Apr 12, 2014

5 The Sunny Side Of A Fried Egg

"You're a good egg," they said.

"Sunny or scrambled? " I asked.

Grandma's Fried Egg

Things were simpler in the good ol' days. This is what I call the 'fast food' of our time. 

I liked staying with Grandma. She always made me my favourite food, which was one fried egg drizzled with a mix of soy sauce and oil. I would mix this into my plate of rice and it would be gone in minutes.

The way I look at it, Grandma was a genius. She spends only a couple of minutes making our meals daily!

It looks a little like Jack the Pumpkin King

Nutrition and a balanced diet? I think that's a job for parents. Grandmas should always be about cookies and cream...or fried eggs.


Apr 8, 2014

10 Walking It Off at Kepong Metropolitan Park

When I prayed for bigger things to come, I didn't mean my tummy!

...So I posted on Facebook, along with a picture of a running track (photo below). I looked up at the sky, amused at my conversation with God. A funny thought hit me ~ Why in the world was I looking up for. God is everywhere, isn't HE?  It's oddly comical. I've probably seen too many images of people looking up in the same manner, for the same reason. That thought out of the way, I think I'll make myself a cup of tea, sit outside and have my chats from now onwards by talking to the seemingly empty seat beside me.

Back to my story. This photo was taken at Kepong Metropolitan Park, one of the largest recreational grounds in Kuala Lumpur. It covers 90hectares of land.

The track around the lake was more than a 3km walk. There were insufficient trees to shade from the heat in some areas. Oh, I'm just being spoilt. A little sun is probably good for me. This place is lovely for exercise.

The sky blue track makes running that little bit more exciting

I could brisk walk two rounds...well, not yet!

Here's a glimpse of the lake and its vastness

Glorious weather for a walk

Surprise! There are two lakes - one small, one big

Kepong Metropolitan Park is more than what I'm posting here. I have yet to explore the place earnestly.

I did pass a children's playground, a football field, lots of food and drink stalls. There's a tarred track dedicated for cycling. I also understand that this is the place to go for kite-flying as well.

I don't have photos for those..yet. I would love to catch kite-flying enthusiasts in action. It will have to happen on another visit. Today, my goal is only to walk up a sweat.


A resting hut along the way

The toilet at Kepong Metropolitan Park

Apr 3, 2014

16 The Elephant Mango ...erm, really?

My aunt has a mango tree that grows huge mangoes. When I asked what variety it was, elephant mango was the hesitant answer. No one in the family was too sure of its name. Its origins were a shady distant memory.

So, I present to you THE mango! I will refer to it as THE mango until I know it's lovely name.
  
Tadaaa..!

I wish I had taken a photo of the tree. I could have forwarded it to a gardening group for identification but it always slips my mind. I fly home with many photos except the one I want most.

This is what THE mango looks like inside. Juicy, sweet and yummy is how I would describe the taste.

Ripe and Ready!

I took a picture of it on a stool for size comparison.

As wide as my stool

Yeah, baby, yeah

If you know the name, leave a comment below. It would make me very happy.

Apr 1, 2014

10 Ipoh : Heritage Hotel - In old, we trust!

Old is gold, so it is said. Heritage Hotel is reminiscent of a typical mid-range 80s hotel, a time when boutique hotels with fancy themed rooms and the modern minimalistic sleeping space of Tune Hotels were unheard of.

Heritage Hotel, Ipoh

I had a comfortable stay at Heritage Hotel, Ipoh. The room is spacious. The rates are reasonable, around RM150 (twin beds) for a night.

I also had the fastest check-in ever. You can't fault me for walking away with the key card thinking, "What? That's it? Feels wrong..."

The bellboy picked my bags up. I was ushered into a transparent elevator, along with the family.

The entrance to the rooms were designed in such a way that it faces the open space in the middle (picture below). There are no hidden corners. I prefer this openness over the one where we have to walk along a small dark corridor to get to our rooms. You never know who could be lurking around. Here, you can see where the cleaners are and if anyone's hanging around suspiciously.

To the rooms in Heritage Hotel, Ipoh

This is it, our room with twin beds (picture below). Nice? More than, I say. The view is decent too - A beautiful landscape of greenery and hills in the distance. Closer, landed properties with neatly trimmed lawns and gardens.

The room in Heritage Hotel, Ipon

The stuff we need to know - hairdryer included!

There's ample parking space in Heritage Hotel. This is a major plus for people intending to drive over for a holiday.

Another thing I really love about the place? It's located just kilometers away from Ipoh's tourist spots and round the bend from the heart of town.

I left, revitalised from good sleep.

Feb 27, 2014

8 I Plant The Cili Padi


As my my interest in cooking grows, I guess it's no surprise that I've started planting herbs and vegetables again.

  Surely This Calls For Flag Planting

Years ago, spring onions were a regular feature on the kitchen window sill. I had also planted the pak-choi in a small corner out at the balcony.

Then, office work consumed my life. The aspect of "stopping to smell the roses" was lost. I remember the flurry of activities, I remember feeling accomplished. But deep down, I have always asked myself if there was more to life than four walls and a fat paycheck.  If I could control my want of clothes and more clothes, jewelery and fine dinners, my lifestyle would have been more balanced. This was my past.

