Making the switch to a Circles.Life phone plan!

Recently I switched to using Circles.Life, a digital telco in Singapore and thought I’d share my experience with them as well as the steps needed in order to do the switch.

Previously I was using a Starhub prepaid card and didn’t see a need to get a contract plan as I was paying only ~$20 every 30 days for 3.2GB of data and additional talk time/card credit for calls and sms whenever I needed it. Then I switched to Starhub’s SIM only no-contract plan, basically just converting the prepaid card to a postpaid monthly plan that had no contract.

With Starhub, I was paying ~$27 per month for 3GB of data (of which $5 was on caller ID!) but it just wasn’t enough data. I would find myself with only 400MB left and 8 days or more to go before the next cycle reset.

So I decided after two months of being a data miser that enough was enough – I enjoy scrolling instagram and facebook and don’t want to be constrained to not being able to do anything on my hour-long commutes to school. My bf uses Circles.Life and jumped on when they announced their $20 for 20GB add-on so he’s been telling me about how it’s like. I don’t use that much data so I decided to get just the basic plan.

These are the simple steps it took to make the switch:

  1. Sign up for a Circles.Life account on their website

  2. Choose a plan that suits you

  3. Port your number (You can keep your old number!)

  4. Pay the sign-on fee ($38)

  5. Wait for the delivery pack with your new SIM card to arrive

  6. Switch SIM cards once the porting process is done

Really, really simple. If you’re currently on contract, you will need to wait though, so it’s best if you are on a non-contract plan or your contract is ending. They also can’t port prepaid numbers so you’ll need to be on a postpaid plan (which is simply done by going down to your provider and doing the switch + paying a one time SIM card activation fee), or buy a new number.

When I signed up there was a DBS customers promo so I got $20 off the sign-on fee and an extra 1GB on my plan for 12 months when I paid the sign-on fee via a DBS card! If you have a friend on Circles, you can use their referral code to get $20 off the sign on fee and help them get some extra data (mine is 4BEAN, btw!).

The whole process was reaaaally fast. I applied on 4 Feb (Sun) and received my Welcome Pack on 6 Feb (Tues). My number was ported on 8 Feb at midnight and I switched the SIM cards and have been on Circles ever since! It took under a week for the process to complete!

Note: For the Welcome Pack, you need to be at home to collect it as they need to verify your ID. If you can’t be at home at the timing of choice, you can choose to deliver to your office or authorise someone to collect and verify on your behalf.

They also send a lot of timely reminders which was really good.

Other than emails, I got SMS reminders as well that my delivery was otw or on the status of the number porting. Loved it! So efficient and communicative.


Well, sometimes the mobile data speeds aren’t the fastest but this is generally very minimal and it wasn’t like my Starhub plan didn’t have areas where the reception was pretty patchy and slow. So it’s not very much different imo.

The Circles.Care app is great – download it and you can manage everything. From your bill to add ons, to how much data you have left. I love love love the interface and how easy it is to use, especially when compared with the clunky Starhub mobile app. Also, on Circles, I can add more data should I need it each month, while on Starhub I couldn’t do that.

I’m currently paying $30 per month, and this is what I’m getting:

7GB of mobile data
– 4GB base data
– 2GB port-in bonus
– 1GB DBS promo bonus (for 12 months)

100minutes free talk time

Free incoming calls (for $2/month)

Caller Number Display

Unlimited Whatsapp (exclude video calls)

I think it’s a pretty good deal! I barely SMS anyone and if I need to, it’s $0.05 per SMS and all incoming SMSes are free. I added free incoming calls since that’s the bulk of my talk time anyway, and it’s only $2 extra per month.

Compared to the $27 I was paying Starhub each month, for $3 more I get twice the amount of data so I’m really quite happy. I don’t have to worry about using Instagram or Facebook so much now haha.

I’ll probably update this post in a couple months after I’ve used Circles to update on my experiences with data speed etc.

Also I must disclaimer and state I’m really not sponsored to write anything about Circles ok, nowadays bloggers really must clarify and be clear on all of this haha.

If you’re thinking of switching to Circles.Life, use my referral code 4BEAN to get $20 off the sign-on fee, and I’ll get an extra 200MB of data!

