Myfest 2015, A Year of Endless Celebrations

Am I living the life that I want? I asked myself this question countlessly these few months back, and I’m glad to say that so far, I am living the life that I really want. I make a point to ask myself this question every end of month. I evaluate myself, and I’m glad to report that yes…so far I am living the life that I want.

Let me tell you something. A year ago, I was the timid mouse who only stayed home and resent the fact that I’m all locked up at home. I was miserable. A year ago, I foolishly put a limitation on myself, but somehow, by God’s will, I opened a Pandora box and realized that I only live once. And I was not living the life that I want. I was a living corpse and was treated as such. I want no more of that. The ‘Pandora Box’ incident was a turning point for me and I started to change and live for myself.

I started to get out of my comfort zone…and to see the world, literally. Okay. Maybe that is a bit exaggerating. Maybe not the world, but my country. I started traveling, started to actively attending events, and it makes me feel so good.

I like what I see in the mirror now. It reflect a much happier, and hopefully, a more beautiful me.

2014 have been an eventful year for me. I did plenty of things that is worth remembering. I did things that I thought I wouldn’t be doing.

I joined countless media trips sponsored by Tourism Malaysia and Resort World Genting, went on solo trips with my son and actually survived it, start up my own small business and made some sales here and there, dined with ambassador of Russia, gotten myself a long term engagement with a cosmetic company, ditched son with parents and went on a honeymoon with husband in Thailand, compete in a cooking competition and actually gotten myself a consolation prize for it, participated in writing contests and won big prizes for it, danced Poco Poco in public with friends during a corporate cocktail party and the most recent one, getting  sponsored by a contact lenses company for one year.

Yes indeed. It has been an eventful year. Visit Malaysia 2014 has been wonderful, and I have no doubt that next year would be fabulous too.

Visit Malaysia 2014 haven’t ended yet, but I am already looking forward to MyFest2015, the Year of Endless Celebration. Here’s sharing with you the MyFest2015 theme song. Click the YouTube vid above to listen.

I know it is going to be great. In fact, I have been given a glimpse of it last week at the Swiss Garden Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

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Malaysia is blessed with various cultures, so this campaign seeks to showcase and celebrate Malaysia’s cultural diversity and festivities as a tourist attraction. The promotion of various local festivities and cultural elements will be boosted as tourism offerings in the MyFest 2015 campaign. With all that, and the theme: “Endless Celebrations”, next year promises and abundance of excitement with interesting events and festivities planned, such as the year-long Skyride Festival, cultural themed events, family fun events , eco-tourism events, arts, music showcases, food promotions, shopping festivities and so much more!

Gosh…I can’t wait to be a part of it. Here’s sharing with all of you a little prologue to a wonderful adventure ahead. Picture credit to my friend Miera.

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Cultural festivals; we’ll all be able to participate in cultural and tribal festivals. The Mah Meri tribe is one of the tribes that will be featured next year.
They are of the Senoi subgroup. Most of the members of the Mah Meri tribe live along the coast of South Selangor from Sungei Pelek up to Pulau Carey, although there is at least one Mah Meri Community on the other side of the Klang River.

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Music performances

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Traditional music performances

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Live human arts; Silverman and Goldman. They are streets art performer and is usually spotted in tourist area like the Bintang Walk.

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And what’s Malaysia without it’s artistic charms? Batik painting is part of the things you can sign up for next year…

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And also making crafts through weaving.

These are just a fraction of what Malaysia have to offer in 2015. :)
Just keep a lookout for all the activities, ya?

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It’s going to be an interesting year indeed. :) I can’t wait to be a part of it.
In the meantime, I’m going to just take the Hop On&Off Bus and play tourist in KL, the place I now call home. :)

Dim Sum Feast at Si Chuan Dou Hua, Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur

If you have been following my blog, you’d know that I have a son with autism. And if you are familiar with autism, you would know that it is common that autism and sensory processing disorder walks hand in hand.

A year ago my son’ s sensory disorder does not allow him to enjoy all sorts of food and was an absolutely picky eater. He could not tolerate much taste and most food taste will overwhelm his sensory and will lead to meltdown. Most parents with autism kids would probably relate to this. This year, the boy still cannot stomach even the smell of rice but he is now my loyal companion to food reviews and buffet where he gobbles up everything but rice.

