Kuching Trip in 2019

Kuching, Sarawak is an annual destination for my family. This year we decided to use our yearly Waran tickets for Hari Raya Haji. Since it coincides with the school holidays, there was naturally a price hike for all hotel rooms and transport. Hence, I booked a Homestay which I found on Instagram : homestaymuslimkuching

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My rented home has 3 air-conditioned rooms, 2 bathrooms and basic amenities in the kitchen like a stove, some pans, plates,utensils, cups, a kettle, blender and there was even a washing machine. The home has a rate of  RM250/night. Since I will be there for at least 5 days 4 nights, we were eligible for a discount of just being charged RM210/night. I paid a 50% deposit online to the owner, to lock the date and completed the payment with cash upon arrival at the homestay. We also had to pay a RM150 security deposit when checking in which is later returned upon checking out.

The homestay is located in Matang Jaya, where the residents are predominantly Bumiputra of which there is a balance between muslims and non muslims in the area. Matang Jaya is situated across the other side of the bridge away from the city. Nevertheless there are plenty of activities and places to go. The shopping malls may be less grand as compared to the ones in the city but it is easier to find Halal food/ restaurants within this vicinity including places heading towards Petra Jaya/ Semariang.

Homestays are generally cheaper if we are traveling in a large group. Of course, it may not be as luxurious and comfortable compared to our usual state of living at home. We missed a few things from home such as;

  1. The microwave – we had to reheat our food using pots and pans on the stove
  2. Comforters – each room was provided with a very thin blanket. I suppose it is a technique so that we increase the temperature while we sleep. In a way less energy is used to cool the room to ‘extreme’ temperatures. Hence conserve electricity and reduces the bill.
  3. Coway water filter machine – given the easy access to clean water at home, boiling hot water can be a chore. Ha ha. Thankfully, there is a NINSO nearby for us to buy drinking water in abundance. The 1.5 litre bottles were sold at only RM2.30 for 3 bottles.
  4. Night lights/ bedside lamps – I was so glad that I brought my doTERRA LUMO diffuser. It doubles up as my lamp throughout the night as I set it to 10 hours of usage. If I did not bring it, I’d have to resort to a totally dark room or sleep with the doors open. 20190810_141932-019203051808957857482.jpeg
  5. The many available wall sockets – Each room has only 1 wall socket. Therefore, it is advisable to bring your own extensions.
  6. The assorted shower gels/shampoo & toothpaste -the homestay provided one basic solution for shampoo and body foam which is totally acceptable. I miss having the many choices like we do at home. Hence, it is wise to bring pre-packed toiletries too.

ACTIVITIES

Our flight was damn early at 0750AM. The kids did not bath and we performed our Subuh prayers at KLIA. Check in at KLIA was easy as there are plenty of self check in machines available. Once we’ve printed the luggage tags , we baggage dropped our things at the respective counters.

In-flight menu was OK although we personally prefer Air Asia’s nasi lemak. Even the kids pancakes taste funny.

We touched down at Kuching International Airport (KIA) 10 mins earlier than scheduled and had to wait for our rented car to come which took hours. So we had lunch at SUGAR BUN, in the airport which was freaking expensive. Our rented car is an Axia at RM90/day.

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This time around for raya haji, we would be visiting our relatives. We do not have the luxury to do other tourist-ish stuff like we normally do. So Santubong Damai Beach and museum visits were not part of the schedule. Some of the little things we manage to do include;

COFFEE AT BELALAK ADDICTED

This roadside stall was once famous for its Turkish like brewed coffee. Nowadays however, perhaps because its time consuming, they have removed that extra unique element and replaced it with other coffee varieties on top of selling fried food/critters for tea. I ordered Kopi Let which is a mixture of coffee with cocoa. It is very sweet though but the coffee taste still come out strong. Price : RM4.90

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RECITING YASSIN AND TAHLIL FOR THE DEceased

This was a get together on my moms side. We sedekah our recitations to those we love and hope Allah will ease their sufferings, if any, in alam barzakh. Then we had food. Lost of food. My sister and I brought chocolate cake all the way from Selangor for the occasion.

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FOOD HUNTING

There is no doubt that the queen of Laksa Sarawak is still Moms Laksa. The broth is super delicious and the closest restaurant to replicate its taste is here in Melaka, Kolok Vs Laksa restaurant located along the SPA Highway.

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A bowl of delicious mi kolok is harder to find because everyone’s recommendations differs greatly as to how they decide that mi kolok is nyaman. The last time I had a delicious mi kolok was at Kets Kitchen in Matang Jaya. Now rebranded as POpular Food Court. Till now, it was so difficult to get hold of the pakcik who makes the mi kolok.