That would mean I can view more Facebook videos of cute animals HAHAHAHA, plus my code is so cute pls. 4BEAN ok, remember it’s 4BEAN (aka for me since I’m a bean hahaha).


Till the next post,




Plus-Size Stores in Singapore

One big problem I’ve been facing is trying to buy plus size clothes in Singapore that are not from foreign online retailers like asos or from Western chain stores (some of which don’t stock anything larger than a UK12/EU 42 here). Also, online shopping kinda sucks sometimes – clothes never fit the way you think it will but there’s no other choice because it’s so difficult to find actual physical stores to try clothes on!

So here’s a list of some stores in Singapore you can walk into and actually try clothes on. I’ve also included local online plus size stores because some of them have ‘Fitting Sessions’ on weekends where you can go down and try on the clothes, and then because the list of stores is just so few, some are local online stores that do not (yet?) have fitting sessions.

If you know any stores that I’ve missed out let me know and I’ll update the list!

Last updated: 4 Feb 2018

1. The Curve Cult

I’ve blogged about them before (here) and quite a few of my favourite closet items have been from this store. It’s a real pity I haven’t had the $$ to purchase clothes at all recently cause they’re always posting pics of the collection they have in store! You can purchase online as well by messaging them on FB and the owners are really nice 🙂

A mix of all sorts of clothes now – they’ve been expanding the variety and range of clothes they have in store so I’m sure you can find something to suit you. They post often on Facebook and Instastory on their in-stock items & upcoming pieces!

Size Range: UK14 – UK26
Price Range: $, average $38 per piece
Address: #05-126a, Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213
Facebook Page:

2. Love.PrettyPlus+

Haven’t actually purchased from them before, but saw their pop up at Artbox! They do fittings in various places which changes each week so even though they don’t have a physical store, you can head down to try. Clothes seem to be a mix of work attire and also nice casual/date outfit pieces (lots of prints and florals). To be honest, I’m currently a reaaaaally broke student and can’t shell out the $40 or so per piece on clothes but maybe when I have more disposable income (or they have sales) I’ll give them a try.

They seem to do Facebook live streams and have flash sales on them but I’ve never been able to catch one, unfortunately.

Size Range: UK14 – UK20
Price Range: $, average $40 per piece
Address: Fitting Sessions location varies week to week, check their Facebook
Facebook Page:

3. Kaylene

They sell a lot of work attire and pieces for the modern working woman, and not really for my age range so I haven’t bought anything. Their reviews on Facebook seem to be really good so worth a trip down if you’re looking for elegant pieces or things to fit your wardrobe!

Size Range: UK14 – UK26
Price Range: $$$, average $70 (? they don’t really list their prices on their online pages which is really annoying)
Address: 38A Seah Street, 2nd Storey, Singapore 188394
Facebook Page:

4. Princessa’s Closet

Their page popped up on my Facebook feed one day and it looks like they sell a lot of Korean fashion inspired pieces. It’s a mix of casual and girly pieces.

UPDATE: I went to their store on 2 Feb 2018 and bought 2 pieces – a top and a dress. They had a variety of bottoms, dresses and tops, of a mix of styles. Some were too plain and mature for me, but they also had many printed items in floral and stripes. Quite a good variety and seems to be a decent price. They gave 10% off on all purchases too.

Size Range: UK14 – UK24
Price Range: $ ~$38 average per piece (based on personal experience; They don’t list their prices on their FB page and their website is not updated)
Address: JCUBE, 2 Jurong East Central #02-96, Singapore 609731 and 810 Geylang Road, City Plaza, #03-119, Singapore 409286
Facebook Page:

5. Hue

I walked into their outlet in Far East Plaza cause their sign said they had large sizes and got bombarded by the saleswoman with clothes to try. I think I tried like 20 pieces that day and got so damn overwhelmed I just wanted her to stop throwing more clothes at me to try, hahaha. I ended up getting 5 pieces (3 bottoms, 2 tops) for $200+ or so after some haggling and getting some membership card. The prices of each piece tend to be closer to $50 each, one top I tried on was $70 (!?) and on my tiny student wallet, I immediately took that out of my bag.

