Search This Blog

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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One Cafe, Kuchai Lama

What seemed like a wannabe cafe turned out to be quite a nice place to hangout for decent coffee and bread.


One Cafe sounds very much like a very wannabe Malaysian name for a cafe, and I didn't really expect to even try it out. It's located beside Phoenix Eyes, right in the corner of the area, one turn away from the back lane of a row of shops. If it still confuses you, it's opposite the Continental car service lot, which is a few lots next to Secret Loc Cafe.


It's not a place that you would really notice, but it should really come to attention for their beverages and their breads.


The cafe layout reminded me of Donutes in Bandar Puchong Jaya - a window facing outside for coffee orders and collection. The counter and menu opposite the entrance, and beside the entrance are an assortment of breads and buns in displays.


There are both indoor and outdoor seats, the indoor seats being assorted into casual chat tables, tables along benches which are more suitable for work, and a red sofa in the corner - for those who likes to snuggle. The cafe is small, though - the sofa is situated right outside the back room and washrooms, but there weren't any foul smells traceable, so I shall assume that they have very hygienic lavatories.


Self-service is how this cafe works - you order and take your own food and beverage to the table. Oh, and there are more baked selections toward the left side of the counter (on the right, if you're ordering). The baristas were pleasant and friendly,


The prices were very affordable, to my delight. Chatime notwithstanding, most artisan and novelty coffee joints charge about MYR10-15 for a standard cup of latte or cappucino. The prices here are about MYR2-5 cheaper than the standard market price (not including Starbucks and CBTL).


A selection of coffee and teas are available, and this would be a perfect place for afternoon tea (or coffee), or a place to just chill. I went at night - the lights were yellow and quite dim, probably more suitable for a small, quiet gathering than an actual chat-over-coffee event.

No banana for scale.
I chose a mocha roll off one of the display trays - the size of it is roughly the size of my hands put together, filled adequately with chocolate. It was soft and springy, but no coffee was detected throughout the devouring of the baked good.


The SO ordered a tiramisu coffee, which I finally satisfied my craving for a matcha latte. It's actually hard to find a good matcha latte because so many of them are so laden with milk and/or sugar that it just overpowers the robust flavor of matcha.

It comes with a long, slim popsicle stick as a stirrer.
They both came in Starbucks-esque paper cups, complete with a Styrofoam sleeve, and the beverages were likely shaken, not stirred (or chucked into a blender to foam up). I was daft enough to forget to sample the tiramisu coffee, but I was very satisfied with my matcha latte.


Now, I have a tendency for very sweet food, so my sweetness tolerance may differ from others, but I found it just mildly sweet enough, while the flavor of matcha had the spotlight to itself for once.


Overall it was a good place to just chill, and if need be, work in a nice and quiet environment. I personally love cafes that are cozy, dim, and quiet (dim meaning no glaring white lights, preferably yellow lighting). And it would be a place that I would visit quite frequently due to the quality of it's wares, staff attitude, and the environment. Also, one must not forget WiFi, accessible with the password: coffeeandtea.


Location - 8.5 / 10 (relatively accessible, but parking might be a problem during the day)
Atmosphere - 8.5 / 10 (absolutely lovely, quiet enough, but might not be for you if you prefer brighter cafes)
Food & beverage quality - 9 / 10 (maybe it's my low standard, but it's hard to find a good matcha latte)
Price - 9 / 10 (super inexpensive)
Value for money - 9.5 / 10
Service - 8 / 10 (not really applicable, but the s

taff were nice and pleasant)


1CAFE, KUCHAI LAMA
No. 52A-G, Ground Floor,
Jalan Kuchai Maju 6,
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama,
Kuchai Entrepreneur's Park,
58200 Kuala Lumpur.

Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Photos edited with Fotor app
Address info taken from Kuchai Address

New favorite photo editing app: Fotor

Photo editing apps are one of the prevalent types of apps on my phone - the first things I downloaded after Instagram and Facebook on my new phone were photo editing apps, namely Photo Grid, Photo Squarer Lite (I prefer the interface of the Lite version versus the full version), and MeituPic.


Each app has its own strengths and weaknesses, which is why more than one app is required to do multiple tasks for one photo. I even downloaded the much-loved VSCOCam recently, and it worked quite well to my expectations. MeituPic is used almost exclusively for physical touch-ups for portraits, and PicsArt for effects.


I edit and watermark most of the photos that I post on the blog, and for this I used to use PicMonkey.com, but it always required a network (online software), and FotoR.com too. Adobe Photoshop CC worked for one post, then ended my trial.


Googling "photo editing apps android" was more or less the best thing that I decided to do. Fotor is the mobile version of the original Fotor Photo Editor on desktop browser. The features are almost the same, but since it's an app, it's a little

Menu interface
Fotor had me at the starting interface - it uses a really sleek interface in white with dull gold icons and indications, despite the logo being a spectrum of color. I preferred the white and dull gold as opposed to the dark gray with white of the VSCOCam interface, as well as for the interface design.

