Monthly Archives: February 2014

. yoga-to-go session with Stretch City .

It is one thing to enjoy yoga as a form of exercise and hobby, but another when it encompasses much of one’s life. Personally, the latter pretty much sums up my relationship with yoga. Ever since I have started going for yoga classes on a regular basis, I realised that yoga has become some sort of a lifestyle choice for me. I tend to eat healthier (salads and green smoothies!), look out for more eco-friendly and organic products and more importantly, practice mindfulness.

My short (but still counting) albeit fulfilling relationship with yoga has truly opened many doors and benefited me on so many levels – physically, emotionally and even spiritually. Is it my passion? Honestly, I do not know yet but what I know is that I’ve this burning desire to share all that I could about yoga with my family, friends and the community! Yes, that’s my ‘unhealthy’ obsession. Lol.

stretch city text
It was probably during one of my random surfing on the internet when I first learnt about Stretch City, a sharing website with information that yogis love. You might ask, so what is this Stretch City site all about? In a nutshell, it is a comprehensive yoga lifestyle website listing studios, shops, restaurants, events, and promotions related to wellness and eco-living in Singapore. The first thought that came to my mind was that this is exactly the website that I’ve been keeping a lookout for but I must admit that procrastination got the better of me as I never got about registering as a member until a month ago. Nevertheless, there was no stopping me when I finally became a member and went on a “review spree”, contributing to the reviews of several yoga studios and restaurants on the site!

And you know what they say – Everything happens for a reason. My enthusiasm in sharing my interest for yoga didn’t go unnoticed as the founder of Stretch City, celebrity Liv Lo (whom, I must say is so gorgeous in person), invited me to their first ever yoga get-together session!

Remember that I mentioned about yoga opening up a world of possibilities for me? Well, I wouldn’t deny that I felt pretty intimidated to be attending a yoga session meant for yoga instructors/ teachers ( After all, I’m still an amateur practitioner) and in a yoga style that I was relatively not familiar with. But it’s only when one breaks out of the comfort zone and confront these challenges that these experiences become really worthwhile. I took the chance and was rewarded with many great moments – Getting into new yoga poses, befriending other yoga practitioners and even meeting a budding entrepreneur who has just started her own healthy food business! 🙂

Stretch City – an online place to bring together yoga enthusiasts

bikram yoga textWith hot yoga being the trend these days, it wasn’t a surprise to know that Stretch City’s first members-exclusive event was held at Bikram Yoga Katong. While I’m an avid fan of all kinds of hot yoga classes, I actually haven’t gone for a full 90 mins Bikram class before. And gosh, it was tough and I perspired buckets because the room is probably 1 of the hottest that I have ever experienced! Our instructor, Maria, was quite hardcore and made us work really hard throughout the class but it was also under her encouragement that I managed to do the full camel pose, a super deep back bend/ chest opener posture! Wow, I never would have thought that my back is that flexible to get into that pose.

The good thing about Bikram schools is that the instructors only teach 1 style of yoga and that’s Bikram which consists of 26 static postures performed in a heated room of about 40 deg c. So, it will be easier for regular students to keep track of their progress and improve on their practice.
Get ready to turn on the heat!

Bikram Yoga Katong
130 East Coast Road

PhotoGrid_1393152004904Thanks to Liv for this invitation and I’m looking forward to more events by Stretch City. Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertorial.

. Little Black Dress from ZALORA .

LBD quote

I am very sure that the classic quote from Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld resonates with every lady out there. The Little Black Dress is an iconic fashion symbol that will never go out of style and a must-have for every girl’s wardrobe. It is perfect for all occasions, be it a hot date, cocktail party or even for work! With the season of weddings coming up, I turn to one of my favourite online retailer, ZALORA, for some help on getting my perfect LBD.

This Little Black Bodycon Dress by Something Borrowed is a stunning piece with its very own twist. It features sexy cut-out mesh panel detailing and white scallop hems running at all the right places and enhances your feminine curves! Trust me, you are bound to receive many compliments and lots of attention with this gorgeous yet uniquely designed LBD! Make a bold statement by pairing this monochrome dress with a playful Rainbow Drop Necklace to add a dash of colours and fun! 

PhotoGrid_1393160972399PhotoGrid_1393161221332
On a separate note, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Add a touch of play to your life by getting quirky and fun trinkets to accessorize your outfits! I have my Robot Love Ring ($5.90) from ZALORA to put a smile to my face. What’s yours? 

PhotoGrid_1393161302448
Shop at ZALORA SG for your very own Litle Black Dress now!

zalora logo

. sights: turning upside down .

PhotoGrid_1392633782344
Sights: Me on an invert
Working out every muscle in my body, from the neck, shoulders, core, inner thighs and even the toes!


. i need … .

tumblr_mjkkw8GDIE1s19l0xo1_1280

. weekend @ W hotel .

A few months ago, lady luck was on my side and I found myself winning  a lucky draw prize that includes a 2 nights staycation at the very gorgeous W Hotel @ Sentosa Cove! Honestly, I usually don’t have any luck with lucky draws or betting games (TOTO/4D) so I was extremely stunned when my number was called for the 3rd prize! 🙂 Invited my ever-supportive family to join me at W Hotel over the Valentine’s Day weekend. Just a well-deserved break to eat (Greek!), sleep and chill by the pool. Repeat.

Warning: A pictorial post ahead.

w hotel 11
w hotel 12
w hotel 5

w hotel 3

w hotel 1
w hotel 2

w hotel 4
w hotel 6

w hotel 7
w hotel 10
PhotoGrid_1393080102834
w hotel 9
w hotel 8
w hotel 13
w hotel 17
w hotel 15

w hotel 16
w hotel 19
w hotel 18
w hotel 14

quote

. adam park project .

For many years, I have always wondered what lies beyond the NUSS Guild House located at 7 Adam Road but somehow, I never did get the chance to explore the 19 black-and-white colonial houses that make up the Adam Park estate. Lady luck was on my side when I found out that the National Heritage Board was organizing “limited edition” tours to bring visitors to Adam Park and discover for themselves the role that the estate had played during World War II.  And yours truly, along with my ever-adventurous mum, were fortunate enough to get ourselves the last couple of spaces left on the last tour! 🙂

Unlike the usual war attraction places that tend to focus on military warfare and buildings (forts/ tunnels), The Adam Park Project, or TAPP for short, is a battlefield archaeology project that aims to educate people about the wartime heritage of the Adam Park housing estate through the eyes of an archaeologist. Think about how the location of the remains of bullets and cartridge could show you where the actual fighting between the English Regiment and Japanese troops took place. Pretty cool, huh? Ironically, this project was founded not by a local but an Englishman battlefield archaeologist, Jon Cooper, who is in Singapore to accompany his wife who’s working here! I have learnt so much about Adam Park through Jon’s very passionate and detailed narration – This relatively hidden place is simply steeped in history and I would honestly encourage all who’s interested in our country’s history to join his tour. I promise you that there will not be a single dull moment on the tour with Jon around! 🙂

It will be a huge challenge for me to squeeze 1.5 hours worth of information into this entry without making it sound like a thesis paper or boring you out. So, I’ll try my best to capture just the main points and share a teaser of what to expect. Please get in touch with Jon through the project FB page and be ready to unearth little known facts about Adam Park!

A walk around adam park

That’s our tour guide, Jon, who’s extremely animated and passionate about the battlefield history behind Adam Park estate.
adam park 1
The colonial house at 7 Adam Park was originally the HQ for the Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment that was defending Singapore from the Japanese. This house was selected as it sits on a reverse slope and is thus hidden from a downhill view. Strategic location for the military troops to plan their attacks. It is categorized as a Class 3 house; Class 1 houses are located at the top of hill (better feng shui).
adam park 2
House no. 17 served as a hospital during WWII. Unfortunately, it was heavily bombed thus leaving most of the original building burnt to the ground. The house that stands in its place now has been heavily restored and even comes with a private pool!
adam park 4
Research shows that there used to be a POW’s chapel located in an upstairs room of 1 of the houses. In spite of its relatively simple set-up, it boosted a beautiful mural that was painted by 1 of the POW. The location of this chapel still remains a mystery to-date but Jon & team are in the midst of conducting more on-site investigation to solve this mystery. House no. 12 was once suspected to be home to this chapel; alas, research findings had proved otherwise. 

The group of us was also very fortunate to be invited by the expat owner for a tea break at her lovely and huge home! Super excited to be able to get a glimpse of life behind these colonial houses as it was once my dream to be able to live in 1 of the walk-up apartments at the quaint Wessex estate! 🙂 
adam park 3
huge house
As much as I love to learn about the battlefield history of Adam Park, I must admit that a war-focused tour can be a tad dry for the ladies. So, thanks to an ingenious suggestion by his wife, Jon has incorporated elements of social history into his tours specially for the ladies.

