Tag Archives: review

So… Scandalous!

January is one of my favourite months when it comes to TV Series.
Why, you ask?
Well, most of the winter TV series are in full swing during this month. And today, while I watched the first episode of the sixth season of Scandal, I realised, how could it be that I never reviewed or mentioned this on my blog.

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I bet most of my readers who are into political TV Series, already know this. It is possibly the most popular series of its genre. Coupled with elements of love, lust and murder, this makes for a thrilling and exhilarating series. The twists in this series are unexpected and the episodes are so addictive. You will always be wanting more!

The writer of this series is Shona Rhimes, and if this name doesn’t ring a bell still, perhaps the series Grey’s Anatomy will help. She is also the producer of How to Get Away with Murder as well as The Catch.

As much as I would like to delve into the story line of Scandal, I would not like to spoil it for those who have not yet got into it. However, if you like the sound of a political thriller… you are definitely in for a treat!

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Schloss Drachenburg

Built in the 1880s, Schloss Drachenburg is a fairy tale castle. The architecture is full on romantic Gothic, with spires, the style of a medieval cathedral and a beautiful clock tower. It stands on a hill above the Rhine River, with beautiful breathtaking view of the said river.

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A story from the German folklore says, that Siefried has slayed a dragon up on this very mountain, which the castle gets the name from. Drachenburg, translates to Dragon’s castle in English. The actual story of this castle is however less glamorous as it was commissioned by a rich stock broker. Funnily enough it was built in two years, yet recently a 15-year restoration was completed for 31.5 million euro.

Completed in 1884, the castle started off as a private villa, then was converted into a museum, which later on was used as an “Adolf Hitler” college for boys. To this day, you can still see holes from the US artillery fires, as they smashed the stained glass windows and facade in the last months of the war. It was at this time that the Nazi schoolboys decided to stop resisting against the americans.

The inside of the castle is full of German art and craftsmanship.

See below, some photos I took of a day well-spent in the Dragon’s castle.

Such a dreamy castle!

The Most Awesome Places to Eat in Kuala Lumpur

Holidays are an adventure. They’re about discovering new things, and one of the best ways to learn about a country’s culture is through their food. You can learn a lot about a country from the food and drink they serve, and Kuala Lumpur is one of the hottest destinations in Asia to experience a diverse fusion of cuisines.

Many of these places are local areas that are close to public transport, so make sure you book a room at budget hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in advance so you can be as close as possible to these delicious eateries.

foodPhoto found on Flickr

Naughty Nuri’s Life Centre

20, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Naughty Nuri’s is a popular BBQ restaurant and bar. It’s well known for its mouth-water BBQ pork ribs and cosy atmosphere. The staff are extremely well-mannered and provide a great service to the customers. It’s a popular spot for both lunch and dinner, so make sure you get here early. If you love Korean BBQ, you’ll love Naughty Nuri’s.

food1Photo found on Flickr

Hutong Food Court

Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Food Court,
Lower Ground Floor, Jalan Bukit Bintang
50250 Kuala Lumpur

This is a diverse food court with many different styles of cuisine to indulge in. There’s also a fantastic selection of exotic fruits such as durian and mango. This is a predominantly Chinese area, which means you’ll find a lot of iconic dishes like Wan Tan Mee, Bak Kut Teh, and Hokkien Mee.

food2Photo found on Flickr

Tg’s Nasi Kandar

3, Tengkat Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur

Nasi Kandar is a Malaysian dish that consists of steamed rice and a variety of curries and side dishes. It’s very reasonably priced, but that doesn’t affect the amazing quality of food that Tg’s offers. This is a popular hangout destination for workers and students, so expect it to be packed with patrons throughout the day.

food3Photo found on Flickr

Din Tai Fung

Pavilion, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Din Tai Fung is a restaurant chain that originates from Taiwan, and they’re known for their mouth-watering soup dumplings or xiaolongbao as they’re called. This is an entertaining location because the only thing that separates you from the chefs is a glass window. You can watch the chefs skillfully put together your dumplings moments before they’re served to you.

