photo slideshow

Monday, 10 August 2015

Reshape That Body at ISKIN New York Aesthetics Centre

If you're on my Facebook, you probably would've seen a rant about how I had completed a blog post to almost 95%, only to revisit another day to find barely 1% left. Yep, my draft had corrupted, and I wanted to cry.
This is that post. After losing the draft, it took a lot of energy to try and rewrite it again, as I had left the draft for a couple of weeks while I was working, and completely forgot what my angle was; also, I don't let go very easily. Rawr! =(

But anyway, let's try this again shall we?

I was invited to try out a tummy slimming session at Iskin New York Aesthetics Centre because they saw my photos and thought I needed it called the Foto RF Body Reshape, which aims to easily and effectively tone the targeted area. Obviously, I jumped at the offer because I'm fat.

Easily accessible in the centre of town, you can find Iskin at Api-Api Centre. They're easy to spot because I've always been intrigued by their signboard even before they invited me over; it's clean, professional and welcoming. This beauty centre offers much more than just your regular body slimming. Facials, permanent hair removal, and functional cosmetics such as lash growth serum mascara and lip plumping lipstick are also available. With 10 years experience, Iskin only uses state-of-the-art machines for better results, and all therapists are well-trained; many of whom used to be dermatologists or nurses!
Barley yum yum~
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the very friendly receptionist, who served some yummy tea while I filled out the form. Then, I was taken into the treatment room to be weighed and analysed via a special weighing machine by my therapist (who I was later informed was Iskin's most experienced), Irene. Irene explained that the Foto RF Body Reshape treatment would help reshape the most stubborn tummy fats, as well as reduce cellulite, increase good circulation and stimulate lymphatic drainage, so your body will naturally be ridding itself of toxins, even after the treatment, which only takes around 30 minutes. 

After I'd stripped (they provide disposable underwear and a robe to cover your jiggly bits!) and laid down on the treatment bed, Irene came back in and guided me step by step as to what was happening. The Foto RF machine (you can also opt for Foto RF Face Reshaping for that small, V-shaped face you've always wanted!) is much like a little fat-sucking vacuum. It was a very soothing experience to have a little warm vacuum being run over your tummy - I almost fell asleep twice in 30 minutes! 
The RF Foto Body process is very much heat based, and your therapist will use a special meter to check the temperature is at its most suitable for your needs throughout the treatment. Also, if you take a look at my stomach, one side is definitely more defined than the other after one-side treatment.
When I was done, I sneaked a look in the mirror when Irene left to let me get changed. Could definitely see the difference! She'd also shown me the difference after only reshaping one half of my tummy, and of course that was so obvious! Being a lazy bum and a foodie has stopped me from having a slim body, and I'm sure most of you will agree that the tummy bulge is the hardest to budge even when you do try to lose weight. A few sessions of the Foto RF treatment should help kickstart the process, I'm hoping so anyway!

Wanna give it a go? Iskin Aesthetics Centre is offering a special discounted price of RM99 (Regular Price: RM800) for your first trial of Foto RF Body Reshape Treatment if you mention the exclusive promo code CALISTA when you make your appointment! This promo is only valid for 2 weeks from the date of this post, so don't miss out!
With the Iskin team! My therapist, Irene, is 2nd from right.
Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think after your treatment - I'm thinking of trying out the facial or functioning cosmetics next!

Love always,

Calista xx

PS: This final draft corrupted as well, luckily I had saved a draft in Word this time. Now I'm gonna be worried every time I save something in Blogger! =(

Sunday, 28 June 2015

AirAsia Free Seats - 2016 Wanderlust Now

2015 has been a pretty good year for my wanderlust so far: Singapore in March, Terengganu that same month, Chiangmai for Songkran with AABC, and now I'm writing this from Bangkok, with a trip to Hong Kong in the wings next month - phew!
Songkran: This. Over and over. All day long.
Not that I'm complaining of course - there are so many more places to explore! After experiencing Songkran (Thailand's annual water festival and a constant feature on most must-do festival bucket lists worldwide), I'm obsessed with wanting to tick off all the other festivals, and I'm not talking about the music ones (although those too please! =P)
There are so many to choose from: Lantern Festival in Pingxi, Taiwan, Boryeong Mud Festival in South Korea, Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan, Sinology Festival in Philippines, Hue Festival in Vietnam  etc. However, after Songkran, my wish for 2016 would be to take it up a notch, and be splashed with colour.. Where else but India?

Yes, the Holi Festival, also known as the Festival of Colours. Celebrated by Hindus in the Spring, It is basically Songkran Extreme - and if you've experienced Songkran, you know how crazy it is. Also revolving around a water fight, Holi throws in dry coloured powder, a bonfire, music and dancing; creating a festive atmosphere like no other.

After a quick internet search on India, it doesn't even seem to matter which part of India you go to celebrate - they all go full out! And with beautiful places in every location, such as:
Ulsoor Lake in Bengaluru
The beaches of Goa
The Old City of Hyderabad
Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata
...and of course, just to immerse yourself in the culture and oft-heard-of Indian everyday life!

