Category Archives: About Singapore

. SG Design Week: I’m a Designer! .

Maketh Project x Think Tank Studio

Guess what? The leather wallet that I designed and made from scratch is on display for the SG Design Week 2015! I’m no professional artist or designer; Hence it is such a huge honor for me to have my very own creation specially selected for this mini exhibition! Definitely one of the proudest moments in my life! If you happened to be around Bugis area, remember to drop by Maketh Project studio and take a look at the other handmade leather crafts. Support & Buy Local! 🙂 


I have always enjoyed making handicrafts since I was a little girl but when commitments set in, life gives way to bigger priorities such as working to earn a salary, exercising to keep healthy, hanging out with friends to maintain a work-life balance. In other words, gone were the days when I used to indulge in some DIY therapy. However, a life-threatening injury that I sustained last year made me reflect upon my life and I made the decision to return one of my first loves and give leather crafting a try!

There are several places that offer leather crafting workshops but what that drew me to Maketh Project is the owners’ willingness to share their passion for leather with the community and give the masses (like you and me) the opportunity to create leather products based on our own designs! Yes, you are your own designer and creator! 🙂 Nothing beats the feeling and sense of accomplishment of being the ambassador of your own creation. Moreover, I like that the studio offers a hipster yet intimate environment that breaks down all pretence and encourages an exchange of ideas and creativity amongst like-minded people from all walks of life.

This red and black clutch replaces my “lunch bag” and it is designed such that it is compact enough to store my notes, essential cards and even, the mobile phone! My leather crafting addiction continues because there’s nothing more rewarding than to be able to design and craft your own products! 

. weekend: bits and pieces .

Weekends / 1st handmade match-mini giveaway on Carousell / Becoming an instant ABBA fan after listening to the tunes of the ultimate feel-good musical Mama Mia! / Couchsurfer Newbie in action – Bringing my first couchsurfers from Greece & India to Gardens by the Bay and Float @ The Bay / Farewell dinner for Sara / Chilling to the jazz beats at WooBar, W Hotel / Our favourite Place – Off we go to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo / Embarking on our first buddy run together. So proud of little Simba for completing the run! / Girls Gone Wild at Montigo Batam 

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. Halloween @ Woodgrove 2014 .

Do you know that Halloween is the second most popular family occasion after Christmas in United States? Likewise, it is fast becoming one of the most celebrated holiday in Singapore, with people from all walks of life splashing hundreds of dollars on parties and costumes. Amid the many club parties and scary events, there lies a neighbourhood that goes all out to celebrate the spirit of good old Trick-or-Treat.

Halloween at Woodgrove estate is a celebration, like no other on our red dot. Every year on 31 October, thousands of people – locals and expats – from all over the island flock to Woodgrove, where the huge houses are decked in spooky and ghoulish decorations. Think skeletons and coffins. There was even a house that went all out to give this family-friendly event a dose of spookiness – It had a fog machine to produce an eerie atmosphere and several automated life-like mannequins, similar to those that you would expect to spot in a haunted house attraction! Darn cool. While some people had opted to don scary outfits for this event (Sadako is still a classic choice), you will be surprised to see that most were very creative with their choice of PG costumes. Some of my personal favourites are Starbucks and popcorn, family of superheros (Hot mummy as Wonder Woman and 3 adorable boys as Ironman, Spiderman and Batman), and mime artists!

And this is the reason why Halloween @ Woodgrove is an annual street party not to be missed; It offers the quintessential Halloween experience and remains as my no. 1 place to visit for Halloween every year! Unlike the past couple of years where I was too lazy to dress up, I decided to be a little more “hardworking” this year and went as Supergirl with her superdog (Simba)! The couple-matching costume might sound a tad tacky but trust me, it was a winning combination that had attracted A LOT of attention. So much so that little Simba refused to walk and had to be carried around because he was overwhelmed by the excessive amount of attention. Well, can’t blame him as everyone was cooing and fawning over the little Superdog – He was the star of the night!

To fully immerse in the traditional trick-or-treat experience, my mum suggested that we give out sweet treats to the hordes of people while on-the-move. Thanks to her fantastic idea, we became instant ‘celebrities’ and had a non-stop stream of trick-or-treaters of all ages coming to us for candies and chocolates … It was, I must say, quite chaotic! All in the spirit of fun and giving. 🙂 I might have outgrown the age of trick-or-treat a long time ago (!!!) but thanks to my ever enthusiastic and amazing family and friends (Soy, Swiss, Adeline and their girlfriends), Halloween @ Woodgrove’ 2014 will always have a special place in my heart.

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. The Entertainer Singapore 2015 .

