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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Graduating - with Second Class Honours

WARNING: PHOTO SPAM THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE POST.


I first stepped into Taylor's University in 2011, wary about the course I picked out and the fresh round of socialization that I'd have to take part in. I just left a waitressing job at the local Taiwanese food restaurant, and I was terrified.



I felt extremely out of place during the orientation. I remembered wearing heavy-duty bleached jeans and the blue Mickey Mouse long-sleeve top that I got from a very old China trip, as well as my old Li-Ning's. That was my first contact with my to-be favorite lecturer - Mr Winston Lim.

What Mr. Winston thought was reminiscent of Avril Lavigne - early days of university.
I think that was either a random dress-up day, or a presentation day.

I sat in the second front row - the only one sitting in that row. I was unprepared, I didn't have anything with me, and I was eager to get it done and over with. A girl called Swing made the first move to talk to me, and in a way, I was relieved - at least I didn't have to make all the first moves.

With the FICM group on 19/10 - Xue Ying's, Karmen's, and my own birthday

Class started a while after orientation day, and I still stuck around with Swing. I still didn't have the confidence to make any first moves, though many of my classmates made to talk to me. We entered another assignment group, and it was there that I briefly entered one of the cliques, before moving on the be a 2-girl-mission thing with Su for quite a long time.

That time I twisted my ankle because I was texting while going down the stairs.

A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on



Su and I would plan to reach campus at a particular time, and meet at a particular computer lab practically every morning. It was then that I slowly started to meld into the class as one of them, or at least, that was what I felt.

Our new year count down party.
Our group trip to Penang.

It felt good, because people here didn't discriminate as much as they did in high school. I partially thank group assignments for making me know more people. I don't know how, but a larger group formed which included Su and I.

"Model search" day where we all got made up!
With cosplayers after attending an event.

Our clique planned stuff around each other, had lunch together, even went for a waterpark trip together. It was not until we were divided into our respective major classes in our 2nd year of degree that the clique sort of fell apart.

The 4L's trip to Melaka.










We each knew more people, and the person that stuck with me through most of my university years was Jasmine. Maybe it was because we had the same personality, or that we didn't live too far from each other. We did a lot of things together, and shared more secrets together than I'd care to admit.

My later partner-in-crime during the last couple years of university.

A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on



Toward the end of the degree when people flew to UK and left us here, it was just us three - 3 of the girls from the 4 L's. Assignments became increasingly mundane, except for those that needed actual field work, which were more labor-intense than I would've preferred.

That time I had a super swollen eye but still had to glam up for a presentation about euthanasia for a Performing Arts lecturer.

With Media Gates PR Agency - which I joined last-minute, and spent my first overnight at their "dorm" rushing to complete all the presentation material the day before presentation.



To be really honest, I don't think I would've passed ANYTHING if it wasn't for all these people whom I've met in my 4 years of university.

A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on



A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on



Perhaps the craziest, busiest, most stressful, and most satisfying year was our last two semesters in degree. A combination of overwhelming assignments, drama amongst some of our own, and unreasonable lecturers seemed as if university was supposed to drive you to the point of madness.

On the nomination board for Taylor's Star Awards.

The proPassion-KyaniteTV team.
A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on






A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on



One exciting project involved KyaniteTV and their newest children's show Chichi & Chacha, and from there I realized the sometimes inconsistent ideas of creative people - it was like however we tailored the proposal to their requirements, they had something to change elsewhere. We made do with what we had, despite our major disagreements and/or miscommunication with the PR team, and we won Best Project at the Taylor's Star Awards!


One of the prouder moments of my life - CEO of Sensation Lingerie for Brasics: Hook It Right.

A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on



Then there was our little lingerie photoshoot at Jeanna's place for our press kit and press conference project. Sensation Lingerie (headed by mock-CEO a.k.a moi) was to raise awareness on the implications of wearing wrong bra sizes and how to correct it. Our press kit won best for its category at the Taylor's Star Awards.

My squad for most of the last 2 years.


Although neither of these were personal awards, I was proud to have a team who clicked so well with each other (not all the time, though) to produce award-winning works.

Right after the last paper - we color-coordinated our clothes, if it wasn't obvious enough.

I've learned enough about friendship to know that most of them don't last long - I used to vouch for my high school friends, saying dumb things like "friendship forever". Well, let's just say we're no longer as close as I thought we were.


