July 28, 2011

the means to the end.

I’ve never written about this before. But today, I just feel like it.

Babies.

The decision whether or not to have them in the first place, to me, is personal.

But rezeki?

Whether or not a couple is to be blessed with child/ren, is totally and completely a discretion which only Allah can exercise.

We’re entering our 7th month. 7 months of marriage, not pregnancy. Granted, people are curious, so they ask. And most of the time, I tell everyone to relax. It hasn’t even been a year.

Thankfully though, my immediate family, both my own and my in-laws are pretty cool about things. Let’s not get started on my aunties. They tell me to have fun for as long as I want. Just not too long.

And so, when everyone close to me is on my side, their answers to people’s queries make me happy.

Like how Mama answers when she’s asked,

“Relax, baru masuk padang, belum masuk goal.”

On her nicer days, she would simply tell people that “belum ada rezeki.”

But I’ve got to say that Babah’s response has been the most epic yet,

“Macam mana saya nak ada cucu? Anak saya kan baru kahwin 5 bulan? Bukan kena tunggu 9 bulan ke baru boleh ada cucu?”

So... technical. But yet, so true isn’t it?

I often find that I am not pressurized by people’s constant queries. In fact, there are times when I found it amusing, heartwarming even, the fact that everyone cares so much they just HAVE to ask.

But, when people ask me almost everyday until I become all paranoid to meet them? That’s when I feel smoke coming out of my ears.

Especially those times when I just got my period, when I had hoped it didn’t come.

Sex.

It’s often considered a taboo subject to be discussed openly. But what people don’t realise is that they broach the subject in exactly the opposite manner, when they ask a married couple once too often of when they are having a baby.

To many people, their queries are genuine, in good faith. But what they don’t realise is the effect of their questions –

1. The couple wonders what they’ve been doing wrong;
2. They wonder if they are fertile, to begin with;
3. They wonder if it has anything to do with their jobs?;
4. The girl gets all nervous each time her period approaches and when it does come, she gets upset because she knows that her answers will be the same one to the same people who ask the same question at the same place every single day; and
5. The girl wonders why she hasn’t caught the “Pregnant Bug” which has been going around her office?.

And even for someone who normally doesn’t get affected, I am becoming more perturbed. And that to me, is a sure sign that I’ve received multiple blows to my heart. I think people should cut us some slack.

In the end, I make conclusions; that everyone is just kepochi; that they don’t have anything better to start conversations with; that maybe, it’s time for them to start reading some books.

No matter what, I’ve been told the questions don’t end. In the end, you can’t please everyone. And it’s not your duty to.

If you can’t wait to see my beautiful child/ren, you have absolutely no idea how much I want to see my own.

I’ve got their names tattooed across my heart.

Just be reminded that,

“Marriage is not solely about sex. Sex is not solely about babies. Babies are not the only things that make a marriage. All 3 are not solely means to an end. And all are meant to be enjoyed.”

So, go figure.




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July 27, 2011

tak menjawab soalan

Adik and I were at the movies last Saturday. Before the movie started, there were trailers of upcoming movies. Then, as one of the trailers were playing, I thought that it looked and sounded all too... familiar.

So, I told Adik that I think it might be Final Destination. Turns out that I was RIGHT! Mana taknya, the first time I saw it was the last ever! Never had any dreams of seeing sequels of people getting dying in the most gruesome manners.

But Adik... Hmmmm. She's a sucker for all "hantu-suspense-action-gory" movies. So brave, I tell you.

So, with an excited tone, she asked me,

"Akak, best tak Final Destination tu?"

I said,

"Scary gile"

"Ye la, tapi best ke tak Adik tanya."

"Geli gile"

'"=.="'

I'm sure she thought that I was super blurr (make that dungu) for not answering her question.

Kalau buat peperiksaan mungkin tak cukup markah kerana jawapan tak tepat. No wonder Kertas BM Pemahaman dulu tak pernah score.

Jawapan tak tepat = tak menjawab soalan langsung.

Fail "=.="


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July 26, 2011

HWTT

"I may not have even half your experience. But at least I know that I have at least twice your conscience."


