#2079 | DIY KITCHEN UPCYCLING PROJECT – THE DELIVEROO CHALLENGE

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HOLA! From the land of thesis writing, script marking, and near-daily shoots. What a month it has been. Can you believe it’s April already? I cannot. April snuck up on me from behind and smacked me across the back of my head, and the ever pressing question is: what have I done with my life, now that a third of the year has gone by?

Not much in terms of concrete skill building. This is not something that I take issue with, to be honest, because this year I’ve been focusing on getting better at what I already do, plus you know, finishing my Masters degree, of which we now sit in the last leg. But last year, my resolution was to do/learn something new each month, and so twelve new things later, it does feel strange that I havent exactly done anything concretely new this year yet. So it was with apprehension and just the slightest gasp of desperate relief that I took on the Deliveroo upcycling 2017 challenge – a hands on project in redoing your kitchen, DIY style, into a space that my family would actually want and love.

The thing about kitchens is, they’re so full of clutter. I have to admit to being a bit of a technofreak, I get really excited whenever new gadgets and appliances come out. I got my parents a nespresso machine for christmas last year, and we’ve been enthusiastically using it every single day. This, however, is unfortunately not true for the rest of my kitchen gadgets, most of which just sit around taking up space. It’s so silly, because although I love to cook (not very good at it though), I hardly have the time, and so clutter accumulates, condiments, thingamabobs, gadgets, bread that moulds too fast. It was time to marie-kondo this shit, I said.

Let me show you the state of my kitchen before the uprising:

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I know…

The most infuriating thing was, half of this wasnt necessary. All those cups I collected from macdonalds during the olympics all those years ago? Never used them. We dont really eat bread, so I dont know why we got all those condiments, I suspect half of them are expired. And everyone at home has been trying not to eat rice, I dont know why we dont just put the rice cooker in deep storage and bring it out during chinese new year or something. All these things you dont even think about until youre forced to – and then bam! The place is a mess.

Btw, those jars on the kitchen counter were because my mother was trying to grow some beans or something to make kombucha, because she is a HIPPIE. I was like, Mum, i will deliveroo you some kombucha. And she just said, dont mess with my beans. They can hear you.

So this fit in perfectly with Deliveroo’s challenge, which was to rid oneself of all the unnecessary kitchen clutter, and to literally, leave it to the professionals if and when I wanted something a little more complicated to make. Of course, this differs from person to person – so if you’re the type who spends most of your time at home then you may want to always be experimenting in your kitchen, but if you’re on the go all the time like me, then realistically you’re not going to make full use of these random appliances, upon which they become – you’ve guessed it – CLUTTER.

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Deliveroo-ing while sketching out plans for the kitchen

Anyway, on to the planning stage!

Here’s the thing about my kitchen. Because of the way the HDBs in my area are built, there’s not that much light coming in through the kitchen cos the other blocks block it. It’s still bright, but relative to the rest of the house, it’s pretty much the gloomiest part of my flat. It’s also where my cat, her royal highness Athena Wei, eats, drinks, and sometimes sleeps. So my goal was threefold:

1. Create the illusion of space and light by clearing out the area – the walls are white ceramic, so if the area is cleared, the light will automatically reflect off them and make the place look brighter and more spacious
2. Introduce greenery to the kitchen – we love plants in our home, and I wanted my kitchen to look like some hippie pinterest modern fusion kitchen where you could sip a coffee and enjoy some nice fresh air, recycled by your friendly neighbourhood plants
3. Rehaul Athena’s area because she deserves a little upgrade too!

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“Who’s ready for a brand new home?”
*unwillingly, my photo prop*: “Me”

So phase one begun: the cleaning out phase.

To be honest, this phase is a pain in the ass because I hate housework. But I suppose once I get into it it’s quite alright. The gross bit was realising how long some of these “key” kitchen gadgets havent been touched – I had to wipe down and dissolve the lime buildup under some of them! *shudder*

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While this was ongoing, I basically lived off deliveroo, because no one else was allowed to use the kitchen at the same time. So that was a fun week – a lot of inertia regarding cooking complicated dishes is in the washing up, so while I wont make it a daily habit, it’s quite nice to just have dinner arrive readymade and packaged conveniently to recycle once finished with.

