Plant Haul delivered. Baba Wan Nursery

Most moms find it easier pre-COVID19 era to shuttle their kids with them as they complete daily chores or business errands. Now that with SOP’s in place which includes refraining high risk groups ( children & elderly) entering crowded places, I believe it does affect mothers in a certain way. For me personally, I cannot bring my kids to Tesco anymore to buy groceries. Nor can I bring them to the mall whilst I get some books and stuff. I cannot bring them to the bank as I want to deposit their duit raya. Nor can I bring them to the university foyer as I check out the library to get some books. So when it comes to a certain need, like the need to get a plant from the nearby nursery, I had to resort to home delivery.

Thankfully, my nearby nursery BABA WAN NURSERY could oblige. It is located at Jalan Bukit Piatu quite near my house, so I might stop by one day without the kids.

My haul came today and I was delighted. It has been ages since I wanted to start my mini- edible garden but time was difficult to find. Plus, I had to adjust my budget a bit. So, these are what I got. Delivery was charged at an additional RM15. I am cool with that.

I got 5 bags of Vonya soil. Allegedly awesome for almost everything. I got 1 bag free. I chose two hibiscus plant in support of our national flower. I am also trying my luck to grow the Polianthes tuberose or as the locals calls it, pokok harum sundal malam. Folklore associated it with vampires (pontianak/kuntilanak) but let’s put the myths out of the way. It is supposed to smell nice at night once it blooms. Mine looks like grass at the moment.

yellow hibiscus
red hibiscus
If I ever manage to grow this plant well, I will sell this in a polybag to my friends at a very very cheap price. IF EVER.

I bought 2 pots of cili padi plant and a pot of daun limau purut (kafir leaves). One pot of cili is for my sister.

Please grow well Chilli and Kaffir leaves

It took me about 3 hours to clear the leaves in my abandoned garden but I was proud of the results. I just bought another plant haul through Shopee and am hoping that it would arrive soon. Wish me luck!

The Ex-Fiance and finding a Home

The ex-fiance is now my husband. Let’s start with that. Saw this photo highlighted on Instagram and saw lots of positive comments on it. Which is good although it did make me wonder, is that not a natural step towards marriage? Preparing a place to stay as a couple, be it a rented place or an abode of your own.

We were engaged sometime in September 2010 which is about 3 months after we started dating each other. The solemnization was initially scheduled in the following year in April but we brought forward the ceremony in December the same year. Part of the reason was of fulfilling the wishes of sick & dying family members. One of my superiors however commented that it was because I am pregnant. Honestly, I was shocked for her to even think about myself as that kind of person. Plus, it was an insult to my fiance too because of all the guys I have ever gone out with, he was the only one who really kept his hands to himself and our conversations never had a sexual innuendo to it. Not even a cuit of the lengan over the blouse! Not even a ‘tak sabar nak kahwin’ remark. Nampak tak betapa terjaganya that relationship. So, make doa to Allah for jodoh that comes from a sekolah agama and eats McDonalds.

Our BMI’s were so ideal back then.. This was our merisik moment

Prior to the wedding, we were living in our respective homes. Mine, a rented single storey terraced house and him in a crib shared with 2 other housemates. A few weeks before we took akad, he found a small house near where we worked. He furnished it accordingly with enough stuff for newlyweds to start functioning as a couple. I moved my things bit by bit to the house as well but only fully moved in after our marriage which is on Day 6 of our new relationship as husband and wife. He paid the rent, broadband and utilities fully. I paid for nothing. HAHAHAHA. Oh wait, I paid for my car and whatever groceries I wanted to get.

Once my son is borned, we moved to Melaka. I stayed with my in laws for just about a year until we found our current home via Mudah.Com. Staying with in laws can be nerve-wrecking but I am grateful to have an understanding MIL and husband of course. I was working shifts at the time and I do not have to worry about leaving my son because I know my husband can look after him competently. After all, his mom is an experienced nurse and can offer sound advice anytime. Alhamdulilah for that.

