Lavender

Guys, we have lavender growing right here in our own country! See?!

*jakun mode*

 
IMG_1137

I never knew we could grow lavender in our climate until that day when I was in Cameron. I was like, “OMG, lavender!! I’ve always wanted to go to Provence to see lavender field!”.

:-o

Okay so it wasn’t exactly a huge field with rows and rows of lavender like in Provence; it was just a small garden. The lavenders were gated some more and no one’s allowed to walk through them unless if you’re a bride and groom couple who wants to take wedding photos in there (there were actually one when we were there. Everyone was like eee tak aci, nak jugak).

The rest of us pengantin lama can just take photos from outside the gates, thank you.

 

sunsilk2a

 

IMG_1331

These lavenders didn’t have any scent tho, which I thought was a tad weird. I had to take a closer look to check whether they were ori lavender or not. They were ori alright.

But whatevs – scent or no scent. The most important thing is, we have lavender here!

Malaysia boleh! Hehe *tiba-tiba*



Sun, Sand and Sea(food)

Went for buka puasa at Aroma Ikan Bakar in Jeram yesterday. Not the best seafood place I’ve ever been to, but for the past few weeks we’ve been having iftar at malls and hotels (besides at home of course), so it was a nice change of view and venue. Sun, sand and sea! The kids enjoyed it the most.

 

IMG_88071

 

 

IMG_8812

 

 

IMG_8839

 

 

IMG_8833

 

 

IMG_8909Hubs and his bffs. They’ve been friends for more than 15 years and still hang out almost every week! Sheesh.
(I’m secretly jealous coz I don’t even get to hang out with my friends once a month)

 

IMG_8821

 

 

IMG_8851

 

 

IMG_8855

 

 

IMG_8867

 

 

IMG_8876

 

 

IMG_8884

 

 

IMG_8907

 

IMG_8893

 

 

IMG_8887

 

 

IMG_8904Where’s my fish?

 

Can’t believe we have less than 2 weeks to enjoy this holy month. Let’s make the most of every remaining days guys, especially the last 10 nights of Ramadan!



Europe Trip Part 3: Paris

Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been really busy these past few weeks working on a project and helping out with my SIL’s wedding and stuff. Phew! Wedding is a lot of work. Fun, but a lot of work especially when you don’t have a wedding planner. But we got a lot of help from my husband’s relatives that came all the way from Kedah a few days before the event. Couldn’t thank them enough! Glad things went well despite the last minute preparation.

Anyway, here’s the final part of our Europe trip (it’s a continuation from Part 1: Rome and Part 2: Florence posts).

Our last destination was Paris. Paris!

Sigh… I love Paris. No matter how many cities I’ve been to (not that many apparently), Paris will always be one of my favourites. There is just something magical about Paris – the architectures, the sidewalks, the parks, the cute cafes, the patisseries, the shops, the fashion and of course the Eiffel Tower. I’ve been to Paris a few times and enjoyed each trip, but this time it was extra special because it was my first time with my husband. It felt like we were on honeymoon!

 

IMG_4226We stayed at this hotel. Galeries Lafayette is only like 3 minutes walk from here (and so is the metro station). No need to guess la where we went to, first thing after checking into the hotel.

IMG_3577 Angeline Cafe at Galleries Lafayette. I’ve been wanting to try their signature Mont Blanc dessert and hot chocolate ever since my sister posted a photo on her instagram a few months ago. My Godddd… They make the richest, thickest, smoothest and creamiest hot chocolate. I love it!

IMG_3580Hot chocolate on a cold day. If only I could curl up on a couch with a good book while sipping this…

IMG_3610I totally underestimated Paris weather because I thought it’d be warm and sunny just like in Rome and Florence. It wasn’t. The weather was around 9°C, which was cold (and wet) and I only brought light jackets and cardigans.

IMG_3634Thank God for Zara. Bought this cute pink coat and wore it right away. Then I felt a bit out of place when I saw most Parisians wore black coats. I mean, c’mon, I know it’s cold, but it’s still spring! Heh.

IMG_3656Paris also got tuk tuk!

IMG_3650Champs Elysees

IMG_3619Went to check out Disney Store at Champ Elysees for Frozen Elsa doll but there were none left. They only had the soft toy version. Didn’t get them because my girls don’t really play with soft toys.

