Al-Yateem Islamic Relief update

Al Yateem Islamic Relief is a programme where one can choose to sponsor an orphan to get a bright future. Monthly cost vary by country and pledgers need to be willing to commit for at least 2 years.

I signed up as a sponsor in 2014 and was assigned a beautiful young girl as my benefactor. Her father had died leaving only the mum to raise her and other siblings.

It is now 2019 and I realized that I have been her sponsor for already 5 years! I am happy to learn from her annual progress report – that now she is old enough to go to school and most importantly has an ambition! She wants to become a doctor.

Her house now has gas and electric supply on top of having access to safe use of water. It wasn’t like that when I first received her biodata. I hope she would continue to do well in school and I look forward to see what she will become in many years to become. InsyaAllah.

Islamic Relief is one of the few charities I try to help in terms of funding depending on my budget. One other I contribute monthly is Mercy Malaysia. My budget for this comes from my elaun keraian of which its use is spread across other charitable purposes such as for tabung kematian, jamuan at work, presents for staff, sponsoring items, a learning course or providing money for activities or events. It can be anything as long as I deem it as a form of sedekah. I aspire to be like Uthman bin Affan even though I am not earning millions. Amin.

You don’t have to be too rich to give. Just practice giving with what you have.

I gave away books for free the other day and boy, it was a lesson learnt

Whenever I get disheartened of a humane act or good deed I do as part of Tabung Minci or for just being an NGI, I’d scroll through my previous blog posts to gather insight on why I do this in the first place.

Like this post.

I am still learning how to ‘Give Properly’. To give in abundance, in ikhlas, precious and hopefully of need and meaningful to the recipient.

Recently, I decided to do book gifting to my colleagues. It was Xmas season. I mean, who wouldn’t like a book to read right?Surely professionals would love a book. And is willing to try and take on a new genre. Right? Apparently not. I got them wrong. haih.. paiseh.

The books are handpicked from my own shelf. These are books that I love to read, only knowing myself – I wouldn’t read them the second time because of time constraint. I still have a lot on my TBR (to be read) list.

Anyway, all of these books are too shiny, glossy and pricey to be rounded up in a recycling bin. And to do a jumble sale is taking too long to organize. I could actually donate them to a public library but the titles felt so personal ( I honestly don’t know how to explain) that I thought why not share the joy of reading them with my friends.

For each person, I chose a book that I feel would suit their personality and once I gave it to them personally- that was when things got interesting and awkward to a certain extent.

Common questions I got was

  • Why are you giving this?
  • Is this a gift or are you lending it?

Heartwarming response

  • reading the synopsis and willing to try a new genre
  • saying a simple thank you and keeping the book in their personal bag
  • caught already reading the book and loving it so far
  • talking about the book and recommending titles that I may like (bonus)

Heartbreaking response (trying to be chill about it though)

  • without a single flip through the book asking is he/she could sell the book on shopee (I said the book was a gift – it is up to you to do as you please. There was a small thug in my heart as the book was a really good one. If I had known, I would have given it to someone else)
  • without reading the synopsis , kept it in the office drawer. We all know whatever goes inside the drawer, never makes its way out unless it is time for spring cleaning
  • an immediate skeptic response to an unknown form of literature. I have taken into good faith that a thriller could be enjoyed in any language you understand. I failed to understand then, that a non-English thriller may not emit the same excitement of an English thriller

Despite the shortcomings, I felt it was still fulfilling all the same. I am not looking for a book in exchange, or a thanks on Watsapp group (oh god.. please no). It was a small act of sharing joy and giving that’s all. I kept reminding myself that I should give unconditionally. Yes, hiccoughs happen but they are there for a reason. Keep giving. Never stop.

Only in the future, make it Focused, Meaningful & Beneficial.

Ee just turned 8 years old

.. and he is bragging about his height.

.. I have just another 20cm to go before I get to be as tall as you, Mummy

honestly, not looking forward to that. Ha ha.

