Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sofitel So Singapore

Hey globetrotters! How's it going? I am excited today because I have something to share with you guys and it's bloody awesome. Wait, since when the things that I have shared has not been awesome? All of them are! Only that today, I am presenting to you something that is really unique that you will not find anywhere else in Singapore!

Born and bred in Singapore, I have this dream of going to the capital city of fashion one day - Paris. For a start now, I can always drop by Sofitel So Singapore to experience that! Everything is Parisian chic! The entire hotel is an epitome of French art and Singapore history. I will tell you soon what's my favourite hangout in this luxurious designer hotel.

So Singapore emblem designed by Karl Lagerfeld.
The hotel is located at 35 Robinson and if you have no idea where it is, we are destined to be on the same boat! It is actually right beside the all time popular tourist eating spot - Lau Pa Sat. If that does not ring a bell still, you're probably not local, local noob, or just an ignorant tourist. Haha! But Lau Pa Sat is a must know even if you have not been there! Especially if you have set foot here in Singapore. Lau Pa Sat is a melting pot of traditional food.

The hotel is more than meets the eye. It is majestically facaded by impressive symmetrical columns and large balconies overlooking the bustling central business district, a perfect location to feel the pulse of the city. Inside, you will be greeted by a humble yet elegant lobby with touches from Isabelle Miaja, alongside with Karl Lagerfeld who combines French elegance and Singapore flair.

iPad that controls everything in the room.

There are 134 rooms and 9 suites. The suites are to die for because it is so futuristic and classy in its own way! It has an iPad that allows you to control everything, from lighting to curtains which you can carry anywhere you like in the room and instead of the classic hotel telephone, the room is equipped with iPhone which makes it not only handy to make calls from anywhere, you can always browse what So Singapore has got to offer.

Beautiful suite!
The tub that fits two.

You will love the bathroom! The suite has a tub that can fit two. Very romantic! It has a jewellery and vanity box that is personalized for his and hers, which is really useful. If you remember vividly in the news back in 2009, there was a case where this tourist who reportedly lost her diamond ring in Shangri-La, and the entire lawsuit going on. So Singapore simply solves the problem by not only by providing a safe box but also a jewellery box! Genius!

Remember where to put your jewellery next time!
I like the fact that everything is so personalized, elaborated and engaging. Not only the frequent things you use and see are specially designed. Even the mini bar is! If you fancy a cocktail, each bar in the room has the recipe of So Singapore's signature cocktail. As for you tourists who are unfamiliar with local snacks, not sure if it is nice to your liking, would like to try or even feeling adventurous, you can mindlessly pick the snack that you want. That way you will not have to regret what you have picked.

The recipe for So Singapore's signature cocktail.
Labels that eases your choice of snack!

The room itself is furnished with lots of art. It is so amazing that you would like to buy a piece of it. Unfortunately, they are not for sale! That exclusive!

If you are hungry and would like to taste some culture, you can always cross over to Lau Pa Sat (10 seconds walk, I swear it is that near), but So Singapore's Xperience restaurant is not short of competitive menu. You get to design your own customised menus, based on different culinary experiences - crunchy, juicy, smoky, creamy, silky, spicy and zesty – to name a few. The resident chef Anne-Cecile Degenne is Singapore's first female hotel executive chef.

So Singapore's Xperience restaurant has an open kitchen, you can always see what are they doing from where you are seated. Open concept restaurant is something that is very hard to pull through especially in epicurean hotels like this but the custom made state of the art kitchen appliances is something that should not be in the hiding!

For those who fancy some intimate time with your loved ones, there is a private dining section which can sit up to eight. The cosy private dining room is not short of art too. The art piece that you see below is the combination of Singapore's MRT and Paris' Metro network map.

Singapore MRT and Paris Metro map combined. Nice!
The open concept Xperience restaurant.
I love every part of the hotel! Even the lobby is scented with signature fragrance designed just for So Singapore. There is one thing that is the cherry on the cake; the La Bibliotek. Simply means the library. As Chanel legend Karl Lagerfeld has the final say on each and every piece of art that is found in So Singapore, a monumental library was built to remind every visitor of his stake in the art pieces that you see. The library has a collection of all his books, and it is the only place in Singapore that has the widest collection of his books. Add on to that, every month, the library will feature exclusive titles of his book for guests to read. In other words, going to his library is as close as you can get to the luxury fashion magnate.

"Reading is a sport. Books are my personal brain building."
The array of Karl Lagerfeld's collection of books.

Location: Sofitel So Singapore, 35 Robinson Road, Singapore 068876
Telephone: 6701 6800
Click here for bookings.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

10 Rules: When You Foster Kittens

Hey everybody! I hope you guys are in the best of health looking forward to a great day everyday! I am sure by now most of you would have known that I love cats, even if it's a tiger, a cheetah or puma but due to restrictions we have here, the only thing I can afford to have are domestic cats.

