How To Ease Your Christmas Gift Shopping!

Christmas is here! Christmas is here!

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All our gifts before we unwrap! Had a great time out with my friends from work (yes, they are too close to me to just be labelled colleagues!) do do Secret Santa. We did one session last year, when there was just five us in the team. This time round we have 10 of us all from top to toe and it was even better because instead of drawing lots with shredded paper, we used the super useful Secret Santa helper website called Secret Santa Organizer.

It is super recommended for anybody who is looking to buy presents for each other because it comes with a list for you to edit to help you tell your Santa what’s on your wishlist so you don’t be too disappointed. Some people still get photo frames nowadays, not that I don’t appreciate it – but it really is just a little too thoughtless for Christmas guys.

It’s almost like a note to the receiver saying “Here is me telling you that I don’t really care about getting you a gift”.

For those who are curious as to how Secret Santa Organizer works, a main admin adds all of the participants into the list and then the system just randomly selects your recipient for you. You will be able to edit your wishlists from time to time (with a time limitation before date of event). It helps alot because you will be able to sort of grasp what is useful for your recipient, so you don’t end up buying random gifts that may end up in the shelves for the next 5 years. When it was finalized, this was what I saw on the site when I logged in.

My surprise recipient was…..

FADZLI

 

For those who are curious as to how you get to put in stuff in your wishlist, here is a sample of my wishlist.

It’s just a glimpse of how things work with the site and you can see I was very detailed ad specific (and I would choose to say helpful) with my gifts. Super demanding Natalie right here. Must be big boxes la, big lines la, grapes also must be Korean la.  But yes you get the idea. You get to edit your wishlist from time to time and the site notifies your Secret Santa each time you edit the page.

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Our budget for the exchange was a minimum of RM 30 and maximum of RM 50, just so we can put a bit of thought into it. Had our secret meetup at Hokkaido Ichiba at Gardens. We had about 10 of us so we decided to take the room (at no extra charge!) so it could be a little private.

FYI, this isn’t a team building session. We made it a point to meet up every now and then outside work. Can’t repeat how many times I have to say I’m so happy to have met this group of people I can REALLY call my own friends.

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 The early comers – we had ourselves dressed in Christmas colours. Ai phing chose a yellow because that was the most festive color attire she could find in her closet. Nick was writing a card to the recipient of his gift with his left hand so it wouldn’t be obvious.

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 We also brought wrappers and photos from our Wall of Fame in the office to just talk about what has happened throughout the year. Everybody had to share their most memorable event so far with the company.

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Syazwan and Mei Fenn meeting after a long time! We still find ways to work together even after we parted ways so its super surreal to just be together as one again!

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First class dinner view over a construction site pfft.

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 My part-time carpool buddy Jocelyn. She drops by my house almost every morning now that my guard greets her by her name.

“Good Morning Jocelyn”. I doubt he even recognizes me at all.

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Love round tables because we can all carry the same conversation.

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Everyone had to leave their fully disguised gifts in our own Kakao bags so nobody can recognize the Santa wrapper.

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Got a little fuzzy inside when I saw that Mei Fenn had our photo as her wallpaper. #truelove

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In every social event there will be an anti social session where everybody is just stuck with devices.

At this point of time, my device was the camera.

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 Some came with their gifts wrapped in their own so they all had to wrap theirs again in another corner.

We all brought tape wrappers and extra bags just incase cause we KNEW people would come unprepared.

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Our designated wrapping corner pfft

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 It’s time to give the presents – while waiting for the food!

Wawan self elected himself to be the real Santa this time round.

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The rest of the boys got a little impatient and just had to start being Santa.

So we had three Santa’s in the house.

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Everybody arguing and guessing who got which.

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 Mei Fenn was delighted to receive TWO presents! We all wished we got her Santa!

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Ai Phing couldn’t stand WAITING to ope her present she just had to ask “CAN I OPEN IT NOW”. Of course we all denied the request pfft. Everybody had to open it one by one and had to guess who Santa was. The funniest part of the whole session is that we all could guess who bought what just by seeing which item they chose.

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My gift was pretty heavy when I shook it abit – wonder what is it!

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First one to go – Syazwan! Melissa got him this year (she got Wawan last year too!) and was totally lost as to what to get for him so she asked for some help. Did some stalking and found out that he was looking for a pair of lifting gloves! Mel quickly went to get them and his face when he unwrapped was priceless. All he could say was “O.M.G”. Believe it or not he wore the pair of gloves throughout the whole dinner. Hilarious!  Thanks to his huge hint he left on Instagram his Santa managed to get a good gift :)

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 Mei Fenn got FIVE shoeboxes and a photoframe with us in the photo. Her Secret Santa was no other than her #gbff Noel. I love shoe compartments, or any compartments actually. So I was SO HAPPY in her place. I wish my Secret Santa got me shoe boxes too.

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I absolutely do not excel in wrapping gifts, and unwrapping them either. I knew who it was from once I opened it cause Mei Fenn now works in Tony Moly. And I got my Aloe Vera gels and masks. She was getting highly concerned that I wasn’t using anything for my face (cause skin is aging from now, apparently) so she was determined to get everything aloe vera for me. Thanks!

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Jocelyn had a couple of things on her wishlist too – and she got that one that was at the bottom of her list, and it suit her SO WELL. An oversized jumper from HnM by Syazwan! It was the perfect item to be on Jocelyn. What a foxy. The other items Jo had on her list was a snapback, and some aloe vera gel. I think Wawan picked well though.

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Alexa requested for cookies/brownies, giftcards, mug with xmas messages, candles or a notebook with a nice cover. She got a cute and presentable notebook of A5 size from Jocelyn. Love love Typo gifts! I guess Alexa didn’t really want a pony after all :P

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Finally it was Ai Phing’s turn – and she got her dream mug! Such a sweet colour that Nick went high and low to search for. Did you know it takes alot of trouble to look for a pink mug. No? Me too. Ai Phing finally has a mug for the office, with a cute little cover to boot!

