McDonald’s® serves up locally-inspired menu that will make Singaporeans go Sedap!

As we count down to National Day, McDonald’s Singapore is launching a delicious menu selection that puts a modern spin on traditional local favourites.

Adding to its variety of iconic burgers and desserts that Singaporeans love, McDonald’s is celebrating the diverse local food heritage with a creative touch to whet local appetites. Familiar local fare that Singaporeans grew up eating such as Nasi Lemak, Bandung and Chendol form the inspiration behind the new limited-time menu, launched in conjunction with the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) 2017.

This year, McDonald’s is a partner of the annual festival organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) which celebrates our local, multi-ethnic food heritage, ranging from hawker fare to contemporary dining.

“As a brand that’s deeply woven into the fabric of Singapore, we wanted to pay homage to our traditional local fare in conjunction with the launch of the Singapore Food Festival 2017. We have given a modern twist to familiar local favourites which includes the “Nasi Lemak” Burger – and hope Singaporeans will be thrilled to unravel the local flavours in our exciting menu line-up, as we come together to celebrate National Day soon,” said Agatha Yap, Senior Director of Marketing, Menu and Digital Innovation, Hanbaobao Pte Ltd (licensee of McDonald’s Singapore).

“We are delighted that McDonald’s, a brand with a large fan base in Singapore, is on board with us as a partner for the Singapore Food Festival 2017. With this year’s theme being ‘Savour Singapore in Every Bite’, we are particularly excited by the introduction of McDonald’s locally-inspired menu, which will feature flavours well-loved by generations of Singaporeans who grew up eating them.  This will further pique the curiosity of both locals and visitors about SFF, which is still the only event in Singapore dedicated to showcasing local food and local talent,” said Ranita Sundramoorthy, Director, Attractions, Dining & Retail, STB.

“Nasi Lemak” Burger

Inspired by the iconic Malay dish, the “Nasi Lemak” Burger combines key elements of the dish in a mouth-watering recipe that will capture your senses from miles away. The juicy chicken thigh patty, a star ingredient of the burger, is rich in aromatic coconut flavours and coated with cornflakes crunch for an extra crispy finish. Served between lightly toasted semolina buns, the chicken thigh patty is layered with a golden fried egg, a bed of caramelised onions, crunchy cucumber slices, and topped off with a dash of sweet and spicy sambal sauce for that added zing. The “Nasi Lemak” Burger is available from $5.95 a la carte, or from $7.80 in an Extra Value Meal™.

Bandung McFizz & Criss Cut Fries

From $3.40, customers can also enjoy the savoury goodness of Criss Cut Fries, a treat no one can say no to! To balance out the rich flavours of your meal, chill out with a glass of Bandung McFizz from $3 – a refreshing take on an old school favourite.

 


Chendol McFlurry & Coconut Pie

End your meal on a sweet note by digging into a Chendol McFlurry from $3. Comprising a mix of vanilla soft serve with Gula Melaka sauce whisked to perfection with Chendol jelly bits, customers can savour the taste of the traditional dessert with a modern twist. Those craving for a warm dessert can get their hands on the scrumptiously crispy Coconut Pie from $1.20 and enjoy some oozing tropical coconut filling with nata de coco bits.

To relish the full experience, dig into the “Nasi Lemak” Feast from $9 to get a taste of everything including the “Nasi Lemak” Burger, Fries (M), Coconut Pie and Bandung McFizz.

The locally-inspired menu is available after breakfast hours in all McDonald’s restaurants, Drive-Thru and via McDelivery® from 13 July 2017, while stocks last.

Dessert Kiosk: Chendol Melaka Cone, Chendol Melaka Twist & Chendol Melaka ChocoCone

The beloved chendol flavour is also making its way to our Dessert Kiosks and adding a local touch to our Vanilla Cones. Slurp on the Chendol Melaka Cone and Chendol Melaka Twist from $1 each or go with an adventurous choice of the Chendol Melaka ChocoCone from $1.20, available all day at McDonald’s Dessert Kiosks, while stocks last.


McCafe: Pandan Coco Frappé & Kueh Salat Cake

For the perfect pick-me-up, visit McCafé® to grab a Pandan Coco Frappé and Kueh Salat Cake. Available all day from $4.60, the Pandan Coco Frappé combines a perfect blend of coconut and fragrant Pandan flavours with grass jelly– an ultimate treat to cool off the heat! Or treat your taste buds to the Kueh Salat Cake consisting of pandan sponge cake and a delectable glutinous rice layer – a unique cake and kueh experience rolled into one! Available all day from $5, while stocks last.

Forbidden City: A Home-grown Hit Musical by Cultural Medallion Recipient Dick Lee

Originally staged as part of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s Opening Festival in October 2002, Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress went on to be one of the most successful made-in-Singapore musicals produced with over 100,000 tickets sold. Thanks to overwhelming demand, Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) and Esplanade are delighted to jointly present Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress in August 2017 at the Esplanade Theatre.

It has all the right ingredients of a true epic tale—a young concubine in love, a dying Emperor, a heartless traitor, an idealistic artist and an empire that stands to fall. Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress sets a new standard for Singapore musical theatre, with stylised sets and stunning costume design. Told through the eyes of Kate Carl who is commissioned to paint the Empress’ portrait, the musical recounts Cixi’s trials and tribulations from an ingenious concubine to a ruthless ruler to unmask the woman behind the painted face.

Said Gaurav Kripalani, Artistic Director for SRT, “We are very proud of this musical. In many ways it defines what SRT is and what Singapore is becoming – a place where the best artistic talent from Singapore and abroad congregate, collaborate and create. Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress is a unique Asian story, based on historical events, then crafted and presented for an international audience. It is emphatically stamped with a ‘Made in Singapore’ label.”

Said Benson Puah, Chief Executive Officer, The Esplanade Co Ltd, “Fifteen years since Esplanade commissioned Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress for our Opening Festival, we are delighted to bring this iconic musical back for audiences old and new to enjoy. Our collaboration with SRT to bring some of the most memorable theatre in the world to Singapore audiences is key to our role of making it possible for local arts groups to take greater risks in artistic choices and strengthen their producing capabilities. We are pleased to continue working closely with them and hope many will come to watch this musical which features some of Singapore and musical theatre’s best.”

The creative team behind the musical needs little introduction. Dick Lee, the internationally renowned songwriter and composer penned the music with lyrics by Olivier Award winner Stephen Clark. The Director, Steven Dexter, has worked with SRT on numerous musicals in the past including A Twist of Fate, Friend Rice Paradise and most recently The LKY Musical.

 

The story of the infamous Empress Dowager is helmed by a cast of international and Singapore stars. Home-grown singing sensation Kit Chan returns as the heroic Empress and is supported by a stellar cast including Sebastian Tan, Cheryl Tan and Life! Theatre Award winner Benjamin Chow. West End sensation Earl Carpenter (Les Miserables) and Broadway star Steffanie Leigh (Mary Poppins) also star in the musical.

Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress is made possible with the generous support of Production Partner – Knife brand, Production Supporters – Bowen Enterprises Pte Ltd and On Cheong Jewellery, as well as SRT Corporate Partners – Ascendas Singbridge and KOP Properties and Official Car – Audi.

Tickets for Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress are available from Esplanade’s Box Office at Mezzanine Level (Tel: +65 6828 8389), the SISTIC Hotline (Tel: +65 6348 5555) and all SISITIC outlets from 26 January 2017. More information on the musical may also be found at http://www.esplanade.com/forbiddencity.

Tippling Club racks up three Top 10 nominations in the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards

Tippling Club has been nominated as top 10 finalists across three categories in the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards® – World’s Best Cocktail Menu; International Bartender of the Year; and Best International Restaurant Bar.

Making its debut on the World’s Best Cocktail Menu category is Tippling Club’s memory-triggering Sensorium Menu, an olfactory drinking experience that is delivered through 12 unique scents. It joins the ranks of reputed cocktail institutions from around the world, including London’s The Savoy and New York City’s The Dead Rabbit, among others.

Launched in September 2016 by head bartender Joe Schofield and chef-owner Ryan Clift, the aroma-forward menu has since won the plaudits of industry experts and bartending authorities alike, paving the way for Schofield as he takes his place among this year’s International Bartender of the Year top 10 contenders.

Adjoining Tippling Club’s award-winning bar is an equally lauded modern gastronomy restaurant, which has been putting forth innovative, ultra-progressive cuisine and cocktail pairings to the palates of local gastronomes since 2008. Tippling Club’s wide-reaching reputation as both a dining and drinking destination continues to precede itself; returning as a finalist in the Best International Restaurant Bar category for a third consecutive year.

The three Spirited Awards® nominations are the latest addition to Tippling Club’s growing mantel of bartending accolades, alongside four recent top billings in The Bar Awards Singapore for Best Restaurant Bar, Most Creative Cocktail Bar, Best Cocktail Bar, and Bartender of the Year; and an upcoming placement in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2017, to be announced in the later half of June.

The top four Spirited Awards® nominees in each category will be announced via an exclusive Tales of the Cocktail Facebook Live broadcast on Saturday, 17 June, at 3:00AM SGT. Winners will be announced at the Spirited Awards® ceremony in New Orleans on Saturday, 22 July, during the 15th Annual Tales of the Cocktail.

Legoland® Malaysia launches School Holiday Special

It’s the school holiday season and LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort is launching a fresh annual pass deal to turn an already awesome time of the year for kids into something ‘awesome-r’. The new Buy 2 Get 1 Free Annual Pass deal is designed for families or groups, ensuring no one gets left behind this holiday!

This special deal runs from NOW to 3rd July 2017, right in time for the Raya season as well. It can be purchased directly from LEGOLAND® Malaysia’s ticketing counters, its website (online booking will be available starting from 2nd June onwards), or LEGOLAND® Malaysia’s roadshow at Johor Premium Outlet from now until 4 June 2017.

Annual Pass Deal Details:

  • Buy 2 Get 1 Free Annual Pass
  • All 3 Annual Passes must be of the same type (Awesome Annual Pass and Premium Annual Pass)
  • Valid for any combination of Adult, Child, and Senior Annual Passes

 

Roadshow information:

  • Date: 26 May – 4 June 2017
  • Time: 10am – 10pm
  • Venue: Johor Premium Outlet

 

Details Awesome Pass Premium Pass
Adult/Child Adult/Child
Regular Price – 1 pass RM350 RM495
Normal Price – 3 passes RM1,050 RM1,485
Buy 2 Get 1 Free Deal RM700 (SGD$233*) RM990 (SGD$330*)

*Terms and conditions apply.

*Cost is estimated at SGD1:RM3 rate; may vary with currency exchange rates.

 

For further information on promotions and activities, visit LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort’s official website www.legoland.com.my or contact us at 07-597 8888 and stay connected with LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort’s social handles (Facebook&Twitter) to find out more on online promotions.

Start your week on a happy high with stellar sakes and tasty tapas at BAM!

BAM! shakes up the Tras Street afterwork with new Sake-Tapas Tastings – a weekly happy hour that combines sunset sakes and tasty tapas at a steal, happening every Monday from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

BAM! is Singapore’s first gastro establishment to pay tribute to ‘Modern Shudo’ – a contemporary way of sake appreciation through food.

Having amassed an impressive selection of over 80 outstanding sakes from 15 breweries around the world, matched with Executive Chef Pepe Moncayo’s rich Catalonian heritage, BAM! is now giving the modern shudo movement a happy hour head start with its new Sake-Tapas Tasting sessions.

Available every Monday from 6.00pm to 8.00pm, sake lovers and happy hour hunters can now enjoy a tasting menu of five unique sakes, paired with five mouthwatering morsels, at S$48++ per person.

Savour a stellar selection of sakes hailing from the Yamagata, Ishikawa and Gifu prefectures, and let the umami flavours of Chef Pepe’s culinary creations unfold with each sip.

For those who wish to experience modern shudo in its full gastro-glory, stay for dinner and indulge in BAM!’s highly-affordable Omakase menu – eight exquisite courses entrusted entirely in the capable hands of Chef Pepe and his team; each dish carefully constructed and paired with a hand-picked sake, intended to excite, surprise and pleasure across the senses. The Omakase menu is available at S$148++ per person, with an additional S$90++ for sake pairing.

Sake-Tapas Tastings will be available every Monday from 6.00pm to 8.00pm, starting Monday 5 June, with 5 sakes and 5 tapas at S$48++ per person. For reservations and general enquiries, please email reservation@bam.sg or call +65 6226 0500.

SilkAir to launch non-stop flights between Singapore and Hiroshima

SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, will be launching non-stop flights between Singapore and Hiroshima, Japan, this year. Commencing 30 October 2017, this return flight service will run three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The addition of Hiroshima and Japan to SilkAir’s route network marks a significant milestone for the airline and demonstrates its continuous commitment to bring customers new and exciting destinations.

The new service to Hiroshima will be operated with SilkAir’s fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which features both Business and Economy class cabins. Customers can look forward to a full-service experience, including in-flight meals; wireless in-flight entertainment on SilkAir Studio; baggage allowance of 40kg and 30kg for Business and Economy class passengers respectively; as well as through check-in if they are connecting to, or from, another SilkAir or Singapore Airlines point via Singapore.

“SilkAir is proud to be offering the only non-stop flights between Hiroshima and Singapore, and we are confident that we can serve the demand from both cities. Hiroshima has been popular with Singaporeans, due to its historical significance, good weather and proximity to various attractions in neighbouring cities,” said Mr. Foo Chai Woo, Chief Executive of SilkAir. “We are also hopeful that the Japanese traveling to Singapore from Hiroshima will find this route more convenient, especially for connecting to the other Southeast Asian destinations that SilkAir serves. Expanding our network to Japan is something we have been very excited about and working very hard for,” he continued.

With the launch of Hiroshima, the combined Singapore Airlines-SilkAir network will serve a total of 6 Japanese cities. The number of destinations in SilkAir’s route network will increase to 54 destinations in 16 countries.

Details of the flight schedules are as follows(all times stated are local):

Flight Routing Days of Operation Departure Arrival
MI868 Singapore – Hiroshima Mon, Thu, Sat Singapore

01:45

Hiroshima

09:30

MI867 Hiroshima – Singapore Mon, Thu, Sat Hiroshima

10:25

Singapore

15:40

 

About Hiroshima and Tourism

Located in the Chugoku Region of Japan, Hiroshima (広島) literally means “Wide Island” in Japanese, and is home to two World Heritage Sites: The Itsukushima Shrine; and the A-Bomb Dome of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Situated in the middle of the sea, the Itsukushima Shrine is the only shrine in the world with a torii-gate, and its prime location guarantees one of the three best views in Japan. Located at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the A-Bomb Dome is one of the most significant landmarks in Japan as it was the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb was dropped in 1945.