IMG_3631If Italy is famous for their pastas, pizzas and gelato, France is famous for their pastries. I just love feasting my eyes on those sweet, decadent desserts. So hard to choose which one to have coz they all looked tempting!

IMG_3632We had this bruschetta instead :P

 

IMG_3671One of the famous monuments in Paris, Arc de Triomphe

IMG_3661We saw this and thought it’d be more fun to get around the city on the hop-on hop-off bus than the metro. Plus, we didn’t get the chance to ride on one when we were in Rome and Florence.

IMG_3659

 

 

IMG_3674Upper seats, please.

IMG_3682

IMG_3703

IMG_3708

IMG_3712Weather was beautiful. Thank God it didn’t rain the whole day.

IMG_3722I still get excited when I see Eiffel Tower, just like the first time. C’est magnifique!

IMG_3723

 

 

IMG_3737

 

 

IMG_3758

 

 

IMG_3742

 

 

IMG_3752When I saw this, I immediately remembered reading somewhere that Nutella crepe is a must try in Paris, so we ordered one each.

IMG_3767Mine was crepe with banana and strawberry slices + vanilla Chantilly cream + drizzled with Nutella. I usually don’t really like crepes (I prefer pancakes) but this one was sooooo good. The crepe was made fresh, right in front of my eyes. Best crepe I’ve ever had!

 IMG_3786

 

 

IMG_3823The obligatory jumping picture.

IMG_3828

IMG_3834Hubs saw these boys playing football with their dad and decided to join them for awhile. A dog even came out of nowhere and tried to chase the ball. So cute!

IMG_3852

IMG_3853One of the things I like about traveling to Europe during Spring/Summer is this. 8.30pm and the sun is still up. More time for sightseeing!

IMG_3929Next stop.

IMG_3886Louvre museum

IMG_3866

IMG_3894

 IMG_3970Took the metro to La Vallee Village the next day.

IMG_3982

IMG_3986

IMG_3933Rocking my rockstud

IMG_3993 Brunch first before shopping.

IMG_3991 I love Pret A Manger’s sandwiches (and salads).

Didn’t take a lot of pictures at La Vallee Village because I was busy shopping for my sister’s customers. Was a bit challenging because my sister was at Champs Elysees at that time. I spent 3 hours at Ralph Lauren outlet alone! Phewww.

IMG_4078

IMG_4099After La Vallee Village, my husband suggested we check out Disney store in Disneyland, in case they still have Elsa doll because it was just one metro station away from La Vallee Village. If only he’s this semangat to find a designer bag for me. Sigh.

IMG_4101Of course there were no Elsa. We’ve searched for Elsa dolls in 3 cities and they were all sold out! Apparently, they were sold out everywhere, even online. Gila ah Frozen fanatics (we managed to get Anna dolls, Frozen t-shirts, Elsa tiaras, and Elsa & Anna figurines tho). 

IMG_4217Last day in Paris.

IMG_4178

IMG_4186

IMG_42041(Gelato) flower for me

IMG_4198Pretty and tasted not bad too, but cannot beat Italian’s gelato.

IMG_4173Maaaaakan je kerja aku :P (French croissants are the best. So light and soft and flaky, walau dah sejuk)

IMG_4246Decided to have one last cup of Angelina’s hot chocolate and a dessert. This time, we tried their Millefeuille.

IMG_4230Stopped by Pierre Hermé to tapau some macarons before heading to the airport.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.48.09 AM

And that’s the end of our 10-day Europe trip.



Europe Trip Part 2: Florence

(Read Part 1: Rome post here).

So our next trip was to Florence.

We took a train from Rome, and the journey took about an hour+. It was almost 6pm when we arrived Florence and most shops were closed, so no shopping that day. We spent the rest of the day checking out the city.

 

IMG_2688

 

Being in Florence is like stepping back in time. Compared to Rome, I would say Florence is more picturesque and full of arts (and not as busy as Rome). I love it! Glad we spent the longest time here (5 days). There were sculptures and architectures everywhere; it was so beautiful.

Some even say that Florence is like an “open air museum”. I couldn’t agree more.

 

 

IMG_2692This is Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s city hall. Our apartment is just about 10 minutes walk from here.

 

 

IMG_2706Nude men guarding the entrance of the city hall

 

 

IMG_2708

 

I cannot imagine if we brought our girls here. They would probably say, “Eee malu la!” when they see the nude men sculptures and then they would probably ask, “What is that?” at you-know-what. Haha.

