I really do appreciate my eyesight. I really do. Apart from the fact that I tend to experience dryness in my eyes from time to time, my eyesight hasn’t really bugged me. In fact, I have an almost perfect vision that sometimes surprises me because of my bad reading posture.
Recently, I was invited to a comprehensive eye examination at Videre Eyecare and I took up the offer just so that I could find out how my vision has degraded since my last visual acuity test in 2010 (almost a decade!).
2. Retina 550 (Fundus Photography) Examines the health of the back part of the eye.
3. Refraction with Vision R800 The first in Southeast Asia, it uses a fluid lens instead of traditional lenses. Accuracy goes up to 0.01DS, unlike the traditional way that only goes up to 0.25DS. It also consists of a smart test that uses an algorithm to boost efficiency and consistency of the refraction.
4. Slit-Lamp Biomicroscopy Examines the health of the front part of the eye; cornea, lens, conjunctiva, meibomian glands opening.
5. Tear Analysis a. Cornea 550: Measures the height of tear meniscus. b. LipiView: Examines the health of meibomian glands and lipid layer of the tears.
A comprehensive eye examination at Videre costs $168 and it takes about an hour for you to go through all of the tests at one sitting.
The best part?
The results are instantaneous and there’s no need to wait for weeks unlike in the past. Furthermore, the machines that are being used for the comprehensive eye examination are very new and cutting-edge.
If you’re wondering
how frequent or how often one should go for a comprehensive eye examination,
there is no one fixed rule or standard. If you have medical conditions such as
diabetes or hypertension, it is recommended that you do an annual eye check-up.
Likewise, if your family has a history of glaucoma; it is recommended that an
annual eye check-up be done as well.
For children and
teenagers, a comprehensive eye examination should be done yearly or twice a
year because their eyesight can change rapidly during their growing-up years.
As a matter of fact, I used to put on glasses for astigmatism when I was 7
years old and subsequently, I didn’t need my glasses anymore because my
condition has improved by leaps and bounds.
If you’re a working
adult and you’re in your 20s to 50s, you probably don’t need to do the
comprehensive eye examination yearly. In fact, I think once every two to three
years should be adequate if you don’t experience any drastic changes in your
eyesight and lifestyle. However, as soon as you feel that your eyesight is off
the mark, quickly arrange for a comprehensive eye examination to avoid any
complications that may develop over time.
What I Like About The Comprehensive Eye Examination
The Comprehensive Eye Examination that I did at Videre Eyecare was hassle free and the test results are almost immediate. Furthermore, the experience was highly personalised and the new machines that are used for the tests are highly accurate.
What I Didn’t Like About The Comprehensive Eye Examination
I didn’t quite enjoy
the eye pressure test as I am ultra sensitive to having foreign objects (which
in this case is a bout of harmless air) spurted into my eyes.
Other than that, there is practically nothing else that I didn’t like about the Comprehensive eye examination; although I have to admit that the price of $168 for a comprehensive eye examination might be out of reach for some people. However, having said that, there are comprehensive eye examination services that are available for $80 but the machines used may not be up-to-date. Then again, whichever options you choose, just remember that your eyesight is precious and you should really take good care of your eyes.
Book for your comprehensive eye examination with Videre Eyecare today!
The world’s most popular musical, The Phantom of the Opera makes a triumphant and long-awaited return onto the world stage and truly, it is still a classic musical that never fails to captivate the hearts of audiences worldwide.
Phantom of The Opera is the tale of one haunted man who is battling with obsession and jealousy and seeking love from a woman after being shunned away for so long. Its dark past mixed together with fascinating music will completely entice you. From the costumes to the sets and the beautiful singing, Phantom of The Opera is truly mesmerising.
When Christine performed her rendition of “Think Of Me”, you could feel the emotions in her voice, and “The Music Of The Night” places an emphasis on the Phantom’s struggle with loneliness and how he relates it through his music.
Phantom’s obsession with Christine was rather extreme, especially when it resulted in unlawful crimes such as murder and kidnap. To some, it may be a romantic tale of unwavering love but for me personally, it portrayed a sign of unsoundness in one’s mind and heart.
After the show, we were given a chance to tour the backstage and it totally opened up my eyes because I saw firsthand the huge amount of effort and coordination that is required for the show to perform smoothly. Citing an example, we were told it requires almost 20 men to safely place the stairs in time for the masquerade scene! Working in tandem with the stage crew, the actors and musicians put their entire heart, mind, and soul into the production as they bring the audience through a wave of thrills, excitement, and anxiety.
Throughout the show, you’ll definitely be feeling all sorts of excitement and anxiousness as to what comes next. You would also come to understand why The Phantom of the Opera is still one of the best musicals in the history of theatre since its opening in London’s West End in 1986. It is truly a show not to be missed!
Show Times and Venue
The Phantom of the Opera is now showing at Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands from now till 8 June 2019, Tuesday-Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 pm & 8 pm and Sunday at 1 pm and 6 pm.
Ticket Prices & Discounts
Ticket prices start from SGD$75 (E Reserve tickets) and if you purchase your tickets through the Marina Bay Sands Box Office, you can enjoy a 30% Discount off all A Reserve, B Reserve and C Reserve tickets. *Applicable to Single seats only (i.e one ticket per transaction)
I have always been fascinated by Jing Yong’s novel, “The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre” and it was through this novel that I came to know about Wudang Mountain and Emei Mountain. Hence, when the opportunity to travel to Wudang Mountain came, I took the plunge and embarked on this epic journey that lasted 7 days.
