New Year, New Chapter of Life!

We had just welcomed the new calendar New Year in January. And again, we are going to celebrate the Lunar New Year in February! Regarded as the most important festivity in Chinese community, this is also the longest holidays enjoyed by Malaysian Chinese.

Lion Dance at Austin Chinatown 2010
Lion Dance at Austin Chinatown 2010

The coming new year welcomes the horoscope of Metal Rabbit. Too many, it is a good year to get married and do a lots of wonderful things.

Last year we were away from our extended family. This year, we are looking forward to reunite with them and closed relatives that we have not met for almost 2 years! To me, a special year for a couple reasons. It is going to be our first Chinese New Year with a ~4 month-old little one. How are we going to celebrate? Mmm…I have never given it a thought except from wishing him to be in great shape during the festival season. Chinese New Year is usually the hottest season in Malaysia so we have to prepare for the uncertainty!
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Taipei Yangmingshan Flower Festival | Yangming Park – Flower Clock Garden

Renowned for natural mountain streams, hot springs, waterfalls, hiking trails and flower parks, Yangmingshan National Park (NP) is a popular attraction near Taipei or northern Taiwan. Elevated averagely 443 meters from sea level, Yangming Mountain was formerly named as Grass Mountain after a type of tall coarse grass called cogon which were abundance in the area.

The main entrance of Yangming Park
The main entrance of Yangming Park

Annual floral festival is held at Yangming Park
Majestic sight of mountain ridges and cool climate attract many hikers to explore its hidden beauty. Interestingly, Yangmingshan holds a unique ecology blending the natures of volcanic (hot springs), waterfall, basin and mountainous forest which gives shelter to enormous birds and plants. It is a vast area, plan your hiking trip if you ready to walk into a landscape painting of Yangminshan!

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Baby Feeding Bottle Review | Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Vs The First Years Breastflow

Baby on board is our life’s greatest miracle of all. For mothers who nurse breast milk, direct feeding is undoubtedly the best option taking into account the real-time nutrients and the right temperature without the hassle of washing and worries of chemical interference. At times however, bottle feeding of breast milk has to be established among the mothers who are returning to work after giving birth or longing for some personal moments. And searching for the right nipple can be tough for finicky babies.

BreastFlow from Toy R Us
BreastFlow from Toy R Us

We noticed our LO is an efficient drinker who could finish a bottle of 2 oz in less than a couple of minutes using the normal feeding bottle. Afraid of flow rate difference when he switches to breast prompted us to look for bottle which is closest to natural breast feeding system.
Left: Closer To Nature, Right: Breastflow
From online reviews, we came to the conclusion that there are two choices within our reach. One of discussed among online mommies is BreastFlow by The First Years, and another is Closer To Nature by Tommee Tippee. Breastflow is more popular in US while Closer To Nature is widely used among European mommies.
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TX Wimberley | Blanco River – Pioneer Town

Started as a gastronomy adventure to Driftwood for The Salt Lick BBQ, we later detoured to explore Wimberley – a small town south of Driftwood.

A step back to the past...
A step back to the past…

Located within the premise of 7A Ranch Resort by the Blanco River, we took a step back in time to explore Pioneer Town, the venue that recaptured a period of Texas history retaining all of the authenticity of the 1860-1890’s by making a real working town. Some says it is the place where the spirit of Wild West lives on.
Open in summer months
Featuring a cowboy town’s amenities such as saloon, bank, opera house, hotel, pawn shop, barber and post office in addition to a strip of shops made of woods. There is also a cowboy museum showcasing the collections and items used by the Indians and cowboys. We met an elderly man dressed in denim and Hondo hat. The only one who manned the museum cum gift shop, he spoke to us in authentic Texan accent and enthusiastically sharing with us interesting stories in the past.
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Taipei Yangming Park | Flower Clock Garden – Cherry Blossoms

Nicknamed as ‘Taipei’s backyard’, Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園) is one of the best spots for Taiwanese to view cherry blossom in their homeland. I was not aware until a happy coincidence occurred during our baby moon trip to Taipei last spring. We discovered blooming cherry blossoms on the beautiful island of Formosa!

The stretch between bus stop to Flower Clock
The stretch between bus stop to Flower Clock

Bell-shaped or Formosan Cherry Blossoms
Sits in the district of Beitou, Yangmingshan National Park (NP) is located less than 20 km north of Taipei city. Easily accessible by public transportation, the fastest option to reach Yangmingshan NP is via MRT (Danshui Line). Alight at Beitou MRT Station before transferring to Minibus S9 (小九) or Bus 230 at the bus stop of Beitou MRT Station. Alternatively, you may alight at New Beitou MRT Station if you do not mind standing all the way in a Minibus S9 through the winding roads ascending the mountain to Yangmingshan NP.
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