Jun 22, 2017

12 Jalan-Jalan MyTOWN Shopping Centre

Hubs had to meet a client last Sunday so I was left to my own devices for a few hours. Yippee! He dropped me off at MyTown Shopping Centre, Cheras near IKEA's entrance. I hadn't planned on buying anything but committed several shopping crimes, all related to cookware. IKEA does that to me ... aargh! Anyway, it was the earliest store to open. Hence, my adventure began there.

I explored the rest of the mall after that. There was Daiso, Padini, Brands Outlet, Parkson ..pretty much the same brands you get in other malls. I was most amused by the many massage chairs lining several corners of the mall. I had made hubs sit in one of these once when he was feeling grumpy one day - for real. It worked wonders and we often laugh about it looking back.

Massage Chairs

MyTOWN is an odd name for a shopping centre; I wondered why it was named so. Their website offered no answers, hence it remains a mystery to me.

The mall has a nice food court called Food Empire on the 3rd floor. Hubs joined me for lunch. There's Japanese, Thai and local food. We tried Mee Jawa at Malay Fusion and ordered a piece of fried chicken from Nasi Campur Suria to share. The bowl of noodles had a generous amount of ingredients. It was okay taste-wise. Unfortunately, the fried chicken was raw in the middle. Before we could return it, the alert staff stepped forward and offered us a new piece. We thanked her and were touched by her move. May she be blessed in her line of work - she's great with customers!

Food Empire, MyTown Shopping Centre

Food Court at Level 3 MyTown Shopping Centre

Mee Jawa from Malay Fusion

On my walkabout, I saw YL Old Taste Cake House. I would have bought a piece to try had I not baked a luscious chocolate cake topped with Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate a couple of days before. Haha. No cravings for another cake this soon!

Homemade Chocolate Cake

The Raya decor is really cool with slides for children to play with. That said, I can't believe that Raya is days away. Another long weekend coming up for us.

MyTown Shopping Centre

I really enjoyed my time here. So much that I've already arranged a date with my cousin to visit this place again. This shopping centre is bright and spacious with a decent number of shops already open. Good place to hang out.

Well, that's that on my Sunday.

My next adventure - I've tickets to watch Transformers this evening. Can't wait for that. 😉

Jun 13, 2017

20 The Sweet Soups At Ramadhan Bazaars

Another reason I love going to Ramadhan Bazaars -  the warm, sweet soups! There is a good variety being sold. I have yet to try the coconut milk pumpkin dessert which I saw at Jalan Kuching but I will get to it one day. In the meantime, these were the common few I settled for as a long weekend treat.

Yup, it was a public holiday for us in KL yesterday!

I enjoyed lots of 'we' time with hubs. We watched Tom Cruise's The Mummy, which fell short chemistry-wise between the hero and his love interest. I would rate it as 'not too bad-la'. Hubs said, "4 out of 10".

We lunched at our regular chicken rice stall in Taman Tun, then headed to the MRT station nearby and checked out FamilyMart, a Japanese convenience store. I read about the place from a blog I was following. We tried the yummy Matcha ice cream; good stuff, not sugary sweet. I was pleased to see my favourite  Korean mochi buns being sold here. It is cheaper than the ones I usually get at a bakery in DPC. However, the Tohato caramel corn snacks are pricier here compared to Daiso.

Anyway, back to these local desserts. I'm sorry for getting carried away with my weekend activities!

Pictured below - banana in coconut milk with sago pearls. Some call this Serawa Pisang. This is fairly easy to make, a matter of cooking bananas in coconut milk for a little while along with one or two pandan leaves for aroma. Sago is mixed in to complete the dish. Some sweeten this with plain sugar, some with palm sugar - a personal preference thing.

Pengat Pisang Bersagu

Slices of jackfruit in coconut milk with sago is another delicious version of this local dessert. I gave it a try but admittedly, much prefer the one with bananas.

Bubur Nangka Bersagu

Black glutinous rice dessert is pretty much a regular buy in my household. This sweet soup is actually blackish red. I couldn't get a better shot because of bright sunlight so it turned out pink instead.

Bubur Pulut Hitam

Finally, there's hubs ultimate favourite - mung bean dessert!

Bubur Kacang Hijau

Are you a fan of warm soupy desserts? What is your favourite?