Sotong Kangkung from LOCK ANN is a must. It has now relocated just opposite Matang Mall.

We went to a new place this year. MAMI CENDOL. It sells cendol, shaved ice with toppings, rojak buah, sotong kangkung and mi belacan. We thought it was a bit odd though to tapau self service but we went along with the system. The taste was alright.

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We had our seafood fix as usual at TOPSPOT. It is open at night and we usually patron stall no 25. I recommend ordering their butter prawn. Damn delicious!

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If you yearn for seafood during the day, then TELAGA AIR is the place for you. It is equally cheap. They serve the dishes buffet style but they are still freshly cooked. Telaga Air is situated about 35 – 40 minutes from Matang Jaya.

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BUYING SOUVENIRS

I bring back kuih lapis and butter cake back to Melaka every year without fail. It is sad though that nowadays kuih lapis has become so commercialized that its lost its unique value during Hari Raya. I  also get my Sarawak orientated kain pasang from main bazaar or India Street for my working baju kurung. I plan to enrich my wardrobe with baju kurung that has a Sarawakian or Terengganu motive to it. Ha ha.

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A SPECIAL VISIT TO MASJID AL GHAZALI

This masjid is located just 6 minutes from our homestay. Al Ghazali is special because it was built with the compensation money the relatives received with regards to this whole family who died in the MH17 crash. InsyaAllah as long as people keep the masjid alive, it will be a continuous supply of good deeds for the dead.

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I hope to spend longer time in Kuching next year. Our family will be going through transitions in our everyday routine next month as we ponder and wait for where Mr Husband will be deployed for his specialist gazzettement.

I hope it is in a state where the weekends are the same as in Melaka.

A one night stay at Dorsett Putrajaya

I love staycations. Especially when we landed on a bargain for a hotel room or an experience. Last weekend, it was my moms 60th birthday. After the feast I decided to check into DORSETT PUTRAJAYA hotel overnight based on its location near Masjid Besi and the Food Truck Area in Putrajaya.

Hotel parking was adequate. FREE of course. Reception was friendly. Room was spacious. Breakfast was a delight. I love how they give you mug options for your coffee. Cause mom’s ain’t gonna have enough of caffeine in those eeenny meeeenyyy white cuppas. Ee’s breakfast rate was RM25.

I booked a Deluxe Room with balcony for a night through Agoda.com and it was RM210.00 including service tax and fee. My room comes with a nice view, free WIFI, complimentary breakfast for 2, coffee. tea and 2 bottles of drinking water. There is an in room iron with board, hairdryer, bath robes with slippers and alhamdulilah a prayer mat. It’s those little touches that make your stay wonderful.

The bathroom had no bath tub but it was fine. The toiletries were cute. I had to try the shampoo and conditioner. It smelt like Lemongrass.

The hotel has an infinity swimming pool and gym on the top floor. The pool is open from 7AM to 7PM whilst the gym is open for 24 hours. The hotel was initially conjoined with a shopping mall but we noticed that only the main supermarket and a few eateries are open. I am not quite sure what happened to the rest of the business premises. The mall looked haunted. Such a waste of space and facilities. I really hope that Waterfront Hotel in Kuching would not suffer from a similar fate.

The scene outside at the balcony in the night was really really beautiful. I could stare at the mosque all night. We had dinner at the food truck area. The options were alright and they had a sitting area too for you to eat your meals. It’s like an open air foodcourt cuma yg berjualnya guna truck. We had western food – spaghetti aglio olio and carbonara with iced milk tea.

 

I would book a room here again if I had any business going on in Putrajaya. The location is calm. There is not much traffic for a weekend staycation. You could even get involved in healthy activities like walking or cycling.

Upon completion of my stay here, I received an automated email saying that I am now a member of Dorsett Loyalty Rewards programme. This entitles me to exclusive member benefits etc. Will explore on that later.

doTERRA (Malaysia) – beneficial or placebo. Thinking of getting on the LRP?

I have been using doTERRA Touch Peppermint quite a lot recently at work. My intrigued colleague who was sharing the work desk hence asked whether I think essential oils has a therapeutic effect or just a placebo.

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I told him that I believe there is a biochemistry pathway as to how these oils work, only we haven’t got enough research or trials to measure its effectiveness. Which results in us, healthcare professionals not being able to endorse it as having medicinal properties to cure a certain ailment. And as we all know, testimonies are the lowest form of evidence in science although ironically, in modern society, it ranks the highest.

I am convinced of such pathways (existing benefits) because of two scenarios I’ve experienced in my life.

