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America’s Most Desperate Kitchens: HGTV Asia’s The Cousins in Malaysia!

Comments (0) Events, Events, Party & Festivals, Featured Post

The highlight of my week was hanging out with The Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri – famed for their successful home makeover series like The Kitchen Cousins, Cousins Undercover, Cousins on Call, and their latest show debuting at 9pm tomorrow (Tuesday 26th April) on HGTV Asia – America’s Most Desperate Kitchens!

HGTV Asia (Astro TV Channel 731) got in touch with me to follow them around all day (like their local host if you will) on the Malaysian leg of their Asian tour to promote America’s Most Desperate Kitchens.

Man these guys have a gruelling schedule! I was up at 5:45am, and managed to fall thankfully into my bed 18 hours later past midnight. Their itinerary was jam-packed with radio interviews, media interviews, meet-and-greet sessions, visit to famous landmarks, discovering local food, promo event… everybody wanted a piece of these guys. Even the security guard outside Astro recognised them and said he watches their shows 😎

Having successful runs of season after season on HGTV for the past five years, The Cousins have made a name for themselves and worked with many others in the entertainment industry including Ellen DeGeneres and Khloe Kardashian (they designed her movie room).

HGTV Asia The Cousins in Malaysia John Colaneri Anthony Carrino-21

John Colaneri, me and Anthony Carrino

A bit of background on The Cousins, John graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in labor and industrial relations, while working as a laborer on summer breaks. He was involved in many aspects of the construction process before devoting his time fully to the family construction business, Brunelleschi Construction. Anthony co-founded Brunelleschi Construction with his father Alfonso in 2004. Prior to that he’d started his own web development company which catered to more than 30 clients by his senior year. He’s definitely got an artistic side in him!

Both The Cousins are self-taught designers whose “favourite part of the home is the kitchen ‘cos you can do so much,” said John.
“We’re big on functional design,” added Anthony.

Here are some Before and After pictures cos who doesn’t like looking at them!?
These are from their Kitchen Cousins show:

before-after-kitchen-makeover-the-kitchen-cousins-HGTV-1 before-after-kitchen-makeover-the-kitchen-cousins-HGTV-2 before-after-kitchen-makeover-the-kitchen-cousins-HGTV-3

I picked up lots of tips from them throughout the day from sitting in some of their interviews and just generally overhearing them answer a gazillion questions about redoing kitchens. Being a new homeowner myself who designed my own kitchen (and am still in the midst of further decoration in other parts of the apartment), i’m constantly looking out for new interior design tips and was greatly interested in learning whatever i could.

I was glad to know i was the same page with the basics of what i heard being repeated:
– Mix up textures used in a room (wood, metal, matte surfaces)
– Good to have a bright colour that pops, and not overpower/clash with everything else
– Lots of natural light

Being a duo that works on kitchens so much, it was inevitable that someone ask whether they cook.
And the answer is yes, they love cooking!
They even had a cooking show called Chill and Grill so they could share their recipes.

Looks like they’ve got all aspects covered when it comes to kitchens..!!!

Back to the beginning of our hectic day, it all started at Astro Broadcast Centre at Bukit Jalil where The Cousins had an interview with Lite FM hosts Anita and Steve.

HGTV Asia The Cousins in Malaysia John Colaneri Anthony Carrino-1 Lite FM interview Astro

Everyone had a grand old time jesting and laughing heaps, with a recorded challenge after the show.

HGTV Asia The Cousins in Malaysia John Colaneri Anthony Carrino-5 Lite FM interview Astro

Steve asked Anthony and John what they’d suggest for his upcoming kitchen.
I see what you’re doing here, Steve! Very clever 😏

The Cousins graciously and enthusiastically suggested white cabinets, glass tiles, matte black hood/appliances, and a wooden cabinet on one side for added texture.
A tip i thought very interesting was to bring the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling instead of just having a panel.


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Kittie YiYi FW16 Press Presentation

Comments (0) Fashion, Fashion, Style & Beauty

*Written by April and Baby*

Kittie Yiyi has always been known to be fun, quirky and colourful… all of which #KinkyBlueFairyTeam are advocates of! Looking back at her playful SS16 Somewhere Over the Skittles, it’s almost impossible not to feel happy!

For Fall/Winter 2016, Kittie reminisces her high school days with a collection entitled ‘Stand Up!’
“It all started with Kittie imagining herself as her high school classmates who all had different attitudes and styles even though they wore the same uniform.”
She wanted to explore the different characters and design pieces for each of them. This is also Kittie’s debut into the world of menswear.


Kittie Yiyi





The collection focuses on the joys and memories of being in school, reminding most of us who have already stepped into the responsible life of an adult (ugh…) of the innocence and mischief of our younger days.

I can just imagine everyone at KBF going “OMG you’re only 20!! What worries do you have??!! ”
Well, I feel 40 on the inside so whatever it doesn’t matter.


