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, Sudio Elva, Sudio Femtio and Sudio Nio

Maison 21G

Key in promo code 'M21Gtracy15' to get 15% discount off all products on Maison 21G website.

Key in promo code 'M21WSgilmangirl21' to get 21% discount off any workshops on Maison 21G website.

Read my scent customisation experience at Maison 21G perfume boutique here.

Pine & Co

Use promo code 'gilmangirlxpine&co' for 10% discount off the lowest-price purchase from Pine & Co website. Promo code is limited to 1 use per customer. Read my feature of Pine & Co shower products here.


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.

Happy Birthday To Me: Life Gets Better at 33

Hey people!

Years ago, my mom would tell me that I should enjoy my youth while it lasts, because life would become more difficult as I age.

I would lose my freedom and personal time; I would watch my attractiveness ebb away and I would have more worries and problems waiting for me to be solved. It feels as though ageing equates to misery. Is that why women fear letting others know their age? Are they afraid that people will judge them as 'old hags'? Do they not feel beautiful anymore when they grow older?

Now that I'm in my 30s, everything my mom said was probably true. But how you view your life from there makes all the difference. Do you see your glass of water half-full, or half-empty?

I never expected to be the happiest, most confident, most inspired and most productive at 33 compared to my younger days. I looked better at 33 than I ever was in my 20s too.

I discovered that the secret to beauty and success is indeed your happiness and confidence. They work hand in hand like an upward spiral, attracting all the good things that you have always desired towards you. When I was a teenager, I have never envisioned that people would be listening to my voice so regularly today, or that I would be in front of the cameras all the time, shooting content for my social media platforms. I always thought that I was meant to be anonymous and invisible in life. It wasn't until I hit a 'eureka' moment and realized that... no, there's so much more that I could actually do. God has bigger plans for me, and I was not meant to hide behind the shadows forever.

Photo credits to https://execed.economist.com/

The feeling of abundance is immeasurably powerful too. When you feel that you already have more than you need, you wouldn't focus on your 'lack-ofs'; you wouldn't care about comparing yourself with others; you wouldn't blame yourself for not having what others have, and most importantly, you would never be jealous of other people's success. Instead, you would feel so secure, contented and proud of what you already have.

Admittedly, I didn't have a solid foundation or good role models to learn confidence from in my younger days, but that doesn't mean that I am doomed for life. The wonderful thing about being an independent adult is the power to control how you want your life to be, what goals you want to pursue and what values you choose to uphold. You are the captain of your own ship and you decide where you want to go. Don't let anyone else take the wheel and prescribe the life that you should lead. I choose happiness and I want to make every moment count.

Moving aside from this reflective post, I wanted to express gratitude for everything that has happened during my birthday month. The collage shows a snippet of what has gone on in September and early October. In a gist and in no order of importance, I want to say....

Thank you:

- Hubby YX for bringing me to a total of three awesome eateries (So Ramen, The Spot and Yenly Yours) for birthday lunch, birthday dinner and birthday dessert respectively. Beyond that, joining me in my media event to shoot for a campaign even though that also means becoming an unpaid photographer for me. But you did it anyway because you love me. :)

- The team from Have Fun Singapore for putting together such a lovely celebration for me. I've never had a birthday celebration like this in my life. I will forever remember the creative balloon decors in a pink instagrammable room, coupled with a delicious red velvet cheesecake and Moscato, prepared just for me!

- My colleagues for your multiple birthday surprises. You made my busy work day significantly more memorable!

- My family for the cosy home celebration even though they were busy taking care of my sister (who just gave birth), my niece and my newborn nephew.

My in-laws, also my second family, for treating me to a birthday dinner from Crystal Jade.

- My Bestie for delivering a honey cake to me. We used to celebrate our birthdays together over a good meal, but now that she was heavily pregnant on my birthday, it was so sweet of her to send something over instead.

- My Blogger Girls for the fun time at Jessie's house and the generous birthday gifts.

- Koi Singapore and Style Theory for the complimentary bubble tea and outfits that I wore for my birthday outings! Love birthday perks! 

- Everyone else for the number of cakes (5 cakes over 3 days was no joke!), gifts and well wishes!

No words can adequately describe how joyful and blessed I've been. I strive to be this happy, thankful and proud of myself for the rest of my life.

Although one month has already passed, here's to turning a year older, and pursuing life like an adventure. May I be blessed with exciting opportunities and blissful memories! :)

The Durian Bakery: Desserts Galore for Durian Lovers

Hey people!

Hands up if you are a fan of durians!

