Dec 15, 2014

17 JW Marriott's Eco Christmas Tree

A long, lonnnNnnng time ago, I worked for a profitable multinational organisation that took ages to approve anything. Oh, the red tape! But Christmas was almost upon us and while the more established offices were having their fun, we were work weary and serious. I decided a little cheer was in order.

So, out I went one evening to hunt for a little tree. I was on a tight budget then. A third of my salary went towards my degree education, the rest to managing household expenses, a car and a home loan. Maggi noodles was my best friend! Even so, I never felt that I was short on anything in life. I have only fond memories of my go-getter days. I felt resilient.

It was a stroke of luck that I stumbled across a store that was selling a 6ft tree for only RM30. I snapped it up along with baubles and all. I cannot forget the excitement that filled the air when my colleagues saw the tree! Then on, we organised gift exchanges and a little party. It was a nice break from office tasks and we got to know each other a little better. 

I never claimed any money for it so the tree went home with me after I left the company. This tree that I speak of is now over a decade old and is the same one I put up yearly in my home, the one I've been blogging about.

As for the company? They finally approved a purchase request for one ;)
Well, enough about my tree! I've gone all nostalgic.

This post is supposed be about another tree that I have been oohing and aahing over. On our (friend and I) walkabout in the heart of Kuala Lumpur the other day, we decided to pop into the JW Marriott Hotel to see what their Christmas tree was like. I'm glad we did because it was really stunning and one of my favourites this year.

Here is JW Marriott's Eco Christmas Tree! And it is accompanied by lighted angels with trumpet in hand.

The JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur Eco Tree

This eco tree is made from recycled materials. Can you see the old magazines and mineral bottles? The Santa pieces are made from paper mache decorated by the hotel's employees.

Paper mache Santas by the staff of JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

Beautiful tree and it's nice that so many people were involved in making it. I love how this tree makes me feel - warm and fuzzy in the heart!

Dec 9, 2014

20 The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2014

It's happening NOW! My previous adventures here and here. As you can see, I am no newbie to The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale (BBW). I did mention in my previous blog post that I wasn't doing any holiday shopping because I wanted to save all my money for this sale. Well, this is it - check out my purchases.

My BBW Book Stash
And if you want tips, I say choose to go on a week day or early Sunday morning. Take a day off if you have to. This isn't just any sale. It's The Amazing Spider-man Big Bad Wolf!

My other advice? Bring a trolley bag because you WILL get carried away. You can choose to use the boxes provided by BBW to help you with the books, but unless you have strong arms, you're not going to get very far.

You can, however, leave your unpaid stash at the storage counter while you continue your book browsing.

Boxes!
And my final tip - Bring extra cash.

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning last Sunday just to get to the sale by 7am. There was ample parking space and it wasn't too crowded yet.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale In The Early Morning

The best part? No long queues at the cashier.

BBW Cashiers Taking A Break

I make it a point to leave by 11-ish. That's when it begins to get crowded. My visit to the BBW has always been peaceful and pleasant. You are looking at a pro. Hehe.

Check out some of the books I saw at the cookery corner.

BBW Cookery

I bet you recognise some of these chefs! Priced between RM15 to RM30, these books are a steal, I say.

BBW Cook Books

The Big Bad Wolf gives out bookmarks to good customers - one at the cashier when payment is made and another for filling up a survey form.

BBW Bookmarks

These cute button badges cost RM10 per pack. I wanted it but was torn between spending it on books or badges. I let the badges go.

BBW Button Badges

If you need any assistance, don't hesitate to howl, I mean ask. BBW has hired the friendliest peeps to attend to you.

BBW Help

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale ends on 16th Dec 2014. Have I mentioned that it's non-stop? That's right, you can shop at 3am if you like. It doesn't close for the day.
Location : MIECC, The Mines

Go and be wow-ed.

Dec 6, 2014

8 Christmas at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

A day out in the big city. Two girls, window shopping. That was our goal...plus a small spending budget.

"It would be folly to 'squander' our savings on a festive whim," so I thought to myself in the seriousness of a puppy chewing on her treats. The truth is, I really wanted to save every penny for a big book sale we were heading to this weekend. Well, we certainly made good on keeping our hands off our wallets!

Did we have a great day then? I describe it as magical. We were consumed by the holiday spirit - this, after seeing a beautiful Christmas tree outside a small boutique hotel. I haven't figured out what exactly it was that hit us, but we zipped through several malls snapping photos of every Christmas tree we saw.

