staycay at The Residence in Bintan

we did a one night staycay earlier this month at Bintan’s The Residence to celebrate NG’s birthday. the hotel opened in Feb and is still a work in progress: there’s plenty of landscaping that’s not completed, and also the pathways have not been tarred. many activities were also not operating yet.

it was pretty empty when we checked in. most of our the neighbouring units were unoccupied, and we were pretty much the only guests for dinner that night at the “halal” restaurant. by that i mean the restaurant that also offers dishes with wine in it 🤦🏻‍♀️ ok takpe, moving on.

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fatima al-zahra – the leader of the women in jannah (course review)

once in a while, i come across learning materials that change my life.

aida azlin’s course on sayyida fatima az-zahra: leader of the women in jannah is one of them. it’s a 20-lesson online course conducted with her friend, fadhilah wahid.

i signed up out of curiosity because i realised that while we hear stories of nabi muhammad saw’s wives such as khadijah ra and aisha ra, i can’t seem to recall many stories of his daughter fatimah az-zahra. according to a hadith narrated by aisha ra, the Messenger saw had whispered in fatimah ra’s ear that she will be the leader of the women in jannah. masyaAllah.

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Watermelon is one!

Watermelon turned one without much fanfare. I was excited in the days leading up to it, but the day came and went, and she was still the Watermelon that we knew.

Chey. With all the hype I’d allowed myself to build, I thought she would transform overnight but no leh, never.

A birthday party was never on the cards because I think they look more stressful than enjoyable for the parents, and my plan is to throw one on her 5th birthday instead. InsyaAllah. I had a 5th birthday party myself and to this day I still remember some details of that day and still think of it as one of my happier childhood memories, alhamdulillah.

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umrah with baby

alhamdulillah, we fulfilled our intention to perform umrah with NG’s parents and Watermelon earlier this month.

i was anxious about what the experience with Watermelon was going to be like, but now that it’s over, i realise i need not have worried so much. alhamdulillah with God’s grace she was easy on us. save for a handful of cranky episodes, she was generally cheerful and slept well. bringing her to the mosque for congregational prayers was not too difficult — though Baby Bites (biscuits) quickly became the standard bribe 🤣

she had plenty of fans (“mashallah mashallah!”) and received a lot of kisses and sweets from strangers. the kisses, i mentally prepared myself that they might happen. so i made plenty of doa that Allah swt protects her from illnesses 😬 the sweet treats, i sacrificed myself and ate them on her behalf. you’re very welcome, Watermelon! mmyum.

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a public declaration: my “no shopping” goal


(that is how out of my comfort zone i am going out, starting with the basmalah, though technically it would be good for me to start every entry with that)

recently an IG friend posted about this NYT article on not shopping for an entire year. she then shared that since Eid 2017, she had done the same too after realising that she still had unworn outfits from previous years’ sales AND new packages were still arriving every so often. “it was a disease,” she mused.

and soooo i have decided to do the same, insyaAllah.

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what’s going on

feels like I haven’t had much to blog about, short of updating about the mundane stuff like what I feed Watermelon for dinner (not much), how many teeth she has (zero) and if she can walk (no, not yet).

the most exciting update is probably our plans to perform umrah soon-ish, InsyaAllah. the plan is for three of us plus my MIL and FIL to go in mid-January. we chose an off-peak period since none of us are tied to school holidays. omigosh please help to pray that Allah swt will ease our affairs! my biggest worry is how Watermelon will behave when I’m joining the congregational prayers. as cute and pouty as she is, she can be clingy/insecure when she doesn’t have her hand on any part of my body so … good luck to us girrrl. other things I’m worried about are whether we can keep her sufficiently warm in the cool temperature, and how she is going to behave on the plane and on the long bus rides 😔

if anybody has tips on performing umrah with a 1 yo baby, please share! 😘

we went to KL late last month, for a super short 2d 2n trip with friends. 9mo Watermelon on a plane ride is much different from her 4mo self when we went to Krabi. this time she didn’t want to sleep and instead was very interested in the various flyers in the seat pocket, including the bak kut teh ad at the back of the magazine. astaghfirullah sis, mengucap! anyway, luckily it was just a 45 min flight but I already dread our next flight…

because we had limited time in KL, we planned a super packed programme on our full day there. it was so long that Watermelon got maaaad cranky at the end of it. even all that babywearing couldn’t save her. I learnt that babies will always need a safe and quiet place to retreat to. there’s a limit to how long you can bring them out for, even if you keep them close to you in a carrier.

what else… ooh, Aunt Flo appeared in my life again! at about 10 months post partum, not bad huh. what this means is baby number two, here we come!!! ok, ok, I kid. hold on, let me scoop NG’s heart from the floor and put it back inside him. I mean, I would really love a number two (and three! and four! cue major 7.0 on the Richter scale eye roll from my husband) but I don’t think we’re ready, if we can help it. of course if Allah swt should decide that it is our rezeki soon, then I would say Alhamdulillah, now let me shop for a newborn woven wrap… #buyallthewraps

lastly, I figured some time back that since I don’t have enough themes to group my thoughts into blog posts, I could turn to … microblogging. hee. I’ve been tweeting at @krakentweets. so that’s where all the mundane stuff have been hiding, actually. hope to see you there?

an honest conversation about work (part 1)

october/november is the time of appraisals, and it’s been made clear to me: i haven’t been doing well since returning back to work. i’m not as alert and thorough as i used to be, and it’s been noticed by some higher ups. eeps.

needless to say, it has been an uncomfortable and depressing place to be.

the last time i struggled in my career was when i had just switched jobs, but back then it was, i suppose, more understandable that i had many new things to learn and adapt to.

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my reviews on baby products

Watermelon is 9mo and homg does time fly by or what. 9mo is a delightful phase coz her cheeks are fluffing up, she smiles lots and giggle lots, she can sit up but can’t crawl yet (i.e. Hurricane Watermelon has not landed yet) … in general super cute. sorry to gush about my own daughter, hope i’m not making you puke! i realise that when i say other people’s babies are cute pre-kids, i meant other people’s 7mo-9mo babies are cute. and not the newborn stage or younger, ya know what i mean? 😉

anyway, today’s post shall update about how my baby fair purchases are doing. i had two posts from last year (here and here), and i thought i’d do a quick review one year later.

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keeping up with this changing life

hola! it’s been 3 months of being a working mum — oh wow, how time flies. it really does get easier with time, though the hard times were genuinely tough at that point in time.

some things have become so natural, like heading home straight. it’s not even a thought anymore about how sad it is that i can’t singgah shops at say, Bedok Mall on the way home. i’ve found a regular grab hitch driver that i engage maybe 1-3x a week. we chat a lot during the drive home, so it’s really nice.

pumping is also a tad better now. i generally have a better yield after a hearty meal although i don’t take chances and have some milk boosters at my desk. for now i’m relying on @mamalait’s brownies and Milo with oats, brown rice wheat and barley. i still have one pack of cookies from my earlier order from another baker but to be honest i’m dreading eating them because they’re bitter 🙊 i also have @bymommadee’s nursing aid and mother’s milk supplements, but i’ve not been actively using these two recently. heh.

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