Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hello 2014

photo from google
Happy New Year, everyone!!! Did you wake up feeling different from yesterday? Nah, I didn't think so! Same here. It felt pretty much the same like the day before. We only can hope for a better year and just fill our minds with positive thoughts. I woke up thinking "everything feels the same and still is the same" but that's not the right attitude. You need to wake up and think happy positive thoughts. "I want to make a difference this year and so I will make it different" that sort of thing. Be positive, think positive. It's not easy to do but it is doable. Just Do It!!

I have big plans this year. Again, it is still just a "plan". I had plans last year too but it didn't work out for so many reasons I don't even want to share. Not because of me but because of other people. Not because I couldn't do it or didn't put in enough effort but mainly because other people let me down so this year, whatever I set out to do, I need to do it MYSELF. Hopefully I will pick the right person to do it with this time.

I got a few things lined up this year and just thought I'd share it here. At first, I was thinking maybe I shouldn't share just yet because if it doesn't happen and work out, then it will be really embarrassing but I want to share this to motivate me to MAKE IT WORK so I wont get embarrass in the end. You know what I mean? Inside of doing it quietly and see if it works out or not, I think it is better I do it loudly and MAKE IT WORK! If it doesn't, it will be embarrassing but at least I tried, kan?

Here are my big projects this year which I'm hoping to achieve:

1. Public Personal Grooming Workshop.
My company is in talks on this workshop. Still in the early stage of planning and getting things together. We've done a proposal and now need to work on a few things to get it going. Basically it is going to be a workshop that focuses on young executive. About fashion (what to wear and how to wear it and what's suitable and what is not for business meetings/at work) and also how to put on make up, the right colours to use and basic skincare discussion on how to look after your skin. I'm also hoping to put in a slot on muslimah office wear which I think is pretty interesting as of late, you see a lot of hijabsters with so many different styles and some are suitable and some aren't when at work. I'm hoping to learn on this myself too. Who knows, Allah might open up my heart this year.
I'm quite excited about this workshop and I really hope we'll get it together. I need to have discussions with few speakers to discuss their respective topics and currently looking for possible sponsorships too. A lot of work to be done but I think I can do it.

2. Party Stuff
Last year, I wanted to do a website for all my party stuff but that didn't happen. I blame myself for it because I didn't have time to sit down and really put things together. I moved home and with that, there's a lot to be done and I only managed to accept certain jobs and have to say no to a few too. I didn't mind losing the jobs because honestly, I was really tight too. And since this business is not exactly a money making business, I figured I didn't loose much. But having said that, I love doing it. I don't do it for the money because honestly, the money is pretty sucky. I do it because I enjoy doing it and I love doing it. So, this year, I'm hoping I'll get more time to do something with this little business of mine. I'm planning to do a few premade party packages and I'm planning to send out a proposal to a few party venues and see if we could work together. I have a few ideas on how this might work. It wont take that much of my time since the designs are already done. I think I can manage. Hopefully I'll get to tie up with some party venues so instead of just booking a place for a party (i.e JungleGym), you also have an option to take our packages which will include all the printables. Of course, some wont want the package since they have their own people doing printables, and that's fine but for those who don't, at least now they have the option. I just need to come up with good packages now and do up a few themes for people to choose from and I think that's good enough.
At the same time, of course I'm also doing custom made designs too when the request is there. We'll see.

3. Wall Posters
I started doing wall posters for my kid's playroom and I think I can start exploring the possibility of marketing these posters. I'm thinking of maybe selling it. I'm still exploring this but I think I can branch out to do wall d├ęcor. This is another thing I want to get into.

4. Children's T-Shirt
This is also another new thing that I want to get into. I'm looking to design children's t shirts. I'm currently looking for t-shirt suppliers/manufacturers. I found a few but I haven't met up or discussed with any of them yet regarding my requirement. I want my t shirts to be organic cotton material and it's not that easy to find suppliers of that. I've contacted few friends abroad who may be able to help me out on this and still waiting for their feedback. Hopefully this will happen this year as I'm quite excited to do this too. A good friend of mine who is in London suggested that I do this when I was complaining about what to do next and I think this is pretty doable too as the t-shirts are already made with fixed sizes and whatnot. All I have to do is just design the prints. Finding the right supplier is not easy and I'm hoping to find out that is suitable and most importantly, organic. I want them to be organic.

So there you go.. I've got 4 main projects this year. Im really praying that I get to do all I set out to do but if not, if I can only achieve one of this 4, I'll be happy. I must work on it. At least 1 project will keep me happy.

Wish me luck and please support!!!

I feel so motivated and bersemangat right now..... Love this feeling!
Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye 2013

I can't wait for 2014 because I've had such a lousy 2013. I'm excited and all pumped up!!!

Hope this new year will bring me all the joy that I didn't get in 2013 and will make all the tears and pain worthwhile. 2014 will make me stronger and I'm going to work hard to make my dreams come true.

Last year we celebrated new year up in the sky on level 30 plus at the Grand Hyatt and we could see the fireworks literally just outside our window. This year will be low key and we should be at home and I think asleep by 12am.

Either way it is good, just another day but with a million hopes and dreams. I'm excited. I'm full of energy today and bring on 2014.. I'm ready!!!

Have a good new year celebration everyone. May this year give us a lot more joy and all the good stuff.
Life is too short to be sad. Let's make it a positive one this year.

Take care and see you next year!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Sunday, December 29, 2013


I've had a pretty tough year this year. I don't know if the year of Snake is bad luck or what but honestly, this whole 12 months, I was only really happy for 1 month. The rest was filled with heartache, headache and everything bad you can imagine. And no, I'm not exaggerating. It's been a bad year and its been tough. It really has been one helluva rollercoaster ride for me this year. Only God knows.

Having said that, I realised that because I've had such a bad year, I've become somewhat stronger. I learned a lot of things this year and I actually got to know myself a lot more. I am actually a lot stronger than I think I am. Alhamdulillah for that. It also helps that I have a great support system. I'm so blessed for that. No matter how bad things get, my family and friends always have my back. I don't know how to live without these few people in my life.