Many say high school will be the best days of your life, while some vouch for university days. Both taught me new things - things that have molded me to the person I am today, however twisted. And now especially at work, those skills help me through the sometimes unreasonable crowd of feedback.


Well, let's just end the post with photos:

A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on



On G-day itself.



With the hipster who shared a birthday with me.
With my partner-in-crime during my internship.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Basil Pasta House, Kuchai Lama


I would generally avoid ordering any pasta dishes when eating out, due to the fact that we've come up with our own ways to make pasta within the kitchen of our own home. What with YouTube's booming cooking tutorial channels now, we've learned to whip up some of our restaurants favorite for a fraction of the price.


And now that grocery stores have widened their pasta options to more than fussili, elbows, macaroni, and spaghetti, there's a lot to experiment with without having to fork out more than 2 packets worth of pasta in a regular restaurant that taste more like a pile of creamy, starchy goo.


The SO brought me over to one of the smaller cafe-like restaurants which I often overlooked while going around the Kuchai Maju area, although I do remember stopping to survey the place for a moment prior to a hookah double date.

Full house on our second trip.

At the moment, I didn't think much of it. But my opinion changed after reviewing the menu.

Several different types of books worthy of the culinary section of Taylor's Library lines some of the shelves.

Apart from the typical aglio olio and carbonara under the classic pasta section, there's also a house pasta section and some risotto options as well. I did spot some more fancy and contemporary options under the house pasta section like squid ink pasta, and foie gras.


Though slightly crammed, the furnishings and decorations were nice - Tiffany blue walls with white box displays which featured jars of pasta, beans, and various bottles. The style was more like a room decoration rather than the overdone-to-death polished or rustic decoration of many other Western joints.



Cakes and desserts were displayed at the entrance in a chiller display, opposite a small table with a basket containing a stack of papers, on which a sign said "if you're double-parking, please write down your number and place it on your dashboard".

Cappellini wafu pasta - MYR 18.90

I had some trouble picking between the squid ink pasta and a contemporary Japanese-style pasta, but being the same old me, I settled for the Cappellini wafu pasta, which was angelhair pasta in yuzu shoyu sauce with medium-rare seared tuna and hon-shimeji mushrooms.


The thin sauce clung to the angelhair nicely, while the balance of salty shoyu was nicely balanced by the tanginess of the yuzu. The tuna was nicely seared (pink on the inside), though the shimeji could have done with a little more effort.

Parma ham fettuccine - MYR 20.90

The SO had tried the aglio olio earlier in the day (which he said was a huge portion), so he picked up a cream sauce fettuccine pasta with Parmesan and Parma ham. First things first, I haven't seen many normal Western restaurants stock Parma ham, which is already a huge plus there. Next, the portion side was quite big, compared to my more avant garde-ish dish of pasta.

Ice blended kiwi - MYR 7.00; pineapple juice - MYR 6.00.

The beverages didn't disappoint either - I ordered a pineapple juice, while he chose an ice blended kiwi. The kiwi was nice - not like the super diluted and runny stuff you get from some restaurants; but the pineapple juice (that came in a slender jar-like thing) was a tad too sweet.

Mozzarella fritta - MYR 9.90.

We came back after a few weeks for another meal, and seeing that I had not tried their risotto, it was a chance to see if their risotto was as good as their pasta selections. This time I ordered a side dish called mozzarella fritta, which were bacon-wrapped deep fried mozzarella sticks, served with a special sesame sauce and a few delicate lettuce leaves.

Mushroom risotto - MYR 18.90.

Because the risotto was a bit pricier, I opted for just the mushroom risotto, which featured what seemed like white button mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms, and stewed/marinated oyster mushrooms, with peas, a good amount of parsley, and grated parmesan.


Overall, it wasn't bad - the grains seem separated, but still maintained a bite to them, while not slopping all over when scooped up with a fork. The parsley and the peas added good flavor to the overall dish, but it wasn't something I'd die to order again any time soon.

Cream & Bacon - MYR 15.90

The SO ordered something the little more economical Cream & Bacon fettucine. A poached egg lay delicately atop the bed of creamy pasta, also sprinkled with Parmesan. I would say delightfully creamy, and the bacon was delightfully chunky, though that might have been a texture misinterpretation on my part.

Citrus passion - MYR 7.00; iced earl grey latte - MYR 9.90.


