Friday, April 29, 2016

My Ikea Hack: Display cabinet from Gnedby + Oxberg

As an avid collector of vintage kitchenalia, I'm always thinking about how best to display my collection. For a cost-effective and sleek cabinet, I've chosen to use white shelves from Ikea - Billy for the large pyrex pieces and Gnedy for the smaller ones. Here they are lined up in a row:

Side view of my collection of vintage kitchenalia

These tall and slim shelves help me to make the most out of my wall space while taking up less visual and floor space. However, my toddler had been attacking my books and my small pyrex pieces had been collecting dust. I needed to find a way to protect my books and my pyrex. Thankfully, I got the idea to use an Oxberg door (they are meant for Billy book shelves) with my Gnedbys. And here's how it turned out:

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I think it turned out really well, the Gnedby shelves have blended in with my Billy shelves even more!


Gnedby & oxberg
Here's a closer look. The Gnedbys shelves are ideal for cups, butter dishes, pixies and other small pyrex. If you collect cars, figurines or the like, this set up could work for you as well.


Gnedby & oxberg
Here's a look from the side.

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The Oxberg door won't fit into the existing holes in a Gnedby, but it's easy enough for you to just screw the door in place.


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Here's a close-up of one of the two hinges. 

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I'm really pleased with how my cabinet turned out. I wish I had more wall space, I would love to have more of these!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Compact living: My "transformers" dining table - Seats none to six!


I've owned two Ikea tables for several years, The first is a Norden gateleg dining table, which I use in my dining area and the second is a Norbo drop leaf table, which I use in the kitchen. Recently, I was struck with inspiration to turn my four-seater dining table into a six-seater. Basically, I attached my Norbo next to my Norden and as you can see from the picture below, it's a perfect fit!  

My dining table - Norden & Norbo combo
Here's the 6-seater configuration. I use Frosta stools instead of chairs because they're stackable, space saving and can double as side tables. In a small home like mine, every inch of space counts and just about everything does double duty. 

My dining table - Norden & Norbo combo
When I don't need the extra table space, I drop one side of the Norden and it becomes a 4-seater. 

    My dining table - Norden & Norbo combo
Then, if I need some floor space, I can fold the Norden down completely and push it to one side to act like a console. With just the Norbo table, I have a seat for two by the window. 

My dining table - Norden & Norbo combo
And when I need all the floor space I can get, I can fold the Norbo table down too! Isn't that neat? This is why I love Ikea AND living in a small space. It forces me to be more creative and challenges me to come up with solutions that will work for us :) 

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I love my "transformers" dining table and Amir appreciates all the extra elbow room. He loves model and lego building and so he spends his time here now working on new projects.

PS: Actually this table can have two more configurations if I fold down the Norbo completely and just use the Norden with one or two leaves open;) 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Displaying my collection: Vintage kitchenalia @ pyrex

A few years ago, I was bitten by the "pyrex bug." Basically, my mum gave me some of her pyrex dishes from the 70s and I fell head over heels for them. So slowly, but surely, I've been investing in vintage kitchenalia and growing my collection. 

You might be surprised to learn that vintage pyrex now fetches a high price, much like antiques and other collectibles. But I'm happy to say that I've been able to work hard and earn the right to splurge a little now and then. I don't like handbags, clothes or shoes... so my only guilty pleasures are - vintage dishes, Ikea and Daiso! Haha!

Ok, come and take a look at my collection! 

Close up of my pyrex and corningware teapot collection

Besides pyrex dishes, I also collect vintage corningware teapots. As you can see above, I have quite a few of them. I display most of my collection in Billy bookcases from Ikea. They're inexpensive and I like their simplicity. 

Side view of my collection of vintage kitchenalia

Here's a side profile. I think the cabinets look quite nice lined up in a row like this :)

Slim display

As I live in a small apartment, I try to use every square inch! In this corner, I've managed to squeeze two Gnedby shelves from Ikea. These hold my smaller pyrex pieces and books. I've also used this bit of wall space by the window to show off my JAJ pyrex plates.


