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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Make-up Tutorial: Hazy smokey eyes

I would say this look would be more suitable for more elaborate events - I wore this to my uncle's wedding dinner. And somehow I had this what I call "innocent child" look - big goo-goo eyes that look teary.


I based this on my previous smokey eyes that I did for Jasmine, but added some little tweaks to it.

START~! 100% no editing except for the caption! I'm trying to shy away from color correcting and blemish fixes~

You will need [what I used] (in order of application):
  • shadow base/primer [shu uemura Creme Eyeshadow in Beige]
  • silver grey shadow [#4 from 120 palette]
  • metallic purple shadow [#22 from 120 palette]
  • shimmery ultramarine blue shadow [#112 from 120 palette]
  • dark grey shadow [#8 from 120 palette]
  • black pencil liner [Elianto Ultra Define Eyeliner Pencil in Twilight Black]
  • OPTIONAL black liquid eyeliner [Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black]
  • black gel liner [Silkygirl Double Intense Waterproof Eyeliner in Pure Black]
  • black mascara [MaxFactor False Lash Effect in Black]
  • eyebrow pencil [The Face Shop Automatic Eyebrow Pencil in Black]
  • natural, defined false lashes [Daiso Make-up Accessory No. 50]
  • concealer for dark circles [The Body Shop Oil Free Balancing Foundation in 05]
  • foundation [Maybelline Clear Smooth Aqua Gel Foundation in Natural]
  • setting powder [Pigeon Compact Baby Powder in Beige]
  • contour product [Bobbi Brown blush in Blushed]
  • pinkish blusher [pink + red rows from 120 palette]
  • shimmer powder (for de collette) [Laneige Snow Crystal Sliding Pact in Translucent Skin Tone]
  • lip balm [Vaseline Petroleum Jelly]
  • gloss [Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector]

1.
Prime your eyes and apply the silver grey eye shadow on the brow bone. You could use a beige or any other highlighting color you prefer, but I wanted the look to be quite hazy. Apply your lip balm now.


2.
Apply the purple eye shadow, starting from the inner corner, working 2/3 of the way out. For Asian eyes, try to make sure that the purple eye shadow is visible when your eyes are wide open - my eye shadow usually just "disappears" when I open my eyes. Using patting motions for more saturation of color.

Sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step, but refer to the picture on step 4. The blue is applied on the same place.

3.
Apply the ultramarine starting from the outer corner, working in, up and out. Basically you want the shadow to be on the outer 1/2 of the eyelid, and as before make sure the eye shadow is visible. Also apply some on the outer 1/3 of the lower lash line. To help blend the colors seamlessly, take some of the purple shadow and gently apply it where the colors meet, gently blending toward the blue. The blue gives the upcoming gray a nice, hazy, mysterious veil to the look.


4.
Over the ultramarine, the gray shadow is applied. There's no need to be super intense about it, because if it were meant to be intense then we would've used black, but it's completely up to you. Apply some on the outer 1/3 of the lower lash line, as well. I like to use a fluffy brush, and applying it with swirling motions, so that the color blends better.


5.
Take a clean brush and blend everything together. If you find that the shadow has been blended too high, get the brush that you used for the highlight, then apply some more to the brow bone, but this time blending downward to help mellow the color. Use your fingers to help you, if required. Make sure everything looks HAZY - no harsh lines allowed.


6.
Line your upper and lower waterline, as well as the roots of your lashes (tightline) with a black pencil eyeliner. This will help intensify the look. Alternatively use some black shadow with an angled brush. You could do this before you start doing shadow.


7.
Line your eyes with gel liner. Try not to flick the line up too much, because the focus is on the haziness of the entire look. I prefer using a fine liner brush, dampened slightly with a bit of water. Keep lots of Q-tips, cosmetic wipes and/or make-up remover on hand to erase any mistakes. Try to keep the line extended straight out, about 3-4mm.


9.
Curl your lashes and generously apply mascara. Apply some on the lower lash line for a more wide-eyed effect.


10.
Fill in your brows. You just want them to look neat and defined, you don't want them to overpower the eye shadow. Thicker, straighter brows give a more youthful look, while thinner, more arched brows give a more grown-up, feminine and fierce look.


11.
A pair of natural-looking, yet defined lashes are perfect for this look. Try to stay away from overly sparse or overly thick lashes - remember, focus on the shadow. Blend your real lashes and the false lashes by either pressing them together gently with a lash curler, a pair of tweezers or your fingers.

