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Friday, 25 November 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for this year?

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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
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

Friday, 2 September 2016

#hitzEscape: Roaring Taiwan


I've never met anyone who's been to Taiwan and didn't fall in love it.

Personally, I've been to Taiwan twice: Once on a family trip to Taipei, and once on an Air Asia Fam trip for a leisure farming tour. I definitely wouldn't mind going again!

Taiwan is such a beautiful country, amplified by the fact that the people are so friendly and nice, not to mention there's so much to see, do and eat!
"Best thing about traveling is not always about what I will gain or how many selfie I will make. It's what I can afford to share with others and that will forever capture their hearts for my presence. Travel. Live. Love with tigerAir." - Jason.
Hitz fm Sabah & Tiger Air is sending one lucky winner plus a friend on a round trip to Taiwan with #hitzTigerAir, so this post is of course dedicated to helping them get the most out of the trip!

Night markets: With over 100 night markets all over Taiwan, it's no wonder they're the highlight of almost everyone's trip!  From clothes, food, fresh fruit, to street performers, the variety is so wide it is definitely possible to get everything you want, and if you can't find what you're looking for? Well, just try the next one! Tristan suggests checking out Shilin and Raohe.

Food: What's a place without good food? Taiwan is known for their street food, and Charlotte says the sausages and breakfast pancakes - little roti canais with meat, vege and sauce that is divine - are a must-try! Gin loves the mee sua (oyster noodles) and o jian (oyster omelette), and I personally really loved the rice balls you can get at almost every 7-11 and the beef noodles.

Sightseeing: Oliver's favourite place in Taiwan is Mao Kong Mountain, where you can ride a gondola up to the temple in the sky. It really is a beautiful and peaceful place, with a quaint lil village there too! An obvious landmark to visit would be Taipei 101, the highest tower in Taiwan. If you're exploring the city by rail, you can also collect stamps (as in rubber stamp prints) in a little booklet at various hotspots in Taipei! It's fun, a cool momento, and helps you make sure you've seen everything haha.

Been to Taipei one too many times? Check out the farmstays! Sounds weird, but so much fun. No actual farming is necessary - just pick a location in Taiwan, stay on a farm, walk through 100 year old pine trees, breathe in fresh air, watch the sunrise, or whatever else that particular leisure farm has to offer! Trust me, it's so relaxing and beautiful, and such a different experience from the norm, you'll be dying to go back!

Festivals: Chinese New Year is an experience in itself, but the Ping Xi Lantern festival, which is held every CNY, is something else altogether. 1000s of lanterns carrying personal wishes are released simultaneously into the sky, creating a beautiful landscape like no other. Deriving from over 100 years of history, this one constantly tops the list of must see festivals.

And finally, the people: The Taiwanese are so hospitable, friendly and genuine; and that is what keeps people going back for more. Everyone is so polite and eager to help, and so nice and generous! Abby actually fractured her leg before her trip, and because she was using crutches, she got so much free stuff and discounts hahaha.

Taiwan is definitely one of my favourite countries to visit, and I know you'll have a great time there too. Know any more tips? 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

Friday, 19 August 2016

Going On Adventures with Casio EXILIM FR100

I've always wanted an action cam, but never got round to really checking them out. So when I was given the opportunity to review the new Casio Exilim FR100, I was over the moon! Excited to see what it can do, I started planning a bunch of adventures - only to find, life gets in the way lol. But that's a story for another post; this one, well I'm going to tell you everything I have experienced with this action + selfie cam so far.
Let's get the nitty gritty out of the way: The Casio EX-FR100 is an outdoors camera with a detachable LCD screen.
The screen can be folded over, or detached completely.
This makes it so much easier to take selfie shots and those hard-to-handle spots: you can know exactly what the shot is going to look like before you click the shutter, and you can place the lens in weird places just to get that amazing shot!
Selfie taken with FR100
Speaking of the shutter, there are two capture buttons: One on the lens and one on the screen - super convenient! To separate the two, just use the release button on the side of the LCD (I got a bit confused about this at first, so it's good to take note).
Tagal Tinopikon River.
The FR100 is waterproof, dust-proof, and drop-proof; basically everything an action camera needs to be. I was pretty sceptical about the waterproof part at first, because how does a camera with usb charging ports on the side not get waterlogged?? I still don't know, but it works, and supposedly can go up to 1.5m deep for 60 minutes. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to verify this yet though.
Before unboxing
The screen connects to the lens via bluetooth, and you can connect the camera to your phone via wifi (and the Casio app), which means you can upload on the go! Just download the Exilim app and you can even edit those photos before putting them online.
It's great for work - when I need to upload things asap!
Another thing I love about the Casio EX-FR100 is the sound quality - it's really good; it can pick up our voices clearly even when the camera is held quite far away, and even up in the sky! I took it with me when I went paragliding for the very first time...


The FR100 is also super lightweight at only 76g, and even my instructor was impressed as it was so much easier to hold up in the air for about half an hour haha. The 16mm wide angle lens was perfect for capturing the whole experience, completely filmed above! My only regret is that I have no photos while I was gliding =/

Although the paragliding vlog came out amazing, for some reason my Lancome vlog didn't turn out as clear as I wanted. Gotta figure out what went wrong before my next one, but I'm guessing it's a lighting problem:

The fact that it comes with so many optional accessories is the cherry on top. You can a special monopod to attach the screen a little lower, 

Casio Exilim FR100 wish list: 
1. Camera case/pouch (Or if anyone knows of a better one)
2. Ring light
3. Underwater case - for diving trips!

Overall, I'm very happy with the FR100, and can't wait to take it on more adventures! Since starting my new job I haven't had nearly as much selfie time, but maybe that will change soon =P The FR100 is great for travelling, as it's lightweight, versatile, and basically a 2-in-1. The only problem I've had with it so far is the battery life, as it seems to drain fast when taking videos. Also, having to charge both lens and screen separately can be a bit of a hassle, but expected since they are detachable. A small tip is to power off from the lens, as that will automatically turn off the screen as well. 

Price: RM2149

Love always,
Calista xx 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Furball Heaven - KK's First Pet Cafe


If you have a dog, you'd have probably realised by now that there aren't that many places you can take your dogs out in public, especially if your dogs aren't toy size, like mine.

Meet Ivory & Caesar
Love this photo with Omnom
Why hello there, Furball Heaven! I was so excited when I heard this dog cafe was opening - finally, my doggies will get to socialise! I have 6 dogs (Magic, Ivory, Omnom, Bouncy, Chocolate & Little - who is not little in the slightest now), so taking them all out at once is impossible, but at least they will get to take turns to meet the outside world properly!
Doggie Cupcakes
Human Cake =P
Located in Lido Plaza, Kota Kinabalu, it sells cake for both humans and dogs, as well as other dishes and drinks. All dogs are welcome, as long as they are up to date on their vaccinations, and of course, tick free.
Clockwise from left: Logan, Butter, Peanut, Xiao Ai
Jelly
If you don't have any pets, you're also welcome to drop by to enjoy the food and in-house pets: The owners of Furball Heaven have 5 dogs themselves: a Husky called Logan, a Shihtzu called Xiao Ai, a toy poodle called Peanut, a Golden Retriever called Butter, and latest addition, the tiniest Daschund-Border Collie mix called Jelly. They're so adorable! All of them are really friendly and love to play!

Definitely recommended; Ivory loved it, and even usually anti-social Omnom seemed content. Take your pets there, and maybe our dogs can all be friends =P

*Photos by Charlotte Fong & OneWingedAngel

Furball lover always,
Calista xx