As for drinks, he ordered a citrus passion, and I opted for an earl grey latte. It was an interesting way of serving a beverage - the juice was frozen into cubes, then served in a glass along with a flask of ice cream soda to pour over. My earl grey latte was heavenly in the earl grey part, but my sweet tooth demanded more sugar.

Pasta for life, indeed. #wifipassword

The ambiance and quality of the pasta was quite worth the pretty large number on the bill, but not on a regular basis. All items are subject to 6% GST.


Location - 8.5 / 10 (relatively accessible, but parking might be a problem unless you're okay with double-parking)
Atmosphere - 8.5 / 10 (soft yellow lighting with spot lights, and Tiffany blue walls...what more can I say?)
Food & beverage quality - 8.5 / 10 (not bad - contemporary selections for less)
Price - 7 / 10 (not typically what I'd prefer to fork out for pasta)
Value for money - 8 / 10
Service - 8 / 10


BASIL PASTA HOUSE, KUCHAI LAMA
21, Jalan Kuchai Maju 6,
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama,
58200 Kuala Lumpur.

Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Photos edited with Fotor app

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

XiaoMi Red Powerbank

NEW TOY ALERT!


Since a few years ago, XiaoMi took the electronics world by storm, especially their powerbanks. From what I heard, online bids were on their website for the powerbanks, and within seconds of opening the network for bidding, they were sold out.


The reason? They were inexpensive and durable, lasting for up to 2-3 full charges (depending on the capacity). One thing was that they only came in silver... or so I thought.

Typical XiaoMi box.

When the SO recently got a new job and was temporarily located in Digital Mall, I visited him every so often. The shop sells computer accessories, laptops, and powerbanks, including the original XiaoMi, but they also had a couple of units in red.


My existing powerbank looks spectacular - like Yves Saint Laurent collaborated with Vertu to come out with a lipstick-cum-powerbank in gold. The catch is that I could plug in my phone at 1%, and it only charges it up to about 20-30% before the powerbank runs out of charging power.


Among my dad's possessions, we found a powerbank which capacity is similar to that of the XiaoMi, but it was claimed by my sister before I could.

The little bit of white on the edge is just a part of the verification sticker.
So... I got the red one. Because it was GORGEOUS, apart from being something I occasionally need. And did I mention that it's fabulous?

Within the box. Comes with a 6-inch micro-USB cable.
I don't know how to describe exactly the red that it is, but it kind of looks like the shimmery, almost iridescent, kind of metallic red that's in the 120 palette (shade #48, I think). Other than that, it's pretty much the same as the typical XiaoMi.


The typical capacity of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 battery is at 3200 mAh. The capacity for the XiaoMi powerbank is at 10400 mAh, which means I could fully charge my phone at least 3 times, with a little more power to spare, before the powerbank drains completely.


I haven't got much chance to actually use it yet, because I'm now in the office most of the time with access to 5 power points, but so far I've tried charging the Smok X-Pro M65 vape mod, and so far no problems.


Also, I'm now officially the person who would pick out things that are pink in majority - my new mouse is pink. I wanted to get a set of pink bottles, but the SO wanted blue. My favorite top now is my SO's pink Hangten polo tee. Go figure.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

MAKE-UP: Ocean Sunset Eyes

I did this look in around July/August last year, but never got around to posting it due to personal reasons, and general distractions of life. Since then I haven't really done much make-up except for simple looks for going out.


I can't remember what I applied where except for some obvious items, so bear with me.

A photo posted by Kellie Low 紫倩 (@thecheanie) on




Eyes (refer to palette chart for shadow #s)
shu uemura Creme Eyeshadow in Beige (base)
Artistry shadow in Beige
Artistry shadow in Java
Shadow #53 (shimmery beige)
Shadow #28 (matte blue-purple)
Shadow #49 (red)
Shadow #73 (gold)
Shadow #25 (iridescent purple)
Maybelline Hypersharp eyeliner
The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Auto Eyeliner in White (lower waterline)
Shadow #116 (turquoise)
Shadow #104 (denim blue)
Artistry shadow in Ash Black
Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara
Generic lashes

Brows
Shadow #29 matte purple

Skin
Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Airbrush Finish in Nude Beige Light 3.5
L'Occitane Immortelle Fresh Powder Foundation
Callas Finishing Touch Face Powder in Clear Pearls (for highlighting)
Artistry shadow in Basic Beige (for countouring)

Lips
Vaseline (to prep prior to make-up)
Maybelline Color Sensational Moisture Extreme Lipcolor in Soft Azalea
Silkygirl Moisture Rich lipstick in Playful

Friday, April 17, 2015

Our 400th day - 11042015

As relationships go on, things get more stable, because both individuals have already more or less found much common ground for many things that used to be conflicts. Though that doesn't mean zero arguments and disagreements herein, but it means more understanding.