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Forever optmistic Nick!

His wishlist was also granted (among gift cards, environment friendly mug, notebooks)  - his Secret Santa got him three different notebook of various sizes. Man, I could also use that!

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Noel was the last to go, but was the only one who didn’t have any of his wishlist items granted. He asked for either an angpau OR a Christmas Tree. His Secret Santa Ai Phing thought it was too odd to just buy a Christmas Tree so she got him body wash and a box of chocolates.

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 Dinner for the night : Sukiyaki!

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I forced my Sukiyaki into a nabe where we boil down the rice and make it into porridge like texture. It was sukiyaki so the soup was extremely salty/sweet so we ended up pouring a whole glass of warm water to dilute the taste a little. Turned out perfect!

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 My very own colleague turned ohana!

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Can’t choose which photo to post so I’m just going to put up both of them

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Favorite Month of The Year In A Nutshell : November!

Hello there.

I feel like I only update the blog once a month and each time I go on a streak it is so frequent. I sometimes do admit I get lazy to extract photos to upload and such but looking at my archives reminds me about the times I don’t remember I’ve ever had and I want to continue blogging as much as I can although I know most of my readers have probably gone over the years! It has been about 2 years or more since I was last inactive.
Anyway I’m just going to do a little update and show you some things I’ve done over the past few days I’ve been missing! You will probably see why I run out of things to talk about – and I wonder where’d my content come from when I was younger because I was even more constrained in within the walls of school and home.

Now that I’m grown up I feel like there should be so much more coming from me. Probably people imagine my life to be of fine wine, long dresses, drinks, product reviews – but my life HAS gone toned down so much (from nothing actually) because a huge part of my excitement since I was 18 has always been being away from the country. Being in the country means I spend more time at home because transportation is such a hassle, and that also means less social life, less time out, less interesting stories to share.

First off, November has always been close to heart cause I was named after it’s initials, also cause I was born on this eleventh month of the year. Over the years, November babies have always gotten teased for being Valentines babies – nothing wrong with that. I just think like to think we’re lucky enough to be brought to earth before the jolly and festive month of December! This month has been quite a deciding month for me to go big leaps, and take a step out of my comfort zone so let’s hope decisions made this month will be a blessing :)

Now now let’s get to what’s been up.

1. Vivien & Cindy’s Food Party

Always look forward to attending this duo’s party every year because they are probably the only friends that I have who ALWAYS make themed parties. This year we had it at Cindy’s place so that everybody can just chill and grub. That BBQ area in her house was perfect too. I love BBQ areas and have always wished my house had that kinda thing so I could host small gatherings and parties. I think I’m the type that likes people to come by and have a chit chat over good food.

This years team was food – so we could go all food crazy. I went as a watermelon! :)

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2. Keratin Hair Treatment

Had my hair undergo a Keratin Hair Treatment kindly done by The Salon Hair Workshop in Cyberjaya. For those who are looking to do an affordable Brazillian Hair Treatment in KL – you can look into their site. These treatments only go from RM 200 – 300! The usual hair salons are charging at RM 600 so if you want to try it out first before you go all expensive, these people give you the real deal but at a lower price. The reason why it’s slightly cheaper is because they don’t use KERASTESE, which is the defining price factor for many places. But what you want is just to get the job done, and I’m just gonna show you how it looks right after!

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3. City Harvest CHROMEHEART

Got invited by my friends to watch this and was especially persuaded by Careen and Jean because both of them kept going on about how I had to watch it. They were serious about getting people there to experience watching the play for themselves because it was ‘magical’, and gosh it was! Did not regret going there any second into the show and is fully grateful to Jean for picking me up all the way from Putrajaya! Lots of love!

Here are some photos but they are at super low rest cause I took them with my phone.

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4. Pre-Birthday dinner with Careen

This woman and I have our birthdays only 2 days apart and we were more than happy to celebrate it together. Pavilion’s always the best place to go to if we want to eat in a good environment and Tony Romas was the hosting venue of our dinner! We arrived at the place at 7.30 but talked till they switched off the aircond! No wonder we were sweating halfway towards the end.

Check out every yummy wallah we ate!

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5. I am 24!

I have JUST turned 24! Spent the day with some of my closest friends who I can almost call family and dearest people around me, my real family. In the morning, I was out at karaoke at Red Box Plus in Gardens, because I knew I had a free pass to the buffet and to sing a whole session for FREE! Boy, when it comes to this time of the year – I always whip out ALL my member cards to see what I can get for free from brands that I go to often! This year I was eyeing on Red Box, Starbucks and BOOST! I Love Boost Juice and I have been collecting points like a crazy maniac just to get a free juice. Marketings works on me, alright. So I planned my dinner to be at somewhere I can claim my juice – Pavilion!

Every year without fail I always choose to have Thai food, good Thai food for dinner. This year I chose to eat at Celadon in Pavilion, and I was surely satisfied. Was SO stuffed after, and because I STILL wanted my Boost – I recommended walking around with the family just for a bit before we head home. We walked around for abit for too long that the folks all wanted to have tea, so we sat down at another cafe and ordered cakes and teas. I was even more stuffed. But I triumphed through all that – and still fought for my Strawberry Squeeze.

So I got Nick to take a photo with me and my redeemed Boost Juice. But he quickly got embarrassed for having such a sister but reluctantly took one for me after loads of questioning. 24 year old girl wants her free Boost, what’s wrong!

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And then there was dinner with my family! Love love love Thai food so much I could go everyday with it. If I had to choose between Thai and Korean, Thai would DEFINITELY take the cake. Korean comes close, but Thai just give me that soury taste I love :)

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DSC03597After getting my Boost, and Nick’s best shot – because he just simply took one to satisfy me and my proof of free Boost

 

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Releasing Turtles In Cherating!

