We learn to play

My friend and I went to catch a play called ” Note for Note #skintones”. It was held at The Arts House (Old Parliament House) on 23rd June 2018. The price of the ticket is $10.


The three pairs that are performing are Singapore Literature Prize-winning poet
Joshua Ip with cellist and electronic musician Vick Low, award-winning slam
poet Stephanie Dogfoot with singer-songwriter Zee Aura, and Australian
spoken word artist Will Beale with punk musician Hafiz Bastard.

Note for Note is a private conversation between the poet and musician. This play is to show that poetry and kinds of music are able to collaborate. This edition’s theme #skintones invites us to look at life differently. How one poet’s muse is another’s madness. How a musician can find harmony in discord.

IMG-0957 (1)

The first performers are Joshua Ip and Vick Low. Vick Low plays the cello while Joshua Ip recites the poem.

The first poem was about how everyone should comfortable with who they are and not fake who they are.

 “it takes a bit more to fit in, to grit your teeth and admit to your own skin.”

This tells us that it is easier to be yourself then faking to another person that society likes. Other people shouldn’t be the one telling you who you are as they don’t know you better than you know yourself.

“This is the thin red line between comfort and swagger. Don’t get too comfortable in your own skin.”

He also said that one shouldn’t be always in their comfort zone and that they should leave their comfort zone now and then see the world from a different perspective. Sometimes when one gets too comfortable, they might get too arrogant.

The second poem tells us about how a boy is trying to an adult. He uses a tree to represent the boy when the boy is just a seedling.

“I am a tree, dreaming I am a boy trying to be a tree.”

“I am a boy dreaming of becoming a man and it is nightmare that I am also an old tree.”

“As of all things, the most difficult part is growing up or growing out of this.”

It says that a boy dreaming to be a man but it is a nightmare of being old. This relates to me a lot as when I was young, I always dream of being a working adult so that I wouldn’t have to deal with any homework. However, when I thought about it carefully I actually didn’t want to grow old so fast as I didn’t want to leave the world so soon. There are so many things in the world that I have yet to appreciate thus growing up slowly isn’t a bad thing.

The third poem talks about relationships

“Because you are a planet and I am a planet. If very person is a circle then every relationship is a venn diagramm. Some people occupy only their own center and others expand to fill their uncircumscribed space with their air and atmosphere and yet other choose to orbit their own emptyness.”

He talks about how some people are in a relationship. Some only care about themselves, some tries to makes the surroundings better and some just are void itself.


“If you are a planet and I am a point.”

“Whats the point of this pronunciation. You are so far away I have to make an appointment for your life. By the time reaches, it’s always a disappointment.”

The poet did talk about long-distance relationships which could either be with his friends or his partner. It says that people living in another country pronounce things differently and do things differently. And whenever you try to meet up with them, your timing and theirs seems to always clash due to the difference in time zone.




The second performers are Stephaine Dogfoot and Zee Aura. Zee Aura plays the piano and she also makes the background sound effect when Stephaine Dogfoot recites the poems. She has a chopping board, knife and a carrot to cut and even pots and it’s cover to create sound effects.

The first poem is about how one’s life is delicate.

“To remind me that I to is vulunerable to fire, to water, to heat, because I too can burn and leave. Because i too is just made of meat.”

She compares herself with an animal life.  She talks about how animals can be slaughtered so easily just for food. The animals don’t know it is their turn to get slaughtered, just like how we don’t know when our time on earth is ending. Our life can actually end very easily just like any animal.

The second poem.

“When I tell you that if we got married the border agency will presume that if it just to get my citizenship… See I never wanted to marry you, I just wanted your secret formula for immortality.” 

“And you would always say Janis Joplin will still be around if she has got into acids instead of heroin n whiskey… But, maybe the truth is we all have different defination of immortaility.”

Immortality meanings (dictionary.com) :

  • the ability to live forever; eternal life.
  • the quality of deserving to be remembered for a long time; timelessness.


