Friday, June 27, 2014

Debudget.com Cafe & Bar



Weekends are the days I most look forward to. Simply because, a nice place to chill and unwind after overworking for the week is all I need. Conversations over some drinks and good food; that’s my perfect kind of weekend wrap up. I’ve had a couple of bad experience with cafes and bars, overpriced menus and under satisfactory customer services, those aren’t unusual these days. Therefore, I am usually very particular with my choice of cafes. 

With Debudget.com, you’ve nothing to worry about. From affordable menus, scrumptious food and a whole lot of savings! What exactly am I talking about? 

DeBudget.com is Malaysia’s first online pre-purchase cafĂ© bar, which offers customers a concept somewhat similar to that of budget airlines – the earlier you buy, the more you save! Now that’s music to my ears! This is absolutely genius! 

“So, how does it work?”

 Say I want to meet up with my buddies at the DeBudget.com outlet in IOI Boulevard (there are more outlets opening around the Klang Valley and beyond soon!) for some drinks and dinner next week. I just head over to http://www.debudget.com/ and check out the deals on offer, place my order, pay as I would any online site, receive the QR code on my smartphone, then on the day of my visit just show it to the staff at the outlet, redeem my drink and enjoy with my friends! Easy pleasy and done in less than 5 minutes.

Say I didn’t like the prices at the IOI Boulevard outlet on that certain day, I could simply select another outlet or another date to see if the price is lower. Just like booking a flight – the price increases as more seats as booked or in this case, the price increases as more drink packages are booked on that day. I have a more detailed run through at the bottom of this post.

I was invited to the special friends & media preview of the very first DeBudget.com outlet at the IOI Boulevard in Puchong, Selangor along with some of the girls from Malaysia's Hottest Bloggers (MHB), and check out what we discovered! 


The interior is a chilled out bistro cum cafe environment with pipped in music that’s not overwhelmingly loud. You don’t need to shout to have a conversation while the tables are spaced out nicely to ensure you won’t hear your neighboring table’s conversation.


There are some comfy sofas to lounge around in or for those of you who prefer playing some darts, there are two (2) electronic dart machines.
And of course, live performances to live up the mood! They sure know how to keep their customers entertained! 


Drinks wise, there is a large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from you to choose from. As DeBudget.com is a GAB outlet, expect the usual draught options – Tiger, Guinness and Heineken. If you’re there during the daytime, you can also try their selection of coffee (latte, cappuccino, espresso, etc. etc.), teas, smoothies, fruit juices, soft drinks, and mocktails or if you prefer something with a little more kick you could try their cocktails, as well as the wines, liquors and champagne.



Priced affordably, there's an array of food selection that would surely tickle your fancy.

I had the Chicken Chop all by myself and I must say, it was really really finger lickin' good! You can see it at the way I was smiling, I couldn't wait for the chow down! 








Not many people would expect to see fresh oysters available in a bistro but of course DeBudget aims to break the mould. The oysters are available seasonally and are extremely fresh and huge! In fact, I’ve never eaten such huge oysters before!


Original Recipe Chicken Drumstick – RM16.00++
This is a must try dish at DeBudget. Crispy and flavourful chicken drumsticks that are great as a snack or even as a main depending on how hungry you are. But trust me – order one plate for yourself otherwise you might find yourself fighting over chicken drumsticks with your friends!



Carbonara Pizza – RM23.00++
Spaghetti Aglio Olio – RM20.00++ (seafood variant)
Beef Lasagna – RM18.00++
Spaghetti Marinara – RM20.00++ (seafood variant)
Chicken Chop – RM18.00++

Assorted desserts

Food aside, the girls and I were having a jolly good time catching up! Been a while since I last seen most of them. Duty calls, but hey, that's why we all love weekends! Catch up and some girly time is never a bad thing! 




Karen, Chelsea and Sarah's satisfied faces after a good dinner! 


XPack offers always the lowest prices for you to have fantastic outings with your favourite people. With XPack, plan your night out and be the early bird to enjoy great savings on our huge range of drinks! Psst! Prices start from RM10.00 onwards daily limited to three (3) packs per person.
Choose from one (1) Tower of Tiger draught (2.5 litres) OR 4x Pints of Guinness draught OR 4 Pints of Heineken. The earlier you buy the cheaper it will be (this is similar to the budget airline concept which is so popular and successful these past few years).

Do note that the XPack is strictly for consumption at De’Budget.com outlets and cannot be taken away (I’d really like to see how you’re going to ta pau home draft beer…bring Tupperwares or Colemans??? Lol).

If beer is not your drink of choice, fret not as there are special promotions for liquor, wines and even champagne which you can purchase online as well.


There are many bottles including crowd favourites Johnnie Walker Black Label and Gold Label Reserve, Hennessy VSOP, Belvedere vodka, Moet & Chandon, as well as single malt whiskies, tequila, bourbon, Bacardi, gin, and red and white wines.


Buying online is really fast and simple:
1. Select your desired outlet and date of visit
2. Choose the items you want
3. Complete your online purchase by making the payment. Payment can be made by either using your credit card or debit card (which uses PayPal secure payment gateway), or by using your PayPal account. After the payment is successful, you will be emailed a QR code from debudget.com which you simply need to show on your smartphone at the outlet on your chosen date. No need to print out any vouchers. Really simple and convenient if you ask me!
4. Go to the outlet on the selected date and enjoy your drinks!

Remarks: If you want a lower price and it’s not available that day at that outlet, just select another outlet or another date and see if it’s cheaper. It will come very naturally to you as you’ve probably booked airline tickets many times before online. Same concept. Just a different product.



Thank you Debudget.com for having us! I had such a good time enjoying the food, drinks and not to mention, awesome companies! You should totally go check it out yourself ;) 

Look out for the 2nd De Budget outlet which will be opening in Sunway Giza, Kota Damansara in June 2014 and they will be having some really awesome opening promotions (such as RM10.00 for a tower of beer on the launch days!).

More info on De Budget at http://www.debudget.com/
Or follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/debudget.comcafebar
Email: info.debudget@gmail.com

DeBudget.com Puchong is located at:
Lot No. F-G-21, IOI Boulevard,
Jalan Kenari 5,
Bandar Puchong Jaya,
47170 Puchong,
Selangor.

Operation hours: daily from 10:30am to 2:00am

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Where was I again?






So, where was I again?

I think this whole "I'll be right back" .. " Sorry, I've been MIA".. "THE HIATUS" is getting a little overused, don't you think? I mean, right.. some of you are obliged to blog. Or rather, feel obliged to. But I don't. I write whenever I feel like and I don't feel like I owe something to my readers for not updating.. (okay, maybe a little guilt for keeping you guys waiting) but at least, when I do update.. I make sure it's of substance, and not.. (right, I think I shan't get there. Let's just keep this for another post alright). 

So! After much contemplation, I think I will be keeping this blog for a little longer. I was really close to closing it down (due to several personal reasons) but hey, I've made up my mind that I'm not going to and I'm sticking to my words. Currently still in the midst of my exams season and just completed my third paper (no, don't ask how it went. I don't wanna talk about it) .. and I HAVE ONE FINAL PAPER TO GO! Just one last one Maggy. One last one. DAMN IT. SO CLOSE! 

Aside from school, I've been pretty swamped with work as well. And when you're in Monash (apparently ranked #1 Malaysia's Top Universities, and one of the Big 8 in Australia), exams is NO BIG DEALL. Oh, NOT BIG DEAL AT ALL. Passing rate is as high as Mount Everest, not to worryyyyy. Haha, I was obviously joking. And NO. Monash is NO JOKE. And when I mean NO JOKE I do mean, failure rate for certain units could be pretty dang high. NO KIDDING. Having said that, I had to work everyday during my Study Break. ( Most Monashians I know call me 'The Heroin'). 

"HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO IT MAGS?" 

"YOU WORK AND STUDY RIGHT BEFORE EXAMS?" 


"ARE YOU NUTS?" 


"DUDEEEEE, MONASH IS NO JOKE. YOU DON'T WANNA DO THIS TO YOURSELF" 

Thanks guys. Appreciate your heads up. But I guess, I'm just being me! The adrenaline rush junkie (not the roller coaster kinda rush), the one who's constantly living on the edge, and the one who's addicted to challenges.. oh hello! That's yours truly! 

