Thursday, 17 January 2019

Trip to Key West (Florida)

Traveling to different parts of USA during December can be quite a headache sometimes. During my family trip to US last month, the temperature difference was quite drastic ranging from 5 to 27 °C! Imagine the different types of clothes that I had to pack in my medium luggage. We went to Miami, Orlando and lastly to New York.

Miami had the perfect weather for me - some sunshine with cool breeze (Temperature ranging between 24-27°C. I have been wearing a lot of winter clothes to my previous Japan trips and it would be great to have a change in outfits occasionally. Most of my Miami outfits were actually denim jeans with buttoned shirts. If only I knew some days were hotter, I would have wore out my dress instead.

After a long flight, my dad was smart enough to plan Key West tour on Day 1 so that we were able to rest for 4 hours on the tour bus. Key West is a small city in Florida known for its conch-style houses with lots of cafes/ bars.

We were actually supposed to take some hop on and off coaches to get from point to point, but after a few rides, we felt like walking around the town seems like an easier option without having to adjust the coach timings.

We didn't really venture out to the activities but rather do some leisure shopping and eating around the vicinity. During the whole trip, I was mostly interested in the food choices at almost every corner. And luckily enough, I found some really delicious lobster rolls which I have been dying to try. The chunks of lobster meat were really firm and tender. 

Some of the other delicacies we enjoyed were key lime cheesecake, tacos and sweet crepes.

If you are thinking about doing some major shopping here at Key West, I would advise you to save the money on food instead. Most of the basic souvenirs and fashion wear are generally quite pricey (probably catered to the tourists)

This soap bar is so pretty! But not really practical. If it wasn't so expensive, I would love to display one in my bathroom! There were many conch seashells and interesting quirky souvenirs to window shop if you are interested.

If you don't mind the long travelling hours and are keen to explore small towns away from the city, Key West would be a great place to hang out for about a day to take some nice photos and enjoy good food of course!

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Our Pre-Wedding Shoot | Dunman Secondary, National Gallery/ Museum and Hort Park

Our Pre-wedding photoshoot is finally done (On 20 oct)! Took me quite long to really update on my blog, but better late than never!

For those who asked me why I did not consider going overseas for photoshoot, a very huge reason apart from extra expenses is due to our priority on having the shoot at our former school: Dunman Secondary School. The school holds special memories for both of us and it would be a huge pity to miss this out.

It was actually my first time having a make up artist put makeup on me and I was quite anxious to see how it will turn out. While I'm really not used to my look (because the makeup is still much heavier than usual), my fiancé was still happy with it. They probably know what suits best on camera too!

As I didn't want to be overdressed in the school, I picked out a pink floral dress that looks like butterflies fluttering around my dress. The first 15 minutes of the shoot was rather awkward for us as we were quite inexperienced, but we kinda got the hang of it after a while. This photo was one of the first few shots taken.

I think one of the hardest thing to do is to maintain our laughter especially when we are looking at each other in the eyes. Sorry we are not that romantic. During this particular shot where we had to kiss and hold in our position for quite a while, our photographer Vanness kept telling us "Don't move, don't move" #ReversePsychology We ended up bursting into laughter.

This is actually one my favourites! And I have always wanted to have our photoshoot at the bus stop where he first met me. What a great timing to have a double deck bus just in time! 

The photoshoot at Dunman was beyond our expectations, I didn't even think we could have so many varieties, especially outside the school around the bus stop. In fact, we actually exceeded our time and had to rush back to change into another gown, touch up make up and change hairstyle before going to our next location: National Gallery

The gown that I selected was more fanciful and has a really long train at the back to give a more elegant feel in order to match the historical buildings. I initially wanted to have a photoshoot at Chijmes but there was a fee of $200+ even just to shoot outside the building. We didn't want to incur additional costs hence we settled for an alternative.

As it was a weekend afternoon, the place was getting crowded with 2 other wedding couples having a photoshoot, as well as students doing their grad shoot there.

Vanness made do with something else and took some lovely close up shots like these.

Thankfully, we all made a decision to move our photoshoot to National Museum instead. What a great plan B! This allowed my photoshoot to be held at 4 places instead of the agreed 3! I like how Moment Bridal is really flexible in dealing with such situations to provide the best for their client. The photos turned out great, I love how the National Gallery had a very striking contrast to the ones taken at National Museum with totally two different feels.

And it was quite similar to Chijmes!

Hort Park was our last photoshoot destination, and we had to rush back to the studio for a change of gown and hairstyle. Amber had really quick hands and was able to braid my hair nicely within a really short time!

