Instagram Pictures

Instagram Pictures

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Online Shopping

Did a small stint for NST Life & Times last week. I was so busy I forgot to update . The topic was online shopping. Kind of my forte XD



Here's the full article, taken from NST Online:

TIA Hakim’s first brush with online shopping happened when she was studying in Melbourne in 2007. She was amazed to find that most of the stores at the malls there offer online shopping services.
“My first purchase was a winter coat from Valley Girl, an Australian brand. I made the purchase in the comfort of my  pyjamas, on my bed, and it arrived at my apartment two days later. The whole process was convenient, fast and very easy. Needless to say, I was hooked from then on,” says  Tia.
After graduating with a double major in accounting and finance from the University of Melbourne, Tia became an auditor at one of the Big 4 accounting firms. Today, at 26, she is a financial consultant with Public Mutual, a blogger and mum to a 16-month-old daughter.
“My job requires me to be out and about meeting people every day. So I tend to shop online via my phone while waiting for  clients. My main phone is a BlackBerry but I have a Samsung Galaxy Note as a second phone just so that I can browse on a  bigger screen. But having said that, I actually prefer browsing and purchasing at home using the MacBook because it’s easier,” she says.
So far, Tia has bought clothes, shoes, cosmetics, accessories, electronics and even dessert online.
“I buy them from both local and international sellers. The usual payment methods are bank transfer, credit card and PayPal,” she says.
Tia makes an online purchase almost every day! “Sometimes, a few purchases a day. Even the courier knows me now. I do set aside a monthly budget but the amount varies from time to time,” she says.
Of her online shopping experience, Tia says the best is always when dealing with online shops that give amazing customer service.
“For example, Fashion Valet (www.fashionvalet.com) sent me the wrong item once. After I informed them, they told me to keep the wrong item and they immediately sent me the correct one. Most online shops would require you to post the wrong item back to them. The worst experience was when my parcel got lost in the mail and when the item is not exactly as pictured or described,” she says.
Online shopping saves a lot of time, says Tia, provided you already know what you’re looking for.
She says: “You can just search for something in particular instead of going through racks and racks of clothes from one store to another. I shop less at physical stores now, which is great news to my husband because it means no more long hours of sitting and staring at his phone while I pile on him clothes that I want to try or buy.”  
Tia says it pays to browse through a few online shops before making a purchase.
“Sometimes you can find the exact item elsewhere but at a much cheaper price. Online shopping can also be very addictive so keeping track of your purchases is a must,” she says.







Top: Whitesoot
Gold metal plate belt: Fashion Valet
Skirt: House of Eight @ Publika


I'm letting the go the top for RM 20 and skirt for RM 40. Both worn twice only, as posted on my Instagram last night. Selling them because I don't like wearing the same stuffs haha. I'm currently spring cleaning my wardrobe so I will post more pictures of clothes I'm letting go on Instagram as and when I have the time. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Challenges of Being a Mom. For Me.

Today, I am going to share with you about the challenges that I have faced (and am still facing) ever since I stepped into motherhood. In all honesty, there are so many things that I did NOT see coming. I wish that someone had given me a heads up, so perhaps this post could help shed the light for expectant moms and basically women who plan have kids one day.

I would like to clarify before hand that what I am about to say is from my own experience. They are my  own views, thoughts and feelings. You might not agree with me and that's fine. I also predict that I will get a bit carried away and emotional on the last part because it affects me the most so just bear with my rantings okay ^.^

Alright then. Let's begin.




Bye bye sleep

The last time I slept for more than 4 hours in one stretch was on 22/12/2011, the night before I gave birth to Alayna. Unfortunately for me, Alayna is the kind who would wake up 3-4 times a night for milk, even until now. Babies do that in general but as they get older, most of them would start to sleep through the night. I kept waiting for that to happen but nope. Not happening. For someone who used to sleep 10-14 hours a day, this is definitely a big challenge for me.

Did you know that a research shows that parents of newborns miss out on SIX FREAKING MONTHS of sleep in the first two years of their child's life??? It also says that this is the cause for depression (yup), mood swings (touché) and relationship break-ups (not yet haha).