Notice how the foundation doubles up as a concealer?
12.
Conceal your dark circles and apply your foundation. Set the product by pressing matte powder with the sponge/puff provided. If you're using a brush, pat the product on instead of brushing/buffing it on.


13.
Contour your face by applying contour product in the hollows of your cheeks - suck your cheeks in, then brush from your hairline in the direction of your mouth. Don't put any too near the mouth and always remember to tap off any excess product from your brush before applying - layer on the color, don't punch in the color. Contour your temples and slightly contour your nose as well.


14.
Using a sweet pink blusher, lightly apply this on the cheeks - the most flattering place is the part of your cheeks that protrude the most, then blended slightly upwards toward the hairline. You could skip this step if you like.


15.
Using a powder with a hint of shimmer in it (fine shimmer particles, please), apply this right above where you applied your blush, your T-zone, bridge of the nose, chin and the cupid's bow. Also, apply some in the inner corner. If you're wearing a top/dress that shows your de collette (the thin skin between neck and chest), dust some of the shimmer powder for a nice, classy effect. 


16.
Since the eyes are dramatic enough, you might want to finish off with some nude-toned lipstick, or a light pink. I just applied some balm and overlayed it with some gloss.

Sexy.
Sweet.
How about funky?

Your look is now done. Sexy, cute, and pretty all at the same time. The trick to this look is all about the blending - don't be stingy with the blending, take more time blending, because in the end it's all worth it.


This is the first time that I actually worked with a pink blush. I usually don't like blushers because they make me look like I have inflamed skin. Your eyeliner should be thick enough so that the false lash band can blend easily with the look, but it shouldn't be so thick that it overwhelms the eye shadow.


You can get away with not blending your lashes with the false lashes for this look because it's dark enough, but it would look better if you blended them. Some people like to blend the lashes by applying more mascara, but I find that troublesome when it comes to the cleaning of the false lashes.


Oh, yes. I apologize for the unkempt brows - I had reshaped my brows earlier on, but due to neglect the overgrew and I can't get the shape that I previously did. So no I'm regrowing my brows so that I can reshape them again.


Here are a few things you can do to alter the overall look of the make-up:

  1. By having your color blended higher at the inner corner and tapers down and goes straight outward along the eye can give the effect of teary, innocent eyes.
  2. "Winging" the shadow, creating a wing-shape with the eye shadow, together with winged eyeliner will give that fierce, cat-like look.
  3. Using glitter would give that extra awesome clubbing make-up effect, but would be more of a hassle to apply, maintain and cleanup.
  4. Toning down the shadow and darkening the brows will add that extra strong look; darkening the shadow and maintaining the brows at a minimum definition will have men swooning at your mesmerizing gaze~
  5. Leaving out the blusher would make the entire look more serious.

NEXT TUTORIAL: FOUNDATION ROUTINE

Friday, April 20, 2012

Some thoughts

Random filler post because I haven't done my tutorial yet. I tried but I haven't been doing shadow blending in a while, so I'm starting to rust.


For the past few weeks I've been active (as in going to the gym and doing sports) for at least 4 days in a week. Now I spend a minimum of a half hour on the treadmill, as opposed to my usual 15 minutes. My cardio is a bit better, but the lack of sleep is killing it.


I should do more arm exercises - I think no one likes flabby arms, especially if they spread out horizontally when you press them to your side, which makes you look twice as fat.


I want to get a corset, just to help me control my body shaping. When I sit down all the spare tyres come out, but recently I've been going around with rather clingy clothes, and sometimes (when I'm not on PMS or water retention) I can actually walk around without having to suck in my tummy! Achievement!


And I've also tried tying my T-shirt just below my bust after a shower, and it looked kinda good.


The remaining problem? My tummy. Again. It's just not pretty. And my bust is shrinking, which is both good and bad: good because it means that I've indeed lost weight, bad because, well ... I like having a big bust.


I haven't weighed myself recently, but a lot of people have been noticing the weight loss. My mum has labelled me "skinny", though what I think of myself is almost completely different.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Circle Lens giveaway by Noxin

Wanna stand a chance to win some circles lenses from Lens Village? All you have to do is go to this post on Occasionally Cute and follow the instructions~

CLICK HERE!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J-Pop, J-Rock & visual kei Vs. K-Pop & K-Rock

Previously I did a "review" on NoMiNwOOx's video on visual kei vs. K-Pop. For some unfathomable reason, he deleted that video. To NoMiNwOOx if you're reading this: WHY?! That video was awesomesauce!


