How To Have Larger than Life Experiences Affordably

While most of us are spending the majority of our time working to pay bills, there are others that are spending their time the way the want. For whatever reason; whether they have made millions in the stock market or have hustled their way to building a lifestyle business, some people just get to do amazing things in their free time. When the rest of us have some free time, we usually try to spend it with family or friends, get caught up on housework or do a little travelling. It’s hard to see the world in 2 weeks a year though. But what if you started looking out for opportunities to do things that seemed larger than life, but didn’t come with the price tag that most of us can’t afford anyway? Would you do it? Sure you would. Money is what stops us from doing so many of the things we want in life.

Here are three ways you can check the bigger items off on your bucket list without having to go very far or spend a lot of money.

1. Travel with a Group

If travelling is on your to-do list, the most affordable way to do it (besides having someone pay for you) is to travel with a large group. Group travel offers affordable alternative pricing on everything from meals to lodging. You can bunk with up to 4 people in a room to save even more money. Split meals with your kids, take a bus tour to save on rental cars and gas, and stick to the path less travelled. If you venture to popular tourist destinations, you’ll get hit with tourist prices; however, if you travel to the areas outside of the popular destinations, you can find much more affordable lodging and meal options. We will be sharing more about this in the upcoming post that will be published very soon!

2. Take Part in a Weekend Festival Event

There’s always some kind of celebration planned during the festive seasons, and there are even many more events planned all over Singapore! You can indulge in some soulful Japanese food at the Matsuri Race Village during the Mizuno Ekiden Run 2017, watch the thrilling Cirque du Soleil KOOZA circus performance under the Big Top Tent next to Marina Bay Sands, or take an eerie haunted walking tour at Universal Studios Singapore’s Halloween Horror Night. Well, and who would miss the biennial Singapore Airshow where you can view some of the fastest jets in the world? There’s nothing like feeling like you are being transported out of one world and being plopped into another world. Hearty food, thrilling circus performance, eerie ghostly adventures, and roaring loud planes; these things should be on everyone’s bucket lists!

3. Eat Something Exotic

Exotic is a relative term, of course, but the point is that you get outside your comfort zone and eat something you would never normally eat! Similar to travelling in groups, going out to try new foods is best practiced in groups. This way, bills can be split, people can order different entrees and appetizers to taste and you can have a great laugh with friends and family about how awesome or horrible a new food is. And of course, lots of debate and lively conversation is sure to accompany these kinds of experiences, so you won’t be bored!

Solve Your Shoe’s Issues With isSHOE Singapore Today!

No matter what kind of shoes we put on daily, it is the most essential and important item that we must have because it serves to protect our feet from harm and danger. For the fashionista, a pair of shoes can be turned into a fashion statement but for someone working in the kitchen, a pair of non-slip covered safety shoes can protect him from potential dangers and hazards. From the very basic to the most complex shoes in the market, they definitely wear and tear over prolonged usage but do you know that with proper shoe care and shoe storage, you can increase their durability and lifespan?

I recently stumbled upon isSHOE Singapore, a local homegrown business that offers a wide range of shoe care products and accessories such as shoe eraser, hydrophobic spray, shoe fragrances, shoe storage boxes, and even shoe racks! If you are looking for solutions to solving all the issues you have with your shoe, you should definitely check them out.

I have personally tried the shoe tree and the hydrophobic spray by isSHOE Singapore and I absolutely love them!

Ecoblack Plastic Shoe Tree

A shoe tree is a device approximating the shape of a foot that is placed inside a shoe to preserve its shape and stop it from developing creases and thereby extend the life of the shoe. It is a reusable alternative to wadded rags or newspapers.

Perhaps more important than maintaining the shape, shoe trees also play a crucial part of wicking away leather-damaging moisture from the inside. This is especially important when shoes are worn without socks, as the sweat absorbed by the leather can lead to lining rot.

isSHOE Singapore 2017

The Ecoblack Plastic Shoe Tree is made of plastic and it comes in two sizes; small and large. What I like about it is that it is adjustable and it allows multiple occupants to this single shoe tree; thus eliminating the trouble of buying a brand-new shoe tree for my siblings who have different shoe sizes.

isSHOE Singapore 2017

For business travellers, the Ecoblack Plastic Shoe Tree is definitely the perfect shoe tree to get because it is highly compactable due to its small size and removable structure. The best part? It cost only SGD$4.40 for one pair!

isSHOE’s Hot Tip:

Wear your different leather shoes on alternate days. Your shoes need sufficient rest as well. Wearing your leather shoes daily will speed up wear and tear at a much-accelerated rate. REMEMBER to always slip in your shoe tree daily into your leather shoe after use, this way you can enjoy your leather shoe for longer periods of time

isSHOE: Repulse Hydrophobic Spray

The isSHOE: Repulse Hydrophobic Spray is extremely useful and it works very well! To be honest, I was quite sceptical as to whether the water will really repel but after trying it on my pair of fabric shoes, I am thoroughly convinced that it does a very good job of keeping my shoes dry. Well, I have to admit that previously, I have not used this pair of shoes for quite a while because I didn’t want to get it wet and dirty but ever since I gotten it temporarily waterproofed; I am now using it as my daily footwear!

