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Icon Home Challenge Season 4: VOTE NOW!

After a reasonably long break due to my horrendous first trimester,

I AM BACK TO HAUNT YOU HOMEOWNERS!

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SCARED NOW?

Don’t lie. I cannot be that scary.

Thank you so much Icon Interior Design for being so understanding throughout my first few months of pregnancy. Thank you for also understanding that I was allergic to blogging during that period. LOL.

Actually, I have soooooooooo many renovation tips to share with you, but I think that can wait till the next blog post.

For now, I am going to showcase…

THE TOP 5 FINALISTS FOR ICON HOME CHALLENGE SEASON 4

YES CORRECT, IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE HOUSE.

The prizes this time round are bigger and better!

……………………………………………

1st: Electrical appliances vouchers worth $3000

 

2nd: Electrical appliances vouchers worth $2000


 

3rd: Electrical appliances vouchers worth $1000

 

4th & 5th consolation: $100 shopping vouchers each

 

……………………………………………

 

WOW!

In other words, everyone is a winner when they renovate their house with Icon Interior Design.

And I have just been informed that there will be a BIG SURPRISE for the winners this time round! I am so sure the winners will sooooooooo pleasantly shocked! All I can say is, Icon Interior Design will be adding value to the above prizes!

What value? What surprise exactly?

HELLO, THERE IS A REASON WHY A SURPRISE IS CALLED A SURPRISE.

You want me to reveal, then you must stay close to me and my blog.

For now, let’s have a look at the TOP 5 HOUSES for this season! And oh, if you are in love with the prizes, wait till I reveal the prizes for the next season  of Icon Home Challenge in my next blog post! Will be even better, you know?

…………………………………………………

HOUSE #1

Homeowners: Atik & Farah

Residential type: 4 Room BTO Premium.

Location: Punggol Waterway 1

 

 

House #1 1-1 550px

House #1 1-2 550px

House #1 1-3 550px

House #1 1-5 550px House #1 1-7 550px

House #1 1-9 550px

…………………………………………………

HOUSE #2

Homeowners: Ridza & Fai

Residential type: 4 Room BTO Premium

Location: Sumang Walk

 

House #2 2-1 550px

House #2 2-2 550px

House #2 2-3 550px

House #2 2-6 550px 

…………………………………………………

HOUSE #3

Homeowners: Izzat & Diyanah


Residential type: 4 Room BTO Premium


Location: Fernvale St

 House #3 3-1 550px

House #3 3-4 550px

House #3 3-7 550px

House #3 3-8 550px

House #3 3-11 550px

 

…………………………………………………

HOUSE #4

Homeowners: Feroz & Quraisha

Residential type: 4 Room BTO Premium

Location: Sumang Walk

 

House #4 4-3 550px

House #4 4-1 550px

House #4 4-4 550px

House #4 4-5 550px

House #4 4-7 550px 

…………………………………………………

HOUSE #5

Homeowners: Mustaqim & Aishah

Residential type: 4 Room BTO Premium

Location: Edgefield Plains

 House #5 5-1 550px

House #5 5-2 550px

 House #5 5-4 550px

House #5 5-7 550px

 

NICE OR NOT THE HOUSES?

Which is your favourite?

YOU HAVE UNTIL 12 APRIL 2016 TO VOTE LIKE CRAZY.

I WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS ON 13 APRIL 2016.

This also means you have less than a week to vote!

But wait, there is a certain twist to the Icon Home Challenge this time round! 

Unlike the previous Icon Home Challenge that we have had where only my readers and followers had the privilege to vote for their favourite house(s) while I helplessly (LOL!) watched the votes increase by the second, this time round…

The bosses of Icon Interior Design (Max & Wayne), the photographer involved for the photoshoot of all the houses (Zee & Marina), and I will also be involved in the voting process!

How so?

READ EVERY SINGLE LINE PROPERLY FROM HERE ON.

 

50% of the votes will come from you.

50% of the votes will come from the two bosses, photographer and me!

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA IT’S SO FUN WHEN I CAN BE IN CONTROL IN A WAY OR ANOTHER.

 

Got to be fair to me, I also want to vote for my favourite house after typing so much!

AND I SO KNOW WHICH HOUSE I AM GOING TO VOTE FOR!

Now, this also means that you my friend, have a lot of work to do if you want your favourite house(s) to win! Must get everyone who knows of your existence to vote, if you are one of the finalists. LOL.

Do not worry, I will specifically mention the total number of votes from everyone! Won’t cheat one.

OKAY ENOUGH OF BABBLING.

TIME TO VOTE!

VOTING CLOSED

 

PSST!

(Let you in on a little secret. For the next blog post, besides revealing the results for Icon Home Challenge Season 4, I will also reveal the dates for Icon Interior Design’s not to be missed APRIL FAIR. But if you want to be one of those early birds, you can SMS/Whatsapp Icon Interior Design at 84479905 to chope your appointment slots first while waiting for the next blog post to be up! And if you listen to Ria 89.7 FM, do not get too excited if you hear the DJ mentioning Icon Interior Design over and over again. LOL.)

 

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On being 33.

I remember clearly cringing a day before I turned 30.

I remember not wanting to reach the big 30.

I remember thinking to myself, “Such an old age. Sure get wrinkles. Sure get grey hair.”

I do not remember jumping for joy.

But as I am typing this right now (and just two days shy from turning 33), I feel really gooooood! In fact, I canont wait to celebrate my birthday.

I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin.

No longer do I feel the pressure or need to be perfect or beautiful in others’ eyes because the confidence just comes naturally the older I get. Gone were those days where I felt the need to be a wannabe just to fit in. Gone were the days where I ached to look and dress like someone else.

At present, I no longer need affirmations from anyone to tell me that I am beautiful or I am aging gracefully because well, I am already self-approved. LOL.

So what if I am not as (stick) thin as before?

So what if I am aging by the day?

So what if I cannot remain a teenager forever?

Let me tell you why I am just oozing with confidence.