For those seeking outdoor activities, embark on a curated two-day bicycle ride that allows one to weave through nearby villages and islands, via a 60-kilometer long toll road from Honshu to Shikoku. Onomichi, a prosperous and quaint seaport town situated along the Seto Inland Sea, is packed with cultural sites and ancient Japanese heritage.

As one of Japan’s three great sake-producing areas with approximate 50 sake brewers, visitors are also encouraged to experience the city’s unique Hiroshima sake at Saijo, a renowned sake town. Meanwhile, Japanese cuisine enthusiasts can delight their palates with one of Hiroshima’s most famous dishes, the Okonomiyaki, a savory pancake cooked on a hot plate.

Situated on a river delta, Hiroshima makes a wonderful destination all-year-round with mild winters and late summers. The city’s surroundings are rich with mountains, sea, islands, rivers, valleys, plains, and highlands that are unique to Japan.

 

AXN Extends Asia’s Got Talent Online Audition Deadline to June 8, 2017

Due to an overwhelming response from across Asia, AXN has extended the Asia’s Got Talent Online Auditions to midnight onJune 8, 2017.

After captivating rounds of open auditions in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines, AXN is giving aspiring performers one last chance to take the spotlight in its record-breaking series.

“We’ve witnessed some incredible acts over the last few weeks that really show the cultural diversity and range of awe-inspiring talent on offer here in Asia. But we know there’s even more to be discovered so we’ve extended the deadline to June 8 to give performers some more time to get their acts together,” said Virginia Lim, Senior Vice President and Head of Content, Production and Marketing, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia.

Potential stars can visit www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent to submit an application and audition video, which should include a short introduction of the act, and the actual performance. The videos should be under two minutes’ in duration.

More details including Asia’s Got Talent frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the terms and conditions of participation are available at www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent.

Asia’s Got Talent is slated to premiere in the second half of 2017, first and exclusively on AXN.

Traveloka is the official sponsor of Asia’s Got Talent.

Get too cool for School with American Eagle Outfitters’ Throwback to School Collection

Indulge your nostalgia and relive the rockin 90s with American Eagle Outfitters’ ThrowBack – to – School 2017 collection this season! Redefine current trends with new pieces to your wardrobe inspired by “Ballet Grunge”, stylin “Street Active” and cool “New School” fashion trends. Mix and match these threads with the “All New American Jean” rocking 45 unique styles this season! Find the fit that’s cool for you and see you back in school!

 

 

 

Your Hacks to Great Singapore Sale 2017

If you have been saving a whole year for this very occasion, you are probably going to bag home your entire wish list at very good deals; but what if we told you the deals could be better than it already is?

 

 

Plan your List, Set your Budget
Before you happily head out, get on with a list of the ‘to-die-for’ that you have been eyeing on; set out with a healthy budget, what you need to include is some spare for those moments when you grab the unplanned items. Yes, it’s sales; but burning a hole in your wallet isn’t quite the thing you’d want to do.

The word ‘SALE’ can be very enticing, so know your market and don’t assume all the items are on discount.

Fill the ‘Points’ Meter
It’s shopping season and most merchants are ‘points ‘rewarding you; so power up your shopping matrix and collect them. Now is the time to dig up your membership cards, recall your membership IDs and head out to make the most out of the sale paradise.

Your membership may entitle you more than just the retail discounts, something that most merchants want to offer to thank you for the loyalty within the past year; and if that isn’t already rewarding enough, your membership points may get you some very useful freebies.

Working the Cards to your Benefit
Banks are going all out to get you to spend with their credit cards too; so just keep a lookout for the promotions from the partnering banks before you checkout your purchase, this is the time when you know that owning multiple bank credit cards is a plus; with credit card cash back, points and rebates to help ease off the spike in your spending.

If you are lucky enough to win some of the treats that your banks are offering, you may just end this shopping season in a jolly good mood! After all the happiness and enjoyment, just remember to get the bills settled.

The Online Shopping Scene
No butler to carry your shopping bags, no time to get out from your busy schedule or simply just want to be in the comfort of your home while you get your loots? Shopping online is your best bet if you’ve found a site that gives you the best of both worlds; which somewhat translates to things like being spoilt with choices, good service, free delivery, exchanges, affordability and promotions.

In this season, we are sharing our love and throwing in some very good deals – buy from Pepperkoko Singapore and stand a chance to win movie tickets, with up to 25 pairs up for grabs. With the ‘can’t miss’ movies screening this June and July, you will be looking good while on a date at the movies.

 Brought to you by Pepperkoko Singapore

Endless Crab Party Buffet Dinner- SGD129 for two adults

PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road’s popular crab buffet is back with a vengence! Commencing from 1 May 2017, on Thursdays to Sundays, eve of and on Public Holidays.
Taking the favourite crab buffet to another level, Executive Chef Low Hoe Kiat brings us eight brand new crab flavours, totalling up the freshest crustacean buffet to a sum of up to 12 tantalising selections.
The Slow-braised Pumpkin Crab in Claypot is here to stay but even tastier than before. The deliciously creamy yellow-golden gravy of this pumpkin dish is enriched to mesmerise one’s palate. Additionally, diners get to indulge in all-time favourite Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab and a dish back by popular demand, the Crab Bee Hoon– definitely a local favourite way to enjoy this valued crustacean.
One highlight this season will be the Wok Fried Crab in Wu Jia Pi Wine – this dish is a family recipe passed down to Chef Low. The wonder of this creation is in the marriage of the Chinese wine when flambéed, igniting dancing flame over wok-fried crab before serving up the buffet line, leaving an unforgettable flavour on your taste buds!
Salted Egg Crab with Curry Leaves will grace the buffet line once again, bound to steal hearts! Opt for something “uniquely Spice Brasserie” with our Stir Fried Crab with Asian Spices, for tasty crabsfried with chilli padi, and dried shrimps. The Cheesy Crab Cake made with potato, celery, carrot, cheese, nutmeg and of course, crab meat under a light crusting of panko is thoughtfully crafted, especially in size, so you can enjoy popping them as appetizer before digging further into the Endless Crab Party.
There are more new creations such as Crab in Steamed Wine, Rock Salt Baked Crab and Stir Fried Crab with Jalapeno. Apart from the many must-try dishes, diners are entitled to one serving per person to relish the exquisite flavours our Flame-grilled Mentaiko Lobster, a dish that one cannot miss.

Price: $79 per adult

UOB, DBS/POSB, Maybank & HSBC card promotions: SGD129 for two adults (min. four to dine)

McDonald’s® expands variety of Extra Value Meals with the new Chili Lime Fish Burger and Chicken BLT Burger

This May, McDonald’s introduces the Chili Lime Fish Burger and Chicken BLT Burger, offering more variety at a great value for our loyal customers.

Chicken BLT Burger

The new Chicken BLT is McDonald’s take on the classic BLT sandwich: crispy chicken bacon, a slice of tomato, a bed of romaine lettuce, McChicken sauce, and a chicken patty, all layered in between toasted sesame buns – but with an added touch of savoury and sweet along with a delightful combination of crunch and juiciness.

Chili Lime Fish Burger

Pamper your taste buds with an irresistible mix of tangy, spicy, and savoury flavours with the new Chili Lime Fish Burger: a fish filet topped with romaine lettuce and spicy Kaffir Lime flavoured mayo atop half a slice of cheese, in between tender steamed buns.

McDonald’s $5 Extra Value Meals

Chili Lime Fish Burger and Chicken BLT Burger add to McDonald’s variety of $5 Extra Value Meals, each of which is served with French Fries (M) and Coca-Cola (S). The new burgers will also be available a la carte at $3 each.

Also on McDonald’s $5 menu are Extra Value Meals with McDouble, McChicken, Veggie Crunch and Filet-O-Fish.

 

Customers can opt to swap French Fries for a Corn Cup at no extra charge, or top up $1.20 to change their side to a Garden Side Salad if they want a more balanced option. The Garden Side Salad features whole leaf lettuce, red and white cabbage, crunchy carrots, corn kernels and tomatoes, served with a delicious Japanese dressing.

AXN Announces Open Auditions for Asia’s Got Talent

Singapore, it’s time to get your act together!  AXN, Asia’s number one general entertainment channel, announced today that the highly anticipated open auditions for Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 will be held at the iconic Marina Bay Sands on Sunday, May 14, 2017.

Doors will open from 10:30am as thousands of aspiring hopefuls will descend on the Sands Theatre for their chance to perform in front of AXN’s producers and a shot at a USD100,000 cash prize.

“Asia’s Got Talent is the world’s biggest talent competition that unites the region’s diverse cultures in a vibrant celebration of the performing arts,” said Virginia Lim, Senior Vice President and the Head of Content, Production and Marketing, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia. “This season, we invite all Singaporeans of any age and with any talent to show our producers what they can do. We look forward to joining with Marina Bay Sands to discover the next generation of Singaporean superstars on AXN.”

Due to the expected turn out and exceptionally high demand for an audition slot, aspiring stars are encouraged to pre-apply online (www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent) to expedite the registration process on the day.

If an act is successful during the open auditions, they may then be selected to perform at the judges’ auditions later in the year. The judges’ auditions comprise the first five episodes of the series and precede the semi-finals and the grand finale episode where the winner of Asia’s Got Talent will be crowned, winning USD100,000 in cash.

More details including Asia’s Got Talent open audition dates and cities, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the terms and conditions of participation are available at www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent.

Asia’s Got Talent is slated to premiere in the second half of 2017, first and exclusively on AXN.

 

Join the conversation and watch the AXN crew report live throughout the day from Marina Bay Sands and the open auditions via AXN’s Facebook page @AXNAsia

@AsiasGotTalent / #AXNAsia / #AsiasGotTalent / #AsiasGotTalentAudition

A Traditional Treat with a Modern Twist: Feet Haven opens 3rd outlet in Bukit Timah

Take any old-fashioned ideas of dowdy foot reflexology parlours located in obscure corners of old shopping malls and cast them aside. With the opening of Feet Haven’s 3rd outlet in Bukit Timah, the company is shaking off these outdated impressions and injecting a shot of fresh, youthful energy into the industry.

Along with café hopping, chilling out with tea and pastries, or spending the afternoon getting mani-pedis at nail bars-cum-cafés, Feet Haven is declaring foot reflexology a bona fide hipster activity to indulge in. Customers who are flocking through the door are young – typically in their 20s and 30s – card-carrying members of the generation who are spreading the word of this hidden wellness gem virtually and virally. And the trendy crowd approves: Feet Haven’s boutiques have received rave reviews among customers in the area and in the blogging community for its stellar foot reflexology and body massages.

Calming music and essential oil scents wafting in the air and free flows of beverages for customers come together to create a soft, intimate environment. But Feet Haven offers more for a discerning crowd who has seen it all. Fun daily status updates outside the shop and a cool, fresh interior style of clean walls accented by Polaroid shots and the work of independent artists and designers; shelves of books and magazines; and neutral, taupe furnishings make a welcoming, appealing impression.

Feet Haven’s 3rd Outlet at Bukit Timah is tucked away in a little recluse of Jalan Bingka, Bukit Timah, away from the hassle and bustle of the world.  Offering a whole range of services under one roof,  the company restores customers’ well-being and calm with their therapeutic services of body treatment and reflexology.

The locations of its current two boutiques are hipster-approved; instead of hard-to-find spots in veteran shopping centres, they are established in shophouses within the creative, trendy districts of Katong and Serangoon Gardens, sharing neighbourhoods with establishments like Cedele and Brotzeit.

Signature standout treatments include the 60-minute Shiok Feet Indulgence; 60-minute Shiok Basic Body and 45-minute Shiok Basic Blend of a shoulder- and neck massage coupled with foot reflexology. Feet Haven only hires senior, experienced masseurs who provide pampering sessions that have lulled many customers to sleep long before the treatment ends.

There is currently an opening Promotion. Customers can enjoy a 60 minute Body Massage for 1 Pax at $50 (Usual $68) or a 60 Minute Body Massage for 2 Pax at $90 (Usual $136)

www.FeetHaven.com

www.Facebook.com/FeetHavenUBT

www.Instagram.com/Feethaven.com

About Feet Haven Reflexology

Founded in April 2011, Feet Haven Reflexology is a boutique Foot Reflex spa offering foot reflexology and body massages to its customers. The premier foot reflexology spa located at 136 East Coast Road has received interest and support from residents staying in Joo Chiat, Marine Parade and Katong.

(Katong Branch, 136 East Coast Road, S428821, Tel 63447311)
(Serangoon Garden Branch, 4A Maju Avenue, S556682, Tel 62882314)
(Upper Bukit Timah Branch, 5 Jalan Bingka, S588899, Tel 64630506)

Singapore’s lifestyle ranked the best for UK expats

expat-ranking-sm-compressedUK expats are urged to set sail for Singapore as research reveals it to be the most ideal location for those looking to move abroad.

The study found that overall, the Southeast Asian city state topped the charts when it came to the lowest levels of crime and unemployment as well as having the highest education standards and the most efficient healthcare system.

In total, the research by international removals specialist, 1st Move International, studied 18 countries, including less traditional destinations for UK expats.

Second and third to Singapore were Canada and Australia, which both scored highly for incomes and English reading, speaking and writing levels, but were let down by living costs, property prices and crime rates.

Spain, France and South Africa which all have high UK expat populations performed poorly, largely due to low incomes, high income tax, but also due to social factors such as unemployment, education healthcare and crime, but also English speaking levels, as did China, India, Brazil and Russia.

In number one ranking Singapore, take home pay is almost double that in the UK, due to higher average annual incomes and a lower top level of income tax (22% compared to 45%), a Brit earning the average wage in Singapore could walk away with £33,019.26* in their pocket every year after tax, almost double £18,497.52* in the UK.

The city state was also top when it came to healthcare. In Singapore, you can expect quicker diagnosis with better medical technology as well as shorter waiting times, quicker test results and better staff. Comparatively, the UK healthcare system placed 10 on the efficiency scale for the countries examined.

With a 2.1% unemployment rate, Singapore’s jobless rate is twice as little than UK’s figure 4.8%, leading to improved job prospects on top of higher incomes, in addition to the world’s best education system meaning a brighter future for expats looking to relocate their families. Topping the charts for unemployment were South Africa and Spain with 27.1% and 18.9%.

If that’s not enough, English is listed as an official language in the former British colony, it is also the language of business and government as well as being the language children are taught with in schools, making it easier for people from the UK to settle in.

The research

1st Move did the research by examining the figures on eleven different sets of data provided from sources such as: The OECD, UN, World Bank, Bloomberg, Trading Economics and Numbeo. The figures were then ranked by the most favourable results which provided an overall ranking table.