Luckily Alayna is fully breastfed and she sleeps next to me so when she wakes up, I don't even have to get up from bed. Sometimes I don't even remember waking up to feed her. I guess Alayna could find her own way if you get what I mean hahahaha. 

Still, I miss my sleep :(




Getting Ready

Before Alayna:

-Shower
-Put on make up
-Do my hair
-Let's go!

Now:

-Shower
-Put on foundation
-Sing a song to Alayna because she wants me to
-Put on concealer
-Alayna wants milk
-Put on powder
-Cheer on Alayna as she stacks some blocks and looks at me every once in a while to see if I am watching her cleverness (it's good to acknowledge your kids when they are doing something positive).
-Do my eye make up
-Pretend to put some on Alayna because she keeps staring at me with that puss in boots eyes.
-Do my hair
-Alayna hands me a book and wants me to read it for her
-Continue doing my hair
-Finally done

Sometimes I'm like, screw this, I am just not gonna bother about how I look. So there are days where I look like this:

Wearing Nadri's T-Shirt and watch

I look like I'm wearing my dad's pagoda T-Shirt.





Time

I constantly find myself wishing that there are more hours in a day. Almost 25 years of my life I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted. Sometimes I would wake up and spend hours in bed thinking about what to do that day because I was so free. Some weekends I don't even shower because I just laze around at home reading or watching movies or just do nothing at all.

But now..

Whether I like it or not Alayna will wake me up by pulling my face and hair (hugs and kisses on good days) by 7am everyday. And then I will spend most of my day playing with her, cooking for her etc. My me time is definitely more limited compared to before. And with the limited time that I have, I have to be selective with what I want to do with it.

Honestly, sometimes I do miss the days where Nadri and I were so carefree and spontaneous. But that feelings melts away whenever I see Alayna and her cheeky antics or when she just lights up when she sees and and comes running to give me a hug. Pure unadulterated happiness.




Jealousy

Okay don't judge me. But most of the time, I am jealous of my own daughter. I mean, it was bad enough that I had to share Nadri with his 2nd wife (the PS3, obviously) before Alayna came along. Now my cut is getting even lesser.

When he comes home, he looks for Alayna first. Before he leaves for work, he kisses me once and Alayna twice!

And when he calls me from work:

Him: What did my girl have for lunch today?

Me: I had subway.

Him: I meant Alayna.

-___________-




Patience

Patience is really not one of my strong points. In fact, it is my least strong point. Nadri said I'm like a ticking time bomb. So imagine having to deal with a baby who is sometimes fussy/cranky. It's worse when I'm in the middle of something important and Alayna chooses that time to throw a tantrum or demand for my undivided attention.

Like yesterday, I was late for my work appointment. I put Alayna down for her morning nap, and started to get ready. 10 minutes after that, she woke up. I picked her up and rocked her back to sleep. Then I put her down and she immediately opened her eyes. I picked her up again, rocked her back to sleep, put her down and she opened her eyes again! It's one of those moments where she just wants to sleep in my arms. It was so frustrating!

I love Alayna with all my life. But there are times when I just want to lock myself up in the pantry and scream or cry like Charlotte in "Sex and The City the Movie".

And to think that it will only get worse.. Because later on she will learn how to talk back to me and when she's a teenager she will start to rebel and slam the door and tell her friends how she hates me..

Ok now I feel bad for my mom for having to put up with me T_T




Breastfeeding

I get this question a lot from fellow moms. But the truth is, I don't find breastfeeding troublesome at all. Alayna knew how to latch on perfectly right from the start, she never bites (thank god) and so far I don't have any problems with milk production. I do take Fenugreek once in a while. You can get it at any GNC outlets. If you have any questions, email me. Please don't send me messages on Facebook. I get a lot of spams so I hardly ever check my inbox there.




Friends Who Don't Understand

Most of my friends are very supportive and understanding but unfortunately, some are not. Sometimes they get offended by petty things like why I don't reply their texts/say hi and ask how they are even if my whatsapp status shows that I was just online.

Seriously?

I really envy you for having so much time that you can even check when I was online and make your own assumptions, while I on the other hand, wish that I have 4 pairs of hands and legs because I have a million things to do. Sometimes I don't even realise if someone has replied me or not. Because that is the last thing on my mind.

