Monthly Archives: April 2011

7 Simple Ways to be Romantic

“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you,” says poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”

1. E-mail your spouse photos of your last vacation together. Every month or so, my husband sends me a different photo of me and him on vacation, and I love it! The photos remind me of our travels – Italy, Israel, Turkey, Austria – and show me that he’s thinking of me when he’s at work. It’s easy and effective way to say “I love you”; just paste or upload a photo in the body of an e-mail, say a few words about the trip or what you love about your partner, and hit “send.” Voila! For more tips on being a great husband to your wife, read How to Be a Good Husband.

2. Remember Rumi’s “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” It’s important and healthy to have your own life, separate from your boyfriend or girlfriend. Give your partner space to pursue his or her own interests, and take that time to do what you love. For instance, I volunteer at our local library every Saturday afternoon, in part to give my husband time to be home alone. That’s one way I show my love, by offering space and room to breathe.

3. Ask questions about the “little” things. The more connected women feel to their men, the more loving and intimate they’ll be. One simple way to be romantic is to ask about your girlfriend or wife’s day – but take it a step further! Follow up on something specific that’s been happening in her office or job, or with her health. Ask how her mom is doing, or how her new exercise routine is going. Be curious about the little things in her (or his) life.

4. Listen carefully to your sweetheart. An easy way to show your love is to listen when your partner talks. According to Gary Neuman, author of The Truth About Cheating, men cheat because of emotional disconnection from their partners. To stay connected, think about what your partner is saying, and respond with questions or observations. If your partner prefers you to just listen, then do that. Building a better marriage or love relationship is about giving your spouse what he or she needs.

5. Compliment your partner in front of others. When my husband says he’s proud of me or mentions my achievements to other people, I feel very loved and cherished. Don’t save your compliments for your private moments — show your love for your partner by expressing what you love about him or her in front of others.

6. Do the dishes or other household chores your spouse avoids. I love, love, love when my husband does the dishes or makes the bed – and he does both daily! It may not seem all that romantic, but trust me…it makes me all warm and squishy inside. A simple way to be romantic is do things that he doesn’t want or like to do: darn socks, clean out the fridge, organize the junk drawer, iron his shirts.

7. Ask your partner how she or he most feels loved. The traditional romance tips, such as giving flowers or chocolate or going out for an expensive meal, don’t work for everyone. To show your love, learn what makes your spouse happy. For instance, if she’s an introvert and you’re an extrovert, learn how relationships can work for introverts and extroverts in love. If your partner feels loved when you give a foot massage, then grab her feet more often!


Singapore Rooftop Restaurants and Bar

Chatterbox Coffeehouse, 38th floor, Meritus Mandarin Hotel, 333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867. +65 6737 4411. +65 6831 6288. It’s a circular restaurant with stunning views. Replaced the famous Top of the “M”. Up market club. (not currently revolving)

Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant, 201 Keppel Road, Singapore 099419. +65 6272 8822. Nestled on top of a flour silo located along Telok Blangah Road very near to the World Trade Centre, with a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline.Overseeing the harbour and the sea. One of two revolving restaurants in Singapore. Lunch Mon to Sat 11am – 2.30pm. Sun & P. Hols 10.30am – 2.30pm. Dinner 6.30pm – 10.30pm.

The Equinox Restaurant, 70th floor, Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882. +65 6837 3322. Serving both Asian and Western cuisines. Diners at the Equinox Restaurant are treated to full length glass windows offering a view of Singapore’s CBD. Also on the same floor is a club style lounge called City Space. email

Jaan, 70th floor, Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882. +65 6837 3322. Perched at the peak of Raffles City Tower on the 70th floor, this restaurant is one level above the famous Equinox Restaurant and is one of the few well known French restaurants in Singapore. email

New Asia Bar, 71st floor and 72nd floor, Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882. +65 6837 3322. Sun to Tues 3pm – 1am. Wed & Thurs 3pm – 2am. Fri & Sat 3pm – 3am. email

Sky on 57, 57th floor, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956. A setting that offers a bird’s eye view of the city and bay. Breakfast favorites, followed by a-la-carte and set lunch menus. Afternoon tea feature savory and sweet creations as well as gourmet coffee and tea. During sunset, the restaurant truly comes alive with an exclusive vibe, as diners chill out with pre-dinner cocktails while enjoying the spectacular views.

