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Monday, 24 April 2017

Make Canada Your Next Relaxation Destination

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Known for its rugged mountain areas, beautiful wilderness, and largest coastline on the planet. If you’re the kind of traveller who prefers luxury and relaxation to camping and adventure activities, you could be forgiven for thinking that the country is not for you. However, there is much more to Canada than meets the eye, and you might be surprised to learn that Canada is home to some of the best spas in the world.
Image source
So, if you’re looking for your next relaxation destination, contact Canada eta and check out the following list of the best spas in Canada, to plan the perfect pampering trip right now:

The Willow Stream Spa, Alberta

Alberta is home to some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet, so you know that you’ve found a really great spa when you’d rather be relaxing inside than exploring what’s outdoors. The Willow Stream Spa is one such place. Situated in the Fairmont Banff Springs, this huge spa facility is home to three waterfall whirlpool, a European-style mineral pool, and a resting lounge complete with roaring fire, amongst other things.

Ste. Anne’s Spa, Ontario

If you’ve been to a lot of spas and you think that they can’t surprise you anymore, take a trip to the Ste. Anne’s Spa in Ontario and prepare to have your mind blown. Located in the little town of Grafton, this spa is impressive from the outset. Located in a rustic Canadian cottage, the ethos of Ste. Anne’s is to have fun. Unlike most of the spas you’ve been to where it's almost deadly quiet and the staff are Stoney faced, you’ll be greeted by smiling, laughing employees and guests, before you’re whisked away for reiki, hot stone massages, and fantastic facials.
Northern Lights Resort and Spa, Yukon

Located in the north of Canada, this spa might be a bit out of the way, but it is definitely worth making the journey because, once you’ve had your massage, you can relax in the outdoor Jacuzzi as you watch the aurora borealis light show above your head. That’s the kind of experience you will never forget.

Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain, Ontario

If you like to enjoy the scenery while you relax and undergo a much-deserved pampering session, the Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain is the place to be. Located in a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, you’ll be able to enjoy Scandinavian baths while looking out at the wonderful mountain scenery.

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Spa, British Columbia

There isn’t much point travelling all the way to Canada for a relaxing break if you aren’t going to take advantage of the stunning views, which is why, if you want to really immerse yourself in Canadian calm, you should take a trip to The Oak Bay Beach Hotel, where you can spend time on the beautiful coast of Victoria, taking hot mineral baths by the sea and using the native seaweed to cleanse your skin. Sounds like heaven, right?

Relaxing is exactly what you want out of a vacation, and wherever you go in Canada, you’re never too far from a perfect oasis of calm. Which spa will you visit on your next trip?

Dreaming of maple syrup and snow,
Calista xx

*This post is contributed by a guest.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Make Your Next Trip A Little More Memorable

Image from pexels
Taking a vacation is a lot of work!  We put a lot of time and thought into choosing the right place and settling on the details, making sure that we will come away from our holidays with incredible memories that will last a lifetime.

Sometimes though, it’s nice to come home with a physical reminder of your getaway, and regardless of where you have been, there are always great ideas for bringing home a little piece of your destination with you.

If you are heading to Africa, you could consider purchasing precious stones. There is a booming diamond industry and this could be your chance to buy something that seems impossible back at home. Buying the jewel on it’s own means you could design your own bespoke earrings or necklace and wear a little piece of your trip everyday.  It’s worth getting in touch with an expert like Whiteflash Review to get some buying tips, and to check your stone when you come home, so you can get it authenticated if you haven’t already.

Italy is a beautiful country and lurking within the ocean are delicate pieces of red coral which are native to the amalfi coast.  There are lots of little markets which sell necklaces and bracelets made from this striking coral and whilst it is now protected so you cannot dive for it yourself, you can still take home a small treasure to remind you of the rolling Italian coastline.

Heading to Japan, Malaysia,  Australia or the Philippines means you are in the top countries for finding black sea pearls or black freshwater pearls.  There is something really mysterious about a black pearl as we are accustomed to the white or pink versions.  You can dive for these yourself or buy them ready-strung in shops or at the market.  Diving for your own will add even more adventure to the story behind your beautiful keepsake and will bring you back memories when you are feeling nostalgic.  

