The new Chan Hampe Galleries at Raffles Hotel

June 3, 2012  |  Friends, Life  |  2 Comments

I had the pleasure to attend the opening of the new Chan Hampe Galleries with Charles. Chan Hampe galleries was co-founded by Benjamin Milton Hampe, one of Charles’ good friends and is a very humble guy despite running a luxury high-end business. He is very friendly and I always feel at ease talking to him. He is cute too – Burmese, German mix if I’m not wrong. Anyway. :P

I will be honest with everyone here, I am no art buff and hardly can draw art. Not unless you consider my attempts at drawing a mango which looks like a papaya, abstract art. However, I can appreciate a good piece of design and enjoy listening to the stories behind them.

I was initially a little nervous to attend the opening as I honestly cannot do art-speak. Computer-speak yes, art-speak no. What if I embarrassed myself? What if I looked stupid? What if … But you know what, I figured that as long as I was candid about not knowing anything, and I went with a desire to learn something new, I should be fine.

And indeed I was.

And I also got to know a new friend, Juliana that day. She was in this beautiful dress with intricate prints but what struck me most was her bubbly personality and good energy. She’s really cool, has a good eye for design and is very adventurous with fashion. Do check out her blog where she shares about her wares and the things she loves! She is also a good friend of Ben’s and we entertained each other while the boys went about to do their networking.

 Clockwise from top-left:
Charles and I, Charles and Ben, Juliana and I, James and Chilli, James, Ben and I

We ended the night off with supper at the cafe around the corner. I didn’t have anything though, because I had already exceeded my calorie count for the day. Charles on the other hand had a carb filled Hokkien Mee but I must say, it was very wonderfully cooked and the extra calories were well worth it …

All in all, I learnt a lot and people were generously explaining to me about the different pieces of art on the wall. I guess, it really does help to look damn lost sometimes. ;)

Dionis, signing off!


G-Munster and my underskirt.

May 25, 2012  |  Shopping  |  No Comments

I am a self proclaimed G-Market monster aka G-munster. I love this online shopping site so much that I now buy a lot of my clothes and phone accessories from it. Apparently Gmarket started in Korea in 2000 and IPO-ed in 2006 – Just some trivia from Wikipedia.

No wonder so many Korean based products. They have recently rebranded from Gmarket to Qoo10. Why the rebranding, I have no idea, but Gmarket and Qoo10 is a huge change and I can only imagine the amount of marketing dollars they have to put in to effect this.

In today’s blog entry, I am going to share some of my buys from the site and the skirt extender product that I discovered for myself.

The very first products that I purchased were actually some iPhone accessories. As we all know, the iPhone battery life is at best, abysmal. I hate to be caught in the situation where I need to use my phone and there’s hardly any juice to do anything. Hence, I went online to search for a portable battery and charger. Just the batteries on Groupon were really expensive, going at $30 and above. The car charger on its own cost at least $10 at Sim Lim Square. Total would cost me around $40 not including time and cost of travelling to get them.

But guess what …

I managed to get both items at only S$26.65 INCLUDING shipping at Gmarket!

Click here to check out the vendor I bought from

Of course I made sure I read through the reviews and found a pretty reliable one to buy from. So far it has been good. 2 months into using these items, they have never failed me. I am still so happy that I managed to get them at a steal, right from the comfort of my home.

So having gained more confidence in Gmarket, I decided to venture into clothes buying. It’s sometimes a little bit hard to buy clothes online because you can’t try them and you really need to trust the measurements that they provide. But I have been rather pleased at my latest purchase..

Have a look:

Click here to check out the vendor I got these from.

The quality is alright. Given the price that I paid, my expectations were pretty low. My regular blouses from Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, Zara were already around $50 and now I get to buy 5 with the same price! So, you pay for what you get, don’t expect too much!

When the items came, I was pretty surprised that the quality wasn’t as bad as what I thought except for the crochet vest which was falling apart. With each item costing an average of less than $10, it gave me a cheap thrill to own them, literally. Made me a happy happy shopper.

Of course my most useful purchase is actually the skirt extender (for the lack of a better description). Check out the vendor here. (This is a Korean vendor and the items are shipped directly from South Korea.) Have you ever bought a skirt, dress or a top that is too short? How else can you wear them apart from the regular opaque leggings?

The answer is in the underskirt extender ;)

There are generally 2 options to select from – the slip type or the skirt type. The material is very thin and immediately extends the length of your dress or top.

