Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dining in the Dark

I managed to get a good deal for this on LivingSocial, so hubby and I tried it out. It was a really unique experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who is keen on trying something different. This is not about the food at all.

Until I tried this, I did not understand how a room could be so dark, for a sustained period of time. We dined there for about an hour, if I recall correctly, and our eyes never 'adjusted'- so we were well and truly 'blind'. Our blind guide walked us to our table (we formed a train holding on to each other's shoulders), and showed us how to figure out where everything was on the table. He showed us how to run our fingers alongside the table edge, to pick up our drink.

Without our sense of sight, we experienced first hand how our sense of taste and smell tried to compensate. Every flavour and texture felt like it had been enhanced, and it was fun trying to guess what it was that we were eating. Some of it felt so familiar, but yet I couldn't recall what it was. Was that salmon? Or duck? Surely one could tell them apart, I thought. But it wasn't so easy after all!

Another thing we learnt was this - your fork or spoon doesn't find it's way to your mouth so easily when you can't see. Strange, but true. And what if you dropped some morsels of food on the table, or on the edge of the plate? I used my bare fingers a lot that night - had to do a lot of feeling around.

An interesting experience indeed!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Trip to Ipoh - Aug 2013

We made a trip to Ipoh and the highlight was a visit to Lost World of Tambun. It was the fasting month, so there was not much of a crowd, which was nice. I underestimated the mosquitoes though - should have been better prepared for that.

The hot springs were so much fun! Very relaxing indeed.

Definitely a place we can re-visit with the kids!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

'Integration' takes on a whole new meaning for me...

Looking back now, this was probably the reason why I stopped blogging. I simply had no time. 2013 was a challenging year work-wise, but I learnt so much from this acquisition and integration process.

With the benefit of hindsight (and having survived it) - would I have opted NOT to experience it? Certainly not- even with the really long nights and early morning meetings that we had to convene when we 'flicked the switch' and not everything worked properly. My experience in that 6-9 months was truly invaluable. Not many people get to do something like this in their careers.

Still, would I want to do something like this again? Probably not. Haha!

Check out this link if you're interested in the details.

Here's a great photo that we took on the big day- June 17, 2013. It was truly an amazing team that pulled this off - Stronger Together!!

Thank you God, for sustaining and blessing me; and for all the support and understanding I received from the hubby and my parents. Praise Him indeed!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Penang Trip - April 2013

We made a trip to Penang to coincide with our little boy's 4th birthday, and we had a really great time! We didn't get to eat much authentic Penang street fare- but we did get to do some touristy stuff like checking out the street art and going to see Kek Lok Si. We stayed at the Golden Sands Resort- which was really family friendly- I loved the shaded paddling pool, The hotel surprised us with a complimentary birthday cake- delivered to our room, so that was a nice touch. :)

Right after we checked in, we watched a snake charmer in action; he was kind of scary to watch. I couldn't bring myself to touch the snake's skin in the end; I tried, but couldn't! :p

We had dinner with my dear secondary school friend who has been living in Penang for quite some time now, and met her little girl for the first time. Dinner was at a yummy seafood restaurant near our hotel, with a lovely view of the beach. 

Our trip to Kek Lok Si was quite interesting as well- there is a new bronze statue and a (really) short funicular railway 'ride'. One sad thing though- the turtle pond looked awfully dilapidated. I wanted to let the kids have the same experience I had feeding the turtles- they still had fun I think- but it was dreadful seeing the condition that the turtles were living in. :(

Goodbye Penang- we will surely see you again!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Getting back to blogging? It is now June 2015...

It is now June 2015 as I write this (the time stamp for this blog entry has been backdated to March 2013 so that the rest of my posts will come in a sequence).

It's been 2 years since I posted anything on this blog! Time flies.

Anything that I write after this will be written from memory (and probably a very hazy one at that). I hope I succeed- wish me luck!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Our New Family Car

We thought about getting a 7-seater MPV for quite a long time. Being my usual self, I researched the subject matter in depth through online reviews, road tests reports, car forums, you tube videos, showrooms visits, test drives and detailed comparisons of all the MPVs that I was interested in.

No matter how much research and comparisons are done, one can conclude that there is no such thing as a perfect car. Each has their own pros and cons and it really depends on the individual's needs, preference and priority.

