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.

Sparkle Run Melaka 2020 – a rare weekend activity

The announcement for this event came out very early. At the time I was contemplating on joining or otherwise. There are a few factors that I have to take into consideration whenever I choose to participate in a weekend activity.

  • Kids friendly or otherwise
  • Duration of programme
  • Venue of programme
  • Husbands schedule

If I had to attend a formal course on a weekend – then that is without a doubt, a must go. No question. No need to discuss. But when it comes to something of choice – I need to deliberate.

On Saturdays, my husband works in the clinic for at least half a day. On top of the weekday locum slots he is assigned to. He needs to fulfill his percentage of clinical work since he is most of the time doing a non clinical form of job.

On Sundays, or Saturday sometimes , he has to give community talks, organize gotong royong in a taman affected by dengue fever (which the residents don’t attend anyway) and god knows what other stuff involving handshaking the higher official menteri and such.

In a way, my Me Time or weekend activities need to also consider the above. His timetable. Safe bet is, I plan my stuff and inform him way in advance before he arranges his schedule. With frequent reminders hereafter so he wouldn’t forget through shared digital calendars, physical calendars, watsapp notification and verbal ones via the kids. Ha ha ha.

Sometimes he still forgets. Like my bellydancing session in Bangi. He made me cancel. I said No. He had to rope in his parents to help and we were grumpy towards each other the whole weekend.

Sparkle Run Melaka 2020

This run was announced many months earlier. I was thrilled for I could plan ahead. This is my first run so I am not quite sure what to expect but reading from other peoples experience of other runs – it should be a short run. Indeed it was. We came for the 0830am flag off and noted that those who went for the 0700am flag off has safely received their medal and on their way home.

The run venue was near to home, so it’s a plus point.

It was stated kids friendly but from the email, it discouraged bringing kids less than 2 years old. So I didn’t bring Ninie. On that day however, I saw other runners bringing their kids in strollers. Dayum.. I could have done the same.

My 5km run with Ee was done in 43minutes. We were pleased with ourselves and will consider joining other runs later. If it fits my weekend activity criteria.

Weddings , grocery shopping for instance are kids friendly activities with a less than 3 hours duration. The difficulty level may differ depending on the variables for the day – husband presence, kids mood or Will to Cooperate, the crowd etc. Even then I still need to plan my grocery trips – is it better to go Family Store where they help you to pack your stuff with less variety or to Tesco with good variety but hands off attitude when it comes to packing customers grocery. In both situation – I bring my own shopping bag. But Family Store was more willing to help.

Anyway, now that I find Fun Run interesting – I will now need to juggle future runs with other cropping weekend agendas – Ee’s skill classes, weddings, birthday parties, courses, visit parents etc etc.. thankful for my faithful HoboMinci.

Exchange and substitution

Heyya.. I am still in the BLS2020 programme. The 6 month agonizing but hopefully fruitful journey to lose weight.

I knew a nutritionist. My sister that is but she has forgotten almost everything she learnt during her undergraduate years because she is not practising. She is now a teacher by profession. Ha ha.

Fortunately, the internet especially my fav go to for infographics, Instagram has a lot of things I need to know about diet, exercise, weight loss. I just need to choose my hashtags properly and double check to see if the ones dispensing advice are certified trainers/nutritionists. Yup, not doctors cause the advice is superficial and very textbook. I know because I’m one. I did not even know that there’s a thing called a Food pyramid for vegans!

credit to original IG account the.rich.fam

Recently I’m learning more about food exchange and substitution. Like, if I don’t want to use sugar in my drinks – what can I safely replace it with. Or if I want a recipe for low calorie choc chip cookies – what would be the secret ingredients.

part of my food diary pictures. Trying calorie deficit but I think I am on a plateau

When it comes to exchange, it’ll be like ‘if I drink this bubble tea now, my calorie bank would shrink. Am I willing to sacrifice my fist of rice and palm of broccoli for this?” – on most days, I am proud to say I am able to walk away from those hip drinks. But I do have my bad days. Especially when my nephews and nieces come by to the house!

It is also interesting to note that food products marketed as healthy may not be as healthy you would think it is. I learn to read the labels. Still making mistakes but sis cuba.. lol. Take this for instance, a tablespoon (15g) of this St Dalfour marmalade is only 47kcal whilst a tbs of this healthy spread ranges from 84 to 96kcal.

We have 4 months to go. Indeed, I feel lighter although the scales are not showing it. I am drinking more water. I am more selective with my choices of snacks and timing of meals. I am lifting weights. My husband has this multi function home gym fitness station which has been redundant for quite a while. I have painstakingly moved it to my personal craft room for my own use. I hope to see results at the end of this 4 months.

I plan to practice belly dancing at home and just wiggle for cardio purposes since being on a treadmill can be boring. who knows I can get a figure like Shakira. HA HA HA HA.

I am still optimistic of what I hope to achieve out of this 6 months of restrain and pushing myself. This is because as one successful weight loss instagrammer puts it,

“I hate having to omit myself out of pictures which marks milestones and memorable moments in my life. I am tired of removing myself from my own life story”

My first bellydance fitness session

Bellydancing is traditionally associated with sensual movement of the hips where the women would expose their mid-rift to demonstrate the shimmies. Egyptian women would entertain the men with fascinating, complex movements of their torso during heavy feasts and such.

Nowadays, bellydancing (BD) can also be a form of fitness for women. something like a cardio workout.

