Thursday, August 18, 2016

Creamery Boutique Ice Creams @ Mount Austin

Whenever we are looking for places to dine, Taman Mount Austin is one of our top considerations. Over the past year, we witnessed how it has transformed and developed into an estate with housing, entertainment and wine/dine options. Number of restaurants, cafes and hotels have also increased over a short period of time and we are spoilt with choices. 

From empty shop space, now the rows of shop houses have blossom and filled with eateries. After having our dinner, we like to go cafe-hopping or visit the dessert house for supper.  

Creamery Boutique Ice Creams is one of my favourite dessert house which serves delicious lava cookies! Plus, it is only a few minutes walk from Prince33 Hotel, our top preferred hotel to stay in Mount Austin.


Like other cafes, the interior design of Creamery is simple, bright yet cozy. 

If this is the first time you are visiting Creamery, check out their black boards for instructions on how you can order. The Hot Cookie Map shows it all, simply pick your cookie type and flavour of your ice-cream, and awaits the dessert to be served !  It is that simple!


There is a nice variety of ice cream flavours to pick from. All looked so delicious I must say. 

I picked the brownie (should have tried the choco lava) with one scoop of ice-cream flavour of my choice at RM15.90. I was WOW-ed to see my dessert being served on a saucepan with my favourite ice-cream topped on the hot pan-fried brownie cookie. Scooping some ice-cream and a chunk of cookie from the pan and savour the sweetness on my palate was simply awesome! A bit of chill from the ice-cream, and a bit of warmth from the cookie tantalized my taste bud.


Too bad our children were too full to tag along with us for ice-cream treats. Maybe next time we will bring them along. :)

CREAMERY BOUTIQUE ICE CREAMS
Address: 33 Jalan Austin Heights 8/3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Tebrau, Johore, Malaysia
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creamerybjb

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mummybebe - Farlin Baby Products (GIVEAWAY)

[Review + Giveaway]

Lately, I have been introduced to mummybebe - where mummies can shop for their family's necessities in just a click away. Of course, I think daddies play an important role too and parents being multi-taskers, would love to devote their precious time for their children. mummybebe, an established importer, exporter, wholesaler and distributor of some of the leading brands, makes shopping easy as it holds a wide repertoire of safe and interesting products at mummybebe.com.

Some of the brands you can find at the e-boutique include:
~ Farlin Baby (from Taiwan)
~ Bright Bots (from Australia)
~ Bubba Blue (from Australia)
~ Galipette (from Fance)
~ Farlink (from Singapore)
~ HopZalong (from Singapore)
~ Karibu (from Hong Kong)

Farlin is an established and renowned brand since 1972 and we were invited to try Farlin Liquid Cleanser and Clothing Detergent wash. Some may raise their eyebrows and question : Do we have any use on the baby products since our children are much older in age? Our answer : Why not!?


On the contrary, I find it really versatile and useful. Farlin Baby Liquid Cleanser is not only just for washing of baby bottles, I find them effective in cleaning our water bottles that we bring to school or work daily. A plant-base cleaning agent, made of organic/natural ingredients, food-grade certified by FDA, ecological with ingredients sourced naturally, phosphate-free and fluorescence-free, the eco-friendly cleanser, plus a natural grease remover extract, is definitely safer and gentler compared to using the normal detergent to scrub and clean our bottles!


Unlike the other cleansers, Farlin is PH5.5 which is mild and non-irritated for sensitive mother's hand. I find it soothing to my hands when rinsing off the soap from all the bottles and don't feel as dry compared to the other washing agents. It is also suitable for all purpose cleaning of fruits, vegetables and toys!

To wash, simply squirt some Farlin Baby Liquid Cleanser into the bottles or into water basin and start washing. It has a mild tangerine scent which smells refreshing.


We use Farlin Clothing Detergent to wash our clothing. The anti-stink formula leaves the clothes with a mild, fragrant and soothing scent after washing. I really LOVE it after our first wash as it smells so nice! Usually I will put some comforter together with the washing powder to 'enhance' the scent and softness of the clothing, but with Farlin, one scoop into the washing machine does the job beautifully.

The eco-friendly organic cleanser removes the stain and grease on the clothing. If you have baby or young children at home, this would be perfect for washing children clothing as its mild formula is hypoallergenic for baby. It has low foaming and no residue, making it gentle on sensitive baby skin.