 

IMG_2705Loggia dei Lanzi, which houses a number of statues

 

 

IMG_2700There are a lot of ways to get around the city if you’re tired of walking – you can rent a bike, vespa, car, horse carriage (that counts too, right?) and even Segway. How cool is that?

 

 

IMG_2760Ponte Vecchio – Medieval stone arch bridge over the Arno River

IMG_3043

 

 

 

IMG_2756Lots of small shops around here, selling jewelries, arts and souvenir stuff

 

 

IMG_2764

 

 

 

IMG_2732

 

 

 

IMG_2776Found a nice cafe to have breakfast

 

IMG_2793Chocolate crepe and hot chocolate with whipped cream. The hot chocolate was thick and kinda bitter for my liking (I think they used dark chocolate)

 

 

IMG_2796We also had this cannoli. Was supposed to wait 2 minutes before eating it, but I took a bite right away. Well I didn’t know! Isn’t the filling supposed to be soft and creamy? This one is like frozen cream. Brain freeze kejap.

 

IMG_2798

 

 

 

IMG_2826

 

 

IMG_2808Hubby and I just love to feast our eyes at all the pizzerias and gelaterias that we found bersepah along the streets. One thing I like about Italy is that their pizzas and pastas are mostly vegetarian. They sure love their tomatoes and cheese!

 

IMG_2820Just had to take a peek. Everything looks yummy!

 

IMG_2715This is Santa Maria del Fiore, or simply known as Duomo – one of the largest cathedrals in the world

 

 

IMG_2712

 

 

 

IMG_2717Just look at the details. Such an amazing work of art. Took 140 years to build this!

 

 

IMG_2720 The exterior is covered in a decorative mix of green, pink and white marbles. And the 13 statues…. Hubs mentioned those were the 12 disciples and Jesus or something.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetInside the Duomo

IMG_2878

IMG_2884This is the biggest artwork in the cathedral – a painting about the Last Judgement

IMG_2847Saw this horsey outside of Duomo and I just had to take a pic

 

 

 

IMG_2897

 

 

 

IMG_2933

 

 

 

IMG_2970Had lunch at this fancy place, Caffe Gilli. I had been wanting to eat ravioli ever since we first arrived in Italy and finally found one! Their spinach and cheese ravioli was delicious (hubby had risotto, which was also yummy).

IMG_2854My sister told me that the best gelato she had ever had in Italy is at Eataly and so we went to hunt it for our dessert

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThey don’t have a lot of flavor choices tho (only about 5, I think). We tried chocolate and pistachio. Sedappp! Tasted like real pistachio.

IMG_2997

IMG_2809

IMG_2812The Italian Wheels. You can rent a vespa or Fiat 500 for a guided group tour through the Tuscan countryside. If we weren’t on a personal shopper mission here, we would have definitely joined this tour!

IMG_3004Saw one of the cars outside, and couldn’t resist a pic. Then one of the guys saw us and was so cool to offer taking our pics. He even told us to get inside the car.

IMG_3008Aihh bestnya kalau dapat jalan-jalan around Tuscany in this!

 

 

IMG_3148San Lorenzo market. Was fun walking through the market. There were shops selling souvenirs, scarves, leather bags, jackets and belts all Italian-made. I even bought a few Pucci inspired silk scarves here.

 

IMG_3263Art is everywhere in Florence – even on the streets!

IMG_3215Just WOW.

IMG_3344

IMG_3149

 

 

 IMG_3030“Can we just go over there?” *points to Chanel*

 

 

IMG_2962

Oh hey, there’s Salvatore Ferragamo Museum! (the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this was… Damon Salvatore! Heee)

 

 

 

IMG_2699And there’s Gucci Museum too

 

IMG_3022My husband searched for “best gelato in Florence” on Google and found 3 places. We tried all 3 but this is the best!

IMG_3014There were soooo many gelato flavours to choose from – I think about 30 flavours! Rambang mata aku. They have unique flavours like chocolate pistachio chili, ricotta cheese and strawberry pie that tasted like real pie.

IMG_3020I tried coconut with nuts gelato and hubby tried hazelut chocolate. Seriously the best gelato ever!! You really have to try their gelato if you’re in Florence. Wajib! (we actually ate there 3 times!)