I come from a family of durian lovers. In fact, durians are one of the few 'luxury food' that my thrifty parents were willing to splurge on. My parents would even make occasional trips to Malaysia pre-COVID to have their durian feast. Unfortunately, they haven't been able to travel to Johor for durians since the borders were closed.

Not long ago, my sister who was about to go into labour then was also telling me how much she missed durian desserts. Thus, when The Durian Bakery reached out to me for a review, I knew that it was timely for me to treat my whole family to a galore of durian desserts. Besides, this online dessert shop was recommended by one of my collaborators, Best in Singapore.

The Durian Bakery offers free delivery with minimum purchase of $50 and above. You can go for a same day delivery or choose your own 4-hour delivery timeslot. I arranged for the durian treats to be delivered to my house last weekend between 10am to 2pm. They arrived timely right after lunch at 12.45pm! Just nice for post-lunch desserts.

One of the highlights on The Durian Bakery was their Durian Cakes. There were a couple of enticing ones to choose from on their site and I was honestly spoilt for choice.

Since I have not eaten a mille crepe cake for a long time, I decided to try their Dark Chocolate Musang King Durian Mille Crepe Cake. The cake was layered with the brand's signature Mao Shan Wang SilkyGold Durian Puree, which was harvested from the old trees in Pahang's Tiger Hill, and blended specially to make it very creamy.

At a premium price of $128, this 8" cake was indeed very generous in its number of layers and ingredients. The mille crepe cake had 39 layers in total, where 20 layers were made of thin handmade cocoa crepe skin while 19 layers were made with thick Durian Puree. The scent was strong, and so was the bitter-sweet taste of the durians. Even the exterior of the cake was generously coated with 100% pure dark cocoa.

I personally found the cake a tad too creamy for my liking, and I would like it better if the amount of cream was toned down slightly. Nonetheless, Mao Shan Wang fanatics would totally indulge in this cake. The portion of the cake was also big enough to treat not only my family members in my household, but my two sisters' respective families as well.

The Durian Bakery was so sweet to send over their Musang King Pastries Taster Bundle too. The Bundle consisted of the following treats:

x1 box of Dark Choco Musang King Mousse
x1 box of D24 Durian Choux Puff (12 pcs)
x1 box of D24 Snowy Mochi (6 pcs)

Let's talk about the Dark Choco Musang King Mousse first, shall we? This was by far my favourite out of all the desserts I've tried from The Durian Bakery.

This cute lil' dome-shaped mousse was stuffed with the brand's signature Mao Shan Wang SilkyGold Durian Puree as well. Interestingly, the taste of the durian puree was not as strong as that in the Dark Chocolate Musang King Mille Crepe Cake, and I liked it! I thought that the chocolate exterior and its cookie base went incredibly well with the durian puree. Pretty addictive too, if you ask me. :P

The Snowy D24 Durian Cream Puff had a light and airy choux puff pastry stuffed with rich D24 filling. I found that the puffs tasted the best when they were fresh out of the fridge and eaten cold. We gave majority of the puffs to my sister who had post-pregnancy cravings for durian desserts, and she seemed to enjoy them very much.

My family's favourite was the D24 Snowy Mochi which had soft, bouncy skin filled with D24 puree. This was a must-try because everyone who ate the signature mochi had complimented it.

The D24 puree was lightweight, palatable and just the way I like it. If you are not eating the signature mochi immediately when it arrives, pop it in the freezer and take it out to thaw only when you are ready to eat. It was a pity that there were only 6 pcs for us to try. It was SO GOOD that we could seriously eat a lot of this!

Get a few more boxes if you would like to eat more Snowy Mochi! The Durian Bakery offers discounts for additional boxes purchased.

Keen to satisfy your sweet tooth with some durian desserts, or treat a fellow durian lover to them?

Order your durian desserts directly from The Durian Bakery website and have them delivered to your doorstep. You may also self-collect at The Commerze @ Irving from #02-26 too.

Lastly, stay updated by following them on Facebook and Instagram as well!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with The Durian Bakery. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

[Hao Yi Kang] Boost Your Health with Lao Xie Zhen Premium Ginseng Essence with Manuka Honey

Hey people!

I'm currently facing my peak period at work, leading two major projects in September and November. As much as #Ilovemyjob, I've got to admit that my work schedule has been crazy. Can't wait to complete my projects and go on a long break in December.