Even though our children our older, my kids and myself have sensitive skin and we tend to react (feeling itchy) to strong washing agents.

If you like to try out Farlin Baby Products, it is available at various participating retail outlets.

Alternatively, check out mummybebe.com and start shopping!

GIVEAWAY

Good News! Chance to win $50 e-Voucher to shop at www.mummybebe.com! We have 3 sets to give away!

To stand a chance, simply
1) Like www.facebook.com/mummybebesg and www.facebook.com/farlinbabysg
2) Share the above Facebook links on your Facebook. 

Leave me a message once you have done for the above on our blog post. 

We will announce the winners on 28 August 2016.

Disclosure: All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. Farlin Liquid Cleanser and Farlin Clothing Detergent was received for review purposes only.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sawadee Resort Hotel & SPA (Near KSL City & Holiday Plaza)

It was another weekend of exploring in Johor Bahru. We drove across the causeway without any concrete plans on where to stay as we know there are always options open, and if we cannot find any rooms, home is not too far away.

Apart from looking out for good food, we also keep an eye on hotels located in strategic location. For those who frequent KSL City and Holiday Plaza, you may have noticed Sawadee Resort Hotel & SPA which is located directly opposite Holiday Villa. Initially, I thought it is only a massage and SPA centre but only to learn that room stay is also provided.

Our radar alert is on and we wasted no time walking in to check out the rooms.


The boutique hotel has 44 rooms all located on the 5th and 6th floor of the building. Consisting of a mixture of Family room (2 King), Romance room (1 King), Superior room (2 Single) and Deluxe room (1 King).

A point to note is lift access is only up to the 5th floor. Hence, you (& your luggage) have to climb the staircase up one floor if your room is on the 6th. Parking for hotel guests is complementary. It is located at the basement level and unfortunately, there is no lift access from the carpark to the lobby as well. Hence, if you have a lot of luggage with you, it will be a little inconvenient.

We took up their family room located on the 6th floor as the other room on the 5th is occupied. Family room is priced at RM200 per night, plus a deposit (refundable upon check out) of RM50. If you need another key card, another deposit of RM50 (refundable) is required.


The children LOVE the room as it is big and spacious! Most importantly, the Free WIFI signal is relatively strong and they get to play games. I like the design of the room where the beds are separated by the divider, plus there are two television sets! We get to watch our favourite channels separately, keep a close lookout of our kiddos, enjoying our comfort without comprising privacy.


Usually there are only 2 pillows per bed but at Sawadee, there are 4 which gave us the extra comfort! 


Before the children decide which bed they want to rest for the night, I quickly picked the platform bed as it is very near to the window and I get to enjoy the window view while catching the show on TV.


View from the room with Holiday Villa just right across the road.

Apart from ample walking space within the room, there is also a dressing area with a big mirror where you can blow dry your hair and do your makeup.

Bathroom is clean and neat and basic amenities is provided for the entire family.


In addition, hotel guests enjoy complimentary breakfast between 7.30am - 10.30am at Sawadee Cafe. There isn't a lot of variety at the cafe but enough to fill our tummies before we check-out.

Whenever we are at the hotel lobby, the children like to have a match at the soccer table.  


Level 1 - access to lift and Sawadee Cafe

Hotel Lobby area

Apart from room stay, Sawadee offers hotel guests and their customers free access to their Sauna, Steam Bath and Jacuzzi facilities. If you wish to have Traditional Thai Massage service, it is conveniently located within the boutique hotel (charges applies).

For families with very young children, it may be best to keep in your room as more customers and masseuse can be seen at the lobby area in the night. As we only stayed for 1 night, we did not went for the massage nor use their jacuzzi/sauna facilities.

The only 'complain' I have is the floor of the room not being very clean and the dark stairways up to our floor. Otherwise, we had a comfortable stay for a night. Sawadee Resort Hotel & SPA is strategically located beside Holiday Plaza and KSL City is only about 5 minutes walk away.