My mum and I also went out to buy 1. plants 2. floor mats 3. Athena’s water fountain and 4. Athenas new bedding. Don’t laugh – the reason why cats need a water fountain is because they are snobbish pricks who wont drink water out of a bowl – or they will, but they dont like it, and so they get very dehydrated. Something many cat owners/ cat cafes do is get a water fountain, because cats will drink willingly out of a moving water source. Mine cost about seventy bucks from Pet Safari in Vivocity.

Ready to see Athena’s new corner? :3

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Ready for your new place?
Notice: the new japanese patterned floor mat for her food bowls

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New cat bed from Pet Safari, Cat mirror from the Airbnb team – it was a birthday gift from them a couple years back. Thank you Grace! 🙂

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Overall look 🙂

I think we might have gone a bit nuts with the plants, but thats okay! Maybe now my hybrid greenhouse-kitchen dreams have been achieved?

I don’t know if you can tell, but if you’ve been following my Snapchat/Ig stories for awhile you might have guessed that actually my mother is obsessed with plants. We have plants all over our living room, and the theme has now spilt over to the kitchen! I love having plants around because they make the whole place look fresher and somehow, cleaner. They also inject life into any living space – and I’ve found myself drawn to apartments that have little pockets of greenery during my travels when looking for places to stay in. Even in my office space I keep flowers and little potted succulents around so my space always looks fresh, and so when planning for the kitchen this was really a no-brainer.

Anyway, it was soooo cute to watch Athena explore her new home. She’s a bit of a snob, so its rare that she openly displays curiosity or affection because she is damn act cool. But she was pretty pleased with her new upgraded corner, so that was nice!

And now! The rest of the kitchen:

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totally cleaned up this space. got rid of all the stupid cups and condiments, and made the mid shelf a green space instead! And yes – we left space for my mother’s kombucha station

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we dont bake that often, but to be honest i think the kitchen aid looks great, so we left it there. haha!

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“Look, ma! No dishes to do!”

I figured – if I really want some peanut butter cake or a really complicated and elaborate meal, I can always deliveroo it. How often am I realistically going to get down and dirty to cook a three course meal anyway? Their motto is “leave it to the professionals” after all. So away with the air fryer and away with the storage tins! The toaster gets to stay because it’s white and matches the rest of the kitchen, HAHA. #priorities

I also made the executive decision to move the nespresso to the other end of the kitchen, to replace the rice cooker, and create a kind of ‘Coffee Corner’ because my parents and I always make a point to have a coffee every morning, whether together or otherwise, and so it makes more sense that everything is congregated at one spot. This is also right under our cupboard where we keep beverages – coffee powder, tea bags, sugar and creamer, etcetera – all hidden away behind the clean white ceramic cupboard doors. So it makes more sense to have it here anyway, I think!

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My coffee corner..

This part of my kitchen actually also has a pull out table masquerading as a top shelf drawer, so if my parents and I want a coffee together, we can just pull it out and sit around the mini table.

It’s right next to the stove, so if we want to brew coffee and bring it out (my dad does this a lot), then our tumblers are all congregated there as well, next to the kettle. Shoutout to my gorgeous rose gold chrome tumbler from Starbucks, because I know I’m going to get emails asking where it’s from!

I’m just gonna say that this is what this corner used to look like before…

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See what I mean about the pull out table?

Ha! I feel so happy with my coffee corner lol. I just have to say, that my mum is actually really good with interior design. She basically had an idea of what she needed, then googled what kind of architecture would suit it, then got someone to come in and design it. That’s why we have these random things like pull out tables and small shelves to put condiments and now, plants on.

Finally, the cooking area..

Before:

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After:

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I
KNOW
RIGHT??

Here’s a break down of what I actually did:

– move the cooking oils and spices into the top left cupboard, where it is easily accessible should you want to cook
– keep the pots and pans in the cupboards below (my kitchen is full of cupboards)
– moved the salt and sugars into the – no prizes for guessing – condiment cupboard, then replaced it with creeping plants
– put a plant next to the sink
– added a nice floor mat (cant see it here, but you can see it in the first pic in this blogpost)
– cleaned up the area

Seems so easy but it makes such a huge difference!