I am catching up on the quieter moments in life now.... and it is magical. Oops, I've gone off topic!

Coriander, parsley and cili padi (bird's eye chili). These seeds were planted several days ago.

Can you see it? The cili padi (bird's eye chili) seed has landed!

Two days in, I saw a shoot from the pot where I had gently buried the cili padi seeds.

That is fast!

A Close-Up

Hours after, more shoots sprouted out of the ground.

Five already!

Considering how quick and easy it was to get the cili padi going, I know that we're going to be the best of friends. I may just flood my garden with chili plants one day and pamper them with the best fertiliser like a proud parent would.

It's ridiculous that I stalk my plant pot every couple of hours ~ no sign of coriander or parsley to date!

Feb 21, 2014

6 The Big Bad Wolf Fireball Book Sale 2014

Hurry! The sale ends in another two days - 23rd February, to be exact.

The BBW Fireball Book Sale holds its own

I enjoyed myself tremendously. You could say that the bargains were to die for. It's a smaller version of the BBW year-end sale that many look forward to, but the discounts on top of the already cheap books made it an equally amazing event.

It's not too crowded in the morning!

The BBW team provided us with boxes as a convenient way to carry our books around. I left this at the storage counter when it became too heavy ...but proceeded to gleefully walk back to the counter several times to add more books into it.

I gave my friend the are-you-out-of-your-mind !  look when she asked if I was going to sort out what I wanted to bring home in the end. How ridiculous, I thought then. I was taking everything! So much for self-control. 

Then, I struggled. Lugging three bags of books, mostly hardcover, was an arm-straining affair that made me stop a couple of times to rest before I reached my car. It qualified for a pretty good gym workout for me. 

I am unremorseful about my stash ~ nine of it costing RM5 each and the rest at slightly more.

My BBW Fireball Book Sale stash
Don't ask me why it's all cookbooks because I cannot fathom it myself. I used to love science fiction and fantasy books. I used to grab all of Stephen King's masterpieces. I was also a Mills & Boon fan but these days, my interest in reading various genres has been sorely reduced to one - cookery.

It looks like my weekend will be spent on book wrapping and drooling over stunning food photos. Hungry days ahead.

Feb 17, 2014

6 Ipoh : Kek Look Tong Cave Temple

A family getaway ~ On the third day of Chinese New Year, we traveled to Ipoh for a bit of sightseeing. Ipoh is famous for its cave temples.

A pleasant drive out of town led us to Kek Look Tong, a temple renowned for its award winning landscaped gardens that is surrounded by limestone hills. I was drawn to the place by stories that speak of its lovely scenery. That was the reason we picked this cave temple out of the many to stop by..that, and also the comforting knowledge that there were no steep steps to climb up or tight crevices to shimmy through. I rate this place as grandma friendly.

Kek Look Tong Cave Temple

The stairway leading to the main entrance is lined with interesting sculptures and mini figurines.

The stairway up is not steeply challenging

Some of the sculptures in Kek Look Tong

The rock formation inside the cave was like a scene out of the "Lord of the Rings' movie - "You shall not pass!". This would never pass for an ideal place for batman. There were no bats to be seen.

Not a bat cave!
Large bronze Buddhist deities are placed around the cave. I almost forgot that this was a house of prayer. I was jolted to be more polite with my thoughts and photographing when I realised there were people kneeling solemnly in prayer with their heads bowed down.

Bronze deities at Kek Look Tong

The exit to the garden is at the other end of the cave. It isn't far. I would describe Kek Look Tong as a short tunnel with high ceilings.

The award-winning garden of Kek Look Tong

Feeding the monkeys is prohibited for safety reasons.  

Monkeys in Kek Look Tong

Our adventure ended just before nightfall. A picture of the carpark before I end this post.

Ample parking lots in Kek Look Tong

Opens at 7am, closes at 6pm...and they are sharp about it!

Jan 21, 2014

8 Through the blue skies I soar ...

...with the help of an aeroplane..zooOOmm!

Auto-Awesomed by Google+
It wasn't snowing, of course. I was still in sunny Malaysia. When I uploaded this photo onto my blog, it was auto-awesomed by Google+ (a feature that does cool things to your photos).

Home is a two-hour+ flight away. Lucky me was blessed with the window seat. The view is always amazing up here. Imagine seeing fluffy clouds this close!  I snapped some pics because I wanted to remember the feeling.

It looks like a blanket of snow

Above fluffy clouds

How nice if I could fly....winged like the bird. Nah..wingless like Superman.

Jan 17, 2014

6 Port Dickson : Grand Lexis Resort - A "stay-indoors" holiday!

Aaahhh..reflect and relax
2014's been fabulous so far. People are back in the office with a renewed spirit. School has started with a traffic vengeance. The weather is gloomy but I'm still in that season of festivity. That's because we have many Capricorns in the family. Mom, dad, aunt, cousin... me. Hah! See how many Birthdays we're celebrating. We also make a big-do about Chinese New Year.

