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DIY Scented Candles Even A Noob Can Make

Like most of my ‘projects’, my first time making DIY scented candles started with a whim: I had a long Christmas break and thought it would be fun to make my own candles at home. Lazada sells convenient candle making kits, most of which are from China. I ordered them in early December, and they came just in time for Christmas!

Although I like artsy stuff, I am not someone who is skillful with my hands – I’m clumsy af, so I suck at things like sewing, weaving, painting, crocheting, embroidery, etc. Fortunately, making candles is relatively easy, or at least easy enough that even I couldn’t mess it up too badly.

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The kit cost me RM65, and came with everything I needed to make eight medium-sized candles, including metal containers (they sported bright, colourful designs), cotton wicks, four packets of soy wax (200g each), a stainless steel jug for melting, sticky tape to fasten the wick to the bottom, wick holders to keep them in place, a stirring spoon, dye blocks as well as four bottles of 10ml fragrances. I think it’s a reasonable price, as after making the candles I still had a lot of wicks left over, and I since I can reuse the equipment, I’d only need to buy wax and fragrances the next time I want to make candles.

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I didn’t want the kitchen smelling like fragrances, so I used the portable butane stove we usually reserve for hotpots. Didn’t have a big stainless steel pot either, so I used a clay pot (necessity is the mother of invention) to double as my boiler. The jug should not be heated directly over the flame as the heat would be too intense for the wax, which would cause it to scorch. Using another pot filled with water helps to ensure a low and steady temperature.

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While waiting for the water to boil, I trimmed the cotton wick and fixed it to the bottom of the container using the included sticky tape. The wick holder can be placed across the top to hold the wick in position when you pour.

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Using the spoon, I stirred the wax until it was completely melted.

Professionals who make candles to sell usually use a thermometer while making their candles, since different types of wax (beeswax, soy wax, paraffin) have different melting points. As I didn’t have one, I just winged it (ie making sure the pot wasn’t bubbling too much).

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Once everything had melted, I added my desired dye and stirred it until the colour was even. Once it had cooled down a little (but not to the point of solidifying, I poured the mix into the containers.

I made a couple of mistakes here.

  1. I added the fragrance right after the dye had melted. The temperature must have been too hot, which caused the fragrance to evaporate (?), so the result was that the throw (how far the scent carries across the room) was pretty weak.
  2. I poured everything in one go, which caused the candles to ‘sink’ in the middle once the wax had cooled. Apparently this is because the wax cools down faster at the sides, since the container is cooler. To avoid this, you’ll either have to keep the containers at a warmer temperature, or use the double pour method, where you first pour 3/4 of your mixture, allow it to cool, then top up with more wax to make the surface more even. I think this is quite a hassle though, as it means you’ll have to keep some of the wax. In my case, I couldn’t do that as I had a bunch of different colours and scents to work on, and only one jug.
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Despite the flaws, I was pretty happy with the end results!

I had four scents: lavender, vanilla, rose and lemon. The scents were actually quite pleasing when I held the candle up to my nose, but as I mentioned, I think I put them in too early so when I lit the candles I couldn’t smell much of the fragrances.

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Gifted a few to a friend as a Christmas present!
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Making my own candles was surprisingly fun (although it did take me three hours and my back felt extremely sore from having to sit on a low stool – sorry lah I’m old lol) , and I did feel a sense of accomplishment even if they didn’t turn out perfect. Maybe once I’ve had a couple more practice runs, I can start making more luxurious candles – like those pretty ones with flowers and stuff.

My candle making kit from Lazada : link

Have you tried making your own candles? Share your tips with me below!

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. Although I don’t celebrate it religiously, I just like the cheer and excitement that comes with the season – the beautiful Christmas decorations, the splendid feasts and festive dishes, the gifts and the gatherings.

The pandemic has certainly put a damper on things, as many people are unable to celebrate the holiday season with their loved ones due to safety/health concerns, work, or travel restrictions. I had been looking forward to my first proper Christmas with N, but since he’s still stuck in the Philippines, we have no choice but to be patient and hope things get better soon. The important thing is that we’re both healthy and safe.

While I wasn’t able to celebrate Christmas with the husband, I still got a bit of low-key celebrating in with a couple of friends. So here’s what I’ve been up to!

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I met up with some ex-colleagues for Christmas brunch, and bought them some pampering items from The Body Shop as gifts.

