Monday, June 3, 2019

Learning To Ride A Bicycle In 4hrs Or Less With Biking Singapore

[Review]

I can still remember how I learnt to cycle when I was just a young boy. I would have one hand on the parapet while I tried balancing the bike along the long HDB corridor until I finally had the confidence to bring it down to the void deck to try. There were falls along the way definitely but I managed to learn riding a 2-wheeler on my own eventually.

The kiddos were practicing on the bikes without the pedal when they started the lesson.

Now that Steffi and Leroy is 11 and 9 already, I thought it is high time they learnt how to ride a bike. I had always harboured the thought of teaching them how to ride, but when I thought of the need to buy the bikes and safety gears even before they learn, as well as having to find the time to coach them as well, I procrastinated. 

Who knew that by a stroke of luck, I would come across a company named Biking Singapore recently, that actually guarantees that the kid will be able to cycle after going through 2 private sessions of 2 hours each! To be honest, I had my doubts lor. Like seriously? Just 4 hours and the kid will be able to cycle? I definitely don't mind spending a couple of hours to find that out myself!

So off we went to PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay where the lessons were conducted under shelter beneath the flyover. It seemed that this place is great for all sorts of classes, such as rollerblading etc as one need not be under the mercy of the weather. But Biking Singapore will also able to conduct the classes at any suitable locations upon customers' request as they are really a mobile team.

It was all about gaining confidence and learning how to balance.

Parents are not required to be present as it was a drop off session, so they can go dating after dropping the kiddos. But obviously I had nowhere to go anyway so I stayed back to observe the instructors, and maybe try to learn the secrets to learning how to ride a bike from the experts. The instructors were really friendly and attentive, and guided the kiddos really well I would say. I was only surprised that the kids started off without any pedals and training wheels.


So they practiced on their balancing first, much like using those balance bikes, and before I knew it, after only about an hour into the lessons under the watchful eyes of the instructors, the pedals were put back on and both of them started pedaling ON THEIR OWN, even before the end of the first session! But the instructors were quick to add that the progress would really depends on individuals, even though 99% will be able to cycle after 2 sessions.


During the second session, the instructor worked on their confidence as well as taught them on how to better control the bike. They even went on a ride to Marina Barrage and back, and there were no falls or accidents at all during the two sessions just like they promised.

They were already riding pretty well during the second lesson and were given tips on how to have better control.

Now that we had experienced the lessons for ourselves, I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone, young or old, who wishes to learn how to ride a bike. You really need to check them out at https://www.bikingsingapore.com/ now, and I promise that it will be a pleasant learning experience! Thank you for teaching the two kiddos to ride in record time, you guys rock! Now I also know that instead of helping the little ones overcome the fear of falling, training wheels can really be crutches too!

I am confident that your kiddos will be in good hands to learn how to ride a bike in the shortest time too!

I was telling them that their lessons were really good and that they should give a discount code for our readers and the boss said to use promo code: BIKESG10OFF for $10 off their lessons BUT only valid for July 2019 hor, because they are almost fully booked for June! That's how good their lessons are, and the effects of words of mouth by customer. Don't say bojio!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Phantom Of The Opera

[Media Invite]

I am pretty sure you would have noticed all the posters and publicity on the return of The Phantom Of The Opera to our shores after a long 6 years since the last time it played here. I had received so many messages from friends and readers who exclaimed how they missed the musical and were looking forward to catching it again with their loved ones. The musical sure left very lasting impressions to those who have watched it and all left rave reviews!


I would always try to include the whole family when opportunities of attending any musical comes along, especially for such internationally acclaimed musical that even yours truly (mountain tortoise) had yet to watch too! After all, the reason for my blogging is to expose all the kiddos to as much as this old man can afford to. 


Truth be told, the musical would be perfect for a date night out with loved ones but not exactly that suitable for younger audience. I googled before the musical to find out if it would be suitable for them and some said that certain scenes may be a little frightening for young children. For my case though, it was not just not exciting enough for the kiddos with the exception of little Louie!

I didn't manage to get backstage but a good friend did. Look at all the details in the props!

I for one was wowed by the majestic set and the attention to detail for the different scenes. I get the "chills" too, hearing the duets by the Phantom (Jonathan Roxmouth) and Christine (Meghan Picerno) and not forgetting Raoul (Matt Leisy) as well. This musical should be watched at least once in a lifetime and now is the best time since it is here in Singapore. Although as an uninitiated first time audience, I would probably do better if I read up more prior to watching it. 

