Saturday, September 15, 2018

Perth 2018 - Exploring Mandurah Waters

It was a mistake to just make a day trip to Mandurah. I should have stayed at least for one night! Mandurah, located at the Peel region is known for its stunning sea sceneries, dolphin watching, and many other sea activities. Going on a tour around Mandurah waters on our own boat was just one the few things we did.

On our way to Mandurah, we dropped by Bunnings. With a tagline Lower Prices Are Just The Beginning, we went crazy over the myriad of DIY equipments and products available. It would be a cardinal sin to not buy something there! We bought an automated hose, water sprikler system and a deluxe king's throne camping chair since we will be having picnic soon. Extra luggage weight  became secondary for a while and the main concern was how do we fit everything in the car?

We then headed to Mandurah boardwalk and explored Mandurah waters. The weather was delightful. It was cold despite the sun which makes dressing up and putting on sunblock a breeze because you did not have to sweat.

Hopeful to explore more of Mandurah in the future. Next time,  I will probably spend a day or two exploring other parts of beautiful Mandurah! I am supposing this was just a preview trip. 😄

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Perth 2018 - Swan Valley

One of the many places that you must go when you are in Perth is Swan Valley. If you do not have a car, there are alternatives to choose from like shuttle bus, or even cycling. You will have to check it out!

As for us, we were lucky to have a car for the day because Swan Valley is massive, and there are many places to go to. Known for its vineyard, olive farms, and chocolatiers, it is an amazing place for you to explore and guaranteed you will be spoilt for choice. Many places to eat with picturesque backdrop of nature!

The first place we went was Kafarela's vineyard. They are known for its non-alcoholic grape juice and they have a wide variety of grape juices. No one red grape is the same depending on where it was grown. Unfortunately, we came at an unopportune time as it was not harvest season yet. The trip did no go to waste as we were taught how the grapes were harvested. On the upside, there was a part of it that was lined with cherry blossom. (I think?)

On the same day, we went to the House of Honey to get a taste of Australian honey. I personally love honey. I put them in my coffee, tea or make a cup of honey lemon mix. It makes a great thirst quencher. Remember, if you are making a honey drink, avoid using hot boiling water because it may destroy the essential vitamins in it.

The House of Honey was crowded that day with bus load of tourist. Everything at the tasting counter was pretty much a mess and of course, photo taking became really complicated and challenging! It came to a no surprise because it was a weekend anyway. All the staff were too busy to entertain everyone. Luckily, there was a cashier who helped us with our choices! I got myself a honeycomb that can be eaten on its own like a candy.

If you are at the House of Honey, pick something that has a lab tested rating. They have a rating that reflects that honey medicinal properties and could help cancer patients or remedy common illnesses like cough or flu. Unfortunately, House of Honey has got no farm nearby, of course due to safety issues like bees flying around while you shop! However, there is a display of live bees contained in an acrylic display for you to see! Just do not attempt to break it!

Then after we went to The Margaret River Chocolate Co. According to TripAdvisor that was the it place to go, but I was not feeling it. We looked around and nothing appealed us. We left and drove further up to Mondo Nougat and Morish Nuts.

It was not crowded, I am supposing they are not popular amongst tourist but, they give a certain local vibe - not the kind of overimported nougat we tend to buy at the groceries. They are still as Australian as other brands but trying out Mondo Nougat and Morish Nuts did not dissappoint! If I had wanted to go to a crowded store, I would have gone to one in my backyard. I bought the soft nougat at Mondo Nougat because I do not want to hurt my jaw! They are way softer than Golden Boronia's soft nougat. At Morish Nuts, you could sample the flavoured nuts before buying. You will not get enough!

A day well spent at Swan Valley. Shops in Australia generally close early. We went back to the city after and had dinner at Ihsan. The cold weather made me want to eat something soupy!

More about my trip soon! Have a great week ahead!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Perth 2018

Hi everyone!

I am so glad to be back! I was in Perth for a short vacation and am very grateful I had a great time enjoying the Perth city life, and exploring the places and importantly feeding the kangaroos, on top of having photo opportunity with the koala and wombat!

I was in Australia in 2016 and there were a few things that did not go as planned! This was probably to recompense all the annoying things that happened in 2016 like car rental booking gone wrong, Blue Mountain tour that cancelled on the eleventh hour, and many more. No matter, there were also many amazing memories like the campfire and glamping to remember by!

This trip was booked two weeks before my departure. Hence, there were so many last minute research I had to do. Luckily, there were real friends and family to show us around and stayed throughout the trip. These are the amazing people and I am hopeful the universe treat you as good!

Many times when I told my friends that I was going to Perth for a vacation, many asked, what is there to do? I will be back again to share with you my experience and some pictures (I hope you love it!). Hopefully, it will be beneficial for you if you are going there in the future!

Granted, Australia is absolutely mediocre when it comes to shopping. Their malls open late and closes early. Good enough if there is one eatery nearby that is open till late. I spent a day shopping and I was done for the day.

I am not one who is that picky when it comes to food but there, food seem to taste better I think? It took me quite some time to stomach the food here back home. Yes, my kitchen is closed until further notice because I am too tired to cook. Till now I could not find fish and chips that taste as good as the one in Fremantle. I am a little dramatically worried now. Wondering if I am going to ever eat fish here again?

