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Monday, September 30, 2013

Big Bad Wolf Annual S-A-L-E 2013

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 6-15 Dec 2013
I missed out on their sale December last year because I only knew about it the last minute. And being an Apache Helicopter Mother, there is no way I would allow some random homo sapien to take care of my child. I would have been an active blogger if I could get someone to babysit for a few hours a day. But it will not happen... At least for now.

Planning to get one of those cuddly cloth books for my little one

Anyway, this year's annual mega sale is in The Mines. I am still scratching my head on how to get there. Malaysian public transport is really pathetic and Malaysian taxis are blood sucking leaches though good ones are as rare as unicorns. It just ponders me, developers seems to have not understood the meaning of public transportation. Its like the last thing in their mind!

Right: Keepsakes for the little fingers and little toes

By the way, back in April, I got really really lucky to be given a preview pass. This means I will be shopping there a day earlier (5th December 2013)! Yes, lucky me! I have to thank The Big Bad Wolf for their gracious pass. Gracias señor Black Paw! I can vouch to you that no book sale is as cheap as theirs! Another reason I support The Big Bad Wolf very much is that their presence has made other book stores constantly slash their price. Which only means without the Big Bad Wolf, we'd be paying for books at ridiculous prices all year long!

Big Bad Wolf in Penang April 2013

Now I am not sure if they are going to give out anymore passes but there is no harm stalking their Facebook page for chances to win. But even if you don't get these passes its okay; you still have 9 days of burring into every book. Well, below are the books that I've bought when the Big Bad Wolf came to Penang in April this year. I foresee that I may burn a big whole in my Fossil wristlet. By the way, did I mention that this year their sales is going to be 230 hours of non-stop sale? 

Apparently MIECC is across Serdang KTM station, you can walk

For those of you who are in Penang and wish to attend this event, I recon you consider taking a flight. A check with Air Asia for the first week of December PEN-KL (LCCT) is MYR35.50 per person while Fireflyz PEN-SBZ (Subang Airport) is MYR35.00 per person. Technically it's better than taking a bus. But then you'll face the headache of dragging your books, bags and bum between the airport and MIECC.

Big Bad Wolf Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/bbwbooks
Big Bad Wolf website - http://www.bigbadwolfbooks.com
Directions to MIECC - http://miecc.mines.com.my/aboutus_location.asp
Fireflyz website - http://www.fireflyz.com.my
Air Asia website -  http://www.airasia.com/my/en/home.page

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TheLilacBox Perks: Crabtree & Evelyn

I am no Scrooge. I am an opportunist. ~ Waileng (Me)

There are great benefits on being TheLilacBox fan, even though you did not subscribe to their premium product filled beauty box. As for myself, I only subscribe to two boxes but get equal opportunity for conditional freebies and to join contests as any other loyal fans.

My purchase from Crabtree & Evelyn
Anyway, last August the good guys at TheLilacBox posted a surprise voucher for Crabtree & Evelyn via their Facebook page. The voucher entitles one to a sample of lotions and a bar of soap with any purchase (see what I mean with conditional freebie). Unfortunately this voucher expired on the 31st of August 2013. Yes, a big boo-hoo-hoo because it is now near end September! My apologies for this post to be publish rather late. But there is no need to fret as this Lilac Surprise (as they call it) is not a one off case; there will be many more offers like this with other premium brands. And do not discount the possibly of another Crabtree & Evelyn voucher in future. If you fancy the particular brand you see is being posted on TheLilacBox Facebook page, just print the voucher and follow the instructions for redemption. If you are not to be fond of that particular brand, no harm done.

Crabtree & Evelyn Citron Crème & Honey MYR35
Now back to voucher redemption. I have become aware that most (if not all) beauty counters in Malaysia will require you to purchase a large quantity of products (usually by the worth of hundreds if not thousands of Ringgit) before they grudgingly part some minuscule amount of samples. And because of this, I have boycott some brands as their sales staff turn out to be overzealously hard selling! It truly annoys me that these samples are intended for customers and prospective ones; yet the sales assistant horde them like Gollum and his precious little ring!

