Achievement unlocked

Someone once said – one of her personal goals is to live a healthier lifestyle. And it shall start with running marathons.

And so she started the ball rolling by claiming her first 10km medal at the Standard Chartered Marathon last year. Though it was only 10km, it was no deem fit for someone who doesn’t run. Claiming a timing of 1hr 34mins for a 10km walk (averaging a 9min 24s), it’s quite a record for a first timer ya? 🙂

This year, she decided to take on the challenge of Yellow Ribbon Prison Run. Knowing the route consists of lots of slopes, she took on the 6km challenge and managed to complete in 52mins! Quite an improvement I’d say, considering slopes kept appearing 🙂 Ok actually she didn’t walk.. she ran for the first 1.5km non-stop, which was a first! Achievement unlocked!

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run - tag + medal

Update: the official timing for Yellow Ribbon run is 0:50:53 🙂



Tips and tricks of staying slim after giving birth

Recently, a friend of mine wrote a very nice piece of article on her tips and tricks on slimming down after pregnancy. Before her first kid, she had a good figure. After giving birth to her 3rd child, she still looks equally awesome! So I thought it’d be good if I can share it here, and maybe serve as a good advice to friends who are giving birth soon.

For those who asked me what is my secret to slimming down so fast after delivery; there is no secret really but just sharing what works for me during pregnancy and confinement.


1) Although I ate whatever I wanted during pregnancy, I monitored my weight gain during this period. There are guides online on how much you should be putting on based on your pre-pregnancy BMI. Pregnancy is not an excuse to “let go” and overeat. The more weight you gain, the harder it is to lose it later on. Hence don’t go piling on too much!

2) I watched what I ate during confinement. I didn’t overeat and I ate healthily with less carbo; think soups, fish and veges. The only fruit I had was apple and the only drink was the red dates drink. For the whole month, there were NO SUCH THING as cheat days or little treats. Even when your husband is downing that ice cold gassy coke right in front of your eyes, you just have to tahan and settle for your red dates drink.

3) Post natal massage and binding helps. Post natal massage is SUPPOSED to be painful; it is NOT the relaxing massage that you have had at spas. No pain, no gain. Jiak ba bo si zor, wrap your tummy or wear corsets/girdles/tummy binders. Think of yourself quite literally like a cocoon, after all the wraps, you will become a beautiful butterfly. Haha…sounds cheesy but seriously, do it.

4) Find a motivation for yourself to be disciplined. I continued to buy pretty clothes in my pre-pregnancy size during the 9 months. You si mei si during confinement, I will take them out and see whether I can fit into them anot. Cannot, then repeat steps 2 and 3.

5) Treat every pregnancy as if it is going to be your last, (OK this time it better be for me!) so that you won’t think that you don’t need to lose the weight since you will be putting on again after a while for your next pregnancy. Marie France? No need la, if I can do it without paying that amount of money, you can do too!

6) Breastfeeding can only help that much. After a while, the postpartum weight loss will become stagnant and the rest is really up to you. It is not a time to go on diet or exercise vigorously during confinement but you should monitor your input and output. Since most of the time, you should be sleeping or resting at home, you won’t really use much energy hence don’t eat too much but just enough, smaller meals more times a day if need to.

All in all, they say it takes 9 months for your body to change during pregnancy hence it will take the same amount of time to regain your pre-pregnancy body. I say you can do it faster if you are really disciplined. However having said that, everyone’s body is different. Don’t stress yourself too much, get enough rest and eating healthy is good for you. Jiak bou is a must. Give yourself a realistic timeline to gain your pre-pregnancy body back. Remember there are no ugly women only lazy ones. Jia you!

Follow-up: An unpleasant experience at Orchard Hotel

So I did a super long post about my experience attending a wedding dinner at Orchard Hotel.

And I saw that it has been posted to Orchard Hotel’s facebook page too.

You know how some companies just reply out of courtesy and doesn’t do follow-up?

I’m surprised when Orchard Hotel’s Senior Director of Catering and Events contacted me via this blog! It’s awesome when companies take the trouble to contact people who complained gave feedback. Ok I’m not sure if it works the same way if the feedback was given “secretly” via their feedback form since I never really trusted the “trusty” feedback forms. But it’s good to know that they take my feedback seriously and bother to contact me to provide me updates on my feedback, even though I’m not any big-shot blogger who has high hit-count on this blog. They could have just cast the feedback aside.

