Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Universal Studios Rocks!!

Last Sunday, my mom, my 2 younger sisters plus my dad organised an outing to Universal Studios with my girls and me. It was quite unusual considering too that my 2nd sister and my mom had flown in from the Philippines this time to be around for such an outing.

I loved it there! It didn't quite matter that the really large roller coaster wasn't open yet because all the other rides and shows were so enjoyable! We went there right after lunchtime and left when everything closed after 6pm and that wasn't enough! It was just enough for us to take quite abit of rides and go to some shows but I don't think we covered everything! We must go back!!

For some strange reason tho, in the pictures that we took that day. No matter whos camera was used - everyone looked bloated and swollen but .. pfft! Whatever! It was still really fun.

Group shot above in the streets taken by my dad... and pictures with Woody Woodpecker and the Cat from Shrek!! So cute lah!!

We caught the Madagascar Carousel ride, the Shrek 4D Adventure show, some Shrek Mini barrel ferris wheel, Waterworld, Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, Canopy Flyer, Revenge of the Mummy (went twice!!), Accelerator, Lights - Camera - Action show and the Monster Rock show.

Took several shots over at certain picture opportunity points along the streets and in the shops.

My driller girls for the day... and Eirian dropped another tooth again!! Each time we hit Sentosa - she goes in with at least ONE loose tooth thats usually hanging by a single root. She must have swallowed it as it was loose when we reached there and it was gone after dinner! Last time we hit Sentosa - Post can be found HERE.

And they were very happy when we popped by Loui's NY Pizza Parlor for dinner... where my dad bought them a huge tall bottle of grape soda... and a full sized *crazy large but on thin crust* pepperoni and hawaiian pizza with pasta bolognaise and spicy wings on the side.

Yummy but expensive as expected. But they were pleased as you can see... we'll be back again sometime... Love love love Universal Studios.. and we'll probably hit down to Resorts World, Sentosa again sometime soon again just to walk about the shops there to get more popcorn n candy without going in to US yet since we only need to take a bus down from Vivocity.

Have you been to Universal Studios yet? Theres so much to do.. one day is really just not enough.. I want to ride the rides again and again till I spin around silly and fall down laughing... don't you?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

(ADV) Lipbalm. Never leave home without it.

Really. I NEVER leave home without lipbalm. I have lipbalm in every bag I own, on my tables, on my shelves, in my spare gym bag, in my wallet even! And I try all types to find those that work for me that would hydrate my lips for at least more than an hour rather than those that are lipgloss types.

Sure, lipglosses look pretty but they're drying and unfortunately for me, my addiction to lipbalms may be somewhat of a problem. If for some reason, I find that I'm without lipbalm and I'm out, theres no stopping me from heading to the nearest retailer to get another tube or I would be extremely irritable and my lips would literally dry out. Unfortunately, I assume however though that my lips may have lost their natural moisture to remain soft without lipbalm thus the addiction over the years. Apart from the fruity smells or the minty lip plumping feeling that I love...

I've tried many on the market and only a small few work that are not too greasy. It was to my delight then when Mentholatum contacted me to review their lipbalms. LIPBALMS!! I heart lipbalms so here they are!

Presenting their new range of Mentholatum Mogitate Kajitsu lipbalms with real, natural fruit juice and honey! They smell fabulous!! and the new pair of new and updated Mentholatum Deep Moist new ultra hydrating lipbalms.

It was so exciting opening the package and seeing a whole bunch of colourful packs of something that I really cannot live without and without further ado, I ripped them out to give them a sniff and to see how well they withstood the lip retention test. Lucky them.. these pass with my seals of approval for longer lasting hydration. Yep! Yep! I'm definitely using them.

What flavours are available? I have 3 here but there are actually 5 different kinds and I want the other 2 too!! As seen here, Mojitate Kajitsu Strawberry, Mojitate Kajitsu Orange & Mango and Mojitate Kajitsu Lemon & Lime in the familiar twist up tube packaging in bright cheery colours we're all familiar with... they smell like candy! But it doesn't have that overwhelming nauseating sweet smell, its kind of like taking a whiff of a fruity drink..

