Tuesday, November 11, 2014

singapore: tai hwa / twg the salon / tan boon kee / orchard road / ion orchard / antoinette cafe / db bistro / repetto

So Le Father invited me to come stay with him and Le Mother at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore so it would be foolish to decline. I get free lodging (albeit a shared room with the parents) and transportation plus a $10/day local currency pocket money. Yes, I am such a child and I'm not ashamed of my petty behaviour. I've never been to MBS so this was quite exciting.

Good morning Singapore!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

mansur gavriel bucket bag

It's been a long time since I fell head over heels.

I was reminded of that old notorious feelings that I've buried deep inside. 

Wearing my favourites:
Primark atmosphere basic top
Uniqlo pants (that I practically live in now! every single person I've introduced this pants to, they end up buying two)
new favourite Mansur Gavriel bucket bag in Black-Blu
Zara kitten heels 

Friday, October 03, 2014

unhealthy competition

Recently as I was helping a friend get help for her escalating anxiety disorder, I was reminded of my last anxiety attack.  I would wake up in palpitations and shortness of breaths with a dreaded sinking feeling in my chest. Despite all I've learned in medical school, I felt incapable of accurately deciphering what was happening to my own body. I even had to have my colleague perform an ECG on me much to her amusement given that my age (not yet 30 at the time) skewed way off the epidemiology.

At the time I was immensely troubled by Bisou BonBon competitors who pretty much replicated our product line with their own 'twist' *rolls eyes* namely some distortion to the formulation, name play etc. Even when the idea of filling in a market gap was unbeknownst to me, I was already developing products that were fairly strangers to the local market. I believe this was why ChicPop (market ran by Tongue in Chic back in the good ole days well known in the early years for their well-rounded and quality selection of vendors) gave me a chance to showcase my products. I'm going to give you an example of many. Sure, I'm no creator of lotions and potions but I was quite sure at the time when I made plans for Mozzie-A-GoGo that there was not a locally-accessible insect-repelling balm. I know this because I was looking for one.. that and my customers tell me that they've never seen a product quite like Mozzie-A-GoGo at the time when I first introduced it. People don't realize the amount of labour I put into making a product and how every perspective pertaining to MAGG has been through a thought process right to it's tube packaging because I'm highly aware of the pungent and unrelenting scent of citronella. OK fine you will have to excuse the label as I was, and am still, relatively rubbish with design and thought hundreds of stars encapsulating the product name would make it appear more awesome! I know better now LOL. I digress. Anyhoots a week after (right to this moment) I 'launched' my product, I found similar products appearing on competing shelves with names in the spirit of warding away insects just shy of the word GoGo. That is just snarky. Having invested all the time, money and effort I spent to develop this product only to watch them 'decide' and 'select' which of my products they'd have as their version.. well that.. That enraged me. I welcome competition but this was not the sort of healthy competition I had in mind. I thought that people would return the respect I have for their business. I do mine and you do yours. If I know you're selling bricks, I'll sell cement. 

I was an imbecile. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

@shelbybisou featured on #humancondition exhibition at wellcome collection

Everyone has a favourite museum in London and mine is the Wellcome Collection. When I first visited it last year, it was a quirky little nook showcasing curious medical knick-knacks Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome had accumulated throughout his years as a pharmacist and entrepreneur. There were paintings and pillboxes along with human remains and ancient sex toys. I loved it! He was such a hoarder that Henry. I can very much relate to that. Perhaps one day my personal rubbish would be up for display and public viewings. The Wellcome Collection was, most importantly, free and the set up was quite interactive. I also enjoyed that it was rather quiet and one can move along from one exhibit to another at his/her own pace. 

Presently, after a mild facelift, the Wellcome Collection now boasts of current exhibitions and I'm loving the new image: The free destination for the incurably curious. 

So you know I love the Wellcome Collection. And you should know I looove Instagram. So you can imagine my thrill when WC dropped by my IG account to inform me that my submission may possibly be selected for the #HumanCondition exhibition but I will have to view the exhibition to see if my contribution made the cut. It was a gruesome several weeks wait. Fast forward to skimming through the many Instagram prints, finding mine sitting comfortable in one of the rows made me shriek silently in joy! 