Anyway he commented on the linked post that I should watch another one of his videos that he has made, and asked me to review it. Why not? Oh, yeah, bring out all the confetti and party poppers 'cause this is the first time anyone has ever asked me to do a post~~~ *jumping around like a maniac*


Straight to the point. I'll apologize first, because I know that my previous review on this topic was biased, and I had expressed a lot of anger. I shall, again, try to be as unbiased as I possibly can with this. Though some might think I'm still biased.


First, here's the video. I like the way he allowed more preview time on each comparison~




So here's what he/she compared.

1.
Mad$hip by SuG vs Warrior by BAP - DRAW
At first glance, both videos have almost the same style, but this is really different from SuG's LoveScream Party. I'll always love J-rock sounds, but I'm baffled by BAP's rap part. It's was like even better than T.O.P in Fantastic Baby. I'll have to say that I love both of them~


2.
Gimme Gimme by SuG vs Face by Nu'est - JAPAN
One of the reasons why I love SuG so much is that they are so CUTE. Being an oshare band, they came through with this, but the video looked a bit sadistic. Nu'est, on the other hand, gave me an entirely different perspective - dark, emotional, strong. The girl in me goes for SuG.


3.
Chaosmyth by One Ok Rock vs T'ik T'ak by Seo Taiji - JAPAN
The name is Chaosmyth, but the lyrics go like this: "dream as if you will live forever, and live as if you'll die today". How much more inspirational can you get? Maybe it's because I'm not a fan of live performances, I found that T'ik T'ak a bit messy, where sound and performance were concerned. But my first glimpse of K-rock left me with a good impression~


4.
Melody by Ayabie vs Sherlock by Shinee - KOREA
Melody sounded quite mediocre, to be honest. Apart from GazettE, Kagrra,, and Versailles, I find that most visual kei bands have almost the same style in music. Sherlock, apart from Taemin's long, flat-ironed hair, caught my heart. Despite being deeply annoyed by Shinee (blame my younger sister for this), I actually like their songs.


5.
Eve by Vidoll vs Blue by BigBang - KOREA
I've only heard two songs from Vidoll, but where K-Pop is concerned, BigBang is my all-time favorite. But biases aside, sad to say Eve doesn't really get my attention, but I like their melody and the drummer. BigBang wins this round~


6.
Senkou by Alice Nine vs Heartbreaker by G-Dragon - DRAW
I think the video creater is out to kill me - my boyfriend's favorite band is Alice Nine, after GazettE, and he's comparing it with GD? Heartbreaker, no less. Oh, well. Alice Nine's vocalist Shou has one of the most unique voices in the VK industry, and Senkou was my first ever A9 song. However, my heart is captured by GD as well...


7.
Horizon by D'espairsRay vs Bermuda by Seo Taiji - KOREA
I find it quite rare that there's rap in visual kei music, and D'espairsRay's dark style is kinda my thing. Bermuda's video seemed quite sadistic, and I still don't get the falling keyboard thingy, but I do admire his vocals.


8.
Red by the GazettE vs Fantastic Baby by BigBang - KOREA
WHY??!! GazettE is my all-time favorite band, and so is BigBang, and now to choose between them? Fine. As much as I'm a fan of GazettE, Red isn't on my favorites list. But Fantastic Baby is. Even before Blue, Fantastic Baby has been a favorite~


FINAL RESULT: JAPAN 2 - 4 KOREA


J-fans can bash me all they want. The fact that Korea won this round doesn't mean I'm any less devoted to J-Rock and visual kei.





Before I've even started watching the video, I'm seeing a lot of negative comments, especially from this one Youtuber called porcelainkittenx, whose profile has been disabled because I can't find it. The J-fans are bashing the K-fans, and vice versa.


To claim that one's interest is superior than the other is fine, no harm done. But to bash them and call the other a retard for being a fan is way too much. I'm not only referring to the K-fans such as porcelainkittenx, but to some of the J-fans as well.

Life so far

University just started two weeks ago, and while lessons are going alright, timetables are preposterous - at the start of the semester they give you your timetable, saying it's the latest copy. A few days down the road there are x number of changes in it, and it's all posted in different places: portal, BB7 and e-mail.


