With Christmas just round the corner, it’s time to rise up to the challenge of finding the perfect gifts. To guide you along the process, here are some important things to remember when picking out presents for your loved ones. 

#1 

Doing it the gift card way? Make sure it actually gets redeemed by purchasing the gift card from a store which has items the recipient actually shops at. For example, it’ll make more sense to give your makeup-loving pal a gift card from Sephora instead of iTunes – otherwise, it’ll just be like donating money to the store. Alternatively, you could also purchase gift cards to places where the recipient would like to splurge at, but doesn’t. This could apply to restaurant vouchers, spa vouchers and more. 

#2 

Whether it’s giving handmade presents from non-profit organisations or products from social enterprises that give back to charity, make your Christmas even better by gifting socially conscious presents. From shopping eco-conscious lifestyle products at Shop For Social or buying handmade candles made by single mothers from Cha Cha Cottage, you’ll be able to lend support to meaningful causes while spreading festive cheer. 

#3 

Similar to the point above, if there’s someone who’d prefer not to receive a present (or says they don’t need anything), you could try making a small donation in their name to a charity of their choice. Everybody wins in this situation. 

#4 

Instead of reaching for the fanciful wrapping paper this Christmas, give Mother Earth a small gift too by using recycled paper or putting your present in a reusable shopping bag or tote. Not only does this also encourage people to be more environmentally friendly, your wrapping materials will cost less and last even longer. 

#5

If you’re thinking of buying someone cheap equipment or something that relates to their favourite hobbies, don’t. It’s a thoughtful but risky gesture because chances are you wouldn’t be as familiar with what they need. So unless you’re able to quiz ’em on it beforehand, it’s better to avoid niche presents. 

#6

Need ideas on what to get your friends, co-workers or relatives? Try asking them about their new year resolutions to get an idea of what they’d like or find useful. Also, it’s hard to go wrong with small gifts that’ll come in handy in everyday life, such as a retractable phone cable for the friend who’s always bringing their portable charger around, or even buying an organisational app for your pal who’s always on the go. 

#7 

For those group gift exchanges where you’re unsure on what to gift, opt for giving a present that can be used up. This could mean everything from perishable goods like cookies or chocolate, to items that can be used in everyday life, like candles or a really good hand lotion. 

#8

Avoid scrambling for last minute gift ideas by assembling a wish list for your friends and family throughout the year. It could be jotting down that offhand comment your dad made about wanting a particular gadget, or noticing how your BFF always shares posts about a certain beauty product – it’s all about the little details. Also, pay attention to the type of gifts they give others; it’ll show you the type of gifts they’d appreciate and point you in the right direction. 

#9

With that being said, the above doesn’t apply to buying pets for your loved ones (no matter how much they’ve expressed their desire for one!) unless you’re willing to take on the responsibility of caring for said animal. Studies have shown that many gifted pets are given away within the first year because their owners aren’t able to provide the commitment, effort and expenses required to take proper care of them. So even though a cuddly puppy/kitten/goldfish may seem like a wonderful gift, please avoid doing so at all costs. 

#10

Have a loved one living overseas? Order them a present online and ship it directly to their doorstep. Alternatively, you could surprise them by ordering them their favourite food via delivery – a relatively inexpensive way to bring ’em joy.

#11

If the potential recipient of your gift prefers thoughtful presents, you could show them how much they mean to you by gifting them with a scrapbook filled with your favourite memories, sweet messages and words of admiration. It’s like giving them an exclusive view of themselves through your eyes – totally unique and extremely flattering.

#12

Seeking the perfect present for adventurous types? Try giving them the gift of experience. It could be gift vouchers to the local paintball arena, go-karting circuit or even for a bungee-jumping session – they’d probably appreciate it way more than a traditional cookie cutter gift.

What other gift giving tips do you have? Share ’em with us in the comment section!

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Not heading out of town this festive season? Hit up these staycation-worthy boutique hotels for a fun and memorable time with the fam! 

