Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tommee Tippee for baby and you

I don't have children of my own right now, but I do look forward to the time when I do and I'm learning all I can by being an observer of my close friends and their babies. I'm quite lucky in the sense that their children are close in age - all under two right now - so I sometimes join in the mommies group as they trade tips and tricks on bringing up baby.

One of the hot topics in the beginning was breastfeeding. I now know that it's a tough challenge to want to breastfeed your baby as long as possible and even more so when you're a working mother. Their stories of trying to find time to express milk in the office have made me think twice about what I want to do when the time comes, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Then after the breastfeeding time there has to be a time of weaning and that's another huge responsibility for mommy. The transition from a purely milk diet to semi-solids and then solids can be a trying time for some, like my friend whose daughter seems to prefer milk over any kinds of solids. I do believe she's tried nearly every trick in the book - from tricking her baby with different types of food and tastes to cajoling and even buying pretty cute bibs and cutleries to tempt her toddler to eating instead of demanding for milk.


I personally like the Tommee Tippee range of cute bibs and sipper cups and the toddler weaning kit seems to be the perfect pressie for the special little one in your life. Why Tommee Tippee? Well, they've been UK's leading baby accessories brand from over 50 years and hey, I used stuff from them when I was a babe too. It's a pity that it isn't more readily available in Malaysia, but if you can get your hands on 'em elsewhere, I'd definitely recommend you do so.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Malaysia Year End Sale (2007)

We (Malaysia) wanna be known as a better shopping paradise than our Northern and Southern neighbours so we have nationwide sales thrice yearly. Of course, we must end the year with a big bang, so some brilliant chap came out with the Malaysia Year End Sale (2007 edition). That is great news for locals and tourists alike because that means sales, sales and more sales. And sales mean discounts! *grin*

Photo credit to

Beyond the normal sales discounts, tourists can get additional privileges by showing their passports and selected shopping malls will have later closing hours. So shopoholics, get your shoes and wallets ready and shop til you drop!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Do you shop til you drop?

I saw this quickie quiz on my shopping buddy Giddy Tiger's site and naturally, I couldn't resist taking it too. I don't think the results are that accurate for me because...

You're a Window Shopper!

You know that shopping's a blast, but you prefer to save your money
You hardly ever give into an impulse buy, unless it's a total steal
You've always got the most money of your friends - and you never have to borrow
And you've got a nice wardrobe too ... of classic pieces that last years!

~ I window shop a lot. A whole lot. Like every Saturday and Sunday I do nothing more than haunt the shopping malls. Which in turn leads to temptation to buy stuff that I don't need.

~ So yes, I do impulse buy stuff on a regular basis but hey, they're always total steals! I never pay full market price if I can help it.

~ Hurhurhur. I shall take it as a prophecy that I have got the most money of my friends and that I'll never have to borrow to shop.

~ Yes, my wardrobe is full of classic pieces that I can wear for donkey years, which made my mother comment that I have the wardrobe of a 40 year old. Ha!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The new Nokia N82


Have I found my new love? I know it's a little too soon, seeing as how I got my Nokia N80 baby in August and am honor bound to keep on using it for at least a year... but just reading about the specs of this latest phone from Nokia on
Colbert's blog makes me drool and sets my heart aflutter with anticipation. I can't wait to see the real thing once it's launched...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Everyday Minerals Multi-Tasking Concealer

Yes, after so long, I finally got down to checking out my mineral makeup purchase from Everyday Minerals. I was somewhat thwarted from initial plans to review it straightaway by a minor breakout on my cheeks, so I decided to err on the side of caution and wait until it had subsided before I tried out something new on my skin.


So far I've only test run one product - the
Multi-Tasking Concealer - and am glad to say that my experience is quite alright. As mineral makeup comes in loose powder form, I first had to get myself a proper tool. It so happened that I was at an Elianto cosmetics stall so I picked up their Foundation Brush (which I hope to review later on) as it seemed to be the right size for the teeny tiny Everyday Minerals pot. Getting the mineral powder onto the brush in the right amounts proved to be a little tricky at first as there is a secondary tray under the lid of the pot. I got around this by shaking it upside-down with the lid screwed on tight then sweeping the brush around the tray to pick up the mineral powder. Perhaps a little powderpuff would have worked better for me, but that's just my opinion.