IMG_3079My husband also searched for “best pizza in Florence” and found Gusta Pizzza. As you can see, they used wood-fired stone oven to bake their pizza.

IMG_3087Best pizza in Florence. The tomatoes are sweet and juicy, the cheese is so creamy and the pizza bread is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Another must-go place in Florence!

 

IMG_3099Another gelato, this time from Gelateria la Carraia (also Googled by hubby). Mine was white chocolate with pistachio. Bit sweet but overall not bad

 

 

IMG_3011Told my sister and BIL about this nice cafe with open windows that we saw and decided to have our breakfast there the next morning

IMG_3124

IMG_3144Meet the friendly owner of this cafe, who is also the barista, Signori Francesco. Apparently, he won World Barista Championship 3 times so he knows his coffee very well.

IMG_3132My husband and BIL tried his “unbelievable coffees” – Esmerelda Geisha and Nekisse (such pretty names for coffee!) and explained to us about the origin, how to drink it (you are not supposed to drink it with sugar and milk to heighten the taste) and how to make it. I even recorded a video of how he made the coffees and shared it on my Instagram. I’m not a fan of coffee but this was surely interesting!

IMG_3139Everyone else ordered coffee, so I felt obliged to order one for myself. I chose something mild – cafe latte. Not bad and I can totally taste the difference of Italian coffee, but I still prefer te

IMG_3172And the shopping mission continues… again

IMG_3163

IMG_3176

IMG_3208Next on my must-eat-Italian dish is gnocchi. Had this yummy tomato and mozzarella cheese gnocchi at Caffe Concerto Paszkowski (sister’s treat)

IMG_3260

IMG_3275Oh hi, here’s another gelato from Grom. You can never have too much gelato when you’re in Italy, ok? :D

IMG_3291Every corner in Florence is a work of art. I can’t stop snapping pictures!

IMG_3338Sat down at a cafe with Duomo at the back. Sigh… so picturesque

IMG_3326The barista commented “Very English!” when I ordered tea. I supposed not a lot of people drink tea in Italy? Hehe

IMG_3361There are a few designer outlets in Florence, but my sister said the best is The Mall.

IMG_3358They even provide direct bus from the centre of Florence to The Mall outlet (journey took about 45 minutes)

IMG_3365Hee-ugeee Gucci outlet

IMG_3360Lots of luxury brands here – Dior, Emilio Pucci, Burberry, Tods, Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci, Fendi, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Lanvin, Ferragamo, just to name a few.

IMG_3378

IMG_3391

IMG_3400Had lunch at the restaurant inside The Mall outlet. This is my sister’s salmon and spinach ravioli. Sedap oih

IMG_3401And this is my cheesy gnocchi with pesto. Sedap jugak. Semua la sedap :P

We also took a taxi to Prada Space outlet, which is located about 30 minutes from The Mall. It’s kind of like a factory (I think?) so imagine how big the place is! Of course it also mean more selections for Prada and Miu Miu bags, shoes, shirts, sunnies and other accessories.

IMG_3438Done shopping at Prada. Now where’s the taxi?

IMG_3430

IMG_3456Had our last meal in Florence at this one restaurant, overlooking Duomo

IMG_3463Hawaiian pizza (without the ham) and mushroom pizza (Pizza Hut lagi sedap).

Right after dinner, we went to Gelateria dei Neri again for our last gelato in Florence. My sister and BIL even said that was the best gelato they’ve ever tasted. I’ve lost count how many times we had gelato in Florence alone. Must be… 12 times, I think? Haha. We just had to have at least 2 gelato every day. Bak kata suami, “bila lagi nak makan?”. LOL :P

And that’s the end of our stay in Florence.

Stay tuned for the last part of our Europe trip!



Europe Trip Part 1: Rome

Hi guys! Soooo sorry for my lack of updates. I know I’ve been neglecting my blog lately but I promise it’s not because I’m lazy.

Umm ok… maybe just a bit, but that’s because I’m always super tired and my brain can’t think of anything else but my bed after a physically-and-mentally exhausting day at home (SAHM is no joke people, but I love it – except the cleaning part).

