Sunday, 23 October 2016

Focus Hairdressing: Getting my C-Curls!

Well, I'm terribly sorry about the bad quality pictures. Left my Samsung NX Mini at home and the Samsung Note 4 has thoroughly failed me with her (I insist it's a she, since mine is pink) camera that always give me grainy, blurry pictures. 
So, please bear with me. 

-credits to

And anyway, if you still didn't know, Focus Hairdressing has opened another (smaller branch) at Chinatown Point, located at Level 2 right beside Din Tai Fung and above McDonald's. Stationed at this smaller, more easily accessible via MRT (Chinatown station) branch are Ken, Jane and Louis. 
Well, frankly speaking I would prefer heading to the Cuppage branch (I'm not very into the Chinatown vibes, somehow) but since Ken has moved over to the Chinatown branch, I decided to visit this branch as well. 

And yes, after so much talks of wanting to perm my hair, I finally did it! 


Initially I couldn't decide if I wanted C-Curls or S-Curls, and so Ken recommended that I go for C-Curls as it's more manageable for a perm-newbie like me. And yes, as you can see from the photograph, that he has chopped off about 1/3 of my hair as C-Curls wouldn't look as nice when the hair length is too long. 

The session started with a quick, 5 minute Olaplex hair reparative treatment, which serves as a form of 'hair insurance' to strengthen my hair. Well, 1/3 of my hair has been snipped off, but part of my (damaged) bleached hair from the past balayage hair dye session still remains at my new hair ends. 

And of course, having unusually thick hair always means having an extra pair of hands working on your hair at the salon. 
As I've opted for Mucota Omega Therapy (read my previous experience of it HERE) to rebond my curly roots, my day at Focus started out pretty much the same as all my previous Mucota rebonding sessions with them (read my Mucota Opera review HERE).

Until the curlers came in. 
It was just a little worrying because the curls seems to be... quite high? 

And I was greeted by this glorious ahjumma-curls when the curlers were first removed, which also reminded me of naruto. The Japanese fishcake, not the comic. 
Then Ken came back with the flat iron again, to loosen up those tight curls into the way he wanted them to be.

And after another 10 minutes with the 2 different neutralisers (cream for the rebonded part and liquid ones for the curled part)

(taken 1 day after the salon visit)

As usual, the Mucota Omega Therapy left my hair feeling soft and smooth, with the exception of a specific bunch of the curled ends, which was the bleached part (oh, how long more will it take for me to get rid of you nasty bleached hair?), that felt a distinctively different, less soft and smooth. 

And you'll be glad to know that Focus Hairdressing is celebrating their 7th anniversay this October! And to commemorate their 7th year in business, they're having a special promotion for the following Mucota hair services:

Mucota DYNA
Mucota OMEGA Therapy

Visit their FB page HERE to find out more about these October promotion and hurry, because there's only 1 more week left to this awesome month (it's awesome because I'm an October baby). 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 17 October 2016

Mia's Review: Get Glowy Skin with Avalon Stem Cell Beauty Drink! [Advertorial]

Dryness, dullness, wrinkles, sagging. Are your poor diet and living habits costing you your chance of having glowing, younger looking skin? And as if that's not bad enought, time is liken to a thief, slowly and quietly stealing our youth away, leaving behind signs of aging on our faces. Wouldn’t it be good if we can turn back time and lock up our youth so that we can look younger than our biological age?

And what if I tell you, you can easily achieve that by solving 6 different skin problems with just 1 small bottle a day?

AVALON ™ Stem Cell Beauty Drink can help us to restore our youthful, healthy complexion by giving us 6 benefits:

1. Rejuvenates our damaged skin cells
2. Helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines
3. Helps tighten sagging skin by restoring skin's firmness and elasticity
4. Helps brighten dull skin
5. Helps tighten pores
6. Hydrate dry skin by locking in moisture

AVALON ™ Stem Cell Beauty Drink the first beauty drink in Singapore that contains Young Orchid Stem Cells. Enhanced with Litchi Seed Extract, Premium French Marine Collagen and a combination of Fruit Extracts, where taken together helps to repair and rejuvenate our skin cells, retain skin’s moisture, brighten skin tone, tighten pores, improve skin firmness and reduces appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, resolving 6 major skin problems with just one product!

