Thursday, December 18, 2014

Staycation at The Ascott Residences, KL

I have never really had a staycation before. That is until Sharpay decided to fly in from Singapore for the weekend and PeiX decided to fly down to KL. It was like a gathering of the four of us. These three girls are my closest girlfriends from Uni who have stood by me all this while especially during my most un-loved moments.

Justin is kind enough to book three nights for us at The Ascott Residences, KL (just opposite the KL Convention Centre). I have to say, I love love love the place! He booked us the two bedroom service apartment and they have everything complete from range of toiletries, kitchen utensils and even umbrella! And their indoor slipper is so so comfy!


I haven't even got to the part of their bed. Everyone agree that the bed is super comfortable that you just drift to slumberland the moment you hit the sack. On one of the evenings, we couldn't figure where to go for dinner. Inspired by my favourite indie magazine, Kinfolk, I suggested let's stay indoor and cook and it was the best decision ever. We walked to Cold Storage which is located inside Suria KLCC to get do some groceries shopping.





I think it's pretty obvious to all of you what were we going to cook. We did not want to buy a whole new bottle of oil so we pan fry the streaky bacon first and took the oil. For your information, you do not need to use oil when cooking bacon as the fats will produce the natural oil. As for the salt, we asked from the cafe downstairs. Hehe!


Ta-da! The end result! I was in-charged of the pasta and sauce as well as the mushroom soup. PeiX did the bacon bits & cheesy portobello, sauteed mushroom and baked potatoes. We spent the evening talking and relaxing over these awesome food.

It has been awhile and I miss them.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Food & Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014 (Part 2)

Note: For the first part of the entry, click here

The next morning, we walked to The Mugshot cafe.


I insisted that all of them have to come at least try this place out. The Mugshot cafe serves bagel, coffee and their awesome homemade yogurt. Even writing this now makes me crave for one.

Jackfruit & Gula Melaka (RM10)
Walnut & Mango (RM10)
I tried jackfruit & gula melaka yogurt (top) this time round and Cherie's friend took the walnut and mango. I personally still feel that kiwi and honey yogurt is the best.

Bagel Muffin Bacon & Egg (RM10)
Bagel Muffin Turkey Ham, Cranberry Sauce (RM10)
I also ordered the bagel muffin turkey ham cranberry sauce but felt that the bacon and egg is better. Still, this place is awesome! And finally...the obligatory mugshot!


We went to collect our race pack after our brunch and oh lord. There were not that many people but their system is just very slow. They will need to improve on their efficiency if they want to organize an event this scale. Our hungry stomach brought us to this famous teo chew chendol place which never fail to have people queuing for it. To be honest, I think the island is rather jammed up so we basically spent most of our time in the traffic jam.


This Penang Teo Chew Chendul is next to a coffee shop name Joo Hooi. If you ever bring it in, bear in mind that the people inside will charge you an extra RM0.50. These were the people queuing for char kuey teow and the line next to it was for the famous teochew chendol. All of us took different line to speed our order up.


We stood outside the kopitiam while eating this to avoid the whole RM0.50 extra charge per bowl. After finishing the chendul only we got into the coffee shop to have our meal.
Char Kuey Teow (RM5.50)
You had no idea how relieved we were when we got our food. All of us devoured one plate each and let's just say, the table was pretty quiet.

Laksa (RM4.50)
We were also craving for laksa so decided to order it. I still prefer the Air Itam laksa. Sigh.

While Cherie and her friend were off to a wedding dinner, my brother and I head over to PIKNIK,


They are famous for their waffles! They are always packed what more it's a weekend night with everyone in town for the marathon. We were lucky to get a place.


A place where you absolutely have to give it a try if you are a waffle fan!


I ordered the Waffle Bacon & Egg and it was gooooood!


Also ordered their signature wintermelon lemon drink.


Brother add on another spaghetti bolognese which is just alright in my opinion. Stick to the waffles I would say!

I love how they present my bill. In an old vintage tin box! So cute!

