Saturday, October 17, 2009

Singapore trip 2

I know I said I didn't want to blog this trip. Takut bore people to death.

I have always been in Organic Monitor's list. Keeping myself up to date with the organic world. Once I wanted to venture into setting up my own organic shop so that I can sell my current organic skincare. Who would have thought I've sold them for two years. I have definitely have to get the papers sorted.

"Organic Monitor is a specialist research & consulting company that focuses on the global organic & related product industries.

We provide a range of business services to organisations that are active in
our specialist industries. Our services include business research publications, customised research, business consulting, seminars & workshops."

The last workshop was in Paris and as much as I want to go back there ( really can't get enough of this city and the language- so much so I wanted to name my product pure fleur - even bought french linguaphone eons ago- hahaha- I have arab and japanese too- bought by my late dad when I was in MRSM Seremban) I thot - is it worth the trip.

I wanted to also attend a few workshop in UK- tho what stopped me was the workshop was a few weeks apart. I would love to spend time there catching up with a few friends .... but ... Then last month I found out the UK company was going to organise a workshop in Florida and it has all the courses that I wanted. I was excited. Emailed Florida - only to be told that the course director was not well and the course had to be postponed. I still can go to the one in uk in November though.

So when organic monitor wrote to me it has Workshop: De-Mystifying Natural & Organic Cosmetic Standards in singapore and after bombarding me with calls from UK up till a week before the date, I thought, why shouldn't I waste this opportunity. Although this is like the the fourth step rather than the 1st step of the whatever process I had to go through.

I registered for the Incosmestic Asia and for the workshop above, flight and hotel in Singapore.

The last time I travelled alone was before I got married more than 13 years ago and I was hyped up for this trip. Will I have problem sleeping as I always have when I'm in a new place - (which I discovered only a few years ago). Will I feel bored etc..

My flight was at 6 am ( rolling my eyes- I don't know what possessed me to take such an early flight- although it is good - I am not rushed) and I couldn't sleep that night. I had to be at the airport at 4 30 ~rolling my eyes again- the booking person insisted that we be there two hours before - this is the carrier with so many delays to their name.

When I got there ticketing persons were not even there- much to my annoyance- luckily I brought a book.

After checking in , I had about an hour to kill so went to Mc Donalds for breakkie and then to Maybank ATM to activate temporary Overseas/plus ATM service- so that I may withdraw from Singapore's ATM.

Reached Singapore at about 7 o'clock then headed to Crowne Plaza hotel to leave my luggage then off to Singapore Expo. Crowne Plaza Hotel is at Terminal 3. It is easily accessible - skytrains from terminal 1 or 2 and you'd just have to go to basement 2 to access the MRT. Brilliant!

I was too early for the Expo as it starts at 10 am. Grabbed breakfast and after reading a few pages of the book I had with me the door opened.

I was glad I made the decision to come to the expo, there were many manufacturers of skincare ingredients though the ones I am interested in - probably 5 - the rest were the conventional suppliers of silicons and non organic. And the organic and natural ones are french suppliers. I knew I should brush up my french. Hahaha all I remember was au revoir, merci,

n'est–ce pas. I have also been searching for actives and extracts like black willow, bearberry, turmeric online - they have to be organic and preferably extracted with halal or kosher glycerine and preferably in the form of oil as they can blend well with my other ingredients - ( in water I would need a preservative- which I dont want - as there is no natural preservative to date - most natural/ organic cosmetic use potassium sorbate- I just dont want to use any preservative at all- so oil it is)

Around 2 I went back to the hotel to check in. By this time I was so sleepy.
The room was modernly furnished, shower, bath tub a king size bed. I requested for a king size bed- ok I couldn't very well ask for twin beds when the other bed will be empty- it'll spook me out.

I still didn't know where or when my workshop going to be- I assumed it'll be in the expo itself - although I couldn't find it in the program- mm ingatkan org putih ni lagi organised. I haven't got a call from Maria. Quick access to the net ( at bloody 29 sing a day)- a mail from Maria. Workshop at 9- venue 7-9.

