Good to Know: The Body Shop Malaysia Launches Online Shopping App

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It’s literally a few days from Christmas and I feel like an exhausted elf working in the North Pole. While buying gifts and wrapping them are fun, I have to admit that it can really take its toll on me, physically. In fact, I’m typing this at 1:30 in the morning after finishing up another batch of gifts.

However, I just know that I had to log in real quick here to share with you some good news. The Body Shop here in Malaysia has launched an online shopping app! You know what this means, right? You can now shop for your favourite shower gels and body butters on the go!

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Christmas 2016 Series: Casual Table Setting for the Holidays

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So it begins. The deluge of holiday celebrations has begun! The past couple of days have been busier than ever with work and evening holiday events taking up most of our time.

Knowing that we’ll be hosting a couple of holiday get-togethers at home as well, I thought I’d do a bit of a run through with the table set-up for this season. Since I will be doing a lot of cooking, I want the set-up bit to be quick and easy. My husband and I agreed that we’ll be doing casual get-togethers this year to keep the ambiance relaxed, easy, and fun. However, I still want a touch of elegance.

It’s doable, I tell you.

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Christmas 2016 Series: Decorating on a Budget

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Well, come on in!

Ah, Christmas. My favourite holiday as a kid and the holiday that can seriously send me into panic as an adult. While the holidays are truly a time of fun and cheer, there’s preparation involved – from decor, to food, down to shopping and wrapping gifts. It is honestly a major production.

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A 5-Day Gastronomic Feast: Spanish Chef Jose Alonso at The Ritz-Carlton KL

Spanish food has always had a comforting vibe with dishes that are often reminiscent of meals enjoyed with family or a group of friends. Tapas, the small appetiser plates Spain is famous for, are for sharing after all.

Spanish Chef Jose Alonso is a firm believer of keeping that tradition going – even in a formal dining setting. “Fine dining is boring. It’s too quiet and you can’t complain when you don’t like something,” he quipped to a suitably amused group of reporters.

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Kuala Lumpur’s Perfect Zen Hideaway: EOS Wellness (Discount code inside!)

If you know me personally, you must have seen how stressed I have been the past couple of weeks.

Events, write-ups for news sites I work for, marketing work, some freelance work with the United Nations (which I finished today, yay!), diplomat’s wife duties, and there’s also The Binge. 😉  Of course, I’m not complaining. My career is on a pretty good roll, and I’ve never been this fit. Alvin has been constantly reminding me to slow down though since I’m quite overworked. He is kinda right.

My eye bags looked more like luggage and I’ve been experiencing some back pain despite my regular workouts. 😭  My brain is constantly on overdrive that sometimes I even dream of work! I truly needed a moment of relaxation as my husband suggested!

EOS Wellness invited me over just in time and I swear, I made the right choice to squeeze it into my already-packed schedule. A lot of times, we just need to hit the pause button and just relax. I needed a full on reboot and I got it that day in the couple of hours that I spent there.

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Foodie Adventures: The Best of D Legends Bar’s 2016 Menu

Back when I was in uni, my friends and I had a special hang out. It was a stone’s throw away from our building, in one of the tiny alleys along Dapitan. A totally chill place where, whatever time of day I go, I will definitely find some of my friends there. The menu was simple, the drinks were easy on my measly student allowance.

Having a go-to place is pretty standard. Especially if, like me, you enjoy a good drink and great company. Had a great day? Round up the gang for some drinks and celebrate. Had a bad day? Round up the gang for some drinks and get over it. Life is simple when you want it to be, no?

Recently, my friend Pita and I were introduced to a new go-to for when we want to unwind. A neighbourhood hangout if you will.

Located in TTDI, D Legends Bar is a place that you may be quick to dismiss since it’s surrounded by tons of choices. After all, this neighbourhood has a reputation for having establishments that are approved by local food snobs. Word of advice, my fellow expats: Do not argue with Malaysians about food. They know their stuff.

Although I do believe that this is one establishment you should try when you’re in the area. It’s approved by locals, and expats living in the area are fond of it as well. The great price points are a huge plus as well.

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Expat Life: Trying out Haftarent – Malaysia’s Hassle-Free and Long Term AirBnB

** This is a review of the service. For my article about Haftarent on Forbes, click here.

Being married to a diplomat, I’ve been thrusted into a life that entails periodic moves for the next couple of decades. Not that I’m complaining but I have to be honest here: While moving to a different country may be a fun adventure, the moving process itself is stressful. Those who tell you otherwise, are lying.

All the farewell dinners you have to be in where you’ll feel sad knowing that it will be a while before you see your family and friends, the tedious packing, the journey, and finally arriving at your destination – these can really take their toll on your energy reserves. When we arrived in Malaysia, there was the flat hunting to consider, the furniture, how we would decorate our home, and settling in. Again, fun yet tiring.

We got lucky that our embassy has a go-to landlord and once my husband and I visited the units in his building, we fell in love with the location, the size of the unit, and the view. (A separate post on moving, flat hunting, and buying furniture in KL coming up!)

That part was easy for us, thank goodness. A lot of expats in Malaysia, however, are not as lucky. I’ve heard of flat hunting that took from several days to weeks and people who had to deal with inconsistent deposits.

I was recently introduced to a new service that a lot of expats and diplomats can use for convenience. Haftarent is a service that connects landlords to possible renters and all transactions are done online. I tried it out last month and here’s how the experience went:

Booking and checking in

Booking through the site was a breeze and so was check in during a sunny weekday. I was met by one of Haftarent’s people at the lobby of Vipod Residences where the unit I will be staying in was located. I chose this building among the properties listed on the site due to its location. It’s along Jalan Kia Peng, a street that’s a few minutes from Pavilion Mall, the KL Convention Centre, Suria KLCC, and the Petronas Towers.

Also, I was quite curious with this building. Alvin and I considered renting here but after seeing our current unit, we never looked back. Later on, a Singaporean diplomat told us that her unit in Vipod (which is a new building, only a few years old) has cockroaches. I still went for the Vipod property though since I heard they have a gorgeous pool. I was praying not to see roaches as we went up as I am deathly afraid of them.

Spoiler alert: No roaches. Whew! Thanks goodness for neat landlords.

When I arrived, this is what welcomed me:

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