Given Singapore’s tropical weather, the isSHOE: Repulse Hydrophobic Spray is a lifesaver and it is pretty affordable too. A single can of isSHOE: Repulse Hydrophobic Spray cost just SGD$14 and if you buy two, it cost only SGD$12.50 each! With the isSHOE: Repulse Hydrophobic Spray, you’re truly well prepared for any rainy days ahead!

Keen to find out more about the young entrepreneurs behind isSHOE Singapore?

Well, here’s a short insight about isSHOE Singapore as shared by Wan Ching, one of the company’s founders.

What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?

Being students ourselves before, we understand the pain of many students especially during the monsoon season when the rain starts to pour and it relentlessly drench us from head to toe and makes our socks thoroughly soaked. This uncomfortable problem would have been avoided if we had something similar like the isSHOE: Repulse Hydrophobic Spray back then!

Furthermore, our experience with existing shoe retailers tells us that it makes more financial sense for them to sell us a pair of new shoes than telling us that our shoes can be repaired and restored. Hence, many people often tend to buy numerous pairs of shoes that they hardly use and simply leave them in the shoe cabinets to deteriorate.

Since we are really passionate about shoes, we feel that shoes shouldn’t be left to deteriorate and we hope that through our company, we can offer our customers some helpful ideas and products to extend the durability of their daily footwear.

What have been some of your failures and what have you learned from them?

One of the failures that we encountered lies in our planning for healthy product stock levels on certain items. Due to our lack of foresight to forecast and plan for healthy product stock levels, many customers were disappointed with us as they had to wait for an additional period of 2 weeks for the stocks to arrive! Hence, one key lesson that we have learnt from this experience is that it is always better to overstock than understock products and to always plan ahead!

Describe/outline your typical day?

There are just so much to do on a typical day and some of the tasks could fall in the following areas like logistics, stock count, administrative work, handling customer enquiries, gather product updates, website technicality checks, and the list can go on and on.

What sacrifices have you had to make to become an entrepreneur?

We spend a lot of time away from home and our loved ones just so we can do our job better. Whether it is to do some research, to stay online and answer customer’s enquiries or to improve our website; all these do require a significant amount of time and we often feel guilty for not spending enough time with our loved ones.

In one word, characterise your life as an entrepreneur?

Balance. As an entrepreneur, we believe that it is important to strike a fine balance of managing time because time is of the essence and we only have 24 hours a day. Although there are many different tasks to manage, we strongly believe that the tasks should be managed one at a time and not attempt to do all at the same time because that will compromise on operations efficiency and service quality.

If you are keen to find out more about isSHOE Singapore and the shoe care products they offer, do like their Facebook Page and check out their website for more information!

3 More Hours to Lazada GSS Sale

The annual Great Singapore Sale is here again and if you need to stock up on some apparels, accessories and even gadgets; this is the best time to get it because you can get huge discounts and what better way to shop when you can do it conveniently via online shopping!

With Lazada Great Singapore Sale, you can expect lots of awesome deals that you wouldn’t want to miss. In fact, you can get discounts of up to 90% off and there are flash deals that take place every 2 hours! #goglobalshoplocal

For the #lazadaGSS, there are also 42 specially-curated Surprise Boxes from many well-known brands such as JBL, Laneige, Logitech, Adidas, Sennheiser and much more and the value of the items are worth SGD$100!

The best part?

You can get it for only SGD$29 and if you post a video of yourself unboxing the Surprise Box and include the hashtag #lazadasurprises, you can stand a chance to win some pretty cool prizes.!

However, do note that there are limited stocks and the fastest fingers get it all! Hence, if I were you, I would definitely register to be notified about the flash deals here!

I received a surprise Surprise Box from Lazada and I will be revealing just one out of the many items that satisfied the geek in me and perhaps made life more interesting and convenient for me.

One of the items that I received from the Surprise Box is the TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Colour Changing Hue.

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Colour Changing Hue

Imagine a monochrome world where there’s only just one colour to express yourself. It is downright boring. Colours add excitement into our lives and it allows us to choose whatever we fancy at that point in time. I personally like the TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Colour Changing Hue because it allows me to change the colour of the lighting in my entertainment room into whatever my mood fancies in the spur of the moment.

The best part? I can connect the bulb directly to my Wi-Fi network at home and control the lights from anywhere with my iPhone using the free Kasa app; and since the bulb uses LED, it is energy-saving!

New to Lazada?

If you never shop at Lazada before, let me give you one more important reason to give it a try.

From 6-8 June 2017, you can use a discount voucher code for any purchases that you make and get an 18% discount (capped at SGD$8)! All you need to do is just key in the voucher code: GSSMELVIN18.

Happy online shopping at #lazadasg!

