Thursday, January 11, 2018

I Love You, Quirks And All.

There's a couple of things about my husband that I'd like to share.

He's a very neat person. One that cares heavily on cleanliness. Bonus points for me! But sometimes it can get a little crazy.

Faris is the kind of husband who washes the dishes, does the laundry, mops the floor, vacuums the house (I've never used our vacuum - of which I bought 😂 ), cleans and maintains the cars and motorbike, cleans the toilet, does the bed, basically everything! Why? Because he prefers them done his way. Some things I get to do; like fold our clothes and hang them in our closets (but with his preferred arrangement), cook dinner, and manage the baby. Banyak juga tu, so we divide and conquer. Bab membersih & mengemas, all him.

Before we were married, I noticed that he was a tidy person from the way he dressed. I think I was too in love with this man that I overlooked the fact that I once saw him calculatingly arrange his socks by colour, very neatly as if they were on display - and he was only drying them! And how he swept his bedroom floor and when I thought he was done, he ducked and started lint-rolling his carpet!

After being married it started to get a little freaky y'all. You know those price tags on new clothes, they come with this tiny plastic string like this:

One day, I bought a new blouse. Got home that night I took off the price tag, tried it on, loved it, kept it in my closet. The next day I came home from work and found Faris in an 'inspector' mode. I got the feeling that I was in trouble so I asked "Why? What did I do?" and then he said, "You tell me." Shit I really was in trouble. I felt like I was in a movie scene sitting in a dark room only lit by a dim, low hanging light, being interrogated by a super tensed inspector. Drama sangat!

Then I said, "I don't know, what did I do this time?" and he said, "what did you do yesterday?" Shit! What did I do yesterday?! And then he showed me in his hand that little piece of plastic price tag string and said, "why did I find this on the carpet?" COME ON!! It was so tiny and broken and how the hell did he find it - our carpet is fuzzy!

Tu ok lagi. One time, I opened the fridge door and took a bite from a chocolate bar. He swooped in front of the fridge, squat down, head down and started searching the floor for chocolate crumbs. NO CRUMBS ON MY WATCH, LADY.

Yes, it drives me nuts sometimes, but there's always a positive side of everything. My husband's obsession on keeping things in order comes with his responsible attitude which means I can rely on him on a lot of things. Allah makes no mistakes and His ultimate arrangements are perfect. He sends down this neat-freak to complement the very messy me.

A couple months after I gave birth I started to lose a lot of hair due to postpartum hormones. This got me very worried and everyday I complained about my hair fall problem. Without telling me (until a few months later), every morning when I take my shower Faris would sweep up the fallen hair on my pillow and throw them away and I wouldn't notice how much hair I lost that night. He also convinced me that we need a black bed sheet to match our furnitures and we did - which makes sense now because then I wouldn't be able to see my fallen hair on the bed. He'd also scoop up any hairballs on the floor and throw them away while I was busy.

Did I tell you that Faris likes to keep and do things in order? He knows that being a working mom makes me exhausted so every morning he'd let me sleep a little longer while he gets up, cook for Jasmine's lunch pack, prepares all our bags for work, finds my phone and dump it in my handbag, checks my purse, gets the keys, takes out my shoes from the shoe rack. When we're ready he'll walk us to the car, warms the engine, checks the baby car seat, puts my phone, handbag and keys where I can reach them and kiss us goodbye before I drive out and then he leaves for work on his Vespa.

I sorely rely on him day in and day out. And he does it all out of love. I truly respect my parents-in-law for raising such a good man.

Faris, I don't know how I would function a day without you. Thank you for being you. I love you, quirks and all. 💋

Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 1, 2017

How I collect 30 oz of breastmilk a day & direct feed at the same time

Hello Mommies!

Disclaimer: I am a total newbie (3 months into breastfeeding) and am in no position to teach other moms exactly what to do. This is my personal experience which I intend only to share what I've learnt in the past 3 months.

The essential first few days

A lot of mommies get discouraged from the very beginning of breastfeeding journey. On the first week, I toootally understand if you get stressed out thinking that you're not producing any milk. I thought the same. When actually, your newborn only needed a few drops of your gold liquid (not yet milk) which we don't really 'feel' them flowing out (obviously, because you're producing less than 1 oz of it). You may then wonder why your newborn suckle on your chest for almost an hour if they need only so little. Suckling is baby's God-given instinct to survive plus, they don't know much else what to do yet. I was clueless when my newborn baby was suckling on my 'empty' chest until she threw up about a spoonful of goldish liquid with specks of blood. The liquid was actually Colostrum, a VERY important first meal for babies to build up their immune system, and the blood was from cuts on my sore nipples 😓  which was harmless to the baby. The key is not to worry because stress hinders milk production. As long as your newborn poops and pees, continue letting them suckle on you. If things go well, your beautiful "twin sisters" will start filling up by the third day. Engorgement can be painful, yes. This is when you ask your 'tukang urut' to massage your new 'most-important-assets' to help with breaking out the flow. Or lagi senang, start using your breast pumps!

