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Both Jacqueline and I participated in the Hello Kitty Run Singapore yesterday and being a massive one-of-its-kind running event in Singapore, it saw 17,000 race participants decked out in a sea of red and white! Organised by Pink Apple Events, the Hello Kitty Run Singapore met with a couple of hiccups that sent away some pretty disappointed adults and children who did not manage to collect their race medals after the run.

Image Credits to Pink Apple

Our Personal Opinion/Review About The Hello Kitty Run Singapore

Hello Kitty is the world’s most famous feline character and people all over the world are organising celebrations for Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday this year. Here in Singapore, the Hello Kitty Run Singapore was organised to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday and because Hello Kitty is ever so popular, we have witnessed both the good and the ugly side of the Hello Kitty community.


Image Credits to Pink Apple

So what’s this ugly side that we are talking about?

Well, this ugly side of people who are greedy and eager to make money and profit from everything and anything that has got to do with Hello Kitty! From the Hello Kitty Wishing Bone saga that we have personally witnessed at McDonald’s outlets in Singapore to physical fights between mature adults for Hello Kitty plush toys, these incidents were uncalled for and it tarnishes the reputation of the Hello Kitty community.

All over the Internet, we saw people putting the Finisher Medals for the Hello Kitty Run Singapore up for sale and the current black market rate is SGD$60 per medal. This is extremely ridiculous; considering the fact that some of these medals that are up for sale are stolen goods and some race participants took the opportunity to take advantage of the bad weather conditions to queue and re-queue for more medals. Furthermore, there was no control at the collection point and the organiser lacked foresight in this aspect.

Having participated in a couple of running events ourselves, once a finisher medal is issued out to a race participant upon completion of the run, the person issuing the finishing medal will make an indication or marking on the race participant’s race bib. Apparently, this was not done at the Hello Kitty Run Singapore, resulting in a chaotic situation that allowed greedy people to take advantage of this chaos and horde extra race medals that were meant for other race participants.

Totally ugly scene.

However, it is good news that Pink Apple Events will be issuing out medals to race participants whom have not collected their medals during the run. This would definitely increase the supply of the Hello Kitty race medal and thus, make the stolen race medal worthless for people to sell and profit from it. After all, the Hello Kitty race medal is just a collectible for all true blue Hello Kitty fans.

So, if you are a race participant and have yet to collect your race medal, don’t be in a hurry to buy it off the black market when it is supposed to be given to you for free. Just drop an email to info@hellokittyrun.com.sg and wait patiently. We believe all good things are worth waiting for.

Having said so much about the medals, we felt that the run could have been more organised. The wet weather contingency plan was inadequate for 17,000 race participants and although the Hello Kitty Run Singapore was meant to be a fun run, there should be an exclusive lane for families with young children in strollers. The race flag-off at Sentosa Gateway also proved to be a disaster for drivers as the re-routing caused massive traffic jams. Nearing the finishing line, we saw an ambulance trapped in a sea of race participants and despite it being a 5KM run, it was 3.48KM to be exact.

Although there were many negative points about the Hello Kitty Run Singapore, the only plus point that we could think about is, at certain checkpoints during the run, there were beautiful balloon sculptures, creative signages, and enthusiastic cheerleaders that spurred runners to complete the run. The Hello Kitty Beach Party after the race was also filled with a flurry of activities and there were ample opportunities for selfies and photography opportunities.


Image Credits to Pink Apple

Should the Hello Kitty Run be organised in Singapore again?

Well, we say “Yes” as it allows the Hello Kitty community in Singapore to gather together and just enjoy a day out with one another. If the improvements and suggestions given by the race participants are taken into consideration, we are pretty confident that Pink Apple Events would do an even better job of organising this themed race in future because so far, they have done a pretty good job organising other races like the Energizer Night Trail Race.

