loved ones

toots is a mom

I haven’t written here for a week! Sorry for the silence (pretty long for me!), I just had such a crazy week; both babies had the flu, and then I got the flu, I went on work trips, I had the biggest fight with my sister (we love each other again now)… and I’m doing something I’m not very good at; babysitting!


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On the 15th last month, a beautiful baby boy cried his first tears (very loudly) in a delivery room in KL. His name is Musa and he happened to be a huge baby at 3.6kg (I dieeeee). With his existence, he gave Toots the title of Ibu.

Ohhh we were so excited. Toots was in so much pain that she could not even hold her phone so I got her updates from her hubs, sister and mom. They sent me pictures of her and I just teared. Can’t believe my best friend was in labour at that very moment. I wanted to be there so badly, but I had a magazine shoot that I committed to and couldn’t get out of. After we got our shots, I zoomed in an Uber straight to the hospital. By that time, Musa was out and Toots looked as radiant as ever, despite having pushed a huge watermelon-size baby out (respectttt!).

Three weeks later, here I am shuttling back and forth her place while she’s on pantang (confinement)… I may or may not have snuck in with me some sinful non-pantang food for her to eat quietly in her room. Today, our hubs have things to do so it’s just me and her in the home with our kids. Feels so nice, just like old times when we’d watch movies in her living room and eat maggi on individual trays. Well, if you minus these screaming kids around us right now. Haha.

I’m watching her getting her urut and tungku now, with some chick flick on TV and a sleeping Musa by my side.

18 years of friendship, watching each other evolve into women, wife, and now mom. This feels so surreal, but so beautiful. Well… as beautiful as watching a sleep-deprived new mom can get. Muahaha.

While Mommy rests, let’s welcome Musa into this world!

everyday things

home alone

I haven’t been home alone in the longest time! The kids are at the grandma’s, Dean’s at the gym and I’m here chomping on cut jambu and watching the Kardashians. I had a rough week with lots of issues at work so it’s nice to let loose and put my feet up for an hour or so. Cleaned my wardrobe a bit, had my makeup done for an event tonight, took a bunch of selfies, had some biscuits in peace.

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Very productive, as you can see.

Was fun for the first half hour, and now I keep looking around because it’s so quiet! Where’s Mariam whining to ask us to walk her around? Where’s Daniel fighting me for my phone so he can watch videos? Where’s Dean cuddling me on the couch?

Just this morning, I was sighing that they keep me up all night (Mariam and Daniel still wake up at least once every night). And now, I really miss them! Women, we’re confusing aren’t we?

Hope you’re having a nice long weekend, everyone!

everyday things lifestyle

reviving wilted hydrangeas

Buy meee… Vivy, buy me…. stop avoiding eye contact…. buy meeeee. 

Those darn hydrangeas.

Sitting in the cold room looking out at me from the transparent glass. I hate them, they always die on me. But gosh, they’re so beautiful. Imagine that blue one in my living room. Ahhh, no no stop looking. They’re expensive and they die like on the way home. They’re the most diva flowers I’ve ever met. I’d rather intern at a vegetarian restaurant than take care of hydrangeas.

“Can you get me those orchids, and maybe a couple of those roses…” I speak to the florist, one eye still lingering at the hydrangeas. STOP LOOKING BACK AT ME.

“Is that all?” The florist asked after preparing the flower pots for me.

“Umm…”

And there you see me walking back to my car, hugging orchids in one arm, roses on the other… and hydrangeas too.

I AM SO WEAK, SO SO WEAK.

But they really are gorgeous. I got 4 stalks. 2 balls of the dreamy blue ones and 2 balls of the gorgeous pastel pink ones. On the way home, I’m already imagining the flatlays I’m going to take with these babies. Hmmm, what do I have to flatlay today? Any products from FV? Hmm, maybe those pink ones I can put in that vase that Mom gave me — WAIT A MINUTE, ARE THEY WILTING RIGHT NOW?!! That blue one was straight just now, now it’s bent a bit. Omg the nerve of this flower. I just spent so much on them and it hasn’t even been 2 minutes! DON’T YOU DARE DIE ON ME, YOU BALL OF GORGEOUSNESS YOU.