My pyrex and corningware teapot collection in Billy bookcases
Some of these pieces were given to me by my mum, mother in law, aunt and husband. So they're very precious to me!


Some Spring Blossom pyres casseroles

I also have a few spring blossom casseroles displayed on the opposite wall, nestled in some Kallax shelves. The ones on the right were gifts from my mum and the left were gifts from my husband :)


Part of my teapot collection

Sorry for this awful picture, it was overcast so I had to use the flash :P I have a small display of teapots above my television in Trofast shelves. My mum gave me the ones on the top of the shelf, they're from Germany and London.

So there you have it! My vintage kitchenalia collection. I hope you liked my display and that it might give you a few ideas to display your own collection :) Until next time, TTFN!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Lion Guard screening event @ Marmalade Cafe, Bangsar

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Last Saturday, we had a great time at the Lion Guard Screening Event, which took place at Marmalade Cafe, Bangsar. What's Lion Guard you ask? It's a brand-new television series that's premiering 17 April at 8.30 am on Disney Channel (Astro Channel 615) in Malaysia. The series is a continuation of the epic Disney movie The Lion King, and follows Kion, Simba and Nala's second-born cub. Kion is the leader of The Lion Guard, a team of animals tasked with preserving the Pride Lands! 

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Here's Kion, ready to spring into action!

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And here are some of his buddies who make up the Lion Guard!

Here's what we did at the screening event...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ode to Oftast

I went to Ikea last weekend to buy a few sinks, yes sinks (that's a first for me!) and I came across two new additions to Ikea's Oftast range. Previously they had dinner plates and soup bowls, which practically flew off the shelves each time I saw them. Now they have side plates and soup plates! I was so excited I had to grab some! 

I love them for their simplicity and quality. Plus, they're super inexpensive at just RM2,90 each. Oh, did I mention they're made in France? Just like arcopal and arcoroc. I've been using them for quite some time and find them to be resistant to bumps and scratches. They are also light-weight, like Corelle. They do look a bit like Corelle's Winter Frost don't they? 


I love these Oftast plates from Ikea. Simple, inexpensive and lightweight #ikea

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Survive the Public Toilets with Kleenex

When it comes to  public toilets, I'm one of those people who would rather hold it in rather than risk it. To be honest, I've got way too many public toilet horror stories to share, but the one I want to tell you about today goes beyond stinky stalls, filthy floors and the lack of toilet paper.

Jihan Muse demonstrates the typical nightmarish experiences that we encounter in public toilets. 

Due to my aversion to using public toilets, I've actually developed a health condition - bladder stones. Years ago, I worked in a place where the only toilets I could access were the unisex office toilet and public toilets. I chose the latter for personal reasons, but I would often have to look for a clean or tolerable one. If one was unavailable, I would just have to hold it :(

After a few years of this, I started having abdominal pains and then one day, I noticed blood on my undergarments. It wasn't 'that time of the month,' so I was puzzled. I went to see the doctor and she told me I had bladder stones... I was in my early 20s! I'm turning 40 this year and I still fight to keep this pesky and painful condition at bay. So you see? Avoiding public toilets can actually be harmful to your health! So my advice is - NEVER hold it in. 

But what can you do to negotiate and survive public toilets? 


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Do you think your public toilet survival kit might consist of these items? A face mask to stand the stench, a band-aid for any injuries you might incur and a whistle for emergencies? Hope not!



So far, here's how I've survived public toilets:

1. I never leave home without tissues - In case there's no toilet paper and you need to cover the toilet seat.
2. I always bring a bottle of water - For washing, in case there isn't a working/ clean bidet.
3. I carry hand sanitisers - To sanitise my hands after touching the toilet door, flush, bidet, tap etc.

Trust me, these survival kit essentials come in real handy, not just when you're out and about, either shopping or running errands. They're also good for road trips, especially indispensable in helping you survive petrol station and rest stop toilets!