Things that have helped me A LOT
  1. Invest on a good electric breast pump. I know cheap ones work too, but if you really want to make your breastfeeding journey a quality one, get good stuff to help you with it. It's not worth stressing over something that should be helping you.
    I use Autumnz Blossom Single Rechargeable Breast Pump. There's plenty good ones out there so do your research and find one that suits you best.
  2. Working moms, get a double electric breast pump.
  3. Moms who multitask, this hands-free nursing bra might come in handy:
    I bought mine from Lazada. Click here.
  4. I swear by this silicone breast pump (below). It sticks to your boobie and hangs there until it's full so it's hands-free, it's noiseless, it pumps out milk naturally (vacuum) so there's no stinging sensation, in fact I find that it pumps out milk faster than an electric pump because milk flows out longer with vacuum compared to the 'sucking-let go' process electric pumps do. I bought two of these so that I can do both sides at one go. I ditched my electric pump for these babies because they're so much simpler and I don't have to wash a gazillion parts after every pumping session.
    I bought mine for as cheap as RM28.90. Click here.
  5. Breastmilk cooler bags easily cost hundreds of Ringgit. You can actually get good ones at Daiso and save so much. You can trust the Japanese to make quality stuff like this so fret not. 
  6. Nursing covers - you don't have to buy fancy ones just because they look cute. Trust me, every time I whip out my bright turquoise unicorn design nursing cover, all eyes are on me 😓 . And that's the last thing you want when you have a cranky baby hanging from your boobie.
  7. Use breastmilk ziplock storage bags to store your milk especially if you're stocking up. Bottles take up space in the freezer. Plus, disposable storage bags are more convenient and hygienic compared to bottles which you use and wash multiple times.
    The one I'm currently using.
Tips & Tricks
  1. Do not use breast pump too early which is when you're producing Colostrum and no matured milk yet because you don't want to risk wasting your liquid gold on the walls of the breast pump equipment. It is best to direct feed until mature milk kicks in.
  2. When you're at home, have your baby around or close to you when pumping. When you're away or at the office, look at photos or watch videos of your little sweetheart while pumping. Somehow this helps with letdown. I've read somewhere that once you become a nursing mom, even the sound of baby crying can trigger letdown. Funny how nature works but this is true!
  3. While nursing on one side, use a silicone milk collector on the other side to save leaking milk. Every drop is precious.
  4. Pump after nursing. It's easier to collect milk once letdown is present. 
  5. Or if your baby is like mine, cranky when the flow is too strong, you can pump before nursing. Not only baby gets to enjoy slow flow, they get hind milk too - milk with higher fat content at the end of a feeding.
  6. Massage to assist letdown. Sometimes when letdown stops, we might think that there's no more milk when in actual fact we still have so much more! Massage while pumping is the way to go.
  7. Don't time yourself. Seriously, just sit back and relax while pumping. Remember, stress hinders milk production. The goal is to empty each breast no matter how long you take.
  8. Power pump to increase production and to stock up on milk. Two things: 1) empty each side at one session, 2) do it as frequently as possible - every 2 or 3 hours.
  9. Before nursing or pumping, make sure you have all necessary things with you i.e. cellphone, handkerchief, pillow, etc. Just trust me on this one.
  10. Store your milk according to the amount your baby drinks at one feeding. Let's say if you pump out 6 oz at one pumping session, divide your milk into 2 packets/bottles (3 oz each) for your 1-month old baby. When your baby grows older and drinks more than 3 oz, increase the amount of milk in one packet/bottle. This is to avoid wastage if baby doesn't finish one serving.
  11. Storing milk in the freezer: lay the storage bag flat and let it freeze. Once frozen, you can organise them better by standing or stacking them up. This helps save so much freezer space.
  12. I know it's embarrassing when you have to tell your friends, colleagues or boss that you gotta go pump real quick, especially if you're in the middle of a meeting or lunch out with friends, etc. But hey, know that you're doing this for your little angel and that's top priority. Nak tak nak, just buck up and excuse yourself for a nursing break. Or else, goodbye social life.
  13. Share your nursing journey with other mommies. It doesn't only expand your knowledge by learning from each other, it's also tremendously good for your emotional stability.

