Sunday, 30 April 2017

Probably not the best but some suggested tips when you go to BKK

I just came back from my 7D6N Bangkok Trip and I'm really excited to share about some new places that I have visited this year! Before I go on, I would like to provide some tips that my boyf & I came up with based on our experience. Don't take it too seriously though, as we obviously aren't professionals in giving advices and it is only our second visit. But no harm having a second opinion from us right?

1.  Just GRAB all the way. 

We totally gave up on taking taxi after our horrendous ride from the airport. Not that the ride was traumatizing or anything like that, but I think we were really overcharged!! It felt like the meter jumped quite a lot as compared to our second ride on the following day. Yes, we did give the usual taxi a second chance and the driver was really really honest. But I just felt that Grab will lessen our worries of getting scammed. I think the driver also went circling around from the airport to our hotel based on the GPS.

Grabcar has a fixed price and while it may be about 10-50baht more expensive than taking the taxi during the fare surge (assuming that you are comparing to a really honest taxi driver), I feel that the range of 80-150baht (<SGD6) is generally super affordable and the fare surge doesn't really make much of a difference. One thing for sure, at least we don't have to worry which route the Grab driver will take. And a bonus point? You get to earn reward points too! Which are accumulated in my SG account.

Oh and if you want to take the Tuk tuk, I suggest only doing it when the distance is really near, the drivers tend to rack up the prices

2. Location and Accessibility 

When choosing an accommodation, I place a lot of priority on the location. I decided on Berkeley Pratunam Hotel because it's affordable, luxurious and super convenient - only walking distance to Platinum Mall, Pratunam area, Big C Supercenter and Talad Neon Night Market! I think we really maximize the hotel convenience because we just kept heading back in between our shopping to put down our loots or take a break before heading to the next place nearby. And best of all, we get supper at the night market for a few days straight. Nothing to do or too lazy to go somewhere far? Just night market la!!

3. Be KIASU and Compare Prices First

Unless you are not shopping with any budget at all, I recommend you to control your shopping urge for the first few days if you are planning to return to the same mall again. Well, unless you see something really unique that it's a MUST to have it, otherwise many of the designs are actually found in many places at even lower prices! Especially the night markets. After we visited the Night markets, we found everything above 200 baht expensive (SGD8). But if you think about it $10 is quite cheap also hahaha..

4. DON'T Underestimate Preplanning 

I think preplanning is a really important, and I derived much excitement from it alone. Depending on the location, I will group the nearer places on the same day to save on transport and time. Most importantly, you must check the opening hours as some night markets are only opened on the weekends (Like Chatuchak), and many cafes are not opened on Mondays. You wouldn't want to go all the way to the place and find out that it's closed isn't it?

While I am a detailed itinerary planner, I made a really huge mistake by not checking the important festive dates of the country that I am visiting. I initially booked our air tickets from 13-17 april as it was during my birthday week and there's an extra public holiday on Good Friday. What I didn't realize is that the 3 of the days fall on Songkran Festival (Thailand's New Year Festival which is very well known for its water party). I know some people travel there intentionally to enjoy the festival, but I obviously don't. In the end, we spent extra money to amend our ticket and extended our trip too. #lessonlearnt

Always check beforehand.

5. Budget Your Trip and Daily Expenses

Every trip has a budget but remember to buffer as well. We actually spent a little over budget but I also brought extra SGD cash in case. Try not to bring out too much money everyday unless you don't mind risking to lose all of it. Many of the small shops usually do not have change for big amounts like 1000 baht. You can try your luck to change some small money at the hotel concierge.

6. Shortcut of Crossing Roads

We find it quite a hassle to cross the roads at times as there are no proper traffic lights at some junction. Actually it sounds like a bad influence, but at Bangkok almost everyone just jaywalks across the road. I was afraid at first, but it's actually possible because of the slow traffic. The trick is to have a group of other people cross together with you. And always stand at the other side so there's less chance of getting hit by the car hahaha. But if you don't have the confidence then better not take the risk.

