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  • Katie Goes Platinum on the number one issue people have with grey hair

    It’s not just an “old-people problem”. Grey hair will make you look old. I’ve told myself this many times. So has my hairstylist. And my mum. I’m not offended; I understand. There’s no escaping it. Or is there? After all, it’s your choice. It’s up to you if you want your gradually greying locks to affect you (or not). “I think my favourite topic to address has been the fear of looking ‘old’ with grey hair,” says Katie Emery of Katie Goes Platinum. “It’s a very common fear and one that keeps a lot of women dyeing years longer than they wanted to.” Katie would know – as the founder of Katie Goes Platinum, she meets people and encounters questions like these a lot. Katie Goes Platinum is a website where women with grey or greying hair can find tips, tricks, products, salons, personal stories, and other inspiring and practical resources to help them in their journey to “ditch the dye and rock their natural grey hair” at “any age and stage”. Katie started dyeing her greying hair as a teen, and decided in 2018 that “enough is enough”. She began her grey-hair transition that year and finished it in 2020. It’s given her a mission. “I also like giving women tips on how to go grey, as it’s easy to get stuck at the beginning of your grey-hair transition,” she adds. “It’s fun to help other women figure out the best way for them to go grey. It depends a lot on their temperament and what would be easiest for them. “Going grey is an emotional process due to all the baggage our society places on us as women.” You can say that again Refer to the first line above. Yikes. I mentioned to Katie that when I look at her site, I feel like it’s so comprehensive and complete with its various tips and information about grey hair. “I’m so glad you feel that way!” she tells me. Did she ever think that there would be so much to do, write and talk about when it comes to grey hair? “When I first started my blog, I worried that there wouldn’t be enough to write about, and that I’d run out of ideas,” she recalls. “But every day my list of posts to write grows longer, and I just don’t have enough time in the day to write everything that I want or need to write. “I do sometimes get a little tired of my subject,” she admits. “When that happens, I take a break from my grey hair Facebook group (Silver Revolution) and hide Instagram for a bit. “After a short while, my enthusiasm for the topic comes roaring back. I find grey hair endlessly fascinating, so it’s a pleasure to write about it!” Besides, the questions just keep on coming Katie constantly receives them, as well as different kinds of feedback. No wonder: “I’ve had a lot more women expressing their enthusiasm for going grey, no matter what age they are, and that’s a great thing!” It’s also the one thing she’s found that’s been gaining loads of traction. She’s surprisingly (and even pleasantly) been getting asked about it more and more. So what happened? “I think the pandemic really helped propel women away from dyeing their hair,” she observes. “They just needed that extra time away from their peer groups (and salons!) to grow out their hair in peace, with no pressure. “Also, there have been more studies coming out lately about the possible side effects of hair dye, and that has created more interest in the grey-hair movement,” she continues. “People are concerned about their health, as they should be.” It’s an amazing time to be alive Especially grey-hair-wise. 😊 Since we’re on the subject of personal health (healthy hair is a part of it, right?), it’s good to know that there have been advancements in hair care, with products and techniques getting better and more varied. Thanks to Katie and Katie Goes Platinum, we’re now more equipped to deal with and maintain grey hair. “I only started growing out my hair in 2018, but I’ve already seen more products on the market that cater to women with grey hair, and that’s a good thing,” she says. “We’re a growing market and, just like everyone else, we want our hair to look and feel good. “I think product manufacturers might be (slowly) coming to the conclusion that many of us already knew – that not all grey hair is the same. Some women find that their grey hair is smoother, finer and shinier than their dyed hair. Other women have coarse and wiry grey hair. “Everyone’s texture is different, so I’m happy to see that there are more products on the market today that address the wide variety of grey-hair textures.” (Check out Katie’s product recommendations on the site or here.) Does Katie believe that a lot more changes will come? “I suppose it’s possible! It’s hard to predict,” she answers. If she were given free rein, though, what kind of changes would she like to see? “I can’t really think of any changes in the product market, as the manufacturers are already doing a pretty good job of coming up with products to target grey-hair issues (like yellowing – but more on that later). “In terms of culture, though, we still have a long way to go to change the ingrained ideas about grey hair – that it’s coarse and unruly, or that it’s only acceptable for very elderly women to let their hair go grey. “Grey hair is simply a different shade of hair colour – some women go grey in their teens, and they shouldn’t feel pressured or ashamed to display their naturally silver hair. And the reverse is also true – we should not pressure women to stop dyeing. It’s a personal choice.” And it’s your personal choice… … to face some issues you’ve had with your grey hair. Because there could be a solution, or at least a healthy compromise. Katie shares hers. “The number one issue I’ve had with my grey hair is yellowing. I like my grey hair super silver, which it is, but if I get lazy about protecting my grey hair from the sun, or if I forget to clarify my hair on a weekly basis, or if I use the wrong hair products, the yellowing starts up and it drives me crazy! “When that happens, I use a purple hair mask or purple shampoo to reduce the yellow tones. But I want to get better at preventing yellowing before it happens,” she states. Katie’s tip: Use a purple hair mask or purple shampoo to reduce yellow tones in your grey hair. “Aside from yellowing, I don’t really have any issues with my grey hair. I love it! It’s really easy to maintain, and it brightens up my complexion. I get a lot of compliments on it – more than I did when it was dyed. So that’s fun!” Let’s topple the number one problem for people with grey hair Again, it all comes back to: Grey hair = old. It sounds repetitive, I know. Maybe we can never really escape it, and that’s okay. “My readers send me their problems, and I have to tell you that the number one problem they have is overcoming the negative stereotypes that we’ve all been fed by the advertising agencies about grey hair,” Katie reiterates. “That’s why I try to provide a lot of content on my site that busts the myths about grey hair. “Grey hair is beautiful, and once you can start to look at it differently (as just another hair colour, not a marker of advanced age), then the fun can really begin and you can start to enjoy your grey hair!” And you wouldn’t want to miss out on all the fun now, would you? 😊 Find Katie on Katie Goes Platinum, as well as on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Looking for more grey-hair resources? Try Joli Campbell of QuickSilverHair.com. According to Katie: “I think my favourite revelation is one that Joli, my fellow grey-hair blogger, and I have been talking about for a while – that going grey is fun and exciting and oh-so-liberating!”

