Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Report on My New Resale Flat Pte Ltd

By Raine


In March, we made a big decision. TO BUY was the answer and so we did, placing our option to purchase. A few weeks later, we exercised this option and another month later, we visited HDB for our first appointment. Yet another month later on May 29th, we closed the deal at the second appointment. And the fun begun!

Part I – The renovations:

Faster than we expected, it was completed in just slightly more than 1 week. We removed old cupboards, levelled the wall, repainted the entire flat, built new cupboards for the kitchen, changed all electrical points and plugs, and toilet fixtures, built in new air-conditioners and the highlight of it all, installing the beautiful lights we bought at Balestier.

Highlight: Round ones, square ones, fan with lights, hanging chandeliers and dangling bulbs…what a joy it was to have full control over the visibility in the flat.

“Low”light: The lights with fans gave us the most problems. But luckily, as the shop nicely pointed out, the fans’ after-sale-service proved to be good and the repair man knew immediately what was wrong with the fan: “Oh, the fans are just missing a part here.” YES! It was a common problem and the result was a manufacture mal-function where the fans were all missing one part. *Roll eyes and faint*

Part II – $hopping for Furniture:

...Doesn’t come cheap…lesson learnt.

Or perhaps we should say that EK and I had expensive taste, which we sought to fulfil diligently.

We visited The Furniture Mall at beach road - bought quite a bit:
- The full-leather sofa was a quick buy as the price was right.
- EK and I were into our carpets so we had to accessorise the living room.
- The beds were an expensive but worthwhile affair.

We walked IMM – bought only a little bit:
- Stove and chimney hood were bought from 2 separate brands, we weren’t too bothered as we only rarely cook instant mee.
- We bought bathroom mirrors that we thought were cheap, but we found cheaper ones later.

We made several trips to Courts – and finally bought some electricals:
- We searched around for better deals on the washing machine we wanted, but ended up returning to the first place we saw it at because of its exclusivity and the price was right.
- Microwave and standing fans were quick buys that didn’t require loads of decision making skills.

We also went all the way to the International Furniture Centre - and bought the rest of the big furniture:
- The dining table, tv console and coffee table came from the same shop, which had outlets everywhere. But with each outlet we visited, the price got lower and lower (depreciation?) until finally, we bought it at the IFC.
- We also bought a beautiful ottoman and tall mirror to complete our ‘Anna Sui’ corner.
- And we also bought an 8ft long cupboard, meant for the masterbedroom.

And made many trips to IKEA for the little things in life: more carpets, chairs, desk, plates, pots, storage boxes, etc.

Of course, there were purchases made all over Singapore:
- Curtains from Woodlands for the bedrooms and living room – and we thought he was cheap.
- Curtains from Toa Payoh for the ‘Anna Sui’ corner – but in the end, this was cheaper (we only discovered both were from the same company different branch after we made our purchase). Initially, we wanted nicer curtains with more details, but after our exhaustive search (spotlight had the design, but didn’t have sufficient cloth), we settled for solid black.
- TV from Marina Square Gain City Promotion
- We saw far too many fridges and ended up purchasing a similar (newer) model to the very first fridge we laid our eyes on (finally resolved that it could fit into the designated space). And this was ordered over the phone because we already knew who had the cheapest of them all.

Part III – Lessons on Delivery:

But the most important lesson we learnt from the delivery process of our furniture is to ANTICIPATE DELAYS SO BUY IN ADVANCE! We learnt many lessons when it came to our deliveries:

(1) IKEA and COURTS deliver within 3 days of purchase, so these can wait. BUT if you wait too long, they could run out of stock. When we finally returned to Courts to purchase our washing machine, we were told they were out of stock and had to wait 3 weeks for its next shipment. We were lucky that EK’s rental at his old place ended 2 days before the delivery of our washing machine last week, so we only had 2 days of stinky laundry to put up with.

(2) Always anticipate delays. Delays are usually 1-2 hours off the scheduled times, but it could drag on to 2 whole weeks. Read on…

(3) Our beds’ delivery was chaotic. I was only informed it would arrive between 10 – 12noon. I was NOT informed that only the bed frame was arriving at that allocated slot, and it arrived 1 hour late at 1pm. There was no sign of the mattress or free pillows and bolsters, so we rang up the company and guess what? “The mattresses will be delivered between 3-5pm. Why don’t you have your lunch and our delivery persons will call you when they are arriving?” Said the sales lady who answered my call. The mattresses finally came in the evening, but there was no sign of the free pillows or bolsters. This time, EK rang them to complain that he doesn’t have thing to sleep as he assumed it would arrive. They said they would get back to us. We waited till 7pm for them. No word. So we left for dinner and shopping at IKEA. When we returned at 11pm, I found 2 missed calls at 10.20pm that night, and a note slipped through our door saying she came by our place with the pillows but we weren’t around and to ring her back. The next day, she rang back to inform us that they had left the pillows and bolsters with our neighbours (neighbours we didn’t even know)!