Trust me, I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW I DO IT. I have no definite answer to your question, I'm sorry. But I do have a key to it. Time management and sleep deprivation. They kinda do come hand in hand, well.. at least in my case. There's only so much you can do in 24 hours. SIGH! 

And, speaking of work.. some of you might be wondering what I do. Hmm, besides writing.. I sometimes talk for a living too! :) You might have heard me on your drive home, or usually during the weekends! Yep, a radio presenter on FLYFM. I think I've mentioned about it before. But because I've been away from blogging for SO LONG (hmmm) ..... I clearly can't multitask! But I'm trying my best now.



So yeah, just a little update on what's been going up on my side; and yes, I've been working on #movewithmaggy as well. Feel free to checkout the hashtag on your Instagram! More updates in the coming posts. It is kinda being put on hold as of now.. exams is just taking too much of my time and I can't afford to re-do any units so I'm really just betting my life on it. 

I really don't mean to be such a narcissist, but I just realized the amount of selfies I took during work. I mean, I don't usually get people in the studio to take it for me... so, I do it myself lah! :P And here's a compilation of em all. I think I have more, but I won't take the risk of putting myself to further shame HAHA. And boyyyy, I do take a lot of selfies! :P 


If you're allergic to selfies, I suggest you not to scroll down any further than this. Otherwise, FEEL FREE! ;) 













OH. OH. OH! Before I forget, I'm not sure you heard my interview with Phoenix, the Bassist from Linkin Park, but yea, managed to speak to him on my show last week! Sat in for Prem for the entire week and definitely learnt alot! And to those who has been giving me feedback on my progress, thank you thank you thank you! I need em to keep working on myself! Thanks guys! :)





Yes, past couple of weeks has been a living hell for me. Work during the day, short nap once I'm home and straight to studies till wee hours in the morning and that was pretty much how my day/week was. I don't call myself a workaholic but that really did take a toll on my body and I was down with major fever and flu! THANK GOD that week is now over and I only have ONE MORE PAPER to work on and then it would be freedom for another month and a half before THE FINAL FINAL SEMESTER. I am beyond stoked! 

So many things to look forward to after my finals. 

Can't wait. So till then, ciao! x 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Sony Alpha 5000 ; Part Two

I’m sure most of you have already heard of the Sony Alpha 5000 by now. Yes, the world’s lightest interchangeable-lens digital camera weighs only 210g without lens and battery, and 269g with battery and kit lens. But inside this very portable camera is a 20.1 effective-megapixel APS-C image sensor for superb image quality.

The Sony Alpha 5000 also equipped with a 180 degrees tiltable LCD screen for easy selfies, and Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities, for easy transfer or photos to my smartphone using the Play Memories app which is free for both iPhone and Android. This makes capturing and sharing photos really fun and most importantly - easy!


So, I took home the Sony A5000 and got to play around with it for a few weeks. Before I show you what this compact camera is capable of, I must really emphasize that the Sony Alpha 5000 really is so lightweight and convenient! I have been bringing it with me almost wherever I go! I don’t have to worry about bulky cameras anymore. Just strap on, and I’m good to go!




Another thing I love about this Sony Alpha 5000 is definitely its exterior! Sophisticated and sleek, white is surely my favourite out of the three (the other colours being pink and black).  

I am not the best photographer, but hey… this camera sure did unleash that 'inner pro' within me! I am really amazed by the amount of details this little compact camera can capture. I won't do so much talking; after all… action speaks louder than words, right? In this case, I'll let my pictures do the talking! 


CLOSE-UPS 

For close-up shots like these, I used the 'Macro' function and I must say that it was very user friendly. You don't need a degree in photography. With the Sony A5000, your photos will turn out as good! Look at the beautiful details and colours in these photos that I managed to capture. I was pretty amazed myself! I remember MHB’s official photographer Andy Kho saying during the bloggers gathering at Carcosa that this is because of the large APS-C sensor which captures more light.




And of course everyone likes taking shots of food and beverage. I liked the background defocus effect which softens the background and makes the subject of the photo more prominent. Best thing is that you can even adjust the amount of background defocus right in auto mode! Great for users like myself!



