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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Sabah's Hospitality Ambassadors 2014

Given that tourism plays a big part in a nation's economy, it's no surprise that hotels all over Malaysia are constantly working to up their game and give travellers the best experience possible during their stay here, with great service and knowledge of their state.
The Awards Ceremony 
A few weeks ago I got to meet with this year's Sabah Hospitality Ambassadors, chosen by the Sabah/Labuan chapter of Malaysia's Association of Hotels (MAH) during the 40th anniversary celebration at Le Meridien Hotel. They told me the objective of this competition is to select an industry employee who would present a positive image of tourism in Sabah - a warm and friendly personality who is not only passionate, but also committed to their career as a hotelier!

The winner, in this case Ms. Zetty Raudhah Crehan of Sutera Harbour Resorts, will represent Sabah for the MAH National Employee of the Year award, co-represent MAH Sabah at official Ministry of Tourism functions, and be a spokesperson at career inspiration and guidance talks held by MAH Sabah Chapter member hotels. It wasn't an easy task, winning the award; a total of 11 participants were judged on their personal appearance, presentation, personality, intelligence, and communication skills.
L-R: Fauzy, Zetty and Haeruddin
Zetty definitely has the experience and the charisma to represent Sabah. Starting out as a flight attendant with Malaysia Airlines, Zetty regaled stories of her adventures in the sky, and subsequently on sea when she was Cruise Director for luxury cruise ship SY Lili Marleen! Deciding it was time to return to solid ground, Zetty now heads Pacific Club at The Pacific Sutera, and I can personally confirm that hospitality is definitely her forte! Her favourite part of Sabah? Tuaran, because it's not too far from the city, yet offers beautiful beaches, gorgeous wetlands, and amazing food!

1st and 2nd runners-up Haeruddin bin Nordin and Mohd Fauzi bin Latip, from Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan and Gayana Eco Resort respectively, also make their passion known, especially when talking about their workplace: Haeruddin names two of his managers at Starwood Hotels and Resorts as his mentors and inspiration, while Fauzi has definitely made his rounds to gain experience in various hotels around Malaysia, since 2001! When asked where their favourtie place in Sabah was, Haeruddin says the cultural experience of the Sabahan cowboys in Kota Belud has his heart; Fauzi, spending most of his time on the sunny Pulau Gaya, where Gayana Eco Resort is situated, loves taking trips up to Kundasang to cool off!
Me with the top 3 Sabahan Hospitality Ambassadors! 
I hope this yearly award will inspire those in the hospitality line to give their ultimate best, not only to be in the running to win next year's honour of being Sabah Hospitality Ambassador, but also to carry the name of our state's tourism above and beyond what we have achieved so far. Sabah is such a beautiful state, and those in the Tourism and Hospitality industry are front-liners to showcase our Sabahan pride!
Congratulations guys! =)

Til next time, 
Calista xx

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A Red Hot Pyjama Party In KL!

Guess who just got back from KL!

... and yes I realise it hasnt been a month since I last left haha, but how could I resist coming down for a week when Air Asia was gracious enough to fly me down for the RED HOT party, and the new Tune Hotel's pyjama party? =D
A quick snap with Ashman before leaving the Sultan Lounge
Gotta thank the fabulous Ashman for literally creating a miracle and scouring every available option to get me a seat on 4 days of sold-out flights from KK - KL! (The website showed sold out flights from 28th - 31st May, probably because it was Kaamatan weekend) I was on the last physical seat too: 31F lol!
Heaps of kisses for Yukiko!!
I got to spend a few hours with my brother before meeting Yukiko for the Air Asia Red Hot Taylor Swift Live in Malaysia Party at Sultan Lounge, Mandarin Oriental on the 30th. Was feeling a bit sad that I was missing out on the Kaamatan madness, but also excited for the week ahead, as I'm having an extended slumber party with Yuki - she invited me to crash at her place for my whole trip, and even bought a new bed for the guest room just for me!
Rocking out with Taylor!
We arrived late due to horrific traffic in KL, as did quite a few others I believe, including Bruneian food blogger Thanis Lim, whom you might remember from KK, his second home! =P Was great catching up in a different city for once, and he even brought me a homemade matcha waffle! *yum~*
Taylor Swift inside and out on a special Air Asia Airbus A320! Why is she so pretty~
Look at all these lucky b*tches! Argh! (Yes, that is jealousy in my voice lol)
Air Asia is the official sponsor for Taylor Swift's South East Asia leg of her RED tour, hence the Red Hot party in anticipation of Taylor's first Malaysian concert. Backstage passes were the main lucky draw prize, but as you can probably guess, I didnt win the coveted tickets (gutted I dont have tickets to her show - I can't believe it's happening NOW and I'm here typing! T.T)

Even so, I did have fun chatting with new and familiar faces throughout the night, and even got to suck at charades with Yuki, Don and Zana over drinks and Luk-Luk before going home! No prizes for guessing we woke up late the next morning...

Yuki's husband Nate had bought us yummy nasi lemak and soy milk for breakfast, and Yuki stared at me in disbelief for about 10 seconds when I told her I'd never tried soy milk before. I havent! I dont like milk, so I just generally don't pick soy milk up. Hahaha.. It was pretty good though!

A snap in Yuki's car before checking in - that's Thanis' matcha waffle in between us!
I drove Yuki's Hyundai Tucson (Yuki, please remember your car model hahaha) up to KLIA 2, where the new Tune Hotel is situated.
Exterior and part of Tune Hotel KLIA 2's parking lot
We were impressed by the ample parking space right outside the hotel, while the fact that it's within walking distance from KLIA 2, and equipped with ramps and luggage trolleys, is definitely convenient for travellers.
Love the facilities inside the hotel itself! Check in, keep updated with arrival/departure times, or just lounge in the.. spacious lounge! Bottom right pic is the courtyard area where the pyjama party was held.
KLIA 2 is the new home of Malaysia's low-cost carriers, 
Air Asia having moved there in early June. 
The rumours are true: KLIA 2 is pretty huge. 
From landing to parking, it took about 10 minutes of taxiing down the runway, 
and walking through the arrival hall took about 20 mins before I reached baggage reclaim. 
I planned to reach the airport early when I flew back to KK, 
just in case I got lost/underestimated walking time from check-in to the departure gate etc.
Good news is that the KLIA Express now runs to KLIA 2 as well, 
with no extra charge - still a flat rate of RM35 one way.
Thanis did a pretty good job of KLIA2 For Dummies, you can check out his post HERE
Interior of the rooms
It was both mine and Yuki's first time staying in one of the Tune Hotels, and we were pleasantly surprised with the comfort of the room! We spent a bit of time trying to decide what to wear for the pyjama party; hey, I dont wear pyjamas to bed! (Not ones I'd wanna be seen in public in anyway haha)
I loved that everyone followed the theme! Except for.. Ana! I know you dont wear that for bed! Hahaha..
Also finally got to meet Sarawakian comic blogger Jian Goh aka Akiraceo, and Sabahan comic blogger Kendy in person (check out his blog on the 6th of June for a special feature on yours truly!) I could've sworn I took a photo with you Kendy.. Is it in your camera..? =P
Giant Jenga! Hahaha.. I wasnt the one who made it fall, cz obviously I couldnt play after level 1 =/
... And I thought this was gonna be a short update. Oh well!
Goodnight everyone!
Til next time,
Calista xx

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A.D.I.D.A.Shopping Sprees!


As we enter mid-year, I have to say May was a good month for me; it may very well be my favourite month for the first half of 2014! This was boosted by the fact that (if my Korn-referenced blog title hasnt given it away yet) I got to collaborate with Adidas Neo Malaysia for a blog shopping spree!


Armed with a RM1000 gift voucher, I marched into the 1 Borneo outlet, determined to walk out triumphantly with items that were not your everyday Calista -  I mean, what better opportunity to change up my style right? Having gone in for a sneak peek a couple of weeks before the actual trip, I knew Adidas Neo was the lifestyle division of Adidas, so I wasn't expecting your normal sports bras/running shoes.

Adidas Neo, 1 Borneo Hypermall
Photo credits Hayden Chan
The vibrant outlook of the store pretty much encompasses what the brand is about: bright, bold, and comfortable. The almost neon green of the logo catches your eye immediately; while the spacious and well-lit interior makes shopping a breeze. Another interesting fact? Selena Gomez is their guest designer! Is it any wonder the Spring/Summer 2014 collection is dominated by sweet colours with a rebellious streak?


I had a great time going through racks of bold prints and bright colours, trying on so many different pairs of shoes, and having a laugh with the staff! Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and what could make a shopping spree more fun? Shopping with a friend of course! Ana must have been bored stiff while I umm'd and ahh'd over which pieces would make the cut, but she heroically stood by me while taking some awesome photos of my indecisiveness! =P
The sleeveless pink jackets, or the sheer-sleeved floral?
Ready for anything!
With RM1000 in hand, I have to say I was quite surprised that it took me a while to actually use it all up! Prices are definitely reasonable, with tops starting from RM89.90 (there could be cheaper ones I didnt notice), and shoes on average RM189.90/pair. I'm quite happy with the amount of stuff I got, and even managed to grab a pair of sneakers for the bf - hey, gotta make the man happy every once in a while right? *wink*
Bright red sneakers, or black with a dash of hot pink? HMMM...
I'll show you my haul in the next post, but let's see if you can guess what I chose in the end?
*Hint: My initial determination faltered a little; I guess one can't change one's style overnight! Lol

Til next time,
Calista xx

Thursday, 5 June 2014

15 Years A Natural Beauty!

I think most girls would agree that makeup is a way of life for many of us, whether putting on a little lipstick for a day at work, winging out that liner for a night out, or just experimenting with different looks.


Like fashion, makeup trends come and go; which colours are in this season? Which particular shade? Matte, or shimmer? The list goes on. One thing is for certain though: 2014 is all about wearable makeup that gives you a healthy glow.

For Lunasol’s 15th Anniversary, Kanebo introduced the Lunasol Sand Spring 2014 Collection; a selection of nude, gold and natural shades, intent on creating a fresh look that’s simple to create, and easy to take from day to night.
With Vicky after my makeover
In conjunction with the anniversary celebration, I was invited to the Kanebo counter in Metrojaya, Suria Sabah for a makeover with the new makeup line. Vicky, KK’s very own Kanebo beauty consultant, told me that all Kanebo makeup artists are trained to finish a look within 45mins, compared to some makeup counters I’ve been to which take over an hour! =D


Arriving with a bare face, Vicky wiped my face over briefly before applying makeup base. The Lunasol Modeling Beige Skin contains SPF 30 PA++, so no extra sunblock is required – extra points! Makeup base smoothes out uneven skin tones and fine lines, and leaves the skin hydrated and glowing. I actually think its pretty ok to even use on its own for a light & casual day out!
Clockwise: Lunasol Skin Modeling Liquid Foundation;
Apply foundation to the inner parts of face and slowly blend outwards;
Pat on loose powder then brush over with a flat brush;
Lunasol Skin Contrast Face Powder
The Skin Modeling Liquid Foundation was the next step to make sure I had the perfect skin before the rest of the colours were added on, followed by a light dusting of loose powder– the painting can only be as good as the canvas right? =P
Clockwise: Eye makeup complete!
Application of eyeshadow; Liquid Eyeliner; Line those water lines! Lenghty lashes.
As always, we start with the windows of the soul, and pretty up those peepers! The latest colour palettes accentuate the eyes’ natural contours, and enhance them subtly, rather than making it obvious you have coloured powder on them. Here’s a chart on how to apply eyeshadow properly (cz I know blending is so complicated hahaha)
After eyeshadow (I chose 03 Warm Sand), a quick swipe with liquid liner, a flick of mascara, and a smidge of pencil liner on the bottom lid, one of the most important things an eye-catching face needs, is a frame – I’m talking about those eyebrows of course!

Vicky successfully found my hiding cheekbones and highlighted them with Lunasol Sand Natural Cheeks in EX 02 (Natural Orange). This blusher looks so pretty!

All the products that were used to complete my look!
To finish off the look, concealer was first applied to the edges of my lips so as to make sure they were even, and followed by lip liner, and Full Glamour Lips in no. 24. To add a glisten to my smile, Vicky finished off with Pure Pink Treatment Gloss.

And voila! My finished look! Polished yet light enough to continue lunch and shopping with my mom! =D


Want a makeover? Drop by any Kanebo counter for a complimentary consultation by one of the Kanebo professional beauty consultants!

Til next time,
Calista xx