Tuesday, 24 July 2007

N95 - A True Beauty...

This has got to be the biggest hit in mobile phones to date (and I’m not just saying that because my company handles Nokia as a client). The Nokia N95 is like a mobile phone, MP3, computer and camera rolled into one brilliant little device.

Add that on to the fact that it weighs a miniscule 120g, it’s literally all you need to really go mobile. The phone comes with 160MB internal memory, but comes with a microSD card slot to bump the memory up to 2GB.

The hook that really got me? Its camera – with a 5megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics, I am such a goner for this baby. Which other phone camera comes with autofocus and a powerful flash on top of all its other existing features?

Only drawback is that with this much built into one machine, the battery doesn’t last that long. The specs say it has a stand-by of up to 220 hrs and talk time of up to 6.5 hrs, but that won’t hold up if you regularly use the camera, MP3 player or surf the Net a lot.

Retail price goes from RM2,740 – RM2,820.

Rating: 5/5 (love it love it love it!!)
Value: $$ (for the features, this is a real bargain)


Sunday, 22 July 2007

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray...

I’ve never been a big fan of spending my hard-earned moola on ‘non-essentials’, but this item is a real must-have. Avène (the brand hails from South-West France) has got an amazing thermal spring water spray that does wonders for the skin.

The spray claims to come with a myriad of uses:

1. To complete the cleansing process

2. To set make-up

3. To soothe and soften skin while traveling

4. To alleviate facial redness

5. To calm skin after shaving

6. To relieve skin stressed by dermatological procedures

Avène has been recognised for its ability to treat certain skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and burns. I have to admit, it feels very different on the skin compared to just using tap water or bottled water in a mister.

Since my discovery, I’ve tried it as a remedy for all kinds of skin-related matters: breakouts, rashes, razor burn, splotchiness, and yes, setting my makeup and as a refresher as well. Somehow…it works.

Rating: 4.5 / 5
Value: $$$


Saturday, 21 July 2007

DAORAE Korean BBQ...

The thing I love about my current company is that we’re all food lovers, and are always on the lookout for new places to try. During our recent regular foray out for food, we decided on Korean barbeque and ended up at this establishment called DAORAE in Hartamas.

First impressions of the place were rather unassuming. The signage was clear enough downstairs, but once we got to upstairs, there weren’t any other directions to guide us. It didn’t help that the staff at the restaurant were mostly Nepalese or Korean and could not speak much English. Nevertheless, the setting itself was quite interesting (note the silver chopsticks!).

We decided to opt for cooking a variety of meats, which was cooked for us on the hot grills. No worries if you’re not the best of cooks – the wait staff are absolutely brilliant at their job, and cooked the meat to perfection.

All the food also came with various side dishes such as spicy long beans, toasted ikan bilis, pickles, kimchi, fresh lettuce and soup.

We also ordered a huge portion of Kimchi-jeon-gol, which was a spicy combination of Korean noodles and various meats and vegetables simmered steamboat style.

The steamboat was put on a side table to simmer while we devoured the barbequed meats, and was served last. It was the perfect topper to the meal.

Springy noodles in spicy soup...it was kind of a take on the kimchi instant noodles soup, but so much better! *urrpp* I think the results speak for themselves:

The verdict? This has been one of the best Korean restaurants I’ve been to. Admittedly, it’s rather pricey at RM20-RM40 per plate of meat, but the quality of the food’s stellar enough to put the price tags out of your mind throughout the duration of the meal.

Recommendations – try the following for absolute heaven:

Saeng-deung-shim (fresh rib eye seasoned with sesame oil)
Gal-bi (beef ribs marinated in Daorae’s special sauce)
Yang-nyum Dak-gal-bi (marinated skinless chicken fillets)
Yang-nyum Yang-go-gi (choice cuts of lamb marinated in sweet soy sauce)

2nd Floor, 9-1, Jalan 23/ 70 A,
Desa Sri Hartamas

Rating: 4.5/5
Value: $


Laptop bags...

I’ve never been one for conventional laptop bags, and it has always been a real burden for me to haul my computer back and forth using those one-side straps…they cut into my shoulder. During one of my trawlings at Low Yat recently, I came across this bag from Targus that was exactly what I needed.

Nice, no?

The backpack came at a bargain for just RM150. I like the fact that it’s from Targus, hence the bag comes with a full warranty. And it’s such a ladies bag! A friend commented that the bag actually came with a make-up bag (it’s really just a pouch for essentials, not REALLY a make-up bag…but I guess you could use it as one!)

This one will serve me well for now, although there are still quite a few other bags that caught my eye while I was surfing online:

Personally, I love these few…

What’s your favourite?


Sunday, 15 July 2007

Thank God It's...

Was at Fridays a while back for dinner with the rents, and tried quite a few things on the menu (it’s always nice when you go with other people, there’s a whole lot more to try!) I normally go there when I'm in the mood for their Three-For-All, but decided to try different dishes for once.