Speaking of food reviews, we were recently invited by Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur to sample their Dim Sum offering.

Hailing from the award-winning Si Chuan Dou Hua in Singapore, Master Dim Sum Chef Peng Yi Chun’s culinary showcase marks the launch of Si Chuan Dou Hua’s Dim Sum Feast, comprising a mouth-watering repertoire of 58 items available from 1 November 2014 to 31 January 2015.

Kicking off the promotion, Guest Chef Peng will personally showcase the Sichuan art of knife shredding noodles in the restaurant from 1 to 9 November 2014.

Check out the video where Chef Peng is shredding noodles from a piece of large dough in quick strokes.

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These handmade noodles can then be enjoyed in two ways, either with the Chef’s Special Sauce or in Sichuan Chili Oil. I managed to try the one in Sichuan Chili oil. The texture of the noodles are a tad chewy, which make slurping em up much more challenging but fun. The soupy chilli oil however was mildly spicy and left a numbing aftertaste afterwards.

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There is also a non-spicy rendition of it that comes swimming in clear chicken broth. Unlike the spicy version, this one is less challenging to eat, but superbly addictive nevertheless.

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The members of the media were also treated to an exclusive Dim Sum Masterclass by Chef Peng where we learned to how to cook 3 of their signature items, which is; Minced Chicken Dumpling in Chili Oil, Pan Fried Carrot Cake with Dried Scallop and Si Chuan Dan Dan Noodle.

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3 of their signature items, Minced Chicken Dumpling in Chili Oil , Pan Fried Carrot Cake with Dried Scallop, and Si
Chuan Dan Dan Noodle

As soon as the cooking class was over, we were ushered to the table for the feasting session.

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For starter we had Pan-fried Pancake with Chicken Floss. Initially I thought that this dish is sweet in nature. But a bite of it proved me wrong.

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It is savoury with a mild hint of natural sweetness that comes from the chicken floss filling and the sesame seeds on top. The pan fried pancake was adeptly fried and not overly greasy to the palate and even the fussiest eater would approve this.

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Steamed Chives Dumpling

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This dumpling was beautifully done. The skin was thin and nearly translucent while the filling was bursting with juicy flavours. Would love seconds but I knew there is more to come so I refrained a second helping of this.

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Minced Chicken Dumpling Wrapped in Banana Leaf

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Not quite a fan of veggies, I usually avoid everything that is overly green, but this beautiful emerald green dumpling is too beautiful to ignore. The fragrant that comes from the banana leaf wrapping was more than enough to tempt me for a bite and so I succumbed to the gastronomic seduction and took a bite. The dumpling was filled with deliciously flavoured minced chicken, and has a rather unique chewy texture. Loved this to bits and so did my hubby and son.

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Was completely mesmerized with this Steamed Celery Dumpling with Conpoy when it arrives at our table. They are not just striking in colour but in taste too.

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The steamed celery dumpling was juicy and delicious. Those who are health conscious might be abit put off with the colouring, but don’t worry. I can vouch for this one. It’s worth every calories. The colouring comes from carrot and not from artificial source.

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Pan Fried Carrot Cake with Dried Scallop

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This was one of the dim sum dish that was taught in the dim sum masterclass by Chef Peng earlier. The carrot cake is sliced and pan fried to sear the surface over high heat before serving, making it crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Being a lover of all things fried, this is easily one of my favourite dish that day. Taken with XO sauce on top, this dish dim sum dish is simply divine.

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Pan fried Minced Chicken Dumpling with Chives

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The dumplings are served with a thin layer of flour batter that is lightly fried to form a beautiful crusty pancake. The contrasting soft and crunchy texture of this dim sum dish is truly amazing. It was arresting enough to warrant a second helping. ;)

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Presentation-wise, this Boiled Mince Chicken with Hot and Sour Sauce is rather unappealing in comparison to the rest of the dim sum dishes that I sampled, but never ever judge food by it’s appearance on the plate, or in a bowl. The dumpling was immersed in thick hot and sour sauce, absorbing all the spiciness in it. Although I stopped eating after the the first dumpling as it was too spicy for me, this spicy dish won my fussy son’s heart that day. He took five pieces of the dumplings while the rest at the table only managed two or three the most and we were all impresses with his gastronomic achievement. Compliment to Chef Peng for this dish and I highly recommend this dish to all who adores spicy food.