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I judged the La Maison Cointreau Finals Malaysia 2016

Comments (1) Alcohol, Featured Post, Food, Drinks & Desserts

I was engaged by Remy Cointreau International to judge the La Maison Cointreau Competition Finals Malaysia, which took place in Eau De Vie @ Nexus Bangsar on 7th March. In the hunt for the next La Maison Cointreau Asia Champion, the bartender/mixologist competition is held in several countries namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines & India.

Cointreau Finals Malaysia 2016-28

Here I am flanked by the other two judges for the Malaysia Finals: Karl Too, Co-Founder of speakeasy bar Omakase + Appreciate (ranked No. 10 in the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2016 list, making it the No. 1 bar in Malaysia); and Richard Gillam, Regional On-Trade Channel Manager of Remy Cointreau International.

How awesome is it that my work = tasting cocktails all day and grading them. 😆 And for such an established name in the industry too! If you are a drinker, you would know at least SOME of the brands RCI have under them: Triple Sec | Orange Liqueur Cointreau, The Botanist Gin, Mount Gay Black Barrel | XO Aged Rum, Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Single Malt Whisky, Port Charlotte Scottish Barley Peated and Octomore Scottish Barley 6.1 / 7.1 Single Malt Whisky, and Rémy Martin V.S.O.P. | CLUB Cognac.

For THIS particular mixologist competition however, participants were requested to specifically use Cointreau and The Botanist.

Part of me was excited to discover ways to create a cocktail at home with Cointreau (as i bought a bottle from the airport ages ago and never properly utilized it), and another part of me was slightly apprehensive on how i was to judge alongside these two EXPERTS in the mixologist industry. I mean, all i do to gain my so-called expertise is… drink a lot of cocktails :p

A larger part of me felt honoured to be part of the panel of judges, and took the whole thing very seriously. Wendy (Marketing Manager of Remy Cointreau International) said i looked a bit stressed while judging the cocktails. And i was like, of course i’m stressed! There were so many portions to each judging sheet to a person, and i didn’t want to just breeze through it without proper thought because a difference in a single mark could alter the course of someone’s career / future / life! 😵 How not to stress?! 

That day, 15 participants showed their talents in two challenges built to educate, inspire and help them develop new skills and talents.

Challenge 1: The Muse
The contending bartenders had to create an original cocktail featuring Cointreau as the heart of the cocktail (tho not necessarily as the base spirit) inspired by their favourite French muse.


Challenge 2: Foraged Mixology
Implementing foraging efforts into their creation of an original cocktail featuring The Botanist Islay Gin, foraging attempts included picking herbs/leaves/flowers found locally, and taking it a step or two further would be to process their foraged findings for essences or flavours.


For both challenges, the mixologists were encouraged to be as creative as they liked while using home-made ingredients/products. The judging criteria included presentation, relevance of their story behind the cocktail, brand knowledge, technique, taste, flavour, and ingenious usage of Cointreau/The Botanist.

Each participant had 2 mins prep time at the bar, then 8 mins to make their 2 cocktails (2 per cocktail – one for presentation and photography, the second split into 3 tasting portions for the judges). Time limit was strict, with Richard playing timekeeper.

And so it began!


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New Year’s Eve 2016 @ Awanmulan

Comments (0) Explore, Travel & Stay, Malaysia, Seremban, Stay, Travel

I’m playing a game called “let’s play catch up with all the life events you have failed to blog about in the past year”.
It’s draining but i’m starting to gain speed!

This is a post about how i spent NYE (i know it’s April now -_-).
Way back in September, i had the awesome foresight of booking Teratak Bonda at Awanmulan
cos i knew i didn’t want to go far for New Year’s (what with wanting to spend Christmas in KL)
and having just returned from Japan and London in the few months prior.

I sent an email out to a bunch of friends, and let it be on a first come first serve basis,
and it ended up being me, Jun, Tania, Jess, Danny, Deep and Aurora!

Jun and i stopped by the Seremban market on the way for lunch at the hawker centre upstairs! YUMS

Day 1 dinner – Jun did the food

Deep took charge over the bar.
He just opened his own bar called The Locker & Loft in Damansara Kim!
Think it was about time Deep. You drink more than anyone i know, blog about alcohol, founded the Malaysian Alcohol Consumer Rights Group, and countless other alcohol-related activities that shall remain censored.

I took charge over the… colourful stuff?


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Glam and Glam Lelaki Malaysia Party 2016

Comments (0) Events, Events, Party & Festivals, Featured Post

Thanks to GLAM for doing a personality feature of me in their magazine for the month of April! It’s always a pleasant surprise when a Chinese or Malay publication chooses to interview me seeing my blog is primarily in English, so squeak-a-squeak-squeak i feel honoured!

Styled by Suzie Adnan,
Shot by Bibo Aswan,
Make up by Sheng Saw.
And of course, story by Azza Farhana aka Hanna.

Interview_Joyce_Glam-1 Interview_Joyce_Glam-2

The mag had their #GlamandGlamLelakiFashionParty last week at Makespace in Quill City Mall, yet another new mall i’ve never stepped foot in.

Glam and Glam Lelaki Malaysia Party-10a


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