(4) Another lesson I learnt is sometimes, it pays to be nice. 1 week before the delivery of our ottoman, the sales staff called to inform me that they had received shipment that was short of stock and the next delivery would be 3 weeks later (for me in the distribution industry, I knew that these were common). I was most pleasant and told him to try his best to deliver as scheduled. So five minutes later, he rang back saying that they will deliver as per scheduled (to another customer’s misfortune – but that wasn’t my business). So sometimes, it pays to be nice.

(5) Never assume and sometimes, big is not often good. When our 8ft by 8ft cupboard arrived, we directed them to the masterbedroom to set it up. “Er, sorry miss, it won’t fit.” The delivery person told us. “What do you mean? There’s sufficient length.” All the delivery person had to do was point to the ceiling. We didn’t have enough height because of a protruding beam that interrupted the long wall. Lesson learnt. We only concentrated on the length of the cupboard, thinking the wall length in our masterbedroom had ample length. We forgot to look up. We had bought a cupboard too tall. So where did the beautiful cupboard go? It couldn’t even fit into EK’s room either. Thankfully, we had a spare bedroom which had sufficient length and height. What would we do without that spare room?! It is a waste to put the beautiful cupboard in a room no one uses, and that’s a lesson we have to put up with.

(6) Are we reaching the end of our problems? Think again. The delivery of the dining table, tv console and coffee table was another nightmare. A day prior to the delivery, the store called to confirm the date and time of the delivery. Plus 10 points. On the day itself, they arrived late. Minus 5 points. The only delivered the dining table. Minus 10 points. They didn’t inform us they were only delivering 1 item and that the other 2 were delayed in shipment. Minus 20 points. When we called them (they met the wrath of EK), they explained most apologetically (plus 5 points) that the shipment was split into 2 and the second shipment was delayed till Thursday, they could only delivery Friday. Friday came, and they delivered the tv console because when they opened the packaging for the coffee table, the glass was broken. Minus 10 points. But they rectified it quickly and within 3 hours, they returned with the new piece of coffee table (with a very tiny tiny scratch but we accepted it). Plus 8 points.

(7) We’d like to think we made a sales person quit. But of course, we didn’t. We were just being customers asking about the delivery of our purchases – the last nightmare – our 42” TV. We purchased our TV at a road show in the Marina Square atrium on 5th July. They didn’t have stock and said it was arriving 17th July. Very well. The sales person booked our delivery on the 18th. 1 week after the purchase, he rang back saying the delivery is delayed and they do not know when it would be arriving – estimated 20-something of July – so he had to cancel the delivery on the 18th and rebook when they have the confirmed dates. 20-something of July came and I was about to ring the sales person when he rang me, saying that there is a delay and will let me know asap. Then, the sales person made a grave mistake of ringing EK instead of me (we gave 2 numbers). He told EK delivery is delayed for another 2 weeks. This means, it will be delivered sometime early August. The reason? The stocks are in, but because of this huge success of the promotion, the delivery persons were fully booked till 2 weeks later. WHAT THE! We bought early July, the stocks are in their warehouse, but they didn’t have the manpower to deliver it? EK wouldn’t have it. If you have a promo, you jolly well get sufficient manpower to deal with the delivery. EK told him he knew it wasn’t the sales person’s fault, so he demanded for his supervisor’s contact. The sales person said he’ll try to solve the problem and get back to us. The next day, he got back to EK, saying delivery is the following Thurs. Then, he rang again and changed to Sunday delivery. This time EK threatened them that if they don’t deliver on Sunday, we would demand for refund. The sales person agreed. We’ve been waiting for almost a month. Especially in the case of technology, prices drop exponentially with time and the longer we wait, the lower prices go. So EK wasn’t worried that we couldn’t find another deal. But I was reluctantly. What if we meet the same problem of stock shortage all over again. I just wanted to get it over and done with. Thankfully, the TV was finally delivered last Sunday.


Part IV - The Vicious Blame Cycle:

Sometime after the beds arrived but before the last of the furniture was delivered, EK moved in. Having moved in, he tested all fixtures…but, we faced a different set of problems that came alongside the delivery delays.

The sinks became our problem. We had a drainage issue, not due to the pipings, but due to the sinks’ built. Water would not completely drain away as the tilt of the sink did not encourage the water to flow back down the drain pipe. We rang the supplier and they sent someone down. This someone blamed my contractor. We called my contractor and they sent someone down. This other someone blamed the supplier. I didn’t care whose fault it was, I just wanted it fixed. So I called my contractor, who blamed it on “China products”, but he was also willing to fix it for us. But we were fighters, so I rang the supplier and they agreed to send someone else down. Someone else arrived and finally agreed it was their sink’s problem.

And so justice was served, and I got my sink done.


