My Hijab Story

I see more and more local female celebs who were once quite “sexy” have started wearing the hijab. I even followed some of the celebs’ hijrah stories and was truly amazed, not just by their appearance, but also how they have totally changed and become better Muslimah – even better than those who have worn the hijab long before they did (that would be me). MasyaAllah! It just shows that the Almighty can give His hidayah to whoever he wants.

As for me, I started wearing hijab when I was 9 years old but only at school. It wasn’t until I reached the age of 14 that I started wearing hijab full time.

Well… I didn’t actually decide it myself; it was my parents. They had been telling me (and my sisters) since we were small, that once we hit puberty, we will be accountable for all our sins, bad deeds as well as good deeds, and that they will no longer be responsible for our sins. So on top of not missing the 5 daily prayers, fasting in Ramadhan and other do’s and don’ts, we were also told to wear the hijab. Being a good daughter that I was (I still am la, ok hehe), I obeyed them without any protest. It wasn’t that easy tho.

One of the biggest issues I faced when I first wore hijab outside of school was styling it! I had to ditch my skirts and dresses and switch to wearing only long pants. And because I was the eldest, I didn’t have anyone to turn to for fashion advice. I had zero sense of style and didn’t know how to dress up especially with hijab. My sister’s friends used to ejek the way I wear my hijab and called me “tudung empat segi” because of the way I shaped my tudung that made my face looked squarish. Pffft. But seriously, when I looked back at my old photos when I was a teenager, I would cringe. No wonder I sulked in all the photos. I looked hideous!

Trust me, I’ve tried and tested all sorts of hijab styles. There was even a time when I wore a floral tudung with a scarf ring down the middle – with a denim shirt and cargo pants. 8-O I don’t know what I was thinking! But oh well, we’ve all had our fashion disaster moment, no? Hehe. So yeah, that was one of my biggest struggle when I first started wearing hijab, which actually lasted for a decade! I wanted to cover up but didn’t know how to do it nicely… and I felt ugly. My self-esteem was at the lowest point at that time (didn’t help that I also gained weight!) and I felt selekeh all the time. I just wanted to be invisible!

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the hijab. I just hated that I don’t know how to look nice wearing it. And I feel offended when I was told that wearing hijab “tak standard and outdated”. Sigh.

As years went by; as I grew older, I slowly started learning how to improve my appearance. After more than a decade, I finaaally “mastered” how to wear the hijab without looking selekeh (took me so long haha). I also started dieting to lose weight (but umm well, I’ve gained them back after my pregnancies woohoo). Honestly I never thought of becoming a lifestyle blogger and that people would actually ask me for style and fashion tips (seriously, guys? haha).

I am no fashionista, but I still think that just because you wear hijab doesn’t mean you cannot look good. I still think that you can still be modest and look chic at the same time and just be confident with yourself. Looking and feeling good don’t always mean wearing fancy clothes, the latest bags and shoes, and thick, heavy makeup. Sometimes something as simple as wearing deodorant and nice-smelling shampoo can make a huge different.

I find that my head feels so much more comfortable and “lighter” in hijab when my scalp and hair are clean and smelling fresh. I love how Sunsilk Lively Clean & Fresh gives my hair that clean and fresh feeling because nothing is more annoying than an itchy scalp and hair full of dandruff – not even if you’re “free hair”.

 

IMG_2164

And because I wear hijab, I feel the need to shampoo my hair every other day to maintain the cleanliness and freshness. It makes wearing my hijab a lot more pleasant and I love when I get a whiff of that sweet fruity-floral smell of Sunsilk shampoo, even when I had my hijab on (yes, you can actually smell your own hair even underneath the hijab!).

Sunsilk Lively Clean & Fresh is actually co-created with scalp care expert, Dr. Francesca Fusco, and the shampoo and conditioner are enriched with Vitamin Citrus Complex that cater specially for hijab-wearing women to give that fresh, itch-free and sweet-smelling scalp, even after a long day or wearing hijab. It also helps to remove excess sebum to give a clean and fresh scalp.