Prior to this trip, I tried to do some research and get as much information as I could about the places that I will be visiting but it seems that most of the information available are written by Westerners who went there to learn martial arts. Hence, I decided to pen down my experience so that the information can be useful for those who are planning a trip to Wudang Mountain.
There isn’t any direct flight from Singapore to Wudangshan. For this journey, I took a 4-hour Cathay Pacific flight from Singapore to Hong Kong and then another 3-hour Cathay Dragon flight from Hong Kong to Xi’An. The flights would typically cost about SGD$746 for a return trip.
The Cathay Pacific flight CX 714 and CX 715 (B777) were rather uncomfortable as the seats were pretty cramped and the non-touchscreen in-flight entertainment was rather old-fashioned with the old-school joystick control. On the contrary, the Cathay Dragon flight KA 943 and KA 946 (A330) were more comfortable and the in-flight entertainment system was way better and more modern than the Cathay Pacific flight.
I put up at West Capital International Hotel for 2 Nights and Wudangshan Xian Guan (武当仙馆) for 4 Nights. Accommodation at Xi’An will cost about SGD$160 and accommodation at Wudangshan will cost about SGD$282.
Jinjiang West Capital International Hotel is located at the City Centre and I would personally recommend the hotel because of its location. There are multiple places of interests/attractions such as the Drum Tower, Muslim Quarter, City God Temple of Xi’An and etc, and they are all within walking distance from the hotel. Service was exceptional and the room was decent. The buffet breakfast spread is fabulous and I enjoyed it very much.
I really enjoyed my stay at Wudang Xian Guan. Although I couldn’t find the property listing on Agoda, I found it on Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency. If you visit the English version of Ctrip i.e. Trip.com, Wudang Xian Guan is translated as “Taihe Health Care Home in Wudang Mountains”. Don’t be taken aback by the English translation though. I personally feel that the more appropriate English name for the property should be, “Wudang Immortals Inn”. The room has an oriental vibe and I look forward to waking up every morning because of the amazing forest view. The food served is mainly vegetarian and there is a large space just outside the hotel where one can practise Taichi in the morning. As the property is located next to the Cable Car Station, access to Tianzhu Peak/Golden Hall is really convenient. If you are looking for a place where you can do some introspection, this is definitely it.
China uses the Renminbi and the typical exchange rate for 1 Singapore Dollar was about 5 Renminbi (RMB). As my flight transited at Hong Kong, I changed some Hong Kong Dollars as well and the exchange rate for 1 Singapore was about 5.8 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD).
What to Buy in Wudangshan
At Wudangshan, there are numerous martial art academies and temples; and at the various attractions/places of interest on the mountain, there are plenty of shops that sell local produce, swords, tea leaves, beads and etc. If you would like to buy some souvenirs for yourself or your family members and friends, I would suggest that you do that at the foot of the mountain where there are more varieties and it would also be cheaper.
Some items that I would also recommend getting would be tea leaves (from 20 RMB) rice wine (from 80 RMB), chrysanthemum flower tea, and zodiac sword souvenir (from 88 RMB). If you are into amulets (from 68 RMB), crystals, wooden beads, and the likes; it is widely available too. However, do exercise caution as some goods could be imitations/fake products.
What to Buy in Xi’An
Xi’An is very well known for its jujube dates, walnuts, almonds and sour plum powder. While you can’t tabao/pack back the freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice, you should really try it! There are also souvenir shops selling keychains, terracotta warrior figurines, and memorabilia for about 10 RMB per piece.
Places of Interest & Activities
To get to Wudang Mountain from Xi’An, I took a bus and the journey was about 5-6 hours long. A bus ride from Xi’An bus station (opposite Xi’An Railway Station) to Wudangshan Town will cost 120 RMB per person. The bus will depart from Xi’An at 09:30 am and should arrive in Wudangshan Town by 05:30 pm (information correct as of April 2019). Once you arrive at the visitor centre of Wudangshan, you will then have to purchase an entrance ticket to the entire scenic area (excluding Purple Heaven Palace and Golden Summit) for 243 RMB. The price includes unlimited bus rides to different venues at Wudangshan and insurance.
Wudang-Style 9-Form Taiji Quan & Ba Duan Jing
There are numerous martial arts academies at Wudangshan and it can be very challenging to decide on one that will be suitable for your learning needs. I was very privileged that we had a dedicated Teacher who taught us the Wudang Style 9-Form Taiji Quan & Ba Duan Jing.
Purple Heaven Palace
Purple Heaven Palace is a historical site designated for state protection and the coloured paintings on the timber of Purple Heaven Palace make the palace look beautiful and imposing. The Purple Heaven Palace is also where the emperors in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties often issued orders to construct altars to bless their ancestors in heaven, request the assistance of the deities to ensure prosperity and good weather for the crops to have a bumper grain harvest. Entrance to the Purple Heaven Palace cost 15 RMB per person.
Golden Hall /金顶
Located on the top of the Tianzhu Peak, the main peak of Wudang Mountain, Hubei Province; the Golden Hall was built in the 14th year of Yongle reign (1416) of Ming Dynasty. The Hall is the biggest gilded copper temple in China, and is 5.54 meters high, 4.40 meters wide and 3.15 meters deep.
All statues and tools are made of bronze. The most valuable statue is the bronze statue of Zhen Wu, another name for the Northern Emperor, Beidi, a popular Daoist deity. Between them, the statues and hall represent the best of Ming Dynasty copper work. Visitors can also revel in the natural surroundings, taking in magical sunrises and sultry dusks.
Entrance ticket to the Golden Hall cost 27 RMB per person.
Taihe Cable Car Ropeway
If you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountain ranges, you can get on the Cable Car from Qiong Tai to Tian Zhu Peak. A round trip ticket will cost 150 RMB per person.
