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My life condensed into square grid moments.

  • Taiwan Blog Post 1 – Home Hotel Da-An
  • travel |    21 November, 2017  |    No Comments    |   

    Last week, together with the dreachong team, I embarked on a 5-day trip to Taiwan for, spending 2 nights each at Taipei and Taichung’s Sun Moon Lake. Home Hotel Da-An was home for us for the first 2 nights and it’s suffice to say the hotel lived up to their eponymous name! Read on to learn more about our stay at Home Hotel Da-An and why I think this should be your recommend choice of hotel in the Da-An District.


    Home Hotel Da-An is located in the Da-An district – the heart of Taipei – which is one of Taipei’s favoured districts for shopping, food and entertainment. Commuting is not a problem as the hotel is a 3 minute walk from Zhongxiao Fuxing Metro Station. Taxis are also readily available outside the hotel, and we had no problem grabbing when whenever we needed.

    My favourite go-to shopping area in Taipei has got to be the area along Zhongxiao Dong Lu and sandwiched between Fuxing Nan Lu and Yanji Street (right across Zhonghua Dunhua Station). The area is lined with fashionable independent clothing boutiques, and homeware and lifestyle goods stores, and is only an 8 minute walk from the hotel! I’ll be doing a more comprehensive guide on where to go and what to do around this area in my next blog post, so stay tuned!


    Home Hotel Da-An’s earthy meets modern-industrial colour palette and decor immediately gives off a homeliness appeal, and you get this sense of warmth and home right when you step into the lobby, and even through to the reception area on Level 5. Enter the floor of your room, and you’ll see a big sign that says “There is no place like home”, step into your room and there’s a personalised note ready for you on the bed that writes “Welcome home” from your housekeeper of the day. Talk about being homesick no more!

    Home aims to support local lifestyle brands, the hotel’s furniture and toiletries (i.e. cups, dish soap, etc.) are sourced locally, and reflect an authentic Taiwanese spirit. Fun fact: The trash bins in our rooms were designed to look like a xiao long bao steamer basket and are also available for purchase.

    What I also loved about the hotel it’s environmentally-friendly philosophy. Soap and shampoo dispensers are refillable, reducing the chance of wastage and use of plastic. There were little placards and notes around the room reminding us to reduce our environmental footprint – we could opt to change our linens on the third day as one would at home!

    All in all, my stay at Home Hotel Da-An was nothing short of comfortable and welcoming. The hotel’s staff were always ready to help, and offered many shopping and cafe-hopping suggestions that suited our preferences (not your typical touristy spots)! Book your stay at Home Hotel Da-An via for if you’re looking for a home away from home! If you want to explore the other hotels provides, visit this link here!

    Watch out for the upcoming posts for the continuation of our Taiwan trip! We recommend our top things to do in Taipei City next!



  • Shanghai with Dr. Ci:Labo
  • beauty, travel |    21 November, 2017  |    No Comments    |   
  • I’ve heard so much about Shanghai and have been meaning to go there, so when Japanese skincare brand Dr. Ci:Labo said they would be sending me on an exciting press trip to Shanghai – I couldn’t say no!

    To be honest, I’ve not heard of Dr. Ci:Labo prior to this trip. Even though they’ve been around since 1995, they just made their entrance into Singapore with a retail boutique at ION Orchard in 2013. Before jetting off to Shanghai, I had to give at least one of their products a try to understand the brand a little better. I tried out their signature Aqua Collagen Gel Enrich Lift – an 8-in-1 gel that helps solve skin dehydration – and the product honestly felt like it was one of the best moisturisers I’ve ever tried. To watch the review, scroll down!

    During the course of the Shanghai trip, we stayed at the amazing Park Hyatt Shanghai. The view from my room was pretty spectacular, and it was the same view we looked at during the press conference with Dr.Ci:Labo founder Dr. Shirono, where we got to interview him and try our hands out at some biochemistry! During the press conference, we were also introduced to the Super100 Series, which are essentially 4 serums you can combine with your Aqua Collagen Gel for a more customizable, effective result! For instance, there is an Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) serum which can stimulate skin growth at the cellular level to accelerate the skin’s recovery rate. If you prefer to target your dark spots, you can opt for the Vitamin C serum instead! I talk more about the “experiments” we conducted in my press trip video, which you can watch below as well!

