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Friday, November 4, 2011

Pangkor Laut Holiday 2011

I was itching for a beach holiday recently and decided to book a Pangkor Laut holiday with YTL Travel during the Deepavali break. We booked the Residents Package which included accommodation, food and the ferry ride to and from the island. We arrived in Lumut after a three and a half hour drive, we parked at a multi-level car park there and proceeded to the Pangkor Laut office where the staff registered and checked us in.

By the time we arrived at the resort, they knew our names and a guest relations officer explained how the package worked. Breakfast was at the Feast Village, for lunch we had a choice of two restaurants, and for dinner we had to make reservations at any of the two restaurants available to us. As we had my five year old with us, we couldn't dine at Fisherman's Cove which is a fine dining restaurant that only allows adults and teens over sixteen. We'd have to dress up too. But it was fine as the other restaurants served very good food and catered for children as well. As we could choose one appetiser, one main and one dessert each, we were quite stuffed after every meal. However, I would suggest bringing snacks if you happen to get peckish between lunch and dinner. I brought some muffins, nuts, chips and chocolate milk for my son, just in case. Bottled water is readily available for free.


 

As our villa wasn't ready yet, we went straight for lunch after we arrived. Around 3pm, we went to the lobby and one of the staff brought us to our Garden Villa. The bathroom/dressing area took up half the Villa, and we had a king sized bed, plus a day bed which could easily fit a child of up to twelve years old. In fact, I had to sleep on the day bed because my son refused to sleep by himself. So he and daddy slept on the bed (my husband is just too big for the daybed).

Emerald Bay
Since it was sunny, we headed straight for the beach. You had to take a shuttle since the nice beach was on the other side of the Island. We discovered that Emerald Bay had a net running across it to prevent nasties like jelly fish from entering the bay. So it's clean, clear and oh so beautiful. We spent a couple of hours, then went back to the room to rest and get ready for dinner.

The next day, after a gorgeous buffet breakfast, we spent the morning at the beach. When you get to the beach and choose your deck chairs, they have staff come with towels and a bucketful of ice and bottled water. I must say, I felt extremely pampered. They have toilets and showers and loads of clean towels there so don't need to rush back to your room. We had lunch at the restaurant near there then went back for a nap. Seriously, this is what a holiday is all about. I purposely chose an all-inclusive package so I wouldn't have to worry about going out to get food.
The Malay Bath at Spa Village


We spent the rest of the holiday just hanging out at the beach, eating and sleeping. Since the Spa Village had a good offer, I tried the Malay massage plus a body scrub. All I can say that it was heavenly. The signature bath experience at the beginning really relaxed and prepared me for the massage. The massage 'room' was a whole villa with two treatment beds plus a dressing and an outdoor shower area. I felt like putty after the massage and the scrub left my skin all nice and smooth. Suffice to say, I left the Spa Village with a smile on my face :D

All good things must come to an end, so we left in the afternoon on the fourth day. They screwed up our ferry reservation a little but luckily there were some places left on the next ferry. That was the only complaint that I would have.

When we arrived back in Lumut, we bought snacks, ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and ikan kering (dried fish) for friends and family, piled everything in the car (parking cost us RM26) and started for home.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Aidilfitri 2011

Today it's the third day of Raya (Eid) and I've just had wayyyy too much meat the past three days. So dinner tonigh was seafood soup, salad and garlic bread from Porto Romano in TTDI. I'm not complaining though, the food has been great but everything in moderation, right?

We've had quite a few friends come over to visit and I'm really happy they enjoyed the food and company. It's tiring, but fun. It's times like these that we manage to see neighbours, friends and family that we haven't seen in ages. 

Today, I also sent off my maid back to her hometown in Medan, Indonesia for a three week holiday. It'll just be me and little H until she comes back. I'm extremely lucky that I'm not working, it's definitely extra hard for parents who work full-time. He's still on holiday for the next three days before school starts on Monday.

