Apr 22, 2016

11 On The Outskirts Of Batu Caves

So much for raring to blog. Life threw me thorned roses - it was good-ouch. I came down with the sniffles and a sore throat. It didn't help that temperatures outside were soaring. I occupied myself with housework but this was done in a state of zombieness. Better than inactivity. They say 'An idle mind is the Devil's playground' ; as long as I was focused on doing something, my thoughts bordered on the chirpier side of life.

The runny nose situation soon disappeared and the next thing I knew, I was having a fab time with George, my 8-month old nephew who had the most adorable more-gums-than-teeth smile. I was also getting my apartment fitted with a spanking new air-con! 

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When I go sightseeing with someone elderly, I keep in mind to take it slow.

I enjoy walking at their pace and carrying light conversation. The scenery feels more breathtaking this way. I love the short stops we make to rest along the way. It's also an opportunity to savour local treats. It cannot be said that any of our time was wasted. We merely did what so many wise men have advised, that is, to stop and smell the roses.

What's your take on travelling with the elderly?

These are pictures I snapped whilst taking my very elderly relative around Batu Caves. The place is famous for its cave temples, the main one located atop a flight of stairs of 272 steps and draws a crowd that numbers more than a million during Thaipusam. We didn't make the climb as it was too steep for my relative and at the same time unwise for us at the peak of humid weather.

Did you know that the Lord Murugan statue which stands at 140ft in Batu Caves is the second tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world?

Lord Murugan Statue, Batu Caves

After oohing and aahing over the Lord Murugan statue, we made our way far-left, towards Ramayana Cave. Here stands a statue of Lord Hanuman (pictured below). It is only 50ft tall, but no less impressive. I have not heard of Ramayana Cave before this visit and believed it was a newer addition, but from this interesting blog piece on Caving in SE Asia by Liz Price, I now know that it has been around for sometime!

Hanuman Statue, Batu Caves

I'm saving the cave visits for another day. This jalan-jalan  is just a look-see of the surrounding areas.

Limestone hill in the background

Coconuts to be burned for prayers

Lots of fish in this lake.

Man-made lake at Batu Caves

Watch out for the monkeys!

Monkeys at Batu Caves

I can't believe I've yet to explore such an important tourism landmark although I live nearby. It's not embarrassing, but as a proud Malaysian, it's just outrageous! ;)

Apr 4, 2016

14 Adventures With Magnum ... Not 4D!

I am surrounded by friends and family who are crazy over Magnum ice cream and it can sometimes get a little competitive as we try to outdo each other - especially when a new flavour is released. Our Magnum selfies send a message along the lines of 'look what I got that you don't!'.

Black Espresso and Pink Pomegranate are the latest flavours introduced into the Malaysian market. Which tastes better is all about 'mood' for me.  When I need a pick-me-up, black espresso is my cup of tea. 

Magnum Black Espresso

To cool off on hot days, Pink Pomegranate would be my choice.

Magnum Pink Pomegranate

I've been to Magnum Cafe, Mid Valley Megamall many times - more to introduce loved ones to a new food experience. Since it costs only RM9.90 for a personalised bar of Magnum, it's a treat that's worth it.

Relatives are saying that I make a good tour guide. I'm LOL-ing over that. The first three months of my 2016 alone has been dedicated to bringing people sightseeing. Magnum Cafe is one of those places that's in my 'jalan-jalan Kuala Lumpur' list. Jalan-jalan meaning to sightsee.

This Magnum (pictured below) is topped with asam jawa candy, chocolates and nuts.

RM9.90 Magnum Personalised Ice Cream

I've yet to try the other items on the menu because I'm stuck with 'making my own Magnum'!

Magnum Cafe, Mid Valley Megamall

There are many toppings to choose from. I go for a different combination every time. Variety is the spice of life!

Select three toppings for your Magnum Ice Cream

The pink dip is actually white chocolate that has been made pink, possibly in line with the latest released flavours.

Select a Chocolate Dip

This is how it works - After selecting the flavour of your bar of Magnum, you get to choose three toppings and then a dip. It's finally done with a drizzle of more chocolate.

My Magnum Creation

Tadaaa! Pictured above is my latest Magnum creation - enjoyed weeks ago with my sister-in-law who was here for a visit. It has marshmallows, chocolate crunch pearls and crushed Oreos.

