Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Top 10 Chick Flick

Everyone needs a cry or two sometimes. As we grow up, work and life gets the best of you and sucked out pretty much every dose of emotions you have. No? Maybe it's just me.

One way for a good cry is to watch chick flick. Leave your boyfriend or spouse somewhere, anywhere and grab yourself a movie! Chick flick is primarily made ONLY for women, though it doesn't hurt to bring women-alike along, haha. Come to think of it, if your spouse needs any sort of "punishment", get him to watch these genre of movie. Hahaha!

Last night my girlfriend and I were having a movie marathon. One of the movies that we watched was A Letter for Juliet. I wouldn't say that this is the best among all, but I think this is one feel-good movie to watch with your girlfriends along with nice popcorn and dessert. Oooh, kleenex included! Not gonna give out much spoilers or description on this since this just hits the theater lately.

In conjunction of the movie above, I here to present to you my top 10 favorite chick flick of all time. These are the list of movies that I've cried to and pretty much gave me a lot of goosebumps and butterflies...

Serendipity - Put a coy, soft spoken British girl and a wise cracking, witty New Yorker and BOOM, you'll get Serendipity. There is something about John Cusack that makes an excellent candidate for a male chick flick. Probably his funny and charismatic personality that makes me melt like butter. Winter, hot chocolate and New York - what a delicious way to find love. And I got to applaud the soothing numbers of the movie's soundtrack.

While You Were Sleeping - I love watching any movies with Sandra Bullock in it. One of my all time favorite and I named the title after my comic novel. Note to Malaysian: Do you guys remember the Fair & Lovely commercial where a guy met this receptionist girl and he didn't noticed her cos she's erm, dark and dull? I think that scene was taken from this movie.

The Notebook - This movie is based from a novel written by the hopeless romantic Nicholas Spark. I think this guy (Mr Spark) is like a lady trapped in a man's body. He wrote the most heart wrenching stories including Message in a Bottle. I wonder if he's a romantic guy in real life?

My Sassy Girl - Unlike the movie above that was an adaptation of a book, this movie is an Americanize version of a Korean comedy romance. I love the element of surprise in the movie, the surrealistic shots and definitely the romance. Love it!

Only You - The romantic side of the Iron Man. This is one movie that made me to ga-ga on Robert Downey Jr. Robbie was still young and fresh this time! And they could not find any location better than the lovely Venice. *drool* I think Marisa Tomei is cute, but her 80's short hair really does look masculine much like the leading man. LOL!

A Walk to Remember - I never thought Mandy Moore was a good actor until I watched this nine years ago. I used to watched this in my college dorm, at night, with the light off and just bawl over this. Bad boy meets innocent and tacky girl - what is there not to love?

Kate & Leopold - Nothing could go wrong when you have the two most adorable duo like Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman. Hugh Jackman plays in a romantic comedy? Who knew? The story of a modern, career woman and a fine, dashing gentlemen from the past!

P.S. I Love You - Two most toughest actors Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank show their soft side in this romantic comedy. I thought that this movie is a bit anti-climax, but it's enough to shed tears of any women whose watching this.

Breakfast at Tiffany's - The classic never dies in this old movie played by the most stunning, Audrey Hepburn and the blue eyed gorgeous, George Peppard. The song "Moon River" was made particularly for this movie. My favorite moment,
Paul: I love you.
Holly: So what.
Paul: So what? So plenty! I love you, you belong to me!
Holly: No. People don't belong to people.
Paul: Of course they do!
Holly: I'll never let anybody put me in a cage.
Paul: I don't want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!

13 Going on 30 - This movie doesn't really digs you in to the soppy side, very much like a tidbits of everything. Like a Neapolitan ice cream! Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo made a good pair in this movie. I can't really pin point what makes Mark Ruffalo such a good candidate for this genre. His blurry signature personality? The way he talk/mumble? Also look out for him in "Just Like Heaven" along with the incredible Reese Witherspoon.

That's it? So...chick flick anyone?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shopping smart in Queensland!

New stuff I bought throughout my trip in Queensland and Byron Bay

Okay, I believe that when you shop during your travels, the rule of thumb of shopping is always...
"Buy things that you can't get here (where you live)."
For that, girls are expert when it comes to shopping. We may shop a lot (can be impulsive shopper sometimes), but we know what's worth it and what needs to forgo.

Here are the places and things I bought while traveling in Queensland, Australia and when I head down to Byron Bay, New South Wales.

I saw this colorful flower power tour bus heading to Nimbin a hippie town. Pick me!

Byron Bay: Bought the white t-shirts, one for me and one for my dad. The men tshirt costs about $5 and mine's a bit expensive, I think it's about $7 or $10 maybe cos it's sleeveless.
Reason I bought this cos I think it's cool to have the name Byron Bay instead of just Australia. Byron Bay = surf people = cool!