The data included looked at 11 different factors:

  • GDP per capita
  • HDI rank
  • Property price to income ratio
  • Average income
  • Income tax
  • Real income
  • English proficiency
  • Education standards
  • Food costs
  • Crime rate
  • Healthcare efficiency

How the other countries performed

At the other end of the scale, India, despite having the lowest cost of food for a weekly shop (£84.62) compared to £174.74 in the UK for a family of four, was statistically the worst location, with once UK expat hotspot South Africa and Brazil making up the bottom three.

Elsewhere other countries outperformed Singapore and the UK across different factors but overall, they did not perform as highly as a whole on the scale of liveability and the chance of better prospects.

USA (5th overall) had the best property price to income ratio but poor rankings on healthcare, education and crime let it down. Similarly, the UAE had strong economic appeal due to cheap property and the highest real income, due to no tax, however social factors had adverse effects.

Norway topped the scale on English proficiency and on the HDI index but unemployment, high taxes and living costs had negative connotations on its overall standing, dragging it down to 6th.

Spain, which has close to one million UK expats performed poorly, with annual wages lower than the UK’s, and 18.9% level of unemployment making the country not so sunny for people looking to emigrate for socioeconomic reasons.

 Jim Limerick, Owner, at 1st Move, said: “We were expecting to see the traditional destinations perform quite well, such as: the USA, Spain and Australia, but this wasn’t the case.

“Some countries did really well on certain things but there were factors on the data we examined which dragged them down. Singapore was consistently strong, making it appealing to potential UK expats on a wide range of financial and social reasons, which tend to be the main driving factors of people looking to emigrate from the UK.

“With more money in your pocket, no language problems and an average annual temperature in the high twenties, what isn’t there to love!”

14 ONLINE SHOPPING TIPS YOU MUST KNOW

Read before you make your next cart!

This article is brought to you by Pepperkoko.com

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Being an up and coming online business, pepperkoko Singapore is here to bring you fast, affordable, reliable and quality services throughout your shopping experience. Because you don’t only shop with one, so we are going to get you ready for the shopping spree. Some of these tips may come in handy wherever you shop next!

  1. NEW ARRIVALS

Keep a lookout for those days of the week where the new stocks come in. Some even have a scheduled time that makes it predictable for shopping.

  1. PROMOTIONAL DISCOUNTS

Every celebration will warrant a promotion! Check with the customer service if there is a deal that you can apply. Most online stores do offer a promo for their customers’ first purchase so check it out.

  1. DELIVERY OPTIONS AND TIMING

Get a rough idea of what delivery options is available to you, if you have a good feel of the delivery time frame of the store, you are also looking at a good schedule to know when your parcels will arrive.

  1. SECURED WEB SITE

Make your purchase from a site with a Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) to minimise the risk of information theft off your credit card purchase. Look at the link search bar and look for the ‘lock’ icon or website that starts with https:// to indicate a SSL site.

  1. CUSTOMER SERVICE CONTACT

Raise your concerns through the many platforms. You can look from Web Live Chat, Email, Phone, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, etc. conveniently being in reach with the seller is key after your purchase.

  1. FREE SHIPPING

Check out the free shipping criteria just to be sure you hit the required minimum spending. Some online stores offer free local shipping too!

  1. INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING

Look through the fine prints if you are buying outside of the country the store is in. You may find some good offer with minimum spending or free to begin with.

  1. WISH LIST

Some sites offer a wish list feature just so that you can place the items that you are unsure of in there. Otherwise, just leave them in your cart and re-visit it to refresh your wish list.

  1. CHECKOUT AS GUEST OR REGISTERED USER

If you wish to retain certain information, then you should probably go for guest checkout, aside from staying out of mailing list, the seller will probably still have information on your address and contact for delivery. But here’s why you’d want to register yourself: ‘Members’ tend to receive promotional updates with better entitlements should the offer issued require a registered account to complete the purchase. You’d also have some place to refer your last purchases to, just in case you forgot what you bought in the last spree.

  1. SIZES AND MEASUREMENTS

If you are unsure of the size, whip out your measuring tape and get those numbers in check, some site offers pretty substantial size charts that will help make your pick. We are somewhat used to getting the common sizes we know fits, but if the size chart says otherwise, you’d have a better bet so pay closer attention to it.

  1. RETURNS AND EXCHANGES

Go through the fine prints and make sure you got the after-purchase covered! Some of us just can’t fit in the item right and may require an exchange. Otherwise, return the item to get a refund for another purchase. Some sellers may offer the return at a minimal charge, to your bank account, credit card or as a store credit, you can be sure that you are still getting your money back some way or another.

  1. FLASH OR CLEARANCE SALES

Set an alarm on what not to miss when the seller is about to have a flash sales or a clearance promo. You’d probably check out with a shopping bag full of items more than what you’d expect.

  1. ONE-STOP ECOMMERCE

Start buying from one store where you can grab 80% of your shopping list. It’s much easier buying from one and handling your after-purchase matters, than multiple stores with different response time.

  1. USERS REVIEWS

Comb the web, blog, and social media for reviews from other shoppers to get a feel of what your shopping experience will be like.

Pepperkoko Singapore is a one-stop online fashion store with a SSL webpage with over 6000+ products and new arrivals weekly­. We are running ongoing promotions for new and existing customers for affordable and quality apparels. Local orders usually take 2-3 working days to reach you. With excellent after-service support – customer service, return and exchange policy, you can be sure to have a fulfilling shopping experience with us! Shop now at: www.pepperkoko.com.sg

 

T2 Tea’s First Asia Store Starts Brewing In Singapore

T2 has officially launched in Singapore! The first T2 store in Asia opened its doors at 313@Somerset on 12 January 2017.

T2, Regent St, London.
T2, Regent St, London.
T2, Regent St, London.
T2, Regent St, London.

From small beginnings in Melbourne, Australia, T2 Tea has taken the traditional art of tea, turned it on its head then taken it to the world. Now with over 20 years of brewing under their belts, T2 has gone from a single store on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy to over 75 stores worldwide across Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

Their unique take on the ancient brew combines traditional recipes with a modern twist. All time favourites such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey still remain a staple on the menu, while signature blends such as Melbourne Breakfast and French Earl Grey signal a new generation of tea blending and experimentation. This approach to reinventing and reimagining the humble cuppa has allowed T2 to expand their library to over 200 teas and counting.

Offering a world of unique blends, matcha, and iced teas to sample and purchase, T2 gives tea lovers the chance to buy unique teawares and brewing tools to make the perfect cuppa at home or the office.

In true T2 style, they’ve also come up with a blend to celebrate their arrival in Singapore – the Singapore Breakfast! Reminiscent of kaya toast, Singapore Breakfast is a mix of puerh, GMC, coconut and pandan that sings with richly sweet, toasty and coconut-y flavours. Heavenly when served alongside the real deal, this brew is the ultimate ode to Singapore’s beloved national breakfast.

 

T2 opened its doors in Singapore at 313@Somerset #01-20 on 12 January 2017.

Lalamove brings total funding to USD 60 million

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Lalamove, a Hong Kong based on-demand delivery company, completed its Series B Financing round, raising USD 30 million.

The Series B Financing round was led by Xianghe Capital, a Beijing VC firm founded by former Head of Baidu M&A, Mr Hesong Tang, with participation from Blackhole Capital and existing shareholders MindWorks Ventures, Crystal Stream and Thailand’s Asia Plus Group Holdings. The investment round exceeds its previous three rounds of financing, bringing the startup’s total funding to a combined USD 60 million.

With the investment, Lalamove will continue to expand aggressively in Asia, where it plans to launch in an additional 60 cities by the end of 2017. It already maintains the largest service area in Asia for intracity delivery, where its app connects users with more than 500,000 delivery drivers.

“Logistics is a big market – a USD 1.7 trillion market in China – and it accounts for up to 27 percent of GDP for some countries in Southeast Asia; it is underpenetrated by mobile internet,” Mr Shing Chow, Lalamove Founder and CEO, said. “Our users have said they want faster and simpler ways to send things in their cities and we have proven that we can help them deliver anything in less than an hour.

“The evolution of the logistics industry has not been as rapid as some other markets like communication, but we believe we are at a tipping point where transformation will now happen very rapidly. We will see some amazing companies built this sector.”

Lalamove’s fast growth was enhanced by key partnerships with the world’s foremost tech companies. In 2016, Lalamove partnered with LINE, one of the world’s leading mobile platforms, to develop the LINE MAN app, which gives users the ability to quickly purchase and receive documents, packages, food and grocery items in Thailand. The company previously developed enterprise solutions for Google and IKEA as well.

“In our two years of operations in Bangkok, Lalamove has become the city’s leading on-demand delivery app and we have witnessed significant growth both from users and drivers. This funding will not only enable us to expand to other cities, but also to offer additional services to meet the needs of our users and to further develop and upgrade the app with new features,” pointed out Chanon Klahan, Lalamove Thailand’s Managing Director.

“Lalamove is a textbook example of how the internet helped to improve a traditional industry,” Mr Hesong Tang, Founder of Xianghe Capital, said. “We appreciate the vision and determination of Mr Shing and his team, and believe this rapidly expanding company will become a hugely influential enterprise.”

Lalamove is not only the first real-time intracity logistics company, it is expected to become the biggest and most successful in Asia, and potentially worldwide,” said Mr David Chang, Founding Partner of MindWorks Ventures. “Intracity logistics is a high-frequency enterprise, and will become a very important traffic portal, ensuring its foothold in a massive global market.”

“We are excited to once again participate in this round of funding with Lalamove and to support their team to reach the next level of growth in Thailand and beyond,” added Asia Plus Group Holdings’ CEO Dr. Kongkiat Opaswongkarn.

 

CROSSINGS – A New Play presented by young & W!LD

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-11-03-43-amThe new young & W!LD cohort will be staging its first public performance in February this year. The world premiere of Crossings, a brand-new double-bill of original plays about the choices that make or break our lives, will be staged for seven performances only at Centre 42’s Black Box from 15 to 19 February 2017.

Bold, dark and funny, the two plays in Crossings follow characters who have arrived at a critical crossroads in their lives. The choices they make will change their journeys forever: setting them on the road to self-discovery – or self-destruction.

The eight members of young & W!LD, from the ages of 19 to 24, came up with the stories, characters and themes that will feature in Crossings via improvisations and devising workshops. With their help, Rodney Oliveiro, their programme co-director, put together the final scripts of both plays.

“Just like these troubled characters, we all have to live with the decisions we make and their consequences,” explains Oliveiro. “I chose the main title of Crossings because it speaks to me of human wills and desires and ambitions – how we always bravely chug along, how we’re always busy with a new endeavour, even as we occasionally miss the subtle signs pointing towards our doom.”

The current cohort of young & W!LD embarked on their 18-month training programme in February last year. Since then, they have gained valuable experience in devising and performing their own original work. Following months of intensive workshops, they presented When S#!T Hits The Fam, an experimental piece that explored the trials and tribulations of family life, in May 2016.

“Over the past year, I’ve been most impressed by their openness, their willingness to try new things and their support for one another,” says Serena Ho, co-director of young & W!LD and Crossings. “I hope they will trust their voices and never stop surprising themselves.”

“It’s wonderful to be a part of young & W!LD,” adds Jasmine Blundell, 24. “There’s never a dull day because everyone brings their own brand of energy and ideas, and the perspectives are always so varied.”

The young & W!LD programme reflects W!LD RICE’s commitment to developing and nurturing the next generation of Singapore’s theatre-makers.

It’s been so rewarding to watch these young theatre-makers grow in confidence and ambition over the past few months,” says Ivan Heng, Artistic Director of W!LD RICE. “To see them challenging themselves and tackling difficult questions with Crossings reminds us of the power of theatre to educate, engage and empower our youth.”

Crossings runs from 15 to 19 February 2017 at Centre 42’s Black Box (42 Waterloo Street, S187951).

Tickets go on sale from 11 January 2017 on Peatix.

Dine Inn’s First Community Event Presented a Galore of Home-cooked Goodness

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On 7 Jan 2017, Dine Inn welcomed the new year with their first community event at Ci Yuan Community Club! With 20 Dine Inn Hosts participating at this event to share their specialty dishes, this communal gathering brought together neighbours and food lovers living in the Hougang estate! Besides sampling scrumptious home cooked modern cuisines, family recipes, snacks and desserts, guests also took part in cupcake decoration and kay making workshops, as well as pick up tips from various cooking demonstrations.

Launching in end January, Dine Inn (www.dineinn.com) is an online platform dedicated to bring together the makers and lovers of food.  This project is the brainchild of Mr. Luke Lee and Chef Eric Teo, who believe that Singapore’s best kept secrets are hidden in plain sight.  Dine Inn is poised to open up a new horizon for consumers who crave for the sincerity and affection of home-cooked meals.

With 200 Hosts offering a variety of home-cooked cuisines from appetisers, entrees to desserts, guests have the option to dine in, have it delivered, self-collect or even have the Host cook at their place.

The Dine Inn website is scheduled to launch in end-January 2017 and the app in first quarter of 2017 on App Store and Google Play.

 

 

3 Ways Telecommuting Leads to Happier Employees

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3 Ways Telecommuting Leads to Happier Employees

If you’ve ever struggled through a long commute or had to manage a last minute workplace crisis due to an absent employee, you probably have thought about the benefits of working at home. You’re not alone, says The Washington Post, since there are approximately 139 million people who commute every day who may have shared the same idea. Technological advances are making it easier than ever to remotely connect to your office and work from home. One solution that many businesses are exploring is telecommuting via video conferencing, and often in groups. Studies have been conducted that prove the effectiveness of reducing commutes resulting in higher worker productivity and morale, lowering travel costs and employee absenteeism and even allowing employees to be more engaged citizens. Exploring telecommuting can also save your business money by reducing maintenance costs and aid in the hiring process.

  1. Higher Productivity with Fewer Distractions

During a typical workday, there are any number of distractions that can derail a productive employee. No matter how tight a ship you run, there is always ways that time can be wasted, intentionally or otherwise. Telecommuting using a corporate video communications service like BlueJeans can increase the productivity of your employees. Busywork and distractions such as idle chit-chat with colleagues, checking personal email and social media sites or a few stolen extra minutes at lunch all can be eliminated with telecommuting and relocating your workplace into the virtual meeting room. Attending meetings or working on project management through video conferencing from home allows employees to have contact with coworkers while still maintaining the autonomy of working from home. Time wasting diversions are lessened because the worker can complete personal tasks at home while still putting in the time at work. This inevitably results in higher job satisfaction and lowered work-related stress. Happier and more gratified employees can lead to lower turnover rates and better overall morale, in or out of the office. The beauty of today’s video conferencing system, though, is that it’s possible to unite all your telecommuters into one room. Whether you’re offering a general information session, or it’s a smaller team meeting, the ability to bring more than just one or two remote workers into a meeting is possible.

