Saturday, April 20, 2013

mcdonaldland x hello kitty

Get ready for some kitty-razyness 'cos McDonaldland x Hello Kitty's in town!

Hello my convict friend. Now the real dilemma: to collect or not to collect them all??

Thursday, April 18, 2013

it's a swappin' frenzy in this household lately

Lately I've crazy 'bout swaps. In my case.. especially tea swaps! You can find little groups on blogs or Facebook that host tea swaps where you get assigned a partner to send tea to (google tea swaps!). sometimes there are little rules to adhere to. What's exhilarating is finding a NON-bill / flyer / banking sh*t in my postbox :) It's nice to know swappers / Postcrossers (do visit Miss Kain's blog.. she's a fervent Postcrosser) and penpals keep the postal system in service. I bet postmen all around the world find little delights in delivering cute envelopes / packages apart from the dreary formal white ones. These are via swapbot.

Outgoing: #Envelope of Stuff. 48 hours in the life of me. Sending out an envelope of stuff that depicts my life in 2 days.

Incoming: #Handmade Earrings #Send Out Quickly Tea Swap #5 Tea Bags for Smile #Envelope of Stuff. Discovered a new love for ephemera!

Outgoing: #Creativi-TEA. Packed afew of my favourite loose leaf teas (Mariage Freres Earl Grey French Blue & Vert Provence and Fortnum and Mason Jubilee blend) into little sachets before placing them into self-made tea envelopes . I sure <3 p="" swaps="" tea="">

Outgoing: #Boxful of Candy & Drinks. Sending some Malaysian goodies to Korea and Finland for a drink swap. Do you see any of your favourites??

Outgoing: #Handmade Earrings. Handmade earrings swaps make me grin :) Included some calming Sonnentor tea and a Whimsy Whimsical card as well. Wonder what I'll receive?

Incoming: Just got my first batch of swaps! This leaves me feeling cheerful after a tired day at work.

Outgoing: #Drink, eat and read. A Hello Kitty letter, gift for her love of skulls and some other knickknacks.

Monday, April 15, 2013

bonne anniversaire to moi! (thean hou temple, tea at majestic hotel, dining in the dark kl)

You know 'maturity' has caught up with you when your husband wakes you up first thing in the morning to make birthday prayers at the temple. We've been going to the Thean Hou temple for about 2 years now. We're not hard up Buddhists but we do try to inculcate more faith in our lives nowadays. Dang the autopilot of aging! Funny how much a little belief can make all the difference. Frankly I can't even remember my own age. It is as if everything becomes a blur post-25! 26, 27 what does it matter... the only time I ever felt the significance of an age was when I turned 29. After turning 30, 31 32... what does it matter? All I know is that the older I grow, the quieter I want my birthdays. Lo and behold it has begun: I'm turning into a schmuck! :D

As much as it irked me to rise early, a sense of tranquility washed over me as I waded through the temple grounds and up the many flight of stairs to the temple's peak. There were so many brides in white dresses and hand bouquets. It must be an auspicious date for weddings. That's a good sign :)

In Thean Hou you can find special nooks and altars for people to place wishing lotus / waterlily candles. The lotus is used as a symbol of purity as it grows with its roots in the mud (roots of evil: greed, hatred, delusion) but it blossoms above the water (enlightenment). Profound, non? It has become a ritual for Guy and I to light a lotus candle and this time I get the honours of hogging the wish lol! :D

65 Persiaran Endah
off Jalan Syed Putra
50460 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
Tel: +603 2274 7088 

Birthday afternoons are meant for lovable activities... and in my case it was tea at The Orchid Room over at the newly refurbished Majestic Hotel

"The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur includes the original Hotel Majestic which is documented as a national heritage site under the Malaysian Antiquities Act. This colonial heritage building was built in 1932 and became one of the great hotels of Kuala Lumpur in its time. 