This poem is pretty hard for me to understand. My perspective for this poem is that she was dating her partner just to know what was the secret formula for being able to live forever. But to her partner, the definition of immortality means the quality to be remembered for a long time. There are many celebrities who died from overdoses of heroin and whiskey but there aren’t any celebrities who died from taking in acids.

The third poem tells us about moving on from the past relationships.

“They flew to places that Wendy has only see in fairytail, cartoons, national geographic. Soar over the cities n laugh at the traffic. Fought dragons and pirates and road giants and fishes.”

It says about how Peter would bring Wendy for many adventures and bring her to many places that she dreamt of going. Unfortunately, Peter got into trouble with the police and ended up moving away. He became a new person and ended up getting married to someone else.

“So wendy slips this new girl a half tab on the bus…”

“But wendy knows that peter legacy is also a curse. So pray for herself to this one to be different by which wendy means nearly as nearly as good as the first.”

This says that she knows that her past relationship was a curse because no other relationship could be better than Peter and hers. So she tries to make her current one be better than the previous and hope that it would last unlike Peter and hers. I feel like one shouldn’t compare their present relationship with the past relationship. As you can really force the present relationship to be better but you can be a better person in your present relationship compared to how you were in the past.


The third poem talks about how she couldn’t cook but managed to succeed in the end.

“I lied on my application tht I knew my way around the kitchen, around fire.”

” That smell that make roommate stop in the door way and sniff the air while shaking off coats and gloves and throwing their hands over the fire. Eyes widening  combination of confusion, anticpiaton of whatever the hell that is.”

She basically fakes it till she makes it as she couldn’t really cook but she decided to just briefly follow the recipes. However, the outcome of the dish was surprisingly good even though they don’t know what food was it. With a positive mindset and perseverance, one can actually succeed in doing whatever they want.



The third performers are Will Beale and Hafiz Bastard. Hafiz Bastard plays the electronic guitar.

The first part of the poem talks about how one should not bottle up everything to themselves.

“Now open up everyone you know. Opening up into the night evacuating all inside spilling secrets into the streets, void decks. Now open up tell me how that feels to miss everyone that u wants to forget to capture the barriers. A family story that no one photograph like how 5am sings the perfect harmony.”

When you keep everything to yourself, it might harm you in a long run. Sometimes it is better to share your thoughts, ideas and your feelings to someone that you are close to. You may feel like it is a burden to share your thoughts with anyone but it really lifts rocks over your shoulders after sharing. Your friends or family might even be able to help you with what you are going through and give you moral support.

“In these waves of brain made memory foam, you remember everything, everything about yourself that you try to drown.”

There are some things that you don’t like about that you try to forget about it but it just keeps coming back. You should find time to understand what you don’t like about it and kind of appreciate it so that you will be able to move on from it.

He also talks about how he felt when he first moved to Singapore at an age of 11 years old.

He told us that when he first moved to Singapore and got into a new school, he suffered from anxiety as he doesn’t know much about Singapore and everything here was new to him.

“Anxiety calls, fear grips and we wish panic has a snooze botten. I pressed it and I stopped talking for weeks.”

He dropped out of school within 3 months and ended up not wanting to talk for 6 months. He ended giving up on trying to get better.

At the age of 26, he moves back to Singapore. Sunrise was still hard for him so he didn’t wake up before 9am. His the cuts from 11 years old are still too fresh.

“My therapist shows how a healthy relationship looks like 2 sun kissing. She shows me what my relationship looks like now, an eclipse and a sun going down swinging.”

His relationship with anxiety was actually dragging him down and it “enables” him from seeing the good things in his life. His anxiety took what he could so he decided to say enough. From that day onwards, he slowly falls in love with sunrise, dancing all night to catch every sunrise. This is when he started appreciating every morning and every new day.


Poems can be seen from many perspectives, thus everyone explanation of the poem will be different. Sometimes, we just have to take a little more time to read in between the lines to really understand what does it mean. Therefore, we shouldn’t rush and judge things too fast but we should take our time to see it from another perspective.