  1. Decreasing Stress Levels

Commuting is stressful, no one will argue with that. Whether driving or taking public transportation, there are potential risks and pitfalls for commutes. Weather conditions can significantly affect commutes by causing traffic delays and rail closures. Driving in unsafe conditions or tackling delays on public transportation to make it to the office can be a major cause of distress and anxiety. Telecommuting can alleviate the pressure of the daily commute and can help employees use their time more effectively. For example, video conferencing can be a vital aid to working parents, those with chronic health conditions and to connect remotely with other offices. Additionally, video conferencing can replace the anxiety caused by work-related long distance traveling with the added benefit of saving on travel expenditures. Given that stress is one of the most counterproductive forces to innovation and creative thinking, taking reasonable measure to combat it only makes sense. Instead of expecting your employees to make it in during a snow storm of for an important meeting, ditch the meeting altogether and have them tune in via video as a group.

  1. Benefit Your Business, Benefit Society

Can telecommuting through video conferencing and other technology lead to a better world? Reducing commutes mean that people can become more involved in society through higher voter engagement, have a greater chance of escaping poverty, and even raise more emotionally stable children. While not all businesses can cut out their employees’ commutes entirely, offering the option of part-time or occasional telecommuting can be a step in the right direction. There are benefits for your company as well. For employers who offer compensation for travel or commuting expenses, it can be a simple way to cut costs. Human resource managers can connect to a whole new market of employees all over the world and tap into the potential of a diversified workforce. Candidates looking to relocate can be interviewed with ease over video conference, saving your company time and money in the hiring process. In reducing the number of employees in the office, businesses can also reduce the costs incurred by having a larger physical space, such as square footage, furniture, energy bills, and other costs, according to Entrepreneur. In addition to saving your business money, telecommuting also cuts down on fuel costs and emissions from vehicles. If you want to sell this point, you can offer large-scale video conference meetings as a so-called green initiative also makes your company ethics look good to both employees and also clients.

It’s easy to see how telecommuting through video conferencing can improve your business. Your employees can connect remotely via smartphones and other Internet-enabled devices, making video conferencing a simple solution to many workplace dilemmas. Offering telecommuting options to your workers gives you an advantage in the job market and makes you more appealing both to your current employees and to future hires.

 

 

While She Sleeps joins Bring Me the Horizon as Special Guests

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LAMC Productions is thrilled to announce that English Metalcore band, WHILE SHE SLEEPS will be joining BRING ME THE HORIZON as special guests for the show on February 2, 2017 at D’Marquee, Downtown East!

While She Sleeps is a melodic hardcore / metalcore band formed in Sheffield in 2006. The band consists of Lawrence Taylor on Vocals, Mat Welsh on Guitar/Backing Vocals, Sean Long on Guitar/Piano, Aaran McKenzie on Bass and Adam Savage on Drums/Percussion.

While She Sleeps play a unique mix of melodic hardcore with strong metal influences. They have released two studio album and are working on their third album, You Are We, which is set to  release on April 2017.

In their early years, While She Sleeps played close to 300 shows across the UK and mainland Europe. Their debut album “The North Stands For Nothing” received critical acclaim from European music publications like Kerrang and Metal Hammer. Their songs and videos also started getting highly sought after spins and views on major European media outlets like XFM Total Rock, Scuzz, and Kerrang TV in the U.K. Through this they began to make a name for themselves and the opportunities being presented grew bigger accordingly.

Brainwashed, the band’s second studio album, is the culmination of what the band’s five members went through in order to make it, a physical manifestation of pure triumph in the face of adversity. It’s an album that got made both in spite of and because of the things that threatened to prevent that happening – serious trouble with Taylor’s vocal chords that required two bouts of surgery and which essentially delayed the making of the record by a whole year.

The album’s eleven songs are a terrifying force to be reckoned with; from the anthemic chug of “These Four Walls” to the powerfully unrelenting and irascible “Trophies Of Violence.

Korean Superfood KOKOPANDA opens its first outlet in Singapore!

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This December, KoKoPanda, a new ‘Superfood’ focused, Korean soft serve and beverage concept is arriving in Singapore! It will officially launch on 16 December 2016 at Plaza Singapura #B2-60.

KoKoPanda provides health-conscious individuals with soft serve & beverage choices that offers a guilt-free indulgence. Their three unique soft serves include Black Yogo (frozen yogurt), White Cremo (Korean soft serve ice-cream), and the signature KoKo Twisto ( a combination of half black yogo and half white cremo).

The Seoulistic softserve also comes with options of adding superfood toppings such as the KoKoCrunch granola; a mix of rice puffs and dried fruits, and a wide range of premium dried Korean superfruits including Jeju Tangerine, Strawberries and Apples. Softserves come at a price of $4.90 per cup with one free topping or $5.90 per cup with a choice of three toppings (one premium and two normal toppings).

KoKoPanda’s exciting super beverage menu offers a variety of drink choices. A must-try signature drink is their Jeju Green Tea Latte. Other options include the ChiaChaCha, a refreshing combination of 100% coconut water with Chia seeds, fruit vinegar ciders, and fruit enzyme drinks. Prices for drinks range from $2.90 to $4.20.

If you are looking for a dessert and beverage alternative which combines deliciousness with nutrition, this new addition to the dessert scene is a must-try!

5 Things to Include in Every Video Meeting

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-11-06-33-am5 Things to Include in Every Video Meeting

As online conferencing becomes more common, replacing the traditional board room entirely in some companies, there are still some who aren’t yet used to holding their meetings through a computer screen or aren’t conducting their conferences in the correct way. Many of the principles for online discussions are the same as they are for in-person talks, but there are still some additional things to think about, which can be easy to forget about if you aren’t used to them. Here are just a few things you should be sure to include in every one of your online conferences, and why they can benefit you:

  1. A Scheduled Agenda

The Dummies Guide says that lack of proper focus is one of the major downsides to meetings, be they online or in-person. It is all too easy for a large group of people to begin arguments, go off on tangents, or forget what the discussion is intended to accomplish. You can avoid this by making the objective of the conference clear before it begins, in order to avoid an unnecessarily high amount of conferences which serve no purpose, which people really hate. Writing up an agenda with a scheduled time slot for each item and sticking to it during the conference will ensure that it remains on-topic and ends on time so that all participants can return to their regular jobs. If you feel that a meeting has gone off-topic, bring it back as quickly as you can in order to keep the proper momentum going.

  1. Introductions

Nerds on Site suggests that if you are the host, you should begin each session by introducing yourself and every other person on the talk. This is especially important for remote teams who don’t work in the same location as each other or when outside collaborators are brought into a project. It serves as an ice breaker that helps people to build a rapport that they will need to conduct talks effectively and develop positive working relationships. Be sure to leave a few minutes at the beginning of each meeting for introductions.

  1. Allowing Each Person to Speak

A meeting isn’t the same as a seminar or lecture. It isn’t intended for several people to spend the entire time listening to a single person speak. That defeats the entire purpose of having one. Even worse is when one person tries to dominate the discussion, speaking rudely over others, interrupting them, and perhaps getting into an argument with another person that the rest of the team is forced to sit through. Instead, encourage every person to bring their own thoughts, opinions, and observations to the table so that everybody can benefit from them. If there are disagreements, let them be expressed properly rather than escalating into an argument. Video conference equipment makes this easy as there are options for the administrator to mute and unmute speakers, meaning there is no risk of a pushy person speaking over or interrupting others. If a member of your team is shyer or introverted, offer gentle encouragement for them to present their findings and then let them know that you value their input.

  1. Visuals

The great benefit of online conferencing over the board room is the range of options it offers, especially live streaming video clips with ease. Video has a much greater impact to present your argument, improve a pitch, or keep people interested in the meeting rather than becoming bored and nodding off. It may sound difficult, but it is easy to create a basic video, even with a smartphone and basic editing software, which can then be uploaded to your conferencing programme and played for each participant to watch. If you are looking for a way to liven up your meetings or make a stronger argument, consider using a short video clip.

  1. Acknowledgement of Thanks

The people you work with are much more likely to respect you and feel valued in their jobs if they feel appreciated. You don’t need large gestures to show this but a series of small ones. Taking a few moments at the end of each session to thank everyone for attending and sharing their views is just one small way to make people feel appreciated and motivate them to continue doing a good job.

You have probably noticed already that most of the etiquette and essentials for an online conference are the same as they always were during in-person meetings, and yet the switch to new technology has still caused many people to forget about them. It is also easy to overlook the many advantages and additional features that the software provides that could be of benefit to your talks. Keep all of the above in mind during your future meetings and you will make a big impact and see each one functioning smoothly.

JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach debuts in Singapore

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JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, the global luxury brand that is part of Marriott International’s (NASDAQ: MAR) luxury brands portfolio, is thrilled to debut the new JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach – the brand’s first hotel in Singapore. Located in close proximity to the Marina Bay entertainment and business districts, the new 634- room luxury hotel is poised to become an iconic lifestyle destination in the heart of Singapore’s arts and culture district.

“We are thrilled to welcome discerning travellers to this design-led landmark in the hub of Singapore’s arts and culture district,” said Derek Flint, General Manager, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach. “We look forward to enriching guests with a truly luxurious experience and showcasing the warm, intuitive service that is synonymous with the JW Marriott brand globally.”

The hotel consists of both historic and newly constructed buildings with interiors designed by renowned French designer Philippe Starck and architecture by award-winning British architects, Foster and Partners. Complemented by a multi-million dollar collection of more than 30 works and installations by regionally and internationally acclaimed artists, guests can expect enriching and multi-sensory cultural experiences throughout the hotel.

Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a 7-metre video wall installation by South Korean artist Lee Lee Nam. The wall brings art to life through movement and technology with the use of the LED monitors as a canvas to create an artistic symphony. Additional works include the Donna a Cavallo, a lobby sculpture by the acclaimed Fernando Botero, and the Gorilla, a reclaimed scrap metal sculpture at the hotel entrance by Turner Prize winner Iain Nutting. Guest elevators are also an artistic expression with custom RGB wallpaper, and graffiti artwork by Milan-based art and design duo Carnovsky.

Set to become one of Singapore’s most coveted culinary destinations, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach will feature a total of nine dining options. Akira Back, opened by celebrity chef Akira Back, offers modern Japanese cuisine with Korean accents and culinary influences from around the world. Beach Road Kitchen, an all-day-dining restaurant, features global cuisine and to-go items; Court Martial Bar and Media Bar offer cocktails in a refined cocktail bar and gastropub setting; and Tonic serves gin-based cocktails in an intimate environment. The remaining four outlets will open second quarter 2017.

JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach offers hotel programming and amenities to appeal to and nurture guests’ passions. In the lobby, guests can feed their curiosity in the Concierge Library – a social space hosted by the hotel concierge – and at the Activity Table, which offers enriching cultural programming such as wine and cheese tastings, coffee experiences, chef-led culinary events and more. Additional curated experiences include a hotel heritage tour showcasing the property’s historical significance and architectural brilliance.

The property also features a variety of wellness offerings including Spa by JW (opening second quarter 2017), a brand spa concept created to demystify and reimagine the spa experience with treatments based on four benefit states. Spa by JW comprises 10 treatment rooms, including two private and two express treatment suites. JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach also boasts two outdoor infinity pools, two sky gardens and a 24-hour fitness centre at Flow18.

Each of the 634 guest rooms and suites are fitted with a full array of modern amenities and smart technology including an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) system, up to seven USB power sockets per room, and a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone that allows guests to receive calls anywhere within the property. The hotel also offers guest rooms with the female traveller in mind, featuring amenities such as a “boyfriend” shirt, facial steamer, hair straightener and more.

An ideal venue for any event, the property has 1,771 square meters of indoor and outdoor events and meetings space, including a 520 square meter Grand Ballroom housed in a 1930s historic Drill Hall and features a dramatic 11,520-light Forest of Lights design by Philippe Starck. The hotel’s 15 meeting rooms are housed in Assembly, one of the property’s restored historic buildings. Two additional events and meetings spaces are available in the NCO building and Ebb6.

Fashion One releases its Top 5 Must Have for 2017

3-manifesto-concept-store-opening-singapore7-sakina-msa-front-de-mode-concept-storeTime to check your closet and prepare for the New Year as Fashion One –– the leading New York based international fashion, entertainment and lifestyle network –– reveals the much anticipated hottest 2017 trends list from the runway, right to your screen.

Feeling overwhelmed by which styles will fade away and which trends are here to stay? Worry not, as Fashion One narrowed them down into five essential must-haves for every style and every closet.

The first must-have on our list is all about comfort and ease. From classic button ups paired with loose tailored trousers by Huga Costa, to the gender-neutral deconstructed shirts with extra long sleeves from Craig Green, oversized and free-flowing silhouettes are definitely going to be a staple.

For evening wear, this year’s hottest shade is yellow. Whether it’s canary, neon or pastel, this cheerful color glowed on the runways such as in Angel Sanchez’ tropical flowers inspired Spring Summer collection which were dominated by citrus hues; and in Miami’s Funkshion Fashion Week where gorgeous evening wear range from delicate pastel shades to true yellows that were instant hits and guaranteed to make you the bell of any ball.

Other trends brought back the nostalgic feeling of 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s fashion just like Jeremy Scott’s disco inspired Spring Summer collection; a revival of the classic trench coat using unexpected colors and modern tailoring like that of Richard Chai and Jermyn Street’s designs; and an explosion of abstract prints ranging from polka dots to pop art-esque designs just as it ruled the catwalk during Project Runway’s finalist group show in New York.

No matter what your style, our Top 5 Must-Haves for 2017 special is sure to have you feeling inspired!

Top 5 Must-Haves for 2017 will be revealed on Tuesday, December 27 at 9:30pm, only on Fashion One. Fashion One is available on StarHub (channel 442).

 

4FINGERS Turns 7

Homegrown casual dining chain 4FINGERS Crispy Chicken celebrated turning seven and the grand opening of its Marina Square outlet yesterday. In 2009, its founders opened their first outlet at ION Orchard and seven years on, 4FINGERS is grateful for having quite a bit to show for on its “report card”. In Singapore, the brand launched 10 new stores in under two years. As of today, the chain operates 14 stores, serving up its famous fried chicken to nearly 12,000 hungry diners daily across the region, including in Kuala Lumpur, Medan and very soon, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Approximately 300 guests, media, industry partners and friends attended the seventh birthday bash at the brand new 4FINGERS Marina Square, where they were treated to good music, great food and witnessed urban artist Samantha Lo (‘Sam Lo’) put on the finishing touches to a 5 metre (width) by 2 metre (height) mural. A permanent feature at the restaurant, the artwork was specially commissioned for the occasion. It was assembled  on opening day with every guest playing a part in putting on the final touches.

