Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Floral Garage Chinese New Years Flowers (PROMO Code)

After the festive Christmas season, Chinese New Year is here in a blink of an eye again! Time really flies; it feels like I was just at Hong Kong doing CNY visiting not too long ago and can’t believe I am heading to Hong Kong in less than a few days! Since my family and I are always not in Singapore during Chinese New Year for the last few years, our house is hardly decorated with any CNY décor. Thanks to Floral Garage once again for beautifying my place with this exclusive set of flower basket.



This stylish CNY flowers are actually exclusive and decorated with freestyle by their own florists - made with Laceleaf, Anthurium fillers, Purple caspia and White wax flowers! They are not sold in the store but fret not, Floral Garage has an extensive range of other beauties to pick from, I’m sure you can find something lovely in there too!


This potted plant is quite an interesting and unique piece as I have never come across flowers like these, which resembles leaves in reddish tones. I was actually expecting the flowers to come in the usual pink floral blossoms that you see everywhere in shopping malls. I was really surprised with the outcome and if you’re looking for something different, you can definitely approach Floral Garage.



I think that the best gifts for Chinese New Year visiting are still hampers – also more practical as well. If you have no idea what to get, just order hampers. Comparing to flowers, I think I would rather receive hampers during CNY too (Especially those with food of course!) 


After Chinese New Year, very soon it will be another season of giving, but to your girlfriend/ wife instead! Floral Garage will be having a storewide 30% promotion for all Valentine's Day flowers. (Order before 25 January 2017, tomorrow is the last day! HURRY guys) After which you may proceed to use my exclusive reader promo code below ;)

I just cannot stop emphasizing on the variety that Floral Garage offers. They have small to large bouquets to suit different kind of budgets and styles, in which you may not necessary have to burn a hole in your pocket anymore!

Quote  MONICEXFG15 for 15% discount off storewide items except for Valentine's Day products! 

This promo code is also available for lifetime so you can enjoy the discount on any occasions and anytime of the day when you wish to surprise you loved one or even plan for a party/event!


Thank you Floral Garage for this collaboration once again! 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Pottery and Glass-making Workshop at Kyushu Japan

Over the span of my holiday experiences yearly, I find myself more inclined towards animals, food and fun activities. I guess taking a few OOTDs is mandatory occasionally during the trip, I don't really fancy sightseeing especially during cold weather. (Or maybe I'm just plain lazy). On the other hand, DIY and hands-on activities is something that I will definitely consider to add into my itinerary. Better even with local cooking classes maybe?

When I went to Taiwan many years ago, we had a short pottery-making session, which allowed us to bring back our "masterpiece". I vaguely remember that it was quite interesting in having the opportunity to really feel how the process is like, but I wanted something more than that, which was achieved during this pottery-making experience at Kyushu.

The workshop even had a Chinese translator on the day of our visit, which was perfect as there’s always communication barrier when it comes to speaking with Japanese.

As we only wanted to have a piece of experience to customize our handmade pottery, we picked the cheapest option available – a tea cup. I didn’t want to put the money to waste (My previous pottery art piece is chucked somewhere which I threw away after some time). I decided to do a presentable piece for my dad to use as his new tea cup instead!


A sensei (teacher in Japanese) guided us with the proper steps to form a decent shape of a cup by putting an appropriate amount of pressure onto the clay spinning machine. We also have to wet our hands in order to keep the clay sticky and pliable.  Personally, I find it quite easy to form simple shapes by moulding with your hands. Anyway, if you really mess things up, you can always redo again. I was tempted to do really weird and outstanding designs but it would be really uncomfortable to drink from the cup, so I stick to the conventional cup size and design, which also gave me ample space for doing my carving later (Best part of the whole process in my opinion).



The clay dries up pretty quickly without water and we are able to lift it up carefully to bring it to our worktable for the carving decorations. My bro opted for the tribal design while I decided to go for my family’s zodiac in cartoon style. I think every animal looks so cute except for the rooster haha. I especially love the dragon! Complex drawings are also more interesting to work on. To make it more personalized, I also carved a character beside each cartoon to represent each and every of us in the family! 





As we didn’t have sufficient time, the final work will be done by the sensei, he will complete the finishing touches before heating the pottery to make it into a final product. We paid for courier service to send it to Japan and my dad will be collecting it when he goes there for business trip. EXCITED TO SEE THE FINAL PIECE!!

We proceeded with the glass-making workshop after that. I had high hopes about this as I have seen videos on Facebook before. The process seems really challenging and fun at the same time. I've also always wondered how glass displays are made. 



The heat was really quite intense near the “oven” where we have to soften the glass in order to mould the shape. Both my bro and I picked the Seashell design (it’s the only design that stands out). 

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that we were not given more opportunity to experience the real glass-making process. I suppose it’s because we are not familiar with the machines and there is safety precautions.


But I am still really happy with the final product! Can't believe I made this keychain (with some help of course!) The mixture of different blue tones makes the keychain such a beautiful piece. Even though there's not much DIY components in this workshop, it is perfect for a handmade gift for someone if you have no idea what to get for him/her. Besides keychains, you can even learn how to make other glasswares but of course it comes with a higher price tag as well. The keychain is a more affordable choice if you just want to have a touch of glass-making experience.


Monday, 16 January 2017

A Better Florist | The Priscilla

Flowers can be given on almost any occasions and all MOST girls will love it no matter what. At least for me! A Better Florist have kindly offered me any choices of bouquet from their website. Since it was close to my mum’s lunar birthday, I wanted to surprise her with one during the dinner. Out of all the designs that were available on their web, these two caught my attention.

The Evangeline with a royal combination of purple and white has a more elegant style which was also their perfect pick. Purple is my mum's favourite color. However, I preferred to choose something more colourful and bright for her birthday surprise. 

The Priscilla was my final choice, also approved by my dad and bro! YAY. 


A Better Florist also offered to write a customized handwritten card to my mum.


Instead of providing a hundred options, A Better Florist believes in picking out a special selection of the best flowers in season. The flowers are also sourced directly from flowers farms at Cameron Highlands in order to provide the freshest flowers at affordable prices.

A Better Florist delivers flowers same-day everywhere in Singapore WITHOUT any delivery charges.

Since they only handpick the best flowers according to season, some designs are only limited to certain days, so be sure to grab them real quick before they are sold out!


I love the happy and cherry vibe from the white daises combined together with elegance from the hot pink roses. It's not a typical romantic bouquet of roses, but definitely pleasing to the eyes, and really suitable for birthday occasions as well. I love the simple decor using just brown strings which gives that rustic floral garden feel. And since it already came in such a pretty-looking vase, I don't have to transfer the flowers myself! The only downside is that the flowers are bundled tightly together, making it a little challenging to change the water.




When I checked the website again, I saw this bouquet and I'm totally in love - The Claudia, a complex and stunning combination of different flowers. I would have totally chosen this if it was available on the day of delivery that I have selected. But it's okay! My mum loves the one I chose too!




Ending the post with a happy photo of us ;) 





Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Animal-feeding Experience at Kyushu

I used to place a huge emphasis on food whenever I visit Japan in the past. Not that I don't anymore. In fact, I still do. But I find that having close encounters with animals is becoming my main priority. I'm so glad to be able to unlock a new achievement - feeding squirrels!

During this trip, I managed to feed lions, bears, monkeys, rabbits, squirrels, elephants, goats, kangaroo, sheep, camels and ducks. These kind of feeding experiences can never be found in Singapore itself.

Personally, the highlight of this trip is the 九州自然動物公園 (African Safari Wildlife Park @ Beppu). It is a MUST GO attraction if you are a huge fan of animals. This isn't just like any other typical zoos, I was blown away on my first visit and this place still never fails to amaze me on my second one there. The price increased after 2 years and the place definitely has a larger crowd compared to the past.




#LAZYBUM


I can probably go on and on about how awesome this park is, but I have already done that before 2 years ago and you can read it here: http://mons-diary.blogspot.sg/2015/05/kyushu-japan-trip-day-3-african-safari.html

Pro tip #1: Be quick when you are feeding these animals, and you might have to multitask holding your phone with your lefty and tongs with your righty. The tram only stops at short intervals.

Pro tip #2: The green pellets are for the goats and camels which will appear quite a few times, so be sure to save some for the later part!

On my second visit, I managed to visit the dog and cat petting session which I have missed previously. We paid about 500 yen/pax to get a close-up experience with dogs and cats (Separate location). I personally enjoyed my time with the dogs much more than the cats. You know one thing about cats is that they are always so unfriendly. Dogs are definitely more welcoming and they don't mind cuddling on your lap.