Immortality. [online] Available from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/immortality [Accessed July 15, 2018]


What? We Kinda’ Cause Haze

I am sure that many of you’ll disagree that we caused the haze and start pointing fingers to the Indonesian. But hey we did play a part too in causing the haze. And they were just doing their job in a faster way so that they can meet the demand.

Haze in 2014, Singapore (The online citizens, 2014)

What caused haze?

Forest fire in agriculture areas in Sumatra, Indonesia are the main cause of Haze. Many farmers are clearing forest for cultivation by using the slash-and-burn method. They clear vegetation for palm oil, pulp, and paper plantation. Because of the increasing demand for palm oil, there are more farmers using the slash-and-burn method to meet the supply. There is also poor forest management and fire control thus the forest fires have increased in Indonesia.

Palm oil is the most used vegetable oil in the world and it is used for things like margarine, chocolate, and even lipsticks.

How are we contributing to the haze?

By buying products that contain palm oil does make the demand for palm oil higher. With a higher demand for palm oil, farmers have to make sure that the supplies meet worldwide demand. Thus, they have to use the slash-and-burn method as it clear lands much faster. Everyone uses papers, toilet papers, tissues, cardboard. the demand for papers has been increasing as people tend to use paper product excessively.

In 2014, Singapore generated 1.27 million tonnes of paper and cardboard waste, equivalent to about 50,000 sheets of paper per person.

What we should do.

  1. We can buy lesser products that contain palm oil so that the demand for it will decrease.
  2. We can also buy Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) products
  3. Dine at eateries that use Sustainable Palm Oil. Such as IKEA, Vegan Burg, and nomvnom.
  4. Buy wood-based products that state Forest Stewardship Council Certified (FSC) or 100% recycled pulp and papers options. Products such as tissue papers, post its, printing papers and etc.
  5. Recycle papers and use both sides of the paper.
  6. Help raise awareness of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).

What is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)?

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an organization that was established to promote the growth and use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). The market for sustainable palm oil is growing but it still represents only a relatively small fraction of overall palm oil sales. Hence we hope to increase the demand for CSPO by creating public awareness and working with all the parties involved.

Meanwhile, none of Singapore’s retailers and consumer goods manufacturers – except for one (AalstChocolate) – are RSPO members.

(World Wild Fund for nature Singapore)

RSPO Trademark (World Wild Fund for nature Global)


What can the farmers do?

As there are many people that are indirectly employed by the palm oil industry, it is impossible to avoid palm oil. Thus, they can clear the land in a haze-free manner. Farmers still can make a living by planting a palm tree plantation. They just have to stop using the slash-and-burn method to clear the land. Deforestation and drain peat should be avoided so that the land wouldn’t be more vulnerable to forest fires.


Effects of haze

  • Habitat loss for animals

Critically endangered animals such as the Sumatran Tigers, Sumatran elephants, Sumatran orangutan and Javan rhinoceros will lose their habitats. It will then cause the animals to be more exposed to poachers and then get hunted easily. Animal and human conflicts will rise as the animals will have to leave their habitat and often come into contact with humans when they find new habitats.

  • Climate change.

Fires give out carbon dioxide and it needs oxygen to burn. Peatlands are lands containing partially decayed, dead plants that have been collected for many years.  Peatlands store massive amounts of carbon. Once burned, peatland fires are extremely difficult to put out, often emitting smoke and carbon into the atmosphere for a long time. With more carbon in the air, it will then trap more heat.

  • Health

Research has shown that individuals that have a constant exposure to high pollution from small particles [i.e. particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5); particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres]. These people might suffer from cardiovascular effects ( i.e. such as heart attacks), respiratory symptoms and aggravate existing heart or lung disease, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat in certain individual and in the worst case it may even cause premature death.

