moms are always the photographers

May 13, 2020 • 4 comments • 3,323 views

So Mother’s Day was 2 days ago.

The kids (basically Fadza) was so sweet they gave me a dried leaves thingy in a box… I asked Fadza what it was, he said decoration. Ok. Then they gave me a card that they found in the house that was obviously written Happy Birthday, but they crossed off Birthday and wrote Mother. And then they baked me a cake that Mariam already ate, and they put icing on it that made it look like Sarah made it. Hehehe. Bless them!

Fadza calls it art.

I call it It’s the thought that counts.

For my wish to my mom, I sent both my mom and mil their favourite orchids. My mom only likes orchids btw, because it’s the flower that can last months. #mostvalueformoney #sheshalfchinese And I was desperately looking for a photo of me and mom when I was small. I didn’t have any in my phone, so I messaged Dad to help me rummage through the albums at the house since I can’t do it myself (MCO). He said “On it!”

Btw, kids, if you’re reading this, albums are physical folders where you put physical printouts of photos inside. Once upon a time, we lived in an era where cameras were bigger than our palms and to view these photos, we had to go to a photo shop (too complicated to explain that) and actually get the photos printed from the roll inside the camera. Each roll can only store about 36 photos so you couldn’t take a gazillion selfies and choose which one to post on Instagram. Life was much harder back then. 

Ok so I didn’t hear back from Dad for hours.

“Did you find any? I just need ONE photo of me and mom.”

“Got. Here,” Dad says and sends me a whole bunch of me alone or mom alone or me and Dad.

-____-

“Me. And. Mom,” seriously my brief could not have been any clearer.

“Ok, ok. Be right back.”

Cricket sound.

The next day…….

Hundreds of albums in the house, not even one decent photo of me and mom.

You know why? Because:

(a) the first child’s photo: the second child’s photo ratio is 1000:1

and (b) the men never take photos for us women!

I have a whole load of photos of me and dad because Mom is the sweet one who thinks “Awww this is a nice moment, I’m going to photograph this memory” and snaps the photo. And when we have sweet moments with our moms, dads just smile and continue drinking coffee! -___-“

I went through my own photos on my phone. It’s a universal things, guys! The mom is always the photographer of the family. I have sooooooo many photos of the kids and Fadza. Me with the kids? NONE! Unless they’re selfies or the ones I actually remember handing my phone to Fadza saying “TAKE. MY. PICTURE. NOW. MUST. I. SPELL. EVERYTHING. OUT. TO. YOU.”

Men.

From now on, I’m going to make him take photos of me and the kids all day long because everyone knows if there’s no photo, it didn’t happen.

The kids need to know Mom existed during their childhood.

Mom. Happened. Too.


the ramadhan we didn’t see coming

April 24, 2020 • 5 comments • 3,912 views

Just finished our first terawih prayers together for this Ramadhan!

Happy Ramadhan guys!!!! We’ve entered into the holy month and we’re lucky enough to be given the chance to restart, refresh, reconnect with our iman. I know I’ve been slacking off so this is a good time to self-reflect and improve ourselves as Muslims. This Ramadhan is a huge shocker to everyone – how drastic the change is. The whole world is spending their Ramadhan indoors – no going to work, no bazaars, no mosques, no buka puasa events, no Ramadhan buffets with loved ones. Just us at our own homes this year.

I found myself tearing a little bit just now. It’s been 5 weeks that I haven’t seen my parents, and I think it’s hitting me a little bit. Miss spending Ramadhan with them, but told myself to toughen up and don’t be mengada because I can always videocall and communicate with them daily. Times like this it’s so easy to give in to your sad thoughts and layan them which will lead you to a dark hole of anxiety and self-pity. But if we really open our eyes, we can see the good in things. It’s really not that bad – I’m blessed to still have parents to love and care for and miss. And I’ll see them soon enough! *wipes tears, blows snot, flex biceps* I got this.