Peach Garden @ 33, 33rd floor, (OCBC Centre) 65 Chulia Street, OCBC Centre Singapore, 049513. Seated on the 33rd floor, you cannot help feeling like you’re at the top of the world peering down.

The Lantern, Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326. +65 6333 8388. Up the top of The Fullerton Bay Hotel on Singapore’s super-central Marina Bay waterfront.

Breeze Bar, 4th floor, Scarlet Hotel, 33 Erskine Road, Singapore, 069333. +65 6511 3323. Alfresco seafood restaurant situated on the rooftop of a lovely boutique hotel. The rooftop is decorated with lights & plants and apart from sit-down tables, there are a few canopies with sofas and deck chairs for people to lounge and enjoy the view. Summer breeze and good music (although you may also hear the Chinatown bingo night on a square closeby!).

1-Altitude/Stellar, 62nd floor, 1 Raffles Place (formerly OUB Building), Singapore 048616. +65 6438-0410. email

Hai Tien Lo, 37th floor, Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039595. +65 6826 8338. Cantonese restaurant enjoying phenomenal views of the city and harbour. Lunch: 12 noon to 2.30pm (Weekdays). Dinner: 6.30pm to 10pm (Daily). Weekend A La Carte Buffet Brunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm (Weekends and Public Holidays).

The Rooftop Bar, Level 4, 114C Neil Road, Singapore 088852. +65 6536 0456 You can choose to sit inside at the bar or outside to enjoy the night.

San Marco at The Lighthouse, 8th Floor, Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square, +65 6438 4 4041. Toll-free in Singapore: 1800 533 8388. Magnificient bay views.

Loof, Odeon Towers Extension Rooftop, (above ModLiving), 331 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188720. +65 6338-8035. This popular rooftop chill-out bar is strategically located at the junction of North Bridge Road and Bras Basah Road. It is in close proximity to prominent landmarks such as Raffles City Tower, Raffles Hotel and National Library. Loof is a popular expat hangout and because of its proximity to a number of hotels in the area a significant proportion of customers are tourists. The large open space is now partially protected from the rain by a clear plastic marquee.

Bacchus Waterboat House, 3 Fullerton Road, Singapore. +65 6538-9038. This rooftop bar at the Waterboat House has an A-1 water view of the hairpin bend from Anderson Bridge on to the straight leading past The Esplanade.

The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326. +65 65 6333 8388.

Pre.lude Boathouse Rooftop, The Waterboat House, 3 Fullerton Rd, Singapore. +65 6538 9038, Mon – Sat 3pm – late. Rooftop watering hole on the roof of the Fullerton Boathouse. Breathtaking views of Marina Bay. Pub gastro plus. Mon to Sat: 5pm – Late. Sun closed. email

The China Club, 168 Robinson Road, 52nd floor, Capital Tower, Singapore 068912. +65 6820 2388. The restaurant sits on the 52nd story. It offer a full 360 view. Members only.

Spanish Al fresco Restaurant, Club Hotel, 28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708. +65 6808 2188. Mon to Thurs 5pm to 12 Midnight (last order at 10pm). Fri and Sat 5pm to 1am. Closed on Sundays. email

Ying Yang Rooftop Bar, Club Hotel, 28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708. +65 6808 2188. Petit Finger Food. Mon to Thurs 5pm to 12 Midnight. Fri to Sat 5pm to 1am. Sun 5pm to 12 Midnight. email

Emporium, 5 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069692. Rooftop bar on 3rd floor.

