Christmas Mood at Empire Shopping Gallery

It’s the Hari Raya Haji Holiday today in Malaysia, how are you people celebrating it? I just came back from a morning of dim sum with family and shopping with beloved hubby! :) Just a short post today, for I wanted to share with you the pictures I took from the Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang. It was my first time there (finally) and they already have decorations for Christmas!

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas Tree at Empire Shopping Gallery

As usual, every year, the major shopping malls in KL would decorate their concourse area according to the festivals. I love the decoration during Christmas the most, for the environment is most usually white or silver and sparkly. My favourite! :)

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decoration at Empire Shopping Gallery

This year, Empire Shopping Gallery’s theme for Christmas is “A Raily Magical Christmas”. I suppose “Raily” in this case refers to the railway and hence, you could see a little train in the picture below. :) Also, the used a lot of cotton to make the place look ‘snowy’ just like winter time.

Empire Shopping Gallery

A Raily Magical Christmas

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decor #1

Empire Shopping Gallery

Cute train on the railway

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decor #2

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decor #3

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decor #4

How do you like the Christmas decoration from Empire?

Since I was already there, I went to check out their famous indoor Lex Slide which ran vertically across 5 storeys. I didn’t take the slide but witnessed a few persons trying it. It didn’t look that scary nor fast, but it cost RM12 – which I’d rather use for shopping instead. :P

Empire Shopping Gallery

Lex Indoor Slide

Empire Shopping Gallery

Would you try it?

Empire Shopping Gallery

5-storey indoor slide

That was how I spent the first half of today. :) Now, on to spend some quality time (I mean napping :P) before cooking dinner for tonight. :)

Final Night at Melbourne, Australia

Before we knew it, it was our second last day, which was also the last night in Melbourne, Australia! We woke up to a cold morning and had a hearty breakfast. :)

Melbourne Australia

Eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans and tomato – Saucer’s favourite :)

Melbourne Australia

English muffin with ham, bacon and egg – does it look like a smiley with a tongue? :P

Melbourne Australia

Seafood linguine

We went to the Brighton beach previously but I forgot to post the pictures so here they are. It was a cold, cloudy and rainy morning so the pictures looked really gloomy even though it was the morning. The Brighton beach had really soft and fine sand, and the stretch of beach went for a really long way. Since it was drizzling, we just stopped by to take a few pictures before leaving.

Melbourne Australia

Brighton Beach, Melbourne

There’s a famous row of colourful shacks along the beach, which is a popular photography spot.

Melbourne Australia

Colourful shacks along Brighton beach

Melbourne Australia

witch at Brighton beach

Melbourne Australia

Saucer at Brighton beach

During our stay in Melbourne, we were deeply indebted towards Kendal and Tracey, the kind family who let us stay at their place for 2 weekends. :) They were extremely hospitable and I grew very fond of their 3 children – Luke, Ben and Will. :)

Melbourne Australia

witch and Will <3

Apart from the kids, we were also acquainted with their family pets! This is Ally, Kendal’s beloved cockateil, which apparently only likes males. :P Whenever Kendal or Saucer placed their fingers by the side of the cage, Ally would come jumping towards their fingers to be stroked. *LOL*

Melbourne Australia

Ally the family’s cockateil

Melbourne Australia

Ally getting some affection :)

For our final dinner, Tracey and Kendal prepared an Italian feast for us – we had Lasagna! :)

Melbourne Australia

Table settings

Melbourne Australia

Garlic toast

Melbourne Australia

Our dinner – fabulous lasagna

A group picture with our host family! Too bad Saucer wasn’t in it since he was the one holding the camera. :)

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with Kendal, Tracey, Luke, Ben and Will

The next morning, which was our final day, we had to return our rental car to Hertz. A final picture of the comfortable car driven by Saucer before returning it. :)

Melbourne Australia

Our rented car

Along the way, I spotted something interesting! It was a 7-11 store, not selling groceries but selling petrol! It was my first time seeing a 7-11 petrol station so I couldn’t help but snap a picture of it. :)

Melbourne Australia

7-11 Petrol Station

Later in the morning, we went to witness Luke and Ben play in their respective basketball matches. They had these matches every weekend and it was pretty fun to watch! In fact, it triggered the basketball bone in us that we went ahead with a little game of our own! *LOL*

Melbourne Australia

Playing basketball with the family

Here are some shots of the gorgeous house that we stayed in for 2 weekends.

Melbourne Australia

Kendal’s house

Melbourne Australia

Lovely white flowers in the garden

Melbourne Australia

Love the mailbox!

Melbourne Australia

Kendal and Saucer

Melbourne Australia

The majestic but homely house :)

Before long, it was time for us to leave for the airport. :( It was a sad and heavy feeling but one that we had to go through anyhow. We took some group pictures before we left!