I'm young. I'm driven. I love working. I love my job.
By the "standard definition", I don't fit in as a Government Servant very well.
Because aren't Government Servants supposed to be lazy and stupid?
Well, I admit to a certain extent, I don't blame the public for thinking that, but that is most definitely something I intend to change.
But, It kills me. It kills me to change a culture which has been there since time immemorial. Like someone wise once said, "it's like trying to push a huge rock, which refuses to move."
There are still many free riders. Still many people who don't care much for their work. Or have no pride in the things they produce.
Granted, those things aren't so important around here. The only assessment is the Year End Assessment. Which, if you excel at, would only improve your morale. Not your pay. Or bonus.
Because around here, everyone is treated equally, irrespective of their performance. Or contribution.
So, when your actions do not hurt your pocket, it's something not worth the headache. Right?

But, it's something which hurts others. It hurts others' youth. Others' personal time. Others' right to bring children up.
While we have been taught that it is important to respect the elder, when the elder think very lightly of their responsibilities, to me, they can kiss their respect from me goodbye.
I don't think I would hesitate to give them a piece of my mind the next time I see them.
Because to me, no matter how idealistic it is, everyone should know their place in the world.
We've all a role to play. If you don't play yours, I have to take over.
It's not that I don't want to learn. It's also not because I hate my job. How many times have I mentioned that I love my job?
Did you think I was being sarcastic?
The very thing I am doing right now is to take it all in like a sponge. A bottomless one, if you like.

"High Work Tolerance Threshold" is plastered to my head.
And that's the very thing people use against me. 
There are times when all I want to do is act dumb, play stupid.
And trust me, even that's an effort on my part. 
I simply cannot. I makes my head ache. More than alot of work does.

Sometimes, I don't know how some people can live with themselves. 
But, maybe, just maybe, the system is to blame.
Because it lets those people get away. It condones.
Because there are people like me who don't mind doing the job at a much lower pay. 

If you think Government Servants have it easy, they most certainly don't.
The next time you feel like saying something foul about Government Servants, think twice. And twice again.
Think of me and how I had to go to the office on Sunday morning. Think of me and how I stayed in the office until midnight to get our work done. For a Company which conveniently meshed everything up, hoping that we would rearrange everything. Because they knew we would.
And although I spend 14 hours on the same chair, typing away, I still drive a Saga and he drives an Audi. 
He has a driver. I drive myself. 
He probably has a maid. I'm the one who cooks and cleans in my house.
He probably has a mansion. I can't even afford a house on my loan.

Of course, I never meant to get so personal. But each time you think it's fine or even fun to condemn a Government Servant, think again. 

Think of me and everything I said. The reason why I'm still here is because of my HWTT. And because I believe that if someone had to change the way things worked, it could be me.



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July 25, 2011

picture perfect.

From a very young age, even when I was in school, I loved taking photos.

Then, one day, I picked up a DSLR and my life thereafter changed. I just had to have one.

So happens, I was lucky. And now, I am the proud owner of Theodore, my very own dream camera.

I read that people closest to me have to get used to me taking photos of everything, everywhere. Only then would I be able to practice. Like the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect”.

So, I dragged it everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean everywhere. I would lug it around even to the most ridiculous places. Yes, Mamak shops not excluded.

I was proud of my photos though I know some smirked at my blissful oblivion. I knew they weren’t great but I was proud anyways. I never even felt threatened by others who had more extensive peripherals to enhance their own “Theodores”.

That was until I tried out the 35mm f/1.8 lens. Then, I became hooked. Let’s not even get started at how obsessed I became.

And again, I got lucky. And got myself the lens.

I used it in ALL occasions, even when it didn’t seem appropriate. Like when we needed to take a family photo. The 35mm f/1.8 lens is a fixed lens and there was no way in hell we could fit my huge family in the photo without having the faces of some of my uncles at the back row blurred.

But I didn’t care. No sirree.

And because I have been using the 35mm f/1.8 lens for an extensive period of time now, I can no longer be satisfied with photos produced from my kit lens. I lug the kit lens everywhere too (just in case dia kecik hati dan buat karangan “Aku Sebuah Kit Lens), but I HARDLY ever really USE it.

What’s worst, now that I have gotten used to the “perfect light settings” every time I use the 35mm f/1.8 lens, I am afraid to “flash. Resulting in my photos being a “perfect” mesh of yellow light and blurred lines. I know that if I keep it up, I would have to kiss sharp photos goodbye.

Again, I turned to YL Camera website to see if there was anything to help me cure my predicament. Naturally, I dog-eared one of the flash units as a solution to all my problems.

