photo slideshow

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Sweet Indulgence: Say Cheese with Anchor

Anchor is no stranger to households in Malaysia; I daresay we've all had a bite of Anchor Cream Cheese spread on bread, toast, crackers or even straight from the jar at some point! So when I heard they were creating a new line of desserts, I knew I had to try them out!


Three signature desserts were created by Fonterra's own in-house patisserie chefs using Anchor Cream Cheese, as well as other Anchor products such as Anchor Cream, Anchor Butter and Anchor Cheese Slices to give them divine creamy goodness, and are available in Port View Euro Bakery in Kota Kinabalu until the end of January 2016. Hopefully, they will gift us three more creations after that! 

Kaien Chizu Tart
A sea salt cream tart with a rich cream cheese filling, topped with melted sliced cheese. When they say "rich", they really mean it! I loved this, but I might suggest cutting it into quarters and sharing with a friend.

Winter Magma
A melt-in-your-mouth chocolate souffle, with a divine cream cheese centre. Chocolate lovers, this will be your fave!

Karui Snow Cake
This petit vanilla chiffon cake is fruity and fresh, light and delicate with mango passion cream cheese filling, and topped with a buttery almond crumble. I think this one might very well have been my favourite!


There are three Euro Bakery branches in KK, one right opposite Suria Sabah, one in Inanam, and the other in Damai, which is the one I went to. If you wanna try out these scrummy desserts, you have 10 days, and counting! Good luck!

(Needs to go) On A Diet,
Calista xx

Friday, 8 January 2016

Roadtrippin': Attractions from Kota Kinabalu through Sandakan

Sandakan is definitely a favourite home away from home for Sabahans who live anywhere but, of course, Sandakan. Known as "Little Hong Kong" since it was here that many early Chinese settlers landed from Hong Kong, it is also known as "Food Heaven" because OH MY GOD.

Charlotte and I went on a short 2 day 1 night road trip with one goal in mind: Seafood Bak Kut Teh! From KK city, it's about a 5 - 6 hour drive through Tamparuli, Kundasang, Ranau and Telupid, before you reach the junction to Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Tawau. Along the way are the most beautiful roads, and Char's favourite bridge over Kinabatangan River!

Tourist Attractions: 

Tamparuli -
Rumah Terbalik a.k.a. Upside Down House
Tamparuli Suspension Bridge over Kiulu river
Zip Borneo: Zipline across Kiulu river
Kundasang -
Sinalau Bakas on the way up to Kundasang
Best view of Mount Kinabalu peaks
View of Mount Kinabalu from Kundasang National ParkDuring photo shoot for Tourism Malaysia
and of course, the best weather in Sabah!

Ranau - Desa Cow Farm,
Poring Hot Springs
During photo shoot for Tourism Malaysia
Sabah Tea Gardens
During photo shoot for Tourism Malaysia
We stayed in Four Points by Sheraton, which is situated right in the middle of town on the harbour, and gifts you with an obstructed view of Sandakan Bay and the islands beyond. If you haven't guessed by my other posts, I LOVE sea views!
Four Points by Sheraton
Upon arriving in Sandakan, we were starving so we dropped by Brew Cottage at Prima Square for a quick bite before continuing another 4 miles into town for a tour of the hotel.
Our room - Deluxe Seaview
The bathroom
Definition of a picturesque view
Executive Suite
Infinity Pool
Gym
Wrapped Bakery
The Best Brew Bar
Club Lounge
As we were craving local food, we only had one meal at The Eatery @ Four Points, and that was a beautiful breakfast spread with the best view, which Char and I took full advantage of! Hey, how could we not selfie in this gorgeous light?

Where to go in Sandakan?
1. Agnes Keith House
2. Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple
3. St. Michael's Church
4. Sepilok
    5. Selingan Island a.k.a. Turtle Island ParkDuring photo shoot for Tourism Malaysia
    6. Rainforest Discovery Centre
    During photo shoot for Tourism Malaysia
What to eat in Sandakan?
  1. Breakfast & Lunch:
    Buffet at The Eatery, Four Points by Sheraton
    皮蛋水饺,fish noodles, 5 spice pork noodles @ central market
  2. Hi Tea:
    Ba Lin Rooftop Cafe @ Nak Hotel - great for photos!
    UFO tarts
    English Tea House
  3. Dinner:
    Seafood Bak Kut Teh
    Seafood
  4. Dessert: 7 Heaven @ Mile 4, Cloud 9 @ IJM
The Good: Four Points by Sheraton is under the Starwood group, so just like Le Meridien, they have
                    the most amazing beds! I'm not kidding, these I would take a staycation just to spend all
                    day wrapped in their beds haha. The infinity pool has a view of heaven, and the location
                    is perfect for both business and leisure.


