Monday, December 5, 2016

DIY : One Pan Baked Potatoes, Mushrooms and Beans

Hey y'all! 
I'm back again with another lazy easy healthy recipe for those who don't feel like eating meat and I have those days where I just feel like a vegetarian.

 As you all know I hate cooking but a girl's gotta eat. Thank God my family owns an oven!
So, I went out to do some grocery shopping as usual and started prepping for dinner. 

So here's what you need :
3 Large Potatoes (Diced)
Shiitake Mushrooms (Diced)
Long Beans (or String Beans, cut into 3/4)
1 Onion (Diced)
8 cloves of Garlic (Diced)
Olive Oil
Thyme (Dry)
Sea Salt (Or Kosher Salt) 
Black Pepper

Instructions :

1). Pre-heat your oven to 190°C.

2) Foil your tray or pan and add in your diced potatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic. 
Drizzle olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Bake everything for 40 minutes and make sure to toss in between.

3) Remove from oven and add in the beans . Drizzle a little bit of honey over it and toss well.
Bake it again for another 45 minutes and you're done!

* Note : You can drizzle a little bit of lemon juice on top of everything before serving but this part is optional.

I know it doesn't look as good as it looks but it taste really good!

This is a portion for 2 - 3 people.
Something really easy and healthy for those who are lazy like me. You even use this in your meal prep plan for the week as well.
You can even add in chicken breast into the recipe if you feel like having meat.

Do lemme know if you like this recipe and tag me on Instagram (@mikayuki_jin) if you made this and loved it!
I would love to hear what you guys think of this recipe and I promise to share more easy and healthy recipes soon on my blog!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mount Kinabalu Expedition 2016 (Part II)

(Day 3)

Didn't sleep much after dinner because it was too noisy in the dorm and also I was quite excited to hike up to the Summit so I ended up getting 3 hours of sleep when I was suppose to be getting a 7 hours of sleep. Eddy woke up to a headache while the rest of us were feeling restless.
Woke up at 1am to get ready for breakfast and also our hike.

Went to the dining hall and it wasn't as packed as its was during dinner time.
I'm guessing some decided to bail out or some decided to ascend a little later in the day.
We only ate a bit because we didn't want to feel sick later if we were too full.

After breakfast, we gathered outside to wait for our guide and that time it was 7 °C outside at 2.15am. We were all ready to go!
Weather was also good in the morning but it was really cold for me. Be sure to bring your headlamp for this hike.
Its really important or else you'll trip on the stairs or rocks. 

Unfortunately, Roy couldn't take photos on the way up because it was too dark but all I can tell you guys is that the sky were beautiful.
The sky was filled with stars like what you see on TV and lucky for us, it wasn't windy as well or else we'd freeze our butts off!

This photo is unedited as well.

He only managed to take photos when the sun started to rise a bit and the view was just too beautiful to resist.
At the same time, I was holding on to Roy's arm as I was about to give up. So close to the Summit but it was so cold!

I was struggling to breathe due to the cold and also the altitude but I kept pushing myself.
Everyone was being so supportive and kept telling me to go on because I was close (it was 1.2km away and it was the longest and coldest moment of my life I kid you not). Most of you know I really REALLY hate the cold and when the sun risen a bit, that's where the wind decided to pick up and I was about to panic because it was getting colder. 

Roy kept telling me I was so close to the Summit and this was the view from where I was. I heard people laughing and talking and I knew I was so close.
My heart was so happy but my legs and brain were telling me to quit. It was the most mentally and physically challenging moment I ever had and I was so close to crying. My knees were about to give up but I still pushed myself to reach the Summit. I even told Roy that I didn't care about the sunrise but I wanted to get up to the peak and that's it.

Here I am! 200m away from the peak! 

I was about to cry when I sat down behind the sign and also admiring the view and it was the most beautiful view I have ever seen!
I even thought to myself, it was worth the pain, the training and also sleepless hours!

Everyone here got me to the top and I can't thank them enough for all the motivation, encouragements and also to Roy,
for all the love and support to get me up there as he promised!

Wanted to do a short boomerang video but Roy's phone died so we ended up with photos on his camera only.
I was desperate to leave immediately because it was too cold and my legs are starting to cramp so we descended first.

Thank you love!