Leading two big projects concurrently also means having to squeeze my brain juice to do conceptualization work amidst plenty of virtual meetings; multiple presentations, clearing of emails and mundane paperwork. After knock-off time, work still continues for me as I activate the creative side of my brain to film, shoot and write on my social media platforms. That's the life of a digital content creator who juggles a regular day job. It's a constant adrenaline rush.

How do I boost my mind and ensure that my health is in top form during this crucial period of time?

I've been taking a bottle of Lao Xie Zhen Premium Ginseng Essence with Manuka Honey after breakfast everyday.

This newly launched health supplement by Hao Yi Kang serves to boost my concentration and combat fatigue, preparing my mental state before I launch into a full day of virtual calls. Besides being a healthier alternative to caffeine, it strengthens my immunity and protects liver functions as well as gut health. I cannot afford to fall sick during this period, so this easy-to-drink health supplement works wonderfully for me.

You may ask, what's so interesting about this Premium Ginseng Essence with Manuka Honey?

Ginseng, by itself, is packed with health benefits. Termed as the 'King of Herbs', Ginseng is often used in herbal medicines and healthy soups. The Premium Ginseng Essence combines both full-length White Ginseng and American Ginseng from Changbai Mountain in China for that perfect balance, making it mild and not too strong for daily consumption.

As for Manuka Honey UMF5+, it is not just a natural sweetener, but a high-quality superfood that strengthens immunity and support digestion. Sourced exclusively from New Zealand, the addition of Manuka Honey definitely enhances the health benefits and taste of the Ginseng Essence.

The health supplement is prepared using a 12-stage advanced treatment to allow the ginseng compounds to be fully preserved. It is also 100% natural with no preservatives, additives and xanthum gum. Instead, the supplement is rich in ginsenosides, methylglyoxal, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

The taste of Ginseng is pretty strong, and is accompanied with a sweet after-taste from the Manuka Honey. Although I find it exceptionally useful for working adults, I like to share my bottles with my elderly parents since they can benefit from that health boost too. The bottles can be consumed directly at room temperature. Just don't forget to give it a good shake before drinking!

Besides the Lao Xie Zhen Premium Ginseng Essence with Manuka Honey, Hao Yi Kang also sells Chicken Essence and Collagen Beauty Essence too! They make great gifts for parents, in-laws, friends and colleagues, don't you think?

Check out Hao Yi Kang's wellness products on their Website, Facebook and Instagram!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Hao Yi Kang. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Coslab Beauty Spa: ARENA Charcoal Foaming Mask

Hey people!

What do you do during your 'me-time'?

For me, I like to take some time to pamper my skin with a mask. I typically do a weekly mask on Fridays or weekends.

Coslab Beauty Spa, a local beauty brand, recently sent me one of their online bestsellers, the ARENA Charcoal Foaming Mask.

Coslab Beauty Spa has worked with dermatologists for over 30 years to create innovative products and treatment services for different skin types. They also developed their in-house skincare brand, ARENA which uses high quality and effective ingredients to improve your complexion.

Formulated with Bamboo Charcoal, the Arena Charcoal Foaming Mask has powerful cleansing abilities. Not only does it extract toxins and impurities from your skin, it exfoliates dead skin cells, refines pores and hydrates your skin all at once.

With its numerous benefits, the foaming mask is multi-purpose and can function as a mask, makeup remover or spot treatment.

This product works the best for me as a mask though. I like how it caters to not only different skin types but also my skin's changing needs.

At times, my skin could be really oily and acne-prone, and I would need a deep cleanse using the Charcoal Foaming Mask. Other times, my skin could be dry and in need of a moisture boost from the Charcoal Foaming Mask.

You may use the Charcoal Foaming Mask as many times as you want, but I prefer to incorporate it within my weekly masking routine. I like to wear this mask for 20 minutes before rinse-off.

To use this product, simply apply a thick layer of charcoal foaming mask on your face, wait for it to bubble and rinse. You do need to be generous in your application; otherwise, the bubbling effect might not be very apparent if you have applied too thin a layer.

The scent of the mask is calming and there is a slight cooling effect during the application. Almost immediately, the mask will start to bubble and there will be a tingling sensation on your skin. Not to worry though, it's comfortable and fun! You will even hear a sizzling sound as though you've opened a can of soda. If you are using the product for makeup removal, simply massage the product onto your face and rinse away!

After rinsing, you will notice that your skin is smooth and soft, with significantly more radiance than before. Take a look at my 'Before' and 'After' picture, taken at the same spot just 20 minutes apart. My skin definitely looked brighter with tremendously less visible, open pores.

