Saturday, 15 November 2014

London ice bar,

Icebar London

After reading about Ice bar in a travel magazine and having a close encounter in Sweden (we didn't have enough time to find the place and also got lazy), we decided to visit the one at Heddon Street in London! We invited Nav along because he was visiting from Oxford, that guy never fails to be great company :') 

We arrived slightly early, admittedly I was beyond enthused to get in even though sub zero temperatures ain't really my thing. Tucked away in a cosy corner of Regent Street, Ice Bar (as the name speaks for itself) is a quirky bar designed out of entirely ice. It is kept at -5 degree celsius everyday, and they alternate the design experience regularly. The ice is specially shipped over from Sweden (supposedly Tome River's purest ice) and carved out in sculptures. I must say that it was quite a unique experience! 

Icebar London

Icehotel brochure

A £14 ticket gets you for about an hour and a free drink, visitors are also provided with a dark blue thermal cape and gloves to keep warm. It was frosty alright, but the unique setting was quite a distraction. The cocktail menu was limited (some were really aptly named: Arctic Freeze), I barely even remember what I had - probably something tropical since it was yellow.

Icebar London

Icebar London

Icebar London

Loved how even the cups were made of ice, no more warm beer worries!

Icebar London

Icebar London

Icebar London

Icebar London

Icebar London

Icebar London

Hands on Ice table challenge.

Icebar London

Icebar London

Icebar London

Red noses and tearing up because of the cold.

Ice bar London

"The Ice is pure!"

Ice bar london

Although it was a unique sensory experience (oh come on, I come from the tropics and we don't have winter here), the ambience was definitely not the best. It was a pretty small room, and there were many patrons. We had fun but perhaps it was just novelty at its best (or just great company) - I'm actually quite curious to whether the Sweden one would have been different, as the concept originated from the Swedes.

Ciao!

London Ice Bar
31-33 Heddon St, London W1B 4BN, United Kingdom

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Jamie's italian: Covent garden, London

Jamie's italian Covent garden

Walked around Covent Garden when my family came over for a visit in London and we settled for a cosy lunch at Jamie's Italian. The bright colours and open dining concept caught our eye - and also because while we were spoilt for choices in lunch options, many were really expensive restaurants.

The portions were large, we ordered 3 mains and a side to share so we could leave room for some to-go snacks later in the day. The Pumpkin soup was served in a petite porcelain cup, with toasted bread on the side. The consistency was rather thick because of the pumpkin fibre, hence it was good for sharing with my sister. However, it tasted flavourful and was naturally sweet so we thought that it was a good complement to the savoury mains we had ordered.

Jamie's italian Covent garden pumpkin soup

The Free-range chicken primavera was one of the more popular dishes in the restaurants and my dad's favourite. It comes with a blend of peas on top, and baked free-range chicken sitting on top of creamy baby potatoes and asparagus.

Jamie's italian Covent garden

The Fish'n Chips dish was huge, but there wasn't anything particularly fancy about this dish considering we were in the UK with tons of good Fish'n Chips options around. What we liked about it, however, was the butter and chives spread that came along with the dish. While it complemented the fish really well, it got pretty heavy going after a while.

Jamie's italian Covent garden

Jamie's italian Covent garden

Ciao!

Jamie's Italian
11 Upper St Martin's Ln, London WC2H 9FB
United Kingdom

Friday, 31 October 2014

What do you wish upon?


I'm not a superstitious person by heart, and by faith - but when this wishbone necklace came in the mail, I was really excited ♥ In traditional Euro-American culture, the wishbone is said to symbolize luck. It is customary for the wishbone to be pulled apart by two people, when it cracks the person who ends up with the longer piece will be granted their wish.

Lucky charm or not, this elegant piece is definitely in for keeps. (and sure hope I don't see it cracking!)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The LDR Chronicles,


Look what came in the mail, all the way from the Cold war era Soviet passport photograph machine in Berlin! These picture strips never fail to put a smile on my face, and to brighten up my day :') Having a long distance relationship is never easy, and I'm glad to say we're nearly done with ours - with R graduating next year July/September. God has indeed been gracious through IB, army, our university days and this 3 year long distance that we have to go through. 

