Sunday, August 31, 2014

Merdeka

31 August 2014

My kids came home from school on Friday with the Malaysian flag and was very proud of it. All week they've been working on Merdeka related theme in school. Their teacher had whatsapp'ed me the photo above and I love it.

Last night, I saw a clip of Tunku Abdul Rahman and a short clip about Merdeka. It brought me to tears. I am proud to be Malaysian and sometimes, I am guilty for taking this country I love for granted. 

I need to give back to my society and my country. I still haven't figured it out yet but I know I will. I was watching a show on Astro about how Tiara Jacquelina and how she gave back to the society by producing film and theatre that has Malaysian value and I thought to myself, I should too. She's amazingly beautiful and very passionate about her work and very inspiring too. 

For this Merdeka, I decided to give my customers an extra discount. I thought hard about this as I wanted it to mean something and not just to have a sale for the sake of having one. I'm giving 31% discount on all my ready stock items. I've got very limited pieces. If you're interested, please email mykupukupustudio @ gmail.com and let us know what size you are looking for. We will then tell you what's available on offer. Offer is valid until end of today but I will extend this offer till 3 Sept for my blog readers. Hope you find something you like from my little store! 

I am also clearing out stock to make way for my new collection. Hopefully that will be out in the next couple of weeks.

I hope this is me doing my little bit to celebrate Merdeka. Perhaps next year I will find a better way to celebrate and give more. 
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cyber Bullies

Have you come across any?

We are living in a very modern world. We don't have to have face to face communications anymore. Heck, we can even bully or be bullied even without meeting the other party face to face. It's sad and disturbing at the same time.

I don't know what is happening to this world we live in today. People make comments without thinking. They just say what they want to say with no class. I see it happening a lot especially on celebrities pages. Where is our "budi bahasa" in today's day and age I wonder. 

The "holier-than-thou" make judgements as if they are perfect. There is ways to make comments but please think before you type something. Your intentions may be good but your delivery isn't so please, think twice or thrice before you post something. Attacking someone online is called cyber bullying. 

People do this a lot lately. 

I experienced this recently. Not first hand but it happened to a dear friend and I couldn't believe that it had happened. It's making me think twice about what I put out there. My Facebook, my Instagram, do I really know who is watching? Do I know the harm they can do to me or my loved ones?

So to my readers, please "edit" your social media pages carefully. Do you really want people you are not really friends with viewing your profile? 

Think about it. Cyber bullies are out there. It can happen to anyone. It can ruin your life. It can ruin your family so be careful.

I'm editing mine! 
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paris

We took the train from London to Paris. It was my first time on Eurostar and I was quite excited. 

We took the train from St Pancras international station. We wanted to purchase the ticket in advance but didn't get the chance to do it and bought it at the station. Because we had so many bags (more than 10 suit cases) we decided that it will be better to take the business class. I think it was about £270 per person or something like that for a single ticket and it's the same price for children too. 

Journey to Paris was really smooth. We had a porter to help us with our suit cases. We didn't know they have this service. If I knew, I would have gotten my juicer. I thought I had to carry everything myself. Porter service is not free. You have to pay for it. The guy was really helpful as we checked in a bit late and had to cut the line so we won't miss our train. We almost did.

When we arrived to Paris, the porter there helped us with our luggages. When asked how much the fee was, they said it is up to us but give "big big tip!" and my husband gave them EUR 50 which to me, is already a lot. He wasn't happy and pushed the money away. Almost like he was insulted that my husband gave that much. I was so angry! In the end, my husband gave EUR100 which if we knew it was going to be that much, we could have just carried our own luggages. FYI we paid £30 for porter service in London.

We got 2 vans and they took us to our hotel. I had booked for transport for Paris but it was so last minute that the drivers couldn't make it. 

I booked Sofitel and was one of those luxury boutique hotels. I booked it via Bookings.com instead of Agoda as it was a lot cheaper via booking.com

To my surprise, the reason why it was "cheaper" is because I booked it for only 1 night. The price quoted on Agoda was a lot more expensive because it is for 3 nights! I wanted to die!!

OHmygod! This can't be happening. I had my mother in law waiting, my sister in law and her kids, my family wondering what was going on and I just couldn't believe I screwed up. To make matters worse, they don't have rooms to accomodate us should we decide to extend our stay. We needed 4 nights and only 1 night was booked and is only available for that 1 night. Where will we go!? 

It is super and a peak period in Paris. All the hotels are fully booked by now. I just wanted to shoot myself for this screw up. 

