Friday, October 31, 2014

:: japan trip (part 1) ::

Two weeks ago our little family went to Japan for 6 days vacation. The flight tickets were bought earlier this year during one of many Air Asia promos and after many months, Sunday, October 12th finally arrived.

PREP
Despite the early bought tickets the real preparation only started a month away. We did not engage with any travel agent so I was the self-appointed-agent-in-charge. The next item bought was the 7-days tourist train pass or known as the JR (Japan Rail) Pass. The pass is only sold to tourists and allow us to ride any JR line train including selected shinkansen bullet trains, JR bus services and JR Miyajima ferry. We bought return tickets to / from Kansai Aiport, Osaka as it was cheaper than arriving / departing Tokyo; and with JR Pass we still have a good option to travel to Tokyo. My BFF, Nor was kind enough to help buying our pass (and also went through slight trouble) during the previous Matta Fair. Each pass cost Y29,110 for adult and at other times it can be bought from Japan Travel Bureau at Amoda Building KL located opposite Berjaya Times Square, in between Melia Hotel and Imbi Plaza.

One reason why we chose Japan as destination was to bring Ady to the Disneyland, as he was very happy with his visit to Legoland in January this year. We already went to Hong Kong Disneyland last year but Ady was nearly two years old back then and has not learn to appreciate theme park, so the next nearest Disneyland is Tokyo. Being the 'tour agent' I planned the entire itinerary, before proposing to my other half. The itinerary is purely for family (with a little, active kiddo ^_^).

Outline of the itinerary is below. There were two options actually; whether going straight to Tokyo after arriving Osaka or start at Osaka then go to Tokyo. We chose the latter one bearing in mind it is a 6 hours flight + 3 hours journey between Osaka and Tokyo.

Day 1
- Depart from KLIA2 - Arrive Kansai Aiport - Check-in hotel at Namba, Osaka - Tour around Dotonbori / Shinsaibashi area

Day 2
- Trip to Universal Studio Osaka

Day 3
- Check-out hotel - Travel to Tokyo via Shinkansen - Check-in hotel at Shinjuku, Tokyo - Tour around Shinjuku

Day 4
- Trip to Tokyo Disneyland

Day 5
- Check-out hotel - Tour around Harajuku & Shibuya - Travel to Rinku Town, Osaka - Check-in hotel at Rinku Town

Day 6
- Depart from Kansai Airport - Arrive KLIA 2


Thanks to the internet, I just Googled any info I wanted, bought our hotel rooms via Expedia & Agoda and also bought the Disneyland tickets from their website. Universal Studio does not sell any online ticket so it has to be bought from the counter or their affiliate hotels.


D-DAY
Sunday, October 12th: we departed home for KLIA 2 at 5:00 am and my parents-in-law was kind enough to send us. Our flight was scheduled at 8:00 am and I'm telling you, don't mess with KLIA 2 yo! Not counting the time since we stepped our feet at the building but time taken from the moment we entered the departure hall to the boarding gate was not less than 45 minutes. It was a very long walk *phew*.

The 6 hours plus flight would be less boring if we travelled via non-low cost airline (obviously) but  we had no problem with Ady because he loves transportation and loves being inside an airplane so he behaved really well. Arrived Kansai Airport (KIX) around 3:30 pm but finally out of the airport building about an hour after that.
*Note: Japan time is 1 hour advance from Malaysia. Example: 4:00 pm in Japan = 3:00 pm in Malaysia.

First task we had to do was to change our receipt with the official JR Pass. The JR office is located at the 3rd floor of the building opposite, connected to the airport and this is what we got in return:

From KIX we utilised our JR Pass for the first time to JR Namba station. The lady who gave us the pass printed out the stations we need to change train so we just followed it, being newbies. It took us 45 minutes to reach Namba and after long travelling hours we really look forward to settle down.

We checked in the Monterey Grasmere Osaka hotel. It has the perfect location, above the JR Namba station. The main key of my research for this trip in Google Map is "hotels nearby XXX station". Thinking of the train ride, our luggage and Ady Rifqi, we really have to settle down as fastest as possible at one place. Monterey Grasmere is a nice, comfortable hotel. Although the room was not as huge as the usual hotel room in Malaysia but apparently it was the largest among all hotels we stayed throughout the trip. Our room was at 29th floor and we got to see clear view of the city.

We did not take long break. It was already 7 something and it was already dark... and we were hungry so as planned we went 'jalan-jalan' to the Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi area; almost 15 minutes walk from the hotel. It was windy and quite chilly. We stopped by at one of the bridge there watching the colourful lights and hundreds of people around us. A Japanese guy who was probably drunk suddenly came and vented out his anger at a homeless uncle who was sitting on the bridge. As he was cursing in Japanese he then opened his pants' zipper and peed the uncle! I was disgusted with the scene. Was that a "warm welcome" from the land that is well-known with courtesy and culture? Hrmmm...



Well anyway we went off walking along the alley full of restaurants with gigantic models such as crab and sushi, and finally found a halal indian restaurant for dinner. We continued strolling around the area. There were lots of eateries, drug stores, shops selling clothes and shoes, karaoke and shops that could not be defined. We returned to the hotel empty ended and called it a day.


Monday, October 13th: It should be a day spent at USJ (not our housing area but Universal Studio Japan) but we were informed by the hotel during check in that a big typhoon is coming to town so USJ might not open for business. We were quite frustrated but that morning I woke up to this view:

A beautiful, bright day - no sign of typhoon coming. We decided to follow our plan and went to the USJ. From JR Namba we had to change train at Shin Imamiya for Nishikujo and changed to another train for the Universal City station, almost 30 minutes journey in total. We were informed by the staff at the station that JR line train will stop its operation at 4:00 pm due to the typhoon.

