The ultimate price comparison of Integrated Shield Plans (New PruShield Fairer Pricing Approach)

I just finished updating the price increase for AIA Max Essential on my previous post.

Now I have to explain the new PruShield Plans, which is so much more complicated with their new 5 steps plan, also called the Fairer Pricing Approach. I am sure many Prudential customers will be pretty confused but ultimately, most just accept the price increase and changes.

All these changes should be considered to see if they affect you positively.

Qoo10 vs Lazada vs Carousell vs Shopee - A comprehensive guide to online platforms

Online platforms are popular nowadays as they dangle discounts and huge offers from major brands. As SnackFirst is an online shop and depends a lot on traffic, these online platforms are very useful to get more sales and attract new customers.

Why I left my $100,000 job

I will start off 2018 with an in-depth post.

Many of you know that I quit my regional sales job to start my own business at SnackFirst. What I have not mentioned is why I feel that it is the right move, instead of accepting another job offer or go for more interviews. Yes, it was mainly due to my boss who asked me to shut up but I could have found another similar job. It was hard for me to explain my decisions clearly at that time but in retrospect, it was mainly due to these reasons:

Will I fall?

Nuts Allergy - Give it to babies to prevent them

Nuts allergy is getting quite prevalent, affecting around 2% of the kids and altogether a miserable condition. Think of the food you cannot eat when you have nuts allergy, not just nuts themselves but also cookies, chocolates, jam, candies, desserts , biscuits... basically all the sinfully good food! 
Scientists have not yet figured out why nuts have become such a threat but many airlines do not offer nuts to prevent any life threatening reactions from happening at a high altitude. Singapore Airlines recently came under fire when a three year old boy started to vomit and swell when other people seated around him were eating nuts.
It's not a laughing matter as allergic reactions can range from abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomits, to anaphylaxis, where a body is shocked and may no longer breathe. To deal with such situations, they have to carry an epipen around.
As with all allergy, people were advised against early exposure to nuts so as not to cause the onset of nuts allergy. It is a no-brainer, stay away from nuts until the immune system is mature which is around 3 years old
However, new studies done that may actually help to lower the cases of allergy.
Researchers observed nuts allergy happening 10 times more likely among Jewish children in Britain, who did not consume peanut products during infancy. This is compared to children in Israel, where peanut-based foods are regularly introduced at around seven months of age.
It is definitely counter-intuitive: By giving nuts to infants before their first birthday, as early as 6 months old!
Not whole solid peanuts but peanut butter, boiled nuts in porridge and other softer forms is acceptable too. It has been observed that the more we stay away from nuts, the higher the chance our immune system will view them as a threat.
Thus, if we introduce nuts earlier, the likelihood of an allergy will be lowered. 
This is the actual guideline taken:
  • All babies should try other solid foods before peanut-containing ones, to be sure they’re developmentally ready.
  • High-risk babies should have peanut-containing foods introduced as early as four to six months after a checkup to tell if they should have the first taste in the doctor’s office, or if it’s OK to try at home with a parent watching for any reactions.
  • Moderate-risk babies have milder eczema, typically treated with over-the-counter creams. They should start peanut-based foods around six months, at home.
  • Most babies are low-risk, and parents can introduce peanut-based foods along with other solids, usually around six months.
  • Building tolerance requires making peanut-based foods part of the regular diet, about three times a week.
For me, I introduced peanut butter and boiled nuts in soup to my baby girl at around 8 months old, right after this new discovery went public. I am terribly afraid that she will be allergic as I have lots of nuts at home! I am relieved that she is happily enjoyed her cookies right now.
So do share this information with all new parents: Introduce nuts to babies so as to prevent nuts allergy in the future. 

This article first appeared on the blog of SnackFirstSnackFirst sells nuts in small packaging and also in bulk and best of all, it's free shipping!

SnackFirst! Nuts, Seeds, Crackers, Cookies, Chips and Biscuits with Free Delivery

I got a pack of chips, nuts and biscuits from to try. They are a new site dedicated to offering (slightly more healthful) snack options with free delivery. The site was started by Jes who during her pregnancy couldn't find healthy snacks in good variety at our retail stores.

