Saturday, September 24, 2016

Long Happening September Weekend

Happy Saturday!

Just giving a quick update on what went on in my life for the past few weeks!

Just ended training this morning and felt hungry. Eating a lot is my new normal. I had a craving for McDonald's after so long of not having junk food. Do not judge because it is my cheat day since all other days I am all about eating freshly cooked food. Eating healthy is important because you are what you eat. I am not sure if I had ever shared this before from a book I read Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins. It says the key to leading a healthier life is to eat food that contains 75% water just as how the Earth and your body contains 75% water. There is more to it which includes the right dietary intake, when and how you should consume certain food. As much as I eat, I always do my best to eat everything in moderation!

My usual eating habit is to ensure I do not eat something too spicy although I adore spicy food, and make it a point to drink lots and lots of water throughout the day. The joy about drinking is that it lubricates my throat so that I can always project my voice when the occasion calls for it! Other than that, drinking lots of water helps a lot with sweating and its benefits are manifold. Of the many, having a supple skin motivates me to drink more! I like drinking plain water but wants variety occasionally. While cordial is not totally bad, you can always consider isotonic like NutriForce Balance Hydration where you can get from EPN Singapore. It is delicious, you get its health benefits from the flavoured powder, and of course, better hydration!

While we are on the topic on nutrition, I have been exploring ways on how to make supplements more than just a drink. I have been reading a lot and just beginning on the simple stuff like making protein pancake using NutriWhey and even amino ice blends. I swear my kitchen skills are not fantastic but it is not terrible either. These kind of experiments take some time though. I will show you soon! My strawberry pancake was just a start. It was delicious and filling by the way, never waste good protein! Thanks to EPN Singapore, I am able to do all these!

By the way, last weekend was crazy, good and bad...

The first great thing that happened last weekend was The Podium Lounge, lounging away on the first night of Singapore GP! Held at luxury hotel The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, it had so much entertainment and that was only for the first night. Heard it picked up for the other two nights! Great line up of artists, amazingly hot aerial performance (I have never been this up close to see an aerial dancer) and not forgetting great company! We got to see all the charity items for bidding on display! If you have that disposable money and if you do not own any one of these, here is how you do good, feel good, and get something great in return. It would be nice to own Pink Floyd's framed up guitar with autographs and have it on your wall, just a little something of statement to show your guests when they visit! Or if you are really in all about the giving without receiving, you could always get it as a gift for a Pink Floyd's die hard fan!

The following morning, I was up for a glitzing event at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I had a gastronomy of wedding delicacies at Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia for a family friend's wedding! We headed to KL in the morning with the rest of the party, had tonnes of food and snacks there before the solemnization! Although I was there only for two nights, I enjoyed everything especially the company and the food. Even ordered in-room dining because I wanted to conserve my energy looking radiant for the reception. Besides, I was there for wedding so I do not see the point of tiring myself by going out.

Held at five-star resort, Hotel Bangi-Putrajaya, the reception was resplendent and we were entertained by exquisite jazzy live band, celebrity host, as well as a majestic entrance fit for the newly wed! Ultimately, there were no other stars than the two lovebirds whom everyone wants a photo with! The customary menu includes butter rice and favourite ayam masak merah! Indeed a weekend to remember for them and for us to!

We wish you all the happiness in your matrimony!

On the way back to Singapore, I received news that Princeton went missing. My heart sank. I love cats and the trouble is it was not mine to begin with! We hosted Princeton at my home as we were away for the wedding so it was under my family's care. That was not the first time we hosted Princeton so we were actually very surprised on his guts to run out fast and unnoticed. That was very unconventional of him! When we arrived, we had to spend the remaining stretch of our energy looking for that cat around the entire estate. Circulars were put all over and we were grateful that within 48-hours, the cat was finally found. God bless the person who returned the cat. Although it is not mine, I love the cat as much!

I was so busy that weekend I had to miss training. Woopsie! I am all back today on water. I need to resume with my weekday gym routine, just that I have some other backlogs to catch up with!

Here's a funny story - cross my heart.

Recently, I went to a movie premiere with my friend and I thought it would be a great time to catch up and of course, support the movie. When it comes to movies, I am one who avoids finding out details about the director to avoid prejudiced opinion because directors have a certain trait in their movies. Classic example, Tim Burton and his skittish outcast as one of his characters. Only thing is, this movie is not directed by Tim Burton. I only had heard of the director's name. We went to the movie, we thought it was great, nice cinematography and commendable story line. It was when I got home browsing the event hash tags that I realize the direcotr is someone I had met before - this very year. Woops, let's hope the director does not think that I was some sort of a snob when we crossed paths!

At least my opinion was unprejudiced. I really thought it was a great film before knowing who the director really was!

New collaboration coming up and it has got something to do with all the good stuff in your life! It has been a long time since I shopped and I will be back to share all the details with you guys! In the mean time, please support my existing and future collaborations! While it has always been my joy in exploring new products, ideas, services and many more, the true joy is when you too are satisfied and happy with them!

