Saturday, January 23, 2016

Novita LaundryFresh™ Dehumidifier ND319 [Review]

[Sponsored Review]

In sunny Singapore, doing the laundry simply means taking the washed laundry out from the washer after tumbling dry and hanging them out on a pole to dry in the sun. That is of course, in the perfect situation but what happens when the sun decided to go on strike, or that you can only wash your clothes in the middle of the night due to work perhaps? You may have to rely on a dryer, but that's almost the same size as the washer, which consumes quite a fair bit of power too. Not to mention that it may also shrink or damage the clothes! We never had a dryer before by the way.

Unfortunately for us, we also happened to be in a very awkward situation. It happened that 2 households living above our unit are at loggerheads and would have a go at each other’s laundry using insecticides or water. It sounds horrid, but it is real. I wonder if we are really fortunate or unfortunate, but one of them would inform us whenever the war is going to happen, and we would then have to move all our clean clothes back indoors and close the windows, lest we get “involved” as well. I pray that they soon settle their differences amicably so that we can dry in peace! Of course the clothes still needed to be dried somewhere, but it is a long drying process indoors and I really don’t fancy the stale smell that sometimes lingers.

The bottom up view of my utility room with haphazardly hanged washed clothing.
This is how it looks like from the kitchen. Needed to hang them indoors due to feuding neighbours from above.
I only learnt of a new way of drying clothes indoors recently, using a dehumidifier. I had always thought of a dehumidifier as something required perhaps to keep some art collections or some camera equipment in pristine condition, and had never thought of it as something that could actually be used to dry out clothing! That was till I got to know about the LaundryFresh™ series of dehumidifier from Novita!

At the back of my mind, I was thinking that it would be just nice for our family since our old 3-room HDB flat is upgraded with an utility room (at the kitchen area) which we use mainly for storage of all sorts of stuff that we seldom used. Since that is where we would hang our clothing indoors anyway, it would be the ideal place for us to house the dehumidifier (after I clean out all the useless stuff first though)!

Operating Novita Dehumidifier ND 319

No complicated assembly is required for the Novita Dehumidifier ND 319. It comes with a easy-to-follow instruction booklet but I thought the following visuals would give you a better idea of what to expect. Even my kids can fix it!

Unbox the unit by lifting the it out using the handle bar.
Open up the side ventilation panes. This is where air will be sucked in. 
If you order the unit online, it now comes with an enhancement pack (worth $209) consisting of a portable AirCare™ Air Sterilizer NAS 300* and 24 x carbon charcoal filters (which are required by the way)! 
Just plug this cute portable alien-looking device into the power socket for controlled ozone to aid in combating airborne germs and odour! You just need to turn the knob to the desired level.
Remove the piece of filter from its packaging.
Place the filter on the panel with the charcoal side facing inwards and snap it right back in!
The unit comes with little rollers at the bottom so that you can move it easily to the desired location.
The control panel of the unit is simple to operate. Just need to turn it on by pressing the green button, select the arrow key to indicate the mode, press the timer key on the bottom left for the number of hours required and set the desired humidity level. And it's good to go!

The Test

I decided to test out the unit in my other bedroom, using washed clothes that was tumbled dry in the washer. To be really honest, I was rather sceptical about drying clothes using this method but I was really curious about its performance!

I started off by setting the humidity level to the lowest possible, at 40%. It finally reduced the humidity of the room to about 50%.
I turned the dehumidifier and air sterilizer on and left them running from 2pm till 10pm. But that room happened to be where the kids kept their toys as well and they kept walking in and out of it! I am sure the experiment would have been a greater success without their constant "disturbances". But at the end of 8 hours, the clothes did dry out and there was no odor too! It would probably be better if I left it on for another hour or two to let it dry out completely though.

You can position the humidifier with the hot air output facing the clothes so that it speeds up the drying process too!
Almost 2 liters of water collected from thin air and there is no risk of overflow, as the mechanism in the container will stop the machine it reaches maximum capacity. Alternatively you can also run a tubing for continuous drainage once you have identified the location to place it permanently.

