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!

in 50 days… pre-BEAST mode

hello! 50 days left siaaa. though frankly it feels the same as when it was 150 or 100 days away… macam still very far. but preps wise, won’t be soon before long till it gets into BEAST mode. hur.

so some quick (or not) updates on preps:

– I’ve become less of a procrastinator. These days I feel more anxious to strike things off the to-do list, in anticipation of crunch time later.

– More honeymoon preps. Applied for my visa and my international driving permit (trying to step brave here), booked one of our intercity buses, emailed our hotel to request for early check in (“we would just have completed a 21h red eye flight and would much appreciate M&C’s hospitality,” I wrote pitifully.) Also starting to plan a skeletal itinerary and research on the attractions so we can group the nearby ones together-gether.

– Parents met caterer to bring them on a site visit, finalise menu and deliverables, work out the little details, and pay (a pretty huge) deposit. Though it’s also worth noting that it’s our first payment to them since booking them last year. Conclusion is that the package we’re getting is mad generous. Lots of types of food and nasi berkat to give to guests, not inclusive of the berkat for our relatives. Also, she will provide cutlery for my meja pengantin. Selamat!

– Selected outfits! I was soooo excited about this! I even packed a bag with a baju kurung I was 50/50 about on wearing for nikah so that I could show the mak andam in case the dress I wanted was not available! I also brought tudungs that I bought in anticipation of the dresses I wanted! And then! I was told that I would not be allowed to try out the baju during selection!






Wait… what?

Yeah, terus hampa seh. Hah. It was a good thing I found out about this a few hours before my apmt. I happened to be SMSing them about package prices and all that. Otherwise, my face would have turned black during the apmt seh. Sian lor. But what to do? We chose the dresses off the rack based on the colour, and referenced a lot to previous photos of brides on their FB. So turns out all my stalking was not actually stalking, but legit homework for my selection. 

So anyway, heads up to the relevant BTBs. So you know what to expect. Also I thought my selection apmt was relatively late (<2 mths to wedding), compared to what I hear from my BTB friends who took other bridal houses.

Separately, I’m really glad I brought a bridesmaid with me. She helped to filter the outfits and I pretty much just said yes or no. Hee. Meanwhile, NG sat on the couch and played with his phone most of the time.

– Got a sketch of my pelamin from my decor company. It looks pretty good! And also a floor plan which needs to be rejigged… big time.

– Seems like my skin is deteriorating. Thinking of ordering a new pack of The Regimen from Amazon to salvage it.

– April will be the month of pampering, I think. Salon trip, dental visit, and maybe a spa? 😀

– But April will also be the month of doing my room makeover furreals. Not super looking forward to the work involved, but reminding myself that nothing worth it is ever easy! Must. Work. Hard.

– Speaking of which, I’m also stressed about my majlis khatam Quran. I was just thinking this morning about how I don’t regret at all going on this journey. If I didn’t have this event objective, I think it would have been a lot harder to get over the inertia + nafs of occupying my time with the other things to get into the groove of regular ngaji again. Even if I made a personal resolution to khatam by XX, I think it would have taken truckloads of discipline to strive towards it. However, I also do wish that I started earlier. I now have about 7 weeks to finish the second half of the Quran. It’s a stretch goal. I’m sure at the end of it I would feel a huge, huge sense of accomplishment, but right now I often fret about whether I can clock enough hours each week to ngaji.

– Also, insyaAllah I won’t be the only one to khatam. Mama Kraken, and her friends (10? 20? of them) are sharing the majlis with me. It’s good I guess, though I also feel pressure. My mum is catching up on me! (Ni pun nak competitive eh.)

– Bordering on TMI, some weeks back I went to the GP to get pills. You know, that sort of pills, cos we don’t plan on having kids so soon. I thought I would start about 2 months early because it’s a new routine to get used to. You have to pop the pill around the same time every day. If you miss them, it backfires. I was also pretty worried about potential side effects, and would rather find out now than later. The thing is that every body reacts differently, so the only way to find out is to take a leap of faith and try it. Manufacturers also say it takes about 3-6 months for some side effects to go away. On the advice of UndercoverBride, I doa’ed for a smooth journey before popping my first one. Alhamdulilah, it’s been uneventful thus far though I’m still fairly new. The upside about being on the pill is that your period becomes fairly predictable, so I did my calculations before choosing what date to start 😉

– My invites were long ready. I’m just waiting for a socially acceptable time to start approaching for addresses and sending them out. Lulz. I can’t reconcile the Melayu logic of “not sending too early or people will forget.” Cos in the corporate world, the earlier the notice, the better kan? Nonetheless some cards have gone out, espesh the ones by hand. I also approached some of my Chinese friends and colleagues already, not because they’re higher priority, but because I think it’s more normal for them to receive invites more than 4-6 weeks before a wedding. Two have even asked me “so… where’s my invite?” Haha. 

That’s all the updates for now. To smooth preparations ahead, insyaAllah. 

