Sunday, December 28, 2014

queues...not worth doing

i have done many queues in my life for things which some people deem silly or crazy. but isn't that the joy of life? to do silly and crazy things and especially when you are not doing it alone.

and recently i did two, both also in mid valley and both were for food. love good food but scared of putting on weight at the same time. haha...

 the first one is for dim sum at tim ho wan. my friend and i queues for almost 1 hours since 10a.m. on a saturday morning and we ordered these 8 dishes for both of us.
errrr.....quite a lot right....
the only thing worth mentioning in the collage above is the baked char siu pau. that is one of their 4 heavenly dishes in the menu.. i am not into the other 3 but i heard the steamed egg cake is not that good. their cheong fun is a bit too thick and i have eaten better ones.

click the photo above and you will see the enlarged one with al the prices on the menu. the food is on the slightly expensive side....but i dont think this is one place ppl will go everytime they want to have dim sum. it will definitely break the bank and there are not that many choices to choose from as well.

so is it worth the queue?? nope. try going after lunch hour, you won't even have to queue for 15 minutes if there are just 2 of you. those who come in two get seated faster compared to those who come in a bigger group. i will only go again the next time they open up their take-away counter and the only thing i will buy will be the baked char siu pau.

the second queue which i did is  for magnum ice-cream at the newly opened magnum cafe.
i queued for the seated area upstairs and it took us about half an hour. crazy huh? half an hour just for ice-cream!!!

and it's only for magnum....something which you can buy from the shop outside without any queue.
well, not quite lah. ours came with some additions of pavlova, fruits and baked cookies.
the four of us just managed to finish what we ordered and it was actually more than enough for our apetite. there was just too much of other stuff and not enough of ice-cream.
the bill came up to more than rm60. again, another dent in the pocket. we concluded that it was not worth paying so much for what we ordered. the menu was still limited and a number of things were not available although shown on the menu.

so no more second time at magnum cafe for me thank you.

i wonder if the novelty will wear off once the new year begins and school holidays end. tim ho wan will be opening its second outlet in one utama and magnum already has its second outlet in puchong.

i will go back to my dim sum shops in ipoh and the magnum i can get at petron station in tm.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

the road to jiuzhaigou (24/11/2014)

day 2 in chengdu and we were already treated to a super long journey to jiuzhaigou valley.

after that visit to panda research centre, the journey started.

i would divide the journey into 2 parts. one on newly constructed highway, the second- on old way.
there are two parts because the first part was destroyed in the wenchuan big earthquake in 2008. we could still see buried foothills where they believed cars were still buried under. the landscape was really barren and surrounded by mountains.
we stopped at this place for a toilet break because there was no rest area built. hence, the toilets we went to were residents' own toilets. water tap was running dry, so you can imagine the smell in the toilet. eewww.......thank god for minyak cap kapak (medicated oil).

a local town in the distance at the foot of the mountain. this part was not affected by the earthquake.

the bus was given a wash during our toilet break.

local stalls selling dried local nuts and fruits.

yaks for photo session. 10 yuan per person.

the river running parallel to the road we were on.

the barren hills behind some residents' houses.

halfway in our 7-hour journey, snow on mountain peaks was already visible. even the windows of our bus started fogging up due to the cold weather outside. brrr.......

we only reached our hotel- the intercontinental at 7 plus when it was already pitch black.  thank god dinner was at the hotel and the buffet spread was good. it was a hearty dinner.

we were to stay here for 2 nights. yea! the room was large and warm.

this is the toilet.

the next day's journey started at about 8 plus....after another hearty breakfast at their dining hall. yum yum. energy needed for the walk, walk and walk admiring all the beautiful views there.

photos in the next post.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

24/11- chengdu research base of panda breeding

as usual in most of the china tours i have followed, whatever written on the itinerary given is not the actual schedule when you are there.