Pumping schedule

I suck at having schedules, new daily routines, basically having discipline at all 😂 . I get a lot of people asking what's my pumping schedule like but honestly honey, I don't have one. Pumping actually became a habit because I hate it every time my milk leaks and leave wet spots on my shirt! And it's freakingly uncomfortable when my boobs get engorged 😩 . So before these things happen I'd force myself to pump.

 During my maternity leave I pumped every 3 hours or every time I feel "the girls" are engorged, and direct feed on demand. On my work days, well, I'm still working on a plan. But for the sake of knowledge, I'll share a few good ones that I found on Pinterest:

Power pump for those in confinement and wanting to stock up

For working moms wanting to pump at work

I hope this blog post will be able to, somehow, help other mommies wanting to stock up on milk supply. Please, if you want to share your nursing experience, you are very welcome to do so. As a new mom, I love listening to other mommies' experiences and sharing mine as well. 

Oh, here's a sneak peak into my freezer!

I'd love to get myself a deep freezer but I live in a studio apartment and space is an issue (yikes 😓 ).

Thank you for reading, lovelies!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

We got married and the next thing we know, there's a baby crib next to our bed.

Syukur alhamdulillah this year we are blessed with a wonderful baby girl in our small family. 

This is a story of how my delivery went. It's definitely one to remember. *sparkling sound effect*

My due date was supposed to be 7th June 2017 however on the morning of 3rd June, during my 39th week check-up, I was already 2cm dilated. At that time I didn't really 'feel' anything that shouts LABOR except that I felt I was done with pregnancy. I just wanted the baby out! However I did feel my Braxton Hicks getting more constant and stronger the past couple of days. So the doctor sent a staff nurse to find me a room and told me to go home and pack my things and to see them later in the evening for my delivery. I was like, "Wait what? How sure are they that I was going to deliver tonight?? I'm not feeling any labor..... was that period cramps???" A little panicked, I told the nurse okay, let's get me a room for tonight. 

In the car on our way back home, I googled "cramps after maternity check-up" or something like that. So I learned that during the dilation check, the doctor actually did a 'membrane sweep' which, I read, can start labor. So that's why she was so sure I was going into labor in a few hours.

When we reached home, my husband and I took a long nap because if I really was going to deliver that night, we'd need the energy for the 'heavy work' later. When we woke up, the cramping was gone. We decided to call the hospital and tell them I wasn't going into labor and that we'll come in the next day. The nurse told us no, the doctor wanted me to come in that night because I was getting induced. Err, I didn't remember agreeing to this but okay. I wanted the baby out ASAP anyway. Lol. So I told everyone I was going to the hospital and asked for forgiveness if I had wronged them in any way and to pray for us a smooth delivery. I kissed and hugged my mom and she got a little teary-eyed (of course). 

6.30 PM : As we stepped into my room and rested my enormous, heavily pregnant body on the hospital bed, I got shivers and my hands got cold. Damn I was so scared! My husband gave me a long hug and said he was so proud of me bla bla bla sorry I'm getting teary-eyed already typing this LOL. And just a few minutes later when I went to the toilet I saw that I had a bloody show which is a sure sign that labor is on the way. Whoa! The doctor was right I really was going into labor that night!

8.00 PM : My contraction was supposed to start by now. Maybe it had but it wasn't strong. I could still joke around with my husband (although very nervously). I was all wired to the CTG machine from which we could hear our baby's heartbeat. It was melody to my ears.

10.00 PM : The nurse took us to the labor room. It was time. My husband and I walked hand-in-hand and we were both very quiet. (I wonder why I wasn't pushed in on a wheelchair hmmm 🤔 )

The mid-wife came in, I was 4 cm dilated. she punctured my water bag and hoped my contraction to grow stronger. Almost an hour passed and nope, contractions were mild. They hooked me up with Oxytocin drips to bump up the contractions. Oh boy did they get a lot stronger! 

How I would describe labor contractions are, they're actually different from period cramps. Sooo much more painful. They come in waves. You can see them coming from the CTG machine which is helpful. I laid on my side as the nurse said "would help the cervix to open". 0% relax and breath. 10%, 30%, 40%, oh boy, 30%, 20%, 0%. Phew breath.. Faris was right there holding my hand and monitored the CTG for me. The mid-wife asked me again if I was sure I didn't want Epidural for the pain and I said no, thank you. And then it peaked higher. 0%, 15%, 25%, 40%, 60%, ouch!!! 55%, 35%, 20%, 5% Phew breath.. The pain was indescribably strong. I appreciate my mama even more now having felt how she felt giving birth to me. 0%, 20%, 50%, 80%, 100% THAT'S IT CALL THE MID-WIFE. NOW, HUBS, NOW.

