Cheapest Places To Park In Orchard – 2017 Edition

Orchard Road is one area in Singapore where it’s notoriously expensive to park your car.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced the horror of arriving at the car park exit gantry, only to find that we’ve racked up over $10 in parking fees (true story). And that’s on top of all the money we’ve spent shopping.

Unless you have loads of things to carry, or are travelling with kids in tow, there’s just no justifying spending that kind of money on what is essentially a place to put your car while you run around doing your errands.

As someone who’s in town way too often, I decided to find out where the cheapest places to park in town are. Here are the cheapest places to park your car no matter where in town you need to go, and I promise, they’re all unde 500m away.

Instead of parking at ION Orchard, park at: 

[caption id="attachment_31826" align="alignnone" width="2303"] Image Credit: Marketing-Interactive[/caption]

Mon – Fri (before 5pm): $2.67 for 1st hr; $1.28 for subsequent 30 min
Mon – Fri (after 5pm): $3/entry
Sat – Sun/PH (before 5pm): $2.56 for 1st hr; $1.88 for subsequent 30 min
Sat – Sun/PH (after 5pm): $3.74/entry

If you can help it, don’t park at ION Orchard unless it’s after 5pm. I learned this lesson the hard way.

1. (Postal Code: 238884)

Distance: 400m/6 min walk

Mon – Fri (before 5pm): $2.40 for 1st hr; $1.20 for subsequent 30 min
Mon – Fri (after 5pm): $3.20 per entry
Sat (before 5pm): $2.60 for 1st hr; $1.40 for subsequent 30 min
Sat (after 5pm): $3.20 per entry
Sun/PH: $3.20 per entry

Best for parking on Sundays, Public Holidays, and Mondays to Saturdays after 5pm.

3. (Postal Code: 238881)

Distance: 240m/3 min walk

Daily (before 6pm): $2.50 for 1st hr; $1.30 for subsequent 30 min
Daily (after 6pm): $3.80 per entry

Best for parking everyday after 6pm.

5. Image Credit: Teehee[/caption]

Mon – Sat (before 6pm): $2.14 for 1st hr; $1.07 for subsequent 30 min
Mon – Sat (after 6pm): $4.82 for 1st 3hr; $1.61 for subsequent 30 min
Sun/PH: $4.82 for 1st 3hr; $1.61 for subsequent 30 min
(GST. not included)

Of the major malls along Orchard Road, 313@Somerset actually has pretty good parking rates. But in the case that the car park is full, or you want to save even more on parking, here are some great alternatives.

1. (Postal Code: 237978)

Distance: 350m/5 min walk

Mon – Fri (before 5pm): $2.05/hr
Mon – Fri (after 5pm): $5.15 for 1st 3hr; $2.05 for subsequent hr
Sat: $2.05/hr
Sun/PH (before 5pm): $2.05/hr
Sun/PH (after 5pm): $5.15 for 1st 3hr; $2.05 for subsequent hr

Best for parking all the time.

3. Image Credit: Inquirer[/caption]

Mon – Fri (before 5pm, except for 12pm – 2pm): $1.28/30min
Mon – Fri (12pm – 2pm): $1.82/30min
Mon – Fri (5pm – 7pm): $1.82/30min
Mon – Fri (after 7pm): $4.28/entry

1.  (Postal Code: 229923)

Distance: 210m/3 min walk

Mon – Sat (before 5pm): $2.50 for 1st hr; $1.25 for subsequent 30 min
Mon – Sat (after 5pm): $3.50 per entry
Sun/PH: $3.50 per entry

Best for parking on Sundays, Public Holidays, and Mondays to Saturdays after 5pm.

Instead of parking at Plaza Singapura, park at: 

[caption id="attachment_31827" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
Image Credit: Capitaland[/caption]

The Plaza Singapura car park is always full, and for good reason – the parking rates are fairly decent here. For that reason, I’ve listed down some nearby car parks with rates that are also competitive, if not better.

Mon – Fri (before 6pm): $1.28 for 1st hr; $0.43 for subsequent 15 min
Mon – Fri, Eve of PH (after 6pm): $2.57/entry
Sat – Sun/PH (before 6pm): $2.57 for 1st 2hr, $0.43 for subsequent 15 min
Sat – Sun/PH (after 6pm): $2.57/entry


Mon – Sat (before 5pm): $1.20/30 min
Mon – Sat (after 5pm): $0.50/30 min
Sun/PH: $0.50/30 min

Best for parking Sundays, Public Holidays, and Mondays to Saturdays after 5pm .

3. Image Credit: Cineleisure[/caption]

Mon – Fri (before 6pm): $2.40 for 1st hr; $1.40 for subsequent 30 min
Mon – Fri (after 6pm): $4.50 for 1st 3hr; $1.60 for subsequent 30 min
Sat – Sun/PH: $4.50 for 1st 3hr; $1.60 for next subsequent 30 min

1. (Postal Code: 237978)

Distance: 15m/1 min walk

Mon – Fri (before 5pm): $2.05/hr
Mon – Fri (after 5pm): $5.15 for 1st 3hr; $2.05 for subsequent hr
Sat: $2.05/hr
Sun/PH (before 5pm): $2.05/hr
Sun/PH (after 5pm): $5.15 for 1st 3hr; $2.05 for subsequent hr

Best for parking all the time.

The next time you’re in town, whether to shop, go on a date, or watch a movie, we hope this guide comes in handy! Hopefully, you’ll also have discovered some new car parks you never knew existed through this.

Also read There’s A Shop In The CBD That Sells Nine Types Of Avocado Toasts From $5.50

5 Stylish Airbnb Shophouses You Can Pretend You Own, On Your Next Staycay With Bae

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Shophouses are one of the few remaining pieces of Singapore’s past.

A type of building characterised by narrow, small terraced houses that open up to a sheltered pedestrian way, these beautiful, nostalgic buildings are something most of us Singaporeans can only dream of living in.

