Let’s go cafe hopping!

We are always on the look out for interesting cafes to visit whenever we are looking for good food. And very often, we only visit a cafe once and we’ll be hopping to another cafe for a different experience the next time round. Personally, I seldom revisit any cafe unless I’m really fond of something there. And here’s the 3 things a cafe need in order to keep me coming back.

1) Great service

And by great service I mean no waitress/waiter giving you the black face. As if you’ve owe them money if your previous life. I mean, I was in the service line before. And your customers wouldn’t bother if you’re having a bad day. You’re on the front line, don’t ruin someone’s day or experience at the place you are at by letting your negativity spill over. 

2) Great food

The memory was something delicious definitely will make me come back for more. Like a delectable creamy runny yolk or soft and fluffy waffle. Great food always need to come with good service I feel. Personally, I will never go back to a place that has bad service. For some, the quality of the food matter more than the service quality. That I don’t deny, its a personal preference kind of thing I’d say. 

3) Acceptable price

Cafehopping is a bad bad hobby that burns a hole in your pocket without knowing it. Those who already have a stable source of income wouldn’t mind spending. But, my mindset is this, how can I keep coming back when each time I come back I need to spend $40 – $50? If I come back every week, I would have spent $200?! If I don’t come back again, maybe I could visit another 2-3 more cafes? 

Here’s are some cafes that I’ve visited recently! If you’re looking for one to visit, probably you can refer to my list!

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Assembly Coffee
26 evans lodge
singapore 259367
t: +65 6735 5647
enquiries@assembly.sg

Located just opposite the MOE sports division, its rather inaccessible via public transport I’d say. But the waffles are really yummy. In fact, I thought it was on par with Wimbly’s. Wimbly’s waffle has always been a benchmark for me. The coffee is good as well. Though the cafe is small, it has a cosy feeling. There isn’t any classic eggs benny, but the sandwiches are great though. Not to mention, the people there have friendly smiles! About $35 worth of food in the picture. 

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BACKSTAGE CAFE
Address: 158 Kallang Way #01-06
Tel: 6743 6893

Situated in the industrial area, this place is probably good for those who works around the area. The carbonara was awesome, the fish and chips was nasty though, tasted like it was fried in reused oil. I really liked my piccolo latte though. We all agreed that if we were in the area, we would probably come back to have their coffee. And well, they operate using a slip of paper to indicate your choice of food. Then you’d have to go to the counter to make your purchase. You don’t need to pay first though, after your food you’d have to make another trip to the counter to make payment. For me, I’d prefer to make payment when I place my order. Much easier isn’t it? Don’t need to make one more trip. About $60 worth of food here!

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Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road #01-00
Robertson Quay
Tel: 68364695

Like my friend said, common man at uncommon price. These entire meal cost about 80plus close to 90. Perhaps the price tag was higher due to the generous amount of rocket leaves and organic ingredients they used. No doubt the dishes were delicious, the service was fantastic as well. One of the people there actually came by to check with us how was the food. Well, I guess they cater more the working crowd with the ability to spend. Especially when they are located in an expensive living area. I like how they kept their sugar in an enclosed bottle too, keep it clean I feel. 

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Department of Caffeine
15 Duxton Road
Tel: +65 6223 3426

I find myself constantly recommending this place if any of my friends ask for cafe recommendations. I really like it as it possess all 3 factors that I look for in a cafe. The herb waffles taste constantly lingered in my mind! The prices there are without GST and service charge as well. The menu is nothing fanciful, but it definitely has what it takes to keep me coming back.

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Wimbly Lu
15-2 Jalan Riang
Tel: +65 6289 1489

This place has mainly sweet stuff. And their main attraction is definitely their waffles. Soft and fluffy, the yumminess is indescribable! Its a pity that they only serve their brunch menu on weekends. Their usual food menu for weekday is very normal I guess. But but but, the desserts… Oh, need I say more? ;) 

Happy cafe hopping! 

Jingle bells Jingle Bells

Every year, I look forward to Christmas. Friends and family come together to celebrate Christmas and I can make pretty cards to send to the people I care about. I love handmade cards and I’ve been sending Christmas cards since I was in secondary school I think. A few years back, I decided to make use of whatever design knowledge I have to make my own Christmas cards and it has been a tradition for me ever since. Definitely, I’ll try to keep it going, as long as I have the free time to do. So, I would like to show you all some of the previous designs I have made.

The Lomo Collection: (2009)

I don’t have a picture of this collection cause I can’t remember where I put the pictures! But I was pretty into lomography in 2009. So I used my toy camera to capture the night lights of orchard road, cross processed the image and used it as images for the Christmas cards. 

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The Typographic Collection (2010)

Needless to say, I wanted to refresh my illustrator/photoshop skills since I left school for so long. So I decided to put my typography skills to test since I did not do that well for that module when I was in Poly. Look really amateur I must say, but I did put in my effort. 

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The Tree Collection (2011)

I made use of a series of painting I did for a school module. Minimalist painting style of a tree. In a way, it look abstract and I thought it resembled the Christmas Tree. So I documented my art works (Original art works are least A2 size, some larger) and put them into cards. 