Popped by Wellcome Collection very briefly for the #humancondition exhibition and voila!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

mayfield lavender farm

Lavender farms are truly magical.

Ever since the ultimate let-down last year arriving post-harvest at Provence I was hoping that I would be a lil' luckier in the season department this time around. I stumbled upon Mayfield Lavender Farm while googling to purchase English lavender for Bisou BonBon and was bewildered as to why I've not heard of the place prior to this. It's in Surrey for crying out loud! Not too far at all.

The only downside of traveling alone is that one can't take fancy pictures of herself. This is the best effort my arm could muster. I'm going for ethereal.. 

*happy sigh* such is life...

As I laid down amidst the lavender bushes, I could not deny that it was truly a #lifeisgood moment. The sun was shining, the lavender was intoxicating the air, the view was a wonderful shade of violet and with the children (well everyone really) prancing around in glee, one could not help but revel in nature's beauty.

Such a treat to watch the busy honeybees fleet from stalk to stalk gathering nectar. I have a penchant for bees ever since I read an article somewhere with unsettling news that their species are at real risk of extinction. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

self reaffirmation time

As I watch the 'Clackers' (Devil Wears Prada on inflight tv) quickly rush to retouch their make-up, it suddenly dawned upon me that in my flurry of completing Bisou BonBon stock, replying last minute customers' emails and disorganized packing, I have forgotten to include my Louboutins. I now have no proper heels to wear at the highly regarded summer fashion course because the only footwear I brought with me are my (very exhausted looking) Repetto flats and La Senza house boots (which I've converted into street wear because Imma rebel like that... got you fooled there-lah.. it's really cos Imma weirdo). The more I try to recollect what I've shoved into my 28.4kg luggage, the more I realize that I did not bring as much accessories and makeup as I had initially planned. Turns out I'm more of a Korean mini-mart mule than a high fashion muse. Now I'm scared. NOW I'm rethinking my cutting edge bangs, my marshmallow body and most of all, horror of horrors, questioning my competency. Prior to this, all I felt was that gleaming beacon of pride. They did mention in their acceptance letter and I quote, "The application process for this course is extremely competitive, thus you should be very proud of your place..." (do note that I don't care if you think it sounds generic, don't spoil the fantasy!). And now the insecurity has started to seed (and potentially fester)... and.. I'm worried. I'm worried if my Dell-cracked-at-the-screen will suddenly go asystole on me. I'm worried if my interpretation of style is abhorring. I'm worried that I cannot keep up with my peers-to-be. I'm worried that I may fail. That f-word and I'm tired. I have not slept in 2 weeks with all the locums, product manufacturing and trying to tidy up the blog (you know just in case someone from Conde Nast decides to so-called chance on it). Not forgetting my wife and daughterly duties. Dayum, adult life is truly taxing (and children aren't even in the equation yet!).

So I'm offering myself an antidote to this dark feeling with constant self reaffirmation and visions of sparkling rainbows and gleaming unicorns. The excitement and anticipation of learning catalyst the good vibes. There has been so much loss lately with the miscarriage, funerals and relationships that I can't help but be paranoid. But this, this opportunity to redeem my life long desire to learn about fashion is what I hope when things turn around for the better. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

see: xiao li

Imma obsessed over Xiao Li's knit collection featuring structured parachute silhouettes. Oh how I love puffy garments even if my mum insists I look extra fat in them. I don't care I LOVE IT. Something about it screams bobo on the border of Marie Antoinette in the 22nd Century, non? Her use of silicone knits and spectacular choice of colour dyes is just out of this world. I'm lusting over that pastel green knit cardi and I don't even like green! Sigh... won't she sell me one...?

