Shanghai Trip

Our Shanghai trip last year was a bit of an impromptu plan.

It was on a Saturday morning when my husband suddenly woke me up excitedly asking, “Jom pergi Shanghai nak?!”.

I thought I was dreaming. Shanghai?

He then told me that he got selected to attend Apple conference in Shanghai that he applied a few months before. Apparently, only selected Apple developers could attend the conference and he had been trying to get a spot since a couple of years ago. And then I also found out that they (the developers) could actually apply to attend the conference in either New York, London, Berlin, Tokyo or Shanghai! When I heard that, I was like… why didn’t you choose London or Berlin or Tokya or New York gahhhhh! (He said his chances to be selected would be very slim especially for Europe and U.S because their developers lagi hebak-hebak). Oookay.

The next thing we knew, we were in front of our computer, booking our flight and hotel for our Shanghai trip. We found a great deal on Air Asia Go which includes flight for 4 pax + 5 nights at a 5 star hotel suite. We were excited! And then two days later, the price went down to almost 40%! Pffft.

Anyway, flight to Shanghai took 5 hours and alhamdulillah, everything went smoothly. My girls were very well-behaved – no whining, no crying, no tantrums. Just happy and excited. Ok maybe just a tad too excited because they started to sing loudly during take-off. Then they spent about an hour drawing and coloring before falling asleep the rest of the journey (we both ended up eating their meals).

 

Yes Walid, you can bring us to Europe for our next family trip. We’d be on our best behavior, promise!

We stayed at Sky Fortune Boutique Hotel. It was a rather nice hotel and I especially love that there’s a dressing room in our suite.

Our hotel was located not far from Shanghai Zoo so we decided to go there first. I think it was just about 5-10 minutes taxi ride? Speaking of which, most of Shanghai taxi drivers don’t speak English at all (in fact, most of Shanghai people) so we had to ask the hotel staff to tell them where we wanted to go and they even had to write our hotel name in Mandarin for us to show to the taxi drivers. Jenuh aih.

I’m wearing Tudung People shawl, tweed jacket from NastyGal.com, zebra tunic borrowed from my sister, H&M leather-like pants and Steve Madden knee-high boots.

It was the end of fall season at the time and the weather was pretty cold – 12-14°C. Me likey!

This was actually my girls’ second time going to the zoo (first was in Melaka). My girls love animals and they really enjoyed this zoo, and so did I. There were no mosquitoes mengacau! Heh. There was farm animal feeding as well but it was closed as it was drizzling that day. Such a bummer! My girls would have loved that.

On Ayra: Mango Kids jacket, Old Navy top, Pumpkin Patch skirt, H&M beanie, tights and booties.
On Raina: Pumpkin Patch beanie and dress, Zara Kids jacket, H&M tights and booties.

Went on a buggy ride around the zoo

There was a clear “No feeding the animals” sign in English and Mandarin but people kept on feeding these bears. Sheesh.

My OOTD was inspired by these guys. Hehe

Snack time. We brought our own drinks, roti krim, biscuits and cookies. Don’t think you can find any halal food at the zoo.

Cool outdoor aquariums/fish tanks filled with weird looking fish that I have never seen before

Ikan emas mata tersembul

Ikan hitam mata tersembul

Ikan putih otak tersembul

Ikan macam pakai gas mask

Ikan polka-dot otak tersembul

We had dinner at a Chinese Muslim restaurant that night. Tak sedap so I won’t recommend it.

Shopping in Shanghai was a bit of a disappointment tho in terms of price and selections, even at their outlets. I think Hong Kong is cheaper and more choices. We were told that even the locals go to Hong Kong to shop, especially for designer goods so we didn’t shop much there. But their outlets, particularly Bailian Outlets Plaza is much bigger than the one in Hong Kong (Citygate Outlets). They have designer brands like Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Boss, Ferragamo, Tod’s, Gucci, Armani, Escada, Michael Kors, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, Marc by Marc Jacobs as well as high-street brands like Gap, Miss Sixty, Tommy Hilfiger, Nine West, Sisley, Steve Madden, Ted Baker, etc.

