Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Home for CNY

Byebye KL. (for now). I'm all packed. What's left s a quick shower...and throwing the rubbish and driving the car down to I can then lug my violin, and two big bags and one small bag into the car. After cny....I have plans to start swimming for exercise. I haven't jogged since Nov 2013. Terrible isn't it? After all that bragging re jogging is good for you etc.

Truth is; jogging was good for my energy and weight but bad for the knees.


Wardobe, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
I have too many clothes. There! I've finally said it out for everyone else to read. The sad truth is I'm also a hoarder and the result is a rather cramped wardobe with clothes in plastic bags appearing as shapeless lumps should you be brave enough to venture deeper in.

They are in different categories really. The initial division is into 2 big groups : Work clothes Vs non-work clothes. Which then are subdivided further...and the eventual division is something like so

1. fat clothes , work, baggy enough to eat
2. fat clothes work, can pass off for meetings
3. Fat clothes work with a cardigan for "colder" aircon conditions.

4. Thin clothes..for work
-tops and skirts
- longer dresses
5. Thin clothes for non-work
White t-shirts vs non-white t-shirts
tight t=shirts vs not-so-tight t-shirts
T-shirts with collars, embroidery,big words, hard rock cafe t-shirts etc
6. jeans
- tight jeans to be worn if you're upright 80% of the time
- looser jeans with light shade cannot pass off as slacks
- darker jeans, skinny fit can pass off as slacks
- jeans I can no longer fit into unless I eat 2-3 peanuts per meal and nothing else

7. a WHOLE drawer full of black t-shirts different cuts, different cloth
8. the mistakes.....that's a huge category...things you bought when you were obviously not mentally right. ( some have been given away but it is wrong to inflict ugly clothes on the less fortunate)


Ikea inspires !!, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Dinner and good company= a rather enjoyable night out. When was the last time you had a nice meal with good company and the timing was good as well?

In an ideal world, we would have this on a more regular basis rotating both the menu and the venue. I guess ladies who have little else to do but lunch and tea together must find it mundane after a while. Bit like us eating at the canteen or something similar:)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pokka dots

Pokka dots, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Why is it...that a messy bed in Ikea looks inviting and cosy ....a messy bed at home looks just plain messy???

* picture taken at Ikea Malaysia. ( Largest in Asia) No wonder we were tired after coming home. All that exercise. 387,500 sg ft.

Sleepy time

Sleepy time, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

This is hilarious. I found this on a bed at Harvey Normans. Just had to laugh out loud. I wonder who put him there. Thank you for making us smile:)

The weekend has been good. And as usual, I'm a bit tired and not eager to face MOnday at all:) BUT, it's a two day working week for me. Off for the CNY break on Wednesday so I'm not going to be sucked into he pre-working-Monday-blues:)


I had the urge to eat something different. And I thought what about Yut Kee which has been featured in some magazine a while back. It's in the old part of town near church, where they sell traditional breakfast in an ambience of yesteryear. That plan fell though because I couldn't find a safe place to park.

I ended up at an old haunt off Jalan Kuching at Jalan Selingsing. This time, I was smarter and chose a seat right in front of the wanton noodle stall. The last time, the lady forgot my order and I waited in vain and in hunger too.

Would you believe the price is RM5 for a small ( you can tell from the pic) plate of noodles ? My teh ais cost RM2. And this is before the GST creeps in in 2015. Oh boy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Birthday Cards Jan 2014

Birthday Cards Jan 2014, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I had a lovely birthday this year. Two years back I was struck down ( literally in a horizontal position the WHOLE of the birthday) with food poisoning which saw me prostrate when I wasn't in the toilet. This year...was totally different. A group of lovely people I work with made this day special. Despite having clinic and a monday .....we had, more cake...presents...and a huge card to mark my birthday. God has blessed me with good friends. Thank you!

Maeve Binchey

Maeve Binchey, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I have all the books by Maeve Binchey on this shelf except "The Circle of friends" When I worked in Tawau, reading was a great past time and they had a lovely public library. And it was here I got a copy of Circle of friends. I think I like "Quentins" the best.

Last weekend before CNY 2014

Lanterns at Pavillion, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I am sure the shopping centers will be full of last-minute shoppers as well as people generally doing nothing but immersing self in the shopping mode. What better way to spend the weekend than elbowing and side-stepping trolleys at either Midvalley or One-Utama. Two places I strongly suspect most people will flock to.

Everything is in horsey mode and it's interesting to see the different horses on show for all. I've decided to put a picture of the hanging line of chinese lanterns at Pavillion.

