Saturday, August 27, 2011

Johnnie Walker Black Circuit Lounge Penang

I must be honest, I had no idea what the hype on Johnnie Walker Black Circuit Lounge was all about.

Firstly, I don't drink. Secondly, I haven't been clubbing since 2005 or 2006. I'm not a fan of loud music and booty shaking. And I'm obviously not a fan of smoking, though I'm always at risk of being a second hand smoker.

So when Isaac Tan wrote an entry post for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip for a 2D1N stay in Penang to attend the exclusive party, I didn't take up the challenge. To begin with, I don't even know what to write. I'm not a fan and I have zero knowledge about the world's Number One Scotch whisky and the market leader in Malaysia. So who am I to even think I deserve to win passes to the exclusive by-invitation only party, right?

But I did play the 'Spot the Walking Man' game on Johnnie Walker Malaysia's Facebook Page hoping to at least win 4 passes for the party.

Who would have thought that two days before the party, I was notified that I won 4 passes to Step Inside the Black Circuit Penang party on Thursday, 25 August 2011 at 32 Mansion, Penang?


These exclusive money-cannot-buy passes to the Johnnie Walker Black Circuit Lounge are only for fans, aficionados and socialites. I was none of those mentioned but I'm honoured to be at the party. Anyway, I was supposed to bring 3 other friends, but only one could make it.

But the party still went on!
See who I met upon collecting my passes!

Yes, the two bloggers who won the all-expense paid trip to the party!
Read their winning posts at Jfook and Jessicat

Let's step inside the Black Circuit Penang

Johnnie Walker Black Label 40% alcohol

Keep walking... keeping partying!

Catching up with Hannah Tan after so many years and meeting Reshmonu

Ice water, anyone? 

DJ FM and the party people!

Jessicat was drunk, she came over to camwhore.
Later I saw the fabulous millymin and of course I had to grab her for a pic!

It was a blast. Too bad it was a week day and we had to leave at 11.30pm. But for me as a first timer, this is the party of the year!

Happy keep walking!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Xuan Xin Ala Carte From Ezivoucher

If you're a follower, you'll know that we have a monthly girls' night out as in dinner :D

Last month we dined at Kaffa Kafe, China Street - a delicious deal from Ezivoucher.

For August, we did Xuan Xin Restaurant, Gurney Plaza - another tummy-filling, money-saving deal from Ezivoucher.


Xuan Xin Restaurant is conveniently located in Gurney Plaza new wing on the 3rd level, next to Sakae Sushi. It is very cosy and family-oriented. And I love the lighting and water feature that complete the ambience of the restaurant.

For only RM7.80 per person, we are given 30 selections of rice and noodles to choose from. Although the price doesn't include drinks, tidbits and wet tissue, it was quite a deal! It's up to 51% OFF!

The rice and noodles are priced from RM9.80 to RM13.80 on the menu.

 We were swarmed with mouth-watering pictures, we wanted to order all of 'em!

Lip-smacking, tummy-growling...

Our drinks were served.

Even the plate was labelled!
Master Hua served Sauteed Hor Fun with Venison & Black Bean Sauce

Master Chuan served Yong Chow Fried Rice

Master Lai served Sauteed HK Crispy Noodle (Seafood)

The last dish came without a Master!
Master Nameless served Steamed Hor Fun with Garoupa Fillet

We shared the dishes, and we were all filled to the brim! At least the price was at 51% off and not the portion.

Hubby and I usually dine at Xuan Xin Restaurant for the 'chu char' and we loved the food here. Taste is of the utmost importance in Chinese/HK cuisine and I'd say the food here is well-seasoned! And cutlery-licking good?

You can opt to dine without tidbits and wet tissue, which are chargeable on your bill. Just take note on that.

So we had another round of laughter and sharing. I look forward to patronising Xuan Xin Restaurant again, and getting more great discounts from Ezivoucher!