Nanyan or “South Cliff’ temple is one of the most breathtaking sites of the Wudang Mountains. Devotees would view the cliff as a gateway to heaven, and it’s easy to imagine the cliff as the edge of the natural world. Situated on the cliff around the temple are over 500 iron statues of ancient figures and officials, blending traditional art and culture with the stunning natural surroundings.
Taizipo is one of the main scenic areas of Wudangshan and the ancient buildings of Taizipo were designed according to the legendary story of Zhenwu Practising Taoism. It was first built in 1412 during the Ming Dynasty and has been refurbished during the Qing Dynasty in the 17th century. The main scenic spots include Huilongguan Monastery, Chunyang Monastery, Laojuntang, and Baxianguan, and etc.
About 10 minutes down the road from Taizipo, the Carefree Valley is an extremely scenic area that will provide you with numerous hiking trails to keep you busy for a full day. There are ample spots for photo opportunities and there are various kinds of animals in the valley; especially the monkeys. It’s a holy and beautiful place for visitors to escape from the noise and enjoy the natural landscape.
If you cross the river and head to the plain-looking stage area, you can enjoy Kung-fu shows at 10 am and 4 pm. To the left of the stage is a small lake with a tea house.
I spent two days in Xi’An and I am really grateful for this opportunity to visit this beautiful city that has such a vibrant culture and rich history! Xi’an is more than 3,000 years old and was known as Chang’an (长安) in ancient times. For 1,000 years, the city was the capital for 13 dynasties, and a total of 73 emperors ruled here. Xi’an is the undisputed root of Chinese civilization having served as the capital city for the Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang dynasties. It has often been said that “if you have not been to Xi’an, you have not been to China!”
Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses
The Terracotta Army (Terracotta Warriors and Horses) are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum in Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.
Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his afterlife. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archaeologists immediately. They came to Xi’An in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artefacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC).
Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigour.
The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China’s National Day – Oct. 1st, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back.
No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994. Archaeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, 25 meters northwest of No. 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command centre of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.
Altogether, over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur.
Since 1 October 2010, the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum have been combined into one large attraction area, Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, which also includes three other small sites opened in 2011. The Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum and the nearby three unopened sites (namely the Museum of Terracotta Acrobatics, the Museum of Terracotta Civil Officials and the Museum of Stone Armor) constitute the so-called Lishan Garden.
Entrance ticket costs 120 RMB per person.
Bell Tower and Drum Tower
Dating back to the
1380s, the very beginning of the Ming Dynasty, Xi’an’s majestic Bell Tower and
Drum Tower are symbols of the city’s rich past and are some of the largest and
best-preserved of their kind in China.
Every Ming-era city in China had a bell tower and a drum tower to help signal the time and mark important events. The Bell Tower in Xi’an, located at the very centre of the old city, is an imposing 27.4 meters high and located in a busy traffic circle. Visitors need to take an underground walkway beneath the traffic circle to reach the tower.
Visitors can climb up
to the Bell Tower’s terrace where the wooden tower sits to get a bird’s eye
view of the surrounding area. However, the view is not very impressive since
the tower is surrounded by busy roads in all directions. Please note that getting
up to the terrace requires climbing many stairs. Inside the tower, there is a
small museum that houses a huge bell, as well as some handwritten memos about
the relocation and renovation of the tower. There are also bell and chime
performances at various times throughout the day.
As an iconic landmark of Xi’An, the Bell Tower receives many tourists and there may be long lines at certain times. While people can pay a small fee to go upstairs and visit the interior of the tower, most visitors find the exterior of the Bell Tower more impressive, especially in the evening when it is illuminated with colourful lights. Since the tower is quite tall and prominent, you can easily appreciate it for free from across the road.
Xi’An Drum Tower
The Drum Tower, located at the south end of Beiyuanmen pedestrian street and about 200 meters to the northwest of the Bell Tower, was built in 1380, even earlier than the Bell Tower. The Drum Tower houses many large drums and some antique furniture, as well as short musical performances featuring drums and other traditional instruments at various times.
Great Muslim Mosque
Bigger than many temples in China, the Great Mosque is a gorgeous blend of Chinese and Islamic architecture and one of the most fascinating sacred sites. The present buildings are mostly Ming and Qing, though the mosque was founded in the 8th century. Arab influences extend from the central minaret (cleverly disguised as a stumpy pagoda) to the enormous turquoise-roofed Prayer Hall (not open to visitors) at the back of the complex, dating to the Ming dynasty.
Facing west (towards Mecca) instead of the customary south, the mosque features classic Chinese temple features and memorial arches, not to mention the glazed-tile Chinese-style roofing.
It’s a beautiful place to visit in spring, as the white and pink magnolias burst into bloom; in the slow season, the mosque can also be a haven of solitude and an oasis of tranquillity in a very busy area of the city.
Entrance ticket costs 25 RMB per person.
Just as its name implies, the Muslim Quarter, also known as Huimin Jie in Pingyin, is the hub of the Muslim community in Xi’An. Located to the north of West Street in the city centre, the quarter covers several blocks inhabited by over 20,000 Muslims. There are about ten mosques in the area; among which the Great Mosque in the Huajue Lane is the most famous and popular.
Beiyuanmen Muslim Street has a long history. It is said that in olden days, foreign diplomatic envoys and merchants lived here and then they married and had children, so gradually, the population increased. Today, most of the inhabitants here are the descendants of those immigrants. All the Muslims here are the pious and devout followers of Islam so they form a tight-knit community, which maintains its own culture and traditions to this day even in such a modern society.
