Monday, October 27, 2014

Picking our Wedding bands with Michael Trio

(Picture taken by Pixioo Photography
So, it has been about 3 months since I got engaged and I still find myself looking down at my ring finger almost daily to admire my proposal ring that SX got for me.
It is everything that I've wanted and well, it was a really "safe" design because it is a classic solitaire (round shaped) diamond on a very simple ring setting. Actually... I wouldn't mind if the ring setting got a little teenie weenie bit fancier but I guess it is better to not let SX have too much creativity else the ring will be too loud for daily wear.
I've received a couple of questions from readers and even a reader's boyfriend on where SX bought my proposal ring because his girlfriend likes it alot.
Well, fret not, all boyfriends!
Today, I will be sharing with you guys - Michael Trio - which is a Singapore based custom jewelery brand that has a physical & online store.
A trivia fact about the reason behind the name, Michael Trio. Their father, Michael, has over 40 years of experience in the diamond and jewellery industry and the 3 brothers (thus, the Trio) learned the ropes from their father and started helping out in his business. With the values and knowledge taught by their father, the 3 brothers wishes that Michael Trio will progress and aspire to be one of the most sought after online jewellery brands in the industry.

Michael Trio is the 1st online jewelery store in Singapore and I think it is about time some one decided to do this. I mean, we have online shopping for so many things, from clothes to furniture to groceries shopping, so why not jewellery?
Michael Trio

So I've decided to try out their website to see how it is like to actually create a proposal ring from scratch on the Michael Trio.
& it is really simple, just 3 steps!
1- Select diamond
2 - Choose ring setting
3 - Complete ring

So Step 1:  select the most important thing of them all..
So from the above image you can see that you'll have to select the following:
- Shape: Solitaire/Princess/Emerald/Heart etc...
- Color: D is the most "colorless" & K is the most "yellow"
- Price: self-explanatory right this one? Haha.
- Carat: you can set it to 0.7 carat or if you are ambitious, 2 carat?
- Cut: this is how your diamond reflects light to make it seem "shiny/sparkly"
- Clarity: is how flawless your diamond is, whether there's any blemishes visible or not.

I even selected 3 different diamonds and have them side by side for comparison.
I'm really impressed with the features of the website because it makes shopping for diamonds really simple.

& once you've decided on the diamond that you want, you have to click "Add Diamond To" before you move on to select your ring setting!
Another must highlight fact of Michael trio..
All their diamonds comes with GIA! Which is the "certificate" of the ring, so you'll really know what you are getting! These Diamond Grading Report are issued by Gemological Institute of America.

Step 2: Choosing the Setting.
Remember how I said that I wouldn't mind if my ring setting was a little bit fancier?
Over at this page, there are tons of different ring settings for me to choose from. I really couldn't make up my mind! In the end, I still picked one that is quite plain. HAHA. What is wrong with me. 

So after picking out the setting of my choice, I am at this page where I can add engraving text (I'm a sucker for engraving names & dates on my jewelleries).
Once done filling up all that, I can now proceed to Step 3: Check Out.
With this customizing option and being able to "Build" my own ring from scratch, I would say it is really amazing to know that you may be the only one wearing this ring design. & something of such high significance like a proposal ring or wedding band should be one of a kind.
I also decided to check out the wedding bands section to see if there is any that I like because SX and I have yet to gone shopping for our wedding bands..
He is pretty clueless on what he wants actually but he doesn't want something too simple. He wants it to be a little unique and with some diamonds. This guy quite vain one okay!
 So I decided to take a look at the ladies eternity ring because I think it would look quite pretty stacked with my proposal ring.
I decided to head down to Michael Trio's Showroom to physically try out the wedding bands because it is really accessible.. located at Tanjong Pagar! 

So if you are familiar with Tanjong Pagar, you know there's an entire stretch of road filled with wedding gown boutiques? That's where you can find Michael Trio.

The showroom is really cozy and just gives off a comfortable feeling unlike some jewellery shops that intimidates me from the moment I set foot in.

