Ariani Exclusive Preview

Earlier this month, I was invited to the exclusive preview of the new Ariani collection for 2014, held at DoubleTree by Hilton.

I’ve had a pretty challenging week (let’s not go into that) so it was nice to get away from all the chaos and mess for a few hours, and just sit back and enjoy fashion show and food and catch up with blogger friends.

The dress code was “kemas dan berstail” so I decided to wear this Rico Rinaldi kipas-front skirt from FashionValet, and teamed it up with a plain Mango top, Marshmallowscarf dual tone satin shawl and Zara nude heels. I’m simple like that.

The event started off with a speech by the Marketing Director of Ariani, Pn Norhana Sharkhan – or also known as Pn. Nona.

Here’s a little bit about Ariani – the brand was first established in April 2008 and is owned by the huge textile company, Jakel Sdn Bhd. Ariani is well known for their exclusive hijabs and headgear, and they currently have 20 outlets nationwide. They were also the ones who revolutionized the “tudung awning” or “tudung express” trend (or whatever you call it), and since then they have been producing various hijab designs to meet market demands.

This Exclusive Preview featured their latest hijab collections that were specially designed for this event. There were 2 segments – Chic Casual and Glam Exclusive. You can see a lot of fresh colors in both of these segments, using only the highest quality of materials such as Italian Chiffon, Italian Lycra and Thai Silk. What’s even more special about them is the detailing on each and every piece that exudes sophistication and elegance.

Models in the Casual Chic collection

The Chic Casual collection includes tudung Zafira Printed, Selendang Embroidery, Selendang Printed, Selendang Printed Stone, Selendang Crumple and Aleesya Beaded Block Heavy.

I love these printed shawls!

For the Glam Exclusive segment, the collections include Zafira Lace, Selendang Art Work, Selendang Stone,  Selendang Embroidery, Selendang Lace, Tiara Chiffon 2 Layer and Selendang Aleesya Lace. This segment featured lots of beadings and laces, perfect for weddings and other special occasions.

There was also a prize giving session for the lucky draw that was held last year in conjunction with the year end sale, as a token of appreciation to their customers. How nice of them! The prizes were iPhone 5s, exclusive Persian carpets and shopping vouchers worth RM1,000!

All 66 winners of the lucky draw

Later, they announced Ariani’s new ambassador for 2014 – Nurul Shuhada, the TV3 personality who had won Malaysian Top Host in 2005. She’s replacing Wardina as she’s migrating to Australia soon.

My sister and I managed to snap a photo with the gorgeous Wardina!

Then, there was an auction session, which to me, was the most interesting part of the event. There were 3 Ariani shawls up for bids, made exclusively just for this auction and they are not sold anywhere in this world. The shawls were beautifully made of high quality chiffon fabric with French lace and Swarovski crystal embellishments. The bidding for each shawl started at RM1,000!

This was my first time watching a live auction so I got excited as people started bidding on these shawls. “RM3,000! Do I hear RM3,500?”. “RM5,000 over here!”.

OMG it was like watching Confessions of A Shopaholic movie – you know, the scene where Becky’s signature green scarf was being auctioned, except this was for Ariani shawls and the bidders were not fighting with each other of course. Hehe.

First auction – this shawl reached RM5,000, bid by this lady!

Second auction – this lady won the bid at RM7,000!!

And last one, which was my fave of all 3, reached RM10,000!!! *jaw drops*

This auction was for a good cause so that made it even more meaningful. All proceeds from this auction go to charity. Alhamdulillah, may Allah bless them with more rezeki!

After the auction session, we were told that there would be a “surprise” at the end of the event. I thought they were going to give everyone free shawls from all of the Ariani Exclusive Preview collections that were being showcased earlier! Bahahaa.

 

Surprise! It was Dato’ Siti!

The ballroom was suddenly darkened and moments later, Dato’ Siti appeared out of nowhere (ok, obviously from the entrance door la but we couldn’t see), singing a song (forgot what song already, but I remembered it was an Indonesian song). Everyone was excited and started clapping and snapping pictures as she walked to the stage.

That wasn’t the only surprise. After the song, she appeared again on stage (this time in a different attire) and announced her shawl collaboration with Ariani – Siti Nurhaliza Collection by Ariani, which is already out today (21st March 2014)!

Models strutting down the red carpet in Siti Nurhaliza Collection by Ariani shawls. Love the vibrant colors, especially the green one!