Somehow being in the 30’s gives me the confidence to develop my own style. I know what suits me best. I love being myself, and I am finally doing things I really enjoy or things I consider valuable.

“One of the biggest form of flattery is knowing that just by being your normal, wonderful self, you can make someone fall in love with you.”

When I go out alone, I no longer slouch a bit in an attempt to hide myself from the public. I no longer look down when walking. I put in more effort to pamper myself. I make it a point to dress up no matter what the occasion is.

Sure, being older also means that I need to think twice before doing certain stuff like err…EATING A LOT. I can no longer eat anything and everything I want because health is of utmost importance now. Or so I thought. LOL. Sometimes, I just cannot help it. But for a start, I try to eat rice only once a day now. Sometimes, I try to not eat rice at all for the entire day. A bit tough, this self-control issue.

But does that mean that I cannot have fun and that I cannot continue to enjoy life like I am forever 21?

NO WAY.

It’s really just about having the right attitude in life.

The mistakes most women make is not doing anything at all about themselves. And then they will compare themselves to other women and wonder why they cannot look just as good if not better.

Many women keep doing the same things they’ve been doing or wearing for decades. My ladies, you got to realize that certain hair styles or clothing that made you look fantastic in your younger days will not even cut it as you grow older.

Makeup too needs to be improvised with age.

I now know better what kind of makeup works for me, and which makeup products are just a waste of money and effort. Finding the right look and makeup products for your face can be pretty intimidating, especially when you do not really know that much about makeup. I mean, how will you even know which type of makeup will flatter your features, and which will make you look like a joker right?

I think the very basic of makeup that every woman should know is how to make their makeup stay instead of making the vanishing act every now and then.

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First thing first, know the type of skin you have.

If you have oily or combination skin, then you should know that your makeup will have difficulties staying put no matter how many kilograms of foundation or powder you keep putting on your face.

However, there are ways to make your makeup stay with minimal effort, you know? Read on and I will reveal!

Next, what kind of look do you want to go?

Dewy/shimmery/glowy look?

Matte look?

Now, if you have oily skin, please refrain from going for the dewy look unless you want to fry an egg on your face, of course. Oily skin and dewy look will just make you look super greasy. Ewww.

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Personally, I have always preferred the matte look on me for reasons more than one!

Let me tell you know why.

Now, what is matte makeup?

Matte makeup is when your face does not look shiny or dewy.

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No, being 33 does not mean that you will be facing fine lines, wrinkles and open pores. Why, if you take good care of your skin and pamper it monthly with facial for instance, you can fight them fine lines and wrinkles!

However, do you know that the normal dewy, shimmery or mineralized makeup can surface wrinkles and lines on your face easily?

And now, let me tell you the main reason why I have always preferred the matte look.

MATTE MAKEUP MAKES US LOOK YOUNGER!!!

 

Now do you finally understand why I look forever 21?

LOL LOL LOL LOL.

Okay laaaa, kidding laaaaaaa.

But I was not kidding about the wonders of matte makeup.

 Let me now reveal to you some of my makeup secrets. Not going to be a secret anymore after this.

Recently, I have started using two amazing makeup products from Benefit Cosmetics!

The first product?

the POREfessional

 

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What is it?

 

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It is basically a translucent and oil-free PRO balm which acts to minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines for smoother than smooth skin.

Why I love it?

Besides the fact that it helps my makeup to stay put, it also contains a Vitamin E derivative, known to protect skin from free radicals!

How to use it?

To use under makeup: Apply to clean, lightly moisturized skin. Pat on problem areas & blend with fingertips.

To use over makeup
: Pat on lightly over makeup & blend.

The second product?

Agent Zero Shine

 

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What is it?
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It is a shine-vanishing PRO powder which instantly minimizes shine and helps smooth the look of pores.

 

Why I love it?

 

I love how compact and travel friendly Agent Zero Shine is! I have been bringing it everywhere I go, but I hardly have to take it out because the makeup can pretty much stay matte for as long as I am out. Agent Zero Shine comes in only one shade and works like a translucent powder. That said, it does not leave a powdery finish. What you will have instead is a super matte look and oh yes, a super fresh face! Even after a few hours of having makeup on, Agent Zero Shine will not cause the makeup to be cake-y. The makeup will stay matte for at least four hours, if not more.

 

Don’t believe me?

LOOK AT THIS THEN!

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How to use it?

 

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Impressed already?

 

Both the POREfessional & the POREfessional: Agent Zero Shine can be purchased from any Sephora outlet in Singapore.

Now, the next question will be, “Just what and where is Sephora?”

AIYAH SEPHORA IS WHERE YOU CAN SHOP FOR MAKEUP,  SKINCARE AND FRAGRANCE FROM EMERGING BRANDS LIKE BENEFIT COSMETICS AND MORE!

SO WHERE TO FIND SEPHORA? CLICK HERE!

You can also follow Benefit Cosmetics in Instagram.

@benefitcosmeticssg

 

NOW, WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN BOTH THE MAKEUP PRODUCTS I JUST MENTIONED?

HERE’S YOUR CHANCE!

 

Read this well, okay?

I am going to pick three lucky winners to win a set each of the POREfessional & the POREfessional: Agent Zero Shine worth SGD96!

 

All you got to do is to impress me good.

 

Show me how much you love reading my blog.
Prove to me how big a fan you are.
I need evidence. I need proof.

 

It can be a poem. It can be a photo collage. It can even be an essay.

Touch my heart.
Make me laugh so hard.
Make me cry with your sincerity.

 

EMAIL ME YOUR ENTRIES AT ASKETRANGLE@GMAIL.COM BY SUNDAY, 2 MARCH 2014 WITH THE SUBJECT: FANS WITH BENEFIT

 

Come on, it’s not everyday that I ask you to flatter me. But since I am turning 33 and all, just do it for me can?

 

IT IS A BIGGIE OKAY SINCE THE NUMBER 33 IS VERY BIG ALSO. 

