The Blogger

Hey people!

I'm Tracy Wong, a beauty and lifestyle public blogger who has been active in the blogosphere for the past 10 years. I aim to inspire readers to live life actively with a sense of adventure.

I love to write and I cover multiple topics in this little space of mine. You can click on my blogging portfolio below to find out more. I am also active on Instagram so you can keep in touch by following me on Instagram handle @gilmangirl.

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Perks for my Readers

Gaston Luga

Sudio Sweden

Key in promo code '15GILMANGIRL' to get 15% discount off your earphones. Read my features on Sudio Vasa Bla, Sudio Tre, Sudio Niva, Sudio Tolv, Sudio Fem, Sudio Ett and Sudio Elva.


Use voucher code 'TSxDaintyDiva-Rewards' to receive a 10% discount on all purchases.

A Better Florist

Key in promo code 'GILMANGIRL' to get 20% discount from your flower purchase. More details here.

Current & Past Collaborations

Sample Store

Expressions Wellness - Best Beauty Reviewer 2016




Top 10 finalist in the Best Health & Wellness Blog Category of Singapore Blog Awards 2015

Featured in 'Top 40 Lifestyle Bloggers You Should Follow in 2020' article written by Best in Singapore.

Featured in '39 Beauty Bloggers in Singapore to Follow Based on your Skin Type' article written by BumbleScoop.

Particularly interested in the below collaborations:

- Hair Services
- Eyebrow trimming

- Dance & fitness classes
- Gadgets
- Beauty & make-up products
- Clothes, accessories, shoes & bags
- Food tasting
- Movie and drama previews
- Theatre, dance and music performances
- Media events
- Photoshoot
- Staycations & Travel

Please do not hesitate to contact me at liyeewong@gmail.com for any business opportunities, sponsorships, advertorials and/or collaborations.

'Build Your Own Cake' with Cake Delivery SG

Hey people!

Did someone say cakes? Being a sweet tooth, I was super stoked to be collaborating with Cake Delivery SG for this blog feature.

I know my birthday may be long over, but I can still have my cake and eat it! In fact, when the delivery guy turned up at my door with my order from Cake Delivery SG on a Friday night (TGIF!!!), he even wished me a happy birthday. LOL!

Cake Delivery SG is a one-stop online shop selling all sorts of whole cakes for different occasions. Looking at their long list of occasions made me realize that we often celebrate a special occasion with cake. I think that the only occasion that was missing from the list was wedding cakes. Idea for Cake Delivery SG next time?

Beyond that, they also sell sweet treats too. OMG. I cannot look at their sweet treats. They are always calling out to me!

Within my household, we only celebrate one another's birthdays with cakes.

Everyone of us will get a cake on our birthday. It does not matter whether it is a slice or a whole cake - not getting one on our special day will be akin to breaking a tradition that we have started when we were kids. Since the family is always on the lookout for cakes, it is good to know that there is a one-stop online platform that we can always turn to in the future if we need cakes.

I like how Cake Delivery SG categorises their cakes according to occasion and flavours. My in-laws love cheesecakes, while my siblings love chocolate cakes, so this helps to ease my search if I need to purchase cakes for them. Personally, I like to look at the 'Healthier Choice Desserts' so that I could feel less sinful if I need to indulge.

It was an immensely difficult choice to decide which cake to order because all of them looked droolworthy.

While I was contemplating hard on which cake I should order to satisfy the varied tastes within my household, Cake Delivery SG offered me a brilliant suggestion.

Can't decide which cake to order? Go for a 'Build Your Own Cake' so that you can try as many flavours as possible! They have a 1) 10-slice version of 8" cakes, 2) 12-slice version of 9.5" cakes or 3) 10-slice version of mixed sizes. Nice!

The cake that you see above is a 10-slice mixed size version consisting of 8" and 9.5" cakes. I had to request for mixed sizes because the 8" cakes are largely cheesecakes, and my Dad does not take cheese. Thank you Cake Delivery SG for accommodating my request to choose among the selection of 8" and 9.5" cakes. The whole cake also looked amazing even though it was a mix of sizes in there. I was expecting it to look totally uneven actually. HA HA!

Which 10 flavours did I choose for my cake? Here goes.

1) Mao Shan Wang Choc (9.5")

If I did not search on Cake Delivery SG on how a Mao Shan Wang Choc cake looks like, I would never know that the slice on the left would be it until I try it. The Mao Shan Wang filling is actually the thin middle layer in between the chocolate layers.

I am no durian fan, but even then, I could tell that the durian flavour was strong in this cake. My Mum and Sister are durian fans though, and naturally, they adore this cake very much! It is not surprising that this cake is one of the bestsellers on Cake Delivery SG.

2) Pistachio Rose Cake (8")

My favourite cake was actually the Pistachio Rose Cake as it had a pleasantly light and memorable flavour. It was not overly creamy and the texture of the cake was nice and fluffy.

I was also the most excited about this cake because I saw it in pictures and it looked so pretty! I could never get enough of it.

3) Yuzu Osmanthus (9.5")

Saved this slice of Yuzu Osmanthus cake for my 2nd brother-in-law since he is a Yuzu fan, and he liked it!

For those of you who prefer citrus flavours, you can definitely try this cake. The Yuzu flavour really packed a punch.

4) Choc Ganache (9.5") and 5) Choc Fudge (9.5")

Another cake that was totally worthy of calories was the Choc Ganache. I thought that it would 'just be another chocolate cake', but hell no, the chocolate they used was SO RICH. If you love chocolate cakes, I think you would fall in love with this cake.

My family also enjoyed the Choc Fudge, even though the texture of the chocolate was on the thicker side. Nonetheless, we knew we could not go wrong with the chocolate cakes in Cake Delivery SG. Good thing we also shared this slice, because eating the entire slice on your own would be very gelat (i.e. sick of eating).

6) Choc Rainbow (9.5")

I have to admit that rainbow cakes looked good on the 'gram, but other than that, I have never been that excited about them. Thus, I saved this cake for my niece and nephew instead.

My niece is very picky over cakes, but she loves all things pretty, so we were pleasantly surprised that she ate at least 3 big spoonfuls of this cake. I guessed the beauty of rainbow cakes have reached her aesthetic standards. The taste of this cake was also pretty balanced, and of course, the chocolate used was rich and good too.

7) Red Velvet Cake (8")

Kinda hard to tell that this was a Red Velvet Cake. I was expecting it to look redder and more distinguishable actually.

My 1st brother-in-law ate this entire piece though. It does taste like what you would expect Red Velvet Cakes to be, but it's a pity that it does not stand out as much as the rest of the cakes in terms of its taste and aesthetics.

8) Ondeh Ondeh (9.5")

If you have eaten the Nyonya glutinous rice balls, ondeh-ondeh, and you like it, you will probably like this cake too.

This cake contains similar ingredients to the traditional ondeh-ondeh. You have a pandan-flavoured cake with layers of gula melaka cream, topped with shredded coconut. While I like ondeh ondeh in general, I found that this cake was too sweet for me so I only took a bite. Maybe it's the gula melaka? Or perhaps it's just me and my tastebuds.

9) Burnt Cheesecake (8") and 10) New York Cheesecake (8")

Now for the cheesecakes, which I treated my in-laws to. I was so pleased to hear that they loved them.