[caption id="attachment_31801" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Image Credit: Jon Is Travelling[/caption]

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in one of Singapore’s shophouses, wonder no further, because there are a handful of them listed on Airbnb.

We sussed out some of the best shophouses/colonial homes you can stay in in Singapore, and here they are.

1. Vintage Vibes In Jalan Besar

If you’ve been to the Petain Road area, you’ll notice one striking detail about the area – its Insta-worthy walls.

Lined with a mish-mash of Spanish tiles, Chinese animal motifs, Malay eaves, and European carvings, it’s no wonder so many Singaporeans flock to the place, hoping to snap a picture for the ‘gram.

It is precisely here that you’ll find one of the most interesting shophouses that’s listed on Airbnb.

[caption id="attachment_31726" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

‘Eclectic’ is the first word that comes to mind when it comes to this unique space.

The first floor of this two-storey house is a Bohemian lobby-cum-waiting area. There’s plenty of foliage in the form of large potted plants, as well as an inviting seating area decorated with mismatched patchwork cushions.

What’s interesting about this place is that many of the objects in the house have been upcycled and restored, such as the TV cabinet and study desk.

[caption id="attachment_31727" align="aligncenter" width="455"] This mid-century diamond Formica study is from the 70s. (Image Credit: Airbnb)[/caption]

There’s even a working gramophone player you can use to play records! Lounge in the lobby to the crackling and good tunes drifting from the old gramophone – we can’t imagine an afternoon better spent.

[caption id="attachment_31733" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Check out the 1970s racing green stripe sofa! (Image Credit: Airbnb)[/caption]

A house that’s not only stylish but bursting with character, we just want to explore every inch of it – we hear there are antiquities stowed away in the cupboards!

Book at: Bright & Airy, Heritage Shophouse
Location: Jalan Besar
Price: SGD$127 – SGD$165/night

2. A Danish Finish At Jalan Besar

If you’re a fan of loud colours and bold prints, you’d wish this was your home.

[caption id="attachment_31773" align="aligncenter" width="1440"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

The owner of this place doesn’t shy away from colour, as can be seen from the lime green couch, blue curtains, pink walls, and neon yellow pillows.

[caption id="attachment_31775" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Inspired by “Mad Men”, each piece of furniture in the room makes a statement on its own. Framed artwork fills the space and tropical plants are strategically placed throughout the studio.

Head down to the common area/guest waiting lobby and a completely different (read: safari) vibe awaits.

With more gorgeous greenery, as well as zebra motifs filling the room, there’s no way you don’t take a million photographs in this amazing space.

Book at: SuperHost Danish Designer Apt In 1920s Shophouse!
Location: Jalan Besar
Price: SGD$125 – SGD$168/night

3. A Rustic Roost In Chinatown

If you like a more rustic, minimalist aesthetic, get a load of this place.

[caption id="attachment_31739" align="alignnone" width="1440"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Dark wood and black is a theme that threads through the entire house. Situated in the heart of Chinatown, the place is spacious, with delightfully local art hanging on the walls, giving the 2-storey space some local flair.

[caption id="attachment_31735" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

There’s a place to people watch by the window and a lounging area for you to read a book or flip through some magazines.

[caption id="attachment_31737" align="aligncenter" width="1001"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

The rooms are simple but inviting, with bold patterned sheets breaking up all the wood in the room. There are even cute fairy lights for a fun little addition to the space!

[caption id="attachment_31738" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Another great thing about this place is that you can split it however you like. With movable partitions and so much space at your disposal, you’re free to create your own ideal living situation in this shophouse!

Book at: Loft Living In The Heart Of Chinatown
Location: Chinatown
Price: SGD$220 – SGD$345/night

4. Heritage Home Meets Helsinki In Geylang

If you’re all about that Scandi-chic aesthetic, this house will give you a visual orgasm. That, and there’s a roof hatch on the second floor that leads to a private roof terrace.

Located in the historic and culturally-vibrant Geylang district, this is probably the most famous crib of those listed here, having been featured in various publications such as WSJ and New York Times.

Not only are the rooms extremely easy on the eyes. One thing that is sure to excite the kid in you (because it had that exact effect on us) is that it has a ladder leading up to the roof. Nope, not stairs but a ladder that leads up to a hatch.

[caption id="attachment_31744" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Exit through the hatch and you’ll find yourself on your own private terrace!

[caption id="attachment_31745" align="aligncenter" width="990"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Book at: Helsinki Loft in Award-winning Heritage Shophouse
Location: Geylang
Price: SGD$167 – SGD$310/night

5. Quirky Enclave In Orchard

Now, this is a cute place to stay.

A charming little Colonial House on Emerald Hill Road along Orchard Road, everything about this place puts a smile on our faces.

[caption id="attachment_31751" align="aligncenter" width="1439"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Cozy throw blanket on the sofa? Check. Cute planters? Check. Dashes of quirky art? Check!

[caption id="attachment_31752" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Unlike the previous houses that weren’t too big on colour, this one has pops of colour in the places you least expect them. There’s a periwinkle blue chair, a bright yellow side table, a laundry bag with a bright orange lining….

[caption id="attachment_31762" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31753" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Our favourite spot in this shophouse has to be their little yard.

Appointed with a couple of chairs and a handful of hanging planters, turn on the fairy lights at night to create your own little romantic hideout! We can picture ourselves laying on the ground, just talking through the night.

[caption id="attachment_31754" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Airbnb[/caption]

Book at: Orchard Road Heritage Shophouse | Somerset MRT
Location: Orchard
Price: SGD$128 – SGD$188/night

Want to plan something different for your special someone this Christmas or New Year’s? Why not have a staycation at one of these gorgeous Airbnbs? Not only is it a much more affordable getaway option, you also get to play house with your partner!

And hey, there’s nothing more romantic than living out the future you might have, imagining how life would be years down the road.