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The Scrapbook Collection (2012)

This was done just last year. It felt like last month though! Can’t believe one year has passed by just like that. Last year was a simple one because I remember I had exams, and there wasn’t much time left. Furthermore, I only make about 30 cards every year to send out to my friends. So I used stock cards and stickers and including some personalized drawings to combine the two medium together.

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A Glittery Christmas (2013)

This year, I have no exams for this semester so I decided to go all out. Initially I wanted to make only 10 designs because 10 has always been the magic number for me, favorite number as well. In the end, I got so engross in doing it a.k.a my OTOT (own time own target) photoshop refresher ‘course’ and ended up with 15 designs. Discarded the 3 non so nice ones and I was left with a dozen. And this year, I decided to extend these cards to people who want to purchase them. Every year, I have friends telling me how pretty my cards are (thank you, these words of encouragement really mean a lot), so I thought I should consider selling them. Furthermore, the money earned could be for a good cause. I had a hard time deciding which organization to donate to. But after much consideration, I’ve decided that I will donate 50% or more of the profits to aid with the relief for Typhoon Haiyan via Red Cross. The receipt for donation will be updated here as well for transparency.

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Here are the 12 designs that is available in each set you buy.
Each card measures 14.5 by 10cm and is printed of 250gsm art card (semi-gloss)

Each set is priced at: $32 (inclusive of normal mail)
Each piece is priced at $3 (inclusive of normal mail)

Priority will be given to those who order the full set. I have some in stocks now but I’ll be taking in orders should there be an excellent response. Purchase by per piece will strictly have to be ordered under pre-order (Pre-order closing date will be this coming Sunday).

If you’d like to order, kindly place your order via email.
You can reach me at: bernicengl@gmail.com

 

 

Quick guide to posing for #OOTDs

Every time I take my #OOTD, I feel blessed to have friends who’ll volunteer to help me take. My family is often involved as well especially my mom and she has developed this ‘ninja’ skills where she just secretly starts snapping continuously as I change my poses. We always face this problem of not knowing what pose to do whenever we stand in front of the camera. It is almost like the camera lens has some sort of joint freezer and suddenly the entire body becomes so stiff.

To help myself remember some of my favourite poses, I’ve come up with ridiculous names for them and I thought I might want to share this ‘secret’ with you. I grew up speaking dialect, so some of the poses has dialect names, bracket ones are the ones in dialect.

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1) Tuck your hair behind your ear pose

This post is rather classic and always works when you have awkward hands. Just pretend that you are going to tuck your hair before your ear and then you freeze there.

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2) Stomach not feeling well pose (Pak toe tia)

This pose miraculously makes one waist smaller. Left over right, right over left either way both looks fine! Especially when you have a nice watch to flaunt ;)

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3) Keep your hands in your pockets pose

Pockets are great for resting your hand. If you have two pockets you can put both of your hands in it or just one hand in it and put the other hand in any other position.

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4) Is my hair dry yet pose

Just grab a bit of your hair to twirl it, as though checking if its dry and hold it there. This pose works well with cross legs like the above. You can cross it in front or behind, both will give different effects.

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5) ‘Professional’ model pose

Many models like to put their hands on their hips. Note that this pose only works well with the hand that your are resting on your hip is parallel to your body. Pull back too back or too front will result in varied effects.

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6) Headache pose (Tow Tia)

Gently touch the back of your head as though you as having a headache. If you want you can couple it with a headache expression.

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7) Check out my shades pose

Put your shades on your head and put your hand in a position similar to the way that you’re trying to adjust the shade. Its just the arm a nice angular touch.

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8) Neck pain pose

Put your hand at the back of your neck. You can either lift up your hand more or stick it to your body more, both works well!

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9) Back ache pose (Yeo Tia)

You can rest your hand your waist like that. However, this pose requires you to lean away from where your hand is resting. For instance, if your rest hand is resting on your waist, lean towards the left. If you lean to the right, you’ll look like you’re pregnant.

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10) Hey…. Hi and bye pose

The hand should be in a saying Hi position and clutching your fingers into a fist seems to be saying like bye. It a bit difficult to use this pose but you can try experimenting with different leg positions.

Brief summary of legs position

Different poses can be achieve with different combinations of the hand and legs position. Let’s say if you have a headache pose, you can match it with different leg poses and you get a whole new set of different feel. Let’s see…

  • Stand straight straight: Put your legs together in a ‘Singing National Anthem’ pose
  • Walk towards the photographer: Act as though you are walking toward the person taking your photo. Pause there.
  • Figure of 4: Put your legs in a position as though you are making a digit 4, of course your toes have to touch the ground

Have fun experimenting!

How to get rid of unsightly details in the background

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Sometimes, you just can’t find a proper clean background to take your #ootd shots, that is when this app comes in handy! Super handy I must say, it helps you to get rid of unwanted details in the back, clean off dirty walls virtually. Sadly, it is a paid app. I’m not sure if there’s any free app that has the same ability as well though. (This is not an advertorial post btw, just sharing how I edit my pictures) The top left photo is the unedited one, top right is after cropping and straightening, bottom left is after using Adobe Photoshop Touch and bottom right is after using vscocam.

