Thursday, June 19, 2014

Looming a rainbow with the Rainbow Loom

This is a new fad. The Rainbow Loom.

My sil gave Joy a set of Rainbow Loom starter kit and she's taken to it like a duck to water. I had no idea she'd be so good at this. 

She can work at it independently and churn out bracelets for her friends. her sister of course!

Buffet Breakfast at Lemon Garden Cafe @ Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur

We did something really crazy last week...

Just for the fun of eating, we woke the kids up early to drive downtown for a BIG buffet breakfast!

Lemon Garden Cafe @ Shangri-La KL supposedly serves the best buffet breakfast in town and it did not disappoint. The spread was really extensive and it was impossible to eat everything.
a healthy start
I naturally started with some fruits.....choices include dragon fruit, jackfruit and pomelo besides the usual honeydew, papaya, pineapple and watermelon (very bright red and not at all anaemic-looking.)

Thereafter I checked out the chinese section for some smoked duck porridge with condiments, siew mai, egg tart and prawn fritters.

Joy was so happy to have oatmeal! I'm glad to report that she also ate roti canai, 2 pancakes with honey, a waffle, a doughnut, yoghurt, butter, watermelon and drank milk with chocolate from the chocolate fountain.

Yup! You read that right. Chocolate fountain for breakfast!!!??!?!
In fact, it was TWO chocolate fountains - dark chocolate and milk chocolate.

muffins, doughbuts, croissants, cakes, cookies
My next round was some mamak mee goreng with lamb masala, smoked salmon, sauteed mushrooms, meatballs and otak-otak.

Isabel was given a doodle sheet and a set of colour pencils that had a sharpener on the cover. Cute and thoughtful.
I missed some photos of other stuff I ate because the kids kept me busy. But I did have 2 servings of this...
waffle with chocolate sauce and fresh berries and chocolate croissant.
The waffles were good. Made on the spot so it was warm and crispy!

very chewy chocolate chip cookie, blueberry muffin, mango smoothie and strawberry custard croissant
We had my nephew with us and he was a very good babysitter. Joseph was especially glad to have his company.

few types of yogurt, variety of honey, fruits and juices

fruits and yogurt to end the meal
I was so full that I skipped lunch and dinner. Eating like a camel's really bad actually.

the (lemon??) garden where we had breakfast
After we finished eating, we got home just n time for my nephew to grab his bag and go to the airport to catch his flight back to Singapore.
saying goodbye to Daniel kor kor
Thanks to AhKongAhMah's Shangri-La gift vouchers, we paid only RM106 for 3 adults and 2 kids. The full rate is RM66++ per adult and half price for kids aged 6-12.

Friday, June 13, 2014

OMF Bungalow - another family holiday

We made another trip to one of my favourite holiday spots...

OMF Bungalow, Cameron Highlands and Pangkor Laut Resort are my 2 favourite local holiday spots. Unfortunately getting to both places involve a much-dreaded journey. 
the boys in action as soon as we arrived!
This very very old yet well-maintained and charming bungalow in a very secluded hilltop location is the perfect place for rest and relaxation. It is open to missionaries and christian groups.

Our family of 13 arrived in 2 MPVs and the kids immediately ran out to play. Fresh cool air filled my lungs right to the bronchioles....refreshing! 

In the evening after dinner (I forgot to take photo of our first meal), the girls were busy playing and Joy started on her Rainbow Loom...

...while the boys were introduced to carrom.

Every morning there is freshly-homebaked bread for breakfast. Mrs Chye, the caretaker also makes her own strawberry jam. Very fresh and not too sweet. 

After breakfast on the second day we relaxed around...
relaxing in the living room

pretty like flowers

our family just gets bigger each time we make another trip here
...and then we went out to Kasimanis Strawberry Farm just for the kids to look around. There's really nothing much but Cameron Highlands is synonymous with strawberries so we have to bring them here.

We also did the customary tea plantation visit.

Isaac is getting really heavy... and this 9-year-old sling is so well-used.
Back to the bungalow we went and before lunch, the kids played badminton again.
stick insect for lunch?
I love the food here....Mrs Chye is an excellent cook! Meals are usually 4 dishes - 3 vege and 1 meat. I ate a mountain of vegetables at every meal. No rice.

so cool to play outdoors....even if it's iPad.
In the evening on the second day, we had a bonus from Mrs Chye (did I mention she's really nice?) - scones!!!

more badminton

Second day dinner was western style...spaghetti with a huge plate of salad and pumpkin.

