Saturday, October 29, 2011

And I ruffled some feathers...

In the last couple of days, I've garnered more hits on my blog than all my years of blogging (Xanga, Friendster and Blogger combined). The cause? My review on Mon Meill and Groupon Malaysia.

Being the only one (so far) who wrote a review about online businesses, sort of made me stand out from the crowd like a sore thumb. But I guess I'm used to be the odd one out... been doing that since school days. At times it was cool, yet I usually end up being the target for bullies.What? You guys never realized girls get bullied too?

Anyway, for those people out there still pondering a way to increase your blog traffic, here's a good advice for you "STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Early Exposure

I was told by elders that children either start talking first or start walking first; rarely both at the same time. Looking at my little Miss Muffin, it's obvious that she'll be a chatter box at a young age because she's already calling me "MAMA". Yup, at 6 months old my darling princess knows who her Mama is and I'm so thrilled. The first time I heard her call wasn't really clear. It sounded more like mumbling so I didn't count that in. The next day was her second Hepatitis B dose and the pain of the injection made her yelled out “MAMA” loud and clear. Even the nurse who administered the shot was stunted. I am happy she could call me Mama, I’m now slowly teaching her to call Papa. Its real cool that my daughter might just be able to mumble a few words coming Chinese New Year HOWEVER, she's not able to crawl yet. Roll around till she knocks herself silly, yes. But crawling? Nada

So since she'll learn to talk before she walks, I had to start hunting for books that are suitable for her. My first priority is to either get her those cloth books or cardboard books - whichever cheaper. My first thought was to buy cloth ones because you can wash them in the event they get dirty or when my daughter decides to drool or maybe “taste” the book. So while we went shopping, I made it a point to drop by the children’s department for such books. The scary part was finding out the price tag! One cloth book cost at least RM40! The cardboard book cost wasn’t any cheaper either. Local publications are cheaper than imports BUT some are riddled with spelling errors I wonder how on Earth can the editor approve such materials in the first place?!

Before Logos Hope opened its doors to the public two months ago in Penang, Borders at Queens Bay Mall was having a book sale. Some of their books were sold at 70% discount. I dived in their discount bins looking for the right book for my little Miss Muffin and came out with some books in hand. It would have been more than what you see in the picture but most of the books were so badly damaged it's just not worth the purchase. In total the 6 books above cost me RM65.05 (round up to the nearest 5 cents). IF I were to pay the full price for all 6 books, it would have cost me a whopping RM138.00!

With these books in hand, I won’t be getting those cloth books for my daughter. This is more than enough to keep her busy. So if anyone is interested in getting children books, keep an eye on those book sales. You'll never know when you hit the jackpot!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Online Shop Review: Mon Meill

Disclaimer: The reviews on the online shop are my personal experience while purchasing products/services. I do not get paid by the reviewed shop. I am not responsible for any loss, damage or loss of profits that may result from reading my review. In particular, I am unable to accept any responsibility or liability in the unlikely event of a dispute between vendor and purchaser. It is your (the reader's) responsibility alone to check the vendor's credibility, quality of merchandise and method of payment.
Print Screen of Mon Meill deal in Groupon
Print Screen of Mon Meill website
Shop name: Mon Meill
Company Name: UNKNOWN
Products/Services: Jewelry
First Purchase Made: 5th September 2011
Number of orders made since first purchase: 0
Note: Purchased via Groupon Malaysia. To read my review on Groupon Malaysia, click here.