Besides selling a wide variety of skincare products, Coslab Beauty Spa has outlets at Bukit Panjang, Yew Tee, Yishun, Orchard and Punggol that focus on treatment services.

They offer facials, eyelash and eyebrow services as well as permanent hair removal. I am looking forward to trying their treatment services one day!

Check out Coslab Beauty Spa on their Website, Facebook and Instagram!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Coslab Beauty Spa. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing: Cool Brown Matte Ash Hair Color + Rinka C-Curls

Good day, my friends!

It's been 5 months since my last visit to Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing, where I went through a Rinka Straightening Treatment + C-Curls and a Chocolate Brown + Mahogany Red hair colour.

I would usually trim my hair by the 3rd month, but this time, I decided to let my hair grow. I was less irritated with my long hair this time because it was still looking somewhat stylish with what's left of my C-Curls. I guessed my hair really holds its Rinka C-Curls well.

Nonetheless, 5 months also meant that my hair colour was no longer even. My dark roots made its patchy appearance, and so did my grey hairs!

Look at the worrying state of my greys! I am not proud of it at all, so it was time to get my hair colour fixed at Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing. The salon is located at Hong Lim Complex, within walking distance from Chinatown MRT Station.

Hair Colouring

My hairstylist, Ken recommended that I go dark this time and try a Cool Brown hair colour with tones of Matte Ash.

As much as I love my reds and light browns, I decided that it's no harm trying a darker colour this time. After all, going dark meant that I could cover my greys better and even out my random streaks of bleached highlights from a separate hair engagement last year. I have never tried ash tones before as well, so Ken mixed some Matte Ash into the Cool Brown hair dye.

The salon was also using a new range of hair dye which not only did not irritate the scalp; it also smelled fab! For a moment, I thought that Ken was coating my hair with a hair mask instead of a hair dye. That was how comfortable it felt on my head.

There are some cheap hair dyes in the market that are not very friendly to the hair, and might leave a tingly and itchy sensation on your scalp. Some of them might even be accompanied with an artifical chemical smell. Thus, it's good to know that Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing is always looking to improve the quality of their hair dyes!

After washing the hair dye off, a Moisture Mask was applied on my hair for a good 10 minutes before it was rinsed off. My hair definitely felt smooth and soft thereafter. The fragrance of the hair products was so long-lasting that it lingered on my head all the way till bedtime.

In terms of hair colour, the picture taken from the back was a more accurate representation of my hair colour compared to my selfie. Overall, it looked more like a light grey shade than brown actually. I'll definitely need to get used to a less striking shade, but at least I now know that I would not look like an old lady with ash hair.

Rinka C-Curls

Three weeks later, I returned to the salon for Ken to work on my Rinka C-Curls. We had to arrange separate appointments for the hair colour and the Rinka C-Curls sessions because it would be less effective to colour and treat your hair concurrently.

The Rinka treatment straightens majority of your hair while curling your hair ends. Besides its dual function, I like that the hairstyle involves minimal maintenance and its effects can last around 4 to 6 months. Surprisingly, the Rinka treatment lasted longer than expected on me. My hair was still looking straight by the 6th month, and my curls were still slightly visible by the time I visited Ken for my hair colour.

For this appointment, we decided to skip the straightening and go right to the curling bit of the Rinka treatment. Ken suggested to give me bigger and more curls this time. After applying the treatment, my hair was sectioned and rolled up, before connecting them to a digital heater.

If you are straightening and curling your hair, be prepared to allocate around 3.5 hours of time in the salon. If you are just doing curling, you would be there for around 2.5 hours. Most of the time involved waiting while Ken did what he needed to do for my hair. Thus, I used my time productively to have my lunch (I brought in a wrap because it was easier to eat it while my hair was all hooked up), draft my social media captions and publish my IG stories.

How do you like my curls?

I felt instantaneously beautiful after seeing how voluminous and bouncy my curls were. My coarse hair texture was supposedly not suitable for perms (as shared with me by previous hairstylists), but Rinka treatment seemed to work incredibly well on me.

Gotta thank Ken for teaching me how to maintain my curls too, and even getting me to demonstrate it for him. I do follow his tips diligently, which probably explained why the curling effect could last so long on my stubborn hair. In case you are wondering why my hair colour looked significantly lighter by the second appointment, it was because I took my photos near a window facing direct sunlight in mid-day. Natural lighting gives me a brighter hair colour, and it is likely that my regular hair washing had lightened my hair colour along the way too.

In any case, my hair is still gorgeous and my confidence is over the roof now. Thank you Ken for having me as your hair model!