At Steve Madden. As you can see at the back, the footwear that were on sale were all autumn/winter collection. So were most of the clothes at other outlets. Sigh.
(I’m wearing Fleur Malaysia shawl, Mango snake-print blouse and Zara studded coat which I borrowed from my sister)

Garlic cheese naan, palak paneer, chicken tikka marsala, chicken Briyani and hot marsala tea at Grand Taj Indian Restaurant. Best meal we had in Shanghai! Dined there twice.

We spent the rest of our trip sight-seeing in the city (and spent the last day at the hotel because hubby was out the whole day for his Apple conference).

On Ayra: Gap Kids leopard dress, babyGap peplum jacket, Zara Kids scarf and tights, H&M booties
On Raina: babyGap peplum top and peplum jacket, Gap Kids leopard denim mini skirt, Mango Kids scarf, H&M tights and booties

Yup, we brought their drawing essentials everywhere we go. I’d rather lug around their sketchbooks, pens and crayons than bringing iPad/iPhone for them to use but that’s just me.

Tried Mediterranean food at Kervan Restaurant. In case you’re wondering, we used this cool app called Zabihah which could locate halal restaurants, markets and mosques all around the world. So useful!

The food was nothing to shout about. I prefer the Indian restaurant!

Another coat that I borrowed from my sister. She has like 20 winter coats/jackets in her closet (she’s crazy!) so it’s only sensible to borrow hers.

On Ayra: Pumpkin Patch beanie, babyGap graphic tee and cardigan, Tape-à-l’œil fur gilet, Mango Kids floral jeggings and H&M boots
On Raina: babyGap graphic tee and cardigan, Tape-à-l’œil fur gilet, H&M beanie, chequered jeggings and boots

The Bund, which I think is similar to Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. It’s a waterfront area and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Shanghai. So beautiful at night!

The only family picture we have

Shanghai is a beautiful and modern city. I honestly wasn’t quite expecting that. Heee. :P

Didn’t go up the Oriental Pearl Tower because Ayra didn’t want to. I think she’s a bit scared of heights!

Even tho Shanghai people hardly speak English, they are really friendly and OMG they just love kids. Whenever we walked past people (even young men), they literally stopped to look at my girls and they would either smile, give the thumbs up or say something in Mandarin, which of course we didn’t understand.

A lot of them even asked for our permission to snap photos of my girls. I think about 15 people? Seriously, I’m not kidding. Tak pernah tengok anak Melayu agaknya. Hehe.

Learned something new in Mandarin. Jiejie (elder sister) and meimei (younger sister).

You see what I mean? Macam retis pulak anak-anak aku hahaa.



The Maple

We went to my sister’s friend’s son’s birthday party last Saturday at The Maple, Sentul West. I fell in love with the place the moment we entered the gate. The condos are surrounded with lush greenery. It was so beautiful! Apparently, it’s the only residence in KL with a private gated park. Man, I want a private gated park too! :P

My girls were the most excited. There were gardens and lawns everywhere and they just run around enjoying their “freedom”. We couldn’t resist snapping a picture or two (ok, we took tons of pictures).

 

 

 

Ayra was telling me, “So beaudifull jungle!”.
Jungle, huh. Hehe.

This was me, giving up trying to chase them around. “Don’t go near the kuncup, girls!”. Of course they ignored me.
(I’m wearing Mango printed chiffon blouse, Levi’s jeans, Ikat by Marshella shawl from FashionValet and Betsey Johnson suede wedges)

My girls are wearing DVF ♥ babyGap printed dresses and Gymboree flower sandals. Love all the prints in the DVF ♥ babyGap collection!

They got the balloon umbrella and flower from Mr. Clown at the birthday party earlier. So cute, right!

My I’m-tired-can-we-go-back-now face, 30 minutes later.
Obviously the girls said no.



Weekend at DoubleTree

My husband and I are April babies (our birthdays are only 10 days apart) and this year, we decided to go for a short getaway as a way to celebrate it. Nowhere far tho – just a short getaway in the city with our kids and my SIL at DoubleTree by Hilton. Ayra was really looking forward to it because she had been wanting to go to a hotel ever since we got back from our Hong Kong trip end of last year. Kids nowadays! :P

Here are some photos from our short getaway…

 

 

Raina is always the cheeky one

 

Oh hi there.