Here's my verdict:
Deco
Atmosphere
Food
Services
Location
4/5
4/5
5/5
4/5
4/5

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Subscribe To P14G Instead Of Getting A Reading Lamp

Source: www.apartmenttherapy.com
I love to read, and I especially love reading in bed. 

An ex-colleague gave me a bedside lamp as a farewell gift last year. But there is no bulb, and this bedside lamp from Ikea has a different bulb leg.

So I didn't bother to go hunting for a bulb and I haven't put the bedside lamp to good use, except as a decorator on the bedside table. 

Moreover, the power point in our room is located at the foot of the bed. So to avoid the unsightly cable from the foot to the head of the bed, I have put the thought at the back of my mind. Though secretly wishing for a working bedside lamp when I look at the books on the bedside table as I curl in bed every night. 

So instead of getting a reading lamp, I subscribe to P14G online with a chance to win an iPad 2. 

In June when I browsed P14G's website, it said, "1 out of 33 wins an iPad 2 plus additional RM50 rebate for everyone. Applicable to all P14G postpaid broadband plans, except Home LITE. Limited to the first 1,000 customers."  

What's the catch? It was so simple. 
Step 1: Subscribe to P1 4G postpaid broadband online or call 1300 03 8887 
Step 2: Selected customers will receive a call from P1 to answer a simple questions (It was really, really simple!) 
Step 3: Answer correctly to win an iPad 2 

I did the math and I thought the chances of winning is quite high as I believed not many would subscribe through online or call in since consumers mostly prefer the conservative 'cash and carry' purchase method. So I decided to subscribe to P14G. 

I have been using P14G for 2 months now. And the connection is super fast. There wasn't a day that it failed to serve us. So I only have praises to share about P14G so far, at least. If you're looking to switch broadband service provider, give P14G a look. It has other promotions running at the moment. If you don't win anything, at least you save some money and some no-connection-hair-pulling moments. 

The contest ran from 8 June to 7 July 2011, and I kind of have given up hope. Firstly, I changed my mobile number (and I only updated my details in my online profile) so maybe they couldn't reach me. Secondly, we are also past mid August 2011. 

But the call I've been waiting for came last Friday at 5:08pm. I answered the question correctly and the personnel said the prize will be on its way this week. Here are the 16 lucky winners!

True enough, my new toy (Paddie) arrived today. And it is a Black 16GB Wi-Fi that came with the genuine Polyurethane Green iPad Smart Cover worth RM159. So the prize is worth a total of RM1,658.






Hubby took Paddie for a wardrobe shop in the afternoon while I was at work. He put on an anti-glare screen protector (RM69) and a clear case for the back (RM59).

I really was just wishing for a reading lamp. But thank God, I was thought worthy to have Paddie. Now I can read in bed every night! 

Thanks again to P14G for running the contest. I believe you made the other winners' day as much as you did mine. 

And thank you, hubby. You made her look stunning! 

I am not paid to endorse P14G or to review it. I am merely a happy customer who loves to share. Although P14G offers a "Recommend a friend today & get RM50 off your bill", I do not get anything unless my P14G Account Number is quoted. If you're kind enough to be my referee, drop me a comment and we can get in touch. 

Happy being grateful!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Agape Boutique, An Affair With Shoes

You know how men can never understand why we love shoes? And we need many pairs of them? For me, what I really love about them is very personal. Shoes hold a person's personality and I always find myself wondering about their lives. I can never look at exquisite shoes, without thinking about the person wearing it.

How old is she?
What's her profession?
Is she happy?


I sometimes imagine her rising out of her shoes, or tipping her toes and kissing someone. This is how I see it. Shoes are somewhat subtle (hidden below or under maxi dresses), but they exude a bold personality. They give you hints about a person.

