Monday, April 28, 2014

100 Happy Days Challenge - Day 28 - 32

"Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high..." ~ William Goldman

Hi readers,

I know I am not posting as I promised. But things have been crazy busy and I see no signs of that slowing down.

So many things to update, but I need to do the 100 Happy Days Challenge because if not, I would just hate having to compress so many days in one post.

So here goes!!

Day 28 - For the love of chocolate (this is my favourite chocolate bar of all time apart from Flake..)  Yummy

Day 29 - The brilliance that transcended into madness... was admiring Van Gogh's work and his history. What a beautiful tragedy. But isn't everything beautiful marked with tragedy somehow?

Day 30 - Was driving Alphie Junior for a couple of days and was so thankful it had cameras everywhere. My dad used to tell everyone 'my daughter can drive anything, lori pun jalan'. You're right daddy, nothing I can't drive or do. I am my father's daughter indeed.

Day 31 - Airiel seems to enjoy quiet outings with me these days. Like spending pure quality time. He would refuse to go to theme parks or malls, and stuff like that unless it is treat time (one toy and one cd a month). He would rather go buy groceries with me, cook with me, read books with me, wash dishes together, do homework together or just stay at home and sit on my lap for hours on end. "You both are in your own little world" a friend said when she saw us laughing together for no apparent reason after we both exchanged cheeky silent looks. Aye indeed we are. The bond is indescribable. The above is our monthly grocery shopping trip. Usually I go with him alone, but I just brought Airiel's makcik (fierce guardian and protector of both Airiel and I) this time around.

Day 32 - Saw these cute strawberry baggage locks and just had to buy them!! Ahhh sooo cute...

Day 33 - Because the only French I speak is 'Voulez vous coucher avec moir ce soir?' *wink wink* hahaha

Alright everyone.

Have a great week ahead.

Much love from me and Airiel.

Peace and love to everyone.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

100 Happy Days Challenge - Day 22-27

"Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go" ~ Oscar Wilde

Hello readers,

It's time for the 100 Happy days challenge update. Let's go!!

Day 22 - Going blush... I am absolutely in love with this shade of lip gloss from Laura Mercier. Aptly named 'blush', it also has a chocolatey flavour to it (boleh? - rasa lapar plak).

Day 23 - Discovering a new colour in my wardrobe which I never even knew I had! Seriously, I am so used to wearing black and white, I hardly ever wear anything coloured to work. I was going through my coloured wardrobe the other day and saw this lovely shade and thought 'since when did I have this??' *facepalm*

Day 24 - Where do I  begin, to tell a story of how great a love can be? The sweet love story that is older than the sea, the simple truth about the love he brings to me... where do I start? 

Day 25 - Mitchy Matchy... I hope it won't be so cold over there..but I cannot stand even mild chills. So just in case...

Day 26 - I asked him "Who's the queen little prince?" and look at who he points to. We're unbreakable son... remember that, unbreakable... Anak gua SWAG.

Day 27 - Winning... :)

Until next time.

Much love from me and Airiel.

Peace and love to everyone.

Monday, April 21, 2014

1. Estillo; 2. Mad About Cocoa; 3. Trying out Quinoa

"I'll never fall in love again... it's like having two souls at the same time.." ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Hi readers,

It's a Monday again.

And time for a foodie post!. Like I said, collective posts are so convenient. So here goes.

 Estillo -  I have been working in Publika a long time but honestly this is the first time I ate here. Situated beside Social, it serves Tapas, Paella and the likes of Spanish food. It being lunch, we opted for the lunch sets. From top (clockwise err I think), my beef stew and rice with saffron. Meat was so tender I just had to put it in my mouth and it would literally melt. Not really convinced the rice had that much saffron in it, but it was still nice. The carbonara with truffle oil was awesome. I had a taste and I almost wished I ordered that instead of the rice haha. Another colleague ordered mushroom soup and mash potato with truffle. Mushroom soup was alright but the truffle mash was completely out of this world. Let me warn you guys though, everything from the stew to the cream to the mash was super rich for us. So rich in fact, we couldn't finish our food and had to tapau instead. Prices for the lunch set was reasonable, but other ala-carte items on the menu were quite up there, but definitely cheaper than ... La Bodega for instance, so definitely worth a try.