I made my purchase in Groupon Malaysia for this jewelry set for RM128.00. The images of their jewelry in Groupon Malaysia and their Mon Meill website looked beautiful. I guess it’s all worth their effort to engage a professional photographer. But the that arrived looked totally off...
It took them 23 days to arrive (ordered on September 5th, 2011 and arrived in my office on September 28th 2011). When the parcel arrived, the box was a little dented. They did not use any form of padded packaging (ie bubble wrap) to prevent the jewelry box from being damaged. So those who had purchased this for someone else might be very much disappointed.
When I took out the products, the jewelry was not up to expectation. Their images portray flawless finished but the actual product showed cheap workmanship. According to the description on Groupon Malaysia website, it’s supposed to be made of 925 sterling silver and 18-karat gold plating. HOWEVER there is no mention of 18-karat gold plating on the product tag OR brochure; just the words Silver 925. But I don’t know. From the looks of it, I think the Kenji and Dennii jewelry I bought in 1 Utama looks of better quality. By the way, anyone knows how to check if this jewelry really contains 18-k gold plating??
Anyway, I asked my hubby to help me check if the words SWAROVSKI ZIRCONIA engraved on the stone. He used his camera with magnifying glass attached to the macro lens and managed to capture something that looks quite like it. Sorry, shakey hands so the image is a little fuzzy.
Another thing mentioned in Groupon Malaysia website is the "Made with SWAROVSKI ZIRCONIA" quality tag. But in the group discussion, Groupon Malaysia says "provide cert of authenticity". As far as I can see, there was no authenticity certificate but a simple tag to say this product is made with SWAROVSKI ZIRCONIA. (I smell a hint of deception here)
So, will I buy from Mon Meill in future? Never. They claimed that this set I purchased originally cost RM520. BUT I doubt that is even worth RM128.00. They also claimed that it has 18-K gold plating. BUT I don’t see those words written anywhere inside their brochure OR product label. In the Groupon Malaysia page, they mentioned it's good as a gift HOWEVER, the box I received was dented because they didn't use any bubble wrap. They too state that I’ll receive my product within two weeks (that’s 14 days) BUT that did NOT happen. Even thou they stated that redemption period starts from September 11th, 14 days later is September 25th. But mind you my order only arrived on the 28th. Still LATE! Looking at it right now, I felt like I’ve just been ripped off!

Maybe I should have taken the hint when I cannot locate the name of the company responsible for Mon Meill brand...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Online Shop Review: Groupon Malaysia

Disclaimer: The reviews on the online shop are my personal experience while purchasing products/services. I do not get paid by the reviewed shop. I am not responsible for any loss, damage or loss of profits that may result from reading my review. In particular, I am unable to accept any responsibility or liability in the unlikely event of a dispute between vendor and purchaser. It is your (the reader's) responsibility alone to check the vendor's credibility, quality of merchandise and method of payment.

Shop name: Groupon Malaysia
Company Name: Groupon Sdn. Bhd. (928899-V)
Products/Services: Group buying
First Purchase Made: 5th September 2011
Number of orders made since first purchase: 0
Basic Information of Groupon from SSM
贪小便宜 (tan xiao pian yi). I think this is the 4 words that best describes me. Literally it is translated as greed(贪) small(小) cheap(便宜) meaning greedy over small cheap things/deals. But cheap can be deceiving right? More often than not, one might just end up being penny wise pound foolish. On the other hand, you'll never know if you may just hit a jackpot.

Print Screen of Mon Meill deal in Groupon

When I saw the advert for a necklace and earring set at 75% discount. I jumped and thought it was a great deal. The pictures in Groupon looked promising so I decided to check out Mon Meill's official site. It took FOREVER to load. The only thing I learned from this site is that it's a Hong Kong company. Any other details were unattainable because their webpages took so long to load! Probably I should have seen it as a hint that things would go wrong. Anyway, I signed up an account with Groupon and made my purchases... (YES I know~! I have a problem with impulse buying!) I thought this would be the same as other online business sites that I've been. Unfortunately it isn't. My previous buys with other online merchants (Best-Buy World, OhJapan, Cotton House Store and QQ Baby Shop) they provide me their bank account numbers and I make the payment via my own bank's official website (in my case its CIMBClicks). Groupon however leads me to a third party site and the so-called link to CIMBClicks doesn’t look like the real deal. So I switched to Paypal instead. The good thing about Paypal is that shall anything go wrong, I have 40 days from the date of purchase to freeze payment.

Mon Meill redemption form via Groupon
Once the payment was made, I was required to fill in the form provided for redemption. The voucher was sent to my email and I'm supposed to key in the voucher code and security number in the redemption form. HOWEVER there wasn't any clear indications of which is which. Again, make a guess. And then the waiting game began. This is where the second part of the problem began. In Groupon, it is stated that delivery is within 2 weeks. But by the 25th of September I was yet to receive my goods so I sent Groupon an email.