Head out to India to discover a world full of silk at incredible prices.  The colours will be vibrant and the material so smooth and indulgent.  Take advantage of the incredible skills of the Indian people and have a dress made personally for you.  Perhaps going for something western with some nods to Indian culture.  There are loads of places in Delhi that will happily recreate a dress you have seen on the internet whilst putting their own unique twist on it.

When you book your next trip, research the area and find out what luxury item it is famous for.  Then get creative, go small or bold and bring home more than just a memory from your favourite countries.

Love always,
Calista xx

*This post is contributed. The ideas may not correspond to the blog owner's beliefs.Always do your own research to make sure your souvenirs/travel plans match up to your own level of ethics, so you can have fun AND stay guilt-free! =)

Friday, 25 November 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for this year?

Being Malaysian (and half British), I don't usually celebrate Thanksgiving, but seeing all the Instagram posts from Americans that I follow, got me thinking, and seeing as it's still Thanksgiving where it's celebrated (we are at least 12 hours ahead!), here's what I'm thankful for this 2016:

Not gonna lie, 2016 has been a tough year, not just for me but seemingly for most people (if the media is to be believed). Even so, it hasn't all been bad, and today is the day to reflect on the good!

I'm especially grateful for my career this year. Getting to do the things you love for a living isn't something everyone can say, and I have to admit I have the best of a lot of worlds right now. I am thankful that I get to be a radio announcer with the best team at hitz fm Sabah.

I am thankful I get to perform on stage yet again for Ultraman Live with an amazing team called One Universal Production. Two jobs that I love, are also two things I'd never have dreamed of doing, yet by a fluke the opportunity came and I found my calling.

I am thankful for my wonderful family, near and far. That we have each others' backs and we are so tight-knit, even though miles may separate us at times. That we don't have to say a word to know how much we love each other.

I am thankful for the people I love, and all of the people who love and take care of me. Whether you have been in my life for years, or we've not long met, or we don't even keep in touch that often any more. You have all left marks on my heart for better or worse, and I am thankful that in a sea of people, we got to touch each other's lives. Also, having a soulmate is not always about love. You can find your soulmate in friendship too, and I'm thankful I get to say I've found mine.

I am thankful for health, my own and of people I love. A few scares this year and some bad news hit home how nothing is really forever. A quote I recently read:

It's true, and it sucks, but the only thing we can do is make that time the best it could be.

And last but not least, I am thankful for my readers/followers. Without the support of sometimes complete strangers, my life would be so different, and not in a good way! Thank you so much for still reading my (inconsistent) blog posts, for watching my (even less consistent) videos, and keeping up with my life on all forms on social media. I may not be as active as other bloggers/social media influencers, but you guys keep me loving it all the same. Every year I vow to work on my time management skills, and every year I seem to lapse, but here's to 2017 eh? =P I don't say it enough, but I love and appreciate every single one of you who is still here with me on this journey.
Source: Pinterest
So there it is! Everything I'm thankful for (and what came to mind with less than 30 minutes to write this). Happy thanksgiving; what are you thankful for? Drop me a comment below; I would love to know at least one!

Thankful for your love,
Calista xx

Monday, 17 October 2016

#hitzEscape: Bastille, Queen + Adam Lambert in Singapore!!

I'm a HUGE fan of Adam Lambert, so when my brother Oliver & I heard he was gonna be performing with Queen for F1 Singapore, we bought tickets right away!
Adam Lambert rocked the Singapore Grand Prix with Queen!
That's one thing about Merlion City though: they have so many music and art festivals going on all year round, and they bring some pretty awesome international artists over for concerts. Do some research, and you can probably catch some cool events not too far from home!
Bastille was awesome!
I spent almost a week there, mostly hanging with friends, but I did get to spend a day at Universal Studios Singapore - my very first time! It's near Sentosa, so if you wanna go you can take the mrt to Harbourfront station, head into Vivo City, then take the Sentosa Express to Waterfront station. Go early if you want to make the most out of your ticket (we paid $60 each, from Klook), they open at 10am - 6pm. Best time to go would be a weekday not long after the school holidays as it's quieter and the queues weren't too long.

MUST TRY: Transformers (virtual reality rollercoaster), Mummy Returns (also VR), and Battlestar Galactica (Human VS Cyborg rollercoasters)

To make your trip easier, you might wanna get a tourist sim when you reach the airport, especially if you're taking public transport. I was dying of boredom on the train (I stayed at my friend's place in Admiralty, so it was a good 90 mins before I reached her via mrt), and I have internet withdrawals anyway lol. The one I got was from Singtel, $15 for 5 days and 4gb of data.