I have a dream to have a pet cheetah one day. In hoping it grows strong enough, and gentle enough not turn against me and have me for its meal! If the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) gets too lofty here, I can always have my pet cheetah to bring me around. Horses are too mainstream, sorry!

It's been a while since I had kittens in my home. The last time I had them was about two years ago. I don't adopt cats because my dad and my brother are shy towards them - but things took a twist. Other than that we believe that cats should be given the chance to live and not euthanized without given the chance to see the world at least.

Rule 1: You will feel attached to them, know that you have to let it go unless your plan to adopt. Bear that in mind!

So this time, I was grateful to receive a call from SPCA to foster a pair of kittens. I was so happy to have new members in our family! I always make it a rule not to foster one, and not to foster too many either. I want to be able to give undivided attention and them to have a friend to play with.

On the way to their new home!

Look at how small it is!

Rule 2: If you are going to foster one, keep them accompanied. If two or more, be prepared for some hurdle in early stages. Very challenging for first timers who are inexperienced. School holidays are the best time.

When I got home I was really crazy over these two - Remy and Taffy! It was the cutest little thing ever! They were as small as a rat, not much fur, legs as fragile as chicken legs, can't walk that well, soft meow and was greedy when fed!

Rule 3: If you have a new born orphaned kitten, it is important for you to keep them warm by putting a heating pad below their sleeping area as they have not built their mechanism to shiver yet.

I didn't bother buying toys or made-for-cat heating pad because I am just having them for a short term so most of the things that I have for them are homemade. Even their toys. So we put them in a big box temporarily. It is easy to maintain as I don't have to wash them, just get a new one if I have to, and it keeps them warm through the night.

Rule 4: As a foster parent, there is no need to buy kitty stuff. They are even too young to enjoy such luxurious place to sleep.

As they were very very young, they cannot be potty trained so they pretty much poop everywhere in the box. So we just changed their pad and wipe them clean.

Rule 5: Use your unused newspapers as their pad. Saves money and time as you will be changing it almost every 4-hours. Besides, it's a good way to recycle your newspapers!

Rule 6: Stock up toilet roll and wet tissue. They poop more than a newborn baby.

Once in a while I would let them roam free under supervision as their bones are not fully developed and strong yet. They look a little creepy at first because at one time they look like kangaroo, ape or even a rat. I tried my best not to image it as rats otherwise I wouldn't want to hold them!

Many times I realized Taffy had no appetite to eat. She would but she would suck the milk for a while and push it away as compared to Remy. Then it started to lose weight, very weak and even have blood in her stool. One night it got so bad, blood came out and she did not have the energy to even stand. I thought of bringing her to the vet the following day but my instinct told me I had to go that night. So I went to bring both kittens over to Amber Vet at Siglap. Efficient service!

I was really worried that she could not last the journey so I sped through, ignored my dinner and called the doctor to hurry and when we were there, Taffy was found to have very little fluid in her body. So that night my brother took pains to force feed her with water and antibiotic. It almost wreck my heart to see her like that.

At this time I really understand how important it is for them to have a cat friend. We do not suffice their emotional needs. They are siblings to begin with. Remy being the healthier one, although on medication for fear of being infected, slept on Taffy to provide her sister with warmth. It was the sweetest thing I've seen in my life!

Remy sleeping on top of Taffy to give it warmth.

Taffy getting better and Remy stood by her side still.

Looking back, I could have cried buckets!

I was really grateful to God for giving back Taffy's health, she started to gain appetite, and from the antibiotic she took, all the bacteria that was in her was out through her stool. Although it was really disgusting, I felt a quite satisfied to see those bad boys out of her.

Rule 7: Find out the nearest 24-hour vet and keep their number. In case of emergencies like this.

Ever since then, I started to train them to defecate on their sand tray. When I first fostered a kitten, I did not have any idea on how to train them but it is not as hard as it seems actually! Cats are guided more by sense of smell than sight. So I would put their stool on the tray, force them a little bit into smelling it and help them simulate raking on the sand. After some time it comes naturally. Once they manage to do that, I move them to a bigger home - the bathroom.

Rule 8: Kittens like babies need bigger holding area as they get bigger and still dependent.

Many thought that I am such a bad fosterer but first, we must know that cats are territorial animals. They need to know their place to take a dump. By putting them there for a week, they have a sense they have to poop there from the scent. They are fast learners. It took them less than a week to learn that since then, they were liberated to roam around. I was really happy to be able to let them run around freely!