SX and I were introduced to Gin, who will be helping us select the wedding bands.

So many choices to pick from.

Where do we start?!
Check out both our "lost" looks. Haha.

But Gin was really patient and told us to just try on as many rings as we want till we find the one that we like.
Usually, I'll be pretty embarrassed to ask to try on a few designs because I'm afraid I will be troubling the sales person but Gin told us that we were purchasing something that we will be wearing for LIFE so he insisted for us to try all we want.

Trying an eternity ring on, checking out how it will look stacked next to my proposal ring.

As you can tell, I really tried on quite a few.
The ones on my index finger is what SX picked, that's why it looks manly because it is meant for him.

We were close to picking this pair for ourselves then we decided to customize our wedding bands instead of just buying it off the counters.
It will look somewhat similar to these rings, but with a little enhancements made.

Even though we were swamped with so much choices, it was a really fun process and both SX and I enjoyed it.

Gin helping SX find out his ring size.
These are the bigger diamonds which are meant for proposal rings.

See what I meant by I was enjoying the process of it all?
I think it is important for a couple to be both committed in the planning of a wedding because this is an affair for 2. I don't want the entire wedding to be just about me based on all my ideas and decisions. It has to one which SX and I are both happy with. :)
So this was the 3D design sent by Gin, this is my wedding band, still an eternity ring with diamonds all around but I've decided to have the edges of the ring thicker and the diamonds embedded deeper in it. This is to match SX's design.

& this is SX's wedding band.
Encrusted with 6 diamonds around the ring and the edges of the ring made much thicker and the depth of the ring makes it look more interesting. Like I've said before, my man likes his ring fancy.
Michael Trio also has lifetime warrenty as they believe in giving customers a piece of mind.
You can also upgrade your diamond in the future if you wish to have a bigger rock on your finger as Michael Trio has this Diamond upgrade programme. They will apply the full credit amount of your current diamond and you can purchase your new diamond by just paying the extra.
Michael Trio has a price match guarantee as well, meaning they are committed to providing the highest quality of diamonds at the most affordable prices to consumers.
They also have a 30 days return policy.

SX and I are so pleased with the 3D sketch of our wedding bands and we can't wait to see the actual rings.
We were actually sent like 8 different 3D sketches by Gin, I tell you, he is really super accomodating and patient! As he was afraid we may not know what we want, he decided to do more 3D sketches for us to pick from.

Happy shoppers, SX and I.
I'm so thankful and glad to have found Michael Trio to be the jewelery boutique for our wedding bands because I really trust their craft and they are just the easiest people to work with.
If you are also in search of wedding bands or proposal rings, do consider Michael Trio because I promise you will NOT be disappointed. I'm not saying this because it is an advertorial. I truly feel that their service is worth recommending.
I will be back with another blogpost after I've collected my wedding bands!
Michael Trio
91 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088512
Tel: 6299 0110
(appointments preferred)
Mondays - Saturdays, 1200 to 2030
Or you can visit them on their Facebook as well:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Essential's New Relaunch!

I'm not sure about you guys but do you use the same shampoo throughout the entire year?
I for one have like 3 different shampoos in my bathroom because I'll always need different shampoos for my different needs.
& my parents have been saying I'm taking too much space in the bathroom with all my tubes and bottles of hair products. *Don't blame me mom, blame my erratic hair & scalp!*
 I tend to get oily on my scalp if I don't wash my hair every day but if I do wash it daily, then the ends of my hair will be pretty dry. #FirstWorldProblems. To wash or not to wash? Haha.