Quite honestly, as much as I feel a little tinge of sadness for this Ramadhan, I am actually quite excited for it. I set myself some goals this Ramadhan; to learn the meaning of at least one surah a day, and to not miss terawih this time.

For the first night, I re-learned Al-Fatihah again. I figured I might as well share my learnings with my followers on Instagram, maybe it can benefit them too!

I really hope I won’t disappoint myself again, and that I will see it through this Ramadhan. And I think being at home will actually make it easier for us to focus on ibadah because there’s no temptation to go out/work late/gossip with colleagues. And all husbands will suddenly feel the pressure to become imams at home, and memorise all sorts of surahs hehe. I think it’ll be a pretty good Ramadhan, Insyaallah. One that really will help us cleanse ourselves spiritually.

Anyway, I hope you guys are doing fine, wherever you are in the world. If you feel down sometimes, remember that you’re not alone k. We’re all in this together and we’ll get through this together!

And yes, Fadza desperately needs a haircut.


prestige april 2020 cover

April 21, 2020 • 3 comments • 2,410 views

I’ve been living in kaftans again and my makeup brushes are probably wondering if I’m still alive… so this is a nice change:

I’m on the cover of Prestige magazine this month! 

The magazine is out but they did an online version since they can’t print it during this MCO and they made it free for the public to read the whole issue. That’s pretty amazing.

This one is personally one of my favs because of the write up: I wrote it myself! The writer wanted to do a special angle where I write an open letter to future entrepreneurs of what I’ve learned in my 10 year journey so far. Honestly, it was hard to write because how do you pen down 10 years of ups and downs in 3 pages? I kept putting it off till the last minute, but finally one day the clouds cleared for me, the birds were chirping and I just felt inspired to write from the heart. Ok fine, they were chasing me for deadline. But still, I wrote from the heart.

Meant every word! Have a read here.


fadza’s mco birthday

April 12, 2020 • 3 comments • 3,459 views

Not gonna lie, guys.

Being with someone CONSTANTLY on their birthday is HARD.

I felt so pressured to make Fadza the best birthday ever, overcompensating because I felt so bad that he couldn’t see his family or friends or colleagues or even have dinner outside, that I took it upon myself to make sure he feels super duper loved at home.

The problem is… there was 24 hours in a day. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. Of looking at him and smiling at him. Cos well, you’re stuck together THE WHOLE DAY. Because there aren’t enough rooms to hide from him in the house.

Every time I passed him, “Happy birthday babyyyyy.”. Bump into each other in the toilet, “Happy birthday, sayang!” Going to the fridge to get a pudding with him, “Happy birthday sweetheart!” Hide in the kitchen and sees him hiding there too, “Hey umm, happy birthday!” *awkward laughter from both of us* Playing Homescapes and he passes by, “Happy birthday!” #runningoutofpetnameshere

Oh. My. God. Is. It. Tomorrow. Yet.

Usually he’d be out and about, in the office etc, having some other life and being elsewhere other than these four walls. But because he was home, the kids and I did the sweetest thing – We made a Daddy’s Birthday Timetable for him. Screw it, it’s my blog. I DID THE SWEETEST THING. The kids didn’t do anything, I couldn’t tell them because they can’t keep secrets ever.

Oh but they did draw this timetable up for him.

Under my instructions. So still me, guys.

As you can see, the day was FILLED with love and surprises. I made sure to involve his family, his team, his school friends and all of us on his birthday, even though we can’t physically be together. The vlog is up so you can watch there.

But all I can say is, mannnnn I love my husband. He’s a wonderful man who deserves 86,400 seconds of reminders that we love him. I meant every word I wrote on the family portrait. Complete. When we’re with you, everything feels complete.” May you always be blessed by Allah swt with all the goodness that life and the hereafter have to offer, Insyaallah.

For the 2,687th time this week, happy birthday to the love of my life.


that will never work

April 10, 2020 • 5 comments • 4,755 views

I had an MCO vision.

