Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Starhotels Tuscany, Florence, Italy

A business hotel near Florence airport, Starhotels Tuscany brings authentic Italian charm and contemporary comfort to Northern Florence’s new business district Novoli.
Exterior View of Starhotels Tuscany
  • Just 3,5 km from Peretola airport
  • The historic center of Florence is a 15-minute drive away
When you checked in:
This is the lobby area
For this trip, I stayed in the Classic Room - it's about 200 sq ft/18 mq. The room comes with Free wifi too.
The room comes with a double bed
What are the room amenities?


Kettle provided for you to boil some hot tea or coffee. There is complimentary tea and coffees too

Some snacks provided - not complimentary
Classic Bathroom

Classic Bathroom - with hair dryer provided

Classic Bathroom

Body lotion, Body wash and Shampoo provided
Next to the hotel, there is a supermarket - Esselunga

How to get here?
1) From the Station
From Santa Maria Novella Train Station (3 km) take the bus n.22 from Piazza Unità towards Novoli and alight at the Regione Toscana stop.

2) From Highway
Exit at Firenze Nord and go towards Centro, once in Viale Guidoni turn right to Via Torre degli Agli, then turn left in Via di Novoli.

3) From the airport
Take the bus "Volainbus", at the last stop in Central Station Santa Maria Novella take bus n. 22, exit in "Via di Novoli".

Via di Novoli, 59
50127 Firenze

Email: tuscany.fi@starhotels.it
Tel: +39 055 431441
Fax: +39 055 4378257

Website: http://www.starhotels.com/en/our-hotels/tuscany-florence/
Budget: ~EUR95 for a classic room with breakfast

For more information on my Italy itinerary, please checkout the link here.

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 Italy Trip: Meal on board @Emirates Airline

Light bites and breakfast served in the flight from KL to Dubai:
Light bites - chicken baguette and banana cake
Light Bites
  • Sandwich - chicken baguette with sun dried tomato and lettuce
  • Dessert - Banana cake
Breakfast - Florentine omelette
  • Appetizer - Fresh seasonal fruit
  • Main course -  Florentine omelette (Served with grilled chicken sausage, rosti and herbed mushrooms)
  • Bread - Soft breakfast roll (Served with butter and preserve)

Lunch served in the flight from Dubai to Rome:
Lunch - Roast Turkey
  • Appetizer - Potato Salads with green beans
  • Main course - Roast Turkey (Rolled turkey buffe served with cranberry jus lie, mashed potatoes, chicken sausage and seasonal vegetables)
  • Dessert - Chocolate cookie mousse with shaved white chocolate, Chocolate

Dinner served in the flight from Milan to Dubai:
Dinner - chicken in yogurt sauce
  • Appetizer - Quinoa salad with chicken roulade
  • Main course - Chicken in yogurt sauce with steamed basmati rice, sauteed broccoli and red peppers
  • Dessert - Apple and blackberry crisp with custard and cinnamon crumble, Chocolate

Lunch served in the flight from Dubai to KL:
Lunch - Grilled chicken
  • Appetizer - noodle salad
  • Main course - Grilled chicken with mushroom and pepper sauce, fried potatoes, sauteed spinach and carrots
  • Dessert - Cream cheese mousse with salted caramel and white chocolate, chocolate

For more information on my Italy itinerary, please checkout the link here.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Shopping Haul@Italy

Merry Christmas 2016! I'm going to share some tipsy for what to shop in Italy for your upcoming trip..hopefully it's useful for you all.

1) Branded Bags
I think this is one of the top list of the items that is must buy item for all ladies visiting Europe? :-) So, if you are visiting Italy - buy branded bags or items made from Italy! If you are clueless like me initially on which branded bags are actually from Italy (sorry, I'm a total noob on branded stuff since I'm not a fan of it) - below are some of the brands that are made from Italy which you can checkout during your visit to Italy:
  • Gucci - founded in Florence, Italy in 1921
  • Prada - founded in Milan, Italy in 1913
  • Salvatore Ferragamo - founded in Florence, Italy in 1927
  • Furla - founded in Bologna, Italy in 1927
  • Liu Jo - founded in Carpi, Italy in 1995
  • Giorgio Armani - founded in Milan, Italy in 1975
Estimated budget for Gucci or Prada: If you are looking for new arrival items in the normal retail outlets, you can estimate a budget of minimum EUR1,000 for a medium size handbag or a minimum of EUR400 for a wallet. You can get from factory outlet about half of the price for out season items.

