Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Red Cherry

Been busy the past month planning and preparing for the opening of my pop-up shop : The Red Cherry. It's in a spanking new mall - The School which opened its doors just last week on the first day of December. The School is Malaysia's first enrichment mall to cater especially for kiddos. The main tenants are Yamaha Music School, Learning Fresh, Junior Science Lab, Bee Bop Circus Play gym, Blok Space and Center for Asian Photographers. As for my little shop, it's actually located in an area of The School called Pop

Pop is a retail hotel for vendors like me. There are many lots available for rental varying from XS size to XL size. Rental charges depends on size of the lot and duration. I can check in  and check out my goods any time e.g. 1 day, 1 week, 1 month etc. I don't have to be there physically to sell my goods as Pop has a centralised cashier system and vendors are provided with barcodes. 

The Red Cherry stocks Gymboree children's clothing, LEGO toys, lunch boxes, toothbrushes and baked goods e.g. cupcakes/cookies/cakes/macarons. So far, business has been rather slow due to the low traffic to the mall - being new. In anticipation of this, Pop is giving all vendors 3 months stay at the price of 1. Hopefully more and more visitors will drop by The School once all tenants have moved in.

My kids posing with a huge letter 'I' - for ice cream with a red cherry on top!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

October Updates!

*Sigh* Time just flies and it's been almost 2 months since my last blog post *gasp*

Been really busy with cakes and parties and also the kids! 
So here's what happened in October:

First up on October 5th was the very first Nuffnang Food Fest. Am very proud to be part of this event as The Cherry on the Cake was invited by Astro's Lifetime Channel to be their baking partner. I personally baked a total of 1000 pcs of chocolate vanilla cupcakes! Total of RM1146 was raised on that day for breast cancer welfare charity.

 Astro's Lifetime channel's booth at the Nuffnang Food Fest 2013

Together with a few friends, Marissa and I watched The Gruffalo at PJ Live Arts, Jaya One. We bought premium tickets and had a good view of the stage! The show was so enjoyable - highly recommended for families. The next show coming up is Aesop's Fables by Jim West. We watched Jim West's production before last year and it was really good too. 

For the very first time, my kids participated in a Halloween costume contest held at Bangsar Village. Free for all Toys R'Us members. All participants received a goody bag and also a meal set from Nando's. Evan dressed up as a mad scientist and Marissa was a good witch. We had fun putting the costumes together! After that, the kids get to go trick or treating around the mall and they amassed a huge lot of candy. Obviously I didn't allow them to gobble the candy all up in one go….. The next day, the kids participated in another round of Halloween costume contest at Bangsar Shopping Center this time and went around trick or treating as well. 

 Both boys won honourable mention awards in the contest

Marissa refused to go on stage! 

So that pretty much wraps up what happened in October!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

2nd Homeschooler's Sports Day & Fair

After the success of last year's event, the homeschooling community decided to go ahead with the Sports Day & Fair at the same venue - the field at Section 5, PJ. The weather was lovely throughout - no rain and minimal sun. All participants pay RM10 for registration. The funds collected were used to pay for the rental of the field and to purchase medals. Volunteers from homeschooling families helped in the organization of the entire event. 

This year we decided to take up a booth - only RM10 but no tables/chairs provided. We brought everything ourselves! Evan wanted to sell donuts and Marissa wanted to sell Hello Kitty. So we ended up with a confectionary stall called Sugar Rush selling jellybeans, candy, chocolates, marshmallows and Hello Kitty butter cookies which I baked & decorated.

There were lots of other booths as well selling crafts, cold drinks, home-cooked food and even games stalls a la fun fair style. Evan playing a target game at one of the stalls there.

The kids competed in various telematches in groups according to their age groups. After that they had individual sprint events. Compared to last year, the number of participants tripled! Lastly the medals were presented to all winners. Actually everyone had a medal to take home! 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Evan's 8th birthday

Evan had a few simple and mini birthday celebrations this year that he turned 8. Supposed to blog about this last month but alas got so caught up with work that cobwebs are already forming on this blog. Anyway back to the subject of Evan and his birthday celebrations.....

The first one he celebrated with his friends from music group class - he calls it his 'favourite homeschool class'. I made some push pop cakes for him to bring to the class. Here's a pic taken by his teacher - ahem! so many girls in his class. There's another boy but he was absent that day.

