Month: June 2016

3D Nails

3D Nails
Do you like my new Japanese print-inspired nails? I got them done at 3D Nails just in time for my trip to Hokkaido, Japan!

This was my first time visiting 3D Nails and I was super excited to try out this relatively new salon, located right next to JCube and super close to Jurong East MRT Station!

3D Nails
I love these orange flowers that my manicurist at 3D Nails did! It’s super pretty and it’s gotten me plenty of compliments. They remind me of the flower-shaped carrots my mum often cooks! :X

3D Nails 3D Nails 3D Nails

3D Nails have a lot of different ongoing promotions that are actually really worth getting, and the nail technicians at 3D Nails are very thoughtful and service oriented.

I thought it would be good to share my first time experience at 3D Nails for curious readers!

First of all, it isn’t that easy to find a great and reliable manicurist, but 3D Nails is really all of those things, and their service is really commendable.

If you have pretty weak nails like me, and also get manicures done quite frequently, do check out the vitamin-infused gel treatment at 3D Nails. It’s an additional $12 but the treatment goes a long way in ensuring you have healthy nails even when getting a gel manicure to go!

My manicurist also explained more about their services to me. As for what they use for their classic gel manicure which I got done at 3D Nails, they will use a primer, followed by a base coat and a top coat.

3D Nails 3D Nails
Good quality Orly gel polishes are used, and as for the process of drying each coat of polish, 3D Nails use Gelish! It’s a relief to see them use trustworthy brands, cos I always get a little nervous putting my hands into very hot and foreign-looking machines with no names branded on the machine.

Now that I’ve been to 3D Nails, I don’t have to worry about questionable gel manicure quality and putting my fingers at risk whenever I get a gel manicure or pedicure done.

For the month of June, 3D Nails have several GSS Promotions. So if you’re thinking of getting your nails done this weekend, here’s your chance!

Classic Gel Mani Promo (Valid until 30 June 2016)
Their classic gel mani is usually $58, but with this month’s promo, it’s $30 inclusive of the soak-off for the next visit!

3D Nails
Classic Gel Pedi Promo (Valid until 30 June 2016)
The usual price for the classic gel pedicure at 3D Nails is $78, but it’s been slashed to just $45 for the month of June! This is a great steal.

Nail Art Promo (Valid until 30 June 2016)
This month’s promotion is $30 + $25 for this month’s nail art. Here are the designs for the month of June!

3D Nails
You can also choose which colours you want for the nail art, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same as in the picture!

My favourite is the flowers, it’s so detailed and perfect! 3D Nails are really good with nail art, especially floral patterns and lines, and they pay a lot of attention to the fine details.

GSS Promo (Valid until 30 June 2016)
Choose any 4 of the services below for $58 nett:
1. Classic mani
2. Classic pedi
3. Gel mani
4. Gel pedi
5. Gel nail treatment
6. Gel French or Normal Polish French
7. Nail mask
8. Callus Treatment

3D Nails

Before I end my post, I also have a discount code just for you :)

Simply visit 3D Nails and quote <Rachel> to get 10% off your bill at 3D Nails! This discount applies to ALL services, excluding 3D Nails’ ongoing monthly promotions!

Yippee!

You can book an appointment with 3D Nails in advance for your vacation, parties, weddings, to get your nails done for your special events and take advantage of my discount code.

To make an appointment, simply call up 3D Nails at +65 6563 0538.

You can save their number on your phone for future reference.

3D Nails also accepts walk-ins, but it’s best to make a booking in advance! They’re really friendly and lovely and welcoming.

Give 3D Nails a try, they’re honestly really good at nail art and manicures, and they’re a new nail salon on the scene! Plus don’t forget about the discount code and June promotions when you visit!

My manicure has lasted for weeks without the slightest chipping or fading in colour, as you can see from my photos above! :) 3D Nails is definitely one of the better nail salons I’ve checked out in Singapore!

3D Nails
132 Jurong Gateway Road
#01-277
Singapore 600132
Tel: +65 6563 0538
Operating Hours
Monday to Friday: 11.00am – 9.00pm
Saturday, Sunday, PH: 11.00am – 8.00pm
Website

[Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with 3D Nails who sponsored my gel manicure. All opinions in this piece are my own.]

