Aug 23, 2016

20 Kuala Lumpur : Tugu Negara (National Monument)

The National Monument was built to serve as a memorial for those who died fighting for Malaysia's freedom during WWII and the Malayan Emergency. It was designed by sculptor Felix de Weldon, who was later conferred the title 'Tan Sri'.  Pergh!

I've been here several times, bringing friends and family for a sightsee of the place. It's one of my favourite stops because of the impressive towering sculpture of bronze soldiers that stands there and the history it carries for us. The park, when it's not flooded with tourists, is a great spot to reflect on how far the country has come and it's a reminder to me that in difficult times, heroes will rise. It could be me, it could be you, but it's always best if it's all of us working together for the betterment of our beloved home. 

These are pics I snapped a couple of years ago, a time when several relatives spent a few nights at my small apartment. Fond memories! Blankets, pillows, mattresses - I was prepared. Cousin Jo was getting married. That's why the many visitors.  For one of my aunts, it was all the more exciting because it was her first time in Kuala Lumpur; so I showed her around and of course, a visit to Tugu Negara was included!

Behold, our National Monument:
Tugu Peringatan Negara / National Monument

Tugu Negara - View From The Back

Tugu Negara - View From The Front

Names of fallen soldiers are engraved on a plaque on the cenotaph pictured below. Did you know that the cenotaph was built earlier than the National Monument? It was initially meant to commemorate the Great War (1914-1918) but later included names of those who had fallen during WWII as well.

Kuala Lumpur Cenotaph

Kuala Lumpur Cenotaph - The Surroundings

Tugu Negara - A Lovely Park With Fountains

I couldn't resist snapping a photo of Sabah's Coat Of Arms when I saw it. Sabah Maju Jaya means 'Let Sabah Prosper'. I was born in Labuan as a Sabahan, years before the island was surrendered to the Federal Government and made a Federal Territory. We were 'Sabahan' until 1984. Then came this awkwardness of saying "Saya orang Sabah" that was never there before. Part of our cultural identity had been stripped away. I used to cheer Sabah on in sporting events. Now I wondered if Labuanites were considered part of the team!

Even Wikipedia divided us (sob) :
"East Malaysia (Malaysia Timur), also known as Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan ..."

Suddenly it was strange identifying Mount Kinabalu as one of our best tourist landmarks. It is, of course, if you say it in a nationwide kind of way but what's great in our state/federal territory? The best I could cough up was Labuan's Japanese Surrender Point which was in painful-to-see conditions the last time I visited. I'm cringing, and sticking my tongue out at this. It's best I end this conversation here. I'm getting carried away!

Sabah - Where I Was Born!

A weather-worn sign at the entrance of Tugu Negara.

Tugu Negara

If you're Malaysian and have yet to visit, add Tugu Peringatan Negara to your jalan-jalan  list this Merdeka Day.

Tugu Peringatan Negara / National Monument Malaysia

Location: Jalan Parlimen, Kuala Lumpur, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Open 24 hours. No entrance fees.


Aug 11, 2016

14 Eat Out: Namoo Korean Dessert Cafe n Bistro on the park

What better way to connect with people than food. The women in my family are all ardent home cooks. It's no surprise that we have a lot in common to talk about and no shortage of happy memories built around scrumptious Birthday meals and the fun of working on festival eats together.

I spent the whole of last week catching up with my aunt and cousin. We went sightseeing and ate at restaurants we've never been to before.It was a morning 'til night thing. I'm exhausted, yes but I carry with me now many beautiful moments that make me smile every time I think back.

This is us at a cosy modern Korean cafe at Publika mall. Just outside the restaurant is a children's playground. It's a good place to catch up with the girlfriends and bring the kids.

From top-left, clockwise: Us, The Interior, Cappucino - RM12, Milky Hwa Che - RM15

I ordered  a chicken rice burger. It was really good. At first impression, I thought the cheese was slathered with typical sweet chilli sauce, the kind on a Malaysian Ramly burger. I'm glad it wasn't. This was different.

Bibi Rice Burger - RM25

My aunt called for grilled marinated beef slices with rice. This is very much like comfort food. Satisfying on the taste buds. 

Garlic Bulgogi Rice - RM30

My cousin had tomato cheese rice. It doesn't look like much, but it was tasty. Check out the egg - begging for a photo shoot is how I would describe it!

Tomato Cheese Hambap - RM30

Namoo Korean Dessert Cafe n Bistro on the park (phew!) has a warm and romantic ambiance that is great for long chats.

Namoo Korean Dessert Cafe n Bistro - The Ambiance

The main entrance.

Namoo Korean Dessert Cafe n Bistro - The Entrance

There's a hook under the table. How convenient; no more pulling up an extra chair for my shopping bags.

Bag Hook

We enjoyed our makan (eat) session. The staff was fun and friendly. They were attentive too!