I’m wearing Mango shirt and shawl, Kim Kardashian for DP jeans and Betsey Johnson wedges (they’re so cheap now, argh!).

Welcome cookies. So crunchy and macadamia-nutty, I like!

We actually booked a king bed deluxe room, thinking that there would be a bathtub because my girls want to have their bubble bath. There isn’t. There’s only a walk-in shower rain. And then we thought, oh well never mind, they can go for a swim at the pool. We didn’t know the children’s pool was closed because it was under construction! Haiyaaa. We told that to the girls… and Ayra, with her sad innocent face said, “But I want to swim”. Her dad melted and immediately called the receptionist requesting to upgrade to a suite. A suite! Such a daddy’s girl. Sheesh.

Ok la, I was secretly happy too because obviously the room is bigger and nicer, and we get complimentary breakfast and evening cocktail.

Which pillow would you like to order, sir? Hehe

And of course there’s the bathtub!

The tub is not that big, but ok enough for my girls to enjoy their bubble bath

Me and my girls’ shoes for the weekend. I don’t do light packing :P

We spent the weekend eating too much (who can resist yummy complimentary food?!), shopping, and my husband and I even managed to go for a midnight movie while my SIL look after the girls. And… did I mention we ate too much?

Evening cocktail day 1

Evening cocktail day 2

My new favorite sushi: Mango avocado sushi (and mango prawn sushi) at Sushi Tei

I hope you enjoyed your weekend too!



Surprise Mini Anniversary Getaway

Last Saturday, February 16th, marked our 5th wedding anniversary. I know this sounds very cliche, but really, how time flies!

I still remember clearly talking to this guy whom I barely know on the telephone for the first time (he was studying in the U.S at that time). He was actually my friend’s friend. My friend gave him my number because her phone battery just “magically” died (yeah right la. Haha). And suddenly here we are, already been married for 5 years and have 2 kids! How did that happen? (Umm no, don’t answer that).

 

Look how young and kurus we were back then. Sigh.

Anyways… My husband planned a mini romantic getaway for our anniversary. It was really so sweet of him! A week before our anniversary, my husband asked me where I wanted to go to celebrate our anniversary and I just told him to surprise me because I didn’t want to sound demanding – and because I knew Paris, Maldives or even Bali was out of the list. I almost wanted to suggest him to just get me a bag or shoes or something. Heh.

A day before our anniversary, I told my girls that they will be staying at their Atok and Wan’s place for a night.

“Tomorrow Ayra and Raina will stay at Wan and Atok’s house, okay. There will be bibik, aunty Wani and uncle Aizat too”.

Ayra was excited. “Yay! We going to Wan’s house!”.

I also told them that Atok bought Barbie Princess Popstar for each of them and Ayra was even more excited.

And then she asked whether we would be staying there too. I told her no, mama and walid have wedding anniversary. She said, “Wow, that’s amazing!”. When I asked her whether she knows what wedding anniversary is, she just said no. Haha. What a cutie!

I had no clue where my husband was taking me. I only knew that we were going to spend the night at a hotel, so imagine my surprise and excitement when we arrived at Villa Samadhi!

 

The villa is a perfect place for a romantic retreat, located right in the middle of the city (just a few minutes away from KLCC). It almost felt like we were in Bali. It was just perfect!

 

 

We stayed at the Luxe Crib and the room is very spacious with a waist-high bed.

There’s a big jacuzzi in the bathroom and a hee-ugee rain shower that could probably fit 3 people.

The staff were friendly too. Upon arriving, the staff were already waiting to pick up our luggage, and then we were given welcome drinks (lemongrass juice). My only complaint would be the bathroom lighting. I know it’s supposed to be romantic and everything hence the dimmed lights, but I could hardly see my reflection in the mirror. So hard to do my makeup! Ahh the little things I’m concerned about. Hehe.

 

Complimentary drinks and Villa Samadhi’s homemade cookies in the room

 

There’s even complimentary chocolates, placed on the bed.

Right after checking in, we headed to KLCC for lunch. My husband also booked a movie at 4pm because we haven’t been to the cinema in ages (that’s normal when you’re a parent).

