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Habitat by Honestbee: Uniquely Shopping and Dining Experience for Family

Just by word of mouth is enough to draw us to explore Habitat at Honestbee. The newly-opened supermart prides itself as a multi-sensory, tech-meets-food grocery and dining experience like no other. See, smell, hear, touch and taste fresh flavours and food items from across the globe – all in one habitat by honestbee.

When we arrived, many curious and eager shoppers were crowding at the entrance, opening or setting up their “Bee Pass” to enter/exit habitat. Yes, first of its kind experience. You do not need to bring any physical wallets and there are no ATMs to be seen as well. Just your “Bee Pass” will do.

Potted plants for sale after entering Habitat.

We read that Habitat occupies the space of slightly larger than a football field. Upon stepping into the compound, we were greeted with so many shoppers (probably their first time).

A long queue was forming at the coconut stall. Amazing, each fresh trimmed coconut was selling for only $0.95! No wonder they are the best sellers. We thought it’s a worthy buy, at least not spending more than $4 on bubble tea.

Big & Small M made a beeline to take a mandatory photo with the friendly bee when it came by.

Exploring the section near the entrance before our hunger pang strikes. According to Honestbee, the produce were sourced directly from farmers and established producers from across the globe.

Cute cup noodles from Korea and Japan.

If you are observant enough, you get to see peoples’ orders are packed quickly and transported by these conveyor belts.

 Dining here is akin to having design thinking, digital marketing and digital awareness coming alive right in front of you.

And so, we had our lunch here. To order our food, we can’t order direct from the stalls. The only way to order is through your Honestbee app under “Habitat”. E-receipt is emailed to you and via the app, you can track your order and receive notification that your food is ready to collect.

Honestly, Habitat wasn’t as big as we thought it was. Probably much of the space was taken up for storage or collection/packing. It would be good if Honestbee can introduce stationery or some electronic items in the future to make the shopping experience more fulfilling.

Finally managed to find seats after waiting for quite a while. This is Little Neck Clams and Bacon.

Milk Made: Frozen shakes & bakes.

Tiger Beer battered fish & chips.

Crumble Vairhona Chocolate.

Poofy Pancakes served with vanilla chantilly cream, maple syrup and fresh berries.

Australia Grass-fed Flank Steak. Served with roasted chat potatoes, roasted plum tomatoes, herb salad.

Cute and shiny utensils. They are actually made of plastic 🙂

We have a soft spot for fresh bakes.

Free tasting at the Lazy Loaf counter.

Exploring the remaining sections. Fresh seafood are a hit with shoppers. The best part was that you can pick your seafood and the masterchef will cook it for you.

While almost everything is automated, we still need human assistance to help us figure out how to complete our purchase.

Scan our order and the trolley will check out and be automatically rolled into the packing area.

In case you are wondering whether you need to “rush” to the collection point after checking out your trolley, there is no need to. You can still dine or shop additional items and when ready, just proceed to the collection point to collect your honest purchase.

At the collection point, served by robot courier!

Shuttle bus is also available between Harbourfront to Habitat at Honestbee.

Address: 34 Boon Leat Terrace S(119866)

Bus: 10, 30, 30E, 51, 143, 175, 176, 188, 188E

MRT: Labrador Park, Pasir Panjang

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Family Friendly Restaurant: Thai-licious Boat Noodles @ Liang Seah Street, Simply Delicious!

Thai cuisines are undeniably one of the best cuisines in the world. Very often, we would think that tasting such heavenly dishes would require us to be whisked off to the Land of Smiles to experience it. Not really.

In fact, it didn’t take too long by word of mouth for us to try out the mouth-watering array of dishes brimming with the exicting flavours of Thailand at Thai-licious Boat Noodles, newly-opened and conveniently located at #01-01, 8 Liang Seah Street.

The ethos at Thai-licious Boat Noodles is all about woking up the best and authentic Thai food in Singapore at reasonable prices to boot.

Free Wi-Fi is a bonus to the ever data-hungry geeks for them to share Instagram worthy pictures of Thai-licious’ dishes to whet your appetite.