Since then, I haven’t been so lucky. And I have continued using my 35mm f/1.8 lens.

When I began with Theodore, many people told me that my expenditure for my camera would increase exponentially. I brushed them off. I haven’t bought many things, so I thought I was living proof that you can have this hobby without it burning a hole in your pocket. But I realise that it’s not because I don’t crave that I haven’t bought anything. It’s the fact that I can’t afford to maintain that’s holding me back.

Plus, since I used the DSLR, I noticed that people would expect me to take their photos without extending the same offer to me. Granted, images from Theodore do look nice, but I increasingly find that I am becoming more and more obsolete from my own albums.

But having said that, even if I got myself the flash unit, I find it increasingly uncomfortable to take photos in public. Even when we don’t “flash”, simply because Malaysians love to stare. What is up with you son???

All of the above put together has caused me to look into other options – a compact camera with DSLR capabilities. Either Lumix or Nikon only, nothing less, thank you.


I’m contemplating on whether or not I should sell Theodore off. I think I would cry if I do, but I think I’ll only cry if its replacement doesn’t match it, or isn’t better. If I CAN get something better, there’s no point in wasting tears right?

Dilemma, oh dilemma. Should I or should I not? And before anyone says anything, please note that I most definitely cannot have both.

pictures googled. 


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all by myself.

3 of my first friends in the office were Ayu, Shida and Navee.

I don’t know how it began but I know that we stuck to each other and got along pretty well.

3 years have passed now. Ayu left. Shida left.

I used to be so happy that Navee was still around because then, at least, when the going gets really tough, I could go to her room, hide behind that huge concave in the wall and get a lil’ 3-minute shut eye. Plus, even if I came down late for lunch, I would be able to just join her table.

Then, she got transferred.

And here I am alone. Of course I’ve got other friends here. But it will never be the same.

Those who are here are fond things I am not fond of. And have a different work culture which I can’t assimilate. Because such thing is luxury I can no longer afford, given the circumstances.

So, I became closer to colleagues in my own Unit because we are all in the same boat.

Everyday, I find that I am becoming more and more of a social recluse (of some sort), though not entirely by choice. I do enjoy my own company, but everyday of my own company? That’s something I am not really proud of.

Sometimes, I owe my condition to those whom I am affiliated to. But, after yesterday, I got thinking that maybe they’re not a bad bunch of people at all. Just misunderstood. And tired.

There are times when I wish that my friends were still around. There are also times when I wished that we could balance out between work and play.

Like how we hid inside the library for our Pre-CNY Tea Ceremony in 2009.
Like how we cooked up a feast for our PD trip.
Like how we played beach ball in Pangkor.
Or how we used to have secret meetings at the back of the photocopy machine.

Those days were great days, despite the many things that dissatisfied us.

Those days, those days.

We were a fun bunch. And I know that we still are. I just wish I wasn’t here alone.



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something worth repeating.

Essentially, Saturday was a day of mixed emotions. It was just as sombre as it was joyful.

As I dropped my husband off at the bus, I told myself that I would be okay. But of course, who am I kidding? I wasn't okay.

I came to my own rescue at the first possible moment and headed off to Mum's.

And that's when the fun part began. We spent the whole of Saturday afternoon in several malls. Just me, Adik and Faizah.

In a nutshell, I had the yummiest drink for lunch, called Black Temptation; we reminisced our younger days in college and varsity; Adik was left speechless at what working life was doing to Faizah and I; we went in and out of shops and tried out everything we liked, and ONLY ended up with one baju kurung for Raya; but oh, I bagged the yummiest pair of shoes for a bargain and I totally LOVE it; we stared at a cake shop window called Forty Two for the longest time, just standing there while we contemplated our crazy cravings for almond croissants, red velvets and scones; and the highlight of the day must have been the Muffin Man - simply because it brought back so many memories of our childhood or rather, Adik's childhood.

We were all laughing our hearts out until we teared :')

The day was topped with the ripest cherry - we headed to the movies to watch Harry Potter. And if it were not for my extreme absent-mindedness, I wouldn't have accidentally booked Potter in 3D. But I did and thought nothing of the close-to-RM40 that I paid for 2 tickets. Mama was so kind she reimbursed me before we left for the movies. She thought it was expensive as well, but oh, oh well.