At House no. 16, we learnt that it used to be home to a Dutch family that, unfortunately, died on their way to seek refuge in Australia and a German-Jewish family whose descendants had returned to Singapore from Australia for a visit. They even brought along original photographs of their grandparents living in this house back in the 1940s! Wow!
adam park 6
adam park 8
bite-sized info

1. Do you know that this site was the last battle line before Singapore fell to the Japanese on 15 Feb 1942? There was an intense series of fights between the Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment and Japanese 41st Regiment during the last 3 days in the battle for control of MacRitchie Reservoir (water source).

2. Adam Park also served as a camp for an estimated 1000 British and 2000 Australian POWS, who were tasked to build the Shinto shrine in MacRitchie Reservoir. Many of these POWs were later sent to work on the Thai Burma Railway that claimed the lives of many.

3. According to the personal accounts of some of these POWs, they felt that their existence at Adam Park was boring as the work that they did on local shores was a walk in the park compared to the harsher conditions that they had encountered in other countries.

4. The POWs were even paid a couple of cents a day for the work that they did to build the Shinto shrine. In addition, they were given about 625g of rice a day for their meals … Quite a big portion! What some of these resourceful men did, in their quest to survive, was to keep a portion of the rice to barter with the locals for extra food and supplement their diet. Smart eh.

5. Jon and a group of volunteers have held periodic archaeology digs at the estate over the past few years and managed to dig up about 1000 WWII artifacts, ranging from ammunition cartridges to military badges and even, vintage toothpaste tubes!

“Finding an artifact and piecing together a war narrative can be very addictive. It helps to verify historical accounts and shared memories of the battle site.”
– Mrs Helen Mummery, volunteer – 

adam park 7

More Links!
The Adam Park Project (TAPP) in motion
The Adam Park Project FaceBook
Interview with TAPP Founder, Jon Cooper

. sights: tree of life .

tree of life
Sights: An art sculpture spotted in the heartlands
The “Tree of Life” art display was commissioned to bring arts closer to the community and is inspired by the theme of racial harmony.

. tiong bahru air raid shelter .

 Today, 8 Feb, marks the 72nd Anniversary of the battle for and eventual fall of Singapore during WWII. As part of the line-up of activities to commemorate the anniversary, the National Heritage Board has organised a series of heritage tours that will take participants to the historical sites to “relive” the WWII battles. Being a WWII history buff, my mum was so excited to discover more about these places that played such pivotal roles in the Japanese Occupation  that she actually signed up for all the tours within 5 minutes! Honestly, I think I have the coolest parents! 🙂  Now, you should know where I have inherited my sense of adventure and exploration from! Unfortunately, I was not able to join my parents for this heritage tour as I had already made prior appointments.

Nonetheless, I’m really looking forward to share with you guys about this relatively unknown historical spot – Singapore’s only remaining pre-war air raid shelter which is nestled in the heart of Tiong Bahru.
tiong bahru air raid title

Background: Built in 1939, the air raid shelter located at Blk 78 Guan Chuan Street is the only public housing building by the Singapore Improvement Trust (the housing organization before HDB) to be built with an air raid shelter as part of its design. It occupies an area of about 1,500 sqm (equivalent to the size of 13 5-room HDB flats) and could accommodate up to an estimated 1,600 pax. Forward 75 years later, this air raid shelter is the last remaining pre-war civilian bomb shelter still existing today! Click here to read up more about the history of this shelter.

Exterior: Entrance of the air raid shelter that is located below the flats
tiong bahru air raid shelter 4
tiong bahru air raid shelter 10

Interior: Main corridor that leads you to more individual rooms within
tiong bahru air raid shelter 6

Interior: According to my mum, the interior of the shelter had been left pretty much the same condition as it was back during the pre-war days, thus giving visitors a better visualization of the original state.
tiong bahru air raid shelter 7

Do you know that the air raid shelter even witnessed its first birth back in 1942? A baby girl named Mary Magdeline Pereira was delivered when her mother and siblings sought for shelter during the bombings.
tiong bahru air raid shelter 12
tiong bahru air raid shelter 9
Interior: Overhead wooden planks that serve as alternate escape doors for the residents to enter/exit. Kinda like the trapped doors that you often see in old American homes that have a basement!
tiong bahru air raid shelter 1
Interior: See the structure on the left side of the picture below? My first assumption was that these are bunk beds placed for the residents, in times of war. However, these turned out to be storage racks put in after WWII as the air raid shelter was temporarily used as an underground storage area in the 1950s.
tiong bahru air raid shelter 11
tiong bahru air raid shelter 2
tiong bahru air raid shelter 3
Notice the bricks labelled “Alexandra”? They are made by Alexandra Brickworks. That’s how ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre in Bukit Merah got its name!
tiong bahru air raid shelter 5* all pictures credit to my AWESOME parents

Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter Tour:
Date/Time: 15 Feb, 2.30pm & 4pm

Meeting area: Entrance of shelter at Blk 78 Guan Chuan Street
Registration: Please register via email with jenny_tan@nhb.gov.sg

. embracing who i am .

I was catching up on one of my favourite yoga instructor’s blog when I came across an entry that really strike a chord with me. In her post titled “Embrace Who We Are“, she talked about the need for us to feel whole and embrace our unique & true self so that we may feel fulfillment in life. Now, take this moment and reflect upon your own life. What is it that truly makes you happy? Are you guilty of conforming to societal norms and sticking to the comfort zone, just because it is the easier thing to do even though your heart says otherwise? Like so many people out there, I will be the first to admit that I’m generally a people pleaser and I do seek comfort in external justification. Reassurance and approval from other people that I am either doing the “right thing” or am “on the right track in life”. Yet, despite the nod of approval from others, why is there still the sense of emptiness that lingers in my heart?

For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you would have known that I have been facing a self-proclaimed quarter-life crisis for some time now. On many occasions, I often assumed that this quarter-life crisis stems from a lack of true satisfaction in my job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for the learning opportunities that I have been given, the transferable and tangible skills that I have picked up through the years and the benefits that come along with it. But, half a decade of slogging through the drudgery of life – work. earn money. pay bills. work. earn money. pay bills. repeat. – does get to me. Was this the life that I am going to live for the rest of my life? And mind you, we aren’t even talking about bigger commitments such as housing loans and child support here.  Yet, upon introspection, it suddenly hit me that the bigger picture lies in me. That I have not been able to fully embrace the true me because in times when I feel vulnerable or fearful, I tend to seek assurance from external parties. However, if we don’t feel that we are enough and worthy, no amount of external validation will do the job. We have to love ourselves and be true to our beings, in order to find more meaning and fulfillment in our lives.

As of late, I have been doing a lot more soul searching. Reflection through yoga. Reading inspirational true stories or blogs that resonate with me. Practice mindfulness. Those, along with the process of growing up and having a more mature outlook in life, have taught me to slowly accept and acknowledge that it is totally fine to be imperfect. To make mistakes. To have fears and weaknesses. To fail and fall apart. To be different. But, none of which should make me question my worthiness because, to quote Asami in her blog entry, that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

These days, I won’t deny that I am quite contented with all that I have been blessed with. Of course, there are always other areas to work on. Honestly, if you ask me, I must confess that contentment and living life to the fullest will probably always remain a constant challenge. It’s alright though because that’s part and parcel of life and what that keeps me alive. By embracing who I am and accepting that I am not perfect, I’m making the choice to live a life I seek pleasure in, rather than to simply go with the ebb and flow of life.  If that means wearing hand-me-downs instead of buying the latest trendy clothes, drinking fruit juice instead of alcohol during party nights (because I truly dislike the taste of alcohol), exploring hidden gems instead of hitting the malls in Orchard Road, I’ll do it because these are what that make me happy. A very good friend of mine has always reminded me to “Just Be Myself” and I’m truly grateful for these little reminders that keep me focused.

Many people I know from all walks of life – friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even blog readers – have shared with me that they often questioned their purpose in life. Inevitably, many equate the lack of fulfillment to their unsatisfactory jobs, lack of financial stability, non-existent love life, etc. But sometimes, we need to look deeper within ourselves to realise that it is possibly ourselves that we have to overcome. Take the moment to self-reflect, understand yourself better and embrace it wholeheartedly, the parts that you love and the parts that ain’t as great.

“Be in love with your life, every detail of it.”
~ Jack Kerouac