This year, Allah has opened up my heart a tiny bit more to get closer to Him. When I pray, I feel more at ease. It really did help me this year. I must say that I still don't do it enough. 5x a day is not difficult to do for many of us out there but for me, I'm still a work in progress when it comes to my prayers. I'm 34 years old and my mum is STILL constantly reminding me to keep my prayers. InsyaAllah, I'll work on it even more next year. I need to bring myself closer to Allah and get in touch more with my spiritual side. InsyaAllah. Like I said, I'm still a work in progress and I believe Allah will guide me in to the right path.

I also learned that I need to be happy inside to be a good mother to my children and a good wife to my husband. When I'm sad, stressed or depressed, I cant help but let it out on my kids or hubs cuz I'm with them 24/7. They do drive me insane all the time so I need "time out". Even with 30 minutes time out, I can feel a lot better. I think I'm deprived of "me" time and that's why I'm always unhappy. I need to take more of these time outs to ensure that my family get the very best of me.

One of the things I MUST do next year is spend more time alone. I need more time for myself to gather my thoughts and do something positive and beneficial. I've always wanted to do charity work and I never get the time to do it and I'm hoping that next year will open up doors for me to give more to my society. It doesn't have to be big but I want to give some back. Maybe sedekah at the masjid, give donations to rumah anak yatim or anything I can do that will help others around me. I think it is important to give back and I must say that I haven't done as much as I should.

In terms of health, I've been blessed with good health but that doesn't mean I should ignore and not look after myself. I need to be healthy in order to take care of my children and family. I don't eat vitamins and take any supplement to boost my energy and health so perhaps, next year I should start doing it. It is important that I stay healthy especially for my family.

I've also realised that as long as I'm just "a housewife" I will never be happy. Some people are happy being home and being dependent on their husbands financially. They just do what they're supposed to do which is to run the household but unfortunately, as much as I try to be that type of housewife, I cant. It's just not me. I need to have my own income to make myself feel good. Alhamdulillah, my husband has been very good in providing for all our needs and been a great support but it's just for my own self satisfaction, I need to have my OWN money. I need to work at it. I have a few things lined up but without that "me" time, it will be impossible for me to realise my dream and make it so I really need that time to ensure that my vision is followed through next year. That's my ultimate goal next year.

"Life is really like a box of chocolates - you'll never know what you're going to get" remember that quote? (If you don't, you're too young to be reading this blog!)
I wish for a better life next year. Although I don't know what's coming, if it is anything like chocolates, I'll take it. I love chocolates!

Have a good year everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Time's up

Last week my BFF told me that her maid ran away. 3 runaway maid's in the span of 2 years. I felt so lucky that I don't have to deal with that and was counting my blessings. I had my maid for 2 years now and she just completed her contract with us last month and we have just renewed her visa for another year. She told us that she doesn't want to go back yet as her money is not enough to buy her a house but she would like to go back next year for her daughter's primary school graduation. That's the agreement we had with her. Renewal of work permit needs to be done every year so we've just extended it for another year. The cost for this extension is about RM1300.00

My BFF has been rather unlucky when it comes to maids. I don't know what's the problem but these maids was all pretty good workers but somehow they leave by running away. With that comes a lot of problems such as: you need to make a police report, report to embassy, need to do a cancellation for their current visa/permit, have to apply for new maid which takes time and need to be maidless for at least 3 months. If they had just said they want to leave and discuss, at least it will be less of a hassle for the employer. I've always reminded my maid that if she wants to leave, leave in a good way and let us find someone first and then she is free to leave. Give and take is key. But these maids, sometimes they get influenced by friends and they're guaranteed something more interesting, so they just run without thinking further. I've always said to myself, if someone doesn't want to work for me (doesn't matter if it is my worker at the office, or my maid, or my gardener or whoever), I will not force or beg them to stay no matter how good they are. Simply because, when they don't want to work for you and you beg them and offer them higher salary or whatever, the heart is not there. If you offer more salary, they're staying for the money which means, their heart is really not at the job anymore.

Anyway, after dinner 2 nights ago, my maid dropped a bombshell.

"ma'am, I can't finish my contract. I want to get married,"

Say whatttttttt??!!!!!!!

I was shocked, but I wasn't THAT shocked. In a way, I was expecting this to happen because I sort of overheard her talking to a guy about few months back. From that conversation, I could somehow tell it was a dodgy. Dodgy in the sense, I knew something bad would come out of this sooner or later.
I heard an African man's voice and I'm not being racist or whatever but I've heard so many stories about African men and their scams so don't blame me for being weird about it.

Apparently this guy is American from California and they want to get married. She said he is her ex bf (which means they've known each other for a long time) but somehow, I find that really hard to believe. She's never mention an ex bf before so I really think, this part is not true. So she now wants to visit his family in California first to get to know his parents since they cant come to Philippine to get married or see them get married. She wants to get married in Philippine. She asked if it is ok for her to work until her US visa gets approved. I said ok. But she mustn't leave until we find a replacement, which could take us at least 3 months. She agreed.

I guess her time here is up. As much as I love her and wish that she will stay, I cant stop her from having a life. A marriage, a relationship, a family, everyone wants that at the end of the day. Work and money is not everything. She cant be working for us forever.

At least she completed her contract with us. Her contract was for 2 years. Only this extension of her contract for another year is what she wont be able to complete. I guess 2 years is good enough.
It's time for us to move on. She's been rather comfortable too here. Its time for her to change path.

When I told my agent that we need to look for a replacement as the old one wants to go back, my agent said "Good! Your maid has become quite arrogant and I think her time is up!" Well, I must say we've given her a lot of freedom and that has made her too comfortable here.

Now, I need strength to move on... Finding another maid is easy. But finding a suitable one is not. It's all luck and I don't know if I'll be lucky next time.

Wish me luck!!!


I'm 34 years old. Gosh! I'm old. Growing up, I remember playing outdoors a lot. Playgrounds and whatnot. Running in front of the house with neighbours of similar age and that sort of thing. When I became a teenager, it was a little bit different. It was the video game era. So it was mainly indoors type of activities that kept me busy. Nintendo, Mario Bros and god knows what else was the "in" thing. And only when I was 17, we had internet. We were amongst the first to have internet at home and back then, it was just the super slow connection Jaring. Gosh, those were the days. I don't remember using Internet Explorer and all just yet. Back then, it was to get on Mirc to chat. I met so many people I wouldn't have met if Mirc didn't exist. Some weirdos too.