Starting next week, he'll be enrolled in three programmes in school meaning he'll have to sta back till 3pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for Taekwondo, Maths and Speech & Drama respectively. I know, I know, I sound like one of those tiger mummies. But I've heard that Standard 1 (which he'll enter in 2013) is tough. I just want him to enter primary school with a bit of confidence and be able to keep up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

3 More Days!

Three more days and it's Hari Raya (or Eid). Fasting has it's benefits, but I'm looking forward to be able to eat in the day time. It's not just food deprivation that gets to you, it's also sleep deprivation and dehydration. That's why it's important to have a strategy when you eat during the night. I've had to curb spicy food, avoid from eating too much and make sure I get enough water at night. Might make it more difficult to sleep (you tend to get up to pee more often), but it does help.

Unfortunately we've had a run of illness in the house, and it's hit the kids pretty bad. All three of them had high fever, sometimes vomitting and all were teary and grumpy. My son was diagnosed with a sinus infection and is on a nose spray, syrups and antibiotics. My niece, who just recovered from a bout of either viral fever or mild dengue, yesterday had food poisoning and puked out her guts at least 7 times. I was afraid there won't be much left of her, as if she wasn't thin enough already.

Today, everyone is looking better. Hubby feels like he's coming down with a sore throat and I hope we can get that settled before Hari Raya. I had a wonderful massage and a haircut just now, so I'm feeling really good. Starting the weekend off with positive and happy vibes!

Selamat Hari Raya to all Muslims!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Halfway Through!

Halfway through Ramadhan that is. I've lost a bit of weight, am sleep deprived and a little stressed. My son has been sleeping in my bed for the past two weeks because he was ill. 'Was ill' but insists that he needs some more time in my bed before he can go back to his own bed because he's still "coughing a liiittle bit" he said.

We also found out my niece had mild dengue so had to be hospitalised for two nights to make sure she's alright. She had to be put on drips, poor things was so down and out, couldn't even eat or drink. She refused to eat or drink at home, so her parents decided it was best she be admitted. At least she's getting hydrated. It was mild, but we're constantly on alert now for mozzies. Doesn't help that there's a house undergoing renovation with rubbish everywhere collecting water. It's not nice to greet a new neighbour with a complaint to DBKL, but some people just don't see the danger, especially when it doesn't involve them.

Muslims are so gung-ho about fasting but they tend to forget the little everyday things - being considerate, trustworthy, tolerant, kind etc. I could go on and on, but everyday I see and read about Muslims not acting as they should. Why is that? Is it hate? Anger? Fear?

Perhaps they forget that God is Almighty, He will reward and punish those that deserve it, it seems a bit egotistical for us to decide who should or should not be punished for the faith they choose. Isn't that why we call it faith? It comes sincerely from the heart and can't be forced upon us. It saddens me to see God's message not taken to heart. I read somewhere that you should try and pray for those that hate you, for those that you hate, for those that anger you, for those that you fear. I have seen and believe that if you let hate, anger and/or fear consume you, it does become harder to heed God's words. That said, it's not easy to let go of old animosities or not stick out your middle finger at that driver who just cut in. But let us try shall we? And may God bless everyone :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ramadhan 2011

It's the second day of fasting for all of us here in Malaysia, and it's been not too bad for me since I stay home and managed to catch a much needed nap. Hubby, however, came home with a headache and was absolutely knackered.

Both of us wake up at 5am along with my parents and brother to have a small meal before starting our fast at around 6am. For those who work 9 to 5, it's kind of tough. After eating, there is really no time to sleep, unless you start work really late. So you tend to be hungry and sleepy, which is a bad combination when you have to drive a long way to work.

Butir Nangka
By 5pm, I'm usually thinking of all the food that I'd like to eat. I'm supposed to practice some self-restraint this month and not gorge at the dinner table. Well, last night I failed. I broke my fast with a whole plate of fruits and some sandwiches, then went on to rice with some fish, loads of veggies and potatoes with dried chilli. For dessert I had a handful of cherries along with a bowl of Kelantanese dessert which we call 'butir nangka'. It's made from rice flour shaped into oval balls and served in a sweet coconut milk gravy. My aunt made it and I believe that she makes one of the best. Chewy, sweet and creamy all at the same time - gorgeous! Oh, and I had a small plate of fried bee hoon (rice vermicelli noodles) as well as a cup of goat's milk an hour later.