These are just the ones I took at Pavilion, which in my personal opinion, was out-of-this-world enchanting.

Christmas at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

Left corner of the Christmas Santa at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

An overall picture of the Christmas decor at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

More Christmas trees at the entrance of Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

The night scene - Christmas at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

Although exhausted, we couldn't resist walking back to Pavilion to see how the trees would look like at night. We were surprised with a musical light show. This is a short video of it. Happens at 8PM ;)




On a side note,  Crabtree & Evelyn is giving out a mystery gift! Snap a photo of yourself at their store or Christmas booth, using the props provided. Upload the photo into Crabtree & Evelyn's 'Festive Joy Wishes' app on Facebook. Show this to the cashier to claim the gift. We did this on the spot via our mobile phone and were both rewarded with a tube of hand lotion. 

In case anyone's interested, Crabtree & Evelyn's Christmas booth is located near the main entrance of Pavilion. 

Crabtree & Evelyn Mystery Gift!

Looks like we didn't go home empty handed after all ;)

All in, we covered seven malls! Sticky with sweat and in need of a bath, badly. Exercise? Bah, pretty sure this counts as enough. I'm feeling healthier already.

Dec 3, 2014

10 Journey Into The Chocolate Museum

When it comes to museums, I try to be as enthusiastic as I can. The truth is, without good company and unless 'very' interesting, there's a good chance that I will start snoring in broad daylight. I'm exaggerating, of course.

The Chocolate Museum by Fidani is a place I'd been pestering my other half to visit for a long time. Chocolate, being the key to my enthusiasm. I finally convinced a girlfriend to go with me, but had no idea how to get there.

My hubby volunteered one Sunday. "I'll show you where it is so you can drive there on your own," he said.

When we arrived, it just seemed ridiculous not to take a look around since we were already there and it was open. Thus begins our chocolate adventure.

Chocolate Museum

Here I am inside the chocolate museum. We were free to roam on our own.

At the entrance of the Chocolate Museum

The journey begins with a history on cocoa and then chocolates, and their creators.

Chocolate History

This is a conching machine. It was invented by Swiss chocolatier Rudolphe Lindt. It is used to help develop a smoother texture for chocolate.

Conche

The chocolate kitchen (picture below) is equipped with the latest chocolate-making machinery. If you come at the right time, you will be able to see chocolatiers at work. 

The Chocolate Kitchen

At the end of our tour is the Chocolate Galleria where chocolates are said to be sold 'cheaper than outside'!

Chocolate Galleria

Cheaper? I did some shopping, of course!

When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile ~ Regina Brett

My Chocolate Purchase

That's that on my tour of the chocolate museum. It's a small place, no Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory, but it was good enough for me and a nice way to spend an hour of our time.

The Chocolate Museum, which is located in Kota Damansara, opens daily from 10am to 5pm. Click here for location details.

Nov 27, 2014

14 Popular's All RM5 Book Fiesta

Books at RM5? It's a recipe for getting carried away! I have never not been tempted by anything good that's sold at bargain price, and this has made me adept at sniffing out best buys. I am, however, nowhere near amazing at it though - not like those guys in Extreme Couponing, a TV show that had me in awe.

Anyway, I spent my Sunday morning at Viva Home Shopping Centre. They say the early bird catches the worm and this is exactly how I would describe my experience. I was there before the shutters opened. I grabbed what I wanted in under an hour and marched to the payment counter, free from queue and crowd ;)

Popular's All RM5 Fiesta

The selection for home and cookery books was not as extensive as I had hoped. I guess it's more of a sale to clear old stock. But who's complaining? Not me, for sure. What a great move to make way for new titles to fill the store ... and it's always good that books be made affordable to all.

Popular's All RM5 Fiesta

My Stash

Half of these will be placed under my Christmas tree. Some will be sent to the office. I didn't buy much for myself after all...or did I? Not telling! (Lets be cryptic about this because I'm feeling slightly embarrassed about my lack of self control.)

At Home Admiring My Books

The RM5 Fiesta ends on 30th Nov. There's still time to check it out. ;)

Nov 21, 2014

21 Up Goes My Christmas Tree!

I'm a little early this year. Our radio was switched on to Lite FM. They were playing beautiful love songs from the 80s that night. The mood was so right for an activity-filled night. Hubby and I decided to put the Christmas tree up.

