Japanese Calligraphy in Singapore

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From the 20-25 October, the Japanese Calligraphy Art Exhibition (co-organised by Sunstar) opened its doors at The Luxe Art Museum to the public.

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On 21 October, I headed down to the cosy little exhibition space tucked away along the streets of Dhoby Ghaut – where people all gathered to soak in the enticing charm of Japanese calligraphy with some of Japan’s amazing calligraphy masters.

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At the calligraphy performance, we got to experience first-hand the masters work their magic with exquisite brushes drunk on black ink; making their calculated movements on paper.

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It was truly enchanting to see the amount of focus the masters had in their eyes, coupled with the elegance and discipline in their hand.

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We also got to try out 団扇 (u-chi-wa) by writing our names on Japanese paper fans! And so I wrote my Japanese name which was given loooong ago by a Japanese teacher – みかこ (Mikako).

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Aaaaand done!

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The exhibit area was also bathed in 60 scintillating calligraphy masterpieces from member calligraphers of Nihon Shodo Bijutsuin (日本美術院).

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There were tonnes of people roaming around; gazing at the works, having intense discussions in English or Japanese. It was easy to while away time

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Featured at The Luxe Art Museum was also Kenkodojo – immensely healthy food & beverages to help rebalance your health! 💪🏻

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Even overheard an elderly Japanese woman proudly proclaiming she drinks one can a day! Because I don’t like berry flavours, I went for the Super Vegetable flavour.

It will definitely take some getting used to – I’ll be honest! But with all the healthful ingredients packed inside, it’s really no wonder the elderly Japanese lady was raving about how much the drink benefited her.

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Check out Sunstar’s Singapore online store!

If you want to know more about the health drinks, there’s the Super Vegetable Drink and the Multi-berry Juice!

The extend of this event didn’t just stop there! To better connect with Singaporeans, Sunstar brought the event to the heartlands in Choa Chu Kang Community Club and Our Tampines Hub! And I headed down to the one at Choa Chu Kang Community Club!

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The entire hall was bustling with loads of people.

Sunstar had a stall showcasing their wide range of dental care products – from toothbrushes to toothpastes and mouth washes!

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I was quite suckered into the whole thing… 😝 So somehow bought a couple of toothpastes and other random dental care.

Oral hygiene important, okay! 😬

The entire event was graced by several people from all walks of life – including Mr Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s Minister of Health.

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And soon, we got to once again witness some master calligraphers perform their art right before our very eyes.

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I really appreciated this calligrapher who daringly said she wanted to do her writing on the floor – and it was really evident how much more intense the art became when the artist was given a larger creative platform.

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And it was another round of 団扇 (u-chi-wa)!

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Getting ready to be inked up!

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Listening intently to the instructions! Must write nicely! Bwahaha.

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We even had practice sessions before we started writing on the paper fans. This time, they gave us a selection of words – I chose to write 桜 (Sakura)!

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The evening continued with a dental show that aimed to properly educate people on how to properly take care of their oral hygiene. Catchy songs, high-energy dance moves and memorable jingles filled the CC’s hall! ☺️

My favourite one was about brushing your teeth twice a day!
Once with the Sun, and another when the Stars are up –
so you get Sunstar!

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The children seemed to have so much fun grooving to the songs – and getting goodie bags didn’t hurt either. 😉

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It was quite a full day, but thoroughly educational and enjoyable!

I got to pick up a bunch of oral care essentials at discounted prices! (Much YAYYYY!) And experienced first-hand the elegance behind Japanese calligraphy, while soaking in a large collection of masterpieces; even got to try out a little for myself!

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A HUGE thank you to Sunstar and Japan Calligraphy Art Academy for organising this truly enriching experience for the locals here in Singapore. ☺️ 🇸🇬

XOXO, G.

Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition at Luxe Art Museum

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“Calligraphy is an art form that uses ink and a brush to express the very souls of words on paper.” Kaoru Akagawa (赤川薫)

There are several things to love about Japan – that’s why I’ve always loved revisiting the country! 🇸🇬 ✈️ 🇯🇵

The food never leaves me bloated and unsatisfied (even their convenience store wares), the people are often very polite and kind, and their products have crazy gorgeous packagings! 😍

But lets not forget their culture – the Japanese boast a long history with countless stories and works of art to showcase to the world today, tomorrow and beyond. I’ve visited a few museums, palaces and other historical monuments whilst in different parts of Japan. And one art I love is the art of calligraphy.

It’s not just fancy writing; from start to finish, the entire art itself captivates and engulfs you – if you were to give it so much as a sliver of a chance.

Right from the moment the artist starts poising his/her hand to select a brush; the magic begins. The intensity coupled with elegance in each movement is carefully calculated and flawlessly executed to making its way to completing a masterpiece of black & white.

If you’re lucky, you’ll manage to hop on and join the artist as you make through each turn and flick – and when you take your first glimpse at the entirety of the masterpiece, that bit of your breath gets stolen away.

Fallen in love with calligraphy yet? …or maybe you’re not quite convinced?

Head down to the Luxe Art Museum between 20-25 October 2017 and be enthralled with about 60 pieces of specially curated calligraphy masterpieces! 👍🏻Banner (Square)_Calligraphy Exhibition in Singapore

Calligraphers from the Japan Calligraphy Art Academy (Nihon Shodo Bijutsuin – 日本美術院) will be presenting…

1   Kanji (Sino-Japanese ideograms)
2   Kana (Japanese syllabary)
3   New Calligraphic Art (I’m quite interested in checking this one out!)
4   Seal Carving

Don’t miss out on the calligraphy performances by the visiting calligraphers! They happen daily from 2-3PM (except for 25 Oct). Visitors get to do a calligraphy trial too – so be there early to save a spot!

Y’know what’s the best part about all this?

IT’S FREE!!!

This is all thanks to the awesome people at Sunstar who aim to continue strengthening ties and promote cultural exchanges between Japan and Singapore. 😊 Through Japanese calligraphy, they hope to also encompass and express the importance of a holistic healthcare.

So you have full five days to really immerse yourself in the scintillating world of Japanese calligraphy – without having to spend a cent.

But on 21 October, Sunstar is going the extra step by co-organising a series of workshops & events right in the heartlands of Singapore!

Check them out at:

The Japanese Association, Singapore (JAS) Website | Google Map

Japan Creative Centre (JCC) Website | Google Map

Choa Chu Kang Community Club (CC) Website | Google Map

Our Tampines Hub (OTH) Website | Google Map

Mark your calendars and don’t forget to check out the exhibition at the Luxe Art Museum!

Event: Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition in Singapore
Dates: 20-25 October 2017

‘Like’ the event’s Facebook page to get your updates!

XOXO, G. 

Private Pool Room at Lexis Suites Penang!

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

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While I rather enjoy my work, the feeling of having a ticket to a whole new foreign experience is simply too amazing. In my Outlook calendar, I have a whole line-up of meetings blocked in blues – then planned holidays in a pretty shade of pink!

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And it comes to a point whereby travel has become a mandatory part of my life. Simply because every single day at work I’m too busy fulfilling my responsibilities to earn my keep – I find I forget to live life.

And that’s quite the basic fundamental of being human, isn’t it?
We need to LIVE our lives.

Albeit reality dictates we also have bills to pay… 💸😩
And lately my life has started growing up a little faster than my wallet.

So to sate my travelling appetite, I’ve started exploring more on travelling to my little island’s neighbour – Malaysia 🇲🇾!

And if you’re looking for some awesome accommodations, check out Traveloka Malaysia!

Traveloka is a spanking new website that allows you to search for a whole bunch of hotels and flights – at really competitive prices! And Traveloka boasts about having the most extensive search results. 👍🏻

You’ll also see that hotel listings on Traveloka have TripAdvisor reviews conveniently embedded right inside them! So this means – we no longer need to manually search for the hotel name on TripAdvisor to see what other fellow travellers have to say.