Ok enough with the excuses, now let’s talk about something more exciting. My Europe trip! :D

My husband and I went to Europe earlier this month with my sister, her hubby and their baby. My sister actually asked me a favor to help with her personal shopper business and I was like, YES OF COURSE NO PROBLEM! I mean, shopping and Europe? Those are like two of my favorite things in the world! (ok, it was actually pretty challenging as we had no experience being a personal shopper; I cannot imagine if it were just me and my husband)!

We were a little worried at first tho because we had to leave the girls and the longest we’ve ever been away from them was 2 days. And this time, we were going to be away for 10 days!

We told ourselves that we will FaceTime with the girls everyday (we didn’t, because of the time difference and because our schedule was pretty hectic everyday and come night time, we were both bone-weary from all the walking and shopping). We also told them that we will buy Frozen toys (didn’t manage to get Elsa tho) and that they will stay with their Atok and Wan (my parents) while we were away. They were excited! In fact, they were so excited that they couldn’t wait for us to go! Haha. Ayra even helped me choose and pack my clothes for the trip. Sigh, I missed her already.

Anyway, I’m going to split my blog posts into 3 for each city that we went to because there are so many pictures, you’d pengsan if I just blog everything in one post. Hehe.

This post is all about Rome because that was our first stop. We only stayed there for 2 days but we managed to squeeze in some sightseeing to a few famous places including the Colosseum, Victor Emmanuel Monument, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum and Spanish Steps, despite having only a few hours a day for that (we were personal shoppers, remember? So during boutique business hours, 9am-6pm everyday was allocated just for shopping).

 

In front of the apartment where we stayed

The weather was sunny and beautiful, around 18°C. It was just nice – not too cold, not too hot.

You know, I used to love traveling during autumn or winter season (because I get to dress up in coats and knee-high boots hehe) but spring is actually just as fun and beautiful (ok, any season in Europe is fun and beautiful to me, period).

 

 

 

My task was really simple. I was told to snap as many photos of bags and shoes as possible. I love this job, thank you sis! Haha (and yes, all photos were taken using the awesome iPhone 5S camera *ehem* #iphonefanforever)

We passed a million gelato shops while walking around the city and whenever my husband saw one he’d say “Macam menarik”. Itu jela ayat dia kalau nampak makanan LOL. BIL already told us about this best gelato shop in Florence but my husband couldn’t resist trying one in Rome. Layankan saja.

Hazelnut and chocolate gelato. Nothing to shout about.

Done shopping for the day, time for some sightseeing! The first place we went to was the Victor Emmanuel Monument.

Apparently, you have to pay 50 euros each if you want to take a photo with these guys. I probably wouldn’t mind paying for that amount if they would at least let us wear their costumes.

In front of Capitoline Museum

Piazza del Campidoglio

 

Oh well, at least this guy didn’t charge me anything :P

 

(I’m not sure if I get all the names of the places right so do correct me if I’m wrong)

 

 

Roman Forum. The view is breathtaking, this picture doesn’t do it justice!

I’m sure you all know what this is. The Colosseum.

Saw a lot of these beautiful Venetian masks at almost every souvenir shop

Trevi Fountain

Had dinner at a restaurant somewhere near our apartment (all vegetarian and alcohol-free, don’t worry)

Day 2. My husband and I went out at 8am and we had to walk a bit to find some place to have breakfast as the cafe near our apartment wasn’t opened yet (no, I didn’t ride the bike).

We walked till we reached Pantheon. Hubby was excited and he began explaining about some light or something and I went like, “Oh umm, interesting. Now take my pic”. Hehe

And then we saw a cafe so we decided to have breakfast there.

It was such a beautiful morning. We just sat there for awhile, talking, enjoying the view and the weather while sipping cappuccino (I had tea) and people-watching. If only we could do this everyday…

We still had time before the boutiques were open so we decided to go inside the Pantheon.

And hubs started his history lecture again. “Biggest dome blabla…Roman Gods blabla… Can you imagine how they built this? Amazing gila blabla…”.
Ooookayy.

History session’s up, now it’s time to shop (for others)!

These paper bags weighed tonsssss and each of us had to carry them from one boutique to another for hours.
Kau ingat senang jadi personal shopper? Haha rasakan! :P

And finally, a picture with my sister at The Spanish Steps (she couldn’t be bothered to take loads of pics like her jakun sis because she goes to Europe a few times a year :P)

After shopping, we packed our bags and headed to the train station to Florence.

Ahh… I love Florence. My new favorite city. Will update about that soon!