The Could-Be-Better: The variety of the food at the breakfast buffet could be wider, but that's all
                                       really!

For those who would like a quiet holiday, do try to avoid school holidays as Four Points is a family favourite. I would love to go back during low season and try capture that gorgeous sunset over the South China Sea..

Roadtrippin' Madness,
Calista xx

*Four Point by Sheraton photos by Charlotte Fong. For more amazing images, check out her Instagram HERE!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

More Than Just Good Sushi: Sushi Tei, Kota Kinabalu

Japanese food: Almost everyone I know loves it. 

For the adventurous. 
For those watching their weight.
For the wasabi kick.

Whether it’s the salmon salads, the rice bowls (don), sashimi, or sushi, going out for Japanese is always a popular dinner suggestion when it comes to special occasions, or even just girls night out! Everyone usually has a favourite restaurant, but here in KK, Sushi Tei seems to be one of the most popular choices - and it’s not hard to see why!
Salmon Sashimi  RM13.80 / 3pcs
I’m usually pretty boring when it comes to food, always opting for the usual dishes: Teriyaki steak. Garlic fried rice. Gyuniku don. Tamago sushi. Inari. Salmon maki. All safe choices as you can see! So when Sushi Tei invited me to try out their latest promotion menu, I was both excited and anxious; what if they feed me somethings weird like jellyfish? Yes I know about 98% of my friends love jellyfish but it’s just not for me! 
Halibut Curry Ramen  RM21.80
I was pleasantly surprised to see Mr Lo had ordered a lot of choices for me to try, and I’m happy to say I liked all of them - no lie! Having said that, my favourite would definitely be the Halibut Curry Ramen topped with flatfish fillet and fried winter melon, and the Hamachi Kama Shio, which is yellow tail cheek grilled with salt - to die for! Of course, salmon sashimi is also a no-brainer when it’s so juicy and fresh!
Hamachi Kama Shio  RM52.80
Now with 30% discount at Sushi Tei Oceanus KK
Hamachi sashimi is the dual coloured fish, so if you are ordering sashimi and wanna try something new, try this. It's definitely on my list next meal!
Kawara Charcoal Soba  RM19.80
If you prefer non-spicy Soba, just request to omit the radish. I liked this, but it was a bit spicy for my palette. These are the well-known "cold noodles", so definitely get around to trying some!

 This salmon skin maki tastes as good as it looks, and this is one pretty sushi platter!
Autumn Salmon Skin Roll  RM6.80
Limited Promotion Item
Salmon Head (Half) Shio  RM20.80
Get 20% off at both Suria Sabah and Oceanus Outlets
Finishing off with pure matcha ice cream was literally the cherry on the cake: those are little green chunks of heaven - trust me on this one! 
Nama Matcha Ice Cream  RM16.80
With two outlets in Kota Kinabalu, Sushi Tei not only provides great food, they also create great ambience, with both outlets overlooking the South China Sea. The first outlet is in Suria Sabah; right on the corner, in one of the most well-loved malls in town, while the newest one has a breathtaking view of the sunset, in KK’s latest Oceanus Mall.

The Autumn Indulgence menu will be available until Chinese New Year 2016, while you can also receive a 20% discount off the salmon head in both outlets, and 30% off the hamachi in the Oceanus branch. 

Even better news? Both Sushi Tei outlets in Kota Kinabalu have waived the 10% service charge - yay for savings! 

Til the next indulgence,
Calista xx

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Planning A Last Minute Trip Away This New Year?

The holidays are here, and it's the happiest time of year! I love that a week after Christmas, it's the new year, so there is so much celebrating, good food and parties. I would love to celebrate the new year in a different country, but I'm just not sure it will happen this time. If you are lucky enough to go on a last minute trip, here are the best tips for planning one. If you can go, why not?

Look for a Hotel Online

There are a variety of websites such as Agoda or booking.com that do last minute hotel deals. Often there are a certain number of rooms in big hotels, which are reserved for these kinds of sites. The hotels would rather have the room be used so if it is close enough to the time, you can grab a great deal. Hotels will usually be cheaper if you look slightly further out of the city or popular destinations. It often just means sitting on the train for a few more stops, but that can save you a great deal.