so the visit to the chengdu research base of panda breeding was supposed to be on the second last day in the printed paper. however, when we got there it was put on the second day just before we started our long and ardous journey to jiu zhai gou.
we reached the panda centre at about 830 when it was just opening. it was good as we avoided the crowd later. i think we were one of the first groups into the park. i like the archway at the entrance. it was really cute.

i did not know how much our guide paid for our tickets but these prices here were those at the counters.

we had to buy separate tickets for our buggy ride once inside the park. one can choose to walk or explore with the help of these enviromentally friendly vehicles.

i am not really sure how big the centre is because i dont think we really went round the whole park. i would have preferred that we visited the wolong panda reserve in wenchuan instead. i think it is much bigger and there are more things to learn and see there.
anyway, we got to see more pandas than if we have gone to the national zoo in kl. hehe. we did not get to see the baby pandas though.

these are the lesser known red pandas. i read on one board that they are of a different family than the giant panda.
beautiful bamboo grooves lined the road along the park. the colour of the bamboo in the photo appeared odd in the photo as flash was used. i think the above photo highlighted the bench more than the bamboos. oops.

the tour ended at about 10 plus after everyone had made a stop at the souvenir shop inside the centre.
and the looong journey to jiuzhaigou began.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

chengdu- jinli street (23/11)

this blogger has been hibernating for a while that she thought she would have to put it to sleep come end of 2014. luckily an eight-day trip to chengdu end of november managed to salvage the survival rate of the blog.

i joined a tour with some ex-colleagues and all 17 of us in the group knew each other, hence it was a very co-operative group with not much trouble.

the flight that we took was air asia......and it was about 4 hours from not a long flight at all.

in a wink, we were already in chengdu by 10a.m. and the weather was really mild.
in fact, all the 8 days we were there, it hardly rained or snow up at the mountain. however, one destination was cancelled due to sleet on the road- huang long. it is really high above sea level, about 4000m and sleet made it dangerous to go up. i think the tourist destination was closed due to the weather. in the end, we went to du jiang instead.

we arrived at chengdu around one in the afternoon and the local guide was already waiting for us at the airport.

the first destination we were brought to was the ancient street of jin li. it was for us to walk around and to get some snacks as one of the streets here has many stalls which sell local snacks. true enough, there were many people queueing to buy their snacks. 

an opera stage in the middle of a fork road.

the snack i ended up buying grilled squid and lamb covered with lots of chilli powder. it was yummy and mouth-watering.
i wasn't interested in the other food that i saw. blame it on the lack of appetite and fear of stuffing myself with the wrong food on the first day.

a pond with a bridge.

lucky charms hung around a tree.

ginkgo trees were abundant everywhere and here in chengdu, we could still see autumn colours on the leaves.
cafes on another side street.

local delicacy which no one dared to try. guess what they are??
rabbit heads yo. only 8 yuan for one. they are cooked in rich chilli oil, a famous way of cooking in china.

and this was my pathetic looking chicken rice meal onboard air asia flight. it was totally unappetising and i just finished the chicken pieces and had a few spoonfuls of rice. eeew......the food had never tasted so bad. even those who had nasi lemak complained.

well, glad i managed to finish my day one in chengdu post. as usual, lunch and dinner were all at restaurants and it was the standard 10-dish meal. burp! food included in our tour package was satisfying and there was no bad meal. the guide who followed us from malaysia even prepared ipoh white coffee and milo to us every morning. i would wait for his appearance every morning to get my coffee fix. not that i am addicted to coffee, but a warm cup of fragrant coffee to start the day was very much welcoming when one was away from home.