 

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Hello everybody!

This is going to be a fairly interesting post that I believe most of the animal loving adventure seekers will like to read about. It’s one of my favorite experiences with relevance to animals by far. Before we go further, just a quick recap on what led us here at Cherating during the weekend. My family and I went for a getaway to spend omoni’s birthday away from the hustle bustle of the city. We looked up places to stay and found there to be the Impiana Hotel, apart from Club Med. The rest seemed to have less good reviews so we decided on Impiana Resort at last.

It was a smooth 3 hour ride with short stops in between. It’s been awhile since I took the back seat (pun intended) so it felt absolutely luxurious to sleep like Business Class at the back of my dad’s ride with an airline blanket draped all over me.  We first got to the restaurant in the resort because we skipped breakfast as we headed out late from home!

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I stared at this photo for so long because I’m so amazed at the clarity!

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I was in the mood for lasagna this morning and when this came I was even hungrier! It looks SO good. But one bite into it, I ate 4-5 more and left it aside. It was hands down the worst lasagne I’ve ever had. Never ever order this.

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We took a stroll around the empty resort on a Friday afternoon. Nobody was there  - we had the beach to ourselves and found this little tyre to play with.

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Happy dad

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Excited omoni

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Scared Natalie

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 Got to learn the hang of it after a few times – but it takes alot of arm strength, which I have none of.

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They also had this area full of flags. Someone can enlighten me  on what this area is probably for if not to see if there’s wind.

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Probably a good place to take photos, I thought.

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We rented bikes for RM 25 for two hours. It seemed like it was going to rain so we asked if we could do a hour, and come back the next day to redeem. The staff kindly said YES! We ended up using all two hours anyway. It was also a good reunion with my Biking Balance. It’s been a year since I’ve been no a bicycle.

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Clearly edited the colour of the photo but only cause I always love red and green put together in photos!

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They also had this place where you could play handball/volleyball by the beach. The place was really SO empty I could take shots like these.

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She said “Don’t take my photo!”. I did.

We walked around the area for quite a bit waiting for 6.45PM because we had booked to release little sea turtles back into the sea for RM 15 each. My parents, brother and I all got one to release so at least we let four into its nature. At first I was completely stoked to be doing this for them – it made me feel very happy! Money also goes to charity, to the preservation of the turtles from Club Med so it was a super feel good activity to do. I was wondering where’d they get the turtles for us, turned out they were keeping these babies in a chiller box to be chosen by the releasers everyday. There was easily about 30-40 of them in the box and we were even wondering if there was a package price to release ALL of these babies into the sea at once.

We were to wait till release time so that the sky is no longer as bright in order to prevent possible predators to see the babies when they are at sea and get them killed. So we had some dessert about half an hour before activity time.

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We got two ice kacangs and man, were they huge! Only at RM 10 each. In a resort, I must say that’s a pretty good price

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 Absolutely huge – we could have just ordered one to share.

And then it was time to release the baby sea turtles! Little penyu’s we call them. You don’t always get to do this all year round, there are seasons. We apparently just missed the egg laying season where you can all wake up early in the morning (or stay late enough) to watch the mother turtle come on shore to lay eggs. These turtles apparently always come back to where they were born and released, and everytime they lay eggs they always tear cause of the pain.

All of us who signed up gathered around the staff who gave us a short brief on the turtles. On this day, there were about 7 turtles that was scheduled to be released. They put in about 10 in that pale and we all had to choose one that we wanted to release. The remaining ones I felt horrible for leaving them there, but how many can you let go?

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They were only about 4 days old

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 He was telling us how the stomach is very fragile so we should all only hold the turtles by the side of its shell. Hold it vertically, not horizontally in between your finger tips.

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 I’m not a turtle expert, but doesn’t its eyes look slightly under developed? Like a layer still hasn’t fully peeled off yet.

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Then it was time to choose the turtles of our choice. When it comes to these things I always think a little too far back, and imagine maybe this turtle’s spirit has saved me from past life and now I am the chosen on to return the favor to release it back into nature pfft. Do you all think like this too? Or maybe I’m just crazy.

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Don’t worr we did not torture the turtles! Photo taking session was only about a minute before we had to quickly release them into the sea

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 My little chosen one. It was so active, waddling and pushing away my fingers with all its might! Strong one

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I think it’s quite funny how people distant themselves from animals when they are picking it up!

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Mom’s lazy little turtle, not even struggling to paddle out from grasp

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And then it was time to go!

Honestly I felt a little melancholy because we were briefed that their chance of living is even lesser than 5%. This is because they are still too young and do not know how to dive into the water and save themselves from danger. Letting them out into the sea only leaves them prone to predators like flying eagles or sea creatures from below who can gobble them up in a second. I really wanted to release the rest of the turtles in the chiller box earlier, but having heard this I just wanted to give them a little more time to grow up so that the develop diving skills. But this is nature, and they only belong here.

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Ready! Get set! Go!

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My little one charging forth, the first among the crowd. Hopefully its a good sign of its survival! /teary

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This was mom’s and one of it’s legs seemed to not be working so it slowly trampled its way towards the sounds of the ocean. I was THIS close to picking it up and swapping it with another. How can you let a slightly disabled one into the sea just like that? I was stopped, but honestly felt wished so hard inside that it would survive!

 

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The closer it got into the ocean, the faster it paddled it way! Back home.

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And then a wave came by, and ALL of them got swept and pulled into the ocean. You can still see one of its heads popping up at the centre of the photo.That little dot black there. So happy to see its head poking out like that. It was goodbye.

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Another wave crashed and they were all finally out of sight. We said our final goodbyes and wished them the best!

Went to bed that night wondering if my little turtle was still alive – and I have a strong feeling it was.

Absolutely one of the more interesting things I’ve done lately – hopefully you care to try it out at least once too.