So, I’m going to continue with how I get this done!

The app I am using to do my edits for this post is: Adobe Photoshop Touch

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This app can be download from the app store and it is priced at SGD5.98 if I don’t remember wrongly.

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1) You’ll need to open Adobe Photoshop Touch app, and click on the middle icon at the bottom of your screen, select Photo Library to load the photo you’d like to edit from your camera roll.

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2) This is the photo that I have chosen (There are no edits to the photo other than cropping it and straightening it done in VSCOcam). Click on the bottom icon on the extreme left to go to the ‘clone’ too.

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3) This is what you see when you click on the bottom left icon, there are a range of functions to use but to remove unsightly details, we’ll be using the top most one.

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4) You need to click on the source button to select an area for the clone tool to sample (copy), so somewhere near to the line that you want to remove would be good. To be more accurate, you can zoom in to the maximum. The cross that you see on top of the line which I want to remove is where I will be cloning from.

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5) Slowly, glide over the line to make sure it is being cloned away. The clone tool simply takes the above background and cover the line with it. Some times, you’ll need to reindicate your source to make sure that the color that is being clone is the same as the area that you want to remove.

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6) Then you can proceed over to the line on the other side and repeat the process. You can also move things like stain on the wall as you. Usually I try to sample clean background in the same column, it will give a better effect. Once again, after I indicate my ‘source’, I will brush over the dirt to ‘clone’ it away.

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7) After I am done with all the cloning that I need to do, zoom out to see the whole picture is this will be what you’ll get.

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8) Click on the ‘done’ button on the top left hand corner and it will prompt you to save. Remember to click ‘SAVE’. Else all your hard work will be go down the drain.

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9) You’ll be at the main page after saving, click on the third button from the left at the end of your screen and click on ‘save to camera roll.

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10) Select the project that you want to save and click on ‘OK’. Your project will be in your camera roll and you can proceed with the editing of colours by using filters. You can simply follow the steps in my previous post, using the VSCOcam app. Sometimes the cloning might not have been done well i.e. some light patches, but trial and error with some filters, they might lighten the picture overall to smoothen out the cloned picture.

Processed with VSCOcam

Before

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After

Have fun with the app! I was contemplating whether to spend that $5.98 for quite some time actually. I was glad that I did because finally I could have clean plain backgrounds! I am not advocating you to buy this app, this is simply an app that I use to edit my pictures when I need to get rid of unsightly background details.

Have a good week ahead!

Guide to using VSCOcam app

 

 

 

 

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Just thought I would share how I edit my pictures on Instagram. Its like a standard way for me and pictures turn out looking not too bad! If you’re new to VSCOcam, this might be a good read for you! VSCOcam can be downloaded free from the app store, you get to register and have an account that belongs to you, with a gallery to display your pictures. But I use VSCO mainly for the editing tools. It is really convenient because you can get nicely edited pictures just by using one app.

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1) Firstly, you need to select a picture you want to edit and load it into the VSCO gallery. I’ve selected a random picture I took today.

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2) When you open it, you’ll see this, before you add any filters, press the little triangle at the end of the screen. (When I first started using VSCOcam, I thought there were only filters available).

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3) Click on the second button from the left. The spanner button and you will see an array of functions ranging from exposure to contrast, skin tone etc.. Usually I only touch on these few that I feel are important.

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4) The crop tool enables you to crop your photo into a square first, its good to do so to visual how your photo will turn out on instagram. You can also straighten your picture using the rotate function. I like how you can manually adjust your picture to the angle you like!

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5) Play with the exposure button, it is extremely useful especially when you have photos taken in conditions where there is insufficient lighting. Usually I use about +2 to +4, overly exposed pictures will wash out details.

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6) The shadows function is particular useful in lightening the picture as well without being overexposed. It reduces the darkness edges in your pictures.

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7) The last important step in pictures! I like crisp and sharp pictures, some on the other hand like dreamy pictures with soft focus. Don’t think there’s any function to create the dreamy look though. The fade function gives a washed out look, so you can use that if you’d like a washed out, film effect. Now we are done and we’ll proceed to adding filters, don’t forget to click on the tick button before going back to the filters.


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8) My favourite default filters are F2 (Mellow) and T1 moody, of course you can download extra filter packs. I downloaded other ones as well like the street etiquette pack and levis pack when they were free! The mellow effect has a blue-ish tone to it and automatically brightens up your picture as well.


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9) The moody one has a film like effect that seems to have a layer of gray over it. It also makes skin tone looks a little duller, and there is this fade out effect on it.

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10) This is the LV1, one of my favourite as well but the down side is that it tends to make skin tone slightly more saturated.


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

So, this is the final edited picture! When you are done, save the picture to your camera roll and you can upload it onto instagram! You can also upload it through VSCOcam app itself. 

Have fun editing! I’ll be sharing how to remove unwanted details in the background via an app!
Good day!