Amoy 

1-AMOY-Hotel-Deluxe-Double-1_Day_low-Res-(2)

Grab the chance to be a tourist in Singapore by going on a staycation at Amoy. This oriental-themed boutique hotel is located at Chinatown and even incorporates an actual museum, the Fuk Tak Chi Museum into the entire experience. Don’t worry about Amoy being stuck in time though; this quaint staycation spot comes fully furnished with modern amenities so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Book your stay at Amoy hotel on Expedia.com.sg at a discounted rate of $268 per night (original rates start at $298). 

The Daulat

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Tucked away in Little India, The Daulat is a cosy boutique hotel that’s perfect for those seeking a fuss-free staycation. Its close proximity to various tourist spots, such as the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and the colourful House of Tan Teng Niah allows families to soak in the vibrant sights and sounds easily. Make it a staycation to remember by visiting each of these spots and snapping family photos while at it! 

Book your stay at The Daulat on Expedia.com.sg at a discounted rate of $161 per night (original rates start at $215).

Hotel G 

2-Hotel-G-Singapore

The new kid on the block, Hotel G is a lifestyle hotel which ranks its 308 rooms according to Good, Great, Greater, which kinda implies you’ll never have a bad stay here. And this cosy hotel features retro-styled decor with a touch of whimsy that’ll appeal to visitors of all ages – it’s like a home away from home!

Book your stay at Hotel G on Expedia.com.sg at a discounted rate of $126 per night (original rates start at $149).

Andaz Singapore

The latest addition to the prestigious Hyatt family, Andaz (which means ‘Personal Style’ in Hindi) Singapore boasts a whopping 342 rooms, each elaborately designed and featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. Apart from its luxurious amenities, the hotel offers a wealth of dining options such as the Alley on 25, which is a collection of shophouse-themed eateries serving up scrumptious local fare, the 665°F restaurant for premium meats and seafood lovers, and Mr Stork, a uniquely designed rooftop bar that offers a panoramic view of the city. Also, treat yourself to complimentary refreshments at the Sunroom lounge and work off all the food you’ll be gobbling down at their outdoor pool and 24-hour fitness centre. 

 Book your stay at Andaz Singapore on Expedia.com.sg at a discounted rate of $370 per night (original rates start at $420). 

M Social Singapore 

M Social Singapore

Living up to the vibes its trendy name evokes, M Social is a chic boutique hotel that’s right up the alley of any modern millennial. Located in Robertson Quay, the Philippe Starck-designed hotel offers up four different-themed rooms across its 293-room capacity – including Pinterest-worthy loft-style rooms with attached outdoor terraces. We love how its decor encapsulates the modern essence with its tall ceilings, neutral colour schemes and sleek lines, while providing a homely atmosphere through its plush decor. 

Book your stay at M Social on Expedia.com.sg at a discounted rate of $180 per night (original rates start at $261).

Hotel Mono

Hotel Mono

Old world meets new at Hotel Mono, a boutique hotel disguised as a monochromatic masterpiece. Located in Chinatown, you’ll be able to spot this black-and-white establishment from a mile away. Minimalist lovers will love the sleek yet structured geometric designs and furnishings that are employed throughout the compound; it’s a tad simple as compared to the visual vibrance of other boutique hotels, but it also allows visitors the opportunity to escape into the monochromatic sanctuary they’ve built.

Book your stay at Hotel Mono on Expedia.com.sg at a discounted rate of $130 per night (original rates start at $145).

W Singapore  

We imagine staying at W Singapore would feel very much like going on a vacation fit for celebrity A-listers. Located in Sentosa Cove, this exclusive hotel has 10 distinctly-themed rooms ranging from posh to ultra luxurious. Its mid-tier room, the Away room, features its very own plunge pool (complete with jacuzzi jets!) amidst other luxurious amenities – if you’re looking for a hotel to host your ultimate dream staycation, this is it!

Book your stay at W Singapore on Expedia.com.sg at a discounted rate of $378 per night (original rates go up to $1,650 per night!).

This post was brought to you by Expedia Singapore  

Want to go on a staycation without having to actually shell out for it? Expedia Singapore is giving away a dream staycation worth up to S$3,000 for your entire fam. Head here for more details! 