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HAPPY 33RD BIRTHDAY TO ME ON THE 25TH!

 

(Make me really happy right now, please? I think deserve more than 33 LIKES for the post. <3)

LOVE YOU PEOPLE!

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That Batam Trip.

The last time I took the ferry was a few years back, to Tanjong Pinang. To sum it up, I had a nightmare which lasted for almost a day! Had nausea and sea sickness throughout the ride, and vomitted several times. I swear I saw the ferry bouncing off the waters! The horrible feeling lingered for almost half a day. By the time I was feeling almost normal, it was time to take the ferry back home again. Wah piang! Such agony. Total misery. I told myself never to take the ferry to anywhere anymore, not even if someone bribed me with one million dollars…or Pandora.

(Actually I might have reconsidered if it was Pandora. Did they already have Pandora back then?)

That said, you cannot exactly blame me for being super anxious for our Batam trip.

Yes, the whole lot of us (except for Ili and Shafiq) went to Batam for a 2D/1N trip over the weekend. 

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Before I proceed even further, if you are looking for recommendations for your upcoming trip to Batam, sorry to disappoint but this blog post is not exactly for you. I mean, I will recommend the good stuff if they are really good. But do not expect to see too much of them here. So yeah. You can continue reading on if you need to find out the places you need to avoid going to.

LOL. 

And if you are reading for entertainment purposes, by all means read! Let’s go back in time for a bit here; my parents and Nurul had been bugging me to go Batam because I kept saying no for all the times they asked me. Frankly speaking, I did not want to go because I had the impression that it was just a place for dirty old men to seek pleasure. I also thought that it was something like JB – just dirt cheap shopping. But then I kept seeing pictures of online acquaintances going to Batam for the JCo donut and the A&W. Some friends keep coming back to Batam monthly for the spa. Some say the seafood there is really cheap and good!

WAHHHH! THAT GOOD, HUH?

So I figured that I had to just put aside my ego and just give Batam a chance, right? There were voices in my head telling me to just goooooooooooo and enjoyyyyyyyyyy myself at Batam. After all, how bad could it be, right?

SO OKAY, GO BATAM LOH!

But before that, a selfie with the husband.

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And a photo of the ‘rombongan’ (read: tour group) to Batam. LOL.

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If you follow me in FB, you would have read my ramblings and preparations for the Batam trip. I was behaving like a maniac, asking everyone for tips on how best to not suffer from nausea or sea sickness during the ferry ride.

IT WAS NO LAUGHING MATTER. I WAS MAD SERIOUS.

And I have to really thank all my super awesome Facebook followers for their wonderful tips and help! If you are planning to take the ferry anytime soon, then you might want to refer to the following! 🙂


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I read every single suggestion and tip given by my FB followers and prepared the stuff for the ferry ride!

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Tatek thought I was mad. Nurul assured me that the ferry ride would be okay, just as long as I did not think too much. On the day of the trip, I was pretty cool about everything. Not so anxious. I somehow felt confident that I would be not vomit or feel sick. I set the alarm just to remind myself to take the Novomin pill half an hour before the ferry ride, though.

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

LOL.

Our ferry ride was at 10.20 am. We arrived at Singapore Cruise Centre at 9 am to do the necessary – checking in, collection of boarding passes and whatnots. I then instructed all the kids to suck on the Kid Travel lollipops twenty minutes before the ferry ride too. Since the lollipop was red and looked really tempting.

Sharleez: “Mummy, it is not that nice actually la.”

Me: “It is not meant to be nice. It is meant to not give you a headache during the ferry ride.”

Minutes later.

Myreen: “Must we finish the lollipop?”

Sharleez: “Yes, remember what Mummy told us? It is not supposed to be nice.”

Mysha: “But it is nice, what!”

Apparently everything edible is nice to Mysha. :/

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The moment we boarded the ferry, all eyes were practically on me. Nurul was like studying my expression throughout, just to check whether I was feeling okay.

She was like, “If you still vomit despite your ridiculous preparations, I will announce in Instagram sia!”

The pressure was on me, needless to say.

I asked Aton for my orange right away. Peeled it and started sniffing the orange skin like an addict. The ferry started to move.

Eh, nothing at all lah. No nausea. No sea sickness. No motion sickness. No headache. No  nothing.

I could take another selfie even! LOL.

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I felt really normal, and I was able to look out to enjoy the view, just like a normal person.

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But minutes later, I started to feel a bit sleepy. And then I slept all the way till we reached Batam forty-five minutes later!

PHEWWWWWWWW MAN. 

And since my preparations did pay off, I can mention the following quote proudly. “Organize, don’t agonize.”

Some people just love to make so much noise without even making the effort to try to find a solution, or organizing everything beforehand. And then when things go wrong, they play the blaming game – blame everyone except themselves.

By the way, the Novomin pills can be purchased from any leading pharmacy like Guardian and Unity! They do have it in syrup form too so you can get that and share it with your little ones.

Alternatively, you can get the Kid Travel lollipops from Kiddy Palace!

The moment we reached Batam, I saw the weekend crowd there and I was like telling that same voice in my head,

“PLEASE MAKE IT WORTH THE TRIP. PLEASE”

So we took the cab to the hotel. Three cabs in call. My brother Sofian, was in charge of everything related to money. He is just so good and efficient when it comes to bargaining and getting the best deals for everything without being too demanding or annoying. And he will somehow always succeed in getting the best deal for us. So if you need to go on a vacation, you might want to bring Sofian along. LOL. You know how some people can bargain until the seller has to just give in to them without making much profit? Cannot like that lah, must be fair to the sellers too. They too are trying to earn a living. So yeah, Sofian was the one who settled the cab rides, hotel bookings, ferry bookings and basically everything else related to money. The Nadyas were already pretty sleepy and tired the moment we got into the taxi. They were so quiet throughout the cab ride.

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They must be pretty anxious about what to expect in Batam too. They kept looking at their surroundings, hoping to see something nice and exciting like Disneyland, maybe. They fell asleep shortly after. Reached the hotel in about ten minutes. Where at?

