Australia Honeymoon Trip Part 1 – Gold Coast

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I had a hard time deciding where to go for my honeymoon trip.

It was South Korea vs Australia. Because we just went Seoul last year (but i will never get sick of it), it made the decision making process easier for us!

We’re supposed to leave Singapore end March, but I closed a deal and had to run a work event on 1 April. SO, we had to push back our flight and paid about $400 for the changing the flight to fly on my birthday! I didn’t really like the idea of spending my birthday on a plane but guessed that would be the next best date to fly.

We’re so busy with work that we forgot to apply for visa. Luckily we can apply visa at Changi Airport but we have to pay $50/pax in cash. Oh wells, at that point of time we had no choice but to pay right? So reminder to those going Aussie, REMEMBER TO APPLY VISA OK :)

Our first stop – Gold Coast!

Arrived at Gold Coast airport early morning and bought GO Card which allows unlimited travel on the tram and buses. It’s cheaper to get from the airport for AUD10 a day while some places were selling it for AUD15.  With the card, we took a bus which brought us to Phoenician Resort Apartment @ Broadbeach.

We had breakfast at a nearby cafe called Sage. There are many cafes and restaurants around our hotel and most of them have breakfast set for AUD9-10. As it was the Easter Day Weekend and apparently Easter Day is something very big for the Aussies, hence there was a public holiday surcharge for all dining places :(

Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer's  Paradise

After checking into the hotel, we freshened up a little and headed out to Surfers Paradise! It was not called Surfers Paradise for nothing – the waves are huge and I was totally enjoying the sea view and the breeze!

There were a lot of street performances as it was the Australian Street Performance Championships as part of the Surfers Paradise festival.

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And not forgetting getting a green smoothie at Boost which is like everywhere in Australia. Love their smoothies!

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Broadbeach Art And Craft Markets

The next morning, we went to Broadbeach Art And Craft Markets which is held only on 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, all year round. There you can find many stalls selling handmade products, homewares, jewellery, fresh food and drinks, natural skincare products and more.

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We bought a handcrafted ginger beer for AUD4. We were surprised how small a cup it was. To be honest, I prefer the canned ginger beer as this was a little bitter for my liking!

Broachbeach Art And Craft Market

Old Burleigh Road

Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach

QLD, 4218

8.00am-2.30pm on every first and third Sunday of the month

Bounce Inc Trampoline Park

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The highlight of the day was going to a trampoline park. See, i am someone who doesn’t like just plain sightseeing and prefer something experiential. Hence, I suggested going to Bounce Inc after seeing their advertisement everywhere – bus stops, TV and magazines. And that was the best choice ever!

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Look at the colours – totally loving the place the moment we stepped in. We booked online for an 1-hour session as we reckoned we might get bored after jumping for 1 hour. After we changed to our sportswear and their bounce grip socks (compulsory to buy a pair of bounce grip socks but we got them for free as there were some promotion for tourists), we entered the trampoline area and started with the simpler ones first!

It was really hard to control the body and i was very impressed that many young kids can jump and flip so well.

There were areas for trampoline dodgeball game which looked really interesting. We didn’t know anyone there, we didn’t join in the game. But can you imagine?  You have to keep jumping and hide from the ball from the opponent team. Definitely not easy but quite fun right?

We tried the slam dunk where we have to jump on the trampoline and try to dunk the basketball into net. Not easy too but JM had a lot of fun.

1 hour was just nice for us because we were so tired after all the jumping. All sweaty after the session but guess it was a good workout after all.

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Bounce Robina 

10 Energy Circuit

Robina QLD 4226

How to get there:

Take bus no. to and change 

Dream World

Woke up early on the third day to have an early breakfast at Sage again before heading to Dream World! It was getting a little warm as the sun was glaring, so i bought a cheap AUD5 cap at some random shop to protect my face against the UV rays.

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One of the first thing we did there was to watch the tiger show, in awe and fear!

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Tried most of the rides and was disappointed that it was not as fun as we thought it would be. We both agreed that Ocean Park at HK is so much better!

And here’s my fave picture taken in Gold Coast to concludes 3-day stay in Gold Coast!

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Picnic Perfect! – How To Plan A Perfect Picnic?

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Picnic Perfect! – How To Plan A Perfect Picnic in Singapore?

How to plan a picnic in Singapore?

How to plan a picnic in Singapore?

Picnic is definitely one of my fave weekend activities. I mean what’s not to love about sitting out in nature and enjoying the food and company of the day? I just had a picnic session with my family and it was  so fun and meaningful to spend quality time with your loved ones.

Some may find it a hassle to pack all the things needed and prepare all the food for the picnic. But it can be kept really simple. Picnic is nothing more than choosing a great picnic location, inviting a good group of people, bringing something to sit on, and packing some food and drinks, as simple as that. And of course, praying it doesn’t rain on that day!

