Thursday, 30 December 2010

Boudoir – 5 Must-Do Resolutions for 2011

If you’re guilty, it’s time to wake up and smell the roses. Don’t start 2011 in continued blandness, mulching around in dowdy 'mummy jeans', encased in proper, housewifely blahdom and believing in those perpetual excuses that you’re too busy, too sensible, too practical, etc…If you’re in danger of being called ‘sensible’ (horrors!) or ‘proper’ (eek!) – adjectives completely bereft of any sex appeal – you know it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and sizzle up. You don’t need to buy the leather teddy just yet – baby steps can do wonders. Here’s SimplyFab’s suggested MUST DO resolutions for 2011. Do yourself a favour and …

Groom those eyebrows! – Not just for mono- madams but every woman out there beyond the age of 20. Few things are more sexless than a bushy brow on a woman, so pluck it pur-leeaase! On the other hand, if you’re a little sparse, pencil it in. In every sex goddess is a well groomed brow. Be kind to the world and just do it, sweetie.

Shave, for heaven’s sake – Yes, we’re still on follicles but this really needs to be said. You may not see it, but believe me, the rest of the world can certainly see the forest for the trees….even when you’re in short sleeves and so especially when you wave goodbye. Is that the lasting impression you want us to have? Save us from the gag fest please, and shave.

Forget ‘sensible’ shoes – Are you waiting to turn 60 before you put on those lustworthy, three-inch, bondage killer heels? Are you just going to spend the rest of your divine, womanly life lusting after these great gifts from God but walk away and say, “Nah – that’s not for me”? How’s this for an epiphany: Sensible shoes can wait – we’ll have plenty of silver time to get orthopedically oriented, ok?

Sex up the ordinary – You may be a mommy, a respectable girl or you want to be taken seriously – and we are all that – but that’s no reason to put on the tent, the shapeless clothes and be boringly prim. Sex up, for goodness sake. Better your body, get clothes that va-va-voomingly flatter, wear heels and steam up even the ordinary for a bit - in good, stylish taste, of course. Flirt a little, smile at the guys, by all means peruse the menu – just make sure you eat at home.

Slim down and get fit – Really! You might as well start today. We want to be fabulicious, not flabulicious and write endlessly about body love and shallow men. Let’s not kid ourselves that flab is sexy – it’s not. Go running, swimming, whatever – when you’re fitter, you look better, you can buy anything knowing it looks great on you, and you won’t bulge through the little holes in your lingerie (ewww…!). And we haven’t even got round to the countless health benefits yet! This one resolution I totally have to do. Join me on the running track?
- Ee Waun

Image: Suat Eman /
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Binge - Concept Dining in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is really where the spirit of innovation thrives. You can always expect to be surprised when it comes to new ways of enjoying life and here are a few in the dining department that we discovered recently.
Smuggle an invitation into a stranger's home. Yes, you can do that by just checking your palette into Philia HOME, a new venue for private house and dinner parties. The 'house party" concept is not new but the idea of going to a strangers home for a meal where you don't quite know what to expect is intriguing especially when the venue is a chic upmarket home, with warm decorations, a spacious open kitchen, a comfortable and stylish lounge, elegant dining room with a spacious terrace, all in the mid-levels. 
Opened and operated by Winnie Lam who is partnered by renowned local Chef Leo Kam who has worked in the Michelin star kitchens of some of the world's best culinary masters including Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Matsuhisa, the two present cuisine with a Japanese influence in a venue that can be hired for anything from  a  romantic dinner, birthday, anniversary celebration, DJ parties, to more corporate functions including brain-storming sessions that include  lunch meetings, or product launches.  
The venue even hosts art exhibitions showcasing local talents monthly. Philia HOME  is at G/F, 5 U Lam Terrace, Central, Hong Kong at +852 2147 2389 or see:

Ever eaten a slab of Argentinian steak and pray tell, what would the difference be between this and some of the good ol' US, Aussie and Japanese wagyu that your palette has become so accustomed to. 

Find out at Tango, Argentinian Steak House at 77 Wyndham Street, Central serving prime cuts of beef over a traditional open fired oven matched by an impressive Argentinian wine list. Expect uncomplicated flavours, natural ingredients and of course, beef from La Pampa, the world’s most famous grazing pasture. Look out for the Parrilla fireplace where meats are grilled over aromatic wood flames. Order prime quality Argentinian rump, fillet, sirloin, rib eye, skirt or ribs are from grass fed sustainable beef, hand selected from a source ranch. Mains are complemented by quintessential Argentinian empanada, appetizers, salads and pastas, including a selection of zesty seafood ceviche and unashamedly self-indulgent desserts.Also on the menu are lamb, chicken and salmon options, plus vegetarian side dishes. The Chef Ignacio Elizondo trained under Daniel Boulud the Chef-Owner of a number of award-winning Michelin star restaurants in New York. 
Drop by Podium 4 and 5 of the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay and there is a new 15,000 sq foot dining destination that comprises the Hooray Bar and Restaurant, Teppanyaki Kaiko and Carousel Fine Cake and Pastries. 

Hooray Bar and Restaurant at tel: +852 2895 0885 is all about the intricacies of Italian-Japanese fare. Chef Ono Toshiharu, Executive Chef of the restaurant, was the owner of the acclaimed Japanese restaurant “San San Trois” founded in 1999 and prior to that, the Executive Chef of the renowned Nadaman of Island Shangri-la for eight years and before that Nadaman in Japan for four years. 
His signature dishes include: Miso Baked Eggplant, Jellied Eggplant and Tempura Eggplant ($85)Egg Custard, Crab Meat,Sea Urchin and Herring Caviar ($128)Miso Chicken, Sweet Corn, Shiitake Mushrooms, Chili and Bonito Flakes ($138)Scallops, Enoki Mushrooms, Flyer Fish Roe and Creamy Spicy Sauce ($168)Wild Mushroom Yam Cake, Pickled Mustard Greens and Ginger Soya Syrup ($178)Miso Baked Chilean Sea Bass, Truffle Butter and Fried Soy Bean Curd ($198); and Grilled US Kurobuta Pork Chop, Ginger Pumpkin and Avocado Corn Salsa ($230)

You can also enjoy Oysters from $20 each with wine and champagne or Japanese snacks from the six tailor-made cooking trolleys at the 180-seating outdoor terrace.  
Teppanyaki Kaiko at tel: +852 2895 0855 follows the success of its flagship outlet, Teppanyaki Kaika, at The ONE, Tsimshatsui. This all-new eatery presents the truly authentic delicacies at affordable prices, targeting the vibrant younger diners. Over half of the 60-seating dining areas are overlooking Victoria Harbour which has provided a perfect backdrop for the chefs to showcase their cooking skills. The interior is decorated with the natural pine and the bamboo-like tile imported from Japan, oozing a sense of traditional “zen” atmosphere. 
Must-tries include Steamed Egg with Sea Urchin and Foie Gras ($68), Teppanyaki Tofu with Sesame Sauce ($80), Teppanyaki King Prawn with Cod Roe ($160), Japanese Choshu Chicken ($160), Kagoshima Kurobuta Pork Rolled with Asparagus ($180)

Finally, Carousel Fine Cake and Pastries at tel: +852 2895 0299 offers well-presented cakes and pastries, fancy and glamorous décor with must tries like the Raspberry Macaroon, Chocolate Banana Ball and Honey and Blueberry Mousse Cake  innovatively created by one of Hong Kong’s top pâtissiers Leung Tung Shing, Executive Pastry Chef of Carousel Fine Cake and Pastries. Being one of the top 20 pâtissiers in Hong Kong, Chef Leung was the Executive Pastry Chef of Aberdeen Marina Club and has served a number of renowned eateries in town including Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and Grand Stanford InterContinental Hong Kong. 
- Elaine
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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Buys – Great Shades for Asian Faces

We were sooo taken by some of the sexy shades at Safilo’s Spring/Summer 2011 preview not long ago, and had a field day trying them out. The second largest manufacturer of shades worldwide, this Italian company was showing off their latest models for Gucci, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Armani, YSL, Dior….
So many to lust after! But the problem was, most of these are constructed for higher western bridges and sat unceremoniously and fatly on our cheeks. So not sexy. I can already feel them sliding off the sebum on my cheeks on a hot, humid day. So what’s a simplyfab girl to do? We asked no less than Safilo Singapore’s Managing Director Gable Merrick on how to pick the shades for Asian faces.
Our favourite pick - these ab fab cat eye shades!
Gucci GG3146

SimplyFab: Most sunglasses are made for Caucasian noses, and end up sitting flatly on our Asian cheeks. So how do we get a good fit?