Entrance fee for an adult is Y6,980. We were so excited we still managed to arrive Universal Studio Japan and the first ride we went on was the famous JAWS ride. Ady likes watching shark videos on youtube so he was not afraid of the shark. We thought of experiencing the Jurassic Park ride but it was not suitable for young kids and by that time Ady has started nagging us to visit Elmo and Cookie Monster, whom he called "Am Nyam Nyam". We spent few hours at the Sesame Street indoor area as it has started raining.

 
Raining was on and off. When it stopped we went to the Harry Porter area, which is the latest attraction at the USJ. I am not a Harry Porter fan and I only watched the first movie but I was impressed. The area was like a set from the movie with the huge Hogwarts School castle, row of shops selling weird stuff and even the Hogwarts Express train.

Lesson #01: when travelling with kid/s it is quite challenging to have camera in hand all the time, hence the best option is to rely and snap photos with mobile phone's camera. Ensure the battery is always sufficient and set the photo quality at high megapixels.

 

At 4:00 pm the day was getting darker, windy and wet but we did not bother much as the park was still open so we strolled around and even watched the Terminator 3D show. We were informed that the park is closing at 5:00 pm so at 4:40 pm we left the park as the rain was continuous. We reached the Universal City station looking at sealed barriers. Ok that happened because we did not take the announcement seriously. JR line already ended their operation at 4:00 pm and we were stucked. We walked around that area in the rain finding taxi but all taxis were reserved via phone calls. There were many of "us" around there, finding solutions to go back. It was cold and very windy. The area is next to the sea and we came across two tv station vans with satellites (just like what we normally see in Hollywood movies) setting up to capture the typhoon coming. We walked to the nearest hotel drop-off area and asked the concierge to call for taxi. Few people have started to ask the same thing and from the call we were told that no taxi is available. We were stuck.

Hubby went smoking to find a solution. As I stood near the concierge I have been observing and listening to people around me. When hubby returned a taxi arrived and appparently it was for a guy and his son. Actually I overheard him wanted to go to the Nishikujo station and Namba, which were similar to our destinations so when he was about to enter the car I asked him to consider the three of us too. Luckily he was kind enough to allow us in the taxi. What a big relief! Apparently they came from Korea and stranded because their flight was cancelled due to the typhoon. They had to find a hotel to spend another night and since his wife was waiting for him in Namba we told the taxi driver to drive us straight to the JR Namba station. Alhamdulillah, thank God for the assistance. It was a win-win situation for two parties as later we brought the Koreans to our hotel and they got a room for a night there.

Lesson #02: when travelling to other country, do not take for granted any local announcement and keep updated on their weather condition.



Most of the shops were already closed so that evening we just stayed in the hotel room watching tv. A bit later we decided to try our luck to find any covenient store that may still open and we were amazed that the supermarket at the JR station was not closed. We spent time at the groceries area shopping for food, fruits and since we were in the land where sushi belongs, I insisted to 'tapau' local nigiri sushi for dinner (they tasted good I tell you!). We left when the supermarket was almost closed and outside, it was raining with heavy wind. That ends our adventurous Day 2 in Osaka.

...to be continued.


*keywords: what to do in osaka, where to go in osaka

Saturday, October 25, 2014

:: homemade jeruk mangga asam boi ::

Jeruk mangga asam boi (preserved mango with plum) has been trending on my Facebook wall since a week ago. Friends posted photos of theirs or their friends' and they looked tempting. Those photos intrigued me to find out more about it... and hey it is so easy to make one!

Sharing is caring so here is the recipe for you to try.


Ingredients:

- Unripe mangoes (sliced into thin pieces, wash and dry)
- Coarse sugar
- Preserve plums (asam boi masin)
- Chilli (sliced thinly)
- Salt


Steps:

1. Pour in sugar and a pinch of salt on the sliced mangoes and mix them well together. I actually bought the packed fruit from petrol station nearby, but most probably it was equivalent to 2 small mangoes and I used 8 tablespoons of sugar. It is fine to put in extra sugar, but only a small amout of salt.

2. Add in sliced chilli and preserve plums, according to preference. Mix together with the mangoes and sugar. No need to add any water. Close the container and keep it cold inside the fridge for at least 6 hours. The longer the better as I found it tastier when it was kept overnight.

3. The sugar will transform into water through out time and 'jeruk' is ready to be served.

p/s: Unripe mango can be substituted with green apple, kedondong or other soury fruits.


 
The Verdict:
Sour, sweet, salty with a tinge of 'hot-ness'. Totally addictive.
 
^__^
 
 
*keywords: resipi jeruk mangga asam boi

Sunday, September 7, 2014

:: egg n cheese in d basket ::

I always love checking links that Facebook friends shared on my news feed, especially when they are regarding fashion, architecture or tips & tricks on food and organising stuff. These days among the things I do after waking up from sleep during weekend is checking my Instagram and Facebook updates. So on Sunday a week ago, someone shared photos on creative ways to cook and one of it intrigued me to try for breakfast.

I have weakness for simple breakfast recipes, mainly because (1.) I want to see and eat the end result as fast as possible (2.) I am less keen to spend long time in the kitchen first thing in the morning during weekend - just look forward to chillax with a hot cup of chocolate drink & pleasant food to fill up my tummy before I face the day.

So here is the recipe / tutorial that I am telling you. The actual recipe included a slice of beef salami but I don't normally have that in the fridge so I just proceed with an egg and a slice of cheese... and oh, I just knew from a colleague that this recipe is initally called "egg in the basket". I changed it to "egg and cheese in the basket" because I still want to give credit for the cheese in there.