BCC HOTEL & RESIDENCES!

Jalan Bunga Mawar, Riau Islands Province 29444 Indonesia We panicked for a bit because my parents’ cab was nowhere to be found when we reached the hotel. We waited for more than thirty minutes for them. We really thought they had lost their way. Finally their cab made its appearance. Mak excitedly showed us this.

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She went shopping for her turtle eggs. And to think that we were so worried for her and Daddy. LOL. Just what is so nice about turtle eggs? It’s like you are sucking your own phlegm, no?

Anyway, back to the hotel.

The moment I got hold of the free wifi, I put up the following post. Of course must be a bit proud la since I did not vomit and all. BIG ACHIEVEMENT, OKAY.

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We booked the 3 bedroom executive suite apartment, and got a free upgrade to the 3 + 1 bedroom suite apartment! The apartment was really clean and super spacious when we checked in! There are four rooms in all, two bathrooms, a living room, dining area, and a kitchen even! Perfect choice if you are traveling in a big group.

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Want to know how much we paid?

SGD285 per night. 

OKAY, WHAT? 

So we kept our bags at the hotel before proceeding to lunch at the nearby mall, Batam City Square (‘BCS’), which is right next to the hotel.

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We were initially told that there was A&W at BCS. I really could not wait to get to A&W because I had been dreaming of the Root Beer Float for so many nights prior to the trip. But once we were at Batam City Square, there was no sign of A&W. We double checked and true enough, there is no A&W at BCS. And since we were all already so hungry, we decided to have lunch at one of the restaurants there. At this point, I have to apologize for not taking note of the name of the restaurant. But then again, why bother? Read on to find out why. Tatek and I ordered Nasi Ayam Penyet because I wanted to see if it would taste better than the ones in Singapore. The moment our orders came, my eyes felt like they were about to pop out of my head.

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Tatek and I were like complaining to each other like we had not eaten for a month!

“Are these chicken, chicks or birds?”

“Aiyoh why so tiny the chicken?”

“This chicken will be gone the moment it goes inside my mouth.”

No kidding. Really so small the chicken.  

THANK GOD THE TASTE WAS QUITE OKAY. BUT I STILL PREFER NASI AYAM PENYET RIA IN SINGAPORE LOR. 

We then ordered three bottles of The Sosro, or Teh Botol, as they call it.

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Eh no. Let me count again.

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We ordered six bottles in total. Why the bottle so small one? Just one sip, and the bottle was empty! Beggars cannot choose, they say. I dare not try the plain water or anything with ice over Batam because I was told that the tap water is not exactly that safe to drink. Hence, I decided to order anything chilled without any ice throughout my stay in Batam. But one thing for sure, food in Batam is really cheap. Like really really REALLY cheap. We paid SGD1.50 for one set of Nasi Ayam Penyet, mind you. After lunch, we went window shopping for a bit at BCS mall. Apparently, there was really nothing for the us or the kids, except for a lot of imitation goods. Want to cover your food with an ‘LV’? :S

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I spotted someone sitting down and staring into space. He must be so bored.

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His sister on the hand, was standing at one corner, and entertaining herself silly.

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And since the kids were too bored, they even made a new friend. But the new friend just would not smile. 🙁 (You do know that the friend is actually a mannequin, right?)

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Forget about shopping! Really cannot make it.

Sofian booked the spa session for us instead at First Choice Spa , Massage and Reflexology. It was about five minutes walk from our hotel.

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The kids went back to the hotel with my parents and the helpers to take their shower and rest for a bit while waiting for us. They were really so tired from all the walking and traveling. Now, let me tell you something about myself. I have never enjoyed massages or spas because I just do not like the idea of strangers touching me and exerting pressure on my body. Nurul however, convinced me to try it because according to her, it is just so relaxing and she will often fall asleep during the spa session.

FALL ASLEEP? 

Wah, must be that good, I thought to myself.

SO OKAY LOR, WE GO SPA LOH!

My god, they didn’t forewarn me that a really big sized masseuse would be stepping on me. Like really stand on top of my back and walk on my back while I lay flat on the mattress. Her entire body weight was on me. I felt it. My god, at that point of time, I really felt like the world was going to end. Tatek who was having his massage next to me, looked at me in disbelief. Save me lah, at the very least. LOL. The masseuse commented that my bones are not that strong because they kept making the “Krak Kruk” sound. I almost wanted to reply to her, “Ya and you almost broke them into pieces, woman.” So okay, other than that, the spa session was quite alright. I am not saying that I truly enjoyed it, but it was okay. I think I am just not that used to the whole idea of people performing karate chops on me and marinating me like BBQ chicken wings before walking on me like I am some kind of a London bridge. Right after the spa session was over, I told Nurul and Sofian about my experience and they were like, “But our masseuses were not big sized at all. It’s just your fat luck!” Nurul did fall asleep yet again. Nice. The Aromatherapy session lasted for about 1.5 hours, and we paid SGD19 per pax for that.

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First Choice Spa , Massage and Reflexology 

Komplek Ruko Penuin Centre Blok OA No. 12 – 12A Batam Island – Indonesia +62 778 700 2012 +62 778 431 506 Right after spa, we went back to the hotel to fetch the folks and the kids.

AND WHILE WE WERE GONE, THE GIRLS CAME UP WITH THESE BEAUTIFUL DRAWINGS. 


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THEY MUST BE THAT BORED, HUH?

Luckily I told them to bring their drawing materials and their Lego too to Batam.

We called for the cab and proceeded to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall for dinner at A&W and some shopping. Apparently, Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is a must visit if you visit Batam.

SO OKAY, WE VISIT LOH. 

Saw A&W and we practically squealed in excitement. I quickly forced Sharleez to take a picture with the The Great Root Bear.

She was like, “Who is this, Mummy?”

LOL.

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But the first disappointment came when I saw the menu and I did not see any signs of Coney Dog or any other kinds of (hot)dogs. So okay, I ordered the chicken with the curly fries and the root beer float of course.

