loved ones

jim the clown

Toots turned 28 this week.

As usual, we love to make it special for one another. Special = totally embarrassing. Seriously, we’re really just little children inside….

It was a working day and Toots works in a corporate environment where everything is serious and well… proper. Last birthday, Asma’ and I stood with balloons and sombrero hats at the Petronas lobby waiting for her. So this time, it’s gotta be worse.

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Imagine a clown for hire standing next to her while she awkwardly does paperwork and go for meetings? HILARIOUS!!

And of course, Asma’ being Asma’, got the job done. She found this on google:

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Ohhh Jim The Clown, where have you been all my life?! Haha.

We seriously considered the idea but we thought poor Jim will just be escorted out by Petronas security guards. So fine, abort mission. BUT we told Toots that Jim The Clown will be coming. So let us know when he pops by into your office.

She freaked out the whole day, probably always looking behind her to see if a clown has just walked into her office. “Guys, stop it. Seriously, guys. Did you really book a clown to follow me around?” Paranoid birthday girl messaged. We just answered “Just let us know when he arrives. We paid for whole day rental so he should be there soon.”

BAHAHAHAAH.

Jim the Clown didn’t come of course.

But Vivy the Best Friend did.

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At the Petronas lobby with my Let’s-Embarrass-Toots kit.

People kept giving me looks. Like what… never seen a cow balloon before? They’re lucky I didn’t bring the sombrero hats.

Now, before you think Asma’ and I got her something from Louis Vuitton…. well we did. But just the box.

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*28-year old tears

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Well, it’s the thought that counts no?

So when I arrived at the lobby I messaged her phone.

“Jim the Clown is downstairs. Please come down NOWWW!”

“I’m in a meeting. Can’t.”

CORPORATE PEOPLE ARE SO BORING.

“Come on! Just say you’re going on a toilet break.”

No reply.

“Jim the Clown does not like to wait. He might come up to your floor if you don’t come down.”

She came down.

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We actually slipped something in that tissue box, so don’t worry, it wasn’t all that bad for birthday girl Toots. Deep down in our hearts, somewhere down there, we do love her after all.

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Dear best friend of almost 20 years, you really are a diamond in the rough. Kind to everyone even those who hurt you, strong as no one will ever know, and just downright amazing, people around you should know how lucky they are. I know I am one of the lucky ones. I wish you nothing but happiness and barakah in this life, and especially in the hereafter. Enjoy your LV box.

fashion and shopping

#schaxfv

I’m too excited to share this with you guys.

Our second celebrity collaboration (remember our Nora Danish one for Raya last year??) is with the ever cool and stylish Scha Alyahya!

Presenting Scha Alyahya for FashionValet

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Launched today on FV, shop here now!

being a mom being pregnant

graduated second pantang

It’s past 30 days of pantang, can you believe it?! As much as I complain, time really does fly.

I was telling Dean, “It’s already been 30 days! Wow pantang isn’t so bad this time round,” and he turned around and gave me a look, “That’s because you’re not really doing it properly.”

Touche. Good point. Hehe.

I just don’t think locking someone up in the house for 44 days is healthy, ok?! All doctors I’ve spoken to said it is best to just have the normal life without any restrictions, but know your body enough to know when to take it easy. Like all! Not even one doctor I’ve met said pantang is a must. Maybe that’s why women get postpartum depression, because they sweat in smelly herbs all day, and they don’t see the sun. -__-”

So yes, the real situation for me was that I did all the pantang routines (like urut, tungku, tangas, mandi daun, param, eat jamu, wear socks at home, wear corsets – yes PLURAL), but I allowed myself to go out for 1 or 2 hours a day if I wanted to. Not really for work, but for stress-free things like lunch with AVA or a date with Dean or just to see oneeeee shop in a mall. All these things are classified under “Doctor’s appointments” should my confinement lady or mom asks. Teehee. Obviously my mom lectured me, but she also knows me well enough that I’m the most degil daughter she has. God bless you, Ma, love youuuu. Hehe.