Anyway, I just got my student ID a few days ago and I look HORRIBLE. My face is absolutely ROUND, and it looks as if I have a fake orange spray-tan. God help me, this will last for three years. Even my foundation programme ID photo didn't look so bad. Ugh. What happened to all the picture day make-up videos I've watched?


For some reason, I've been seeing a lot of Hummers on the roads these days. I fell in love with the Hummer ever since I first saw it on some action movie, many years ago. Ever since, I've had a fetish for oversized, masculine cars.


Sure, Lamborghinis and Porches would catch my attention, but the only car that would really make me crave for it are the Hummers, or possibly a tank, or my dream car, the Nissan Skyline. I have a hunch that I have more testosterone in me than normal in other girls, which explains my more masculine attitude towards certain things.

Le Hummer H2~

Tropicana is a housing area that is renowned for its more wealthy residents. The guy who owns the 9- and 12-meter stretch Hummers live around that area. We were having lunch near the Clubhouse that day and saw this Hummer H2 parked outside.

Le Hummer H3~

Another we went all the way to Sungai Buloh to have some "standing chicken" (which was, to be honest, just a roast chicken that was mercilessly hung by its neck to make it upright), I spotted another Hummer H3 parked outside (why are both Hummers under the sun?).


Speaking of being under the sun, one day I parked my baby (my dear Satria Neo) under the hot sun at the free parking lot on campus that is affectionately called "moo-moo", because of the cows that used to pass by that place.


It's free, but it doesn't have shade, and the ground is either stones, sand or mud (further back). Where parking is concerned at Taylor's Lakeside, the earlier you get there the better. There's no parking available from 8-11am, because most classes are around that time. So, like my sister, if you have classes at 9 or 10am, get there by 7.30am, regardless of whether you're planning to park at the basement, beside the lake, behind the lake or even at moo-moo.

What you see first.
When you flip it...

Back to that day I parked my baby under the sun. I think Taylorians have heard of the Garden of Eden, Taylor's University's first ever annual prom? For promotion purposes, the committee found some people to put this troll notice on everyone's car at the moo-moo.


Even where I parked so far, there it was - that piece of paper that gives you a heart attack, because it says that someone scratched your car and his/her number is on the other side of the piece of paper. They really went all out for this campaign, because I wouldn't be one of those volunteers that would walk out all the way under the merciless sun just to have people throw that piece of paper away.

Basically the ultimate skin-care food~

On the day we went for the standing chicken, we also had some really good stuff - deep-sea coconut, with longans, white fungus and bird's nest~


I'm a super-duper fan of Japan. Language, culture and all. About 8 years ago I started learning Japanese - the real Japanese: hiragana, katakana and kanji, not just romanizations. Recently I bought a book on learning Japanese language, the male, female, senior, junior, polite and impolite forms.


It provides both romanizations and Japanese characters, but the romanizations are Americanized. Where the correct romanization should be te (て/手: hand), it is printed as tay. Being used to reading lyrics in the proper (in my opinion) romanizations, this made me confused.


That's it for this filler post. I have a make-up tutorial coming up, but I'm not in the mood yet to complete it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Skirt to dress

I have no "casual" dresses in my wardrobe - they're all very ... dressy. Either overly event-type or overly formal.


My mum has a stash of Indian-style long flared skirts, which I've been wearing for the past few weeks. I ran out of tops to match them with, so I took a bit of tips from Michelle Phan and turned a dull green skirt into a halter-neck, fit-for-a-day-at-the-beach dress.


You'll need:
  • a floor length skirt (or any skirt that you have that is near ankle-length, or just plain too long), preferably with an elastic band
  • a waist belt that can be tightened to your exact waistline, skinny for the dainty, medium for the low-key and thick for the bold
  • one or more medium-sized safety pins for adjustments

The reason for the elastic band is so that it would fit better, as opposed to side-zipper ones. The skirt I used had drawstrings, but the skirt is old and the elastic is gone, so I had to rely on trusty safety pins~


Here's what you do - just pull the entire skirt up above your bust (you would want a strapless bra or one that has the clear straps) and secure it there. Do whatever means necessary. What I did was tie a knot with the drawstrings (real tight), then pin it in place with the safety pin. Another knot above that one and the rest of the drawstrings were pulled back behind me neck and butterfly-knotted for extra insurance.