Album select

Tap "Networks Account" to link Facebook and/or Instagram accounts
VSCO doesn't have a collage option, and you're required to choose the photo you want, or take a picture with the in-app camera before starting to edit. I preferred tapping on the little gold circle on the bottom right of Fotor to open up my camera, edit, and collage functions, then choosing images from your networked albums (from Facebook and Instagram, which detects the photos in your account and syncs it to the app, then allows you to proceed editing it as an image file itself) or from your local albums.


I love that the app has multiple functions in one - most of which needs two apps to accomplish. Granted, there's not many options for a lot of the features, but it looks so much more sophisticated than several other apps.


For example, I used to use LINE Camera for stickers (have since deleted it), and occasionally Photo Grid's Single Editor mode to put on stickers, which are more kawaii. Especially for the wording stickers, I much prefer the sophistication of the wording stickers in Fotor.


The one-touch enhance function is awesome if you're not so much into adjusting contrast, color temperature, saturation and all that. It detects the light and dark parts of the photo, and attempts to adjust the color values to a balance, then let's you choose whether you want a Low, Medium, or High enhancement.


The effects are the equivalent of filters, with the regular B&W, Lomo, and Vintage, but also Art, Mono, and Cinematic, which kind of reminds me of PicsArt, given the wide selection of filters available. As with other apps, it allows you to adjust the intensity of the filter applied; but unlike other apps, it allows you to layer on filter without having to exit the filter gallery, just by the tap of a little button beside the intensity adjust bar.


Functions like Rotate, Crop, and Basic (Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness) are a given, so I'll not cover them.


My favorite thing about this app, however, is the Text function. Because I need the watermark to be completely parallel to the horizontal edges of the photograph, it really gets on my nerves when I can't get it parallel because the rotate function of the text box is too sensitive, and especially with big fingers on a small screen... Yeah. I also like that the fonts come in typical and atypical styles.

You can also add textures to the text
THIS APP. This also applies to the stickers, too. The delete button is one the top left of the object, the resizing and rotation adjustment on the bottom right. On the top right is a little button with a counterclockwise arrow with a 0' within it, which AUTOMATICALLY ALIGNS THE OBJECT HORIZONTALLY PARALLEL TO THE EDGE OF THE IMAGE. It's incredibly convenient, especially when people with OCD like me are particularly anal about how their watermarks are aligned. LOL


Back to business. Let's talk about the collage function. Fotor provides both the basic types of collage templates (Classic), as well as more creative options under the Magazine tab.


The magazine templates offer an array of collage designs for different functions, but the classic templates offer more customizing options from filling the borders with color or pattern, adjusting the width of the edges as well as the space in between photos, as well as rounding of the edges.


There are actually several extra features that are only available through purchase, which you can browse through by tapping on the little trolley icon beside the save icon. Each pack doesn't cost more than MYR 4, so if you're a real photo editing enthusiast, these might interest you.


So far, this would be my favorite app for editing all round (Meitu still takes first place for selfie and portrait editing), especially editing for blog or non-human subjects.

Friday, April 10, 2015

First week as a GM

Back when I played MapleSEA in high school, GMs were like the Grecian gods of gaming - they seldom appeared, yet the seemed to hold the scepter of power within the game. I imagined them like the male/female badass protagonists in movies - cool shades, leather jacket, biker boots, awesome hair flying in the wind... something to that effect.


I think it was because I felt that Game Masters controlled the game, and were the human element in the game itself apart from the players.


Now that I'm a GM myself, my perspective has changed.


I don't have an in-game avatar, but I am armed with being an admin to the fanpages and groups. I interact with the players (who are encouraged to share their in-game experiences on the fanpages and groups) and make relevant announcement in conjunction with the design department.


There is little to no glamour in being a GM - at least not for now. Coming up with material and content for announcements, and monitoring tournaments are all fun and games... until the system crashes and everyone starts to complain.


I mean, I understand the frustration. I know it's frustrating when you open up a game to have fun, but all it gives you are problems. I love those who come asking for help, then just walk away with thanks when you give them the solution. And then there are those who are truly nasty...


Well, it takes all kinds to make the world. The players I love interacting with the most? Those who come to the GMs very politely and inquiring about an error or a problem, very cooperative, and makes small talk after the issue is resolved. Then there are those who insist on cussing everything and being self-contradictory when faced with a technical issue.


Then there are those who just plain can't report an issue without insulting and slandering everything and everyone in between - just plain rude.


Oh, well. The upside is that you're a personality on your own - you can be mysterious, moody, charming, spiteful, etc. Because you're the powerful GM.



*rant over*

Monday, April 6, 2015

Brew&bread Coffee Bar, One City Mall

After spending about 15 minutes to half an hour burning our skin on the rooftop of One City Mall, we checked out the rest of the mall, and chose Brew&bread for a cuppa. It wasn't really a we-were-there-for-the-coffee thing, but it would be silly to go up to the roof for a while then leave the mall.