We started out with the French onion soup, which came with a thick layer of cheese on top. It’s traditionally supposed to come with bread inside, but I actually would prefer it without the dough.

Next up was the onion rings – now, I will only eat actual onion onion rings…not the reconstituted kind. These were hot and crisp, and go fantastically well with their salsa sauce. One thing to look out for is that the chef doesn’t get too salt shaker-happy, otherwise you could just get your entire week’s worth of sodium in ONE ring.

The bruschetta is one dish you REALLY have to try. Tangy, juicy, flavourful tomatoes served with ‘crisp on the outside, moist on the inside’ toasted bread…what’s not to like?

My main dish was the chicken basil pasta, which unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take a picture of before I started chowing down on it...*grins*…I’ve had the dish quite a few times, but the standards vary quite a bit. Sometimes the chicken slices are rather dry, and other times the dish seems to be just swimming in sauce (which I actually like, by the way)

I wish they’d bring in some of the other dishes on their US menu. I know they can’t actually bring in the pork bacon hamburgers dishes like these would be most welcome additions:

Rating: 3.5/5
Value: $


Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Vanity, thy name is Beetrice...

I got tagged by Tine to do this

You Are 60% Vain

You're a little vain, but more than anything you have a healthy amount of confidence.
Thinking the world of yourself is great. Just don't think less of those who aren't as pretty as you!

You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Only 60%?? I think this quiz is asking the wrong questions…*lol* but that said, I’ve gotten a whole lot more comfortable with myself in the past 3 years or so…

1. You check out your reflection in windows: Often - Okay, okay…I admit it, I do like glancing at my own reflection – usually to see if my hair looks right, or whether I’ve got stuff in my teeth. Discreetly, of course!

2. Your closet is chock full of the latest styles, even if your credit card suffers for it a little: Rarely - I’d have to agree with Tine on this…most of the latest styles don’t suit me – because these fancy designers have sticks in their heads when making their clothes. I prefer those good ol’ classics…who wants to be 50 and cringing when they look at their 20-something photos going “what the HELL was I thinking when I bought THAT??” I’ll stick to fewer items, but more quality ones in my wardrobe, thank you.

3. You buy tons of personal care products, from expensive moisturizers to specialty shampoo: Often - Alas, I’m a real product junkie (‘duh’ since I’ve got my own review blog!) so my dressing table’s cluttered with loads of products I’ve probably sampled only twice or thrice…but it’s only through these sampling sessions that I’ve managed to find some real gems amongst all the countless products out there. And yeah, we should start a swapping program amongst bloggers! (btw Paris, I love the samples you sent over!!)

4. You dream of being a movie star or model: Sometimes - A girl can dream, right? It’s always nice being recognized (and pampered!) every now and then, which happens thanks to the exposure I’ve gotten over the past couple of years…but hopefully not when I’m looking my worst!

5. If you started to lose your looks, your self esteem would likely suffer: Sometimes - I don’t consider myself a real looker, but I’ve got a couple of features I like highlighting. With the kind of society we live in, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the shallowness of the ‘if I look good, I’ll be treated well’ mentality. It happens.

6. If you weren’t happy with your looks in some way, you would consider cosmetic surgery: Rarely - Not on my ‘to do’ list, but who knows?

7. You wear designer underwear: Sometimes - Simply put, I would if I could all the time…*grin*…it puts a nice spring into your steps.

8. Besides showering, it takes you at least 20 minutes to get dressed and primped for the day: Often - So we’re not counting the 40-odd minutes I spend IN the shower? Haha…I’m more of an ‘in the shower’ primper, what with the body scrubs, conditioner n what not. Otherwise, on working days (after plenty of practice!) I can get ready in 15 minutes flat.

9. You enjoy getting your picture taken: Always - *sigh*…another camwhore, I am. Pictures of which most are NOT for public consumption – simply because they don’t fit my ‘flattering’ criteria…so how can this quiz say I’m NOT vain?? *rofl*

10. If you see someone of your gender who is hot, you immediately start silently critiquing them: Sometimes - usually, it’s to see whether that person is *ahem* a woman in drag or not first, THEN the bitching starts…hehehe…

So, what’s your excuse??
utterly butterflyz
+ the slayer +


Sunday, 1 July 2007

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...

If you’ve never tried Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (the big version, not the tiny ones!), you have NO IDEA what you’re missing. It’s the ultimate in PMS comfort food (slightly salty peanut butter encased in sweet chocolate!!), which is why I’m always begging friends to bring them back for me when they head overseas.

The maddest thing I’ve done? During my holiday to Los Angeles a couple of years back, we actually ended up at the US version of ‘Tesco’ or ‘Makro’, and ended up with a HUGE 24-BOX CRATE of Reese’s. Took the four of us with rather heavy bags just to bring it back, I can tell ya.

Rating: 4/5
Value: $$
(unfortunately, they’re not available in Malaysia so I normally stock up during my trips!)