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were full of praises for both cakes. Both cakes were rich, and had a 'melt-in-the-mouth' texture. While the burnt cheesecake was sweeter than the New York cheesecake, it was not overwhelmingly sweet. Overall, both cakes were very palatable and won the hearts of my in-laws. :)

Are you looking to get a cake for a birthday celebration?

You can order yours directly from Cake Delivery SG website. The cake slices that I have featured above are available as a whole cake as well, so you can have a rough idea of which cake to go for.

The delivery timeslots are available in 1 hour time frames. Standard delivery fee is $8 per order, but it will be free if your cake purchase is more than $80.

For urgent deliveries whereby the cake needs to reach your recipient within 1 hour, you would have to pay $18 per order for delivery. For orders that are between 10pm to 6am (i.e. midnight surprises), you would have to pay $25 per order for delivery. If your cake order is late for more than an hour, you would get a full refund via store credits!

Don't forget to check out Cake Delivery SG on Facebook and Instagram for updates and promotions too!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Cake Delivery SG. Reviews are based on personal experiences.
In Koala Land

Book Review: 'The Art of Seeing' Photobook by Renez Wednesday

Hey people!

Last month, my friend Irene, a Singaporean social media influencer and a professional photographer, launched her first photobook on Amazon. When she announced the news to us, we were very happy for her! Congratulations, girl!

Irene goes by the pen name 'Renez Wednesday', which she has been using for photo exhibitions, publications and other works. 'Renez' is a nickname that she had ever since her secondary school days, while she is born on a Wednesday. In any case, 'Renez Wednesday' is a pretty catchy and unique pen name, don't you think? 

Renez has been a professional photographer for more than 10 years. Beyond that, she has a wealth of experience organizing her own photo exhibition and creating photo works, such as her photography art cards. She has also been teaching and writing about photography for a long time. Her first hard copy photography book on 'Composing Dreams' was published in 2010. 10 years later, she has done it again, this time with a photography e-book.

Titled 'The Art of Seeing', Renez's e-book teaches readers on how they can capture images beautifully and present a photo at its best. When I was invited by Renez to do a book review on her photography book, I was hesitant at first because I thought that I was gonna be reading through a bunch of photography jargon that I know nothing about. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Still a novice in photography? Do not fret.
No DSLR? It does not matter. While technical proficiency and the latest photography gadgets are good-to-haves, what is more important to Renez is the ability of the photographer to utilise tips and tricks (i.e. angles, composition, etc.) to bring out the best in a photo. Renez's e-book will bring these tips to you through easy-to-read, bite-sized content.

Here is a sneak peek of the different photography concepts that would be covered in her book.

The concepts are pretty basic and are definitely suitable for people who are beginners in photography. If you are an Instagram influencer, these tips would come in handy for you and your #insta-other-halves even if you are just shooting using a smart phone.

As a content creator who has been toggling with my point-and-shoot camera and my smart phone for years, I am still no expert and could certainly learn from these concepts as well. After all, I cannot just be shooting from the same angles and perspectives forever. I need to improve on my aesthetic eye and my photography skills too.

'Art of Seeing' is 71 pages long and while this might sound like a lot to busy individuals, let me assure you that Renez's book is an absolute easy read.

The above screenshot shows a page from her book on my Kindle app, featuring Symmetry & Aysmmetry. Each page contains photos for illustration and big font sizes, so there is actually not a lot of words to scare the reader off. If I have got to comment on Renez' writing style, she is succinct and straight to the point. The language she uses is comprehensible and jargon-free. Even when she introduces a new concept, she will make sure to explain clearly what it is about.

My favourite concept is Chapter 3: Subjects where I picked up tips on how I could use patterns, lighting, shadows and reflection (think #puddlegram) to bring out different 'feels' in a photo. If you could play around with these different features, you are definitely gonna up your creative photography game.

Would you believe that I actually finished reading her book in half an hour while I was on the train? It also helped that there was a prompter at the bottom of the page to let you know how many % you are into the book, and the time you have left to close the chapter.

Overall, I see this as an educational, light-hearted book that serves as a 'Photography 1101' mini guide for myself. The photo illustrations are also helpful visual aids and I like how Renez closes the book by reminding readers to practise what they have learnt. These concepts will remain as knowledge until you turn them into skills by applying them. I shall bear these concepts in mind when I do my next product shoots, and hopefully, you will see a vast improvement in the quality of my photos too.

Interested to get your hands on this book?

'Art of Seeing', originally priced at USD $39.90, is currently retailing on Amazon at a promotional price of USD $6.95 (approximately S$9.50) from now till 30 November 2020.

Go support local and pick up a tip or two on photography from Renez Wednesday! Follow her on her socials at Facebook and Instagram too.

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Renez Wednesday. Review is based on personal experiences.
Smile Project Photo

Gaston Luga: My Girly Lillen Backpack in Hawthorne Pink

Hey people!

Swedish backpack brand, Gaston Luga is on the roll with new backpack collections this year!

4 months ago, I had collaborated with them to feature their waterproof backpack, Splash which has served me very well, epecially during rainy days.

In a blink of an eye, they launched another backpack design, Lillen, and I have never been happier to add this beauty to my Gaston Luga backpack collection. Here's me bringing Lillen out for an afternoon of fun at Sentosa!

Besides being a beauty, Lillen is also made with good quality nylon and PU leather. Not only is it lightweight, it is easy to maintain and also resistant to wear and tear.

Lillen comes in several colours, such as Black & Brown, Black, Sand & Brown as well as Hawthorne Pink.

While the other 3 colours were more gender-neutral, I was so in love with the feminine shade of Hawthorne Pink that I knew I just had to go for it. Since I am often clad in casual outfits on my off-days (think tank top and shorts), my Gaston Luga bags never fail to style up my outfits and make me look like I actually have a fashion sense. HA HA!

Lillen comes with adjustable padded straps to cushion the weight of the backpack on your shoulders. Unlike regular backpacks where the main zip is situated in the middle of the backpack, Lillen's zips are found at the front and back of the backpack respectively.

Lillen also has a boxy structure that can make you look good or odd depending on how you wear it. I had to adjust the straps to a suitable length so that the placement of the backpack does not look too high on my body.

There is a slip-over luggage strap where you could place it over the handles of your luggage and carry both backpack and luggage with ease.

I am not sure how often I will really rely on this slip-over luggage strap, since I normally use a baggage trolley to carry both my luggage and backpacks anyway. :P

There are also two open side pockets, meant for storing water bottles.

While it is a fantastic idea to have a separate compartment for water bottles, it does not seem big enough to fit my water bottles, i.e. the white Tupperware bottle or my Thermos flask. On a happier note, it does store my umbrella, so I will continue using it to hold my umbrella separately.

Another commendable aspect of Lillen is the number of pockets it has! I always liked bags that come with multiple pockets so that I need not segregate my belongings into pouches.

Besides the two open side pockets, there is another compartment at the front of the backpack where I like to store smaller miscellaneous items that I frequently reach out for. That includes my keys, lippies and breath spray.

When you unzip the main compartment in the front of the backpack, you will notice that the boxy structure creates a lot more space in the backpack than expected.

