Hello Beautiful

My name is Tammy and I've been blogging for over 8 years now. I started blogging because I wanted to share my beauty hauls and lifestyle experiences. I'm also a pro-consumer, which is probably the fire in my life.

This blog is now happily written by the cutest couple you've ever seen. Gareth's Irish while I'm Malaysian. We met in the most unexpected way possible and since then have been in a loving relationship. He loves to eat, drink and try new exciting things (even extreme sports) while I love the quieter things in life, like spas, massages, shopping and beauty! But we have something in common, we both love travelling.
  • Top 10 Female Bloggers Msia
  • Founder of The Butterfly Project Malaysia
  • Winner of Cleo's Next Top Blogger Msia

Malaysia Taobao Shopping Guide

12.23.2013

have you shopped at taobao.com before?

For the longest time I have been hearing my friends talked about how great it is to shop on taobao.com. Things are so cheap there, people buy them in bulk and start a business in Malaysia! Seriously I'm not kidding. My friend Esther once talked to me about starting an accessories shop just by purchasing the products on taobao.com and have it shipped to Malaysia. I was skeptical because Taobao was an online shopping site in Chinese and I couldn't read or write Chinese.

welcome to a seriously large online mall
(page has been automatically translated by google chrome)

Taobao is actually one of the biggest online shopping mall from China housing millions of products from sellers at a prices that is sometimes unbelievably cheap which has capture a lot of girls hearts online. From accessories to stationary, shopping for clothes, bags or shoes. It's a never ending shopping haven here! I am particularly drawn to Korean products such as stationaries, accessories and well fun items that I can buy in bulk for events!


fashionistas anyone?

Anyway the reason I didn't venture into Taobao was the language barrier (which frustrates me the most because I really do want to shop!). However lately, I stumble back to Taobao and found out that they have launch sea.taobao.com for South East Asia. This makes it easier to shop at Taobao now because one can actually use google chrome to translate the page to catch key words or use google translate website side by side during shopping.

On top of that the second issue that stopped me from shopping at Taobao was the need to get agents, also known as forwarding agents found on lowyat forum, legitimate agents online or third party individuals who can help ease the process of shopping on Taobao from overseas.

Anyway I found out that Taobao Sea offers such international forwarding service directly on their website! They have a info graphics guide as well. Here's how it looks like.

the complete guide to international forwarding service on Taobao

SO technically now shopping on Taobao can be understand by non-Chinese reading shoppers. Many might find it confusing as millions of items, stores, symbols (reputation symbols for sellers), banking options (now accepts credit card, Alipay). Once you get passed that, it's actually really straightforward. Take my shopping on Taobao guide here for instance!



select your preferred language on google chrome

register your sea.taobao.com account

Now it's the same process for every online shopping mall you come across. The first step is to get yourself registered with an account and verify your account. I did mine very quickly and input in my Malaysian phone number for verification. Don't forget to set up according to your country and address which will enable Taobao to identify if you are an overseas member.

identify what you want to buy

Browse through the millions of products, stores on sea.taobao.com. You can pick by category or just search! Sometimes Taobao has special promotions like for Christmas where you can just shop from there at a great deal. Now from my image example, you can see that I highlighted do not put OVERSEAS that is because I am using a forwarding service which would be a cheaper option of delivery to me. How it works? Your orders will be sent to the fwding agent's warehouse in China (nearest one I presume) and it will be collected there. Once all your orders are collected there, the fwding agent will send you a bill for shipping charges. It's fairly better than having it shipped by courier. The rate is for the first kg from RMB35 - RMB39 and subsequent weight at RMB14 - RMB16 after. There is 4 fwding agents available for Malaysia.

This is why you need to leave your logistics to country at Nationwide and not pick Overseas. It's not going Overseas. It's going to your fwding agent's warehouse in China first.


