Barterli - Online Second Hand Book Trading App

[Product Review]

I love to buy books, so you can imagine after reading those books that I have bought, the books will be back on the shelves. Over years they  accumulated, so I either have to give them away or sell them as second hand books.

When it comes to selling second hand books, I usually sell them through Carousell, Ebay or Facebook. These platforms may have a wide caption, but they are not exclusive. They are virtual market places with a lot of noise and distractions because many different items are selling there. They are not exclusive places for book lovers.

I was recommended to Barterli, an app you could download on your phone or tablet, where one could trade second hand books online. I thought this is quite an useful app as it serves the community of book readers exclusively, without the cluttering of other products.

With Barterli, you can scan the ISBN and all the synopsis will be uploaded instantaneously (if there is in the database). Upload of books can be done in matter of seconds. You could also do it mannually by typing it out.

video


Buying is as easy too!


video


I have set up an account with Barterli to try lut this app. In fact, I have loaded a few books to sell too. Of course, the app can be improved further. For example, I wish I could add more photos of the books that I am selling, but the app restricts it to only 3. I wish I could rotate the photo after I have uploaded it but I can't. I believe the app will get better over time, with more people using it and more user feedback.

Did I say this service is free? Yes, it is absolutely free! So go on, give it a try, because every good book deserves a second read.


Barterli




How To Pack The Luggage When Your Kid Travel Overseas Without You


Now that mid year exam is over, are we all ready for R & R (Rest & Relax)? I'm actually in the midst of packing luggage, not for us, not for me either, but for AJ.

AJ will be going away for 5 days with his school. This coming overseas trip will be AJ's third trip away without the parents over a span of just 2 years. Huh? He is only 10, and already third overseas trip without parents?! It's kinda too soon, isn't it? Yea, I actually dislike the idea of kids travelling overseas without parents at too young a age. To me, primary school level is considered too young.


His first trip was last year March when he went to Malaysia with his new primary school friends. Just 4 months past 9 years old and he had to be away from us for 3D/2N. It got me a little emo, no less. Why do school trips start so early these days? These children were only 9 or 10 years old. Haiz...

Knowing that it was probably our children’s first overseas trip without parents, the personnel from the tour agency was kind enough to share with us some practical tips how to pack their luggage. Here are some useful pointers:

1) Since it was a short 3D/2N trip, we only need to pack in 2 sets of day clothing, 1 set of pyjamas and an extra set for ‘in-case’.

2) Pack each set of clothing mentioned in point (1) in one ziplock bag. That means there should be 4 ziplock bags. So the children need not worry about what to wear everyday. Each day they only need to unzip one ziplock bag.



3) Pack the money for them to buy things into each ziplock bag together with the clothing as well. This is to prevent unforeseen mishap if the child lost his wallet that day, he/she would still have money from other day’s supply. Though the children hardly had to spend money as school trips would have all 3 meals covered, the extra money was given for them to buy little things like titbits, souvenirs, etc..



4) Pack in a large plastic bag for them to dump all soiled clothing.

5) Checked with the hotel if they supply toothpastes, toothbrush, shampoo, body wash, etc.. If the hotel does provide, you need not pack these in (remember: the less things to remember for them the better). If you do need to pack them in, give the child small bottles, enough for him/her to use for those days, and be prepared that he/she will forget to bring them back. In the madness of packing up upon checking out, they might forget many things.

6) Pack in the necessary medication in sufficient quantities for those few days only. Inform the teachers about your child’s health condition so that they may be able to help watching out for symptoms.

7) Lastly, don’t give them a luggage bag that is too huge for them to handle.

I find these tips very useful when I packed AJ’s luggage on his first school trip. I did exactly as told and the luggage bag came back as a piece. 😁



AJ’s second overseas trip was another Malaysia trip, but with Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir (SSCC) then. It was again a 3D/2N packed-to-the-brim trip. I used the same method to pack his clothes. The only difference was that I had to pack in his performance attire which he had to wear for 2 nights. It needed to be pressed and I was a little concerned that he might be careless in handling it and caused it to crease. Fortunately the children could hang their performance attires in the concert hall once they reached the site for rehearsal so that had solved the problem.



