End of school season 2019

.. meaning lots of prize giving ceremonies and class parties.

This time I was more prepared for the class party. I had contact numbers for various homebakers & party people at the tip of my fingers. As of attending my kids prize giving ceremony – that is something that I still have to work on. It was easier while working shifts as you just swap shifts but oh well.. every job has its ups and downs. It would be nice if I could get hold of the schools itinerary for the whole year so that I could plan out my leaves from work.

For Ee’s morning school, I ordered 50 pieces of emoji cheese tarts. This homebaker lives in Bachang. She doesn’t do delivery, so you need to pick it up at her home. Kids love the design of course and Ee did not have to bring back any leftovers.

I also ordered from the same baker, 50 pieces of apam corak for Ee’s evening religious school. He chose the ultraman design and it was beautifully done too. Apam is this spongy cake that has fillings inside.

The total of my order is RM123.00. This is because I also ordered Nutella tarts for myself to eat in the car. Ha ha.

I would definitely recommend this lady for her delicious tarts. I am considering to order it again next year for my many lovely parties. 2020 is the year of celebration.

2019 was a good year for Ee in both schools. He did well in all of his subjects. I just hope that he would be more independent in his studies. My husband had to literally sit with him and leaf through the chapters together as he quizzes my son of the subjects. He would probably not get the same results if I were to just tell him to go to his room and read his books.

Ee is also elected as part of the school’s librarian. He underwent some kind of trial first before he was formally appointed. I am happy for that. I think the role suits him more than being a prefect. He is turning 8 soon. And taller. Similar to Ninie, he will also InsyaAllah have 2 cakes. I cannot wait.

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 🙂

Overnight stay at Swiss Inn, Johor Bahru

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I captured my recent trip to JB in the vlog above. Check out my other videos on Youtube.

I was in JB a few weekends back to visit my alma mater with the Back To School (BTS) committee. I was just recently absorbed into the team to lead mini projects as they run out of hands to help out. InsyaAllah I will be handling the batch Tshirt and the ‘launch ceremony’. I am happy with my current role. Honestly, I did not expect to contribute this far. I will let you know later.

I travelled to JB alone by bus. I downloaded an app called Redbus and booked my tickets there. Nowadays, bus services are like airlines. You get a boarding pass at the station and everything is so organized now. My journey was a 3 hour ride and I arrived at JB just before 8pm. I was contemplating to have dinner first before I go to the hotel but it’s a bit dark to wander alone in a foreign state.

my Redbus code : rednyyu9

So I hailed a taxi and charged without meter, a whooping RM15. Plus an additional RM2 for parking ticket fee since the cab was parked in the stations parking place. I felt so ripped off.

Thankfully, the reception at Swiss Inn JB was so warm and friendly that I soon forget about being tired and hungry. Check in was quick. They did not require any deposit.

I booked a Cozy Single Room which has Free Wifi and breakfast for two. Other commendable facilities include Free Shuttle Service, a parking space and yezza affordable room service. It was RM140.34 including tax and service fee. As usual, I booked my room through Agoda.com. There are other room options for family and individual travelers alike. One being a Tatami room where 6 people could stay together in a room with matresses laid on the floor – very Japanese like and cosy too.

My room has the basic complimentary beverages set and towels. Separate toilet and hot shower. A bath gel and shampoo with a small bar of soap. A mini hairdryer too. You need to bring your own toothbrush and toothpaste though.

I ordered room service and started unpacking my backpack. For dinner, I had a Deluxe burger. It came in an economic plastic packaging instead of a plate. Lol. That was new. I remembered ordering room service in Kuching’s Telang Usan, they still serve meals in proper plates. Ha ha. But it’s ok. Maybe it was easier to clean up and more hygienic? *thumbs up* After my meal, I freshened up and tucked myself in early.

I was already up at 530am the next day. Sunday is a working day in JB. I went down to the 1st floor for breakfast at the restaurant. The atmosphere was cute but I did not manage to snap a lot of pictures. The options were adequate and fulfilling for a 3 star hotel. It’s not a wonder that this hotel is the accommodation of choice for small group travellers. That morning we had guests from Indonesia staying there which was refreshing. Previously I’ve only managed to see groups from China during breakfast. The ibu-ibu looks so cute and fashionable with their colourful tudung.

After a brief visit to the loo, I checked out of Swiss Inn. I wished I could stay longer. The hotel is so pretty. I could have at least explored the gym.

This time I took a Grab Car to my alma mater situated near to the bus station the night before. The fare was only RM10.

My alma mater, Sekolah Tun Fatimah is an all girls boarding school. As someone who came from a non-priviledged background, it was a life changing moment for me. It was a great opportunity for me to receive structured education in a school said to be for the creme of the creme. On top of formal learning, I also had a taste of interacting with fellow students of different social hierarchy. I was middle class. So I get to mingle or observe those girls who were from upper and of lower class than mine. It was a mind opening and humbling experience.

