Nov 21, 2014

8 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.

 

Oct 4, 2014

22 Snacking ... Tip?

It's housecleaning day and I've completed my chores already. Sometimes I go "ugh" but today I'm feeling really pleased about it. That largely has to do with the weather. Sun and wind is my pick-me-up. Today, it's just glorious outside ..and inside. My heart says let's hug the furniture and polish the plates. I know how silly that sounds.  

This morning, I smiled while mopping the floor, hummed while scrubbing the bathroom and imagined I was in Hawaii while tending to my garden in the balcony. The opening song from the TV series Hawaii Five-0 kept playing over and over in my mind.

After that, I caught up with a segment on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday.

"It's what I call the haute couture, high-end version of fear... perfectionism.
Perfectionism is just fear in really good shoes." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love.


Wanting to appear perfect to others stops us from doing the things we really want in life. Waiting for the perfect condition keeps us from going forward. We should 'dance in the rain', right? This is what I'm taking away with me - it's alright not to be perfect and I don't have to wait for things to be perfect to do the things I want to do.

Now that I'm done with all that, I'm here! Blogging ..and snacking.

So, here's a secret. I do this only when I'm all alone ..because I want to appear 'perfect-ly' normal in front of my friends. I'm kidding. I wouldn't be sharing this to everyone if that were the case.

The not-a-secret ~ I like using ice tongs to eat my snacks. By snacks, I mean chips, corn curls and the sort. It's how I keep my fingers clean so that I can continue typing away on the keyboard or watch a movie without interruption. Yes, I don't want to have to wash my hands every time I feel like having a bite. It also helps me reach far enough into the bag. That means no seasoning sticking onto my hand.

I keep my hands clean by using ice tongs to snack

Convenient.

Sep 29, 2014

10 The Unboxing Of The IKEA Bookbook™ XXL Exclusive Edition

IKEA Bookbook™ XXL Exclusive Edition

The Bookbook™ is all the rage now. When IKEA released the XXL version of the Bookbook™, I knew I had to get my hands on it!  If you still don't get what it's all about, it's time you visit www.IKEA.my/bookbook. Watch the full demo and be enlightened. I love the ad so much! 

Anyway, I dragged my visiting relatives to the store on the pretext of taking them shopping. When I saw the long queue near the entrance for the special edition, I started arguing inwardly with my conscience - Should I jump in and shoo the relatives off? No, wouldn't be right!  Long story short, I let it go but not without glancing back a couple of times. I didn't give up just like that though. When my relatives took a break in the restaurant, I rannnNnnn downstairs to check on the queue. True story and haha.

So how did I get this? I ordered it online, of course. IKEA's team was absolutely amazing. I received instant confirmation on the order and the package was delivered in a matter of days!

This post is really going to be about the unboxing of the limited edition IKEA Bookbook™ XXL aka Plus version that I've just received. It's double the fun and double the excitement!

Check out the unboxing in pictures:

IKEA Bookbook™ XXL - The Unboxing
I love the quick start guide. The word 'quick' is apt. I was able to use the Bookbook™ immediately. It really is an intuitive device that doesn't require us to crack our brains too much to figure out how to use it.

IKEA Bookbook™ XXL - Quick Start Guide

I love the battery life. It's been almost two weeks and I've never had to charge it once. The high-definition display is another plus point. There is absolutely no lag even though it is pre-installed with content that carries high resolution images. 

What kind of content are we looking at? Below is a screen shot of one of my favourite apps. It's called UsefulTips. Other than that, there's KitchenIdeas, BeddingBusiness, WardrobeWonder --- there's too many to list here!


Here is a glimpse of some of the content:


Well, that's about the features and stuff, but what about the durability. So, I did the 'bend test' to check how bendable this device could be. I needed to know how far it can go because I have a bad habit of leaving things everywhere and sometimes accidentally sit on it.



Bend test? Thumbs up!

Finally, how big is big? Here's a photo to give you an idea.

IKEA Bookbook™ XXL vs Bookbook™

Well, I hope you enjoyed my lengthy post on the IKEA Bookbook™ because I sure enjoyed writing and lol-ing over it!



Sep 23, 2014

14 A Cousin's Wedding Do At Passion Road

Invest in your marriage, not your wedding.

I was reminded of this lovely saying when I attended a cousin's wedding event recently. I thought it was sound advice not to overspend on weddings.

