Some time ago, one of my besties whatsapped me suddenly and asked for the size of my waist.  I was taken by surprised but gave her the information nevertheless.  Then she revealed that she was getting me a waist pouch.  She knows that I love hiking and running and she wanted me to have this bright and stylish FlipBelt.  Ain’t that nice of her?  I have never heard of FlipBelt before this and when I googled for more information, I was intrigued by its design. FlipBelt doesn’t have any zippers and yet it can store many things.

I love this belt because it is slim and fits snugly around my waist.  I can just slide my handphone, money and keys into the openings on the belt when I go running.  It doesn’t bounce when I am exercising so it’s all good.


Big muaks to my bestie for this wonderful gift!

We frequent Chaplang Cafe, a neighbourhood cafe quite often.  We love their signature durian ice-cream on its delicious waffle.  Nothing beats the heavenly smell of the waffle when it’s being made.  Missy loves their Neslo ice-cream too.    Recently when we were there, I was excited to see these….


Do you know what they are?  Yes, these are cassette tapes!  Back in the dinosaur years, before CDs, iPod, YouTube, Spotify , we used to listen to songs by playing the cassettes on the player or Walkman.   I remember spending a lot of time trying to get the lyrics of my favourite songs by playing, pausing, rewind and play the cassette again.  There were no computer for us to Google for lyrics back then.  Such fond memories!  Kids these days won’t know what cassettes are.


Waffle with Durian ice-cream from Chaplang Kafe.  Check out 2 more cassettes at the side.

Whether the weather is warm or cool, many people enjoy going outdoors to cook their meal over the grill. While there are some dishes that you may cook the same way, using a side smoker box can help you expand your options.  For starters, you can usually get a better flavor without drying out meat. Before the invention of this gadget, that skill was reserved for the expert. Now, you can learn how to use this grilling tool to also make tasty smoked foods.  Turn your backyard grill into the ultimate BBQ smoking system with this side smoker box.  Attaching one of these boxes to the side of your larger grill is just the beginning.  Designed to hold either wood chips or pellets, these boxes come in handy if you want to make dinner for one.


Without the expected blaze of its larger companion, you will instead smoke your food. You can get the unique flavor that these side additions offer by connecting them to your grill. Additionally, there are some stand-alone versions that you can use for the same purpose. Before getting started, you essentially attach the box to the main grill. While instructions may vary based on the grill model, there are some basic tips that remain the same with all little smokers. You may have to assemble some of the parts, but make sure you use the hardware that is included. If hardware becomes lost for some reason, find out the appropriate size of screws. You want to make sure the smoker is installed properly to avoid any fire hazards.

Another delicious aspect of using this side smoker is the different wood flavors that are available. You have the freedom to go beyond the basic to trying new flavors. Mixing two or more is even a possibility to find what you may prefer. Generally, you can choose a variety of flavors with wood chips or wood pellets. If you choose wood chips, it is a good idea to soak them in water for at least an hour before using. Doing this helps keeps them from burning so you can get the smoldering effect that you want.It is not necessary to soak wood pellets. These are becoming more popular with people who use a side smoker. Just add them to the fire. Either way, do not be afraid to sample different flavors until you find a great tasting wood. You can find chips and pellets at most grilling or home improvement stores. Many brands are also available online.

On our recent trip back to Ipoh, we chanced upon this lovely mural in Ipoh Old Town which is just right in front of the big field.  This field is also the opposite of St. Michael’s School.  I love this Kids Sitting on A Paper Plane Mural.  I miss many things in my childhood and this reminds me of the carefree days.


There are a few more by Ernest Zacharevic but I haven’t been able to locate them because it is so hot each time we are back that we couldn’t bear to walk for too long around Old Town.

Here are my previous posts on more murals in Ipoh



When we went back to Ipoh last weekend, we decided to explore a new place which I have heard of not too long ago.  This place is called The Mirror Lake or Tasik Cermin.  It is located in Simpang Pulai and near the famous Sam Poh Tong Cave.   The Mirror Lake is well hidden inside the limestone caves and has a mysterious vibe.  We had to pass through a quarry in order to reach the mouth of the tunnel.   Walked into the dark tunnel and you can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  How apt is this idiom?  Once you come out of the tunnel, you will see the lake which is surrounded by the limestone caves.