It has been a 2 month rollercoaster for both EK and myself, ending last Sunday 2nd August at 6pm. Though it was a painful process, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves for most parts of it. It was a valuable experience which tested our interior design skills, our eye for quality versus price, and also our patience and preservation. With EK’s never give up spirit, his eye for perfection, and his brilliant bargaining and complaining skills, we managed to save mum plenty of $$$ - of which was spent on better quality furniture, and we saved on unnecessary further delays because we fought for what was right.

Would I do it again? Not unless I’m moving again...

Now, you've been too patient in reading through my whole report, so I shall reward you with a tour of the new flat:

Living Before Time:

Living With Furniture:

Our Cozy Corner/ EK's Studio/ Make-up Corner/ Chill-lax Area:
(people have given it too many names)

Too beautiful to eat...

Open concept for those who only cook instant mee...

Our Electrolux:

Master-room, without furniture...

Master-room, without our new 8ft cupboard...

EK's technological hub:

The spare-room...

With our beautiful 8ft cupboard...what a waste!

End of Report

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Warm Fuzzy Feeling

I've got a warm fuzzy feeling...
And it's not from the coffee buzz...Well, partly anyway.

I don't remember why my uni lecturer talked about him...
And I don't even remember who that lecturer was...
But I remember being blown very far away.

Today, his paintings popped into my mind...
I didn't know his name, I didn't even know if he was a he or a she...
But all I knew was his cozy cottages on dreamy streets...
So 'English' I presumed he was.

Off to trusty google, I typed "paintings of cottages english painter"...
Scrolling down the page of images, random cottages appeared.
But only one caught my eye, Thomas Kinkade's his name.
And very American he corrected me.

And as a warm fuzzy feeling filled my heart...
I was whisked off into his wonderfully beautiful world...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Request for Leave

Name: Raine
Organisation: My New Resale Flat Pte Ltd
Type of Leave: Part-time Leave
Period: May – July 2009
Reason: To renovate, furnish, and decorate My New Resale Flat

Thursday, July 02, 2009

What is Marketing?

You see a gorgeous girl at a party.
You go up to her and say, 'I am very rich. Marry me!'
That's Direct Marketing

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl.
One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says, 'He's very rich. Marry him.'
That's Advertising.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party.
You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day you call and say, 'Hi, I'm very rich. Marry me.'
That's Telemarketing.

You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl.
You get up and straighten your tie; you walk up to her and pour her a drink.
You open the door for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her a ride, and then say, 'By the way, I'm very rich 'Will you marry me?'
That's Public Relations.

You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl.
She walks up to you and says, 'You are very rich, I want to marry you.'

That's Brand Recognition.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party.
You go up to her and say, 'I'm rich. Marry me'
She gives you a nice hard slap on your face.
That's Customer Feedback

"Hi, I'm a Marketing Executive. Will you marry me?"

Monday, June 29, 2009

Autobots, Roll Out!

Never thought I was into Transformers, especially when the cartoons weren't my generation (nor was it something a little girl would watch)... But when the movie was released in 2007, I fell absolutely in love with it! Just don't ask me how many times I've re-watched this movie coz it's beyond my fingers...

Just last Wednesday, the second movie was released. What an ordeal to book a good seat!!! But finally, EK and I watched it last evening. Though I thought the fighting scenes were a little too messy, but it was - despite what critics say - FANTASTIC as expected!! There were scenes you would never expect that added comedy to the serious fights, and many new characters that brought colour to the scenes.

However, as I have not watched the movie many times over yet (EK and I will be making another trip to the movies), I shall leave you with my favourite quote from the first movie...


A conflict of emotions

I've never had such a range of emotions when reading any story book...but the Twilight series was so well done, that it had me crying, hating, laughing, screaming, smiling, wishing, grinning, cringing, etc. And this array of emotions could be just from reading one of the books in the series!

Last Friday, I read finish the last book, and it was perfect...so I'm passing this great recommendation from my best friend (thanks babe!) on to others who hasn't read the series. GO READ...

WARNING: I'm currently struggling to find another young adult romance novel as captivating as this! Everything else just doesn't seem as interesting, especially when I've read "Enchanted, Inc." (another 4 book series about magical stuff), followed by this "Twilight" series...

I absolutely love book series for silly reasons such as the story seems to last longer, and the impressions left by each character is therefore more lasting and more deeply edged into my mind.

Here are my favourites (in this order):
1) TWILIGHT series by Stephanie Meyer
- Twilight
- New Moon
- Eclipse
- Breaking Dawn
2) SHOPAHOLIC series by Sophie Kinsella
- Confessions Of A Shopaholic
- Shopaholic Abroad
- Shopaholic Ties the Knot
- Shopaholic & Sister
- Shopaholic & Baby
3) ENCHANTED series by Shanna Swendson
- Enchanted, Inc.
- Once Upon Stilettos
- Damsel Under Stress
- Don't Hex With Texas
4) O'FALLON series by Dianne Castell
- Till There Was U
- The Way U Look Tonight
- I'll Be Seeing U
5) CHOCOLATE LOVERS series by Carole Matthews
- The Chocolate Lovers' Club
- The Chocolate Lovers' Diet

Are you BOOKWORMED yet?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Title: Twlight series

Author: Stephanie Meyer

Category: Young Adult Romance Novel

About: A clumsy huiman girl named Bella who stumbles upon The Cullens, a family of vegetarian vampires and falls in love with the most beautiful and perfect vampire, Edward. The pair falls in love, she discovers she's a magnet for all things deadly...he saves her...blah blah blah.

