Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Music Streaming: Spotify


picture source: spotify.com


Nowadays, we can simply search for an artist on Spotify and add their entire discography to our library. With a single click, we can listen to their songs and not have to wait for a download to complete. Rather than collect our favorite songs with diligent care, we capture them using the “like” button with pure ease.
We used to listen to music on our mobile devices in private. Now, we share our listening activities to Facebook and show our friends what songs we have playing right now, and if they want to, they can tune in and listen, too. Rather than listen to music alone, we can now listen together.

I listen to Spotify almost everyday. In fact, almost the whole office listens to Spotify on their desk. So why do we love Spotify? Let me count the ways:

1. It's FREE
If you’re anti-commercials, then maybe you could easily fork out the RM14 per month for an ad-free subscription, but for those of us who are a bit more patient for the sake of our wallets Spotify also has a free version. And since free seems to be the enticing music listeners can’t resist these days, this might just be the way to keep everyone happy

2. It Pays 
Spotify pays the artist when their song gets played. While there has been plenty of mumbling that the rates are incredibly low, reports also say the streaming company spends nearly 70 per cent of its revenue on royalty payments. And as plenty have pointed out before, very few labels can make the same claim.

3. Catalogue 
Spotify’s other big claim to fame has to be the amount of music available, giving users access to some of their favourite artists thanks to deals with Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal. That translates into over 20 million songs that you can track down with a basic search. It’s the sort of availability that makes die-hard audiophiles swoon.

4. Playlist 
The ability to put together your Top Ten songs for midnight mopping, sharing said mix with friends (or maybe not) and finally being able to listen to any number of playlists your favourite shows and movies have been putting together.

5. Downloads
There are plenty of ways to track down and get a catchy song you’d like to keep on permanent repeat for the week and the free version of Spotify can get in the way of that ambition. But if you’re already logged into Spotify when that song comes up you can easily opt to download it without going anywhere else–or depriving the artist of some cash.

My Spotify


Power of Social Media Sharing


3 weeks ago I dined at a Middle Eastern restaurant, Mashawi Grill in Indah Permai. I shared my experience dining there and tagged the eatery. The next day I was tagged back and I received a 10% discount on my next visit to Mashawi Grill. Yeay!

If you don't know where Mashawi Grill is, it is located in Indah Permai at this address:




Go visit Mashawi Grill and enjoy 10% discount on your next visit after sharing your dining experience on Facebook. Don't forget to tag them too! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

#MYCYBERSALE 2015

picture source: twitter.com #mycybersale

The biggest online sale in the country is back! #MYCYBERSALE for this year's edition is working with 8 premium partners such as VISA, DiGi, and Maybank for promotions as well as Telekom Malaysia (TM), POS Malaysia, 57square, eGentic, and MilkADeal: Cashback as the industry partners. According to TheStar online, more than 40% increase of participating eTailers compared to 2014. Joining the line-up this year are 11street.my, GEMFIVE, Go Shop, Qoo10, Agrobazaar alongside with Lazada, Zalora, Lelong.my, Rakuten and Groupon who continue to support this Digital Malaysia initiative.

#MYCYBERSALE has extended its normal 3 days to 5 days to cater for bigger markets and to allow longer shopping period. This initiative also expanded to target regional shoppers, specifically from Singapore, Brunei and also Indonesia.


To enhance the shopping experience, MDeC took into consideration the convenience of the growing number of mobile shoppers and therefore introduced the #MYCYBERSALE App which is now available for download on Google PlayStore and Apple App Store starting from 21 September 2015.