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Soak in the festive mood with spectacular light shows, charity runs and lots of merry-making fun – we give you the run down on December’s exciting must-sees and -dos! 

Shawn Mendes Illuminate World Tour

Illuminate Tour Singapore Shawn Mendes

It has been three years since his second album, but the Canadian pop heartthrob is back and ready to light up our world with his sold-out maiden headline gig in Singapore. Prepare your hearts for an emotional display of guitar acoustics and soulful vocals as you get serenaded with crowd favourites like ‘Stiches’, ‘Treat You Better’ and ‘Mercy’. 

Date: 9 Dec
Time: 8pm
Venue: The Star Theatre
Tickets from $88, find out more at www.apactix.com

BookFest 2017

BookFest 2017

Back for its 11th edition, the annual extravaganza brings us the best deals on the latest electronic gadgets, stationery items and hidden literary gems. As you stock up on the back-to-school essentials, don’t miss out on meeting some of our homegrown authors such as Sumiko Tan and Mr Kiasu at their exclusive book signing and sharing sessions. 

Date: 15 – 24 Dec
Time: 10am to 10pm
Venue: Suntec Convention Centre
For more information, visit www.bookfestsingapore.com

Circus! Science Under the Big Top

Circus-Under-the-Big-Top

Ever wondered how circus performers teeter across the tightrope effortlessly without breaking their bones? Singapore Science Centre takes you behind the scenes of a circus performance, which unveils the trade secrets behind every theatric spectacle. 

Date: Now till 18 Mar
Time: 10am to 6pm
Venue: Singapore Science Centre
Tickets from $13.50, find out more at www.sistic.com.sg

Twilight Encounters at Night Safari

Twilight-Encounters

There’s more than just nocturnal wildlife at the Night Safari ­– for five weeks, the animal sanctuary will be set aglow with geometric light sculptures, iridescent walking trails and even a neon light show. Don’t forget to get your glow on with some face painting goodness! 

Date: Now till 31 Dec (Friday and Saturday only)
Time: 7.15pm to 12am
Venue: Singapore Night Safari
Tickets from $30, visit www.nightsafari.com.sg for more information

Christmas Wonderland

Christmas-Wonderland-2017

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Gardens By The Bay. The 2017 edition of the annual yuletide fair welcomes a dazzling display of lights, fun carnival games and seasonal treats to indulge in. If that still doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, how does skating under the stars or a trip to Santa’s Grotto sound? 

Date: 1 – 26 Dec
Time: 4pm to 11pm
Venue: Gardens By The Bay
Tickets from $4, for more information visit www.christmaswonderland.sg

Santa Runs For Wishes

Santa-Runs-For-Wishes

Christmas is all about the spirit of giving! Help the Make-A-Wish Foundation bring joy to the hearts of little ones – dress up as Santa or an elf and sweat it out with fellow do-gooders at this 5km charity fun run! Spreading the holiday cheer while getting in shape? Sign us up! 

Date: 9 Dec
Time: 7.30am to 11am
Venue: Promontory at Marina Bay
Tickets from $32 for more info visit www.santarunforwishes.sg

Marina Bay Singapore Countdown

Count-Down

End off 2017 with a bang at the biggest year-end celebrations yet! With an exciting lineup of carnival games, gastronomical delights and spectacular fireworks to look forward to, there are plenty of fun activities to keep you in high spirits as you countdown to the new year. 3… 2… 1!

Date: 31 Dec
Time: 5pm to 2am
Venue: Civic District, The Float, The Promontory and Bayfront Event Space
For more information, visit www.marinabaycountdown.sg 

What will you be up to this December? Tell us in the comment section!

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Nobody can resist a good foodie IG account. There is something so satisfying about admiring the galore of food and planning where to eat next on the weekends. Here are 8 local foodie profiles that are guaranteed to give you a foodgasm and leave you in awe at Singapore’s diverse spectrum of food.

