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Thursday, 17 May 2012

DIY Self-Made Affordable Hampers

Have you ever faced with problems where you are not able to find the hampers with the types of items that you would like to have in the basket, or if there is, the price is usually more expensive?

Why not learn to make one on your own!  We can take advantage of some promotional items in supermarkets, choose to put in only those items that you would like to give to your recipient.  Other than showing off your talent to your recipient, you can have the creativity of decorating it just the way you like, cost-effectively.  And it is definitely more sincere, if you made and deliver the hamper all the way.  Great for showing appreciation and house-warming.

Things you need:
Shredded paper/newspaper
Ribbon Bow
Clear Cellophane Wrapper
Clear Adhesive Tape
Items to be arrange into the basket
Greeting card/Gift card

Do some research on a few hampers that you like on the internet, take note of the arrangements of the items, size of the basket and the number the items that you can put it in nicely.  Select the items wisely, giving more variety of the items.  I love to use food items, as it is the most practical, avoid perishable food since you need to prepare in advance and plan a day to deliver.

Arranging of the items:

If the basket is deep, you will need boxes and a lot of shredded paper to lift up the base, so that your items can be seen nicely and look abundance.

Place your items in a spread-out ways, so that it will look “overflowing” with items.  Always make sure the items are not hidden behind one another.

Use plenty of adhesive tapes to secure the items in place.  It will be better to use normal adhesive tapes rather than double-sided tapes, in case you decided to change the positions of the items, tearing them off might damage the item boxes/labels.  Ensure that unsightly taping cannot be seen from the front view of the hamper.

Cover all the gaps in between the bigger items, using smaller items, so that the shredded paper or the base cannot be seen.

When you are satisfied and find that it looks professional enough to be presented, you may wrap it  up with Clear Cellophane Wrapper.  Try not to use Cellophane Wrapper with prints as those small prints will make the hamper looks messy, unable to see the items clearly.  TIP: It will be a good idea to take a picture of your hamper and look at them a few times to see if you can spot “problems” before you wrap it up.

For basket with handle, wrap basket from the top, without covering the handle, tuck the remaining wrappers under the rim of the basket.

For basket without handle, wrap basket from the base of the basket, it will be prettier to make a big fan shape or some neat fanciful patterns, rather than just leave it messy, on top of the basket and tie the opening with a ribbon bow.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Makeover photography in City Square, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

If you are looking a good makeover studio with a budget, I would certainly brag about Superstar Bridal at Level 4, City Square shopping centre, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.  I have shared by word-of-mouth about their wonderful packages and excellent customer service to many friends, that reason also made me return for a couple’s album with my boyfriend as he practically went gaga upon seeing the personal makeover album I took with a girlfriend the year before.

I personally love their basic package, which come with a perfectly handy size (7'' by 5") album, their prices for personal makeover is RM498, inclusive of 4 gowns/costumes, 4 hairstyles and makeup, 25 photos, digital design, 1 CD (soft copies of the original photo without design) and a quality photo album, excluding prices for fake lashes, nails, ampoule and hair-curling.  You can also choose to dress in your own clothes.
Price for couple makeover will be RM598.

What makes me love Superstar Bridal?

Firstly, Price.  My friends and I have previously sourced a few bridals in Singapore few years back.  For about SG$300, we can only get 30 loose copies of 4R photographs with touch-up, but without digital design and album, without providing gowns and costume and 3 hairstyles and makeup only.  Even for studios with digital design, there is no album provided too and their digital design is not that fantastic also.
Whereas, for a lower price, of RM498 which is approx. SG$212 (based on exchange rate of SG$1 to RM2.35), you will get fantastic digital design, lovely little album and an array of gowns to choose from.

Secondly, Customer Service.  While I do not regard myself as a fussy consumer, I do have a whole lot of ideas on what poses I wanted, what kind of digital designs to be done on what photos, what kind of makeup and hair-do etc.  The photographers, digital designer, makeup artist are all very customer-oriented, patient and friendly, even the seamstress and salesperson are helpful.  They always do their best to accede to my requests.  Personally, I find that the digital designer is very creative with veteran skills set.  I’ve sent him a series of photos from Chinese novels, Korean drama, Hong Kong movie, Hollywood movie, concert poster, advertisements, even photos of single objects, eg, guitar, bird, diamond.  He could also design our photos closely to my ideas.  And when we went down to do further amendments, he can readily edit anything we suggested, which is mind-blowing.

The beautiful makeup artist

Superstar is very experienced in makeover, they have many customers’ samples displayed at their front door and will add on when they have some latest samples.  They are also the only bridal in the shopping centre who provides the smallest size album and needless to say, they have the most economical pricing, probably due to smaller album is slightly cheaper.

I decided to write a review on Superstar only now because for my first album, my girlfriend and I haggled for some goodies on top of the basic package and got photo-frames in our package.  However, when it was time to collect our photo-frame, we were told that the frame was flawed and no longer in stock.  We were then given a choice of a small crystal laser photo-frame.  When I finally collected my second album, I was pleasantly surprised that the photo-frame I received, was twice the size of what was promised!

