A Better Florist Flower Arrangement Class

Flower arrangement classes are a dime and dozen. To make the most out of your buck, head over to A Better Florist for a wallet-friendly flower arrangement class where you get to bring the beautiful flowers home too! You learn the art and you bring the art home.

The art of arrangement

From de-thorning roses to wrapping your bouquets, the workshop was an eye opener for first-timers like us. We got our hands “dirty” and worked with different flowers and fillers to create a beautiful half-round bouquet. This was the end product of our intensive 2-hour flower arrangement crash course: a rustic bouquet wrapped in burlap.

A Better Florist stocks its flowers from a Cameron Highlands farm that grows a variety of florals found globally. Some of the different flowers and fillers we worked with during this class included roses, carnations, baby’s breath, eucalyptus and ruscus. This was our workstation halfway through our class.

The workshop space

The 15pax class was a little squeezy for the cosy studio which would have fitted 8 pax more comfortably. Our class was split into two groups with 10 gathering at a long table, while the remaining students worked at a smaller table.

The Plus Points of A Better Florist

The class experience was enjoyable and the class went well. The instructor, Elijah, was extremely friendly and very willing to guide students in the class. Despite the large class size, he took time to stop at each student’s work area and patiently gave feedback on the different types of fillers and flowers students should be adding to create a half-round bouquet.

The prices offered by A Better Florist remain one of the most affordable at $30 (for early birds) to $40 (for regular tickets) per floral arrangement class. Classes are conducted an average of two to three classes monthly, on late Saturday afternoons.

Things to note before you head for a class

On the night before the class, we were notified via email of a change in class timing. Do remember to check your emails the night before your class so that you don’t miss any updates!

We got a  little lost searching for the studio and was late, the class had not started as the instructor had yet to arrive. Although this really isn’t an excuse for a participant to be late, do check out directions to A Better Florist ahead of the class.

How to book a class

Check out their Eventbrite or Facebook page for more information on their upcoming workshops.

A Better Florist is also an online floral shop (aka e-commerce) that offers same-day delivery of fresh flowers and even, fruit hampers, island-wide in Singapore. They have bouquets at a variety of price points ranging for a more affordable bouquet that is perfect for any “just because” occasion to more luxury florals suitable for proposals. Alternatively, customise a personal bouquet!

Shop A Better Florist
Address  11 Keng Cheow Street, #01-02 Riverside Piazza, Singapore 059608
Opening hours 9am – 6.30pm
How to get there Nearest train station: Clarke Quay
Google Map A Better Florist
Disclosure

This post was done in collaboration with A Better Florist, brought to you by guest writers, Gabbie Teo and Shiyun.

 

 

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Fitness Subscriptions/Pass: Guavapass and Kfit Review 2017

This is an update post for 2017

Useful reads:

There were multiple cases in the past couple of years on gyms and spas closing leaving members who had paid upfront fees in a ditch. I feel a little insecure when committing to large sums of money paid upfront. As my parents would say, “钱不容易赚”, which translates to, “it is not easy to earn money.”

Hence, I’ve been an advocate for fitness subscriptions like Guavapass and Kfit for the past couple of years. They offer the flexibility of month-on-month payments and extremely wide range of classes from member studios. Think of it as a “trial” to your favourite classes.

What is a fitness subscription?

  • Basically, it is a fitness membership on an app with a concept very similar to The Entertainer App. You pay an X amount of money per month to access classes by its member studios
  • There are two dominant players in Singapore: Guavapass and KFit.

What are their differences?

Fitness Pass GuavaPass KFit 
 Price plans
  • $179/mth
  • $169 for 3 mth
  • $159/mth for 6 mth
  • $129/mth for 6 classes
  • $99/mth for 4 classes
$129/month
Class limit Unlimited 10 classes
Max class per studio 3 usually 1-5
Max active reservations 4 4
Late class cancellations $15 $15
No show fee $20 $15
Customer support Email In-app, live chat, email
Referral link / promo code Receive $40 off first month:  GuavaPass promo code * Receive $5 off first month: JVBGZ or KFit referral link
Unique studios / with more visits GuavaLabs
Aqua Spin
Barre to Barre
Move to Live
Actualize Crossfit
One Wellness Fitness Club
Overseas access Yes (Less than 50% of bookings) No
Other cool things
  • GuavaPass has its own studio, GuavaLabs
  • Check out other offers/perks 
  • Includes sports such as mini-golf

* In case the referral link for KFit does not work, simply key in the promo code. There have been technical issues with regards to the referral link.

