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Benita Lee

Benita Lee

Articles (83)

The best trampoline parks in Singapore you have to check out now

The best trampoline parks in Singapore you have to check out now

If we had our way, of course we'd rather be soaring and flying somewhere in a trampoline park in Singapore. Bouncing around a room with padded floors and walls without the fear of breaking bones and bruising sounds like a fun day our for children and the young at heart.  And then there's also the more beneficial part of the sport – actually getting fit. Great for core strengthening and a thorough cardio workout, these trampoline parks in Singapore have obstacle courses that allow you to parkour, free-run, bounce and flip around. Bounce back from a tough day at work or school at these trampoline parks. RECOMMENDED: Best indoor playgrounds for kids and best rock climbing gyms in Singapore

Socially conscious brands in Singapore

Socially conscious brands in Singapore

Spending money doesn't always have to be an impulsive sport. Shopping with a conscience is slowly starting to pick up in Singapore, as with sustainable dining and and plastic-free grocery shopping. So next time you're ready to fork out your money, it doesn't hurt to go one step further and see how your contributions will help.  RECOMMENDED: New shops to check out in October and the 50 best shops in Singapore

Adventures in Queenstown

Adventures in Queenstown

The beginning of autumn in New Zealand means you get to soak in the gorgeous outdoors – and the adventures that come along with it – without the sun’s scorching rays burning a hole through the back of your head. We round up activities on lake, land and sky to check off your dauntless bucket list. But be warned, (most of) these are not for the faint of heart. 

Local artist interview: Michaela Therese

Local artist interview: Michaela Therese

Petite she may be, but when Michaela Therese steps into the spotlight, all eyes naturally gravitate towards her. Forget the inscrutable enigma of the artist persona – with her, what you see is what you get. Never one to hide behind superfluous frills or sugarcoated fluff, the 33-year-old neo-soul singer/songwriter is genuine, eloquent and charming in performance, just like she is in person. There’s something quite captivating about her affable nature, which is dotted with little quirks (she’s a self-proclaimed cat lady); even her appearance is striking – born to parents of Indian and Eurasian background, the glamorous songbird donned an eclectic outfit of cat prints and glittery shoes to meet us. She describes herself as an introvert, but the confidence with which she grabs life by the reins flows from her 14 years of professional music-making in the local scene. Emerging from a musical background, Therese started at the tender age of one, when she received a shower of gifts and paid attention to only one: the toy piano. Encouraged by her late grandfather, she attended piano lessons as a four-year-old, joined her church choir at 12 and won the local Rollin’ Good Times music competition with her band the next year. Then, at 19, during her gap year between junior college and LASALLE (where she got her diploma in jazz and contemporary music), she nailed her very first ‘professional’ gig at the now-closed Barcelona Winebar. Initially heavily influenced by jazz greats such as Ella

The state of the local music scene

The state of the local music scene

The scene is dead. Long live the scene. Decades after rock ’n’ roll was outlawed, jukeboxes in bars silenced and long manes on men discouraged, Singapore can crank it up to 11 once more. We’ve seen battalions of bands go from dabbling in their bedrooms to tearing up stages – and they’re only getting louder. But what’s it like being a musician in this city? And how does it compare to the scenes elsewhere? We invited a dozen indie bands, DJs, music entrepreneurs and classical musicians to our office and put them on the spot – read on to hear them roar.

Five reasons to catch Com Truise in Singapore

Five reasons to catch Com Truise in Singapore

1. You’ve never heard the ’80s like this. Otherwise known as Seth Haley, Com Truise culls retro-futurist nostalgia from the decade – think video games, movie themes and infotainment programmes – and churns it into an intergalactic funk halfway between the electro-soul of Toro Y Moi and the digital wizardry of Oneohtrix Point Never. If electronica had a Big Bang moment, the primordial ooze would probably sound like this.   2. And even if you detest anything and everything to do with that era, know that Com Truise shied away from it, too. That is, until his friends pushed him in the direction of synth pop. The producer’s resulting two albums – Galactic Melt and In Decay – and several EPs are clever enough to come clean about their nerdy references, yet potent enough to get feet shuffling on the dancefloor.  Haley says forging his sound came about after a period of fine-tuning and moving away from his drum ’n’ bass background. Plus, he ditched his background in design for this, so look out for spectacular visuals at the gig.