The other two flavours available are Mojitate Kajitsu Grape & Berry and Mojitate Kajitsu White Peach. "Mojitate" means "Fresh". "Kajitsu" means "Fruits" in Japanese.

Did you know that the Mentholatum range of lipbalms is the #1 Best selling Lipbalm brand in Japan!? So perhaps now it can be #1 here in Singapore too eh?

The launch of the Mojitate Kajitsu is in line with the growing demands for natural products with consumers increasingly interested in natural/organic products. Made with Fresh fruit juice which contains essential minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to the lips and body. It also contains Honey which heals and renews the lips.

Other moisturising boosters such as Squalane which help to reduce wrinkles caused by aging and sun damage, Grapeseed oil which helps to repair skin and Vitamins A & E which are antioxidants that retard lip aging and gives lips a healthy shine.

These lipbalms are retailing at only SGD$5.90 each exclusively at all Watsons stores! Go grab yours now!

For those who prefer menthol or natural balms as opposed to their fruity counterparts. Their other variants are the Mentholatum Deep Moist Menthol *minty feeling* and Deep Moist Natural. *fragrance free*

These two variants owe their success to 2 main factors. Its premium hydrating ingredients at value pricing and its elegant, new ergonomic packaging design.

Whats in them? Hyaluronic acid which forms a smooth moisture locking shield for softer smoother lips. It can hold up to 1000x its weight in water or 6 litres of water with just 1g! ... amazing!! (pats lips). Shea Butter heals the skin and gives the balm a soft pleasant texture and Jojoba oil gives prolonged (exactly what I look for) hydration.

Its emerald green oval shaped container fits the corner of the mouth well and makes it easy to apply with a single swipe. And it fits easily into my wallet too without being too bulky! *slides one in the coin pouch of my wallet*

The Mentholatum Deep Moist lipbalms retail at SGD$7.90 each exclusively at Watsons stores. And one more peek of the fruity range before we sign off for today.. thanks for reading! *swipes lipbalm over lips* .. if you're a lip balm addict like me... you'd love the new range. :) I know I do.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spring Rolls!

The great thing about spring rolls are that you can put anything you want inside them and they'd taste great! The hubster and I decided to make spring rolls last week and it turned out pretty fab!

Whats in it? A mixture of luncheon meat & hotdogs fried with garlic & ginger, hardboiled eggs *chopped* and cabbage & haebee aka rehydrated dried prawns. I fried everything separately as seen here with the usual soysauce, salt and pepper seasonings and we took some time to wrap them up.

The "raw" rolls ready to be fried... there were so many, we had them for lunch and for dinner too! Dipped in garlic chili and red rose sweet black sauce. Will be stocking up on more spring roll wraps again soon and will try another combination. Try your own spring roll combo and share a picture with me! :) Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Filming in Hong Kong...

Yep! I was in Hong Kong for 3 days last week (from the 6th to the 8th of September 2010) to do a TVC shoot with a couple of some really great cast members. Brand and product undisclosed at this time due to confidentiality reasons but when it comes out. I'll be sure to post it here.

And yes to those curious, it was fully sponsored by client - flight, accomodation, transport *to and from shoot & airport* and meals were all covered. And no, I'm not suddenly rich *would have been great though huh* because of it, it was really very much for the experience and a GREAT experience it was!! :)

Meanwhile, some of the cast - Michael Lee, me, Evelyn Kuek and Timothy Yeo. Missing from the picture are Peter Lee, Elenor Lee Gek Luang and Ashley Koh. Picture taken the morning of shoot in front of our hotel before 8am. We were the first batch of 4 of 7 people to start the day.

Pictures I could not resist taking of course, my in-flight meals on board Cathay Pacific.

Unfortunately, it really had much to be desired. Economy class pre-packed meals, flight there saw me having "shrimp and fried rice" and as you can see, its literally 2 shrimps *at least provide a decent sized PRAWN?*.. almost classified if cooked longer as "hei bee or those tiny dried shrimp", mushy carrots & broccoli, fried egg rice and rubbery - almost can bounce steamed egg. A Bun, orange Juice, fruits and dessert was a coconut pudding. Flight back was "Chicken with couscous", a bun, a butter cake with a smidgen of mocha cream, fruits with tomato juice.

