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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Preview: Holiday Dining at the Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

The holidays are coming! Being the Gemini that I am, I have to admit that I have a split personality/opinion when it comes to the holidays. I can go from grinch (cos of preparations) to little, giddy girl (cos of  Christmas food) in a matter of seconds.

For today, however, let’s talk about one of the best things about the holidays – food! Christmas is definitely a holiday that brings people together and what better way to celebrate than over a great meal?

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Foodie Adventures: Meliã Kuala Lumpur’s Flavour of the Philippines Menu

Filipino cuisine is one of the most underrated in the world – and I’m not just saying this because I’m from the Philippines. 😉

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While we have our own, unique flavours, we were also influenced by Spanish, American, Malay, Chinese, and even Indian cuisine. It is indeed quite a bit of a melting pot that is not as popular as our neighbouring Southeast Asian nations’ food yet. Although real foodies from the West are now opening up to it and that makes me so happy!

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Recently, the Ambassador was invited to have dinner at the Meliã Hotel here in Kuala Lumpur. He was to try the Filipino dishes they are serving for their special menu that runs until April 18. He brought his people from the embassy including my husband and I got to tag along. 😉

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Travel + Photo Diary: Walking Tour of George Town in Penang (Must-see Stops!)

I love how travelling, in this day and age, has become a lot more affordable. Gone were the days when only the upper class can hop on a plane to see different places & soak in new cultures.

Travelling has also become a lot easier & convenient with all the options available. Before I give you a run through & show you my photo diary of my walking tour in George Town in Penang, let me just tell you guys of this new website where booking for your future adventures is made a lot easier.

Traveloka is the largest flight & hotel online booking service in Southeast Asia. You can book your flights & hotels on their site (and save a great deal of money & time in the process) for your next holiday which could be anywhere in the world! 😉 They also have round-the-clock customer service to make sure you don’t encounter any bumps in your booking. Do check them out. I’m actually booking with them for my next holiday after our Europe trip this August! 😉

A few months ago, I found myself in Penang with my husband who was there for a conference. I tagged along & decided to explore the UNESCO World Heritage City on my own while he attended his meetings. 😉 Today, I’ll be sharing with you guys the attractions I saw & visited while doing a walking tour around George Town.

Traveloka actually has over 200 Penang hotels in their listing so if you want to visit some of the sites I will be listing down below, do book your hotel with them!

(READ: Travel+ Food + Photos: Getting to Penang, Penang Hill, and some Food Worship)

Tokong Han Jiang (Han Jiang Ancestral Temple)

A Teochew-style temple right in the middle of George Town. I got off the bus (from Batu Ferringhi) right in front of this temple and since it was still quite early (10am on a weekday), I decided to just wander inside. Especially since there weren’t a lot of people yet. Penang, Travel, Malaysia, Island, Georgetown, Georgetown Penang, What to do, What to see, Sightseeing, Food, Nyonya, Tokong Han Jiang, Han Jiang Temple,

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Kapitan Keling Mosque

Just a short walk from Han Jiang Ancestral Temple in Lebuh Chulia is the Kapitan Keling Mosque. Built in the 1800s, it was built to cater to the growing Indian-Muslim community at the time in Penang. The architecture of the mosque is quite interesting, incorporating Islamic & Indian elements in the design.

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Choo Chay Keong (Yap) Temple

Penang has no shortage of Chinese temples. Choo Chay Keong is located at the junction of the well-known Armenian and Cannon Streets in George Town. This temple is quite small but it makes up for it with the beautiful and detailed decor not just at the facade but indoors as well.

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Chew Jetty

A waterfront settlement built on stilts, the Chew jetty is built by one of the biggest Chinese migrant families in Penang. The Chews come from the Fujian province in China and migrated to Penang for work opportunities. This jetty started out with only 10 families and nowadays, it has 1,500 residents.

Here, you can have some refreshments and shop for trinkets and souvenirs. After a short walk into the complex, you will also be treated to a nice view of the sea.

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Church Street Pier

Built in 1897, this pier used to be the island’s main gateway when it comes to trade. But now, it’s more of a tourist area where people take photos. Though recently renovated, the pier still has that vintage appeal that reminds people of the golden years.

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Career Girl Cooking Series: Choco-Cherry Almond Cookies

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Yet another super easy recipe coming your way just in time for cherry season, my loves!