Wearing L’adorn shawl, MNG dress/tunic, Zara chain belt, Zara pants and Forever 21 wedges

Had lunch at Yuzu (my treat!). First time tasting mango sushi (the yellow one). So nice!

I was happy with my food, really.

That night my husband asked where I wanted to have dinner. I had no idea. My cravings for sushi were already satisfied at lunch earlier that I didn’t mind where and what to have for dinner. He suggested Saloma Bistro. We had never been there so we decided to give it a try.

Wearing Mimpikita ♥ FashionValet peplum top, Tie Rack scarf and my favorite Zara heels.

The heels are actually a tad loose even after putting gel cushions (it’s half size bigger), but whatever. I still love em.

I was actually expecting the interior of Saloma Bistro to be very traditional, with kerawang and all that because it serves Malay cuisine. When we arrived, I was puzzled. Are we at a wedding or something? Because the table setting looks pretty much like the ones we see at weddings! You know, round tables, chairs covered in cloths and tied with big bows, and a stage in the middle. We honestly thought we went to the wrong hall.

My husband said we could still leave and go eat somewhere else if I wanted to (he suggested Mandarin Oriental) but I said it was fine. We were there already! Plus, it wasn’t easy walking in my loose heels, but of course I didn’t tell him that (I told him once and he asked why on earth would I wear an uncomfortable shoes. Men just don’t get it). And so we stayed and had our dinner there.

The food was not bad, but it was nothing to shout about either. It still felt like we were at a wedding! It’s buffet style with mostly local cuisine and a few international ones. There was a 1-hour cultural dance performance too, and it was quite enjoyable (tarian Zapin comel la). We had a good laugh because we were the only Malaysian there! Everyone else were tourists. My husband even said, “Rasa macam kat Malaysia” while watching the performance. When I asked him where did he think we were, he said Bali. Haha. Yeah, we were kinda like in Bali earlier. :P

Breakfast the next morning (buffet only for starters)

We chose Eggs Benedict from the A la Carte menu

Nice place to chill out, reading books

Or you know, reading your Twitter timeline.

And then our little getaway was over.

(I’m wearing MNG lime-colored shirt and Tie Rack scarf that I bought on our honeymoon 5 years ago!)

It’s really nice to be able to spend some time off from being “Daddy and Mommy”, and just be “Husband and Wife” for a while. I hope we can do this every year!



Hong Kong Trip – Part II

So here’s the continuation from Part I.

We stayed in Hong Kong for a week and spent 3 days at amusement/theme parks – Disneyland (2 days) and Ocean Park.

 


On Raina: H&M cardigan, Baby Gap dress, H&M tights, Mothercare boots
On Ayra: Zara Kids ribbon pony holder, Pumpkin Patch dress & cardigan, H&M tights & boots

If you love thrill rides and think Disneyland is kinda boring, then Ocean Park could be your kind of park (but honestly, I prefer Disneyland wayyy more. It’s never boring!). Almost all of the rides at Ocean Park are thrilling and extreme that I find it rather boring! Haha. Boring because there are no rides that I like. -___-

 

My brother, my sister and I

 

Admission tickets

 

 

What I’m wearing: Forever 21 jacket, Gap cowl neck top, Mukaa shawl (fashionvalet.com), H&M pants and boots

Ocean Park is divided into 2 areas – The Waterfront and The Summit. The main entrance is at The Waterfront and it’s where most of the animal exhibits are located. There’s the Grand Aquarium, Panda Village, Goldfish Treasures, Old Hong Kong and some kiddy rides.

 

 

The Waterfront and The Summit are separated by a big mountain and they are connected with each other via a cable car ride or the Ocean Express train (which looks more like a submarine). We decided to go to The Summit by cable car and oh my God I was gayat! My mind kept on thinking all sorts of scary thoughts. Thing is, I’ve been on cable car rides before and I was okay. Don’t know what has gotten into me that day. Pfft. My brother, Aizat, and Wani thought it was funny tho. Whatever.

