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Friday, November 30, 2012

Wow Gifts for Women


When money is no object and only the best will do. A list of gifts I know I want as will every woman on this planet.


Presenting the 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Roadster Versace. Versace first collaborated with Lamborghini in 2006 to produce the first Murcielago LP 640s and the roadster is the improved version in 2008. You buy a lambo not coz it has a V12 engine and goes really fast but because it's flashy and the Versace edition is all that. Females will love the all white exterior with Grecian emblems, the soft nappa leather seats that have been embossed with a classic Versace design complete with a metal serial tag sewn into the fittings. No word on pricing, just know that Lamborghinis start from S$1.3 million in Singapore. Only thing is this car has no boot to put shopping bags in.

 Van Cleef & Arpels added this new Arbre aux Songes ring to their Midsummer's collection, an unusually cut, autumn colored tourmaline gemstone set amidst diamond leaves. Distinctive, rare and most importantly beautiful. Reflecting the magical backdrop of Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night Dream. For price and availability, enquire at VC&A boutique.


Celebrity jeweler Fred Leighton's Diamond Headband. Jewelers like VC&A, Harry Winston and Cartier occasionally make hair accessories. You can't wear a tiara everyday but using one of these hair clips or bands is a practical substitute that better suits our day and age. Prices range from S$30,000 for a Harry Winston hairclip to S$300,000 for the above Fred Leighton headband.


Versace may have been out of the news for a while but their 2012 S/S Atelier screams they are back in the business of high fashion. I will be hard pressed to find an occasion to wear these too, but the sculpted neon dresses with soft silhouettes and metallic 3D edgings bring it right into the future. A dress to collect if not wear. Enquire at Versace Boutique, prices starting from S$15,000.


Jewelry Armoires can double up as vanity tables as the top opens up into a mirror. Not to mention the space within to fill with your makeup/jewellery collection. A newer and cheaper design makes use of a full standing mirror that opens up with a key, a handy feature. Jewellery armoires with in-built safes are usually custom orders that start from S$20,000. Would be nice to have a pretty piece of furniture instead of just a plain cold safe.


Shoes are an obsession for women and if the masses willingly fork over a thousand dollars for a Christian Louboutin than there is no such thing as a pair of shoes too expensive or too beautiful to be purchased and worn. Having said that I included Mai Lamore's S$36,500 Rose Stilettos with a 14k gold covered heel, custom dyed silk rose petals that make up the body and semi-precious bee perched precariously on the edge. This TDF shoe may not be easily accessible but the Alexander McQueen 2011 S/S Butterfly shoe is! Available in white or gold at just S$5,000.


Gold fittings for the spa bathroom, an old-world extravagance. I can't believe how graceful these swan-shaped taps are and it is made of gold too. There are bigger fixtures similar to these for bathtubs as well. Not something you see everyday, custom order from your jeweler.


A complete nail polish collection to setup your own home spa, every girl's dream. And Tom Ford has anticipated this as he releases a 16 nail polish box set this Christmas, exclusively available as a pre-order from Neiman Marcus. Or if you like, all 39 shades of Chanel nail polish for S$1,320.


25 tins of finely blended teas from TWG for S$988. That's a 1 year supply. I've tried some of their blends before and can vouch its mostly good. You really have to try to know which is your favorite  Alternatively, Harrods and Taylors of Harrogate also carry some pretty awesome tea. Take time to savour some of the best things in life. 


I only use Guerlain's Terracotta bronzer and it is the best. Buy the entire 2012 Terracotta range of highlighting powder, rouge, bronzer, moisturizer sun block tan booster and brush for S$600. An investment in your makeup you won't regret.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chanel Suite @ The Ritz Paris



I kept the best for last, the Coco Chanel suite at Hotel Ritz Paris. The Ritz has quite a few themed suites and one such suite has been decked out in the style of Coco Chanel, conveniently located in the birthplace of the luxury label. 


Just check out Kate Moss's Vogue fashion shoot at the Coco Chanel Suite @ Hotel Ritz Paris. Old world luxury catered for sophisticated ladies.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fruit Appliances



Fruits are great sliced raw, poached into desserts and sides, squeezed into juice or baked into fruit leather. But, what happens when you have either harvested or purchased a large amount of fruit that is about to spoil soon? Several kitchen appliances are available to help you preserve your fruit to enjoy through the year.

