Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Beletime Danga Bay Mall

Directly located below some of the Country Garden apartments, Beletime Danga Bay mall just opened recently. It's a simple basic mall occupying just a ground floor, with a few major brands, AEON being the main supermarket and some interesting ones. For full directory, click on the link mentioned above.

This is probably my favourite. I suppose it's Korean fashion brands.


Ying Ker Lou Hakka Cuisine. Nice facade.

Local sponge cake brand.

So many malls in JB now!

Craft Decor @ Midvalley Southkey

I definitely love this Craft Decor outlet at Midvalley Southkey mall. A lot of these home decor shops are bringing in more zakka and Nordic/ Scandinavian style decorations, like Kaison. If you like Kaison, you'd love this Craft Decor too.

Good quality almost-realistic artificial botanical decor.

These caught my eyes...

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Of peace and joy...

I just want to remind myself the feeling of peace and joy I felt this weekend.

I started work at a new company this week, on 9 December. There were so many emotions on my first day; excitement, nervousness and uncertainty. I also felt lonely, naturally, as I have not yet warmed up to the people and culture. It is such a stark contrast to my previous life where I walk into the office or lab every morning and just felt at home, like I own the place. It will take time. But most of all, I had hope. I felt like I am now free from the negativity and fear.

So, on Friday, at the end of work, I breathed a sigh of relief that I survived the first week. Actually, there weren't anything to survive, really. I just had to go through their orientation program which is basically a welcome speech by the director, office tour, meeting the people, getting a laptop and setting up accounts etc. And taking online courses on Environment Health and Safety before I can step into the laboratory. So, it was quite a sedentary week.

Traffic back to JB was quite OK luckily. I got home and we all went to Midvalley Southkey for dinner at Texas Chicken. There was Chrismassy feeling at the mall already. I managed to get a 2020 planner from Muji. Yes, I'm a planner girl! I hope to improve my journalling art.

Perhaps the best feeling is cooking a nice meal for your family. Yep, nothing beats this feeling. So I managed to grab some fresh produce from the wet market while Darren had his piano class on Saturday morning. Then a nice lunch with mummy dearest at Warakuya. We all know we go there for the massage chair and fruit cocktail in the waiting area, heehee. Oh we don't mind waiting at all.

Then we got home and I reorganized my craft table. Again, reorganizing something always gives me pleasure. Throwing unused things, clearing more space, putting things in places they should be and knowing where everything is, always gives you a psychological renewal and closure.

On Sunday morning at 12.30am, we all went out for McDonald supper! This is rare. And such a carefree feeling to know that you can sleep in the next day. And, it has been raining for days, including throughout the morning. It is such a contentment to sleep in on such cool and rainy mornings!

I woke up this morning and made pancakes for breakfast as requested by Darren. While the rest was still sleeping in, I had a little time to myself. All this feeling of peace and joy just filled my heart.

How did I get here? It is Psalm 143:8

Sunday, December 08, 2019


It has been quite a fruitful holiday this past three weeks. My last day in BTI was 12th November and I have been cherishing every moment of my freedom. I don't know why but the thought of finally having a break after 19 years of working in BTI, I felt it wasn't enough. I want more! Oh dear I'm so greedy. I know it's enough. Three weeks is just right, any longer and I will never want to go back to work, tee hee.

The first few days was very relaxing. I did the house chores as usual, then I just put my feet up and watched TV or napped or did nothing. My gosh, the luxury! It felt SOOOO liberating having nothing to do. This will be my retirement.

But being me, I started doing something, then it led to something else, then I started a checklist that needed to be checked. Then I started feeling busy, and having the pressure to check my checklist off before I start work. Then I started to hate myself for being so busy when I should be putting my feet up and doing nothing for three weeks. Hahah. Sounds familiar?

Anyway, I am happy that I accomplished quite a lot during my break. Here's my checklist.