Now, typically these flared skirts are, well, flared. If you just leave them as they are, it would be extremely obvious that it's a skirt, and you would be shapeless. This is where the belt comes in - wrap the belt around the smallest part of your waist, and cinch it tight (get a good belt for this).


The skirt that I used was a dull green waist-to-ankle length skirt, so when I pulled it up, the hem of the skirt reached my knees. Something to note, though - sometimes the front would be shorter than the back because the front would usually be above your bust, and the back would be slightly lower than that.


I used a thick, white PVC belt that I had lying around. I tried my pink cloth belt and my chainlink belt, both didn't work. The PVC belt helped me make my waist even smaller (I pulled it extra tight, though I wouldn't recommend it), and your look is complete.


Throw on some Bohemian/beach accessories and a pair of girly wedges and you're done. Accessorizing depends entirely on the skirt you're using. Decent sandals will help make the dress look beach-worthy, while wearing it with heels will add that extra touch of femininity.


Dull, plain skirt?
Use some more bright and colorful accessories, adding a touch of chrome here and there. Your belt could a bright color as well.

Bright, plain skirt?
Go funky and get some patterned accessories like leopard-print headbands~ How about a neutral-colored belt?

Darker patterned skirt?
Bright, but plain accessories will compliment the dress, and similar belt would be complimentary as well.

Bright patterned skirt?
Chrome or muted accessories would best compliment the skirt.


Basically you can go crazy with this - you can pair floral with floral, whatever suits your liking. It's super versatile~

Good Friday! egg project

From what I've gathered from Kimberlycun's surprise marbled Easter egg post comments, Good Friday is the day that Jesus was crucified. Easter, which falls on the following Sunday, is the day that he was resurrected. That's what I gathered, so feel free to educate me on Christian knowledge (I'm not Christian but I'm quite interested).


Anyway. I tried out her Easter egg idea - surprise marbled Easter eggs. Here's what you're supposed to do:

  1. Make hard boiled eggs.
  2. Crack the egg shell all over (gently).
  3. Put the cracked egg into a sandwich bag, and stain the egg with some edible food coloring.
  4. Wait for 30 minutes or so for the color to absorb, then rinse off with water and splash with white vinegar to set color.

I did exactly all that, but with a little change of timing - I left the cracked eggs in the coloring for at least an hour. Here's a few tips for you if you want to make these eggs.
  • Line your work surface with cling film, and always have paper towels on hand to clean up any messes. And wear an apron to protect your clothes.
  • If possible, use a dropper to apply your food coloring. I used an almost-full tablespoon of the food coloring, and it was a bit too much. Use a small teaspoon instead, as an alternative.
  • Use rubber/latex gloves to protect your fingers. Any spilled food coloring might stain your hands.
  • Try not to leave your eggs in the coloring too long - it's supposed to just stain the cracks and just the surface of the egg white. Leaving the food coloring in too long will result in bleeding colors.
  • Where cracking the egg is concerned, do it EXTREMELY GENTLY. I overcracked some parts, and that allowed the dye to enter and stain a large, un-pretty patch.
  • Have ready tons of paper towels and always be prepared to clean any spills with soap and a wet cloth.
  • Try to avoid super strong colors like blue and/or purple, as they tend to stain worse than others.
  • After the eggs have finished cooking, allow them to cool, standing on a plate (or better, wire rack) in room temperature. I stuck them in iced water, and what happened was the egg itself shrunk away from the shell. If you must stick it in water then make sure it's not ice-cold.

Serve your eggs on a plain dish with a generous sprinkling of salt~

The yellow egg. The coloring was a deep shade of orange, which made orange colored crack dyes and bleeded out yellow.
The one on the left is supposed to be purple, but the blue coloring was way too strong.
Cross-section of the "purple" egg that I took a bite from. The coloring was so intense that one bite caused the coloring to move.

Ps. I've moved on from Picnik to PicMonkey for my photo editing. Picnik is moving to Google+ on April 19th.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

65 to 55

One fateful day, a few months ago, while accompanying Jasmine to Cecilia's house for video filming, I found Cecilia's weighing scale. I stepped on it and it showed 65kg. I was perplexed. She then disclaimed that it was faulty, and showed me her accurate digital one.