  • Economy

When the haze is at its peak the economy scene will hit a rock bottom as they would lose money. As there was an incident in 1997, the Singaporean government published a statement saying that they lost $9 billion through increased healthcare costs and disruptions to air travel and business. Whereas the financial damage to Indonesia, the government made an estimation implying that it could be as high as $47 billion, it’s a huge impact to the country’s economy.


What have I learned?

I have learned that there aren’t many companies making an effort to use sustainable palm oil in Singapore. Therefore, if the companies make an effort to change to sustainable palm oil, then the consumers will be able to play a part in buying these products. Thus, we shouldn’t just complain and push the blame to the Indonesian as we are at fault too. Haze does not only affect our health but also the environment and economy.

So, I actually headed down to the Cold Storage to find some products that use certified sustainable palm oil.

This is the only product that I managed to find that states that it uses certified sustainable palm oil.


I didn’t go through every product to find out if it is using Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) but I was hoping to come across products that use CSPO.To my disappointment, I only managed to find one product that contains CSPO.


There are so many products that contain palm oils but only a few percentages contain CSPO. This shows that many companies aren’t from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Knowing that Orea is a very popular brand worldwide and the fact that it isn’t from RSPO says that they are actually using a lot uncertified palm oil.

For paper products, my family does play a part to help save the environment. In my house, we have a drawer where we store papers that have been used on one side.  So whenever we need some papers to do some workings like for example, math workings, we will just use those papers from that drawer. We also have a bag placed beside the dustbin and that bag is to place our trash that can be recycled. Every week, we will throw that trash into the recycle bin that is directly below my house.

Most paper products in Singapore are already certified by Forest Steward Council.

All in all, stopping the haze isn’t a something that can be done single-handedly. Thus, everyone has a part to play to stop the haze.



Barratt, O.,2017. Haze episode cost Singapore estimated S$700m last year: Masagos. [Online]. Available from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/haze-episode-cost-singapore-estimated-s-700m-last-year-masagos-8147924 [Accessed July 14, 2018]

Chung, O. K., 2016. The Effects of Haze on Your Health. [Online]. Available from https://www.mountelizabeth.com.sg/healthplus/article/the-effects-of-haze-on-your-health [Accessed July 14, 2018]

Chin, N. C. 2017. Haze in 2015 disrupted S’pore’s wildlife: Study. [Online]. Available from https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/haze-2015-disrupted-spores-wildlife-study.%5BAccessed July 14, 2018]

Effects of Haze – The Haze. [Online]. Available from https://sites.google.com/a/mgs.sch.edu.sg/thehaze/home/the-haze/effects-of-haze  %5BAccessed July 14, 2018]

2016. Information on Fire and Haze. [online] Available from http://haze.asean.org/about-us/information-on-fire-and-haze [Accessed July 14, 2018]

Louise Wood. 2016. HAZE – WHO IS TO BLAME? [web log]. Available from http://blog.wwf.sg/climate-change/2016/06/pm-haze-guest-blog/ [Accessed July 14, 2018]

O’Callaghan, J. 2013. Singapore, Malaysia face economic hit from prolonged smog. [Online] Available from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southeastasia-haze-impact/singapore-malaysia-face-economic-hit-from-prolonged-smog-idUSBRE95N0BS20130624 [Accessed July 14, 2018]

Patrick, D. l. Health & Environmental Effects of Air Pollution. [PDF]. Available from https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/vl/health-and-env-effects-air-pollutions.pdf [Accessed July 14, 2018]

Palm Oil. [onine]. Available from https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/palm-oil [Accessed July 14, 2018]

The Haze. [Online]. Available from http://www.wwf.sg/get_involved/the_haze/ [Accessed July 14, 2018]

WWF – Palm oil. [Online] Available from http://www.wwf.org.au/what-we-do/food/palm-oil#gs.m5J5g3o [Accessed July 14, 2018]





Made in Singapore

ETC 206

About ETC-206

The drug, ETC-206, was discovered and developed by the Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School (Duke-NUS) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) Drug Discovery and Development unit (D3) and Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC). (Channel NewsAsia, 10 March 2017)