We went with the purple, pink, blue and silver balls. The gift under the tree is from my aunt - it was given to us in September. Yes, funnily early. I have resisted opening it. An 'A' for patience? Well, I don't want to have NO presents to open on Christmas night!

In 2013, I had visualised a tree of gold. But ... I missed the clearance sale for the gold baubles! Next year then, if I don't change my mind ;)

Our Christmas Tree

Baby, It's Cold Outside is one of my favourite tunes. This version is sung by Idina Menzel and Michael Buble. The kids in the video are adorable - makes my insides all warm and fuzzy. Who needs hot cocoa with songs like these ❤


Have you got a favourite holiday song?

Nov 13, 2014

14 Kuala Lumpur : Perdana Botanical Garden's Sunken Paradise

One plot of green remains in front of my apartment. It has been earmarked for the development of a slew of high-rise hotels and offices. At the speed things are going, it's safe to say that I will be living in a concrete jungle five years from now. My heart sobs at the thought of losing the sunset view too.

There is one place in the city that still holds the charms of old 'green' KL. That's Perdana Botanical Garden, formerly named Lake Gardens, which has been around since 1888. This is a public park that houses many plant collections like Plumerias, Heliconias, rare fruit trees, orchids and so forth.

The Sunken Garden is one of my favourite stops in this huge park.

Sunken Garden, Perdana Botanical Garden

It's round and slopes down. A star-shaped water fountain sits in the center. I was here to warm up my rusty muscles before the Guardian Walkathon.

Sunken Garden, Perdana Botanical Garden

Sunken Garden, Perdana Botanical Garden

Visitor info : Getting around the park is fairly easy with proper signboards along the way. If you're tired, you can hop onto the shuttle tram to the next stop. Guided walks are available for free too, but only on Sundays. However, a booking must be made in advance. Details can be found here

If you see these little 'photostop' signs, it's a tip that you can snap a nice picture from this spot.

Take a photo here at the Sunken Garden!

What I've shared here is just a little piece of the park. It's a lovely place for a Sunday walk. I will be back again, armed with a picnic basket this time ....mayYyyybe ;)


Nov 5, 2014

10 My HOMEDEC 2014 Adventure

One of the events I look forward to yearly is the the Home Decor and Design Exhibition (HOMEDEC).

It's how I keep in touch with what's new and exciting in the decor world. I'm not planning on renovating my home anytime soon, but I can be moved to make little changes if something catches my liking. Grin. 

A house is just a roof over your head. It is the little things we put inside it that makes it a home. Little things like laughter, mementos, hobbies, your favourite colour on a wall, a sofa that has seen your friends, stuff that says 'you'  or 'family' . A home is something you build over the years and holds your greatest memories - that's how I see it. 

These are pictures I took at the exhibition last week. I'm sharing some of my favourite brands.

Aino Living, being one of it. At HOMEDEC, the focus was on their Kitchen and Wardrobe systems. I know Aino for their kitchenware. I pop into their store whenever I get the chance.

In fact, I was at their 1Utama branch just last night! The Christmas decor was already up and there were plenty of kitchen goodies that would make nice gifts. I noticed a couple of lovely baking sets which were going for under a hundred ringgit, and beautiful glasses for just under ten!

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? 

Aino Living

I first fell in love with Lebensstil for their classic fans. It was the one thing I really wanted (not needed) for my home during my early days of owning a house. I never got round to buying one. This was ten years ago, and I still go, "Wow..."
 
Lebensstil

The SUMMER hot water system by Solartech is a neat product. It uses solar energy to heat water. That means saving on electricity bills.The aluminium enclosure can be recycled. I love the way they did their booth. It's inviting.

If I owned landed property, I would have this installed.

Solartech

i~wals by Trocellen gives character to walls. This innovative wall is one of the items I considered an exciting find. It's sold in pieces. Each piece is layered with adhesive backing. Simple to install, convenient and easy to clean too.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? I think I should get a box of these!

I~wals

Finally, the last picture I'm sharing in this post. On my walkabout, I saw many unique bathroom accessories and cute items.

One of it is this skybath, a rain shower head that is equipped with a light that changes colour. For a moment, I envisioned myself having a disco party in the shower. Funny, I know.

If you feel that you want roaring thoughts to fill your mind during a relaxing bath in the tub, then this dragon head bathtub faucet could be your cup of tea.