 

See all those roller coaster rides at the other side? That’s The Summit

 

 

We splitted up when we reached there, because Aizat and Wani wanted to go on the thrill rides. Aku tengok jer pun dah takut. There’s a ride that takes you up in the air and then spins. And another that spins and whirls in high speed. And another that takes passengers up in the air and then thrust them downwards in high speed. And of course roller coasters. Basically a lot of crazy spinning and whirling and looping and plunging in high speed. Definitely not for the faint of hearts like moi.

While they were riding on those crazy rides, my husband and I found a “safe” ride that’s suitable for kids.

 

Ferris Wheel! Now that’s more like it.

 

 

 

 

At the Ocean Theatre

 

Sea Dreams show, featuring dolphins and sea lions

 

Took the Ocean Express train back to The Waterfront

 

That night, we went to Tsim Sha Tsui. All the roads were closed and the crowd was crazy because it was the night before Christmas!

 

Had to borrow Wani’s coat because the weather that night was so cold!

 

My dad called to ask, “Banyak shopping?”. Haha. Not yet, dad. Not yet :P

 

We spent the next few days doing more shopping. We also found a Muslim restaurant at Nathan Road that serves Pakistani food. Forgot the name already, but the food was so good that we kept on coming back to dine there for the rest of our stay in Hong Kong.

Soft roti naan, tandoori chicken, chicken curry and palak paneer (spinach with cheese). Super yummy!

 

Raina is wearing Zara Kids dress and Carter’s top. This was before she peed in her clothes!

 

I’m wearing Tie Rack scarf, H&M sweater dress, Mango necklace & ring, Mango jeans, H&M boots

 

 

I wonder what Babila means. Bags, probably?

 

 

 

The entire street of Canton Road is lined with designer boutiques! Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Tiffany & Co, etc.

 

Harbour City Mall, the largest shopping mall in Hong Kong. Look at the crowd!

 

Cannot find your way inside the monster mall? Use this online help service. Uber cool!

 

A Symphony of Lights show at Victoria Harbour

 

 

 

On Ayra: Pumpkin Patch beanie, Pumpkin Patch coat, Zara Kids dress, Baby Gap tights, H&M boots
On Raina: Pumpkin Patch beanie, Pumpkin Patch coat, Baby Gap dress, Baby Gap legging, Mothercare boots

 

 

We also went shopping at Citygate Outlets. It’s the only outlet shopping mall in Hong Kong and it’s located at Tung Chung MTR station. So convenient!

 

My girls are wearing Baby Gap dresses and H&M tights.

 

There are more than 80 international brands with year-round discount of up to 70%. Bally, Burberry, Coach, Dunhill, Diane Von Furstenberg, Escada, Max Mara, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, Club 21 and Club Monaco are some of them. The last time I went there, which was in 2008, there were only a few outlets and no designer brands. Imagine my excitement when I see a whole new floor with designer outlets! But the outlets in Europe are still the best. More choices, plus you can claim VAT.

 

 

 

Somebody is stalking me

 

Giant pink stiletto. Of course I had to snap a photo with it.

 

I’m wearing Tie Rack scarf, Mango shirt, Victoria’s Secret pants and H&M boots.

 

Sambung shopping at Elements mall

 

Times Square in Hong Kong Island

 

Wearing Mango blazer, Forever 21 top, pasar malam shawl, H&M pants and boots.

 

Was excited when I saw this store. Pylones is a shop selling really cute and quirky stuff… from stationeries to tablewares.

 

I had been eyeing on this flask/thermos (online). Cutest flask ever! Also bought a compact brush with mirror, a pen that looks like a pencil, a comb and card holder. I seriously should have bought more. But there were so many cute stuff, I had a tough time deciding!

 

Times Square was celebrating Lego 80th anniversary and they set up a Lego Xmas Village

 

On Raina: Gymboree dress, Carter’s long sleeve top.
On Ayra: Baby Gap dress and top

 

 

Giant Lego house

 

          Giant Lego people

 

Giant Lego plants

 

Went to Tsim Sha Tsui again, later that day for some last minute shopping, before flying back to KL. This was me with my girls, outside a shop waiting for Wani. All the shops are mostly narrow so a double stroller cannot fit in, we had to take turns. That’s one of the cons of a double stroller (besides the heaviness!).

 

 And then it was time to go back home.

The end.