 
Ingredients:
- a slice of bread (white / brown)
- an egg
- a slice of cheese
- salt & pepper
 
Steps:
1. Cut a square shape in the middle of the bread with a sharp knife.
Heat the pan with a tea spoon of oil and place the bread frame.
 
2. Pour the egg inside the bread frame and leave to cook.
 
3. Add in a pinch of salt & pepper.
 
4. Place the slice of cheese on top of the egg.
 
5. Place the remaining square bread on top of the cheese. Wait for few seconds and flip over the bread. Need to be extra careful if you want to preserve the yolk from breaking.
 
 
...and that's the end of it cuz like I told ya, it's so simple.
 
 
I have been making this for breakfast and also for dinner because I love it so much. Imagining the taste of hot melting cheese and egg will leave me salivating and made me repeat the menu again and again. I always eat it as it is, but I believed it can be eaten with ketchup. Like the original tutorial, we can also add in beef salami or other fillings to try. It's a good breakfast for the kids too. Enjoy!
 
 
*keywords: simple breakfast recipe, bread recipe, simple breakfast for kids, healthy recipe for kids

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

:: my lil craft closet ::

If you are a regular reader you would know how passionate I am with art & craft, especially in making DIY stuff. I got all excited looking at colourful papers and ribbons and beads and neverending craft supplies. Sometimes or to be more honest, most of the time I will just buy fabrics, beads, ribbons and papers just because they are so colourful and pretty. Buy first, think later. I always believe one day they are useful and can be used to create something. I still own threads, ribbons and beads I bought since secondary school so as years passed by the collection grew bigger and bigger. My box containers were overflown with stuff and so I decided to have my own little craft closet to fit in all the supplies.

Space is limited because the craft closet is part of the walk-in wardrobe room. I needed a customised system to categorise stuff and keep them separately, so where else can we find nice, affordable furniture if it's not in Ikea. Everything was built from scratch. The single door PAX system, shelves, drawer and magnetic bar were installed in-house with assistance from my hubby. I was so happy and satisfied with the end result. I can just open the door and stare at all those stuff to make me smile.

There are three (3) boxes to keep different categories of stuff, a shelf for my mini sewing machine and I love the magnetic bar that holds my tools. Other accessories were mostly from Ikea too (well if you're a fan of Ikea you would have noticed it ^__^). In the hanging cups are stationaries, craft scissors and Sharpies, meanwhile remnants of ribbons and yarns are kept in glass jars. I also bought stuff from Daiso too. Used a lot of their ziploc bags to organise and segregate small papers, stickers and other small stuff, as well as beads organisers to keep the bits and bobs.

To personalise the closet I labelled the boxes with my own handwriting and framed a so-called inspirational quote that crossed my mind, which is also a self reminder to me.


"Do what you love.
Love what you do."



...last but not least, here is a tour of my lil' craft closet.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*keywords: how to organise craft supplies, craft organiser, craft storage ideas for small space, diy storage

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

:: recipe: when bok choy meets taucu ::

It all started during the fasting month of Ramadhan, when I hosted an iftar with my girlfriends at home. The menu was rice congee / porridge and I was more than happy to serve it with my all time favourite ikan bilis goreng cili api (spicy fried anchovies). We girls love eating vegetable and to have it as a condiment for that day I somehow got a new idea of cooking chinese cabbage or better known as bok choy, with taucu.

It was a trial but the combination was not bad at all. As a person who loves salty food, I personally love the combo and I have been cooking the same recipe for few times. Here is the super simple recipe and how the result looks like.


p/s: no need to add in salt as the taucu is already salty and bok choy may also be changed to other green, leafy vege.


*keywords: resipi sayur senang, sawi masak taucu

Monday, August 25, 2014

:: ady rifqi's 3rd birthday party ::

 
 
Ady Rifqi turns three (3) on 17th June 2014.
 
 
THE PLAN
Few months before his birthday we have decided to throw a birthday celebration for him. He had his first birthday party when he turned one, but we did not have any celebration when he was two except for cake-cutting. I have been wanting to plan, decorate and host my son's party - it's among one of many things in my bucket list and it made me so excited. The first thing I did was asking Ady what theme he would like for his party. He loved Thomas and Friends and have started playing Lego so I asked his preference between the two. I asked the question once in between few days and even rotated either with Thomas or Lego as the first preference because sometimes kids give answer to the first thing they heard. Being Ady he always knows what he wants, and he answered Thomas every single time, so that's it. He will be having a Thomas-themed birthday party.
 
The party was planned to be held on Saturday, 21st June 2014 at our own crib. I have informed closed family members and friends to save the date earlier and one month before the actual date, an invitation was sent to guests through Facebook calendar of event and mobile messages. The colour code was based on Thomas' main colours - red, blue & white. Party checklist was all in my head and since then I started wearing my party planner hat when ever I had the free time. Until the day arrived, together with my husband we completed everything in the checklist:
 
1. Personalisation is important. With a bit of research I came up with a 'branding' for Ady Rifqi's 3rd Birthday Party. Instead of colourful cartoon design I wanted something that is simple and urban so I played with stripes, polka dots and chevron. After getting approval from the other half (it's a team affair, always remember to consult the co-organiser :-D) then only the actual designing and printing works started.
 
2. Designed and printed out our own party labels for the mineral water. It is an advantage that the company I'm working for produces mineral water in small bottles so I bought them and replaced with our own party labels.
 
3. Using the similar design we printed out stickers and printed materials for other party stuff such as garlands, table decorations, party favours, etc.
 
