Friday, 31 July 2015

Lego Table

If you are a fan of IKEA Hackers, you would have seen a few Lego Table hacks by now. 

This is ours. A simple Lack, 2 Bygel rails and some colourful Bygel buckets. We had the Grundtal stainless steel containers and cutlery stands at first but they felt heavy (and noisy when Lego pieces were being thrown back inside). 



This hack has given Bean unlimited new play angles, and he explored new possibilities like never before. The Little Girl loves how accessible the "special pieces" are in plastic buckets without having to rummage through our Samla big box of bricks. Special pieces in her definition means non-brick pieces. 

The Samla transparent box tucks neatly under the Lack table when not in play, which is just awesome! Being transparent, Bean can also easily spot the Lego pieces he wants and aims for them.

We have not screwed down the Bygel rails as The Other Half is worried about damaging the fragile Lack table. He used 3M double-sided tapes instead and those strong tapes have held the weight so far. There are various weight hold grades, be sure to select 3 kg and above. 

We did not choose the Grundtal rails due to the sharper corners, preferring the smoother and rounded finish of the Bygel rails. Babyproofing!

We have not taped down the Lego green play base because we wanted some flexibility and not restrict ourselves to just Lego. After the kids have gone to school, we parents may just want a coffee table to serve the purpose it was designed for - have a hot cup of java on it!

Happy hacking and playing, my lovelies!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

New Kitchen Toy

Our love for zoodles and vegetables juice has led me to this recent purchase of domestic genius from House of Presentation at IPC. No John Lewis/Lakeland/BHS trip this year, remember?

Blessed with limited and compact kitchen real estate, my "problem" has been solved with my Magimix 4200XL. Juicer/smoothie maker attachment; and a separate purchase of  citrus press complete my current need.

Conventional cheese grater, juicer, fruit press, vegetables grater, Kenwood stand mixer, blender, whisk, food processor and spiraliser begone!

Let me be realistic, if there is no electricity at home, I won't be cooking anyways so off to the donation bin go my redundant kitchen appliances and tools. I bet my former cleaning lady will be cheering tomorrow.

Alright, let's keep the precious stand mixer and juicer for now as you will never know when exigencies will call for their recommission. 

As for now, the kitchen island has been cleared for this semi-permanent feature. Pretty sight!

Next up - Thermomix? Ingredients go in, magic happens then food comes out? 
Saturday, 25 July 2015

Snippets: LaundryMonster

The Little Girl victoriously applauded and excitedly exclaimed, "Wow!"

I guess she has only seen a huge mess of laundry to be ironed most of her life.

Let me just bask in this temporal Brabantia glory for the next few hours...
Friday, 24 July 2015

Shawl Crush

My current shawl crush is this instant slip-on, "stays put without any pins" genius from Poplook. I love how I can go from not-ready-to-receive-any-guests to hijab-compliant just as the Salam is returned behind a locked wooden door. 5-6 seconds, maybe? Perfect for receiving food deliveries and courier, awesome!

My wish is to see them in every colour, considering how affordable and wearable they are. True, I have all 3 colours that they have launched; but I just cannot wait for more! Dreaming of navy, dusty mint, lilac and such...

Shawl swish until my next post. Take care, my lovelies!
Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Joys of Shawal

Assalamualaikum and hello, my lovelies!

Here is a note to wish you safe journey home after the recent celebrations. Please observe speed limits, stay alert and take a break at the slightest feeling of needing some fresh air. Safety first, ego does not matter. Lives do.

Open houses aplenty this weekend, so please practice moderation. Please do not show up early as the host may not be ready to receive guests. Please do not show up after the opening hours either. 

