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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolution

I, the so-called ex-hermit and fashionista wannabe, vows (or more like hopes to achieve) all of the following in the year 2011:

1. Travel to another country (or two). I've booked a flight to Macau and am hoping that I can travel by June. Have passport, will travel *grin*.

2. Rejoice in another shopping spree (not unlike Singapore, but this time in Hong Kong). But let's make sure that we make it to Hong Kong first. I might polish up on my skills in the language department prior to the journey.

3. Lose that fat. Or 8 kilos to be exact. Since when did love handles get back in style? Besides, it's hard to take good photos of oneself when the dreaded double-chin seems to be making what seems to be a permanent attendance in one's photos.

4. I am currently thinking of what brands should I add to my wardrobe. Although one shouldn't discriminate, but then again, it would be nice to add new names to my burgeoning wardrobe. Interestingly enough, I do not have any Guess wear (aside from my watches and watches are not apparels). I've always loved the brand but sometimes their designs can be a bit rocker-chick meets grunge kinda look (which doesn't exactly fit my style, unfortunately). But I'd love to own a t-shirt or two *wink*.

5. Let's try to get confirmed (in my current line of work). Hopefully I'll get it done by mid-year. Or if I'm slow, then let's hope to achieve this by the end of the year.

Okay then, let's make it at that. Five should be enough and it's unrealistic to set so many goals that you'll end up postponing for the following year if you fail to achieve it anyway.

So to new year and new resolutions, let us all raise a toast to the year 2010. May we still be blessed with the spirit of the youth but also be blessed with the experience that age has taught us.


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Shopping in Singapore


I have always loved my travels to Singapore. And the main reason for it is because all my travels include fantastic shopping sessions. Indeed what better way to spend the time than perusing shopping complexes and then filling out your wardrobe to the max *happy sigh*.
Indeed I had this trip all planned out since July. We know how competitive shopping can be during Christmas and I'd say Singapore is one of the best shopping havens in the world. Rows of stores and boutiques all lined up side by side; sparkly goods waiting to be yours *gosh*.
Anyways, there were two main reasons for this trip:
1. To check out the new Universal Studios; and

2. To check out Armani Exchange's boutique store.

Armani anyone?

So, let's see...
First day, we touched down in Changi Airport at around 6.15 pm. Then we quickly checked into our hotel and MRTed off to Orchard Road. We arrived at Orchard by 10 pm. It was kinda late for any shopping so instead, we strolled the bustling stretch of Orchard Road and by midnight we left for Mustafa. FYI, Mustafa is a 24-store, so it's a perfect place to shop anytime of the day!
Second day, we left for Universal Studios only to find out at Vivo City that the tickets to Universal Studios are all sold out! Until 2nd January, that is. Since our trip to Singapore is only 'til Christmas, it just doesn't seem right to be buying tickets for January 3rd. So instead we decided to roam Sentosa Island (and even though there was a peddler who wanted to sell us tickets to Universal Studios, we decided that we're not the peddling type so we turned down his offer).

Me and Nazar goofing off near Merlion
Then we went shopping for Armani at Vivo City.

Me in front of Tangs
Now, imagine that you're in front of this Armani boutique and inside you see a 50% discount sign. What do you do? Storm right in, silly *duh*.
Third day, saw us coming again to Orchard, this time finalizing our purchases. Went off to ION Orchard, then Tangs, then Wisma Atria, then Takashimaya (you get the picture, right?).

Me at ION Orchard
We loaded on Armani (since that is reason no 2) and might I say that the discounts offered is really, really good =). I'd really recommend Singapore if you really feel like splurging.
We were only able to enter Universal Studios that night. The tickets are sold out but they allowed us to purchases night passes for the price of SGD5 and we were only given access to Hollywood Stars or something that sounded similar. Since we really, really wanted to go (remember: there were only two main reasons why we were in Singapore, so we tried to stick to that two main reasons). So, this is what we found:


Finally we managed to enter Universal Studios.



Where to?




Some of the attractions at Universal Studios Singapore.

  
Let's get to the Lost World and see dinosaurs!
I want to move it! Move it!