I feel so optimistic just looking at it, LOL. The thing about clutter is, it keeps coming. So I’m sure it’ll start to accumulate again, but for now at least I have a fresh and clean start, and I think it looks great! Fingers crossed my family manages to keep it this way for a good while 🙂

Alright, so that’s about it! My deliveroo challenge, completed. I think I did pretty decent, and dont tell me if you think otherwise because take your negativity away from me! I feel extremely accomplished and very adult, and I hope this inspires you guys to at least get up and pack your room.

Thanks for the challenge Deliveroo – what’s next? Bring it. x

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x
Jem

#2054 | Razzle Dazzle Festivities

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Love & Co. Singapore
All photos shot on a Nikon D750, lenses: 50f1.4, 85f1.8

Tis the season..
.. when all my friends are getting hitched! When Love & Co. invited me down to style a series of pictures for their signature LVC Lovemark diamonds and LVC Charmes Petit Bear collection, I freaked out a bit. Tis the season for commitment, is what it is. But then I wondered – what makes diamonds and jewellery specifically a gift between lovers? What kind of love legitimises a rare stone that sparkles as much as your relationship does? So on and so forth. Despite being a bespoke bridal jeweller, what Love & Co. carries at the end of the day are gems, gorgeous, sparkly, trademarked 360degree ultimate light performance gems. Specifically – diamonds. And I’ve always been the kind of girl to over-philosophise and get sentimental over all relationships, not just romantic ones – after all, I did ‘friend-propose’ to my girlfriend of 7 years back in New York last Christmas…

And so i told myself – don’t over think it. So I’d gift these pieces to a girlfriend. Someone would gift these to their spouses-to-be. I have another freshly married girlfriend who gets random diamond earrings as gifts from her new husband because their romance makes us all look bad, that’s why. So yes. Gifts for all occasions, shaped to take the form of whatever we justify as legitimate. And as far as gifts go, these rank way high in terms of their sparkle factor.

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featured: Love and Co. LVC Petit Bear Pendant (comes with Rose Gold Chain), LVC Lovemark diamond ring

What is it about incredibly sparkly things? I’ve struggled with reconciling my academic side with my frivolous one for ages – I know that material goods have value attributed by social constructs that shape perception, but I cannot help but adore all things freakin glitzy, like glitter eyeshadow and sequinned shoes. I used to worry about not being taken seriously as an academic when I walk onto campus in my pink skirts and glitter sandals, but I’ve made peace with myself. And as sparkly things go, this is by far the most insane (as well as, funnily, socially accepted) bit of glitz that I’ve handled. The Lovemark Diamonds come with Light Performance Reports, which I privately think of as Glitter Score, and the inner rims of the ring band can be engraved with personalised messages if you wish. I could go on, but why not hear it from the professionals themselves instead?

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Setting: Crate & Barrel SG

Talk about a sparkly daydream. They gave us free reign to play with their entire collection of LVC Charmes Petit Bear pendants and LVC Lovemark diamonds, and I can safely say I’ve never touted so much in terms of cash value on my person as I pranced through ION Orchard before. Still, I’m pretty happy with the stills I got, and definitely appreciate the chance to have creative control over shooting and styling visuals for a commercial brand. When the time came for us to part, I have to say, a little bit of me cracked. Let me keep one! Just one! But no – I suppose – that’s a gift for another day, and from another love.

x
Jem

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#2051 | The Pre-Grad Prep List

You know what they say, guys, hindsight is 10/10. A year on and a little bit, and finally putting together this list of things I wish someone had told me/my friends before we approached the death of institutionalised academia (ie. graduation). I thought I was relatively well prepared, but when graduation actually hit, everything went nuts.. and i would say I have to deal with less than most people since I’d already decided that I’d be continuing with my Masters!

This I will say: things you need to do to prepare for post-graduation life that might seem overwhelming at point of grad cos its things you dont even think of in the day to day.. so it’s better to start preparing early. Here I’ve put together a list of pragmatic concerns that I hope proves helpful to you – but always open to suggestions, so email me if you’ve got anything you think I’ve missed out and I’ll add it in!