Taobao Throwdown that is happening on the page now.
Up to RMB10,000 shopping to be won! http://goo.gl/smwpgh

shipping charges for Malaysia

entering your fwding agent during check out

Now after you have selected your item, input the quantity you want & click confirm check out (orange button). You will be at the order check out page where you need to select your default address. I click that and added my Malaysian address into it but the next IMPORTANT STEP is to add your FORWARDING AGENT SERVICE along. Look at my image example to see where you should click to add your fwding agent service.


page needs to off translation to get the orange link to work

once you click the orange link, a selection box pops out
(it's for you to select which fwding agent you want)


I HAVE A HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE WITH LEQUQO SINCE JANUARY. MY PARCEL UP TILL NOW (APR) IS STILL NOT HERE. THEY ALSO ASKED ME TO PAY ADDITIONAL FOR "SAFE CARGO" WITHOUT ANY VALID REASON BUT THAT MY PARCEL FAIL CUSTOMS.


confirm your orders, check all details

After you have set up your fwding agent service, you will be at the same order check out page to finalize the details of your orders. If you spot a message to the seller box, this is where you let the seller know what color choices you would like to have for your order. I am buying underwater lomography camera, so there was no selection at the deal page but the seller did indicate to leave color choices after checking out.

payment option for Malaysias

yay for online banking transfers!

With the sea.taobao.com services for shoppers at South East Asia, we can not opt for our own online banking options such as Malaysian Banking where when you click, you'll be directly to a page to select your preferred payment method by maybank2u, CIMBClicks or RHBNow. I was using Alipay (it's the China version of Paypal) for my purchases.

the successful payment page

YAY! Payment is successful! I have never been so happier to find that I have finally shop on taobao! I see which stage of shopping I am in. After paying, I am now waiting for the orders to be processed and delivery by the seller to my fwding agent's warehouse. Then the third symbol on this page that looks like dollar sign is where the fwding agent will be billing you for the shipping charges before they actually ship it over to us (note the airplane symbol). The house symbol is when it arrives at my house! 

I have the reference code to track my shipping :)

I mention I bought underwater lomography camera right? Did you spot how much it was? It's only 20RMB (roughly RM10) only per camera! I bought 60 pieces for my next event, maybe as my wedding favor or as door gifts for my birthday party. Anyway I could also set up a store and sell these cameras. I see people sell the camera up to RM65! Some say normal price RM85 and I bought it for only RM10 from sea.taobao.com. HAPPY RIGHT! Can't wait for my parcel to arrive wooohooo.

check & track your orders after a few days to see if its shipped
Visit your orders page under “已买到的宝贝”
 parcel forwarding platform, consolidate & pay fwding agent fee
Choose to consolidate, or ship out individual items

TAOBAO SHOPPING GIVEAWAY!

Now for the best part of all in celebration of my first time shopping on sea.taobao.com I would like to fulfill 3 reader’s wishes this Christmas to shop on sea.taobao.com! I will be giving away 3 gift cards worth 500RMB (about RM250) to 3 readers who can tell me what they think about Taobao and what would they like to wish for! This giveaway starts from today until 7th January, 2014. Take it as a Christmas present from me! Please register via Rafflecopter app below and may the best wishes win!
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Guilt Free Mille Crepe Pleasure? Try Crepes 21!

12.13.2013

free delivery of mille crepe right to your doorsteps

Anyone like mille crepe cake? It's sinful I know because of all the cream and sugar used to make the mille crepe so heaven like! I still love mille crepe but would prefer one that is not so creamy and that I could at least taste the thousand of layers crepe in between the cream. Surprisingly I am not a fan of Nadeje because I find their mille crepes too creamy or rich. My friend introduced me to a new mille crepe company named Crepes 21, Maison De Gateau which operates from online and delivers mille crepe to houses for free!

The great thing about Crepes21 is that it all their mille crepes is made using low fat pastry cream and you can have your choice of sugar level. It's made fresh to order using premium ingredients and can be customized to your flavor and design. Pork and alcohol free.

love the wonder like design / packaging

Crepes 21 were having a special mille crepe with 4 flavors. Now this is something I have not tried before and I seriously think it's a good idea to be able to taste different flavors at one go. "Jelak" you know if eat the same flavor of mille crepe! This special mille crepe is called the Quattro (defined as “Four” in Italian).

When I got my order, I immediately dug into the Madagascar Vanilla slice. I love that it isn't so creamy and the vanilla rich in my mouth (and not the fatty cream). Happy, I tried a second flavor the green tea! Which taste like green tea haha! A gelato maker once told me green tea is the hardest to source and make as the flavor is easily lost.

