Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hong Kong Disneyland Plan Your Trip Part 2 - Hotel Reservations & Annual Passes

Read all about my family's trip to HK Disneyland. Click on menu bar above to see all blog posts!
Since I've booked the flight tickets last month, this month it's time to book the hotel stay and Annual Pass.....and will be buying a new luggage bag next month. I'm staggering the purchases so it will be more manageable to settle the credit card bills monthly.

OK, so what's an Annual Pass, you say? Well, an Annual Pass allows you to experience the magic of Disneyland for an entire year. There are 3 types of annual passes i.e. Value, Deluxe and Premium. For a Value Annual Pass, block out dates are on weekends and peak season e.g. Christmas, Easter etc. A Premium Annual Pass allows you entry into the park everyday - 365 days a year! The Deluxe one is something in between..... read more about Annual Passes here. There are a number of benefits for Annual Passholders and one of them is discounts for hotel stay.

The online reservation system at the HK Disneyland website is not working so the only way to reserve the hotel rooms now is to call them. From Malaysia, just dial this number :008521830830 (HK Disneyland Hotels Reservation Centre). You will then speak to a friendly staff who will take down your particulars and payment details. Once the reservation is confirmed i.e. the credit card transaction is successful, an email or fax will be sent to you. For every reservation, payment for 1 night's stay is required.
At the same time, we also reserved our Value Annual Passe and thus we get to enjoy a discount on our hotel rates.

With the Annual Passes, we can enter Disneyland any time during our stay there except on weekends. The price for the Value Annual Pass costs HK$650 per adult and $460 per child (3-11). It's cheaper than buying entrance tickets to Disneyland which costs HK$350 per adult per entry. So if you are planning to go to Disneyland for more than one day and it happens to be on weekdays, then grab the Annual Passes.

As Annual Passholders, we get to enjoy 15% off room rates at both HK Disneyland Hotel & Disney's Hollywood Hotel if we are staying there in April. So I've booked 3 nights' stay in each hotel.


HK Disneyland Hotel Garden View Room 
Published rates : HK$1800+10% tax

Disney's Hollywood Hotel
 Published rates : HK$1200+10% tax

Total for the entire hotel stay at both hotels : HK$8695.50 (paid HK$2898.50)
Total for the annual passes : HK$1760

How much is THAT in Malaysian Ringgit? Current exchange rate is 1 MYR = 2.27 HKD. Hmmmm.... looks like about RM4500.........looking forward to being pampered Disney style.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hong Kong Disneyland Plan Your Trip Part 1 - Travel Dates & Flight Booking

Read all about my family's HK Trip! Click on menu bar above to see all my blog posts!

We will be making a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland soon - for our annual family holiday! I am sure the kids will have a blast at the theme park and as for us adults.... we are just looking forward to eating authentic Hong Kong dim sum! It's our first trip to Hong Kong Disneyland and HK.

The best time of the year to go to Hong Kong is actually in April when it's not too hot/humid and not too cold. Taking into consideration that the Hong Kong school holidays start from end of March to mid April every year and Easter & Ching Ming Festival is from 1-6 April this year, we've decided to go to Hong Kong from 18-24 April which is a non-peak season. One week would be sufficient for us. Don't want too rushed a holiday but something more leisurely! We fly on a Sunday afternoon to HK and return on a Saturday night to KL - that's 7D/6N.

I booked online at and fully paid up for the airfares in December last year. Managed to get economy promo rates which I feel are very reasonable. The airfare varies with travel dates and time - some to the extent of triple the fare for peak season.  You have to select the dates individually to see all the different rates. Air Asia is by far the most economical airline compared to MAS, Cathay Pacific and SIA. Since it's just a 4 hour flight.... a budget airline will do for us.....

I also selected the travel insurance coverage and luggage supersize. Ordered some snacks e.g. sandwiches at a 20% early discount. So, everything came up to RM2192 for our family of 4. Marissa will be 22 months so she's considered an infant (0-24 months)and is not assigned any seats. Her fare is  a flat rate charge of RM50 per way. So untung for Air Asia - no need to provide any seat but can still charge a fare!