They even got an elephant on stage. (photo credit: Base Entertainment Asia)

Christine in the Phantom's lair. (photo credit: Base Entertainment Asia)

Getting all ready to watch the show!

Louie was simply fascinated by the entire production and never once did his eyes stray from the stage! Although I cannot say the same for the rest of his siblings, who enjoyed the more light-hearted and relatable musical such as The Lion King and Beauty and The Beast more I guess. Thank you so much Base Entertainment Asia for giving us the opportunity to experience this great musical for ourselves and on its gala night no less!



Useful Information

Performance Times (now till 08 Jun 2019):
Tuesday - Friday: 8.00pm
Saturday: 2pm and 8.00pm
Sunday: 1pm and 6pm

Ticket Bookings:
Internet - www.MarinaBaySands.com/ticketing or SISTIC website.
Phone - +65 6688 8826
In Person - Marina Bay Sands Box Offices (Museum, Theatres, SkyPark, Retail Mall and Hotel Tower 1 Lobby). For more information please log onto - www.MarinaBaySands.com/ticketing

Monday, April 1, 2019

Ambi Climate 2

With the opening up of the consumer electricity market in Singapore, one of the hot topics amongst the colleagues had been which retailer to jump to once they are eligible to do so. Makes sense, since it is cost-savings that matter, who cares about loyalty? In any case, there are other ways of saving electricity other than changing retailer. One of which would be to monitor the usage of household appliances that consumes a lot of electricity. Oh, do you know that household appliances on standby mode (with red light on) is still consuming electricity?

Oh and then there is this smart home talk all these while as well. From Google Home to whatever nots, everyone is talking about controlling others, remotely. By others I mean household appliances lah. Sometimes I feel it is quite ridiculous to pay hundreds of dollars just to be able to come home to lights switching on by itself or maybe to be able to operate the coffee machine so that you always wake up to a nice hot cuppa. I mean, got hands to turn on the lights yourself right? And how much time does it take to make a cup of coffee take in the morning leh?

Simple modernistic design, reminiscent of Apple products. Really environmentally-friendly packaging as well. Good job!

Anyway we got acquainted with Ambi Climate 2 recently and I was pretty intrigued with the ability to control the air-conditioner unit remotely. Hahaha, now I need not get up from the bed to grab the remote controller anymore because my phone is almost always by my side and I can switch off the air-con when the kiddos turn them on "illegally". So what exactly is the Ambi Climate 2 and what does it do? Let me try to break it down in simpler terms as I triy to understand it better as well.

The Device

Well it looks like a pretty sleek and futuristic piece of equipment to me. It would have been great if it was wireless, because I simply hate wires everywhere it the house. You need to place the device within the length of the cables provided, and ensure that the device is within IR communication range to your fan coil. Because it is supposed to take in the readings of your usual resting area, it will have to be placed near your bed lah.

I would have really preferred a wireless model, because I am still restricted by the location of my power point and the length of the power cord lor!

Setting Up

Setup itself is really super straightforward. It is so simple that it takes only a few simple pictorial pages and setup time of less than 5mins to get it up and running. Most time was spent on downloading the Ambi Climate app lor! Once the device is connected to your home Wi-Fi, you are all good to go. With the app, you are actually communicating to the device through your home Wi-Fi and controlling your air-con through it.

Simple plug and play. Just need to download Ambi Climate App and follow the instructions.

Smart Control

First off, there are 4 modes that you can choose from and I am currently using the Comfort Mode, which allowed me to give feedback to the device such as if I was feeling too warm or too cold. Once it received a few of these feedback, it will start to auto adjust the temperature to suit you!


Four different modes to choose from, with an "off" button too!


The Away Mode is something that I do not foresee myself using but it does allow one to set the threshold of your choice (heating, cooling or drying). So that the condition of your room will be set to what you want when you return. I am stingy and not anal about needing precise control, so I will probably just turn on the air-con just before I am back I guess.

If you know exactly what temperature you want the room to be, you can simply use the Temperature Mode which will simply use the most efficient methods to cool your room down to the temperature you set.

Okay let's be honest here too. It is stupid to pay over $100 just to be able to control the fan-coil in my room from anywhere using my mobile phone isn't it? Because what one is really paying, is the AI behind the device that enables one to have better control of the temperature in the room. But then again if you want to use it this way, it's called the Manual Mode.

Whatever you can do with your manual controller, is mirrored in the app.

My Take

The air-conditioner is an essential for most of us here in tropical Singapore. So much so that you will realize that the little ones will even protest when brought out to non air-conditioned places. We usually use the air-conditioner at night and the kiddos will call and ask us if they would like to turn it on in the afternoons when they are back from school. Now with Ambi Climate app installed, I can remotely monitor the temperature of the room and even turn off the air-conditioner if required. But Ambi Climate definitely does more than that!

