Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#OOTD: Lee Cooper Spring Summer 2014

Was invited by Lee Cooper to their newly opened outlet at Orchard Gateway to pick out 3 outfits from their wide range of apparels and shoes from their Spring Summer 2014 collection! The new outlet is basically divided into 2 sections, mainly the male on the left and female on the right. After spending about an hour or so of mix and match at the store, i finally picked out 3 outfits (top and bottom) that suits my overall dressing style. Lee Cooper is known for their denim, and has now become recognized as Europe’s first and oldest, authentic denim brand so a pair of denim jeans is definitely included in at least one of the 3 #ootds that i will showcase on this blog throughout a period of 3 months! :D

Here's my very first Lee Cooper #ootd for the month of May!
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2 ways to wear the shirt that i picked. One would be to button up everything like any other shirt and the other would be to use it as an outerwear as shown in my #ootd above! If the weather is too hot and jeans is not advisable, what i would do is swap the jeans above with a pair of shorts (everything else remains the same) and it will definitely be the perfect #ootd for a beach/ picnic look. Don't you think so? The only thing missing from the outfit is probably a straw hat! LOLOL
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Stay tuned to my 2nd Lee Cooper Spring Summer 2014 #ootd in the month of June!

Find your nearest Lee Cooper Store at Queensway shopping Centre, Jurong Point or Orchard Gateway!
Lee Cooper Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Read. Eat. Watch. Play. Eat again.

Ever since i bought my new camera few week ago, (it's the Samsung EX2F by the way) I'm been psycho-ing myself to bring it out everywhere i go. The camera is not exactly huge and heavy like a DSLR but i would say it's not very compact either. Anyway, by bringing it out, i'm like "forcing" myself to use it instead of always relying on my iPhone wonderful camera, LOL Had a random feel to go prawning so i gathered a few friends to head to East coast park in the evening for a 3 hour prawning session. I will go into that later but in the afternoon, it's the usual cafe hopping routine! Decided on Kith Cafe at Park mall but had to queue 45mins for a seat so we gave up and headed to Plaza Sing - Hoshino Coffee
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Heard really good reviews of Hoshino and i tried their French Toast the previous time i was there and it was really good! [AD] Brought one of the 3 books that i gotten from NoQ Store ( along with me so i can read it whenever i'm free. In this case, on my way to town and while waiting for the food! Having no time to head out physically to book stores to choose the books that i always wanted to read, the kind folks from NoQ Store kindly sponsored me to choose the books that i want from their online store and have it delivered to my door step! (FREE delivery with $25 minimum order!) The books at NoQ Store are generally cheaper compared to the stores out there like Popular or Kinokuniya and use my code "ANDY" to get an exclusive 15% discount! Now you know where to get your books!
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Hoshino's bacon Cabonara is simply one of the best i've ever tried! The spaghetti were perfectly cooked and the cream sauce was heavenly. Not forgetting the thick chunks of bacon. Wanted to have dessert so i tried soufflé for the very first time! Basically it is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert. (i just copied and paste from Wikipedia, LOL) Anyway, i first learnt of soufflé from watching Master chef and it takes a lot of techniques to get it right. It takes about 25 mins to prepare so i had to order it beforehand, just nice after i finished my cabonara. The taste is really unique! :D
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Since it was early, we headed to over to The Cathay so see if there's any movie we can catch. Wanted to watch Brick Mansion but the timings were too late so in the end we got tickets to "Walk of Shame" and it was AWESOME! It's been a while since i laughed so much during a movie. Highly recommended for those who need a good laugh over the weekend.
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I mentioned about going East Coast for Prawning at the start of the post right? Well it's because there was a 3 hour prawning deal at East Coast Prawning on and at Singapore you can find a 5% off coupon for So i bought a few of the deal coupons and helped everyone to save a bit of money. Not bad right! HAHA
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Spent 3 hours there prawning and a few others came to join us for a good chit chat session and feast on our catch!
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I like to prawn but i don't like the aftermath which is to prepare them for BBQ-ing. LOL Have to prepare them by sticking the satay stick into them alive, after which spread salt on them then prepare the fire to BBQ. Sounds like a lot of effort but lucky got Josh and Jing long who prepared it for us! I caught about 15+ prawns that night i think! MUAHAHA
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#Selfie with my golden orange prawn (got that tee from BKK, lol)
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Everyone had about 3 prawns each but there's still room for supper so we decided to head off to 126 Dim sum at Geylang area! The photos above are just a snippets of the amount of dim sum we ordered! There were much more! It was a good supper session with lots of catching up (even though we meet every other week, lol) and just when we were about to leave, the cashier auntie gave us a "Mother's day" butter cake each for us to bring home! (It was Mother's Day past midnight) So we got like a total of 8 cakes altogether. It was so unexpected, LOL The butter cake was REALLY nice!
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Ending this post with a group photo! Pros of having a swivel screen camera. LOL

