Category Archives: advertorial

[Sponsored Video] Ambi Pur Smelly to Smiley Challenge

Is it possible to turn #SmellyToSmiley?

Leading P&G air fresher brand, Ambi Pur did a test to find out just that.

Ambi Pur set up a room full of smelly items, with old shoes, durian, and dirty food cans. They then guided some real, blindfolded folks into the room, asked them to smell the room thoroughly, and then describe their experience.

Can  Ambi Pur undo the damage from the stinky items? Watch this video to find out:

I remember when I was serving my NS, our air-con bunk always smell of sweat and old socks. Repulsive. A healthy dose of Ambi Pur then would have made all of us happier and fitter to defend the nation – a real life scenario of #SmellyToSmiley.

Can you think of other real life #SmellyToSmiley scenerio?

Tweet and share them with Ambi Pur using #SmellyToSmiley. Here are some of the examples I thought of:

1.  School changing rooms, especially after a long PE lesson.

2. Car interior after transporting a cargo load of durians home for the family.

3. A guest lighted up and puffed away in your home with your air-con on.

4. Your parents just made their own belachan (nonya shrimp paste) in your kitchen.

5. You run and operate a stinky tofu stall.

6. Someone has body odour in the office and is not using any deodorant.

7. You love to eat blue cheese, but sadly, the rest of your family members don’t.

8. Your child brought his/her basketball teammates home after a sweaty match.

9. Your new citizen neighbours dislike curry smell.

10. You only do your laundry once a month and pile up all your cloths in one corner.

More details on Ambi Pur is available via their official website. 

This post sponsored by Ambi Pur.

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Are You Using LED Lights In Your Home?

I am.

I just moved into my new home late last year and all the lighting in my house are LED lights.

Why?

Here’s the video answer:

Jokes aside, you will save on energy costs and reduce the frequency of bulb replacements, without compromising on the quality of your lighting.

The question should be “Why not?”.

Some key advantages of LED via Philips’ website:

  • Simple Replacement: Designed to fit and work with existing sockets and fixtures, this means existing bulbs can simply be taken out and replaced.
  • Save On Energy: Consume around 80% less power than traditional filament bulbs, while delivering the brightness you expect.
  • Longer Lifetime: LED bulbs last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, and have at least twice the lifespan of fluorescent energy savers.
  • Instant Start: Get maximum light output that is natural and glare-free as soon as you flip the switch, no waiting time required.

At 165 meters high, the Singapore Flyer stands as tall as a 42-storey building and is the largest observation wheel in the world. Do you know it is equipped with Philips’ state-of-the-art LED lighting systems, making it a sight to see at night, as well as during the day?It is also the first lighting installation in the world to be controlled using a wireless infrastructure.

For more interesting facts on Philips LEDs, visit their official website. 

Win S$5,000 at the SAYS Chinese New Year Giveaway!

Have you heard of SAYS?

SAYS (http://says.com/sg) is Singapore’s social news network, featuring Singapore’s must-share stories, links, videos and advertising campaigns (Specials) that are broadcasted by its community of local social media users like you and I.

SAYS is on a mission to create a next-generation news site, and is now in Malaysia and Singapore.

For the upcoming Chinese New Year, SAYS is giving away a total of S$10,000 ang pows in cash every day for 30 days! Read about their CNY Giveaway here:

The biggest ang pow available is S$5,000. SAYS users who join will be given a lucky ticket for every daily Special they share that receives a minimum of 1 unique visit. The more tickets a user gets, the higher the chances you have to win the ang pows. I already joined and my lucky ticket today is #3359! Wish me luck and good luck to you too. 🙂

If I win the S$5,000, here are five things I would do:

1. Buy a laptop for my wife
Damage: ~S$1000

Macbook Air
Macbook Air

My wife’s old ASUS netbook is getting a little cranky. It also looks dated and chunky in today’s fast-moving laptop market. Time to give her a nice little surprise present.

2. Buy a new mattress for my son’s bed
Damage: ~S$1000

My son, Asher's bedroom
My son, Asher’s bedroom

The mattress from my son’s bed is currently an old one inherited from my parents-in-law.  It would be great to get a new, sturdier mattress to replace it.

3. Buy a new, portable digital camera for myself
Damage: ~S$1000

Panasonic GF5
Panasonic GF5

I damaged my portable digital camera during my last overseas trip to Taiwan. The warranty for the camera has just expired. Although I still have a DSLR, I do not like to lug a heavy camera around on a regular basis. Time to buy a new camera!