The first thing that intrigued me about the place wasn't the pastries on display, or the interior design - not yet. It was the fact that the door was - to me, at least - revolutionary. It's like a combination between a swivel door and a normal door. Just go take a look - I was absolutely fascinated.


One of the main USP of the shoplot designs (at least for those on the ground floor) is that each lot is split into two floors, so to each lot they have about half an extra floor above the original lot ground for space.


From the ceiling hangs a massive black lamp shade with two other lamps within, which is one of the few eye-catchers within the cafe.



Orange and yellow toned lights gently illuminated the mostly black coffee bar. The counter is right in front of you the moment you step into the cafe, and the menu is written in chalk to your right. Along the door, there's a bookshelf with magazines and books for your reading pleasure while you enjoy your cup of coffee. Apparently, the staff also has a sense of humor, and tries to engage that humor in others for tips.



Cement benches and wooden tables and chairs accented with bronzed plumbing pipes provide an earthy and comfortable ambiance. The water station is right beside the pastry display, which is perpendicular to the order counter. I'm guessing one of their specialties is cold drip coffee, as they are displayed along with the pastries and desserts. There was also a large cold drip contraption directly behind the water station.

The man of my life~
We sat in the back corner, with a view of the street outside. A thunderstorm started shortly after we sat down, so we sipped our iced hazelnut-flavored flat whites which enjoying the dance of lightning in the distance.


Then I noticed another little detail that got into my way of watching the lighting - their "curtains" were made out of scaffolding. Talk about reusing materials and being hipster.


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




Overall, the coffee was alright - I've had better hazelnut coffees, but their overall ambiance was enjoyable, almost perfect for business meetings, personal working, and quiet discussions.


No service or government tax applicable, though I think GST is implemented already. No WiFi that I observed.


Location - 6.5 / 10 (the mall isn't all too accessible to me, and there's nothing else to see there, and I'm seldom the person to go out of my way to go somewhere for a cup of coffee)
Atmosphere - 9 / 10
Beverage quality - 7.5 / 10
Price - 8 / 10 (average price - our bill came to MYR28 for two cups)
Value for money - 7.5 / 10
Service - 8.5 / 10 (staff were courteous and attentive, switching on more lights when it got darker outside)


BREW&BREAD COFFEE BAR @ ONE CITY MALL
Ground Floor, G-CF-02,
Skypark One City,
Jalan USJ 25/1,
47650 Subang Jaya,
Selangor.


Info from: Strings of Memories (address)
Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Photos edited with Fotor app

Friday, April 3, 2015

One City Sky Park, Subang Jaya

We've made plans to have some errands done at OCBC Puchong (open up more branches in more accessible locations please!!!), but we were always short of time, or just plain LATE. Never mind.


Instead of going to PFCC, we headed to OneCity Sky Park, which is opposite Main Place PJ, and quite easy to find given the clear road signs. And because I had to GPS maneuver my way through Jalan Puchong and a section of Shah Alam before I found Main Place.


OneCity Mall is an open-concept mall, meaning the only thing between the mall itself and outside are creepers on both ends. No air conditioning except for the digital part of the mall, which is complete with an air curtain.


Opposite the mall itself are shoplots, and next to the mall is the OneCity hotel.


There are three floors for parking, with the most sophisticated slopes I've seen. Most of them have either chevron-style lines or circles embossed into the cement; OneCity takes sophistication up a notch with actual bricks that are uneven on purpose. The ceiling leaks, though...

Photo by: AlanYong
The building goes up 10 floors from the ground up, the top floor being the main attraction of the entire mall. Pubs, bistros, and restaurants line the sides of the signature glass ceiling. Several sections of what I assume is super strong tempered glass panels form "ceiling panes", and you can clearly see the ground floor concourse right through the glass as you stand on it.


The optimum time to go there would be toward the evening, where the sky is darker. We went late afternoon, just shy of about an hour from a thunderstorm. The glass panes are supported by sturdy metal beams, but a steady walk across is still quite scary, especially if you focus on the 10 floors worth of air between the glass panes and the ground floor.


Ground floor and the first floor are both shops, but most of them are furnishing studios, and the food is mostly on the ground floor. There were no anchors that I could see. Hip places like Tappers and Charlie Chaplin are also both on ground floor.


The rest of the floors were labelled "offices" in the elevators, and from what I saw there were a few beauty spas and such.


Parking was free, which is a huge plus.


OH YES.


The elevators. I love the elevators. The only elevator with glass panels on all four sides I've been in were in KLIA, which just goes up and down a few floors.


BUT THIS ONE.


It's fast, and you could see EVERYTHING. It was almost like travelling at the speed of light, where you lose all sense of gravity and balance for a split second if you focus too much on the floors whizzing past.


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




Overall, not really a mall I'd go to often, unless I was looking for furnishings. However, it is still a relatively new mall, with renovations still ongoing, so we'll see if any more attention-worthy stores pop up there.