I’m no professional food photographer, but I do take photos of food every other day and do get asked quite frequently on how to take nice food photos. You could say it’s my hobby to capture what the people around me, and I eat on a regular basis.

While looking for free exercise classes in Singapore, I came across this local foodie who was charging an exorbitant amount for food photography classes. For that level of amateur food photography, I really wouldn’t recommend paying so much for something that you can learn for free from the Internet.

So an idea popped in my head – why not write a quick article that can benefit ordinary people with a penchant for food photography, for free?

Here are some tips on how you can take nice food photos yourself!

1. First, I’ll recommend… ditching your phone to shoot with. There are plenty of small and lightweight cameras you can invest in to really capture the beauty of food. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive, most professional camera out there. Let’s just say, really great food photography online is usually taken with cameras, not phones. Sometimes I like challenging myself. I always think that maybe, just maybe, my phone can give me a better photograph than my camera can. I’ll take photos of my food, one with my camera, and one with my phone. More often than not, the photos shot with my camera will turn out much better than what my phone is capable of.

2. Don’t be afraid to try different angles. Food is 3-dimensional. Which means, there are many ways you can look at food. Bird’s eye view, side view, the list goes on. If you want to show off the number of fluffy pancakes you’ve cooked up, or number of layers in a slice of mille-feuille, the hard work that goes on behind baking and cooking is best captured by snapping a side-view of the food. You want to capture the sheer height of those delicious pancakes, or super-sized cake.

3. Negative space can speak volumes. Like just how massive that pie, quiche, or cake you just baked really is! Sometimes looking at a whole, uneaten cake can be uninspiring because it’s been left untouched. Take a slice out of it, and people will start salivating. We always want what someone else is having. By that logic, cut one clean slice out of a tart and its absence will whet any appetite.

4. Opt for cool toned plates and tables. Food is usually best consumed hot or warm. A blue, turquoise or green plate will make your food look nice and hot! Likewise, when choosing a table to photograph on, a wooden table with more blue-ish hues to it will make your food look warmer in tone.

5. Warm up your photos. People are more drawn and more likely to ‘like’ more saturated, warmer photos. Make sure your food photographs don’t look dull and de-saturated or cool in temperature. Rarely do you see food photographs in black and white, so make sure to amp up the brightness, colours and vibrancy with your food photos! (But of course, don’t exaggerate it to the point it looks totally unreal, over-exposed and unappetising!)

6. Background is so important. What’s going on around the food is equally important to the food in focus. Keep the background simple and tidy. Or keep the background textured yet organised. But make sure it doesn’t overpower or distract from what your food has to offer! Clear up any messy tissues, arrange your forks and knives like you’re attending an etiquette class, and pick up any unsightly crumbs or receipts. Backgrounds can tell a story. Think of a cook book, or a guide on baking. The food photographs there are always so enticing. Show off your culinary masterpiece by decorating your table or setting with the ingredients that go into what you’ve just created. Think textures and think colour.. Sugar, flour, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate, marble, wood, metal, cloth. All these will create an inviting and beautiful air to your photographs!

7. Cropping can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to crop, or zoom in. When you crop your food photos, the viewer is drawn immediately to what is the subject of the photograph – the food. And with no other distractions around, the main focus is on the food or drink.

8. Don’t be afraid to use a hand model. Make your food look even more enticing and delicious and hunger-inducing by getting a friend or family member to pose! They can be holding a fork or chopsticks and picking up a dumpling, or pouring chocolate sauce over ice cream and a churros waffle!

9. Use filters! Apparently, filtered photographs do better than unfiltered pictures. It offers a special, vintage aspect to the picture, which makes viewers appreciate it even more! Don’t be afraid to use filters, but use them sparingly. Adjust the filter levels to what you think is a balance between making the food look good, while making it look special, or differentiated, because of the filter!

10. Day versus night. Shooting food photos in the daytime is always easier. To make sure your food pictures turn out excellent, make sure that the camera is facing the food in the same direction as the sun is. This will ensure that the food isn’t in the shadows. As for night time, if you aren’t lucky enough to have good lighting, get a few friends to offer the magical ‘iPhone torchlight’ to shed some light on your food! I hope this post has been helpful and informative in teaching you how to take nice food photos.

