Wine Tasting Class with The French Cellar

Last week, Jacqueline and I were invited by the kind folks from The French Cellar for a wine tasting session at Vanilla Bar and Cafe and we had an awesome time pairing Thai food with French wine.

For me personally, it was also a good refresher because ever since I earned my Bordeaux Level 1 Wine Certificate from L’Ecole du vin; I have not touched my wine knowledge somewhat and Lucas, (a French Sommelier from The French Cellar) covered a great deal of information about French wine that kept me engaged throughout the session.

The French Cellar 2016

Fun Fact #1

France produces 6 billion bottles of wine every year!

We tasted 1 sparkling, 1 white, 1 rose, and 2 reds; all of which were refreshingly good. I especially enjoyed the reds and they paired really well with spicy food.

Fun Fact #2

French wines are usually not sweet as no sugar is added; unlike some other wines where sugar is added after the fermentation process.

After the wine tasting session, Lucas shared with us more about what his company, The French Cellar, does and we were extremely intrigued by the wine subscription service that his company offers (yes, we signed up for the wine subscription service because Jacqueline and I are wine-lovers).

The French Cellar 2016

The French Cellar imports French wines directly from vineyards and they are carefully selected by their sommelier, Mr. Nicolas Rebut, who was the former Chef Sommelier of 3-star Michelin restaurants, Louis XV (Monaco) and Le Meurice (Paris). Based in France, Nicolas explores vineyards and forges privileged relationships with estates and winemakers in search of exclusive wines at the best value. Tasting thousands of wine samples each year, Nicolas selects only the best wines from renowned estates and undiscovered appellations.

The French Cellar 2016

Fun Fact #3

The northern half of France produces more white wine while the southern half of France produces more red wine.

With The French Cellar’s wine subscription service, wine enthusiasts can discover two beautiful tasting wines every month, exclusively through their platform, thanks to a special and personal relationship they have between Nicholas and winemakers in France.

The French Cellar 2016

If you are new to wine and have absolutely zero knowledge about wine-making, fret not because the wine comes with complementary tasting notes, written by Richard, so that you can enjoy an epicurean wine journey and learn more about the wines, winemakers and vineyards.

For more information about The French Cellar, do check out their official website and if you are intrigued by their wine subscription service just like us, do attend their complimentary wine tasting workshop to understand more.

The French Cellar 2016

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us as we will help to direct your queries to The French Cellar.

What Your Body Language and Speech Can Say About You as an Employee

The Small Business Chron says that about 65 percent to 75 percent of all the communication we do happens non-verbally. We also use a lot of these nonverbal cues to get a gauge on how the person we’re conversing with is feeling. We rely on those cues to help us determine if our co-workers or employees are mad and upset or happy and content.

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So for instance, if you have trouble making eye contact with people and you’re new at work, some of your colleagues might find you untrustworthy or think you don’t like them. That could make your office life difficult until you dispel that perception. That’s why it is important to make sure your body language and speech are saying the right things about you. Given the way technologies like video conferencing are on the rise, it’s now more important than ever for employees to know how to conduct themselves online and in video meetings. So here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Poor Posture

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If you tend to slump; that could be taken as a sign of fatigue, lack of confidence or disinterest, says the Business Insider, even when that’s the furthest thing on your mind. So always be aware of your posture. Stand tall, with your chest slightly out and your legs slightly apart, with the weight evenly distributed. This can immediately make you look more confident, at ease with yourself and as a result, much more trustworthy and credible.

Not In Sync

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The best teams are the ones who are completely in sync. You talk the same language, mirror each other’s tempo, tone, voice and even posture and movements. In some cases, you might even finish each other’s sentences. That kind of bond, that closeness, is crucial in creating the kind of team that delivers a consistently winning performance. And body language plays a huge factor in that. If you aren’t in sync with the rest of your team mates, they could take that as a sign that you aren’t interested, you’re looking down on them, you’re deliberately setting yourself apart from them and all that could lead to conflict and friction at work. So the last thing you want is that kind of trouble at work. No worries though; if you’re observant enough and know how to read cues right, you’ll be able to settle into the team’s rhythm in no time.