Alone in the room I thought..Hey not bad at all . Well I did rent a bed sit, alone whilst in London when all my housemates went back to Malaysia- although later on I moved to MARA hostel - a decision I thought carefully as I didn't want to upset a few people- but I had to make it , as I was freezing my *&# off at the bedsit- the landlady refused to mend my window- it was winter at the time. And moving to MARA hostel was a wise decision- I could even open my windows, so warm it was. Though I did iritate my neighbour with constant playing of End of the Road. ( my habit ~ if a song is in my current favourite list - I'd listen to it over and over)

The next day after a good rest- no sleeping problem- I went to hall 7 only to find it empty - ah they meant room 7.

The workshop itself was ok. It did demystify the standard like eco cert, Soil association , Na whatever. My product will definitely make all the standards. Although it did make my head spin with all the chemical jargon.

The people who attended were from various background - from a Thai manufacturer, Martha Thilaar, New Zealand, India, Uk and my partner - from Singapore.

After the workshop, went back to Incosmetic Asia and registered with a few french manufacturer's for updates on their organic essential oil and actives.I found a french supplier with ingredients I want~ organic oil based actives certified by ecocert.

After a bit of rest in the hotel. I went out reluctantly. Sister Ida has been smsing me about jibbies crocs. Took the train to Dhoby Ghaut and after a few smses to and from Ida, got the location right and went to crocs. Before I thot apalah pasal people have this fascination for this plasticky shoes. Ok it is comfortable. I bought one as well hahaha..It is cheaper in Singapore 69 sing dollar where else in malaysia it is about RM 220.

I walked all the way along Orchard Road- my main agenda was to go to Lucky Plaza and look at the gadgets- which I couldn't go with Ida the last time we went and also to check out Bvlgari handbag. Tak habis2 lagi. Instead I just went to a few shopping complexes along the way, found a bead shop much to my delight and bought beautiful pink opals and jasper- Must show to aunt Nita or Mak Z. I asked if they have gold filled findings - and they recommended another shop in another mall.

Apa lagi.. The shop has wide range of gold filled findings. I even found one that looked like my silver amber necklace - I have found out I cannot wear silver on my neck- bracelets are fine- even silver 925 discolour my neck- not only the silver change colour - my neck too and I get rashes- Sigh.. dah kena beli gold. Nasib baik 14k gold filled is ok - kalau kena pakai pure gold..tu dah kira mengada.

I was then exhausted, kepala pun pounding headache - forget Lucky plaza I thot- went to Bvlgari dah tutup..ha? Jimmy Choo sebelah terang benderang aje.. Sigh.. Grab dinner- mulanya lapar then apetite pun off. Took a cab back and Tido.

The next day I thot of going to Orchard Road again but my head still feel like I've hit the brick wall. Ni sure makan entah apa yg ada MSG. Checked out- checked in the airport - almost three hours early and my other luggage was too bulky to carry - took out my laptop and carried in an eco bag. Later bought a leather laptop bag at one of the shop. Bought two books and read before going to the boarding area. Flight was delayed hahaha what else is new..

Reached KL answered an sms/chat , had dinner and sleep.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ju's wedding and Singapore Trip

On 3rd of October, my A levels roommate Juliana's wedding in Ipoh.The next day my cousin in Singapore. I was so excited, and planned to go to both wedding. Er of course I had to solve the logistics problem first. The day before Mak M, Dh's aunty called to say that there will be breakfast- nasi lemak and durian- both my favourite. ok...

The trip to Singapore was to be spouse free. Er.. how are we going to do that. So the plan was-Breakfast at Mak M's then off to Ipoh, flight to Singapore alone then meet my brother and sister. My siblings wanted me to reach Sinagpore early but the earliset would be flight from Ipoh at 4 with er firefly, I can't take flight from KLIA, no way we can reach KLIA on time, although the flight from KLIA was at 5. No problem I said.

Around 10 something we reached Damansara. We left Damansara at 1.30. Panic sets in. Er sempat ke nak pi wedding ni. Dh drove like F1 driver- no problem for him- he took like 1 1/2 hr from Sepang to Kluang. We reached the wedding nearly four. Alhamdulillah, managed to meet another roomate, Ully, who, last time I met was A levels reunion eons ago and Wok. Ully - awet muda. Of course we had our jejak kasih moments.