I think that's about it!

I will most probably be writing about Animal Cafes or Night Markets next so if you're interested stay tuned! ;)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Apgujeong Hair Studio Review @ Tampines One

My hair has been disastrous for the longest time - badly damaged strands with multiple split ends, and almost non-existent curls. My hair was so frizzy and dry, at some point of time I felt like my hair was no different from some unwanted dried grass. I was recently invited to Apgujeong Hair Studio for a sponsored hair service of my choice. Totally just in time to revive my hair!

Before I go on about the experience at Apgujeong Hair Studio, let me show you some "before" photos. My hair definitely looked worse in real life and its saddening that people around me noticed how dry and frizzy my hair was. Not to mention that my hair was already so long and heavy that it resulted in my top part of the hair being flat. Thank goodness that I don't have to deal with that anymore, at least for now.

I usually perm my hair about twice a year and I have not coloured my hair before (It's naturally brown especially after a few perming session if you are wondering). Being the lazy me, I hardly use any conditioner or hair masks, and now I have learnt my lesson. 

At the start of the session, I had almost given up on my damaged hair as the previous perm didn't really worked out and my hair was still quite dry despite doing treatment. 

The salon was pretty empty when I stepped in as I was early but it started filling in with customers throughout my entire session. In case you want to know, I had my hair session at the Tampines One outlet! Perfect, because it's so near my house! 

Joseph (Korean Senior Stylist) started off by giving my hair a pre treatment as he said that my hair was really badly damaged by previous perms. Apparently, I made things worse without the use of conditioner or hair masks. The pre treatment is supposed to give my hair an extra layer of protection. If your hair is already very healthy, you can give this a miss and just go for the Mucota hair treatment. But I highly recommend doing both treatments if you have the budget to do so. 

I told my stylist that I still wanted to keep my long hair and I prefer curly over straight hair. He told me that he will do something slightly different and I agreed. I used to do smaller curls partly because it is generally longer lasting, but having my hair in such a bad state, I decided to let my stylist make the best decision for me. No regrets. 

He snipped off quite a bit of my hair but kept the hair length at my acceptable standards. (I can never imagine myself to have short hair and I don't think I am ever ready to try it). 

Joseph chose the large curls for my hair to give a natural wavy curl. 

I look like Goldilocks here? Hahaha.

Here's my final hair after pampering it with the Mucota Hair Treatment and I'm loving how soft and smooth my hair is! It was such a drastic difference from my previously dried and split ends that looked so pathetic. The whole process took me about 4 hours and I have to say, it is really worth it. 

My hair is significantly shorter than before, but I love the new look and how lightweight it is. My hair also has more volume which is achieved effortlessly just by blow drying my hair as usual. And I'm honestly thrilled to be able to have such beautiful hair right before going for my holiday trip. 

You know how the curls usually work only when you twist your hair while blowdrying it? I tried to dry it the "lazy" way before I go to bed and my hair still had the volume which I wanted! 

Visit for more information about their salon and pricing. 

And many thanks to Apgujeong Hair Studio for this sponsored review! ;) 

Monday, 10 April 2017

I quit my job to pursue my passion

Breaking news... I just quit my job to pursue something that I have wanted to do so for the past 2 years... Baking!

I have been running Monice Bakes on my online social media platforms for about 2 years already. And I found my first job after I graduated last year in May. I love it and I love my team, but time is my limit and there is only so much I could do. While I was still able to cope at work, I wasn't able to fully venture into my business. I started rejecting orders due to the lack of time and I decided that it's time I choose my path.

So.. I tendered my resignation 2 months ago. I have to admit, it was quite tough. Especially when I already formed a strong bond with my colleagues, and I really feel a sense of belonging at the workplace. It has been only a year but there are so much good things I can say about the people I work with... They are really so genuinely nice.