Xi’An City Wall and Yong Ning Gate
When Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), captured Huizhou; a hermit named Zhu Sheng admonished him that he should ‘built high walls, store abundant food supplies and take time to be an Emperor,’ so that he could fortify the city and unify the other states. After the establishment of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang followed his advice and began to enlarge the wall built during the old Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), forming today’s scale of Xi’An City Wall.
The wall includes four gates and they are respectively named as Changle (meaning eternal joy) in the east, Anding (harmony peace) in the west, Yongning (eternal peace) in the south and Anyuan (forever harmony) in the north.
The South Gate (Yongning Gate) is the most time-honoured and magnificent one among all the city gates. There are bicycles for rental up to the South Gate so it is popular for visitors to ascend here. If you stay near the Bell Tower, it is recommended that you take a 10 minutes’ walk along South Street to get to the South Gate.
Xi’An City God Temple
Located on West Avenue in downtown Xi’an, the Xi’an City God Temple is the largest city god temple in Shaanxi Province. As one of the only two remaining Taoist temples in downtown Xi’an, it has been listed as a key historical and cultural site under state protection. With a history of more than 600 years, the temple is still a magnificent site today.
First built in the twentieth year (1387) of the reign of Emperor Hongwu in the Ming Dynasty on the Jiuyao Street within the East Gate of the City Wall, the temple was rebuilt at its current location in the eighth year (1432) during the reign of the Ming Emperor Xuande. Being one of the three largest capital town god temples in China at that time, the Xi’an City God Temple, also known as Capital City God Temple, exercised control over all town god temples in China’s northwest provinces.
Originally, the temple was very grand and included a main hall, a sleeping hall, subordinate halls, the Music and Dance Building, and a memorial archway. As time went on, only the hall which was rebuilt in the first year (1723) of the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) remains.
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China. It was built in 652 during the Tang dynasty and originally had five stories. The structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian, and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming dynasty. One of the pagoda’s many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveller, Xuanzang. Today, the interior walls of the pagoda feature engraved statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben.
I’ve been to China twice; the first was to Harbin and the second was to Beijing and that was more than 10 years ago! I am really glad to have been on this trip to witness the many rapid developments that are happening in China and being a history and culture buff myself, my trip to Xi’An was really an eye-opener.
Having said that, I enjoyed my visit to the Wudang Mountains the most and I really want to be back. The air there is really fresh and the next time I visit, I will probably be staying there for 6 months.
Planning a holiday party is not easy because you have to deal with a lot of individuals in your home or backyard, and you have to manage every little aspect of it; choosing a menu, setting everything up, entertaining your guests and potentially, supervising the children. Below is a short list of tips and trick that will help you manage everything easier, in a hassle-free fashion.
Establish a Theme
Regardless of the number of guests you are going to host, you have to decide on a theme. This will set the tone of your party and give the entire event a befitting atmosphere for the occasion. To establish a theme, think of what everybody has in common. Will your guests be only ladies? If yes, try an Easter cocktail tasting experience with your girlfriends and get them to bring their own alcohol.
If you’re getting together with a larger, diverse group, an
Easter movie themed party will make everybody happy.
Having kids over? Try a treasure hunt party that will make
everybody go crazy over the prizes.
Establishing a theme will make everything easier and you will most probably be able to plan the whole event faster and more effectively.
Make a To-Do List
Throwing a legendary Easter party will involve plenty of aspects that you can easily overlook along the way. To prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed by all the planning, we suggest creating a list and breaking down everything that you have to do based on the answers to the following questions:
Where will the party take place?
Who are my guests and how do I invite them?
Should I serve food? What type of food should I serve?
Should I include party games?
Who will watch the children if they attend?
The answers to these questions will offer you a better
action plan to guide your decisions on. Follow it to simplify things
Have a Budget and Stick to It
When organising an Easter party, make sure you plan a budget and stick to it because how successfully your Easter party is going to be depends on how you manage your party-planning process. Keep an inventory of things that you have bought and things that you still need to purchase.
Before buying anything, you should take a look at what you already have and develop your grocery and supply list according to that. This will lower some of your expenses and allow you to plan your party professionally.
Here are some easy-to-follow tips:
Create a spreadsheet. Categorise all the items and ingredients that you have on hand. Based on your estimations and needs, purchase what you lack.
See if you can pull off a potluck party. If you don’t have that much cash on hand, consider a potluck style party. This will bring people together and will offer a great sense of community.
DIY giftable centrepieces. Create your own decorations and centrepieces and gift them at the end of the party to your guests. They will be able to reuse them and it is a great way to save some money.
DIY Your Decorations
Easter party decorations can be easily managed at home. You
don’t have to worry too much about spending incredible amounts of money on them
and you can turn the entire activity into a family activity. Invite your
children to partake in it and you will have great family time. Get the supplies
that you need. For instance, you can find affordable ribbons and
make Easter garlands out of them. Glue some pom poms on them and maybe cut out
some bunnies out of colourful paper. This will offer you enough flexibility to
create some decorations for children and adults as well.
Make a DIY Happy Easter Sign from supplies that you find at
home. Place it on your door or even indoors, to offer a more festive vibe to
Cook in Advance
Preparing a menu ahead of time and shopping for some of your supplies in advance will allow you to avoid the Easter crowd and the high food costs due to the increased festive demands. However, some of your ingredients will still have to be purchased with only a little time ahead. Vegetables and fruits will inevitably go bad if you buy them too early.
To ensure that things don’t get chaotic before your big party, you should consider preparing a big part of your menu in advance. This is entirely manageable if you look for recipes that require similar food preparations as the rest.
