Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last of Twenty Thirteen

Another year has passed. Well, almost. It seem like it was just yesterday I wrote down my new year's resolutions. Last year was the shitty-est year in my whole entire 30 years of life that I shall always remember. Sh*t happens but it happened to hit the fan back in 2012. I shuddered at every moment I think of it and I wonder how I managed to get through the aftermath. I lost 10 kilos post pregnancy in 2011 and another 27 kilos within 8 months in year 2012 alone due to stress. I was so skinny, a size 2 seem too loose on me. The first 6 months in 2013 was a major spring cleaning period. After that I did myself a favor by pursuing unspoken passions in the next 6 months.

5 things I learnt in 2013:
#5: Some things are better left unsaid. Sometimes honesty doesn't pay well.
#4: When you're in deep sh*t, the best course of action is to just ride the wave till you're safe on shore.
#3: It pays to act like a bimbo in circumstances you have no control in.
#2: Don't pass on any chances to be with loves ones. You'll never know when they decide to leave you for good.
#1: Love those who deserve your time and eff those who don't.

Hence, no new year's resolution for next year since I decided to just live life as it is.

Here's a toast to a happy twenty fourteen.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Equarius Hotel @ Resort World Sentosa, Singapore

On our wedding anniversary, dear hubby booked us into one of the hotels in Resort World Sentosa. Equarius Hotel has impressively large 51 sqm deluxe rooms with a touch of modern luxury decor. The price was rather reasonable, slightly below SG$300 including tax for a 51sqm deluxe room. It was on offer with huge discounts on olotels.com. On any other weekends, the same room with breakfast is going to cost at least SG$500.

The hotel offers free shuttle connecting all other hotels in Resort World, thus it's rather convenient. Hop on and get off at Michael Hotel to go to Universal Studio or get off at Hard Rock Hotel for some boozes and live band at night. The free shuttle operates from 10am till 10pm (extended till 12am for weekends), with every 15 minutes intervals.

The impression was good until we checked in. The front desk staff at the reception was a chinese lady. She wasn't smiling and she was rather harsh in her tone when asking dear hubby for his I.D. Since it was only 5 minutes to 11 in the morning but the hotel standard check-in time is at 3pm, we left our luggage at the concierge and wandered off to Universal Studio.

When we returned to the hotel (close to 6pm) to collect the room keys and our luggage, the reception couldn't find our room that we have checked in earlier. And she wasn't apologetic at all. We waited about 15 minutes throughout the process of 'finding us a room' and there wasn't a single apology from the staff. Coincidentally, another hotel guest who was checking-in at the next counter, was also facing the same problem. Apparently, she had checked in earlier in the morning, and she has been allocated 2 rooms right next to each other as per her request. When she returned to the hotel to collect the rooms keys, the reception gave her 2 different rooms located on different floors, separating her room from her family's. The last sentence I heard from her to the hotel staff was "This is the beginning of my holiday and you sure know how to ruin it!"

The next morning, we went for the complimentary breakfast and I found that the restaurant staff wasn't well trained. I was having my first serving of toasts halfway when I decided to get myself some juice. Upon returning to the table, everything on my table was cleared, including the cutlery! I went over to get more food and asked the staff for another set of cutlery. The staff, who was a middle aged chinese lady, replied me in Singlish (Singaporean English), "Your table don't have knife and fork ar? Where you sit??"
I pointed at my table and upon seeing the empty table, she continued, "Wait, wait... I take for you." It was kind of funny to hear it coming from a 5 star hotel staff. I wasn't feeling mad or anything but unfortunately, the few incidents are telling me that Equarius Hotel is not up to the 5 stars standard in terms of service level.

Reception & lobby area
Hotel bar
Blue pools and private cabanas
The Deluxe Pool Suite with direct pool access
View from our room's balcony
Brown Equarius Hotel building overlooking the Dolphin Lagoon.
We were lucky to catch the dolphin in action.
Dolphin Lagoon offers Swim with the Dolphins Package at SG$170 per pax.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jumbo Seafood Chilli Crabs in Singapore

The famous gigantic chilli crab.
Its claw is almost the size of my palm!
Scallop partially wrapped in crunchy deep fried yam ring.

After almost 12 months living in Singapore, finally, I managed to try the famous chilli crab! One gigantic crab weighting 1.6kg shared by dear hubby and me. It was more than enough if you ask me. We were so stuffed at the end of the meal.

