Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dubai 2015 - The City Tour

Dropping by to show some photos during Dubai city tour. So many nice places to see there, enough said! Glad to be able to do that extra legroom in the car. Wouldn't want to see the town feeling all cramped.

A picture with Burj Al-Arab, the most cliche photo to take! Typical tourist, haha! The city tour includes a tour on Dubai waters around the Palm Island.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Safilo's S/S 2015 Collection Launch

Hello everyone! Hope you guys are alive and kicking! I'm writing to today to share with you guys the importance of protecting your eyes!

There's a saying that goes - your eyes are the windows to the world. I couldn't agree more. Protecting your eyes is so important because you would want to have your vision for your entire life. You need your eyes to see the world. There are so many ways to protect your eyes. It starts from healthy eating. Consuming enough Vitamin A is also an ally to potent vision. That includes eating vegetables like carrot and cod fish oil for pristine eyesight. Is eating healthy food though, enough to keep your sight healthy?

We also need to do eye massage and I remember vividly doing eye exercise in school after recess. My eyes never felt more relaxed after half a day in school back then. Today, eye exercise and eating right does not only do. I can't possibly put on SPF lotion on my retina! That would be so sick. So, what other better way than putting on a pair of a well designed shades?

I love wearing shades! It does only accentuate my facial features, but also helps to accessorize a part of the outfit of the day. It is an amazing way to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays apart from looking fashionable. I was really grateful to grace the launch of Safilo's S/S 2015 collection yesterday.

Who are they?

Safilo Group is a fully integrated Italian eyewear creator and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, leader in the premium sector for sunglasses, optical frames and sports eyewear. Design inspired and brand driven, Safilo translates extraordinary design into excellent products created. As a result of superior craftsmanship expertise dating back to 1878, Safilo’s portfolio encompasses proprietary brands – Carrera, Polaroid, Smith, Safilo and Oxydo – and licensed brands Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Banana Republic and many more.

In other words, these designer labels have turned to Safilo to turn their ideas into real products, and assist in the distribution.

There were so many brands showcased and I was in love with most of them, from future inspired to vintage ones. Unfortunately, not all designs suit my face. What's important though is to get a pair that is matching to your outfit, skin color and of course your facial features. That is more important than getting a pair of shades that you find beautiful but does not sit well on the face.

Here are some of men's favorite that were showcased at the collection launch!

Alexander McQueen explores creative interpretations of signature detailing seen on the brand’s accessories and ready-to-wear pieces. With references to the body anatomy, the spine and bone are reworked to create innovative eyewear designs.

An iconic image and design of the house, the spins of the skeleton, is used as a decorative and functional metal element on the leg of the temples. The style features the spine encapsulated in two layers of acetate, transparent on the front and coloured on the back of a tridimensional effect. This easy to wear model is available in black/crystal with grey lenses, blue/crystal with black lenses, havana/crystal with multilayered gold lenses and burgundy/crystal with grey/brown lenses.

With a flexible structure, the design ensures balance and shape mixing innovation with a fashion forward look. The acetate temple is embellished with five metal vertebras adding a tough yet trendy touch to this style. This aviator sunglass is available in semi matte brass/havana with shaded brown lenses and semi matte silver/black with shaded grey lenses.

BOSS eyewear presents an outstanding luxury collection featuring exquisite details. The collection incorporates two sunglasses and two optical frames, in complete black look for a bold and enigmatic style.

These styles feature two variations of the caravan shape – one soft squared and one slightly rectangular - with double bridge, titanium front and gunmetal temples. Both models are characterized by the Zeiss Imparto Polaroid lenses for superior impact resistance and performance.

The colour palette, purposely chosen to be total black, enriched by a special non-reflecting coating inspired by the same technique used on professional DSLR cameras.

Carerra - “We own a shape.” How many brands in the world can say that without fear of contradiction? Owning an iconic, original shape is a privilege reserved only to a few and Carrera has earned its place among these elites. Unique and unmistakable, the Champion sunglasses, which date back to 1979, have since then set new standards in the eyewear industry, boasting countless imitations but nonetheless maintaining their distinctiveness.

Today, these iconic sunglasses undergo an extensive remastering process and are now presented with new, perfectly balanced proportions and a revisited, snug Asian fit. The front is slightly smaller, its profiles sleeker and its design lighter, thanks to the newly reshaped double bridge and well-balanced proportions.