Only on the way down you will realize that there is a pond nearby.
According to Roy, this is a wishing pond and people usually make their wishes here and then throw a coin into the pond.
I didn't make any wishes because I just wanted to get down to Pendant Hut in Laban Rata

On our way down to Pendant Hut in Laban Rata.
There is a post office there where you can mail postcards and it cost Rm2.00 per piece.
The stamp for the postcard is really nice! It has a picture of the peak with the height measurements.
I would really suggest you do this at least once if you get the chance!

After Pendant Hut,
we got back to the dorm to pack our stuff and then made our way to the dining hall for breakfast before our final descend down to Timpohon Gate which..was..HELL! We left Laban Rata at 10.30am and halfway through the descend, my right knee was hurting really bad and the stairs were endless. I ended up limping on 1 foot with a hiking pole and what made the situation worse was it started pouring at Layang-Layang (4km check point). It rained so hard that everything I wore was completely soaked even with a poncho on. Even my bag pack was soaked. Not forgetting my waterproof shoes which in the end wasn't waterproof at all. 

100m away from Timpohon Gate, I started cursing at the remaining stairs going up to the gate! 
I swear I would never see stairs the same way again after this expedition. 

Soaked, cold and hungry and also very pissed off but glad I FINALLY MADE IT!
Got on a van back to Kinabalu National Park and went to the car.

Drove to the lodge where Eddy was staying (D Villa Lodge) and checked in immediately.
Thank God for extra dry clothes I packed for our final night in Kundasang.
Immediately ran to the bathroom to take a nice hot shower because I was literally shaking from the cold.
Had dinner at 4pm and tried staying awake until late but we ended up crashing at 7pm.

(Day 4)

Woke up at 6am with stiff legs, took a nice hot shower and had an amazing breakfast with a nice view of Kundasang right outside!
Made plans with the rest of the climbers to visit Borneo Mushroom to shop for some organic mushrooms and headed home after that.

Organic Shiitake Mushrooms (Rm14 per kg) 

Organic Oyster Mushrooms (Price N/A)

Freshest mushrooms I have ever eaten!
Cheap and fresh and I highly recommend those who love mushrooms to visit Borneo Mushroom.

After a long visit to Borneo Mushroom, finally it was time to head back!
I was so happy when I got home. Just when I thought the torture was over, I forgotten that my bedroom and bathroom were upstairs.
Cursing and swearing all the way up and on the way down.  After unpacking, doing my laundry and everything else that needs to be done,
I finally got to lie down on my bed and I was looking at my certificate and tag. I was really glad I did this.
All the pain was definitely worth it!

Got a little souvenir from the trip.
Blood clots on my big toes and the right side of my toe looked just like Australia had just invaded it.
I realized this only after 5 days and it doesn't hurt anymore.

For more pictures, click here!
For more pictures of Borneo Mushroom, click here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mount Kinabalu Expedition 2016 (Part 1)

Hey guys!
I'm back with another post and I am super happy to finally be able to say I'm a true Sabahan! As you can see from the title above, Yes I finally climbed up to the majestic Mount Kinabalu last week! You have no idea how crazy it was but it was worth all the sweat and tears!

I'm sure many of you guys have already been up to Mount Kinabalu and are already well aware of what to pack and what not to pack but I just want to share a little bit of my packing tips with those who haven't been there yet and also planning to plan ahead. You don't have to follow according to my packing list but its just a rough idea of what you should bring.

So, how you start is to talk to your friends who have been there and also if you're lucky, talk to friends who are working up in Mount Kinabalu. They might give you good tips on how to pack. For my case, I had friends who worked with Mountain Torq and also the man himself have been up to Mount Kinabalu a few years back. So he himself gave me a tip or two.Our trip was organised by another friend so sorry I can't provide much details on the bookings.