Our 400th day wasn't all sugar, spice, and everything nice - my car's battery completely died on day 399 in a backlane of a mall in a not-so-pleasant area, and in my frustration and disappointment and annoyance at a random stranger who wouldn't shut up... well, let's say I could've handled the situation a lot better than I did.

*Note to self: get a jumpstart cable in the car for emergencies.


The first half of the next day (day 400) wasn't a bed of roses either... I won't go into the details, but it was a less romantic than we would have expected it to be.


I wouldn't say we made up for the past 24 hours with a dinner date, but things did improve toward the end of the day.


The car battery got changed (apparently, I was using the wrong battery for the car model), and drove to his place as soon as I got a change of fresh clothes. We took a shower, dressed up, then went out for dinner.


It's been a really long while since I've actually been to a steakhouse, the last time being a number of years ago to Victoria Station, and it was the last straw and dealbreaker for ever visiting Victoria Station again.



Star Village in Kuchai Lama is more of a place for young people to hangout, smoke, and drink. On the other hand, Star Village HQ in OUG is in a league of its own. The outside is a bar and lounge area, with tall tables and bar stools, as well as lounge chairs in what I assume is artificial leather the kind of crowded the place, but a clear path was visible to the entrance.


If the effect was to give it a movie-like, going-back-in-time effect on diners, they did it - a phone booth in a corner, comfy-looking chairs around round tables, dim yellow lights that illuminated wooden furniture.


The furnishings in the back weren't too matching though... white plastic chairs were part of them, and in the far corner, a bench table with a very weathered white pleather couch.


The place was in quite dire need of renovation and refurnishing, but other than that, the food was excellent. I'm still not crazy over paying copious amounts for a slab of beef, but it was a special occasion, and the food wasn't too too expensive there, which was a plus.


Heading to a nice steakhouse for chicken and/or fish would be daft, so we opted for beef - a top sirloin steak for him, and a rib-eye steak for me. Both medium-rare (we like our meat slightly underdone).

Ribeye steak.
Sirloin steak, with an extra corn on the cob.
The steaks were served with a crispy bun, steak fries, the sauce in a sauce dish, and a rather generous amount of apple and soggy pasta salad, topped with grated carrots. Wasn't too fond of the apple salad, so we just picked out the pasta and left the rest.


We had a side of cheesy escargots, because no steakhouse meal is complete without cheesy, garlicky French snails. The trick is not to examine the little black lump of deliciousness that would be dipped in the garlic cheese sauce. And at MYR16.90 per half dozen, it was well worth the money.


I was eyeing the soup, but didn't want to have a potentially made-from-powder or came-from-a-can mushroom soup, so he introduced me to the salmon soup, which I regrettably did not know of earlier. The soup came with actual salmon flakes in it, and the flavor of the fish was just... full-bodied and heavenly.


As for the drinks, there were some interesting options, including my favorite honey milk, but toward the end of the cold drinks list... was the Coke Float, which specified that it came in a 1-litre mug. I cautiously asked if I could order one, and he said why not. I think he was unaware of the situation.


The Coke Float arrived with a sure *thump*, and I was sitting there wide-eyed. It took him a moment after trying to move the mug before he realized the size of it. If the size isn't comprehensible - 1 can of Coke is 325ml, which means it's about a little over 3 cans of Coke, with two large scoops of vanilla ice cream. One word: diabeetus.


***

There are times when things aren't as sweet ("I get drunk on jealousy" - Taylor Swift), and there is no such thing as a 100% compatibility between two people. For a relationship to work, there's no stopping the process of finding common ground - it's a constant effort from both sides, a promise to commit and continue working for the relationship.


Especially now that we each have so little time on our own hands, with work duties and such, it's almost impossible to go back to a few weeks ago where I could've taken an entire day from home to spend with him, even if it meant following him to work.


Sometimes things don't go as we like, or as we plan. I expected already that we would have significantly less time to ourselves once we've started work, especially when my job requires me to work till midnight on certain nights.


Hope spring's eternal.