My office used to have a tradition where we’d all go for a Christmas dinner – usually a buffet at a hotel – where we’d eat and exchange gifts. It’s true what they say about not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone – I never realised how much I’ve come to enjoy them. It feels a little weird that the company started off with 11 people this year… and now I’m left all by my lonesome. 😦

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More gifts, but for a different group of friends.
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Also took the chance to grab some pampering masks: ChrisZen was having a sale – only RM1 per mask!
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Also, finally managed to clear out the office a couple of days before Christmas. My ex-colleague was supposed to help before he left, but he dropped the ball so I was left to do all of it alone lol.

The main problem was the boxes of electronics and files I had to ship to our main office in Singapore. There were two huge Apple monitors, and I couldn’t find boxes that were big enough to fit them (lesson learned: NEVER throw away your original box). Custom-made boxes are expensive, and it would take time to make them to the required specifications.

In the end, my ex-designer was a lifesaver – she came to the office with two of her friends who do prop-making on the side. They basically cut and put together smaller boxes to make a big one so that the monitors would fit. They also helped to dismantle the wooden cupboard and shelves we had in the office, so I didn’t need to get a lorry service to cart them away. Thanks guys!

I still had to throw a lot of stuff away; 10 boxes of keychains, luggage tags, old magazines, cardboard boxes and stuff. I’m not young anymore so it was torture lugging all the stuff to the big dumpster outside the mall, four floors below. A good workout but my back was killing me for days after lol.

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Rewarded myself for all that hard work @KFry, 1Utama
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Met up with a high school friend, G, who’s back from Ipoh for the holidays. She has three adorable cats. They’re triplets, so they have the same orange and white pattern.

Cats are like people and have unique personalities: which is the case with these three. The oldest, Big Bean, is friendly, playful and affectionate; she loves pets and rubbing on your legs. The middle child, Zhong Fen (Mandarin for ‘centre parting’ – because she has a pattern in the middle of her forehead) is quiet, haughty and antisocial: she shot me a distrustful look when I put out my hand for her to sniff, then promptly turned around and showed me her butt. She also dislikes being manhandled, and protested loudly when my friend’s son tried to hug her.

The youngest, Small Bean, is calm and cool, and likes to observe. The first thing she did after being let out from her cage was jump on top of the fridge, so that she’d have a good view of the surroundings.

I think G’s doing an excellent job with her cats, despite being a first-time owner. They’re all fat, fluffy and clean.

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Zhong Fen
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“Gib pets”: Big Bean
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Christmas Day was spent playing with my DIY candle kit, which I ordered from Lazada. Now, I’m not very good with arts and crafts (or anything that requires working with my hands lol). But the process was actually fairly simple, and I’m happy with the result. Will detail this in a separate post! 🙂

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And finally, I met up with another friend, H, for lunch. It was good to catch up and walk around the mall. Felt almost normal again. The mall was surprisingly empty (we went to Sunway Velocity) – a far cry from how Pavilion KL was over the weekend. The crowd there was crazy. I think people aren’t even worrying about the pandemic anymore. You can’t blame the government when they announce 2,000+ cases if you’re not even practicing social distancing.

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H said: “You’ll probably laugh when you unwrap my present”. Sure enough, I did. It was just really funny that she gift wrapped the Super Rings But it was this simple gift and gesture that, to use the old-fashioned idiom, warmed the cockles of my heart.

So that was my Christmas! I initially wanted to bring a little festive cheer to the house by suggesting we get each other gifts, but was promptly shot down by the Moo. Not giving up though… there’s always next year.

How did you celebrate Christmas? 🙂

Yohoho!

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Experience A Hong Kong Christmas, No Matter Where You Are in The World

A couple of weeks ago, the highly anticipated Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble (initially set for November 22) was shelved after a surge of cases in the region – much to the disappointment of many. Some hotels and shopping centres, had, in fact, tailored special holiday experiences – ready to welcome their first leisure travellers after over a year of travel restrictions. 

While that obviously hasn’t worked out, that doesn’t mean Christmas has to be canceled. Hong Kong retailers, businesses and artists alike have banded together to bring an immersive and innovative festive season to people all over the world – using the power of technology.

Take a 360-degree virtual tour of Hong Kong’s festive Central Business District 

Hong Kong’s Christmas celebrations are widely considered to be some of the best in the region, with vibrant Christmas markets, stunning displays, fun activities and more. The Hong Kong WinterFest, an annual fixture organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, has been a major tourist draw each year – and although visitors might not be able to attend physically this year, they can still expect a veritable wonderland through their screens. 

