Thursday, December 11, 2014


Ah.. another getaway, another Spanish one to be exact. I have always wanted to go to Marbella for its reputation of being chic, the Spanish St Tropez as certain people call it. I have also had warnings of too much bling, prostitutes, and a not so great coastline. Eh I didn't care, I wanted a different destination for the Toussaint (All Saints) holidays and finally convinced my husband that it might be a different experience with the kiddos. 

We were both pleasantly surprised and disappointed. It was out first vacation as a family of four without the help of grandparents or nannies, so it was difficult to adjust at first but we did. It was great spending time with each other, our hotel Gran Melia Don Pepe, had amazing service and offers spacious family suites. The outdoor pool was way too cold for my Malaysian skin, but thank God they had a heated indoor pool as well. It was hot, up to 29 degrees Celcius during the day time, but not enough to heat up the sea. 

The beach (picture above) isn't great. I can safely say that the sand was dirty, lots of cigarette butts and beer bottles lying around. We have pretty high standards for beaches, and if I can't see my feet in transparent water then it isn't a great beach, easy as that. A bit rocky and lots of seaweed, we didn't spend much time here. 

We did love walking through old town Marbella however, with its quaint stores and restaurants. Some are rather touristic, so we decided to ask a local policeman where he would eat with his buddies. As usual, people were friendly and cheerful despite the economy, but I guess having sun all year round helps the mood!

Plaza de los Narajos
Old Marbella town city hall
Balinese beds at our hotel, great for families
About 10 mins drive away from our hotel is the port of Puerto Banus. Ah so there is the bling. Megayachts and yachts are parked here, alongside big brand name stores that line the streets. It wasn't too bad because October isn't high season for Marbella, but I can see how it can get nauseating. Bon, not too much time spent here either but I did enjoy our walk. 

So If I were to give advice to people who ask for it, I would definitely recommend going to Mallorca instead. The distance from Paris is about the same, but it offers more interesting things to do and places to visit than Marbella. Of course if you're looking to party and show off your newfound friendship with a reality show star, Marbella is the place to go! I must say I had fun anyways, I can have fun anywhere when I'm with my little family, but we will definitely not have a second trip here. 

Photos by Me

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Lean Canteen


My entreprenurial little sister Aina and her boyfriend Mark has recently launched their hip little business called The Lean Canteen. As you can tell by the name, they provide lean and healthy ready made meals to Klang Valley-ers, with delivery service and pick up points around the city. Malaysia is well known for its food and sweet drinks, delicious but often not exactly great for the waistline. I even read somewhere that we are the fattest nation in South East Asia! Fortunately for us, we are starting to be more aware of our health, and the fitness and healthy food industry is booming. 

Mark and Aina work closely with a nutritionist and monitor the calorie count of each dish, which is displayed. Prices range from RM13-RM19, and they often run out of stock so its best to pre-order your meals. Personally, I haven't tasted the meals, but from what I have heard, The Lean Canteen has managed to provide the health benefits without sacrificing the taste. Their Facebook page also provide tips on how to eat better and have posts on the health benefits of a certain vegetable or ingredient. Check it out :

Babas Beef Burrito
Don Aglio
Bangkok Beef
The Taj Mahal
It all started when my sister realized that the lifestyle she has been leading for years has got to stop. Weight loss became her obsession, and the hardest part for her was finding the time to prepare healthy meals. Her problem is faced by many in Malaysia, and I quote "as a food lover, it was hard to find delicious food that doesn't break the bank". How true. It is easier and cheaper to have a fatty meal of nasi lemak or other local delicacies, than a simple salad. 

Mark, a personal trainer, always insist that the formula to losing weight is of course working out but most importantly, food intake. The Lean Canteen vacuum packs all of their meals that makes the food lasts longer, and thus easier for one to plan their weekly meals. It is stored in the fridge, than reheated at any moment. 

So now, how to order?

Please leave your details to Mark (012-3682980) or Aina (012-2086440):
- Your name
- Name of meals and amount
- Payment mode (COD or bank transfer)
- Pick-up at eCurve or delivery & delivery address

Pictures courtesy of The Lean Canteen

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Santec and Roscoff, Brittany

Plage de Theven
This August,  instead of having our usual month long vacation in Asia, we decided to do something typically French. Baby 2 was only 3 months old and my parents were in town, and my husband wanted to use show off his Breton heritage once and for all. We rented a seafront villa in a small village called Santec. You won't find the crowds of the south here, non non. Quaint and quiet, it is the perfect spot to relax, enjoy nature, and eat affordable fresh seafood as often as you please.. 

A plane ride from Paris costs less than €200 and takes about an hour. A car ride would take about 7 hours and with 2 kids under 3 we opted for the first. A car rental is needed however once you reach Brest Airport. Then you're free to roam the countryside. This region isn't tourists' favorite for a reason. Despite having picturesque views and more affordable hotels and villa rentals, the weather is very mild and the sea is cold. In mid August, we were lucky enough to have 60% sunny weather, and clouds and rain for the rest. Its a bet that you take, because temperatures can reach 29 degrees Celcius  like it did last year!

View from our villa

Heated indoor pool with a view
10 minutes drive away from our little village is the town of Roscoff. Popular with the Brits, it is more lively and touristic. Here you can enjoy the region's specialties like crêpes and Kouign Aman. Crèpe I'm sure you know, but what in the world is that bizarre sounding word? Brittany boasts its own language that sounds nothing like French. A Kouign Aman is an artery clogging dessert made purely out of butter, flour and sugar. It is DIVINE. 

Seafood is abundant and affordable. When I say affordable, I mean cheaper than Paris because if you convert Euros to Ringgit it is still quite expensive from a Malaysian's point of view. Our seafood night that consists of 3 lobsters, 2 crabs, and 1 spider crab costs €120 fresh from the fisherman's market. Most villa rentals come with an equipped kitchen and a BBQ pit so you can prepare your seafood as you wish. 

The port of Roscoff

Get your arteries clogged here

They grow lots of onion in the region

Voila, an alternative holiday outside of Paris that isn't the usual. For a nature loving person, 2 weeks is more than enough. Here you get to really appreciate the French countryside, "just like Belle!" as my daughter claimed.

Photos by Me and my Pops

Friday, September 19, 2014

Disneyland Paris

It's so wonderful to be able to relive your childhood again! What other way than to live precariously through your 2 1/2 year old daughter?!? We went to Disneyland Paris twice this summer, only because my Princess didn't get to meet the Disney Princesses the first time around. Crazy doting parents we are, we learned the hard way the tricks of this château magique (magic castle as our daughter calls it). 

Firstly, choose wisely the day you decide to go. French children don't have school on Wednesdays, thus it is a bad day to go. People take extensions of their weekends, so Friday and Monday is not a good idea either. The best day ever- is the first day of school, or during the rentrée scolaire. Wigglemonster 1 goes to a private shool that starts a day after the public schools do, so we had the chance to do everything we wanted that we couldn't the first time. 

If you have a Princess crazed daughter or son, one parent must RUN towards the Princess Pavillion to get a meeting time with a princess. Once you have your ticket, you will be assigned a time frame. With this you enter the Princess Pavilion and wait again between 30 and 60 mins. If you have a younger child, do not enter! The wait is torturous, and with a moody baby you will quickly give up. This is what happened the first time so we decided to leave our son at home the second time around. The wait was worth it... The look on our baby girl's face... And MINE!

There is a thing called the fast pass. For any popular ride, you can scan your entry ticket to get your fast pass. It gives you a time frame and another line to wait in that is way faster and shorter. You can have one fast pass at a time. But if you go on the first day of school like we did, you don't even need it. Space Mountain had a 5 min wait which is unheard of! 

Main Street
There is a restaurant called L'Auberge de Cendrillon where you can dine with the princesses and princes. Book way ahead. The parade starts at 5:30 pm but with a car, we decided to leave before it starts to avoid the crowd. 

It's a truly magical place to be. Disneyland Paris brings out the kid in everyone no matter how grumpy and moody of a person you are, and makes every child's dream come true. 

Photos by Me 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Salut tout le monde!

It has come to my attention that my last post was about exactly a year ago, and I am appalled at myself. Milles excuses, I have been busy having a second child and everything, and no one warned me that having two children is like having two full time jobs! I drop literally everything for my family, but tada here I am again, with one Wigglemonster in school, 2 nannies, and a 5 month old who sleeps all the time- I am back! 

Our son, yes son! - was born on April 25th 2014 after a labor way shorter than the first one. Same hospital same doctor, all went well. We survived the difficult first two months, then he started sleeping through the nights so Papa and Maman became humans again. Baby A.M.A is an easy one, although way more clingy than his sister ever was, his smile just melts my heart and he gets his way.  I totally understand crazy mothers and their sons now.

Anyways, I am looking forward to writing on this blog again. I have so many things to share, within the past year we travelled to Prague, Langkawi, Normandy, Brittany, and soon to Marbella.. started to do even more kiddie stuff in Paris like Disneyland and Jardin d'Acclimitation, will keep you guys posted!