How to Have an Epic Weekend

You know the story; it’s the middle of the week and you are already wishing the weekend was here. But think about how you have been spending those weekends. I bet you are like most of us in that you say you are going to get all kinds of things done once the weekend arrives, and then you spend 90% of the time in your sweats binge watching Netflix or reruns on television. Hey! That is no way to live. It’s time to take back your weekend and do some exciting things with it! Try some of these activities to keep yourself occupied this weekend.

Find a Music Festival

Few things in life are better than listening to live music. It just soothes the soul. People love to gather and have a drink together, and listen to their favourite bands, and discover some new favourites. There are lots of fun music activities to check out in your area, so get moving and find out which one you and your buds are going to spend your time at.

Adventure Hiking

You don’t have to be a professional hiker to enjoy the great outdoors. Start out on a flat trail and bring a friend for company. Get some exercise under your belt, some fresh air in your lungs, and you’ll start enjoying the weekend more right away. Don’t forget to pack some water and a few snacks. Make a day of it and you’ll be hooked on a new hobby in no time.

Take on a Do-it-Yourself Project

Nothing says the weekend like a DIY project! What have you been meaning to tackle around the house? What are you tired of putting off? Make a plan to get something crossed off your list this weekend. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking; you just have to get it started. Make a point to schedule some more time throughout the week, or over the next few weekends to continue to work on any projects that might spill over beyond this weekend. But at least, get it started. You won’t regret spending your weekend making your house more of a home.

Play Tourist in Your Own Locality

Even if you have lived in Singapore your entire life, there are still places to see and things to do that you haven’t done yet! There are probably even streets you haven’t walked down. Get out and start seeing the place you call home. Or if you haven’t been to a favourite spot in a while, make time to revisit that place this weekend. There are parks everywhere, and some parks have interesting events going on almost every week, so even if you’ve been there a hundred times, it’ll be different this weekend. Start with that if you don’t know what else to do!

If you need some inspiration, do check out National Parks Singapore!

Whatever you decide to spend this weekend doing, make sure it is making you happy. Sitting in front of the television never made anyone happy. It kills us slowly. Don’t do it. Get out and see the world. Make your time off from your job count. Happy weekending!

[New In The Market]- Cafédirect 100% Arabica Espresso Roast and Ground Coffee

I must have a cup of hot coffee early in the morning because if I don’t get my morning fix, I will feel quite lethargic. In fact, the wonderful aroma of a cup of piping hot coffee is enough to awaken all my senses and keep me freshened up for at least a couple of hours before I go to my meetings.

Recently, I have decided to brew and make my own coffee using the Aeropress Coffee Maker and it has been a great experience because it is so easy to use and is very portable. For a start, I experimented with Cafédirect’s new 100% Arabica Espresso Roast and Ground Coffee and the result is simply therapeutic although it only lasted for a while.

Cafedirect 100% Arabica Espresso Ground Coffee 2017

Created for coffee connoisseurs, this espresso blend by Cafédirect is a dark and intense coffee and it uses coffee beans from Peru and Costa Rica. In case you’re wondering; the Arabica beans from Peru make up a strong base for the coffee, bringing a natural dark chocolatey taste to each sip and the strong roasting process intensifies the taste. Costa Rica Arabica beans, on the other hand, counterbalance the Peruvian beans, softening the mouthfeel and giving the coffee a creamy finish.

Cafedirect 100% Arabica Espresso Ground Coffee 2017

Cafédirect uses a unique numbering system to indicate coffee strength and the strength of a coffee depends on a number of factors; namely the composition of coffee beans in the blend and as well as the intensity of the roasting process. Roast and ground coffees from Cafédirect span the range from 3 to 6 and the Arabica Espresso Roast and Ground Coffee is a 6, reflecting its full-bodied taste that promises a flavour explosion that leads up to a naturally sweet finish.

Cafedirect 100% Arabica Espresso Ground Coffee 2017

Cafédirect’s 100% Arabica Espresso is finely ground for easy brewing in an espresso machine, stove-top espresso pot/percolator, or сafetière (plunger) i.e. Aeropress Coffee Maker.

Cafedirect 100% Arabica Espresso Ground Coffee 2017

If you like your coffee dark and intense, Cafédirect’s 100% Arabica Espresso is the way to go and you can find it at all leading supermarkets like Cold Storage and NTUC FairPrice. When my pack of Cafédirect’s 100% Arabica Espresso finishes, my next experiment with the Aeropress Coffee Maker would be Cafédirect’s Machu Picchu Ground Coffee and also Cafedirect’s Kilimanjaro Fresh Ground Coffee.

Cafedirect 100% Arabica Espresso Ground Coffee 2017

About Cafédirect

As a business, Cafédirect is different. Growers have shares in the company and have two seats on the Cafédirect Board of Directors. Cafédirect’s unique approach has seen the company paying fair prices and working directly with smallholder growers so that they can develop their businesses and increase their influence in highly competitive commodity markets.

Through direct, personal and long-term relationships, Cafédirect partners with over 282,000 smallholder growers in 40 grower organisations across 14 developing countries. Under Cafédirect’s Fairtrade business model, 50% of the profits go back to the coffee growers who nurture and harvest the beans. This not only improves the lives of the growers but the quality of each coffee bean as well.