Also read This New Black And White Hotel In Singapore Is A Minimalist’s Dream Come True 

(Header Image Source: Airbnb)

5 Of The Biggest Bills You Will See In Your Lifetime As A Singaporean

Whoever said adulting would be fun was clearly playing a cruel joke on all of us.

As a woman in her mid-20s who is soon to be married and who has recently paid the down payment on her future home, if I could pick just one word to describe adulthood, it would be ‘expensive’.

While many of us were blissfully unaware of how much we were spending during our carefree teenage years, once you reach your late 20s or early 30s and you are standing at the cusp of the next phase of your life (i.e. marriage), you quickly realize how much it costs to build – and to live – a life here in Singapore.

Here are 5 of the biggest bills you’ll see in your lifetime as a Singaporean. A word of warning: Brace yourself for these numbers.

1. A House

Price Tag: ~S$240,000 – ~S$580,000 for a BTO flat

It’s no secret that home ownership is prohibitively expensive in Singapore; everyone who is soon to be married will be well acquainted with this fact.

[caption id="attachment_31404" align="aligncenter" width="1430"] Image Credit: Unsplash[/caption]

One of the most expensive things you will purchase in your lifetime is a house, and it’s the price of the first property you will ever own that will be the rudest shock to your system.

If we consider the BTO launches that happened this year, that bill will be somewhere between ~S$240,000 for a 4 room flat in Woodlands to ~S$580,000 for a 5 room flat in Toa Payoh.

After you subtract off the grants, that comes up to about ~S$180,000 and ~S$580,000 respectively for the two types of property.

Not going the BTO way? If you’re considering resale flats, be prepared to part ways with a sum of between ~S$260,000 for a flat in Marsiling and ~S$1,200,000 for one in the award-winning Pinnacle @ Duxton. Yes, that’s S$1.2M for a HDB flat.

Do we even want to think about the price of private property?

2. Renovation Costs

Price Tag: ~S$40,000 – ~S$70,000

According to Qanvast, HDB homeowners spend an average of S$50,000 on home renovations, while people living in condominiums spend an average of S$75,000.

[caption id="attachment_31405" align="aligncenter" width="1429"] Image Credit: Unsplash[/caption]

Of course, that price tag differs depending on various other factors, such as the size of your flat. People spend an average of about S$35,000 to renovate a smaller 70sqm house, while the average amount spent for larger homes of 140sqm and larger is S$120,000.

[caption id="attachment_31406" align="alignnone" width="1419"] The average amount homeowners spend on home renovation by size of house. (Image Credit: Qanvast)[/caption]

Interior style also plays a huge role in determining how much your total bill will run up to. A simpler Scandinavian or Industrial style home costs an average of S$40,000 while a more contemporary look and feel costs an average of S$70,000. Yikes.

[caption id="attachment_31407" align="aligncenter" width="1430"] The average amount homeowners spend on home renovation by style of interior. Price not inclusive of furnishings and appliances. (Image Credit: Qanvast)[/caption]

All that said, it is not unusual for people to keep within a modest S$20,000 budget when designing their home. At the end of the day, it all depends on what you want, what you need, and how much you’re willing to spend.

Cost-cutting Tip: To shave down home renovation costs, drive across the causeway to Malaysia or go online to sites like Taobao to purchase your furniture pieces!

3. Wedding

Price Tag: ~S$35,000 – ~S$73,000

[caption id="attachment_31408" align="aligncenter" width="1430"] Image Credit: Unsplash[/caption]

While your wedding day may be one of the most unforgettable days of your life, it is also likely to be one of the most freakishly expensive days of your life.

When you’ve factored in key items such as the engagement and wedding bands, the bridal package, wedding banquet, actual day costs, and the cost of your honeymoon, you can rack up a bill of a woman took to social media and revealed that her mum’s care and treatment at the hospital resulted in a whopping S$1,018.469.29 in bills – a figure none of us would wish to see in our lifetime.

Hospital bills are one of the most painful things to pay for, and often, we only discover this too late – when the bill is already in our hands.

[caption id="attachment_31409" align="aligncenter" width="1264"] All bill sizes for Singapore General Hospital (SGH) are complete and include doctors’ professional fees. Bill sizes for Mount Elizabeth Hospital Novena (MNH) may not be complete. All numbers stated are based on the 25th – 75th percentile bill size.[/caption]

Take breast cancer surgery for example. The total bill, for hospitalisation and all procedures necessary, starts between S$1,372 – S$1,909 if you’re staying at the lowest grade C-class ward. Opt for an A-class ward and it can cost you between S$7,619 – S$13,009.

And if you decide to seek surgery at a private hospital? That number can be multiplied three-fold or even more.

While health is important, it’s definitely hard to part with that kind of money just to get better.

Cost-cutting Tip: Choosing yourself a good insurance policy will serve you well in such instances. In the best case scenario, you won’t have to pay a cent for hospitalisation, and in the worst, you only foot a fraction of the bill.

5. Car

Price Tag: At least $65,800

Singapore is notorious for being the most expensive place in the world to buy and own a car.

[caption id="attachment_31410" align="aligncenter" width="1429"] Image Credit: Unsplash[/caption]

This is due to the S$65,800 and S$77,000, COE and all other taxes and fees included. The brands in the mix? Malaysia’s Perodua, China’s Chery and Japanese Mitsubishi.

[caption id="attachment_31411" align="aligncenter" width="863"] Image Credit: SGCarMart[/caption]

If we’re talking about the 3 most popular car models in 2016, the Toyota Corolla Altis, Mazda3 and Nissan Qashqai, the price ranges between S$97,800 for a Mazda3 and S$110,300 for a Nissan Qashqai.

Cost-cutting Tip: Can’t bear the thought of spending so much money on a car? Then a second hand car is the way to go!

Protect The Things You Love The Most

Feel poor just reading this article? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Thankfully, some of the things we value most – and that cost us the most – like our homes and our cars can be insured so as to soften the blow in case something bad happens to your home or car.