Next up, we had another mini party with his Godma & family at Marco's Pizza. I made a minion cake and ordered macarons from fellow baker Jaclynn who's a macaronologist if there's such a word. Minions and Macarons and Pizza. What could go wrong with that combination? 

Last but not least, as with previous years, a simple birthday do at the ballet school. Minions again but in cupcake form...... and his wish is to do well in ballet (same wish as previous year). My wish: that he will continue to grow in the LORD and to walk in all His ways all the days of his life.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Homeschoolers' Art & Craft Day

We attended the 2nd Homeschoolers' Art & Craft Show & Tell Day earlier this month. Missed the first event last year so this time we were determined to make it. It was held in a small function hall in one of the apartments. Homeschooling family: Julia made all the necessary arrangements for the event.

At this event, the kids get to showcase their art masterpieces. Evan decided on drawing Lego superheroes for display. He even built Lego art pieces! 

Evan and his work

 Marissa's artwork

The children also get to try out various art & craft 'workshops' conducted by older kids. They can also visit the various 'booths' selling handmade items - all set up by homeschoolers. We didn't have time to prepare a booth so we just browsed around and spent $$$. Evan & Marissa tried a bead workshop.

Here, Evan tried his hand at stone painting.

Other stalls/booths include cookie decorating, finger crochet, DIY photo frame kits, design your own fabric bag, sale of homemade cookies, bookmarks, face-painting and more! It was like a carnival!

There was also an art competition based on the theme of : Biodiversity and trophies were given out to winners. Again, we didn't take part in the competition due to lack to time ;P but there were lots of entries submitted for the judging on the day of the event. 

Overall, it was a good learning experience and fun too to catch up with homeschool families. Next big event will be Sports Day and we will set up a booth!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Coppelia Ballet Premiere

Coppelia Classical Ballet Premiere: Saturday night 8:30pm Istana Budaya
Evan & I arrived early and we went straight to the media registration table to collect our 2 complimentary tickets. In my earlier blogpost, I did mention the whole family is going but unfortunately, we were informed that only 2 tickets were allocated per blogger. I didn't want to buy an extra ticket for Marissa which costs RM123, as she may end up sitting on my lap which is strictly not allowed or she may even fall asleep during the performance as the ballet is over 2 hours long.  

We bought the program book for RM10. We also took the opportunity to purchase The White Bat DVD for RM35. The White Bat was a ballet production at Istana Budaya in 2011. Read all about our experience at Istana Budaya's The White Bat here. We watched the DVD just yesterday together as a family. We still kept the program book and our tickets stapled on the front cover although it has been 3.5years ago!

Anyway, back to the ballet, it was very interesting. Our seats at the Grand Circle were pretty good because of the good leg-room and clear view of the stage. Too bad we weren't close enough to see the facial expressions. 

Act 1 was the opening dance which we saw during the rehearsal. It was magical seeing the dancers on stage in full costume dancing on the set. 

Act 2 was my favourite - Evan loved it too because we get to see the various 'dolls' in Dr Coppelius' workshop! 

Act 3 was very nice as well where the dancers get to strut their stuff here. Pas de deux between the newly weds Franz & Swanhilda plus solos by the principal dancers and guest artistes. I love watching Connor Walsh dance - he has such a big on-stage presence. A group of children also performed during Act 3 and there were 3 boys! 

I wonder what ballet performance it would be next year and hopefully Evan will be able to audition for a role in the children's ballet. I'm secretly wishing it to be The Nutcracker. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Coppelia Ballet Coming Soon to Istana Budaya

Just 2 more days to go before the premiere of Coppelia!
I am very excited and so are my kids especially my girl who will be attending her very first ballet performance at Istana Budaya.

BFM radio conducted an interview recently with Connor Walsh and Wan Ching on July 1st

Then on July 2nd, a few of the cast members were interviewed on Bella NTV7

The dance cast of Coppelia was featured on Capital FM88.9 on July 3rd. Listeners could call in to win tickets for the ballet show. 