I'm sure that mostly everyone here have heard of Essential hair care before, a popular brand from Japan. It was such a big hit when it launched a few years back and I was so in love with their products too!! The treatment mask was my must-have in my bathroom every time.
Essential has relaunched their hair series with a
brand new packaging,
improved formula
and a new variant!
 I am so happy that I was sent the entire set so that I can find out what's the best for me!
And as you can tell, they are all easily differentiated by the colors of the bottles and looking at it just makes me happy already. (That's the thing about Japanese products, everything is cuter and prettier)
I know many of you may be clueless about your hair conditions because I was, so you can definitely use the chart above to determine which shampoo range is most suitable for you.
Do you know that similar to skin where there are some who has dry, oily or combination skin.. hair also has the same concept of combination hair? Combination hair is when your hair condition is not uniform from the root to the tip. So I'm sure I have combination hair because my roots tend to be oily and ends dry!
& remember how I mentioned I have many different shampoos? That is because I will alternate between a volumizing one today and a oil controlling one tomorrow. It is really quite a hassle and now I'm so glad that Essential new relaunched series can help solve my problem!
Let's take a look at the entire range of products first.

The Orange series, Nourish and Breaking Defense is for the Weak & Damaged hair.
So if your hair is brittle and breaks at the slightest tug then this is meant for you.
The Hair mask & Treatment tube from the Nourish and Breaking Defense series is a bonus that I treat my hair to every week!
The Treatment Tube is a leave-in treatment, just apply a little and massage it into your hair ends for 30 seconds and you are ready to go! It leaves my hair very moisturized and manageable! So if you are in a rush and can't spend much time on your hair, this is ideal for you.

The Hair Mask  is a more intensive treatment to treat those dry/damaged ends, leaving hair softer, smoother and more manageable. I use this at least once a week!

The Pink series, Moisturizing Frizz Free is made for dull & rough hair.
So if you want to add some shine to your hair and tame down that mane, you can try this out!

The Blue series, Deep Cleansing Care is for oily hair & dry ends. So remember what I mentioned about Combination hair earlier on? This is so suitable for me!
The Deep Cleansing Care (blue) variant has the lightest formula and is suitable for people with very oily roots, followed by Light Finish Volumizing (yellow) variant.

The yellow series, Light Finishing Volumizing, is for limp and flat hair.
The Essential Light Finish Volumizing (yellow) and Deep Cleansing Care (blue) variants are suitable for combination hair and have the optimum combination of Smart Cuticle Care & Sebum Cleansing Technology to target both problems of roots and hair ends.
So I can now experience the best of both worlds with one product - airy light roots and moisturized ends. *Exactly what I need!!*
Another one of the issues I had besides just having oily scalp & dry ends.. was that my hair was super flat. I have quite a lot of hair but it is just so flat and shapeless all the time. I hated the limpness of it and would sometimes even resort to using texturizing spray on my roots to give it more volume.
I've been using this set of shampoo, conditioner from Essentials for 2 weeks+ now and my hair condition has definitely improved.
& that is from the Light Finishing Volumizing series!
My hair has so much more bounce and volume to it now.
All I do before I head out now is just to blow dry my hair and it has a really good amount of shape to it. I don't have to rely on hairspray anymore! (I really hate using hairsprays, so sticky!)
Thanks to the new combination variants from Essentials, I can now target both my problems at once!
Dry hair ends.
Oily Scalp.
Flat hair.
1 solution to end it all!

Right now, Essential is giving away free samples of their Light Finish Volumizing shampoo & conditioner (which is the one I'm using!) on their Facebook page!

You can also follow them on the following social media platforms to get latest promotions and updates on their haircare products!

To healthier hair!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tokyo Sushi Japan x Oishi Japan 2014

I'm a huge fan of Japanese cuisine. Whenever SX or my friends asks me for dinner ideas, I'll usually suggest having Japanese food for dinner. It never disappoints me. I swear I can have it 24/7!
So when my dear friend, Esther, invited me down to Tokyo Sushi Academy, to learn how to make sushi, I jumped at the chance! I've always wanted to learn how to make sushi but I just felt it was too difficult and I gave up the idea but I was wrong, I was able to make a pretty decent maki in less than 2 hours!
Esther also invited Tricia down to Tokyo Sushi Academy, and yes, put 2 of us together, the class was pretty hilarious.

So we joined the class of Temasek Polytechnic students for a half day special training session as they will be involved in this year's Oishii Japan 2014 expo held at Suntec Expo Singapore (more on that later).