I am just going to say this: You will never get how hectic/overwhelming it can be when handling a baby until you experience it yourself.

So to whom it may concern, please don't be so selfish la ok? The world does not revolve around you.




People who disrespect your way of raising your child 

I saved the biggest challenge for last. Everything else that I have said earlier is bearable, but this is the only one that would get me so riled up and make me breathe out fire.

I'm staying with my parents, my aunt lives next door, my other aunt is 5 minutes away, my in-laws are 15 minutes away, my cousins sometimes come hang out during the weekends. So you can imagine the number of opinions and suggestions that I have gotten, which I don't mind.

What I do mind is when they try to IMPOSE all these 'suggestions' on me, despite me explaining why I want to do things a certain way, and then they talk to me like I don't have a clue on what I'm saying, just because they're older and they have more kids than me.

What makes it even more annoying is the fact that their way is always based on what "orang dulu-dulu cakap (old wives tales)" while mine is based on hours or reading and researching legit books and articles.

For example, when Alayna was really small, some people would actually wake her up from her day nap! I hated that. I mean, who would want to disturb a sleeping baby??? They are supposed to take long naps during the day. That's when they develop and grow.

But no, they said we must not let the baby sleep so much during the day, so that they will sleep more at night. Well it's actually the contrary. In general, babies who don't rest well during the day will find it harder to fall asleep at night and they will be more restless too.  While it may not apply to some babies, this is true for Alayna, so I am very very particular about her nap time during the day. If Nadri and I plan on going somewhere and Alayna is napping, we would wait until she wakes up.  Which is why I get so irritated when people simply wake her up from her nap or sleep.

The books that I have read also told me to look out for signs that the baby is tired and is ready for her nap. The signs include rubbing the eyes, loss of interest/alertness and hiccups, among others. So when I see these signs, I will quickly put Alayna down for her nap with no problems at all. And then later she'll wake up very happy and cheerful. But when we're with relatives and they see Alayna disinterested in her toys after playing for a while, some of them try every possible way to get her attention and make her play until she reaches a point where she is overtired and she starts to get cranky and cries. Which means I would have a harder time putting her down for her nap.

Apart from that, there are so many other things that we disagree on. Like they'd insist that breastfed babies need water too, saying that the water will quench their thirst. Err.. So breast milk can't quench thirst is it? What do you think breast milk is made of? Cheese? No, it's 88% water. In fact, giving water to babies under two months can actually increase birilubin levels in jaundiced newborns. There's actually no need to give additional water before the baby starts taking solids.

When I tell them all these facts that I have found, sometimes they'd say:

"Oh please. We raised you/my kids our way and you/they turn out fine"

That is just so unfair.

Your time and ours are very different. You had limited access to information which is why you had to rely on what your parents/older relatives said. But nowadays everything is at the tip of our fingers. There are thousands of books and research that are readily available. Is it so wrong to find out other (better) methods and try to practice them?

I vented out to one of my mommy friends about this, and she said "I feel you babe. But let me just warn you that it will get much worse when Alayna starts to eat."


She was right.


I am VERY particular about what Alayna eats. I cook her food from scratch (no salt or sugar added) so that I know exactly what goes into it and that she gets all the nutrition that she needs.

But the problem is, they want to feed her Kit Kats and McDonalds.

I have said no nicely and explained why I don't want her to eat all that. And yet they still try to give them to her. Sometimes when I'm feeding Alayna her food, they'd come and sit right in front of her while eating something that Alayna is not allowed to eat.

And when Alayna shows interest in what they're having, they'd say:

"Poor Alayna, your mommy won't let you eat nice food."

Or

"This tastes better than your food. Yummmmm."

Or

"See? She would rather have this than whatever you're feeding her."


Well you could be eating a bowl of maggots and any baby would still be curious and want to have some. 


So don't try to make it like I'm the bad person when I am just doing my best to teach Alayna healthy eating habits. Yes her food is bland compared to what we adults eat, but babies are not born knowing salted/sugared food tastes better. So why create their dependency on salt/sugar?

Some of them would say, "But YOU eat McDonalds (and other things that I don't allow Alayna to eat)."