Good Old Thai Food

It’s time for our taste buds to fall in love with Thai food. Thai Boat Noodles are notably the restaurant’s core cuisine. We were at a lost on what to order simply because there are too many incredibly good cuisines to choose from! But still, we manage to savour some of their best dishes and just one trip here might not do justice to the allure of this restaurant.

These are our humble orders..

Strong flavoured Thai Boat Noodles (pork/beef) are notably the restaurant’s core cuisine. Served in either small ($1.90) or large bowls ($7.50) and packed with such awesomeness, it would be hard to resist and give it a miss.

Seafood Tom Yum Soup ($12), hot and sour soup base that is aromatic. It comes with fresh mussels, crunchy tiger prawns, thick cuts of fish and squid. We tasted and it was really spicy!

The Braised Pork ($15) brings out the flavour of tender cuts and it is served with blanched bean sprouts and crispy garlic sprinkles. A big favourite by Big & Small M 🙂

The Thai Papaya Salad ($10) comes with a generous portion of shredded ingredients consisting of thick, crunchy unripen papaya shreds, long beans and cherry tomatoes flavoured with the right amount of sweetness and tang.

Phad Thai Wrapped in Omelette ($10.50). Widely recognised as one of the best Thai street food, our insatiable craving for Phad Thai has become the must-try food in the bucket list during our visit to this restaurant. The picture says it all – you will only understand why after tasting a mouthful of Phad Thai, with the sauce flavour, bean sprouts, crunchy prawns and ingredients blending together in such harmony.

Braised Beef Tendon Rice ($8.90), with tender pieces of beef slow-cooked in a flavorful sauce of soy sauce.

Spicing up our evening with galore of these Thai food!

We ordered these desserts which tasted super chewy but not sticky to the teeth. The Thai Mochi ($7) which comes in 3 flavours such as Mango, Thai Milk Tea and Taro, is a treat for the sweet toothed. Expect delightful ice-cream fillings enveloped in a smooth skin of glutinous rice-flour.

Topping up with the ever popular Mango Sticky Rice ($10).

Thai-licious has a rather extensive menu with over 50 items for a small sized eatery, hence customers can return to savour dishes they have yet to try whenever the Thai hankerings kick in. Did we mention that Thai-licious has no 7% GST charge and their dishes are specially prepared by chefs from Thailand? 🙂 

Thai-licious Address & Opening Hours
8 Liang Seah Street, #01-01, Singapore 189029
Mon –Thur: 1100 to 2200
Fri – Sun: 1100 to 2400

Social Media
Facebook: fb.me/thailiciousboatnoodles
Instagram: Thai-licious Boat Noodles

Restaurant & General Inquiries
Email: contactus@thailicious.com.sg
Tel: 69179857

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Taipei, The Idea Box, Travel, Vacation

Taiwan Special Hotels – Bubble WOW Bali and Sato Castle @ Taipei

Travelling to Taipei can’t get any more exciting during the holidays. With unlimited choices of accommodations to choose from, staying at these fascintating places may just be hard to strike off from your checklist.

Sato Castle Motel Taipei

Sato Castle hotel is centrally located in the Zhongshan district, a mere 5 minute walk from Jiannan Road MRT Station. It is also a short drive or train ride from Taipei’s largest night market, Shilin Night Market.

511 大力水手(Popeye)

212 蜘蛛人(Spiderman)

507 超人再起(The Superman is rising again)

Sato Castle Hotel offers accommodation in 51 guestrooms complete with complimentary Wi-Fi, climate control, a laptop safe, TV and a seating area. In-room self-catering facilities include an electric kettle and a fridge.

305 性感女神(Sexy Goddess)

620 杜蘭朵公主(Princess Turandot)

620 杜蘭朵公主(Princess Turandot)

301 雷米金盃(Jules Rimet Cup)

Dazhi train station is 5 minutes’ walking distance from the hotel. The hotel is around 5 km from Sung Shan airport.

