Jun 29, 2011

0 A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted

There's no green-eyed monster here, only a free-gift monster you could not admire. She's gullible,  she stocks up on kitchen collectibles because experience tells her that "they're never going to reproduce this design again!" and is green enough to believe that offers mentioned on sales ads are real bargains.

If the marketing guys are looking for someone who'll fawn over their lame (not) sales gimmick, I'm that person, the semi-old lady who's easily attracted to free stuff, be it of use or not. It's free-lah, what more you want me to say..

My kitchen cabinet's full and I don't pat myself on the back for this one. I've yet to feel the urge to part with my collectibles or junk (I detest labels) as some may call it. I sincerely believe it could be passed down as valuable inheritance. Someone's bound to appreciate me for it, no? 

On a recent grocery trip, I unwittingly collected three gift items, without realising the folly of my actions. If it's any consolation, I've a keen eye for supermarket freebies.

Now, I've a plastic cup I can do without and I've paid more than I should have. I've stayed away from Oreo cookies for ages simply because it's the more expensive brand. Call it a protest, if you must. The fun cup promo broke my resolve - I detest it.

"It's a fun cup, Oreo inspired! I'm never gonna find another cup as cute as this..." I tell myself, like I don't already have tonnes of plastic cups at home.

Another plastic cup

Aww, shame on me, this isn't even my favourite toothpaste. It must've been those security scanners all these big supermarkets have at the entrance. Its put me in a trance, "Freebies are bargains..Freebies are bargains". 

Another bowl to the collection
(Doesn't even mention what its made of or if its microwaveable)

A free mug from KFC that contains 24k Gold. It did cross my mind that this could be worth a fortune, that's why the purchase was made I suppose. Mmm.. my heir will appreciate this for sure. This is mug number 30-something.


Can I pawn it..?

Woe to Mother Earth indeed. I'm contributing to the unncessary mount of garbage on our lands. The more freebies I collect, the more companies nobly produce cheapware for me and like-minded individuals to collect. I say nobly because they think they're doing us a favour.

This is a mid year resolution - I hereby resolve to be a responsible shopper from here onwards and to go for real bargains only (Things that benefit wallet-wise and use-wise).

Jun 25, 2011

7 Ice Cream with Toast Bread Pieces and Fruit

Ice cream with toast bread is the bomb for me. The easiest treat I've ever made and I'm not talking about slapping a scoop of ice cream onto a piece of square bread piece. That would be too easy.. hmmph!

THIS is more like it..

Adding drama to a simple treat

- Vanilla ice cream
- Toasted bread (cut into bite size pieces)
- Fresh or canned fruits of your choice (Canned oranges for me)

1. Scoop some ice cream into your favourite glass
2. Place toast pieces and fruits over it
3. Top with more ice cream

I use Vanilla ice cream because I love natural colours in my food and white compliments the rest of the ingredients I've put in together.

Jun 23, 2011

4 Fratini's Restaurant @ Labuan Island

Not a dime in a dozen (shhhHh.. its probably the only Italian restaurant here)  - That's Fratini's Restaurant.

"HungryYyyEee not, you?" That's how my aunt and I typically converse with each other..in a slew of kampung English with the highs and lows of the pitch in the wrong place.

We had both skipped lunch after a huge breakfast and we thought of braving through until dinner. Alas, by late afternoon, we could not stomach the noise of disapproval emanating from the spare tyre around our waistline (do we still have that?..a waistline I mean).

The idea was to go out and grab some light snacks for tea, like a curry puff or a custard tart. I really don't know how we landed ourselves in an Italian Restaurant instead.

Here we are at Fratini's

Nice ambience

Mm..mmm..pizza's here!

Darn it all..what DID we order (yummylicious, kay)

Open concept kitchen

Raviolis being made (I've never eaten these!)

Drinks are delish (Frappuccino n Iced Lemon Tea)

I'm so glad we came here. While restaurants like these are abundant in Kuala Lumpur, it's a gem of a find in a small populated island. 