That night, I was down with cramp. Talk about bad timing. The next morning I just had to drag myself off the bed and having to forgot to set the alarm, I was 15 minutes late.
By the time I woke my brother and Cherie up, we reached Komtar slightly later. That was our pick up point and thank goodness it was just right behind the guesthouse I stayed. Which is very lovely by the way.


My run was lacking in stamina compared to last year but to be fair, I wasn't feeling well. But I admit, I also lacked in training. The organizers this time round did a poor job I would say. When we reached the mid-point, there was a massive human jam and it cost us about 15 minutes of our time! That would certainly affect your running time overall.
The organizers have a lot to improve if they want to make this an international event. The place was in a mess and sponsors this time round is not as good as the previous year. Even flag off was very messy due to people coming in very late. The shuttle buses were stuck in heavy traffic therefore delaying the runners' arrival.

Oh well. I am glad I managed to complete and came back with this.

Till the next marathon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Food & Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014 (Part 1)

I didn't train this time round for the marathon. The consequences for that was that I had to walk like a crippled woman for three days. Before I go into the whole marathon story, let's talk about the trip up north this time. I am always excited for a trip to Penang. I just love it there. The people, the food and the culture. I just love Penang. This is my second time joining the marathon and this time round, Cherie (my colleague) came along. It was fun to have someone extra tagging along. Made the journey more interesting. Due to some bad jam, we reached Penang around 6pm and by that time we were super hungry. Oh not to forgot, we took the new bridge!

Nothing fancy, really. I prefer the old bridge.


We checked in to 80s Guesthouse which is located at Love Lane and walked towards Chulia Street for some hawker food.

Chulia Street is famous for the wantan noodle and the curry noodle. But none of us ordered any of that. LOL! We were all craving for char kuey teow I think. Some say the pork satay is famous too so we decided to give it a try but I beg to differ. I prefer the one I tried in Kong Heng Kopitiam, Ipoh.


There was a nearby cafe called Love & Latte that caught Cherie's eyes so we decided to try it out while waiting for her friend to arrive at the airport.

Some interesting quote I found on the wall
The coffee here is alright. Nothing much to shout about actually. However, the brother mentioned their Nutella Signature is really good.


After picking up Cherie's friend at the airport, we head over to Pulau Tikus for MORE food. This time, it is the Lok Lok. Lok lok is where the food are serve with the wooden skewer and you would just have to cook them in the boiling water. They can be eaten with side condiments.

Decided to break this into two parts because it is too long. Part 2 can be found here!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Scammed

Yesterday was frightening but thank goodness, the worst is over. I wish to share this so that everyone could learn from this lesson and please, please stay safe.

I was at work yesterday when I got a phone call from an unknown number twice around 12pm and I was busy so I did not pick it up. Minutes later, I got a call from my dad and I pick it up. My dad sounded really angry asking me if I could track the location of my mom’s iPhone 5S. I asked why and turned out something really bad has happened and now my brother is missing. I swear to god my heart stopped. I asked my dad to hand over the phone to my mom and I would like to speak to her. She was in tears and could barely tell me her Apple ID and Password.

I signed in to the Find My iPhone app and set the phone on “Lost Mode” and I swear I was shaking. Then I remembered that unknown number. I called back and a guy picked up. He told me my brother is with him and I questioned him his name, where is he calling from, who is he, why is my brother with him and I would like to speak to my brother.

My brother told me he was safe and that my dad is on his way. Later at night I got the whole story.

My mom and brother were driving to see the dentist. As traffic was rather slow, a car suddenly came to the back, hit her car and the force was huge enough that it jerked her car forward and hit the lorry in front. My mom got down and told my brother to call my dad. She thought the car that hit her would slow down and go to the side but unfortunately, that car went away. So I think this was where the panic mode set in to her. 

Suddenly, another car came up with a man speaking Mandarin proclaiming that he saw where the car went and that he could help my mom chase the car. His tone was hurried, set in a panic mode and he did not give my mom any second to think. He kept ushering my mom to get into his car but my mom said she couldn't. That man went on and said “Then, ask your son to come!! HURRY HURRY! And change phone with him because your phone can capture better picture!”  You have to also know that my brother is using an old battered Nokia. This was where things started to get fishy isn't it? But they were in the panic mode. So my mom asked my brother to get in that man’s car after exchanging phone.

