It’ll be 2011 in about 24 hours! How exciting. It’ll be my last year as a student. 22 years as a student, pretty scary to think of myself as being part of the ‘work force’.
What are your New Year plans?
My friends and I just hauled ass (yesterday) to book a (scarcely available) hotel room in which we can all comfortably ring in the New Year without having the problem of having to squeeze onto public transportation / struggling to get a cab home.
What’s been happening lately:
- Adorable God Daughter is adorable and 13months old. She’s so soft and fluffy!
- My entry for Fever Avenue’s WIYB3.
- At the behest of my parents and my terrible roots, I have dyed my hair back to black.
- Finally gave in to my long-standing obsession with hoping I can carry off bangs.
- Trying to decide if I look okay in bangs or if I hate it.
- Unable to decide, shall leave it to tomorrow.
- Ate at Arbite at Serangoon Gardens, at the recommendation of my friends over at cravingandwanderlust. Nice little place, reminds me a little of Food for Thought. Good place to just chill out with friends though.
- I had the pappardelle served with mushrooms and parma ham. It was deceivingly filling, and at $19.90, I thought it was a tad pricey, but not too bad. Salty, creamy, love the generous load of mushrooms, very garlic-y.
- Also shared “My Wife’s Chocolate Cake” served with a side of vanilla ice-cream. Very chocolatey and very satisfying for the sweet-tooth.
- Didn’t bring a camera out, photos via cravingsandwanderlust
- Spanner in my grad-trip plans. BUMMED.
Merry Christmas! Can’t wait to dig into Turkey Stuffing. Backlog from past week(s):
- Outfit post
- Mega Japanese Meal at Ichiban-Boshi @ Nex
- Rudi’s huge-ass-bone Birthday Treat (he was born on Christmas Eve!)
*I wore a F21 white tee, Zara pants (SGD10 at the warehouse sale), vintage belt, Nine West lace-up heels that are uber-comfortable. Have been resisting the temptation to wear the same pants everywhere I go. Too comfortable.
*My meal was a cheesey Japanese curry rice set and the boyfriend took the sushi platter. Both were yummy. The cheesey Japanese curry was savoury and went fantastic with the sweet rice, the oranges were a sweet treat to end the meal with. They serve a good chawanmushi, although (in my opinion), it still falls to Shin Kushiya’s over at Vivocity.
Here’s one for you, if you just had sex. Or…even if you didn’t!
NSFW and NSF-Kids.
In my Retail Management class, we learnt that beauty products are often placed near the entrances of departmental stores / on their ground floors, precisely because they are impulse products. How many of us can attest to that? I know I can.
Recently, I stumbled across an article that might help explain why women all over the world spend good money for beauty products. The article “Flattery Will Get an Ad Nowhere” by Pamela Paul, is based on the paper “The Self-Activation Effect of Advertisements: Ads Can Affect Whether and How Consumers Think About the Self,” by Debra Trampe, Diederik A. Stapel and Frans W. Siero, The Journal of Consumer Research.
I thought it was too interesting not to share.
APPARENTLY it doesn’t take much to make a girl feel plain. Just looking at an object intended to enhance beauty makes women feel worse about themselves, according to a study from the April 2011 issue of The Journal of Consumer Research.
The study looked at how women responded to an image of something (say, a high-heeled shoe) depicted in an advertisement and as a simple photograph with no advertising context. According to the authors — led by Debra Trampe, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands — advertised products, unlike unadvertised products, affect both whether and how the viewer thinks of herself afterward. In other words, an image of the high-heeled shoe in a stylish advertisement is likely to trigger a sense of inadequacy.
Of course, you’d anticipate ads featuring Lara Stone and Chanel Iman would make most women feel less than lovely. But here’s an interesting catch: the ads in the study did not feature human beings, or the model approximation thereof. While social-comparison theory holds that people gain information about themselves by looking at other people, according to this study at least, they also gain information about themselves by comparing themselves to objects.
In four different experiments with female undergraduates, beauty products were divided into two categories: beauty enhancing, such as mascara and perfume, and problem solving, such as acne cream and deodorant. One group of students was shown ads for both types of products; another group was shown simple images of both, without advertising.