 

You can slice fruit and dry it under the hot sun or use a dehydrator. Dehydrators are temperature controlled multi-tray appliances that allow you dry all the fruit you want in double quick time. Sunlight is free, dehydrators cost S$350.


Canning is a good way of preserving fruits and can also be used for all types of vegetable and meat. You can  use any broad based pan to create a steam bath or use a pressure canning machine S$300 to ensure great results consistently in a short space of time. Good if you have a lot of harvest to keep away for a rainy day.


Jamming has to be the best way of preserving fruit. You can use a jamming pot and there are some really pretty ones available in the market. Or use an electric jamming machine like above S$200. Put the ingredients in, cover the lid and push a button. No need to slave away at the stove.


Make your own fruit wine or beer. This requires experience and acumen to get right or the whole batch is ruined. You can buy home beer brewing kits to get started. Only instead of water, yeast and beer starter packets, pour in the pressed fruit juice. Fruits have natural yeasts to start the fermentation process, however, most enthusiasts do not advice it and kill off this yeast so they can add other types of yeast for a better brew. Trial and error will help you get the right formula. Also note that the fermentation process continues after the brew is concocted so you either need to kill the yeast then or only drink fresh brews. Bottling as is might cause an explosion as the fermentation gases build up inside it.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Removing Blackheads



Cheap and easy way to remove blackheads from the nose area is to use Pore Packs: wet it, paste it over the nose and wait 15mins before peeling it off. I think most people use this and there are visible results.


An even more effective method is to use a chemical peel. And I like Sothys Professional Peeling that you can add on for a nominal sum during your Sothys Spa facial. The spa won't sell it to you as its an in-salon treatment. However, it can always be purchased on the internet, 5ml for S$50. Followed on by a fresh pore pack.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Lunch @ Caffe B



Wholesome and delicious foods like ciabatta with pureed olives and mushroom soup with foie gras.


 Ossobucco with risotto for mains. The marrow was wonderfully soft and warm.


Apple martini in between courses.


Sicilian lemon ice and coffee. I never knew it but Sicilian lemons have a wonderful flavour.



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Discount Deals websites



Looking for some fun classes? Want to try out a spa or restaurant? Or how about an interesting under S$15 gift to buy your colleagues this coming Christmas? Look no further than these discount deal websites, the most popular being Groupon. I have it bookmarked and check in daily for the latest offerings.


You just have to know that these sites usually carry quite a few terms and conditions like limited to 1 voucher per customer, applicable for first timers only, other surcharges apply in store. Read carefully before purchasing and if the terms are ridiculous do notify the website so they don't accept that merchant anymore.


Websites to check for deals:
Groupon.sg - The most popular discount site with the largest variety of deals updated daily
Deal.com.sg - Not as many deals as Groupon but more unusual goods for sale
Streetdeal.sg - Same as deal.com.sg but with a wider mix of products like holidays and classes   
Plus.bigdeal.sg - Run by NTUC income so some deals allow you to exchange link points. Troublesome to collect as you have to make a trip to the NTUC Income Plus counter.
Superdeals.insing.sg - Short and sweet listing without the spas, food and classes
Ilovedeals.sg - Offers some free coupons on top of daily deals
Alldealsasia.com - Has some pretty interesting stuff like the home oil painting kit for S$22.90
Dealprimo.com - I spotted conference room rentals for sale? 
Coupark.com.sg - Free lucky draws and coupons in addition to daily deals
Lootloot.sg - Collection at Orchard store and earn reward points



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Moo.com



If you've updated your Facebook account recently, you would have noticed an additional icon near one of the section headers that re-direct to UK/US based Moo.com. Click on it and the rest is self-explanatory. Moo.com is an online printer that has partnered with Facebook to provide you with a free initial printing of Facebook cards, you just pay for delivery, I think its S$5.50. These Facebook cards as its called are pre-populated with information and pictures from your Facebook account. There's even a space behind the card for you to write a quote or tagline.


I guess we are all wondering why we need personal namecards, I had them when I was young as a novelty. Today, it serves a practical purpose as we can slip it into birthday cards and christmas gifts to keep our friends and family updated. So you don't have to scribble your Facebook ID on a piece of paper for your aunt or sms mom for your cousin's mobile number. I changed my picture to a Christmasy one as I am planning to distribute these during Christmas, along with the gifts.