Please do not hog the buffet line. Please do not waste food and drinks. Please do not overstay your welcome. I was going to say "please don't ask your host how much -insert whatever item which looks lovely and may cost an arm and a leg- cost", but you should know that already *giggles*

This is my 7th Eidulfitr and I am already accustomed to hosting relatives at The House. I am so glad I have not heard or said anything remotely offensive related to political, racial or religious matters so far. Not even in retort, defence or discussion of current affairs. This, I credit to a short and special supplication of intending a peaceful, harmonious and happy gathering by offering the reunion to Him. Alhamdulillah

In conclusion, my lovelies:

1. Stay safe.

2. Be polite.

3. Have fun!

That will be all. 

p/s: Fresh flowers were curated by The Little Girl. Her first free choice! 
Friday, 17 July 2015

Eid Mubarak!

Happy holidays and journey mercies too, my lovelies. May all your family and relatives have joyous reunion and renew your silaturahim. "And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah and be not divided, and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you" [part of quote from Surah Aal-e-Imran Ayat 103].

May all our pure and cleansed body, heart and soul remain steadfast until the next Ramadhan, inshaAllah. Indeed, every Ramadhan comes to change our souls, alhamdulillah.

May all our acts of worship and good deeds of the last Ramadhan and present be accepted and continuously pleasing to Him.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sahur, Sleep & Such

We are in the final week of Ramadhan for this year and I am starting to really appreciate this Holy Month.

It is my spiritual boot camp and I hope to keep this up for the rest of the year/life.

My daily schedule is slightly altered, as with most fasting mums.

3 am: Wake up, freshen up, cook rice, reheat beef curry/rendang, prepare and cook vegetables, serve meal with hot drink, Evian and dates. "The best Sahur for the Believers is dates." [Abu Dawud, Al-Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban].
As for me, I pray hard Bean stays asleep, haha!

3.45 am: Wake The Other Half up for a hot meal. He does not complain about the lack of variety in our Sahur meals (lucky me!). "Take Sahur as it is a blessing." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

4.30 am: Done with eating, we load up the dishwasher, continue drinking water. "Eating Sahur is blessed. Do not neglect it even if you take a gulp of water." [Ibn Hibban]. Shower and get ready for Fajr/Subh prayers.

5.30 am: Stop all consumption, start of intention to fast for the day, and this largely is a coordination matter in my household, just upon day break. "Eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktum makes his call to prayer. He does not make it until the break of dawn." [Al-Bukhari]. 

5.45 am: Prayers (or breastfeeding Bean). I am constantly working on my Subh! It is much easier for The Other Half, and I "envy" him. 

6.30 am: The Little Girl wakes up for the day. School preparations on weekdays, otherwise she sleeps in on weekends. 

By this time, I am ready to collapse back to bed. The reality is I have school run. I count my blessings because thousands of other working mums have a full time-demanding job to go to! Salute to you ladies, you know who you are, and you know I admire your stamina!

Start of sleep-deprivation report:

I usually get to bed quite late, against my will *sad face* Bean has been having some sniffles and I count myself lucky/super blessed if I can survive on very short nap between 2 and 3 am. I try to sleep by 10 pm as soon as both kids go to bed. Unfortunately, they are not clockwork and sometimes their circadian rhythm or schedule does not work in my favour.

Yes, I nap. Not even sleep. 

After sending The Little Girl to school, I feel so sleepy. Honestly, I am so protected by Allah swt to have made it back home alive without any accidents. MasyaAllah!

By the time I get home around 9.30 am, I choose to ignore the housework and try to nap until 11.30 am. However, I cannot be ignoring my duties every single day, so I have days when I have to at least try to do some laundry or vacuuming. Or groceries, which is in itself equivalent to going to the gym and lift weights.

Bean then comes home and sometimes he will nap at 1 pm, and I gladly join him! This is when I ask The Other Half to help with the afternoon school run so that I can enjoy that 2 hour nap. 

Total nap: 6 hours per day. Alhamdulillah!

Mood: Short fuse and forgetful. Luckily Ramadhan comes to improve/alter that to patience and rememberance of Allah swt, which is a powerful physical, mind and heart boot camp. SubhanAllah

End of sleep-deprivation report.

How has Ramadhan changed you this year? Please do share.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Gratitude: Bebe

Today I am grateful for His mercies, protection and help.