 

sunsilk1

I no longer feel selekeh now; in fact I love my hijab and I feel confident donning it. It is a part of me and I would feel incomplete without it. My hijab is going to stay with me for the rest of my life, insyaAllah. I do admit tho, I am not a perfect Muslimah. Modesty is a never-ending journey and there are a lot of things I need to improve myself as a Muslim woman, and I hope God will ease my journey.

Sunsilk understands the challenges and struggles that hijab-wearing ladies are facing, and they want to encourage women to share their hijab journey in their digital contest on Facebook, Menemanimu Sejak Tahun 2000. The Grand Prize includes, RM20,000 cash prize for you to achieve your aspiration, as well as Sunsilk products and t-shirt with your tudung journey illustration. There will also be 10 consolation prizes – RM3,000, t-shirt with your tudung journey illustrations and Sunsilk products.

I’m sure every one of you hijab-wearing ladies have your own challenges and struggles that you faced in your hijab journey. Share it here and who knows you might win yourself one of the cool prizes!

For more info about this contest, log on to https://apps.facebook.com/sunsilkmenemanimu.

 



Lavender

Guys, we have lavender growing right here in our own country! See?!

*jakun mode*

 
IMG_1137

I never knew we could grow lavender in our climate until that day when I was in Cameron. I was like, “OMG, lavender!! I’ve always wanted to go to Provence to see lavender field!”.

:-o

Okay so it wasn’t exactly a huge field with rows and rows of lavender like in Provence; it was just a small garden. The lavenders were gated some more and no one’s allowed to walk through them unless if you’re a bride and groom couple who wants to take wedding photos in there (there were actually one when we were there. Everyone was like eee tak aci, nak jugak).

The rest of us pengantin lama can just take photos from outside the gates, thank you.

 

sunsilk2a

 

IMG_1331

These lavenders didn’t have any scent tho, which I thought was a tad weird. I had to take a closer look to check whether they were ori lavender or not. They were ori alright.

But whatevs – scent or no scent. The most important thing is, we have lavender here!

Malaysia boleh! Hehe *tiba-tiba*



Life’s Simple Pleasures

It’s 10 o’clock in the morning.

I’ve bathed my girls, dressed them up in their school uniforms, prepared their breakfast, sent them off to school (and by sent, I mean, sending them to the door), did the laundry…. and now I’m sitting serenely at my desk, enjoying my morning snack. Ahhh… Bliss.

 

IMG_1929

 

I love my morning time. It’s the only time of the day I get to spend on my own, doing whatever I want while my kids are at school. 3 solid hours of quiet me time – that’s pretty awesome, if you’re a mommy like me.

I can read my favorite book or take a nap without being interrupted. I can watch Food Network on TV (I’d go crazy if I hear one more song from Hi5. Please). And I can have a looooong hot shower if I want to.

But most importantly, I can eat in peace. I’m sure all moms would appreciate this. Once you have a kid, mealtime can be one of the most challenging time of all. You’d wonder how someone that small can make that huge amount of mess! I’ve had a few cases of missing spoons, broken plates, flying broccoli and lots of “drama” at the table.

 

mygirlsThis is what happens when I forgot to bring their notebooks and crayons when dining out -__-”

I get that kids this age are so active and they just have to have some kind of activity to keep them entertained, so when I get the chance to have my meal in peace and quiet, I would savour it.

 

IMG_1963

 

I love dunking my biscuits/crackers in a nice steaming hot cup of tea. I love how the crackers absorb the hot tea, making them all nice and soft and just kind of melts in my mouth when I eat them. Sometimes when I’m feeling a bit fancy, I’d eat the crackers with brie cheese, maple syrup and strawberries. So simple yet sooo good (you have to try it!), just like the simple pleasures in life.

Often times we tend to ignore the simple things in life and take them for granted. We are too busy with our work and hectic schedules that we forgot to enjoy the little things. And we wonder why we’re so stressed out! Just snap out of it and embrace the good things around you. It doesn’t have to be luxurious (altho yes, a romantic getaway or a Chanel bag would be very nice).

Life is filled with simple pleasures.

The warmth of the early morning sun.
Your morning cup of coffee (or tea for me).
Hearing your favourite song on the radio.
Hugging your child tightly.
Having a good laugh.
Fresh, clean bedsheets.
Sleeping in on a rainy day.
A beautiful view.