 White short skirt slips can be used to transform light coloured long tops like this:

I really love this buy from Gmarket a lot. I have too many dresses that are way too short to be worn for work and just by wearing this skirt, it automatically makes the dresses presentable for work.

Just a note – these skirts are meant to be underskirts, so the material is thin (which is good, else it would be too hot) and only the bottom lace is meant to be sticking out of your dress/top.

Alright, hope you have enjoyed this blog entry and let’s go crazy shoppin’!

Dionis, signing off.


Potluck Fish Au Gratin

May 20, 2012  |  Food  |  No Comments

Went for a potluck dinner gathering at Charles‘ place this weekend. I initially wanted to make a sweet potato mash dish but decided to go for a Fish Au Gratin dish instead. It sounds really fancy, but it is actually really easy to make. From time of preparation to completion of baking – only 20 mins. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to the traditional creamy fish Au Gratin recipes, do check out my modified one below. It’s still creamy but relatively guilt free ;)

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the wonderful food and my outfit for the evening.  (We were so engrossed in eating and chatting that we forgot to take more pictures!)

 

Fish Au Gratin Lightened Up

By Dionis Published: May 20, 2012

  • Yield: Servings (3 Servings)
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Ready In: 20 mins

A baked Fish Au Gratin recipe that is lightened up, tasty and very easy to make.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven - 175 Degrees Celsius / 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Prepare the sauce - Mix the Yogurt, Mayonaise, Cheddar cheese and 1 teaspoon of lemon-pepper seasoning together. I used a spoon to stir.
    IMG_6569
  3. Briefly rub the fish fillets with some sea salt, white pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon-pepper seasoning.
  4. Grease the base of a baking dish/casserole with olive oil.
  5. Lay the fillets on the baking dish and drizzle more olive oil, white pepper and lemon-pepper seasoning over them.
    IMG_6568
  6. Spoon the sauce to cover over the fish fillets.
    IMG_6571
  7. Toss the breadcrumbs with some olive oil and sprinkle over the top of the sauce.
    IMG_6574
  8. Bake uncovered for 10-11mins.
    oven
  9. Turn up the heat to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 30 seconds to brown the breadcrumbs.
  10. Optional - if the dish is going cold, just bake it in the oven at 175 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes to warm it up.
  11. Final Product - Tadah!
    IMG_6682

My weightloss hack.

May 12, 2012  |  Getting Fit  |  No Comments

Having battled the bulge for nearly most of my life, I am very glad that I finally managed to find my own formula to losing weight. As evidenced from Charleswanmushi’s very kind entry of me, when I looked at that old picture that he posted up, I seriously ate one chicken wing too many back then. (Context – I live for chicken wings.) In today’s entry, I would like to share one of my favourite weightloss hacks that I believe was instrumental to helping me lose a fair bit of my weight.

This was me a couple of years ago. I have been on the heavy side for most of my life since I was 7. I ballooned till 75kgs at my peak and that was the point where I decided it was time to do something about it. One day, I jumped out of bed and started to run 2.4km around the track, every other day.

It was a huge deal as I grew up cursing the person who invented this stupid 2.4km fitness test.

Every time there was a 2.4km trial (practice session for the test), I always failed them and had to go for remedial sessions. Remedial classes for the most torturing subject in school! I would take 4 hours Chinese remedial over 30 minutes 2.4km remedial! Taking the actual 2.4km test was an emotional experience every year. I would bawl my eyes out at the end of the run because I would push myself too hard just to scrape a pass.

Through my run, I managed to lose some weight, but it was tough to keep up doing something that I didn’t like. Eventually I stopped running and stagnated again. It was only a couple of years later that I started to notice how my body worked and found a way that I could easily manage my weight without torturing myself.

eating less daily while eating more frequently

My simple strategy is to eat less calories per day but eat many more times. Weightloss = output > input. Tweak either the output or input to effect your weight loss.

And so I ate less, but I made sure that I do not go below 1200 calories (my dietician worked this out for me) as this would put my body in starvation mode and make me fatter in the future. I do allow myself to eat more than this of course, but when I know I need to lose weight, I will restrict calories to 1200.

Junk food that I eat

I was always snacking and eating something. Eating constantly made it easier to not overeat at meal times while driving up my metabolism. I ate so many times and anything I like, down to Ben & Jerry’s icecream and roasted pork. In fact, I had some friends think that I was having some sort of disorder just because I seem to be always eating but am getting skinnier at the same time.

The truth is – it is really just a simple manipulation of daily caloric intake.