It was an honest mistake on my side. What was supposed to be a really good deal of a hotel (I thought the price was cheap for such a luxurious hotel) turned out to be super duper expensive. Plus, we have to spend more on accomodation elsewhere too! 

My husband left me to sort it out. Find another accomodation for the next 3 nights. 

Before we left KL, I have been communicating with this person from airbnb. There's this apartment in Paris that we liked but wasn't sure about using Airbnb as we have never used it before. I contacted that person again and alhamdulillah the apartment is still available.

That first night in Paris was spent in the hotel sorting out payments, registration, authorization etc for airbnb. It is a long process and finally at midnight, our booking was confirmed! 

The next day we went to view it and to check in. The apartment was super gorgeous modern looking apartment right outside the Luxembourg garden. 

It has 3 bedrooms and big enough for our group. It was lovely! 

We loved it there. There's a big kitchen and we went to the big supermarket and cooked our meals instead of going out to eat. 

We hired 2 vans and driver to take us around Paris. It is difficult to travel and take the public transport or tAxi as they don't really speak English. So we hired the English speaking driver to take us around. We went sightseeing and my in laws went shopping.

I was stuck with the kids and honestly, after my screw up, I didn't feel like shopping at all. I felt so guilty but luckily the apartment was nice and everyone had a good stay. 

We also managed to take the kids to the eurodisney. While my mother in law and sister in law went out shopping, my husband and I took the kids to eurodisney.

It was quite a fun day out. But we were really disappointed that we didn't get to see many characters. We couldn't find Mickey and the gang. My kids weren't impressed at all. 

We also went to the park opposite the Eiffel Tower. Kids had fun there too. 

On the last day, I went out with my daughter alone to the Luxembourg Gardens for a walk. We stopped by a cafe on our way back and had some dessert and hot chocolate. It was a good bonding session. In fact, it was the best time I had throughout my Paris trip. 

Paris was fun. Apart from my screw up, I enjoyed Paris very much. It is actually my favourite city but I didn't get to enjoy it much during this trip. 

My husband doesn't like Paris. He said he doesn't want to come back. He said the communication problem is too much for him to handle.

Me on the other hand love Paris. This is not my first time in Paris and I know it won't be the last. I love the architecture and the "feel". I just love the city! 

I hope to be back someday when my kids are bigger. InsyaAllah
Sunday, August 24, 2014

London

I know I know!
Long overdue post!
What can I say? I've been busy.

We were in London for 5 days back in June and I wish we were there for longer. I didn't get to do any of the things I wanted to do. But like usual, it's always good to be back in London.

When we arrived, the weather was good and perfect. Traffic in London is pretty bad compared to the last time I was there. I think we wasted so much time in traffic. 

We booked a 3 bedroom apartment located in the heart of Mayfair. We were literally 2 mins away from everything we needed. Boots, cafe, tesco you name it. The apartment is right next to The Ritz and getting a taxi is super easy too as they always a few waiting at The Ritz.


We booked it via Agoda as we collect their points and made sense to book it via Agoda. Booking was easy as always.


This is the living room. It had a small kitchen which is fully equipped with dish washer, washing machine & dryer. 

The rooms were all a very good size. And we have pretty good view too.

I really love this place! That's the Green Park if you can see. It's about 2 minutes walk from our apartment and always packed. We didn't even get to go check the park out.

On the first day, we decided to beat the jetlag by going on a bus tour. We walked to The Ritz and hop on one of those tour busses. Can't remember how much we paid but the bus took us all around London and brought us to the main area of all the attractions. 

I enjoyed it very much as it brought back so much memory of my time when I was a student, visiting all those places whenever I was in London. 

The kids were tired and jetlagged so they slept pretty much the whole time! 

Food was not a problem at all in London as you can find so many halal restaurants everywhere. What is funny about Malaysians in London (and I know we are not the only ones like this), we travel so far to get away from Malaysia and yet the first thing you look for is Malaysian food.

Tukdin was our favourite during this trip. 

We ate there for dinner once at the restaurant and tapau'ed food back to the apartment a few more times! 

We also bought food from Satay House but that was a major disappointment. I didn't like the food there at all. I think food there are catered for non Malaysians. It didn't taste like home at all. 

While in London, we rented a car (a 9 seated rather!) at Sixty located in Bayswater. We needed the van as we wanted to go to Bicester Village which is about slightly over an hour away from London. 

The van we rented was big and comfortable. 

Bicester Village was nice. I didn't shop at all but I think my family got some good bargains there. 

Kids had fun too as they had a little play area and since the weather was good, I just let them run free! 

We also got to go to Madam Tussauds on the 4th day. It was a last minute decision and I don't know whether it was a good one or not as not everyone enjoyed it. Especially the younger kids.