And so the pushing drama began. The mid-wife came in and I was 7 cm dilated.. 9 cm dilated.. 10 cm dilated. Here we go. I thought the contractions were the worst thing I've ever felt in my life but NOPE, pushing out a baby's head out of your gentle area was 10x more painful. I swear I thought that there was a possibility of dying at one point. I could see my whole life passing in front of me. No exaggeration here. All I could think of was GOD FORGIVE ME. Every time I push, I felt my face was so stretched I thought it was tearing off! And when the contraction paused, I relaxed, voiceless, and reminded myself "Yes I can do this. Yes I am strong". Meanwhile, the mid-wife and my husband had a chirpy pause "Oh look sir, that's your baby's head!" while her fingers played with my baby's hair 😑 . I had around 6 pushes before the baby was out.

12.22 AM : I gave one last push and brubb! The baby was out! Immediately the contractions stopped. Alhamdulillah! I just gave birth! The mid-wife and nurses cheered and congratulated me and Faris. They held up a tiny little person covered in white wax and asked me what's the gender, ma'am? My vision was so foggy and I said "a girl" and again they cheered.

They cleaned the baby and there it was, her heart-throbbing cry. It was the most beautiful thing to hear. They handed her to Faris and he whispered in her tiny ears the sound of Iqamat. And that, was the most beautiful thing to see. At this point I couldn't care less about the pain of getting poked and stitched down there. Carry on, Dr. Mid-Wife!

Alhamdulillah Allah helped me through my first labor. Only 2.5 hours in the labor room, Normal delivery, no epidural, healthy 3.0 kg baby girl. 

The point of this blog post was actually about what happened after I delivered. 6 hours after labor I had a traumatic experience where I had to be pushed into the labor room again. But this one is already long enough! Maybe I'll share that in the next blog post. If I have the time. 😂

🌸 Jasmine Afrina Binti Mohamed Faris 🌸
Born on June 4th, 2017 at 12.22 AM
Weighing 3.0 kg at birth
Mommy & Daddy's little sunshine

Thank you for reading! xoxo

Thursday, March 2, 2017

We All Have Big Dreams Once Upon A Time

Sometimes I wish I could be a kid again. Always filled with wild imaginations, free to have big dreams not restricted to worldly worries, aware that I have the freedom to express, I could run, laugh, jump and scream "I want to reach for the stars!" and far from getting judgemental comments, people would instead, smile.

18 years ago I couldn't wait to be a grown-up. I wanted so bad to know what I would become -- a scientist? An astronaut? A businesswoman? I wished so hard that I would wake up the next day already an adult. I was even convinced at myself that the future me would build a time machine, "just you wait! Future-Me will come visit me one day in one of her time-travelling trips!"

Fast forward to now, reality. I am all grown up - young still, but grown. Matured. Understand that yes, we can have dreams - I still have my ambitions to chase - but it all comes down to a well-thought out timeline. Goal, target. Own a property - done. What's next? A second house and an online business? Great but what are the consequences to consider? Let's list that down:

To buy a bigger house:
  • Current house is only sellable in a minimum 4 years time considering the market value and profits to make it worth. So in the meantime,
    • Plan A: rent it out. Risk: No renter because current market value is too high, loss > profit
    • Plan B: turn it into a homestay. Risk: it's not near any nature attraction areas nor is it in a city thus target audience is too niche - business people only
    • Plan C: Keep the current house and hope for miracles I'd have enough savings to buy a second house in 5 years time
  • More to consider, if I were to pursue with Plan A & B I'd have to rent a place to stay. Taking into account that my financial status isn't that impressive, I'd step back from juggling payments for my house loan, house rent and costs to be alive in this money-sucking world.
To have an online business:
  • What should I sell? Or what service should I be involved in?
  • Should I quit my job to commit to the highs and lows of business?
  • Do I have the money for a capital? No. So when should I start saving up? Another timeline to craft.
  • If I quit my day job and start an online business career, can this promise that I will have more time to focus on raising a child?
DREAM. GOAL. AMBITION. Big words that come with big commitments, big risks, big sacrifices.

I do wish a magical fairy-god-mother would appear to make it all easier. Don't you?

No, my dear. That's the beauty of it. You want something you gotta earn it. Good things will only come to those who hustle. Coz when Allah puts you through challenging times, remember, the tougher the journey, the more satisfying the reward will be. Allah's plan is greater than whatever you have in your well-thought out timeline.

