Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review: Thistle Hotel, Port Dickson - Room & Facilities

Just before Ramadhan began, we went to Port Dickson for a short getaway with the kids. We stayed at Thistle Hotel, Teluk Kemang for the first time, so here's my review of the room and facilities.

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We stayed in the Deluxe Room and for weekend stays, there is a surcharge. We opted for the 2 super single beds as we have two kids. The room is spacious and the beds are comfortable.

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There was a comfortable bay window seat, where Amir would often take naps.


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Here is the coffee-making facility with a mini fridge underneath.

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Here's the TV, which comes with Astro (one cartoon and one movie channel) and writing desk. As you can see the floor is terracotta tile, which is typical for seaside resorts. But be warned, it gets very cold, so bring socks. The hotel room slippers were too thin to keep my feet warm.


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Our room came with a pool-facing balcony. When you open the sliding door to the balcony, the aircon automatically shuts off, which is a smart feature.

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The bathroom was quite large and not too shabby. 

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There is a small closet by the entrance, with extra pillows, a safe and an iron/ironing board. Sejadahs are available upon request. They also have Qurans, Bibles etc.


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The highlight of the hotel is its expansive swimming pool, There is a baby/kids wading pool, but I found the water there to be quite dirty to be honest. So I opted to bring my kids to another pool. The management should really look into the cleanliness of the wading pools. Small kids are more likely to swallow the water and their skin is also very sensitive.

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A short walk away is the beach. 


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Before you reach the beach you'll come across the Cumulus bar and infinity pool, which is very deep.

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I wouldn't say this is the best beach in PD. It was not the cleanest, a lot of detritus from the trees and also some litter. I even found a broken glass bottle, which I removed to keep others safe. So please be careful!

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The sand here is reddish and quite rough. But Arif still had fun playing in it.

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When you're tired of the pool and beach, you can try out their recreation centre.

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There's a lego room for kids. Amir was very excited about this.

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It wasn't as exciting as he thought it'd be, as there are limited blocks, but still it's worth checking out.

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Next to the Lego room is the toddlers' play room.

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There was a ball pit, but I don't think these rubber balls are suitable for this purpose. Many were deflated.

There is a spa at the hotel, called Santai, but I didn't get a chance to check it out. Maybe next time. In a future post, I will tell you about the food we ate there, including the dinner buffet, room service, breakfast buffet and sahur package/options. See ya later!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Catching My Baby Dust

Dear friends, I am pleased to announce that "Catching My Baby Dust," the book that I co-wrote with the doctors at the KL Fertility Centre, will soon be available at Borders for RM23! If you (or anyone you know) have any concerns about reproductive health, this is an excellent reference. In addition to write ups by fertility specialists on the types of fertility issues and treatments available, there are also numerous stories by couples who share their struggles with infertility and journey to becoming parents (including yours truly). Please feel free to share this post. For more about KLFC, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/klfertilitycentre/

Catching My Baby Dust

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!


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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.


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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