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Wednesday 31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

As I sit now and type this, a wave of memories hit me. Not sure if it's just the wee hours of the morning or my emotions kicking in. I'm guessing it will be a more emotional post. 2014 has been a year of learning and countless goodbyes for me, I wonder what 2015 will be like.

I've been putting off blogging for a week or so now; somehow I just feel so lethargic and moodless to do anything else. But hey, it's the last day of the year, I guess I'd want a closure for my blog as well as in my personal life :)

2014 is a major year for me. For starters, I have officially graduated! Please expect to see me rant a lot about uni life here. VU has been nothing but kind to me and for that, I am grateful. Truth be told, 3 years ago when I applied for uni, VU was never my first choice. I can tell you honestly that the only reason I chose it was because of the 75% scholarship offered. I was young, I didn't know what I really wanted. But I was also eager, and Marketing seemed to be my thing. I loved interacting with people and social media, especially so after I started blogging. So you could say that social media marketing is my 'true calling'. Haha. For me, uni was all about the people - friends, staffs and lecturers who have been the best part of the journey.

My friends, the 'Marketing Gang'. I would not have survived the last 2 years without you! You deserve more than one shoutout for being the best bunch of people to hang out with, my family in KL. Because I don't drive, they're always offering to chaffeur me around and bring me to explore new plaees. The girls especially, are so, so sweet you wouldn't believe it. I'm a very messy and forgetful person. Knowing I'd usually forget to print my notes, they'd print it for me and they'd always reject my payment like ASDFGHJKL how can I not pay right!! I'm definitely going to miss all the times we stayed up to rush our assignments. Wah, it's a super tough process, trying to finish our work on time while fighting the urge to sleep. Often, we'd Skype while we're working and take turns napping and waking each other up. Come to think of it, these sessions are the motivation to keep me going and produce the best work possible! My best assignment gang ever. We have so much chemistry that we can just pick a topic and leave the others to do the rest, with no worries at all. I'm definitely going to miss our hangout sessions even more, especially on Fridays after a tiring week of assignments and tests. We'd usually go to TGV at Setia Walk because these idiots say the popcorn there is better, hence worth the extra petrol, toll and parking fees for HAHAHA. It's true, my wallet bleeds whenever we go out (lol) but it's so very worth it because I got to try so many new things with good company! Ahhh I really miss you guys so much :( Sometimes I think you know me even better than I know myself. I wish we didn't live 300km apart, if not we could still hang out whenever we want :( Thank you can't even suffice for everything you've done for me and all the good times we've had! Please come down to JB soon again!

Graduation also means that I've 'retired' from VUBC. In a blink of an eye, it's been 2 years since I joined the team. From them, I learnt how to work in a team and how to be a leader. For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to be the head of a whole event - Freshies' Night. Albeit, I'm not the most organised person ever and even organising my own birthday party sent me into panic mode, so I'm forever grateful to the team that has helped me and encouraged me along the way. Everyone worked with so much energy, and synergy, that I never doubted how successful the event would turn out, just like how all our other events have been. It is also through the club that I learnt some basic accounting skills, admin work and even social media management. The club also brought me closer to some of my lecturers and you know, they're only human too! I'm friends with my lecturers on Facebook too, they're a pretty cool bunch! Of course, I can't forget the last team building we had together at Broga Hills. It's a memorable way to end my final activity with the team! Thank you, seniors and juniors, for teaching me so much and for the farewell video! I tear up everytime I read your messages. Truly, VUBC Rocks ;)

Photo credits: Marcus
Aiya, I don't have a more recent photo with the 'new & improved' Carousell team, so this one from our first meeting in Sg last year will have to suffice. Haha. I think I can safely say that my Carousell job is my first real and longest job ever, even though it is part-time only. I've had the job for one year, seen and experienced every crisis or joy the team had. I started as an intern and even back then, it was never stressful and always fun. The bosses (who don't like us to call them bosses) always makes sure that everyone's welfare is taken care of and that they are comfortable with their jobs. I may not be active during Skype meetings nor chat on the Whatsapp group, but I observe that everyone working there, even the interns, are proud and glad to be part of this team. In fact, it's more like a family :) You guys won't know it but most of them work late nights from home or from the office just to get the system running perfectly. That's dedication! My only regret is not knowing some people from the team as well as I should have. Helping out with the recent flea and meetup in Malaysia is enough for me to learn from the team. Even after I left, I still got flowers from them to congratulate me on my graduation. How sweet is that! Thank you :)

