Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Jangan jadi hamba duit.

Salam dan selamat pagi.

Di pagi yang mendung dan suram ini, izinkan saya mengomel sedikit meluahkan rasa kurang setuju dan kurang puas hati yang bersarang di dalam dada.

Sebelum tu, biarlah saya awal2 buat disclaimer bahawa apa yang saya luahkan di sini hanyalah pandangan saya berdasarkan ilmu saya yang dangkal, berbekalkan akal yang alhamdulillah masih waras, dengan izinNya. Saya bukan ustazah, saya bukan alim, saya bukan warak dan solehah... tapi doa saya, biarlah perjalanan hidup saya menuju ke arah itu. Kalau bukan ustazah yang ada paper qualification pun, biarlah saya jadi ustazah kepada anak2. I try to make every day better than yesterday.

Al-kisah, semalam saya post satu link bergambar di FB. Gambar yang di ambil pada satu seminar MLM katanya. Dan dalam seminar ni, salah satu cara motivasi yang digunakan untuk merubah hidup menjadi jutawan ialah dengan mencium wang berkepok2.  See for yourself...


And then somehow, someone, somewhere sudah tersentap lah dengan my status and she commented like so...


I have to admit, I couldn't believe what I read. Agak tersentap lah jugak perasaan saya bila dia kata "go and verify yourself" dan "just go and then you can judge". Well, I just happen to have the opinion that this is the kind of stupidity that needs no verification, thank you very much.

Now, I don't know what your stand on this issue is, but mine is simple. You want to be rich, duit berkepok2, you work hard to achieve it. 

Usaha. Doa. Tawakkal.

Any average Muslim knows this. You don't sniff money to get the feel of money so that you'll attract money. "Ada doa dalam ciuman". What a load of crap. You are kissing what is notoriously known as THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL to "mengajar makin dekat hubungan dengan Allah"? How ironic!

Nampak tak permainan halus syaitan durjana di situ? Nampak tak?

Setahu saya yang dangkal ilmu ni, even mencium musyaf Al-Quran tu pun tidak ada dalam riwayat Rasulullah dan para sahabat, walaupun ada ulama berpendapat tak salah berbuat demikian kerana memuliakan kalam Allah. Then what's your excuse for kissing money? Memuliakan duit?

Have you not heard of a riwayat on Saidina Umar's stance on kissing any object when he kissed the Hajarul Aswad?

Saidina Umar bin Al-Khattab r.a telah memberi peringatan kepada seluruh umat Islam dari beriktikad bahawa terdapat sesuatu yang boleh memberi manfaat dan kemudaratan selain daripada Allah s.w.t. Terdapat riwayat di dalam kitab Sahih bahawa Saidina Umar bin Al-Khattab r.a pernah berkata: 
"Demi Allah! Sesungguhnya aku telah menyedari bahawa kamu hanyalah batu, tidak boleh memberi manfaat dan kemudaratan. Sekiranya aku tidak melihat Rasulullah s.a.w mengucupmu, tentu aku tidak akan mengucupmu."

So again, my question is, what is your excuse for kissing money?? It's just paper.

This act of kissing money to "berdoa" supaya dapat jadi jutawan is very superficial, in my opinion. What you want it rezeki, not money. And the type of rezeki that you want is yang berkat dan halalan toyyiban. There's a much bigger picture here.

Allah knows best what kind of rezeki you need. And trust me, you don't just need money.

You need health, you need family, you need a sound and peaceful mind.
You need friends, you need basic necessities for survival.
And you need iman.

All these are rezeki. You think money can attract all these rezeki if you have loads of them?
I highly doubt it.

Islam has given us many opportunities and ways to tarik rezeki. Banyak amalan2 murah rezeki yang kita boleh amalkan. Solat dhuha umpamanya, or bersedekah, memanjangkan silaturrahim etc. There are many and here are some to start with. Sorry to disappoint you, there's no object kissing in any of these amalans. Well ok, I take that back. Maybe there is... cium sejadah hehehe...