But needless to say, these things are pretty cumbersome and they're a lot to carry around. So thankfully, Kleenex has come up with just the thing we all need - Kleenex® Wet Toilet Tissues!

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Check out these handy little packets! They're small, but they can be life savers!



Small in size, light and easy to carry around, it's the perfect travel companion. Plus, it’s easy to use too! With Kleenex® Wet Toilet Tissues you can feel fresh and confident whenever and wherever you need to use the toilet, giving you a “home-clean” feel. No more nightmares!

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They fit perfectly into small bags and are light-weight to boot.


If you'd like to try the Kleenex® Wet Toilet Tissues. Join Kleenex® and Jihan Muse today to Survive Public Toilets. You can request a free sample pack and participate in a simple quiz contest to win a year’s supply of Kleenex® Wet Toilet Tissues by registering at www.kleenexcleans.com.my

For more information on Kleenex® in general, log on to the Kleenex® Malaysia Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Kleenex.Malaysia or call the Kimberly-Clark Consumer Care-line at 1-800-82-1188 (toll-free).

#KleenexSurvivalGuide

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Compact Living Part 2: A family room that does it all

My family and I live in 790 sqft. That's my husband and I, our two kids, and for half of the week, my mum too. For me, personally, I love living in a small home. I think it makes us more creative and efficient in our use of space, and more conscious about what we need and bring into our lives. 

Today, I'd like to invite you into my living room, or our 'family' room as I like to call it, because this is where we spend most of our time. We do lots of things in this space, watching TV, reading, eating, playing and even sleeping! So welcome in!

our sofa

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Krumba juice! A refreshing gift from my husband

I've been feeling unwell lately, with a mild fever, cough and running nose, which causes awful headaches. Needless to say I've been cranky too. But yesterday, I got a surprise from my husband - a delivery of Krumba juice! The lovely gesture lifted my spirits and the juices are giving me the 'pick me up' I need :)

Krumba

Krumba is a Malaysian food and beverage brand with an outlet at Citta Mall, Ara Damansara. They serve mainly gelato and coconut shake (which they call 'shaka'), but from what I gather, their cold-pressed juices are a recent addition to their menu. They're currently offering delivery services in the Klang valley - how cool is that! Just look at this lovely 'bouquet' of juices!

Krumba juice from my hubby :)

What was in it? 8 bottles of different juice mixes in recyclable/reusable glass bottles. They're 350 ml each. There were also pink roses and a note, all in a big metal bucket.

Krumba juice

I got 8 juices in all, So far, I've had the coconut water, Tummy Tuck, Pretty Sexy and Beach Body. Here's what I thought of them:

Coconut: It was a hot afternoon and I really needed this. It tasted sweet, natural and comforting. There were chia seeds in it and coconut flesh for extra bite. I liked it, but you do need some ingenuity to get at that coconut flesh :)

Tummy Tuck: Concocted to help you energise and improve digestive health, this clean-tasting juice contains apple, ginger and chia seeds. I couldn't really taste the apple, but there was a fruity taste to it. The ginger wasn't too overpowering for me and the chia seeds gave added texture.

Pretty Sexy: With a bright pink/red colour, this one looked the most appealing. Containing superfoods like strawberry, watermelon and mint, it is said to have anti-ageing and immune boosting properties. Quite sweet, much like watermelon juice with a hint of mint.

Beach Body: This is my favourite so far. With yummy pineapple, lime and ginger, it's said to  have antioxidant and fat burning properties. I just love the refreshing taste and it made me more alert :)

Black Magic: I love beets, but I didn't quite enjoy this blood-cleansing juice. It was mainly because the juice had turned a little sour and was starting to go off. Krumba juices do not contain preservatives, so you need to drink them fast. I drank this the day after I received it. I think drinks that contain sugary root veges, like beets and carrots will have a tendency to go off first. So if you get this, drink it right away.