Freelancers who work from home in particular will benefit from an extensive home content insurance coverage. Not all home insurance policies cover the home office, which means that in the event that your work equipment (e.g laptops, printers) is lost or stolen, you will not be able to make a claim.

There is no sure-fire way of preventing such unfortunate events from happening, so the only way to protect yourself from the huge financial cost of getting back on your feet is to make sure you’ve covered yourself and all your most valued things with insurance.

If you’re new to insurance, the first thing you should know is that not all insurance policies are created equal. In fact, there are 4 different layers of insurance. The more layers of insurance you have, the more protected you are in the case that emergency strikes.

4 Layers Of Insurance

[caption id="attachment_31412" align="aligncenter" width="544"] Image Credit: FRANK by OCBC[/caption]

Ranking according to importance, you have Hospital Insurance, Life Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance and Endowment Plans.

Hospital Insurance covers hospitalisation, surgery and personal accidents both local and overseas. This type of insurance ensures that when you have to put yourself through treatment or therapy, you don’t wipe out all of your hard earned savings.

Life Insurance, on the other hand, covers death, terminal illness and total permanent disability. The most basic form of insurance, Life Insurance policies ensure that in the case of an unexpected death or disability, your dependents are well taken care of.

One thing to take note of is that most Life Insurance policies exclude serious illness and the treatments required. Instead of having you and your family dig deep into your own pockets to pay for the exorbitant medical bills, Critical Illness Insurance takes the financial burden off you and your loved ones.

And finally, there are Endowment Plans. More of a savings plan than an insurance policy, putting your money into an Endowment Plan will give you better returns that if you put your money in a deposit account. As an added bonus, you also get basic insurance coverage.

Still don’t know the what’s what of insurance? Why not get a professional to explain it all to you? To gain a better understanding of insurance and what kinds of insurance you’ll need, sign up for a consultation with FRANK here!

This article is written in partnership with FRANK by OCBC.

Also read 8 Houses In Singapore So Extravagant, You’ll Wonder What The Owners Do For A Living 

(Header Image Source: Unsplash)

This Year’s Halloween Horror Nights Brings Your L4D Fantasies To Life And Lets You Shoot Zombies

With National Day done and dusted, we are inching our way closer and closer to Halloween.

This Halloween, Halloween Horror Nights is back, and you’ll be thrilled to hear what they have in store.

[caption id="attachment_28901" align="alignnone" width="1443"] Image Credit: Resorts World Sentosa[/caption]

Happening from Sep 29 to Oct 29, the 7th edition of Singapore’s ultimate scarefest is fittingly themed after the 7 deadlier – not just deadly – sins.

With 5 haunted houses, 2 scare zones, a zombie laser tag game and more, you’re in for non-stop scares, so brace yourself – there will be even more screaming than before at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights.

First, Meet The Sinisters

We’re all familiar with the 7 deadly sins, but have you heard of the 7 deadlier ones? Cruelty, deception, malice, manipulation, narcissism, perversion and obsession are their names – and they embody the vices of today.

This year, these 7 sins will manifest themselves in 7 new and unique icons known as ‘The Sinisters’. Risen from the Abyss, they will give form to your worst nightmares, casting fear into the hearts of Singaporeans at each new (literal) haunt.

5 Haunted Houses

Ever wondered if you’d survive a horror flick? Find out for yourself at the 5 haunted houses which each promise a cinematic experience with their stories.

1. DEATH Mall

[caption id="attachment_28882" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Image Credit: Resorts World Sentosa[/caption]

The headliner house, DEATH Mall is filled with ghosts after the mall collapsed due to a structural failure in the building.

2. Hex

[caption id="attachment_28876" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Image Credit: Resorts World Sentosa[/caption]

Wander through the jungle and you’ll find an eerie hut filled with dark magic and cursed antiquities. Keep a lookout for the Midnight Man, who has no intentions of ever letting you leave.

3. Inside The Mind

[caption id="attachment_28934" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Image Credit: Resorts World Sentosa[/caption]

Originally planned for Halloween Horror Nights 6, Inside The Mind will bring you face to face with the demons and obsessions that linger inside the minds of evil.

4. TERRORcotta Empress

Escape an army of risen Terracotta soldiers at this haunted house, where the cruel, evil Empress rules mercilessly from the grave. If you find yourself face to face with the dragon lady, make sure to run in the other direction.

5. Make The Cut

Think you’ve got what it takes to be the queen of ‘Gore-pop’? The price of stardom is not cheap – make a deal, or get ruthlessly cut.

2 Scare Zones

When roaming between horror houses, be sure to watch your back!

This year’s edition of Halloween Horror Nights will see 2 scare zones, the Pilgrimage of Sin and Happy Horror Days. (Happy Holidays, get it?)

[caption id="attachment_28879" align="alignnone" width="1588"] Image Credit: Resorts World Sentosa[/caption]

The first is the sanctuary of the 7 sins, a place infested with unholy beings and crawling with all kinds of evil.

[caption id="attachment_28877" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Image Credit: Resorts World Sentosa[/caption]

The second will see a sinister twist on your favourite holidays.

Zombie Laser Tag

[caption id="attachment_28889" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Image Credit: Resorts World Sentosa[/caption]

Don’t want to be scared without being given an opportunity to fight back? A first for Halloween Horror Nights, you’ll be able to defend yourself against rabid flesh-eating zombies in a brand new zombie laser tag.

Form a fearless team of four, and be sure to purchase tickets for specific time slots beforehand. The experience is tagged at $38 for regular park guests and $30 for Frequent Fear Passholders and RIP Tour Guests.

2 Shows

This year, there will be two killer shows.

The first is Laboratorium, which will transport you back in time into the period of the Black Death. Witness the horrifying acts done by plague doctors on human test subjects as they try to find cures to the Black Death. A show that includes international stunt acts, this will happen at the Pantages Hollywood Theater.

The second show is the Slice of Life Tour, where the Slit Face Girls will celebrate the launch of their new album with a special fan meet. Watch the Gore-pop girl group perform their hearts out on the Hollywood Lagoon Stage.

One of the darkest and most technologically advanced Halloween Horror Nights Singapore has seen yet, this year’s Halloween Horror Nights promises more thrills and scares than ever before.

Early bird tickets are already available from now till Sep 5. Each ticket will set you back $55, or you can purchase a bundle of three and get one free! Get your tickets online or at Universal Studios Singapore ticket booths.

What are you waiting for? Gather your friends and scare yourselves silly at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights!

Also read These Exotic Ang Ku Kuehs Are On A Kueh-st To Conquer Your ‘grams And Tastebuds

This Brush Lettering Class Gives You Hope Even If You Have Ugly Handwriting

It’s probably safe to say we’ve all seen pictures of brush lettering.

A trend that’s taken flight in weddings, hipster cafes, and that’s seen on many a motivational quote on Pinterest, many of us find ourselves wishing we too could write such pretty calligraphy! If you’re anything like me, this would promptly lead you down two trains of thought: (1) it’s probably really expensive to learn and (2) I won’t be able to master it anyway.

[caption id="attachment_28639" align="aligncenter" width="564"] Brush lettering (Image Credit: Pinterest)[/caption]

That’s certainly what I thought, until I came to Witty Studio and tried their Watercolour Brush Lettering Class.

Learn calligraphy without breaking the bank

A relatively new brand, Witty Studio was started up by the friendly, approachable Priscilla.

[caption id="attachment_28638" align="alignnone" width="6720"] Priscilla, the Founder of Witty Studio[/caption]

With her classes priced at just $95 per person per session (and $85/person if you bring a friend), this 4.5h workshop is much more affordable compared to most calligraphy classes, which typically costs between $100 – $150 for a shorter duration of 3 hours.

A warm welcome

The workshop is held at Stamping Ground Coffee, a shared space that houses 3 concepts: coffee, flowers, and space. Stepping through the Stamping Ground doors, you immediately feel inspired and excited by the vibrant, unique space.

When I arrived at the workshop, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we were each given a pretty lace coaster with our names written on it in brush lettering! Pretty and Insta-worthy, this wasn’t the only bit of personalisation done by the team at Witty Studio – everyone also received a small motivational quote card and place card so that people seated at the same table could easily mingle and interact with each other.

Some of the returning students also got birthday cards, which was a sweet touch!

[caption id="attachment_28642" align="alignnone" width="6720"] All the materials you need for the class are provided[/caption]

All the materials we would need for the class were set at our assigned spot: a set of worksheets, a brush, a personal palette, and a bunch of water colour papers for us to do any of our rough work. There were also sharing sets of water colour paints at each table.

[caption id="attachment_28631" align="alignnone" width="6720"] Light bites are also provided at this workshop![/caption]

The next thing you notice when you enter the class is FREE FOOD. Small finger foods like mini donuts, bite-sized pizza coins, brownie cubes and small packets of gummy candy were also neatly displayed, free for students to eat!

Picking up the basics

Once every one of the 20+ students had arrived and had settled down, the class began, but not before Priscilla told the class to “take as many Instagram photos as you want. Nobody is going to judge you here!”

[caption id="attachment_28632" align="alignnone" width="6720"] Take as many photos as you want![/caption]

After Priscilla gave a short demonstration on the basic techniques of brush lettering, we started practicing on our own.

From vertical lines, we went to simple alphabets like ‘j’ and ‘c’. After filling our water colour papers with our crummy paintwork, we got the hang of it – some of us faster than others, but we got there eventually!

Fun fact: ‘r’ and ‘s’ are the most challenging alphabets to master – I can testify to this.

[caption id="attachment_28633" align="alignnone" width="4048"] ‘j’ and ‘c’ are the easiest alphabets to master[/caption]

After that, we started working on our worksheets, and the three teachers went around demonstrating the motion of different alphabets. They were very patient with us and their instructions were easy to follow.

[caption id="attachment_28637" align="alignnone" width="6720"] The 3 teachers move around the class, helping anyone who needs it[/caption]

Like doing primary school penmanship, we wrote each individual letter 7-10 times and got the hang of writing each alphabet. From lower case alphabets, we graduated to upper case alphabets, and finally to full words (this was the tough part).

Once we were done with our alphabets, we were ready to move on to watercolour flowers!

[caption id="attachment_28634" align="alignnone" width="4048"] Watercolour flowers[/caption]

One of the teachers came around to demonstrate it to us and the effect was super pretty!

We experimented with different colours and techniques of creating the beautiful watercolour flowers. Again, practice makes perfect, and eventually, we created some not fantastic, but not altogether terrible flowers. There were some really talented folks in the class who managed to create Pinterest-worthy flower wreaths and borders in just one lesson – we’re not kidding!

[caption id="attachment_28635" align="alignnone" width="4048"] The student who painted this says this was her first lesson![/caption]

Talent definitely comes into play a little bit when it comes to how quickly you pick up the skill of writing and painting, but even for the most talentless student (i.e. me), you can still create some pretty decent work if you put your mind to it – even in the short 4.5 hours. From there on, it’s just practice, practice, practice, and you’ll get there.

Create your own masterpiece

All this learning and practicing culminates in one thing – creating your own masterpiece.

With your masterpiece, you get free reign to do whatever you want. You can paint a quote, a word, a whole sheet of flowers, etc. Use whatever you’ve learnt in the class to create something to call your own and to take home!

[caption id="attachment_28636" align="alignnone" width="4048"] Another first timer did this![/caption]

Some of our classmates created some incredible final products, proving it’s actually possible to create a real masterpiece, even after just one lesson.

Take your final product to the “flatlay table” and show off your handiwork on your Instagram!

