Saturday, June 28, 2014

Feeling blessed

Tomorrow will be the first day of Ramadhan. Tonight, I performed terawih at home for the first time. I couldn't stop crying the whole time as I had mixed emotions and feeling so very blessed.

My aunt, in our WA group chat (consisting on all my aunts, mum & cousins & siblings) reminded me how to perform terawih and its niat. Alhamdulillah I completed the first day of terawih successfully InsyaAllah.  

In my doa, I asked for many things. One of the things that is always in my prayers are of course for my children. Dr Marsitah (my gynae when I was pregnant with my daughter) told me a doa and somehow that doa is something I read everyday and it goes "Ya Allah, make my children solehin & solehah, outstanding in their performance, dunya & akhirat" it's a very simple doa. She told me to read it when we first met and somehow, that doa stayed in my head. (She told me many others but I can't remember - bless her).

While I was performing my terawih, my son was already asleep. It was already about 10pm. My daughter wanted to wait for my husband to come back from masjid so she hung out with my maid in the back room. I didn't know what they were up to when I was praying. It was quiet so I figured, she could be asleep on the sofa or something. I prayed in peace and with full kusyuk. It was bliss.

After I prayed, I went looking for my daughter. As I stood outside the back room door, I could hear her reciting Alfatihah out loud. It was very loud and almost shouting. I didn't open the door and recorded the sounds from outside the door. It was loud and clear, she was reciting Alfatihah. I didn't know what was going on inside there. I opened the door and saw her sitting on the sofabed, holding a muqaddam and pretending as if she is reading the Al-Quran. It was the cutest thing in the world. I was so proud and it was such a blessing to witness it. My maid was ironing and just standing there watching her. I saw my daughter, she looked at me and continued "reading" and I said "oh ok, that's good!" and walked out. I didn't want to distract her. I closed the door and she continued "reading" alfatihah a couple more times.

I am so blessed. 

I know there are so many things I'm not happy about, about life. You know, little things here and there but I have SO SO SO much to be thankful for. 

I hope this Ramadhan will be a good one for me. I hope to be better. One step at a time insyaAllah.

Have a blessed Ramadhan to all...


 


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jetlag sucks

I've been back in KL for over 4 days now and I'm still on Europe time. I'm still so very tired and I really wish we could go away to some island and just be by the beach and do nothing.

First day we were back, I was already cooking the next meal. We arrived at 6am and I was already cooking lunch. I almost fell asleep while cooking. I hinted to my husband that I'm sleepy and tired but he didn't get it so there I was, cooking with my eyes half closed. I only made beef soup and fried chicken and what do you know? It doesn't taste all that good. Are you surprised? 

I'm just so sleepy and tired! I haven't had any rest since I got back. I can't sleep at night because I'm still jetlagged. Football isn't helping because I like watching it. We'd watch it till 4am.

Last night was the first night I slept early. I slept by 10am and slept till morning. Interrupted a few times because my son is always waking up for milk.

I really need to wean him. He shouldn't need to wake up at night for milk. He's almost 2! 

I hate jetlag. Especially when I have to cook 2 meals a day, I have to shower and look after the kids and yada yada yada. I'm so not cut for this job

High Cholesterol

While I was in London, I saw tiny spots on my eyelid. I don't know whether it is an indication that I have high cholesterol but my mum has it and it is due to her high cholesterol level. 

Every time I go for medical check ups, the results will show that my Cholesterol level is high-ish. It's not high enough for me to go on medication or whatever but doctor will always ask me to control my food. 

When I was walking around in Bangsar Village that day, I saw them promoting this Oatmax thingy. The Chinese doctor that does my reflexology also told me to get this before so I figured, why not give it a go. Apparently your cholesterol level will drop after consuming this for at least 2 months twice a day.

You need to take one scoop in the morning (before breakfast) and one scoop at night (before dinner).

