Best Wishes for the Year Of Sheep 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR DUDES AND DUDETTES!!  

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New Year Fireworks @Sydney Harbour Bridge (swiped off the internet ‘cos I liked it so much!)

It’s 2015.  And this is my first blog post for 2015… I have more drafts in my folder than actual blog posts, needless to say,  I need to speed up!! 😵 

I have been busy with my art investment courses since the last half of 2014 (and my vigour in bodybuilding towards a competition means that I am exhausted most evenings!😜).  AnywaZ, if you have already broken your new year’s resolution, there’s another new year coming up – the Lunar New Year, coming up on February 19 – celebrated by 1.35B Chinese in the world (omitting people of Chinese origins living outside of China) and no doubt mine will be to write and post more often!  

As to whether my Chinese New Year Predictions 2014 (here), came true… I shall reveal in due course after Chinese New Year, since talking about it before the conclusion of 2014 might change my smooth-sailing now. 😇

SO!!

Without further ado, lets’s take a walk around the malls I frequent often in Hong Kong.

A  flock of sheeps spun from yarn under a woollen-balls tree and clouds…at Landmark.  Bright colors really liven up the atrium of the mall! 😎

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Sheeps under the a fuchsia tree @ Landmark, HK

 

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Sheeps under the a fuchsia tree @ Landmark, HK

 

Meanwhile at IFC…a mini garden of 12 Chinese zodiacs constructed from artificial flowers and tiny lights.

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Chinese Zodiacs @ IFC, HK

Welcoming the Sheep…

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Star for this year – The Sheep or Goat!

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Sheep

The Dragon…

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The Heavenly Dragon

This is my favourite, the Rat on top of an Ox!

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Rat on top of an Ox

 

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Happy Monkey…

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Monkey

 

And Piggie smelling the daisies.

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Pink Piggie

 

Lastly, as the Lunar New Year looms, may your celebrations with family and friends be filled with joy, laughter and good fortune.

🎊 HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!! 🎊

Window Display: Man-Made Wonders @ Harvey Nichols, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Date:  December 2014

It’s SALE time!  Time to go shopping!  First stop is to the window displays to check out the latest trend for this season… Oh! Hang on, the window stylists have decided to take us around the world!  Am L-O-V-I-N-G the laser-cut foams glued piece-by-piece to create a multi-layered 3-dimensional effect.  Very clever! 👏👏👏

We go to US of A…

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Mount Rushmore

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Mount Rushmore

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Mount Rushmore

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Snow Globe of Famous Landmarks

To United Kingdom…

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London Parliament House

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London Parliament House

To Easter Island…

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Rapa Nui

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Rapa Nui

To Italy…

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Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Roman Colosseum

To Greece, maybe?

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Generic temple ruins

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Generic temple ruins

To China…

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The Great Wall of China

 

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The Great Wall of China

 

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The Great Wall of China

 

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The Great Wall of China

 

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The Great Wall of China

Scouting for Protein @ O’Galito Bar & Grill and Carlos Mexican Canteena, Pavilion KL

Date of Visit: January 11, 12, 13 2014

Ever since my trip to Kuala Lumpur in January, a month ago, I had not managed to make any progress in losing body fat.  Extremely annoying and frustrating especially since that I was making good progress prior to my trip.  Moreover, on my return to Hong Kong, I sprained my foot and had to take time off running in the park. As we all know, dieting while on travel is a real bummer!  Although I try to plan for all contingencies – and even went ahead to pre-book a fruit platter for my meal onboard.  It was very tough staying mindful of what I should and should not eat, especially when there is a free-flow alcohol involved.

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My healthy fruit-platter lunch on-board flight CX725 from HKG to KUL

To make matters right, never despair… as they say: “Start your day right  with breakfast!”  Thank goodness there’s a GNC store downstairs in Pavilion Mall where I bought EAS low-carb protein ready-to-drink packs (RM12.90) for breakfast.  Only 100 calories to bind me over to the assorted calorie-laddened ‘nasi*’ for lunch! 😰

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My Saviour!

RIGHTO!  In this post, I’m gonna tell you my search for  protein to fulfil my bodybuilding requirements!

The plaza outside the Pavilion Mall called ‘Connection’, a very ‘happening’ loud, boozy and smoky place.