Dr. Kassoum Nacro, Research Project Leader, Medicinal Chemistry, ETC, A*STAR, and and the Inventor of ETC-206, explains the chemical make-up of ETC-206 in his lab (Agency for Science, Technology and Research, 9 March 2017)

ETC-206 is a new cancer drug candidate which can be used for treating blood cancer. The three main types of blood cancer are Leukaemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma. (“Singapore Clinical Research Institute”; “American Society of Hematology”) Leukaemia and Lymphoma are in the top 10 frequent cancer deaths in Singapore (National Cancer Center Singapore, 2011-2015). ETC-206 is meant for people who are suffering from later stage cancer.

The drug lower Leukaemia mortality rates compared to chemotherapy. As chemotherapy will damage the immune system as much as it kills cancer cells. (Channel NewsAsia, 10 March 2017)

ETC-206 is Singapore’s second publicly-funded cancer drug after ETC-159, which was announced in 2015. ETC-159 targets a range of cancers, like colorectal, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. (Channel NewsAsia, 10 March 2017)


The drug has started its first phase of clinical trials on 34 healthy volunteers in December 2016. Trails on patients who are in the late stages of cancer have started in August 2017. It might take years for ETC-206 to go onto the market. The first phase of clinical trials tests for safety and tolerability. For the second phase test for its efficacy and the third phase test will be randomised clinical trials. (The Straits Times, 10 March 2017)

How does the drug work?

The drug obstructs Mnk enzyme in cancer cells which the drug developers identified as a key player in promoting growth. Therefore, effectively stopping the spread and progression of cancer. (Channel NewsAsia, 10 March 2017)

How long did it take to produce a new drug?

“A team of chemists took about 60 weeks, which is a year and 8 weeks to synthesise the drug manually. They sifted through more than 2,000 compounds in 700 possible combinations to find a formula that met their criteria for potency, chemical stability and purity, among others.” (Channel NewsAsia, 10 March 2017)

What did I learn

It takes a lot of patience for researchers to create a new drug as they will face a lot of dead ends and failures during their research.

It does not just take a few minutes to invent a new drug. The actual process behind new medicine can actually take up about 7 years from initial discovery to the marketplace. Firstly, researchers have to do their basic researches followed by drug discovery and then pre-clinical. After pre-clinical, there are 3 clinical trials and then it has to get approval from authorities before being on the market. (Channel NewsAsia, 10 March 2017)

I have also learnt that Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. In Singapore, the primary cause of death is cancer. In 2016, cancer is responsible for 29.6% of the total death. (Ministry Of Health,13 Jul 2018 ).

In Singapore, Colo-rectal, Pancreatic, Lymphomas and Leukaemia are in the top 10 rank frequent cancer deaths in Singapore for males. Its ranks are 2nd, 5th, 8th and 10th respectively. For women, Colo-rectal, Pancreatic, Ovarian, Lymphomas and Leukaemia are also in the top 10 rank frequent cancer deaths in Singapore. Its ranks are 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th and 10th respectively. Thus, with the new drug ETC-159 and ETC-206, it can save many lives in the world.

Screenshot (2)
Data from “Singapore Clinical Research Institute”; “American Society of Hematology”

What I would create if I was an inventor

I would create a machine that will give sufficient food and water to the stray animals. It will dispense food at a fixed timing and clear unfinished food. Therefore, this will keep the place neat and not overfeed the animals. As many people do not clean up after feeding stray animals and sometimes overfeed them. This machine will ensure the well being of stray animals as they will be fed frequently.

Screenshot (8)
It will look something like this (plate: Redmart, Appcessory)

Why would I create this machine?

I would create this machine because stray dogs and cats have to find their own food and shelter every day. There will be days where they can’t find any food and thus they would starve for that day. Without proper food, they will fall ill easier due to their weak immune system. When they fall ill, they would not be able to live much longer as there isn’t anyone who takes care of them or bring them to the vet. Dogs and Cats can live about 3 days without food and drinks.