Ratings: 10/10

Character Reviews:

"Edward is the absolute perfect gentleman cum boyfriend you could ever wish for...apart from the part where he's a bloodsucking vampire." - The Perfect Edward Fan Club

"Bella Bella Bella...how can you be so fickle-minded, clumsy and utterly foolish? And yet Edward still loves you soooooo dearly..." - The Jealous-of-Bella Fan Club

"You rock, Alice!! The coolest sister and bbf a girl could wish for..." - The I-Love-Alice-Cullen Club

"Urgh. Stay away from her, dog. Stop confusing the already confused and fickled Bella..." - The Jacob Hate Club.

FOOTNOTE: My above feelings and opinions were formed by the end of the 3rd book. For what comes in the 4th book, I do not know. So forgive my continued M-I-A status as I plunge back to the story...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Enchanted by Swendson

In the past month or so, I have been enchanted by Swendson, Shanna Swendson.

Imagine living in a world where magic really exists, a world full of magical creatures, but not knowing it. The simple girl at a bus-stop could be a fairy with wings, and the only reason we don't know it is because they have veiled themselves from us.

In Shanna Swendson's 4 book ENCHANTED series, Katie Chandler is so ordinary, she's immune to magic! Being an immune, she can't do magic, neither can magic be used on her. She sees magical creatures as the really are, like that gargoyle perched on the church steeple.

Having discovered her immunity, MSI, Inc (short of Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc.) recruits Katie to help in their battle of good against evil.

Of course, in all bimbotic novels I read, there will also be a love interest. Who better suited for Katie than the gorgeously attractive and most powerful magic man since Merlin!

The Enchanted series is a cross between Harry Potter and Magical Fairy Tales, and I'm totally enchanted!

Did I just see a gargoyle fly past my window? No...it must have been a bird.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Start of TFWA...

Marks the start of The Fearful Week Ahead for me!

This happens twice a year, one in October at Cannes, and the other in Singapore this week!

Guess which one keeps me on my toes?

Duh. It's where everyone gathers at Suntec and I don't see daylight. This year, I'm fortunate we do not have a booth, but instead, we've booked a suite at the Conrad to hold our business meetings. This doesn't mean I need to prepare any less than usual.

It's still the usual last minute coordination of products to be delivered...
It's still the usual rush to buy food and beverages so that we can feed our guests...
It's still the usual madness of printing presentation booklets 2 days before the event...
It's still the usual need to decorate our 'suite', but at least this is just a simple 3 posters totalling $600 instead of the 6m x 6m booth that cost us a whooping $40k last year!

So why does the RUSH still get to me? I wonder too...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fear Factor

In a fear factor episode on Sunday, the contestant called Raine was elimated in the first round.

It was a battle of love as the host, EK, challenged the contestant to drink half a glass of milk in declaration of her love towards him. The claim was that milk was good for the contestant in terms of calcium intake, with added long term benefits when the contestant becomes old...

After being coaxed out from under the bed covers, contestant Raine took her seat at the table.

For a whole 5 minutes, contestant Raine stared at the half-filled glass of milk in front of her. To aid her along, EK handed the contestant a spoon and a cup of plain water to ease it down.

"One spoonful at a time" he persuaded.

With shaking hands, contestant Raine brought the spoonful of milk towards her mouth.

Da den da den da den daden dadendaden...

Milk - Glup.



Contestant Raine spat the spoonful of milk into the glass of remaining plain water, but compelled with fear, she ran to the sink and puked out whatever was stuck in her throat. Thankfully, it was only milk and water. Nevertheless, tears ran down her cheeks as she cried over the horrid taste of the milk and puke.

As she took the walk of shame, the reflected:

I don't know which I fear more. Milk or the fear of puking after drinking milk. I am hopeless when I puke and I cry a lot because I absolutely cannot stand the horrid feeling that runs from my stomach up to my throat. Perhaps that's what scares me. Maybe it's pscyological as well. I am so afraid of puking and I think if I drink milk I'll puke. So when I do drink milk, I scare myself to think I'll puke and I try to coax myself not to puke but I end up thinking about puke and doing the deed, leaving me crying like a baby. Or perhaps my body really can't stand the taste of puke. I don't know.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quarter of a Century

That’s me! Last Saturday, I turned a quarter of a century old.

To commemorate this ground breaking event, the days that led up to Saturday, as well as the birthday weekend were eventful!