Selain itu, Allah dah bagi peluang berdoa. He's always there and ever ready to listen to you. Not only that, siap Allah bagi waktu2 mustajab berdoa lagi! Again, sorry, mencium duit sewaktu mengeluarkannya dari mesin ATM tak termasuk dalam waktu mustajab.


Okay, I think I've said enough to make my point. Cuma saya nak berpesan, janganlah terlalu taksub nak kaya sampai tersasar ke amalan2 yang boleh membawa kepada kesesatan dan lebih berat lagi, syirik. Na'udzubillah.

Kita dah ada ugama yang lengkap. Dig deeper into it. I'm sure you'll find something better than money. Something not even a warehouse full of money can buy. 

Duit is not the solution. But if you still insist, why not try this link?

Doa. Usaha. Idea. Tawakkal.

Good luck!

May Allah bless us all. And I love you, sisters!

P.S. Segala yang baik datang dari Allah, yang buruk dari kelemahan saya sendiri. My apologies for all my shortcomings. Do correct me if you see any mistake, misinformation or misguidance in my posting above. Thank you.

~Nin~


Monday, May 25, 2015

Baju 'peasant' munga2 ^_^

Remember that brown peasant dress I made for Aisyah on Labour Day?

Believe it or not, she only got to wear it yesterday! Hehehe... 3 minggu lebih mummy dia postpone pakai baju baru sebab nak tunggu bila mummy betul2 ada masa nak tangkap gambar.

Alhamdulillah, yesterday being Sunday, we went to our favorite club by the beach (sebab ada playground) and so I took a few shots of the said dress.

I love the material of this dress, cotton voile.
Lembut dan selesa.


Err... sailor kemetot, tak nampak depan heheh...

Rilek jap.
This is one of my favorite shots of the day.
See the black & white version here.

Close-up look of the lace border.
My first attempt and I must say, pretty proud of myself.
=)

I know this pic doesn't showcase much of the dress but it's
here because I love this shot.
Macam comel jer...

Same goes with this pic.
Somehow, something about this pic makes me love it, despite a little bit of lens flare
at the bottom right corner.
Actually, it's BECAUSE of the lens flare heheh!

Sekian saja lambakan gambar kali ini.
Kalau berminat nak buat baju ni, tengok lah tutorial peasant dress. Itu lah asas baju ni, cuma saya panjangkan lengan dan tambah ropol2 di bawah. Senang jeww....

Until next time, cheers!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Kerenah hari Khamis

Those who know me, know that I love to create. I love to make something, out of nothing. Well, not nothing... out of various materials lah, logically. Ambo buke tuhe... hehehe...

That is why, sometimes when Umar gets a school project to be done at home, I am almost always the one feeling all excited about it. I would be the one lying in bed at night thinking of ideas, materials and ways to make the project a reality. I'd go hunting for stuff to use in the project. Maknye yang lebih, anak rilek jek...

Today, Umar submitted his assignments... a shoebox habitat, a food chain, an informational poster of a Sarawak longhouse and a favorite piece of art depicting a natural habitat. I guess you can see the pattern now... they're learning about habitat this term.

So here are his assignments...


The diorama was very easy to make. Find a shoebox, line it with green crepe paper (I got Umar to do it himself), cut out 2 pieces of tree trunk shaped cardboards, stick them in there any way you would. Then just stick crumpled pieces of crepe paper around to make the leaves and grass. This was a very easy part where I got Umar to actively participate. It was his homework, after all.

As for the orangutan, I googled some coloring pics on the net, downloaded them, scaled down to size, and printed them. Umar colored them and pasted them wherever and whichever way he liked it. Done.

All these are due tomorrow but I insisted that we send them in today cause the longer they are at home, the higher the chance of the younger siblings putting their "fingerprints" on them.
Plus, these were just lying around on the dining table, like, juuuust waiting for a cup of coffee or milo to spill all over them...

No way am I going to risk that!

So due to the bulkiness of the homework, I decided to send Umar to school instead of him taking the school bus. Mana nak bawak beg sekolah lagi, beg isi diorama lagi, nak kepit 3 manila cards kat ketiak lagi hehehe... Kesian anak I yg chubby tu.