L-R: Wan Ching, Xandria Ooi, Mark Brinkley, Connor Walsh & Joanne Kam

Have you got your tickets to watch Coppelia yet?
Tickets still available online: www.ticket2U.biz or Istana Budaya Box Office (03-40265558)
Show time: July 6th 8:30pm and July 7th 3pm

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Maybank2U Pay

Maybank2U Pay is a newly launched payment facility specially designed for small or home businesses e.g. blogshops conducting online transactions. By using M2U Pay, sale transactions can be managed systematically and professionally. 
I was given this privilege to be in the pioneer group of blogshop owners to try out the Beta version of this new payment system. We were required to attend the workshop on setting up the payment icon on the sidebar of our blogshops and to test out the transactions. After the initial phase of beta testing, it was all systems go at the launch event of M2U Pay at Menara Maybank on April 16th. 

The Cherry on the Cake's booth at the M2U Pay Launch

As a seller, this new payment system helps me manage my online transactions as I get notified once a payment has been made into my account via M2U Pay. I can view the transaction history with its description when I log into M2U website. Plus it's very easy for my customers to bank in payment for me by just clicking on the M2U Pay icon in which the payment is automatically deposited into my account. 

I was invited to a flea market organized by Maybank on May 11th at The Piazza, e@The Curve, as part of the publicity drive for M2U Pay.

So, for blogshop owners, if you are keen to find out more about this payment system, kindly visit Maybank's website to read up and also to apply. 

*This is a sponsored post*

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Coppelia Ballet - The Girl with Enamel Eyes

This year in July, Danceworks Production together with Ena Ballet Studio Company, will be presenting yet another exciting ballet production: Coppelia. It will be held at Istana Budaya from July 6-7. 

Evan & I had been attending ballet concerts produced by Danceworks in 2011 (The White Bat) and 2012 (International Ballet Gala) and we look forward to Coppelia this year. And best part is this year, all of us in the family are going, as I received a special blogger invite. And earlier today, all of us attended a closed-door rehearsal of the ballet Coppelia at Studio 10. We got to watch the dancers in action! 

Mark Brinkley from Australia gave us a brief introduction of himself and the ballet Coppelia. He will be dancing the part of Dr Coppelius. He has spent over 20 years as a ballet performer and also many years as a ballet instructor, examiner and advisor. For his outstanding service in ballet, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1993. 

 Kids with Mark Brinkley

So, what's the story of Coppelia about? It's basically a comic and romantic ballet. Dr. Coppelius is a mad scientist who created a doll so lovely that a village youngster, Franz became infatuated with it. Swanhilda, his fiance, was very upset and decides to take matters into her own hands by dressing up as the doll. Eventually the 2 love birds unite and all is well. 

rehearsal in progress

Ena Hirose in action

Ena Hirose is the founder of Ena Ballet Studio and the co-director of Ena Ballet Studio Company. She has won numerous awards and performed in various productions. I remember her performing in Istana Budaya for the past 2 years.  This time in Coppelia, she plays Swanhilda. Here's a group photo of Ena Hirose's current students and ex-students who went on to become professional ballet dancers:

Ena Ballet Studio Company

Connor Walsh (pic above) is the principal dancer of the Houston Ballet, USA. He will be dancing as Franz. Just like his other ballet co-stars, he has garnered various awards and has been in demand as a guest star. It was just great watching the ballet dancers rehearse together so well as they are from different countries i.e. Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Romania, Germany and USA. 

To get your hands on tickets for the ballet, hurry to Istana Budaya Box Office or call them at 03-40265558 to reserve your tickets. You can also purchase tickets online at www.ticket2u.biz. 
Timing: July 6th 8:30pm and July 7th 3pm.
Tickets are priced at RM200, RM160, RM120, RM90 and RM50. 
For further information check out Danceworks Production's website

Danceworks Production is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by a group of dance enthusiasts namely Sunny Chan, Yupin Lee, Jie Choong Wan Chin, Chen Wei and Chua Meei Tyng. The organization aims to spread the joy of dance to all Malaysians - whether as a spectator or a participant, and at the same time, raising funds for charity. By the way, one of the charities to benefit from Coppelia is the SPCA Selangor.

It's gonna be a great ballet performance and highly recommended for families with children. I am counting down the days! I shall now leave you with this promo video of Coppelia - enjoy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marissa's Princess Party

Whoa! Time really flies and it's almost the end of June! June is my favorite month of the year cos it's the month I celebrate my wedding anniversary and it's also Marissa's birthday.

This year, we decided to do something special by hosting a birthday celebration for our little princess. Yes, so it was a princess party. It was very fun to plan out the party and together with the invaluable assistance of a supermummy friend.

