Thursday, September 10, 2020

[REVIEW] The Art of Seeing Photobook by Renez Wednesday on Kindle

 With majority of the population owning a smartphone that comes with a camera function, it seems like everyone can be a photographer. However, in order to be a good photographer, it takes both skills and talent. I've love taking photos as it allows me to capture many precious moments which when I looked back years later became such fond memories. 

Recently, I was introduced to this e-book called "The Art of Seeing - A Beginner's Guide to Photography by Renez Wednesday" on Kindle and I thought maybe it's time to gain more knowledge and find out why some people is always able to take such good photographs compared to others. As this e-book mainly touches on the perception of the surroundings and sensitivity in the composition instead of the technicality of using a camera, even people like me who only take photos using an iPhone is able to gain some useful insights through this e-book.

Some interesting background with regards to the writer, Renez Wednesday before I share more about the e-book and what I've learnt. Renez Wednesday is a Singapore based, Professional Photographer for more than 10 years and at the young age of 14, she was already awarded an exhibition at Singapore Art Museum. When she was 17, a sudden bout of high fever caused her to become blind temporarily and this led her to come to a decision to share her vision to the world is she recovers. She then explored further in her photography journey. In 2010, she published her own Photography book called Composing Dreams which was partially inspired by her dreams at night. A year later, due to overwhelming feedback, Renez also started her own line of Photography Art Postcards, which were sold islandwide in concept stores and museums in Singapore.


 In 2012, her photo works were feature in various Magazines and Newspapers and her exhibits can be found at Community Centres and MRT stations in Singapore. In 2014, she further shared her knowledge in photography and has since taken in over 200 students in her Photography community. She is delighted to share her knowledge with more people through this book.  

I love how this book is so easy to understand with lots of photo examples. Learnt about the Rule of Thirds for composition and before this, I though it's always better to place the main subject in the middle but the Rule of Thirds is where the main subject is placed at the intersection of the lines. Another section I love is on the Colour Theory that identify colour on the different spectrum and which colour blend best suits the photo. I'm glad that this book has helped me see things in a more photographic way. I'm still trying to find my own vision and style when it comes to taking photos such as flatlays. Although I can't be an expert overnight just by finish reading this book but I will definitely put into practice some of the things learnt and hopefully be able to take better photos than before. 

Just to share again this book is available on Amazon Kindle and is priced at a special Book Launch Promo price of US$ 6.95 instead of US$39.90. This promotion is valid for 2 months only so get your copy today at Amazon Kindle Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HL8LRB5

 

Official Social Media:


Official Hashtag: #renezphotography


XOXO

 

Friday, September 04, 2020

[Personal] Rena's First Teachers' Day Celebration with Superheroes Theme

 Back in my days, we used to celebrate Teachers' Day on the 1st of September, but since 2011 onwards, Teachers' Day has been fixed on the first Friday of September instead so that the teachers can have a longer weekend to rest and recharge. Likewise for Children's Day which has been changed from the 1st of October to the first Friday of October for the same reason. 


We were informed a few days earlier through the LittleFamilyRoom App that the school will be celebrating Teachers' Day one day in advance which is on Thursday and that the theme for the celebration is Superheroes. Being Rena's first Teachers' Day celebration in school, I felt excited to dress her up according to the theme although I think she do not have any favourite Superheroes characters yet. She had outgrown her Wonder Women costume and so I went to search for a new one. I recalled last year when I got my Halloween costumes from Spotlight, they do sell this kind of superheroes costumes too. 

Made a trip down to Spotlight and I'm right, there are indeed lots of different character costumes to choose from. I got Rena the Supergirl character costume at size 4 - 6 which fits her just nice. At the same time, I also picked up a big packet of candies for Pinata Mix and some heart-shape chocolates too from Spotlight as well. Happy to settle all the items needed at just one stop.  

Together with Rena, we packed the candies and chocolate into individual packets for her to bring to school to distribute. It was a great time doing this together as I also get to learn more about her favourite teachers. There was even one unfamiliar teacher's name which I think is an intern coming to observe the class. They do have interns coming to observe the class occasionally. This was also a great time to show our gratitude and appreciations to the teachers who has been so patiently taking care and nurturing the kids. In my opinion, the pre-primary school teachers deserved equal if not more appreciations as compared to the teachers in the Primary schools too. 