And very soon, he will be embarking on his third overseas trip without us. I am adopting the same packing method but this time I will get him to arrange his own outfit for the day.

By this time I have become a little cool about his travelling (and there will be more to come). My only concern left is the lack of sleep which always happen in this kind of packed-to-the-brim trip. Moreover, having a mate or 2 in the same room means endless chatting and possibly playing online games on the phones which will eat into their limited sleeping time.😔

That is something beyond my control since I cannot be present. So I will have to load him with probiotics and Vitamin C before and after the trip.


Have any of your kids gone overseas without you at such young age? How did you cope with this separation anxiety? 



My Journey with Halley Medical Aesthetics


I have added another photo of mine that I like much. This is the one. This photo reminded me the journey I trod with Halley Medical Aesthetics. I like this photo because in it, I see a confident lady, someone I had not seen for quite a while.



I grew up in an environment that detests cosmetic surgery or aesthetic treatment to enhance a person’s physical look for non-medical result. But as I age, my perspective changes. Our society has evolved; we have become more liberal, more open to medical aesthetics because more and more people are doing it. I have also come to term with myself. Aesthetics treatment can boost a person’s self-esteem and confidence, because I am seeing that happening in myself.


I did CoolSculpting with Halley Medical Aesthetics in August last year to get rid of the stubborn body fat in areas like the tummy and thighs where spot exercises cannot remove so as to shape my body. 

It has proven to be effective. Ever since then I started to exercise diligently. Honestly speaking, having done CoolSculpting was my first step to being motivated to exercise regularly. I saw how my outer thighs and tummy have shrunk due to CoolSculpting, and I told myself no way will I allow myself to be flabby again.

Having done CoolSculpting was my motivation to exercise diligently.


Then in February this year, I went back to Dr. Terence Tan from Halley Medical Aesthetics. This time, to repair my railway lines on my forehead, frown lines, and the crow’s feet at the side of my eyes because they were there even when I didn’t lift up my eyebrows!  It is not a very nice feeling - to feel the signs of advance ageing when the actual age hasn’t reached there yet. You may read about it here.

I did Xeomin, as recommended by Dr Terence Tan, a brand of botulinum neuromodulators, to reduce the appearance of these muscle contraction-induced lines or dynamic wrinkles. 

Xeomin is a cosmetic brand approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is the only one that does not contain any complexing proteins. In layman’s term, it means Xeomin does not contain any additives. The benefit of this is that it makes our human body less likely to become resistant to Xeomin.


Though the result is not permanent, and is said to last about 3 to 4 months, my forehead is a lot smoother than how it was 3 months ago, the lines on the side of my eyes were significantly less obvious. And I have to admit too, after the Xeomin treatment, I became more diligent in moisturizing and hydrating my skin.

Xeomin has become a push factor for better self-care.


A week ago I bumped into an ex-colleague whom I have not met for close to 10 years.

“What happened to you, Jenn?”

I stood there speechless. I was thinking in my mind, what worse could have happened?

“You look younger than before!”

“Oh my! You scare the hell out of me!” I was scolding him in my mind!

In all honesty, I was flattered, almost in cloud nine. Yet, at the same time, I have not doubted any of his words. Even though I looked at myself in the mirror everyday, I observed the changes in me.  The physical change has boosted my confidence and that has manifested in my countenance.

At this juncture, I want to thank Dr. Terence Tan and his team in Halley Medical Aesthetics for my transformation. Without the help from him and his team, I wouldn’t have found a brand new kind of me.



Halley Medical Aesthetics
277 Orchard Road #03-15
Orchard Gateway Singapore 238858
T: 6737 8233




A Fullerton Love Story Tour

[Media Invite]


We are invited back to The Fullerton Hotel, this time, for A Fullerton Love Story Tour.

We gathered at the Concierge at level 1 of The Fullerton Hotel where the resident tour guide took us on a journey through 89 years of legacies, stories and secrets untold in Singapore’s 71st National Monument.