If this isn’t particularly your thing, though, maybe look at a house swap website. These tend to be quite cheap, or even free! A lot of people do travel during the holidays so there are likely to be a lot of vacancies. Try out couchsurfing, or AirBnB.

Research Your Destination

There may be one specific place that you have in mind, there may not. In December and January, you should consider the climate of the place you are visiting. Would you mind getting all wrapped up to spend time in Times Square in New York? Or would you rather party in warmer climates at a festival like Sunburn Goa? As you can tell by the name, it is going to be warm there!

You'll want to choose a destination that will have a lot going on, to make it a new year to remember. This does tend to be big cities. You could go for more unusual options, though, like choosing Chicago over New York, or Madrid instead of Paris.

new-years-eve-114011_960_720.jpg

Fly Off-Peak

Unless you want to be at your destination a few days before new year’s eve, consider flying on the actual new year’s eve or even new year’s day. As with flying on Christmas day, it is not the most popular time, so you can usually get a pretty good deal on a flight. You’d be amazed at the difference flying on 1st January compared to 2nd January can make.

Pack Light

As with any last minute trip, it is best to pack light. Sometimes the best thing to do is just go and see what happens. If you find that hard to do, then make a small list of what you think you’ll need to take. Just take the essentials, though. Remember to account for things like travel insurance. Something like that is a must!

Sometimes it is nice to avoid all of the crowds during a busy time like new year’s eve. It can make for a pretty memorable occasion though, if you spent it in Vegas or London. Sometimes I think if you can’t beat them, join them! 

Good luck and enjoy your trip,
Calista xx

*This post was contributed by a guest blogger

Thursday, 17 December 2015

What You Wish You Knew Before Visiting France

There is no doubt about it – France is amazing! For anyone that wants to experience a country that is full of unique attractions and glamor, France is the place. From the hotels and food to the sights and sounds, there are not too many countries that can boast a resume like France. Visiting the country should be on everyone’s bucket list, but before you book the plane tickets, there are a few things to consider first. Travelling is not easy, which is why you should take a look at the tips below.

Learn The Language

Okay, so maybe you won’t be able to learn the language before you jet off, but it is important that you learn a few words and phrases. The French are not enamoured with people who turn up and only speak English, so you might annoy a few people if you don’t put in the effort. There are even accounts of French people who speak English refusing because they think everyone should speak French! Whether that is true or not is not the point, the point is that they appreciate the effort, which will make your life a lot easier when you land.

There Is More To See Than Paris!

Yes, Paris is amazing, and yes you should head to Paris as soon as possible. Still, it is important to remember there is more than one city in the whole of France. In fact, there are a variety of cities and regions that are just as amazing. For example, there is the infamous Provence region that is home to Cannes and Nice. Or, there is the Pays-de-la-Loire region that boasts places such as Vendee and neighbouring Nantes. The best resorts in Vendee and Provence are among the highlights of the entire trip, so make sure you don’t miss out.


Rent A Car

If you are travelling around the entirety of the country, you should consider alternative forms of transport. The public transport facilities are good, and the trains will get you from one end of the country to the other. Plus, when you are there, the buses and the metro system will get you around town, too. However, driving a car is much more comfortable, for lots of reasons. For starters, you get to decide when you want to travel and don’t have to wait for a lift. Plus, you get lots more room, and you don’t have to share the car with one hundred strangers! Yes, driving in Paris and the bigger cities is frightening, but on the whole, it is quite easy and a much better option.

Hold Onto Your Personal Items

Unfortunately, there is a darker side of France that you need to be aware of before you start your journey. As it is a big place with lots of visitors each year, there are thieves that will target tourists. One light-fingered crook could ruin your entire holiday by clearing out your bank account and leaving you with no money. To prevent this from happening, always be aware of your personal items such as your wallet, credit cards and cash. If you have to, take a travel bag with locks and zips.

So pack your bags, get your camera ready, and set off to the City of Love!

Eiffel tower a-calling,
Calista xx

Friday, 27 November 2015

Unique Holiday Activities in Florida, USA

I'm always thinking of places I want to go and what would be the best things to do there. I think for a lot of people, America is at the top of the list for "dream holidays". Florida is a household name for people who have yet to step foot in America, so here are some tips on what to do if you're one of the lucky ones heading there soon!



Florida is a fabulous tourist destination with countless things to see and do. There is something for everyone, from world famous theme parks to white sandy beaches. But what if you want to experience something different that lets you see Florida from a new perspective? Again you’re spoilt for choice. Here are some of the best alternative holiday activities you can try out on your next adventure to Florida.