If you want to colour your hair or try a Rinka treatment at Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing, make an appointment with them at 6223 3133. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates and promotions too!

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing
531 Upper Cross Street
Hong Lim Complex
#02-08, Singapore 050531

Operating hours:
11am to 8.30pm (Mon to Fri)

11am to 7.00pm (Sat)
11am to 5.00pm (Sun & PH)

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Filmplace: An Online Marketplace for Hosting & Renting Filming Locations

Calling all YouTube content creators, filmmakers, video producers and photographers!

If you are constantly on the lookout for suitable locations to do shoots or film a video, you would like Filmplace.

Filmplace is the first global online marketplace in Southeast Asia where you can rent locations that are listed for filming. Rather than sourcing for locations on your own or via an agency, you can browse through the location listings on Filmplace website instead. They have listings from 18 countries and more!

Meet the Singapore team above, who serve as managers between clients and hosts. Beyond Singapore, they have teams and offices in other countries like Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and India too.

If you've rented an Airbnb before, you will know that the platform isn't solely used by clients looking to rent a temporary place to stay; it also serves as a platform for people to list their houses for rent too.

Filmplace works similarly to an Airbnb platform, except that hosts list their spaces (be it houses, offices, restaurants/cafes, retail shops, hotels, etc.) so that clients (who are largely in the creative industry) can rent them for filming purposes.

Sourcing for locations and dealing directly with the location hosts can be time-consuming and tricky, so it's nice to have a platform that does your homework for you.

Searching for a location on Filmplace is pretty simple. Firstly, their locations are distinctly categorized based on their type and their cost. If you're on a tight budget, you might go straight into 'Locations under $100'. Alternatively, if you do not want to limit your search, you can also search based on your filming requirements, such as location, date as well as number of cast and crew.

Look! Mediacorp is one of Filmplace's clients. With the load of dramas and variety shows they have to film, they would definitely have to source and rent multiple locations.

Filmplace comes in to make this process seamless with a reliable and transparent system for both hosts and clients. Costs and house rules are written upfront, and a location release agreement is auto-generated upon confirmation by both parties. 24/7 support is available if anyone has any issues. Best of all, they are affordable and cheaper than going through an agency, charging only a 10% service fee to keep their platform running.

Which brings me to the next interesting segment - hosting your location on Filmplace.

I know of friends who rent their apartments or rooms to earn some passive income. However, I never knew that there would be people who would also rent their homes for filming and earn a good side income from it. Intrigued, I did some google searches and read about how a couple made an extra $7,000 in a year by renting out their flat and their parents' flat for film shoots.

As a general guide, you may get the following amount for renting these spaces:

1) Apartment (Per 10 hours) - $300 to $800
2) Landed House (Per 10 hours) - $500 to $1,500
3) Commercial Spaces (Per 10 hours) - $1,000 to $25,000

It does not matter if your house is old or new, big or small, etc. There is a business opportunity for every type of house. Filmplace anonymises the address and contact details until confirmation is made between the host and the client. They also guarantee hosts a payout upon confirmation and protects them with Damage Assurance to prevent damages to their property. Very nice!

Although I cannot guarantee how lucrative renting your homes for filming would be since I have never tried it before, I think it is good money if you have underutilized spaces to spare. I'm all for making good use of space (rather than letting it go to waste) and earning something out of it at the same time! Of course, it has to be convenient for you, with no obligation to make lifestyle sacrifices for this renting opportunity.

If you are curious on how you could list your spaces on Filmplace, there is actually a guide but I'll indicate the steps here for easier reference:

1. Create an account on Filmplace

2. Write a title and a description + set house rules

3. Upload as many photos as you can of your spaces - you may just use your mobile phone to take them.

- If you are listing your entire apartment, do take photos of every room (even the toilets) so that your potential clients can visualize and imagine how they could utilize the spaces for filming.

4. Set your price

- This requires some careful calibration. You don't want to be shortchanged, but you don't want to lose clients by setting too high a price as well.

- As a gauge, you may use the general pricing guideline listed above, or you may take reference from other listings. Speak to any Filmplace staff if unsure.

- Include a minimum security fee of $500, which is claimable from the client in the event of damages caused.

Honestly, if you have sold pre-loved items on Carousell or other related websites before, the process is actually pretty standard. Get an account, upload as many photos as possible to provide visual accuracy, write a description of its condition, set your price and non-negotiables, etc.

Filmplace also came up with a PRO Host Programme for interested parties who would like to be exclusive hosts to Filmplace. Yes, this means being exclusive to Filmplace for all filming and photography related matters even if clients were to contact hosts directly for future business opportunities.

