July 4th, 2010

Poke

Essensuals

I've been having my hair cut and highlights done at Toni & Guy for years now. Recently, Toni & Guy opened a mid-range concept salon at Bugis - Essensuals Bugis and I was delighted to know that my stylist Celine has moved there too.

They are currently having a fantastic opening special promotion from now till 31 Aug 2010.

Haircut and treatment for S$49 (usual S$95)
Haircut, color and treatment for S$99 (usual S$225)
Haircut, highlights & treatment for S$139 (usual S$250)
Haircut, re-bonding/perm and treatment for S$199 (usual S$345)

It's a really really good deal! Just got my highlights refreshed and hair trimmed. :)

Do request for Celine and tell her that I've recommended her. She's very meticulous and friendly and I can safely trust her with my hair!

Essensuals Bugis
241A Victoria Street
Bugis Village (Above Burger King)
+65 6333 0039







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Nike girl run

15 miler

I came across a useful article in Runners' World and well, it's always good to share stuff like that so here goes.

To turn your key workouts up a notch or two, for better fitness and faster times, is to add on one 'quality' workout per week to increase your fitness. This is provided you already have a solid base. I would further add that this is quite right. I have been running for about 6 years now. In the initial stages, my focus was not on speed but rather, completing a certain targeted distance. Now that I have successfully completed my first marathon last year and know that completing it isn't an issue, I am switching training methods in hope of improving my speed.

To take your running to the highest level, focus on a training plan that is skewed to your strengths. In my personal opinion, I also think that if you are weak in endurance, you need to also work on that. After analyzing my first marathon pace and results, I am now aware that the endurance part for me is fine and I need to work on my speedwork. So I guess it depends on what you really want. Runners' World advises focusing on your strengths.

The FIRST program consists of 3 components of running - tempo runs, track/interval speed workout and long/endurance runs. And long runs meaning, friggin' long runs. Hence, it is stated that in order to start on FIRST, you need to be able to comfortably run 15km at least and have done so regularly i.e. you have a good solid base.

Tempo runs -

Tempo training raises your lactate threshold velocity meaning the running speed above which fatigue quickly sets in. The tempo runs should feel comfortably hard

Intervals -

Of all training runs, interval workouts are the most potent for improving your fitness. Short, hard efforts beef up your cardiovascular system by increasing the volume of oxygen-rich blood your heart pumps with each beat. With more oxygen feeding muscles, they can work harder. In short, if you want to run faster, you need to do interval training. Intervals is not about distance but about repeats and when you run intervals, it should be hard such that you would have difficulty conversing.

Long runs -

Running long drains your muscles' supply of carbs (glycogen). Nearing empty signals your body to stock more glycogen, so you have more fuel to draw on in the future. Long runs also develop your ability to transport and use oxygen, which allows you to run longer before becoming fatigued.

The 3+2 FIRST program that I am using for my marathon training uses the above concept. Given that the FIRST program is by Runners' World and some might say that the advice might be slightly biased, maybe, but I think the logic does make sense. Since I would consider myself as an Intermediate runner, it is recommended that I do each of the above workouts once a week - which is essentially my FIRST program.

Today's long run was brutal for me. It wasn't the distance but the fact that my feet started to cramp up on the last 5 miles. A hard lesson learned - never run with too tight laces. You see, I prefer to use elastic laces that are locked in so that I don't need to worry about my laces getting untied. However, the Fuel Belt elastic laces that I got were shorter than my usual locked laces and even much shorter than the normal laces that it came with. I was stubborn and thought that it would 'loosen' out after awhile. But even after running probably at least 50km in them, it still remained tight.

My feet had red marks where the laces were. They were so tight, my feet cramped up and I had to stop several times to remove my shoes to stretch and allow the blood to circulate. Still, I refused to give up and my run so I endured the discomfort and cramps and chugged on.

Other than that, it was okay. We try to simulate race conditions during our long training runs and take gels (except hydration salts) and drink at every mile. I highly recommend this to those training for a marathon. This prepares your body for race time and your body will be used to the intake.

15miles, 2:47:18, 11:24min/mile average pace (worse than this Tuesday's 13.1 miler but within the training pace), 1,153 calories burnt!

I have refueled, taken my vitamins, iced my knees, rolled and stretched and now wearing my compression tights.

