An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore

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Where to shop in Far East Plaza

Far East Plaza is a treasure trove for me and I’ve been shopping there regularly since the late 80s! Does Lips Enterprise ring a bell?

I had this conversation with 2 colleagues in the pantry while munching on chocolates a few days ago. Marlene liked the cord necklace I was wearing and when I told her it was from Far East Plaza, she said she loved shopping there. Samrina said her problem was that it gets rather confusing and she often doesn’t know where to start. So tah dah! I’m recommeding some shops that you should go visit!

These 3 shops have been my MUST-GO whenever I’m at Far East Plaza. Singapore isn’t so much plus-sized friendly for clothes as it is for budget accessories and shoes. More often than not, I shop online for the convenience and range. With Paypal and credit cards, the world is your mall! But I find that you can’t stop going to the shops as physically being at the brick and motar stores is a great way of finding out what else is available and getting tactile with your hands. Very often, I find that stuff look better in person than online or in photos. I also love digging into past seasons’ old stock for treasures nobody else wants.

So amongst the many many many bargain-conscious and trendy shops at Far East Plaza, here are the 3 shops I always check out first! In alphabetical order:

1. The Blackground

Far East Plaza, #04-117


This is the physical shop for the popular Singapore blogshop Indiesin. Their online store carries a wider range than the shop itself and in the time that they’ve had their shop, the space they now operate out of has doubled in size! I’ve purchased a tote bag, some statement necklaces, bangles and too many rings from them.

2. Fonda

Far East Plaza, #03-50C


This shop is like a hole in the wall compared to The Blackground, though their prices are also slightly lower than The Blackground. It can get rather messy but they’ve so far been cool with my rummaging. Buy more than a few pieces and don’t be afraid of asking for a discount. My favourite things here are necklaces and earrings!

3. Talisman’s

Far East Plaza, #03-116/132


This is by far the largest of all the shops I frequent at Far East Plaza. If you grew up in Singapore, you’d be familiar with Chameleon and Talisman’s is somewhat similar. They have a crazy number of interesting things I don’t buy but like looking at – party accessories and novelty specs (imagine the NYE countdown types or those without lenses), facinators (those little hats with the veil you see at horse races) and tons of hats (berets, pillbox hats, straw hats etc). The last time I went, they had a huge range of 3 for SGD10 statement necklaces which I loved and bought.

And there you have it – my top 3 recommendations for shopping at Far East Plaza. But there are so many new shops popping up every so often and a short wander into the backlanes usually turns up unexpected finds too. If you have time, explore! How about a challenge? What can you get for SGD50 at Far East Plaza?


What IS made in Singapore?


I’m shopping for gifts to bring to the US next month when we visit T’s family. His mother and the extended family live in New York. His father and step-mother are in Arizona. His elder sister’s family is in California. Except for 1 of T’s uncles who has travelled to Singapore for work, I can safely say that the rest of the family only know Singapore is in the general vicinity of Asia so I can literally get anything. I’d love to get something really good though.

Forget tacky Merlion key chains or t-shirts with slogans like “Singapore is a FINE city”. I think those are my last resort.

My search for nice “Singapore” things to gift them has brought me to trawl the interwebs. I now have a short list of things that I might get. I haven’t decided if I want to and how I’m going to lug them over but I’m prepared to fill one entire suitcase with gifts. Here’s my list:

  • Charles & Keith handbags (shoes are difficult because I don’t know sizes)
  • TWG tea bags or kits
  • Tiger Balm ointment and lotions
  • +65 Indie Underground CD compilation released by UNIVERSAL MUSIC (I actually had a hand in this.)
  • Khong Guan biscuits (don’t knock it! I love Marie biccys dunked in milk tea or Milo!)
  • OSIM back or eye massager (anything bigger and I can’t carry it)
  • RISIS gold-plated Orchid necklace (T’s mother loves to garden and by extension, flowers.)
  • Uyii handmade bags (I ordered 3 purses with customized leather tags that they sadly don’t seem to carry anymore.)
  • Gryphon tea (more tea?)

Are there any other things you can think of? What about kiddie things?

Please send me your recommendations. I still have more than a month to go, so I have got lots of time to shop.

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Couponing: A new category!

I’m going to start posting about the coupon/vouchers I’ve been buying off groupon,,, Reebonz City and Voucherwow.  (I’m discovering new ones everyday!) I’m addicted to it and I don’t even know what it’s called! It’s like your high-tech couponing no? Instead of getting ink on your fingers as you cut them off the newspapers, you click a few times and go to PayPal.

Anyway, some coupons are more equal than others. My friends and I had experiences where the voucher describes the deal as a $188 facial for only $28, and to discover to our horror, a small hole-in-the-wall shop with 2 curtained rooms only.

Most of the coupons I’ve been buying are for spas and beauty treatments. I’m currently shopping for a new facial package because I’ve used almost all my credits. So these coupons come in handy when trying out services! In 2007, I appeared half-naked (under a blanket) in The Straits Times whilst having a massage. The article said I spent about $5000 on spas and beauty treatments but I realised shortly after that I was wrong. My credit card statements showed that I spent about $8, 000 that year. Heh… manicures, pedicures, massages, facials… I say they’re not luxury items but a necessity and a quick fix for busy women who can’t get away often for a holiday.

Onward to online couponing!!

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Singapore Expo Bargains

After yesterday’s trip, I went back to Singapore Expo with my 2 sisters this morning. We went to the L’Oreal Warehouse Sale, the Penguin Books Warehouse Sale and the Sports & Fitness Expo. My youngest sister zoomed in on the chick lit books at $3 each and ended up buying a ton of them.

Here’re most of our combined purchases

The sum of 3 sisters grabbing a bargain

The sum of 3 sisters grabbing a bargain

I couldn’t resist and picked out more books. This time, my youngest sister picked up the tab… mwahahahaha! I had a $3 limit for most of my purchases but I couldn’t help but “SPLASH OUT” S$8 for The Widows of Eastwick by John Updike.

My Day 2 purchases from the Penguin Books Warehouse Sale

My Day 2 purchases from the Penguin Books Warehouse Sale

I stumbled onto the L’Oreal Warehouse Sale by accident yesterday when I went to Singapore Expo with Natalie, Tamares and Sharon during our lunch break. I told my sisters about it and after some research by my younger sister who checked out bloggers who’ve already done the sale, she gave it her stamp of approval.

Good deals! We bought quite a number of things to last us the next 6 months. Seeing that we share most of our things (including toiletries in the 2 bathrooms), I’d say we’re on the winning side of economies of scale!

All of these are my picks - though most will be shared

All of these are my picks - though most will be shared

1. Garnier hair dye – 2 for S$10

2. L’oreal Feria hair dye – 2 for S$15

3. Visible Results face mask – S$10 for 1 box

4. Maybelline Mousse blush pots – 2 for S$10

5. L’oreal Make-up cleansing cloths – S$10 for a pack of 40 sheets

6. L’oreal Shocking Volume mascara – S$10 for 1

7. Maybelline nail polish remover – S$5 for 1 bottle

8. L’oreal mineral make-up – S$10 for 2

9. Garnier body scrub – S$10 for 2

10. Garnier facial wash – S$10 for 2 (bundled with freebie)

11. L’oreal Elseve shampoo (travel size) – S$1 for 1

Other than that, I bought 3 pairs of socks for $10 from the New Balance booth at the Sports & Fitness Expo right next door. My youngest sister scored a really good pair of black sneakers for $40 and some running tops/t-shirts.