June 30, 2007

New York City - Part 2

Friday, March 9

Today was my designated shopping day. My destination was the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, an outlet center located in Central Valley, New York, about an hour from Manhattan. The center is part of the Chelsea Premium Outlets group and takes its name from the town in which it is located. Occupying more than 800,000 square feet (72,000 m²), the charming Colonial-American style village is one of the largest outlet centers in the world.

I surfed the Net and found several tour companies offering daily shopping tour to Woodbury Common. The kiamsiap me settled for Express Trails, the cheapest among all the tour companies at US$30 for a round trip ticket. It was scheduled to depart from NYC at 0930 and return from Woodbury Common at 1600. However, the bus didn't leave till about 1000 and as we were caught in the notorious New York traffic, the supposed one hour journey took much longer. I spent the time on the bus familiarizing myself with the layout of the center, and marked the shops I wanted to visit as I couldn't afford to waste any time. By the time the bus arrived at Woodbury Common, it was almost 1200.

Woodbury Common is a shopaholic's dream comes true. It features 220 stores offering upscale designer and brand name outlets. With familiar brand names such as Adidas, Banana Republic Factory Store, Burberry, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Zegna, Max Mara, Gap Outlet, Nike Factory Store, Off 5th - Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland and Versace, one can spend hours, if not days in the center. As I only had four hours before the pick-up time, I rushed about locating the targeted stores and made my purchase. Even then, I couldn't accomplish as much as I'd planned. On hindsight, I should've paid a bit more for the Gray Line buses with a range of departure and pick-up times, as late as 7.51pm departing from Woodbury Common. That way, I could have shopped to my heart's content.

Bounty for me and Yiu Yiu

Anyhow, I arrived back in NYC at close to 1900. I made my way back to the hotel to drop off my purchases, took a quick shower and off I went again. I walked to Times Square, a mere five minutes away from the hotel. Known as the Crossroads of the World, Times Square is the heart of NYC, where commerce meets the performing arts, attracting both businesses and tourists alike. Most of the Broadway theatres light up the street off Times Square, with MTV studios and Good Morning America studio also calling Times Square home. The whole area is alive with bright lights and bustle; even the massive subway station is neon-lit.

June 29, 2007

New York City - Part 1

My tales of New York got a little side-tracked...so here's the continuation of the story, the antepenultimate snippet of my trip.

Thursday, March 8

I purchased the New York in a Minute Package from the Gray Line New York Sightseeing which included a Hop-on Hop-off Downtown Loop double decker bus ride and tickets to the Empire State Building Observatory and the Lady Liberty Harbour Cruise.
I boarded the bus from Times Square, a mere 5 minutes walk away from my hotel. As the name suggests, the bus runs through the downtown area and travels through attractions and neighbourhoods such as the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, Financial District and Battery Park, the departure point for Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

I disembarked at Battery Park with the intention to board the ferry to Liberty Island, home to the Statue of Liberty or more affectionately known as Lady Liberty. For the millions who first came by ship to America in the last century, Lady Liberty was their first glimpse of America. Next to Liberty Island is Ellis Island, America's main entry point for immigrants from 1892 to 1954. Over 17 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island in those 64 years and Lady Liberty quickly became their symbol of freedom and opportunity in this land of plenty.

To my dismay, I found out that the ticket that came with my package was not the ferry ticket to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Instead, it was a 45 minute cruise circumnavigating Liberty Island but would not make any stops. As I had paid good money for the package, I didn’t want it to go to waste so I just went ahead and boarded the cruise. I wasn't disappointed though, as we got a close up look at the Brooklyn Bridge and the breath-taking views of the Manhattan skyline from the water. When it approached Liberty Island, the cruise paused on the water for several minutes so we could take close-up pictures of Lady Liberty in all its glory.

The Brooklyn Bridge and view of Manhattan from the water

Lady Liberty in all its glory

Ellis Island

I had planned to take the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island after the cruise, but by then, the queue had become really long. As it was already almost noon, I didn't want to waste time in the queue so decided to give the islands a miss. Come to think of it, I was quite thankful that I was able to take good shots of Lady Liberty on the cruise, because if I had landed on Liberty Island, I wouldn't have been able to get good photos of the statue, as I would be staring 152 feet up at her.