Head to an event

Florida is a hub of both large ans small scale events that are held throughout the year. These range from local Thanksgiving parades to huge sporting events. These events give you the chance to mingle with the locals and experience something new and exciting. Why not attend a gaming event held at Florida’s Magic the gathering stores? Or get closer to nature at Florida’s annual Manatee Festival? Check out the Amway centre's website to see if you can catch a live music show during your trip. There are so many possibilities and with so many options to choose from, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy!
Source
See a Space Launch

For an incredible one-off experience to make your trip extra special, witness a space launch. Florida’s Cape Canaveral have planned rocket launches for you to attend. You will probably have to get up super early for this showcase, but it will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. This is an activity that is truly unique and it will fill you with wonder and amazement. Take a packed lunch and grab a great spot to see the main event. After the launch, take a look at the other facilities available at Cape Canaveral. This activity gives an inspiring and eye-opening insight into the world of space travel.

Snorkelling

Snorkelling may not seem like a unique holiday activity, but Florida has some of the best snorkelling sites in the whole of North America. If you enjoy water sports, this is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss out on. Visit the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and take a snorkelling boat to visit different coral reef sites. These will be full of beautiful marine life that you won't see anywhere else in the world! If you would to prefer to remain on dry land, you also have the option of a glass bottom boat cruise. That way, you can still marvel at the wonders beneath the waves and enjoy a glass of champagne at the same time.

Take an airboat ride

These excursions are a great way of seeing Florida’s wildlife up close and in their natural habitats. The airboats can take you on an adventure to see alligators, eagles, manatees and so much more! These day trips will also give you the opportunity to see Florida’s astonishing wetlands. The guides will explain how the animals adapt to the extreme weather conditions, and some tours even offer you the chance to hold a real alligator for a souvenir photograph. If you’re an adventure seeker, this is the activity for you.

These activities and more are guaranteed to make your trip to Florida unique and truly memorable. Always remember to stay safe and have plenty of fun no matter what you choose to do with your time!

Planning my next trip,
Calista xx

*This post was contributed by a guest blogger.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Vanessa Hudgens Eat Your Heart Out: Create the Perfect Boho Look with these Tips

Image Source
The boho look is a great look for women who want to look pretty and cool, while staying comfortable and casual. It’s the perfect look for a festival or holiday, but you can make it work all year round too! These tips will help you to create the boho look yourself:

Invest in Different Pieces of Headgear

The boho look nearly always has something interesting going on head-wise, whether this is in the form of a flower crown, head chain, bandana, or something else entirely. Having different pieces of headgear to reach for will allow you to keep your looks varied and interesting. You don’t always need to wear something on your head, but it can make a boho look even better. It’s also a great idea for a special occasion!

Use Different Materials and Textures

Different materials and textures will make your look more three-dimensional. Play around with a handful of different fabrics, and use textures like fringing to add more oomph. The boho look is all about creating interest with materials and textures. By doing your clothes shopping online, you’ll find a ton of different textures that work for this look.

Channel a 60s/70s Vibe

Although not always essential, the boho look can sometimes be a great way to throwback to the 60s and 70s. Wear flared trousers, bell sleeves, and anything else that screams ‘boho!’ to you from these decades. Channel your inner hippy chick by looking at pictures and taking inspiration! You can even wear vintage pieces to help you channel the look you want. Just don’t dress head to toe in vintage, as you might end up looking a little fancy dress!

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Stick to Earthy Tones

The best boho looks are pretty much always created using earthy, natural tones. You should look for pieces in shades like blue, red, green, yellow, brown, and beige. Anything that has a really natural feel to it, and nothing bright or neon.

Layer Your Accessories

Layer your accessories to create an even better boho look. You should wear multiple necklaces and bangles, maybe even rings. The boho look always includes lots of different jewellery pieces layered in just the right way. Make sure you mix metals and materials here too, so that you create an even cooler look! Just don’t over accessorize, as you can look like you’re trying too hard.

Gladiator Sandals or Boots

Have you ever spotted a boho chick wearing trainers? I doubt it! Gladiator sandals or boots are the usual footwear for the boho style, so make sure you find some that you really like. Gladiator sandals are perfect for summer, and boots are great for other times of year. I just love incorporating cool items like gladiator sandals into my looks!

The more you put these tips into practice, the better you’ll get at channeling the perfect boho look. Vanessa Hudgens will have competition with you in town! Leave any of your own tips and thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you. Come back soon!

Live. Laugh. Love.
Calista xx

*This post was contributed by a guest blogger.