Sunday, May 18, 2014

#CousinsBKK Day 1 & 2

It all started when Scoot was having 50% off airfare for their Christmas promotion so i did a randomly check on the air tickets and found out that it cost about $140 to fly over to BKK and back! I immediately asked on the *cousins group chat if anyone is interested in flying to BKK in April and the whatsapp convo just went on and on with a few of them interested. Soon i had to leave for night duty (and will have no phone reception) so i told Jing Long - "Here are my passport details, if you and the rest eventually decides to buy, help me buy also. LOL" Christmas to April is like 4 months and i had no idea if my workplace will clear my leave but heck it! Don't care, just buy, think later. HAHAHAHA

The next morning when i had phone reception once again, my phone was bombarded with a few hundred whatsapp messages. Guess how many of us bought the tickets in the end? A TOTAL OF 12 OF US. I was initially quite shocked because i was only expecting at the most 4, including myself. It's gonna be a super epic trip with so many of us going! :D

For the next 4 months before departing, the group whatsapp convo was constantly on the topic of BKK like which hotel to stay, where to go, what are the must try food blah blah blah. There was even a point of time where the convo led to a few suggesting refunding the tickets due to the ongoing riots in BKK! Eventually about 4 gave up their tickets, 8 remaining. I had the mindset that no matter what happens, i will still not refund my ticket. Worse come to worse if the situation in BKK worsen, i will just forfeit it and not fly. At the same time, Joyce and Kaizhi who missed out the promotion eventually decided to join us by booking their own air ticket! In the end 8 + 2, a total of 10 of us in total! :D

