Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tribute To Mr. Lee Kuan Yew: Emotional ties don’t come to an end with the passing away of a loved one

Yes, I stay in Tanjong Pagar GRC and Mr. Lee has been my MP even way before I was born. Fast forward to today whereby my neighbourhood has one of the highest rental rates in singapore...n it's not easy for me to walk around the malls here in my tee n shorts without those office crowds staring at me...Thank you Mr. Lee Kuan Yew for what you have done for Singapore. Rest In Peace!

MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Indranee Rajah puts it best:
"The real secret of his enduring bond with Singaporeans is that we all fundamentally understood that the vision, the drive and the intellect were all powered by one thing - he cared. He cared deeply for Singaporeans and Singapore and all his actions were driven by a desire to make things better for them. Singapore was his life’s work."

He cared!!! That's the most important quality!!!

"Emotional ties don’t come to an end with the passing away of a loved one
Written by Dr Lee Wee Ling
Source: The Sunday Times October 2, 2011 

My friend Balaji Sadasivan passed away on Sept 27 last year. In the obituaries section of The Straits Times last Tuesday, exactly one year after his death, there was a sonnet by Balaji himself: ‘But even in gloom, one truth is fundamental, from time immemorial, love springs eternal.’

A week after Balaji died, on Oct 2, my mother passed away peacefully at home. ‘Love springs eternal’ – but what comfort is that to the one who has departed and can no longer reciprocate our love?

This thought slipped randomly in and out of my mind as I was exercising last week. Then my Blackberry buzzed. I read the incoming e-mail. It was from my father – brief, concise, a mere statement of fact, yet what was unsaid but obvious was his love and concern for us, his children.

I suddenly realised that love does spring eternal.

Papa, my brothers Hsien Loong and Hsien Yang, and my sisters-in-law Ho Ching and Suet Fern, and I are still bound by our love for Mama and will continue to be for many more years.

For the first few weeks after her devastating stroke on May 12, 2008, my family and the doctors met often to discuss how best to minimise her suffering and perhaps enable her to recover to some extent.

The physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists all did their best, but Mama did not improve. The May 12 stroke was more extensive, and involved more brain regions controlling movement than her first stroke on Oct 25, 2003.

But Papa remembered how well she had recovered from that first stroke, which had occurred while my parents were visiting London. By the end of that year, we were celebrating Mama’s 83rd birthday on Dec 21 in a private room at Goodwood Hotel in Singapore.

Now, in October 2008, Papa knew that if Mama survived she would never be able to walk independently. But he felt that so long as she knew she was an important part of his life, she would still find life worth living.

He told her: ‘We have been together for most of our lives. You cannot leave me alone now. I will make your life worth living in spite of your physical handicap.’

She replied: ‘That is a big promise.’

Papa said: ‘Have I ever let you down?’

Mama tried her best to cooperate with the therapists. But it seemed a useless struggle. Even swallowing a teaspoon of semi-solid food was a huge effort. Then more bleeds occurred and her condition deteriorated. We, her family, decided that no further active treatment should be sought. We arranged to bring her home and nurse her there.

Before we brought her home for the final time, Papa arranged for her to stop at the Istana, to see her favourite spots in the grounds. We wheeled her to where she had planted sweet-smelling flowers such as the Sukudangan and the Chempaka. Then we wheeled her to the swimming pool, where she had swum daily.

We showed her the colourful little ‘windmills’ she had arranged around the pool. She also saw the colourful wetsuits that Papa had arranged to be made for her to keep her warm in the water.

He and I had been convinced that she had to exercise to remain fit. So come rain or shine, she would don a wetsuit and swim. Even when travelling, she would swim in the hotel pool.

On one trip, Mama said to Papa: ‘Today is a public holiday in Singapore. Can I take a break from swimming.’
Papa replied: ‘No, have a swim. You will feel better after that.’

As a neurologist, I knew that after the first bleed in 2003, a second was likely. But I did not want to burden Papa or Mama with this knowledge.

Still, unknown to me, Papa had sensed that she could easily rebleed. He told us later that they had both discussed death. They had concluded that the one who died first would be the lucky one. The one remaining would suffer loneliness and grief.

Mama deteriorated further after she returned home. Finally, she reached a stage when she could not even speak and seemed unaware of her surroundings. But she was always aware of Papa’s presence.

When Papa travelled, she would stay awake at night waiting for his phone call. When I began travelling with him, he usually would tell her on the phone: ‘Bye dear, I am passing the phone to Ling.’ Those were the times when I could hear her actively trying to vocalise.

When Mama passed away, I was at her bedside, watching her fade as her respiration became more shallow and feeble until it finally stopped. I did not try cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It would have been futile to have done so and cruel.