YUM YUM. LOOKS GOOD RIGHT?

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The moment of truth everyone because looks can deceive. (Didn’t your mummy tell you that?) I could not even begin to describe how utterly disappointed I was with everything that I ordered. The root beer float tasted weird, like it was preserved in a PVC pipe or something! The curly fries were not curly enough. The chicken tasted like it was coated with curry powder or something. The chili sauce was just too sour.

WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I EAT?

How come some Singaporeans can just keep coming back to Batam for that? I am sorry to say this to all the people and lovers of Batam, but the A&W in Batam really sucks big time! The whole lot of us could not even finish our drinks and food. Everything was barely touched.

Dinner was a major disappointment, simply put.

After dinner was done (or barely done), we walked around the entire shopping mall. Nagoya Hill really reminded me of Platinum Fashion Mall in BKK, except that Platinum Fashion Mall has more trendy clothes for everyone. Nagoya Hill has clothes with lots of blink blink, though.

OKAY ANYWAY, WHAT IS UP WITH THE AIRCON IN BATAM? WE WERE PERSPIRING IN ALL THE SHOPPING MALLS WE WENT TO BECAUSE WE COULD BARELY FEEL THE AIRCON. AND OH, YOU ARE EVEN ALLOWED TO SMOKE IN THE SHOPPING MALL LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS. 

Where are the safety measures, people? While we were window shopping, the entire shopping mall blacked out for about ten seconds. But lucky it was only for ten seconds. I did not even have the chance to open my mouth to scream. LOL. I could not find anything to shop for myself, so I ended up getting distracted by the names of the stores instead.

TELL ME IF YOU FIND THE NAMES FAMILIAR.

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Funny how they use almost the same fonts and colours as well! We then went to this souvenir shop called ‘Put Name’ (what else could they possibly name their shop, right?) where you can personalize key chains because Sharleez wanted to get a little souvenir for her classmate. The girls ended up getting personalized keychains for themselves too.

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Cost of keychain: SGD 1.50 each

The expression on the girls’ faces: Priceless

We saw JCo Donuts, and decided to take away some donuts for breakfast the following morning.

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Again I was told that the donuts there are much nicer and cheaper than the ones in Singapore. There must be some truth in what I heard, judging from the long queue.

SORRY BUT I STILL PREFER THE DONUTS IN SINGAPORE. 

Anyway, let me talk to you about the straw issues I had in Batam.

First scenario:

Nurul and I decided to buy drinks at JCo Donuts, but we were not given straws for our drinks. We could not find any straw either. When we asked the donut guy for straws, he had to leave the counter and take the straws out from some locked drawer.

WAH. THAT SECRETIVE AH?

Second scenario:

Earlier on at the restaurant, I asked for three straws for my drinks. And I had to keep asking for about five times from five different waiters before I finally got hold of the straws.

Third scenario:

When we were at the supermarket and shopping for packet drinks for the kids, I noticed that all the packet drinks did not come with straws. I asked Aton and she explained that the straws would only be given to me once I pay for the packet drinks at the cashier.

SO OKAY, I CONCLUDED THAT IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO OWN A STRAW IN BATAM. HOLD ON TIGHT TO YOUR STRAWS, PEOPLE. NEVER LET THEM GO.

Lesson learnt. Bring your own straws the next time you come to Batam.

I AM NOT KIDDING, OKAY.  

By then, it was already close to 10 pm. You would have thought that we would call it a night and make our way back to the hotel right? We did not. Instead, we decided to take the cab to Golden Prawn Restaurant for supper.

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Again, I  was told that Golden Prawn Restaurant is a must visit if you are a seafood lover.

SO OKAY, WE GO EAT THERE LOH.

The moment we reached Golden Prawn, I was actually looking for…a golden prawn. Sorry but I was just intrigued by the name. Found none, so we decided to find a table for all of us instead. Golden Prawn Restaurant is really huge, and surrounded by a pond. While waiting for the food to arrive, we were entertained (not!) by some random people with screeching voices karaoke-ing at the stage. They must be the appetizers, I thought. We ordered quite a number of dishes since the food there is so cheap anyway.

Are you ready for our verdict?

The coconut drink arrived first, but we were disappointed by how sour it tasted. The coconut must be really old.

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The first dish to arrive was the scallops with pineapple sauce. The first thing I saw on the shells were the pineapple cubes. I had to dig and dig before I could finally find three scallops.

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Now, I actually wanted to take pictures of all the dishes that we ordered, but after tasting the scallop pineapple cubes with pineapple sauce, I  decided to not take pictures of the rest of the dishes. I thought the taste was really mediocre. True enough, we were only further disappointed when the rest of the dishes arrived. Everything was pretty much tasteless and lacked the kick. Nothing to be wow about. Not even close to being tasty enough. We left the restaurant swearing and cursing like grumpy old uncles and aunties. LOL. If you were to ask my dad about his experience at Golden Prawn Restaurant, he would gladly give it 2 stars out of 10 stars. To quote him,

“This is the worst seafood I have ever tasted in my entire life.”

LOL. Don’t play play ok, this dad of mine takes his food seriously. So okay, it was back to the hotel right after the disappointing supper. We had our shower and we spent the rest of the night whatsapping each other at our family group chat, and laughing like hyenas. The best thing was, we were all at the living room! Why talk when we can whatsapp? Why waste our breath when we can save it for karaoke? Dang. We did not get to go for karaoke though. (I was really saving my voice for karaoke.) The next morning, it was breakfast at the hotel itself. Frankly speaking, I was not expecting much for the breakfast, after the series of disappointing food the day before.

True enough, the food at the hotel was just as bad. 

The mee rebus tasted like playdoh. The sausages tasted like rubber. The mee goreng tasted like I don’t know what. And my god, even the honey stars cereal tasted totally different!

HOW TO EAT?

Luckily the chicken porridge was not that bad. That was the only consolation for the lack of good food, I guess. Check out their bored faces.

