It has been a busy start to the new year and in less than 15 days’ time, it will be the Lunar New Year and I’m pretty excited because according to multiple Fengshui Masters’ prediction, the 2017 outlook for those born in the year of the Dragon seems quite promising.
I must admit that getting ready for the Lunar New Year is a tedious yearly affair as there are so many things to do and prepare; but it is also a good opportunity to do some spring cleaning, get some new clothes, shoes, accessories, and even a new hairdo.
Prices for Bak Kwa (barbecued sweet meat), New Year goodies, reunion dinners and even hairstyling services tend to inflate during this season and it is no surprise why most Singaporeans will choose to go to Malaysia to do their shopping since the exchange rate is rather favourable at 1 Singapore Dollars to 3 Malaysian Ringgit.
If going across the causeway is too much of a hassle (yes, do expect long queues and traffic jams), some shopping malls like Marina Square do have special promotions and offers too.
From now till 22 January, discover some hidden pampering treats that are handpicked for you and your loved ones. Just sign up with your Facebook account and you will be given 4 sure-win scratch cards to chose from participating merchants such as Kimage, Salon Orient, Posh Wellness, Zoom Salon, Phiten, and Kenko Wellness.
Do note that you can login only once a day to try your luck and it is free to participate!
Also, you can redeem a set of Red Packets at the Customer Service Counters with a minimum spend of $80 and a $10 Marine Square Gift Voucher with a minimum spend of $150!
What’s the best way to discover a new country?
Or, better yet, what’s the best way of experiencing a new part of a city that you thought you already knew?
Well, if you want high class service and unforgettable and unique experiences, lifestyle management services are for you.
Fancy having a putting lesson with Tiger Woods? Or how about getting onboard a submarine to explore ancient shipwrecks and coral reefs in Western Australia?
We at A Winsome Life are pleased and excited to announce the launch of our new luxury concierge services!
What’s The Excitement All About?
With immediate effect, we will be offering our valuable clients a multitude of luxurious and exclusive VIP lifestyle management and travel services.
What Sort of VIP Lifestyle Management and Travel Services?
The possibilities are endless. Some of the luxurious and exclusive VIP travel experiences can include the following:
Spend the day at the Rolex headquarters and Meet the CEO
Pioneer of the wristwatch since 1905, Rolex is at the origin of landmark innovations in watchmaking, including the first waterproof wristwatch- the Oyster. Visit the Rolex headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to learn about the company’s brand, design and manufacture. Then, spend a few hours with the CEO, Mr Jean Frederic Dufour.
Private Video Message from Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano is one of the biggest names in professional soccer, and one of the biggest sports stars in the world. He is the most expensive soccer player in history thanks to his huge, record-setting 80-million EUD transfer contract. Get the chance to have a customised private video message from the global soccer star and Portuguese international player.
Paris VIP Travel Experience
Welcome reception at Chanel high-end Jewelry store on Place Vendome and personalised shopping experience.
Private visit of the Coco Chanel apartment at the Ritz Paris (subject to availability).
Exclusive private tour of the Coco Chanel private apartment on top of the Chanel boutique Rue Cambon.
New Michelin-star dining experience.
VIP tickets to the Opera Garnier and behind-the-scene tour.
One-of-a-kind after hour visit of the renowned Chateau de Versailles.
Luxury private transfer to/from hotel.
Price: From 16,500 EUD per person
*Accommodation is not included in this package.
Hong Kong VIP Travel Experience (New Year Eve Special)
Private guided walking tour of Hong Kong landmarks to learn about its history.
Roundtrip helicopter transfer to Macau and full day private guided tour of the old Portuguese colony with local expert (lunch incl).
New Year Eve Michelin-star dining experience.
Private shopping session with a personal shopper to discover Hong Kong’s fashion.
Private Tai Chi session with a Grandmaster.
Full day private yacht charter to discover islands around Hong Kong.
Private harbour cruise against the backdrop of the spectacular Hong Kong Symphony of Lights show.
Luxury private transfer to/from hotel.
Price: From 9515 USD Per Person
*Accommodation is not included in this package.
London VIP Travel Experience
VIP tickets to a London Opera or Theatre with pre-show dining and after show behind-the-scene tour.
Exclusive private after-hours tour of the National Gallery followed by cocktails and canapes in the private Trafalgar Room.
Private shopping session with a personal shopper in a luxury Bentley.
Michelin-star dining experience with private tour of the kitchen and meet and greet with the chef.
New Year Eve Michelin-star dining experience.
2-hour private consultation at Floris London to create own fragrance.
Private tour of the Windsor Castle with expert guide (transfer inclusive).
Private 30 minutes helicopter tour of London (at night or during the stay).
Luxury private transfer to/from hotel.
Price: From 8745 GBP per person.
*Accommodation is not included in this package.
