Swipe Your Way to Cardiff

When my mom was younger and still working, her colleagues used to call her ‘Miss Points’ because she has like every single loyalty/membership cards from every store/outlet and she loves collecting those points when she shops (yes, she still does). Ok maybe not all but most of the major ones. She has them all. You should see her wallet. It’s sooo thick and heavy like a brick that if she drops it on your foot, you’d limp.

And now I’m following her footsteps. I think it’s a brilliant idea – you spend, swipe your loyalty card, earn points, and then when you’ve accumulated a certain amount of points, you’d get discounts, vouchers or even gifts in return. How cool is that?

But you know what’s even cooler? When you can swipe your way to an all-expense paid trip to the UK!

Caltex just launched this new loyalty card program called JOURNEY Card, in partnership with BCARD (you know, the green card?). Basically, you can earn and redeem points when you make petrol purchases at all Caltex stations, as well as at other BCARD partner outlets. These outlets includes Chatime, Starbucks, Papa John’s Pizza, Kenny Rogers, Krispy Kreme, Wendy’s, Borders bookstore, A Cut Above, Cosway, Tropicana Medical Centre, Desa Waterpark, Mazda, U Mobile and many more. You can even earn and redeem points when you shop online at Zalora, foodpanda and Lazada websites! So many outlets for just one card, I like that. Would be great if other merchants can partner up or something and come up with one card because I don’t think you can find a wallet with 20 card slots!

 

Hello JOURNEY Card, meet your friends.

 

To get your hands on this JOURNEY Card, you just need to go to the nearest Caltex station, fill in the application form and submit at the payment counter. You will get your JOURNEY Card on the spot and you can use it right away. Oh, and it’s free with no annual fee whatsoever! There’s a lot of ways to redeem your points too – free meals, trips or earning double points when you shop.

You will also get a gift voucher booklet like this, filled with vouchers and discounts at your favourite outlets! 20% off Starbucks Frappucino drinks, RM10 rebate at Papa John’s, RM10 voucher for Krispy Kreme doughnuts, 10% discount at Borders and A Cut Above, etc etc.

 

 

When you spend an accumulated amount of RM200 at any BCARD merchants or Caltex petrol stations nationwide between 15th Jan – 28th Feb 2014, you can stand a chance to win a 4 Days 3 Nights all-expense paid trip to United Kingdom for two and exclusive box seats at the Barclays Premier League match (Cardiff City vs. Liverpool)!

JOURNEY Card members will get double participation entries so that’s 2 chances of wining. You can register at www.bcard.com.my/cardiff to participate. There are exciting weekly prizes to be won too.

 

 

Now, swipe away!



Tea Party for the Bride-To-Be

This is obviously a long overdue post because the bride-to-be a.k.a my sister, has already been married for more than a month. Heee! I’m sooo slow at updating my blog these days (sorry!) and because I just got the photos last week.

So anyway… We celebrated my sister’s bridal shower about 2 weeks before her wedding, co-hosted by her bestie, Farhana. It was a Parisian Chic tea party theme at the Orchid Conservatory Room in Majestic hotel and it was simply wonderful!

Enjoy the pics! (photos from WOW Art & Photography – most of them anyways).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How fab are these glasses? My sister bought them just for the tea party.

Ayra was really excited when I told her that we were going to aunty Wani’s tea party. “Tea party? Like a princess tea party?”.

Here comes the bride-to-be…. and her bestie

One word: YUM.

Yes honey, that’s how you hold a teacup.

With them beautiful ladies

Queen for a day (well a month, more like)

Group photo time!

 

 

We were then led to the Drawing Room for some drawing activities. Hehe. No la. We started the party 1 hour late so we had to switch to another room as our time at the Orchid Conservatory Room was up.

Friends writing well-wishes for the bride

We ended the party with present-opening. Trust me, that was the only non-18SX present that she got that day (oh, and macarons)! Sheesh, these people. :P

Thanks for loaning me your diamante blouse, sis. Loved it!