Now that I can focus on my baking plans, there are so much I want to do on my bucket list:
- I want to experiment with more flavours and designs for my cakes
- Revamp my website and gallery of my social media sites
- Perhaps take up some advanced cake decoration courses because there is only so much I can learn online
- Maybe start beginner classes soon? ;) (I do have some people asking so if you're keen let me know!)
- I'm thinking of starting Dessert Table services too but that is a huge project to jumpstart myself so I have to really do more research first
- And of course think of how to expand this fully in the long run!

Baking aside, I also want to put more effort in blogging now that I have more personal time for myself. I have been turning down events and food tasting sessions previously due to my busy schedule, hopefully my new lifestyle will provide me with more opportunities in this area as well!

I'm so excited of the plans ahead! But for the month of April, I will be taking a short break and enjoy first! I'm still taking in orders but there's only limited slots so hurry!

And thanks to those who have supported and believed in me all these while!

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Sunday, 2 April 2017

老夫子 OMQ Dining Room | Childhood Nostalgia

Character themed cafes must be the norm nowadays because I noticed the rising trend of it everywhere around the world! Instead of the usual mainstream ones like Hello Kitty, Pokemon, there's a hidden gem around Nathan Street, called the OMQ Dining Room. I went to google what is OMQ and it turns out to be the initials of Old Master Q which is also commonly known as 老夫子.

Besides Dim Sum Icon, Hello Kitty Restaurant, Moo Min Cafe in Hong Kong, I haven't heard of OMQ Dining Room before. In fact, my mum was the one who suggested this place as she knew that my brother and I love visiting themed cafes #BestMumEver

The moment you step into the lobby, you will be greeted with OMQ decor right to the doorstep.

We also book the special Car theme which is also the one and only table at the restaurant. 

I'm sure this will be a favourite seat for children, I probably have a inner child inside me as well because I was quite excited for this too! But the seats will definitely be less comfortable as compared to the usual ones. 

The cafe is packed with OMQ theme all over their furniture, walls and even the ceiling is not left out. They are really going full with the decor theme and there is just so much going on at every single corner I turn to. It feels like I have just stepped into a world of OMQ comics. I might not be a huge fan of 老夫子, but the cafe really lived up to its name compared to many other themed cafes I have visited. 

They have a very interesting menu concept as well, with the names of the dishes made into 4-words Chinese idioms that are usually found in its comic title. The only downside of this is that the staff is unable to remember the entire menu. We tried to order with these interesting food names and she asked us to describe the menu item instead, rather disappointing. 

We don't blame the staff because it's really quite difficult to memorize all of that, but perhaps the cafe should have coded the dishes with numbers as well to make it easier. I mean, what's the point of putting such cute names when we can't order with them right? 

We did not have really high expectations of the food as there wasn't raving reviews about the quality, but having our standards lowered, we were quite satisfied with some of the dishes that we have ordered, and there are some hits and misses.

The curry pasta was surprisingly delicious and it just kickstarted my cravings for Hong Kong's famous curry fishball. And I wished that they had some in this dish!

The rest of the dishes were not too bad as well, and I particularly enjoyed the soya chicken wings too. But just a friendly advice, I wouldn't recommend you to order Onion Rings and Escargot. Honestly I think even fast food restaurants can do better. And the escargots from Saizeriya win his plate hands down. You have been warned.

The only thing that is probably passable is the mashed potato surrounding the escargots.

I think the OMQ Dining Room surpassed our expectations in terms of the overall ambience and food standards. Just don't visit the cafe in hope of having 5 star dishes and I think you will walk out of the restaurant a happier person. We haven't got a chance to try the drinks and desserts too, as we were saving our tummies for the next few meals that we have packed in our itinerary! 

Food quality aside, I think this cafe is really cute and it's really worth your money if you are mainly here to take photos and enjoy the dining theme. 

It was quite a nostalgic experience for us!