Sushi from Rakuzen

Sushi from Rakuzen, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
WNN bought me dinner on my birthday. And so MOnday night saw us at Rakuzen enjoying some lovely Sushi...and for her Sashimi. The worst sushi I've ever had was one where the rice was WARM and congealed. The shop has since closed down and little wonder there why. Rakuzen does good sushi. It also does tasty tempura. ( Yum! Which is what I had for my proper meal)


Kimchi, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
If you don't like korean food, you haven't tasted the correct version. Don't go for the non-korean-owned restaurant, you may get the Malaysianized version of Kimchi or Bibimbap.

And please please do not compare Kimchi to Acar ( which is what mummy does...grossly unfair on the kimchii I must say). It's got a fresh salty taste which morphs into a peppery spicy taste and the crunch of the preserved veg allows you to chew you way through as the taste develops in the mouth. Am I lyrical enough for you to want to head out and buy some Kimchi stat??

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Coffee at Antipodean Cafe

Coffee at Antipodean Cafe, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Cafe Latte for me...and something else for KN. This is her coffee which had a nicer picture so hers gets to be featured on this blog. Mine had a heart and the contrast wasn't as good as this. We had coffee at Antipodean cafe Bangsar.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday and the weekend

Cafe Societe, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

It's Friday morning, there are three main things to get through before we can really call it the end of the week. And I hope to have good coffee this evening as a wind down to the weekend.

I got a kettle for my birthday from AJ and my coffee is piping hot this morning and smells glorious. Other things to make me smile....I've managed to get some reading out of the way this morning AND harvest in smurf village. *smug*

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ang Pow Packets from Pavillion

They are nice and each person is limited to only 2 packets. RM100 and above and you qualify for one packet. I should add, they have 5 in a packet. But what they lack in numbers, they make up in quality. Each ang pow is lovely on its own.

New Frangrance from Jo Malone

This smelled very green like you're in a field right after the rain. Not too bad but I chose a safer smell to buy....Lavendar...and the basil lime combination. Am getting them blessed before I use them at home.

Jo Malone has a set of workers who are so polite and friendly and they don't have put on fake English or American accents which is nice. I love the experience of browsing, testing and eventually buying stuff here:)

Singing for CNY 2014

Singing for CNY 2014, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
When I was cake-hunting last Saturday, I heard lovely voices singing in chinese. I followed the sound and found this. A group of young boys and girls from the chinese orchestral singing, dressed in traditional outfits. To the right of this picture were a group showing calligraphy writing. And behind these singers were the other group each playing a traditional instrument.

* Parkson KLCC Near Aseana Cafe


Buy!, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Self control has gone out the window this year. I'll be buying this book before the week ends I think. Just look at the reviews on the book cover.....

Dishes from Zuo

Dishes from Zuo, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
I am still in the phase of wanting to eat at Zuo. Going by past record this should last at least 3 months. Here are the dishes I've tried:

1. Minced pork and ginger fried rice. 8/10. I like the ginger taste. Rice is nice and fluffly. And the thin sliced fried root at the side is a pleasant surprise.

2. Tauged and salted fish. 7/10. Crunchy Taugeh. Would like it dry. ( Notice the gravy in this picture)

3. Rice and chicken in a sauce which I've forgotten now. It comes with a small pile of black fungus which was very salty. 6/10

4. the egg 7/10 A nice side-dish which tasted home-cooked and good.

What I like is the seating area, the pleasant staff they have and the fact all dishes are served with these interesting cutlery.

I have only tried their ice oolong tea so no drink review from me

Sunday, January 19, 2014

La pliage

La pliage, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
After months, I dug out my green bag and used it today. Only because my entire outfit was dark blue top to shoes that a blue coloured bag would be OTT.

I've forgotten how handy it is to carry a smaller bag and pack it full with loads of stuff. Inside the bag: two handphones, a purse, keys to the house, car keys, purse for cards, A G16 camera, a kate spade wallet and a huge scarf....and some space to spare.

A good reason to own at least one of these bags:)

Birthday cake:)

Birthday cake:), originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
We had an early birthday celeb today. Actual date is tomorrow but I welcome ALL celebrations be it early or late. Cake is from's sweet and salty chocolate cake. The saltiness is from the caramel sauce( comes separately) which you may drizzle over the cake just before eating. Yum:)

Rava Thosai

Rava Thosai, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
The I-Must-have-thosai-for-breakfast phase is still going strong. I had this today. Satisfied!! The edges were nice and crispy. I like it this way especially. Calorie count can range from 350 to a mere 54. ( But I don't count calories any more. That phase lasted hardly a week)

Everyone all dressed up yes?