Finally we left the hustle and bustle of Singapore for the comforts of Kuching on the fourth day. I dare say I'll be back and hopefully soon =)

Me at Changi Airport. Love the beautiful Christmas deco

P/s: If you would like to shop in Singapore, I'd recommend its mid-year Great Sale rather than the year-end Christmas Sale since I've been to experience them both and found that the mid-year sale offers more discounts and better offer for tourists. Please bring your passports with you when you shop and claim your GST at whatever stores that you're shopping at ya =).
Among those that we brought home =)
Lots of hugs and plenty of shopping sprees to y'all!

 
xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fashionista's Book Review: Chasing Harry Winston and One Fifth Avenue

Really, it is the downside of traveling. Traveling alone, to be exact. How on earth do you pass the time without the company of friends nor foe in sight? Oh yeah, texting your phone 'till your thumb gets sore is not my idea of good company. Or scrolling the web on that teensy mobile screen.

So, I had to resort to my old bookworm-slash-hermit routine. Get self-absorbed in a good book. Chick lit to be precise. It was kinda tough to decide between Candace Bushnell and Lauren Weisberger but this time I think I outdone myself in the bookworm department. I bought both. What's a girl to do when she's spoilt with choices right?


Let me see... Shall I bore you with the details of both books? Sorry, not this time. I'm terribly pressed for time. As off now, it's actually nearing midnight of Christmas day (I've written the blog earlier but never had the time to finish it off due to my hectic-and-sometimes-conflicting traveling schedule) and I had just landed from Singapore earlier this afternoon. Sleepy heads and finger-tapping on keyboards does not make a good combination. There'll be typos and grammatical errors and *sigh* let me not make list any longer than it should be.

But let me just say that I loved both books, though they're both different in a way. Lauren Weisberger's flair for writing is slightly fast with its witty dialogues and suspense circumstances. But I do love the friendship between the girls in Chasing Harry Winston (and here I was thinking that Harry Winston was a guy, how naive can I be?). While Candace Bushnell's flair of writing sometimes is somewhat slow in nature but I do love the flow of the story and how she tries to connects all the different characters. And may I say, One Fifth Avenue has quite a number of characters that sometimes even I kinda forget which is which.

So if you like chick lit, then I'd recommend both. Although I must warn you, reading really takes up quite a lot of your time. So if you have idle time to spare, then think no more. Head down to your nearest book store, Popular @ Tun Jugah is having a sale until the 3rd of January next year (or so I heard) and you might get these books at a bargain =).

Cheerio and Merry Christmas everyone! Ho! Ho! Ho!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Friday, December 17, 2010

The worst flight ever

I had the worst flight ever.

I know that you know, it's written in the subject line *duh*.

What would you feel if you woke up at 4 am so that you can get ready for a 7 am flight? You wouldn't be all fresh and perky right? And then having to arrive at KL Sentral at 5 am and discovering that your flight has been cancelled. Well, that was how my day started.

So I slept late that night. That's normal prior to any traveling trip. I have to pack, period. And the problem with me is that I usually pack the night before, so I usually have to make sure that I have all my belongings in my luggage so that I can just wake up as late as I can the next morning. And this meant 4 am in the morning as my flight to KK is set for 7 am.

We left for KL Sentral at 5 am and arrived within minutes (it's the wee hours of the morning, I doubt there'd be any traffic jam, so that morning was no different than any 5 am traffic in KL, the roads are practically empty with no car in sight).

So here I was checking in only to discover that I had to catch the 9.30 am flight instead. Now, please bear in mind that I had another flight to catch, the 12.30 flight from KK to Kuching. I talked to MAS officers, there is nothing that I can do about it though and there is nothing that they can do either. There is no earlier flight so I'm left with the 9.30 am flight.

