Sunday, August 28, 2011

Time Out KL Mixology Workshop @ The View Rooftop Bar, G Tower

I have won a cocktail workshop for 2 from @TimeOutKL. It was held at The View Rooftop Bar at G Tower. So, I brought Ryan along and we had a great time. The venue was awesome. It's definitely a nice place to chill.

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Waiting for the workshop to start

The workshop started at 3pm. As we walked in, there was a strong smell of alcohol in the room. For those who can't take alcohol, I can assure you he/she will definitely faint from breathing in those fumes. =D

This workshop taught us how to make 4 kinds of cocktail with tequila. It's fantastic because I like tequila. The tequila that we used is 1800 Anejo which was aged in French Oak barrels for 3 years. 1800 Tequila is a brand of tequila owned by the Beckmann Family, who also own the Jose Cuervo brand. 1800 Tequila is a 100% Blue Agave Tequila and bottled in Jalisco, Mexico.

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Our working area

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Squeeze the lime

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Ben, the one who conducted the workshop

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Margarita

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El Diablo - This won us a prize for being the best tasting

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Mexican Julep

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Sangrita - We did not make this but the recipe was given to us
If you like Bloody Mary, you'll love this

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Our prizes

As you know, this was a cocktail workshop, definitely there was a lot of drinking during the process. I think most of us came out tipsy after the workshop. Haha! Well, I had fun.

Friday, August 26, 2011

100th Day

Ryan sent me flowers for our 1 month anniversary.

I did the same for our 100th day. I got the flowers sent to his office. This probably surprised him. Lol!


Photographed by Ryan Chew

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My mother used to call my mobile if I am not home by a certain hour. She hasn't done that for some time now. So, I asked her one day.

"Hey Ma, how come you don't call me anymore?"

And her reply:

"I can check my Facebook to see where you are."

LOL! So clever! Well, I usually post pictures on facebook from Instagram.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Salty tap water in Bali

Now that explains why the tap water in Hard Rock Hotel Bali is salty. I just came across this news article here.

Denpasar, south Bali to face water shortages
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 08/20/2011 9:26 AM

A scientist says Denpasar and parts of south Bali will suffer from clean water shortages in 2015.

"Aggressive" clean water use would exacerbate the shortages, which might top 2,500 liters a second by 2015, according to a 2009 Japan International Cooperation Agency study, KG Dharma Putra, the director of the Sustainable Development Studies Center at Udayana University, said on Saturday in Denpasar.

There were signs that Bali's southern areas were currently suffering water shortages, he said.

“Hotels in the area have been using underground water because of the limited supply from [local tap water utility] PDAM. So do about 10,000 new homes there, which also suffer from water shortages,” Dharma said as quoted by Antara.

“Latest observations on the condition of underground water in Sanur, Kuta, Benoa and Nusa Dua coasts show that the water already tastes salty. It indicates the intrusion of sea water,” he added.

Dharma called on the local administration act quickly.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

How did I overcome my hormonal acne

Hormonal acne is a pain in the ass. How did I deal with it? Read on.

In 2007, I had a horrible breakout. It was so bad even my mother could not recognized me. I was given a nickname, "Pizza Face" by the ex-boyfriend. My ex-boss asked me if I had measles. My ex-colleagues pitied me. Yes, it was that serious.

My gynecologist told me that my hormones wasn't balanced. He prescribed me Diane 35 and my acne cleared up. I was on it until 2009. As you know, Diane 35 is actually a contraceptive pill. So, I figured I couldn't take the pill for long-term and I wanted to regulate my hormone naturally.

6 months after I stopped the pill, my acne came back but it wasn't as bad as before.

I tried so many products to counter that problem. One day, I just gave up trying. I actually used my body shower for my face. Of course, the body shower that I used is so gentle that I can use it for the face as well. It is called Cetaphil! It is pricey but highly recommended. Come to think of it now, I actually don't have to buy a facial cleanser. So much money saved there!

Cetaphil
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

So besides Cetaphil, I used Nizoral Anti-Dandruff shampoo on my face daily. The active ingredient which is Ketacanozole is actually an anti-androgen; and androgen is the culprit that cause these pimples. Well, I was using it for 4 weeks and my face was less oily and my pimples started to clear up and dry up. There weren't many new ones either. I only had to go for facial to extract all the oil seeds.