Announcement of ETC-206, A*STAR’s second publicly funded cancer drug > Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR).  2017. [Online]. Available from https://www.a-star.edu.sg/News-and-Events/News/Publicity-Highlights/ID/5624 [Accessed July 2, 2018]

Blood Cancers. 2018. [Online] Available from http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Cancers/ %5BAccessed July 2, 2018]

Cancer Statistics [online] Available from https://www.nccs.com.sg/patientcare/whatiscancer/cancerStatistics/Pages/Home.aspx Retrieved [July 14, 2018]

Cancer. [online] Available from http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer %5BAccessed July 14, 2018]

Fai, L. K. 2017. New made-in-Singapore cancer drug could lower leukaemia mortality. [Online]. Available from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/new-made-in-singapore-cancer-drug-could-lower-leukaemia-mortalit-8760410 %5BAccessed July 2, 2018]

Featured Projects ETC-206 (D3-003). (2017). [Online]. Available from https://www.scri.edu.sg/featured-projects/etc-206-d3-003/ [Accessed July 2, 2018]

Hong, J. 2017. Home-grown blood cancer drug to start patient trials. [Online] . Available from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/home-grown-blood-cancer-drug-to-start-patient-trials [Accessed July 2, 2018]

Hong, J. 2017. Made-in-Singapore drug for blood cancer to be tested. [Online]. Available from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/made-in-spore-drug-candidate-for-blood-cancer-to-be-tested [Accessed July 2, 2018]

Ministry Of Health, 2017. Speech by Mr. Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, at the A*STAR Scholarship Award Ceremony, 10 July 2017. Singapore: Ministry Of Health. Available from https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/pressRoom/speeches_d/2017/speech-by-mr-gan-kim-yong–minister-for-health–at-the-a-star-sc.html  [Accessed July 2, 2018]

Ministry of Health Singapore. 2018. [online] Available from https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/statistics/Health_Facts_Singapore/Principal_Causes_of_Death.html  [Accessed July 14, 2018]

Phrma. Biopharmaceutical Research & Development: The Process Behind New Medicines. [Online] Available: http://phrma-docs.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/rd_brochure_022307.pdf [Accessed July 2, 2018]

SINGAPORE CANCER REGISTRY REPORT NO. 8. (2015). [PDF] Available from  https://www.nrdo.gov.sg/docs/librariesprovider3/default-document-library/cancertrends_7312_web128e09a5c9d76bafab5aff000014cdee.pdf?sfvrsn=0 [Accessed July 14, 2018]



What/How to eat

Hello! Today I will be preparing dinner for 2 pax with a budget of $10.

I will be cooking Roast Chicken and vegetables for Narelle, my elder sister, and I.


My elder sister modified the ingredients as she cooks this often. Therefore,I did not follow the ingredients in the recipe.

This is the edited recipe:

  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 green bell peppers, wedges
  • 1/2 Broccoli
  • 1 Japanese sweet potato


  1. Adjust the oven rack to the top position and preheat to 450 degrees F ( 230 degrees C) . Toss together the carrots, broccoli, onions, green bell peppers, 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Roast until the vegetables slightly brown, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.IMG-1047
  2. Meanwhile, rub the chicken breast skin with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with the paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Once the vegetables begin to soften, put the chicken breasts on top and roast the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, 20 to 25 minutes. Wrap the Japanese sweet potatoes in aluminium foil and bake it for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts and let them rest for a few minutes. Divide the chicken and roasted vegetables among 2 plates.

unnamed (5)



NTUC Sheng Siong Giant
Japanese Sweet potatoes 750g – $2.50 500g – $1.80 1200g – $3
Green bell pepper 300g – $1.65 200g – $1.10 600g – $2.34
Red onion 700g – $1.35 1kg – $1.90 700g – $1.45
Chicken breast 300g – $3.25 200g – $2.50 100g – $1.07
broccoli 280g – $2.90 250g – $1.45 750g – $3.68
parsley 1 pack -$1.90 1 pack – $2.65 1 pack – $1.75
Carrot 500g – $0.90 700g – $1.70 1000g – $1.90
lemon 500g – $4.00 1 – $0.75 1 – $0.75
Paprika 52g – $2.95

35g – $4.40

Shop online at

NTUC:  https://www.fairprice.com.sg/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/fairprice?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3pqXjMOc3AIVijUrCh1Q4wHVEAAYASAAEgLqWPD_BwE

Giant: https://giantonline.com.sg/

Sheng Siong: https://allforyou.sg/

Red onion, Chicken Breast, Green/red/yellow bell pepper and Japanese sweet potato is a must to get.

I had carrot, broccoli and paprika at home so I do not need to get it.

Parsley is optional and I didn’t need lemon as I have paprika for my chicken seasoning.


Broccoli cost about $1.45 at Sheng Siong and carrot cost $0.90 at NTUC.

Red Onion: $1.35

Yellow peppers: $0.85

Chicken breast: $2.75

Japanese sweet potato: $2.70


Cost for dinner for 2 pax :$7.55 + $1.45 + $0.90 = $9.90



My elder sister, Narelle, gave me a feedback that the chicken should be marinated longer so that there will be more flavour in the chicken. If sweet potato is used, steaming it will taste better and softer compared to baking it. Overall the roast chicken with vegetables has a rating of 7.5/10, which is pretty good to me as I don’t usually cook.


Don’t forget to put your recycle bags in your bag when going grocery shopping this help save the Earth.

There is also a Bring Your Own (BYO) Campaign. This campaign allows you to bring your reusable container, bag and cup to participating retail outlets, for example, 10 cents off at NTUC FairPrice if they spend more than $10 or more or 10% off bread items if you use their PAUL reusable bread bag. Check out http://www.byosingapore.com/ for more information.

What have I learn

I have learnt that to get the cheapest price ingredients, you don’t need to travel down to Giant, Sheng Siong and NTUC to check the price. You can just search their price through their online store and you can even head down to the wet markets to get much cheaper ingredients. When you have a budget, you will realize that every cent counts.

Don’t be lazy and buy non precut food as precut food are more expensive.

Prepare a shopping list so that you wouldn’t be tempted to buy unnecessary stuff such as unhealthy snacks and convenience food.

I have also learnt that there are many possible healthy and cheap dishes I could cook with a budget of $10 dollars, whereas instead of only cooking unhealthy food such as instant noodles. If I were to continue eating unhealthy food every day just because I am lazy, it will affect my health in a long run. It is better to get out of my lazy state and at least have a meal plan for the week so that it would be easier to get the ingredients. At the same time, I can learn how to cook much more meals and improve my culinary skills.


References :

Downs, S., Moreno, S., Tennyson, P., Duran, L., Quintero, R., Anderson, T., … Magnolia Blossom. (2015, June 25). Baked Chicken Breasts and Vegetables Recipe. [Online]. Available from https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/236110/baked-chicken-breasts-and-vegetables/ [Accessed July 13, 2018].

Unusual Occupation

What does unusual mean to me?

To me, the word “unusual” means unique and interesting.

Miniature food artist

What does a miniature food artist do?

A miniature food artist uses polymer clay to sculpt food figurine to a smaller size. They get inspired by everyday objects. Instead of munching down immediately or letting the camera eat first when the food arrives, they would take the time to observe the tiny little details on the food. Every miniature food figurine made is very detailed from the colours down to the texture, making it look very realistic. (Vulcan Post, 16 May 2018)


Background story of AiClay

Jocelyn Teo picked up this hobby when she was still studying at the National University of Singapore in 2009. It turned into a business when people started requesting to buy miniature food figurine from her. Jocelyn started AiClay, a full-time business, in 2011. In a video interview with The Straits Times, Jocelyn said that she draws inspiration from “everywhere because food is everywhere in Singapore.” (Straits Times, 18 July 2017)

Jocelyn Teo (Plates; AiClay Blog, 2 April 2015)


In AiClay website, you can find miniature food figurines and miniature food jewellery. You can even buy a “pocket kitchen ultimate”. It is a box full of the tools, materials that you need to make miniature food figurines and jewellery and even a USB containing tutorial videos. She also provides private and public workshops on how to make these miniature foods which cost about $150+ per person.