I made my way back to the Financial District and I grabbed some lunch at a pizzeria amidst office workers of the famous Wall Street. I then wondered around Financial District to see its many attractions. First up was the US Customs House, a relatively modern building and now houses the National Museum of the American Indians. Further along the road, many people gathered to take a closer look at the bull statue of Wall Street. The majestic Federal Hall National Memorial is one of Wall Street's most recognizable sights. Built in 1842, the memorial, with a statue of George Washington on the steps, is located directly across from the New York Stock Exchange. Other attractions in the area include Trinity Church, a neo-Gothic house of worship and Ground Zero. Until Sept 11, 2001, the Financial District was anchored by the World Trade Center, but it is now just another construction site for a new complex. My last stop was City Hall at the northern border of the district, before leaving the Financial District on the double decker bus, which made its way past South Street Seaport, Chinatown, United Nations Building, Rockefeller Plaza, Radio City, and the famed Fifth Avenue, home to the city's most high-profile brand names.

US Customs House, the famous Wall Street bull, Federal Hall National Memorial

Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange

Ground Zero

I continued my ride to the Empire State Building. The 102-storey building is no longer the world's tallest skyscraper but the classic Art Deco architecture and rich history still attracts droves of visitors daily. Built in 1931 during the Great Depression, the exterior observatory is located on the 86th floor of the 1454 foot tall building. I had the good fortune of arriving at the observatory in the late afternoon, and witnessed the magnificent transformation of the city skyline from bright daylight to dusk and nighttime. It was pure magic seeing the city bathed in bright neon lights at night.

The Empire State Building against the blue sky

Watching the skyline turn from day to dusk from the Empire State Building. Central to both photos is the Chrysler Building

I had dinner in a nearby restaurant. As it was getting very cold and I was dead tired from the long day, I decided to take the subway instead of walking back to the hotel. That was my first subway ride in New York City.

June 26, 2007

Taking medicines

It's been a long time since Yiu Yiu last got sick. In fact, if I can recall, her visits to the paed for reasons other than vaccination can be counted in only one hand. Normally her slight cough and cold would resolved by itself after a day or two without needing any medication. Just two weeks ago, in an attempt to encourage a colleague who's facing supply issue to continue breastfeeding, I cited that Yiu Yiu, who's fully breastfed till 15 months, and is still breastfeeding, hardly got sick. What a nasty twist of fate!

We used to struggle whenever we need to feed her medicines. Hubby had to literally hold her down tight while I force the medicine into her mouth. Not the best way to get her to take her medicine but this was the only way that worked. This time round, after visiting the paed, we sent Yiu Yiu to the babysitter as usual. She reported that perhaps Yiu Yiu had forgotten how medicine tastes like and the first time she was given the medicine, she willingly took them. However, the crafty little girl wised up and gave the babysitter a hard time when she was given the second dose.

Back home on Friday night, again she willingly took in her medicine without any coaxing. However on Saturday, after numerous persuasions, we had to again pin her and force the medicine into her. But surprisingly on Saturday night, again she complied after some cajoling. Sunday was another successful day. She just took her medicines without so much as a whimper. I hope this is sign that she has finally outgrown her dislike of medicines, not that I wished she would have to take them. At least if she needed to, we don’t have to go to the battle ground to force the medicine into her.

June 25, 2007


Yiu Yiu developed slight cough last Monday but since it was just very slight, we didn't do anything about it hoping that it would resolve by itself as it usually did in the past. Well, no such luck this time as her cough got progressively worse as the week passed and she even developed fever on Wednesday. We gave her some cough syrup and paracetamol but it wasn't enough as her temperature hit 39oC on Thursday night and she was obviously bothered by her cough, despite still being her active self. We decided that it's time to consult the professional and wanted to take her to her paed first thing on Friday morning. By then, her temperature was back to normal but as we could still hear a lot of phlegm in her cough, we went ahead to visit the paed.

As we were early and the paed had yet to arrive, Yiu Yiu was happily playing with the toys at the waiting area. Surprisingly when the paed walked in, she quickly asked me to carry her and refused to let go. We were the first to be called into the consultation room and upon seeing the paed, she started crying and clinged on to me, patted at her chest and said "Pa Pa", telling me that she's afraid. Throughout the whole consultation, she was crying and refused to cooperate. I was taken aback at her reaction as she never had any fear of the doctor. I'm not sure if she remembered her last visit there, when she was given her vaccination. Maybe she still remembered the pain of the injection and associated the paed with such pain.