4. Treat my parents and parents-in-law to a sumptuous CNY reunion dinner
Damage: ~S$1000

Peng Cai served at a 2011 CNY reunion dinner with my parents
Peng Cai served at a 2011 CNY reunion dinner with my parents

It would be wonderful to play host to my parents and parents-in-law for the first time this year during Chinese New Year. The four of them have been helping Rachel and I take care of our baby son Asher throughout the past year and we are deeply appreciative of their effort.

5. Save the remainder for my son’s future education fund
Damage: ~$1000

My son Asher
My son Asher

It is always good to set aside some money for rainy days. Rachel and I are looking into setting up a financial plan to save for our son’s future education needs. This initial sum will be a good start.

This is a lot of stuff for S$5,000 isn’t it? Moreover, I am spreading the amount with my family members and loved ones, making it all the more meaningful.

Inspired?

Join the SAYS Singapore CNY Giveaway now!

A little tip for Alvinology.com readers: early contestants will stand a higher chance of winning if you sign up on SAYS Singapore and join the CNY Giveaway as soon as possible as there will be more opportunities for tickets.

There are winners everyday – these will be announced at 3pm daily via Google Hangout. “Like” the SAYS Singapore Facebook page to watch the SAYS team selecting the winners LIVE daily.

Huat ah! Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

Ordering Pet Food from Singapore Online Store, Kohe Pets

Can you see a flashing banner of Kohe Pets on the right-hand-side of this blog?

Well, Kohe Pets offered to take care of the pet food required for my wife’s two cats, Spooky and Amber.

So far, Rachel had done an order with them via their online store smoothly. There is a wide selection of pet food available and the delivery was prompt and efficient.

Kohe Pets online store
Kohe Pets online store

Instead of having to physically go down to a pet shop to replenish the cat food supply whenever they run low, Rachel is very happy to have the online order option now and have it delivered to her doorstep!

Best of all, if you purchase above S$50 worth of products, delivery is free!

Here are the items Rachel got from her first shopping experience with Kohe Pets:

– A litter pan with lid and swing door
– Tom & Pus pine litter
– Royal Canin Health Nutrition Indoor +7 Dry Cat Food
– Fussie Cat canned wet food
– Solid Gold dry cat food

Rachel's first order from Kohe Pets
Rachel’s first order from Kohe Pets
The wet and dry cat food
The wet and dry cat food
Fussie Cat Canned Wet Food
Fussie Cat Canned Wet Food
Amber came to inspect the order and was satisfied
Amber came to inspect the order and was satisfied

The original litter pan which Rachel had wanted was out of stock, which wasn’t indicated on the website, but the customer service officer promptly called her up to offer an alternative. The goods were delivered within 24 hours and the cats were happy to inspect the loot when their stuff arrived.

Kohe Pets is not a fly-by-night operation and have been in the business for a while. Hence you need not worry about them scamming you. Check out their official website, Facebook page or blog for more information.

If you don’t have time to go to the pet supplies store to do your shopping, Kohe Pets is likely to have what you need. Do check out their online store. 🙂

Dian Xiao Er (店小二) – 5 x $50 Voucher Giveaway for Alvinology.com Readers!

Dian Xiao Er (店小二)
Dian Xiao Er (店小二) restaurants

Have you dined at home-grown restaurant chain Dian Xiao Er (店小二) before?

Ever wonder why their business is so good? During lunch and dinner times, there are always long queues.

I had the rare opportunity to sit through dinner with the founder of Dian Xiao Er, Samuel Yik and his wife, Eliza. Both of them are super nice folks with “no air” that people like to stereotype with Chinese towkays. 

Inside Dian Xiao Er restaurants
Inside Dian Xiao Er restaurants

Samuel spoke with strong passion on how he started and operated Dian Xiao Er. He also shared some dining tips on their speciality dishes and enthusiastically explained to us the background of each dish.

I asked Samuel a lot of questions on his business operation. He answered everything candidly and was open to sharing just about everything (sans the recipes to his signature dishes of course). This is a hands-on boss who is on-the-ground and knows what he is doing, definitely not one shaking his legs in office.

Some people say the standards have declined in the past couple of years, but now that the founders are back in control (as of mid-2012), it is definitely worth visiting again.

Well, I am giving out 5 x S$50 Dian Xiao Er dining voucher to five lucky readers to try out the food at Dian Xiao Er!

To win the voucher, simply LIKE Dian Xiao Er on their Facebook page and leave a short message on the page stating why you like their food or would like to try their food. Print-screen the comment and email it to alvinologist@gmail.com by 14 Dec 2012. The best five entries will win the vouchers. To increase your chance of winning, if you are a blogger yourself and is willing to blog about your dining experience at Dian Xiao Er after winning the vouchers, please indicate this in your email.