This tour is not just a history tour narrated by the resident tour guide, it is also a theatrical tour where actors will regale you with fact, fiction and a dose of amusing anecdotes stemming from the historic Fullerton Hotel Singapore, which was once home to the General Post Office, Ministry of Finance and the famous Singapore Club.

Edward Choy, who played as the postman

Live history becomes more interesting when love stories are told. You will get to enjoy a most improbable love story between a humble postman played by theatre actor Edward Choy, and a stalwart civil servant; played by theatre actress, Isabelle Chiam; who is trying to reach the upper echelons of the finance world.

One of the highlights is of course, a short tour of the Presidential Suite

 Seen here is Isabelle Chiam; the other theatre actress

I wonder, if AJ could play a song or two here, would we win ourselves a staycation in this suite 

The dining area

video

This tour is an event organised by The Fullerton Hotel in conjunction with the upcoming Singapore Heritage Festival. The actual tours for public will be held on 6 May and 13 May and are priced at S$78 for adults, $58 for children.

video


At the end of the tour, divine desserts at The Courtyard will delight you long into the night.





Programme:
8.00 pm - 9.30 pm: A Fullerton Love Story Drama Tour 
9.30 pm - 11.00 pm: Divine Desserts at The Courtyard

To book your tour for 6 May or 13 May, please click here.

Modus - The Unmodest Quinoa Bowls

[Media Invite]


Believe it or not, I had never tried Quinoa (pronounced as ‘kinwa’ or keenwa’) even though I am very much into health food. The fact is: I didn’t consume it because I don’t quite know how to cook it. And, commercially, other than occasionally found in salad bar, Quinoa is not that easily available when eating out. 

Quinoa has been perceived as ‘grain’, but, technically, Quinoa is a seed. It is actually a complete protein that has the nine essential amino acids that you should get via your diet, as your body does not make them on its own. This superfood is not only high in protein, it is high in fiber too. The fiber in quinoa can help you feel full longer, which is an excellent news to those who want to manage their weight or lose weight. And yes, you can eat Quinoa cold or hot, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can read more about Quinoa here and here.

When I got to know of Modus, Singapore's First and Only Quinoa Bowls, I was very excited, because, Quinoa is not that easily available when eating out. 

Modus is opened by two fine dining chefs (Ian Phoon, 28, and Alvin Tan, 29) who wanted to cook tasty, nutritious foods at a value-for-money price for everyone to enjoy. They aspire to create an exquisite sensory experience through the use of precise culinary techniques in the crafting of each dish without being pretentious. They believe that every dish has their own balance, and balance is their modus operandi. Armed with a combined experience of nearly 30 years in the fine dining industry, they took the leap of faith to set up their own venture in Singapore. They love the versatility of quinoa, crunchiness of fermented vegetables and the health benefits that come with these two. Hence, they started an organic quinoa bowl concept right at the heart of the CBD area – at Esplanade Exchange The Food Inn.

It is not difficult to locate the place.
Just look for Esplanade Xchange at Esplanade MRT station near the Suntec City/Marina Square exits. 

Walk into the Explanade Xchange, you will see The Food Inn Food Court

With choices of salmon, beef, pork and chicken, we get fantastic value-for-money lunches and dinners that are filling, tasty and nutritious. Modus aims to spread the perception that Quinoa not only can be kind to our gut (health), it can also be kind to our pockets too!

The Korean Bowl
Sauteed Beef & Onions, Homeamde Korean Kimchi, Marinated Sprouts, Fried Wanton Skin with Organic Premium Hondashi Quinoa 

The Thai Bowl
Thai Basil Pork Shoulder, Homemade Pickled Vegetables with Green Mango, Marinated Sprouts, Kao Kua with Organic Premium Hondashi Quinoa 

The Chinese Bowl
Deconstructed Kung Pao Chicken, Sauteed peppers, Homemade Thai Style Pickles with Organic Premium Hondashi Quinoa (add $0.50 for a Wasabi Poached Egg)

The Japanese Bowl
Aburi Salmon, Tsukemono, Sauteed Crabmeat, Corn Kernels, Furikake, Homeamde Fermented Sprouts with Organic Premium Hondashi Quinoa


Quinoa is low in GI thus preventing blood sugar level from spiking and crashing. It is a good alternative to your white rice or bread, especially to those who wants to cut down on carbohydrates intake and those who has diabetes. One could easily feel the difference in your energy level with such replacement! 