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
                                                                                                                             1 Corinthians 13:7

I'm not going to count the chicks before the eggs hatch but I'm really thankful for all the experiences that we have seen through. It's not easy, but it's definitely not impossible. Trading personal touch to intimate conversations through computer pixels in the form of Skype, daily (but heartfelt and un-curated) text messages and the occasional air mail that flies over a thousand miles to land in the hands of the other. Counting down to the very day that we'll have a reunion, planning our next adventure trip together or even just looking forward the small things within the relationship like praying for each other and playing gin rummy online (and having his jacket which smells just like him lying next to me hahaha don't judge). R's graduation is next year, but this new (possible) new stage of our life feels very, very, real.

To everyone who is also going through a long distance relationship, hang on there because it'll all be worth it - and you'll know it when....you know it ♥ 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A Beautiful Mess,

Red dot museum

Organic mess VS Curated order - which side would you choose?

I love this frozen snapshot of the security guard post at Red Dot museum (where the colleagues and I went down for a site recce for an event). It's a great juxaposition between the raw organic mess in the foreground and the curated orderly pattern of British styled red letterboxes in the background. Does it speak volumes about our daily lives at large? Do we gravitate towards order? Sometimes, we try so hard to reach out in the distance to curate the future, and yet in the process we neglect the present organic affairs, little thoughts that matter. Or, do we consciously try to curate our thoughts and hold back the unconscious stream of thoughts that truly speaks for who we are.

It definitely reminds me of the art class where Ernest was telling me to be more organic in sketching out some rocks. "Be more organic! That looks so planned, be more human!"

Shying away from order doesn't seem so bad after all, yes? The world needs more beautiful messes.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The setting sun,

Hortpark Singapore

Hortpark at dusk, after a full day of work plan strategizing. It was a good day of discussions, bonding and laughter, and a laid back lunch at Vineyard, a charming French restaurant nestled within Hortpark. I'm really glad for the team and everyone ♥ Even though it has only been 4.5 months, everyone has been really encouraging and nurturing; and of course the inspiring synergy  - thankful to have made it to the team and to be learning under experienced bosses.

And to those in Singapore, do jump the bandwagon and hop on to Uber! It's like Grab taxi except that it's incredibly convenient and cash-less. The drivers are really friendly and what's not to love when there's a great promotion going on :P Download the Uber app on your iPhone or Android, and key in my promotion code: yantingc1 and you get $10 free credits for use.

Ciao!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

An open-palm book,

Travel quotes the world is a book

And indeed, the world is a book that we can never read enough of. Lavished in some me time on a lazy Saturday morning, with no better companion than a National Geographic subscribe - which probably explains the stirred up wanderlust. This picture was taken at Barcelonette beach in Barcelona 2 years ago in March (my goodness, has it been that long), it was a fine day after a full day languish in a heavy storm. Oh how unlucky we were, as we were told that it only rained 3 days in a year. On hindsight, we were really blessed to have step foot into Spain even though it was a short trip! Fast forward to 2014 and we were also walking around LA with palm trees in their fully glory. Hi Ana, if you're reading this, miss you and our travels ♥

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Thrift shopping in Singapore,

Thrift shopping in singapore

Invigorated by the fact that I had only one last weekday of freedom before my work life officially started, I went on a hunt for thrift shops in Singapore. Thrift shopping has always been interesting to me, and it was not just for the sole purpose of finding good buys, I was really intrigued by the 1001 things that people would sell. When my relatives occasionally brought me to flea markets when I was much younger, I was very much curious about the display of items for sale, which ranged from antique boxes to vintage cassette players to tacky masak-masak toys. It also really sparked an interest in knowing more about the backstory of old items and photographs. I typically buy them for a token fee and make pretend on the story behind the items. (Side story: Found a cockroach a few years back, in one of the silver boxes I got when I was 11 and had to throw it out. It was a beautiful brass silver plated box which could be opened only by a gold key. Hopefully it wasn't incubating inside all this while lol. I have since cleared out many of these old items).

When I went over to UK and US, thrift shopping was really common (hello London''s Camden and Chicago's Wicker Park!). Plus, they have an endless collection of vintage thrift shops along the streets of designated area - definitely a thrift shopping haven.

