Thursday, March 22, 2012

World-Class Parenting Room Review

Hello Dearies!

As you all know, I'm a mom of 2 little princesses, and being girly girls, we do love shopping, even though its just to window shop and try out clothes and never buy them haha (much to the chagrin of Mr. Hubster :P). One of the joys of having girls is you get to doll them up, your very own live little dolls you get to play dress up with. I'm preddy sure I wont feel the same way when they're older and have their own tastes on what's cool and what's not, but for now... its preddy much dress-me-Barbie all over again!

But today's blog isn't about dressing up my DeeDees... No, today, I wanna talk about something all you moms out there must have experienced at least once while shopping with your family. Have you ever gotten a big headache when you're in a mall and suddenly you need to change your child's diaper, nurse your baby or your pre-schooler needs to go to the loo, but there is no baby room or parenting room in sight? I know I have! One too many times to be exact huhu.

That's why I make a point to find out what facilities are available in the malls I intend to go to, and to those who have excellent amenities for moms like me are the malls I frequent for our little family excursions. So here I am, on a quest to reveal the very few gems of a mall that is Baby/Kid-friendly.  Today, I will review:

Parents' Room @ Citta Mall, Petaling Jaya

To those who aren't familiar with Citta Mall, its this neighbourhood open-air strip mall located within the Ara Damansara locale, right along the Subang Airport Highway in PJ. The mall mostly consists of F&B outlets, ranging from the popular Chillis to the quaint Kay's Riches and several coffee joints in between (my Achilles heel apparently :P). The rest of the mall are occupied by a supermarket as well as various retail and specialty shops that cater to the neighbourhood needs.

From the first time I set foot in Citta mall, I could tell its a family oriented mall. Wide unobstructed walkways peppered with benches to rest on and dustbins aplenty. The information counter is located literally on the front steps of the main entrance, and they offer guest services that include directories, baby strollers for hire and wheelchairs for the elderly. Even the washroom were nice and spacious, not like the usual cramped toilets in alot of the major malls nowadays.

The first few times I've been there, I've handled Delea's little nature calls in the disabled washroom cum changing room, where there's a changing table you could use. I never realized that there was a proper parenting room just one floor up! So one fine day, after browsing Harvey Norman's latest gadgets for sale, we came across what must be the coolest parenting room we have EVER encountered. Here's why:

Reason #1: Wide & Open Spaces

The Entrance

No more going through a maze of narrow passages towards the loo to find the baby room. Citta Mall's Parents' Room is right smack off the main walkway of the first floor, not too far from the elevators. There's a bench outside the room for some dads who shy away from diaper duty. And the door is a clear automatic sliding door that both allows easy access as well as visibility in case your adventurous one decide to venture outside while you're changing the youngest's soiled diaper.

Reason #2: Playtime, Happy Times!

The Ossum Play Area

None of the miniscule table with a lego collection the size of your kid's kiddy plate in this parenting room. No broken and disfigured hand-me-down toys. Just oodles of colourful, climbing-sliding-crawling-roleplay fun! Suffice to say Deena refused to budge when we said we were leaving for home... :P

Reason #3: Itty Bitty Kiddy Loos! 

Teenie Weenie Toilets

Wash Area

One of my favourite features in this parenting room. Don't you just HATE it when your pre-schooler needs to go to the toilet (which they normally fail to tell us till the very last minute and they're thisss close to wetting their pants), and when you get to the washroom, there's this absurdly long queue waiting ahead of you? Oh the stress! Well, this lil' kiddy loo is a gem, lemme tell ya! The answer to all that public toilet queue dilemma. First off, there's this big sign that says the Kiddy Loo is restricted to kids aged 6 and below ONLY (see pic)The little water closets come in 2 sizes (small & tiny), complete with bidet and toilet paper (which is more than I can say about MOST adult toilets out there huhu). And the stalls are spacious enough for mommies and daddys to accompany their tots while they do their business.

