May 31, 2016

Hannah is 7!

We have a lot of birthday celebrations in April and May for our family. Hannah, our eldest was born on 26 May 2009 which means that she is 7 this year!

Her birthday this year was a series of mini celebrations, the first being a small surprise for her at home when she got home on the day before her birthday. We turned off all the lights and we shouted "surprise" when she walked in the door, so she was really surprised! Haha. My mum made some cupcakes and her sisters helped her to blow out the candles.

She also got her first card and gift from Nanna and Kung Kung.

Daddy got one too as an early birthday gift since his birthday is in early June :)

On the next day, which was her actual birthday, it was her school sports day. For their relay games, her team won 1st prize and she got a shiny gold medal. That was definitely one of her best birthday presents :)

In the evening, we took her to eat her favourite Blue Reef fish and chips. We wanted to buy Uncle Tetsu's cheesecake to cut at home, but they did not have the usual cheesecake. So instead we got this type of cheesecake, also from Uncle Tetsu. The taste is similar, but the texture is slightly softer. It was just a very plain cake, so Hubby "decorated" it a little :)

 Nobody is more excited than Helene when it comes to birthdays haha.

So after Hannah blew her candles, we lit them up again for these two:

The obligatory family photo :)

Birthday girl enjoying her cheesecake:)

And the culmination of her birthday celebration was a two day one night stat at Shangri-La's Golden Sands Resort at Batu Ferringhi, another gift from Nanna and Kung Kung.

The first agenda was to hop in the pool! No pool pictures since we were all in the pool, but here's a look at what it looks like.

The resort also had these oversized jenga blocks and chess pieces on the lawn so the kids had fun with those too.

And the next morning, it was time for Adventure Zone! We actually took Hannah here for the first time on her 3rd birthday, and she has been a couple of times since then for friends' birthdays. That didn't make it any less fun though!

And then they played ball with Daddy outside in the field. Love the background of these pictures - blue skies and coconut palms!

All too soon, it was time to leave but it was truly an enjoyable weekend.

Happy birthday Hannah! All of us love you lots!

May 24, 2016

25 months and 63 years

Helene turned 25 months on 23 May. She tends to be an early riser, especially on weekends, so last Sunday, when everyone was still asleep, both of us decided to go for a walk in the park just below our apartment.

The grass was quite wet since it was raining the night before, so we walked along the jogging path. When we got to the swings, she wanted to sit on them. Surprisingly it wasn't that wet, so I let her sit on the swing. However when I wanted to give her a gentle push, she said "No push Mummy! Take picture Mummy!"

So I did :)

That night (22nd May), it was my dad's 63rd birthday. My parents were busy the whole day and the day before, so we had simple dinner at home. My mum had already made fried noodles and red eggs, and by request we bought pizza and KFC and a very yummy cake!

Just to share, the cake is from Mon Delice Patisserie here in Penang and this Mango Charlotte is one of their best-sellers.

The kids, especially Helene, seemed to be more excited than Kung Kung. We had to blow the candles a few rounds, upon request of a little girl asking for "one more time".

And everyone helped Kung Kung to cut his cake.

No prizes for guessing which of the girls enjoyed the cake the most :)

And one of everyone for the family album. Happy birthday Papa/Kung Kung and we look forward to many more!

May 18, 2016

ZICO Penang retreat to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Our firm recently had a retreat to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. This was my first time to Kota Kinabalu, and in fact my first time travelling to East Malaysia.

We stayed at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa and as we entered the lobby, we were greeted by this:

Our room took some time, as it was not ready when we checked in, but the room that we got was worth waiting for, as it came with this view. The island-thing jutting out onto the sea is actually the spa belonging to the hotel, Chi.

Room tip: If possible, choose a room at the Kinabalu Wing, high floor and furthest from the lift, facing the sea. The walk is quite far, but it's worth it for the view. Tanjung Aru is famous for its sunsets, and from our room, we were fortunate to get to see this:

The room itself was quite standard, but the beds were big and super comfy.

That night, the firm organised dinner for us at the hotel, so it was good time of mingling and chit-chatting and taking photos!

KK is also famous for some local delicacies, and the next day we went to try a local pork noodle which they call "sang yuk mee" at Kim Hing Lee coffee shop located at Lorong Sinsuran. The pork was lean but tender and the soup was very flavourful.

When in KK, we must also try its seafood! We went to this restaurant called Welcome at Asia City and all these dishes were only RM500 plus for 10 pax. The most expensive was the fish (RM240) as we can find it only in Sabah. Everything was delicious.

Besides eating, we didn't do much but laze around the hotel. The firm organised a tour on the 2nd day to a cultural village and a river cruise but we decided not to go. Instead, we explored the hotel grounds, took lots of selfies, went for a swim and had a massage at the spa! Pictures below :)

The next morning, which was a Sunday, we headed out to explore Gaya Street morning market which is only held every Sunday. Nothing much to buy, so I just picked up some snacks and pearl earrings to take home.

After that, it was time to check out and head to the airport to come home. It was a short 3 days 2 nights trip, but it was relaxing and I caught up on some much needed sleep! Hopefully we can make a trip here with the kids in the near future.

May 5, 2016

Hike to Monkey Beach, Penang

Hubby's colleagues organised a hike to Monkey Beach over the long weekend and he asked me and Hannah to go along. The hike would be too strenous for Heidi and Helene, so we didn't bring them along. After living in Penang for so many years, this is the first time for all of us going up this hiking trail. The entrance to the trail is known as Penang National Park, which is a little way past Teluk Bahang,

Here are all of us at the entrance of the trail. This would be the last photo that we look clean and fresh for the day haha.

Just a short way in, there was a mini canopy bridge. And where the bridge ended, the trail got tougher.

A nice break in the trail was this stretch of beach.

Hannah was busy picking up shells, but these are actually "siput" which can be cooked and eaten.

After that, we continued our hike. As can be seen, it was pretty tough in places but it was a good thing that it was mostly on flat ground and not uphill. It would have been even more tiring then.

After about almost 2 hours hike, we arrived at our destination - Monkey Beach!

We had pre-ordered lunch so here is some of the food that we were served. The taste was not that great, but we were hungry after the long hike, so it was all gone very soon!

After lunch, we had water sports - jet ski, banana boat etc. No pictures because no-one took their phones into the water! Hannah really had a ball of a time, and also she got pretty sunburnt after that!

We took the boat back (but you can choose to hike back if you want) and everyone pretty much wanted a good hot shower after that!


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