Summary Notes:
Room
- Free Wifi
- Air-condition
- Window view - depends on room type
- Flooring - Tiled
- Water Flask - available
- Safety Box - not available
- Hair Dryer - available
- Phone - not available
- Mini Fridge - not available

Toilet/Shower
- Bath towels are provided
- Combined Toilet and Shower room
- Water Heater available.
- Disposable toothbrush/toothpaste provided

Parking & Security
- Basement Parking - available.
- No security guard observed

Sawadee Resort Hotel & SPA
Address: 163, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Highlights of Singapore Garden Festival 2016

[Media Invite]

Singapore Garden Festival is one of our family's favourite event that we hate to miss. Since 2008, we have been attending the festival with great anticipation. (Check out our experience at past SGF events). This year, the scale of the festival gets even bigger and better. We roamed through Gardens by the Bay for more than 4 hours and we have yet to finish them all! Here's what you can expect to see.

Entering from Entrance D, we began our walk from THE MEADOW

CHECKMATE! - Check out the larger-than-life chess pieces, each over 2.5m in height with contrasting floral colours over the chess board. Pick your side and smile!


Time for tea already? But we just started! Welcome to Gary the Grasshopper (Not Hatter's) home as he hosts a cosy tea party surrounded by pristine greenery. Be enthralled by the display of Camellias and Orchids


I love to see how greenery can be injected into our homes and daily living. Seeing the designer works at Balcony Gardens always inspire me and I hope some day my home will also have a secluded, nature surrounded, and relaxing environment filled with lush greenery and fragrance of floral and herbs.
`

After tea, Gary invites you to unwind with music as he conducts a trio of the piano, cello and harp at Gary's Musical Flower Field


We are happy to see Gary once again after 2 years. 

We didn't get the catch the Landscape Design Challenge, where eight teams of students from four tertiary institutions have gone on a "buying blitz" and they transformed a 3-metre by 3-metre empty space within a span of 4 hours. How will it turn out? Who won? Would love to be back again to check them out!


We moved into Fantasy Garden where the beauty of unique and creative landscape is created by renowned local and international gardening luminaries. Here's some that I find it very inspiring.

Modern-Day Maui - Head sculpture of Maui, a demi-god and hero of Polynesia.

Dare To Dream - created by local designer, John Tan and Raymond Toh, this garden expresses the wildest of imagination, where impossible is possible, and hopes to inspire all to dare to dream. You have to see it on-site to have a visual feel of this garden.


Nature's Resolution - representing a day in the human life. Step on and walk through the path and you will come across the story boxes filled with suggestions and thought-provoking sketches that outline the relationship between man-kind and nature.



It was pouring as we exit Fantasy Garden. We made a wrong turn and headed straight for Ticketing Counter C. We missed the Landscape Garden, Magical Tree Grove, Secret Garden and Chairs of the Giants! Yikes! Am so tempted to return to the festival once again!

We found ourselves crossing the bridge and at BAYFRONT PLAZA. Since it was still raining, we made our way to the World of Terrariums. Seeing the little bottles of terrariums really made my day. Always wanted to own one as I heard you don't need to have green fingers to maintain it.


Am so tempted to take one home!

Terrarium in a light bulb! Very creative and beautiful. :)

Do not miss over 100 innovative creations by Community In Bloom (CIB) community garden ambassadors and community garden groups.

A simple, yet inspiring and motivational quote - EVERYONE CAN GARDEN! I certainly hope that I can turn my home into a garden too. ^_^

Espalier & Fruit Tree Garden - Moving deeper into the outdoors, you can find tropical fruit trees like papaya, mangoes as well as espaliers (a French word pronounced as "ess-PAL-yay"). Espaliers are great feature on an outdoor wall and serve as a decorative screen for privacy.


I must say we learnt a lot from my parents-in-laws as they quickly identified the various fruit trees or plants while I am still struggling to find the names on the labels!

HORTICULTURE & COMMUNITY GARDENING

Community Garden Edibles Display - Am deeply amazed how huge food crops can be harvest by local gardeners! From the heaviest pumpkin to the longest long bean, the Community Garden Edibles Competition aims to cultivate interest among Singaporeans to grow edible plants in their homes and community gardens.


Home Garden - It feels good to see plants in the house but I am not confident of maintaining them on a longer term basis. Maybe terrariums would be a good start.




Before you leave, don't forget to pick up some tips from the community gardeners on how you can grow your favourite plants and vegetables.

FLORAL WINDOWS TO THE WORLD & CELEBRATIONS! FLORAL TABLE SERIES

There's always something special at Floral Windows to the World which showcases exquisite exhibits designed by local and international designers. I am amazed by their creativity and enchanted by the stunning displays.

