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 
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. 

YTL's Tanjong Jara Resort - Day 2

 We woke up early at about 6am to catch the sunrise at the beach.

Took some pics at the children's pool area. TJR has 2 pools. The other pool is only restricted to adults.

 Lovely view of the beach from Nelayan restaurant

Enjoyed our early morning brekkie at Nelayan. It was buffet style. Good selection but nothing extraordinary. We had yogurt (Nestle), juices (not the freshly juiced ones), coffee, tea, nasi lemak, nasi dagang, pancakes, breads, toast, cereal, fried noodles, ham, sausages and there was also an egg station. 

After filling up our empty stomachs, we headed out to Dungun town to buy The Star newspapers. We also dropped by the local market there. Saw this trader selling fish satay which were freshly grilled right from his motorbike! Bought a packet of dried kerepok ikan. Then we head off back to TJR.

Fighting fish @Dungun Market

Chillaxing on the balcony's deck bed 

After that lunch again at Nelayan:
1) Thai Beef Salad - absolutely delicious dish!
2) Fish Head Curry - a MUST try - the curry is heavenly!
3) Nasi Goreng 
4) Dessert - poached pear + vanilla ice cream (yummylicious!)

Thai Beef Salad

 Fried Rice, fried chicken, acar & fried egg

Fish Head Curry

Rice & salad & kerepok ikan to go with the fish head curry

With our lunch barely digested, we decided to go for the Jara Hill Walk. A short jungle trek up and down Jara Hill - nice view from the top but lotsa mozzies. Complimentary activity happening everyday except Fridays.

Kampung Life activities are on every Saturday in the evenings: 

Be treated to Kerepok Lekor, Vegetable prawn fritters and kerepok ikan. Roselle juice and iced coffee also available to quench your thirst.

 Apam Balik - with sweet corn, nuts, chocolate chips and strawberry jam

Gamelan music


Coconuts plucked by the angry monkey!

Other activities : sepak raga, bamboo dance, head & shoulder massage and batik painting demonstration. 

This time we had dinner at Di Atas Sungei - there are no menus here. We discussed our requirements together with the staff there and we ended up with kangkung belacan, buttermilk prawns (their signature dish) and sizzling black pepper hot plate lamb (highly recommended!). We also had mango salad and satay as appetiser. Dessert was banana fritters served with vanilla ice cream. Nom Nom Nom...........