Monday, May 6, 2013

Win or Loose, Everyone Lost Today

I don't like blogging about serious stuff in my blog, my preference has always been my traveling experience, recipes I love or places I've eaten. But, this is different . Today is not the usual normal day, cause we are all experience post effect of GE13.

I was raised in a low income family. My parents had to work and I was sent to live with my Arwah Grandmom (Wan). I was only 2 months old, together with me was my Arwah Grandad(Atok) and Arwah Great Grandmom (Nyang). My Nyang is a chinese came from Indonesia, in a province called Kerinchi. My Nyang was a perfectionist, what I was told. She is very particular about cleanliness and instill good values to all her kids and grandkids. Praying 5 times a day, learning Quran and respect all Allah's creation are some of the important values she taught us. She passed away when I was about 5 years old, few years after my Atok passed away. 

I stayed with my parents when I was 6 years old onwards. My dad(Abah) worked for the national carrier in their cabin services and in charge of the catering. Abah is not well educated, but very hardworking. He further his study using his own money and very particular about education for my brothers and I. While my mom worked in Operation theater, in a hospital. We hardly get to see both of our parents as they worked shift hours. Sometimes they come back or left while we were asleep. We have been taught to take care of ourselves since we don't have a maid. I started cooking when I was only 8 years old. We do our own laundry, clean the house among other chores. So, you can see, my parents worked hard to make ends meet. Alhamdulilah, that supported us through school and college.

We live in a multiracial area in Kelana Jaya. On the left and front of our house are malay families. They have kids about my age. We walked to school together, go to playground and played in front of our houses. Fasting month is the best month, we need to cook one dish and get few dishes in return. On our right is a chinese family, we called the Aunty Nyonya. Despite knowing me since I was really small, she still calls me Lisa instead of Liza. I can recall she screamed when it rain "Lisa angkat kain, hujan hujan". My mom told me, even after I moved out from the house, she still called my name when it rain. Her family took care of us when my parents are not around. Knowing we must consume only halal food, sometimes she walked to nearest stall and bought us Nasi Campur. Chinese New Year is the time we always look forward to, we get our up, close and personal experience with Lion Dance. Nyonya have this every year. Until the day she passed away about 3 years ago, every year without fail she will give ang pau to my kids and present on my birthday. We also have one Indian neighbour we call Achi. This vegetarian family made the best murukku I have ever tasted. I still remember every morning she will be in front of her house plucking flowers for her prayers. All this individuals, I never see them as their race, they are all people I know and totally can relate to.

I went to school in Kelana Jaya until Form 3. I have many friends, again from all races. We played together, have fun sometimes getting ourselves in trouble and defended each other when one of us get caught. There are Din, Reza, Azlina, Irma, Noni, Chan Yoke San,Tan Kian Teck, Lim Lay Heong, Edward, Li Ping, Murugan to name a few. When I was in Form 2, majority of my schoolmates are chinese. I learned little bit of Cantonese with my friends as teachers. Of course there's swear word :). I watched Man In The Net and this one police chineses series, forgot the name. We will then talk about it at school, all of us, malay, chinese, Indian and there were other races too. All this individuals, I never see them as their race, they are all people I know and totally can relate to.

I then went to MRSM and then to college. Though in MRSM, we have people from other races in our batch. I remember I have a friend name Sulochna. I have one chinese friend, I can't remember her name. I also have friends from Sabah and Sarawak. Despite being the so called minority, they are all really smart and always in top of the class. I never hear any of us mocking them or belittling them just because we don't come from the same race or religion. We eat together, share the same library and school fields. When I entered college, I have this good friend name Cynthia. She is a devoted Christian. I remember when we go to Subang Parade, she will stop by this Christian shop to buy things there. I will wait outside. When I have to stop for prayer, she will wait for me to finish. Never we speak or try to influence each other about our religion. We are just best friends, who share the same passion i.e music. Until now, I still go to her house when she comes back from Dublin for Christmas and she will hang out with me when she is back in KL. I was happy finally I get to visit her in Dublin. I also have other friends I know from college, Muru, Puva, Ilham, Kay, Siew Sim, Jasbir, Tony to name a few. All this individuals, I never see them as their race, they are all people I know and totally can relate to..

I started my working life. When I finished my study, it was during the financial crisis. It was so difficult to get a job. I went for a walk in interview with Maxis and landed a job in Call Center. I worked what we call graveyard shift before I get to work in regular shift. I got promoted twice and enjoyed my work there. . For the past 15 years, I have worked with about 4 companies and landed job there based on normal recruitment process. In all those places, I got promoted several time. I would like to believe I got promoted is purely because of my merit, and not because I was born a malay. I also believe the same reason I got hired. I made a lot of friends, Ungku, Siti Aminah, Swaran, Shikin, Rita, Nexly, Azni, Belinda, Wati, Maryam Wong, Priya, Veera, Jeremy, Allan to name a few. All this individuals, I never see them as their race, they are all people I know and totally can relate to.