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Pre-Halloweens @ Connection Pavilion

 

 

 

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Hello all – this must be one of my most updated posts in forever. Haven’t been so efficient in blogging for years – still remember the days when I used to come home all tired from an event and still blogged about it before i went to bed. That was how dedicated I was to blogging! But anyway, the special occasion of pronto bloggerizza today is because we had a very special treat by Pavilion KLand if I’m late the season will be over but I must share some few yummy treats with you guys.

One of my favorite PJ peeps came all over to KL so we can have some nom nom at Connection in Pavilion KL (the  level that has the bridge connecting to KLCC!). I seldom get to the area at night because it gets a little crowded but for those who loves people watching the place is perfect for you! Johnny Rockets also recently opened so we could hear the crew dancing to Gangnam Style every 30 minutes. Got to know that the place closes at 3AM unlike any other corner in Pavi - makes sense, with all the pubs in the area.

We first went to Michelangelo’s for some drinks. We were introduced to their latest Halloween cocktail, the Green Goblin’s Snot (RM 18.90)! It had Vodka, Pineapple Juice, Lime and a secret ingredient that was SO well blended I couldn’t taste it.  It was my biggest enemy of all ingredients but you couldn’t taste it at all! We took so much time just taking photos of the drinks looking at it – the ghory eyeballs was, I must say, quite an interesting to start of the evening.

 

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 Green Goblin Snot @ Michaelangelo’s

We spent about 40 minutes in there and some were already getting a little tipsy. The thing about our group is that I think we all don’t have high tolerance of alcohol so we were already toning down from controlling the alcohol from getting to us or either just extremely giddy and happy! Stopped for a group photo with the deco’s at the area. The team asked for a funny photo and this was our best shot. Do you see the little happy pumpkin lanterns on top?

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Better view of them!

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If you hashtag #freakorfeast your photo goes up to the extremely huge screen in Pavi!

For free proposal screen hoggers this is it! This is your chance!

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After all the photo hooha ,we made our way to Morganfield’s for our main course above Michaelangelo.

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 We took the Ham Ó’Ween set and oh boy that lamb was SO filling! Exactly like the photo there were three slobs of lamb for you to grind on – but for those who wanna take this set, you may have to make sure you’re there with a group of quality friends because they took pretty long to serve our table of 10.

 

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Waiting for our meals, we all had a round of pumpkin soup to suit the Halloween party theme.

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And a round of  fruit punch that consists of lime kiwi and strawberry! My absolute FAVORITE combination of fruits apart from banana strawberry. I WILL order this the next time I come here.

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Main course of finally came after SO many conversations. I loved how it tasted but there was just a little bit too much of fats in my serving. Loved how they “stabbed” the knife into the capsicum too. I think my sworn festival of the year should be Halloween – there were SO many capsicums everywhere in the menu! If I lived in a country that thoroughly celebrated Halloween I must be 5 kgs skinner pre and post season.

 

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Lastly we had a great chocolatey serving of cake with melting ice cream on top. I didn’t have mine cause I was so full from the lamb – but the rest who ate it mentioned that it was EXTREMELY chocolatey and rich so whoever who has a tongue for these things, you know where to find yours.

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They were extremely hospitable and made sure we were all happy with our food and that every thing was okay. We also got ourselves one of these little pampering products from Crabtree & Evelyn before we wrapped up the night – because who walks away empty handed when they come to Pavilion? Nobody.

And that was just about one of the most exciting gatherings in  many months because I’ve never tried restaurant hopping if not in Malacca!

Catch you guys soon!

 

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Gold Coast : Surfers Paradise (and the rest of Brisbane)

Finally I come to my last post for one of my favorite getaways in a long time!

We spent out last day in Gold Coast at the vicinity of Surfers Paradise before we got on the train home. Time passed super quickly and I was dreading the thought of going home. Everything about Gold Coast was great, except for the fact that residents seemed to be a little more racist than the friendly ones in Brisbane! Nevertheless, we still enjoyed being there while we were at it because the end of Gold Coast was marking the end of our Australia trip! We took a walk at the city in the morning and was all ready to get to the beach. We didn’t change into swimwears because the weather was half chilly and half warm – it was a vague borderline to decide if we would want to swim in the sea. Then again, I’m not a fan of walking into deep depths of water so I never brought any swimwear anyway.

We woke up to a moody Sze Ye – but Ginny still got all three of us to take photos in her onesies. The daughter of the owners of the house was delighted to see us wake up in the onesies so we were more than happy to prance around the house in them. She is four. For those who are questioning why were we in onesies – here’s a funny story.

We all brought our on PJs to wear during bedtime – but from the first night we realised that the homestay’s warm water had run out and it was FREEZING. The temperature in Gold Coast dropped to about 8 degrees (and worst, wind was strong) and because we had gotten back home late – the other people who stayed in the house had used up the quota for all the warm water! The heat storage was also getting cold cause of the sudden temperature drop. At the end we ended up having to shower in cold cold water. I think it was actually an acceptable temperature if the shower was taken in a Malaysian climate – but taking it in such a cold weather was horrible! I had my own PJs and although I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to put myself in a onesie (we were warned before the trip by Ginny) – oh my, were those onesies the saviour of the night! They were so warm and comfortable to sleep in, it was almost like they were an extra blanket.

The next morning I woke up to the high pitch squeals of the little girl because she was so excited to see little ‘animals’  the house. I was the last to wake up so when I did my final entrace she was so excited! Suddenly it felt like I was the star of the day pfft. Ginny wanted us to take some photos before we left (there probably wouldn’t be another day we would be caught in a onesie) so we did!

 

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Grumpy little Sze Ye from her horrible sleep the night before

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Our host family had a little dog at the backyard for us to play with. We wanted to put keep her in the house from the horrible cold the night before, but it wasn’t really our place to let animals in.

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Morphing into our real identities.