  1. We puke when we smell something putrid. The sense of smell sends signals to the brain causing our body to react accordingly. The free smell of Famous Amos makes you salivate and want a cookie. And maybe the smell of some other substance will make you feel full and not hungry. Hence, diffusing oils makes sense to me.
  2. When a patient has paraquat poisoning, we remove every single clothing from the patient and wash him/her with enough soap and water. We also protect ourselves by wearing appropriate barrier clothing. It is because the poison exerts its effects in such a way that if you have enough paraquat on your skin and is absorbed through the layers, it can shut down the whole bodily system.  Therefore, topical application makes sense to me. I take note on the caution to dilute the oils when used in certain age groups and am keen to understand the layering method. I wish hard to find a class (locally) where I can learn about Aromatouch massage techniques.

I am very particular on which oils I take internally because for me Natural is not always safe. Unless they’re from credible sources. I mean, if you were lost in a jungle, are you confident to eat every single fruit/leaf there just because it’s natural? Tak kan.. so we should use the same approach for oils. Yes, I know that the plants of which we extract the oils from are not alien or less than strange but still, until thorough research is done, as a person trained in medicine and does not wish for my licenses to be revoked, I would really like to know its Therapeutic Index. We will get there one day, doTERRA! I believe in you!

So far, I feel safe ingesting the citrus groups. I have no qualms when it comes to putting a drop of lemon in my tea. Or grapefruit in my drinking water. What more wild orange in my hot chocolate. But I am a bit wary of oils I am not familiar with. So I take a step back, read a bit and make an informed choice. Perhaps later, I will gain confidence to try the others.

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I AM ON THE LOYALTY REWARDS PROGRAMME (LRP)

Next month is my birthday and since I am a member on the Loyalty Rewards Programme (LRP), I cannot wait to redeem my free birthday oil. I hope it is a good one. 10 months into doTERRA, I do feel that it has brought on significant changes to my life. Despite the many perceptions that it is expensive,to me it is a long term investment for ones health. If you know how to manipulate your LRP and purchases, you can actually save a lot over the months and gradually years. Even if you spend less than RM250 per month, or RM50.. on the LRP programme, you can still gather the rewards. 

Take a look at these oils from my personal collection.

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Each oil here cost less than RM100, a few less than RM50. I can actually be on the LRP programme and 50PV worth of oils  monthly to get at least 10% back in product points  from my purchase, which I can collect and redeem within a year to get free oils. The maximum percent I can get back is 30% and that is worth a lot of oils.

1 PV = USD 1. So, if you convert in RM, that’ll be about RM 4? So, here comes the catch.

WHATS THE CATCH? 

  • I must buy something every month. At least just above RM200 to grow my percentage. But if I do not have a budget for that month, I can keep the account active by buying something less than 50PV. Consequently, my points would not ‘mature’ but if say, I am already at a 20% priviledge, at least that is maintained and kept on hold. My previous PV points accrued are also maintained. I get to collect more points and go up my percentage once I begin to purchase at 50PV (minimum) again.
  • You can only max out to 30% of credit points. And to collect PV, your expenditures per month still need to be above 50PV. So be prepared to fork out at least RM250 per month cause shipping is a flat rate of RM15. Unless, you choose pickup option at the centre.
  • I will receive a package every month and thankfully the packaging has become more eco-friendly. So rumah tak semak dengan kotak. 
  • If budget is a factor, I must be very patient as I buy these oils bit by bit every month just so I could use them. But fret not, if you have Speedy, ‘Greedy’ friends like Yours Truly, you can ask from me for samples. Knowing myself, memang akan bagi punya. Ha ha

I am currently curating my LRP order for August. I have just a few points under 100PV to finish off and I am thinking of getting a Jasmine DT roller for my point redemption items. It’s one of those expensive ones. LOL. I just wish doTERRA would have more diffusers. Especially the cute ones for kids bedroom. At a reasonable price! I would definitely buy one. Or two. Maybe 3. he he

If you need a one to one consult, send me an email at yasmin0508@gmail.com. I advocate in Melaka, Selangor and occasionally Kuching. If you live elsewhere, I can help you connect with a fellow advocate near your respective locations. Or if you’re like me, who may prefer to explore at your own pace and enroll yourself, do use my personal link. And later if you want to keep in touch and want me to guide you, you can also drop me an email.

InsyaAllah you will never go wrong with doTERRA.

I had my Nothing Day today

A Nothing Day. As inspired by Vivy Yusof. 

It was a last minute break from work. A friend told me that no one was taking leave as per roster and since the seating arrangements for the medical officers can be a bit of a haywire nowadays, I decided to remove myself from the equation. My leave was granted.