Our Verdict 

Drying clothes under the hot afternoon sun is of course preferred by the majority and would usually be quite fast under the right conditions. However one must note that this is highly dependent on the prevalent weather condition and there is always this darn possibility of a sudden change of weather, or danger of bird “projectiles” and even gravy / sauces from foodie neighbours from hell.

Using the dehumidifier and drying your laundry indoors does seem to take a far longer time as compared to the traditional method at first, but you are in total control of the situation. This means the peace of mind and you can wash your laundry after work, setting the dehumidifier to work overnight, and waking up to dry, non-wrinkly clothes in the morning! So it really depends on how you look at it.

Given its easy operation, low-maintenance requirement and high-portability, the unit would come in really handy anywhere in the house wherever it is needed. You can leave it in the bathroom, storeroom or any room for that matter. Even at running it for 8 hours, its power consumption is still only about half of what is required by a clothes dryer in normal operations! We are also loving the air sterilizer which attacks contaminants such as odors, bacteria or viruses present. A thumbs up from the family!

Useful Information

Friday, January 22, 2016

Emicakes Chinese New Year Tarts [Giveaway]


Times have changed and things evolves. It is no longer just the plain pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year these days. How about some Durian tarts or Jackfruit tarts for the adventurous foodie in you? Emicakes had launched a whole series of delectable tarts with a twist and you can order them online here while the "buy 5 get 3 free" promotion is still on!

All the tarts come in very pretty reusable metal tins! The
We tasted and loved how a little parmesan cheese added that oomph to the cheese pineapple tarts, and you can also taste the distinctive mango bits in the mango pineapple tarts. The premium durian tart was my favorite while the chocolate pineapple tart was really interesting! And hor, the tarts came in very pretty pink metal storage tins that my daughters booked.

These durian tarts were my personal favorites! My first time tasting such tarts too!
To celebrate our reaching of 1,000 followers on our Instagram account, we are giving away 2 tins of tarts (of your choice, worth up to $50) to 2 lucky readers! Just follow the steps below -

Giveaway Instructions
  1. Follow our Instagram account @theperfectfather and repost this Instagram photo; and / or
  2. Like The “Perfect” Father Facebook page, like the photo post and tag your friend responsibly under the comments section and finally share it on your Facebook account publicly!
Terms and Condition
  1. Organizer reserves the right in the choice of winners. 
  2. Prizes won are not exchangeable and winner will be contacted by the Sponsor directly on prize delivery. 
  3. Winners will be required to respond within 24 hours of notification, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
Contest ends at 2359hrs on Wed, 27 Jan 2016 and one Instagram winner and one Facebook winner will be chosen! Have a prosperous Lunar New Year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort

[Sponsored Review]

Heaven On Earth (Where Myth Meets Luxury)

Chancing upon the ultimate offer of ZERO airfare by a budget airline, I booked a holiday trip to Danang for the whole family recently. I had never been to Vietnam, let alone, know anything about Danang but the adventurer in me says “Just Do It”! With my usual travel planning style, much was left till the very last minute but I managed to secure our stay with Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort for our trip! Our budget family travels rarely involved classy hotels, let alone luxurious 5-star resorts and I am the true mountain tortoise when it came to pampering oneself (and the family) with such accommodations.

The resort sent a driver to pick our family up from Danang city on the day of our check-in and I was really impressed with their thoughtfulness. Our driver plied us with drinks and cold towels (the weather was really hot then) and also ensured that little Louie is properly secured in his own child seat in the hotel van. With that, we began our beautiful journey to the resort, going pass the beaches with beautiful fishing boats, passing by Linh Ung Pagoda along the winding road by the cliff. Our driver also obliged us when we asked for stopovers at various locations for photoshoots with the kiddos whenever we found any places nice!