Fun, easy, and oh-so-worth it

When class ended, we were bummed that it was over. We hardly felt the time pass and we were just getting good at our flowers and brush lettering! But the class imparted in us all the basics so it’s definitely possible to take what you’ve learnt, practice at home and become good in your own time.

[caption id="attachment_28641" align="alignnone" width="6720"] Calligraphy[/caption]

That said, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we would definitely be back for a second lesson! After all, practicing around fun, like-minded people beats going at it alone in the quiet of your room.

[caption id="attachment_28640" align="alignnone" width="6720"] Students practicing together[/caption]

Returning, more advanced students are given separate tasks and are taught different techniques, so you will definitely get your money’s worth on your second class, and subsequent sessions as well.

Aside from your masterpiece, you get to take home all the little cards and knick-knacks that have been personalised for you, as well as all the materials you were given at the start of class. You’ll also be given a brand new set of watercolour paints so you can put to practice all the things you’ve learnt at the workshop!

We absolutely loved the energy and vibe of the workshop – the quick friendships that formed between students, the camaraderie between the patient, fun-loving (and sometimes cheeky) teachers and students, and the fact that you can learn and have fun at the same time here. Unlike a class where you work silently to master a skill, here, you’re chatting, popping gummy candy into your mouth, and having fun while learning an interesting skill!

The workshop definitely proved one thing, which is that no one is beyond hope when it comes to brush lettering.

To sign up for a class, either send a direct message to Witty Studio’s Instagram or email Priscilla directly at [email protected]! Witty Studio conducts classes once a month, so be sure to sign up early to secure a spot!

Also read We Tried Glamping For The First Time And It Was As Awesome As It Looks

I Pretended To Be A Kid And Got An Insider Look At KidZania – Here’s What I Found Out

Have you ever wondered or fantasized about what life would be like if you were in a different career?

Well, I do it all the time. What if I was a policewoman? What if I worked at an ice cream factory? Having always been curious about what people in other careers did, I decided to give them a try at KidZania Singapore!

[caption id="attachment_28250" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Excited to visit KidZania Singapore![/caption]

For those of you who haven’t heard of KidZania Singapore, it is an interactive indoor theme park that brings together inspiration, fun and learning through realistic role-play. Located at Sentosa, think of it as a kid-sized world that for the most part functions true to life. Think buildings, streets, vehicles and even a working economy!

[caption id="attachment_28251" align="alignnone" width="1600"] SCDF Fire Department[/caption]

Through exploring this 81,000 square feet space, and “working” like productive citizens of a society, children learn about different careers while gaining some understanding of how the world works. After all, you’re never too young to learn these things!

[caption id="attachment_28252" align="alignnone" width="1600"] KZ Express: KidZania Singapore’s postal service[/caption]

Here, there are more than 65 role play activities and over 40 establishments you’ll recognize from the real world including Esso, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Lim Chee Guan, and more! The people at KidZania Singapore have already done the math – you’ll need 5 full days to complete every activity in KidZania Singapore!

While the theme park is designed for kids aged 4 to 17, that didn’t stop 25 year old me from crashing the fun.

Entering the park, I was blown away by this kid-sized city I never knew existed.

[caption id="attachment_28253" align="alignnone" width="1600"] The airport is KidZania Singapore’s only entrance[/caption]

Trying Out Other Careers

1. Being An Armored Guard

The first job I tried was being an armored guard.

I wore my vest like the rest of the kids and was told to transport money to 2 different locations – Nanyang Optical and 7-11. I was given a clipboard which flipped over to reveal a map of the KidZania Singapore grounds. My locations were marked ‘1’ and ‘2’.

I was instructed to do 3 things once I got to each of them: say ‘kai!’ (KidZania Singapore has its own language!) when I met the person-in-charge, say that I’ve come to deliver money, and ask them to sign on my clipboard to indicate that they’ve received it.

[caption id="attachment_28254" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Trying to find my way to 7-11[/caption]

With 2 (tiny) bags of money in my vault, and a clipboard in hand, I felt quite official – probably what the kids here feel too. I didn’t have much trouble finding my way to where I needed to go, but I did get plenty of weird looks from adults because clearly, I am too old to be doing this.

[caption id="attachment_28255" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Rolling in kidZos[/caption]

In exchange for my efforts, I got some kidZos – the currency in KidZania Singapore. For every job you do, you earn kidZos. Here’s a fun fact I found out: as with the real world, some jobs pay better than other. Working as a surgeon, for example, will give you one of the most kidZos in KidZania Singapore!

Like real currency, you can use your kidZos to buy things to take home. You can even use your kidZos to get a college degree, which will let you earn more kidZos when you work subsequently! Talk about realistic!

2. Being A Mountaineer

Another job I got the chance to try was being a mountaineer.

My agenda was simply to finish the high element course – easy peasy, or so I thought.

[caption id="attachment_28256" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Very seriously listening to instructions[/caption]

After one of the Zupervisors put me into my harness, I was ready to go.

[caption id="attachment_28257" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Terrified of falling[/caption]

While it seemed like a good idea at first, I quickly regretted my decision once I found myself on higher ground with nothing but a rope before me. Still, the Zupervisors at the station gave me very specific instructions on how to complete each challenge e.g hold on to the zaza (the KidZania Singapore term for ‘carabiner’), lean forward, do this, do that. I trusted them, and I was alright.

The harness and carabiner system used is extremely safe. Essentially, the entire course comes with ‘railings’, whether it’s the railings of the stairs or the supporting ropes that come with the various challenges. These ropes and stair railings are all linked such that you can drag your zaza through all of them, as you move through the course. You move your zaza with you as you go, and it serves as a failsafe in case you fall!

Initially, I was afraid to tackle each challenge, especially given the knowledge that this was designed for kids a fraction of my weight and height. After being assured multiple times that no kids have ever fallen from this course, I finally manned up and finished it.