4. A guest book is a must. Instead of buying a ready-made or producing one with coloured papers (which I did for Ady's first birthday) I made a mini photobook via photobook.com.my. The photobook contains Ady's photos since day one and blank pages for guests to write.
 
5. Bookings and orders for cake, desserts, caterer for F&B, clown and photographer. Fila voluntereed to purchase and bring the helium baloons (thank you so much babe!).
 
6. Prepared party favours in goodies bags for the kids. I felt so lucky when I found polka dots paper bags in red and blue at Mydin USJ 1. It was the cutest and the most acceptable design available there. Did candy shopping at their wholesale area too. We had two types of bags. Red bag is for younger kids which contained a tub of mini playdoh and candies (mini chupa chups, mini mentos, mini m&ms and granola bars). Blue bag is for the not-so-young kids which contained a set of colour pencils, customised Thomas colouring sheet, a snack and almost similar candies.
 
7. Designed and printed photo props, but Nor assisted to prepare them on hard papers and sticks (arigato gozaimasu cik Nor!).
 
 
 
 
D-DAY
Hubby and I started arranging furnitures and decorating the corridor since early morning. We turned our dining table to a cake / candy buffet by wrapping it with papers. We placed everything necessary on the table and made paper garlands backdrop. There was a dedicated table for the photo props and guestbook, complete with colourful sharpies and stickers. The caterer arrived early and we had two big round tables for the guests. We ordered roti jala with chicken curry, singapore fried noodle, chicken drummets, nuggets and cordial drink. My mother-in-law voluntereed to prepare teh tarik and my mom brought coconut jelly all the way from Seremban. As for desserts we have the birthday cake, cupcakes, blueberry cheese tarts, mini donuts, 'love letters' and candies.
 
We managed to complete decorating just in time before the scheduled timing, 3:00 pm. Guests started coming followed by clown and photographers. Everything went on according to plan, only that it was such a hot and sunny day. We did not rent any tent so most guests had to mingle and stay inside the house. It was a bit crampy and we really apologise for such inconvenient. The birthday boy on another hand did not take his afternoon nap because he was too excited so he was a bit cranky during the party. He also got very excited accepting gifts which he proudly opened one after another. Note to parents - please accept birthday gifts and keep them in a room during birthday party to avoid similar experience.
 
 
 We had cake cutting, followed by party game led by the clown. The only time Ady happily participated was during dance session because the clown played his favourite tune - Gangnam Style. He danced to that song from beginning to the end.
 
Most guests left home by 6:30 pm. We started packing and cleaning after that. Everybody left except my family members as they spent a night with us (and helped finishing some of the food... haha.)
 
It was a memorable day for us and I have another checked item in my bucket list, Alhamdulillah. I realised I didn't get the chance to have long conversation with all guests, but hopefully they enjoyed each other's company and the experience. To family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues, we THANK YOU for spending your time with us. As the hosts, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience occured. On behalf of the birthday boy, we appreciate all the gifts. Ady received Thomas & Friends playset and tableware, Hot Wheels playsets, a huge toy truck with cars, educational toys, building blocks, a lot of clothes and even cash (already deposited into his personal account). We did not expect that but thank you, thank you, thank you everyone.
 
  
Here are some of many beautifully captured moments during the day. I am so satisfied with the outcomes, thanks to mister photographers.


 
 
 
To our lil boy Ady Rifqi, you're growing up too fast baby. You have cherished every single day of our life since day one and our prayers are always with you. May you grow up to be a good muslim and continue to be a good son. No word could ever describe how much you mean to both of us and we promise to take care of you as long as we live. 
 
We love you, baby!
 
 
 
*keywords: thomas party ideas, thomas the tank engine birthday party, children party ideas, kids party ideas, third birthday celebration
 

Friday, August 22, 2014

:: welcome home, malaysians ::

Some people are born to be sensitive of the surrounding. It is never a burden to share someone else's grief, to the extend that it may not be someone who he / she knows before. Some people are alienated with that sensitivity, until huge rock falls onto the head then only they realise how difficult it is to go through loss and sadness.

Either way, there is this word named 'respect'. Today, I am proud to see how Malaysians showing respect for the loss of innocent souls in the MH17 tragedy on 17.07.2014.


22.08.2014. The national day of mourning.

Death is inevitable. Let us pray for the souls who have perished in the tragedy to rest in peace.

al-Fatihah.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

:: movie date ::

13th August was Mr. Husband's birthday. When I counted we have been celebrating his birthday together for the 12th year in a row, since 2003. It does not feel that long though and I wish we can continue celebrating our birthdays together for many times / years as we can. It is a ground rule that both of us should be on leave on each other's birthday. The rule was broken this time because we had to go to the office, yet we still managed to spend half of the day together after lunch time.

We have not watch movie at the cinema for a long time. The last time we went to one was during Die Hard (A Good to Die Hard), in which hubby wanted to surprise me. He brought us (Ady & I) to GSC Summit but all of us got a surprise as we were not allowed to enter because Ady was a baby and the movie was rated for violence. We were allowed to exchange the tickets and we had no choice than changing them to Hantu Kak Limah 2: Husin Mon dan Jin Pakai Toncit because it was  not rated and the closest time available. Can you believe it? I supposed Ady could not take it too as he was crying when we entered the cinema hall. After 15 minutes we went back home and that was the end of it.

A "wefie" - the only picture of us together on his birthday.
 