We went, got our funny glasses and giggled our way through the movie because Voldemort's laugh was hilarious. My favourite part was Snape's memory. He was indeed the unsung hero. We loved the movie and finished a large popcorn combo in a matter of minutes.We weren't that hungry, so I don't know what it is.

Yes, essentially, it was a good Saturday indeed.

Apart from the first part, last Saturday is totally worth repeating. Again and again and again :)



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July 22, 2011

sweet dreams are made of these

Every now and then, I go through... a wedding phase. All of a sudden, there is a surge of semangat for all things weddings and I find myself engrossed with The Perfect Palette (all over again). I had many dreams for my wedding. But let’s not worry about that today. Or ever. After all, we have been happily married for about 7 months now.

I love it when people know exactly what they want for their weddings. The colours. The deco. The doorgifts. When it was my turn, the only 3 things I worried about were dresses, photographer and make-up. The rest, I either gave up on people much too soon during the preparations or... I didn’t have any idea how to be frugal while being different and classy. If that is even possible. I don’t know.

Essentially, my own wedding was about people and food. 2 things which were most photographed during the 2-day event. I noticed that there were no photos of centerpieces, or flowers or... details. Like photobooths or guests books. Or my own accessories, for the matter.

Yeah, I called up a vendor about a photobooth and wishing tree and guest book. Then, I decided to scratch it from my list. Much too expensive to have. Plus, the Practical Monster in me told me that even if I had a wishing tree during the Reception, I wouldn’t know what to do with it once we were married. Once we were home. Dusting wishing trees isn’t exactly my forte.

And I don’t know if anyone actually reads their guest book. Maybe it’s just me and my Practical Monster. Hmm.

I have a confession to make. I’ve only gone through my wedding album twice. And have never watched the videos yet because I am afraid to look at how silly I might sound/look. I guess the albums are for keepsakes. For when people come over and ask about our wedding.

But, had I not been so overly practical or had not given up much too soon and gotten so personal and emotional and much too busy at work, I would have probably loved to have the following details during my wedding –

Source

Essentially, these were the colours I had in mind. Didn't know if coral and yellow would work well though as they are more or less of the same palette. I was afraid they would look too flat because they are both warm colours. But looking at the inspiration board above, it most definitely works! But of course, it was a tad difficult to ask people to come in coral. So, we told them "orange" or "peach" would be fine :)

Source
This most definitely takes a lot of effort and time. But to me, this is different! And very cutesy too. But I opted for the typical fresh flowers. No regrets, of course. But like I said, had I been more rajin, I could've made this for myself. The colour palette matches with what I had in mind too.

Source
These are actually doorgifts. Dahlia bunches, if I am not mistaken. But I've got a feeling that if you bunch a few of these up together. Or scatter them at the centre of the table, it would have made really pretty centrepieces. Don't think they would have cost that much, too.

Source
Ever since I saw photos of dragees (the sweets above) in some other wedding website, I became obsessed with them. I don't know why but I think that when a couple of colours are put together like above, they make a very kemas dan cantik doorgift. But of course, dengan cuaca in Malaysia yang melampau panas at times, plus the fact that serangga like semut memang tak bagi peluang untuk simpan benda-benda ni out of the fridge, we settled for Ferrero since dah siap berbungkus dan not necessarily need to be refrigerated.

Source
Oh, this is just something random that I like. I know that this is actually a "hover" picture, where the photo was taken above the subject. But, I can't help thinking how pretty this would be as a wall decoration, kan?

Source
Damn, son. The shoe I like is so pretty! Here's a no brainer, right? Can you guess which one I like? If Practical Monster didn't whisper in my ear, I think I would have gone all out to customize my shoes and put that big blob of a flower on top. SO PRETTY CAN DIE!

Source
Oh, weddings are all about sweetness and romance. I certainly think that the above screams of romaticism (if there is such a thing). When we were ordering cards, I had this in mind but it cost about RM6 per pop. And we had about 1,300 guests. Like I said before, my parents love me, but they weren't about to spend that much on cards. Lebih baik spend on food. 

For now, these are a few things which I really like which I just felt like sharing. I'm really ordinary in the sense that I like everything to be along clean, simple lines. And as you can see, I'm pretty obsessed with pinkish, coral tones. Buy hey, everyone's entitled to like any colour they want, right?

When I have the time and mood, I'll blog about how you should be aware of your body type so that you choose a dress which flatters your figure ;)


Ah, so dreamy ;)

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July 21, 2011

merah kuning.

