Totally Pimped Out 3-room HDB Smart Home [Overview]

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Woohoo! My first, ever, commissioned Feng Shui Drawing – modelled after the one Li Ka Shing has in his office, albeit a little more cartoonish…

Finally, I got to put aside some time to write an overview of my full-blown smart home. By a full-blown Smart Home, I literally mean everything top-down.. even the toilet bowls! (.. and not just one room or merely an area or space in the apartment).

Also, this is probably, the only 3-room HDB apartment you’ll find that is totally pimped-out with smart home devices at this point. Everything was designed from scratch, down to the electrical cabling and wall-hacking placements.

I’m still adding in stuff at various parts of the apartment, but there’re simply way too many people are asking about various components and features – so I figured why not start with the overview of what I have now! 😊

Here’s what this series of posts will be broken into;

✓ Smart Stuff: Gadgets, Devices, Fixtures & Setup
✓ Carpentry: You don’t need an ID if you know what you want.
✓ Internet & Security: Planning connectivity for a huge number of smart devices
✓ Taobao: Yes! Everything from small things like decorative pieces, to a 3-seater sofa, to even flooring for the entire house (..and a $6000 washing machine!?)

Ok, let’s get started, then:

Our mini collection of BE@RBRICKS posing atop 2 Google Home Max devices. Because, the “Mini” doesn’t sound good enough.

Let me say this first:

I bet you’ve never seen these many smart devices installed in a single HDB apartment before.

1. For Voice Control, Multi-room Audio, and basically, Assistance

8 Google Home devices in total, consisting of:
3 x Google Home, 3 x Google Home Mini, 2 x Google Home Max

This basically means the entire apartment is blanketed with Google Home devices, even in each washroom!

I mean, there’s absolutely a need for you to control your home while you’re doing your…. you know… right?

2. Every Switch is a Smart Switch

At last count, there are about 16 Smart Power Switches which we painstakingly got the electrician to re-wire to introduce a neutral wire. This was done so that every switch in the house would be remotely controllable via Z-wave.

It’s a mix of both single and double switches, all with tactile feedback so that when you press the button, you actually know it is being pressed. The models we actually used eventually was TKBHome‘s TZ36S and TZ37.

I’ll go into a bit more detail about the selection criteria for this part in a later post, too.

3. Sensors Overkill

Well, this wasn’t as overkill as the rest of the stuff above, but there’s a total of 12 sensors installed.

4 x Z-wave Motion (+ Temperature/Light/Movement) Sensors
1 x Water Sensor
4 x Door Open/Close Sensors
2 x Human Arrival Sensor Tags
1 x Smoke Sensor

The sensors came from a variety of vendors as we wanted to test out the feedback and response time from each device to determine which to get more of, but it seems the choice turned out pretty clear cut after a while…

The hub I eventually used was the Samsung SmartThings Hub v2. This hub supports Z-wave and Zigbee, and has a wide variety of integration points as well. Oh, and remember to get the UK-version, not the US one.

4. (Almost) Everything is Controllable via Mobile Phone & Voice

Almost all plug sockets, TV’s, water dispenser, aircon, heater, washing machine, robot vacuum, blinds, etc – everything is essentially able to be controlled via my mobile phone, or by voice.

I’ve actually intentionally provisioned a separate system for the door locking system of the house, for security reasons, but let’s discuss that in a later post.

..and all these are squeezed into a

67 sqm, 3-room HDB apartment

with all walls (legally-possible) torn down.

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Whitening Supplements [IDS Lyco-White / Gluta Pancea]

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Brows: Etude House Drawing Eyebrow Duo, Eyes: Urban Decay Naked Heat palette, Cheeks: 3CE #Peach Crush, Lips: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

I’m naturally tanned (as you can probably tell by now) which is a total opposite from my mum. Over the years, I’ve tried quite a number of whitening skincare products. Some of them actually do work, but I soon realised that they introduced different skin tones between my face and body. *gasp*

I’ve tried whitening body lotion too, but it doesn’t work as well. You might wonder why didn’t I use those whitening skincare products that were meant for face, on my body too?

Duh. You think I’m Jamie Chua or Datok meh? 🤷🏻‍♀️

I wish I could print earn money that fast too. Not forgetting the amount of effort needed to applying on all over (bigger surface areasssss get it?). 💰🌲

Every morning I pop just a couple before my breakfast! 🍽

So I turned to supplements. 💊

The rationale was instead of applying products merely on the surface of my skin,  supplements work inside-out rather than vice-versa (if it works lah)? Moreover, it’s definitely faster and less clumsy in application as compared to external products.

I did my research by comparing the top recommended brands online and in this day and age, who could forget the “digital word-of-mouth”. I then shortlisted the candidates to these 2 brands – IDS Lyco-White (local Singapore brand) and Gluta Pancea (product of Thailand).

 

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Experience Deep Cleansing with Origins x Sephora

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Ever since I recovered from the massive outbreak, I have been extra cautious about the products I use. However, that doesn’t stop me from looking out for good products that will keep nightmares at bay or even better, improve my complexion.

That said, I got my hands on a few Origins products from Sephora Singapore a while ago added to my beauty regime – Of course, as usual, I’m working towards a much clearer skin and here I’m giving my review!

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Best Massage Places In Johor Bahru, Malaysia [Updated June 2017]

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Massage is something that I totally couldn’t appreciate when I was “young”. It’s soooo ticklish~~ I ended up enduring my giggles until I burst into laugher, influencing the masseuse too. Then, I started Events & Modelling on a full time basis, with long hours on killer heels – especially those 5″ stilettos during tradeshows, runways, etc. ?

Your back becomes so sore, and your feet become so numb until you can’t feel them anymore. FML seriously. 真的会死人 aka really can die. ?

That’s when I started my massage journey wherever I went. I travelled to Malaysia more frequently starting about a year back, and I started trying out various different massage parlours there too.

Google – like what everyone does nowadays to search for the best massage places in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. From blog reviews to TripAdvisor to random websites, I realised the places were more or less the same. It’s just as if someone went and reviewed the place online, then everyone else just followed and reviewed the same few places over and over again. ?

Don’t get me wrong – Some* of the massage parlours reviews are pretty decent. Some were pretty bad but crazily raved making me doubt those people who wrote the post if they ever had a decent massage in their life.

Most of these places that were highly reviewed had 1 thing in common when I personally tried them – the masseuses skills were not consistent?

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So after trying out what the Internet has to offer, I started exploring random massage places and also by asking the locals – such as coffeeshop aunties, workshop/carwash uncles, etc.

In this post, I will talk about my favourite massage places that I go to frequently in Johor Bahru, Malaysia that is really good. This meant places that I had patronised at least 3 times or more with consistently good service and more importantly, good massage skills. I had enough of lousy massage making more tired and sore than ever.

… Worse still, bruises the next day (Simi sai lo. Pay to suffer). ?

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