Dior Striking 63DSF

Merrick: For a good fit, it is firstly important to acknowledge the shape of your face. Many Asians have higher cheekbones and lower nose bridges---their hunt for the right eyewear can be a frustrating and tiresome experience. It will be good to look out for the following components that will address the common needs of Asian features:
•Less front curvatures
•Narrower distance between the lenses
•Extra long pad arms for the metal models so one can easily adjust the desired distance and height of the nose pads
•Extra high and pronounced nose pads in all plastic models so the frames can sit properly on the bridge and will not slide down or sit on the cheeks.

SimplyFab: What sort of shades is best suited to people with the following Asian face shapes:

Balenciaga 0102
Round face
Merrick: Frames should make the face appear longer and thinner. In general, look for frames equal to, or slightly wider than the broadest part of your face. Minimise the curves and add definition with wider frames, soft, angular, rectangular styles or double brow styles.
Max and Co 102/S. S$180 

• Square face
Merrick: This face shape consists of a strong jawline, a broad forehead and wide cheekbones. Reduce the angles with soft, curvy styles that will give the face some definition, such as cat-eye or classic ovals....Think aviators over any square styles.

Marc Jacobs 349/S. S$340

• Slim, narrow face
Merrick: A slim, narrow face means it is longer than it is wide. So the goal for balance is to make your face appear shorter and a little wider. You’ll want fames that have top-to-bottom depth. Best bet is to stay away from the long and narrow rectangular glasses, and select glasses with low triangular shapes and strong horizontal lines. For the best look, flaunt a long face with large square shades or add width to a slender face with oversized round frames.

Max Mara

Heart shaped face
Merrick: For women with heart-shaped faces (a narrow chin and wider forehead), look for frames with rounded upper corners which draw attention away from the forehead; rounded frames to soften features or, to accentuate them, the straight-edged 1980s-reminiscent frames.

Max and Co 105/S. S$180

SimplyFab: What shades should a simply fab girl get to look great for 2011? What are the trends that are best suited for us?
Merrick: A pair of cat-eyed sunglasses! With the warmer weather comes the need to update your sunglasses collection with a new and on-trend style. For Spring 2011, the best accompaniment to a vintage-inspired look is a shape that screams '50s/'60s glamour. Very sophisticated!

Marc by Marc Jacobs 194/S. S$230

SimplyFab: What is the sexiest ‘must-have’ shape for this season?
Merrick: Choose the special and exaggerated designed glasses, super big or round lens are popular. Colorful or translucent frame are the popular choice as they make you look more energetic and lovely this fall winter.

These shades are available from January 2011, at shops like Optical 88 and Capitol Outlets. For a start to a great new year? Get those shades, girls, cos the future looks so bright!
- Ee Waun
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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Buys - Jeffrey Campbell shoes NOW in Singapore!

Its all about the Clog this year! And if it were not Winter here in Hong Kong, I am sure that everyone would be rushing out to get some. If you are in South East Asia, particularly sunny Singapore where the sun shines mercilessly all year round, look out for Jeffrey Campbell. He makes his debut to the island nation at Actually in Seah Street and Purvis Street.  

Believe it or not? Jeffrey Campbell started his career at Nordstrum as a shoe salesman till he started his own line in L.A about ten years ago. He became funky shoe designer extraordinaire only in the last 5 years when he made clogs funky along with wedgies and straps. They evolved into gladiators with an attitude and there you have it - the shoes that Imelda might lust for if she was still collecting. Go see along with their new Dr Denim Winter collection, now in store. 

- Elaine

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Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas again! So soon?
Here's wishing you all a fabulicious and meaningful Christmas, full of friendship, joy, peace, love and cocktails!!
Chin chin!

The Simply Fabulicious Team
Elaine and Ee Waun

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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Bling - Ladies Just Want The Ball Crusher

Just got dumped? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. But the new age woman no longer potters to the salon for a new hairdo. Nooooo….! Keep your locks, sweetie. Instead, get yourself the Mother of All Statement Jewelry, the ‘Ball Crusher’, the nastiest, wickedest, most vampy ring that every woman secretly lusts after. Pair with your meanest killer heels and make sure he sees you with it sometime.