It taste like ... Well, it is tasteless. The texture is thick and yucky but I can drink it no problem.

Hopefully this will be good for me. This is not a sponsored post ok. This is just something I am trying right now. 

Gotta stay healthy!

Traveling with kids

I have 2 kids. My daughter is 4 and my son is 2. They are a handful! 

This trip to London and Paris is a little bit different than our other trips. 

1. It is our first without taking the maid
2. It is the first time traveling on a long flight

When we decided that our new maid will not join us for this trip, I panicked. I wanted to make sure I had everything with me. We used to travel without maid before when it was just the 3 of us but that was different. My daughter was fully breastfed and only feed direct, which means I didn't have to pack bottles, formula, brush and whatnot to clean the bottles and all that stuff. It was basically just packing her clothes and diapers. This time it is a lot different because there's so much more to pack.

I did a research and asked around for tips on what to pack and here, I can share with you some of the stuff I learned and found to be helpful


1. Ziplock bags. I've never packed this way before but someone told me that I should as it is easier to find things. How you do it is, pack panties in one bag, socks in one bag, pants in one bag and so on. For me, since I have 2 kids, I have 2 sets of each. It was so much easier and neater to pack this way. I love it! I bought few sizes of these bags from Village Grocer. I even pack different snacks and items in these. For example, pacifiers are all in one pack, bottle washing liquid and brushes in one pack and so on. Love this! How come I didn't think of this before? 

2. Diapers. I know you can always buy it anywhere but I bring own diapers for my kids. It just saves time (although it does take up a lot of space). My daughter is fully potty trained but when we were on holiday, especially on days when we are out and about, I put diaper on for her. I know I shouldn't but it makes my life easier.

3. Formula milk. This is tricky. Bring bring bring. I bought 1 can of formula milk thinking that it is enough but on the last night we were in Paris, we ran out. Yes of course they sell formula milk there but how do I know which one to get that will suit my son? What if it doesn't suit him and he gets diarrhea or something? I can't have him poopooing 10x on a long flight. I should have brought more but I didn't. I gave him fresh milk on the last day. He didn't really want to drink it but he did at last. Luckily the formula really only totally ran out on the day we left but still, the whole time on our 13 hours flight back we relied on fresh milk. Just to note that MAS has fresh milk and they even have formula (but I don't know which ones) just in case you totally ran out but it's always best to have your own and let your toddler/baby drink something he/she is used to drinking.

4. In flight entertainment
This is a tough one for me because my kids don't like colouring or writing. Some kids do and they can colour all night but mine doesn't find those interesting and won't do it. I read somewhere about preparing a little travel kit for my daughter to play with and so I made one. 

She likes to play with little things like this and I prepared some items like so. It isn't anything at all but it was good enough to keep her entertained. I bought the case from Daiso and filled it up with little little things I can find that is small enough to fit in those compartments! There's stickers, balls, dough, buttons, stamps and her hair clips. That kept her entertained for a good 1-2 hours! 

5. My kids are on their iPad as much as any other kid. I wouldn't say they're glued to it 24/7 because they don't. I brought iPad along anyway but somehow they didn't even use it much. So maybe next time, I will just leave it.

6. I was worried we won't have anything we need on that 13 hours flight so I packed everything! Of course our usual bag is too small so we got our small'ish suitcase and filled it up with things. It was kind of troublesome getting stuff out from it because it is still big and of course heavy. In that bag, I had snacks of all sorts, plenty of diapers (about 8), 2 extra clothing each, toys and kit to entertain them, pajamas, toiletries, medications, bottles, liquid bottle cleaner etc. I didn't need half of those. So next time, I will pack lighter. 

It's not easy to travel with toddlers and young kids. There's strollers to bring too. And imagine this, each kid will be on their own stroller so that is one kid per parent to push, right? What about our suitcases then? Who will push them?
That was our problem! 