Behind The Scenes

After getting a chance to play like a kid at KidZania Singapore, I got to take a look behind the scenes to understand the hard work that goes into running this city for kids. I quickly learnt that there was a lot that underpins this huge operation, and that there are plenty of neat technologies in place to aid the operation.

Tech In Security

Running an operation for kids comes with unique challenges – specifically, safety.

At peak periods (e.g school holidays) KidZania Singapore accommodates up to 1,500 people. Also, at KidZania Singapore, children are treated like adults and explore the world independently of their parents, which makes having good security measures in place even more necessary, both for the safety of the child and the peace of mind of parents.

One key security feature is the security bracelet kids are given at the airport (read: entrance) prior to entering KidZania Singapore. This contains key information about the child, including the child’s name, age, gender and their accompanying adults’ name. If a child runs out of KidZania Singapore on their own, the sensors will have their details reflected on the system so security staff can immediately track down the child.

[caption id="attachment_28258" align="alignnone" width="1600"] The Immigration Office of KidZania Singapore is the only exit of KidZania Singapore[/caption]

Also, as an additional precaution against children leaving KidZania Singapore unsupervised, there is only 1 entrance (the airport) and 1 exit (the immigration office) to KidZania Singapore, excluding emergency exits.

Tech In Human Resource

Another snazzy piece of tech that helps KidZania Singapore manage their 300-strong staff – including interns, part-time and full-time staff – is the Smart Board.

[caption id="attachment_28259" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Learning the KidZania Singapore language on the Smart Board[/caption]

Think of it as a huge iPad. It lets you surf the net, draw, save your ideas, and email them to all involved with the mere touch of a button.

This Smart Board comes in especially handy when it comes to remote training. People overseas or at home can dial in through Skype to view whatever is going on on-screen live. Given the large staff size at KidZania Singapore, this allows more people to undergo training at once, doing away with the need to hold multiple sessions or fly abroad for meetings.

[caption id="attachment_28260" align="alignnone" width="1437"] Staff clocking in and out is automated at KidZania Singapore[/caption]

Another feature that helps with the management of such a large group of staff is KidZania Singapore’s automated Human Resource (HR) system. Staff tap their staff pass on the machine to clock in, and their picture will also be taken and recorded by the system.

This system is integrated with the payroll system such that the entire process, from when staff clock in to work to when staff receive their pay, is seamless and almost fully automated.

Tech In Logistics

Finally, and perhaps the most interesting way tech is being integrated into KidZania Singapore’s operation is the RFID tagging of uniforms.

[caption id="attachment_28261" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Over 2000 uniforms to keep track of[/caption]

There are over 2000 uniforms to keep track of at KidZania Singapore, spread across all the roles Zupervisors play in KidZania Singapore. Some of these uniforms are linked to certain establishments, some are for performances, some are assigned to full-timers, and some are shared by different staff members.

This Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) tagging is an ID system that helps with identification and tracking of the uniforms by using small radio frequency identification devices. These tags are inserted into most of the uniforms.

[caption id="attachment_28262" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Trying my hand at ‘checking out’ a t-shirt[/caption]

When a Zupervisor takes their uniform out of storage, they tap the RFID tag against a reader at the uniform storage room to ‘check out’ their uniform. When they return it, they tap it again and an app called “Follow Suit” keeps track of who has taken or returned the uniform. Aside from this, a third party contractor washes all the uniforms at KidZania Singapore, and these washes are also tracked by the system.

[caption id="attachment_28263" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Seeing the Follow Suit app in action[/caption]

This straightforward system provides a fast and effective way for the people in charge to track where a uniform is, as well as the activity of a uniform to see if it is due for a wash, needs to be replaced, has gone missing, etc.

Automation Serves Both Businesses And Employees

Several of the technological implementations, including the RFID tagging, the Smart Board and integrated HR and payroll system was funded by Employment and Employability Institute’s (e2i) Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP).

The funding dispersed to KidZania Singapore was meant to help automate manual processes and increase productivity. Because the grant is tied to a firm commitment on the company’s part to pass on these productivity gains in the form of salary increments, both full-time and part-time staff at KidZania Singapore were able to get pay increments.

Because some of the more manual tasks have been automated, KidZania Singapore is better able to cope with the challenges of management of staff and uniforms, so staff can focus their attention and energy towards a more important job – delivering the KidZania Singapore experience to children.

HR Best Practices

KidZania Singapore’s partnership with e2i did not stop at productivity funding through IGP. KidZania Singapore has partnered e2i to hold two mass recruitment fairs and collaborated on a 10-week Place-and-Train programme to train newcomers to take up leadership roles. KidZania Singapore is also very open to hiring mature workers, back-to-work women and fresh graduates without working experience, as long as they have a positive attitude.

Such inclusive workplace practices are certainly of merit and KidZania Singapore was recently given an award at the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) May Day Awards 2017 under the Future Growth, Jobs and Skills category, honouring partners who advance the interests of working people in Singapore.

Fun Times At KidZania Singapore

I had so much fun experiencing KidZania Singapore and learning more about the inner workings of this amazing world. I loved how realistic everything was, down to the tiniest detail, and also, the energy and excitement of the people who work here, making KidZania Singapore what it is.

If a place like this can ignite such wonder and amazement in a 20-something year old like me, what more a young child!

[caption id="attachment_28264" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Some of the friendly Zupervisors at KidZania Singapore[/caption]

If you haven’t been to KidZania Singapore already, make a date with this world with your nieces, nephews or your own kids! Explore the world of possibilities with them. You never know what you might ignite in them during your time there!

What’s more, they even have an adults-only event titled Back-to-Kidz for adults just like myself to relive our childhood aspirations, and job hop as we please! The next run is scheduled for 4 August 2017, and tickets are on sale at Website

NTUC members get a 20% off return voucher, details here.

This article is written in collaboration with the Labour Movement to encourage good HR practices.

There’s An Ice Cream Cone That Looks Like A Unicorn, And It’s Almost Too Cute To Eat

Love your Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Here’s something that will make you love the ice cream company even more!