I think they were shy at first. They like to stick around the kitchen and not go far. I'd bring them out to the living room and they'd come back to sleep on the pile of towels. Besides, they were still young and new to the place, so I think they were very comfortable there.

Only after some time they no longer sleep there but behind the laundry machine instead. I had no idea that my house has a secret passage that can lead them there. When I got home and called them, I thought they ran out of the house and go missing! I was this close to printing lost and found posters. Then I realized they were so small, how far can they run? Oh, I even thought of the possibility of them falling from my house. Turns out they were hiding right behind the laundry area!

Their favourite hideout.

Rule 9: Cats are more curious, run faster and jump higher than you. Always be wary of their whereabout in the house! They can even climb my curtains.

They started to get really playful and wild which I really love! They'd spend a lot of time sleeping - for growth. Most of their waking time is spent playing and exploring the house. I like it when they horseplay - didn't resulted in a serious fight. They often disturb each other and then tugged sleep together in each other's company. They'd try to bite the corner of my blanket and wrestle with it sometimes! Crazy!

Taffy trying to open the door. She is a very strong girl!
Eating together!

We showered them once in a while, Remy was funny! Ever since the first shower, she ran away upon hearing water coming off the tap. Soon enough both are accustomed to it.

On the day of their return, my mum told me that they went up to my mum's shoulder, not wanting to return to SPCA seeing that they will be in cage for quite some time before being adopted. I'd love to save all the animals in this world but I can't do it alone. That is as far as I can help!

Final workout the morning before being sent back to SPCA. Hehe!

Sending them off back to SPCA with a heavy heart. 

Remy and Taffy, we love you so much! We miss you already, be wild and crazy! I hope I've taught you well enough to take care of each other and yourselves (strongly hope you don't get separated). Your little mischief, golden speckled fur and meows will be deeply missed!

Rule 10: Never over pamper your foster kittens. Teach them to be street smart!

Have a wonderful life ahead!

Click here to foster a pet.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Singapore
31 Mount Vernon Road, Singapore 368054.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

TYR 2nd SEA Swimming Championship

Hey everyone! This weekend I was at the TYR 2nd SEA Swimming Championship to support team Singapore in the water polo men's series and I am very happy that team Singapore has brought honour by winning the two games against Malaysia!

TYR SEA Swimming Championship is a major event attended by about 200 athletes from around ASEAN countries and I for one am glad to be there to support my friend. He is the motivation I run 5km each week okay! Even if it takes for me to drive all the way to the gym to run on the treadmill, so keep up the good work man!

I am really awed by the ferocity and sportsmanship shown by both teams. Even heard them shouting "Don't foul! Don't foul!" and although there were cases of incidental fouls, it did not spark much of a drama as compared to you know.. Soccer.

There were many comments about both team being fatigue and starting to play rough. I think this is way harder than soccer! You need to be agile in the water and not let your opponent take control of the ball. Most importantly, everyone has to stay afloat and be ready just in case your opponent pushes you into the water.

Which is why I find it more thrilling to watch this!

This biennial event is the first event that is hosted by the new state of the art OCBC Aquatic Centre. Very impressed to see our new stadium too! I am elated for the private tour and ain't gonna spoil you guys with the surprises the new stadium has. Have a great week ahead!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Taylor Swift: The RED Tour, Singapore

Hello everyone! How's your week going? It's already midweek and I know you guys are counting down to the weekend as I do! This week has been really great albeit work is piling up but all of that was made alright because of Taylor Swift! That's right! I was so exhilarated, glad and ultimately grateful for this wonderful opportunity to see her live because her concert that was scheduled tomorrow on the 12th June was sold out!

Taylor Swift Concert opens another date for her fans!
Most of you by now would have known that I am not die hard Swiftie fan but I do know quite a handful about her. For one, she's hot. Even though it is disputable she has horse face like Sarah Jessica Parker and gang. Secondly, which is the most important part of a concert is that she can sing live pitch perfect! Hers was really a live performance and I can't articulate enough on how that changed my perception towards Hollywood singers. Let's be real - Katy Perry's songs are empowering, has a charming personality but when it comes to singing live - I wish I had my earplugs on when I watched her at The Singapore Gand Prix back then. No comments about Britney Spears. No matter, I still love them all!

The concert was really a last minute one. It was due to a response so strong the organizers had to open another date. Even the 9th June concert was a sold out! The Singapore Indoor Stadium was filled with more than 15,000 Swifties and you were bound to meet someone you know - which I did! Met my ex-comrade and it was not the first time I bump into him. I was really surprised and it was a good one!