The hotel was an icon of Malaya's boom years leading to World War II and came to be the place for glamorous social events, government receptions and the residence for prominent international visitors. The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is positioned to share the glamour, heritage and success of its predecessor as a YTL Classic Hotel."

... The Majestic Hotel, introduction ...

Let us not dwell on the fact that we got lost and circled the traffic-infested city thrice, instead let's go straight to... 

Miss HweiHwei captured the ambience at The Orchid Conservatory perfectly!

You know how Tom Ford came out with Black Orchid? I used to think it was an overrated scent because I never thought orchids could ever possess a fragrance strong enough to be perceived. I was SO wrong.. because the moment I stepped into The Orchid Room, the overwhelming scent of the Philaenopsis orchids blew my mind! I felt the aroma envelope my body in a floral hug and exploded in my lungs. Beautiful. Stunning even.

So glad that their hot items came in a warmer. The cheeseball thing was my favourite!

Tiers of delectably dainty nibbles! Best: Red velvet cupcake. Other favourites: tuna sandwich, cherry cheesecake, scone :)

Why yes, those ARE cherries (not apples) on my head! This is me channeling my inner Anna dello Russo !

Headpiece: handmade bazaar
Dress: Dorothy Perkins

Damn I love afternoon teas! *erected pinkie*

Smoky wishes!

cake: Delectable by Su

Afternoon Tea @ The Majestic Hotel
5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
50000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 (0)3 27858000

A super day would not be complete without an extraordinary dinner. I was rather surprised that Guy actually reminded me to make reservations at Dining In The Dark KL for my birthday. It's nice to know that he does occasionally pay attention to my yapping. I've been meaning to try them out (cue the scene from 'When In Rome' and that CSI episode) but their reservations were always full. Trust KL-ites to hog the new restaurant in town! I did not have any expectations with regards to how things would roll out through the night. I don't think I've ever dined in utter darkness before. We were lead to a lounge to get our eyes accustomed to the dark. There we played a game with each other: trying to fish out paper clips from a bowl of beans all the while blindfolded. I performed pretty poorly but Guy was real ace at it (wonder why? ;D)! When it came to our time slot, we were called upon to save our valuables and light emitting gadgets in their locker. Our waiting staff was Darius who was visually-impaired (the main weight of the staff are visually impaired and I'm more than happy to support a restaurant which allows work opportunity for the disabled) lead us pass layers of blackout curtains before arriving at our table. It was definitely dark... very very dark. Couldn't see nuts!

Off to dine in darkness!

I seriously have no recollection of the menu.. all I know is that cherry tomatoes are best eaten in the dark! Seriously! All that heightened senses and refined dining experience... all true especially when it comes to the cherry tomatoes! Guy ate mainly through his fingers (he usually eats with his hands anyway!) but I maintained the use of cutlery. The food was nothing to shout about I'd have to be frank but... The best part was dessert (oh and soup but I guess that shouldn't count 'cos it came in a cup) of which I enjoyed immensely. They paused the dinner awhile to play me 'Happy Birthday' on the piano while the wait staff gathered around me and sang. I know they gathered around me because I could hear them in close vicinity of me. Me learning yah... me karate kid, non? That was special. On top of the dining experience.. that was indeed special.

Appetizer, main course, dessert... bah they all look the same!

Even if it's just for the experience, I'd recommend a visit. Prepare gossips 'cos it will be a long night filled with conversations and most of all be nice to the waiters. Remember, in this instance we're the clumsy ones not them :)

P.S. @mymakeuporganizer: I hope you kept your hands to yourself LOL (I did. but my toes... well they had a life of their own *wink*)

Dining In The Dark KL

44A & 46A Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Reservation Tel: + 6012 251 5797

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

how to throw your friend a bridal shower / bachelorette : the banjaran hot springs retreat, botanical bangsar village

So a good friend of mine is getting married and it goes without saying that I was gonna give her a good shower. Yup we did spend quite abit on her, Miss ChongChong and I (thank you for your emails. I hope my post helps explain your queries). The way I look at it, there are moments when one needs to take a step back from one's self-centred egocentrism and be nice to a friend. It's just about being generous... stepping up to the plate and being a good mate. Also for you babydolls who are yet to be married, do note that you may one day come to a point in your life when you anticipate a bridal shower in celebration of yourself. How do you expect to be treated like a goddess if you were such a calculative b*tch before? Yes, it certainly was an expensive affair and ever since I quit my job, money has been tight and occasionally hard to come by. Hence I saved. I worked (really) hard and I saved.