*******

After sending Umar, I had to rush home to fetch Muhammad pulak and send him to school. Dalam kelam-kabut tu, sempat jugak singgah beli nasi lemak berlauk dulu. I call that, rezeki. Jangan ditolak =)

And later, this is what happened in the car...

Muka nak nangis cause he can't get his socks to co-operate.

The little cheeky fella insisted that his socks must be pulled all the way up. And that they must be the same height. I said only girls wear socks that high. He didn't care.

And so I spent the whole trip to school coaxing him that it is not possible to pull them any longer. That is as far as they can go. He was beginning to get upset.

Nasib lah sempat sampai sekolah before he switched on this "cranky" button. 

And so, off he went.

It's only 10:15am now. There's more to come.
Don't you just love children?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Congo bars for Humaira

Delish!
Humaira has been asking me to make another batch of them congo bars that ran out Sunday. And I'd been putting it off since I couldn't find my favorite semi-sweet choc chips in any shop (baking supply shops included) in Miri. Most shops don't sell that brand and the only one that I know which does, is out of stock. Dengan busy-body nya I asked the cashier, when is the new stock coming? She said she has no idea, it's been out of stock for awhile and further delayed since the implementation of GST. 

Damn you, GST! How could you?!

Maka dengan berat hatinya, I made my way to the baking supply store and bought a packet of house brand choc chips (RM9.45 for a packet of 500g, gile murah kan?), determined to fulfill my daughter's request.

As soon as I got home after sending Muhammad to school, I chowed down a quick breakfast and then right away started my baking mission. Didn't want to delay lah cause if I did, entah bila la pulak nak nampak bayang congo bars nye kan? 

So here they are... Sinful and inviting eh? Ke ahkaq yang syiok sendiwri??

Aerial view. 

Please excuse me if the pictures seem rather amateurish to you. I'm a noobie at food photography. Baru nak dabble2, kata orang.  And unlike some fofular food bloggers, I lack the props to go along with the food hehehe... Balik2 pinggan itu, balik2 garpu itu lah juga adanya hahaha! Takpe lah, next time I might just borrow my neighbour's Royal Doulton, see if she'll let me. Macam la berani nak mintak pun kan?

Dah tengok gambar, misti uols nak tengok resepi pulak kan? Tengok2 resepi tu... buat kerr?? Kalau tengok je memang tak merasa lah kesedapannya tuu... *sambil juih bibir*

Apa2 pun, nindiaa.... resepi...

Resipi di ambil dari blog Rachael Ray dan dialih-bahasa ke bahasa ibundaku.

Bahan-bahan :

2 3/4 cawan tepung gandum
2 1/2 sudu teh serbuk penaik
1 sudu teh garam
2/3 cawan mentega, lembutkan*
2 1/4 cawan gula perang**
3 biji telur***
2 sudu teh esen vanila
2 1/2 cawan chips coklat****

Nota :
* 2/3 cawan mentega lebih kurang 225g, saya potong butter tu ikut tanda yang terdapat pada bungkusan butter tu. Short cut hee hee...
** Saya pakai 2 cawan sahaja sebab taknak terlalu manis
*** Saya tambah satu kuning telur (jadi 3 biji telur penuh + satu kuning telur) untuk lebih moist sebab mula2 saya buat aritu agak kering dan crumbly (lerai). Lagipun mengikut pengalaman saya semasa belajar oversea dulu, telur kat negeri omputih sana memang besar2 sikit kalau dibandingkan dengan telur ayam di sini. Jadi dalam kebanyakan resepi omputih ni saya up kan sikit kuantiti telurnya. Dalam kata lain, memandai-mandai heheh!
**** Saya pakai 2 cawan sahaja. Tu pun rasa macam dah banyak!