Next is a shot of a beautiful chandelier.


For this particular one, I played around with the effects. At first, I wanted to capture the details of the chandelier, but as I took a couple more shots, and changed around with some effects, I managed to capture this one with the 'Soft Focus' effect.

It actually turned out pretty cool! Feels like the sun radiating energy, right?! I actually submitted this photo for the photography competition during the event; too bad mine wasn't good enough. But I still think this is a pretty cool shot! Made it my desktop's wallpaper too. Yup, that's how much I like it! :)



DIFFERENT PHOTO EFFECTS 

I played mostly with the photo effects as I am not particularly proficient playing with ISO, shutter speed, and aperture yet. There are quite a few to choose from; Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro, Soft High-key, Partial Color, High Contrast Mono, Soft Focus- Low, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Mono, Miniature, Watercolor & Illustration.

However I’m hoping to improve, and I’ve read up a little on how to properly set aperture, shutter speed and ISO online... so I'm slowly but surely learning how to fully utilise the camera! (hopefully I get to keep it a little longer :P).

So the following of photos are mostly myself, playing around with the different photo effects available. It's quite amazing how just one simple effect, can alter the entire mood of the photo. Check it out!

NO EFFECT
TOY CAMERA EFFECT
NO EFFECT

WATERCOLOR EFFECT 
POP COLOR EFFECT 
HDR PAINT EFFECT 

TOY CAMERA EFFECT 
HDR PAINT EFFECT 
POP COLOR EFFECT 

RICH MONO TONE EFFECT 

For me personally, when a camera can produce good photographs when the sun goes down (night time), then it’s a good camera. Just my two cents; and what can I say? The Sony Alpha 5000 really surprised me! Just look at the amount of detail I managed to capture in the night shots below!

These are merely with the available photo effects (extremely user-friendly for users that are not so familiar with the more technical aspects of the camera) but I can totally imagine the outcome if I actually applied manual effects depending on the ambience. It’s time high I take up photography lessons! Well I heard Sony Malaysia provides photography workshops to their users!

 Notice how a simple change of photo effect changes the entire mood of the photograph? Love it!


NORMAL EXPOSURE 
HIGH EXPOSURE
MY FAVORITE SHOTS! 

I am definitely enjoying this artistic side of me. Never knew I could take such 'interesting' pictures. This Sony Alpha 5000 is definitely very user-friendly (especially photography noobies like myself), very lightweight (I can bring it with me anywhere, anytime!), and not forgetting its appealing outlook (white cameras? they look good with any outfit, for any occasion!). 

Here are some of my ultimate favorite shots! Yes, taken by me using the Intelligent Auto mode which automatically identifies the scene’s characteristics and adjusts to the best settings. I’m slowly getting the hang of using the Sony A5000 and I’m pretty impressed with it as the photos turn out GOOD considering I don’t have any advanced knowledge of photography).






 This particular shot of my baby bro is taken with the 180 degrees tiltable  built-in pop-up flash, and this is actually taken in the daytime but the flash created an effect which really highlights him as the subject! Really love how this picture turned out! 



Need I say more? Sony Alpha 5000 spells PERFECTION already!
Here’s what the Sony Alpha 5000 can do in the hands of a professional.


A view of the KL skyline shot by MHB’s official photographer Andy Kho from his condo, using “Sunset” mode.


My personal encounter with the Sony Alpha 5000 has been great thus far. I seriously am considering to get myself one (or hopefully I get to keep this one for myself... I wish! ).
Nonetheless, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sony Malaysia for the exclusive privilege to review this camera and be one of the very first few to try out the Sony Alpha 5000. Lucky or what?!
If you’re keen to find out more about the Sony Alpha 5000, head on over to http://bit.ly/1gPXynR

Or check out their official website at http://www.sony.com.my or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SonyMalaysia.

The Sony Alpha 5000 has been available in Malaysia from the 21st February 2014 with the suggested retail price:-

Single Lens Package (Body + 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens) at RM1,999.
Twin Lens Package (Body + 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 + 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3) at RM2,799.

One thing for sure, you’ll experience photography like never before ;)
Till then!