Image credit: Dezeen 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

eat: lexy's secret service

Lately Supper clubs have been growing like lalang in KL's gastro scene. I've always wanted to go to one but the dates are constantly contradicting my schedule. I used to think it odd to have to pay to go to someone's home to eat a stranger's home-cooked gourmet dinner but I think differently now. So. Very. Differently. I met Lexy when she was interning for an F&B company last year when she was helping to a man a booth beside mine. I had just had a failed chemical pregnancy (some may want to call it a miscarriage, some may not) that day and was feeling like absolute f**ks. Being the chirpy person that she is, she introduced herself to me and started yapping about her work. She was supplying cakes to cafes at the time and mentioned herself to be quite savvy in the kitchen. Thing is, alot of people say they can make this and cook that but it's usually alot of hype before the disappointing bite. I take statements like that with a pinch of salt. In the afternoon, she offered me a portion of a taco (or was it naan.. I can't remember) that she had brought with her. I'm not usually one to accept food from strangers but I was quite hungry but since I'm greedy (and famished at the time) I accepted the offer and took a bite. To my utter surprise and the zany delight of my mouth, it was VERY GOOD. She was worth every food adjective she mentioned!  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

anthem of the day: la vie en rose (daniela andrade)

A little tune to uplift the start to the week.

When it gets overwhelming, I put Daniela Andrade on and take a moment to drift away...

I'm swooning over her side-swept do and that oh-so-raspy voice :)

"Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose..."

Monday, May 26, 2014

happy mother's day 2014

Every year, I do a mini 'art' installation for my mother. I figured if I can't afford to buy her something nice I could at least give her a nice experience. Mmmy's birthday always happen to fall around Mother's Day which calls for a more elaborate celebration. Inspired by Alix' experience, this year I brought Mmmy to have tea at Chez Gabrielle Chanel which is Coco's Rue de Cambon Parisian flat.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

shape magazine: butt, hip & thighs

I'm not a morning person but I will wake up early on a weekend to support a friend (OK two!) even if it means manslaughter-ing my butt, hip and thighs with Shape Magazine Malaysia and Red.FM :)

Gym leggings: BlackMilk
Shoes: Vibram Five Fingers
Yoga bag: Nuala by Puma

Saturday, May 24, 2014

korea food fair at isetan klcc

Mmmy was uber excited to know that Isetan was having a Korea Food Fair when she received their newsletter in the mail and made a date with us (us as in me and Dddy). We were gonna try tteokbokki for the first time! My mother's a serious 'Ajumma-celup'. When Sophiekins comes home to visit, she calls the living room Seoul 'cos it's K-Pop playing, Korean soap blaring, Korean green tea and roasted rice brewing and Korean food lusting!

We went on the first day and it was bursting at the seams with Korean cuisine afficianados. People were tossing ramyun and boxes of Pepero into their shopping cart like it was Supermarket Sweep! We headed straight to the Baekje (pop-up Korean Restaurant from Seoul) booth to give the tteokbbokki a try. I've never had tteokbbokki and if you've watched enough Korean travel / foodie shows, you know that everyone reacts to it like it's the-best-shit-on-earth. 

This is Chef Kim Cheol Yu of Baekje. He has won many food awards.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

kota bharu kelantan eats 2.0 : Nasi Kak Wook / Kedai Kopi Khuan Heong Yuan / Kedai Nasi Sup Tok Ayah / Warisan Nasi Kukus / White House / Kopitiam Kita / Restoran Tye Hin

Read my previous post on Kelantan Eats here.

This post is long overdue and I hope it's worth the wait. I've promised too many to not follow through :) I'm so glad to know that many are curious and keen about Kelantanese cuisine.

My notorious father used to swim with his friends under this deck. Tambatan Diraja was used by the Sultan of Kelantan to watch water sport races.

Dress: Zara
Bag: Givenchy Pandora
Shoes: Repetto

Jalan Post Office Lama

One day I'll help my dad make a nostalgic video of what he calls his version of Jonker St.

The first engineering shop in Kota Bharu.
Me: What's an engineering shop?
Dddy: a shop selling engineering lah.

This is a M.U.S.T eat. When my dad is back in Kota Bharu, he eats this for breakfast AND lunch. When I'm back I tell him I wanna eat 'little chicken'.

Steaming rice drizzled in lemak kari gravy with a dash of sour yet spicy sambal and a generous helping of chopped fried chicken bits. So crunchy and savoury it's like a slowdance in your mouth.