Melbourne Australia

Us with the kids and one of the kid’s friend :)

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with the family and their kids #1

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with the family and their kids #2

Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable and longest holiday trip that we’ve had so far. The adventures and misadventures, the laughter, joy and most importantly, the friendship we gained, it was priceless. We made bonds here that could last a lifetime. We’d definitely be returning to Melbourne for a future visit! :) Kendal has promised to make his famous chocolate pudding whenever we visit him! ;)

Melbourne Australia

On my flight back

Melbourne Australia

Goodbye Melbourne!

Photography Project: Brother-in-law’s ROM

Last month, a very special event happened in our family – Saucer’s elder brother Soon got married! :) With his long-time girlfriend Ling. The event was held all the way up north in Kulim, since both of them are working in the northern region. Saucer and I were there, together with the rest of my in-laws. The registration was scheduled to be at 10am, so we reached there 15 minutes earlier.

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Buddhist Association of Kulim

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Family members getting excited

Notice my title of Photography Project? :P Well it’s not a project really, just my attempt to shoot people instead of food. ;) They already had an official photographer hired for this event, so you could see that in most of the shots, they were not looking at me. I didn’t interrupt them for fear of getting scolded by the official photographer. *LOL*

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Cute flower girl – my niece-in-law

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Prayer hall at the Buddhist Association

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The Buddha statue

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The groom getting nervous?

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Couple shot before the ceremony

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Close up of the couple

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The bride

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With the bouquet

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How sweet :)

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Their wedding bands

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Gold wedding band

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Wedding bands carrier

Soon, it was time! The registrar was ready, and all of us went into the room to witness them signing their lives away. *LOL* It was quite a relaxed smooth process, since there was only one other couple waiting in line. They could take all the time they wanted for photography and posing. :)

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Signing the papers – it’s official!

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My mother-in-law as the witness

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Ling’s father as another witness

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Happy family!

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Look at the happy groom! :)

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Aww…

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Looking serious now as the registrar gave them a word of advice

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The wedding band  bearer getting ready :)

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Take a picture with me or no rings for you! :P

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Ring exchange ceremony

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And a kiss from me to you <3

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What was she surprised at?

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A red packet to the Registrar as a gesture of thanks

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The newly weds with mother-in-law

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The newly-weds with Ling’s father

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Our official videographer ;)

The next couple was already getting ready after the signing process, so we took the chance to take a group picture of them together.

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The two lovely couples

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Prayers

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Wishing for a forever after? :)

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Joss sticks

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Burning incense sticks

More pictures with the family ensue. :)

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Receiving a gift from the mother-in-law

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Another gift from the sister-in-law

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Red packets from second sis and brother-in-law

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Time for them to give red packets for the first time! :) – Too bad I wasn’t eligible to receive :P

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Angpow to Ling’s little sister

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Ang pow to some kid :P

Then, the official photographer asked the couple to do lots of poses for photography. As usual, I was just standing by the side, trying to capture them without interrupting the photographer in charge. :)

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Couple shot #1

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Couple shot #2

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Couple shot #3

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Couple shot #4

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Couple shot #5 – showing off their rings :)

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Couple shot #6

And last but not least, a group picture with the family members.

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Couple with the bride’s family

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Couple with the groom’s family

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All together now – say cheese!

The whole event lasted about an hour and a half, with photography taking most of the time. :) So what do you think of my attempt at shooting people? Constructive comments appreciated! ;)

The Celcom Xplay Shout! Party!!

Remember my previous post about the Celcom XPLAY Shout event? Well, it happened yesterday night and may I say the crowd was awesome!The party was held at Library at e@Curve, one of the hippest and coolest club in town.

Celcom Xplay Shout

Library at e@Curve

Look at the crowd outside waiting to get in!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Outside the Library

Celcom Xplay Shout

Waiting to get in

And you wonder what’s the deal there eh? Free flow all night long baby!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Free flow all night long!

Celcom Xplay Shout

The line-up for the night

Saucer and I reached in the midst of Disagree performing and the atmosphere was just hot and wild! It was my first time seeing and listening to Disagree live, and I have to say that I was impressed! :)

Celcom Xplay Shout

The performing stage

Celcom Xplay Shout

Disagree performing

Celcom Xplay Shout

Such concentration :)

We had a table outdoors where the atmosphere was slightly cooler with flowing air. But just look at the crowd! The place was packed even at just 9+pm!