These are just some of the endless possibilities that we will be able to offer to our clients and we are confident that demands for such exclusive travel experiences will increase over time in Singapore.
Why settle for less when you can experience world class lifestyle concierge that includes everything from shopping, restaurant arrangements to transportation (yes, we can even charter a private jet for you)?
As a busy professional, you understand the need to be efficient and effective with your time. After all, it’s probably what got you where you are already. With lifestyle concierge, you don’t have to worry about tedious tasks or time consuming waits. You have a professional – someone committed to you – that you can trust and rely on. Lifestyles management is exactly that; someone to manage and book things while you concentrate on maintaining your status and lifestyle. Think of it as a personal team who is dedicated to your exact needs.
Best of all, you can use lifestyle management services for so many aspects of your life. It’s not limited to solely business or travel, but an overarching service that you can always fall back on. That means while you’re out there taking care of business or having fun, your team is behind the scenes working around the clock to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
When it comes to finding the great things in life, Singapore lifestyle influencers like us are the way to go as well. We’re talking about real people, ones that understand your needs and ones that you can relate to, with a little bit of flair thrown in. So if there’s something that you need or if you need to be inspired, look to us for the right influence.
Who knows, pretty soon you may be the one influencing the life of others!
Planning to catch a movie this weekend and not sure what to watch?
You might want to consider watching the movie, “Inferno”.
Inferno is a 2016 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by David Koepp, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Dan Brown. The film is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, and stars Tom Hanks, reprising his role as Robert Langdon, alongside Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster and Irrfan Khan. Filming began on April 27, 2015 in Venice, Italy, and wrapped on July 21, 2015 in Budapest.
Movie Plot of Inferno
Famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) follows a trail of clues tied to Dante, the great medieval poet. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman (Ben Foster) from unleashing a virus that could wipe out half of the world’s population.
Official Inferno Movie Trailer
Our Thoughts About The Movie
The movie started out fine but as it progresses, it became quite draggy and the process of solving the clues became not as exciting as we had expected it to be. In fact, we could count the number of clues that were solved in the movie with two fingers and we felt that the movie certainly did the novel no justice. We have every reason to believe that fans of the novel will be somewhat disappointed with the movie and for the visual learners who don’t intend to go through the entire book because of its wordy text, the movie kind of summarises everything that you need to know from the book.
If you have spare cash this weekend and don’t wish to be coop up at home, head to the nearest cinema near you and catch a movie!
Well out of a rating of 5, we will give the film a 3.
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. 🙂
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have always enjoyed watching movies that depict Chinese martial arts like Wing Chun, Shaolin, Wushu and the likes and just last Sunday, Jacqueline and I watched SHAOLIN at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands and it is the ultimate display of theatre and physical prowess.
Direct from the fabled Shaolin temple in the foothills of the Song Shang mountain, the twenty strong cast performed incredible “superhuman” feats. The show combines traditional Shaolin Kung Fu, inch perfect choreography with dramatic lighting and sound that evokes the spirit of their traditions in one breath-taking performance.
Though I enjoyed the performance, it simply isn’t Jacqueline’s cup of tea. The stunts that were performed during the show didn’t quite resonate with me but I enjoyed the storyline and the setting. I have to admit that there were certain scenes that were pretty draggy and repetitive and the show could have been better if more information was shared about the martial art techniques that were demonstrated.
SHAOLIN will be showing in Singapore till 31 July 2016 and if you are keen to watch it, you can book your tickets here.
Do you know that there are two different styles of Shaolin Kung Fu; the Northern Shaolin and the Southern Shaolin?
The Northern Shaolin martial arts being the more popular style is still being practiced in the Songshan Shaolin Monastery in China’s Henan province today. The Southern Shaolin Monastery also known as the Fujian Shaolin Monastery refers to a Buddhist monastery located in Fujian province, China; by tradition it is considered the source of all Southern Shaolin Chinese martial arts.
Interestingly, both the Northern & Southern Shaolin Kung Fu styles are brought to Southeast Asia by refugee monks and old masters after the second world war and during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
We caught the rebooted version of Ghostbusters (aka “Ghostbusters 3”) last week and I must say, it has brought back many fond memories of my childhood days when I was watching cartoons of Casper and Ghostbusters to pass time. I can’t recall if I have caught the 1984 and 1989 Ghostbusters movie before but watching the latest version of Ghostbusters has made me want to dig them up to watch.
I am not sure if the true blue fans of Ghostbusters would enjoy the movie but honestly, I thought it was quite a pleasant movie overall. There were many funny moments and even Jacqueline (who’s not into these sort of movies) enjoyed herself. If you happen to watch the movie, don’t forget to stay until the end of the credits.
The new Ghostbusters movie does feature pretty much everyone from the original movies, minus Rick Moranis (who is more or less retired from acting) and Harold Ramis (who died in February 2014). But while Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts all made time to appear in the new movie, none of them are playing the same characters they played in the first two Ghostbusters movies. Hence, this might probably be the reason why hardcore fans of Ghostbusters may or may not like the movie.