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Go on a tour of Christmas Town – a snow-kissed virtual CBD based on Hong Kong’s very own Central Business District – which ‘starts’ off at Statue Square, a historic public space in the heart of Central. From there, visitors are free to choose their own adventure: you can learn how to make festive DIY crafts such as aromatic wreaths, ornaments, pop-up holiday cards or candle holders via video tutorials, download holiday-themed Whatsapp stickers designed by famous Hong Kong illustrator like Din Dong, Dustykid and Messy Deck, or tune in to beautiful Christmas carols. If you prefer to just soak in the sights of the CBD’s iconic skyscrapers (which will be all decked out for the holidays), a towering tree and festive Christmas lodges, let Uncle Siu – a popular English educator known for his charming voice – lead you through the innovative 360-degree experience, and make fun, interactive stops along the way. 

The virtual tour of Christmas Town is part of the 2020 Hong Kong Winterfest, which will run until 3 January 2021. 

The world’s first “AI Butterflies Illuminating Interactive Art”

Enter a playground of light at Lee Tung Avenue in Wan Chai, where a seven-metre-tall, stained-glass butterfly and over 350 little LED butterflies have taken up residence. Dubbed “Butterflies of Hope,” it is the world’s first AI-powered butterfly art installation,  created to inspire, uplift and remind visitors of the hope, love, beauty and positivity we have in this world.

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If you are in Hong Kong, afternoon is the best time to visit, as the glass installation refracts natural light onto the ground, painting the boulevard in a myriad of colours. Evenings are a magical affair, with a music-and-light symphony that sees the butterflies taking flight as they ‘dance’ to the sound of music using artificial intelligence.

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The Lee Tung Avenue atrium is also home to a stunning, 12-metre-tall Christmas tree, with some powerful special effects. Combining touchless interactive technology and a special shadow projection technique, the tree projects butterflies onto the clothes of visitors – a feat of art and technology. 

Enjoy the festivities at Lee Tung Avenue until 10 January 2021.

Get lost in the Asia debut of Globoscope, a light showcase from France

K11 MUSEA, a new cultural-retail destination and arts hub on the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, has turned up the Christmas spirit this year with A Very MUSEA Christmas Village. The village spreads joy and wonderment with a roster of artistic cultural experiences, including the Asia debut of Globoscope.

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Globoscope debuts in Asia at K11 Musea

Created by Collectif Coin, a renowned French art lab, the site-specific immersive light show stretches across the Bohemian Garden, a roof-top open space. A 20-minute private experience can be reserved to enjoy the surreal, sensory light exhibit with family or friends. It’s a sight to behold: Glowing spheres dance and swirl in choreographed light movements, while the dramatic Hong Kong skyline shines in the distance.

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Adding to the festive vibes is K11 MUSEA’s gorgeous Christmas Forest, featuring glistening golden trees in the mall’s atrium. Also not to be missed is a special Santa Muse Parade and a Christmas Market.

Experience A Very MUSEA Christmas Village through 3 January 2021. 

“Christmas Every Day” goes high tech with virtual Santa Meet & Greets

For the past 50 years, Harbour City has marked the holiday seasons with larger-than-life Christmas installations and festive surprises. This year is no different: it’s “Christmas Every Day” celebration once again promises unforgettable holiday memories, complemented by a roster of online experiences. 

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Take a virtual tour of the incredible decorations throughout the mall and “check-in” on social media or share your Christmas wish list with Santa during a virtual Meet & Greet. For the little ones, Harbour City has created an interactive online colouring game, where children can dress up their “Monster Friends” – adorable 3D cartoon characters illustrated by Dutch artist Eva Cremers – and then watch their masterpiece come to life!

The holiday extravaganza continues in person. At the “Christmas Lighting Garden” on the Ocean Terminal Deck, you can wade through a sea of illuminated LED clovers and dandelions and enjoy the “Christmas Lighting & Music Show” every evening with the stunning Hong Kong skyline as a backdrop.

Enjoy Harbour City’s “Christmas Every Day” online and offline experiences until 3 January 2021.

*Photos courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board.

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Review: The Body Shop Christmas Scents 2020

Hey guys! There’s just a few more days to Christmas, and we all know what that means – Christmas promos!

Many shops, especially beauty and body care brands, are having sales and festive-season only collections. As someone with a weakness for body care products, it’s hard for me to resist the beautiful, sparkly displays and gift packages. And so it is that I finally succumbed … and got myself some treats from The Body Shop.

I like The Body Shop because they carry a wide range of really nice scents. While I only buy from them once or twice a year, I’m always satisfied with the products and customer service.

This year’s festive range is decidedly Christmas-y, and features three exclusive scents: Warm Vanilla, Winter Jasmine and Festive Berry, available across a range of items such as their body yogurt, body butter, hand and nail cream, and shower gel.