In that vision, I’m lying down everyday reading a book. In that vision, I finish one book everyday, and in fact that one Sunday the kids were being so quiet and well-behaved that I smile as I finish my second book that day. Oh, pure bliss. In that vision, I have new books being delivered to me because I had finish all the hundreds of books on my book shelf. That was my vision. My beautiful MCO vision for myself.

The reality of course LOL-ed at that and spat at my vision. Mondays to Fridays are filled with back to back video calls with the team (seriously, everyone I speak to says they work even harder from home and they’re all so tired. SAME HERE!), night time is me cooking for half hour, showering for 2 minutes and scolding the kids to pick up toys for 3 hours. After the kids sleep, I pick up a book but end up snoring on Fadza’s lap with the book… on my face.

I’m trying, guys, I’m really trying!

So you can imagine the celebration in this house when I finished this book which is now a new favourite of mine. I. FELT. ON. TOP. OF. THE. WORLD. Like seriously, I was the WOMAN that day. I finished a book, WOOHOOOOOOO!

It’s about the birth of Netflix, how it all started and how the story is a little different from what Reed Hastings tells everyone. So the company was founded by his friend Marc Randolph (they talked about in the car – sounds familiar?!!! Me and Fadza talked about FV in the car too! Why are we not valued at $150billion yet…). In this book, Marc shared a lot on the early days and the issues and memories they had – I loved reading it because it brought back so much memories of FV’s early days too. So many teething problems like email templates, server crashes, begging companies to collaborate with you, getting rejected by VCs, so many that he shared. Did you know Netflix started as site that sells and rents DVDs?

One of my favourite stories was a coupon deal that they did. They were desperate to get Samsung’s attention but Samsung didn’t entertain them as they were just a small startup. So they went to Toshiba instead and Toshiba took the bait. Because of this, Samsung felt threatened and they said ok to collaborate. Haha. Kinda like dating in real life too huh – you want the guy only after you see him with another girl. Anyway, so they did a “Buy one Samsung DVD player, and get 10 free DVD rentals from Netflix” to tap on Samsung’s customer database. Customers had to enter the serial number of the DVD player into Netflix website to redeem. Suddenly they saw a HUGE HUGE increase on free DVD rentals that were causing them a lot of money loss. They thought something was fishy. They went to the local electronics store and they found the problem – the serial number was written OUTSIDE of the box. So no one had to buy anything, they can just key in the serial number into Netflix website and got 10 free rentals just like that. Customers – 10, Netflix – 0.

And many more of these kind of stuff that he shared. It was so interesting and relatable. Even giant companies make such simple mistakes, and they’ll always bounce back if they don’t give up! They also had partner problems, Reed actually told Marc to step down as CEO and he should be CEO instead, but Marc knew it was the right decision as the company moves from startup to scaleup. Reed then took the company to greater heights, laser focused, with Marc by his side as President. The book was so honest and so heartwarming, sharing the pains of what startups go through.

I won’t spoil it anymore for you (go read this book!) but here are some lessons that stood out the most for me:

  1. Focus. A company must always focus. Don’t try to do too many things at once. (He calls this the Canada principle where Netflix chose not to expand out of the US yet because even though Canada looked tempting, it meant that the team would lose focus and split resources)
  2. No doesn’t always mean a no.
  3. You can write a business plan, but reality is that it will change many many times. Be adaptable. (If they followed their business plan, they’d still be selling DVDs and probably be bankrupt now)
  4. People will always tell you “That will never work”. His advice is that “Nobody knows anything”. Just do it, because you will only fail if you don’t try.

After reading this book, I realised that I got more excited as he talked about the company in the latter part of the book – the unicorn part, the big data part, the IPO part. I love that dream, I love that vision, I love that challenge of growing a big company. Even though startups have so many fun memories, the scaleup part excited me more. There’s no right or wrong, obviously, it’s just personal preference. So even though I loved the book, I related more to Reed than Marc. Funny how you discover yourself more and more as you read more books.

Hope this review helped!

Ok, brb. Gotta get FV to $150Billion. LOL.