no shopping goal 2018: Q1 update

hello! hard to believe March has ended which means … time to do a quarterly update on my No Shopping Goal.

oh … i’ve been bad. and good. but mostly bad 🙈

wraps/carriers i bought

⁃ Carry Om Phoenix Fire: i’ve been admiring this purple to orange colourway for a long time. so when the weaver opened a draw for a right to buy this wrap, i entered my name. why? i don’t know. i didn’t think i would win but … i did. omg, panic. ha ha. the consolation is that i looove the wrap: the colours, the weave, and the wrap qualities. and i have been wanting to try her tencel so ok lah, happy jugak.

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a public declaration: my “no shopping” goal

bismillahirrahmanirahim.

(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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don’t be so like that!

recently i caught myself having a defeatist attitude twice:

#1: husband on holiday

insyaAllah NG has a work incentive trip next year, and we’re planning a family holiday before or after it. initially i was quite gung ho: i thought maybe two weeks of the family together and then NG goes on the incentive trip by himself with his colleagues.

but then i realised — rather belatedly — that it would mean me being alone at home with Watermelon! means sending her to ifc, rushing to work, then rushing back to fetch her, and settling her down all by myself 😱

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our first Ramadhan and Syawal together

when ramadhan rolled around, I planned to wake up earlier than usual to help mama kraken prepare sahur. I figured that I better start practising waking up super early and getting myself comfy in the kitchen, in case we are on our own next year. gone are the days where I could wake up after food is served on the table, waiting for me.

so in the beginning of ramadhan, I succeeded in waking up about half an hour earlier to help mama kraken to at least set the table. unfortunately as ramadhan progressed, my resolve regressed. I started waking up later and later and eventually barely helped much to prepare sahur. whoops.

I also had grand plans of learning from mama kraken how to cook this month. that one also fail because usually after I reached home from work, I’d be too tired (and admittedly lazy). padahal I adjusted my working hours (again) such that I get to knock off at 5.00pm. hai. I really worry about how I’m going to prepare food for sahur once we have our own place. guess I’ll have to try harder in the next few months to learn from mama kraken while I’m still at my parents’. alternatively, I could get NG to do the cooking for us ha ha. I’m happy to do the dishes seh. but no lah. new roles as a wife and homeowner means I must work hard and learn new skills. menyesal jugak tak belajar masak dari dulu…

the BTO

but anyways the possibility of us observing the next ramadhan, kalau panjang umur insyaAllah, at our new house is 50-50. our BTO’s probable completion date (PCD) is 2Q 2016. I’m hoping and expecting to get the keys by 1Q 2016. I believe the days when projects are ready about 6 months earlier are over cos of labour crunch and all the recent hooha on defects. perhaps the contractor will take longer to do their own inspections. there was a recent project in my neighbourhood when the keys were handed over after the PCD so yeh. we shall see.

I’ve begun to look at renotalk to familiarise myself with reno jargon and collect ideas. fun ah reading the t-blogs. some of the writers are so gerek, I cannot. also, this means that I’m back to saving hard for the next milestone in my life. it doesn’t end does it? but takpe lah. it’s a rite of passage for anyone who settles down. and I should be thankful that i have this one year to save — I’m not sure if I could have made it if I needed to save for both wedding and house at the same time :/

back to our first ramadhan together … or not.

another “highlight” was that I spent the first week (and the one before that) apart from NG. he was in LA and San Fran for his incentive trip, which he earned after hitting some performance targets at work. it was the most miserable time of my life. haha. I mean, I knew about the trip before the wedding, but back then i didn’t think much about what it was going to be like as a new-ish wife being left behind by her new-ish husband. it’s like this -> (T_T). you know lah pengantin baru. we want to be together 24/7 where possible. sorry kalau meluat, but it’s the truth!

so yea I have newfound respect for wives whose (new) husbands get posted overseas. it’s not easy dealing with the loneliness or trying not to be petty over little things to make up for the lack of attention and couple time. it probably gets easier over the years when the marriage is more stable and stronger (insyaAllah). but for me, it was a dark place. espesh when I was having bad days at work and he be posting photos like this:


monterrey beach in california

geram kannn! nonetheless, I must be thankful that he came back home safe and sound. alhamdulilllah. all this was in mid to late June, during the time when Singapore and the Malay community were reeling in the sad news of the Sabah earthquake victims and the unexpected departure of a young actor. the general mood was somber and we had reminder after reminder that death comes anytime…

alamak now this entry so sad pulak.

ok, ok other than that, ramadhan with a husband is very sweet. in previous years we saw each other less during ramadhan, but insyaAllah starting from this year, we get to sahur together and plan for raya together and split duit raya into half hahaha ok just kidding. (it’s not true because you also have twice the amount of people to give.) and of course the best part is having extra hands to help with house cleaning, woo!

because I’m still staying with my parents, my first ramadhan as a wife wasn’t too foreign. can’t say the same for NG, though. but perhaps a key difference now is splitting our buka appointments between both families, friends and work. and it’s interesting to observe the differences between our family cultures wrt Ramadhan. luckily there was nothing too striking to warrant major adjustments from either of us, so it was all good. alhamdulillah.

our first syawal

hari raya… let’s just say there are good days and then there are bad days ha ha. padahal it’s only the first week eh.

