Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Phone Story

Days since my last post: 13

Oh no, have I really not been here for almost 2 weeks? Sorry people but life has been pretty...mundane to say the least. I know I probably say that every single week, but it really has. Anyway, here's a little update. I'm looking for...a new phone. And I am not even kidding anymore. I've finally had it with my phone dying on me in the middle of the night, then never waking me up with the morning alarm to go to work is dead after all.

A random picture just because.

So here I am right now, reading up on more phone and technical things that my brain could ever figure out. What are chipsets? What's all these pixels and cores or funny studies they're all doing? I mean, who would have known a single phone could bring so many things to light where you'll have to study up from A-Z just to know if it's the right deal you're taking?

And just for the sake of process reading later on, here are the current picks:


I'm looking for more inspirations with lesser bucks so if you've got one on top of your head, do let me know! Until then, it's back to reading!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Beyond Kindness

Days since my last post:8

Hello everyone! *Waves* Finally getting around to the weekends to post this up and I'm fairly excited to write because it's been in my head since Tuesday and I need to get it out before I go crazy.

Taken just before the LRT left the station. Not too shabby a sunset after a long day at work.

Kindness. We speak about being kind to people most of the time; hoping and wanting to do more for the unfortunate. I wouldn't deny being one of those people either, just donating my money or old clothes and assume that I have already done all the kindness I could possibly do. I would give myself excuses too. Being too busy to volunteer. Being too far to do good. But have you ever stopped to think about how a little bit of kindness can take you a long way?

Okay, that was very sentimental but I first wrote that down when I hopped up my aunt's car making it pretty emotional than it really seemed. But really, have you ever thought about how a small bit of kindness can take on a longer road? Now onto why I am even writing about this. You see, I usually drive to work but on rare days when my father has something up in town, he would take me to down instead. It would however mean that I have to take the public transportation home because he really didn't have the need to stay there from 9 AM till 6ish or 7 PM when I got off.

And that was my Tuesday. I always seem to have thoughts in the train because hey, it's the only time when I don't have much to think about and just look around at people's everyday antics. First you'll see the lazy ones. Then the rude ones. Maybe the tired ones and occasionally the happy ones. You would see the sad ones or the excited ones and sometimes, the ones who just wouldn't stop looking at time. This particular person I saw however, was at the station. She looked lost, tired and desperate for help.

And that was where I stepped in. Or at least, I wish I did. I could clearly see her tapping the receiver of the public phone, possibly hoping it would work for her. "What's a person doing without a cellphone in the world today?" I thought.

"Does she need help? To call someone?"

As I wondered on and off whether or not to approach her to ask if she needed help, I also thought of how she could possibly be a fake. Someone who would say, "Yes please!" to my help offer then pretend to walk away and run off into oblivion. "But she looks pregnant! How fast can a pregnant woman run?" I thought again. I weighed my options: To ignore her and wait for my mother or to walk up and speak to her. I thought of my consequences, I put in endless conclusions and mother called.

And then I came home.

Phew, what a lengthy post by now. I knew for sure I had to blog about this because it's a reminder to myself over odd reasons. I'm still wondering right now, would it have been different if I did offer her my phone to make a call? Would she have gotten the person she had to reach? Or would she have proven my worries right and escaped with my dying phone because of the crook she is? I would never know. But doesn't it just make you wonder?

Beyond kindness.

TL;DR? I should have helped someone but doubted her authenticity. Now I'm beating myself over it and I don't even know why. Will you read the story now?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Konnichiwa, Sayounara

Days since my last post: 7

Arakawa Sensei and I

It's official, I have finished up with Japanese class! I remember starting out in August 2013, not knowing a single word except the character  "の" of which most of us has probably seen but never knew what it stood for. Now however, I have drilled it in my head what my 48 hiraganas and katakanas look like, piecing them together to form words just as we put together our "ABCs". My only verdict is...what a journey.

Homework a year and a half

Truth be told, these lessons grew from a love for the culture to the fascination of the language and later on blossomed to the possibilities I could derive from my every day attempt to inject just that it of Japanese inside, making every piece of homework a worthy challenge. Sure, I burned out every now and then, thinking I wasn't cut out for this or that I would never ace it but the satisfaction today is real. Very real.