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My tummy was practically begging for a rest by the time this Steamed Glutinous Rice with Dried Shrimp Wrapped With Yam arrives. I skipped this one, so I can’t honestly comment much on it, but judging from the ecstatic look of pleasure from both husband and son once that sank their teeth onto the glutinous rice, I can say that this dish does not disappoint either. :)

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Minced Chicken Dumpling in Chili Oil was absolutely lovely. Soaked in chilli oil, this dim sum dish is not only deliciously flavourful but addictive as well. But watch out though. This dish is very spicy and will leave a numbing aftertaste.

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Stir fried French Beans with Minced Garlic is not exactly dim sum. But this dish is worth trying. Deliciously done with chilli paste and minced garlic. Only mildly spicy and the garlic taste was not overwhelming. Would pair greatly with a bowl of piping hot steamed white rice.

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When the Braised Eggplant with Garlic and Chili Sauce arrives at our table, I immediately sampled it and nearly ordered a bowl of steamed white rice to go with it. It is not overly spicy despite of the appearance. I enjoyed this dish so much and found myself wishing that I could have more, unfortunately, my spirit is much more willing than my already stuffed tummy. :( Such an unfortunately thing.

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Steamed Glutinous Rice Ball with Purple Sweet Potato Paste came as our dessert. I only took a bite of this as my son was already begging for second.

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Sticky and chewy in texture while the purple sweet potato paste filling was not cloyingly sweet. I definitely approve.

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Ended our sinful Saturday dim sum feast with Home Made Fine Bean Curd with Wolfberry. It was silkily fine in texture and the wolfberry syrup was lovely. Ruefully, my tummy no longer have space for a second indulgence.

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We were also given a fortune cookie and mine says this “Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded”. How fitting. :) I won two writing contest and one kolam making competition within a month earlier. ;)

Conveniently located at the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s bustling shopping belt, Sichuan Dou Hua at Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur serves up a dining experience that exudes elegance and style with authentic Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine that delights all.

The Dim Sum feast is available for lunch from 12.00 noon to 2.30pm from Mondays to Fridays and for brunch from 10.00am to 2.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 November 2014 to 31 January 2015 at RM58 nett per pax. Savings applies for selected bank card members.

The restaurant is pork-free and children friendly. Staff are always smiling and attentive to your requests and needs.

Lookup the info below for reservation or enquiries:

Si Chuan Dou Hua, Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: (603) 2782 8303
Fax: (603) 2782 8455
Email: [email protected]

Corporate Cocktail at Ancasa Hotel and Spa

When I’m not hitting the road for media trips, then I’m out attending events, or food reviews.

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Last Friday, my Sahabat Media friends and I were invited to attend Ancasa Hotel&Spa Corporate Cocktail where we were given a chance to mingle around with not only VIP guests but also tourism players from all around Malaysia. Pic credit to Abang Bz Hanif, whom we all fondly know as Chip.

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A pic of my friend Piet, one of my all time favourite chef friend, Chef Ricky and formerly a member of Sahabat Media friend turned Ancasa staff, Ms. Ros whom I fondly called Achik. :)

During the Corporate Cocktail, Ancasa Hotel&Spa also launched their new upcoming promo, Chennai Spices with a catchy and upbeat traditional dance performance.

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Invited guests were also given a glimpse to what Chennai Spices have to offer soon. Looks exquisite, no?

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Managed to sample some of the dishes that will be on offer soon. One of it is Tandoori Prawns. ;) These are not only fresh and succulent but was well marinated with myriad of spices.

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Oyster mushrooms sauteed with spices. I did not stop at third spoonful, mind you. It was positively addictive.

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Briyani rice was divine and fragrant.

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Ala minute stall offers pasta. But I did not try it.

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Apam balik, a type of griddle pancake was also available to tempt us that night.

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This local pancake is usually filled with creamy condensed corns, crushed peanuts and a sprinkling of sugar. It is a common street food and is usually sold at roadside or night market all over Malaysia.

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The texture of Apam Balik is akin to a crispier form of crumpets and is absolutely delicious.

The food offered to guests that night was undeniably scrumptious, but the fun did not stop just at food. There was plenty of activities that night. One of it is Kolam making contest in conjunction of Diwali, which yours truly participated.

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And surprisingly, I won first prize for it that night with the help of my friend Wendy Pua. Now, that’s a first. Shocking, really. I was never acknowledge for anything artful, ever. Writing, yes. Artful, no. :p It was my lucky night indeed.

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Lucky draw winners

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And the highlight of the night, I danced Poco Poco with my Sahabat Media friends and Ancasa Hotel&Spa staff. ;) Picture is blurred for a reason. We were just looking for some fun, and most of us are rather low profile to be showing ourselves dancing. :p Someone took a video of us of course. But that is to be remained among us. ;)

It was indeed a memorable night with friends and Ancasa Hotel&Spa staff. Thank you for such a wonderful evening. Yours truly enjoyed it immensely. :)

Tareq Taylor’s Nordic Flavors

It was quite a busy and baffling day for me. After attending one review and one beauty event earlier, I had an accident. Still fuming with the careless driver who hit my car, I encountered some terribly rude PR personnel and some hotel staff. I was praying that the day won’t get worst, and thankfully, it did not…I think. I arrived in Berjaya Hotel just in time for my next misadventure of the day; sampling the Nordic Cuisine with Chef Tareq Taylor.

Tareq Taylor’s Nordic Flavors was presented by Asian Food Channel & Berjaya University College of Hospitality at Sampling on Fourteen Berjaya Hotel

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My table. With my pseudonym placed neatly on it. Bloggers’ seating was somewhat scattered that day. Noted that some blogger friends were seated at different tables but surprisingly mainstream media had tables of their own. I was about to get rather grumpy as I’m not really in the mood of mingling around after such a bad day, but was blessed enough to be seated with my friend Jacinta and Sidney of Big Boys Oven who was generous with flattery for my new look throughout the night. :)

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Here is the man who was responsible for our pleasure that night, Chef Tareq Taylor. He is a Swedish chef, and has over 25 years of culinary experience behind him. Other than starring in Tareq Taylor’s Nordic Cookery on the Asian Food Channel, the chef has also appeared on Swedish state television’s popular cooking show “Trädgårdsonsdag”.

He has worked with a variety of world cuisines ranging from French, Italian, Japanese, and of course, Swedish.

Coming from a mixed heritage (his mother is half-English and half-Swedish, and his father is from Palestine) the chef has lived and travelled all over the world during his career and brought all his cultural and worldwide influences into how he works. Tareq has also authored three best-selling books in Sweden published by FormaBooks.

When he isn’t filming his television programmes or writing best-selling cookbooks, Tareq runs the Slottsträdgårds Cafe (Castle Garden Café) in the Royal Park in Malmö, Sweden.

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We commenced our fine dining experience that night with
Beetroots & Pickled Mustard Seeds. It was elegantly presented. My picture does no justice. Taste wise? Well, it was delicious and made a good starter for me though I’m not a fan of beetroots and mustard seed.

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Beef Yellow Onion & Potatoes; a pair of thick cut beef and topped with yellow onion, potatoes, dash of white sauce and petite herb leafs. The beef was tender and juicy with natural flavours while the potatoes complimented the dish well. I must say though, that being a true blue Malaysian who is used to food that is bursting with flavours, I find that this dish is a tad too bland to my liking.

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Potato & Cauliflower Soup with White Truffles was absolutely divine. Not a drop was spared from my bowl. Thick cauliflower puree was topped over eryngii mushroom and white truffle. The soup was creamily luxurious.

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My poison of the night, Lamb Lovage & Dried Apricots. The lamb was done medium rare and definitely agrees with me. Unlike the beef dish earlier, this one was infused with flavours. The accompanying apricot was divine too. A somewhat humble dish with an interesting twist.