* Training advice taken from Runner's World May 2010 p35. Some text re-edited by myself.





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With Lynn and Fur Rug

The wedding of the year


My parents doing the traditional unveiling


Yesterday, was one of the most joyous day for my family. My sister, my parents' first born, got married in a simple affair in the presence of family and friends.

Since my sis got engaged, my family has been really excited. She on the other hand was a pretty chilled out bride. I had numerous dreams about her wedding including forgetting to attend her wedding rehearsal -_-, my mom couldn't sleep the night before. LOL. And my Dad bought a brand new dSLR for her wedding - which he was too excited to even use :P

The day started early at 5am for most of us. It was such a special occasion that I hired a makeup artist - Cleo Chang to do my hair and makeup. Afterall, it is the wedding of my one and only sister and sibling!

Cleo and another MUA came highly recommended by several friends, I eventually went for Cleo and OMG, I am so glad that I did. She is extremely professional and I was very impressed with her punctuality, follow ups and she had a little luggage containing all her equipment! She even came prepared with an extension plug, air dryer, etc. I was speechless. Her make up skills were good and I think she brought up the best in me :) The make up didn't run and my face stayed matte for the entire day. She did have a taste of my hard to style hair :P After curling it for about 30-45minutes with heated rollers, she lamented that it doesn't hold curls very well :P Plus, my hair is ultra fine and uh a lot of it. Anyway, I was very pleased with the results.

The guys were freaking timely. At 7am on the dot, we heard the car horns blasting away. My sis was not even dressed in her gown yet so we chased them away and told them to return back later. 15 minutes later, I got a call from the overall wedding coordinator (my BIL's best man), whom we all nicknamed the Nazi, barking at me. IS SHE READY? I swear, whenever he talks to me, I get nervous. He had a schedule down to every minute (looks like I found my match..) and he really did a great job but OMG, he was really fierce!

Finally, we started the 'haggling'. We were the most un-prepared 'Jie mei'. Then it started to drizzle so we took pity on them and said they could come into the porch and I instructed my Mom to LOCK the front door. The Fur Rug was left locked outside and was termed the 'Watch Dog'. YA RIGHT!

We made the guys dance to the World Cup dance. Sigh. The groom was the only enthusiastic one. We made him wear a tiara and feather boa which my sis wore on her hen's night. We asked them to rehearse but half of them got distracted -_- First, one was playing with the Rug -_- Then, the rest were poor back-up dancers. They were all punished and made to eat whatever the girls prepared. Gawd knows what they put inside. They grabbed anything from my fridge which included cheese, wasabi, kimchi and some other sauces.

Next, we gave them a list of fill-in-the-blanks. They had to guess the favorite brands of my sister. This was to prepare him for what he needs to buy for her in future :P They started randomly guessing. BONIA was the first guess. *slaps forehead. All the girls shrieked and went, WHAT???! They did fairly well and got stuck on one. It was Nike. Hehe I had to put that in. DKNY, FCUK etc. Finally, the last one, iPhone 4. It wasn't a brand but heck.

Finally, they were allowed into the house. But first, they had to dance the Nobody song by the Wonder Girls. I think they are the worst dancers that I've ever seen. No sense of coordination and as usual, all got distracted again -_- We haggled for our ang pows and they tried to cheat us with a pathetic amount that were mainly in $2 and included an EXPIRED toto football Toto receipt! Fail! I guess the best was when we asked him to declare his love to my sis and he did his own rendition of Aaron Kwok's?? "Gei Ni Ai Ai Ai Bu Wa". *double faint. Finally, we made him promise to buy for her a Chanel bag after the wedding and the cheeky bugger said okay and we demanded that it be recorded on video. He said, I'll buy for you a Chanel bag.. from Shenzhen.

FINALLY, he went up and the naughty guys kept shouting, Eh, check the goods first. Ensure that it is the correct girl. I think he was quite stunned by my sister in her gown and was quite speechless when he walked in. Arwww.

We headed out to church and the service started. My sis got us bridesmaid to walk in with a partner. So B.T walked in with me. I thought it was a sweet and unique walk-in! I heard that when I slowly walked in, her friends mistook me for her and were wondering why she wasn't wearing her gown, and how come her Dad (B.T) looked so young. LOL. That was the most heard comment of the day - that I look like her. And also, B.T was thereafter known as 'The very good looking boyfriend' by my sis' friends and colleagues :P

I didn't trip and fall, thank gawd and the service went fine. After they were officially married and before she went back in for the photo taking, I gave her a hug and no one saw but my eyes were filled with tears. I was so happy for her and happy to see her smiling away. .