Orchid symbolizes luxury, love, strength and beauty. It represents refinement and perfection. With more than 25,000 species of orchids and over 100,000 hybrids growing throughout the world, these exotic flowers have been a part of many cultures since a long time back. Orchids were used to promote good health and cure diseases by the ancient Chinese, ancient Aztecs brewed a strength potion from its flowers to obtain power over their enemies, Europeans used it in Love potions and the Geeks used it for fertility. 
Today, Orchid extracts (the flower as a whole) are use in multiple varieties of products including hair care, body care, and skincare products. However researchers have found a breakthrough in an untapped part of Orchids; its stem cells. 

And guess what, unlike other beauty drinks in the market with thick texture and strong flavour, AVALON ™ Stem Cell Beauty Drink is made with Sparkling Water that not only adds a refreshing twist to conventional beauty drinks, but in fact sparkling water actually helps to boost nutrients absorption & promotes skin metabolism! The result is a beauty drink that tastes awesome: both tangy and sweet, light and refreshing. 

It's a common myth to think that taking collagen alone is sufficient to fight signs of aging and keep our complexion youthful. However, taking collagen alone is actually insufficient to fight signs of aging. Fundamental to having good skin is maintaining healthy skin cells. To fully benefit from any oral beauty supplements or skincare, it is important to have healthy skin cells to fully absorb and locks in the skin beneficial nutrients. Researchers has discovered that the Orchid Stem Cell is a powerful antioxidant and possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties, particularly young orchid stem cells, which protect the skin from environmental damages while hydrating and renewing our skin cells thus making it an excellent youth revitaliser which works on almost all skin types.

I highly recommend that you store these drinks in the fridge and drink them chilled for an even better taste enjoyment, before bedtime. For 1st timers, drink 1 bottle every night for 7 consecutive nights for maximum results. 
In 7 days you can feel your skin being more supple and hydrated, and in 28 days (our skin renews itself every 28 days) you can see your skin tone brightens up looking more radiant, pores appears to be tighter, wrinkles and fine lines will also look lighter now that your skin is more supple. 

AVALON ™ Stem Cell Beauty Drink retails at only $69.90 for a box of 10 and is available at:
Watsons, Unity Pharmacy, ALT, OG, Robinsons, Yue Hwa &

You can get 20% OFF by entering code TSS-20OFF at checkout on 
20% OFF when entering code TSS-20OFF at checkout. Only for purchase online at HERE 

Do head over to SampleStore's FACEBOOK as they are running a giveaway today (17th October) and giving out full sets of AVALON ™ Stem Cell Beauty Drink to 5 lucky winners! In the meanwhile,  head over to Sample Store to read more reviews of AVALON ™ Stem Cell Beauty Drink.

Till then,
Mia Foo

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Media Invite: Cha Thai Food Tasting

Many times, when we see the word 'Thai food', we naturally think of street food and hence, very inexpensive, cheap food. However, Cha Thai is here to debunk this by bringing to us the best of fine Thai food.

Cha Thai's founder, Leah, was trained in culinary schools in both Thailand and France, and hence is able to bring together the best of both the East and the West, by adapting the West's technology with the East's traditions, to bring Thai food to a whole new level. Using premium quality ingredients with traditional (but not authentic) recipes cooked with modern cooking techniques, Cha Thai is able to bring out a new dimension in the taste of Thai, so that their patrons can experience the best of Fine Thai food. For instance, all their meat are sous vide before cooking, and takes a lot of time and effort to prepare in order to ensure that the meat is always tender.

And it's so cute that they store their condiments in drip bottles!

Hot Salty Plum Drink - $2.50

Well, somehow it naturally registered as 'sour plum' instead of 'salty plum' and I got a little shock at first sip. It was indeed, salty plum and not sour plum, alright. It's a little of an acquired taste and might need a few sips to get used to. You know those 'sour plums' you popped into your mouth and immediately think, "what kind of sour plum is this? This should be salted plum!" Yeah, this drink tasted exactly like that. 
Not bad, but takes a while to get used to it. 

Green Tea Latte Smoothie (Middle) - $4.50

Love, love loveeeee this! I highly recommend this drink for all green tea lovers out there. Milky, slightly sweet, strong tea flavour with the distinctive bitter aftertaste, this is a definite must try! But take note of the huge serving. You might be full from just this smoothie alone. 