The mineral powder is pretty fine and the foundation brush worked like a charm to pick it up and dust it onto my face. I'm not much of a makeup fan, preferring to go natural where possible and also keep the appearance of having applied any makeup at all to a bare minimum, so my routine was pretty simple. Dust on the Multi-Tasking Concealer where needed, apply a slight touch of blush to the cheeks, draw in my brows (a must for Asians, unfortunately) and a light touch of lipgloss and I'm good to go. The mineral powder went on quite well, and didn't show up as glaringly as my Maybelline loose powder used to do in the facial lines besides the nose and under the eyes. In fact, you could hardly tell that it was there. I still had a bit of redness and spots from the breakout and perhaps because it's a concealer (I've yet to try it in conjunction with the foundation powder), it did work quite well in minimizing the redness and covering up the spotty areas. But I do qualify my statement by saying that it wasn't a really bad breakout, just bad enough to be visible without any concealment.

The color of the concealer seems to suit my skin tone well - I could hardly tell that I was wearing any make-up on. However it should be considered that I didn't really layer it on, just a light dusting all over and a little more on the red spot area on my cheek. So far so good and I'm going to try the other foundation colors next!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How to shop smarter

When one is a fervent shopper like I am, you will most probably look for ways and means to get the best deal for your money. My favorite tricks are to shop only during sales times, compare prices a lot and use discount cards or coupons if I have them. Some of the best coupon discounts can be found whilst online shopping; compared to the few coupons you can find in the newspapers or leaflets circulated to houses.

Some of the online discount codes that I'm just hankering to use are from
Classic Closeouts. With top name designer fashions going at 85% off plus less $10 and free shipping, what's not to love? It doesn't matter to me that the fashions may be at the season's tailend or perhaps one season later. I go for classic stuff that doesn't follow the seasons (it's not very practical to do so in tropical Malaysia).

Plus I like this coupon code from
Benefit Cosmetics that promises 2 free gifts with every purchase. I love free stuff even more than discounts. *grin* I suppose I'll eventually get around to getting their Georgia or Dandelion powders after reading good reviews about them.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Shoe Fetish #002

Another pair of shoes bought during the recent sales last month... again from Vincci. Was out shopping with a good girlfriend of mine and she basically encouraged me to buy this pair as I did the same for her with another pair. This time, 50% off the original price of RM75.90 meant that I only paid RM37.95 for it. At first I was afraid that the tri-color stripe at the side would mean that it would be hard matching it to my clothes, but I find that the maroony brown color goes very well with quite a number of outfits - it looks like I had specifically bought matching outfits when I didn't! So, a bargain overall and a welcome addition to my Imelda Marcos collection of shoes. Heh.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

When it's hard to find jeans that fit

I don't know if this is a problem that affects almost everyone universally, but I find it such a pain in the butt (literally!) to find jeans that fit me. Every time I try on a pair of jeans, it's like playing a game of chance... the waist fits and the length's wrong. Or the hip part fits but I can't button it! LOL. I was out shopping yesterday and by chance I managed to find a pair on sale that fit just right. (The only catch is, I cannot put on any more weight la.) So of course I bought it!

I like this pair...

If money were no object and if I could fit myself in, I would love a pair of jeans from the brand seven for all mankind. You know, the one that outfits stars like Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Duff. (I hear Britney wears their jeans too.) Women just rave about how comfortable and how well their jeans fit and how flattering the cut is. There's a whole range at to drool over, plus if you're intending to do a little online shopping, do remember to make use of their online stylist to help you choose the right ones that fit you.

Men are not forgotten either. Have you ever heard of the brand
nudie? Kinda makes me think of nudist beaches. LOL! But apparently, nudie jeans are a cool brand to have too.

So, what are you waiting for? Go strut your stuff in jeans now!

Friday, November 2, 2007

I Disclose

This policy is valid from 01 November 2007

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact Rinnah Lee (rinnah dot lee at gmail dot com).

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content will always be identified.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Step One on the PageRank ladder

Yes, my humble little blog, Rinnah's Marketplace, has managed to step up to PR1 on the PageRank ladder. I have to admit that I haven't really been paying much attention to this blog, but just letting it grow by itself slowly. No more! It's time to up the pace and really let this blog shine! Now to motivate myself to go for PR2!

Also, I just realized that I've passed three months and twenty posts for this blog, which means that I can finally take the step of monetizing it! More moolah coming my way... ka-ching!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Shoe fetish #001

This is but one out of the many new pairs of shoes I have indulged myself in during the recent sale season. I call this pair my 'pseudo' Aldo shoes. *grin* Why? Because I saw a somewhat similar style in the Aldo store at KL Pavilion recently and lusted after it. So, this is the next best thing lor. Heh.

Bought from Vincci, the original price is RM69.90 less 20% for a final sales price of RM55.92 which is a fraction of the price I would pay for the Aldos and a pretty good substitute, I think.