Celcom Xplay Shout

The crowd in the club

Celcom Xplay Shout

witch at Library :)

Some shots with friends and strangers we met that night. :P

Celcom Xplay Shout

Saucer and Mark

Celcom Xplay Shout

witch and Saucer

Celcom Xplay Shout

Free Flow of beer!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Saucer and Bok

Right after Disagree, it was the Battle of the Bands! My the boys really rocked their socks off!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Battle of the Bands

Celcom Xplay Shout

Band Arabella

Of course, there were more bands after, including Hujan and the fabulous Mizz Nina but unfortunately, me being old-er now, couldn’t stand to be in the crowd for such a long period. :P We left earlier before we could watch Mizz Nina perform but I heard she gave an astounding performance! Way to go girl!

Next week will be the real Shout! Awards party! Have you guys got your free passes yet? Find out how here! See you there! :)

Flavours from Bali at Eccucino

I visited Bali more than 2 years ago and surprisingly, I found myself eating mostly seafood and babi guling. Back then, I was not aware of their local cuisine and missed out on a lot delicious food such as satay lilit or bebek betutu. In fact, I always feel regretful especially when I read blogs talking about Balinese food. But no problem now! For Eccucino at Prince Hotel is having a promotion of Balinese food for a limited period!

Balinese food

Balinese food

I couldn’t be happier to try out the promotion which is only available from 8th to 21st of November 2010. Eccucino actually brought over a group of guest chefs from Bumbu Bali Restaurant and Cooking School, one of the best restaurants in Indonesia.

Balinese food

Dining table and chairs at Eccucino, Prince Hotel

The Balinese promotion focuses on traditional cooking of beautiful Balinese delicacies such as slow-roasted chicken and duck in banana leaves, grilled seafood, tantalizing satays, soups from banana stems, green papayas and mushrooms, Balinese cakes and tropical fruits.

Balinese food

Buffet spread at Eccucino

I was more than delighted to sample the food there, and I especially loved the sate lilit (Minced seafood satay) and sambal udang (Spiced Prawns in Chili Tomato Sauce). Of course, words are of no use without pictures! :)

Balinese food

Another side of buffet area

Balinese food

BBQ prawns, Sate lilit and chicken sate

Balinese food

Pecelan (Assorted vegetables with peanut sauce)

Balinese food

Balinese food

Balinese food

Papaya salad

Balinese food

Tuna salad with chilli and lemongrass dressing

Balinese food

Balinese food

Bebek Betutu (Roasted duck in banana leaf)

Balinese food

Sambal Udang (Spiced Prawns in Chili Tomato Sauce)

Balinese food

Asparagus

Balinese food

Nasi Kuning (Yellow rice)

In the midst of savouring the delicious food, we were treated with an authentic Balinese dance!

Balinese food

Balinese dancers getting ready

Balinese food

Balinese fan dance

Balinese food

Such elegant moves

Balinese food

Esther and witch :)

Also, we witnessed a short cooking demonstration by the chef himself!

Balinese food

Cooking demonstration by the Chef

Balinese food

Delicious! :)

We thought that was all, but no, there was a fashion show as well! We were in for a treat eh? :) Some gorgeous models came strutting with beautiful Balinese outfits.

Balinese food

Balinese outfit #1

Balinese food

Balinese outfit #2

Balinese food

Balinese outfit #3

Balinese food

Balinese outfit #4 – my favourite!

Of course, all of this would not have been possible if not for the Chef from Bumbu Bali Restaurant and Cooking School himself!

Balinese food

Guest Chef from Bumbu Bali Restaurant and Cooking School

Flavours from Bali is available for buffet dinner at RM88++ per person.

For reservations:

Eccucino
Prince Hotel and Residence,
Jalan Conlay,
50450 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Contact no.: +603-2170 8888
Email: restaurants@princehotelkl.com.my

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Apart from the buffet dinner, Eccucino is also organizing Balinese Cooking class!

Balinese Cooking Class
16 November 2010 at 3pm
RM75++ per person inclusive of buffet lunch
Please call +603-2170 8888 to reserve

Balinese contest

Win grand prize of Air Asia return air-tickets to Bali! Dine in at Eccucino, enjoy the Bali’s most beautiful culinary delicacies and win the contest!

Grand prize: Air Asia return air-tickets to Bali with accomodation and cooking class at Bumbu Bali

Consolation prize: Balinese cooking books, Bumbu Bali souvnirs, Mandara Spa vouchers and Prince dining vouchers.

Latest Addition to the Family

Haha! I bet some of you who saw the title might have something else in mind eh? *winks* Well, all I wanted to mean was my latest gadget added to my family! :) Yes!!! I finally bought myself a new camera, after selling off my Panasonic Lumix LX3 recently. Why did I want to sell off my LX3, many people asked? The main reason was actually to upgrade it to an LX5! I heard about LX5’s release back in August, when it wasn’t even available in Malaysia yet. I got really excited with the news and I wanted to change mine to LX5 too! But I couldn’t afford to spend another thousand over for a camera, could I?