Monday, November 10, 2014

no queue. save money

i am going to kl again tomorrow!! yeah!!! it is a weekday and i am going to kl for one night!!
don't worry, i am not doing anything crazy....not queueing up for anything know like the thing advertised in the advertisement below.

i am going for work.....well....mostly to sit there and facilitate when they need me. it a short break from the daily office routine. i hope i wont tire myself by going here and there after the official job is over. haha.....i do hate the cold air from the air-conditioner in hotel meeting rooms. and not forgetting the hotel room itself where i have to spend the night too. so i better make sure i get my sleep tonigh in case i don't get enough tomorrow.

oh back to the story of this advertisement. i think this is the first time i have seen h&m buying advertisement space in newspaper for their special collaboration collection. anyway, i am glad i did not go to queue. i read that some people started queueing on 4 november. crazy! the collection was only sold at 8am on 6 november.  save money save money. it will be hard to get anything from the next collaboration already if some ppl are willing to queue one day and one night for the thing.  sigh!

well i will just stick to uniqlo and their special collaborations from now on. there is no need to queue for that, the quality is good without a doubt, and one can buy online and get it delivered to the house. long live uniqlo!! and they have special discounts from time to time for online shopping as well. yippee!! and i have just made my first order on saturday night. lol. i only ordered 3 items for myself, whereas the rest of the 15 items in the shopping bag are for cousins, sister and friend. it is better to get a few ppl to shop together since free shipping comes only when you purchase rm150 and above.

another thing purchased online is my photobook. i think i have bought my voucher for almost a year from groupon and i finally get to use it when it is near its expiry date. phew! and just recently, i have bought another voucher for another photobook. i am preparing the photobook for my trip to chengdu and jiu zhai gou end of this month. there is no need to send photos to be printed now. everything will be printed in this photobook from now on. it is easier to keep as well and classy too. definitely worth doing....but just spare some time to compile and design your book.

oh, and i can start saving money on accessories nowadays too. i have started looking for some cool rainbow loom bracelet designs only and these two here are my favorite at the moment.
the ones above are quite easy to make and i can just combine with any colour i have.....they are thin and round and i can stack them up.

the one here is my favourite flat bracelet. i love the combination of colours here. but this is quite time consuming to make. anyway, it is personal satisfaction once the bracelet turns out fine.

well, time to say good night. i  still haven't packed for tomorrow. ciao.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

eat drink and be sick... ;(

how i wish it is eat drink and be merry. but these few weeks.....the weather has been really gloomy with cloudy days followed by heavy rain and cold nights.

i have been feeling a bit under the weather both physically and emotionally as well i think.

physically, i think i am not doing enough exercise and i am losing whatever fitness i used to have. i do miss my jogging sessions!! and with year end looming around the corner, it is time for me to make the decision on the knee surgery. to do or not to do it..... most probably it is a do for this one.....there is the time management to handle now.....

and how much time will i have to stay away from the office if i go for the surgery. gosh.....pressure from work and also a kind of emptiness  in this job are also not making the days easier to pass.  there is the file to update for when the inspectorate comes for the audit....and what i have been doing all this while....errr......i am not really following the book but what the boss' says. but i can say it is what the boss tells me to do when i answer those auditors. as for the emptiness- it is the lack of warmth and sense of achievement. in the previous job, my days were usually filled with the kids' antics and we really had a jolly good time when we were together and i felt appreciated for every little thing i do. now, i feel that my presence in the life of the people i am supposed to help is more like a pain in the neck for them. that is how i think they view me. although i was praised by one of them when some big shots came, it is just one lucky streak i think. there are still a lot of unfinished loose ends everywhere.

it is almost the end of the year and everyone is looking forward to the long holidays. i have to start thinking about the plan for next year come next month!!! am i regretting the choice i made? oh is too late for that isnt it? let me just wallow in my own regret for a while......and i will get up again soon.....the sooner the better.

can food heal the moodiness? i don't think so.....i should be all jolly and springy in my steps now if so because i went to eat some really nice food recently.

this red bean bag cafe in publika has been nominated one of the best cafes in kl for this year....and i think it should be in the list. i waited 30 minutes to get my seat on deepavali for lunch. service was fast though and food was good. as for the coffee, they are ok...but i have tried better ones in those cafes in taman tun. their supreme nachos was nothing to shout about- too little cheese. but the pancake was good. our bill came up to rm225 for the 5 of us. not cheap right.