The Pre-Grad Prep List

1. Update your resume or LinkedIn profile

People always underestimate LinkedIn or assume it’s something only bankers use, but i cannot count the number of times I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a job offer (although I’ve never taken those up given my academic commitments) or been approached to host gigs through the platform (reasonably more successful takeup rate than the job bit). So just spend a bit of time doing it up, and you’ll never know where it brings you!

Important point regarding both LinkedIn and your resumes: Get someone to proofread it for you, and make sure you have different resumes for different jobs. For example, you wouldnt send the same generic resume to your application for, say, a banking job, to a creative agency. Some examples of good, specific resumes:

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Graphic Design Resume by Lenka Kubisova

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Professional but Eye catching Resume from Guru.

And of course, if you’re applying for a job in the banking field, your resume will look vastly different from this. But it’s always good to start cleaning up your resume early and figuring out what to include, instead of scrambling to get one together when the hiring cycle starts.

So yes: Tailor your resume to the field you are applying for, and make sure you proofread it. You don’t want to be stumbled by a grammatical error if you’re applying for a publishing house!

If you’re a freelancer, same rules goes for name cards
, which can frequently be your gateway to a resume or job request during networking sessions. Here’s an example of a really good namecard design done by my super talented friend Warren for our other friend Martin:

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See how the tip of the card is meant to resemble a tear off ticket stub? That’s form reinforcing content right there.

And on that note, clean up your social media profiles! Employers google potential employees, so make sure you dont have anything unsavoury floating around on the web.

2. Get your headshot photo properly taken

This doesn’t have to be a studio shot, but generally have extra samples of your photo ready that you can use for your IC, for your resume/linkedin profile, for your visa if you decide to apply for an international job, etc etc. It’s always better to be prepared, than to fumble and take a bad one at one of those machines that youre not happy with because youre pressed for time. After graduation I needed my head shot for many unexpected things – driving license application, passport renewal, diver’s license.. so it’s generally good to be prepared.

3. Have a good think about your finances.

A great shock to me post-grad is that you have so many BILLS to deal with! If you had a private insurance previously, you probably have to take over payments now, and it’s a total headache to figure out. Phone bills. Electricity bills – if you contribute the household expenses. Money for your parents. Paying off your student loans. Take check of how much debt you’re in (probably lump sum cos of uni fees), how much recurring debt you have (monthly payments like phone bills, household contributions), and how much savings you have.

This will help you figure out your lag time to look around and find a job you like. Most of you wont want to be taking the first job offer you get, but how long should you be looking around before settling down? This personal deadline is what you need to figure out when understanding your expenses and debt.

If you need help managing your finances on a day to day level, think about using an app to log your daily expenses so you know exactly where your money is going to, and what categories you can/should cut down on. I personally use this app called Moneyboard (I’ve tried a few, but I like this interface the best), which tracks my inflow and outflow of cash.

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The screen grabs from the app store

4. Speaking of which.. Understand your liabilities

So you are a human being with feelings and all that, which is, yknw, great. But to companies and corporations, you’re also a bunch of liabilities and this is what you need to have a good understanding of in order to make your next step decisions w.r.t. postgrad life.

EG. If you want to pursue postgrad education (like me), you need to understand what people look for in giving out scholarships. If youre applying overseas, we’re considered ‘non-native english speakers’ which is both annoying and troublesome because we have to take extra tests to prove english proficiency. So be aware of that.

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Although I must say, if you intend to pursue funded (scholarship) postgraduate study, a lot of your time will be spent trying to multitask like me, marking student scripts while getting my skincare on

And for health related issues, boy, you are a BUNCH of walking liabilities. So when making decisions on a) whether you can at the moment afford premium health policies (see pt 3 re: finances) b) whether you want to get health policies and if so c) what kind, you need to understand what kind of liabilities you represent to other people ie. insurers. An example of the factors that come into play are whether you smoke, whether you drink heavily, whether you have pre-existing medical conditions (this is NOT covered by any private insurer if your injuries/illnesses are sustained before point of purchase, but it IS covered by your own MediShield Life policy), so on and so forth.