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After that, we cleaned up and headed straight for Surfer’s Paradise. Took the bus there – probably under 20 minutes.

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Tramway –  I have a thing for trams. Still amused by how its a train but also a bus at the same time.

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Arrived at Surfers Beach!

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Aaah – breath in breath out.  Clean beach clean sand.

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After that we got to get some good Austra…

Halfway typing that I realised I had a memory lapse and I don’t remember having any of the meals below. So we probably just went to have lunch somewhere nearby.

Oh wait, now I remember. We went to this place nearby that had really good value meal sets!

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Ginny had a prawn salad (just captioning as it is) but I remember it was quite good and prawns were fresh and chewy!

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I had a beef wrap. I think I remember it being a little dry but it didn’t matter – meat wraps in huge portions! Green light! Green light!

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 We didn’t spend too long in the city as we had to rush home

Ginny asked if the hosts would be able to give us a lift to the train station and they willingly said yes! I would definitely recommend staying in their house if you ever go to Gold Coast – best host and house ever. We made such good friends with their daughter (whom I have shamelessly forgotten what her name was) and the nearer we were to the station, she became more quiet and started to not say anything as we came close to saying goodbye. When we were at the station, she was so upset that we were leaving that she didn’t even want to get down the car to send us off.

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Sean was an amazing host!

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It was a fairly long ride so nobody was in our carriage for the first few stops

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And I was doing what I do best (yes I sleep with my eyes partly opened!)

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 Hungry hungry for food. We wanted big big portions so we decided that Asian was the way to go. Vietnamese it was.

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Hungry and sleepy Natalie always comes with smeared eyeliner.

After dinner we craved cheese so we had some nachos with cheese. We ordered the kids meal because it was the only simply dish with nachos and cheese. The rest had other toppings which costed a lot more.

(Okay honestly speaking, I don’t even know if this post is chronogically right – I’m just creating the story as we go pfft please forgive me girls)

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Satisfying the fatty aspects in us

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The next morning we decided to walk around the city as it was our last day in Brisbane! We went to places we’ve walked through the past days but it was our last day so we just wanted to use it to its fullest and go to corners of the city we haven’t been to before. We also went to the Farmers Market where they sell yum yum food and some other stuff you can use at home.

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At the end of our trip, Sze Ye was a pro Go Pro officer,

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At this point of the photo I realized I lost my scarf and i NEEDED to find it because I borrowed it from Omoni. So many things was going on my mind while taking the photo. “Did I wear it out today?” “How did it fall without me noticing” But of course, the photo comes first.

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It was a kids arts festival so there were so many activities going around

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We also went to the Farmers Market (honestly don’t remember before or after) and got a taste of some foreign bakeries.  I’ve always seen Benji from ItsJudysLife talk about Farmers Market and I remember thinking I wish I can get to see one of these. It’s kind of a like a wet market back home in KL but just a lot cleaner and organised?

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One was for about $5 – thats RM 15 for one little round doughnut. But I really wanted to eat it!

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 We sat down to finish our food like a local. Enjoying the Australian life (or pretending the live it)

After that we headed over to have a proper Australian brunch (what is brunch of not a proper Australian brunch!) because we never had any of those for the past week we were in Australia. But it was such a waste that we chose to go on this day because I was already half full from all the food at the Farmers Market. We had a lot of dough in our stomachs by the time we headed for brunch.

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Went to what was supposed to be one of the most famous brunch restaurants

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I was TOO full to finish brunch with a smile

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This was mine. Looks so small to me now that I’m blogging about it – but man it was huge for my appetite that day.

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L1000397Miss Ginny Yap giving her most layan smile that ever existed

We went back tired and prepare for the next early morning ride home. The next morning we woke at about 3AM to head out the bus station. Our van that was supposed to take us to the airport didn’t arrive till it was 20 past 5 so we were halfway panicking about if they were ever going to come. They did of course, and most of the passengers were Malaysians. We greeted each other by not greeting each other and just slept all the way to the airport.

And THAT marks the end of  my AUSTRALIAN trip!

Thanks Sze Ye for being such an amazing host, and would not have experienced Brisbane if ít wasn’t for you :D

Gold Coast : Sea World – Being 1058′ ft High!

 

Good Morning!

It’s another new day in Gold Coast and we were headed for Sea World and the Q1 tower today. Took the bus as usual and while waiting for it to come we went on to a photo taking frenzy. That’s what happens when you travel with a group of girls :)

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We had the flare right behind us so we were experimenting on ways people do selfies. Heré’s the gun under the chin – but Sze Ye was too shy!

 

Arrived at the Q1 Tower quite quickly! (img cred : sunloverhols)

We paid for a whole day (two separate sessions). Tried using my student card but didn’t realize it had expired.  You could choose between the morning session or the evening session – depending on what you’d like to see. Prices don’t vary TOO much – and since we didn’t have anywhere to go for the evening we decided to just buy the packaged ticket so we could come back again after visiting Sea World. Came early in the morning because weather was clear and it was the best time to go up! We were sent up 77/78 floors high and I did NOT regret buying the tickets. It is admittedly one of the most beautiful sceneries I’ve seen from a tall building – you’ll see why in a bit!

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What is this!! My jaw literally dropped when I saw it – HOW CAN THE SEA BE SO CLEAN?!

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Trying to reenact my own expression

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So damn breathtaking!

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I took this photo through a glass – but weather was so damn clear and air was clean, this looks like I took it from an open balcony!

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The tower had WiFi for guests so we were all hogging onto it to post photos!

After spending about an hour here we headed straight to Sea World! Didn’t know what to expect but I think I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Mister Walrus to welcome us!

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There was also a place for us to look at penguins from down under (under water level) and also when they’re all resting above  at the bay.

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 I just captioned this as “Little Shark nyam nyam” – then I realised I never saw a shark out in the open like this pfft.

So anyway, little dolphin nyam nyam.