Despite depending fully on meals at the dining hall, my parents still give me a bit of pocket money – enough to call home on the weekend with a phone card and the occasional splurge of air kotak rumah at the co-op. There were times of course I did not have enough money to buy an RM50 jersey shirt ( I was a player in the softball team) so I quit the team quoting ridiculous reasons like ‘mak suruh belajar’ . The seniors were a disappointed but they accepted my reasons. Since then, I didn’t take up sport because to me sports required money we did not have. So I just laid low and studied. I made a few friends. I don’t recall having any personal enemies. I think. ha ha. Even the teachers have a tough time trying to remember who is this Minci. HA ha ha ha.

Which is why when last year they announced to do this BTS programme, a collaboration activity with the school counsellors – I wasn’t exceptionally thrilled. I had no one in particular that I was excited to see because the ones I love, I am already seeing them or sending parcel kasih sayang from time to time. Notably, Kakjet and my Mimie. I appreciate my teachers and is forever grateful for their kind words and teaching but there is no outstanding personal moments to reminisce on, unlike my super achieving friends or the rebellious ones. I was one of those people who was not interested to join. At all.

until one day

I just felt like contributing. Part of it was driven by my personal agenda to meet Birsilah Bakar and force her to scribble an autograph in my copies of her book. hihi. And part of it is just wanting to exist as a Srikandi without feeling inferior by it. Often I had to conceal the fact that I’m a Srikandi because people expect big things from you – I’m just not keen to be likewise. It’s a personality thing. I am an introvert. Socializing or shining drains too much of my energy. lOl.

Anyway, what started as a volunteer in a mini group to sweat the little stuff led to me being upgraded as a team leader. It’s huge and gonna be one of the big things I’m organizing. So, BTS 2020 – here we go.

MT Washi tape pop up store at Kinokuniya KLCC

I’m a newbie in washi tape. I have only got to know about them since 2015.  I bought my few first rolls from aliexpress. Many months later I discovered washi tape sellers in our local scene. My current favourite is Lootersbox. I really hope they would open a physical store in Melaka one day and conduct workshops and such. I would be their regular customer and buy something on a weekly basis even though they’re just sticker flakes.

Last Wednesday I went to Kinokuniya KLCC to check out the MT Washi Tape pop up store.

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I salute Youtubers who could produce content on a regular basis on their channel. I think it requires courage and be a bit shameless on your part to actually hold out your camera in public to capture a moment. I am a bit shy on that part which is an obstacle, I think, if you intend to be a Youtuber or successful lifestyle blogger. But it’s ok, it is a learning curve for a jaded writer like myself. There is always a price to pay for being successful but let’s hope it is all worth it yahh..

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I spent just below RM300 in Kinokuniya alone on the washi tapes and FLOW magazine.  I figured since this is an annual event for MT, I should splurge within my means and save more money again for next year’s convention. After all, I did miss the ones they had in Pavillion last year.

If I were to include my petrol, toll and duit makan all… I’d say the trip to Kay Ell is about RM500. Thank Allah for pay day the next day. Regardless, I am a happy lady. A happy mom. A happy wife. Not so happy to get back to work the next day though.

Kuching Trip in 2019

Kuching, Sarawak is an annual destination for my family. This year we decided to use our yearly Waran tickets for Hari Raya Haji. Since it coincides with the school holidays, there was naturally a price hike for all hotel rooms and transport. Hence, I booked a Homestay which I found on Instagram : homestaymuslimkuching

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My rented home has 3 air-conditioned rooms, 2 bathrooms and basic amenities in the kitchen like a stove, some pans, plates,utensils, cups, a kettle, blender and there was even a washing machine. The home has a rate of  RM250/night. Since I will be there for at least 5 days 4 nights, we were eligible for a discount of just being charged RM210/night. I paid a 50% deposit online to the owner, to lock the date and completed the payment with cash upon arrival at the homestay. We also had to pay a RM150 security deposit when checking in which is later returned upon checking out.

The homestay is located in Matang Jaya, where the residents are predominantly Bumiputra of which there is a balance between muslims and non muslims in the area. Matang Jaya is situated across the other side of the bridge away from the city. Nevertheless there are plenty of activities and places to go. The shopping malls may be less grand as compared to the ones in the city but it is easier to find Halal food/ restaurants within this vicinity including places heading towards Petra Jaya/ Semariang.