Dato’ Siti wearing a beautiful lacey shawl from her own collection with Ariani.
I. Want. This.

Made some new blogger friends – Syahira and Sabrina

Back at home, I was surprised to find a beaded chiffon shawl in this gorgeous royal blue color inside the goodie bag that we received at the event, together with its matching inner neck (Ariani makes the best inner necks, in my honest opinion. It’s comfortable and stays nicely on your forehead and doesn’t make your face look that round, if you know what I mean), and a special detergent for shawls. Thank you so much Ariani!

I’ve own a couple of Ariani beaded shawls and inners, and even wore one at my sister’s wedding reception last year (view here and here). I’ve always loved the intricate beading and details on their shawls. Looks exclusive. Well, they are exclusive!

To view the rest of Ariani collections, you may log on to their website at www.ariani.my or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GaleriAriani.



Tea Party for the Bride-To-Be

This is obviously a long overdue post because the bride-to-be a.k.a my sister, has already been married for more than a month. Heee! I’m sooo slow at updating my blog these days (sorry!) and because I just got the photos last week.

So anyway… We celebrated my sister’s bridal shower about 2 weeks before her wedding, co-hosted by her bestie, Farhana. It was a Parisian Chic tea party theme at the Orchid Conservatory Room in Majestic hotel and it was simply wonderful!

Enjoy the pics! (photos from WOW Art & Photography – most of them anyways).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How fab are these glasses? My sister bought them just for the tea party.

Ayra was really excited when I told her that we were going to aunty Wani’s tea party. “Tea party? Like a princess tea party?”.

Here comes the bride-to-be…. and her bestie

One word: YUM.

Yes honey, that’s how you hold a teacup.

With them beautiful ladies

Queen for a day (well a month, more like)

Group photo time!

 

 

We were then led to the Drawing Room for some drawing activities. Hehe. No la. We started the party 1 hour late so we had to switch to another room as our time at the Orchid Conservatory Room was up.

Friends writing well-wishes for the bride

We ended the party with present-opening. Trust me, that was the only non-18SX present that she got that day (oh, and macarons)! Sheesh, these people. :P

Thanks for loaning me your diamante blouse, sis. Loved it!

I’m wearing Fleur shawl, my sister’s Warehouse diamante embellished blouse, Mango lace skirt and Jessica Simpson lace heels which you can’t see in the photo because my skirt is too long.

Ayra is wearing Zara Girl lace overlay dress, Cotton On Kids necklace and Axxezz bag. Raina on the other hand, is wearing babyGap ruffle dress and Gymboree daisy purse. Their bow shoes are from Party Princess and their hair accessories are handmade by me. I love how their outfits coordinated with Farhana’s son, Yusuf!



A week of weddings

Tis the season to get married, fa la la la la, la la la laa…

Aahhhh… Finally, I can sit down and update my blog.

These past few weeks have been a little hectic for my family, mostly involving my little sister‘s wedding preparations (and parties which I will blog about soon), hence the lack of blog updates.

Last week was the busiest week – we had 5 wedding events to attend (6 actually, had to miss one). Can you imagine five weddings! And because they were all family weddings, we had to dress up according to the theme colors. Peach, gold, yellow, light pink, dusty purple. Bankrupt aku! :P

Here are some photos from all the weddings. I don’t have the official ones, so these camera phone photos would just have to do for now.

1) My husband’s cousin’s nikah

Theme color: peach
I’m wearing a kaftan kurung top and batik skirt by Salikin Sidek, and satin shawl by Nawy Aris
My girls are wearing lace overlay dress from babyGap

2) My husband’s cousin’s reception

Theme color: gold
I’m wearing modern kurung by Nawy Aris and Tudung People Maysaa shawl

Flower girls! My girls kinda looked like woodland fairies (without wings), no? Hehe.
Their tulle dresses are from zulily.com, flower garland from Monsoon.co.uk and gold glitter ballet flats from Cotton On Kids.

With hubby’s aunt and cousins

3) My sister’s khatam Quran

The theme color was yellow but because it was on the same day as my hubby’s cousin’s wedding reception, I decided not to make/buy any baju and just wear the gold one. Gold and yellow almost the same whattt. Heh.

4) My sister’s akad nikah

Theme color: light/dusty pink

Sah sekali lafaz, alhamdulillah

With Wani’s friend, who is now my friend too – Farhana. Thank you so much for helping out at all events!