Reply from Groupon

A reply came in and the first thing I began asking myself is HOW to track a parcel from Hong Kong to Malaysia? There was no indication in the email on how to track my parcel. All they did was give me the tracking number and I'm back at guessing how to make use of it. I know this may sound dumb, in fact I could just email them again and ask via which website should I do my checking. But before I could email them, Hubby already gave me the answer. It's a good thing is that Hubby had experience with parcels from overseas and the first thing I had to do was go to Hong Kong Post official website and key in the tracking number.

Ah… left Hong Kong for Malaysia on September 22nd. Then the next step was to find out where in Malaysia is the parcel, right? So I clicked to Pos Malaysia and there it was on the way to my office. By the 28th of September, the parcel was in my hand.

The jewelry came in and I was rather disappointed.I've blog about the jewelry in another post - click here to read about Mon Meill review. My focus right now is Groupon.

So will I buy anything via Groupon again? Highly unlikely for the following reasons
  1. I don't like how payments are made via third parties because it opens up opportunities for phishing and or hacking. I would prefer if I can go back to my own choice of bank’s official website and make the payment. Or go to the nearest bank and deposit the money in the ATM.
  2. There was no mention anywhere in their Mon Meill Deal that this product is from Hong Kong. I only found about when clicking on Mon Meill website. I think it should be Groupon's responsibility to inform (potential) customers the source of the product.
  3. In their discussion tab, Groupon repeatedly mentioned that the product will arrive winthin 2 weeks from redemption period (11 Sept 2011). But even at THAT date 14 days after September 11, 2011 is September 25, 2011. I got mine on the 28th. Seriously, this only means they don't hold to their words. I don't care what happened, but as long as they don't honor their part of 2 weeks as stated in their site, it is my duty to write in this review or I consider it as being dishonest to people reading my review.
  4. Again related to their discussion tab,  NOT ALL questions posted by users are answered. Even though people ask the same questions over and over again, AND even though some of the question are "silly" I think it's good PR that they answer all questions in the discussion board. Anyway, it's good that they answer my email.
Snippet of the Mon Meill discussion board in Groupon
For those curious folks out there read here and here. A little heads up for you to see what's going on with Groupons around the globe.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pet Sitting

A fortnight ago was my best friend's wedding. She asked if I could recommend a pet hotel or boarding for her two dogs as they would be out of town for their honeymoon. Coincidentally sometime after Hari Raya, there was a big hoo haa about Petknode. I was too afraid to recommend ANY pet hotels at all. I mean what if I suggest a particular place and something bad happens to her beloved pets? I don't want to send someone's pet to a doom hotel! So instead of asking around, I volunteered to take care of them.

Before she brought them over, we made a verbal agreement that I can only care for them at the minimum. My daughter is my priority. But I guess I have little to worry about as it turns out my best friend's husband had their dogs Noodles and Starbucks well VERY WELL TRAINED. They use their own "littler box" and they are almost fuss free.

The first two days are obviously stressful for the two girls. Starbucks seems to have separation anxiety or some sort, while Noodles seems to adapt quiet well. The good news is both were eating and drinking and pooping and peeing albeit slow. At first I thought it would best to leave them quarantined for a few days to help them adapt. But that didn't go quite well for Starbucks particularly as she kept whining non-stop. She's like a pocket dynamite! Small dog full of energy. So I let both girls out and gosh! They were running and prancing like little bunnies. They had so much fun I just couldn't resist taking pictures of them. But I guess they were too fast for my camera. Each time the shutter closes they're already out of my picture

A little bit of exercise was all they needed to release the stress. About an hour of chasing each other, both Noodles and Starbucks were already exhausted and flopped to the floor. All I had to do was call one and the other will happily tail behind. So, that was my new routine for the next few days until my best friend's return. A run around the garden twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening. It's very nice to see those two enjoying themselves - reminds me of my Oddball.