La Terraza Rooftop Bar, The Screening Room, 12 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069692. +65 6221 1694. Mon to Thurs 6pm to 1am. Fri and Sat 6pm to 3am. Closed Sundays.

The Helipad, 5 – 22 The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore. +65 6327 8118. A spectacular panoramic view of Singapore’s hip downtown district from each of its two levels. Mon to Thurs 6pm – 2am. Fri 6pm – 3am. Sat 8pm – 3am. Closed Sunday. Happy Hour Mon to Fri 6pm – 9pm. Above Clarke Quay MRT station.

Orgo Bar and Restaurant, 8 Raffles Avenue, #04-01, Esplanade-Theaters on the Bay, Roof Terrace, Singapore 038982. +65 6336-9366. Dinner 5pm – 2am. Drinks 5pm – 2am.

Halo Lounge, Wangz Hotel, 231 Outram Road, 169040 Singapore. +65 6595 1388. Offers light snacks and cocktails while providing a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline. email

Blue Moo Cafe, Rooftop of YMCA Orchard, 1 Orchard Road, Singapore. 238824. Groups entertain.

211 Roof Terrace Café (Café 211) , 4th floor, Holland Road Shopping Centre, 211 Holland Avenue, Singapore. +65 6462 6194. Both indoor and al fresco dining. 9am – 11pm.

Hai Tien Lo, 37th floor, Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039595. +65 6826 8338. Cantonese restaurant enjoying phenomenal views of the city and harbour. Lunch: Mon to Fri 12 Noon to 2.30pm. Sat & Sun 11.30am to 2.30pm (incl Public Holidays) A La Carte Buffet Brunch. Dinner: Daily 6.30pm to 10pm.

10 Ways to Control and Conquer Stress

  1. Run Fast

Bike hard. Punch the heavy bag. And we don’t mean your mother-in-law. A University of Missouri at Columbia study found that 33 minutes of high-intensity exercise helps lower stress levels more than working out at a moderate pace. What’s more, the benefits last as long as 90 minutes afterward.

  1. Listen to Music at Work

And make it the blandest playlist you can create. According to a study at Pennsylvania’s Wilkes University, Muzak lowers your stress levels at work, while also reducing the risk of the common cold. We knew Celine Dion had a purpose.

 3. Drink more OJ

Researchers at the University of Alabama fed rats 200 milligrams of vitamin C twice a day and found that it nearly stopped the secretion of stress hormones. If it relaxes a rat, why not you? Two 8-ounce glasses of orange juice daily gives you the vitamin C you need.

  1. Shake it Out

When you’re facing that big-money putt, shake out your fingers, relieving the tension in your forearms, hands, and wrists and shifting your focus to the only thing you can control: your preshot routine. You won’t think about making—or missing—the shot, says Alan Goldberg, Ed.D., a sports-psychology consultant in Amherst, Massachusetts.

  1. Shut Up and Smile

Freaking out about a speech? Smile, look at the audience, and keep quiet for 2 seconds, says T.J. Walker, president of Media Training Worldwide. It’ll slow you down and create the impression that you’re relaxed and in control. The audience will then feel more comfortable, leading you to actually be relaxed and in control. Now start talking. Unless you’re a mime. In that case, as you were.

  1. Have Sex

Either with or without a partner. An orgasm releases beta-endorphins, the body’s natural, less punk-rock version of heroin, so you’ll definitely be feeling no pain, says Nuccitelli.

  1. Water a Plant

It’s nurturing, it doesn’t take up much space, and for 10 seconds, the world is not about you, which can be a huge psychological relief, says Elkin.

  1. Make a Schedule

If the boss suddenly dumps a big project on you, try not to say, “I can’t do this. I’m gonna get fired.” (Try particularly not to say this in front of your boss.) Instead, present him with a schedule outlining when things can be done. What was overwhelming is now under control and open to negotiation, says James Blumenthal, Ph.D., a psychologist at Duke University.