Video Summary Of Our Experience At Hello Kitty Run Singapore 2014


Image Shot Using SJ4000 Action Camera

On this note, both Jacqueline and I have decided to give away one Hello Kitty Run Singapore 40th Anniversary Plush Toy and one Hello Kitty Run Singapore Race Medal and we are intending to give it to a true blue Hello Kitty fan whom did not have the opportunity to sign up for the Hello Kitty Run Singapore. If you know of such a Hello Kitty fan, do drop us an email at admin@awinsomelife.org with your name, facebook name, contact number, and email address!

Terms & Conditions for the Giveaway

1. Like us on our Facebook Page.
2. Must have proof that you are a true blue Hello Kitty fan.
3. The giveaway is open to anyone and everyone residing in Singapore.
4. Giveaway closes 9 November 2014, 2359 hours.

Mark your calendars, it’s time to celebrate the Ben and Jerry-est day of the year!
Since its first anniversary in 1979, Ben & Jerry’s has thrown open the scoop shop doors and invited everyone and anyone in for a free cup or cone of ice cream. This annual Ben & Jerry’s celebration is a way for the company to have some fun and say thank you to ice cream-loving fans for yet another year of support.

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For me and a few others, it’s 5 more days to ORD and in order to celebrate this joyous occasion, Nicholas organised a mini cohesion cum birthday celebration for the wonderful people at SA Branch and my former branch head respectively. Well, despite the fact that I was no longer working at my former branch, I am really thankful that Nicholas extended an invitation to me and I really enjoyed myself that evening catching up with my former colleagues.
The celebration was supposed to take place at the Marche that is situated at the 313 @ Somerset but due to some mis-communication, we eventually dined at the Marche that is located at VivoCity. As I was there at the 313 @ Somerset [not knowing that it was supposed to be at VivoCity], I happily went around snapping pictures of Marche.

I really like how Marche is decorated, especially with the fanciful props and the way the food are being displayed. Unfortunately, photography of the food stations are not allowed and this is something that I can’t understand; especially when the presentation of its food is fabulous.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

The interior decorations and furnishings of the restaurants are also elaborately designed and hence, provides lots of really nice photo opportunities.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

When I was there, they had specials that are written on a display board and I found out that Marche at 313 @ Somerset actually won the 1st place for being the best of the best family-friendly restaurants 2010 in fresh food concept. If you look at the photographs below, you will definitely agree with me that Marche does serve fresh food!

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Here’s a shot of the breads and pastries that were on displayed. As you can see, food presentation at Marche is a big deal and they really put in a lot of effort to make food look attractive.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

After shooting all the photos above, I was about to enter the dining area when I was then informed that the dining location would be at Marche [VivoCity] instead. Imagine the horrific expression on my face, especially when ERP cost $2 and the carpark fee was like $3 for the first 2 hours. Nevertheless, I journeyed down to Vivocity with four other former colleagues in my car and we arrived at Marche [VivoCity].

Well, so here I was again shooting both Marche‘s exterior and interior decorations which I really really like.

This is how Marche [VivoCity] looks like overall. The lighting, dining ambiance, and the see-thru glass panels really gave Marche a rather uplifting, executive look.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Reservations are strongly recommended because more often than not, you would find huge lines of people just queuing up waiting to get in.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Here’s the Friday’s lunch special at Marche [Vivocity]

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

The interior decorations and furnishings at Marche [Vivocity] which really offer diners a rather unique dining experience.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Anyways, Marche is a really good dining place for dining in large groups. Whether it is a birthday celebration, a family gathering, or even a office celebration, Marche is able to accommodate large groups of people.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Another unique thing about Marche is that every diner gets a Marche Guest Card which they can use to order the food they like. Contrary to what many people believe, Marche is not a buffet place. In fact, Marche is like a big food court where you can find many different types of food and beverage product offering and in order for you to place an order, all you have to do is just to present your Marche Guest Card and the kitchen staff will just log the order into your card. At the end of the day, you just need to present your Marche Guest Card to the cashier and the cashier will just processed your bill accordingly. This rather efficient cashiering system saves the hassle of splitting up bills after a meal, especially for group dining. However, one point you need to bear in mind is that; should you lose your card, a penalty of $100 will be imposed and the money will be donated to a charity of your choice.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

So when everyone kinda settled down, we went around to place orders for food and here are just some photos of my colleagues enjoying their food!