food4Photo found on Flickr

Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice

59, Jalan Yew, Pudu
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Heun Kee is a relatively hidden spot near the Pudu wet market. It is, without a doubt, one the most famous clay pot chicken rice spots in the whole of Kuala Lumpur. Their signature dish contains juicy chicken, delicious lap-cheong, and there’s optional salted fish as well. Huen Kee prepares their clay pot rice with a special method that speeds up the cooking process and evenly cooks the rice—something that other places just don’t get right.

food5Photo found on Flickr

Nasi Lemak Famous

Bangsar Bangsar Selera Food Court, Jalan Telawi 1
59100 Kuala Lumpur

Nasi Lemak is a fragrant rice that’s cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf and is considered the national dish of Malaysia. This location is affordable, and the sambal (Malaysian hot sauce) is also delicious here.  One of the most popular dishes here is the “Ayam Goreng Rempah”, which is essentially a spicy crispy fried chicken that pairs well with the rice.

Perfect Perth

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Perth not only enjoys wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and a laid back demeanor but there is more to this captivating city than the myriad of bars, restaurants and activities. Perth’s pristine parkland, nearby bush, and river and ocean beaches allow its visitors to spread out and enjoy what’s on offer.

The transport system is fabulous but to truly take advantage of all that’s on offer you may wish to hire a car. Burswood Car Rentals offers free delivery to all city hotels allowing you to explore further afield and visit some of the less well known yet spectacular spots that cost next to nothing. (Please note that costs may apply for some activities)

Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is accessible from Rockingham which is less than an hour’s drive south of Perth. Swarming with marine life including sea stars and urchins as well as a number of fish species flitting through the shipwrecks and makes for excellent diving, snorkeling and wildlife watching. While in the water you’ll probably run into a pod of bottle-nose dolphins and can swim with these on the regularly operated tours.

Penguin Island, a breeding colony for an array of perth1incredible birds, has Little Penguins which breed in the burrows and you can watch them being fed at the interactive center.

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If you have a dive permit, The Saxon Ranger, a 400 tonne former fishing vessel takes residence at the Park. The boat is first purpose sunk dive wreck in the Perth metropolitan area.

Just 20 minutes east of Perth, sample the divine fruits of the vineyards of Western Australia’s oldest wine region at the Swan Valley and Darling Range.  Here you may indulge on award-winning local produce, discover the incredible local heritage or simply relax in the stunning bush-land of the Darling Range. The antithesis of the bustle of city life, it can be reached via road or aboard a Swan River Cruise from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty.

Sharing a glass of red with the vineyard owners, they are happy to recount stories of the generations of their families who owned the vineyards before them, some dating back to the early European settlers.

With over 70 eateries to choose from you are spoiled for choice or pack a lunch enjoying the breathtaking views of your surroundings.

You can also partake in many activities including horse riding, cycling and Indigenous culture.

perth2If you fancy getting even closer to some furry friends, head to Caversham Wildlife Park –  where close encounters with kangaroos and koalas is order of the day.

Alternatively you could choose to drive along the Great Eastern Highway to the blissful tranquillity of the Avon Valley heritage town in under an hour and a half. One of the few towns in WA to hold ‘Historic Town’ status, the proud residents of York have taken great care over restoring its many Victorian and Federation buildings. Due to retaining its heritage charms, it remains Perth’s favourite country escape.

No wonder this area is a top spot for romantic weekends or family fun.

Doctor Who Experience will close Summer 2017

…In the Dalek’s own words…. “Exterminate!”

As many of you know, I adore Wales and I frequently visit this country, for various reasons. If there was a yearly membership club (or even lifetime), I would totally get it. But today, I have read a piece of news, that has disappointed the geek in me.

dw4If you, like me are a big DoctorWho fan, you know that in the south of Wales, in Cardiff Bay, there is the Doctor Who Experience. Taking into consideration, all things Doctor Who TV Series related that have happened in Cardiff, this is by far the most appropriate location for this fan space.

This year marks the 4th year of the opening of this museum, which I have visited and enjoyed last year in Summer. Due to the agreement BBC Worldwide has made with the Council of the City of Cardiff, the sub-lease will expire in Summer 2017.