Crispy Prawn Cake - $15

I know this sounds pretty pricey, but these prawn cakes were all made from scratch (thus the irregular shapes) using tiger prawns! You can expect a mouthful of springy tiger prawn flesh with a fresh sweetness that's well flavoured to taste. Crisp on the outside, yet tender and juicy on the inside. 
How can you not like this?

Creamy Crab Roll - $15

Thick, creamy crab sauce served with crispy fried springroll skin that's light as air. This is the perfect appetizer to kick off your meal. 

Lemongrass Prawn Salad - $28

Once again, tiger prawns! The prawns were fresh and succulent (and fat, too!) and topped with a generous serving of lemongrass minced meat that tasted rather similar to the flavour of basil minced chicken. A little salty on its own, but would have been a perfect match with a bowl of white rice. 

Signature Tiger Prawn Panang Curry - $28

Creamy, slightly sweet and a little spicy, and stuff full of fresh and juicy tiger prawns! The sweetness in the curry gravy doesn't just come from the fresh prawns, but also from the lychees as well. The yumminess from the fat juicy prawns aside, I still found it a tad too creamy and not spicy enough for me though. 

Tom Yum Vegetarian Dumplings - $18

Not acutely sour nor tongue burning spicy like the usual tom yum goong, the first taste was even slightly sweet and very pleasant. And the spiciness comes shortly after, so do take note to sip at your soup in case the spiciness might be too much for you. The handmade dumplings, didn't taste very vegetarian (the distinctive raw vegetable taste) as well, so feel free to try this out even if you tend to avoid eating vegetables. 

Saute Kai Lan with Roasted Pork - $16

The kai lan were fresh (obviously from the jade-green colour you see) and saute just well enough to retain the vegetable's crisp texture and yet remove the bitterness. The fresh vegetables were also a good balance to the otherwise oily (fatty pork belly) roasted pork that was extremely well flavoured and tender. 

Garlic Chicken with Bird's Chilli - $18

The best choice of food for those on an #eatclean diet. HAHA!
The chicken bits were all chicken breast meat so while they're not the toughest chicken breast I've ever eaten, they're also not the most tender piece of chicken meat you can get, Stir-fried with a generous dose of chopped garlic, this is a must try for those garlic lovers on a healthy diet. The bird's chilli can get really spicy, so do avoid biting on them.

Simmered Pork - $22

This feels a little like the saute kai lan with roasted pork, but with the ratio reversed. The kai lan here is still fresh and slightly crisp, while the simmered pork packed a lot more of the savoury flavour and tenderness in comparison to its roasted counterpart.

Premium Giant Tiger Prawns Claypot Glass Noodles - $159
Tiger Prawns Claypot Glass Noodles (for 4 pax) - $55
Note: Giant Tiger Prawn is about 34 - 40cm

The glass noodles were springy and flavourful and topped with another 5 fat juicy tiger prawns. Though recommended for 4 pax, you can still gather more folks to share this pot of glass noodles so as to free up more tummy space for the other dishes. 
The springiness of the glass noodles combined with the savoury, slightly spicy flavour might be addictive, though. 

Pad Thai - $22

By this time, there was definitely a tiger prawn overload. So the 2 tiger prawns were sadly ignored at the table while we went for the noodles.
The rice noodles was chewy and flavourful and I liked how they placed the beansprouts, chopped peanuts and leeks (I think?) at the sides so you can choose to mix them in or not.

Charcoal Toast - $8 

This is DA BOMB! 
Pardon me if I sound like I'm over-reacting, but you absolutely have to go try these out for yourselves! The toasts were extremely crispy and yet fluffy at the same time and its toasted fragrance paired with either the pandan or the milk tea dip, just taste heavenly and extremely addictive. Most of us were already entering foodcoma / waving white flag by the time desserts were served, and yet we were all eyeing for second helping for this toast because it just taste so good! 

And for the rest of the dishes, which I (sadly) didn't get to taste due to limited stomach space.

Pomelo Salad - $16

Top right, clockwise: Red Ruby, Sweet Corn Herbal Jelly, Melon Sago, Emerald Jade (Green Ruby) - $8 each

Summer Potato (Sweet Potato) - $8 

Berries Toast - $8

Mountain Milo - $8

At Cha Thai, there's one thing to note is that the portions are usually huge! As it is the Thai's tradition and culture to gather, hence their food always come in portions large enough for sharing. Hence, I strongly recommend that you visit with a group of friends to combine all your tummy spaces in order to try out more yummy dishes! Well, food always tastes better in good company, yes? 