I love how shoes, being such small lovelies can carry us for miles and make us stand tall, yes literally... if like me, you are blessed with short cute legs as well *wink*

I believe good shoes will walk me to good places, and great shoes will strut me to great places. As the adverb goes, "from head to toe" I believe we are scanned from head to toe - starting from what we wear at the top (face and body) that creates the first impression and finally, what we wear at the bottom on our feet, which completes the look that makes a lasting impression.

It is part of the pieces of fashion, and what we aim to achieve is a perfect match!

And when you found her, you'll know she's the one for you.

I spotted this charmer last Saturday at the Straits Quay Penang's Flea Market by Agape Boutique.

It was love at first sight! And she fits perfectly.

This flawless charmer was quite a steal with such good quality. I'm glad I was there to pick her home at RM50 only. The charmer fits so well, it was incredibly comfortable strutting in them.

This reminds me of what Benjamin Toong said at the press interview during Amber Chia Academy's Grand Opening in Penang.
Your best RM10,000 dress (shoes) will be de-valued if you do not know how to carry yourself with flair. Likewise, if you style up a nice RM50 dress (shoes) and walk with finesse, you'll feel like a million dollar baby!
I already have my eyes on a Chili Red Hot Sexy Pump from Agape Boutique for my next purchase. Check them out on their Facebook Page, I'm sure you'll find a perfect match to your unique personality.

Happy strutting in confidence!

Friday, August 19, 2011

If you are going to thank God for the good times, don't you need to praise Him in the bad times too?

Since the beginning of the year, I have been following a daily reading plan.

Right now, Job is among the 4 books that I'm reading daily. And I'm really amazed at how, despite losing his property, children and health, Job still worshipped God, praised His name and trusted Him.

Today, you may be going through times of trials, may or may not be similar to Job's.

Maybe you have just found out that you have to take a pay cut, or worse you have been laid off. Your home is broken into, your relationship is at stake, your mail is full with Notices of Demand, or sickness plague your body. All these stresses that life has in stored for you... you are barely making ends meet and now things might take a 'left' turn in the next few months to come.

This is the ultimate test of faith! I know nobody likes tests, not from schooling days. But, the question is, really this simple, can you make it through?

So what happens when we go through these trials? We do what Job did!

We worship God, we praise His name and we trust Him.

Don't worship Him with an ulterior motive. Don't just praise His name when things are good. Don't just talk the trust, walk the trust.

I think, it has become a habit that when things go wrong, we immediately find someone or something to put the blame. Besides, wouldn't you agree that it is easier to blame others than taking responsibilities? This habit makes us big enough to even dare blame God when things don't turn out the way we want.

So, let us learn from Job, a blameless and upright man, one who feared God and shunned evil. He did not sin with his lips but said, "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?"

So if you are going to thank God for the good times, you ought to praise Him in the bad times.

Source: www.etsy.com

I received 2 different SMSes today. One in the morning from my Pastor and another in the afternoon from my Senior Pastor. Both their SMSes confirmed God's promises in our lives.

In Romans 5:8, it was written, "... while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Let me challenge you to apply this scripture to the tests you are facing.

While we were still sick, Christ died for us.
While we were still broke, Christ provided for us.
While we were still hurting, Christ comforted us.

Instead of whining, worship Him. Instead of pointing finger at God, praise His name. Instead of turning your back at Him, trust Him.

Happy surrendering to God!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kickboxing Updates

Today marks the 8th week/11th class of kickboxing.

Boy did I contemplate between going to class and McD's earlier this evening. Well, I hadn't had fastfood since the buy 1, free 1 promotion last month.


I know it was just a month ago, but it felt much much longer... Doesn't time always talk a stroll when we get out of our comfort zone? And doesn't it almost always race to the winning line when we are enjoying the moment?

Anyway, so I went to today's class expecting a less intensive workout with Ringo (Thursday's trainer). But Edwin (Wednesday's trainer) was replacing him. So immediately I knew it would be another intense workout. What scared me more was there were just me and another student. That means there would be more space and time for 'torture'.