So last Wednesday we took our chance for a movie date. We chose GSC 1Utama as we wanted to try the latest movie experience with their recently launched D-BOX Motion System. D-BOX Motion is to enhance the experience of moviegoers as the seat moves according to the scenes. The seats are made of comfortable leather and visibility level of the motion can be controlled from none to level 3. The motion seats are positioned in few rows at the back of the hall, together with the normal seats unlike the Gold Class movie hall, and not all movies are available for D-BOX. There is only one show available in a day, at 3:20 pm and that day we settled for the Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie was freakin' awesome! I love action movie with underlying / synical jokes. The kind of joke that some people may not find it a joke at all. It is another Marvel comic movie but I found it a tad different than the usual famous superheroes one and I would rate it 4.8 / 5. The motion seat did not move the entire time and it was not very vigorous - I found it just nice although it was at the maximum level. All in all it was a very interesting experience. A good movie is still the key to satisfaction as the motion seat only enhances the experience. We can live with or without it but if the movie sucks, it would not help elsewhere. Yet it is still worth to experience it, at least once. By the way, the price for a D-BOX Motion seat is an additional of RM15 on top of a normal priced ticket.

Hubby already received his birthday gift and a card earlier after midnight so we only went to few shops and a coffee break after the movie before we went home. It was a simple celebration, if compared to my own birthday celebration this year but I hope he enjoyed the quality time we had as much as I did.


Happy {belated} Birthday to the king of our hearts. You mean so much to us and we really love you!

Monday, August 4, 2014

:: selamat hari raya! ::

It has been many months of silence. Once in a while I dropped by my own blog space, thinking when can I start writing again. I miss blogging. I miss recording wonderful moments of my life in this blog only that it did not happen because I was "too absorbed" in the real world.

Anyhow I hope it is not too late to wish Muslim readers "Selamat Hari Raya" or "Eid Mubarak" and at the same time would like to seek forgiveness for any wrongdoings. This year, for the very first time I celebrated the first day of Syawal away from my parents and sisters as we were celebrating it at my husband's hometown in Kedah. The experience was different from what I normally had. Even the food too. We went to four houses on the first Raya and served with laksa utara, laksa sarawak and rice with side dishes. On the second day we visited husband's relatives in Kangar, Perlis before heading to Padang Besar for a quick shopping spree. I managed to eat some lontong and rice cubes with peanut sauce, and also mandy rice. The food was all good and tasty only that until today I have not eaten the usual Raya food - lemang and rendang. Perhaps that would be a good, concrete reason to look forward to receiving 'open office / open house' invites and eat them without any guilt ^_^

Here are few photos taken throughout the long holiday and a week of Eid celebration:
Pre-Raya pics. We went back to my hometown in Seremban on Friday and Ady had fun playing with his aunties. We went back to Kedah on Sunday and we were lucky this time because the road was clear from heavy traffic. We departed from Seremban at 12 noon and stopped by our house in USJ to replenish our cats' food & water. Our journey to Kedah started at 2pm in which we stopped for short nap at an R&R, did a bit of shopping at Sunway Carnival Seberang Jaya and still managed to reach Sik few minutes after break fasting time, around 8pm.
 
 

1st Syawal selfie with my sweethearts. We were wearing grayish blue outfit this year, bought from PKNS Shah Alam. Hub's and mine is a couple set outfit and we managed to find almost similar colour for lil Ady.
 
 
OTW home on 3rd Syawal we stopped by Taiping Zoo because our boy loves animal. Sadly the day zoo already closed when we arrived. The night safari started at 8pm but we still had a long way to go so we did not wait. Luckily there was a huge crocodile statue and Ady spent most of his time there adoring the gigantic thing. We still owe the little guy a visit to the zoo and KL National Zoo is now top on our to-visit list.
 
After Taiping we stopped by Ipoh. Every year ever since we got married we never miss visiting husband's good ol' friend. It is an annual thing. Thank you Halid, Balqis and the kids Hannah & Iffat for having us again. Too bad we never snap any pic or else we can see how we changed and how the kids grew up every year. Usually we also visit Nor at her hometown house in Ipoh but this year the ritual was broken because she travelled to the south a day earlier. Next year ajelah yer, insyaallah kalau dipanjangkan umur.
 
23 years of friendship and counting. Visited my long time girlfriend, Riza at her house in Bangi on Saturday. We have been friends since we were 10 years old (standard 4) and we have been through numerous experiences together. Glad the friendship remains until today although we do not see each other often. There was no official dress code but apparently we were wearing the same colour theme. Riza has started her own business selling shawl and baju kurung - check out @pumpkeenscollections on Instagram & Facebook. Loving those glittery shawl as what she was wearing (I already own 4 pieces of them, including the emerald green I was wearing in OTW home pics above).
 
 
There goes a week of holiday and celebration. It is now time to get back to reality and absorbed with never ending work responsibilities. Not sure when is the next update but hopefully it would not be as long as before. As I mentioned earlier I miss blogging. I miss doing things I love to do, instead of forcing myself to love things I have to do.
 
Last but not least, do not forget to pray for our Muslim relatives who are fighting for their lives in Gaza Palestine. It is a cruel world out there. May God continues to keep them under His protection and blessings. As Malaysians we also need to pray the same thing for our country. May the souls of those perished in the MH17 tragedy rest in peace.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

:: my recipe for beautiful, translucent skin ::

The weather is so hot and humid these days. Without we may realized, humidity caused our skin to dehydrate and prone to breakouts. I decided to save my skin before it is too late so one of my agenda during weekend is pampering my face with a mask.

The latest mask that I have worn is KOSE Sekkisei Lotion Mask. It is the most powerful mask I have experienced as it gives instant lift to the skin.

The Evidence.