This is her website: http://aiclay.com

Necklace, Bracelet and earrings (Plates: AsiaOne, 19 July 2017)


She has 72K (and counting) followers on Instagram. She makes not only items of a Singaporean’s life like kueh tutu, Singapore-style ice cream sandwiches and durians. She also makes ubiquitous food such as macarons, salmon nigiri and McDonald’s burgers.

Her Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/aiclay/?hl=en

Miniature desserts (Plate: @AiClay /Instagram ,  6 September 2016)
aiclay miniature fast food set 1
Fish Burger (Plate: AiClay Blog, 14 May 2011)
Angku kueh, kueh dadar, lapis sagu (Plate: Flicker, pg 3 of Jocelyn Teo)

Jocelyn Teo even managed to work with the R&B Singer John Legend to make a birthday present for his wife, American model Chrissy Teigen. She made 15 miniature replicas of dishes from Teigen’s cookbook for Chrissy 32nd birthday. It took her about 4 months to complete 15 miniature replicas.

(Channel NewsAsia, 4 December 2017)

(Vulcan post, 16 April 2018)

Miniatures of Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook                                                                                             (Plates: @aiclay/Instagram, 2 December 2017; Channel NewsAsia, 4 December 2017)


Would I take up this job in the future?

DEFINITELY YES! I would love to learn how to make miniature food out of clay. There is numerous amount of food in the world. Therefore, you will never get bored of making miniature food. You can even make your favourite food into a miniature figurine and jewellery. However, making a miniature figurine isn’t that easy. You need to be very patient as some may take a few hours to complete as it depends on the complexity of the food you are making. You may even injure your neck and strain your eyes as you are dealing with something so tiny and for long hours.

(AsiaStyle Asia, 30 October 2015)

What have I learnt

I have learnt that being an entrepreneur needs a lot of self-discipline. Being your own boss means that there isn’t anyone telling you what to do. Therefore, there will be times where you won’t get anything done which will affect your business.  Thus being an entrepreneur, you must not procrastinate and have self-motivation to get things done.

I have also learnt that being an entrepreneur means that there wouldn’t be a steady income. There will be days where you won’t be earning any money. It takes awhile to start earning some income and it will take much longer to start earning a profit. This is when you have to patient and continue putting in hard work. And also persevere through this tough period.




Featured image from http://aiclay.com/pocket-kitchen-ultimate.html



2017. John Legend’s birthday gift for wife made by Singaporean artist.  [online]   https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/john-legend-s-birthday-gift-for-wife-made-by-singaporean-artist-9468138 [Accessed June 30, 2018]

Jocelyn Teo, Aiclay- Miniature food sculptures and workshops in Singapore. [Online]. Available from http://aiclay.com/ [Accessed June 30, 2018]
Kathleen Zhu. 2015. Exploring The Haven of Miniature Food, AiClay. [online]  http://asiastyle.asia/exploring-the-haven-of-miniature-food-aiclay/
[Accessed June 30, 2018]
Lam, L. 2017. The Mini-Series: Local Instagram star makes it big with miniature food items made of clay. [Online]. Available from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/local-instagram-darling-makes-it-big-with-miniature-food-items-made-of-clay [Accessed June 30, 2018]
Salim, Z. 2018. This S’porean Clay Artist Creates Miniature Food For A Living – And John Legend Is One Of Her Clients. [Online].Available from:  https://vulcanpost.com/637624/aiclay-miniature-food-singapore/  [Accessed June 30, 2018]