ISN’T THIS AMAZING???

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Because this just makes it soooo much easier for you to know which hotel will give you a legit great holiday experience AND is worth your hard-earned moolah.

And honestly when it comes to getting quality advice on my travels, TripAdvisor is my go-to. No doubt there.

One pretty cool hotel I think you’ll love is the Lexis Suites Penang!

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Check out the hotel’s listing here!

This hotel is crazy cool. Okay – the pictures of the hotel at night kind of looks like a Genting hotel… but it’s the inside that caught my eye.

For starters – they provide something intangible in the air that simply makes the world a better place… 😌

Wi-Fi.

Now, don’t ever discount the importance of Wi-Fi. I’ve been to a few hotels that charged about that price range, and didn’t have the courtesy of having free Wi-Fi. Apparently all part of the ‘zone out’ experience, and if you really need Wi-Fi… you can pay for it at the business lounge.

No – I don’t ‘zone out’ when I don’t have my Wi-Fi.
If anything at all, I go into panic mode because every second I’m unable to check if any important emails came in, I think my work is imploding.

NOT a desirable feeling while on a holiday, I’ll give you that.

And you might say this isn’t healthy. No, it really isn’t. But that’s the lifestyle I have currently whereby I need to check my messages and emails every once in a while, just to make sure things are going well.

The rooms also have bathtubs – which are amazing. If I had room to install one in my bite-sized Singapore apartment, I’d LOVE to have one. Even just a basic soak tub will rock my world.
I had no idea about the wonders of that bathroom feature till I stayed in Japan AirBnb homes – where practically every home came with a small soak tub.
So I went by the convenience store, bought about 10 sachets of bath salts and every evening I was humming while picking one out to soak till I became a human raisin.
It’s great for the skin. No wonder Japanese women have such gorgeous skin! 😫 It’s a clear advantage! And you can really feel the tensions in your muscles just melt away~~ as you lie in there.
Ahem – but back to the hotel.
Yes.
The ultimate cool thing is…. THE PRIVATE POOL!!! 
No need to waddle down in your swimsuit to the hotel pool where other hotel guests are! (Unless you worked super hard for that super hot bod; then sure, you just waddle right down there and show your stuff off! You earned it.)
But a private pool is great. You can soak with your travel companion at practically any time of the day! And imagine all the awesome pictures you have the luxury of taking without public judgement/intervention. 👍🏻
Everything sounds super amazing! ❤️
Life is incredibly stressful for each & every one of us – we are all fighting our own battles. And in no way should we ever think that we should stop fighting our battles.
Continue being strong, live your life – and award yourself every once in a while. 😉
Be it a spa retreat, shopping spree, drama-binging, hibernation or travelling; go live & be happy. 😚
XOXO, G. 

Crazy Lady at the Nail Salon

Today’s a Public Holiday in Singapore…

On that note, a very happy Hari Raya Haji to all my Muslim friends! 💚

So like almost every other hardworking office-enclosed adult on this tropical urban jungle island – I took the day to nua (translates to: relax till you melt to a pulp-like being).

And so decided to pop by my neighbourhood nail salon to get my nails done.

And mind you – I planned for my brain today to be in nua-mode. Means, “pulp-like” mode. Means, I don’t know 1=1 or the Sun rises in the East or that Donald Trump isn’t a white man, but rather, an orange man.

So I wasn’t prepared for what was about to come… 😩

Everything was pretty much going dandy; with the most complex thought in my head being the choice of colour of my nail polish.

Then this other customer came in and started to creep the crap out of me.

Omg, I think she actually did creep the crap out of me… I had to do the big business as soon as I came home! 😱

Ahem. TMI, for you.

Anyway, she looked pretty okay and sat down being super-duper concerned about her health and how her medication is making her feel.

Okay, that kind of raised a flag for me.