I’m wearing Rizman Ruzaini modern kurung and Tudung People Maysaa shawl

My cannot-duduk-diam girls. They’re dresses are from Monsoon.co.uk and flower hairclips handmade by yours truly (which you can’t really see in this pic)

With Leen, Farhana and Fadd. Thanks for coming ladies!

5) My sister’s reception at Marina Putrajaya

Can’t believe she’s married! I still feel like she’s only 22 or something.

Theme color: dusty purple

Me and my preggy sister.
I’m wearing Mimpikita modern kurung and FleurMalaysia satin silk shawl

Had fun taking silly pics at the photo booth

Aww I love this pic. My parents bersanding atas pelamin, with my brother and sister as the pengapit!

So…. 5 down, 2 more to go!



International Education & Islamic Parenting Conference

If you’re a BBIM (Brainy Bunch International Montessori) parent, you probably know that they’re organizing the first International Education & Islamic Parenting conference that will be held this Saturday, at Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

My husband and I are so going. I have been wanting to attend Mufti Ismail Menk’s talk, so when I heard that he’s going to be one of the speakers at this conference, I knew I couldn’t miss it. Dah la topic pasal parenting, lagi la cannot miss!

 

 

It’s a whole day event – talk sessions and activities will be during the day (9am – 5pm), followed by charity concert later at night. You can also bring your kids if you want. They even provide free daycare service for parents who are attending the conference but you have to register as places are limited. We’re bringing ours (Ayra and her friends will be performing choral recitation in the morning).

There are a total of 4 speakers at the conference and each of them will be talking about these interesting topics:

1) Raising our Children with the Book of Allah & the Importance of Islamic Education
2) Our Children and Digital Technology & Empowering Children to Take Charge
3) Preparing Children for Life
4) Tips for Raising Children of Jannah

 

Detailed program agenda as follows:

 

The ticket price has been reduced to RM100 per person, don’t you worry.

And oh, I forgot to mention that it’s open to public as well. Yes, anyone can join! You can go to their website for more info and purchase the tickets here.

 

Now, now…

I have THREE extra tickets and they’re only RM60 each. If you’re interested to purchase, kindly email me at iza@thepinkstilettos.com with the title “Conference” and let me know how many tickets you want. Siapa cepat dia dapat.

**UPDATED**

All tickets have sold out. To those who didn’t get to purchase from me, you can still purchase from the website. Mahal sikit tapi tak apa, sambil dengar talk sambil buat charity because 100% profit from this event will go to the children of Palestine, Egypt and Syria.

(See you at the conference, insya-Allah!)



Breast Cancer Awareness

I sigh every time I look at our photos when we were younger. We seemed to be growing bigger and bigger each year. Dah beranak, lemak pun beranak sekali. Pffft.

I want this body back. I was a size UK 6! *cries*

But it’s not just about losing weight anymore. It’s about staying fit and healthy. I guess being 30 makes me realize all that. After months – wait, years, of overindulging, my husband and I decided that it’s time to get back on track. We actually just started our “healthy lifestyle” just a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been trying to eat less carbs, fats and sugar, cook healthier dishes, eat more lean meats and veggies, have brown rice instead of white rice, and make it a habit to exercise 3 times a week. I even had green smoothie for breakfast twice (still trying to get used to the “grassy” taste, which honestly is a bit yucky).

And of course, a recent trip to the hospital to visit a sick uncle with a heart problem kind of opened up our eyes too. He was only in his late 40s-early 50s. Scary how more and more people are getting sick at younger age these days… and that could be us if we don’t do something to change our diet and lifestyle. Nauzubillah.

I was even more bersemangat with health issues after attending Yakult’s breast cancer awareness campaign recently. The event was held at Yakult factory in Seremban for the Yakult ladies.

 

 

And then there’s us, the bloggers.

Speakers of the day

The event started with an opening speech, followed by Cancer Prevention Nutrition Tips by a Nutritionist, Puan Indra Balaratnam.

Besides genetics, physical activities and environmental exposures, food is one of the main causes of cancer. What you eat and don’t eat can have a powerful effect on your health because there are food that actually increases the risk of cancer, while others strengthen your immune system and support your body. So it’s important to know which food you should be consuming, and which ones you should avoid.

