Thursday, November 16, 2017

Women Business Laptop Bags

And so I've been hunting for my own birthday present for this year. Hubby is giving me the free reign (but not an endless budget boohoo) to choose my preferred present, with the condition that he will refuse any requests for funding yet another handbag *rollseyes*

Since I can't buy any handbags, and I don't want another pair of shoes (he bought the latter last year), I'm really struggling to think of anything! The initial plan was to drag Hubby into Chanel to look at accessories but I don't think he'll appreciate his hard earned money being spent at something so small. Perhaps something from Tiffany and Co? Or a watch? A new camera for better photos for this blog?

Anyway, Hubby proposed a laptop bag. The first time he said it, I laughed my head off. Like seriously. Why the heck would he spend so much money on a bag for my laptop, which will most probably end up on the floor or even in the boot of my car.

However, slowly but surely I started warming up to the idea. Honestly, my current laptop bag does not compliment my work outfit which I meticulously choose every morning.

Hence here are my shortlisted choices:

Top 3 choices of the Voyageur from Tumi. Far left is Calais (looks very school bag like) while the middle is Sacha (buckle type; very classy). 

This is the one on the far right and made from some coated PVC like material (not leather). Sturdier than the other two which are made from fabric. Tumi also offers complimentary monogramming!

Top 2 choices from Coach. Both from the men section (cos the ladies backpacks are so small!)

Anyway, I've sent my preferred choices to Hubby. He's refusing to tell me which one he's going to choose, so I guess the surprise is on me now!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Breathe by Beni Rusani

A friend recently asked me to purchase a book for her from MPH. She recently moved to a different state in Malaysia, and apparently she doesn't have access to any MPH bookstores nearby!

Anyway, the book that she wanted was entitled Breathe. I thought it was an international fiction or something. Rupa-rupanya it was written by a local writer! And a doctor too! It was also on the MPH bestseller list, so that got me intrigued.

Despite buying the book for my friend, that didn't deter me from flipping through it. Terus sangkut! From the first few pages, tiba-tiba I found myself on the last page. *chuckles*

Honestly, I judge a book based on the first few paragraphs. Since I found the first chapter written beautifully, it prompted me to continue reading. I won't spoil it for you, but it was definitely a good read.

The book is not too thick, perfect for a light read. I read it in one sitting! I personally felt like I could relate to it, as it spoke about having heart complications, which is a subject very close to my family. (Hubby had a by-pass in 2011, due to a congenital heart disease.)

Highly recommended. Support local writers!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

So Fresh with Peel Fresh!




"Eeee what is that?"
"It doesn't look nice, I don't want it!"
"Yucks, it smells weird!"


If you have kids like mine, you can probably relate to my meal time woes. It is a constant challenge to get the kids to have their fruits and vegetables. It is almost always accompanied with exclaims similar to the above, and it is then up to the parents to coax their children to "Please, try a bit" or "Just one bite?" and if all fails "It's good for you so eat it now or you can't leave the dinner table!" *chuckles* #beentheredonethat

I was recently invited to the MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH Daily Goodness Roadshow. My biggest takeaway from that event was that the recommended intake for fruits and vegetables is two servings per day! How big is a serving size you ask? Well, it's about the size of your palm. And no, my kids are nowhere near to the recommended intake. They're probably doing half of it now, post coaxing and all!

A morning bird's eye of the MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH Daily Goodness Roadshow.

Thankfully, my kids love drinking MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH as part of their daily meals. MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH is a fruit juice drink which is then pasteurized to retain its freshness. That's why it has a shorter expiry date and must be kept refrigerated! If you do not keep them chilled, they will go bad. These nutritious juices are definitely in a different league than 'long life fruit drinks’ (oh, you know, the ones that are typically sold on the dry racks)!

During the MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH Daily Goodness Roadshow, I was also invited to be onstage with Malaysia’s sweetheart and MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH brand ambassador - Lisa Surihani and fellow blogger Audrey from Fourfeetnine. Together, we spoke about our challenges in getting our family to eat healthy and modeling healthy habits for our children. It’s amazing how us mothers can relate to the constant struggle of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle despite our hectic daily schedule!

Us onstage during the panel discussion.

Moderated by the lively and energetic Naz Rahman.

Full house for the live talk show!

