Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aupres Malaysia

AUPRES from Japan - Click here to go to their Facebook page.
Came across ths promotional roadshow truck for this new brand of facial products recently, and got myself a sample pack at RM 15, which consist of a cleanser, lotion (toner), and moisturizer. The AUPRES lady also gave me a free sample bottle of their sleeping mask.

AUPRES is French for "next to you, close to you". Did some Googling and discovered that this product has been in the China market for a while already, and is quite a hit with the women there. Malaysia is the second country to bring in the brand, which is under Shiseido.
Created exclusively by ASIANS for Asians, AURPES provides all Asian women the prestige option at an affordable price. Using some of the best Japanese skincare technology, the brand consists of skincare ranges to target women with specific skincare needs and a makeup line for enhancing women's natural beauty.
I've recently started using the sample pack, so it's too early to really comment on it. What I like about the sleeping mask is the light jasmine fragrance and the light emulsion as you apply it on your skin. It's gel-like texture is light weight, and it has soft tiny royal jelly bits in it, which melts as you apply it on your skin. Best thing is, I can put it on after I clean my face in the evening, just a thin layer will do. Leave it on the night with no sticky feeling, and just wash it off the next day. It's said to replenish and help the skin absorb more moisture, keeping the skin looking supple and youthful longer. Hey, if you're a woman, you will know what I'm talking about (nod your head if you're a woman).

I inquired about the price for the large bottle of sleeping mask, and the AUPRES lady said it's RM 95 for the  80g bottle, quite reasonable if you compare it to its parent brand Shiseido. AUPRES counters can be found at Pavilion, KLCC and MidValley KL at the moment.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2013 Turtle Calendar by Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) - Part 2

If you recall my previous blog about the 2013 calendars from the Turtle Conservation Society, I finally collected my order over the weekend. And boy are the calendars cute! If you're interested to get the calendars for yourself, head to their Facebook page for more details!

Turtle calendars.
Read about my previous blog here: http://oliviasy.blogspot.com/2012/11/2013-turtle-calendar-by-turtle.html

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Liars

Wise words from Ellen DeGeneres :P

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fresh 'n' Lock

Made an aunty-like purchase recently... An alternative to cling wraps! Every household is bound to have a long box of cling wrap in their cupboard. We use it to wrap our bowls, our leftover dishes etc. In most cases, we can only use the cling wrap once, because it gets dirty and contaminated, and you really don't want to reuse it again, for fear of food contamination. Not only that, if you're using the cling wrap to cover liquid, say, a bowl of soup, you gotta be careful not to slush the soup around, cos the cling wrap will just leak.

Fresh 'n' Lock.
So there we were, doing our grocery shopping one weekend, and we came across this booth selling this amazing product. Yes I used the word "amazing" because seriously, it's amazing. This product from Fresh 'n' Lock, is basically a soft plastic, which when compressed, becomes air-tight, keeping your items sealed and fresh for a longer period. Not only is it air tight, it can even hold your bowl of leftover soup upside down?

SAY WHAT?!
What's in the box? 
No kidding, it's an air tight solution, an alternative to using cling wrap. Comes in four sizes too, how useful.

Look ma, no spills!
And just to prove how air tight this product is, I did this in the kitchen. Did it over the sink first actually, just in case...

After one week in the fridge, with Fresh 'n' Lock plastic air tight cover.
Conducted a little experiment as well. I covered a small bowl of leftover greens, and kept it in the fridge for one full week. To our surprise, it's still green!

Ta-da! Still fresh and crunch ^.^
Not a bad purchase after all. I was so convinced, I bought 2 more boxes as gifts to my parents and sister, hah! Yes, a very aunty purchase, as long as it works! Plus it's a good alternative to the plastic cling wraps, which means better for the environment, kan? As I bought it from their roadshow booth, it was sold at a promotional price of RM 35/box. Think the sales guy mentioned that the usual price is RM 50/box. Watch their introductory video below for a better understanding of their product.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Fat Cat