What's your shoe fetish?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Discounts at Times Bookshop

Note: Received this tip-off from Angel's blog.

If you're a voracious reader like I am, you'll be glad to know (if you don't know already!) that you can get a 10% discount at Times Bookstores in Malaysia with your Jusco card. If that isn't an excuse to go out and buy one more book, I don't know what it is! *grin*

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It's here! It finally arrived...

Yes, my free sample kit from Everyday Minerals has finally arrived, after one false alarm (the first shipment never arrived) and 1 1/2 months later. Better late than never, in my opinion!

At first I was worried that the makeup might have spilt because the idiot postman hurled the envelope into my garden, but thankfully it was all intact. This is how it looks like when it arrives.

Note that it comes with a color chart of their product so that if you're going to order another round, you can follow the chart instead of peering at the colors online.

The sample kit consists of three shades of foundation, one concealer and one blush. Since I'm quite fair, I followed Paris Beaverbanks' suggestion of picking the lighter colors when selecting foundation online. I ended up with the following colors:

~ Cool - Fair Medium foundation in Semi-Matte formula
~ Cool - Sandy Fair foundation in Semi-Matte formula
~ Cool - Multi-Tasking Neutral foundation in Semi-Matte formula
~ Multi-Tasking Concealer
~ Apple blush or face color

I love how cute it looks in the mini jars. Cute is always a plus point in my book, but I have to wonder how easy it's going to be dipping a brush in there to get the powder out.

I'll be reviewing the product itself next, but do bear in mind that I'm no expert on makeup nor mineral makeup, so I'd suggest you take my review with a pinch of salt, k?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Where's my purchase? - Part Two

Remember my earlier post that wondered where my mineral make-up had disappeared to? Well, the good folks at Everyday Minerals came back to me last week, saying that my shipment had probably gotten lost in the mail, and very kindly offering to refund me. *grin* I like how they promptly offered the refund without my asking for it, and that's customer service to me. (Or maybe they just didn't think it was worth it to re-process my order? LOL!)

Anyway, I asked if they could re-process my order again, since I really, really, really want to try out mineral makeup. That was last week, so hopefully in two weeks' time I'll be able to update that the package is with me, safe and sound!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lancome Miracle perfume

My first post on what I want, and not what I already have! LOL!

Anyway, I was browsing the Lancome counter in The Gardens when I smelled the loveliest fragrance. Where did it come from? The counter salesgirl, naturally. I didn't ask her right there and then what fragrance was she wearing, but as I was walking away, I thought, why not ask? So I trotted back and asked her. Her reply?

Lancome Miracle perfume

She was also kind enough to spritz my wrist with it so I could go figure out if I like the scent. I like it better once it has settled down, and yes, this perfume is going on my wish list of things to get! However, since I rarely (if ever!) use perfume, I think I shall get one of those perfume miniatures instead of a whole big bottle.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Attention shoppers

This may be of interest to those with shopping or beauty themed websites or blogs. New blog directory Myzaak seems to specialize in listing blogs that fit into shopping or beauty categories and offers to list your site for free in return for a reciprocal link.

As they are still new, I'm not sure how effective this will be, but if you don't mind putting up your site for a bit more traffic, give it a shot.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A penny saved...

... is a penny earned.

shopping kaki Giddy Tiger wants to know the bestest bargain I ever got for RM10. That's pretty hard for me to do, seeing as how most of my stuff costs more than that. LOL! But, fear not, I have some things that are cheap and good, so I shall oblige.

My personal pick is something that gives me great enjoyment for a long period of time. I picked up this book from Borders' bargain books section and fell in love with it straightaway because I had tried to write something similar when I was younger. And, at exactly RM10, it fits the bill perfectly for this tag. Hehehe.

~ Start Copy ~

Name something you have bought that was worth every penny you spent, and add it to the list below. Feel free to spice it up with a photo or two. The catch is that the amount must not exceed 10 units in whatever currency you are using.
e.g. If you shop in Malaysia, list down something good you’ve bought for RM10 or less. If you shop in US, list down something you’ve purchased for RM10 or less.

1. Gorgeous ethnic earrings from Beadszone (3 pairs for RM10) -
Kaki Shopping
2. Time Stops For No Mouse (book) from Borders @ RM10 -
Rinnah's Marketplace

~ End Copy ~

Now, who else is a shopping kaki who would indulge me this meme? I pick...

Pink Elle
Simple American
Little Miss May

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Where's my purchase? - Part One

On 31 August 2007, I wrote about my latest purchase of a free sample kit from Everyday Minerals. I've been patiently waiting and waiting since then, but to-date it has yet to arrive at my doorstep.