Now, things are obviously different. Kids don't play outdoors so much anymore. They spend so much time indoors either with their ipads or TV (babytv or Disney Channel or whatever!). With indoor playgrounds such as Kids E World, JungleGym and Kidsport, kids don't even need to be outdoors at all. I don't know if this is good or bad but I think they're missing out on a lot. I had so much fun climbing trees (I was a tomboy!) when I was a kid. Nothing can take that away from me. My monkey days!

Some people commented how it is not good to give the kids ipad. Well, I'm guilty but I don't think it is a bad thing. We need to keep up with the world. Imagine if they weren't given an ipad and everyone else around them knows how to operate an ipad, they'd be so left out and so jakun when they see one. As long as you can afford it, and as long as it is not too much, I think, go ahead.

My kids are on their ipad pretty much all the time. I know it cant be all that good. But when we're at home, there's nothing much to do. They're sick and tired of their toys (although our playroom is filled with all sorts of toys!) and there's only so much you can do with them at home. I'm not a fan of getting their hands dirty by doing paintings and all that so much, so I try to limit that activity to the minimum. I don't like cleaning up. Do it in school. Not at home. I know. I'm bad like that!
Well, at least not yet. Not until they're a bit older and can understand and know when to clean up.

So yeah, ipad is definitely allowed in our household. Not 24/7 of course. And I monitor everything they watch because when they're on their ipad, I'm 99% next to them. I use it in a positive way, whereby I use it as a tool to teach something to my kids.

Here are some Youtube videos that we often watch together and what it teaches them:

1. Alif Ba Ta
This song is pretty catchy. I let my daughter listen to it every now and then and after a few times listening to it, she knows her Alif Ba Ta already.

2. Alfatihah
My daughter listened to this about 3 times when she was about 2 years old and she can recite her al-fatihah already. When they see someone their age doing something, often, they will want to do it too. I encourage her by showing her this video.

3. Sparkabilities
They have a few videos on YouTube that my kids love to watch. It's pretty interesting and kept them focused.

4. Sesame Street
This is a video of Halle Berry explaining about the word Nibble. Sesame street has a lot of videos with celebrities explaining a word and they're all pretty interesting and fun. My kids love it. It is good to teach them new words. My daughter's vocabulary is pretty good now thanks to these videos. Words like  Galoshes , I will probably never use with her but she knows the word thanks to this video. Since watching this video, she now knows the word and wants one. She asked her grandma to get her a galoshes and grandma went "What's that?!" LOL

5. Sesame Street Mandarin
The kids don't know mandarin and they obviously don't understand it at all. But my daughter can sing this mandarin song!! These videos are pretty interesting too and it teaches them certain words. They don't understand it but they can say it. Good enough for now in case I decide to send them to mandarin classes later.

6. Baby Einstein
This is also very good and interesting for my kids. Both of them love watching these videos by baby Einstein. There's a lot of good topics too.

7. Bumba
I don't know how we found this but we somehow did and kids loved it. Its original language is I don't know what language but this is the English version and at least they can understand it.

8. Dream English
Dream English has many nice songs. They're educational too. Teaches the kids a lot of things through songs. I like this guy Matt. He's cute and funny! Kind of nerdy..but kids love him!

9. KidsTV123
 Songs by KidsTV123 are all very nice too. I like them cuz they don't really sound like typical children's song. I like the tone and his voice is nice too. This particular song is my son's favourite and tells him the different sounds that the animals make. Check out their other songs too such as At The Zoo, 5 little Monkeys, ABC phonics songs. So many nice ones.

10. Number Zoo
This is another one of my children's favourite. Teaches them numbers and also the names of animals. They have other series too cuz as Number Farm and Colours with Cars

11. Mother Goose Club
This is also another fun series with lots of nursery rhymes.

12. Pocoyo
Pocoyo is my kid's favourite character. They love watching Pocoyo. I like it too cuz Pocoyo is cute and its educational too. It's fun.

They're more videos that my kids watch and of course love. But I think with this list I've given you, it will take you a long time to go through already so check them out first. Also, if there's any other interesting videos, please share ok? Sharing is caring! :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013


We love going on holidays. I mean, who doesn't, right? For us, we try to go away from KL every few months. It used to be a lot more but lately, it is becoming too expensive to go away since we have to take our maid along and with that, we need to take an extra room always. It's the extra cost and sometimes, its just not worth it.

I was thinking about how I always do my bookings and thought I'd share some tips. With the internet, everyone can just do their own bookings as there are various sites you can find that can offer you good packages for your holiday. I'm not saying my way is the best way, because I'm sure there are other sites and ways that you can use but all I'm saying is, this is how I do mine. If there are better ways and cheaper ways to book a hotel, please do share.
Photo from google

For me, flight bookings I will do it myself via MAS website. It is pretty straight forward and we always travel by MAS (unless MAS doesn't travel there e.g Macau, we had to take AirAsia). AirAsia is ok and all but with children, it is just too much hassle for us. The walk to the plane is too far and the airport is too busy it just drives me crazy. Sometimes, the price difference in the ticket is not that much so we always just stick to MAS. Remember to have your enrich card and collect points because if you travel as much as we do, then trust me, enrich points are worth collecting. If you book online, there will be a charge if you would like to book a seat. We normally pay a little bit extra for this especially when we travel economy class. It's easier to sit right in front. But if you don't want to pay for the seat, you can visit KL Sentral to purchase the ticket, as they don't charge to choose your seat. However, please note that their price for the ticket will probably be slightly higher than when you book online. For me, if I want to choose my seat, I will do it at KL Sentral, if I'm not bothered about the seat so much then it will be cheaper to book online. Also remember to check your enrich points as it does have an expiry date. You can use your points to get an upgrade or a free ticket even. You can use your points for other people too. For example, we have paid for my ticket using my husband's enrich points before. You can share points.