Lack of Facial Expressions

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Say you’re getting a performance review; most people communicate what they feel or think through raised eyebrows or by nodding their heads, leaning forward or saying “uh huh, uh huh.” If you don’t do any of that, your superiors might feel that you don’t care about the results of your performance review at all. Worst, they might even feel that you don’t care about the work in general or that you feel bad and this is your way of showing them that the review doesn’t matter to you. Nothing derails your career faster than a superior thinking you don’t care about the work at all. If you don’t want your superiors or team mates to think that you’re being uppity or snobbish at work, then getting your body language right matters.

Stressed Out

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Stress and exhaustion often comes through your body language and facial expressions, and they come in pretty loud and clear. Your complexion is lackluster, your eyes look tired, you can’t focus right and you don’t pay attention. That’s really not the kind of look you want, especially if you’re dealing with a potential client or long-time customer. There are plenty of things that could stress you out and one of them is certainly the lack of knowledge about the video communication system that you are using. So make sure you master an audio video communications system like BlueJeans—a reliable product in the industry—before you make your video calls. If you know how to use that system, you won’t be in a mad scramble, trying to find which control or what features to use. You’ll be confident, relaxed and ready for the meeting ahead.

No Eye Contact

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We all know this. In every culture, eye contact is a constant. Holding eye contact while you talk to someone, whether through online or live meetings, can have a massive positive effect on how people perceive you. It can instantly make you look trustworthy and credible, two qualities you want your employers, clients or team mates to feel about you. Lack of eye contact, though, could be seen as shifty, insecurity or signs that you aren’t a person to be trusted, all of which could hurt you professionally.

Perceptions affect the way people treat each other. So if you want to improve your image at work or the way people perceive you, start by changing your body language and facial expression.

(Last Day Today)- Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention 2016

5 years ago, we attended the Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention 2011 (STGCC 2011) at Suntec City Convention Centre and fast forward to today, we have just came back from attending the recent Singapore, Toy, Game, and Comic Convention 2016 (STGCC 2016) that will be here in Singapore till 11 September 2016 (yes today is the last day).

I must say, the STGCC has grown over the last 5 years and we now see more Cosplayers, more hot toys, more budding artists, and definitely more visitors than it was 5 years ago.

There were many cool finds and definitely lots of things to look forward to.

If you are planning to make a trip down to STGCC 2016, here’s how you can make your one-day SGD$19 admission ticket worth:

1. Learn to Assemble and Paint A Toy Model When You Visit Games Workshop- Warhammer Booth

This is a must-do for all visitors and I have to say this; the folks at Games Workshop- Warhammer Booth are very generous and super friendly because they give visitors a free model to practise assembling and painting. Do be patient though; there will be many other visitors who would want to do the same too. If waiting is not your forte, just pick up their promotional flyer, bring it down to the first Warhammer store in Singapore at East Coast Road, and you will be able to enjoy the same perks too.

Honestly, what really intrigued me were the Warhammer table-top games that were on offer and no, table-top games are not passé (in my opinion). If you are ready for a new hobby and have some spare cash, do check out what Games Workshop- Warhammer Booth has to offer.

2. Take Lots of Pictures with Cosplayers

Visiting STGCC 2016 without taking a picture with a Cosplayer is like taking a poop at the toilet without bringing the toilet paper. If you’re new to this whole Cosplay thing, just know that Cosplay is a performance art in which participants called Cosplayers, wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.

Cosplay has no age limit and it can be pretty fun. From Wonder Woman to characters from Suicide Squad, there were many interesting characters that we saw and not forgetting the troopers from 501st Legion; they’ve been around for the longest time and we simply admire the good that they are doing for the KKH Health Endowment Fund. Do pop by for a visit at the 501st Legion booth, take a photo, and donate to charity for a worthy cause.

Most Cosplayers really go all out to portray their favourite character and they even look into the intricate details of their costumes to make sure it stands out from the rest. Maybe for next year’s STGCC, I might consider becoming Batman.