I opted for the Hot Seats which gives priority boarding and you get to choose your own seats. Since I booked early I managed to secure front seats with ample leg room. Hot Seats are the ones marked RED. Each hot seat reservation costs RM25 per way. For the other seats selection, it's RM5 each. The empty ones are those which are reserved. My seat and Evan's seat are shown and marked with the icons. All the travelling arrangements e.g. change of seats, change of dates/flights can be managed online once you log in at the Air Asia website so it's very very convenient.

We will board our flight at LCCT (KLIA) and arrive at Chek Lap Kok International Airport, Hong Kong. Check in counters at LCCT are opened 2 hours before the flight and closes 45 minutes before the flight. We are planning to take the fast train to LCCT from KL Sentral. Once in HK, we will most likely be taking another fast train to the hotel to check in.
Will post more on booking the hotel rooms at Hong Kong Disneyland next! 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Injured Soldier

Evan injured 4th finger while in church today. One of the kids accidentally slammed the door on his finger. He cried and jumped in pain. So we promptly brought him to Baby & Beyond - a paediatric centre located in Bangsar Village II to seek treatment because our regular paed's clinic (Dr Koe Child Clinic) is closed on Sundays.

Dr Rajini was the paed on duty. We've brought Evan to see her before this for behavioural assessments last month (just to rule out ADHD) so he's familiar with her. 

I am better now!

Dr Rajini examined Evan and immobilized the affected finger with a splint and bandage. She said that he will have a haematoma but it's not necessary to prick the nail with a needle to relieve any pressure within the nailbed.Everything was done very professionally and with care and attention. I was instructed to remove the bandage after 6 hours. And after I did, the finger was not badly swollen and Evan didn't even complain of pain although the finger has turned blue-black.

The receptionist cum staff nurse was very friendly and helpful too. The environment is also clean and spacious. No long waiting queues and best of all - even if you need to wait, the children will be fascinated with the wooden playhouse and wooden kitchen playset there. Lots of reading materials for the adults. The fees are not very steep I would say (we paid RM60 for the consulation and treatment) and I certainly wouldn't mind coming here again if the kids need medical attention.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Baby Organic Store Giveaway

I was just browsing at The Baby Organic Store and this amazing dress caught my eye!  A perfect piece for my little princess - with Chinese New Year just around the corner!

It's made from 100% organic cotton poplin and dyed with environmentally friendly metal free dyes. I really like the all-over plum blossom prints on the dress and the design which gives it an oriental flair. 
Do hop over to The Baby Organic Store now and browse through their inventory - they sell a variety of 100% organic baby & kids clothing, toys, burp cloths, bedlinens, blankets and towels.

The best part is..... The Baby Organic Store is giving away 2 shopping vouchers worth RM80 each. To take part in this giveaway, just go to this link. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Manga Messiah

This is a blog post by dear hubby Larry:

Evan was never really into his children and toddler Bibles. Turning 4 years old, he was more attracted to action packed cartoons/comics such as Spider-Man, Ben 10 and Power Rangers, especially the fighting scenes. His vocabulary includes words like ‘kill,’ ‘die,’ destroy,’ and ‘explode.’ Of course, we as parents are to blame to expose an impressionable kid to violent scenes albeit animated ones.

As a child my own father encouraged me to watch action flicks and wrestling shows in order for me to learn some self-defense moves. Thankfully I didn’t encounter any bullies in my childhood, and I remain a passive viewer to action films, which my father regards as educational for me. Therefore I didn’t realize that action cartoons would bring such a negative effect to my son. Since discovering that action cartoons make Evan more aggressive (he would jump around in the house ‘fighting bad guys’ using his toys as ‘weapons’), we got him to quit watching those cartoons.

