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!

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

Thank you for your service

Finally, Melaka is not under water rationing anymore. The state have not been getting much rain last year and consequently the water levels in the dam was low. It has been a challenging 2 months but manageable because the Bekalan Air Berkala schedule seems to be well thought out by Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad (SAMB). Nevertheless people still complain but as the mantra goes, you cannot please everybody.

The rationing affected highly populated residential areas except those near industrial/commercial areas. My housing area was rationed but my MIL’s place was not affected. I was thankful for that because my kids transit at their grandparents house after school. But now with the Movement Control Order (MCO) – all grandchildren are at my MIL’s house driving her crazy as school and nursery are out. I can only pray that Allah will grant my parents in law Jannah for their sacrifice in helping to mind the grandkids while we children go to work.

Previously, we get water running from the tap on alternate days starting from 10am till 10am the next day only. On days that we don’t, we depend on our household water tank and the public tank in our area. Thankfully, our house is near one of the big ones located near the surau.

My motivation to cook was dampened tremendously. Rasa macam tak best to masak and wash the dishes and pots meticulously using rationed water. It feels less great either to leave the dishes till the next day. So, meals consisted of takeouts, intermittent fasting or kids eat at grandparents house whilst us parents grab a bun or something.

Laundry is done at night as water pressure is stronger in the quiet hours near midnight. Mopping are done on those rare weekends where we get water supply. I haven’t wiped down my window grill for ages. I can see lizards pooping everywhere. As for my windows, I am in dire need of rain to help clean it up a bit.

Alas, all the above has come to an end. Alhamdulilah.. now I can start planning my spring cleaning schedule again. I would also like to thank all my re-purposed mini containers and barrels that has helped this family to contain water throughout this rough period of time. It would have not been possible without them.

My personal container I use in the master bedroom. The tangki does not supply this part of the bathroom.
The duo that usually holds my kuah laksa or ice during gatherings and parties… Useful to flush down the toilet and its contents..
Babe in the corner. Used to store rice during kenduri. Switching role as an assistant in the kitchen whilst cooking. In case I need extra water or anything.
One of the most useful ones. To help wash the dishes, hands and milk bottles.

My sister asked if I had to switch off my Coway machine during the water rationing. I find that there’s still some small amount of water being ‘sucked’ into the machine and that we could still get some water out of it. Of course there were days when we are out of hot water and this usually happens on the weekends when we are all at home drinking hot beverages and such. So far, the machine is functioning well and had not broke down yet. I am not quite sure what the representatives of Coway would advice though.

Now that the dry season is coming to an end, it will mean a different challenge for the coming months. While we appreciate rain, we hope there wouldn’t be any floods cause then it’ll be challenging to manage that and Covid-19.