The website of
Everyday Minerals says that I should allow for 2 days for the processing of my order and between 8 - 15 days for the International Shipping. Now these are business / working days, which means that weekends are excluded. By my calculations, my sample kit should have arrived on 25 September 2007.

On 25 September 2007 I sent an enquiry email to Everyday Minerals using the email address provided in the PayPal receipt (everydayminerals [at] austin [dot] rr [dot] com). I waited, and today, 2 days later, I still haven't received any reply. So I have sent another email to the shipping email address of Everyday Minerals (shipping [at] everdayminerals [dot] com).

Let's see if I get any response this time. I really, really want to have a good experience with purchasing online with them!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How to shop better in 100 tips or less

Since my very good friend Giddy Tiger opened up a new blog on shopping, I thought it would be nice to give her a little "house-warming" gift. In the form of a tag, of course!

~ Start copy ~

It's very simple. When you receive this tag, copy the whole list and add your own shopping tip to the bottom and pass it on.

1. Wear comfy clothing when you're shopping. You don't wanna fuss with too many laces and buttons when you're trying clothes on.

~ End copy ~

Now, GT, I present to you this tag for Kaki Shopping! Happy blogging!

I'd also like to pass this on to:

Paris Beaverbanks at All About Shopping
Pink Elle at Pink Elle Reviews

Friday, September 21, 2007

Nokia N80 Internet edition phone review - Part Three

This is Part Three (the final part) of my Nokia N80 review. You can see Part One and Two here.

Games, office and surfing

I haven't really explored the games on my phone to date but it did come bundled with the Spanish version of the Sims for mobile phones. Pity that it was only a demo version, so the game automatically ends after a few minutes. Not that I minded much anyway, because there wasn't anything to do with the Sim except make it go to the loo a lot. LOL!

There are a number of office applications bundled with the phone like notes, Adobe reader, calculator and others but I seldom use them too. So, any office users out there who want to comment?

Ahhh... we come to my favorite part of the review. Surfing the Internet! Woot! No as I've mentioned previously, the whole reason why I wanted this phone was because of its Wifi capability. I specifically got the N80 internet edition because I had read that they had bundled a mobile browser that was specially optimized for surfing. And let me tell you... it rawks! Even my Dad commented that surfing on my phone was far better than surfing using his PDAs - the O2 and the Dopod 818 Pro. Scrolling thru a webpage is a breeze with the mini-map application that lets you jump to wherever you want to go. Surfing speeds are also significantly faster when we are testing out the phone vs. PDA at the same wireless spot. But... there is one drawback to the N80 - the range of wireless reception is not as sensitive at the PDA phones. I have to be nearer the Wifi spot to be able to detect and connect, and in a place with overlapping multiple access points, the N80 detected fewer access points compared to the Dopod 818 Pro.

Overall, a good phone for those who will make use of its features (especially the wifi!). If you're looking for a normal phone or a really good camera / video phone, I'd suggest you look at other brands / models.

What I like about it:
Wifi capability, Internet browser optimized for surfing, 3 megapixel camera with inbuilt flash and dual shooting modes

What I don't like about it: Battery runs out rapidly, seems a little sluggish in response, erratic wifi pick-up signal, no autolock feature, bulky

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tesco Clubcard

If you've been to Tesco recently you would have noticed that they have stopped offering Bonuslink points for shopping at their stores as at 23 August 2007 and instead introduced their own inhouse loyalty card called Tesco Clubcard. I found out about this over the Merdeka weekend and at first thought about signing up for it: a) Because it's free; and b) Because we do a fair bit of shopping at Tesco. Then after some thought, I decided against it. Why? Because what they offered just wasn't good enough to entice me to sign up.

You can only collect points at Tesco and no other place. Unlike Bonuslink, where I can collect points at Parkson and Shell, just to name the two places where I do my shopping. And, I can accumulate my Bonuslink points to redeem free stuff, like the Panasonic Dect cordless phone we just redeemed two weeks back. But what does Tesco do? They send you a rebate voucher for the amount of points that you are entitled to every quarter. As you get only 1 point for every RM2 you spend there, it's not that much in my opinion. Let me prove my point.

My family shops on average, say RM75 at Tesco every week. Over three months in the quarter, that works out to RM900. Being given 1 point for every RM2 spent means that I've accumulated 450 points. Sounds like a lot? Not really. Each point is worth RM0.01 or 1 sen only. So for spending RM900 at Tesco, I get back a rebate voucher for RM4.50.

Worth your time and effort to shop at Tesco using the Tesco Clubcard? I really don't think so. Not for me anyway.