With reference to the previous guide to throwing a birthday party, let's recap the steps:
1. Theme
2. Appointment with bride-to-be
3. Date + Time
4. Invite list (+ budget)
5. Venue
6. Invitations
7. Menu + Bar
8. Decor + Help 

1. Theme: Nature-inspired, intimate and quiet

Anyhoots, Miss ChewChew desired something quiet and nature-inspired. It was a toss up between Sekeping Serendah, AwanMulan or The Dusun. We scraped The Dusun as she had just attended a bridal shower there. And then suddenly I thought of The Banjaran and everything seemed to pale in comparison. It's hefty but the facilities were so compelling especially since Miss ChewChew loves yoga. Yoga in their famous meditation cave sounded surreal! So I made a reservation for us via Agoda and Miss ChewChew offered to chauffeur our lil' party there since the stay was on us (Miss ChongChong and I). We despise rural living but yet we earn all this money in the bustling city only to give it away to a retreat in the village. The dilemma of a city girl *lol* 

Check out our porch :) Damn I love private villa pools!

We received a complimentary upgrade from the Water Villa to the Garden Villa! Score! Checking into the resort was a breeze... relaxing even. We were handed a warm towel and a lemongrass tea concoction which was yum! Just before we were showed our villa, Miss ChewChew was given the honours of 'BANGING the gong'! We were given a brief tour of the resort in a buggy before stopping at the doorstep of our villa. We immediately jumped into our bikinis before heading out to the springs. Oh wait the heading out to the springs part was delayed for over an hour with Miss ChewChew and Miss ChongChong having to deal with work on the phone and me getting busy with Instagram and replying *bisou* bonbon emails. But soon enough we pulled ourselves together and snapped out of work mode and left the stressors in they city behind.

Clockwise from top: view of the resort from The Balcony, Miss ChewChew bangs brass, L-R: Miss ChewChew, Miss ChongChong, moi

Me thinks the bride-to-be enjoyed wading in The Reflexology Pool the most.

After The balcony, we decided to check the Thermal Steam Cave out. It was very very HOT!

It was SO HOT that I felt light-headed. Everyone was just starting to break a sweat and my face had already turned into a ripe tomato 0_0'

The Freeform Swimming Pool has got to be my favourite! It's mildly warmed by the natural hot springs which gives it just the right temperature for a comfortable swim. I could stay in it forever!

Thumbs up:
- Mountain-view mildly-heated poo
- Hot Springs Dipping pools
- Spacious garden villa
- Complimentary villa upgrade

Thumbs down:
- Meh maintenance (referring to our villa's private hot tub)
- Unclean Garra Ruffa and Reflexology pool

My review on Agoda:

Check-in was very swift and welcoming. They gave us a complimentary upgrade to the Garden Villa which was very sweet. The Garden Villa was very spacious with a private hot tub (it was not working when we arrived but was fixed up by the evening). Staff was very kind and helpful. This was a bachelorette weekend for our bride-to-be friend. The complimentary speedy wifi allowed the working girls to still function at the office while physically escaping the city. We found the Garra Ruffa and Reflexology pool to be quite unclean and the fishes to be scarce. We absolutely enjoyed the Hot Springs Dipping pools and freeform swimming pool (gently heated naturally by the geothermal waters) and spent most of our time there. The caves are worth a visit but not much to shout about. The thermal steam caves can be quite overwhelming.. best to not go alone or inform someone that you're heading that way. Maintenance is slightly on the 'meh' side but the good cohesion between man-made facilities and nature makes up for it. We also appreciate the good security and privacy. Breakfast menu is alright but thumbs up for including quinoa. All in all the bride-to-be had an awesome time which was all that mattered.