The 16th

Last Thursday, EK received an invitation to the launch of (Playboy) VIP Magazine in Singapore. The event, held at Oosh @ Dempsey, had invited several VIPs from all walks of life – there were playgirls from Playboy Mansions all over the world, mediacorp artists, banking professionals, photographers, tourism development personnel, other publications, AXN representatives, etc…

Initially, having heard it was a playboy event, I was prepared to wear a bright pink corset and black shorts, but after being told it was going to be a cocktail event with champagne and wine, I decided to go elegantly sexy in a deep V black dress - a very wise choice which won me several compliments that made me GLOW...Heee

Check out the playboy bunnies below!!!

Did you know it costs USD 500 for the custom made original playboy bunny outfit?!

The 17th

On Friday, I went to another event. This time round, it was organised by Puma to promote their new L.I.F.T. shoes. It was a complete 180 degree change, from elegant to casual, champagne to beer, classy Oosh to party Zouk.

This is the second time in a row I spent my birthday at Zouk. Last year I was there for a fashion event on my actual birthday, while this year, I was there for another fashion event the night before I turned 25. What will I be doing next year?

The big 18th

A beautiful start to a beautiful day!

Early in the morning that Saturday, I went with EK to Dome for a classic BIG BREAKFAST – 2 sunny side ups, 2 chicken sausages, 2 bacon strips, 2 slices of multi-grain toast, 1 hash brown, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. YUM YUM!!!!!!!

Following that, we headed to Tampines to check out the new mall called Tampines ONE. DUH! Once a shopaholic, always a shopaholic…did you think I’ll spend my birthday without the S word?

In the evening, I went over to my aunt’s place for popiah dinner and YUMMY awfully chocolate cake!! A beautiful close to a beautiful day!!

The day after

On Sunday after church, I went for my appointment…and the outcome…

A beautiful change to complete the big celebration of turning a quarter of a century old! My birthday surprise to you!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

DYE College


May 2009

Level 1



Comments: Jane decided to DIY but halfway through the process, she found it very hard to colour her own WAIST LONG hair and her hair became entangled. She ended up rushing to the shower to wash off everything.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


DYE College


May 2009

Level 1

Topic: Problem Solving using Equations



Jane has not coloured her hair in 8 months. Her regrowth is 2 inches long and she needs to decide immediately whether she should go to a professional salon to colour it, or DIY herself.

(1) Time constraints:
1.1 Jane is leaving for Penang tomorrow night = IMPORTANT
1.2 She is going Japan for holiday end May = VERY IMPORTANT

(2) Other constraints:
2.1 If Jane does goes to a professional salon to colour her hair, it will cost her $150 (promotional price for the month of April) = EXPENSIVE
2.2 If Jane colours her own hair at home, it will cost her $25 for the dyes = LESS EXPENSIVE

(3) Uncertainties:
3.1 Jane is an amature at DIY hair colouring = DISASTER
3.2 Jane's hair has 2 colours = UGLY
3.2.1 Her roots are black-brown
3.2.2 Her previously coloured hair are light brown

If Jane recently spent $700 at FJ Benjamin sales (= POOR), what should she do?


Professional = $150 = EXPENSIVE


Amature at DIY = DISASTER
Jane already has 2 colours in her hair = UGLY
Professional = $150 = EXPENSIVE = VERY PRETTY IN JAPAN

Jane recently spent $700 at FJ Benjamin sales = POOR


Jane recently spent $700 at FJ Benjamin sales = POOR = MUST SAVE



Jane already has 2 colours in her hair = ALREADY UNSIGHTFUL

Scenario 1:

Scenario 2:


Why go through the DISASTER, OR BECOME BROKE? Remain at Status Quo. URGH! What a WASTE OF MY TIME!


...And the award of BEST KOREAN DRAMA OF THE CENTURY goes to '꽃보다 남자' also known as 'Boys over Flowers'.

Last week, the 25 episode drama came to an end. Unlike Korea's famous melodramas plots, 꽃보다 남자 finished on a brilliantly happy note that brought its audience to a standing ovation. The team behind the story did a fantastic job, from script writers who brought out the personality of each character, music which touched the hearts of all fans, to talented actors who cried on cue! Which leads us to our next award...

And the BEST LEAD ACTOR OF THE CENTURY goes to 'Lee Min Ho' playing Goo Joon Pyo, the leader of F4 and also the DREAM MAN OF THE CENTURY!

Needless to say, the BEST LEAD ACTRESS OF THE CENTURY goes to 'Koo Hye Sun' as Geum Jan Di, the girl who dared to stand up to Goo Joon Pyo and became the love of his life!

THE BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR(S) award goes to the remaining F3 'Kim Hyun Joong' as Yoon Ji Hoo - Jan di's emergency bell, 'Kim Bum' as So Yi Jung - Mr Casanova, and 'Kim Joon' as Song Woo Bin - the heart of F4!

And of course, the BEST ON-SCREEN COUPLE OF THE CENTURY naturally goes to Goo Joon Pyo and Geum Jan Di, who made fans all over the world cry, worry and laugh!

