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Lighthouse Trail by Singapore Heritage Fest2014

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A while back during the Singapore Heritage Festival 2014, National Heritage Board opened up free tours to visit the Raffles Lighthouse on Pulau Satumu which is usually off limit to the public. As part of the itinerary, we had a chance to sail by Sultan Shoal Lighthouse which I didn’t even know existed!

Due to overwhelming response, the good people at National Heritage Board organized more tours to ensure all individuals who tried registering in the middle of the night get to go!

Even though it is a free tour, it was well organized and a very enjoyable tour. The coach and ferry ride was comfortable and they even provided some light snacks!

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We had a nice chat with the lighthouse keeper who shared on their island lifestyle! It is a pretty relaxing job where you get to enjoy an entire island! Haha.

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This is the Raffles Lighthouse! It is so pretty! You will notice that there aren’t any photos which is taken from afar as there is this red communication tower on the side of the island and it is of high security! We were not allowed to take or post any pictures of the communication tower!

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During the tour, we had a chance to walk around the island and enjoy the sea breeze!

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On the island, there is also a small museum which holds some of the artifacts and story of the lighthouse. The highlight of the trip is when we were given the rare access to go up the Lighthouse!

 

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This is the view from the top! From the lighthouse, we were able to see Pulau Senang. We were lucky to have bumped into a retiree participant who were sharing his experience on the days back in the 60s in Pulau Senang. If you look hard enough or with a binoculars, you can still some buildings on the island.

Unknown to many of our generation, Pulau Senang has a dark history. I was very intrigued by the story and decided to do some digging in Google. Here are some interesting history of Pulau Senang

“Pulau Senang was a penal experiment where prisoners were allowed to roam freely on the island. It was thought that detainees could be reformed through manual labour.

The settlement started on 18 May 1960, when 50 detainees arrived with Superintendent Daniel Dutton. Over the next three years, the number of detainees rose to 320, and they transformed the island into an attractive settlement.

Believing that through hard work, the detainees could be reformed. Dutton removed arms from the guards. On 12 July 1963, a group of some 70 to 90 detainees rioted and burned down most of the buildings. They hacked Dutton to death and killed two other officers. 58 people were accused of rioting and murdering Dutton and officers Arumugan Veerasingham and Tan Kok Hian.

Because of the large number of the accused, a special dock had to be constructed for them. The case went to trial on 18 November and lasted an unprecedented 64 days. On 12 March 1964, the seven-member jury found 18 of the accused guilty of murder, 18 guilty of rioting with deadly weapons and 11 guilty of rioting. The remaining 11 accused were acquitted. Those found guilty of murder were sentenced to death, while those found guilty of rioting with deadly weapons were sentenced to three years of imprisonment; the rest to two years of imprisonment.

Most of those involved in the rioting were members of secret societies who were detained without trial and had no hope of leaving the island. As a result of the riots, the penal experiment came to an abrupt end.”

– Wikipedia

More details of the history of Pulau Senang can be found here. Definitely an interesting read to learn more about Singapore!

We enjoyed ourselves in this tour and am looking forward to more of such tours in the future!

Celebrating the Centenary of the Most Beloved Tramp

Apologize for not blogging for a while as I was busy being out and about. Heh. But don’t worry, I’m back!

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My sister’s boyfriend, Hong Yi had an extra pair of tickets to a fundraising film screening event – Celebrating the Centenary of the Most Beloved Tramp: Charlie Chaplin! It was an enjoyable evening with the company of Lydia babe!
Even though I’ve heard so much about Charlie Chaplin, I’ve never seen his film before!

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This event gave us a chance to enjoy his film in a magical way. Three short silent films were shown, yes silent films and initially I was really worried that I will fall asleep but my fear was unfounded as there was a live music performance accompanying the film.

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The music brought out the spirit of the film and Charlie Chaplin film is indeed hilarious! No wonder he got so popular back in the 1920’s! There isn’t much entertainment back then even during the Roaring Twenties and these black and white short films must be a breath of fresh air for them!