So, if you could go to any festival you want, which would be your first choice? Check out Air Asia Free Seats asap, and you could very well be on your way there this time next year!

Love always,
Calista xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Songkran in Chiangmai: Nothing But Water, Water Everywhere!

The beauty of Chiangmai from way up high.
Green curry. Temples. The adrenaline rush of exploring a new city. 
Friends. Shopping. Experiencing a festival unlike any other.

These were all things that were going through my head when I was first invited on the #AABCSongkranAdventure last month. What I didn't expect, was to spend half of the trip dripping with water, while having even more ice water thrown at me - and loving every minute of it!

Confused? Well, every story must start from the beginning I guess:
First dinner in Chiangmai - straight to the point!

Once upon a time (aka April 2015), I was flown to Chiang Mai, Thailand by Air Asia, with my fellow Air Asia Blogger's Community friends, Charlotte, Joel, and Henry. Leading the pack, the toughest of the tough, bravest of the brave, craziest of the crazy:
KA MEI!! Look at her chugging that tom yam! 
Upon landing on the 11th of April, we were pretty confident we had time to get ourselves prepared before joining in the "fun" of Songkran, aka Thailand's biggest annual celebration, the water festival. Until, that is, we reached our hotel. Through the safety of our hotel transfer's windows, we watched as kids popped out from behind corners, shooting poor tourists with water guns. "What is this?!", we exclaimed. "Songkran isn't until the 13th!"
Our hotel room at Duangtawan Hotel
We figured it was probably just a few kids starting the fun early. Nope. Joining us in the elevator: two completely soaked girls, obviously tourists too, warning us to be prepared for an ambush if we were planning to leave the hotel. Oh no.
The way the windows to our hotel rooms were designed, the sunset actually reflects off a different window facing another direction (smaller photo).. So beautiful!
Before this trip, I'd always heard that Songkran is basically the world's biggest water fight. But, signifying the new year for Thais, getting splashed with water is synonymous with being blessed, as it symbolises washing away your bad luck from the previous year. How sweet right? Can you picture it in your head? Being gently flicked with water by pretty Thai girls and guys dressed in traditional costume..
In reality, it's more like this:
The optimistic bunch...
You will not get "sprinkled" with water. I am not kidding when I say you'll be dripping as if you just climbed out of a swimming pool fully-clothed!
Super happening Air Asia water station - non-stop water, rave music, and throngs of people!

But we definitely had tons of fun!
Yes. If World War 3 started with water instead of bullets, water instead of grenades, water instead of - you get the point - it would look like Thailand, mid-April every year.

It. Is. Madness.

Children, adults, locals, tourists, shop owners, staff members - the streets are lined with people armed with huge water guns, with big pails filled with water and blocks of ice to pour onto passersby. No one is safe, except for the elderly and monks. Even toddlers sit inside buckets or little inflatable swimming pools to join in the fun.
No one is safe..
If you're riding in a tuk-tuk, you are a moving target which doesn't move very fast, and if you're in a songthaew, you're basically sitting ducks. No water is spared during Songkran, and you'll be hit by bucket after bucket of water if you are on any kind of vehicle, even motorbikes and bicycles! One thing that really impressed me though, was that although everywhere was wet as far as the eye can see, no water ever splashed into shops or onto the elderly. They really do have it down to a science!
Air Asia Water Station, and Miss Songkran beauty pageant
Stages are put up in various places and play music (think music festival without bands) to add to the atmosphere. There are also food stalls nearby, but we were having so much fun we didn't try any of the street food. This doesnt mean the roads were closed, oh no: between the mass of people, was a little road left for cars to pass through. They were really patient when they were blocked by over-zealous people in the road though, like this aunty dancing:
Strange creatures come out to play..
Restaurants also welcome soaking, hungry customers with open arms. I felt horrible looking at the small swimming pools we left at our tables, but the ever-friendly Thais just happily waved us in, while the owner of the restaurant was waging his own war just outside.
Super yummy and cheap Thai food at Blue Mango near Tha Pae Gate!

Here's a checklist of the essentials of Songkran:

  1. Slippers / flip-flops - the less slippery the better, and remember, they will get soaked through so sneakers not advisable. I bought mine for 160 baht.
  2. Comfortable clothes - Shorts for both guys and girls, bikinis under a comfortable top seem your best bet. My bikini cost 350 baht.
  3. Sunblock - April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand
  4. Transparent waterproof bag for your handphone - you'll wanna take pix! 45 baht.
  5. Waterproof bag - for other belongings, but you don't wanna take too much to war! 60 baht.
  6. Water guns - you can buy these in Thailand, our big ones cost about 300baht each
  7. Plastic goggles - optional, but I did get shot in the eye once, and it hurt like hell
  8. Your fun side - as long as your ready for a few days of fun, you're set!