 I did not use any kind of filter and the picture was taken under the same lighting. Before, my forehead and cheeks were a bit rough but after being Sekkisei-ed both areas turned out to be silky smooth and radiant. To me, a product can be categorized as really good if the effect is continuous until next days and KOSE Sekkisei Lotion Mask is no doubt in that ‘really good’ category.

My skin maintains its smoothness; hence powder glides easier than before. Not only that, Sekkisei Lotion Mask also gives whitening effect to the skin. Even my husband compliments the result.

The one that I am using already came in the form of mask so I just took it out of the package and placed it on my face for 5 to 10 minutes before sleep – no rinsing is required!

For the bottled lotion, the 5-steps guide is below:

1)      Pour SEKKISEI Lotion into cap until it reaches the line

2)      Put mask into the cap

3)      Allow mask to absorb lotion till it puffs up

4)      Unfold the mask and place onto clean face for 5-10mins

5)      Remove mask, tap the excess into the skin until it is absorbed – no rinsing is necessary

KOSE Sekkisei Lotion Mask is based on a “beautiful translucent skin recipe” compounded with three main oriental plants extracts such as:

·         Coix Seed Extract – able to increase metabolism, whitening, moisturization and prevention of skin roughness

·         Angelica Extract – contains disinfectant, whitening and moisturizing effects

·         Melothria (white lotus) Extract – suppress melanin production which gives whitening effects to the skin

If you noticed, the three key ingredients produce whitening effect and indeed, KOSE Sekkisei Lotion Mask is the best whitening product available on the market today!

As what I have experienced, it also enables to balance out skin’s moisture level, prevent dullness, roughness, as well as redness caused by sunburn from the sunlight. More reasons for me to love the mask are the lightness of its texture, ability to blend instantly into the skin within minutes and the refreshing after-effect. To summarize, there are nine (9) benefits altogether such as translucency, penetration, moisturizing, zero pores, whitening, smoothing, firming, relaxing and evenness.

The Sekkisei Lotion can be purchased at every KOSE counters nationwide in bottles of 200ml (RM170) and 360ml (RM260). It is not necessarily used on face but also on neck or any part of the body.

Visit these links to learn more about KOSE and Sekkisei Lotion:



Not only that, they are also currently running a contest –and who knows you might be crowned as the KOSE Sekkisei Cinderella Malaysia!
 


*******

Last but not least, KOSE is generously giving away the Sekkisei Lotion Mask to 24 of my blog readers. Just answer the two (2) questions below together with your email address at the comment area.

1. What are the three (3) main ingredients used in KOSE Sekkisei Lotion Mask?

2. Name one (1) out of the 9 benefits of the KOSE Sekkisei Lotion Mask.
 

Hurry! Contest ends on 27 April 2014.

^_^

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

:: rest in peace, ami schaheera ::

It was a hectic day with back-to-back meetings. I was rushing from a place to another, meeting different people and within 9am to 5pm I went to 6 different buildings, from Bangsar to TTDI and to Cyberjaya.

I picked up Ady from his nursery and went to our neighbourhood mamak for a drink. I need a break before we reach home but it was only for a while. As I scrolled down my Instagram feed, I saw this pic by Aquilastyle:


Another devastating news. My eyes were in tears and I immediately brought Ady home.

Arwah Ami Schaheera. I may not know her in person but she is one of my favourite fashion bloggers. I do not follow many blogs but her blog link is among those listed here so I can easily click when I see an update from her. I follow her Instagram account, learnt her daily routine and how she fought cancer. She was a tough fighter but He knows best for this sweet 30 year old lady who has touched many people's heart.

You will be dearly missed Ami. May Allah granted you peace and Jannah, insyaallah.

Al-Fatihah.


Cancer. It really opened up my eyes when my childhood friend / neighbour lost her eldest sister, whom we called 'Along' to cancer last year. Ever since that day I have different feeling and view towards it. I guess we all knew how life threatening it is but how much we really care?

At this opportunity I would like to share that we could empathise and do our part by assisting cancer patients to survive and undergo necessary treatment. As an example, through MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional / National Cancer Council) we can let them have the life they deserve. MAKNA is a not-for-profit organisation and they are supporting 4,500 cancer patients annually to financially assist them through treatments. They welcome financial donations at anytime and it can be easily done through their website.

Click here to learn more about MAKNA or click here to make donation.

:: heart breaking ::

 
*image source: http://shadowness.com
 
08.03.2014 - 24.03.2014
 
After 16 days of agony, our nation mourned after the announcement made by the Prime Minister at 9:55 pm, Monday night.
 
"Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort... Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."
 
Just before he spoke at the press conference, family members were first notified by the Malaysia Airlines about the news through phone calls and SMS.
 
"Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean."
 
 
It is a devastating and a heartbreaking news for all of us. An unsolved mystery.
My thoughts and prayers have been with them since day one. Let's continue praying for the souls and may they all rest in peace.
 
Goodbye MH370. Good night.
 
xxxxx
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

:: recipe: kung pao bilis ::

Two weekends ago husband requested "ikan bilis masak kicap" (fried anchovies in soy sauce) for dinner. I never knew or heard such menu so he explained and told me his friend used to cook it during univ. Apparently the dish is similar to cooking fried egg in soy sauce. I improvised it by using dried chillies though and unexpectedly the dish tasted like kung pao cooking style. My other half loved it so that made me smile from ear-to-ear :-D

Last night I received a request to repeat the same menu for dinner - the 'kung pao bilis' which I decided to name it. Sometimes a simple dish can increase our appetite and the kung pao bilis is that kind of dish. Just serve it with fried eggs and you are good to go. The verdict: everything was clean and clear.