“Futsal isn’t Football”

But it’s close enough.

I hate ball games. Always have. I don’t know how many times I have reiterated that. Ironically though, I play futsal. Because it’s got nothing to do with balls (or shuttlecocks for the matter) flying towards my face or plunging itself on my head.

Oh, while we’re at it, let’s add racquet games to the hate list too. After a tiny “incident” involving my husband smashing my head during a badminton session (by accident, of course! gilo ke apo?), I decided I’d stick to jogging.

But then. Arsenal happened. And they came to town.

And because my husband makes me deliriously happy most of the time, I thought it would be nice to give him a lil’ treat. We bought the tickets long before the game. I even took 2 days leave for the occasion.

Here’s my confession (s) (i) I don’t really understand football; and (ii) this is my first ball game ever.

So, of course, I was a ball of nerves. So lame (!!!), I know. But pun intended. Heehee.

Didn’t know what to expect. Didn’t know who we would bump into. Didn’t know if I could stand being stuck in a place where breathing secondhand smoke would be first nature.

I was so excited though, this being my first game and all. I don’t think I have to mention how happy that old boy was because it’s so obvious that he would be on cloud 9.


The place was SO jampacked with people, but with a little bit of squeezing through and “excuse me’s” past people, we got really good seats.

But we ended up cheering for Harimau Malaya, totally and completely contradicting the jerseys on our back. CAN?


Arsenal beat Malaysia 4 – 0 but I was disappointed. I guess they (Harimau Malaya) were overwhelmed (too much) with the fact that they were going against Arsenal. I guess someone’s got to tell our players that THEY are on an equal standing as international players. They are as much as stars as the Arsenal players are.

It wasn’t a very good game because there was not much of a fight. I hate that because it’s called a game/competition, so fighting to win is a must. In fact, at some point, I was even yawning out of boredom.

But, despite all that, I seriously think that Walcott is super handsome. That was just random.


And just so you know, here’s the difference between a football enthusiast and... well, a novice football game watcher (if there is such a thing):

At the ERL Station:

Encik says,

“Best kan kita nak pegi tengok bola?”

I say,

“Best! Nanti boleh tak saya beli chickadees?”

Geli tali pusat Encik sampai gelak terbahak-bahak.

"=.=" Fail betul.



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July 19, 2011

perspectives

Last Wednesday, I brought my mom out for her 50th Birthday Treat as promised.

I promised her that I would get her a new shirt. In fact, I sort of imposed on her that I would only buy her a birthday present she would use/eat.

So, off to M&S we went. Her mind was set. That was the only brand she would consider.

At M&S, Mama picked out 4 shirts. I picked a blouse that I liked for her to try. As I sat in the fitting room, Mama kept telling me not to look at her "fat". Yes, Mama and her imaginary fat. I just rolled my eyes. If you must know why I rolled my eyes, she's a size 12. Size 12 at 50 after 3 kids? Man...

She also kept telling me how she wished she could buy all the shirts.

So, I told her,

"Why don't you then? It's not that you don't have the money?"

So, she said,

"But I wished I had MORE money!"

To which I replied,

"I wish I had that much to begin with."

So, you see, there are always 2 sides of a coin, both of which are different and equally important. Mama admitted that she never thought of it from that perspective i.e my perspective and I'm guessing that more than half of gainfully employed 50 year olds feel the same as well?

We all wished we had more. And when we have more, we wished we had more than more. But there are others who wish they had just enough. When we have nothing, we would realise that enough was just enough.

And that's just the way of the world.

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July 18, 2011

Houston, We have a lil' problem.

And the problem right now is that I can't seem to get some decent shut eye.

I don't know what it is. It most definitely isn't coffee because I consumed none. It most definitely isn't the curry I made for dinner (which was delish, if I may say so myself heeheeh). If anything, that curry should've made me sleepier.

But it's not.

So, it's got to be that hour-long nap I took this afternoon, seeing that I was fasting and could not get myself some lunch, for obvious reasons.

At times like these, I get all nostalgic. Or reflective. Sometimes even morbid. About the many things that happen in my life daily.

I don't get nostalgic about anything in particular. But most times, when I scrutinize my thoughts, it's always about my pre-wedding drama and on a happier note, Perth. I just realised that I have not finished off Autumn in Love posts proper. But that's probably something you don't really want to read about anymore?