Include easy-to-prepare quiches, tasteful loaves of bread and slow cooker dishes. These may be the easiest options that you have at your hand. If you want to exceed your guests’ expectations, you could try some mouth-watering and fancy-looking dishes like the Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.
Plan for Games and Activities
If you have enough guests over, you should consider entertaining them. Board games always make perfect party games. See what you have at home and if you lack such games, ask your guests to bring some over. Easy-to-learn and fun games should be at the top of your list. Research what people have to say on the matter and if you want, you can even purchase some games yourself.
If you want to keep children entertained as well, a treasure
hunt type of activity will most likely get them going. Hide small “treasures”
like chocolate Easter eggs, chocolate coins and other goodies in your backyard.
Create riddles and offer them hints and clues on the treasure’s location and
allow them to take home all the goodies found.
Planning the perfect Easter party is not that difficult as it initially seems. However, paying attention to several variables and planning ahead of time is necessary to pull off a fun, entertaining and somewhat fancy event. Make sure that you only invite guests whose presence you will appreciate as you don’t want to end up in a sticky and awkward situation that’s hard to get out off. And even if you lack a generous budget, research for DIY decorations and ideas that will help you make use of simple materials that won’t cost much.
People purchase shipping containers for different reasons. Depending on the purpose of purchase, some people prefer a new or almost new container while others simply want something functional and wouldn’t really mind the physical condition and attractiveness of the container as long as it is able to serve its intended purpose. But in all cases, pricing is always a factor and it is important to know how pricing is determined and some tips that will help you save money when checking on shipping containers for sale online.
As far as shopping for shipping containers is concerned, pricing varies from one seller to the other. However, how much you would have to pay for a container depends on a number of factors and the most important factor that influence container price is its condition. Generally, one would expect that a newer container in terms of age would sell at a higher price compared to an older one. However, you would soon find out in the world of container sales that this isn’t always the case. A container’s condition is first a subject of how much wear and tear it has had to endure and how much damage it has resulted from its use. Thus, you might find a new container that is badly damaged after a single use, will sell less than an older one that has been kept in great condition.
20′ is one of the two most common sizes of containers (the other being the 40′ size). While size is one of the main deciders in pricing, there will be other factors that need to be considered in order to accurately determine correct pricing. Thus two 20′ Conex or metal container will have different values depending on the following:
History and current condition
Additional costs such as the cost of delivery and permit fees.
Other customised features
If you plan to purchase a shipping container, the following is a basic guide that you can use to get a rough indication of how much shipping containers will cost:
Are you on a budget and looking for the most affordable option?
If your budget is a constraint and you want
the most affordable shipping container options out there, then you can go for
“as is” 20′ containers (otherwise called handyman containers). These are containers
that have been badly damaged from use and might require you to do a little bit
of restoration to get it into shape and in working condition again. You might
have to repair doors, fix dents in the floor or roofs and repair holes caused
by mechanical or even chemical accidents during previous use.
Generally, how cheap these types of containers come for depends on how much repair has to be done to get it back into shape. The cost of handyman containers can be as low as $1,400. With some days of work by a handyman or if you are a handyman yourself, you can get a good deal on a worn-out container and get it back into shape in no time. However, be sure you are paying just the right value for the container. If the total cost of purchase and repair is going to end up being enormous, it will be a better decision to go for something more midrange.
are your mid-range options?
If you are looking for something temporary, can’t spend time and extra cash on repairs, and still want something affordable (or in this case mid-range); then renting a container is an idea that you can consider. This way, you not only get something convenient and still affordable, but you also don’t have to worry about where you will haul the container once you are done using it. Usually, a local supplier will charge you between $75-$200 monthly. What you pay depends largely on the condition of the container and extra features if any. Some suppliers will also carry out occasional maintenance on the container for an extra fee.
Click here to learn more about renting a
a used container
Another way you can save money on container purchase is to go for a used container instead of buying a brand new one. As far as used containers are concerned, you will find many great options if you decide to go for it. Most used containers will serve basic storage purpose as long as they have not been badly damaged. Conex and Metal containers have a long lifespan and will still serve you well for some years when you purchase them.
Used containers provide an affordable yet good quality alternative. Used containers can cost as low as $1400 to $2600. This price will vary based on the dealer you are buying from and the condition of the container as at the time of purchase.
are your options when you have enough to spend?
The other types of containers discussed earlier are for buyers who are constrained by a budget or whose reason for purchasing a container allows them to go for containers that are in “not-so-perfect” condition. However, if qualit is a must for you and you are not constrained by a budget, then a new or one-tripper container is the best option for you.
One-trippers are newly manufactured containers that have been shipped down with their very first cargo load. Thus, they are in pristine conditions with no damage done to them at all. Depending on the size and other factors, a one-tripper can cost about $3000 to $5000.
Purchasing or selling a container depends on both your budget and working condition of the container. How much you are willing to spend will largely determine the quality of the container you are able to buy at the end of the day. At the same time, how much a dealer will list a container for sale is also subjected to its quality as at the time of purchase. Understanding these pricing and selling points is important in determining which 20′ shipping container to purchase.
We all lead a very busy lifestyle and I have no doubts about that. In the past three months ever since the New Year, I have been working a 7-day work week and as we’re coming to the end of the month, it is also about time that I review my work-life balance and do some adjustments to my work schedule so that I will only work 6 days a week instead. In case you’re wondering how my typical workday is like; I work for 9-10 hours on weekdays and 6 hours on weekends. In between my work, I still have my usual 3 meals a day and my meals are typically the same every week with little variation:
Meal typically with 3 – 4 dishes- Vegetables, Meat, Soup and Rice
As you can see, a diet like mine is high in carbohydrates and proteins but probably low in vitamins and some trace minerals. To help me boost my body immune system, I supplement my diet with Centrum Men, a complete multivitamin specially formulated for men under 50.