Baking is therapeutic. It is also a great way to impress people around you with your ‘domestic diva’ skills and make them think you’re like the best diplomat’s wife ever when in fact, you’ve only exerted a wee bit of effort. Haha! I do admit to them later on that baking is easy-peasy. You just have to get yourself into the kitchen, drop the fear that you might blow up your whole building, and dive right in. It takes a lot of time but it’s definitely fun and worth it. 😉

I haven’t been baking for quite a while since my husband and I have been so busy. I was actually looking for an excuse to bake something just so I can make some desserts and disrupt his dieting. 😛

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It’s currently cherry season so that’s a wonderful excuse to bake something sweet and fruity. 😉 I was also recently given a pack of Northwest Cherries to try. Been eating them fresh and adding them to shakes. Naturally, the next step would actually be baking with them. I decided to try a recipe I found on the internet for plain cookies then adding my choice of toppings.

Here’s the recipe! Enjoy! 😉

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Foodie Adventures: Ippudo’s Limited Edition Ramen + Other Dishes (Available only from July-September 2015!)

Ah, Ippudo. The restaurant that launched a thousand #Foodstagrams when it opened in Manila. Of course, seeing the beloved Japanese ramen place when we moved here in KL gave me so much comfort!  I love Japanese food so much and ramen always counts as great comfort food! Especially on rainy afternoons here. 😉

Here in KL, I’ve also noticed that the restaurant industry is quite competitive so you see restaurants come and go while those who stay have one secret: Innovation (particularly on their menu). Of course, it came as no surprise that Ippudo isn’t one to be left behind when it comes to that.

Founded in Hakata, Japan by “Ramen King” Shigemi Kawahara, it’s been around since 1985 and up to this day, the company remains to be fuelled by innovation while staying true to Japanese tradition.

This July until September, the beloved ramen place is coming out with special, limited edition dishes to spice things up here in KL. I was lucky enough to attend a media preview for the new dishes and I’m going to share with you today what’s going to be available so you’ll know what to expect. 😉

TOKUSHIMA RAMEN (RM25)

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The star of the show and the culprit for my recent cravings. This dish is also the star of my recent dreams and has got me wishing for July to come faster. This ramen is composed of chicken and pork broth mixed with dark soy sauce. Its savoury soup is to die for while the noodles are oh-so perfectly cooked.

The ramen is served with a generous helping of pork belly slices (Butabara) which were simmered in onions fused with soy sauce, green onions, and bamboo shoots. The raw egg also makes the broth rich and much more flavourful. It’s my new favourite ramen! Rich, savoury, a bit salty, and slurp-worthy! And yes, slurping is highly encouraged in Ippudo to compliment the chef! 😉

KIMCHI TOFU WITH BOILED PORK (RM13)

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Beauty + Events: A Day of Pampering with the Beauty Guide Tour 2015!

When we moved to Malaysia last year and finally got settled, I found myself thinking about how I miss Manila and my regular hangouts. The nail salon that has branches everywhere in Metro Manila – always so convenient for me to just drop by where I’m nearest to, anytime I’m in need of a manicure – my favourite waxing place, my go-to place for a massage, etc.

Oh, and how could I forget Oliver – the only person I trust when it comes to trimming my curls. (In case you’re in Manila, you can find him at Vivere Salon in Megamall)

A few weeks into moving here, I found myself with really long nails sporting chipped nail polish. A month later, I had dry hair and my curls were starting to become unruly. Oh, and don’t get me started on my need for waxing back then. Moving into a new country, starting from scratch, and trying out new things can be pretty exciting but when it comes to beauty-related services, I find it hard to take risks. I only want the best services as I cannot stand another waxing accident (more on that later) or a bad hair cut.

Along came Beauty Guide, a website that was brought to my attention by none other than my sister (all the way in Denmark!). A friend of hers recently put it up in Malaysia and was starting to make waves among beauty and personal care aficionados in the country.

Since I signed up late last year, I never had problems when it comes to where to go for any kind of service. I simply just click on what I want, where I want it, and voila – fail-safe recommendations! I love how I can review and also see what other Beauty Guide users are saying about the establishment as well.

Imagine my delight when I was recently invited for a Beauty Guide event where they took us around the city for a beauty day out. The best part? I got to do it with my friends. ❤

The day started out at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Bangsar Village II. We had a little meet up and my friend Tammy found out early on  the best part of her goody bag:

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I approve of this! Haha! Kidding, la! 😉

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Off to start our day of pampering! But first, a #selfie with Arpita and Miriam! 😉

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