Where to get this piece of gorgeousness? At the plush new Solange Azagury Patridge boutique at Takashimaya Shopping Centre in Ngee Ann City.

This is the Moroccan-born designer’s first store in Asia, after outlets in London’s Bond Street, New York’s Madison Avenue and most recently, Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive. Offering bold, sassy jewelry with a bit of rock n roll, whimsy and mysticism, she’s most well known for her huge, bold ‘power rings’ that make a statement.

These come-hither lip pieces are signature Solange….

I like this Bleeding Heart necklace though I am no bleeding heart liberal,

…and though you may be the epitome of the girl next door, you can show off your ‘Heart of Gold’ with a sassy edge.

“My clientele are women who buy jewellery for themselves because the pieces speak out to them – whether it’s on an impulse or it’s a planned.....My hope is that these jewels will become part of their lifestyle and represent the type of person they are,” said Solange.
The shop itself is quite a unique experience so make a point to pop in when you’re in the mall. We hear she’s got plans to unveil a special collection early next year just for her Singapore store, so keep your eyes peeled!

391 Orchard Road
#02-12A Takashimaya Shopping Centre
Ngee Ann City
Tel: +65 6838 0335

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Saturday, 18 December 2010

Binge – Awesome Value Christmas Feasts

Christmas and the festivities often mean inflated prices all around town. But you don’t have to bust your budget with these simplyfab deals we sniffed out. Thank goodness for restaurants and hotels who are firm on doling out good value. And trust us to pick out only the swanky spots…

Heart Bistro
This ultimate tai tai hang out is serving up a classy, classic Christmas in its spacious spot in Palais Renaissance. Start with a glass of warm Christmas spiced wine, followed by an appetiser of cured carpaccio of salmon with a dijon dill dressing or Slow roasted pumpkin soup with aromatics + honey. Mains is a choice of roasted turkey roll stuffed with porcini mushrooms + chestnuts with a giblet sauce or roasted shoulder of lamb with a caper mint sauce. End off with Christmas pudding with brandy caramel. See, you don’t need to stuff yourself like a turkey to have a great Christmas – here’s all the good things rolled in a nice, healthy, bikini-friendly menu. (May we suggest a girls’ afternoon out? First a shopping spree or a facial at Sothys next door, then an elegant slither over to the restaurant for yums. How’s that for picking up the Christmas spirit?) The menu is priced at $43++ for lunch, $53++ for dinner. $68++ on Christmas eve and New Year’s eve.

By the way, if you want to get a turkey for Christmas lunch, here’s one of the best takeaway deals in town - $100 per bird (4kg) in Szechuan peppercorn with Chinese wine & giblet sauce.

atrium @ palais renaissance
390, Orchard Road, B1-08/09/10C
Tel : 6737-2148

Wangz Hotel
Away from the crush of the Orchard Road crowds, this relatively new family run boutique hotel is a quaint spot to find some tranquility. It’s great for a Christmas date as there’s lots of old streets nearby to walk around, and a cute rooftop bar for sundowners with a view before heading downstairs to Nectar for dinner. At $140++ for two, their 6 course Christmas eve menu starts with pan seared duck foie gras with caramelised pineapples, a roasted tomato soup with sweet peppers and spinach dumplings, then a green apple sorbet. Main dishes is a choice of beef wellington with mushrooms and asparagus with sherry wine sauce, or red snapper and scallops with carrots and orange confit. End with a raspberry logcake with gingerbread panna cotta.

231 Outram Road
Tel: 6595 1388

Klapsons, the Boutique Hotel
Until Christmas Eve, this boutique hotel in Tanjong Pagar is serving up a nice little ‘semi buffet’ in its avant garde restaurant, Lucas. A cosy spot, it’s a favourite for corporate do’s, so make sure you call ahead for reservations before turning up with your colleagues! For $48++ at lunch and $68++ for dinner, pick on a spread of appetisers, soups, salads and desserts on the buffet table. You then choose a main course – Duet of Maine Lobster Tail in Vermouth and Normandy Butter and Pan Seared Supreme of Chicken with Glazed Blueberries on Parsnip Puree and Organic Baby Spinach or ‘55’ Degree Veal Tenderloin with Pan Seared Foie Gras and Glazed Raspberries with Baby Vegetables and a Morel Port Wine Sauce to be served. Lunch includes a little gift for each guest, while dinner includes an additional glass of wine.