My Magnum ice cream story last year.


Mar 31, 2016

20 Visiting The Royal Museum, Kuala Lumpur

The Royal Museum (Muzium DiRaja) was formerly the official residence of the King and Queen of Malaysia. Before its doors were open to the public as a piece of historical treasure, it was our Istana Negara (National Palace) until 2011.  

I felt the pages of our Buku Sejarah (history book) come alive as I walked through the old palace. It is a good place to visit, and not short on informational noticeboards.

Before it became our National Palace, this was actually the mansion of a Chinese tin mining millionaire with 8 wives! He fled the country with his family during the Japanese occupation. A Japanese Governor made this his home until it was taken over by the British after the war ended. Finally, it was converted into our National Palace when Malaya achieved independence. It has undergone extensive renovations to fit royal functions.

Royal Museum, Jalan Istana

As I explored the rooms and halls of the mansion, I was surprised to find it rather down-to-earth. It didn't seem 'fit for a King'. I would describe it as a grand home for a very rich person. Aah .. that's not to say I wasn't impressed. I was, very!

Old Istana Negara

The main throne room (Balairong Seri), which is located in another building, was architecturally more exciting interior wise. The detailing on the wall is like a huge art piece. It is majestic.

Royal Museum - The Main Throne at Balairong Seri

Seating for the Royal Guests

Various Royal functions were held in this hall

Yellow, being our Royal Colour

Royal Museum - Balairong Seri

The outdoor surroundings were well maintained with neatly trimmed trees and a lawn so perfect for picnics. Initially I was going, "Phew! That's quite a distance to walk!" . I knew I was only saying that because of the afternoon heat. This was in no way far. I soon forgot how hot it was as I took in the scenery!

The field in front of the Royal Museum

Spot the KL Tower and Twin Towers?

The entrance / exit is way down there!

Entrance To The Royal Museum

All in, I had a very pleasant experience. The staff was smiling and helpful throughout. This made me want to come back here ...and I did - a week later!

Note: No photo-taking is allowed in the mansion. We were free to snap photos in the main throne hall and everywhere else.

Admission fee:
Locals - RM5 adults, RM2 kids (6-12yrs), RM3 senior citizens.
Foreigners - RM10 adults, RM5 kids (6-12yrs).

Address: Old Istana Negara, Jalan Istana, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telephone:+60 3 - 2267 1000
Opens daily from 9am to 5pm.



Mar 26, 2016

21 My Name On A Nutella Jar

Almost four weeks into March, and boy has it been invigorating! I took visiting relatives on several sightseeing trips and went to a once-in-a-lifetime event. My blog took a backseat as I attended to adventures that life threw at me. Now I'm back and raring to write type! 

Did you hear about Nutella's personalised jars campaign?

The moment I saw an advertisement about it on Facebook, I knew I had to be there. The date on my table planner was circled so enthusiastically that the pen almost ripped the paper. This excitement is not surprising! I'm surrounded by Nutella-loving people. My friends and family get starry-eyed at the mention of Nutella. I was no different.

I expected a long queue, so I went early and eager to snap up five jars.

1Utama Shopping Mall - #yourNutella event (9 Mar to 13 Mar)

Imagine my disappointment when I heard that it was one per head, per queue. Argh! I'd have to line up five times! That said, I could see the logicality of restricting the purchase; it was to give everyone a chance to own one without waiting too long for their turn. Fair enough.

I hadn't planned on being out longer than a couple of hours because I had lunch plans with a family member; so I bought only a jar for myself.

The Queue for #yourNutella

My Nutella journey began with purchasing an empty plastic jar at RM15.90. Moving on to the next counter, I was given a free 'Spot The Difference' activity book. Then, I was guided to a keyboard where I was asked to type my name. After that, we were ushered up the stage to place our jar on a conveyor belt. Off it went into a mysterious giant Nutella-shaped 'machine' with a huge screen. My name was displayed on the screen minutes later showing that they were working on mine.

Finally, my jar appeared at the other end, filled with Nutella and labelled with my name!  It was placed into a paper bag and ready for collection. I took my personalised jar and headed to the photobooth where my picture was taken and printed out as a nice souvenir.