This is where vouchers like this one courtesy of TheLilacBox comes into play. It sort of becomes my Gandalf staff to dispel the Gollum syndrome. I bought a small tube of lip butter in citron crème and honey worth MYR35 and received 3 sachets of lotion and a bar of soap for free! Though I must add that the employees at Crabtree & Evelyn Queensbay Mall branch were not as Gollumish as I anticipated; they attended to me well mannered equal to the other customers before me who bought a whole lot more than I did!

Crabtree & Evelyn - the conditional freebies!
Even though this company is originally American, their products are very much inspired from across the Atlantic. Crabtree & Evelyn body lotion are all relatively mild yet every bit smelling like an English garden; unlike some brands of lotion or perfume that can be “in your face” noxious to your nostrils. Of the 3 sample lotion I received I love the smell of the Tarocco Orange body lotion in all probability due to my liking toward citrus. In addition to that, I now am inclined to add this product into my shopping list. Still I shall hold back my purse and wait for a good offer where I can get a chunk load of free samples with my intended purchase…

To learn more about TheLilacBox you can visit their website http://www.thelilacbox.com/ and follow on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thelilacbox for more goodies

Monday, September 23, 2013

A VERY Early Christmas Present

I know it is only mid September; but there are shop up and about settings up Christmas decoration already. My Christmas present arrived late August, which may sound very early, yet so late – four years late to be exact. Confused?

Math Magic Board game my Magic Gamewerks
Way back in Christmas 2009, I blogged about Math Magic being on my Christmas wish list; a board game that looks like scrabble except the alphabets are replace with numbers. The tile is triangular quartered with numerals in each quarter. The color code on each quarter represents a mathematical operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Players are required to match color for color and the sum of the matching pieces becomes the score. Naturally, the player with the highest score is the ultimate winner. But as you can guess, I had a hard time finding this board game. Trust me when I say no departmental store OR supermarket sells this game.

Fast forward to July 2013 and in popped a notification on my blog dashboard of a comment to that particular blog post. It was from Jimmy Yeoh, the creator of the game. While I did not have the opportunity to talk to him in person, he was generous enough to give me a lengthy explanation via email. Stories on the sequence of events that led to this game going MIA. Suffice to say, I learned a lot in one email. How the departmental store industry actually works (I only had a vague, myth-filled idea previously) and the not-so-complicated network mentality of the Malay$ian Mini$try of Education.

Mathematical operations are all based on memory, but not all of us are born to be copier machines. I know of a few Mensa members and one of them (he was my classmate) told me bluntly that his success in school was merely because his ability to cramp textbooks into his brains faster and for a longer period compared to other average student like me. It’s just a nice way for him to say that I have lousy memory. Which I won’t deny as throughout my schooling days (aged 7-18) I have been to 3 different primary schools and 3 different secondary schools and TODAY I remember NONE of the school songs!
Math Magic board game by Magic Gamewerks
Honestly, I feel that this board game is a rare gem. It is very educational particularly for school going children. It is a fun way to learn math without the stress of facing your mathematics teacher giving her rendition of multiplication table sung in the tune of some wailing French opera. I reckoned that parents with home schooled children will also enjoy this board game to their daily activities.

For those of you who are interested in owning this board game, you don’t have to be like me and wait for 4 years. Jimmy finally has his own Facebook page (Magic Gamewerks) or you can contact him via email (jimagic46@yahoo.com) to purchase.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Illustrations, Pictures and the Real McCoy

Real hat, image of a hat and illustration of a hat
One of my hubby’s kin is a kindergarten teacher. At the end of every school term, she’ll give my daughter some coloring workbooks which she got free from the distributor. This person (let’s call her Madam O for now) is rather generous when it comes to my daughter. Now I don’t talk to Madam O directly, unless it’s Hobson’s choice. I’ve offended her far too many times that I’ve almost used up my entire stash of get-out-of-jail-free-cards. You see, if you irritate Madam O; she will unforgiving send you straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred. But despite her extreme emotional hyper-sensitivity, Madam O can sometimes be nice like summer sunshine.