The clothes are generally for OLs/work attire and I bought from them mainly to supplement the tiny section of work attire I have. Quality is not bad. Sales staff a bit pushy for my liking, though. Supposedly they have up to XXXXXL but when I was there the largest size for most of what I tried on was XXL.

Was added to a Whatsapp group chat where they post pictures of new arrivals, which can be a bit of spam at times (so I’ve just muted it).

Size Range: up to XXXL (UK16/smaller UK18 imo)
Price Range: $$, average $50 per piece
Address: Nex, Far East Plaza, JCube (and more?)
Facebook Page:

6. Voycestas Plus 

The only reason I haven’t bought anything yet is because their stuff is pricey. At an average of $50 per piece (usually closer to $60), it’s really out of my currently very small budget, haha. I do really like their collections though – mostly print rompers, florals, block prints etc

Size Range: UK12 – UK20
Price Range: $$, average $50 per piece
Address: No physical store, but fittings available (Sengkang/Yishun) and they sometimes have pop up stores
Facebook Page:

7. Kae Hana+

Kae Hana + is an independent Singapore plus size fashion label. They design in-house and manufacture locally, which makes the higher prices understandable. Their pieces are edgy and bold, but they also have staples that can mix and match and fit your wardrobe.

Size Range: UK16 – UK20
Price Range: $$$, average $70 per piece
Address: No physical store
Facebook Page:

8. 1214Alley

I guess the name implies they stock mainly UK12/UK14 apparel and the size range is really quite small and even at their largest UK16 size…I can’t really fit into a lot of their clothes cause the PTP is too small. They do have nice clothes though, very classy and elegant, but pity about the sizing. Their more popular pieces sell out quite fast.

Size Range: UK10 – UK16
Price Range: $$, average $45 per piece
Address: No physical store

9. Marshmallow Plus Parade

Just found out about this one when writing this article because they followed me on Instagram. It seems they have customised fitting sessions (at your home) but it is not free (?). Still relatively new but it looks like they have a mix of basics to cute, bright print pieces and sweet dresses.

Size Range: UK16 – UK26
Price Range: $, $25 and up
Address: No physical store, in 2018 seems to have started offering fitting sessions at Kembangan


The store sells very simple and classy pieces perfect for work, but they sell out quite fast.

Size Range: UK12-20
Price Range: $, $35 and up
Address: No physical store, fitting sessions available

Studying in KGU FAQ #3: International Residence II Dorm Part 2 + Other Accommodation

Hello! Following PART 1 about the KGU Dorm available, I got some questions about it/the area/dorms in general so I’ve compiled it into a Part 2!

READ MORE: All posts about Studying in Japan

1) Is Takarazuka a city or a neighborhood in Nishinomiya? From what I could understand from your post, KGU is quite far from there. Is it the only international dorm available?

Takarazuka is a city. Nishinomiya is also a city. They are both quite near the school, but Nishinomiya is the city that the school’s Uegahara campus is on (aka the campus foreign exchange students will be going to). KGU is about 40minutes from Takarazuka including walking time. The train ride is only about 20minutes or so. When I left, there were two student dorms in Takarazuka (one was torn down and rebuilt sometime this year though, if I remember correctly), a possible apartment in Niigawa (walking distance to the school, you will be sharing the apartment with other students), a non-school run dorm in Kobe (Hyogo International Students Dorm I think but it is much further from
KGU than the Takarazuka dorms). There are also apartments available for rent from the school (International Residence III) but these are subject to availability.

The possible accommodation options will be sent to you by the school, and you are to choose which one you prefer. The available options differ each year, so what I’ve mentioned above may not be the same things offered to you when you apply. Homestay is also an option, but I suppose if you’re reading this post you are probably not choosing to do homestay.

2) Is it typical in Japan to have dorms with bills excluded from the fee?

Yes in Japan the rent and utilities is usually separated. There might be places that have an all in fee, but so far what I’ve encountered and based on personal + friends experiences, it’s separate.

3) In order to commute from the dorm to the KGU, did you need a JR Pass?