Stopped by the cliff side just before reaching the resort and took some candid shots!
Loved this family shot! What a waste that Louie was sleeping soundly in the van!
As we reached the resort on Son Tra Peninsula (also known as Monkey Mountain) by van, it doesn’t feel that grandiose or special at first when we stepped out. But it all changed shortly when we were led to the lobby that overlooked the South China Sea to wait for our check-in. We finally saw for ourselves, how absolutely beautiful the entire resort was, surrounded by lush natural vegetation and the private beach! I guess it must the fog or the high altitude, for the clouds all seemed to be within reach as well! We were really excited to get to our Son Tra Suites!

Here's the Citron restaurant and the Nam Tram station.

Leroy can't wait to get onto the buggy that will take us to our rooms!
We are just minutes away from our rooms from here!

We were not disappointed as we were led into our room, located on the highest level of the resort, aptly named the “Heaven” level. The moment our very friendly guide opened the room, the kids ran in and let out shrieks of excitement as they ran through the 80sqm of luxury. The room was fitted with a king-sized bed, an outdoor dinner table with big sofas in the huge balcony, plus a VERY BIG bathroom with a marble bathtub (big enough for all 4 kiddos) and it had rain shower as well! 

The large king-sized bed in our first room.
Writing desk just behind the bed with a mini-bar by the side and a fully-stocked wine-chiller.
And if coffee is your thing, there's also a Illy coffee machines with capsules for you to enjoy!
Double basin, with no chance of fighting over who gets to wash up first!
The large marble bathtub with a great view! One can really soak and relax here!
And I love the lemon grass fragrance of the bath supplies!
There's also wildlife that comes visiting at times, much to the kiddos' excitement!
And all the kiddos enjoyed lazing in bed, watching cartoon network in comfort!
This is how the next block looked like from where we stay.
The view from the balcony of our first bedroom.
There’s of course, the usual stuff such as the wardrobe (a big one that is), the electronic safe and the writing desk, TV etc and even a playpen just for little Louie! The room was definitely big enough for our family (it helps that the kiddos are small-sized), but guess what? That’s just one half of our accommodation as we were actually issued adjoining rooms, meaning there’s one more room with twin beds for the kids to explore! That, is really over-doing it for us, not that we are complaining!

And then we walked into our second room.
The toilet was an exact mirror image of our first.
The twin-bed was already a luxury for the whole family!
The view from the balcony.
The balcony of our second room.
Imagine waking up to this amazing view every morning! Simply breathtaking!
Getting Around

One can call the operator anytime to arrange for a buggy to take you anywhere within the resort and it will usually arrive within 15mins. As our rooms are near to the tram station, we could also take the tram down to the beach. There was once the tram operator asked where we wanted to go and I replied, "Heaven" confidently. Only realizing the joke split-seconds later!

The name of the top-most station is "Heaven"
The tracks of the Nam Tram that will take us from "Heaven", to "Sky", "Earth" and finally to "Sea"
And this is right at the bottom of the Nam Tram.
At "Sea" level.
And if you are adventurous enough, you may wish to get the resort to help book a taxi take would you out for a seafood feast or shopping closer to town. The taxis will also wait for you if you ask for a return trip and will restart the meter only after you are done. There will be no worries about you getting lost!


There were no lack of activities to do at the resort, only a lack of time. Depending on the day of the week, there are lots of free-to-join activities such as fun boating, paddle boarding, cooking classes, Yoga, coffee art class and even Tai Chi lessons! And there’s also the kids club where I can leave the older kiddos on their own while I relax at the beach just a few minutes’ walk away! 

The many activities that one can get to enjoy at the resort!
Private beach, how cool is that!
Louie is having a swell time by the beach!
A group photo of the kiddos! Look at our beautiful resort at the back!
Stacci really knows how to enjoy life!
An open-air jacuzzi! 
The kiddos playing the fool, by the pool!
It gets a little cool after the swim and Leroy is all wrapped up here!
The indoor kid's club has enough toys and activities to keep the kiddos entertained for hours!
There is even video games for the older kids!
Mini ball pit for the little ones!
Here's Stacci sitting on a swing on the top level.
And she can also take the slide down!
The staff asked her what she wanted and Stacci replied "snake", much to her surprise. She managed to weave that out any way!
On our first night at the resort, the kiddos insisted on catching a movie, and I called the concierge to enquire about it. I was told that I should have informed earlier so that they could prepare for us but they obliged the kids nevertheless. So with less than 5 minutes from the movies' scheduled screening time, we were picked up by the buggy, transported to the movie theatre, issued our drinks and popcorns and then we proceeded to catch our movie. We had the ENTIRE movie theatre to ourselves!