 

1) Plan the picnic venue

This is essentially the first thing you need to do. And good news is, you can practically picnic anywhere you like! Some of the things you might want to consider are the accessibility and the amenities available. If you have little ones, you might need to find a venue where restrooms or bathrooms are easily available. If you have pets, you might need a venue that is pet-friendly.

Some of the popular and favourite picnic spots in Singapore are

Botanic Gardens

East Coast Park

Marina Barrage

Hort Park

Macritchie Reservoir

Bishan Park

 

2) Plan the food menu

photo credit to Food For Thought

What’s on your food menu depends largely on how elaborated you want it to be. You can prepare simple food like sandwiches, salads, cheese and fruit platter at home. Or you can also buy picnic-friendly food such as sushi, bread, pizzas etc.

And if you are lazy to prepare all the food, it can be a potluck session where everyone bring their own food to the picnic. We call this BYOF (Bring Your Own Food)!

If you are planning a picnic at Singapore Botanic Gardens, I have another tip for you! Food For Thought at the Botanic Garden outlet actually allows you to ‘rent a picnic basket’ and customize the picnic menu and they will prepare the food for you. The cost starts from $42 (for 2 pax) and it requires a $50 returnable deposit. They really know how to make picnic hassle-free!

 

2) Packing For Picnic

Now the only thing you need to do is to pack up your basket and head to your picnic venue for an enjoyable picnic with your loved ones.

To make things easier for you, I have designed a picnic packing list and you can download and use my picnic packing list to make sure you have it all. Fits a A4 printing size. I spent an hour to do this and I hope you find it useful :)

Picnic packing list

Picnic packing list

 

The Assembly Ground

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This café-hopping fever goes on and on with new cafes opening every month.

This time round, I went to The Assembly Ground at The Cathay.

The Assembly Ground

The Assembly Ground

For those who are thinking of making reservations might want to take note that they only take in bookings for big groups. I assumed to be 6 pax or more because they rejected our reservation for 3-4 pax. But, they assured us that it is not difficult to get a seat during dinner hours on a weekday.

I ended work early and went there at around 6.45pm. True enough, I got a table immediately. I like the set up of the cafes partly because I am into industrial loft design. And you can see this industrial feel in my house which will be ready next month.

The Assembly Ground

The Assembly Ground

I was so so so hungry while waiting for my friends and I was so glad when they finally came!

Check out The Assembly Ground menu

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The food choices are not a lot and I was quite disappointed that they did not have Portobello Mushroom Cheese Sandwich or any other sandwich except for the Roast Beef Melt Sandwich on that day. And, I DON’T EAT BEEF….sobs sobs.

In the end, I settled with Eggs Benji ($16) which is poached eggs with honey baked ham with hollandaise. Clare ordered Rosti Omelette ($14.50) and Hui ordered Scrambled Eggs ($12) with smoked salmon and we ordered Truffle Mushroom Soup ($9.50) to share!

The Assembly Ground Menu

The Assembly Ground Menu

The Assembly Ground Menu

The Assembly Ground Menu

 

The mains are not one of the best that I’ve eaten but it is not bad though I hope they will give a bigger portion. I don’t fancy their truffle mushroom soup as it is kinda foamy.

And what’s a meal without desserts? I am not a desserts person until recently. Don’t know why but I will suddenly crave for something sweet especially when I am stressed or loaded with too much work. No wonder people say ‘STRESS is DESSERTS spelt backwards’ lol

We tried Earl Grey Lemon Pound Cake and Thai Milk Tea Pound Cake. I can’t decide which I like better but I find that a little too sweet for my liking but I like the moist and dense texture of the pound cake.

Earl Grey Lemon & Thai Iced Tea Pound Cake

Earl Grey Lemon & Thai Iced Tea Pound Cake

All in all, I like the décor and cosy feel of the café and I will be back again to try their Portobello Mushroom Cheese Sandwich and Green Tea Latte.

 

 

The Assembly Ground
The Cathay #01-21/22/23

2 Handy Road, Singapore 229233

Tel: +65 67333375
Opening Hours: 10.30am-10pm (Tues-Sun), Closed Mon, kitchen closes between 3-6pm

Nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut MRT

Family Picnic at East Coast Park!

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It’s been long since our family gather for an outing! It’s always hard to arrange because everyone has a busy schedule and it is hard to find a day when everyone is free.

And finally, we managed to set aside a day for a picnic session at East Coast Park!

It’s not full attendance but still, it didn’t deter us from having a fun.

My older cousin prepared some simple sandwiches and croissants. I didn’t eat any because I just met my girlfriends for afternoon tea before I joined them. Check out how my little cousin Xann enjoyed the food :)

Picnic in SIngapore

Picnic in SIngapore

I’ve prepared some DIY kites (leftover from my craft workshop event) but alas I forgot to bring some crayons or markers to decorate. So we flew a plain white kite! Rather surprised that the wind at ECP is strong enough to fly my kite.