Address: No. 75, Jingye 2nd Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10466

 

Bubble WOW Bali

The New Taipei City Bali Cultural Park Camping Area is the first public camping area of the New Taipei City Government. There are currently 24 camps in the district, including 20 bubble tents, 4 grass camps, and complete hydro power and washing facilities.

Some say bubble hotels are the next big thing, with a growing popularity among travelers who love exploring quirky hotels. Unlike tents and cabins, these transparent bubbles offer unobstructed views of the night sky.

It’s easy to spend an entire evening gazing at the stars except there is no northern lights dancing across the night sky from the warmth and comfort of your own transparent room.

 Mini bar and outdoor dining area.

Shared bathroom area.

Address: No. 1, Waziwei St., Bali, 00249, Taipei City, Taiwan (Taipei City, 16.8 km to City centre)

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Brotzeit German Bier Bar and Restaurant

First time dining at Brotzeit and fell in love with the food.

CRISPY OVEN-ROASTED PORK KNUCKLE

PAN-SEARED BARRAMUNDI

Pan-seared sustainably farmed Barramundi fillet on a bed of fresh German egg noodles, with lemon herb cream sauce.

GRILLED PORK SAUSAGES

A firm German favourite, and one of Brotzeit’s signature dishes, the sausages are hearty and packed with flavour. Served with mashed potato and sauerkraut, and best enjoyed with a pint of our premium German draught beer.

BREADED CAMEMBERT

Three nuggets of oozy cheesy goodness, a decadent choice for cheese-lovers. Served with cranberry cream.

BREADED PRAWN

Enjoy the golden crunch – deep-fried breaded prawns with home-made tartar sauce.

MEDLEY OF SPREADS

Sliced premium multi-grain bread served with four traditional German spreads: Obatzda (German cheese spread), Griebenschmalz (bacon spread), Leberpastete (liver paté), and Kartofel Käse (potato cheese spread).

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Asia

Parental Control App – Protect and Save Your Child Vision with Plano!

Often appears in childhood, short-sightedness (as known myopia) is a common eye condition that causes distant objects to appear blurred. According to studies, 5 out of 10 children are affected by myopia during primary school years and by the time they are in secondary school, the affected ratio increases to 8.

To set the record straight, myopia is caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors such as spending too much time indoors and extended periods of time on near tasks like reading, writing or playing with smart devices.

In as much as we would want Big & Small M to have perfect eyesight, it seems a far reaching goal to reach when our ophthalmologist said they have myopia of varying levels and have to wear prescription glasses. In as much as we would like to limit our children usage of smart devices and screen exposure, it would be challenging to monitor them at all times.

What a blessing it is when we were introduced to a special friend in the form of an app – Plano – a Parenting Control App which is developed with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Singapore National Eye Center (SNEC) to reduce risk factors associated with myopia, monitor device usage, filter unwanted content, and notify us when the kids step out of the designated safe zone.

The app brings along these benefits:

  • Using artificial intelligence to detect early signs of myopia, auto check-up reminders and parental reports
  • Live intervention to correct eye to screen distance and/or posture
  • Auto-timer when screen is on incentives to stop use when prompted
  • Schedule no-device timings
  • Plano empowers and rewards outdoor time and device-free activities

Our Experience

Indeed, knowing the benefits of Plano app is not enough and we just have to try it out. While we appreciate technological innovations, any app that is too complex or difficult to use (though may include many features) will deter us from using it. For a start, “simple and intuitive” are our first impressions after downloading.

We are delighted that facial recognition technology is embedded in Plano app to gauge Big & Small M’s eyes distance to the mobile phone. This is what happens when their eyes are too close to smart device. A notification will “pop up” to signal them.

Second, the app engages and interacts as well. Fun elements in the form of games are available to keep your child entertained. The more they play, the more points they earned.

With the points they earned, they will be rewarded as well. We are a tad surprised that Plano has collaborated with various merchants to provide fun activities for the kids. This feature motivates the kids to be disciplined when using the app of course, induces a fun and positive experience for them. Scroll through the plano shop you can select the activities you want to redeem with the points you earned. How good is it!