Then somehow we moved onto the topic of ‘marriage’ and then she got all disappointed in me when she found out I was in a loving relationship and we are soon to be married.

And apparently it’s because, she doesn’t agree with the concept of marriage.

Now here’s the funny part – she herself is married with 2 fully grown children.

So the beautician asked about her own children getting married, and she got pissed.

She went on like this (in Mandarin), “No! My children can never get married!! I will NEVER approve!”

The beautician and I exchanged questioning glances, and I swear I tilted my head and raised my right eyebrow a little – because apparently I’ve kissed goodbye to tact.

Me: Why not? It’s not compulsory to find someone and get married, but what’s wrong with it?

Woman: Everyone just suffers at the end! People get married, then get divorced! Then get married and divorced again! Can be more than 3, 4 times, you know! 

Me: Oh, is that so? (In a sarcastic way, may I add – because once again, I kissed tact goodbye) Well, there’s good and bad in everything.

Woman: Marriage is useless. It just makes people suffer. My children don’t need to get married. They can take care of themselves without a partner. 

Me: I fully agree that every single person should be independent and capable of taking themselves without being in a relationship just based on reliance – but, okay – what if your children co-habited with a partner? 

Woman: Hmm… No, no. I think they don’t need to. Just stay with me forever.

Me: As long as they are happy, I guess. 

Woman: They can have friends, but they don’t need to leave me.

Instinctively, I opened my Plants VS Zombies app on my iPhone – because it sort of when with it. She was like a relentless zombie chewing away on lives.

Yes, you might call me a bitch. And I’m not going to disagree with you either.
But I grew up under someone who wanted so badly to keep & control me like a mad person – it was entirely unhealthy. Her nightly prayers with me at bedtime included lines like, “May this child always tell me the truth, and if she should lie – may it eat up within her so much that she will be forced to tell me the truth because the truth shall set her free.” And this is just one example.

Only after many years, I realised it wasn’t normal.

So it pricked a nerve thinking that there are other people suffering this same silent cry that no one else really notices/helps.

And Plant VS Zombies has really fun quests lately! So I’ve gotten hooked again! 😄

Beautician: But what if next time they’re old? Won’t they be lonely? 

Woman: They have each other what! They can take care of each other! 

And IMMEDIATELY – I said, “Huh? Like the Lannisters?? That didn’t turn out really well…”

They both obvious don’t watch Game of Thrones… and they were both looking at me weirdly. Swear the beautician was freaking out that her shop had two nut-job customers.

But siblings whom don’t intend on having partners and taking care of each other…?

Image Credit: http://www.thewrap.com

#ifyougetwhatimean

It was really quite disturbing. I need to do something else to legit nua today…

XOXO, G. 

ALTHEA Petal Velvet Powder ❤️

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Do you know what I love about a great face powder? 😍

  1. Really keeps your makeup together for longer 
  2. Helps with all the oil secretion; especially in our tropical weather

I feel that a great face powder is one that isn’t too messy and non-cakey. What really annoys me are those that pile up and make me look like I put a thousand layers of foundation.

Face powders after foundation/BB creams are amazinggg. 👍🏻
BUT! ☝🏻 Only if you have a great face powder.

So, dear reader, here’s a little something for you!

Introducing…

ALTHEA’s Petal Velvet Powder

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As of right now, ALTHEA is easily a mandatory fix for me every time I need a cosmetic refill.

From basic skincare to makeup products, ALTHEA always had my back.

And now they’ve kicked in something of their own too! ❤️ Was crazy happy when I received my very own Petal Velvet Powder in the mail!

Now, I’m going to be entirely honest here even though it’s a sponsored post. It’s what was requested by ALTHEA’s Pixie! (Another reason why I love them)

It’s really quite a great product – and I’ll give you 3 reasons!

1. It smells SUPERB.

Largely thanks to the Althea flower, I suppose. The powder doesn’t just feel soft, it smells soft too. It leaves your face with this lovely hint of floral smell, so it’s really not too much.However if you’re someone who just doesn’t like floral scents – this might not be a favourite for you.