Life is tough, but Alhamdulillah, soon I will get to experience childhood again. Through raising the child that I am carrying in my belly. It will be a break from reality. I could sing and dance and laugh and run again, with my mini-me. And instead of warning her about reality, I will instead smile and encourage her when she tells me about her dreams. She'll scream "I want to reach for the stars!" Oh yes you will my darling, yes you will.


Mommy can't wait to meet you and hold you in my arms, little one. In just a few short months Mommy and Daddy will hug and kiss you and love you with all the pieces of our body. I will try my best to be your magical fairy-god-mother for you to turn to when life gets hard. And I will try my best to make all your dreams come true.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sincerely, your big sister

This blog post is dedicated to my two baby sisters, Syuhada and Dada.

(sorry curi gambar thanks)

Hello girls!

This blog post has been in draft mode for so long. I've been meaning to publish a sister-to-sister post for you girls for a long time, but back when I was a teenager when I passed my "soul-searching" phase, and I wanted to share my "teenage life survival tips" with you, you were still innocent babies and you wouldn't get it. When I passed university and both of you became teenagers, and I thought it may be a good time to have the intended sister-to-sister talk, but you just started your soul-searching phase trying to figure yourself out, knowing too little outside of your cocoon. I figured, nah, you were still too immature and clueless to be digesting anything about the world. Yes I might have nagged and scolded you throughout your growing up, but that's only because I care. And God knows how I wish I could just harass your precious personal space bubble with the harsh reality of the world that you're so ignorant about; but of course that wouldn't be smart now would it. So now that you're almost and merely leaving teenage life and almost and merely embarking into young adulthood, I think this is the best time for a good, constructive, sister-to-sister talk on life, on how to survive it, on how to be a good person inside and out, and why it matters so much. At least once you've finished reading this blog post (and make sure you read between the lines, over and over again), I'll breath out easy as I'd know that a small part of my life's purpose demanded by Allah is done. The purpose of a big sister.

My precious sisters,

Know that knowledge is power. At your age now, always put education as a top priority. Because at the end of the day, nothing can help you if you don't have proper education. Now that you have the privilege of pursuing tertiary education, NEVER take it for granted. Because as far as you're concerned, there are billions of girls in the world who are deprived of education just because it is inaccessible to them - and they had to beg to learn about the world. Utilise as much offered to you in this term as possible because however sucky our country's education system is, it's all that we have.

But girls, also know that being street-smart is equally as important as being book-smart, if not more. Don't just study because you have assignments to finish. Learn about what's happening in the country and the world - what's Brexit? Do you even know the geographical locations of the states in Malaysia? What's happening to our Muslim brothers and sisters in Syria and Myanmar? More importantly, why is it happening? The key word is AMBIL TAHU. You girls are not babies anymore. You're becoming adults and as scary as it may sound, there's no stopping it. Unless if you drop into a coma and just skip life (nauzubillah).

Being an adult means there's responsibilities upon responsibilities awaiting you. Responsibility upon yourself, your parents, your money, your career goals, etc. And there's no time for not knowing a lot of things. If you want to open a bank account, what should you do? If someone bumped your car on the road, what should you do? If you need to rent a place to stay, who should you contact? Sure, at first you can always call Papa or your brothers and sisters for help and they can do it all for you. That's how I started learning how to survive too. But as you go along, you'll need to start learning the basic things and do it all on your own. Being a bimbo does not help at all. Stop being lazy and naive. Change. When problems arise, be quick on your feet and think fast. Solutions can only be found when you drop the excuses. The most dangerous thing that could happen to a person is ignorance. In a world of social media addicts, be a smart, independent girl.

Never stop being curious. If you're not naturally curious, you better start now or forever be in the ignorance jail. I totally understand that you girls love the social media. I can relate to that because I'm in the technology-dependent generation too. But please learn your limits. Falling asleep scrolling down your timeline and waking up the next morning only to continue scrolling down your timeline before getting off your bed an hour later, is not okay. Spending the rest of your day also scrolling down your timeline, switching from one app to another -- Twitter - Instagram - Snapchat - Whatsapp - Facebook - Instagram again - Youtube - Snapchat again - God knows whatever else -- is not okay. So much time spent on the internet yet you still know so little about what's happening? What a waste. Do you know that you have the most profound man-made technology in the palm of your hands which contains all the knowledge of the world humans could possibly find? You could go on Youtube and watch a video on some kid's rant on how her date went with her boyfriend, but you don't have enough data to watch a TED talk video? Please, do yourself a favour and don't just be a waste of space on Earth. Ilmu Allah terlalu luas. Kalau seluruh lautan kat dunia ni ditukar menjadi dakwat sekalipun, masih belum cukup untuk tulis ilmu Allah yang maha luas tu.

