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Osaka 2019 Roundup - Day 1: Arriving in Osaka + Dotonbori

Monday, 20 May 2019

Osaka 2019 Roundup - Day 1: Arriving in Osaka + Dotonbori
I love family trips! It's usually not enough, I wish I could go for one at least every year. Or every 6 months. haha.

So this time, we headed over to Osaka for 9 days! woohoo! A well-deserved, long awaited trip indeed. We set off from Changi Airport and remembered to stop by DFS, where the whisky fair and special Game of Thrones exhibition were in display. 

Also, didn't forget to take a mandatory waiting area lounge shot while waiting to board.
Plane meals, a good part of what makes taking an airplane ride fun. The rice dish was not very good, but the soba was good though. We also had a mini magnum icecream served after the meal.
Upon reaching the airport about 4 plus (clearance was so quick at the Kansai airport) and we cleared immigration within 20mins. It took us just under an hour from touch down to the train station. First thing to do: get the Icoca transport card.

This trip, we're just travelling around Kansai so this transport card would serve us very well. We topped up about 2000 yen each and made our way to Namba, where our hotel is situated.
The dad checking the train out while carrying his luggage. <3

It wasn't very cold during this period, so my dad wore short sleeves, which he was most comfortable in. He had a jacket in his backpack just in case it suddenly turned cold / windy.


Finally! We reached our hotel, 88 Hotel Shinsaibashi, which is a stone's throw away from Namba station's exit 25. My family ended up being so happy staying at this hotel, my dad kept repeating it through the trip.

Details on this hotel here: https://www.hotel88.jp/
Location of 88 Hotel Shinsaibashi: https://goo.gl/maps/35Gmm5LsMVnArmqq8


It has 2 queen sized beds in the same space, and enough space for me to even do my exercise! Woohoo!

The hotel lounge, where we enjoyed a variety of free hot and cold drinks, available for all hotel guests. The hotel wifi was also very strong and steady, which I liked very much. The staff service here was excellent too.

The sister having some fun with the art pieces all over the hotel.


After we settled in, it was time for dinner! My sister's friend recommended us a popular chicken based ramen shop called Bokkoshi Ramen (ぼっこ志), and it happened to be within 5 minutes walk away from our hotel, so there we went!

The broth was creamy and surprisingly thick and nice, while still being less heavy and oily than the traditional pork broth. We did enjoy it pretty much and we finished the whole thing. The dad and the sister had the dried version and it was good too!

Location of Bokkoshi Ramen: https://goo.gl/maps/RyvKbS2dhmmhRLC89



Next up, we head over for some late night snack along Dotonbori: Takoyaki! We enjoyed くくる Kukuru's takoyaki, a quality which Singapore's takoyaki cannot offer. There was also an eating area in the building for dining in, for those who wants to sit down. We chose to have it as a takeout. Not the cheapest (790 yen for 8 pieces) in the area, but we enjoyed it!

Kukuru's takoyaki were served with toppings of dried bonitos, powdered seaweed and spring onions. In its fillings, other than octopus, it also had some red ginger cooked together.

Location of Kukuru: https://goo.gl/maps/hy7xoZgzRXZiaRfT9





Finishing the night with some sweet treats: Softserve icecream on a thin sweet crepe cone from Excelsior Caffe! We saw a queue for this while walking along Shinsaibashi-suji and decided to go for it.

Location of Excelsior Caffe: https://goo.gl/maps/vyBW2t5EVjBAFCsT8


And of course, no trip to Dotonbori will be complete if you didn't take a photo with the iconic neon Glico Running Man along the Dōtonbori Canal in Osaka, also one of Osaka's most visited tourist destinations!


Location of Glico Man: https://goo.gl/maps/1FBuNUEGuszfsuyY6



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Groove to the Garden Beat on 9 March at Fort Canning Park!

Monday, 4 March 2019

Groove to the Garden Beat on 9 March at Fort Canning Park!
Photos provided by Garden Beats

Good food? Good cause toward zero waste? Picnic amidst lush greenery? Wellness, Games and Music? 

Check, check, check and check. 

Following last year's great turnout, Singapore's eco-friendly picnic and music festival is back with an international line-up mix of Indie, Electro and R&B. Expect more than music and enjoy art installations, workshops and crafty activities in the lush greenery of Fort Canning.