So I started my morning by sending my toddler to daycare. Yes, go ahead, judge me. Then I spent my quiet morning in McDonalds having breakfast. A chicken porridge, an iced caramel latte and an apple pie. This McD outlet adopted the new system of ordering and I was a bit lost. Thankfully, there were not a lot of people yet. In a way, I managed to navigate my way through the system. Once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy. I paid for my meal in cash and paid at the counter and since I chose a table number – all I had to do was wait for my order to be delivered to my table. At least, that was how the outlet manager taught me. It felt like a personalised tutorial. Lol. I did People Watching while having my breakfast.

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After that, I made my way to the ASB bank. I registered myself on the portal using one of the kiosk in the bank. I updated my data and personal details, checked my balance and withdrew some money. For a big purchase.

Which is a new laptop. My current LENOVO laptop is fine. I just needed something smaller for portability so I could keep my writing momentum going. I have lost quite a few ideas along the years and I hope that the ones I have now can be developed, expanded, written down and polished to a quality I hope would be worth to be submitted as a manuscript. So I got myself an Acer Aspire 3. kira oklah.. crossing my fingers for the best.

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This Acer is also easier to bring around when I share about doTERRA outside my home especially when I need to show digital files and stuff. Of course I have my material on my phone too but having a laptop makes sharing sessions appear more sleek and professional. I guess. Ha ha.

I fetched my son on time from school, made him lunch and surprise surprise Mr Husband came home for his lunch break too. I am thankful that he bought extra chicken for our meals. His favourite chicken, Uncle Jack.

Once Mr Husband goes off to work, Ee and I went to the cinema to watch Lion King. we both enjoyed it a lot. Then we stopped by the bookstore, Popular. Ee bought a comic book, I bought 4 books as well. God knows when I will finish my eternally growing reading list. Ha ha. I fancy the idea of reading a lot but the mental stamina to be focused dwindles with time. Perhaps, I should re-enact the idea of setting up my proper mini library soon.

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Once we were done, we went to fetch Ninie from the daycare and spent the last hours of the evening in our Activity Area in the house ( which has become an unofficial storage space for the time being) reading books, playing with their toys and me drafting this entry for my blog.

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I am very grateful for my Nothing Days. It wasn’t a pure Nothing Day as I still have my kids lingering with me but those few hours in the morning of me alone was bliss. If I had a few more hours I could have made that trip to the hair salon or a foot massage. Of course, I still get watsapp messages from work but it was still OK. Alhamdulilah. Do you have Nothing Days too? What do you do on those days? How was it? Share with me..

 

Body Scrub Workshop by Workshop 17

MainPlaceMall USJ had a Craft Fair happening just this weekend. I loved that apart from the craft, there were stationaries and plenty of workshops to join in. I missed the Stationery Buffet though.  *cry glitter* Haih, if only I lived in USJ. There were a lot of interesting stalls. I even had a henna tattoo drawn on my hand.

I signed up for the Body Scrub Class hosted by Workshop 17. Although my mom was like skeptic and remarked ,” benda tu pun nak belajar?” – I deafened my ears and went for it anyway. Moms like that. Lepas tu dia nak jugak. Ha ha ha.

I used Google Maps to navigate my way to Mainplace Mall and it was only a 20 min drive from my moms house. The kids? Left them with the dad.

Our instructor for the hour was called Yen. She was so pretty and gentle. Always encouraging us to be creative. She even gave us extra tips on how to further make our scrubs become prettier.

We each received a goodie bag. Inside, there were 2 empty jars for us to put our scrubs in, a wooden spatula and cute, instruction cards showing us how to make these things. I was so pleased.

I signed up for the class online at a fee of RM 79/pax. This is after Craft Affair announced it on their IG page. As usual, I was anxious for having to go alone. And meet new people. Although I also have that part of me who wants to hang out with new friends. New butterflies, maybe? hihi. So the Introvert needs to be at least an Ambivert during these events.

We have the option of creating our scrubs from either essential oils or food meaning oatmeals, coffee, cocoa and green tea. The base is sugar. Be it brown or white sugar. Then we have food gel for colours with various ‘toppings’ such as rose petals and buds. I thought the table was colourful.

These are mine.

1 : Chocolate + vanilla + rose water

( to wind down and relax)

2 : Lemon + grapefruit + bergamot

( to freshen and revitalize)

Yen did caution us to keep the jars in a cool area. But not the fridge. And definitely not under the sun or in the heat of a closed room.

I came home from the class learning something new. I think it is something that I could do at home and teach others.  I look forward to attend classes similar like this in the future like making lip balms and such. Perhaps later, I will gain my wings to become a better Butterfly Blogger and then, I’d have enough experience and courage to attend next years Butterfly party. InsyaAllah.