Jan 20, 2015

12 Saying Goodbye To The Deer Park In Perdana Botanical Garden

In the news ~ DBKL To Close Down Deer Park At Perdana Botanical Garden In Stages.

The largest green lung within the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur is the well-known Perdana Botanical Garden. It's a place that holds many tourist attractions. I've been here many times but have visited the deer park only once. That was last year, to warm up my leg muscles for a walkathon. The deer park has been around for close to thirty years!

This is the main entrance. It's free to enter. There were flags hung up because I was here during the month of Malaysia Day celebrations.

Deer Park Entrance, Kuala Lumpur

Visiting on a gloomy Sunday afternoon has its perks. The park was quiet of people who had stayed away in anticipation of rain.  I'm not afraid of rain. I would, however, hide under my blanket if it was accompanied by thunder and lightning.

Housed in the enclosures (pictured below), are small shy mousedeers.

Home to a few mousedeers

At the end of the path was a man-made waterfall. The sound of flowing water lent a moment of spiritual enlightenment. It was relaxing and I felt like I was in a state of meditation.

Waterfall at Deer Park, Kuala Lumpur

Then, a climb up several stairs. Phew! Luckily, it wasn't a steep one. The scenery was beautiful. 

Huffed and puffed up the stairs

I got a good view of the deers, mostly resting in a large fenced area. The stairway bridge where I stood to admire them, was nestled in the center. This was the view on my left (below).

Deers resting in the shade

On my right, and further up, I was able to get a closer view of the deers. They were munching on some leaves.

Eat!

Can you tell if this is a Fallow or Axis deer? I'm clueless in this department, even after googling.

Deer at Deer Park, Kuala Lumpur

The deer park will be closed in stages to make way for a Center of Rare Plant Species. That sounds pretty exciting too, doesn't it ..even if The Little Shop of Horrors  flashed across my mind for a moment. Pardon my imagination!

Hello there!

I'm not sure how far they are with works on the new center, but if you're keen to check the place out, it's now or never as it has been reported in the papers that the park will close soon.

Jan 4, 2015

14 A Quiet New Year

All good for the soul, but not good at all .. because I spent my New Year gorging on the most addictive chocolate chip cookies. Now I feel like a well nourished potato, rolling her wobbly way around the house. I knew I was asking for trouble when I made the decision to bake the legendary Nestle Toll House cookie but my regrets aren't real. It brought me immense satisfaction. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie with Pumpkin Seeds and Almonds

Aah..2015. "Happy New Year! Happy New Year!", we cheered to each other. Some with renewed hope, others a little superficially.

You see, it's been a tough year for Malaysians in general. A year of sorts. It was a year for the extremists. We were torn apart by racial barbs. It was the year of kidnappings for ransom. That put a dent on the tourism industry. It was the year of aviation disasters. Flight MH370 remains missing, MH17 was shot down and QZ8501 had, it seemed, succumbed to bad weather. QZ8501, although an Indonesian plane, flies under the banner of Air Asia, a Malaysian low-cost airline.

To top it off, several states are facing the worst floods. The rain has been relentless. More than a hundred thousand people have been displaced. Homes have been washed away. Many of us have risen to donate and help in any way we can.

All this, as we try to usher the year in with positive thoughts. The skies remained grey and it was chilly throughout. I didn't stay up to catch the fireworks on the eve. That doesn't mean that I didn't have a good day. I did.

I snuggled up in bed with chocolate chip cookies and three movies. No whoops of joy with friends or running off to start on my resolutions. It was just a day to appreciate the little things more and to be grateful for what I have.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Dec 25, 2014

18 Let me take a ...selfie. Merry Christmas!

This is really all Rose' doing. She asked to see my selfie pics with the pandas, which I honestly didn't have.

If there's one thing I rarely do, it is to take a selfie or a wefie. I'll explain why. I find it a challenge to focus my eyes on the camera while trying to navigate my finger to the button on my smartphone. Haha, I know.

Anyway, it is Christmas and I am having a jolly good time. Cindyrina sent me a really lovely gift, in addition to the goodies I won from her blog contest. She is awesome!

Meet little blue Smurfette! A WE-fie was in order, surely. After 10 minutes, I gave up trying to look at the camera and just found it easier if I worked with looking at the button or somewhere else instead.

Tadaa...! What do you think?


May your days be filled with laughter. Merry Christmas! ;)

Dec 23, 2014

10 The 1600 Pandas World Tour, Dataran Merdeka

These adorable paper mache pandas caused much excitement at Dataran Merdeka on Sunday. It was an event for selfies, wefies and ...just taking photographs.

1600 Panda World Tour

Well, that's not the reason why they were flown in. They're here to pass on a message to you and me about conserving the environment.

Merry Christmas, y'all

In 2008, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) worked with renowned French sculptor Paulo Grangeon to launch the 1600 panda campaign. 1,600 pandas were made out of recycled paper. Why 1,600? It was estimated that there were only 1,600 pandas left in the wild at the time.

This campaign was organised to raise awareness of the endangered species, and to highlight the importance of preserving the environment. Proceeds from the 1600 Pandas MY event will be used to support local conservation initiatives.

Wait..this is all that's left of us?

There was, at first, childlike joy and wonder at seeing so many cute little panda statues being displayed. But once it sinks in that this is all that's left of them, there is sadness and a realisation that if we do not do something about it, then they, the pandas, and many other animals will go extinct.

Please take care of the environment because it is our home!

The 1600 Pandas event was published in a number of news and media portals today. The hype was amazing. Many stated that there were 1600 pandas on display at the launch and one local paper said thousands had made their way into our country. All I saw was something in the range of a couple of hundreds, maybe less. Mmm..where were they hiding..  

At the launch of 1600 Pandas World Tour in Malaysia

The good news? They'll be touring Malaysia for a month. I'll be making my way to see the pandas again and this time, I'll keep my eyes peeled for 1,600!

1600 Pandas at Dataran Merdeka

The details of the tour can be found on this Facebook page, in case you're keen to pay the pandas a visit : 1600 Pandas MY (https://www.facebook.com/1600PandasMY)


Dec 15, 2014

17 JW Marriott's Eco Christmas Tree

A long, lonnnNnnng time ago, I worked for a profitable multinational organisation that took ages to approve anything. Oh, the red tape! But Christmas was almost upon us and while the more established offices were having their fun, we were work weary and serious. I decided a little cheer was in order.

So, out I went one evening to hunt for a little tree. I was on a tight budget then. A third of my salary went towards my degree education, the rest to managing household expenses, a car and a home loan. Maggi noodles was my best friend! Even so, I never felt that I was short on anything in life. I have only fond memories of my go-getter days. I felt resilient.

It was a stroke of luck that I stumbled across a store that was selling a 6ft tree for only RM30. I snapped it up along with baubles and all. I cannot forget the excitement that filled the air when my colleagues saw the tree! Then on, we organised gift exchanges and a little party. It was a nice break from office tasks and we got to know each other a little better. 

I never claimed any money for it so the tree went home with me after I left the company. This tree that I speak of is now over a decade old and is the same one I put up yearly in my home, the one I've been blogging about.

As for the company? They finally approved a purchase request for one ;)
Well, enough about my tree! I've gone all nostalgic.

This post is supposed be about another tree that I have been oohing and aahing over. On our (friend and I) walkabout in the heart of Kuala Lumpur the other day, we decided to pop into the JW Marriott Hotel to see what their Christmas tree was like. I'm glad we did because it was really stunning and one of my favourites this year.

Here is JW Marriott's Eco Christmas Tree! And it is accompanied by lighted angels with trumpet in hand.

The JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur Eco Tree

This eco tree is made from recycled materials. Can you see the old magazines and mineral bottles? The Santa pieces are made from paper mache decorated by the hotel's employees.

Paper mache Santas by the staff of JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

Beautiful tree and it's nice that so many people were involved in making it. I love how this tree makes me feel - warm and fuzzy in the heart!

Dec 9, 2014

20 The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2014

It's happening NOW! My previous adventures here and here. As you can see, I am no newbie to The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale (BBW). I did mention in my previous blog post that I wasn't doing any holiday shopping because I wanted to save all my money for this sale. Well, this is it - check out my purchases.

My BBW Book Stash
And if you want tips, I say choose to go on a week day or early Sunday morning. Take a day off if you have to. This isn't just any sale. It's The Amazing Spider-man Big Bad Wolf!

My other advice? Bring a trolley bag because you WILL get carried away. You can choose to use the boxes provided by BBW to help you with the books, but unless you have strong arms, you're not going to get very far.

You can, however, leave your unpaid stash at the storage counter while you continue your book browsing.

Boxes!
And my final tip - Bring extra cash.

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning last Sunday just to get to the sale by 7am. There was ample parking space and it wasn't too crowded yet.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale In The Early Morning

The best part? No long queues at the cashier.

BBW Cashiers Taking A Break

I make it a point to leave by 11-ish. That's when it begins to get crowded. My visit to the BBW has always been peaceful and pleasant. You are looking at a pro. Hehe.

Check out some of the books I saw at the cookery corner.

BBW Cookery

I bet you recognise some of these chefs! Priced between RM15 to RM30, these books are a steal, I say.

BBW Cook Books

The Big Bad Wolf gives out bookmarks to good customers - one at the cashier when payment is made and another for filling up a survey form.

BBW Bookmarks

These cute button badges cost RM10 per pack. I wanted it but was torn between spending it on books or badges. I let the badges go.

BBW Button Badges

If you need any assistance, don't hesitate to howl, I mean ask. BBW has hired the friendliest peeps to attend to you.