Some features of Centrum Men are as follows:
Fill Nutritional Gaps With more B-Vitamins, Zinc, as well as over 20 other important nutrients.
Brain Health Contain Zinc and B-Vitamins to maintain brain health
Strong Heart Contains Lycopene, Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid to help maintain a healthy heart
Energy and Vitality Contains B-Vitamins that play an important role in converting proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into energy
Immunity Contains vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, E, Selenium, Zinc and Iron which supports immune system
Healthy Muscles Contains Magnesium, Vitamins D and B6 to support optimal muscle health
dive too deep into the topic of nutrition because there’s really a lot to talk
about for e.g. weight loss, gaining muscle mass, functions of nutrients and etc
but I am proud of the fact that although I have been working really hard this
month; I have not fallen ill and it is only possible because of a strong body
However, I am also cognizant of the fact that I cannot keep up this unhealthy working style in the long run or I would face the risks of my body breaking down altogether. Having said that, I am really happy that I am able to marry my work and passion. This is probably the only motivating factor that keeps me going even though it can be physically and mentally draining.
If you have
a hectic and busy lifestyle like mine, remember that balance and moderation is
the key to a healthier lifestyle and it will be helpful to do some monthly
reviews to uncover any possible
gaps that could possibly lead to health-related problems.
is, our personal preferences and eating habits changes as we progress on in
life but we must never neglect to take care of our health, mind and body.
I hope this post will inspire you as you fight on for the next 6 months!
I have been a big fan of British Author Roald Dahl ever since I started reading his book novels more than 2 decades ago and his books never fails to captivate me. Some of Roald Dahl’s works which I have read include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Danny, The Champion of the World, The BFG, and Matilda. Hence, you can imagine my excitement when I had the privilege to attend the Gala Premiere of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical at Sands Theatre @ Marina Bay Sands.
The musical follows Matilda, a precocious 5-year-old girl who loves reading and learning but is suppressed by her TV-obsessed parents who pay her little attention. As she grows up, she begins to resist the challenges and obstacles presented to her, learning that sometimes you have to be a “little bit naughty” in order to get through life. As she begins to master living with her family, her world is thrown into disarray as she starts a new school under the tyrannous grip of Headteacher Miss Trunchbull. Seeking solace in the library in a world of her imagination and creation, Matilda forms strong bonds with adults such as Librarian Mrs Phelps and her class teacher Miss Honey. Together they give her the confidence to embrace her special gift and individuality which is needed to reclaim her life.
My Personal Thoughts
I truly enjoyed Matilda The Musical; so much so that I found myself humming to the tune of “When I Grow Up” even after the show! The meticulously-crafted lyrics of the musical numbers by Olivier Award winner Tim Minchin unfold the story through songs like “Naughty” and “Miracle” and the production sets and costumes by Tony Award® winner Rob Howell are intricately designed. Coupled with the dazzling lighting by Tony Award® winner Hugh Vanstone, the whole stage comes alive.
With an incredible cast of young performers, Matilda The Musical inspires and delights audiences both young and old. The timeless story of a small girl’s determination to challenge those above her for the greater good, combined with Roald Dahl’s signature wit and naughtiness, makes this an unforgettable musical.
Reasons to Catch Matilda The Musical
Matilda The Musical is a winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical. Currently in its seventh year of running in London, Matilda The Musical continues to delight audiences of all ages and has been seen by more than 8 million people.
The Singapore season marks the first time the hit musical has ventured to Asia, having toured to Australia and New Zealand from 2015-2017 and it will be showing here from now till 17 March 2019 for a limited time only. Also, if you’re a Passion Cardholder or a SingTel Subscriber, you can get the tickets at a 10% discount (terms & conditions apply).
Just so you know, tickets for weekday shows are cheaper than weekends and if you’re wondering which category of tickets to get, we would suggest getting either the Category C Reserve or the Category B Reserve tickets as the seats are decent enough for a great vantage point.
Lastly, even if you have not read the novel before, the story and plot is easy to follow and you will definitely be enchanted by the spellbinding scenes.
Tickets are available on a first-come-first serve basis so be sure to book your tickets early!
My encounters with everything that’s Spanish has always been memorable and pleasant. From the first-ever Paella that I have tasted at PasarBella to my once-in-a-lifetime experience in Peru where the main spoken language is Spanish; I really do appreciate the rich Spanish culture.
If you want to experience a slice of the Spanish culture here in Singapore without having to burn a big hole in your pocket for a flight to Spain, there’s one place for it, Tapas Club.
Tapas Club is a casual Spanish restaurant chain that first launched in Singapore in 2017. It brings Spain’s vibrant and rich culinary culture to diners at accessible price points.
Creating an immersive dining experience where guests are able to enjoy traditional Spanish food, Tapas Club offers hearty food, quality wines, and show-stopping musical and flamenco performances.
The restaurant also houses a mercado where customers can purchase authentic Spanish food products as gifts or for their homes. This includes a selection of beers and wines, as well as Spanish preserves, olive oils, preserved vegetables and seafood, and signature cold cuts like Iberian ham.
A Haven for the Wine Enthusiasts
Tapas Club is an ideal chill-out place for after-work wine and cocktails (last order at 10pm on weekdays). The wine list has over 50 different labels and features a wide variety of wines from key wine producing regions in Spain.
Prices start from SGD 38 and guests have the option of ordering their wines by the glass, carafes or bottles – perfect for wine enthusiasts looking to discover more Spanish wines as all varieties are fully covered.