Be hungry for general knowledge. Upgrade your self value by being a person of substance -- meaning, when people converse with you, you always have points to add. Be a person of variety -- meaning, people can talk about anything with you. Don't be surprised how interesting of a person you can become. When you're making a decision or about to say something important, always think through until there's nothing left to think about anymoreOrang Melayu kata, bila fikir tu, fikir masak-masak. Sebab orang yang tak fikir panjang itu namanya akal pendek. 

And girls,

Civilised people have manners. I cannot stress how important good manners are especially for us ladies. In this era of social media bashing and blind-shooting sarcasm, I don't know what rude means to kids your age, and if kesopanan dan kesantunan mean anything to you kids. But as my sisters, please never forget your "please" and "thank you". I don't know about you, but old school courtesy is always pleasant. Ladies talk with their voices soft but audible, gentle but firm, sweet but steady. In anything you do, always remember to NEVER ever susahkan orang lain. So be aware of your actions. Remember the golden rules by heart:

And remember, from now on, drop the "don't know/don't care" attitude. That's the rudest, most childish thing that you need to leave behind once you're growing into an adult. Always be helpful and always be polite. 

Now let's talk about relationships.

I remember how easy it was to want to be in love at your age. Yes, a dedicated attention on you from a boy could make you feel special. It could make you feel fluttery good and a heartache could make you feel desperate to hell's extent. What's dangerous is the constant game of attention tug-of-war that could drive you crazy. Gaduh sikit, habis 2 jam on the phone nangis-nangis trying to 'fix' or 'explain' things. My darling, I've been exactly where you were. That's not love, that's called infatuation. When you develop an infatuation for someone, you always find a reason to believe that this is exactly the person for you. Thus, the on-and-off relationship for the past 10 times with the same person. You may not understand this now but when you move to a more mature relationship you'll truly understand that rahsia jodoh Allah tu sangat hebat. Percayalah, Allah sentiasa bagi yang baik untuk hamba-hambanya yang baik. True love will unveil when you realize that you become a better version of yourself because of that person. If you're clueless of your future now, a mature relationship will drive you to clearer, stronger life goals. If you're a naive, dependent girl now, a mature relationship will encourage you to make firm life decisions because you have a target to achieve. That's what the power of love can do. If your boyfriend makes you put on a hijab and nags when you don't that you end up with a fight but at the same time he doesn't mind when you don't cover up in front of him and you still hold hands when you go on a date, hmm -- that's not really making you a better version of yourself, is it now? Honestly, not more than making a fool out of yourselves in front of the angels writing down your good and bad deeds too.

Take pride of yourselves. You're worth more than a gazillion gems so live up to the price. If your Prince Charming hasn't marched in yet, so be it. Don't settle on common soldiers. You're so young and precious, you have all the time in the world to wait for the right one! Not just the right one, but one specially crafted by Allah to fit your flaws and specialty. In the mean time, occupy yourself with improvements. Go out and explore! You're young, you're not committed to work or marriage, you have abundance of energy and you're in good shape. Save up some money and go explore new things. Learn how to cook, or learn a new language, go to Bukit Cerakah and go cycling, go to Broga Hill and go hiking with friends, book a cheap flight and camp by the beaches of Langkawi, or go see your first theatre show at Istana Budaya. When you're old enough and earning an income, go explore the world! Meet new people, collect different currencies, learn about the different cultures of people, if we prostrate when we pray, find out how people of different religions perform their prayer. Do whatever your passion drives you, as long as you remember where you stand in front of the Creator.

Be a good friend.

University years were the best years of my life, and I hope it will be for you too. In these years, friends will be your second family. You will depend on them, trust them, go through thick and thin with them. But remember, not everything that your peers do is right. Remember, two wrongs don't make a right. You will meet different kinds of people and the way they do things may be very different to you. Learn those differences and understand why they do them; but be smart enough to differentiate between good and bad. My good friend from school once told me a very deep reminder:
"it's good to be thinking positively in everything you do, but always keep 10% of cautious-thinking just to be safe".

Always, always be the better friend. Friends don't judge, they guide and empower one another. But when you see something is not right and clearly there's nothing you can do about it, leave the scene. Don't jump in and get involved if something is fishy because as much as you want to be a good friend, getting yourself in trouble is never smart.