Nizoral
Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Ok, so how do you use Nizoral? Initially, just lather on affected area once a day. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then rinse off. When condition gets better, just use it once or twice a week. I'm still using it now for maintenance. It works for body acne as well such as chest and back acne. Oh, please avoid the eye area. It hurts like hell when it gets into the eyes.

So, it's only Cetaphil and Nizoral? No, that's not only it. I also applied fresh aloe vera on my face every night before bed. It's good for inflamed skin and acne scars. So how do you do this? Watch the video below.



I actually store the unused aloe in the refrigerator. That is because I think the weather in Malaysia is so hot and humid and therefore, it is not suitable to store the aloe in room temperature. So, where do you get these fresh aloe? You can get them from any nursery that sells aloe vera plant. I have a plant in my garden now just in case. You'll never know!

Again, that's not all! I also went for acupuncture. I read some success stories from people with the same condition who went for acupuncture. So, I did my research, went to this place in Taman Mayang and told him my problem. He took my pulse and he inserted a few needles here and there and I just laid there for 30 minutes. He also prescribed me some Chinese medicine. I think the acupuncture did help with the acne. It balanced up the yin and yang in my body. I went at least twice a week for 2-3 weeks in a row. I also did cupping once and that was it.

As for my diet, I tried to avoid seafood as much as I can. I tried not to eat processed food. Most importantly, I ate a lot of vegetables and fruits. The results were amazing. I was healing so fast.

I went for IPL for the acne scars. My face is clear for a few months now that no one believed that I actually went through such horrible breakout before. Well, I do get blemishes every now and then especially when I'm nearing the time of the month. It sounded like I went through a lot to overcome this but I'm glad it's over. At least I now know how and what to do if I do get such outbreak again. See, now you know my secret but I'm happy to share. :)

I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep.
That's deep enough. What do you want--an adorable pancreas?
- Jean Kerr -

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Art of Natural Navigation

This is a really cool tip and article from Lonely Planet. Click here to read the article.

These tips are written from a northern hemisphere perspective – many directions can be reversed for the southern hemisphere – eg, when the sun is at its highest in the southern hemisphere sky it’s due north. These tips are just for interest. Please navigate responsibly!

Sun
When the sun is at its highest in the sky, it is due south – in simple terms, the sun is south at lunchtime. Yet it doesn’t rise and set in the same place throughout the year. It rises in the northeast in midsummer and the southeast in midwinter. That’s a huge difference. It’s amazing how few people know that. It’s due to the north pole being tilted towards the sun in summer and away from it in winter.

Rocks
Even on a completely overcast day, the sun’s light and heat still reach us. As the sun comes from the south in the middle of the day, it will heat up one side of a large rock much more than the other. So even if you can’t tell where the sun is in the sky, you can deduce it by feeling a rock. The warmer side is likely to be the southern side.

Puddles
In nature, things get wet, then dry again, all the time. Yet not in an even way. In the middle of the day – when most of the drying is happening, remember – the sun is in the south. Anything on the northern side of something that casts a shadow – like a hedge – will stay wet longer. So, puddles will be left along the northern side of a raised east-west path, while drying out on the southern side.

Trees
Wind direction is not random: there are patterns. In Britain, the prevailing wind comes from the southwest. So, the extremities of trees appear ‘combed’ from the southwest to the northeast. You can see it clearest on trees at the top of hills in the countryside.

Satellite dishes
These point to geostationary satellites which stay over the same point on the Earth’s surface. In Britain, we have a dominant broadcasting company, so nearly all our dishes are pointing in the same direction. Depending on where you are, it will be between southeast and south-southeast.

Moon
When the moon is reasonably high in the sky, and it’s a crescent moon, if you join the two horns of the moon together and extend the line down to the horizon, you’ll be looking roughly south. It takes two seconds and, while it’s not as accurate as referring to the north star, if you’re really disorientated it is a big help.

Monday, August 15, 2011

4 Course Dinner for 2 @ Hadramawt Arabic Restaurant for 65% Off

I bought this dinner voucher here.