my mountain of spaghetti.
I forgot to take pictures of our bedroom and the bathroom so this is the closest thing....
sibling love
I've always been lucky to get one of the only 3 rooms with attached bathrooms. Rooms 5 and 6 are the best in my opinion because they are huge, have attached bathrooms and are located right next to the dining hall. I got Room 5 this round and it had a queen-sized bed and 2 single beds. 

swings, see-saw and slide in the compound


Two nights is really too short for such a lovely place. I would love to stay longer.

last meal before leaving...more vegetables with sweet sour kerabu fish fillet
It costs RM95 per Malaysian adult per night. Kids aged 2-6 cost RM35 while kids aged 7-12 cost RM65 per night. These rates include 3 main meals. Towels, basic toiletries, toilet paper and hair dryer are provided. Coffee/tea/milo are provided, DIY anytime of the day or night. 

I hope to go again next year... but with the same number of kids :-)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Staycation @ Putrajaya Shangri-La

It's the school holidays...yippee!!! I'm happy coz it means we don't have to wake up super early to rush the kids to school.

With Joseph away at a Scripture Union camp and Nana babysitting the girls, Daalin and I escaped for some much-needed couple time. Isaac had the privilege of tagging along because he's still breastfeeding and I need him as much as he needs me.

This time round, we decided on Putrajaya Shangri-La....a decision with no regrets! 

Thanks to gift vouchers from Digi and AhKongAhMah, our staycation was almost free!

We opted for the Funtastic Package - a one-night stay in one of their Parkview Deluxe rooms with buffet breakfast and a cruise around Tasik Putrajaya.

I indicated 'baby cot' under remarks when making the online room booking and it was all nicely set up when we arrived.

There was also a cute little towel elephant with 2 lollipops for its eyes.

The bathroom is spacious with a large bathtub and separate standing shower. I know some people will find the shower cubicle rather small (I estimate it's about 2.5 feet square) but hey, it's a standing shower so standing space is all you really need.

It was also really thoughtful of Shangri-La to provide kiddy toiletries. How sweet!

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted and promptly checked-in by their very friendly staff. After a good afternoon nap, we took turns using the gym and strolling around the pool area. The infinity pool is really nice. The Jacuzzi is on one end of the infinity edge and you can enjoy lovely views of Putrajaya and the sunset in the evening.  

Next to the pool is the spa as well as a Relaxation Lounge.

I'm relaxing...

reading material in the relaxation lounge

In the evenings, complimentary drinks (beer, wine, fruit juices) are served at The Lobby Lounge.

We had some juices and nuts before heading downstairs to Azur for dinner.

The place was very quiet and only a couple of other tables were occupied all evening. I really liked it that the waiter informed us as to which dishes were not available for the evening as soon as he handed us the menu.

complimentary appetizer
Unfortunately, the quality of the food served was not quite as excellent as their service. I didn't have any complains with the Cartoccio pasta except that I had asked for linguine and they gave me fettuccine but this didn't quite matter.   

Daaling's Carbonara however, tasted like canned sauce and cheap ham. Not quite what I'd expect from a 5-star establishment.

For dessert, we had the Durian Mousse Coulis. It was not too sweet. Just nice.

The next morning, we each had another gym fix while Isaac slept till almost 10am. We still managed to leisurely stuff ourselves at the buffet breakfast at Palm Hill Café.

Round 1 - fresh fruts, bowl of strawberries+raisins+dates+muesli and glass of soya milk

The breakfast spread is not super extensive but very decent in quality.

Nasi Lemak station had chicken rending and friend sardines - very yummy and crunchy. The chef told me that people from the north like sardines with their nasi lemak.

Check out the very nicely done hardboiled eggs...

As soon as we sat down, a friendly staff offered tea or coffee and this was promptly refilled when our cups were empty.

Round 2 - porridge with salted egg and century egg, siew mai, smoked salmon, smoked mackerel.

Round 3 - fusion nasi lemak with chicken rending, minced lamb, duck confit, smoked salmon and fried sardine.

Round 4 - pastries and yoghurt

variety of cheese
After a lovely breakfast, we went back to the room and soon dozed off again till our late check out at 3pm. I woke up at 2.45pm feeling super rested and quickly jumped up to pack.

I'm so glad we chose Putrajaya Shangri-La really did feel like a getaway despite not having to travel too far. The hotel is designed to be very open....lots of glass to let the outside expanse of greenery in. There's even a indoor garden with a stream.

I'm also quite hooked on the warm Sharngri-La hospitality. This is our first Shangri-La stay and I must say, I'm quite impressed!

Daalin is already thinking we could just come here again for our anniversary stay in November. It would be much cheaper than Pangkor Laut and saves us the travelling (which we really don't like).