His behavior has improved since he stopped watching those shows. But he still shows no interest towards the stories in children Bibles. I suspect the pictures in the children’s Bibles are too docile to excite a child who likes to watch action cartoons.

Fortunately, we manage to come across Manga Messiah, a comicbook on the Gospels illustrated in manga style. Since the day we bought the comicbook, Evan would want me to read it to him before sleep every night, without fail. He likes Jesus who he regards as ‘powerful,’ ‘able to help people’ and ‘do miracles’. I think it’s wonderful that Evan has finally found a true Hero to emulate.

The corny title aside, Manga Messiah (MM) is a surprisingly well-written and illustrated book. Although it’s intended for non-church-going teenagers who are not inclined to pick up a Bible, it will also equally capture the attention of a Sunday Schooler as well as an adult familiar with the Bible.

MM combines the four Gospels (Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) into a singular narrative spanning 23 chapters in 287 full-colour pages. It is quite a faithful adaption of the Gospels. Every page includes the chapter and verse of the story being told.

It is written and drawn by a Japanese mangaka team. The English translation is very good and at times employs American expressions (e.g. “Man! That is low!” said a disciple when he discovered James and John’s mother’s personal request to Jesus.) The paraphrase is well done akin to the New Living Translation and New Century Version. The illustrations employ typical manga style character appearances and facial expressions. This manages to convey action and dynamism in the stories.

MM fleshes out the Gospel stories quite well and make it more readable. Case is in point: Matthew 9:9. In the Bible, Jesus called to Matthew the tax collector, and the latter simply drops everything and follows the Lord.  A bit too abrupt if you ask me. In MM, Matthew is first shown overhearing people exclaiming the miraculous things that Jesus had done. Then Matthew’s thoughts reveal that he is despised, unwanted, unloved and alone. So when Jesus pops the question, ‘Follow me,’ it is so much more believable that Matthew will quit his job just like that.

MM makes most everything easy to understand. Specific cultural practices and norms are explained in the course of the story, helping us to make sense of what’s happening. And I must say that despite having read the Gospels and looking at maps of the Biblical regions in numerous Bibles, I only fully grasp the distinction of the three regions of Galilee, Samaria and Judea after reading MM.

I’m really impressed by the overall quality of the manga and most importantly, the Gospel is told clearly in a manner that’s appealing to the younger generation. Evan simply adores the stories about Jesus and listens intently when I read it to him before bedtime. I also get him to recite some noteworthy scripture verses.

Manga Messiah is published by Tyndale and is available at Salvation bookstores for RM20. It’s sister titles Manga Metamorphosis (about the Book of Acts) and Manga Mutiny (Genesis & Exodus) are also sold there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Writing Desk for Evan

I bought Evan a new writing desk & stool set specially ordered from Babyland SS2. Cost is pretty steep but it's a high quality desk with plenty of handy features.

Art Master Activity Desk by Step 2

Hidden compartment to store drawings and such

Lights to ease eye strain

Lots and lots of storage space - behind the desk and also at the sides.
Plus there's a shelf on top to store writing & art materials

Considering that this is made in USA of durable plastic plus all the features mentioned above - RM660 is just OK for this. For comparison's sake, Ikea's Mammut table and chair already costs RM160+..... and the table has no storage compartments. 
We keep Evan's activity books, paper, colours & art material in this  desk. Sometimes, he will sit down and draw, colour or write. Even Marissa is interested in using the desk to doodle.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

SOHO Mama Giveaway RESULTS

I think I am on a winning streak here.... snagged another prize! A big thank you to SOHO Mama for organizing this giveaway!

I've contacted Mama Emma from Deep Blue Lense to claim the prize and it's decided that she will do a blog makeover for me instead of the photoshoot. You see, Mama Emma is also the talented designer behind The Blog Saloon. Can't wait for the new look!   

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kedai Mini Muffin Contest

What's cute, dainty & yellow in color???
A durian-flavored mini muffin, of course!

Do you know that these mini muffins are available in a rainbow of flavors like strawberry, blueberry and mocha, just to name a few?