At times like these, I also think of the bundle of work I have to deal with day in, day out. It's true that I love my job. It's also true that I get depressed when my brain is left idle, unused and unappreciated. But I have never felt so swamped in my whole life.

LLB Honours was a different story altogether. At that time, I was in a long distance relationship, lived on my own with my good friends and had no commitments. Oh, no. Don't get me wrong, I love being married. But there are times when I think I can no longer juggle as well as I thought I would.

But nonetheless, I'd give myself a pat on the back for effort. For the food I put on the table almost daily, no matter how tired I get. Because nothing can beat my husband saying, "Thank you for the food, Love" at the end of a long day.

At times like these, I also wonder what I would do if I lost the people I love. A very dear friend of mine recently lost her mother. I tell her it'll be alright, but would I be alright if I were in her shoes? I bet I wouldn't be so strong.

Death changes our perspective about the people we still have with us - who are alive and kicking. Looking at my friend's sorrow, I knew thenceforth that I didn't want to do anything that would make me regret when Allah took my parents away.

In that respect, I want to be exactly like my Father, who only cried when he had to perform the final rites of putting his mother into the grave. Thereafter, he acted like nothing ever happened.

When we asked him, he told us, "There is no point in crying. She is gone. Plus, where Mama (my late grandma) is concerned, I have no regrets. I have done everything in my power to make her happy. I have done everything to make sure she doesn't worry. I tell her whenever I am going off somewhere, even when I was already married with kids. I have no regrets with her"

We were obviously rendered speechless.

I try my best these days to do what my Father did. As much as they smother me, still. I know that they can't help it. They can't help it if they still check on me. They can't help it if they buy 2 sets of groceries when they go out shopping. They can't help it if they consider bringing me on their overseas trips (this one I super like!), just so I don't lose the feeling of being their "girl".

After all, what are parents to do when their child leaves their nest empty?

I like the phrase "regret has no rewind button". Because it's true that no matter how many times you replay how you should have done things, it can never be undone.

And to my dearest strong friend, you know that you have all the right to take all the time in the world to heal. People move on, and so will you. Like everything else, this too, shall pass. But no one should ever tell you how fast.

Al-fatihah.


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July 17, 2011

home is where the heart is.


As a kid, I used to be so ashamed of my mom for certain reasons.

It's like this. When we went to eat out, she would bring food from home. Okay, so maybe it's not heavy food that she brings. Most of the time, it's tidbits like the honey roasted almond she made or sambal ikan bilis garing or rempeyek. I know, right? Like, WHATTT? Why do you bring food from home when the whole point of eating out was to eat food made outside of home???

Then, I started living on my own.I started cooking for my own household. I started traveling more.

And each time we traveled, I would bring along food FROM HOME  (my kids will so hate me for this, I already know), like Rocky, mineral water, cookies and the most recent must be the most epic - roti Gardenia, Nutella and NASI GORENG. And we weren't going for a picnic, mind you. We were about to stay at Glory Beach Resort, which promised about 6 free meals per day. But that didn't stop me from bringing food from home.

I then realised that... Home is where the heart is.

After staying there for just one night, I became all homesick. I tweeted twice about how Glory Beach isn't so glorious after all and the moment my husband suggested that we go home on Saturday night after all events were done, I packed our bags and put them at the front door.

I was so glad to wake up in my own bed this morning.

To celebrate being home, I had a ball in the kitchen throughout the day. It was great that I had so many things that I missed and wanted to eat and one of them is Cucur Manis.

There is no stopping me when I want to eat something, I tell you. But I had to make sure that my husband was a willing "rat lab" to my new-found recipes. When he (reluctantly) agreed to eat the Cucur Manis if I made them, I got myself to work.

I ROCKED IT(!!!)
(It's the first time I made this from scratch, please pardon my excitement)

It's really, really easy to make.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup tepung gandum
1/4 cup self-raising floor
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup of susu pekat manis (2 spoons of susu pekat mixed with water until it becomes half cup)
1/2 tin of jagung krim (any brand will do but I used Yeo's)

How to make:
Put flour and sugar in mixing bowl.
Add all wet ingredients.
Stir with spatula.
Note: The batter is runny. Don't go and add more flour or anything alright? It's meant to be that way.
Heat pan.
Put in some oil (but not so much like you are deep frying)
Put in blobs of batter in hot oil with medium sized spoon.
If the batter leaves the pan or is golden, means it's ready to be turned.
Serve hot with hot tea.