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Here are just some photos of the food that we ordered.

Cream of Mushroom Soup with Foccacia Bread

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Crepes with Roasted Chicken and Lettuce

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Rosti with Sausage and Sour Cream by the side

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Pan-Fried Salmon Fillet with Mashed Potato and Brown Sauce by the side

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

1/2 Roasted Chicken with Brown Sauce by the side

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Ok, I have to admit. This is absolutely my virgin experience at Marche and the food was exceptionally good and extremely fresh; despite it being pricey. The whole dining atmosphere is rather uplifting and unique and it feels rather cosy. I will definitely return to Marche to try their other food and beverage product offerings and I will definitely recommend Marche if you’re looking for a unique place to dine at.

So moving on, we held a mini birthday celebration for my former branch head and from her facial expression, we could tell that she was extremely touched by the nice gesture.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

The cool dudes from SA Branch gotten my former branch head a rather cool gift! A dual-sim Nokia non-camera phone which she could use in camp [not all camps allow camera phones and even if camps do allow camera phones, there are certain areas where its not permitted].

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

She was really so happy when she finally undone the wrapper and unveiled the gift!

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

Some funky group photos for the lovely evening at Marche [VivoCity]

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

3 Generations of SA Branch Present in 1 Single Occasion!

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012
From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

The rather sinful chocolate cake that was simply delicious.

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

And a wonderful way to end the dinner on such a high note is a sweet ending!

From HRSSC ORD Treat @ Marche 2012

I really would like to take this opportunity to thank Nicholas for the kind invitation and to the rest of my former colleagues for the lovely evening together. It was really an awesome time catching up with the people whom have made a difference in my National Service and I am really grateful and blessed to be in the company of such an amazing group of people. Well, since I am 5 more days to ORD, this isn’t my ORD Farewell Post so do stay tuned and look out for it in the next few days.

Stay tuned!

God bless!

Hello Everyone,
thanks to OMY.SG and the team from Domino’s Pizza Singapore, Baby and I had the privilege to attend the Domino’s Pizza Movie Event that screened Batman- The Dark Knight Rises.

From Domino’s The Dark Knight Rises 2012

Due to the rousing success of Domino’s Pizza latest Batman promotion where fans could get their hands on the specially commissioned Limited Edition The Dark Knight Rises glass with a purchase of The Dark Knight Meal or The Rising Add-On Bonus, Domino’s Pizza Singapore organised a movie treat for all their loyal bloggers and pizza fans! Well, in case you’re wondering whether the promotion is still on, I regret to inform you that the campaign is officially over today. However, fret not because we will be giving away 1X The Dark Knight Rises goodie bag to one very lucky reader on our blog [courtesy of Domino’s Pizza Singapore].

Inside the goodie bag, you will be able to find The Dark Knight Rises glass, The Dark Knight Rises Movie Poster, and The Dark Knight Rises Stickers. So if you’re interested in this exclusive giveaway, all you have to do is to email us at admin@awinsomelife.org with your name, email address, and mobile number for us to reach you; follow us on Twitter at AWinsomeLife; and finally tweet why you deserve The Dark Knight Rises goodie bag.

Moving on, here are some photos that we took during The Dark Knight Rises Movie Event that was organised by OMY.SG and Domino’s Pizza Singapore.

Check out the happy people from Domino’s Pizza Singapore and OMY.SG

From Domino’s The Dark Knight Rises 2012

The really striking Domino’s Pizza Balloons

From Domino’s The Dark Knight Rises 2012

Domino’s Pizza is indeed the World’s No. 1 Pizza Company because there’s absolutely no other pizza company that I know of that organises a movie event exclusively for their loyal pizza fans!

From Domino’s The Dark Knight Rises 2012

Here’s Miss. Linda Hassan, Marketing Manager of Domino’s Pizza Singapore & Malaysia, addressing us before the movie commences!