Cha Thai is located at
80 Telok Ayer Street
#01-01 Singapore 048466
(Far East Square)

For more information, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Mia's Recipe: Healthy 77 Calories Brownies

Yes, that's not a typo and your eyes aren't playing a trick on you. I'm going to share with you my recipe for a yummy, 77 calories brownie!

With no refined flour, no refined sugar, and no butter, this will be the perfect sweet treat for those watching your diet! Best of all, this doesn't taste healthy at all! 

To make your own 77 calories brownie (16 servings), you'll need:

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 
1/2 cup honey 
(you may reduce it if you prefer your brownies less sweet)
2 eggs
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
(I've used 1/4 wholemeal and 1/4 low-carb mix, else with 100% wholemeal you should be getting 75 calories brownies instead) 
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

optional: chocolate chips or chopped nuts of your choice
(but do note these aren't included in my calorie count) 

It can't be any simpler to make this yummy brownies. First, add all your wet ingredients (honey, applesauce, eggs) into a bowl and mix till combined. 
Then, sift in your dry ingredients (very important to sift, especially for cocoa powders as  they're always lumpy) and mix until just combined. 
You may fold in your additional chocolate chips or chopped nuts before pouring the batter into a greased (or non-stick) 8 x 8 inch square brownie pan, for an easy time cutting them into 2" squares so you can gauge your calorie intake better.
Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes and check that a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Due to the wholemeal flour, the brownie will be slightly more crumbly but still stay soft and moist (due to the honey and applesauce). 
I find that even without the chocolate chips, I wouldn't mind having the brownie a little less sweet hence it's probably good to reduce another tbsp of honey from the recipe (to use about 100ml instead of 120ml) and to make up for the hydration level with some skimmed milk. 

Do share with me how yours turned out if you've tried this recipe as well. 

Edited: I've tried substituting butter with applesauce for breadmaking and it turned out quite terrible! Fellow bread-bakers, if you've ever successfully did a butter-applesauce replacement, do let me know how you did it!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Mia's Recipe: Low Carb Multigrain Fruit Loaf

And so, after achieving a wholegrain (whole wheat, oatmeal) bread loaf, which is perfectly edible (my bread machine recipe HERE), my greed for something new set me going on a googling-youtubing craze again for a multigrain, possibly low carb bread recipe. 
But what came up were mostly just bread made with almond meal, which is extremely expensive and totally not sustainable for my lifestyle. 
Depending on the brand, you might need to cough up at least almost $18 SGD for a packet of almond meal that doesn't even give you 500g of the almond flour on iherb, and that's way too expensive even in the name of low-carbohydrates. Plus, having a bread loaf made mostly (or entirely, in terms of dry ingredients) from almonds actually means 1 thing. Yes, it's low in carbohydrates, but other than almond flour, you will still need to add in milk, butter (oil) and possibly eggs, which means, this is a low carb, but super high fat bread loaf! 

And so, while I was lamenting that a truly healthy low-carb bread loaf is not going to be possible, I came across this on iherb. 

It's not exactly the cheapest flour mix you can get on iherb (it still cost you almost $10 for this pack of 453g) but comparing this to using solely just almond meal? I'll choose this anytime. Plus, Bob's also does a low-carb bread mix so it can only get even easier for you if all you want is to make bread with it. 

The grains that went into this flour mix includes: wholegrain oat flour, oat bran, oat fiber, flaxseed meal, wholegrain rye flour, wheat bran & wholegrain soy flour. These ingredients gives you only 120 calories per serving of 30g, and 13 g carbohydrates with 5g fibre, hence giving you a net carbohydrate of only 8g per serving!

Using a mixture of this low carb flour blend and wholemeal flour, I decided to bake a loaf of multigrain fruit bread using my Mayer bread machine!