I kept things light by placing only my wallet, camera pouch and wireless earphones case in this compartment. Nonetheless, you could tell that I have more than enough room to fit other things if needed. I ended up using this compartment to carry my bulky water bottle too.

Within the main compartment is another inner compartment, perfect for storing flatter items.

I used this compartment to hold my name cards, sanitary napkins and pens. 

Doesn't Gaston Luga backpacks have a laptop compartment too? You are right, and Lillen is no exception.

Unzipping the back compartment will reveal a nicely padded laptop sleeve that can fit largely 11" to 13" laptops. That is also the reason why I like to use Gaston Luga backpacks for work. I can bring my laptop to and fro comfortably without having to carry it separately.

Even though Gaston Luga backpacks are created for travel, they work remarkably well as work bags, diaper bags and fitness bags too. Don't we all love bags that are multipurpose? I definitely do.

Photo credits to Gaston Luga.

Eager to get your hands on your own Lillen backpack from Gaston Luga?

You can key in my promo code '
GilmangirlxGL' to enjoy a 15% discount off any items on Gaston Luga Official Website. They offer free delivery and returns too. Besides, they have an amazing promotion where you can get 50% off any accessory and a complimentary Bors wallet with every backpack purchase. Nice eh? The wallet looks super classy - I want one too!

I have updated the promo code under the Gaston Luga logo on the Introduction page of my blog so that you could refer to it easily. Wishing you a happy shopping experience on Gaston Luga!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Gaston Luga. Bag feature is based on personal experiences.
Smile Project Photo

Food Review: Enjoy a Steamboat Feast at Home with Steamboat King Singapore

Hey people!

Hands up if you love steamboat!

While I generally enjoy steamboat, I always prefer to have it with my family in the comforts of our home instead of in a restaurant.

Perhaps it is because I always associate steamboats with cosy family reunions, so the idea of having it at home with the people who matter resonates well with me.

I gotta say though that preparing for a steamboat feast can be really cumbersome when you need to buy all sorts of ingredients well before your steamboat dinner.

Every Chinese New Year eve, my Mum will start preparing the ingredients by mid-afternoon so that our steamboat dinner will be ready on time.

It's nice to know that there are companies out there like Steamboat King Singapore which allows you to enjoy a steamboat feast without the hassle of going out to buy your own ingredients. In fact, they will deliver your steamboat bundle to you within a 1.5 hour delivery timeslot.

The head chefs behind Steamboat King Singapore have more than 30 years of culinary experience, and they are experts when it comes to creating amazing recipes for their soup broths.

A quick browse of the website shows various steamboat bundles that you can consider, depending on how premium you want your ingredients to be, and how many pax you will be sharing your food with. If you go for a Steamboat King Bundle A, B, C, D or a Premium Deluxe Set Meal (6 pax), you will even get a portable stove set for free.

For this blog review, I tried their Steamboat King Bundle B which is meant for sharing among 3 to 4 pax. We ended up sharing the Set Meal with 5 adults and 1 toddler, simply because the food portions were so generous. I also arranged for the Set Meal to arrive between 4.15pm to 5.45pm on a weekend, and it ended up reaching my doorstep by 4.00pm. Very early - good job!

Since my family already has two steamboat pots at home, we decided to use both for the broths. If you do not own a steamboat pot, you can always purchase it separately from Steamboat King Singapore under 'Portable Accessories'. Islandwide delivery is free if your total purchase value is $100 or more.

Now, what's in Steamboat King Bunble B?

Soup Broths

Let's start with the the most important part of steamboat - the soup broths!

What's special about the soup broths is that they are simmered on low fire for a minimum of 8 hours daily to bring out their maximum flavours, while also retaining their natural ingredients.

We had to choose two soup broths out of the following 5 options:

1) Premium Collagen Soup (+$5)
2) Sichuan Mala Soup
3) Tomato Soup
4) Pork Tonkotsu Soup
5) Kimchi Soup

I chose Premium Collagen Soup and Pork Tonkotsu Soup for the family. It was an easy choice because I do not take spice and I never liked kimchi. Was contemplating on Tomato Soup too but I think I still prefer my eventual choices. We also received 4 servings of goji berries and red dates to add to our Premium Collagen Soup. Yums!

Premium Collagen Soup

Since Collagen Soup is known to be good for our complexion and health, I knew I had to order this. We also used our steamboat induction cooker to heat up the broth.

Even though the Premium Collagen Soup requires a top-up of $5, it was super worth it because it was very rich in flavour and infused with so much herbal goodness. Clearly my family's favourite soup!

Besides enhancing the flavours of our ingredients, it was so good that we each drank a bowl of it too. If you are thinking of ordering this soup, do add some water to balance the saltiness of the Collagen Soup.

Pork Tonkotsu Soup

As for the Pork Tonkotsu Soup, we used a steamboat gas cooker to heat up the broth. This was our oldest steamboat pot and it existed ever since I was a teen.

Prepared by slow-simmering a pork bone broth, the Pork Tonkotsu Soup won our hearts with its taste and its nutritional value. I adore the creamy texture of the soup, and found that it complemented the taste of the meats very well.

Meat & Seafood

How about the ingredients?

Our favourite of the lot were the meats and the seafood. Look at their nice presentation in a bento!

We had Chicken Breast Shabu (200g), Brazil Pork Belly Shabu (200g), Brazil Pork Collar Shabu (200g) and Toman Fish Slice (200g). My family had nothing but praises for the freshness and the high quality of the meats. The Pork Belly and Pork Collar were SO GOOD.

In the rare event that you are sent ingredients that are not fresh, fret not. Just go on to their live chat, send them some images of the ingredients and they will arrange for a replacement right away.

Vegetables & Mushrooms

For greens, there were Chinese Long Cabbage (200g) and Shanghai Green (200g).

The veggies were the first ingredients that were thrown into the soup broth when it was time to start cooking. There was also an abundant supply of Enoki Mushrooms (100g) which we all love.

Other ingredients

Other ingredients we had were 8 pieces of Fried Beancurd Skin Roll (DAYUM - delicious to max!), Egg Tofu (100g) and Chinese Sausage (200g).

There was also Superior Fish Paste (150g), which we ended up scooping into little balls using a spoon before tossing them into the broths. My niece, Astrid loved this!

Noodles, Rice, Drinks & Dessert

Since this was a meal for 4 pax, we were sent 1 serving of Korean Noodles and 3 servings of Japanese Steamed Rice. The hubs went for the Korean Noodles right away, while the rest of us had a small portion of rice to eat with our ingredients. We even managed to save 1 serving of rice for the next day.

As for drinks and desserts, I chose Iced Lemon Tea and Watermelon slices for the family. I did not expect that I will be receiving a huge bottle of Iced Lemon Tea that was more than enough for all of us. The Watermelon slices were not great though - they were not sweet and they smelled a little. :S

Signature Sauce Set

Lastly, Steamboat King Singapore includes their complimentary signature sauce set with every order.

There was a Japanese style dipping sauce called Goma Shoyu which I used to dip my pork in. Infused with roasted sesame, this sauce is a healthier choice too.

For those who prefer a bit more spice, there was also Thai Chilli which was a mix of sour and spicy. If that was not challenging enough, you can try their Homemade Sambal Chilli for a spicier kick.