I called the restaurant to reserve a table for last Saturday, 4 pax at 8.30pm. When we got there, the guy at the counter took our vouchers. We then proceeded to the first floor. They didn't actually reserve a table for us. We just went up and picked our seat. Although the waiter was polite but I think they were quite understaffed that night. We were seated for quite a while until someone came to take our order. If it was not because of MyDeal voucher, we could have walked off already. Service was very slow. They served our main dish after 45 minutes of waiting.

For a start, we had Arabic Salad.

Arabic Salad @ Hadramawt Arabic Restaurant
Arabic Salad

You know what? I just realised that they didn't serve us the starter, Mixed Vegetable Platter as mentioned on MyDeal. Geez.

As for our main dish, we had a choice of Chicken Kabsa or Lamb Kabsa. Again, I just realised that they didn't tell us about BBQ Shish Tawab Chicken or Lamb Kebab as mentioned on MyDeal. Ugh.

Lamb Kabsa @ Hadramawt Arabic Restaurant
Lamb Kabsa

Ryan chose Chicken Kabsa for his main. Unfortunately, the chicken was cold and there was a big chunk of feather on the skin. Such a turn off. Well, I think the Lamb Kabsa was quite good actually.

As for dessert, we got Baklava. Again, we weren't told that we have a choice of Baklava or Basbousa as mentioned on MyDeal. Fail.

For drinks, I had Vimto and Ryan had Iced Lemon Tea. I don't like Vimto. It's too sweet for my taste.

Overall dining experience in Hadramawt, I'll give it a 2/5 rating.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Egg rice

Something my mother used to make for my brother and myself when we were kids.

...
1. Beat eggs with soy sauce and pepper.
2. Pour the mixture over steamed or cooked rice and mix thoroughly before serving.

Should eat this while it is still hot.

Wendy said it is yummy if you add a few drops of sesame oil in the eggs.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A simple dish for dinner

My crock pot beef stew turned out alright but I think I should cut down on the flour because I like it a little more watery.

...
1. Marinade the beef with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
2. Cut carrots, potatoes and onions.
3. Place all of the above ingredients in the crock pot.
4. Pour a can of baked beans in tomato sauce over them in the crock pot.
5. Pour half a can of beef broth into the crock pot and mix.
6. Turn on the crock pot at low for 6-10 hours.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Google Adsense

Geez! Google Adsense had to make it so hard for me.

I used to have a Google Adsense account long ago somewhere in 2006 when I had my online store. I registered under a hotmail account. I didn't care much about it anyway until recently. I logged into my Adsense account and I was asked to use a Google account. So I transferred my hotmail account to my google account X. It went well but I found out the payee name is not my full name. From all the googling and readings, I found out that I am not allowed to edit my payee name because my account was registered under Malaysia. The only way is to close the account and register a new one.

Closing Adsense account is also a hassle. I had to answer two security questions which is what is the first day/date of my page impressions and how many numbers of page impressions. So after all the googling and readings, I got my date and the number. So glad I got it and I thought I have successfully closed the account but noooooooo. They emailed me saying that I have a balance in my account which was still on hold. They gave me another link to close the account if I am willing to forgo the balance. So, I did and it was successful! Bear in mind, once you close an account, you are not allowed to use the same google account (in my case, which is google account X) to register.

So, to register a new account, I used google account Y. I just received an email from Google Adsense as follow:

Thank you for your interest in Google AdSense. Unfortunately, after reviewing your application, we're unable to accept you into Google AdSense at this time.

We did not approve your application for the reasons listed below.

Issues:

- Page Type

---------------------

Further detail:

Page type: Your website is a type of website that we do not currently accept into our programme. Such websites include, but are not limited to, chat sites, sites that drive traffic through cybersquatting, and sites that use excessive keywords in the content or code of their pages.

---------------------

For a complete list of AdSense criteria, please visit:

https://www.google.com/adsense/policies?hl=en_GB

https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms?rc=MY&ce=1&hl=en_GB

To update and resubmit your application, please visit https://www.google.com/adsense?hl=en_GB and sign in using the email address and password that you submitted with your application. Our specialists will review your account for compliance with our programme policies, so please make sure to resolve all the issues listed above before resubmitting.