We were put up at the Empire Hotel at Tin Hau. And if it sounds like I'm so awed by everything, its because it was my first time to Hong Kong!! It seemed like everyone I knew has been to Hong Kong before and many - several times too! I'd love to be back - next time with the hubster and my girls.

In front of our hotel on Wing Hing Street, there was a Refuse Collection and Public Toilet Building. Oookay - so the location isn't exactly scenic but it was central at least? And that building did not emit any kind of foul smell at all. *phew*

My room mate was Evelyn and she was the best roomie EVER!! The whole trip was extra enjoyable not only because I got to know a new friend but we spent each evening talking and laughing over the days activities till our stomaches ached. Stuff like strange conversations, bargaining for stuff over at Mongkok and fiddling with the room's strange fittings that seemed to keep getting stuck! ie the sink that didn't want to drain? We had some sort of system that just worked where we kept things neat and that just reduced frustration over a messy place.

If you find her familiar - yes! She's was a host from Kids Central! For those who have kids, they may have seen her before on TV or at their school before. And on Octo right now, she's the voice for the Norimaki Makki Sushi Roll Maker that your kids see on TV commercials for kids.. :) I think Lauren and Eirian wants one of those...

And we both read up online about the hotel before we flew there so we knew about the magic mirror aka walls of the bathroom *suitable for the kinky couple who wants to watch each other bathe or the kid who needs to keep their parents in view during their shower in a strange new location* where it would clear up with a switch of a button. We were thoroughly amused as you can see.

The view from our window.

A sampling of a residential building right in front of our hotel - however literally all around street after street looked the same. Apartments crammed wall to wall, airconditioning units dangling precariously on ledges and a heck of alot of scaffolding.

A picture of the ticketing machine at the train station. It still emits those floppy tickets where we have to insert like our previous MRT ticketing system before we had our EZlink tap gantries. We moved around via the MTR which was quite a maze with twists and turns at strange corners. And strangely enough - at least 80% of the advertising in the train stations were either for slimming, facial or bust enhancements. Peculiar much?

It was relatively cheap, it ranged from HKD$12 to $20+ to get around. With Tickets that you can pre-buy with a refundable deposit for 1 day or 3 days unlimited travel or just individual single trip ride and go options like wht we did. We went from Tin Hau to Mong Kok to Causeway Bay via train...

A strange observation during the trip was that everyone stands on the right on escalators whilst here in Singapore, we all stand on the left in Singapore? And have those on the right side step for fast moving commuters here. But why is this so? Especially when both countries follow the right hand drive system. Overtaking should be on the right. Right?

Oh and yeah, I was busy taking the video that I lost my balance from looking up towards the top and I had to stop recording to grab something to prevent me crashing down the commuters below me. Phew!

After we had checked in our hotel earlier, we had our briefing for the shoot activities and then when that was done, we had the evening free!! Took the train to Mongkok to soak in some Hong Kong life!

And just like how you would see it in the movies, signboards galore.. people galore.. food places galore.. retail bustling like crazy..and I must say - I've never been shoved about so much before! Literally being shoved and bustled from the point I stepped off the plane to the point I came back to SG! *shakes head*

And there were several street buskers plying their talents on the roadsides in hope for more than your spare change. I wanted to take a picture with this guy with his scarves and belly dance belt but my group was already bustling along the road... *runs to catch up with the group* I could not risk getting lost as I don't speak cantonese or mandarin for that fact, and almost everything readable there were in chinese characters.

And we saw a MPV with a license plate "cow cow"- how cute cute can can? And not that its particularly interesting but their traffic buttons are so different from ours, I had to take one just to show my girls...

And over at Mongkok where I had one of the best meals during the whole trip. Down a darky dingy alley where there were a few tablews strewn about, we ordered our first meal of Wantan Mee. And it was SOOOO good. Now thats what you call Wantan!! It was dense and big like siew mai.. and not just the flappy pieces of wantan skin with noodles that we have here. And I've noted that most food portions there too are bigger! At least 1.5x bigger!