Adventures in Perth

Adventures in Perth

It's summer in Australia, and that can only mean one thing: spending time amid nature. So we've mapped out a plan for you to experience the best beaches, islands and parks in Perth – all you need are your explorer goggles and a keen sense of adventure.

Listings and reviews (5)

The Bespoke Club

The Bespoke Club

Here’s a new tailoring boutique to add to your shopping hit list. The Bespoke Club, a local start-up that caters to the business wardrobes of men and women, finds its flagship home in an elegant space at Suntec City. Furnished with warm wood interiors, plush leather couches, and neat rows of ready-made accessories such as bow ties, pocket squares, cufflinks and lapel pins, the shop offers professional style consultants to stitch up your bespoke creation. Choose from fabrics in various shades, patterns and textures to craft your one-of-a-kind suit, shirt or shoes. It’s all about the perfect fit here. 

The Skin Pharmacy

The Skin Pharmacy

Here are all the reasons you should check out The Skin Pharmacy. It’s the first homegrown boutique pharmacy; it champions made-in-Singapore skincare; and, most of all, it offers customisation services to tailor make formulas just for you. Make an appointment at any one of its four locations, and the pharmacist on call will set you up with a skin analysis consultation ($20, or complimentary if you buy any product). This computerised programme takes images of your face and charts it against the data collected from others of the same gender and age. The results are then explained to you in easy-to-understand terms. It’s all quick and painless – unless you find yourself traumatised by the realisation that you’ve got countless wrinkles, sun damage or clogged pores. But no worries, the staff are quick to recommend treatments to cater to your needs, no matter if you’ve got oily skin or you prefer natural and organic ingredients. The stores, scattered around the island at four locations, offer a variety of product ranges that deal with a whole host of problems. From self-explanatory, like anti-aging and anti-acne, to the amino range for sensitive skin, everything is immediately customisable with careful calculations done by the trained pharmacists to give your skin that extra boost. The brand is also known for its concentrated serums, launched once a year, that target particular concerns, like damaged skin or enlarged pores. And it doesn't stop at skincare. You can shop for fragrance

Golden Village GV Gold Class

Golden Village GV Gold Class

Although tickets cost 2-3 times more than a normal show, this is more than justified for your absolutely favourite films: you get a lounge with waiting staff who take your order and bring it to your seat, reclining 'Business Class' style seats straight off a plane and your own rug - very useful for dealing with GV's always full-on air conditioning. If you’ve never seen the latest blockbuster flick while curled up on a leather chair with a blanket wrapped around you to keep chills at bay, you haven’t really lived. Our fave Golden Village Gold Class cinema used to be Suntec City, where everything is new and glossy, but we’ve since changed our minds. It’s all thanks to VivoCity’s new Barcelona recliners clad with Nappa leather (it’s the same material some brands use to make luxury goods and European car seats).   Only available at GV Gold Class VivoCity, the buttery soft and uber luxe to the touch spacious seats come with built-in USB chargers (a first for GV cinemas) and the usual comforts like adjustable foot and back rests, a blanket, a small table and a call button for food services. Every Gold Class theatre in Vivo comes equipped with these babies – 110 in all – so no matter what film you book, your movie-going experience will be nothing short of amazing. Plus, look out for new menu additions such as truffle fries, Thai grilled chicken thigh and key lime pie. If you need a reason to splurge (tickets start from $29 per person), we suggest a planning a romantic movie date. Go

Potato Head Folk and Firecracker Recordings presents vinyl audio-visual showcase

Potato Head Folk and Firecracker Recordings presents vinyl audio-visual showcase

Art and music collide at Potato Head Folk Singapore, which welcomes Lindsay Todd for its second collaboration. As the founder of Firecracker Recordings, the elusive DJ/producer, also known as House of Traps, has cemented his label as a leader in the progressive electronic and club music scene over the past 11 years. The man himself will be present to sign copies of original vinyl screen sleeves designed by him. Merch in the form of tees, a bandana and an original print will also be available for purchase. The month-long pop-up space launches at the entrance of Three Buns on Nov 13 at 7pm.