LENNARD YEONG (@lennardy)

 

A post shared by Lennard Yeong (@lennardy) on Aug 10, 2017 at 9:06pm PDT

If you don’t know who lennardy is, then do you really know the food community? A “part-time” chef and a very good one at that, Lennard professes to be a student of the Internet; meaning that he learned how to cook off YouTube. Apart from posting up cooking clips that’ll have you salivating in no time, this Masterchef Asia contestant curates his feed with delicious grub recommendations from Singapore and all over the globe. 

SIHAN LEE (@fundamentally_flawed)

 

A post shared by Sihan Lee (@fundamentally_flawed) on Oct 23, 2017 at 5:30am PDT

Witty and humorous, Sihan does a great job at bringing you a list of local food places you should check out ASAP. Moreover, she takes you on a virtual food tour to whichever country she visits, leaving you wondering where your next vacation’s going to be. Read her blog for a more detailed description of the mouth-watering food you see on her page, just to tease your hungry stomach for a bit.

WILLIN LOW (@willcookwilleat)

 

A post shared by Willin Low (@willcookwilleat) on Oct 27, 2017 at 11:56pm PDT

Featuring the true blue Singaporean foodie experience, Willin is not all about millennial cafe fare. Instead, you’ll catch sight of the best local delights such as wanton mee, bak chor mee, char siew rice, nasi lemak and the likes. Representing as Singapore’s godfather of mod Sin cuisine, Willin is a chef and owner of multiple restaurants, so you can be assured that his recommendations are legit. 

GOH LIANG YU (@spadely)

 

A post shared by ♤ Goh Liang Yu (@spadely) on Oct 21, 2017 at 9:27pm PDT

If anything, Liang Yu (who’s also our Teenage Gorgeous You! 2015 winner!) has a knack for turning everything he eats into gram-worthy bites. You can count on him to show you the newest cafes and eateries in the hood, as well as the dishes worth ordering when you’re there. Aside from his artistic flair, we love how informative his account is with the names and prices of the food, making it easier for you to set aside a budget before visiting. 

RUBBISH EAT RUBBISH GROW (@rubbisheatrubbishgrow)

Brutally honest to a fault, Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow (RERG) consists of a group of people who are ardently passionate about food. Unlike most food blogs that are highly-commercialised, RERG chooses to bring in only the most honest food reviews, so if you are looking for a breath of fresh air away from all the sponsored food reviews, this is it. Check out their site for some of the funniest and concise food reviews, but do not be disappointed if you don’t find your favourite restaurant there, because they are seriously selective on what they write about. 

CLARA BEAN (@explodingbelly)

 

A post shared by Clara Bean (@explodingbelly) on Nov 2, 2017 at 6:49am PDT

One look, and you know Clara is a big foodie. She has tried most food trends in Singapore and gives her own opinions on how they taste too. This way, you’ll know when the food doesn’t just look good, it is worth it to try it out yourself too. It is a joy looking at Clara’s profile because she’s not just funny, she’s also terribly #relatable. She has a blog documenting her foodie adventures too.

JACQUELINE (@jacqsowhat)

 

A post shared by jacq 🍴 (@jacqsowhat) on Nov 8, 2017 at 3:19am PST

Holding a day-time job as a full-time audio producer, Jacqueline brings you the best from the food scene in Singapore during her free time. Her visually-pleasing profile boosts a wide array of cuisines and not to mention, her photo editing skills never disappoint because everything comes to life! It is not advised to scroll through her profile late at night because we are not responsible for any cravings!

JOE YANG (@mightyfoodie)

 

A post shared by JOE YANG (@mightyfoodie) on Nov 20, 2017 at 1:48am PST

Quite literally a ‘mighty foodie’, Joe embraces all kinds of cuisines so you can expect to find something you fancy in the huge selection of food and restaurants to satiate that hunger. We like how informative Joe is, and you can find out about any existing promotions or discounts at your favourite places through his profile. And of course like any other foodie accounts, his photos look lip-smacking delicious. 