The whole ride home, I kept staring at them and silently kicking myself in the butt for believing that florist who told me that this hydrangeas batch would last for a week. You never learn, Vivy, you never learn.

Zero flatlays done, the next day, they have wilted. Ugh. But luckily, I was told about the magic solution to revive hydrangeas. Kinda like Hydrangeas CPR. I read on Google that you can put them in hot water and in a few hours, the bloom again. My maid thought I was mental, but whatever, they’re so expensive that my sanity can come second this time.

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Wrap the flowers with paper towels to protect them from the hot water steam.

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Fill up a vase with boiling hot water

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Cut the stalk a little bit, diagonally.

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Put them in the vase and leave them.

“You should talk to them. No joke, flowers have feelings,” Asma’ told me that night. I would normally laugh but I was desperate to save them.

I looked at them. They looked back at me, all wilted. “Ok… so umm.. I have faith in you, dear hydrangeas. You’re so expensive and I need to show my husband that you’re worth it. Please live….”

I gave them a flying kiss goodnight and went to bed. Pretty sure my maid saw that from the kitchen and is questioning her employment here.

This morning, I was so excited to see if it worked. According to the article, they will bloom again like normal.

And the results this morning…

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WHY DO YOU HATE ME?!

WE HAD A MOMENT YESTERDAY, I EVEN GAVE YOU A FLYING KISS.

FINE I SEE THAT YOU LOOK FRESHER AND YOU PROBABLY TRIED, BUT TRY HARDER!

Ish. I expected a full bloom of 4 beautiful balls, but instead of being 80% dead, they’re probably like 60% dead. Still dead to me.

“You just stay away from hydrangeas k,” Asma’ told me this morning.

Fine.

But yeah, you should try this. Maybe your hydrangeas are less stubborn than mine. Or you’re a better sweet talker… sigh.

loved ones

the best spaghetti

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I’m working on an exciting project and today it involved shooting myself cooking with my mom and mil in my kitchen. It was a first for me cooking with the both of them, and I clearly have no cooking skills so I was quite nervous. But it turned out to be so fun. The more my mom and mil complained about how I don’t have enough penyepits or bowls or cups, the more warm laughter filled the kitchen. It turned out to be the best spaghetti dish I’ve ever tasted, and I think it’s because of the love that was poured in the making of it.

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I realise how lucky I am to have them in my life and how God made it so easy for me to have a happy family. It’s not about the spaghetti, we could have made maggi for all I care. But it’s the time with them in the kitchen that is so invaluable to me. I know so many people whose mom and mil don’t get along, or they themselves don’t get along with their mil. And here I have these two wonderful women, who I call my moms.

I think the secret to a happy relationship with your mil, is to love her like how you do your own mother. But as much as you need to play your part as a daughter, it takes two hands to clap. The lucky part for me is that both my moms are so so understanding and obliging to the other party. They would always say, “Prioritise her first,” if I ever had to choose between the two. It’s never “me first” with them. When I got married, my mom told me to love my mil with all my heart and to never hurt her. The level of patience and kindness in these two women, I could only imagine to have one day with my own children’s inlaws. (At this point, I can’t even accept Caitlyn, let alone her mother. HAHAHAHA). But if your mil doesn’t accept you? Hey, Allah swt sees your deeds. Only He can open hearts, so never stop making doa and making effort.

God bless these two women of Jannah, Insyaallah. I love you, Mommy and Mak.

being a mom

i don’t like her already

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Everyday when I pick Daniel up from school, I’ll have a quick lunch with him and ask him about his day. He’s very shy with people and he’s still getting used to a lot of the kids in school (still finding it a challenge because he likes to sit with just the teacher and won’t join the other kids). Everytime I ask him, he’ll say he coloured, he played in the garden, he sang etc, but he never mentions the other kids. He remembers all their names though, when I pointed to his class photo. But there isn’t one that he’s particularly close to.

He just started his second semester last week and I was so shocked when he answered my usual question in an animated manner.

“Today, Daniel play with Jason, Caitlyn and bla bla. I colour. I play with elephant toy. I eat rice.”

“Ooooohhh you played with your friends?”

“Yes, Daniel play with friends.”

“Oooooh what did you do with them?”

“We play outside. In garden. Jason play slide with Daniel, and Caitlyn also play with Daniel.”