Carrera’s New Champion becomes distinctive but easy‐to‐wear, in line with today’s natural, norm core style, which meets Millennials’ tastes. Its material, however, remains unchanged. The new glasses are made from Optyl, a Safilo registered trademark; a thermo adjustable plastic material composed of epoxy resin, with unparalleled physical and chemical features delivering a multitude of advantages such as a lightweight feel, climatic adaptation, a shape‐memory effect, as well as brilliance and strength.

The front in Optyl is perfectly matched with steel temples, for a sporty look and a strong personality. The colorations and finishes also veer towards a more natural look, playing with delicate nuances ranging from havana to bronze and black, with tone‐on‐tone mirrored lenses.

Tommy Hilfiger, is pleased to introduce the Spring/Summer 2015 men’s eyewear collection, adapted with a dedicated Asian fit. The new collection of sunglasses for men features eclectic details that fuse functionality, comfort, versatility and style. The collection, reflects the relaxed vibe, youthful spirit and irreverent attitude at the core of the Tommy Hilfiger brand.

With a lightweight metal frame and a double bridge designed in a wood-effect finish for a cool vintage look, the unisex aviator style comes in soft shades of ruthenium/Havana/black with shaded gray lenses, gold Havana/military green with green lenses, blue/Havana with shaded dark blue lenses and green Havana/gold green with shaded brown lenses.

Finally, a brand that needs no further introduction, Saint Laurent launched its precious and distinctive men's vintage-inspired pilot sunglasses in shiny black, steel with soft detachable black leather sides and grey lenses. Its subtle details include comfortable silicone nose pads, temple tips and engraved Saint Laurent logo on the upper part of the temples. Really chic if you're driving a convertible fast!

Thank you for stopping by! Stay tuned for the next update!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dubai 2015 - Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort

Howdy all!

The previous night after 2015 countdown in Dubai was spent on a long walk back to our hotel. I felt accomplished upon reaching the hotel and my feelings were all mixed up. New year, so many things to look forward to yet quite nervous about it!

Dubai is an Amazon of superior lofty concrete structures that overshadows the streets of Dubai and looking at them has never been amazing. In a short span of time, Dubai has grown from a small trading port to a mammoth city.

Given the barren dunes of sand, it is actually hard to get in touch with mother nature. Hence, it is unsurprising for the city to be very artificial and faux. That though, is forgiven because I was surrounded by so many beautifully designed buildings that never seem to lose its charm.

However, I need to get in touch with nature! I just want soak my feet under the beach sand, enjoy the sun and connect with nature at one of the best beaches at Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort! Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort is a five star luxury beach resort located Dubai Marina. It's amazing because across, you could see the largest man-made Palm Island.

I love everything at Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort because of its exclusive location. It is close to The Walk, Dubai's beachfront promenade, Dubai Marina and away from the hustle and bustle of downtown life. You can get close to nature with the perfectly clean stretch of beach, acres of palm tree and shaded gardens.

If it gets too hot, you can lie down at the garden drinking ice tea.

One of the many places that you should enjoy and I am delighted to share is their amazing sunny and long stretch of beach! Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resorts has an extensive private beach perfect for kids who may want to play watersports like banana ride or even adults who may want to get wet from wake boarding or simply lying by the pool chair to get their holiday glow.

The timing I went to the beach was perfect because it was still cold and windy in the morning despite the sun so it didn't make me sweat, otherwise it would be so uncomfortable. The dry weather keeps the sunblock prime on my skin.

As I was so tired from the celebration the night before, I put on my shades and thought of napping for half hour to catch some sleep. I didn't even hear my alarm and forgot to flip. Kinda look odd being tanned just on the front!

The beach was so serene and clean I just can't get enough! I even dared to take off my flip flops and run around the beach without fearing I'd step on glasses or seashells. It could have hurt if there is.

Best of all, the service I got at Sheraton was impeccable.

It was afternoon and almost time for lunch. I was famished after lying down at the beach for so long I wanted to eat. The butler was ever ready at the side of the beach ready to be called upon! Very attentive! I asked for the menu and I ordered my favorite snack on the menu - cheese sticks with fries. To keep the beach comfortably clean and spotless, no food is allowed to be consumed on the sandy beach. At first I find it quite ridiculous but I can't imagine stepping on someone else's leftovers or food litters on beach. That made me grateful and ever more willing to oblige.

I sat on the bench by the pool under the shady palm trees and was really delighted by the personalised attendance. They even offered to help to take photos of yours truly. How sweet was that! You know how some of these luxury hotels go all the way out when it comes to service it started to feel a little bit too overwhelming and a little intruding? I can't say the same for this.

Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort is indeed a beautiful personification of classic Starwoods honeypot. The five star beach resort is donned with lots of earth colors and wooden trims which is very pertinent to classic American beach resort.

Getting a cab from the marina can be quite a challenge but fret not, you'll be dazzled by the array of designer stores that dots along the boulevard. The Walk will lead you to the tram that will send you to the nearest metro station.

So, by car or by public transport, it's all so convenient. Public transport like this are the best to explore the area as it passes by many wonderful landmarks and well designed architecture. Dubai is a playground for architects to an extent the city provide architecture tours.

Till then, hope everyone enjoys their long weekend!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

I am writing today to express my disconsolation on the demise of our former prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It has been almost a week since his passing and I had to hold my grief and gather myself before publishing this.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew is someone I really look up to for his vision and dedication to Singapore. He has tremendously transformed my country, Singapore, from a third world, to first. For his vision and contribution, I am utterly grateful to live here. There are so many aspects of life as a Singaporean to be thankful for any no credit can match his contribution for our modern history. While there are so many thank you's and goodbyes sent in memory of him, I think the best way we can ever thank him is to live and continue his legacy. That's what he would have wanted for us Singaporeans, to be integrated, fair, uncorrupted, and ever prosperous.

His depart left us with many things. He may not have left us with a huge fortune to be divided amongst those who voted for him, but his principles, teachings and conviction is something that is immeasurable that we could learn from.

He was a visionary man. He plans well, and found resolution to Singapore's problems since its independence; although there were no right formula. His vision encompasses not only on the minute details of Singaporean's personal life on education, jobs, housing, transport and food (because we have no natural resources), but also the bigger things in life like having trees along the roads for shade, clearing the streets and rivers off trash, well lit roads to drive at night and the most odd of all which no other ministers would have ever imposed: enforcing haircut before entering Singapore in 1960's.

His outstanding vision is something we should examplify for the better good of our sovereignty.

"His (Mr Lee Kwan Yew) vision and dedication to the service of his country helped to make Singapore the successful country it is today." - Queen Elizabeth II

If it had not been for his strong character, we would not have succeeded in having a thriving and safe metropolis we live in today. It was because of his dedication and undying spirit to lead Singapore, we are here today, proud of our country's achievements. I am personally fond of his iron fist ruling which was much needed in his time to clear the mess on the land we used to know by the name of Temasek.

“I am not here to play somebody else's game. I have a few million people's lives to account for. Singapore will survive.” - Mr Lee Kwan Yew

Despite being criticized for his authoritarian leadership, it has actually made Singapore an ideal country to live in where we can walk in the middle of the night with no fear of being robbed, and breath in fresh air as a result of his green efforts to keep the streets clean and sheltered by planting of more trees. Our roads have never been so cooling to drive on this tropical island.

Under his leadership too that our country's GDP has grown from pittance to plenty. We were even labelled by some as Monaco of the East and why not? During Mr Lee Kwan Yew's statesmanship, our GDP rose 30-fold surpassing big countries like United States and Japan. Yet, his success in making this little red dot globally known does not sway him to arrogance and complacency which we Singaporeans, should learn from.

On personal side of him, I admire his advocacy for bilingualism and healthy lifestyle. Ever since his investiture as prime minister, has has never stopped brushing up his Mandarin and at the age of 89 then, his healthy routine includes walking on treadmill three times a day. It was because of him I practice bilingualism.

"When I had a heart attack in 1989 and required open heart surgery, he cared enough to ring up my wife to ask her to delay the operation as he had arranged for the best heart surgeon, a Singaporean living in Australia, to do the operation." - Former Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohamad

There are so many things to look up to Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Ever since his departing, I learnt more about what he had done in his lifetime. I learnt more than what was penned in any of his books. For that, I my fortified respect for Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

My undying salute to you, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dubai 2015 - Best Place for Countdown

Hey all! Gonna spend some time sharing with you the best place for countdown in Dubai because there can be so many things going on there you will be literally spoilt for choice.

Where is the best place to go? Is it the Palm Island partying all night at Atlantis? Or celebration by Burj Al-Arab, one of the most expensive hotels in town? (Taking photos on the beach posing with Al-Arab can be very passe) Or just by the world's tallest building yet; Burj Khalifa? Firework displays are extravagant there at the expense of their oil money so if you think you're not going to visit Dubai for quite some time after that, it's always safe to toast at the most prominent landmark in the city!

Where else if not Downtown Dubai?