Another memorable part of my animal feeding experience is at 湯布院 Yufuin, which is a small town area filled with souvenir shops and also a beautiful lake at the back of the town. Since it was day 1 of my trip, I was already excited to have feeding opportunities with ducks and sheep. Who knows.. there' was a surprise waiting for me..

THERE ARE SQUIRRELS.



I was beyond excited because I never had any close encounters with squirrels before, they are generally very shy and quick so it's impossible to get close enough with them in the parks. This time round, we actually get to feed them nuts! Too adorable.


Another memorable session was actually unexpected, which was taken place at a Tamago Farm (We had Japanese Omelette Rice there).

We had no idea that the place had farm animals like goats (even BABY GOATS) and a cage filled with many cute bunnies waiting to be fed with fresh cabbages. The only downside was that the goats were restricted to a limited space as they were chained with a rope at its collar. The environment looks spacious without fences or cages but in fact, they were not allowed to roam freely.




I tried my best to distribute the cabbage evenly among all the goats and one goat was particularly excited and greedy that it kept pouncing onto me to reach the piece in my hand.

I like how the bunnies rush to the food and take really small nibbles. And when you accidentally let go with a slightly larger piece of cabbage, the lucky bunny that managed to snatch that last piece will run and hide at some corner while some other bunnies chase it around. It's like watching a live cute comedy. #selfishbunnies hahahahaah. The rabbits were like, I ain't gonna share my food, shoooo.



I realize some animals are also really clever, and one amused us a lot at some other farm. Whenever we buy a packet of food, the flock will realize immediately and "queue up" for their turn. But this particular naughty sheep will re-queue and squeeze in between the rest to get a second or third serving.


I guess this sums up my overall experience of feeding different animals (More than 10 different types!)

If I ever have a chance to visit Kyushu again, these places will definitely be in my itinerary again.

Friday, 6 January 2017

A Personal Touch to Your Roses - Floral Garage (PROMO Code)

Having a personal touch to your roses makes your gift a more unique one because of the extra effort and sincerity put in. Floral Garage Singapore sent me a DIY Roses Set and I had a great time decorating it even though I really don't have green fingers. Apparently, I'm not even good at taking care of cactuses! But don't worry! The steps in creating this pretty and simple-looking vase are quite straightforward. 

Before I go on, you might find Floral Garage familiar as I have reviewed a few of their products before, including a DIY Terrarium Set and Christmas Flowers. I'm a huge huge huge fan of DIY so this is a perfect gift for myself. 



I was thrilled to come back to this after a long day of work, and putting all these pieces to create my one and only Rose creation really excites me. 

This basket filled with little surprises included 6 stalks of red roses, a bunch of baby breath flowers, leafy plant, rectangular vase which is made of glass, many many pink ribbons (Yay! Pink is my fave!), a pair of scissors, many sachets of flowers/plant minerals, decorative lights and of course a sweet note left from Floral Garage! ;) 


1) Cut the stalks to your desired length, I find that each rose should be cut to different lengths to provide more depth in the display. Don't forget to cut the leaves as well. I left it at the start and find that I have insufficient space when I start putting in my 3rd or 4th rose. 


2) Fill the glass with about 3/4 full of water and add in 1 sachet of minerals


3) Put in the flowers as desired - whichever style you prefer! 

At this stage, I found it challenging to squeeze in the flowers so I had to cut more leaves away from the roses. 



In fact, I'm in love with the Baby Breath Flowers more than the roses.


4) Decorate your vases with your favourite ribbons! Perhaps they could have included more decorative elements like crystal stones to put at the bottom of the vase, etc. ;) 


AND I'M DONE! The flowers have not bloomed fully in this photo yet though. 


I waited for just a day and the roses bloomed beautifully. Personally, I like this whole concept of being able to decorate your own flower vase. It would have been better if we can pick and choose our own flowers as well as the vase shape and size! I have no complaints though! The process was straightforward, fun and I have pretty flowers in my house after that. So why not?



Don't forget to check out your shopping items with my promo code! 



monicexFG15 

(Enjoy 15% off all items at Floral Garage)

For guys who are planning to buy your girlfriend or wife a flower bouquet, look no further! THEY HAVE SO MUCH VARIETY, including rainbow roses OMG. You can even add on a balloon to your gift! The prices of flowers range from $34.90 to $290 to fit your budget. And of course not forgetting other special occasions as well.

It's not all about flowers too. Floral Garage offers a extensive variety of other products like birthday and party supplies including backdrop decor, cupcake/cake holders, gifts and terrariums.


Thank you Floral Garage once again!