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Saturday, September 29, 2012

[Personal] Life direction

Saw this on my Newsfeed, and thought that it would be nice to share. Original response to a question on Quora.

This is the question:

Life: For a 25 year old who has a lot of interests, and lack of direction in life. How does one pick a happy and fulfilling career?

That sounds a lot like me (but I'm not 25. Yet.). How do you separate real passion from just hobbies and interests? Or can you just work on each of them in turn? Which one do you work on first?

Check out the comic strip answer here! I put a link to the picture because showing it directly here doesn't do it justice (shows up too small here).

So what do you think? I hope it provides you with an alternative view of what you're doing with your life right now (:

And to go along with the randomness of this post, this is the one handicraft that I have been working on for years:

The Last Supper
This was made for my mum's dear friend and colleague for her projected 80th birthday. Sadly, she's passed away due to cancer, but I still want to finish it and present it to her at her grave. がんばってto me!

Next up, check out coverage on Moonfest: free performances at the Concourse, 28 Sept - 30 Sept!

Amaya.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

[Personal] Internship at CHAT

Disclaimer: This post is purely my own and do not represent the opinions of any parties/companies mentioned.

A long long overdue post. Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to intern at IMH's special programme, Early Psychosis Intervention Programme (EPIP) for a month. Like I told my supervisor, I was quite skeptical about the effects and efforts put into all their awareness campaigns. Do they actually work? To what extent do they make a difference? Does the effect last?

The short answer is, they do. The effects are not immediate (delay of gratification, anyone?), but the aim is to equip people with the knowledge that help is available, and where to get help. Also with the hope that these people will pass on this knowledge to other people they meet, who may seem to need some help and support.

Find out more about my internship experience under the cut (:

If you're looking for an internship which is not research-based, you can consider the fun EPIP department, and join them in planning, designing and executing their awareness campaigns ((: Of course, research-based internships are also available.

What did I do?

While working at EPIP, I had to help out with their new initiative, CHAT. Here's a short excerpt of my internship 'highlights':
  • manning of the CHAT Hub at *scape
    • The CHAT hub is a relaxing place where people can just walk in and study/read/play. There are free computers, drinks as well as wi-fi! Also, this is the place where you can seek help for yourself or someone you know.
  • helped out at Youth-Support-Youth (YSY) training 
    • CHAT is actively involved in conducting trainings and workshops in ITEs and universities.
  • planning and execution of the roadshow at Republic Poly
    • Creating mental health awareness is important! So there are frequent road shows and awareness campaigns to reach out to the public. It is heartwarming to see people respond sincerely.
  • write-up of launch of Lishan’s book, A philosopher’s madness
I felt that this internship has given me new knowledge on the administrative support given to case managers and psychologists, and on the processes and difficulties in carrying out awareness campaigns to tackle the stigma of the mentally ill. What I liked about the internship is that it was not research-based. I also had friendly and supportive supervisor and colleagues. In addition, I feel that I am now equipped with more information on how to help and support my peers, and how to handle myself in a low period.

Amaya.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Canary in the Museum

No point of owning pretty clothes if you don't take pretty pictures while you're young. =)


 My friend and I took turns taking photos of each other. It was also an opportunity to try each other's clothes on... The dress I'm wearing in the first picture belongs to my friend. It is an earlier dress by Angelic Pretty - the Canaria JSK. I haven't posted my friend's pictures, so you don't get to admire my photography skillz. )X Except the top mirror photograph, of course.
The parasol is from Baby the Stars Shine Bright. The skirt is Moi Meme Moitie! My first Moitie item. =) It's the Chandelier SK I'd tried selling it off, but after several fall-throughs, I decided to just keep it. It's a very wearable item, except that it's white. White isn't ideal, because it gets dirty easily. Perhaps it'd be more accurate to say that dirt is simply more visible.

Another shot of the canaria jsk. My arm looks really fat here... Time to exercise some more.