“Ooooohhh did you have fun?”

“Yes!” he answered looking very happy.

“Do you want to go to school tomorrow?”

“Yes!!”

“Oooohhh that’s great, baby!!”

I was so happy to learn that he’s making friends, hence a lot of Ooooohhh’s in every sentence.

BUT WHO THE HECK IS THIS CAITLYN!?!!!

everyday things headscarves lifestyle

hair tips for hijabis

My hair has been falling off like rain lately because it’s getting too long. And I almost gasped when I tried to think when was the last time I went to a salon. Oh wow I’m gross. I really haven’t been paying any attention to my hair these past few months and wearing the headscarf, it’s easy to take it for granted. Especially when I’m saving so much money not spending at the salon hehe. Pre-scarf, I was there so much getting dolled up for events, or touching up my roots, or trimming. And I’d take so long to get ready to go anywhere. Dean was probably the happiest person ever when I decided to cover up because I don’t have to worry about my hair anymore.

UNTIL NOW.

After Mariam, my hair loss is really bad that I’m balding guys, balding! *cries blood* So I chopped it all and now I have short shoulder length hair and I loveeeeee it! It’s just tousled a bit and I wish I could show it off to you guys but there are male readers so nvmmmm. But basically, I’m feeling Emma Stone at the Golden Globes but just you know, without the red hair, or green eyes, or the nice dress, or the make up, or the styling…. and not as tall… and I’m Asian. Ok fine, I look nothing like her. But give chance for me to love my new hair la ha?

I also changed my shampoo to the special care ones and some tonic bottles to prevent hair loss. I didn’t really want to buy the latter but the lady just kept going on and onnnn that I just wanted to shut her up. Saleswomen like these…. so clever with their in-your-face method and telling you that you’ll go bald if you don’t buy it. Effective strategy, I must say. I bagged ten of those tonics.

Anyway, on to healthier haircare now for 2016. (On top of the other ten healthy resolutions I told myself I’d make.. being a woman is hard, man!)

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 Some general tips for hijabis whose hair hasn’t seen the world in a while:

Don’t tie your hair too tight –  It will pull your hair even more from the roots leading to damage and hair loss.

Don’t ever wear your scarf with wet hair – look, I’ve been there. Rushing like mad, late for work and no time for blowdry. But this is a really bad habit because your hair doesn’t have any space to dry inside your inner and scarf. My hair stylist kept going on and on about this saying that’s the reason why hair loss happens, when your hair isn’t properly dried. It’s not so much about the ends, but it’s the scalp that is the most important to remain dry.

Once home, the hijab comes offfff sistaaaa! – It’s party time! Let your hair breathe whenever you get the chance to. And this means when you’re home. Even if you have to go out again in a bit, just do it. It’s good to air your hair as much as you can. Take it off and shake it off like you’re a Pantene hair commercial talent.

Have loads of inners – how can you wear the same inner again the next day? That’s not ons. Inners are like underwear, you cannot repeat them. The whole day the inner is covering your hair collecting any dead skin and dandruff and make up stains. So please, collect inners too because they’re actually way more important than your hundreds of scarves. Also, choose the breathable material like cotton. Never lycra please. I’m not being biased here, but dUCk makes really good inners precisely because I am very particular about hygiene. So load up whenever we have restock, you won’t regret it.

Don’t shy away from salons – I’m learning now to have regular trims and treatments maybe every other month. Just because you cover your hair for the sake of your religion, doesn’t mean you have to not show love for it. Some TLC is always good, whether it’s at the salon or simply just at home.

designer review fashion and shopping pd daily

long vest

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I don’t usually like wearing inners inside but this vest was just irresistible. Not being biased because my friends designed it, but I’m truly impressed by the panel placements, the luxe fabric choice and of course the most obvious, the style and cutting. Long vests are just too cool, still modest yet you feel dressed up wearing it, and it still covers your bum so you don’t feel too conscious.

And have you noticed that grey is becoming my favourite colour these days?

Wearing Peppercorn dUCk, inner top from FV BASICS (available in several colours) and vest from Mimpikita (also available in red), bracelets from Stackables Inc. and Wanderlust + co, all from FashionValet. Pants from Calvin Klein, shoes from Christian Louboutin, bag from Dior.