Now, allow me to introduce to you, some of Dian Xiao Er’s signature dishes so you know what you can expect. 🙂

I am no stranger to Dian Xiao Er restaurants and am a fan of their signature Herbal Roast Duck since I first tried it at their Marina Square outlets a few years ago:

Dian Xiao Er signature Herbal Roast Duck
Dian Xiao Er signature Herbal Roast Duck

A lot of work goes into the preparation of the roast duck. Those who cook will know how tedious it is to prepare roast ducks.

The ducks at Dian Xiao Er are prepared daily for freshness. The ducks are marinated overnight to allow the herbal flavours to permeate each duck. A generous mixture of Chinese wine and herbs are sealed within the duck throughout the marinating process. The ducks are then roasted with the herbs and wine sealed inside their stomach. The roasting process releases the alcohol content of the wine while cooking with the herbs, resulting in the flavourful sauce that resides within the duck. This flavourful sauce is to be served with the portioned tender duck meat.

A lot of people has the mistaken notion that the herbal sauce is prepared separately and poured onto the duck, it is able to maintain the flavour, precisely because it is cooked INSIDE the duck.

Dian Xiao Er Herbal Roast Ducks are available in three flavours: Angelica Herb (当归), Ten Wonder Herbs (十全) and Wild Ginseng (泡参). Price for a small portion (approx. 2-3 pax servings) starts from $12.90++, a really reasonable price for a very tediously prepared dish.

Other favourites includes the following:

Dong Po Pork

Dong Po Pork
Dong Po Pork

This special cut of pork belly is well marinated with a concoction of spices and steamed till soft and tender. A flavourful dish with a “melt in your mouth” sensation. The skin is finished with some hot oil for better texture. Pork belly is sinful food, but I absolutely dig it.

Mongolian Spare Ribs

Mongolian Spare Ribs
Mongolian Spare Ribs

Another of Dian Xiao Er’s signature dish. The crispy ribs are coated in a layer of sauce with flavours of plum and black pepper, delivering a tangy, yet slightly hot taste.

Stir Fried Lotus Roots with Macadamia Nuts

Stir Fried Lotus Roots with Macadamia Nuts
Stir Fried Lotus Roots with Macadamia Nuts

This dish is one of the all-time favourite at Dian Xiao Er due to the unique blend of ingredients. The ingredients look very simple and the dish looks unassuming, but this is an area where Dian Xiao Er excels – delivering culinary delights through simple dishes. The Macadamia nuts crunch down well with the lotus roots.

Silver Cod Fish in Superior Soy Sauce

Silver Cod Fish in Superior Soy Sauce
Silver Cod Fish in Superior Soy Sauce

Deep fried Silver Cod served with a dash of Dian Xiao Er’s special soy sauce mix.  I love cod fish, but it is difficult to cook because of it’s oily texture. I like how the cod is crispy on the outside, yet soft and smooth on the inside.

Claypot Frog & Jumbo Prawn Bee Hoon with Wine

Claypot Frog & Jumbo Prawn Bee Hoon with Wine
Claypot Frog & Jumbo Prawn Bee Hoon with Wine

Frog legs and jumbo prawns in a comforting stock spiked with Shaoxing wine and beehoon to soak up all the goodness. This is Dian Xiao Er’s own creation and I find the mix of frog legs with jumbo prawns rather intriguing as I do not recall these two items being cooked together in any other dishes in Singapore. The result is pretty amazing though. I slurped up every last drop of the flavourful soup.

Their full menu is accessible online, so you can take a look at in-depth descriptions, photos and prices.

There are many promotions going on at Dian Xiao Er for early birds (15% off), students and senior citizens (20% off). Visit Dian Xiao Er’s Facebook page for more information; better still, follow them on Facebook so you can get alerted on the latest promotions and deals.

If you are interested to visit Dian Xiao Er, they currently operates eight outlets in Singapore. You can visit any of them and be assured the quality is consistent. The boss, Samuel personally make surprise visits to all of them for tasting to ensure this:

1. Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-203/4 | Tel: 6337 1928
2. Vivocity, 1 Harbourfront Walk #02/137/8  | Tel: 6376 9786
3. Ang Mo Kio, 53 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 #B2-02 | Tel: 6484 2268
4. Jurong Point, 1 Jurong West Central 2 #03-26/27 | Tel: 67926268
5. Lot One, 21 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4 #B1-32/33 | Tel: 6766 1776
6. Terminal 3, Changi Airport #03-42/43 | Tel: 6542 3789
7. Tampines One, 10 Tampines Central 1 #04-07/08 | Tel: 6783 6068
8. Nex Serangoon Central #02-09/10 | Tel: 6634 4828

Standard Chartered Shares “The Good Life”

Over a dinner at Stellar @ 1-Altitude, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore introduced to a group of privileged bloggers, The Good Life mobile app.