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SUPER BORED KIDS ALERT!

 

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Right after breakfast, it was hair spa time! I thought I just needed a good hair massage and at the same time, pamper my hair a bit. Hair spa is basically hair care treatment that provides moisture to dry and damaged hair. It protects your hair from split ends, dryness and dullness and also improves the texture, apparently. :/

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I enjoyed the hair spa a lot. It was truly a relaxing experience for me. So I do not mind coming back to Batam during the fasting month (so that I do not have to eat) just for a hair spa session. LOL. We paid SGD 12 per pax for an hour of hair spa at Hair Perfect Salon.

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Hair Perfect Salon

Batam City Square (BCS) Mall (Jalan Bunga Raya, Baloi) Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29432

Look at us, right after our hair spa session! How? Do I look like an Indon tai tai? LOL.

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Once hair spa was done, we went back to the hotel to check out, and then proceeded to Nagoya Business to buy some chips. Mak insisted on going to Nagoya Business. There are basically a lot of roadside stands at Nagoya business selling homemade chips. local fruits and preserved fruits.

This fruit below is my number one enemy. It always makes me cough each time I eat it.

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In my mind, I was thinking, “What is the biggie about them chips? Singapore also have, what.”

BUT OMG THE CHIPS ARE REALLY REALLY GOOD!  

SGD3 for half a kilo, and they were very generous with the testers too. The guy selling the chips gave me this big bag of chips, FOC!

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And he kept asking me whether I wanted more. Of course I did not ask him for more. Cannot be so greedy. May Allah bless his kind heart, and may his chips business prosper even more. To Batam Centre we went thereafter for our ferry ride back to Singapore.

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I couldn’t have been more happier to go home, despite the long queue of people that I had to endure and tolerate. There is really no queueing up system over there, so that pretty much explains the reason why the place is forever overcrowded with people. Tatek had a picture taken with our very nice cab driver, Mister Nur Cahaya!

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What’s a ferry ride without a picture overlooking the sea, right?

NAH!

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And there you have it.

I have just blogged about our Batam trip.

And here is a little note for my fellow friends and acquaintances who are big lovers of Batam.

I am sorry that my family and I did not enjoy Batam as much as we wanted or tried to. I am sorry that I failed to see the reason(s) why we should make a return to Batam. I am sorry that I did not go to the better restaurants or spas. I am sorry I did not quite appreciate what Batam has to offer. But that should not stop you from continuing to enjoy or frequent Batam. To each, his own (merriment).

The purpose of this post is not to grumble or whine. It was never my intention to sound so ungrateful or rotten either.

But if there was one thing that I appreciated, then it was the opportunity to see the different side of the world where life is pretty much simpler (though more chaotic). The Batam trip was an eye opener for me and it made me realize how fortunate I really am to be living in Singapore. (And I hope my girls realized that too.) The living conditions/situations such as the ones we see in Singapore do pale in comparison to what most of the people in Batam live with every single day.

But they make do with what they have.

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Thank goodness that I had good company in the form of my family throughout the trip. No matter the place, as long as there is good company, it will result in good time spent together, somehow. <3

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posted by admin (online) in Activities,Entertainment,Family,Life,M&Ms,Myreen Nadya,Mysha Nadya,Nadyas Say The Darndest Thing,Parenting,Share & Support,Sharleez Nadya,The Nadyas,Travel & Trips,Uncategorized and have Comments Off on That Batam Trip.

Meadow of Love.

I look forward to this every single weekday.

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The sending them to school part is always exciting because well, at least Mummy gets some time to run errands and all (this normally means shopping!), or have that breakfast date with Daddy.

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EH? HOW COME FOUR KIDS AH?

OKAY DON’T GET ALARMED. THAT’S NOT MY SON.

(I did not secretly get pregnant and give birth to a baby boy, and hide him from the public for 3 years.)

That’s Shan Ehan, my darling and most precious nephew! And he attends Nursery 1 in the same school as my girls! So cute, isn’t he? On certain days, if I am lucky,  I get to drive him to school!

The fetching them back from school part is always something I look forward to too because well, being apart from them for four hours is more than enough. Any longer than that and I will most probably suffer from separation anxiety.

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My girls, they really enjoy school. I know it. They look forward to school every time, no matter how late their bedtime can be on certain nights due to family events like birthday celebrations, for instance. Never once have they actually begged me to not go to school.

Each time I ask them questions pertaining to school, they will always have so many things to tell me. Always so eager. Always so excited. As a result, we will often engage in long conversations about school during our drives home or just before bedtime.

IF THAT’S NOT EVIDENT ENOUGH, THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.

I think it is important to let our kids see that we are interested in talking about every part of their school life; not just their successes, but their problems as well.

Of course it is normal for them to be slightly unhappy during the first few weeks of school. That time is called the adjustment period; they need to adjust to the new teacher, new friends, and the whole idea of waking up early to go to school instead of just staying at home to err…play and watch TV?

In school, they will meet all types of people and that’s where they will also learn how to cope up with different situations and people.

Besides, they have super cute looking friends too!

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My girls took slightly longer to adapt to school during their first year in school, but for the subsequent years, they took less than three days to more or less to adjust, and to get used to everything new in school. For that, I have got the teachers to thank because the teachers at my girls’ school are really caring and loving. And what I especially like about the teachers is the fact that they always look out for every student in the school, and not just the students in their class. They know the names of all the students in the school, mind you! So it really feels like one big kampong.

Where is this big kampong, you ask?

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KIDZ MEADOW PASIR RIS, THAT’S WHERE!

That’s the school that all my three girls have been attending ever since they were in Nursery 1.

So why do I send them to KIDZ MEADOW? 

When I was scouting around for a school for Sharleez, I considered the following factors:

• Distance

• Environment

• Curriculum

• Teachers

At that point of time, the daughters of my good friend Oniatta were in Kidz Meadow too. She had only good things to say about the school and her daughter’s teacher especially, Teacher Huda.