Bebe's fine after spending half a day at the workshop to have its alternator belt replaced. The snap produced a loud klonk that had me worried, in now fixed. The bill is small compared to having to take out a new car loan. We are so glad Bebe is good to go again. Alhamdulillah.

The incident happened just outside of one of the safest place, a police training academy. Alhamdulillah.

(psst: the OCD in me wants to correct the sticker on the tow truck with spelling error!)

managed to steer Bebe out of the heavy traffic to the guard post thus avoided causing blockage to an already congested artery. I would have been nervous if Bebe had been an island of stagnant steel with daggers all over from stares of irritated drivers complete with the one finger salute. He speared me from all harm and negativity. Alhamdulillah.

I waited with a shut down version of Bebe with its hood open at the guard post while being chaperoned by policemen. It felt safe. It could not possibly been safer. Alhamdulillah.

No rogue tow trucks buzzed around me that cool and cloudy morning. It would have been tough to fast, wait out in the humidity or rain while being pestered by strangers. He spared me from all that. Alhamdulillah.

My usual service team backed me up with a reliable tow truck in good time. The wait time was short, the service was impeccable, despite my forgetting of the privileges and benefits of The White Card. Alhamdulillah.

The Other Half managed to drop Bean off at The Playschool and came to my side within record time despite heavy traffic. Alhamdulillah.

He then let me nap all the way to my dentist appointment, without missing my turn at the dentist to have my chipped filling fixed. Alhamdulillah.

Verily, His Blessings come in great and significant ways, even when it seems petty. SubhanAllah.

What are you thankful for today, my lovelies? Please do share!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


What is wrong, Bebe?

You have served me so reliably since 2006. It saddens me that the day has come when you just klonked to a stop without any warning, this morning.

Were you jealous because I stole a glance at the new Active Tourer?

Were you feeling insecure because The Other Half, The Little Girl and Bean are outgrowing you?

*pat pat sayang sayang*

Get well soon, Bebe. InshaAllah, to many more safe rides!
Monday, 6 July 2015

Snippets: Surah Al-Qadr

Assalamualaikum my lovelies,

Are you ready for the final 10 days of Ramadhan? I bet you are all anticipating this blessed period with increased acts of ibadah and perfecting yourself in your faith.

This may be the best time of the year for me to introduce The Little Girl to Surah 97 as we try to do our best for the last 10 days of Ramadhan, inshaAllah.

I know she is going to be in full wonderment of this grand night when angels and Jibrael descends, a night that is better than a thousand months' worth of worship. Night time story telling is going to be exciting!

Yesterday, she was thrilled to count 5 Surah into her nightly prayer. Alhamdulillah, she added Al-Falaq and Al-Khawthar to her routine.

On a separate note, her final exams results are trickling in. We are very pleased and proud of her effort thus far. Alhamdulillah, and inshaAllah she keeps up this great work. We "celebrated" by paying her school fees for the new academic year that is commencing this autumn *teehee* Reward work with more work concept, sort of. Like a promotion.

Ending this post with a sweet hope that you find your laylatul qadr this year and that you be blessed eternally with Jannah for your good deeds, good heart and perfect ibadah.

Snippets: Surah Al-Falaq

The Little Girl has overcome her trouble memorising Surah An-Nas recently and last night, she eagerly asked to recite it as soon as she completed Surah Al-Fatihah and Surah Al-Ikhlas. SubhanAllah!

We went on to Surah Al-Falaq and after levelling with her on its tafseer, she happily recited this beautiful Surah on Protection, with cue and some help.

We then went on to Surah Al-Khawthar and talked about the beautiful river in Paradise. I will reserve the more serious portion of how Allah swt defeated His Unbelievers and how our beloved Prophet Muhammad saw is indeed His Last Messenger with an important task of spreading this beautiful way of life. InshaAllah, we will get down to it soon.