Now according to my brother, that man later drove really fast as if he is on a chase with that car. Along the way, I think my mom realized how come it took them so long so, my mom called and ask my brother where is he. My brother said don’t worry he is still chasing. That man even had the cheek to say “Your mom think I am a bad guy is it? Don’t worry. I am not. I need to send my wife to the hospital later.” Next to him seated a woman. Apparently he drove really fast and reached this mall called AEON BIG and told my brother his friend told him that guy who hit my mom’s car just went in to the mall. That man acted as if he is frantically searching. He even got down from the car and then, he told my brother that he needed to borrow the phone to further contact his friend. My brother unlock the phone (my mom’s phone is protected with passcode and now that man knew my mom’s passcode) and gave it to him. 

Oh dear. I know right. 

He then told my brother “Oh that car went into the parking lot. Faster go and look for it!!”
My brother ran to find the so-called parking lot. After awhile, he checked with the people in the mall, there isn't any parking lot exists in the mall! So that was when he knew this was all a scam. He was smart enough to approach a Telco (Maxis) centre and ask the guy to help call us. Thank goodness he remembered mine and my dad’s number.

It was a horrible event and anything worst could have happened. Should my mom get into the car, that man would have wanted her to go and withdraw the money from the ATM machine. Anything could have happened. 

I am thankful that my brother is safe and no one is hurt. A lesson for all to learn here is that in every situation, remain calm. Listen to your own voice. People could take advantage when you panic. 

And as for the phone...this was the last location. 


Monday, December 8, 2014

Sin Yoon Loong, Burps & Giggles and Lou Wong @ Ipoh

I had fun trying out all the food in Ipoh. From the food in kopitiam (old style coffee shop), quirky cafes to their famous steamed chicken with noodles.

Sin Yoon Loong Kopitiam
We were suppose to wake up early to have our breakfast here but oh well. We didn't. Thank goodness we managed to make it on time for brunch but the coffee shop was super packed. Plus it is a Sunday you see. We had to wait for about 20 to 30 minutes before we could get a table for ourselves. So tips for you people out there, either you come super early (as early as 7am) or avoid weekends.


Since it is within walking distance from our accommodation (Sekeping Kong Heng), we decided to walk. Let me also remind you guys that parking can be quite difficult here so do come early! 

Egg tarts, char siew pau, cucur udang, chee cheong fun (pig intestine noodle) and ipoh white coffee
kuey teow noodle in clear soup and some fish ball and fuchuk

caramel custard
A few of the food that was recommended by some bloggers would be the chee cheong fun which is next door (mind you, they have two shops so depending on which shop you sit in), their noodle and the caramel custard. Also, you have to order the white coffee. After all, that is what Ipoh is famous for. I love the chee cheong fun. If direct translated, it means pig intestine noodle but hey, it isn't made of pig intestine so no worries there. It consists of rice noodles actually. It is drizzled with soy sauce, generous amount of fried shallots (my favourite!), sesame seeds and pickled green chillies! Everything goes really well with each other so yes, it is definitely a must try.
The caramel custard is also their star product in their menu. It is not too sweet and it is perfect as dessert after you have finished all your food. We came in late so we missed out on the "dan chi" half boiled egg on bread toast. Sigh. Oh well, next time then.

Burps & Giggles
I noticed that those quirky cafes have also taken over Ipoh and there is quite a lot of them around the town. I passed by Burps & Giggles a couple of times and insisted to Mr J that we had to try this place. The first night when we came, the kitchen was closed already. Turns out, the kitchen closed at 8pm (if not mistaken).

So we decided to come for lunch the following day. 

When I say quirky, they have really quirky designs. I only took a few pictures in the inside, well, I was enjoying the food (and company!) so you really have to see it yourself. 




It turns out that Burps & Giggles, Buku Tiga Lima and Missing Marbles are all under the same group! And I had to find out the embarrassing way because I told Mr J to let's go to Buku Tiga Lima for coffee after Burps & Giggles which turns out to be just next door. 