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The shop was running a promo through its social media app, whereby any purchase would be entitled to a free body scrub, so I got the cheapest available item (30ml hand cream – RM25 /discounted RM22.50) and had it shipped to my house. It arrived after 4 working days.

Vanilla is one of my favourite scents, but the Warm Vanilla was a tad disappointing for me. It’s sweet and very strong, and it reminds me of cake. No doubt some people will like this, but it just smells very artificial to me.

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The free 50ml Festive Berry body scrub that came with my hand cream is touted to help exfoliate and refine the skin. I have used it a couple of times in the shower, and it’s pretty good. The consistency is like strawberry jam, and it smells like that too, what with the berry and sugar crystal blend.

You can get the small tub as part of The Body Shop’s festive gift box (RM139), but if you want to purchase the scrub on its own, it’s only available in 250ml jars at RM113.

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My favourite of the lot has to be the Winter Jasmine Body Butter, which coincidentally was the most expensive item I got (RM84, 20% discount for The Body Shop members). It was worth the splurge, though.

The butter is creamy and luxurious, and it looked so smooth and luscious when I first opened the tub I almost felt like it was a shame to use any lol. The floral scent is sweet and relaxing – it reminds me of aromatherapy oils and spa fragrances that they use at massage parlours to help you relax. The skin feels soft and hydrated after application, and you get the smell of jasmine just wafting off of you : best to apply before sleeping !

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If you’re looking to gift, The Body Shop has a variety of items catering to different budgets, all in beautiful packaging. If I had the money, I’d buy them all lol.

But perhaps someone wants to get me something for Christmas? 🙂

Shop online at www.thebodyshop.com.my.

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How To Be A Cheapskate: Christmas Edition

When I was younger, I used to scoff at people who’d go out of their way to get free samples.

“There’s shower gel at home, why on earth would anyone want to take that tiny little bottle that will probably only last for one use?” was basically my attitude to people who took amenities from the hotel after a stay. Spoken like a true spoilt brat lol.

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But as with everything in life, change is the only constant – and now that I’m at that age where the burger boy actually calls me ‘kak‘ instead of ‘cik‘, I can finally understand why.

I come from a middle class family, and growing up, I knew my parents weren’t rich so I’ve never asked for anything. But at the same time, I’ve never wanted for anything – I’ve always had quality clothes to wear, good food to eat, all the books I could ever read. I had a Digivice, a Walkman, a vid game console, and in my teens – a mobile phone – which was more than what most kids my age (at that time anyway) could say they had.

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After coming out to work, though, I’ve come to realise the value of money. Now if I wanted something, I had to work for it. And as you get older and have more commitments (family, household, etc.) you realise that every little thing adds up t – and if you can get something that would help you save, no matter how small, you’d jump on it in a flash.

2020 has, all in all, been a pretty shitty year for a lot of people. I count myself luckier than most (Haven’t been laid off. Yet.) but I’ve also been more cautious in spending.

Since it’s the festive season, though, I wanted to give myself a little treat after a long year of ‘fasting’. So I devised… a little plan.

THE PLAN

The ‘plan’ was actually accidental.

I’m not a girly girl, and I rarely buy makeup / clothes / accessories / bags. My only weakness is body products and fragrances. I love candles, scents, shower gels, lotions, face masks… that sort of thing. Because of this, I follow a lot of brands on social media like The Body Shop, Lush, L’Occitane, etc. It so happened that while scrolling through my feed recently, I happened across an online event by The Body Shop, which promised a free jute bag: all I had to do was RSVP to the event, take a screenshot to confirm that I was ‘going’, and redeem the bag when I next visit any of their physical stores.

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Who can resist a scented vanilla candle and a nice diffuser? Photo for illus only don’t actually put candles on your bed, folks. Via Pexels

So … you know how ad targeting works on the Internet ? Once you’ve clicked on one thing, the system records this ‘interest’ and will recommend (read: bombard) you with related ads. I was suddenly getting dozens of body/ beauty product ads – most of which were offering promos/sales for Christmas. Some were even gamifying their campaigns, to make them more fun and interactive.

With this in mind, I started looking up different brands, to see if I could get a similar ‘deal’ as the one from The Body Shop. My goal was to look for giveaways with no minimum purchase – so I could get stuff for free, with no strings attached.

My second goal was to look for brands that were all under one roof, so I wouldn’t have to go to and fro and waste gas money. Since 1 Utama Shopping Centre is close to my work place, and they have dozens of beauty brands, I used the place as a ‘benchmark’ for my search: by looking up all the possible beauty brands available in the mall’s directory. Yes I know I have too much time on my hands lol.

