Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nespresso in Malaysia

During our Europe trip last July 2012 we brought back a prized equipment which has been giving us wonderful breakfast mornings. Our Nespresso machine!

We carried back with us tons of different capsules from Europe: a mix of Nespresso as well as other compatible brands that are available in Monoprix and Carrefour.

I was worries when supplies ran low so I decided to log on the Nespresso website and create an account in Malaysia.

I was impressed with the speedy delivery. After ordering online, I received a call the next day saying they will deliver on that day!!! Wow next day delivery?!!

Plus there was the option of paying upon delivery-- especially as I was skeptic as this was the first time I was ordering capsules online.

Now I know I don't have to worry. Speedy delivery. I won't run out of coffee ever!!!

I had to order 150pcs of capsules so delivery will be free. That should probably last us about 3 months.

Pricing is cheaper of course in Europe but the accessibility of Nespresso in Malaysia is worth the extra. Though I miss the "premium" experience of having a cuppa at the Nespresso house in France where they served it with matching cookies / small piece of cake along with beautiful cups and teaspoons!

Nespresso website where you can order:
Or click HERE

Glad we can order online now!
Coffee machine we brought back from France

Why Mont Kiara is Great for Expats

One of the reasons why expats love Mont Kiara is because of the community events that Sunrise initiates. They would create certain gatherings and activities for families residing in Sunrise properties. Yesterday marked another fun event at the Sunrise Funzone area where we all gathered to share some Chinese culture through the Mooncake Festival. There were activity booths and an entertaining show for the kids. Even I had a good laugh watching some kids performing Kung fu thru a little contest that gave away prizes.

My little one enjoyed the gathering and she showed independence by going to the front by herself and sit with the big kids.

Honestly, when we didn't have Alex yet we never ever joined the Sunrise activities. Now I fully understand why families enjoy it. A fun evening out, learning new cultures, meeting familiar and new faces, a bit of eating and goodies.

They have away free lanterns which we were able to light up when the sky became dark (and a full moon of course!!!). Was nice to see my daughter holding the lighted lantern as we walked back to our condominium.

Definitely a fun evening for families of Sunrise properties.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where to Picnic in KL?

Last weekend, we decided to fulfill our promise to little Alex. We had some superb picnics back in Europe when we spent a month last July-August 2012. Naturally, she has been asking for another picnic, and now we are back in Malaysia! So the question is ... where do we go?

Daddy googled up a list and he wanted to avoid the usual place that we know (which is TTDI park). He was being adventurous and wanted to see more of Malaysia (we are coming to our 6th year living here when Dec 2012 comes). I admit we haven't been to a lot of the picnic places. Top of mind if you ask me based on experience I would say  TTDI park and FRIM.

The name that came up in his search was Ampang Recreational Forest. We decided to check it out. After wasting 20 minutes of being lost (GPS not entered correctly because we couldn't find the exact description), we ended up driving up into the hills in the kampung area. I tried to ask a stranger, and naturally they didn't understand me (they didn't speak English). It was really a kampung though it was in the ends of Ampang. It actually felt like being in the provinces of the Philippines where life is simple. Anyway back to our story. We were so lost (and starting to get hungry). Finally we found the place (the entrance to the park). There was an empty parking lot outside the Ampang Recreational Forest. There was a huge sign. It said that they are collecting some entrance fees, but no one was around. I looked into the road ahead and had this sinking feeling that it was not what we expected.

After coaxing hubby that we cannot simply WALK into the forest where we don't know what to expect (and drag my daughter, the stroller, baskets of food), we drove into the forest area. After a 5-minute straight drive, this is what I discovered:

1. The place was in BAD shape. And I mean bad. The roads were broken, some parts almost falling off into the river, the holes were ultra huge. If you have an expensive car -- don't even bring it in!

2. The river was flowing smoothly -- but the water was ultra brown! There were huge rocks that created a nice water flow... however I would not -- and I mean NEVER attempt to go into the water. After that thought, I witnessed so many locals swimming and wading in the river! hmmm...

3. There was no suitable picnic place at all. Period. Some of the sheds that were initially there (probably was super nice years ago) were so broken that it already fell into the water or rocky area... so sad.