Cara mengolah :

Standard lah ni.... ayak tepung, garam dan baking powder, letak tepi.
Pukul mentega dan gula hingga bercampur rata (bukan sampai kembang).
Masukkan telur sebiji2 sambil dipukul rata.
Masukkan esen vanila.
Masukkan tepung sedikit2 dan gaul/kaup hingga sebati.
Akhir sekali masukkan chips coklat, gaul rata.
Adunan akan jadi sangat pekat, bukan macam doh kek yang agak boleh dituang2 gitu.
Masukkan adunan ke dalam loyang 13"x9" (yang telah di gris dengan mentega) dan bakar selama setengah jam.
Kalau ikut resepi, setelah di convert, suhu oven sepatutnya lebih kurang 175ยบC. Saya dapati (minggu lepas) suhu ini terlalu tinggi, congo bars jadi terlalu kering dan tepinya terlalu cepat garing.
Jadi kali ni saya turunkan ke 160ยบC dan bakar dalam tempoh yang sama. Alhamdulillah menjadi. Kena tengok oven jugak ye uols... oven saya oven gas, katanya oven gas ni kawalan suhu dia memang pelik sikit, ikut tuan katanya hehehe....

I put them in these nice little orangey boxes and sent some to my neighbour.
Selepas tangkap gambar lah, opkos! Eee... nampak plak lobang cocok lidi.

So there you go. Congo bars!

Selamat mem-baking!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Of cakes, teachers and crocodiles.

Part 1

I mentioned once before in one of my earlier postings that for me to spend time with my family without the pangs of anxiety creeping in every now and then, doesn't happen very often. Most of the time, it would creep up on me, making me edgy and easily irritated and I'd usually end up being the party pooper. To keep that from happening, I would normally choose to excuse myself from whatever activity they planned to do and stayed home instead. It seems like the better option rather than spoil their fun, right?

Yesterday, however, I didn't have the luxury to hide in my comfort zone.

Humaira's school held an all-in-one fundraising event to celebrate Teacher's Day and making it a Family Day at the same time. Parents were asked to contribute food for sale, with each class year being given a particular type of food. Lucky for me, Humaira's class was asked to bring "kuih-muih kering atau basah". I decided to make congo bars.

2 pans of freshly baked congo bars.

Packing time. I reserved the unsightly, crispy edges for myself.
Wicked eh? =)






































It was my first attempt making these and I promise you, they were so easy to make, yet crazy delicious!

I baked and packed these the night before the event, and sent them over to her school early in the morning, as was told. I had intended to just send the cakes in, and skip the event altogether. But luck was not on my side, I bumped into the Penolong Kanan and she asked if I could help man the stall later. Alamakk! I muttered a half-hearted "insyaAllah" and politely excused myself.

The 5-minute drive home felt like a looong one as I pondered and psyched myself up for what was to come. No running away this time... 

I reached home as the whole family was getting ready. Humaira was the most excited, and I almost felt sorry for her. I was the last to get ready, buying time, I suppose. I grabbed my camera bag and checked if everything was in order and found this...

What's become of my 77mm polarizer =(

This was still attached to my 24-70mm Nikkor lens, and I thank God for that. Or else, this would've been a full-blown photographer's nightmare! What happened was that, few days prior, the strap of my old camera bag gave way and I dropped it as I was alighting from our Naza Ria. I didn't bother to check, assuming the bag had enough cushion to protect my photography gear. How wrong was I! Thankfully though, the polarizer took the full force of the fall and I guess, saving my lens (or better yet, me) from agony. I can replace the polarizer but I doubt I can ever replace the lens. It's that once-in-a-lifetime purchase kind of thing, you know what I mean? Alhamdulillah...syukur....syukurr....

Anyway, made a quick change to a lighter lens and off we went to Humaira's school. Let me just put some pictures to show how the day went eh?

Humaira and friends. I asked her "nape Maira tak senyum?"
She said, "tu senyum la tuu..."

Sneaking on the performers "backstage".

The Gerai PIBG. My congo bars are somewhere in that
mixture of food and drinks.

We got served laksa sarawak. A very delicious laksa sarawak, I might add.