My favourite thing about our 3rd concept is that we were able to make use of many props. Other than the M, R and red roses (with courtesy of Roses Only Sg), Moment Bridal provided the rest and they did a great setup within minutes!

My initial plan was to locate a tree swing in the middle of the park, but we really didn't have the time and settled for the location nearer to the entrance. And thankfully, we spotted a bench swing which can make do as an alternative.

My favourite photo! 

At the end of the photoshoot, we were really so tired and probably a little dehydrated. But the experience was really worth it. I'm so thankful that the weather was close to perfect, as it was raining so much just days before our photoshoot. Vanness made the photoshoot a lot more easier than I thought as he directed most of the poses and even guided us to tilt our face/body towards a certain angle to get the nicest shot.

In case you were wondering, we started our makeup at about 9am, the first shoot started at noon and we ended at about 7pm. It's important to prep yourself for a full day shoot because it can get really tiring, especially for outdoor shoots.

One thing I really like is that we could view the photos on the camera immediately to see how they were like. No horrifying surprises. Their service was impeccable from the start till the end and everyone was really friendly, making the photoshoot experience a really enjoyable one.

We only signed the package after looking at the gown selections. But since I wasn't really particular as long as I have a few that I like, I can't comment much about the variety or designs they have. But at least I didn't have to feel pressured signing their package without knowing what is included. I have heard bridal companies who convinced clients to sign before even letting them take a look at their gowns.. Nope, no hard selling on our experience with them.

If you're interested, here's our package info for $1999:

3 locations (Entrance fee excluded)
1 Bridal makeup with touch up and 3 hairdo 
3 choice of gowns
3 choice of suits
Free usage of props/ accessories

All raw photos 
30 edited photos
18" photo album
24" photo frame
10" table top frame

Additional top up: 
Transport - $100 

Sunday, 2 December 2018

50% off for DC Comics Superhero Cafe on Eatigo App (Marina Bay Sands)

During our staycation at MBS few weeks ago, I was looking out for some great deals online in hope of saving some money for our dinner. I was lucky enough to chance upon the DC Comics Superhero Cafe on Eatigo app! In case you didn't know, Eatigo is an online reservation platform which allows you to enjoy up to 50% off your whole bill depending on the time. Usually, you enjoy bigger discounts at a later timing (non-peak hours).

I don't usually prefer dining at late hours but since we're enjoying our staycation and have plenty of time to spare, so why not right? 50% is a lot to save too!

The cafe divides into two different sections - main dining area and desserts. With the life-sized statues standing tall at the entrance, the shopfront screams superhero from afar. Everything was fully decorated in DC superhero theme - from the ceiling, tables, menu to the utensils as well. Not a single detail was missed out. I am impressed! 

Every corner has a photo-taking opportunity!

We were hoping to sit at the "Flash" table but sadly, it was already taken! Random rant: Why is Reverse Flash in the poster too. Flash deserves a standalone spot :( I have been chasing The Flash throughout all the seasons and I'm a fan! Actually, we're both fans! 

Before I could even start on the food portion, I was already stuck with choosing my superhero drink. The drinks menu is really extensive, stretching over a few pages. Seriously, you will be spoilt for choices. I was trying to strike a balance between choosing something I like to drink and something pretty to look at. But then we realised that we could actually request for a specific drink to be in our favourite superhero cup design, perfect!

The prices are definitely on the higher side, but considering that you're paying for the novelty in a superhero setting, totally worth it.

Bf chose the Flash so I decided to go for a different design instead. Iced Blended Salted Caramel Popcorn Milkshake ($9.9). I can't really remember what he ordered but it was something Chocolatey. 

I was pleasantly surprised when I took my very first sip without any expectations. The drink was packed with flavours but the caramel wasn't too overpowering at the same time. I'm super pleased with the rich velvety texture too. One of the better sweet drinks I had at restaurants/cafes. 

For the main course, I made a point to only pick those that had Superhero theme decor on it, otherwise it would defeat our purpose of dining at this cafe. The carbonara was amazing from every aspect, the tiger prawns were so juicy, and the Ikura added a sweet touch to the dish. Everything was just so right about this plate of pasta. Looking at the portion on first impression, I wished there were more. But it was actually rather filling towards the end of our meal (Partly due to the milkshake as well). 

The Chicken Waffles was very satisfying too, the portion was so huge that we had some issues trying to finish everything that evening. And I love how they really placed so much effort into their plating. We only had some issues dipping the food into the batman cheese dip as it was quite narrow, otherwise, no complaints about this dish!

Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact prices for the dishes. But most of their main courses range from $25-40. It might be slightly expensive for some, but for a Superhero theme restaurant located in MBS with such good quality and choices, I would say, that's pretty reasonable.