Picture says a thousand words :P

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Birthday Wish

Dear God,

This year, I want to thank you :)
  • For blessing me with a good life. 
  • For giving me functional body.
  • For giving me good sight (so I have to wear contact lenses, but that's OK).
  • For giving me a set of working limbs, complete with fingers and toes.
  • For blessing me with parents who care about me, even though they sometimes don't really know the words nor actions to use to show that they care (I'm not complaining OK, please don't take things the wrong way).
  • For giving my parents a very good and honest doctor who looks after them very well.
  • For blessing me with my grandparents, though they are no longer around, I remember their faces very clearly in my head.
  • For blessing my with 2 sisters, although sometimes we don't get along, we're bonded by blood and we really do care for each other, no matter the distance.
  • For blessing me with good health. I may have fallen quite sickly sometimes, but nothing too serious which requires major surgical procedures or treatments like dialysis and chemotherapy.
  • For blessing me with some really good friends, friends whom I know will always be there for me, to listen to my woes, my rants, my silly stories, and share the laughter.
  • For teaching me some very important life lessons, even though some of them have been really painful, mentally and emotionally. Had I not gone through those life lessons or circumstances, I may not have learnt nor realized that I am indeed very blessed with many lovely things in life. If you were to ask me if I wanted to go through the same life lessons again, I can honestly tell you no. But then again if it wasn't those life lessons, I may not be who I am today.
  • For giving me the opportunity to hear Reon Schutte speak, for his words have been very empowering, and is acting as my guide now.
  • For blessing me with the best husband a woman could ask for. He has been patient, loving, caring, understanding, and very supportive of me. He has been my rock during my most turbulent times in life. He has been my guide, my counselor, my best friend. He has taught me some important lessons in life as well, and I'm very very grateful and truly blessed to have met such a man. I'm humbled actually, that such a man have decided to spend the rest of his life with someone like me. Our love is built not just on our feelings towards each other, it is also built on trust, honour, dedication, give-and-take, patience, and of course, love for each other.
If you ask me what my birthday wish is for this year, I only have one simple wish. I wish for all the people that are closest to my heart, to be blessed with good health, good wealth, to always be strong and have the courage when faced with difficult situation, and to always be happy :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why

Why not?



Shell-Ferrari Promotion 2012

*Disclaimer: I'm by no means promoting or advertising Shell, nor working for them or their advertising agencies.

Pumped petrol over the weekend, and got the Ferrari 150° Italia for RM 12.90 (if you pump Shell V-Power, you only need to fork out RM 10.90). For more info about this promotion, click here.

When hubby was a kid, he said he and his siblings never had the chance to play with LEGO. So That night, I told him he should build his first LEGO :) He had fun building it, making vrooming sound effect along the way hehe!

The Ferrari 150° Italia.

Hubby building the collectible and having fun vrooming.

Ta-daa! It's mini Alonso!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nick Vujicic [VIDEO]




If a man without arms and legs can dream big, why not everyone else? - Nick Vujicic

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2013 Turtle Calendar by Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS)

Excerpt from the blog post
Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) is producing a 2013 Turtle Calendar that features the beautiful turtle mosaics mounted on the walls and floor in Turtle Alley, Chinatown, Kuala Terengganu. The calendar is expected to be ready before the end of November. 
The small desktop calendar measures 12.5cm x 10.5cm and has a few notepad pages. It is priced at RM 10 each (USD 4 if you're outside of Malaysia), and 100% of the proceeds from the sales of the calendars will be used to support turtle conservation projects carried out by TCS.
If your order is more than 5 pcs, TCS will cover the courier charges, and if you are based in Penang, KL, PJ or KT, let TCS know and they will arrange for you to pick them up and payment can be made on the spot. Payment and order can be made following the details below:

Email: contactus@turtleconservationsociety.org.my
Acc. Name: Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia
Bank: Maybank Berhad
Acc. No.: 5630 6412 4656

I've placed an order for 10 pcs of calendars, am going to give them away as gifts :) Let's support the conservation efforts to safe our turtles!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Steamed Garoupa in Soy Sauce Part 2

My sis gave us another garoupa a few months back, and we decided it's high time we cook that bugger. This time I had tweaked the recipe a little and the result was a sweeter tasting soy sauce. Here's the link to the original recipe: http://oliviasy.blogspot.com/2012/01/steamed-garoupa-in-soy-sauce.html

Instead of grinding the rock sugar into powder, I smashed it into smaller pieces and just let them melt in the soy sauce as it was heating up. This time around, the sauce was sweet and savoury. Hubby thought it was a little too sweet, so the next time I make this dish, I'm going to reduce the rock sugar amount a bit (instead of 2 tbps, I'm going to reduce to 1.5 tbps). I was quite happy with the result this time around, the sauce turned out to be quite nice, albeit a little sweet ^.^

Yummy yummy ^.^

Monday, November 5, 2012

Braised Pork Belly in Sweet Sauce Part 2

UPDATED: 12th November 2012
Made this dish for the third time, this time taking my mum's advice to slow braise for one hour, shut the flames and let the dish cool for one hour, and slow braise again for another hour. This time, the meat was far more tender ^.^ Success!
---------


My second attempt to make this dish. This time, I made a few tweaks... Read about my first attempt here :D

1) During the blanching process, I added one tablespoon of rice vinegar. My mum said that by adding vinegar to the hot water, it will help to remove the musky meat smell, as well as make the skin softer.

2) For the slow braising process, this time I made sure there's enough water to submerge the meat.

3) During the slow braising process, I tilted the pork so that the skin was facing down, in hopes of making the skin softer (think melt-in-your-mouth).