It also helps to have a good understanding of what you are ALREADY covered for before moving forward. I don’t know how many if you know this, but you’re automatically covered by the government’s MediShield Life policy for life, which is essentially a government insurance policy paid for by either your own CPF or your parents CPF. You DONT HAVE TO APPLY for this, so please figure out what MSHL covers you for, especially when you’re a student or a fresh grad because that’s when you are gonna start thinking about your next steps in terms of healthcare, most of which will cost you upfront money.

Your MediShield Life (MSHL) policy covers your hospitalisation charges for amounts up to class B2/C wards in a public hospital. It also covers you for selected costly outpatient treatments (like kidney dialysis or chemotherapy). So even if you choose a higher class ward or a private hospital, you’re still covered, just that the amounts are pegged to class B2/C wards. MSHL covers you REGARDLESS of your pre-existing medical conditions. So if you have a ligament injury from your school sports days, it’s also covered under MSHL. Also, if you have an Integrated Shield Plan (IP), MSHL forms a part of it and you’d get to enjoy additional coverage depending on what your IP covers.

FOR EXAMPLE. I have a lot of friends who’ve gone through surgery (myself included, for my eye last year). A friend who is under an integrated shield plan recently had a gastrointestinal surgery (again, surprisingly common) shared her bill with me, and here are some things to take note of:

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No matter what, the government always subsidises your bill if you opt for a Class B2/C ward in a public hospital. Look at that 5.9k deduction – that’s the government subsidy my friend got for staying in a Class B2 ward in a public hospital. MSHL still covers you if you’re going to a private hospital, don’t get me wrong. But because private hospitals don’t have government subsidy, you end up paying a lot more.

When it comes to hospital bills, the amount is deducted this way: the government subsidy first, followed by your MSHL coverage or your IP (depending on what you have), then from Medisave and lastly cash payment. So in the bill above you see that they’ve automatically deducted a big part of the original bill (about 5.9k, which is the government subsidy), and from that, they deducted a portion from MSHL and the remaining was taken from Medisave.

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What is the real life impact of this?

– The most obvious point of the 1.3k you see above is that even though my friend had additional coverage from her IP, she didn’t need to use it in this case. Under the breakdown of payout, it was covered by MSHL. So if you’re okay with a class B2/C ward and not choosing your doctor, then MSHL will be sufficient. If you think you may need additional coverage, click on this link to find out more before making a decision.

And… this is the most important thing right now, I think, that the bills prove that while not a one-stop solution, MediShield Life does give you quite extensive coverage and so if you’re balancing a lot of post-grad debt, you don’t have to necessarily feel pressured into purchasing a health policy that you can’t afford at the moment. (:

PS. For those of you who want to know more, I’d suggest speaking to someone from Ministry of Health. They’re having a roadshow on Sunday, 27 November at Ang Mo Kio Central Stage 11AM-6PM. This is probably going to be very useful for those of you who in addition to the above, 1. Want to understand what kind of coverage you already have before moving forward and 2. Those of you who want to help your parents figure out their coverage, ESPECIALLY when it comes to pre-existing injuries or bigger medical bills. And so this might really be useful for those of you who are concerned about figuring out your parents’ medical situation and costs, especially since the older one gets the more susceptible to illnesses!

5. Start working out a personal savings plan.

I know, i know. Enough money talk! But sorry, real life calls. It might seem a bit premature to think about this before graduation, especially since youre looking at all the bills youre gonna have to level after grad (see pt. 3). But it’s never too early to start planning, and a proper head on your shoulders when it comes to managing your personal finances is really important, as I’ve said multiple times before (see: broke student’s guide to managing your finances). You shouldnt just be working towards paying off your bills, you need to start thinking about having some kind of savings pool on your own in case you (optimistically) want to have a spontaneous getaway or (pessimistically) suddenly need it for a rainy day emergency. And you never, never want to be living from paycheque to paycheque just because you didn’t do proper budgeting ahead of time. So get that sorted.