The first one I found was Kiehl’s. They had made this nice little interactive game, where players had to complete a few in-game tasks like answering questions about their product and playing some mini games, which would then entitle them to free samples. The next was L’Occitane, which had a similar campaign – register, play some games, get samples.

CASHING IN

I went to the office on Sunday to get some packing done, so I dropped by the mall. My first stop was L’Occitane. It was actually pretty fuss-free. I showed my screenshot of the voucher code from their mini game to their staff, and they gave me a packet containing the promised 12 sachets of hair and face care samples. They also invited me inside for a look, although I’m pretty sure they knew I wasn’t there to buy stuff lol. Gotta commend L’Occitane staff though. You know how some staff members treat you dismissively coz they know you’re just there for free samples? None of that here: service was still impeccable.

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will the day come where I’m so rich I can buy stuff without looking at the price tag? We may never know
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Next, Kiehl’s. I’ve never even set foot in a Kiehl’s store before because I know I could never afford their items lol. Still, the brand has a good reputation and it seems like their marketing campaign worked well – because there was a long line of customers waiting to go into the shop. I had nothing better to do so I spent 40 minutes lining up lol. Ask a 20-year-old-me and I’d probably tell you you’re dumb to spend that kinda time for free samples. but like I said, people change.

Again, the staff at Kiehl’s was very profesional – she even explained to me what each sachet is for and how to use them.

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Last but not least, The Body Shop. Unfortunately the 1U outlet had run out of jute bags. I got this from IOI MALLwhile I was out running errands.

WAS IT WORTH IT?

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This might seem funny but I did feel a sense of accomplishment at getting all these samples. While I doubt I’d see much effect from one use, it’s still nice to get what is essentially a treat, and would have cost money to buy under normal circumstances.

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Also, I managed to do a fair bit of Christmas shopping (gifts for friends) while I was at the mall. If it had been solely to get samples, I think I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to do so.

And that is How to be A Cheapskate: Christmas Edition! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it ! And if you have any tips on saving during the festive season, I’d be delighted to hear about it in the comments below.

Seasons Greetings, and have a good one!

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider supporting my website. Contrary to popular belief, I do not make big moolah from writing – and this will go towards hosting fees and ensuring that I can continue to deliver authentic content for your reading pleasure. Thanks for stopping by!

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Malaysia Presents Alice In Wonderland-Themed Treats This Festive Season

Holiday season is just around the corner, and after a year filled with challenges, I think we’re all in need of some festive cheer. To spark some holiday joy, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ® is presenting an array of whimsical Alice in Wonderland inspired treats, which are a feast for the eyes as much as they are delicious to eat.

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland

For an unforgettable Christmas party with friends and family, the Winter Wonderland (RM250 for 3kg) makes a wonderful centre piece for any gathering, with its intricate, handcrafted gingerbread detail and delicate frosting on a base of chocolate fudge. Complete the setting with Hatter’s Winter Log (RM 13.95 per slice, RM139.90 for a whole cake), a delightful dessert featuring luscious chocolate mousse and ganache; Cheshire’s Cherry Bundt (RM 8.90 per slice, RM52.00 for a loaf), stuffed with cherries, lemon and butter cream; or Stollen of Hearts (RM 6.90 per slice, RM48.00 for a loaf) with its hearty mix of Swiss dark chocolate, almonds and hazelnuts. Of course, a visit to Wonderland would not be complete without The Red Queen (RM12.95 each), a luscious pastry filled with caramel, coffee and chocolate mousse concealed under a rich red crust of almond chocolate.

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The Red Queen and Minted Ever After cupcakes (left); Hatter’s Winter Log

There’s more for the sweet-toothed dessert lover: choose from an assortment of cakes such as Minted Ever After (RM 7.90 per cupcake, RM 50 per petite cake, RM139.90 for a whole cake), a decadent concoction of dark chocolate and mint topped with cream, fresh redcurrants and rosemary, and Velveteen’s Wish (RM 12.95 per slice, RM129.30 for a whole cake), a red velvet cake topped with crunchy cookie bits and cheese mousse.

Alice's Tea Party
Alice’s Tea Party

For a bit of everything, go for Alice’s Tea Party (RM109 for 20 pieces), a selection of bite-sized treats of Hatter’s Winter Log, Jolly Breadman, Tweedle Tart and Minted Ever After. Top-up as needed with Jolly Breadman (RM7.90 per piece) or Once Upon A Door butter cookies (RM9.90 per piece).