  • Loud = cacophony of music blaring from the assortment of eateries, bars, the huge TV screen and people all around.
  • Boozy =  Although predominantly a Muslim country, alcoholic drinks are legal and readily available for purchase, as long as one is over the age of 18 and a non-Muslim.  Prices for cocktails are pretty standard, around RM27-29 – cheaper than a glass of wine.
  • Smoky = Don’t get me started here!  (But I will nonetheless… 😈 )  The plaza is definitely not a smoke-free zone, a non-smoker can literally be overcame by smoke and keel over – no kidding.  On any given Monday morning, one can see the cigarette receptacles  filled to the brimmed with cigarette butts.  Not sure whether it is the culture there, but I see women in stilettos puffing away early in the morning whenever I grab my morning my cup of joe from Starbucks.  Not cool – not sophisticated – and you are shortening my lifespan!
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Connection @ Pavilion Mall, KL

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The ‘famous’ Crystal Bowl Fountain

O’Galito  was the first restaurant where we had dinner.  I couldn’t figure out what type of restaurant it was – whether Italian, Spanish or French from the menu, but after searching on line, I found out that it is a ‘Mediterannean restaurant’.   Hmm, figures with the generous of tomatoes, olives and herbs.  I should also have known that it is Portugese from the bacalo and piri piri ingredients – and from the sparse but clean (this is the cleanest restaurant I’ve came across in the Connection) decorum of the restaurant hinted at Portugal with patterned ceramic tiles on the wall harkening to eateries in Macau! The waitress was very polite and was curious to know whether I am Japanese or Korean.  Err… neither!

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Interior

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Bar

I refrained from ordering any drinks because I had downed at least 1 bottle of liquor on my way to KL.  I stuck to my Soda Water… so here’s what the gang had…

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Mojito served with generous dash of rum and plenty of mint

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Frozen Margarita

Food was served rather quickly and came out piping hot.  I noticed that the chef is an expat aka balding rotund white guy.

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Bacalao (RM48):
Cod fish fillet, braised onion, cherry tomatoes and olives

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File de File (RM72):
Beef tenderloin served with baked red skin potatoes and grilled vegetables

I had the chicken.  Tender, moist and delicious.  I’m happy to get some protein for the day – and I love rockets!

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Piri Piri Chicken (RM37):
Chicken piri piri on a bed of roasted vegetables

While enjoying our dinner, we were given 2 slices of dark rye bread but not sure who they were for – perhaps they were accompaniments for the beef tenderloin as it is the most expensive on the menu.

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Rye bread

I’m happy with our choice of restaurant.  This is my new go-to place for protein!  👍

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Date of Visit:  January 12 2014

The next night, we tried another restaurant at Connection called ‘Carlos’, which we mistook for an Eygptian restaurant due to the shisha stand in front.  Again, we were misinformed with the cuisine served here, nevertheless, we wandered in.  It was only when we were settled that we realised that this is a Mexican restaurant properly called Carlos Mexican Canteena!  So, let’s blame the poor signage design and the shisha stand! 😝

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Carlos Mexican Canteena

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Shisha stand

The restaurant is dim, dank and down-right grubby with an irritating loop of Jennifer Lopez’s ‘On the Dance Floor‘ playing-over-and-over-and-over-again! Each table is given a portable ‘service button’ to call the waiters.  Ergonomically, the seats were very low and tables overly high, making us look like kiddies sitting at an adult’s table!   What’s more I couldn’t stop sneezing and was wondering why until I saw that smoking is actually allowed in the restaurant!  I mean, shisha is smoke, right?  I read from ‘The Guardian’ here that some experts say “a single shisha session is the same as smoking 200 cigarettes”!!  Help, my lungs! Tolong*! Tolong*!

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An ‘Arabeque-looking’ interior for a Mexican Canteena, further perplexed us

The first to arrive at our table was the rib – a humongous rib!  Couldn’t help that we had over ordered.  Are Malaysians big-eaters or the waiters are trained to up-sell?  In Hong Kong, the waiters are all trained to estimate the patrons orders and will stop them from over-ordering.  The current phrase here now is ‘Waste no Food’ campaign.  In any regards, the ribs were perfectly cooked, very tasty and juicy and fall off the bone easily.  The mashed potatoes were very creamy with lots of butter and cream.

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Mexicana Canteena Tender Beef-ribs (RM68++), served with mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables

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Mexicana Canteena Tender Beef-ribs

Our carb-attack was potato skins.  Tasty as well, with a side of salsa.

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Mexican Potato Skins (RM18++)
3 pieces of oven baked potato skins stuffed with beef covered with melted cheese

Our fajitas were terrific too.

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Fajitas (RM29++):
Grilled chicken on bed of sautéed bell peppers and onions served with fajitas sauce, cheese and tortillas.

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Chicken Fajitas

Unfortunately, for Carlos, I don’t see myself coming back anytime soon.  Too much fat and carbs.  No good for building a healthy body!

*Tolong means ‘Help’ in Malay

*Nasi means ‘Rice’ in Malay

Welcoming the Year of Horses in the Malls

恭禧發財!!

Happy Chinese New Year!  The Year of the Horse has finally arrived!  If don’t know that that 2014 is the Year of the Horse – and you live outside Asia, you are excused but for those of you who live in Asia, what’s your excuse?!  Don’t you go out at all?  Why – the malls are all decked out in horsie decorations!  Here’s some malls that I frequented.

Elements Mall @ Kowloon Station:  A horse head made up of tiny minions of horses.  The sponsor is… (no brainer)… Hong Kong Jockey Club!

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My all-time favourite for mall decorations is Landmark @ Central.  Every Chinese New Year, the atrium of the mall will be transformed into a floral extravaganza welcoming the in-coming zodiac of the new year.  This year, we have floral horses suspended in the air and horses let loose on a pictureque Chinese pasture complete with waterfalls, junk and Chinese houses.

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The One @ Tsim Sha Tsui:  Albeit tacky and simplistic, this is sponsored by a clothing company.  All the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac are presented riding a horse.

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Rilakkuma Wonderland Exhibition @ The One, TST, Hong Kong

You know Hong Kong’s moniker as the ‘City that never sleeps‘, but what if you got up early and have nothing to do? You can’t hit the shops just yet because the shops here open pretty late, around 11am! So, this is what I do – I go watch a movie! Early shows here starts at 9am and is cheap at HK$45 per person (or HK$10 for Seniors, equivalent to A$2!) Since I live in Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui is the most convent place for me to catch a movie, and I usually go to Broadway Circuit Cinema at The One.

Currently there is a Rilakkuma Exhibition happening in the mall, with more than 20 pieces of large Rilakkuma figurines and over 100 mini-Rilakkumas dotted around the mall in celebrating the 10th anniversary of Rilakkuma. Check out the 10-feet inflatable Rilakkuma resting comfortably on the window sill – a tiring journey mind you, for a first-timer in Hong Kong from Tokyo – so, peeps, head on over to say a big ‘Hello’ to giant inflatable Rilakkuma!

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10-feet inflatable Rilakkuma

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Rilakumma eating a dango

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Merry-go-round

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Orchestra

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Playing some music

As with any ‘celebration’, there is ALWAYS a promotion a la sales gimmick!  What did I get  for spending some $$$ at The One – a hot water bottle inserted in a cute cover!  No doubt will keep me warm this winter!

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Rilakumma hot water bottle and cover

Window Display: Model Kits @ Harvey Nichols Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Date:  August 2013

In the midst of the Hong Kong summer, straddling between the glaring sunlight and buckets of typhoon rainfalls,  where else can the Chica go to avoid melting make-ups and ruined shoes?  Why, to the shopping malls of course!  She is after all in The Kong aka shopping paradise.

Never mind that the end of summer is nigh.   Summer Sale is over and the Fall/Winter 2013 is just debuting.  In a word – nothing wearable to buy just yet, so let’s go window shopping!   

In this post I show you the photos I took from the Harvey Nichols windows at Pacific Place. The theme changes each season – pictures from earlier this year here.  This season’s theme is  based on toy model kits, and I am especially familiar with Tamiya Military Model Kits that my Bro was so fanatic about, spending hours in his boyhood days glueing pieces of plastics together.

Now, each window has a different theme and I had a fantastic time checking out the little accessories that made these windows very interesting – collection wise, the clothes did not attract me .  Nevertheless, let’s enjoy the creativity of visual merchandising team shall we?

To kick off… and of course,  the central window is that of the Knightsbridge Underground Station, where the Harvey Nichols London is.

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Knightsbridge Underground Station near where the original Harvey Nichols started in London

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Knightsbridge Underground Station

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Knightsbridge Underground Station

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Knightsbridge Underground Station

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Knightsbridge Underground Station

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Automobiles

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Automobiles

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Automobiles

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Airplanes

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Navy

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Military

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Military

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Ladies’ Fashion

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Ladies’ Fashion

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Ladies’ Fashion

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Home Furnishings

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Home Furnishings

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2 windows side-by-side

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Music

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Luggages

My favourite among the windows is the boudoir.  I can just imagine myself in the pink floating chiffon number surrounded by bubbles and bottles of sweet smelling scents,  getting ready for a relaxing soak in in the huge marble bathtub with gold tapwares.  A perfect way to end a summer’s day, agree?

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Boudoir

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Boudoir

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Boudoir

Window-shopping…@Harvey Nichols, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong

When I go shopping, I love checking out the window displays.

Harvey Nichols is one of the top 2 luxury department stores in Hong Kong selling premium labels. I especially like their shoes (if you are lucky, they may carry women’s size 42 – which is a rarity in this city) and accessories (they carry very edgy costume jewellery – wait for frequent sales though!).

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