Monday, September 19, 2011

Food: Mini Durian @ Sumptuous Desserts

Cute, Fluffy & Yummy!

Date: 16 September 2011

 

My lil bro, Am had once introduced me to these tiny "fake" durians. I call it "durian palsu". The truth is, it was not exactly 100% fake. To me, the dessert was very unique and creative. One day, just out of the blue, I wanted them!! Can I blame it on pregnancy cravings or nafsu liar?

So Am went to Mid Valley to buy some for his demanding sister. He said it costs RM10 for 1 pack!! Me + the whoooole family digged in and in seconds, none was left! Of course it can't beat the real thing... but it was nearly as good!

It looks soooo fluffy!

The tiny durians were made up of 3 layers: The outer layer from flour (I think), a layer of creame, and a layer of real durian. So in terms of percentage, it is only about 70% fake, hehe.

After 1 bite, paused for photo - Can you see the 30% real durian?

I have never personally went to Sumptuous Desserts so maybe one day, I'll look for it at Mid Valley to try other mini "fake" fruits!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

IELTS Test at British Council KL

Date: 17 September 2011
Venue:
British Council
Kuala Lumpur Center
Wisma Selangor Dredging
142C Jalan Ampang
50450 KL
(In front of KLCC)


Hasben and I sat for our IELTS exam today! After days of preparation, our English language proficiencies are finally put to test. It was very nerve wrecking... we were unable to sleep even at 2 AM last night!

Placement Test

In July 2011, we took a placement test to determine our English language level. This test result is required if we want to join the English classes conducted by British Council. The placement test cost RM100 and is conducted 2-3 days weekly. We were tested on:

1) Grammar
2) Vocabulary
3) Reading/Comprehension
4) Speaking

However, when we got our results, Hasben decided that he was confident enough to study on his own instead of enrolling into the classes.

IELTS Test

Today we woke up early to make sure that we arrived on time. The registration time is from 8AM-8.45AM. After 8.45AM, no one will be allowed to enter the examination room. It is also important to confirm your exam venue, it will be either in the British Council building or Corus Hotel, 5 minutes walk from Wisma Dredging. Imagine if we were late?? The cost for IELTS registration is RM570! I can't imagine saying goodbye to such a huge sum of money as it will not be refunded!

Some heads up!

At 8.45AM sharp, the test starts. The format is as follows:

1) Listening Test - 40 minutes (speakers are used, not headphones)
2) Reading Test - 60 minutes
3) Writing Test - 60 minutes.

Nothing was allowed inside the exam room - no phones, stationaries, calculators, pennies, wallets. All valuables will be kept inside a safety box. On the test table: A pencil, an eraser, our test ID number, and our speaking test time. IC/passport is the only thing allowed inside the hall together with 1 drinking bottle.

Lunch time! My energy level is zero!

We finished our exams at 12.00 PM and went straight for lunch at Subway, located next to the British Council HQ. I was so starving! Speaking tests start at 1 PM the same day. I was scheduled for 2.20 PM while Hasben was scheduled at 5 PM. We practiced speaking so much until it was exhausting to even think of 1 English word, hihi!

"Selamat maju jaya!" Hasben registering for his speaking test.

IELTS Speaking Test

1) Test 1 - 5 minutes max: We were required to talk about ourselves. However, the examiner will guide us by asking questions so we were not required to speak non-stop for the whole 5 minutes.
2) Test 2 - 1 minute for jotting down notes, 2 minutes test: This time the examiner will keep silent for the whole 2 minutes. I finished my point in less than 2 minutes and ended up being awkwardy quiet!! A piece of advice: Write down as many points as possible and let the examiner stop you when the time is up.
3) Test 3 - 5 minutes max: General questions related to Test 2. The examiner will also guide us with many follow up questions so there is no need to talk for 5 minutes straight.

Aaaahhh~ I am glad that is over! The result will be out on 30th September 2011, 2 weeks from now at 9 AM onwards... Wish us luck! To retrieve the results, we will need to bring our original IC/passport. If you require someone to retrieve the result for you, do request for a "On-behalf Form". You can also request for the result to be posted to your home address. These requests must be done on the test day. To view your result online, visit www.britishcouncil.org.my on the specified that and time.

Us - feeling exhausted and can't wait to go home!

Hope my experience can help future IELTS candidates to prepare for THE day!

Good Luck to all of us!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book: The Brightest Star In The Sky

Author: Marian Keyes


Honestly, this is a very mysterious story . The first half of it was a bit slow paced for me. However, it became more and more interesting - I just couldn't put the book down! Very creative from Ms Keyes. A bit different from her other books.

My Synopsis:

66 Star Street, a flat in Dublin, home to couples, flatmates, and singletons. The neighbours did not mingle much with each other and minded their own businesses. One day, a special visitor came to 66 Star Street with a mission. It follows the lives of each occupant, analyzing them in order for it to make an important decision. No one can see this visitor but it has the ability to dive into their past memories and current thoughts. We follow the lives of:

1) Katie and her boyfriend Conall - Early 40s singletons finding love.
2) Matt and Maeve - A lovely couple with a very peculiar relationship.
3) Lydia and her Polish flatmates, Jan and Andrei - Having to tolerate each other's annoying habits.
4) Jemima, the sweet but wise old lady, her dog Grudge, and her playboy adopted son, Fionn.

through the eyes of this mysterious entity.