So here are some snapshots of the party! Enjoy!

 party favors

 dessert table

Snacks for the kids 

family pics

Dessert Table & Party Planning: The Cherry on the Cake
Cupcake wrappers & paper crowns/tiaras: Simple Joy Crafts
Macarons: Epicurean
Photography: Steve
Flowers: Nook Flowers
Food: Fit for 2 Cafe

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

YTL's Tanjong Jara Resort - Day 4

Last day at Tanjong Jara Resort! Had breakfast at Di Atas Sungei. The spread here is more impressive than Nelayan. Basically both places serve the same food - only that Di Atas Sungei has a noodle soup station, waffle station and a juicing station. Oh and they serve porridge as well. 

All in all, it was such a relaxing holiday that I enjoyed so much! No housework.... and lots of yummy food! Service & hospitality rates at A+

Here are a list of activities available while on your trip to TJR:

Activity menu for Tenggol Island, inclusive of lunch
1) Snorkelling RM290 per pax
2) Diving RM480 per pax
3) Discovery Scuba Diving (for those without license) RM600
Not available during Nov-Feb.

Turtle watching
1) Standby from 9pm-11pm, once turtles are sighted at Kerteh, you will be transported there to view the turtles laying eggs on the beach
2) RM150 per pax

Eco River Cruise
1) Marang River
2) Visit to a village
3) RM150 per pax
Not available during Nov-Feb

Jungle Trek inclusive of packed lunch
1) Chemerung Waterfall Hike RM150
2) Full day excursion
3) Kids below 14 yrs not allowed

Chef's Morning Market Visit & Cooking Class
1) Dungun's local market Trip RM50
2) Cooking Class RM150

Bicycle Tour
1) Dungun's fishing village on rented bicycles
2) Sampling local snacks 
3) RM50 per pax

Terengganu Craftsmanship Tour inclusive of lunch
1) Kris blacksmith
2) Batik & Songket Makers (Nor Arfa)
3) Mengkuang & Bamboo weavers
4) Brass Foundry
5) Duyung Island Shipyard
6) Central Market of Kuala Terengganu
7) RM200 per pax 

Dungun Night Market
1) Happening every Thursday RM30 per pax

Dungun Town Tour
1) Learn about Dungun's history RM50 per pax

Batik Painting Class
1) RM80 per pax for painting 2ft by 2ft
2) RM50 per pax for painting 1.5ft by 1.5ft

Sunday, June 2, 2013

YTL's Tanjong Jara Resort - Day 3

Birdsong can be heard in the wee hours of the morning heralding the dawn of a new day at TJR. We headed over to the Nelayan for buffet breakfast. Menu remains almost the same... only difference was instead fried noodles, there was fried kuay teow. Noteworthy to try out is the Nasi Dagang wrapped in banana leaf. The rice has a lovely aroma and texture and it comes with a piece of ikan tongkol (tuna). 

After a hearty breakfast, we headed out to Dungun town to get a copy of The Star newspaper. Then we decided to drop by Teluk Bidara - a short drive away.

Lunch was at Nelayan:
1) French fish soup
2) Asian Burger - beef patty with blended bunga kantan & coriander with a slice of sweet mango!
3) Thai fried fish rice - excellently done
4) Poire Belle Helene (poached pear with vanilla ice cream) 

 French fish soup

Thai Fried Fish Rice

Dessert! Poire Belle Helene - can't enough of this!

Next up is a pampering spa session at The Spa Village. I booked the Asam Roselle signature package which consists of a floral bath, traditional massage with roselle oil and a roselle body scrub. 

After the 100 minute pampering session, a pot of warm roselle tea is served. Besides the spa packages, there are also a la carte massage sessions available. Just check out the spa menu upon arrival and book your appointment.

Played around with my iPhone 5 camera while strolling along the beach. Hubs also played with his Nexus smartphone and took the photos below:

Tonight Chef Ann of Di Atas Sungei attended to us and discussed our dinner preferences. We ended up with
1) Fried calamari
2) Crunchy prawns thai style
3) Aubergine Sambal
4) Sizzling hotplate tauhu 
5) Chocolate lava cake
6) Peach crumble

 Our selection of dishes to go with white rice

 Peach crumble

Choc Lava Cake

Looking forward to breakfast at Di Atas Sungei tomorrow instead of Nelayan.