So my dear sisters,

Be a good person by having these 3 things:

  • Good wisdom
  • Good manners
  • Good faith

InshaAllah this will not be the first and last blog post dedicated to you. As you grow older, there will be more things that I wish to share with you, but in the mean time, keep re-reading my advices in this post until you truly understand them. 

Love you lots,

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Wedding of #eenxfaris

Assalamualaikum and Hello!

My last blog post was about my wedding preparation and it was about 3 months ago. It's only fair that I post another blog on how my wedding went.

I went for a 'full moon + starry night' theme and although we didn't really mean to emphasise the theme (because the theme was 'sekadar ada' hehe), the event service provider that we hired, RDK Events, did a superb job of installing transparent tents covered with fairy lights and the table decorations, silver sequins tablecloth with red flowers as centre piece. I was not expecting that at all! Alhamdulillah. And to make it an even better surprise, it was a full moon that night! Which matched everything together and I could see the moon from the transparent tent. Magical.

Wedding details

I would describe my wedding day as ringkas (simple) and close-to-heart. It was a 1-day event; doa selamat in the morning, nikah in the afternoon, dinner reception in the evening. And that was it. A one day thing, married, over and done with. No majlis bertandang or a following town hall reception. And it went humbly well, Alhamdulillah.

Although my wedding day was simple, I loved the little details of it as most of the things during my wedding were custom-made by the close people in my life.


Dais/pelamin created by my talented mother, Pn Sabariah and my eldest sister, Syaz 
(who was 8 months pregnant at that time lol). 
Dulang hantaran handcrafted out of pinewood by my 2 brother-in-laws 
(Eddy, Syaz's husband and Mat, Nana's husband) and decorated by my sister Syaz. 
Give them some love on Instagram @syazgift and @woodamental :)

Two dresses, One happy bride

My nikah dress and veil were tailored by Aunty Tris, my mom's ex-staff. She used to work with my mom in her curtain shop and I grew up knowing her. She saw me as a toothless, naughty little girl whom too often played under the table where she'd cut and measure fabrics. And almost 20 years later, there she was, sewing my wedding dress.

Mom and I bought the materials at Jakarta when we were visiting some relatives last year. Funny thing was, months after we got back in Malaysia, on the day that we went to get it tailored, we realised that we were conned. We bought 3.5 meters of fabric and a quarter of it was a cut-off fabric of an almost similar design and colour. We honestly didn't see any difference until Aunty Tris's boutique told us so. Thankfully Aunty Tris was able to make the 'mix-and-match' not too obvious. In fact, it turned out beautiful. So ladies, be careful when you shop for fabric in Jakarta. Lol.

Oh by the way, this dress + veil are up for rent. Very cheap-cheap! If you're interested, don't hesitate to Whatsapp me at 012-6295251.

My reception dress (below) is my favourite. Because it costed cheaper than my baju raya. Honestly. I bought the material at Jakel during a year-end sale where I saved a lot. I already had a design in mind and it was already a couple weeks before my wedding day so I sent the material to a Bangladeshi tailor who was willing to accept my last minute order and prayed to God it would turn out well and on time. It was a huge gamble, I must say. But Alhamdulillah, my plain peplum kurung was neatly tailored and was accurately on time. Best part was, the tailoring costed me less than RM150! And then I added a little bling to the dress with some DIY. I bought some accessories including a neckpiece and some rhinestones which I modified into my dress details, and some on my shawl to match. I had help from my beloved mommy-love who sewed the details in for me and it totally lifted the whole look. Syukur Alhamdulillah. People say as long as your sources are halal, Allah will bless you with equal 'rezeki'. 

Didn't fail me at my first time

I have to credit Teddyfilm for the wonderfully captured moments in photos. I have no experience with photographers nor do I have immediate friends who are involved in photography. But I wanted my special day to be photographed decently as it'll last forever for my children to see. I went on Instagram to scout for a wedding photographer and I found Saiful Chin from Teddyfilm who has the skills to make the least photogenic people look effortlessly picture perfect. When I found Teddyfilm on Instagram, they didn't have a huge following because they were a new company; from which I later learnt that they were a team of experienced photographers. They were the first (and only) option I went for from my Instagram scouting. Something from their Instagram photos really attracted me so without hesitation I contacted them and sealed the deal. Many photographers are quiet as a mouse while on the job, some even seem invisible which I understand they want to avoid interfering with the wedding flow. Saiful Chin however, he controls the mood of the photos the way he wants them to be, and he does it super swiftly. I loved how he captured our family portrait. When we were all set and ready in our usual 'raya photo' pose, this witty guy slipped out some funny sayings and we burst out laughing. Not only did he set the mood straight up, he got beautiful candid shots out of it too. My family had the most fun time and to me, that's the most important thing.