Yes, I do. Because my parents let me have them when I was small and I have grown to love be addicted to them.

But how I WISH that I don't love all these junk foods. I am so used to having them on a regular basis that I suffered when I was trying to lose all the baby weight because I had to restrain myself from having them. It was literally a torture to suddenly eat only healthy and clean food.

Some said, "Well there's no point of you doing all this. When Alayna gets bigger she would still go and eat whatever that she wants."

That is true.

But the thing is, I do have friends who simply don't go to McDonalds (unless their friends want to go, but they still don't enjoy the food) because they were brought up eating home cooked meals and taught that fast food is bad. They were not given soft drinks too. Until today they hardly ever drink them. And surprise surprise, none of them has weight problems.

When I tried to explain this, some of them would say; "Why are you so worried now? Just let her be. Fat kids are cute. When they're older they'll learn how to control their diet and slim down."

The ironic thing is:

The people who said that have obese kids and/or are obese themselves.


So tell me, when exactly are you/your kids planning to lose all that weight? Never?

Let's face it. People are obese because they just can't control what they eat. How to let go of fast food/sweets/sodas etc when you have been consuming them ever since you were small? It takes a lot of willpower and determination. Which is why many give up and just tell themselves things like "It's in their genes" or "YOLO" or whatever it is that would make them feel better about themselves.

Or worse, they decide to pick on skinny girls *rolls eyes*


Qaireen & Alayna


Look at Alayna. Does she look like she is malnourished? Does she look like she's not getting enough food?

It's actually the opposite. Alayna eats E V E R Y T H I N G. Salmon, cod, chicken, beef, lamb. Vegetables? No problem. Broccoli, celery, peas, mushrooms, spinach, tomato you name it she eats them all. She is definitely not a picky eater. And she is healthy too. In this 16 months, she only had fever once.  Yes yes it's all God's will and from our prayers for her health, but I also like to think that it is because of what she's consuming: clean, healthy food.

Having said that, of course I am not going to deprive her from sugar and salt forever. Right now she's getting them from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. I want it to stay that way for as long as possible. Hopefully when she gets older and is big enough to make tell me what she wants, her tastebuds would be accustomed to healthier food choices. And of course I will give her chocolates and ice creams, when the time comes. Please, I'm not a complete psycho okay. I just don't want her to develop preference to them at such an early age and become one of those toddlers who refuse to eat anything else and only wants to eat sweets.

The thing is, I'm not here to tell you about the right way of raising a baby. Which is why I said earlier that these are strictly my views and you don't have to agree with me.

My issue is people who don't respect Nadri and I as Alayna's parents. 

The same way that I respect them as their child's parents.

Alayna is fully breastfed until now. But I don't go around telling my friends/relatives that they should breastfeed their kids and how it is better than formula. In fact, I really cannot stand moms who breastfeed and feels the need to let the whole world knows. Like, what's you intention? Make moms who feed their babies with formula feel bad? Please la, breastfeeding your kids don't automatically make you a better mom okay. There is no need to feel so smug about it. Some people can't breastfeed because they don't produce milk, some stop producing milk after a while, some people are too busy with work, some don't because it is not convenient or they simply don't want to. Who cares? It's really none of our business!

I also don't go around telling people to feed their kids healthy food or give them patronising comments about the dangers of processed/junk foods. So why is it that some people feel that it is totally okay to condemn MY way?

I have a friend who only uses reusable cloth diapers. Obviously they're better than the normal disposable ones. It's good for the baby's skin, it's cost effective and it's environmental-friendly to boot (disposable diapers take 200-500 years to decompose! Which means our diapers when we were a baby are still around :O). And yet she never judged me for using disposables. I even told her that I don't think I can commit to using reusable diapers (you need to use a certain detergent for them etc) since I already have so many things on my plate. But that doesn't make me less of a mom to Alayna.

My point is, every parent is trying to do their level best with what they have. Some parents don't have as much time, some parents don't have as much money, some parents have different priorities. But one thing for sure is that every parent want whats best for their children, and they will decide based on the circumstances that they're in and the resources that they have. Everybody else just need to respect that.