While I was onstage, Aiden and Ian kept themselves busy with the various activities available, such as the Stacking Game, Balance the Scale and even Mini Golf! It was very interesting for both kids and adult alike, and upon completion of all activities, you get to take home a prize! We also took the opportunity to try the various flavours offered by MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH and in turn, took advantage of the promotional prices offered by stocking up on our favourite fruit juices for our home consumption.

Aiden acing the stacking game.

Trying their luck with mini golf.

I am especially excited about their new No Sugar Added range. Fortified with Vitamin A, C, E and antioxidants, it is the perfect daily companion towards a healthy lifestyle. My personal favourite is the Mixed Powerveggies & Fruits, and of course, Aiden wanted to try it out too. Upon his first sip, he commented ecstatically, "Wow Mummy, I can't even taste the vegetables!" *chuckles* But in all honesty, I personally wouldn’t have believed that the juice was made from vegetables and fruits either, if it wasn’t for the label on the carton. It was that good!

Trying Mixed Powerveggies & Fruits for the first time.

Rows of MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH just waiting for you to try them out. And if you spend above a certain amount, you get to go into the wind chamber where you stand a chance to win amazing prizes!

We were also invited to try out MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH's new variant, the Mixed Kale & Veggie. Although I was quite skeptical about how the kids were going to tolerate drinking a glass of fruit juice, murky green in colour… amazingly they chugged it down like a champion and even asked for more!

#DailyFruitGoodness

I can't wait to incorporate MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH's nutritious juices as part of our meal routine. I'm even thinking about making the kids drink a glass each in the morning, to kick start their day with a boost of fruit goodness. And with their ready-to-drink packaging, I can always count on MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH to provide a quick and convenient supplement for our daily fruit goodness consumption on the go!

Ending the day with a selfie with the stunning Lisa Surihani. She looks so ravishing - it must be from all the MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH fruit juices that she's been consuming. *smiles*

MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH comes in a variety of other flavours too. Do check out fb.com/ilovepeelfresh.my for more information.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Pixajoy Photobook Birthday Present from Maxis!

Dear valued MaxisONE Club member, Happy Birthday from Maxis! Celebrate your birthday month with these treats: (1) Up to 20% off smartphone accessories (2) 8”x8” OR 11”x8” Pixajoy photo book. (3) 50% off spa treatment @ Mandara Spa. More info: http://www.maxis.com.my/birthday

So I received this message yesterday. Yup, it's officially November, which means that many many discount vouchers and promotions will start flooding my inbox in conjunction with my birthday month.

I usually try to take advantage of my birthday perks, so the Photobook offer captured my attention. Since I was just done with filtering and editing photos for Aiden's Fireman birthday party for the last blogpost, I had all those shortlisted photos tucked in a folder on my desktop. Perfect timing!

I've always dreamt about making photo books for all of Aiden and Ian's birthday parties, but I usually get turned off with the very complicated software, or the non-user friendly interfaces. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that Pixajoy offered a very simple interface; I didn't even have to download any softwares to design my book!

The 11" x 8" hardcover. Don't ask me why the cover is pink.

I chose the 11"x8", 20 pages hardcover book, so I had to pay for shipping (about RM8, free shipping if you choose the paper cover). Since it was dirt cheap, I wasn't particularly bothered about the design and the layout. I simply plonked all the photos in the pre-determined layouts (you can change the layout or even click on auto-fill option for the software to automatically map your photos according to your chosen layout), and then clicked confirm! Two days later, it arrived!


My dessert table on beautiful glossy pages.

So so happy of my RM8 Photobook. Despite zero planning (seriously, I just dragged and dropped photos), I thought it turned out beautifully!


Don't ask me why the cover is pink. I accidentally clicked on a different layout colour option for the cover, then I couldn't fix it back to white (or rather didn't bother looking for how to do it; mentang-mentang lah bayar lapan ringgit jer kan)... So yeah, it's pink. But not too bad kan - contrast lah with the very reddish pictures.

My only complaint. Since it was my first time using Pixajoy, they had a 93% discount for first timers for their square soft cover photo books. I gleefully registered, but then they didn't allow me to have the discount cos they claimed that I had made my first purchase via the Maxis birthday reward. What???!!! *sigh* Takpelah - takde rezeki.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Aiden's Fireman Birthday Party at the Bukit Jelutong Fire Station

You can also read a condensed version of the party here and my DIY efforts here.