I was a lil disappointed when I saw the lake because it wasn’t as clear as some of the photos I have seen online.  Perhaps it was due to the dry season.  There were many tourists that day (long weekend) and I couldn’t get a nice view of the seating area looking out to the lake.  I do wonder who built the seating area and look-out point of this lake.


Missy was so excited to see the tunnel.  She wished she could see some bats in there.  I know I will be running helter-skelter if her wish came true.




My mom said the small roundish leaves are known as the Wild Betel Leaves (Daun Kadok) which are used to make Otak Otak (Nyonya Fish Custard)


The tunnel from the lake looking out.  Missy said it reminds her of a scene in Train To Busan.

This hidden gem makes a nice photography setting and those who are looking for some back-to-nature experience.

The Nine Emperor God’s Festival began on 1st October, 2016 (first day of the nine month in the Lunar calendar).  This festival will be held for 9 days.  We went back to Ipoh for a day trip on Sunday to celebrate this festival.  We left KL rather early and arrived at around 9.30am.  We went to the Tow Boo Kong temple in Pasir Putih, which we have been doing for many years. The temple was full of people even at that hour.  The smoke from the joss sticks were quite overwhelming.  Luckily we managed to find a space inside the temple to lay down the tortoise steamed buns which we bought for prayers.  We were done praying in about 30 minutes.  Below are some of the photos taken of popular tortoise shaped steamed buns being sold at the stalls lining outside the temple.


The giant tortoise bun which some people would buy to offer thanks to the Nine Emperor Gods.


These are my favourite fluffy lotus paste buns that are shaped like a plum (sau toh).  My family would only buy these steamed buns from a specific stall outside the temple.  They are known for their soft and delicious buns.  We have been buying from the same stall since I was a kid.


Another type of steamed buns which have a different texture.


Little pink and yellow tortoises


Medium size tortoise shaped buns

Right now there is a promotion going on for Wonda Coffee at 7-11. You can buy a can for RM1.  What a good deal eh?  Without hesitation,  I went to 7-11 to stock up.  Guess how many I bought?


My favorite flavors are Original and Kopi Tarik (Pull Coffee).   Are you a fan?

The weekend whizzed by so quickly.  Before I have a chance to sit down and relax, lo and behold,  it’s the start of another week.  Saturday and Sunday are usually busier than weekdays for me.  I really need a 3-day weekend.   Here is hoping that you will have a good week ahead.


Aren’t the above cute?  They are the Happy Cartoon Pao (steamed buns) from Ipoh.    Check them out here if you would like to order the cute paos for birthday parties or as door gifts.

When you have a husband who is still a kid inside, you will find toys like these around the house. These figurines are all over my house.  It does drive me crazy when I have to wipe the dust on the cupboards and tv stand. There are actually more toys inside the store room, brand new inside the boxes, unopened.


School break is over.  A week went by so quickly which is good because going to school would keep missy busy.  We did not go out of town during this one week except for a one day road trip to Jeram which is near Kuala Selangor to check out a new resort.  Missy went to play at her friend’s house and they had loads of fun chatting and checking out her friend’s new squier 51 guitar.  The tweens are so into music now and they know every song that’s playing on the radio.

As she and daddy love visiting the zoo, we decided to check out Zoo Negara on Saturday, together with our friend and her 3 kids.  The last time we were there was missy was 6 years old.  Ticket prices have increased to rm44 for adult and rm16 for children.  The fee includes the entrance fee to the Panda Conservation Centre.  We were pleasantly surprised to see some upgrading works being carried out at the entrance to beautify the zoo.


However, once we were inside, our joy turned to dismay.  The animals look sad and dirty in their small ‘cages’.  Some of the animals seemed lifeless, probably due to the heat and also the small space.  Some have skin problem too.  The sea lion show was a let-down. The birds and the bear cat (binturung) segments are still the same, just like what we saw 6 years ago. The live show was conducted in Bahasa Malaysia only and I wonder if the foreign visitors understand at all what was being transpired during the show.  The reptile area was closed as they are doing some upgrading works.  The kids were not happy.

The only highlight was the pandas.  The daddy, mommy and baby pandas are very cute.  They really enjoy their lives in the airconditioned center by eating imported bamboo, playing and sleeping all day.


Nevertheless, the kids had a great time eventhough it was 35 degree Celsius that day.  We left at around 1.30pm without even visiting the lions and the elephants as it was too hot.


I don’t think we would go back to visit Zoo Negara for a few years to come.  Taiping Zoo and Melaka Zoo are better choices if you plan to bring your kids to see the animals.

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