Nevertheless, whatever I feature, it has always been close to my heart, just as yours! Have a wonderful weekend and rest well!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bare Your Sole 2016

Happy weekend everyone! How did you guys spend your weekend?

Yesterday, I was at the Bare Your Sole 2016 walkathon. It was mind opening and fun!

Bare Your Sole 2016 is an annual event that aims to raise fund for the less privileged as well as drive awareness for those living in poverty in Singapore and around the world – where going barefoot is a daily reality.

Habitat for Humanity’s Bare Your Sole returned with over 5,000 participants walking barefoot to raise S$250,000 on the 10th year anniversary of Project HomeWorks, Habitat’s local home cleaning programme. Initiated in September 2006, Project HomeWorks has reached out to over 1,800 homes of the elderly and disabled, by mobilizing volunteers to engage in an intensive home cleaning process that ultimately improves the beneficiaries’ quality of life.

I arrived in the morning, got my goody bag with Bare Your Sole t-shirt and changed into the event attire. The entire OCBC Arena was full of people in Tiffany blue shirt that bears show you care, go bare message. We were all ready to go after the warm up led by Virgin Active representatives but the weather was not on our side! The rain was so heavy we had to wait and gladly it stopped!

Soon after, we were on the starting line to begin our walk! Although the weather cooled the path from scorching morning sun, it was not as easy as it seems. In aiming to raise awareness of the poor without roof or footwear, we challenged ourselves walking barefoot throughout! Although there were challenging paths where you were allowed to wear your footwear, many like myself went bare throughout!

If you think that walking barefoot on modern Singapore concrete paths are hard, think of those who are living in poor countries where basic infrastructure like sidewalks are rare. You would be walking on dirt and if you are unlucky enough you would step on dangerous elements like nails and splints. So, on days that we think our days are bad, know that it is not the worst!

Bare Your Sole 2016 was not short of fun activities for families to relax post-walk. From special performances by the Toa Payoh Senior Activity Centre and local singer-songwriter duo, Ciao Turtle to a host of arts and craft activities aimed at kids, crowds were treated to a morning of fun and entertainment. A special highlight this year included a uniquely designed mock-up of a one-room HDB flat for participants to experience the living conditions of a typical Project HomeWorks’ beneficiary.

Bare Your Sole 2016 was graced by Mr. Philip Ng, CEO, Far East Organization and Senior Advisor to Habitat for Humanity, Singapore; Mr. S. Dhanabalan, Chairman, Temasek Holdings and Patron of Habitat for Humanity Singapore; Mr. Yong Teck Meng, National Director of Habitat for Humanity Singapore as well as local celebrities and Goodwill Ambassadors, Anita Kapoor and Paul Foster!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Woken Up Before September Ends

Wake me up when September ends...

Wow, it is already September. It does not even feel like August have passed but it did. What has been going on in my life?

We are living in a world too fast to immerse ourselves in living life. Have you ever felt that some days passed by so fast that you feel that you should slow down? Slowing down is not bad thing really. I feel that these days we are too absorbed in achieving something so quickly we ignore life simple pleasures like sleeping or eating which spirals down to stress and unhappiness. So if you are feeling stressed, think of the last time you had a really good sleep or a hearty meal!

Speaking of meal...

This coming early November will be Singapore River Festival, and do not get confused to Singapore River Regatta! Although these two events are happening in November, they are two different events! I am putting in effort to gain mass or in gym terminology - bulk for Singapore River Regatta.

Singapore River Festival is the best time to try new food and consequently achieve my goal of gaining weight. I know how I have been jokingly complaining that I look fat but honestly, I do not like looking skinny. I will gladly not watch my calorie intake at Singapore River Festival. What is it all about anyway?

Happening this coming 4-5 November, Singapore River Festival 2016 features a stellar line up of performances, art and exciting activities where three quays at the Singapore River (Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay) will come together in celebration with a kaleidoscopic line-up of exciting activities. There, you could witness imaginative art installations and breathtaking performances by renowned local and international artists, sample the best food and drink along the river.

In conjunction with this festival, SR Signatures confers its annual accolade on restaurants along the Singapore River who serve up gastronomical wonders to their customers. This connect visitors to the River through food and provide them with the opportunity to tantalise their taste buds while exploring the sights and sounds of the festival. Out of 21 winning dishes this year, 15 if them are from new winning restaurants!

This year’s theme, Where Chefs Eat, highlights the gourmet choices of the chefs and aims to share their expertise with visitors of the event. Visitors can enjoy the opportunity to pit their taste buds against these chefs and decide for themselves how much they enjoy the dishes. It is also part of the Singapore River Festival experience to stimulate all their senses during the festival. Speaking of an experience that engages the five sense, it is hard to miss out your sense of taste!