This is how the inside of Burps & Giggles look like. Their burgers are highly recommended and both of us are such burger fans so here we go.


Excuse the bad blurry picture. I really do not know how food blogger does it but I was mainly thinking of diving into my food fast, And I couldn't really remember what we had. Oh dear. Apologies!

Since we noticed that the burgers did not come with anything, we decided to order fries with a few dashes of chilli flakes. 


We then moved on the Buku Tiga Lima for coffee.



I had my usual flat white and I also ordered the chempedak cheese cake which I will highly recommend it to everyone who is reading this now.


Overall, one may feel that the burger at Burps & Giggles is a little at the pricy side but I honestly think their burger is better than Plan B. I had dinner at Plan B the night before and the burger patty was really dry. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ask the Universe & You Will Receive - How Law of Attraction Works for Me

"You are the creator of your own reality"

I heard this quote the first time in 2007 when I first watch The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Yes, I watched the video instead of reading the book which I find much more helpful in my case. Ever since then, it has always been my life slogan.
Basically what The Secret taught me was only one thing: The Law of Attraction. Everything that has happened, is happening or going to happen is because you ATTRACT it. Yes, basically, you asked for it, you got it. The first time one heard it (including yours truly), it was hard to believe it. Why?

Because NO ONE likes to be responsible of their own misfortune.  Who does?

No one likes to know that the credit card debt, the bills and that series of unfortunate events are all caused by them. But I am here to tell you, yes you did.

Every time when you say:
  • I do not want to date a cheater
  • I do not want to work with horrible bosses
  • I do not want


The Universe will understand it as:
  • I WANT to date a cheater
  • I WANT to work with horrible bosses
  • I WANT….


So the trick here is to start focusing on your WANTS instead of your DON’T WANTS. You can start by saying:
  • I want to date a guy who is loyal, kind & respect me
  • I want to work with inspiring, creative and flexible bosses
  • I want to … Be Specific on your Wants. The more specific you are, the better.


Okay, here are few examples I can roughly show you on the times when Law of Attraction works for me.
Parking at Bangsar is a very difficult affair. Everyone knows that. It’s close to impossible to get a parking lot at Bangsar but…not for yours truly.So what did I do? Every time when I go to Bangsar, I would visualize/imagine the parking lot that I wanted or a visual of a car coming out of a lot and me waiting for the lot. And voila! Sometimes I may have to make a few rounds, once or twice I may have to park in the mall but most of the time I manage to get a parking lot easily.

Here is something else that I would like to share as well.
Two years ago, I was feeling a little emo over the fact that I was still single after 5 years. Not only single, but also DATELESS. Never been on ANY date besides with my ex. And my ex was my first and also last guy I dated. Kinda pathetic isn’t it? Out of nowhere, I pulled two post its. I wrote the qualities I can bring or have which will make me the wonderful girlfriend if I am in a relationship. And then I wrote another post it labeled “For Him”. Inside, I wrote the traits of the boyfriend I would like to meet, date and fall in love with. 2 years later, one day when I was cleaning my purse, I saw the forgotten post its. What shocked me was how close the descriptions are to Mr J. For that I am thankful.
My point at that time for writing that wasn't because I wanted to quickly meet someone. At that time, I was so tired of listening to all the stories of cheating relationships that I didn't want to be attracted to the wrong kind of person should I ever meet/date anyone. So I began to write. Not only for the one that I would like to date but also friends. The type of friends I would like to meet and surround myself with. Mostly all positive people who will inspire me to be better.

Many will then wonder, it’s that easy? You sure? Well, it’s free and it didn’t cost me a thing so that is why I decided to try it out. You can too if you want. However, for some, after a few weeks or months of trying and not seeing result, one may start to call this bullshit. You will then start to be even more frustrated because things are not working out for you.