If I'm not careful, I might actually GAIN weight this fasting month, and that is not good.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birthday Preparations

My baby's turning 5 and I've decided to spoil him a little this year. This year is the first time he's inviting his kindy friends over. Since we'll be overrun by lots and lots of children, I thought I would outsource the entertainment, so I hired a balloonist/magician and a face painter. We've also got the toy house outside and the pool to keep them occupied as well. Hopefully (keeping fingers crossed) the entertainers are good and the parents can chit chat for a bit.

I've shopped for most of the food ingredients, so all that's left is preparing it. This year we're having soto ayam, shepherd's pie, cocktail sausages, salsa and chips, pasta olio, fruit salad, carrot cake and eclairs. I think that should be enough since at last count the number of adults totalled 35 and children 40.

I'm pretty excited about it and it'll probably be loads of fun for everyone. For me it's nice to meet up with friends and family. One thing's for sure, I'm going to be dead tired at days end.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Movie Binge

These past few weeks I've watched Kung Fu Panda, Green Lantern, Expendables, Step Up 3, Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows and some others that I can't quite remember.

Me and my husband don't usually go to the movies much, we usually save up for really good movies and splash out on Gold Class or Premiere Class tickets. The seat are also set further apart because my husband (and me) hate those people who put their feet on the back of your chair and start kicking or shaking their feet. Most of the time, we usually just put on a DVD. A day out at the movies is quite expensive, since now my son also comes along, and we can't watch a movie without popcorn, can we?

With a slew of good movies recently, and some more coming up, we've been going out to the movies a bit more and since we're in the mood, we've also been catching up on films that we've missed on DVD.

At the moment, I'm looking forward to Transformers 3 and the Harry Potter finale. Can't wait!
 

Do you read the newspapers?

I've sort of given up on the newspapers. It's depressing, full of violence, sex and propaganda. At our house, we do subscribe to The Star, but the first thing I look for is Calvin and Hobbes. The comics put me a better frame of mind to face the day. News reports usually just piss me off and/or spoil my day. And
I foresee it's going to get worst with rumours of elections coming up. So, let the mudslinging begin.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Circumcision for my Baby

Well, not a baby anymore obviously. Last week we had our son circumcised. Me and hubby decided to do it at Damansara Specialist Hospital. We met up with Dr Razak, the paediatric surgeon who was going to perform the procedure, a few days before that for a consultation. My son was totally at ease with him. He is absolutely brilliant with children. I was so glad that we chose to see him for the procedure.

On the day itself, little H was more curious than scared, which was a very good thing. He walked to the OT himself refusing to be carried. Up till he was set onto the operation table and put to sleep, he was relaxed about it, I was so proud of him. Admittedly, it was also because of the admin staff, nurses, anesthetist, Dr. Razak's OT team and Dr Razak himself. They made him feel absolutely comfortable and calm. I was very happy that he was well taken care off, I really appreciated their effort.

The bill was hefty, as it is a private hospital, but we were expecting it. H had to wear a little cup for a few days since it was a little sensitive still, but we had no problems at all and his willy (as we call it) healed very nicely. Little H got more than a new willy, he also received lots of toys from his aunts, uncles, grandparents, grandaunts and granduncles. All in all, it was a good experience for him and us.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mid-Year School Holidays 2011

I've always tried planning for the school holidays but sometimes it just doesn't happen. So this time, didn't plan anything, we'll just go with the flow.

I did however plan to have my son circumcised this holidays. We went to the doctor for a consultation and the circumcision is set for this Thursday. H is a little apprehensive, but I've promised him a chocolate ice-cream cake and aunts, uncles and grandaunts and granduncles have also promised him toys so I'm sure he'll milk it for all it's worth.

We're going to do it in Damansara Specialist Hospital (DSH). The doctor, Dr Razak, a paediatric surgeon, is really nice and I've heard good things about his work. I'm still a little nervous as all mothers are, but expecting things to go smoothly and H will be back home by the afternoon.

Comedy Month

This month me and hubby attended four shows at the PJLA in conjunction with the PJLA Laugh Fest. All in all, it was a great month of entertainment for us.