Sebastian Harrods, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Red is the colour of luck! And the Chinese play great emphasis on ushering the Lunar New Year in new clothes, bright colors and good food. It marks how you hope the rest of the year will be.

Harrods has dressed Sebastian up in a rather chinese looking outfit and in the obligatory red color:)

What shall I wear for CNY?

My favorite pen

My favorite pen, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

We all have little ways which may appear odd to others. Mine is writing with this pen. It's fine nib and smooth and I only ever use black,having been told before that official documents should only be written in black ink. ( Case notes are official documents yes?)

Am testing out the macro mode on the G16. I love this camera...really:)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Horsey Year

Lonely Horse, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Horses are everywhere in Kuala Lumpur. I found this lonely horse at the top floor of Pavillion. His other brothers and sisters were already lined up in a row at the side making a nice collection of horses. I suspect he was the last one. Poor thing...I hope he joined the rest eventually.

Zuo, a taste of Home

Zuo, a taste of Home, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
My second meal here. Two thumbs up. The fried rice was perfect. Service was also good. And I REALLY do like the fact they use old fashion china plates rather than the standard plastic plates.

I've gone off my "Cantonese Ying Yong kuey teow" for now. So Zuo is my new haunt for dinner for the next month or so.

Zuo, A taste of Home
Eat Food Village
Lot FC3, Level UG, Publika Shopping Gallery
Solaris Dutamas1, Jalan Dutamas 1 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-61432281

* Minced Pork Rice RM11.90 Taste 10/10


Granchio, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
My macbook air is still mute despite all attempts and various suggested solutions from browsing forums on the net. I sent it for servicing at epicentre at Pavillion. Surprise! It's still under warranty. ( Yay!) So at least it won't cost any money just the inconvenience which I'm prepared for. I'll have to use my old macbook until then. ( Heavy! and a bit slow but I won't complain too much)

Had lunch at Capricciosa, which was the obvious choice for me because I love their pastas. It was a Friday so I had Granchio; crab meat, pasta and tomato sauce. Wooo! Very good. I'm returning soon.

Capricciosa Pasta & Pizza
Level 1, Pavillion KL Shopping Mall

* My Granchio cost RM26.90 ( bit steep but worth every bite)


I love this dish; chicken basil with white rice and an egg-oh stashed somewhere on the plate. ( Hidden underneath the chicken in this picture) "The Flying chillies" at the gardens had a good version. Then the standard drop.I'm assuming they lost their resident cook.So I've decided its best I stay away for the time being rather than be disappointed each time I eat there.

The other place with a decent version was at Cheras at a restaurant called Porntip and Bandar Permaisure. Then vicious rumours started circulating that they served alcohol there so the "halal" status of the place was questioned. Which is a shame. This was AJ and my favorite dinner place in 2013. I don't fancy eating there alone so that place is firmly off my list now.

Last Wednesday we had lunch at Jaya Jusco( New name Aeon but I still can't get used to it) at Maluri cheras which is near enough from work. I had their version of chicken basil and oh boy I got all excited because it's good and I think I have found a new place for AJ and I to have our dinners in 2014. Yay to that!

* picture of my lunch last wednesday. RM 10:90 Despite being pale, the chicken was tasty. Could have been a bit more spicy. 8/10 from me.

Black Canyon Coffee
G21 Taman Maluri, Cheras
Tel: 03-92811328

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Good coffee

We had lunch at Black Canyon and some very nice coffee as well. I could tell it was good because I suffered no post-prandial drowsiness and was buzzing away until the end of the working day...which was 7pm.

I love chicken basil. The Flying Chillies at the Gardens used to have a good version but my last visit there late last year was disappointing. The dish looked and tasted more than Black sauce chicken. So I won't be returning any time soon.

Black Canyon does quite a decent version. It arrived rather pale but tasted nice. Could have been a tad more spicy but I'm not complaining

* a separate post for the chicken basil later

Mee siam

Mee siam, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I had this on Tuesday for lunch at Nyonya Colours at KLCC. It has quite a nice spot at level 2 but they chose to cram many tables into a small space. So some tables have hardly any elbow space. The mee siam was nice:) I chomped my way through this before heading home. I've tasted the roti gala before at the branch at One-Utama. ( Yum!)

KLCC was rather quiet which was nice. It was a sunny Tuesday so we had natural light streaming in from the top.It was a nice day to visit KLCC

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

British India

British India, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Despite being a local brand, British India is expensive. As you enter the shop, the decor is wooden flooring with wooden shelves and jute mats at some corners and the newer branches have nooks and crannies. The fitting room has a chair inside ( very important ) and the chair is also upholstered in nice patterned material.