Nutella Photo Booth

Nutella Activity Book

I got home, happy with the whole experience ...at the same time, disheartened; a feeling of incompleteness. Nutella, to me, has always been about warmth. Here I was with a jar that had my name on it without anyone else to share the joy with.

Right, that's me!

"I'll get it for you," my grinning Machoman offered. Are you sure? How? If you're busy, let it go, alright? I'll be fine.- I shot out.

But hey, it was a Saturday. My hero organised some friends and they got the rest of the personalised Nutella jars for me. And best of all, I heard they had fun!

Nutella means Friends and Family

....The end.

P.S. The nutella event may have come to a close but I heard that they will be selling personalised Nutella jars at several supermarkets from mid April until end of May 2016. Follow https://www.facebook.com/NutellaMalaysiafor details.


Mar 8, 2016

26 A Love Affair With Giant Curry Buns

It's pillowy and everything nice. I am 'Bread-Hugger' , in case anyone asks what my superhero name is. That's right, I have an immense craving for hugging large breads. I only stop myself because nobody will eat it if I did. 

"Sharon, why is my bread so ... out-of-shape? "  Don't ask.

My infatuation with giant buns began in 2013. It was love at first sight, then at first bite at Restoran Tin Hoe Hweeh (KL).  I blogged about it here. Whilst I have a desire to hug large buns in general, my eating preference lean towards those with a curry filling or anything savory.

Fast forward several buns later, Hubs and I drove all the way to Port Dickson to try the famous Lucky King Bun. I wrote about the experience on my cooking blog . When I heard that they had opened a branch in Seremban, I was ecstatic because it was closer to home.

A road trip was planned and here we were! Hubs, MIL and I made ourselves comfortable in the spanking new air-conditioned restaurant last week. We had wanted to order the one with Dongpo pork, but was informed that this special bun would only be ready at 2PM that day. That's two hours waiting time! It was disappointing to hear because MIL doesn't take spicy food. One giant chicken curry bun and a plate of non-spicy fried rice was ordered in the end.

Lucky King Bun

The curry bun arrived on our table freshly cut open. How pretty it looked, like a big blooming flower. We gave MIL a taste. It was so delicious that she asked for a second serving. So much for not taking spicy food!

Giant Chicken Curry Bun

Rich yummy curry!
The restaurant has a cosy interior.

Lucky King Bun Restaurant Interior

Although this new restaurant is cool and comfortable, I couldn't help but miss the homeyness I felt when I bought this in Lukut. It was a typical old style restaurant with plastic chairs and an open concept. You get the full blast of Malaysian weather. 

Here's a bit of how it all started for Lucky King Bun.

The History

The bun is just a little larger than the size of my head.

Pretty Fluffy Buns in a Row

That's about it on my latest makan (eat) hunt. I had initially wanted to title this post 'Giant Buns' but didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea!



Mar 5, 2016

10 Reviewing The EnviroHome Dish Wash


The folks at EnviroHome said something along the lines of - ' We want you to try this product and give us an honest opinion. Take your time. '  That I did.

EnviroHome Dish Wash

They had me at 'environmental friendly'. I'm always trying to do my part for Mother Earth. Hence, the garden in my balcony, not littering, donating stuff and and keeping magazines aside for recycling. However, I've never given much thought to the dish soap I use.

Think about it! Whatever we use, goes to the Earth we live on be it via a poorly maintained septic tank or through outdoor washing.  The amount of dish washing soap we use daily is scary, and the fact that most aren't chemical free is cause for concern. That's a big plus point for the EnviroHome Dish Wash.

But how effective is this as a dishwashing liquid? These are my findings after using the product for several weeks.

It cleans away grease from pots, pans and dishes easily. I sponged the oil off from my slow-cooker pot without a second wash.

Well, that was easy!

I'm glad to report that the EnviroHome dish wash is easy to rinse off too. This means less water wastage.

The dishwashing liquid is colourless. It won't stain your sink!

EnviroHome Dish Wash - A Clear Liquid Gel

I'm embarrassed to show you this thin greenish layer of crust on my sink pictured below. It's caused by the cheap dishwashing paste that I regularly use. Guilty as charged for using a product that's obviously detrimental to the environment and my body!

