Sunday, February 17, 2019

Best Friends

One of the things I am most grateful for is for having the bestest friend in the world. I am one lucky one to have her in my life.

We met in high school when I was in form 5. She was my junior. I don't remember much how we got together and became friends because she was a year my junior but we were inseparable in school. So much so that we had to schedule time for us to skip lessons together.

She's been there for me since then and although we were separated for quite a few years (I left for UK after SPM and she only went to UK a few years later), we remained close the whole time. My phone bills to call her were a lot higher than my phone bills to call home, back then.

Here's why I feel I am so lucky:

1. We can talk every single day (and we still do) and never ran out of things to talk about. We just have so much things to talk about!

2. We've been there for each other so much that we know each other's secrets more than anyone else.

3. She's always supportive of what I do no matter how insane I think I can be.

4. She comforts me whenever I have doubts. Even little things like why I shouldn't move my kids to a different school when everyone else have moved.

5. She thinks I am the bomb even when I think the opposite. It is not because she's being bias, it is because she truly believes in me.

6. She will scold me when I am wrong or when I am about to make a mistake. She is honest and will screw me over when I messed up. Wrong is wrong and right is right.

7. She doesn't take sides. Truth hurts sometimes and she tells it as it is.

8. She will do anything for me and my kids and my family.

9. I have the best time with her always. Laughing our ass off.

10. She knows too much. I might have to shoot her if we end up not being friends someday.

I would like to think that I am all the above to her as well. I think I have been. I know I am blessed whenever I think about our friendship.

Celebrating love

Who would have thought that celebrating love will be different compared to how we did when we were younger?

When I was younger, celebrating Valentine's Day was a lot different. Flowers, chocolates, gifts like perfumes or jewellery is a must. Romantic dinners or movie night was part of the whole celebration too. Sometimes even going away to a nice romantic holiday. It was all how Valentines Day was for me.

Fast forward 10-15 years later, things are different.

After sending the kids to school, I spent some time at home making DIY Valentines Day cards for my kids and husband. A very simple one which I can do with both eyes closed because I know, none of them will appreciate it anyway. I just did it because I wanted to pen down some sweet notes for them. I guess it was more for me than for them. It made me feel good.

My husband wanted us to go for lunch together and out of all places, I chose to go to Flour. An indian restaurant near Damansara Heights simply for convenience sake. It is nearby school and therefore it will be easy for us to go for pick ups. Lunch was good. It wasn't at all romantic but being together made it romantic.

We went to a nearby supermarket after lunch because I needed to get some stuff. This supermarket had a florist nearby so my husband walked over there to get flowers for all the ladies in his life. His wife, mum, daughter, maid and sister. Not forgetting, he got my son one too. He bought each of us 1 red rose each but his mum and me got more than just a single rose. I thought that was sweet. He didn't have to but he did. Although it wasn't a big fat bouquet of flowers that would cost him a few hundred bucks, I felt special. Even if I only got 1 rose, I would feel just as happy. (Btw, it cost him RM15 each rose. Such cut throat price to pay just because it is Valentines Day!)

When we got home after picking the kids up from school, I had prepared some gifts for them. It was nothing expensive or special but I just wanted the kids to have something to open for Valentines Day. They were over the moon. My husband got a little something too from me, which didn't cost much but he was pleased he could join the fun with the kids.

Then, we all went for a swim at home. I dont usually like to swim but somehow, I went along with them and we had a nice time in the pool. It was hot that day too. Perfect time to swim.

My maid made us dinner while we were in the pool. It wasn't even good. If I had cooked them myself, it would have been nicer but ah well, I wasn't in the mood to cook that night. Despite the food being tasteless, we were all full. No one starved that night.

After dinner, we played a silly game that my kids made up. It was a dance challenge. I was the judge while my husband and kids were the contestants. It was funny as hell. I cried during this game because it was so funny seeing my husband, in his sarong, doing all these dance moves that my kids tell him to for this game. He is such a good sport!

In bed, I told them a story that I made up about a lost cat and they loved it. We all went to sleep happy.

It was just like any other day for us. A bit special because we had flowers, we had a good swim, a good family time and a good rest. I went to bed feeling really blessed. Contented and happy beyond words.

