Monday, October 31, 2011

A Short Getaway

Hubby and I took a short trip up to the highlands, just to chillax and unwind a little from all the hustle and bustle of city life. The trip was short but sweet :) Kinda gives you the chance to just unwind and do some self reflection on everything.

The newly refurbished rooms at Strawberry Park Resort.
BOH Tea Plantation, a must visit for every blardy tourist.
The steep and narrow road up to a hidden strawberry farm,  a slip road off BOH Tea Plantation.
I really like this view a lot :)
Tea break! Scones from T-Café, Tanah Rata.
Some say it's over-rated, we just like to have it :)
Chocolate banana cake from T-Café, Tanah Rata. Yums!
Yummilicious strawberries we picked from the hidden strawberry farm.
Ending the whole trip with some sweet banana pancakes from Yong Teng Café, Tanah Rata.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Of Alcohol and Halal-ness

Now before you start judging, this post is entirely my personal opinion and has nothing to do with what you think. So now that we've made things clear, let's move on.

Picture taken from here.

I'm sure you've seen this bottle on display in supermarkets. It's a range of non-alcoholic beer from Barbican. It comes in various flavours like apple, peach and strawberry.

I don't take alcohol. Well, actually, I have a very low tolerance to alcohol, mainly because I don't enjoy the after taste which lingers on my tongue. But a non-alcoholic beer?

Beer is beer. Period. Beer has alcohol. Period. All this nonsense about non-alcoholic beer, is really just to legitimize drinking for those prohibited by their religion, to consume alcohol. An excuse, alibi, a clause conjured up to suit the senses and to convince themselves that they're merely drinking flavoured water, and not alcohol.

Bollocks.

Any drink, even if it only contains 0.5% alcohol, is still an alcoholic drink, you doinks. Go on, keep lying to yourselves. Keep trying to convince yourself that flavoured non-alcoholic beverages such as the ones shown in the image above, is halal.

You might still insist that the 0.5% is a minute amount. Never the less, 0.5% is still 0.5%. What do you think?



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Caffeine Story


I'm not a coffee addict, and will never be. However, I do enjoy a nice cup of white coffee from time to time. You see, I'm caffeine intolerant, which basically means, I won't be able to sleep if I drink coffee after a certain hour.

My system is not used to caffeine intake at certain hours of the day, and coffee is not the only culprit. I can't take certain type of Chinese tea too. If I'm craving for white coffee, I will have it during lunch hour. Anytime after 2.30pm is just asking for it.My eyes and energy will be at a high, and I won't get any sleep at all. You may laugh about it, as it is quite funny to hear intolerance.

Also, I'm not a fan of places like Starbucks and Coffee Bean, overpriced cup of java really. For my dose of white coffee, I sometimes head to Old Town, or sometimes even some good ol' neighbourhood kopitiam. Yea, not very fussy when it comes to white coffee. As long as it's smooth and not cardboard tasting...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OM NOM!

Smile!

An early surprise birthday present from my dearest sister living in the land below the wind (Sabah lah). Introducing Om Nom, the lead character of the game Cut the rope.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ten Things Not To Say... And a Few More


*Bitch mode ON. If you can't handle the heat, I suggest you close this window. I'm having one of them bitch mode days and just feel like venting things out by writing. The words are not directed to anyone in particular (see, I don't include names, I'm nice that way).

My sister recently shared with me this blog post about the things you should never ever say to a woman who is going through some form of infertility (miscarriages included). I read through the list and couldn't help but laugh at some of them, mainly because some of them have been thrown my way before.

Having gone through the difficult and sad times twice in the same year, I know all too well about what to say and what not to say. It has also taught me not to stay angry at people for too long, simply because they actually mean well, just that their words made them sound ignorant (which some of them are probably are, it's just that I'm letting it slide). You can read the full blog post here:

1. “Just relax and it will happen.”
I'm not really too bothered with this line, though it's curious to hear that most people just assume all you have to do is have intercourse and wa-la! Confirm sure can get baby one!