Cotton On (Pacific Fair Mall, Harbourtown, Surfer's Paradise): This is quite like a F.O.S/Vincci/Ruby equivalent, where the stuff here are dirt cheap, but can also be a so-so quality. A local friend advised me to go to Harbourtown for more discounted price instead of the hotspots like Surfer's Paradise. I honestly think that Surfer's Paradise is bigger and has more choices. But hey, up to you ;). I bought the yellow sunnies, the metallic blue handbag and pink mini handbag and each only costs $5 = RM15. My guy friends bought a LOT of their tshirts cos it's SUPER comfortable and light, which is amazing for the weather during the day. * Don't buy the shoes there especially the ballet flats. It's so hard to walk on and NOT worth buying at all, unless you want an instant blister.

MovieWorld: I bought the Superman cape for $10! Didn't bother buying the tshirts and keychains cos there's already DC shop in Malaysia. Right? Right?

Panting my way to Pacific Fair Mall

Pacific Fair:
This is where the locals shop and hang out. It has a feel of Jusco and a decent mall, with food courts and local designer labels. The mall only 15 mins walk from my motel. But walking with hot weather during the day can be a bit of a bummer.

Harbourtown: If you're into branded items and want to get that bargain price items, then maybe this is the place to go. But I dunno, I went to the Nike shop and couldn't find a nice, affordable price like you get here. I bought the yellow ballet flats at a local store (forgot the name) for $10 and OMG, it's so awesome. TIPS buying ballet flats, ALWAYS opt for one size bigger, extra room for you when you walk. I bought two pairs of Ruby's during my travel in Melbourne and I ended up giving it away to my sister cos it gets tighter when you walk.

Eumandi Market, Eumandi: OHHHHH! Paradise! Local goods are ALWAYS the best when you go shopping, and what better way to splurge on things that are fresh and made locally by the passionate locals! :D I've also sampled a lot of food here from flavored macadamias (love Morrocon), ginger beer, fresh passion fruit, everything!

I bought one set of handmade soap of 6 for $7, wooden coaster (looks like chopped log) for $6, children illustration book from local artist (gift for my mother) for $15, mirror badge for $4 (got bargain from $6)...

Australian Nougat Company: Just 15 mins away from my Noosa motel, lies a hidden gem with Nougats and lots of it! Nougats are made fresh in this small factory and flavors from Cranberry and Almonds are to die for. If your teeth can handle it...

Go nuts on Macadamia Nut Factory!

Macadamia Nut and Chocolate Factory is located at southeast Queensland and 1 and 55 mins away from Queensland. If you love macadamias and want a bargain, this is the place to go. You can even sample the nuts here as well as witness chocolate in the making. 1 kg for $19.95

Now that you know, let's shop!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nature trip: Tamborine Mountain to Springbrook!

Thanks to Great Australian Roadtrip site, I got to know some of the must go's and must do's around Australia. It recommends you a few routes to go and what to do there. To view my sample itinerary to around Queensland and NSW, click here.

One of the days in Gold Coast, we have decided to do a one-day nature trip from Tamborine Mountain to Springbrook. My advise, please start the day very early - wake up at 5am (if you're staying around Gold Coast area) and leave by 6am.

To-bring for quick nature trip:
  1. Hoodie jacket (for cold, windy night). If you don't have hoodie jacket, bring hat to keep your ears warm.
  2. Food and water (picnic at Springbrook)
  3. Torchlight. I brought my headlight from Energizer event, very convenient :D
  4. Good rubbery shoes or boots (with socks)
  5. Maps and/or GPS
  6. Small backpack
  7. Blanket
  8. Long pants

1. Tamborine Mountain
Journey from Gold Coast: 1:01 hour drive
A reminisce of Cameron Highlands with attractions from vineyard and wine tasting, nature walk, Gallery walk (great food place and "tourist" shopping spot). We reached this place at noon. My advise, reach here early in the morning. So you can have time to cover the next destination like Springbrook, which is a must go than Tamborine Mountain. I personally recommend visitors to go to Gallery Cafe, at Gallery Walk for breakfast. The scones there are simply divine! In my opinion, the souvenirs here are not worth buying, but I bought a cute cat sign that I totally love. If you're a fan of fairies, then there are plenty of stuff for you to buy here, although I don't see the relation between Fairies and Tamborine.

Some pathways in Skywalk leads to ground paths such as this. I'd fun though.

Then there was Skywalk. It's an elevated walkway where you can view nature 3o m up in the air. Admission costs $18.50. Uhh, I seriously skip cos I hardly found anything worth mentioning. More of a 'meh' to me. Maybe cos I'm used to the rainforest here in Malaysia. If you want to see real nature, then I suggest going for those nature trails that doesn't require any admission.