Do you know that these mini muffins can be kept frozen in the freezer to maintain its freshness and all you have to do is just reheat them in the microwave prior to serving?

Do you know that you can order freshly baked mini muffins from Kedai Mini Muffin and have them deliver them to you?

Do you ALSO know that Kedai Mini Muffin is organizing a Count the Mini Muffins Contest from now until 20th February 2010?

Contestants stand to win mini muffins and MORE mini muffins!
What are you gonna do with soooooo many mini muffins, you ask?
Well, these mini muffins are perfect for wedding favors or to serve during a wedding reception. If you are already married, then these mini muffins will definitely delight the kids especially during parties! You can even pick the color/flavor of the mini muffins to match your theme! Plus these are also perfect for all occasions e.g. tea party, buah tangan or even a Valentine's Day pressie (make sure you order the pink ones!)

So if you wanna score some mini muffins... come join this contest!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gingerbread Felt Tee

This is Evan wearing the tee I won last month in TiniHani's giveaway! Fits him well and it's really cute! Material is comfy cotton (Made in Cambodia, Size euro 110 or 4-5 years). Colour matching is good too. Will definitely be ordering tees for everyone of us soon *wink*! Click here to have a look at TiniHani's post on sewing this customised felt tee.

I am an unpaid model

Monday, January 11, 2010

School's in!

Accompanied Evan to TJC today. School has actually started since last week but only for the newbies (read crying, vomitting and stress) so that they can settle in. All returning students start one week later.

The brick boss a.k.a. my brother (the heavier one) presented Evan with an alarm clock to help him wake up in the mornings to get ready for school. It's no ordinary clock mind you *ahem* it's LEGO Star Wars! Evan likes Lego and also Star Wars (thanks no thanks to his uncle's influence....) so he likes this clock very much.

I removed the torrent gun from the box and kept all the packaging before giving the clock to Evan. I also told him the Stormtrooper and Chewbacca the Wookiee are friends and they don't fight. He said OK and promptly 'introduced' the two new Star Wars minifigs to his other Lego minfigs i.e. chef, bus driver, knight etc all from his other Lego sets. No problem waking up in the morning with the alarm clock. No rushing and he was ready and eager for school.

We went to school together with Joseph & family. The boys are in different classes this year. Evan is now in 5 Aster and his teacher is Cindy. I introduced Evan to his new teacher and he sat down with his friends. He chatted away happily and felt right at home! 

Prior to this we had prepared him in advance that school will be reopening and once that happens he will have to go. Evan also has a calendar hanging in his room and his Daddy will show him the dates and remind him that when it's the 11th, it's back to school. We also put down interesting events on the calendar as well e.g. Jungle Gym, Art Class etc

Saturday, January 9, 2010

SOHO Mama's 100th Entry Giveaway

How many of us actually 'celebrate' our 100th blog post entry? I, for one, had already exceeded my 100th blog post and I have not thought of doing a giveaway..... um.... maybe I should as soon as I hit 200 blog posts! *wink*wink*
Well, one blogger known as SOHO Mama is currently doing a giveaway on her blog : SOHO Mama's Diary in conjunction with her 100th blog entry. SOHO Mama is a WAHM of 4 kids and her blog is mainly about parenting & family life. I was blog-hopping and found her blog and what caught my eye instantly (it was a sticky mode entry) A GIVEAWAY! Interesting.....

I find that SOHO Mama's Diary is a very well organized blog and provides easy navigation and pleasant reading (the writer has a very good command of the English Language unlike some other blogs that I've come across.....). Anyway, I've browsed through the blog and enjoyed reading the topics there eg babywearing, cloth diapering & gift baskets! Yup, you got me right! Gift baskets! SOHO Mama is the CEO of AZ Gift Baskets and I've hopped over to her online store to browse as well. Here's a photo of a particular gift basket that caught my eye. It's called Dina Cooks Dinner.