West of May

West of May

Decorate your home without leaving your cosy couch when you click on West of May, an online furniture marketplace that features designer items. Forget replicas or imitations – everything in this curated collection has been certified as authentic and come with environmental accreditations that tick the love-your-planet boxes. Browse through the range of products from brands like Gloster, Anglepoise, Artemide, Haworth and David Trubridge for your living room, office or outdoor area, and you'll receive your order between two to ten days after placing it. The site also has special offers for members (registration is free), a money-back guarantee and customer support with live chat operators. So rest assured you're in good hands. 

News (53)

Inch Chua spent four months in Ubin in the name of art

Inch Chua spent four months in Ubin in the name of art

You probably won’t do it. As a nod to the simple life, Inch Chua settled in Ubin and lived for four months in solitude, going back to the basics when it came to daily necessities. And it was there, in a kampong house surrounded by nature, that the homegrown singer-songwriter found inspiration to write a new album. Letters to Ubin is a musical journal of sorts, influenced by her time on the island where everything was stripped down, both musically and personally. It marks a departure from the indie rock sounds of her sophomore record, Bumfuzzle, instead going for electronic beats and quirky animal sounds – some of which were sampled from her adventures on Ubin.  Watch her music video for the album's first single 'Mousedeer'. Inch Chua’s Letters to Ubin Launch is at the Aliwal Arts Centre on Nov 26.

Get inspired with these Christmas nail designs

Get inspired with these Christmas nail designs

Complete your festive look with Christmas-inspired nail art – we show you three designs done by the pros. For cute and cheery characters  Do Christmas the adorable way: with baby blues and a splash of shimmer. Throw in trees, snowmen and reindeer to put a smile on your face every time you glance at your nails. Lacquer and Spa. #B1-01/02 Marina Bay Sands Hotel Coach Bay. Mon-Thu & Sun 10.30am-11pm; Fri & Sat 10.30am-11.30pm. Classic manicure starts from $49, gel manicure starts from $75. For a sparkling shade of royal blue What’s the Yuletide season without glitter? For a blue-and-white Christmas, pick a deeper hue and paint on intricate snowflakes to remind you of Frosty and his winter wonderland. The Nail Status. Two outlets, including #04-83 Far East Plaza. Mon-Sat 11am-9.30pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Classic manicure starts from $22, gel manicure starts from $50. For quirky designs in familiar colours The combination of red and gold evokes memories of snuggling up with loved ones and watching feel-good flicks like A Charlie Brown Christmas. Try alternating between the colours and adding a variety of patterns to make your nails pop. Trimmings and Spa. Two outlets, including 75B Loewen Rd. Mon, Fri & Sat 9am-6pm; Tue, Wed & Thu 9am-8.30pm. Hot cream manicure $28, gel manicure starts from $60.