  • Where to get your chocolate fix this Christmas

    More chocolate goodness, please. Christmas to me means chocolate – and lots of it. Scratch that: I don’t need an occasion to have chocolate, or to crave it. I’m game any time. 😊 But since we’re on the subject, chocolate lovers like me won’t be able to resist looking at, buying, and eating chocolates in any way, shape or form this holiday season. How can we not? There are loads to choose from each and every year. 2021 is no exception; but let’s try to narrow it down here to five – the ones you should at least go with first, if you’re in Singapore. (And you can branch out from there.) #1 Singapore Kopi-C, Fragrant Pandan, and Strawberry Shortcake “guilt-free” flavoured chocolates The eco-friendly, wildlife-inspired cushion covers, towels and placemats of the Wildlife Sanctuary collection are cute, but it’s the chocolates that will immediately catch your eye. (At least mine.) Made with sustainable palm oil (hence “guilt-free”), Canopy Chocolate comes in the above flavours in milk, white and dark chocolate. • At a bundle deal for two at $25 (UP $32). • Available in stores at the Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, Night Safari and/or Jurong Bird Park, and at the e-shop, Lazada and Shopee from 27 December 2021. • Go to Mandai Wildlife Reserve for information. #2 Belgian chocolates in surprise holiday flavours “Surprise” because you don’t know exactly what that Godiva holiday-inspired flavour will taste like. (But I’m sure it’ll be luscious.) You still have the milk and dark chocolates, the truffles, and other Godiva staples and flavours to look forward to, though. And depending on the box, you could have seven to 30 different pieces. A nice dilemma to have, if you ask me. There are around 12 collections for you to choose from, and they come in themed containers. You have gift and luxury boxes, tins, and luxury hampers. The deciding factors would probably be the size of your wallet and the urgency of your cravings. But if you’re still on the fence, you can just buy a few pieces (for now). So it might take you some time before you even get to decide. Again, a nice dilemma to have. 👍 • Prices range from $7 to $989. • The Godiva 2021 Holiday Collection in Singapore is available at Bugis Junction, ION Orchard, Raffles City, Suntec City and Takashimaya S.C and at their website, while stocks last. • Get 10% off from 6 to 24 December 2021 when you buy any of their holiday products. #3 Sticky Chewy Chocolate ice cream log cake Instead of “Merry Christmas”, should we say “Merry Giftmas”? I can’t remember a holiday season without me having at least a slice of log cake. With Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s Merry Giftmas, you get the ice cream/log cake in whole and mini sizes, covered in chocolate ganache. That’s it. That’s it for this snippet. 😊 Just kidding. Actually, their line-up of holiday cakes and desserts are also worth looking into for yourself, and friends and family. Because a meal isn’t complete without a sweet treat. (Their dine-in meal options – like the Boston Lobster Seafood Bag in either the Garlic Cream Butter Sauce or Cajun Curry Tomato Cream Sauce – are enticing too.) • The Merry Giftmas is at $58 (1 kg). The mini Sticky Chewy Log is at $19.80 (300 g). • Available until 5 January 2022, or until stocks last for the Christmas cakes. For delivery or pick-up. • Go to Swensen’s Christmas menu. #4 Choco-nana French Toast with Toasty Marsh-Milo When you’ve already had too much chocolate to eat the day before, have more the next day. 😉 We usually think of French toast and a hot chocolate drink for breakfast, but you can always have Butter Bean’s Choco-nana French Toast and Toasty Marsh-Milo any time you wish. Well, at least till 29 December 2021. You get a homemade butter loaf in inch-thick slices with cheddar cheese, banana and chocolate sauce, plus a hot choco malt drink with squishy marshmallows. Other festive toasts and drinks are available as well, and you can get them in different sets. • From $4.20 for the French Toast, from $2.80 for the Toasty Marsh-Milo. • Available for dine-in or takeaway at the Funan Mall and VivoCity outlets till 29 December 2021. Get the delivery exclusive bundles and promotions at Foodpanda, Grabfood and Deliveroo. • Go to Butter Bean for information. #5 Yule Hee Hoo! Pistachio Raspberry Praline Log Cake This is an honourable mention. It’s not exactly a full serving of chocolate, or a chocolate cake, but Cat & the Fiddle’s offering still has chocolate elements – like the hazelnut chocolate praline base and the chocolate cream cheese. Add in the pistachio cream cheese mousse, the raspberry centre, and the matcha green tea sponge crumbles, and it’s turned into a wholly satisfying dessert. The reindeer topper makes it even prettier too. • At $68.90. • Get 20% off when you order in-store or online till 12 December 2021. • Go to Cat & the Fiddle for information. The reindeer reminds me of when you’ve had so much good food, you experience food coma. But in a good way, of course. 😊 Look at that reindeer’s expression! Here’s hoping you’ll have the same blissful expression this holiday season, and not just from eating all that chocolate. The year is ending, and there’s much to be thankful for. Merry Christmas! 🙂🎄 And have as much chocolate as you wish (because I will).