I have one small request directed to the Chief Executive Officer Pat Liew; Dear Madame, could you possibly tailor some of your blouses and skirts for smaller people. The size 3 has grown over the years to what was previously size 5. ( I do not think I have lost that much weight to justify being able to go down a size)

Thank you:)

* the blouse above costs more than RM600.


Small, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I spent some money today. Bought a book ( yay) by Gervase Phinn which is new and I think can only be found at Kinokunya. And I also collected my Loccitane birthday voucher and spent it at the same setting. Plus I had lunch at Nyonya Colours. ( Plus I bought a blouse from MNG and no not the one in the picture but another non-polka-dotted one)

A sign of old-age, when you're dying to get back to rest midway through spending money, The law of relativity, the poorer you are, the more energy you have to spend money you don't have.

Public Holidays

We have TWO this week. Which makes planning work difficult. But I'm not complaining. It's nice to have a surprise day off which isn't the weekend. I'm on call today but I hope it'll be nice and quiet.

* those white legs belong to the niece who decided to embarrass us by doing this at the shoe shop. Picture taken before We removed her from this position

Upin and Ipin

Upin and Ipin, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

AJ gave me an Upin and Ipin DVD for christmas. I've not watched it:) There's a shop in Cheras called "Upin and Ipin" and we pass it whenever we go for dinner at what was our previous haunt " Porntip restaurant" . And each and every time we we turn the corner,

And if you're noticed, I haven't posted any scrabble scores of late...only because my iPad is now in the terminal stage of dying and I'm waiting patiently before I upgrade to an iPad air possibly. AJ and I haven't been playing any scrabble for a long time. She doesn't like playing it on my iPhone which is the other option:(


What a messy desk!, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Do you believe you're one part your dad and another part your mum? Sometimes as tricks of genetics go, you find yourself inheriting more than your fair share of bad traits from one parent. The messy gene hasn't missed any generation. Here's proof of mine. The picture is of my desk in the study. Any wonder I'm not as productive as I should be?

My paternal grandmother had 6 siblings. She was number 5. Number 6th died of possibly postpartum hemorrhage. ( My father's diagnosis altho he would have been less than 10 when that happened so we're taking it with a pinch of salt) We've never met any other sibling except sibling number 4. ( Known as 4th Grand-aunty who is a very neat person)

I'm not too sure about the neat-ness gene on the maternal grandparents side but I do know  mum is freakishly near. So you know...there should be some chance I'll be neat.

*shake head*

Monday, January 13, 2014

The year of the horse

The year of the horse, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Did you know that Louisa M Alcott was born in the year of the horse?? Other famous horses are Neil Armstong, Gordon Ramsey Barbra Streisand and Seinfield

There are 12 animal signs in the Chinese zodiac calendar. Some believe these animals come from the tale of Buddha holding a race. The rat hitched a ride on the poor ox, so it came first, and the pig stopped for some food and became last.

This is the year of the wooden horse. I'm not sure the significance of wood...but if you google I think you can find more about it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Soft leather La Pliage

Soft leather La Pliage, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

La cuir is soft leather which if you put something heavy and small into it...will turn the bag into a shapeless lump. I have only one of these types of Longchamp. Two reasons; it's expensive so you can't collect many colours unless you're rich and have loads of closet space and secondly it's shapeless by the time I put my usual stuff into it.

Different curry puffs

Different curry puffs, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Did you know these two curry puffs are not only priced differently but are also called different names? I'm guessing the cheaper of the two has no meat in it.

Steamed peanuts

Steamed peanuts, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I love my G16. It can focus and have the background blurred. Here are some steamed peanuts which I had at the Vietnamese restaurant in One-Utama Shopping Centre. ( It's called Vietnam Kitchen) and they serve this before you get your main meal.

Old fashion plate

Old fashion plate, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I love the plates and bowls used. No plastic ware. Reminds me of the bowls my grandmother used to use for our meals. The hongkong style sweet dark sauce chicken was salty. You should really have this with other dishes. I'm going to try the fried rice the next time I eat here.

* this can be found inside the food court at Publika. ( A separate restaurant )

Good morning!!!

book and latte, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

It's Sunday morning and I finally managed to wake up before 7am. I'm a morning person despite reading somewhere that people who prefer working at night burning the midnight oil are more intelligent...I'm resigned to my fate.