I used to measure happiness with special gifts or romantic meals on Valentines Day. A nice diamond jewellery or a nice handbag would be required to make me happy but these days, things are different. I dont need them to be happy. I just want a nice quality time with my husband and my kids. All of us laughing and doing our own thing and that's just it. Who would have thought things will be different but it is. Of course, if I had expensive gifts, romantic dinners and all that stuff it would have made it nicer. I won't say no to all of those, of course but what I am saying is, having less and getting less material things don't mean I am less happy. The day was perfect despite not having all the things that used to make me happy.


How things have changed. I feel so matured right now. (I am getting old!). Maybe this is what getting old is all about. Whatever it is, I feel blessed. I feel contented. Alhamdulillah for my husband and kids. I am complete.
Monday, February 4, 2019

Beach Holiday oils

I just got back from our beach holiday in Kuantan. Every holiday is different and since I can't possibly bring all my oils with me (because I have too many of them!), I will pick and choose according to the trip. Here are the oils I will take with me during my beach holidays. Of course, this is not all the oils I bring, I also bring oils for beauty and relaxation and health but these are the important ones I MUST take with me for the beach.

Lavender - This oil is a must for every trip because it is good for everything. It is known as the "Swiss Army Knife" of essential oils because there are a multitude of uses for it. It can help with cuts, bruises, burns, headaches, fever and even insomnia. If you can only take one oil, take this one with you!

Basil - I get insect bites easily. Even a mosquito bite can turn into a full blown rashes sometimes. By the beach, there are so many insects and sand fly. Argh. I hate those. Basil helps me with bites whenever I get it. It soothes it and it just prevents it from getting worse. I HAVE to bring this with me whenever we go to the beach.

Raven - I love the smell of this. It is very soothing especially for blocked nose and cough. It is great for upper respiratory problems and viral infections. I use this along with R.C especially for asthma. My daughter is not asthmatic but she has had asthma once or twice before so I always carry this just in case.

Thieves - This is a must have for all types of travel. It just protects the body from the onset of flu. I always apply this under their feet after their swim and before bedtime. After all that swimming in the sea and pool, they need this to warm their body up.

R.C - This is awesome for respiratory congestion, flu and sinus. It helps with their breathing and again, when you use this with Raven, it is amazing. I always apply this after their swim together with Raven and Thieves.

Apply Lavender at night before bed and diffuse lavender for a good night sleep. It helps them relax after a long tiring day being outdoors.

I apply thieves before pool time and before they go to the beach.

I apply Raven and R.C after they have their shower after pool / beach time.

Not that difficult to do but very very effective!

Kuantan Roadtrip

We just got back from our 3 days 2 nights trip to Kuantan. We needed our dose of Vitamin Sea and the nicest place we could think of that is not too far away from KL is Kuantan. When in Kuantan, we love staying at the Hyatt Regency. I wrote about our stay when we went on our last Roadtrip. My husband has work in Kuantan so we go there quite a lot.

At first I was worried that we might be stuck in traffic as it is the Chinese New Year holiday but alhamdulillah, the roads were clear and it was a nice drive to Kuantan and back. Weather was awesome too.

We took the seaview room again but this time, we got the ground floor which opens straight to the garden and a short 1 minute walk to the pool and the beach. I think I like this type the best. I will remind myself to ask for this type of room again next time. Initially I wasn't sure I like being on the same level as the pool but it turned out to be very nice.

This is my view for 3 days. Beautiful isn't it? It is really beautiful. Unlike our last trip here, this time, it is a bit busier. A lot more people compared to the last time. But still, it is a lovely stay.

My kids spent a lot of time on the beach. I was hiding of course, under the shades. But still, we all came back a few shades darker but a whole lot happier. Somehow 3 days wasn't enough.

As usual, the food in the hotel is not all that impressive. We explored outside and went for seafood one night. We ordered so much food which includes a lobster, steam fish, grilled fish, grilled prawns, some kerang bakar, vege and the bill came up to only RM200++
We ate so much! I was supposed to be on a diet and obviously, my diet failed miserably. I blame my husband for this because he was the one ordering the food.