I spent the rest of the day fussing over her. Forcing her to eat, helping her to dress, getting panicky when they couldn't find her SHOES! She was as calm as a cucumber while I was asking, Where are her shoes???!

The tea ceremony was new to my family so we just followed the procedure. My BIL comes from a more traditional Cantonese family so they knew what to do. It was quite hilarious actually. J (the other bridesmaid) and I were standing behind the two chairs to help them to collect the ang pows and gifts. My Dad commented, Which budget airline are you both working for? Dom, the photographer started giggling then after realizing that it came from MY DAD, he cracked up laughing. And he started laughing non-stop with the comments from my Dad that followed -_- Dom later told me that my family is the most hilarious family that he has ever shot.

So my BIL's sweet Grandmother gave to him a HUGE gold coin that came with an equally HUGE gold chain. She insisted that he put it on. He did the hiphop pose and my Dad said, Eh, Olympic gold medallist? And when my Dad spotted the price tag underneath his shoe that he had forgotten to remove, he loudly declared that he knew how much my BIL, had spent on his shoes. Which sent Dom into another round of laughter. -_-

When it was my uncle and auntie's turn, and they were unsure of the process as well, and were taking a long time, my Dad asked them to stop haggling and just give the ang pow which again sent Dom into another round of laughter -_- I think he must think that my Dad is some sort of comedian or something. But I guess Dad was really filled with happiness yesterday and in a great mood.

The whole luncheon was simple - the way my sis is. She hired a band - A little dream and they were great. It was really sweet that they selected Cantonese songs to be sung since his family is Cantonese. I think it made things special. There were no long speeches, just simple thank you by the groom who was funny and made all of us laugh.

It was so obvious that my sis was greatly loved by all her friends and colleagues. One of her colleagues was the floor manager and she did such a great job that even my parents were complimenting her. In fact, she was the one barking at me to fluff her gown! They even presented her with a scrapbook of her hen's night and it was so nice seeing how well-liked my dear sister is.

It ended with her bunch of crazy friends making B.T, me and my DAD drink SHOTS of whisky -_- We all quickly bailed out and headed home exhausted, and slept for a few hours.

I was really lucky to have good friends to help support her wedding.

Ee-lyn did the bridesmaid dresses (lovely Sage/green toga dresses) and my second royal purple silk dress. She was so patient and even went down to my Villa in Bali (as she was there the same time I was), to pass to me my dresses and check if it fitted. Everyone was gushing over the dresses (especially the bridesmaid dresses) and babe, I think I should bring your cards along to give out the next time around!

Dominic/Dom as I call him, is a good friend of mine and I've known him for quite awhile. Some of you would remember him since I've mentioned him a few times including the PURE charity event that he did a few years back. In fact he told me that because I've wrote about him, one of the largest cosmetic companies called him up to endorse him :) He deserves it. He's a known celebrity photographer and have done a few celebrity weddings. Also, the famous people that he has photographed in his career, will make you gawk. He has worked with many international brands and I am just amazed that he is self-taught. He is also the only photographer in Singapore that is fully sponsored by Nikon.

Anyway, my sis and BIL loved his works and decided to hire him for the wedding. It's such a pleasure watching him photography - he has a unique style. I can't wait to see the photos when it's ready! I had a great time catching up with him and everyone loved him. My Dad was in fact repeatedly introducing him to all our relatives and friends! He was supposed to leave earlier but landed up staying till the very end - I'm really touched, thank you.

Finally, when my sis and BIL decided not to use the wine that the hotel provided, I passed them my friend's contact. Janice, owner and chef of 2am dessert bar offered to let them go down for a sampling session and the rates were so good, they landed up getting the wine for the lunch from Oeno. The red wine was pretty good especially for its price! Smooth and not sharp and some of the guests were commenting that the wine was good too.

Well, I guess that wraps up my story. Sorry it's so long. But I have only ONE sister so this is the first and last time I'll ever write about her wedding :P

More pictures on FB to follow soon - didn't take that much since I was too busy on that day! Decided to leave it to the professional to capture the priceless memories.

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