Friday, March 16, 2018

Gym Review :: Dorsett Mongkok Hotel, Hong Kong

If I thought Dorsett Wanchai Hotel's gym was lacklustre, Dorsett Mongkok Hotel's gym is even worst.

In terms of variety of gym equipment, I reckon that even our home gym is better equipped haha..

I mean, it is smoke-free, it is air-conditioned, it is open 24hrs for guest's convenience, it is cleaned and provided with fresh towels daily, it does have a water dispenser and a toilet {no showers if I remember correctly} nearby but it is also really, really small and bare.

If you are traveling here and expect to use the gym, be prepared to do more dumbbell or body-weight exercises in your workout.  

Dorsett Mongkok Hotel's gym is located on Level 1. It is more like a tiny fitness studio with lots of glass mirrors {to make the room look bigger than it really is or for gym selfies??!} that can fit around 3-4 pax comfortably.

All it has is 1 bench, 1 stair-climber, 1 exercise bike, 1 treadmill and a set of dumbbells {3-25lb}. Not really much to work on, but you do what you have to do.

And, I always believe that anything is better than nothing when it comes to exercising haha..

Superman helped me to plan 2 holiday training programmes to do daily. Short ones that I could do for 1hr max in the morning before we started our day out and about in Hong Kong.

Holiday Workout Day A with the heaviest weights I lifted:
A1. Pull-ups, 40 reps total - body-weight
A2. Push-ups, 80 reps total - body-weight
B1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press Pronated, 5 sets, 15 reps - 25lb
B2. Dumbbell Chest-Supported Row, 5 sets, 15 reps - 25lb
C. Front Bridge, 3 sets, 75s - body-weight

For A1 I did about 5-6 pull-ups before moving on to A2, about 10 push-ups for each set.

Holiday Workout Day B with the heaviest weights I lifted:
A. Push-ups, 60 reps total AFAP - body-weight {4 x 15 reps}
B1. Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl, 100 reps total - 20lb
B2. Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension, 100 reps total - 20lb
B3. Standing Lateral Raise, 120 reps total - 8lb
C. Front Bridge, 3 sets, 75s - body-weight

For Part B I was supposed to find a weight challenging for 12-15 reps max. If I could do more reps it meant the weight was too light, or if couldn't hit 12 reps at least it was too heavy. I usually started off heavier at 20lb but had to drop to 15lb for most reps after 2-3 sets to hit the rep range.

One good thing though, is that Dorsett Mongkok Hotel has a relatively big kids playground and outdoor fitness corner just across the road {less than 2 mins walk}.

Weather-permitting, you can also use the playground equipment to get some calisthenics work done or exercise while the kids are playing.

I did my pull-ups there for Day A's programme but as it was typhoon season and raining most of the mornings when I was training, I didn't manage to do it as often as I liked.

While it must be said that you don't need a fully-equipped gym to give your body a good workout, given this time and age where there is a global trend towards healthy living and wellness, I really think that hotels should provide decent gyms for their guests to enable them to maintain their healthy lifestyle while visiting or a sanctuary to unwind after a busy day out as a basic amenity.

I'm not even talking about hiring trainers, putting in expensive, state-of-the-art equipment or providing complimentary fitness classes for guests {although that's of course much appreciated!}, but a dedicated space {not just a spare hotel room} with basic cardio & strength training equipment, and comprehensive sets of free weights that's good enough for at least intermediate gym-goers? I'm sure a gym is cheaper to maintain compared to a pool, right?!

☆ Gym Star Rating for Dorsett Mongkok Hotel, Hong Kong Gym
Overall satisfaction: 2.5/5
Equipment: 2/5 
Atmosphere: 3/5
Cleanliness: 4/5
Accessibility: 5/5
Staff availability: Nil

Other Hong Kong travel posts:

One-on-On Personal Training Updates:

Genesis Gym Personal Training Updates:
The Beginning - Signing Up for Personal Training

Friday, March 9, 2018

My Baby Gifts - Personalised Hamper Gifts for Newborns & Older Siblings

My friend's cheeky baby boy is turning 1 soon. I've watched him grow up the past year and wanted to get him something really special so turned to My Baby Gifts again to order a gift hamper with items personalised just for him.

With My Baby Gift personalised items, the baby's name {maximum 10 characters} is carefully embroidered on the gifts, and not just "printed" or "embossed" on as some personalised gifts are... which in turn makes them more long-lasting especially after multiple washes. 

We gave one to Susu's darling daughter, Baby J, when she was just born and were really pleased with the service and quality of the products so immediately thought of them again when we wanted to get another personalised baby gift hamper.

Thankfully, they did not disappoint once again.

My Baby Gift is an online luxurious baby gift boutique offering personalised baby hampers & unique babies gifts that deliver directly to the hospital, or home within 2 working days.

They carry well-loved brands such as Sophie & Friends, Petit Bateu, aden + anais, GAIA etc. You can choose from standard hampers or create your own perfectly customised hamper according to what you think the recipient will like, right from the comfort of your home. You can also personalise the items with the baby’s name for that extra personal touch. Best part is, the personalisation service is FREE!