For reference, the recipe is as below. Tips: Use small amount of cooking oil to make the sauce thicker. Last night (pic below) I wanted to have more sauce and the cooking oil was a bit extra.

I love simple, traditional dishes and now I couldn't wait for our "pekasam daging" to arrive.

What is "pekasam daging?"

That I will share later.

Kung Pao Bilis Recipe
 
 
Ingredients:
- Anchovies
- 1 shallot
- 4 dried chillies
- Sweet soy sauce
- Cooking oil
 
Steps:
1. Slice shallot thinly and cut dried chillies evenly (around 1 inch long)
2. Fry anchovies in hot cooking oil until crispy. Remove from pan.
3. Fry shallot slices and dried chillies together until you can smell them
4. Pour sweet soy sauce into the pan and stir
5. After few minutes, turn off the fire and pour the anchovies into the sauce
6. Mix the anchovies with the sauce only for few seconds to sustain crispiness of the anchovies
7. Ready to serve with rice
 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

:: diy nautical rope belt ::

Sunday is already here and I have been staying up through out the night to maximise my weekend. Life is too short - workloads are killing me softly. I wish time moves slower on Saturday and Sunday so I could spend longer time with my loved ones and also, myself.

Spending time with myself either means surfing the internet, blogging or connecting with my creativity. Nothing much but I hardly get the chance to complete all three during a weekend. Even surfing the internet for casual reading is challenging during weekdays. Ah, put that aside. Let just continue to the most recent DIY project I did during the long weekend of Chinese New Year celebration.

Firstly, the project is actually inspired from this image found on the Internet:

 
Accesssories made from rope is always in fashion trend. The look is unique and casual, yet can be eye-catching depends on the material, colour and combination. Since a year ago, I have read a number of tutorials for rope necklaces made by DIY queens. During my last visit to the craft shop I finally remember to buy a rope for the project - but instead of necklace I decided to create a belt.
 
Materials used:
- 1 meter gold rope
- Gold satin ribon
- Rubber strap
- Velcro
- UHU glue
- Needle & thread
 


Steps involved:
1. Fold the rope once to make it double and knot the rope as in diagram above. One end of the rope is in a loop while another is split end.

2. For the split end, attach ribbon with glue at end of each rope. Measure rubber strap around waist and cut according to comfort. Attach the rubber strap by sewing to the ribbons.

3. At another end, fold the rubber strap into the rope loop. Adjust and attach velcro by sewing to the rubber. The end.


How simple is that? I wish I have bought more ropes in different colours so I could have another belt in two colours combination. Besides that, I am also inspired with this DIY project and thinking of making it.

Rope is surely in my next shopping list!


*keywords: diy rope accessories, do it yourself, diy jewelry, diy belt

Sunday, January 19, 2014

:: birthday getaway ::

On 17th January 2014 my age increased to another number. Alhamdulillah with His blessing I am still able to breathe until this day, continue to live and surrounded by my loved ones. Apparently the entire nation "celebrated" my special day with a public holiday - the Thaipusam. We did not travel anywhere during last year end so we thought it would be good to travel somewhere and at the same time celebrate my birthday. The inital plan was Hard Rock Hotel Penang but few weeks ago I ended up making reservation for Legoland Hotel in Johor instead. Lego is one of my favourite toys. When I was a kid I used to save my daily school allowance just to purchase one small set of pirate-themed lego set because I really liked it. It was priced between RM20 to RM30 back then but with a RM1 daily allowance it was quite tough to collect and achieve it.

Anyway, we travelled on Thursday 16th January with Malindo Air. It was a 7:45 am flight and the ticket was priced at an unbelievable rate of RM39 one way from KLIA. It was a very good deal because we travelled with a Boeing flight instead of propeller and most importantly we didn't need to walk outdoor and climb the stairs (ala-ala travel in style gitew). I personally recommend the airline because the seating area was spacious and there was in-flight entertainment even for short distance flight - just bring along personal headphone or purchase one if interested. Earlier that morning we travelled to KLIA from home via taxi that we booked via My Teksi app. It was a very reliable app indeed. We booked for the cab to arrive at 6:00 am and when it was in front of our home, a notification was updated with "your driver has arrived".

We straight away travelled to Legoland Hotel in Nusajaya from Senai Aiport to register and to keep our luggage because we wanted to enter Legoland immediately. It was around 35 minutes journey and the airport taxi rate was RM68. Check-in time is at 4:00 pm anyway so we didn't expect to wait. It was neither public holiday nor weekend so the park was not crowded at all. We took a lot of family photos, thanks to the photographers who were always on standby at strategic locations. They didn't mind to snap our photos with our personal camera before using their camera and we were given a strap which they can scan to upload our pics.


We let Ady enjoyed the rides. First he drove a car around the track. He still didn't know how to handle the steering so he kept on crashing into the curb. We then rode a boat together then took turns to accompany Ady riding Lego aeroplane. Waiting time for each ride was less than 5 minutes or none! Ady loved the aeroplane so much. He rode it twice in the morning and four more times in the evening without waiting. Even if there is a waiting line, kids won't feel too restless because a table of Lego is always there for them to play with. The entire park is very kids friendly!


At Duplo town area. There was a huge covered place where kids can play with Duplo Lego and ride a train. A good place to rest and catch some breath. There were restaurant and nursing room too.
 
 

The viewing tower where we could view the entire park from above. Lego Technic Academy is targetted for teenagers and adults. Hubby joined the free 45 minutes programming class and made his robot move to cut a wire.
 