From Domino’s The Dark Knight Rises 2012

On a side note that is entirely unrelated, because Baby and I had some unusual cravings for Awfully Chocolate’s Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream before the movie, we were so happy to have our cravings satisfied as there was an Awfully Chocolate Outlet at Vivocity!

From Domino’s The Dark Knight Rises 2012
From Domino’s The Dark Knight Rises 2012

All in all, we ended Friday on a high note because Baby and I managed to catch The Dark Knight Rises after a hectic week at work! All thanks to the exclusive invitation from Domino’s Pizza Singapore and OMY.SG

**********************************************
Anyway, here’s a movie review of Batman- The Dark Knight Rises in case you haven’t caught the movie yet.

Movie Plot [as extracted from Golden Village]:
Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar(R) winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar(R) winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar(R) winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar(R) winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox. The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane.

Movie Review:
The movie is about 2 hours and 45 minutes long and personally, we felt that the movie was of the right duration [not too long and not too short]. We have heard some people lamenting how boring the movie was, especially from my brother but seriously, it wasn’t as boring as what most people would say because from our point of view, the story build-up was consistent and every scenes in the movie were coordinated pretty well. Yes, we do agree that there wasn’t much heart-pumping action as compared to The Amazing Spiderman but what we really like best about the movie were the emotions that the actors in the movie managed to portray. Indeed there were also some lessons that we could learn from the movie and these lessons brought to our mind the morality of society, the consequences of decisions we make daily in our lives, and to question the ethics of business and politics. Either way, the movie had a fabulous closing/ending to the installment of the Batman series and after all these years of growing up with the Batman series, we really would miss Batman. Who knows, there might perhaps be a new series featuring Robin instead of Batman?

Movie Trailer:

Stay tuned to more updates from us!

God bless!

Hello Everyone,
Baby and I were at Vivocity recently for an event and we were cruising around in search for a good restaurant to have our dinner. We had a few options opened to us, namely, the White Dog Cafe, Xi Men Ding [Taiwan Cuisine], Earle Swensen’s, and Akashi Japanese Restaurant. Well, we decided to dine at Xi Men Ding [Taiwan Cuisine] Restaurant because we wanted to try their Taiwanese food and see how good and authentic it was. Sadly, it was a horrible mistake to dine there and we will never ever set our foot into the restaurant ever again. Read on to find out more.

From Ximending 2012

The Physical Outlook of the Restaurant:
We wouldn’t deny that the physical outlook of the restaurant has a rather classy, clean, and minimalist feel. However, looks can be rather deceiving and we did not expect that this dining experience would be our first and last one.

From Ximending 2012

Surprisingly, Xi Men Ding comes under the management of CreativEATeries; a successful restaurant group that owns restaurants such as the Tajiyama, Sukiya, SiamKitchen, and many more. We’ve been to Tajiyama before and the dining experience was fabulous. You can check out our review of Tajiyama here –> http://awinsomelife.org/2012/05/30/tajiyama-restaurant-vivocity/

From Ximending 2012

So, naturally, we thought that Xi Men Ding would be of the same standards as Tajiyama. Boy, were we so wrong!

Here were the dishes that we ordered:

Rock Salt Crispy Chicken [$8.90]

Though the chicken was crisp, alot of Monosodium Glutamate was added. It was quite an average dish and we felt that for the price we paid, we could have had better tasting Taiwanese crispy chicken elsewhere.

From Ximending 2012

Scallop Fried Rice [$8.90]

Nothing out of the ordinary, the fried rice had a similar taste as the ones we had at Hawker Centres. Lots of vegetables like shredded cabbages and green peas were added but so little scallops. Totally not worth the money!

From Ximending 2012

Brazilian Mushroom Soup [$8.90]

This soup was just totally disappointing. The portion was only fit for one person and even then, the soup did not lived up to its, “Chef’s Recommendation” as indicated in the food menu. On top of that, the soup was way too salty! For the price we paid, we could have “Buddha Jump Over The Wall” at FoodCourts!

From Ximending 2012

Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Leaves [$8.00]

Substandard dish. We prefer the Sambal Stir-Fried ones available at those local “Zi Char”.