Photo from google

As for hotels, I used to book straight with the hotels. I don't know what's the benefit of this but I was doing it for ages. The price is also sometimes quite high compared to websites like Agoda, Booking.com etc. I only got to know quite recently. Now, all my hotel bookings are done via Agoda.
The price seems cheaper as they usually state the discounts but let me tell you, it isn't the case at all sometimes. Once, I walked into a hotel without prior booking and they told me the price of the room, which I thought was pretty high. I checked on Agoda and it was cheaper. But what I forgot to check was that the price offered by the hotel was nett price whereas with Agoda, you need to add on some tax charges. In the end, it is pretty much the same price. But I went ahead and book via Agoda simply because I collect Agoda points. Unless you are a member of the hotel and can collect points from there, I think it is better to book via Agoda. Not all location will have that hotel you want to stay. For example, I am a member of Hilton, not all location and destination will have Hilton but if you use Agoda, every hotel you book and stay will give you points. These points you can redeem for free night stay. We've booked so many hotels via Agoda now that one time, one of our 3 days 2 nights stay in Kuantan was free. Felt so good when you don't have to pay for hotel. Especially for us since we always have to book 2 rooms.

The only thing about Agoda is for us, since we always need 2 rooms, we are not guaranteed a connecting room. I always leave a comment on Agoda whenever I do my bookings to get us on the same floor and connecting room when possible. 8/10 times we will get a connecting room but our last trip to Melaka, we stayed at Casa Del Rio and we weren't able to get a connecting room as they don't have connecting rooms. You wont know this when you place a booking via Agoda unless you call the hotel first to confirm. So what happen was, my maid got all the room to herself in Melaka and going back and forth to our room to help us out. It was such a waste of money as she was only in that room at night. During the day she will be in our room. With connecting room, normally the kids will be jumping in the other room, shower and all in the other room. We always leave the middle door open so they're free to come to our room whenever they want. They sleep with us of course and my maid still sleep alone in one big room but at least during the day, they get all the stuff done in the other room. The best is if we can book a suite but sometimes, a suite only has 1 bathroom and we don't want to share bathroom.

So yea, Agoda is good because of the points and also you get to read comments. It does help decide which hotel is good and which aren't. Lately, I've become so kan-cheong about the points that I don't really like to book a hotel that is not on agoda. No matter how nice the hotel is, if it is not on Agoda, I feel like it will be a waste not to book something from Agoda and collect the points.
Photo from google

If I need help with my bookings or want a special package which consists of all tours and activities, I will book through AF Travel. They are my travel agent. I've purchased so many tours with them and so far, they're reliable and I like their service. I normally contact Kent and he is based in the Publika branch. He's very helpful. I normally email him my requirements and he will call me to discuss it and will give me the best package.

So there you go, that's how I do my holiday bookings. Do share if you have other ways or other sources too. Sharing is caring.

Next destination? Well.........no where this year. No more holiday budget till next year...huhu....

Friday, December 20, 2013

Got to

2013 has been quite a challenging year for me. Like every year, it has its up and down but this year, I would say the down is more than the ups. Alhamdulillah we all survived. Alhamdulillah I survived and it's true they say you don't know how strong you really are until you reach your lowest point. I did feel like giving up a lot this year but somehow, I just kept on going.

Next year, my daughter will be in school and hopefully I'll have more time for myself. Her school hours is from 9am - 3.30pm so Im hoping I can get some "me" time during that period and also spend more time with my son. When my daughter is around, sometimes it is difficult to spend quality time with my son. She gets jealous and acts like a baby when I spend time with the brother. I guess it is normal and she is only 3 plus so I tend to give in to her. But my son is growing up too fast and I don't want to miss him being a baby. He is already an active toddler running around and all. I seldom get to feed him during mealtime because I'm always feeding the elder sister. You know, things like that.

Speaking of "me" time...
I'm looking to find something to do next year. I don't know what yet but I need to do something for my soul and something to stimulate my mind. I know there are a lot of mothers out there wishing they could quit their job to be a SAHM but for me, I've been one for over 3 years and still, I don't feel I belong to this title. It is not easy. I'm not doing a good job as a SAHM and I think it is mainly because I don't really want to be one. Or maybe, I have issues being one. I don't know what my problem is but I just don't like being just a SAHM. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong being a SAHM and in fact, it can be really rewarding and all but for me, personally, I feel uncomfortable being financially dependent on my husband. I think that's my biggest problem.

I don't want to work a 9-5 job, obviously. I've been too comfortable with my time that I don't think I can go back to a 9-5 job. I don't think I can. But I need to find ways to be financially independent. I am confident that one can achieve that being at home as a SAHM too. I just need to find how!
I see a lot of SAHM doing online business and some are baking, some are taking orders doing all sort of sewing and I'm extremely proud of these mothers. They make full use of their time, they get to be there and watch their children grow in front of their very eyes AND at the same time, they get to earn some money doing whatever it is they can do. Some of these mothers also help with the household bills from their earnings doing these small businesses and I am so proud of those mothers. They're my inspiration.

To be able to do both (SAHM and become a business owner) is not easy. You need help too. Some need maid to look after their kids (eventhough they are at home, they cant be doing the dishes, cleaning etc because they need to run their business), so they need help too. I've got my maid to help me out. Whenever I get orders from my party business, my maid does help me here and there. Either she helps me look after the kids while I'm on the computer, or she helps me pack the party items, or whatever she can do. So, my point is, it CAN be done.

My party business is running but like I say, it doesn't really give me a stable income. I need something that's more solid, something more rewarding. I still haven't found what yet. Every night I go to bed thinking about what I can do to generate income with the little time that I have and it is difficult. I don't know what but I'm confident I will find something.

2014, please be kind. Show me the light....... I just got to do something next year! I got to!
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I do!!

Sorry for the long hiatus but I've been really busy this week. My new kitchen is being installed and with that, comes so many other things that needed to be done too and being a SAHM, my job is also to supervise and ensure that all things run smoothly. It's going ok so far but I'm honestly just really sick of being at home. Luckily with the internet, you can still get connected to the outside world from the comfort of your own home. Without the internet, I swear I'd go crazy.
I've been keeping myself busy (whilst supervising this kitchen installation) by doing a lot of little things here and there. Not exactly the most productive way to keep myself busy but hey, I just gotta do things that will keep me sane for now. Being at home with these 2 kids 24 hours can be really challenging. With the (kitchen) renovation on top of that, it really can just drive you up the wall, trust me.