Speaking of the mrt, getting a reloadable touch-n-go type card is cheaper and more convenient than constantly buying single trips, and don't worry about getting lost: Julie recommended THIS awesome website to help me get around - it gives you exact directions including which bus to take and how many stops til you need to alight!

Places to visit of course include Orchard Road (no shopping if you're like us though; it's way above our paygrade lol), Bugis (pretty cool mall and a higher end street market where you can get a variety of things, like more affordable clothes, trinkets, and food), and Chinatown.

If you head to Chinatown, don't miss the Chinatown Food Complex, where you can get the best chicken rice in the world - no exaggeration! Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken Rice was awarded one Michelin star recently, and it is the first hawker stall in the world to receive one! We queued for about half an hour at around 2.30pm, but before we even reached halfway, they told us they had sold out. Queues are usually up to 3 hours long though, and even before they were in every food blog and newspaper, queues could still reach 30 - 40 mins during lunch time. I plan to go try my luck another time =P

What do you like to do in Singapore? Drop me a comment! 
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on hitz fm Sabah 
100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan! 
*Daily #hitzEscape tips at 12pm

Love always,
Calista xx

Saturday, 1 October 2016

#hitzEscape: Everything You Need in Malaysia

Hey guys!

So the hitz Escape has been missing for a while, but only because I've been compiling a huge post for Malaysia month, and then been collecting cool stuff to share from a week in Singapore- but that's in my next post!

September is basically Malaysia month, with all Malaysians celebrating the formation of Malaysia from 31st August up til 16th September. #hitzEscape got friends from every different state to share the best of the best:
Blending into the street art in Georgetown
Penang: We all know that Penang is Malaysian food central! Angus recommends char kuey teow, assam laksa & cendol to cool off. Take a walk around Georgetown to check out the cool street art, and walk off that full stomach to get ready for your next meal! Check out my last trip HERE.

Pahang: Wendy comes from a small town in Kuantan called Sungai Lembing. The most interesting thing about that town? There is actually a museum where you can see all kinds of crystals which are collected from the hill nearby! Some of the crystals are also for sale. Hey, not every day you can buy a crystal so close to source right?

Negeri Sembilan: Best thing about Seremban? Elsa says you gotta try the food! Most people know about the famous Seremban BBQ crabs and Seremban siew pau, but there are also some traditional food which non-locals might not know of, like octopus noodles (which you can find at the morning market), Chan Pau aka buns with filling, like siew pau, and Xiao Huang Mian Bao, which is basically bread filled with cream. Wanna go to the beach? Port Dickson is right down the road!

Kedah: Alor Setar is Ka Mei's hometown, and she recommends visitors to go to the old towns like Pekan Rabu & Pekan Cina. There's lots of good food at the morning market, and if you are feeling peckish at midnight, the curry mee is awesome! The Alor Setar tower is also worth a visit if you're around the area!
Chicken Rice Balls!
Malacca: History buffs will be spoilt for choice! Check out the old fort A' Famosa and the old church just next to it, as well as spending a night at Jonker Street on the weekends for Malaysia's most famous night market. Famous dishes in Malacca include chicken rice balls, satay celup and the most amazing coconut shake. Need a tour guide? Hit Dave up!

Perlis: The smallest state of Malaysia is known as a rock climbing haven and has two very special things: The "Cave of Darkness", aka Gua Kelam, and a special type of mango which is grown only in Perlis! Called Harum Manis, it lives up to it's name by being super sweet, and having a super strong smell.

Perak: Ipoh is the capital of Perak, and Terry suggests dropping by Ipoh Old Town (Yi Lai Hong) to check out the many drawings on the walls which are full of history, and the most unique thing about about Ipoh is the fact that they have a lot of temples, which are inside caves! I've actually seen some of these and they're really beautiful and serene. Food-wise, famous Ipoh chicken rice with taugeh and "gai si hor fun" - shredded chicken in noodle soup are a must-have.
Mindstorms @ Legoland
Johor: Yukiko has really diverse suggestions: Legoland if you have kids; Johor Premium Outlet if you're a shopaholic; & Danga Bay if you just wanna chill. As for food? You can't go wrong with nasi lemak, but personally, I fell in love with the grilled fish & petai!
Trishaw Rides
Kelantan: I went on two separate trips to Kota Bharu, and you can check out my previous posts here and here, but long story short, you can take a trishaw ride around the tourism zone, watch some wayang kulit, or take part in a dikir barat performance. Try out roti titab for breakfast, do NOT miss out on the nasi kerabu, and if you have a sweet-tooth? The kuih over there is super, super sweet.
Awana Kijal @ Terengganu
Terengganu: Obviously, world famous islands Pulau Redang & Pulau Perhentian are a no-brainer. Favourite eats like keropok lekor, nasi dagang, and otak-otak all originate from Terengganu, while you might wanna try out ketupat sotong and the dessert lompat tikam - dessert coconut milk, rice flour, pandan juice