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Alright, so that’s about it! Did I miss out anything? This post went on for long enough, but you know the drill – email me if you have any essential points you think I missed out, and we will get to it in another post if there are enough things to note. But till then, enjoy the ride, and happy impending graduation you guys!

x
Jem

#2046 | Jemma for Seagate: Saving on Space while Traveling

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current travel essentials

Heads up guys, a new kid is on the block and boy is it gorgeous. The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim launched earlier this year to much fanfare, and it just makes me blush for the days I lugged a giant regular external hard drive (the kind that needs to be plugged into a power source) around for storage a mere five years ago. I even dragged that one to new york with me the first time, when I was 18, telling myself that the mess of wires and foregone luggage space was worth it for the promise of backed up photo memories. Well, it was. But those days are gone. I’ve been using portable hard drives ever since I hit 21, and I’ve never looked back. And yet none of them have been as beautiful as this one.

Portable hard drives have gotten cheaper and more accessible precisely at the point where laptops have started being made with less and less internal storage space. There are lots of pragmatic reasons for this I’m sure – a computer definitely runs faster when youre forced to be prudent about the amount of junk you keep on your desktop. But when you go from a 500GB macbook to a 120GB MBP retina not by choice but by circumstance, you’ll find that the reliance on portable storage spaces are real. Because so much of what I do requires me to edit high-res photos on the go (and fine, I’m also a hoarder, I keep every single photo I’ve taken, ever), it’s come to a point where I store nearly nothing on my laptop itself save for word documents, and run everything off either a portable hard drive that I carry everywhere with me, or off the cloud.

I currently have about four external hard drives in different colors and designs, from a variety of brands, and I segregate my drives by chronological order as well as by function – I even have a whole drive dedicated to storing old seasons of FRIENDS and other things when I need a little perk-me-up! But because of that, I’ve also reached a point where I dont just want a high functioning drive, I want one that is, well, fine, pretty. And the dimpled champagne sheen of the new Backup Plus Ultra Slim just makes me swoon for the silliest and most superficial of reasons. No complaints – I totally own my frivolous side. Don’t we all?

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working on the go at starbucks over the famous shibuya crossing in tokyo, japan

But on to more pragmatic things. Part of the reason why I’m so reliant on hard drives is because we all need space, okay? I don’t just mean that metaphorically – I mean that in every sense of the word. Photos when I was 18 used to run in the 20kb range, now a good picture can be about 6MB per picture. My DSLR has two card slots already and yet I run out of space all the time. And because I am by nature a scatter brain, I’ve had to discipline myself into proper storage back-up habits the hard way. Too many times I’ve experienced the split second oh shit moment right after I delete a bunch of pictures I hadn’t backed up because I needed to clear space in my camera, and there’s nearly no way of getting them back! There was once I was actually on the brink of tears while sitting alone, in public, because I stupidly reformatted my memory card and then remembered the minute I pressed the REFORMAT CARD, CONFIRM? YES! button that I needed some pictures in there for a blogpost and I hadnt transferred the pictures out yet. This life!!!! The pain!!!!

So now I force myself to transfer out and backup my photos on my different drives (and then back up that drive in the Cloud) every weekend, just to prevent this from happening again. Ha.

PSA: on that note, the hard drives comes with 200GB of Cloud storage on Microsoft OneDrive..

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Working on the go while abroad: hard drive + portable wifi egg

Part of the reason why I like this new hard drive so much (which, full disclaimer btw, Seagate sent to me for trial and review) is because it’s so light and portable. I mean, that sounds like a silly thing to say because I kind of take for granted that all portable drives are light and easy to carry around. And they are. But on first impression, the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim wasn’t just light, it also was portable in a way that didn’t feel dinky. That is to say, it felt sleek and compact, but also solid enough to slip into your pocket or handbag without worrying that it’d get knocked around and messed up. This is something I’ve noticed about Seagate external hard drives in general which I really appreciate – I’m actually using one of their older backupplus models in electric blue. They’re also very fast because the newer models use USB3.0 port which handles file transfers faster than normal, and this range comes in the 1 or 2TB iteration which I believe is the largest capacity for external HDDs of this physical size. That means 320,000 photos or 240 hours of high definition video ok – perfect if you edit videos or photos on the go. If you’re traveling, this is great. If you’re traveling on a really long trip, this is perfect. Months and months of memories securely backed up! And – I cannot get enough of saying this – it’s so damned pretty that you have no qualms carrying it around with you and displaying it proudly on your temporary workdesk. I know I did.

