11 Years Blogging Anniversary

Happy Blogging Anniversary to meeeeeeeeeee….!!! This date, 11 years ago was the day where it all began. I can’t believe it’s more than a decade since, wow! And this is my very first post that I published in my blog.

1st blog post1.JPG

Hahaha… So funny okay! With the funky spellings and all… My God.

I started blogging in 2006 with my old blog; My Kunang-Kunang. Kunang-kunang means the yellow bugs – a kind of fireflies (I guess?) or insects that flash at nights in yellow. Why, is just because I loveeee yellow so much it’s my all-time and forever favourite color so I tagged it as the symbol of my space. I like yellow because it’s bright and royale. I always prefer something bright, lively and colorful. My next favourite color is brown, because brown and yellow make a complementary combination!

Back to My Kunang-kunang, the tagline was “It’s Just All About Me”. Haha. I was in University when I felt my life was so fun and interesting and I had a lot to talk about. I got crazy bunch of friends, I started driving, I learnt new things, I met new people and not to forget; I studied hard too (err, are you sure, self? hahaha). That’s when I thought of blogging. The writing wasn’t consistent but continued for a few good years.

However, it was not a solid 11 years. I once stopped blogging at all for quite long. Family was expanding, errands were multiplying, I couldn’t make time and plus, an inner conflict that stopped me from exposing personal stories or thoughts for whatever paranoid reasons. Nevertheless, I never stopped thinking to write and write again. There were actually a few times I attempted to re-blog but I just didn’t get the momentum to get in gear. So again and again I wrote a few lines and left it unfinished. And this is what I just found in a folder in my laptop :

blogging attempt.JPG

Haha….My ‘attempts’ to come back – once in 2013, and once in 2015. And believe me I have a lot more handwritten drafts in my note books I’d been wanting to type and publish, to type and publish, but it just didn’t happen. It’s such a struggle that I believed there are people out there who understand this in one way or another, maybe not in blogging but in anything else. Or maybe it’s just about time?

Because finally, finally… After four confusing years, it all ended. I found my reasons, I eliminated my excuses and above all, I got my true inspiration. Now here I am, celebrating my 11 years anniversary as a blogger! It’s almost a year since I came back, I write constantly, I find solace and peace in what I do and I hope you too in any, anything that you endeavour. And at any milestones, on any remarkable dates; don’t forget to celebrate because memorably, that’s where it all started for a journey worth taking.

Till the next post,
SALZY

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I Want To Remind Myself

13th October 2017 marks 8 years anniversary of our love relationship. On the same day itself, my husband went for his company’s Annual Dinner event and brought home a lucky draw! Since when he became so lucky? Haha. It’s a Free Lunch Buffet Voucher for 2 pax @ Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside B’s Restaurant. Yeay… We consider this as our anniversary gift, then. Alhamdulillah.

pullman

Today we set to utilize the voucher. Didn’t wanna delay the pleasure and also to celebrate our son’s birthday which was two days ago. Actually, I’d been planning to organize a birthday party for him since early of this year. I’d been saving money, outlining the stuff and listing to-do’s for the event. It’s one of my important agendas for 2017 because we haven’t done any parties for him before. We did one for Dhany but none for Ayash. It’s not that it’s really a must for us do party for every birthday, but once in a while would be nice, right?

Alassss, my plan turned to no avail. Due to? Budget constraint. Haha. This year our financial goes on a roller coaster ride. I thought this is the year that we could save more for more big things upcoming. But it turns out to be just a funny thought. So many more unexpected things came rolling into our pockets and rolled out loaded. At this time, we’re just so broke! Huwarghhh…

And so I cancelled my plan to organize the birthday party for Errasy. We just couldn’t make it, baby. But with this free voucher that dropped from the sky just in time, we seized it for a little celebration with our little family.

cakes

boys

The cakes! Haha…call it a “DIY”. As long as there are candles on it, it is a birthday cake! What a cheapskate parents we are…haha. ‘Desperate time calls for desperate measures’ so mind us okay. Creative mom I am. Lol. Happy 3rd Birthday my baby Errasy! We loveeee you.

We spent two hours indulging the foods and later sightseeing around the hotel area and went home with happy tummies. Free meals are always extra delicious, right? Hehe. Thank you Allah for today and I’m taking some time now for a gratitude moment.

At this moment, I want to remind myself that even in time that we can call ‘hard times’ like this, we still have the opportunity to have fancy meals at a lavish place.

I want to remind myself that at the time we thought we couldn’t spare any money for self-reward like always, a lucky draw decided to reward us with something of our favourites (buffet dine).