Food is pricey by Labuan standards but if you're not new to this, then you'd probably say "Not too badlar".

Fratini's is a great place to chill out considering there's no Starbucks or Coffee Bean here for the more affluent city-dwelling tourists.

Jun 21, 2011

2 Balik Kampung, A Fruitful Visit

Home is where the green is. The ladies in my family were born with the green thumb. I am the exception. While they (the Aunts and mom) compare gardening notes, I'll be fiddling with my fingers wondering where the green genes went...and I figure I have the answer. I, was the sperm that carried, largely, my father's characteristics.

Anyway, my aunt expressed a desire to cook pineapple curry for our little dinner do that night. So off to the garden we went to get a fresh haul of the fruit.

As I held the parang (machete) for the first time in ten years, I felt liberated from the societal paranoia of city folks who would have viewed me as armed and dangerous, and one for kids to stay away from.

Ouch!.. ouch! ..ouch!..ouch!.. An attempt to cut the pineapple fruit from its base proved embarassing as my aunt gave me the 'grow-up-already!' look. I grappled with the thorny leaves determined to succeed (not, not, not a good idea). It was a do or cry call, but no plant was going to defeat this city-tamed, tough (huh?) corporate female who had her pride on the line.

On enemy ground

The target


Mission accomplished with minor injuries

I'm really proud of mom's pineapple garden although I played no part in nurturing it, but this isn't the only fruit that's being grown by the family - they've also planted the rambutan, mango, jackfruit, soursop and tarap.  Almost everyone I know here has some sort of fruit tree growing in their backyard.

Coconut trees in our compound

Our very own mango tree

My aunt's banana tree

She's also planted the sugar apple

Dragon fruit at a friend's place

It's too early for Halloween, pumpkin

Papaya trees are a common find

Jun 18, 2011

4 Me and You char kway (Chinese cruller)

My favourite treat - Fresh off the wok "you char kway", richly slathered with melted butter and kaya.

Lightly salted fried bread stick - buttered and jammed

It was one of the things I missed most when I left for the big city a decade back. I had assumed in my simple mind that it would be a readily available snack all over Kuala Lumpur. I mean, who hasn't eaten 'you char kway' with kaya and butter, right? .. right? 

After visiting a couple of stalls, however, I came to the conclusion that city folks don't appreciate the finer things in 'you char kways'.

"No..no kaya,butter!" was the standard reply.

Here, they are sold as plain as day. I had a sinking feeling that I would miss it greatly and over the years, it just became the longest unfulfilled food craving ever.

Of course, I could have bought plain ones and added in my own filling but it wouldn't taste as heavenly, now would it? .. not after reheating and all.

So, on my recent trip back to Labuan..ehehe

That's mine!

Slice in half with a long knife

Make sure you're not on a diet

Good food comes rich in fat and flavour

The Kaya goes in next

There's my takeaway!

Jun 13, 2011

2 Magical Musicals Gala Premiere @ Sunway Lagoon - 10th June 2011

Mesmerising, that's how I would describe this latest initiative from Sunway Lagoon. The effort they put into creating a stage that could carry this musical over ordinary standards is certainly commendable. Malaysia Boleh!  "Huh? Where did that come from?.."

Getting in, however, was a sore point with me. We were made to go through three long queues! Humidity levels were high outside the theatre. As the hour dragged on, I became drenched in sweat. The agonising wait was obviously irritable to the tired faces that stared before the backs of many in the unmoving line.

This led me to believe that the amphitheatre would be nothing but a giant baking oven. Oh, woe. Oh wait, I'm glad I was proven wrong. Huge fans had been installed to counter the heat. Phew!

Amphitheatre @ Sunway Lagoon

The story of this musical is set in New York and it's about a group of performers seeking to make a name for themselves. Their struggles and how they find love in the end are portrayed in songs from Grease, Glee, Saturday Night Fever, Mamma Mia! and more, bringing substance to the loose script. Magical Musicals is therefore an apt name to describe this endeavor.

Saturday Night Fever

Playing with fire ..Jai Ho!