3. Buy some Memorabilia and Toys to Keep

If you are the sort who enjoys keeping toys and comics; be prepared mentally and emotionally. I found it really hard to keep my wallet in the pocket as I was tempted to buy quite a number of interesting stuffs. From Tamagotchi and Digimon Devices to Marvel Superheroes figurines and artworks by the various artists; I was super tempted to open my wallet and dig deep. I am surprised to learn that the Digimon device I played with since young now cost SGD$80 (seems that toys do appreciate in value after all)!

Fortunately, I had a budget controller by my side who would reprimand me whenever I take out my wallet; but if affordability is a concern for you, I would suggest that you set yourself a budget (could be even less than $10), comb through the entire STGCC, pick an item that is within your budget and if that item really catches your eye, make that purchase!

This pretty much sums up our day at the STGCC 2016! We definitely can’t wait for STGCC 2017 to arrive so that I can go Cosplay as Batman. 🙂

Nail That First Impression & Look Sharp By Caring For Your Accessories

Did you know that two seconds is all it takes or thirty seconds at most, for people to assess your likeability, confidence, warmth, trustworthiness, status and competence? It happens subconsciously. The way you smile, your gait, posture, dressing and how you present yourself is all evaluated in that half a minute.

So, how can you nail your one shot at making a good first impression?

In an article published by Forbes, there are 5 ways to make a killer first impression:

1. Set An Intention
2. Think About Your Ornaments (what we’ll be focusing on in this post)
3. Be Conscious Of Your Body Language
4. Avoid Bad Days
5. Be Interested And Interesting

Clothes, make-up, jewellery, watches and shoes are all types of ornamentation and people definitely take these into account when making initial judgments. For many men, they do not realise that their watch can say a lot about them. For women, purses and large earrings or jewellery can also indicate a lot to a new person they are meeting. Make sure that what you are wearing and how you do your hair or make-up says what you want it to say to the people you are meeting for the first time.

The Ultimate BAG Vocabulary Infographic

Going a step further in helping men look their best; ColorWash and The General Company teamed up for a joint workshop to share tips and tricks on leather usage and care to get the most mileage out of ones’ belongings.

More often than not, shoes are the first thing anyone notices about you, be it during a job interview or if you’re getting out there on the dating scene. Selecting the perfect pair of shoes is a step in the right direction, but maintenance is everything. Clean and well-maintained footwear not only looks better, it will also help them go the distance with you.


While cleaning and polishing shoes are part of the basics to shoecare, do also remember to invest in a pair of unfinished shoetrees. Not only are they very adept at sponging up moisture and disagreeable odors, they also allow recently worn leather shoes to contract and dry-out to their ideal shape.

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In the event you get caught in a downpour, stuff your leather shoes with crumpled newspaper and dry them gently with a hair dryer. A point to note though, high heat at a close distance can cause severe damage to leather. Before they are completely dry, insert shoetrees to make sure they dry-out evenly and maintain their shape. Shoes of other materials can be stuffed with newspaper as it is great at absorbing moisture.

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When you stuff your belongings with newspaper, do wrap the newspaper with clean tracing paper to prevent ink stains. The same procedure goes for your briefcases and folios, but stuff them with butter paper or tracing paper (not shoetrees). If you accidentally swipe your folio with a pen or gotten food stains on it, wipe them down with ColorWash’s Soft Cleaner Wipes for a quick and efficient clean. They are available at ColorWash outlets for SGD$4.90!

Don’t neglect your belts and watchstraps too! Treat them right with leather conditioner to extend their life expectancy as it can help deter moisture and filth. If that belt you are wearing has been with you for a while now, you should all the more be kinder to it. Lightly scrub the belt on both sides with a banister brush (covered with soap), dab it clean, and dry it with a hair-dryer that is held at least 15cm away from the belt.

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Lastly, first impressions stick so stack all the odds in your favour and try to make as good a showing as possible.

If maintaining and keeping your personal accessories in a pristine condition is too much work for you; head down to the nearest ColorWash Singapore outlets.

They have a team of experienced specialists who are trained in the most effective and current methods of protection, cleaning and colouring. The experts individually assess the items that are sent in. If required, ColorWash also offers the High Density Transparent Coating, which acts as an overcoat for bags and shoes.

To learn more about ColorWash and their services, like ColorWash Singapore FaceBook Page!