Super Vision: Like Black Magic, this one was a little sour when I drank it and was starting to go off. So I can't really say that I enjoyed it that much.

Wonder Bee: This immune system boosting mix was very tart, but I didn't mind it. It would certainly banish nausea hands down :)

Toxinator: This detoxifying blend of cucumber, spinach, lemon and apple looked a little scary, being green and all. But it tasted just fine :) If you want to drink your veges, this is a great way to go!

Did these juices help me get back on track? I think they certainly helped. My body needed the vitamins and minerals. So there you have it, I hope you liked the review and that you'll give Krumba juice a try! In the meanwhile, do check out Krumba's FB page.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Interview by Focus Malaysia

My husband and I were recently interviewed by Malaysian business weekly, Focus Malaysia, for their article "Juggling Matters of the Heart and Money," written by Lim Siew May. Here's a snippet from the two-page article.

Interview

Friday, January 15, 2016

Goodbye Professor Snape

I rarely cry when I hear about a celebrity passing away, but I cried for Alan Rickman. The loss is so profound. #pottermaniac

RIP Alan Rickman

Friday, January 1, 2016

Compact Living Part 1: Life in a Small Home (790 square feet)

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! I'm going to kick off 2016 with a rather long post and by giving you a glimpse into my happy home. 

small home

I don't know about you, but I just love small homes. Despite growing up in a large two-storey terrace house with 4 bedrooms, two baths, two living rooms and two dining rooms, my childhood dream was to live in a caravan! And though I had my own room as a child. I preferred to hang out in a small room under the staircase, which was actually the store room. Very Potter-esque! LOL.

Fast forward a couple of decades, now I'm married with two kids. About 10 years ago, we bought over the two-bedroom, 790 square foot apartment that we had been renting. When we first bought the property, some family and friends were kind of shocked that we would choose such a small home. And now, years later, I can still sense that people don't understand why we would live here. Some people might think that it's a temporary home. That we're planning to buy a bigger one later. Nope, this is it. We love it here. 

Over the years, we've been slowly making home improvements here and there, as and when our budget allows. Our home has evolved along with us and we've had to change things up several times to accommodate our growing boys who are ten years apart. 

For inspiration, I subscribe to several YouTube channels that cover the small house movement and simple living trend in the West. I especially like channels like Kirsten Dirksen, Living Big in a Tiny House and Tiny House Giant Journey, where I learn how people in other parts of the world have opted to downsize and live simply, with less.

Here in Malaysia though, I think it's still very much about owning a big house, filled with fancy things and a fancy car :( But I've never been into any of that. I'm just very thankful for what I have. I once joined a local home decor group on Facebook and I left because when I shared photos of my home, people kept telling me (in a disparaging manner) how small my house was. I just don't get that mentality. It's my house people, I'm paying for it and I raise my family in it!

In Japan and Europe, 790 square feet would be considered about the average size for a home, or even slightly larger. Anyway, these days, home prices are skyrocketing, so I'm just glad to have bought one that I could afford to pay for.

In a future post, I'd like to share with you a glimpse into my living room, where we spend most of our time. But to me, it's so much more than a living room - it's a multi-functional space for my family, where we eat, spend time together and even sleep! So stay tuned for that and see you next time!
  

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Set Dinner @ Fuze, The Everly Hotel, Putrajaya

We managed to squeeze in a one-night stay at The Everly Hotel for a super quick stay-cation and to treat mum to a belated birthday dinner. So let me share with you the scrumptious fare we enjoyed there!

Dinner @ The Fuze, #everlyputrajaya
The yummy Christmas Dinner Set @ Fuze Restaurant

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Amir's bersunat experience

My eldest, Amir, is 11 years old and turning into a young man. So this school holidays, we decided that he should go for bersunat (circumcision). In the past years, he was terrified of the idea. He once made me promise he would never have to go through with it, Plus, he has always had an issue with clinics, doctors and such. But this year, after much discussion with him, he was ready.

9 Dec 2016 - Amir berkhatan
Amir and daddy walking to the clinic.

We  live in PJ, and didn't know of a clinic nearby that could do the procedure. So I asked around and someone suggested that I take him to Klinik Rosli in Shah Alam. My husband is familiar with the clinic, as he grew up in the area. And so, my hubby booked at appointment at the clinic and last week (9 Dec 2015), we took Amir to have his circumcision. Here's what happened...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Power of Scent :)

Hi everyone! As the title of this post suggests, today I'm going to blog about The Power of Scent. Fragrances have this amazing effect on us all. They lift our spirits, have a positive and nurturing effect, soothe us when we're stressed out and even help us to recall precious memories!

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I bet you can imagine just how wonderful this bouquet smells!

For example, my fondest memories are all tied to some sort of pleasant scent. When I was little, and found it hard to fall asleep, my mum would slip a pouch of lavender under my pillow and that helped me to drift off.

Now that I'm married, I love receiving surprises from my husband, like a bottle of perfume or a bouquet of fresh flowers. Roses are my favourite! But as a mum, my favourite smell of all time has got to be the scent of my children as newborn babies! You know that newborn baby smell? Gahh!! It's the best! What are your favourite scents of all time?

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I opened a box of Kleenex Scented Facial Tissues and Amir
just can't believe how amazing it smells :)
Lovely aromas can certainly make positive difference in our lives, and now there's a new way to infuse our days with a beautiful scent, thanks to the new Kleenex Scented Facial Tissues in Rose and Cherry Blossom!

The Science of Scent
People have used pleasant scents to positively affect a person's mood and well-being for centuries, and the benefits aren't just psychological, but cognitive and physical as well. Today, a substantial body of research supports the link between fragrance and well-being.


Did you know that the sense of smell is one of the most direct ways that we interact with our surroundings? According to Professor Charles Spence from Oxford University, an expert in multisensory experiences, fragrances influence the way we relate to something we feel.

Another expert and author, Jane C Anderson, also stresses on the importance of smell, as it is the most impactful and lingering of all our senses. But of all the wonderful scents of nature, floral scents in particular have been found to be most effective at cultivating a happier, more optimistic outlook.

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Amir wanted to share the amazing scent with his little brother Arif right away! 

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Happy moments are made of these :)

Tapping into the science of scent and the power of flowers, Kleenex brings us the first-ever 3-ply facial tissues with the uplifting scents of rose and cherry blossom essential oils. Because a wonderful scent can have an immediate positive effect on us, imagine the impact of a pack of Kleenex® 3-Ply Scented Facial Tissues at home, the office or even on the go.

Each time you use a scented Kleenex facial tissue, it elevates the normal act of cleaning up to a sensorial experience that lifts your spirits, says Mr Raman Tarun, Marketing Director at Kimberly-Clark Malaysia.


Would you like some?

Kleenex 3-Ply Scented Facial Tissues

To try these aromatic tissues for yourself, join Kleenex's “power of scent” movement, which brings softness and scent into your life and those of your loved ones! Just visit http://powerofscent.kleenex.com.my to request a sample of the brand-new Kleenex® 3-Ply Scented Tissues and share uplifting messages on social media with the hashtag #KleenexPowerofScent.

The new Kleenex® 3-Ply Scented Facial Tissues are also available in box packs (RM10.30 for four packs of 74 sheets and RM14.55 for four packs of 114 sheets) and soft packs (RM5.35 for four packs of 46 sheets). So look out for them the next time you're out shopping!

For more information on Kleenex®, log on to the Kleenex® Malaysia Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Kleenex.Malaysia) or call the Kimberly-Clark Consumer Care-line at 1-800-82-1188 (toll-free) on weekdays from 9am to 5pm.

#KleenexPowerOfScent

Kleenex® Introduces a New Way to enjoy its Softness, Infusing Floral Fragrances into Kleenex® 3-Ply Scented Facial Tissues
Kleenex Scented is truly uplifting!