2. “You’re still so young, you have plenty of time.”
These days age is not as much of a big driving factor, although most people will tell you it's better to have a kid before a woman hits 35 because by then your "eggs" will get stale (for men, your sperms kinda "slow down" and quality is said to "decline"). Then again, you hear women having babies in their 40s, some even 50s (but that's really pushing your luck). Do you know in today's statistics, a high percentage of young couples are experiencing infertility issues more compared to in the last century? In fact, many couples I know experience a miscarriage during their 1st attempt.

3. “Are you going to have kids soon?”
If your "soon" means "tomorrow", then my answer is no. I don't exactly like to be caught off-guard when it come to baby plans.

4. “When are you going to give (name of first-born child here) a sibling?”
I don't hear this line, but I do have friends who are hounded by this line, and it stresses them out plenty unnecessarily. Really, first you bug people when they will get married. Then you bug them about having a kid. Then you bug them about having another kid. Then you bug them about having another kid on top of the kids they had popped out earlier. You're not exactly gonna stop bugging them right? Maybe you should just tell the parents right up front "Settle with 3 kids", to set the expectations right. That way, you don't have to constantly harass them, and they don't have to layan you with answers just to entertain you. Maybe I should carve my answer like this: When are you going to join (insert dead person's name) in the grounds?

5. “Well, my cousin’s neighbor’s daughter tried yoga and fish oil supplements and they were pregnant the next month!”
Why don't you try yoga and fish oil supplements, and lemme know the results?

6. “God must be punishing you.”
Oh, I heard this one from my own mother. A Buddhist who prays to the Goddess of Mercy, we were having a mother-daughter conversation about babies when she mentioned that the 2 miscarriages I went through could be my karma.

7. “You can have my kids. They’re driving me crazy.”
Yea right. Off load your crap to others and think it's ok. Seriously, I don't take such leftovers. And if kids are driving you crazy, maybe you shouldn't have them in the first place.

8. “At least you can still sleep in.”
Yes, I can definitely sleep in a hell lot! Don't be jealous k ;) I also don't have to worry about insurance, the rising cost of education, hospital bills, expensive kid-safe toys, BPA-free milk bottles, crying screaming hair tugging babies in the middle of a packed restaurant, you know the works. Honestly, if we decide to have a baby, we should be mentally and financially prepared for all that's gonna be coming with the baby, and I seriously don't need you to tell me what I already know.

9. “I hate being pregnant! I’m so fat.”
Some pregnant women do look good, but some just looks like a whale. So I guess it really depends on the pregnancy itself. And yes, when you're pregnant, YOU ARE FAT! Don't like to be pregnant, then don't get pregnant lor.

10. “Well, I know someone who dealt with it for seven years before they had any kids. So your situation isn’t a big deal yet.”
I also know someone who's mouth couldn't stop talking for the longest time.

Some other lines which reached my ears:

11. "Something must be wrong with you."
Excuse me, but last time I checked, you're not a doctor. And yes, something must be wrong with me to not punch you in the face.

12. "You're probably a high-risk person."
If you mean having to regularly exercise, don't smoke, don't drink, eat everything in moderation makes me a high risk person, then maybe I'm better off smoking, drinking and being a couch potato.

13. "You must be a bad mother."
And you must be an asswipe.

14. "Aren't you being selfish for not trying again?"
I choose not to get pregnant again because I'm turned off by the painful experience, so it's my choice. And besides, it gave me chance to concentrate on other things in life. Having a kid is only one part of life, it's not everything of life. There's more to life than just having kids you know. If having kids it's everything for you, then that's your choice. Not mine. So yes, I'm selfish for my own reasons which some of you will never understand, and I don't expect you to understand either. And besides, I can sleep in late longer.

15. "It's only a miscarriage, you'll get over it."
As much as I don't want to sound mean, but if something you consider precious to you (i.e: baby) leaves, you better be sure I'm not by your side saying this to you: "It's only a (insert precious item), you'll get over it."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

R.I.P Steve Jobs

Image taken from here.