The six most innovative products found at Decathlon

The six most innovative products found at Decathlon

Ever heard of Decathlon? If you’re a sports fanatic or outdoor adventurer, chances are, you probably have. And you’ll be stoked to hear the retailer is opening a brick-and-mortar space on January 16. Here are the stats: spread over 35,000 sq ft, Decathlon’s largest store in the region offers over 95,000 affordable products for more than 50 different sports from 20 in-house brands, and features indoor testing zones, an outdoor playground and a basketball court. You get to try out gear for sports like table tennis, mini golf and cycling (or get your two-wheeler fixed at the bicycle repair workshop). Even our self-professed, non-athletic, inertia-driven selves are psyched just hearing about this. Perhaps 2016 will finally be the year we keep our New Year’s resolution to get fit. Fingers crossed. Here are some of the coolest, most creative products you can find at the store. Artengo Rollnet 610 Set, $29.90 Take your sport with you and set up a table tennis game anywhere with this flexible clip-on net (it extends up to two metres) that comes with two mini bats and three balls. Kipsta Tarmak Magic Jam, $19.90 Say goodbye to balls that deflate in the middle of your basketball game, ‘cause this one is puncture-proof. Made of extra strong rubber, the interior is filled with a liquid solution called Magic Jam, which turns into foam when ruptured. This stops the air leak while the ball restructures its components in ten bounces. Newfeel Backenger Bag, $71.90 Get rid of shoulder or ba

Four fashion trends for the new year

Four fashion trends for the new year

Ditch the old you and try on something new – we recommend fashion trends to style you pretty Flirty and fun Put aside your tomboy tendencies and shimmy into lace, ruffles and pleats. If you're daring enough, perhaps even a splash of pink? From (L-R) Zalora premium lace midi dress, $69.90; Charlotte Olympia pumps, $2,200 at On Pedder; Zalora love ruffle top, $24.90; Greyhound pants, $269 at Robinsons; Kite clutch, price on request at Kate Spade. Glossy and glam Who cares if the festive season is over. Make like Orchard Road on X'mas and sparkle in high-shine metallics and gleaming arm candy. (From L-R) Zalora foil print lace top, $39.90; Love Moschino gold heart clutch, $291.01 at ASOS; clean dial holographic bubble strap watch, $44.09 at ASOS; Goddiva metallic jacquard midi skirt, $69 at Zalora; Gazoldo shoes, $139 at Aldo. Modern boho The '70s called – they want you to unleash your inner free spirit and up your accessories game. (From L-R) Asoewen necklace, $39 at Aldo; Mansur Gavriel mini cammello bucket bag, $680 at On Pedder; Silk printed dress, $199 at H&M; stone drop earrings, $12.90 at H&M; cut out suede boots, $119 at H&M Back to basics Refresh your wardrobe with staples like denim, striped and monochromatic pieces. Back to basics Refresh your wardrobe with staples like denim, striped and monochromatic pieces. (From L-R) Sinequanone top, $169 at Robinsons; Aquazzura pumps, $1,200 at On Pedder; crepe top, $117 at Bimba Y Lola; multi-stripe midi skirt, $530 at Kate

'Cinderella: A Fairly True Story' in photos

'Cinderella: A Fairly True Story' in photos

If you're looking for a fairy tale ending to your kids' December holidays, treat them to Cinderella: A Fairly True Story. Set to a backdrop of majestic castle interiors, enchanting forests and stately ballrooms, Music Hall's production also brought in a narrator, just in case the little ones are confused about the twists and turns added in to update the musical.    Expect a kid-friendly retelling of the classic tale – emphasis on 'kid-friendly'. The production can come across as childish and the cast too eager to ham it up, particularly in the stepsisters' exaggerated facial expressions and slapstick shtick. And when we see the prince throwing tantrums and dancing with life-sized stuffed animals, it’s the children who went wild. What impressed were the choreography and vocal chops on display. The cast drew the audience in with original tunes and popular hits, but our favourite moment has to be Cinderella going through a split-second costume transformation in view of the audience, literally going from rags to riches as she emerges in her iconic sparkling blue gown. As long as you go with your kids, you won't be let down – hell, you might even feel that twinge of nostalgia watching a character from your childhood come to life.  Cinderella: A Fairly True Story runs 'til Jan 4 2016.