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[anibee] K-Palette Exclusive Launch

Disclaimer: Although this post is sponsored by anibee, it does not affect the integrity of my work.

If you were in Bugis Junction last Sunday, did you catch the crowd at Bugis BHG?

K-Palette is a highly popular Japan brand here in Singapore, having display stands at Watsons and Sasa, as well as strong reputation in online stores such as Bellabox. You may have seen or used some of their well-known products such as the 24H two-way eyebrow liner and their 1-Day Tattoo Eyeliner.

Not only do they have attractive discounts, bloggers were also exclusively invited to try out the new products! Luckily for me, I was invited to my first blogger event by local J-Portal, anibee!

360-degree K-Palette counter!

Zero Kuma concealer (:

Mascara base.

Eyebrow liners (:
However! At this exclusive event, K-Palette introduced their new 1-Day Lash Perm as well as a Limited Edition Waterproof Eyeliner (:



The event was also graced by Miko Yatsu, one of K-Palette's top makeup artists. Did you catch her at the most recent free makeover session (prior to this event) at Watsons at Raffles City and Tampines Mall? The first 10 people to get a free makeover also received a goodie bag worth $60!



Miko-sensei

Le crowd

Some tips that Miko-sensei taught the audience:
  • Big eyes are important for a complete fall look!
  • Use of grey eyeshadow base will help in opening the eyes.
  • Don't neglect the bottom lashes! Applying a mascara base before applying mascara will help lengthen them even more.

Makeover time!

Afterwards, two out of the four of us had a one-to-one makeover with Miko-sensei! I had a cute look done on me (:

with Miko-sensei!
Some tips from Miko-sensei for a cute look:
  • Eyebrows should have a teeny arch, but overall smooth. Having slightly shorter eyebrows will increase cuteness level.
  • Eyeshadows used: Pink cream base, one lighter pink and one darker pink eyeshadow. Go for shimmery eyeshadows (:
  • Use a pencil liner to fill in the spaces in the eyelashes, and go over with the liquid liner for a better effect. Have the eyeliner a bit thicker in the centre of the eye for bigger eyes!
  • Mascara on your top lashes (brush upwards normally, downwards in a rolling fashion) and your bottom lashes (: Have a few more coats in the centre part of your lashes.
  • Blush should be on the highest point and the inner side of your cheeks.
  • Lip gloss is essential

Then it was Patricia's turn! To be transformed into a sexy lady :D



Some tips from Miko-sensei for a sexy look:
  • Applying loose powder before any makeup will help to remove excess sebum from the face and promote long-lasting wear of your makeup
  • Eyeshadows used: Gold cream base, red-brown and a darker brown eyeshadows
  • Same as before, mascara on your top lashes (brush upwards normally, downwards in a rolling fashion) and your bottom lashes (: But for a sexy look, have more coats on the outer corner of the eyes.
  • Dark pink lipstick but no gloss.

Goodie bag time!

I also received a very generous goodie bag!! :DD (yes it's so awesome it has a heading for itself)

Goodie bag!

Close up of the handwritten tag!
What's inside:
O:

From left to right:
  • Zero Kuma Cover Control Concealer (01 Natural Beige) $19.90
  • 1 Day Lash Perm Mascara $25.90
  • K-Palette Real Lasting Micro Eyeliner 24h (Waterproof Jet Black) $19.90
  • K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h (Waterproof SuperBlack) $19.90
  • K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h (Waterproof SuperBlack) Limited Edition Design! $19.90
  • K-Palette Shiny Star Eyes 02 (Safari Star) $26.90
Prices taken from beautycarousel.