[Food photographs all taken at Roosevelt’s Diner & Bar who kindly sponsored the food and drinks in this post. Try out their wine pairing and brand new all day brunch menu! I love their matcha latte, signature salted caramel milkshake, potato pancakes with slow braised beef cheek, and churros waffle! They are located at 331 New Bridge Road, right next to Outram MRT Station.]

I’ll admit it, it’s hardly ever a surprise to hear health food skeptics shake their heads and go, “Health food? That doesn’t sound right. That doesn’t sound particularly tasty. Or delicious.” Plenty of people will scoff and avoid health food like the plague. And so, Wild Butter Co. is here to challenge that perception.

Wild Butter Co. was conceived not too long ago, in late April 2016. These nut butters were born out of a need to satisfy these health-food skeptics and convince them, that hey, healthy food can be delicious yet nutritious! Plus, almond butter isn’t something that many people are super aware of, or familiar with. People generally are familiar with peanut butters since they’re widespread and so readily available.

When it comes to snacking, many will resort to unhealthy snacking, like on Oreos and chocolate. But it can’t be good for us to be consuming so much processed snack foods, I’m sure many dieticians can attest to that. Wild Butter Co. decided to solve this snack food crisis by bring together two things – delicious flavours that we’re familiar with, as well as a healthier, alternative spread that people could enjoy, and snack on!

Wild Butter Co. offers gourmet nut butters in six different flavours. All the nut butters are available on their website, www.wildbutterco.com. There are so many flavours to choose from that I decided to review all six of them, to give you an idea of what Wild Butter Co.’s wonderful nut butters tastes like!

Wild Butter Co.’s repertoire of gourmet spreads include: Cookies and Cream Peanut Butter, Matcha Milk Peanut Butter, Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter, Earl Grey Peanut Butter, Crunchy Kokoa Peanut Butter, and Honey Roasted Almond Butter.

Cookies and Cream Peanut Butter, $10.95 (250g) 
Wild Butter Co.Photo credits: Wild Butter Co.

First thing you wanna note about these nut butters (and this applies to all of them) is that they’re not smooth like the regular peanut butters that you see in supermarkets. Being completely natural, these Wild Butter Co. nut butters aren’t of a completely smooth, buttery consistency like the processed peanut butters you get in stores. Wild Butter Co.’s nut butters don’t come with additional filler ingredients, like what you would find in peanut butter spreads, and due to their homemade quality, they will have a little crunch to it. But it’s not anything extreme, and as a smooth peanut butter lover, I can vouch that these spreads are still delicious and smooth with an occasional light crunch.

As for the Cookies and Cream Peanut Butter, it’s vegan-friendly, so everyone can eat it! Flavour-wise, it is mildly sweet, with bits of Oreo swirled inside the crunchy peanut butter. Mmmm! This is the perfect nut butter for Oreo lovers, and for people who like things not too sweet!

Earl Grey Peanut Butter, $14.95 (250g) 

Wild Butter Co.
Photo Credits: Wild Butter Co.

By far, this one’s my favourite. I definitely could eat this straight out of the jar, it’s just so good. I found this to be milder than the Matcha Milk flavour. Like the Matcha Milk Peanut Spread, the Earl Grey Peanut Butter contains white chocolate. The bergamot, earl grey flavour is very strong, and reminds me of macarons. There are lots of tiny black specks throughout the Earl Grey Peanut Butter spread, and they are actually earl grey tea leaves! While the flavour is mild, it’s really perfect, and you get a nice, soothing aroma of earl grey. This one’s sweeter compared to the other nut butters, but not to the extent that it’s unhealthy.

I think Wild Butter Co. has struck the perfect balance between the peanut butter flavour and the refined earl grey tea flavour. I love the rich aroma of earl grey in this spread, and you don’t see earl grey flavoured spreads very often! Perfect for fans of Earl Grey tea, and people who enjoy high tea or macarons.


Honey Roasted Almond Butter, $15.95 (250g) 

Wild Butter Co.
Photo Credits: Wild Butter Co.