Here's chef Fujisaki teaching us how to prepare the rice, which is like the most important step of making sushi? It seems to take the longest time too and yes, you have to actually fan the rice to cool it down to body temperature.

 Tricia and I trying our hands on making the most basic type of sushi!

Us trying to blend in with the hardworking students.

But still, we will definitely have time for a selfie before the teacher moved on to demonstrating the next kind of sushi.

Adding fish flakes onto the rice to "color" it.

Ingredients: cheese sticks and boiled spinach.

We were then taught how to make Kazari Maki, which means art or decorative sushi!
Can you tell what we are making?
Serious at work but it was really fun lah!!

Haha, Chef Fujisaki standing on the chair to make sure all his students got what he was saying and were making the sushi correctly.

YAY, part 1 of the Kazari Maki done.
Pretty obvious what we are making right? A flower!

Chef Fujisaki demonstrating how to roll the "flower sushi" into a huge maki.
I needed some help.. hahaha and I was like calling "SENSEI SENSEI!".. so he came over personally to guide me. #NeedyStudent

Very proud of my work even though it is far from perfect. HAHA.
The last step which is the "make it or break it" part is to SLICE IT UP.
& Japanese rice is sooooo sticky, I have to wipe down the knife every time I slice a portion.

It is not that easy okay!! Need skill one man. You got to have a firm hand but not pressing it down too hard else the sushi roll will just go out of shape.
Posing with my sweat and blood. HAHA.
Okay, dramatic much. But I was so happy I did it!

Can you believe in less than 2 hours, I was able to make all these!
The cucumber sushi was the first one I made and as you can tell, my rolling skill wasn't that good at that time because it is quite "loose"?
The crabmeat sushi was the 2nd one I did and I think I did pretty okay there!
And the final sushi was the huge flower one!!
Super cute please.....
I feel happy just looking at it.

& this is... not mine.
Haha, this plate of sushi is done by Chef Fujisaki, our Sensei!
He even carved out those leaves to decorate the plate of sushi.

 MasterChef, Bloggers Edition. HAHA.
Chef Fujisaki is pretty funny during the class even though English isn't his first language, you'll definitely be able to understand what he was teaching. He is really detailed (well, I guess most Japanese are) and makes sure you get the important points down.

One picture with Esther before we left.
Thanks once again for thinking of me because you know I'm such a sushi fan! I really enjoyed myself during the class and I actually really want to learn how to make sushi lah! Next time can be the perfect housewife right? Imagine your husband come home, and you prepared an array of sushi for him.. confirm that weekend he bring you go shopping. HAHA.
If you are keen to find out more, like the price of the courses and all, feel free to contact them!
Address: 133 New Bridge Road
Singapore 059413
TEL: +65 6444 – 7828
So, remember earlier on I was saying that the class of Temasek Polytechnic students were learning how to make sushi because they were involved in Oishii Japan 2014?
 This is the 3rd year Oishii Japan is happening in Singapore. & this time it is held at Suntec Expo from 16 to 18 October!
Oishii Japan is the largest dedicated Japanese F&B showcase.
& it is launched to showcase the beauty and versatility of Japanese produce that can be incorporated into many types of cuisines.
By celebrating the intricacies of Japanese cuisine, Oishii Japan aims to promote the rich heritage, culture and wide array of agricultural produce that Japan has to offer.
The show caters to F&B professionals, chefs, restaurateurs, hoteliers, importers and distributors, retailers as well as new business owners and investors in the food business.
(visit the website to check out the programmes happening on the 18th Oct - sushi demonstration by Chef Yujisaki)
So the class of Temasek Polytechnic student's experience in sushi making will come in handy as they will be assisting Chef Fujisaki during his demonstration sessions during Oishii Japan Expo.
The students will also be manning a counter at J-Food Street on 18th Oct where they will show their newly acquired sushi making skills and will be distributing the sushis for sampling!
J-Food Street will be located at Hall 404 of Suntec Expo and it is open to public. There is also no  admission charges needed and anyone can buy Japanese small bites and beverages there!