We had 4 suitcases all together including the small handcarry suitcase. We needed a trolley for all that. We need at least 3 people. Luckily for us, we have so many people traveling with us so we got some help pushing the kids or pushing the trolley. But when we arrived the airport, no one was there yet and it was such a hassle. Had to push kids inside the airport first, then I stayed with the kids while hubs went outside to push the trolley with our suitcases. One point we were pushing it together. One hand pushing the stroller and another hand pushing the trolley. 

I will think twice about traveling without my maid next time
Friday, June 20, 2014

Back to work

I'm back from my holiday and boy, what a holiday! I'm happy and proud to say that I DIDNT shop. Yes I didn't! So unlike me? Well, it's not that I didn't want to, I just didn't have time. I had my kids with me the whole time and they wouldn't let me shop at all. I'm glad I didn't though.
(Regretting it now but at least I saved a lot of money!)

Anyway, I've been back for about 2 days now and I am still jetlagged. It's 3am now and I'm wide awake.

First thing I did when I got home was check my work emails and sms'es. I went straight to work-mode. I didn't know where to start but slowly I'm getting there and starting to remember stuff that needed to be done. (I have really bad memory!)

Before we left for this holiday, I scheduled a photoshoot for kupukupu. I don't take good photos so I decided it's best I hire one. Today, I'm super excited because I got some of the photos back. Love working with KC. She is so easy to work with! If you need a photographer especially for children, I would recommend her for sure. 

Here are some photos we took.. We should have had more but my daughter was not in the best mood then (she just recovered from a mild fever, it was raining that morning which made the grass all wet, it was also very hot then so all this just made my "models" act rather diva'ish. (What do you call a male diva? Divo? LOL) 

This is a really pretty piece. Blue Polka berries

Kids acting funny! They were done but I insisted they continued working! Funny they are!

Baby dots is also really pretty up close. 

This one is really sweet too. This colourful floral kurung is made from Italian cotton.

One of my favourite prints. I think this is really sweet and pretty.

This is the favorite. I don't produce many pieces but I get lots of request for this design. It is really cute and my favourite piece. I only have 2 left in size 3 (for 3 years old).

This is something for the boys. Purple checked print pants with plain purple top.

Another purple piece. In case you are wondering why I have 2 purple designs, it is actually because my daughter chose it. Her favourite colour is purple and during the fabric buying stage, she insisted on purple. She helps me with stuff.

This grey piece is actually very cute. The top is plain and the bottom is polka dots. I have this fabric for baju kurung too but I made the top in polka dot and plain bottom instead to make it slightly different. It comes in another colour too.

So have you found something you like yet from my collection? I hope so. Let me know what you think so I can improve in the future! Thank you for your support! Now help me sell these please!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

London calling

The last time I was in London was probably over 5 years ago. I didn't realize how much I miss UK until I got here. It is bringing back so much good memories and giving me lots of happy vibes.

Flight from KL wasn't all that bad. Luckily we took the night flight and although kids drove me nuts that night up till 2am, they slept for about 6 hours. By the time they were up, ate, got changed and whatnot, we were already in London. It could have been a lot worse. For that I'm thankful. Alhamdulillah.

The weather has been amazing!! Who would have thought that London summer can be this good. The last time I was here, it was in the summer too (July) and it was raining, it was cold and it didn't feel like summer at all but this trip, it is the best kind of summer. Love it so much.

I booked Arlington House Apartment in Mayfair for this trip. I booked it through Agoda at the last minute too. We didn't have much options left and thank God for that because we love this place. The apartment itself is good. Very clean and a good size. It didn't look nothing like the photo on Agoda but it was still good enough. 

It has 3 bedroom, a kitchen, 3 bathroom and basically everything we need. This includes washing machine, dryer, oven and everything. Love it!



The location is super good too! It is actually next door to the Ritz.
It is a short 2 minutes walk to shops, caf├ęs and Marks&Spencer, Boots, bus stops. Easy access to get taxis too because there's always one waiting at the Ritz. It is also next to Green Park! 