This drama has also been awarded for BEST DIRECTING, BEST COSTUME DESIGN, and BEST MUSIC OF THE CENTURY!

On the international level, among the nominees from Taiwan, Japan and Korea, this Korean foursome has emerged victorious, clinching the title for BEST F4 GROUP OF THE CENTURY!

Last but not least, the international award we've all been waiting for, 꽃보다 남자 has clinched the title for BEST HANA YORI DANGO DRAMA OF THE CENTURY, with nominees 流星花園 (Taiwan) and HANA YORI DANGO (Japan) trailing far behind.

Source: The Raine Globe Awards

Monday, April 06, 2009

Confessions of a shoppa-FCUK-aholic

Yesterday, I finally watched the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and I absolutely loved it! Though I do not like the actress playing Becky (she’s not as pretty as her best friend Suze or rival Alicia-Bitch-Long-Legs), nor did the movie keep strictly to the sequence of happenings according to the original novel, but it was a refreshing and enjoyable movie that kept me laughing throughout.

However, some parts were so scarily déjà vu, especially with my recent trips – note the plural – to the FJ Benjamin sales!!

1) The queue before the doors even open!
According to my colleague who went to queue on Saturday, she got there half an hour before the doors opened and there were already 100+ people in front of her! I got there at 10am on Saturday and the queue already flooded to the floor below!

2) The race to the doors
It is all true! Apart from the long queues, the moment the doors open, people literally rush forward and scramble to their desired sections – in my case was the Guess handbag section. Learning from past experiences, I have become an expert and did not carry my handbag to this recent FJ Benjamin sale so that I do not need to queue for bag deposit.

3) Becky catfights for the pair of boots
On Friday evening when I returned to the sales, a large crowd of women ambushed staff in the Guess handbag and luggage sections – everyone eager to snatch any new stocks that was released. It was major catfight! The moment a staff took out one trolley luggage, masses of women pressed forward to snatch it from them! It was an accident waiting to happen – until a point where the boss had decided to stop handing out Guess bags.

I didn’t have my eyes on the Guess luggages, but I had my eyes on a Guess handbag which I’ve always wanted since it got to stores with a price tag of $159.90. Even when it went on sale price at $100, I still thought it was expensive and didn’t allow EK to buy for me. To my delight, I spotted it at this sale! But before the handbags could reach the sale table, it was snatched up by everyone else. I was dishearted, but my desire for the bag took over and I approached a stranger, asking if she wanted to trade it with me for any other handbags I had. She was nice and was willing to give me the bag. YAY!

4) The regret after the purchase
In Becky’s case, as she stared at the bags and bags of purchases she got at the sale, $$$ calculations were running through her head. In my case, though part of my brain was scolding me for the $$$ I had spent, the other side of my brain was chiding me for not getting more because the deals were tooooooo gooooooood to be true! Especially when I found out my sister also likes the bags I got for myself, I regretted not buying more!

Having done the above similarity comparison, I’m not like Becky. I don’t chock up $160,000 in credit card bills. I know whatever I charge I can make payment for… and I only shop wisely for good bargains. I have a voice of reason – EK – who tells me what’s good to buy and what not to buy…so I don’t think I’m a shopaholic...


Friday, April 03, 2009

Batam Revisted.

I have been to Batam before, according to my parents. I remember the part where I got to drive the golf buggy for the first time as I went with Dad around the golf course. Everything else is a blur. Mum recalled that my sister and I didn’t enjoy it, with the many flies and dirty streets.

With a 2 night complimentary stay voucher…
EK and I took the opportunity and booked ourselves into Batam View Beach Resort over the Friday plus weekend (22 - 22 March). We have been saying that we should visit Batam, perhaps on some weekend where we got really bored of Singapore and wanted out! And so we did.

Researching on google…
We weren’t impressed with the resort or facilities, neither with the sights or the attractions. Wondering what we were going to do there over the 3 days, we packed with reservation.

Upon arrival…
We were pleasantly surprised. We were well guided by the staff in yellow who collected us from the checkpoint, showed us to the bus and then took to the resort. The staff at the reception were friendly, allowing us to check in 2 hours earlier than specified.

Superior standard…
Our rooms were of the cheapest offered at the resort, but it was still clean, spacious and comfortable for the two of us.

Touring the resort…
We ticked off our checklist. Restaurant, swimming pool, table tennis, tennis, badminton, beach volley, jet ski, snorkelling, canoeing, kayaking, karaoke, bar, etc. Check! Check! Check! Some were free, but others not. Everything was in Singapore prices and hence, not cheap.

Town exploration…
We grabbed a cab and went into town. The cab fare to Nagoya was $20, but it was quite a distance so it was reasonable. Lunch was priority and we had a safe lunch at A&W before shopping around Nagoya Hills – considered to be one of their largest mall. Sizewise, it was big but shops wise, not my kind of shopping. You could find fake LV everything, or Gucci and the lot. Guess came real or fake, so did watches. Upon closer scrutiny, EK noted that even a cheap product such as a Sony battery charger was fake! But supermarket shopping was fun fun fun because things were cheap cheap cheap. Potato chips at $1, orange juice at $0.50, and Heineken at $1.50 a can.