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The show!

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Got into the souvenir shops to get Sze Ye a hat because it was so hot!

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 Getting friendly with some starfish – we got to touch some gel like species that looked like a pot brush. Felt so weird.

 

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 Got in here so Ginny can register herself for her own diving activity. We both didn’t do it. For those who are interested, you probably have to sign up before walking in.

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 Flowers from Ginny’s camera. I think although I’m not so much of a flower person, I appreciate clean and white flower.

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Mr polar beat was up and getting his morning swim

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Spent a good 15 minutes just staring at it!

We left at about 5 probably, spent about 3-4 hours in the place. Wanted to grab a bite of the Fish and Chips and Sea World because it’s apparently really good – but we missed it! It was open when we first arrived . I guess its a heads up for those who wants to head thre.

A few hours after that, we headed back to the tower to catch the sunset!We were rushing – and it really felt like we barely made it! Phew. But yes we still got to walk around the platform for about 5 minutes before the sun started setting. There were alot more people during sunset than in the morning, and the worst part is everybody would be cluttered at one side of the 360 platform because that’s where the sun is setting!

I managed to grab a space (lost sight of the other two) so I took so many photos. It’s not the first time witnessing sunset, but looking at it from such a height and with such good view was pretty cool. I don’t need to do this again (my eyes hurt like beejeezuz staring right at it) but it was worth the money I suppose.

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The night skyline of Gold Coast T-T Rims of waves in gold – is that why its called Gold Coast?  Never ever saw such a beautiful sight-  not even the Shanghai Tower could beat this. Lights were just SO clear!

Right after that we got ourselves a platter to eat at the cafe (there’s no time limit – you hang as long as you want). One of the most filling platters I’ve had – I forgot how much this was, but I remember it was well worth the price in Aussie dollars. Perfect to share among 3 girls – or just with another person with a good appetite. Seafood was fresh and chips were filling enough incase the seafood wasn’t enough.

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And that wrapped the end of the day!

Hopefully I get to do a wrap up of the trip by the next post!

Gold Coast : Dream World

Finally headed to Gold Coast for some beach and sunshine. It was supposedly “winter” but weather was still alright as the sun during daytime was pretty strong. We headed for Gold Coast by the train, after stressful efforts to make 9 trips in within Brisbane with the public transport, so we get the GC trip free. Apparently if you make 9 trips and above with the transportation card, public transport is free for the rest of the week. We arrived on a weekend so that all those trips were made in vain. Quickly topped up trips in within Brisbane just for this trip because tickets to Gold Coast was a little higher.

Woke up early in the morning and rushed to the train station. Sze Ye forgot her transportation pass so she had to rush back (3 minutes walk away from the station). We missed the first train anyway so we had another 30 minutes more to burn in the station. Finally got onto one – and voila, there was WiFi. Time to upload some photos from the day before.

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Grabbin some extra sleep while waiting for the train

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Everyone with sleepy faces and me appreciating WiFi.

We booked a room from one of the houses in AirBnB – it was an extremely good stay as the hosts were very friendly and accommodating! It wasn’t tough to find their place at all with the help of some GPS. Our bus station was about 7 minutes walk away from the place so I must say it was quite convenient for us to make our way in and out of the area. Neighborhood was quiet but not dead – as neighbors were just taking walks and dogs were just outside the houses for us to walk by and pet. Cars were speeding quite a bit I must say – but nothing too dangerous.

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Just like how I would love it! This IS the Australia I had in mind.

When we finally found the place – we were SO happy because it was such a clean house. We were provided towels, for both face and body and had a chocolate bar to boot. Bear in mind the place was the residence of our host, and they are actually living in the house themselves. Parents with two young daughters and one or two more who already moved out. They left the keys to us and went out of the house before we arrived. I had a minor shock – these people were so trusting. I cant imagine that happening to a Malaysian household. Leaving the keys under the mat for a stronger to walk in.

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Super clean bedroom :) We could walk around the house as we like, but we mostly stayed in

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Had our own TV too, which is also why we didn’t need to walk out much except for when we need to use the bathroom. Also, milk bread and fruits were free to consume in our private refrigerator. We really felt at home.

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The family had a pool that we could use too, but weather didn’t allow the luxury of that. It was not freezing, but a few degrees below appropriate level to swim pfft.

After settling down, we all decided to get to Movie World before the day after so we could have more time to loiter around the city. Took some time to finally decide if we wanted to go because it was already 12 or so in the afternoon, just a few hours before Movie World would be closing – and it takes about an hour or so to travel our way to the place. Sze Ye decided to stay, so Ginny and I went on our own – promising to meet in the city for dinner. Sze Ye also bought tickets but we all got annual passes so it didn’t matter if she didn’t go anyway.

 

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 Paparazzi shot by Ginny – if I didn’t mess the timeline of my photos wrong. On the way to Movie World.

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Here we are!

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 Just realized we were polka dot synced!

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Welcome to Movie World – and I found my childhood friend Mr.Piggy from Looney Tunes!

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Saw the studio and was jumping at heart because I thought we could walk in it to see how they did all the animation. Turned out it was closed :(

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Walked around for quite a bit and back to the centre of the the place, only to find the areas being blocked by barricades and throngs of people seemed to be sitting down and waiting for something to happen. We didn’t hear of anything so both of us didn’t know what to expect. Asked around and apparently there was a parade happening! We made it just on time before it started – what luck. Most of the characters were out in their own signature vehicles :)

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I love Warner Bros! Such chilhood – my heart was beating quite fast. I felt like a fan girl in a Kpop concert. But not so much after this whole thing because I attempted taking a photo with Bugs Bunny – who then (hopefully) accidentally boobed me. Meow.

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Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you! :D

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 We tried taking a photo of the train right behind us – I guess this was good enough.