My babes Jess & Jane. It feels as if we have known each other for a long time, but in actual fact, it's only been like, 3 months. LOL. It's a funny story of how we met. I started by 'stalking' Jess on Instagram because my housemate, who is her junior in uni. told me that she's a blogger. We started chatting on FB after that and the first time we met was at Furla event where I so 'bravely' got her to go with me, even though we've never spoken in real life before XD For Jane, we met during MIGF Media Launch cos I sat next to her. She told me I looked familiar, prolly cos we also followed each other on Instagram HAHA. Ever since then, we became fast friends and invited each other to events. Someone asked us during the MIGF Gala Night, 'how long have we known each other?' and he was so surprised to know that we've only been friends for 2 weeks! HAHAHA. Yet, we have so much in common, so much to talk and laugh about. There's never a dull moment. It's always good to find people with the same passion and principles as you. We talked about attending Fashion Week together. It started as a dream, and this year, it really came true! So I think you girls might just be my lucky charms ;) Thank you girls for the 'last' shopping trip before I came back to JB and for the thoughtful gifts as well. Fret not, will try and attend events back in KL and sleep on Jess's floor, since she offered :p Can't wait for more future collabs/ events with you two! ;)

Ma Cherie girls :) It's been a year since we met and about 9 months since the group was formed. Last night, we just had our year-end party, a night of fellowship and good times. We've never had a full gathering with all 11 of us before, I hope it'll happen soon! We are a diverse group of women of different ages, yet we bond so well. Everyone specialises in something, which makes us kind of an 'all-rounder' group. I get to learn so much from these girls. It's mostly real-life experiences that I won't get to learn anywhere else, so thank you for that. I've always wanted to see how a photoshoot works and well, I got to help plan my own one this year. I would say that La Vie En Rose is a success! I really enjoy spending time with them as they are so motherly and takes care of us, I feel so loved! Here's to more exciting adventures for our blogging careers, more milestones in each of our lives and more exposure for the group! Hehe. Can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for us. Perhaps another photoshoot? :p

Now as I sit back and reflect, I realise life has been good to me. I've learnt so much and discovered myself along the way. But with graduation, also comes unemployment. This has been nagging on my mind the past few weeks (also nagging from my parents). As optimistic as I'd like to be, I really don't know what my future holds for me. I secretly want to earn some more money, go travelling first and then return to find a stable job. But I know my parents would disapprove. Sigh. When can I experience such freedom, such youth again if not now? :( On top of that, what if I don't find a job that I like? I'm not so good at adapting, I worry about office politics and fitting in too, just like any other human being. What if I'm not happy? What if I don't earn well enough? I always say that my first paycheck will go into my mouth so hopefully my braces plan can materialise next year? 

Besides, there is so much backload to work on, be it on my blog or life. I think I might be biting off more than I can chew. It's time I put those skills that I've learnt to the test again, and get my life back in order. Right now, it's not organised at all. I cannot be this immature, happy-go-lucky girl anymore if it means I'm being irresponsible for my own life.

2015, you are a blur to me now. It's scary, it feels like I'm stepping into another phase of life and honestly, I'm not looking forward to it. But I hope that it'll also mean new beginnings, a new chapter. Seeing everyone else's life progress, I need to have that too. One day I'm going to look back on this post and see how silly I've been. For now, I'll slowly step into the next year, relishing my carefree years as I go.

I sincerely hope you'll have a good year ahead and that you will never have to be as lost as I am now. Look at everything and treat it as an opportunity. Learning never stops for me, which is why I hope I'll be happy while learning too. No more books to study, but so much more to face in the real world. Let's brace the New Year together, shall we? :)

Happy New Year 2015!

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Eats & Treats: B.E Cafe (New Branch) @ Taman Molek [Part 1]

Woohoo! The year is coming to an end. The past few weeks, I've been pigging out like a glutton, exactly how the holidays should be enjoyed. Last week, we were invited to B.E Cafe's new branch for a review and just yesterday, we had another review at their flagship branch. Wanna know what yummy food they offer? Read on~

Both B.E Cafe branches are located in Taman Molek, JB. I guess their business must be super good to open another branch! Congrats! The new branch is located at another area of Molek and is much smaller than the main branch. With their tagline 'Taste the food, enjoy the coffee', they specialise in lunch & teatime quick meals, hence the smaller space at a corner-lot shop.