I picked up the bill. It was something I'd been meaning to do ever since my last trip back to the town I was born in. My aunt and cousin have always been there for me in both tough and cheerful times. I love them dearly.

Namoo Korean Dessert Cafe n Bistro on the park
Address: Publika, Level G3, Lot 4A , Solaris Dutamas No.1 , Jalan Dutamas 1 , 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (a floor above MPH Book Store)
Telephone: 03 - 6411 6698
Website: http://www.namoo.com.my/home

Aug 2, 2016

14 A Walkabout : Setia Eco Park Lifestyle Hub

In the quiet city of Shah Alam, lies Setia Eco Park (SEP), a greenery-inspired neighbourhood that boasts of beautiful parks with landscapes that incorporate the forest.

Hubs brought me here for a walkabout. I love the area. It is, in general, a well-planned town. The roads and sidewalks are wide and neat, free from litter and construction debris.

We spotted this interesting place from the road and decided to pop in for a look-see.

Setia Eco Park Lifestyle Hub
 
This large round building is actually a property sales gallery. We had a good chat with one of the consultants who briefed us on the latest developments and answered our queries. She also arranged for another consultant to drive us into the gated neighbourhood to view the houses. It was a lovely experience.   

Setia Eco Park Lifestyle Hub

The Lifestyle Hub houses several restaurants, an education center and a skin specialist - most of it closed during the time I was there. I had walked up the stairs to get an overview of the place from the second floor but the gates were locked. Perhaps an adventure for another day!

Setia Eco Pak Lifestyle Hub

Setia Eco Park Lifestyle Hub

The lakes are mostly a murky yellow-brown but it is peaceful. This is located just beside the Sales Gallery.

Setia Eco Park - The Lake

Setia Eco Park - The Lake

I think I will love living here ;)

Aug 1, 2016

16 Review : Trying Out The EnviroHome Food Wash

[PINNED POST]
Special Thanks Promotion 2016

EnviroHome is running  a special thanks promotion of 15% discount on all normal priced products in their official website- www.envirohome.com.my which ends on 31st August 2016.  All you need to do is type " EHMsia " as the coupon code upon purchase, and type “ Sharon16 ” in the field “Add Comments About Your Order”.


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

"Sha, don't eat the apple with the skin on !! My sister worked in an apple farm ..", my lively, talkative friend went on about how toxic it was.

Yep, it seems that wax locks in pesticides. Fruits and vegetables have often been waxed to prolong shelf life and prevent moisture loss.

It's been my usual practice to peel fruits before eating but there are times that I prefer not to do so for aesthetic reasons, especially when I'm making party food or if it's for a blog post on my cooking blog.

Unless I know how the fresh food I have purchased is handled or where it has been before it lands on supermarket shelves, it's better to be safe than sorry; a personal opinion.

How do I clean fresh food? I've been doing it the tedious way all these years; with a small soft brush. No kidding! I'd have more faith, if I'm buying this direct from the farmer, fisherman or planting it myself. The supermarket? Mmm...

So, when the folks at EnviroHome approached me to try out their Food Wash, I was only too happy to accept!

EnviroHome - Food Wash

Pesticide, bacteria, wax - solid reasons to wash fresh produce, meat and seafood before consuming them. The most important thing that caught my eye whilst reading about EnviroHome is that their products are environmental friendly. Yep, it's non-toxic, and as a bonus gentle on the skin.

Just a squirt or two into a basin of water. That's how easy it is to use this. As you can see from the picture below, the EnviroHome  food wash is a clear transparent liquid. It has a mild slimy feel that is easily rinsed off.

EnviroHome Food Wash

Leave the fruits in the water for a couple of minutes. Do the same with seafood, raw meat and vegetables. Rub gently and rinse off. Easy peasy!

EnviroHome Food Wash - Fruit-washing

The product details.


EnviroHome Food Wash - Directions and Ingredients

My findings - Less water was used since the washing wasn't done under a running tap. We all know the importance of preserving water. As this is an earth friendly product, whatever goes down the drain is not harmful to the environment. Secondly, it took me a shorter time to clean my fruits and veggies. Finally, it looks like it does the job. My fruits and veggies look and feel clean.

I like it! It gave me a sense of security knowing that I could clean pesticide and wax off just like that. I've been using it for a week now which is probably too soon to make a proper assessment.

Here's a short demo to show you how it works and its wonders. 



Food washing products are relatively new to Malaysians. We've often taken a lackadaisical attitude towards food cleanliness, as evidenced by our enthusiasm for eating at hawker stalls that are openly unhygienic.

However, that is not to say that there isn't a rising concern for food safety and what we feed our loved ones. Many people are choosing to eat at home these days for a healthier lifestyle. The popularity of organic foods has also risen over the years. I have no doubt that concerned mothers and health conscious people will be picking up food washing products very soon. The EnviroHome Food Wash is an attractive choice because it is a natural cleaning product that is free from chemicals. 

