The winner of our member of the month in September joined us shortly after we started. Back then, her writing wasn't as refined as it is now. Over the year, she really made the best of her time here to hone her writing abilities.
It was great to see her writing grow along with our site to and she has now become one of our star writers. She's a great example of what you can become if you work hard and set your mind to something.
Shes also super popular on instagram and now regularly models for blogshops on her channel. Here's her interview!
TSL September 2013 Writer of the Month:
Q1: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you're doing at the moment in life.
I'm currently studying under the 6 year Integrated Programme at National Junior College and am going to enter Year 2 of JC next year! Can't wait for my A levels to be here (am I kidding myself) so I can move on to my next chapter in life.
JC life is, to be honest, hard. Not gonna lie, but damn, the workload is pretty heavy. I used to think that JC wouldn't be that tough because we have so much lesser subjects to do as compared to Secondary School but boy, was I wrong. Things actually started to become challenging from year 3 of the 6 yr programme onwards. No more of the honeymoon period we had during the first two years.
Because of my passion in photography, I took up a photog CCA this year, after leaving the Guitar Ensemble which I was in for the past 4 years. Even though it's been a long 4 years but forget the guitar, give me a piano anytime.
I like how photography allows the person behind the camera to explore different angles and express their thoughts and feelings through pictures and in any creative direction they want. I saw this quote in a mag and thought it really hit the right notes:
"What I like about photography is crystallizing moments that you would not be able to otherwise see. It is the act of freezing or containing a very pregnant intention in one visual that really appeals to me."
Averlynn and fellow TSL writers on our media trip to Legoland Waterpark, Malaysia.
Q2: I noticed you love checking our all the new cafes in Singapore, so this is going to be hard. Name your top 3 cafes in Singapore and the reasons why.
Haha yes, cafe hopping is one of my favorite past-times. Also the idea of being able to grab a mag or book and spend a quiet afternoon hidden in a little cafe with a good cuppa joe spells a perfect afternoon for me.
For me, I feel that good cafes are ones that either have bagus ambience or bagus food. (Pardon my Singaporean nature of naturally mixing different languages). Of course if you have both that would be the best. Though service plays a huge part too! So now to my top 3 cafes in Singapore...
#1: I would have to say Baker & Cook. (TSL reviews)
I just have this liking and inclination for continuous visits to Baker & Cook. By far, it is my most visited cafe clocking more than 15 visits. I remembered being ever so ecstatic when I knew that Global Baker Dean Brettschneider was going to open his flagship store near my school. (that means convenient hangouts and impromptu lunches!) I can confidently say that I have tried about 70% of what they offer there, from their breads, cakes, pies, tarts to their hot menu.
The cozy environment and friendly atmosphere are some of the factors which draw me back. When I'm there, I always feel like I'm on a vacay in a European country even though its not true (still stuck in Singapore and having to go back to school the next day) but give me a break, I need my time to day-dream about flowers and high teas and shopping in those gorgeous open-air english markets.
#2: Here comes the hard part... well maybe Dean & Deluca? (TSL reviews)
Even though prices are on the pricey side, their portions are huge. What I like about them (not the ambience definitely, this place has no ambience to speak of) is that they sell breads, pastries and sweets from many different cafes and bakeries across the island (Maison Kayser, Baker & Cook etc). In a sense it's a one-stop shop if you want to get stuff across different bakeries.
Their coffees however, are cheaper than other cafes imo, because for the same price they come in a huge paper cup unlike some other places.
#3 Tiong Bahru Bakery (TSL reviews)
It was love at first bite with their croissants and their all-famous, now price-increased Kouign Amann. Basically it's croissant dough folded with loads, I mean LOADS of butter and sugar. I tried recreating it at home before and my, the amount of sugar and butter added on already-folded-with-butter croissant dough is astounding. Hope I didn't scare any of you KA fans.
I'm not really a fan of normal croissants because I feel that they're too airy for me but TBB uses a different pastry recipe, one which has more bite and is 'peel-able', that's why I never fail to go back for more. It's subjective though.
Averlynn modeling for blogshop concept Kiss Jane. They are having a fantastic 15% discount for TSL readers here so be sure to read her full visit to their new century square outlet.
Q3: You are so popular on Instagram! Share with us your story and tips!
Thank you! I actually don't really see myself as popular, I feel that Instagram is like an online community whereby people of similar interests communicate, make friends and share happenings with each other via their pictures and I'm fortunate to have others who are interested in my life in pictures which I do my best to snap and edit. :)
I actually started my Instagram account 84 weeks ago (I had to scroll all my 1088 pictures down to find out haha) just for the fun of it since it was gaining popularity and also since I just changed my phone then. Like most of us, I started off with well, pictures not worthy of a second look.
However, I was scrolling through other random users one day and was gaping at their beautiful pictures. I yearned to have a beautiful feed like them. Thus, I began self improving, observing the way others edit and take their photos.
Basically, you observe, think and experiment. Inject your own touch to your photos. People who appreciate your style of photos would then follow you! Also, It is important to have a theme. For example there are some accounts whose posts are generally on a certain topic which can include stuff from food to fashion and scenery. Of course, injections of pictures from other aspects of your life is not a definite no-no.
Now to the most important part: to produce quality pictures. Nobody likes to view blur, out-of-focus, dark, grainy pictures. There are quite a handful of instagrammers who use high-grade cameras to snap their shots, but the iPhone is also capable of doing the job; just do some editing of pictures using convenient and simple photo applications and you should be good to go!
Finally, it's still back to the observe, think and experiment. If you like this particular user's style of pictures and hope to be able to produce pictures of similar style and quality then observe how the user edits his/her pictures, the type of lighting, background and the range of angles, think of how you can incorporate them into your photography (not copy wholesale of course) and finally the fun part and also the part where you learn the most - experiment!
Q4: Share with us your plans for the future. Where are you now in 5 years time?
By then, if I were to successfully graduate from the university and courses of my choice, I would be a fresh grad. I hope to be able to do something I take joy in, while continuing in my other pursuits. I would love to be able to venture into the baking/cafe arena but I'll wait and see where life takes me then.
Averlynn attending Pangdemonium's Rabbit Hole play with TSL.
Q5: Any last shouts you would like to make.
I hope I didn't bore you all out with my lengthy answers and that you all did get something out of it! :) Okay I shouldn't make this any longer so I'll stop here. You can view more of my works on my social media platforms wordpress, instagram, twitter and my smartlocal profile!
Apart from her reviews, I also highly recommend you to check out her latest guide - 5 Must Know All Day Breakfast spots in Singapore and this blog which I enjoyed reading - "They are starving, starving themselves to death."
TSL Member of the Month Hall of Fame: