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:


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.


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.


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.


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.








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.


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.

Old-school Toy Holga

I received a Holga 120 CGFN last Christmas from Hong Kong!
If you’re wondering what the alphabets mean, it just means that this camera comes with colour flash and a glass lens. I’m a newbie when it comes to Holga, having no idea how to properly load the film and snap the photo, much less how to make full use of the colour flash and glass lens. I hope to get better after an online tutorial!

There are many different types of Holga cameras and it started off as a boring black, inexpensive, 120 medium-format toy film camera. Haha, but the one I got look like this:

This is how it looks when the back is popped. Notice the spool is rather long? That’s because this is a medium-format camera, so it doesn’t use the regular 35mm film. This also means the photo processing fee is slightly more expensive. More than S$1 per piece!

Now here are some photos my assistant and I took separately on this camera. Although I could take a maximum of 12 photos, only 7 turned out. The rest were underexposed. With the 7, there’s a bit of overlapping because we didn’t know how much to wind the camera before taking the next shot. But that’s the beauty of film cameras, you don’t have the luxury of checking the image once it’s taken, so it’ll always be a surprise!

That's me on the 梅花桩, holding on to the lion's head.

That's the stunt coordinator “阿德” doing the somersault as my body double.

Here we are doing a scene from episode 3 of the Carlsberg Telemovie Showcase.

That's Terry, our regular lion dance body double!

One of the rare moments he's actually smiling to the camera.

There's Adrian and I

This was taken while we were doing a scene in episode 2 of the Carlsberg Telemovie Showcase. "The Runaway Bride"

I posed with Angelina Jolie!

….and Cherie Lim and Zoe Tay for the 1000th 8DAYS cover issue! It’s such a huge honour so thank you!!

Grab your copy now!

Looking at past 8DAYS covers, I realise how much things have changed over the years.

When I walk into every shoot and interview, I’m always at a point in my life where certain things have happened, are happening or are about to happen. These experiences shape the way I speak, I carry myself and the way I’ll look eventually on the newsstands. It’s quite bizarre looking back and remembering those moments with every cover, however nostalgic, sad, traumatic or blissful.

I do hope to keep 8DAYS company as they move on to another 1000 issues, it’s going to be exciting!!

All the best!

First Christmas Present…

…from me to me!

The huge box in which my present arrived!

I love surprises!!

I’ve been wanting this for the longest time!

The good thing about shopping online is that you can do it anytime, in my case, in the comfort of my room and pjs. Since I usually do my research online (and spend a long time on that too), it complements my shopping! After getting friends to check out some camera shops in Singapore and also in Hong Kong (where apparently cameras and camera equipment are cheaper), I finally found the best deal for the D-Lux 4 on Amazon.

At US$899.99, I received a camera, a carrying case and an 8GB traveler’s package which includes a tripod, an 8GB SD card, flashcard reader, screen protector, adapter tubes and camera/video filter set.

Wow, what a great bundle deal!

This seller also offered free shipping in the US, so I figured I’d use vPOSTUSA to save on international shipping costs. Besides, the seller did not indicate that he ships to Singapore and it wasn’t easy to contact the seller because there was no email address or contact form to fill to find out (I had to call his store in the US to ask about the camera’s warranty), I chose the more familiar freight forwarding service offered by Singpost.

In total, I paid about S$1399.86 for the Leica D-Lux 4.

Shipping within US: Free

Shipping from US to Singapore (vPOSTUSA): S$60.56

Price of item: S$1250.91 (US$899.99)

7% GST (Singapore): S$88.31

Here is how shipping for vPOSTUSA is calculated:

There is a base charge of S$12.40 + $8.60 per kg (based on volumetric weight  or actual weight whichever is higher, subject to a minimum charge of 0.5kg).

In the case of my camera set, the actual weight is 3.5 kg. the volumetric weight is 5.6Kg, so the chargeable weight will be the latter.

Therefore the shipping cost would be S$12.40 + (S$8.60 x 5.6) = S$60.56.

Once the value of the item exceeds S$400, there will be a GST charge based on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of the item plus all duties payable in Singapore dollars.

Will share more purchases when they arrive!

Doesn't it look delicious?

I have adored this old-school camera carrying case for the longest time!

And the unassuming little toy that does wonders!