Salon Maurina: Easy December Party Look

It’s the end of the year and it’s that time of the year where you get invited to a couple of parties – gift exchange, or just a wonderful high tea with your girlfriends.

Check out a tutorial I made for this:

BTW, I mentioned a pallete called Doll Crush Pallete in the video. If you’d like to purchase this pallete, check her out here: https://dollcrushbeauty.com/ and add her on Instagram too cause sometimes she gives out discount codes. 🙂

Know of any other Brunei cosmetics brands? Let me know! 🙂

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In the Movies: Joko Anwar’s Pengabdi Setan

Oh boy, I love my horror movies. In fact I pretty much only exclusively watch horror movies.

I don’t know what it is: the adrenaline rush, the suspense, the crazy makeup, or what?

Anyway, after IT this was my first foray to the cinema for a horror movie.

I LOVE IT.

But first:

If you are planning to watch the latest version of Pengabdi Setan, I recommend you watch the older version first!

Here, I’ll wait.

The 1980s version is a highly meme-able movie, with memorably corny lines and superficial storyline which is much like most horror movies in the era.

In fact, I find it iconic of the era – the non stop on screen smoking (perhaps a heavy sponsorship from Djarum?), the cars and the house, the party Rita attended (in true 70s style), Darminah’s krebo hair, the blatant disregard of Islamic values and the comically frequent closeups!

If nothing, the movie imprints our mind with the first 10 minutes showing Muslim funeral proceedings in full detail.

It’s a movie worthy of the 80s. More importantly, it sets the background for the current version.

The current version of Pengabdi Setan is not a continuation of it, but rather a reboot. What that means basically u don’t need to watch the old one to understand the new, but there are certain parts of the movie you catch where it is an homage to the old version.

I caught some noteworthy ones:

SPOILER ALERT! BANYAK SPOILER BERABIS DI DUNIA! DAN GAMBAR BARITAKUT!

Continue reading →

How to Renew Your Passport

As a Bruneian, we have one of the stronger passports in the world – ranked 23rd by Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index. As such, we are eligible for visa-free travel to a total of 151 countries including US (only ESTA needed), the EU. So I'm super psyched to be a holder of one 😂

However, call me weird but one of those things that gives me terrible anxiety are stuff like renewing passports.

On the night before I usually obsess about how I need to be there at 7am before they open so that they don't run out of queue numbers, terrorise everyone about why can't I do this online? Why this? Why that? People are going to stare at me cause I dunno anything, will there be labels telling me where to go and if I'm in the right place? 😂😂😂

Introvert problems.

So today I finally went to renew my passport and it went really well, haha!

However, for people with the same kind of documentation anxiety as me, I've compiled a step by step guide on how to do it.

STEP ONE: Make an appointment.

Did you know that you now can make an appointment for passport renewal?

All you have to do is simply call their number at 2381856 or 2382257 between 830am to 1130am to book a slot convenient for you.

Remember though:

– Call at least a day earlier
– Come 15 minutes before your appointment
– Have all documentation ready

OR

STEP ONE: COME EARLY

HOWEVER! If like me, you didn't know about this whole appointment thing, don't worry!

Walk-ins are welcome too!

BUT! COME EARLY!

How early is early? Well, depends on you haha.

I came at about 840am on a Saturday and my number was 56. My friend was there at 730am and his number was 10. When I sat, he was just leaving.

So the earlier u are, higher chance u have of completing the process faster!

Note: There is a quota of how many walk in customers they can accept per day so on certain days if you come late, there may be a chance of u not being entertained.

STEP TWO: Make sure all your documents are ready

All you need is a:

  • Form – duly completed and signed (You can get this at the venue itself but if you like to fill them in early, you can download the forms available here)
  • Copy of IC
  • Copy of Passport
  • BND60

STEP THREE: Submit your form & then wait in line

The place to submit your form is at the Third Floor, the room on your far left.


There is a counter, and a friendly and helpful man who will assign u a number and assist you.

After that, you sit and wait for your name to be called.

Bring books, powerbank, knitting kit – the wait can take from 30 to 90 minutes or in my case, 1 hour.

STEP 4: Get your photo taken!

This part is le simple. The lovely staff will assist you.