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We went on the Spooky Coaster, which was probably the Scooby Dooby Doo ride. Totally unexpected ride that was. The line was filled with kids and parents –  we were holding bags and cameras so we thought this was definitely a safe ride with all those lugs. We were wrong. It started of quite and innocent, just another merry-go-round kind of ride along animated dim litted caves. The ride came to a pause at one point and the kids infront of me was already screaming. We knew something was going to come, but didn’t know what to expect!

Ginny’s bag was half open in between her legs so she was praying that it’s nothing too drastic. Suddenly, VOOM! We were sped backwards at super speed and before we could digest what was happening (in between grabbing all our stuff in between our legs), it was this huge open space area of all the separates speeding down rails from afar. Our rides were quite steep and cornerings were quite sharp. Somewhere in between one of us shouted “I THOUGHT THIS WAS A KIDS RIDE!!!”. Guess not. Half the time we were just worried about Ginny’s gadget bag that was half open cause the zipper malfunctioned under pressure.

After the ride we spend a good 10 minutes just trying to fix it. Or just Ginny actually. I was just – recharging from all that Scooby Doo shock.

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” I’m sure I can fix this! Give me some time!”

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 Batman time! (There wasn’t much to see)

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 I think she is sad because we couldn’t get in the studio. Was extremely excited when we saw it.

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If you’re into some Merry Go Round

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Saw this when we went in but right before we left I just knew I had to take this! Ginny was not a roller coaster kind of person cause she’s afraid of heights. So I made the ultimate decision to take it alone, just a little bit before they closed! We had to wait about 30-45 minutes so Ginny waited for me outside alone in the cold. So touched! But I must say, good thing I went on it – because I would be regretting it up till today otherwise. It was an extremely speedy ride, you could barely remember anything that happened. It shoots right out of the cave, I had a little bit of a spoiler as I was sitting next to a dad who was on the ride for the third time or something with his kids. Got through the long lines actually because I was a solo rider .

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Look at that steep drop!

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One of the areas that seemed pretty abandoned.

Looked like one of the places they could use to shoot movies, nothing was going on here – don’t know what the space was for. Not many walked pass the area too – but it was pretty to take some photos. Pictures would have looked a little more attractive if I edited the colours and contrast a bit to give the place some justice, but that’s really a lot of work guys.

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 Saying goodbye to the theme park. Sky was getting dark, and we had to run to catch our bus to meet Sze Ye in time back in the city

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The two ladies recommended that Korean food in Aussie was one of the best outside Korea. So we attempted to get some of these slurps – pretty good decision on a cold night. Weather was getting chillier and chillier!

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Some good jjigae to warm my tummy. Costs alot more to eat this here than back home – but I have to say it’s all worth it!

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All full and happy :D But definitely getting tired.

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 That’s all for today – goodnight everybody :)

Review : Nabe Bakery/Villa Ju for Korean Bingsu!

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Finally got the chance to blog about my favorite bingsu discoveries in KL. Everyone has different tastes, but I have to say Nabe Bakery (now renamed Villa Ju) must be one with the best combination of ambience and environtment. Their bingsu’s are of similiar price (except that it comes in a larger portion) to the ones you may be  able to find elsewhere in KL. Bingsu hasn’t bee a popular dessert in Malaysia until this year, and its really surprising to see more and more people familiarize themselves with Korean names to food. Learning the language back then, you never knew this much growth would happen to the the influence of Korean culture.

So Nabe Bakery – there really’s isn’t much I can rave about but to share with you about the existence of this place. They have two outlets so far – on in Ampang (which is much smaller) and another in Solaris that is double decked. For those who just finished their dinner in Sae Ma Eul, which I just blogged about here, can just walk across the road and find themselves here.

This post is going to feature the Solaris branch, so those of you who loves to hang around the area – come by this place and get yourself a bingsu or two. For those who don’t know what bingsu is, it’s shaved ice :)

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The place first got my attention because of its peculiar name. What the Koreans must have been thinking.

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Villa Ju/Nabe is a bakery that serves many different pastries and bingsu. I’m here for the bingsu.

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Love the interior and random placement of items – heading up to the second floor of the cafe

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The few times I’ve been here it’s always very quiet  which is what i love about it. Perfect for a catch up with your friends.

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We got the whole place to ourselves, and they have pillows for you to lean on. Very very comfortable place to hang out.

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If you’re in a more formal setting, there is an appropriate room for that

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Three of us shared a fruit bingsu. This was about RM 16 or so – can’t remember.

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This is the smallest size of all bingsu’s – pretty good size I must say

I think the bingsu here accomodates to my taste alot more than the rest that you find. This serves a generous portion of fruits, glazes over with chocolate syrup. You’ve also got the condensed milk at the bottom of the tub and it makes everything such a packed bowl of gentle dessert. If you’re here after dinner and is really stuffed, just share the smallest portion among your friends.This one we ordered was just right for three of us (but we were quite full!). If you want to be a little bit more adventurous, just try ordering two sets of different flavors.

They have Coffee bingsu, Oreo Bingsu, Red Bean Bingsu and a couple more!

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It was Sam’s birthday so we got a cake for her too

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The place gave us a convenient pack of matches. I thought this was quite cool! Is this common?

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For those who are here with kids – you know you’re covered.

For more details :

Solaris Branch – Nabé Bakery Cafe 13A, Jalan Solaris 4, Solaris Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Ampang Branch – 16, Jalan Ampang Putra, 55100 Kuala Lumpur,

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Review : Sae Ma Eul (새마을) in Solaris, Mont Kiara

And I’ve finally found one of the most affordable BBQ places in KL.

They’re aren’t exactly dirt cheap – but I have to say their barbecue set comes in for quite a value. Today we’re going to take a look at Sae Ma Eul, located in the corners of Solaris Mont Kiara’s many Korean restaurants. The reason why I thought this place was worth a review is because our usual Korean eat outs for four would cost about 150 to have us walking away with a full stomach. This time round, we were brought to surprise because the bill only came up to a total of RM 106. If we decide to pay cash, we get 6% off – which is superb! One of the reasons why I once used to love Korean restaurants in KL was because they always gave the Cash or Credit amount option. Most of them took it off after some time, but I’m glad to see Sae Ma Eul still practicing it.