I will be taking a good rest for the next few days. I need a break, catch up on my sleep, clear my luggage and bring out all the souvenirs and untag everything. Who knew there would be so much work to be done when it comes to unpacking!

Till then, have a great week! 🎉

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Keeping Ninja-fit with AXN

Don’t miss the premiere of American Ninja Warrior: Ninja Vs. Ninja on August 13, Monday to Wednesday at 8:05pm only on AXN (StarHub Ch 511 and Singtel TV Ch 304)!

Epic competition series, American Ninja Warrior: Ninja Vs. Ninja is back for another season! Bigger and more intensive than before, the show will feature even more challenging obstacles than in the past, incorporating speed, human agility, skill and a whole strategy of racing.

Hosted by comedian Matt Iseman and former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila, American Ninja Warrior: Ninja Vs. Ninja pits three-person athletic teams against one another on a physically demanding, side-by-side obstacle course that tests endurance and speed.

While not everybody can train as hard as these athletes, AXN has collated a list of tips from fitness and lifestyle influencers on how to keep fit during a busy working schedule.

Keeping a work-life balance

Office life might leave you with little time for after work activities, but you can still stay active with simple exercises that could be done within your office environment.

“Feeling troubled in the office? Turn that stress into muscles by getting a forearm and grip strengthener,” advised Zulfadli, a lifestyle and fitness influencer from Singapore. “Another tip is to invest in a pair of exercise bands that can be used while you’re reading a report or trying to overcome writer’s block.”

Simple adjustments in the office can make a big difference in the long run. For example, sitting on an exercise ball instead of an office chair can help to improve your posture. If you get back pains from sitting in the office all day, try switching to a standing desk which can straighten your spine and help to burn extra calories.

Make time for yourself

It’s easy to make excuses and procrastinate when it comes to exercising during a work week, but sometimes all you need is 30 minutes of free time a day to get in shape!

Annissa Munaf, a fitness influencer based in Indonesia agrees, “Staying active and fit with your busy working schedule can be easy and simple. Back when I worked in an office, I’d always jog for 30 minutes in the morning before I’d go to work. If I didn’t have to work late, I would go to the gym for an hour or so after work.”

“The afternoon nap has never been so important in working life. Whether your job involves working on heavy machinery or even as routine as data entry, closing your eyes for 15 minutes to rest can help you to stay productive. Remember to pace yourself during lunch hour!” Zulfadli added.

Getting to the finish line with good eating habits

Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily means eating blandly. There are plenty of healthy food options available these days, and if your office area doesn’t have any, you can always consider food delivery services.

Grace Myu, lifestyle blogger from Malaysia recommends readers to make healthy meal preps from home because diet is key to maintaining a fit body. This also helps to eliminate the stress of thinking of lunch options then resorting to an unhealthy one (we’ve all been there!). Grace also suggests to opt for alternative snacks such as seedless grapes and unsalted nuts to cut down on junk food binging.

“Always remember to hydrate yourself. We tend to have the misconception that we don’t need to drink much due to our light intensity office work when in fact, air-conditioning removes moisture in the office and ultimately takes it away from you,” shared Zulfadli.

If all these tips seem too overwhelming for you, pay heed to Matt Iseman, the host of American Ninja Warrior: Ninja Vs. Ninja, “You’re going to have days, but just remember that even when it feels impossible, if you just keep going, you will get to the finish line.”

Don’t miss the premiere of American Ninja Warrior: Ninja Vs. Ninja on August 13, Monday to Wednesday at 8:05pm only on AXN (StarHub Ch 511 and Singtel TV Ch 304).

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Pasir Ris Primary School's Silver Jubilee

Hi everyone! My weekend started great this week with the celebration of Pasir Ris Primary School's silver jubilee, in conjuction with the official opening of its newly built Indoor Sports Hall (ISH) and Sing Singapore - a brand name strongly associated and synonym to a Pasirian National Day celebration.

I was very happy to be a part of this seeing our young generation performing, exceling not only in education but in arts too. The event started off with Guzheng performance which played an array of traditional folksongs, as well as new rendition of Humpty Dumpty sang by the school choir. Then it went to showcase several number of Singapore songs á la Sing Singapore. If you had remembered Sing Singapore back then, it was very competitive, energetic, vibrant, and more importantly creative. I remember how back then our pom-poms were made of rafia strings or even newspaper. We brought recycling to a while new level! Those memories were reignited that night! A showcase of traditional performance like the Malay dance added some culture on top of the Guzheng ensemble. More videos on my Twitter!

It was amazing to have DPM Teo Chee Hean and MP Mr Zainal Sapari to grace this event where the former officiated the grand opening of the ISH. The launch which had Mr Teo place his palm on a tablet initating the opening was an application orchestrated by a group of Pasirirans students themselves. Amazing! Coding has never been so useful!

On a personal level, I was so elated to meet former teachers and I was absolutely stunned to see ex-principal Mr Han Mok Puek! I am sure many of you would have remembered how candid he was as a principal back then. Thank you Pasir Ris Primary School for inviting me. It was an honour truly!