In return, Filmplace offers perks to exclusive hosts in the form of reduced service fees, enhanced marketing for listings, quicker payout and other special support or opportunities. Do sign up for the programme if this is something that interests you!

Whether you are a host or a client, you will be rewarded with Filmpoints. Hosts get 1 Filmpoint for every $10 earned (PRO Hosts get 3x the points for the same amount), while clients get 1 Filmpoint for every $1 spent on Filmplace. You can use the Filmpoints you have accumulated to exchange for vouchers from our local supermarts (e.g. FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Cold Storage, Giant), department stores (e.g. Tangs), e-commerce sites (e.g. Shopee and Lazada) and more. I'm already making a mental note on the vouchers that I will be redeeming with my Filmpoints!

Interested to explore Filmplace further? Check them out on Filmplace website, and follow them on their Facebook and Instagram!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Filmplace and represents my personal opinions. Photos (except photo of self) are credited to Filmplace.

Staycation @ Ji Hotel Orchard Singapore + Dining in Orchard [Phase 3 Heightened Alert]

Hey people!

Three months ago, I had a staycation at Hotel NuVe Heritage during the Phase 2 Heightened Alert. Dine-in was not allowed then, and we had to do takeaways back to our hotel room. It was quite a bummer for us.

In early July, we went for another staycation at Ji Hotel Orchard Singapore, thanks to another lobang that the hubs had.

It was Phase 3 Heightened Alert then and we could finally dine-in in pairs. I swear that this made a whole lot of difference to our staycation experience.

But first, let me introduce you to this Muji-inspired boutique hotel, situated across the road from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station and Plaza Singapura.

Hotels in Orchard are unsurprisingly expensive, so Ji Hotel is a budget-friendly alternative if you want to live within the Orchard vicinity for a day. The exterior of the hotel might not look aesthetically pleasing, but the interior of the hotel totally won me over with their zen vibes.

I was the happiest when I stepped into my hotel room. It was a minimalistic room with a simple colour scheme of greys and light wood, coupled with a lovely Japanese tea set on a marble table.

Hubs loved drinking his tea from the ceramic tea cups, by the way. He said it retained the aroma of the tea very well.

Hugely impressed by the large screen TV in our room as well. Many of the boutique hotels I've been to had small TVs (if they even have TVs), but it did not matter as I hardly watch them anyway.

Since we had the luxury of a big screen, we decided to screen cast some of the YouTube and MeWatch videos from our phones onto the smart TV, and enjoy the shows from the comforts of our queen-size bed.

Would you believe that my favourite part of the hotel room was the bathroom?

The circular LED touch-sensitive smart mirror gave the bathroom a sleek and modern look. I loved it so much that I decided to have circular mirrors in my future bathrooms instead of plain rectangular ones. :)

I also loved how the shower area was nicely segregated from the toilet bowl with a sliding door. Just so you know, the wall panels beside the toilet bowl are see-through, so you could totally see your partner sitting on the toilet bowl if you walk past the washroom. Might be a tad awkward if you are doing a staycation with friends!

Now's the fun part of our staycation - visiting different dining places for our meals! As there were a lot of Orchard merchants on The Entertainer Singapore, we decided to maximise our usage in this staycation as much as possible. All eateries mentioned below are merchants on The Entertainer app, except for My Favourite Cafe Yong Tau Food and Signature Koi Cafe.

Lunch from My Favourite Cafe Yong Tau Foo
Address: 304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza, #06-046 to #06-0407, Singapore 238863

There is a famous and affordable Yong Tau Foo eatery in Lucky Plaza that I used to visit with my ex-colleagues and the queue on a working day would usually be super long. The hubs had only read about it on social media so I decided to introduce him to this eatery. There was barely a queue on a weekend, so it was great for us because we hate to wait.

The eatery is known for its addictive fried meatballs which everyone must definitely try!

Their other fried pieces, such as crispy wonton were delicious too. I like to have them with Kway Teow and keep my soup separate so that my fried items would not be soggy. My bowl of Yong Tau Foo looked far from healthy with the number of fried pieces I have selected for myself, but heh.... you only live once. :P

Bubble Tea from Signature KOI Cafe (ION Orchard)
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, #B3-15/16, Singapore 238801

After lunch, we had around an hour or so before check-in, so we decided to get bubble tea from KOI. My trainee gave me a KOI gift card last Christmas, and I had around $6 of credits left, so we decided to spend it on a Honey Floral Green Tea at Signature KOI Cafe (ION Orchard).