I am so so sorry for this long overdue post. Too many blogposts to write, so little time! But I've been getting so many questions about Aiden's fireman party via comments and emails, that I vowed to eventually make this post a reality. Anyway, it's a good excuse to finally use the photos from our official photographer. As usual, vendor credits at the end of the blogpost! 

Before planning a fireman party at the fire station, the first thing you have to do is to contact your local fire station about their availability. We wrote an official letter two months in advance (include your party details, expected number of guests, and your contact details), then we went by the station to drop it off. It was also an excellent opportunity to get to know the Ketua Balai and their awesome crew. They were very helpful; the Ketua Operasi even offered Hubby his official jacket to compliment the outfit we were wearing the day of the party.

Posing with one of Bukit Jelutong's fire engines.

Each balai bomba will have different sets of conditions. Some will state a predefined monetary sum to be contributed to their Sports Club. Some will not ask for anything, so it is up to you if you want to contribute anything. (I suggest you do, as a reward of their hard work and dedication!) Some fire stations will also have tables and chairs for you to borrow so you don't have to bring your own. Ours also had a sound system, which we rented from them.

Once you have your date confirmed, you can now start planning for your party! Most of our party decorations, specifically the fireman helmets, the boys' fireman uniform, and fire extinguisher party favors were ordered from Taobao. Since I can't read Chinese, I engaged a local Malaysian agent to order it on my behalf. If you are ordering bulky items, please order at least three to four months in advance so you can opt for sea shipping. Air shipping will cost you a bomb!! (We did however order the fireman outfit via air shipping as it was a last minute order but thankfully lightweight.)

These fire extinguishers came in many sizes and purpose. The ones in the foregrounds are also squirt water guns.

Locally, I purchased the fire trucks on the dessert table, and the mini fire engines on top of each party favor box, from GM Klang. I received a lot of questions on the latter - the fire engines were sold in a pack of 8 for about RM20. The black boxes were also from GM Klang. I stuck the fire engines onto the box using double sided tape to the wheels.

Each little guest brought a piece of their fire station experience home.

Next up, the dessert table. I went with a rustic theme, hence the use of crates. The fire station graciously allowed us to use one of their fire engines as part of the dessert table. I also hired someone to design a suitable canvas backdrop to match the rustic theme. The A2 poster required very little effort - with my very limited PicMonkey skills, I found an image online and edited it to fit.

It was designed as a party favour tag but I re-purposed it into a thank you poster instead.

All of the baked goodies on the table were homemade, except for the cake pops. I made the birthday cake, cupcakes, fireman themed cookies, macarons, jello and chocolate covered Oreos personalized with edible image. As for store bought candy, I purchased black sixlets from Spotlight, gum balls, chocolate bars and marshmallow from our local candy shop, and red licorice from Candylicious in Singapore.

Homemade fondant cookies. I used a silicone chocolate mould for some of the 3D shapes on the top of the cookie. 

Sixlets, jello, gumballs and macarons. Fire engines from GM Klang (big ~RM9 and small ~RM3.50).

Licorice fire hoses.

We spent all night baking this fire truck shaped cake (with a crooked ladder *giggles*) but it will never beat the Millennium Falcon cake from last year.

Printed cupcake toppers on edible image paper, and used it as Oreo chocolate toppers.

Cute cake pops!

Personalized candy bars. Those curvy edges were such a pain to cut!

Re-purposed the invite design into table posters. These fire extinguishers also double up as a hand fan. They were sold at ~RM5.50 in GM Klang so I borong them all, but I'm sure Taobao offers something similar!

I also dedicated a section of the dessert table for non-edible goodies. Three crates were used to display the mini fire extinguishers (which doubles up as a water gun), fire extinguisher fans, fireman helmets, crayons (I stuffed some crayons in clear plastic and sealed it with a personalized topper) and bubbles (I personalized a wrapper to fit the size of the bottle and printed it onto sticker paper). The kids had a frenzy choosing goodies for themselves!


The bottom crates were dedicated to non-edible goodies. Purchased the 'apartment on fire' standee from a fellow DIY mum on Facebook (which is on sale now if anyone is interested).

Can you see the personalized bubble bottles and crayon packets from this angle? The fire extinguishers just beside the letter A are squirt water guns, ~RM2 per piece. Excellent favours for the kids!