*                        *                        *                      *



And there you have it, MY challenges as a mother. It's definitely not easy, but totally worth it.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Alarm Clock

Everyday, no later than 7.30 am. Sometimes at 6 am -_-

The best way to wake up :')

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Now THAT is Huge.

Woke up today wanting to slap myself because I fell asleep with make up on last night. Seriously that is the worst thing you can do to your skin. A make up artist once told me that if you sleep one night without removing your make up, it will make your skin age a few years. 

Since I have committed this sin more than a few times, maybe that's why I look older that my age T____T 

Anyway, yesterday I came home from work to this:


Huge-ass prawn :O

I could not believe my eyes when I saw them. They're bigger than my palm! They're so big that even half a prawn is enough for a plate of rice. The flesh was incredibly fresh, sweet, juicy and succulent. It was hands down the best prawn that I have ever tasted. My parents got them in Sabah. Any idea if we could get them here? Coz Nadri is already planning a trip to Sabah just so we could stuff ourselves silly with  this. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Just a Quick One

I am currently drafting a post on the challenges of being a mom. I have been wanting to write about this for a while now because I get requests for it and also because it is something that I go through everyday. And despite some people saying that I make it look so effortless.. Well, it's definitely not haha. 

However, I have to be very careful with my words because a lot of my readers are moms themselves. I have my own views and I wouldn't want to come off as disrespecting other people's ways of raising their children. 

It's 80% done. I am quite nervous about posting it actually -_____- 


As I'm writing this, Alayna is napping. Frog style. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

XXX



King of Fruits

I love durians.

Despite my previously blonde hair, my grey/blue/green eyes (from wearing contacts) and my obsession with Latino women, I am a Malaysian girl at heart. You can take away strawberries and kiwis from me, but don't take my mangosteens and especially durians.

Just now, my sister came into my room and whispered "Got durian downstairs.." and something else but I didn't catch it because I was already halfway out the door. Now I cant stop smelling my hands. Sooooo goooooooood. Seriously, how can anybody find the smell revolting?

And I can't help but feel so offended when I see these signs:










Grrrrr.


Anyway if you love durians as much as I do, YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY THE DURIAN PANCAKE AT LAI PO HEEN IN MANDARIN ORIENTAL!!!!!


Picture credit to www.wootfood.com


Picture credit to goodyfoodies.blogspot.com


This is nothing like all the other durian pancakes out there. If you think you've tasted awesome ones, you're sadly mistaken. This is the shiz ya'll. I tried it almost 2 years back and it still gives me sleepless nights sometimes.

I went with 2 other durian freaks. We ordered a platter of six first to try. The first bite was so orgasmic I swear our eyes instantly went wide and stayed that way until after we finished the pancakes. Then we ordered one platter after another. By the end of the night, we had 9 pancakes each.

One of my friends was so worried we'd take his, he licked his fork and then stabbed his pancakes.

-_______-

It is that good people.

Nadri hates durians though. Pfft so mat salleh la this dude. He really can't stand the smell. Wouldn't even let me come near him. Since I just had some, I'm gonna go give him a kiss now hehe.






Any Musang King lovers out there?? =D



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Reward

Nadri and I just love to shop for Alayna. I don't even shop for myself much now (it's true, don't believe what Nadri says. Or the Pos Laju guy) because I would rather get something for her. We used to say that we don't want to spoil her, and that we would only let her buy one thing at a time. But man, that is easier said than done.. For the parents

Some days Nadri would go crazy and want to buy the whole store so I have to be the bad cop and tell him no and to pick only one toy while he sulks. Honestly, who's the baby now?

On the other hand, some days I feel like Alayna needs to have her own designer bag. And Nadri would have to drag me out of Chanel kicking and screaming. 


How adorable is this? Syg, don't you love our baby??? *betrayed look*


Every time we come home with Toys R Us or Zara or Mothercare paper bags, my mom would start lecturing us about, well, I have no idea about what actually because I wasn't listening. 

But just to avoid the lecture altogether, we try to find a reason every time we buy her something. For example last week, she had a fall and 2 minutes after that we found ourselves in the car, on the way to the nearest mall and came home looking like Santa's little helpers.