An A-Z of local fashion

An A-Z of local fashion

We list down everything you need to know in this comprehensive guide to homegrown brands, shops and designers – it's time to update your style Asian-inspired designs reign supreme at Ong Shunmugam, a name that has repped our Little Red Dot in the global fashion scene with its collections for the modern woman. Wanna wear your heritage on your sleeve? Dress in fashion-forward creations. Beautiful bags by Ling Wu are our absolute fave. Made with leather and exotic skins, the clutches and totes will court your fashionista friends' envy. Also check out arm candy at Anastasia by Raine, briefcases and messenger bags from Gnome and Bow, eclectic backpacks at Uyii, and Aide de Camp's stylish camera totes.  Carrie K is our go-to when we're on the hunt for exquisite artisanal jewellery. From bracelets and earrings to cufflinks and bow ties, each collection has one thing in common: a chic yet playful style that can take you from day to night.   Depression is anything but bleak. Anyone can experiment with street style by donning its punk-influenced yet accessible pieces that are way too cool to give anyone the blues. The duo behind the designs has also launched offshoot labels Antidepressant and Not Cool Enough, and it brings in international stuff at its multi-label space, Sects Shop. Experiment with styles outside your comfort zone. At Mporium, check out apparel, accessories and homeware by local and regional designers such as Mae Pang, Wila, Mina Code, Mr Howard and Amos Ananda. Roc

Shiny accessories for the festive season

Shiny accessories for the festive season

Fancy footwear, sparkling arm candy or jewellery gems – whatever accessory you pick for party season, we dare you to bling yourself out. Wolf and Moon Glitter Double Triangle Earrings, $66.14 at ASOS.  Chiara Ferragni Loafers, $395 at Robinsons.  Fendi Paradeys, $800 at CEDS, Takashimaya.  Snowflake Silver Ring, $106 at Pandora.  Morgan Glitter with Leather Fringe Shoes, $220 at Pedder Red. Stardust Knot Bracelet, $255 at Swarovski. Glitter Sling Back Stiletto Heels, $26.90 at Zalora.

The Disney Tsum Tsum collection that's too cute for words

The Disney Tsum Tsum collection that's too cute for words

Disney characters are already loveable – we all know that. But Disney Tsum Tsums? They’re so darned cute you wanna stack 'em up and hug 'em and roll around in glee. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, :CHOCOOLATE is back with a new winter collection starring familiar faces like Mickey, Minnie, Mike, Sulley, Bambi, Chip and Dale. Even if you have no plans to head out of town for a snowy vacation, these jackets, beanies and gloves are too adorable to pass up on. Or blast your air-conditioner at home and snuggle up with a Baymax cushion and blanket. And put on a Disney movie while you’re at it. All-over-print Baymax Sweater, $119 Two-pair socks set, $23.90 Sulley sweater, $99.90 All-over-print bomber jacket, $199 Pooh print sweater, $109 Baymax bag, $79.90 Knit gloves, $59.90 Mickey print sweater, $109 Prices range from $23.90-$199. Available at i.t Bugis Junction and Orchard Gateway from Dec 18.

Top acts to catch at Esplanade’s Celebrate December

Top acts to catch at Esplanade’s Celebrate December

December is the best month of the year – no doubt about that. And thanks to the Esplanade, we get to celebrate with daily music performances. Soak in the festive vibes by the bay as you listen to instrumental acts, ensembles and singer-songwriters. These are our top picks. The Good Life Project Formed four years ago, this seven-piece alternative soul outfit deliver sensational tunes that’ll get you up and dancing in no time. Expect groovy instrumental arrangements layered with smooth vocals in a blend of jazzed-up funk and R&B. Gypsification Known for creating a lively, swinging atmosphere, the Singapore-based band are – yup, you guessed it – all about that jazz. Just over a year old, these cats play gypsy and modern jazz, interwoven with the sounds of guitars, the double bass, sax, clarinet and flute. Joining them on stage this time will be Greek guitarist Jim Politis. SISAY: Salud – A Latin Xmas A native Ecuadorian ensemble specialising in traditional and contemporary Andean music, Sisay’s roots date all the way back to the ’80s. Bask in the tropicalia of a Latin Christmas as the group whip out their high-energy mix of Latin, World and Andean tunes with a festive twist. Blue Monks – The Disco Funk Edition There’s no way you can sit through this gig without jumping to your feet and busting a move. Whatever your choice of dance, you’ll be boogieing the night away to the upbeat sounds of disco and funk from the local outfit, led by Roze Kasmani on vocals. Crystal Goh Th