 Mad About Cocoa - Farah Shue and I discovered this new place one day in Publika and we promised each other after Farah's receptions were over (and the mad, crazy bride diet was over as well la kan haha) that we would go and check this place out. I loved how the owners have decked out the place. Quirky signs, a pink typewriter in a corner (sooo cute!!). It has some space at the back for events as well I think. I had my classic dessert order, the brownies and ice cream. It was lovely and comparable to the brownies with ice cream at Ben's but this is definitely cheaper.  Farah Shue ordered the brownies crepe. Man, it was huge!!. The picture up there does not do it justice. It was absolutely divine, and in the end, we had to ask another colleague to come and help us finish the crepe. Yes, the 3 of us. Sinful crepe with a layer of brownie tucked inside, and milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate poured on top. Heaven...yummy

Since while we are at the subject of food, I am excited to say that I have tried quinoa!! Everybody is like raving about this thing right? So I decided to just try it la. It was okay honestly but a bit bland so I ended up roasting some garlic with salt, crushing it and I mixed it into the quinoa. Had it with a side of grilled lamb and stir fried asparagus with oyster sauce. Nothing beats rice though. Nak buat mcmmana tekak Melayu hehe.

Okay readers. Much love from me and Airiel.

Have a good week ahead.

Peace and love to everyone.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Goodbye Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"We read to know we're not alone..." ~ William Nicholson

Anybody that knows me, knows that I am a bookworm. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on. I spend a huge portion of my salary buying books and I hope to teach Airiel to have the same passion for reading as I do.

One of my most favourite authors passed away. Those who read would know what a legend this Nobel Prize winning author was. Those who don't won't appreciate this post.

This is like my most favourite picture of him ever..

I find people who can write and engage people to read more of what they have written fascinating. I always wonder what it is that they can see in their heads and minds for them to create universes, worlds, characters that just blows us away and evokes our emotions. Books have taken me to places I have never been, to meet people I have never known. They make me laugh, they reduce me to tears. They lift me up, they break me down. They induce extreme happiness and intolerable pain right until the last page. These are the power of words, the one single thing I find that can heal and destroy at the same time.

There are some authors whose words just stick in your head, and you carry them around forever. Because those words touch your heart, they meld with your soul...and Gabriel Garcia Marquez I find, are one of those authors.

Such a loss to the literary world.

My absolute favourite words of his in one of his books is this:-

"Then he made one last effort to search in his heart for the place where his affection had rotted away, and he could not find it..."

Can you guess which book?

Have a good weekend ahead readers.

Much love from me and Airiel.

Peace and love to everyone.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rest Now, Tiger of Jelutong - 1940 - 2014

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who sees things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or villify them. About the only thing you cannot do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do..." ~ Apple Inc.

P.S - I do not own the pics and the quote. Pics and quote are credited to its owners.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

100 Happy Days Challenge - Day 15 - Day 21

"She is a soft, deadly creature. Kind and timid and terrifying. She's completely out of control and has no idea what she's capable of. And even though she hates me, I can't help but be fascinated by her. I'm enchanted by her pretend-innocence; jealous even, of the power she holds unwittingly. I want so much to be part of her world. I want to know what it's like to be in her mind, to feel what she feels. It seems a tremendous weight to carry...What a beautiful disaster.." ~ Tahereh Mafi

Hello readers,

A bit of time to breathe. So here are my 100 Happy Days updates. Some pics might be repetitive as it has been covered in other updates or posts. My apologies for this.

Day 15 - Welcome to the family, Alphie Junior....

Day 16 - You raise me up to more than I can be...

Day 17 - Out and about with the ones that matter... and a home away from home..

Day 18 - Receiving a gift from the heart...

Day 19 - The rush of earning my keep....

Day 20 - Military Training with Airiel

Day 21- The beats that catch...

Alright readers.

I have to go.

Much love from me and Airiel.

Peace and love to everyone.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekie roundup - Cititel Mid Valley & then some...

"Writing is something you do alone. Its a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don't want to make eye contact while doing it" ~ John Green

Hi Readers.

Next week is going to be terribly busy. I have work up to my eyeballs and definitely will not have time to write.

I am working as we speak. So I might as well do this now.

Despite the craziness of all our schedules (Nenda's week-long module drafting in Seremban, Atuk managing the getting of Alphie Junior, Maksu and Airiel's school schedule, Bonda's crazy 12 hour working schedule and my running around wishing I can split myself into 23 mini me's to cope and be home on time so Airiel doesn't go wonky on me), my family's monthly weekie was underway this weekend and was a success.

This time we chose Cititel Mid Valley.