My D.I.Y dais/pelamin

My current house is on my name solely. I pay for its monthly housing loans and my husband furnishes the interior. It has been a practice in his family to put down the wife’s name on the property. At least, the first one. Later, if he wants he can buy other properties. Which he did and rented out to other people.

For now, we are relatively stable as a family. We have jobs, a roof on our heads, thriving kids and good social support. We are at home. If there is any advice I could give to newlyweds, it is probably to consider to stay or settle down at a place where you could reap from good social support. They can be family, siblings, reliable friends or established institutions. This is because sometimes out of the needs to fulfill a jobs criteria, one would have to move out of their comfort zone. Not everyone has the luxury of choice though. If it comes to that, you need to revise an arrangement where your nucleus family is best taken care of. No one can work and give their best performance if they worry about their wives and kids all the time. Like, if the kids are ill.. who can help out? If both husband and wife needs to be admitted to ward for dengue, who could help to care for the kids? Things like that..

There’s no better way to end this,

Home is Where the Heart is

Emerging NGI’s in Malaysia

There is no right & wrong way to be kind to another human being. As long as it brings a difference towards the better to the person at the other end, that is a big alhamdulilah. In the spirit of Ramadhan and restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysians have witnessed the rise of a few samaritans and philantropists.

NGI – Non Governmental Individuals

Some argue that you should not show the deed. Personally to me, if you have the star power and ability to influence a huge group of people, why not. Netizens favourites nowadays is Ebit Lew, Uncle Kwan & Syed Azmi. Of course, there are others behind the limelight doing their bits to serve humanity such as KakRed, Noorinora and but let’s focus on these 3 NGI’s for the sake of this blog entry.

FOCUSED, MEANINGFUL & BENEFICIAL

SYED AZMI

Rina benarkan Syed Azmi sumbang tenaga sepanjang krisis Covid-19
photo credit: malaysiagazette.com

I had the opportunity to listen to him speak about his work during IMAM’s conference about 2 years ago. He laid down a very important framework on how anybody can become an NGI. Everyone can donate something. Everyone can menderma. His BIG FIVE ways of contributing include Duit, Tenaga, Masa, Ilmu and Doa.

MONEY, MANPOWER, TIME, KNOWLEDGE & PRAYERS

Mr Syed Azmi deals with heavy issues as opposed to just giving a family a grocery basket or financial assistance like rape victims, domestic abuse, children issues. His work involves saving those in distress and placing them in a safe community so they could overcome the trauma, sustain their lives and improve their standards of living. Hence, at times we can see him breaking down, frustrated, merajuk and a roller coaster of emotions because these problems are real plus nerve-wrecking and that is how any normal human being would respond to it. Sometimes the law works in favor of him and at other times, against him and his efforts. Despite the hiccoughs, he always managed to pick himself up, recharge and continue what he has started.

UNCLE KENTANG

Kuan Chee Heng : Bukti Sifat Kemanusiaan Masih Wujud | Iluminasi
Photo credit : iluminasi.com

A former policeman, Mr Kwan Chee Heng is a Chinese samaritan famously known as Uncle Kentang. He defies dirty politics and bureaucracy. He was one of the NGI’s who helped me realize the importance of giving focused help and connecting with the community.

He operated the Van Jenazah with 24hours access by getting keys from the selected mamak eatery. His groceries package are personalized meaning an Indian family may need different items compared to a Malay family etc. That was eye-opening for me. Not everyone wants noodles and the same type of flour.

EBIT LEW

Mula Masuk Islam Sejak Umur 12 Tahun, Ini Biodata Lengkap ...
Photo credit : says.com

An islamic motivator, an apprentice of Datuk Dr Fadzilah Kamsah so much so that people associate him as an ustaz. Some consider him as part of tabligh, the good ones. Indeed, despite being a revert, he has the knowledge and his message is simple,

ALLAH SAYANG KITA

Whatever that we go through, it is because ALLAH SAYANG KITA. To me, he is a philantropist. When you do not have strings that tie you down and have the financial freedom to take care of the welfare of other human beings – this is what one should aspire to become. He has the money, time, knowledge, manpower and makes doa as well for every family he assists. Whilst other aspiring NGIs like myself , may be limited by funds, time and manpower – he was able to champion it all. How nice it would be to serve humanity without having to think about the law, money etc. How wonderful it is to just give, give and give.