Oh, did we miss out that Plano app also provides a safety feature to notify parents when their little ones venture out of the designated safe zone? Ultimately, physical safety is of paramount importance to everyone and we are just glad that Plano app has brought all these to us. With just a few clicks, you can get a hold of this amazing app:

Enter the world of Plano in 4 east steps:

  1. Download
  1. Register
  • Click on ‘register’ and enter email address and password!
  1. Install Your Profile
  • iOS users will need to install Mobile Device Management profile as required by Apple to allow you to supervise your child’s device.
  1. Add Child
  • Click on ‘add child’ and enter name, DOB and eyesight details

Now with Plano app in place, we can remotely control or turn off the smart devices should the kids indulge in them for extended period or view shows that bring negative impact. What a friend we have in Plano!

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Why Any Millennial Will Feel At Home In Singapore

Western millennials are having a huge impact on modern life. They aren’t expected to live the same sorts of lives their parents did as the world has become freer and technologically advanced. The major narrative of a generation home ownership. However since the populations of every city in every country have skyrocketed since the 70s and 80s, that is one prospect the younger generation may have to wait for. Thankfully, governments are adapting to this, some quicker than others. This is allowing millennials all kinds of options on where to live but most of all, work. People in their 20s and early 30s are more concerned with living, rather than settling. Their appetite for travel, experiencing new cultures and leading different lives is their driving force. With these things in mind, where could you see yourself living if not for where you are right now? This question is always an odd one to answer, but it you could pack your things up and move to a foreign land, where would you go? If you want a nation that is modern, aspiring, readily invites in young people, where cutting-edge technology plays a huge role, careers are nurtured and developed by employers and there are lots of leisurely things to do, look no further than that faraway city-state of property, Singapore.

Forging Your Own Path

Singapore is the financial gateway into Asia. Its remarkable power to attract businesses, companies, banks and financial firms to it’s small but robust city has long-since been respected by all the major economies. Hence why, although it only has around 5.7 million people and curates around 555 billion in GDP, it has been invited to attend the G20 summits where the heads of government and state, discuss the global economy. So, if you are young, want to be an entrepreneur and start your own business of any kind, want to work in the financial industry, in marketing, sales, technology or tourism, Singapore is ready to welcome you with open arms.

Many companies offer apprenticeships as they wish to keep themselves stocked with the brightest and best talent from all over the world. Rest assured that if you have a degree in business and or some kind of financial discipline such as accounting or investing, then any of the top financial corporations would be your best bet to get a job. By 2020 at least 1/3 of the workforce will be a millennial, which will be staggering since the population of the city-state isn’t that large. This just shows that any young person with the determination to succeed in one of the aforementioned fields, can and should see Singapore as a safe haven where they will be desired by the top recruiters.

A Place To Call Your Own

Moving thousands of miles from home should be worth it as your new residents should be somewhat similar as that you could have found in your own country right? Well, Singapore is perhaps the most Westernized country in all of Asia, and perhaps only rivalled by Hong Kong in this respect. There are lots of options for a young couple or a single bachelor. The skyline is known all over the world for being on of the best and that’s not just because of the financial district where many headquarters are. Malaysia and Singapore have worked together to make sure they are offering all kinds of good, affordable properties to people from all over the world with varying money situations.

Look at one of the portals of iproperty and you’ll find some excellent styles of renting and buying options. Bear in mind that the high-rise buildings that have been designed and built for a large tenancy community also have some of the best services around. Condominiums are perhaps for the more affluent that have a good salary making it easy to pay for their own place in a somewhat closed community. However, if you are someone that wants to live modestly you can get a room or flat to rent in the high-rise estates. Expect to get your own room, shower room and share an open plan kitchen and dining area. It’s advisable that you learn about the different areas of Singapore before you plant your flag. Each district has its own characteristics, such as being in the heart of the city, as opposed to further into the countryside. Garnering the distances to and from your work is vital for the daily commute.