This is Wild Butter Co.’s most popular flavour, with 100% good reviews! With this nut butter, you have a combination of lovely roasted almonds, and raw honey. Wild Butter Co. explained to me the difference between raw honey, and normal honey. So what’s so great about raw honey? Regular honey is filtered and pasteurised, meaning that benefits like vitamins and antioxidants which are good for your skin and general health is lost. But with raw honey, it’s like the purest form – untreated, unfiltered, and all the goodness is kept in its most natural form. Flavour wise, raw honey has a much more complex flavour to it. You don’t get the sticky, plain sweetness of regular honey. Instead, you have raw honey which is milder in flavour, but so much better for you and your health.

I also had the chance to ask Wild Butter Co. if they were Halal, and they told me that while they aren’t Halal-certified, their nut butters are all plant-derived, or made from dairy products like skimmed milk.

Crunchy Kokoa Peanut Butter, $11.95 (250g) 

Wild Butter Co.
Photo Credits: Wild Butter Co.

This one is for fans of dark chocolate! The Crunchy Kokoa Peanut Butter has dark chocolate which isn’t too sweet and overpowering. Dark chocolate’s also great for your health, being beneficial for weight loss. And we all know how well digestive biscuits and chocolate go together. Wild Butter Co. wanted to add a little crunch to their spreads, so the biscuits provide that extra crunch to the peanut butter. I would recommend this one for people who are looking to try an alternative to Nutella and chocolate spreads! And especially if you find Nutella a tad bit too sweet. This one’s worth a try, being the best of both worlds, both chocolatey and nutty at the same time.

Cinnamon Maple Almond Butter, $15.95 (250g) 

Wild Butter Co.
Photo Credits: Wild Butter Co.

This one’s another great almond butter. Almonds, compared to peanuts, are packed with way more vitamins! You get this awesome roasted almond flavour with this spread. This one is popular with both the young and old, and some customers purchase this for their mums and dads. The Cinnamon Maple Almond Butter is great for those who like Speculoos, as the taste is quite similar. Wild Butter Co. has made this almond butter with agave nectar (the sap from cactus) as a natural sweetener, and they’ve also put in pure maple syrup, none of that artificial, fake maple syrup. So it’s all natural goodness in a jar, and free from artificial flavours!

Matcha Milk Peanut Spread, $14.95 (250g) 

Wild Butter Co.
Photo Credits: Wild Butter Co.

Matcha has tonsss of health benefits! And the matcha they use in these Wild Butter Co. matcha spreads come straight from Kyoto, Japan. Unlike the Korean Green Tea Milk Spreads which are very sweet and made with vegetable oil, this Matcha Milk Peanut Butter is less sweet, and it’s still very much a peanut butter, so do expect a tinge of peanut butter. This Wild Butter Co. spread is a healthier alternative to Korean green tea spreads, and is bursting with matcha flavour. The matcha spread contains white chocolate, and it’s great for people who are adventurous with their food and like trying out new food products. The flavour is kind of intense, (in a good way) and this matcha spread is an affordable, healthier alternative to the expensive Korean spreads, while still containing quality ingredients and the benefits of matcha!

There are so many ways to eat these Wild Butter Co. gourmet spreads! You can spread it thickly on toast for breakfast, drizzle it over pancakes or crepes, use them in smoothies, eat them with freshly cut fruit or overnight oats. You can even bake it with macarons, cookies, cakes (matcha peanut butter lava cake, anyone?), croissants. Eat the spread with crackers, or if you’re lazy like me, eat it straight from the jar as a snack. The possibilities are endless!

All these Wild Butter Co. spreads are made in Singapore, and they’re a great way to support locally made products. Most of these flavours don’t exist elsewhere, and it’s actually really convenient to order from Wild Butter Co. These gourmet spreads are a healthy and suitable alternative to your regular peanut butters, hazelnut and chocolate spreads you can get in stores. Also, they’re completely guilt-free, and you can eat them with anything and everything. So it’s definitely something new worth trying! :)

To get your very own jars of Wild Butter Co. gourmet nut butter, click here! I’ld recommend getting two flavours or more to try! Oh yeah, and don’t forget to store your gourmet spreads in a cool, non-refrigerated place. So you can eat it whenever you want! :)

[Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Wild Butter Co.]

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