You can see Green Park from our living room window. Green Park is huge too! 

Ok enough about the Apartment!

Day 1 we were still jetlagged and to keep us up and awake, we decided to go around the town on the double decker bus. This bus took us around the major attractions. 

It was fun. Kids were sleeping. I decided to be a tourist and sat upstairs to get a better view. Weather was amazing and sunny and just the best ever!

I love London. I wanna move here
Thursday, June 5, 2014

I hate packing!

We will be off for our holiday soon and one thing that I still haven't done is pack. I always leave it till the last minute. I don't know why I do that but I do. I guess I just hate having to take stuff out from the luggage if we need them again and then finally forget to put it back inside. So packing on the night before we leave or the day we leave is best for me.


When Rose was working for us, when she first started, I prepared a list for her. Things that we need, what stuff we must bring and exactly what to pack. She will pack for the kids but I'll pack my own bags, while my husband packs his own stuff. But after a lot of traveling together, Rose got the hang of it and didn't need my list anymore. She knows what to bring and I will just let her do it. I will remind her to cross check every now and then but normally, I will just leave her to it.


Now that she is no longer with us, I have to make that list again. (I should have kept the old list or type it out but I don't!). I have to go through the list again and again to make sure I have everything on it. This time, I will make sure I type out the list for future reference. I will not share my list yet as I don't know if it is a good enough list and I need to test if I have everything I need when I'm there. I'll share it with you once I am back from my trip and that way, I will know if that list is "tested & approved" one.


Traveling alone is easy. Traveling with 1 kid is tough but traveling with 2 kids is a nightmare. Both have different needs and wants and I got to make sure I have enough things with me when we are on that 13 hours flight to London. Other things, we can easily just buy when we're there. Mothercare in London is super cheap and much better than KL anyway.


Wish me luck!!!! Do share how to pack when you travel with your little ones.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mini Melissa anyone?

I bought this pair of Mini Melissa for my daughter as it is super cute. I saw them in One Utama and few other malls selling for over RM200 so when someone wanted to sell me this for RM150, I said why not.


Turns out, it is the wrong size for my daughter. She cant wear it and I got to sell it off since they don't have a bigger size.


Any takers?


I got it for RM150. Never worn except in the house when she tried to put it on. She loves it.



Email me if you want it. I'll let it go for RM130 (including postage!)

KupuKupu

This is my little project. Unlike the other stuff that I was doing, this is mine and only mine. There's 2 ways of looking at it.

1. It gives me full power to do what I like and what's best for the brand
2. So much weight on my shoulder as it is a one man show type of thing

I do get help. Biggest help I got is from my mother who is also very passionate about this. We are new in this business and have no clue how to do thing. Basic business knowledge applies but when it comes to sourcing for things or finding out the best and most efficient way to run it, we are both clueless. My mother is a businesswoman yes, but she doesn't know social media and she doesn't know online business. So it is a learning process too for her. 

I get ideas from friends too. I ask them to choose or help me decide on the fabric. I also get input on the designs from a friend. I mean, baju kurung is a baju kurung.. Simple as that but to make our baju kurung stand out, we have to add something to it. We don't know if it will work or the general public will like it or not (some prefer a kurung to be just a kurung - I'm one of them) but who knows, we try and we shall see.

My daughter will help model the kurungs. My son, is no help at all. He can't sit still and taking a photo of him wearing the baju melayu is always a big disappointment! Ah well!

I have no idea how to market this to be perfectly honest. I don't know which way to go. But I know my product and I am confident that it will sell. Slowly somehow!


Someone did a review on Instagram and we gained quite a few followers! I was so excited, I couldn't sleep! First promo! 

Hopefully we will be able to sell more soon. Raya is approaching so the timing is just right. I'll be away on holiday soon and won't be able to pay so much attention on this so I've decided to close the "shop" while I'm away. I could get people to help but since this is my first project, I want to be hands on. 