For more about the Tesco Clubcard, please visit their local website

Monday, September 10, 2007

Nokia N80 Internet edition phone review - Part Two

Part Two of my Nokia phone review! You can see Part One here.

Sound and Sight
The speakers and sound quality is rather good, especially when compared to both my Dad's O2 and Dopod 818 Pro. The N80 renders clear sound, and my only gripe with it is a lack of bass. Some songs with a thumping bass riff and drums turned into lite versions of their former selves. LOL. But since merely having the ability to play mp3s with the phone is a bonus for me, I was not too chuffed about it. However, running the music player (or video player) on low sound (around 30 - 40% strength) seems to drain the battery more rapidly than I expected - I had to recharge the phone after 1 1/2 days of use (and even faster if I have been surfing).

One thing that puzzled me (and still is puzzling me!) is how to get the phone to recognize mp3 files as ringtones. The phone comes with the predownloaded Nokia pack of ringtones that can be selected through the Profile menu, but mp3 files stored on my Mini SD card were not recognized as such to enable ringtone selection. You can only select ONE mp3 tone as your main ringing tone through the gallery menu and this is set for all profiles, meaning you can't customize it further to suit your liking. This kinda bothers me because I'm the type who likes to assign different tones for different people / groups. Not being able to expand my SMS and clock alarm tones from the standard Nokia tunes also turn me off a bit.

Playing MTVs using the N80 also rendered reasonable graphic quality, although faster moving scenes would be blurred around the edges. As the phone isn't a tv, I don't expect crystal clear moving pictures from it, so this wasn't much of an issue for me. Folks who like to play lots of MTVs and shoot their own videos should opt for the N93 instead, which is optimized for that purpose.

The N80 boasts two cameras - a higher resolution camera in the back (main) and a lower resolution camera (secondary) in the front for video calling. Both cameras take both pictures and video and supports an image capture resolution of up to 2048 x 1536 pixels. Taking pictures with the N80 was a breeze, although I admit that I was more interested in clicking away rather than fiddling with the numerous shooting modes available. Testing normal picture taking and macro shots with the N80 showed accurate color rendition and high picture quality. A comparison macro shot of sushi by both my N80 ( 3.2 megapixel) and my dad's Dopod 818 Pro (2 megapixel) resulted in both pros and cons. The Dopod won out for being better able to focus on the sushi, but the N80 had better color rendition and picture clarity. (Or maybe it was the photographer's lack of skill in handling the N80. LOL!)

Having test run the N80 in a party-like gathering, the inbuilt flash garnered quite a bit of attention as my friends asked if I was carrying a camera or a phone! Haha. But the picture taking response is a bit too slow for my liking as I like to capture candid shots of people around me. A 2 second gap between when you depress the capture button and the saving of the actual shot results in people moving, unless of course, they are busy posing for you. Posed photos are clear and fine, but shots on the go are blur and grainy.

Part Three is coming up soon!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Want to try mineral makeup for (almost) free?

As a female, I simply cannot resist shopping. For anything. And even though I don't wear makeup on a daily basis (due to highly sensitive skin), I still devour beauty magazines and blogs for the latest tips and reviews on that next product that will make me, well, more beautiful! And when you throw in the words FREE SAMPLE... well, I'm your customer. Heh.

Some random blog-hopping from
Paris Beaverbanks' All About Shopping! site led me to Viva Woman and to this entry titled: Free samples from Everyday Minerals. Yup, that got me hook, line and sinker.

Everyday Minerals really wants to get you to try out their product and since not everyone is interested in buying a full size product before they're really, really sure they like it, the folks there have come up with a free sample kit for you to try out a range of their stuff. Called their Free Sample Makeup Kit, you get small sample sizes (good for 3 - 6 applications) of 3 foundations, 1 blush & face color and 1 concealer. It's completely free, only you have to pay the international shipping cost of USD5.05. (Which for me is like writing one sponsored post. This is definitely NOT a sponsored post, okay?) In Malaysian Ringgit that works out to about MYR17.17 based on an exchange rate of 3.4.

I'm pretty keen to test run mineral makeup since it's supposed to be all natural and won't clog pores so I selected my colors, paid for the shipping cost and am now waiting for my samples to arrive!

p.s. You may also find
Paris Beaverbanks' review on mineral makeup to be rather enlightening. *grin*

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nokia N80 Internet edition phone review - Part One

Yes, as I've been going on and on for ages now, I got a new phone - the Nokia N80 Internet edition. When it first debuted, it was supposedly THE phone to end all other phones. That is, until the Nokia N95 and Apple's iPhone came out. Haha. Anyway, humor me by reading through my review, okay?