Gallery & Co. Festive Menu & Merry Morsels

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Primed for the season of year-end celebrations, Gallery & Co. launches a festive set menu by Chef Anthony Yeoh of Restaurant Cocotte. A continuation of the all-day-dining menu revamp that was previously launched in mid-August, the festive special features a selection of Christmas and New Year favourites with a familiar Southeast Asian twist. Available in sharing portion (Option A – Feeds 3-4 Pax at $75++) or single person set (Option B $45++) until the 31st of December, highlights of the menu include a Coconut & White Wine Seafood Curry, Assam & Honey Glazed Christmas Ham, and Wagyu Beef Roast with Coriander Salsa Verde.

GALLERY & CO. MERRY MORSELS DESSERT PACKAGE

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Along with the festive set menu, Gallery & Co. is also launching Merry Morsels, a dessert package of twelve lovingly crafted crafted treats for each day of Christmas. Priced at just $40, the set is perfect for gifting and for convivial celebrations. The desserts and are available now at Gallery & Co. and pre-orders on Gallery & Co’s website are open until the 19th of December.

Ordering Details
To order the set of 12, visit: http://merrymorsels.galleryand.co
Self-collection dates: 21st – 24th Dec
Time: 6.00 – 8.00pm

ANA Brings in Two More World-Class Chefs to THE CONNOISSEURS

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ANA, Japan’s largest airline, is proud to announce that in December it will add two renowned master chefs to its “THE CONNOISSEURS” program: Takeshi Kikuchi, Head Chef of TOKYO SHIBA TOFUYA UKAI, and PATINA Restaurant Group Founder and Executive Chef Joachim Splichal. This brings the total lineup of THE CONNOISSEURS to 22 members. December will also mark the expansion of desserts overseen by Pierre Hermé Paris. Offered seasonally on a limited number of flights, the desserts will now be offered year-round on a steadily rising range of flights including those from Narita and Haneda to Singapore.

ANA first launched THE CONNOISSEURS in 2013 to empower globally-acclaimed chefs and other celebrated professionals to produce outstanding cuisine and beverages exclusively for meals in ANA lounges and on its international flights departing from Japan. Over the past three years, these exceptional menu choices have consistently earned stellar marks from passengers both in Japan and around the world.

Both Takeshi and Joachim are prominent specialists in their field who have collaborated with ANA to produce brilliant in-flight dining on the airline’s flights originating from overseas destinations.

Takeshi Kikuchi, has an established career in Japanese cuisine, and assumed his current role as Head Chef at TOKYO SHIBA TOFUYA UKAI in 2016. The restaurant is known for fastidiously crafted homemade tofu and seasonal flavors served in elegant private rooms or traditional tatami-mat space steeped in the ambience of Edo (Old Tokyo). In addition to manifesting his stupendous culinary skills, Takeshi is also driven by the desire to expand the joys of cutting-edge Japanese gastronomy to overseas markets. From December 2016 to February 2017, passengers on ANA Business Class flights from Japan to the United States and Europe can enjoy TOFUYA UKAI specialties such as “deep fried lily bulb and maitake mushroom tofu dressed in snow crab kudzu sauce” – a fusion of soft and flaky lily bulbs with crisp maitake, and “tosui tofu” – a tofu tour de force prepared to savor with a special soup concocted from soybean milk.

Chef Joachim Splichal forged his reputation as the top chef at a noted restaurant in the south of France, and relocated to the United States in 1981. Since opening the PATINA flagship in Los Angeles 1989, he has struck a commanding presence as the Group’s Executive Chef, expanding to 50 specialty restaurants concentrated on the West Coast, and its devoted patrons including a long list of Hollywood stars, politicians and other celebrity gourmands. In 2002, Joachim was recognized as a legendary chef by Bon Appetit magazine, epitomized by his coveted selection as “Restaurant Owner of the Year,” and has been nicknamed the “King of California Cuisine.” From March to May 2017 ANA will serve an international cuisine menu produced by Joachim on its Business Class flights departing Japan to the United States and Europe.

ANA takes pride in its distinction as the only Japanese airline to earn five-stars, the highest rating in the commercial aviation field. ANA has continued to achieve this honor for four consecutive years, thanks to its innovation on initiatives such as THE CONNOISSEURS to constantly improve services for its passengers.

Win Your Ultimate Friendmas by Jack Wills

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With Christmas drawing closer, Jack Wills celebrate the lead up to the most festive day of the year with the 21st century invention of Friendmas.

The brilliant invention allows many of us who have moved away from home to celebrate Christmas Day twice. It’s when best friends get together with the sole aim of eating, drinking and being very merry, with gifts, knits, hats and crackers.

British lifestyle and fashion brand Jack Wills has seen a trend among its customers particularly twenty-somethings now living away from home – for celebrating Christmas with their friends about a week before Christmas Day. As such Jack Wills has announced a new festive moment in its honour – officially declaring the third Saturday of every December to be Friendsmas, with the inaugural Friendsmas Day on Saturday 17th December 2016.

“Although I am now an ancient 42-year-old, some of my happiest Christmas memories actually revolve around spending that week before it with mates,” said Peter Williams (Founder and CEO of Jack Wills).

To celebrate Friendsmas 2016, Jack Wills will ask the public to share favourite #Friendsmas moments and give them the chance to win the ultimate Friendsmas Day for themselves and four friends in the #DearJack competition.

Public can create as many guest list of 4 on Jack Wills interactive website (jackwills.hk/DearJack) for the chance to win an Ultimate #Friendsmas – a FREE shopping spree in Jack Wills and a festive feast with their friends.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0tmiHfCWUU

 

 

Raffles City collaborates with Craftholic

Fans of CRAFTHOLIC are in for a special treat this Christmas at Raffles City!

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The creator of CRAFTHOLIC, Ms IkukoYamamoto, has flown in specially to Singapore from Japan for a meet-and-greet session with her fans on 25 November (Friday)at 3.00pm and 7.00pm at the Level 3 Atrium.

“This is the first time that I am coming to Singapore for a CRAFTHOLIC event and I am very excited to be able to meet my Singaporean fans. I would like to thank them for their support and embracing my CRAFTHOLIC creations,” said Ms Ikuko Yamamoto, creator of CRAFTHOLIC.

“I would also like to thank Raffles City Singapore for the opportunity to set up the first CRAFTHOLIC pop-up store in the malland I hope that everyone will be able to come and celebrate the joy of Christmas with CRAFTHOLIC,” added Ms Yamamoto.

In addition to the variety of cute and irresistible CRAFTHOLIC products, a Limited Edition CRAFTHOLIC Denim Collection, featuring the two main CRAFTHOLIC characters –Rabbunnyjnd Sloth Bear,priced from $16to $210,is available exclusively at the CRAFTHOLIC Pop-Up store.

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Shoppers will get to snap photos with their favourite plush cushion characters in action as CRAFTHOLIC’s cute mascots, Rab Bunny and Sloth Bear, make their appearances during specific timeslots. During the weekends, shoppers can also participate in three CRAFTHOLIC activities, which include3D gift card making andhair-band making.

In addition, female shoppers can get Christmas-party ready by pampering themselves with a CRAFTHOLIC manicure session, which is redeemable with minimum purchases of CRAFTHOLIC products at the Pop-Up store periodor any store in Raffles City.

Probably the Best Job in The World

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Carlsberg’s Best Job is back in Singapore by popular demand with applicants vying for the coveted job that pays a jawdropping salary of S$20,000 for four hours of work. Drinking beer that is.

Probably the Best Job in the World

Mr. Jimmy Toh, General Manager of Carlsberg Singapore, has this message for aspiring applicants: “Whatever Carlsberg does, we strive to do better. While the exhilarating job of a beer taster remains the same this year, the successful applicant will earn $20,000, which is double the salary offered last year – simply to enjoy ‘Probably the best beer in the world’.

We are looking for the best candidate that exemplifies this spirit, and demonstrates passion for the Carlsberg brand to bag this unique job opportunity.”

Job Requirements & Registration

Anyone who feels that they are the best candidate for the job can make an application at http://www.probablythebest.com.sg. This job is only open to applicants aged 18 and above.

Online registration (free, of course) opens on Monday November 21 and closes on Sunday December 4.

Selected finalists will be notified to attend a simple job interview on the afternoon of December 15.

The Inaugural Campaign in 2016 Carlsberg’s Probably The Best Job In The World campaign was launched in Singapore last year to great fanfare and media interest. Social media manager Daniel Osgodby was eventually selected as the lucky winner, taking home $10,000 after “putting in” four very happy hours enjoying ice-cold pints of Carlsberg beer.

Guava Sketches: A Love for good design and functionality

Guava Sketches is a shop founded by two sisters Jennifer and Joan.

Their homeware selection is curated based on a love for good design and functionality. This passion started with an appreciation for well-made items, whose beauty is complemented by utility. Their shop reflect the same ethos – it is informed by a love for nature and a great appreciation and respect for craftsmanship.

Their offering ranges from small items such as collectibles and jewelry, to kitchenware, furniture pieces, and everyday homeware. These pieces are made by artisans with distinct taste. Though from diverse eras – some having a history of more than a hundred years, while others are young brands at the forefront of a generation redefining “new”, these makers are bound by the same aesthetics and belief.

This is their humble way of sharing with you the joy of experiencing these beautiful pieces and celebrating these artists & their commitment to their craft.

Simply click on this link https://www.guavasketches.com to find out more about the brand.

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Singapore Is the Best City in Asia for Expats

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While Singapore is the only Asian city in the overall top ten, Beijing is considered the best place for personal finance

Melbourne, Houston and Madrid top the list of the best cities to live abroad according to previously unreleased data from the third annual InterNations Expat Insider 2016 survey. With more than 14,000 respondents, it is one of the most extensive studies ever conducted to explore the general living situation of expatriates. Ranking 5th out of 35 cities in this year’s survey, Singapore has positioned itself among the top places for expats. It is the only Asian city that makes it into the Top 10 in the overall ranking. All other destinations achieve below-average results, with Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur making it to 23rd and 24th position out of 35. Beijing and Shanghai do anything but well, coming in 26th and 31st place respectively. However, Beijing outperforms all of its competitors in financial terms and secures the first place in the Personal Finance Index. The latest InterNations survey finds that nearly three-quarters of the respondents in Beijing (72 percent) agree that their disposable income is more than enough to cover their daily needs.

Melbourne, Houston, Madrid: Top Scorers for Expats

As part of the Expat Insider 2016 survey, InterNations takes a closer look at cities around the world and ranks them according to such factors as the quality of life, personal finance, working abroad, and settling in. Melbourne takes the top spot for expat life out of the 35 cities analyzed. Expats in Australia’s second-most populous city are particularly pleased with their work-life balance: 79 percent of respondents rate this positively, which is notably higher than the global average of 60 percent. Overall job satisfaction in Melbourne is also above average, with 71 percent rating this factor positively. This city down under also excels when it comes to the availability of leisure activities: an astounding 91 percent rate this aspect positively, 19 percentage points higher than the global average of 72 percent.

Houston, Texas, finds itself in second place overall and for general satisfaction among expats. The United States of America’s fourth-biggest city also excels when it comes to the cost of living and personal finance, ranking fifth and seventh, respectively, in both of these categories. Houston comes in first place in the Ease of Settling In Index, too. However, the data was collected before the US presidential elections: it is yet to be seen if the election results will have an impact on such ranking categories as “Friendliness” or “Feeling Welcome”, which the Ease of Settling In Index is based on.

Madrid ranks third overall, mainly due to expats feeling welcome there and finding it easy to make friends: the Spanish capital takes the top spot in both of these categories. Spain’s capital is also appreciated for its comparatively low cost of living: 72 percent of expats rate this factor positively, in comparison to the 49 percent global average. Duesseldorf, Germany, and Singapore round out the top five best cities for living abroad.

Singapore Leads the Asian League

The majority of respondents (89 percent) does enjoy living in Singapore, agreeing to be quite satisfied with their life abroad in general. The city leaves its Asian competitors far behind with an eighth place in the Quality of Life Index. What is more, it even makes it the very top in the Safety & Security subcategory: over 80 percent consider the city’s safety very good. This is a more than significant difference to the global average of only 38 percent saying the same about their city of residence. Occupying the tenth place worldwide, Singapore also does quite well in the Ease of Settling In Index. This result is especially due to the Feeling Welcome subcategory, where the city comes in ninth place. For example, 73 percent of the respondents say that it is easy to get used to the local culture in Singapore. Among the other Asian cities, only Kuala Lumpur does better with regard to settling in, ranking 8th out of 35.

Beijing Top, Asia Flop in Personal Finance

While Singapore does very well in the overall ranking, the metropolis narrowly misses the Top 10 in the Personal Finance Index, coming in 12th place. The respondents in the other Asian cities do not seem to be extraordinarily satisfied with their financial situation, either — with one major exception that makes it even to the top of the list for personal finance:

Beijing comes in first place in the Personal Finance Index, with almost three-quarters (73 percent) saying that they are generally satisfied with their financial situation. However, the respondents seem to be less satisfied when it comes to the cost of living in China’s second-largest city, ranking it at a mediocre 16th place in this respect.

Shanghai does even worse and comes in 21st place out of 35 cities in the Cost of Living Index. In fact, not a single respondent in Shanghai is completely satisfied with their living expenses.
Expat life appears to be considerable more affordable in Kuala Lumpur: the Malaysian capital triumphs in this index, coming in at a very respectable 6th place, with 68 percent rating the cost of living in general positively.

Quite surprisingly, Hong Kong only makes it to a sub-par 22nd place in the Personal Finance Index and an even worse 23rd place in the overall ranking. Still, 57 percent state that they are mostly satisfied with their present financial situation. Unsurprisingly, the metropolis appears in the Bottom 5 of the Cost of Living Index (33rd place). More than seven in ten respondents (71 percent) are not happy with the cost of living in general. As many as 90 percent also consider it difficult to find affordable housing, which significantly exceed the global average of only 37 percent.
Poor Work-Life Balance in Asian Cities

Despite the rather negative results when it comes to finance, about 71 percent of the respondents in Hong Kong say that they are overall satisfied with their job. According to the InterNations survey, all respondents agree, though, that the Asian cities struggle when it comes to a good work-life balance. This affects Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore, which all are found in the below-average ranks of the respective subcategory. Although Kuala Lumpur is not among the worst-rated cities regarding work-life balance, it merely achieves a mediocre 17th place out of 35 destinations. In the Malaysian capital, just one in ten expats is completely happy with this factor, as opposed to 27 percent in Melbourne, the number one for work-life balance.

Find more InterNations Expat Insider 2016 rankings, reports and infographics on http://www.internations.org/expat-insider.

About the InterNations Expat Insider 2016 City Ranking

For its annual Expat Insider survey, InterNations asked about 14,300 expatriates representing 174 nationalities and living in 191 countries or territories to rate and provide information on various aspects of expat life, as well as their gender, age, and nationality. For the first time in three years running, survey respondents were also invited to share, which city of residence they are currently living in.