Pedi:Mani:Cure Studios by Bastien Gonzalez

The wife and myself also went on a pampering pedicure onsite at PEDI:MANI:CURE STUDIOS by renowned «Foot Virtuoso» Bastien Gonzalez. I am a novice when it comes to pedicures, having only enjoyed it like 4 times in my lifetime and my latest experience at the studio was definitely an eye-opener for me. We were ushered into our treatment room which had its center partition removed just so to accommodate the entire family while we had our pedicures. I personally felt that the treatments were very professionally administered and utmost care was taken to ensure that the equipment were hygienic. It was almost “surgical-like” and we were left with healthy, shiny toenails at the end of our sessions. I do not know what they used exactly, but the shine lasted weeks even with my numerous outdoor activities!

The entrance to the studio to get our pedicures!
The various creams used in our treatment.
The friendly therapist who did far more than what she usually need to do, entertain the kiddos' many questions!
Some mechanical device used on my foot. Kinda scary at first but it was okay after some getting used to.
The range of products used. I need to add that the shine on my nails lasted many weeks!
The pricelist of the various treatments available at the studio.
Food And Beverages

Our Intercontinental buffet breakfast was at taken at Citron, a posh-looking restaurant with high ceiling, color splashes of lemon and lime and a superb view. The best place to have a leisurely breakfast would be at the few outdoor tables in the shape of an inverted nón lá (conical hat). 

The buffet spread was great and had us spoilt for choices. There are the usual perennial favorites such as sausages, smoked meat, cheese, cereals, and eggs done in different styles. Then there is the traditional pho as well. The fresh fruit juices and shakes are the real deal, unlike many other places which serves reconstructed fruit juices. The great spread of colorful tropical fruits looked really delicious too! Ask for a cup of thick Vietnamese coffee to go along with your breakfast! It’s awesome and I love it chilled. 

The staff there are also exceptional. After noting that my wife didn’t turn up for breakfast one day, they went the extra mile and offered me some plastic containers to pack some food back for her! It also helps that they genuinely loved interacting with my kiddos, which gave me time to check out the spread too!

This is the INCREDIBLE view you get when you dine at the outdoor section of Citron.
We visited The L_O_N_G Bar that’s right at the beach, just beside the main pool for some juices and snacks. Laying there on the long bed, savoring the moment with the family was soothing. It was cooling too, with the breeze from the mechanical contraption on the roof that fans the entire row!

One of the few occasions where eating and drinking in bed is allowed!
Greedy Louie couldn't keep his hands off the appetisers!
A round of drinks for the family, juices for wife and kiddos and bubbly for yours truly!
Light bites for the kiddos. Some chicken tenders, fish fillets and sliders.
Seafood Marinara tasted great, with chunk of squid and prawns!
Going to The L_O_N_G Bar in the evening for our second round of cocktails for a different feel.
Erm, bringing the kids long sure different "feel"!
Louie was knocked out after a few drinks. *Joking*
There are also other restaurants/ bars at the resort too, like Barefoot which serves Italian fare like pizzas and pastas by the beach, or the high class La Maison 1888 by three-star Michelin chef Michel Roux or the Buffalo Bar for whiskey or cigars which we didn’t get to try.

Three days and two night at the resort passed by in a flash. It was without a doubt, the most luxurious resort stay ever for the family and all of us, including the kiddos enjoyed the stay thoroughly! This is only made possible, thanks to Intercontinental Danang Sun Resort for the accommodation and awesome hospitality. Given a chance, we will definitely want to be back for more! There is a reason why the resort pops up readily in internet searches on Danang resorts, simply because it is right there at the top. Our heartiest congratulations on being recognised as the World’s Leading Luxury Resort for the second year in succession! You truly deserved the accolade!