Anyway,time flies and now the to dogs are back with their owners. I kinda miss them...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Wedding Season

Wedding seasons is here and it’s another excuse for a family or friend reunion. An opportunity for us all to catch up with those we’ve not met for quite a while (or maybe just last week). But while some of us look forward to such a reunion, at times I dread to attend one. I mean those 三姑六婆 (read san gu liu po) meaning nosy relatives are just so annoying. As if their brains are pre-programmed to function at a weirdly manner in every wedding. Here’s a snippet of their code that I’ve managed to decipher …
If YOU are below the age of 21
            “How old are you this year?
Else if YOU are single
            “Why don’t you find a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Else if YOU are in a relationship
            “When is your turn to get married?
Else if YOU are married but no kids
            “Why you no children yet?
Else if YOU are married with one child
            “When’s the next child?
Else if YOU are married with more than one child but less than 3
            “Why so few?
Else if YOU are married with 4 children or more
            “Why so many??

Yup, basically EVERYONE (single, in a relationship, married; with kids, no kids, divorced, gays, lesbians… you get the idea) is not spared! My best guess is that these people don’t really know how to strike a conversation with the younger generation – so to them, this IS their pickup line. But of course instead of getting a good feedback, most of us will try steer away. Sad isn’t it?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

(NOT really) Enjoying Gardenia Waffles

Some time back my hubby and I saw the Gardenia waffles advertisment on TV and we wanted to give it a try. Now I'm not so sure is it because we're living in a rual area or what, but we didn't see the waffles in our local shop until last week. Anyway, hubby bought one packet (which contains two pieces of waffles) just to try it out. He also bought Auntie Rosie's Kaya to go with the waffles.
The taste of the waffles wasn't up to my expectations. I've tried freshly made waffles and this is no where near it. The texture of the waffles is just too hard. I like my waffles crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Then spread with a huge serving of chocolate and peanut butter. Hubby likes his in plain kaya. Either way it's YUMMY~!

For the price of RM1.40 I think I'll go for those freshly made ones at Daily Fresh. It's more expensive at Daily Fresh but I wouldn't mind paying the extra. I not only get freshly made waffles but also I am spoil for a huge choice of spreads!
For those who are curious but reluctant to try, it's okay. You can give this a miss. No harm done.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Extra yarns and extra toys

When you're into knitting, you'll know that on occasions you have extra yarns which you don't quite know what to do with it. So while following some of the bloggers who knit, I learned that you can knit a ball using those excess yarns.

So I took the purple yarn left from my cocoon project and knitted a little ball for my Little Miss Muffin to play. At first she wasn't so thrilled at this new toy I made for her but slowly she grew fond of it and it's currently her favourite.

For those of you who have extra yarns and just don't know what to do with it, go to for inspirations! It's been a long while since this blogger updated her blog but it still is a hit with many knitting fans as her instructions are straight forward and easy. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kotex Sanitary Towel Samples

I made a sample request for Kotex sanitary towels some months back. But didn't quite have the time to blog about it until now. I received two packages actually, both are samples from Kotex. One package carries the panty liners and the other is the sanitary towel. Actually I've been using their products since my school days. I'm not the kind who likes to change brands unless absolute necessary. So why ask for samples when I'm already using them? Well, these are their latest products with additional features. So instead of buying them, why not try them for FREE!

Okay, I admit that I AM becoming into those typical village housewife (Ah Sim) that love free stuffs! And I'm not afraid to ADMIT it. For those of you who are interested in getting free stuffs mailed to your homes also, click on my FREE Samples tab below to read about ALL the free stuffs I got via mail. Alright now back to this free Kotex samples!

They have a wide range of panty liners for different uses. For details of their products click here. And to request for samples, click on this link.

Kotex Luxe is their latest product. Sanitary towels with designs! Personally I find it quite cute to have sanitary towels with doodles on it. But it's not like those fancy bras and kickers where you get to show them off to your husband! I guess the only person who will be seeing those doodles is you yourself, so why the doodle sanitary towels, eh?? Anyway, if you are also interested to try one or just get it for fun, click here to request for your free sample today!