Hot tea mesti pandai buat sendiri kan?

So, happy trying! Home really is where the heart is. I am so glad we have a home over our heads :)


And here's another something that will make you drool. Saje dengki. Heh.


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Thank God!



When TGIF opened in Alamanda, I made a big deal about it. Not so much because I frequent it, but just because it’s Alamanda Putrajaya. And for those who are familiar, you all know that there’s not much of anything in Putrajaya right? So, that was a plus point to attract people to come visit me instead of vice versa.

Last weekend, we decided to give it a go. After all, people are bound to ask us where the exact location is and we had better be in the know. And so we went.


I sat down and ordered my usual. Combo Jack Fajitas. I don’t know why I keep doing that although I already know that I wouldn’t be as satisfied with the Fajitas in TGIF as I would be with Chillis’. But that’s besides the point.

As usual, I also asked the kind waitress to leave behind one menu for me (although I knew that I would be too full to order anything else after my meal. I sound like a walking contradiction now, I know). I perused it a bit and started snapping photos and then, my husband told me that the next time we went, he wanted to order mojitos (it’s either I am quite ignorant that it is a mocktail or I honestly thought that real mojitos are made with alcohol) . I glared back at him and told him not to be silly.


He insisted that the menu said they served non-alcoholic drinks.

So, I perused the menu again and guess what I discovered?


1. They don’t serve any alcoholic beverages. Only mocktails.


2. There aren’t any Jack Daniels meals on the menu. Which means that there is no more issue of the food prepared with alcohol and no alcohol mixing with each other.


3. All over the menu they assure that the meat they use are from a Halal source. The only reason why they couldn’t get the “Halal Certification” is because they serve alcohol in other outlets.

Now, I can really eat tanpa was-was.

I think that must have been part of the Lease Agreement between the Management of Alamanda and TGIF seeing that Putrajaya and it’s surroundings (Bangi, Kajang etc.) are quite “Malay”. However they did it, I’m just glad that I can now eat at TGIF Alamanda without having to have that niggling feeling at the back of my mind, wondering if the chef had accidentally spilled some JD on my steak.

Oh, did I mention that Gardens has also “invaded” Alamanda? I am so ecstatic! (Forgive me if I am actually belated. Haven’t been out that much)

If only the property here were not so expensive, I would have probably bought a house here.

But even if I don’t own a property here, I do stay here, okay folks? So, when can I expect any kind of entourage to make its way to my doorstep? Dessert’s on me! As you would’ve guessed ;)




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rules.

In this world, more often than not, there are 2 sets of rules for everyone -

(a) Rule 1 is that there are many "perceptions" imposed on people. To name a few; sickness is a form of weakness and it is indicative of one's incompetence; one shouldn't ever put their personal life before their work, they've got to work it out somehow; if someone takes off work early, but on time, they have no work and they are lazy;and if you work extra hours (but not necessarily come out with desired output and outcome), you're a cited (good) example; and


(b) Rule 2 is that Rule 1 does not apply to those who made those rules.

Most of the time, we don't think much of these rules. Most of the time, we work and we strive hard to keep our jobs because that's our livelihood on the line. We work because we must and so, we bear with the "hazards" that come with the job.

But in  the spare time we have when we delve deeper into what we feel about our job, that's when we realise that there are 2 sets of rules which demarcate many sets of people.

And more often than not, we just come to the conclusion that that simply is... the way of the world.

So we deal with it.

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July 11, 2011

They grow up so fast


On Sunday, Dinie invited us to Lea’s 2nd birthday party. I still remember attending Dinie’s baby shower a couple of years back and soon after, I remember how tiny we thought Lea was when she was just born. My husband instantly fell in love with the lil’ girl and claimed Lea to be his sweetheart.

So, of course, when our plans for Sunday were reshuffled, he didn’t want to miss the opportunity of meeting his (self-proclaimed) girl. I don’t know what is up with my husband but Lea seems to like him since he’s the only non-relative she doesn’t really cry with. To be very honest, it kind of melts my heart :)


And of course, at Dinie’s house, as always, we would normally meet many others with “handbags” i.e. babies of their own. This time, the first baby I saw was Maya. I remember seeing her when she was just about a week old maybe? And the last time I saw Maya was during her aqiqah and even then, I thought of how big that girl has grown.