Two days ago, we took her to her paeds for her jab. As usual Nadri would be the one holding her down while I hide in the doctor's room and pray to God. Alayna cried when the needle pricked her, and so did I.

Obviously we had to get Alayna (and myself) something for her our bravery. So we bought this:





Trying to catch the water coming out from the sprinkler lol














How not to give her everything that she wants? Sigh.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fashion Night Out




I have been searching for sequinned pants and I found the perfect pair! Wore it last Wednesday night when I attended Zakwan Anuar's Fall/Winter 2013/2014 fashion show at KLPac.


One of my fav colour combinations: Pink, white & black



I'm only 168 cm but this picture makes me look like I'm at least 175 cm. It's all about the angle you guys! Haha.




I didn't have time to do my hair because I was super late that night. Had to pin my bangs too. But luckily my hair is short now so it still looks fine (to me la ok lol). If my hair is waist length like before, I need to style it otherwise my hair will look like Kak Limah's.

Since Nadri is not into this kind of stuff, I asked Syafiq to be my plus one for the night.  Had a great time catching up with him and he had an even better time telling me all about his upcoming month long Euro trip at the end of this month, while I turned greener and greener every time mentioned a country that he is going to visit. London, Paris, Amsterdam, Monaco.. Really, I just wanted to slap his face.






If you think you're skinny, try standing next to my sister -____-


Anyway, it was a really good show. My phone's camera takes about 10 seconds to snap, so all of my runway pictures are super blurry. I'll just post pictures that I found on Instagram for your viewing pleasure. 


Syomir Izwa was there








Models' hair and make up by Shengsaw




Can you spot me? ;)

Check out what the girl's wearing. So hot! She reminds me of Rihanna.












I wanted to snap a picture with Mizz Nina (who looked incredibly gorgeous upfront) and Sheila Majid, but then right after the show the host said that there are food outside so I had to get my priorities straight...


Happy Tia




Saturday, April 6, 2013

OCD

Today I met a client who has OCD. He has to tap the pen exactly 3 times before writing. I saw him do it when he had to sign a few different documents. He noticed that I noticed and he was quite embarrassed about it but I said it's totally fine because I have a few OCDs myself.

If you don't know what is OCD, here is the definition from Mayo Clinic:


"Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). With obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may realize that your obsessions aren't reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your stressful feelings."


Remember Monica from Friends? She is like the poster child for OCD. The furnitures in her apartment have to be exactly on the same spot otherwise it would drive her nuts. And everything has to be spotless. Like how in this one episode she just could not sleep because all she could think about is the dirty stain in the living room. In the end she caved in, got up and cleaned in the middle of the night.

Sounds familiar? Then you might have an OCD and you don't even realise it hehe.

Just to share some of mine:

  • Before I start reading a book, I need to sniff it for at least 5 seconds. 
  • The TV's volume has to be an even number.
  • The call logs in my phone have to be all names. Meaning if an unknown number calls, I would need to either save the number as a contact, or delete it from my call logs because seeing numbers among my contact names in the call logs will just drive me insane. 


Just looking at this is giving me anxiety.


So.. If you see a girl at MPH sniffing books, that's most probably me.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Bangs are Backkkk



Wearing Lana Kurung Moden by Michiko Scarves . 



Wearing M.A.C Lipstick in Russian Red


I just love full, blunt bangs. I have had them with blonde hair and black hair but I think it looks better with black. 

My tip for you if you want to try this, is to tell your hairstylist to cut the bangs longer first, and then adjust bit by bit until you reach the precise length that you want. And make sure that it's even. Because you don't want to end up with super short and crooked bangs like this:


Even Katy Perry can't pull it off, what more us mere mortals?

MUCH better


I like mine to be below my eyebrows and just barely touches my eyes. It is pretty high maintenance though because I have to go for a trim every 10 days or so to keep it at that length. 

But honestly, these bangs are so not practical in our crazy hot weather. It will make your forehead a breeding ground for zits (heat + dirt + sweat + oil = happy bacteria). Usually I would pin my bangs up every other day to let the skin breathe. 

Here are some weird bangs just for giggles:


Believe it or not, she is someone big in the fashion industry.


How to drive like this?