The confusing ZEROS…
Payment was mind-boggling! Exchanging S$100, we almost became millionaires! What’s with all the zeros! I had so much difficulty counting the notes! The joke of the day: EK decided to split some cash with me, so that if I got lost, I wouldn’t be penniless. So he handed me several RP 1000 notes. I graciously accepted but after a brief calculation, informed him, “It’s not even $1”. GAH! It was impossible to deal with the large numbers of pointless zeros, which made payment cumbersome and slow (for us visitors). It’s such a waste of money. Why does the government print RP 1000 notes worth only 12 singapore cents?! I fancied a pair of shorts costing RP 130,000, and only after whipping out my handphone calculator and realising it meant $16, I finally agreed to part with the cash.

Relaxing Massage…
With $24 each, we scored ourselves a good 2 hour long massage! You can’t compare it to Singapore’s or Penang’s expensive but amazing massages, but theirs was quality at price. We couldn’t complain. After the massage and some Chinese dinner, we headed back to the resort – after a thrilling and scary taxi ride – imagine TAXI (the French movie) but at night.

Sports galore…
After a filling buffet breakfast, EK and I spent the morning doing sports such as table tennis and tennis. By noon, the sun was far too unbearable and we retreated indoors to play some pool. After 2 games where I emerged the loser, we went back to our room. Not long after, rain came down and locked us in. So we entertained ourselves, me as the model and EK as the photographer. I’ve got some great shots I can’t wait to share – but first, the DI master needs to do his photoshop magic before I share them with you. Heee.

Chilling out…
Armed with the bread and snacks from our supermarket trip, we kept our tummies occupied till dinner. After sharing a cup noodles in the room, we went down to the restaurant to share a main course for dinner. After dinner, we went to check out the outdoor kelong restaurant which serves seafood, took a stroll along the docks before heading back to rest.

Surprising myself…
I never thought I could play table tennis that well. On Sunday morning after breakfast, EK and I went to play a round of table tennis – that was a warm-up. Just as I was getting into it, we realised there was badminton and we changed games, only to discover it wasn’t as fun as table tennis. And so, we returned to the table and played 9 sets of exciting table tennis. And I emerged the winner – ok, perhaps EK gave in to me and didn’t use all he got, but I was surprised with myself because I never liked table tennis – not even when we played it during physical education in school.

Checking out…
After the good game of table tennis, we returned to our rooms to pack up and check out. While waiting for the bus to pick us up and take us to the ferry terminal, we lounged in the hall and entertained ourselves with cheap magnum ice cream…YUM YUM.

Batam revisited…
We boarded the ferry and headed back to Singapore, arriving home around 5pm. The conclusion was that it was a good and relaxing trip, better than we had expected. We enjoyed ourselves, but we won’t go again unless we are offered another complimentary stay… It’s fun, but not fantastic, so we wouldn’t pay to visit again.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic (NOT THE MOVIE)


”Hi, I’m Raine and I’m a Shopaholic.” Raine introduced herself at the SS* convention held at the Grand Hyatt.

“Hi, Raine.” The other members greeted and continued with their activities.

Chapter 1: The Calling

“Le-Long, Le-Long, FJB sale ! FJB sale ! HURRY HURRY, DON’T MISS OUT! GET YOUR FRIENDS TOGETHER AND SAVE MORE AH!!” The sales men called and the shopaholics flocked in masses down to the Grand Hyatt for the annual SS convention held by FJ Benjamin.


Raine was among the shopaholics. Along with 2 other colleagues of hers, they joined the queue to enter the ballroom during their lunch hour.

Upon entering, Raine was neither deterred by the masses, nor was she deterred by the mess. Being a well-trained SS member, especially with limited time on her hands, Raine went straight to conquer her top priority – LA SENZA LINGERIE!

Chapter 2: First Stop

“COME! COME AND SEE! Seduce your partners with these sexy lingeries! Or sleep in beautiful bliss with our comfy pyjamas! 1 piece for $25, but don’t stop at 1, BUY 3 FOR $45!”

Raine dived into the pile, shouting “Gimmie 3!”

When she emerged, she found she had 4. No, 5 pieces! No, 4…but the offer is 3 for $45! Before she could decide, her colleague called.

Chapter 3: Plan of attack!

“Have you seen the queue to pay?! It’s super long. We need a plan of attack. Let’s take turns to queue! I’ll go queue first, 10 minutes later, you come over, OK?” Her colleague discussed.

“Great plan!” Raine ended the call and returned her attention to her lingeries.

After a grueling elimination process among the lingeries, she decided time was precious and stuffed the final selected 4 pieces into her TBP** bag before proceeding to take her turn at the payment queue.