Since the cream isn't heavy, I could taste each layers of the mille crepe in my mouth. My favorite is still vanilla. My fiance helped finish the double chocolate and espresso! Both of us aren't a fan of the green tea, not because it taste bad but our preference of desserts does not include green tea.

have you seen such beauty before?

4 best selling flavors in one go

Madagascar Vanilla, Double Chocolate, Espresso Macchiato
and Green Tea & Red Bean flavors

The Quattro Mille Crepe comprises of Madagascar Vanilla, Double Chocolate, Espresso Macchiato, and Green Tea & Red Bean flavors. These four mille crepe flavors are apparently the signature and favorite of the founder. He explained passionately in detail how each and every flavor is sourced to create the perfect mille crepe for Crepes 21. Here's some pointers I can share!

1) Madagascar Vanilla
  • Uses world's most finest vanilla beans from Madagascar.
  • It has a very distinctive and unique flavor that you can't find in any other places.
2) Double Chocolate
  • Crepe are also made with dark cocoa powder, gives it a extra chocolate flavor.
  • Uses premium Belgium chocolate. 
3) Espresso Macchiato
  • Intense coffee flavor using Dark Roast Arabica coffee
  • Unlike many coffee cakes where they only add coffee essence into the cake, you will only get the coffee aroma & colour, not really the taste. By adding real brew coffee, you will get the hint of sour and bitter taste from a real coffee.
4) Green Tea & Red Bean
  • Uses top grade green tea powder from Japan.
  • Is an excellent combination when eating slightly bitter green tea with sweeten red beans.

Madagascar Vanilla | Chocolate Banana
(click image for more info)

Strawberry | Green Tea Red Bean
(click image for more info)

Ore0 | Double Chocolate
(click image for more info)

 Christmas Special: Cranberry Chocolate RM86
(click image for more info)

If you like what you see here and you're looking to try guilt free mille crepes in Malaysia, I recommend ordering from Crepes 21 online. They deliver the cakes free and these are the areas covered at the moment. Note that they don't delivery to shopping malls due to some restrictions. You can pay cash on delivery or make payment online through their payment gateway which accepts credit cards, debit cards and Paypal.

KEDAH POSTCODE :  08000 – 08010 FREE DELIVERY
PENANG POSTCODE :  10000 – 14490 FREE DELIVERY
SELANGOR POSTCODE :  40000 – 48890 FREE DELIVERY
KUALA LUMPUR POSTCODE :  50000 – 68990 FREE DELIVERY
JOHOR BAHRU POSTCODE :  79000 – 81890 FREE DELIVERY

How to order?
Can order via www.crepes21.com.my or call us at 019 5103768. Delivery is free!

Each layer of crepes are handmade with patients and requires 2 days advance order, as we make fresh daily with no preservatives! A true labour of love.
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My Garden Studio, Scott Garden Review

12.12.2013

#throwback Thursday the time we stayed at Garden Studio

There is this loft studio at The Scott Garden called Garden Studio opened for renting per night at RM188 (launching promotion until end of Nov, 13). I saw this from their facebook page and thought hey this place looks quite posh and spacious for a girl's night together for the butterfly team. I though it would be a nice place to rest after all the hard work we put into to run the community. I stayed only for a night but my expectations of activities to do at The Scott Garden where it is located is really low. I wasn't familiar with the place. In my mind I thought it was "ulu" place.

Boy was I wrong haha!

Scott Garden is really happening on Saturday night! So many pubs, clubs and eateries. Though it proves to be a problem finding halal restaurants. We dine at Tesco food court where there is a Thai food corner (FABULOUS! SPICY & GOOD PORTION). It's the only one there if anyone wants to know. Tesco closes late at night as well so we went shopping for snacks to pig out later at Garden Studio watching some girly comedy. 

Focus group in the day. Girly movie session at night
killing 2 birds with one stone, fabulous!