Furthermore, closing such attraction would also mean less tourists to the South of Wales, as the Doctor Who franchise and fandom can be considered as an international thing. Doctor Who Experience is currently rated as the number 6 thing to do in Cardiff on Trip Advisor with over 3,000 reviews.

I guess, this is me urging you to visit before it is too late. It is as of yet not known whether such an official place would open elsewhere, so this might be the only opportunity you have to visit such an amazing place full of props used within the TV Series, including previously used Tardis(es) on the set.

Source: Wales Online

What Does The Science Say About Staying Happy At Work?

A lack of happiness in the workplace is a big issue. So it won’t come as any surprise that scientists are trying to figure out what makes workers see the brighter side of life. Unhappy employees lead to high rates of absenteeism and high turnover and it all damages business’s bottom lines.

So how does one create a happy workplace? It all comes down to positive psychology and positive emotions. It’s the reverse to how we usually think about our mental wellbeing. We see mental health as all the things that can go wrong with our minds. But positive psychology is different, It asks what we can do to actively make ourselves happy.

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The findings from this field are relevant and can be applied to the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the field’s most pertinent conclusions.

Positive Emotions Are Contagious

In one study researchers wanted to find out if positive emotions were contagious. They set up a group situation and planted an actor in its midst. The actor was trained by the researchers to exude positivity in the group setting. The researchers found that the person acting positively transmitted their positivity to others. The group experienced less conflict, more cooperation and better performance in doing tasks.

It showed that being around positive people really does have an impact on workplace productivity and wellbeing. Being around happy people rubs off on the rest of us misery guts.

Small Actions Have A Big Impact On Personal Happiness

You might think that in order to achieve happiness, something incredible has to happen – like winning the lottery. But the evidence suggests that people react far more positively to the smaller things. This is great news for employers, as it means that they don’t have to spend vast sums of money trying to make their workers happier.

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Take bereavement for example. As the bereavement leave guide by Peninsula Group explains, employers don’t have a duty to provide workers with time off right now. But employers who allow compassionate leave can help to improve the wellbeing of their employees enormously. Small gestures like this are surprisingly effective. So too as things like making lists of all the good things a worker did or writing a letter saying how much a worker helped you.

The Unexpected Makes Us Happy

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When good things happen to us that we didn’t predict, it makes us a lot happier. The researchers found that people’s happiness centres lit up more on MRI scans when positive stimuli were unexpected.

At work, managers often create very predictable happiness programmes for their employees. They organise summer and Christmas parties. They give out bonuses. And they organise team events. But when it comes to happiness, this might not be the best strategy. It might be better, in fact, to make your happiness activities more random and to surprise your employees.

Random acts of kindness around the workplace seems to be the way to go. You could surprise a high-performing employee with a reward. Or you could give workers a surprise trip out of the office to a local theme park. The possibilities are endless.

Hunters; The Alien Invasion

When it comes to aliens, what could be scarier than aliens who look like humans? Aliens that are able to integrate well into the society – be it work, relationships, marriage, children… You wouldn’t be able to tell human from alien, and you can go on for years and decades not knowing that your partner is abnormal. Until suddenly, they receive a message, go mad and kill everyone in sight.

Sure a strange looking alien adds up to the scare/horror factor, but psychologically the thrill works out much better when you do not know if the person in-front of you is human or not.

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This is just a glimpse of the Sci-Fi TV Series I am watching, which goes by the name Hunters. The title is not a reference to the humans who are hunting the aliens; but rather Hunters are the new species in the world.

The TV Series is a good adrenaline rush, even if it was not made with the highest of budgets. The plot is great, especially when you get to episode 5 and I cannot wait to see what happens next. There are some twists which are a bit predictable, but most are not.

The TV Series is based on the book Alien Hunter written by Whitley Strieber.

The biggest shame is that this series was cancelled last month – I never understand why series are not given a chance to evolve before they are terminated. This definitely did have a future if promoted well and to the right audience.

Why you should watch Stranger Things

It has  been quite some time since I have made a TV Series recommendation but  in the past days I have come across two which are worth your time and consideration. Today, I shall talk about the much hyped new Netflix series “Stranger Things.