The name inspiration behind B.E Cafe is to encourage one to always BE YOURSELF. That being said, they hope to stand out from the rest of the cafes in JB through their food & drinks. 

The decor is really simple and raw, quite cosy for a small space. There are about 8 tables only so it's not so suitable for big crowds. Additionally, there is a bar counter outside for outdoor dining. Grab any of the magazines available to read while you're enjoying a cuppa!

A little bit of basic coffee knowledge here. The beans used by B.E Cafe are either Sumatran, Columbian, Kenya, Panama or Costa Rica beans, depending on which type of bean is most suitable for a different type of coffee blend. Basically, coffee is categorised according to the amount of milk used. For instance, espresso is blended from pure coffee beans with no milk whatsoever. Cappucino, latte, macchiato then follows consequently with an increasing amount of milk. Now I know, cos I'm always confused about the difference between the various types of coffee in the market!

We tried about 8 types of drinks and 7 dishes that day, so let's jump straight into the review shall we? It's a loooonggg list.

Disclaimer: I am not a coffee drinker nor do I claim to be a coffee connoiseur, so please forgive me for the lacking description on the coffee!

Rose Latte RM 10.50 (H) | RM 12.50 (C)
Feminine, smooth and awakes the senses. It's no surprise that this drink is a ladies' favourite. Not only is the latte art absolutely adorable, the latte is overall very well-balanced. It's not too sweet and not too bitter. The coffee taste isn't that strong, which for a non-coffee drinker like myself, is something to like. Rose syrup is used to enhance the overall rose taste.

Iced Latte RM11.50 (C) | RM 9.50 (H)
The appearance may not look much, but the iced latte is actually one of B.E Cafe's signature drink. It has a strong coffee taste which is bitter at first, but gets more enjoyable the more you drink it. Perfect for a hot day!

Caramel Macchiato RM 10.90
From the layers, you can see that this drink has the most milk content with a thick layer of foam at the top (my fave!). This drink is sweet with a mild caramelish taste, which is why it is also a hit with the ladies.

Cappucino RM 8.50 (H) | RM 11.50 (C)
Ah, the most famous coffee of all; cappucino. It contains a high milk content which gives it that rich smoothness and is a universal taste that most people enjoy. What I like is that while it is so milky, the coffee fragrance is still present with each sip.

Citrus Chocolate RM 12.50 (H) | RM 15.50 (C)
While we've all heard of hot chocolate, citrus chocolate is something new and interesting. The citrusy taste actually comes from the Cointreau (orange syrup used in cocktails). While I do not enjoy orange-flavoured food, I have to admit that the orangey taste does complement the rich and slightly bitter chocolate well for a refreshing kick.

Baby Chino RM 7.50
I won't lie - this is definitely my favourite drink! I posted this photo on my Instagram and everyone can't help praising how cute this is! Not only because of the absolutely adorable coffee art (it's a baby for the Baby Chino!), this is a non-coffee drink, despite the slightly misleading name.  There is a very strong vanilla taste from the milk which gives it a smooth, creamy texture. For extra sweetness, just consume the marshmallow coated with chocolate sauce which doubles up as a ribbon for the "baby". Not only is this perfect for ladies, kids love it too! 

A cute coffee art calls for a selfie. Please tell me this isn't the cutest drink you've ever come across in your life?! All the girls were fighting to take pic with the Baby Chino and we couldn't bear to drink for we didn't want to ruin the design haha.

Vanilla Affogato RM 9.90
Basically, an affogato is just vanilla flavoured ice-cream with an espresso shot. For me, most affogatos tastes the same but I find that B.E Cafe's espresso is not unbearably bitter unlike most I've tried. The combination of cold, sweet ice-cream with hot, bitter coffee is a match made in Heaven!

Single Origin Hand Brew RM 15.00
For the next drink, it's a signature hand-brew coffee that has to be prepared with a special light roast, syphon method. Only one bean from Kenya is used. Syphon method may be tedious but it really extractst the taste of the coffee bean best. The dark coffee has a gingery, herbal sweet taste that also brings a creamy mouthful. It is best to consume the coffee after four minutes. The coffee is more acidic, it gets more sour the colder it gets and leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Barista Sam working his magic. 

After downing all that coffee, we were super hungry and ready to dig in to the food prepared!