And so I made that visit to Kidz Meadow. My god, I fell in love with the school’s environment the moment I was there. The school is right at the end of Pasir Ris beach if you must know, and it faces the beach and the big playground! I was thinking,

“How super cool it is to go to a school that faces the beach! It’s like going for a picnic every single day!” 

I looked through the curriculum and I was very impressed with the strong literacy programme which they offer. The following are incorporated into the 4-hour programme for the N2 to K2 level at no additional cost:

1. IQRA Enrichment Programme 

-Introduces the children to the basic Hijaiyah alphabets

2. Speech & Drama Enrichment Programme: 

-Aims to develop the children’s confidence, pronunciation and creativity

3. Letterland Phonics

4. Rigby Rocket Reading Programme

5. Seronoknya Membaca Reading Programme

I WAS SOLD IMMEDIATELY.

When Sharleez started Nursery 1, her teacher was Teacher Huda too, the same teacher who taught Oniatta’s daughter! Teacher Huda is really a dedicated and caring teacher.

To cut the story short, Sharleez had such a wonderful time when she was in Nursery 1 that I decided to enroll her twin sisters Mysha and Myreen for the Nursery 1 programme too the following year. Sharleez is presently attending Kindergarten 2 while Mysha and Myreen are attending Kindergarten. And all three of them are in the morning session.

Yes you can choose to go for the morning session from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm, or the afternoon session which starts at 1 pm and ends at 5 pm. Since Sharleez will be in the afternoon session next year when she enters primary one, I have decided to put the twins in the afternoon session too for Kindergarten 2. There is such a thing called smart parenting so that you do not end up exhausted even though the day is barely over! 😀

Sharleez is already dreading graduation day as much as she is looking forward to Primary 1. She will definitely miss all her friends and her current form teacher, Teacher Suhailah. Teacher Suhailah has been teaching Sharleez for the past three years, so you can imagine how attached Sharleez is to her. Teacher Suhailah knows Sharleez inside and out, so it’s really like having a big sister rather than a teacher to care for my daughter while she is in school.

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For sure, I WILL cry buckets of tears on graduation day. Teacher Suhailah, please avoid me at all costs on graduation day.

Awwww shucks man.

Okay okay, let’s not get too emotional here.

Mysha and Myreen are just as fortunate to get an equally caring and dedicated teacher like Teacher Jumirah. They adore their teacher so much that they cannot help but to talk about her all the time. And I totally understand why. This is one teacher who uses patience with her students. Teacher Jumirah is like a motherly figure, and I appreciate the fact that she was able to differentiate my twins and their totally different personalities at such a short period. I expected her to take one year, but she took lesser than six months! That just shows a lot about the kind of teacher she is.

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Do you know that Kidz Meadow Pasir Ris also offers the following enrichment programmes during the weekends?

  1. Kindertune Absolute Piano

  2. Abacus Mental Arithmetic

  3. Swimsafer

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My girls and Shan, they can never be separated. Shan is especially close to Sharleez. So each time there is a school excursion for instance, the teachers will allow Shan and Sharleez to be together. There is nothing like “Oh you are not in the same class so you cannot be together.” That is how flexible the teachers are.

Tell me now, don’t you just like the whole idea of togetherness? That is the reason why my girls feel so at home when they are in fact, in school. Oh, the irony of it all. LOL.

So if you are in the midst of looking for a school for your little one(s), do consider Kidz Meadow Pasir Ris because it rocks big time!

Kidz Meadow Pasir Ris will be having a Family Beach Carnival at Pasir Ris Park on 12 October 2013 so do join in the fun, and take a tour around the entire school too!

Do not forget to bring your beach mats and hats!

Details!

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You will also get to enjoy special promotion for registrations on 12 October 2013, just so that you know. What special promotion, you ask?

HOW ABOUT A FREE UNIFORM AND HAT?

HEHE.

SO DO DROP BY! 

Kidz Meadow Pasir Ris is at 102 Pasir Ris Road. 

If you are taking the public transport, it will be bus 403 from Pasir Ris Interchange.

Do visit them in FACEBOOK  too for regular updates!

My advice is, do not register for a school at the very last minute to avoid disappointment.

The morning sessions are especially popular, so do ensure you get a slot fast!

SEE YOU LITTLE CUTIES AT KIDZ MEADOW PASIR RIS!

KM6

“As parents, we have a duty to ensure that every child has a chance to learn what he or she is capable of.”

LIKE THIS POST IF YOU AGREE WITH ME. <3

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posted by admin (online) in Advertorials,Education,Events,Family,Life,M&Ms,Myreen Nadya,Mysha Nadya,Parenting,Share & Support,Sharleez Nadya,The Nadyas,Uncategorized and have Comments Off on Meadow of Love.

Aidilfitri 2012: Forgive & Love.

On the third day of Hari Raya, my firstborn went rushed to me and said,

“Mummy, I just checked my wardrobe. We still have one more baju kurung to wear, you know? Can still celebrate Happy Raya. You don’t know arh, Mummy?”

Well, I didn’t know that kind of rule existed, Sharleez.

So yup, my Nadyas actually had the inkling that they should and must wear a brand new outfit for every raya outing. Cannot repeat the same outfit. Wah? So rich ah? Of course I corrected them and told them that it is more than okay to repeat the same outfit for another raya outing on another day. For goodness sake, it is not Fashion Week Month, Nadyas! It is not a crime to wear the same outfit again and again as long as it is still clean. Nadyas need to know that their mummy does not own a textile company. Mummy only owns an online boutique called  STUDIOFROST lor.

OOOPS.

Sorry for sidetracking.

I like how this year’s raya has actually brought us cousins closer than ever. I actually do have awesome cousins both on the maternal and paternal side, and I am just so proud of their achievements so far be it academically, career wise, or family life. Every visit to my cousins’ did inspire me in more ways than one. I am truly proud of myself too for feeling so happy for others’ achievements because let’s face it, it is not that easy sometimes to be truly happy for others. We are only human. You know, I know. But I also truly believe that when we practice blessing others consistently, we will end up getting blessed too. Isn’t it true? When we give what Allah requires of us, we always get something in return.