Photos provided by Garden Beats

Held at Fort Canning Park only on 9 March 2019 (this Saturday), it'll be an awesome festival experience, for everyone of varied interests. You'll be sure to find something exciting at every station, as you get playful during lawn games, find your inner peace with their wellness activities, indulge in different cuisines (my favourite!) and get inspired to make a meaning green impact!

I love how Garden Beats are also the first carbon-neutral music festival in Singapore. 
Photos provided by Garden Beats


Photos provided by Garden Beats

In this year of zero waste, they will be having a complete ban of single-use plastics and opting for bio-degradable cups and cutleries! Recycling and food composting stations will also be made available at the festival fields. There will also be the Garden Beats Tin Cups, with which festival-goers will be able to receive a discount when purchasing drinks! 
Photos provided by Garden Beats

This is a festival event made right, for the eco-conscious warriors who love their planet and at the same time, bask in enjoying the land they were born to care for. 

Photos provided by Garden Beats


If you're heading over to the Garden Beats festival this weekend, remember to say hi if you bump into me! I'll be busy grooving to the official playlist of the event, where you can have a pre-listen here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/46z18l2SyrIIL772IOMer5 

Dance the night away with awesome beats by the likes of artists such as The Kooks, Black Coffee, Alina Baraz, Masego, Yung Bae, Alle Farben, Coran, Orio, Daryl C, Toppings and Bongomann, while sipping on the cold beer at the Brooklyn beer garden!

Photos provided by Garden Beats

This year, I'll be heading down to Garden Beats for sure! Make sure you visit for a Saturday we know will be well-spent! 

Tickets (starting from SGD$148) can be purchased here: https://events.pouchnation.com/event/gardenbeats

LocationFort Gate, Fort Canning Park River Valley Rd 179037 Singapore
Time: 1:00PM - 10:30PM
Official websitehttps://www.gardenbeats.com

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(Review + Discount code) Sudio NIVA, wireless earphones from Sudio Sweden

Monday, 28 January 2019

(Review + Discount code) Sudio NIVA, wireless earphones from Sudio Sweden

[Discount Code all the way below post!]

As most of you following my Instagram account (@janelkuuu) would know, I'm super into going to the gym nowadays, and through that I've successfully lost more than 20 kg over the past year. 

I'll write about my weight loss story sometime soon, but first, shall we talk about Sudio Niva, the new super chio (pretty) earphones from Swedish audio firm Sudio

Specifications:
- Built-in mic
- Play Music / Pause Music / Take Calls
- Compatibility with Android and iOS
- Playtime 3.5 hours each (totalling 17.5hours with 4 charges)
- Driver type: dynamic
- Sensitivity: 105dB SPL @ 1 kHz
- Bluetooth 4.2 technology


The Sudio Nivå is the Swedish company’s first entry into the wireless earphones market, and now, not only does a wireless earphone need to be able to deliver, it also needs to serve up as a fashion statement.

Perhaps that's why the Sudio Niva is getting so much attention, because its colours are not only easy to match with your daily fashion, but also manages to deliver awesome sounding tunes from your phone to your ears. 

Honestly, I'm someone who do not enjoy using wireless earphones because I always had the fear of sudden disconnection to my music, or worry that the earphones run out of battery very quickly. 

Fortunately, the Sudio Niva was pretty decent when I tested it out. 




Unfortunately, if you're someone who needs to be able to control everything using your earphones, It's not possible to do that with the Sudio Niva - mainly you can't (1)control volume and you'll have to do that on your phone directly, and (2) you can't skip your music tracks backwards.

Also, its voice-picking-up function (I'm a techie noob so pardon me for my noobish tech descriptions) when I pick up calls do not quite meet my expectations in extremely noisy environments (such as during train rides) - fair enough - perhaps also because the mic is all the way at your ear level, as opposed to speaking when you're holding your phone, where the mic is very much nearer to your mouth. So I don't think I can fault that too much with these pair of earphones since I think this problem should be one that's prevalent to most wireless earphones/bluetooth headsets out there. 

Thankfully, I still overall do enjoy these pair of earphones very much especially during gym sessions, because I need a good pair wireless earphones to deliver songs and sounds from my Youtube exercise instructors' videos to my ears while I'm attempting to follow along. Its colours are really nice, acting as a lovely accessory while I'm listening to music while rushing to various places. 

May I also add that I find it's awesome when I actually need to visit the washroom, I do not need to unplug my music to my ears as I go about my business? 

TMI? Ok, fine. But just so you know, it works that way for me and I LOVE IT. haha!



The case that the earphones come in also acts as its charging station - a portable charging case for the Sudio Niva. Its case comes in corresponding colours of the earphones, with a leathery brown functional strap which adds an edgy Scandinavian styled fashion tinge to it.

It also came with a simple usb cable for recharging the case. The case won't be overcharged because it comes with a function where it automatically stops charging once it's full. Which is good because most times, I forget and many of my devices ends up overcharging and the battery's lifespan gets reduced :(

Anyone can learn how to use the Sudio Niva in a matter of minutes. Just switch it on by pressing on the one-button located on each side of the earphones. If you don't want to switch on both sides, you can just switch on one side and leave the other unused earphone in the charging case. 

Just note that if you're using 2 earphones, switching off one side of the earphone will cause both sides to be switched off. 



As with most earphones, the Sudio Niva provides extra earbuds for your selection based on what's a comfortable fit in your ears.

The white earphone version comes with light grey earbuds, while the pink earphone version comes with white earbuds. Another colour they have for the earphones is black, which comes with just, plain black earbuds. 

To be honest, when Sudio contacted me and asked me which colour I wanted, I was contemplating between choosing the black or pink version because the colours were actually all something I would totally wear, for different occasions. 

Why I wasn't thinking to choose white was because I already bought the white earphones before Sudio even reached out to me (yes, I am a paying customer too)!



Connecting with my phone proved no issues at all, and overall, delivered a sound quality of which I was satisfied. Sudio estimates a whopping total of 17.5h of use between 4 charges, as well as a 10m Bluetooth range - which I was not able to test since I was never too far from my phone, but I was still pretty much able to receive my music from my work desk to the photocopier room in my office (about 30-40 steps away).


[EXCLUSIVE PROMOTION]

Special for my readers, you'll get a 15% discount code: JANEL when you purchase Sudio products at www.sudio.com!

In addition, SUDIO Sweden is having an exclusive 2019 Valentine's Day promotion now that they will give a FREE Gift Package, AND and additional 10% discount for purchases of two or more earphones.

Delivery worldwide is free too! So don't miss out on this awesome promotion, and get yours today while stocks last!


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Oh Hey! HEYTEA Singapore Arrives In Clarke Quay

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Oh Hey! HEYTEA Singapore Arrives In Clarke Quay

[Opening Promotion details available at the end of this post]

China's number 1 contemporary tea connoisseur arrived in the shores of Singapore not long ago, contributing to the waves of bubble tea craze in Singapore with its scene-stealer Cheezo tea. Since 2012, the original creator of cheese tea has rejuvenated the tea drinking scene, going forth strong in their messaging of tea drinking as an inspiration. The brand has over 100 stores in China and its offerings have won both critical and public acclaim.



For the first time, HEYTEA launches 6 brand new alcoholic tea creations, including 4 Singapore-only creations: 2 alcoholic tea creation and 2 alcoholic ice creams at their Clarke Quay outlet to cater to the bustling nightlife around the area.


 Located in the midst of the nightlife area in Clarke Quay, this outlet opens at 12pm and closes as late as 1am into the night. Their store is designed in a lighthouse theme, introducing the first ever in-store tea experience (laboratory style) - known as Tea Geek Bar.

The Tea Geek bar creates specially curated tea recipes and features alcoholic tea drinks created for 4 seasons: Spring (Spring Fling, $16), Summer (Summer Siesta, $18), Autumn (Autumn Ashes, $16) and Winter (Winter Solace, $18).




Also, this outlet will also offer 2 Singapore exclusive alcoholic tea creations: Scarlet's Heart ($16) and The Royal's Romance ($22), which uses tropical fresh fruits such as sea coconut, pineapple and grapefruit.

If you've a sweet tooth, don't forget to also try their tipsy ice-cream, where you can have your alcohol-infused dessert: Singapore Sling ($5.50) and Guinness ($4.50) - literally named after what it's supposed to taste like.

If you're not into alcohol, get their normal tea offerings which are also available in-store.





HEYTEA Clarke Quay Opening Promotion

- Enjoy Buy-1-get-1-free promotion from 26 to 28 January 2019. Promotion is not applicable to Tea Geek Special Blend Menu, except Tipsy Ice Cream.
- First 150 customers daily will have a chance to walk away with a set of HEYTEA Merchandise.

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