Speaking of staying home and keeping myself busy, I'm sure you've seen and heard about the "Wedding of the Year". What are your thoughts? Who won? (Since everyone seems to compare the two big wedding that just happened last week).
For me, hands down the Wedding of the Year award goes to Jovian & Nina. It was just beautiful and wonderful. I loved watching it. I'm just a sucker for weddings. I don't know why I get all soft and smile when I see beautiful weddings. In case you are wondering who Jovian is... (well, you're the odd one!), he is one of Malaysia's top fashion designer. You can find most of his collection on Butik online Zalora if you haven't done so already before. I wouldn't call myself a Jovian fan but I have a dress that was custom made by him for my friend's wedding and I was one of the bridesmaid. That dress was so beautiful and I remember when I wore it, the cutting and fit was just perfect.
All our dresses including the bride's are from Jovian
I wanted to get one of the RTW from his collaboration with Lisa Surihani for raya but somehow I didn't. I went for the typical batik from Dodo Arts & Fashion. I'm just a sucker for batik. I always go back to batik in the end. But yea, maybe someday I'll get him to design something for me again. Anyways, back to the wedding.. It was beautiful. Simple, yet elegant and very well done. You can check out the photos on Flora Etc. Lovely!
On another end, there's that million dollar wedding of ZSRCW and OMG, have you seen anyone wore so much jewel on one self ever before??? Talk about going all out, she did for sure! I'm just not sure how I feel about that wedding as it was just too OTT for my liking. I like it grand, but I don't like it too over the top. Despite the millions of dollars worth of diamonds everywhere, it lacks class. Shows that you can have all the money in the world (or sponsored jewels) but you cant buy class!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My fault

Photo from google
When my daughter started solids, I didn't have a maid. I did pretty much everything on my own. The preparation of her food and whatnot. We experimented with all sorts of different food and she was ok with all of them. She ate whatever that was given to her without much fuss.

Back then, I was also pretty strict. Being a first time mom with no experience whatsoever dealing with food preparation, I was really the type of mom who followed all the rules. No salt, no preservatives, no this, no that, don't give this, don't give that. I didn't know what else to follow so I followed all the tips from the book. I get comments from parents (my mum and my mil) whenever I refused to give her something that the book said not to give. Things like "Dulu mummy bagi u all makan ni, ok je, besar, sihat pun semua" you know, comments like that.

I remember when my daughter was about 1 year old, her favourite food was chicken & carrots. Chicken!!!! Now, she wont go near anything that taste, looks or sounds like chicken.

Salmon cooked with butter and vege
She would eat the salmon I made for her and the smelly cod fish too.Basically, up to about a year or slight over a year, she ate pretty much everything I cooked for her with no fuss. Whenever we travel, and we used to travel to Singapore pretty regularly, she would eat porridge for breakfast or cereal and for lunch, it would be something from the bottle. That was the only outside food she would eat at the
time. She was also still breastfeeding, which also helped whenever we travel.
What changed? Surely something must have happened along the way that led to this change from being an OK eater to a super fussy eater.
We got our maid when my daughter was about 1.5 years old. She was still eating pretty much whatever we give her but she started becoming fussy after we got our maid. I'm not saying that it is her fault but it started after we got her.
After she came, I became somewhat lazy. Yes, I said it. I don't cook for her as much as I would normally. My maid made some dishes for her and I guess she didn't like them. That was one. Next, after she arrived, she made sure we are always eating when we're at home. She would give my daughter biscuits and cut fruits and that led to a rather bad habit of always eating at all time. Come lunch or dinner time, my daughter is no longer hungry so she will not eat and then, after we are done with dinner, she will ask for fruits or biscuits or bread and like I said, it became a habit. Although my maid started this cycle, me as a mother who is at home with my daughter all the time should have stopped this from happening. What do I know? I obviously wouldn't do anything that's bad for my own daughter. I'm not crazy. I didn't know that eating all the time is bad and will lead to this habit and eventually turn my daughter into the world fussiest eater EVER.
I didn't know. Really, I didn't!!
Now, she's 3.5 years old. It's been 2 years of this bad habit and her fussiness is getting worse and worse that I don't know how to stop. Mind you, she eats and munch ALL THE TIME at home. So its not that she doesn't eat. But she's not eating the right things at the right time.
I don't know how to stop this cycle without having her to starve a little bit.
For example this is the routine....
Breakfast she will usually eat a slice or sometimes 2 slices of bread with peanut butter. She actually just wants the peanut butter but I FORCE her to finish her bread as well. What she does is she will ask me to put a thick layer or peanut butter on the bread and she will actually eat just the peanut butter off the bread and leave the bread last. Normally, if I don't FORCE her to finish the bread, she will just leave it there and ask for a second "slice", which she will do just the same thing. So early in the morning, I start my day normally by FORCING her to finish off her bread. Most days I do it like a routine but somedays, I'm just not fussed and cant be bothered I just let her be! (Boo!!! I'm only human!)
After breakfast we will be doing the normal stuff like showering and ipad or playtime during this period (between 10.00am - 1.00pm) she will have at least biscuits, fruits or again, bread with peanut butter.
Come lunch time, she's not hungry anymore. Those biscuits are filling. She wont just have 2 or 3. She will have at least 10 of them!!! And fruits, if it is apple, it will be 2 whole apples at least. Lunch time, it will be rice. She only eats plain rice. Plain white rice can be very dry so I normally make a clear soup for her. Maybe chicken or sometimes beef or fish soup. Whatever it is, it has to be clear soup cuz if she sees the colour of the rice is a bit different then she wont eat at all. Truth is, she's not hungry. She's just coming up with excuses not to eat. Sometimes, she will eat plain rice with tomato sauce. I have to FORCE her to finish her rice and more often than not, she doesn't eat more than 5-7 spoonful of rice. Very seldom she will finish her portion and trust me, it is not a big portion. No chicken, no beef, no fish..just plain white rice with a little bit of soup to make it less dry.
Then she will have her nap. After about an hour and half of naptime, she will be hungry and will ask for peanut butter with bread. If she's hungry, she will eat the bread. If not, again, it will just be the peanut butter off the bread. And while waiting for dinner, she will be munching on biscuits and fruits and chocolates or candy or whatever junk food we have. I stopped buying crisps because she can eat a whole tub non stop. The amount of salt in it makes her skin itchy and so I don't buy them anymore. But my husband loves them, sometimes he buys it for himself and we have to hide it and will only eat it when she's not looking. Sometimes, she manage to find it and that's when there's no stopping her. She wont stop until it is finished.
Dinner will be the same food like lunch. Plain rice with soup, maybe a different type of soup. And again, before bedtime she will have her milo and if she's hungry, she will ask for bread.
So you see, her diet is really unhealthy. I tried tricking her into eating more things and hide it between the rice or something (cuz I still feed her dinner and lunch! - another unhealthy habit) but she will spit it out as soon as she realises that there's something different there. I cant win basically.
To get her to stop this bad habit will be to cut the snacking totally. If I do that, I'm scared she will be hungry. I really don't know what to do.
I've decided to give up and just send her to school and get this fixed!!! Am I bad for doing that?
I've really given up. There's nothing else I can do.
Try cooking different types of dishes for her? Done that, didn't work. She wont eat them!
At least in school, she will have no choice but to eat whatever the school gives her. And there's no snacking whilst playing and doing her activities. And soon, when she has friends and sees them eating together, she will eat with them. I hope? I don't know.
It is really my fault. I really blame myself for this.
I tried taking away ipads during mealtime to encourage them to pay attention to their food and it didn't work. They were OK without ipad during mealtime but they started running around and refused to sit down quietly and eat. At least the ipad helped to get them to sit down. It's not helping them to enjoy the food and chew quickly but at least they're sat down during mealtime.
Good thing about this school that she'll be enrolled in is.... the classes are from 9.30am - 3.30pm. Almost a full day there. During this period, she will have a morning break, lunch and also snacks, if I'm not mistaken. Kids are not encouraged to bring their own food so they need to eat what's there, like it or not. For my daughter, since she doesn't eat anything..she probably wont eat anything at all from the menu but soon, she will know that if she doesn't eat, she will be hungry. Hopefully she will pick and eat something from the plate and will eat when she sees her friends eating. I sure hope so.
That reminds me, I need to email them to find out more on this!
My daily struggles, I tell you.
Monday, December 9, 2013

16 months old

I cannot believe my son is already 16 months old. He is really growing up too fast.

I don't really talk about my son all that much. Simply because my daughter takes up too much of my life and is the centre of everything that I have very little time for anything else. Even at 3 and half years old, she demands my attention like no body's business. Even my son is not as demanding as her. See, I wanted to talk about my son and now end up talking about her!  I don't know how she does it!

Let's talk about him a little bit.

He is the most adorable little thing EVER. Even when he was a lot younger, he is always laughing and smiling, unlike his big sister who is Ms. Grumpy pot, especially with strangers. My son, he smiles and laugh. He's not afraid of people and very seldom you would hear him cry when someone comes up to him or wants to hold him. He would just look at you with that "Who are you? Why are you carrying me?" look but he wont cry. My daughter would scream and wouldn't go near a stranger when she was his age!

He is very playful too. He loves to play especially with his sister. Whenever she comes near, he would be running away (for her to chase him) and he will start getting excited. Although truth is, she was just walking past him to get a biscuit or something next to him. It's really funny.

Now that he's 16 months, you can see a lot more characters in him...

- He loves his papa A LOT. I wish he is a mummy's boy but this one is a Papa's boy for sure. His eyes just lights up whenever he sees his papa. Every picture on the wall is papa. Everything is papa. Whenever he sees my phone, he will say "papa" cuz he will want me to call papa. Whenever he hears papa's voice on the phone he will get excited. Whenever papa is around, he wants no one else.

- He loves kicking the ball. He can really kick a ball and run around kicking a ball for ages. I don't know if all boys are like this but I think he will become a good footballer. He kicks like a pro. Even his sister at age 3.5 cant kick like him. So stylo the way he kicks.

- He is not a fussy eater unlike his sister, thank god. And he eats pretty much anything and everything. He doesn't really eat a lot for breakfast but come lunch and dinner, he will eat whatever we give him. His favourite food is chicken. Fried chicken to be exact. Oh, and keropok too. He can finish a whole tub of keropok. He doesn't like chocolate and is not really into anything sweet, again, unlike his sister who is hantu candy!

- He loves to hold hands. Like whenever he is in the car, he will sit in his carseat. Will be a struggle there because he doesn't like to sit in there and wants to be in front but we force him to sit there as long as he can. My maid will be at the back with him normally and in order to get him to sleep, if he is feeling sleepy in the car, you'd need to let him hold your hand. He always wants to touch your arms (and cubit cubit, while he's at it), and needs to feel and hold my hand or my maid's hand. At home, whenever he is tired or wants to nap, he would guling-guling on me. If we are in bed, he will put his head on my tummy, while his hand will touch my hand and gomol-gomol muka on my body etc. It's really funny. But cute at the same time.

- He cant say much, which is really cute at the moment. His sister started talking at this age but my little man is a bit behind in his speech. He can say things like papa, truck, no no (sambil geleng kepala), duck, teeth and that's pretty much it. LOL but he understands everything we tell him to. He follows instruction only when he wants to although I know he knows what we're asking him to do.

- He is confused between yes (nods) and no (geleng kepala). If I ask him if he wants milk, when he nods it will mean that he doesn't want it and when he geleng his kepala, it means he wants milk. His sister knows about this confusion so whenever she asks him a yes/no question, if it is a yes, she will push his head down to nod.

- He is starting to geram his sister. Whenever she's sleeping, he would ramas muka her! Which will wake her up normally and which will make her kick him. (Yes, it happens all the time).

- He loves playing behind the curtain and say "Cak!" whenever we find him there!

- Whenever I hug him when he sleeps, it is often he will sleep longer. He will be sweating because of the body heat and all, but he will surely sleep longer.

- He loves being in the pool. If we go on holiday and if he sees a swimming pool, or a pond or a longkang, he will cry to go inside there! He loves being in the water.

Well, that's him. That's my son.
The love of my life!