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April finish already

wah sehhh May 2015 is here!

khatam Quran – checked!

happy news! alhamdulilah, with Allah’s blessings, I khatam-ed the Quran earlier this week..! *throws confetti* phewwww. i looked back at old entries and realised it took me 7 months of chiong-ing to accomplish this. it may sound short, it may even sound like a wonderful idea to some, but i would definitely recommend budgeting a longer time if you plan to read all 30 juz together with a guru ngaji. cos coordinating schedules can be tough, and in the middle of the journey you may panic about whether you will make it, and towards the end you may feel burnt out. just as i did, to be very honest. i still remember the one weekend where i chiong-ed four ngaji sessions — it felt great but was very tiring at the same time.

am super super grateful for the support of my three guru ngaji who gave up their time to take turns to vet my reading. they were very attentive and also taught me new stuff about tajweed 🙂 alhamdulilah! it also helps that one of them is more Type A, so i suspect she was as driven as i was to see my complete my goal. may Allah swt reward them all :’)

my spa experience

you know the problem with really looking forward to something and having high expectations is that you set yourself up for disappointment. i went to spa by norfa and kinda felt like that.

i took the royal indulgence exotic package which includes a body massage, body scrub, and hair mask. the good part first: the scrub and jacuzzi experiences were my favourite. i picked the strawberry scent, yums. the scrub itself is a little cold (and therefore slightly uncomfy when they lather you) but after that they wrap you up and leave you alone for 15 mins. so i fell asleep sampai termimpi-mimpi semua lulz. then they bring you to the tub to soak. then they switch on this button and WHOOOSH suddenly got water gushing out sia!!! ok lah in my grogginess i forgot it was a jacuzzi tub but anyhoos it was niiice. it’s the ultimate indulgent me-time — definitely a favour BTBs should consider giving themselves 😉

i was also pleasantly surprised that they offered me free ear candling as part of their promo. i’ve done ear candling before, but this was my first time having the therapist massage my head while the candle was in my ear. haha eeps. after a while you can sense that the candle is getting shorter. so by this time, i’m screaming inside my head to my therapist to PLZ PLZ STOP MASSAGING JUZ PAY ATTENTION but of course on the outside i probably (hopefully?) look like i’m zen-ning out. well, no ears or hair were burnt, so it was just the fear of the unknown getting to me.

then i thought the hair mask was gonna be good, but aiyoh! she was kinda rough. i dunno if it’s cos my hair was extra tangled that day but i totes did not enjoy having my hair grabbed and tugged on. this part i visibly frowned but maybe the room was too dark and she didn’t pick up my cues. haha. my hair is softer now lah, but seriously. not worth the pain and annoyance. next time i’m gonna try the creambath at Pearlista instead.

lastly, the part i was most disappointed with was the body massage. i felt like the technique wasn’t really there. unfortch this matters a lot, espesh for massage buffs like me. sooo even though the scrub experience was good, i’m not sure i would return. i guess this is always a risk with masseuses, you have to try out for yourself to see whether you like their style or not. on hindsight i wish i had gone to Sri Bayu instead. bought a Groupon from them some 4-5 years back and danggg the kakaks there were gooood. though i’m not sure if they’re still there, so again, another risk.

but anyway this was a treat by my bridesmaids (alhamdulilahhh) so i do feel bad whining. i had chosen this spa because their FB page has a bunch of good reviews. nonetheless i did leave the place feeling (and looking, i think!) more refreshed so it was overall still a relaxing and pampering experience. plus i knew from the beginning of wedding planning that i wanted to do a bridal spa (hee mentel!) so i’m lucky to have gotten what i wanted.

the last stretch

wah in just a couple of days i will no longer be a BTB. insyaAllah! had a great long weekend cos it was surprisingly chill. managed to get quite a bit of things done without any pressure. i also set up an FB event page of my reception. actually i feel very paiseh cos it’s like putting myself out there, but it’s all part of a strategic grand plan so we shall see how it turns out.

i can feel the bridezilla / kraken bubbling inside me sometimes. wanting things THIS way and THAT way. i do feel kinda bad imposing my preferences on other people, but then i kinda justify to myself as trying my best. haha. like, i don’t want to regret after the wedding by thinking “alamak, i should have informed XX to do so-and-so”. so if my make my wishes known but my orang kuat decide that something else would be better, then so be it. at least i know i thought it through, and that i tried.

hopefully i will soon reach that point when i feel like i’ve pushed myself enough and am ready to let go and tawakkal. hopefully this moment does not come late on fri night or worse, sat morning. ha ha. and hopefully too, i will feel better about everything cos there are moments when i’m soooo grumpy and angry at the world. sian.

so here’s to my last days at work before i disappear for 3 weeks; to my outfit fitting appointment; my henna appointment; our fresh flower DIYs; setting up the day before; our two receptions; our honeymoon; and to a blissful lifetime ahead of us ❤ insyaAllah. thanks for accompanying me on this journey!

family meeting on wedding programme

yesterday we had a Family Meeting to discuss my wedding programme. I was a bit anxious going into it cos I was afraid I would have to overhaul my prog or something. you know, like when you think you have it all nicely planned out and then a sibling or a parent asks “but what about…”

thankfully, nothing (much) like that. we also settled my biggest worry — thanks to my sister stressing me out over her stressing out over this — which is my rombongan / bridal party accompanying me to ninja groom’s reception at night. mama kraken has already secured a core group of close relatives who are willing to stay for the evening, and we’ll also get the help of close neighbours and my bridesmaids to make my send off party more merry insyaAllah. this also means having to watch the time very closely because it wouldn’t be fair to NG and his reception if we’re late so… wish us luck please!

my new worry is the seating plan for my nikah. I’ve always wanted to follow the Malaysian-style where the bride sits on the floor in the same space as the kadi, wali and groom. as opposed to the Singaporean style where the bride sits either in her bedroom, on the chair on the dais, or on a chair in a corner of the room. I was hoping to draw up this seating plan in advance, which means knowing which other uncles will also be sitting on the stage, but mama kraken said we don’t know yet; we have to see who’s there; we have to invite whoever who is there up on the stage (cos we don’t want to offend anybody) and I’m like whaaaaat. there’s limited space on the CC stage kay. and also I want NG to be in my line of sight lulz. otherwise the back of someone’s head is going to be the target of my glares. ok kidding! tak manis kan. it was agreed that we’ll settle this on Fri night when we’ve seen the actual set up. hopefully we find a win-win solution.

Islamic talk by Yasmin Mogahed

anyway, alhamdulilah yesterday I also attended my first Yasmin Mogahed talk at Downtown East. her main message was to love Allah swt most. she also talked about how everything that happens to us is also His Creation, and how there are typically 3 responses when faced with a challenge.

(1) asking “why me?” ie rejecting His Will
(2) with patience/sabr ie accepting His Will
(3) with contentment/redha ie being grateful for His Will, for difficulties are an opportunity for Allah swt to elevate us

do note that above summary is really just scratching the surface. she also shared that it’s normal to be human and feel sad during difficult times and still redha. wallahu a’lam.

so yep thought it was an insightful session. reflected on my responses to certain developments in wedding planning and realised that I could have responded better towards some of the incidents. insyaAllah I hope to carry these lessons with me too for the next chapters in my life. 

hoping for this week to be better than the last two…

the temporarily difficult days (part 1 of 2)

hallluuuu. last week was personally a difficult week for me. lots of irritation, frustration, anxiety, and a bit of loneliness and sadness. so drama right? memang.

thankfully, the weekend turned things around. here’s a recap of some of the … memorable … incidents, and also some of the recent achievements/milestones.

incident 1: hair salon

the short story is that I was very, very annoyed when I turned up for my hair apmt on tue night, only to find out that the stylist was on MC … and they didn’t tell me. I left the place fuming, though I recognised at once that this was a test, albeit in the middle of already testy times.

so I made a new appointment for Sat. and was pleasantly surprised to find my hairstylist crush assigned to me. woohoo! the story is that back in 2007, I got a haircut by this particular lady at the same salon. later that year when I was in another salon in china, the stylist flicked through my hair and commented, language barrier and all, that my previous stylist was good. so I was like wau. she must have been really good for another stylist to say that! now this lady is a senior hairstylist, so I always assumed that requesting for her would entail additional charges. hence I was v happy to ‘randomly’ get her cos I thought I was getting a good deal for my money ah.

it turns out though that there are no extra charges to request for her. and that her only off day is on Tue! so even if my original apmt had worked out, I would have been assigned a different stylist and not her. ma shaa Allah. I felt so silly for being upset when the end result turned out to be even better. hehe. thank you universe for your beautiful arrangement! I’m really loving my hair *blows kisses*

also, do request for Yvonne if you happen to be at Reds @ Tampines Mall. she does a pretty mean job with her scissors 🙂

incident 2: mattress supplier

okay this incident doesn’t have such a happy ending. one afternoon I called the mattress shop to ask if I could come at 6.45pm that evening to pay my balance through credit card. the customer service rep, a young-ish girl whom I had been liaising with on delivery (a bit painful also), seemed bochap about it and said yeah yeah just come before 7.00pm.

so that day I cabut-ed from work slightly earlier and rushed down. at paya lebar MRT, I got a little lost because they closed one of the exits. so I wasted time trying to find out the alternative way to get on the other side of the road. (I ended up tapping in just to get to the correct exit … and then the escalator wasn’t working! sian.)

I was running late and panicking a little. so at 6.50pm when I was a few bus stops away, I called the shop to ask if they could wait for me cos I’m going to be there reaaal soon. no answer. called 2 more times — still no answer. when I alighted, I raaaan the 200m from the bus stop to the shop like a fool, with my big handbag and laptop bag. I had a bad feeling about it … and I was right.

the shop was closed.

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