Referrals and promotions

Just like any subscription that survives on sales, referrals are important.

GuavaPass: Each new member gets $40 off their first month with a referral code.

My GuavaPass referral linkhttps://goo.gl/Zo3tpd

My GuavaPass promo code: WvrXtCrUgw3NhMW

KFit: Every new member gets $5 off first purchase. Please key in the promo code if the referral link does not work, there have been technical issues before but keying in the promo code will work.

My KFit promo code / referral link is: JVBGZ

P.S. Drop me a note at hello (at) meowsyy.c0m if you’ll like to find out more about the exact discount as referrals tend to change very frequently.

Continue reading “Fitness Subscriptions/Pass: Guavapass and Kfit Review 2017”

Osaka: Endo Sushi Kyobashi

This has got to be the highlight of my Osaka trip 2017. Endo Sushi is better known for its Osaka Central Fish Market outlet, tourists are known to throng the famed outlet even before the sun rises.

Instead, try Endo’s Kyobashi outlet which is right by Kyobashi subway.

It is exactly the same as its more famous counterpart, sans the queue and the early timing.

Each plate consist of five pieces of sushi:

  • You can switch 1 piece of sushi but the number must correspond.  For e.g. You can switch Third Plate’s Tamago with Fourth Plate’s Saka
  • For the unavailable sushi, the chef will replace the piece with something of similar value, omakase (the chef’s choice) style
  • Each plate will include Ootoro (the fattiest tuna).

Top: Fourth plate Bottom: First plate

Continue reading “Osaka: Endo Sushi Kyobashi”

Penang Hostel: Container Hostel

I stayed a night in Penang as part of my overland journey to Bangkok. I was looking for a simple stay near the ferry as the night was meant to break up the monotony of the overland trip.

Container Hotel was more of a hostel than a hotel and it was situated right by the ferry. It’s a great no-frills stay if you’re not too picky.

Container Hotel group operates multiple hotels in Malaysia, including Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. The concept is similar, a budget hotel option housed in containers. You can’t see it from the exterior but inside, the rooms are made in refurbished containers.

We stayed in the female private pod which was super affordable. Your privacy is accorded with the black out blinds.

Continue reading “Penang Hostel: Container Hostel”

Osaka / Kyoto / Nara bucketlist

Food chains to try

  1. Ichiran ramen
  2. Gyukatsu Motomura
  3. Torikizoku

Kyoto food

  1. Katsukura
  2. Donguri (Okonomiyaki)
  3. Nishiki market – Kobe beef, Uni
  4. Ichiba Coji 
  5. Gram pancakes

Kyoto sights

  1. Neko Cafe Time (at Fushimi Inari)
  2. Fushimi Inari
  3. Kyoto Manga Museum (if you’re a geek)
  4. Kiyomizu
  5. Temples with flea markets (Tenmagu has one every 25th)

Nara

  1. Tofu-an Kondou (which I didn’t get to visit, so bummed.)
  2. Nara park
  3. Todaiji temple

Osaka food

  1. Endo Sushi Kyobashi – MUST TRY!
  2. Kuromon – cheap sashimi!
  3. Calbee Shinsaibashi
  4. Mizuno Okonomiyaki
  5. Isetan food hall
  6. Gourmet Food Museum at Umeda
  7. Cheese Craftworks
  8. Dashi Gura  Hankyu Sanbangai 

Osaka visits

  1. Spa World
  2. Cat Tail Cafe at Amerika Muya
  3. Shopping at Umeda + Osaka Station
  4. Yodabashi Camera
  5. Ando Momofuku Instant Ramen Museum
  6. Thrift shopping at Amerikamura

Overland journey to Bangkok: trains, bus and ferry

I have no idea what on earth possessed us to do the long route to Bangkok. In total, we spent about 11 hours + 20 hours = 32 hours (inclusive of transfers) taking a long road trip up to Bangkok.