This whole 'must-try chilli crab' is a hoopla, in my opinion. It doesn't taste as good as people say, well at least to me. Perhaps, it's due to the fact that I was born and raised in Penang for 17 years, my Penang tastebuds are a tad too fussy. Moreover, I dislike the fact that we were allocated 75 minutes (from the moment we're seated on our table) to finish the meal, including waiting time for our orders to be served.

Nevertheless, chilli crab gravy goes well with man tao (chinese plain bun made out of flour), either fried or steamed. I prefer the fried ones. It has more flavour, and it's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

We also ordered the recommended scallop with yam as appetizer. A must try for yam lovers like me, of course. Sweet and savoury combination in a platter, a small serving comes in 6 pieces.

The bill came up to SG$146 for a 1.6kg chilli crab, 6 pieces of scallops, 6 pieces of man tao and 2 drinks. It's inexpensive for a standard seafood meal in Singapore but, if I do a currency conversion to ringgit, phew.... it's sure expensive. At that price, I can have a seafood feast back in Malaysia.

Jumbo Seafood has 5 outlets in Singapore and 1 outlet in Shanghai. The one that we dined in is at Riverside Point. Reservation is advisable, unless you love lengthy queues.

30 Merchant Road # 01-01/02
Riverside Point, Singapore 058282
Tel : +65 6532 3435
Lunch : 12pm – 3pm (last order at 2.15pm)
Dinner : 6pm – 12am (last order at 11.15pm)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Human vs. Robot @ Ho2T Playland, Katong V Singapore

Human vs. Robot theme playground - the entrance
More play area underneath the padded stairs
Human vs. Robot combat area! Balls for shooting are all over the place.
The 'dark room' illuminated with LED lightings to create an outer space feel for the kids while they bounce up and down.
Girly fun! Tall Barbie mansion with a rooftop jacuzzi, a baby doll and her cute lil' crib, mini kitchen and grill set complete with utensils, miniature cleaning set (mop, brush, vacuum cleaner) for domestic goddess in the making!
Books and more toys!
Parents, opt to chill with fine Italian cuppas at its Ho2T Cuppa House or choose from a variety of snacks and titbits available for purchase at the counter. If you have older kids who may be too 'grown up' for play land, head over to Ho2T Weekend (right next to the play land) for some Art, Invention or Robotic classes available from SG$ 45 - $75 per hour (non-member price).

Katong V (Ho2T is on level 3)
30, East Coast Road, #03-09/12
Singapore. 428751
Contact: 66354704 / contact@ho2t.com.sg

Entrance Fee (for non-member price): 
Weekday (3 hours play)
Above 2 years old: SG$25
0-2 years old: SG$12

Weekdays (1 hour play)
Above 2 years old: SG$18
0-2 years old: SG$8

Weekends & Public holidays (2 hours play)
Above 2 years old: SG$30
0-2 years old: SG$15

Weekends & Public holidays (1 hour play)
Above 2 years old: SG$20
0-2 years old: SG$10

Membership (7+2 play)
Above 2 years old: SG$154
0-2 years old: SG$70

Membership (5+1 play)
Above 2 years old: SG$110
0-2 years old: SG$50


  • Great selections of toys for different age groups.
  • Well organised play areas and divided play sections.
  • Chill out area for parents to enjoy drinks and snacks at an affordable price.
  • Relatively small area and cramped up space.
  • Not enough space to park the strollers inside. 
  • One accompanying adult to one paying child only.
  • Only 1 staff handling the whole play land.

CT's rating:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Safety & cleanliness: Singapore - 1, Malaysia - 0

Sometimes I just wished my home country is as safe as Singapore, where I can allow my kids to roam free without the fear of being kidnapped if I turn away for a few seconds. I remember some time ago in Malaysia, a toddler in a stroller was carried away by a kidnapper while the mother was in the midst of a purchase. The stroller was just next to her. Luckily, the attempted kidnap failed because the mother turned her head just in time and saw the man carrying her child. She screamed and the man dropped the child before fleeing. A police report was lodged but no arrest was made. Apparently, the cctv footage was too blur to identify the kidnapper.

In Malaysia, crimes are soaring high and the police can't do anything about it. I'm not saying Singapore is totally crime free but at least I have the assurance that the police forces here are much capable of doing their job. And criminals know that! It makes a huge difference in the (actual) crime rates between these 2 neighbouring countries.

Also, most of the time, I wished my home country is as clean as Singapore, in terms of physical cleanliness and corruption wise. Both are areas that only God knows when it will happen (or it might never at all by looking at the chronological list of events that are happening currently).