1. Holiday with Mom.

2. Watched Julie&Julia movie.

3. Redecorated and reorganised parts of my home (this is always my to-do list every year break)

4. Fixed my bicycle.

5. Revamped my sewing machine. The surface was peeling off a lot and the wooden board that supports the main sewing machine was getting flimsy so I replaced the entire wooden part for RM280. After servicing the machine, the sewing was soooo smooth and quieter! I should have done this a long time ago.

Love this rug from IKEA. I finally have a reason to get it.

6. I cooked. I actually love to cook too. I tried this new recipe from a book that was sitting in my kitchen for ages, and I nailed it!

Potato noodle in cream, bacon and mushroom sauce.

7. Visited Toppen, the new mall beside IKEA.

8. Visited Kluang for their Railway toasts, and Aw Pottery and bought this wabi-sabi cup.

9. Fixed Daniel's iPhone home button and replaced the screen protector. Also registered a sub line for him. He has data now, yippee!

10. Holiday with Dad, the boys, grandma, uncle and cousin.

11. Made my first sashiko and french linen hobo bags.

12. Made some pouches.

13. Set up gaming PC for the boys.

So happy that I'm driving an SUV. We lugged the SKARSTA desk and MARKUS chair home.

Our IT and Digital Entertainment room. This FRIHETEN sofa bed pulls out to a comfy spot for the whole family during movie nights.

I thank God for all the blessings. I'm really grateful I was able to fulfil so many wishes and checked so many lists off my checklist. Until the next big break!

Friday, December 06, 2019

Reversible Hobo Tote Bag - Sashiko and French Linen design

I feel pretty accomplished this holiday because I managed to make two bags! This was my first time trying this new template and it is easy to make. I just wasn't used to the fact that more fabric was required for this bag because my stash is mostly fat quarters and a few half yards for small pouches. Luckily I had enough oatmeal linen and indigo cotton to make what I wanted ie. sashiko and french linen design bags.

I followed the tutorial and used the downloadable template here.

I printed three A4 sized pages, joined and cut them like this as instructed.

Then I used that template to trace and cut a folded piece of fabric.

 For the french linen design, I stencil-painted two lines using masking tape and Martha Stewart's Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Tartan Red.

I did one line at a time. If I had the thinner masking tape, I could've painted both lines at the same time.

I followed the sewing tutorial from the link above, and here it is! For this bag I did not sew the darts at the bottom.

For the reversed side/inside, I made this design.

 Sashiko stitching. 
It is very simple and straightforward but it takes perseverance! 

I absolutely love this!

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Langkawi 2019

This time, it's holiday with the Lau clan! My dad had wanted to visit the Skybridge in Langkawi for the longest time, so here we go!

Langkawi island is a simple and rather touristy town. It has the 'kampung' feel everywhere, except along Cenang beach which feels more like Phuket, and Kuah town which is the commercial centre and shopping hub. I wanted to stay in a unique accommodation, somewhere tranquil but not too far from Cenang beach and I'm so glad I chose Tanabendang Banglos!

This resort is owned by Shariffah Azlina, a lovely and kind lady who lives there. She hosts all her guests personally and also takes care of the resort hands-on. There are only 6 traditional kampung houses, in a row with one side facing a paddy field. It is SO peaceful and relaxing to just lay in bed and look out of the window! Without further ado, photos!

My dad, the boys and I stayed in this quad room, the first house after the entrance.

There is a small garden in front of our house, so I think this house has the most relaxing view from the balcony.

Upon entering the front door.

This is the only house with 2 double beds.
Note: The mattress is the hard type. Some people don't mind it, but I couldn't sleep well on it because I'm bony! Haha.

View from the bed.

Wash basins and bathroom entrance.

The bathroom and toilet.

The adorable wooden bathtub.

The chill balcony.

Just a few steps away is the pool and dining area. There is also a small kitchen here.

Me and grandma.

The host also offer her Toyota Avanza for rent if you need a car to get around, which was perfect for 7 of us. The charge was RM100 for 24 hours.

