Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Welcoming The Year of Monkey With Melilea

I am very grateful this year to be invited to Melilea's Chinese New Year celebration which was held in conjunction with its annual party! Held at Serangoon Gardens Country Club, the event delivers objectives of thanksgiving for the continuous support from loyal customers and business partners in 2015, bringing Melilea's mission and vision of Transforming People’s Life into a new high in 2016, and encourage the culture of giving among Melileans.

Started in 2002, Datuk Dr Alan Wong and Datuk Dr Stella Chin, upholding a simple faith, helped countless people by leading them into transforming their health and beauty from inside out to achieve a more fulfilling healthy lives. Melilea products are based on a comprehensive and pure organic philosophy. From farming, cultivation, research and development, production and quality control, all procedures meet the stringent requirements of premium organic products. Datuk Dr Alan Wong and Datuk Dr Stella Chin aims to lead the public to attain health through pure zero-pollution organic consumables.

There were many things I heard about Melilea be it its products, business, and the pioneers of this brand. What attracts me most about Melilea really is their pride in producing organic products and promoting organic lifestyle. They tell us to consume natural non-GMO foods that are free from chemical fertilizers, additives and radiation, exercising consistently and commit in maintaining an a better well being through their organic products.

The products range from consumables for inner well being like the Melilea Organic Nutritious Botanical Powder that provides a natural blend of soluble and insoluble fibers from natural organic plants that serves to cleanse your body, as well as outer beauty like the Botanical Skin Care Series that ranges in all spectrum of skin care starting from cleanser to exfoliation.

Melilea's annual party began with highlights of Melilea's achievements as well as its Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) through its handouts to the needy like the old and orphans. Taglined Transforming People's Life, Melilea has sponsored a generous amount of $50,000 to the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), supporting the mission of promoting the spirit of giving in Singapore.

Giving does not only stop there! The founder of Melilea, Datuk Dr Stella Chin stayed on stage to share with us her latest book that talks about happiness! About Happiness, I Truly Know is a true life story narrative book, describing Datuk Stella's philosophy of happiness, adding points of happiness in aspects of personal, family, career and marriage. The book was ranked top five in Kingstone Bookstore Financial Category, in just two days of book launching in Taiwan.

She also shared exclusively for the ladies, Starladies International, a network of inclusive support that nurtures women in harmony of thought, word and action. It aims to help women to transform in confidence, skills, talents allowing them to be empowered, regardless of past or present circumstances.

The annual event was not short of culture. After all the heartfelt presentations by the key people of Melilea, we were entertained by dashing dance troupe who entertained us with classic Chinese number. The lion dance performance which got all of us hyped up with our cameras wrapped up the party before we got together for Luo Hei.

It came to no surprise both Datuk Dr Stella Chin and Datuk Dr Alan Wong were conferred with honorific title. Their hard work has benefitted many, and has brought glory to their homeland through its corporate social responsibility and aggressive sponsorship of other lifestyle events in its own backyard and overseas. It may not be the typical Gregorian new year, but it's always not too late to put up a new aspiration from successful businesses like Melilea!

If you are looking for something organic, green, and regional (Southeast Asia), remember to check out Melilea! Their prime ingredients in its production ensures that quality is no compromised.

To find out more about Melilea, log on to and follow them on Facebook here!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Four Tips in Four Days - Keeping Your Chinese New Year Weekend Active

The Spring Festival marks the start of the Lunar New Year celebrations, and it is also a time of family gatherings, reunions and endless celebrations over food and drinks. To start your Year of the Monkey on a right note, here are some tips to clear your mind and body in between those reunions and during the holidays!

6 February 2016, Saturday - Enjoy the sea breeze
Head on down to East Coast Park with your friends and family and enjoy a nice morning walk along the beach. If you are feeling up to it, increase your fun and cardio intensity by renting a bicycle or a pair of rollerblades! If you prefer a casual stroll along the beach instead, why not incorporate ten squats or lunges every five minutes?

7 February 2016, Sunday - View from the top
Enjoy a bird's eye view of our forest canopy at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (MacRitchie) TreeTop Walk. As the 250m-long freestanding suspension bridge is in the heart of Reserve, make sure you are wearing proper footwear, as you will be trekking along steep slopes - tone up your legs and increase your cardiovascular activity by brisk walking up the hills!

8 February 2016, Monday - Clear your mind and body
Step outside, away from the hustle and bustle of Chinese New Year gatherings, and enjoy some 'me' time as you bask in the fresh air. Take a walk in your neighbourhood park, or venture to Singapore's scenic parks such as Southern Ridges, and clear your mind as you enjoy all that nature has to offer - while you are at it, bring along your yoga mat and do a few rounds of sun salutation, which also help to improve your digestion and detoxify your body!