Here are some of the new stuff we have in store. My favourite is the geometric print. My daughter will be wearing it for raya for sure! 

Do give me ideas or tips if you have on how I can increase sales and gain some publicity. Thanks for your support!

Who is to blame?

I was out shopping on Sunday. I had my husband, my maid and my mother-in-law with me, and of course, my 2 young children. My daughter is almost 4 and my son, he is an active almost 2 year old boy. Whenever we go out shopping, we have our struggles. One of the biggest struggle is to keep my daughter happy. She knows what she wants from every single mall and she knows where to get them. For example, when in Bangsar Village, she will drag us to either the cake shop to get her dose of rainbow cake (she only eats the cream and leave the cake itself!), or she will drag us to Toys R Us where we will have to spend at least 30 minutes walking around before she can decide what she wants to buy or, she will drag us to the supermarket to get her dose of M&Ms. Yes, she knows where to get what she wants to get and I don't like to see her showing tantrums at the mall. I don't like getting stares from other parents or other people and more often than not, we will do as she tells us. That itself sounds so wrong. But what can you do? We do what works for us, thank you very much.


So on Sunday, we were happily walking around Gardens when we saw people crowding the area around the escalator. I didn't think much of it and thought that it must have been some problems with the escalator or something. Worst case was someone's shoe got stuck to it or something. But I let my kepo-ness slide.


When I got home, I saw on the news this and OMG, a million thoughts was going through my head. It could happen to anyone. A little girl fell from the 3rd floor of the mall. I refuse to read much on it because it will traumatize me, I'm sure.


I spoke to my husband about it and it got us somewhat shaken.


We were there when it happened. We saw the crowd and didn't find out what was going on. And before we left, we went for a quick bite at Alexis and there, my son was running freely (my maid was looking after him), while I sat down watching and eating my pizza.


See what I just said???


My MAID was looking after him while he was running around freely (there is an escalator there too) and according to my husband, while I was in the toilet, my son went really close to the railings too.


It could have been my kid in the news!!!!!


It is such an eye opener, I swear.
Don't take things for granted no matter how good your maid is. Always keep an eye on them at all times especially in the mall. So many things could have happened and I am so glad and thankful that my son is ok.


There's a lot of rumours and speculation going around about how the kid fell. I didn't see it. I don't know what happened and I have no idea who is to be blamed. One thing I know, the feelings of her mother and father. The guilt, regardless it was their fault that it happened. They lost a child and they're forever going to live with that. I've read someone commented about how the mother was "playing" with her phone while the father was buying popcorn. Wallahualam. No mother wants this to happen so please when you are making those comments, whether or not it is the parent's fault, please just take a step back and think.... how sure are you that this wont happen to you? are you so confident that your child is protected 100% of the time when they are out? I cant say...and therefore I will reserve my comments.


To the parents, may you find it in you to forgive yourself and redha with what had happened. And to the child, Alfatihah and may you rest in peace. To the rest, please be careful when you are out. It could happen to ANYONE. Yes, even you! (or me).


I'm already traumatized. Cannot imagine being in that parent's shoes.
Sad day.

Holiday season

We're the last minute kind of family. I still don't know why we are the way we are but that's the way we roll in this family. We don't benefit from all the Matta Fair discounts, or MAS travel fairs or whatever travel fairs. More often than not, we have to fork out more for our last minute travels. Yet, when we are set to go, price don't matter. If it did, then we just choose a cheaper destination or something that would suit our budget or sometimes, cancel the whole plan all together. That's just how it is with us. I have a love-hate relationship traveling this way but I don't know if there's much option.


We haven't had a good holiday since forever. The last overseas trip was probably...to HCMC back in 2012. I don't think we went overseas (apart from driving to Singapore every few months) last year in 2013. Did we? Even I cant remember, so there you go!


