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Jan
11

Enjoy cashback and the Best GSS offers with ShopBack

In this day and age, most of us are not new to online shopping. But what about earning cashbacks to offset the next purchase like a party dress or heels? It’s not too late to know since GSS 2017 is about to start! ShopBack is a cashback site that rewards you for shopping with more than 500 of their merchant stores. This includes popular online stores like ASOS, Lazada, Zalora, Sephora and purchasing of overseas travel tickets and accomodation on Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com etc. Each of the stores found at ShopBack has a certain percentage % of cashback to your purchase or has a predetermined cash amount with a minimum spend.   Great Singapore SALE 2017 It basically enables you to get some of your money back – when you do your online shopping with the best deals at ShopBack, a portion of your purchases is given back as Cashback. Getting “paid” to shop is just awesome!!! Recently, I was invited to try out and review ShopBack. You may refer ShopBack‘s videos here to check out how it works. The whole process was safe and so easy to use!    How to use ShopBack Step 1: Sign in with Facebook or Create a New Account.                Click on any store through ShopBack and get redirected to the store’s website Step 2: Shop as usual on store’s site and make a purchase. Remember to click on the store name from ShopBack website so that your purchase will be tracked. Step 3: Get Cashback in your ShopBack account within 48 hours, under the ‘Pending’ tab Step 4: Your Cashback will turn ‘Redeemable’ once order is validated by the merchant. This will take 30-60 days to ensure that there is no order cancellation/return/exchange. Step 5: You can request for payout once you’ve reached Redeemable Cashback of $10.00 Note: (1) Bonus can only be cashed out when your Redeemable Cashback reaches $10.00           : (2) Cash out your Cashback to your PayPal or bank account:     I’m a happy shopper so far and got my cashbacks as above. All items are tracked and the period where I can redeem my cash are shown on the right. WoooHooO!  So….yup, that’s how ShopBack works and I’m just waiting to redeem my money! Hopefully, this post is useful to you. The whole process like I said is really straight forward and if in doubt, you could always look to the friendly ShopBack team. 🙂 Here...
May
28

Japan – Osaka Day 2 Travel Blog

OSAKA TRAVEL BLOG DAY 2 We bought a weekend unlimited travel pass for Yen600 to go around Osaka. Note: for weekdays it’s Yen800 for a day. For most of our trips, we travelled around via train as it was really convenient and the train arrival times on the timetable were accurate too.   For the first stop, we arrived at Nagohori-Dori station which is to the north of the famous Dontonburi (about 5-10mins walk). Outside the station, we found bikes for rental and there are also enough spaces to park around train stations.   We walked around this area and realised that there was a youth culture – cosplay. The youths appeared in small and big groups and were dressed up in anime sort of costumes. For breakfast, we went to Komeda, which is a Nagoya based company famous for its coffee. This is one of their chain stores which provides good consistency. Great Hot dogs , Great Coffee! We next went in search for  authentic Japanese Ossan (Uncle) and Oba (Aunt) managed eating restaurants. Perinoikuradon is managed by a husband and wife couple and is located about 5 minutes walk from the Dontonburi. They sell reasonably priced ikura don for an astonishing price of only Yen680 for a bowl of ikura. There are also other selections of fresh scallops (Hotategai) and sea urchins (Uni) and delicious blue swimmer crab (kani-juru watari-gani) in miso (fermented bean paste soup). The ikura that we had are the hard type which bursts with flavour inside the mouth. The marinating sauce (tsukejiru) is the same type of soy sauce base with a hint of rice sake. The queue was so long as we got there late. We waited for about 1 hr before we were served to our seats. However long the wait was, this has still got to be one of the best in terms of value and quality around Osaka! Our total bill ¥2960 or SGD$36, way too good to be true. The food is usually sold out by the afternooon and opening timings are rather irregular. It would usually be opened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Inside the shop, the interiors are quite small and filled with 3 long counter tables enough to serve about 9 pax per seating. Do be early to avoid disappointment. Albeit the uncle was the sole chef for the restaurant and got to manage orders, dishes and payment, he was still very courteous when serving us the food. We were also pleasantly surprised that...
May
25