The ingredients you'll need are:

120g wholemeal AP flour
120g low-carb baking mix
15g oatmeal
200ml milk
30ml honey
35g unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 vital wheat gluten
1/2 - 1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
(you may add more if you like cinnamon flavour, I've started adding ceylon cinnamon to my bread mainly for its health benefits)
1 1/4 small mayer tsp instant yeast (about 4.5g)
your choice of dried fruits, amount is up to you.
(I used dried raisins and cherries)

Even though I've started using VWG, I'll still prefer to do a quick soak of the wholemeal flour in the milk for at least 30 minutes before I add in the rest of the ingredients (except butter and dried fruits) for mixing using the mix dough function. After which, I restarted the machine on multigrain function and add in butter during mixing.
Do keep a close check on the dough during mixing / 1st kneading. Add in more liquid or flour by the teaspoons if your dough is sandy (too dry) or mushy (too wet).
Dried fruits will be added in after the feeding point beep sounded on the machine. If your bread machine somehow do not have such a function, or you're making this by hand, add in the dried fruits during kneading after 1st proofing (before shaping & 2nd proofing).

Tadaa~ Here's my low-carb multigrain fruit loaf, which an acquaintance thought was panettone. 

Have you ever tried baking your own low-carb bread using a blend of flours that's lower in carbohydrates too? Do share your recipes with me in the comment board below!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 19 September 2016

Media Invite: Quan Fa Organic Farm

Being an eastie all my life (apart from my years in NTU), you can't blame me for not having ventured to the most ulu-north part of the island until now. And well, I had a really good reason for the long journey north.

It's a day of farm tour with Quan Fa Organic Farm! 

Just in case you get lost on your way there, they're located right opposite the first chicken coop of Chew's egg farm.
Do not let yourself be distracted by the chickens and overshoot, you'll end up in military restricted zone. Yeah, that was what happened to us. 

If you're wondering, Quan Fa has their vegetables organically grown and uses no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. And first, let's visit their sprouting area!

These are actually sunflower sprouts! Just pot them and give it a few more weeks (or months?) and you'll get some pretty sunflowers! 

But of course, why do that when you can eat these sprouts right away? Nutty and with a slight sweetness, these yummy little green things are good just directly off the rack (since they're organic, which means no pesticides)!

Next up, we were introduced to the radish sprouts, which wasn't really my cup of tea because they taste just like wasabi. 

It didn't help that they look so cute (like a 4 leaf clover) though. But for those weirdos who actually like the taste of wasabi, I reckon this will be right up your alley. Just throw a handful of these sprouts into your salad for a wholesome wasabi taste! 

And of course, you can't leave out the wheat grass, which is perfect for juicing.

And then, following the owner of the farm, JJ, we heading out to the 'plantation' area, which was like Jelly's heaven. 

Looking at this patch of lettuce goodness, I was reminded of the fairy tale Rapunzel. Don't ask me why, but perhaps these greens look so yummy that it fits why the wife will get the husband risk his life to steal the Rapunzel plant from the witch's garden for her. 
Hah, random moment here. My apologies. 

And guess what?

It's actually radish! Due to our climate, our locally grown radish are usually much smaller than those imported ones. But good thing is, Quan Fa sells their radish whole, together with the radish tops, hence you can enjoy both the root and the leafy parts together. Apparently, the radish top makes good soup!

And if you're a big fan of spring onions, you'll be glad to know that the spring onions grown at Quan Fa has a pretty strong, distinctive spring onion taste/fragrance. 
Well, once again, not my cup of tea. 

There's kale as well, easily recognised by the powdery white film on the surface, which is the plant's natural protective mechanism. 

And if you're wondering what's those random yellow flags doing among the greens, they're actually an adhesive tape used as insect traps. Upon closer look you can see many tiny insects stuck on them, so yup... no close up shots for you.

Other than just green vegetables, you can also expect to find other organically grown food during the farm tour such as the following:

Chili padi




And mint!

And we ended off our farm tour with a curry plant that's as tall as a tree. Sorry for being ignorant, but I always thought curry plants grow like shrubs. 

To end off the farm tour, we were treated to some yummy cold brown rice ban mian and some super refreshing lemongrass drink sweetened with organic brown sugar. 

I love how they added in sunflower sprouts into the cold noodles. YUMS!

For more information on Quan Fa Organic Farm or to get some fresh organic vegetables online, visit their website HERE
To get 10% off your first purchase, enter QuanfaOrganicFarm at checkout. 
Do note that the discount code is not valid for promotional items and dried goods.

Till then,
Mia Foo
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