hobbies… these are all a kind of investment – I invest my precious time in it to learn something new and useful to me, so why not learn how to make my money work for me too?

I believe that anyone can achieve what they want as long as they set their heart out to do it!

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When my manager sought out my interest in this advertorial, I think she was surprised herself to see me so interested in this – she caught me at the right time – I was just wondering where I could go or who I should consult to learn more about investment and making some passive income. In fact, me and my friends were having in the midst of a group chat discussion on that very same topic!

Everyone wants financial freedom – to be debt-free, to be able to afford all our wants and needs – and this can only be attained when you truly take charge of your assets and learn how to make it work for you. We all want to own our own property, and be able to provide for ourselves at old age and for the future generation – and you can make it happen by doing something about it! 

PhillipCapital is a company with over 40 years of financial expertise – you most definitely would have heard of it, but in case you haven’t, it’s proudly Singapore-made, with global presence in over 16 countries, and a partner in finance to over a million clients worldwide!

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And this year, to celebrate their 40th years of journey, they’re reaching out – share your inspiration with PhillipCapital, and they may just surprise you with help on achieving it and bringing it a step closer to reality!

I took my first step by attending a financial course to gain better understanding of the different options I have to build a solid and well-rounded portfolio at this point in life – did you know that PhillipCapital holds many financial courses at Phillip Investor Centres around Singapore, which makes it convenient for you no matter where you stay?

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It’s a one-to-one course, but I strongly encouraged my friends to come along for a lesson too if they’d like – my advisor was extremely patient and had an extremely good knowledge for me to tap on – we discussed the risks we were willing to take, the possible outcomes, how PhillipCapital had a safety cut off in its system to prevent major losses, as well as a live demo on how the online trading system, POEMS work!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I went home with a much better understanding of how the SimSCI & SGX works, the possibilities of dipping our toes into Forex & Commodities, and most importantly, an idea of how much we need to make our first purchase – I was surprised to learn that it could be as low as $3k+ (depending on market value of the day)!

It’s a little hard to explain everything on this platform, so you should really take a look at the financial courses Phillip Capital offers, and call them up to make an appointment for yourself! And don’t forget to submit your aspiration today – you never know what surprise you may receive in your mailbox!

I also shot a short video for them – excuse my double chin – and I love it! Hopefully this will inspire you to do something you’ve always wanted to do!

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Mummy’s 51st Birthday Celebration at Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant (Marriott Hotel)

By | Birthdays, Chinese, Food, Life | No Comments

It’s hard for me to come to reality with this but my mum just turned 51 in May this year.

FIFTY. ONE.

10 years ago, the 20-year old me very much wanted to just move out and get her out of my hair hahaha. (Don’t we all!)

But fast-foward ten years, after the younger, rebellious me have grown up and gotten married and moved super far away, I wish my parents stayed closer to me (or me to them) so that I could spend more time with them. The weekly dinners we’d have before my brother enlisted in the army have become lesser and lesser, but my heart is always in Eunos Crescent.

I miss my mum’s cooking loads (all mums should cook because there’s no food like home cooked food) but it just isn’t fair to make her slave over the stove on her birthday, so we made plans to head out for a little family dinner with her loved ones, and we chose the famed Wan Hao restaurant in Marriott Hotel, Singapore!

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{ Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant } 
320 Orchard Road | Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, Singapore 238865
Website | TripAdvisor | Tel: +65 6831 4605

Wan Hao serves excellent Cantonese cuisine (you know it’s famous when your mum makes a remark about how nice the food is etc etc when you mention that you’ve made a booking at Wan Hao) and has been around since 1995 – that’s 20 years this 2015, and to celebrate their 20th Anniversary, they’ve specially put together a menu featuring the best Signature dishes of all time, with 20 of the most popular and award-winning a la carte dishes from 1995!

We got ourselves a little room so that we could get some privacy!

:D that's part of my chinese name!

:D that’s part of my Chinese name!

寿桃! The folks at Wan Hao realized that it was a birthday celebration and we were all treated to a round of longevity buns!

寿桃!
The kind staff at Wan Hao realized that it was a birthday celebration and we were all treated to a round of longevity buns!