Melt in your mouth pork belly skin~ *drools*
This time, I slowly braised the dish for about 2 hours (due to the water content). The end product was almost perfect. Skin was ooh-so-soft-melts-in-your-mouth. However, I still think the meat can be more tender, so I asked my mum again. She told me, the next time I braise the meat, braise it for one hour, then shut the flames for about an hour, and let the dish cool. After that, slow braise it again for another hour. She could't really explain why (because I think she doesn't even know why it works the way it works), just to add that somewhere along the process of slow braising (without the flames), the meat will cook and tenderize on its own. Going to give this method a short the next time I make this dish :D

Friday, November 2, 2012

Baked Lemon Butter Prawns

I got this recipe from Pinterest, and would like to share it here in my blog. It's such a simple and awesome recipe, and cleaning up is easy! I had a pack of tiger prawns which my sis had given me during her last back here in KL, and this recipe was perfect to give it a go with the frozen fresh prawns.
Lemon butter prawns in all its glory.
Ingredients:
Medium size tiger prawns (or any variety)
2 tbps butter
Slices of lemon
1 tbps mixed herbs (or Italian herbs)

Clean the prawns, pat them dry, and remove the head and sharp end at the tail. Set aside. Preheat the over to 200°C. Melt the butter on a hot skillet using low heat. arrange the lemon slices on an oven proof dish, and lay the prawns on top of the lemon. Pour the melted butter on top and sprinkle the herbs on top. Bake prawns for 15 mins and you're done!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How Will You Measure Your Life?

I've been following the Harvard Business Review website for some months now, and back in May I stumbled across this page, and it is one of the most compelling article I've read till date, an excerpt from Prof. Clayton M. Christensen's book "How Will You Measure Your Life".

Something about what he wrote resonated inside of me, something which I can relate to all too well. I bookmarked that page, and went back to reading it from time to time. I'm going to brutally honest with you here, I don't usually read all these stuff. Most of the time, I will brush such articles and books off, thinking these were merely written by high flying folks with fancy Degrees and Masters and PhD's, who think they have all the knowledge in the world to tell you how sucky your life is, and how you should be doing this or that in the first place, to achieve happiness and fulfillment.

I have seen inspirational videos from some motivational speakers, screaming at the top of their lungs, telling the audience just how bad their lives were doing what they were doing, and that they should instead be taking their expert advice to get to where they want. And if you do what he/she tells you to do, you will then achieve what you have set out to achieve... or something along those lines.

"Do you want to make more money???"
"Do you want to lead a happy and fulfilling life???"
"Why are you still stuck there??? Why are you not doing this or that???"

*screams and points to the ceiling/sky*


Fuck this shit. If yelling is your strategy to make me more empowered, then you can keep your shrieks to another audience, cos this chick ain't buying it. I don't need a high strung speaker to constantly shout in my ears and telling me what I should do. If I needed a motivational speaker, I would prefer the speaker guide me to think, not tell me what I should think.

And then, one fine day, I came across the Prof. Clayton's article in the HBR website. And so I took a few minutes to read it. After I finished reading the excerpt, I went back to page 1, and read it again. And then I bookmarked it. And then I started taking some notes down. I shared the link with a close girl friend of mine, who then read it, and bookmarked it, and tells me she wants to share this with her team members.

Image taken from www.measureyourlife.com

From time to time, I would open up the article and read it. One day, I decided to buy the book to read more on what Prof. Clayton had to say. I wanted to see if his principles will bring me some sort of guidance to what and how I should think. I would bring the book with me to the work place, and during lunch hours I will have lunch alone to read the book, and jot down notes. I will read it at home, line by line, slowly digesting the Professor's words and sentences. Sometimes, I would re-read the pages I've just read.

I started asking myself questions the Professor had brought up. It didn't help that at this point of my life, I'm having doubts with a lot of things around me. So my struggle to find the answers was a steeper curve than some, to me at least. And somehow, I felt calmer when reading the book. As if his words were telling me... It's alright, we all go through rough times now and then. Life is such. We just need to understand what truly matters to us.

The book was teaching me how to think, to answer the questions I have. The doubts I'm having, is the result of  not just what had occurred to me, but had also revealed something else along the way. Something which has been festering in the background, but which I had buried and was having hope. I had lacked the clarity to see things in the bigger perspective.

Here are some of the lines from the book, which I have jotted down in my little note book (something I can bring along with me wherever I go, and remind myself of those words). Some are from Prof. Clayton himself, while others are from people who he had quoted from.

"Even with good intentions and deep love, we can fundamentally misunderstand each other."

"Exercise selective neglect. You need to first accept that by trying to achieve everything, you end up achieving nothing."

"The price of doing something wrong "just this once" usually appears alluringly low. It sucks you in, and you don't see where that path is ultimately headed or the full cost that the choice entails."

"It is easier to hold on to your principles 100% of the time that it is to hold to them 98% of the time. The boundary - your personal moral line - is powerful, because you don't cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there's nothing to stop you doing it again."

"While many of us might default to measuring our lives by summary statistics, such as number of people presided over, number of awards, or dollars accumulated in a bank, and so on, the only metrics that will truly matter in my life are the individuals whom I have been able to help, one by one, to become better people."