Sep 29, 2014

4 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

10 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

6 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

22 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!

Aug 29, 2014

12 Ooo... Burnt Some Lanterns!

The Mid-Autumn Festival is also commonly referred to as "Mooncake Day" where I come from. On this day, my aunts gather families for a meal. We eat mooncakes, play lanterns and chat. The festival falls on the 8th of September this year.

Sharon's Fish Lantern for Mooncake Day 2014!

Mooncakes come in amazing variety these days - sugar free, cranberry, chocolate, coffee, durian! The only mooncake flavour I ever saw or tasted in my younger days were the ones with red bean or lotus seed paste filling. Some had an egg yolk in the center, some didn't.

Talking about the festival takes me back to my first year in college. I was left alone in the double storey house where I had rented a room. The landlady was away.

I didn't want to be left out, so I bought myself 10 paper lanterns to hang up. The clothes line outside the house seemed like a great place to hang the lanterns. I hung them up in a pretty row. My face glowed with some sort of pride. Yeah, I was alone and yet, not alone. These lanterns are going to brighten my mooncake day for sure.

Later that night, I lit all the candles in the lantern up. I was so pleased.

After spending some minutes admiring the calm flicker of yellow light, I went back into the house to have my meal. Then, went back out again for another round of oohing and aahing.

To my horror, the lanterns had caught fire! Oh, you should have seen my jaw drop. The clothes line snapped under the heat.

Putting the fire out was easy. A bucket of water did the job. The big question, for any teen, was really how to explain 'all this' to a vacationing landlady.

"Err ...Aunty, ah? Happy Mooncake Day.."  I wished her hesitantly. "Haha..know what? I kind of burnt the clothes line".

Kind of? ... Hah! Long story short. She let me off easy.

Lantern for Mooncake Day

This year, hubs bought us a fish lantern to light up. Isn't it cute? I'm going to celebrate this special occasion with a nice meal, one mooncake and looking out into the night sky. That's pretty much what I do every other year. No, I don't find it boring. Shoo!

Aug 22, 2014

14 The Progress Of My Cili Padi Plant

Friday is usually equated to being a fabulous day because it means the weekend is almost here. Well, I think there's something beautiful in every day. Happy Friday, everyone!

This post is about my chilli plant aka the bird's eye chilli.

I'm not known for having green fingers but I do try my best ..... annnd I feel like I'm getting somewhere! I water my plants religiously. I fertilise it regularly and clean off mealybugs whenever I see it. Some died, some are survivors. I'm beginning to understand what plants are suitable for the scorching afternoon sun that shines ever so brightly into my apartment.

This chilli seed (pictured below) was planted on 22nd Feb 2014.

The cili padi seed is planted

Two days later, a shoot appeared!

It sprouts!

Three months later, it seemed to be coming along nicely. Then, the leaves started curling up in a strange way. I knew I'd over-fertilised it. The instructions on the box said this much. I put in thaaaat much. Just thought I'd 'hurry things along ' ..you know. So, I stopped fertilising it for awhile and it got better.   

Except for the leaves, the plant is growing nicely

For the longest time, I checked on the plant each day for a chilli. On 24th July, it finally happened! I felt as proud as a mom over her kid.

Sob! A chilli!

Two to three weeks later, the green turned into a shade of red.

It's turning red

Today (I snapped this picture just hours ago), it is bright red. I guess I should 'harvest' it by now.

My red cili padi

Let me break it down for you:
Day 2 - Shoot appears
Month 5 - First chilli, it's green
Month 5.5 to 6 - Chilli turns a shade of red

That's my cili padi adventure. It has been six months. I now wait for a second fruit to appear. Well, surely there's more!

Aug 14, 2014

12 Yoga Pants - Women Love It!



In my previous post, I shared a chat I had with yoga beginner, Bernadette Harry, who gave us some tips on starting out. Regular practice and a good support group is key.

Bernadette Harry in a yoga pose
If you're one of those women who were inspired enough by the post to start on a yoga regimen, then the first thing you should ideally do is to get proper attire.

As you can see in the picture on the right, besides having a good top, a great pair of pants which allows for free movement is also essential.

This post is really all about the pants and why women love yoga pants!


3 REASONS WOMEN LOVE YOGA PANTS

Versatility. Some may refer to yoga pants as leggings or tights but one thing is for sure - it is a fashion item that a majority of women wear anywhere they go!

Yoga pants have a versatility that makes it wearable for many occasions. Women can match it with a tank top, a tunic or a sweater and still appear amazingly polished in casual wear.