Nothing can prepare you for the amount of water you will encounter, nor the amount of fun you will have until you experience it yourself. When they say you must try Songkran before you die, they really mean it! So if anything else is on your bucket list, put it on hold and go to Thailand next April for the biggest Ice Bucket Challenge cum Water Rave Party you will ever see! I'm definitely planning to go again - maybe I'll see you there!
Oh, and if you are no longer young at heart for whatever reason you are still not sure about visiting Thailand, all I can say is, MANGO STICKY RICE. If that doesn't make your mind up, I have nothing more to say.
Can you tell I'm obsessed?

Essential Info:
Currency: Thai Baht (current exchange rate 11.35 for 100 baht)
Weather: April & May are the hottest months of the year - best time to get wet!
Time Zone: GMT +7 (aka one hour behind Malaysia)
Language: Thai (some English)
Electricity: 220V, 2 pin plug
Tip: The more sour-faced you look during Songkran, the more you will get splashed.

How To Get There:
Air Asia flies 2 x daily from KL to Chiang Mai, and 12x daily from Bangkok
Flight duration from KL - Chiangmai: 2 hours 35 minutes

For more photos, check out my Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew, or the hashtag #AABCSongkranAdventure, or even my Facebook page!

Love of a Mermaid,
Calista xx

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A Little Bit of Red, A Little Bit of Happiness | Cut's Gallery

For the new year, I really wanted to do something a little different to brighten up my hair. After about 4 years worth of hair shows, cutting and colouring my hair every which colour, I pretty much swore off anything to do with my hair for a couple of years, and have just stuck to my natural dark brown hair, which I've kept pretty long (my dad seems to have a memory block of this, however, as he keeps saying I should cut it short as I've "never done it before". Proof right here! =.=")

Hair Shows throughout 2006 - 2008
I really wanted to get bright red, but after finding out I'd have to bleach my hair to bring out the colour, I scrapped that idea faster than you could say "goo", which is what bleached hair feels like when you're washing it. Blech.
Consultation with Florence to figure out the most suitable style.
After a little discussion with Cut's Gallery director Stella, my stylist Florence suggested I do red highlights instead. The red she used, from L'Oreal, would be bright enough without bleaching, and wouldn't fade as fast as the "fashion colours", aka bright red, pink, purple, blue etc. Sounded good to me, and I trust Stella & Florence's judgement more than I do my own when it comes to hair, so into the chair I went!
It looks like a scary red~
The whole foil process..
After about 20 minutes, it was time to wash off the chemicals and relaaaaxxx~
With a hair wash!
I always love the hair washes at Cut's (or locally known as G Cuts) - they do really good head massages, in this relaxing spa-like little nook in the salon.
Getting my head massaged~
To keep my hair soft, I also got a hair treatment service with L'Oreal's Power Contrast
Florence also gave me a little pot of L'Oreal Vitamino Colour for me to do a weekly hair mask at home
Getting a little trim & thin
Before & After!
I love it! The red is just the right brightness, I just have to twist my hair for all the highlights to be seen, and its easy enough for me to hide within my hair if I have a more formal event! =D

I did a little shoot with Gery of Gery's Art Studio too - check out his facebook page if you're interested in taking any creative portrait shots!

Want a hair makeover too? You can find Cut's Gallery Hair Salon & Academy at 5th Floor, Palm Square, Centerpoint Shopping Complex, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, or call 088-233386 for appointments. 

Love always,
Calista xx

Saturday, 31 January 2015

A Royal Time At Burger King Sabah!

Her Royal Highness Burger Queen
I don't think anyone would be surprised if I said that Burger King has always been my weakness - I've been addicted to Burger King fries for as long as I can remember! (How do you think my "Potato" nickname came about? =P)

Gold 'N Spice Chicken only available at Burger King Centerpoint Sabah
When I got invited to try out the special burger promotion in the all-new Burger King outlet in Centerpoint Sabah, there was no keeping me away. I chose to try the Crispy Golden Cheese as, hello, cheese?

We ordered 3 cheese and 2 black pepper.
Look at that omnomnom~
Crispy Golden Cheese
The Crispy Golden Cheese burger is made with a special chick 'n crisp patty on soft burger buns slathered in mayonnaise, then jam-packed with crispy lettuce and onions, before being topped with the creamy cheese sauce. Yummy!

Royally sweet!
The good people at BK Centerpoint didn't deny us our sweet tooth either, as we got to try the soft serve ice cream before we left.

Ooh lookey lookey! 
If you wanna see this hot guy right here serving burgers, well, the Grand Opening will be at 8pm this 3rd of Feb (Tuesday), and Wu Chun will be behind the counter taking orders! Drop by the outlet on the Ground Floor (next to Watson's), and hopefully we'll all get to take some pics with him! =D

The Centerpoint branch of Burger King Sabah has a slightly different menu than the other branches in town, so do check them out on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest offers. I know they have Hershey's Pie for dessert....

Thanks as always for the invite Alfred! 

Love always,
Calista xx