Initially I thought this display is a tilted version of the Super Tree. Only to realise it captures a moment in time.


Looks like a gigantic floral star

Spinning into the galaxy world.

Love this showcase which looks like man joining their heads together. :)

Dining area looks sophisticated at the Floral Table Series. I would love to enjoy a meal here surrounded by flowers. Picture perfect for food photography too!

PENJING & ARTISTIC STONE EXHIBITION & COMPETITION is one of our favourite zone. Even though it is not as majestic as the other exhibition halls, I am totally mesmerized by the collection of bonsai here. The beauty of bonsai is the delicate details within the pot. It takes the owners years of dedication, patience and passion to trim, shape and grow their 'tree of love'.

The bonsai series that interests us was with the one with Chinese wordings/calligraphy. We are privileged to meet the owner, Mr Lim, who patiently styled the bonsai using wires. He spent more than 4 years to shape the word Dragon "龍" and about 2 years for the simpler wordings!


The beauty of nature is all contained within the small pots. While admiring the bonsai, it brings peace to the mind and somehow, they vividly transformed themselves into huge trees on the mountain tops.


Grand Champion and award winning bonsai by Mr Soh Peng Heng. The colours did not attract me from afar but it was the densely structured branches that stood out from the rest of the bonsai. Taking a closer look, you will notice there are many young leaves sprouting!


Another award winning bonsai from Mr Soh

Moving on, we headed to the LEARNING GARDEN. This is not only for children but adults, like myself get to learn more about plants and spices.


MARKETPLACE - After walking for hours, it is time to shop! The Marketplace is a free zone for all where public does not need to pay admission fee to enter. I appreciate the fact that most of the stalls are situated inhouse within the shelter making shopping a much cooler, happier and relaxing experience. We no longer have to brave the heat and rain.


I was tempted to buy some terrariums back but resisted the temptations. Instead, Hubby bought a pair of scissor for trimming branches of the plants and my inlaws bought a small papaya tree!




Our final destination - ORCHID EXTRAVAGANZA & SINGAPORE ORCHID SHOW at the FLOWER DOME.

We spent the rest of the afternoon roaming leisurely within the Flower Dome. Orchid Extravaganza will run from 22 July - 28 August where the mythical orchids, a stunning display of more than 10,000 orchid plants find their home within the conservatory. In conjunction of Singapore Garden Festival, the Flower Dome also showcase more than 400 orchids from the Singapore Orchid Show by the Orchid Society of South East Asia (OSSEA). If you are a big fan of orchids, this is a show not to be missed.








Near to 5 hours of walking within Gardens by the Bay and yet there are still so much more that we have not covered. Would love to be back again before the festival draws its curtains on 31st July.

If you are planning to spend a day at Gardens by the Bay, do not miss the free nightly performances by local artistes. Enjoy music of different genres including R&B, pop and rock, at the Alfresco Stage in the Marketplace (free admission), and the Meadow Stage. Click here for the list of performances.

If you love floral, plants or into gardening, do not miss the talks and demos at the festival! No registration is needed but seats are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to view the listing of the Talks & Demos.

Tips: 

1) Tickets to the Singapore Garden Festival also includes admission to the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay from 23 - 31 July 2016. There is so much to see at the garden festival and one visit is definitely not enough to cover everything within. We would recommend to visit the Flower Dome on another trip. Alternatively, you may return to the Flower Dome after lunch.

2) Wear comfortable clothing and footwear as you will be spending many hours at the gardens.

3) Keep yourself hydrated and energised! Bring your water bottles and food to provide you with the energy boost needed to keep you going throughout the day!

4) Be ready for the unpredictable weather! Bring along your caps and umbrella in case of rain or shine.

5) Bring your cameras/mobile devices and standby your battery packs or mobile charger. Lots of photography opportunities and the last thing you want is your camera or mobile phone's battery going flat.

6) Ensure you get a stamp/chop prior to exiting the ticketing area. This allows you to re-enter in case you exit the ticket zone.



SINGAPORE GARDEN FESTIVAL 2016
Date: 23 July - 31 July 2016
Location: Gardens by the Bay (The Meadow, Bayfront Plaza, Flower Dome)
Show Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily
Conservatories Opening Hours: 9am - 10pm daily

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