Lunch is priced at $48++ per person with every paying diner entitled to a Christmas gift, and is available from 12noon to 2.30pm. The semi-buffet spread is also available during dinner, priced at $68++ per person with every paying diner entitled to a glass of house pouring wine and a Christmas gift.

15 Hoe Chiang RoadTel: 6521 9001 

Jade Restaurant
Bet you didn’t expect Jade, the incredibly polished fine dining Chinese restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel, to be listed among places to go for great value. But it is and it does. I just keep wondering why more people don’t rave over it like I do. The food is great, the presentation splendid, and the service is perfect and the setting just blows you away – and none of it pretentious, and just the way I like it. Plus, all this is immersed in one of the most historical settings in Singapore. This Christmas, do it Chinese style under the able hands of Master Chef Leong Chee Yeng, a young, super creative force in my books, thank you. Ask for the festive six-course dinner (from $88 per person) which I am assuming is served in single portions, gorgeously plated western style as is their usual practice. Here’s what’s on the menu – Sliced Roasted Suckling Pig, Braised Shark’s Fin with Baby Abalone and Scallop in Golden Broth, Sautéed Sliced Turkey with Foie Gras, Shimeiji Mushroom and Capsicum and Pan-fried Wagyu Sirloin Steak with Barbeque Sauce Served with Fragrant Fried Rice with Bacon, Pumpkin and Ginger. You know, you always get absolutely great value from Chinese food. Available only on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

1 Fullerton Square
Tel 68778188
Szechuan Court
Speaking of Chinese, Szechuan Court at Fairmont Hotel is hiding another wonderful talent in the form of Chef Sebastian Goh. He’s got some Yuletide meals going on with Christmas set menus from S$78++ per person. Expect Salmon Tartar with Smoked Duck Roll; Braised Shredded Fish Lips, Dried Scallop and Turkey in Superior Thick Broth; Slow-Boiled Tonic Soup with Fish Belly, Fish Cartilage and Thorny Sea Cucumber;; Grilled Wagyu Beef Roll with Golden Mushroom and Avocado Mocha Ice-Cream with Bird’s Nest. On Christmas day and eve, guests get treated to complimentary servings of Christmas turkey and ham and live carving station too. If grandma is coming along, how about Christmas Day dim sum buffet at $33.80 per person (kids at $16.80)?

80 Bras Basah Rd 

Tel: 6837 3322

Of course, Christmas is when we all get as stuffed as the turkey, so it’s forgiveable if we just want to meet up for a drink. Head to Swissotel The Stamford's street-level drinking hole, Introbar in the Equinox Complex, and fuel up on Moët & Chandon Brut at a pretty happy price of $84++ per bottle, or for a bit of pink indulgence, Moët & Chandon Rosé at $105++ per bottle. Chin Chin!

80 Bras Basah Rd
Tel: 6837 3322
- Ee Waun

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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Binge - WIN a Morton's Post X'mas Cocktail Party for 10!

In my books, Morton’s really owns the term “Happy Hour”. I have spent many a ‘hic’ happy moment sipping MORtinis and munching on their lovely complimentary all-you-can-eat steak sandwiches at their weekday Happy Hour from 5 to 7pm. Now, they have an even better promotion for the post New Year period that you absolutely should not miss.

From now till 31st December 2010, just sign up online at or in person at any Morton’s restaurant in Hong Kong, Macau or Singapore and get a chance to win a post holiday cocktail party for 10 people. The cocktail party includes one complimentary drink per person and a selection of appetizers to share including Smoked Salmon Pizza, Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches, Mini Cheeseburgers, Crab Cake BLTs and Blue Cheese French Fries.

Whilst you are there, make sure you try their “Sparkling Sleigh Ride” cocktail created by their Mixologist and Sommelier Sara Fasolino. Available now till New Year’s Eve! HIC!

- Elaine
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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Beauty - Must-have Miracle Masks!

How did we do it? When I was in my 20s, I partied all night, smoked like a chimney, drank like a fish and yet the next morning woke up with skin still reasonably fresh, eyes dewy and body all ready to go.. yes, you say.. its youth. Would you be shocked if I tell you that the fountain of youth might still exist and if you don't look, you can't find. So here is a fabulicious secret which I urge you to try and tell me what you think. 