Turns out that I was 65kg, after all. My all-time heaviest. My friends thought I was pregnant. I had noticed that I had put on weight, but I didn't think it was that much. Cause? Eating. Eating. More eating. And after eating I usually just sit in front of the laptop doing random stuff. And I tended to snack in the middle of the night.\


I'm the kind of person who would automatically go for all the high-calorie foods - processed food, sodas, creamy desserts, rich cakes, red meat. I'm not a veggie person, to be completely frank. To call me an omnivore would be an understatement - I consider myself more of a carnivore.


A good example would be the bowl of beef noodles I had at Dami - in the bowl there's the noodles, the few pieces of beef, a cut of carrot and radish each, and two stalks of bai cai (the more common "American" term for this would be "bok choy", but I think it sounds kinda stupid). I found myself having half a mind to ignore all the veggies and just dig into everything else.


Anyway, when the Taylor's Uni Gym opened, it was practically a call of fate. My entire family (and my boyfriend) has time and again reassured me that I looked good enough (though my boyfriend did imply that I would look better with a little less weight), but I was insistent.


I've always been gym-shy - I would be extremely awkward with all the equipment (and all the fit people around me). Instead of going on a long, slow workout on, let's say, the treadmill, I would sprint for 15 seconds then move on to the bicycle.


Fast forward to NOW. Just this morning (before an entire chocolate bar), I weighed myself on my mum's ancient weighing scale (which isn't accurate, like her kitchen scale) and it showed about 55kg. I mentally shouted "YES FINALLY IT @#$%^&* WORKED!!!"


#
Diet?

There wasn't any. I basically ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and usually I ate most at dinner. My pre-gym meal would be a cup of coffee or tea, lunch at campus (rice or noodles), then whatever my grandmother cooks up for dinner.


And for some reason, the past few weeks have been packed with delicious food. The key is moderation. Have some self-control, but don't deprive yourself to the point that you just take a single bite. Eat it slowly, so that you savor the taste, texture and flavor.


Word of advice, though. Be a procrastinator when it comes to desserts. I mean, who doesn't want a giant slice of cheesecake or a giant serving of ice cream? Just tell yourself, "I'll have some tomorrow". And when you do, take a little bit, and slowly savor it, rather than wolfing it down.


#
Exercise?

I try to kill myself in the gym. My aim is to sweat more than any other guy in the gym, do long cardio workouts, and have every muscle sore the next day. And trust me, this isn't a good aim, but it works for me.


When I first started out at the gym, it was basically random - maybe I'd do the treadmill, then the rower machine, etc. Then I set goals for myself - 1km/15 minutes on the treadmill (burns about 120 calories, depending on your inclination percentage), 100 pulls on the rower machine, 5km on the bicycle, etc.


I then started using the muscle-toning equipment. I spent more time doing cardio on the treadmill than the bicycle, toning my arms, and flattening my tummy via a technique called the plank, which was taught by a kind Uni Gym trainer.


Get an exercise mat, and lay flat on your tummy. Prop yourself up on your elbows and press your palms together, fingers intertwined. Let your toes dig into the mat (think push-up position, the guy type), your feet slightly apart. Lift your whole body and support the yourself on your elbows and toes. Balance the entire frame with your core (abdominal) muscles. Keep this position for about 30-40 counts. You should feel yourself shaking by the 10th count, if your abs are as weak as mine.


I aim to go to the gym about 3 times a week, each time spending about an hour, or until my muscles can't take any more workout. My favorite Youtube chef Laura Vitale made a video on how she keeps fit even through all the food she eats that she cooks on her show.


Her key is portion control, and working out 6 times a week. The trainer who taught me the plank also went to the gym 6 times a week, 4 hours a day when he was overweight. I find that 6 times a week is too much, but then again after starting to go to the gym regularly, I don't feel as lethargic or unreasonably exhausted as I would have felt for the past few months.


However, I've gone back to my old bad habit of going to sleep at the wee hours of the morning, then waking up feeling like a zombie. And I'm back to drinking lots of Fanta Orange.


#
Motivation?

I feel great (though exhausted) after a workout at the gym. I actually feel contented. This is how I think about it: I did something that has burned calories and fats. I'm gonna be slimmer tomorrow.


And I also want to fit in hot, cut-out, sleeveless, off-shoulder, revealing, body constricting dresses without having to worry about my tummy and whatnot. So my current aim is to get a dress with a cut-out lower back (to display my tattoo~). My target weight is now 48kg.