Late last year, we wanted to go to Australia. To Perth. But because of the last minute thing, again, the prices were rocket high and then finally, we cancelled it all together. I spent days looking up for things to do, where to eat in Perth. It was so close but yet so far. In the end, it was a no go. I didn't fuss much because I secretly do not like to go on holidays anymore. I love my bed too much. I'm starting to become like those old ladies who don't like to leave their home. Yup, that's me. Whenever we stay in the hotel, I feel like the bed is so uncomfortable.


Anyway, since end of last year we've been talking about going somewhere. We don't know where but we got to go somewhere. Finally, just a couple of weeks ago, we've decided to go to London and Paris. It was a last minute plan and as usual, in the last minute, plans kept changing and then, boom! 10 pax of us going.


We just managed to secure an apartment in London few days back. Our London trip is pretty much booked and sorted. Now we have to sort out Paris. I've been to Paris but I don't know much about it which makes it so much harder. At least in London, you know exactly where to go and where to stay but in Paris? I have no clue.


Some suggested we give AirBnb a try. It is a lot cheaper but I don't know if that is the route we should take as the risk involved is pretty high. Worst case scenario is we don't have a place to stay and with toddlers around, I cant have that.


Still searching for a nice apartment in Paris, which we haven't found. I've shortlisted some hotels which were reasonable in price and in an OK location. I don't know what else to do.


I'm really not looking forward to this trip. It's only going to be for 10days but I have so much kupukupu work to do and I know 10days could have been spent making sales instead of spending money in a foreign city! sigh.


Ah well...


oh...and my maid is not coming with us on this trip too. We've decided not to take her because she doesn't seem competent enough yet. If it was Rose, it would have been different story!
I miss her!


Next topic will be packing for the trip! HEADACHE I tell ya!



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Have you done yours

My grandma was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was in her 70s. She is super healthy prior to that and when we found out, it was a big blow to all of us. I remember it was Valentines Day and I was away in Langkawi at the time while my grandma was in hospital. It all happened so fast but alhamdulillah, we detected it early and alhamdulillah since she was really healthy at the time, the surgery was a success. She is cancer free and didn't have to go through any further treatment for her cancer. The surgery was it and once it was removed, she is back to normal. 

Since then all of us in the family is always extra careful. One of the things we did was to ensure we get our papsmear done as regularly as needed, for me, it was advised that I get it done every 2-3 years. I did one after my daughter was born and last week, I did another one.

No news is good news according to my gynae.

Waiting for my turn was like so nerve wrecking. Almost like I've done something wrong and waiting for punishment at the guru besar's office! 
My heart was beating so fast and I couldn't understand why. I've done papsmears so many times so why was I feeling nervous I don't understand.

It was not painful at all. Not even uncomfortable. It was all good. 

Now I gotta wait for a week before the result is out!

Fingers crossed all is well! 

So much to do

I really don't think 24 hours is enough anymore. Like seriously, I have so much to do every single day and not enough hours to get them done!

I am off to London this weekend. This time we will be traveling without my maid which we never ever do. We always take rose wherever we go as she is an awesome help but with this new maid, she is not as efficient as Rose and bringing her along would probably be not much of a help. We considered it at first and even offered Rose to come but apparently it takes ages for visa approval for them and even if we wanted to bring them we couldn't. So yes, I am expected to go crazy on this trip with no help and crazy active kids. God help me!

My kurungs are still available. Some pieces are sold out but I still have quite a bit to sell. I will be away for almost 2 weeks and I guess during that time, I will not be able to make any sales! Waste of precious time but hopefully when I come back, I can make the sale quickly before puasa and raya. So if you are interested in my kurungs and baju melayu, pls visit our Instagram page @mykupukupu and let me know which ones you want. Last day to order will be this coming Friday 6th of June 2014.

So much to do and so little time!!! 
Wish me luck!