I want to remind myself that my plan was unsuccessful but it’s replaced with something more meaningful.

I want to remind myself to be thankful with whatever I got and not whine over insufficiency.

I want to remind myself to be grateful and Allah will increase.

I want to remind myself that with every hardship comes ease.

I want to remind myself to not be hopeless because The help is near.

I want to remind myself that keeping faith in hard times is most rewarding.

I want to remind myself that despite all these we’re still blessed, we’re always blessed.

Things I’ve known so well but at this moment, I just want to remind myself.

Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli hal.

family

Till the next post,
SALZY

Errasy’s Birth Story

Earlier this year, I went through some tough times raising my 2 year-old toddler who was in the terrible twos phase. It was a real struggle to face his tantrums almost every single day and night when anything I did couldn’t settle his cry. Once he got disappointed just for a tiny thing, his tantrums would last up to more than an hour with non-stop crying and screaming. Can you imagine?

I was so stressed and felt like giving up. One night I isolated myself away and decided to blog about him and his current temperament so I poured all my unhappy feelings in a note book for me to type later. Today is his birthday. I flipped the notes that I wrote months ago and somehow, it curved a smile on my face. The tough motherhood phase has passed; my baby is now a happy boy! At least most of the time, not like before Alhamdulillah. So I cancelled my intention to write all the things in my notes because today is his 3rd birthday, I wanna reminisce the sweet memories of me giving birth to him.

Errasy was born through a planned C-section. I was all awake during the operation waiting for my baby to be pulled out from my tummy. It was a different experience, scary because when I delivered my first born, I was unconscious. This time, I savoured every moment in the operation theatre (OT) in my nervousness.

The atmosphere in the OT was quite relaxed even though everyone was moving around, here and there. I think I heard music being played if I was not mistaken but that was not my focus. During the operation, these people were having conversations with each other like there’s nothing going on in the room when actually, they were cutting my tummy layer by layer okay. In my mind thinking, maybe this c-sect operation is just like cutting onions to them especially for non-emergency case like this. Haha, my God! What a creepy thinking while on the surgery table.

Now comes the most thrilling part to me. When the ‘cutting’ process was completed, they informed me that in a little while they will pull my baby out. My heart was pounding fast, excited and nervous at the same time. When they took a peek at the baby who was still positioned in my tummy, the doctor’s assistant instantly said to me – “Emmm…..the baby is just like you.” She said it in a very casual way making me feel so curious. What did she mean? What did the ‘like-you’ like? I wanted to ask but I felt so weird to be talking when I knew my tummy was wide open and bloody so I kept it to myself, wondering in silence.

In less than a minute, Errasy was safely born and immediately shown to me. Such a beautiful moment and again the assistant said to me – “See…he is so fair! Justttt like you!” Awww….. Was that what she meant earlier? I was soooo over the moon the second I heard that. Having to see my baby fresh from the oven was already wonderful, the remark from her beautifies the moment even more I was so speechless!

Errasy was then taken by the nurses and the operation continued but I couldn’t stop smiling in bliss. It was one beautiful moment throughout the delivery process that will forever stay in my memory. The words “the baby is just like you, he is so fair just like you” stuck in my mind repeatedly whenever I throwback my second maternity journey and even every time when I look at my baby who now has turned 3 years old, today.

errasy newborn

Excuse this vain mommy people! Haha… the same comment if uttered at any other time wouldn’t make me feel flattered like this. It’s just because it happened at that very time, it created an unforgettable mommy-moment to me and I gotta record it in words, mind me. Hehe.. And I believe every mother also has her own exclusive cloud nine moment when giving birth to each child, right! *Care to explain. Ahaks*

My second baby, my second pregnancy. His coming was a surprise, I didn’t expect that I’d get pregnant again when my first born was only 10 months old. Such an unexpected gift, enlivens our lives with his funny characters I called him an entertainer in this family.

ayadean

Dear Errasy Eddean,

Happy 3rd Birthday my baby! May you grow healthy, wealthy, wise and lucky. Be a good boy now and rise as a good man in the future. Thank you for bringing so much happiness to us, we’re so blessed to have you as that cutie little brother. Stay close and clingy to Mom as you always do, I may seem annoyed with your childishness but please know that, deep inside my heart I’m loving every bit of it!

Mom loves you so much, Ayash Ayadean.. Always, and forever. Happy Birthday. 