Based on this information, a list of cities qualifying for this ranking emerged. For a city to be featured in the league table, a sample size of at least 50 survey participants per city was required. In total, the responses used for the city ranking represent 4,096 expats living in 35 destinations and 22 countries or territories in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and the Middle East.

Participants were asked to rate more than 30 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasized the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these aspects and considered both emotional topics as well as more factual aspects with equal weight. The respondents’ ratings of the individual factors were then bundled in various combinations for a total of 12 subcategories, and their mean values were used to draw up several topical indices: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Personal Finance, and Cost of Living. These were further averaged in order to rank 35 cities worldwide. In 2016, the top five were Melbourne, Houston, Madrid, Duesseldorf, and Singapore.

Catch the iFitness Cover Model Search 2016 Finalists this friday

The inaugural iFitness Cover Model Search 2016 will be taking place on the 11th November 2016 at the Capitol Piazza basement from 7.30pm onwards.

The winner of this competition will be featured in December’s cover of iFitness magazine and win a cash prize of S$1,500, plus a modeling contract with the prestigious NOW Model Management. He will also take home prizes from various partners and sponsors.
Here are the 12 finalists:
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Jack Wills opens second outlet at NGEE ANN CITY, TAKASHIMAYA

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Jack Wills, known for its cult British clothing, announces the opening of its second retail store at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, two years after its debut in 2014.

This retail outlet is the brand’s eighth store in Asia, and the third outside of Hong Kong since the company’s foray into the region in 2011. The 200 square foot store in Takashimaya, located at the heart of Orchard Road reflects all that is Fabulously British. Jack Wills, for more than 16 years, has brought British heritage inspired wares of the highest quality to the wardrobes of spirited and

inspired youths, epitomising what it is to be British, irreverent and carefree. This store will carry an extensive range of products targeted at the discerning and sophisticated women and men who are inspired by the British heritage and fashion style.

The Grand Opening Party was presided by the brand’s Founder & CEO, Peter Williams who had flown in for the day to celebrate the official opening of Singapore’s second Jack Wills store.

“Since we opened our first store in Singapore in 2014, we’ve received an immense support and brand liking towards our Jack Wills Brand which we are grateful. The strong consumer demand for our products accelerated our plans for this second outlet. I have watched Jack Wills grow and flourish in the region and we are committed to provide even better quality products and a unique customer experience through the opening of our second outlet,” Peter Williams said.

Jack Wills was established in 1999 by founders Peter Williams and Robert Shaw in Salcombe, Devon, a small coastal town in the south of England. Ever inspired by the best of British, from its history and culture to sporting and country pursuits, the company’s registered trademark,“Fabulously British” encapsulates the inspiration behind Jack Wills – high quality goods that draw heavily on British heritage and style. Jack Wills takes pride in using the finest quality materials, techniques and design to deliver the brand’s distinctive connection between the old and new, epitomizing what it means to be young and Fabulously British.

The Ngee Ann City, Takashimaya store opens with the Jack Wills Autumn and Christmas 2016 collections. For the Christmas 2016 collection, expect festive hues, soft textures and iconic “Made in Britain” outerwear pieces. The boutique will also carry accessories, homeware and gifts to suit every shopping need.

Jack Wills’ Christmas collection focuses on quality rather than quantity, and clothes that suit our lifestyle, for work, socializing and everything in between. The designers have invested a huge amount of time and energy into upgrading the fabrics, fits and detail of not only the core clothing –hoodies, loungewear, knitwear – but also seasonal items such as outerwear of the finest quality.

Jack Wills has a strong following amongst some of the most quintessentially British style icons, including Princes William and Harry, Emma Watson.

Local Fashion Influencers and celebrities who attended the grand opening party include Nellie Lim, Maybeline Sim, Peggy Heng, Silver Ang and Benjamin Tan. When interviewed, Silver Ang, who is a local artiste and blogger said ‘I am definitely impressed by the new outlet at Takashimaya. British fashion has always been an inspiration for me and Jack Wills’ clothes have indeed motivated me to pursue the finest quality and style in my choice for a fashion label. I look forward to shopping more often at this outlet’.

Monopoly Game returns to McDonald’s®, with more ways to win and close to 4 million prizes up for grabs!

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The Monopoly Game will return to McDonald’s on 3 November 2016 with more extravagant prizes! With more ways to play and more chances to win, customers can look forward to winning a brand new Citroën C4 Cactus, OCBC Bank cash prizes worth S$40,000, Nestle Gold Bar sets worth $25,000, and Star Cruises Family Holiday packages worth more than $7,000, and many more prizes!

“We know that our customers have enjoyed the Monopoly Game at McDonald’s in previous years. This time, we are elevating the thrill of the game by offering customers the chance to win bigger and with more chances to win. Every meal with McDonald’s will bring them closer to winning!” said Yvonne Low, Senior Director of Marketing, McDonald’s Singapore. “More importantly, we are continuously looking for ways to delight our customers – be it by our food or the fun and unique experiences that we have to offer.”

3 Ways to Play

From 3 November to 28 December 2016, customers will be entitled to a Monopoly Game Label with every purchase of an Extra Value Meal. This year’s edition will see more touch points for customers to play the game including at all McDonald’s restaurants which comprises Self-Ordering Kiosks and Drive-Thrus, at McCafé counters and via McDelivery. Upsized Extra Value Meals and McDelivery Bundle Meals entitle customers to more Game Labels.

3 Ways to Win

Every Game Label represents a chance of winning an attractive prize in three different ways: Collect to Win, Instant Win and Chance Card.

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1. Collect to Win
Customers who collect all property Game Labels within the same colour group as shown on the game board will win the prize corresponding to that colour.

2. Instant Win
For customers who receive an Instant Win Game Label, they can either redeem the prize by presenting it at any McDonald’s restaurant or by following the redemption instructions, indicated on the label, to claim the prize directly from the prize partner’s outlet before the expiry date.

3. Chance Card
Chance Cards enable customers to enter a Weekly Lucky Draw by registering the given code number on http://www.mcdwin.com by 30 December 2016. Over a period of eight weeks, five winners will be picked each week to win a NETS Flash-Pay card pre-loaded with a value of S$500. There will be a total of 40 winners at the end of the lucky draw.

Registered entries which do not win in a particular week will automatically roll over to the next draw in the following week and finally to the Final Prize Draw on 12 January 2017. Registered entries that have won a Weekly Draw will not be eligible for future draws, including the Final Prize Draw.

Meal Donation

In addition, McDonald’s is partnering with The Food Bank Singapore Ltd to allow customers to donate their meals. Those who wish to donate their meals can simply inform the counter crew when they place their order. Donated meals will be valued at $5.00 each and will be presented to The Food Bank Singapore Ltd in the form of McDonald’s meal vouchers at the end of the promotion.

For more information on Game Play and Terms and Condition, customer can log on to http://www.mcdwin.com

3 Crucial Topics You Should Start Discussing With Your Children Today

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3 Crucial Topics You Should Start Discussing With Your Children Today

Start Discussing These Vital Points Early To Build A Strong Foundation

It requires a lot of skills and techniques as well as plenty of patience to raise kids in today’s fast-changing world. Keeping them away from using those digital devices, which are considered unhealthy for their brain development, and showing them how to properly manage their time is not an easy chore. Besides these topics, there are plenty of other important points that you need to discuss with your kids at an early age in order to create a solid foundation of communication and transparency. Let us have a look at some of those vital topics:

  1. Disappointment And Failure

No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and face disappointments and failures in life, and children are no exception. When they socially interact with each other they are bound to make mistakes and face disappointments and failures at one point or another.

There is nothing wrong to act as an emotional umbrella and give all the social and moral support to your child under such circumstances; however, it is better to take the role of a guide instead of a “savior”. There is no way you are going to be around your child forever; sooner or later he/she has to learn how to manage such situations. Therefore, the best course of action should be to discuss and teach your kid how to properly manage setbacks, disappointments, and failures.

Next time you kid comes home complaining that the other kids won’t let him/her play with them, instead of just asking about his/her feelings about the situation; you need to discuss on how your child would change the situation to his/her favor.

Pro-tip: Instead of giving your child a shut-up call on silly ideas, you should try to strengthen his/her problem-solving skills by asking for possible solutions. Another important trait that you need to inculcate in your child from a young age is self-comparison. Instead of rating their self-worth on traits such as popularity, academic success, and appearance, you must teach your kids to evaluate and value themselves. You need to teach them that they are human beings and accepting failures and criticism is part of human experience. Research shows that kids who practice self-comparison are able to recover quickly from failures. Such kids are also not afraid of trying new things as they know how to deal with criticism and failures if they fail.

  1. Sex And Other Related Topics

While it may seem like an irrelevant subject to discuss with kids at an early age, taking about sex and sexuality is an important subject that is best discovered in the safety of the home. There are plenty of things that you can relate to while explaining sex and sexuality to your kids. While watching a TV show with your kid, if you come across a scene showing a pregnant woman, you can use it to initiate the talk and explain your kid about sex and life. There may be plenty of such teachable moments that will come your way and can be used to initiate a more natural conversation with your kids.

While discussing sex and other sex-related topics with your kids that they will face in their future, you also need to teach them to respect their privacy and that of others. Your child should be able to understand the occasional need for “private time”, he/she should also be able to learn the value and importance of knocking the door before coming in when the door is closed. At the same time, you should also emphasize to your kid that his/her private parts are private and he/she needs to protect them and never allow others to see or touch them except his/her parents or the doctor.

One important thing to keep in mind is that you should follow that same rules yourself that you want your kid to learn; otherwise, the whole exercise will be not as effective.

  1. Financial Planning

Although it may sound like a pretty difficult subject to teach your kids, but financial planning is an important subject that you need to start discussing with your kids at an early age. You can start by teaching your kid that money has value and every time he/she spends the money it is gone. It is also suggested that you should try to use cash instead of your debit/credit card while shopping with your kids. Once your kids are able to fully comprehend how cash is used for various financial transactions, you can slowly teach them the same concept using your credit/debit card.

If you want to inculcate the saving habit in your kids, it is always a good idea to make them use objects like clear jars rather than money boxes. Kids are able to develop this habit once they are able to witness and observe the actual accumulation of their saving efforts and it is more visible in transparent jars.

Another great way to support your kids to develop this savings habit is to match his/her saving contribution with yours. For example, if your kid saves $1 a day, you can pitch in $1 from your side. This will not only serve as a reward for his/her efforts, it will also reinforce his/her saving habit.

Once your child fully understands the concept of savings and shows his/her interest in this activity, you can gradually introduce four new objects. You can make him/her distribute the money in four different money jars or money boxes to teach these fours new concepts.

  1. Jar 1 – Spending Bank – money to be used soon
  2. Jar 2 – Saving Bank – money to be used later
  • Jar 3 – Investment Bank – money to grow
  1. Jar 4 – Donation Bank – money to give to others

These four new saving concepts will not only provide a better understanding of them on how to utilize their money properly but also teach them to look beyond their own needs and care for the less privileged. If you are interested in teaching your child how to be prepared to face some of the large expenses that lie ahead with careful planning and investment, you need to make sure to visit our site for details.

Sooner or later, your kid is going to face all these challenges in life, why not equip him/her with these skill-sets at an early age.

 

Barron is a lifestyle writer in his mid-30s. In his free time, he enjoys going out with his friends to explore different uncanny places of Singapore and share it with the world.

 

Festive Merriment at Mitzo

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This December, progressive Cantonese restaurant, Mitzo Restaurant & Bar, introduces a range of lavish menus to complement the festive season.

Mitzo joins in the merrymaking with a selection of modern Cantonese dishes paired with artisanal cocktails. Celebrate the festivities with Festive Merriment I & II – both seasonal menus that incorporate premium and well-loved ingredients such as lobster, abalone and wagyu beef, befitting the jolly season. Elevate the festive spirit by opting for the cocktail pairing option which comes with two special tipples that are concocted using the freshest of ingredients.

Festive Merriment I (S$88 per person / S$118 per person with 2 cocktail pairings) features a delectable array of Cantonese fare including the Festive steamed dim sum platter, Braised abalone and asparagus king prawn skewers, and Steamed rice served with truffle wagyu beef. Amp things up by opting for the Festive Merriment II (S$108++ per person / S$138++ per person with 2 cocktail pairings) menu which offers a Festive Platter comprising of the restaurant’s signature Mitzo special barbecued pork and a Crispy soft shell crab wrapped with salted egg charcoal puff, a Steamed live Boston lobster topped with soya sauce, black and white garlic, and finally a bowl of Poached noodles topped with pork ribs.

Both menus are available from 10 to 31 December 2016, during lunch and dinner.

Yum Cha lovers listen up! Whet those cravings during this festive season with Mitzo’s Christmas and New Year’s Champagne Yum Cha Brunch (S$88++ / S$148++ per person) available on 24, 25, 31 December 2016 and 1 January 2017, 11.30am to 2.30pm. For the ultimate Yum Cha experience, guests are invited to choose from over 40 types of supreme seafood dishes, dim sum, roasts, wok dishes and desserts.

The Problems with Social Media Nowadays

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I admit. I am guilty of all these charges. In fact, my attention span becomes so short that it took me almost a week to complete this post. Reason: Being interrupted constantly by so many things on hand.

Is that a valid reason, I ponder often? As an entrepreneur and academic, I am all for multi-disciplinary learning and often sing praises for students who could seemingly juggle many things at one go. In today’s highly complex world, employers are also seeking graduates who show multiple involvements and interests in several areas like sports, arts, literature, community, politics and the list goes on. I am not surprised many early achievers see themselves as movers and shakers ahead of their peers just because of their ability to multi-task and achieve great results in their pursuits.

So what’s my point, you might wonder? I think the World has gone social and is in a better place; we, however, are not.

Herd Mentality

Don’t get me wrong. We all need references in our lives. In fact, I believe one of the ways to really learn is to model after someone who is successful; or learn from the mistakes made by others. My contention here is the prevalent herd mentality that is entrenched in our daily routine. Alright, social media guides our actions and behaviours. However, due to the high dependency we have on these platforms, a lot of our opinions, thoughts and behaviours are shaped and influenced by what we see online. We tend to normalise this behaviour and disregard critical thinking in other aspects of our lives. A case in point; We are seeing a lot more influencers posting information and sharing news about a new product or service. If there is a negative publicity generated about a brand by an influencer; a stigma is attached immediately until the brand recovers itself through constant public relations exercises or word of mouth by customers.  How many of us really bother to investigate the truth of each matter?