As always, we have a mini family celebration followed by parties on both sides of the family. For his birthday dinner, nucleus family level – we went to Rest Haus Restaurant located in Taman Lagenda, Melaka. It has an open shoe policy before entering the premise. I would personally recommend their daging salai set (smoked beef) & ribeye roll. Their macaroni cheese is superb too.

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A few days later, we celebrated Ee’s birthday with my husbands family at my brother in laws new flat unit he rents out for his homestay business. We bought the Indulgence Cake from Secret Recipe and I ordered additional desserts from an online homebaker on Instagram.

I was craving for Pavlova and creampuff, so I ordered those. Total of my purchase were RM90 for 46 pieces of creampuff and 16pcs of pavlova. I paid for the deposit online and completed the transaction once I picked it up at a location in Muzaffar Height. I am contemplating to order the creampuff again for next year. Ha ha ha.

The following weekend was Ee’s final birthday bash with my side of the family. Initially I had wanted to arrange another swim at the villa but the rates were super expensive since it was a school holiday. Hence, for minimal fuss, I decided to just go somewhere for a hi-tea buffet. Ditching our usual venue i.e Sama Sama Hotel, this time I thought we should give Verandah Restaurant at Cyberview Resort & Spa a try.

Making a reservation was easy and for me, reliable because they utilize the TableApp. The journey there was peaceful as the traffic was not congested. Yelah, nama pun gi resort kan. I brought Ee and Adil’s (his cousin) themed birthday cake there too.

This time I ordered the cake from Anisskekhouse.

This homebaker now has 2 physical stores located one at Kip Mall, Bachang and the other at Bukit Baru. The boys wanted a Doraemon adventure in the land of dinosaurs sort of thing and was glad that she knew exactly what to do. I was pleased with the results. The cake was banana chocolate with buttercream icing and for a size of 7 inches, the price totaled to RM70 with self pickup.

Verandah restaurant buffet spread was super wonderful. My folks love it, my brothers kept giving a thumbs up. I was binging on the protein and veges instead of the carbs. Would definitely go there again! We were a party of 8 adults (including 2 senior citizens), 3 paying kids and 1 kid for free.

A paying adult is RM68.00 ( as advertised) but on our receipts marked down as RM64.15

Senior citizens get a 30% discount. Children pay half of the adult amount.

And surprise, if you pay with a Maybank card, you get an additional 20% off the total bill. I honestly was not aware of that! Total after discount was RM457.00 This promotion is of course at a limited time only. And I also just knew that if the timing is right and you know where to look in the world wide web, some app or sites offer vouchers to eat here for a cheaper rate.

The party at Verandah Restaurant was the end of Ee’s birthday celebration. He received lots of presents and birthday ang-pow. His dad gave him a sim card so he could play his video games. He got a remote controlled helicopter of which only the dad could operate it well. His remote controlled car became Ninie’s favourite toy for a day.

In a few months time, we will be celebrating Danial’s bday pulak. He is Ee’s uncle. And that will be another great celebration.

Non alcoholic drinks from 7 eleven

I hate the approaching of new year because it will mean starting on achieving your KPIs and such. I personally dislike the fact of having to churn ideas for my Creative KIK project. Choose somebody puh-leez!! It is difficult to come up with something great when you are forced to do it. Creative juices do not come on demand, it just flows when it feels right.

I am already bogged down with other commitments on top of my periodically renewed motivation to lose weight. (meh) The stress got to me so bad that I felt like I needed to drink down my sorrows. Lol.

So I went to 7eleven to gush down on its non alcoholic beverages. Initially, I just wanted to get the IT’s Aik Cheong series but I ended up getting other drink choices.



Inevitably, I broke the rules of diet. I drink my calories.

I did not manage to get the whole set. Here I am missing the red ( long black) & pink ( hot chocolate with marshmallow) one. It was sold out at that particular 7E outlet. Must be sedap. The cappucino does not differ much from the instant 3 in 1 recipe. In short, its good. If you’re looking for something new and yummy, I would definitely recommend the teh tarik & maccha. The teh tarik was amazingly kaw.


Next is this brand, VIDA.

