For me, I went with Radiantly Alive.
The first time I did a DIY Yoga Retreat was back in 2014 when I for some much-needed self-care. I did classes mostly at the Yoga Barn and was amazed and taken aback by Les Levanthal’s classes.
This time, instead, I was feeling a little more adventurous and did classes at Radiantly Alive so I was looking for a homestay nearer to the studio.
I asked around and received a recommendation for D’Cliff’s House. It’s a homestay further up Jalan Dewisita, where the bustle goes on in Ubud.
The guest facilities are a 4-room building at the back of the homestay. I stayed on the higher room with a balcony – it wasn’t very much more expensive than the lower rooms.
The pre-Lent observance period, Karneval, is often unofficially known as the fifth season in Germany. A traditional festival, Karneval, as its name sounds, is a festive carnival parade celebrated the true German way – food, beer and lots of merry.
Since I am a plane ride away from Karneval in Germany, the next best thing is to try the Karneval menu in Brotzeit. This exclusive menu is available only from 16 January to 25 February 2018 at Brotzeit outlets in Singapore.
If you have meat-loving and beer-chugging friends, this is a great menu to try out with groups of friends, best to go in more than threes.
As Group Chef Wolfgang Ranner introduced the food to us, he emphasized that Karneval is a season of making merry and sharing food with friends and loved ones.
In that same spirit of sharing with friends, Brotzeit will be introducing a food challenge, ‘We Dare You! Brotzeit Challenge’ If a pair of friends finishes the half-metre Brotzeit’s Deutsche Halbmeter Wurst (SGD29) within four minutes, the sausage is on the house.
This sausage is about the length of an adult’s forearm.
Half of the baguette is served with sauerkraut and other with potato salad. Personally, I liked the sauerkraut as it whets your appetite although Roger preferred the potato salad for its balanced taste.
Even if you’re not attempting the challenge, the Halbmeter Wurst is a good dish to share with friends, especially if you’re the type who can’t do without carbs.
Along the theme of sharing, the Duo of Chicken (SGD40) is a combo of half an oven-roasted and half a golden fried chicken with fries and potato salad served on the side.
You know how you can never agree with friends which to order – the fried chicken or the roasted one? This dish will solve the problem and save your friendship.
The oven-roasted chicken was the clear winner for me. The meat was tender and juicy with flavour permeating the entire chicken.
The crispy chicken is best eaten immediately. It had a thicker breading batter, hence, eat quick or risk the batter becoming soggy.
The last dish that I tried was the platter of German tapas which is a combination of old-time favourites and new dishes. The twelve items available are Bierbeisser, super food salad, spicy chicken sausages, currywurst, golden fried chicken, cheese spätzle, meatballs, seabass filet, fried mushrooms, mini Kaiser rolls with meatloaf, chicken schnitzel and meat patties.
Chef Wolfgang mentioned that his favourite was the meatloaf – a dish that brings him fond memories of the cold winters in Germany. He mentioned that customers often come back to taste this item.
Sadly, I cannot give a comprehensive review of the platter as I did not manage to taste every item.
The good thing is you can pick and mix your favourite tapas, at the following prices:
If I have to make up a platter of six, I would go for Bierbeisser, super food salad, spicy chicken sausages, currywurst, cheese spätzle, meatballs.
My favourite items were:
Go for the half-metre sausage dog and platter of six or 12 tapas depending on how hungry you are!
Wash down the meal with Gaffel Kolsch beer (one bottle at $10, a bucket of five at $48 and 5-litre party keg at $98) which is available only during the Karneval menu.
If you’re more of a coffee person, the Berliner (texture is like a doughnut stuffed with chocolate) is served free with coffee.
Brotzeit is easily accessible in all corners of Singapore with 5 outlets in 313 Somerset, Vivocity, Katong, Raffles City and Westgate.
As the Germans say it, Prost (Cheers)!
This is a revised post for 2018.
NOTE: Enjoy further discounts (up to $60 off in your first purchase) in January 2018!