SnackFirst does offer dried fruit and seeds, granola, quinoa, flax and chia seeds. But I am betting the more popular items will be the more "sinful" choices.

Here are some of the items we tried; I'm showing you the covers so you can see the ingredients listed as well:

Oishi Japanese Nuts 日本豆混合 200g/1kg 
S$13.90 - S$39.00
These are like the ones you see in the Japanese goods aisle but these are halal-certified! Taste-wise, they seem less salty than the commercial variety. In fact, all their snacks seem less salty than normal ones.

Satay Sunkissed Cashew 沙爹腰豆 200g/1kg 
S$12.90 - S$35.00
OMG...why did no one think of this earlier? The garlicky satay coating often used for broad beans is magical on cashew nuts! The crunch is incredible and this is highly addictive.

BBQ Brown eyes Almonds 烧烤味杏仁 200g/1kg
S$13.90 - S$37.00
I love BBQ smoked nuts but these are not as strong-flavoured or savoury as the ones I normally get.

For people who like traditional snacks, they have cookies, old school biscuits, keropok and crackers.

Curry Tapioca Chips 咖哩木薯片 150g 
These have a rather homemade quality to them. The thickness of the slices vary but they are all super crunchy and evenly dusted with a savoury curry powder. They are not terribly spicy, so even kids can take them.

There were also little samples. I love the Rose Bandung Wafers 玫瑰味薄饼
S$6.90 - S$42.00 (now on sale for S$5.90 - S$42.00); they smell so good and are so delicate!

The Fragrant Durian Biscuits 榴莲饼 180g/5kg (S$6.90 - S$50.00) didn't impress as much because the flavours seemed too artificial. People who don't like durian might actually take to this.

The Juicy Apricot 杏脯肉干 200g/1kg (S$7.90 - S$21.00) from Turkey are some of the softest I've tried. Sometimes you find dried apricots that are too dry and eating them can be a bit of a chewy chore. These were perfect.

On the whole, SnackFirst items do seem to taste a little more healthy (less salty) and the site carries an interesting variety of flavours for nuts and mixes. I find the pricing is a little on the high side compared to local suppliers and shops, but you do have delivery  built in.

*This post first appeared on Catherine's blog at

Starting own business - A path of uncertainties

It's a road with no known destination, no fixed path to walk on, no lights to guide you through. The unknown is scary.

What should I do?

PCF Infant Care to PlayGroup/Toddler

Previously, I debated whether to go with infant care or a nanny. I decided on infant care and sought out a centre that I found the most comfortable with my own set of criteria.  That was when my daughter was 4 months old but you can actually start infant care from 2 months old onward.

I realised not much information is shared online to give new parents and idea of the schedule and activities. Thus, I thought to write this so that more people can know more about what to expect from Infant Care. Do take note that my daughter is in PCF Sparkletots and different branches have different systems. The principals and teachers ultimately form the culture which is why if you don't feel so happy in one branch, you may want to give another branch/centres a try.

The temporary high

Free use of the airport lounge all the time.
Able to board the flight first before everyone else.
Showing off the business class ticket on social media.
Getting your luggage first thanks to the priority tag.
Being welcomed by someone holding your name and chauffeured around.
Sitting in a luxurious car with wifi, drinks and snacks.
Staying in the best hotels in the world with the best food.

It's all just transitory.

Happy 3rd Birthday!

A year of a complete change in my life. Right after getting adjusted to being a mother, my career path has gone haywire. A drastic change and a brake to climbing up the corporate ladder. Questions started coming the longer I stayed away from my family, which is why I started to dig deeper and ask myself what I want in life.

4 different types of rice and which grains to choose - Short, medium or long grains?

Rice has always been the staple for Asians and the most popular one is still the white rice. Thanks to NTUC giving away the Good Start Bundle for new parents, I got a free 5kg bag of brown rice. Having grown up eating white rice, I was initially kind of skeptical of trying out brown rice. After all, my parents kept saying that it is hard, coarse, unflavourful and altogether, unappetising.