Out of the 4, I loved Clear Cider the most. At first, I was a bit puzzled with it being in the halal fridge. But then it has the logo – so its safe for muslim consumption. I dislike Clear Honey. Its like if that was the only drink left in the fridge with another option being plain warm mineral water to quench my thirst or allay the spiciness of food. I would still op for the latter. Perhaps other people would enjoy it more.

Next is this funky, colourful smooth milky latte-like drink called Olatte. I only managed to get the apple & peach flavour. The pear (in blue) is probably sold out, I don’t know. I loved the apple. The drink is Made in Korea and is certified HALAL by Jakim.

Finally, the ZERO sugar drink with at least 10kcal ONLY in one serving. Branded as CELCIUS. This is the drink I least enjoy. Despite the low calories and no sugar, it just tasted so artificial. The orange flavour was almost like those cheap orange soda you get during Eid or in hampers. I was almost not convinced that it was Zero Sugar.

7Eleven is currently having this We Bare Bears Campaign. You collect a certain number of stickers to redeem what I think is a cup for free. You get one sticker for every RM5 spent in 7Eleven. So, Good Luck!

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KidZania – the 1st of hopefully many more visits

Purchasing the tickets online are cheaper but the queue when you buy them at site at its normal price is much shorter. So choose your battle. I think most people can wait. Ha ha.

ALL THOSE WHO ENTER HAS BRACELETS ON THEIR HANDS
BRING YOUR MYKAD & MYKID PEOPLE

This was Ee’s first time going into Kidzania and I was honestly quite excited as well. I could also see young teenagers having fun with their friends. As a first timer, the dynamics of the place does overwhelm you even as an adult. However, the place was a beautiful sight with all the design and spirit of the place. The kids who came were also very confident in how they choose to carry themselves and execute the task given.

THE FIRETRUCK IS VERY POPULAR WITH THE KIDS..

Prior to entering the place, I have received a balance of useful and negative advice. It depends on who is giving the tips. I see Kidzania as a place where kids get to build on their skills and interact with other kids (making new friends – if they choose to) to achieve an objective. The play does not end in just one day as you could frequent the place many times in a year depending on your budget and experience a lot of ‘jobs’ there.

In Kidzania, you either earn or spend your money. Each job has a description of age suitable for play, duration of job and expected wage to receive upon completion of a task. They always have a task for you. Some jobs are quick, some are lengthy up to 20 minutes. The popular ones are of course the uniformed jobs. Some food based industry jobs require spending money as you get to bring the produce home or to eat.

DESCRIPTIONS AT THE DOOR

Kidzania uses English as its main language of communication but if you have a clueless son like Ee – he can still survive the world with his not so great-yet prowess of the English language. But it is OK, I think he needs the exposure to an environment of budak bandar. Where the kids speak English fluently since pre-school. He has become too comfortable in his Malay dominated environment. This is also one of the reasons why I sent him swimming at a non-Malay dominated school. Just so he learns a bit about other people/ race in Malaysia. Come onlah Ee, Mummy used to have a chinese boyfriend in primary school. Ha ha ha.

COURIER, HOUSEKEEPER, CSI INVESTIGATOR, TAX COLLECTOR

It would have been nice to spend the whole day in Kidzania but the other adults were getting restless. Except me. Hence, Ee managed to work at only less than 6 jobs till noon. I am considering to make him a ‘pasport’ to become the citizen of Kidzania on my next visit. It can be an activity I do with my son from time to time. We just need to simpan duit sikit for the trip.

SURGEONS

In Kidzania, there is plenty of toilets and designated areas for adults to rest. There is even a baby room for younger kids to feed and change their diapers. I would advice children to have a good breakfast before they go because once they start working, they are like Energizer bunny’s not willing to stop. One more thing,the place is bustling with people in there. So brief your kids on where to find you or stay put should they go missing in the crowd.As for yourself, have breakfast too, wear comfortable clothes & footwear. You never know if you also need to run around with the kids accompanying them on their job runs.

AS FOR THE VERY YOUNG ONES, THEY POSE FOR PICTURES