Food places such as this street stall there are called Dai Pai Dongs. Food comes fast and really tasty too!! As long you can ignore the dingy surroundings for a cheap, good quick meal.

When I whipped my camera out, the man who was serving us our food posed for me while serving but he moved about so fast and then burst out laughing and pointed at me with my camera and said.. "facebook?". Everyone burst out laughing... so cute lah!

That evening, we went back to that stall TWICE. It was THAT good. First Wantan Noodles then Stewed beef Kuay Teow with cabbage.. topped with Lychee Vinegar and chili oil. *slurps* Nothing fancy but tastes oh soo good.

And I had a couple of pieces of "chou doufu" aka Deep Fried Smelly Tofu which really wasn't smelly at all! And we asked for "more smelly please" too! And walked about with the other food stalls, purchased some curry fishballs. Above was a really huge wok of topshell which I thought the hubster would have loved to have if he were there... aye.. next time then!

And we came to one of my other favourite spots of the trip. The mango dessert stall, Hui Lau Shan where I literally had my "choice number 5" twice a day for the whole trip.

My roomie, Evelyn and me with our first cups mango heaven of the trip.. many more to come after! Image below is what you can choose from but I think we had the best of the lot already... I want more!!!

Me posing with our desserts before we wacked into them ...

Whats in it? This is our "number 5!" Chilled Mango ice-blended puree, with mango icecream, fresh mango cubes and little glutinous rice miniballs! *shiokness to high heaven!!*

And some other desserts you can get there, like the mango jelly and mixed fruits combo.. or the mango sorbet with mango pudding and sliced fresh mango combo.. :) *drools again*....

And I love overly filled bakeries where your eyes are instantly filled with all sorts of creatively made pastries, croissants, sandwiches, buns and muffins..

See the row of green buns that looks like a display of green mangoes? I walked right up to that window and stared at it for awhile before I bought one.. it was a whipped cream + red bean green tea bun - quite yummy really and the bottom row left side? The balls? Those were chocolate dusted chocolate custard filled chocolate mochi balls - choc overkill can! .. and next to it was mango custard sugar dusted mochi balls....*burps* They were gone down my tummy too fast before I remembered to take a picture of them..

And then after all that.. the next day we had our shoot. Specific details for that undisclosed for confidentiality reasons. Lucky us had the morning slot and we completed our shoots in good timing - reached there at 8am+, shot our roles and our batch of 4 got transported back to our hotel in time for lunch and the rest of the day free to roam Hong Kong for another day!! We were shooting in the middle of a mall's atrium at Hin Hau so it took some time to get from our hotel at Tin Hau to the shoot location.

We were made to wait inside a baby apparel store while the crew setup and were given breakfast of macaroni soup/toast/eggs/fishfillets/hotdogs and lemon tea while waiting to be called up for prep.

Evelyn and me while waiting for the directors call. And the video below I took in the van with my ipod on the way from the hotel to the shoot location.

After our shoot, lunch was at a roast meat cafe where we had soya sauce pigeon *reminded me of duck due to its dense meat - and I HATE DUCK*, Goose *erm.. kinda like Duck so didn't like it too much* and Roast Pork *very very nice*. We also had 2 different bowls of wintermelon pork rib soup and a plate of green vegetables. No one finished their rice, it was too much!

All of us then took the MTR and headed down to Causeway Bay and went around Times Square and then adjourned to the streets to check out the roadside stores and surrounding buildings. And of course, we took the chance to get even more mango dessert!! Evelyn then went to meet an old church friend and Timothy went to get a massage. Michael and I were left to roam the roads in search for something "Hong Kong" to bring back as gifts.

While strolling around *actually we were more lost than anything*, we found ourselves right smack in the middle of a bustling wet market. It was to my surprise and horror that when they say "Fresh Seafood", they really take the fish/prawns/crabs out of the tank and throw them onto the tray displayed in front of you... even the fish wriggled when they put it into the plastic bag for you upon purchase. *shudder*

And the fish monger wacking the fish with his net to prevent them from jumping about too much.. probably enough to stun them for abit... *feels sad for fish - looks painful leh!*... but they probably taste really good that fresh.. *shrugs*

Prawns too! Prawns were jumping out of their boxes and the fish sellers left them there till they walked past again and that could be a good 15-20 minutes with prawns all over the road around the box before they were collected and thrown back in! *Thats if people haven't already stepped on them!* Strange huh!