9 February 2016, Tuesday - A family affair
Instead of sitting around the TV, organise a few games that can be enjoyed before, after or during family gatherings! Feel less guilty eating those pineapple tarts by organising fun, outdoor games such as badminton, jump rope or football, which can be enjoyed in your backyard or at the neighbourhood playground.

Anytime Fitness is having a promotion this Chinese New Year. so feel free to check it out at your nearest Anytime Fitness gym to find out more starting this February!

Message brought to you by Anytime Fitness. Have a prosperous and fruitful Lunar New Year!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sydney 2016 - Every Corner Within Sight at Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye was simply stunning. The view was indescribable. Sydney Tower Eye is so popular that the evening I went, they had to stop people from queueing as there were no tickets left. So much so, several pre-booked tickets were offered with an alternative to come another day. It was the golden hour as it was time before sunset and it was the day before new year's eve!

There are many vantage points where you could enjoy the panorama of Sydney but what's so special about Sydney Tower Eye really?

For one, it has a unique tale to its beginning. Back in the 1960's the city centre of Sydney was deteriorating, with no residential areas and an explosion of newly built suburban shopping malls continued pushing people out of the city for shopping, dining and entertainment. Then in 1970, The Sydney tower was built to revitalize Sydney's Central Business District. Formerly known by many other names, the complex is also integrated with retail and offices. The design was conceived by architect Donald Crone whose first designs were reputedly scribbled on the back of a napkin. The integral part of the icon's structure was inspired by the spoke of bicycle wheel but the tower seems like a mainmast of a 19th century naval warship to me!

It was simply because from the top of the figurative mainmast you could see the horizon.

I was fortunate to be able to witness the sunset. I was very mesmerized by the vivid scene, like the entire stretch of Australia laid upon for me to bask in. Sure it was crowded and I could see the reason why. There were no clouds. The sky was filled with hues of blue and orange, and across the horizon was the sun setting behind the backdrop of vast ocean. While there were people roaming circling the deck, most of us were actually rooted by the the window to witness the sunset. While waiting, several airplanes passed by forming a scenic silhouette which made my sunset view personally unique!

On the other side, you could see the dock and a cruise ship that just docked out from the harbour. It's amazing to see how the huge cruise ship managed to fit into the seemingly squeezy berth and made its way safely in and out of the harbour! The ship was so huge it made the Sydney Opera House looked small.

From above you could see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and with the right camera, it could capture stunning night shots. I stayed from sunset till after light so it was pretty amazing to not only see the transition from day to night but to be able to see every part of the city in in different light.

If you would like to enjoy the same view as me, you need to book your tickets not only early, but you will have to be there early if it occurs to be major holiday season. It is awfully popular in December and I can only imagine the disappointment of those who did not book their tickets online and had to wait in the long queue only to find out that they have stopped selling for the day.

Be like Bill, be smart, book early!

If you are in for a thrill, you could always opt for the skywalk where you will be clad in all the harnesses to feel the fresh air outside.

Nevertheless, I am still okay at the comfort of the observation deck! Sydney Tower Eye is a definitely must go, it's a little bit like cheat code if someone asks - Have you seen everything in Sydney?

You could easily say yes! On a perfectly clear day, Sydney Tower Eye takes you to the highest point above Sydney for breathtaking 360 degree views where you could see the beautiful harbour city to as far as the distant Blue Mountains!

So in a way, I have actually seen entire Sydney. ;)

Here are some fascinating facts about Sydney Tower that you might want to know!
  1. Building commenced in 1975 and after 6 years the Tower was officially opened on the 27th of September 1981.
  2. The Towers shaft is secured by 56 cables - each 182 metres long and made up of 235 high tensile wires no wider than a fingernail.
  3. Sydney Tower eye is the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere (after Auckland's Sky Tower)
  4. Sydney Tower was designed to withstands winds that may be experienced only once every thousand years at these latitudes (172kpm/107 mph) and to produce a barely perceptible movement on perhaps five occasions each year. Under such conditions the Tower will not lean or vibrate any more than a conventional building of a similar height.
  5. To help keep the Tower balanced there is a large water tank at the top of the structure. This counter-balance system using the water tank was pioneered in Australia and has since been used in a number of buildings around the world. The water tank carries 162,000 litres of water. This makes Sydney Tower typically Australian for its consideration in incorporating such Australian system.
  6. The three high-speed double decker lifts travel at a maximum speed of 420 metres per minute (7 metres a second) and takes just 44 seconds to travel to the top of the Tower.
  7. Sydney Tower has 420 windows which takes an automatic window machine (named Charlie) two days to clean. Charlie lives in a ‘cave’ at the top of the Tower and is wheeled out on a railway that runs along the outer perimeter of the Tower roof.
  8. If the wires in the Tower’s 56 cables were laid end to end they would stretch 2395 kilometres (1491 miles). This is the same distance as Melbourne to Cairns, or London to Athens or from Sydney to Alice Springs or from Sydney to New Zealand. If strong enough, we could just zip-line our way there.
  9. The total weight of the Tower shaft and Turret as heavy as 37 blue whales.
Stay tuned for more updates on my Melbourne and Australia trip!