Now back to workbooks. Those workbooks given to my daughter are all illustrations of day to day objects. While some illustrations are pretty much straight forward, others can be quite confusing particularly for a two year old. I’ve watched numerous times how Madam O used these workbooks to teach my daughter new words. More often than not, my daughter ends up forgetting the name of the object after every two pages or so. Simply put, Madam O taught my daughter the using the conventional method of memorize and regurgitate. It was very obvious my daughter was struggling to grasp what Madam O was trying to teach her and my little baby vents her frustration with high pitch baby shriek.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t stop Madam O? Please reread paragraph one above. Madam O is an obstinate and selfish woman. Instead of offending her (yet again) with my observation, might as well share it mothers out there who would appreciate. But I won’t blame Madam O entirely as that was how she was taught in school and also how she was trained.

I’ve noticed my daughter loves hands on approach. She learns faster and remembers better. It was apparent during our trip to Perth last year at Caversham Wildlife Park where we all saw, touched and pet kangaroo and koala for the first time. Till this day, my daughter remembered how these two marsupials looked like and correctly identifies images, illustrations and even stuffed toys versions. But if we follow the current school system of teaching solely with illustration as opposed to images or real objects, I am almost certain I will end up having a very frustrated and clueless child!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

[Reading] No Bed of Roses: The Rose Chan Story

Book cover: No Bed of Roses: The Rose Chan Story
I actually have two titles in my hand last month and coincidentally BOTH (yes, emphasis on b-o-t-h) books were erotica in genre. This book is about the legendary Rose Chan, Asia’s undisputed Striptease Queen. If you bravely stand in a crowd of youngsters born post 1980, and casually mention her name I bet no one would bat an eyelid or even turn their heads. But if that same crowd is pre-1980s babies, I can assure you a simple whisper of her name will make heads turn.  Because that was exactly what happened to ME at the bookstore!

This book was launched end July 2013 and sold in bookstores for MYR49.90. A few weekends ago, my regular bookstore had 15% discount slapped on the covers and I took the opportunity to grab a copy. Now the name Rose Chan was no alien to me, I’ve heard her name being mentioned numerous times. And it seems to me that her saying name is a forbidden as You-Know-Who (Lord Voldemort the baddie in Harry Potter series).

Anyway, I was at the bookstore and looking high and low as the bookstore was in utter mess due to a new batch of books that has just arrived. The store supervisor was running her fingers on her clip board when I interrupted her sheepishly asking for the biography on Rose Chan. She was totally clueless on who the Flower of Malaya was, because her expression was exactly like clueless minion (from Despicable Me movie). I had a tough time recalling the exact title or the author’s name. As the only think I know about that book (then) was “it’s a biography of Rose Chan, full stop”.

About two arm lengths away from me was a senior man (50 year old uncle I guess) who overheard me whisper the striptease goddess name and his head twisted around like an owl to my direction! I don’t know whose face bore closer resemblance to the winter Hokkaido monkey in a hot spring, his or mine. I do really wonder, such a name that could make old heads turn with a murmur.

I then quietly tailgate the supervisor into the biography section while she bombarded me with more questions about the book. The supervisor must have thought of me being queer as I fumbled in my explanation before I spotted the sepia mix cover sitting on the top shelf right on my eye level. I thanked her and apologized again for dragging her away from her duties, then headed straight to the payment counter with my eyes glued on the casher and nowhere else!

As I’ve mentioned I knew the name Rose Chan since a kid even though her demise in Penang on 26th of May in the year 1987 would mean I was still a diaper wearing toddler. But her life always intrigued me. I’ve heard my parents mention her when I was growing up and the newspapers printing articles of her. So this book does set some insight to who what where when and how this Soochow born dancer stole her name. Yes, apparently she stole a girl’s English name, who stole her fiancé.