First, you record your fingerprints on their digital scanner, and then, photo time!

FYI, the photo needs to have your ears visible and hey, smile!

STEP 4: Payment!

There will be a counter for payment and they will provide a receipt with pickup date.

STEP 5: Finished!

The passport will be done in 3 days. HOWEVER!

Look what came in by SMS at 422pm 😂

Well done to the Department of Immigration & National Registration for being awesome and efficient. 🙂

Hope this article helps you a bit with your passport renewing anxiety. 😂

Positively Fat

I am size 16 so I am what you call, fat.
I admit it’s completely my fault. Haha. I eat decadent things and find exercise extremely tedious.

However, sometimes people use my size as something to make me feel bad about myself. 

The thing is I was once skinny, but the same people deride me for being short. When I wear heels and look and feel taller, those same people will find offense in my voice, or teeth, or hair.


So as you can see, you cannot please people. 

You see, you can be perfect, and people will still find some way to make you feel bad. 

In fact, you can be perfect and YOU yourself find ways to make YOUR OWN SELF feel bad.

So I’m not entirely sure when, but about 10 years or so ago, I decided, enough. 

I may be fat, but that is not a reflection of my heart, all the good things about myself, or all the awesome things I’ve done and am capable of.


The more I observe the more I realise how people who call u names are more insecure about their looks than u are of yours.

I am what you call, confident. 

Why? Because I am relatively highly educated, laugh wholeheartedly every single day of my life, can eat exclusively delicious things, can travel wherever I want, doing what I love and have awesome friends & families who supports everything I do. 


If I ever have advice for u it is this: SNAP OUT OF IT.

Other people have absolutely NO, NIL, NADA, right to judge u and call you names. They don’t know how hard u work to look and be how u are today.

You don’t need negative voices telling u that you are fat, ugly, dark skinned, short. 

Even if u are all of those combined, remember that is not all you are – who says u can’t be smart, sexy, funny, generous, amazingly awesome and happy?


Trust me when the looks go, guess what – ur smartness, sexiness, generosity, awesomeness —- they’re here to stay!

A Walk around Kampong Ayer

Last week, me and bestie, supremely free and available, decided that we wanted to walkabout Kampong Ayer. 

Parked at Yayasan, and grabbed a water taxi to the other side – this costs 50 cents.


We requested to be dropped off at Kg Bakut Berumput cause that’s where Kunyit7 Lodge is. Alas the place was not open as Kem, the  lovely host, was out for a walking tour with guests.


So what are we to do? Go on a walking tour of our own of course! 


Armed with no bearing and directions, we walked towards the direction of the Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery – hoping that it’s open on a public holiday haha. (It’s not)


Along the way we saw houses ravaged by fire, houses thriving, and houses getting by.


Some houses have their boats parked up front. Some are undergoing renovations.


Life seems simple and very close knit. People sit on the porch of their houses (sometimes smoking) and watch people walking by. 

Shortly we arrived at the housing scheme of Kampung Lorong Sikuna. The houses are fabulous and super modern here and I’ve actually never realised of their existence. These houses, have permanent deeds (bergaran) unlike most houses in Kampong Ayer. 

We also discovered that the Ketua Kampong, Hj Ahmad, operates a homestay from his house…. which has a wedding dais. Also he has wedding costumes. 

Therefore:

So me besanding, with no hubby hahaha. 

He has plenty of trinkets from the past:


A quick glance on the FB page shows he gets plenty of tourists visiting.

The house is modern, but the things inside are uniquely traditional Malay. 

As we walked around we realised people have built their lives around the supposed “modern” houses. 

We can see inside the houses, are not much different than the normal wooden houses on the other parts of Kampong Ayer. Almost like the house is just a shell depicting modernity but hey inside they’re still clutching on to their traditions.

This one runs an interesting business out from the house – renting chairs for weddings and functions. They’re loading the chairs on that boat to be sent off somewhere.

Another operates a cafe.


Interesting glimpse into the lives of people living here. I cannot imagine the daily grind of buying groceries and lugging them from the boat to the kitchen (heavy!), buying gas, and how about going to work? 

Means early morning already need to go on the water taxi, where do they park? Gosh. It feels like so far away yet it’s literally just 1 minute boat ride from the city.