I arrived at KLIA by 6.30 am (it was so early that I managed to catch the sunrise, haha) and by then I was already kinda dizzy (with the lack of sleep and all). And I waited for my flight. And waited. And waited. Apparently there was a delay. We didn't leave until 9.50 am. Can you imagine my agony? No, you can't, right? Ah well, truly agonized I was. And throughout the flight I kept praying and praying, you know, for the plane to fly faster. Or for the pilot to at least realize that he has a passenger on board that needs to catch her connecting flight. Oh, I forgot. You might be wondering how on earth that I had to fly all the way to KK when there is a direct flight from KL to Kuching. Well, I was supposed to be attending this meeting in KK. It was scheduled and organized and all, and then it got cancelled. Like three days prior to the meeting we were notified that the meeting wasn't going to happen. So, being the good employee that I am, I attended a workshop in Seremban instead, also scheduled on the same date.

Now back to my flight. At the end of the day, we landed in KK right on the dot of 12.30 noon. Same time as my flight back to Kuching. Being the worrywart that I am, I was a total wreck. Looking as hassled as a hen that has lost its chicks, I most probably looked worst than that. By landing time, I had notified the stewardess of my situation by at least three times and I was already seated in first class, just so that I could run out of the plane and straight into the other one. As exciting as that sounds, that did not happen to me though. I arrived in KK to find that my plane had already left me *sob*.

So what did I do? I wandered at the airport, like a lost chick. Kept wandering at the departure hall, really not knowing what to do. It's my first time being left behind by the plane, you see. So, I was kinda caught unawares. Finally I had the courage to approach one of the airport officials and blurt out my situation. I had been left behind by my own transportation. The question that was weighing on my mind was, 'Do I need to buy another ticket?' *yikes*. Likes it's even my fault, right?

Luckily the gentleman was nice enough to appease all of my worries and immediately changed my ticket so that I can board the next available flight, which is scheduled to leave at 1.30 pm. And to get to Kuching, I had to transit in Miri and Mulu. Rather than an hour or so flight, the whole journey will take roughly around 3 hours. Oh my God. Just knowing the fact that I was so desperate to reach home that made me agree to board the plane. Within 3 hours, I'll be home. So, on this flight, I had to leave the plane twice (to Miri and Mulu) and then finally reach Kuching. And unfortunate for me (despite having my flight cancelled, delayed and missing another flight) the flight attendant in this flight was particularly loud, so we kinda overheard all the meticulous details of her uninteresting conversation *sigh*.

Suffice to say, I arrived at KIA safely at 4.55 pm but without my bag in tow. It had gotten left behind in KK amidst all the chaos. Feeling simply too tired (after all that) I decided to leave it at that and submit a baggage claim form at KIA.

My luggage arrived at 11.30 pm.

And to me, this is absolutely the worst flight one could ever experience. Let's pray that this doesn't happen to y'all.


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Induksi 139/ 2010

I had to go to Perak. Not just Perak, but Kampung Gajah, Perak. And where might this be? Haha! I honestly do not know. But what I do know is that the road to Kampung Gajah is long and winded and it took us a good three-hour ride just to arrive there.

So in order to become a confirmed staff, a newbie or any other new staffs of the public sector has to undergo several steps to which once all those steps have been completed, will then be considered as a fully confirmed staff. One of those steps is induction and ours was called Induksi 139/ 2010.

There's a total of 152 participants who attended Induksi this time; unequally divided into two groups (simply because the hall is not big enough, so the bigger hall goes to bigger group).

And this is the bigger group. Can hardly recognize the tiny faces, can you? They're called Kumpulan Warisan

And this is my group, the smaller one. And ours is called Kumpulan Wawasan


I had my reservations prior to attending Induksi. There were so many horror stories whispered from one person to another that I really could not imagine what it would be like and how the place looked like. Among the horror stories shared was:

1. We came back from our lectures and found a huge reptile in our toilet.
I felt like screaming when I heard this one. I really, really wouldn't want to share the toilet with any reptile.

2. The place is so out of town that it takes about an hour's drive from Kampung Gajah to the nearest town.
Oh gosh, oh gosh *heart attack*

3. There's no reception for your mobile.
*gulp*

Anyway, to tell you the truth, I had fun. I met all sorts of people here and I made friends with people whom I would love to meet again. For any of you out there who will be attending Induksi for the first time, please don't listen any horror stories, they're not justified (in my opinion) and relax and just enjoy the process.