WICKED The Musical Is Coming To Singapore @ Marina Bay Sands

As a kid, I have always been a fan of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum and I was really intrigued when I stumbled upon Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the alternative novel by Gregory Maguire which is also set in the Land of Oz.

Having read both novels, it was a pity that I didn’t have the chance to watch WICKED The Musical when they came to Singapore 5 years ago as I was serving my National Service. Fast forward to today, I am really glad that WICKED is back and the award-winning Broadway and West End Musical will be coming to perform live in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands from 29 September 2016 to 16 October 2016.

Will there any difference between this coming stage show and the last one that was here 5 years ago?

Yes, there will be and I found out about it when I had a one-to-one interview with Elphaba, the green-skinned witch (played by Jacqueline Hughes).

Jacqueline Hughes

Image Credit: WICKED Worldwide | Jacqueline Hughes as Elphaba in WICKED The Musical

Me: What Inspired You To Take On The Role of Elphaba?

Jacqueline Hughes: Elphaba is hopeful and she’s a dreamer and she’s young and she’s got all these hopes and dreams; which I suppose is quite like myself, you know we are all dreamers; and essentially being Pisces; it’s sort of like my traits. But she’s misunderstood by everyone because of her green skin. She’s fiery, she’s feisty, she’s powerful, and she’s an incredible character to play and she’s also incredibly complex; which is why I love playing the part so much because there’s so many layers to it.

Image Credit: WICKED Worldwide

Me: Would You Think That It Is Extremely Hard For You To Get Into The Character As Opposed To You Being Yourself?

Jacqueline Hughes: You almost bring a part of yourself to the character and it has definitely helped me to portray the role. I’m originally from Scotland so I have a bit of fire in my blood and the determination like how Elphaba does. She’s incredibly tough and she’s thick-skinned; she has to be, and I really admire her for that.

Me: Is There Anything That You Hate About This Character At All?

Jacqueline Hughes: No, I just love playing the character. She has such an incredible journey from being a young hopeful university student to being this powerful woman who’s constantly faced with battles and she tries to overcome them and do good. She never wants to do wrong, she always want to do right but unfortunately, the propaganda around her has made her wicked; so by the end of the show with “No Good Deed”, which is actually my favourite song to perform; she said she’s had enough and she said ok, this is it, you want me to be wicked then so be it, I’m going to be wicked.

Image Credit: WICKED Worldwide

Me: Do You See Any Challenges Taking On This Role?

Jacqueline Hughes: Oh yeah. Lots of challenges. The role itself is so demanding; vocally, physically and mentally. I really have to look after myself. I need to make sure that I get enough sleep, enough rest, lots of water, and lots of vocal maintenance just to make sure that I can portray this role at every show. It is highly demanding but it is also rewarding as well; it’s sort of a love hate relationship.

Me: What’s Your Perfect Sunday Afternoon Like?

Jacqueline Hughes: My perfect Sunday afternoon is to be at home with my husband. We live out in the country so we take our jog, lots of walks. A walk in the park with my husband and my dog, sitting in the park, having a lovely Sunday lunch.

Me: What is one thing that fans of the WICKED can look forward to in this coming show? Is there something that will catch them by surprise?

Jacqueline Hughes: Yeah, firstly, it is an entirely British cast and we have never been to this part of the world before. There’s 72 of us that are bringing the show over. Fortunately, we have the American creative team to come and work with us and they have actually added some magical bits to freshen up the show. There’s more magic and more flying, and lots more to catch the audiences’ eyes.

Image Credit: WICKED Worldwide

Me: What is one fact about WICKED that fans may not probably know about?

Jacqueline Hughes: The Wicked Witch is not named in the original L. Frank Baum novel. Gregory Maguire invented the name for her using Baum’s initial; L.F.B. (Elphaba), that’s where the name Elphaba comes from.

Having concluded the interview with Jacqueline Hughes; I am definitely excited about watching WICKED The Musical and I really can’t wait to watch their coming performance here in Singapore.

If you’re keen, tickets to the musical can be booked via Marina Bay Sands Online or via SISTIC Online.

Ticket prices start from SGD$55 to SGD$230.

Don’t miss this chance to catch WICKED The Musical live at the Marina Bay Sands!