The first show we attended was Harith and Douglas. As we've seen them quite a few times, it was the usual fare from Harith Iskandar but Douglas had some new stuff so definitely worth the tickets.

Second we caught Kam - Fully Loaded with Joanne Kam, Bibi Kay Poh and Will Quah. We've never seen any of her shows before so lots of laugh-out-loud moments with Joanne and Bibi, though I must admit Bibi was more hilarious. It was Will Quah's first foray into live comedy, though his jokes sometimes didn't elicit any laughs, he still proved to be quite an actor/dancer/drag queen.

Third show was Comedy Court. Again, totally new to us but definitely did not disappoint. They were witty, funny, intelligent and great singers to boot. Was also very impressed by their versatility in acting out their skits.

Lastly, we also saw Kuah Jenhan. We've always liked him in MACC and Infernal Affairs so decided to support his first solo show in PJLA. It was a great show and I'm glad that it was a full house.

After all the nights out and laughs, June is going to be pretty quiet.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Walking in the Rain

Headed to the park for a walk on Friday. Unfortunately it was raining cats and dogs, but it was surprisingly fun to walk in the rain. I haven't done that since I was in school. I ended up soaking wet despite pulling on my trusty raincoat, but I really enjoyed it.

I'm trying to make it a habit to have a walk in the park every Friday. It's nice to just get out a little, rather than just walking on the treadmill all the time. Taman Lembah Kiara in TTDI has two good walking/running track. You can choose to just have an easy walk on the ground level track around the park, or go further up the hill on the undulating track, which I do, so you can get your heart pumping and challenge your legs a little bit more. Another reason I prefer the higher track is because you're walking in between the trees, so it's cooler, quieter and you feel like you're walking in the jungle.

It's a little embarassing when men and women, more than twice my age, just sail past me. Maybe once I get fitter, I can actually start running :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

British or American English?

Najib says US tutors are coming to teach English in rural areas article here. Are schools now being flexible with both British and American spelling? So when one student spells 'realize' and another spells 'realise', are both acceptable?

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer sticking to the British style of spelling. If not for anything else, just for uniformity. Students can't even spell properly as it is, hell, even some teachers can't spell properly. Sticking to one style ensures discipline for one, and a streamlining of language teaching.


And the cost? RM18 million. Ok, ok, so whose pockets are we lining now?

Enough with knee-jerk policies, THINK THINGS THROUGH FOR ONCE!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back on Track

I've been shirking my exercise routine for the past month due to my son being ill and also my hubby having an awful cough. I know it's no excuse but how do you function when you hardly have enough sleep?

I keep reading how exercise is supposed to make you more energetic, but getting there is tough. First of all is getting enough sleep so I can at least stop yawning while on the treadmill. I would love to sleep at 10pm every night. But I do want some one-on-one time with hubby to just watch TV or a movie, go for some reflexology or even just cuddle and talk. And the only time we get that is usually on weeknights.

At the moment my schedule is yoga 2x/week, belly dancing 1x/week and qi gong 3x-4x/week (I hope!). Recently I've been indulging in some excellent food, well, now it's time to get to work. If I want my little boy to grow up healthy, I should be the best example, not the worst.

Monday, April 4, 2011

For My (and my family's) Entertainment

The first few months of 2011 has been great, entertainment-wise, for our family. Went to Singapore in February for a short break, watched some good comedies at PJLA, caught Michale Buble in concert, and recently went to see Lat Kampung Boy: The Musical. Also brought my little one to see Mars Needs Moms and Disney on Ice.

I'm glad that we have so many entertainment options here in Kuala Lumpur. It's a great way to feed our artsy side, and spend some quality time with the family.

Looking forward to more good concerts, theatre shows and comedies throughout the year. At the moment, I'm planning to go for some shows during the PJLA Laugh Fest. Check it out on their website - www.pjla.com.my. Families looking to expose their child/children to the theater might want to check out Gardner & Wife (www.gardnerandwife.com). They recently had Elmer the Elephant and are planning a few more shows geared for children in the coming months.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Super Moon

Just wanted to share this absolutely gorgeous photo that a friend emailed. This was when the moon was the closest to the earth, which happened on 19th March 2011 if I'm not mistaken.