Selangor: There's so much food to be had in Selangor, especially around Subang! Anna suggests heading to USJ 17 for curry mee, or check out 7 Mile Kitchen at Kelana Jaya for really good Sarawak Laksa & Kolok Mee. Wanna go shopping? 1Utama is the biggest mall in Malaysia, and Sunway Pyramid? My fave mall!
Taman Tasik @ Putrajaya
Putrajaya: Famous for its architecture, Putrajaya has so many photo-worthy buildings, and the bridge there is a national landmark. Want pretty pictures and a relaxing few hours? The Taman Tasik Putrajaya is great for photo shoots!

Labuan: In Sabah? Just take a 2 hour drive up to Menumbok, then hop on a speedboat (20 mins) or ferry (about 2 hours), and hello DUTY FREE!!

Kuala Lumpur: Best place for shopping, great food, wonderful landmarks, and always something different going on!

Sarawak: Personally I've only been to Miri - Mulu Caves are the most famous part of Miri, but don't make the same mistake I did! They're actually a 10-hour drive away, or a 30-min domestic flight from Miri town! You can visit the Grand Old Lady on Canada Hill, which is a great place for star-gazing and sunsets, and make sure you don't miss out on the awesome Sarawak laksa! Food is generally quite cheap in most places in Sarawak.

Sabah: So many places to go! Head down to Sandakan for good food, cheap and fresh seafood, UFO (custard) tarts, and visit Agnes Keith House, the harbour, and even the old water village! It's only a 5 hour drive away from KK.
Tip of Borneo, Kudat
Looking to go on a road trip? Take the scenic route to Kudat, and you'll even pass by the jetty to Pulau Mantanani, which is in Kota Belud. Be sure to visit the meeting point of the Sulu sea and South China sea, aka the Tip of Borneo, or the dog ear of Borneo, and take a quick drive around the old town of Kudat.

Love the jungles? Trek to the Lost World of Borneo - Maliau Basin, where the 7-tier waterfall is still virtually untouched due to it's inaccessibility. I really wanna see it, but I'm so afraid of insects, I'll just look at your photos instead.

Just wanna stay around Kota Kinabalu itself? Be a tourist in your own town - you'll probably discover loads of attractions you've never really experienced before, just cz they're always there! Worse comes to worst? There are so many new cafes around town - go find your fave!

What would you suggest about your state? Drop me a comment! 
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram & Facebook @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on 
hitz fm Sabah 100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan! 
*Daily #hitzEscape tips at 12pm

Love always,
Calista x

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Elemis The HERO Collection - Beauty Review

The HERO Collection with the serene backdrop of The Magellan Sutera
For most of us, the quest for healthy skin is an ongoing struggle. For others, the only quest is for health itself. 

This month, you can get closer to reaching your #skingoals, while supporting Breast Cancer Care with Elemis

The Limited Edition ELEMIS: THE HERO COLLECTION comes in pink, which is recognised around the world as the colour to show support for women with breast cancer - and I mean completely pink!
Love the travelling bag!
To raise awareness for Breast Cancer Care, the collection comes in a pink box, with a pink travelling wash-bag. Inside you’ll get 4 products, also completely packaged in pink:

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream: 

One of the brand's best sellers, this moisturiser is a bit on the pricey side, but according to online reviews, many women swear by it! 

“Clinically proven*, the powerful anti-ageing ingredients have been shown to reduce the depth of wrinkles, improve skin firmness, tone and hydration in 15 days. The unique Mediterranean algae, Padina Pavonica, has been shown to dramatically help skin moisturisation, improving suppleness, firmness and elasticity.”