Till the next post,
SALZY

Forever My Girl Crush

In life of an every girl, there must be a moment she’s struck by a feeling of Girl Crush! A feeling of liking another girl. Either she’s an outstanding senior in school, a popular young singer, an acquaintance or can even be, the girl-next-desk? It’s clearly non-sexual, a positive jealousy I might say or more likely, an intense feeling of admiration just because she’s awesome!

I had a girl crush too. That happened when I was only in standard 5 and she was……the magnificent, the one and only….. ERRA FAZIRA!!! A popular actress, singer and also the Malaysian Miss World 1992. Well that’s enough to tell that she’s so beautiful that’s why I liked her!

erra estee lauder

Source : The Star

It started out when I was watching her film titled “Gemilang” in 1997. From there I became her fanatic fan until today and I just realized that it has been a remarkable span of 20 damn years! For 20 years I’ve been sticking to her, following her journey, her ups and downs in life especially in her marriages and with those, all I can say is she has made and is still making a noteworthy biography I adore so much. She’s not just beautiful. She’s a devoted daughter, an independent lady and a very mature person – these three main qualities that attracted me so much into admiring her.

Well, I may be not the kind of fans who’d run to her concerts or events just for the purpose to greet and have a picture with her. I’m not accustomed to that. My old-school mom disregarded this entertainment obsession so I had no access to go see artists. But, every time she’s out on the screen, I’d be on the front line watching without blinking and my mom would be shaking her head. She’s so gorgeous!

I still remember when I was in school, there was a campaign to encourage students to make it a habit to read newspapers daily. So everyday every classroom was supplied with a set of newspapers and that was the time Erra got married to Yusry KRU. For days the media was flooded with her wedding pictures and for that every single day too, I’d be the first one to grab the papers before anyone else. I’d quickly flip the entertainment section and keep the pages away. Hahaha! I didn’t want it to crumple they’re for my collections, “don’t touch”. The cynical boys in class were teasing me they said; I gotta pay for the class’ papers fees. Haha, hello! It’s freee.

After she married Yusry – the famous, the richest boy band in Malaysia – she still worked hard for her career. She got the choice to take-it-easy and rely everything on Yusry but no, she continued working and she said; this is herself, she was born to be independent and that she has her mom she’s taking care of, so she would hold the responsibility on her own. With that, my 18-year-old self was so impressed. I was about to live a semi-freedom life, from there I knew that being a woman, we have to be independent. In certain things in life, we really have to be assured of ourselves and know why we do what we gotta do. My Erra taught me this. Hiks.

Most people who’re close enough to me knew about my thing towards Erra. When she and Yusry got divorced, the news was out on TV and I was alone at home. I was shocked and so devastated but at the same time, my phone was beeping with so many incoming messages from my friends updating and asking me about the divorce! ‘What?’ ‘Why?’ ‘Are you OK?’ ‘Any comment?’ Hahaha… That was so funny.

Oh ya, for your info, we have one similarity. And that is….we’re both MOM! Haha.. Yes, yes… I copied her, exactly! When she had Aleesya and I knew that she was called by Mom, I was again fascinated. She’s so unique okay. So when I got preggy I decided for that too, hehe. It’s uncommon in Malay community and sounds weird when I first announced it to people that my kids will be calling me Mom but later, it’s just natural. I didn’t tell people that I chose it because of Erra but knowing me well, my friends finally found it out! Haha. Whatever, this one thing, we matched!

Everyone’s life is not perfect, and so her. She was engaged once, broke up. Married twice, divorced both. Netizens have all the unproven reasons to criticize her status but she kept it cool. She responded things in a mature way and moved on life. And just recently, her second ex-husband Engku Emran remarried and she uploaded a picture of her with Aleesya and Laudya Cynthia Bella, and posted a very pleasing wish for the couple that touched many hearts including mine, of course. She’s just lovely in her own way, how can I not love her? And the way Emran treated her as the mother of Aleesya after the divorce somehow tells how respectful she is in the eyes of someone who had lived a significant life with her.

erra pepatung

Source : Pepatung

Being a girl who crazed over celebrities’ stories on the magazines was typically non-sense. But after 20 years of time travelling looking up to somebody, this has created one of the colors of my life. It’s not just a plain obsession; I knew I’ve learnt a thing or two. From someone who was scarred by life’s tribulations, the scars made her nothing but only more beautiful and till now she’s standing even stronger in a graceful way. Erra Fazira, you’re one of a kind!! I love you and may Allah bless you always. I’ve never met her, but she’s close to my heart.

These are pieces of stories about my Girl Crush that I grew up with ever since I was 11 years old. Nana Nerra, did you have a Girl Crush?

Till the next post,
SALZY

Toastmasters : Ice Breaker Speech

This is a continuation post from the previous one. Feel free to read it first – Finding the Old Me

1st speech1

First and foremost, let me make an important disclaimer here. In the speech Finding the Old Me, I actually added a spoon of seasonings to enhance the flavor finely. Haha! Actually, the part that I said I spoke in front of many people – no, I did not speak in front of many people back then. The part that I loved to volunteer in class – no, I never volunteered in class. Hahaha…I exaggerated! Yes I was active with clubs and societies but I was just a regular committee and I just led small teams once or twice. And yes I enjoyed class presentations and yes my work life was right as described. My point was actually to distinguish these two positions so I exaggerated the U part a bit. Just a bit, mind me! Haha okay done with my confessions. Let’s move on to a more constructive discussion.

SPEECH WRITING

Ice Breaker speech is very basic. It’s talking about yourself so in terms of the contents, you don’t have to climb the Google mountain. The difference is how it’s being delivered. Through my observation in the meetings :

  • They talk about their lives based on chronology –  from the time they’re born to the present, highlighting significant facts along the way.
  • They pick only two or three things about them and they elaborate further.
  • They tell a story about an incident or an experience they went through and what they learned that made them who they are today.

I was interested with the second one and I also wanted to tell a story. And so that’s how it turned out.

PREPARATION & PRACTICE

I practiced a lot! Within two weeks prior to that, I acted in front of the mirror every single day. At first, I wrote my text and memorized it line by line but I found it so hard to flow. I sought advice from my hubby and a friend who are very associated with this speaking thingy and they told me not to memorize everything but just remember the points and structure and keep on practicing. I did just that! Thank guys.

TIPS & IDEAS

Okay these are random tips and ideas I scooped out from here and there that might be useful for you :

  1. Volunteer to speak during Table Topic sessions prior to the day as a practice to overcome your stage fright.
  2. Have a mutual interaction. Throw a question and self-answer. That would spare a pause for you to hold a moment.
  3. You may want to use the projector. Display interesting pictures of yourself and share the story behind them (e.g : pictures of you travelling to other countries)
  4. Describe yourself based on astrology, chinese zodiac or favourite colors.
  5. Tell the meaning of your name and elaborate the elements that make you you.
  6. Begin or end your speech with a quote.
  7. Conclude yourself in 3 words.
  8. Don’t forget to relate your stories with the audience. Offer something for them to take home.

EVALUATION

I was evaluated by the Mr. President himself. One good point I want to remember is that he said I began my speech with a big smile. Some people forgot to smile when in nervous state. So yes, smile! And these are some rooms of improvement for me to note :

  1. “Too much hand gestures.”
    This is the most obvious. That’s my habit anyway but during the speech, I even overdid it. Gotta watch these hands next time. The evaluator said, every gesture should be purposeful.
  2. “Too static.”
    I did not move.  I purposely did not move. When practicing, I tried to casually move a step or two but the risk is that I would get distracted and go blank at all. No way! So I glued my feet on the ground. Will practice on this later.
  3. “Less pauses.”
    Those who knew me in-person surely know that I naturally speak like a train. So this is what happened live. Actually I controlled this in my practice. I timed myself and every time it was all reaching 6 minutes. But on real play, my time recorded was only 5 minutes 17 seconds. I was speeding obviously. He reminded us to use the power of pauses for the audience to absorb what we say. Okay!

EXPERIENCE & FEELINGS

All in all, well done, self! I’m so glad I did it anyways. For once I broke through my fear, my self-doubt and timidity with this challenge and what I can say is, knowing my level and competency, I’m pretty satisfied with my first performance. Thank God, Allah eased my say. I’d less fumbles and most importantly I didn’t forget my script because I didn’t bring any notes with me. Because this is the first one, this is the best so far. Hahaha. Now, I’m on to the next. Bring it on!!

Till the next post,
SALZY

Arranging My Bookshelves on Goodreads

I think I’m funny. I played around with the Goodreads apps browsing and adding books only to know that I created 10 shelves in total! Haha… Who on earth needs 10 virtual bookshelves when you can actually load thousands of books in only one default Read shelve with no-collapse assurance? Me, and I have my own justification. :p

Here’s the list of my shelves :

bookshelves

Four Read shelves labelled by years? That’s triggered by my date-oriented nature that really thinks I need to group my books based on the year read. If possible, I wanna sub-group them by months, hehe. But of course it’s not necessitous and as years pass by; it’s gonna be so messy to have these 2018, 2019, 2020 and so forth. I think I will just cancel the rest and only maintain the current year and the default read shelve for older books.