At Tapas Club, there are over 20 varieties of grapes from different types of wines, including the renowned Tempranillo – a black grape variety that is natively grown in Spain. The wines available at Tapas Club covers the many regions of Spain, such as Rioja or Ribera del Duero, as well as up-and-coming regions like Manchuela or Ribera del Guadiana.
In addition, Tapas Club also arranges bi-monthly wine pairing dinners, taking guests on a journey through the different regions of Spain with an assortment of wines and tapas.
Our Dining Experience at Tapas Club @ VivoCity
Tapas Club @ VivoCity is Tapas Club’s second outlet in Singapore and we are really envious of the folks who work around the Tanjong Pagar area because Tapas Club is a wonderful place to dine at and chill-out. If Tapas Club opens an outlet in the heartlands i.e. Punggol, you probably will find us there downing jugs of Sangria every day.
The warm and rustic ambience replicates the look and feels of a Spanish tavern and recently, we were there for dinner and we had an enjoyable time because the service was impeccable, the food was excellent, and the Spanish live band entertainment was splendid ……
The food was reasonably priced and the portion was good enough for a group of 4!
The Tapas Menu
Highlights on the wine-friendly tapas menu include Berenjena Con Miel, eggplant chips fried in a light batter then drizzled with honey for a salty-sweet finish. Next, a hearty serving of Piquillos Rellenos, deep-fried piquillo peppers stuffed with a filling of seasoned ground pork, bechamel sauce and onions, enveloped in a savoury demi-glace sauce.
Another showstopper is the all-time Spanish favourite, Tortilla de Patata a traditional egg and potato omelette served with a soft, barely set centre.
The restaurant also serves signature Croquetas De Jamon – ham croquettes, a staple at any Spanish restaurant. These are encased in a puffed crumb and filled with oozy bechamel sauce and savoury Spanish Iberian ham.
The Tapas+ section of the menu offers more substantial dishes of great value. Each dish comes with one complimentary side (guests may take their pick from a selection) and is best enjoyed either as a main course or shared among friends.
Highlights include the Pulpo a la Brasa, a wonderfully charred grilled octopus, served on a bed of confit potatoes then drizzled with olive oil and pimenton (ground dried Capsicum annuum chillies).
A classic addition to any Spanish meal is the Arroz Negro, a rich and briny squid ink paella that is tossed in Spanish rice with cuttlefish and clams. Atop the al-dente rice sits hefty dollops of garlic aioli which is best enjoyed mixed into the rice for a creamy, savoury finish.
Tapas Club Specials
A group of musicians and dancers perform traditional Spanish flamenco shows one Thursday per month, while Saturday, Sunday and PH brunch sees the introduction of the communal paella pan. Guests may tuck into unlimited servings of paella cooked in a 1.2-metre wide pan for only SGD$10 between 12-3pm. This echoes the way Spaniards eat on weekends, where large communal sharing dishes enjoyed in a spirited, vibrant atmosphere are the norm.
For a slice of the Spanish culture, head down to Tapas Club this weekend and enjoy the great authentic feast that’s specially prepared by the chefs!
Everybody deserves some love this Valentine’s
Day. Regardless of whether they’re single or not, giving a gift as a friend, as
a child, as a sibling, or as a parent is a wonderful way to remind them that
this special day isn’t just for lovers. Shower them with well-thought-out gifts
that say “I appreciate you” in a unique way.
Gift giving isn’t exactly everybody’s strong
point, and if you’re like most people, you’re either stuck by the lack of or
overwhelmed by the number of options at your disposal.
Worry no more!
This gift guide is curated to give you
spectacular Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your special ones, whether that be
your best friend, your significant other, or your parent.
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for
It’s wonderful to give gifts to kids. Their
reactions are always genuine, and even if they end up not liking what’s inside
the present, they always find opening presents really fun. However, presents
There are plenty of precious Valentine’s Day
gift ideas for your kids that will not only get you a kiss on the cheek but
also help nourish your bond as mother (or father) and child and help cultivate
a culture of love right at home. Some fantastic Valentine’s Day gift ideas for
kids include the following:
It’s easy to gift siblings, especially because
you probably know what makes them tick. In fact, they can be the easiest people
to get a gift for. You can make it funny or silly or thoughtful and simple.
Regardless, they will surely appreciate the gesture.
Some great Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your
siblings include these:
An item related to their favorite hobby (like a video game or a skin care set)
A quirky book
A custom tee
A matching bracelet
Personalised travel accessories
A custom Valentine’s Day card with a meaningful message
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for
As a parent of grown-up kids, you probably
rarely see your kids, especially if they’re off to school in another state or
country or are living with their own families. Still, this does not mean you
can forget about the little gestures that tell them how much you miss and
Calls can be too direct and practical. Text
messages and social media can be too ordinary and insincere. Take Valentine’s
Day as a great opportunity to strengthen family ties. Simply sending them a
meaningful message is already enough to put a smile on their faces and remind
them that, no matter what happens, in life, you’ve always got their back.
Other delightful Valentine’s Day gift ideas
for your grown-up kids are these:
Their favorite childhood dish
A custom Valentine’s Day card with photos
A bouquet of flowers
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for
Your Significant Other
You will never run out of gift options for
your Valentine’s date, and regardless of whether you choose to go out or have a
simple, romantic dinner at home, your
Valentine’s Day gift should be the bomb.