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Said display in action: busy working in Tokyo after a full day out and about

Alright guys. Here comes the whammer y’all have been waiting for. Seagate Singapore and I have partnered up to give away one of these babies to one of you in a color of your choice – it comes in gold or silver. All you have to do is leave a comment on my instagram post here telling me what your best storage story is, and Seagate SG will pick a winner in a week. EG. Had no space in my luggage to shop for new clothes in Bangkok but at least I took 300 photos of them that I can now keep and remember forever! And etcetera. You have to be residing in Singapore for the giveaway, but other than that, there are no restrictions so go crazy. Be creative 😀

And for everyone else, even if you don’t participate / don’t live in SG – if you’re looking for a gorgeous new HDD that doesn’t break the bank, or for the perfect christmas present for your trigger-happy friend, you know what’s up.

Have a great one, y’all.

This post was brought to you by Seagate

x
Jem

#2023| Top 5 preflight buys on iShopChangi

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Changi Airport Terminal One
Dress: Velvet Dolls | Parka: Random Jap store | Bag: Pazzion Singapore | Luggage: Samsonite via Mandarin Gallery

Ola from New York, you guys!

I’m back again in the city of dreams, empire state of my heart. And before you guys start: yes, I was just here in December, and yes, I could have gone somewhere new.. but the heart wants what it wants, okay? And with that that selena gomez-esqe piece of love advice, moving on..

I touched on iShopChangi briefly in my previous travel posts, but I thought it was about time to do up a proper post on my top five pre-flight purchases in Changi Airport, a post for the Singapore Outbounds. iShopChangi is something I use a lot when I travel, especially if I’m doing a long distance trip or to see friends abroad. For some strange reason, not as many people know about it as you’d expect, but it’s one of those travel hacks that saves you a ton of time, so let me just quickly explain how it works:


iShopChangi?

iShopChangi is an online store under Changi Airport, where you can pre-purchase your duty-free items online before your flight, and then just pick them up and go when you reach the airport. This is great for people who already know what they want and dont want to waste time running around the airport getting your items, or if you’re taking a very late/early flight and the shops you wanna buy stuff from are likely to be closed before you board the plane.

For me in particular, I hate rushing for my flight because I’ve nearly missed my flight a couple of times due to miscalculating the distance between me and the flight gate, waiting in a line for something or the other, or just, you know, generally being distracted. And because there are certain things I always get when I’m going to fly, it’s just easier for me to pre-purchase it and pick it up, then go chill somewhere near my gate with a cup of starbucks or something. Ha!

So – my Top Five pre-flight buys

Perhaps a more accurate title would be my top five kinds of pre flight buys. I did this more according to category than anything, but you guys can tweak this according to your own needs.

1. Sunscreen

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No matter what country you go to, youre going to need sunscreen. I like having a small bottle in my handcarry just so I always have it on hand, rather than having to dig through my luggage to find it upon arrival. It’s not expensive either, and it’ll always be something you need, no matter where you’re going. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you dont need sun protection, ok? Sun damage is the worst!

2. Local Singaporean Snacks

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Ha! Bet you didn’t know you could buy Pineapple Tarts in Changi Airport. I always try to bring a taste of Singapore with me abroad, as a gift to either my friends, or my Airbnb host in whatever country I’m staying in. Throw back: how to be a good airbnb guest. But yes! I bring bottles of Kaya, which you cant really find authentic replicas of anywhere except Singapore or our region, or Ba Kwa/ Pineapple tarts, which you can order from Bee Cheng Hiang on iShopChangi.

3. Electronics: Storage Space

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The last time I went abroad I bought a GoPro from duty free (great investment, btw), and this time I got a WD My Passport Ultra portable hard drive. It’s great for people who travel and take lots of high res pics, and for people who have trouble deleting things (like me). What can I say, I hoard, ok? Don’t judge!