I can easily see the temperature fluctuations as well as the operating times of the air-conditioner.

The device basically upgrades my controller with Artificial Intelligence such that it actually knows my preferred comfort and maintains it for me! I used to wake up in the middle of the night previously when the temperature gets too warm or too cold, because it is a static temperature I set using the manual controller. Now the A.I. monitors indoor humidity, changing weather, sunlight entering the room, and even the time of day for me and ensures that I will always be comfortable! The company even promises savings on electricity bills but I had not been using long enough to experience that. 


The deployment shows you what the A.I. set, as well as when my kiddos meddled with the manual controller.

However going by logic, if I had to set my temperature to the lowest possible and then put on my blankets before going to bed in the past, to the Machine Learning A.I. algorithms taking over planning the most optimum temperature for me these days, I reckon there would be some considerable savings for me in the months ahead. So yes, thumbs up to a smarter "home" from me! take over 

You can find out more about the device over at their official website and order from them directly too!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

My CoolSculpting Experience with Halley Medical Aesthetics

For my work, I need to visit outlets once every quarter but I may meet different staff on duty. And for the past couple of months, I had been hearing the same thing albeit from different people, and that is none other than remarks on my girth. They will either say that I "发福" or tell me straight in my face that I grew fat!


I have taken part in medical studies where I needed to stick to a very strict diet and I lost weight drastically but that didn't last unfortunately. I also underwent other treatments such as cupping but they had to be accompanied by a diet as well. And yes I lost weight too, but they were not sustainable.

Truth be told, I knew that I had to do something about my bulging waistline not entirely because of my vanity, but because of practical reasons too -
  1. My pants are all getting too small and I get the itch around the waist at the end of the day because of constriction; 
  2. I cannot bend down to put on or take of my socks easily because of obstructions;
  3. My smaller T-shirts are all feeling like tights nowadays, and most importantly;
  4. I have a wife, 5 kiddos and parents to take care of, I need to take better care of my body!
There are many ways to do it, such as going on a healthier diet and exercising (both of which I had been procrastinating) but who doesn't want an instant fix? Hmm how about a liposuction? That would definitely be fast alright, but like any major surgeries, this procedure carries its own set of risks, which can be deadly. I ain't taking chances with that.

Who knew I would be introduced to Coolsculpting at the tender age of 40, to try to address the problem of my dad bod, the result of the eating one too many leftovers, thanks to the 5 kiddos! I did my own "research" of the treatment online and is convinced that it is safe.

What is Coolsculpting?

To put it in very simple terms, it is simply using machines to freeze the fat under the skin so that a good portion of it dies and get disposed of by the body’s natural mechanisms. Hopefully by targeting the right sections, the body will be better sculpted. They say adults don't grow new fat cells, so the results will show and it will be long-term lor.

The Procedure

Well, I was seen by Dr Terence Tan from Halley Medical Aesthetics who gave me the consultation prior to the actual procedure. Of course, the measurements of my vital statistics were taken too. Friendly and candid, he answered my queries and put me at ease.

Had a consultation with Dr Terence Tan prior to treatment.

Once it was confirmed that I would be a suitable subject, he went on to propose the treatment areas that would be most beneficial to my abdominal shape, which you can say is practically round. After marking out the shapes onto my stomach, I jokingly asked him to give me the biggest possible device, to which he smiled slyly.

Smiling doctor marking out the areas of improvement.

Before I knew it, I was on the bed and Dr. Terence Tan was applying the antifreeze gel pad on my tummy, which protects my skin during treatment. It was a cold slimy feeling and he reassured me that I would be feeling some slight discomfort initially, but everything will be alright, until it was time to remove the applicator for THE massage. He had prepared me mentally prior to THE massage.

This is how the anti-freeze is applied to the skin to prevent frostbite.

Let me try to best describe the feeling of the treatment to you. Just imagine someone pinching the slab of fat around your waistline and then applying ice on the skin. The saving grace was that once the numbness kicks in after 15 mins, it was a breeze and I actually fell asleep after that!

Running through with me on what to expect and preparing me mentally.


Now the part that Dr Terence Tan warned me about, the removal of the applicator after 45 mins. He asked me to feel the area myself and it was truly a weird feeling. It was as if a block of ice had formed in my body! I could feel the big lump inside and it was icy cold too! My fat cells had crystalized and now he had to RUB that lump down to help speed up the breaking of the crystallized fat cells. It was definitely no joke. It was as if my abdominal muscles had worked too hard, and it felt like someone pinching.