Overall, I find this book a good read because it is about someone I know only by name and nothing more. It would however be a headache for those who are not well verse with a multiple mix of languages like Malay, Hokkien and Cantonese. Although some of the words do come with an English translation in brackets, I find it quite a task to grasp her heavily Chinese accent of Ingris

Monday, September 16, 2013

[Reading] Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

Image source: Fanpop.com

Thank you Jamie (TheThirtySomething) for sending me this digital copy of Fifty Shades!
I find that I’ve achieved quite an accomplishment last month alone with four books to fill up my hours as I struggle to eradicate my obsessed addiction on online games. And if I may I add, I have very much to thank this trilogy.

Honestly, I am really glad I got a digital copy of these books rather than paper back. I cannot imagine the embarrassment I have to endure while flipping this “mummy porn” while I wait for dear husband to finish his work. Or the stares and ogle I get for just holding these books in my hand! Might as well hold a mod-con copy of Playboy magazine into a clutch bag or messenger bag; or just wear a dress with montages of the Penthouse magazine covers? On second thought, I highly doubt anyone living within 50km radius of Province Wellesley would even know the existence of this title let alone the contents!

While critics were rather harsh on E.L. James’s style of writing, I find it very much a pleasant read. I loved it so much so that I ended up reading this book TWICE back to back! Contrary to what most of you may think, it was not the kinkery fuckery that made me read it for the second time, it’s the plot that I find appealing (to me at least). After all, who wouldn’t love a dashing young bachelor with an earning that would rival Donald Trump? Though I cringe at the thought of Christian Grey with chest hair! Ah yes, I am one of those who would get instant heart palpitation over Vin Diesel's chest at any given day.

But I guess the most eye rolling moment for all Fifty Shades fans is the announcement of the lead actor and actresses for this movie. Well, James was involved in the selection of the lead characters so we just have to trust her decision and hope for the best. As much as there is so much hype leading up to the production of a movie based on this novel, I am not one of them who look forward in watching this movie. The last two movie adaptations that I have watch and read the book was Marley and P.S. I Love you. And BOTH movies turn out to be spectacularly HORRIBLE and LAME! I won’t dwell on the details but when I read the books I cried buckets but didn’t even shed a tear in both movies.

After reading the first book I found myself puzzling on how an erotic book like this can find its way onto the shelves of Malaysia bookstore? I mean soft porn magazines are illegal; movies that are vulgar and contain nudity are either cut or banned all together. Yet a book that sends your brain cells into a frenzy of imagination goes scot free! I guess it is a good thing that this book is not banned as I find it rather entertaining. Perhaps in the near future we can see a spin off on Christian Grey – the younger days. Just like The Carrie Diaries, a prequel to Sex and the City.
Image source: Caraloren.com

Anyway a word of advice for those who have yet to buy and read Fifty Shades of Grey, please buy all three books! The first book ends in a cliffhanger and no one likes to be left high and dry… Forgive the pun. Secondly, you may or may not have kinkey feelings toward almost every single object on earth.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Online Shop Review: B&H Photo & Electronics Corp

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.

Name: B & H Photo and Electronics Corp. (USA)
URL: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/
First Purchase: August 6, 2013

B&H Building in New York City
{Image Source: B&H}

I own a Panasonic GF1 camera and the biggest set back when using this camera happens outdoors. With the tropical afternoon sun, it is difficult for me to view from the LCD screen. To save time and hassle, I tend to take my pictures in a darker shade (under expose) then push the pictures to my hubby and have him "fix" my pictures on his computer. I guess it has happen one too many times my annoyance has begun to creep under his skin when suddenly one fine August morning, he told me he got me a view finder.