My Baby Gift recently won 2 awards at Harper Bazaar Junior Most Loved Baby Care Awards 2017 for Best Gift for a Baby Shower and Best Baby Blanket. Congrats!!

This time, we created a special hamper with the award-winning personalised Stars Blanket {raved by Harper Bazaar to be super-soft & gets softer with each wash!}, a matching personalised Star Pillow, a personalised Baby Bodysuit, and another of their best seller - the Birthday Bunny with Baby R's name and birth date!

I reckon most people turn to My Baby Gifts for their creative and unique newborn baby gifts and hampers.

However, most of the personalised gifts are also suitable for older babies {body suits & socks fit those up to 1+ year old}, and the personalised blankets, pillow, towels are great for toddlers aged 3-4 years old too!

Recently, they also launched a gifts & educational product category for kids up to 7 years old. In here, you can find Djeco educational games, Skip Hop backpacks & lunchbags, Omy giant colouring posters, HABA toys and much more.. which makes it so much easier if you wish to buy gifts for the baby and his/her older sibling{s}.

Having a new baby around can be tough on older siblings, especially kids under 5 who are used to having lots of attention from Mom and Dad. You can help make a new big brother or sister feel important, too, with a special sibling gift. I know some of my friends do it with a little note saying it's from the baby to help set the stage for future acts of brotherly and sisterly love

Even the personalised Birthday Rabbit makes for a lovely "older sibling gift" and keepsake.

When we ordered the hamper for Baby R, we got one for jiejie Lil Pumpkin too in the sweet girl version since she loves cuddly bunnies and personalised gifts haha..

My Baby Gift will deliver the hamper within 2 working days to Singapore addresses. I totally forgot about this when I was ordering Baby R's gift and wasn't in a rush really, since his birthday is in April hehe... but was pleasantly surprised when I received an email 1-2 days after I placed the order that it was ready and sent out!

However, if you require next-day, same-day or weekend deliveries, that is possible too with extra charge.  They also deliver overseas via SingPost and that takes about 7-10 working days. Find out more information about their personlised gifts and hampers from My Baby Gift website.

Can't wait to give this to him next month!! I might do so earlier actually haha.. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Bub & Me: Butterflies Up-Close Live Butterfly Enclosure, Science Centre Singapore

It's the last day of Chinese New Year!! After 15 days of celebrations and feasting... CNY is officially over after today. Hope everyone managed to have a reeeeeaaaally good rest and fun time with your loved ones.

I certainly took full advantage of the long weekend, and added 2 extra days to it haha since Lil Pumpkin's school was closed on the following Monday and Tuesday too. The boy's clinic is fully closed for the year only during CNY so it was a real treat for all of us (♥Ο‰♥ ) ~♪

Still {!!} slowly getting back into the grind of work and our usual family schedule now (。-Ο‰-)zzz

On Monday {CNY Day 4}, we brought Lil Pumpkin to see Butterflies Up-Close at Science Centre Singapore. The previous week, she went on a school excursion to the Science Centre with her classmates BUT they apparently spent the whole time there in a lab learning about insects!! They didn't get to explore the different exhibitions or events at our award-winning Science Centre which was such a shame as they have so many creative and innovative experiences available for the kids to learn more about science.

Oh well. Poor Lil Pumpkin was so disappointed and I didn't understand why they had to go all the way there to learn in a lab too when her own school has good labs haha so anyway we brought her back to make up for that disappointing school excursion.

Butterflies Up-Close is a permanent exhibition at Science Centre that opened from April 2016. Spanning 600sq metres and divided into 5 different zones, it is a joint project with Sentosa's Butterfly and Insect Kingdom to guide visitors through the metamorphosis of a butterfly - from egg to adulthood.

With only around 1 in 20 eggs making it to adulthood, the butterfly is met with numerous dangers and threats during each stage of its life cycle. At the exhibition, participants gain a deeper insight on how the butterfly behaves, interacts with its surroundings, and survives each stage of its life cycle to become a beautiful winged adult.

There's a diverse range of butterflies to learn about here from the region and on entering, you see this amazing giant art-piece that's made of real butterfly wings. Approximately 4,000 wing pieces from 28 different butterfly species actually.

Don't worry, they were collected from the butterflies after they ended their life cycles naturally!

Since we arrived early in the morning and it was our first paid exhibit we went to that day {we also went to Circus! Science Under the Big Top, read more about it below}, there weren't any other visitors as the crowd start trickling in around noon.

We took our time to read the descriptions, learn some cool trivia {did you know that moths usually rest with their wings flat, while butterflies with their wings folded??}, observe real butterflies under microscopes, check out some of the live caterpillars in the tanks..

... and of course, take photos hehe.

The highlight of the Butterflies Up-Close is definitely the Live Butterfly Enclosure. Although the number of butterflies and species vary on the season, you can expect around 500 live butterflies of over 15 species imported from countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia flying freely here.