In this post, I would like to share some of my thoughts and considerations in buying this MPV and to share some photos and features of the MPV. Hopefully it will bounce off some ideas for my friends who are also thinking about getting a MPV soon.

For me, some important considerations are:

1) Safety first - it should have at least 6 or more airbags to protect the family including curtain airbags for the 2nd row seats where the kids will be and with Euro NCAP maximum 5-star rating.

2) The 2nd row must have 3 individual seats - after fixing 2 child car seats, the remaining seat must be able to slide forward to allow passengers to access the 3rd row for our occasional outings with other family members.

3) The seating arrangement should preferably be 2 + 3 + 2 = 7 seats in total.

Other personal preferences are:

1) The gearbox should be at least 6-speed or more. DSG or Dual-Clutch will be a bonus.

2) Preferably the MPV design should not look like a big tissue box on 4 wheels :)

3) The ride and handling of the MPV should be spirited and exciting for the daddy to enjoy the drive rather than just a boring people carrier. Turbo engine is a plus..hee hee :)

4) Moonroof - the kids will love it.

Some of the C-segment and D-segment MPVs available in Malaysia that I like and considered are:

C-segment MPVs:
Peugeot 5008, Mazda 5, Citroen C4 Grand Picasso and Volkswagen Cross Touran.

D-segment MPVs:
Volkswagen Sharan, Ford S-Max and recond Estimas.

Finally, after much considerations, our choice was the "underdog" Ford S-Max. "Underdog" - because not many Malaysians prefer Ford due to their own personal reasons and priorities.

In Europe, Ford S-Max is one of the more popular MPVs and has won some awards such as:

Britain's Best MPV

BC Awards 2012

Auto 1 Of Europe Award

The current batch of S-Max imported by SDAC ( Ford Malaysia S-Max )  has the latest 2.0L Ecoboost Engine with 240PS Hp. This S-Max model was revamped and released in Europe in 2010. It made its way to Malaysia only in 2012.

Here are some photos of our new Ford S-Max!

Introducing the Ford S-Max

The S-Max was designed by Ford for the European market. It is assembled in Genk, Belgium and imported to Malaysia as a CBU car.

The S-Max is the first vehicle in Ford's line-up to feature their Kinetic Design styling. The Kinetic Design scheme includes angular headlights, twin trapezoidal grilles and large wheel arches. It is 4.8m in length with an aerodynamic profile.

Distinctive LED Rear Lights with the Ecoboost emblem. Exclusive to Ford, the award winning 2.0L Ecoboost engine with Turbocharger delivers 240PS of Power with 340Nm of Torque as well as reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by 20%. The 240PS horsepower will put a smile on most daddies' faces.

Ford Ecoboost 2.0L Engine Award

Ford Powershift is a 6-speed Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission with a Manual Mode that allows you to switch gears at the flick of the lever. 

Adaptive Auto Bi-Xenon Headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and Headlamp Washer. It comes with the "Follow Me Home Lights" feature where the headlights stay on a little longer to illuminate the carpark or your front door for safety. It can be switched off as an option. 

17-inch alloy wheel with 225/50 R17 Goodyear Excellence tyres made in Germany. It comes with a Safety Round Nut to prevent tyres theft.

Fixed Panaromic Moonroof 

Twin Exhaust Pipes

The Puddle Light at the bottom of the side mirrors illuminate the sides of the car to prevent passengers from stepping on unseen hazards as they step out of the car

Power Engine Start/Stop Button with Keyless Entry

Ford Convers+

Ford Convers+ Colour Instrument Cluster Display with built-in connectivity for iPod, MP3 player and USB stick. It comes with Bluetooth connection to Smartphones with Voice Command.

Automatic Headlights with both Front and Rear Fog Lights

"Aircraft like" handbrake design

Air-con grille at B-Pillar for 2nd row passengers

Interior with brushed aluminium finish

Power Seat 8-way Adjust for both driver and front passenger with 4 Memory Position

Self-installed 9-inch HD DVD player to entertain the kids 

Interior View of Steering and Dashboard. 

Some other features of the S-Max are:

1) Safety - 9 Airbags with 5-star Euro NCAP, with ESP, TCS, HLA, ABS, EBD, EBA and PATS.

2) Ford Fold Flat System that allows all the 5 rear seats to be folded flat when needed.

3) Sony Audio System with 9 premium speakers.

4) Other standard features such as Automatic Wiper System with Rain Sensor, Cruise Control, Capless Refueling, Electrochromatic Rear View Mirror, Auto Lowering of side mirror when reversing, ISOFIX for child seats and Power Child Lock.

5) 5-year warranty with 3 years free maintenance.

We hope this MPV will serve our family's needs for a long time! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012


The kids' first attempt at watercolour painting- Daddy helped, of course :)

That's a car in the foreground

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Our little girl turns TWO!

Where did all the time go? Our little girl is TWO already!

She's a really bright little girl- she knows the alphabet and numbers 1-10 (truth be told, I can't recall when exactly that happened). Guess children really do absorb information and knowledge like sponges! Oh, and Grandpa's iPad helps too! :p

She got loads of wonderful presents from the family- I hope she knows how loved and blessed she is! Dear God, please watch over our sweet little girl, and shower her with Your blessings always...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Trip to Malacca- Day 3

After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and went to the Maritime Museum. Having been there once previously, I remember it was quite fun, as the museum is housed inside a replica of a ship- the 'Flora de La Mar'. However, this time round, the museum was PACKED! There was a school excursion to the museum, and there were loads of kids everywhere. Not fun at all.

We got out of the museum as quickly as we could, and headed to the revolving tower- Menara Taming Sari. The queue wasn't too bad- we waited about 10 mins or so. Of course, waiting with cranky kids wasn't easy! >.<

The ride itself was ok; we got 'stuck' halfway and had to come back down, before going up again. Well, at least we got more time in the air! Haha.

When we were done, the kids went for kiddie motorcycle rides at the base of the tower- now that was quite fun!

All in all, a fun trip to Malacca (although our boy did give us a hard time)!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Trip to Malacca- Day 2

The hotel's breakfast place is situated right across the street; look at the decor- isn't it so quaint?

I simply loved the look and feel of the hotel- here are some shots of the lobby and the common areas- nice, isn't it? We felt as if we had stepped back in time.

After breakfast we went on to explore Malacca on foot (and a stroller). It was nice and quiet, and we made our way to the famous square and trudged onwards to A Famosa Fort, stopping for photos along the way. It was quite fun, but by the time we reached the fort, we were exhausted! It was then we discovered that there was a museum next to the fort- the Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum; and most importantly, it was air-conditioned! Haha. 

We hung out at the museum and enjoyed the respite from the blistering heat outside. The kids had fun running up and down the air-conditioned wooden hallways. We were quite sorry to leave, but we had to move on to our next destination- the river cruise. We hopped onto 2 trishaws- ridiculously decked out, of course- and one of them blasted the infamous 'Oppa Gangnam Style' during the short ride! It was so much fun; we were laughing all the way!

The new- and very expensive- Casa del Mar

We had some time before the next cruise, so we spent some time at the Customs Museum. Sounds incredibly boring, I know, but it turned out to be quite interesting. Basically, it houses all the weird stuff that were confiscated by the Customs Department- and we saw things like taxidermised frogs, animal skins, so-called 'obscene' scupltures, etc. Hmm.

The river cruise was quite ok- the painted murals were quite interesting, but it was really warm in the afternoon and all of us were tired and sleepy. *Yawn*

After the cruise, we walked back to the hotel, and as we crossed the bridge, we saw some iguanas! As you can imgaine, all of us were desperate for a nice cold shower and a much-needed nap.

We explored the famous Jonker Street market in the evening, and managed to have dinner at the famous Jonker 88 restaurant. Yummy! We picked up tidbits along the way too. The egg-shaped lychee sorbet wasn't worth the effort, but the potato chip skewer was delicious! A whole potato is sliced in a long continuous strip and skewered on a stick, deep-fried, and sprinkled with flavoured powder.

There was much going on due to the Lantern Festival; we checked out some of the fabulous lanterns that were on display, and I would have stayed much longer to enjoy the atmosphere if it wasn't for our whiny, little boy, who wanted to leave. It's such a pain to take him on trips, as he doesn't eat much when he's away from home, and gets cranky because he tires easily. Sigh. >.<