I used the Hankyu Line (Hankyu Takarazuka to Hankyu Niigawa or Kotoen) and used a monthly Commuter Pass that can be bought from the station which makes it very cheap and you can have unlimited entry to any stations between your home station and your destination. Eg you can use it to get off at any stop between Hankyu Takarazuka and Hankyu Niigawa. Note that Hankyu Commuter Pass can only be used on Hankyu lines. Exchange students will be briefed on how to buy the Commuter Pass by the school. Subsequently when I needed to buy a new pass, you can do so by filling in a form and purchasing it from the Train Station. Either from the office or a dedicated Commuter Pass counter (like in Hankyu Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station).

JR pass is not needed as the train station nearest to KGU is Hankyu line.

Note: The commuter passes are all company specific – eg JR Pass cannot be used on Hankyu lines and Hankyu Pass cannot be used on JR Lines. HOWEVER, Icoca (or Suica etc)/Passmo cards where you top up money and tap in and out of the station CAN be used ACROSS lines, including on the subway (chikatetsu) as well.

4) Did KGU support you in the accommodation finding process? I’ve read that they helped you in looking for dorms, but did they help you with the application and stuff like that or was it all up to you?

The school basically tells you the accommodation options they can provide (and also dorms/places they work with to house their students in. Or you can choose homestay) and you let them know what you want. If successful, you get your first choice. You can also search for alternative accommodation outside of what the school offers but you are on your own for the most part if you choose to do that.

When I had to move out of the dorm (Residence II has a 1 year maximum stay limit), the school told me I could either go to a real estate agent myself and find my own apartment (and provided a brochure + recommended the one near school, but also said it would be best to bring a friend who was fluent/native in Japanese) or they had another place available which I could move into. I eventually chose to move into their International Residence III since it was hassle free (no key money, deposit etc) and I would just pay the bills to the school directly. I also know students who moved out from Residence II into a different student dorm. I am not sure if the school helped with the application, but if you ask the CIEC staff they can point you in the right direction.

5) I read that the curfew is at 23:00, does this mean I cannot enter after that time?

The curfew is there but if you return home after 23:00, the side gate will still be open. There is a code to enter the dorm door so you can still enter after 23:00 but you just have to make sure you are quiet. I’ve gotten back past the curfew time quite a lot (especially if I’m working a late part time shift) and there haven’t been any issues. Unless for some reason they change things this year, but probably not.

6) How about traveling around? Is it fine to stay away from the dormitory if we visit another city for a weekend or for a few weeks in the holidays?

If you will be traveling/away for a few days from the dorm, you have to fill in a form and submit it to the dorm manager. You can get the form from the dorm manager and if I’m not wrong exchange students will need someone from the school (CIEC) to sign off on it. It’s to make sure they know your whereabouts and I’m not too sure if you need to fill it in during the holidays. It’s also really common for exchange students to travel during the holidays so there shouldn’t be any issues about that at all.


Finally, do join the KGU Ryugakusei (Exchange Students) Facebook Group to chat with previous exchange students, fellow new exchange students and other full time foreign students! There are part-time job postings once in a while and opportunities to attend events all posted there.

I hope these answers help clarify any doubts or worries you may have when coming to Japan and studying in KGU 🙂

Till the next post,

Learn Flower Hacks and Basic Floristry at A Better Florist’s Flower Jamming Session


Guess what came to surprise me at the office today?????????

It’s the Spring Breeze bouquet from A Better Florist 🙂

A Better Florist Spring Breeze 3

Don’t mind my messy office table, oops. The bouquet is a really pretty mix of pastels and comes in a mason jar so I can easily display it at home without having to scramble around for a jar (which I don’t have oops).

Such a pity that they don’t deliver past 6pm though, cause I had to protect it in the peak hour MRT crowd. But I still managed to get it home okay!

A Better Florist Spring Breeze Bouquet 2

Can you spot the cute pug? :3

Flower bouquets and fresh cut flowers are no longer just luxury purchases or limited to special occasions. They are now slowly being incorporated into interior designs and apartment living.  The good thing is there are lots of online florists in Singapore that makes getting flowers to brighten up your house even easier by catering to all your floral needs. There are also floral subscriptions, where you can get quality and in season flowers at affordable prices. Fresh flowers and succulents can lend a sense of the lush outdoors in our increasingly tech-saturated and artificial environment. Always good to have a nice pop of colour in our rooms!