I have to credit my beauty store junkie friend Connie for these two fabulicious finds. She reads, buys and tries and I trawl the stores with her in Hong Kong, happily experimenting with her. Which brings me to these two great products - both masques that you must and I mean MUST, absolutely, BUY! 

SKIN BIOTICS Nano Gold Turnaround Mask with 8 hour collagen renewal is sold in Mannings in Hong Kong and presumably at Guardian in Singapore as the chain are one and the same. This awesome product (now on offer at HK$269) is my new 'swear-by' product and I use it almost every alternate night especially after I have had one late night, too many, which these days is often enough. 

How to use: Apply a thin layer (about the size of a HK or SG dollar coin) on to the surface of your freshly cleaned face just before you go to bed.  You can even spread it onto your neck area and leave it. 

Wake up the next morning and I guarantee that the crows feet, open pores, tired wrinkles, panda eyes are mysteriously GONE! Your skin will look baby fresh, dewy just as if you woke up from a long refreshing nap. You will notice a thin gel like layer forming over your skin which I assume is the collagen at work renewing and regenerating new skin cells. 

METHODE SWISS Thermal Oxygen Overnight Moisture Mask is available at Sa-Sa in Singapore and Hong Kong. I got mine for HK$300+ here in Hong Kong with equally good effects. This leave-on mask contains, coral, seaweed, algae, plankton and sea fennel and Swiss thermal water which soaks into the skin giving it advanced moisture instantly improving your appearance. Within 4 weeks, the product promises a more radiant and revitalised complexion.

How to use: As with the Skin Biotics mask, clean face and neck and use the same amount (dollar coin size) of the product which is white with blue grainy bits which are actually Vitamin A and E which are absorbed into the skin on application. Do this just before going to bed. Wake up and voila! Now go try!!! 

- Elaine
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Buys – Presents Perfect for The Teenage Girl

The great thing about Christmas is that we can all indulge in deep vein retail therapy without guilt. After all, the season is all about gifting…which means the perfect reason to shop! With a pre-teen in my life, I realise gifts for her (on significant occasions) can either take the form of a transient thing that will give her some fun for the moment, or a prezzie that's a little more meaningful and grown up which she can use or even take with her into adulthood, as a keepsake. After all, we all know that girls grow up to appreciate their moms lots more when they’re adults we did! So here's what caught my eye recently....

If your daughter is the sweet girlie sort, this pretty butterfly necklace is just the thing – she can carry it off, but goodness knows I can’t! 18K Rose and White Gold Diamond necklace with Pink Sapphires (S$598). If she’s an easy going chickadee, how about this pretty 18K White Gold Diamond flower pendant (above, S$238)? And if there's a boho baby in the making, these quirky bracelets (top) – An 18K White Gold Diamond Flower bracelet (S$258) and 18K Rose Gold Diamond butterfly bracelet (S$298)- may just be the finishing touch for her. From Tianpo shops in Singapore.

If you couldn't come up with excuse earlier, now's the time to buy something from Tiffany! The ever-so-chic store is holding its ‘Blue Bird Fairy Tale’ Christmas charity drive from now until Christmas Day. Buy something from the store, and pick up a specially designed Blue Bird gift tag at $10 to raise funds for the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund. What to get? How about these funky, lustworthy ‘Return to Tiffany’ diamond heart tag bracelets or pendants engraved on 18 karat white, yellow or rose gold are irresistibly clever – not just for its edgy style but it’s less-than-subtle marketing ploy, suggesting that people should return to Tiffany for wickedly tasty bling! Not cheap at $1400, but they are undeniably gorgeous. We want one oursleves, and for the teenybopper in your life, it'll definitely blast her out of her acne-filled angst for the season! 
Photo Credit: © Tiffany and Co.

If in any doubt though, get a watch. Not too expensive, always useful. Love the latest Casio SHEEN range, with their whimsical star-shaped ornaments and rhinestones for a bit of teenage bling. The SHN-5510, in stainless steel (S$327) or red leather band (S$277), features a decorative face design inlayed with rhinestones in star-shaped patterns, and a tiny star inside a small window shaped like the trail of a falling star. So it's not something that'll last forever, but it's very practical, and a bit of gorgeousness on a budget.