So how do we get started without feeling all that in the end? Start by being grateful. Be thankful of well, everything. Always try to make it a point to note the things in your life that you are grateful for. Even the smallest/simplest thing like “hey, I am thankful that I am up and alive today.” For starters, you may write down one or two things that you are thankful of. Go on, write them down on your organizers/journals/social media platforms. I often try to do mine when I am driving to work because it was a long journey and I get to do some reflection and get some quiet time on my own. If it’s something that you will need to get by working hard, for instance that hot bod that you have been looking forward to, and then work towards it. Do all those while maintaining a positive thought.
For example, I do not work out to lose weight. I work out to FEEL GOOD.

Next, always surround yourself with positive people. I cannot stress how important this is. I think it is important for one to always surround yourself with people that will only lift you higher. But of course, you yourself must also be positive too. Only the same kind of energy will be able to flow with one another.


So, start asking and start believing that good things will come to you. At the same time, be grateful for everything in your life. When you start to be grateful, you start to appreciate the things you have and even the smallest thing will be able to make you happy. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Road Trip to Ipoh: Kellie's Castle & Sekeping Kong Heng

I have always wanted a road trip to Ipoh. At the same time, Mr J and I have been thinking of going away for a trip together. A long weekend came around and we took the opportunity. A quick check on Sekeping Kong Heng (which is also a place where I have always wanted to stay in) showed that they were available on that weekend. Which is rather odd because the Sekeping retreats are always fully booked especially on a long weekend like this. He placed the booking and off we went to Ipoh.

Our first stop was Kellie's Castle.

The banner at the entrance was promoting a "Paranormal Night Tour" and obviously, someone was excited. I was scared to be honest. We went to the counter to make an enquiry and turns out, we have to make an advance booking for the night tour and per person is RM40 including dinner in the haunting castle. Phew! No thanks. I rather see the castle in broad daylight. Entrance ticket is about RM5 if I am not mistaken.


I have to admit it was a little bit creepy for me and at times, I had goosebumps. At one point when I was reading the description on the wall..."This is the reading room. Strange noises and sound can be heard from here and if you follow the sound..." I let out a small "Oh". Right at that time, Mr J had to jump-scare me. Why oh why.



The castle is worth the visit especially if you are up for some artsy pictures. It wasn't crowded at all and I think not many people would purposely drive their way here unless they are around the area or heading to Ipoh like us. The castle is located at Batu Gajah and it is about 40 minutes away from Ipoh.


This part is known as the "Ghostly Cloister" because apparently, the ghost of Sir William can be spotted walking up and down here. 
Taken from one of the rooms in Kellie's Castle. Storm is coming.
We checked into Sekeping Kong Heng around 4pm.


To check in is rather tricky. First, you have to find Restoran Kong Heng because that is where the retreat is located. Above a kopitiam. Yeap. Next, you have to go in between plan B and Restoran Kong Heng. The reception is this small place right next to the entrance stairs to Sekeping Kong Heng.


This is how it roughly looks like. On the left is Restoran Kong Heng and on the right is Plan B.
I would say Sekeping Kong Heng isn't the type of accommodation for everyone. For one, it is not your typical hotel. There are a lot of locks to be unlock and lock upon entering or exiting the premise or your room.



They merely touch up the place with minimal renovation to preserve the heritage feel of the shop. So floors may creaked and the walls may be thin for some people.


Also, the shower box is a total transparent box separated by only a semi transparent curtain. Certainly not for those shy people I would say.


Their common place where you can hang out. They have bean bags, hammock, a refrigerator and even television here.
And because the place is located above a kopitiam, be prepared to hear noises as early as 7am because that is when the business time starts. Both of us love it. We love the rustic and vintage feel and we love the minimal design. And if you are wondering, it is RM220 per night. They also have their own pool which is located at a different building.



There is this barber shop located downstairs that I find rather nice and it brings be back to those time before salons exist.


I noticed Sekeping Kong Heng is rather popular for visits because people just love taking pictures here.






So if you are just around for a day trip, do drop by the area (GPS for Restoran Kong Heng) and walk around for pictures and also some good food. They have some really quirky cafes around as well as awesome kopitiam that serve really good food.
I think I will save on the what to eat and what you can sightsee at Ipoh on my next entry,

cannot resist a self obligatory picture. Picture credit Mr J.