  1. Get Out of Debt Denial

Maxed-out MasterCard? Do the no-duh obvious: Meet with a financial planner. According to a Virginia Tech study, those who received credit counseling saw their overall stress level move from “severe” or “overwhelming” to “moderate” or “low” 1 year later.

  1. Go for a Swim

During the day, your legs collect pools of lymphatic fluid, an excess of which can make you uncomfortable and irritable—until you take a dip, says Dr. Liponis. “It squeezes all the lymphatic fluid back into your heart and out through your kidneys,” he says. Think of the post-swim pee as liquid stress leaving your body.

Conversation Starters

Even shy introverted personality types can use these tips to avoid awkward silences on first dates. These tips range from discussing ”the elephant in the corner” to knowing when to “fold ‘em” — and they’ll make your dating life easier and more enjoyable.

Talk about the “elephant in the corner”

If you notice that there seems to be nothing to talk about, then your date is probably noticing the same thing. Talk about that! I use this as a conversation starter regularly: “Isn’t it awkward when you feel like you have nothing to say?” Then you’ll start talking about that – and you’ll both be more relaxed. Try it – it really is an effective first date conversation tip. You’d be surprised at how fun it can make your date!

Keep up with current events

I’m not a big fan of American politics, the war in Iraq, or the Canadian housing economy – but I listen to CBC and scan various news sources so my hubby and I have something to talk about at dinner (because sometimes old married couples need conversation starters, too!). Make small talk about the news, sports, your community, or politics.

Share the highs and lows of your day

Here’s a great “first date conversation starter” that works for any get-together: family meals, first dates, or huge galas. Ask for the highs and lows of the day, and share yours. Did you lose your keys or find $100? Maybe you ate at a new restaurant recently, or found a great new CD. Making small talk is about sharing the little personal things, which is important even after you’ve been married for years.

Comment on a piece of clothing or accessory

Even better, wear a funky brooch, scarf, or necklace. If you’re talking to someone wearing any accessory, ask where it came from or what the significance is. Being observant about people and your surroundings is a great conversation starter for first dates.

Ask questions about what your date says

There’s nothing worse than talking to someone who’s eyes are flitting all over the place. When you’re making small talk, follow up on what your conversation partner is saying. For instance, if they say they’re “doing excellently”, ask why. If they mention that they’re exhausted, follow up on it. This is a good way to make dating fun – and get to know your date better.

Recall your past conversations

Even if it’s a first date, you can highlight what you talked about on the phone as you were setting up the date. Here’s a first date conversation tip that will carry you to second and third dates: file away bits of information, such as  their favorite vacation spots, the tie they were wearing the last time you met them, or where you were the last time you saw them. Then, make sure you ask about those things.

Ask open-ended questions that require an explanation

For instance, “How are you?” isn’t an effective first date conversation starter. Making small talk is easier if you ask “Whatever happened with ‘__________’ “? or “The last time we spoke you said ________. What happened with that?” For more dating conversation tips, read 5 Smart Conversation Starters.

Ask what funny movies or books your date has seen recently

Someone once asked me that at a party –and this is so much more than a first date conversation tip. When I was asked what book I was reading, it felt like contrived conversation – which it was – but then we had a fantastic discussion about the book! Even the obvious conversation starters can be effective, especially for first dates…you’ll never know where it’ll go.

Take deep breaths – dating is more fun if you’re relaxed

Your date (and conversation partner) will pick up on how relaxed – or anxious – you are and will respond in kind. And two nervous people aren’t great at making conversation! So, let your guard down with your first date, business lunch partner, or the stranger at the gala event. If you’re nervous, say so. If your shoes are too tight, say so. Knowing how to make small talk on a first date is about having fun on your date with chit chat.

Know when to fold ‘em – let the conversation die out

If the conversation feels like dragging a piano uphill with cement boots on, then let it go. You can’t connect with everyone, and some conversations simply refuse to take life! Making small talk involves knowing when it’s time to move on – because conversational chemistry is just like personal chemistry. You can’t force it to happen.