- Ee Waun

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Friday, 10 December 2010

By The Way – Eyeballing Valentino

If you’re a vintage clothes fan or fashionista-on-a-budget, pop down to Resorts World Sentosa from 22 Dec - 13 Jan 2011 and oogle at 100 Valentino haute couture pieces on display. They have been brought in for the curated exhibition, ‘Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future’ developed by Les Arts Décoratifs, a private, non-profit institution in Paris consisting of museums and a school of design and interior architecture.

Eyeball looks from founder Valentino Garavani’s early designs to current Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. Says Pamela Golbin, curator-in-chief for the Fashion and Textiles collection of Les Arts Décoratifs: “The exhibition showcases Valentino’s signature styles – volumes, lines and textures, prints and graphic forms. It also displays the richness of colours going from monochromes to very impressive associations displayed by abstract and figurative motifs.” A highlight will definitely be gowns that were once worn by celebrities such as Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and others!
22 December 2010 to 13 January 2011
Tix: $6 for kids; $12 for adults
from or
Tel: 6577 8888 or www.rwsentosa/valentino for details
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Breakaway – In the Mood For Christmas?

Whether you happen to be there or not, or just living vicariously like me, here's a fun and random peek at what Christmas is like in other parts of the world....just to get into the mood....!

Frankfurt, Germany 
Fancy a fairytale Christmas? Head to Frankfurt’s Christmas Market, one of Germany’s most traditional, and set against the old town hall and the historical half-timbered homes of the Römerberg. Bundle up and wander through stalls selling traditional foods, Christmas ornaments, arts and crafts like local pottery and stoneware. Pop into the honey shop for all things honey, drink hot apple wine – a local speciality – or head to the hated outdoor taverns for Christmassy mulled wine, smoked sausages and bratwursts. Look out for Germany’s tallest Christmas tree there, standing over 30 metres tall. If you’re in town on the Saturday before the 1st Advent, listen out for the churchbells in the afternoon. At precisely 4:30 pm, 50 bells of 10 downtown churches ring in the festive season with a performance that’s heard across the entire city. What else to do there? Take a guided tour of the market (entitled “Stories, Sweets and Savouries. Enjoy the Frankfurt Christmas Market with all of your senses” available every day) or a historic steam train ride along the banks of the River Main. The Christmas Market happens now til 22 December. Stretching from Liebfrauenberg and the Römerberg old town centre to thebanks of the River Main, it’s got a history that dates back to 1393.

Perth, Australia
From now til Christmas eve, explore the city’s Christmas lights along the new Festival of Christmas Trail. Look out for roving characters, carollers and unexpected entertainment, and end the journey with some retail therapy at Myer SantaLand, on level 2 at Myer Perth City. Pick up the Trail brochure from the trail marquee outside Myer in Murray St Mall between 5.00pm and 8.00pm weekdays, or the i-City Information Kiosk in Murray St Mall. Then catch the Nativity story performed live in Forrest Place with hundreds of performers, animals and Christmas carols from 21-23 Dec 7.30pm. Bring the family and get there early as seats are limited.

Greenwich, UK
All eyes on the heavens at Greenwich, at longitude 0° and the official starting point for each new day and year. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, on the Thames east of London, is offering Yuletide Star Gazing events 19-23 December at 4.30 and 5pm. Look at the winter skies and a double star through the Observatory’s historic 71-cm (28-inch) refracting telescope – the largest of its kind in the UK and the seventh largest in the world. Or join in the Christmas Star Party (17 and 18 December, 5.30 and 6.10pm) which features a Christmas Stars planetarium show, a chance to look at the moon through the large telescope and an opportunity to use smaller telescopes in the Meridian Courtyard while keeping warm over hot chocolate, mulled wine, mince pies and other festive treats.
Royal Observatory,
Blackheath Avenue, London SE10 8XJ

Madeira, Spain
Madeira in Spain transforms into a fairytale setting throughout December, with Funchal’s streets twinkling with over 250,000 fairylights. Check into cliff-top hotel, Reid’s Place for the Christmas and go on jeep tours along secret mountain trails, guided tours of Funchal by night, and lectures on traditional Madeiran wine. Santa Claus will spread Christmas cheer by surprising younger guests with presents and a black tie Christmas gala menu will also be served in The Dining Room for all the family. If you’re hanging around until New Year, Funchal’s fireworks on 31 December is one of the most spectacular in the world, even making it into the 2008 Guiness Book of World Records for being the largest of its kind. The Holiday Celebration 2010 Package at Reid’s Palace starts from £348 per room per night in a classic double room, and includes daily buffet breakfast, round-trip airport transfer, one gala dinner per person and one bottle of champagne in guests’ room upon arrival based on a four-night stay for arrivals on 21 – 24 December.