    While waiting for my interview slot, Elsie and I jumped on a cab to explore The Bund, a tourist-spot you inevitably have to visit because it overlooks the Huangpu River and the Oriental Pearl Tower (which has an observation deck you can visit too!).

    If you find yourself having a bit of spare time in Shanghai, you can also check out some of these cafes we visited: 1984, Seesaw Coffee, Zinn Café, The Press Shanghai, Tea Funny.

    Come sundown, we found ourselves hailing the first cab we saw and rushing back to Park Hyatt Shanghai for my Q&A with Dr. Shirono. The generally reserved and soft-spoken Dr. Shirono was super friendly and accommodating, and one can immediately sense his passion and seriousness when it comes to dermatological-science. I sat down with Dr. Shirono for 10 minutes with a translator and asked him a few key questions about the brand and his signature gel.

    Me: What is your inspiration behind the Aqua-Collagen Gel (ACG)?

    Dr. Shirono: I developed the ACG 20 years ago after meeting many patients and realizing that there were no products out there that could properly address their skin concerns. Most products I’ve encountered do not cater to differing skin types, hence it was my vision to ensure all our products don’t just serve one function. Furthermore, I did not like the fact that we had to use so many different products when it came to skincare. I wanted to develop a product that can be your toner, milky lotion, beauty essence, eye-treatment cream, facial mask, makeup base, serum, and massage cream all in one.

    We also developed the Super100 series to complement the ACG, and even help to address other skin conditions.

    Me: What do you feel are customer’s biggest skin concerns?

    Dr. Shirono: In recent years, I find that the biggest problem is maintaining firmness of the skin. In this instance, customers can consider the Super100 Series Marine-Collagen, which helps in maintaining elasticity of the skin. Subsequent issues would be the appearance of pores, freckles and dark spots. This can be addressed with the Super100 Series Vitamin C serum – Vitamin C inhibits melanin production, reducing the appearance of dark spots!

    Me: What is the common mistake people make when it comes to their skincare regime?

    Dr. Shirono: When it comes to skincare nowadays, people want efficiency and efficacy in the shortest amount of time possible. They are not very educated about the ingredients used in the products. You might see the initial results, but these products may not be the best solution in the long-run, and may cause even more of a burden eventually. We need to ensure we use the most natural ingredients so that our skin can receive the best care possible.

    Me: In Singapore, our weather is very humid. What products should we use in this case?

    Dr. Shirono: If the weather is hot all year round, sebum is produced in excess, and this can cause a lot of pimples, acne and scars. Use ACG with the Super100 series Vitamin C serum in this case. Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant that reduces the harmful effects of free radicals (i.e. UV, Stress, Pollution, etc.) one is exposed to daily.

    And that’s about it from my interview with Dr. Shirono! I hope you guys got a few takeaways, especially when it comes to being aware of how certain ingredients can affect or help our skin! As always, stay tuned for more articles on Dr. Ci:Labo!



  • Hair Trends – Singapore Fashion Week 2017
  • beauty |    20 November, 2017  |    No Comments    |   
  • Has it been nearly a month since Singapore Fashion Week? If you missed some of the 3-day long excitement,
    we’ve picked out some of our favourite runway hairstyles as seen during SFW!


    1. CASUAL



    For that simple elegant just-got-out-of-bed look,
    go for a casual loose ponytail hairstyle, as chosen by
    local fashion designers Gin Lee and Ling Wu.

    Gin Lee

    Ling Wu


    Gin Lee
    Ling Wu
    Whole 9 Yards


    2. MESSY


    For something more edgy, create a Messy Wave look as seen on models walking for Singapore labels Gin Lee, Ling Wu, and Whole 9 Yards.



    3. SLICK


    If I’m going for something fashionable and classic, I can always turn to a sleek straight look. This instantly makes any outfit look more statement-worthy! The sleek look was seen on the shows of Lai Chan and Ying The Label.

    Lai Chan

    Ying The Label

    In today’s blog post, I’ll be showing you guys how to re-create the Messy Waves look:

    1. Spray sea-salt spray on damp hair. If possible, apply thickening lotion as well.
    2. Take the Dyson Supersonic and the diffuser attachment, on low heat and low speed, scrunch up two-inch portions of your hair and leave it on top of the diffuser to dry. Occasionally scrunch your hair for that messy wavy effect.
    3. And there you have it! Wavy curls!

    For more hairstyle tutorials, stay tuned! x