What I like is that Modus ferments their vegetables so that it not only adds different layers of taste to the dish, it also completes the meal with high probiotics, which builds up one’s immune system.


Imagine having a satisfying and delicious meal that is high in probiotics, complete protein, fibre and vitamins and yet low in GI, calories as well as price. I would call this “happiness in a bowl” and I seriously won't mind having this three meals a day, everyday.

Even the little one enjoys Quinoa so much, what about you?
(Daughter of Serene)



Modus



Review Of L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect And Revitalift Dermalift Skincare Range

[Product Review]


My sister started using L’Oréal Paris almost a decade ago. When I visited her place, I would witness bottles/tubes/jars of cleanser, toner, moisturiser and essence in her bathroom. Over time the range changed from White Perfect, to Revitalift Dermalift, to the current range – Age Perfect.


My sister, with L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect range of skincare products

I wondered why, so I asked her. She said she was introduced to this brand by her friend. The ranges of product suit her skin and the prices fit her pocket. I see, no wonder L’Oréal Paris Skincare claims to be No.1 Anti-Ageing Brand Worldwide. It has affordable skincare products that help ladies to delay ageing.

She told me I should be using Revitalift Dermalift range for my age. At this age, I need to work on regaining firmness and reducing wrinkles. “Start off with Revitalift Dermalift Day Cream,” she ordered. “This iconic anti-ageing product is the best selling cream in L’Oréal Paris. It is inspired by the self-healing power of Centella Asiatica, also known as the legendary Tiger Grass, it fights signs of ageing in 8 key zones to restore youth skin.”


Revitalift Dermalift Day Cream ($33.90)


90% of the testers agree that their skin is smoother after 2 weeks of using Revitalift Dermalift Day Cream

What is Centella Asiatica? I secretly went googling about it and found out from Wikipedia that it is a flowering plant native to wetlands in Asia and is commonly used as a culinary vegetable and as medicine herb. In fact, it is used as a medical herb in Ayurvedic medicine, Western Herbal Medicine, traditional African medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and in western orthodox medicine, for example to stimulate the regeneration of skin in burns while preventing the formation of scar tissue (you can read more about this plant in Wikipedia here).

Aww… … it looks like I have missed out quite a bit all these years and needed to work a little harder to defy ageing.



So I tried this best-seller in L’Oréal Paris Skin Care for a week and pretty much happy with my progress. What do you think, husband?




My sister, who is 10 years my senior, is using L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect range now. The Age Perfect cream, crowned as the most luxurious skincare in L’Oréal Paris, is infused with highly nourishing actives from France. It is an all-in-one solution to reduce the look of wrinkles, firm skin, restore radiance, lighten dark spots and smoothen skin.  This luxurious moisturiser is formulated with antioxidant Natecium, extracted from Bitter Orange, and precious Seal Lily (aka Lys De Mer) that boosts skin resistance to daily aggressors. The rich silky balm instantly smoothens the skin and delivers intense replenishment. She is terribly pleased with this range of product.


Age Perfect Supreme Regenerating Cream $49


L’Oréal Paris Skin Expert Age Perfect and Revitalift Dermalift skincare range are available at all leading Watsons, Guardian, major super/ hyper markets and beauty marts. This coming Mothers' Day, consider giving your moms and yourselves these age defying skincare products, because we are all worth it.