I have to mention that Moo.com makes some awesome high quality cards - thick stock paper, a glossy professional finish and clear printing. Just a little unhappy with the cover picture formatting as the Facebook cover picture has to be scaled down to fit into the card.



Friday, November 23, 2012

Wine Cork Wreath



Great way to use up all those wine corks accumulated through the years. The wine corks are stored in apothecary jars and when you have enough, you can make one of these wine cork wreaths to hang in your wine cellar or gift a new home owner. It's a precious commodity now that wine bottles come with metal twist caps instead of corks.


Again, I use a straw base because it's the easiest to glue anything down to. There are several designs to choose from and I like the messy version best so that's what I am going to make. You start by hot-glueing the wine corks neatly around the wreath to cover all sight of the straw. Then by glueing wine corks randomly on top of this neatly constructed base. It took me 2 hours for a 20 inch wreath.


The finished wreath that could do with a few more Lindermans red corks for a really festive look.



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bottega Veneta Hotel Suites



Bottega Veneta is known for its discreet casual style coupled with creamy soft leathers, a luxury brand unlike any other. Occasionally, it releases a home furnishing or accessory to the delight of its fans. So wouldn't you love to stay in a BV hotel? Tom Maier, BV's creative director actually designs hotel suites once in a while and decks it out with custom BV stuff. The latest of which is the Lake Suite by Bottega Veneta at Park Hyatt Chicago.


There is also the Bottega Veneta Suite at St. Regis New York Hotel (pic above) and the Bottega Veneta Suite at St. Regis Grand Hotel Rome (pic below). Prices range from USD $5,500 to USD $6,500 per night. These rooms are worked within the St Regis style utilizing existing furniture.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Asian Kitchen Appliances


These electrical appliances make Asian food staples. If you are going to eat it everyday in huge quantities then you might as well have an electrical appliance specifically for it.


Rice cookers, because rice is in every asian's diet. Put rice grains and water in and you get fluffy, piping hot rice everytime. From S$50.


Mochi makers mix, pound and steam rice grains into a sticky Japanese dessert. It can also be used to make miso and udon noodles. Comes with manual hand crank S$100 or electrical S$350.


Soy Milk Makers grind grains, beans, nuts, fruits into milk, paste, juice, soup or porridge depending on the button you choose, contents can also be hot or cold. Add milk and you have milkshake. Retail price S$268.



These batter moulds can be found in the smaller stores around your neighbourhood. You dip the patterned end into batter and then into hot oil, the batter will get deep fried and break away from the mould. And this is how you make Peranakan Kueh Pie Tee and Indian Achappam.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kerastase Chronologiste



Chronologiste is a premium home hair treatment from Kerastase, sold at select salons in Singapore for around S$200 and each set is good for 10 treatments. This home treatment is supposed to pack the most amount of active ingredients in 2 separate components that are only combined just before use. That works out to S$20 per session, a lot cheaper than in-salon treatments but quite troublesome to measure and combine the ingredients every time you use it.


It has a really soothing scent that makes you feel like you are in a spa, quite masculine even, so it's pretty much a unisex home hair treatment. It is also the only Kerastase treatment that nourishes both the scalp and hair at the same time. After just 1 treatment, my hair is smooth, shiny and split ends visibly repaired. All this with practically no hair fall at all, great for regular use, I am thinking about once a month. You can also use this on permed/rebonded hair. Think I will be making the switch to this from now on.


Monday, November 19, 2012

My Birthday



Birthday presents from my family, including lots of red packets this year. Just in time too, I want to get more CDs.


My beautifully catered sushi lunch and zhi char from a nearby coffee shop for dinner.


Ice cream cake from Swensons coz I think this is one of the few places that have a large variety of cakes ready to be purchased.


Spending my Birthday money on things I want and not need. TWG masala chai teabags for Christmas and Harrods Earl Grey tea to sip while reading my new books from Kinokuniya.



I finally got a copy of Bakerella's Cake Pops book and it was the last one on the shelf too, she is such a genius. For my afternoon reads "the Truth Seeker's Tarot" that has pictures in gold foil. New age books always have to come with a little extra razzle dazzle like my velvet bound Titania's wiccan books (previous birthday presents).