I called to ask my family physician to sign the death certificate, then returned to my room in a daze. Papa waited until the people from the Singapore Casket Company arrived. He showed them the jacket he wished Mama to wear and asked them to do their best to make her look attractive.

The wake lasted for three days. Hsien Loong and Hsien Yang, together with their wives, took turns to stand by the coffin and greet well-wishers. I was tired and rested at home, only attending the wake on the first evening to greet my friends and colleagues. I hoped that by resting I would recover by the day of the funeral.

Most of the time, my mind was blank. I thought I had my emotions under control. It was only at the funeral, when it was my turn to deliver the eulogy, that the finality of Mama’s passing hit me. I managed to control my tears but my voice was strained with emotion.

Three days after the cremation, the urn containing my mother’s ashes was delivered to our home. We all stood and bowed as the urn was brought into the dining room.

A few days later, I noticed that Papa had moved from his usual place at the dining table so as to face a wall, on which were placed photographs of Mama and himself in their old age. He tried various arrangements of the photos for a week before he was satisfied.

He also moved back to the bedroom he had shared with Mama for decades before her final illness. At the foot of his bed were another three photographs of Mama and himself.

The health of men often deteriorates after they lose their wives. The security officers and I watched Papa getting more frail every day. His facial features were grim, perhaps to mask his sadness and grief. I took one day at a time and persuaded him not to undertake any arduous trips to America or Europe. China and Japan were near enough and manageable. I was pleased to get him out of the house.

By July this year, Papa’s health had stabilised and even begun to improve gradually. I reminded myself of the analogy I used for him – titanium. Titanium is light but strong. It can bend a little, but it will not snap unless it is under overwhelming force.

Physically, we all eventually succumb. Papa is also mortal. But he is psychologically stronger than most people. Life has to carry on, and he will keep going so long as he can contribute to Singapore.

As I was halfway through writing this article, I went out of my room for a drink of water and saw a note from Papa addressed to all three of his children.

It read: ‘For reasons of sentiment, I would like part of my ashes to be mixed up with Mama’s, and both her ashes and mine put side by side in the columbarium. We were joined in life and I would like our ashes to be joined after this life.’"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Review of Sponsored Hair Makeover By Rise Salon

Tucked away in a prime corner on Club Street, Rise Hair Studio’s mission is to provide affordable yet quality-oriented services to meet the needs of both working professionals and fashionistas. They adhere to the maxim of attracting and maintaining customers through outstanding services, trendiest hairdos styled by their international team and relaxing salon ambience. There are current fashion magazines and TWG Tea Set (Tea flavours: Sliver Moon, Eternal Summer, Jasmine Green, French Earl Grey) available at Rise Salon. Well, I think it's really nice that they have good quality TWG tea here.

Like the spacious interior of Rise Salon

Their current team is made up of Agassi (Director with nearly two decades of experience and who was previously heading a popular Korean salon, 8709 2745 for booking) and Chris (Senior Stylist who has been with Rise for many years, 96472604 for booking). They plan to have Korean top stylists joining in the near future.

Hair services rendered include:
Colour/highlight - using Loreal and Shiseido colors. Special technique using Balayage (hand painted highlights). Rise Salon tends to focus on neutral darker shades to suit its current crowd but will venture to bolder colours soon.
Rebond/Perm (Cold or digital) – Korean style
Magic Setting (Rebond and perm) – combination of both to create a natural looking korean style hair curls.
Root Perm $80 – to fluff up the volume in the hair and is best for flat hair. It can last 3 months.
Wash- Shampoo, conditioner and treatment using ‘John Masters’ Brand - a highly popular organic solution from the states. Boxes made from recycled material; very environmentally friendly. (https://johnmasters.com)
Hair Manicure - Gives the hair another layer of coating to restore and create a permanent shine and locks the dye in and this is what Kpop stars usually use.

Earlier last month, my mum was commenting that my hair looks very out of shape and messy with all the dark roots growing out and requires some serious fixing. So really appreciate Rise Salon for this timely invitation for a sponsored hair makeover on Valentine's day =)  

Before hair makeover by Rise Salon: Check out my bad hair day and in particular, my unruly and unmanageable fringe which is curling in all different directions and dark hair roots with light hair ends. In short, my hair basically looked like a huge mess!

Chris first did soft rebonding on my messy fringe using Shiseido rebonding products. I don't have the typical Asian type of hair. My hair is very fine yet my natural curls are extremely stubborn so it requires a delicate balance for rebonding to work! Check out my newly rebonded fringe! Makes me look fresher ya?