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Time was envious and it was time for us to end our fine dining experience with dessert; the moan inducing Coconut Pannacotta with Caramelised White Chocolate & Raspberries. This was almost an aphrodisiac to me. The pannacotta was silky and chilled well and the fresh raspberries complemented the coconut and chocolate flavour perfectly and being someone with a sweet tooth, this brought me pleasure more that the rest of the dishes that I sampled that night. Ruefully, there was only one serving. I could do a few of these fine pannacotta. ;)

The dishes were all paired with Jacob Creek’s wine but due to health limitations and restrictions, I had to decline and strictly wash my food off with water and juice instead. :)

Dining with Chef Tareq Taylor is indeed a memorable experience and I don’t think I can forget it anytime soon.

This event is made possible by Asian Food Channel and Berjaya University College of Hospitality.

Sizzle With Sausages at Utara Coffee House, Armada Hotel PJ

Love sausages? Well, I do. I love sausages. A lot. Well, lucky me. :) My all time favourite hotel is having promo for sausages.

Photo for illustration purposes only

In conjunction with the Octoberfest celebrations, Utara Coffee House is having some sensational sausages on offer! You can indulge in the various choices of beef & chicken sausages served in five different styles. This includes the Foot Long Sausage, Cheese Frankfurters, Chicken Jumbo Sausage, Spicy Sauteed Sausages and German Bratwurst.


Priced between RM24++ to RM26++, each set comes with a serving of sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, please call 603-7954 6888 ext 4557 for reservations.

Available all day @ Utara Coffee House

Look Like a Bombshell Effortlessly with Maybelline New York Big Eyes Mascara

I’m blessed with big eyes, but there are times that I need to go for the dramatic and intense look by using makeup for events or gala dinners etc.

Problems? Yes. There is a problem. I can’t really doll up properly. I’m an unskilled makeup artist. I usually go out with nude face or a bare minimum of makeup. Usually, just some sunblock and glide of lipstick or lipgloss on my lips to bring out some colour on my face, and that’s it.

Usually it is okay and I think I look pretty presentable, but it does not really make me stand out in photos. Sad, isn’t it?

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But my problem is about to end. :p I can now look like a bombshell effortlessly and without visiting my regular makeup artist for some touch ups. With the newly introduced Maybelline  New York’s latest innovation, the Big Eye Mascara, I can now have a dramatic look with a mere swipe of the magic wand.

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I was lucky that day when I attended the launch of Big Eye Mascara. Guests and members of the media alike were given these starter kit that will enable us to have two times bigger and dramatic eyes. The goodie bag contains Big Eye Mascara, two sets of eye shadow and a lip polish in shocking red.

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Big eye falsies. It is the first double-ended mascara from Maybelline New York complete with two brushes of different sizes so that you can get a big-eye effect with just one product. Not only that, with two brushes, you get more control and versatility as well. This Big Eyes Mascara is designed specifically to solve common problems women encounter when trying to achieve the ‘Big Eyes’ look.

Some of the problems women have are small eyes, droopy eyelids, short eyelashes or even eyelashes that just won’t curl properly, no matter how many times you try.

With a width of only 2mm, this Micro Brush perfectly and precisely coats every tiny lash, even for lower lashes. This way, you can easily reach inner and outer corners, making it less of a hassle compared to the traditional clumpy big brush. The Micro Brush also gives you better control so you can avoid smudging under the eyes.

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If you want even bigger and more stunning eyes that will make you stand out in photos, just pair with the Big Eyes Shadow as well. This is Maybelline New York’s first eyeshadow palette to give you 30% bigger eyes.

Thw 24-hour gel- powder formula glides and lasts like a gel but spreads smoothly like a powder. It also contains high-shine glitters to really open your eyes, especially when applied at the inner corners.

What you need to do is apply it using the “Apply As You See” palette design in sequence…

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And you will get a really dramatic and glamorous look like this. ;)

Maybelline New York Big Eyes Mascara is available in Black and retails at RM45.90 each, while the Big Eyes Shadow comes in 3 colours as and retailing at RM45.90. ;)

Awesomeness does not end here. I have some gold news for you ladies out there.

From 10 November onwards, take part in the “Get the Party Started with Maybelline” contest and stand to win an all-expenses paid make-up party of your dreams!!

All you have to do is :
a) Buy RM50 worth of any Maybelline New York products
 b) Take a ‘we-fie’ photo with five of your girlfriends and upload it on the maybellinesimplefab Facebook page. Tag everyone and also Maybelline
c) Write a creative caption to describe your dream party.
d) Email the photo and proof of purchase to Maybelline at [email protected]
e) The 3 most creative entries will win the makeup party of their dreams and the winners will play host to their five tagged girlfriends at the party of a lifetime, with all cost and expenses fully sponsored by Maybelline!