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It has been in my to-do or, to-watch list since it was released, but I knew, that since it was just an 8-episode run, I had to watch them in one sitting. This means, it was ideal for an afternoon during the weekend, which is what I did on Saturday afternoon.

With the fact that Netflix have already announced a season 2, this sounded promising; now more than ever.

Before I give you a brief about this astounding, fast paced AND exiting series, here goes the official trailer:

 

Back to the point now, here’s some fun facts to help you get started on this series:

  • Winona Ryder is the main actress in this TV Series
  • The story-line is based in the 80s, so expect that some great music throughout – I was singing along!
  • The story is about a young boy’s disappearance in a very small town
  • The series is spooky, adventurous and very pop-culture in its own way
  • Supernatural vibe,which is THANKFULLY not over done
  • Have I mentioned creepy monsters yet?
  • Don’t worry about the fact that the cast is mostly children and teenagers – they have been very well selected.
  • The season finale gives us some answers yet leaves us in awe of what is coming

Questions:

  • Eleven. What happened to the ten before?
  • Will, will he be okay?
  • Is Chief Hopper legit?

May I just say that the hype on this series was for once very well deserved?

 

Would you choose a Mr. Big or an Aidan?

In the past days, due to lack of new series in Summer, I have restarted to watch Sex and the City. My favourite character of the series is Carrie Bradshaw, for tons of reasons. She is a writer, she has curly hair, she is stylish and most of all she got brains! Despite all this, she had so many heartbreaks, her life being a roller coaster of adventures and disappointment; a rather realistic life if you ask me.

I’m in the third season at the moment, and she has just met Aidan, the guy who makes furniture for a living, the guy who she feels so at ease around, and their relationship is just plain sailing; easy. She starts to compare this relationship to her 5 minute long relationship with Mr. Big. Realising there is no drama in her current love life, she starts searching for defects, brainstorming on what is wrong with Aidan… What could he be hiding from her? She gets paranoid, she gets frustrated. She wakes up in the middle of the night wondering. She is so used to living on the edge, fighting to get something done her way that finding a guy who is willing to compromise and who is very understanding pressures her into doubting herself and the future of their relationship.

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We all had a Mr. Big in our life at some point;

  • Someone who doesn’t listen
  •  Someone who doesn’t care of the things which are important to you
  • Someone who never bothers to organise or plan any activities for the both of you
  • Someone who is full of excuses (aka full of shit!)
  • Someone who wouldn’t want to join you in work or family functions…

Someone who you should never be with, yet for some unknown reason you fall for him deeply, and despite what your friends and family say… you hold on, even if barely, until everything falls apart, and your heart is shattered into million pieces.

And then you learn, you learn that you should find yourself an Aidan; one who is worthy of your time, effort and most of all your heart!

My question is this – why do we all need a Mr. Big before we can settle down for what we truly deserve? A true romantic; low on drama but enough to get your blood pumping… a gentleman.

Moel Famau Lovin

I must say,  I didn’t go mountain walking / climbing since my time in Conwy back in 2012, and I really did miss the challenge and the panoramic sights they tend to offer. Imagine, how excited I got when I was asked on going to a Moel Famau excursion!

A little bit of history about Moel Famau;
Some say, that Moel Famau is not a mountain but a hill, as it is not elevated enough – but being the highest of all Clywdian range (formerly known as Flintshire range)… I’d like to think that it gained mountain status at 555m up high! It is situated in a country park area near Loggerheads which is right between Mold and Ruthin in north Wales. The literal translation of the mountain name from Welsh to English is the Bare hill of mama.

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The experience itself was fabulous and lots of fun; must admit, there were moments that I did not think I will pull through, as I am not as fit as I was a couple of years ago; especially when it comes to walking uphill on wet terrain. It is a bit of a struggle!

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The views across the peak, the woodland  and the company of two Border Collies made everything all the more worthwhile. I admired the dogs running up hill and back to us, making sure we are always by their side.  At the very top of the mountain, there was a glimpse of snow on the ground, and the raindrops turned into snow flakes. It was magnificent, I was very happy! 🙂

More info here.