But electronics are one of those things you can get in duty free at a great rate, because they’re tax-exempt as long as you’re flying out of singapore. The prices reflected on the website and instore at duty free are already the prices without GST. The savings tend to be quite substantial – I had a look also at the duty-free / in town price difference if you wanna buy a Mac, and its about a hundred bucks. But you’ll have to lug it with you on your trip, then bring it back later. So it’s up to you.

4. Hair Care

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This is crucial for me because my hair is bleached to death. But hey, your version could be travel sized moisturisers for the plane, sleeping masks, and so on. Mine is a very intensive leave in treatment for the hair, which I apply liberally at intervals throughout the flight. To each his/ her own, am I right?

5. The Splurge: Travel Exclusives

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Now, this may not apply to everyone, but I find that travel exclusives make great gifts for people, or even for yourself if you’ve always wanted to stock up on that particular skincare product that’s mad expensive outside. They’re normally travel sized, or full sized products paired with travel sized samples. It’s still pricey, but less so than if you’d get them in town. I personally also know lots of people who stock up on their makeup and skincare before their flights because of the tax exemption, so this is kind of an extension of that too.

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I think that’s about it – my top five pre-flight buys! Of course, there’s also the pre flight cuppa that I always have out of habit, but people tend to like those fresh, so, you know. Get it yourself when you reach the airport. But otherwise, pre-buying your other items saves you a load of time, effort, and stress running around before your flight, and it’s so great that our local airport offers this service so definitely take advantage of it!

In the spirit of GSS, iShopChangi is launching GSS promos in mid-June, which is perfect timing since it’s just about when all of you start jetting off for the summer – lucky draws, additional tax savings, free gifts, etcetera etcetera. Full details here:


The Great iShopChangi Sale (13 June to 10 July)
iShopChangi’s GSS Promotions

1) Daily winner will be picked to shop for free (capped at $500)
– Total of 28 winners, selected randomly from new orders made on iShopChangi
2) For the first 10 days of the GSS promo (13 – 22 June), shoppers get to enjoy double GST savings i.e. additional 7% off on top of GST savings (with min. spend of $280)
3) Over 50 special GSS deals only available during promotional period
4) Receive a free gift with every purchase during promo period, while stocks last
5) Stand 2x chance to be a Changi Millionaire with every online purchase of min. $50

*More details here

I’m particularly keen on the last point, because the allure of randomly becoming a millionaire just by shopping is too much for me – I’m really huffed about the fact that despite traveling so much and spending a disproportionate amount of money on makeup/coffee/dutyfree items at the airport, I am still unfortunately not a millionaire yet. I actually asked Changi whether anyone has won it yet and turns out the guy who won it the last time just bought some really random thing, and he just entered for fun. For fun! He became a millionaire by winning a lucky draw he did for fun!! Life is sometimes not very fair. Write that down, kids.

Anyway, even though I am not a millionaire yet (thx Changi), Changi Airport Group is still giving out shopping vouchers to you guys (thx Changi), proving that you dont have to be dirty rich to be generous. Again, write that down, kids. Rule of life.

We’re giving away $50 vouchers for iShopChangi to 3 of you. There are terms and conditions and they are below, in italics. But if you want to win, all you have to do is to comment on my instagram photo telling me what your favourite pre-flight buy is. Sah easy! And Changi will pick three of you, and you will get e-money, and you can have nice things. Go do it now.

So three of you will be very lucky very soon. But for the rest of you, you’re also winners. And you know why? Because we’ve given you the gift of time, time saved not having to run around buying your essentials before your flight. Boom.

Safe travels, happy jetsetting, you guys.

x
Jem


Previously mentioned terms and conditions:
*Valid till 31 Dec 2016 (2359hrs, SG time).
The eVoucher is in Singapore currency and is only valid in a single transaction at iShopChangi.com
The eVoucher is only for bona fide outbound, inbound and transit passengers travelling through or arriving in Singapore Changi Airport.
The eVoucher is valid for one-time use per customer, is non-exchangeable, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions, offers, eVouchers etc.
The eVoucher is considered redeemed if the customer cancels the order.
Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd reserves the right to vary the terms and conditions herein at any time at its discretion.