Nasi Kak Wook
Lot 2961-B Jalan Long Yunus 
15200 Kota Bharu
Tel: +6 019-972 1474

Anyone an alumni of Sekolah Commercial Kelantan or wants to learn to balance a ledger? 'Cos Mrs Wee is my grandaunt :)

Sekolah Commercial Kelantan
PT160 2nd Floor, Jln Sultanah Zainab
15000 Kota Bharu
Tel: +6 09-744 1088

When spectacular coffee brings Malaysians of all races and religions together.

They do Roti Kawin as how they should be done: toasting crisp on a chicken wire over burning coals!

Kedai Kopi Khuan Heong Yuan
Jalan Che Su
15000 Kota Bharu

This is my Grandmama Bachok. She's 82 yrs old. I'm stoked she can still recognize me despite her mild dementia. Seeing how much she has aged is melancholic but growing old is inevitable. I will try to visit her more often.

Tres fun to catch up with Miss JoeJoe doing her Surgical Master's in USM. How time flies to see her little baby grow into the active young man he is now.

I've spoken of Nasi Sup Tok Ayah before and my passion for his hearty beef soup remains steadfast. It never fails to satisfy that umami bud.

Dddy: Slurping for 3 generations.
Me: 2 generations.

Gerai Nasi Sup Tok Ayah
(opposite Bazar Tengku Anis) 
Jalan Tengku Puteri
Kota Bharu
Tel: +6017-9411426

Meet the three musketeers of Jalan Kebun Sultan: Warisan Nasi Kukus, the Air Batu Kacang stall just beside and the satay stall flanking the latter. All 3 will BLOW your mind!

Nasi Kukus may just mean steamed rice (not boiled rice) but it's the accompanying dishes that really matter. They are usually meats in gravy, stewed vegetables and fried innards etc. The combining flavours makes wolfing down the rice a breeze! N.B. Brother punya leher dah macam nak putus dah melihat lauk-pauk yang mouth-watering tu!

Left: Nasi Lauk up close. Right: ABC special (special 'cos of that dollop of local ice-cream) 

Warisan Nasi Kukus / Satay Suria (I think it's called) / ABC stall - name not known
Jalan Kebun Sultan
15350 Kota Bharu

GrandAunt Wee used to wash her hair here for 50sen back in the hey days. It is still in operation with very reasonable charges.

Rose Hair & Beauty Unisex Saloon Fashion Centre
3377D, 1st Floor
Jln Gajah Mati
15000 Kota Bharu
Tel: +6 09-744 1351

Dad says the president of this White House has sustained office from Reagan until Obama.
Mum says they have the best kaya (egg jam) in town... in Malaysia in fact (huaaa!). 

A visit to Kota bharu isn't complete without a patronage to the White House so please pay your dues when you're there, will ya? And pay no heed to the 'bad-service' it's part of their schmuck-y charm LOL!

White House
1329-L, Jalan Sultanah Zainab
Kota Bharu

It has been said that Kelantan is the corridor to Mekah . What a splendid arch to welcome people to the holy land. This is Gerbang Sultan Ismail Petra.

Kopitiam Kita is a purveyor of good rice.

You will find a myriad of specially curated Kota Bharu's finest (pride of village/town) Nasi Dagang / Nasi Lemak / Nasi Kerabu / Nasi Kukus / Nasi Tumpang. One-stop-shop for nasi?? #onlyinkelantan

Sigh I didn't know where to start. I felt like having them all!

At last I opted for a Nasi Tumpang: rice-filled banana leaf cone with gravy, fish/meat and minced meat.

Kopitam Kita
4357-A, Taman Desa Jaya
Jalan Pengkalan Chepa
15400 Kota Bharu
Tel: +6 019-981 0888

A treasure trove at Restoran Tye Hin (also affectionately known as the crazy peeps kopitiam as it's located opposite the psychiatric ward and frequently patronized by their patients). I recognize quite alot of those containers from my childhood. 

Restoran Tye Hin
Jalan Abdul Kadir Adabi
15300 Kota Bharu

I was gifted this vintage typewriter and am dying to get it restored. Tried Snackfood but they were unable to take on this project because it was a model they were not quite familiar with. Anyone with suggestions / recommendations??

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