“I’ll decide which 3 pieces I want when I’m in the queue.” She strategized and headed over to find her colleague.

She was not swayed by the other sales men who were vying for her attention, “Miss, bras are only $18 each, or if you purchase 2, it’s only $30, but since you’re so pretty, if you buy 3, I’ll give it to you at $36 only! That means it’s only $12 each leh! VERY GOOD BUY!”

“I know, I know. I’ll come back later if I have time.” If I really want it.

Chapter 4: The queue!

The queue was indeed long! While she was deciding which 3 lingeries to pick, her other colleague came over to relief her of her duties. TING*** Raine quickly recommended the lingeries to her.

“Go and see, I’ve got 4 pieces so if you find anything else you want, we can combine and get cheaper prices.”

It was a good move and her colleague returned with 2 more lingeries in hand and Shopaholic Raine didn’t need to eliminate any one of her buy!

Raine exchanged shift with her colleague and proceeded to overcome the next challenge!

Chapter 5: Only at the Hyatt!

Her eyes twinkled as she approached the sales bins.

“You, ma’am!” A salesman called.


“Yes, you, ma’am. Come and check out our lovely Guess bags! It’s selling for 1 for $45, 3 for $120, or better yet, 6 for $180!!! Tell me where in Singapore can you find such good bargains?”

“Only at the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt?”

“Bingo! Only $30 a bag if you purchase 6 bags. Buy a few for yourself, for your mother, for your sister, for your aunty lah! It’s very good buy leh!”

Raine thought to herself, “If I could I would have bought a truckload – it was daylight robbery savings!”

She did her mental calculations. Usually, the prices of guess bags are $180, or at minimum $100 during department store sales. At $30 a bag, that’s savings of $70 per bag (as compared to standard sales). TING!

“Give me 6!!!!”

Chapter 6: Better than Pasar Malam!

She returned back to the queue to relief her colleagues and to recollect herself. She had 8 handbags in her hands. She only wanted 6, but she only liked 5. What should she do?

Not long after, her colleague came over to take over and she hurriedly returned the 2 least favourite handbags. The payment queue was getting shorter by the minute and it was now a race against time.

She chucked the 2 handbags and rushed over to the LA SENZA section again because her sister wanted bras!

The sales men hit the right notes, “…and La Senza bras going for 1 for $18 or 3 for $36. Panties at 5 for $10!!! It’s insane, isn’t it! You can’t even find 5 panties for $10 bargains at pasar malams, but you can find it here at the Grand Hyatt!

“I’ll take 3 bras!!”

Chapter 7: Just in time!

Raine rejoined her colleagues just in time as they headed into the payment section (separate room where the queue continued on).

She stood in line to reorganize her buy. Her other colleague, seeing the many handbags Raine had in her hand was tempted and hopped out of the queue quickly to check out the handbags. Her colleague returned with one handbag and Raine had another TING moment.

5 bags for Raine + 1 bag for her colleague = 6 bags at $180!

So Raine settled her additional bag problem and made payment.

Chapter 7: To go or not to go!

It was a very fruitful shopping trip, even though Raine didn’t even make it to the other sections such as clothes and shoes.

As she talked with her colleagues, she learnt more about the other brands on sale:
- RAOUL - $50 or less for men’s shirts
- GAP - 1 tshirt for $10, 3 for a lot cheaper
- GUESS - 3 pairs of shoes for $99 and more for cheaper!!!
- BANANA REPUBLIC - $25 for a dress

There were also Guess watches, wallets, Raoul accessories, etc....all on crazy sale but she didn't have time to look…so the NEXT big question is, will she return in the next couple of days?

To be continued…

* SS – Shopping Shopaholics
** TBP – To Be Purchased
*** TING – Lightbulb moment
Note: All dialogues are fictitious, but sale & prices are FOR REAL!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mourning before it has passed...

My colleague and I are mourning over Boys Over Flowers (korean), even before it has passed.

Today and tomorrow, Korea will be airing the last 2 episodes to the Boys Over Flowers drama. Along with millions of fans worldwide, we cannot bear to part with the tear jerking and emotional scenes, the sweet and envious precious moments,the dreamy storyline, and last but not least, the 4 handsome guys.

Throughout the past couple of months, we have been looking forward to Mondays and Tuesdays...Monday blues are a thing of the past as we yearn for the weekend to pass quickly so that we can watch the next episodes.

But as it draws to a close, the inevitable feeling of loss creaps up on us. How will the ending be? With Korea's unpredictable and melodramatic tendencies, we are left wondering if the pair will be together or not. As saying goes, all good things must come to an end...

Will there be another drama as good as this?

Friday, March 27, 2009

If only women could be simplified so easily...

Men are solution seekers…they have to rationalise everything. Clearly, the following diagrams are from MEN, but can we be simplified so easily with these diagrams? Or are we the sum of all diagrams? I think the latter.

We add baggage, are unpredictable and hazardous, argumentative, complicated, meticulous and more!

Not like men who are so boring…YAWN.