The happy birthday boy in his handsome fireman outfit.

The Bukit Jelutong fire station provided some kid-sized uniforms for our little guests and were gracious enough to offer fun and games for everyone - a ride around the station in the fire engine, giant snakes and ladders game and water play for the kids, and a fire extinguisher demonstration for the adults. (Told you they're an awesome crew!) Do note that the heroic fire fighters will have to attend to emergencies as usual, so keep in mind that they may leave your party at the sound of the alarm. (The emcee for our party turned out to be the fire engine driver! Best to have a family member double up as emcee in case this happens.)


Family photo. Hubby and I wore Kadet Bomba t-shirts (available at most school uniform shops) to match the theme.

Thank you Bukit Jelutong fire station for allowing us to use one of your fire engines as part of our backdrop!

Cake cutting session.

Ian stealing his brother's thunder. Both our boys cutting the cake together. *awww*

The party emcee interviewing the birthday boy.

Ian got interviewed too!

Playing snakes and ladders.

Huge dice!

The fire engine went around the streets at least ten rounds (or more)! The dedicated fire fighters made sure everyone got a turn, and even assisted the kids in and out of the truck. (I am still in awe over their commitment to the party!) Even the parents took the opportunity to get on this once in a lifetime experience. (I remembered my first time at the Jelatek station - hearing the sirens wail above me, truck going at top speed, was absolutely surreal!)

Kids excitedly boarding the fire engine.

The birthday boy was given the best seat in the house.

Happy 8th birthday, Aiden!

Everyone wanted to ride in the front seat!

The water play was extremely fun for the kids. The firefighters turned on the sprinkler on a water tank and left the kids to it. Good thing I left a note in the invitation card for the kids to bring a towel and a spare set of clothes. The kids were ingenious - they used their fireman helmets to collect water, and then splashed each other with it.

I think we emptied the entire (clean) water tank!

The Bomba Kecil outfit provided by the fire station - fire helmet, jacket and even boots!

Aiden having the time of his life! Mummy usually never condones playing in the rain.

Cheerful faces everywhere.

Collecting water in the fire helmet and then splashing others.

The parents on the other hand were entertained by the very dedicated fireman crew. They arranged for a demonstration on how to use a fire extinguisher. They then dressed our guests in uniforms and helmets, and allowed them a chance to try a hand at putting out real fire! (We paid for gasoline and fire extinguisher refills for this activity.)

Enthusiastic parents who joined in the educational session. 
Kudos to the Bukit Jelutong fire station crew for a job well done.

Hands on experience with the fire extinguisher..

Lastly, we ended the event by focusing the last of the kids' energy on the piñata. As usual, we did the piñata ourselves - as we refuse to pay a bomb for something that will ultimately be destroyed anyway. Using a box, we sculpted it to the shape of a fire engine. You can read more about the DIY piñata here.

The pinata - which was torn into pieces at the end of the party. Love the stack of fire helmets just beside it! (Helmets were ~RM8 each via a group buy on Facebook.)

Birthday boy got the first hit.

Happy 8th birthday, Aiden Irfan. We hope you had a tremendous time at your party! Mummy, Daddy and Ian loves you soooooo much. We wish you nothing but the happiest and the brightest future, InsyaAllah.

P.S: Most of Aiden's friends came with their parents, most of whom I met for the very first time. Before they left most of them asked me the same question, "Husband you kerja bomba ke?" *chuckles*

Abang Bomba, I love you! *giggles*

Vendor credits and links:
  • Event photography by Photo Havens.
  • Adorable fire engine cake pops by Aly.Bakes.
  • Printables from How to Nest for Less. (They're free!) I also repurposed their printables into matching food tags, personalized bubble bottle stickers and crayon toppers.
  • A2 poster printable from Lambers Lately.
  • Firetruck, fireman, badge and flames printable cliparts (used around the dessert table) from Google Images. 
  • Colouring page image from Bebo Pandco.
  • Silicone chocolate mould from Lazada.
  • Fire extinguisher water gun and fan, fireman helmets, fireman uniform from Taobao.
  • Mini fire engine (for goody bag) and fire trucks on dessert table from GM Klang.
  • Adult Kadet Bomba uniform from Outpost Uniform, One Utama. Also available from most uniform shops in town.
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