BBW Help

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale ends on 16th Dec 2014. Have I mentioned that it's non-stop? That's right, you can shop at 3am if you like. It doesn't close for the day.
Location : MIECC, The Mines

Go and be wow-ed.

Dec 6, 2014

8 Christmas at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

A day out in the big city. Two girls, window shopping. That was our goal...plus a small spending budget.

"It would be folly to 'squander' our savings on a festive whim," so I thought to myself in the seriousness of a puppy chewing on her treats. The truth is, I really wanted to save every penny for a big book sale we were heading to this weekend. Well, we certainly made good on keeping our hands off our wallets!

Did we have a great day then? I describe it as magical. We were consumed by the holiday spirit - this, after seeing a beautiful Christmas tree outside a small boutique hotel. I haven't figured out what exactly it was that hit us, but we zipped through several malls snapping photos of every Christmas tree we saw.

These are just the ones I took at Pavilion, which in my personal opinion, was out-of-this-world enchanting.

Christmas at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

Left corner of the Christmas Santa at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

An overall picture of the Christmas decor at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

More Christmas trees at the entrance of Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

The night scene - Christmas at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

Although exhausted, we couldn't resist walking back to Pavilion to see how the trees would look like at night. We were surprised with a musical light show. This is a short video of it. Happens at 8PM ;)




On a side note,  Crabtree & Evelyn is giving out a mystery gift! Snap a photo of yourself at their store or Christmas booth, using the props provided. Upload the photo into Crabtree & Evelyn's 'Festive Joy Wishes' app on Facebook. Show this to the cashier to claim the gift. We did this on the spot via our mobile phone and were both rewarded with a tube of hand lotion. 

In case anyone's interested, Crabtree & Evelyn's Christmas booth is located near the main entrance of Pavilion. 

Crabtree & Evelyn Mystery Gift!

Looks like we didn't go home empty handed after all ;)

All in, we covered seven malls! Sticky with sweat and in need of a bath, badly. Exercise? Bah, pretty sure this counts as enough. I'm feeling healthier already.

Dec 3, 2014

10 Journey Into The Chocolate Museum

When it comes to museums, I try to be as enthusiastic as I can. The truth is, without good company and unless 'very' interesting, there's a good chance that I will start snoring in broad daylight. I'm exaggerating, of course.

The Chocolate Museum by Fidani is a place I'd been pestering my other half to visit for a long time. Chocolate, being the key to my enthusiasm. I finally convinced a girlfriend to go with me, but had no idea how to get there.

My hubby volunteered one Sunday. "I'll show you where it is so you can drive there on your own," he said.

When we arrived, it just seemed ridiculous not to take a look around since we were already there and it was open. Thus begins our chocolate adventure.

Chocolate Museum

Here I am inside the chocolate museum. We were free to roam on our own.

At the entrance of the Chocolate Museum

The journey begins with a history on cocoa and then chocolates, and their creators.

Chocolate History

This is a conching machine. It was invented by Swiss chocolatier Rudolphe Lindt. It is used to help develop a smoother texture for chocolate.

Conche

The chocolate kitchen (picture below) is equipped with the latest chocolate-making machinery. If you come at the right time, you will be able to see chocolatiers at work. 

The Chocolate Kitchen

At the end of our tour is the Chocolate Galleria where chocolates are said to be sold 'cheaper than outside'!

Chocolate Galleria

Cheaper? I did some shopping, of course!

When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile ~ Regina Brett

My Chocolate Purchase

That's that on my tour of the chocolate museum. It's a small place, no Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory, but it was good enough for me and a nice way to spend an hour of our time.

The Chocolate Museum, which is located in Kota Damansara, opens daily from 10am to 5pm. Click here for location details.

Nov 27, 2014

14 Popular's All RM5 Book Fiesta

Books at RM5? It's a recipe for getting carried away! I have never not been tempted by anything good that's sold at bargain price, and this has made me adept at sniffing out best buys. I am, however, nowhere near amazing at it though - not like those guys in Extreme Couponing, a TV show that had me in awe.

Anyway, I spent my Sunday morning at Viva Home Shopping Centre. They say the early bird catches the worm and this is exactly how I would describe my experience. I was there before the shutters opened. I grabbed what I wanted in under an hour and marched to the payment counter, free from queue and crowd ;)

Popular's All RM5 Fiesta

The selection for home and cookery books was not as extensive as I had hoped. I guess it's more of a sale to clear old stock. But who's complaining? Not me, for sure. What a great move to make way for new titles to fill the store ... and it's always good that books be made affordable to all.

Popular's All RM5 Fiesta

My Stash

Half of these will be placed under my Christmas tree. Some will be sent to the office. I didn't buy much for myself after all...or did I? Not telling! (Lets be cryptic about this because I'm feeling slightly embarrassed about my lack of self control.)

At Home Admiring My Books

The RM5 Fiesta ends on 30th Nov. There's still time to check it out. ;)

Nov 21, 2014

21 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 ;)


 

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