Finally our tour ended at this modern pier where another water taxi picked us up and sent us back to Yayasan. 

2016: Roundup, Highlights and Downlows

Did the year just zoomed pass? Hehe. December is here and 2017 is fast approaching – in less than 24 hours! I had so much fun this year so I’m going to try and list down some highlights for the year:

TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

#aegeanodyssey2016:

Our trip to the historic city of Ephesus, enigmatic Istanbul, breathtaking Cappadoccia as well as Athens, Greece.

What an amazing trip and what an experience!

Read all about it here:

#gdmaurinaKKoverlandtrail

This year, the husband and I, armed with Waze, for first time drove long distance to KK! How fun it is! The roads are very comfortable, the drive very easy and of course I love the company. 🙂

Stayed at very comfortable Ming Garden Hotel, KK. 🙂

#TRIPOFWONDERS

I CANNOT get over this trip. The journey, sponsored by Tourism Indonesia, sees us jetting all over from Jakarta, Lombok, Banyuwangi, Makassar & Bandung!

I CAN’T believe I managed to climb a freaking volcano I REALLY CAN’T!

Read all about my trip here:

#53SHADESOFBANGKOK

Back in Bangkok again this year but this time, with my favourite colleagues!

How amazing that we managed to catch the Elle Men Bangkok Fashion Week!

That super duper awesome fine dining experience at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon!

That DURIAN BUFFET at Emquartier!!!!

Everytime I come to Bangkok it is different!

For more photos, check out: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/53shadesofbangkok/

#KualaLumpurI’mBack

A solo trip for work, but hey that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy! Took the time to catch up with friends and eat!!!

Some highlights:

MORE photos on my instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/maurinatravel2016/ 

STAYCATION HIGHLIGHTS

#gotemburong

So glad I went on this trip!!! Collaborated with Brunei Tourism for this awesome weekend package and stayed in a campsite!

Read more about it here:

THE EMPIRE HOTEL & COUNTRY CLUB

Scenic place for photos plus always a lovely place to enjoy a staycation 🙂

BANDAR WATERFRONT

Generally very hot to hang out here, but late afternoons, I love to take photos here!

Of course not to forget Bandarku Ceria (car-free Sunday events) held every Sunday in Bandar Seri Begawan.

JERUDONG PARK & WATERPARK

SERIA BEACH, OIL & GAS DISCOVERY CENTRE & BILLIONTH BARREL MONUMENT

PANTAI TANJONG BATU, MUARA

A newly discovered beach! Find the simpang on the left as soon as u enter Muara after the first roundabout from highway.

DEVICE HIGHLIGHTS

Hahahahahahaha!!!!! I’m so tired of writing this post already!!!!

But I also wanted to say that my life has changed after the purchase of this device! 

Hahahahahahah

I love it! Ok that’s all.

This has been the most wonderful year. Next year I look forward to more travels, and more new experiences.

FOR NOW, HAPPY NEW YEAR AND MUDAHAN AKU KURUS TAHUN DEPAN! AMIN!

Choose to be Happy

Today I found an article about choosing to be happy:

Sebenarnya, bahagia tidaklah butuh alasan. Kamu bahagia karena kamu ingin bahagia. Kamu tidak bahagia karena kamu tidak ingin bahagia. Sesederhana itu. Kamulah satu-satunya orang yang memegang kendali atas perasaanmu, jangan biarkan kebahagiaanmu terpatok pada seseorang atau sesuatu.

Roughly translated, it means, 

“Happiness does not need a reason. You are happy because you want/choose to be happy. You are unhappy because you choose to be unhappy. It’s as simple as that. You are the only one driving/controlling your state of happiness, and it is not dependent on someone or something.”

I find that so beautiful and deep in its simplicity. 

How to choose to be happy? By being content and grateful. 

Surely if one is never grateful then, she can have a million things from her list of wants and can never be satisfied. 

Alternatively if you have nothing, yet you are grateful in your nothingness- you are choosing to be happy. In some magical way, you are strangely fulfilled in your state of incompleteness.

Happiness should not be pegged to something that may or may not happen, something that have or have not happenned. 

Happiness should be free from material.

It should exist from within you. It is your choice. 

You are the driver of your own happiness.