Work books and notes

Having to say goodbye today only made me realize that I shouldn't just stop here; I should keep going. I should be writing notes and making memos. I should be reading novels and listening to music or watching movies, making every Japanese language connectivity I could just to improve. And maybe, that's just not too hard. 

Various work books

Before officially returning to Japan for good, my teacher decided to also leave me with books that would help in making sure I never stop. And so I assured him, I won't. The amount of time, agony and heart put into learning the language isn't worth a give up, really.

Gifts from Arakawa Sensei
So I made my promise to an old man, to always improve however I can and to visit him in Nagoya someday. And then I said, "どうぞお元気で" and bowed my way out. さようなら、荒川先生。

Saturday, February 28, 2015

An Update Because

Days since my last post: 14

Surprise, surprise, people! I'm still well alive but I haven't quite dropped by for 2 weeks because...

Work happened.

Basically I've turned into a routine just as before where it's mostly work and weekend classes so there doesn't seem to be much in updates. I mean, I'm happy through my times with friends and family to boot but that's just about it! No little thoughts on daily life because I haven't been cafe hopping and neither are there times where I watch humans and their antics because...I haven't been cafe hopping.

I really think I should go cafe hopping again.

Anyway, I suppose the most interesting of things that has happened these two weeks is that it's Chinese New Year and I've been taking lots of pictures...of myself. So bear with my vanity as I post them around and until my next (Hopefully much more interesting!) update, stay happily healthy!

Chinese New Year, Day 1.

Chinese New Year, Day 3.

Who would have known that aside to my mum, my aunt makes a great outfit of the day photographer too?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

It's So Dazs Good

Days since my last post: 7

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! It's the day where love is all over and my social media feed is filled with nothing but best wishes and yummy food adventures between two. So here I am, fueling the need for all these feels with the introduction of Haagen-Dazs' new menu!

In no place better than The House of Haagen-Dazs

 Coming here at any time of the day? Yes!
I've always had a liking for ice cream, especially if it were from Haagen-Dazs. I remember when it would be a true treat for myself when we could splurge during the days I worked in a retail outlet with my best friend and now it just brings me so many memories to savour. Back then, everyone would call Haagen-Dazs a spot for just a sweet surprise but revisiting the store after such a long time seems to prove a very different vibe all together. So what indeed has Haagen-Dazs come to? Let's get down to the food.

For those who have no idea, I've always had a thing over salted caramel and better yet if it's paired off with latte. To date, the best one I've had was in a local indie coffee shop but I came across a clear contender last weekend and it was none other than...

The one from Haagen-Dazs
 Pictured is the Salted Caramel Latte (RM 22) and the Belgian Chocolate Mocha (RM 22)

 Nothing more satisfactory than to have mocha and a milk mustache, eh Isabel?

Made with a shot of espresso, hot milk and blended salted caramel ice cream, the latte proved itself to be smooth yet sweet and so fragrant, I had to tell myself to stop sipping. Topped with milk foam and almond nibs, Senri and I both agreed that it absolutely won in placings of all our salted caramel latte adventures. For a thought on Isabel's Belgian Chocolate Mocha, do look out at her space.

Unleashing heavens

Embracing heavens

 Indulging heavens

As a treat that I have always wanted to try, the Haagen-Dazs Fondue (RM 68) features 12 mini scoops of ice cream alongside seasonal fruits, cookies and almond nibs for everyone's sweet toothed needs. It comes with a choice of milk chocolate or dark chocolate sauce, much of which is heated with the help of a tealight at the bottom to help keep it runny and perfect for dipping.

Hands allowed

You should really consider grabbing a few friends to share it out however, perhaps in 4s so you could double date and everyone could go ahead and set off to an ice cream heaven. Trust me, it will happen.