 From left to right: Age Perfect Supreme Regenerating Cream ($49), Milking Cleansing Foam ($15), Supreme Regenerating Dual Elixir ($54) and Supreme Cells-in-lotion ($36)


From left to right: Revitalift Dermalift Night Cream ($35.90), Anti-aging Milky Toner ($16.90), Milky Cleansing Foam ($11.90) and Day Cream ($35.90)



L'Oréal Paris


Superior Chia And Superior Birds' Nest

[Media Invite]


My family eats chia seeds as often as thrice a week because, you know, they are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein and fiber, right? Or so I thought, until I was told by Freddy Yap, the CEO of Superior brand that not all chia seeds are created the same.

Chia Seeds and Birds' Nest from Superior Brand

Chia seeds are considered one of the most nutritious foods in the world. This superfood is believed to aid heart and digestive health, stabilise blood sugar and maintain stronger bones and teeth. High in fibre, gluten-free and transfat free, they are great for cleansing and detoxing and are delicious combined in food and drink recipes for that much needed energy boost.

What makes Superior brand's chia seeds different from other brands I have consumed or noticed in the market is that the chia seeds are micro-sliced to remove the husk. I was told that unsliced raw chia seeds eaten whole are digestible but the body is not able to absorb most of the nutritional value because of the husk. Micro-slicing exposes more of the surface area for nutritional absorption of the seed components and the chia oil.
Superior Chia is micro-sliced, certified organice and non genetically modified



Superior sources its chia seeds from Mexico and Peru, believed to be the origins of the superfood. The company only selects non-genetically-modified chia seeds from organic sources. These chia seeds are harvested in highlands with fertile soil, rich in nutrients. The end product, called Superior Chia, is a specially formulated mixture of the best chia seeds that have been carefully selected from five different varieties to maximise its nutritional value. 

Micro-sliced chia seeds in my chinese tea

And so we could easily add these mico-sliced chia seeds into our daily diet like beverages and food to reap the most benefits of chia seeds.

Freddy also demonstrated to us how micro-sliced chia seeds could be incorporated into our food (yes, besides oats, salad and smoothie). So we have Yan Restaurant serving their Chinese cuisine with Superior Chia Seeds in every dish.

Dim Sum Platter - Shrimp Roll, Prawn Dumpling and Chilli Crab Bun, all sprinkled generously with micro-sliced Chia Seeds

Fragrant Rice Soup with Chia Seeds and Crab Meat

Sauteed Grouper Fillet with Black Garlic and Asparagus with special Chia Seeds sauce

I really love how we can be creative with this superfood and have it incorporated into our daily meals. Click on the link here to find out more about Superior Chia.



Besides chia seeds, Superior prides itself in hand selecting only the best from bird’s nest houses in Malaysia. Swiftlet houses (家燕) are cleaned frequently to prevent contamination and birds forage for their own food and insects, ensuring each nest is created in the most natural state possible. Each bird’s nest is painstakingly cleaned manually by hand, using only distilled water. They are inspected for quality before being dried in a dehumidifier. After being soaked in distilled water, the nests are carefully shaped, dried for a second time and treated with UV light for a last stage of sterilisation. The final product is a natural, organic bird’s nest, free from any additives, chemicals or cleaning agents. Each nest receives a final quality check, ensuring its optimum colour, size, and shape- a fundamental criteria which contributes to its bite and springy texture after cooking.

Superior further sets itself apart with its transparency and uncompromising selection and cleaning processes. The company is HACCP (Food Safety According to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System) certified, ensuring that each process, from source to product, is in compliance with the one of the highest levels of food and safety standards in the world.

Chilled Double-Boiled Superior Bird's Nest in Coconut Water served with Vanilla Ice Cream


We had chilled double-boiled Superior Bird's Nest in coconut water served with vanilla ice cream as dessert. You can see for yourself the quality of Superior Birds' Nest in the picture above. 

In fact, you can place their orders for bird’s nest or chia seeds online. Delivery can be made within 48 hours and is free for all orders above $75.