Photo credit: Amin Ayub

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Melbourne 2016 - Royal Exhibition Building

Since it was Christmas day and most places were closed, we decided to go for sight seeing. First stop, The Royal Exhibition Building!

The Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage Site-listed building in Melbourne, Australia, completed in 1880. The Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens were completed in 1880 for Melbourne International Exhibition.  It later hosted the opening of the first Parliament of Australia in 1901. Throughout the 20th century smaller sections and wings of the building were subject to demolition and fire; however, the main building, known as the Great Hall, survived. It is a testament of the optimism, enthusiasm and energy of the people of Melbourne in the late-19th century.

It received restoration throughout the 1990s and in 2004 became the first building in Australia to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, being one of the last remaining major 19th-century exhibition buildings in the world. The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens were inscribed on the World Heritage list in July 2004, becoming the first building in Australia to achieve World Heritage listing. On the same month, The Royal Exhibition Building was also added to the Australian Government’s National Heritage List. The list recognises and protects their most valued natural, Indigenous and historic heritage sites. It reflects Australia’s spirit and ingenuity, and its unique, living landscapes.

Today, the Royal Exhibition Building is a campus of Museum Victoria and the gardens are managed by the City of Melbourne. It is the world's most complete surviving site from the International Exhibition movement between 1851–1914. It sits adjacent to the Melbourne Museum and is the largest item in Museum Victoria's collection. Currently, it hosts various exhibitions and other events and is closely tied with events at the Melbourne Museum.

The eclectic design was inspired by many sources. The dome was modeled on the Florence Cathedral, while the main pavilions were influenced by the style of Rundbogenstil and several buildings from Normandy, Caen and Paris. The building boasts many of the important features that made international exhibitions so dramatic and effective, including a dome, giant entry portals, versatile display areas, axial planning and complementary gardens and viewing areas.

Photo Credits: Hafiz Yusof and Amin Ayub

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Talking Toes - Reminding You To Stand Tall, Always

I used to think the design of socks don't really matter because to me it was just like any other undergarment. Nobody sees them! It was out of vanity I decided to wear something more daring underneath. For pun's sake, please don't start imagining anything amorous!

Likewise for socks, I started to to think about colours and designs not only out of vanity, but for protection and comfort. Talking Toes have been giving me comfort in so many ways. Talking Toes is the first premium sock label in the world to inspire through quotes on socks.

When I first got to know about Talking Toes, I thought 'Hey, that's cool!' because it was pretty common to see t-shirts or decorated decals with inspirational quotes. I don't mean to undermine or downplay the latter but sometimes, the one who needs inspiration or words of encouragement is myself. It's not going to be easy reading your shirt sanely by wearing it.

Talking Toes has a wide range of classical and stylish designs, keeping up to date with the latest style and yet keeping you pepped with all its inspirational messages. It is a fashionable way to encourage your loved ones, especially with its limited edition designs for festive occasions. Personally, it provides me great self-affirmation before putting on my shoes to step out of the door.

When it comes to comfort, Talking Toes socks not only carry comforting messages, their socks are made of finest combed cotton. It's really soft and its make gives me the confidence to walk around without shoes with its reinforced weaving on its toes and heels. Its grip on my legs allow me to walk a mile further on my travel!

Here's a funny story - I was in Sydney for New Year's eve and we were having a picnic at Mrs Macquarie's Chair (to date I still can't pronounce it properly I don't know why!). Since the weather was hot and dry, I walked around the grass patches without my shoes, with my socks on (because the grass makes my leg ticklish). The guy neighbouring me saw my socks and that became the topic of our idle banter that day! I was actually very irritated that afternoon because of the heat and the crowd. That somehow, got all those negativity out of my mind!

Good news for those in the States and Australia, Talking Toes socks are available in San Francisco and Melbourne!

Talking Toes aim to make your day feeling inspired and empowered. Let's hope they produce more of those for us to wear. May we always be reminded to remain sanguine in our darkest times!

To find out more about Talking Toes and its retailers, log on to