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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022.

I can't believe I'm writing this post already. In a blink of an eye, 2021 is ending in a few days, while we usher in another year. We all thought the pandemic will be gone by now, but it hasn't. New variants kept appearing while the number of cases fluctuate, humans have start to adapt to this new norm. After all, life still goes on. And within this period, the more we should be grateful and celebrate this breath in us.
2021 for us is a a year of beginnings.

1. Say HELLO to our new addition
This year, we found out that Olivia is going to get a sibling, and it is a BOY! It wasn't planned, but by God's grace and His perfect timing, we are blessed with another. The due date is estimated to be late February 2022, so we are looking forward to his arrival. Having a second child have its own challenges, for one, we need to prep Olivia too. But as with so many children, including myself who have a brother, I believe too that it will work out just fine.
2. Welcome to Punggol
We never once thought that we would move to Punggol, since we lived at town area previously. Punggol seems like an ulu concept that we would shirk from. But here we are now - 6 months in. Living and adjusting to our new environment, and exploring new territories. The major shift was that we moved out from our parents to form a new, independent family unit by ourselves. Now as the man of the family and head of the household, there are new responsibilities to take, new challenges to face. But it's an exciting journey to take!
3. New business ventures into DNA
The second half of this year sees the launch of our new product - a DNA kit for both consumer and businesses. We took a while to explore and to craft this new brainchild of ours, collaborating with various partners and labs, doing all relevant analysis, and finally, we had a soft launch this June. As with all business ventures (and on top of our current beauty salon and e-commerce), there's ups and downs, but it's going to be fun, and hopefully rewarding.

If you are looking to explore up to 379 personal traits (including disease risks) just based on your saliva alone, you may visit our website here.
4. Olivia has started school
Due to the pandemic, we have postponed her nursery for the longest time, and she finally started school this November with My First Skool. We thought she would be alright since she started out strong (no crying - probably it's because we sent her to Sunday School already), but life happens. For some reason, she started to resist school, crying and screaming - just like me when I'm younger - all the way till I'm Primary 3 (or so I've heard from my mum). Yet we thank God for good teachers to take care, to educate and to guide her. You can do it, my daughter!
2021 was a heck of a year, not sure how many resolutions I've completed (or failed) since I've lost track since the second week of the year.

As the next year creeps in within a few days, please be good, 2022.

Friday, December 17, 2021

5 Breakfast Ideas Any Beginners Can DO! (Recipes included)

Most of us have fantasize your partner serving you breakfast in bed, as the aroma of toast and freshly grounded coffee filled up the room. There are only two scenarios. You are the one lying in bed, OR you are the one waking up earlier to make the breakfast. Morons can infer you're the latter (like yours truly) since you're looking at this post.

During the weekends, when I get to work from home, I tend to wake up earlier to whip up a simple breakfast for my family. No breakfast in bed after you have kids by the way, so we had everything proper on the dining table. To save any hassle, most of my recipes here will need less than 20 to 30 minutes of cooking and prep time. Combined. So you can get your beauty sleep as well.

Without further ado, I present to you my easy breakfast ideas that even any noob chefs can make. All this have a pretty high success rate since, you're either using the oven or waffle/pancake machine. If you do not have these equipment, not to worry, most of them can be cooked over the stove as well. If you're one of the noob chefs,  please make sure you have fire insurance beforehand.

1. I got to emphasize that all ingredients are flexible. You just pop open your fridge and see what's there to use. As with every recipe, this serves only as a guideline. Like tomatoes? Add more. Don't like you food too sweet? Minus the sugar. Don't have fruits lying around? Sub with raisins. You get it.
2. If you're cooking for more people, apply your primary school multiplication on the recipe.
3. Unless otherwise stated, all ingredients are to be of room temperature. This helps for easy mixing and acquiring the desired texture.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Happy 3rd Birthday Olivia!

Time flies, when you're having fun, filled with parental stress and all the anxieties that comes together with having a child. During the end of November, our not-so-little Olivia turned three. And it's amazing how fast and how big she has grown.

I remembered the cries inside the operating theatre three years ago, and the two drops of tears that rolled down my cheek. I remembered the difficult transition when we had to learn so much in so little time. I remembered the first time she called "papa", her first step, her silly laughter and giggles. I remembered the countless times we had our evening walks in her little carrier, which eventually become walking side by side her, as she rode her little scooter.
And... of course, we need to dress like sharks. Doo doo dooooo.