Japan – Osaka Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street

Located just a short distance away from our stay is the Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street. It is a 2.6km long shopping street that starts at from Tenjimbashi-suji Rokuchome Subway Station and leading south until close to the Tenjinbashi Bridge. Inside this arcade, there are approximately 600 stores, old fashioned diners, cake patisserie shops, traditional tea, china ware, snacks, toiletries and makeup and even knife shops. Look out for the dolls at the entrance to this shopping street.  Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street We were so hungry by the time we checked in the airbnb stay and walked through this street in search for good japanese food. Whilst checking out the street, we also noticed that there were a few side alleys that provided authentic local dining experience. The neighbourhood atmosphere was so different from the main tourist streets. However, in order to eat at one of these authentic privately owned restaurants, you would need to be able to converse in Japanese or you will be turned away.It was this restaurant which caught our eyes and it was still packed at 9pm!Outside this restaurant, we found boxes of seafood which contained crabs, big clams, oysters, fish, snails etc. and were attracted to the selection of seafood. We noticed that most of the customers are locals. The waiter spoke to us in japanese at first but switched to chinese when he realised we could speak chinese. The 3 friendly waiters from this restaurant are actually Chinese whilst the chefs are Japanese. We ordered the grilled crabs, salmon roe and salmon slices don, clams soup for the night. The above costed us only 1,380 Yen, or about SGD$17.50! The food is FRESH, Tasty and very value for money. The clams soup was by far the best I’ve tried. Crabs were so tasty that I’m still salivating whilst writing this post. The salmon roe was crunchy and salmon slices were thick. I do not fancy eating wasabi in Singapore but I found the ones in Japan nice as they are freshly grind and do not cause me to tear or cough. From that night onward, we visited this shop frequently for supper til the waiters could recognize us! Haha. Note: Opening hours are from 11:00 till  23:00hrs. Last order is at 22:30hrs. Not far from this shop, we found big fat yummy japanese strawberries for 280 Yen. 🙂 Happiness for our tummies. I have posted some photos of the other shops along the main street. You would be...
May
5

Japan – Osaka Travel Blog Day 1

Osaka is a food lover’s paradise.  It has a population of 2.5 million and is regarded as a food capitol of Japan. There’s just too much delicious food to eat that makes this place so irresistible for the foodie in us! Anyways, I had planned this as a 21st* birthday celebration for the hubs and April was indeed one of the best times to travel to Japan! Reasons being:  (1) The weather was cooling, averaging at about 16-20 degrees celsius. (2) The hanamis/sakuras and wisterias are in bloom.   Skies were clear and temperature was at a cool 19degrees when we arrived. We took the train to Osaka Central area to my airbnb booking at Minamimorimachi area. It was my first booking with airbnb as the hotels that I wanted to stay in were fully booked.     Note: (a) It is advisable to book your hotels early (~6 months in advance) especially when you plan to travel during the peak periods like in April.  (b) Before you leave the airport, you may want to purchase your sim card from Kansai Airport here. Not knowing a single bit of Japanese, we were actually lost at the Kansai Airport train station and had to ask for directions. You will need to purchase the tickets from the big panel here, find the pink coloured machine and pay ¥920 to get to Tennoji station to change to Tanimachi Line and take 6 stops to Minamimorimachi Station for another ¥240. Total trip fare: ¥1160 or SG$14.50 KANSAI AIRPORT STATION  Pink Coloured Ticket Machine On Board Kansaikuko Line Train Transferred to Tanimachi Line   AIRBNB Booking  Miki’s apartment was about a 3-5mins walk from the train station and we were delighted to find a 24hrs Family Mart very near it. When we arrived to her apartment, it was all clean, neat and cosy. The wifi was also in great working condition and we tapped on it for our trip. That saved us about ¥4000 for a 2.2GB plan! She has also provided Philips hairdryer and some other useful stuff such as cotton pads, makeup remover, lotion, cleansing oil etc. I truly appreciate these small little handy stuff during travels. There’s a small space where we can sit on tatamis and lay back on the cushions. I understand that Japan homes are small and having a spacious room is a luxury, so this double decked bed benefits city living lifestyle and allows us to have more roaming space. Most of the kitchen utensils such as forks, spoons,...
Sep
20

Arteastiq – The Arts and Tea Lovers Paradise

Arteastiq Blog – I have been wanting to try out this place after reading magazines and hearing people raving about it. Arteastiq offers a unique tea experience combined with all day breakfast and even painting sessions for both art and tea lovers alike. The interior design is mainly decorated with exotic chandeliers, 2 long rows of colourful victorian chairs and stalks of white flowers, roses. I thought it might have been better if they change-out some of the furniture as they seemed worn overtime though. See the faded turquoise coloured chair? Other than the main restaurant which serves a hearty menu of artisan teas and marvelous food dishes, there is also an art studio just next to it! We were there at about 11am for brunch and the art jamming classes have not started but the rows of empty art canvases have already been set up for the customers. Taking a snapshot with their mirror… The food menu was impressive. Here’s the brunch menu and along with the artisan tea range: Arteastiq serves up delicious All Day breakfast sandwiches, cakes, tarts and fruit tea! Splendid. Latte… with a little heart shape art work. My hot serving of Mint Lemon Grass Tea: The way they serve up the drinks on the wooden tray with gold handles look good, especially with their store name branded on it. The Big Breakfast (SGD$22.80++) includes scrambled eggs, bacons, Italian cheese sausage, Portobello mushroom, pan-friend potato-broccoli medalion, cheesy roasted tomato, mesculun salad. Set Meal: Viva La Fiesta Quesadilla (SGD$11++) — Smoked turkey ham with Brie cheese, dried apricot, alfalfa sprouts and cranberry sauce The full order for the both of us: Before we left, I was inspired to get an artwork done too! It looks like fun and I signed the both of us up for their art session at Parsabella – Turf City subsequent. The post will be up soon! My overall verdict Food Quality & Presentation: 8/10. What more can I say for with fanciful displays for a ladies chat up session? 🙂 Service: 8/10 – noticed there were 3 drinks? We didn’t bother at first as we were busy chatting! We actually didn’t even touch the drink but the service staff came over like a min later to apologise for sending the wrong drink over and told us that it was on the house. Other than that, their service was prompt, attitude was good too. Ambience: 7/10. I would have given 8 or 9...
Mar
31

Pre Wedding Photography Macau – Part 3

This post, as promised, is the outcome of the professional photos taken at Macau in 2014. This is also linked to my Pre Wedding Photography Macau Experience which I have elaborated on my photography experience with one of Singapore’s leading bridal stores – Thomson Wedding Collections (TWC). Photography by: Dawn Koh from TWC.   Makeup for bride and groom by: Joyce from TWC  My curly wavy hairdo without the pinups for the morning shoot. 1. Ruins of St Paul  This church, dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle was built in the 17th century but was destroyed by a huge fire in 1835 and what remains till today is the facade of the church. It is one of Macau’s best known landmarks and has been officially listed as part of the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 2. Travessa da Paixao We walked down the steps below Ruins of St. Paul to the back alleys of Ruins of St Paul about 50 meters and found this interesting narrow street. The both sides feature European style building, brightly painted in traditional Portuguese colours. Upon exiting ‘Travessa da Paixao’, we chanced upon the Macau Post Box.   3. St. Dominic’s Church The St. Dominic’s Church is a late 16th century Baroque-style church and serves within the Cathedral Parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau. This is also one of the 29 sites that form the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 4. Senado Square (Largo do Senado) Senado Square has been Macau’s urban centre for centuries & still a popular venue for celebrations. It is paved with a wave-patterned mosaic colored stones created by the Portuguese. It was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2005 and forms part of the Historic Centre of Macau.  This photo was taken at the traffic lighting crossing at the entrance of Senado Square. Continued below… Related Wedding Posts:                                               1) The Pre-Wedding Preparation                                                                           2) The Macau Hotels we stayed in – Hotel Okura Macau and Royal      Hotel Macau Thomson Wedding Collections (TWC) Experience:         Part 1) The Trial – Spotting the Perfect...
Mar
22