Overall, we had a sumptuous steamboat feast and managed to finish everything (except that 1 serving of rice which we kept for the next day). We will certainly order from Steamboat King Singapore again when we are too lazy to prepare our own steamboat ingredients.

Thank you Steamboat King Singapore for feeding the family, and Best in Singapore for faciltiating!

About Best in Singapore

Best in Singapore publishes well-researched, tested and informative contributed articles focusing on The Best in Singapore. They go by the tagline 'Know the Best. Buy the Best!', and you can check out their website, Facebook and Instagram if you would like to find out what are the best products and services in Singapore.

Interested to indulge in a steamboat feast from the comforts of your home?

The Steamboat King Bundle B (for 3 to 4 pax) usually retails at $149 but is currently on a promotional price of $99. If you purchase any bundles, you get a portable stove set for free!

You can check them out and order directly from Steamboat King Singapore website.  Don't forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates and promotions too!

Opening hours:
Mon to Thurs - 10.45am to 9.45pm
Last order: 8.45pm

Friday to Sun - 10.45am to 10.45pm
Last order: 9.45pm

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Best in Singapore and Steamboat King Singapore. Photos on Steamboat King Singapore website are credited to Express Photography. Review is based on personal experiences.
From The Top

Happy Birthday To Me: Celebrating my 32nd Birthday [Restaurants Feature]

Hey people!

I turned 32 years old a month ago and it has been nothing short of amazing.

My birthday falls on a working Friday, and the usual me would have taken leave to give myself a break from work. This year, I did not do so because I wanted to be part of a virtual work event that will be happening on the same day.

I happened to also be the project lead for a big campaign, and have personal responsibility to ensure that our first virtual event runs smoothly. It was a success, and I cannot be more proud of my dream team.

Hot Stones @ Clarke Quay with YX

That night, YX and I went for my birthday dinner at Hot Stones @ Clarke Quay.

Hot Stones is an Asian-Western fusion restaurant under Creative Eateries that has a unique dining concept of cooking fresh meats and seafood on serpentine volcanic stone slabs. I had won a $60 voucher to dine there many months ago, but circuit breaker happened and we were not able to use the vouchers for any occasions till now.

The interior reminded me of a Korean barbeque restaurant, don't you agree?

Clarke Quay was pretty quiet on a Friday night, very unlike pre-COVID days when it was bustling with tourists, families, couples and partygoers. Hot Stones had only 3 groups of diners while we were there, and 2 of us were there to celebrate our birthdays. Hmm...

The restaurant gave us a welcome drink (picture on left) before our dishes arrived.

We also ordered a Lychee Peach Calpis mocktail which was absoutely refreshing. Sorry, lao niang here does not like alcohol, so even though Hot Stones has a vast selection of wines and cocktails, we did not order them.

We went for the Smoked Chicken Carbonara because I always loved carbonara-based pastas more than any other pastas. The parmesan cheese was strong in this one, and it was very flavourful.

Thankfully, YX and I shared our dishes, because there was no way I could finish this dish on my own even though it was DELISH.

For meats, we ordered the USDA Choice Grain Fed Tenderloin (100g) and the Iberico Pork Jowl (100g). *salivates*

There was actually an extensive list of meats to choose from, some more premium than the rest. If you are feeling rich and want to treat yourself, you can definitely go for a more expensive choice.

YX is usually the one doing the cooking of the meats while I wait to be served. :P

Since he likes it, here's a picture of him doing all the work. HA HA HA! 

Love the loud sizzling sounds when the meat touches the hot volcanic stone slab. Love it more when it is cooked and ready to be eaten. :)

We spent around $80+ in total with GST so YX paid for the excess.

L'Atelier Tirami.Su @ The Central with YX

After dinner, YX brought me to L'Atelier Tirami.Su at The Central to end off the night with a birthday cake.

This dessert shop closes at 10pm, and there were still a lot of people in the shop even though we stepped in at around 9pm. We almost could not get seats!

While waiting for a seat, we decided to order a cake first, and we went for Classico because it was the one that was largely featured on the shop's Instagram page and on food blogs.

Lady luck was with us because when our cake was ready, a couple vacated their seat, so YX and I went for it. WOOHOO!!

I was so in love with Classico. There was a nice espresso flavour to it, coupled with a hint of liquer. It was not overly sweet and the texture was just right. In fact, it was pretty addictive and I think I ate a good half (or maybe even 3/4s) of this cake. HA HA, sorry hubby!

Mad for Garlic @ Suntec City with the In-laws

Photo credits to myfave.com.

In early September, YX also treated me to an all-expenses paid birthday staycation at Hotel G Singapore as one of my birthday presents. I published an in-depth staycation review post two weeks back so you can click on the hyperlink above to read about my staycation experience.

On one of the nights, my in-laws met us up for an early birthday celebration at Mad for Garlic @ Suntec City. I was really excited about it because I ate at the same restaurant 4 years ago with YX when we started dating, and we were very impressed by the food then. Happy to introduce a wonderful eatery to my in-laws!

We tried so many food that I had to do a collage of the photos to make sure that this entry does not get too long. We also used my Entertainer SG app to enjoy two '1-for-1' promotions, which also meant that two of the lower priced main courses became complimentary. 

These were the dishes that were shared among 5 of us:

1) [Appetiser] Dracula Killer

2) [Main Course] Garlic Foryou Steak (Tenderloin, 150g)

3) [Main Course] Garlic Steak (Rib-eye, 220g)

4) [Main Course] Grilled Chicken Ssam

5) [Main Course] Garlic Ragu Fettuccine

6) [Dessert] Lemon Cheesecake Eggroll

7) [Dessert] Garlic Apple Crumble

We totally had garlic breath after our dinner but we did not mind because our dishes were TOO GOOD to resist. There was not a single dish that I did not like. Mad for Garlic has met our high expectations again! :)

Paddyfolks @ Funan SG with the Blogger Girls

Had a belated gathering with my blogger girls, Jessie, Meryl and SQ at Paddyfolks @ Funan SG.

Paddyfolks is a Japanese-fusion eatery selling healthy rice and pasta bowls and it was basically my kind of food! My only gripe was that there
were only a few seats available in this eatery due to safe distancing measures so the girls and I had to wait for 15 to 20 minutes before we could be seated.

Happy to also share my '1-for-1' Entertainer app lobangs with my blogger girls at this eatery!

Jessie and SQ had Yakiniku Beef Tender Rice Bowl and Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl respectively, while Meryl and I had Mentaiko Salmon Furikake Pasta Bowls!

Portions were smaller than expected but the food was really delicious.

Gochabar @ Funan SG with the Blogger Girls

We finished our dinner in 1 hour and had to vacate for the next group of customers so we headed next door to Taiwan juice bar, Gochabar for a drink.

It just so happened that Gochabar is also on The Entertainer with '1-for-1' promotions; their drinks looked enticing and the place was pretty with enough seats, so we decided that we shall hang out there for the next 1 hour.

Jessie and I had Honey Chrysanthemum Goji Tea (drink on left) while Meryl and SQ had Go Premium Milk Tea (drink on right). We chatted for so long that we only realized we had to go when the shops were closing. HA HA! 

Enjoyed myself tremendously with the girls. Thank you for pampering me with your gifts as well!