Oh yeah one last thing! I have my previous years’ raya bajus which are too small for me. Does anyone know any organisation or disadvantaged family whom I can donate them to? The kurungs are generally sizes UK6-8 and more suited for orang muda. Thank you! 

milestones!

assalamualaikum! it has been a happening week. two highlights:

1. ninja groom’s sister got married!

alhamdulilah ninja groom’s sister was safely diijabkabulkan over the weekend. her wedding was a milestone for us/me for two reasons. firstly, when choosing the wedding date, it was agreed that ours would be x months (read: a reasonable interval) after her wedding so that relatives/friends of ninja groom’s parents wouldn’t be invited twice within a short span. so now that her wedding is over, I feel like we’ve passed by a huge milestone. *insert sigh of relief* bet time will fly starting from now!

oh and in case you’re wondering why tak combined terus, it’s cos there wasn’t a lot of interest to do this. mama kraken was just commenting to me: “imagine eh, by now you could have been married.” eeps! as much as I’m counting down to my wedding, my savings masih belum cukup :p I guess I’m quite set on my vision for my wedding reception and I wanna see it happen, even though it’ll take slightly longer to be able to afford it.

the second reason why the future sister in law’s wedding was a milestone is cos it’s the first time I met his relatives. oooh. during our engagement ceremony, only an uncle and wife accompanied his parents to my house. so I’ve not met rest of the uncles and wives and cousins. was it daunting? yeah, a little. but luckily my FMIL brought me around to introduce me to them on Friday night so I just went around salam-salaming before I ran off to help ninja groom run errands and then devour the trademark Friday night tulang. yums.

on the actual wedding day, I had the chance to chat with 1-2 more of his maternal aunts plus hang around with his paternal aunts after we had finished packing up. I’m glad that both sides are nice, friendly and not intimidating. phew!

on a sidenote, the FMIL made her own bunga manggar! she used cloth, green tape, and sapu lidi (punya lidi).

cloth bunga manggar
handmade bungga manggar from different scraps of cloth

cloth bunga manggarclose up

playing with cat 1 on the way to pasting directional signs, we played / teased cats with them lol

playing with cat 2 this one kinda destroyed one of the buds..whoops!

2. today is our engagement anniversary!

been a year since his mum put a ring on it! ok lah although being engaged doesn’t make us a legit halal couple, one year of being engaged is still kinda significant to me. it’s been a great year for us, thankfully. although the wedding date discussion put a lot (and I mean, a lot) of ~tension~ between us in the beginning, the rest of the time has seen us grow closer, more mature and more responsible. I’m just glad to be on this journey towards marriage with no one else but ninja groom. I discover more and more just what a selfless and loving person he is, like when he gives in to my whims and fancies regarding our wedding. and so I trrryyy my best to reciprocate. I’ll shameless admit it’s difficult for a last child like me who never had to give in much (muahaha) but ok la i must evolve and embrace change yah.

lastly, a mini highlight is that I finally overcame inertia to start ngaji over the weekend. wow, I am so incredibly karat. but inertia is a powerful force, and the first step is always the hardest…

majlis khatam al-Quran


(source: thrivalroom.com)

i stumbled upon a lovely picture of a pre-nikah khatam Quran ceremony on IG recently. it looked very regal. the bride sat in the middle of the stage in her glittery baju, flanked by a row of bridesmaids in their matching outfits on each side. i was very moved by the photo. not just by the bride taking the time to read the Quran before her nikah ceremony, but also the fact that she had this circle of ladies/friends/sisters whom she could love the Quran with.

the photo made me realise that i’ve been so caught up chasing after my wedding bucket list that i’ve forgotten about my ancient, unfulfilled resolution to khatam the Quran. i’ve been obsessed with worldly goals like getting better skin, achieving straight teeth, saving up enough so that we can put together a decent wedding reception that i’d forgotten about how once upon a time when i was in my early teens, when i attended ngaji weekly, i’d tell myself “ok i must khatam the Quran this year” at the start of the year for two years. then when i stopped attending ngaji under the guise of CCAs and O level preps, i forgot about it altogether. whoops. or rather, astaghfirullah.

soooo i asked mama kraken about having my own majlis khatam Quran.

me: kat khatam Quran, orang nanti baca jus ‘amma aje eh?
mama k: yes. tapi dorang bukan suka-suka datang baca juz ‘amma aje tau. you kene baca juz 1-30 dulu.
me: haaa
mama k: and you tak boleh baca sorang-sorang. you mesti baca berguru
me: haaaaaaaaa

verily, it is not as easy as i thought. pardon my ignorance! i’ve never been to any majlis khatam Quran nor have i had the chance to discuss with ex-BTBs who held one.

so anyways mama kraken helped me approach her two good friends who happen to be our neighbours, who have agreed to coach me. yay syukur alhamdulilah. i’ll need to work out a schedule though. seems like Saturday mornings can’t be sleep in mornings anymore 😦 i’m sure it might be tiring, challenging, maybe even frustrating… but i pray that i will have the patience + perseverance to see this thru. wish me luck!

if you had a majlis khatam Quran or you’ve attended one, please share your experience cos I’d love to know! 🙂