Subsequently would be the 34th Singapore River Regatta happening on 5-6 November. We are in the midst of preparation and my school team is recruiting for paddlers as the new season starts. If we are in the same school and you would like to try out and paddle alongside with us, feel free to do so! We have great facilities, great coach and great team so it is hard to let it miss in your school life!

We recently won a second place at the Austcham 10km race and given such short preparation time, I guess it was pretty commendable. We did our best! The best part during race was this one swift turn we made in front of Fullerton Bay Hotel then overtook one of our competitors.

Anyway, I just had to screenshot this for some self-degrading joke. I have been dreaming to have this kind of shot taken really but just look at the slab of sunblock on my face! Good thing that Oakley was on because that part was totally a different shade!

That race was somewhat special to me because majority in the boat were my batch mates. I was happy to get silver, but happier because of the people I completed the race with!

It was due to Austcham too I have converted to a carbon fibre paddle. I know it might be disapproving to some but it is not that I was seeking to change! If it could be of any consolation, I still keep my wooden paddle just in case! Some would agree with me that transiting from the wooden paddle to the carbon fibre one gives you a sense of empowerment. Maybe because it is black, or the fact that it is lighter and pricier but not many share with you how annoying it is to have so many pantang (taboos) for the carbon fibre paddle. Due to its brittleness, I cannot treat it as recklessly as the wooden paddle.

New members are coming into the team and it is heartening to see their interest. While I am still searching for some enlightenment, I am grateful some of the alumni are coming back to help out. Paddling is no dance that requires many movement but the technique to one stroke is key in doing the minimum to get the maximum!

Recently, I had a birthday dinner with my friends at this hidden cafe called The Malayan Council. I call it hidden because I got lost along the way! The cafe features a fusion of Western and Southeast Asian delicacies like Gado-Gado Salad, and Fish and Chips with Asam Pedas sauce. It is definitely rare to find such amalgamation of east meets west menu even in upmarket restaurants. The Malayan Council although small in size, serves big portion that probably could feed two. It depends on how much you could stomach in! It was no problem for me because I went with cafe-visiting addict and the other who gobbles up everything in her path, and of course yours truly who is trying to fit a size XS to S. Honestly, I would gobble up everything too but when it comes to food, I am most of the time shy really...

I am shameless at buffets, woops.

A few days later, I was at the official announcement of Singapore Writer's Festival 2016 thanks to BlackBook Asia. Being one of society's upper echelon is not all about skin-deep, brain is important too!

The Singapore Writers Festival started in 1986 as a biennial festival. Now held yearly, the festival is a much anticipated event on the cultural calendar, presenting the world’s major literary talents to Singaporeans while shining a spotlight on home grown and Southeast Asian creative talents. Over the years, the Festival has become an exciting meeting point of writers, academics and thinkers in a choice spread of panel discussions, workshops, lectures and performances in 10 days. It has hosted literati the likes of Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian, Whitbread Book Awards First Novel winner Tash Aw, British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Nebula winner Neil Gaiman and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham.

The Singapore Writers Festival is one of the few multi-lingual literary festivals in the world, celebrating the written and spoken word in Singapore’s official languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. This year, the Festival will be housed in the Civic District amongst historic buildings such as The Arts House, The National Gallery and the Asian Civilisations Museum.

I am so glad that in my busy life trying to strike a balance, I am powered by great sports nutrition products carried by EPN Singapore! So this September, show your support and love by using promo code ZY 10 for 10% discount! Sometimes I get really tired before going to gym and the pre-workout got me all perked up! Likewise, with all natural protein by NutriWhey, it has been helping me big time with my recovery. It gives me a boost of motivation knowing that EPN has got my back! No more worries about lack of recovery, hydration and what not. EPN has got it all covered!

I am pretty much ready to load up my big guns especially we are moving towards the end of the year! So many exciting things to share with you guys!

It is sad to see our old car gone at the scrapyard. Honestly hate the slow pick up but I just love the volume of this car. I just love big cars. I enjoy seeing myself driving something big, because it allows me to have a look what is coming ahead and have a better view of things. Although, the trouble always come at corner turns. Annoying, really.

I also took the time to shop for art. It is not a need obviously but some parts of the wall is best to be filled with something colourful and mesmerizing. While there is no hurry, I am just looking out to see what is in the market.

The trouble is, I want it to be unique, momentous, significant, big and of course at a reasonable price. How?

Thank you H for accompanying me! It is really good to see your best friend back in town after so long!

By the way, I will be at OCBC Square this Saturday, 10 September for a charity walkathon! Bare Your Sole is Habitat for Humanity Singapore's annual barefoot walkathon that aims to raise awareness for those living in poverty around the world where going barefoot is a daily reality. As a wellness and charity advocate, I will be participating this walkathon with Habitat Champions and 6,000 other participants! A mile without shoes is less than a tip of the iceberg for destitute of people that are struggling for basic needs. Walk with me, see you there! You can find out more here