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Check out the old school seats at Alliance Francaise de Singapour

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Here are the three films that we watched

  • The Kid Auto Race at Venice (1914) – Est. Screening time – 6 min
  • The Vagabond (1916) – Est. Screening Time – 24 min 45 sec
  • The Immigrant (1917) – Est. Screening time – 20 min

The first film is my favourite! Unpretentious and super hilarious! Charlie Chaplin crashed an actual race by being a nuisance and getting in the way of camera and interferes with the race. This caused great frustration to the public and photographer who are unknowingly featured in his film. Through his various films, I can only conclude on one thing, people in the 1920s were really violent! The way they shoved Charlie Chaplin is shocking. Haha.

Thank you Hong Yi for the tickets and thank you Lydia for accompany me to the show!

Haw Par Villa: Cultured Leopard, Rising Tiger Tour, Singapore

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A few weeks back, Singapore Tourism Board organized some free heritage walk in Haw Park Villa for the public and a friend of the bride I met at Langkawi asked me out to this tour! I said yes and never regretted it! Even though the sun was blazing hot, it was an interesting and informative tour! They now have the same tour for a fee here. At SGD 35 per adult and SG 15 per child, I’m glad I enjoyed the tour free! But if you just want a walk in the park, the entrance is free! So if you have a lazy weekend afternoon with no way to go, drop by for an interesting sight!

Haw Par Villa is a park created by the Aw Family behind the famous Tiger Balm Ointment. It is a park in front of their residential villa (which was destroyed during World War II) and what is left are all the figurines of various Confusion teaching and Chinese fables. Through the tour, we learnt the story between the Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Paw, the two brothers who created this garden. Boon Par is the brainy one, who has pharmaceutical knowledge and is well educated. He created figurines to share with his brother on the importance of filial piety and dangers of temptation etc. Boon Haw on the other hand is the marketing genius and the entrepreneur, though he has a huge love for women (he has got 4 wives), himself (ego) and enjoyment, his love for his brother is strong as well. Together, they created this park and successfully expanded their business across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and China in the early 1920s.

It is interesting to learn the story about the two brothers through the walking tour, as most tourist walking around the park will not learn about the two brothers. Instead, they will be wowed by the Chinese fables and the figurines which looks like the Eastern Alice in the Wonderland. The tours will be available soon

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The entrance to the rabbit hole.

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The children enjoyed the tour most as the guide is engaging with quizzes and gifts for the little ones.

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Go To HELL! Haha, yes, that’s the entrance to hell – The Ten Courts of Hell!

In traditional Chinese belief (or rather a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianist and Taoism beliefs), the realm of the dead is a state of limbo or purgatory and is believed to last three long years. Souls are dragged by the fearsome pair of underwater guardians – Ox Head and Horse Face – to purgatory after death, to atone for the sins they committed when they were alive. – Extracted from the memorabilia book given to participants of the tour.

Titans of the Past, Science Centre Singapore, Dec 2013

My company had some discounted tickets to the “Titans of the Past” Exhibition at Science Centre Singapore and we thought it would be fun to go take a look. Everyone loves dinosaurs or are at least curious about them!

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Titans of the Past is an exhibition of Dinosaurs and mammals form the Ice Age. It is broken up into three segments. The first segment featuring the work of Dr Jack Horner from The Museum of the Rockies in Montana, USA. This was the best part for us, with real fossils and the largest T-Rex Skull.

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It also showcases animatronics from Kokoro Japan which scare off a few young children. Rawr!

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The second segment wowed us with life-sized dinosaur skeletal casts!

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The last segment features animatronic mammals from the the Ice Age.

Overall, it was an average exhibition and really more suited for young children. I think older children will find them boring. The exhibition has a few real fossils but mostly replicas which is a little disappointing. I didn’t like the idea of viewing exhibits in a dark room. Would love to go back to New York’s Natural History museum for the real deal viewed in natural light. The exhibit in Science centre is also rather small, it took less than an hour and a half to walk through them all. Would I pay the full price tickets to enter? Nah. But if I have young children and have never seen dinosaur fossils, maybe I will.