The advantage of renting this place besides it being super nice is that you can have your parties here! You know hotels don't really let you have any functions or parties in the room but Garden Studio is a place where you can hold small parties, functions or interviews (which is exactly what we did in the day time after checking in).


we used the place for a focus group inteview
(for Nala's college project)

good for some peace & quiet time

looking down the balcony we saw a swimming pool!
we didn't bring our swimsuits! arghh...


the loft with beautiful 3-door frosted glass panels
(which can be closed/open to let light in)

yes we jumped on the double bed haha
(underneath the bed can pull out to sleep too)

see through glass bathroom (ops) romantic?

At first I thought there is 3 bedrooms as I wasn't really sure from the Garden Studio Facebook page. They say max 6 could sleep here so I assume there's a couple of bedrooms. When I arrived, I found out that this is somewhat like a studio duplex with one bedroom upstairs and one sofa bed downstairs (living hall). The sofa bed can sleep 2 - 3 pax while the bedroom upstairs has a double bed (large enough to sleep 2 pax). Well actually we can squeeze in a 3rd person to sleep depending on size haha. The glass bathroom has an added luxury feel but since we are friends, we dare not use it to shower haha!!! Anyway I discovered that we can lock the room, closed the 3-glass door panels and use the bathroom. 

There is two airconds (above & below) which made the whole place so chilly and cozy like Genting! Next to the living hall is the kitchen already. The 4-seater dining table is prepared with plates and bowls for you to start dining in but we opt to dine outside since we didn't plan to cook. There is a mini bar fridge so if you're planning a cookout make sure you don't need to keep food refrigerated. Pots and pans with kitchen utensils is available for use, including kettle. Spot the breakfast counter in my picture? We had our breakfast on it just like the ang mohs haha.

There is a common bathroom next to the kitchen. I have to warn you not to use the water hose because the water tends to pool around the toilet making it uncomfortable to use the bathroom. 

see my friends getting cozy for a movie together

crazy moments where they caught me taking pics of them

alright alright I'm coming down to join u guys!

It was a disappointment that the television was not installed yet for use during my stay but we still manage to watch our intended movie session on Nala's macbook pro, closed the lights and cozy up on the sofa bed. The owners of this place is really nice they prepared extra blanket, pillows and bath towels for all of us to use. It's relatively a new place here, many studio lofts around and mostly empty (which means we can shout scream and nobody will bother us! haha).

Anyway the television would be installed by now :)

The place has fast & stable wifi connection and two car parks for guests renting the Garden Studio. Not that it's expensive to pay for the parking in Scott Garden but it's an advantage to go up to the studio directly from the lift area. I like how they have kept the place tidy and clean for us to check in.

The promotion just ended so the normal rate is RM288 per night which I think is still cheap for such a private loft to stay. Can be romantic for couples but I came with friends and went around Scott Garden for foot massage (Traditional Thai Foot Reflexology place), body massage 50% off (Estuary Spa) and shop for snacks late night at Tesco. We ate at the thai corner in Tesco food court for dinner and also for brunch! That's how much we love the food! It's affordable like your usual food court price but the portion was not skimped and the spiciness uh-yeah baby.. it's there.

Will I say here again? Yes I would! Love it so much, love the price to be able to hang out with my friends and go to shops accessible below.

For more information check out Garden Studio Facebook.

this place is privately owned so when you make a booking, you will be meeting the owner at Scott Garden entrance to collect the keys. They will bring you up to the Garden Studio :)


pictures from Garden Studio FB

 the living hall

the living hall

breakfast counter & the sofa bed

the dining & kitchen

GARDEN STUDIO @ Scott Garden is located in the heart of city. It takes 5 minutes drive from Mid Valley Megamall and about 45 minutes away from KLIA and LCCT Airport. This studio suites the design open kitchen with specious living hall together with 2 bedroom which ideal for couples, families and business travelers for either short or long stay. Guests may enjoy the facilities like gym and swimming pool. Supermarket (TESCO), Restaurants, pubs, beauties, shops and banks are right at the ground & first floor.

Room Rate = Cheaper than you expected 
Square feet = 775sf
Check out = 12:00 PM
Check in = 02:00 PM
No. Guest = 6 MAX.

Booking contact 017-690 3001 / e-mail 8gardenstudio@gmail.com
Garden Studio, The Scott  Garden
Old Klang Road,
58100 Kuala Lumpur, 
Malaysia.


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