Aren't they awesome products! The goodie bag also came with two leaflets containing important information regarding the new products (:

Product reviews

The 1 Day Lash Perm is placed in eye-catching red packaging, and has detailed information on the back of it.
The back!
It really lives up to its name of lengthening lashes and maintaining the curl! I've always had a problem with my very straight lashes, and this product really helps to keep the curl (:



It is also waterproof and removable with warm water. How is this possible?! According to the translator, you have to use water of at least 38deg Celsius, which means your normal sweat and sebum secretions cannot remove it because normal body temperature is below 38deg! This is good news for anyone who has sensitive eyes, as you will not need to use eye makeup remover to remove the mascara (:

I also did a quick comparison between the normal eyeliner and the micro eyeliner below:

See how much finer the tip is?
For a review on K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h (Waterproof SuperBlack), check out this post here! It also has a review on the 2-way eyebrow liner.

The Zero Kuma Cover Control Concealer (01 Natural Beige) is the first of the three types of concealers they have, with moisturizing effects (: Perfect for me, as my under eye area is really dry. The concealer also provides even and long-lasting coverage.

Lastly, great thanks to Anibee for this opportunity! I have enjoyed this event greatly, and I am honoured to have been able to attend with other awesome bloggers, Mirai, Zongyi and Patricia ((: Do check them out!

Group shot!

For more info, please visit : https://www.facebook.com/kpalettesingapore

You can also check out the post featured on anibee!

Amaya.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

[Game] iPhone App: Cafe Sudoku

My recent fun application! I've always liked this game, initially playing it way back in secondary school when it came in the weekly papers. And now I've got a decent one on my iPhone (:



As you can see, it features 5 game modes. You have to unlock the game modes by playing and winning the previous mode a particular number of times. Since I love this game so much, I easily cleared all the modes except for expert. Only the expert mode gave me trouble :P

How it looks like in expert mode


The aim of this game is to make sure that 1 to 9 is placed in every row, column and 9-box. No number should repeat itself in a row, column or 9-box. So it is technically a logic game, rather than a number game. You can switch between placing a tile, or writing down possible choices. The good thing about this is that once you've filled in a correct tile, all the other places that are now impossible for that number disappear. So you don't have to manually re-check all the pencil notes you've made previously (:

A finished grid in expert mode :D

Fail D:
The thing about this game is that you can fail despite clearing the grid xD You can only make up to a certain number of mistakes in order to pass the grid. I think it was 5 mistakes in Medium mode and about 3 in Expert Mode. So you've got to be careful when pressing those buttons. I've made a few careless mistakes by accidentally pressing '4' when I wanted '3', for example.

Overall a fun game, especially if you like sudoku and can't get enough of it!

Amaya.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

[anibee] K-Palette Make-up Products Review

Disclaimer: Although this post is sponsored by anibee, it does not affect the integrity of my work.

Hello (: Have you spotted these products in a Watsons or Sasa near you?

Look at that eye-catching packaging!
These are highly popular products from K-Palette, the 24H Real Lasting 2-way Eyebrow Liner (on left), and their (1-Day Tattoo) 24H Real Lasting Eyeliner (on right)! K-Palette has been consistently rated as one of the top three best-selling eyeliners in Japan since 3 years ago and is best well-known for their long-lasting and award-winning range of “1 Day Tattoo” cosmetics. K-Palette's eyebrow liner was also winner of the Cleo Beauty Hall of Fame 2012. How awesome is that :D



The eyebrow liquid liner


The liquid side is a normal cap, and the powder side is a screw-on cap.
The eyebrow liquid liner is a unique product with a powder side and a liquid side. This product is very useful for filling in brows, especially for people who have thin eyebrows. This is also suitable for people who want to extend their eyebrows beyond their normal eyebrows, yet still want to look natural. The eyebrow liquid liner is available in two colours: #01 Chocolate brown and #02 Honey brown. I find it better to match the colour to use to the colour of your hair than to your face.

If you notice, I don't have most of the 2nd half of my eyebrow ):

After! Brows look more defined, yet the colour is not harsh.
I personally find the eyebrow liner really easy to use, and the colour is not as harsh as pencil liners because of the translucent ink. If you have a night out and want more dramatic eyebrows, using this product will take you quite a while, so opt for this product if time is on your side to build colour (: The colour I used is #01 Chocolate brown, which is the darker colour of the two. This product can also double up as an eye shadow to line the bottom eyelid (: If you are more active but cannot go to the beach without make-up on, do consider fixing it with some lash gel, or bring it out to touch up during the day.

The 1-day tattoo eyeliner


The fine pen tip allows precise control (:


With both the eyebrow and the eye liner (:
I am not a fan of liquid liners, but I find this product quite easy to use and to build thickness (though it might take a while). I extended the liner quite a bit in the above photo so that you can see how it looks like, as I do not usually draw very thick and visible eye liner. The pen tip is really fine, so it's useful for filling in the gaps in your lashes as well. It dries really fast (under 10 seconds), but if you make a mistake, you can easily remove with a Q-tip and some make-up remover or your foundation (if you already have foundation on your eyelid).

Some tips for while using these products:
  • Keep the pen horizontal to prevent the tip from drying out (lighter colour). You can always shake it with the tip pointing downwards if you find the colour fading.
  • This eyebrow liquid liner will stain your eyebrows, though it is not as powerful as eyebrow mascaras.
  • It does not come out under running water or light rubbing.
The eyebrow liquid liner retails at Watsons for $18.90 and the 1-Day Tattoo eyeliner for $19.90. They are also available at Sasa stores and Bugis BHG, or you can obtain them online from BeautyCarousel (worldwide delivery).

Get yours now!

Shoutout

Thank you to anibee for this wonderful opportunity to try out these awesome products because I would not have bought them in store and try :P 

Check out the post on anibee's website here!

Amaya.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Macarons VS Macaroons

Yes there is a difference.



The coconut ones! Image from here.
Macaroons(ma-ka-rune): Made of egg-whites, sugar and coconut. You can switch out the sugar for syrup, or dip the finished product in chocolate. The main thing is that it has coconut.

Image from here.
Macarons (mah-ka-hron): The colourful ones, made with a meringue base consisting of egg-white and fine sugar, and finely ground almonds. You can pronounce this word either the French way or the English way.

I used to foolishly think that it was okay to call macarOns macaroons (sigh #suaku). Now we all know better (:

Amaya.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

[Psych] Social allergy effect

Now this is quite interesting. We all understand 'allergy' to be a reaction to some sort of food (eg. nuts) or environment (eg. dust, pollen) and that the reaction manifests on the physical body as rashes, itches and so on. Do you know that this word is also applied in social relationships?

The social allergy effect occurs when a person's annoying habits grow worse over time, instead of growing more fond of his or her idiosyncrasies. This can apply to both people and things (which might be why the more we listen to construction, the more annoyed we get). Or maybe why you get increasingly annoyed when anime character(s) you dislike keep popping out and result in less screen time for your bias.

This is in contrast to the mere exposure effect/familiarity principle: the more we are exposed to it, the more we come to like it (mainly because you get to spend more time together, and find out more about each other and common topics etc...).

So what does this mean in relationships?

As seen in this article, relatively minor habits can get in the way of relationships and potentially damage them. So it would be good to consider carefully whether to be really close to someone who has habits who annoy you (like getting married). Research also shows that old habits die hard (not impossible to change, just really really hard), so you might want to re-consider getting the other party to change.

But for this to actually happen, you will have to
1) really hate that particular habit
2) be exposed to this habit and get annoyed by it at a pretty high frequency (see how it's more likely to happen with spouses than with friends?)

And of course, knowing helps to manage emotions to some extent.
Straight, or bent?
One thing to be careful is that knowing does not dispel its effect. Just like the above visual illusion, knowing that the lines are straight does not remove the optical illusion (you still see bent lines). Even if you know you're over-reacting (because of social allergy effect), you can't always stop feeling that over-reaction.