F1 Singapore at Padang Grandstand

So the F1 fever is long gone and I’m glad I’m part of the fever this year! We got a pair of tickets for Sunday Event with seats at the Padang Grandstand thanks to an invitation from our supplier! Weee!

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Beautiful view at the Padang Grandstand!

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Every attempt in capturing the cars with my iPhone look like this! Haha.

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Great view from the grandstand! Watching and hearing the cars zooming around is amazing!

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It was a short experience with us being a responsible working adult on a Sunday. I’m still sore about not watching Rihanna but I heard there were 60,000 people, she was high on drugs and lip-synching to the songs and all you can hear is her backup singer who sounded just like her! So I guess it could be a blessing in disguise for not staying till late for her performance!

One observation at F1 Singapore, there were a lot of tourists / expats and sweaty people with lots of beer! Haha. Welcome to our lovely tropical island-city – Singapore!

Hidden Finds Market by Public Garden Flea at Triple One Somerset

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In partnering with the F1 event, the Public Garden Flea held a Hidden Finds Market at Triple One Somerset in one of their empty office building on Level 16. I love Public Garden Flea and there are always something to buy/see and something new every single time I went.

Here are the past two times I went, once in March at National Museum and lately at Chjimes during Singapore Night Festival!

This time round there were two exciting vendors who were hawking their loots at the flea!

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MT Tape (it’s actually masking tape)! MT Tape has also decorated the flea area with their huge colourful Washi tapes and many ladies (old and young alike) were squealing at how pretty the tapes are. I unconsciously also picked up some rolls and it all added up to twenties for a small pretty tapes. Bad Serene, bad bad Serene.

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These are my loots! 3 rolls of solid colour MT tapes for SGD 10, pretty floral and checkered tapes at SGD 3.90 each and my favourite map tape at SGD 7.90!

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Up next, I spotted Tinkr, a 3D printing stall! A few weeks back, 3D printing was much talked about in the press and it is so cool to see it live! It is still a relatively new technology for consumers and hence it doesn’t come cheap! But you can print a 3D model of yourself at the stall! I overheard that it will take almost half a day just to print a 3D model of oneself!

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The lady at the booth gifted this to me and I am so thrilled to take home a piece of freshly printed 3D shark!

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When up close, you can actually see how it is painstakingly printed line by line!

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Also spotted my friend at this booth by Chubby Chubby and was thinking hard if I should get it. Did you spot him? Yes the owl! It is adorable isn’t it!

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A lovely Owl plus for SGD 28.90. I am not sure when will I stop my obsessive collection. Too cute.

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Also bought an Ang Ku Kueh postcard (SGD 1.80)for someone who loves Peanut Ang Ku Kueh. Haha.

Singapore Night Festival 2013

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Last night, I was at Singapore Night Festival 2013 and it was great to soak in the atmosphere of the spirit and enjoy the artwork on display. The only grumble I have? It is way too crowded and it was a humid warm night. Oops, that’s two.

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National Museum of Singapore

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An outdoor short feature of Light Seeker, a musical by Resort World Sentosa. It was an interesting experience to watch a musical at an outdoor stage.

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Singapore Art Museum. Love the lights and colour, reminds me of pretty colourful tiles.

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The only souvenir I took home? An Owl fan! Haha.

The highlight of the event is definitely Public Garden Flea at Chijmes. Saw many pretty stuffs in there!

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Love these watercolour illustration from Catherine May Tang! I need more wall space for these pretties!

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These customisation illustrations from E’von LeAngelis blew me away! They offer customise cards and prints with your story! It will make perfect gift and wedding invites!

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Love these handpainted leather clutch too! Didn’t managed to grab their card! The colours are really pretty but I thought it is too small a clutch! I need bigger ones to put my long wallet, keys, phone and makeup! Haha.