My tummy size has been going up and down for the past few days. Maybe it's because of the food. What I have to do is cut down on my dinner portions, or just plain have dinner earlier.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dim Sum Yum Cha @ Kuchai Entrepreneur's Park

A few days back, I had dim sum with a few friends at Hao Chi Dian Dim Sum Yum Cha at Kuchai Lama, near NSK Hypermarket.


It's my first time, but apparently some of my friends have been there numerous times. The place is easy to recognize - oriental red walls, and peering inside you'll see a very nice, homey Chinese-styled interior. Where parking is concerned, you could park at the basement parking, or at special designated parking spaces in front of the restaurant.


Dim Sum Yum Cha has been reviewed by a popular local food show called Ho Chak! ("delicious" in Hokkien), and is revered for it's wide selection of different dim sum. I went on a fairly odd day, so the place was rather empty.


There's this special promo where you get a free basket of dim sum when you park at the designated parking lots in front of the restaurant, marked with plastic barriers.


The restaurant provides a wide range of dim sums, from steamed items, pao items, fried items, and tong shui (sweet dessert soup). Though the prices are slightly higher than the prices at my neighborhood dim sum places, I find that it's worth the money.


If you look around the place, every corner is intricately decorated with Chinese fan portraits, fake cherry blossom-filled vases, and miniature Chinese-style robes. The waiting area consisted of Chinese low stools and modern-looking block stools.


The washroom is even better - upon walking in the sink is on your right, and no other hand-wash area would look more intricately designed. There were more decorations of miniature Chinese robes, bamboo-framed round mirrors, and little stalks of ferns dotting the edges of the sink.


A curtain of red strings separate the hand-wash area from the actual bathroom. Obviously I couldn't take photos of the bathroom, but the window at the bathroom was lined with a bamboo screen, and some more picturesque fern deco.


Now on to the food - we ordered some of the more common things at a dim sum restaurant like siu mai and pao. The item that surprised me was the gou bu li paos - I distinctly remember eating these paos for the first time at Wangfujing Xiaochijie in Beijing.


The story came that there was this man called Gou (literally translated into "dog"), who made paos for a living, and his paos were so unique that more and more people bought them. Since he wanted to upkeep the quality of his merchandise, he made all the paos by himself, and because he was so busy he ignored everyone else, hence the name of the paos - gou bu li, which translates into "dog ignores".


The story was something like that, from what I can remember.


If you're a tea person, then the custom tea station is your place to go to. They provide a selection of 5 different Chinese teas, which you can customize to your heart's desire. You could refill the tea pot however many times you want, because the charges are on per cup basis - the number of cups on the table filled with tea are the amount they are to charge (RM1.50 per cup, tax-free).

Left: custard buns, bottom: green tea custard buns, top & right: har gao.
The eye-opening dish was the custard buns. When I think custard, I think about those smooth, sweet, eggy custards that are in Western custard puddings. This custard had some rough texture to it, and was more like a salted egg custard, but tasted oh-so-delicious. Careful, though, it's hot~ It's also available in a green tea variation.


The custard buns came along with the har gao (prawn dumplings), which are basically transluscent dumpling skins that enclose juicy pieces of seasoned prawns, and the entire thing is steamed to perfection, served in a bamboo basket with a leaf of lettuce.


At first I didn't know the paos were until I took one - the gou bu li pao looks like a normal pao on the outside, but expect a dumpling-like filling of minced pork and minced Chinese chives. Slightly different from the ones I had in Beijing as I remembered (they kinda had dumpling skins), but absolutely decadent!


Xiao long bao literally means "little basket buns", or in this case, dumplings. Delicately wrapped in transluscent dumpling skins, the pork encased was oh-so-juicy~


However, where food is concerned, 7 out of 10 times everything feels and tastes the same to me. I don't have sensitive smell and taste that detect the differences between each seller's noodles or whatnot. Same goes with dim sum - most of them taste the same, but here, I got to try new things~


So here's my final verdict:

  • food - 8 / 10
  • variety - 9 / 10
  • environment - 8.5 / 10
  • service - 7 / 10
  • price - 6 / 10
  • location - 6 / 10

Chi Hao Dian Dim Sum Yum Cha
Block KA2 Kuchai Avenue
Lot 1-10 No. 39
Jalan Kuchai Maju 13
Kuchai Entrepreneur's Park
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama
58200 Kuala Lumpur.
(Near NSK Hypermarket)