Furthermore, we were able to enjoy some cost savings with the Eatigo App!

Check out these 2 adorable coasters that we redeemed at the cafe by writing a review on their Facebook page! We happily left them a positive review as I was really happy with the food and ambience! 

If you're into themed cafes or a fan of Superheroes, do give this a cafe a try even without the promotion! At least you're spending your money on both insta-worthy and delicious food! 

DC Comics Superhero Cafe:
2 Bayfront Avenue Bay Level, 01-03,
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 018972

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Pre-Wedding Shoot with Roses Only SG (Promo Code)

Red roses symbolise love and romance. 

It's a classic choice that is unlikely to go wrong if you want to convey a love message to your special someone on a romantic celebration or anniversary. My fiance actually proposed to me with a bouquet of red roses. With no hesitation, I picked red roses from Roses Only SG for our pre-wedding photoshoot because of its bold and elegant colour. Really happy with how the photos turned out and the bright red gave the photo an extra pop of colour!

Instead of the usual bouquet style, Roses Only pack their roses in their exclusively designed gift boxes to keep the 60-80cm long stem roses protected and pristine.

In case you were wondering why they kept the stems long, here's the reason why!

Foliage is never touched and thorns are not removed, so as to avoid plant trauma and prolong the life of the roses.

This is the first time I came across roses with long stems, which was really unique compared to the usual roses received in bouquets. Apparently, it is not easy to cultivate long stemmed roses as more effort is required.

The roses have to be carefully pruned to ensure that only one bud forms at the end, and they had to be manually supported to prevent breakage. The rose is also forced to grow fewer roses by cultivation so that more nutrients will go to a single rose rather than many.

The roses were really fresh when they arrived, and the bottom of the stems were secured with water pouches to ensure that they stay fresh longer.

At Roses Only, you can find a variety of gift ideas for different occasions including birthdays, engagement, apologies, congratulations and more. Some gift sets come with chocolates and champagne to impress your wife or girlfriend even further.

And if you are looking for something even more special, you can try their Rainbow roses!

Roses Only only supply the finest roses from the most beautiful blooms, and you can trust their commitment in providing only the best.

Don't forget to quote ROSESLOVE to enjoy 10% off all products on Roses Only!

Monday, 12 November 2018

Tsui Wah 翠華 at Clarke Quay

The newly opened Cha Chaan Teng (茶餐廳),Tsui Wah (翠華) got me really excited to try out their dishes as I have been missing Hong Kong food every now and then. As a person who is from Hong Kong, let's just say that most of the HK cafes/restaurants that were previously opened in Singapore, were not very impressive.

While the restaurant has the Cha Chaan Teng feel, the cleanliness and service is above what you get at HK, which is a plus point. The menu also resembles a newspaper which is really creative.

You can also save the hassle by ordering and paying through the app if you frequent this place a lot!

Hong Kong Milk Tea is usually a must-try when you dine at any Cha Chaan Teng. Unfortunately, the milk tea ($4) is a disappointment, the drink tasted so bland. You can actually judge by the colours of the drink, it looks really diluted in light shades of brown (And we have already asked for less ice btw). According to Serene, teh ping tastes nicer than this. 

Not sure if we were just unlucky but we also took a glance at other people's cups and theirs look about the same too. I would totally suggest trying other drinks instead, because I didn't even manage to finish more than half a cup. So underwhelming. 

On the other hand, The Crispy Bun with Condensed Milk ($4) absolutely won our hearts (and tummies)! In fact, the standard surpassed the one we had in HK previously. Just check out the golden yellow toasted top! I could hear the crisp from every bite I took! The melted butter together with the condensed milk also made the whole bun so irresistible. And as sinful as it might be, we both can't help but to order a second serving.

I'm already craving for this again, and despite having such a bad drink, I would still return to Tsui Wah for these!

Oh, and did you know that this crispy bun is also known as 豬仔包,奶油脆豬 ? #funfact 

Fish Combination in Fish Soup with Mixian ($8)

The food is more or less pretty decent in terms of quality. For $8-11, I wouldn't complain to get a taste of Hong Kong if I am ever craving for any. I didn't try Serene's portion but she gobbled down her food shortly, I'm sure it must have tasted nice.

King Prawns in XO Sauce with Tossed Noodles ($11)

Personally, Tsui Wah's dishes at HK were never super impressive, and I have nothing much to ask for at Singapore's outlet. But what set apart greatly from the rest of the dishes was the Crispy Bun. I highly recommend to at least give it a try! 

Tsui Wah @ Clarke Quay
3 River Valley Road Block A, #01-03, 179020
6250 9270