The Tree Cafe @ The Cathay with Bestie Bev

Also had a belated gathering with my bestie, Bev at The Tree Cafe @ The Cathay.

Bev was so busy with her work appointments that she could only meet at 3pm on that day. So we agreed that we will meet for tea instead of lunch. I ordered a Tropical Smoothie from The Tree Cafe while Bev had her super late lunch.

We chatted for 1.5 hours while drinking our smoothies - can you believe it? Time flies when you are immersed in conversation.

Speaking of smoothies, I was damn impressed by this huge glass of smoothie from The Tree Cafe. It was so refreshing that I wished I had enough stomach for another glass. No wonder everyone in the cafe seemed to be having smoothies too.

The Tree Cafe happens to be on Entertainer SG as well, so we each had 25% off for our food. Yay, everyone loves good deals.

Thank you Bestie for the pampering gifts too! See you for our Christmas celebration!

Home Celebration with the Family

At home, my family celebrated my 2nd Sister's and my birthday with a cake from The Cake Shop.

Our birthdays are 11 days apart so it has always been a tradition to celebrate our birthdays together since young. This time, we had little Astrid, my cute 1.5 year old niece (2nd Sister's daughter) to join us in this celebration.

It's a pity that the current safe distancing measures limit the no. of visitors per household to 5 pax. This also means that my Big Sister is unable to bring her family of 4 to my house when my 2nd Sister's family of 3 is visiting. Thus, although she bought the cake for us, her family had to watch the birthday celebration over Whatsapp video call from their house. Thank you to Big Sis for buying the cake, and for the ang pao as well.

Sweet surprises from my Colleagues

This was the first year that I was celebrating my birthday with my colleagues.

Despite how everyone was so busy with last minute preparations for our first virtual event on the same day, it was amazing how they managed to surprise me multiple times.

In the midst of clearing emails, my doorbell rang and it was a Grabfood driver holding these Delifrance tarts and wishing me a 'Happy Birthday'. I have not had Delifrance in a damn long time so this was refreshing for me. Shared my sweet treats with the family during lunch and everyone loved the chocolate tarts to bits. The chocolate was so rich and good!

After our event, the team would usually stay back for a quick 15 minutes debriefing to share about how the event went, and what can be improved in the next run.

I was going 'Well done, everyone! We did well just now!' when suddenly, everyone started changing their virtual backgrounds to a yellow one which read, 'Happy Birthday, Tracy!'. I was stunned and burst out laughing when they started to sing a birthday song in a non-synchronised manner. HA HA! I love my #dreamteam.

In case you are wondering, they were all pointing at where I was on their Zoom screens. I appear in different directions!

And that wasn't all.

Over the weekend, I received another parcel, this time from Sephora. My team has sent me a Fresh skincare kit which came in an adorable pouch. They truly got what I like most in life - beauty products and pouches. Sephora even threw in a couple of samples from other brands.

I have always liked Fresh products even though they are a tad pricey so I am exhilarated to own 5 mini favourites now. Thank you to my sweet colleagues!

That marks my exciting birthday celebrations with my family, friends and loved ones. Nothing makes me happier than having quality time and meaningful conversations with the people who matter. I am proud to be 32 and excited for what this year, or the next few years will bring. :)

Disclaimer: This is a personal post, and I am not sponsored by the eateries reviewed above. I only have an ongoing long-term collaboration with The Entertainer SG for the annual subscription of their mobile app. Reviews of the eateries are based on personal experiences.

Review: Cosmo Prime Air Purifier with 3-in-1 HEPA Filter

Hey people!

Guess what arrived at my door two weeks back?

It's the Cosmo Prime Air Purifier, the sleekest air purifier I have ever owned! 

Check out this baby! It has air inlets all around its cylindrical frame, which allow it to filter particles from all angles. In fact, it filters 99.97% of particles in the air. Good eh?

I do have a small air purifier that I previously owned, but it was not working well. Thus, this Air Purifier came just at the right time! It was a tad larger than I would have liked it to be, but no complaints here - as long as it functions well and does not take up too much space, I am happy!

Cosmo offers free delivery and you can even choose to have it delivered within the same day.

I was not in desperate need of the air purifier, so I chose to have it delivered on a Friday evening when I knew I would be home, and available to receive new products at my door. It arrived earlier than expected by mid-afternoon on that day, while I was in the middle of a #workfromhome meeting. Ha ha!

The Air Purifier comes with an instruction manual, which I urge everyone to read so that you will know how to utilise this Air Purifier optimally. I never used to bother about instruction manuals until I started using smart gadgets.

Before you connect the plug to an electrical socket and turn the power button on, you will need to check on the HEPA filter first!

The filter is protected by a plastic wrapping, so you will need to remove it, before fitting it back into the machine. Once this is done, you can connect your plug and turn the power button on!

The HEPA filter is called a '3-in-1' filter because it contains 3 layers:

1) 1st layer: A pre-filter to trap large particles like hair, lint, dust and fur;

2) 2nd layer: A H13 HEPA filter to trap smaller particles like pollen and dust mites; and

3) 3rd layer: An activated carbon filter to neutralise odours in air (particularly from pets) and absorb formaldehyde

To maintain the filter, you can clean the filter regularly using a soft cloth. However, do remember not to i) wash the filter under running water or ii) use a vacuum cleaner to clean the filter. Depending on your usage or the air quality, it is also recommended for you to change the filter every 12 to 18 months at a price of $130.

Let's move on to its touch panel, shall we?

When the Air Purifier is switched on, it changes colours in the sequence of blue - cyan - green - yellow - orange - red - purple during the preheating phase. After 30 seconds, it will reflect a colour that will indicate the true air quality. If you see a beautiful blue light like the one above, smile because you've got good air quality in your room. If you see a yellow light, you've got average air quality. If you see red, uh-oh! Time to do something about the air quality in your room!

The digital display also shows the number of PM 2.5 particles that are currently present in the air. The lower the number, the better. In fact, the number gets lower as you allow the Air Purifier to work its magic.

On the touch panel, you will also notice other functions like 'mode', 'timer' and 'light'.

Mode controls the wind speed and you can adjust it to 'Auto', 'High' , 'Medium' or 'Sleep'.

I usually go for 'Medium' or 'Sleep' mode, with the latter being my favourite mode. Cosmo uses a SilentMotor-VX Technology where the noise level at 'Sleep' mode is a mere 20 decibels. That is softer than a whisper and will certainly not disrupt your sleep at all. Coupled with the beautiful blue light that serves as a calming night light, you are bound to enjoy a relaxing sleep.

You can also set the Timer at 2 hours, 4 hours or 8 hours depending on your needs. Once the timer is up, the Air Purifier will go into standby mode and turn off all lights. 2 hours is usually suffice for me.

As for Light, you can control the intensity of the light emitting from the Air Purifier. What's more cool about this function is the child lock button, which you will need to press for 3 seconds to lock or unlock this function. Once this function is up, your child will not be able to change your settings accidentally if they decide to fiddle with the Air Purifier. I shall make sure this function is up when my niece enters my room.

There is another button that looks rather obscure on the touch panel, so let me draw your attention to it.

The tiny button that I was pointing to with my nicely manicured finger is the Anion/Filter Button. When you press it, it generates anions, which are negatively charged particles that are abundant in nature. Releasing them into the air cleans the air of germs, strengthens our immunity, enhances our sleep and improves our mood. I'll definitely be utilising this function whenever I switch on the Air Purifier.