I took to this like how fish take to water. It was so easy to just eat less compared to bringing myself to run and gym on a consistent basis. Don’t misunderstand, I still do exercise; I swim, love to take long walks and I climb a lot of stairs at work (like seriously a lot) but cardio for weightloss to me is so difficult compared to the technique of “eating less”.  I exercise to stay healthy but I love to use this weightloss hack to lose weight.

What is your own weightloss hack? Do share with me in the comments below! :)

Dionis, signing off.


Some credits :)

May 4, 2012  |  Friends, Life  |  No Comments

Today I am writing an entire entry to thank 2 very close friends of mine. They have generously contributed their time and energy to helping me get my blog going, on top of listening to me bitch, moan and whine over gchat/whatsapp/facebook on a constant basis. That’s what good friends are for lol. They are none other than Charles Ng and Vicki Lew

Charles has been a wonderful friend to me. I knew him when I was only 18 years old at the NUSSU Union Camp. He was my orientation group councillor. Despite the fact that he belonged to the pageant group (when you are in pageant, you’re perceived to be the princes and princesses in the school), he was always sincere and down-to-earth.

He would talk, interact and goof around with my group (the geeky ones) without any airs at all. We were extremely surprised because we were under the impression that good looking people are kinda proud somewhere. We kept in touch on and off but never had the opportunity to be on close terms.

Fast forward a few years later, fate decreed that Charles needed to check out one of Cleo’s magazine columns to see if his products were in line with the feature objectives. And me, being an avid collector of magazines happened to have that particular issue and I left it at my shop for him to pick up. He said it was through this Cleo magazine that he got acquainted with the editors which opened the doors to him becoming one of Cleo’s top 50 bachelors and sincerely thanked me for it. He is way too kind with his words as I hardly did anything except to dig under a dusty stack of magazines. LOL. However, it was really through this that we started to reconnect and get to know each other beyond the “senior-junior” friendship.

Me being cheeky.

It helps that we live very close to each other and he always welcomes me to hang out at his place. Haha, sounds super scandalous, but we are just very good friends. He’s like the big brother that I never had, always looking out for me and checking in on me. He gives me relationship advice from a guy’s POV which is very important because girls and guys can think very differently. (You don’t say… LOL)

Charleswanmushi Moving Branch

Charles is also the wonderful photographer for the masthead image on my blog. He has modelled quite a bit so he knows how to capture the awesome angles of a person. That’s him above moving the branches around to compose the image. Very professional while I stand and snap random pictures around. I am very grateful for his help in composing and taking the pictures. He even edited them and removed the unflattering bits here and there. Will be posting up the rest of the pictures soon.

Thank you @Charleswanmushi for everything! :)

Vicki is my good friend and sister that I treasure greatly. We met while we were attending coaching courses together. Being the geek girls in our group, we found many topics to yak about. (She the web designer, me the comp engineer)

Somehow the combination of the booksmart (fine, bookworm :P ) me and the streetsmart her resulted in quite a bit of chemistry and we went on to become close friends and business partners.

We paired up to create the (in)famous AWARE Shut Up and Sit Down T-Shirts that went crazily viral in 2009. I just came back from a Guangzhou business trip and suddenly she gchat-ed me at 3am in the morning about the Tees and asked if I would like to partner up with her to produce them. Back then it was a real challenge, because I needed to produce hundreds of PINK coloured tees in less than 10 days. I don’t produce in-house tees in my factory and I would need to order them somewhere that could meet the colour and timeline requirements.

I was terrified but after thinking for 3 minutes, I said, why not? Aiya, don’t think so much. Do first then worry. So that period of time was intense. We had the media calling us, twitter account exploding with enquiries, suppliers after suppliers telling me pink tees in 10 days is impossible. Luckily she handled all the PR and orders side while I focused on the production. Hand in hand we gritted through and produced the shirts in time. I am still amazed till this day by this crazy thing we did together!

Our birthdays are also one week apart and we like to have a combined birthday party to celebrate our 25th every year. Everyone’s 25 when they attend our party! And this is how we look like the next day after our parties…

What happened last night?

Hahaha, ramblings aside, I really want to thank Vicki for helping me edit and beautify the header picture. She also gave me some advice on my overall blog design which I am also grateful for. She runs her own design boutique and at the same time has a little craft shop (really cute stuff) going on. Do check them out!

I count my blessings that I have met them both and connected in so many ways that really add so much more colour to my life.

To friendship and many more awesome years ahead!

Cheers

Dionis