To top it all off, there's a big wash basin with chic lighted mirrors, a soap dispenser and tissue paper, complete with a wooden step stool to help the little tots to wash up by themselves. Its all about independence in this place. I think I made my eldest go to the toilet just so she can test the facilities out. My sister thinks I'm obsessed with the loo. I think she might be a wee bit right! hahaha

Reason #4: The Nursing "Suite"

The Nursing Suites

For Nursing Comfort

I'm sure all breastfeeding moms out there agree with me: The nursing rooms in most malls out there leave much to be desired! Super cramped rooms (if you can even call them that... some are more like closets or shower stalls IMHO), tattered chairs, rubbish everywhere, and the occasional soiled diaper left to rot in the room. Comparatively, the nursing rooms at Citta Mall are like suites! Each spacious, clean room offers 3 comfy armchairs, a coffee table, tissues and electric sockets for moms who want to express milk for storage. And there's 3 rooms to be used! Outside each room there's a sign you can use to indicate that the room is occupied. Very cool!

Reason #5: Turning Tables on Diaper Changing

Changing Tables

Not 1.. not 2.. but 4 changing tables! And these are no run-of-the-mill trolley-like tables padded with the thinnest possible changing mat ever created, moms and dads... these tables are fitted with PVC mattresses not unlike those examination beds you find in clinics. Soft and comfy, easy to clean, bright-green changing tables to ease the most dreaded chore of parenthood. Oh and if you forgot to pack your young'uns lotions and talcum powder, fret not! This parenting room even provides you with that, and then some. Paper tissues are neatly supplied in little green trays, and there's 2 big sinks for you to clean up with.

Reason #6: Safe & Sound

Security Notice

This state-of-the-art parenting room is finally completed with safety measures -- CCTV and the occasional patrol by the mall's security personnel. With all the missing kids cases, one cannot be too careful, so this extra measure surely helps put us parents' minds at ease...

So that's one of the best parenting room for ya, reviewed,dissected and raved about. Quite simply a haven for both parent and child. If I had to complain about anything at all, it would be the lack of a hot water dispenser for parents to make formula with, but then again, that's just me being nitpicky. To parents who're headed to Citta Mall, go and chk out this facility. To other mall management, I think its high time you upgraded your most forgotten facility into something that is a joy to use, and not a health-hazard.

As for me, I'm looking forward to find another parenting room that could be in the same league as this one. Till then, happy parenting!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Visiting Mars with John Carter

Wa-Hey Peeps!

Guess what? I'm on a movie-roll here hehe. Managed to get tickets to watch John Carter last Sunday, so the whole clan minus lil' Delea (she's too young for now) went to Tropicana City Mall's GSC to watch Disney's latest offering.

Now, I dunno about you guys, but judging from the movie trailer and posters, I expected it to be a gladiator-ish movie with a half-naked, muscle-flexing hero slaying strange, ugly CGI-created creatures.. not unlike Clash of the Titans. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was an interesting storyline that stands out from the typical monster-slaying hero.

Pic courtesy of
[SPOILER ALERT!!! Those who do not want to find out how the story goes can skip this part]

First off, I never knew that the story was based on a novel (or chronicles to be exact) by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Trivia: He also created "Tarzan"), so I went in thinking this was just another epic movie. After abit of googling after watching the movie, the interesting storyline that seemed more in depth than the usual run-of-the-mill movies finally made sense to me. And, as you all know, I'm a sucker for novel-based movies haha. 

The story started not in some foreign, barren wasteland I initially thought the scene took place, but in 19th century America circa The Civil War. The barren wasteland that we see in the movie trailers is actually Mars, so that explains all the dusty brick-red rocks and dirt. So as the story goes, John Carter (hunky Taylor Kitsch of Friday Night Lights fame) unwittingly and accidentally teleported himself to Mars, better known as Barsoom to the Martians. Now, if you expect to see little green martians, you'd be really disappointed, coz in this movie, the only green martians you'll see are these barbarian-ish lanky creatures standing a good 5 feet above normal human height called the Tharks. The rest of the Mars population preddy much look like us humans, with apache-ish tattoos and armour similar to Lord of The Rings' wardrobe. Oh and lets not forget the strange looking monsters and beasts that they treat as pets.