 
The Lego City was filled with significant miniature of buildings and landmarks, all made of Lego. It was really impressive. That KLCC looks so real isn't it?
 
 
Not in any photo is the Lego Kingdom area with a huge castle. Ady had his usual afternoon nap so we took turns and had chance experiencing the roller coasters; one in Technic area and another in the Kingdom. Both rides were not as challenging as the Cyclone in Universal Studio Singapore or those in Movie World Gold Coast but they weren't too bad. Since the park was not crowded with guests, one day at the dry park is good enough for me. There are still other attractions that we did not experience due to age or height requirements so there is actually a lot more to ride and explore. Yet I really had a great time and enjoy the entire day.
 
Among highlights about the park based on my observation:
 
1. Legoland dry park is not only a theme park because there is always something for everybody at every age. If you don't like riding any game you can enjoy sightseeing at the Lego City area, riding train around the park or riding a boat. For those who love taking photos, it is definitely a perfect place for photography session because everything is unique and colourful.
 
2. Park opens at 10:00 am and close at 6:00 pm during weekdays and 7:00 pm during public holidays and weekends.
 
3. Restaurants or food stalls are everywhere. Please expect higher price compared to food outside but they were not too expensive.
 
4. Legoland staff is very warm and helpful. From my observation many of them naturally love kids and very patience. It is something that one could not pretend and I really respect that. Keep it up, guys.
 
5. There is wide range of Lego products that we may not find elsewhere. Rambang mata sangat! They do not stated anywhere but we received many free gifts too depending on total amount purchase. When we checked our bags there were a lot of extra stuff. Awesome meh.
 
6. Legoland has proper praying place or surau located at the main entrance area. Couldn't find such proper facility at other theme parks such as Universal Studio Singapore (during our visit last time there was only a small room) or Disneyland. There is high population of Muslims around Asia so they should consider that actually.
 
7. Explore the park and let your photos taken by the official photographers. It is not compulsory to purchase any at the end, but let me warn you there is a tendency to do so after viewing them :-P We viewed our photos 20 minutes before the park closed and ended up purchasing our family photo on lego bricks. It is a unique souvenir as they can be disassembled if we want to, just like playing normal Lego. The entire package came with another three (3) sets of printed photos and all four (4) photos can be viewed online, saved and shared via social media. It's worth the purchase.
 
 
 
We checked into our room later in the evening but I will write a review about Legoland Hotel in the next post. That night we had dinner at Medini Mall located next to the hotel. It was an open concept mall, with a number of restaurants and shopping outlets however the entire place close quite early. Some restaurants were already closed when we arrived at 8:30 pm. We had dinner at Chicken Rice Shop and according to the staff the place usually close a bit late and crowded only during weekends.

On 17th January which was my birthday we said goodbye to the hotel at 11:00 something in the morning. Our flight was at 3:05 pm so we decided to spend few hours left at Johor Premium Outlet. We rented a car stroller for our little boy - RM30 fee for one day rental with RM100 deposit. It was our second visit to JPO, the first one when it was just opened two years back. Now it has expended to the second phase with more outlets such as Furla, Timberland, Aigner and others but nothing really attracted me. Ended up buying a pair of wedges from Pedro, the wedges that Fila and I had our eyes on when it was displayed in Empire last year.


JPO to Senai Airport was merely 10 minutes drive so we departed at 2:15 pm with a cab. Our flight was slightly delayed and we arrived KLIA around 5:30 pm. Although we were only travelling within Malaysia the experience was very different because we took flight and travelled with taxis. We felt like tourists in our own country and such experience is in line with 2014's Visit Malaysia year :-D

It was a memorable getaway indeed, thanks to Mr. Husband and lil boy Ady Rifqi who made the experience more exciting and wonderful - double, triple the fun!

May this year brings me a lot of love, luck, good health, happiness and prosperity. Ameen.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

:: the first of 2014 ::

After a long disappearance I suddenly become a frequent blogger (not). Actually I didn't switch off this laptop after publishing the last blog entry for 2013 although after hitting the 'publish' button we all went out to view fireworks on a flyover - had nasi lemak at Warung Nasi Lemak Opah in Taipan USJ area - came back playing with Ady and finishing up a DIY project - but since the laptop is still alive, I want to take this opportunity to publish the first entry of 2014.

We welcomed the new year on the flyover of USJ to Sunway route. We did it for the first time in 2013 so this is the second year and having the chance to view most fireworks displayed in the Klang Valley area from the spot is all we need. No entertainment required. Just waited in the car, went out of the car merely 2-3 minutes before the clock strikes 12:00, enjoyed the view, snapped few photos and off we go when the sky turned dark again. Back in the old days my definition of new year celebration was hanging out at the KLCC park enjoying performance and watching fireworks on top of my head but that definition is no longer available these days. I don't mind admitting what I did in the past - they all remain in memory and I'm blissful with the life I'm having now as an adult, a wife and a mother. I'm not sure what kind of blog post I'm writing here so before I ramble further here is my first pic for the year 2014:
 Ady was actually watching fireworks from Sunway Lagoon.
 
 
 
 
...so here is another shot...
 
 
 
 
...few seconds after the first pic...
Ah, better view!
 
 
My eyes couldn't sleep through out the night. Before started writing this post I just finished creating a headpiece for a ballerina. I received an order from someone at the office for her daughter ballet performance. I know nothing about ballet so I have asked the customer to share pic of a sample as well as the attire. The colour combo is gold and blue; and this is how the end result looks like:
 
 Hopefully both mother and daughter are satisfied and happy
*worried face*


So there goes my six hours of day one in 2014. Wishing and hoping for wonderful, blessed and healthy 364 days ahead.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...