And then, my siblings and I decided to go cycling. Rented a bike for 1 hour and the rate is about $7-8 per hour. Off we go……..

Cycling at East Coast Park

Cycling at East Coast Park

I really enjoy cycling at East Coast Park as long as the weather is not too hot. There was one weekday evening that JM and I went cycling out of no reason and we both enjoyed this great activity!

By the time we finished cycling and cleaning up, we are all so hungry and went to eat Mootaka for dinner. Shall share more about my first time eating Mootaka next time!

Shall end off with the group picture we took using a selfie stick. Yes, a selfie stick! Haha i always think it looks retarded to use a selfie stick but I must say it is really useful when you want to take photo of a big group!

picnic group shot

picnic group shot

Money Saving Tips for New Singapore HDB Home-Owners

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My house renovation is starting this week! It’s kinda exciting and we’re anticipating to see how our design comes to realization.

We’ve decided against engaging an interior designer as we have a pretty clear idea of how we want our HDB home to be. And i don’t think I’ll need external help in deciding which colours to use for the walls, flooring, cabinets etc.

I am particularly excited to see how the study room will turn out. It’s a concept we got from our Seoul trip months back.

By handling all the design and planning ourselves, we actually saved quite a lot (but of course with good negotiating skills). This is what we call trade time for money. Below are some useful money saving tips that might be useful for new HDB home-owners who have just collected their keys!

money saving tips for new homeowners

save money with these renovation tips

Money Saving Tips for New Home-Owners

1. Use contractor instead of interior designer. If you have a design/theme in mind, you can look for ideas online and show it to your appointed contractor. By using contractor, you save more than 20% which is alot since it is going to be five-figure sum. Check out Pinterest (it’s free to sign up) as I got some of my inspirations from there. You can also check out some local renovation /interior design magazines for ideas and snap pictures of the things that interest you.

If you are looking for a contractor, do drop me an email / message and i will share my contractor’s contact details with you.

2. Negotiate to get the best price. No matter whether you are using an ID or contractor, always bargain. It doesn’t hurt to do so and there’s only upside. Probably the only downside is that the ID or contractor will hate you. We managed to cut the quoted price further by about 15%!

3. Buy electrical appliances during SALE! Great Singapore Sale is a good period to buy electrical appliances and mattress. And not forgetting Philips Carnival (once or twice a year if i am not wrong). We’ve bought Philips air fryer, hairdryer, food steamer, rice cooker for less than $500.

4. Get pre-loved furniture or electrical appliances. I must first say that i don’t really like to use 2nd-hand things and i have never used any 2nd hand things before. But, i was offered a free fridge and super-branded vacuum cleaner for free and they have been used for less than a year, so why not? I rejected the book shelves though. If you have any property agent friends, they might have expat clients moving out and do not want to bring back these things. You can actually buy from them or get them for free. We got them for free because JM’s sis served expat families mainly and there was this family who is moving back to their country after a 1 year stint here.

5. Get your lightings/furniture online. Who says you need to shop a physical store for lightings and furniture. The internet has EVERTHING you will need – from lightings, furniture to even toilet bowl.

For lightings – http://www.screed.com.sg

For furniture – http://www.castlery.com

6. Be active on the Facebook page of your BTO project or at least be active reading the posts by others. Many a times, people share money-saving tips and they organize bulk orders so everyone can save together.

7. DIY your furniture. It’s not just about saving money but it’s kinda fun to make your own furniture or decorations. We’ll be making our own study table and i will be doing the graphic design for the artwork to be hung on our wall. It will be a proud moment for us to see our masterpieces in our home!

HDB Home Renovation

I will share pictures of the renovation process, end results and the total costs subsequently.

Thanks for reading :)

Seoul Trip (with Downloadable Travel Bingo Game )

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I’m back from Korea trip for awhile already and I must say it is one of the most awesome trip. I want to go again pleaseeeeeeee!!

Korean trip - Korean BB@

Must eat – Korean BBQ at Pal Saik

I did research and planned the entire trip myself. Came up with a Travel Bingo game to make the trip more interesting and fun. And when I posted on my FB page and instagram, I got so more likes than ever and a few friends started to pm me and ask me for my itinerary.

things to do in Seoul

Travel Bingo – things to do in Seoul

And I’ve decided to upload the updated Things To Do in Seoul Travel Bingo  so you can download and print. Recommended to print on kraft paper for aesthetic purpose.

You can award yourself with more shopping funds or a good food if you manage to complete 3 lines on your bingo card.

If you are travelling to Seoul soon, hope you find this Travel Bingo interesting and enjoy yourself in Seoul!

 

We love Seoul

We love Seoul