My second album, due to experience in choice of clothes, poses, makeup and ideas for digital design, was very much nicer than my first.  Esp. when we were heavily involved in the making of our album, the sense of satisfaction is even greater.  I will still suggest customers to do some homework before heading down for a photography session, after all, no matter how brilliant the professionals are, they can’t read minds.  It will be good to give them an overview of your requirements if you are like me, fussy?  This time, other than praises by word-of-mouth, our album itself is the testimony!
Their Official Website:

Monday, 13 February 2012

A trip to Reflections at Bukit Chandu

I have always been curious and wanting to visit “Reflections at Bukit Chandu”, the museum that commemorate our 1400 brave and unyielding Singapore’s Malay Regiment Soldiers, who fought and died in the battle against Japanese invasion during World War II.  It is situated in a detached house at the top of Pepys Hill along Pasir Panjang.  I finally got a chance to visit when my dad also got interested when it was featured in the Chinese Newspapers联合早报. 

To allow readers to fully feel our walking journey up Bukit Chandu, I have taken pictures along the way.

Here is the start of the route.  It is not exactly very far, but it is neither a short distance.  Probably takes a 25-minutes of walking distance.  Old signage spotted at the entrance of Pepys Road.

A long way in…

A viewing tower – there are 2 of them in the vicinity, this is the shorter one.

Finally, we reached the gate of museum, a few more steps to go…

Reached!  This is the sculpture of our heroes – Malay Regiment Soldiers.

Museum – Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Artifacts – Bomb Siren

Artifacts – Bomb Compass

Artifacts – Lamp

Artifacts – Ammunition Box

Artifacts – Binoculars

Artifacts – Microphone and Head Set

Artifacts – Japanese Bayonet (this weapon gave me the goosebumps thinking about how many lives it took back then)
Japanese Troops invading Singapore on Bicycles.

Hero – Lieutenant Adnan who defended and died at a young age of 27

A Prisoner of War
I noticed this cute retro fan, I don’t think it is an artifact, there are 2 of them on the 2nd floor and they looks quite new.
More artifacts on the 2nd floor…

There are a few machine guns of different models on display, shall leave something for you guys to explore if you are keen to find out...

There is a short movie clip on the fight of Lieutenant Adnan and his fellow soldiers.  During the movie, there are many moments where there is complete darkness as well as moments of flashing red light with nothing shown on the screen, these effects made my mum felt rather uncomfortable.  While I feel that the movie served as a great reminder of the history of Singapore and teaching us that we should always be vigilant against attacks and terrorism, the producer of the movie can probably re-look on this aspect, especially when elder viewers who could not fully understand the movie in English will be in a state of confusion and lose interest when there are no images on the screen for some time.

While I won’t say that there are a lot of artifacts on display, this, however, is a nice experience which I feel that every Singapore should at least visit once, to remember how Singapore has come this far.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Yvonne Lim @ Sun Plaza singing performance

Today when i was on my way for my usual treatment for my foot reflexology at sun plaza , i happen to see Yvonne lim at sunplaza! wow she is very pretty in real person ! So i took a video clip of her singing with my LG phone. err i know the resolution is not very good , i am going to change phone soon . i like windows 7 but just that the camera resolution is not very good.Her voice is very sweet!Enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Pork in Singapore is safe to eat

Today for some reason, I was thinking this question to myself, where do Singapore import their livestock? For example, where do Singapore get pork?  From which country? Is it safe to consume animals such as duck, chicken, pig in Singapore?
Then I decided to ask our good friend here, Google. I found out some interesting article written in the year 2009 when there was an outbreak of H1N1 in Asian countries, these are what I've found.

Pork in Singapore is safe to eat
1 The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has detected Pandemic
A/H1N1 2009 in samples from pigs imported from the farm on Pulau Bulan.

2 AVA would like to assure Singaporeans that the pork available
in Singapore is safe for consumption as we would ensure that only
healthy pigs are exported to Singapore. H1N1 virus is not transmitted
through the handling and consumption of pork and pork products, including
ham, bacon, sausages and canned pork. Nevertheless, AVA is stepping up its
monitoring and inspection to ensure food safety in Singapore.

3 World health authorities, namely the World Health Organisation
(WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food & Agriculture
Organisation (FAO), have jointly stated that:
• “…Pork and pork products, handled in accordance with good hygienic
practices will not be a source of infection.”
• “There is no evidence that the H1N1 virus is transmitted by food.”
• “Influenza viruses are not known to be transmissible to people through
eating processed pork or other food products derived from pigs.”
• “Heat treatments commonly used in cooking meat (e.g. 70°C core
temperature) will readily inactivate any viruses potentially present in raw
meat products”

Public Enquiries
7 Members of the public with enquiries can call AVA’s hotline at 6325
7625 (8.30 am – 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday) or email AVA at

Background information
8 AVA has accredited adequate sources of pork supply in 25 countries,
including our major suppliers of Australia and Brazil for chilled and frozen pork.
Singapore’s import of 1,000 pigs daily from Pulau Bulan constitutes 21% of our
total pork consumption.