I learnt a lot about charity work from these individuals and these are the BIG FIVE lessons I have gathered so far.

  1. It gets easier doing it with a team on the condition that you know how to pool and coordinate your resources.
  2. To have money is a huge strength to drive a cause. Without it, it is quite a challenge to get things where they have to be. I am not talking about bribes or anything. It’s just that while in some charitable acts, you may only need manpower – most of those in need requires financial assistance to move forward.
  3. Communication is important. We do not want to upset local authorities that may hinder future efforts. At the same time, we do not want the charitable gestures to be misconstrued. Yes, it can be a form of CSR to companies but lets try not to make it look like a gimmick.
  4. Apart from just offering help, they also actively look and search into the communities for those who are in need. This I feel is important because sometimes the marginalized members of the community may not know how to seek for help in the first place. Even so, some may not have the basic means to do so. They may not have phones, transport or even illiterate. Sedih, kan?
  5. Charity is continuous. Giving is not something they do in Ramadhan or near festive seasons. Their assistance spans throughout the whole year! This requires mental health stamina, support of loved ones, reliable contacts and networking. Not many people could do that but we hear of these 3 NGI’s activities all year round.

I have yet to see a government based NGI doing these on a large scale. Perhaps they are like me – worried of consequences that may tarnish the image of the government. We might step on toes of people who has certain interest in mine. Plus, when you are in a gov sector – everything is tertakluk to arahan and anything you plan to do, you need to have kertas kerja, surat and kelulusan. Even in your private time, you want to go for a holiday overseas, you still need to inform the kementerian. It’s part and parcel of being a civil servant. We respect that requirement.

Hence, if I intend to become an NGI, I must learn to navigate around my responsibilities, red tapes and what not. Jangan dipakaikan baju pada yang miskin, hingga diri sendiri terpaksa berte-lanjang. Know your limitations, educate yourself and learn from those around you. InsyaAllah for every good deed, Allah will bestow His rewards accordingly.

An Althea Korea (MCO Season Malaysia) Haul

It has been a while since I went online shopping. I was glancing through my skin care products and realized that I haven’t had a proper cleansing, toning and moisturizing for quite a while. I have also been neglecting my sunscreen what more my facial scrubs. As for facials, that practice has been ditched many years ago because I am still traumatized by the one and only facial I had in a wellness spa in Kuching. My friend looked refreshed, I turned out like a lobster. A cooked lobster.

My haul amounted up to RM 326.00. Free shipping. This is a video of me unboxing the haul.

So, let’s break down the purchase.

LANEIGE Water sleeping mask

Price : RM69 (after 31% discount)

I was initially smittened by the simple fact that Soong Hye Kyo is the ambassador for Laneige. But that is not enough to make me want to buy the product. It was really because of the part where they described that it has SLEEP-TOX technology with aromatic SLEEPSCENT that helps one to relax. Never mind if it’s a hoax, I am sold. I had to read on my physiology when it mentioned skin circadian rhythm.

MISSHA Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Rx (150ml)

Price : RM92 (after 39% discount)

This has always been my favourite purchase from MISSHA. This and the BB Cream liquid foundation. Personally, the gold standard for treatment essence is still SK2 but MISSHA I feel, is second to that. I usually dab it lightly onto my face in the morning just before I apply my makeup. On days that I don’t go to work, I would apply it every time after prayers.

MISSHA Time Revolution Artemisia Pack Foam Cleanser (150ml)

Price : 56

It has been a while since I invested in good skin care. I decided to plunge in and purchase this because it has dual function. One as a normal facial cleanser and the other as a claypack. Artemisia is a short shrub known for a few medicinal properties. As for skincare, it is supposed to help ease irritation and redness of the face. So far, I have been using it twice a day and love the earthy smell. Combine that with a cold shower somehow makes me feel like I’m taking a bath in a cold forest somewhere.