Anyhow, it turned out to be just upper respiratory infection and her lungs were clear and there was no wheezing, despite the troublesome phlegm. We went home with Augmentin, Ventolin, paracetamol and something for her cough.

June 24, 2007


We have two water tumblers for Yiu Yiu to drink from. Yesterday, while drinking from one of the bottle, she handed me the other one and kept knocking the bottle against one another and said "Five". Yiu Yiu knows how to give a high five since several months back but I knew that she actually meant to toast and so played along and said "Cheers" repeatedly after she said "Five". Not satisfied with just knocking the bottles against one another, she opened the cover of both bottles and insisted that we drink from them after each "Five". I was really tickled by her antics! Wonder where she learnt the art of toasting from!

June 20, 2007

A trip to the beach

Another reason I love going back to Kuantan is the beautiful Telok Chempedak beach. We will normally go for a stroll at the beach area after stuffing ourselves silly with keropok lekor. However, we have never really taken Yiu Yiu to the sandy beach and into the water. Mummy is to be blamed as I always forget to pack along her swimsuit or a change of clothes for a dip in the sea.

Last weekend, again we were unprepared for the beach but we decided to just let her walk barefooted on the sand and have the wave splash onto her feet. However, the little 'yim chim' princess didn’t quite like the feel of sand beneath her feet and refused to walk and insisted to be carried. She even refused to stand in the water, which was surprising as she simply loves water. She can spend hours in the pool and in the shower but she just refused to stand in the sea. We spent about 15 minutes in the water and she was busy watching other children playing in the sea, but still refused to be put down. She was contented staying high above the ground without touching the sand or the water. Looks like we gotta find some tricks to make her enjoy the beach in the future.

Anticlockwise from top left: Eww...I don't like the sand; withdrawing her feet from the waves; safe in mummy's arms; happy to watch the activities from above ground

June 18, 2007

Weekends in Kuantan

Hubby is from Kuantan and we make it a point to go back once a month to visit his parents. I love going back to Kuantan for the weekend. It's a leisurely weekend escapade with plenty of good food. There are several foods which I look forward to having each month in Kuantan. My favourite is the keropok lekor stall and curry puff from Taman Gelora. The keropok lekor is fried to the right level of crispiness on the outside while the inside remains soft and tender. Between hubby and I, we can easily polished off 15 pieces. That's not good news for our waistline, really but we just can't help indulging in this local snack. And the 'teh o ais limau' is excellent too, for they use lime instead of the usual 'kat chai' normally used by stalls in KL. The stall is located beside a lake and the ingenious owner has also recently started a business providing recreational pedal boat in the lake.

The curry puff is another must have, the best I've ever had. It is filled to the brim with potatoes and slivers of chicken, instead of the usual sweet potatoes filling. At 50 cents a piece, it indeed is a steal. We will normally buy extra, freeze them and bring back to PJ to savour for the next few weeks before we make the trip back to Kuantan again.

Breakfast on Sunday morning is typically at this shop which sells the famous Sungai Lembing Hakka tofu. The silky smooth tofu is filled with a combination of fish and pork, and pan fried just right till the filling is cooked without overcooking the tofu. The noodle is also a special home-made noodle unique to Kuantan.

Clockwise from top left: keropok lekor with dipping sauce, curry puff to tapau back to KL, the famous Sungai Lembing Hakka tofu noodles, the wok full of silky smooth tofu waiting for be panfried

Another of hubby's favourite, which I've also grown to like, is rice noodles in a dark, sweetish and spicy sauce. The rice noodles are topped with minced meat, barbequed pork, fried wantan and preserved vegetables. The taste needs some getting used to but once you're hooked, you'll simply look forward to having another bowl.

And of course, there's the home-cooked dishes and soup prepared by MIL who's an excellent cook. Knowing that we eat out most of the time in KL, she'll prepare many dishes for us to bring back to KL so that we can just pop them in the microwave over the next few days for a quick home-cooked dinner. And more often than not, knowing how much I love sinful foods, she'll also bake cakes and cookies for me to bring home. So tell me, how can I not look forward to our monthly food escapade in Kuantan?

June 16, 2007

PPP Direct

I received an email from PayPerPost at the end of May with the title "Your Blog is Approved for PPP Direct". I was obviously curious but as I was extremely busy with work then, I simply filed the email under my "To Read Later" folder and almost completely forgotten about it. I was trying to clear my mailbox recently and stumbled upon the email. Since I had some time, I decided to find out more about PPP Direct.