Yours sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

Bugger! Okay Google Adsense, I give up on you. :(

New Look

I revamped my blog!

I realised that I was way behind and I wasn't making full use of the new blogger template designer which is so much more cooler and user-friendlier. I have been using the HTML editor for way too long. I felt like one of those old people who sticks to the old ways and refuse to accept new changes and ideas. This is actually a crime for me as a software consultant because in my line of work, I have to constantly keep myself up to date with the latest versions and what's new. So, I should keep myself updated as well in my personal life.

I just love my twitter and instagram feeds on my sidebar now.

Oh, I'm no longer blogging anonymously as well. So, it's back to the way it was as before. No point hiding anyway. My blog still appears in the google search result for "Joyce Tan" even if I change it and I don't know why. Lol!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I just made myself a light dinner

Ochazuke with Salmon Flakes - Ok, I know this is cheating because the ocha and salmon is pre-packed but hey, I steamed the rice and I boiled water! ;) It's DELICIOUS!


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...

Monday, August 08, 2011

Today, I cooked steam triple egg (三黄蛋), busy day chicken and stir-fry lil' Bok Choy with oyster sauce.

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Steam Triple egg (三黄蛋) - Serves 2
My late grandmother taught me how to cook this many years ago. It was perfect the first time I cooked it. Then, I tried to cook this last week and I failed. Since I couldn't refer to my grandmother anymore, I have to refresh my memory by googling around and I found my mistake. Well, it turned out okay this time except that I think I over-steamed it.

Ingredients
3 eggs
1 century egg white cut into small pieces
1 salted egg yolk cut into small pieces

1. Beat the 3 eggs in a bowl. Add in water in a ratio 2:1 (water:egg). I usually use the egg shells as the measurement for the water for more accuracy. Beat the eggs with the water. Leave it for a few minutes for the bubbles to settle.
2. Place the century egg white and the salted egg yolk evenly on an empty deep edge plate.
3. Pour the beaten eggs into the empty deep edge plate. Add a bit of oil.
4. Steam the egg on low fire.

Busy Day Chicken
This is a recipe I found on my phone's recipe app with barbecue sauce but I changed it. It turned out super salty. I'm actually still at the trial and error stage to get the ingredients measurement right.

1. Marinade the chicken with salt, some soy sauce and few drops of sesame oil.
2. Place chicken in the slow cooker. Throw in some dried red dates, gouji, dong quai and some shaoxing wine.
3. Cook the chicken in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.


I marinade the chicken the night before and place it in the refrigerator. The next morning, I just throw everything into the slow cooker before I go to work. When I get home from work, it is ready to be eaten. That is why it is called Busy Day Chicken. Genius, huh?

Stir-fry lil' Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce
1. Heat oil in a wok.
2. Throw in the minced garlic.
3. When garlic turns brown, throw in the bok choy.
4. Stir-fry with oyster sauce and some salt.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Dad and I was exchanging SMSes.

Dad: Leaving Paris for London now. Everything ok?

Me: Yes ok. Garden water fountain not flowing out from the hole but it's flowing behind it. Is that ok?

Dad: The pump is clogged. Do a simple backwash. First switch off the pump. Then dislodge PVC pipe that connects the upflow. Then use garden hose to backwash the pump. Reconnect the pipe and run the pump.

So, I did as per his instructions. A few minutes later, I text him.

Me: It is working. I feel so smart now.

Dad: Good and that's because you got my genes. Haha.
I always get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside each time I see a man with his baby girl. Whether he is carrying her, feeding her, holding her hands or changing her diaper. I don't know why but it gives me the "awwwwwww" effect.

It is also amusing to see the expressions on their face. The funniest one is the "I am seriously clueless and I don't know what I'm doing but I'm trying my best to take care of my baby girl" look. Lol!

I was in Midvalley earlier and there was this man who was walking in front of me. Well, he actually cut into my path to get on the escalator. I was annoyed at first but when he turned back and reached his hands to his daughter who was behind me and led her to his side, I was like "awwwww". That got me thinking of my dad and I miss him now. :)

P/S: Ok, Colin, now you know why I miss daddy. :)

Tanjong Beach Bar
Awwww

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