This lobster was mad! It was really juicy and had so much meat. I couldn't eat it all. Gosh, I kept thinking about how bad my diet is but couldn't stop eating!

On the way back from Kuantan, we decided to stop by Genting Highlands. We went to check out the Premium Outlet too. At first we thought we would be shopping but once we got there, with the crowd and so many people, I just didn't have the mood anymore. We left with practically nothing. I was disappointed. I think factory outlet shopping is not for us. We always never buy anything when theres too many people around.

Back in Cardiff, I remember dining this famous Fish & Chips place by Harry Ramsden. I was pleasantly surprised that they opened one in Genting. I wasn't in the mood for Fish & Chips though. My husband ordered that while I had their burger.

Again, diet gone wrong! Ah well. Let's try dieting again once we are back in KL, shall we?

Anyway, Genting is a lot nicer now with lots more to do especially for kids. Their indoor playground / theme park is opened and we spent quite a few hours there before making our way down. By the time we left Genting, it was almost 7pm and it was almost dark.

We stopped by the Talking Garden and kids got to run around the garden before we left for KL. The weather was good and they had fun running around and exploring the maze. It was getting dark and we left not too long after that.

Alhamdulillah for a good trip. May we have more of these in the future.
Friday, February 1, 2019

You do you

Self acceptance is one of the most powerful thing you can experience but yet it is most difficult to achieve. True?

One thing I am struggling with is, just that. I am actually my worst critic. Last year, I did nothing at all. "soul searching" one would say. I try to make it sound fancy by saying it sometimes. "I am soul searching" sounds rather fancy than just saying "I am doing nothing". Well, it was a bit of both to be honest and surprisingly, after a year of doing nothing and "soul searching" I have come to a point in life where I am slowly "doing me".

I have not perfected it just yet but slowly and surely I am doing me.

Ya my ways aren't always conventional. People might ask me "why?" do you do things that way but most of the time my answer is 'why not?" Yes, it may not be the ideal way or the best way, but you do you and I do me!

I have come to accept that life is such for me. It isn't a bad thing so why do I always have to justify my actions. I am 40 years young old and I am happy with how things are right now. Even if it means my pocket is a little bit emptier than usual, I am happier than I was when my pocket was full. That's a true story. After 40 years, I can finally accept that money can't bring you happiness.

I realise that happiness is actually never about a job, my business or my relationships. Happiness isn't about doing what others are doing. Trust me, I tried that and it didn't give me happiness at all. I found happiness doing exactly what I am doing now. Embracing my life. Learning to accept how things are and why is it what it is. Happiness is waking up and being contented. Best part is, happiness is about ME doing me!

So you just do you and Inshallah things will fall into place. Don't ever let anyone tell you how you should do things and how things should be. They can advice, they can share but at the end of the day, you just do you!

Today, despite being a nobody to the world, despite having much less money in my pocket, despite not doing anything I can finally say I am happy. This is life how it is supposed to be for me. I believe that it is.

Of course in life you keep wanting more. You want to achieve so many things but you cant. You want to earn more but you cant. I want it too but I think I am happier achieving less, doing less than trying to conquer the world that I know I can't do. Some people are like that, they know they can't do it but they still push themselves to do it. I respect them for it. But some people, are like me… that is what makes us all different an unique dont you think?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dining in style at Way Modern Chinois @Clearwater

Chinese New Year is coming up and one of my 2019 New Year's Resolution is to spend more quality time with family and friends. Building relationship and sillaturahim is very important in my books.

The Year 4 mummies wanted to have a Yee Sang gathering to welcome the Chinese New Year. We decided to check out this Chinese / Asian restaurant called Way Modern Chinois @Clearwater, Damansara Heights. This place was recommended by one of the ladies and after looking at the menu, I couldn't wait to check it out.

It opens up like an elevator door
I love the entrance of this restaurant. It is a door that looks like an elevator door. In fact, it actually is one and opens like one too. So cool! You would enter this elevator door and walk in to the restaurant. I felt like the restaurant was a bit too dark for my liking. I would have missed this door if my friend didn't tell me to look for the elevator door.

Golden Rose Wanton

We ordered lots of food. Some of the stuff we ordered simply because they look pretty. Like this really beautiful flower pot. It is super pretty and it is actually a very delicious prawn Wanton.