Archer's book....midway through and enjoying it. The latte is from starbucks as you math well notice there's a lot more milk than coffee.

* picture taken yesterday...a quick stop at starbucks before my facial

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jan 2014

My little house, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
I love the beginning of the year for a few reasons.
1. the workload only starts piling up midyear and I'm allowed to loll about and pretend I'm a beach bum for this month.
2. It's my birthday month so I get presents, card, and a good excuse to buy something nice
3. the mornings get brighter slower. It's now half seven in the morning but the sky is still dark and moody. Just the way I like to start most mornings.
4. There's hope I will eventually publish enough papers to fulfill my KPI for the year:)

This morning will see me ho0vering properly for 2014. I'm finally 100% recovered. Yay

Tweety and Pliers

Tweety and Pliers, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
I would like to introduce two budgies to you; Tweety ( because it's yellow) and Pliers (because the claws dig into you hard). I don't like birds but in this picture they look pretty cute. Cleaning up after them is time consuming. These birds plan a jailbreak periodically and when you are comfortably reading a book on the couch and they would ( 6 others) jump out of the cage together and potter all over the room with their birdy feet. Try catching them takes 3 adults and a screaming child to get the job done.

*picture of budgies on the wooden toy stove . ( No cooking real or otherwise was done during the holidays)

Friday, January 10, 2014

And now moving on to book two for 2014

 This is rare for me to be patient and wait for the paperback version. So I'm proud of myself. Here is Archer's latest book it's volume 3 of the Clifton chronicles. Page 66 so far. I had to leave it temporarily to complete Cathy Kelly's book.

Just completed

This is a good book. I bought it before Christmas but only started reading it in 2014. It has a little bit of Binchey qualities in it; the characters Sam, and Hope are sisters who are different and the story switches from one to the other. There are also two other characters Virgina who is a recent widow and  Nicole who lives with her mum,sister and has an interfering(?) grannie .

Each story moves you differently. And you find yourself cheering each person on separately. And I was just as happy to move from one character to the other. The end is a good one. ( Important for me). A mark of a good book is...I feel a little sad when I finish the last page.

Cathy kelly is Irish. (they are good story tellers) She was born in Belfast but grew up in Dublin. She started out as a journalist and worked for the Sunday World, but she eventually moved on to writing. books Her first was Woman to woman, written in 1997. And as her career as an author took off, she eventually left the journalism world in 2001. Kelly lives in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. ( No I don't believe I've been to that part of Ireland before)

Her twitter account is @cathykellybooks and her Facebook page is

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Camper at The Gardens

Camper at The Gardens, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I want new shoes. I don't NEED them but still I would like a pair from Campers.

Mum's grapes in the garden

Mum's grapes in the garden, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

This is the yield for Christmas. Mum's grapes before the birds pecked them to death. Fancy growing grapes in Malaysia:)

Christmas shopping recommendation from Hello Mag Dec 2013

And guess what! This was my very first christmas present in 2013. Excellent choice although what triggered the purchase was the death of the lense of the G12.

By the way, Canon service centre has confirmed the problem can be rectified but it will cost a whopping RM 680. And just yesterday I called to say I was agreeable to pay that much for the repair.

Beware calories

Beware calories, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
I'm told by my endocrine colleague and friend that the bubbles in them tea have a hellavu lot more calories than you would think. So if you're really should steer clear of this drink as a "reward" to self after sweating it out at the gym You have been warned!

Interesting notebooks

Interesting notebooks, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
This would make a great gift:) birthday happens to be in January so you KNOW what I want now.

Mathematical Snap

Mathematical Snap, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
The sister-in-law bought two games ...for the niece to brush up her maths and spelling. As you may well know by now, 7-year olds cannot be persuaded to do anything deemed half intelligent and good for them. And so, we ( sister-in-law and I) ended up playing it together. Just us two. The brother ( who was horizontal at the time of asking) found it impossible to tear himself away from the couch to play.

And so my bad maths was exposed. I have no more skeletons in the closet. Don't you just hate maths? It's either you get it 100% or you're ALL wrong. Where are the grey areas?? Where where where?

Happy Thursday folks. Today is clinic day followed by a meeting.( The beginning of the year is full of meetings..I just had one yesterday afternoon..and there's another before CNY and I suspect at least another one even before that) We're definitely back to work 100%. As for my food poisoning bug....I'm reporting a 98% recovery. Docking off 2% for the intermittent nausea and lack of appetite which is certainly taking its time to disappear.

I had Cantonese Ying Yong Kuey Teow from Publika for dinner yesterday. A sure sign I'm on the road to 100% recovery.