Whenever we are back in Malaysia, there are a list of no-nos. Walking out is a no-no (fear of snatch theft). Bringing the kids out to the park on a sunny day is a no-no (fear of pedophile). Driving out alone at night is also a no-no (fear of mat rempits). Others include shopping in a crowded mall (fear of kidnappers), taking a cab (fear of cab driver rapist), taking a train (fear of molester), and last but not least, using a free public toilet (it's so darn dirty, you rather hold it in till you're home!). Talking about public toilets, Jakarta has the best with first class service (the cleaner will sanitize toilet seats after every usage!).

Dear hubby was offered a citizenship in Singapore but he turned it down. Why? Simple. We still love to live in Malaysia regardless. We are, afterall, Malaysians. And... where else can we find good nasi lemak bungkus at a fraction of the price found in Singapore?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Nuts about nuts


Honey coated almonds, garlic cashews, roasted pine nuts, coffee pecans, unsalted peanuts, cheese macadamia, plain walnuts, earl grey chunks, soy mixed, assorted mixed, dried mangoes, jumbo raisins, dried cranberries, strawberry mixed, cherry mixed, turkey figs, pitted prunes, lychee plums, olive plums, dried apricots, organic mulberries, mixed berries, dried orange peels and the list goes on. Not a fan of nuts and dried fruits? They even sell home made plum candy! 
If you're in the vicinity of Marine Parade, you can check out Pat's Oven in Parkway Parade mall. You got to look hard enough for this store because it's partially hidden next to a wine outlet (where the tables and chairs of the wine outlets are). This store is such a brilliant, I can get all I want to go with my breakfast cereals or some healthy snacks to munch. Nice, really nice!
Pat's Oven
  • Parkway Parade B1-83N
  • Vivocity L2-133
  • Citysquare mall B1-K3
Opening Hours: 10 a.m – 10 p.m

Monday, October 21, 2013

How to effectively whiten (and brighten) your skin

To be honest, I was born with fair skin. And I thought my skin would stay that way since I don't tan easily and even if I did, my skin goes back to its original tone after a couple of weeks. So yeah, like I said, I don't need whitening products..... until I had my second child.

Besides putting on 30kg (lost 10kg right after my baby popped out, leaving me with 20kg to deal with) and saggy boobies (I miss those perky times! *sobs*), now I have to deal with dull and darken skin? People tell me to look at the bright side but hey, they're not the ones turning brown and losing their best assets, right? They wouldn't understand, I guess.

So, what's the big deal about turning brown? It's no big deal really, but I do prefer to stay fair. There's a chinese proverb that says (direct translation), 'A fair (skin) conceals 3 flaws.' It simply means if you are fair and rosy (think Snow White), and you've a crooked nose, some misaligned teeth and a pair of flat buttocks, your lovely fair skin shall minimise the so called imperfections. True or not, that's an ancient proverb.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of products out there that claim to whiten skin from 7 to 21 days of usage. I chose 3 different products as my whitening regimen. So this is not a sponsored post, nor a review of the 3 products but my experience on how to effectively whiten or brighten your skin.

1. Nivea Body UV Whitening Serum SPF 25 PA++
2. Nivea Body Whitening Night Serum
3. Kinohimitsu J'pan UV Bright Drink

UV Whitening Serum - SGD 9.70 / RM17.90 per bottle or RM23.90 for 2 bottles during promotion.
Whitening Night Serum - SGD10.50 per bottle or SGD16.80 for 2 bottles during promotion in Watsons Singapore. Not available in Malaysia yet.
SGD 39.90 for 6 bottles in Singapore / RM 159.90 for 16 bottles in Malaysia
Why these 3 products? Simply because they are relatively affordable and widely available in Guardian, Watsons and perhaps your local drugstores or pharmacies. Trust me, you don't want to travel half the globe just for replenishment.
1. I apply Nivea Body UV Whitening Serum SPF 25 PA++ in the morning after shower.
2. Drink 1 bottle of Kinohimitsu J'pan UV Bright Drink in the morning before going out into the sun.
3. I apply Nivea Body Whitening Night Serum after my shower at night and one more time before going to bed.
I did all the above mentioned for a total of 21 days since Kinohimitsu clinical results show effective skin whitening and brightening after 21 days of consumption, although Nivea Body UV Whitening Serum claims to work its magic in 14 days.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I wanted to quit. I did it.

Since 30 Jun 2013:
9 days smoke free,
156 cigarettes down,
$81.90 and 15:36:00 hours saved!