I am very lucky to have known this particular muslimah BD fitness instructor during my blogging days. I call her Kak Syifa. She organizes classes every week at different locations in Bangi and I felt honoured to be invited to one of her special classes today. I was really excited because this would also be my first time meeting her having been cyber friends for more than 10 years. She was everything that I imagined she would be. She had that kind face, bright smile, infectious laugh and voices with many intonations.

This particular BD party is held at Lily Fitness Studio in Bangi Getaway Mall. It is a kids friendly studio hence moms can bring their kids with them too. Walk in fee is RM20 whilst for members it is Rm15. The session is for 90 minutes. The 1st half hour was for us to learn the basics of hip movement. The next hour was a gruelling BD cardio workout with fantastic international music from English to Arabic & Hindi!

The energy throughout the whole session was amazing. When I got there, the ladies were all in hijab and abaya but once the doors were shut, they changed into something more colourful, more revealing (still minding the aurah between women) with a lot of bells at the hips. The regulars were all dressed up and us newbies were in our boring workout attires. HA ha ha.

Our instructor, Zuraiha (my kak Syifa of course) was very very lively, friendly and accommodating. Her passion for this art showed in her choreography and facial expressions. She was smiling all the way while I was huffing and puffing trying to catch my breath and making sure my hips move the right way. In the end, I think I couldn’t make the figure of 8 with my hips as it turned into a 1. Nor could I shimmy and ended up making weird lower body movements instead. LOL

I would definitely sign up for the next session (if any) and will practice my hip movements more at home. Perhaps later I could get for myself one of those belts too 🙂

BD instructor Zuraiha conducts sessions at Fitness Kingdom Studio, Kajang too. If you’re female and looking to be fit the muslimah way, do follow her IG ( setting is of private account) for the latest update. Just make sure you are identifiable as female.

PS : I couldn’t record videos or photographs during the session for privacy reasons.

Going through a phase

” She is going through a phase. She will be out of it soon..”

Familiar remark. Heard in almost every household in the world. Even now as an adult, I still go through certain phases in my life cycle. While there is a baseline mood phase which swings from calm to wild/ easily irritable to depressed – I also have an Interest phase which sways from gaming to diligent reading. Some recognizable phases include;

  1. Gaming – There’d be a time when I would just play Candy Crush one after the other or Farm Frenzy. I would actively build rooms in my Fun Hospital and earn some money via my Hotel. Or I would just do a re-run on Boboiboy and see how much points I could gather until my next death, leaping from one place to another.
  2. Shopping – this is a dangerous stint as I would just shop and shop through various apps. It could be a makeup related stuff I need on Althea Korea. Another fujifilm instax pack or some rare food item on Shopee. Very rarely something from Fashion Valet but it can happen.
  3. Studious phase – this usually happens after a particular course or a meeting with my specialist. I would be motivated to study and will sit through lots of online modules at one go. I would make notes. Highlight points. Do a quiz. Sometimes creating a power point presentation just in case I feel like doing some teaching/sharing about a topic.
  4. Youtube binge watching – as of recently I have been hooked onto videos involving Mukbang (but not those ugly , hurried, gelojoh ones), Korean Cafe Vlogs, anything involving journaling, new music videos like Hari Ini by HaeYang couple and short clips of Kdrama.
  5. Blogging – once in a blue moon I ‘d be able to write a few blog drafts at once, ready to be published on their supposed dates. I really like it when that happens for I feel so productive then. I would be making nice IG Stories using the Unfold or Canva app. I would fine tune my pictures using Snapseed or Pixlr. Occasionally, when I feel really creative I would use Zoetropic. I edit my videos for Youtube using Kinemaster instead of Movavi. *remind me to invest in a good camera once I get the hang of shooting & editing videos on top of my already busy schedule. I try to participate more as a butterfly blogger ( in telur stage still) but time and kids are a restraint for now. Ha ha.
  6. Reading – When the bookworm spirit drops by, I could finish reading a book in less than a week.I feel this is partly influenced by my workload in my daily job and who was my partner at work. If my partner reads, I am more likely to read.
  7. I don’t give a damn – as much as I try to avoid it, this phase almost always will appear before my first day of menses. Everything irritates me. I hate the world. I hate my husband. If it gets really bad, sometimes I’d be thinking of getting a divorce just because he didn’t put the bread back into its container or put the trash out. Or when he squeezed the toothpaste the wrong way!!! I will also hate my patients and not bother on further empathetic counseling if he/she refuses insulin for a badly controlled diabetes. “I don’t want insulin!” , the patient would say. “OK. See you in 2 weeks. here is you prescription. Goodbye” I would respond. But of course when I see the patient in 2 weeks, I would feel much better and talk more so that patient would understand why they need insulin.
  8. Religious – I would watch every single Islamic video on Youtube. I would start reading my sirah books. I would recite my Quran more and memorize more dua. Again,this is another rare moment. I am always deceived by the ‘no time’ devil and tend to put off any good, positive religious-like activity. It can be something simple like a prayer and all.
  9. K Drama – once I get hold of a nice series or movie, I would be hooked onto it until it ends. I watch them on Viu for a monthly fee of Rm8.00 so that I wouldn’t have to watch the interrupting adds. Viu does not host all KDramas especially the ones shown on Netflix, but never the less the options are still equally good.
  10. Beauty & self care – I love this phase but it doesn’t come by every often. This would be the time when I’d be dolling myself up with mascara or a lipstick which is bolder than my usual colours. I would wear heels or sport a different colour tudung everyday. At night, I would lather myself with moisturiser or sleep with a face mask. In short, the goddess in me is awakened (for a while).

Do you have a phase you’d like to share with me? Comment down below 🙂