You can find him at Instagram here @saifulchin or

Syukur Alhamdulillah, everything went well. We're 3 months into marriage life and it's been nothing but great. And we welcome more happiness into our lives but at the same time, we will not shun away Allah's trials. Being married is all about being mentally prepared to face challenges as a team. I got married at 24 and I became an adult before that. I am no life expert but this advice might come in handy - do not get married when you're pressured by age. Get married when you're armoured up for life's nasty games, when you're ready to fully support another life, when you truly believe that Allah has the best for you planned out.

Thank you for reading my humble post. Till next time.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Being a Super Busy Bride-to-Be

Hi! Assalamualaikum.

Wow it's November! Time sure flies. Especially when you need it most. Some of you who personally know me may already know that I am tying the knot soon, yay! Well, it's next month *sweats terribly*. Now, I'm going to share my experience being a super busy bride-to-be.

I am a corporate executive currently working in a fast-pace, constantly evolving company. My work requires engaging with stakeholders, brainstorming on the best next medium of delivering citizen-centric public services, uplifting public online services for the nation. Don't get me started on the core business of my department haha. The thing is, I've got people in the company coming up to me saying that my department is one of the most hardcore, kiasu, midnight oil burners. For the most part, they're true. I come to work at around 9.30am and sometimes go off at 9.30pm (that's 12 hours of work), 11.30 pm at most (well at one point, I did go home at 1am). Yes, I do feel tired of having to go home late everyday, but more than that, there's no better satisfying feeling than putting your effort into something that you know will be huge and most importantly will contribute to the nation.

Especially now, a highly important, major meeting is coming up which requires at least 2 months of preparation; and at this point right now, I have my breakfast and lunch at my desk. Phew. I'm juggling with preparations of two important things which will be taking place around the same time: 1) the highly important meeting which will majorly affect the country's public services, and 2) my wedding which will majorly be the next phases of MY LIFE.

Sometimes I really can't catch my breath. But thank goodness I am a self-consulting person haha. I'm always reminded by this verse "Allah does not obligate anyone beyond his capacity. For him is what he has earned, and on him what he has incurred ..." Al-Baqara:286.

Enough about work, now let's talk about the wedding preparation. When I was younger I always had imagined that my bride-to-be planner would look like a cute lacey scrap book with all the illustrated wedding details and magazine cut-outs and my bridesmaids will be all excited for me with their own page in my book. But reality is, I kind of just used a notebook that my future husband's company gave out for free. No laces, no magazine cut-outs, no bridesmaids page (heck, I don't even have a bridesmaid!), just lists of things to do, to buy, calculations here and there, and even some scribbles of notes from a few meetings that I happened to accidentally bring the book in to. Lol.

How I imagined my bride-to-be wedding planner to be (maybe fancier lol)
My actual wedding planner/notebook 

I definitely multitask a lot to get things done simultaneously. At the office, I constantly switch from working on presentation slides on my Macbook, to scrolling through wedding dress designs on my phone. Not to mention having to deal with the people that I hired for my wedding: the photographer, the makeup artist, the caterer, etc. My mom's constantly nagging at me for still not getting the wedding cards printed out (she's a perfectionist so she panics easily which is pretty normal lol), my sisters keep texting me at work asking about the progress of things, my uni girlfriends have their own life and career to handle plus we're all staying so far away from each other, my girlfriends at the office would so love to help out but I don't even have the time to hang out with them anymore to talk about things. The only person I could share all this craziness with is Faris, my fiance. My favourite part of the whole preparation was shopping for our 'hantaran' gifts. Faris and I went shopping at JPO which was 4 hours drive away from my house. It was good because we took some time out of our busy schedule to actually spend quality time together, just the two of us. We got to have meaningful conversations in the car, much-needed laughters, and when we stopped the car and got to our destination, I got to do my most favourite thing of all -- spend. Come to think of it, there's no better or more important job in this world that can compare to making yourself happy. To sum it all to you, my fellow future brides, the whole wedding preparation experience (so far) is full of pressure, laughter, and a sea of emotions all rolled up in laces and sequins in the shape of a brutally used credit card.

My advice is this: never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. 

Enjoy the last days of being a bachelor/bachelorette. Have all the fun of arranging your own 'life event'. The highlight is on you! Get enough sleep (while that queen bed is ALL YOURS), pamper your skin, eat healthy, get hydrated, make sure your wedding goes the way YOU want to. 
Thanks for reading, loves.


P/s; the theme of my wedding will be 'starry night' -- because it'll be at night. Get it? Haha nvm.