When it is time to change the filter or if the filter gets blocked, there will be a continuous flashing light emitting from the button to remind you to take action. You can press the filter button for 7 seconds to stop the flashing light.

If you are savvy, you can also download the 'Smart Life' app from the app store or on Google Play and control your Air Purifier from your phone.

Unfortunately, my WiFi is terrible and does not sync well with this app so I was unable to enjoy its convenience. If you are able to, do give it a go and let me know if it works well for you!

About Best in Singapore

Best in Singapore publishes well-researched, tested and informative contributed articles focusing on The Best in Singapore. They go by the tagline 'Know the Best. Buy the Best!', and you can check out their website, Facebook and Instagram if you would like to find out what are the best products and services in Singapore.

Interested to invest in a Cosmo Prime Air Purifier?

The Cosmo Prime Air Purifier retails at $538 but is currently having a 26% limited time discount. It comes with free delivery and a 5-year warranty. 

You can check them out and order directly from Cosmo Air Purifiers website. Alternatively, you can also visit them at their showroom at the address below. Don't forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates and promotions too!

Showroom Address:

Mactech Building
2 Kallang Pudding Road
#02-04 Singapore 349307

Opening hours:
Mon to Sat - 11am to 5pm
Closed on Sun & Public Holidays

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Best in Singapore and Cosmo Air Purifiers. Review is based on personal experiences.
Ze Cartoon

Qi Philosophy Cafe: Enjoy Healthy Fusion Meals among Lush Greenery at SkyTerrace @ Dawson

Hey people!

Last week was awesome because I met up with a couple of blogger friends for a food tasting session at Qi Philosophy Cafe.

The cafe was started three years ago by a wellness company that advocates a healthy, balanced lifestyle and diet. I was looking forward to the food tasting because I love exploring hidden gems, and I like the idea of feeding my body with wholesome and healthy food.

Qi Philosophy Cafe is located in Queenstown, specifically within an award-winning HDB estate, SkyTerrace @ Dawson.

Its location is not very noticeable though. SQ and I kinda got lost when we were at the estate, and had to 'google map' our way to the cafe. There was no signboard of the cafe at its exterior either, so it might be easy to mistake the cafe for a regular function room. 

Qi Philosophy cafe is surrounded by lush greenery and has a 'cafe within a park' concept.

Occasionally, you might notice joggers, families with kids, and pet owners walking along the park connector right outside the cafe. The cafe has a cosy and homely ambience, and makes a perfect place for some quiet 'me time'.

I met the founder of the cafe, Choo San during the food tasting and she happens to be a yoga teacher too. In fact, there is a small yoga studio at the back of the cafe for her yoga classes. Nice!

If you have never been to SkyTerrace @ Dawson, I'd say you take some to explore this HDB estate. Many years ago, I was helping out for a work event at this estate, so it felt surreal to be back.

SkyTerrace @ Dawson is unlike a typical HDB, and I always felt that it has a 'condominium vibe'. Walking around the estate was akin to walking through a pretty garden with plenty of instagram-worthy spots, just like this staircase. When you look up at the towering blocks, you will also notice its unique L-shaped units that are owned by 3-generational families.

The residents are so lucky to have such a lovely cafe right below their blocks.

The cafe serves a wide variety of food, whether Asian, Western or fusion food, all of which are prepared using ingredients with a lower glycemic index (GI). They also have set meals, and their menu changes every month. Nice to have something new to look forward to every month!

If you are thinking of using the cafe space for some events or celebrations, I heard that you need not pay for rental fees. Instead, you can book the space, and pay for the food that will be served during the event. Isn't that great? I can imagine the space being used for birthday parties and product launches already. :)

For our tasting menu, we were invited to try their daily set menus of the month. Each set menu is $15.80 nett and comes with 1) a soup of the day; 2) an entree (i.e. main course) and 3) a drink.

For the soup of the day, we had Cream of Pumpkin which was light and tasty. I love to warm my stomach with nourishing soup!

There were more choices for drinks. You could choose from:

1) Coffee (Latte, Cappucino or Americano);
2) Artisanal Teas (English Breakfast, Early Grey, Green Tea, Peppermint or Chamomile);
3) Ice Fruit Tea (Lemon, Peach or Apple); or
4) Bottled Juices (be prepared to top up an additional $3!)

We tried a Lemongrass Tea with Gula Melaka and it was a real thirst-quencher! Totally complemented our entrees as well.

For mains, the first dish we tried was Mui Fan.

This was a dish of egg fried rice topped with silky savoury gravy, and comes with ingredients like broccoli (my favourite), prawns, squids and sliced chicken. Usually, I prefer not to immerse my rice in gravy, but this gravy was so flavourful that I did not mind eating all the ingredients together.

I also liked that basmati rice was used in this dish. Basmati has a low to medium glycemic index, and is packed with 8 essential amino acids. It is also low in fat and sodium. In terms of taste, I like Basmati rice more than any other types of rice.

For the vegetarians out there, you might like the Taco Tempeh Bowl.

This bowl of goodness is packed to the brim with a mix of vegetables such as lettuce, black olives, jalapenos, cucumbers and tomatoes. Other ingredients include tempeh, black beans and vegan cheese, surrounded with tortilla chips.

I am digging this bowl so much that I wished I could have it all to myself (sorry friends!). It is the perfect healthy salad bowl to indulge in after a jog in the park or an intense yoga session.

Next up was the Roasted Chicken Buah Keluak. Doesn't this dish look delightful? Props to Qi Philosophy Cafe for making sure that the plating was picture-perfect too.

Truth be told, I never knew how to appreciate Buah Keluak on its own. When I attended a food tasting at a Peranakan restaurant years back, I realized that it actually tasted pretty good with rice. Now that it is smeared over roasted chicken, I think it tasted WAY better this way. The roasted chicken is accompanied with a super pretty Butterfly Pea Flower Coconut Rice that smelled amazing, as well as Achar and Sambal.

The last main course was the Qi Wagyu Beef Burger, which was the most premium main course in this daily set meal. If you are thinking of ordering this entree, you will need to top up $3 for it.

Nonetheless, you could tell from the platter that the ingredients were very generous. Based on my small stomach, I will probably need to share this platter with someone else. The Wagyu Beef patty was substantial and absolutely juicy. Topping it with cheese and some mushrooms really elevated its taste by a notch. The burger also comes with a side of coleslaw and sweet potato fries. I know some people may not like sweet potato fries, but I am perfectly fine with it!

The daily set meals do not come with desserts.

That said, if you are having a sweet tooth, you can always walk up to the counter and order their assorted cakes ($6.80 each) separately.

From left to right, they serve Pastel Yogurt, Red Velvet, Double Chocolate Fudge and Carrot Walnut. Which cake appeals to you?

We did not try the cakes that were currently available for sale though.

Instead, we were given two slices of Raspberry Cheesecake for tasting as they were contemplating whether to sell it. Well, I think they should! I loved their cheesecake for its addictive taste and its interesting texture. :)

For those of you who like Kombucha, they also sell Remedy Kombucha ($7.50 per bottle) in various flavours.