Sometimes, simple is the best – just like my cup of tea and Jacob’s crackers. So simple, yet fulfilling!

 

IMG_1942

Jacob’s is running a photo contest where you can share a photo that depicts your Simple Pleasure moment with #simplepleasures. There are 2 options for the contest: via desktop or mobile.

Desktop – register at Jacob’s Facebook tab, submit your photo and share with your friends to get “Like”.

Mobile – register at Jacob’s Facebook tab, upload photo on your Instagram with hashtag #simplepleasures. Your photo will be saved on Jacob’s Facebook page and you can get your friends to “Like” your photo.

The best photo with the most creative caption will win the Grand prize of a year supply of Jacob’s products worth RM2,400 and the Philips Sacco Coffee Machine. There’s weekly winners too and 5 winners will be selected to win the weekly prizes (Jacob’s products worth RM200) for 6 weeks, based on the number of votes.

Share your simple pleasures now and win some prizes!
For more info, visit Jacob’s Facebook page.



Raya 2014

It’s the 9th day of Raya today. I hope it’s still not too late to wish you guys selamat hari raya!

One of the things I like about Raya (besides the food and visiting family and friends) is seeing families in colour-coordinating Raya outfit. And now with Instagram, Facebook and whatnot, it gets even better! I was on a “Liking” spree on Instagram during the first few days of Raya, double tapping on every photo of Raya OOTD with family that I saw on my feed.

So here’s our family’s Raya OOTD. Hehe.

 

IMG_9618Shades of mint, aqua and green

IMG_9636

IMG_9613My girls in kurung Kedah from Littlenista (DNA at Setia City mall). Totally a last minute purchase!

IMG_9546My favourite Raya dish has got to be my mum’s lontong.

We celebrated Raya in KL this year. On the morning of Raya, we had our customary “bermaafan” session with the whole family in the living room. My parents would sit on the sofa and they would start the session first – mum salam and seek forgiveness from dad and vice versa. Then it was our turn (the siblings) to salam and seek forgiveness from our parents, then sibling to sibling, and not forgetting the little cucus as well (of course they only salam to get their angpau). I love this tradition. I know we should always seek forgiveness from our parents but having a special day just for that makes it even more special and meaningful (and because sometimes we tend to forget to say sorry or we just do it over the phone/sms). Too bad both my sisters weren’t around on the first day of Raya (they still owe me an apology. Haha) so it was just me and my brother.

 

IMG_9592

 

After saying my sorries to my dad, he said sorry too for any lack in the way he raised and brought me up. It almost teared me up. My dad is a very stern and strict man (he’s way cooler now tho hehe). We grew up with rotan and bulu ayam, and we’d be punished when we did something bad. But I get where he’s coming from and now that I’m a parent myself, I totally understand that he did the best way that he knew how. Plus, my dad (and mum) didn’t have a quick access to the internet on the best parenting style and parenting advise and whatnot at that time like we all do now, so everything he did was based on his upbringing, his beliefs and his best intuition on how to handle us.

My brother made a little forgiveness speech to my mum that must have touched her deeply that when he hugged her, she broke into tears. I don’t know how serious the mess he got himself into (kidding, kidding!) but it was such a touchy moment. Made me realize even more how important it is to have a strong family bond.

I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to you, my dear readers and followers for my wrongdoings and if I have ever offended you in any ways through my writings, emails and everything. I hope you guys are enjoying this Raya with your loved ones, but let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza. Do make du’a for them and do our best to show our support. It’s so heartbreaking to read and see the gruesome news and photos of what’s happening there. May Allah bless them and grant them Jannah.



Rakuten Online Shopping Mall

RakutenLogo

Japan’s number 1 online shopping mall, Rakuten, is now available in Malaysia. It’s basically like a shopping mall, where they have different shops under one roof except… well, it’s online! They have heaps of products – over 100,000 products ranging from electronics, home and living, baby and maternity, books, fashion, beauty and many more. Heck, they even have food and beverages on their website!

If you’re looking for something for your home and family, do check out this website especially their beauty/cosmetic and kitchen sections (I have yet to khatam browsing everything on Rakuten. So many items!).