I don’t know about you, but it’s my family thing to make everyone at the table have at least a bite of it for good luck. I love 寿桃s and can finish the entire plate by myself no problem! Hahaha.

The first dish, was Crispy Suckling Pig with Prawn Paste ($30). The sweet sauce dip it came with was perfect pairing with the crispy pig's skin and savoury prawn paste which was cooked as one.

The first proper dish, was Crispy Suckling Pig with Prawn Paste ($30).

One would have thought that this dish of Crispy Suckling Pig would be frightfully oily, but it was not – instead, it was an extremely well balanced dish, with skin and a bit of fat atop prawn paste which was melded together as a bite sized piece.

The sweet sauce dip it came with was perfect pairing with the crispy pig's skin, which was cooked together with the savoury prwan paste.

The sweet sauce dip it came with went absolutely well with it – it was so good, I couldn’t stop popping piece after piece into my mouth!

Then came the Double-boiled Winter Melon Soup with Assorted Seafood, which won compliments from everyone at the table!

Then came the Double-boiled Winter Melon Soup with Assorted Seafood, which won compliments from everyone at the table!

My entire family LOVES soup – every lunch or dinner will definitely have a soup dish and this was hands down the best soup we’ve had in a very long time! The light yet flavourful broth almost had me asking for seconds – the winter melon and seafood were cut up to bite-sized portions (very welcomed as we had a kid in our group) and it was DELICIOUS.

Yum - Pan-Fried Fresh Scallop, Shrimp Paste & Broccoli with Spicy Szechuan Sauce!

Yum – Pan-Fried Fresh Scallop, Shrimp Paste & Broccoli with Spicy
Szechuan Sauce came with huge, WHOLE scallops and was one of the star dishes of the night!

The spicy Szechuan sauce complemented the fresh scallops really well, and the generous portions kept my parents (and I) happy!

Braised Asparagus, Fresh Crab Meat & Crab Roe with Egg White Sauce

Braised Asparagus, Fresh Crab Meat & Crab Roe with Egg White Sauce

If I had a plate of white rice, I would be scooping this onto my plate and finishing every morsel of rice with this! I love crabs, and the accompanying asparagus was the perfect companion to balance out this very savoury mix with crab roe!

This last dish was so adorable that I couldn't stop taking pictures of it!

This last dish was so adorable that I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it!

This beauty that came wrapped in a lotus leaf was none other than the Wok-Fried Lotus Leaf Rice & Waxed Meat!

This beauty that came wrapped in a lotus leaf was none other than the Wok-Fried Lotus Leaf Rice & Waxed Meat!

My aunt was asking me why I chose this dish because we were really full towards the end of the 5-course dinner – but my parents took a bite and no one had questions anymore. Even I was rendered speechless by how good this dish tasted! It’s really just simple fried rice with waxed meat – but the aromatic fragrance emitting from every bite just makes you want to dig in for more. The portion was really just right for us to finish the meal with, and I would really recommend that you try this at least once! It’s really different from all the wok-fried lotus leaf rice I’ve had!

Happy, fully faces after our meal! I'm so glad that my parents loved the dinner and agreed with my choice of restaurant! It's really hard to impress my dad and thankfully Wan Hao's dishes more than met his standards!

Happy, fully faces after our meal! I’m so glad that my parents loved the dinner and agreed with my choice of restaurant! It’s really hard to impress my dad and thankfully Wan Hao’s dishes more than met his standards!

The 3 generations of ladies in the family! Missing my other 2 baby cousins who had school the next day and had to miss this wonderful meal.

The 3 generations of ladies in the family! Missing my other 2 baby cousins who had school the next day and had to miss this wonderful meal.

LOVE.  Missing my little brother who unfortunately had to fulfil his duty as a soldier.

LOVE.
Missing my little brother who unfortunately had to fulfil his duty as a soldier.

Happy birthday Mummy!!!! We love you!!!

Happy birthday Mummy!!!! We love you!!!

Psst, Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant’s having their 20th Anniversary celebrations till 31st July 2015, and you can still try out the dishes I’ve mentioned in this post! Plus, dine on Mondays and enjoy special prices! Please call Wan Hao at +65 6831 4605 to check for promotions and for reservations! 