My friends have never tried Kombucha so we decided to try the Apple Crisp variant together. They said it reminded them of a mix of apple cider vinegar with beer. HA HA, what a way to put it!

Had a great time chatting with the girls for 2 hours! Time flies when you are having fun.

Cheers to a relaxing weekend and a wonderful food tasting session!

If you have some time to spare, do visit Qi Philosophy Cafe for some yummilicious, wholesome food and explore the surrounding estate thereafter. You can also follow the cafe on Facebook and Instagram for updates and promotions. Enjoy!

Qi Philosophy Cafe
93 Dawson Road, SkyTerrace @ Dawson
#01-02, Singapore 142093

Opening hours: 10.30am to 9.00pm daily, except Monday.

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Qi Philosophy Cafe. Reviews are based on personal experiences.
Smile Project Photo

My 3D2N Birthday Staycation at Hotel G Singapore

Good day, my friends!

It is likely that none of us will be travelling this year due to the ever evolving COVID-19 situation. Thankfully, the government seems to be encouraging us to be a tourist in our country, and go for staycations. I guess that will be the new normal. :P

The last time I travelled was during my honeymoon to Korea in late 2019, and we were still making plans on which country to visit in 2020 then. COVID-19 busted our plans, so we decided to make up for our lack of travel plans with a staycation.

Sometime back, YX scored a fantastic deal from trip.com for Hotel G Singapore, whereby he paid $156 for a 3D2N staycation for 2 of us.

We were planning to go for our staycation in July or August, but the slots were completely filled up and the only available slots were from September 2020 onwards. Since September is my birthday month, we decided to turn it into a birthday staycation, where my hubby treated me to an all-expenses-paid mini holiday. Thank youuuu hubby! :)

Hotel G Singapore is located along Middle Road, across the road from Sunshine Plaza and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. The nearest train stations to Hotel G are Bencoolen MRT Station and Bugis MRT Station, which are a walking distance away.

I hardly venture to Middle Road so the street was unfamiliar to me - which provides a greater reason to explore! It is easy to miss the hotel as well if you do not keep a lookout for the signboard!

Hotel G is a 4-star quintessential lifestyle hotel and is one of the best economy hotels reviewed by travel bloggers.

The hotel follows a boutique hotel concept, whereby it is small and adequate. In terms of interior design, it has a funky, millenial vibe, with instagram-worthy walls and walkways. I suspect that 'G' stands for 'Ginnett' although I do not actually know who he is (pardon my ignorance).

If you plan to visit this hotel for its facilities, you might be disappointed because there is no swimming pool or pretty gardens to explore. There is a small gym for the fitness buffs but when we were there, the gym was closed until further notice. That was fine with me though, because I was not in the mood for swimming or gymming when I was on this staycation. Rather, I had intended to be a sloth and vegetate my life away over the three days.

I had good vibes for this hotel right away during check-in when we were given a complimentary upgrade to a king-size bed, and late check-out till 2pm on our third day. It was given to us automatically without us having to shamelessly request for them.

Thus, here is a picture of me lounging around on my king-size bed. The room, by itself, is small, but Hotel G makes clever use of the space to prevent you from feeling claustrophobic. The wooden platform gets in the way sometimes (i.e. I knocked my knee against it once, and YX nearly fell off at another time) but in general, it was a lovely, cosy bedroom with homely decors and good choice of colours. 

My favourite decor in the room was its signature dreamcatcher that was hanging from the ceiling. On closer look, it looked simple to create since it was made with a bunch of multi-coloured ribbons.

Nonetheless, a simple installation can spruce up the look of the room and cast such pretty and artistic shadows against the ceiling as well as walls. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Do you know that the dreamcatchers in each room are unique? Wished someone could piece together the photos of the dreamcatchers so that I could see all the designs.

Going to bed while staring up at an entrancing dreamcatcher felt absolutely peaceful and relaxing to my mind. I slept like a log for the next two nights, clocking a solid 7 to 8 hours of deep sleep. My hubby was so proud that I finally gave myself enough rest and sleep.

I have never hankered after big and luxurious bathrooms because 1) I prefer showers to bathtubs and 2) I hate bathrooms that have big mirrors facing the bathtubs.

In Hotel G, I like how the toilet bowl was nicely segregated from the shower, while the sink was outside the bathroom. At least it prevents me from wetting the entire bathroom when I shower.

There was a TV across our bed, but even then, there was a lack of exciting movies, dramas or shows to watch.

We watched a random Taiwan reality show briefly on the TV, and decided to use YX's laptop to watch a Netflix show instead. HA HA!

Hotel G recently launched 'Work from Hotel' packages so I guess this will be the table that users will work from.

I like how the electrical sockets were located close by, and there was a board for you to pin reminders too. Since I had no intentions to work while on staycation, we used the table more for drinks and food.

Love the cute mugs and the water cartons!

We were also provided with toothbrush sets, sanitary bags, shower cap, vanity tools, a mouthwash, hand sanitiser and disposable masks. The disposable masks came in handy because I used them on the 2nd and 3rd day.

There was a kettle for us to boil water, although it was not a fantastic model because you do have to monitor its boiling and switch it off after use. It does not automatically switch off after it reaches its boiling point. Dangerous!

For shower products, we were provided with shampoo, conditioner and shower gel from Australian brand, METIS.

I have never heard of this brand before, but a quick look at the ingredient list shows that the ingredients were largely essential oil blends. I love natural and sweet-scented products that utilise essential oils!

The bed and pillows were rather soft compared to the firm bed and pillows that YX and I were using at home. We were not used to it on the first night, but grew accustomed to it by the 2nd night. Other than that, the covers were cooling and cosy, which helped me to sleep very well.

In fact, I also managed to take two naps during my staycation. The recent sweater weather made chilling under the covers even more enjoyable.

Let's go beyond the room and exploring the surroundings of Hotel G, shall we?

When you step into the lobby of Hotel G, you will notice the classy and grand Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar. It's a pity that YX and I do not drink, so we did not visit the wine bar to grab a glass or two. We were more interested in their neighbouring restaurant, which serves our complimentary breakfast for the day.

Twentyfive Degrees is a burger, wine & liquor bar where we will visit for our daily breakfast.

Due to safe distancing measures, hotels have stopped providing buffets, but guests can still order ala carte items off their menu. We had a five-item breakfast menu to choose from, with free flow coffee and tea. The staff would also supplement our breakfast with free fruits and/or doughnuts.

Out of the five items on the breakfast menu, only three of them were worth it. The other two were chicken congee and museli, both of which were a 'nope!' for us.

The food we ordered were generally eggy dishes accompanied with croissants, hashbrown, sausages and baked beans. They were definitely not as impressive a spread as what you can get in higher-class hotels, but we do not have high expectations since this is a 4-star hotel after all.

We tried a different type of egg for each dish and savoured sunny side up, fried egg and scrambled eggs. On one of the days, we went for Buttermilk Waffles which were not bad - I just wished they drizzled more maple syrup or chocolate.

Nana's Green Tea @ DUO Galleria

Since lunch and dinner were not provided, we took this chance to venture and explore.

On our first night, we explored Haji Lane and Arab Street (they were surprisingly crowded with families and couples) before heading to DUO Galleria for our dinner at Nana's Green Tea.