A Better Florist Spring Breeze Bouquet

The bouquet on my table at home 🙂 Doesn’t it my desk look a little brighter?

You know sometimes flowers can seem very generic? Even Cold Storage sells bouquets but you can kind of tell that they are somewhat bland and very typical. So why not learn floristry hacks and professional flower arrangement so you can personalise bouquets for your loved ones!

The renewed interest in the flower industry has forced old-fashioned brick and mortar flower shops to keep up with the times not only in terms of cost but also the overall presentation and packaging. Up your floral game by learning the basics in floristry, including modern floral arrangements and flower care.

And you can do just that with FLOWER JAM SESSIONS!!

A Better Florist is opening its doors every Saturday for its weekly Flower Jam Session. Whether you’re looking for fun date activities, quality time with the family or searching for a new hobby—they’ve got you covered. This week’s jam session will focus on succulents and Australian wild flowers. The plump and hardy succulents are excellent alternatives to the usual filler flowers for their interesting texture and appearance.

By participating in their flower jam sessions, even cheap flowers can be transformed into classy décor and luxurious bouquets. Sounds like a perfect fun session for friends to learn from their talented team of florists on how to bring more beauty and more joy into this world. They have a special rate of only $40 per person (for the first 3 sign-ups).

So do think of signing up for the sessions. You can bring home the flowers you arrange/make yourself! Sign up here or contact Kate at to secure your slots.

In the meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy looking at the flowers every morning before I go to work and every night when I get home.

Thanks A Better Florist!

Till next time,

How to get a Scholarship to a Japanese University

The two main questions I get asked are “Why did you choose to study in Japan?” and “How did you get your scholarship/how to apply to a Japanese university?”. Since I’ve already somewhat written about the former, this post is going to address the latter question because I get it a lot and it’s easier to have a simple post explaining how I did it, and how anyone can do it.

Applying to a Japanese University is no different from applying to any university.

All the basic steps are the same:

Submit the application for which you’ll need your academic transcripts (certified true copies), at least one referral letter from a teacher and you might need to submit a personal essay and proof of financial support as well.

If you’re applying for a SCHOLARSHIP DIRECTLY TO A CERTAIN UNIVERSITY (versus just applying to enter the university), the steps are also essentially the same except you might have to fill in extra forms and go through extra interview rounds, or even some exams depending on the scholarship itself.

It is the same (tedious) method of applying to any school anywhere in the world and personally I wouldn’t say it is more or any less difficult except that you may have a lack of information regarding what scholarships are out there, what schools there are you can apply to and how to go about doing it.

Japanese universities that accept foreign students (aka most of well-known ones as well as universities on the Global 30 program) accept the local qualifications used in your country to enter a university in lieu of taking an entrance exam. For example, they accept an A level certificate or SATs so you do not have to take their entrance exam.

This may not apply to all universities, so please check their website. My university accepted my A level results.

You also need to make sure if the courses are taught in English or in Japanese, and you’ll need some form of certification for the latter (eg. JLPT) to prove you can and will be able to keep up. If not, you could also try taking a course at a Japanese language school in Japan and then applying to a university after completing their course. A few foreign students in my university took that route (both for the English-based and Japanese-based courses).


I found out about scholarships to universities all over the world thanks to the Higher Education Department in my JC. They emailed us whenever they got any info, and have a whole database, so start there. Ask your school teachers, find out if schools are coming to give talks. Waseda and Todai came to my JC to present their programs and the former was there to offer scholarships (a reduced tuition fee) to students nominated directly by the school.

You can also check out


(Japanese University Graduates Association of Singapore) for scholarships available annually specifically for Singaporeans.

They helped me, and many other students get our scholarships. I applied through them and underwent the first round of interviews with them before the university interviewed me. They paid the application fee + mailed documents to the universities.

JUGAS is also a support group for anyone wanting to study in Japan and all local graduates who later come back to Singapore after graduating. They hold workshops and activities and also do the information session for probably the most prestigious and highly sought after scholarship of all time – the Monbukagakusho (MEXT) Scholarship. This isn’t just for Singaporeans – it’s offered by the Japanese government and open to citizens of quite a few countries so if you’re interested, check if it’s available for your country.