With PPP Direct, you can make money by having advertisers contact you directly should the advertisers are interested to get you to write special blog posts. And you dictate the amount you want to be paid for those posts, perhaps with some negotiation with the advertisers sometimes. What's so cool about PPP Direct is that it only charges a 10% service fee, of which nearly 5% goes towards PayPal and credit card fees. Compare this with other establishments that charge between 50-100% mark-up on your post. This way, you are essentially cutting out the middleman in transactions that are driven by your blog because it simply makes no sense to pay someone else when the advertisers came to you direct and not through anyone else.

If you wish to be contacted directly by advertisers, all you need to do is to stick a PPP Direct widget on your blog. When an advertiser finds your blog and decides they'd like you to write something, they just click on the badge attached to the widget and make you an offer. So what are you waiting for? Download your widget now and sit back and wait for advertisers to come your way.

June 12, 2007

Final MyList participating blogs

Remember this initiative I wrote about sometime ago? Well, the final list of participating Malaysian bloggers in MyList is finally up. MyList is an initiative to help Malaysian bloggers increase traffic to their blog(s) and is a great way to publicize little known blog like mine. So here's the final list of participating Malaysian bloggers.

Once Upon A Time Money Making Blog Bubba Stuff Little Raymond's quaint melody Seraph Chronicles Route Brumeuse Coder's Talk Reggae And SKA Art Of ApOgEE THE VEGEMASTER LIFE Boonage Coretan Pengalaman Mat Silverhorsegunnysack BLUEAPPLE scribbles Diet & Detoxification Karma Kameleon Hsien's Dirty Little Secret The Rojak Blog keeyit My Life Online Fun Stuffs Donny's Bits Nicholas Chan's Blog dream of's DESIGN strike freedom 115 Truly Malaysia It's another new day Lisan's Scribbles Ramblings of a 22 years old The Towering Joe Life's a Breeze Life's Roller Coaster AceOne118 In His Time in His time The New Sanctuary a life full of surprises Sketches of Life Shannon's Old Space Pikey Dude SEO & Online Marketing Blog ShowMeMoneyBiz.com Snapshots kahpengBlog I am Who I am yung . silent whisper Simple Life One blog.One girl.One story The World Through My Eyes Why Malaysia? Etcetera~Etcetera Giddy Tigers Make Money Online: Exploring The Dark Side of Blogging Xilly's Blog Malaika Xiao Yu My Home Recipe SQKIKI’s Simple Tech Nukilan Jejari Azhad ITCHY HANDseng Just My Lil' Organic Life Oooh La La... Weird World of MerapuMan Fibre Art The World at My Fingertips Organic Income Organic Parade Shopping Flavor Daily postings of a chung ling student Something about LAI KennyP’s Technology Blog Women Mumbles KuKuJian.com Lyon & Wien Under The SUN Crumbs In Life SotongZai's Flow In the Ocean allthingspurple Christene's Kitchen toxicle.org [ Wood ] [ Earth ] [ Cheap ] [ Flight ] COMtech Ah Ling's blog http://judychow.blogspot.com/ ~WoOLaLA~ vivivava Design My Mothering Corner Shoppingmum’s Home Office My Filling Station Shopping Mum All about Beauty Shoppingmum and Kids datotalrandommessy.grey Notes from my heart Joy Montessori wahlau's online hut Cedric’s Asylum mott’s mutterings Just My Thoughts delephant Incoherent Ramblings HOT STUFF Make Money Online with Malaysia Love AGLOCO MONTESSORIMUM.COM Funky Cookies Earn Money Online PabloPabla's Whatever Make Money with Blogging Paris Beaverbanks Free Links Giveaway Free Blogger Templates Blogsreview.Net Making a Living 5xmom How to be a Better Blogger My Women Stuff Hochiak! Delicious Asian Food Best Recipes Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget Daryl's Discovery Journey The fluff must go somewhere
Kitchen Experiments Elliottwave Signal Internet-Crazy Blog Newopps Blog Make Money Online Review Center Little Penang iFlicks Healing tips and home remedies Ornamental Fish Grasp! Seize! Get hold of it! Life Snapshot Mental Freedom, Por Favor Eat. Live. Be Merry! Funny Junk Addicting Flash Games Pictures Video Clips mott’s island Clinke Bidding Directory Blog Easy Home Cooking FrenzRSS.com Pink Poison Store Show Me Health Biz The Undeniable Beauty - Revamped An Anonymous Journal Cyberpartygal Blank Canvas She Rambles On charcamayne Money Online Adsense Money Tips For Adsense Belajar Cara Membuat Blog Wordpress Usahawan Internet Peluang Perniagaaan Internet iNicholas Made In Penang Syaf The Geek snapshots of life with Cheng Leng iCalvyn.com Blogging Through Depression & Life Trying to Save Money novatech personal playground Little World Of Thoughts Sumber Dekorasi & Laman Anda Menarik.com INSIDE MY MIND Sleepy As Usual Share Everything In Life Value Bookshop’s Reading Notes Tips and Tricks to Happy Parenting BERSAMA MEMBINA KEJAYAAN THE BITCH CLUB datotalrandommessy.grey Artmaker BlogWawasan.com life is beautiful Adino Online Penang Homes Physical-e A Mom's Diary Health Freak Mommy mrdefinite.com - It’s hot Tracking Movies SquareCookies MonkeyWong Voice of a Glass Doll Online Article Directory Bambang Wise Life Advice Kaklong Online Portal Down Memory Lanes Sleeping Princess Online Bisnes Forex Marketing Blog project010 ProTechWang.Com Bleargh Pigeon Card Pianologist KCLau’s Money Tips The Great Swifty Speaketh Mr & Mrs. Imran If fate allow our destinies to meet From chopstix to steak knives Where's My Noose? Duke Amiene Rev Mum & Kids In Wonderland Yum-Yum Cuisine Software, Web Development and Technology just another ordinary story Mummy In Vain's Little World How To Solve Your Question FáLLiÑg LéÃVéS add this to my life Free Encyclopedia High Paying Keywords try-test arshad's photojourney EvelynHolic RajaBLog.info Lovelymummy's Bay My Yummy Cruise Home Sweet Home Lovely Mummy OnlineBisnes Malay Blog Purest of e2wen MyAnimes MySpace Blog Badruzamani.Org Parenting Life Forum Newbie Bisnes Internet & Blogger Mohd Sufian A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words hcfoo's blog Amazing Grace The Sanctuary Welcome To cHrIstInA_YY's Pink World Defying Destiny Dead Boredom Seeking Freedom Travelogue An amazing & adventurous journey Erin Nurjenna [B][E][A][U][T][I][F][U][L] Fluffy's Day Off My Fairy-Tale


