Category Archives: Lifestyle 生活时尚

My Kitchen+Bathroom Therapy

Kitchen and bathrooms in any home has got to be the most heavily used areas and sometime the worst maintained. That is why I was a little anal when I took over my apartment. I may not cook often, but I still find myself spending quite a lot of time in the kitchen, doing dishes, preparing food, so it was important that the kitchen was a clean slate.

Now I wanted to give the kitchen a fresh look without spending too much money. The space didn’t allow for very innovative layout so it didn’t make sense for me to tear down the kitchen, and besides the existing structure wasn’t too bad. It just wasn’t new.

I turned to Apartment Therapy to see Before & After projects of kitchen remodelling and felt so inspired by some of their projects.

Here’s one that I really like:

AT1This went from dark and cramped to light and cozy.

This other one went from traditional and a little dated to something more inviting and modern:

AT2

Overseas remodelling projects can be so inspiring because of the resources they have. When I was in the US, I spent hours in Home Depot and Lowes just trying to see what sort of home improvement materials they have. It is so cheap to do so too!

Here in Singapore, building materials are expensive and resources limited, anyone who has attempted renovation would know it is more often than not a tedious and cost-intensive process.

For my kitchen, I didn’t want to wreck my brains at coming up with a brand new design. I didn’t have the time to commit to choosing new tiles, counter top, cabinet finish, kitchen layout and system because I was filming non-stop and spent a good amount of time overseas. Even if I did have the time, I didn’t want the kitchens and bathrooms to look drastically different from the rest of the apartment.

So when I found out from a friend  that there was a spray-paint technique of giving old tiles a new look, I jumped at it.

Kitchen

I went with a darker floor for a more elegant look. There were a few colours and finishes to choose from, but I eventually decided to go with a minimalist look — white & grey.

kitchenfloor

cabinetsOther than my kitchen, I also cleaned up my bathrooms.

There was a bit of work done to my utility bathroom even though it looks like a simple job. Everything was refurbished without having to be replaced.

My toilet bowl, sink, walls and tiles were resprayed. The best part was there was no hacking or drilling done.

Utility Toilet

The people from Chiaki Worldwide were very helpful as they advised me to use a rough paint finish for the walls of my utility bathroom because there were cracks and the rough finish would cover the cracks better. They did warn me that it may not hide the cracks completely.

Utilitywall1

sinkThere were also hairline cracks in the sink before, but they were fully concealed after the job.

bathtubThe technique could also hide the chip in my bathtub and I was pleasantly surprised. If I had to replace the bathtub, it would have been so costly and troublesome!

I find that a little goes a long way and makes a huge difference to how it looks. It isn’t a major transformation, but this technique has allowed me to have a new kitchen and bathrooms without the headache of a major renovation.

Goodbye Christmas

This year is moving along so quickly. I just had to find time to take down my Christmas decorations and get ready for the Year of the Horse.

Have you taken down your Christmas tree yet?

I love the whimsical nature of my Hallmark vintage ornaments, but till the next Christmas, they shall all go into hibernation now.

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Biblo-Mat

So I found out that in Toronto, a Canada-based second-hand bookshop The Monkey’s Paw has created a vending machine that gives customers an interesting way to get new books.

This is how the machine works:

I’m not too sure what the reading culture in Singapore is like, but I thought this is so fun to have! Imagine being surprised by whatever title that falls out from the machine? And sometimes, there just might be some sort of cosmic power at play as to why that particular title dropped out for you.

It reminds me of the times when I was kid and I used to put in 20 cents and turn out a toy that would be kept in a plastic capsule. You never know what you’re going to get.

JOB OPENING!

Here’s a job opening I have for those of you who might be keen to work in a comfortable environment with, from what I was told, an attractive salary package. I’m actually helping a good friend out, and hopefully one of you will benefit from this. I would like to reiterate that I do not own this company nor have any stakes in them. I am also in no way affiliated to or sponsored by them. As such, please do not ask me how much the salary is, and or other related questions with regard to this job opening. I will not be held responsible for anything that might arise as a result of this job opening nor upon successful employment.

You can direct all your questions to Sam, whose email is provided below.

Click on the banner below for a full size image.