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CF & TL is known for its delectable beverages, and there’s no shortage of exclusive specials to try this season. Indulge in a Chocolate Cookie – a combination of premium espresso and decadent chocolate cookie notes – available in several varieties: the Chocolate Cookie Ice Blended® drink (small RM16.50, regular RM18), Pure Chocolate Cookie Ice Blended® drink (small RM16.50, regular RM18) or hot / iced Chocolate Cookie Latte (small RM16, regular RM17.50).

Cheshire's Cherry Bundt - whole (bg 1)
Cherry Bundt (whole)

Making a comeback for a limited time only is the ever-popular Double Chocolate Peppermint beverages, available as Double Chocolate Peppermint Ice Blended® drink (small RM16.50, regular RM18), Pure Double Chocolate Peppermint Ice Blended® drink (small RM16.50, regular RM18), hot / iced Double Chocolate Peppermint Latte (small RM16, regular RM17.50) and Peppermint Nitro Latte (RM15.95 at selected stores). Best of all, kids get to enjoy their own coffee-free version, as a hot / iced Double Chocolate Cocoa (small RM16, regular RM17.50) and tea lovers can enjoy the hot Peppermint Tea (RM9.60/cup or RM12.50/pot). While you’re sipping on your holiday beverage, upgrade to a complete meal by trying out the brand’s new Black Pepper Chicken Sandwich (RM19.80).

Stollen of Hearts (loaf & slice)
Stollen of Hearts

Even if you’re not dining in, there are plenty of new retail items to celebrate the season on-the-go, or in the comfort of one’s own home. Take your pick from dark-roasted Holiday Blend (RM55 /12oz), Peppermint Tea in a green tea blend (RM45/tin), Limited Edition 8oz Powders in French Deluxe Vanilla Powder, Peppermint Chocolate Powder and Hazelnut  Powder (RM40/tin). Also available are new designs for the Hydro Flask Series (RM205 each) and Frost Tumbler Series (RM128-138).  They also make for great gifts.

Jolly Breadman & Once Upon A Door [cookies]

In line with the season of giving, CB&TL’s popular Gift Tags return with new designs, with proceeds going towards the Caring Cup initiative. This year, the beneficiary is the Assunta Integrated Social Services programme by ASSUNTA Hospital, to help raise funds for equipment upgrades and essential supplies for their new mobile clinic. With the added support, they will continue to provide much-needed medical and healthcare assistance to marginalised groups.

For more info, visit http://www.coffeebean.com.my.

*Photos courtesy of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Malaysia.

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Celebrate the Festive Season at Hilton Kuala Lumpur With Scrumptious Feasts

Christmas is a time for friends and family – and although the pandemic might have changed the way we celebrate, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep the spirit alive, or show thoughtfulness, gratitude and love to the ones that matter in our lives. 

This festive season, Hilton Kuala Lumpur presents the Joy of Giving with heart-warming feasts and gift boxes. All of the festive menus are designed to be shared and savoured together – because more than the usual fixtures of the holiday season (delicious food, beautiful decorations, gifts) it’s the people you experience it with that make the occasion truly memorable.  

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Hilton KL’s Festive Gift Boxes make an ideal surprise for friends, family and business associates. Starting from RM180 nett, the gift box comes with delectable homemade treats like fruit cake, chocolate pralines, chocolate Santa, cookies and Stollen, alongside spa and F&B vouchers to complement the personalised touch. There is the option to takeaway and dine in the comfort of your home on selected items with Bring Hilton Home. 

For those who are able to travel and are keen on experiencing a Hilton Christmas first hand, Hilton KL will be hosting a 20-foot-tall Christmas tree at the Lobby, adorned with ribbons and ornaments to celebrate the festive season in style. Plenty of gastronomic pleasures also await, with a dedicated culinary team keen to bring to guests the world on a plate – all while keeping strictly to SOPs to ensure a safe dining experience. 

Christmas Lunch & Dinner at Vasco’s

Take your taste buds on a gastronomic journey with a curated selection of local and international feasts that celebrate the joyous season. Prepared by an award-winning culinary team, expect festive dishes that you won’t get at any other time of the year, such as Boston Lobster Mornay, Honey Glazed Spice Brined Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce and Grass-fed Australian Beef Sirloin Mini Steak. Other Christmas specialties to look forward to include Wagyu Beef Scotch Egg with Hollaindaise, Crisp Duck Leg Confit and Waffle with Mustard Maple Syrup, Salt-crusted Salmon Trout with Fennel, Signature Yule Log, Pan-fried Stolen with Berries and Homemade Blackcurrant Ice Cream and more. 