Good grief! Now you can dress up like Charlie Brown and Snoopy

Good grief! Now you can dress up like Charlie Brown and Snoopy

Before you catch Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie, get your hands on these branded collabs, starring your favourite comic characters. GapKids x Peanuts Limited Edition Holiday Collection With the babyGap and GapKids ranges, you can dress your kid up like dogfighter Snoopy. Hand-drawn sketches inspired by the Charles M Schulz Museum are splashed across an assortment of children’s apparel, from onesies and hoodies to dresses, cardigans and jeans. Complete the look with accessories like hats, scarves, sneakers, totes and pouches. Prices range from $20-$70. Available at Gap VivoCity and GapKids United Square. Peanuts x LeSportsac Fall 2015 Collection Inspired by original Peanuts comics, the LeSportsac line spotlights Snoopy and his little sidekick, Woodstock, in adorable prints and graphics plastered on pouches, totes and backpacks. Prices range from $50-$375. Available at LeSportsac. Peanuts Limited Edition Moleskine Stationery Pick up a powder blue planner or striking red notebook featuring the laziest beagle in comics, or go for the black-and-white panels starring Charlie Brown and Lucy. Whatever your preference, you’ll be set for next year with these stationery gems. Prices range from $33-$45. Available at Books Kinokuniya and NBC Stationery and Gifts. Uniqlo x Peanuts Collection Rifle through the selection of men’s and women’s tees and choose your favourite illustration of the Peanuts gang. Can’t get enough of the love between Snoopy and Woodstock? Or perhap

Hype yourself up with the Puma x BAPE collection

Hype yourself up with the Puma x BAPE collection

Another collaboration blending street style and sportswear? Sure, we’ll take it. And even better if it stars football’s leading comedian, Mario Balotelli. (Why always him?) The Autumn/Winter ’15 Puma x BAPE collection blends sports performance apparel by the former with A Bathing Ape’s signature camouflage prints and loud graphics. Think black and green camo prints on footwear, jerseys, shorts, tees and hoodies. Accessories also get the camo smear with bags, socks and headbands. Here’s what you can expect from the drop. Super Mario not included. Available at Limited Edt stores at Marina Bay Sands, 313 Vault and Queensway from Dec 12. Prices range from $50-$690.

Here's a throwback to our Taylor Swift weekend

Here's a throwback to our Taylor Swift weekend

The Indoor Stadium is abuzz with excitement. Forget the fact that T-Swizzle was just in town last year for the final stop of her Red tour. She’s back, on her quest for world domination, and we’re certainly not complaining. The lights go down. The opening notes of 'Welcome to New York' swell all around us. And there she is, in all her glittering glory.  The Taylor Swift of 2015 is light years apart from the one who visited us in 2014. Gone are the elaborate, extravagant costumes – like floor-length gowns and that ringmaster outfit. Instead, crop tops, A-line skirts and skintight bodysuits – all covered in sparkle, of course – are part of her sartorial arsenal. No more country star, the incumbent princess of pop oozes contemporary chic, and that extends beyond her fashion sense. Hits from her previous albums make an appearance, only this time, they’re reinterpreted in a way that slides in seamlessly with her new 'grown-up' image. Think edgy electronic beats, groovy guitar hooks and almost unrecognisable piano arrangements on tracks like 'I Knew You Were Trouble', 'Love Story' and 'We are Never Ever Getting Back Together'. A smashing upgrade, if you ask us. Of course, some things never change. Taylor is still a seasoned pro at working the crowd. She thanks us for spending the evening with her (as if we had anywhere else to be). She delivers an inspirational speech about staying true to yourself and tuning out any abuse from the world ('You are not the opinion of someone who does

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