The Breakfast Essentials RM 23.50
Ah, this is one of my favourites, seeing as oddly enough, there aren't many cafes in JB that serves all-day breakfast platters like these. To truly savour this dish, start with the salad to whet your appetite. The salad is dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing which is refreshing to the tastebuds. Then, proceed to the wild mushroom sauteed with vinegar and black pepper. In my opinion, the mushrooms were the best part of the platter as they were not only juicy but flavourful as well! The country loaf which is freshly baked bread, is best enjoyed with the slightly runny and cheesy omelette. Top the dish off with some sausages and hashbrown and you've got a perfectly balanced meal! The breakfast platter is typically meant for sharing but of course, if you're a big eater, this shouldn't be too hard to polish off by yourself!

Grilled Chicken Chop Rice RM 15.50
Lately I'm starting to develop an appreciation for meat and rice combination meals. I used to only eat the chicken or pork chop part and ignore the rice but now I realise that the rice is needed to fill the stomach, and to fully savour the sauce. LOL do you get what I'm saying... Anyway, the grilled chicken chop is really tender and juicy. It has no bones at all! The mushroom sauce is homemade, as you can probably tell from the large chunk of shiitake mushrooms. It's an enjoyable dish indeed, but the saltiness needs to be played down a little.

Mushroom Spaghetti Aglio Olio RM 16.50
More mushroom!! I love mushroom omg. This looks like your ordinary aglio olio but somehow, it doesn't taste much like conventional aglio olio. Aglio olio is a simple pasta dish consisting of garlic, onion, olive oil, chilli flakes and mushroom, but it's not easy to cook it well, imo. The dish is slightly spicy and very fragrant. The spaghetti is al-dente and the mushroom adds a bit of bite to the dish. Oh yeah, do watch out for the chilli bits!

Classic Hawaiian Pizza RM 12.90
I was totally not expecting the pizza to be thin-crusted! Thin-crust pizzas are my favourite as the dough is just enough to classify it as a pizza, but the main focus belongs to the toppings. Idk, that's just my personal preference! The pizza base is super crunchy, I think it's toasted tortilla bread? The bolognaise sauce tastes slightly sweet but is best paired with the savoury parmesan cheese and chicken & pineapple bits. It's practically oozing with cheese, perfect!

Smoked Duck Panini RM 17.90
Panini is basically a sandwich. It consists of cheese, tomato, onions and spring onions, something not commonly found in Western cuisine. Imagine a bite of freshly baked, warm bread with savoury cheese and sweet tomatoes to make your tastebuds smile. To me, the bread was a bit dry and tough when cold so this dish is best eaten when warm. The smoked duck was also not salty enough but the cheese made up for that lacking saltiness.

Turkey Bacon & Ham Waffle RM 15.90
What do you get when you combine your favourite breakfast food and a dessert together? THIS dish. Chicken ham, turkey bacon and Eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce are commonly eaten for breakfast while the soft, warm waffles add a little twist to the meal. Ok this dish is a complicated one. I'm guessing the inspiration behind this sweet and savoury dish came from the famed Duck & Waffles in London?  It's sweet yet savoury, my tastebuds were so confused. But I do like it as I find this combination quite interesting. The girls were on the fence about this dish because we're all mostly used to eating waffles for dessert. It's an acquired taste, I guess.

Every perfect poached egg has to have the yolk ooze out when cut. I'd say this one passed the test! However, the egg white was a little rubbery? Not sure why, but like any other food, it's best to enjoy the food while it's hot!

Fried Lotus Chips RM 8.90
Now, this is something you don't see everyday. Thinly sliced lotus roots are fried and lightly salted to provide a healthier alternative to potato chips. The chips are really crispy and mildly addictive! I've always enjoyed lotus root soup, this is truly and interesting twist for me!

*burp* So stuffed after all the good food, but that's not all B.E Cafe has to offer! They do have set lunch promotions at both their branches now, ranging from RM 11.90 - RM 15.90. Totally affordable, as you also get a drink and ice cream with your main dish. The menu for both branches are the same, with the exception of omelette rice not being served in the new branch. Watch out for my next post on B.E Cafe as I'll be reviewing more on the lunch set food!

If you're not a coffee drinker, B.E Cafe also serves alcoholic drinks.

Thanks Jack for being our host and explaining all the food and drinks to us! I learnt a thing or two about coffee that day haha. 