Jun 7, 2017

20 Melaka : Stamp Museum

Once the home of Dutch dignitaries, now a stamp museum. For some, paying RM3 to catch up on the postal history of Melaka may not be an exciting way to spend the holiday but it is different with me.

I was formerly an enthusiastic stamp collector. The hobby slowly slid out of my life as the world connected through the internet and letter writing became obsolete. I stopped having penpals. To continue purchasing new stamp releases direct from the post office seemed a meaningless activity. Handwritten letters, to me, were the heart and soul of stamp collecting. I guess I'm just old-fashioned!

Melaka Stamp Museum

This museum is a simple two-storey setup with information boards and stamps on display. The ground floor houses a stamp store and the ticketing counter.

Information Boards

As you enter the gate, you will see several olden day postboxes displayed within the compound. Pictured below is one of it.

A Postbox

It took us only 20 minutes to explore the place. There isn't much to see if you have no interest in postal history but just as important if you want to show kids how regular people communicate with the outside world back in the old days, before the era of computers and besides using the telephone or telegram. Ticket prices for kids are RM2 each.

For me, this was more of a trip down memory lane and I gladly parted with my money to help maintain this place.

Melaka Stamp Museum
(Around the corner from A Famosa)
Address: Jalan Kota, Melaka 75000, Malaysia.

May 30, 2017

16 Melaka : The Ruins Of St. Paul's Church

Located at the peak of a hill, just a little away from Aldy Hotel Stadthuys is the ruins of St. Paul's Church. Hubs and I walked through a small entrance with an open air staircase leading up. The climb wasn't too steep but we found out later that there was an easier path up, behind the gate of the famed Portuguese fort A Famosa.

It is said that St. Paul's hill was previously known as Malacca Hill by the locals before it was renamed Monti Ali Maria or Mary's Hill by the Portuguese who had developed the place. St. Paul's started out as a little chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary, which later extended into a church with the addition of a second floor and a belfry tower. The place, now no longer what it used to be, was deconsecrated with the building of a new place of worship, that is, Christ Church under the Dutch rule and underwent several modifications to be strengthened as part of a fort.

Next to the ruins is a statue of St. Francis Xavier; he is said to have established a school in these premises. The hand on the statue was severed when a Casuarina tree fell on it.

Left : St. Paul's Church and A White Belfry Tower
Right : A Statue Of St. Francis Xavier

The building has no roof in a large part of its area. It is designed with many arched windows and entrances. I imagine the church to be bright and airy in its heyday. This place is a tourist hot spot, as you can see from pictures below. There are buskers and stalls right outside the building adding liveliness to an otherwise solemn spot.

Inside the Ruins of St. Paul's Church, Melaka

St. Paul's Church, Melaka

Intriguing Dutch tombstones are lined against the old walls. I wondered about the people who once walked here, how they dressed and lived, what 'routine' was for them.

The Dutch Tombstones of St. Paul's Church

The Dutch Tombstones of St. Paul's Church

More pictures of St. Paul's church on my way up the hill that sunny day. We enjoyed touring this place. It gave us a nice view of surrounding areas too.

View of St. Paul's Church nearing the top

Beautiful St. Paul's Hill, Melaka

Finally, this shot of Aldy Hotel just to show you how close the hotel is.

The best time to visit would be early in the morning before the humidity sets in. Entrance is free.

St. Paul's Church

Address: Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia

May 22, 2017

20 Melaka : Old Is Gold Aldy Hotel Stadthuys

Perhaps the fifth hotel I have stayed in, in  Melaka. And I must warn you that this is a long overdue post - last Christmas long in fact, when my aunt and I were here for a holiday.

This is what Aldy Hotel Stadthuys looks like. Painted dark red like all most of the buildings in Melaka's Dutch Square. Bamboo Hut bistro takes up the ground floor.

Aldy Hotel Stadthuys, Melaka

The check-in lobby is hidden behind the bistro. We headed to the back and entered through a side door. Checking in was fuss free. I had even arranged with the courteous hotel employee to book a taxi for us to the bus terminal for the day we were leaving.