It was absolutely amazing how it felt right after the removal of applicator. Icy cold and lumpy, and I can still smile.

But I had to clench my teeth when he massaged the lumpy fat into oblivion!

The same steps were repeated a total of 3 times using the CoolAdvantage Plus applicators. These applicators are the latest in the CoolSculpting family of applicators, which feature an enhanced cup design for improved patient comfort as well as a larger cooling area to treat a bigger area. Treatment time with the CoolAdvantage applicator can also be reduced by half, depending on the type of CoolAdvantage applicator.

The treatment of my abdomen required 3 applicators, so my treatment time was 2 hours and 15 mins instead of 3 hours if the legacy CoolSculpting applicators were used

The Recovery

It is true that the treatment is safe, non-invasive and had no down time. I only had this weird feeling in my treated area right after the treatment and went home after that. However as the numbness slowly wore off, I felt abdominal muscle aches as if I had done crunches non-stop for hours. 

I know different individuals react to pain differently and have differing tolerance levels. For me, my tolerance level is quite low lor and the poking by my kiddos was enough to send me shouting. I had read quite a few online reviews and it was said that the discomfort would take 1 - 3 weeks to subside and yours truly took a 3 weeks before everything is back to normal. 

Results

Alamak but the tummy is still there leh???? How???? Relax... I was told the results will show in about 3 months so I have exactly another 2 months to wait it out. Wish me luck everybody! I shall update everyone again really soon!

While waiting, you can watch the video to see what I went through during the CoolSculpting treatment with Dr Terence Tan at Halley Medical Aesthetics.



Address: 277 Orchard Road, #03-15 Orchard Gateway, Singapore 238858
Tel: +65 6737 8233
Email: info@halley.com.sg
www.halley.com.sg
www.facebook.com/halleymedicalaesthetics
www.instagram.com/halleymedicalaesthetics
www.youtube.com/HalleySGMedicalAesthetics

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dyson V10 Vacuum Cleaner, Worth It?

Keeping the house clean with a kid at home is tough work, and takes a good amount of energy, both human and machine. I do not know about you, but keeping the house clean with 5 little kiddos in it, is near impossible for me. But short of throwing in the towel (or vacuum cleaner), let me share with you on how using Dyson V10 had made our house-cleaning so much more "enjoyable"!

Louie thought it was his toy.



Ease of Use

Weight / Bulk -

How many of us are guilty of buying household appliances, only to get rid of them later due to low or no usage? I am sure we all do. I have heard of many examples from friends who had bought very sophisticated-looking (and very expensive) vacuum machines that ended up in the store room to be used once or twice a year. I have no doubt that they would probably perform really well, but you need to use them, for them to be useful!

He sure was happy helping me unbox the V10!

I mean if I were to dirty anywhere in the house and it takes me 20 minutes to get a cumbersome vacuum out from the box to fix it up just to suck up the filth, as opposed to a 5-min job to clean up the mess with a piece of cloth, it just doesn't sound too practical does it? No such problem with Dyson V10 for sure, as it is always plugged in and ready for action. At 2.5kg, it is also easy to handle with one hand!

Fixing Up - 

I had been using the predecessor of Dyson V8 Fluffy for over 3 years now and it was like deja vu when I unboxed the latest Dyson V10. All the parts were really simple and user-friendly and not unnecessarily complicated. It is almost intuitive when it comes to putting the parts together!

Just nice to get it fixed up to help with our spring cleaning!

Emptying the Canister -

For V8, one have to pull the lever up to release the catch and empty the rubbish whereas for V10, one needs to remove the attachment first, before pushing the red button down to release. Slightly different but still easy nevertheless.



HEPA Filter

My experience with my old vacuum cleaner prior with the Dyson cordless range were not too pleasant. The bulky corded machine uses vacuum bags that costs quite a bit. But if I get stingy and do not change as often as I should, the suction powers goes down by a lot. Not to mention the smell that I get sometimes, from the air that passed through the machine.

With Dyson V10, no such problem as the rubbish can be emptied easily after every use and with the HEPA filter inside that filters 99.97% of fine particles from the air, I can even freely breathe in without a care when using it!



Cleaning Power

I am absolutely honest here, I do have a helper who cleans the house the old way with broom hence the major cleaning is always done by her manually, and not using the machine. But I am really happy using the vacuum cleaner on my tiled floors on low / medium power whenever needed. Such as during this CNY cleaning! I never had to turn on full power since the dirt and mess can be picked up rather easily.