Calculations based on 17 cancer sticks per day at MY$10.50 per box of 20.

By QuitNow! apps. Simply awesome.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Look who's in town!

While on our way for lunch, I made a statement to my friend (whom I haven't met since 1997 - or is it 1998?) after seeing a big crowd outside Adidas. I said "What's happening? Maybe some superstar is inside the shop?" And I jokingly added, "If it's David Beckham, you'll be seeing me pushing through the crowd, screaming away!"

And taa-daaa! There he is! David Beckham, surrounded by bodyguards, both inside and outside the shop (to prevent people like me from hugging him out of over excitement!).

I have been a huge fan of the Beckhams since young. It all started with the famous British pop group, the Spice Girls. I absolutely adored Posh Spice. Then she started dating David Beckham and they had their first son, got married and had their second son... third son... and just 2 years ago, a daughter.

I adore the Beckhams for 1 reason; they have been married for 13 years (and that's a big deal for people in showbiz!) and despite their superstars status and some scandal cases of DB once in a while, they remain rock solid - as a married couple. Victoria, is the most level headed, capable lady and a superstar mom I've ever known. Plus, she's still sizzling HOT for a 39 year old mom of FOUR kids!

Yeah, so I'm a bigger fan of Victoria than David. Nevertheless, it still excites me when I caught a glimpse of David Beckham in MBS earlier this afternoon! It was such a pity my 3 year old wasn't with me at that time. Otherwise I could have instructed her to sneak in and got her mommy an autograph! Muahaha!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hi, I am Ms. Daphne from Singapore

Cab driver: Miss, you called for taxi?
Me: Yes.
Cab driver: Can I confirm your name? *his hand shielding the small screen next to him*
Me: Christine.
Cab driver: But it says a different name on my screen.
Me: Oh, Daphne issit? Yeah, that's me too.
Cab driver: You got 2 names ar? Sui! I feel Christine sounds nicer.
Me: I think so too.


DH registered a new postpaid Singtel line for my usage while I am in Singapore but my new line is registered under the name, Daphne. I have received several smses by unknown people addressing me as Daphne too. Looks like this Daphne is working in some hospital as a sms to her once said "Daph, your shift starts 8pm. Ward no.109. I'm going home sharp. Thanks for covering me."

I didn't bother to call up Singtel about it. Perhaps it's a recycled number although DH insisted that it is not. Or maybe DH tersilap register my name... although I don't think Daphne and Christine sound anything alike. Or probably it belongs to one of DH's sexy nurses gfs and he conveniently passed it to me, forgetting that it will show up on the cab's screen when I call for cab services?

Friday, May 24, 2013

I like Singapore but not loving it

Lively colours of Singapore
It has been 10 months since I last posted something here.....ever since my grandfather passed away. Things are pretty much the same, except that we have moved to Singapore last December. Dear Hubby is a PR but my kids and I haven't apply for dependent passes. Therefore we can only stay in Singapore for up to a maximum of 30 days per entry.

There is a reason why I am not too eager to apply for a spousal visa; there is nothing much to do here! Yeah... yeah... there are tons of shopping malls, east coast park, universal studio, sentosa island, blah blah blah. You see... I don't quite like to shop, and I don't like to walk. So shopping (or even window shopping) isn't exactly the thing for me. Singapore is a good place for vacation but not permanent stay. And how different is it from Malaysia or Indonesia, you ask? Very different indeed.

K.L, Malaysia - I have my parents. They help to care after my kiddos when I need time off to do my mani and paedi, or facial, or body massage, etc. Not often, bu4t I get to indulge myself once a while. I own a car and I drive and therefore, minimal walking. I love bringing the kids to indoor playground/playland/kids gym (whatever you call it). It's affordable here and kids get to tire themselves out while I get some time to chill while they are playing. I have friends that I can yum cha and yum seng with.

Jakarta, Indonesia - Car, driver, cheap maids, affordable trained nannies, cheap ciggies and beers, nice 2000sf home, cheap hair wash and spa, VIP treatments at all times. All within reach. What more can I ask for?

Singapore - Good security, very systematic (perhaps too rigid at times), convenient public transport but everything is so darn expensive. I can't stop converting every prices to MYR, knowing that I can get the same item at a much lower price in Malaysia. DH is paying close to RM10k a month on rental for a 1100 sf condo. With that same amount of money, we will be living in a bungalow in Bangsar if we are in Malaysia. And with all the China workers, I feel more like in China than Singapore.

But since DH is going to be based here for quite some time, I may need to apply for a long term visit pass soon.