Such a serene good morning greet on the way back from brunch. Health alert: they serve quinoa in their breakkie buffet!

The Banjaran
No 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3
31150 Ipoh
Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia
Tel: +60 5 210 7777

2. Appointment with bride-to-be
3. Date + Time
4. Invite list (+ budget): It is common custom that the maid-of-honour tends to be the one who has to telan the budget for the shower but since Miss ChewChew didn't have any, the dining bill was split amongst us. I was happy to foot the decor charges.
5. Venue: A stay at The Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat and tea at Botanical Bangsar Village II

All in all I think Miss ChewChew enjoyed the weekend cityscape :) But hey there's more! OK, the initial plan was to whisk Miss ChewChew off to The Banjaran and then driving her post-check out to her Bridal Shower tea party in Botanical! Unfortunately that didn't quite work out as planned and the bridal shower had to be postponed to the week after. Miss ChongChong and I went a little early to prep the place up. Turns out Miss LizDiz was already there! She was in charge of Miss ChewChew's tiara and sash and did a mighty fine job at it :)

6. Invitations: Whimsy Whimsical

Yup, I even got the shower invitation customized. I sure do love Whimsy Whimsical!

7. Menu + Bar: we weren't too hungry so we ordered everything on the snack menu like cauliflower fritters, rojak (MY FAVOURITE) and desserts like strawberry shortcake along with rosé bubblies (it IS a celebration after all!)
8. Decor + Help: balloons from Balloon Buzz, I brought a 'Bride' sign printout, tiara + sash also available on Balloon Buzz

I love Botanical! It's a garden tea cafe in a mall :D Ah... an almost natural surroundings with the comfort of air-conditioning and faux sunshine! 

Gave the girls a pinkie Cíate Caviar Manicure!

9. Entertainment (+ games): I gave the girls a Ciaté Caviar Manicure before Miss ChewChew's gift unboxing session. Subsequently I presented her with a collection of recipes from all her intimate friends (as most of them were overseas and could not make it to the shower) just so she knows that she's loved. I had sent out the cards to all of them 2 months via registered mail before the event and put them together as they slowly trickled into my postbox. One of them came with a romantic letter which I read out during the shower on behalf of the writer.

10. Gifts (for the birthday person + guests): Miss ChewChew gifted us her favourite *bisou* bonbon product: Hiver soap and an Ellianto nail lacquer. I put them together with the tea-party package consisting of a Daiso cheese board, *bisou* bonbon Earl Grey teacup candle and Karung Guni wheatgrass seeds. For the bride, I gave her a box of something old (Bluezcrazy fabric coasters that she has always admired. I've had a set for the longest time but never used them so I gifted it to her), something new (La Senza foreplay dices), something borrowed (bridal emergency kit with small first-aid knick-knacks like Panadol tablets and *bisou* bonbon First-Aid Salve) and something blue (Sonnentor Calming Tea to aid with the wedding stress)!

Since it's a tea party, the party favour comprised of: a wooden teaspoon / mini shovel for the *bisou* bonbon earl Grey tealight candle (geddit? geddit?), Karung Guni wheatgrass 'sugah' and nail lacquer as milk with a block of *bisou* bonbon Hiver soap 'cake'!

I don't know 'bout Miss ChongChong but my favourite part in any Bridal Shower is always the part about presents!! Mine was 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue'.

Some of Miss ChewChew's good friends were unable to attend the Bridal Shower so I collected handwritten home recipe cards from them (all over the world). Now she can have a piece of them to take home with her! :)

It was a very intimate shower and I do believe the bride-to-be had good fun.

BVII, 1F28
Bangsar Village Shopping Center
Jalan Telawi Satu
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : +603 2287 6566

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