But, are food washing products just hogwash? Does it really help? The only way to find out for sure is to try it for yourself and talk to the EnviroHome experts! Fire your questions to the relevant people via:

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.


Jul 30, 2016

20 Bloom Where You Are Planted

A garden stone decorative item on my shelf has these words on it ~ Bloom where God plants you .

Wherever we are, whether we like it or not, do our best because that makes our character. And sometimes, we will be rewarded in ways we cannot imagine. I find life much sweeter this way. It is exciting too; an adventure of sorts when things aren't going the way I dreamed it would but turned out beautifully in the end.

Rather than be upset at what life throws at us, swim with it and do it innovatively. I'm saying that I would get on an inflatable unicorn floater or snorkel my way through instead of drifting sorrowfully. 

Some see weeds. I see a place, if not for weeds, would be barren. That is optimism for you and looking at a different perspective. Oh, enough with the motivational chat. I've gotten carried away! I'm really here about a beautiful flower that has bloomed in my garden.

My orchid plant has been through a rough patch. It was snapped in two after a hanging flower pot fell onto it. I wasn't sure if it would survive but a new shoot appeared and I was assured. The shoot, however, grew out of the broken stem at an awkward horizontal angle. It looks like a long arm stretching out with three fingers; The fingers being the flower buds.

Orchid Blooms

 In Manglish, " Nice anot ? "

It Took Three Weeks To Bloom!


Jul 27, 2016

18 The AINO Warehouse Sale, I'm Done With Gift Shopping!

Would you believe that I'm done with Christmas gift shopping already? It all happened when I popped into AINO's warehouse sale at Desa ParkCity over a month back.

I love going into this home furnishing store. It is my place of happy. They sell exquisite kitchen and tableware at reasonable prices. The bright red ads they had placed strategically along several roads were effective in getting my attention. Hubs and I made our way to the warehouse sale that was organised in an open carpark

This mandoline was going for RM30. I'd been eyeing for one the longest time; it had always been too expensive ranging from RM80 to as high as RM300. This is a steal!
 
Mandoline

What's Inside The Mandoline

Tadaaa..my new toy! Ready for slicing and grating action.

A Stand And Various Cutting Blades

We checked out every corner of the sale. There were so many pretty things. Then, we saw it. This item (pictured below) originally costs RM14.90 per set. Guess how much I got it for at the sale. What thing? It's a secret known only to few.

"Wow, this would make a great Christmas gift . I'll take ten-lah." So I told the young chap who was assisting us.

"What do you mean ten. We'll take the whole carton!" My husband quipped in excitedly.

That's 24 in a carton and we paid RM24 for all of it. Yes, it went down to RM1 each! I am feeling so blessed by this phenomenal find.

The Secret Christmas Gift

That's why I love going to warehouse sales. It's like a play centre for adults. Here's a couple of photos showing what the scene is like.

AINO Warehouse Sale

AINO Warehouse Sale

Coincidentally, AINO is running a small-scale sale at their stores right now for selected items. Check their website out to see the bargains.

As for me, I think I have enough to hold off shopping until the next warehouse adventure. Or do I ..

Jul 23, 2016

14 Spring Cleaning - Stuff Happens!

The plan was to redecorate the bedroom, but this has gone on to become a major spring-cleaning exercise that includes the store room.

Stuff happens when you're doing so many things at one go. I accidentally snapped the drawer bottom into half. It felt like my heartbeat dropped for a moment as I stared at the broken piece in tiny panic. The feeling washed over; I'm planing to tape it up and am keeping my fingers crossed that it can at least hold up lingerie.

What do you think? Can she-hulk, that's me, save this?

Broken Drawer Bottom

It was part of a 3-drawer cabinet that I had purchased from IKEA many years ago.

IKEA Drawer Cabinet

The Daiso vacuum seal bags are proving very useful. I have not vacuumed these items flat yet since I have more bags to fill. It's taking me a lot of time because my small washing machine can only handle so much abuse and the drying area? Fits two comforters, max! Besides that, pillows and soft toys take at least 3 days to dry.

Guess how many pillows are packed here in the picture below? ..At least 6 sleeping pillows, 10 cushion pillows, 4 bolster pillows. Then, I've got comforters, bedspreads and a sofa cover too. That leaves 10 blankets and a bag full of bedsheets still to pack.

You must be wondering why I have so many bedding items. In addition, I have three sofa beds and 2 mattresses. I get a lot of visitors staying over. Taking people jalan-jalan (sight-seeing) is an activity I love.

Pillows, Comforters And Bedspreads

It looks like it'll be sometime before I start with the wall-painting but that's okay. I'm in no rush.