That cheeky lil’ princess has grown so smart and pretty, so much so that all you want to do is to kiss those cheeks sloppy! She LOVES people! Even gave her Auntie Neesa here a chance to hold her without crying a tear. She loves to roll and at times, it was funny because she looked like a stylish lil’ wig worm in her tutu wiggling backwards on the bed or just about anywhere! And let’s not start at how much she LOVES the camera. That gummy smile is sure to melt anyone’s heart.

Kids these days grow up so fast! Okay, so maybe my statement there isn’t entirely warranted because I wouldn’t know whether or not we grew AS fast, but still. At the sight of DSLR cameras, they automatically smile. At the sight of BBs, they automatically smile. It’s entertaining as it is heartwarming how these innocent babies bask in their oblivion and joy in the simple things we tend to take for granted.

But the highlight of yesterday must be this –

As I was leaving, I said thank you to the hosts and then, I finally came to the birthday girl, Lea. I asked her to “salam Auntie”, which she did (which is a huge milestone where Lea and I are concerned) and I could’ve kissed her a million times for just taking my hand.

But wait, that’s not the best part yet. After she “salam Auntie”, she turned my palm to have a look at my WEDDING RING! It’s not just that innocent “I’m playing with Auntie’s ring” kind of action, no, no, no, no! She let her hand linger on mine for quite some time as if “inspecting” Auntie’s wedding band! So smart, I’m telling you!

Oh, dear baby. Don’t grow up so fast or Helmy (her daddy) is going to have to find her some blings soon because she has gotten so clever.

Happy birthday Lea dearest. You are indeed the rainbow we all need in our lives :)



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Dee.

Sometimes, even when you don’t intend to be a bad friend, you can’t help being one due to the surrounding circumstances. It’s lame to blame circumstances, I know. But when we don’t want to blame ourselves, that’s what we all do.


But realizing and not being ashamed to make up for our mistakes makes us become friends, even if we’re not so good ones. So, a belated “shower” for her it was.

We bulldozed the roads last two Saturdays, even when we hadn’t an inkling of where we were going.

And after many mindless (and not to mention fruitless) arguments with the GPS, we made it to the Mommy-to-Be’s abode, which, if I may add, is LOVELY!


Poor Mommy was just finishing lunch but the rest of us were FAMISHED! So, we mommy-napped her (with her husband’s permission of course) and took her out for some dessert at Empire.


Auntie Batul managed to talk to Baby D (while she was still in the womb) and told Baby D of her “planned schedule”. It was real funny how Batul talked to the tummy and told Baby D, “Auntie Batul will be here until Wednesday okay Baby? My bus is on Wednesday afternoon.” So specific, that we couldn’t help laughing like crazy! AHAHAHAHA


Apparently, Baby D was listening and Auntie Batul’s wish to see her before she went back to Singapore came true. Our dearest Jaja gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on 5th July 2011.


Welcome to the world, Baby Dahlia. You have brought joy to our hearts with your presence.

So pretty this Amoi :')




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to good times with good friends.


I was never good at making (or keeping) friends before these people. It’s probably because I enjoy my own company most of the time and think that I can survive being in this world on my own.

But they taught me otherwise. They taught me that you can have good friends whom you can rely on and slip into conversation with even after not meeting up with for eons. That things shouldn’t change just because you start living in different states or in our case… different countries.


And so, two Fridays ago, when our Batul told us that she would be home from Singapore for a while, I couldn’t say no to meeting up with them. Even if it was at The Gardens, on a Friday night, where the traffic would be massive.

But of course, it’s always when you plan a perfect Friday that it doesn’t turn out so perfect. I had to attend some meeting later that evening and FB messaged them telling them of my predicament. They then gave up their table for eight when it looked like only the four of them would show up.


But us two, we came albeit a lil’ late.

And I couldn’t have been more glad that I made an effort to just make it that night.

It was so good. The food was good and the company… the company speaks for itself. It was a celebration of sorts, I must say – for Batul coming home (although just for a short while) and for our dear Din who began working that week.


The poor boy was "robbed" of his money that night and if he has a beef with Alexis now, I wouldn’t be so surprised. His money turned out to be the joke of the night but it was all in jest, of course. All in good fun. In a nutshell, it was just a lovely, lovely night.

With my most favourite people in the world.



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