Louie loves the "boink boink" sound when he releases the trigger. 

I did use the powerhead on full power a couple of times when the kids decided to have biscuits on the sofa and left really small crumbs in between the fabric. I would imagine having to use that combination very often if my floor is carpeted! But so far, all is good and my wife is pleased too!

Some Cons

  1. The first thing what I thought about the cons, would be the fact that this machines is really quite expensive compared to other brands. You can check the prices for V10 here.
  2. I ever used V10 on full power mode because it just feels more powerful (even though I probably need not) and the machine died on me in just around 7 to 8 minutes if I can recall correctly. Hence the up to 60 mins run time is based on the lowest power consumption.
  3. It can also get a little hot when turned on full power as compared to V8
  4. The body is also a little bigger and heavier than V8 with its bigger bin capacity. I guess we cannot have it all!


Verdict

One can definitely make do with a cheaper vacuum cleaner, be it corded or not. But this is like the "holy grail" for all cleaning fanatics. Just like cars, why get a Chery when you can afford a Bentley, even though they both get you to your intended locations, albeit in different comfort levels. I am bias I admit. Now that I am so used to Dyson, I am afraid I would never love any other. My personal view is that the vacuum cleaner is definitely worth it in the long run!


Go check out and get your V10, as well as other Dyson models here!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Matilda The Musical + Backstage Tour!

[Media Invite]

I took leave from work on the day of the gala premiere for Matilda The Musical so as to attend the media call, just because the invite included a backstage tour for the production! And it was definitely a leave well-spent! It was my very first time stepping onto the stage to explore the back and boy was I amazed!

From afar, it may look like a graphic sticker wall or something.

But look at all those details we got to see up close!

The black board is an important part of the production and appears in many scenes.

We also got to check it out onstage. 

Matilda singing "Naughty" on stage.

And me checking out the books and the bed on stage. 

The central nervous system of the production?

Covers every technical details of the show I guess?

It calls for a great amount of teamwork and camaraderie for any musicals to run smoothly and perfectly. And getting backstage to have a look at all the props gave me a pretty good idea how well the stage hands and performers had got to work together like clockwork, just to put up a great performance for the audience. Kudos to everyone in the team indeed!

The prop used during Matilda's storytelling at the library.

Hey look, the desks are all on wheels!

Makeup corner!

Trunchbull is not a lady (man) to be trifled with!


No one... I mean no one wants to go to the Chokey. But I threaten my kiddos with that nowadays! :)

Now back to the musical proper. As usual, this literature noob (me) had never read the story and would probably have trouble making out what some of the performers were singing about IF I had not attended the media call and read a little on wikipedia!


But as someone not from the arts scene, I can truly say that the choreography was really good! Catchy songs like "When I Grow Up" are still ringing in my ears, like an earworm and I can still recall the amazing performance by Matilda Wormwood (Sofia Poston) and the rest of the "students". 


It is definitely worth a visit to the theatre for this wonderful musical before it ends on 17 Mar 2018. A great chance to catch it without having to hop on an airplane! Thank you having all of us at the Gala Premiere BASE Entertainment Asia! We all super loved it!


Useful Information

Performance Times (now till 17 Mar 2018):
Tuesday - Friday: 7.30pm
Saturday: 2pm and 7.30pm
Sunday: 1pm and 6pm

Ticket Bookings:
Internet - www.MarinaBaySands.com/ticketing or SISTIC website.
Phone - +65 6688 8826
In Person - Marina Bay Sands Box Offices (Museum, Theatres, SkyPark, Retail Mall and Hotel Tower 1 Lobby). For more information please visit www.MarinaBaySands.com/ticketing

Friday, March 1, 2019

HeART Studio Singapore Giveaway

[Giveaway]

March holidays are coming AGAIN! So what are you doing with your kiddos during this period, or perhaps you cannot take leave because of work, like me? My kiddos had attended quite a few art lessons at HeART Studio Singapore and I must say that their teachers are really patient and manages the little ones very well. They are having some holiday programmes as follows -



The generous folks from the studio is giving away one slot each to 2 lucky readers who completes the following steps before Fri, 08 Mar 2019 -

1) Follow HeART Studio Singapore on Facebook;
2) Follow The "Perfect" Father on Facebook;
3) Like and Share this Facebook post publicly;
4) Comment in the Facebook post with the name and age of your child who will be attending the class, and tag minimum 5 Facebook friends too.

Please note that the prize is not transferable and only the child named in your entry shall attend the holiday programme. Multiple entries for multiple children of yours also accepted. You get to choose the session so good luck to all of you!