Who knew a fire extinguisher could look this good. I have one at home, but not this prettily dressed. Do you like it? 

Top : Skybath
Bottom-right : Dragon bathtub faucet
Bottom-left : Fancily dressed fire extinguisher

Well, that's how I spent my weekend. It was fun. If you're into home decor or just want to upgrade certain things, keep this exhibition in mind.

Did I mention that they do giveaways too? Follow HOMEDEC on Facebook ... ;)
 

Oct 29, 2014

8 LIEBSTER Award from Cindyrina

Thank you, Cindyrina, for nominating me for this lovely award.

The Liebster award is a cool way for bloggers to connect with each other and increase 'follower' numbers. It's a virtual thing that is passed forward. To accept the award, just complete the requirements and nominate someone else. There are no judges. It's not compulsory, so accept it only if you want to.

Lorraine (Wording Well) has a good write-up on what the award is all about.


The rules are simple:
1. Thank the person who has nominated you and post a link to their blog.
2. Display the Liebster Award on your blog.
3. Answer 11 questions about yourself given by the blogger who has nominated you.
4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 8 - 10 blogs with less than 300 followers that you feel deserve the Liebster Award.
6. Create a new set of questions for your nominees to answer. At least 10 questions.
7. Post the rules on your blog
8. Tag your nominees so they know that they are receiving the award from you

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Cindyrina's questions.

1. Describe yourself in 3 words?
Imaginative. Positive. Easygoing.

2. If you could have one wish granted, what would you wish for? Why?
I guess, for every person to be born with 'happy' genes that will give them a lifetime of happy feelings and allow them to battle tough moments with a smile.

3. When is the happiest moment in your life?
It's hard for me to choose one. I've a lot of great memories. Whenever I'm with good friends and family, things I did with my grandmother, when I travel, when I conquer a difficult dish, even when I'm alone with just the sunset before me - happiest moments of my life.

4. List 3 things you wanna achieve before you leave this world?
Write a will ..hahaha. Complete my bucket list. To do a lot of good.

5. What is your favourite food?
Cakoi with kaya. Chocolate chip cookies - the decadent kind.

6. What is your favourite color?
Depends. My favourite colour for mobile phones is white. I love white, but don't fancy it on walls. I'm consistent with calm yellow and deep orange ..but I also like sky blue, apple green, red for Chinese New Year and pink. Am I confusing anybody yet? 

7. 3 things you must bring with you when you're out from home?
Mobile phone, wallet and lip balm.

8. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
To crochet and make my own furniture.

9. List 3 things you like when you visit my blog?
That you put 'you' out there. It's lively. That you update regularly.

10. What is your perception about my personality when you read my blog?
I think you're a cheerful person.


10 random facts about me:
1. There is only one show I catch regularly. That's Naruto Shipudden.
2. I attempted to write a fantasy novel when I was in my teens.
3. Before I moved to the city, I lived near the beach - it was here that grandma taught me how to catch seafood like clams and sea cucumbers.
4. I crocheted a baby boy outfit and gave it away as a gift, once.
5. I was the only student (in an all girls school) who didn't sign up for cooking and sewing classes.
6. Gardening is my new hobby. My husband thinks I should give watering plants a break.
7. I do my shopping on week days when it's less crowded.
8. I enjoy writing slogans and joining online competitions.
9. I smile when I blog, most times.
10. I'm right-handed.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, I'm supposed to nominate 8 to 10 bloggers with less than 300 followers for this award, but have decided to break the rules. 'Followers' for me mean a lot of things - Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

I'm opening this for anyone who's keen to join the fun. Just leave a comment below and I'll update this post with a link to your blog.

My questions:
1. What do you love most about blogging?
2. What do you love most about yourself?
3. Describe your mornings - dreadful until coffee or ..?
4. What was your best memory of helping someone?
5. How do you keep yourself motivated throughout the day?

Yep. 5 questions, but don't forget to include 10 random facts about yourself.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed answering Cindyrina's questions ;)

Oct 24, 2014

8 Guardian Walkathon 2014

It looks like it's about to rain again. But I don't see dark clouds, not through this haze that's engulfed our city for as long as ..  I don't remember the last time I saw blue skies out of my dust-stained glass door. The rumbling noise from above signals that we're in for some wet weather. It's a nice time to blog.