Featured image: Ali Inay on Unsplash

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The rainy days have given us a craving for a wholesome hotpot meal! Here’s a list of steamboat places you can visit with your friends without breaking the bank.

Emperor Pot

Emperor Pot Teenage Steamboat

At Emperor Pot, their 3 tier cooking machine isn’t all that they are known for – their value for money prices, wide range of meat and seafood, and a fully equipped sauce station has been proven to be worth the long wait! This is the go-to place for those big groups of friends who can’t decide between Korean BBQ, Steam Box or a hot pot. 
Estimated Damage: $15 to $20 per pax
Opening Hours: 3pm – 11pm everyday
Location: 100 Tyrwhitt Rd, Stadium

San Laksa

San Laksa Teenage Steamboat Hotpot

You’ve tried mala and tomyum broths at the various steamboat eateries, but have you tasted a laksa soup base? San Laksa prides itself on their traditional curry laksa that boasts of a rich coconut aroma. Don’t worry about the spicy kick, chili paste is served separate from the broth so you can add according to your preference!
Estimated Damage: $30 per pax
Opening Hours: 11am – 2.30pm and 4.30pm – 11pm everyday 
Location: 404 Telok Blangah Road

Shi Li Fang

Shi Li Fang Teenage Steamboat

Image: @swiithearts

Don’t let the gimmicky outlook throw you off, Shi Li Fang has some of the most affordable hot pot prices and delicious soups with no MSG. Depending on which branch you visit, you could be swishing raw meats in a shared pot or a personal one. In addition to the usual vegetables, pork belly slices and seafood you can order a serving of frog, cows lungs or eel if you’re feeling adventurous!
Estimated Damage:  $20 per pax
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm everyday
Location: 7 branches island wide

New Fut Kai

New-Fut-Kai-Vegetarian-Steamboat

New Fut Kai is on a mission to debunk the bland rumours about vegetarian food and their steamboats has definitely made an impact with their unique broths namely the soymilk miso, power multi-grain and their fish head soup – the ingredients vary with your choice of soup and there is no flexibility in choosing how much or what liao you like. While you’re there, try their mock cereal prawns or suckling pig that has convinced the most passionate meat lovers.
Estimated Damage: $128 per pot (for 8)
Opening Hours: 10am – 3pm and 5pm – 10pm everyday
Location: 282 Jalan Besar

Steamboat Cheery

Steamboat Cheery Teenage Hot pot

Image: @tresa_1205

While many unique hot pot concepts have been popping up all over Singapore, Cheery Steamboat sticks to its original roots. Situated within a humble Kopitiam, their affordable pricing is the winning factor – vegetables, starch and processed foods cost $2 while basic meat and seafood are $4-$5 per portion. For those special occasions you can also add live prawns ($6/100g) or abalone ($68) to your mix!
Estimated Damage: $20 per pax
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10.30pm everyday
Location: Blk 63 Kallang Bahru #01-443

Wen Wen Big Prawn Noodles

Wen Wen Big Prawn Noodles Teenage Steamboat Hot Pot

Image: @riinns

Traditionally a prawn mee store, Wen Wen Big Prawn noodles also uses the flavourful broth for a seafood steamboat. Created with tender pork ribs and chunky prawns the soup also features a whole crab and free flow of noodles. Their attentive service is also a huge plus point – feel free to bring your own ingredients from home.
Estimated Damage: From $50 per pot (for 4)
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm and 5.30pm – 10pm 
Location: 51 Old Airport Road Food #01-147

Chicken Legend

Chicken Legend Coconut Water Hot Pot Teenage

Cooking your food in pure coconut water might sound peculiar but the reviews rave about its natural sweetness and refreshing taste – no MSG, salt or refined sugar added, talk about the healthier choice. The most popular item to go with the steamboat is their tender kampong chicken cubes (which explains the name), don’t forget to coat it in their saucy concoctions before popping it in your mouth!
Estimated Damage: $20 per pax
Opening Hours: 5.30pm – 11pm, Tuesday to Sunday 
Location: 15 Upper East Coast Rd

Where’s your favourite place to get some meat swishing action?

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