It was our first time dining in this restaurant and we decided to use The Entertainer App to enjoy a 1-for-1 deal. The Sukiyaki Udon came with the most amazing broth that was perfect for the chilly weather.

We also ordered the Chicken Nanban, which was another bestseller.

The chicken cutlet was flavourful and went very well with the egg mayonnaise. Even the rice was interesting and I could not get enough of the Japanese potato salad. The only downside was that this dish made both of us full to the brim, so we decided not to order any matcha drinks or desserts thereafter.

Dinner on the second night was at Mad for Garlic @ Suntec City, where I had an early birthday celebration with my in-laws. I will share more about this experience in a separate blog entry where I will be writing specifically about my birthday.

Keong Saik Bakery

Our breakfast meals were generally pretty substantial, which left us little appetite for lunch. By the time lunch came on the second day, I only had appetite for.... Burnt Cheesecake.

My facebook feed was flooded with images of Burnt Cheesecake, so curiosity got the better of me. When the hubs asked me what I would like to have for lunch, I told him that I would like to try this dessert. Hubby decided to bring me to Keong Saik Bakery, which was apparently one of the best bakeries for burnt cheescake, to get our own slice. Dang, the queue was long!

Sadly, we were not able to dine in due to safe distancing measures.

Thus, we bought an Original Burnt Cheesecake and a Matcha cruffin (they are famous for that too!) and took a bus back to our hotel to savour them. The Burnt Cheescake was pretty expensive for a small slice, but the cheese was so rich and good! Strangely, the burnt part did not add to the taste or scent of the cake, and merely affected the aesthetics of it. Is it supposed to be this way?

The matcha of the cruffin was delicious, with the right combination of sweetness and bitterness. I think the chocolate cruffin would probably taste as good as well.

Rocher Beancurd

Our hotel was situated very near Rocher Beancurd, which was famous for their traditional beancurd.

We knew we had to drop by this eatery to get beancurd for the family before we checked out of the hotel.

Since it was lunchtime and I was full from my generous breakfast meals, I decided to eat only Rocher beancurd for lunch. It was yums to the tums!

True that, Hotel G!

Overall, I had a marvellous stay in Hotel G, had plenty of rest time and truly felt like a tourist in my country. It was definitely a weekend well spent, and I look forward to seizing more staycation deals in the future!

Hotel G Singapore
200 Middle Road
Singapore 188990

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Hotel G Singapore to write this post (although staycation sponsorships are welcome!). Instead, my hubby sponsored my birthday staycation. Reviews are based on personal experiences.
From The Top

Review: ToCOO! - Online Shopping Mall for Japanese Goodies

Hey people!

Two weeks ago, I was introduced to ToCOO!, an online shopping mall that was recently launched by a Japanese company, Coocom Co. Ltd.

Founded in 1998, the company was more involved in the travel industry, but has gradually diversified themselves to market other Japanese brands and products as well. Today, they started an online shopping mall, selling a wide variety of authentic Japanese goods in the various categories below. 

I gotta admit that I had mixed feelings when I was browsing through the website.

While I adore Japanese products for their high quality, innovation and gorgeous packaging, it is always the price that gets to me. When I was travelling in Japan years ago, it was immensely difficult for me to find a shop that would cater to pro-budget me.

Thus, when I was browsing through the website, my heart fell when I saw the prices. Granted, some of the products looked great, especially the wooden art Japanese buildings categorised under 'Toys/Games' which should really be under 'Interior Decors/Art'. However, the price tag is definitely on the higher side, even though 'free shipping' does help to make the price less scary.

Aside from price, I would also encourage the company to include sub-categories on their website so that it would be easy for potential shoppers to look for certain products. For example, under 'Cosmetics/Healthcare' which contains so many types of products, sub-categories like 'cleansers', 'moisturisers', 'toners/essence' and 'masks' would make the page more user-intuitive. Thankfully, they have a search bar with a drop-down menu of suggested words so that helps tremendously if you need to locate a particular product on the website.

That said, it was sweet of the company to send over a couple of Japanese beauty products for me to try, so I decided to do a review of them on this post too.

I was sent the 1) BIKAN Cleansing Oil (180ml bottle), 2) BIKAN Sun Cream WGP (30g bottle) and 3) Honey Fucoidan Toothpaste from the Sea (30g sample). While both BIKAN products are retail size, the toothpaste is a travel-size sample. The retail size toothpaste is actually a 100g tube.

These brands are not typically found in Singapore, so I am curious to know how they would fare on my skin.

BIKAN Cleansing Oil (180ml bottle)

A moisturising cleansing oil that removes makeup, dirt and impurities from your skin while keeping your skin hydrated. It is infused with two key moisturising ingredients, i.e. collagen and placenta to strengthen the elasticity of your skin.

You can use this as a regular cleanser or a makeup remover, but I prefer to use it as the latter. I started using the Cleansing Oil recently and I was surprised that it was not as oily as I expected it to be. I started to wonder if the makeup removal was thorough enough. What if it did not manage to melt my makeup fully?

I decided to do a second cleanse using micellar water to check if there was any makeup residue left behind. Lo and behold, there was none! YAY!! I shall continue to use the Cleansing Oil to remove my base makeup, while reserving my micellar water for removing eye makeup and lip colours. :)

BIKAN Sun Cream WGP (30g bottle)

This product is a sunscreen with BB Cream properties. By that, I mean that besides protecting your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, it also has added functions of brightening and smoothening your complexion.

Although there is no sign of 'SPF' or 'PA++' anywhere on the bottle, the product does contain a key ingredient, Glutathione that is known to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Other ingredients include white sake lees, placenta, hyaluronic acid and lecithin, which lock moisture in your skin to ensure a radiant complexion.

My first impression was that the sunscreen looked like a white paste. Surprisingly, the texture was lightweight and it did not leave behind a greasy or sticky residue when it was absorbed into my skin. I noticed that it minimized my pores and gave me a natural, radiant finish. There was no white cast left behind too.

That said, while it has BB cream properties, it certainly does not replace your BB cream, foundation or other base makeup. For one, it does not conceal blemishes, and your skin does not look the same way as if you were to apply foundation. It is more suitable for days when you want to go makeup-free but still want to look 'put together'. There is also a light pleasant scent to this sunscreen, which is a huge bonus for me. 

Honey Fucoidan Toothpaste from the Sea (30g sample)

I have never used toothpaste with fucoidan in my life, so this is interesting to me. Fucoidan is extracted from edible seaweed, Okina Mozuku and is an antibacterial ingredient. As it keeps bacteria at bay, it facilitates good oral health by preventing tooth decay, removing plaque, eradicating bad breath and whitening teeth.

When I squeezed the toothpaste onto my toothbrush, I was taken aback that it did not look like the regular whitish paste that I was used to. Unlike regular toothpaste, it also took a while to foam. As the toothpaste is infused with herbal extracts and sea salt, I expected it to have a strong taste or a tinge of saltiness, but it turned out to be mild and refreshing. There was a slight cooling after-effect, which I wished could be stronger. Nonetheless, I have a general good impression for this toothpaste and will continue using it.

If you are interested in the abovementioned three products and are okay with their prices, you can click on their respective hyperlinks in the product reviews above and purchase them directly from ToCOO! .

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Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Coocom Co. Ltd. Reviews are based on personal experiences.