She went to bed with a smile on her face, and right there, I shed a tear inside as I wished her goodnight, gave her an extra tight cuddle and kissed her forehead; just in awe of His Greatness and Omnipresence. SubhanAllah

Her baby steps, and mine, are now fused on this journey. May Allah swt grant us Light and Love. Amin.
Saturday, 4 July 2015

Ramadhan Challenge

Assalamualaikum my lovelies,

Do you set for yourselves any Ramadhan challenge(s)?

Some of us strive to complete proper fast, perform all 5 calls to solat, move towards hijab, khatam al-Quran for example. One at a time, a few per year or all at once - the choice is entirely personal.

The Other Half and I were chatting about how when a person is busy living positively/doing good deeds, the same person may have less time for dwelling in negativity/doing bad deeds. Simple virtue, SubhanAllah! Thank You for this revelation.

My personal challenge this year is to memorise some short Surah(s), which means reading al-Quran transliteration, translation comparison, summarising my understanding and listening to some concise tafseer via Nouman Ali Khan podcasts. So far, alhamdulillah. Baby steps and I am toddling along with The Little Girl in tow. She really motivates me to be a better mother, alhamdulillah

It would be a real bonus for me to completely master my "solo solat" meaning praying on my own without The Other Half as my imam. Those who follow my reversion journey as a young Muslimah will know by now that I am constantly pursuing kushyuk in my solat. It is a discipline of mind, body and soul, to me. This pursuit of my inner peace and  happiness also involves more or less the same learning process as mentioned. Please feel free to drop me tips on how to master solo solat, I would be eternally grateful!

Here is wishing you and I all the best in each of our Hijrah pursuits. Allah swt is so Merciful, He Grants Ease to those who put in effort in wanting to be closer to Him. May obstacles melt away and The Straight Path be clear to us.
Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Can you believe it, we have not subscribed to ASTRO for about 18 months now. 

Every now and then, The Little Girl and Bean will watch Channel 613 at The Flat Upstairs or The House with The Grandparents. During our holidays, they would sometimes catch a Disney movie on the hotel TV. What we do not like is how they can be glued to the TV and have no interest in playing, eating or communicating!

What we do have, are some DVDs from Disney productions and other independent producers. At least with these DVDs, we can set the limit as to how much they watch in a day, and still have time with interest for reading or playing.

Of late, I asked The Other Half if we should reconnect our ASTRO service. Whenever this request was presented, he would ask me to sleep over it. Bless him.

I would then pray for Signs of we should or otherwise. Miraculously, He always sends me the same answer.


Via lectures or khutbah, via opinions and studies. Detriments of screen time to our soul, the garbage that is being produced of late to perpetuate ideologies, and sadly we become subscribers to dogma that is incongruent with Islamic values.

"Be mindful of what we feed our soul."

Since the answer is consistently against screen time, I will gladly accept living without ASTRO at home. What we have is Wifi and with that, we are more selective in filtering what we feed our souls, inshaAllah.

Now, I just have to refresh those activities list of what the kids can do and enjoy while I prepare dinner. After all, that is the only crucial hour I seem to need something on the screen to prevent them from running laps around the sofa and dining table (read: noisy, crazy happy, top speed, potential falls). On the upside, they work up an appetite!

How do you keep your kids busy at dinner preparation time? Please do share!
An update: We have since then reconnected ASTRO "limited" service out of sheer desperation of not being able to take the kids out to the park or pool during hot, fasting days. Our bad. Wish us luck, ok?

Zakat Fitrah

Assalamualaikum my lovelies,

This is the time of the year in our Hijrah calendar to be settling our zakat fitrah. There is a booth at the corner of Uniqlo KLCC across Sephora/Cold Storage where we can conveniently do so, if not already fulfilled at our respective local mosques. It opens from 11am to 6pm this Ramadhan. In Kuala Lumpur, the zakat fitrah rate is RM7 per person. 

The officers stationed at this ad hoc collection centre do not accept zakat fidyah and/or qadar but we can easily do this online at Maybank2U, which I did and it was so convenient!

In both cases, as where applicable, do not forget our niyah.

May our sacrifices be accepted and pleasing to Him. Amin!