Nice to chill at a pretty cafe and savour the refreshing bubble tea while people-watching. The sweetness of the drink was just right too.

The staff even gave us a sampling portion of their Japanese Totoi Toast to try! Nice!

Dinner from Biseryu Japanese Cuisines
Address: 14 Scotts Road, Far East Plaza, #02-59, Singapore 228213

When it was time for dinner, we visited Biseryu Japanese Cuisines at Far East Plaza. The outlet was small and cosy, and there were pretty Japanese decors around the eatery.

We had a 'one-for-one' deal on The Entertainer, so we ordered a Wagyu Hamburg + Seafood Cake Combo Set and a Roast Beef + Pork Katsu Combo Set. Best decision ever!

Wagyu Hamburg and Roast Beef were the eatery's bestsellers, and I was so in love with the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the Wagyu Hamburg. The seafood cake was a tad gelat for me, so thank goodness the hubs ate the other half. I certainly did not expect the plating to be so instagrammable too. Thumbs up to the eatery for their food quality and their plating efforts!

Ice-Cream from VENCHI Singapore Paragon
Address: 290 Orchard Road, The Paragon, #B1-25, Singapore 238859

After dinner, we took a long walk to The Paragon, where we used our next 'one-for-one' deal on VENCHI gelato. This ice-cream parlour was definitely on the Hubs 'to-visit' list.

The green gelato was Pistachio while the brown gelato was good ol' Chocolate. Never knew that it would be so heavenly to indulge in a Chocolate gelato, but that only happens when you are having something as premium and rich as VENCHI chocolates. I love the light Pistachio flavour too. Normally, we would share a cone or a cup, but since we had such a great deal, we decided that it would be more worth the experience for us to have a cone each.

Looks like we have found a match for Matchaya. We would definitely be back for another 'one-for-one' experience at VENCHI.

Brunch from PAUL Bakery (Takashimaya)
Address: 391B Orchard Road, Takashimaya Shopping Center, #03-16/17, Singapore 238872

The next morning, we shared a piece of hot-dog bun for breakfast, and saved our stomachs for brunch at PAUL Bakery (Takashimaya).

I have actually visited PAUL Bakery at Ocean Financial Centre with a girl friend earlier this year and she had recommended that I visit the Takashimaya outlet when I have the chance, so there I was!

Indeed, the outlet at Takashimaya looked classier, and the customers were largely there to chill and enjoy a slow breakfast with their family and friends over the weekend.

Comparatively, the customers at Ocean Financial Centre were mostly busy office workers who were there for a 1-hour lunch or a business meeting.

We had a sumptuous meal where I chose Cheese Omelette Complete, while the hubs went for Salmon Benedict. I haven't had such a good brunch meal in a while. My meal came with tater tots, which brought me fond memories of me discovering and falling in love with them back when I was on Exchange in the States. Needless to say, our food made us and our tummies very happy!

Here's a yummy end to this blog entry. My next staycation would be in September during my birthday, and I am looking forward to it already! Thanks for supporting my reviews of boutique hotels thus far! :)

Ji Hotel Orchard Singapore
11 Penang Lane
Singapore 238485

Disclaimer: This is a personal post and I am not sponsored for my staycation (although staycation sponsorships are welcome). Reviews are based on personal experiences.

BasicallyJo: Pureforet Centella Cica Skincare for Sensitive Skin

Hey people!

Do you have sensitive skin? I do.

In fact, my skin had a long history of problems. I started with severe acne during my schooling days, lowering my attractiveness and self-confidence at my most eligible age. Thereafter, I went through a 1-year acne treatment programme which cured my acne, but gave me photo-sensitive skin as a side effect. Sometimes, I would have pinkish cheeks when I am under the sun. Wearing sunscreen is also a must for me.

While I was less oily with age, my skin became dry with time. Getting good complexion is like winning the lottery. Needless to say, I invest a lot in my skincare because my top beauty goal is to be a bare-faced beauty in the long term.

Jolene, the founder of BasicallyJo, had her history of skin woes too. She had acne and contact dermatitis, which was far worse than me suffering from oily, acne-prone skin alone. However, what was common between us was that we did not let our poor skin get us down. Instead, we used our past experience to inspire others to take care of their skin.

I started this blog at least 10 years ago to review and recommend skincare products that could help ladies combat acne. Jolene's experience spurred her to launch BasicallyJo, a vegan-friendly, chemical-free and natural skincare brand which embraces clean beauty. When I was approached for a feature, I couldn't say no. The brand history was so aligned to my own experience and beauty goals.