Make it extra special by putting in plenty of
thought and effort to your Valentine’s Day present. Remember that it does not
have to be expensive. A simple trip to the gift shop for a little trinket,
chocolate, or a bundle of flowers will be enough to let them know you
Because choosing a gift for your spouse or
special someone can be the most pressuring aspect of your Valentine’s Day
gift-giving escapade, here are some tips that should help you decide on the
right gift material:
Never skip on a Valentine’s Day
gift. No matter how much you trick yourselves into thinking it’s just another
day for capitalism, you will just end up feeling a bit envious and morose
seeing all those other couples swooning over each other at the end of the day.
Do or get something simple, but
don’t overdo it. Your gift should be commensurate to the stage of the relationship you are
currently in. You don’t want to scare off the other person by giving the wrong
Get them a gift that they will
enjoy, not what you or what you think
they should enjoy.
Pick something thoughtful.
If you can’t spend much, be
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for
Regardless of the family structure you grew up
in, your parental figures have sacrificed a lot in raising you to become the
person that you are today. So finding opportunities to give back the love they
deserve is always a great idea.
They don’t really expect much, and you really
don’t have to spend thousands to make them happy. For parents, your surprise
presence or a simple call or message will be enough to let them know you still
remember and appreciate them, despite not being with them constantly.
If you know your parents well, it shouldn’t be
hard to pick gifts you know they will like. For moms, for example, a simple day
at the spa to help them feel good and relax is a marvelous Valentine’s Day gift
idea. Shopping day together is a great one too. Other gift ideas include the
For dads, you can spoil the inner child in them by gifting them awesome hand tools (if that’s their thing) or items that directly address an enduring hobby (like a soccer game) or simply spending the day with them. Other potential cool gifts for dads this Valentine’s Day are these:
You want nothing but the best for the person
you know will tread hell or high water just to give you support and advice at
whatever you do. So take this special Heart’s Day as an opportunity to let them
know how much you love them for who they are and for what they stand in your
Here are some thoughtful gifts that will
surely put a smile on their face:
Personalised home decor best friend prints
Skin care set
Custom face socks
A great book
A shopping day together
A day out with the pack
A comfort item
Custom tees about friendship
Valentine’s Day is not just a lover’s holiday.
It’s a celebration of love in all its forms. So don’t let the people you love
feel left out (especially if they’re single!), and thank them for their
presence in your life by giving them well-thought-out gifts that speak love in
the most “you” way.
Of course, when we say ‘pet hate,’ we aren’t saying that you hate your dog! We are talking in the proverbial sense; those sort of pet hates which are another way of referring to those minor annoyances as a dog owner that we are sure you will be able to relate to. We put up with these irritations because we love our four-legged friends dearly, but let’s be honest, there are times when even the most patient of us can be severely tested. Still, there are ways to overcome some of them.
How many of these pet hates can you relate to?
Pet Hate #1: Being faced with smelly dog breath
Waking up in the morning, probably with bad breath of your own, the last thing you need is the odorous whiff of your dog’s bad breath when he leaps onto your bed to greet you. Usually followed by a sloppy kiss and a paw on your face, you have no alternative but to get out of bed and give your dog some attention.
Tip: There are all kinds of reasons for dog bad breath, so check out the linked article for some handy advice. While you will never get rid of those terrible odours permanently, you can still reduce the problem by caring for your dog’s diet and by looking after their gums and teeth. And hey, when it comes to your morning bad breath, you might consider looking after yourself in similar ways!
Pet Hate #2: Never having a clean house
It can be hard to keep a clean house with a dog roaming around. Trying to keep your living room, kitchen, and bathroom spotlessly clean can be tough when you have dog drool, muddy footprints, and dog hairs invading your living space. You could either give up entirely – what’s the point in trying if your dog is only going to sabotage your best efforts? – or you could take steps to make your life easier.
Tip: Despite living with a dog, there are a number of ways to maintain a reasonably clean house so consider some of the ideas here. From changing some of your furniture fabrics to doing the sensible thing, and keeping your dog as clean as possible, you can alleviate the indignity of an unclean home. You never need to be afraid of letting your neighbors set foot through your front door again!
Pet Hate #3: Losing yet another pair of slippers
It’s no secret that dogs love to chew on things. From rolled up newspapers to yes, your favourite pair of slippers; they will get their mouth around anything they can get their paws on. Of course, you could do the sensible thing and move any chewable objects out of your dog’s reach, or you could consider why they love to chew things in the first place.
Tip: On a simple level, dogs love to chew because its fun. It’s also nature’s way of strengthening your dog’s jaws and cleaning their teeth. However, your dog can also chew on something when bored or anxious. If they don’t have enough toys to play with, they will naturally migrate to other things, such as your slippers. And when they are anxious, perhaps when you are away from home for a long period of time, your dog will chew your slippers as a way to a) reduce stress, and b) to be close to your smell. You can alleviate any problems by buying your dog chewable toys, and by reducing their anxiety when you’re out by asking a friend or neighbor to pop in to give your dog company.
Pet Hate #4: The constant walks
First thing in the morning when you’re trying to get ready for work. Last thing at night when you’re just about ready for bed. And when it’s cold and wet, you will need to take your dog for a walk. He will let you know when he’s ready, and if you don’t… well, that’s another fine mess you will find yourself stepping into! Dogs need exercise for both fun and health reasons, so unless you have one of these low-energy dog breeds, you will need to get your shoes on at regular intervals.
Tip: You could hire a dog walker to take your dog for a stroll, but think about your exercise needs too. A walk will do you good, so instead of complaining every time your dog lets you know he wants to go out again, remember the benefits for you. But if you do find it a chore, try to up the fun factor; change the routes you take, play with your dog in the park, and take time to enjoy the scenery around you. Both you and your dog will benefit from the experience.
What are your pet hates? How have you overcome them? Let us know, for the sake of ourselves, and our beloved canine friends.