Goodbye to a man who revolutionized technology. Is it a coincidence that his death comes less than 24 hours after the iPhone 4S announcement, no one will really know. What we all know for certain, is that Steve Jobs will never appear on stage again. He has built his legacy and left it for the world to remember him by.

I'm not an Apple fanboy (or girl). The Mac was the first machine I used, back in my college days. I eventually bought a Mac in my 2nd year of college, to do my assignments. When I came out to work, I was on the Mac for a while, before I made the shift to web design. It was also around that same time, my Mac broke down. And I ventured into the world of Windows. I've been using a PC ever since, and for the last few months, have been contemplating of moving back to a Mac (still contemplating, if you must know).

Sayonara Steve Jobs. You have touched millions of lives with your reinventions, your products, your words, your vision, your strength. You will always be remembered. Namo amithaba.


Monday, October 3, 2011

TRENDZ Waterproof Bags

We were bumming around in Tropicana Citymall over the weekend and came across 2 booths on the top floor selling waterproof bags and pouches. Being the inquisitive being that I am, I went to take a closer look to see the merchandises on display. 

There was a wide variety of bags to choose from, even backpacks from well-known sports labels. I was more intrigued by the TRENDZ waterproof bags in bright yellow. 

The material is a high quality PVC which is 100% waterproof (Class 3). Suitable for all sorts of outdoor activities like water sports, jungle trekking, kayaking, fishing etc, these bags are the real deal if you're the outdoor junkie and looking for a lightweight and  durable bag to stuff all your items, and still be reassured they'll be dry should you come into contact with water or dirt. And the best part is, no zippers or strings. You secure the bag by folding the lid down a few times, then lock it by clipping the side clips together.

Hubby and I got to thinking that it would be a good idea to get one, seeing that we will need an extra bag to bring for our mountain trip next year. So after much comparison and decision making, we settled for a TRENDZ 25L yellow bag for RM 65, not bad right?

This is what the bag looks like before you open it, compact and easy to carry.

After I shape the bag, this is what it looks like. Note the side clips at the top to secure it.

A closer look at the handle.

Adding the adjustable sling at the back of the bag.

Step-by-step instructions on how to fold and secure the bag.
Simply fold a minimum of 3 times, and clip the side clips to lock.

You can visit TRENDZ website for more info and take a look at their range of products available. Besides bags, they also have waist pouches, products for cameras, phones and even a waterproof casing for the iPad. I might just get another bag for my dad, who's into fishing ;)



Sunday, October 2, 2011

Simple Salmon Steak Recipe

Salmon doesn't come cheap, because it's a cold water fish and is full of healthy fats (omega). I love salmon sashimi and whenever we have a meal at a Japanese restaurant, I will surely have an order of salmon.

Once a while, hubby and I would treat ourselves and get some nice looking salmon steaks, to cook at home. The first time we bought some, was from Jusco 1U, when the supermarket reopened after a much talked about renovation to upgrade the old 1U wing. We were doing some grocery shopping and came across some good looking salmon pieces on display, bought a couple and pan seared them at home. Yummeh! I'm going to share a very simple salmon steak recipe here.

Ingredients:
2 salmon steaks (about 300 grams per piece)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp butter
Ground black pepper
3-4 tbps oil for searing

Pinkish delight~

Pat dry the salmon and place them onto a wide dish. Rub the butter all over the salmon flesh and skin. Then rub some salt onto the skin side of the salmon, this would make the skin crispy. Sprinkle the rest onto the flesh. Ground some black pepper over the salmon and let it sit for a while.

Whoopeee...! See all the omega?!


NOOOMMMMM...!

Heat up a wide pan and pour the oil. When the oil is hot, sear the salmon, about 2 minutes on each side. If you bought a thicker piece, then you need to sear it longer, so adjust accordingly. The salmon is done when the flesh is about golden brown and flakes when you poke a fork through. Drizzle with white sauce if you please (we like it as it is). Enjoy!