Another Sunday has passed. Another one is around the corner. I had a pretty good week. I caught up with an ex-colleague, helped my animal-loving friend who needed to send a pair of cats, which she had gathered from her neighbourhood, for spaying and explored several recipes in the kitchen. A girlfriend stayed over for the weekend. That resulted in three days of mad girl-talk and window shopping, with a walkathon thrown in.

Yep. A walkathon. We signed up more than a month ago, enticed by a poster pinned on the wall just outside of Guardian Pharmacy. Charity. 3KM. Bah, we can handle this!

Time flew and here we are at the event. There was a huge turnout. The walk was held in Wetlands, Putrajaya this year.

The crowd!

The first thing we did when we arrived was drop the lucky draw forms off at the counter. I kept my fingers crossed but we left just as soon as we had finished the walk, before the draw even took place. I was famished, you see.

Lucky Draw

This is a photo of the warm-up session. The sun had just risen. I started scratching my leg. Ugh!! First to be bitten by a mosquito amongst our group. I was so happy to see Tiger Balm giving out mosquito repellant patches to everyone. I stuck one on my shirt and another on my shorts. It worked brilliantly.  

Guardian Walkathoners - Warming Up!

The mosquito patch wasn't the only freebie available - the organiser had arranged goodie bags for everyone. Wall's sponsored ice cream. It was a great event. The MC kept the crowd entertained with lots of fun activities.

And then I saw him, in red, white and blue - Captain America! I'm such a sucker for costumed peeps and mascots. Before I had even handed my camera phone to my friend ..

" Excuse me, my wife would like a photo with you, if you don't mind ", grinned the husband as he posed in position for a shot. I rolled my eyes.

There were several other costumed participants. These guys were geared to win hampers and vouchers for walking in the Most Outstanding Costume.

Fun at Guardian Walkathon 2014

We took part in the 3KM route. These are some of the photos I took of the walk and also a video of the flag-off. I loved that that had us waving our hands in the air to a couple of songs at the starting line.


Guardian Walkathon 2014 - Flagging off!

Guardian Walkathon 2014 - Heading to the starting point

Guardian Walkathon 2014 - Waving to the YMCA song

Guardian Walkathon - 3 KM route

At the finishing line, we were treated to a refreshing drink of 100plus and given a certificate of accomplishment. One of my best Sundays ♥

Oct 14, 2014

16 Escape Room at e@Curve ~ We Never Got Out!

Mari and I each had a pair of tickets to the Escape Room.  

It was won from a Facebook contest organised by KL Lifestyle Magazine. "Like" their page because there's always goodies to be won. I love their chirpy updates too!

Escape Room at e@Curve

Have you heard of this game or played it before? There is only one goal, and that is to escape from the room you're locked in. The only way out is to hunt for clues and solve the mystery. It ultimately leads to a key which will open the door to freedom. Did we make it? Mmm.. .. what do you think? The answer is in the title of this post. Hah!

I can't reveal the details of the game because that would be spoiling the fun for those who haven't tried it, but I can share a snippet of our adventure.

"It was dark. We swept our flashlights around the room. A booby trap!  Red laser beams crisscrossed the path before us. Oh boy, getting to the other side wasn't going to be easy..."

Game Over for us! Two of us pretended to be sad ;)

About the whole experience and the place: Escape Room offers several game themes. There's Prison Break, Pirate Ship, Slaughter House and many more. You can choose to imagine yourself as a  swashbuckling hero on a great adventure or someone trying to break out of jail. 

Making reservations online was easy. Took me just a couple of minutes. The rates are cheaper for non-peak hours.

We arrived 15 minutes before our time slot, registered and left our belongings inside a locker. The walls were lined with polaroid pictures of people who had taken the Escape Room challenge. I thought it was a brilliant way to decorate the walls - a personal touch.

Several props were arranged on the table. Handcuffs and a blindfold? I heard screams of terror from some of the other rooms and gulped down a "Lord, no. That had better not be us too! "

We were led into a dark corridor, brought into the room and briefed on the mission. Then, we were locked in for 45 minutes.

How did we fare? Great. I'm not saying that we won, but that we had a winning attitude about things. We left quite pleased with our silly selves!

Before we left, they grouped us together for a photo and gave us one to take home as souvenir.

Overall experience? Riveting!

Have I tempted you enough to give this activity a try? I'm making reservations for another room this November ;)

Photo credit: Some of these photos belong to Mari. I have her permission to use them.

 
 

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