I loved my stay and certainly do not have any horror stories to share. Oh, except there was this one time we were walking at night and we heard this heard meowing sound. It didn't exactly sound like a cat and it didn't sound human either...

Cheerio!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fashionista Escapades: Manila, Philippines

Manila reminds me of Spain, with a splash of Mexico in between. You can see Spanish and Mexican influences from Clark (where we landed) up 'til you arrive in Manila. I really didn't know what to expect in Manila, as it is not strongly influenced by the Malay culture (like Indonesia and Brunei) and it is not so influenced by the Chinese culture (as per Singapore).

And this is a photo-blog of our trip to Manila, so enjoy the photos peeps!


We arrived at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Makati City (which is about two hours drive away from Manila).


Met our driver, Ronald, just outside the airport.


Dinner with our driver, Ronald. Since there were about 10 of us, we had to rent a van to fit us all. It was difficult to find halal outlets in Manila so we had to just make do with the eateries that we found on Zabihah.com.



Jeepney in motion

Frankly I must admit that the transportation method in Philippine is in a league of its own. Firstly they have the Jeepney, which is a combination between a Jeep and a van (it can fit more than ten people!). Well, innovative people these Pinoys are (Pinoy stands for Philippinos by the way) they actually converts a Jeep into a Jeepney. How do they manage to do that? I seriously don't know. But whatever it is, it's a transportation system that seems to work for them. And I do love the fact that they decorate their Jeepneys in many creative ways thus resulting in a colorful and attractive but bizarre look (if I may say so).


A trishaw in motion ~

Besides Jeepneys, they also have trishaws (that can fit about five passengers, mind you) which also proves how creative this Pinoys are, they seem to convert motorbikes into trishaws and not only that, there's a multitude of seats to choose from (hence the ability to carry five passengers).


I love the design of the churches there. The churches seems to have similar designs and if you notice they seem to have European influences as well. I saw this church when we were cruising Pasig river. The churches that we have in Kuching are slightly different in design.


This is where we bought our tickets for our river cruise. Well, it's not actually a river cruise per se, it's like a river taxi that takes on passengers along the river.


Waiting for our ferry. As you can see, Pasig river is not the cleanest river.


Us in the ferry. 


Kids playing in the river.


As we were cruising down Pasig river, it is very, very apparent that Pinoys love bright splashes of color. These are among the houses that were along the river. If you notice, the Jeepneys are also decorated with bright colors. Which kinda reminds me of Mexican culture, they love their bright colors with their boleros and bright skirts.


Kids swimming in the water of Pasig river.


Me on board the ferry. 


Celebrated my birthday at Secret Recipe, Manila.


Ronald's birthday is a few days before mine so we celebrated his too! 


Dad wanted to go to the Coconut Palace but unfortunately for us, it was closed to visitors. 


Us at the base of Taal Volcano, a small volcano, but an active one *yikes*.


Had the opportunity to visit a theme park in Manila, the Enchanted Kingdom.

Manila is a huge place. It consists of nine different cities (just to prove how huge it is). However as with any cities, there are places where the affluent frequents and there are places where the not-so-affluent resides in. Among those (for the affluent) is Makati City which is a great place to shop at. It has many gigantic shopping places that for shopaholics out there would certainly be a great way to spend the holidays.

Til my next vacation (which is soon, I hope), cheerio!!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

P/s: If you're traveling to Manila via Clark, bear in mind that Clark is about two hours drive away to Manila. You may opt to use a driver (like us) or taxi or a bus to Manila.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mabuhay!!

I spent four amazing days in Manila, Philippines. My dad planned a trip for us to Cebu Island but instead changed the plans and decided to bring us to Manila instead. I've never been to the Philippines and definitely I was excited.


So I went off and bought myself a Berlitz conversational Tagalog (the official Pinoy language) pocket book in order to help me show off to the locals. To tell you the truth, my Tagalog is absolutely horrible. So much so that it would be more appropriate to say that I am butchering the language *yikes*.