We started with a new warm up. Jumping on tires for 10 minutes.

Something similar to this. But the tires are softer so we need to spread of legs on the left and right across the diameter to balance. We jumped slightly alternating our legs front and back. It really worked the quadriceps and calf, and it broke a sweat and got the heart rate up.

Source: Google image

Then came the stretch I dreaded the most - hamstring stretch with a partner. On the first class, which I almost died, I overstretched and it didn't fully recover. The pain did lessen but it comes back every time I stretch my hamstring.

While I'm writing now, I can feel the sting of pain. But I lasted the entire class before the pain sank in my brain as PAIN.

From the weeks of kickboxing, I again learnt that NO PAIN, NO GAIN - whether in fitness, career or anything we do in life.

Anyway, I partnered my hot trainer. He really pushed me hard in order for me to get a great workout. I realise having a good strong partner is very important. When you're punching or kicking, they are able to add in resistance which heightens your work out. And when they're punching or kicking, you will get a chance to put in more force to resistance, which is also a work out for you. So either way, you are working out.

Edwin in action. The combo for legs we did today.

Before this, I didn't think fondly of kickboxing. But I've learnt to love kickboxing because it's a total body workout. It worked your core - abs, legs and arms. And now I know how energy consuming kickboxing is, or in general, martial arts. I know understand the sweating and out-of-breath moments while watching Ip Man 1 & 2.

It's an art, a beautiful art, like dancing. There are techniques and when we have learnt to flow in offense and defense... you'll see how graceful kickboxing is. It's all about coordinating and taking control of your body. And definitely a lot of focus, focus and focus... which I'm still learning.

I enjoy kickboxing for the variation. I am not mentally strong enough to push myself to work harder on my own. And I get bored after 5 minutes on the treadmill. I give myself excuses when no one's watching. These 2 are my biggest weaknesses: lack of focus and thirst for attention.

So whether you want to train to be a fighter, increase your self-confidence, learn some self-defense techniques, lose weight, tone up or get fit... kickboxing is a perfect sport. It can be practised by both male and female, big or small, chubby or skinny. One thing that you need though, is determination!

If you dare to come, kickboxing promises to break a sweat and work your muscles. And if you do dare to turn up for classes after classes, you'll kick and box to a healthier body and mind. Only if you believe you're worth the health, or the fitness, or the physique, or whatever goals you aim to achieve from kickboxing.

Happy achieving more in life!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monster Rice

A colleague introduced us to 'Monster Rice' a few weeks ago. It is her mum's secret healthy recipe :D

I have had wanted to try the recipe, considering how easy it is to prepare and so little time required. But I have delayed grocery shopping until today... Yes, you guessed it right. Grocery was done and dinner served (supper for him)... the famous Monster Rice!

Ingredients to serve 2
1 cup rice (preferably brown rice)
1 inch ginger
5 cloves garlic
1 medium tomato
1 teaspoon rock salt
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup mixed vegetables
1 teaspoon of seasoning sauce (optional)

  • Rinse, drain and cook rice as usual in a rice cooker.
  • When it is almost cooked, add in rock salt and the mixed vege, stir and let it cook.
Rock salt is the purest form of salt with some health benefits: manages stress, stimulates digestions, improves appetite, reduces body acidity, cures various respiratory disorders, reduces sinus inflammation, improves immune system, and treats allergies/asthma/common cold.

  • Meanwhile, crush and mince the ginger. 
    Ginger has been a natural health remedy for centuries: treats ovarian cancer, prevents colon cancer, treats morning sickness, reduces pain and inflammation, relieves heartburn, prevents and treats cold/flu/migraine/menstrual cramps, and prevents diabetic nephropathy.


  • Then, crush and mince the garlic. This releases more essential oils and active compound than just slicing the garlic.
 