Passion Road, Kuala Lumpur

My cousin's beautiful moment was a small affair that included only the closest friends and family. Several relatives flew down for the special occasion. That's partly the reason my blog was left unattended for awhile. I'd been busy taking the family out around town. We shopped 'til our legs were wobbly. I'm exaggerating but it sure felt like it!

Anyway, I took some pictures of the wedding which was held at Passion Road - a cosy place located along Lorong Yap Kwan Seng. The decoration was fairy-tale like. The ambiance? Magical seems to be the right word. 

The Wedding Arrangement
The wedding cake was an attractive shade of blue that had us oohing and aahing all over it. Wait 'til you read what happened to the cake in the end! I'll post this story in my next blog post.

Another two of my cousins, both accomplished singers, were invited to perform live at the event. This is a video I recorded of them. Meet Genie (right) and Gabby (left)!



Loved their rendition of "All Of Me"? You can read more about the sisters on their facebook page at www.facebook.com/geniegabby

Well, that's how last week went for me. It was hectic fun, but boy, do I miss their company already!

Sep 19, 2014

8 Much Ado About Curry Puffs

We get it at this little stall that's stationed in front of CIMB - The Strand, Kota Damansara.

Curry Puff Stall At The Strand

I love these curry puffs. It's not greasy and they didn't stinge on the filling. I don't remember ever making curry puffs in my younger days. Sardine puffs were more our thing. The family isn't very fussy about food. I don't think anyone ever really complained about eating the same thing over and over again. Sardine puffs, I mean. In fact, we looked forward to it.

I remember the time I stuck to eating McDonald's McEgg almost every other day just because it costs under a Ringgit. I had left my hometown for the city to pursue my studies. I was always conscious about burdening my parents. Every penny that could be saved was saved. I never once groused, "McD againnnnn! " You could say that I was one of those people who never had to think too much over what-to-eat and where-to-eat.

Curry Puff 

These curry puffs cost RM0.50 each. It's filled with tender curried potatoes. Flavour-wise, this is sweetish and spicy. My husband raves over these to no end. One evening, I received a phone message with several photos and an apology for over-feeding us. Ten, he bought ten!

"Ling, I took some photos so you could blog about it! " he informed me rather enthusiastically.

I was tickled by his insistence. So here it is on my blog today.

Curry Potato Filling

Just to give you a better idea what the stall looks like and where it is, I'm attaching another photo :

The Curry Puff stall in front of CIMB Bank, The Strand

He sells nasi lemak too. Nasi lemak is coconut milk rice that's usually topped with a spicy chili sauce along with some fried peanuts, anchovies and fresh cucumber (ingredients may vary). It is then wrapped in banana leaf, as you can see from the picture below.

They sell Nasi Lemak too!

That's the end of my curry puff post. I'm curious - are you into curry puff and if you are, where are you getting it from .....or do you make your own (whoa) ?

Sep 4, 2014

24 The IKEA bookbook™ - You'll Want One!

I, and many of my friends and family are IKEA obsessed people. My sister-in-law is obsessed with their Swedish meatballs.

"Sharon, meatballs? "

"Huh? But we just had it like ..no. Thank you."

My aunt is obsessed with their kitchen utensils. Jen just about purchased an entire box of glassware for Christmas presents last week.

"Sha, it's too heavy. This is all I can carry! "

I gave Jen the stare, which typically means I'll help but you owe me an ice cream.

Half the furniture that sits in my home was born in IKEA and flown in by a yellow stork on wheels. Several in my circle are obsessed with the bookbook™. What's that, you ask?

This is a commercial that was released earlier in the day on IKEA Malaysia' Facebook. It's so hilarious that I had to share it with you. Meet the bookbook™!


Have you gotten a copy of IKEA's bookbook™ yet? This is my stash. I swipe 5-6 copies from our apartment management office each year to mail out to friends and family.

Ikea Catalogue 2015

Although my people can't lug home half the stuff they see in the store (because they live so far away), they love IKEA's bookbook™ as much as they love their favourite paperback novel. You won't catch them reading any other home magazine - technically, this is a catalogue but for us, it's much more than that.

Some say "ee-key-a", some say it's "eye-key-a". Both are used widely. I'm leaving you with this video where Jake Gyllenhaal mentions that there are only two places where his name gets pronounced authentically. Guess where?



Funny!
 

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