For those who want to enjoy the benefits of bird’s nest without the hassle of preparing the tonic, Superior’s double boiled bird’s nest (2 bowls for $158) is your go-to choice. Made by soaking dried bird’s nest in boiling water for an hour, it is gently double boiled for another hour before being naturally sweetened with rock sugar or honeycomb. You can also choose your preferred level of sweetness when ordering online. Each order of double boiled bird’s nest is delivered right to your doorstop in a porcelain vacuum flask that helps keep the tonic fresh, air tight and warm.


One of the best presents you could get for
your Moms this Mothers Day, perhaps?




Special Mother's Day offer! From now till 14 May 2017, enjoy two flasks of freshly prepared, double-boiled bird's nest at just $130, including delivery (U.P. $158).

Place your order at www.finestfood.com.sg. Use the promotional code "LoveMom17" to enjoy this special promotion.

“I personally believe that by eating well, you can live well and by taking care of your body you can in turn, take care of others. This is and always will be the core philosophy behind our brand.” 

Says Freddy Yap, CEO of Superior Brand.



Superior Brand - Finest Food Pte Ltd


Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf All-Day Breakfast

[Media Invite]


I like Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL), not because of its tea or coffee, but its All-Day Breakfast! I refined my eating style in the recent years, nowadays I would skip dinner or eat light. Because of that, my breakfast the next day would be substantial. 


The CBTL outlet in basement of Suntec City, facing the wealth fountain

So glad to be alerted that CBTL has some new additions to their All-Day Breakfast menu and à la carte menu, so Serene and I went to check it out after our morning jog. And the new additions are: The Mediterranean Sandwich, Avocado Tuna Melt, Cold Pasta Salad with Turkey Ham, Smoked Chicken SaladSesame Dressing Chicken & Egg Sandwich, Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich and Creamy Seafood Fusilli

I ordered The Mediterranean Sandwich while Serene had Creamy Seafood Fusilli. We shared the Smoked Chicken Salad.


The Mediterranean Sandwich $13.90

The presentation of the Mediterranean Sandwich may not look very appetising but the egg served in egg benedict style was really da boom. Even Serene who doesn't eat yolk commented it was nice. 

See the whole yolk!

The Mediterranean Sandwich uses Vienna bread as base and top it up with tomatoes, feta cheese spinach, eggs topped with hollandaise sauce, turkey ham and a side of mushrooms. If you love eggs, you would love this!



Creamy Seafood Fusilli ($14.90) 


Yup, Serene ordered Creamy Seafood Fusilli but it turned out as Creamy Seafood Spaghetti. We are not fussy bunch of people, so we didn't ask to have it changed. The Creamy Seafood Pasta (I shall change it to 'pasta' in this case) is made mustard cream sauce with ingredients like prawns, scallops and parmesan cheese. While the prawns and scallops were fresh, the parmesan cheese wasn't generous enough. The sauce was rich and creamy but pasta did not absorb the taste of the sauce, resulting it being blend. This dish can definitely be perfected.



Smoked Chicken Salad ($11.90) 


Serene and I shared this salad. The smoked chicken breast atop bountiful greens, cherry tomatoes, cranberries and almond flakes topped off with a palatable sesame dressing was a delightful appetiser. The added crunch from the roasted almond flakes, the tangy sweet from the cranberries and the sesame dressing worked together in perfect synergy. I would have wiped it clean if there were less food to finish up.



The new Mexican Chocolate Ice Blended® drink and Mexican Chocolate Latte (from $7)


Life A meal with friends is not complete without having dessert. So we ordered these 2 new Mexican Chocolate beverages. Serene enjoyed her much needed icy smooth cup of Mexican Chocolate Ice Blended® Drink after her morning run with me. As for me, I can't start my day without coffee, so this balanced blend between The Coffee Bean’s premium espresso and Mexican chocolate, the new Mexican Chocolate Latte simply hit me at the right spot. The roasted coffee beans, rich Mexican chocolate and earthy spice flavours fuse together to form an aromatic enchantment in a cup. If you like chocolate drinks or coffee and chocolate combined, do head down to CBTL for these. These 2 drinks are available till 24 May 2017 only.


A hearty brunch with Serene at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Here are the 4 new additions which we did not try.



Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf