being a mom

we have to share

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Every morning the kids wake up and after showering and eating, they play in the toys area. So it’s really a party-pooper thing to go “Daniel, it’s time for school!” and both of them look at me like go-away-Mommy-we-are-playing. There’s no way I can get Daniel excited to leave the house if he’s playing happily with his toys. So one day, I just said “Come on, Daniel, we’re going to be late. You know what, just take your toy and bring it to school.”

Like magic, he stood up and brought his toy guitar to school.

The next day, he brought a toy car.

The next day, he brought Mariam’s pink picnic basket.

The next day, a book that I like to read to him at night.

Thing is, none of these toys make it back home! They’re either lost in school, cause fights because the other children want to play with them too, or Daniel simply left them lying around somewhere. That’s like 100 bucks lost everyday. Daniel going to school = not good economy for the household.

Today, Daniel said, “I want to bring these blocks to school, Mommy.”

“No Sayang, just leave them at home, please?”

“No, Mommy, I want to bringgggggg.”

“No cannot, later the other children want to take it from you.” 

He looked at me and frowned. And then said, “Mommy, we have to share ok?” before turning around and getting his bag.

OUCH.

Burn.

#whenyourkidgetstoosmartforyou

#futureRIPtoalltheothertoysinthehouse

ducks (the 6 of us) growing up loved ones

us ducks

I don’t mention them enough and I really should because they pushed me to blog from the very beginning, and this blog is even named after them. Many ask me, why Proudduck? Well, let me take you back to 2002 where I met this crazy group of girls in school. We grew up together, saw each other everyday, threw notes at each other in classes, talked about college boys together, went through scary exams together. My high school sweethearts were really these girls, we called ourselves the Ducks. Silly I know, but because of that name, we stood the test of time, distance, continents, everything! We stayed close beyond high school and thanks to Facebook and now WhatsApp, not a day goes by without us talking to each other. My phone is filled with selfies of them because we have this thing where we check in to each other and send a “what are you doing now” picture of ourselves to show the rest.

Everyone’s at different stages of their lives now, went to different unis, have different friends who the rest have never met, fell in and out of love with guys the rest have never met but only spoke about, but it’s so interesting how we are all still so united. Two of us are married with kid(s); myself and Pot (a doctor who we all get free consultations about the tiniest bump/rash/bruise/”is this cancer, am I dying” questions) who lives in Singapore after marrying someone from there. Tek lived and worked in the UK (specifically Asos!!) and now is back in KL working at FashionValet (woohoo!), battling a long distance relationship with a nice guy from Germany. Seriously, where are all the good guys in KL?! Boot is back in KL now, on her way to become a hotshot lawyer and I seriously live vicariously through her and her wild adventure about town. We also have Sof (who btw set up this WordPress for me so I owe my whole blogging career to her), she is living life in London as a big lawyer and has no plans to return to KL. All you need to know is she earns BIG bucks in GBP so we are all very nice to her. Last but not least, there’s Amy, who just got married recently and we all witnessed her looking pretty in a white dress tonight at her wedding reception.

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Missing Sof tonight, but Baby Hayley is much cuter so it’s ok.

It’s so crazy how 14 years ago, we were giggling in the classroom. And now, so much has changed in our lives, yet we giggled so much in the ballroom tonight like old times. Feels so familiar and it was as if we were going to school again tomorrow or something. Ahhh… made me realise how fast time flies and no matter where you go in life, some things from the past should always be taken with you on your journey. In hopes that it will keep you grounded and remind you of your good memories growing up while making new memories together.

For me, that’s my fellow Ducks.

That’s why I’m Proudduck; proud to be a “duck”.

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Not proud of our old photos though…*facepalm*

Love you guys long time!

being a mom being a mrs

that scratch

Yesterday, Dean and Daniel were wrestling around at home, like they always do, they think they’re some UFC champion guys. -___-” And Daniel accidentally scratched Dean in the face. A little bit of blood came out and we were all panicking, super drama as if someone lost an arm or something. Dean cleaned the wound and kept going ahhhh (in pain) as he put some clean tissue on it. Daniel? He fell asleep, clearly not that concerned.

Anyway, Dean had to go to Jakarta today for a day trip, so when he got back I served him late supper and we hung out at the dining table. His scar was so big guys, but I didn’t want to make him feel conscious about it. He kept talking about his day and as interesting as it was, I couldn’t stop staring at his scar.

“Sorry baby, that’s interesting I’m sure but I’m not listening anymore. That scratch!” I said, pointing at his face, half laughing and half sympathetic.

“I know! Everyone kept looking.”

“Did anyone ask you about it?”

“Yeah, even the immigration lady!” 

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People must have thought Dean was in some gangsta street fight that could’ve upped his macho manhood a bit, but oh if they only knew…

That the scary gangsta who beat Dean up looked like this.

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Oh, Daniel!

travel tales working girl

a weekend in manila

The kids are asleep now and I’m still chuckling to myself on Daniel’s greeting the moment Dean and I got back home from the airport.

“Mommy, you went to Malala?”

“Huh?”

He looked up to think. “Malina?”

“Ohhh! Manila! I went to Manila, sweetheart.”

Kids are so cute la seriously.

I just got back from a nice weekend in Makati, Manila. There’s this AirAsia Designer Search competition and as one of the main judges, I have to travel to 5 different countries to judge designers there. It’s been super fun, but I’ve basically sacrificed 5 weekends which means I’m working nonstop for these couple of months *cries*. But it’s quite fun, I have to admit. We were in Jakarta meeting these talented designers last week, and this week was Manila. 3 more to go!

These two came with me too:

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The judging session was a whole day so we didn’t have time to sightsee, but it was still nice to be in the city that was new to me. We had a couple hours to kill so I went to visit the Greenbelt mall area near our hotel, and we had a nice Japanese dinner afterwards. The only thing was that there was a lot of pork everywhere but that was probably because I didn’t look hard enough for a proper Halal restaurant.

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Scarf from dUCk and Magnolia top from Kamiidea, from FashionValet

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Scarf and scarf bag from dUCk, from FashionValet.

Breakfast in bed on a nice Sunday morning before we had to checkout and leave for the airport. I could even sleep in and not feel guilty! Ahhhh if only all Sundays were like this!

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One more day here please?

Anyway, I had to blog about this because I want to remember this forever; During the judging, I got called out because there was someone delivering flowers for me. In The Philippines!! Didn’t think anyone knew me there. I was so so touched, he braved through 2 hours of traffic just to deliver a beautiful (and big) bouquet of flowers that he arranged himself. As if that wasn’t special enough, he handwrote a note that was so sweet.

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It’s because of people like you that makes my job so so worth it. I’ll never forget you, Amirul.

Check out his flower company; @soireeandflora. They’ve got awesome floral arrangements for every occasion!

being a mom

these two

You can probably tell from the frequency of my blog updates that life has been pretty hectic lately. With the reality show, I’m doing so many shoots and appearances that it’s a little overwhelming. And I still have to do my actual work on the laptop etc, and with the traveling, I have been pretty exhausted to be honest. My friends and I were just talking about this; at 20, I could stay up until 2 or 3am, NO PROBLEM. Nowadays… 11pm and I can barely open my eyes anymore. Age is catching up, guys. *noooooo!*

However amidst the chaotic life, I’m feeling very grateful and I’ve really got nothing to complain about. Masyaallah I’ve been very blessed with amazing things and people in my life. And the biggest blessing is in the form of these two cheeky monkeys.

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Coming home from work to these faces….ahhhh nothing, NOTHING compares. They wait by the door and look so excited to receive hugs and kisses from Dean and I.

Sigh, what has parenthood done to us? We’re balls of goo (especially Dean) when it comes to these two. And they’ve grown up so fast and really having distinct characters already.

Mariam is 1 year and 2 months, and is quite reserved and quiet. She can’t talk yet, but she nods at things she wants and she’ll pull your hand to wherever she wants to go (it’s usually the fridge, that fatty). She’ll fight with Daniel if there’s something she wants that he’s holding and this one really is a go-getter. Doesn’t care about anything, will make you cry and walk away. Haha. A realllll Daddy’s girl, this one. She will drop everything and go to Dean the minute he walks in, and won’t want anyone else after that. There was one time when she was crying and I went to her to pick her up, and she shook her head vigorously like No, woman, you’re not the one I’m calling. -___-” She dances the minute she hears music, but she’s pretty expressionless (just like Daniel when he was a baby too) so it’s so funny when she sways her hip and shakes her head, but with a poker face. Ahhh Mariam, you’re just hilarious to watch. Her fav song is this one:

Daniel is almost 3 now and there’s really no point denying; he’s Mommy’s boy for sure. He is extremely manja with me, mornings with him include me having to roll around and tickle him in bed to wake him up, he always insists that Mommy showers him, and he gets really mad when Dean hugs me (somewhere inside there, I’m sure he loves Dean.. somewhere inside there…). He talks a lot and he’s really cheeky, always asking questions or doing things that he knows people will laugh at. It’s so weird remembering him as a baby because now, he really isn’t one anymore… you can hold a full-on conversation with him, he’s like a little adult! “Mommy, is it nighttime already?” “Mommy, where did the moon go?” “The moon go home?” “Mommy, sit here and look at me play puzzle.” For an hour… Yes, boss. -__-“

Yesterday, Dean was praying Isyak and Daniel looked at me asking, “Mommy, you no pray?”

How do I explain period to an almost 3-year old? Errr… I decided to spare myself the headache of teaching a toddler the mechanics behind a uterus, and went the easy route. “I’ll pray later,” I told him easily.

He then ran around the room jumping around.

“Hey hey, no running around. Why don’t you pray as well? Go follow Daddy.”

“Oh no, Mommy. I’ll pray later like you.”

Ah crap.

#howdoifixthis?

working girl

my pa

Let me just start by saying by blogging about her, it doesn’t mean I love her more than the rest of the FV team. On the contrary, she’s not even top 20 really. Yawnnnnn. But fine, she’s always with me and she’s people’s point of contact, so I need to introduce her to you guys. Let’s be real, I can’t get through an instagram post without a “Please blog about Iman” request. Swear she pays you guys to write that.

One fine afternoon, I was late to everything and my HR Amy sat me down and told me it’s time I have an assistant. I was like no wayyy I’m not gonna be one of those snooty people who says “Oh please just talk to my PA.” (Totally am now, love ittt! Ahhaha JUST KIDDING). After some convincing and condescending examples of how I’m all over the place, I don’t hand in work on time, the team doesn’t know who to forward “Vivy” queries and calls to, and I’m late to everything because I forget things, I agreed to just meeting the shortlisted candidates Amy picked out.

I met some really nice ladies, but after my interview with Iman, I remembered turning to Amy and saying “I love her please hire her I need her in my life.” And the rest was history. She had me at “I’m obsessed with the phone, I really can’t stand when people don’t reply me but there are blue ticks.” THOSE DANG BLUE TICKS I HATE THEM TOO. I kept quiet when she said that, because I needed to process it… I have found my soulmate, guys.

I told Amy let’s test this woman. Amy called her the next day to tell her she got the job and she has to come in and start TODAY. When she was in the office that day, I knew this was a keeper.

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My first picture of her. #imverysweet #womanwhatareyouwearing?!

What made me hire her? Well, in her interview she said:

She was good at photography

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Dunno what art this is!

She would always make her boss look good

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Her most-liked photo on Instagram -__-“

She’s very good with kids

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Mariam’s desire to escape here is proving otherwise

She’s very organised

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Clearly someone you’d trust with your life

She doesn’t get tired easily

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Wake up!

But jokes aside….

What drew me to her at the interview? When I asked her why she wants the job, she said “To be honest, I don’t know. I’m not very fashion-y but I was given some good advice; When looking for a job, look for the person you want to work for, not the job.”3t OMG I felt so special like wow this girl really knows how to suck up. And I felt like she was so honest, because yeah, I wasn’t feeling her choice of printed scarf.

And second thing I like to test is their character. I asked Iman how was her ex-boss like. The usual interviews are always a little sigh followed by a complaint about their previous workplace. But Iman’s face lit up, “Oh, Karen! She was like the light of my life. Although I had to move on, I still have so much respect for her. Of course, there were ups and downs but I loved working for her.” I admired her for saying that because it shows that she’s not a complainer and she only spoke kindly of people.

You can see from my instagram how much this woman plays a part in my life. There’s just something about her that exudes positivity and happiness that honestly, even Dean has pointed out that I’m more excited at work when Iman is there cheering me on. I guess that’s just it. Everybody thinks a PA is just someone who sets up meetings and stuff, but the power of PA is so much more than that. PAs who don’t love their jobs is clearly not seeing the big picture, because if you’re alongside the head of the company, you get to learn so so so much and see everything. Even Iman said her job is so eye-opening and rewarding, but with that, also comes a lot of crap. Haha.

For me, I need someone to challenge me, to sense things I can’t sense, to see things I can’t see, to motivate me. And it’s really not easy to be a PA because you’re constantly putting your boss’ needs before yours. It doesn’t matter to Iman if she had a bad morning because when I come into the office, she’s there with a smile and she greets me with her chirpy Morning!!. No matter what task I give her, sometimes even impossible ones, she’ll go, “I’ll sort it out. You go do your thing.” That’s what I love about her; she doesn’t give excuses and she researches things she doesn’t know, I don’t have to spoonfeed anything to her. Except maybe macarons. Her working hours are endless, if I work or travel on the weekend, she has to come, and she’s still in at 8am the next day.

A good PA senses when you are happy and when you are down. And she knows how to handle it. She gives me a pick me up even when I don’t expect one, but puts a stupid joke at the end to make you laugh. Work is serious stuff but it’s a huge bonus if you get to have fun and make new friendships while you’re at it.

Some of our screenshots:

It was a tough day for me but nothing new and I was really ok. But she was so sweet to text me at the end of the day.

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Fred is my friend who Iman has a #bosscrush on, dingbat. And her sister is super wonderful so I always tease her that I’ll fire her and take her sister.

But hey, I’m just as sweet. On her birthday, I gave her a present:

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I’m lucky to have her in my life and I hope you have an “Iman” in your life too (I don’t mean an assistant, but just someone wonderful and genuine in your life). But having said that, I’m also lucky to have many other amazing people at FV and she’s not in my Top 20 at FV yet. Maybe next year. If her photography skills improve. We’ll see.

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blogging media working girl

love, vivy

If you’ve been following my instagram, you’d know the big news already. I’m having a reality show on Astro Ria!!!!

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It was a long process and we’ve been in talks for months already, and I’ve had my fair share of roller coaster emotions; should I, should I not, should I, should I not.. My goshhhh, who do you ask about this?! Hey Kim, did you regret having a reality show? Hahahaha. But anyway, after getting the support of everyone and seeing how much it can benefit FashionValet, I thought mehhh life is short. Let’s do it. But don’t expect it to be like Kardashians or anything, because this show is far from all the trashy drama. Nobody becomes a girl here hehe!

 I never imagined myself to have a reality show revolved around my life, but I really wanted to do this for FashionValet. People know FV from their computer screen, shopping online, but I think what happens behind the scenes is so interesting that it should be shared. Our ups and downs, our challenges, everything in the show is real and are true events that happen. I think it’ll be very good because e-commerce industry is booming now and everyone is going online, so they should have a glimpse of how it’s really like. I’m so proud that Love, Vivy (was originally Sincerely, Vivy, but Astro advised us to change it and make it catchier) is the first of its kind, especially in Malaysia. Not every company will want you to see their ups and downs, up close, on camera some more! 

To make the show more complete, there will be a mix of my personal life; how I juggle being an entrepreneur, being a wife, a daughter and being a mother, and also trying to keep up with writing on my blog. Each episode ends with me writing on my blog and each episode is like me writing to you, hence the title. Everyone is asking me whether Daniel and Mariam will be in the show, and when I say yes, they’re so excited so now I think it should be called Love, Daniel and Mariam. Hehe.

There will be 8 episodes in total. And most importantly, each will feature 1 or 2 of the top local designers we have on FashionValet and their Raya collection this year. It is always FV’s aim to make local designers more known to the public so we can appreciate our own local talent, so I’m very happy this show allows us to do that.

It’s been a crazy ride, now I kind of know how Kim Kardashian feels like. Haha. I had the CelebrateTV and ManggisTV crews follow me everywhere, to KL, to Jakarta, to Brunei, to Singapore and they’ve seen all the good and bad of me. Now as the shooting is almost complete, I will miss them dearly! Thank you Kak Naz, Faiz, Abang Pojee, Syida, Ela and the team.

Some pics to share:

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Thank you Kak Naz for believing in me. You were the start of all of this!

The show starts TONIGHT. The first episode will be an establishment episode where we have to introduce me and my family and FV, for those who don’t know what it’s all about. For those who do, you might wanna skip it. But I hope you don’t because there are 7 more episodes to come!!

Every Monday on Astro Ria and Astro Ria HD, at 9.30pm.

Hope you guys like it!!!