Tax refund: Standard Italy product taxes are about 22%. You can get back tax refund of about 10 to 12% if you spend more than EUR155 and above. You can claim back the tax refund at the airport before departure back. It is always recommended to get back the tax refund form in EUR cash - don't get back the cash in other currency other than EUR dollar as you will lose in their exchange rate since the conversion rate from the tax refund company is pretty bad! Better take the EUR dollar and go back only change back your local currency.

Tips on where to shop for branded stuff: Shop in Rome - Piazza di Spanna, beside Scala di Spagna (Spanish Steps) rather than in Milan as it's very easy to locate the brands since it's lined up beside each other and not so crowded.

2) Italian Chocolates
Looking for some Italian chocolates as souvenirs for your friends or family members? Remember to checkout these few Italian choc brands as I never recall I see that in Malaysia. So worth to buy this for people to try!

I love the left one - pistachio! The right one is white hazelnut
Cappuccino flavor

I love the Tiramisu flavor one!

3) Olive Oil
As Italy is famous of Olive Oil, you can get variety of Olive Oil flavors in here like pepper olive oil (which is spicy one), lemon and garlic olive oil etc. Worth checking out the different flavors that you could not get in Malaysia especially like the spicy one - don't need to put chili flakes anymore when you cook spaghetti aglio olio :-)

For small bottle of olive oil, it's about EUR6 to EUR8 for each.

4) Italy Coffees
All coffee lovers out there - it's a must buy item as it's so dirt cheap for all the coffee in here! Some of the coffee brands that you can buy:
Price for coffee ranges from EUR3 to EUR7.

5) Venetian Mask fridge magnets
A recommended souvenir to buy if you are visiting Venice (or you can find too in some cities in Italy) - Venetian mask fridge magnets! It's a very unique mask magnet which you can get only in Italy.

So beautiful Venetian mask magnets! You can find these in Burano island in Venice. The price is slightly higher for these - ~minimum EUR2 for each

The other designs like this is about ~minimum EUR1 for each. You might get it cheaper if you buy in bigger bulks

If you do not prefer the full face like the earlier ones - can consider getting this - it's quite nice too. About minimum EUR1 for each.

Note: Those bought from the Venice island like in Burano island is more expensive though since you need to consider the boat transportation cost over. So it's recommended to buy the magnets in the Venice mainland where you take the boat from.

If you are not interested in the Venetian masks, can checkout the normal type of fridge magnets like below:

6) Italian Biscotti
Biscotti, known also as cantuccini, are Italian almond biscuits that originated in the city of Prato. They are twice-baked, oblong-shaped, dry, crunchy, and dipped in a drink, traditionally Vin Santo.
You can buy this at about EUR 5.50 per pack as a souvenir for your friends or family members.

7) Fashion and Leather goods
Italy is famous for fashion and leather goods. Some fashion clothing brands which you can checkout is Valentino. The largest Valentino flagship store is in Rome.

8) Glass
Murano glass is glass made on the Venetian island of Murano, which has specialized in fancy glassware for centuries. Although it's made in Venice, it's available to buy not just in Rome shops but all over Italy. One thing to take note is to make sure it's the real thing - there are a lot of cheap imitations out there. All genuine Murano ware, no matter how small, comes with a certificate of authenticity.

That's all about the shopping haul in Italy.

For more information on my Italy itinerary, please checkout the link here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Exotic Food @Wangfujing Street

If you ever go to Beijing, do visit Wangfujing Street or in Chinese name is 王府井大街(wáng fǔ jǐng dà jiē). It's located near the city center in Dongcheng District, the commercial street is one of four most prosperous business zones in Beijing.

With a history of 700 years around, it got the name Wangfu (royal mansion) Jing (well) because there used to be eight royal mansions and a well with sweet water on the street. Currently, it is the busiest street in this city and there are 600,000 people every day come and go and on holidays, the number can rise to 1,200,000. As the first famous business zone in this city, the street houses a wide variety of shops and boutiques, some of which are of world-famous brands. Apart from that, there are also many time honored stores with traditional commodities standing in the street for hundreds of years.

The Wangfujing shopping district aims to achieve equal ranking with New York's Fifth Avenue, the Champs-Elysees of Paris and the Ginza in Tokyo. The packed stores in the street selling clothes, tea, shoes, souvenirs, books, hats, etc - you name it, Wangfujing's got it.

One of the interesting things in this street is their snack street which has a selection of exotic food. Deep fried insects, scorpions, and sea creatures can be found, along with other animals and animal parts not ordinarily consumed as food in the west. But while these exotic snacks can be found, other more common foods, such as Chuanr (meat kebabs, commonly made of lamb) and desserts, such as Tang hu lu, or candied fruits make up the majority of the food sold on the street. 