Di sebabkan kelewatan, we had like a few minutes together then she had to go.

Juliana looked radiant. Bagai pinang di belah dua. Congratulations Juliana!

Next I had to catch that flight at 4.40 or so I thought. Reached there alamak... flight delayed to 5.20. Then to 5.55pm, why I asked? TUDM air show. What pilot decided to join in too?

By the time I reached Singapore it was 9pm. Took a limo to Meritus Mandarin - hahaha from budget airport- dah too tired.. Reached there- ok my brother was not joking when he said it's near Takasyimaya. It is smacked in front of it. Just have to cross the road. Apa lagi my sister whisked me off to Takasyimaya, Ion - Dior - and Miu miu. After the stores closed- hahaha mana sempat- we had dinner.

The next morning we resumed ukur jalan at Orchard Road. We were in front of Takasyi just before it opened. Very very tiring. Around 1 we headed to Jurong, yes lets not forget we have a wedding to attend.

The bride was stunning. Well she is a model after all. She also have a stunning sister. Lovely food. Great reception. Er.. some unusual crowd dancing.

Eva the bride

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Bride's sister

After wedding, head to Orchard road again. Hahaha.. My sister didn't want to go anywhere else. Just like the time she visited me in London. Tiap2 hari nak pi Oxford Street. Macam cita Shopaholic and sister, altho in this case dua2 shopaholics.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Kakak camillia's bday.

It has been so long since I last blog. Of course so many things has happened. On the day I had the scene with my neighbour something else happened too. The feeling was indescribable. Like being in an emotional rollercoaster. Elated and then heart wrenching. Ok enough about that.

I promised to blog about poor kakak's bday party on the 4th of July.

For kakak's bday the theme was Wii Party. We've done costume, princess, pool so dah kehabisan idea. And since baru beli wii- we thot wii partylah

DH was to do Pinata of kakak's mii ( a character in wii) since Art is his majorkan..altho jarang he drew anything besides nudes ( apparently according to Mak z's my MIL's specialty too - shock horror- mm is it ok to blog about this).

For kakak's cake I thot I'd do a Chocolate mud cake draped with marshmallow fondant.Baked the cake, prepared meat/ chicken pies, marinated lamb and chicken the day before. MIL came and helped with Laksa Johor.

Actual day I spent half a day decorating the cake. We ( camillia and I) thot of following the theme- Mii character on the cake then decided to put the camelia flower instead- although it looked more like roses than camelias. Camillia helped me with the small roses- hahaha kesan bday girl. The mushroom sauce and spagetti bologna pun buat that day. Maid (rolling my eyes) dah membebel kenapa tak buat the mushroom sauce awal because it had to be on the stove for four hours. Previously Chef wan's recipe did take 4 hours but I've modified it and managed to do it in an hour - hahaha and tasted the same. Rahsianya- nak tuntut - kena belanja San Francisco steakhouse's melt in the mouth tenderloin new york cut in Subang Jaya. Hahaha.

By three, kakak's friends dah datang. Since it's kakak's and my favourite past time and since we both sell our creation to friends and family,We had beading contest. The boys played wii. Then opps no electricity.. which is like alamak.. have to find alternative games.
We had the pinata outside and the kids lined up only to find the pinata fell down before it broke to pieces. hahaha. So berebutlah..
One boy, Zul, from kakak's class came, which is a bit weird since I remembered writing out girls' name on the invitation cards. A few days after the party I sent kakak to extra class and when I picked her up she said class was postponed and when I asked what she did throughout the time, she said Ulangkaji dgn Zul, which got my hackles up. Mmm I know tak sporting betul mama.

Zul was interviewed by both my Mum and MIL. Hahaha .
Mak B came with nasi lemak. Thank you!
Lana came and saved the day! She called TNB and electricity on apa lagilah. Continued with wii games- Wii fit balance games and then terkinja2 with we cheer, Dance Revolution etc. Lana, Izreen, and Nadine won the contests.

Thanks all for making it a fun day.