So I’ve been informed that they have held a meeting to discuss about putting new action plans in place, hoping to improve on the challenges faced by the operations team. Yes I’m appalled by that. Though we cannot expect a total change in service level overnight, every small step taken is a step towards better service. Kudos to the team for that!

If I ever have to attend another wedding dinner at Orchard Hotel again, I am looking forward to seeing better service. Manpower crunch in the industry is a norm now, but I’m pretty sure there are workarounds for that. 🙂

Oh yes, I have to clarify that the complain post wasn’t targeted at any specific person. 所谓对事不对人. I am not unhappy about any particular staff, but unhappy with the overall experience I had. You know some companies will penalize their staff based on feedback (or maybe I have watched too much drama). I have stressed that to the Senior Director, and have been assured that it won’t happen. After-all, bad service is not the 1 person’s fault, but the company’s fault for not providing adequate training right?

At the end of the day, they are answerable to the wedding couple who paid for their service and not me.

When I feel poetic

When you feel excited and want to share it with someone.

When you know the person is busy and you didn’t want to disturb.

When you made a guess that the person is not as busy.

The excitement has died down and is not that exciting anymore.

An unpleasant experience at Orchard Hotel

It might have been due to the (previous) job hazard, that I take service provided by the F&B / Tourism industry seriously – think Singapore Experience Award.

The last time I was at Orchard Hotel was 11 years ago, thus I had no past experience to compare against. But with the many events I’ve attended in the past years, this must be the most unpleasant one I encountered.

Was at Orchard Hotel last night to attend a wedding dinner. Never did I expect it to be such a bad experience.

Chipped plate

First was this chipped decorative plate I noticed the moment I was seated. While I agree that it is not possible to notice all of such chips if it’s one of its kind, this is not the only chipped plate at the table I was seated at. At least 2 other plates suffered the same fate, one of which had a bigger chip. 30% of the plates were chipped, how difficult is it not to notice them?

My table was seated before the door was officially opened for all guests to be seated. The next thing I knew, was the decorative flowers on the tables being removed BEFORE the door was opened. I thought it was weird, because decoratives are there to beautify / bring up the atmosphere when the guests arrive right? In all the dinners that I’ve attended, such decoratives were removed only when there were at least 40% of the guests seated at the table or when the banquet is about to start. But to be removed prior to the arrival of guests is just.. weird.

When guests arrived, the staff should start serving drinks right? No that didn’t happen. So we waited a while, thinking they are busy (which I think they were since they kept running around). Finally ordered our drinks after we’re seated for a good 10mins. And the drinks took another 5mins to arrive. We had a kid at the table, so we requested for kids’ cutlery and a glass of warm water for the kid. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Didn’t come. So we tried again with another waiter. 5 mins it still didn’t come. What’s wrong huh? It came only after we requested with a 3rd waiter. And FYI, the door still hasn’t opened at this point of time.

It’s normal behavior for guests to take a glimpse at the menu right? This was what the next table saw.

Dinner Menu

But.. my friends’ names aren’t Elvis & Wendy! I almost thought I went to the wrong banquet. These belonged to the couple next door! How bad can it get? I can make do with the above boo-boos, but this is a big no-no. How can such mistakes be made?

So the dinner started. Service till the 4th/5th dish was pretty much ok – I’ve lowered my expectations from those boo-boos. Plates were changed after every dish (well almost). Then the next hiccup had to occur. All the changed plates were still wet – which was ok, might be fresh out from the dish washer. But the plate wasn’t clean! If I were a demanding customer, I’d have flared by now.

Dessert was sago with mango puree. The waiter was distributing into the individual bowls, while some of us talked about desserts in HK – like how SG’s cannot be compared at all. Suddenly I heard the ladle knocked onto the big bowl and the waiter went off. Maybe he was done scooping but this was what we saw.

Look at the state of the bowls and the table.

Look at the state of the bowls and the table. The individual bowls weren’t even half filled. Big bowl was still full. Table was.. unsightly. What? What happened?

The dessert wasn’t fantastic by the way.

If the banquet manager saw this post, I can expect the following response from them:
– not enough staff as there was another wedding banquet next door
– service staff are new
– not easy to get part-timers

To be in this industry, service is important. I’m pretty sure the hotel did not receive this banquet request only the day before. It is the hotel’s responsibility to ensure that service is of a certain quality – especially when Orchard Hotel is managed by the Millenium Hotels Group. Where’s the standard? I see none at all.

Pretty sad with this experience, and I know for sure I will not be back again. Nor will I recommend this to anyone who is planning to hold a wedding.