But hey! At least now you know that there might be -some- truth when the other party says something along the lines of 'you have not reacted this badly before' :P

Amaya.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[Music] Short People

Here's one of my favourite pieces by The King's Singers: Short People! A quick song to listen to in your study break. It's really quite the enjoyable song (if you can laugh at yourself being short), with the theatrics that the singers add into the song to make the song a visual performance too! Lyrics under the cut.




Short people got no reason (x3)
To live

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin' great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet

Well, I don't want no short people
Don't want no short people (x2)
`Round here

Short people are just the same
As you and I
(A fool such as I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It's a wonderful world)

Short people got nobody (x3)
To love

They got little baby legs
That stand so low
You got to pick em up
Just to say hello
They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin' peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They're gonna get you every time
Well, I don't want no short people
Don't want no short people (x2)
'Round here

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Sunday, September 09, 2012

[Personal] Dinner at Coca Restaurant

Dinner at Coca Restaurant at Ngee Ann City yesterday. Chose the dinner buffet instead of the ala carte. 

Price: $38++ (non-inclusive of drinks)
Selection: Good and fresh (*****)


You would have a basic set of about 10 dishes given to you. Whatever else you would like had to be ordered on pink slips of paper provided at the table. The raw dishes will then be placed on another table they would set up next to your dining table, so your dining table is less cluttered (and you can order all you want without worrying if there's enough space!).The soup would taste bland at the beginning, but throw in lots of food and it'll be delicious :D It is a pricey buffet, but well worth its price, I believe!

Enjoyable dinner overall ((:

The cutlery! Bowl on the right is to put chilli lol.

The drinks station of sorts.

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[Game] Kids Games from Humongous Entertainment

Image taken from blue-soup
Have you ever played these games before when you were younger? Back when the Windows software was 95, 98 or 2000? The games from Humongous Entertainment (namely Putt Putt and Freddi Fish series) accompanied me through most of my childhood.

These games have two categories, the Junior Adventure games and the Junior Arcade games.

The games are very simple to play (they would have to, being made for 3-8 year olds!) and involved the pre-touchscreen method of navigation: clicking around and use of the keyboard for some parts of the games. Characters were all fully-voiced, and graphics were cute and good quality for their time. The gameplay changed slightly every time you play it!

Putt-putt and Pet-pet, in Putt Putt Enters The Race
The Putt Putt series generally centred on major events Putt Putt would land itself in, such as going to the moon, saving the baby zoo animals, joining a circus, or holding a birthday party for its beloved dog, Pet Pet!

Freddi Fish and her sidekick Luther, however, lead somewhat more exciting lives by helping to solve mysteries! The bad guy is chosen at random each time you play, so it's always worth playing this many many times :D

Need to save Luther's uncle in The Missing Conch Shell. Image from ATPM.


Want to get them for kids you know?

(or secretly for yourself :P) Some titles have been re-distributed for the iPhone by Nimbus Games.


Those are the free demos, so you will have to pay for the full versions (S$3.98).

The PC versions are available on emulator sites, and require a program to work on these updated desktops (Google is your best help here!).

With its colourful graphics, cute characters and full voice-overs, these games make for an enjoyable time, or a good and quick break from studying (as well as re-living your childhood!). ((:

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

[Taobao] Organizing your life?

Looking for cute, cheap yet functional organizers? Searching for affordable and cute packaging to carry your items around? Overwhelmed with the number of sellers selling the same things at different prices and wondering who to trust? Introducing to you two sellers whom I have bought goodies from and is pleased with their products (:


Lollipop

This seller mainly deals with items that help you in organization, whether it is your clothes, make-up, accessories or your life in general. I bought an organizer from this seller (which has been taken down once it's been fully sold), and it's still in good condition even after 8 months! The quality is comparable to that sold in Artbox (: Yet they have more designs at a cheaper rate!

细雨疯飞

This seller has a similar theme, with emphasis on paper lace and current obsession: eiffel towers! Fast and efficient seller with good products (: Especially love the stickers that I bought form this seller (: They will make an awesome addition to any notebook or writing materials.