John Carter in a Gladiator ring with 2 White Apes
Pic courtesy of

So while John Carter was busy getting acquainted with the Tharks and their pets, the human-like Martians were at war for power. Princess Dejah of Helium (Lynn Collins) was forced to marry Prince Sab Than of Zodanga (Dominic West) to forge peace, but of course, the evil Sab Than, aided by an ethereal being with teleporting powers (Mark Strong) had ulterior motives. The Princess, an intelligent free-spirit, refused to go down without a fight and fled amidst a battle between the 2 clans, and as expected, rescued by John Carter. What ensues is pretty predictable -- John Carter helps the Princess save her people, and she helps him find a way home to earth. They fall in love in the process, which led John Carter to decide to stay at Mars with his Princess. A twist in their happy ending sent John Carter back to earth, right back where he had started. And so, he tries to get back to Barsoom, taking years to do so, but in the end... he does.. :) I'm guessing from the ending and depending on how well this movie does this year, there might just be a sequel... *wink wink*

[End of Spoiler: Its safe to read now hehehe]

All in all, the movie is fast-paced, action packed and well developed. Sci-fi geeks and epic movie fans will find this their cuppa tea, although they will most definitely start to compare some bits to other sci-fi and epic movies. The script was no brain surgery, littered with some humour and gags. Nevertheless, it was a fun movie to watch, a good form of escapism for me. So if you crave for some alien-slaying action, this is a must watch for ya!

P/S: My Deena didn't quite like this movie though, coz as soon as the credits started to roll, she yelled (loudly i might add) "Ummi!! This story is BORINGGGG!!". Apparently any movie that doesn't have any cartoon character innit is boring to a 4-yr old.. :P

That's all for now... till next rambling entry then... ciao!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Movie Marathon

Hello All!

How's your weekend thus far? Hope everything's going on smoothly for ya... and if it didn't, fret not! Take it positively and who knows... better things may come your way...

As for me... my day started pretty great, spent the morning lazing about with my 2 girls... but it all went downhill from there. Even a big cuppa double chocolate coffee ice blended couldn't pick me up. Oh well, they say the depressed make the best poets/writers... so I figured I might as well let the creative juices flow... Create something positive out of all this negative energy... so here goes!

As you all know... I've pretty much got my hands full with a full time job, a part time property marketing course and 2 kids, one of them a 7-month old baby who's starting to put everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) she could possibly get a hold of into her mouth. I guess its pretty obvious that I haven't seen the inside of a cinema in over 7 months, and for a movie-addict like me, that's EONS! So I figured it was time to get a lil bit of ME time with hubby and some mates... and what better way to spend the day than a movie marathon, rite?

It so happened that I had some appointments to tend to in KL over a week ago, so me & hubby decided to go for a quick movie right after our appointment. And later that evening, me and a bunch of my blogger mates had cool invites to watch a premier screening of an Oscar-winning movie at Pavillion, KL. Here's a not-so-short take of my awesome day off...

Movie #1: This Means War

Hubby and I got to Pavillion and based on our very limited "date" time, we chose this romcom-action movie, starring Reese Witherspoon (Cruel Intentions), Chris Pine (Star Trek) & Tom Hardy (Inception). We were both Reese Witherspoon fans, so picking this movie was really a no-brainer for us.

War of the Spies!
Pic courtesy of

So as per the norm for practically ALL romcoms, you get the same scenario -- boy meets girl, boy falls for said girl, some complications arise, but it all ends happily ever after. Now for this movie, there's a slight twist: TWO boys fall for the same girl, and what makes matters worse, they're best buds. Bro-mance aplenty, of course. OK, not that great of a twist, but 2 hunky guys in a movie is always a big plus for yours truly hehe ;) Oh and an added bonus, both hunks are secret agents! Ladies, think Jason Bourne x 2 (I'm using Bourne as an example coz he seems more like a real spy than the overly smooth Bond and... God forbid... Austin Powers... eek!)