Today is mum's birthday. Since my brother's birthday is on Friday, we decided to have an early celebration last Sunday with a family dinner at Chan Kee Restaurant in Aman Suria. We then went back to my house to cut a simple birthday cake. It was just a simple do, but I'm sure mum's happy all the same being surrounded by all her loved ones.

June 11, 2007

A trip to the clinic, and then some…

I totally forgot about taking Yiu Yiu for her 18-month vaccination until three weeks ago while reading an old post by Careless Mum on the same topic. That Saturday, hubby and I quickly went to the paed's clinic but to our disappointment, the paed was on leave for two weeks and would only be back by early June.

So last Saturday, I took Yiu Yiu there by myself as hubby had to work. I reached there at about 10am and was 27th on the list, and the paed was only attending to the 8th patient then. I knew I was in for a long wait, and expected so too, since this was the first weekend that the paed was open after her long break. We went for breakfast at a nearby coffee shop, and the queue had only moved by about five patients in that hour. Rather than waiting in the crowded clinic, we walked around the area and mummy stumbled upon a nearby boutique. Browsing through the clothes, I picked out a blouse and a pair of three-quarter pants. I was pleasantly surprised when the lady at the cashier told me that they were having a buy-2-free-1 promotion, and since I already had two items, I picked out the same three-quarter pants in a different colour.

It was slightly past 12 noon when we went back to the clinic and there were still about 8 patients ahead of Yiu Yiu. We waited close to another hour before it was finally her turn. She cried just a little when the jab was administered but was back to her cheerful self the very next minute. The paed asked me several questions pertaining to her diet and her developmental milestones. The next visit will be at 24-months where she'll measure Yiu Yiu's height. Apparently, multiplying her height at 24-months by two will predict her height as an adult. That's certainly not good news, coz she's currently only 74 cm. I am rather short, so I'm really hoping that Yiu Yiu will not take after me. I'm not sure how much more she'll grow in the next four months or so, but I certainly hope that she can at least touch 80 cm by then, and not end up a shorty like mummy.