BasicallyJo currently stocks two collections on their online store - the T'else Kombucha Teatox (for Aging, Dull and Uneven Skin Tone) and the Centella Cica (for Sensitive, Acne and Eczema Skin).

I have seen other influencers raving about the T'else Kombucha Teatox Essence, and the product appears frequently on my Facebook feed too. I am definitely curious about this collection. Nonetheless, I think that the Centella Cica collection is more suitable for my skin type, so I am thrilled for the opportunity to try and review a product from this collection.

There is a wider selection of products in the Centella Cica collection compared to the T'else Kombucha Teatox collection. The products are also formulated in Korea.

In this collection, they have nearly everything you would need for a regular skincare routine, and their current bestseller is the Centella Cica Balm. The only other item that the brand needs to introduce to complete the collection is a Centella Cica Cleanser. I am so looking forward to the day that the brand launches a sensitive skin-friendly cleanser.

For this review, I was sent the Pureforet Centella Multi Cream ($52.90) to try.

While the Centella Cica Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer, the Centella Multi Cream is slightly richer in texture, and is meant for those with extremely dry skin.

Infused with Centella Asiatica, Tea Tree Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, White Willow Bark Extract and Shea Butter, this Multi Cream provides your skin with an intense boost of hydration, while reducing inflammation and minimizing sebum production. The antioxidant-rich product also combats fine lines and wrinkles too.

As our skin requires more moisture overnight instead of in the day, it is recommended to use this product as a night cream or a sleeping mask. However, if your skin is very dry and you need that extra boost of moisture in the day as well, there is no stopping you from using this cream in the morning or even before makeup. I personally felt that this cream was not as thick or rich as it appeared to be, so I was happy to use it in the day and at night. It felt very comfortable on my face and did not leave behind a sticky, greasy or heavy sensation after application. The scent was SO AROMATIC that it smelled like a luxurious boutique store. Most importantly, I seemed to have tremendously less breakouts and barely any instances of flushed cheeks after using this product. DAMN - I love this product already.

BasicallyJo ships their products worldwide. For delivery within Singapore, they offer free delivery for orders above S$50, while they charge a $3.50 standard delivery fee for orders below S$50.

If you are keen to try their skin-loving products, you can order your products directly from BasicallyJo website. Support local by following them on their Facebook and Instagram too!

Cheers to good skin days ahead!

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

Plan Your Meals & Groceries with Weekly Meal Planner by Sweet Bunny Lobang

Hey people!

For those who cook, do you plan your daily meals? Do you also write a grocery list before you shop at the supermart?

Now that I am living with my parents until my flat is ready, I am fortunate that I do not have to do meal planning or grocery shopping at the moment. My Mom is highly particular about the meals that my family eats, so she makes the decisions on what to cook for the household everyday. Sometimes, I wonder how she manages to remember what dishes to prepare and what ingredients she would require each time.

Nonetheless, it's a matter of time that my husband and I would be moving to our own home, and preparing our daily meals. For someone who is tremendously organised, thinks in a structured way (I do think in terms of lists) and has a habit of planning ahead, having a weekly planner to plan my daily meals and groceries would come in handy.

I like the above Weekly Meal Planner ($1 for a Printable) that fellow blogger friend, Eveclair from Sweet Bunny Lobang has designed. Not only was it pretty, it was also functional and had neat categories for me to fill. There was even a 'Budget' and 'Actual Amount Spent' section if you intend to use the planner for tracking of expenses.

Best of all, you can edit the Meal Planner directly on your phone using
Adobe Acrobat PDF Viewer. When you are visting the supermart, you could just bring along your phone instead of your grocery list on that loose piece of paper. Convenient, isn't it? :P

If you are more tactile, this Weekly Meal Planner functions as a printable too. There's no stopping you from printing a copy and writing on it. You can even stick the planner to your fridge with a magnet if that helps! However, you may need to print multiple copies, which isn't great for the environment in the long run. What I would recommend instead is to laminate a copy which can be reused multiple times. Simply use an erasable marker to write on it, and erase them again for the next use. Easy does it!

The above is an example of how I would use Eveclair's Weekly Meal Planner. When it's time for me to use it properly, I will definitely rely on the soft copy to do my meal planning and grocery shopping.

If you like what you see and are keen to try using a Meal Planner, support Eveclair by purchasing her printable at only $1 at Sweet Bunny Lobang. :)

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Sweet Bunny Lobang. Reviews are based on personal experiences.