Don't grow up too fast babyboy. Mummy wants to close shop already, so you better be a baby longer!

Grocery Shopping

I love doing grocery shopping. Even back in UK when I was living alone and seldom cook, grocery shopping was something I love and enjoy doing. In case the mood comes to cook, everything important is there to cook.

Before I got married, I never had to do any sort of grocery shopping. Of course, my lovely mum handled all that. And somehow I don't remember going grocery shopping with her a lot. I guess for the longest time after I came back to Malaysia for good, I never had to do any grocery shopping. Weird but true.

After I got married and especially after I got my daughter, I of course had to do more grocery shopping. I'm never alone as my husband would accompany me almost all the time. If I'm ever seen doing grocery shopping alone, it will probably be when he was away from town. Of course when there's the husband tagging along, I couldn't really enjoy the shopping. It is always rushing instead of slowly walking down the aisle picking and deciding which brand to go for or studying the price to see which is the cheapest. With Mr. Husband, it is always grab, grab, grab and go!

When we go shopping for groceries, the whole family tags along. That is my 2 children, my husband and of course my maid. I will make a list of items to purchase and then we will divide the list between myself and my maid. My husband will often pick up the random things that's not on the list like junk food and things like his shaving cream or something like that. We will meet up at the till once we are done. Again, always rushing because when there's kids there who usually wouldn't sit still, it is difficult to take time to shop for things. And especially since my daughter has the sweetest tooth ever, she will want to bring back every chocolate and candy she sees in the supermarket.

For about a year, this was going on until I discovered Tesco online. Hurray!!!! Finally, after almost 8 years of being back in KL for good, we can now shop online for groceries. Mind you, I came back for good back in 2005 and this Tesco online was already going on in UK then. (You can see how behind we really are in online shopping!). I was excited when I saw the Tesco online truck in my neighbourhood here. I knew we already have the service the minute I saw the truck.

I tried to log on and somehow my address didn't pop up. So I just ignored it and for about few months after that, I forgot all about it. Then I saw the truck on my street. I went online again and although the exact jalan is not there, the jalan next to my jalan is there so I used my creativity to modify the address and it worked.

My first experience was last month. At the time, there were few items that I wanted that they didn't have and I remember thinking, this might be a one off order but now, Im actually hooked. Once a week, Tesco will come to my house to deliver my orders. I haven't been to Village Grocer for over a month now!!!! How great is that?

Now with this service, I don't have to leave my house to get my shopping done. When you have two kids, this is the easiest way to do your household shopping. I still do visit the Village Grocer every now and then but it is more to get the items that I cant find from Tesco online.

I must say I do miss going grocery shopping but this will do for now. I get my fish, chicken and meat from pasar tani near my house every Saturday morning. It's so easy. I have never been to a pasar tani (or any pasar for that matter) before but now, I get to go to the pasar like everyone does every Saturday morning. Well, unless I get up late then there's no point in going cuz all the stuff are out.

Anyway my point here is that there's an easier way to manage my grocery shopping now with Tesco online. There's a lot more things that is still not up to par with the UK online shopping system but at least we are getting there.

In case you're wondering, here's basically how it works...

1. Register online and you need to check if your location is within their delivery area. If it is not, then sorry, you wont be able to use this service. I guess they'll get to your area someday.
2. Log on and pick a delivery time. Normally it is the next day delivery. Once you have picked a delivery time, you're all set to go.
3. Do your shopping. Click click click and click.
4. Confirm your order and done.

You need to pay only when they deliver your items and payment can only be made by credit card as they don't accept cash on delivery at the moment.

Say for example, an item that you want becomes unavailable, they will replace it with something similar and you will have the choice to say whether you want to take the substitute or not. If not, they wont charge you for it. If you do accept it, then you pay the price of the item.

You may change or modify your orders anytime up to 11.00pm the day before the delivery so in case there are more items that needed to be added to your order, you can do so at anytime before 11.00pm.

Cool isn't it?

No this is not a sponsored post. I really do use this service.

Oh, and another this...

Once you have placed an order, the next time you want to order again, all the items you've ordered before will be placed under a "favourites" so you don't need to search for it again and again. For me, items like milo, or detergent, or whatever that I order on a regular basis, is all under that group. Easy.

Go on, try it!

Enjoy shopping.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Trip to the Dentist

I'm due for my dental check-ups and normally, I'd go to my usual dentist in Sri Damansara but this time, I decided to take my daughter along. Kind of to introduce her to the dentist and get her checked and whatnot. Going to the dentist can be pretty scary even to an adult (not me), so I imagined it to be pretty difficult for my daughter to come along.

My daughter is a character. She's bubbly and loud and talks non-stop but she's only like this with us (myself, my husband, my maid and my mum). She wont say a word to other people, she wont even open her eyes when someone goes near her. It's really difficult to get her to mix around. But luckily she's ok with kids. She's only like this with adults especially adults who comes in her 'space'. So you see, taking her to the dentist, is not going to be easy.

As usual, I did my research. Asked around for child-friendly dentists and asked our paed and looked up on the internet, the usual and found nothing much. I really had no clue where to go cuz I didn't want to take her to my usual dentist. Although my dentist is ok and nice and all, he's not exactly the type to entertain kids, I think. I don't know. I've never tried asking even.

One day, we were at BSC and my husband was getting his haircut and I was walking around A Cut Above and walked past Yee Dental. The clinic is next to A Cut Above from the back. I walked inside as I see some toys in the clinic so I figured, they must be child friendly to have toys lying around there. True enough, they were friendly and they told me that to introduce the child to the clinic, the best thing they recommend is for us parents to come for a check-up and let the child play and see what's being done and slowly this will show them that it's not all that scary. Good idea!

I made an appointment and all set to go.

Before the appointment, I asked her my daughter first if she will be ok to come along and perhaps let the dentist take a look at her teeth and have a simple check up. She said ok and went on about how she's now a big girl now yada yada yada, she wont cry, yada yada yada..... She always does this. Acts all brave and when the time comes, she will cling to my legs and start screaming. I expect this from her everytime but I kept on telling her what the dentist will do and the process and I even showed her some clips of children going to the dentists for check-up on YouTube - the non-scary ones of course!
Funny story, she found a video of Mr Bean visiting the dentist too and was making jokes about it.