Unfortunately, the movie is pretty much predictable. Both hunks fall for the same girl, best-mates-rivalry, hilarious sabotages... the works. Reese's acting was flawless, of course... she played the little kooky neurotic babe splendidly. Chris Pine's character was exactly like his embodiment of James T. Kirk... with better tailor-made suits. The real revelation, to me at least, is Tom Hardy. Aside from his semi-major role in Inception, I've never seen him in another movie thus far, and watching him act a lil' crazy in his pursuit of the coveted girl after his serious role in Inception is refreshing. I kinda favoured him over Chris Pine coz he's the obvious underdog... that, and his killer abs of course.. haha! Ok.. ok.. no need to judge me, I'm married, not dead! :P So who gets the girl? I wont spoil the movie for ya.. go and watch this!!

Movie #2: The Iron Lady

I got a special invitation from my friend Miu of Plus Size Kitten to watch this much-awaited Oscar-winning movie, starring one of my all-time favourite actors, Meryl Streep. This shindig is actually a charity event sponsored by The Body Shop (and several other big names such as Crown Relocations and O'Briens), and I was truly honoured to have the opportunity to watch this preview with some much-talked-about blogger friends. Among others who were invited to this soiree were Fatin, Traclyn & Vina whom I've just met at this movie preview... Oh the joy of making new friends at this age!! (OK I sound like I'm 100 years old :P)

[L-R]: Traclyn, Me, Tammy, Fatin & Vina.
Photo courtesy of Traclyn of La Vogue Femme.. cheers babe!

Now, back to the movie. The movie is an autobiographical story of Margaret Thatcher, the one and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. Now, autobiographical movies tend to drag and could get a bit boring, but THIS movie was anything but. It preddy much got me glued to my seat and my eyes glued to the screen the whole 2 hours it was played.

First off, Meryl Streep bore an uncanny resemblance to Margaret Thatcher in this movie. Whoever did her makeup and costumes did an outstanding job. But clothes and makeup alone don't make the character believable, its the actor who plays it. And boy, did Meryl Streep deliver! She was so believable as the Iron Lady (a nickname Margaret Thatcher earned from her firm opposition of the Soviet Union) that I totally forgot what the real Margaret Thatcher looked like! She definitely deserved her Oscar for this!

The Iron Lady (check out the uncanny resemblance!)
Pic courtesy of

So basically, I got a very short and sweet lesson of world history through this movie. I have never been much into politics so I was abit worried I'd get lost in translation, but I understood perfectly. What matters most, is the message came across loud and clear: Women CAN be in power and be successful at it. Sure there will be loads of obstacles and sexist naysayers to bring you down, but what matters is how you handle and rise from such adversities. Watching The Iron Lady definitely brought out the Girl Power in me, especially with all the inspirational speeches Margaret Thatcher made. One of my favourite quotes was about the role of women:

“I will never be one of those women, who stay silent and pretty on the arm of her husband. Or remote and alone in the kitchen doing the washing up for that matter. One’s life must matter, beyond all the cooking and the cleaning and the children. One’s life must mean more than that. I cannot die washing up a teacup."

Margaret Thatcher, after one of her more inspirational speeches
Pic courtesy of

And true to her word, she never became one of those women she refused to be. With ambition, perseverence, and a whole lotta male-ego-bashing, she became one of the most powerful women of our time. That said, Margaret Thatcher was not perfect, and all that ambition and success does have its price. I recommend you watch this movie to find out how the movie ends... *wink wink*

I think that's all for now... It's 3am already and I've got some winks to catch before baby Delea wakes up for her wee-hours-of-the-morning feeds... So toodles!