Those who were shown advertised beauty-enhancing products were likely to think about themselves more afterward than other women would. Perhaps not such a big deal. But the thoughts they had about themselves (when asked questions such as “How attractive do you find yourself?” and “How satisfied are you with your body?”) were decidedly gloomier.
In advertising, implicature refers to the implicit message carried out by an image in an ad. The presence of a cashmere scarf next to a lipstick, for example, can imply luxury and softness. This is established Madison Avenue thinking.
But, the authors suggest, the very fact of the ad itself also conveys meaning to consumers. According to the study, “advertisements displaying beauty-enhancing (rather than problem-solving) products are likely to remind consumers of their own shortcomings.” This, in turn, makes them view themselves more negatively. The authors quote Christopher Lasch, who back in the 1970s said “modern” advertising “seeks to create needs, not to fulfill them; it generates new anxieties instead of allaying old ones.”
What does this mean, other than a plummeting sense of self-esteem after putting down a fashion magazine? “You might expect that a deflated sense of self could lead to lower buying intentions,” said Dr. Trampe, a question she plans to explore further. Or, perhaps, the true basis for “shopping therapy.”
So the next time you (and I) think we should buy that new miracle product, maybe we should think twice.
Side Note: You know what else makes you buy more? Facials. Suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly), you have all sorts of skin problems that must be remedied immediately, like dark eye-circles, etc. But then again, maybe they just highlight what problems you had, that you were previously blind to. Whatever it is, I think I need me some eye-gel, pronto.
There’s about 12 more days till Christmas, have you done your shopping yet? I haven’t, in fact, I’m too broke to. However, what I lack in money, I make up for in…free time. Which I use to make up my Christmas Gift List, and imagine an ideal world where I can afford all of the following:
Every girl needs a good pair of these in their wardrobe. I should know since my F21 pair just had its sole drop off. This chic pair of Zara oxfords look sturdy, well-made and comes in either black or brown (although I am partial towards the brown). I can just picture all the outfit combis I would do with this pair. Retails at 59.99 GBP on zara.com.
2. Leopard Blazer
Yeah, yeah, I know I said I find leopard prints tacky, and I normally do, except for this time. I find myself especially taken with this Zara leopard print blazer. Maybe it’s the cut, maybe it’s how it’s paired, but something about it feels just right. Retails at 79.99 GBP on zara.com
How about jewelry that doesn’t break the bank? Get some cute and delicate-ish handmade bling from etsy shops like Piper Blue that sells necklaces and earrings at pretty affordable prices ranging from USD20++.
Alternatively, consider Gwen Delicious, another etsy store that makes use of unconventional and unexpected vintage materials (like type writer keys or cashier keys) to be remade into necklaces and even cufflinks. Prices range from USD20+ onwards.
4. A Cambridge Satchel
It’s leather, well-made and hardy. What’s not to like? Okay, well, maybe the buckles which can be troublesome and tiresome. You can get your/your loved one’s initials embossed. Comes in variety of colours. Order now to get it delivered before Christmas. I already have one, but would love one in gorgeous purple! Pssssst, if you are in Singapore and would like a brand new, never-been-used light brown Cambridge Batchel, let me know! I’ve got a friend who’s looking to sell his new, un-embossed batchel.
5. Laptop Sleeve
Mine has a spoilt zipper (which makes it a hazard to store and carry my Macbook in), and I’ve been meaning to get a new one, but for laziness and broke-ness. Ever since I spotted the Cote et Ciel sleeve on Bagaholic Boy, I’ve been wanting to pick one up from Cumulus (Wheelock Place). According to Bagaholic Boy, it’s about SGD60 and neoprene. Reasonably priced and perfect since I already have a nasty dent in my Macbook (i.e, I am clumsy). I checked out Cote et Ciel’s website, and like the short opening diver sleeves in Blackcurrent or Navy Blue.
5. Reed Krakoff Suede Tote
I didn’t really know what to expect from Batam, having never been there and not having much general knowledge about it. I’ll be honest, I was expecting a village. I was wrong.