So, just in case you feel like leavin' for a trip to the Philippine Islands, let me share with you some phrases:

Mabuhay - Welcome

Kumusta kayo - How are you?

Mabuti naman, salamat - Fine, thank you

... Ang pangalan ko - ... is my name

Salamat po - Thank you

Magandang umaga - Good mornin'

Magandang hapon - Good afternoon

Magandang gabi - Good evening

Ang Sarap - That was delicious


What do you think? Not bad right? And if you are a Sarawakian (like me) some of their words are actually similar to ours, for example:

Manok - Chicken

Lima - Five

Lalaki - Male

Bini bini - Female


Ah, well... Those are the words that comes to mind, for now. Anyways, I will publish another post on my wonderful four-day holiday to Manila (and include all the photos, so that should you not feel like reading, you can ogle instead *aha*).

'Til my next post (which most probably be tomorrow night *sheepish grin*), cheerio peeps!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Monday, November 15, 2010

A trip to Bank Negara Malaysia et al

So I did mention that I went for a study trip with the students, right? Ahh, well.. That I did. Our trip lasted for 4 days, or approximately 3 days and 3 nights. It was me and 36 students, a frightful combination, but in the end, as Shakespeare would say, Alls Well, Ends Well, and it did.



This is what we flew on. Apparently banks can fly =)


Peeking out of the cabin window =)



It ain't colorful as MAS's but it gets me where I wanna go

We left on Wednesday afternoon, there was no activity on that day, just dinner. Arrived at Cemara and Akasia at around 10.30 pm. Checked in, with a lil' bit of hiccups here and there (hint: rude people were in abundance that night, so, it seems that we didn't get any warm welcomes from anyone I suppose) and finally snoozed off to an early mornin'.


Sleepy faces, awaiting their breakfast to jolt them up


Even though they're sleepy, but they'll pose anyway *aha*

The next day started as early as 6.30 am, left our beds to look for the warm comfort of mamak food, had roti canai and teh tarik and sped off to the streets of KL to Bank Negara (BNM). Arrived at 9 (we were super early, and knowing that Malaysians are famous for being late, we were way off the charts) and finally we headed in for a talk on Foreign Exchange.


Our speaker at BNM


One for the memories. Thanks BNM!

As my itineraries are never dull, we left BNM for lunch then headed off to KL Birdpark. To me, I was quite surprised that KL Birdpark was fun, initially thought that it'd be boring, but surprise, surprise, I enjoyed myself there. And looking at the expressions on my student's face, I think they kinda enjoyed it too.

I love this shot. Do you think the bird knows that it's being photographed?


Bird attack!!!

Left KL Birdpark, headed back to Cemara and Akasia to freshen up before leaving for i-City. I've always wanted to visit i-City and finally I did. Nae worries, will write another review on the place, but let me leave you with some photos of the place. A pretty, pretty sight it is =).




Finally, a peacock showing off its magnificent tail

Finally arrived back to Cemara and Akasia by almost 11 pm and back to beds for all of us (or at least, for me it is). The next mornin' also started as early as 6.30 am, went for breakfast of Nasi Lemak and teh tarik (usual Malaysian fanfare) and then we're off to INCEIF.


The students at INCEIF's library


He is one very funny speaker


Us. We make one very BIG crowd

Left INCEIF at noon and sped off to Genting for a relaxing outing with the students.


One for the memories

Arrived at Genting, immediately went into the theme park and played all the games like there's no tomorrow. But unfortunately, our bus can't leave Genting at night so we have to make do with leaving at 5pm. And then we're off to KLCC to do some shopping (it's the last night of the trip).


KLCC peaking amidst skyscrapers


KLCC

Saturday is a free day for me, went off to join a photography talk by Pixxawork in Putrajaya and left my students to wander off with the driver.


One of the pros in photography, Mr. Napie

And these are what I took after the photography session. What do you think?



After the talk, went to One Utama for a catch up session with my girlfriends, and then finally off to the airport.


Girlfriends!!

Methinks the programme was a little to jam packed, but then again, methinks me had fun *smile*. Hope I can organize another trip next semester, but this time, with lesser number of students.

Cheerio!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo