Crsytal Orange Hotel Beijing

I decided to review hotels separately to try to keep my posts short and readable.
So here is one for Crystal Orange Hotel in Beijing, China.

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I booked a deluxe queen room with no breakfast cos I see no point in it. Room size is ok.. There is a pet fish in every room (I think) which is pretty cool but I barely noticed its existence so doesn’t really have any effect on me. And thoughtfully, they placed one mini  Dove chocolate each on each pillow.. 🙂

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This hotel is located in what looks like a CBD area.  Distance from hotel to the nearest station, Yong’anli is about 750m. You will pass a small alley and a right turn passing by tall office buildings and a small street of cafes and eateries. It can be quite dark at night too because the streets are not brightly lit. You can walk but I would suggest for you to rent a bicycle to cycle to and fro. I took Ofo and basically the rides are free. If you do not have the app, download it from the app store, register with your mobile number and place a refundable deposit of CNY199. There is no halal or muslim-friendly restaurants nearby either except for one possible restaurant near the station.

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I like the room but for location-wise, I would rather be staying at Gotel Capital which is much much nearer to the train station.. probably about 100-150m walk. I saw the rooms online and it’s not bad looking.

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Gotel Capital Hotel Exterior

Near Yong’anli station though, there’s this market building called Silk Street Market which sells mainly clothes.

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I realise that in Beijing, there is no more night market or those outdoor street markets. What they have is a “market” inside a building like a mall. But it is still called a market. It is a touristy place so you know what to expect there. Vendors do tout and can be aggressive. So do be careful.

There are some International cuisine restaurants there too in case you get hungry after shopping. For Muslim tourists, I saw one Turkish Restaurant there but I’m not sure if it’s halal. You can check on it if you are at the location.

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That’s pretty much all in Yong’an Li area.. There is nothing much to do here except for office buildings, a 7-11 nearby the hotel and some shops along the street and this mall near the station.  Have fun exploring!

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Happy (belated) 2018!

Oh I am such a noob! I have finally got the time to meddle around for a bit and ta-dah! I’ve managed to add my Instagram account to the sidebar. Such an easy task.. Why didn’t I do this earlier? I’m supposedly most active on Ig than anywhere else for the moment. Anyway, I’ve yet to say “Happy New Year!” The previous post was actually written in December but published only yesterday. So this is officially my first post for the new year.

How was 2017? Got married, fell out with one bff, brought my mom to a place she’s never been to, climbed the Great Wall of China (another bucketlist checked!) and I recently came back from South Korea and Hong Kong. I spent New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong. I didn’t have the best view and I had some issues with my hotel, which I want to talk about in another post… but the fireworks is phenomenal! I’d love to spend another New Year there but with a better and earlier planning. I’ve had my first encounter with a full-on snow shower and my first experience on ice-skating. That was amazing.. 🙂 What else? Oh.. my iPhone 7plus which is literally new cos I’ve had it in the box for almost a year has again dropped onto the ground and cracked its edge of screen. Seems like I’m not fated to bring new phones to cold countries. First one was my then new iphone6 in Norway, happily sliding down the steep icy slope and gave me a glorious crack across the screen (but I’m still actively using it). And now, my new iphone7+ dropped out of the pocket of my jacket onto the gravel ground. Thankful it’s a small crack but it’s still a stab in the heart. Sigh.. Maybe I shouldn’t go to a snowy country for my next new iPhone. 😦

 

How’s 2018 so far? Another close friend of mine just gave birth to her first child and it’s a boy! Gonna visit her later. That’s all so far…. Nothing major has happened yet. Will get on to my trips as soon as I can. I rarely have time in hand when I’m at work now.. Till next post! 🙂

Time really flies…

I didn’t realise that it has been 4 months since I wanted to upload pictures on my Beijing trip.. That one day I had some time for myself so I did that Christmas log cake list, changed my boring theme and remove the profile page. I saw a lot of people visit my profile page and I’m pretty sure they were left disappointed or lost lol. I do not know why I even had a profile page when I don’t and can’t even write anything in there. So it has been removed for now till I can figure out what to put there.

Regarding the Beijing trip pictures, they are ready to be uploaded but I really don’t know what’s holding me back. Maybe it’s because I was never in the right mood to write. I will try to upload soon.. It will be a long entry and I’m trying to figure out how to make it simpler and shorter unlike my past few travel entries. I don’t have much time in hand now to meddle around. I keep having distractions, heavy workload, no motivation  or my mood is just not right. I will try to figure something out soon. I realised that my blog will not be so dead if I can link my instagram up here but this free version won’t allow me to. Now I’m thinking if I should start paying. The last time I had my own website and hosting, it cocked up big time and I lost everything and in the end I kept paying the monthly fees for nothing. Now I’m contemplating again.. Hmmmmmmm…………..

Anyhooo……. if you want to have a look,  here’s my instagram link.

Best Looking Christmas Log Cake for 2017

So it’s that time of the year again for me to search for good yummilicious looking log cakes.  Last year I was spoilt for choices. They were all so gorgeous you wouldn’t want to eat it but this year, I can’t help but feel disappointed for this year’s collection. It looks as if not much thoughts and effort are being put. Oh wells…. Nevertheless, here’s the list of my Top 10 log cakes (round or square cakes not included). Do take note that I may be biased on chocolate flavours.

I do not own any of the images. All images and some texts are taken directly from their website.

1) Utterly Chocolatey by Swensens (Halal)

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Approximately 1kg and may serve 10-12 people         S$58

I just simply love the colour contrast… Simple but eye-catching. It is made with their signature sticky chewy chocolate ice-cream topped with a merry mix of chocolate, berries and a magical sprinkle of snow.

2) Coco Crunch Log Cake by Gateaux Patisserie

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Coco Crunch Log Cake  700g          S$39

3) Salted Dulcey Caramel by Nesuto Patisserie

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Weighs 800g and may serve up to 12 pax        S$88

Decadent 70% light chocolate mousse, filled with a ‘Fleur de sel’ caramelized white chocolate centre laden with crunchy dark chocolate pearls & buttermilk chocolate sponge.

4) Framboise Chocolat Buche de Noël by Intercontinental Hotel (Sugar-free)

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Framboise Chocolat Buche de Noel    1kg        $68

This design is similar to last year’s log cake as featured here.
It is a sugar-free log made of luscious dark chocolate mousse, tangy raspberry confit
with chocolate biscuit cake. Totally consumable guilt-free!

5) Ondeh Ondeh Yule Log Cake by Choz Confectionery (Halal)

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Approximately 1kg     $68.80

Cake needs no introduction. It’s an ondeh-ondeh log cake! Who can resist an ondeh-ondeh cake? Its normally a chiffon cake layered with gula melaka. Sweeeeeet!

6) Red Velvet with Cream Cheese by Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes (Vegan/Halal)

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Price from S$80 for 5″ length

This sweet and simple looking cake is egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free but it contains gluten and soy. Use their discount code ” healthierxmas17 ” by 10th December to enjoy 10% discount.

7) Lemon and Hazelnut Yule Log by Cafe Noel (Fairmont / Swissotel Stamford Hotel)

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Lemon Hazelnut Yule Log          500g – S$43  /  1kg – S$73

Don’t be deceived by the look. It may look like it has a whole lot of chocolate but it is actually made of lemon mousse, praline and hazelnut crunchy.

8) Espresso ‘Chest’ by Cafe Noel (Fairmont / Swissotel Stamford Hotel)

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Espresso ‘Chest’ Log Cake         500g – S$43  /  1kg – S$73

Another on from the hotel that made the list is this chest log cake. Although it doesn’t really scream Christmas, it tops the list design-wise. It is made of coffee cream, almond sponge and spiced orange marmalade.

9) Triple Chocolat Cake Log by Bakerzin

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Approximately 2kg    S$74.77

Chocolate lovers are in for a sweet treat! This is the ultimate pure chocolate indulgence with three classic flavours – decadent chocolate, pure cream cheese and caramel. Each bite unleashes an explosion of flavours and beckons you for more servings!

10) Bûche de Noël by DB Bistro & Oyster Bar by Daniel Boulud (MBS)

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Bûche de Noël     S$50+
Sweeten any celebration with a Bûche de Noël in Chocolate Praline or Coconut Mango.

I just saw this one.. I would have bought one of this if I had seen it earlier but there’s not much information given on their website.

BONUS:
I have 2 more to add on to the list but they are not categorised under log cakes so here are the 2 cakes that I find interesting..

1) Merry Mosaic Cakes by The Deli (Goodwood Park Hotel)

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500g for S$48

This is a combination of 16 cake ‘squares’ of six different flavours – Orange Chiboust, Raspberry Earl Grey, Blackcurrant, Tiramisu, Green Tea and Cheesecake and individually crowned with Christmassy decorations.

2) Snow Globe by Antoinette

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10cm – S$15   /   15cm – S$65

This is just too cute to eat and I think it will make a nice gift. Light vanilla cheese cream mousse, raspberry marmalade, light passionfruit cream, almond nougatine and finger sponge with kirsch.

Well, that’s all I have for this year’s hunt. Hopefully next year will have more options than this year’s cos it was not as easy for me as last year to come up with this top 10 list. Merry sweeeeeet Christmas everyone! Till next time!

138 Days Since….

Pardon my hiatus as I was busy adjusting myself to this new life of mine..
As you can expect, quite a number of things happened to me within this 4 months.. Things have changed a lot.. Meetings and signings and so many tasks to do..

I have started working full time as of July.. Surprise! So yeah, lesser time for me now..
It has been 9 years since I’ve worked full-time and I sure need a lot of energy to get myself motivated for work everyday.. No, it’s not under the creative line like before and it’s just admin/accounts work so you can imagine all those papers and digits I have to see everyday. It gets tiring sometimes.. but my working hours are very flexible so I am very thankful and lucky for that.

What else happened? I went on my mini moon in May to somewhere familiar not too far away.. There’s nothing much to talk about there as it was just a short getaway right before the arrival of Ramadhan. Oh wait.. There is something to talk about.. Ok, will try to write on that one.. Then Eid came. First tiring Eid ever in my whole adult life as he has a big family while mine is super small and tight. National day / my parents’ anniversary… Had a few staycations with the family and more short holidays.. I’ll try to write about one of the stays if I don’t have too much backloads. Had a major drama episode with my clique and we had a fallout. Oh and there was this hyped Nasi Lemak stall with lobster going on and yeah, I tried that too.. Again, will try to write on that.. And finally my birthday just passed so I decided to go on a trip since I don’t have any reason to stay for my celebration like usual anyway.. I WILL write on that soon.. not about the drama but the trip lol..

So yeah, basically that’s what’s happened so far.. Till next post..

p/s: When I say I’ll try, don’t put too much hope cause as it is, I have so many backloads..
but I will try to make it happen.. Happy weekend! 🙂

Ms to Mrs…

The big day came and gone… The wedding was held last weekend. Solemnisation/Nikah was held on Saturday, 29th April and reception/sanding was held the next day. As expected, of course there’ll be hiccups here and there but despite it all, things went well.. I couldn’t be more happier with our entourage, my bridesmaids and the groomsmen. They have been supporting us and helping us throughout the whole process, overlooked things to ensure it was smooth-sailing. Without them, it would have been a disaster.. What can I say? They have been awesome.. my best peaches.. It was pretty tiring for me with not enough sleep as up till the day of event itself, I still had things to settle.. but it’s all good now.. 🙂

Many things did not go as planned… from my decor, to my cake and many other things but I decided that I did not want to be a bridezilla on that day and kick up a fuss which will spoil everyone’s mood..

Here’s a recap of the events leading to the big day (forget about the errands running around back and forth here and there and the gift trays and ribbons I had to complete):

On Wednesday, I had my final fitting, 3 days before the event.. everything was good on my side.. We had to carry them all back to our houses.. damn heavy! He had his suit changed last minute, the day before the solemnisation because he decided he did not like the gray suit. Luckily the bridal company allowed him to..

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Thursday, my henna night! My girls came over and we had a mini party till late night.. We chatted, watched movies, ate some food as they kept me company while I was doing my bridal henna. I finished my henna at 3am.. it was a looong night.. I hate the process.. once it’s on, ur hands and legs are deemed useless.. And it doesn’t smell nice too..

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Leaving henna crumbs all over..

So I had to leave them overnight. I’m fidgety.. even peeled off some of the capping just so I can use my fingers.. 😁 Anyway, here’s the outcome.. I forgot to take a picture of my palm 😅

It’s been 9 days since… and I’m still tired from the wedding.. Will post more on the event next.. Till next time…

6 Days!!!

Oh how can I stop the time?

Most of the things are done now… Left to decorate some stuff… The designing part is finally over… The second half of my wedding favour is finally done and I’m just waiting for them to arrive… The first half is done.. packed and all ready.. The reason there are 2 different favours is because what I really wanted is far too expensive… So I have to split in order to meet my budget. I simply refuse to give anything else other than that… So the ladies will have a different favour than the guys.. The kids? Well, they will have kinder joy egg surprise.. 🙂 So far, I’m satisfied with whatever that has been done.. except for my lovely lace outfit which I have sent to the tailor.. The design is different from what I expected and I look like one square lady in it.. it has no shape.. What a waste of a beautiful lace that I’ve saved up for years.. sigh!

My bridal company called me up to change my solemnisation outfit as there was a problem with it.. So I chose this pretty  flowy simple white dress.. And just as I was loving this new outfit, they call again to inform me that the outfit was unavailable and that my initial outfit is now available.. Urgh… Imagine my frustration.. So after much discussion, she said she will take the first outfit and fit with a similar scarf of the second outfit that I like. So I get the best of both worlds, yeah.. I hope it’ll turn out nice though.. I can only see it during my final fitting which is in 4 days..

My bridesmaids threw me a combined Hen night/Bachelor party for us last weekend. We wanted all girls, the proper one.. but most of them are mothers of 2 young kids so it’s hard.. It’s still fun… All you need is a good company right?

Oh and my thoughtful girls got me a pair of bridal shoes.. yay! So I can erase that off my shopping list. It was really hard for me to find one..

Although it’s a bit bigger in size and heels so high, I can suck it up and rock the walk. My legs will scream though on the day.. Oh I can’t imagine the torture I have to put them through..

So what am I left with? Hmmm…. I have yet to consolidate my song list. I have no idea what song to choose for my march in.. My wedding favours have not arrived yet. It’s late.. Wanted it by Saturday and now I don’t know if they can make it.. Sigh.. I still need to clean up my room.. That’s the terrible part.. So many things to clear lol.. Oh, and I did 2 gift trays already.. 3 more to go..

I know I should be posting more pictures.. but I barely have time now.. We have painted the room and I think we did a fine job….

I feel like I’m slowly becoming a bridezilla.. I’m anxious and worried about everything.. Thousand things I need to think about and to plan out. I’m worrying about everything all the time. From my bridesmaid dresses to my decor.. I don’t have that feeling of assurance. Arguing about my favours with the suppliers. It’s mentally exhausting.. but I feel like if I let go and let it be, I’ll get disappointed and that’s not what I paid for.. that’s obviously not what I want. Ok, I’m officially already a bridezilla now..

Gonna be super busy next week. Gotta try out the decor for the car, get the ribbons for the car doors and the convoy, henna party and my final fitting among many others.. !

I need to lose my fats in less than one week! Wish there’s a magic pill or something.. Love my food too much and too lazy to exercise.. 😓 It’s 0330hrs now.. gotta go clean my room and go finish up the trays.. Wish me luck!