I wanted the Nokia N80 Internet edition for a couple of reasons. Uh, so it was actually only one reason. I lusted after a phone that had wifi capabilities and would allow me to surf to my heart's content (or as long as the battery lasted, whichever came first). Anything else that came along with the phone was simply a bonus in my books.

Phone Design
The N80 is a slider phone and a first for me as I've only used candybar phones all my life. While there were some complaints about springback problems in slider phones, so far I have not encountered any (or maybe they have remedied it by now). And this is despite opening/closing it several times a day.

The phone is a little bit chunky and is quite possibly the "fattest" phone built by Nokia. Bad news for the ladies - it doesn't fit into the standard mobile phone pockets sewn into handbags nowadays. It would fit into a man's shirt pocket, but then you'd get that hanging pocket look that doesn't exactly endear you to the ladies.

Because of its considerable size, the N80 looks and feels solid and secure. But I read a couple of user reviews that said it was rather delicate - i.e. should not be dropped. I didn't want to damage my precious, so I'm using a crystal case that I got from the vendor for free. The downside? The crystal case bulks it up even more, and feels a wee bit oily to the touch. It also keeps finger and palm prints very well too. Grrrrr.

I have had no problems with the buttons, seeing that I have regular sized fingers and I use a two handed style of texting. But one handed texting works just fine for me too although those with smaller palms might find it harder to reach the buttons on the side. The numerical buttons are lit up with blue light when you activate the phone by opening the spring slider, so you can text in the dark if you want to. My only gripe is the four-way directional button, which is silver and a bit dodgy to touch. It doesn't give a nice feel when you press it to select, and I worry that this button would eventually give out on me one day! (Especially when I use the phone to surf and scroll down a long webpage or something.) But that's just a minor gripe.

The screen is considerably large enough that you don't have to squint at it, and there is a secondary camera on top for video-calls. Because the N80 features a power save mode, there is a flashing blue light to indicate if the phone is on or off. I found the light to be both helpful as well as distracting. It helps me to locate the phone in the dark recesses of my bag, but the blinking blue light was so strong that I could see it dimly through the lining of my bag! Definitely an attention grabber in dark cinema halls. Heh.

On the sides you'll find the Mini SD card slot and dedicated camera button (no zoom button though) and on the back, the main camera. I didn't particularly like the fact that the plastic over lens is unshielded (no external cover) unlike other Nokia designs because you might accidentally scratch it unknowingly.

Operating System
The N80 uses the Series 60 interface, which is a great change from my old phone (even though it was a Nokia too). It took some getting used to and I found myself going around in circles on the menu for the first two days. After I got the hang of it, it wasn't so bad and I quite like the icons and menu setting. There are a number of background themes for you to use or you can choose the option of setting a picture as your wallpaper. I tried that at first, but reverted back to the pre-set background themes because I couldn't read the icons and menu when the picture showed! And maybe it is the reflective nature of the crystal case covering I am using, but I needed to change the light intensity to read the phone outdoors in bright daylight conditions. Works fine indoors and at night though.

On first start-up, I found the operating system sluggish to respond and I reasoned that it was probably because the battery wasn't fully charged then (this was when I was testing it at the vendor). Taking it home for the full 8 hour initial charge helped things somewhat, but until today, I don't feel that the system is running optimally. Opening / closing certain applications like the calendar or notes took a few seconds longer than I imagined it would take. Using similar applications on my mum's new Nokia 3110 Classic (also running the same OS) was significantly faster in comparison. However, the more often I use an application, the faster the phone seems to work.

You'll also want to tweak the menu around so that applications and programs which you use regularly are accessible from the main menu of the phone itself, without having to go into submenu levels. It took over two weeks of trial and error before I had my main screen user-friendly for me and I'm still rearranging some of the icons by number of times used so I can call it up quickly. But then again, different people work differently, so you may not find this affecting your phone usage. I'm still getting used to the different functions that the buttons have even after a month of owning the phone as I occasionally press the wrong button when I intended for something else instead.

Stay tuned for Part Two!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hush Puppies Happy Hour sales

As a recovering shopaholic who now limits herself to only whatever is truly necessary, I suppose one might be forgiven if I binge every now and then. It is unfortunate that the month of August is the Malaysia Mega Sale month, which means that every shop worth its salt will be having some form of sale. And I would be doing my fellow shopaholics a disservice if I didn't let them know about a truly great bargain, right?