And yes, you are allowed to touch and pick up the butterflies yourself! This thrilled Lil Pumpkin {and meeeeee} tremendously! ✿♥‿♥✿

Note: The staff will teach you how to pick them up safely from their legs. Do not touch their wings!

The Live Butterfly Enclosure is Singapore's largest indoor butterfly aviary where both humidity and temperature are carefully regulated to ensure that both the plants and butterflies thrive well there.

It was a lovely, cool respite from the hot weather outside for sure.

There's a little Research Pod in the center of the enclosure where you can see parts of the butterflies under microscopes, learn about their anatomy and see how a butterfly "shimmers" as you alter the angle of light shining on it.

But most of the time, we spent it chasing after live butterflies hehe...

Oh what an experience! Living in a concrete city, it's not often that we get to be so intimate with nature, especially beautiful creatures like butterflies. Sure, we try to bring Lil Pumpkin to parks and hiking trails every now and then, but it doesn't mean that we'd always be able to touch and have so many butterflies surrounding us.

And goodness, there were so tame!! A lot of them were just resting peacefully on plants, or sipping at their meals, and some even came to land on us by themselves...

The boy was especially popular with the butterflies.. just call him The Butterfly Whisperer haha. The whole time we were there, he had a butterfly on him either on his head, back, shoulders etc.

The staff said it's because he's wearing red and butterflies are attracted to red... but I'm wearing red too, how come they don't come to me as much??? #jealous

Lil Pumpkin was really gentle with the butterflies and I loved seeing this side of her.

She was aware of her surroundings and figured out for herself which butterflies were more likely agreeable to her picking them up {hint: bigger butterflies that were just resting and not feeding}, patiently inched her little fingers underneath their legs and ever so softly and slowly, lifted them up without frightening them away. Such a darling (‘∀’●)♡

I reckon we spent at least half an hour just at the Live Butterfly Enclosure.

There's no time limit and the staff won't chase you out but once more people came in, it felt kinda cramped and the butterflies were not as relaxed.

We stayed until Lil Pumpkin was well and ready to leave.. she was really pleased with the visit and I'm delighted that we brought her back to Science Centre where she not only learnt new things, but had fun doing so too ꒰✪ૢꇡ✪ૢ꒱ΰ·†⃛

Took a lot more pictures which I compiled in the video above. You know I really like something when I take the effort to make a video of it haha so have a look, and if it isn't playing properly, watch it on my YouTube channel here.

The Circus is in town! πŸŽͺ @lovelilpumpkin was sooo excited to go to Science Centre w/ her classmates last wk but turns out tt they spent the whole time there in a lab learning abt insects! #poorthing πŸ”¬She was pretty disappointed tt she didn’t get to explore the different exhibits & attractions there so we brought her back again yest.. One of the must-see exhibits now is “Science Under the Big Top” as you explore the science behind various circus acts w/ over 18 interactive exhibits, magic performances & hands-on activities like dressing up in circus costumes or trying to be a contortionist 🀹🏻‍♀️🀹🏻‍♂️ You can even try walking on a 3m high tight rope or performing acrobatic tricks mid-air but be prepared to queue for a long time as they are really popular!! The wait time when we went was 2hrs 😳😳😳 so unfortunately we didn’t give them a go.. wld probably be better during off-peak periods I reckon! πŸŽŸπŸ’•πŸŒΈ #sakuraharuka #p3pumpkin #cny2018 #sciencecentresg #sciencecircussg
A post shared by γ‚’γ‚€・ァクラ  (@aisakuraharuka) on

After that, we explored the main Science Centre attractions as well as Circus! Science Under the Big Top to discover the secrets and the science behind the wonders of the circus before heading home. See my Instagram post above to check out the highlights of that exhibit.

Oh if your kids visit & really love the experience, you might want to consider holding a birthday party there!

Yup, I saw on their website that they have Butterflies Up-Close kids birthday packages now which includes a decorated party room overlooking the Live Butterfly Enclosure, face-painting / balloon-sculpting activity, guided tour, birthday food, party packs and even a memorable live butterfly release for the birthday child to mark the occasion!! Oooooo~!

Butterflies Up-Close Live @ Science Centre Singapore 
Hall D, Science Centre, 15 Science Centre Road
Open daily 10am - 6pm {last admission at 5.15pm}
Admission: S$10 per adult or child {3-12 years old}, on top of Science Centre admission charges
* Science Centre charges - FREE for Singaporeans during school term weekdays, S$6/adult & S$4/child for Singaporeans during weekends, public holidays and school holidays. Separate fees for non-Singaporeans apply.

Check out the rest of our Bub & Me activities or list of kid-friendly places in Singapore too

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chinese New Year 2018 | 新年快乐!万事如意!♥

First day back at work and school for all of us!! We had a really relaxing and long holiday weekend. Yay!! A little late in our greetings this year, but luckily Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days haha so..

Wishing you a Healthy and Prosperous Chinese New Year 2018
from my family to yours! (V●α΄₯●V)

More Chinese New Year posts:
Family Chinatown Walk in 2018