Serious Soap Stains :P

Why do I say my body? Because sometimes we miss a spot during rinsing. This is an all too familiar sight for people like me who use dishwashing paste. Imagine using liquid soap that's less obvious. We risk putting poison into our body as long as the dish wash isn't chemical free. The EnviroHome dish wash is made from natural ingredients. That, at least, is comforting to know.

Oops, missed a spot!

Made from Natural Ingredients

It's friendly on my skin. I suffer from dry hands and flaky skin caused by frequent dishwashing.

You must be wondering why I don't use rubber gloves. My excuse? Don't be a sissy. Haha that! There has been a good improvement on the condition of my hands ever since I started using this dish wash which uses a hypoallergenic formula.

It's easy to use: Dilute the dish wash with some water and sponge on. That's me below, fresh out of the shower and raring to prepare breakfast.

Look at me - no rubber gloves!

To round up, the EnviroHome Dish Wash is effective in its job and it is friendly on the skin, on my skin at least!

But don't just take my word for it. Try it out yourself. If you have any concerns, contact the peeps at EnviroHome and ask away. They'll be happy to address your queries. 

Website: http://www.envirohome.com.my
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ENVIROHOME.MALAYSIA

This is a sponsored post, where I was provided with some products to try out. That said, this piece is wholly written by me and all opinions are my own. Please read the Disclaimer for this blog under Policies.

Read about EnviroHome's Food Wash here.

Mar 3, 2016

14 Seremban : Cultural Arts Centre

We road-tripped from KL to Seremban last Sunday, in what I can now label as my 'old junk'. Yup, my small car is more than a decade old, sun-faded and has been through and been to quite a lot. Have wheels, can travel-bah !

Some people say - Seremban? Nothing to see one!  I beg to differ. There is always something to see for those who can find the beauty in every experience. So, here I am at the Seremban Cultural Arts Centre (also state museum) looking and behaving very much like a tourist. Laughably clicking away at the phone camera at every this-one-is-good-for-memories opportunity!

There were several travel reviews that gave this place a 'negative'. Oddly, I enjoyed the visit tremendously. Sure, there was a thin layer of dust here and there. Neither did it contain a large collection of historical artifacts, but it did carry the heart and soul of Negeri Sembilan, which is the the unique style of Minangkabau architecture of pointy roofs that is identifiable by most Malaysians.

Seremban Cultural Arts Centre

Seremban Cultural Arts Centre

This building, pictured below, is called 'Teratak Perpatih'. The roof resembles the buffalo horn. It is a museum of sorts with local crafts and artifacts being exhibited. There is a hall dedicated to the postal service.

Teratak Perpatih

My mother worked in the Post Office all her life. It was an era where people were proud of their jobs, got along easily with others and were just happy with anything they got out of life. I was most excited about the stamp exhibition because I used to collect it. It was a time I diligently wrote letters to penpals on perfumed paper and mailed them off with stamps I had carefully selected.

Inside Teratak Perpatih

Next to the main building is Istana Ampang Tinggi , a royal residence relocated to its current location in 1980. It is said that this royal residence was built without using nails. The building beside it is a sample of a traditional Negeri Sembilan home.

Istana Ampang Tinggi (left), Rumah Tradisional Negeri Sembilan (right)

I climbed up the wooden staircase of the Istana (Palace) to have a look inside. The worn wooden planks creaked under my weight. It was a long hall with many curtained windows and a private resting area at the back.

Istana Ampang Tinggi

Istana Ampang Tinggi

There are various interesting pieces of historical items being displayed around the neat compound of the Cultural Arts Centre. A replica of the megalithic stones of Pengkalan Kempas stands in the middle, an old locomotive can be found near the office and in the far corner, traditional wooden boats are housed in an open  roofed-structure.

Replica of the Megalithic Stones of Pengkalan Kempas

Old Locomotive

Olden day Wooden Boats

What to expect: A small town kind of museum. Does not contain an extensive collection of historical pieces, nor an in depth description.

Still a good place to go, especially to see the royal residence up close - it's the real deal!

Location : Jalan Sungai Ujong, Lebuhraya Seremban - Bukit Nenas (Near Plaza Tol Seremban A)
Telephone:+60 6-763 1149

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Mr. & Mrs. O


 

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