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2. It’s light & covers up pores!

I have pores that are large and aren’t afraid to show themselves. It’s annoying. With this powder, it really helps to cover them up. Even tried this powder one day without my usual BB cream fix. After my usual skincare routine, I patted some of the powder on – and it gave off a clean and refreshing look.

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Now, the powder IS NOT going to make you look glowy and shiny. In fact, it’s actually quite matte. And it doesn’t cover any blemishes whatsoever. It might help to lighten it a tad… but that’s about it.

3. SO CHEAP. OMG.
Cannot deny. S$6.00 for quality, nice-smelling powder is really quite a steal loh. Go Sasa also cannot find.

And it’s so cute and small – it’s perfectly-sized to carry around for a quick touchup!

Just a quick tip, you really don’t want to pile on too much. Like other powders, pat it in moderation. When using it the first time, tap off the excess and pat lightly onto your face.

It’s always easier to put on more than to attempt to wipe off some! ☝🏻

It’s not something that’ll improve your complexion drastically, to be honest.
But it definitely helps with making your skin look smoother and cleaner.

Try out the ALTHEA Petal Velvet Powder today!

Gera's Althea Petal Velvet Powder

XOXO, G. 

The Monsters in Your Life

I’m not going to lie to you – you will have monsters in your life.

They’re going to seem big, they’re going to seem scary, without ethics or a conscience; some of them seem pure diabolical.

And there’s no absolute shield against them.
You’re going to need to deal with your own monsters.

Some monsters choose to insult you;
only because they can’t stand others complimenting you.

Some monsters choose to hate you;
only because they know they’re not easy to love.

Some monsters choose to speak louder than you;
only because you speak more sense.

Some monsters choose to threaten you;
only because you’ve been a threat to them.

Some monsters choose to discredit you;
only because they fear to be in your shadow.

Some monsters choose to ignore you;
only because they want you to feel as insignificant as you make them feel.

Some monsters choose to outcast you;
only because they’re very much alone deep inside.

And some monsters choose to blame you for anything & everything;
only because they’re finding a convenient distraction.

And you can choose to feel insulted, hated, silenced, threatened, discredited, ignored, outcasted and blamed

However you can also choose to realise that these monsters are just really…
PITIFUL WANKERS!! 😂 😂

It (finally) dawned upon me that truly successfulhappy people in life don’t waste their resources putting people down – they’re constantly looking toward a better future.

…Your monsters (AKA pitiful wankers), on the other hand, are too short-sighted/cowardly/incompetent to see their future. So they constantly look behind and see if there’s anyone they can use as a footstool to prop themselves up – even if it’s for just a while. 😕

But like I said – they’re pitiful.

Once you get past your initial anger (and sometimes amusement, even), you should take a step back and take a good look at your monsters. 👀

You’ll come to realise they’re not that big; they’re not that scary; they’re not that worthy. If they choose to act childishly, then you’re clearly just dealing with a child.

You’ll come to realise that your monsters can choose to be so ugly, but you can choose to be happy regardless.

And while your monsters made the choice to spend time hurting you; they made the choice to neglect other things in their lives as well.

So you shouldn’t make the same choice, yes? 😊

Lately I’ve chosen to love more; love everything, really. Even my monsters! ☝🏻

Because I believe that everyone has some good in them; as minuscule as it might be for some. And I believe that good people turned into monsters because of the scars their monsters left them with.

It’s not going to be easy…

But y’know what?

You might not believe me – but YOU are likely someone’s monster too. 😉

The beggar on the street you blatantly turned away.
The cashier you got impatient with.
The new driver you angrily honked at.

Your child you put second to work.
Your parent you haven’t called in months.
Your friend you didn’t bother catching up with.

We all have monsters in our lives; and we’re all monsters in someone else’s life.

Just try to be a cuter monster? 😋
And maybe this world might become a little better.

Love & Happiness

XOXO, G.