Who doesn’t love a good deal? I know I do! For anyone who enjoys great deals like me, you will be excited to know that The Entertainer has just launched its The Entertainer Singapore 2015 app! Offering over 750 Buy One Get One Free deals for anything from the hottest nightspots to unique staycations, The Entertainer app and book allow you to save while you enjoy! That’s $89,000 in savings for you! Wow!

The Entertainer 2015_Savings
My favourite part of the app is that it also includes The Entertainer Travel 2015 that offers more than 250 free accommodation in renowned hotels across Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. Why not pamper yourself with a luxurious stay in The Banyan Tree resort or Shangri-La Hotel at half of its usual price? That means you get to enjoy an additional night for free, when you book a night at any of the hotels under The Entertainer! Sounds fantastic yah? Time for me to hit the road soon!

The Entertainer 2015_Hotel offers
Bored of hitting the usual places in town? With The Entertainer app, you will have no shortage of new dining places or activities to try! Make this your New Year resolution to have an open mind and adventurous spirit to take on new and exciting things in life!

The Entertainer 2015_Discover

Enjoy an early bird discount of SG$60 (usual: $75) when you purchase The Entertainer Singapore 2015 app before the end of the year (31 Dec 2014)! Treat your loved ones or friends to this brilliant yet very useful Christmas present during this season of giving! Good things must always be shared. 🙂

The Entertainer SG 2015

Enjoy The Entertainer Travel 2015 for free, when you purchase The Entertainer Singapore 2015 app.

I’m sold. Where can I find out more about this amazing app?
Discover more with The Entertainer Singapore 2015 app!

. singapore writers’ festival – text in the city .

The annual Singapore Writers’ Festival (SWF) came to a close last Sunday with a light-hearted debate on whether ‘True art is always ugly’. It was my first time attending a literary art festival and I must say that I have been more than impressed by the festival’s line-up of writers and wide offerings of panel discussions. Most of the panel discussions that I had attended over the past 2 weekends were very thought-provoking and engaging. The festival explored a wide variety of topics, ranging from the process of creating a film from books to how globalization has affected the state of literature and publication. The deep exchanges among the writers often made me ponder on the hard topics and there were even instances where I was so moved by the power of words that I started tearing in the middle of the discussion. In addition, the festival’s multidisciplinary approach of fusing literature with music (mainly, Jazz) had aroused my curiosity to explore other genres of literature, such as poetry. I’m certainly looking forward to next year’s edition of the SWF!

It celebrates their writing, it celebrates their craft, it gives them a certain pride of place.

Despite the fact that I was once a Literature student during my secondary school days, I must confess that Literature had never been a favourite subject of mine. If anything, I found it a challenge to write and appreciate poetry and prose. However, the recent SWF 2014 had re-kindled my interest to re-learn something that had long been forgotten. To boost the awareness and appreciation of Singapore poetry among Singaporeans, The Arts House, together with the National Arts Council, has kick-started a nation-wide campaign called “Text in the City“.

The Text In The City mobile app invite users to explore our island and uncover the stories and secrets surrounding these places. Take time to pen your very own poems for the places that you feel for!

text in the city


Appreciate Singapore poetry with Text In The City.

. weekends: bits and pieces .

Weekends/Eat A Lot, Sleep A Lot/ Second weekend at the Singapore Writers’ Festival/ Appreciate Singapore poetry with Text In The City/ Food orgasm at Hai Di Lao Hotpot / Happiness is a cup of coffee (or tea, for my case) and a good book/ The Reading Room – Book cafe by day, bar by night. / All dressed up for my favourite Halloween @ Woodgrove/ Beware of the Superdog

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. Singapore Writers’ Festival 2014 .

This year has truly been a festival of all sorts for me – From dancing the night away at Future Music Festival Asia in KL to getting lost in the enchanting wonders of the Singapore Garden Festival and watching an artsy film at the Design Film Festival; I have been very fortunate to be exposed to so many different forms of creativity and expression. Rounding up the series of festivals is one of Asia’s premier literary events, the annual Singapore Writers Festival 2014 (SWF). For the 17th installation, the organizing committee has invited some of the world’s most renowned authors and writers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, 3-time US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, American travel writer Paul Theroux and best-selling author and activist Naomi Wolf.

Themed as “The Prospect of Beauty”, this year’s 10-days long festival (31 Oct – 9 Nov) aims to celebrate and appreciate the beauty in writing and literature. The festival features over 250 events, ranging from free public events to panel discussions, poetry-cum-music readings, literary meals and more! Want to get more bang for your buck? Get the festival pass and enjoy entry to a wide variety of events, specially catered for the bookworm in you!