So I guess now you should know, that most of the PIGS U EAT, are from BRAZIL or AUSTRALIA.  Hope this blog entry helps answer all your questions.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Batam 1 day tour

It has been more than a decade since I last went to Batam with my family.  This time, with Groupons' promotion, I secured 3 Batam day tour vouchers and went with my parents.

Here are our ferry boarding passes and departure/arrival cards.

It's time for our ferry on Falcon 5!

I was pleasantly surprised on arrival at this clean and well-maintained covered walkway, as my impression of the quay back then was without shelter.

These roadside stalls are nostalgia...but we were told by our tour guide Harry Porter(that's a humorous introduction of himself) not to eat just anything as our immunity might not be as strong as the locals. 

Harry also told us it is best to spend all Indonesia Rupiah before we go back, as Rupiah will expire when there is a change of government.  He has also shown us a few dollar notes, which are still in use and those that has expired.

We stopped by at a local products store, trust me, it can be really hard to decide what to buy!  We had lots of sampling and have to choose by elimination method before we finally purchased fish crackers, jackfruit and banana chips and coconut biscuits...

We were then showed to a home-made kueh lapis (buttered layered cake) bakery, to do more sampling, and decide if we would like to place orders.

Here we goes for our Seafood lunch, at Golden Prawn 933, Batam.

Our lunch consist of white rice, fishball soup, stir-fried vegetables, prawns, chilli crabs, deep-fried fish, deep-fried squids & steamed gong gong (edible sea snail/conch/whelk).  Before our lunch starts, a man came promoting bird's nest at SG$15/bowl, which was the promotional price that time.  My dad ordered bird's nest double-boiled with red dates, while my mum and I opted for American Ginseng instead.

So much bird's nest that it can be picked up with a fork...

A view of the Kelong (offshore platform built predominantly with wood).

Here's the bird's nest store...

An authentic Polo Ralph Lauren store was spotted nearby, so I checked out for bargains... The sales lady reassured me that these are not imitations.

I randomly checked out the prices of a few polo tees, the prices are around SG $100+ or $89.90, half or 1/3 of Singapore's retail stores.  However, I did not got any...

This store is just next the Golden Prawn 933.

After lunch, we stopped by to take a look at the Miniature Indonesia houses for a quick 10 mins browsing, surprising, not many people wanted to alight to take a look, only a lady, my mum and I went down.

I literately ran like crazy to take all the pictures of the houses, because, other than I wanted to see all the houses in this 10 mins, my mum also complained about the hot sun, which was around 32-33dc that time.

Then, we visited the Tua Pek Kong (Grand Uncle) Temple.  Usually, people ask for 4D (lottery) numbers in this temple.

Besides Tua Pek Kong altar, there is also a Lord Buddha Sakyamuni altar.

I saw this interesting sight of children playing on the wooden pulley.  In Indonesia, never touch a child on his/her head, as there is a belief that it will make them stupid.

There is also a Confucius Temple next to Tua Pek Kong Temple but we did not enter.

A Cheng Ho (Zheng He) ship.

Does anyone feel that this statue of the wealth-toad (a fengshui ornament) with a crown feels like a Frog Prince?

We then reached 1st Factory Outlet.  According to Harry, this shop sells rejected branded goods and that a Burberry polo-tee cost as little as $20!  As we were buying a packet of honey-coated chilli belinjo at the roadside snacks stall (in the picture below), we were prospected by a honey-seller, who carried a bucket of honey-comb and separated the honey into a glass bottle right before our eyes, too bad I did not get a photo of him. He was also selling a bottle of white substance which he mentioned it was royal jelly. He initially quoted $15 per bottle of honey, when my family and I don't seems too keen and about to leave, he immediately lower the price to $10 and we bought.

I simply love these roadside stalls, as we do not see them anywhere in Singapore anymore.  As we were leaving, my mum noticed the stalls packing up and scurrying away, probably the policemen were catching illegal hawkers? 

At 1st Factory Outlet, I was so tempted to shop for Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry for my boyfriend, however, I did not bring enough money, thinking that there is nothing much to shop for in Batam.

A Burberry polo-tee cost around SG $27.90 only!

Then, we proceed to the last stop of the day.  60-mins authentic Indonesia full-body massage, as there are many people, we were split into 2 time-slots, 3pm and 4pm.  We belong to the 2nd slot, so we went to the JC Supermarket at the opposite side of the road for more shopping.

Harry told us that, at this massage parlour, only the masseur can touch you, you cannot touch her, they offer only Halal traditional massage, which means, they do not provide sex services.  I would love to have the massage, but was shy at the idea of striping, my mum was not comfortable about that initially too, but after some persuasion, she decided to go for the massage as well. My dad waited for us downstairs. After the massage, you are suppose to tip the masseur SG $2.  Harry mentioned that if you planned to tip them Rupiah 1-2k which is equivalent to SG $0.10-0.20, it is very insulting, rather not tip then giving tips in cents.

This is the parlour.

Home sweet home, on the ferry back to Singapore, due to heavy rain and stormy weather, the ferry jerked furiously that we felt seasick, luckily, it lasted only about 15 mins of the journey.