Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: A Summary

Oh boy.. we are going to welcome the new year again. Looks like I'll be celebrating the new year (and my birthday in January!) here in Japan. Kinda looking forward for it anyway ;)

2012, I'm about to bid you farewell soon..

This year has been a busy year at work. This year too, witnessed the departure of my most-missed grandmother (I just had a dream about her last night.. sigh.. I miss her to the bone..)

Zara has been busy following me every where I travel, along with her Tok Ma, Maktok, Tok Abah and her aunts. Looks like I should consider having her own Enrich card soon, muahaha. So far I'm okay with it.. for right now, she is still breastfeeding. If I'm not yet pregnant again, I would like to just continue to breastfeed her. 

 Zara's 1st travel to Miri during her 6th month.. hasn't stopped traveling ever since..

Did I ever mentioned that I am spendthrift this year? I really don't know what got into me, but I just can't resist shopping. Here are the things I got for myself:
3 Kate Spade handbags, 3 Coach handbags, 2 Coach backpacks, a Coach wristlet, 2 Furla handbags, 2 Furla wristlets, a Furla lanyard, a Ferragamo handbag, 2 Longchamp handbags, a Longchamp backpack, a MBMJ handbag and Ipad case, a handbag from Michael Kors, a bag from UCB and a backpack from Guess. 

 This is just a few pieces of my entire collection.. Must think of a sleek way to store these babies..!
Phewww.. seems like too many when I put it that way. Ok but that's not all..
I also bought six bottles of designer perfumes (and among them is my fave Hugo Boss XX, my 2nd bottle!) and watches from Rotary, MBMJ and D&G. Ok yang ni takde gambar.

Well.. maybe rezeki is quite murah this year.. holidaying in Seoul and Tokyo.. there is a lot to be grateful for and I am thankful to Him for all the good things and blessings.

Some pics to look back before I end my 2012..

 My darling hubby and I. May we stay strong as life partners, ameen..
The Syed's family during our Seoul trip in July

My Zara.. taking her for a midday stroll in Ueno Zoo, Tokyo
  With her Auntie Ain @ Victoria Station

 Chilling with Mama after a day's shopping at Gotemba Premium Outlets

 I hope 2013 brings continuous improvement in my life as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an engineer and a friend. Zara is growing up, and it's fun seeing her growing and developing. With my current work, I am thankful that I get to be with my daughter and spend quality time together.

Career-wise, I'm gonna have a new assignment in 2013. I'm quite nervous about it, but there's nothing to it yet that I should worry. Like what Aamir Khan said in the movie "3 Idiots", all is well!

Oh yeah, I wish for 2013 to bring new great ties to the family. My sister-in-law is getting married in May 2013, and oh yeah, we are all excited about that. Praying hard for my sister's turn!

All in all, only Allah knows what's best for us.. pray hard and put in the best effort Sharifah!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Blabs from Yokohama

It's near to the end of 2012.

The good news is the prophecy of 2012 being the year of doomsday is miscalculated. Feel sorry for the Mayans (and it proves only Allah knows when it's gonna happen ok, tak payah la sibuk2 nak make prophecies of no avail..)

Tapi sebenarnya I don't really like to get into another new year.. it's like I am at the starting line again.. and the acronyms start to play in your head.. KPI, ACD, IPC, ICP.. whatsoever.. so bored of them.

Well, let's put that aside.

For now, all that matters is our Japan trip. Vacation for Papa and Zara, and business + vacation for Mama :)

Actually my husband and I have long been thinking on where to spend our year end holiday. We have been shortlisting a few places since.. hmm.. May this year?? Haha. Well, my beloved husband, being tied up with work, was unable to join us on our Seoul trip last July, so he wanted us to go for another holiday, the three of us. Little that we know, procrastinating the planning would eventually lead us to... Japan!!

We are residing in Yokohama now. Yokohama is a beautiful city; the 2nd largest city in Japan. Modern, very clean, very tasteful, not as busy as Tokyo.

 The view of Yokohama from my room. Can you spot Mount Fuji? Looks awesome, right?

 The street across my office. Many of the trees are already shedding leaves to welcome winter.