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Saught. My favourite local jeweller. Love their cause and have been eyeing their Pursuing Peace Bangle for the longest time but couldn’t bear to part with my money. Took up the courage to buy last evening but they ran out of stock! Alas! I had no fate with it. But I am loving their Knots collection, love the Knots ring and necklace! The nice lady at the booth showed me their upcoming collection, a ring that reminds me of the Romans empire. Haha. And I am loving that too! Hopefully they will have a sale soon and I will take the plunge to grab one of their lovelies! Haha.

Independent’s Day Celebration at Singapore American School

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On Saturday, Frontline (a code I used for the company I work for) participated in a carnival held in Singapore American School in celebration of the upcoming Independent’s Day! It is our first time participating in a Carnival and we had lots of fun selling drinks, chips and ready to eat food. It was a beautiful, haze free and sunny day!

There were two funny encounters during the carnival while I was manning the drinks booth.

Encounter 1
Dad: Hi there, do you sell juices?
Me: Erm no, but we do have pepsi, mountain dew, rootbeer, dr pepper, H2O and water.
Dad turns to little girl: Darling, they don’t sell juices.
Little girl: They…don’t …sell…juices…?
Face cringed up into a mess before big fat tears roll down her cheeks and she starts wailing like it’s the end of the world. It was hilarious. The girl looks like a doll even though she was crying.

Encounter 2
Young Boy: Can I have a root beer?
Me: Sure, there you go. Payment at…
Young Boy dashed into the dinning tent and never returned. Two other young boys stared with wide opened mouth. I felt cheated. Damn.

To end the beautiful evening, there was a five minutes display of low range fireworks. It was magical.

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Happy Independent’s Day, my readers from the states!

New Farmer’s Market – Pasarbella

I came across an article about Pasarbella – a new permanent weekend “farmer’s market” in The Grandstand (aka old Turf City), Singapore! It’s catchy name is slightly localized too! Pasar means market in Malay language. It has the look and feel of an aussie or US indoor market and there are many interesting stores featured in the article! Oh so little time and so many places to explore in Singapore! I want to go check it out too! It is opening this coming weekend! Grab a copy of 8 days today if you want to read all about it. I’m salivating at the thought of it already! Hopefully the items sold won’t be overpriced!

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Tulipmania is coming to Singapore!

What’s your favourite flower? My top favourite has always been tulip and I remembered when I was in Secondary School, the boy whom I go out with will shower me with tulips or tulips motif gifts! It ranges from origami tulip, tulip photo frames, artificial tulips, and other random stuffs. Even though I love all flowers, tulip holds a special place in my heart. So why all the sudden tulip talk? It’s because the largest tulip exhibition ever is coming to Singapore! I want to go to Tulipmania!

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Savour 2013, Singapore

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Was given complimentary tickets to Savour – a 4 days event to unite the best in food and drink that is accessible to all. An event to enjoy Michelin-starred dishes and do some culinary shopping. There are also master classes and live demonstrations for those keen culinary enthusiasts.

We started off at the Gourmet Market where there are various exhibits breaking into Jason Gourmet Market, Savour Gourmet, Savour Lifestyle, Savour Wine and Savour Baking. I thought the Jason Gourmet market was fantastic. With generous sampling of cheese, deli and snacks, you really get to sample some of the best gourmet items. I was tempted to bring home a block of beautiful French Brie but decided against the idea as I will be the only one stuffing my face with it at home.

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The rest of the exhibits didn’t excite me much, there were Savour Gourmet, Savour Lifestyle, Savour Wine and Savour Baking. I overheard someone lamenting that there are fewer exhibiters this year and the hall seems sparse compared to previous years. Perhaps it is the first evening of the event and it’s after all a Thursday.

But we did get to eat some yummy pie from The Gourmet Pie Company, they have a booth at Savour Wine and Gourmet Village. We tried their Beef and Onion pie (SGD 6) and it was worth every penny. The beef is in chucks instead of the usual mince meat you see in most pie. But I thought the pie could be slightly bigger! Haha.

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We also chanced upon Windowsill Pie at the Savour Baking section and got to sample some of their yummy sweet treats.

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Isn’t these bookmarks adorable!

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Tiong Bahru Bakery also set up a booth there but tasting bread which was left out in the open for hours doesn’t entice me at all. There were also some baking accessories for sale at the booths from Phoon Huat and Bake King but I’m surprise TOTT was not there!

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After touring the Gourmet Market, we proceeded down to the Gourmet Village where the Michelin Stars dishes were! At both the Gourmet Market and Gourmet Village, you need to buy Savour dollars to purchase the food.

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Do bring along your Standard Chartered credit cards if you are heading there! They are giving out free Savour Dollars if you topped up SGD 50 or SGD 100 with the card!

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We tried Wild Honey’s – a 1 Michelin Star restaurant and chef from UK – Squid and Mackerel burger but was sorely disappointed with the too salty and too oily dish. It looks nothing like the picture.

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We also tried the grills from Stellar at 1-Altitude and was treated with yummy lamb rack (SGD16) and beef short rib (SGD16).

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Lastly, we tried some dishes from this 1 Michelin Star restaurant from Sweden and declared that their dishes are the best amongst the few that we tried.

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Their Cod with Egg of Quail (14) is fantastic. Love the sauce and the fish. The egg was also beautifully done.

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Their Chocolate Brioche (SGD6) was yummy too! Love the contrasting sweet (from the cake) and sour taste (from the berry sauce). Yumms.

Overall, it was an expensive pleasant evening spent with yummy food and great company! Managed to catch up with Stephanie – my bestie from our management trainee batch at work – over random topics.

Would I pay to attend this event? I may think twice, because spending so much on bite size Michelin Star dishes while jostling with the crowd is maddening enough. It would have been worst if I have to pay just to get in. But if I am gifted complimentary tickets on a weekday evening, why not! Hah.

Helping out at Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day

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I was at Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day at Triple One Somerset Finest to help organize the queue and it was the most painful experience. What’s with encouraging people to grab an ice cream when I am yearning for an ice cream and salivating like a puppy looking at bacon!? Haha.

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Collecting donations for Project Happy Feet

But don’t get me wrong, I had a blast encouraging people to drop some pennies into the donation cone, sharing with them the various flavours that they are serving and finally enjoyed my well deserve strawberry cheesecake on a cone! It is my first Free Cone Day and I had a lot of fun!

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The boy scouts encouraging people to Do Good.

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Happy with my cone after some hardwork. You can tell how hard I work according to the messiness of my hair. Hah.

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day!

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If you have not heard! It’s Ben & Jerry’s free cone day tomorrow! As part of work ah-hem, where our company have our first collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s, I will be manning the crazy queue, asking everyone to drop some pennies and dollars in support of their adopted charity program and serving myself some ice cream (I hope!). Haha. Have a blast tomorrow people!

Loots from Public Garden Flea Market

Going to the Public Garden Flea Market allowed me to discover many talented people in Singapore. I’m so proud of them and am so glad that Singaporeans are finally loving flea markets. Not just any ordinary flea but flea from the best!

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An old brown leather bag from Dark Horse Vintage which I love for SGD 55.

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Grabbed a non functioning Polaroid that looks oh so pretty from SwissArmyFries for SGD 20!

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Beautiful beautiful temporary tattoos designed by talented people all around the world from Dottinghill Ranges from SGD 4 to 6 each.

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Another enterprise which I am really proud of !Strangely Yours makes beautiful laser cut woodcrafts accessories that are assembled by hand. They are selling in Etsy too but the prices are more attractive at the flea! Who says Singaporean’s are not creative! Haha. I bought the beautiful bow and arrow necklace for SGD19.90 and the Polaroid one for SGD25.

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This may sound crazy, but yes I bought a stack of yellowed paper for SGD3 from Paper Pan (cute name)! It will look so good when I use them with my typewriter! Perfect for my scrapbooking project. Haha.

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Lastly, Red Velvet cupcake from Plain Vanilla at SGD3.50! This is absolutely yummy! The cake is soft and moist and the cream cheese topping is so smooth and total yums. Not too sweet. I love it. They have two branches, one at Holland Village and the other at Yong Siak Street!