A Day Out to Leisure

When you’re young and have cup-fulls of energy, you need to live somewhere where there are like-minded people around you. If you are considering moving to Singapore, then you need to know what it has to offer in terms of leisure. Sentosa Island is an island resort where there are roller coasters, restaurants, hotels, spas, events and a great nightlife.

Mega Adventure Park is near Mount Imbiah and features a tall zip line that participants in the park must get to after a series of challenges. One must traverse through the park, that is situated among vegetation. You laterally navigate through climbing rope and using your daringness and balance to get to one station to the next. At the end there is zip wire that you travel back down toward the start and finish line. Great fun for a group of friends that want a challenge for the day.

Universal Studios on the island has a Jurassic Park, with dinosaur models and tours that show this time period in a fun but educational manner. Of course there are also roller coasters to ride as well as water rapid rides that soak you as you plunge through the water. There’s also a luge and sky ride that has you get on a small go-kart-like vehicle and race to the end of the track against your friends.

Artify Studio is where you can discover if you have some shade of talent regarding painting and artwork. Anyone can come and try at one of the sessions. Great for groups or to go by yourself in order to hopefully meet some new people and make friends. Here you’ll learn about portrait painting and using all the colors in the rainbow, with good effect. The studio in which you do your painting is large and neutral, so it’s rather calming and homely.

Moving with Movements

Millennials have one thing that sets them apart from their parents mostly, and it’s about politics and social issues. The younger generation is much more active in political and cultural problems because of social media. We’re not bombarded with all kinds of information so we learn about things that would have to seek out, just by being online. Singapore is no different and since it is an autonomous city-state, it must look after itself. The Sustainable Singapore Movement deals with just this as, environmental and green energy issues are at the forefront and main purpose of this group.

You can become involved and start to do you bit. By attending different meetings and talks, you can learn about what kind of problems are facing the millions of people that live in Singapore. Although the mainstay of the economy is the financial services aspect, lots of businesses such as in retail and technology sell physical products. This means that there is an intake of plastics, metals and different materials that are not quite naturally mined and drilled for by Singapore. As well as disposing issues, clean water is another hot topic that should be of concern, especially to the millennials. Feeling as if you need to be involved somehow in the wider-reaching issues in Singapore once you have landed and situated yourself, you can go on group-events that tackle issues of littering and a lack of knowledge among local people about green energy etc. Recycling initiatives are high up on the agenda as they are key in developing a sustainable Singapore.

Eating and Cuisine

You’re in Asia, or just at the front door anyway. Therefore you’ll be surrounded by spices, sourness and hot flames. Like many East Asian food cultures, seafood and rice are the main foods consumed by the populace. For anyone new, they should know that rice and seafood is relatively inexpensive in grocery stores so you can expect to not spend a lot of money on the weekly shop.

Restaurants have indeed adapted to the Western palate but mostly, have keep to the traditions of cuisine that loves spices and herbs. You can find just about any kind of food you like here. From diner-style American, classic British, or good wholesome hearty Cantonese food. Since Singapore is bordered by Malaysia, there are lots of different influences in the food such as curries, noodles, grilled meats and fish broths.

Image Credit: http://inc-asean.com/the-inc-life/this-new-study-offers-7-startling-revelations-about-millennials-one-is-a-little-too-much/

Singapore is going to be one of the most desired destinations for millennials because it’s becoming more and more affordable. There are lots of career opportunities for someone who is young and ready to learn while climbing the corporate ladder. On the other hand you can, of course, start you own business, working in a business or apply to work in the tech industry. Singapore has lots of things to do for fun as well, with areas of the city-state dedicated purely to leisure and entertainment. Renting or buying, you have different options of properties to make your stay enjoyable and flexible.

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Making the Most of a Short City Break

City breaks are a brilliant way to see more of the world. A short city break can be much cheaper than a long holiday, you’ll also need less spending money and less time off work, and because flights are so readily available now, you can get to many places within just a few hours travel time. If you’ve got kids or other responsibilites and commitments, a short city break is a chance to get away on your own, with friends or your partner without having to take time out or drag your family across the world.