Banana Caramel Crepe (RM 31)

Our next try turned out to be the Banana Caramel Crepe, one of the regulars on the menu. What you can expect is a warm crepe that's thinly delicate, topped with bananas and a drizzle of caramel sauce for good measure. But of course, given that you're in the house of ice creams, it probably would never be complete without two grande scoops of the Caramel Biscuits & Cream ice cream (Hint: It is the best thing ever since mint chocolate chip ice cream!) and finished off with cream and almond nibs. My verdict? The ice cream makes everything so amazing, you cannot leave without ordering this.

The Eiffel Tower (RM 40)

If you're one for the city of love but can't get the real deal of Paris just yet, why not settle for The Eiffel Tower from Haagen-Dazs? Luxuriously created with a soft and moist brownie that's topped with the finest Belgian Chocolate and Cookies & Vanilla ice cream, The Eiffel Tower is just the epitome of how much you could love desserts. And it absolutely helps that it's so picturesque with the dark chocolate Eiffel Tower pieces, there's nothing but je' taime to say to this new addition to the Haagen-Dazs menu.

The Eiffel Tower: A Valentine's Special

Created especially for Valentine's Day, you could also opt for The Eiffel Tower with a twist of Raspberry Sorbets by the side that's delicately cut into heart shapes. I mean, how much more lovey could you get? Perhaps experimental, this seemed to have combined interesting palate experiences to most of us as it gave a tangy yet sweet clash through every bite in a good way. It was refreshing but I don't know how long they'll keep this on the menu so you better act fast to take your loved one to a trip to "Paris".

The three musketeers.
Pictured here is the Salted Caramel Crunch, the Mango & Vanilla & Cream Crunch, and the Chocolate Crunch. (RM 24.50 each) 

As this arrived our tables, most of us were in awe on how pretty it looked by the layer. Combining several ingredients into a tall glass, each of these crunches gave out an immensely interesting texture through the spoonfuls. I thought it was best enjoyed with a tall spoon as you could dig right through the bottom and scoop up everything as you go to eat. The result is a crunchy and sweet treat that is thoroughly enjoyable.

The Seventh Heaven (RM 61)

The folks at Haagen-Dazs clearly knew how to save the best for the last as they served us with The Seventh Heaven to end our sweet adventures for the day. The choice of naming was a no brainer, you simply had seven scoops of ice cream of your choice alongside fruit slices before getting drizzles of chocolate sauce all over it. What you least expect of it however was the way it would be served to wow everyone of their seats. And here, let me wow you for now with the video I took as it happened.

What is this perfection we see? Kudos to my mum, the temporarily lazy Susan.

Topped with a round bowl in the middle to contain dry ice, the server simply pours water into it to create a misty effect that spills through and onto the plate of ice cream, hence the name The Seventh Heaven. You would indeed feel as though you were in heaven and there's no doubt about it when you sink your teeth into each of the ice cream scoops you've picked beforehand. Ideal for sharing, The Seventh Heaven is one of Haagen-Dazs' best sellers and I could see why for sure.

The lot of bloggers that morning. Plus mum.

I guess by the end of the day, the only thing that seemed to be missing was that I couldn't treat the men of the Lam clan to these goodies as I could only pick one for the morning of trying out everything nice and it obviously had to be mum. Perhaps it would make perfection for me to bring Chef and my dad someday to experiment on the other new additions on the Haagen-Dazs' menu, especially owing to the fact that they turn 29 years old today and 60 years old on the 17th of February respectively. Whether as a give back to the days they have had to deal with me or the fact that there's nothing but family that matters, some day I'd hope to make it come true. You know, because ice cream makes the world go just as round as love does.

And in the Lam clan, love matters.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

esmé Beauty Express Facial

Days since my last post: 7

After weeks and weeks of stressful juggling between work and classes, I've finally found the time to settle down and give my body a good break and what better way is there to unwind than with a facial session with the professionals? It was by luck for me that Isabel told me one day about esmé Clinic while I was scurrying online for deals to a facial and I decided to give it a go.

This is how bad I looked in the morning, make up free.

A bright green wall invites you.

Clean grounds are always signs of a good clinic.
The appointment I made was smack at 10 AM when they opened because I had to rush off to lunch after and I was guided by a receptionist into one of the consultation rooms almost immediately as they prepared for my session. It was also there that I waited for the lady who had been in touch with me through my queries over Facebook named Sylvia.

What esmé Clinic offers: The Ultra V treatment.

Getting comfortable at the resting area.

Sylvia was really attentive from the moment she approached me and never once did we mention anything about packages or having to be bound to anything, a very comfortable gesture as opposed to certain hard-selling brands that forces you to sign up on their 10 sessions packages before they would do a good job on you. Seriously, all I wanted was one comfortable day!

Changing into one of the softest and fluffiest robes EVER.
 One of those before shots.

It was also nice to know that aside to being my correspondent, Sylvia was my beautician for the day and she took her time in explaining each step as she went by. The treatment room was very unlike any others I have been in and it was brightly lit, not freezingly cold and did not smell funky of facial products. Here's to giving myself a pat on the back for taking the offer up!   

Here we go, senorita!
Getting cleansed up.

The esmé Beauty Express Facial was just as the name suggests; a quick facial for those who are looking to a relaxing afternoon for your skin. The entire session only takes up 45 minutes to an hour and steps taken includes a deep cleanse, exfoliation to rub away your dead skin, extractions from your black and white heads, a Meridian Point massage, mask application and moisturizing at the end. What I enjoyed most was obviously the Meridian Point massage and I had actually been looking forward to it even before I arrived the clinic while the least likeable point was the extraction. 

To be honest, I hate extractions because my black and white heads are uncontrollable but at esmé Clinic, they don't believe in forcing your dirt out. Instead, they only gently prick at it and if it does come out, it does. If it doesn't, they don't go on and aggravate your skin and force it out, a sign of true professionalism and knowing what they're doing. It felt great knowing that my sudden breakout wasn't an issue with them too because they understood how it would have made everything worse if they had forced it out.

Mask application.

  So I tried to take a picture with my eyes closed. Achievement unlocked: I made it.
I have been very curious about why they always placed a net over your face before applying the mask and questioned Sylvia over this. To my surprise, all she had to tell me was that it would make removal a breeze. So girls, the net really doesn't do anything but make the job easier! The cucumber mask applied seemed to soothe my skin just enough after the extraction and felt cooling at application, the very reason for a relaxing moment over 20 minutes.

  Moisturizer application.

If Sylvia had not walked in after 20 minutes, I would have totally fallen asleep as they played soothing music over their speakers and draped a blanket over me to keep myself warm. I felt like a princess for the day and for a good reason! 

Post facial selfies are mandatory!
 Because I couldn't decide which one I liked better.
While my eyebags did not subside completely, my complexion was reasonable fairer and I looked less haggard by the end of my session. And to think an hour before, I looked like I had gotten sick for a month and was never fed with nutrients. What a bliss! 

Sylvia and I; post facial session.

 In front of the painstakingly prepared photo wall.

Priced at RM 68 per session, the esmé Beauty Express Facial is something I'd definitely recommend to ladies who need a quick clean without being badgered to purchase products or sign up for big packages that we don't want. The beauticians are generally well groomed, soft spoken and all smiles over at esmé Clinic and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was to be treated like a princess through my hour's visit. 

But hey if you're reading this right now, I have a deal for you. All you have to do to get a FREE consultation over both surgery and non-surgery treatments on top of a RM 100 treatment cash voucher is to...

LIKE esmé Clinic on Facebook here and follow them on Instagram with the handle @esmeclinic

Remember to drop them a call to make your appointment from 10 AM to 7 PM, Mondays to Saturdays and mention "Elie Lam" so they know that you're up for these freebies. This promotion is only valid till the 15th of February 2015, which means you're just in time to prepare yourself for an awesome Chinese New Year! Until then, go be beautiful!  

 esmé Clinic
No. 65-1, Block D, Jaya One,
No.72a, Jalan University,
46200 Petaling Jaya.

Tel: 03-7955 1491 

Find out more on the services provided by esmé Clinic on their website here:

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but it has in no way altered my thoughts and opinions on the services provided by esmé Clinic. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and mine alone.