We had plans to get her a pinata cake online, but was quickly put off by the ridiculous price (about $200 for one). If you have no idea what's that, it's basically a spherical chocolate structure, filled with candies, chocolates and even toys. To get what's inside, they have to slowly knock the chocolate walls till it crumbles and reveals all the goodies inside.

So, I tried making it. For the first four times, I tried, but failed. Mixing white chocolate coverture and compound and what not, trying several ways to take out the structure without cracking its delicate walls. I tried and tried. Like Thomas Edison, this Thomas tried 1000 times until I succeed. All those nights trying, was all worth it with this smile.
And... of course, I need to put her favourite Kinder Bueno eggs inside.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Birthday Staycation at Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa (Haagen-Daz Package)

After impressing us with their super child-friendly amenities at their Orchard branch, Shangri-la has been on the top of the list when it comes to bringing our little one(s). So it was almost a no-brainer where to book for Olivia's birthday staycation to celebrate her 3 years on earth.

Olivia was so excited whenever we showed her the hotel's video on YouTube. Now fast forward to the day...

Our Deluxe Sea View Room
We checked in at around 4pm. There wasn't any queue (thank God), so the whole process was pretty fast. Their deluxe sea view room is of comfortable size with most in-room amenities you would expect, such as bar counter with complimentary tea/coffee. The bed was slightly high for Olivia, so we had to place a stool beside the bed for her to come up and down freely. Cot is available upon request too.
Now this is the money shot, straight right out of our room's balcony - a unobstructed view of the sea. Paired that up with the swimming pool, private beach, and beautiful clouds hovering on top of Sentosa, I'd say this is the view I don't mind waking up to, every. single. day.
And so it happens, when we were looking for Shangri-la deals, we chanced upon this limited promotion -  a Haagen Daz-theme staycation, featuring a whole freezer worth of ice cream, and a set of take-home merchandise which includes bath bombs, cushion, face masks, and even a really cute high-quality teddy bear (you can tell by its fur that it's not cheap ass). 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Babymoon staycation at Mandarin Orchard

Since we are not able to spend our babymoon in a nice resort somewhere else (we went to Taiwan for our first baby, you can read it all here), we decided to go for another... staycation! Talking about being staycation-connoisseur, Mandarin Orchard is our seventh since the pandemic, so we had a certain expectation from the service, room to the food, etc.

Let's talk location, Mandarin Orchard is located at one of Singapore's busiest street, Orchard Road, so you could have plenty of shopping and dining options all around. These include malls like ION Orchard, Paragon, Cineleisure, Ngee Ann City, Wisma Atria, and so many others. Point is, if you like to shop, this is the best place you could ever stay in Singapore.

Our Room: Premier Room

Checking in was fuss-free and pretty fast, since we checked in around 4pm. The staff was really nice to upgrade our Superior to Premier room, which is located at level 36. Yup, and that meant a panoramic view of Orchard street. Here we can even see City Hall, Marina Bay Sands, Bugis, Singapore Stadium and our previous home (near Concourse). That's a whopping 8-10 MRT stops worth of view through our window!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Matsukiya by Sushi Tei @ Paragon

Lady M wanted something Japanese during our babymoon earlier this October, and I thought, where could I find a nice place to feed her and the little one? And that's when we chanced upon the more atas branch-off from our all-time favourite Sushi Tei - Matsukiya. Now we are all pretty familiar with the budget friendly options from Sushi Tei, and its student weekday buffet (oh the memories), but Matsukiya is different. Its slightly higher price point also meant.. 

An experience like no Sushi Tei

Located at the atas Paragon (how fitting), Matsukiya is hidden beside its sister, Sushi Tei. Now, I used hidden, because we missed it the first time. In fact, we might have walked past it without realising that it's Matsukiya. Stepped inside, you will see limited seating with a central counter where chefs performed their skewers-grilling skills over Japanese bincho-tan, that is, white charcoal. Its dim lighting and dark floors make it looks like you're at a fine dining place. But you know what's the good thing? Its ventilation. So you don't walk out feeling you need to empty a Febreeze on you (cough, Seoul Garden).

Friday, October 22, 2021

Top Staycation Hotels at Singapore (updated October 2021)

Since the holiday seasons are coming shortly, what's better than to take a short getaway. Although the VTLs are slowly opening up, you sure you want to risk? Okay perhaps with the cases still hitting the threes, that might seem like a safer option. BUT ANYWAY. We are talking about the lovely staycations of our lovely and blessed island. Since the beginning of this pandemic (or endemic or whatever) or rather when the measures had slightly laxed after circuit breaker, we have been to a number of staycations for birthdays and our recent babymoon.

We have compiled our top 5 so you know where to go, just to spend the day with your loved ones.

Disclaimer: This list is purely based on my views on my experience. Most of the staycations are partially sponsored with complimentary upgrade and food credits, etc. The prices are indicative of the pricing you would expect.


Nomsaurus Rates is based on the following criteria for each category:
Food: Hotel dining options, which includes breakfast and high-tea (if any)
Room: Decor, amenities, and "wow" factor
Service: From checking in to out, room service (how long it takes to respond and deliver, etc.)
Value: Based on the market price, whether we consider it a good deal.

If it's beyond the rating scale, I will even reward it with additional limbeh's Nom-chelin star(s) 


Ready? LET'S GO!

5. W Singapore
Located at the luxurious Sentosa Cove area, it has all you need to be secluded. The only nearby attraction at Quayside Isle, which is filled with restaurants, bars, and even a supermarket. However, it's just perfect for a 2D1N staycation, especially with a toddler.

Our room: Spectacular Room
Price range: $450+/night

Nomsaurus rates:

What we love: Superb food quality and awesome pool.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Places to bring your kids to in Punggol

Where to bring my children to? Eh same place again, don't want la.

Most parents like us face these same questions again and again, especially if you're a WFH-parent. We have moved from the city to the Singapore suburbs of Punggol since June 2021, where I once thought I wouldn't reside here. But to be honest, Punggol is quite the haven for families with children, especially when playgrounds are literally under every HDBs and endless activities to entertain your kids with.

If you're wondering where to bring your kids to, I've compiled a list of to-go to add into your Punggol bucket list! I've skipped all the shopping centers, just because they are too mainstream.

1. Uncle Ringo
This old-school carnival sounds like nothing you would find in modern Singapore. The moment I walked in, a wave of nostalgia hit me in my feels. Carousel, a little pirate ship, Ferris wheel, and carnival booths where you could win some prizes, are some of its attraction.

Fun factor: 4/5
Cost: A ride or game typically costs around $5.
Location: Social Innovation Park, 50 Punggol East (3-min walk from Riviera LRT)

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Walking on Sunshine @ Orchard Central, Singapore

Cafes don with dried flowers and greeneries are all the rage. Like any flower-struck girl, this cafe made it to my wife's to-visit list, and like any self-proclaimed great husband, I had to bring her there. Located at Orchard Central, this cafe isn't difficult to find at all. But first timers would be surprise that Walking on Sunshine is actually a... hair salon (as well)! Surprise surprise! Imagine having a nice tea break right after your hair appointment. Both of your hair and tummy will be in for a treat!

Fun fact - it prides itself as Singapore's BEST, MOST INSTAGRAM-WORTHY CAFE.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Birthday Staycaytion at W Hotel Sentosa

Looks like this epidemic is here to stay. Without options to travel overseas, staycations might be the next best option. I remembered last year when staycations were just opening up, we had a fabulous one at Equarius Hotel. Therefore when I asked Lady M again, she wanted somewhere away from the city. An island getaway. And where else better than our Sentosa?

W Hotel was our choice when it comes to a real getaway. Located at the luxurious Sentosa Cove area, it has all you need to be secluded. The only nearby attraction at Quayside Isle, which is filled with restaurants, bars, and even a supermarket. However, it's just perfect for a 2D1N staycation, especially with a toddler.

Our Spectacular Room

Thanks to W Hotel, we got a complimentary upgrade from their Wonderful Room (tbh which is already quite wonderful) to a Spectacular Room! It's about 44 sqm and packed with a king bed, it's perfect for plenty of sleeping space and for our Olivia to roll around.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Review: Beautify YOU with e-beauty's Discover Me DNA Kits

Hi, my name is Thomas, author of Nomsaurus and tech director of e-beauty.   Facial issues is an absolute pain in the butt. When you're hitting puberty, you worry about acne, when you're hitting your 30-40s, you scurry to find the best products to slow aging. Not only that, sensitivity, freckles, sun-tan.. my wife had her fair share of face sensitivity and breakout in her late 20s. At almost every point of your life, you just seem to get away from skin problems.

That's why, at e-beauty, together with a team of scientists and professionals (from A*STARdon't play play), we launched our very own DNA kits, decoding your problems at a genetic level. By matching your genes with suitable cosmetic ingredients and products, we ensure a higher reliability rate - products which will work for you.

High acne risks?
Saggy and wrinkling skin?
Prone to suntan?

The answer is in your DNA.
Read on if you are facing one of these:

1. Spending too much time and money buying products that give you minimal results.
2. Battling with long-term skin issues.
3. Wish to uncover your skin risks to prevent them earlier.
4. Want to look younger as always.
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What's tested?

Just with one single and simple test, find out the answers for all your underlying skin issues, as 14 skin traits across 3 major categories will be decoded:

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Birthday Staycation at Shangri-La during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)

Howdy homies! Now that I have officially turned 30, I'd be lying if I still say I'm in my 20s. so I will admit to be Uncle Thomas. If you do not know, since years ago, I've been spending my birthdays oversea - Bintan, New Zealand, Japan.. and then this nasty COVID came. Long story short, it's my second year in Singapore during my birthday, and Lady M was so nice to book me a staycation at Shangri-La, and includes all sorts of fun activities, like...

Kid's water playground, kid's indoor playground, swimming and painting with Olivia. Great (for our daughter), ain't it.
This is our fourth staycation during this period, with the rest being Equarius Hotel, Andaz, Marina Bay Sands, so we do have certain expectations.

Awesome check-in experience because it was literally empty. Briefed us through the necessities and handed us some sanitary freebies. Then there was this nice lady who came by to give little Olivia a pack of goodies containing some DIY 3D castle, coloring materials and an activity book (basically to keep her entertained during the stay). Little gestures like this are HUGE plus points to parents like us.
The SHOPHOUSE bakery was still open, so you can get some quick bites here if needed. 
The Garden Wing Room
Apparently they have various wings, like the Tower, Valley and Garden wing. Lady M got the garden wing with perks like.. a lot of greenery. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Teatime at Glasshouse @ CHJIMES, Singapore

It has been a while since I posted something, just related to food. As parents of a 2YO girl, you could imagine planning our schedule and weekend trips just to cater for her. Hence, before we head to an animal exhibition (Human X Nature, National Library, now till 21 Sep 2021), we decided to stop by Glasshouse at Chjimes, a casual 5-min walk away from the library.

Glasshouse is just like its name suggests, a contemporary coffee and bar toast. Yes, inside a glass box house. Expect to walk into a chic-Scandinavian setting - a design I would love for my house. It didn't have baby chairs, but some seating are low enough for our girl to climb up with ease.

Its menu weren't extensive, with a limited selection of toast and sides. However, just perfect for us as we were just grabbing some drinks and a small bite before heading to the museum (and trust me, as a parent, your selection is gonna revolve around your child). I'm either a coffee or a matcha person, so if I'm not holding my favourite black coffee, chances are, it's a matcha. And, theirs hit my sweet spot - thick, strong and a tinge of bitterness. Lady M on the other side, loves tea.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Staycation at MBS + Infinity Pool

Apparently we can't travel overseas until God knows when, so Singaporeans are turning to staycations more often than ever either to take a break or to utilize their Singapore ReDiscover vouchers. So when CNY comes, we thought why not take another short break during the long weekend, this time at the iconic Marina Bay Sands.
Lunch buffet at Rise

The check-in was pretty smooth and took slightly more than 20 minutes, afterwhich we went to Rise for a nice international buffet, where we got to enjoy free flow oysters, sashimi, abalone, and king crabs.
It was the CNY period, so they even had a God of Fortune mascot walking around greeting everyone. Olivia was so excited that she kept doing the "gong xi" hand gestures to him.
The Room

We got the Deluxe Room with a garden view, which is pretty superb as we get to see the majestic super trees with a backdrop of the vast Singapore straits (the other side is facing the Singapore river and floating stadium). 
The toilet is huge and spacious, which could easily hold 10 persons (for any needs).
Shortly after lunch, we went for a quick nap. Thank God for the blackout curtains.