One word to describe this book:
Extraordinary!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Preloved Enterprise at Ramadhan Charity Bazar

My First Business Stall - Just for Fun!~

Date: 24 August 2011

Setting up our booth.

A Ramadhan Charity Bazar was conducted in KIPC, my workplace. Me, Sally, Kak Eja and Kak Yam joint venture to open our own booth, selling all sorts of things. Kak Yam was very successful in selling her mother's home made perfumes and some gorgeous brooches! Kak Eja, a professional business lady, was selling scarves and blouses. Me and Sally? We were the proud owners of Preloved Enterprise - selling our preloved items. I have always loved shopping and was very interested to be on the other side of the cash machine - not that we had any cash machines, hihi...

My so called "cash machine"

It was great fun but a bit tiring calling out to potential customers, who were mostly our officemates (I know, not so challenging). We sold a few items with ridiculously low prices. Some of them:

Sally's gorgeous clothes: RM2!!
My radio cassette player: RM5!!
Kak Yam's accesories: RM1!!

Ummi shopping for Raya

Great bargain right? The important thing was, the payment for the booth rent goes straight to charity so there was no such thing as lost - because the orphans had already gained. [^u^]Y

Donation giving ceromony to Permata Camar
Wakaf certificate

Anyone interested to donate to this orphanage, visit their website at http://www.nadwahpahang.org.my/.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hotel: Concorde, Shah Alam

Date: 16 August 2011


Both me and Hasben (actually, I dragged Hasben to join) were nomintaed to attend a self motivation training at Concorde Hotel, Shah Alam. My first thought was: "I must be a really demotivated person to be nominated by HR". My second thought was: "What the heck! Let's travel and explore Shah Alam for free, wehooo!" (It is really easy for me to be motivated, I like free things! =p)

Anyways, Concorde Shah Alam is easy to find. It is quite close to the famous Blue Mosque. The room was okay, a typical setup. But the bed was huge!


I did not like the bathroom though, it had this pee-ful smell. The toilet was old fashioned - no pipe for washing a.k.a istinjak (ewah!). As Malaysians are not use to tissue wiping, you can imagine the hardship of washing oneself with the little glass provided.


Small TV... Hihi...



The best part was the view from my room! The Blue Mosque - the largest mosque in Malaysia!

Day time view 
Night time view

Participants of the program were treated for break fast. There were many choices of food but I was very dissapointed with the roasted lamb! It was a bit hard to chew... hmmph! However, that did not stop me from having a few plates of high-cholestrole lamb dishes!


Breaking fast at Concorde Shah Alam

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lapar Sihat, Kenyang Kronik

A Date With Ustaz Zamri~

Date: 10 August 2011


"Apa dia adik-adik?" "ZAKAT!!" Such an adorable show. When I heard that Ustaz Zamri was coming to Kerteh for Forum Ramadhan, I was excited! He is practically a celebrity!

The panel of ustazs.

The forum was really good. The panels discussed on the advantages of Ramadhan and fasting in terms of spiritual and medical benefits. Half way through the forum, I had to attend a meeting, crappy! So below were a few points that I was able to capture.

 
 
Before the meeting, I won myself a book for answering correctly a quiz question... Yeah!

Signed autograph from Ustaz Zamri... another Yeahh!!

How some Muslims nowadays percieve the fasting month:

1) A month of hunger and thirst.
They will only concentrate on eating as much as possible during sahur, and neglect ibadah.

2) A transition month to Eid Fitr
They will buy new clothes, curtains, sell Raya cookies and biscuits as a preparation for Eid celebration.

3) A month to gain economically
They pre-booked Bazar Ramadhan site for business, even before Ramadhan.

Spiritual Advantages of Ramadhan

1) 70x pahala for each good deed.
2) Lailatul Qadar - a night equals to a thousand months. Allah hides this night on the last week of Ramadhan for the sincere Muslims to find.

1/3 of Ramadhan: A week for rahmat. Nearly all Muslims go to mosque for Tarawikh.
2/3 of Ramadhan: A week of forgiveness. Allah filters His servants, lesser Muslims go to Tarawikh to obtain His forgiveness.
3/3 of Ramadhan: A week to be saved from hell. Allah further filters His servants. Only the chosen one will have the sincerity to recieve this blessing.

3) The fasting breath of a Muslim smells of kasturi in the sight of Allah.
4) Allah opens widely the doors of heavens and closess all doors of hells.

Health benefits of fasting:

Healthy eating shall be as optimum as possible, not minimised. Meals eaten will only by fully digested after 5 hours. During other months, we usually eat up to 6 meals per day - breakfast, morning break, lunch, tea break, dinner and supper. The stomach never stops diesting due to overlap of meals. The only time the stomach rests is during our sleep, for about 3 hours. During Ramadhan, our stomach will take the opportunity for cleansing of ammonia (ammonia intoxication), cholestrole, and heal any wound in the stomach.

Rasulullah SAW's diet:
Eat before hungry, stop before full.

Rasulullah SAW break fast routine:

1) Once azan Maghrib, eat 3 dates and drink plain water
2) Perform Maghrib prayer
3) Read 1 juzuk of Quran
4) Go to mosque to perform Isyak and Tarawikh prayers
5) Return home for dinner.

Mantopp!
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