Monday, July 29, 2013

Photo Post: "Reminiscing the past."

I know it sounds weird but i always wanted to take photos holding a transparent umbrella. I can totally imagine doing a photoshoot under the rain holding the umbrella, and getting really awesome photos but let's just leave it to next time. This time, i went back to RP for a "project" and thought why not make use of the nice surrounding for an "umbrella" shoot? It was quite difficult picking an outfit because i couldn't really visualize what concept i want so i just pack one of my blazers and a pair of black jeans along in my bag. The photos turned out quite well and while editing the photos, i realised there's this tint of sadness thus this post is entitled "Reminiscing the past." Love it, hate it. Whatever.

"Life is like a camera, Just focus on what's important.
Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives.
and if things don't turn out, just take another shot. "

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Guide to 美图秀秀 photo editing!

With almost everyone having a camera phone on hand, people nowadays take photos of everything - their food, the places they go, their outfits, accessories they wear, happenings and the list can go on and on. Taking photos, editing and uploading them online has been part and parcel of my daily life. Mobile cameras are so good (esp the iPhone 5!) that we don't really have to bring a camera out to take group photos etc, and with so many photo editing apps available at the app store, we can just edit the photos straightaway without having to transfer them into our computers at all!
Here's a list of photo editing apps i use on my iPad but i will focusing on 美图秀秀 in this post!

When my friend first introduced 美图秀秀 (mei tu xiu xiu) to me, i was quite skeptical about it. After all it's a Chinese app and i can't really read Chinese so i hesitated and rely on other editing apps instead. Until one day i randomly decided to download it and after figuring out how to use it, it has been my all time favourite photo editing app even till today! I will go around telling my friends how awesome this editing app is and give them "crash course" on how to use it, LOLOLOL

For those who have been using this 美图秀秀 app already, good for you. For those who haven't or is skeptical about all the Chinese wordings in it, i've decided to do a "guide" for you guys in this post! Maybe you'll change your mind?

Main menu. I think what's important is the first 2 icon. No idea what the rest means. LOL

In this post, i will be editing a raw photo of myself (camwhore selfie, LOL) taken directly using my iPad camera, and edit it using 美图秀秀 to make it as a display picture for my social media platforms! First I'll do some editing to the face.
 photo facemenu.jpg
I very nice one. Help you all translate the Chinese words to English so you all can understand better.

My first step is to whiten/ smoothen the face to remove the flaws.

After which remove the spots such as pimples etc. You can choose the size to cover at the bottom.

This is one of the most amazing feature which is like Liquify in Photoshop! Want a more define jawline, or taller nose bridge? Just simple "push" in accordingly. The results is really amazing. At any point of time, you can undo/ redo (:

After which you can use the other features such as remove your dark eye ring, enlarge your pupils, brighten up your enlarge eyes (LOL!) and soon you should have a flawless face! I know it feels as if you are cheating the people looking at your photos but obviously don't do it until so kua zhang lah! Just touch up abit to remove the flaws. Understand? LOL

After you are done with your face, remember to save your photo at the top right hand corner!

Here's the original photo and the one edited on the right. Now it's time to enhance the photo!

Another range of photo enhancing features which i have nicely translated for you guys *flicks hair*

First up, i decided to crop the photo to the square format so that i can post on instagram!

I have no idea why the photo is mirror imaged so i have to flip it back to the correct side.

You can also use the "Colours" feature to enhance the colours of your photos!

 What i really like about 美图秀秀 is the wide array of filters! Love the bokeh one a lot!

TA-DAH!!! Decided to settle for the Black and White one for my display pic! :D

All in all it seems quite easy right! The liquifying part might be difficult at the start but after you "master" the technique and know which are the areas of your face you are not satisfied with and you want to liquify, everything becomes a routine! Of course, 美图秀秀 is not all about editing your face to perfection but it can also be used to edit purely photos.

Look at the difference compared to the original photo! The end result had a dreamy effect!

That's all i have for this 美图秀秀 guide. So for those who have yet to download 美图秀秀 or is looking for a good photo editing app on your phone, are you going to try it out now? An advice from me - Practice makes perfect! HAHAHHAHA


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Brunch at Loysel's Toy.

Being a brunch person (and someone who always wakes up only in the afternoon during weekend) i was doing some research on brunch cafes and i came across Loysel's Toy as one of the recommended brunch places in SG, so i did a bit of research online on where exactly is the place, the must try food and lastly decided to check out the place myself!
 Loysel's Toy
66 Kampung Bugis
Tue - Fri: 09:00 - 18:00
Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 19:30
Loysel's Toy was not exactly the easiest place to find if you taking public transport. Nearest MRT station would be Lavender, exit at the ICA Building, turn right and follow route according to the map above - it's about a 10 mins walk.
Upon reaching, you will be greeted by this row of bicycles which is available for rental just in case you wish to burn off those calories before or after your meal. I wonder if anyone really rent those bicycles. They look quite vintage though.
A very simple menu on a clipboard. Not fanciful, very old school style. I like!
Assorted muffins, cakes and pastries are available at the counter! The price seem reasonable.
Ordered a hot chocolate which came with a weird latte art, or maybe it was unintentional.
We were quite spoilt for choice as we wanted to try the pancakes as well as the Egg Benedict so we decided to order 3 sets and share between both of us! The above is the Breakfast pancake ($11) Simple set with pancakes, scrambled eggs, chicken sausage and of cos the classic maple syrup that goes along with the pancakes. Quite worth it (:
Egg Ben on Toast with Bacon ($12)

Normally i have my classic Egg Ben with ham but this time, it's with bacon instead! Eggs were poached nicely and the hollandaise sauce was just nice. However, the portion was quite small but i guess that's the eggs ben standard size.
Egg Ben on Toast with smoked salmon and ham ($13)

You actually get to choose to have both bacon or both smoked salmon with eggs at $12 or like what Jiaqi ordered, 1 with smoked salmon, and 1 with ham at just additional $1 to get a taste how the dish goes with different kinds of meat.
Happy us with our portion of Eggs Benedict!

Overall i would say Loysel's Toy is a good place for brunch in terms of ambiance as wells as food wise. The food is good and the price is also reasonable. You can just simply have brunch, order a cup of their specialty coffee and spend your afternoon there with a few friends. I would definitely go back there one day to try the other items on their menu! :D

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Travelogue collage: Bangkok June 2013

It's been almost 2 week since i last updated my blog. Have been quite busy with work, and a little secret project of mine which you guys will know of it very soon, and of course, as you can read from the title of this post, i went traveling again last month! I know i already went Bangkok in March and came back from Brunei in May and the next thing you know, i flew to Bangkok again. That's 3 overseas trip within the first half of 2013! Quite an accomplishment, LOLOLOLOL

This BKK trip was a rather impromptu one, decided less than 3 weeks before departure but i'm glad to be visiting the Land of smiles, or should i say the shopping paradise again! I really enjoyed myself during the first trip in March and after that trip, i told myself i must return again (for more shopping!) but little did i expect it to be just a short 4 months later!

Since i got my iPhone 5 recently, i decided not to bring any one of my cameras along (for the first time ever for an overseas trip!) and rely on my iPhone instead if i wish to take any photos. After all i already did a travelogue for BKK and  there's no point writing another one since it's probably gonna be the same thing? But still, i managed to take quite a number of photos on my iPhone and decided to put them into a collage for this post! Filtered out 100 photos in total!

These 100 photos were taken throughout the 4 days from the moment i stepped into the airport on Day 1 till i'm back in Singapore on Day 4. This collage basically summaries my entire 4D3N trip from the places i went, the food that i ate and the things i did! Pictures speaks a thousand words and i believe this collage  more or less narrates my trip! Enjoy! (:

"I believe i will return to BKK again. It's just a matter of when."

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tim Ho Wan, was it worth the queue?

There has been so much hype about this newly opened One Michelin Star Hong Kong Dim sum restaurant at Plaza Sing. You read about it on newspaper and magazines, blogs, Facebook, twitter, photos of it on instagram. It makes me really wonder if it's really that good but what's preventing me from going down to try out the dim sum is the super long queue.

I heard the average queuing time is about 2 hours, i have been to Plaza Sing a few times and saw the long queue with my own eyes. There was one time i was craving for dim sum and finally made up my mind to queue for dinner BUT upon reaching at about 7.45pm, they put up a sign stating something like - "Last order: 0930pm. Queue close as we are unable to promise you seating and enough food before the last order." Just when i managed to convince myself, FML
Went back on a Saturday afternoon and was quite surprised to see half the usual queue.
Still had to wait for about 1 hour and 15 mins though. As you are reaching the entrance, the staff will hand you a small clipboard with their menu so you can select your choices and order once you are seated. Was expecting more though.
I think one of the reason why the queue is so long is because the restaurant is quite small...
Rice with Chicken, Sausage and Mushroom ($6) Not too bad, but expecting more than half a mushroom :(
Glutinous rice dumpling ($5) The rice is moist and the filling is really good. Recommend this!
Pork dumpling with shrimp ($5) I could literally feel the fresh shrimps in the siew mai. Not bad!

Prawn dumpling ($5.50) Taste quite normal.
Vermicelli roll with shrimp ($5.50) Take note there's 3 rolls but only 2 in the photo because i was too hungry and ate before i realised i have not taken a photo of it! LOL This taste good, i would love to try the char siew one next time.
The highlight of the restaurant - Baked bun with BBQ pork ($4.50 for 3)

I remember how people raved about this bun being soft and fluffy and one is definitely not gonna be enough so i was really looking forward to trying it. My verdict would be, this bun is really as good as what people describe and i love it!
Queued up for 1 hour and 15 mins for a seat and spent only 30 mins eating. Total bill was about $40 for the above dishes including drinks. Overall experience was not too bad, and the food was above average. However if you were to ask me if i would queue up again, i don't think i will. I feel that the waiting time is too long and not worth it. I'm hoping that when there are more outlets in Singapore (the plan is to open 6 outlet by year end) the queue will lessen (:

I read on the news that there will be an SMS notification system so that people don't have to wait in the queue for their turn, hopefully it's true and what about the takeaway counter that was never open? I want to da pao the buns! :D

Tim Ho Wan
#01-29 Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road
Daily: 10:00 - 22:00