Singapore Writers Festival 2014
Festival Pass: $20 

The first weekend at SWF has been so enriching in many ways. I was expecting nothing more than the usual educational talks, where you leave the event with a few key takeaways. However, I soon found out that I was constantly challenged to open my mind to different perspectives that were brought forth during the various panel discussions. Like most people, I love visuals and pictures because they are easy to process; but the power of words is very alluring and should not be under-estimated. Words have the ability to give room for the reader to cook up a figment of their own imagination through fiction. It allows you, as a reader, to escape from the doldrums of everyday life, immerse in another world and get lost in the books. This is probably also the reason why many people prefer the original books to movie adaptations because words, or a good story, allow the readers to come up with very vivid and original imagery in their minds. The only constraint that they have is the limitations of their imagination.

There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.
– Diane Setterfield

While the majority of the panel discussions revolve around hard-hitting and literary topics, those who are looking for something more light-hearted will not be disappointed. One of my favourite discussion, named “Story of My Life”, talked about the life experiences and stories that inspired the authors to pen their own memoirs. Put a diva and self-proclaimed bitch (Godfather of local fashion scene, Daniel Boey) and a no holds-barred theater director (Loretta Chen, who’s also 1 of my favourite (ex)boss) together in the same room and it’s almost a guarantee that there will be lots of candid and funny moments.


On the other hand, Sunday’s talks regarding humanitarian rights and the meaning of freedom in an oppressive country were much more serious and thought-provoking. Dr Mukesh Kapila, former head of the UN mission in Sudan, and human rights activist, Loung Ung, spoke about the need for them to confront global indifference about poverty and help break the silence of these people through words and stories. Loung Ung was so descriptive and intense in narrating her experiences of seeing her best friend’s brain blown off during an explosion that I found myself tearing uncontrollably. Then, it hit me – Just how moving and powerful words can be. I am not shy to admit that I have cried buckets over poignant films but this was one of the very rare times that I was tearing, based on the emotions evoked purely by words.

In “The Meaning of Freedom”, Loung Ung and North Korean defector Jang Jin-sung, shared about what it means to be “free” in their respective oppressive countries (Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime and North Korea). Living under a totalitarian dictatorship meant that they had no right to freedom (Freedom defined as having the power to act, speak, or think as one wants) and had to basically live a life that is dictated for them. Their sharing also reminded me to reflect on my own life, and be thankful that despite the many challenges that I might have faced, I am still very fortunate to have the freedom of expression and thought.


. discovering the unkempt beauty of the forgotten reservoir .

It has been a while since I went on a mini exploration trip to visit some of the off-the-beaten-track places in Singapore. Beyond the hipster cafes and glitzy malls. I miss the excitement of venturing into somewhere relative unknown, only to get lost along the way, sometimes for an hour or more, before we finally reach our destination.

“You get lost out of a desire to be lost.
But in the place called lost, strange things are found.”
– Rebecca Solnit

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the abandoned reservoir located near Mount Faber, that dates back more than 100 years ago. Did someone just mentioned about a lost place? Immediately, my curiosity was sparked. In our quest to discover the unkempt beauty and history of this forgotten place, my mum (who is also an inquisitive heritage buff) and I decided to join the free heritage tour organised by the National Heritage Board. The 1 hour long talk-cum-tour was led by Charles Goh, the famous “tomb raider” who first stumbled upon the hidden reservoir during one of his exploration trips back in 2005.

Formerly known as the Keppel Hill Reservoir, this private reservoir was built sometime back in 1905 as a form of water source for the Tanjong Pagar Dockyard. It was later converted into a swimming pool, complete with a diving board and bathing area, during the Japanese Occupation. Post-war years, the area remained as a recreational pool for nearby Kampung residents before the area eventually gave way to other developments. The image of the water source disappeared from local maps in 2000 and hence, this explains why the reservoir has remained ‘lost and forgotten’ for more than a decade.

Interestingly, the reservoir-turned-pool made headlines twice back in 1936 and 1948 when 2 soldiers and 1 young boy drowned in two separate incidents while swimming in the 2m deep pool. Apparently, there were also other drowning cases that were not reported in the news. As a result of that, it was inevitable that the residents became wary of the place that was associated with many haunting tales. So, you have been warned – Swim at your own risk!

In the picture below, you can still spot the remnants of what used to be the diving board.
Today, at first glance, the hidden reservoir looks nothing more than a swamp in the middle of the forest. However, upon closer investigation, you will discover the colonial bricks that are still lining the walls of the reservoir and a small bathing area. Apparently, there is also an old and battered sign hanging from a tree that states that no fishing or swimming is permitted in the reservoir.

To me, the long-forgotten reservoir is a place of tranquility and peace … a calming pocket of space in the middle of our bustling city. With the influence of the digital and social media landscape, it’s not surprising that hundreds of people have since flocked to this area since news of the discovery first broke in September. So, take this chance to explore this lost & found place while it is still unkempt & retained in its raw beauty.

The Forgotten Reservoir (Keppel Hill Reservoir)
Located near Wishart Road and Keppel Hill Road
* Pls wear proper footwear for this walking trail

. weekends: bits and pieces .