Long story short, here are 3 of the thrift stores that caught my fancy in Singapore. Give a holler if you know of any more worth checking :)


New2U Thrift Shop
96 Waterloo St (www.scwo.org.sg)
Monday-Friday, 10:30am - 12:30pm


Tucked in the cosy corner of Waterloo street, the New2U Thrift Shop is located within the premises of the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO). While the indoors store itself is pretty small, it extends outside with racks and racks of bags/clothes/shoes and what nots. They have shelves of secondhand clothes, which are mainly assorted by style (dress, skirts, pants, tops). There isn't a fitting room, but there are mirrors at the side where you could attempt to see if what you have chosen fits you. It was rather crowded though (lunchtime crowd I reckon), so many ladies were hogging the mirrors. The shelves inside also sold old board games, random knick knacks, accessories, candles and festive cards, but I believe this would be dependent on the stocks they have at the moment.

 If you venture deeper into the place, past the racks of shoes, you'll find a hidden room filled with old books, guides and CDs. It smells quite musky, and it is very dusty - but you'll definitely find a good book or two here!

A plus point for  New2U is that the ladies volunteering at the store are very friendly, and will accede to your kind requests whenever you approach them (if they are not too busy). Price wise, everything here is sold at a reasonable price, and the proceeds all go to either Star shelter (a charity which provides temporary refuge for women and children who are victims of family violence) or other initiatives of SCWO. Talk about shopping for a good cause!

New2U Thrift shop

New2U Thrift shop

New2U Thrift shop

New2U Thrift shop

Praiseheaven Family Megastore (The Salvation Army)
500 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Monday - Thursday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Friday - Saturday 10:00am - 9:00pm

The name speaks for itself, the store was huge and was mostly indoor premises where it was air-conditioned. Separated into various sections for the different items (clothings, school items, shoes, antique vases, antiques, paintings, books, frames, music instruments), the place was well organised and you could go straight to the category of items that you're looking for. It does however, come across as pretty messy. Price wise, it was reasonable but definitely more expensive than the other 2 places in this post. Expect clothings that range from about $5-$50, depending on the label. For those who are searching for work clothings, they do serve up a mean rack of work pants (for guys too) and skirts from G2000 and other office brands. They also have a separate section just for the guys and a wedding section filled with bridesmaid dresses, wedding gowns and accessories. Fitting rooms are available for trying on the items.

Visited the store on a weekday evening, and was pretty much the only person in the store so I took my time to look through the racks and explore the other sections.  Loving the large collection of vintage spectacles and antique vases, they were really dusty but definitely worthwhile to take a look.

The nice lady at the counter also gave me a 15% discount off all my buys because I had quite a large shopping bag, so that was a good bonus! Check out the main Salvation Army website to spot out periodic sales.

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

Praiseheaven Family Megastore

The Family store 
309 Upper Serangoon Road Singapore 347693
Mondays-Saturdays :10:00am - 6:00pm

Under the umbrella of The Salvation Army, this Family store has the largest collection of goods out of these 3 places. They cover from clothing items to electronic goods (PSP, Wii, some even brand new) to furniture to mattresses to children toys to dinner ware. Prices here are extremely reasonable, but you need to be able to sieve through the dusty racks piles of items to be able to find hidden gems.

Occupying a large plot of land and spreading across many floors, The Family Store was also one of the more interesting places to explore because there many nooks and corners within its premises. While only the first and second floors were open to the public when I visited, it was definitely enough to pique my interest for a couple of hours - it felt like a maze. My only gripe was the permanent muskiness hanging in the air and the furnace-like surroundings that I had to scramble through my bag for a miraculous hope of finding a rubber band to tie up my hair (was melting in the heat).

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

What particularly got me excited was the pay by weight clothing section on level one (note that clothes from this section cannot be crossed with the items on the upper levels). The last time I was exposed to this clothes weighing concept was back in London when Ana and I paid a pound each to get into a warehouse weight sale where clothes were strewn into large bins......but we left empty handed because there was simply nothing that caught our eye / had our sizes. Got an office jacket and a dress this time round! No fitting rooms though, so you have to take a chance on them.

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

family store upper serangoon

Note: The Upper Serangoon branch has since moved to new premises at 356 Tanglin Road Singapore 247674 and been renamed to Family Hub. They open from Monday to Saturdays from 10am - 6pm.

__________


Here are some of my finds from the stores, you can really get gems (and sometimes even new items with labels still intact) from these thrift stores. I didn't spend a lot of time finding these clothing articles! The best thing is that the stocks change regularly, so you're always in for a surprise with each visit.

Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, the accompanying accessories in the following pictures belong to me.

1. ANAYI ladies' work jacket
Price: $18
Condition: 9/10
Found at: The Salvation Army (Upper Bukit Timah)
A brand originating from Japan, the jacket exudes simplicity and fit me really well! Also loved how the fold ups revealed the more informal pinstripes peeking out. Plus, it's a size 6. It went straight into my shopping basket, perfect for a fuss-free work outfit. Jackets ain't cheap and finding the right cutting isn't easy.

2. G2000 Knee-length pencil skirt for work
Price: $8.50
Condition: 9.5/10
Found at: The Salvation Army (Upper Bukit Timah)
Simple and practical enough for work. The skirt was also spotless and apart from the tiny price written at the corner of the label in black marker (which is tucked into the inner linings), it could have passed off as brand new - except for a fraction of the normal retail price.


3. Love Bonito Persian blue top
Price: $5
Condition: 9/10
Found at: The Family store (Serangoon)
Hanging unassumingly on a rack full of secondhand SIA stewardess uniforms, this persian blue top instantly caught my eye. It was spotless, with the label still intact. Zip works like a charm, and the top looks like it hasn't even been worn! Perfect with pairing with a pencil skirt for work, and for pairing with jeans during casual dress down day.


4. Black mandarin collar top with slight shoulder flairs
Price: $3
Condition: 8.5/10
Found at: New2U Thrift shop
You can never go wrong with black! Spot this piece while casually sieving through some racks near the lift at New2U. While I couldn't try this piece on before purchase (they didn't have a fitting room, and only had mirrors by the side), and neither am I a mandarin collar or a shoulder flair kinda girl. But I got lucky.....the cutting was great and it's such a good pair up with high waisted work skirts.

mandarin collar black gold

5. Translucent cream top with gold details at neckline
Price: $3
Condition: 6/10
Found at: The Family store (Serangoon)
I usually pair this with jeans or khaki work pants, but it goes with just about anything! Gave the condition rating a 6/10 because the stitching and sewing isn't perfect, and while it looks professionally done from the outside, you are able to see some of the apparent stitches in the inner lining. That doesn't really bother me though. The gold details on the shirt forms a chain, which sometimes break apart (you can't really tell). Because it's pretty translucent, I usually wear a dark camisole under.

6. Blue & Black clutch
Price: $5
Condition: 7/10
Found at: The Family store (Serangoon)
A simple clutch that came along with a detachable strap for holding. The insides are clean and pretty spotless. It's also great for those casual dinners where you want to fit your phone, money, cards, keys, and 101 other nonsense but refuse to bring a bag just because because. It has a leather like material and is brand-less.

clutch gold cream top

7. Monochrome dress with ruffled neckline
Price: $5
Condition: 8/10
Found at: The Family store (Serangoon)
One thing I love about thriftshopping is that you feel less pinch in experimenting with new styles that you hardly ever try. I'm not really a ruffles kind of girl, but this dress was subtle and classic. Paired it with a black work blazer, pearl earrings and cream heels. The material is flowy and lightweight, but doesn't come across as low quality despite being brand-less.

monochrome dress green accessories

8. H&M Black tube dress
Price: $10
Condition: 9.5/10
Found at: The Salvation army (Upper Bukit Timah)
One of the greatest finds (or maybe not, because it's quite a mainstream brand) for the day was this elegant black tube dress. It spots a classic sweetheart neckline and quality material. It also allows for belts to be worn, here I paired it with a Topshop leather belt in camel and a necklace so it looks casual. Jazz it with a formal belt and throw on a blazer and it instantly transforms the outfit. Also wore this dress when R came back from London and we had a celebratory steak dinner at Skirt, bet no one knew I got this from a thrift shop ^^

H&M black tube dress necklace

For those who are on a budget or those who just love sieving through for a good buy, these places are really worth checking out! Even if you're not really interested in purchasing anything, it's always fun to explore the treasure troves and the antique selling corners - you'll never know what you'll stumble across ♥

And of course, if you have any unworn or pre-loved items to give out, do go down to the respective stores to donate them, all for a good cause :) Plus you're giving these items a new lease of life! Drop off your goods at their physical stores or contact them through the websites.

Ciao!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...