Hubby got the "Anugerah Bapa" or something like that, much to our surprise.
A token of appreciation from the school for his involvement in the welfare of
the school. I guess there wasn't much competition on the bapa side.
Women are more actively involved, so susah la sikit for me to get the "Anugerah Ibu".
Cewah! Alasaann!!

Respected teachers reciting the teachers' pledge.
May Allah reward these dedicated educators amply.

One of the contestants of Pakaian Beragam Dari Bahan Kitar Semula.

The contestants. From left, dress made of tali rafia,  dress made of garbage bags and plastic bag roses,
dress made of plastic bags and fruit wrappers, dress made from (believe it or not) umbrella!,
outfit made of garbage bags and newspaper and lastly, an Iban warrior outfit made from newspaper.
Thumbs up for these creative students and their mummies.

We left the school before the event finished as the day was getting hotter, everyone was sweaty and Muhammad was starting to show signs of an impending tantrum. Not wanting to disrupt the majlis, we decided to leave. For me, that was a good excuse to make my move too heheh...

Part 2

We got home, and I took a long nap. Firstly, because I didn't get enough sleep the night before. Secondly, I needed to sleep off the drowsiness from the anxiety meds I took the night before and thirdly, I was pretty sure the laksa sarawak had some involvement too.

Later that afternoon, I felt good enough for another outing so we decided to go to the Boat Club where the kids can have a go at the playground before we settled for an early dinner.

We saw this posted on the wall at the club. Ho-humm... nothing unusual on this part of the world. *yawn*.

Add caption

This pretty much set the topic for our dinner conversation heh!. Kids came up with all kinds of crocodile stories! I can't recall any of them but I remember laughing at the hilarity of some of the stories. Or maybe, at my inability to understand the stories. Whatever it was, it was nice to get to chat with them like that.

We left just as maghrib approached and I had to take one last shot, just for the heck of it.



At the end of the day, I was glad for 2 things.

One. That I'd had a good, full day of time spent with my family. Anxiety free, no meds necessary. That's a big thing for me, you know!

And two. The Penolong Kanan did not insist that I man the PIBG stall hehehe....

Cheers y'all!

                  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bright Red Romper

I made a bright red romper for Aisyah. A project that took me a few days to complete, as I had to steal time here and there as I go about my priorities. Finally completed it yesterday. Couldn't wait to put it on her! It just so happened that today is Mother's Day, did anyone notice? Lol! So off we went as a family to one of our favorite hangouts of good food and good no-fee-photoshoot-venue heheh!

I got the pattern for this outfit on Etsy. It was easy to make and looks awesomely comfy too. It is supposed to look like that, loose and baggy. I think Aisyah loves it. I'm thinking of making more, cause these look too cute to not have a few of them!

I put a white ribbon on the front just to differentiate the front from back. The prints at the front is symmetrical. Couldn't do the same at the back due to some technical mistake heehee! By the way, the fabric is Sarawak batik, thus the ethnic prints. Soft, cool and comfy. Perfect combo for baju budak kan?





You can find the pattern here.

Take care and Happy Mother's Day!

-Nin-

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Seamstress Will Never Have Enough Fabric

These arrived yesterday, and I can't wait to get started!


There's only one problem, though. Finding the time! ^lol^

These are designer cottons bought online, from a US-based shop. You might think they're expensive, but the cost per meter (converted from yard just for comparison purpose) came up to an average of about RM50/meter. Postage included, mind you.

Go anywhere in Malaysia, find the same fabric (imported, designer American cotton), and you'll find that most places sell them for no less than RM55 per meter. And this was before GST, hah! Limited choices too, I may say.

You may still think that RM50 per meter is still too steep a price to pay for cottons. Well, this is a matter of preference, in my opinion. I don't mind paying slightly higher for quality. I've made a few pieces of outfits for my daughter from this material. They're durable, which makes them highly suitable for kids clothing; the colors don't fade much even after frequent washing and drying outdoor (under tropical, Miri sun, if you only know how hot that can be!) and the fabric becomes softer and comfier after frequent use. Yes, they wrinkle a lot initially, which makes ironing necessary (if you really care) but after 4-5 washes, they don't wrinkle as bad and you can forget about ironing. 