2. Springbrook National Park
Journey from Tamborine Mountain: 1:15 hour drive
I wish I could reach here earlier to explore Natural Bridge. But were very lucky enough to made it to the Glow Worms tour! The one in the Tamborine Mountain is located in a man-made cave, so go figure. This is the real thing!

It feels like we were in a mad scientist lab where you see specimen of preserve insects and arachnids in jars. Awesome! You rock, Garry!

The tour was conducted by Garry Maguire, the man who first discovered the glow worms habitat in the park itself. Unlike the tour in our firefly reserve in Kuala Selangor, this feels very much like a classroom presentation. He spent more than 15-2o mins explaining about the whole walkthrough history of glow worms to the associations of the stars in the sky.

The research centre is located up in a hill and if you reach there at night, you not only see thousands of stars, you can even see the milky way! Just a little warning, this tour is not made for those who are scared of the dark. After explaining the 101 of glow worms, we walked to a room where they kept the luminous mushroom! Again, luck is on our side, we get to see the last mushroom of the season (was expected to end on March). I glows fairly bright in the dark, you can even read a book with it!

Picture taken from the website. Photography is not permitted at this area.

Next, we walked 200 m on a concrete pathways. We brought torchlight which was not advisable and there are already ground light (in low light) located along the pathways. Then at last, deep in 5-10m vertical rock, we were surrounded by starry glow worms, in pitch darkness. It was AWESOME!!! Truly a real life avatar moment here!

It pretty much made on my number 1 best spot to go in Queensland. Words can't describe how magical it was to experience the nature and just being there. For nature lovers or even casual travelers, this is a sight and experience not to be missed!

If you're interested to go for the tour, you can find more info here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My favorite Glee song moments...

I have actually quite a few favorites from Glee season 1, apart from Journey's "Don't Stop Believing", and to me, most of them are either from the early 90's or older...

Just to name a they are. Enjoy!

I'll Stand By You: Finn
Mood: Jiwang! Or when I'm drooling on Cory Monteith
Why this song?: I know Fin tends to get a bit nasally sometimes, but I just can't stop looping this song over and over :). Plus, beneath that naivety is one caring and romantic guy.

Endless Love: Rachel and Mr Schue
Mood: Romantic duet
Why this song?: Classic! I think most cover songs that sells in Glee are the cheesiest, oldies songs. They made it work!

On My Own: Rachel
Mood: When you feel lonely and pathetic, especially the part on "On my own pretending he's beside me".
Why this song?: The lyrics and the reason above sez it all. It's nice to feel sorry for yourself sometimes, hehehe.

You're Having My Baby: Fin
Mood: When my maternal mood kicks in. Hahahahaha! I don't know where this comes from, but I would like my future husband to sing this to me. No...really? *questioning self*
Why this song?: Can't you just see how romantic (and cheesy) he gets singing this in front of Quinn's parents and Quinn.

Smile: Mercedes
Mood: Sad and in a lift-up spirit mood. Also to remember Michael Jackson.
Why this song?: You can hear the softer side of Mercedes, as she always trying to hit the high 'diva' notes.

So what's your favorite song in Glee season 1 and why? :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cooking with what you have...

I watched BBC's Click this afternoon and as usual, they will introduce a few awesome sites available and one site that caught my eye was

Three year old, dusty book

This site is what I've been looking for. Three years ago, my mom bought me a recipe book since that's the first time I moved in to my apartment. Hehe, a bachelorette guide to cooking. It has quite a few interesting recipes, but here's the problem - the ingredients!

I have...
Ginger + Chicken + Milk + Onion + Apple = ???

Let's say you bought a whole ingredients for one meal. And then, having to cook only for 1 or 2 person, you tend to get leftovers and you pretty much have two choices;
  1. Use it for the same meal. Get the remaining ingredients and cook it. If you're a busy person, the food might go bad and bye-bye food.
  2. Re-invent new recipe on your own. The downside for that, it might taste 'wrong' since you're at a experimental mode. Oooh, pasta + apple...I wonder how it will taste like :P

Once you get to the site, just type in all the ingredients you have. I pretty much have most of the ingredients I need for spaghetti bolognese, but it's interesting to see other choices you can cook with it.

Great site for those who wants to save and cook at home. My resolution for the Earth Day this year is to cook at home at least 3 days a week. Let's cut costs on takeouts, carbon emission from fuel, eat healthy and challenge yourself into making simple to scrumptious meals.

Let's cook! For my next post (coming soon), I will share you my dad's spaghetti recipe, inspired during his years in Italy.
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