You’ll need to go through a selection process that involves taking some exams for MEXT, but it covers all your tuition and gives you a monthly allowance. You’ll be studying 5 years (1 year in a Japanese language school then 4 years in the Japanese university) There are quite a few blogs by people who are on MEXT so you can check them out! Do note that MEXT is for PUBLIC universities, not private.

Another option is to check out  JASSO – Japan Student Services Organization.

This isn’t just for Singaporeans, they have offices in a few countries and compile the available scholarships for foreign students. In Japan, I could get a copy of the pamphlet with all the info available mailed to my address. Not too sure if this is available in Singapore though.

And if you’re wondering if you should study in Japan…..

READ: My experiences studying in a Japanese University (Classes, Life Lessons, Dorm etc), Cost of Living in Japan as a Student

kgu entrance ceremony

First day of school…..and then my last day of school:

hakama kgu graduation

It was a pretty damn good 4 years and for everyone who wants to take the plunge and study in Japan, I hope this post helped shed some light and provide some information on what you can do and how to apply for a scholarship! Not everyone has the chaching chaching to afford the pricey tuition and accommodation.


Till the next post,


Hi, I’m not dead!

2017 has been nothing short of crazy thus far – I’ve been silent on this blog since November because I just didn’t have anything I wanted to write about. My heart wasn’t in it, my head wasn’t in it and emotionally 2016 was quite terrible. 2017, I hoped, would be a much better year, and it is.

That’s not to say a lot hasn’t happened in order to get to where I am now. And then from ‘nothing to write about’ life got a little bit crazy and this blog of mine got put on the back burner.

I’m in a much better place now – happier, better clarity of mind and it’s kind of like forcing myself into this situation is helping me progress towards my goals and generally getting my life on track.


I started grad school in January and while I’m still quite lost, I’m less lost than when I first walked onto campus and attended my first class. I have one exam and some TA duties to settle before my first semester is over. Time is passing by really fast, and it feels like longer than the four (almost five, now) months that have passed.

I am getting older. There are so many implications in that statement.

I am learning what it means to get older, what it means being in my twenties, what it means to be human.

There is so much to learn.

I really have missed writing, especially when I read someone else’s blog – I love having a place where I can look back and read my memories immortalized in words. There are just some things that need to be written about, some memories that shouldn’t be left slowly fading away in my mind.

So many things have happened in 2017, will be happening in 2017.

And I am not alone in this.

Cheers to a great 8 more months ahead!

Till next time,

New (Overdue) Vlogs!

I finally stopped procrastinating and posted up two new vlogs on my YouTube Channel! Finally after six months of inactivity. I still haven’t edited the rest of the footage (plus years old footage) which hopefully I’ll get to sometime in this century.

This first one is of GRADUATION DAY!! I made a brief blog post about it (and the hakama) but the video was small snippets of the day itself. It was really quite hectic and I barely managed to meet all the friends I wanted to because it was the only day I had to print all the copies of my academic certs I needed from the machine in school that had a line snaking all the way outside of the school building.

It was also equally awkward because my Thesis Advisor/Seminar Tutor was overseas so I had to crash another Seminar so I could get my certificate. I had to sit in and listen to weepy graduates share their fondest moment in school with the rest of the group while I was awkwardly in the corner hoping to grab my things and RUN (also I knew the people in the room but more on an acquaintance level so really it was no place for me to hear all these weepy nostalgic anecdotes).

BUT YES it was indeed a fun day! I don’t really think it needs its own blog post any more but who knows.

Second vlog is of our one day in Nagoya which basically we did nothing but go to the castle due to Travel Fatigue. Travelling and moving all the heavy luggage to another place is no joke. Plus it was actually the second time we moved. Previously stayed in Osaka, then up to Kyoto then Nagoya before we moved to Tokyo. VERY TIRING.

Nagoya castle was nice! The bushotai/edo period warlord stage play? thing was cool, we didn’t go in and watch but did see the parade on grounds and their demachi which was CRAZY. Those fans man, those fans.

Had some awesome peppery chicken wings which were great.

So yeah, just a realllllly quick update on the new vlogs I finally got up!

I really miss Japan but I need to be back in Singapore plus I’m starting the new chapter in my life in January so….things are happening!!

Till next time,