My Batam adventure began quite unfortunately. Somehow I managed to misplace and lose my ferry ticket before I even got on my ferry. There was a mad rush to get a replacement ticket, but eventually I made it (although I had to fork out another SGD24 to get a return ferry ticket later on).
Batam, contrary to my earlier misconception, is not a fishing village. Granted, it is less modern than Singapore, but not without its own city/urban comforts. We paid about SGD150-160 for a 3D2N package, with lodging at Golden View Batam Resort. The hotel is nice enough, if you aren’t a stickler for 5-star treatment, beds that are a tad too hard, and consistency (my room was missing a fridge and safe, but no matter). Although, it would have been nice to have gotten a room that didn’t smell of stale, unclean carpet. Thankfully, that smell disappeared after a day (it helps to leave the air-conditioning on). But what they lack, they make up for with relatively friendly and helpful staff, complementary dinner (on the first night) and breakfast, and a lovely pool.
The pool was godsent considering the ‘beach’ they had was really entirely not beach-holiday appropriate; it was resplete with rocks. Not where you want to lie out and soak some sun. Luckily for us, we took advantage of the sunny weather on our first day, because it was sadly gray and downtrodden on the second day of our trip.
Batam is the perfect place to do many of the things you would have done in Singapore, but for much, much less. You can watch movies, sing karaoke, play arcade games, get massages, eat till you can no longer wear your pants, all at a fraction of the price.
- Movies- SGD2.50. Of course, with a smaller variety of English movie choices to choose from, unless you speak Bahasa Indonesian.
- Karaoke- SGD5.00 per person, for 2 hours worth of singing your lungs out. And yes, they do have quite a modern selection of English/Chinese/Korean/Japanese songs.
- Massage– our massage was complementary with our package, but I’m sure you can get one there for about SGD20+ or so. Of course, if you are a guy, be prepared to get offered some ‘extra’ services.
- Cheap(er) alcohol
- Tim Tams for SGD1.00
But most importantly, your trip would be a waste if you didn’t venture forth and try their cheap (I mean, really cheap) and good food. Where can you find a meal that costs SGD1-2? Batam! Indonesian food is very flavourful, and everything packs a punch. Right down to their fried rice (you should see the way the hawker pours his heart and soul into frying that rice, I tell you). Things to try:
- Indomie goreng
- Teh botol- I believe it translates to ‘tea in a bottle’. Very refreshing.
- The best chilli kangkong (spinach) ever– it’s sweet and spicy at the same time. Different from the type of chilli kangkong you get in Singapore.
- A&W– a chance for all Singaporeans to get their A&W fix, though if you’re looking for curly fries, you’re better off at..
- BFC– Best Fried Chicken (I believe). Think fast food serving both East (Indonesian fare) and West (curly fries, shakes, burgers), but at ridiculously cheap prices. Ridiculous (like SGD1-2++). Your loss if you don’t try.
- Coffee Town– You can find it in most of the malls in Batam, I think. Though a chain restaurant, it serves great food. Try their coffee susu (milk) and teh susu (tea with milk) that’s diabetic sweet but somehow fantastic. They also serve curly fries and the best fried kway teow (noodles) I have ever tried. It looks bland and tasteless, but trust me, it’s an explosion of flavour in your mouth. You will not regret trying it.
- Ayam Penyet
- Seafood– Batam is known for its cheap and fresh seafood. Even the grilled/bbq fish we had at some roadside stall was succulently fresh and delicious. Make sure you order cereal prawn. The hotel we stayed at had a seafood restaurant within its premises, apparently quite a famous one at that.
- Kueh Lapis– apparently a famous Batam produce. I can’t tell you who we ordered our cake from (because we did it through our tour agency, and I wasn’t expecting much), but my god, it was good and not too oily.
We didn’t manage to try much water sports, something I’ll be on a lookout for the next time I go to Batam. But really, if you’re looking for a cheap and relaxing get-away, lots of food and just hanging out with company. Batam would not be a bad choice at all, though probably just for about 3-4 days (maximum), before you get bored.
No time for pictures, but I just checked out the Zara/Ted Baker warehouse sale. Wasn’t sure if it would be much, but since it’s the holidays, I went to check it out.