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Bytes - Gadgets, Gizmos and Gear for 2011

Its Christmas and all the retailers know that there is no better time to get the cash registers ringing than now. So here are some of swanky gadgets and gizmos worth going gaga over ... 

KEF from the UK is big in the local Hong Kong market the way I would reckon BOSE is big in Singapore.  Worth a listen, the brand just made its debut launch in Singapore with their new Q Series that delivers superb and absolutely exquisite quality sound, high definition richness and clarity usually exclusive to speaker brands costing many times more. Their new T Series is a slim profile loud speaker range that has been designed to complement today's stylish flat panel televisions. 

If you have been looking around for a 3D Blu-Ray Disc Player, check out Pioneer's from only S$499. The BDP-430 and BDP-LX54 are two players newly launched that connect to a 3D-capable display via HDMI.  Complementing perfectly with Pioneers latest 3D capable AV receivers, these new Blu-ray Disc players are equipped with the latest technologies to set the standard in state-of-the-art audio and video reproduction. They connect to a local network, the internet and with an ethernet port can connect to any wireless home network via an optional Pioneer wireless LAN adapter. Supports MKV, DivX HD, WMV and MP3 format playback, plus a JPEG viewer for photo slideshows making it one of the latest and most flexible content companions for CD, DVD, USB or LAN. Now thats what I call efficient! 
Here come the iPad competitors. Asus unveils its Eee Reader DR900, a 9 inch touch screen ebook reader with wifi and 3G options that has a reading area 2.25 times the size of 6 inch ebook readers. Highly portable at less than 10mm thick, weighing in at 440g with a 2GB internal storage expandable via SD card. Store up to 5000 books with  a 2 week battery life that is long enough to read 20 novels back to back between recharges. The ultra-low power consumption is possible because the Eee Reader's electrophoretic display uses only power to change its image not maintain it. Page turns are virtually instant and the monochrome image is as crisp as ink printed on paper. The screen stays clear even in broad daylight, making so it’s as easy to read on the beach as it is under a bedside light. A 9-inch capacitive touch-screen also removes the need for a physical keyboard and delivers a simple and intuitive user interface. 

Nikon has launched a new digital SLR camera, the D7000. This mid-class format camera comes with a new CMOS image sensor and a new EXPEED 2 image processing engine. It also features a new 2,016-pixel metering sensor, a new AF system that utilizes 39 focus points and the D-Movie function that enables recording of full HD movies.
Then this next one is a useful thing to have - a LRT Powermat Receiver Case for your iPhone 4 so that you can wirelessly charge your device. The protective case that covers the iPhone and has a slim, sleek, formfitting design with a flip top for easy removal that allows micro USB access in order to sync with the charging mat. When a device reaches full charge, power is shut off to that device, which avoids overcharging of the device's battery as well as saves energy. Once full power is achieved and the Auto Shut Off has occurred to save energy, the system will monitor the status of the battery in your device. If the battery is used, the system will again initiate charging and return the battery to a full charge. Only HK$348 for the Receiver case and HK$648 for Receiver case together with the Mat as a Bundle.

Fans of Tumi have some new gadgets that they can add on to their packs. How about a Mobile Power pack (HK$1,250), Travel Mouse (HK$700), a 500GB data vault (HK$2080) and an Electric Adaptor (HK$470). 

Finally, if you know a shutterbug or are one yourself, then check out Samsonite's latest camera bag tailored for young professional and amateur photographers looking to store and protect their DSLRs and myriad of accessories. The new collection features adjustable and removable padded dividers as well as pouches with protective foam to keep camera gear safe against hard knocks, as well as highly-accessible organization compartments for extra batteries, memory cards or just about any other accessory that a photographer would need. Brushed tricot lining in the camera partition also protects LCD screens and lens from abrasion while a detachable rain cover ensures camera gear is protected from the elements.  

- Elaine

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