We chose Downtown Dubai where Burj Khalifa is for several reasons. The building is so tall I don't really have to worry if I can't see it (especially because I am vertically challenged) and their firework display is always record breaking. We gave Atlantis and Burj Al-Arab a miss because we can't be certain if it was going to be as huge and as hyped as compared to what we were going to watch.

Besides, after all those days exploring the city, I was not really in the mood for hardcore party, neither was I in the mood to stand amongst the crowd and wait for the fireworks to start. I just want to sit, eat, wait peacefully and just enjoy the cosmic edifice that defines the city skyline.

We got back from Abu Dhabi the night before and I was really beat from all the fun I had. I was all excited before the trip but halfway I was so worn out; all I wanted was pizza to be delivered into my room, wash up and sleep!

Although there was a convenience store down at our hotel, I was too tired to even walk to the lift.

I was glad that the following day was countdown, which was one of the most exciting things I wanted to do. I love fireworks! Watching them brighten up the night sky can always make my evening.

So here's a bit about the hotel I stayed; Yassat Gloria Hotel Apartments. We chose this luxurious hotel apartment because we needed it to be away from all the crowd at Downtown Dubai - knowing how massive it could be, and we needed space to pack our luggages before going home too.

The hotel comes with a kitchen and laundry room which makes it so convenient because first, all the food leftovers can be kept in the fridge and reheated using the microwave and second, I managed to do all my laundry there so that when I come back I don't have much to do. Best of all, it comes with this marvellous refreshing view and from the level I was at, I can see the massive Palm Island (the bridge can be seen in the background on the right of this picture)

We were really lucky because there was no development going on on the next plot of land, we don't really need the air-con although it can be warm in the afternoon but we were not in. My leg was all wobbly whenever I stood on the balcony. A part of me was grateful for being fun-sized!

So here's me all ready for countdown. My outfit was designed by Hubert Hoon, designer for his label TSHUBIE. What do you think? His exclusive collection here is a collaboration of traditional batik prints on modern piece. It's not easy to pull off batik without looking shabby but he made it work!

We headed to Downtown early because we were anticipating some major screw ups from all the jam and all but fret not because all the alfresco dining cafes were cordoned off to public, only patrons were allowed to enter. So if you would like to avoid the crowd during countdown, the best way to enjoy the towering fireworks without obstruction is to get a seat at one of these cafes or restaurants. Each offers a different menu ranging from $200-$600 per head, depending on your appetite, and the type of food that you want.

Here's a clue for a wonderful countdown - expensive restaurant does not necessarily mean the best view. I cross my heart!

When it comes to revelling in the Dubai Fountain, I even told my friend let's not to spend so much time around Downtown Dubai on other days because on New Year's Eve, we probably saw the entire series of the Dubai Fountain show because it's on the loop from evening till midnight. We sat there, enjoyed our four course meal, indulged in idle banter and the dancing waters from Dubai Fountain. It was so peaceful away from the crowd; the serenity was indescribable until 10 seconds before the clock strikes midnight.

I have never felt so lepak in my life, really. 

Procession into the new year is important for me because each second of our life should matter. It should be spent doing the things that is significant to us. So I am grateful beyond words to be able to celebrate it there! Some might say new year is just another day. If so, why celebrate birthdays?

The celebration was amazing because at where I was, people were all poise and handshaking and hugs wishing happy new year and on the other side where a hotel was having a party, it was all loud music and booze and then on the other end were a crowd busy popping confettis. I probably saw more parties in one night that in a lifetime then. Haha!

You know what I hate about countdown? The part after it. There were millions of visitors around Downtown Dubai celebrating New Year there it was really hard to get a transport back. The jam was so crazy even cab drivers do not wish to take in passengers, and it takes more than 2 hours to get from one point to another on a short distance.

The best way to get back to our hotel? By foot. Yes, we were that adventurous because on our remaining days in Dubai we wanted to see like, everything. We walked from Downtown to two train stations after, which was close a three hour walk (because we realized half way it was actually very far), almost hitched a ride but we already walked too far to not complete the journey. Yet, we reached before anyone else who travelled by car. That was how massive the crowd was, and that's how bad we want to avoid it. Unfortunately, heli ride wasn't an option.

On of the many #yolo moments was to cross a slip road down a six lane highway. We were not a jaywalker expert, but those Pakistani workers taught us well! Since it was really cold, walking for three hours felt nothing. Not even a drip of sweat!

I was really looking forward to sunrise because I thought I needed to be sunkissed at one of the best beaches in Dubai. Stay tuned and I will talk about that in a bit! Ta!