The first thing I saw on Rakuten website was “SK II” at their Hot Items tab (you know how much I love SK II!). I was impressed with their range of SK II products, especially the trial sets. I don’t think you can get them over the counter (unless if you purchase a certain amount of products), so this is great for those who want to try SK II for the first time or even for traveling.

As I browsed more, I saw SK II Facial Treatment Essence 215ml selling at cheaper than retail price (RM480 instead of RM565) and decided to purchase it right away. I also decided to purchase 1 piece of SK II Skin Signature 3D Refining Mask because I forgot whether I’ve tried that mask or not. Heh.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 7.13.40 PM

Purchasing from Rakuten is hassle-free and pretty straight forward. Add items to shopping cart, click checkout button, fill in your shipping details and proceed to payment page.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 7.15.08 PM

 

They have a few payment options too – you can pay with your Visa or MasterCard credit cards, online banking (Maybank2u, CIMB Clicks, etc), ATM/Cash transfer, Celcom AirCash, COD (if merchant allows) and even Rakuten Super Points.

Once you’ve made the payment, an email will be sent to you with all your order details. They will email you again when your order has shipped together with the tracking number so you can track your package online.

I received my items after 5 days, which is not so bad. I don’t know about you, but I always get so excited when my package arrived. It’s like opening present! :D

 

IMG_8953Tadaa~ my daily essential. Can’t get enough of this stuff!

I received a note in the invoice saying that the Skin Signature 3D Mask is out of stock and that they will send it to me when it’s available. They ganti with SK II Facial Treatment Mask for the time being. That’s ok by me. Overall, it was a smooth shopping experience with Rakuten and I’m happy with my purchase!

Now, here’s a good news for my readers. Rakuten is giving away RM30 shopping coupon a.k.a RaCoupon for all my readers who signed up as Rakuten members. You can sign up here! Simply key in this coupon code “RAKUPINK30” at the payment page to receive RM30 discount for your purchase of RM120 and above. This coupon is only valid from 23rd July to 3rd August 2014 so hurry and use it!

On top of that, you can also join Rakuten’s Spend & Win contest where you can stand a chance to win prizes worth more than RM5,000 when you purchase anything from Rakuten Malaysia website. This contest ends on 31st July 2014 so there’s still time to join it! More details about the contest here.

Here’s a few merchants (and their items) that I would recommend, in case you don’t know where to get started:

1) BEAUTY DE HOME

This merchant sells a variety of skincare, fragrance and makeup products from various high end brands – Chanel, Lancome, Dior, Burberry and SK II, just to name a few (I purchased my SK II products from this merchant btw). If you’re new to SK II, I would recommend either one of these basic trial sets:

Rakuten1SK II Pitera Essence Set – RM213
SK II Trial Set 5  – RM210
SK II Trial Set 2 – RM155

 

 

2) BigSpoon Kitchenware

They have everything that your kitchen needs! Cookware, bakeware (saw a donut pan and immediately thought of Joy The Baker’s Double Chocolate Cake Doughnuts because she baked her doughnuts using donut/doughnut pan like this one), tableware, utensils, kitchen storage and cool specialty tools like the turning slicer in the pic below which can easily slice fruits, veggies, onions, cheese, etc into 5 different shapes. And how fun is that lattice cutter? I’ve never made pies and pastries before, but I might try and make one if I have it.

Rakuten3Donut Pan 6 Cups – RM12.46
KASSPO Turning Slicer – RM899
Plastic Lattice Cutter – RM11.90

3) MYND Furniture

Cool furniture and storage solution for your house. I love their jewellery cabinets especially. In fact, I have this exact Mirror Jewellery Cabinet in white, which I purchased from the same merchant some time ago.

Check out these other cool products from MYND Furniture:

RakutenMAGNO Side Pumping Mirror Jewelry Cabinet – RM799
Louis chair – RM489
Wooden Tower Bookshelf Organizer – RM269

You can go to Shop Directory to view the full list of merchants available on Rakuten website.

Rakuten is also having Raya Sale up to 70% off in conjunction with this festive season. Browse their Raya Sale here.

Happy shopping!