KEEP COOL Soothe 85% Bamboo Toner

Price : RM47

I haven’t been compliant to my skincare regime for quite a while and so this toner was one of those impulse purchases. The fact that it was nominated as the 2019 GLowPick makes me want to choose this product formulated from bamboo extract. Plus, there were many positive reviews from Korean influencers. I use this mostly at night before I go to sleep for the cooling effect. And that’s not the only thing I use before going to bed at night.

KEEP COOL Soothe Foot Cooling & Refresh Mist (100ml)

Price : RM40

This is slowly becoming my next favourite product. It made me wonder why did it took me so long to discover this. This is the perfect remedy for the foot after a long day about. All I have to do is spray my foot with it and immediately the cooling effect sets in. And it is not sticky at all! Definitely a repeat order after this. It’s made from menthol/peppermint lead – I am not surprised! It is marketed as a men-friendly product but sweaty women can use this too. It keeps the stinky feet away.

BCOMMONCE Armpit Deo BB Puff (35ml)

Price : RM34 (after 41% discount)

Ok. Definitely got influenced by Tammy Lim on her IG. She is our lovely mamasan in the Butterfly Project community. For this Deo Puff you open it at the cap and immediately the liquid seeps out. The only option you have is to dab it quickly onto your armpit! And then screw the lid back on. To be honest, I haven’t got the guts to try it cause I fear that my work attire will be stained with the BB Cream, so I think I will wait for the weekend or so when I wear sleeveless at home and review the product properly.

I didn’t get my favourite MISSHA foundation because it was out of stock. Next time I am hoping to get some lip tint or eyebrow liner. I also saw raving reviews on this Bamboo face pads.. will give that a try later. Did you get anything interesting from Althea Korea too? Share with me your haul!

Arenaa Deluxe Boutique Hotel Melaka

It was on one of the weekends during the water rationing period at my residential area. Mr Husband decided to book a room for a weekend staycation. For the fun of it.

This is a 3 star hotel located in Ujong Pasir, Melaka . It was less than 10km from my own house. As usual, Mr Husband breaks the news on the last minute and I had to pack the suitcase like Speedy Gonzales. This hotel does not have a pool but it is walking distance to the city and its tourist attractions.

The LOBBY

We booked a Family Room for 3D2N. The rooms were priced at about RM152/night without breakfast . This was before the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) due to Covid-19 took place. It’s a huge room with 2 double beds and 1 sofa bed. There were 4 complimentary beverages sets, FREE WIFI and an outstanding shower settings.

If I could list down the perks,

  • big, spacious room
  • ample parking is available across the street and they are reserved for hotels guests only.Road traffic is OK to cross the road.
  • adjacent to the hotel there is a place where you can have gusto malaysian breakfast called Perhentian Kuih Kampong. They serve the typical Malaysian breakfast of nasi lemak, lontong, roti canai , kuih etc..
  • bathroom has this very sophisticated shower system. Water just spurts from everywhere and I love the pressure and water temp. I took the opportunity to shampoo and scrub my body for ages.
  • View is amazing
  • Free wifi and super fast
  • Mattress has a ‘topper’. This was something new to me. The comfortable sleep we had (husband did not even snore!) is enticing me to buy one of those toppers too. It has this cooling effect when you sleep.

Considerations:

  • housekeeping is not done daily so if you have kids that use diapers, do consider bringing extra trash bags to contain the aroma of soiled diapers until they are picked up on checkout
  • there are 2 elevators (that I found) in the hotel. Thankfully our timing was not on peak weekends so you might want to consider that too
  • I am not sure what type of breakfast spread they serve – perhaps other bloggers could spare details on that

In short, this 3 star hotel is clean and budget friendly. A place that I would definitely consider again for a staycation for its awesome shower system and the view!

Subhanallah