I’m wearing Fleur shawl, my sister’s Warehouse diamante embellished blouse, Mango lace skirt and Jessica Simpson lace heels which you can’t see in the photo because my skirt is too long.

Ayra is wearing Zara Girl lace overlay dress, Cotton On Kids necklace and Axxezz bag. Raina on the other hand, is wearing babyGap ruffle dress and Gymboree daisy purse. Their bow shoes are from Party Princess and their hair accessories are handmade by me. I love how their outfits coordinated with Farhana’s son, Yusuf!



Nusa Intan

Went to visit a show unit at Seri Pajam’s latest township, Nusa Intan in Senawang recently. It’s a double storey Semi-D house with 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms!

The journey from our place (Subang Jaya) to Nusa Intan took  about 45 minutes via NKVE highway. Quite far, but I know there are people yang sanggup duduk jauh sikit and pergi-balik kerja from Melaka-KL or Negeri Sembilan-KL or even JB-Singapore every day due to the high cost of living in KL (or Singapore). Gigih!

But seriously, houses are crazy expensive nowadays. You have to have at least 1 mil to buy a decent house in KL! Sheeshhh.

 

When we arrived there, we were pretty impressed. The houses are nice and modern. I almost forgot that we weren’t in KL. Hehe.

Let’s take a little tour around the house, shall we…

So this is the backyard. Huge, isn’t it?
The first thing I thought of was planting vegetable garden… because that’s what my mom would do! Heh.

This is the entrance

The rooms

Nusa Intan is surrounded by Forest Reserved so if you like a sense of serenity in a luxury living, away from the hectic life of KL, this might be the place for you. It’s just 5 minutes away from Seremban town and basic amenities such as hypermarkets, banks, schools and petrol stations, as well as public transportation (KTM) are all available within driving distances.

Entrance to Nusa Intan

The best part is, it doesn’t cost a bomb – for houses, that is. RM587,100 for a double storey semi-D house. Mana nak dapat kalau kat KL!

For more info about Seri Pajam houses, you can visit their website at http://www.seripajam.com.my or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SeriPajam.



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.



Layers of goodness

I am no baking queen so a quick and easy, no-bake dessert is the kind of dessert I like to make.

Like this raspberry banana parfait.

A spoonful of muesli, dollops of Greek yogurt (I used strawberry flavor), fresh raspberries, slices of bananas and chopped pecans, all layered in a glass.

Sweet, tangy, creamy, crunchy. Ooohh….

A little drizzle of chocolate syrup won’t hurt.

 

You can try with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, mangoes, anything really.

I like to use Greek yogurt because it’s super smooth and creamy. It’s healthier than the fat free yogurts too.

 

Speaking of health, I’ve been trying to shed some weight since a couple of months before my sister’s wedding. I’ve been trying to eat clean and healthy meals and even tried a rather intense weight loss program for 3 weeks straight – strictly no-carb no-sugar diet, no cheat day, no sushi session, chugged down green smoothies that tasted like grass and exercised 3 times a week. It was hard work and I didn’t lose weight at all. I was frustrated to say the least.

I decided to throw it all out the window during my Shanghai and Jakarta trips, devouring garlic cheese naan, palak paneer, sinful chocolate desserts, salted egg soft shell crab and other yummy seafood. Oh glorious food, how I’ve missed them!

I realized I cannot give up good food and desserts entirely so now I’m taking the slow and steady approach of dieting. I eat healthy meals on most days (Herbalife shakes, herbal tea, substituting white rice with brown rice, etc) but I still let myself to indulge occasionally. I have my once-a-week cheat day. I haven’t got back on my exercise mat tho, ever since that intense program. Maybe one of these days. Heh *yelatu*.

But guess what? I managed to lose 2 kg in 2 weeks! And that’s without intense diet and workout. I guess my body’s weird like that haha.

But it’s still early days and I still have a lot to lose (I’m talking 10kg).

Here’s to everyone who wants to lose that extra kilos. Don’t force yourself too much. It’s better to do it slow and steady in long term rather than making extreme changes that is only short-lived. Slow and steady wins the diet race!

Happy new year!