What I was looking for: External live view finder for Panasonic GF1
This particular view finder is actually available in Malaysia, HOWEVER the price for this little electronic add-on would cost me about MYR800 (approx USD245). So my hubby took on the effort to keep an eye out for this view finder and the moment he spots a sale, its click click click!
To our surprise, B&H was selling this view finder for only USD119.95 (approx MYR395) excluding shipping. Shipping this view finder from New York to Penang would cost me an additional USD50.03 (approx MYR160) via UPS.
UPS tracking: From New York to Penang
So with payment made, I sat in front of my computer and started "stalking" UPS website to see where my view finder went. It is quite fun to watch my electronic view finder move from New York to Germany, China and then wiggle its way to Penang. I must add that this view finder of mine as been to places I have not!
Package arrived via UPS
The last known location was August 9th which was a Friday. I thought it would arrive at our doorstep on Monday morning but nothing happened. Tuesday came and went without a sound and I began to feel anxious. By Wednesday afternoon, hubby received a call stating that his view finder is been withheld by customs and we are liable for tax. Hubby had to fork out MYR80.06 for government tax and service charge for UPS.Bottom line we paid MYR635.06 to have this view finder shipped in from the USA; which IS still cheaper than buying from local shops.

A large shipping box for a very small product
Will I buy from B& H again? If it is cheaper than what Malaysian stores are selling, then my answer is YES!
Electronic view finder with casing

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Best Buy World Malaysia Purchase: CK One 200ml EDT Spray

This is my most recent purchase from Best Buy World Malaysia. However if you go to Best Buy World Malaysia website at the moment, this perfume is currently unavailable. Probably I was the one who bought their last unit.

CK One 200ml bottle with pump
Anyway, for MYR190 for a 200ml bottle is considered reasonable especially in Malaysia where perfumes are sold at sky rocket prices. Yes, I know AMAZON and E-Bay is offering at much lower prices. But by the time I order and have it shipped here, the perfume will most likely get intercepted by Malaysian customs; I am pretty confident that I may end up paying more than MYR190!

I didn’t know that CK One was launched in 1994 until I did some research. And if you’re wondering if THIS bottle of perfume that I have has been kept since its’ launch, then you are mistaken. Based on the batch code on the bottle and the box (2306), this particular bottle was produced in 2nd November 2012. With 36 months of shelf life, this would mean I have a little over 2 years to empty this bottle before I embark on the next bottle of fragrance. After all, my last large sized of perfume bottle was also bought from Best Buy World Malaysia W-A-Y back in 2010!

CK One: Batch code on the box matches the bottle (2306)
Smell wise, I do love it very much. It is supposed to be a unisex fragrance but I feel it lean towards a feminine fragrance; like fresh fun and sporty girly kind of way. It has a citrus top note with musk base. If you spray too much of this fragrance, it will smell like an overbearing cologne! Probably it is why this 200ml bottle comes with an optional spray pump. A little sprit goes a long way. And just in case you are wondering how big this CK One 200ml bottle is, here I have a miniature CK One and the colossal bottle for comparison! Honestly speaking, I find the price of MYR190 for a 200ml branded fragrance is a real steal.


If you interested to embark on your first online shopping experience with Best Buy World Malaysia, do note that all new customers who sign up with Best Buy World Malaysia will be given 500 points (equivalent to MYR5 of shopping credit). What’s more, if you shop on your birthday month don’t forget to type “ baby” (i.e. January Baby if you are born in January) in the remarks box during check out to get 200 points. That’s not all. As an added bonus, every now and then Best Buy Word Malaysia will have double point promotion. Normal day to day purchase every one ringgit spent is equivalent to one point; however during double point promotion period every one ringgit spent is equivalent to two points. You can also earn points by writing a product review at their website. Each approved review will be given 100 points. And there is good news for bloggers too. Each product review on your blog linked to Best Buy World Malaysia entitles you to 500 points! Points earned can be converted to store credit with the conversion rate of one point equals MYR0.01. For more details, head on to Best Buy World Malaysia now!