A bit too rich for my skin, I'm gonna let my mom be the judge of this anti-aging miracle cream. 

Elemis Pro-Collagen Neck and Décolleté Balm: 

This smells really good. 

"Firm and smooth the delicate skin of the neck and décolleté with this powerful balm. In just 28 days this area will appear smoother, softer and more youthful*. Apply morning and evening to neck, decollete and bust area. Massage with light upward strokes and leave for few minutes before dressing."

Great for making your breast self-examination a pleasant one, and not such a chore.

Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil:

This body oil absorbs quickly so you're left with smoother, softer skin that smells heavenly, and no sticky residue.

"This truly exotic oil is rapidly absorbed providing superior moisturisation for dry, parched or mature skin. This product solidifies at cooler temperatures. Place the bottle in a bowl of warm water to return it to a silkly liquid. After bathing, apply to damp skin, massage over the entire body."

The only thing I really wanna know though: how damp is damp?!

Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules:
The most luxurious serum I've ever tried. Love the way it warms up almost instantly when you rub your palms together before applying. 

"Formulated with optimum levels of anti-oxidant power to improve the visible signs of ageing and counteract the damaging effects of everyday pollution. These anti-oxidant moisturization capsules are the perfect skin-detox regimen for those who suffer the effects of pollution and lifestyle choices. Apply the contents of one pink Rose capsule in the morning (left) and one green Lavender capsule at night (right). Follow with moisturiser"

Elemis has pledged to donate £10,000 to Breast Cancer Care in the UK, and by purchasing THE HERO COLLECTION, you can help them achieve that goal, while also achieving total face & body nourishment for less! 

You can get your very own HERO COLLECTION at Mandara Spa, The Magellan Sutera Harbour for only RM383nett (actual worth per set RM661), but only until the end of this month (September 2016). I have just started using mine, but with my previous experience with Elemis products, I already know it’s gonna be great =D

Support your skin, support each other,
Calista xx

*Photos by OneWingedAngel168

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Unmissable Tips To Visit Beautiful Malaysia On A Budget

A lot of people are choosing to come to Malaysia for their next holiday, and I'm not surprised; there is so much to see and do that makes it an unforgettable holiday! However, it’s not always the cheapest country in the world, and if you are strapped for cash, it might put you off going. Don't fret! Here are some unmissable tips to visit beautiful Malaysia on a budget and still have a very good time.

Malaysia, Tea Plantation, Travel, Cameron Highlands
Fly cheaply and make stops
You can fly many different airlines to visit Malaysia, including Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines. If you want to travel cheaply, you should keep an eye out to see when these airlines have deals on. As this article explains, if you set up for flight alerts, they will let you know about deals that will save you a whole lotta money. Also, the day and date you go will make a big difference to the price, therefore try to depart on weekdays when fewer seats will be booked, and if you are travelling from very far away, you should choose a flight which has one or two stops if you want to make it cheaper. You might get to stop somewhere great to look around and it can make the cost a lot less!

Visit the less well-known areas
A lot of people head to Borneo and the capital city Kuala Lumpur when they are visiting Malaysia, and it's easy to see why! But don't forget you can also head to a smaller city such as Kota Bharu to experience a different side of Malaysia (you can see more on my previous blog). The prices of hotels and food are a lot more cost-effective if you are on a budget.

Image result for Kota Bharu

Stay in a budget hotel
You can also save money on your trip to Malaysia by looking for budget-friendly hotels. After all, you are going to be looking around the area, not to be just sitting in your hotel room. It doesn’t need to be five star resort to have a great trip, however, make sure you do read the reviews before you book so that you know it’s clean and safe. You can look online to explore budget hotels in Malaysia that will be great to stay in. Also, you can save some money on your hotel price by booking out of high-season. You will get a lower price and will have more to spend on the rest of your trip.

Use public transport
A lot of people are put off using public transport in a different place. After all, you might not speak the language and could easily get lost. However, it will save you a lot of money if you do use the bus and train during your visit. As this article says, the local subways and bus services are quite easy to get around, so you will hopefully not get lost during your visit!

Also, make sure you buy food from the street stalls instead of restaurants if you want to save some cash. You will find some excellent food on the stalls that will often be a lot nicer than in the expensive restaurants!

A special Malaysia post will be coming up soon, especially for Malaysia Day month, so make sure you follow this blog!

Love always,
Calista xx

*This post is contributed.