Some of the best anti-cancer food are fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), nuts, flaxseed, soy, and of course fruits and veggies, especially the bright colored ones. Fruits and veggies that are rich in colors, such as bell peppers, carrots, apples, beets, strawberries, eggplants, broccoli, spinach, etc contain pigments with antioxidant properties which protect the cells in our body.

Then Puan Indra showed us this:

Nasi lemak = fat rice. No surprise there.

But this, I was shocked. Apparently, nasi briyani has more calories than nasi lemak!
Bye Mahbub. See you when I’m 5 kg lighter.

Besides these highly fattening food, we should also limit fast food, fried food, processed food, packaged food and other foods and drinks with all those “science-y” ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, because they are high in saturated fats, refined sugar, sodium, MSG, etc and contains very little to zero nutrients. They are just plain unhealthy. Most of them are just toxic to our body so it would be even better if you can avoid them at all cost. Bak kata my mom, tak mati pun kalau tak minum tu, tapi kalau minum boleh mati (she was talking about soft drinks by the way). How true!

A healthy food serving guideline – 1/4 starch, 1/4 protein, 1/2 veggies

The next topic was Early Detection and Breast Self-Exam, by Matron Zainab from Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia.

My favorite speaker. She’s one funny woman!

Ok, a quick quiz. Among the Malay, Chinese and Indian races, which Malaysian women do you think have the highest risk of breast cancer?

No clue? Then take a look at this:

Chinese! (This is based on a research by the way). I was quite surprised because I thought it was Malay because… you know, a lot of Malay dishes use santan and whatnot.

But that doesn’t mean the other 2 races can sigh in relief, especially those with family history of cancer. According to the matron, all women should start doing breast self-examination once a month beginning at the age of 20! I…. uhh… think I’ve only done it like…. 3 times in all my life? That’s like once every 10 years! Yikes. I’m gonna do it sooooon ok, after my next period because according to Matron Zainab, the best time to do it is 7-10 days after your first day of period. Which means, let’s say you get your period on the 1st day of the month; you can do your breast self-exam anytime between 7th – 10th day of the month.

Matron Zainab even showed us how to do the breast self-exam and it was pretty easy. Refer here if you don’t know how. You can even ask your husband to do it for you. I’m sure he’d be more than happy to help.

They had samples of breasts with cancer lumps and a normal healthy breast.

Trying to feel the lumps. It’s like the size of a pea (but it can grow bigger. So scary!)

Matron Zainab said that not all lumps or changes in breasts are cancer. In fact, 90% of the lumps are non-cancerous. Phew! They could be fibrosis, cysts, benign tumors, mastitis (if you’re breastfeeding) and others. So don’t panic if you feel something in your breast. Seek expert advice if you’re unsure.

The last topic was about how Yakult can actually lowers the risk of breast cancer. The talk was given by Dr. Kaga from Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research.

Factors that may increase and decrease the risk of breast cancer. Guess we need to make more babies, hubby!

Some of soy isoflavones food include soy milk and tofu

Then Dr. Kaga explained how L. casei Shirota (LcS), the probiotic strain found in Yakult could help to lower the risk of breast cancer, together with soy isoflavons. Probiotics are microorganisms that gives health benefits by helping to keep the intestines healthy and assist in digesting food. They also help to activate our immune system. A study was done in Japan and they found that women who took both LcS and soy isoflavones on regular basis have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who don’t take them.

Yakult Ace and Yakult Ace Light

Just so you know, Yakult Ace has 62 kcal, while Yakult Ace Light has only 46 kcal

The event ended with a cooking demo – well, a healthy smoothie demo actually – with the bubbly Fara Fauzana.

She’s assisting Pn. Indra, the Nutritionist, on how to make healthy fruit smoothies. Pn. Indra even recommended drinking healthy smoothies/shakes for breakfast. Seriously guys, it’s so easy and only takes like 2 minutes to make one.

They made 2 types of smoothies (mango and dragon fruit) with soy milk, oat bran powder, almond powder and Yakult. I am so going to try adding Yakult in my morning shakes!

Love how vibrant the pink dragon fruit smoothie, but I prefer the taste of mango.

Managed to snap a pic with Fafau! Abaikan kegemukan saya please, and my terompah-looking wedges >_<

So remember ladies (myself included, and gentlemen because you have mothers/wives/sisters/cousins), be aware, prevent and get your breast checked regularly before it’s too late. Ignorance is NOT bliss!