Dove Go Play With Your Hair Challenge

Do you like to play? Let me tell you a secret. I may sound feisty in my blog posts and Facebook status, but the truth is that I’m a very cheeky and playful person. I’ll be honest with you.I am a pleasure loving kinda girl and I love playing with myself. Oh uh. That sounds so wrong. :p No pun intended though. What I meant to say is that these days, I absolutely love to play dress up and make myself look good. Looking good makes me feel confident and happy with myself.

I like what I’m seeing in the mirror these days, but that does not mean that I’ll just stop there. I’m my worst critique and I’m constantly on a lookout to improve myself and be a better version of myself everyday. So when Dove invited me to the launching of their ‘Play with Your Hair’ campaign, I was absolutely ecstatic. ;)

I love playing with my hair. Dyeing it up, styling it up…you name it. But more often than not, I find my hair easily damaged and brittle :( Yea. Vanity is costly. A couple of months back, I even have to chop off my long tresses as my hair was irreversibly salon-fried after some perming session goes awry. I have been looking for products that could help repair the damage, but sadly none suits me well enough.

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But having seen the gig during Dove Play with Your Hair Campaign, I have to say that I’m quite impressed. These ladies had quite an extreme makeover with their hair and yet with Dove Intense Repair, their hair remains healthy.

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Demonstration were done to show us how effective Dove Intense Repair range is too. To be honest, I was really skeptical at first. But they gave us a makeover treat during the event and having my hair washed with Dove Intense Repair range of product, blow and styled, all my doubts went away as my hair remains healthy afterwards despite of the harsh styling.

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Knowing our womanly nature where we would love to look as if we have just walked out of hair salon daily, we were taught how to play with our hair too that day. We were taught the art if combing our hair…

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And styling up some classy up do with merely some rubber bands and a twist here and there.

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Apart from that, we were also encouraged to unleash our creativities and make some hair accessories for ourselves.

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Part of the stuff for us to use to create our own hair accessories.

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A prize was given to the one who made the most creative hairband, but I’m not very good with my hands and merely ended up with this, something red and pink in honour of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. ;)

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One for the album. Everyone looking confidently happy after the playing with their hair at La Mode Coiffure, Mid Valley.

In conjunction with the launch, Malaysian women can participate in the “Go Play with your Hair” campaign by logging on to

Steps include: -
·         Consists of five (5) Challenges as follows (names of Challenges and their respective hashtags):

o   Play With Sunshine (#DoveChallenge1)
o   Play With Colours (#DoveChallenge2)
o   Play With Curls (#DoveChallenge3)
o   Play With Straight Strands (#DoveChallenge4)
o   Play With Styles (#DoveChallenge5)

What you news to do is upload a photo based on the challenge according to their choice. Participant may submit multiple entries

Contest period: 17 October 2014 – 28 November 2014

The grand prize winner will stand a chance to win a trip to Boracay, Philippines‎ worth RM4, 500 for 4 days and 3 nights based on the most creative hairstyle and the number of challenges joined. 

There will also be 10 weekly winners who will be bringing back 6 in 1 Hair Styling Kit and Dove Intense Repair range worth RM100 each.

So, go crazy and play with your hair, ladies. Cast off the negative emotions you feel about hair damage and be adventurous instead. Feel free to experiment with different hairstyles and colours. Be bold. Be vibrant. Dove can help repair the damage. ;)

Matic Fest 2014

I used to sit still at home and stare at the ceiling. But not anymore. These days I’m constantly on the go and doing what I’ve always wanted to do; to see the world.

Whenever I am not traveling with my family on the weekends, I make a point to find some activities for the three of us to do together, be it indoors or outdoors. You see, our lives are really hectic. Husband is always busy with work, son with school and classes and extra curricular activities while me…I’m always busy going around attending events or traveling, so it is very important for us to spend some bonding time together.

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Spotted this flyer a couple of days ago and I realized that Matic Fest is back! I’ve attended it back in 2013 with my family and we had so much fun and now it’s making a comeback! You may want to read about it here: Fun Time with Fun With Family at Matic Fest 2013

I’m really looking forward for Matic Fest 2014. There will be loads of activities for the whole family and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. If you are looking for some fun time with family at a minimal cost, you might want to consider going too.

Matic Fest 2014 is happening from 31st October 2014-2nd November 2014. For information on Matic and event schedule, please hop over HERE

Autism and Marriage

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Spotted this status in the autism support group that I’m in and it hits me really, really hard. No. I won’t lie or sugarcoat it for all of you out there. Sometimes, living with a child(ren) with autism can be challenging. And quite a living hell. Yes. In some cases…it does DESTROY marriages and your social relationships and more often than not, you’d see that there are a lot of parents with autistic children out there are actually single parents. And most of these parents keep things to themselves. So…why does this happens? While I am still happily married, I could actually relate to the issue why autism destroy marriages, because I’ve honestly been in that living hell:

1. The stress of raising a child whose milestone is terribly way behind normal children, in terms of social skills and behaviour; children with autism mostly are non verbal. It makes communication impossible, especially for severe ones. Hence… couples started to blame each other for the lack of parenting skill and even will accuse each other for negligence, while in truth, it is almost impossible to raise a child with autism without professional support, early interventions or acceptance of their disorder.

2. When you have a child with autism, your bonding time with your spouse becomes almost zero. Yups. You are reading that right. Children with autism requires 1000% attention and they lacks the need to sleep due to their active neurons activities. In severe cases, some autistic kids just requires 2 hours of sleep daily and practically need to be given melatonin to help them sleep. So…you tell me…it is probably easier to work on your marriage…or just walk out that door and have sex elsewhere? Honestly…although I am a faithful person, I’d say that walking away and having my ‘needs’ serviced outside of marriage would be much easier and kinda ‘stress-free’

3. Family strain caused by your autistic children’s milestone and behaviour. Well…not all family and relatives are educated enough to actually understand that autism is a disorder and not caused by bad parenting skills. This usually caused strain and stressful relationship between couples and their respective families. Another main cause for divorce.

4. Sending autistic kids to babysitter for a mere 1 hour break is impossible unless babysitters are trained in handling autistic children….

I could write a whole book if I were to give you reasons why autism actually destroys your marriage, but at the end of the day…I come to these conclusions:

1. Only cowards walked away from their marriages because of autism.
2. Acceptance and early intervention is the most important step for a much quality life if you are a caregiver to an autistic person. Don’t get caught up on labels…just let the rest of the world call your autistic child retarded or whatever provided you get all the support that you need from those who are in the same shoes as you. Support and tips to handle kids with autism is important for your sanity.
3. Religious beliefs keep you calm. Trust me…religious people will tell you having such a special need child is a gift instead of a curse. I made a mistake of mingling with those who are not religious during the early years and it wrecked my morals terribly and practically demolished my self confidence not only as a mother but as an individual as well.

Now, although there are times I wished I’m dealing with cancer instead of autism as the society in general have much more empathy for cancer patients and make more efforts to understand cancer, I can’t honestly say that all about autism is bad. If it did not teach me much, I can at least say that I have much higher tolerance towards children with disability and unlike many of you out there, I do not judge anyone’s parenting skills nor do I make a point to compare one child with another. If there is anything that this fast moving and competitive world needs….it would be empathy. That is good enough for a kinder world, don’t you think?

Welcome Brasil Cross Culture Launching

Football fans may recognize Brazil as a nation that produces strong, football players with great track records on the field, but there is more to Brazil than just sports and football.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and occupies 47 percent of the continent of South America. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest and is the scene of debates over deforestation.

Impressed? Well, Brazil is not only geographically impressive and respectable in the sports arena but is culturally fascinating too.

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Quite some time ago I was invited to the launching of Malaysia-Brazil cross culture event in Samba! Restaurant located conveniently in Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur and was given a glimpse of what Brazil has to offer culturally; food, dance and martial arts demonstration.

Check out the videos below for a clearer picture of what Brazil could offer you:

Brazilian music by Batucada

Samba dance. Samba is a Brazilian dance originating in Bahia, Brazil, and with its roots Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions, particularly Angola and the Congo. Samba is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival and considered one of the most popular Brazilian cultural expressions.

Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music, and is sometimes referred to as a game.It was developed in Brazil mainly by African descendants. Basically, it is a kind of martial arts dance in which the participant uses the feet to kick the head of their opponent, mimicking the movements of a zebra, and at some point one also uses all of the body to attack the enemy. Lethally interesting, no? I’d say that these are not only interesting but fascinating as well.

Interested to get to know Brazil more? Well, no fret. You don’t have to fly all the way to Brazil to do that. Malaysians will be able to learn more about Brazil and it’s culture from 24th-26th October 2014 at Avenue K through ‘Selamat Datang Brasil 2014′.

The three day cross culture event will be packed with energy and fun with both Brazilian and Malaysian themed workshops, performances and games. Some highlights of the event will include Samba, Afro dance, Silat, Banghra and Capoeira workshops.

A Capoeira graduation ceremony will also be the highlight of the event followed by Brazilian Cultural performances such as Maculele and Frevo Dance as well as Malaysian fusion dance. And oh…of course unforgettable Brazilian party night.

The event is not only for adults but for the little ones too. Children’s workshops will have an eco‐friendly theme and will teach them about recycling, the importance of  reusing and reducing waste.

Below is the schedule for “Selamat Datang Brasil 2014”.

24th October 2014 (Friday)
17:00 – 17:15 Batucada Parade Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
17:15 – 18:00 Capoeira Workshop – Kids Mestre Eddy (Axé – Macau) – Mestre Fantasma
(Ebc – Philippines)
18:00 – 18:30 Open Kids Roda Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
18:30 – 19:00 Afro Workshop – Adults Tunde Slayer
19:00 – 20:00 Capoeira Workshop Acrobatic – Adults Professor Rafael (MSC – Malaysia) – Mestre Fantasma (EBC – Philippines)
20:00 – 20:30 Open Roda de Capoeira Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
20:30 – 21:30 Pagode de Mesa – Samba Steak house Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica

25th October 2014 (Saturday)
13:45 – 14:00 Batucada Parade Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
14:00 – 14:15 Opening – Introduction EMCEE – Rizal Van Geysel
14:15 – 15:00 Open Roda de Capoeira Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
15:00 – 15:15 Pops & Quizes EMCEE – Rizal Van Geysel
15:15 – 16:00 Coco Dance Workshop Graduado Titan (Axé – Macau)
16:00 – 16:15 Pops & Quizes EMCEE – Rizal Van Geysel
16:15 – 17:15 Capoeira Workshop Adults Mestre Eddy (Axé – Macau) – Contra Mestre
Claudinho (Zungu – Indonesia)
17:15 – 18:15 Open Roda de Capoeira Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
Brazilian Night
22:00 Brazilian Djs 
Pagode de Mesa
Pops & Quizes
Batucada Show

26th October 2014 (Sunday)
2:00 Performances – Capoeira /Samba
13:45 – 14:00 Batucada Parade Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
14:00 – 14:10 Opening – Introduction EMCEE – Rizal Van Geysel
14:10 – 14:20 Sponsors Souvenir Ceremony EMCEE – Rizal Van Geysel
14:20 – 14:30 Malay Dance Performance TBC
14:30 – 14:45 Maculelê and Afro Performance EBC Malaysia Students
14:45 14:55 Pops & Quizes EMCEE – Rizal Van Geysel
14:55 – 15:00 Silat Performance TBC
15:00 – 15:10 Silat Capoeria Fusion Silat TBC – Capoeira Ebc Malaysia
15:10 – 15:20 Kids Capoeira Performance
Frevo Dance EBC Malaysia Students
15:20 – 15:30 Pops & Quizes EMCEE – Rizal Van Geysel
15:30 – 15:40 Kids Capoeira Performance Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
15:40 – 16:40 Kids Batizado Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
16:40 – 17:30 Adults Batizado Professor Pimbal – Formada Lilica
17:30 – 18:00 Brazil em Festa Batucada Band Brasil em Festa Performance Company

This event is supported by Embassy of Brazil in Kuala Lumpur and open for public viewing and participations. Some requires participating fees but most are free or charge.

Yours truly might be there for some of the activities, so if you are going, do drop me a message and I’ll see you there. ;)