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.
|Class limit||Unlimited if monthly||10 classes|
|Max class per studio||3 usually (except for 10-class pack and 4-class pack)||1-5|
|Max active reservations||4||4|
|Late class cancellations||$15||$15|
|No show fee||$20||$15|
|Customer support||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||STILL
Barre to Barre
|Move to Live
One Wellness Fitness Club
|Overseas access||Yes (Less than 50% of bookings)||No|
|Other cool things||
* 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.
Just like any subscription that survives on sales, referrals are important.
GuavaPass: Each new member gets $40-$60 off their first month / class-pack purchase with a referral code.
My GuavaPass referral link: https://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.
It’s been a while since I did one of these so here’s the low down on what have been the top moments in 2017 for me.
2017 marked a year of growth for me. I was pushed to deal with more personalities (than I would have liked), discomfort and make bigger ‘adult’ decisions.
One of my earliest highlights must have been finding a foothold in my career. It was a long six-month journey of finding the right fit amidst family health and caregiving issues. I found myself fitting into a new team at work.
It was also a stepping stone for me as I gained learning lessons in managing personalities, crisis communications real-time and get back to the grind of agency life.
That was where I gained some of my (now) closest friends.
I say almost, because later that year, I received an unexpected phone call to do something I’ve always wanted to try. It wasn’t the best timing but it was an opportunity I could not let go.
I liken my birthday to another gathering for my old dance friends. We have a get-together, catch up with our past (year) happenings and sing me a birthday song!
If you have read about it online, there was a torrential downpour on the first day. Throw in the crowds and the squeeze, you get a lot of FOMO complaints online.
Can’t fit in the whole building here but Home Hostel truly stood out amongst the gaudy loud buildings in Sinsekai.
The reason why I picked this spot instead of the more popular areas like Namba is because Home Hostel is a skip away from Spa World, Don Quixote (for snacks to bring home) and has a train station with direct train to Kansai International Airport.
Sinsekai is the “New World” town of Osaka. On first look, the vibe is gaudy, almost like Gayworld in Singapore. The area is filled with Kushikatsu restaurants (fried skewers) that arose due to the huge Pachinko (arcade and slot machine centres) and Spa World (onsen theme park). The buildings are adorned with huge lanterns, vibrant colours and gaming machines.
Due to its nature of the activity – the crowds veer towards the middle-aged men but there really isn’t anything to worry about!
Enter the building and you spy beautiful wall murals all around. The left is the wall of shoe lockers. One of their staff members is an artist.
This is a family-run hostel which explains their cosy vibes. The owner often brings his child to the hostel.
When I visited USA back in 2012, I was awed by the ‘sampler’ platters that eateries have. I loved the concept of being able to try a little bit of everything even when you’re a solo diner.
This is exactly why I like Ichiba Coji. You probably wouldn’t wander in if you’re not in the know.
Woody furnishing all around when you step into the restaurant located on the basement floor.
The serve an ‘Obanzai’ plate which is a platter of many cold dishes that accompany the main. Something quite similar to Korean’s ‘banchan’ dishes.
I loved this restaurant because of the wide variety of small dishes (which you do not need to share, and also, you still can get even if you’re a solo diner).
|Address||Japan, 〒604-8045 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Enpukujimaechō, 京都府京都市中京区寺町通錦小路上る円福寺前町283|
|Opening hours||Monday – Friday 11: 30 ~ 15: 00 (Lunch)
Monday – Friday 17: 00 ~ 23: 00 (Dinner)
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11: 30 ~ 23: 00
|How to get there||3 minutes on foot from Kawaramachi Station on Hankyu Kyoto Line
Keihan Electric Railway Main Line Gion Shijo Station 10 minutes on foot
|Google Map||Ichiba Coji (Restaurant next to it but accurate location!)|
I love staying in hostels in Japan because of the great price point and also, because of how the country is set up, there is a convenience store in every corner you turn.
Some of the hostels are so up-scale that they feel like boutique hotels.
The hostel is decorated in a beautiful industrial theme.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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|
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: