Thursday, January 30, 2014

Year 2013 in Pictures

Update: Please listen to this song while you're going through hehe, I'm sure it's a lot more fun!  Trust me!


***

I've decided to compile some of the things that are close to my heart and the big things that happened to me in 2013 in pictures. This reminds me of what a fun 2013 it has been. Most items are hyperlinked so you can read thoroughly on those things :)


1) One Place from the Bucket List to visit Scrapped off  [Which was Borobudur, Yogyakarta, and I traveled Solo]


2) Went Camping behind my House because I really wanted to try it after so long living the City Life


3) But Decided That That Was Kind of Depressing and Went Camping along Kaiduan River with the Besties 




4) Participated in Kota Kinabalu City's CRAZY HARD Treasure Hunt [Seriously that Shit is not Possible] and won a LUCKY  DRAW instead HAHA WTF 



5) First Ever Exploring Labuan [after all these years!] + and got wasted after a LONG TIME

6) First Ever Time donating Blood to.. a stranger quite frankly, but over Kazie's request

7) Went to Sunset Music Festival, Drove 3 Hours Road Trip [Traveled Solo too] 


8) Finally walked with Mum during a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, All these While she did it Herself and Last Year Brother Joined Her, this will be annual Affair



9) Staff Party with the People that I Love


10) Had a Conference in KL - and visited the Old Office and these sweethearts!! 


11) Started off this Project with Some of my Best Friends 


12) Started Learning how to Bake - THIS WAS FOREVER ON MY LIST, FINALLY DID IT!!!


13) First time Voting Ever for the General Election - pretty cool Experience. Which I also volunteered to act in a video that says Voting is Cooler, than Not Voting. Showing off the indelible ink which was the talk of the town.



14) Mavis Got Married !


15) Yearlong of Salsa  - Like Almost every other Week
 
16) Climbed Mount Kinabalu!!!!!!!!



17) Participated in my First Ever Marathon which was only 10K really

18) ONE OF MY BEST FRIEND OF 18 YEARS GOT ENGAGED!!  






19) Visited Yangon, Myanmar ^_^ [also solo traveling] for my Birthday 




20) Visited Bali, Indonesia as a revival to my cancelled trip in 2012 - YEAYYY




21) Went White Water Rafting with the Besties, Favorite Photo Remains... These




22) I (actually) Won "Best Costume" from the Halloween Party I Attended




23) Couchsurfed in Jakarta for the first Time Ever and Met Retno [I should really learn to take photos more]

24) Farewell for the Leader Chong [because she has been the class leader since 13 years old] ! Cheers for a 11 year Friendship - Nothing Will Change 



25) the Lovely Fatima got Married  


26) And so did JAY!!! 



27) I BOUGHT AN APARTMENT!! 




28) Became an Aunt one too Many times ^_____________^ I pray to God I have the capacity to protect them and love them with all of my heart.


***

I've decided that last year's theme was people + my personal travel. As it should.
What a kind year it has been to me. To another happier, kinder year!
 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tanjung Aru Beach @ Kota Kinabalu

It's a little awkward growing up in a holiday destination like Kota Kinabalu. You slowly start to see the charm of your hometown when you see people halfway around the world starts queuing up to pay tons of money to see your home.

You would never understand. Then you look at yourself doing the same thing and you wonder, of course they would love this place -- because you do too!

Tanjung Aru Beach is very close to my heart. I grow up visiting this beach almost every other weekend, playing by the waters under the sun with my late dad and my brother. I started learning how to swim from this beach even. This place taught me everything I need to know about family recreation. It's 10 minutes away from the city centre, sometimes lesser. Or what about, weekends are for family? My French friend used to tell me, "Islanders have a different mentality. The best kind." I didn't really know what he meant, but maybe... just maybe the beach has made us a little different that way.

Fast forward to primary years, I started learning how to bike, hang out with friends and have some BBQs at this beach. We would spend our scouting days traveling [by foot] all the way to the beach from our school.

Fast forward to high school, boys and girls would hang out together at this beach. The fact that it was so close to school, made it an easy spot for everyone to catch up. Picnics, beach balls, kite, everything was possible.

I missed a huge chunk of Kota Kinabalu's development while I was away in KL and Australia respectively. While I believed KL had all the money in Malaysia, I forgot about the beauty of secondary cities like Kota Kinabalu, along the fact that's right around the beaches and esplanades. That time when I decided to leave KL, it was already my 7th year there and everything was becoming predictable. When mum was diagnosed with cancer, I had to leave KL and had to start my life all over again. Which was alright... and Tanjung Aru Beach played a huge part during my unemployment days.

I used to spend early mornings at the beach right after sending mum to work, running around and once I'm done I'd do my usual grocery shopping. Sometimes, I'd buy one item, other times I'd buy a whole list of things, but most of the time -- I don't buy anything. I just like to see things. Making myself feel like I'm doing something when I have the whole day to myself.

Or what about in the evenings when I'd drive in at about 5.30pm and look into my life reflecting over the ocean while the sun sets. It's so cliche when I think about it, but Tanjung Aru is one of my closest friend while I was unemployed. If it had characters, it was calm, understanding and I guess evergreen.

Tanjung Aru Beach is accessible via buses and cabs. If you're from town you can just take the Tanjung Aru A bus, and walk down towards the beach. It's a 15 - 20 minutes walk. Highly recommended if it's great weather, if it's not -- there are cabs around the area for you and your loved ones.

Things to do: 

Tanjung Aru is both a loved place for the tourists and locals alike. Locals come here to spend some R & R with their family and that includes, frisbee, soccer, kites, picnic and even a good ol' outdoor game.



Right around the corner, there's a local stall operated by locals complete with a million and one things to eat. Seafood, coconuts, satays and wings are among the favourites. Best part? Locals still go there too. And you know what that means, that means it's still affordable :)



I would really recommend coming to Tanjung Aru around 4.00pm - 6.00pm and start small or slow with some benches over, or maybe even a couple of drinks at the bar. If family tags along, then you could always do family stuff like I've mentioned earlier. Sunsets are to die for, so you could leave right after.



I hope you consider Tanjung Aru Beach, if it gets jammed up -- you'd be surprised how sincerely quiet this place gets when the bulk comes and go. So don't worry, you can easily find a special spot for yourself and your family and friends.


Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rumah Terbalik Borneo & Desa Cattle Farm, Kundasang

Daren and his family came to KK for a good ol' vacation during the Christmas week. It was their first time ever in Kota Kinabalu, let alone in Sabah, so we were scrambling to think of ideas on what to do. Aunty didn't want to do any islands, so that's a major scrap of the bulk of things to do in KK, neither was she a very adventurous person, so we've decided to do some things that are a lot more mild, but significantly Kota Kinabalu/ Sabah as well.

We started off the first few days with a visit to the handicraft market, and then subsequently heading to the apartment. We hired a car the next day, and figured one truly Kinabalu thing [without all the islands] to do was the Kinabalu park. That's about 2 hours drive away from the city itself. Which is still alright because KK is the gateway to some of the best things to do in East Malaysia.

I drove the first car, while Daren drove the second. We stopped by at the Rumah Terbalik Borneo, which was the fifth of its kind in the world. It was a very interesting concept, I wouldn't say it was superbly awesome maybe because there was only one house, but the details in the house were charming! Even the car was upside down!

What was even more adorable was the fictional story behind the house; about a family who has a very naughty boy son. Consequently, the house turned upside down because of the naughtiness of the boy! It's a lot funnier in Sabahan slang because whenever parents describe their naughty kids they would usually say --- "Budak nakal ini buat rumah saya tunggang tebalik! [which means upside down]."

Which is terribly cute. That must be how it came about.

After about an hour or so at the Rumah Terbalik Borneo, we drove uphill to the Kinabalu Park. Our main purpose was to go to the local meadow to try their locally produced milk! Unfortunately.... we were too late. Everything zapped out from the storage by the time we got there. They only had their icecreams, so we tried the icecreams instead. The Desa Cattle farm is by all means not for the leisure drivers. There are tons of uphills to brave through, and even when you could push your car through, you'd be weary how the car after doing so, so please be careful! It's an uphill drive!

Some pictures from our day trip: 

Rumah Terbalik Borneo

No pictures were allowed inside the house, so I took some photos from outside but that was about it. But look! This is so cute! 


Desa Cattle Farm, Kundasang

The place was expectedly beautiful with the stretch of greens, but for some strange reason I expected more! Maybe because Australian's Great Ocean Road killed it for me with its wide sea and green view. There was some construction ongoing next to the meadow as well, so I personally felt a little uncomfortable with that. I have this idea that this might be destructive for the cows, but I could be wrong.

The place was still so very beautiful. If you shift to another part of the area, instead of going where the mass did, you could see for yourself even more the wonders of the place. I didn't manage to take a photo of  that particular view because my phone cam died on me after that. But trust me, it was breathtaking!

On the day we arrive the small town Kundasang, they had a 4WD tournament and people were pulling chairs sitting by them large fields and having tents set up around the area. It's so refreshing to see interesting things like that. If only more people would've known about these interesting activities they had, I'm sure tons would colour the area.

It was around Christmas.


Took a photo of this random kid feeding the goat, TOO CUTE!



Tips & Recommendation:

Start your journey way earlier in the morning. Say around 6am? The traffic is a lot smoother and by any chance you decide to check up on some of the interesting things you see along the way, there is still some time :)

The roads are tricky. Sabah is notorious for having landslides and falling roads, I know this isn't any better advice, but please be careful!

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Be your own Barista

The things you now can do with technology! 

You can be your own DJ, you can be your own travel writer, you can be your own boss, you can be your own restauranteur, and joining in the latest trend, you now can be your own barista.Which is perfect for me because I am a terrible coffeemaker. Everytime someone requests me to make coffees for them, I cringe, because I am quite intimidated at the idea. Often not I take the easy way out of using 3-in-1s in bulk and plonk them together and take the credit *_* 

You can now be your own barista and having a cup of brewed coffee at the comfort of your home is becoming an urban's latest trend. Coffee Bean invited us for the launch of the CBTL Single Serve Beverage System in Kota Kinabalu last month and we're lucky enough get a first hand opportunity to explore the machine and brew our own customized flavor cup of tea/ coffee.



Imagine the convenience of; 

1) Saving time and energy and petrol of not having to drive to the nearest coffee joint if you have your cravings for Coffee Bean fix

2)  What parking? [we all know how KK can be]. 

3) There is no hassle of getting the right caffeine fix anymore. The CBTL's capsule of espresso, coffee or tea into the machine, is a prefect cup of  coffee in hand with the same aroma you'd get when you brew your own or in coffeeshops.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has beautifully and magically transformed its coffee bean's recipes into a bite-sized capsule with the same aroma and the exact same taste as what you've loved at any of the Coffee Bean outlets. Each of the capsule is freshness-locked in order to keep the exquisite taste and aroma. 



CBTL system is offered in two models; Contata priced at RM780 (available in Grey or Black color), Kaldi [I like the ring to this, which was the name of the goatherd who first discovered the plant coffee] priced at RM880 (available in Metallic Red and Blue color). 


Both of the machines share the same features of an easy capsule insertion as well as with an automatic ejection with a large capsule drawer that holds up to 10 used capsules and an energy saving function (thumbs up for eliminating the worries of having that extra costly electricity bill!). 

Not forgetting the CBTL Milk Frother which is highly recommended for all the cappuccino and latte lover. It is designed for producing the right amount of heated milk and froth (Tips from the CBTL expert: Use only full cream milk to get the best taste of frothed milk!) 

Now the promotion......... we were told that they're having a kerayzee promotion only till the 31st of January, which is the main reason why I'm writing this to you. Below are the promotional packages available till 31 January, 2014. 

I believe in savings and promotions, so if you think your company or your department could use a coffee machine like this, this might be the best time to get one. 

And it's so convenient, and adorable. You could even wrap it up as a present / gift for someone's housewarming [along with truckloads of the capsule :D]

Contata + 1 Box of Capsules (10 capsules per box) worth RM802.50 at ONLY RM580 now. *savings of RM222.50

Kaldi + 1 Box of Capsules (10 capsules per box) worth RM902.50 at ONLY RM680 now. *savings of RM222.50

Kaldi + Milk Frother + 1 Box of Capsules (10 capsules per box) worth RM1,170.50 at ONLY RM799 now. *savings of RM371.50

10 Jalan Damai, Luyang,
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
+60 88-318 771


Love,
Boolynaa Diyana