Yes, I know there is a shorter route. Hey, where is your sense of adventure? We travelled in late Dec, spent New Year’s Eve in Bangkok and flew back to Singapore via Scoot.

One way road trip to Bangkok

No. Route Type Price Time  Link
1 Singapore to Butterworth Sleeper bus 45SGD 10hours Starmart Express via RedBus
2 Butterworth to Georgetown Ferry RM1.20 15 mins Penang Port
3 Georgetown to Butterworth Ferry 0 15 mins Penang Port
4 Butterworth to Padang Besar Train
#9500 /9208
RM29 2h 25 mins 12go.Asia
5 Padang Besar to Hua Lumphong Sleeper train #46 1225THB 17h 10mins 12go.Asia

Total costs in SGD: $103.69
Time spent (not including land transfers): Approx 32 hours

We booked all train rides and bus rides about 1 month ahead. There is no need to book ferry rides. The booking was really simple once you figured out how you are going to reach Bangkok.

Why did we do it?

My roomie and I always enjoyed road trips and we were inspired by this Tripzilla article that travelled to Bangkok by train entirely. Instead of doing the entire trip by train, I decided to break it up to include all forms of overland public transport – bus, ferry and train.

Continue reading “Overland journey to Bangkok: trains, bus and ferry”

Japan 2016: EkoNeko

I seemed to be naturally drawn to cat cafes when I am overseas. Perhaps it’s the attachment I have to my cat, being away from my cat makes me feel a little… empty and void of furry-loving.

While my travel mates went mildly hysterical at Pokemon Centre at Ikebukuro, I took a short train ride out to EkoNeko.

Alight at Ekoda and walk through this alley

You can read more about EkoNeko on Rocket News. The concept is quite simple: All of the cats are rescued and up for adoption. The cat cafe serves as a temporary foster home for potential adopters to spend time with the cats. However, you can’t just pick up a cat and head home, there is a stringent interview process to ensure your commitment and responsibility.

The entrance fee for an hour is 1100Y with proceeds going into the upkeep of these strays. The staff doesn’t speak much English but enough to understand your request.

The cat cafe is about an apartment size big with plenty of cat toys, climbing posts and cages all around. No nasty smells.

Continue reading “Japan 2016: EkoNeko”

Taipei: Ping Xi line timetable and map, sky lantern tips

Prior to my trip, I searched high and low on the net for a map and timetable of Ping Xi line and I could not find them anywhere.

To get to Ping Xi

Taipei Main Railway –> Rui Fang

From Taipei Railway Main Station, purchase a ticket to Rui Fang to switch trains.  While you can purchase tickets on the day of, the recommendation is to purchase a day ahead so as to get reserved seats. The train ride takes about 30 minutes or so and costs approximately SGD3-5 maybe?

At Rui Fang, you will switch to Ping Xi line.

Ping Xi Line Map

The tricky thing about Ping Xi line is that the trains run infrequently. There is only one train that comes every hour. If you miss that train, you’d be stuck at that station for another hour. Try to be there at least 5 – 10 mins early.

The entire Ping Xi line map:

The typical stops are:

  • Hou Tong (aka Cat Village)
  • Shi Fen – where shops are beside the train tracks and a popular spot for releasing sky lanterns. Also a transit to Jiu Fen (another tourist hot spot)
  • Jing Tong – an old mining village
  • Ping Xi – alternate spot for sky lanterns and also a transit for Jiu Fen

Ping Xi Line Timetable

No idea how to read the Chinese characters and want the Ping Xi line timetable?

The timetable is quite self-explanatory. Look at the timing at the station, that is what time the train will depart. The trains are punctual, you can start boarding usually 5-10 minutes prior.

P.S. Click the image to download.