Fast forward to April where the day has finally arrived and just nice a week before, Bangkok declare something like they are going to stop all the riots and there will be peace, something along that line, lolololol By the way, this post is not a travelogue to BKK because #1: I think i blogged about BKK twice already and #2: It's the same few places that a shopaholic like me can go. This post is more like a photo post for me to record down the happening and my thoughts!
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Met up at the airport in the noon because our flight is at 5pm+ (I know right, scoot has the weirdest timings but then again we shouldn't complain much because of the discounted airfare...) First time traveling in such a big group, it was also the first time almost the whole *cousins go on an overseas trip together! Legoland Malaysia not counted hor? LOL
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It was also my first time taking Scoot! 2 rows of fours for the eight of us while Kaizhi sat at another area because he bought his ticket separately and upgraded his seat to the more legroom "yellow" seat. Joyce whom bought tickets from JetStar instead will join us the next day! The overall experience on Scoot was not bad and the seats were much more spacious compared to other budget airlines! I will also be taking Scoot again for my trip to Korea next month! YAYYYY
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Was bored on the plane so i took out a pen and started doodling on the barf/ vomit bag that i found in front of my seat, whatever you call it. One of the air stewardess saw it and commented that it was well drawn, lol. *blush So shy HAHA
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Reached BKK in the evening and instead of taking a cab to town like i always do, we planned to take the subway instead! It was my first time taking the subway from the airport. I thinking next time i might consider taking the train too since i get to avoid the massive evening jam and save some money as well. It took about 30 mins for us to reach...
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The skies were dark by the time we reached town.
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Found our way to our hotel - The 93 Hotel. The room was very spacious and clean! I think we paid only $60 a night. Very worth it, clean and comfortable, plus the location is not bad too. It's located at Pratunam market area and perhaps just a 8 to 10 mins walk to Platinum mall? I think Bangkok has one of the cheapest hotel compared to other countries. Good!
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First time after putting down our luggage was to gather and find dinner! Wanted to have cheap and good zi char so a few of us suggested those road side zi char stall near Platinum mall. The moment you step into the zi char area, you will be swarmed by the stall helpers. Basically they sell the same thing so i guess it doesn't matter which stall you go to.
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Divided ourselves into 2 tables and ordered our own dishes. As you can see from the photo above, we ordered a lot! There were roasted chicken, grilled fish, tom yam soup, omelette, mango salad etc. We just ordered without knowing the price of the food and when the bill came, we divided the amount among ourselves and the meal cost just about $8 per person! Where to find such good and cheap zi char in Singapore!!! After the meal, we went for a walk and decided to head back to the hotel and rest for the night because the real BKK shopping adventure officially starts the next day!
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Woke up early the next day and went down to the streets to look for breakfast. Specifically went to look for this auntie that sell omelette rice. I've been to BKK thrice and i never once fail to visit her because her omelette rice is freakin' delicious and it cost only 2 bucks! The way she prepare the omelette is like how anyone would normally prepare a omelette (with the usual soy sauce, salt and what so ever) but the end result is so different. I had her omelette rice like once a day throughout the trip, LOL It's like no matter how you try to do it yourself, you can't seem to replicate it.
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First stop Platinum Mall! Literally spent the whole afternoon inside this mall and bought ALOT of stuff! The group of us eventually spilt up and started shopping on our own. Joyce took a morning flight, went to the hotel to put down her luggage and came to join us at Platinum! Oh ya, while shopping i spotted Josh who came to BKK with his group of friends. So qiao! Met up with the rest for a break at about 5 plus and decided to grab a bite at the A&W next door, love the authentic root beer float in the chilled mug and the curly fries! I remember having them in SG when i was little...

Planned to head over to Siam paragon for dinner but a few of us decided to head back to the hotel to put down all our stuff before heading to Siam. I cannot imagine carrying all my super heavy barang barang and walk all the way to Siam and back, LOL Something funny happened along the way back - Angie bought a pack of mangoes along the way and while crossing the overhead bridge, she was so focused on her mangoes until she missed the last step and fell! The mangoes on her hand flew all over the place and landed right in front of this unlucky sweeper #FHL #hermangostory
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Since Mr. Jones Orphanage is one of the must visit cafe in Siam, we decided to give the place a visit! The varieties of cakes and pastries is oh my tians... Imagine if they decided to open an outlet in Singapore, it will confirm be packed!
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The last time i visited this place, i had the famous kit kat chocolate cake. (which you always see on FB and instagram nowadays -_-) This time i ordered the Strawberries and cream waffle. It's simple the best that i ever had! The waffle comes with a generous amount of cream and strawberries, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Totally worth it! 5 stars
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After our meal at Mr. Jones, we continued shopping at Siam area till late and decided to end our night with a massage! Went to "Number One" that is recommended by Angie and had to wait for about 40 mins before our turn. Did the leg massage and it's damn ticklish until i couldn't take it at some point of time. I swear i almost wanted to retract my legs and give the masseur a kick! I think she spoke to her colleagues beside her about me, something like "Psst, look at his face ah, look at his face ah" then she add more pressure on my foot. Then i will cover my face with my cap. TMD.  The wifi at the place was damn good though. (the hotel one sucks ttm.) That's all for Day 1 and 2 for my BKK trip with the *cousins! Next post would be on Day 3 and 4 where we head to Chatucak weekend market and a few more places! :D

Day 1 & 2 | Day 3 & 4

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Graphikos: The story thus far and what's next?