First thing's first, you need to know how long will you be planning to stay up in Kundasang and Laban Rata (I will get to that soon).
I packed according to Day 1 to Day 4 of my trip and then plan out what to wear from head to toe and inside to out everyday.
Here's my packing list :

Kundasang - Day 1 of Expedition: 
- Toiletries (Most Important)
- Small portable Hairdryer (Its cold up there and I need to dry my long hair but its optional)
- 2x bra (if you're a guy, you don't need to pack this)
- 2 - 4x underwear/panties (always good to have more for hygiene purposes)
- 1 pair of socks (wool or normal socks are fine)
- 2 sets of Casual Wear (Extra 1 set is for final day in Kundasang)
- 1 set of pajamas (Bring wool ones because it can get pretty cold)

Preparations for Mount Kinabalu Expedition (Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata) : 
- Toiletries (Most Important)
- Baby Wipes (aka Wet Wipes/Tissue ALSO very important)
- 1x sports bra
- 2x underwear/panties
- 1 set of heat tech apparels (preparation for the trip up to Laban Rata)
- 1 set of hiking attire (Dri-fit top, fleece, hiking pants,regular socks and hiking shoes)
- Min 30-50 Litre bag pack with rain cover ( Size depending on what you're packing)
- Hydration Bag and Pouch (1 Litre is enough)
- First Aid (will explain further down the post)
- Knee and Ankle Support (If needed)
- Personal stuff (Identification Card (I.C), Rm100-Rm200, Phone, Power Bank with Cables)
- 1-2 sets of Hiking poles
- 1x Poncho / rain jacket / waterproof jacket and pants

Laban Rata - The Summit (Low's Peak) :
- Headlamp
- Extra Batteries ( In case your headlamp runs out of battery)
- Beanie
- Fabric Face mask / Bandana Head Scarf/Wrap ( Air on the way up to the Summit can get pretty cold and dry so this is important)
- 1x sports bra
- 1 set of heat tech apparels (I got mine from Uniqlo)
- 1 set of hiking attire (sports bra, heat tech attire ,Dri-fit top, fleece, wind breaker jacket/ Waterproof jacket (To trap inside the body so it keeps you warm) , hiking pants, wool/normal socks (depending on how much of the cold you can withstand) and hiking shoes)
- Waterproof Gloves
- Hydration Bag and Pouch (To bring personal belongings and water)
- 1x Poncho / Rain jacket (In case it rains)
- 1-2 sets of Hiking poles (It helps a lot with the journey down)
- Lip Balm
- Sunglasses (It can get pretty sunny after 7am at the Summit)
- Sunscreen
- Camera (Unless you're using a Samsung, you are fine. Iphones usually black out due to the cold weather up on the Summit)

I know its a long list but if you arrange according to how I did in the picture above, its pretty little and also FYI, make sure your bag does not exceed 10kg. Mine weighs around 7-8kg from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata. You can get a porter to carry your bag up if its too heavy but from I heard, they charge you Rm10 per 1kg so pack wisely. If you're planning to stay in Kundasang a day before the expedition, I would suggest you to re-pack the night before and leave everything you don't need in the car the next day.

(Day 1)

Roy and I decided we wanted to head up to Kundasang a day before the expedition so we asked a friend of ours where we could crash for the night and he recommended Tahubang Lodge which is right in front of Kinabalu National Park. We started our journey at 9am and decided to have a nice breakfast in my hometown of Tuaran which was 45mins drive from KK. Stopped by Kedai Kopi Tai Fatt which was and still a favourite place of mine to have the famous Tuaran mee!

Wong Jiu Tuaran Mien aka Rice Wine Tuaran Mee (Rm6-Rm8)
I can't really remember the price but it was worth the drive there.
It was so good!

After breakfast,we left at 10am and arrived at Tahubang Lodge at around noon.
Checked in and got settled down.

Love how cosy it feels here in the lodge and also bed was comfy!
This room cost us Rm53 per head.

As I mentioned earlier, I will get to the first aid part.
You need to find out whether if you have AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness aka Altitude Sickness)
and also be prepared for really bad muscle cramps, aches, or any sort of injuries.

Here's my first aid kit :
- Acetazolamide (AMS pills, Only take as prescribed by health consultants/Pharmacists)
- Salonpas Patch (Muscle reliever patch)
- Vicks Inhaler (In case you get a cold and stuffy nose)
- Native Body & Skin Lip Balm (Any lip balm is fine. I just like organic ones)
- QV Day and Night Moisturisers ( I packed them into contact lense casing to save space. Genius I know!)
- Salonpas Cold Spray
- Counterpain Deep Heat Cream
- Voltaren Gel (For the joints and I highly recommend this if you're always having joint pain)
- BioTrue Contact Lense Saline Solution
- Contact Lense Casing
- Sunplay SPF 130+ Sunscreen
- Facial Toner

Acetazolamide is important if you do not want to go through a serious round of headaches, nausea, dizziness and lots more.
Consult your health consultants or a pharmacist to know more. I'm glad I got mine just in case!