So what did I order in Sae Ma Eul, which translates to New Village. Sae means new, Ma Eul is village.

I ordered Item No 44 – which was a set that had about 4-5 pieces of pork meat with four baby octopus. Their numbers vary at each visit, so you may get an extra baby octopus at times. This was a good set as it’s only about RM 55. In many other places, one slice of meat would already cost you an average RM 15  - and most of the time it is compulsary for you to order two portions. This makes the normal barbecue price to be RM 30 for two pieces of meat. Here you get an extra few more slobs with juicy squids to top up. Definitely worth the package.

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A glimpse at their menu

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 A little close up to our squid friends. It was my first time barbecue-ing octopus so I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve always only had pork or chicken on my barbecue stove. Their octopus were very well marinated in red korean sauce!

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 Putting the real deal to slowly cook. The best part about Sae Ma Eul is that you get to cook your meat yourself. If you’re in for the whole “D-I-Y” experience, this place is definitely good for you. I never preferred having waitresses cook my meat for me because it feel’s like I’m having experience stolen right infront of my eyes. But I know that some people do love being served,  then if so – this place is probably not it.

Speaking of D-I-Y, one of the reasons why we all chose to come try this restaurant out was because of this pot below. The handmade rice ball dish!

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They give you a pair of plastic gloves (you can ask for a pair more if you like) for you to mix the ingredients together, which will already be pre-prepared in the pot. It has seaweed, gochujang, sesame and rice. All you gotta do is mix everything together and make your own rice balls to eat and barbecue if you like.

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 Close up on our rice ball making.

 

DSC02769 (Large)Dawn and I just rolling at it. We both shared a pair of gloves so our rice balls didn’t come out to tight they kept breaking.

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Sam does the meat cooking for us. Another reason why I love this place is because it reminds me so much of my barbecue days back in Seoul. After class, we would go to places like these with stretchable suctions (in the photo).

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We were quite slow at cooking as all concentration was on the rice balls, one of the kind waiters just came by to help us out

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Final product

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You can choose to just eat it like that or to barbecue it a little bit so the outer layer becomes crisp!

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Proud owner of some rice balls

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As things seemed a little too dry we order a small kimchi jjigae to share

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Love the whole experience of doing this but if I were to rate the taste of this dish, it would have to be a 5.5/10. It’s not very seasoned and may just be a little to bland for my liking. It was also supposed to be spicy – but did not even come close to anything of spice.

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Moving on to something else worth raving on, finally space for some squid barbecue!

Man these were so juicy – I regret not getting octopuses the many times I’ve had Korean.

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I must say the meat didn’t turn out too juicy or extremely nice. It wasn’t exactly marinated to have the yummy taste you get in some other restaurants you pay a higher price for. I guess that’s why they give you the sesame oil + salt dip, which I extremely love! Major plus points for serving it without having to request for it. This is a REAL Korean bbq restaurant.

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And so – we start eating! Chal mok-kesseumnida!

Right after – we headed over to my favorite Korean dessert shop in Solaris. And it’s probably not the one you’ve been hearing about. Should be posting up about that place very shortly after this. Separated the posts cause these two places deserves their own. My place is called Nabe and has an outlet in both Ampang and Solaris. It’s actually a bakery, and what coincidence it was just located right across Sae Ma Eul! Extreme convenience.

I would rate Sae Ma Eul a 6.5/10, for it’s D.I.Y experience, valuable price points and also some good stews. Try not to go after 6.30PM as it would be extremely full and you  may have to wait 30 minutes or so for a table. Reservations are available on weekdays only.

This place is not halal, to start off. If you are looking for a Korean bbq place with no pork – 688 Barbecue and Steamboat Restaurant, as they claim to not have pork in their menu. I’m going there in a few days so probably can do a review for that too – if it’s worth shouting about.  Address of Sae Ma Eul would be :-

Solaris Mont’Kiara (GF 1-1,1-2,1-3), 

50480 Kuala Lumpur,  Malaysia

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Missing University, Missing Me

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I find it important to take a step back at least every quarter to realize how your world is moving.

Today while thinking about that, I realized one thing. I miss university life.

I never thought I’d ever say that, because 1) uni wasn’t such an interesting journey with all the classes, 2) I never found uni too much of a breeze to get by anyway. But today, I  realize – yes, I do miss university. It gave me a sort of comfort, some place for me to fall back to. It gave me places and corners to just be with myself. Sometimes I had to be, because I was always easily 2-3 hours earlier than my first class of the day. Sometimes I ran as hard as I could to the bus station, only to miss it and had to wait another 40 minutes for the next one. Sometimes I finished papers early and got hungry. Sometimes I would be waiting a few minutes too long for my roti canai, although there was bound to be a bird or two to keep me company. Sometimes I miss the train. Sometimes the carriage would be stuck in a track that malfunctioned and we would be stuck there for ages.

I loved being able to depend on the set of earphones, and tracks in my phone to just trigger thoughts. I loved not needing to speak to anybody despite walking pass all kinds of people. I loved walking up the steps, imagining myself pumping up from motivation.

All these periods, added to hours and hours of alone time for me. I remember. There came a time I had so much. Too much of alone time – it scared me a little. I think and reflect so much, but as the hours added up – I realized I was reflecting on my reflections. But it was because I was given four years to do all of that. Four years, all during my prime and transaction of life – the most important stage of every person’s life in determining their values and principles. All the alone time helped me think, reflect, change, and manage for the better.

I don’t get any of that anymore.

Does that mean I’m not growing anymore?

Hopefully not. Time for a break soon, perhaps.

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