Isn't it pretty? The red petals are spicy chili sauce. Perfect! I love spicy stuff! 

Porcupine Bun

Other than ordering pretty stuff, we also ordered cute stuff like this cute porcupine beef bun. Aren't they just the cutest? They taste pretty good too. RM12.00 per piece. 

We ordered some soup which was really yummy. We order 2 types of fried rice, some other dumplings and of course Yee Sang as well. Our bill came up to about RM600 plus but we were all so full and had lots to take home.

We will be back for sure. 
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Keeping up with Marie Kondo

If you haven't heard of Marie Kondo, you are definitely not current!  She is the "IT" thing right now especially since her show that aired recently on Netflix called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. 

Photo from Google

Who is Marie Kondo?
She is an author and she is THE Queen of Organising. As you can probably tell by her name, she is of course Japanese. She is just the cutest little thing! She has sold millions of books and famously known for her Konmari Method. Have you read the book?

What is the Konmari Method all about? Well, to me it is a simple yet a successful method that inspires people to de-clutter and be more organised, the Japanese art way. A lot of people are obsessed because of her philosophy, which is all about "sparking joy".

Everywhere on Facebook you will find posts on Marie Kondo. I think it is because she makes decluttering and organising simple. Her way of looking at things, her philosophy, her cuteness, just makes it difficult not to fall in love with her. As you can see, I am a huge fan and I am obsessed with Marie Kondo too. She is just too darn cute!

Generally, I am not an untidy person. I wouldn't call myself that. But, having said that, I am also not super organised. I am somewhere in the middle, I would say. Time passes by so fast and before you know it, I've been living in my current apartment for more than 7 years. Over the years, we've kept our home fairly neat and tidy. I have a maid, so she does most of the tidying up, credit goes to her. But over the years, we have accumulated a lot of things that doesn't necessarily "spark joy" to us anymore. We've kept it, simply because it has a nice place in the drawer, it has been untouched and let just not mess with that. It doesn't bother us, it doesn't mess the place up and it has been there sitting quietly.As Marie Kondo puts it, it has been "sleeping". You see, removing these items in our home would mean we will be decluttering and making space for new things. Things that can spark joy in our lives. Simple and makes sense doesn't it? I never looked at things this way before Marie Kondo came to Netflix. hahah...

I'm sure many out there are like me. Once in a while, with or without Marie Kondo, we declutter. Yes? You don't have to be an unorganised person, untidy or messy to love Marie Kondo and her methods. Thats why she is loved by many. It is because everyone of us can relate. No matter how organised or tidy we are, there is always room for improvements.

Since the showed premiered on Netflix, I've had the chance to follow some of the episodes and although most of the families that she helped on the show are the ones that seriously needed help, I can relate to them. My house and my home is of course not as messy and as untidy as the ones shown on the show but you know, you pick and learn things that you can bring into your home to make your home a better place.

It is common sense to put all your t-shirts in a drawer (instead of on the floor) but it is not common sense how you fold it and how you arrange them in that drawer. My way of folding that t shirt is neat and tidy but Marie Kondo's way of folding t shirts make so much more sense. This is the best lesson I found watching her show. It just makes much more sense to fold it her way.

I am so inspired to de-clutter even more. I still have my kids's baby toys that we still hold on to. I still have so many clothes that I can't fit that is still hanging on my closet. My husband has more clothes than me that he doesn't even wear. It is time to see which item still sparks joy and which doesn't. If it doesn't, time to give it a new home. But before you do that, Marie Kondo wants us to say "thank you"  to the item and this will help us feel better about our decision to let go of it.

Thank those clothes for once making you feel gorgeous when you wear it.
Thank those books for the stories.
Thank that toaster for once making great breakfast.

Funny right? Ya it is. But when you think about it, why shouldn't you? It is a good closure. This is what I call the Japanese art. It just speaks to the heart.

Decluttering takes time and effort too. I haven't done much yet but I am slowly but surely. I have done quite a bit decluttering my stationery cabinet. It looks perfect now and so much more organised. I am so proud of it.

It is time you keep up with Marie Kondo too!