(Day 2)

A good thing bout staying here in Tahubang Lodge is that they provide parking spaces and its pretty safe.
They also have a restaurant right next door!

This is the view fro Tahubang Lodge! I ain't kidding when I said it was right in front!
It takes less than 5 mins to walk there!

Kept everything that we don't need into the car, final check on everything and had a quick breakfast
before heading over to Kinabalu National Park.

 Hello from us!

 Off we go!

When you arrive at the park, you will need to head to the counter to get yourself registered and also wait for your guide. Once everything is settled, you will receive a tag with your name, number and time printed on it. You have to bring this with you almost everywhere you go after you enter Timpohon Gate. A van will pick you up and send you to Timpohon Gate which takes about 5-10mins.

Hello from Timpohon Gate! Was super excited when I got to the gate!
I just had to take a picture here because its a must! A proof of the starting point.

Our guide explaining to me about the trails, stops along the way and also distance. It usually takes 6-8 hours for a group to reach Laban Rata from Timpohon Gate. Laban Rata is where we will be staying once we arrived at the 6km check point.
Its a resting check point for everyone to grab a buffet dinner and also crash for the time being before heading up to the Summit.

This is the entire trail map from Timpohon Gate to the Summit which is about 8km of distance.
Sounds short but sh*t's about to real!

Off we go!
We had 6 people in our group including our guide!
(Roy, Me, Maya, Eddy, Brenda and Edmund, the guide)

The first thing that came into my mind everytime we hiked further into the trail was "WHY ARE THERE SO MANY GAWD DAMN STAIRS!!". That didn't stop me from getting to the top but my knees were screaming though. The weather was beautiful on that day and we made a few stops at the check points to catch our breath.

Usually they will get you to stop at Layang-Layang which is the 4km checkpoint.
Most people will stop here for a lunch break or a rest.

I was so stunned by the beauty of the mountain and also the weird Bonsai trees on the way up but what really caught my attention were the landslides along the side of the mountain caused by the earthquake last year with a magnitude of 6.0 which took many lives and it was such a tragic day for us Malaysians and Singaporeans. I felt the tremors when I was at home on the very same day and I didn't know how bad it was up in Mount Kinabalu until I heard the news.

So much had happened in 2015 and I pray to those who lost their lives there, rest in peace.
You wont miss this view on your left when you hike up to Laban Rata.

We left Timpohon Gate at 8.45am and arrived at Laban Rata at 2pm JUST in time before the sky started pouring! We got a word from a friend up in Laban Rata that it was gonna rain after 2pm. It was so cold! Thank God for the heater in our bathroom (which was useless) and also for a kettle which was a lifesaver! We all took a really really REALLY quick shower after boiling the water and it was too cold to even enjoy your shower!
If you don't feel like taking a shower, that's where you can use ALL the baby wipes that you brought along!

After we settled down in our dorm, we headed out to the dining hall which was a 1 min walk away from where we stayed. We stayed in Lemaing Hostel up in Laban Rata just in case you're wondering. Cold but very fun when you have friends staying together. Had our dinner at 4pm and I had 3 rounds of dinner because I was so sick from the hike up and also I skipped lunch because I wasn't hungry on the way up.

My outfit for dinner. It was 10 °C when I took this photo. Right outside the dining hall, there was a thermometer and I had to see how cold it was before taking this picture. We had dinner at 4pm up till 6pm just to kill time before heading to bed. It was so warm in the dining hall that I didn't want to leave. We had to sleep for a while just to get ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally prepared for our hike up to the Summit in the wee hours in the morning. When I mean wee hours, I mean 2am hike all the way up to the Summit to catch the sunrise for those who love the sunrise!

Oh and it was also like being in the Olympics! You will see so many climbers,hikers, mountaineers, staffs, from all over the world! From Japanese to Australians, Americans, Chinese, Locals, British and a whole lots more! It was such a lovely sight being in that dining hall. And not forgetting this..
 A sea of cotton candy clouds right outside of the dining hall! This photo is unedited and look at how beautiful the sky is!
Everyone came out to take photos of this beautiful scene!
It was so breathtaking!

(Photo credits to Roy)

For more pictures , click here!
For more info on Mountain Torq, click here!