Garlic is considered as cure-all for centuries with beneficial health value: natural antibiotic, melts fat, lowers cholesterol, fights infection, enhance immune system, prevents cancer, prevents blood clot, antioxidant, relieves, headache/fever/cough, controls blood pressure, and improves digestion.

  • Followed by dicing the tomato.
Tomato, actually a fruit and not a vegetable, are loaded with all kinds of health benefits: source of antioxidant, rich in vitamins and minerals, prevents cancer, reduces cholesterol, protects heart, reduces blood clotting, maintains bone health, improves vision, lowers hypertension, alleviates diabetes, maintains healthy teeth/bone/hair/skin, and prevents gallstones/urinary tract infections.

  • Once the rice is cooked, let it cool down a bit before stirring. This will prevent the rice from becoming lumpy and gumming up together.

  • Add in diced tomatoes and keep warm for about 5-8 minutes.

  • Serve rice into a bowl.
  • Add in minced ginger, 1-2 teaspoon (according to your preference)

  • Add in minced garlic, 1-2 teaspoon (according to your preference)

  • Add in 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil the greatest exponent of monounsaturated fat with beneficial health effects: increases HDL (good) cholesterol level, lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol level, increases defensive mechanism, improves immune system, delay process of aging, and maintains bone health.

  • Mix well and voila, it is ready to be served!

  • Add in some protein to complete a mickey mouse meal.
  • After serving the rice onto a bowl, steam it for about 5 minutes.
  • Then, break an egg on top of the rice and continue steaming for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the steamer.
  • Add in the minced ginger and minced garlic.
  • Stir well and serve!


If like me, you love cooking simple healthy dishes, this is a must try cook!

The great thing about this dish is that, you can personalise it to your taste. You can try different vegetables every day - broccoli, celery, spinach, kyuri, okra and so on. For protein, you can add in chicken, fish, beef or veal. Or even substitute the rice with quinoa (protein-based grains).

Happy cooking healthy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kaffa Kafe @ China Street

So do you remember ezivoucher had this Kaffa Kafe promotion running in June 2011?

With such a great deal, we decided to do Kaffa Kafe for our July 2011 girls' night out.


Kaffa Kafe has 3 branches located at the 3 corners of Penang island:

North   3A-G-8, Straits Quay Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, 10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: +604 890 5136   Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 10.00am-1.00am

East   72 & 74, China Street, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: +604 261 1016   Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 8.00am-10.00pm

South   University Place 1-1-10 Halaman Bukit Gambir, 11700 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: +604 656 7808   Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 11.00am-11.00pm

The deal was only applicable at the East and South branches. Hence, we decided to head downtown after work on one of the Tuesdays last month.

The 4-course meal was supposed to include:

Soup of the day (with garlic bread)
+
ONE of the following Main Course
Lemon Butter Sauce Fish
Hainanese Chicken Chop
Lemongrass Chicken Wrap 
Chicken Bolognese
Tikka Masala Chicken
+
Iced lemon tea
+
Ice cream dessert

Check out what we did we get and how we were served!

At RM10.90 for a 4-course meal, it was quite a steal! 

A cosy place to chill and unwind with friends (plus WIFI connection)

Iced lemon teas for the 4 of us

Delicious soup of the day and garlic bread

Lemongrass Chicken Wrap for Jean

Lemon Butter Sauce Fish for me

Tikka Masala Chicken for June & Mocole (respectively)


Ice cream desserts for the girls - different flavours for our different personalities

 Mocole & Jean - the hot mamas!

A gift from Jean - mucho gracias!

Surely, it did live up to the deal. We love the simple decoration, the quiet dining atmosphere (maybe because it was a week day), the food was excellent, and the waiter who served us was very friendly. There are ample metered parking which applies till 5.00pm only.

We had a good time catching up and laughter... A meal is only complete with a dose of wholesome laughter.

We unanimously voted that we 'will come back again'.

Here's my verdict:
Deco
Atmosphere
Food
Services
Location
4/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
4/5

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