FARENA

The lush life ~ Tropical Spice Garden Penang!

It was a beautiful Saturday morning with sunny blue skies when we ventured off on our second day of our Penang Escapade.  This time we were off to the Tropical Spice Garden in Teluk Bahang - a private and lush green jungle of tropical floral and fauna which is open to those seeking respite from the concrete jungle! 

The lush life ~ Tropical Spice Garden Penang!

Ramadan Bazaar Delights ~ Kampung Baru!

Yes, it's that time of year again when Malaysia seems to quieten down and pause for a slow and restful month.   When those who fast take a deep breath to internally reflect during the holy month of Ramadan. It's also the time when Malaysians and foreigners alike can sample an amazing ensemble of local delicacies, specially prepared for the breaking of fast!

Batik&Bubbles decided to explore the ramadan market of Kampung Baru, a neighborhood which happens to be a stone's throw away from KLCC.

Ramadan Bazaar Delights ~ Kampung Baru!

Sense & Scent-ability ~ introducing Josh Lee!

When you are young, it is a very common occurrence to be asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?".  The usual answer, especially in this part of the world, is either a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer.  Well that's not the case with Josh Lee, a Penang-born fragrance designer who has held this ambition close to his heart since a very young age.  

Sense & Scent-ability ~ introducing Josh Lee!

Tales from Tiger Rock, Pangkor ~ Our Great Island Escape

With two young kids, we don't get to travel as often as we would like to, but when we do, it is always handy to visit somewhere in the domestic scenario.  One doesn't need to face the hassle of flying or wading through long and frustrating immigration lines, which can be a burden with young impatient children in tow!

It just so happened, that we got invited to spend the weekend at Tiger Rock, a boutique jungle hideaway on the beautiful island of Pangkor, which lies on the western coast of peninsular Malaysia.

Tales from Tiger Rock, Pangkor ~ Our Great Island Escape

Investigating Ipoh's Charms

Ipoh .. oh Ipoh.  What does Ipoh remind me of but memories of a time past.  I remember numerous trips back to this city which my parents referred to as their kampung (hometown).     Both sets of my grandparents had lived and retired in Ipoh, my mum even attended a convent school run by French nuns called Sacred Heart there during her teenage years .  

One can't help feeling a bit nostalgic, remembering the numerous trips back to Ipoh as a child.  Every couple of years,  we would return to Malaysia from London for long summer holidays. After holidaying in KL, we would often go to Ipoh to visit our grandparents.                        

Investigating Ipoh's Charms

The Colourful Life of Nini Marini!

We at Batik and Bubbles would not call ourselves art experts or art connoisseurs but we are inclined to appreciating art in its various forms, be it contemporary art, high fashion, intriguing sculptures or glamorous interiors.  Whenever there is a chance to learn something new, we will go forth to find out the latest news on interesting happenings to introduce to our readers.  

This time around, we are pleased to feature an emerging artist on the local arts landscape, Marini Ramlan aka Nini Marini.  We've been following Nini's impressive rise on the Malaysian arts scene. She's fast becoming lauded as a contemporary Malaysian artist at the fore-front of her generation. 

The Colourful Life of Nini Marini!

How Now Bright Cow ? Adventures in Dairy & Gelato!

Batik&Bubbles is always on the look out, especially when it comes to learning more about the growing trend for artisanal gourmet food brands here in Malaysia.   We approached fresh milk producers Bright Cow and Jersey Jack Gelato to find out their take on their brands and have a taste of some of their simply delicious niche and artisanal products!

So let's introduce Bala Nair and Paul Foster, who are the Malaysian-British business duo behind Bright Cow, a dairy producer that was founded in Malaysia back in 2011.   They are pioneers in their own right by being the first Malaysian company offering raw unpasteurised milk to the market.

How Now Bright Cow ? Adventures in Dairy & Gelato!

Firing up our Tastebuds with Dapur Sainer!

Malaysia seems to be going through a trend with the influx of homegrown gourmet artisanal products on offer in the country.  This is no surprise with so many well-travelled Malaysians, who have a finely honed interest for niche, gourmet and artisanal products which are widely found in countries such as Europe, US and Australia.  One such example is Dapur Sainer (Sainer's Kitchen) one of the country's gourmet food producers that has exploded into many Malaysian households with its fiery range of chili oils.

Firing up our Tastebuds with Dapur Sainer!

Cozying up with Kooshboo - Boho-Chic for Kids!

One day when I was talking to my friend Nelly Navin,  I was surprised to learn that apart from having a full-time job as a lawyer, she also co-owns a kids fashion label with her sister, Natasha, called Kooshboo. Intrigued to hear that all their clothes are made and designed here in Malaysia, I was curious to learn more about their story and how they started off their business to where it stands today.   Nelly then arranged for me to meet with her sister, Natasha, who is the CEO and founder of the company and basically runs the show at Kooshboo.  

So one breezy morning, Yiga and I headed over to their office in the green hills of Ampang to have an informal chat with Natasha.  

Cozying up with Kooshboo - Boho-Chic for Kids!

A Shopaholic's Trove of Delights at HKK 2016

I am on always on the look out for beautiful and interesting handicrafts and souvenirs to collect or bring as gifts when visiting family and friends overseas.  Apart from places on the beaten path like Central Market or Petaling Street, it makes a refreshing change to find new venues where one can find such intriguing items.

When I heard about the Hari Kraf Kebangsaan 2016 , an annual festival happening at Kompleks Kraf in Jalan Conlay, I leapt at the chance to visit,  as it is a rare opportunity to view some of Malaysia's best handicrafts under one roof.

A Shopaholic's Trove of Delights at HKK 2016

Sunshine and Bliss: Our Langkawi Escapade (Part 1)

The last time I went to Langkawi was 8 years ago.  Life was pretty different back then.  I was child free and had plenty of time on my hands.  My holiday leisure time was spent mainly going to spas, lounging by the pool, dining and of course, shopping!

Fast track to 2016 and now I have 2 little ones to take care of.  Young Sean who is almost 4 and little Isabelle who is 2 and a half.  They keep me ever busy with their boundless amounts of energy, so during holidays I am always on a quest, searching for "child-friendly" activities to keep them happily entertained.

Sunshine and Bliss: Our Langkawi Escapade (Part 1)

KL Culture Vultures Explore Ilham Art Gallery!

Just the other day Yiga and I visited the new Ilham Gallery which is located in the rather swanky Ilham Tower in Jalan Binjai, central Kuala Lumpur.  There seems to be a plethora of new skyscrapers in town, this one is unique in that it includes a free art gallery which is open to the public.

I am no art expert but I do enjoy feasting my eyes on different pieces of art from time to time and also to embroil myself in a bit of culture!

KL Culture Vultures Explore Ilham Art Gallery!