I want Fame

We are all striving for numbers. In fact one of the reasons why famous celebrities could get popular in the past was due to the immense reach generated through their works from movies, dramas or endorsements. It is all about reaching the minds of people and having a substantial mindshare. Fast forward to today’s generation, we see struggling old-time personalities trying to keep themselves current. All of a sudden, a sense of irrelevance kicks in. Fame hungry and dynamic Youtubers and Influencers begin to carve a niche for themselves by creating ‘programmes’ or productions that are real-time, social and less scripted. In the online world,  fame could be found instantaneously without having to go through the traditional route of being cast in popular films and dramas. Fair enough, a lot of celebrities are very popular on social media platforms, but increasingly, the newcomers find themselves thrown into the entertainment realms due to the strong online following they have.

5 Minutes of Fame make-believe 

My point is that the concept and desire towards fame have slowly infiltrated into our common concept and minds. Everyone wants to be known. Everyone wants to be seen as important and well, regarded.  Scan around your social media sites and you’ll see your friends posting pictures or videos of a media preview; food pictures & videos and even travelogues created all for the sake of getting it trended. ‘PPAP’, aka Pen Pineapple Apple Pen, a viral online video has stirred many renditions submitted by ordinary folks all in the name of joining the bandwagon and getting noticed through the process.

What’s the psychology behind? It’s definitely random fun and just for laughs. More strategically, it throws oneself into the public eye to be observed, discussed, gossiped or talked about. Remember, when you are in the centre of attention, you penetrate into the mindshare of people. Slowly and surely….You get more popular. Or should I say, you get your five minutes of fame.

Who sets the agenda? 

Let’s talk about the seemingly old modes of production of content. Journalists go through the manufacturing of news process and news are created through a careful selection and editing of news. Producers of dramas and films spent tons of hours working on issues relating to scripts, casting, location, props, production and the end products are marketed and aired on tv and cable channels. It has been a long debate in the media fraternity regarding the notions of agenda setting and propaganda. The media sets the agenda for people to think and react to it. With the advent of social media, new modes of content productions have evolved from citizen journalism, youtube productions, one liners to memes that could easily sum up the public opinion in the most creative manner.

We are exposed to tons and tons of information everyday through our Facebook feeds, Twitter timeline, Bigo Live, Instagram updates etc, often times with no agenda in these forms of communications.

Are we all ready and trained to decipher what’s real and whats not on social media? Can we trust all sources that are invading our social spaces?

Wants, Wants and more Wants 

I once had a friend who said ‘Ignorance is bliss’. He said ‘the more we know, the more unhappy  we become. In life, it is better to know less, so we don’t expect anything in our lives’.  How true!

Do you subscribe to this notion?

This comment , when applies to the concept of ‘needs and wants’, suggest that our wants are triggered because we are informed about the alternatives and many options we have. Very often, a sense of emptiness kicks in when we see friends’ posts on their latest travel vacation, extravagant purchases, fine dining, celebrations, promotion, anniversaries, new business openings etc. I am not suggesting that social media causes unrealistic wants; rather it exposes us to the concept that we are always inadequate in our material possessions. Obviously old forms of media like TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and outdoor billboards have long been guilty. Social Media has definitely makes it more apparent as we are tuned to our platforms on a 24/7 basis.

I wonder whether seeing posts of material possessions and achievements from peers makes us more motivated to achieve even more or on the contrary, depressed further from the inadequacies in our lives. What do you think?

Who is receiving? 

Communication starts with the sender encoding a message through a channel with the receiver decoding based on his or her perceptions and stereotypes. In a traditional way of communicating, the sender has a receiver in mind. In most circumstances, you tailor your messages to your intended recipient based on how you think the person might perceive or receive. In the realm of social media, the nature of the platforms doesn’t allow customised or personalised messages. Much of what we post go to a diverse group of people who have followed us, or ‘friended’ us via Facebook based on varying reasons in the past. A lot of our acquaintances receive our messages on a day to day basis without getting any true meanings or understanding. From an effectiveness standpoint, I question how much of these daily status updates and video posts actually get received fully from the recipients. If everyone is posting and no one is actually receiving, isn’t it a very very sad world? Again, I could be wrong.

Negativity begets negativity

You scroll your Facebook feeds and see updates from your friends filled with negativity.  Friend A talks about the unhappiness at work and the ill treatment received from his boss. Friend B laments about a bad driver who has cut into his lane while driving. Friend C posts a picture about a stranger whom she quarrelled in the bus.  Friend D shares about someone who just passed on.

Familiar? Bad vibes are happening everywhere. By amplifying these vibes, are we propagating and reinforcing that this world is, in indeed, sad?

We’ve been told to surround ourselves with positive and happy friends. Who wants to be reminded often on the sad truths and negativity in this world? Yes, we know the world is a harsh one. Aren’t we all in this journey of searching for happiness in our lives?  I worry about the long-term effects it has on the psyche of people as we are bombarded by these messages constantly.  Believe me, time will tell.

We feed Advertising?

In traditional mode of advertising, empowered and smart consumers have recognised the commercial intention of businesses and have discredit the effects long ago. We simply switch channel when it’s commercial break time. We selectively listen to the radio news and omit the radio jingles heard over news radio 938. When we are commuting on MRT, we simply ignore the billboards and get on with our lives.

This selective perception is however a lot more difficult on social media. How many times  have you seen sponsored ads popping up on our Facebook news feed. Even instagram forces you to check on a sponsored ad after 5-10 seconds of scrolling your friends updates. Can we avoid these messages? The answer is NO. Marketers are already trained to enter into the realms of consumers based on their media habits. Where there are people congregating, there will be advertising and commercial interests.

Advertising is here to stay. If you want to stay in the social media realms, you need to live with it.

Sex: Powerful tool 

We know “SEX SELLS’. And this notion is amplified on social media. All too often people with great bodies who are willing to bare get far more attention from the ordinary folks. ‘If you have what it takes, flaunt it’, I fully agree. I am not jealous or anything. I know I don’t have a great bod! LOL What I am against is the wrong subscription amongst the younger generation that if you bare, you will get attention.  I think from a marketing standpoint, this notion is true. However I don’t think this is a good mindset to have in the society. I just don’t think trivialising sex is the way to go.

Instant Gratification 

Instant gratification is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment. Basically, it’s when you want it; and you want it now.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting or needing things, experiences, or products in a timely manner. However, It’s important to balance our desires with a realistic sense of timing and patience.

We gain instant feedback from our devices, because we’re constantly plugged in and turned on. Social media gives us instant ability to upload videos, photos and status updates. We receive instant feedback from our social followers. We respond in near real time to emails and tweets. We have the ability to make things happen without having to wait.

Because our devices are ubiquitous, our connectedness is constant. There’s very little patience required.

We even expect business growth — a phenomenon long considered to be gradual — to happen overnight. Like the viral explosion of a YouTube video, we want to hack business growth for viral expansion. The pursuit is admirable, even if the results aren’t always what we desire.

Therein lies the problem, the belief that social media can fuel businesses quickly and success is guaranteed. We fail to think of the rigour and hard work involved in making things work. We think social media is the magical answer to entrepreneurship and success. We think that hiring influencers to blog about our products or services will ensure streams of customers coming to our stores. We think that viral videos are the way to go. We think digital marketing is the solution to all business evils. Bullshit.

 

Well, I need to qualify that I am a proponent of social media. I believe the media is always neutral and outcomes are determined by the users themselves. With every con you see from social media, there are always pros that come along. In fact, I could easily write another article about the growing advantages of social media. I am no saint and I am not here to play God. I just want to share my thoughts about the growing trends and hopefully we can sit back, and reflect on this digital giant, amidst our fast moving society.

Thank you and adios.

Dennis Toh

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New ‘Click & Collect’ service at Robinsons The Heeren

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Robinsons is delighted to introduce ‘Click & Collect’, a new online shopping feature which officially launches on 3 October 2016! ‘Click & Collect’ invites shoppers to browse and purchase their desired items via the Robinsons shopping website before collecting them at Robinsons The Heeren. From the digitally savvy woman who enjoys shopping in the comfort of her own home to busy executives who prefer purchasing their lifestyle essentials on the go, ‘Click & Collect’ by Robinsons provides shoppers with more options and convenience to indulge in retail therapy.

In line with the introduction of the newest Autumn/Winter collections at Robinsons, ‘Click & Collect’ allows shoppers to get their hands on the latest items for the season with just a few simple clicks and a trip to the department store’s flagship store at Robinsons The Heeren.

Featuring an exclusively curated line-up of over 300 offerings across fashion, beauty, travel, technology and home & lifestyle, including items which are sold exclusively at Robinsons, shoppers will delight in the smorgasbord of products available for purchase. With ‘Click & Collect’, shoppers will enjoy exclusive online prices plus GST absorption^ on their purchases!

To find out more about making an online purchase with ‘Click & Collect’ at Robinsons, please see below:
1. Visit shop.robinsons.com.sg to browse the products
2. Select your desired products and make your payment via the site
3. Your items will be ready for collection in three hours! Present the online receipt to confirm your purchase and collect your coveted products at the Concierge on Level 1 of Robinsons The Heeren.

To kick off the launch of ‘Click & Collect’, the first 100 shoppers who make a purchase via the service will receive a welcome gift set worth more than $80, including $40 worth of vouchers redeemable at Robinsons The Heeren till the end of November.*

The joy of indulging in a little retail therapy begins at your fingertips. Visit shop.robinsons.com.sg to make your next quick and easy purchase with Robinsons today!

COO – Singapore’s First ‘Sociatel’ Brand, A New-Generation Hospitality Experience & COO Bistro

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Singapore’s first ‘Sociatel’ brand introduces a new-generation hospitality experience to locals and travellers alike – its first property in Tiong Bahru, designed by multi-award winning design firm Ministry of Design, synergises a design hostel and a casual bistro, while introducing COO Connect, a digital interest matching tool aimed at connecting like-minded hostel guests. The unique COO brand DNA of being ‘Glocal’, Social, and Playful transcends through the design hostel, bistro offerings, and in the future – all things related to COO. Unveiling STAY, EAT and CONNECT in its first phase, COO aims to continue building a distinctive brand experience with future expansion plans to include introducing single rooms alongside the shared ones, varying F&B concepts, integrated retail spaces and even co-working environments.

The design hostel houses COO Bistro, that casually sits in the heart COO and serves up a contemporary ‘Glocal’ menu that draws inspiration from an array of global and local cuisine. In keeping with the COO brand ethos of being ‘locally rooted’, the casual bistro showcases its whimsical interpretation of local dishes that resonate with the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood.

Catering to both travellers and locals in a neighbourhood that embodies the quintessential local experience, COO Bistro plays up on its ‘Glocal’, Social and Playful aspect of the brand in its menu creation. True to what real food should be, fresh ingredients are used and sauces and dips are house made from scratch. Opened daily (except Tuesday), the bistro serves up two menus, an All-Day-Brunch Menu and a Dinner Menu, the latter offering a more refined choice of mains.

Priceza Strengthens Its E-Commerce Platform In Southeast Asia With Burda Principal Investments, The Venture Arm Of Hubert Burda Media

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Priceza, the leading shopping search engine and price comparison shopping platform in Southeast Asia, announced at a press conference today that it is joining forces with a strong Series B investor, German global media giant Hubert Burda Media (HBM), to secure its rising success and competitive power within the region’s rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

Priceza currently has a presence in six regional markets, dominating in Thailand and Indonesia, with a combined 13 million visits a month. Traffic to Priceza Thailand numbers 7.5 million a month or over 200,000 a day and the website has seen a 100% growth from 2015 to 2016. The platform has a product database of over 59 million items across six countries.

Thanawat Malabuppha, Priceza’s CEO and Co-founder, welcomes the funding as an important turning point for Priceza to develop into an international e-commerce tech company in its 7th year of operations.

“For Priceza, it’s a significant milestone; recognition as a strong, international tech-based company. Being backed by a strategic, global investor like HBM, who shares our mission, enables us to leverage their digital expertize and in depth media understanding to deliver the best online shopping services to consumers across SEA.”

“According to the Euromonitor, Bofa Merrill Lynch’s eCommerce Report, e-commerce shopping accounts for a mere 1-2% of total retail sales in SEA, compared to 16% in Korea, 9% in US and 8% global average. With the growing e-commerce ecosystem in the region, having the support of HBM will firmly place Priceza as the number one online shopping search engine in this region and provide the fuel for rapid growth. “Both Priceza and HBM share a vision to make the retail ecosystem in SEA as transparent as possible to benefit both buyers and sellers,” added Thanawat.

Priceza’s Series B funding is in the seven-figure USD range and significantly higher than Series A funding in 2013. HBM has now taken over the initial stake from CyberAgent Ventures (CAV) giving them a 24.9% share in Priceza. Media conglomerate HBM is a big investor in consumer-facing internet businesses which account for some 60% of its annual revenues.

This investment, carried out by a recently formed unit within HBM called Burda Principal Investments (BPI), set up in 2015 to offer long-term growth equity for fast-growing digital technology and media companies, is the first of what will be many investments by the company into SEA.

“We are looking at increasing our investments in SEA and Priceza seemed a natural choice because of how it has grown from an idea from three Thai computer engineers in 2010 to a high-profile platform spanning 6 countries,” pointed out Fredrich von Scanzoni, CEO at Burda Asia.

“This is in alignment of our strategy to invest in a great team and in a robust e-commerce ecosystem. We have been investing in e-commerce companies for the past 20 years and understand the price comparison space very well. With Priceza joining our portfolio, they will bring deep insights into the region and together we can build Priceza to be a significant player and market leader in SEA,” said Friedrich.

Peter Kennedy, executive chairman of Burda Asia, echoes this support for Priceza.

“We have been impressed by the growth of Priceza within and beyond Thailand. The strategy behind the Series B investment is to enable Priceza to expand and develop even further and solidify their market dominance”.

The Unveiling of The Anam Villas – The District’s First-ever Colonial Beachside Resort

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Situated on a superlative spot on the tranquil shores of Nha Trang Bay in Vietnam, The Anam Villas is the latest beachside resort addition to Worldhotels’ diverse and growing portfolio of independent hotels. Boasting some of the most captivating sunsets over the boundless Pacific Ocean, and accompanied by a sea of turquoise tinged waters and a 300m stretch of sugar-white sands, The Anam Villas oozes exuberant resort styled living and brings their motto “No News, No Shoes, No Stress” to life.

The hotel’s name Anam is derived from the bygone era of “IndoChine” and also stands for the alternative name of Vietnam in the past – with the entire property’s look and feel inspired by this particular epoch in time. Guests will find that the main lobby of The Anam Villas overlooks the wide expanse of the shimmering South China Sea and comes adorned with rich wood accents, and luxurious fittings and fixtures. These visually arresting elements are complemented by Peranakan inspired floor mosaics tiles, imbuing the entre property with an old-world architectural elegance with a contemporary appeal. Guests will also be pampered by the personalised and first-class service provided by The Anam Villas’ most precious gems, their dedicated staff. As a team that goes beyond the extra mile, witness first-hand as Vietnam’s finest butlers, valets and concierges tend to each and every guests’ needs, and get blown away by their supreme Vietnamese hospitality, comfort and charm.