Let me count, it has been like 7 months since i first started my blog shop - Graphikos. Wait, i think i mentioned it before - I should call it an online store instead. (more professional, LOL) I remember launching it on National Day last year and after the soft launch i did on my Facebook and twitter (the official blog post was 2 days later) i eagerly sat in front of my laptop staring at my inbox that night, hoping that my very first order would come in. At around midnight, the very first order came in, and i heaved a sign of relief - "Phew, there's actually people that will buy my stuff." LOLOL

The next day i woke up to a couple of orders and soon, i was visiting the mail box opposite my block every other day. If you visit Graphikos site, you would notice that it's just a very simple "store" that is part of this blog that you are reading right now and there is no special e-commerce functions such as shopping cart, payment methods etc. To order, the buyer just have to fill in this form and i will personally contact them shortly via SMS to confirm the order and send my account details over so that the buyer can transfer via ATM or iBanking. I know it sounds very old fashioned and 1G, takes up a lot of my bandwidth and time but i was really not ready do up a full fledged online store because i had no idea when the next launch would be and as you can see, it took me 7 months to come up with my 2nd collection :|

About a month after the launch, i sold about 95% of the clothes with about 2 to 3 pieces remaining and that's it, close shop. Then again if you are thinking, "Wow, 95% in a month?!" i did not really get a lot of stock in the first place because i was quite skeptical on whether there is a market for guys tee and if anyone would buy my stuff, HAHAHAHA Not really say earn a lot but enough for me to buy an air ticket to get new/ more stocks. So I would say it was really a good start!

This post is getting a little wordy but never mind, i seldom type so much on my blog also. lol

In that one month of sales, i would say i gained quite a bit of experience on managing an online store. It's honestly not easy doing a one-man show on top of my regular job. From checking of emails every night, compiling orders, SMS-ing every buyer (i will go into that in awhile) checking if the payment is in via iBanking, preparing the clothes to be mail out the next day, getting stamps, visiting the mail box or going to the post office for customers who chose registered mail or meeting up with some of the customers at MRT stations (at my own convenience), updating Graphikos site timely for apparels that are sold out so that people won't order them and i don't have to send them an SMS apologizing.

Oh ya, talking about SMS. One thing that i learnt is that, after you sent the confirmation sms and account details to the customers, you should never expect a straight and immediate reply like - "Ok, will do so tonight. Let you know when i transfer. Thanks" Benefit of doubt, maybe about 80% will do so but there is still this exceptional 20% that will go:
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See what i mean. The SMS convo can go on forever but because i made the decision to start up this blog shop and customers always comes first, i have to "bite my teeth" they call it " 咬紧牙关" in chinese and aid the customer till he or she is satisfied until they confirm the order and received it. Even if they cancel their order, still politely say "Thank you, hope you will purchase from Graphikos again". Someone just give me the best customer service award thank you. LOL

The next thing you know i'm already complaining on my twitter. Hoping that the customer is not one of my 1.9K followers, LOL I'm so sorry if you are coincidentally one of them, i meant no harm, hehe

On top of mailing, i also offer self collection at my convenience, and it normally takes place at the MRT station near my house after work. Because i'm selling guys tee, i would expect to meet guys collecting the tees for themselves (some of them are like secondary school kids. Some from ITE because they wore their uniform. Unexpectedly, i met a few girls too. Some bough the clothes for their BF, some for themselves (Hmm, maybe i can consider making unisex collection) The most memorable one was perhaps a girl asking if she can take a photo with me before we parted, i gladly obliged.