Only 4 days left to shop.. Happy clicking and Happy shopping people!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Like to Watch: Kitchen Nightmare

picture source: www.hulu.com

 One of the TV series that I love to watch these days is Kitchen Nightmare. An American reality TV show where Chef Gordon Ramsay help struggling restaurants to turn their luck around. In the show, Chef Gordon Ramsay examines the restaurant's problems - from unsanitary refrigerators to lazy and/ or inexperienced staffs and fromm there search for solutions. The ultimate goal of the show is to make the restaurants that is visited by Chef Gordon Ramsay popular and profitable but at the end of the day, it is up to the establishment to take the advice given and turn their business nightmare into a dream.
I discovered this TV series on Youtube. I am surprised why it is not aired in Malaysia since Hell's Kitchen, Masterchef US is aired. One of the most unforgettable episode on Kitchen Nightmare is Amy's Baking Company where Chef Ramsay does the unimaginable thing by walking out of the restaurant because the owners are too defensive for (constructive) criticism. The episode can be seen below:


From what I read at GrubStreet, Kitchen Nightmare is ending at it's seventh season due to its restaurant closure rates. It was reported that over 60 percent of the restaurants that were on the show has close down. 

Number of participating restaurants in seven seasons: 77
Number still open: 30 (38.86 %)
Number that have closed: 47 (61.84 %)
Approximate number of restaurants closed within one year of (or before) the episode air dates: 23 (29.87 %)

The show will be missed. At least, I still have Hell's Kitchen and Masterchef (US) to watch Chef Ramsay slaying evil yet honest comments in the shows. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Kitchen Wishlist: Air Fryer

Fried food is probably one of my biggest weakness. There is nothing better than a nice golden french fry, or crispy chicken wing. To give up fried food, for me would be a very difficult thing to do. Coincidently, while I was on Facebook the other day, a side advertisement caught my attention. It was a Lazada advertisement on an ELBA brand air fryer. An air fryer can make almost everything - from fried chicken to french fries to breakfast muffins, with less fat and more nutrition. The airfryer’s ability to fry, roast, bake or grill makes it almost unbelievable. The best air fryer out there is the Hammer schlemmer oilles fryer. 

theoilessfryer
picture source: http://www.boozyburbs.com

 But since this fryer cost about $300 (RM1, 260 - excluding shipping) I most probably will settle for a cheaper brand such as:

philips
Philips RM1399 (picture source: jewelpie.com)
morgan
Morgan RM555 (picture source: jewelpie.com)

tefal
Tefal RM850 (picture source: jewelpie.com)

Although the above are only a few brands that I would consider in buying (because I trust these brands), there are actually plenty of other air fryers available in the market.




Sunday, September 20, 2015

Takada Bread Maker

I have been using this bread maker that I bought online from Lazada for about 6 months. Making buns, and breads have never been easier.  This bread maker from Takada is convenient enough to use. You can bake your own delicious bread with the recipe provided in the package. It has 12 different baking programs and the delay timer can be preset up to 13 hours. It also comes with the option of baking light, middle or dark color crust. With its thermal insulated casing design and a non-slip botton, Takada bread maker gives me the choice of baking my own bread the way I want it to be. Also included in the package are accessories like hook, measuring cup and a measuring spoon. 

The accessories included in the package (picture source: groupon.my)

 What's more interesting with this machine is that you can even make jam. But I still have yet to try that function out. From online recipes that I have read, you only need to place all the ingredients in the bread baking tin, choose the correct settings, and that is it. About 100 minutes later your jam will be ready. 

So far, the breads or buns that I have made using this machine has been successfull.

Buttery soft buns.. before and after it went into the oven

white bread

Cinnamon rolls.. before and after it went into the oven
Cinnamon rolls up close.

For the buns and cinnamon rolls, I use the dough setting to make the dough. I just put all of the ingredients into the machine. I let the machine make my dough as I go and do other things. After 30 - 40 minutes, my dough is all set. I only need to shape them and put them in the oven. 

Although the machine can bake the bread itself, I think I prefer baking bread using a real oven. The good thing about having this bread machine is that I do not have to kneed any dough in my life ever again ;)

Takada bread maker settings (picture source: groupon.my)
The bread maker machine gives you the option of making a 1.5lb or 2lb bread. Some other bread maker machine has the option to make even bigger bread. There are alot of other brands out there that sells bread maker machine such as Kenwood, Trio, Panasonic, Morgan, etc. I choose Takada among the other brands because the reviews. A friend of mine, who also happens to be a baker also bought this machine a few months before me. Her review on this machine got me sold. I ordered my bread maker machine the very next day.

I just can't wait to explore more of this machine's functions.