From top left: Jia Ying, Sin Yee, Cece, me, Binbin, Jennifer, Kim, Eunice
Group pic with the girls (and Mr Bin!)

With the Tham sisters. It's my second time meeting Eunice's sister and first time having food review with her so of course must take photo right!

*bonus* Eunice's birthday was a few days after the review (hint: it's Christmas!), so we decided to give her a little surprise! I got Jack to bring out a small cake for her and she totally did not suspect anything haha.

B.E Cafe's Christmas Log Cake. Why all their food so cute wan?? Not only does this look good, it tastes good too!

Thanks to Eunice for the invite, otherwise we wouldn't be able experience the difference between the two branches! And Happy (belated) Birthday! <3

If you're searching for a place to have your lunch or simply to chill, I'd recommend B.E Cafe's new branch as it's quieter compared to the main branch. It's also more homely, but the food tastes just as amazing in both branches. LIKE their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram for more updates!

Instagram: #becafe
Address (New Branch):
46, Jalan Molek 1/28,
Taman Molek,
81100 JB.
(Behind OCBC Bank & Lavendar Cafe & Bakery)
Tel: 07-3643128
Operating Hours: 8.30am - 7pm

UPDATE: You can read about my experiences at the main branch HERE!


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Disclaimer: Even though the review is sponsored, the review is based on my honest personal taste and preference after trying out the food and services.

Monday 29 December 2014

Beauty: Amante Nail Spa & Body Care

Happy Monday! It's the last Monday of 2014. Feeling the blues? Why not read a little about my first ever spa experience? Who knows, it might inspire you to find time and relax a little or maybe go try out the services for yourselves hehe. 

If you remember, I blogged about Amante Nail Spa & Body Care's charity event back in July, in conjunction with the Butterfly Project's charity blogging event. For our efforts, Amante decided to reward us with a spa voucher worth RM88 and 3 treatments to choose from - manicure, hot stone massage or bust enhancement therapy. Well, I'm not afraid to say that I chose the latter. HAHA. Anyways, here are some photos of the Amante branch that I visited in Puchong, just like to share them with you!

Amante Puchong is located above a stationary shop in Bandar Puteri, opposite Giant Hypermarket. Don't be fooled by the exterior for inside, its a totally different world! Find the address, telephone number and operating hours HERE.

I fell in love with the cosy atmosphere the moment I stepped in. The use of wood and bamboo along with neutral colours, are really soothing to the eyes. The calming background music and scent of aromatherapy oils adds more to that atmosphere.

This area is for basic manicure. Check out the tiny fans on the table tops!

Nail polish galore! *.*

This is where manicure & pedicure is done. What a bright, spacious place!

Behind the veiled curtains are the spa areas which also exudes that same calming air.

Even the toilets so pretty lol.

I had my spa date with Eunice that day and she chose the Hot Stone Massage. Don't be fooled, the stones are REALLY hot! According to Enice, the physical massaging part took longer than the hot stone process. But overall, Eunice said it really helped to relax her muscles, although the massage oils did make her hair oily haha.

My bed for the Bust Enhancement & Firming Lymphatic Detoxification Treatment.

Overall, the treatment took about half an hour. For more visible results, the masseuse suggested I take the one hour full treatment but I was kinda pressed for time. The treatment basically consisted of massaging and pulling of the lymphatic nerves near the chest to stimulate it. A fork-like device and massage oils was used to massage that area. It's actually quite relaxing if you don't think about how much it hurts LOL. Apparently, pain is common for first-timers, what more someone as skinny as me. It's also quite awkward for me but I soon got over it, seeing as the masseuse was so confident and not awkward at all. I guess there were some visible results after the treatment but of course, nothing is permanent and continued treatment is encuraged for permanent effects.

After the treatment, we were offered ginger tea to regulate blood flow and rejuvenate oneself after the treatment.

Ending this quick post with our selfie!

It was my first time hanging out in KL with Eunice and I truly enjoyed it. After the spa session, we went for lunch before heading for Dreamscape's Fashion Salad Flea Market and O.W.L Eyewear opening event. Check out both our blogs for the posts! 

For more information and the list of Amante Spa locations, do visit their website and Facebook page.
Operating hours are normally 10am - 10pm at each branch. Also, look out for more events and happenings on The Butterfly Project's Facebook page!

In the meantime, enjoy the last Monday of the year.. Next year will be even better!


Follow me on my blog and social media sites:
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Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post.