Throughout the month, there were several times i asked myself whether it's worth the effort. It's not like i'm earning a few thousand dollars or making a big profit but then again, it's like the saying - "It's not the outcome, but the process."
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For my first collection, i had Joyce and Don to help me with the photo shoot which took place at RP so i had to drag everything to woodlands and back to Pasir Ris which was super tedious. I told myself as much as i can, i will never want to experience it again, LOL (studio sponsor came in after the shoot was done, oh wells) For my 2nd collection, i decided to DIY everything at home so i bought 2 rolls of Mahjong paper and pasted it all over one of my walls, set up my tripod, set the self timer and change out one top after another for about 20 times. Damn! I wished i had a wireless remote so i won't have to keep walking to and fro the camera to QC the photos and to press the shutter button for the self timer

So, after saying so much, i hereby announce the launch of my 2nd collection - "Back to Basics" Every piece is handpicked by me personally and i named this collection "Back to Basics" because the design is really simple. You can basically pair it with any bottoms be it berms or jeans and you are off to go! All tees are priced at $16 and FREE next day normal mailing included because i'm lazy to do the math for all the per-apparel-mail, unless you are going for registered mail :D
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Click on the banner above to be directed to Graphikos.  photo Photo6-5-14122250am.jpg
Do support Graphikos by spreading the word, RT-ing my tweets or sharing it on your facebook! Till the next collection (:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sun-date at Tulipmania, Gardens by the Bay!

Usually on Sundays, i will either spend the whole day at home sitting in front of my computer replying emails, editing photos and blogging or at the very most, head out for brunch then return home in the evening for dinner. I usually don't spend the whole Sunday outside because the next day is a working day and i wouldn't want to tire myself out by staying out. Anyway, that's not the main point of this blog post, HAHA. For the past week, i've been seeing photos of these beautiful Tulips display on social media, especially instagram and i told myself i must see them with my own eyes! (By the time you read this post, the display probably just ended - 14 Apr to 4 May. Oh wells.) So i asked around to see if anyone is interested in going with me and in the end - Me, Joyce, Angie and Jinglong met up on the following Sunday! :D
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Before heading to Gardens by the Bay, we were looking for a place to have our lunch and ended up at the super crowded food court. Did a quick search online and found out that the food court is named "Rasapura Masters Food Court" Erm, Okay... But anyway, the food there is by far the most expensive food court that i have ever visited in Singapore. The claypot rice that i had cost me $9.80.  Then again, this food court is within MBS. Kinda expected it. LOL
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Heading over to Gardens by the Bay via the MBS link!
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Shot taken using the HDR mode of my new Casio ZR1200. The effect is super kua zhang can.
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Reached the ticketing counter and saw the never ending queue. I was actually thinking whether to get the tickets online the night before but because we couldn't confirm the no. of people coming, we decided to go there and get the tickets instead. Wrong decision. We immediately bought our tickets online using my iPhone and managed to skip to queue! :D
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As you can see from the photo above, the amount of people visiting the display was oh my tians.
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It's normal for girls to camwhore with the flowers as the background but when you see a guy do the same thing, it's just weird. LOL Jing long brought his Danbo along which explains my previous post. (See the photos HERE if you haven't!)
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Testing the Macro blur background mode of my camera. Like not bad hor?
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The thing about using a swivel screen camera is that half the time you will definitely have someone not looking at the lens but at the screen. So i have to constantly remind my friends to look into the lens and not the screen! HAHAHHAHA
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Got one of the tour guides there to help us take group photo. Love this shot!
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My casual Sunday #outfitoftheday.
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After 2 hours at the Gardens, we went back to MBS to take more photos! Our #ootds!
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"I love doing silly things in public and not caring because I'm with my best friends." #qotd
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Trying to "levitate" with the umbrella in hand. #notverywelldonebutwhatever LOL
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Even though it was a super hot day, we still sat on the roof for more than an hour taking shots after shots but it was really fun though. Remember i started the post saying that on Sundays, i would normally return home in the evening, well that day after taking the photos, we headed down to Bugis for BBQ steamboat followed by desserts, no regrets! :D