The Entrance Located At The Side

We lugged our bags into a small lift at the corner and were soon in our room, happy that everything from toilet flush, electric kettle to the flat screen TV was in working order. The wifi service was good too - not that we used much of it since we were out most of the time and exhausted at night!

It was a good-sized room with twin beds. I could snore peacefully in mine and my aunt, in hers. A casual batik kaftan was found hanging in the wardrobe - my aunt wore it as her pajamas to sleep.

The Comfy Beds In Aldy Hotel Stadthuys, Melaka

Another View Of The Room. My Aunt In The Kaftan.

I chose this hotel because it was located smack in the middle of many tourist attractions. It was a short walking distance from Jonker Street, the Dutch Square, a number of museums and old historical buildings such as St. Paul's Church. It is also close to the jetty of the River Cruise, the Taming Sari Revolving Tower and two large shopping malls. We relied only on our two legs to get around.

The Dutch Square, Melaka

The room rates were reasonable too. I managed to score 2 nights stay for RM350 with breakfast from an online hotel booking website.

The view outside our window was not bad either. We could see colourful trishaws passing by with loud music blaring from the speakers attached to it. The noise stopped before midnight. Funnily, it didn't really bother us.  I slept through it.

I was happy with the cleanliness of the bathroom. The basics were provided - soap, shampoo, towels. It is enough for me.

Bath Amenities

Breakfast was a simple affair at the bistro.  The waitress greeted us cheerfully and we were asked to choose from a small menu what we'd like to have. I much prefer this over a breakfast buffet - less food wastage and no chance of overeating. My aunt agrees too! This way we wouldn't be too full to hunt for street food later.

Breakfast At Bamboo Hut Bistro, Aldy Hotel Stadthuys, Melaka.

To end, I will say that am taken in by the excellent service we received from staff at this hotel. The warmth I felt makes me want to come back. The rooms and overall decor is okay too. There is an aged feeling to the place unlike the minimalist rooms of modern day accommodation or the fanciness of trendy boutique hotels but I like it.

Aldy Hotel Stadthuys, Melaka

Aldy Hotel Stadthuys
Address: 27, Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia.
Telephone: 06 - 283 3232

May 15, 2017

14 Getting All Excited At The Body Shop

A firm believer of not making anyone wait for me, I had arrived early to meet a close friend at Mid Valley Megamall. Since there was still an hour to go, I decided to look around for a great place to sit and chat.

As I was heading towards South Court, I noticed a queue outside The Body Shop. I had wanted to go in and purchase the White Musk fragrance for hubs because he had almost finished the one at home, but thought better of it - good to wait until after the crowd has dispersed.

The Body Shop, Mid Valley

However, it was not meant to be as one of the salespeople enthusiastically rushed forward to invite me to hear about their promotion. They were giving out free brightening eye creams worth RM125 to the first 50 people in queue who had downloaded the Love Your Body app - no purchase necessary! Whilst they guided me to register my particulars through the phone for the app, another promoter gave me a free skincare sample to try.

Since I was already there, I bought hubs' favourite fragrance and was blessed with a free RM59 lip and cheek stain for making the list of first 100 customers of the day.

Free Gifts From The Body Shop

When my friend finally arrived - " You are so lucky! " she gushed.

I took her over to see if she could still qualify for the eye cream. Unfortunately, we were too late. It had all been given out by then.

Moisture White SHISO 2 in 1 Eye Cream

I tried the cream out this morning, applying it around my eye area. I'm not sure how effective it will be against my long neglected panda eyes but 'you gotta have hope' , right?

May 13, 2017

20 Eat Out : The Living Room, Westin KL

It was a Public Holiday for us last Wednesday. Hubs and I decided on lunch at The Living Room, Westin KL, an open but cosy place where we could relax and enjoy each other's company. As we had hoped, it was quiet with nary a soul except the waiter and waitress who attended to us.

We could see the main entrance of the hotel from where we were seated. I realised it was raining when I looked outside and saw a lady holding a vibrant red umbrella up walking by. Behind her was another person holding a white one. Squinting my eyes, I saw the drizzle of light rain. It was the perfect weather for our lunch date, the song Singin' In The Rain  playing in my mind.

The menu carried both local and international food, some affordable, some pricey. I ordered steamed black cod fish in delicious light soy sauce with the greens. It was served with a plate of rice. Hubs went with beef tenderloin on mashed potatoes. We rounded that up with a beautiful meringue pie.