tried another new place in ipoh too. stg tea house cafe. stg stands for sabah tea garden if i am not wrong. you expect fascinating drinks with such name but i was sort of disappointed with their drinks. it was quite plain and nothing to shout about....hence no photo of even a drink. but the food was really good. yummy.....soup, main, desserts. all got our thumbs up!! the ambience of the whole place was also good....what is not to like about the place? it is a colonial mansion beautifully decorated and surrounded by green lawn.

i will go broke soon if i keep on eating at these expensive places.

hence the need to have some super healthy blended fruit smoothie at home.

i like this combination of grapes, apples and pineapple. i thought the pineapple was going to be too strong for the tummy, but i was wrong. i had it in the morning after i woke up and it did nothing bad to the tummy. it was rich in fibre from the pineapple too. gosh, i better learn how to cut pineapple for when mom leaves for aussie next month. how do i get all those eyelets out of the pineapple? and will i have the time to go fruit shopping on saturday?? errr..........headache!!
the headache for the missing diamond ear-ring has been solved though. diamond is too the cheaper way- silved. and i got this pair of wings from thomas sabo. now i can fly!! weeeeeeee!!!
instead of paying more than rm1790.....i paid rm179 for my ear-rings now. see, a change in expenditure dy. ahem ahem.

and lastly, a change in phone case now. i accidentally dunked the phone head first into a bowl of hot korean beef doenjang jjigae soup yesterday during dinner. thank god the camera was not spoilt and after much of wiping using tissue paper and then using wet cotton to clean the phone case, i have decided to say goodbye to my studded leather covered casing. if you look carefully, the top left corner is also broken already and the leather is starting to peel off from the edges too. so from an edgy cool case, i have moved to a super cute case. gosh, what a difference. hahaha....
have been having this spare case for quite a while. it is moschino all right but the price is less than what i paid for my pair of ear-rings ok. kids shouted in jubilance upon seeing the case. i just have to get used to its bigger size.

well, sayonara now. one more day at the office and it is the weekend. uwaaaa!!!! back to reality tomorrow. files!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

what a wonderful weekend- posh dinner, yummy breakfast, rubber charms!

i seldom prepare for monday blues....but tonight, i simply have to because i just had too much fun over the weekend. i need another day of break....

first fun outing was to my good childhood friend's wedding reception at a converted warehouse. it was such a classy event with many beautiful ladies dressed to the ninth. i wasn't dressed to the ninth but i did make an effort to be presentable on that cold night in my long sleeved black and white shift dress, black heels and my classy fishtail side braids. all the other ladies had their hair done and i was the only one who had braid. was trying to hide my unruly curls actually. hahaha
it was raining when we arrived and we were actually late....but the event had not started yet. there was a free flow of alcoholic drinks and one could really get drunk easily. but everyone was in their best manners and i did not see anyone who lost control over the free drinks on offer.
how beautiful is it inside the warehouse? on normal days, it functions as a photo studio with a cafe at the side. but that night, it was transformed into a glitzy venue fit for a wedding.

dining was buffet style so one could have as much helping as one could take....i only had one. i was too full to even finish the one helping i took. but i tell you, the food was superb!!!!
one whole block of cheese melted on the spot served with potato, silver onion and the other, i dunno its name or it was too foreign for me to remember. i can't even remember the name of the cheese although it was on the card on the table. this is too posh for me!!! but i tell you, the cheese was to-die-for. i can just have the cheese on its own. my first time tasting silver onion too and it was really great!

this was what i got piled on my plate after one round at the buffet spread. i had some of everything. vege, roast lamb (the best!!!), roast beef, grilled chicken (good), baked salmon and chicken lasagne. sorry i wasted my food and left the pieces of cheese and two pieces of beef. i just couldn't take them anymore.
after all, i still had to consider dessert...
this was the dessert corner but i only had a macaroon in the end and a shot of panna cotta. they were nothing to shout about. the wedding cake tasted better than these in the photo. the butter cake was good. the night ended before midnight.....but unfortunately for me, the night did not seem to end and only dragged on till the morning because i could hardly catch any wink. how could i fall asleep when there was someone else snoring in the same room? uwaaa!!! i just couldn't drift to slumberland. maybe i did managed some here and there....but i definitely wouldn't call them sleep.