My pantang day started at 5 am. I would pump for half hour, and my confinement lady would arrive at 5ish. Urut (massage) started at 6 am, then tangas (kinda like a sauna down there while you sweat like crazy), tungku (hot stone compress), mandi daun (shower with herbs and all), corset time (where she will wrap me up realllll tight I can barely move). Then my confinement lady would shower Mariam. Then cooked my lunch and dinner, and off she went. She was pretty awesome, this lady.

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Alhamdulillah, my stitches have healed and Doctor said everything is looking good. There is still a little pooch I’d like to get rid of (apparently harder to lose after 2nd and consequent babies, boooo) but other than that, I’m feeling great.

Pantang is usually 44 days, but since this is my second child, I give discount a bit.

30 days. I’m done!

Weeehooooo!

Come on Mariam, wake up, let’s go see the worldddd!

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I’ve been getting a lot of enquiries about my confinement lady. I would really recommend her, so if you’d like to book her – Cikyah 013-2422575.

working girl

our recent funding

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This was the big news I was dying to tell you guys before it released in the media.

Thank you to all media who featured us!

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Dean and I have been trying to raise funds for FashionValet for over a year now, to grow and expand externally and internally. We had the RM1 million injection in 2012 by MyEG when we won the Make The Pitch reality show on TV, but we were now ready for a bigger Series A funding. We knew that our parents would loan us money in a heartbeat to help us out, but Dean and I wanted more than money; we wanted a strategic partner that could offer us knowledge, expertise, contacts and possible avenues we could tap on for synergy. So we researched a bunch of grants, loan institutions, banks and VCs.

We couldn’t get grants because we were no longer a startup (requirement for startup is 3 years and below, so if your business is less than 3 years, GO AND GET A GRANT NOW). We couldn’t get bank loans because we have no assets such as property and banks were so hard to convince because not a lot of them understand the potential of the e-commerce industry. VCs were the obvious choice for us. There aren’t a lot of VCs in Malaysia, so we looked everywhere, even as far as the US. Dean prepared the lengthy presentation of budget, projections, business plans, the whole works. He had sleepless nights working on this, but oh the rejections we received… it was really tough and I can see how easy it is for people to give up if they don’t persevere. I still remember a time when we dropped everything when we got a callback from a Singaporean VC (who btw invested in our competitor and was probably just fishing for info from us about FV), got so excited to pitch, thought it went well, then as soon as we touched down in KL we received the rejection email. We both sat quietly, defeated, and thinking what on earth did we do wrong?!

Dean and I were each other’s rocks and everytime we got rejected, we would look back at our strategies and think how to improve it. We started the business with RM50,000 each, and we’ve managed to build a business worth tens of millions, and they didn’t want to invest in us?! – we got cocky thinking we could do no wrong. So I’d say the rejections were much needed to give us a wake-up call. Like a smack in the face forcing us to relook into our strategies. We found loopholes and we improved them. We allowed ourselves to be sad for a few hours or so, but then, time’s up – gotta smack ourselves on the bum and start again.

It was a steep learning curve. And a very valuable one.

Finally, we met a VC that we felt was just right. And had the same ambitious vision we had. From Silicon Valley, the technology melting pot housing corporations like Apple, Facebook and Google. It really was a dream come true when they wanted to invest in FV. And FV and I will forever be grateful to Dean who took the burden upon himself alone when I got pregnant with Mariam. He did it all by himself, my heroic husband.

This funding is awesome of course, but it also means huge pressure to succeed. So you can bet that Dean and I aren’t going to stop working hard to reach our targets and beyond. There are still so many things we want to improve on.

Today, we officially started operations in our Jakarta office.