Not much going for the Ted Baker section, but the Zara sale does hold some fabulous buys!
Prices start from $2 for tops to $10 for shoes, and $20 for jackets and blazers. There is a small array of men’s clothing and shoes available.
It’s still going on tomorrow and Saturday, 9am-6pm at 190 Macpherson Road.
I picked up 3 gorgeous pairs of heels, and a few pieces of clothing.
If you can, hurry down tomorrow! There may still be good buys! Be prepared to dig and practice sneaky-trying-clothes tactics.
Warning: goods sold are defective, so be sure to check for (intolerable) missing buttons, tears, spoilt / stained areas, etc, before making your purchase.
Payment by cash and Nets accepted.
One more presentation, individual term paper & 3 exams to go before this term is over.
It felt strange to have emptied my e-dollar account to bid for modules next term. It’s so strange to finally have reached my last term. It’s surreal coming face-to-face with the realisation that a 4-year journey is winding down. It’s the weirdest feeling; like something you’ve been dreading and looking forward to is right here, and you have no idea what’s next.
In any case, some relaxation is in order. For your entertainment (especially if you’re from SMU and can relate), and of course, some Eminem. I’ve got “Space Bound” on replay, wishing I was on some beach, with the cool sea breeze/night air, staring at the nightsky, and wishing on a falling star.
If you haven’t gotten his album ‘Recovery’, go get it!
Tried ‘Strictly Pancakes’ for the first time today. I really liked the garlic prawns, but all I could think about was how I would have loved it as some Aglio Olio. I guess that means I’m just more of a sweet pancakes girl. Bad pictures because going there was an impromptu decision, so I didn’t bring my camera along.
I was disappointed at having to wait for quite some time (like half an hourish) for my pancakes to come. Is that normal waiting time for them, or are they just understaffed? I was near-gastric by the time my food came.
In other news, if you are interested in Fashion or Marketing:
*Read about the Chinese textile business & ‘Made in Italy’ labels you might be wearing
*P&G is trying to hook up bloggers, social networks/influence, with a good cause (CLEAN WATER!)
P&G said it is capitalizing on the power of influential female bloggers and online communities to inspire action to help people in need of clean water.
To participate, bloggers must write an original post of 200 words or more about why they would like to participate as a “Change Agent” on the weeklong expedition to Africa this fall. Dr. Greg Allgood, the director of CSDW, will accompany the winner. Bloggers can promote their posts on Twitter with the hashtag #paid ad.
The Give Health Clean Water Blogivation kicked off at the BlogHer 2010Conference last week in partnership with Changents.com. At the site, participating bloggers can get a voting widget to embed in their blog post. The blogger with the most votes on Aug. 27 will be the grand-prize winner. P&G will also make a $15,000 donation to the winner’s choice of a nonprofit drinking water charity.
For every post and vote, P&G will donate a day of clean water to a person in need.
Being in SMU this term has felt like a marathon. I’ve got 2 more project presentations to get over, and then, a little breathing space before I embark on my individual research proposal and studying for finals.
The lack of updates didn’t even reach my mind, I’ve been so busy trying to meet deadlines. This term has not been easy for so many of us; talking with my friends, we shared the implications of living such a stressful life. Or maybe it’s just us getting older- chest pains, anxiety, throbbing headaches, time crunches, bad skin, and in my case, spending minutes trying to remember if I brushed my teeth, while I’m still in the shower. Shower amnesia.
Well, why not share some of the project work I’ve been doing. I’ve got nothing else anyway. Some snapshots of slides I did…
& then a series of mock-up posters for a retail management/concept project. Photos via googleimage, clearly, and only used for academic purposes. But you get the picture. The concept was a cereal eatery, high on customization. Though the focus of the project wasn’t on communications, we wanted to illustrate how it could be used to try to expand the consumption occasions of cereal. Would have been more effective if the lunchtime cereal was a different one from the morning breakfast one, but I couldn’t find a satisfactory picture
Last stretch of this never-ending marathon to go.
In other news, my asos order has arrived! AWESOME.