Chris then touched up my dark hair roots with a lighter brown tone from Shiseido hair color before using another darker brown tone on the rest of my hair cos my hair nearer the ends has turned rather yellowish and brassy in color. Shiseido colors look rather natural on Asian hair cos I picked what appeared to look like purple-red tones in the color chart that turned out as natural brown on my hair. I have always colored my hair red quite often these few years and now I feel that this new brown shade has given me a fresher look! I looked back at the photos that I took during Audi Fashion Festival last year when I sported magenta red hair and realized how aged and tired I looked back then. No wonder Henrique Fukuoka said I look better now than during Audi Fashion Festival last year. 

The end product! I was complaining to Chris that I don't like the V-shape cut of my original hairstyle which resulted in a few strands of v.long tail. So she gave me this concave hair cut which looks more oval and gradual and I don't end up with a v.long tip. I like this relatively dark shade which makes my hair look healthier. There's a slight tinge of wine color if you look really closely. I have naturally curly hair so I don't need to perm my hair. The curls that you see in this photo are the results of just a classic blow-and-dry at Rise Salon. My natural curls are extremely stubborn...n I'm born with it...lol

After hair makeover by Rise Salon: Check out my neatly rebonded fringe and refreshing hair color change.

Notice the huge contrast between the before and after pics?

It's really nice of Rise Salon to sponsor a hair makeover just in time for the festive Lunar New Year period. I have received plenty of compliments for my new hair color...I guess darker shades work better for me now as I age...friends have commented that I look fairer now...well, I'm already very fair to begin with...lol

I really like my new dolly fringe and I have friends wanting to touch my dolly fringe to check out the texture =) Glad that more friends are considering to have their fringes rebonded after seeing my fringe =) My mum is certainly very happy with this hair makeover by Rise Salon...well, she says I look like a girl now...lol

Some current promotions at Rise Salon:

Price list of hair services at Rise Salon:

Exclusive promotion for my blog readers and friends:
Please mention LEECHIE when you call Rise salon for any booking and you will be entitled to receive 20% off all original priced services!

Rise Salon:
12 Gemmil Lane , Singapore 069252
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer
Tel: 6438- 3138

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sponsored Review of The Body Firm

Thanks The Influencer Network for the kind invitation. Went down to The Body Firm today for a sponsored review of their slimming services. Tried The Body Firm System as well as I-lipo and had a body fat analysis done. Based on the analysis, I should lose another 6kg. Gambatte!!

The Body Firm System was developed by a British scientist, one of the co-inventors of the pacemaker, and uses a similar type of neuro-stimulation, except that it’s applied to the body muscles. This was the first time that I tried such a machine. It felt rather weird and ticklish in the beginning. But my body soon adapted to the vibrations. I was quite amused to see the muscle contractions. I wouldn't mind having the machine to help me exercise and it was doing all the work instead of my lazy bones. lol. I could feel my thighs vibrating even after the machine was switched off! The Body Firm System strengthens and tone muscles and can reduce cellulite and improve posture and reduce back pain as well as has bust enhancement benefits o.O

Honestly, I prefer the FDA-approved I-lipo treatment as it was so painless and soothing that I almost dozed off. lol. I-lipo is the intelligent, non-surgical alternative to liposuction. The system allows you to experience fat reduction and a slimmer, tighter shape all over with no pain and no needles, all within a short period of time. Rather than remove fat cells through surgical liposuction – which is invasive, costly, painful and potentially risky – lipolaser aims to simply shrink the fat cells in your body. Low level lasers have been utilized as effective treatments in fat reduction for several years.  Lipolaser’s cold laser penetrates a few millimeters beneath your skin, targeting the subcutaneous fat cells without risking damage to your organs. This method of draining the cells allows some of the fat content to get released into your lymphatic system in the form of triglycerides which are broken down and metabolized by the body, allowing it to be “burned off” during a period of post-treatment exercise. During the procedure, about 500 calories worth of fat is released into your body from the specific areas treated. I was advised to do some exercise after this treatment so that it would be easier to drain off the fats. Benefits of this treatment include fat and inch reduction and body contouring. It's non-surgical and excellent spot reduction.

I could feel that my tummy area is more toned the very next day. Thumbs up!

The cozy treatment room at The Body Firm

I-lipo machine on the left and The Body Firm System on the right

All my readers will get 10% off when you quote LEECHIETBF 10%

The Body Firm Outlet is located at 402 Orchard Road, Delfi Orchard #04-20, Singapore 238876
Website: TheBodyFirm.com.sg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Body-Firm-Pte-Ltd-Singapore/171698752880777
Call 68380331

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Grand Opening Of Jaeger-LeCoultre Ion Boutique and Jaeger-LeCoultre Astral Exhibition

The new Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique at Ion Orchard has officially opened and Jaeger-LeCoultre presented an exhibition paying tribute to astronomy at ION Art Gallery.  Premiering in Singapore this exhibition reveals the new creations of the Manufacture including the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon watch, the Rendez-Vous Moon watch and also historical models from Jaeger-LeCoultre Heritage Collection. Thanks Jaeger-LeCoultre for the great hospitality extended during the event. My eyes had an awesome time feasting over the beautiful timepieces! 

I love vintage timepieces and this is a very interesting vintage piece seen at the Astral exhibition

This vintage timepiece is so dainty yet so pretty with all the bling bling details

The Grande Complication: A Minute Repeater with a rich and intense sound so as to provide an audible indication of the time, the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication is equipped with an additional characteristic in the form of a mechanism sounding the hours, the quarters and the minutes on demand.

Rendez-Vous Celestial, a sparkling finery exalting the beauty of the stars: The zodiac calendar serves to specify the position of the constellations at any time of the year, via an annual calendar that regulates the time display and measurement system. With the new Rendez-Vous Celestial as an astronomical observation instrument, reading the sky takes on a unique delicacy. The developers of the model have chosen to integrate a star in order to personalise time: by means of the second crown adorned with an inverted diamond, the mobile star shifts in tune with the wishes of the woman who turns it in order to indicate the hour of her choice, whether that of a happy memory or a date she is setting with destiny. This new creation has the fiery colour and majestic presence of the sun, to which constellations and zodiac signs add their mesmerising charm while testifying to the expertise of the Manufacture from the Vallée de Joux. The message of the Rendez-Vous Celestial by Jaeger-LeCoultre is crystal-clear: astronomy is wonderfully suited to women.

Duomètre à Sphérotourbillon

Rendez-Vous Moon, living in harmony with the most feminine of celestial bodies. While a classic moon phase shows a one-day deviation every two and a half years,  the Rendez-Vous Moon is destined to remain accurate for 985 years. An eternity by human standards.

Interesting grey dial which is the boutique edition and available exclusively only at Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques

Beautiful rose gold clock spotted at the boutique

There's a very interesting wall at the boutique whereby some of the mechanisms of the watches are displayed, which is great for watch collectors!

That's Mike poring over the timepieces at the boutique

I thought it's a really nice gesture of Jaeger-LeCoultre to celebrate Stefan's birthday...which I later learnt is a never ending love story between Stefan and Jaeger-LeCoultre =)

With Mike at the photowall

Friday, February 6, 2015

Spring Fest at Club 21 b

Thanks Club21b and Ziggy Mag for the uber cool and fun evening at Springfestatb

Selfie with Nadia, who has been handpicked by Marc Jacobs to be the face of Marc by Marc Jacobs 2015 

Trying out this uber cool video app

Photo collage by Club21b

Check out these cute sheep decor! Happy lunar new year in advance! Meh everyone huat in the meh meh year!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Grand Opening of Audemars Piguet Boutique at Marina Bay Sands

The Grand Opening party to celebrate the Official opening of Audemars Piguet boutique at Marina Bay Sands was held at the ArtScience Museum.

Was greeted by this beautiful trail of candlelight upon entering ArtScience museum

V. cool music spun by the DJs and I only found out after the event that Elgar's friend,  Stas Madorski, was one of the DJs.

Some beautiful Audemars Piguet timepieces on showcase

Guests were treated to a sumptuous spread of seafood buffet: I particularly love the lobster and salmon!

Part of the delectable selection of sweet treats!

Enjoying a champagne paired with dessert

Selfie at the photowall

Me attempting to take a selfie with the timepieces showcase

Selfie at one of the 2 lounges at ArtScience museum

Another selfie before i left

Couldn't resist taking a selfie with the lovely trail of candlelight

Thanks for the lovely catalogue and door gift

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Kenneth Ma Graces Official Opening of Chow Tai Fook

TVB celebrity Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming 馬國明 was here in person to grace the official opening of Chow Tai Fook boutique at Ion Orchard. This latest storefront at Ion Orchard, spanning at 1,000 Square feet in size, features a wide selection of jewellery. Chow Tai Fook 周大福 which boasts 80 years of history in jewellery-making craftsmanship, certainly has designed timeless pieces which can be passed down from generation to generation. Thanks Ion Orchard and Chow Tai Fook for this wonderful opportunity to meet Kenneth Ma.

This photo was taken by HerWorld Plus. It's the first time that I have seen Kenneth Ma in person and he's sooooo suave!

Kenneth Ma was here to unveil the latest collection of jewellery which is a collaboration with the whimsical Disney and is available exclusively at the ION Orchard store. Check out the beautiful and exquisitely designed jewellery!

Love this fairytale-like necklace from the Disney collection!

Selfie time for me...lol