Steamed Black Cod

Beef Tenderloin With Vegs

A sweet and sour concoction.

Meringue Pie With Berries

We sat near the flower display.

The Living Room

Our iced tea drinks.

Iced Tea

All in, we had a wonderful time and were well taken care of by Westin KL's attentive employees. We paid RM40 for the entire meal after deducting cash vouchers.

The Living Room
Address: Level G, The Westin Kuala Lumpur, 199, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hours: 6AM to 12AM
Phone: 03-2773 8338

Signing off this post with Gene Kelly's Singin' In The Rain. ☔


May 9, 2017

28 Eat Out : Jamaica Blue, Mid Valley Megamall

"Eh, can we go to that cafe you took us to last time, arh? " my friend asked softly as she looped her arm around my elbow.

" CaAann .. " I responded in typical Malaysian accent.

We made our way to Jamaica Blue on the 1st floor. I was about to order my usual glass of iced tea when I noticed the barista creating the image of a baby on a hot chocolate drink, latte art style. How excited I was! Before I knew it, I'd ordered a tall glass of hot chocolate for myself from the cheerful barista.

My friend was tickled by the suddenness of it all. We had barely taken a look at the menu and we had decided on having a seat before ordering anything, but this friend of hers had already settled on her drink!

I took my table number 9 sign after paying and headed towards my friend who had picked out a spot for us near a large pillar. When my drink arrived, my friend ordered her tea. We topped that with scones and a carrot muffin.

I was awed by the design on my hot chocolate. It was a heart. I spot a high heeled shoe design on the right and a baby's bottom if I turned my cup - funny things I'm seeing. Whilst that made it interesting for me, I was surprised by how much I liked this drink. It was smooth, creamy and had none of that sugary taste. I love the chocolatey flavour. This is one of the most delicious hot chocolate drink I have ever had. Aah .. so yummy.

Hot Chococlate (RM10.90)

The scones and muffin were served soon after by the ever smiling, friendly employee whom I regret not getting the name. I'd have written in to the management with a - 'Give the young man a raise!

Muffin (RM8.90)

One Scone, Jam and Butter (RM4.90)

My friend and I spent 3 hours catching up with each other on life. We had such a great time that the hours just flew. This was our second visit to Jamaica Blue. I am guessing from the vibes my friend is sending me that this place is going to be our regular hangout.

Jamaica Blue, Mid Valley

Do you see the words 'wan wan coco ful baskit' in the picture above? It is a Jamaican saying - one cocoa at a time fills the basket (one one cocoa, full basket). It means take your time, you will achieve your goal.

It is a reminder for all of us not to rush through life, not to rush through whatever we're doing. Remember to smell the roses along the way. You will still reach your destination or your target.

May 3, 2017

18 My New Buddies - The Pigeons

Never in my life did I foresee a time that I would be friends with a couple of pigeons.

On and off, I'd see birds visiting my little garden in the balcony. A loud chirp alerts me of their presence. Hubs and I decided that we should leave some food around for them. We started out with sunflower seeds. No success there. I was saddened but determined so I kept doing it.

This pigeon thing all started about a month ago after Hubs took me to a pet store in Taman Tun to see a talking Mynah bird. It had sparked something in us. Next thing I knew, we were walking to our car with a bag of premium bird seeds in hand.

Bird Food

I stopped putting sunflower seeds and started serving the newly purchased gourmet bird seeds. Nothing happened for three weeks until I saw it one evening - a pigeon eating the seeds. Peck, peck, peck, peck! A surge of happiness engulfed me. I was gushing all about it to hubs. Hubs was saying that it'll be bringing its buddies over soon.

His words came true as three flew in the next morning. I was thrilled! "Buddies!  " I thought to myself.

During the following days, I observed that two pigeons would faithfully pop in between 8am-9am. Just the two. I know that they're the same guys because one of them has feathers sticking out weirdly from the back of its neck - a bad hair day kind of thing. I wondered what happened to the third bird. It never came back.

These pics were taken behind a glass door because they fly away the moment they hear me opening it. Funnily, they don't mind it too much if I sit close to the glass to watch them eat as long as I don't move too much.