If I were you, FORGET ABOUT THIS PLACE. It was like the "end of the world" feeling for me... and this is just Ampang! I could not believe that there is such a place ... it would have been nice if the government kept it well.

After wasting our time and now with grumbling tummies, we drove to the next decent place we know-- Lake Gardens.

It was a superb choice. On a Saturday lunch time, it was not crowded. We were able to get a good parking spot. Then in just a few steps, there were PICNIC TABLES that were very clean and under the shade. Perfect spot. Perfect picnic. Perfect ending to an almost disastrous beginning.

I would highly recommend going to LAKE GARDEN for family picnics. In fact, I think we will do it more often... We even enjoyed the "choo choo train" ride provided by DBKL for a small fee of RM.50 per person... we enjoyed going around to see some of the sights (a view of the Butterfly park, KL bird Park, etc). My little girl also enjoyed playing in the 2 HUGE (and i mean huge) playground of Lake Garden. I never noticed those stuff before! Perhaps because my last visit to Lake Gardens was when we didn't have a child yet -- and when you are single you tend to look at other stuff like flowers, the greens, lake , etc... didn't bother with the playground. Now, I was IMPRESSED with the huge playground they had... my daughter didn't even manage to slide in all the slides because it was that many!

Hope this helps fellow families looking for picnic sites. And hope it helps to avoid a disastrous trip to Ampang Recreational Park.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Life's Journey

Look at yourself today. Whatever it is you have achieved for yourself – be it career, confidence or family, all came step by step. Achievement means different things for different people.  With age, I find that people define it differently.

Looking back at my own journey, there is one common denominator that pushed things forward: accepting change. Yes, change. It is a commonly used word in quotes, yet when it finally looks at us in the eye, we sometimes chicken out. Change often means re-learning something, becoming humble once again before we can be on our way to greatness.

I used a PC when I started my career 12 years ago. When I switched over to my very first MacBook back in 2006, I was humbled (and oftentimes I was upset). Why? Because everything that I knew and felt I was good at seemed to have gone down the drain. I felt like a novice computer user who needed help every now and then. Perseverance pays and after using it for a month, I have picked up both skills – PC and MAC.

Other personal experiences which forced me out of my comfort zone: marrying a French (I am Chinese), moving to Malaysia (I was from Manila), driving on the “right” side of the road, working for a big software company at the Twin Towers (immersing with Malaysians) and quitting after 4 years, delivered soft-skills trainings to Air Asia, Digi  and Hong Leong via a friend’s company, then ventured into media (BFM 89.9 and the Star newspaper). All this took courage because it was different from what I used to know. All this meant change. It meant taking a tough decision and choosing the less travelled path. All this brought me to TODAY.

Accepting change into your life is a scary thing.  People often choose the simpler road, which is to stay the same. Whenever you are at that point of decision making, I urge you to only think of this: WE LIVE ONCE. Life is short. Do you want to live your life only knowing what you know, or do you want to experience something new?

So when the day comes that something new is being offered – whether it’s moving to a new country, volunteering for a new project at work, sending yourself to soft-skills training for self-improvement, or even engaging with unfamiliar people with an open mind, choose the path of change. Only when you have taken that journey and reflect back will you realize how much it has enriched your life.

Most especially for mothers -- those who have moved to a different country, finding themselves as expat wives... do not be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Continue the search. Believe in yourself. Many possibilities are out there -- whether it is part time work, charity work, full time work or even starting something of your own. It is encouraging to know that some of my friends have indeed taken giant steps -- borrowing money just to start up her company -- wow. Last week I met up with her and had the most amazing discussion. This really encouraged me and I hope it will also do the same for you. The reason why I write these things is to reach out to people out there who may feel there is little hope to find something worthwhile to do -- despite being a mother and having that role of running the household. We can be superwomen. They exist. And you can be one of them.

The key thing that you need to remember is that whatever that unfamiliar path you are about to take, it is neither all that impossible nor strange. Someone out there has already done the same thing. Reach out. Talk to people. Ask friends and family because their network may point you to someone who could give insight. Search online. Read blogs and articles. There is a wealth of knowledge out there. All you need to do is make that decision to change and make a move on your life.

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