Amaya.




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Saturday, September 01, 2012

[Psych] Afraid to eat alone?

A paper I wrote for a psychology module in one of my semesters in NUS. I find that the topic was an interesting one to write for a paper. (: I hope that this can dispel some notions that psychology majors have to write long boring papers. (: And for those more concerned with academics, I got an A- for this paper, however I did edit out some parts of it to make it an easier read.

START-O


Perhaps we don't eat alone more often because we’re taught not to—or rather we’re not taught how to. From day one we learn to eat in the company of others, and we figure out fast that the kids who eat alone at school are the kids who don’t have anyone to eat with. Socially, eating alone is not a sign of our strength, but of a lack of social standing. (Lenzer, 2010).

In an article in The Straits Times dated 7 Jan 2011, it was reported that students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have started an interesting campaign: OK to eat alone. According to the article, the fear of eating alone is rather prevalent. Most who fear eating alone would eat meals on the go, or skip meals altogether. This issue strikes me as interesting for I belong to the group of people who are “not aware that eating alone was an issue to be concerned about”. Though there is a stigma attached to eating alone, it itself is not a very detrimental one (unless a person ends up skipping too many meals because there is constantly no one to eat with).

So why do people fear eating alone? 

One very prominent reason raised in the article was that people did not want to create a negative impression of themselves when others viewed them eating alone. They fear that they would be labelled as “geeks or losers” (Tan, 2011) or the implication that you have no friends, lonely and isolated (Ang, 2011). This point ties in very strongly with self-presentation and social acceptance. Sometimes, people would present themselves in a manner that they know is not exactly true simply because being socially accepted is more important to them (as demonstrated in Asch’s conformity studies), especially when there are people watching (Baumeister & Bushman, 2011).


How did this stigma form? 


A very central concept that results in people fearing to eat alone is the stigma attached to it, that people who eat alone are basically loners. This may be due to an actor/observer bias – the tendency to make external attributions to one’s own behaviour and make internal attributions to others’ behaviour (Jones and Nisbett, 1971). If I were to eat alone, I would be very aware of the external reasons for doing so, such as ending lessons at an unusual timing. However, other people may view me as being a loner, who does not have friends to eat with. Coupled with the tendency for humans to seek self-knowledge via the looking glass self (Cooley, 1902), we would also be aware that we would be viewed negatively if we were to eat alone.

Observational learning can also play a part in strengthening this stigma attached to eating alone. By observing how others treat/view people who eat alone, we would understand that eating alone would be disadvantageous for social acceptance. Hence, we may develop the same attitudes and prefer not to eat alone whenever possible.

So what about those who do not fear eating alone? 

One possible reason is that the notion that “eating alone gives others a negative impression” was not ingrained into the minds of these people as compared to those who fear eating alone. In my previous segment, it seems that this stigma of eating alone is learned and is not something that people automatically come to know of. Therefore, the social environment is which people grow up in would play a significant part in whether a person will fear eating alone later in life.People who eat alone often may turn to self-serving biases (Baumeister & Bushman, 2011, p.83) to make themselves feel better, such as thinking that they are independent people who do not always need to rely on others. Focusing on the more positive aspects on eating alone, such as being able to concentrate solely on the taste of the food, practicality or to just have some time for introspection, may be the underlying social cognitions why some do not fear eating alone.

References 
Melissa Lin (2011, January 7). Campaign message to chew on: OK to eat alone; NUS undergrads start Facebook campaign to tackle fear of dining solo. The Straits Times.
Suzanne Lenzer (2010, May 6). On eating alone. Retrieved from http://markbittman.com/on-eating-alone-0
Baumeister & Bushman (2011). Social psychology and human nature (2nd ed.). Wadsworth.


So how many psychology concepts did you spot?  (:

Amaya/Lizzie.

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