Bangkok Street Mookata – Jurong West

These days, there seems to be a rising trend in Mookata restaurants sprouting up in various parts of Singapore. It’s the BBQ grill surrounded by a steamboat moat. Mookata deviates from the tradition use of butter when grilling meats. Instead, it is replaced with pork lard which adds flavour and taste to the meats and soup base. Pigging out at Bangkok Street Mookata   We noticed a new restaurant Bangkok Street Mookata that opened end Nov 2014 and it is rather crowded most of the times. Hence, we decided to give it a try!  It’s actually quite packed for a rainy day. The place isn’t that accessible and it’s recommended to drive a car to park at a outdoor carpark there. Not to worry, there’s always plenty of carpark spaces there. The Menu:  Platter for 4 @ $39, Platter for 2 @ $22 We skipped the platter as we had wanted more meats and not dishes like the corn, hotdogs, fishballs etc. The ala-carte menu orders Before grilling our food, we got the Pork Lard from one of the waiters. We were given 2 pieces only and had to keep asking for the pork lard as the quantities given are like a couple of pieces at a time. Anyways, as we brushed the surface of the dome-shaped wok, we noticed that there were black pieces of scraped off stuff on the pork lard. Food Quality: The marinated meats, mainly the garlic pork collars, pork bellies, beef, chicken tasted good. We reckoned that they were thawed meats but we can’t taste any staleness/soggyness  as the marination was done well. 🙂 The scallops, golden mushrooms, Shishamo are good choices too for this thai grilling style. What I will not recommend is the order of Maggie Mee (which my friend did) which is sold at $1.50 for half a normal packet size. Food Quantity: For the meats, the price starts at $1.90 a plate and the serving was a few pieces of meat which was small. But what more can we ask for at $1.90, $2.90 a plate? We added on to the orders to quite a number of plates otherwise there weren’t enough to go around. One portion of meat. Ambience: Simple affair at Singapore’s Coffeeshops which is dining around simple round tables and plastic chairs with the open concept. Yes there are some live and dead cockroaches around and I do hope they will clean up on this. Other than that, diners can still...
Dec
1

Pre Wedding Photography Macau Experience (Part 2)

Following my blogpost on Pre-Wedding Photography Thomson Wedding Collections (Part 1), I will now blog about the whole travel photography experience with Thomson Wedding Collections (TWC) in this post. So just 2 days before we flew to Macau, we visited Fiona at the TWC Tanjong Pagar branch to collect: 4 Gowns, 3 Suits, 1 Can-can, Crystal Flower Bouquet, Hair Accessories, Necklaces and Earrings, Veil. All these are provided by TWV and are required to be brought by us to Macau. Although TWC had our measurements from earlier fittings, Fiona got us to change into all the clothes again and her staff helped with the last minute alterations. They were quick in making the amendments, say 10-15 minutes. The staff then rolled up and folded the gowns into our baggage and we were all set to go! Note:      1. Please bring a BIG size luggage! We brought a medium sized luggage and had to repack because all the wedding stuff just can’t get into the medium sized luggage… Zzz! 2. The gowns/suits etc. will roughly weigh slightly <20kg. Therefore, select your baggage weight wisely when buying your air tickets I previously got TWC to prepare a Crystal Flower Bouquet for me (See Blog: The Pre-Wedding Preparation) but it didn’t turn out to be what I expected. Anyway, I didn’t want to be a bride-zilla so I made do with what was done.  This was put into my hand carry baggage as I was required to return it in good shape to TWC after the wedding shot. — M . A . C . A . U .      P. H . O . T . O . G . R . A .P . H. Y —  We checked in at Hotel Okura Macau (Blogpost: The Perfect Getaway in Macau at Hotel Okura Macau) for 2 days and I got myself tanned. =__=    A little wrong planning on my end but whatever… For the actual photography, we checked into Royal Hotel Macau as we didn’t want to spend too much on the room since we would be most of the time outdoors. This hotel is situated on a steep slope and is near to attractions like Casino Lisboa, which is one of the oldest casinos in Asia, and is also a good base to explore heritage such as Ruins of St Paul’s – a Christian church dating from 1607. The night before the actual wedding shoot, Dawn and Joyce came by our...
Nov
10