From now till 19 December 2016, enjoy IndoChine’s luxurious charms at The Anam Villas. Room stays from Seaview Premium category will be priced at an introductory rate of USD 220++. This rate includes complimentary breakfast, fresh in-room fruits, roundtrip shuttle bus services to Nha Trang city centre, return airport transfers and free room upgrades when available. Prices for higher tiered room categories will also be at a discounted rate and include the same perks stated above.

“Sweet dreams are made of this”
Boasting an award-winning “Sweet Dreams Ala Carte” concept, The Anam Villas offers guests goose down duvets and pillows that provides the utmost of comfort and a good night’s sleep. This is only further complimented by exclusively manufactured Irish linen bed sheets and pillow cases. The luxurious bathrooms, with their sunken bathtubs, rain-showers, and artisanal French lotions and toiletries, typify The Anam’s meticulous attention to detail. Each of the hotel’s 95 villas also tick off all the required boxes of an archaic but yet, swanky retreat and come airy, bright and suffused with the most exquisite of Vietnamese hardwood and antique styled tiling. The villas also come adorned with native artefacts like straw conical hats, better known as nón lá, which can be found in each villa and provide guests with shade from the scorching sun.

An explosion of flavours and a native dining experience
The Anam Villas believes that dining is so much more than just great food, and offers guests gastronomic options to slow down, relax and catch up with those who matter most. IndoChiné Cafe blends two distinct traditions into its meals – the Vietnamese tradition whereby an entire family unit sits down and shares a meal together, and the Venetian tradition of Cicchetti, which smaller servings of food are opted over larger portions, allowing guests to savour more even more dishes in one sitting. Satay Club brings guests on a trip around the world and promises the discovery of the world’s many varieties of satays. The third epicurean option for guests to adjourn to is Beach Club, which serves up The Anam Villas’ signature cocktails, an extensive range of single malt whiskies and the very best of casual dining by the beach.

Recreational and therapeutic activities for everyone
The luxurious Sri Mara Spa, named after the first Cham King of Vietnam, offers a range of private treatment rooms equipped with therapists specially selected and trained in the art of Balinese massage. Kids can frolic their days away in three large swimming pools, a kid’s adventure club and a playground. For guests who seek for an active lifestyle, there are options such as tennis, yoga, water sports and even a fully functioning dive centre for underwater enthusiasts, along with a well-equipped fitness centre. With the help of The Anam Villas’ dedicated staff, guests can even plan their own customised vacation agenda when residing at The Anam Villas.

“Nha Trang is an up and coming leisure and coastal destination in the APAC region, and is slated to become one of the must-see places for the avid and discerning traveller,” says Roland Jegge, Executive Vice President Worldhotels Asia Pacific. “Worldhotels cannot be more delighted over the addition of the first luxury villa retreat in Vietnam, The Anam Villas, and we are excited to be part of their reign from the get-go.”

Lalamove Satisfies City’s Hunger for Food Delivery

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Hong Kong based on-demand delivery app Lalamove is moving into restaurant and food delivery across Bangkok to feed the growing appetite for appetizing restaurant dishes and produce to be brought straight to customers’ doors.

Restaurants and food producers invited to use Lalamove’s 24/7 dedicated courier service receive a stamp of approval with a ‘Lala Recommended’ graphic featured on Lalamove social media. Invitees are selected for their high quality cuisine, outstanding reputation and popularity amongst customers.

Alongside this insignia, dishes and produce are promoted on Lalamove’s Facebook and Instagram pages, giving businesses a real boost and satisfying demand for reliable delivery for hungry customers too.

In return, ‘Lala Recommended’ restaurants and food companies are promoting Lalamove services via their own social media too; reminding customers that Lalamove is the go-to app for all delivery needs in the city, from important documents via motorcycle courier to large items of furniture via pickup truck, and everything in between.

The food delivery scheme which began recently already offers a wide array of tempting ‘Lala Recommended’ cuisine, from high-class dinners to nourishing comfort foods and lunches for health-conscious workers across the city. This includes fresh seafood from Lobster Gangster and The Cooking Crab, Japanese dishes with Taka Sashimi Express, plus juices and wheatgrass shots with Own Your Own Fresh, plus much more.

Norwegian Jewel retrofitted with Gas Scrubber Technology

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In conjunction with its Eco-Smart Cruising program, Norwegian announced today the successful completion of the retrofitting of a new Exhaust Gas Scrubber system on Norwegian Jewel, aimed at significantly reducing air emissions and the ship’s environmental footprint.

Norwegian Cruise Line is the first cruise line to retrofit a vessel while it is in service with an Exhaust Gas Scrubber Hybrid system. Norwegian Jewel’s new lightweight in-line scrubbers are a hybrid technology developed by Yara Marine Technologies that are able to operate in Dry mode, Open loop and Closed loop. Five scrubbers were installed, one per engine, covering the whole propulsion system. Collectively, they are capable of reducing the emission of sulfur to air up to 99 percent and also reduce 85 percent particulate emission, pollutants, to the air.

Norwegian Jewel’s new technology will reduce the equivalent of approximately 1,500 tons of Sulfur Oxide, SOx, gas in the years to come as a result of this new technology. A two year project, Norwegian Jewel’s retrofitting began in spring 2014 and featured more than 100,000 man hours between numerous partner organizations to be completed.

“Norwegian is firmly dedicated to upholding the highest standards of excellence in environmental protection practices, as well as leading the industry in seeking out technology that makes our ships not only an enjoyable vacation experience, but also ensures that we continuously protect the environment that our guests love to explore,” said Robin Lindsay, Executive Vice President of Vessel Operations for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Norwegian is the first cruise line to install scrubbers with a state-of-the-art water membranes filtration unit. This sophisticated water cleaning system uses Ultrafiltration technology to clean the recirculated water during the closed loop operation down to clear water. The by-product is collected and removed in drums.

As part of Eco-Smart Cruising, Norwegian’s Safety and Environmental Protection Policy establishes several objectives relating to the environment, which include reducing the impact of its operations on the environment, disposing garbage and waste materials in accordance with national and international rules and regulations, recycling and re-using materials and establishing specific objectives and targets for continual improvement of environmental management programs.

Norwegian currently has three of ships outfitted with Gas Scrubbers technology, with Norwegian Jewel joining Norwegian Escape and Pride of America. Norwegian Cruise Line is on track to meet its MARPOL Annex VI compliance goal of reducing its global sulfur cap from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020. Furthering Norwegian’s commitment to Eco-Smart Cruising, Norwegian Jewel’s sister ships, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem, will complete their scrubber commissioning within the coming weeks with Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Sun scheduled for retrofitting in the first and second quarter of 2017, respectively.

Keeping Company Data Safe: Educating Your Employees on Basic Security Measures

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Keeping Company Data Safe: Educating Your Employees on Basic Security Measures

The problem with security in the modern realm is that from a technical point of view, there are far too many traps and pitfalls for inexperienced or older employees to fall into. The amount of liability is not only an unheard of amount, but when you start to think about the quantity of potential traps and the sheer number of threats out there each and every day, you can easily see why it is so hard to trust older employees who aren’t as familiar with the internet to have full access to both computers and sensitive data. Consider the following measures as necessary to discuss with your employees with respect to basic security.

Understand The Importance Of Passwords

According to the Last Pass, employees make far too many mistakes with passwords. Not only do they not record them, but when they do record them they leave out their password sheet. They can use the same password over and over again to remember it, but the problem is if that password is breached or compromised then every password that they have is susceptible. They may use the same passwords for both personal use and company use, but then that can open up an entirely new set of problems. Password education is a critical step because the entire security of the organization depends solely on the security measures in place being taken seriously as well.

Verify Who You Are Talking To

The truth is when you are responsible for any sort of data or sensitive data, then you have to be aware of the potential problems that can come up with respect to having and protecting that data. That is why when people make phone calls, send phishing emails, and even pretend to be someone else in person, then you have to have multiple systems in place to verify that someone is who they say that they are. The benefit is to use something with security already built in such as encrypted video conferencing for IT solutions by the BlueJeans in order to know that the only people who are able to access your company and your data are the very people who are being protected behind encrypted channels.

Compromising Sensitive And Confidential Information

When you think about the specifics of compromising data and confidential information, the first thing that you should pay attention to is the fact that you are always somewhat vulnerable to hacks. As the SSE Network reported, even the United States Census was able to be hacked by world famous hackers known as Anonymous. This means that even the top security measures taken to protect people can still come up somewhat short and can still have holes in their security measures. What it also means is that regardless of what your plans are as an organization, you will always be vulnerable. That’s why when you are storing any sort of information for any reason whatsoever, you have to make sure you not only protect it to the best of your abilities, but you also find a way to transfer the risk and possible even have other organizations store it on secure servers.

Keep Permission To A Minimum

While employees might think that they are vital to the operation and should have access to do whatever they please and to do it whenever they would like to, the truth is that those sorts of employees are delusional. They want to go online and download apps and games, access news sites that will allow them to view gossip, and even shop. Not only are those things not related to work, but they are some of the top methods that hackers take in order to access your system and to break through into your data. In other words, it is the actions of the employee that actually create the bridge into your company. Instead of giving your employees every permission imaginable, it makes far more sense to simply lay down security blockers, disable downloading capabilities, and keep your employees from accessing anything that could be deemed a threat. As you continue to educate them about the possibilities of what could be waiting out there for them, they should hopefully understand and fully comply with your requests.

As you continue to gain more knowledge into the world of online security and the major problems that come with the territory, it can only make sense why so many will make such a big deal about protecting data and keeping cyber security threats to a minimum. Just make sure that you do whatever is necessary to get your employees onboard and in no time at all you should start to be able to breathe a sigh of relief as you know your biggest cyber threats are minimized if not eli

Rooting For A Cause with Toast Box and ABLE’s Sixth-year Milestone

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To mark its sixth year milestone, Toast Box goes a step further with non-profit charity organization, ABLE (Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations), to join hands with beneficiaries to raise awareness and funds for ABLE’s rehabilitation, respite and training programs.

This year, the funds will be raised through the sales of Sprouting Kits — a portable-sized cup that comes with soil compost processed from Toast Box’s recycled coffee grounds, and seeds for growing the sprouts. As part of giving back to the community, Toast Box has been supporting ABLE through fund-raising programs in the last six years.

Together with ABLE’s staff and beneficiaries, Toast Box’s staff-volunteers pack and assemble the Sprouting Kits — from sticking of labels onto the cups, to packing the soil compost, seeds and instructional guides within the kit.

These packing sessions keep the beneficiaries physically and socially active. It also allows Toast Box staff-volunteers to better understand the challenges faced by the beneficiaries and how the funds raised can help serve ABLE’s programs which are aimed to help the physically challenged lead a productive, meaningful and independent life.

To take this social community effort further, this year’s fund raising also stems from the brand’s creative way of giving back to the environment by recycling their coffee grounds and reusing them as soil compost.

Gene Lee, Executive Director of ABLE, commented, “We’re very happy to continue collaborating with Toast Box for the sixth year to raise funds for ABLE. This year, our beneficiaries are especially delighted to play a part in this fund-raising initiative and through Toast Box, we hope to reach out to more members of the public to increase awareness of our services and to help more beneficiaries!”

With the underlying meaning of ‘growing’ new life, the Sprouting Kits allow customers to have a hands-on engaging experience in growing their very own edible ‘Bak Choy’ or ‘Kai Lan’ sprouts, which they have the option of adding the sprouts to salad, or cooking with other vegetables.

Vincent Lim, Regional General Manager of Toast Box, Bakery Division (ASEAN), rallies the community to be part of this meaningful initiative, “We are especially heartened to have ABLE’s beneficiaries and staff, Toast Box staff and even our industry partners coming together for the first time to put their best foot forward in this initiative. With the support of our customers, we believe this can be developed into a long-term social and sustainability effort in supporting our community.”

From 22nd September 2016, these portable sized Sprouting Kits will be sold at $5 each. 100% of the sales will go to ABLE.

‘Who is Jesus’ Musical Casts local heartthrob Jeffrey Xu as a roman Soldier, Apple Hong to play Saint Claudia

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Local Mediacorp Actor Jeffrey Xu has been tapped to play a Roman Soldier in the upcoming musical, Who is Jesus, produced by Newstring Ministry.

Adding to the incredibly talented and attractive cast, local artiste Apple Hong has been cast in the iconic role of Saint Claudia, wife of Pilate, who is played by local Model and Entreprenuer Dennis Toh.

Other notable actors include ex-host DaiLan, veteran Singer XiaHui as well as Singer Song Writer Lin Yi Zhong, who will play the iconic role of Jesus.  Sound Engineer from Dreamworks, Terence Teo, who is a renowned Music arranger in Asia has also been invited to provide musical direction to the production.

With a realistic approach, this musical seeks to unravel the life story of Jesus as an actual historical figure. The story begins with two Roman soldiers delegated as spies to observe Jesus. Both saw how the Jews clustered around him with admiration and witnessed how Jesus was ultimately set up by the religious leaders, only to be crucified on the cross.

Once unaware of the past behind Jesus, the two Roman soldiers eventually came to discover his love and soon realised that he is the true Son of God.

Liza Foong, Director and Producer from New String Ministry commented ‘It has been a rough journey getting this stage play together. However, we have witnessed several parties coming together for the sole purpose of piecing the stage play into one. I want to thank everyone who has helped us throughout the process’.

The epic two-hour musical will take place at the Esplanade on 3th September (2pm and 8pm) and 4th September (2pm and 8pm). Admission is free. Interested theatre-goers are invited to call 81660922 or email whoisjesus2016@gmail.com for tickets. For more information, visit WhoisJesus.sg.

Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival with Mooncakes with Deliveroo!

Gift Mooncakes With Deliveroo

To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, Deliveroo, the on-demand premium food delivery service, has launched deliveries for mooncakes this festive season allowing customers to order mooncakes in advance from now until 15 September.

Gift Mooncakes with Deliveroo is Deliveroo’s new service to help customers celebrate the meaningful occasion. As mooncakes have come to define the festival and all that it stands for, Deliveroo is committed to go the extra mile to deliver the delectable pastry to customers, so that they can enjoy the sweet mooncakes without having to step out of the house.

Customers will be able to order and enjoy special early bird promotions (where available) from Mandarin Orchard, Grand Park City Hall, Dean & Deluca, TCC, Antoinette and many more. Customers can browse their offerings and order their desired mooncakes, through Deliveroo’s mobile phone application or website.