On the day of the appointment, it was just the two of us going to BSC. My son was home with my husband and maid and during the 40 minutes drive, I told her not to be scared and again was trying to get her to be calm. She seems calm though but like I said, she's always like this before seeing that 'stranger'.

Initially I wanted to do cleaning but the doctor said perhaps that is not such a good idea as it might seem a bit too much for the kid. He said he will just do a general check up. I basically just had to sit there while he counted my teeth (and this made my daughter pretty interested to look) and it was done within 5 minutes. He made it interesting for her. Like explaining to her the chair is a magic chair and it can be transformed into a bed. You know, kids stuff. He gave me sunglasses too (to protect from the light) and he said something like it gives me super power or something. My daughter was like "wahhhhhhhhh" all impressed.

When it was her turn, he asked her if she wanted to sit on her own or sit on me. She obviously said she wanted to sit on me and so it wasn't all that scary as I got to hug her throughout the whole process. She followed his instructions "open your mouth" "close your mouth" type of thing and counted her teeth together. He almost sounded like a preschool teacher.

Overall it was a good experience for my daughter. She wasn't scared at all and in the end, he said she was a brave girl and he has a little surprise for her. She got excited and was given a choice to get a sticker or a balloon. She chose a balloon, in blue!

During this visit he also told me what to do and what not to do to maintain her oral hygiene. Most of the things I already know and is already doing but it's good to be reminded anyway.

Thumbs up and highly recommended. I'm a fan of this clinic and Doctor Eugene now!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

School hunt

I've been looking for a school for my daughter for a while now. I mean, it's not supposed to be so "serious" because she's only going to be in kindy but I take things like her education pretty seriously. I honestly don't know what is the best when it comes to education (or anything else for that matter) but I would like to think that I've done enough research to ensure that I am fully informed when I make my decision. It has become quite a stressful exercise actually. God help me.

As a SAHM, my job is obviously to find out all the information there is and then make my decision on which one is best and then present it to my husband. He will then make the final decision as he is the paymaster. I only show to him the shortlisted ones as I'm sure he is not interested to know the details. He just wants to know where the school is, what do they teach her, why is it good and of course, how much it will cost him. The last one is the tough one because when it comes to the fees, it can go up really high and sometimes, the fees can even sound ridiculous & crazy. I don't want him to think I'm only looking for expensive schools. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean good. Although usually, good schools are expensive schools. I don't know. But anyways..it's been pretty stressful.

First of all, it is our location. We moved and we are no longer staying in the golden triangle. We used to stay in town and there, it was 15 minutes to Bangsar (where most of the good schools I wanted to send my daughter to are), it was 15 minutes to Ampang (where most of the international kindy are). Basically, we were not limited to just one area. We had Bangsar, Damansara, TTDI, Ampang, Melawati all under 20 minutes away. Driving to all those areas aren't too bad. We were central enough to miss most traffic and for me (who will eventually be driving my daughter to school daily), isn't too bad. But now, we are in Kajang where it will be quite far for us to travel to all the areas mentioned above. I need to find a school that's nearby and I have to consider the heavy traffic coming to and from town. And when you hear Kajang, you automatically think.. "oh dear god, what kind of school can you find there", right? Well, that was what was in my head when my research started.

I looked at a few. Found few normal ones and nothing special. Nothing that really caught my attention. I then started calling few schools outside Kajang area like Mont Kiara and Ampang. I was really pushing it too because there is NO WAY I could get my daughter to school on time without having to leave home really early in the morning. I gave up. I couldn't find anything.
I then tried Cheras as Cheras is pretty close to us. The only school I would want to send my daughter to in Cheras is Cempaka International School. Only because, I was from Cempaka. I studied in their Damansara Campus during my time and I loved the school. But I was quite disappointed when I found out that they will only accept my daughter when she's a little bit older. I had to wait till she's 4 and I don't want to wait much longer.

Finally I found a kindergarten in Seri Kembangan. It fits the bill and although it is not THE BEST but it will do. I was thinking perhaps I can send my daughter there first and then maybe when she turns 4, I can move her to Cempaka. That was MY plan. We visited the school and it was pretty ok. It had a huge indoor playground (similar to Kidsport type of indoor playground) and the teaching method was Montessori. I guess it was ok. It also has international students and that was good too as my daughter will get to mix around with foreigners too.

Then at a party, I spoke to a friend and she was telling me that Kajang now has so many international schools coming up and if I'm willing to drive out a bit more, there's also international schools in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. Great! Those areas aren't too bad.

I had a few more options. But this time, it wont be a simple Kindergarten anymore. It will be a proper school.

My issue is actually this..... Being a Malaysian who lives in Malaysia and most probably going to be in Malaysia forever, my first option is of course to send my kids to a school which follows the local syllabus - meaning UPSR, PMR, SPM just like me. But our local syllabus and curriculum keeps changing and it is kind of pissing me off. I don't want to say I have no confident in our national curriculum because I come from that curriculum and I turned out alright BUT, it is 2013 now and things are more competitive and different now. Maybe during my time it was OK but with the constant changes (one minute it is in English, next minute in BM, one minute there's PMR, then next minute it will be something else), I am really confused and unsure if the local curriculum is the best for my daughter.

I really didn't want her to follow the international curriculum but lately, after doing a lot of reading..I think I should pick a syllabus that is proven to be good and my daughter needs to be in a system that is consistent. My concern about international school is that she will only mix with a certain type of people and if possible, I want her to have a good mix of friends. My other concern is agama. Most international school don't really stress on this subject and if I'm not mistaken, some don't even offer that subject in school. I know I can send her to class mengaji and get ustazah to come over but I wish she didn't have to attend other classes outside school. I still want her to enjoy being a kid.

So I've come to a decision.

She will be in an international school.

We found one nearby and I'm quite happy with the presentation given by the school during the open day. I wouldn't call myself a kiasu mom but I just want to give her the best. I see a lot of potential in my daughter and I think she can do really well.

The school hunt is now over Alhamdulillah. Now papa needs to find extra $$$ to pay for the ridiculous school fee!

I hope it is the right decision.