Yesterday, I didn't have to be coaxed to part with some of my hard-earned moolah at the Hush Puppies Happy Hour sales. What's the big deal about this sale? Nothing much except that the good folks at HP decided to reward you for shopping there with a further discount on top of the already discounted price. How does that work out? Take for example a top costing RM99.90 at 50% discount. That's RM49.95. Now tack on the happy hour additional 20% discount to the already discounted price of RM49.95. Your final purchase price? RM39.96. Is that a good deal or what?

There's a catch, of course. The catch is that the additional discount can only be gotten during the pre-set "happy hour", which was between 4.00pm - 5.00pm yesterday. And, the additional 20% discount doesn't apply to all items, just selected ones. As normal, let the buyer beware. :o)

The Hush Puppies Happy Hour sales will be running daily until 02 September 2007 at the Subang Parade outlet (not sure if other outlets also have this promotion).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My VMI experience - Part Three

In Part Two of my VMI experience, I blogged about purchasing my VMI card. In Part Three here, I use the VMI card to make my first withdrawal.

My VMI card came by PosLaju the day after Michael mailed it out. Extremely efficient, both Michael and PosLaju! Inside, I found the VMI card, terms and conditions and instructions on how to confirm registration of the card online. When you purchase the VMI card from the reseller, you have to provide your personal details to them so that they can register the card for you online with VMI and email back to you the online confirmation. Once you have your physical VMI card with you, you will need to log-on to the VMI website and do a very simple confirmation with the confirmation number in the letter under the card. Once you have confirmed with this number, VMI will prompt you to choose both a password (6 digit) and PIN number (4 digit) that will be used in future to access your accounts. These are very important numbers, so don't forget it!

Upon confirming my VMI card, I logged into PayPal and added my VMI card as my US bank account. It went smoothly, and I transferred an initial sum of USD70 to try it out. Why USD70? Because I wanted to withdraw USD50 as an experiment, and you need to keep USD10 in your VMI account at all times, and USD10 to cover the cost of miscellaneous fees. The account will be credited with your transfer within 2 - 3 working days and it should be noted that no matter how much you transfer at any one time, VMI charges a transaction fee of USD3. Also, when you withdraw your monies from the ATM, VMI also charges a flat fee of USD5 so you should think carefully when you actually decide to make a withdrawal.

I made my transfer on Sunday night and checked my account on Thursday and voila, my money was there. On Saturday I headed to the ATM machine at CIMB Bank and with great anticipation, used my VMI card to withdraw RM170 or approximately USD49+, just under USD50. And yes, it worked! I couldn't believe I was holding on to the crisp new ringgits earned from my part-time blogging.

So yes, VMI does work for me (and well, I might add!) and I'll be using this in future to withdraw my earnings. If you're thinking of getting the VMI card yourself, be sure to read and understand the fees as well as the terms and conditions.

For an excellent pictoral step-by-step guide of how to add VMI to your PayPal and the withdrawal process, please visit Hong Kiat's blog here.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My VMI experience - Part Two

In Part One, I blogged about why I chose VMI and their local affiliate. In Part Two here, I will blog about my experience in purchasing the VMI card.

Having decided upon the Malaysian affiliate for easier contact, I was pleasantly surprised by the speed of response to my email enquiry by Michael Choong. Not only did he confirm that he was a supplier of the VMI card in Malaysia, he also provided me with the latest promotional rates of VMI as well as the registration form in his initial email. At that point of time (25 July 2007), VMI was running a promotion where each card was sold at USD 28 (normal price USD 30) inclusive of free shipping within Malaysia by Pos Laju. He promised immediate posting of the card on the same day as payment, meaning that I could get my hands on the card within 1 - 2 business days of confirming my order.

I had only one burning query - could he confirm that the VMI card was suitable for use with the PayPal account? Michael reassured me that there were Malaysians who had managed to withdraw their PayPal funds with the VMI card as recently as yesterday. With that assurance in hand, I decided to go ahead and place my order for the VMI card in order to take advantage of the reduced price promotion (which was until 31 July 2007). Michael accepts payment via PayPal, and on the same day that I made my payment and returned my completed registration form, he sent me an email to say that the package was on its way and that I should receive it the following day (which was a Saturday).

And sure enough, the Pos Laju envelope arrived on Saturday. So far, so good!