A little bit of help… with Silhouette Soft

By | Life | No Comments

{ advertorial }

The best kind of facelift (or any aesthetic procedure actually), is the one that shave ages off your face, makes you look a little different(better), but NO ONE can pinpoint what you’ve done to your face.

When it’s too obvious… well…

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You definitely look different, Renee.

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This spells F-a-c-e-l-i-f-t

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Okay Madonna, that’s too much!

Aesthetic procedures and plastic surgery are your own choice and you should never let anyone tell you what to do. The point of this post isn’t to encourage you to do it, and to be honest, I feel like I’m quite far away from even considering it!

But let’s face it. Ageing happens. I’ve started to notice lines that weren’t as pronounced as before or weren’t even there. It’s like this magical switch flicked itself on when I entered my late 20’s. (So it’s true, ageing starts at 25!) The most significant change for me happened around 29 – that was when I noticed that my face wasn’t as full as it was before.

Personally, I would think that… a little bit of work done here and there, its nothing wrong. (I just had botox done a month ago and I love looking at myself in the mirror) I know I will never be obsessive nor would my doctor allow me to!

“Well, if you had the ceiling falling down in your living room, would you not go and have it repaired?” – Carmen Dell’Orefice

Carmen Dell’Orefice was meant to be a model with her striking features and her modelesque figure – she was spotted and at the young age of 15, she made it to the cover of Vogue! She’s 83 this year, and she’s admitted to having a little work done here and there – and she still looks pretty amazing now!

This is Carmen Dell'Orefice, btw - the world's oldest Supermodel and she was in Singapore recently, opening for Max Tan at Digital Fashion Week!

This is Carmen Dell’Orefice, btw – the world’s oldest Supermodel and she was in Singapore recently, opening for Max Tan at Digital Fashion Week!

Here’s an image of her when she was young (left) vs recent times (right).

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She still has wrinkles and lines, but she’s definitely ageing gracefully WITH the help of some aesthetic procedures.

You know who else is in their 80’s? Everyone’s favorite throwback sex kitten of the 1950’s, Brigitte Bardot.

Just to put things into perspective, here an image of her when she was young vs recent times!

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Can you even tell that Carmen is 3 years older than Bardot? I love how elegant she looks even at this age! I’m not saying that Brigitte Bardot should go out and get some plastic surgery – it’s her choice, really! – but I definitely would consider that. Some women can age gracefully too, like Audrey Hepburn – but really, genetics have a huge part to play too!

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Ahhhh, genetics. Looking at my aunt and mom actually gives me an idea of what I should be concerned about – jowls, marionette lines and even furrowed brows (apparently I have this pissed-off look I don’t even know I make sometimes because I’m too used to frowning/squinting at the screen while doing work D: I am very serious about my work, okay!)

Me, in 2013

Me, in 2013 – a photo which displays all the things I’m not going to be happy with spectacularly haha

It’s always interesting learning about how humans age – especially women, especially asians.

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When I was younger (at 15), I had really really chubby cheeks – and I was like, Oh MAN, please give me a more defined face and lesser cheeks! When can I look like Vivian Hsu?!

But as you age, you start losing fat at areas which actually makes you look more youthful – as this chart shows! Your eye area starts getting more sunken, your cheeks loses the support it needs and starts to droop downwards, in an A shape instead of the V shaped face you have while you are young.

On top of that, you lose collagen, elasticity and hyaluronic acid – which contributes to wrinkles, sagging skin and such. D:

So yes at 30, I’m like – can you make me look like Ariana Grande please?!

I learnt about this at a workshop hosted by Sloane Clinic at Grand Hyatt about 3 weeks back – I actually very quickly agreed to attending the workshop as I had enjoyed what I learnt from the doctors at the previous Sloane Clinic workshop in 2014, about fillers, botox and the different perception of beauty in different countries!

This time round, I got to listen to Dr Chua Han Boon and Tan Ying Chien from The Sloane Clinic share their expertise and insights on this procedure called Silhouette Soft Threadlift – what I love about such workshops is that I actually get to learn more about the technology with diagrams, and even get “before and after” pictures to show me how it works!