Homestays are generally cheaper if we are traveling in a large group. Of course, it may not be as luxurious and comfortable compared to our usual state of living at home. We missed a few things from home such as;

  1. The microwave – we had to reheat our food using pots and pans on the stove
  2. Comforters – each room was provided with a very thin blanket. I suppose it is a technique so that we increase the temperature while we sleep. In a way less energy is used to cool the room to ‘extreme’ temperatures. Hence conserve electricity and reduces the bill.
  3. Coway water filter machine – given the easy access to clean water at home, boiling hot water can be a chore. Ha ha. Thankfully, there is a NINSO nearby for us to buy drinking water in abundance. The 1.5 litre bottles were sold at only RM2.30 for 3 bottles.
  4. Night lights/ bedside lamps – I was so glad that I brought my doTERRA LUMO diffuser. It doubles up as my lamp throughout the night as I set it to 10 hours of usage. If I did not bring it, I’d have to resort to a totally dark room or sleep with the doors open. 20190810_141932-019203051808957857482.jpeg
  5. The many available wall sockets – Each room has only 1 wall socket. Therefore, it is advisable to bring your own extensions.
  6. The assorted shower gels/shampoo & toothpaste -the homestay provided one basic solution for shampoo and body foam which is totally acceptable. I miss having the many choices like we do at home. Hence, it is wise to bring pre-packed toiletries too.

ACTIVITIES

Our flight was damn early at 0750AM. The kids did not bath and we performed our Subuh prayers at KLIA. Check in at KLIA was easy as there are plenty of self check in machines available. Once we’ve printed the luggage tags , we baggage dropped our things at the respective counters.

In-flight menu was OK although we personally prefer Air Asia’s nasi lemak. Even the kids pancakes taste funny.

We touched down at Kuching International Airport (KIA) 10 mins earlier than scheduled and had to wait for our rented car to come which took hours. So we had lunch at SUGAR BUN, in the airport which was freaking expensive. Our rented car is an Axia at RM90/day.

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This time around for raya haji, we would be visiting our relatives. We do not have the luxury to do other tourist-ish stuff like we normally do. So Santubong Damai Beach and museum visits were not part of the schedule. Some of the little things we manage to do include;

COFFEE AT BELALAK ADDICTED

This roadside stall was once famous for its Turkish like brewed coffee. Nowadays however, perhaps because its time consuming, they have removed that extra unique element and replaced it with other coffee varieties on top of selling fried food/critters for tea. I ordered Kopi Let which is a mixture of coffee with cocoa. It is very sweet though but the coffee taste still come out strong. Price : RM4.90

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RECITING YASSIN AND TAHLIL FOR THE DEceased

This was a get together on my moms side. We sedekah our recitations to those we love and hope Allah will ease their sufferings, if any, in alam barzakh. Then we had food. Lost of food. My sister and I brought chocolate cake all the way from Selangor for the occasion.

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FOOD HUNTING

There is no doubt that the queen of Laksa Sarawak is still Moms Laksa. The broth is super delicious and the closest restaurant to replicate its taste is here in Melaka, Kolok Vs Laksa restaurant located along the SPA Highway.

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A bowl of delicious mi kolok is harder to find because everyone’s recommendations differs greatly as to how they decide that mi kolok is nyaman. The last time I had a delicious mi kolok was at Kets Kitchen in Matang Jaya. Now rebranded as POpular Food Court. Till now, it was so difficult to get hold of the pakcik who makes the mi kolok.

Sotong Kangkung from LOCK ANN is a must. It has now relocated just opposite Matang Mall.

We went to a new place this year. MAMI CENDOL. It sells cendol, shaved ice with toppings, rojak buah, sotong kangkung and mi belacan. We thought it was a bit odd though to tapau self service but we went along with the system. The taste was alright.

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We had our seafood fix as usual at TOPSPOT. It is open at night and we usually patron stall no 25. I recommend ordering their butter prawn. Damn delicious!

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If you yearn for seafood during the day, then TELAGA AIR is the place for you. It is equally cheap. They serve the dishes buffet style but they are still freshly cooked. Telaga Air is situated about 35 – 40 minutes from Matang Jaya.

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BUYING SOUVENIRS

I bring back kuih lapis and butter cake back to Melaka every year without fail. It is sad though that nowadays kuih lapis has become so commercialized that its lost its unique value during Hari Raya. I  also get my Sarawak orientated kain pasang from main bazaar or India Street for my working baju kurung. I plan to enrich my wardrobe with baju kurung that has a Sarawakian or Terengganu motive to it. Ha ha.

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A SPECIAL VISIT TO MASJID AL GHAZALI

This masjid is located just 6 minutes from our homestay. Al Ghazali is special because it was built with the compensation money the relatives received with regards to this whole family who died in the MH17 crash. InsyaAllah as long as people keep the masjid alive, it will be a continuous supply of good deeds for the dead.

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I hope to spend longer time in Kuching next year. Our family will be going through transitions in our everyday routine next month as we ponder and wait for where Mr Husband will be deployed for his specialist gazzettement.

I hope it is in a state where the weekends are the same as in Melaka.