Dinner that evening was at a eatery that sold guotie *pan fried dumplings similar to gyoza*. We had the minced pork and the beef ones. Along with a huge bowl of instant noodles - Hong Kong style...

And we also had some spinach steamed pork dumplings too.. the XO carrot cake was actually from the Mango Dessert store earlier in the day where you can also order a small assortment of Dimsum... and the carrot cake aka fried radish cake aka "wu tao gou" was really yummy too.. and not blended paste like how we have it here but you can feel the shreds of radish within the fried paste and they have little bits of dried prawn, roasted peanut and shitake mushrooms with the sauce... *drools yet again*

The next morning saw all of us preparing to head home with our bags packed and we all head down to search for a Dimsum eatery to satisfy some dimsum cravings... everyone was glad to be out of makeup and bare faced and somewhat bodily fatigued, ready to head back to Singapore.

In picture, Evelyn, Peter Lee, Me, Timothy and Ashley Koh. For the record, that particular breakfast cafe did not serve good Dimsum. So the next time I'm back in Hong Kong, I MUST go to somewhere where they serve their legendary GOOD dimsum dishes.

We still had a little time before our transport came to send us to the airport. While the rest decided to split up to roam or go back to the hotel to rest, Peter and I decided to check out the area we were in and stumbled into a Temple. Tin Hau Temple Garden to be exact.

We looked around its grounds, it was a small little enclosure amongst high rise buildings. I was intruiged by the old people sitting about and asked Peter to ask one of them if I could take a picture with her. She immediately repeatedly asked "how much you pay me to take picture?" in cantonese?

He took one picture and then I passed her a note and said my thanks. :) It wasn't much but it was enough to at least get her a decent dinner if she wanted to. She opened her hands and looked at it and exclaimed "wah!! so much!!" to a nearby old lady friend and grinned such a wide smile - it was heartwarming.. that moment was only for a couple of seconds where Peter then shushed me along quickly and said "Lets go! All the other old people there will come after you to take pictures too!" and we both ran off.

But really, it was at most only SGD$3-4. Just enough to have a hawker meal here in Singapore and just enough too for that lovely warm bowl of Wantan mee like what we had at Mongkok! HKD$18 for that bowl of Wantan Mee at that roadside stall.

More info. about the Temple...

And one shot at the entrance of the Temple before we ran off...

We had lunch at the airport. I had Hot and Sour La Mian noodles which was really quite tasty but in such a large portion, I couldn't even finish it. The rest had wanton noodles again for the last time that trip.

The trip took 3.5hours from 2pm departure and it was a smooth flight home. Again, I was delighted that Evelyn and I got seats together by the window and had 3 seats to share amongst us both. (spacious is good). Together with a "Sex and the City" movie, juices and a little more inflight food as seen earlier and a little more conversation.. we hit Singapore before 6pm.

And what greeted me upon arrival was simply the best welcome ever to culminate a wonderful end to the whole 3 day trip. From the inside travellator belts while waiting for our lugguage, we spotted CJ and the girls with a HUGE self made banner outside!! *Beams proudly and happily - waves excitedly*

It was so cute and thoughtful! I was really touched and loved it to bits... and when we came out with our lugguage.. that wasn't it! They turned the board around and see what it said! See below... *Awww, tears happily*.... and they presented me with a bouquet of roses... (Awww!! Apparently the hubster ordered it from the florist at the airport the day I flew off and he collected it when I flew back in...)

And my flowers... love them! Love them very much!!!

Thank you to everyone who made those 3 days so interesting, so experiential and so weight gaining *damn! I gained 3kg in 3 days! BUT from the time I returned last week till now, I've detoxed enough to shed that 3kg and am working back down to that 20kg weightloss target there that you see on my left hand blog column*.... 14kg more to go!

I'm looking forward to seeing that TVC which is slated to be screened in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan upon its release. I hope to work with everyone again soon... Taiwan or Paris perhaps?