As you can see, these pants are not strictly worn only for yoga or workout sessions. It can also be put on for casual day outs. Yoga pants, to me, are the perfect substitute for jeans.

There are different reasons why women worship yoga pants and use them as everyday wear.

The first reason is the fabric used. The snug fit celebrate women's curves, further contributing to a comfortable wear.  On days we call 'fat days', slipping on a pair of our favourite yoga pant leggings is convenient and that's truly a life saviour when we're not in the mood to be dressy.

Travel Friendly. The second reason yoga pants are a must-have for many women is because it is a great piece of outfit to bring along for traveling.

The lightweight fabric makes it easy to be packed along for short and long trips. It doesn't take up much luggage space. That leaves more room for souvenirs!

The elastic waistband screams eat as much as you want, it's a holiday! The stretchy material provides comfort for long rides or walks while sightseeing.

Affordable. The third reason that yoga pants are popular is because it's generally inexpensive. Comfort, style and affordability combined makes yoga leggings the best fashion item a woman can have in her wardrobe and let's not discount that it's long-lasting.

There is a wide range of colours and patterns available in the market. Women are spoilt for choice. Stock up on yoga pants with various colours and prints to match with a blouse or even an oversized tee. Have a variety because it'll also help you on your yoga journey, if you're starting on that. There's nothing more monotonous than wearing the same workout clothes day in, day out! 

Buying Tip! Where can you buy this if you're a woman who's too busy to sneak out of her hectic schedule to get to a store? Shop online, of course!

Zalora
is a website that offers a variety of beautiful yoga pants at a reasonable price. Check them out and purchase one for yourself!



Aug 13, 2014

10 A Chat With A Yoga Beginner

Bernadette Harry's a natural at yoga. Looking through her Facebook photos, anyone could have mistakenly believed that she'd been doing this for years. She's on a self-taught journey that really began only months ago.

I decided to interview my sister-in-law (yep, we're family!) to find out what drives her passion for yoga.


How did you get hooked on yoga?
I started yoga after seeing one of my friends doing it. She kept posting her yoga photos plus her progress on Facebook. From there, I was motivated to give it a try.

To be honest, I began with no idea how to do yoga. I had no basic training and until today, have never joined any yoga class.

I learned by doing my own reading, watching youtube and downloading pictures of yoga poses. After following a yoga tutorial on youtube for about a week, my body started aching from a muscle sore. I had to stop for 5 days but I felt really good about myself at the same time!

I think I’m getting stronger and healthier. A week later, my "yoga role model”  (the Facebook friend) added me as "Moms Talk Yoga” member, a closed group on Facebook. I got a lot of advice and tremendous support from fellow members. Once in a while, there will be yoga challenges going on and members are encouraged to participate. It was fun and I really enjoyed my “yoga time” with this group.

I guess there's no turning back for my sister-in-law now. It sounds extremely fun!

What do you love about yoga?
I love yoga because it can be a very simple form of exercise and I can do it any time I want. It does not necessarily have to be complicated yoga poses.

For example, I practice my Buddha pose and sit cross-legged in the office while doing my work. Sometimes I do simple stretching or even something as easy as deep inhale and exhale breathing. By doing this, we are actually allowing more oxygen to enter our lungs. It reaches every cell in our body and believe me, you will feel more relaxed and refreshed.

After practising yoga for awhile, I began to understand  and accept myself. I feel more and more comfortable towards my own body. With yoga, I started to see life at different angle.


Advice for beginners

Listen to your body. Do not force yourself to do any yoga poses or achieve any poses in a short time unless / until your body is ready. Practice to make progress and  be consistent.

Practice is the key to get where you want to be! Last but not least, keep breathing and enjoy your yoga! Namaste!



The cute thing is my two little nephews (both under five) have started doing yoga with their mom. It's a great family bonding exercise and keeps them away from mischief.

I hope you've been inspired by Bernadette's sharing.

If you intend to pick up yoga, you're going to need the right clothes too. I'll tell you where you can get some in my next post.

Note: The photos above were provided by Bernadette Harry, and used with permission.

Aug 9, 2014

10 My WWE Night

When I heard news that WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) would be performing live in Kuala Lumpur this October, I was brought back to a particular unforgettable life moment.

It was known as WWF (World Wrestling Federation) in the old days. I was no wrestling noob, thanks to dad who owned a video store then. I spent my teen years watching countless WWF shows. In 2002, many Malaysians were ecstatic when WWF announced that they were coming over to our corner of the world. My machoguy, who's also a big fan, got us a pair of tickets.

It was a long drive to the venue.

"Ling, got enough petrol?" I began after noticing that the dial was on low.

"More than ... " he gave a passing look at the dashboard.

The night was as exciting as being told that I'd gotten a job promotion. The stadium was packed with gusto-ic guys. People knew the chants! I was surrounded by 'manly' men and in me, was a call to roar along with them. Now, that would have been awkward since I was technically a rose among the thorns!

The show ended pretty late. There was much exciting chatter as we headed to the carpark and soon, a bit of a car queue ensued. We were stuck smack in the middle but managed to drive as far as out of our parking lot. We were inching over a speed bump....and then it happened. The car sputtered and stalled. This was followed by:


Some guys noticed our car trouble. Like super heroes out of a comic book, they gathered around our car. I swear I could've heard one of them say, "Stand back, ma'am. We'll handle this." They were glowing from some sort of wrestlemania adrenaline rush.

They gave our car a heave-ho over the bump. There were waves and claps all round with "thank you, brother!" and "no problem, man!". All a guy thing...and really amusing.

Machoguy started the engine and the car was running again. Thank our lucky stars! We figured out that when the vehicle was at a slant, this caused the little petrol that was left in the tank to roll back. So, we avoided hilly roads and slopes until we filled up. It was a relief that we had enough to get us to the nearest gas station. 

Well, that's the end of my not-too-dramatic night so long ago. We take better care of the car these days!

Jul 31, 2014

12 'Tis the season for Lemang

It's Lemang  season. What's that, you ask? Lemang is coconut glutinous rice, cooked in a bamboo stick lined with banana leaf, over a fire. Cooking this requires a bit of patience because it involves many hours, but the wait is worth it. This fragrant rice is usually enjoyed with a dollop of dry or thick curry.

Lemang and Rendang Curry

The lemang sellers were out in full force on the second day of Raya. For me, the roadside makeshift stalls were a welcome sight versus the quietness that had consumed the city two days before the Raya celebrations.

Many Malaysians celebrating the festival had gone back to their hometowns. Some chose to make use of the long weekend with a short vacation elsewhere. Us? Machoguy and I spent our time catching up with movies and roaming the far corners of the city for something 'special' to eat. Lemang being one of it, as you can see....and McDonald's. Yep, that happened because it was the only restaurant we could find that was open for business. Don't give me that look, now.  

~~~
On one of the days, we headed into Kajang to see if there were any satay stalls open. The shops were all closed and it was eerily quiet...until we drove into a little transportation hub. The streets were full of people. It was eye-opening to see that most of them were Bangladeshis. Why here, I wondered. I could not see signs of ample job or business opportunities. Aah..perhaps I visit the wrong day.

In one corner, I saw a neat long queue for the bus. I looked on in envy.


I wish we all behaved in the same manner at ticket booths...

~~~

The holidays have come to an end. The city will be bustling again. What's in August? Our National Day celebrations! Flying the flag, yes or no?

Jul 22, 2014

14 Surprise!.....A Prize!

Remember this post - We Roll ... Into Intel's Movie Night, where I had scored a movie ticket to watch Transformers 4 for free? During the event, we were asked to complete a contest form. I don't remember exactly what it was all about, but I recall writing some sort of slogan.

Last Monday, I received a call from Intel around noon. I was still groggy from being woken up. I'd slept at 5am that day.

Oh, don't blast me for staying up so late..or is that early. It was the World Cup Finals! The man of the house sniggered at my commitment. He didn't think I'd be able to stay awake but guess what? The adrenaline rush gave me the boost I needed to keep my eyes open.

Yes, back to the story. The call was to inform me that I'd won a prize! I was really excited about it. Had no idea what I was babbling about and didn't take the address down although it was repeated to me. Then, I went back to sleep. At 4pm, haha, I dialed the number and sheepishly asked for the details again. Sorry, Justin!            

Two days later, I went to collect the prize. I took a friend along and we decided to park by the roadside along with the other cars. It was a traffic free road. Just as we alighted from the car, we got back in again. Drats those pesky DBKL officers. They zoomed in to our corner and started issuing summons. I reparked the car inside the building, before they could get to me. Phew!

Well, this is what I got, a transformers collectible valued around RM200. Probably more, if I had been given a summons *wink*

This isn't just any toy. There's a guide book included to show you how to transform Optimus into a truck. Neat, huh.

Optimus - Transformers

I did watch the movie three times. So, I guess this is reward for being such a good fan? 

 

 

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