So, for us, the party never really ends until February. After that, it's many months of serious business.

Anyway, all this frequent traveling and meeting up with friends and family has not allowed me to blog as often as I wished but hey, I found time today. And so the story begins..

For that occasional "love-myself" reason, I booked a night at Grand Lexis Port Dickson to usher in my 40th Birthday. The unique thing about this resort? Every room is equipped with a private pool.  Whoa.

I had such a great time that I cannot not share this amazing place with everyone.

From the moment we (hubs and I) stepped into the resort, we were mesmerised. The resort staff attended to our needs with such grace and welcomeness that it felt like we were being surrounded by warm hugs.

After the checking-in paperwork was done, we were taken to our rooms in a buggy. Photos tell a better tale, don't they?

The hotel, the reception area and onto the buggy!

Here I am (below) at the Executive Pool Villa above the sea. I've no regrets paying the extra charge for the sea view. Rooms with a good sea view is limited. I had to make arrangements directly with the hotel via a phone call since there was no option available for me to select what I wanted on the online hotel booking sites I visited.

The room is huge and comfortable. A typical classic design with dim lights. On the floor is a glass panel where I could see the gentle waves of the sea passing under the room .

My room!

This is my favourite spot - the indoor pool! The first thing I did after unpacking was jump ....no, ease into the pool ~ it was c-o-l-d. After the initial brrr, I frolicked for hours....hours!

The main attraction - the private pool!

You can walk out to the pool area from the bathroom and the kitchen windows too

I love the pool so much that I've taken more shots than I should have.

It's 4ft deep which is perfect for 5ft me.

Two pool floaters were provided. I had massive fun bobbing in these with my back on the water and the sun on my face.

We only popped out for food once and then, we were back in the pool again.

It was so beautiful to watch the sun set before us as we lay floating in the water.

This room is a corner lot located at the far end of the resort and away from prying eyes of neighbouring units. The extra privacy is a plus!   


Our pool looks out into the open sea. Funnily, there is no balcony designed into the unit. So, there was no place I could sit and chill to enjoy the scenery. I wish they would remove the open shower area at the end of the pool and convert that into a sunbathing area instead.

Sea view
There were a couple of small huts built along the edge of the resort for sunset viewing. It's a gorgeous spot to laze in the evening.

The path to our room

A nice stroll around

At the end is what I call the "sunset viewing hut"
I snooped around and am happy to report that Grand Lexis Resort has garden themed units too for those who don't fancy the sea. There are two types - one which is built in a single-storey row (I think the pools are open-air in these units) and then the other, which looks like double-storey terrace houses. The ground floor rooms of the double-storey units are perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the pool in private and out of the sun. The upper floor units are open and accommodate sun loving folks.

The hotel tower houses sky pool villas with private indoor pools. If you like it high, then this is where you should aim for.

Top : Garden Villas, Bottom : Sea Villas

These are some of the things you can do besides swimming - archery, fishing, games, segway rides, karaoke with friends, eat!  

From top-left, clockwise - Segway rides, Restaurant,
Games room, Archery, Public pool
Well, that's the end of my Birthday bliss but not my traveling adventure. Two days later, I jetted off to my hometown, a small island off Borneo.

Note:

~ There are no sandy beaches for romantic walks or beach activities - this place is wharf-like.

~ Food is expensive and the variety is limited. Good thing - A microwave oven, electric kettle and fridge is provided. You know what to do *wink* OR you could take a short drive into town and try some local food.


Jan 7, 2014

10 Putrajaya : The Bridges I saw

Putrajaya ~ Malaysia's federal administrative centre is a beautiful place to visit. I often imagine picnicking on the grassy grounds beside the lake, munching on sandwiches, sipping tea from a thermos.... 

It would sadden me if Putrajaya fell into the standards of eyesore Kuala Lumpur. A lot of love has been put into the landscaping of this new city of ours, with trees and flowers lining many paths. I would move here if I weren't tied to the convenience of doing business in our old, established capital city.

Picnics aside, I also find Putrajaya magical because of its majestic bridges.

It is said that the Seri Wawasan  bridge (picture below) is a stunning design of a futuristic sailboat, a representation of us steering to meet Malaysia's Vision 2020 goal. Wawasan means vision in our local language.

On second glance, I think it looks like an angel in a flowing gown. This is the most elegant bridge I have ever seen.

Seri Wawasan Bridge ~ From the car

Seri Wawasan Bridge ~ From afar

The Seri Saujana bridge (below) is a stunning structure that looks like a bookend. It also reminds of a pair of slingshots pulled back. I take that it's telling me to "shoot for the stars". I couldn't find any information on the inspiration behind these bridges. I guess I'm not such a great googler after all. 

Seri Saujana Bridge

Seri Saujana Bridge up close

On the Seri Saujana Bridge

Then there's the more down-to-earth Seri Gemilang  bridge. It stands proud against the modernity of the above-mentioned two bridges. Gemilang  means excellence. There is an air of traditionalism in this design.

Seri Gemilang Bridge

Three bridges was all I had enough time for. Perhaps another trip is in order.


For a full list of bridges in Putrajaya, visit this link.

 

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