 Weekends / A gift from a blog reader – Be Inspired ring. Thank you. / Staycation at Parc Sovereign – Tyrwhitt / A reminder – This too shall pass/ Living life on the edge/ Addicted to The Original Churrio @ Orchard Central/ 14.5 years of friendship and memories with the girls/ 5th Anniversary with the ones who have been with me from the start of my career / Supply & Demand with the marketing girls / Trekking and water caving at Batu Maloi/ Singapore Heritage Festival – My 1st trip ever to Kusu Island/ Discovering the unkempt beauty of the lost and forgotten reservoir/ A day out in the sea with the dogs

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. yoga & reiki with Tirisula Yoga .

Last year, my interest to further my yoga practice fueled my desire to bring it to another level by enrolling in a 50 hours intensive yoga course at Tirisula Yoga. Unlike most typical yoga studios, Tirisula Yoga is primarily a yoga teacher training school and places its focus on grooming yoga and pilates practitioners to become instructors.

And boy, each half-day session was practically like a hardcore training boot camp for me. I remember waking up at 6am for 5 weekends, dragging my feet for what would be the toughest yoga classes I have ever attended and sweating buckets at the end of each 2.5-3 hours practical session. Yet, there was never a time where I didn’t feel accomplished at the end of each session. Through the 50 hours yoga course, I’ve learnt a lot more about yoga beyond the postures and poses – from our body anatomy to the different breathing techniques (which helped me a lot throughout my hospital stay) and yoga philosophy. It had been an enriching albeit “torturous” 5 weeks of lessons for me and my only regret was not taking the initiative to pursue the 200 hours yoga teacher training course, which all of my fellow classmates completed.

It was through sheer determination and practice at Tirisula Yoga that I managed to perform my first proper headstand without the wall! 🙂  One of the proudest moment in my yoga journey although, sadly, my spine doctor has forbid me to perform any more inversions since my injury. 

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As part of my holistic and wellness journey, I have always been interested to learn more about the other alternative treatments that would complement my yoga practice. I was delighted when Pamela from Tirisula Yoga invited me over for their Reiki Level 1 & 2 certification course, where I can finally experience for myself the benefits of this energy balancing treatment. I heard from a fellow broken neck survivor that she even went for an energy healing treatment, as part of her quest for a full neck recovery!

What is Reiki? Reiki is a form of  Japanese energy healing treatment that is said to help promote one’s natural healing process and restore balance and harmony on all levels – physically, mentally and emotionally.Think of it as our Chinese equivalent of “Qi”.

Reiki Level 1 –  This level introduces the student to the fundamentals of Reiki energy, chakras, flow of energy, procedure of self-healing and hands-on healing. Reiki Level 2 – Upon graduation from level 1, you will progress to the next level, where you will be exposed to more intense healing such as distance healing that allows the healer to heal another person without them being present at the moment. Students will also receive deeper attunement from the Grand Master.

IMG_0231Master Paluu demonstrating Reiki techniques on a student 

As much as I’m curious to learn about complementary treatments and therapies, I must confess that I am a skeptic at heart. For me to even remotely believe in something, I’ll first need to see the results for myself. To my surprise, I was shocked to learn that quite a number of my fellow classmates were able to feel “intense heat” radiating from my neck area even though I had not mentioned to anyone about my injury. Apparently, my neck region was significantly hotter as compared to the other parts of my body and unless they have some sort of six sense, there was no way that they would have known about the injury!  :O

Another incident that took me aback was during the distance healing session where we had to heal our partner from across the room, without telling them the body part(s) that we would like to heal. Amazingly, my partner was able to guess correctly that I was offering Reiki treatment to the right side of her arm as she felt tingling sensation at the area! I was, honestly, speechless when she revealed her guess … It was pretty spooky yet aroused the curiosity in me. My foundation as a skeptic is being shaken and I could finally get a glimpse of how Reiki might work for some.

IMG_0248Hands-on healing session for the students

To promote a comfortable setting for all, we were encouraged to cast aside our egos and share about our experiences with Reiki and aura reading. While I am still skeptical about energy healing, my biggest takeaway from this 2 days workshop is learning how important it is for us to maintain balance from within and being in tune with ourselves. Similar to to yoga, it helps me to address the needs of the body, mind and soul through conscious living.

IMG_0336Sharing session for all

PROMOTIONS for upcoming courses!

Reiki Level 1 and 2 course: Quote my name “Stephanie” and get an additional 10% off the discounted price of $700 when you sign up for the upcoming Reiki course at end November!

Yoga: Enjoy 50% off when you sign up for the Jan 2015 intake of 50-hours yoga transformation course (U.P. $1800)!

IMG_0369 (1)Reiki-certified!

Tirisula Yoga
A: 80B Arab Street