From Ximending 2012

Wok-Fried Tofu With Meat [$13.90]

Seriously, this is perhaps the most edible dish for the night. But with a price of $13.90, it is definitely over-priced.

From Ximending 2012

Inclusive of one additional bowl of rice, wet tissues, service charge and GST, our entire dinner cost a total sum of $59.10! Seriously, we totally regretted dining at Xi Men Ding! It was totally not worth it. Not only was the quality of food bad, service was extremely horrendous as well. Here’s why:

The supervisor/manager welcomed us, showed us to our seats, and presented us with the menu. For a start, this was just standard operating procedure. Nothing WOW about it. Then, having look through the menu, we decided to place our order and we waved our hands up in the air like we just don’t care. We waved for about 3-5 minutes and nobody attended to us. Then, a service staff saw our hands and quickly looked away and attended to other matters such as wiping the tables, clearing of plates from other tables, and pouring tea for other guests. I mean, at the very least, the particular service staff could have gotten someone else to attend to us or gestured to us that he/she would be attending to us right after he/she is done with whatever he/she needs to do!

We kept our hands up in the air like some clowns until the supervisor/manager saw us and attended to us. The order-taking was once again routine and nothing out of the ordinary. Our dishes were then served and we ate. By the way, the dishes that we ordered were all either recommended by the Supervisor/Manager or selected based on the “Chef’s Recommendation” as indicated on the menu. As we felt that the portion of the Scallop Fried Rice was quite small, we placed an order for a bowl of rice and the same scenario happened. We had to wait for 5 minutes before anyone attended to us. Honestly, we are very patient individuals and we wouldn’t have mind waiting if the service staff at least made an attempt to acknowledge that we needed some form of assistance. We just couldn’t believe that the service staffs are trained to look away when guests are waving their hands to attract their attention!

So, after placing an order for a bowl of rice, we waited… and we waited. The rice didn’t came. We waited for a good 10 minutes for a bowl of rice and it didn’t came. At the 15th minute, we decided to check with the service staff because we were rushing for time and for the 3rd time, the same scenario happened. We just do not understand why it is so hard for them to serve us. Was it because they didn’t like our face or what? But anyway, we weren’t the only guests that had the same unpleasant experience. All over the restaurant, I see guests with their hands up in the air trying to get the attention of the service staffs. Needless to say, service at Xi Men Ding was extremely bad.

After our entire meal, we asked for the bill and was attended by a service staff whom was rather impolite. She gestured to us to pay our bill at the cashier counter and the way she did it was as if we owed the restaurant thousands of dollars. During the whole cashiering process, it was really cold. No sense of warmth nor a fond farewell given. There was no eye contact and no, “Thank you and please come again!” nor, “How was the food? Is the service ok?” Everything was just transactional.

Well, I’m not sure if other guests encountered the same experience as we did but surly, for the amount that we paid for dinner, $59.10; we expected better food and better service. Time for us to move on from this bad episode and dine elsewhere worthy. By the way, the restaurant was running at full capacity on a Friday evening and just because its fullhouse, it doesn’t give them an excuse for bad service and bad food. This restaurant really do not deserve to use the name of Xi Men Ding because it doesn’t live up to the real authentic Taiwanese food and the warmth hospitality of Taiwanese people.

Our Verdict:

Don’t waste your money on expensive below average food that is coupled together with lousy horrendous service. Your money could be well spent at other restaurants.

Ok, before people say that I am bias and not objective in this particular review, do check out other reviews by other bloggers whom blogs regularly:

Review by LadyIronChef: http://www.ladyironchef.com/2011/07/ximending-taiwanese-restaurant-cuisine-food/

Review by Alvinology: http://blog.omy.sg/alvinology/tag/ximending-vivocity/

Review by 1911 Photography and Chronicles: http://fearstar.blogspot.sg/2010/08/ximendingvivo-city.html

Review by Love Oishi: http://loveoishi.blogspot.sg/2012/01/xi-men-ding-vivocity.html

Stay tuned to more updates from us.

God bless!