Cons - The rooms were on the small side. Space was at a premium. I was kind of put off by the TV. I mean it was flat screen but it was small compared to what I am used to, and it wasn't mounted to the wall. Ohh, and the room did not come with an iron. You had to request for it, and you could only have use of it for an hour.

Pros - I loved the breakfast. A lot of choices. My only complaint was perhaps that my omelette was pre-cooked when I ordered it and therefore wasn't warm. But the omelette itself was tasty. The best thing about the hotel is the service. The staff was absolutely awesome. They remembered my name, the fact that I came with a group (my family), how many rooms we booked, our room numbers. The staff at the cafe was warm and inviting and took time to chat with us and took pictures for us. The valet was awesome as well and it was connected to Mid Valley so it was really convenient for Maksu and her wheelchair.

After Airiel refused to leave his room to visit Mid Valley, I had to bribe him out with the Transformers lorry in the topmost picture tu (Sigh). I am kind of proud of myself because I installed all that on my own. The perils of being a single mom to a growing son is that you have to learn how to assemble all these boy toys by yourself. But Airiel exclaiming 'Mama, you're so COOL!' after I was done was worth it hahaha. 

And yes, I also managed to visit this bundle of joy earlier today after the weekie was done and Airiel was safely resting at home:-

Assalamualaikum Shahir. You were crying when everybody else was holding you. And then when I held you, your eyes became big with wonder. You looked at me, smiled and fell asleep in my arms as I was speaking to you. You have that baby smell which I missed so much. They say babies smell like a piece of heaven. I wouldn't know Shahir. But I knew what I felt when I first saw you. When I saw you I felt love...

I am your father's cousin. You shall call me Icha.

Icha loves you already, little Shahir. Welcome to the world.

Have a good week ahead readers.

Much love from me and Airiel.

Peace and love to everyone.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

100 Happy Days Challenge - Day 8 - Day 14

"The soul is dyed the colour of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny -  it is the light that guides your way" ~ Heraclitus

Hello readers,

I am pushing ahead with the challenge. Let's see whats been awesome this week.

Day 8 - Complete itineraries

Day 9 - Growing older and worrying about your parents and where they go dating hahaha

Day 10 - Going loco over coco. This will be a subject of a foodie post later on.

Day 11 - A quiet day at home

Day 12 - Beautiful sunshine!!

Day 13 - For the love of coffee...

Day 14 - Being madly in love with the Almighty. Biarlah sampai nafas terakhir...

I promised a reader to have 3 updates a week. So I have already started on this. Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be my update days. Unless there is an emergency ke ape.

I am currently recuperating. Minor left arm issues:-

Anyways, Airiel thinks Mama is cool with a bloody and bandaged arm. And he helps out by blowing and kissing the pain away. You're a little painkiller son... Hati cairrrr....

Okay readers. 

Much love from me and Airiel.

Peace and love to everyone.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Beautiful Dream...

"Dreams are always crushing when they don't come true. But it's the simple dreams that are often the most painful because they seem so personal, so reasonable, so attainable. You're always close enough to touch, but never quite close enough to hold and its enough to break your heart..." ~ Nicholas Sparks

My dearest Akif,

Humans, unless they are gifted do not usually remember their dreams. I never do either. But for some reason, every single visit from you in my dreams are committed into memory.

Last week was a special week yes, because in my dreams you spoke.

Every dream is always almost the same. I am outside. I do not know what is inside, or where inside is, only that I am not allowed in. You are dressed in green. Your clothes made of marble almost, but fluid. It is hard to describe my surroundings, because it is unlike anything I have ever seen on Earth.

You come outside and sit on my lap, wrap your arms around my neck. And we stay like that until it is time for you to go back.

But this time, you put your hands on my heart and smiled and said 'Alhamdulillah, you have forgiven, your heart is clean'. When I look back at that moment, I am reminded of your brother Airiel and how he did the same to me.

'My heart for you Mama' ~ Airiel

MasyaAllah. Both of you are indeed gifts bestowed upon me by the Almighty.

I smiled and nodded and said 'Yes son, I have'. And you kissed my forehead. I asked you 'Will we be together one day?'. You do not answer but you smiled.

I held your face in my hands and said 'Promise me, when the time comes you'll come and find me Akif, find me...' and you smiled.

And it was time for you to go.

That is how it always is Akif.

Seeing you in my sleep. Never to touch and never to keep.

I woke up crying. Crying in my sleep. 

Tears of relief, tears of happiness, tears from missing you. How I will miss you for the rest of my life, son.

And yet thank you for telling me what I already knew.

That I am at peace, that I am happy, that I am free.