In Part Three, I register my VMI card and perform a money transfer. That's coming right up!

p.s. If you are interested in getting the VMI card from Michael Choong, please do let him know that I referred you - my email is rinnah.lee[at] - there is a small commission involved for me! *grin*

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My VMI experience - Part One

Part of the reason why I blog is so that I can make money. Money, moolah, dinero, dollar, yen, rupee... it's all about the $$$. I like to write and if I'm paid for doing so, great! Now most of my blog-for-money efforts are paid for using PayPal. I'm paid in USD and PayPal is a good system that's secure (I haven't heard of any fraud cases happening yet!). But the thing about PayPal is that it's so secure, I can't touch any of my money in there. This is because PayPal only recognizes banks from certain countries ( e.g. Singapore) or a US bank account. And therein lies the problem for Malaysians using PayPal. Unless you happen to have bank accounts in the approved countries, all you can do is look at your money as it exists only online. But... there are ways to get around this PayPal system. There are a number of ways you can do it, but I'm going to blog about my experience with VMI.

What is VMI? VMI stands for Virtual Money Inc
, a US bank (Southwest Bank) backed international debit card. Using VMI as your US bank account, Malaysian PayPal users can then transfer money from PayPal to VMI and use the local ATM machines to withdraw their hard-earned cash. Sounds simple enough? It is.

My VMI journey started on 25 July 2007, while I was searching for the cheapest and easiest way of getting my PayPal monies. A number of Malaysian bloggers had blogged about the methods they use (HSBC, e*trade, VMI, 3rd party transaction) but what made me choose VMI was Hong Kiat's blog entry on how easy it was to use VMI. I'm always looking for the easiest (but legal!) way out. No sense in making things any tougher for yourself, right?

There were a number of people who were VMI affiliates, so I emailed two or three of them to judge the speed of response. They were all super prompt (amazing!) but in the end I chose a Malaysian affiliate. Might as well have a local whom you can contact in case of any trouble.

And how did the first contact go? That's in Part Two...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Brides of Prairie Gold by Maggie Osbourne

It figures that the first thing being hawked for sale here is a romance novel. LOL! Yeah, I have shelves of books to clear out to make room for more! I picked up this book on a whim a couple of years back at the MPH warehouse sales and am selling it as my bookshelves are simply bursting! As it's a secondhand book (me first-hand mah), the condition is not as perfect as my other books, but it still sports an uncreased spine and pages free of marks or dog-ears. p.s. Although secondhand, looks way better than the books in Pay Less Books (just that pages are going slightly yellow. Sorry!).

This book could be classified as historical romance - think Little House on the Prairie grown up - and recounts the adventures of twelve women (mail-order brides, so to speak) discovering who they really are as they journey across America in a "bride train" to meet their future husbands in Oregon. Life on wagon wheels, encounters with bandits and Indians, fording streams, yup all the necessary ingredients for a traditional prairie book are here. Not forgetting the compulsory hero(s) and unconventional heroine(s). *wink* There are 12 women after all... ... ...

So this is the synopsis on the back of the book...

The twelve women from Chastity, Missouri, meant trouble for wagon master Cody Snow. He was used to transporting guns and whiskey, not mail-order brides. Then he looked into the beautiful, defiant eyes of Perrin Waverly, a woman who had a past as painful as his own, and discovered an even bigger problem - his own desire. Now when he yelled "Wagons ho!" he set into motion a perilous odyssey for these spinsters and widows, a seventeen-year-old innocent, a Missouri belle, and the wagon train's handsome half-breed scout. All of them had reasons for heading west; all had secrets. Now all would discover that the greatest dangers lay within the heart, and at journey's end, a few just might find love...

***Item description and price***
This book is secondhand, but still in good condition with an uncreased spine and pages free of marks or dog-ears. The pages are slightly yellowing though.

Going cheap for only RM6.00. :o)

***Payment terms***
Payment for items can be made by either online transfer to my HSBC account or PayPal account (account details will be emailed to the buyer). For cash bank-ins outside the Klang Valley, please add RM0.50 for outstation bank charges.

COD may be considered within Klang Valley. Elsewhere, postage / courier rates are as follows: West Malaysia from RM4 / Sabah & Sarawak from RM7 – dependant on size of item. (All charges include shipping, handling and postage.) Item will be well packed and sent out within one (1) week from date of payment clearance.

For further queries regarding payment / shipping please feel free to email me at rinnah.lee[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Marketplace is open for business!

Wheeling, dealing, and spinning. That's the nature of this blog. Rinnah will wheel, deal and spin about just about everything retail and services here.

To wheel
Is to promote any retail items or services for sale / consumption. Said items or services may or may not be sponsored posts but if it is, I'll be sure to let you know it is.

To deal
Is to shake hands on / seal a deal / make a contractual agreement for the items or services in any given blogpost.

To spin
Is to review (in my humble opinion, of course) items or services that I find interesting. Again, said items or services may or may not be sponsored posts but if it is, I'll be sure to let you know it is.

Comments, compliments or critiques can be sent to rinnah.lee[at]

So come on and wheel, deal and spin with me!