Pigeons, The City Dove

This Is Gaston

Today, I started leaving a bowl of water and chopped lettuce (this, after seeing Benji peck on the leaves of my chrysanthemum plant) in addition to the seeds. Gaston gave the lettuce a miss after analysing it from the edge of the container, bobbing his head here and there, probably going, " Veggies. Ugh! ". Benji tossed some out and swished it around with its beak.

I think the lettuce is a no go but I'll try again tomorrow for the sake of a balanced diet. I'm getting too involved, I know.

The water was a great idea. Both pigeons drank it.

At 4PM, as I type this, my two amigos popped in again. I am surprised. They took a sip of water. Benji headed to my mint plant and started pecking at it. It looks like Benji's with me on the balanced diet thing. Gaston, on the other hand, loves strutting his stuff on our balcony. He'd be bobbing his head, chest out and in between, rub his head against his wings. Show off!

First pics of Benji and the other birds who visit me.

Top-Left to Right : Benji , Javan Myna
Bottom Left to Right : A Small Brown Bird, Benji

Would you take a common pigeon for a pet? I didn't think I would but now I look forward to seeing and spoiling them daily. Haha that.

Apr 27, 2017

20 The Beefanator

Char kueh teow (fried flat rice noodles), wat tan hor, chee cheong fun  and the likes - that's our kind of food. It's rare that we step into a fast food restaurant like Wendy's, but when we did, Hubs went all out with a takeaway of two RM25 sets of Beefanators.

What's that?  A beefanator - the ultimate meat burger with two beef patties, chicken strips and cheese slices. No greens except for a side of coleslaw was included. It was packed with a drink and an additional side dish of our own choice - we chose chilli con carne.

The unveiling of the takeaway in the comfort of home:

Wendy's Malaysia - Beefanator

Do I hear OMGs?

I read the story of how Wendy's hamburger was born. Dave Thomas, the founder, was a man of integrity who believed in not cutting corners. Hence, the square hamburger!

We don't cut corners ~ Dave Thomas

I enjoyed this meal even if it took me awhile to finish; best eaten when extremely hungry. That said, I was craving for a plate of vegetables after. Haha .. I'm a stickler for a balanced meal! 

Tell me, have you tried Wendy's beefanator and did you like it?

Apr 25, 2017

18 The BedRoom Gets A Paint Job

You'd think that after so much painting done over the years, I'd be a pro at it. But ... no major improvement here. I think it's because I just enjoy getting it done. The feel of rolling the brush up and down with the radio on is therapeutic. The crooked paint lines along the wall corners? It's no skin off my back.

Sharon Paints The Bedroom

My standard reply for anyone spotting these flaws are - "It's artistic, an expression of myself and how I view life." Lol. Life is meant to be lived ..and lived happily. There are things we should fuss over, there are things we should let go and let be.

" Life is like a blank canvas. It's up to you how you want to paint it. "

I spent some weeks moving boxes of stuff and small furniture out of the bedroom. Then, it flowed into a major spring cleaning exercise with bags of things being given away to whoever wants it and lots of washing being done. I sneezed myself silly through it all with watery eyes. It almost looked like I was having a cold. Bah! My sensitive nose!

I'll not go into how the skin on my was nose was peeling by the end of it all. The colours hubs and I chose for the room were grey and light green. It was navy blue and turquoise before.

We picked a Sunday for our painting adventure and had gotten about three layers done on two walls, when we realised that we didn't have enough paint. So, we took a break and left the room alone for a couple of days.

Runs Out Of Paint - Didn't Panic

When fresh paint arrived, I picked the roller up again only this time without hubs because it was a working day for him. I completed the walls leaving the edges near the ceiling aside; Hubs wasn't too keen about me climbing up the ladder for that. My hero, I say. I was happy to give it a miss because I remember all too clearly how my poor neck felt after I painted the bathroom ceiling. Looking up for longgggg periods is, can I say - 'a pain in the neck?'

This is how the newly painted walls look like in dim light and when it's bright.

Freshly Painted Walls

I am so pleased with it.

Check out my past painting projects here:
~ A New Look For My Guest Room
~ I Paint Not The Canvas
~ My Little Paint Project

That's that on my April. I can't believe May is up next week.


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