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The Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet on 24 December 2020 (6.30pm – 10.30pm) is priced at RM248 nett per person. Lunch and dinner buffets on Christmas Day are also available, priced at RM248 nett and RM228 nett per person, respectively.  

You can also usher in the New Year with a Seafood Galore buffet on New Year’s Eve, priced at RM248 nett per person, or enjoy lunch and dinner on New Year’s Day at RM228 and RM188 nett, respectively. 

Special London Duck at Chynna

Known as the ‘wagyu of duck’, the London Roast Duck was popularised by Cantonese immigrants to the UK, making a name for itself as an iconic dish of the city. The good news is you won’t have to travel all the way to London to get it, as celebrity Chef Lam Hock Hin works his culinary magic to present Chynna’s immaculate version; the duck’s smooth texture and succulent flesh sure to leave the most discerning appetites craving for more. In addition, diners can dig into his Cantonese-inspired turkey creations such as Pan-Fried Turkey Meat with Thyme Leaf, Turkey Dumpling with Black Truffle and Hot & Sour Soup with Shredded Turkey, which displays a masterful grasp of classic meets modern cooking. 

Chef Lam’s Special London Duck is available for order from 1 – 31 December 2020, from 12 to 2.30pm and 6 pm to 10.30pm. Price start from RM159. 

Grilled Festive Specialties at Chambers Grill 

Traditionally, meat is a quintessential part of many Christmas celebrations around the world. Chambers Grill’s Festive Carnivore Platter is sure to satisfy meat lovers, with highlights such as Monster “Bull Head” Steak, Lamb Cutlets, Black Angus Prime Rib Butterflied, Port Wine Braised Australian Beef Cheek and Turkey Roulade stuffed with Mushroom and Chestnuts. Plus, there’s a show-stopping Flambé Traditional Pudding with Brandy Sauce to cap off a convivial evening. 

The platter is good for three to four persons. It is available from 1 – 31 December from 6pm to 10.30pm, and is priced from RM800. 

Delectable Japanese Flavours at Iketeru

There’s no rule book that Christmas has to be about turkeys and log cakes – give your festive spirit a twist and experience authentic Japanese fare at Iketeru. Prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients, Iketeru will serve two types of tantalizing 6-course menu, namely ‘Wafu Set’ and ‘Yofu Set’ to indulge the palates. Enjoy dishes like Smoked Duck Salad, Wagyu Beef Teppanyaki, Buri Teriyaki, Nigiri Sushi, Assorted Tempura and more. 

The festive set menu is available from 1 to 31 December 2020 from 12pm – 2.30pm, and 6pm – 10.30pm. Prices from RM360. 

Glorious Family-Style Feast at Graze

Graze_Day Time_Hilton Kuala Lumpur

Gather friends and family over a spread of rustic-themed epicurean delight at Graze on Christmas Day, as you exchange meaningful conversations (and presents!) with each other. The 12-course menu includes Freshly Shucked Irish Tragheanna Oyster, Tiger Prawn Cocktail, Chestnut Soup with Cranberry Cream Fraiche, Lobster Mornay with Truffle Fries and more. Cut through the meat and seafood with unlimited servings of Caesar Salad. Complete the experience with indulgent sweets and cheese like Hazelnut Mud Cake, Christmas pudding with Brandied Anglaise, Gorgonzola Blue Cheese, and French Brie Cheese served with dried fruits.

The Christmas Day Brunch is available from 11am – 2.30pm from RM268 per person.

Toast to Brilliant Beginnings at Aviary Bar 

Sidle up to Aviary Bar and revel in the year-end festivities with bespoke cocktails crafted by award-winning mixologists. Indulge in a ‘Ring the Bell’ cocktail (RM50 nett per glass), made with Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve and peach liquor, and for the non-alcoholic drinkers, there’s the ‘Peachy Santa’ mocktail (RM35 nett per glass) a bright and fruity concoction that adds festive cheer to any celebration. Guests can order these festive beverages at the bar from 1 to 31 December, from 12 pm to 10pm. 

A Sip of Joy at Oro Café 

Malaysia may not have winters, but the recent rainy season has been pretty cold. Warm up with some classic Christmas Eggnog at Oro Cafe, or order one of their signature concoctions like The Grinch Punch and Pomegranate Spiced Tea, for a burst of fragrant smells and flavours of exotic spices. Make a loved one’s day with a heartwarming takeaway gift box, and choose from either Santa’s Turkey Box which features Roast Turkey with a side of salads, baked vegetables, cranberry sauce and desserts or Festive Gift Boxes which comprise a medley of homemade pastry delights.  

Festive beverages are available from 1 – 31 December 2020 from 12pm – 10pm at RM35 nett per glass, while the Festive Gift and Takeaway Boxes are available from now until 31 December 2020 at RM180 nett. Festive Goodies are priced at RM40 nett. 

Festive Tea Time at The Lounge

Themed ‘Spirit of Joy’, The Lounge offers a high tea menu for guests to indulge themselves in food haven this holiday season. The Festive Afternoon High Tea Set includes a plethora of handcrafted desserts and savouries, including Turkey Cranberry Swiss Cheese Finger Sandwich, Chocolate & Cinnamon Orange Cake, Spiced Mango Éclair, Christmas Plum Pudding with Chocolate Raspberry Mousse and more, served with Pomegranate Spiced Tea. With a majestic view of KL city, this is a perfect opportunity for a glamorous and intimate tête-à-tête session alongside your friends or partner. 

The Festive High Tea is available from 1 to 31 December 2020, from 2.30pm – 5.30pm on weekdays and 12.30pm – 5.30pm on weekends, priced at RM250 nett for two persons. 

For enquiries or reservations, call +603 2264 2264, or email KULHI_CustomerServce@hilton.com, or visit http://www.eatdrinkhilton.com. 

*Photos courtesy of Hilton Kuala Lumpur.

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Our Christmas Party @ Dorsett Grand Subang – BBQ & Steamboat Buffet !

It has become sort of tradition at my company to have a Christmas makan sesh; to mark the hard work we’ve put in throughout the year. This year’s celebration was at Dorsett Grand Subang, where they have an international BBQ Buffet and Steamboat Dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, priced at RM128++ per pax.

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Dorsett is one of the first hotels in Subang (opened in 1981). It’s a five-star hotel and must have once  lived up to the Grand in its name. Today, the interiors feel pretty dated. The coffeehouse, Terazza Brasserie, looks straight out of a 90s film, from the tiles to the seats and deco. It wasn’t unpleasant, though – it felt like a trip down memory lane to back when I was a child, and going to a hotel (for vacations – staycations didn’t exist back then) was a big to-do.

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Malay appetisers – kerabu (salad)

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The centre island had various items for steamboat (or hotpot, if you will) – fish, chicken and beef balls, seafood tofu, beancurd sheets, ham, crabmeat sticks, etc.

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There were two pots boiling at the island, one with clear soup and the other with spicy soup, where you can cook the ingredients you have selected. Unfortunately since there were only two pots, it took forever and there was a queue. Staff members had placed a portable stove and pot at our table, but there was no soup and nobody seemed to be bothered to fill it in, even after we requested. In the end we told them to take it away (for that, they were efficient!).

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Stir-fried dishes and a random vegetable lasagna, which was decent while still hot.

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I was feeling a little disappointed at the quality and selection, but thankfully the BBQ corner swooped in to save the day (or evening). There were two counters outside, one stacked with meat (satay, chicken tenders, chicken wings, sausages, beef, lamb), the other with seafood (whole catfish, crayfish, clams, bamboo clams, scallops, shrimp).

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The offerings were fresh, thankfully. The workers bustled about grilling everyone’s orders. Funny thing: they left the sauce pots on the grill together with the metal spoons in them lmao. No one could ladle anything. I think they eventually took out the spoons.

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Another highlight was the roasted lamb, which was tender, well flavoured and juicy with the right amount of lean and fat. The brown gravy that it came with was also delicious.

I had mostly the grilled items (the good stuff!) – fat, juicy scallops, bamboo clams and lamb meatballs, plus some corn soup and bread.

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Time for dessert! There was a shaved ice counter where you can DIY your own ice kacang, but I went for the chocolate fountain instead, where I could slather my marshmallows and fruits in thick, sweet milk chocolate.

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I liked how they put the desserts in these cabinets rather than the usual spread. Made it easy to miss out though.

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The ice box wasn’t cold enough so the ice cream was a little melty, but I did like the chocolate flavoured one which ran out fast.

All in all it was a decent buffet. Plus points: It’s not crowded like most hotels in the city centre, the BBQ spread is great and has fresh ingredients and the lamb was good. Cons for me would be the lack of variety and facilities, and service can be improved (That being said, the staff at the grill station were friendly and efficient). I also felt that the steamboat items were a little cheap to justify the buffet’s price tag. In conclusion, if you ever consider coming here for dinner, I’d recommend making a beeline for the grill.

TERAZZA BRASSERIE @ DORSETT GRAND SUBANG 

Jalan SS 12/1, Ss 12, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

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