Did I say 'I can't wait to get started on these' yet?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Malam yang panjang.

Image thanks to http://humor.about.com/

They say that we should always strive to start the day on a positive note. That isn't going to happen in my day today. 

Arrghh stress!!

Aisyah slept late last night, thanks to an extended afternoon nap. After she finally fell asleep, it took me awhile to doze off myself. Rasa2 agak2 dalam pukul 1 macam tu lah baru lelap. At 3:40am Aisyah woke me up mintak susu. Senang la dia kan? Rengek2 mintak susu, sambil mama buat susu she tido. Then bila susu siap, sambil minum susu mata pun lelap jugak. Haishh! 

The carefree life of a toddler!

Me, on the other hand, ended up wide awake afterwards. Just couldn't go back to sleep. Pusing kiri, pusing kanan. Long story short, here I am still awake since 3:40am. And as always the case with me when I lack sleep... nausea and vomiting ensued. 

Omaigod please!

So what am I doing, blogging, you might ask? Why am I not in bed catching up on lost zzzz? 

Well, it's complicated. I'm not a daytime sleeper. Doesn't come as easy to me as it used to be in my younger years. It's probably the brightness of daylight. May also be that my mind can't rest knowing there's a hive of activity going on in my surrounding. I'd be going through my mental to-do list over and over. There's just so much to do, and so little time energy.

So what's left for me to do?

Entah! Haven't figured it out yet.

Hehe....


Monday, May 4, 2015

She, in the new dress I made

So I was thinking of something outdoorsy today so that I could take a few shots of Aisyah in her new peasant dress that I made. But it was not to be. It rained this morning and we were in no particular mood to deal with wet slides, swings, mud and puddles.

And so to the mall we went to get Umar's watch fixed. Good enough excuse to get out of the house and go somewhere! So here are the pics, as best as I could get them since I didn't bring my speedlight with me. It would've been a bit too bulky and heavy to be lugging that around the mall.




I made the dress a little bigger so that she can grow into it but I may have made it a tad too short.
I think.

This is one of the easiest dress to make. I've made this so many times that I can probably whip one up in less than 2 hours, if I get to work on it without any distractions. Which, unfortunately, doesn't happen very often hehehe!

"Mama, abang taknak share!"
"Mine! Mine! Mine!"
"It was your fault." "No, your fault." "No, you did it first."

And on, and on, and on...

So you see, sewing helps keep my sanity intact. 
My therapy.
My creative outlet.

If you'd like to make one of these, find the tutorial here.

I'll be back with a new project soon, inshaa Allah.

In the meantime, take care and always keep kindness in your heart.

Yours truly, Nin.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Labouring on Labour Day. With pleasure.

Yesterday was Labour Day. But it was almost a whole day of rain... bummer! We were pretty much stuck at home. All of us. Bosaannn....

You know how dark and gloomy rainy days can be.  And that it can last the whole day, raining intermittently. Cold and yawn inducing. Yesterday was exactly that!

Kids spent time knocking themselves silly with the XBox, while the younger ones randomly played this and that, with some squabblings and yellings in between. Pretty much a normal stay-at-home situation.

I, on the other hand, couldn't take it not doing anything. And since I had been on a roll with my sewing project, I embarked on yet another peasant dress for Aisyah, just to add a few more to her collection.

It took me almost 3 hours working on this one. The lace and ruffles took the longest because it was my first attempt. I've done lace, I've done ruffles... but not putting both of them together. And I must say, I'm pretty pleased with the result...


The picture's a bit low on quality. Abaikan je lah eh? I took this using my handphone and edited it a bit to remove some blurring due to low lighting. And to try and make the lace a little more visible. This is the best I can do.

I will take better pictures when Aisyah wears this, okay? She has yet to wear this and the previous one I made. That's probably cause we haven't been out of the house yet since I made the dresses! Lol!

Well, I'm hoping the weather is kinder today. Kind enough to let me shoot some pics of my daughter in her new dress =).

We'll see.

Have a good weekend, y'all.