and the morning started before 9a.m. as we had made plan to go for breakfast picnic at kiara park with two juniors of our friends. so off we went......
luckily i did not look like a zombie....
it was good to be outdoor and the weather was not too hot. perfect for a day out in the park.

but it was the second round of food that i enjoyed more. and waffle! i have never been a big fan of waffle, but frisky goat in taman tun converted me into one. i simply love their waffles!! i don't think i will order any other thing in this cafe. the coffee is good too but i won't say the same about the cakes. this is definitely a place i am going again when i am at the area....and they are open until 10p.m.!! their food menu is extensive too. yeah!!!!

with so much lack of was a wonder that i still had the focus to complete and rainbow loom project for a friend.
guess which one? it was the trolley bag i completed on sunday afternoon after i got back from kl. it is 3d mind you and it was the first time i had to stitch two sides together to complete the thick bulk. really salute those creative people who come up with these ideas. i still have two more projects to complete for this friend but i am not complaining because i do enjoy making them and seeing the result at the end of all those loopings.

well, i better get my sleep now.....fingers crossed that i can get it. i haven't yawned once till now. sob sob! okok think positive! good night!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

my best friend's wedding

it was a gala time when one of my best buddies got married yesterday to his princess. he, being such a fussy man has finally found his partner, and it was indeed a joyous celebration for all ex primary and secondary schoolmates to come out for the night.

although there were not many of us (about 18 including spouses if i am not wrong), we created the loudest noise and we even joined the two tables together so that we could have easier access to chat with each other. was the first time such thing had been done i think and the assistant manager came to check on us and showed her frowns clearly on her face but we reassured her it was all right. kekekeke.

food was good but i think it was secondary in the end. it was all friends getting together with uncontinuous flow of conversations and reminiscents that made the night a memorable one.

the night only ended at 1a.m. at the wine shop downstairs which also included a shot of tequila for everyone...paid by the groom from his ang pow money hahaha. it was my first time having tequila shot and i was horrible at it. haha...i couldn't finish that drink in a shot and i actually choked. had to add two more sips to finish that shot in the end.

bedtime only came after two and i was woken up at five plus by lightnings and thunders which triggered alarms to break the silence. oh gosh....

breakfast was at ten plus and it was quite a hearty one at artisan's roast in taman tun dr ismail. my first time there.
my first cup of cappuchino was not hot enough. the breakfast menu was a bit small and not that attractive. i hated the mashed egg on my kelly's special which was cold. i was expecting a hot breakfast mind you.
the second cup was so much better. i was glad they make strong coffee here.

and they also have good cheesecake....better than the tiramisu. this is a great place for coffee and cakes because they do have a wider array of cakes to choose from. will definitely go for the coffee and cake next time....but not breakfast.

i went and did some shopping in one utama and klcc in the afternoon and it was at klcc where i caught a bad cold. the weather was gloomy and wet and the airconditioner was cold. i was definitely fragile from the lack of sleep so i ended up sneezing in the last hour in the shopping mall.
as i got home, the sneezing and running nose got worst and i blew till i almost tore the nose away. bad bad.

and the night also did not end early. blame it on this book.
i helped one of the kids get this book and i had the privilege of reading it first. so i started reading before bedtime and only forced myself to stop at 1am when i couldnt stay awake any longer.

so today, it was reading 2 copies of newspapers, finishing this novel and catching up with sleep in the afternoon.voila, the running nose has disappeared now. thank god!

i am going to watch dead poet's society now. been thinking about this movie since the demise of robin williams. ok that is all now. good night.