  • A guide to add more variety to your meals

    If yesterday you had this, today you should have that. Is it a presentation? A table? A bunch of words in boxes? We can call it whatever we want. 🙂 I wanted to create a guide where I could mix and match different features of foods and ingredients for variety. So I thought this could work…? Before this happened This is what my original notes look like. At first I thought I was being organised, but now that I really look at it, I’m overwhelmed. And confused. In fact, I even wrote the word “overwhelmed” (see upper right side) without meaning to. To be fair, I was just scribbling and writing down whatever came to mind. I didn’t want to forget. I was planning to make it clearer on a new piece of paper. So this is just scratch, like a first draft. Still, a part of me already wants to give up. I’m complicating things, again without meaning to. These notes came to be because: #1 I’m afraid my meals would be boring, repetitive and bland If you’ve been reading me for a while, I’ve admitted once or twice before that I’m not a good cook. I’m decent and okay, but I can’t whip up fantastic meals like you see on YouTube and TV. Besides, I’m too lazy. I want something quick and easy, without fancy or expensive ingredients. I also don’t relish bringing out a lot of appliances to process them. #2 Ideas for meals don’t come to me that easily I guess I can always go to different websites and videos for that. So far I’ve been watching Rainbow Plant Life, Ina Garten and Nigella. #3 I wanted to see the results I wonder what kind of meals I’ll come up with. I’m not picky; as long as it’s filling and tasty, it’ll be fine. #4 I wanted to eat healthy I’m at this stage where I feel like fruits, vegetables, and anything plant-based will be a challenge to add to my diet. This ties back to #1. But I really want to do this. Ideas and plans are raging inside my head. 😬 #5 I hoped it would be fun Or entertaining – something to make meal prep and dining-in lively and enjoyable. And maybe a bit unpredictable too? A few lessons However, there are times in your life where notes, tools for organisation, charts, tables, lists and all that should be thrown out the window. #1 I need this guide – and I don’t I can just cook and prepare whatever it is I feel like eating, whatever I have in the pantry or fridge, and whatever I have time for. No mind games and no bashing my head against the wall. Actually, I only need my notes too. #2 It’s simple If I’m really concerned about not having enough healthy items in my meals, I just have to make sure that I have a vegetable dish, a piece of fruit – something – with each meal every single time. I can work my way from there. #3 Assign a day where I eat plant-based only I don’t want to shock myself with a total, 360-degree change. I can do things gradually, and make small tweaks here and there until I get into the habit. So maybe I can set aside a day or two where I only eat plant-based. Hopefully it will grow and become a natural part of my lifestyle. #4 This can change By no means is this guide static. I’m pretty sure I missed things or I need to add more. Or I probably have to redo it completely. I swear, am I the only one who thinks like this? 😊 Useful kitchen tools Since I plan to have more leaves and greens, these are worth considering. Note: Below are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase. • A salad spinner You don’t really need this. But sometimes you do. 😁 It’s for when you don’t feel like waiting for your washed leaves to dry. • Mortar and pestle I think flavours come out more vibrant and unique when you use these. Here’s a different perspective of the guide if you’d like it vertical:

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