I like this gift basket because it's really a one-of-a-kind limited edition gift filled with very useful and practical items for the kitchen. All are quality brand name items. Just what you need to prepare a delicious home-cooked meal!

Back to the giveaway, the main prize is a blog makeover by Jiji (I love what she has done with SOHO Mama's blog) and the other prize is a photography shoot by DeepBlue Lense. If you are hoping to score a prize in this giveaway.... (I sure am hoping to win the blog makeover!) just click here for full details.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Play gyms for Kids - Evan's favourites

Gymboree Play & Music Bangsar Village
RM10 (member price) for an hour long Playgym session.
Playgym hours are fixed so you can't just go at any time. A parent/guardian has to accompany the child if below 3 years.
Low price for a drop & shop facility
Star point : Safe playing environment with different props each time

Megakidz Megamall
RM30 per hour for Drop & Shop. Kid must be 4 years old and above.
You can really shop till you drop while your kid is happily engrossed in the gym
Star point : Location & Convenience

 Jungle Gym Bangsar Shopping Center
This is Evan's favourite gym. RM22 for unlimited play the whole day from 10am-9pm.
Weekend/School holiday rates are RM28
Membership fee is RM50 per year and you can enjoy 20% off the published rates.
Great place for kids birthday parties too.
Evan enjoys jumping on the trampoline and playing with the balls.
There is a cafe there on the same level (Level IV) : Stuff Your Face, Cafe plus other stores catering for children. A very nice Parenting room too.
Star Point : Best value for money


Kidz Sports & Gym Bangsar Village II
This gym is somewhat similar to Megakidz. RM30 per hour for drop & shop. After that children can still play there but under adult supervision for unlimited hours. There are benches & water inside. Just directly opposite Kidz Sports & Gym is Fit for 2 Cafe & Studio. They even have a special package for Fit for 2 members who need to drop off the kids while they attend fitness classes.
Star Point : Convenient for those attending classes at Fit for 2

Critterland (reviewed in another post) - read about it here

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hello Kitty Giveaway

 Another 'Hello' post from me - this time it's Hello Kitty! Ulat's Wonderland is currently having a giveaway at her blog. She's a fan of Hello Kitty and so am I.  Interested to join this giveaway? Click here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello 2010

Farewell 2009 

We braved the shopping mall madness and went to The Gardens, Mid Valley for a New Year's Day dinner. I didn't cook any porridge for the kids so they get to eat something else besides the same old same old chuk chuk. We landed at Tony Roma's mainly because the kids were more accustomed to Western food and I had a voucher for RM10 off the entire bill. The restaurant was not overly crowded and we were promptly led to our table to be seated. The kids were given activity sheets and a basket of crayons to keep them occupied. The kids' menu was also printed on the activity sheets.

What we ordered : Asian style salad with crispy chicken (half size) RM14.90. This dish was very yummy and tastes like yee sang minus the fish but with very crunchy chicken slices. The sauce was tangy and it was a huge serving although it was supposed to half portion. I also ordered a strawberry lemonade RM7.90 which was very refreshing.

We also ordered the soup of the day in a bowl for RM5.90 (special promo when purchased with any sandwich sets). The sandwich set which we got was a chicken cajun sandwich RM19.90.  Came with a heap of fries! We couldn't finished it although Evan loves to eat fries. I forgot to mentioned that we also had a complimentary appetizer : bread with flavoured butter. We also had a tall glass of warm H20

All in all a satisfying meal - highly recommended for families with kids. The staff are helpful with the baby chairs and booster seats.... plus they also give out balloons and activity sheets..... and they even have their own waterproof bib!!! Total bill came to RM45.90. On weekdays Mon-Wed, Tony Roma's has a Kids Eat Free promotion something like the one at Chili's. Their kids menu is also recommended with vege sticks appetizer, main meal & dessert.

In case you are wondering where we went to in the morning of 1 Jan 2010, it's IKEA! We went there to purchase 2 Billy bookcases to store the ever-growing collection of children's books at home!

Happy New Year!