Don’t buy cheap memory cards

Important lesson learnt on this Vegas trip: Don’t try to save money buying cheaper memory cards.

I realised that not only did I have to make sure the memory card says SDHC, the card speeds play a very important role too! You can tell by looking out for Class 2, 4, 6 or 10 on the packaging. Of course the bigger the number, the faster the speed. Choose something that matches the electronic device you’re using it for. For more info see SD.

Quite a number of my pictures did not record properly on the new memory card that I bought since the old one I brought from Singapore failed on me. For some reason, the pictures previewed fine on the camera but when I tried to load it on my computer, they’re either truncated or did not show. I have since exchanged for one that has a faster speed, and probably more suitable for my camera.

Which means, photos where I unveiled my birthday present, had homemade waffles with maple syrup and butter that is not butter, visited premium outlet store, the inside of KÀ theater …are all gone.

Sob sob.

Retail experience at Apple

Going to the Apple retail store in the US is always an experience. Every product is hooked up to the Internet and allows you to browse freely. Every sales person knows their products at the back of their hand, offers their personal take on products, and helps us make our purchase one that suits our needs.

What is most fascinating is that, no one stands in line to pay. Not because they have no social etiquette but because they have a different way of paying.

There's a special jacket that is attached to the iPod Touch that allows the retail guy to scan the barcode of the product and checkout our items on the go.

He takes your credit card, swipes it on the device and have you sign on the screen.

After which you can choose to have your receipt printed out or emailed to you. We chose the environmentally friendly method.

Everyone's excited about this!

Chippendales – Ultimate Girls’ Night Out

I never thought I was really going to watch Chippendales!

Months ago when I read that they were coming, I was quite excited! Not because it’s a bunch of male strippers, but because it was unthinkable in the past for a group of male erotic dancers to perform in Singapore.

I remembered when I visited Las Vegas in June last year and seeing billboards of them as well as many other shows of every kind for both men and women, I wondered if what I was seeing there would eventually be made available in Singapore.

Now we have Chippendales, which is a good start, and since I missed my opportunity last year, I must make up for it this time!!

My first visit to the Resorts World Sentosa was for this show! The Coliseum is a non-airconditioned, fully sheltered amphitheatre at Hard Rock Hotel. There are huge coolers at the sides though. I wouldn't recommend buying front row side seats because the speakers are deafening. The most expensive ticket cost S$200, which gives you better cushioned seats with a little wooden table in between, and free flow alcohol.

My girlfriend and I with our Russian Vodka Martinis! Sweeeeet!

After the show, you can take a group photograph with the boys for S$20.

The men are being split into 2 groups, so here's the other group.

The poor men must be suffering in our heat. Not only are they performing in a non-airconditioned venue, they have to come out clothed in layers of clothes first, so there’s somewhere to go, if you know what I mean. They were meant to tease but I’m not sure they feel sexy with the perspiration dripping off their foreheads. It’s almost like they can’t wait to take off all the clothes because it’s too hot not to.

The last piece of item on them would be a g-string, and that never comes off. The stripping is coordinated with the dance moves, and very tastefully choreographed, so there’s nothing sleazy about the show. It’s more a bunch of men with very good bodies singing and dancing with very little clothes on. And of course, using props that are phallic symbols.

The crowd that day was quite sporting, women were screaming and cheering the men on while they ripped their tank tops and pulled their boxers off. Some got out from their chairs and danced but most women were reserved than wild. The men came downstage a few times to interact with the audience, which was good for the people who paid for tickets at the back.

The good thing about the venue was that it encourages spontaneity and doesn’t put a vast physical distance between the audience and the stage. Yet there was something unemotional about the whole experience. The things they said throughout the performance felt contrived, like you know they have already said this to every audience for every show. Once in a while, you get one Chippendale talking to the audience but while he tried to engage the audience, asking questions like “Who would like to keep me company tonight?”, it felt like he didn’t really care about our response, because really, all that talk was to buy time for the rest of the men to change.

Maybe it’s the heat, that makes them want to be over and done with so they can relax in the comfort of their hotel rooms. That, I don’t blame them.

But the next time I’m in Vegas, I’d be having different expectations.