Direction: From Rui Fang to Jing Tong

As of October 2016, subject to changes

Direction: From Jing Tong to Rui Fang

As of October 2016, subject to changes

Continue reading “Taipei: Ping Xi line timetable and map, sky lantern tips”

Almost 12 months worth of Vinyasas

Isn’t it cliche to say time flies? It’s been a year of practising yoga for me since I started my journey last Christmas eve, 24 Dec 2015. I purchased my first membership on KFit.

My first class was a Hot Flow class at Space & Light which has sadly closed down and moved into Como Shambhala.

Then in Feb, KFit implemented a 10-class limit per month which saw me hopping over to GuavaPass in March 2016.

Making it a routine

It’s easy to start something new but the challenge comes when you try to keep it going. My method was to incorporate class into my daily routine.

I would normally book a class on the day of or the previous day when my plans for the day firm up. The first cycle of your membership is probably going to be the most exciting and research intensive. There are so many classes to choose from, the large variety can be overwhelming.

It takes a couple of months to settle into the groove. Once you know your favourite studios, it’s a matter of building up a routine that you’re comfortable with.

I like to schedule my classes for the early evenings mostly so that there is still leeway for dinner appointments.

Yoga is not easy

I thought, hey, I’m used to dance training, yoga can’t be that tough.

No.

I was surprised at how hard yoga is. Even now, every class is still a challenge for me. Initially, I had difficulties just sitting through the simplest breathing exercise. My nose was itchy, I needed to fidget and my mind wandered.

Then it was about the stamina of lasting through the class and not giving up on myself. My favourite classes are flow and power classes for the smooth transitions and dynamic holds.

Learning from different masters

This is probably my favourite aspect about GuavaPass: the ability to studio hop at ease without the financial strain needing to purchase multiple packages.

At this point, I can’t imagine needing to commit to a single studio because I enjoy many different instructors’ classes: flowing with breath at Strala, toning it down with Stretch Flow at YoCo Loft and stretching it out on the Yoga Wheel at Level.

Keeping the mind calm and body going

Amidst all the worries, yoga was probably the thing that kept my mind calm and at ease. When I step on the mat, it is an hour of solitude and absolute presence I am dedicating to myself – something I need to balance out the chaos.

I try to hit 3-5 classes a week so as to maximise my membership and also that, I felt this was the most optimum number for me. Any lesser and I’d feel like I can’t keep up with the flow.

In 2017…

I hope to keep my Vinyasas going and start to challenge myself by going for more intermediate and inversion classes. It’s been almost a year of going to classes solo, I also want to try to make a few yoga friends in the new year – how nice it’d be to have someone to grab dinner (or help me snap pictures).

GuavaPass / KFit Review and Promo codes

For a full review dissecting the subscription passes, read my Fitness Subscription Pass – KFit vs GuavaPass. I am not sponsored nor endorsed by either, I have tried both subscriptions and I am currently on GuavaPass.

GuavaPass: Each new member gets $40 off their first month with a referral code.

My GuavaPass referral link / promo codehttps://goo.gl/Zo3tpd

KFit: Every new member gets $10 off first purchase. Please key in the promo code if the referral link does not work, there have been technical issues before but keying in the promo code will work.

My KFit promo code / referral link is: JVBGZ

P.S. Drop me a note at hello (at) meowsyy.c0m if you’ll like to find out more about the exact discount as referrals tend to change very frequently.

Midori Sushi: familiar contemporary sushi

As compared to Iwasa Sushi, Midori Sushi veers onto the more commercial side. In fact, Midori has been rated to be one of the better sushi chains with higher quality dishes that do not break the bank.

Let me put this up front, I am no connoisseur in food. In my world, I rank it by:

  • Good: I would eat this 1-2x a week
  • Meh: I would eat this 1-2x a month
  • Bad: I would eat this 1-2x a year

Midori falls in the good category of course.  The sushi is familiar to me, I have seen most of them before and most importantly: The chef asked me if I wanted wasabi!

There are multiple Midori outlets throughout Tokyo. Venture into the more popular outlets and you’re probably going to wait 45 minutes or more. We were at the Kichijoji outlet at 7pm or so and waited about 20 minutes.

There was a more expensive option at 2,800Y but we were so full and satisfied with the 2,000Y option.

Continue reading “Midori Sushi: familiar contemporary sushi”