On our first night, we went to Orchid Ria Seafood Restaurant along Cenang Beach and then walked along the row of stalls mostly selling local crafts and souvenirs.

There are also many tour companies where you can book your tours and activities like island-hopping, mangrove tour, hiking etc.

Our first breakfast at the resort, personally bought by the host. She even takes requests if you have any.

Nasi lemak.


Coffee, tea and Milo.

At 10am, we drove to Skycab station which took 40 minutes where certain parts were winding roads.
I must say, I DID NOT expect the place to be so crowded! There are time slots to book your cable car tickets and we got the 1pm slot, so we had 1.5 hours to kill. But worry not! The ticket package includes 3D Art Museum, SkyDome and SkyRex. So we spent a good whole hour in the 3D Art Museum.

You can see who was the most enthu in The 3D Art Musuem...hahah.

Our cable car slot was delayed by 30 minutes because of strong wind condition. Then it rained quite heavily! 

The snake queue in the station.

Thank God the weather cleared when it was our turn! So blessed!

There is a stretch towards the middle station that goes scarily steep.
Not in this photo as I was freaking out already...

Breathtaking view from the middle station. I learnt that you don't have to alight at the middle station and continue the ride to the top station where the Skybridge is at. 

 Now, getting to the Skybridge is not straightforward as I thought it was. You could either take the nature walk option (RM6 per adult) or take the SkyGlide (RM16 per adult) which is like an elevator on a track that transports up to 10 people up and down the Skybridge entrance. On a crowded day, be prepared to wait! At least the air is cold and windy while you queue.

At 4pm, we finally set foot on the Skybridge! What a day!

The wind was very strong on the bridge, so strong that at one point I felt like it was going to blow my skinny body off. Quite scary.

There is a rabbit petting area at the Skycab station. 

There is also a row of stalls selling finger food like mango rice, curry puffs, kacang putih and steamed kacang tanah, popcorn etc. This ice cream is the most unique because the 'cone' is a U-shaped corn cracker and it tastes delightful!

Our host recommended us this restaurant at the jetty. It was quite hard to find the location or direction  at first because we didn't have the exact name. But we managed to find it after asking some locals along the way. 

The food is local Malay style but has a Thai influence. In fact, a lot of restaurants in Langkawi have that as well. There is always a steamed lime fish on every menu.

Such a relaxing place to dine.

Mangrove tour on the next day! It is very easy to find these tours everywhere on the island. We booked ours through 012-4787561, as recommended by our host because they speak better English.
In our RM100 per adult package, the itinery included return hotel transfer, visit to fish farm (kelong), eagle watching, mangrove cruising, monkey stop, bat cave, Geopark icon, lunch at the fish farm and a beach stop.

Tanjung Rhu beach, which is the beach stop in the itinery. Honestly, this isn't the best beach I've seen.  
Our guide briefing us on the itinery, do's and don'ts with scattered jokes.

See? Not the best beach.

Our boat ride.

Fishing farm (kelong). Among the creatures they showed us are parrot fishes (don't eat them please, they help to restore the corals), giant trevally, humongous groupers, the spitting Archerfishes and horseshoe crab.

Eagle watching. 

Mangrove cruising.

We fed monkeys here.

We had to disembark to visit the bat cave. It is actually small cave, not that spectacular I would say. But a good experience to see bats.

Our dinner at Paradise restaurant in Kuah. We decided not to go around Kuah town because it looked like a regular Malaysia Chinese town. So we went back to Cenang area and shopped for chocolates at  Coco Valley. 

On our last day, we woke up earlier to go to Skytrex Adventure park as I booked the earliest slot of the day at 9am. Since it was their first time, they tried the 'Little Legend' route for beginners. Darren was exhilarated, and Daniel was a little bored because it was very easy. Haha.

The trainer and guide teaching them how to use the harness equipment.

The favourite part is the zipline.

After the sweaty adventure, the boys chilled at the pool while my dad and I drove out to the nearest nasi campur stall to buy lunch back. DELICIOUS.

That concludes our holiday!