We were tasked to download the app onto our mobile phone and make a dinner order using the app:

The Good Life mobile app on iPad
The Good Life mobile app on iPad
Starter
Starter
Fancy salad
Fancy salad
Rachel's order of roast suckling pig
Rachel’s order of roast suckling pig
My juicy slab of beef
My juicy slab of beef
Desert is served
Desert is served
Pouring hot sauce on the desert ball to melt the top
Pouring hot sauce on the desert ball to melt the top
After the top melted, the desert looks like this
After the top melted, the desert looks like this
Presentation of the Good Life app left everyone in awe
Presentation of the Good Life app left everyone in awe
Rachel and I enjoying the good life atop One Raffles Place
Rachel and I enjoying the good life atop One Raffles Place

The launch event aside, the app does seems pretty nifty with good review ratings in the Apple app store. In fact, we were informed that the app made it to the number one downloaded app spot in Singapore for a few days!

If there are so many people downloading and giving the app good reviews, there must be something valuable hidden in the app.

Find out more about Standard Chartered Bank’s The Good Life: 

The Good Life is offered exclusively to the bank’s credit and debit cardholders, with over 1,000 great deals, ranging from dining to shopping, travel and lifestyle, island-wide every day.

With The Good Life iPhone app, cardholders can benefit from these deals on the go.

Mobile coupons with free gifts every Monday

The Good Life gets better with the newly-introduced weekly mobile coupons – only available in the app. This is in addition to the full range of benefits available daily. Supplying notifications of exclusive, time-limited deals and regular updates on the hottest offers, mobile coupons conveniently connect cardholders to the most exciting new promotions available. Cardholders can share the coupons and their benefits with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or SMS.

The app’s new “I Free Monday” coupons also allow customers to receive a free item from outlets such as McDonalds where a Free a la carte Filet-O-Fish™ can be redeemed. Other partners include Swensen’s, Starbucks and Marble Slab Creamery – that’s 32 Happy Mondays till the end of the year. On top of that, exclusive 1-for-1 deals are available at participating outlets island-wide.

Dennis Khoo, Head of Consumer Banking, Singapore, said:

“With The Good Life iPhone app, our cardholders now have mobile access to the latest and most exciting deals. They have enjoyed savings to the tune of close to S$14 million to date. This is truly a winning formula for our partners and our cardholders. By offering exclusive, time-limited and free deals through mobile coupons, we are reinforcing our commitment towards our cardholders.

We are proud to be the first bank in Singapore to offer free gifts every Monday for our customers through The Good Life app. It is our way of saying a big thank you to them.”

Making it an ease to locate the latest deals

The Good Life iPhone app makes it easy for cardholders to locate ongoing promotions at all their favourite dining, retail and lifestyle establishments. They can search for deals available near them or by category, merchant name or keyword, and keep track of offers at their favourite stores by adding them to their “Favourites”. The app also contains location and contact details, placing useful information at the users’ fingertips.

If you are Standard Chartered Bank cardholder like I am, download the app now to get the latest and best deals in town! If you are not, maybe it’s time to consider getting a Standard Chartered credit or debit card? 🙂

The Straits Times STAR CONCERT 2012 (Concert + Free USS Ticket + Free Singapore Flyer Ticket for $67)!

The Straits Times STAR Concert 2012
The Straits Times STAR Concert 2012 (Click Image to ENLARGE)

Celebrate The Straits Times’ 167th birthday at a mega carnival and concert with star singers Jason Derulo, Boys Like Girls, 4-Minute and Singapore idols Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza.

Participants will receive :
– FREE tickets to the Universal Studios Singapore for a special evening of fun on either August 18 or 19. Yes, with all rides on! ( UP$68-74 )
– FREE Singapore Flyer Ticket ( UP $29.50 )
– GOODIE BAG with gifts and attractive vouchers

To make online purchase , go to www.starevent.sg and click on the red button.

Call 6319-2368 / 6319-2087 or email csd@sph.com.sg if you need help to sign up more than 10 participants or if you encounter any problem.

Those who wish to walk-in and purchase their tickets by cash or credit card can do so between June 18 and 20, from 10 am to 5 pm at:

SPH News Centre, Auditorium, 1000 Toa Payoh North. (5 min walk from Braddell MRT Station).