I love you.

Then, Now, Forevermore.

This is who I am. And I am your mother.

Thank you Allah.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Boycott Israel 2014 - Part 1

"There is sacredness in tears... They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love..." ~ Washington Irving

Hello readers,

It is Friday already. Work is crazy and being a single mom has its challenges. Am trying to juggle work and finishing everything on time to go home early (tak boleh dok lama kat opis, rindu weihhh kat anak), juggling Airiel's homework and art projects, taking care and maintaining caynie and doing pretty much everything on my own. Alhamdulillah, everything is going smoothly so far. 

Anyways, my last update on my boycott of Israeli products was sometime ago. When I went for my Gaza run in 2013. Silent I may be, but I have not forgotten about it. The boycott is still going strong. My house is now almost 100% Israel product free. I have told you guys that the best option in continuing the boycott is to usually choose local products and avoid the brands on the inminds list.

I have found a new brand of coffee.

Totally local. Pemanis Sdn Bhd. So I hope this is absolutely 100% Israel free. It goes in my coffee list hehe.

You guys must understand the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) campaign is perhaps the one most powerful tool in the hands of the public in showing our stand on the apartheid happening in Palestine and is one campaign the Israeli government is truly afraid of.

Some news I must share with you guys:-

1. BBC recently awarded a contract (after much opposition for Palestine Support Groups) to a G4S rival (G4S is directly involved in human rights abuses in Israeli prisons);

2. Tony Benn, a legendary UK MP that has been an outspoken supporter of the BDS campaign  and the PSC passed away peacefully mid March. May he be blessed for all his efforts in supporting the Palestine cause;

3. The Royal Institute of British Architects recently approved a motion calling for the suspension of the Israeli Professional Body from the International Architects Union;

4. Authorities in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March, suspended their deal with an Israeli water company, what a BDS victory; and

5. Sani Araby and his comrades (from Malaysia) were just recently refused entry to Gaza. They were carrying a convoy of much needed food, clothing and medicine for Gaza. Sani is on FB and his updates can be followed.

These are only some updates on the BDS campaign.

For a complete list of products to boycott, go to inminds.

For updates on the BDS campaign go to PSC.

Kalah sudah tentu, tapi lawan tetap lawan. To the death.

This is for you, angel Aisha. Hope you are playing up there in heaven with little Akif.

Here's to the weekend.

Much love from me and Airiel.

Peace and love to everyone.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

100 Happy Days Challenge - Day 3 to Day 7

"Your destiny is shaped by choice, never by chance. Beware of the decisions you make, no matter how small, for they will be your salvation, or your death..." ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hello Readers,

More friends have taken up the challenge! Yeay!! Lets do this!!

Okay let's go...

Day 3 - Kindred introverts speaking through hearts. Kitorg hang out mmg takleh ramai ramai. Berdua je selalunya, kalau ramai mmg arkward tak tahu nak cakap apalah jawabnye. We are introverts, who get immensely uncomfortable in crowds and prefer deep one on one conversations, other than being alone of course. 

Day 4 - Airiel, my amateur photographer and the current object of his photo obsession. Airiel is obsessed with taking photos these days. His own selfies and mine as well. He likes taking photos of his mama. I think he finds it awesome that moments are captured forever. After we take photos, he will insist on looking at it to see if he likes it haha. I am seriously contemplating buying him sort of a durable, cheapo camera to feed this budding hobby of his. My 5 year old son, believe it or not, took the photos of me above all by himself. And I find them to be quite awesome!! Pandai anak aku. Heheh

Day 5 - Setinggi langit di atas, kan ku kejar bahagiamu... Airiel starts school!!!  Haa, gamba kat bawah yg tgh tu dgn kiri tu, selfie dia sendiri tu. Haaa, bukan main lagik. 

Day 6 - Pillow fight!!! Cinta ini kupersembahkan setulus hati kasih... kepadamu. Pure, unconditional love. Can't describe the happiness in my heart in these photos...but I think you guys can tell right? Hehe

Day 7 - When I first saw you I fell in love...and you smiled because you knew... Shakespeare said that, and he is so right. This is a throwback of how cute Airiel was back in the days. Mata bengkak tu sebab this was the time he didn't actually sleep much (3 months to be exact) and drove me insane! haha. Mesti Akif comel gak macamni if he was around. Look at his chubby cheeks!! *geram*

Alright readers.

Have a good week ahead. Halfway through already dah ni.

Much love from me and Airiel.

Peace and love to everyone.