This is where I work :)

..and I work with these Japanese guys. Uchikawa-san and Koide-san.
Talented young engineers. Sukidesu!

Zara and Papa are having a great time here (well, dgn Papa leh duduk dalam stroller, dengan Mama tak mau ye.. Mama's arms are getting muscular now you know!) Besides trying to learn the language, we enjoyed the food as well :) Never did I want to taste any sushi or tempura in KL, but now that I've tried here, I must say, I love it!

Dining at one of our fave spots nearby the hotel. Garlic Jo's.
Zara laju je makan sushi.. tapi understandable pon, cuz it was good!

We're gonna have a long break for Christmas and New Year holidays.. so we're be taking the chance to go out from Yokohama. Perhaps do more sightseeing, and of course.. shopping!

I'll be posting lottsss of pics to my Instagram from time to time now.. macam agak malas nak layan Facebook nowadays.

Till then, take care guys.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken: Let's get cooking!!

I had a good one week break from work last week. Maybe ada yang noticed that suddenly my instagram and facebook uploads were surging. Haha. Well.. memang banyak leisure time when staying at home kan. Especially when I have done the house chores in the early morning. And.. of course,  when I have a husband with great helping hands (do you know my husband cooks too? He aspires to be in Masterchef! )

Oklah, today I wanna share the recipe of Kung Pao Chicken, one of my fave dishes especially when going to chinese muslim restaurants. 

But I must warn those who dislike hot dishes - this can be a bit biting to your tastebuds.

Tapi sedap :D hehe.

Ok mari mulakan.

1. Marinate the chicken. Ingredients:
   a) 3 tbsp of oyster sauce
   b) 1.5 tbsp of corn flour
   c) about 500 g of chicken breast

  Mix them well and leave for 30 minutes. Heat the frying pan with cooking oil mixed with a bit of sesame oil. Fry the chicken until the color is golden brown. Then take it out from the pan. Use about 4 tbsp of the oil from the frying for sauté-ing the garlic and ginger later.

2. The sauce. Mix well all the ingredients below in a bowl:
   a) 1 cup of chicken stock (you can use the cube)
   b) sweet soy sauce. I like it sweet so I used like 5 tbsp.
   c) 2 tbsp of chilli sauce
   d) honey. Can be substituted with sugar
   e) 1 tbsp of corn flour. If you wish to make the gravy less thicker,  use less corn flour
   f) salt to taste

3. The sauté-ing ingredients. You will need:
   a) 3 large cloves of garlic
   b) 1 inch of ginger
   c) 5 dried chillies (or more if u like it hotter). Cut them into halves. Get rid of the seeds if you want.
   d) half capsicum, diced. I used red. You can choose the yellow or the green too. Adds colors to the dish.
   e) sliced carrots
   f) peas (you can definitely substitute this with your other favourite greenies)
   g) grilled cashew nuts, about half a cup

Ok now let's begin our cooking!

Pound the garlic, the ginger and a few dried chilli halves together. Sauté them for a few minutes. Then add in the remaining dried chillies. Let them fry for a while.

Add in the capsicum and the carrot. Stir the mixture well, and then add in the sauce (item #2). You will notice the gravy will thicken in a short while. 

Then add in the fried chicken. Stir well.  Then comes the peas, and lastly,  the cashew nuts.

Don't forget to taste your dish. Do some adjustments on the sugar-salt balance according to your preference :)

And now, your Kung Pao Chicken is ready to be served!

Syebu and Khai, hope this recipe works for you :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Great year-end discounts for your Premium Beautiful set!

Wanna get a set of PB but you're looking for promotional price?

Easy. Just contact me. You'll get the best price. I can guarantee that :)

Cepat..!! While stocks last.

(Good things usually don't)

Breaking the hiatus.. from my fantastic Galaxy Note 2

Salam Maal Hijrah all friends :)

I have taken a loooong hiatus from blogging haven't I? Ok.. you can partially blame it on my time management.. been dedicating every minute of my free time for my growing Zara and my husband, if not work.