Homebaked Rainbow Cakes

I have long been wanting to make my own rainbow cake (minus the red layer) which I did finally! It’s such fun and joy to bake especially when it involves colours. This time, I have injected yellow, green and blue into this vanilla-flavoured butter cake below. For this 3 layered Butter Cake, the three moist layers of cake are sandwiched together and frosted with a smooth and creamy vanilla frosting and kit kat in between the layers. This is one of my favourite party cakes and I foresee myself baking this again in time to come. Ingredients for the cake 3 cups (300 grams) sifted cake flour 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder  1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/3 cups (265 grams) granulated white sugar  3 large eggs (110 grams) 1 cup (240 ml) milk (full fat or low fat) 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoons of yellow, green, blue colouring extracts each Rainbow coloured chocolate bits (for decoration purposes) White Frosting: 3 individual packets of chunky kit kat bars (170 grams), coarsely chopped 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) confectioners (icing) sugar, sifted 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract   How to make the coloured Butter Cake:  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) three (15 x 5 cm) heart shaped cake pans. You could use round or square ones of about the same size. 2. In a bowl sift or whisk the flour with the baking powder, and salt. 3. In your bowl of the electric mixer, beat the butter under soft and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until it turns light and fluffy. Add the eggs in batches, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined. 4. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions), and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour. 5. Evenly divide the batter into 3 bowls,  then add 1 teaspoon of yellow, green, blue colouring into the 3 bowls to create 3 different coloured batters. Fold in the colours to the batter with the spatula till it’s well mixed. 6. Bake for about 12-13 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and it should come out clean. The cake should also spring back when pressed lightly in the center. 7. Place...
Oct
14

Thailand Travel Blog – Bangkok Sanrio Hello Kitty House

I was super delighted upon hearing that Thailand has its first Sanrio Hello Kitty House Bangkok in Siam Square One shopping mall! This Hello Kitty’s main focus is on sweet treats. Only premium ingredients are used such as butter and flour from France, chocolate from Belgium and strawberries from Japan and Korea, are used in the cakes and pastries, with more than 30 kinds of desserts available every day. 🙂 Hello Kitty House Store Front Thankfully my travel pals were accommodating enough to accompany me there. Initially I thought that this Hello Kitty House is a cafe only, but it is has also the other departments such as the spa and gift shop all combined under one roof. We were there in the afternoon and queued (whilst seated on the bench located outside the cafe) for about 15 mins before we were served. The whole concept is just so PINK. Pink Kitty, Pink leather chairs, Pink banquettes, Pink Sugar servings, Pink bottles etc. It’s as if we’re wearing pink tinted glasses when we are in the cafe.  🙂   Kawaii! Just in case you’re tired of waiting to be served, you could get yourself a drink at their counter too. I didn’t manage to take the photos of the kitty plastic cups which are available on sale too. Upon entering the cafe, we were greeted by the selection of pretty Hello Kitty cakes, pancakes, cupcakes etc on the left. I wished there were more cakes made in the kitty face shape just like the ones sold in Singapore’s Breadtalk. Haha. Other than cakes, there’s also light meals such as Sushi, and drinks such as Coffee, Tea and Smoothies. This place is a self-service cafe. So its good to have a friend seated at the assigned table by the waitress then proceed to make your orders at the counter. The price ranges from 30baht to 280baht which is still rather affordable. On the right, there is this super big framed hello kitty face outline which demarcates the other section of the cafe and a life size statue of kitty having a teabreak.   Check out the seats. I super love the chairs! We were seated on the ground floor but there’s actually another level for more seats upstairs too. The whole cafe can cater up to 150 pax apparently. Therefore I think it’s actually possible for fans to do a 16th / 21st/ 30th or even 50th and 60th birthday celebration at this place,...

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