So here it is; our Hari Raya so far, as captured by my faithful Nikon D60 and iPhone 4S.

The beautiful family. Cannot wait for my niece to be born! Few more months to go! <3

I like this picture below too despite the fact that Mysha and I were not ready for the camera yet.

How is it that my fraternal twins are looking more and MORE alike the bigger they get? This picture especially did freak me out a bit because the similarity is just too uncanny. I had to spend slightly longer to figure out who is who.

But can YOU guess who is who?

On my left is Mysha. Right is Myreen.

Guessed it right? Well that’s because I told you! 😀

Best friends are forever. This Shan Ehan and his Papak (Papa Yat) are inseparable.

So nice of Bertram to actually prepare his raya outfits beforehand, and to be excited to join us for our raya outings. He even went to Woodlands Bazaar Ramadhan on his own just to buy the buttons for his baju melayu. We really appreciate it Bert, if you are reading this! Hope that we will get to celebrate hari raya with you every single year, with God’s will. Don’t break Myreen’s heart, okay? (Myreen adores Bert so much, you see?) Haha!


Sharleez and Shan. Gosh. I hope they will stay this close forever.

Cik Arah with her girls, Natasha and Natalia, and of course Ili and the Nadyas.

Pak Nasir was not in the picture because he was busy taking a video of us, as usual.

This picture below was taken at his house. I had to force him so many times to change to his baju melayu so that I could take a picture of him together with his siblings; Mak and Cik Pau. Obviously I failed.

You know, when I was smaller and Cik Arah was still flying, I always looked forward to her off days because she would always bring Ian and me out to Parkway Parade. Cik Arah and Pak Nasir were also the ones who made my costumes, dressed me up, and choreographed my dance moves for various costume competitions like Singa The Courtesy Lion costume competition and all. And for all those competitions that they made me enter, I actually won! So yeah, there’s just something special about this couple, and how they will always try their very best not only for their daughters, but for the ones they around them.  I guess it is absolutely not a surprise then why their daughters are such high achievers too. They must have learnt a lot from their exemplary parents. 🙂

Here’s a picture of me without eyeliner. I don’t know, I just feel so weird without the eyeliner on.

Mak and my auntie, Cik Pau. They are inseparable, by the way. 🙂

Best Friends Forever by default. Hahahah, Estee and Aton have only each other so no choice but to be BFF right? Hahaha!

Celebrated Sharinna’s belated birthday at Nurul’s house too! And we are just super glad she is so in love with the gift we got her.

Dearest Sabariyah actually prepared steamboat for us when we came over her place. It was really so sweet of her to do that because she was still at work when we gave her a ring.

Besides Sabariyah’s steamboat dinner for us, this year’s highlight has got to be my cousin’s (Kak Tini) Fried Udon!


You have no idea how SEDAP it is, puan puan! So sedap that we begged Kak Tini for the recipe. All of us had more than just one serving, and Mak ate quite a bit too. Mak is such a fussy eater, so to have her eating that and having a second serving must really mean something. Thank you Kak Tini & Abang Fazil for the awesome food!

Love it when there’s great food and even greater company during raya visits. 😀

I have come to the realization that Hari Raya is no longer about looking extra good in that brand new outfit or bag. Hari Raya is more about starting afresh with the ones who matter, and about seeking forgiveness from each other.

It is a bit challenging though to be serious and ask for Daddy’s forgiveness because he is always cracking something up to make us burst out laughing. Heheh.

Like what Mak said to us the other day during the forgiving session (lol!),

“It does not mean that I am always correct just because I am older. Sometimes, I may be wrong too without realizing it.”

Forgiving may be a notoriously difficult thing to do. Forgetting is even tougher.

But we have got to start somewhere somehow, right?

I think I have a lot to learn from Mak because she is the kind who easily forgives and forget, no matter how small or big the matter is, or who started it. She has taught me that forgiving someone does not necessarily mean whatever that person did or said to you is acceptable or okay. It just means we learn to forget no matter how big the scar. Just as long as the same injury does not happen again, then the scar will not do us much harm, won’t it?

OR WILL IT?

I like to think that when I forgive and forget, it does not imply that I have wiped it totally out of my memory but rather, I have wiped it out of my arsenal to use it as a weapon against the very same person who hurt me.

Sometimes, when conflicts arise between me and Mak for example, Mak will always take the first move to talk to me and pretend as if nothing happened. Blame it on my ego, but at least I always SMS her to say I am sorry, or give her a card occasionally.

A bit paisey to say it verbally la! 😀

So maybe that’s why my parents and us siblings are super close. We fight, we argue, we get angry, we get REALLY angry on days, but at the end of the day, we will always come back to each other to work things out. One thing for sure, I know I will never remain angry with my children for more than 10 minutes. I am just super glad too that we do not practise cold treatments because seriously, nothing will ever get solved if you choose to do so.

At the end of the day, the rule of the thumb is,

“If we expect forgiveness, we must forgive.”

How’s your Hari Raya so far? Are there houses that you have yet to visit? We have yet to finish our visiting too, but I think the Nadyas are pretty exhausted (and bored!)already from all the visiting this far.

Overheard this conversation between Mysha and Myreen the other day just as we were about to go out for raya visiting.

Mysha: “I don’t like Happy Raya anymore. So tired you know everytime do the same thing?”

Myreen: “Ya la. Later there’s no more space in the house for green packets because everytime people give us. Then how?”

Mysha (as a matter of factly): “Then you don’t take anymore la.”

Myreen: “You are so busuk, Mysha!”

Mysha: “MUMMMMMMMY…MYREEN CALLS ME BUSUK!”

HAHAHA. NEVER ENDING.

Do not forget to donate me a LIKE at the end of this post because I spent 3 looooooooooong and cold nights preparing for this post, you know? 🙁

I exaggerated a bit there, but LIKE it anyway!

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