What is Silhouette Soft?

The Silhouette Soft (aesthetic procedure) is a latest innovation in Threadlifting from USA, based on the popular Silhouette Lift technology (plastic surgery.

It is a 30 minute customisable aesthetic procedure with minimal downtime, low complication rate, and promises a long lasting effect of up to 18 months!

This one singular treatment does two things – lifts your skin for an immediate yet natural effect – the threads and components, made of poly-l-lactic acid, naturally dissolves and reabsorbs into your skin, but as it dissolves, it helps to promote collagen growth as a rejuvenative step to restore volume, and give more definition to your features.

It is a tailor-made treatment so that it can be adapted to your needs and wishes – it can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or to complement other procedures like Botox, Fillers and treatments like Ulthera and Thermage which targets different areas of your skin!

Of course there were more diagrams about the threads and the conical components of it – it’s really much improved over the years since Silhouette Soft was developed based on Silhouette Lift, you can read about the safety and what to expect over here – but what you really want to see are the before and after images, right? AS DID I.

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Collective gasps could be heard over the room when this slide finally appeared (haha). That difference is pretty amazing, isn’t it? Of course she had her brows done, as well as other procedures (botox and fillers I believe) but her face is so much more defined and younger looking now!

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And another that drew nods of approval from all in the room! This picture stood out to me as it was exactly the areas I wanted to improve on – jowls, under-eye area and marionette lines!

The silhouette soft really has a wonderful effect for the jowls and I’m pacified to know that I have a solution for it when I’m more bothered by it in the future!

We (Juli, Meiting & I) were really quite concentrated on the flurry of before/after pictures that followed, and you know la, bloggers not shy one – we had Dr Chua at our table post-workshop and asked him a whole slew of questions as well as making him guess our ages hahaha.

The Bloggeratis with Dr Chua. You could argue that most of us probably don't need it now, but it's always great to know what are your options, right?

The Nuffnang Bloggeratis with Dr Chua. You could argue that most of us probably don’t need it now, but it’s always great to know what are your options, right? (I also picked out a location with better lighting and applied a filter on this photo hahaha)

I honestly hope I won’t need to see Dr Chua anytime soon hahaha but it was a really good chat we all had!

The doctors emphasised on the fact that prevention is always better than cure – apply sunblock religiously, keep yourself hydrated all the time by drinking loads of water, SLEEP A LOT and don’t smoke!

With Dr Chua and Dr Tan - they were very jovial and friendly and answered all our questions really well!

With Dr Chua and Dr Tan – they were very jovial, friendly and had so much information to share.

Dr Tan Ying Chien, who does plastic surgery at The Sloane Clinic, was there to tell us more about Silhouette Lift and the difference from Silhouette Soft.

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For Silhouette Lift, the threads are non-absorbable unlike Silhouette Soft, but they are re-adjustable – which means that, should you need to go back to tighten your skin, you can! I do feel that this should be considered by women of higher ages or if nothing else helps – the thread’s exit points (above temple), for future adjustments, will be hidden in your hairline. It does offer a stronger lift than Silhouette Soft, and while it is still minimally invasive, it still needs to be done by a certified plastic surgeon.

And before I end this sharing session, I just want to rave about this product which I was given to try!

The Sloane Skin Superfood - Red Algae

The Sloane Skin Superfood – Red Algae

You can read up more about the Sloane Skin Superfood – Red Algae here, but in short, it contains Astaxanthin (an anti-oxidant) and ceramide to boost skin health, restore dermal elasticity, and its non-greasy texture wins points in my book!

I was told that Candice (makeupbox) loves it and I was running out of moisturizer, so I tried it out – I actually combined this with a Hyaluronic Acid serum thingy I got from Japan and apparently, my skin loves it! Even the usual period pimples didn’t bother pop up this time round!

My skin has never been better in the last 2-3 years and I’m super happy about it. I hope not to jinx that (as whenever I say my face is getting better, it gets worse again) but I’m really feeling the effect and it SHOWS. I’m super happy and more confident now and I’m sure people who meet me CAN TELL that my skin’s getting much better. I don’t know how else to express my joy except THANK YOU, Sloane Clinic, for passing this to me this to try!

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