Our final thoughts?
Catch the movie on a work day if you need some laughter to perk you up after an exhaustive day at work!
Movie Plot of Ghostbusters
Paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitude, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.
I always hear people saying that Singapore is a pretty small place and that there’s nothing much to do around here. To a certain extent, I agree that it is true but if you look hard enough, there is actually quite a lot of things you can do in Singapore. If you are up for some heart-pumping adventure, MegaZip Adventure Park is definitely the place for all you adrenaline junkies because for just SGD$85, you can have a go at all the adventure facilities that will let you scream your heart out. Should you prefer a slightly milder form of activity, Forest Adventure is also another excellent consideration and they are children-friendly too.
MegaZip Adventure Park @ Sentosa Island
For those of us who prefer an activity that does not require us to spill our guts out, you can consider learning a skill or taking up an adhoc course. With the SGD$500 SkillsFuture Credit, there are plenty of online and offline learning opportunities out there.
Some of the offline learning opportunities include courses like baking, floral arrangement, hairdressing and etc. I even came across an “interesting” course that teaches you how to use WhatsApp for SGD$30. What’s even more interesting to note is that this course is organised by People’s Association and participants can use their SkillsFuture Credit to pay for the course. Then again, I seriously don’t understand why recreational courses like those that I have mentioned can be paid for using SkillsFuture but not courses like Kayaking or Sailing (which People’s Association Water Venture do conduct).
Other than the offline courses that I have mentioned, you could also take up online courses on Udemy and Coursera. Personally, I would recommend Coursera as majority of the courses are pretty academic by nature and they are usually offered by Ivy League Universities like the University of Michigan, Yale University and etc. Both Udemy and Coursera offer users the ability to download the learning content onto their mobile devices and access it anytime anywhere. The best part? Some of the courses can be paid for using your SkillsFuture credits. In case you’re wondering, Udemy offers quite a lot of interesting lifestyle and recreational courses like learning to play the guitar, martial arts and etc.Discover Udemy’s latest courses!
And if all that doesn’t occupy you, you can choose to pick up a sport like martial arts, rock-climbing, sailing or even cycling. Remember back in 2014 when all Singaporeans were encouraged to get active and were given SGD$100 worth of ActiveSG Credits to utilise? Well, you can use that to purchase an ActiveGym Pass or a Swim Pass. Apart from current ActiveSG programmes like Pilates, PILOXING, Aqua Spinning and the likes; I really hope that whoever is in charge of the ActiveSG programmes would consider adding sports like climbing, dragon-boating, sailing, or even kayaking. Are you an avid runner? If you are, stay tuned as there’s going to be an exciting launch happening in 4 days’ time!
Meanwhile, don’t forget to spend your SkillsFuture Credit or ActiveSG Credits.
The Latest Upcoming Movie Blockbusters for The School Holidays
The school holidays are finally here and what that means is that your children will have lots and lots of free time. Now, what can you do with them? Well, why not take your children to watch some of the best movies Singapore has ever seen?
The list of films coming out right on time for the school holidays is never ending but here, you can check out the ones your children will definitely be most excited about.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
One of the movies Singapore is anticipating the most is ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows‘ which will finally be released on the 2nd of June; much to the absolute delight of all the children (and many parents). In this sequel, the powerful turtles will have to fight against their biggest enemy and some other previously unknown ones to make sure everyone on planet Earth is safe.Expect lots of action and as well as laughter throughout the almost 2-hour film; thanks to an incredible cast which includes Megan Fox and Stephen Amell.
We can’t stress this enough but thanks to the kind folks from Sony Pictures and Rovio Entertainment, Jacqueline and I were invited to watch the early premiere of The Angry Birds Movie last Saturday and I must say, the animation film is a fantastic watch for both kids and adults alike.
While the review on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic hasn’t been that kind, I honestly don’t think it is all that bad because I actually enjoyed a movie that I thought I wouldn’t. I mean like come on, when announcement was first made that there will be an Angry Birds movie, I literally rolled my eyes because I was puzzled as to how anyone would want to make a movie out of a game app like The Angry Birds; yes, even right up to the actual day of the early premiere, I was very skeptical.
Having watched The Angry Birds Movie, I personally thought that the storyline is sound and throughout the entire movie, there were a couple of “aww” moments and perhaps a little too much of cuteness in it. For some, there might be some tear-jerking moments and for others, it might be an opportune time to take a power nap while the kids are being engrossed with the movie.
I shan’t spoil the movie for everyone but I have included the plot of the movie and the movie trailer in this review for you to decide whether the movie is worth your attention.
Movie Plot of The Angry Birds Movie
In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we’ll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds–or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.