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We have a team there handling everything from A to Z under Dean’s leadership, and I’m so excited to see them grow. Seeing the updates from today’s first ever photoshoot in FV Indonesia, I honestly felt like crying. So many mixed feelings; happy, excited, nostalgic, sad to not be there… so many! I’m so so proud of FV and our whole team. The thrill of enjoying the ups and learning from the downs, I am loving every bit of this journey.

Alhamdulillah for everything.

being a mrs love sports and gym

watching football with dean

Pantang makes you really bored.

Like today, I must’ve been at the peak of the boredness mountain because I watched football with Dean. I was so happy to see Dean come home after a function he attended, and all I wanted to do was be with him. “Liverpool vs Manchester tonight baby,” he said to me. His nice way of saying “Please don’t disturb me for 90 minutes.”

“Oh it’s ok. I want to watch it with you!”

I’m pretty sure he didn’t even notice me there. I could be rolling on the carpet and doing snow angels with my arms and legs to get his attention, and he would still find the 30 or so men more attractive.

Anyway, I learned tonight that Dean is not a chatter when football is on. He concentrates… like really concentrates. Like he has that eyes-squinting face that teachers wish their students’ faces have when they teach the characters of sodium carbonate or bicarbonate or tricarbonate or something. (I used to be smart guys, I swear. Just a little rusty now after losing a lot of blood giving birth and all…)

I was trying to lighten the mood to make it more fun (for me) and started saying things that I thought were interesting. They were all football-related by the way.

“Oh my god… his last name is Blind. Like BLIND???” I was so amused at the footballer’s last name.

No response.

“Ooohhh Wayne Rooney! You know he used to be fat right?” I nudged Dean.

No response.

“And his wife is always in the tabloids. Apparently she shops a lot. Like if you think I shop a lot… this wife… like wow, man. She shops A LOT.”

No response.

“His last name is MATA?!!!!!! Oh my god… he should be friends with the first footballer, BLIND.”

No response.

Then we carried on watching another football game after and this guy’s jersey had “HAZARD” written on it. This is just too easy! 5 jokes came to mind and I was just so amazed with all these footballers’ last names! I looked at Dean and he had a straight face. How did he not find their names amusing?

Wow.

Football is serious stuff and makes Dean the most boring person on earth.

I’ll gladly go back to pantang, thanks.

being a mom being a mrs

pish?

We’re trying to teach Daniel manners. The kind that is becoming lost art these days. You know, the please‘s, the thank you‘s and the excuse me‘s. Daniel is mimicking us pretty well although the actual words that come out from him are pish, queue and meeeee. I’ll give him A for effort, nonetheless.

We tell him when he says please he can get the thing he wants, which is a huge mistake. Definitely the wrong approach to teaching the magic P word. Because now he thinks saying please is the answer to all his problems.

He was throwing Smarties everywhere on the couch and he thought it was hilarious to count them one by one. He played with them so long that the colour of the Smarties pretty much faded and transferred to his sticky hands. It was gross. We tried to take them away from him and he would get so angry, saying No No.

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“No, Daniel. Enough!!” Dean would say in an angry tone.

He looked at me for a second, then looked back at his dad.

“…Pish?” he looked up at him with huge watery eyes.

“No…” Dean’s voice quivered.

Ahhh… he’s melting… he’s melting, guys. He’s going to give in. Pass me the popcorn please!

Daniel knows him oh so well. He came closer to Dean. “…Pish, Di?” 

Ahhh… there it is, do you see that, guys? The melted Dean puddle on the floor?

“But sayang, he was so polite! How do I say no to such manners?” Dean defended himself.

Weak, I tell you, WEAK!!

love

mars and venus

Dean always shares articles with me especially if it’s e-commerce related… or just plain amusing (like that news that Bruce Jenner is doing a sex change). I usually take my time reading them (I mean…some e-commerce news are just plain boring) but he insisted I read this one article because “it’s just soooo funny!”.

And yes, it’s hilarious!

Sharing it with you guys here.

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And Marissa sent me one today too:

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Hahahahaha.

Don’t tell me you guys don’t have these moments too!