I just wanted to go for the experience. Just so I can say "I've been there before!" But I think maybe everyone would have had more fun going shopping or something. 

I didn't have time to get any shopping done at all as I was busy with my 2 kids pretty much all the time. I didn't want to leave them with my sister in law although they offered to look after them a few times. The thing with young children is that they are so demanding. I didn't want to trouble anyone just to go out shopping. I figured, shopping can wait! 

While we were all in Selfridges, my mother in law wanted to go shopping and get some stuff, I stopped by this counter. There was a demo going on explaining about the wonders of Juicing. I wasn't really interested to be honest as I was pushing strollers and whatnot but I stopped and saw what they had to show. That night I couldn't stop thinking about the Kuvings Juicer!

I wanted to get it! It was £300. I wanted it more than I wanted a handbag!! Kept telling my husband how wonderful this juicer is. I got to taste 3 types of different combination of juices and they were all very delicious!! 

Next morning was our train to Paris and my husband told me to quickly run to Selfridges that morning, before we shoot off to Paris. 

I took the cab and off I went to get my juicer. I paid and was waiting for them to pack it for me. Then I saw the packing, and thought to myself OMG!!! It's huge!!!!!
How am I going to carry this to Paris???

After a lot of thought I decided to get a refund. I couldn't carry it. It was too heavy. And back at the apartment, I have 4 other suitcases to carry and 2 strollers! No way we can manage!

Good thing about UK is when you ask for refund, no questions asked. I felt so bad because when I paid for it, I got so many extra free gifts and whatnot! They refunded my £300. I was so embarrassed but they assured me that it was ok. 

Now I am back in KL and I am still dreaming of that Kuvings Juicer. It is amazing. 

They are about RM400-RM500 more expensive here in KL. I feel like such a dumbo for paying that much extra so I haven't bought it yet. I will though. I will soon.

That's my London story.
I will miss you. I will be back. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Which way?

Im confused. I really don't know which way to go.


1. Government School


2. Private School (local Syllabus)


3. Private School (international Syllabus)


Of course another important thing to consider is the budget. Do we have the budget to even consider international school as the ones close or nearby to our house will cost a bomb. I am not prepared to travel to get to a school which is more within our budget. Traffic will kill us. 

I decided to list down things I like and don't like about each of the above. Please note that this is only my personal opinion. Don't shoot me for it! 

Positive
1. Government School
- Easiest to get grant/student loans/scholarship in the future
- Mixture of students from all background
- Free / cheapest 
- A lot of opportunities to compete and work with other schools around Malaysia.

2. Private School (local Syllabus)
- Better facilities
- Being a Malaysian, living in Malaysia and probably will live here after they finish their studies, I think it's important to learn Sejarah, Geography and BM. This applies to government school too.
- Less expensive than International School. 

3. Private School (international Syllabus)
- International syllabus is more recognized (in case we want to migrate to another country? Who knows?)
- international syllabus is more stable. Malaysian syllabus keeps changing.
- Year 1 start at 5 year old compared to Darjah 1 in local syllabus at 7 years old. (I hate to think my child is 2 years behind her international school friends)
- I like expat teachers that I've met so far. Their approach is different compared to the local teachers.

Negatives
 1. Government School
- too many students in the class
- too many distractions 
- won't get so much attention from the teachers as they will be too busy with the weaker students or the excellent students.

2. Private School (local Syllabus)
- mixing around with only "privileged" kids is probably not such a good idea
- won't get scholarship as they are already considered "privileged"
- not many interschool activities

3. Private School (international Syllabus)
- international school kids don't appeal to me. Too outspoken and too social
- they won't learn much BM, Sejarah, Agama, Geography Malaysia
- above RM30k a year (at least) in fees. Too high?

Ok so which ones?

Just by doing this I think I know which one I prefer. It is going to be between international school or private school with local syllabus.

This is a good exercise. I think private school with local syllabus is good and best for my kids. I know which school I want but it is a little bit far. Next step is to find private schools closer to home. 
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Too much pressure?

My daughter just turned 4 about a month ago. I have no clue how I was at 4 years old but I am positive that my daughter is a lot smarter than I was. And I was a very smart young girl myself. So to me, my daughter is a genius and I'm not being bias here! 

Even at a very young age, she could do this way beyond what other friends her age was doing. She started talking really early and started singing, reading before everyone else was in school! I taught her all that but it wasn't like serious teaching, it was more playing but she picked it up very quickly. Before 2 years old, she could recite alfatihah, knows all her alphabets, numbers, alif ba ta etc.

But we did a mistake. We took her out of school for a year when we moved and that had somehow delayed her learning. She still knows a lot for her age but I think she would have benefitted more if she stayed in school. Well, we moved to Kajang and it took a while for us to finally settle in and a lot was going on then that I didn't have time to actually focus on her. 

She is now in school. Only few hours a day but I can see so many positive changes. Initially, she was crying and all that but now, she would happily wave bye bye and will look after her brother in school too. I am so very proud.

We haven't decided on which route to take. I still don't know which school to send her to, is it going to be government school? Private school or international school? I have no clue.

When we were in Kajang, there was only 1 school I was comfortable with and it was an international school. Now that we've moved back to KL, I don't know which is the best route to take considering we have so many options. Also, international schools around this side of the world is a lot more expensive too. Can we afford it? I have yet to have that discussion with my husband. 

Although it is still too early to decide, I just want to prepare my daughter for year 1 international school. If we were to take that route, she will be in year 1 in September 2015. I need to make sure she is prepared for that. If we decide later that it will be the local route, at least I know she is ahead and I can relax a little. But imagine relaxing now and suddenly she doesn't pass the assessment for year 1??

So her teacher and I have been discussing her progress. I wouldn't say I am a kiasu mum but I know my daughter is smart and if I don't push her, I am not helping her. Like my son, I know he is the laidback and chilled out type so I don't rush him or push him too much. I don't know. Am I being unfair here?

Anyway, so her teacher and I spoke today and she said she is impressed with my daughters reading and all the other stuff EXCEPT her writing. 

I must say that's entirely my fault because I never practice or done much writing with her. It's always reading but never writing so her fine motor skills is a bit off!

Today her teacher told me we should let her do some "homework". What?? Homework at 4years old? Well... She needs it.

So I sat with her and started doing the work together. 

She is so cute! She can't write at all! I've seen girls her age writing their names and all but my daughter can't. She can spell her name or read but she can't write it. Even if you write her name for her and get her to copy it, she can't do it.

I'm a little worried to be honest! Her teacher said I shouldn't be worried because she wasn't exposed to this before. She started trying to write at 3.5years old when other kids started at 2 so you obviously can't expect her to be like the rest. So I tell myself, not to stress out too much! But I keep thinking my dateline is September 2015!!!

Worried!!!


This was when I told her to copy and write 1,2,3 again. The nice ones are me holding her hand! 

So much pressure!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Birthdays

It wasn't part of our plan but coincidently, my husband's birthday is in June, my daughter's in July, my son's in August and mine is in September. One birthday every month for 4 months!

And coincidently, both my kids's birthdate is on the 13th. Daughter's on the 13th July and my son's on the 13th of August.

I guess He had it all nicely planned for us! 
MasyaAllah.

For my daughter's birthday this year, she requested for a Pocoyo birthday cake. I don't understand why she wanted that theme because honestly, she was over Pocoyo a long time ago but since she insisted, I just said ok. We decided not to celebrate her birthday and throw a big party because honestly, I don't have the time to plan everything and secondly, her birthday this year falls in Ramadhan. A bit difficult to schedule and plan a birthday party that month. We did a small party in school. I think this is the best way to celebrate. Less work. 

Her cake turned out to be better than I expected. It tasted damn good too. I was really pleased. I also did a little party pack for the little kids in her class. 

It was tiring! I was super busy with my own work but had to squeeze this one in.
She had fun and it was all worth the effort.

A month later, it was my son's turn. I really didn't have time to plan this party. We decided to do it in school again. My husband said next year, we should just do it one time. Because it felt like we just had a party in school and now it's another party again.

My son is really into superheroes and marvel now. He thinks he is Hulk. I ordered the marvel cake from the same person. I wanted a cake that is yummy and this one is very delicious indeed.

We opted for a marvel/superheroes cake.
I didn't have the time to do much for the party pack this time. I blame myself for that. I have no excuse except I was purely lazy! Still, the party pack looked cute.

First it was like this but then on the day of the party, I decided to put balloons to the pack instead of the party hat!
It looks cuter.

Kids in school got so excited and I think the teachers wished we didn't put the balloons there. Kids was going nuts because they wanted to play with the balloons straight away. Yikes.

We had spare ones, so when they came back from school, we had a mini party at home. We decorated the play house!

Finally, we went outside to the balcony and got my son to let go one balloon and see it fly.

It was fun! That was the first time for them. It went so high so fast too!

Can you spot it?

To my beautiful children, happy birthday darlings. Mummy and Papa pray that you will grow up to be the best that you can be.

Thank you for making us proud everyday! 

Love you both very much!