Now you can understand why I had to spend so much money at the flea. There are just too many pretty things and they are not exactly cheap. Haha.

Public Garden Flea Market at National Museum, Singapore

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This Easter weekend, I had some free time without anything scheduled and I’ve decided to spend some Me Time on my own! I’m pretty thrilled to visit the Public Garden Flea and I had a blast with myself! Spent a couple of fifties at the flea and threw my money saving plans out the window! Gosh!

But I’ve managed to pick up a few lovely items and will be stalking the Public Garden website to see when the next one is coming

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Flea Market Part I (in a room)

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Flea Market Part II (Main foyer)

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Flea Market Part III (Second level)

This weekend, it was held at the National Museum and there were over 50 stalls selling vintages, knick knacks and sweet treats! These are my weaknesses! It is the best flea market that I’ve come across in Singapore till date. A gathering of the best artists, crafters, bakers and small enterprises!

Here are some of the pretty booths that I saw! Will share my loots in the next post!

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Pretty cactus garden in jars

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Nice old school looking men’s grooming products

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This palmist is apparently quite popular!

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Really pretty accessories there!

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Cute Original Polaroids for sale!

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Isn’t these pretty! I want one of these!

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Pretty biblical scriptures using typographical printed into various items.

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Yummy yummy cupcakes! Will try their tea cakes next time!

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Beautiful temporary tattoos

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Beautiful handcrafted wood work necklaces!

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Public Garden Flea Market

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Public Garden Flea is here again! This time round it’s at the National Museum Singapore and I am finally able to spare some time to visit! Am really excited to visit those vintage booths and try those sweet treats from our talented local bakers! Yums.

Jersey Boys

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Winner of four Tony awards, the critically acclaimed Jersey Boys is playing at Marina Bay Sands’ Grand Theatre from November 15, 2012 to February 17, 2013.

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Jersey Boys is a musical about the true story of the rise of singer Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It is unlike the grandness of The Lion King, the extravagant of Wicked, the magical Mary Poppins or the dramatic Mama Mia. It is earnest and loveable and the singers are great! I enjoyed it thoroughly and I love musical! Can’t wait to know which is the next broadway act coming to Marina Bay Sands!

I’m eagerly waiting to see Les Miserables on movie!

Chelsea Hotel, New York

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While we were in Chelsea, we walked passed Chelsea Hotel and saw a group of tourists snapping away! I read briefly about their famous patrons in the past and had to join in the fun! Without knowing much about the history of this hotel, I took a quick picture before we resume our journey.

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And lo and behold, an article on TODAY featured this hotel and I finally get to know what the fuss is all about. According to the article, Chelsea Hotel is not just unique because of their long list of notable residents; it is also special because of their free-wheeling bohemian spirit which was led by then owner-manager Stanley Bard. He is the one who decides on who can stay in the hotel, which room, which floor, and how they pay perhaps in their artwork. Julia Calfree, a photographer who stayed for four years back in 2003 shared.

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Under Bard’s hand, it is not a hotel where money rules, he allowed people to stay depending on their potential, a penniless artist with great potential like Bob Dylan fitted the bill. During Calfree’s stay, she had the privilege to take behind the scene and intimate pictures of their residents on a promised of discretion. Too bad Chelsea Hotel is now taken being bought over by a real restate developer, when it reopens again; I doubt it will ever be the same hotel with the old bohemian spirit.

If you are curious about what gets behind the door, you are in luck! Calfree’s exhibition is here in Singapore and you may want to pop by Art Plural Gallery on 38 Armenian Street for her “Inside The Chelsea Hotel” exhibition which runs from now to October 12. Admission is free and it opens from 11am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.

Wine Fiesta

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Have a double date or grab a few friends to go sip some wine! They are having buy 2 get 2 free tickets promotion! We will be going on a double date with J’s ex colleague! For more information, see here.

Avenue Q coming back to SG!

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Just when we thought we can catch this in NYC, it’s coming back to Singapore again! If we can’t get the tickets from TKTS for this, we will catch it here! Don’t want to miss this twice!