Ex-comrade and I before RED starts.
There were throngs of people in red as the tour name suggests. I was not spared from the fanfare and I really felt like I was a part of something major. I did not have the chance to wear red with thousands of people for the past million years, because I was not given the ticket to see my tax money being burnt on 9th August although I balloted for the minimum every single year! Any kind soul? I just wanna feel that one-minute hyper patriotism!

As it happened on the eleventh hour, I called my close friends to ask if they were able to accompany me. I am grateful for their presence because, in good times too you need company to enjoy it with. I think, in friendship, it is important for us to be present in each others life. We must not to be dismissive and ignorant about it, and then complain about how lonely our life is, or how our ignorant our friends are when the fact is that it takes two hands to clap. Introspection for all of us perhaps?

We were there at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on time. Can you imagine? I had to rush home, feed my two little kittens, freshen up quickly and grab a bite. To have everything done in fifteen minutes is a feat - microwaved a footlong to eat along the way! That was the toughest day I had! I should get an award for that. Only kidding!

There were so many people flocking in and given Singapore's sultry climate, I started to sweat and tried to control myself not to! Thank God the crowd was well managed! They were giving away unlimited complimentary Cornettos along the way. There was vanilla and chocolate to choose from.Very happy not to see those greedy or kiasu Singaporeans! Probably they were too brain freezed to have a second go. Cornetto's generosity was crazy! Amazing thing you don't have to queue for so long and that everybody gets to enjoy them.

Feeling liberated, excited and full by Cornetto's ice cream giveaways. 
I love Cornetto. It has a perfect blend of vanilla and chocolate and peanuts that tantalizes my taste bud. On top of that, the crunchy cone is to die for especially towards the bottom of the cone where is it filled with an inch of chocolate, so that should the ice cream melt it will not drip through the tiny hole of the cone.

The show was opened by an up and coming local trio Impromt-3 and I really enjoyed their rendition of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. It may be surprising to some of you that I am actually quite a fan of this alpha-male song! I did have my head banged!

While Swifties were still thronging in, I saw this group of fans who stopped by at the side to put together a huge fan poster. I salute those Swifties for putting in that much hard work into that. Keep it that way for your studies too! Haha!

Taylor performed a grand opening song State of Grace - very graceful indeed. I came in not knowing a lot of her songs and I came out humming to her tunes. I got so excited when she sang those familiar singles like 22 - because someone was teasing me about my age. I Knew You Were Trouble - thanks to Victoria Secret Fashion Show in 2013, and We Are Never Ever Getting Back - because of the prominent "Wee-eee!" in the chorus. Her songs will be etched in my mind for quite some time!

Her opening song - State of Grace.
Performing a ballad number.
It was really refreshing and personal. She did a few numbers on the stage that was right in front of us. Everyone started a brouhaha and loomed over our seats. I was so, so happy to get to touch her hand for a millisecond. That means a lot to a new Swiftie. I could just break out into another Taylor Swift's song anytime now!

A note to a crowd controller: Don't be a lady. Literally. Haha!

Her performance was theatrical, majestic in a way and a treat to the eyes. She was really engaged in what she did. She dance well, can play an instrument and sing live at the same time. For those who did not know much about her just like me, she also told us more about herself and how she grew up. So I'm not surprised why I as a youth can get into liking her. It is so relatable! I also love the digital backdrop, the effects look so real and crystal clear. It made everything look realistic and detailed. Only shows how much effort was put in for this concert!

Gotta thank Canon for this because this made me look like I snapped using a professional camera!
I Knew You Were Trouble, with more strings like violin.
I was a little bit disappointed because there was no confetti but to be a feet away and see her up close is one of the best days in my life. The show did not end without a sing along finale!

Amazing thing this concert was done in the Singapore Indoor Stadium to complement her strong vocal. The stadium holds a lot of memories and I am so glad that that the Singapore Sports Hub will be enlivened with so many things!

The concert was presented by Cornetto and promoted by AEG Live. Thanks for organizing this major show! Oh, and I am thankful to Canon for producing such good cameras. The one time my photos look amazing and it looks bloody professional! I swear by it! Delighting me always!

I really mean this: This picture ain't about us. ;)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Inaugural Summer Kickoff Fundrager

Last night we celebrated the inaugural launch of the annual Summer Kickoff Fundrager, presenting the 2014 Summer Champagne Wars to bring the best party to kick off the summer. There was glitz and glamour which spiced up the private benefit, and was definitely a night to remember.

Great to meet amazing people, listening to funky music and seeing people competing for a good cause!

The Summer Kickoff Fundrager was organised to raise funds to build schools in Cambodia and Laos. The goal of raising $50,000/- from this benefit will provide 271 children with an opportunity to study in a proper learning environment.

I wish Nichol all the best in his philanthropic endeavours!

The event venue was provided by Marina Bay Sands Crystal Pavilion's Spider Room.