Ben & Jerry’s has recently released a new Unicone ($8.90), an ice cream cone that resembles everyone’s favourite mythical creature – the unicorn.

[caption id="attachment_27937" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Ben & Jerry’s Unicone (Image Credit: charcoal waffle cone, the creation is topped off with a pair of impossibly cute candy ears, with a gold-dusted biscuit stick serving as the all-important horn.

A fun, adorable creation that’s basically made for the ‘gram, make sure to take tons of photos when you get your hands on one of these! Better yet, get a few – with your friends, of course! – all in different colours for that one magical photo! Catch up with your girlfriends over these picture-perfect treats that are almost too cute to eat.

Available only until 31 August 2017, the Unicone is available at all Ben & Jerry’s stores! Head down to your nearest Ben & Jerry’s store before they disappear!

Also read Grab Your Mugs, A&W Is Making A Comeback And We Are Floating To Root Beer Heaven

(Header Image Source: Weekender Singapore)

We Are Days Away From Ultra Singapore – These Are The Acts S’poreans Are Hyped To See

The DBS Marina Regatta has come and gone. We drank, lazed around, soaked up the sun, and also managed to hit up the Pre-Ultra Party!

A two-day teaser of what’s to come at the upcoming Ultra Singapore, the party was nothing short of heart-pumping action with the crowd raising their hands, dancing the night away to the sounds of emerging DJs Dubvision, Crossnaders, Raiden, Jade Rasif, Moe, and Myrne.

An Ultra Good Time

[caption id="attachment_27048" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] DBS Marina Regatta 2017 Pre-Ultra Party[/caption]

Despite a slow start, the party really got started on the second night, with DJ Dubvision helming the decks, hyping the crowd and blasting some familiar tunes, turning the party up to eleven.

Drinks were on hand, the lights in the Play Dome added to the electric atmosphere, and everyone had a blast! Even the DJs joined the crowd, dancing with us once they were finished with their sets. Some very lucky folks got to rub shoulders (literally) with some of these rising names in EDM.

[caption id="attachment_27049" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] DBS Marina Regatta 2017 Pre-Ultra Party[/caption]

Limited edition merchandise, including wristbands and caps were also given out, so party-goers could take home a piece of the event as a souvenir!

The Acts Singaporeans Are Most Excited To See

[caption id="attachment_27050" align="aligncenter" width="1500"] Image Credit: Steve Aoki (Image Credit: DJMag)[/caption]

2. “The music at last year’s Ultra was SO good, especially Kygo! I love it when a song comes on that everyone knows and EVERYONE sings along, completely in sync. It’s an indescribable feeling and I’m looking forward to feeling that again at this year’s festival. In terms of DJs, I’m super hyped for Tiësto.” – Jerome

[caption id="attachment_27052" align="aligncenter" width="1431"] Tiësto (Image Credit: Showtek (Image Credit: Rich Chigga (Image Credit: Pendulum (Image Credit: Edmsauce)[/caption]

If you’ve been sitting on the fence, unsure of whether you should head out for Ultra Singapore this year, these are some more reasons to go.

Touted the EDM party of the year, it’ll be awhile before we see another star-studded line up like this!

[caption id="attachment_27056" align="aligncenter" width="601"] Ultra Line-Up[/caption]

Happening very soon on 10 and 11 June, Ultra Singapore tickets are still on sale, with General Admission tickets for both 1 Day and 2 Day entry still available for purchase. 1 Day tickets are tagged at USD$115 and 2 Day tickets are going at USD$178.
Purchase your tickets here before they all run out!

Also read Goodbye Gong Cha, LiHo Is Taking Over – We Tried Their New Cheese Bubble Tea To See If They’re Worth It

(Header Image Source: YouTube)

Halloween Horror Nights Is Looking For Scare Actors – Tell Your Scary Looking Friends

If you live for Halloween–the costumes, the scaring, the fun, and basically, everything about it–this might be right up your alley.

Singapore’s most terrifying event, Halloween Horror Nights, is back for its seventh edition, and it is casting performers to bring guests’ worst nightmares to life this September/October.

[caption id="attachment_26358" align="alignnone" width="960"] (Image Credit:  are more than welcome to audition as Halloween Horror Nights 7 hopes to take the scare factor to the next level.

If you have any other bizarre talents to offer, Halloween Horror Nights wants you! Just make sure your tricks are adaptable to the Halloween theme.

Instead of getting scared for Halloween this year, why not be the one doing the scaring? Not only will it be a hilarious time (we imagine), it’ll probably be the most fun way to celebrate!

Auditions to be a part of Halloween Horror Nights 7 will be happening at *SCAPE, Level 5. Make a trip down on 3, 4, 10 or 11 June 2017 between 11am – 8pm (last registration at 7.30pm).

Call down all your friends and make a date of it! Nail the audition and you’ll have plenty to look forward to in the months leading up to Halloween for sure!


For more information on what Halloween Horror Nights is looking for, click With Over 1,000 Stalls, This Year’s Geylang Bazaar Will Keep You Coming Back For More

(Top Image Credit:

DJ Calvin Harris Announced As Final Headlining Act At This Year’s Singapore Grand Prix

Another huge name has been added to the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix concert line-up: Calvin Harris.

The Grammy award-winning producer, songwriter and powerhouse DJ is set to perform on the third night of the Grand Prix, closing off the race weekend with a full-length performance.

He joins an already star-studded line-up including Ariana Grande, The Chainsmokers and OneRepublic. Other international acts who will be performing are Seal, Duran Duran, George The Poet and Lianne La Havas.

To catch Harris’ performance, get your hands on any three-day race ticket (S$298 and up) or any Sunday single-day ticket (S$198 and up)

For ticketing information, click here.

(Top Image Credit: The Chainsmokers & Ariana Grande To Perform Here In September – And They’re Not The Only Ones