Let me spam you with all those exotic food in here:
Seahorses..some still moving some more..eeeekkk
Variety of exotic food like snakes, spiders and centipedes also
Zoom in detail....let you see better

Pricing for the exotic foods if you wish to try..

Okla..enough of the gross and disgusting food. Wanfujing Street do have also more normal edible food also la..so dun worry u go there nothing to eat. But my tour guide did warn us that even he himself as local there also get diarrhea when eat in there..so try at your own risk yah.

Let me show you also the normal edible street food they have here..so u dun get scared with the exotic ones earlier yah
Looks like some kuih?
Some bun and ice cream potong?
Crab pau?


You will see a lot of this bottle drink..is actually their local yogurt drink

How to get there ?  

Getting to Wangfujing is pretty easy.  You can take the subway and get off at the Line 1 Wangfujing (118) station. Alternatively, you can of course take the taxi.


For more information on my Beijing & Chengde itinerary, please checkout the link here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

My Wedding Vendor List

Super long backdated post to share on the compilation of my wedding vendor list

1. ROM dress from Closetmino

2. Fresh bouquet of white roses from Country Victoria Decor

3.Props for photo shooting before ROM - Valentine's Day LINE plushies from Singapore McDonald's 

4. ROM photographer - John Poh 
John is also our KL actual day wedding photographer. He has helped us to create our childhood slideshow video too.

5. ROM makeup artist - Airbrush make up by Cinder

Actual Wedding Day in KL - morning session
1. Bridal gown including veil - custom made by Cocktail Evening 

Like this photo..so Christmas feel

Anyone interested to purchase this pre-loved bridal gown? Wore it once only for morning session. I'm willing to let go for RM900. Please email me linda_tan878@yahoo.com if interested (Only for serious buyer)

2. Groom's suit - Custom made by hubby's cousin who is a tailor
Groom's bowtie -  From My Tie shop


3. Make-up Artist - Airbrush makeup by Raynis Chow
Side view of my hair style. And that's Raynis behind

Back view of my hair style. Also can see the back of my gown too

Closer view of my makeup
4. Bride's Wedding Shoes - from Taobao
- It's a Cinderella shoes. Surprisingly it's quite comfy to wear..but not for very long hours la of standing

5. Bridesmaids skirt - from Closetmino
Thank you all my ji-muis for making my big day went so smoothly!

6. Bridesmaid corsages - from Taobao

This is how it looks like on my ji-muis

7. Groomsmen accessories - bowties from Taobao

 All the yeng heng dais!

8. Wedding Flower Bouquet - from Taobao

9. Bridal Car Decoration - DIY using the decorations items from Taobao


10. Bridal Room Decoration - DIY

11. Wedding Chaperone aka Dai Kam Jie/Dai Kam Lou

Wedding Luncheon in KL

1. Wedding luncheon venue - Concorde Hotel KL
Pink, white and red theme decorations in the ballroom

LINE Brown & Cony stage backdrop
Bride and Groom chair decoration

Cake cutting ceremony
2. Wedding Venue Decorations - Sakura Wedding Theme by Paper & Colour
Main table Sakura flowers
Decoration at photo display table

Photo booth

Decorations at the main entrance

Bride signage at the reception table

Groom signage at the reception table

3. Wedding Live Band and Emcee

You can contact Kelvin Sim at +6016-206 6530 for details. Recommended emcee as he really ensure the whole luncheon goes smoothly as planned. *thumbs up*

4.  Evening Gowns - Custom made gown by Inzpire
Groom's suit - Custom made by hubby's cousin
Groom's tie -  from My Tie Shop

My first gown is custom made by Inzpire

The back view of my gown
Then I've changed into second gown from Inzpire too. This gown without long trail easier to walk around the tables to thanks my guests.

Lastly, enjoy our actual day wedding video

Wedding Dinner in Alor Setar, Kedah 

1. Wedding dinner venue - Grand Alora Hotel

Main VIP table

Main VIP table

Wedding dinner ballroom

The walkway decoration in the ballroom

Cake cutting at Grand Alora Hotel

2. Wedding Venue Decorations - G G Grass Florist 

Decoration at the photo booth:


Decoration and items at the reception table: 

3. Make up artist - Traditional make up by Cindi (from Penang)

Love her makeup and hair style as I never have any trial make up with her before the dinner and she really can find a style that fits me best that night!
Cindi and me
Front view

Side view
Side View
Back view
4. Wedding Live band - Patrick & the Romantiques (from Penang)

- 3-piece band comprises 1 male keyboardist/acoustic guitarist/back-up vocalist; 1 male lead vocalist/emcee(Patrick); 1 female vocalist/announcer

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