A short city break is a perfect chance to explore a new location, hitting museums, restaurants and galleries, taking in some of the cultures and having a bit of a blow-out. But, one problem people often find with city breaks is that they just don’t have enough time to fit it all in. When you are visiting one oft he best cities in the world, you can easily come up with a list of things to do, that’s longer than both of your arms and legs. There are museums, galleries, restaurants, bars, zoos, farms, clubs, theme parks, and there’s architecture to admire and parks to take in. People live in these cities full time and still don’t manage to take everything in, yet you are trying to do it all in a couple of days. Many of us return home with plans to return in the future to tick off more of our to-do list.

So, how do you get more out of your stay? How do you manage to do as much as you can, so that you can return home feeling satisfied and fulfilled?

Image Credit – https://unsplash.com/photos/mpzFnoQCwWU

Research Online

If you are only staying somewhere for a few days, you don’t want to spend one of them finding your feet and finding out more about what there is to see and do. You want to go armed with this information. So, as soon as you book your trip, or even before, start researching your destination. Old fashioned travel guides are excellent, and still have their advantages, mainly that you can travel with them. But, nothing beats online research for up-to-date information. Check out the most popular attractions at your destination, but also look for those smaller venues and attractions that the locals love, but tourists don’t know about. Learn some necessary language skills, understand the currency and learn about your public transport options.

Prioritise

Once you’ve started your research, you need to start writing a list of things that you’d like to do. While it would be great to do it all, it’s important to realise that you might not be able to fit it all in confortably, and the last thing you want is to find yourself running around, not getting to fully appreciate the places you visit because you need to rush off to your next spot almost as soon as you get there.

So, prioritise your to-do list. Write the things that you are desperate to see or do, those things that you couldn’t bear to miss, at the top and make sure you fit them in. See anything else as a welcome bonus.

Book in Advance

Booking tours like one from The Paris Guy, as well as tickets to events and attractions online before you travel, can be an excellent way of saving time and money. Tickets purchased online are often cheaper, and you’ll save time queuing. It also means that you know you’ll do these things, which can help you plan and prepare.

If you don’t know your destination well, a tour can be a fantastic way to see lots of sights quickly. You might find some that you’d like to go back to in the future.

Leave Room for Change

Planning and organising your time is brilliant. It can save you time, help you to fit more in, and ensure that you get to see those things that you really don’t want to miss. But, too much structure could be a bad thing. It’s important that you also leave room to be spontaneous. So that if you see something that you fancy while you are exploring, you’ve got time to go. Try to see your plans as more of a guide that you can be flexible with. Don’t end up missing out on something that you could love, just because you feel tied down to a plan.

Take a Break

When there’s so much to do and see, and you are only away for a couple of days, the idea of taking a break and getting some rest might not seem very productive. But, sometimes, it’s what you need. When you work hard at home, you need to get some rest on your days off to avoid burnout and stress. It will also help you to do more. Give yourself an afternoon to relax. Sit in a coffee shop, read a book and enjoy a coffee and you’ll feel better. Your energy levels will be raised, and you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your time.

Get Plenty of Sleep

It can be tempting to stay up late into the night enjoying the nightlife of your destination, and if that’s how you want to spend yout time, go for it. But, if you’d prefer to make the most of your days and fit more in, get to bed early and get a good nights sleep. Then, get up early, enjoy your breakfast and start your day. Remember, there is more open in the mornings than at night.

Eat Well

Image Credit – https://unsplash.com/photos/oAYlDfiZcJ0

If you want to spend your time on the go fitting lots in, it’s essential that you take care of yourself. As well as getting lots of sleep and some rest, you should be careful about what you eat. Introducing too many different foods quickly can cause illnesses, and fatty and greasy foods can leave you feeling fatigued and sluggish. Instead, opt for healthy and filling meals with slow-release energy that will keep you going. You should also take a bottle of water out with you when you go out and keep stocked up on healthy, energy-boosting snacks.

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