Jul 20, 2016

14 Die-lor, I'm At Daiso ..And I Bought More Than Vacuum Seal Bags

Die-lor, I'm at Daiso. This means an excitable me and a bout of over-spending. All the items are priced at RM5.30 making it one of the best stores to shop for presents and household items for the budget-conscious.

I was here to get some storage bags, the vacuum seal kind. Spring cleaning is the new exercise. I always feel good after a major one and I'm midway through the bedroom. It needs to be revamped, the walls painted, curtains changed, cabinets re-organised and so forth. I've been washing all sorts of things from soft toys to old pillows the past couple of weeks. Four bags of used items have been donated away. I'm always surprised by the number of things we accumulate over the years! It feels like yesterday that I gave away ten bags of stuff ..

As it is, I did over-buy at Daiso, a few lovely tray organisers making their way into my shopping basket. It was white and had these beautiful carvings around the sides. I thought it'd be perfect for keeping our skin and beauty products neatly in place. No more using old recycled chocolate tins - these I'm saving for gift-wrapping.

On the vacuum seal bags, I wasn't sure which would be the better buy so I brought home two varieties - one a plain ziplock bag in XXXL size and the other with a valve.

Vacuum Seal Bags

I dug my vacuum cleaner out and proceeded to vacuum pack my bedspread and comforter. It worked like a charm - both items were flattened to half its size. I cannot wait to do the same with the fluffy pillows!

Vacuum-Packing To Save Space

I wasn't too pleased about the one that had the valve in the beginning because it didn't look aesthetically pleasing with a huge button sticking out on top. However, compared to the other, it proved to be the user-friendlier one! Without the valve, it wasn't easy to vacuum the bag flat. The plastic kept getting sucked into the vacuum cleaner .. perhaps I'm not doing it quite right.
 
Vacuum Seal Bag With Valve - Easy-Peasy!

Vacuum Seal Bag Without Valve - Phew! Hard Work!

Therefore, it will be the one with the valve for me from now onwards!

Have you any storage tips for large items?

Jul 14, 2016

20 In A Village Far, Far Away ..

 ....lived this girl (me), her family and the relatives. It was a world of greenery and beaches. Then, she moved to the concrete jungle of the city. The fairy tale faded away leading to a life akin to those you read in chick lits.

Anyway, I was back in my hometown for some two weeks just before Raya. The one thing I love doing at the kampung (village) I grew up in is to take pictures of trees and plants around the compound. I don't know if it's true but it is said that seeing greenery improves our eyesight. So feast your eyes on this.

Coconut, mango, rambutan, jackfruit - these are some of the trees that are grown here. There used to be a guava plant at the back of the house which I was fond of climbing. The fruit had pink flesh. There was also a soursop tree but both are gone now.

Mango Tree (left), Coconut Tree (at the back)

These are some of the trees that are fruiting at the moment.

Banana Trees

Mango Tree

Mangoes

Pineapple Plant

Papaya Tree

I gave my aunt the seeds to grow this blue pea flower plant. So happy it's flourishing!

Blue Pea Flowers / Bunga Telang
 
The cassava tree. Haven't eaten this in a quite a while.

Tapioca

There's herbs like basil and lemongrass plus aromatic pandan leaves.

Sweet Basil

Life may look laid-back in the village but the amount of effort people put towards gardening, picnicking and get-togethers after a day in the office is really something to me. Comparing city life, I guess the difference is one finds joy in doing the things they do, hence a feeling that nothing is too much to do. The other is stressed out from things they don't want to do like being stuck in the office all day, being caught in traffic jams and getting too focused on earning a living rather than making a life. Not everyone, of course. Just generally.


Jul 11, 2016

18 Dragon City Bak Kut Teh, Kepong

Bah Kut Teh (BKT), a delicious pork soup cooked for hours in Chinese herbs and spices, is the stuff that warms the body and makes you feel good on a chilly day.

It is my comfort food and I have been having lots of it lately. My husband knows of my love affair with BKT. If it's mentioned as a lunch 'suggestion', it will most likely be our meal of the day. I'm grinning as I type this.  

We popped into a BKT restaurant in Kepong impromptu one evening. Besides BKT, we ordered a soy sauce pork belly claypot dish, lettuce greens and chinese crullers.

The yummy food:

Bak Kut Teh

I was wearing a bright yellow tee. Coincidentally, yellow was the theme of this restaurant too so, I blended right in with the waiters! Hubs kept teasing me about it.

Dragon City Bak Kut Teh, Kepong

I enjoyed the food and the friendliness of the staff. They were a jovial lot.

The Ambiance

The View

To end, should you happen to wear a shirt and colour similar to that of the waiters of the restaurant that you intend to have your meal at, would you shy away from walking in and choose to eat elsewhere instead?

 

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