The cast

Posing for the photographers

I truly enjoyed the musical. I only wished that the food and drink vendors who keenly interrupt my view would remove themselves when the show was on. I also detest the fact that they were charging us at cut throat prices. RM5 for a bottle of mineral water is daylight robbery. This isn't a posh air-conditioned restaurant, for goodness sake.

These guys are a distraction.
Check out the price list!

The tickets

Tickets courtesy of AMBP, to whom I am grateful for this opportunity. For information on ticketing, showtimes and the production, head over to Air Asia Red Tix's website.

Jun 9, 2011

2 THE-licious Soto Daging (Beef Noodle Soup) @ Labuan

"With great company, comes great food."

No doubt about that. I was recently in Labuan for a holiday. Much merrymaking and feasting leaves me drugged in relaxation and in a state of paradise. Could I have found heaven? ..

The islanders are a simple lot, you'll hear "ayes" of approval in many conversations. While gossip thrives, as is typical of a small town, words of skepticism and discouragement are rarely spoken. You can depend on them for a fun day out in the sun.

I can't help but wonder if city folks are getting a worse bargain for all the hype that surrounds a more affluent society. They seem to be missing a key element in life, that is, contentment.

Our day started with breakfast at a Soto stall. Mom says that this is THE best soto in town...like THE, THE best. Ok mom, whatever you say. She's right, you know.

We made our way to THE stall located just a couple of rows behind Milimewa supermarket.

Here, I tucked into tender meat, fresh vegs and thin noodles in a bowl of glorious soup...bowl of glorious soup..bowl of glorious soup..bowl of glorious soup..bowl of glorious soup. Oops, sorry about that. Lost my train of thoughts somewhere.

In the middle of a row of shophouses

THE stall

We placed our orders

The secret ingredients revealed

Oh wow, I certainly underestimated the
amazingness of this local dish

Seconds, please?

In the good company of Mom and aunts

Jun 8, 2011

2 Forget, I cannot!

Let go, let go, let go
Easier said, that is so
Make light not another’s grief
You steal joy, you uncaring thief!

Years of sorrow
The feeling cannot just GO..!
It sits in the subconscious
Waiting to strike, it is merciless..

One is never really over it
'Those' memories are easily lit
A familiarity, a significance once shared,
It brings back moments once had

If the mind be a futuristic tech phenomenon
‘Esc’ pain, ‘Save’ love, ‘Delete’ burden
The heart would be lighter
Life, simpler.

~ Sharon D. @ 8 Jun 2011

Jun 7, 2011

0 The Sunday Driver

How? When? What? Who? Where?! ..Oh, Jalan Kuching..

Well, that settles it then. I'll never qualify for a job as a reporter.

The mysterious Sunday crash

Jun 6, 2011

0 Colmar Tropicale @ Berjaya Hills

Colmar Tropicale is a French themed village located just 45 minutes out of Kuala Lumpur. The cobbled street and medieval style buildings give a rustic feel to the place. Cool dewy air, fresh flowers and green grass, the grace of swans, all add to the charm of this small man-made romantic wonder.

My fourth trip up (a lunch affair) and I'm still in love with the serenity it brings to my state of thoughts. The only thing that mars my dreamy escapade is the fun fair booths they've erected hither and yon, similar to those found in i-City. I'm all for tourism for kids but surely something that suits traditional culture would have been more appropriate. Something French or local, like a game of congkak, anyone?

Bah..fool that I am. Beautiful places like these don't last long. Signs of disorderly construction and development of white elephant buildings are already plaguing the pristine greenery that has long made Colmar a special place in my heart. The journey up shows proof, ample.

A magical world of charm

Bridge over non-troubled waters

Love swans and fishes

At the heart of the village

Great scenery from the viewing tower

Restaurants and rooms

Spacious accommodation

I lunched here

Pasta's pretty yummy and not too pricey

Right across lies Le Chevalier
(The conference centre)

Business meets are held here

Hey, wait a minute. This wasn't here before!

Entrance fee: RM12.00

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