Just for now, I wanted to see my collections since 2015 – the year I revisited this hobby after abandoning it for quite some time. My God I’m so good at abandoning things even they’re some sort of entertainment to me. How could it be, self?

Well, I can say that was since I got married or more factually, married to a no-bookworm. My husband, he doesn’t read books! We still remember a moment in the beginning of our relationship; the ice-breaker phase. On the phone, we talked about our favourites and I told him about my reading pastime. I went on and on talking about my favourite books, this book and that book. And he was like.. clueless. Didn’t know what to reply vis-à-vis books and so he tactically diverted the topic into movies. So then we talked about movies. No more books. Haha. It’s funny to recall it now yet funnier to realize that I didn’t grasp that hint telling me that we’re so contradict so why did I marry this man?! Hahaha..

And so 2015 was the year I returned to reading as I was setting up my goals for the New Year, I searched for things that could activate my brain other than just fulfilling my to-do list with the never-ending house chores and life errands. My current collections are all starting from only 2 years ago and it’s growing I’m loving it!

Moral is, even though we don’t marry someone who shares the same interests with us and even if our spouses are more dominant in influencing us to follow their stuff, it doesn’t mean we have to give up things that we love to do. Sometimes we tend to abandon them just because we donned our head with multiple hats. But hey, don’t let our concerns toward others steal the concern over our own selves, okay? While my husband is not a book lover like I am, that wouldn’t space a distance between us.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Congratulations, Lia

17.7.17 – A beautiful date to remark a beautiful memory. Today was my best friend’s big day! After almost 4 years struggling to achieve her dream to receive that doctorate in Accounting discipline, she finally made it last year and today was the official graduation. It was held thousand miles away in UK but we, the friends, in Malaysia did not miss to witness the ceremony broadcasted live through the web. Like wow, technology! With the very clear video plus a 360 virtual reality live stream show, we really could feel the heat in the University of Manchester’s hall. Hehe really, the music sound was ding ding ding making me feel extra nervous that I would miss the moment. But with the friends on What’s app group together updating each other to get ready, it turned into an excitement. This friend’s graduation is a shared happiness, and a shared success too! Hence, we also own partial of that Doctor of Philosophy, yeah? Hehehe.

CONVO1

Congratulations my dear!! You did it!! I’m sooo proud of you. A PhD completion in less than four years? It’s a big wow. This journey wasn’t easy, you nailed it. Come what may, you got it. You deserved to be happy, you deserved to be proud of yourself. Well done, doc!

Last year I went to UK to visit her when she was still there in her final year. I flew alone and it was my first time travelling out of the country. From just a normal text conversation, suddenly she came out with an idea to drag me to her place like it’s just next door. This is how it started. I went to Genting Highlands with my little family and it was night time. It was soooo cold I couldn’t stand that 17 degree temperature outdoor. In my mind was – this is only Genting, not UK! UK is definitely colder but I wasn’t sure how low. So back home, I texted Lia and asked her what’s the normal temperature there in Manchester she’s living. She said “7 – 8 degree at the moment, why?” I was like whattt?? That’s damn cold how do you breatheee?! She replied “Why, are you coming??” I laughed and told her about Genting and so.

Three weeks after the conversation, I touched down UK and breathed in the coolness myself. That’s how simple a partner in crime worked the impossibility. It was spontaneous but timely, the day I arrived was the day Lia had the green light to submit her final thesis. So the very first place she brought me to visit, out of many interesting places in Manchester, was the printing shop! Haha.

UoM  MBS

I’m glad I was part of the journey, the very least one. The highlights of today’s occasion in some way flew my mind way back in our college time when we were students, pursuing our first degree. Those years we talked a lot about the future, our goals and dreams, like an open book. Our plans and preferences differed, making it fun listening to each other. Lia had always wanted to continue studies to the highest level, PhD. Who would’ve ever thought, after 10 years, the ordinary talk finally took its turn into real play. All praise be to Allah who listened and willed the plans as she wished for.

 

Convo2

Being the witness from day one she voiced out the wish, I felt touched because I know the ride wasn’t easy, it’s flawed and bumpy. Not everything worked out the way we wanted it to be as we hoped everything would be smooth but Allah shaped it with a mix of sweet and sour of life. After all the sweats and tears, He finally handed the final result wrapped in the most beautiful package of persistence and determination. At this point, we couldn’t be any happier and more grateful. Indeed, Allah is the best of planners.

Today was one of those days that I sat with my chin cupped reminiscing the good old days. We’re blessed.

Till the next post,
SALZY