(I'm actually typing now while breastfeeding Zara to sleep.  Can I qualify to be a supermom? Haha. Ok. Perasan)

(But really,  how many mothers still breastfeed their babies beyond 6 months of age? I initially thought they were many.  But I realized I am not really accurate)

Actually,  I really wanna blog in Malay. But I honestly, every time that I'm typing, I can only write in English.  How poyo is that???

I'll write more in these few days I guess.. wanna get my space here up and running again. 2012 has so much lesser posts compared to the previous years. Nothing to put the blame on. Just didn't feel like sharing that much anymore. Im more interested in shopping online.. which costed me a hell lot of money this year.

Well, that'll be elaborated soon in my future posts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

An epistle of grief

I always view April as the month of many good things, as the important dates of the important people to me are in mostly in April. My husband's birthday, the anniversaries of my parents and parents-in-law, my sister Ain's birthday, and the birthdays of my very good friends Caah and Zuhairy. Yet, this year, another date in April has added itself into my calendar. And that is the departure of my most beloved grandmother, Hajah Rashidah Abdullah whom we affectionately called as Maktok,on April 15th at the age of 80.

Yeah, it has been four days since she left us. I am still adapting to the change that she isn't here anymore.. though I would like to think she is just tired of all these years of taking care of her grandchildren that she decided to go somewhere else. But hey, I am a Muslim. I must know (and accept) that this is the fate of every living thing on earth.. that nothing is immortal except the Almighty.

It's just that I feel upset of not being with her on her last few hours. Maybe I could have helped my mom on something.. or maybe I could have recited for her the Yaasin much earlier. It was exactly seven days before she departed when I last saw her. Gave her some pocket money (I am glad that I managed to give it to her before her time came..) but still, I didn't really have a long chat with her. The last few words that I said to her were "Maktok janganla sakit-sakit k.. take your medicine according to its dose, and please don't skip meals.."

Though I wasn't purposely being away (Zara had chickenpox, and now she is still recovering) but still, I felt bad..

She had a terrible appetite that week.. I wonder why didn't I sense the sign that her death was coming.. Like the ustaz said in one sermon I attended, the unseen (ghaib)things are only known by Allah.. I must tell myself to be redha with whatever He has destined for me and those around me.

These few days, all the memories of her keep on coming into my head. And when I remember, these tears will appear in my eyes. I know I need to control this sadness.. Cuz if I'm not strong enough, I won't be able to comfort my mom and my siblings..

But I am glad that my mom, my two sisters and I managed to bathe Maktok's body before she was being wrapped in the white cloth. If her soul were to witness that, I know she must be proud of us. I am further relieved that the whole process were made easy by the Almighty. Bathing her was done smoothly, so it was when we were wrapping her. Her face was really calm.. like she was sleeping. Finally she got her long deep sleep after a number of days when she told my mom that she couldn't really sleep.

And I am also glad that many of her cousins, nieces and nephews came to pay their last respect. I know she was loved by those who knew her.. family or not.

Maktok, I have never really said the things I wanted to say to you. But I guess, since you're gone, there is nothing I can do about it. But what I can do is tell the world the wonderful deeds you have done for me (and my siblings).. I will pray hard that someday, I will meet you again in the Hereafter.. hopefully in Heaven. And I hope when I am a grandmother one day, I can do the same like what you did for us.

Maktok, thank you for taking care of me until I began my journey to the University, thank you for being my earliest teacher, teaching me nursery rhymes, folk songs, reading Quran, how to perform Solat, helping me out with my homework, all the advice you gave for me to improve myself, comforted me when I was so mad at people around me, thank you for helping me understand my parents, thank you for your prayers for me all these years, thank you for all the good food you prepared (they will always remain as the best food in the world), thank you for being a shoulder to cry on.. in short, thank you for everything Maktok. May Allah bless you for what you have done. Your leaving was so abrupt.. Until I didn't get the chance to say goodbye..

Ya Allah, please take care of my Maktok. She never wronged anyone. In fact, many people actually still owe her tonnes of apologies. But knowing Maktok, she must have long forgiven them..

.. And deep in the corner of my heart, how I wish I could turn back time.. and never let it tick for another minute..

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Premium Beautiful: March - April Promo!!

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