Panasonic Lumix LX5

My new Panasonic Lumix LX5 camera box

So Saucer came up with a brilliant idea! He suggested that I sell off my LX3 first, before LX5 hits our shores, so that it could still demand a good price. Bear in mind, the LX3 price a few months ago was still quite good at around RM1.5-1.6k for a brand new one! And how much did I get it for last time? Only RM1.51k! Of course, I couldn’t very well sell it off at 1.5k, since I already used it for almost 2 years.

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Inside the box – AV cable, USB cable, battery charger, Software CD, warranty card, manual, Camera, lens cap

Since it’s a good camera, I searched online and found that the second hand price was pretty good! Heck, some were even selling at 1.3k! LOL! I, on the other hand, placed my price tag at RM1.2k, complete with a 4GB memory card. If you read back my previous post, you would know that I had a free gift of a full-sized tripod (worth~RM50) from my previous purchase. I didn’t sell that off, so I guess I saved another RM50 from there. *LOL* I posted my ad online for a few days and very soon, I found a buyer who was keen to buy it for his brother! :) Amazing! I think he was very happy with the purchase too, since I kept all the things intact, including the original box. And I used a screen protector on the LCD, no scratches on the body – it looked as good as new! :) Oh, did I also mention there were about 5 months left on the warranty, so I’d say it’s a pretty good deal at 1.2k. :)

Panasonic Lumix LX5

The new Panasonic Lumix LX5 camera

That was back in August/September period. After I sold it off, I heard that LX5 reached Malaysia from Merryn, but the starting price was way too expensive at RM1,999! My budget was circa RM1.7k, so that I only needed to top up another RM500 max for a new one. Since the price was out of my budget, I persevered and waited, while relying on Saucer’s Canon 500D DSLR. :) I have to admit though, while DSLR does give excellent images, it’s a chore during holidays! When we were in China, both of us didn’t feel like lugging the heavy camera around since we would go out from early in the morning until late night, walking most of the time. It could really be a tiresome thing on your neck! That was when I was getting more determined on buying the LX5 after returning to Malaysia.

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Top view of LX5

We returned to Malaysia last weekend, and saw that there was a PC Expo happening at Mid Valley Megamall. Without further ado, we went there in search of the camera. Since it was a PC Expo, the exhibits were mainly on PCs, even though there were a few stalls selling camera. But we did not only visit the stalls in PC Expo, we also went to the camera stores in Mid Valley itself! That’s how we ended up stopping at Keycolor. :) Saucer got his Canon 500D from there previously so the lady recognized us. Upon asking her the price of the LX5, I almost thought I heard wrongly! I was expecting the price to be around RM1.6k or RM1.55k (cheapest I could find online) but she told me , RM1,499! Did I heard it correctly?

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Bottom view of LX5 – Made in Japan!

She said she’s selling this at such a special price in conjunction with the PC Expo! The normal price that she was selling at is RM1,699. It was also the last day of PC Expo so it was the last day to buy the camera at RM1,499. What were we waiting for? Of course I immediately went to the ATM to withdraw cash and purchase it from her. Did I also say that she threw in an 8BG SD Card for free? Fabulous! I was really happy with my purchase. :) Best of all, I upgraded my almost 2year old LX3 to a new LX5 with just a RM30o top-up! :)

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Front view of LX5 with lens cap

I tried the LX5 on the spot and found that it had less noise compared to LX3, and the zoom was slightly more. Also, this model is available in black and white. Since my LX3 was black, I chose a white model instead! And it’s GORGEOUS! Pearl and shiny finish.

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Leica Lens as usual

I’m not going to bore you with the list of technical specifications which you could read from here. But the main highlights as listed on the Panasonic website are as follows:

  • f/2.0 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON Lens with 24mm Wide-angle
  • 1/1.63-inch, 10.1-megapixel High-sensitivity CCD – better shots at low light conditions
  • Venus Engine Full HD featuring Intelligent Resolution Technology
  • HD Movie in AVCHD Lite with Creative Movie Mode
  • Intuitive Manual Control and Creative Option Featuring My Colour Mode
  • Expandability with Optional Accessories

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Back view of LX5

In terms of interface, I found myself going back to familiar grounds. It felt just like the LX3, except for the missing of the joystick, which was replaced with a click wheel. Of course, most importantly is the quality of the pictures taken with the camera. I did a few test shots at home and found it to be significantly less noisy compared to the LX3.

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Scene mode

I’m sure you are keen to look at pictures taken with this camera, yes? No worries! Since I am bringing it with my for food reviews now, you’ll see more of the pictures taken by this gem. :)

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Panasonic Lumix LX5 camera in white

Though the pictures will never be as nice as those from the DSLR, I’d say this camera has captured the best of both worlds – compact in size, customizable features and above-average quality photos! It’s perfect for traveling, when you want to travel light and yet take amazing photos. This is it! :)