Taking care of a bunch of super active and curious toddlers is not easy task at all. Just one already worn me out and they had to take care of so many of them. Not forgetting sometimes the kids do throw tantrums without any known reasons. It's definitely not an easy job and so I wanna wish all the teachers a Happy Teacher's Day! 


XOXO

  

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

[STAY HOME] My first IGTV on Traditional Matcha Preparation with Naoki Matcha + Happy Ice Ice-Cream + Kofuku Ramen & Don

 Whenever I dine-in at a Japanese restaurant, I would usually ordered their hot Matcha as my drink. Matcha is known to improve our health as it is high in antioxidant, helps to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and even aids in weight loss according to some studies.

Recently, Naoki Matcha (@naokimatcha) delivered to me their Superior Ceremonial Blend Matcha Powder which is a versatile blend suitable for beginners to make lattes, matcha tea and etc. After doing some research, I realised that there is so much more knowledge in the traditional matcha preparation and it's not only just adding of hot water. To prepare Matcha in the traditional way, one would need the traditional Matcha Tools. I ordered them online from Lazada consisting of the Chashaku (Bamboo Scoop), Chawan (Matcha Bowl) and Chasen (Bamboo Whisk). 

Recorded a video of myself preparing the traditional matcha and uploaded it on Instagram as my first IGTV post as the video was longer than 60 seconds thus I had the option to trim it and post it on my feed as an IG post or post as IGTV. One issue I faced was the layout ratio. I make the video into the square ratio of 1:1 but when it was uploaded as IGTV, everything including my subtitle was cut off! I have to re-edit my video to fit into the IGTV proportion of 9:16 ratio. The whole process including recording of the video took me hours.  Click on this link to view my IGTV.

After whisking the matcha in circular motion to the hot water, it should turned frothy. The matcha from this blend has a balanced, unami flavour which is not too bitter. Would consider making a cold version of matcha latte soon. You can get this from Shopee at this link too.

Tried out lots of different flavours of ice-cream from Happy Ice SG thanks to a collaboration arranged by Irene (@foodwanderers) and Jonathan (@happyicesg). They are most famous for bringing in the range of popular Xiao Mei Boba series ice cream from Taiwan on Shopee. 

The most common one being the Xiao Mei Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream that is made of caramelised brown sugar and milk filled with soft and chewy boba! 

I'm loving the Xiao Mei Taro Chunk & Boba Ice Cream that comes with a smooth milky pudding on top and filled with QQ Boba and chunks of taro. So yummy! 


The Xiao Mei Pudding and Boba Ice Cream taste like custard with ice cream and boba.


My girl is excited to try their cute Arty Cream Ice Cream which comes in 3 different flavours and in the shape of a panda paw, kitty head and shape of heart. Love that we don't have to step out of the house and can get these cool ice-cream delivered to our doorsteps just by ordering from shopee. 

Kofuku Ramen & Don operates as a kiosk concept in Downtown East serving affordable and authentic Japanese Ramen, Donburi and some sides with no pork or lard! By affordable, it means that none of their items on the menu cost over $9! 

I tried out the following items on the menu 

TORI KATSU DON ~ S$6.80
KOFUKU RAMEN ~ S$5.80
TAKOYAKI ~ S$3.80
GOYOZA ~ S$3.80

My favourite is the Tori Katsu Don which is prepared in the style like an Oyako Don with seaweeds, onions, dashi-based sauce eggs and chicken katsu. There is a generous amount of chicken katsu in this bowl. It has a nice breaded crunch on the outside and tender meat inside. 

The Kofuku Ramen is packed in a way that the broth and ramen is separated so that the noodles do not turned soggy or the broth getting dried up. It's basically chicken paitan ramen with bean sprout, seaweed and a ramen egg.

Takoyaki are soft with a well spread of Takoyaki and Mayonnaise sauce and the Goyoza is nicely fried and taste just the way I love my goyoza to be. Just missing the vinegar sauce to dip in. Thanks Kenny (@_boyz86) and Kofuku (@sgkofuku) for arranging and delivery these over! 

Enjoying the current arrangement of alternating between going back to office and working from home which I guess won't last too long. Soon, it will be back to the usual daily grind. 


XOXO

 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

[STAY HOME] Lunch with Dr.Oetker Pizza + Uncle Saba's Poppadoms + Hearty Spices Turmeric Latte Spice Mix

 On days when we don't feel like cooking or going out, having some ready-made pizza in the freezer comes into good use. We had the Mozzarella Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes pizza from Dr.Oetker for our stay home lunch on one of the Sundays. 

Just bought this Mistral 32L electric oven not long ago when it was on sale for less than $90 and this is the first time using it. If I had got it earlier during the circuit breaker period, I probably would have been a home baker now. Hehe. Just kidding. Bought it as I didn't want to be restricted when it comes to baking and hoping to try baking some cookies and pastries in future too. For this pizza, we simply heat it up in the oven for about 10 minutes and out comes a yummy and delicious meal for the family. 

What we liked about the pizza from Dr.Oetker is how thin and crispy the crust is, we can hear the crunchy sound with every bite. We also love having cheese and juicy tomatoes as our toppings for pizza. In fact, my girl even finished two slices all by herself. Gonna stock up on the other flavours to try out too. 

Sometimes back during the National Day period, I pre-ordered 3 cans of the limited edition chilli crab poppadoms from Uncle Saba. Unlike the usual potato chips that I'm so used to, poppadoms are actually plant based snacks made from lentils. It's a healthier snack to munch on as it's made with more protein, fibre, have less carbs, less saturated fats and is cholesterol free with no trans-fat and MSG! 


These ready-to-eat poppadoms are also Halal-certified and suitable for those on a vegan and gluten-free diet. I find that the chilli crab taste is not strong enough. Probably will try the Sweet Chilli flavour as recommended by my friend.   

I'm a spice lover and after learning about the many benefits of Hearty Spices Turmeric Latte Spice Mix, I just have to order it online to try it out. Hearty Spices Turmeric Latte Spice Mix is formulated with 7 different spices that helps us to enhance our digestion, improve immunity and regulates our blood sugar, just to name a few. The 7 spices includes Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Fennel, Ginger, Black Pepper and Saffron.

I love how it comes in a simple zip-lock packaging and has all the necessary information such as the preparation method and benefits all stated on the packaging itself. Turning this into my favourite drink is easy too. Simply pour 240 ml of my favourite milk into the saucepan and add 0.5 teaspoon of the Turmeric Latte Mix to the heated milk. Stirred for another 2 to 3 minutes and this hot, golden milk will be ready to be served! 

Much to my surprise, the taste of the spice was so mild and not overpowering at all, I can still enjoy my milk and knowing that it now comes with so much added goodness to it. My girl also tried adding some of the turmeric latte spice mix to her cold milk and although it doesn't mix in as well, she could still drink it easily. Both mummy and daughter's favourite drink now.


XOXO


Saturday, August 22, 2020

[SATURDAY AT Jem®] Lunch at Pepper Lunch + CHICHA San Chen

It's 15 Years of Sizzling Goodness for Pepper Lunch and they've came up with an online game as well as an event to reward their dearest fans. Happened to get to know this from Partipost. 

Are you READY, STEADY? - SPOT THE DIFFERENCE GAME

For this game, one simply have to find all 15 differences within the time limit to stand a chance to win S$50 Pepper Lunch Vouchers! Both Hui Lin and I tried this game on our mobile and 14 was the maximum score we could get. Even with that, we still got a reward - Free Mashed Potato Side Dish & Soft Drink, redeemable with order of any main course at the Pepper Lunch Restaurants. Just to share, I tried playing this game online again on my laptop and I could quite easily get the 15/15 score! Click on this link to launch the game. Since we got this reward, we arranged to meet up for lunch at the nearest Pepper Lunch restaurant at Jem.

READY, STEADY, UNLOCK! EVENT

This is actually my first time dining in at this Pepper Lunch Restaurant outlet. We queued up to order and pay for our food first before we entered the restaurant to find our seat. 

For this event, every main dish purchased will receive 1 sticker and 1 sticker card will be issued per transaction. My family ordered 3 main dishes and thus we received 3 stickers to be pasted on our sticker card. We just need 5 more stickers to complete the sticker card with 8 stickers by 30 September 2020. 

After completion, one can pre-register the game card online to secure a chance to win big prizes such as iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S20 and more at their Live Virtual Unlock Event happe
ning on 19 September and 3 October. The unlock chances is limited to the first 300 successful submission only. We felt that it's faster if we accumulate our stickers, thus I've passed the 3 stickers to my friend to continue the sticker card.    

Here's what we ordered for our lunch:

For him: Jumbo Beef Pepper Rice. The before and after cooked photo.


For me: Cheesy Omelette with Chicken (Creamy Brown Sauce). This photo was taken by my Little Missy who was sitting opposite me. She took a few shots and this last shot was really decent and nice. Secretly training her from young to be my photographer next time! Heehee. 


For her: Chicken and Cheese Sausage Pasta, she really loves the cheese sausage. 


It was overall a satisfying and good meal. I think the last I had pepper lunch was at their express outlet in Clementi Food Fare which was so long ago. 

After lunch, I went to collect my shopback deal for CHICHA San Chen. This was also my first time trying out their bubble tea as I saw many good feedbacks from my friends and was curious.

What is so unique about them is probably this hot tea dispenser machine and from what I gathered, they had about 5 - 6 staff at this outlet. An indication that business is very good here. 


They even won this Superior Taste Award in 2019! High expectation. I placed my order and I was a bit shocked that there was like 30+ number in front of me!! Oh my gosh.


This is what I got - Fresh Milk with Brown Sugar Boba at S$4.50 (U.P. S$5) after a good long 30 minutes wait! The boba was still warm for the first few sip. Regretted not buying more cups and buying their tea series since have to wait so long. Fresh milk with brown sugar boba taste so so only and not worth the long wait. Hope they have other deals soon, would like to try their Dong Ding tea series too.

 

XOXO

Friday, August 14, 2020

[BUFFET] Asian Street Food Weekend A La Carte Buffet at Spice Brasserie, PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road


Entrance of Spice Brasserie, PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
Official Media Photo Credit to Spice Brasserie

As Singapore transit into Phase 2, so is the option for dining in. This is one activity which I missed the most during circuit breaker time when we were not allowed to eat outside at all. With this transition in place, the Spice Brasserie at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road had also gotten a makeover and had reopened for diners to dine-in from 20 July 2020.

Asian Street Food Weekend A La Carte Buffet

During the downtime period, the culinary team at Spice Brasserie has taken the advantage to refresh the signature Asian Street Food spread. Savour some of the most popular Asian street dishes from the region, namely Asia - Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and of course Singapore in an a la carte buffet style setting.  

Rena and I at the Signboard outside

I'm so glad to be invited with my family to check out the newly renovated Spice Brasserie and their all-new buffet concept. Upon reaching, the first thing I noticed was the new signboard that has gotten a new face-lift as well. Definitely looks more classy just like the whole restaurant with the gold font in black background. The whole restaurant also looks neater then before with just one main live cooking station. 

Dining Space of Spice Brasserie, PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
Official Media Photo Credit to Spice Brasserie

Live Station of Spice Brasserie, PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
Official Media Photo Credit to Spice Brasserie

As per the latest Government advisory, each table can only sit up to five people and so the seating arrangement at Spice Brasserie have also been redesigned to ensure appropriate safe distancing between tables and seats per table. 

Part 1 of the Menu showing the dishes available
Part 1 of the Menu showing the dishes available

To ensure that diners can feast to their hearts' content with a peace of mind, a new ordering system has also been implemented. Instead of diners going around to get their food, now a piece of ordering chit will be provided and diners just need to indicate the quantity they want on the ordering chit and submit it to the restaurant servers. After that, diners just need to sit back and relax while waiting for the food to be prepared and served to the table.

Yes, that's Rena's hand

Rena and I enjoying the Keropok before the dishes were served

Although I love walking around to explore the different stations and watch the chef in action during a buffet setting, these enhanced safety measures makes me feel more at ease due to the current pandemic situation. I had more time to take photos at my seat too.


These are the recommended highlights of food that we tried for the night. They were very thoughtful to give my girl a separate burger which she really enjoyed.

Rena and her exclusive kids meal

Happy Mummy and Girl

COLD FAVOURITES

Cold Seafood Platter was the first dish that was served. They included various items like shells, prawns, lobsters and sashimi which was very fresh and delicious. The chef made an effort to plate the dish nicely too.

CHARCOAL GRILL

Charcoal Grill consist of their Signature BBQ Black Char Siew, Signature Crispy Pork Roll, Seawater Grilled Barramundi, Garlic Pepper Prawn, Australian Beef Rib Finger, Grilled Carrot Cake and Roasted Honey Pineapple. My favourite was the Garlic Pepper Prawn, BBQ Black Char Siew, Grilled Carrot Cake and Roasted Honey Pineapple while my hubby loves all of them. 

RICE AND NOODLES

Scallion Oil Noodles that looks simple and plain but taste so delicious. 

TANDOOR STATION
My girl is a big fan of the Garlic Naan

Assorted Naan, Fish Goan Curry and Butter Chicken. The garlic naan with the butter chicken was especially addictive.

ON THE GRIDDLE

By the time, this Ramly Style Chicken Burger was served, we were like quite full already. I love how thick and filling the burger is. 

HOT FAVOURITES
CHILLI CRAB

The hot favourites dishes includes the Black Pepper Slipper Lobster and Chilli Crab with Mantou. I felt that it's very unique to find crushed peanuts in the chilli crab sauce. 

CLAYPOT

After all the heavy dishes, this is a comfort food. Pipping hot Charcoal Broken Rice Claypot Porridge with Seafood. It's almost like a soup dish and with all the seafood, the soup is very tasty and flavourful. 

DESSERT

We had the Cempedak Crumble Cake, Durian Pengat with Sticky Rice and Teppanyaki Ice Cream of the Day to end the meal. 

Mousse Cakes and Chocolate Bomb
Ying Yang Muah Chee with Peanut and Black Sesame

You know how they say desserts goes to another stomach? Thus, we request to try for the rest of the desserts too which are not on our menu list. The Muah Chee which is a delectable street snack commonly found at our local night market aka pasar malam is so soft and nice.

Yummy desserts to complete our meal

My family and I had such a great dining experience, very thankful to the arrangement by the staff from Spice Brasserie.  

Buffet Lovers Alert


The Asian Street Food Weekend A La Carte Buffet is available for lunch on Saturday and Sunday, from 12.00pm to 3.00pm and dinner from Friday to Sunday, from 6.00pm to 9.30pm. Priced at S$58++ per adults and S$29++ per child, one get to enjoy unlimited servings of their signature creations such as the Crispy Pork Roll, Charcoal Broken Rice Claypot Porridge with Seafood, Hand-Tossed flavoured Naan and the all-time favourite Chilli Crab with Mantou! There are also some new additions like Truffle Noodles, Vietnamese Sugarcane Prawns and more. This promotion is valid until 31 December 2020 and do check out for the other terms and conditions.  

Twinning with my girl

For those who wanted to enjoy these dishes but do not wish to dine-in at the restaurant, I'm glad to share that there is a e-shop online whereby these signature dishes are available for island-wide delivery or pickup. Choose from the wide range of Asian Street Food dishes from Spice Brasserie, as well as authentic Sichuan and Cantonese selections from Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant from the e-shop. Enjoy free delivery with a minimum spend of S$60. Currently, there are having a SG55 National Day Five-Course Set Menu with dishes from Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant which is only available for ordering placed until the end of the month, 31st August 2020. 

Foodie Family


Spice Brasserie 

Lunch: 12 noon to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 9.30pm
Address: 181 Kitchener Road, Lobby Level, Singapore 208533
Phone: +65 6428 3160
Email: spicebrasserie.prskt@parkroyalhotels.com
Website: parkroyalhotels.com/kitchener

Social Media: @PARKROYALKITCHENER 
#SHAREYOURMOMENTS #SPICEBRASSERIE


XOXO