And now I have embarked in another journey. My Masters program. I have 16 people in my class, consist of people from different races, religion and even nationality. We support each other as we know we are all working adults and have limited time to study. We make sure no one is left behind. I remembered last year I have to submit 2 assignments, one is 2 days before Raya and the other one was 4 days after. My classmates sent messages to make sure I am ok, whether I need help. And lend me a hand when I need some support. I do the same for them. I have Jeffrey, Tee, 2 Raj, Puven, Joe, Adzam, Marcus, Kaanthan, Jacky, Rizal, Chow Min, Larry, Victor. Sometimes we have visiting students from other batches or other countries. We also have classes in other campuses, all around the world. In fact some of the boys will be going to Brazil in October for obvious reason *wink wink*. All this individuals, I never see them as their race, they are all people I know and totally can relate to.

So now, when people start to seed hatred on social media, accusing some races are out there to get us the malay, pardon me if I fail to relate. In my whole life journey, I have yet to come across any. Sure, there will be disagreement and misunderstanding but that is not exclusive to one race only. I have my fair share of disagreement with many people from all races. Cause when I argue with them I argue on the topic, on how to make our work better, on process improvement. Not because I am a malay therefore my idea is better than yours. None of them have ever show disrespect about my religion. Some even make sure I have time to pray when we have endless meeting, insist I go home early so that I can cook for my family during Ramadhan or understand I am a mom and will need to be away at times to take care of my kids needs. I have never come across any of this individuals I made friends with penalise me because I am malay or I am muslim. I believe they see me beyond this person wearing tudung. I believe they see me as me.

I get to go to US 2 years ago for work. I was there for nearly a month traveling from one state to another, 9 states in total. In every airport, I am always subject to "random" check, I also had to perform gun shoot residue test in LA airport. There's this one time I was having dinner with a friend when the waitress asked my friend if I can speak English, that was in Chicago. All because I am this lady wearing tudung and traveling alone. The feeling was not pleasant. I hate to be discriminated so I promised myself I will not discriminate. 

Maybe this 37 year old woman, a wife and mother of 3 is just naive. But, this is what I have experience thus far. And based on my own personal experience, none of the people I met judged me based on my race or religion. So, why do I have to do that to others. I have cousins who married chinese spouses. Are you trying to tell me they married bad people. I have close friends who have a chinese mom and a malay dad. Are you implying that they are out against me, a malay woman. Sorry, I just can't relate to all this. 

Sorry for the long winded entry. Perhaps that's just who I am, that's how I was raised. To look beyond race and religion. To accept a person as individual, another Allah's creation just like me. I thank my Nyang, Wan, Atok, Abah and Mummy for raising me this way. It made my life easier and Insyallah I will instill the same value to my kids. That's the least I can do.

Go back to Rasulullah s.a.w. Read his life journey and you can learn a thing or 2 on how noble and respectable he is. How he overcome hate by giving more love and understanding without compromising his belief. How his Iman stayed intact despite the obstacles he went through and how he taught us his umat to do the same. I know we can't replicate what he did 100% but at least please give it a shot. We can't see the future, we don't even know when we die if we call utter the kalimah syahadah. Nothing is certain but we can always spread positivity and show good examples. Insyallah, Allah will continue to protect us.

Some may win the election, some may loose. But from some of the postings I read in social media, I think everyone lost. The prejudice, the racist remarks just break my heart.

I leave you with this thought :

Manusia akan diuji dengan 2 masa ; Masa susah dan Masa senang. Apabila senang, ujiannya lebih hebat, untuk melihat sejauh mana kita tidak lupa pada Allah dan sentiasa bersyukur. 

Signing off,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

There's always a price to pay

I am a detailed person and a planner. Both are my strongest point. I look into things line by line and I live by check lists. As the matter of fact, I have check lists for everything. I am a strong believer of planning. I love planning. I love coordinating, hence why I love doing events. I love connecting the dots. That s what keeps me going.

However, I am beginning to learn and trying to accept the higher I climb the ladder, the less detailed person I will be, even now I am getting less and less detailed which frankly speaking, I totally hate it. I love that I am detailed and I love that I am hands on in many things. Just that with the current workload on my plate I need to accept, I can't do everything as much as I want to.

Before this I am ok to go for meetings by myself and come back with information to be disseminated to the rest. But now, running from meeting to another I must confess I don't have the luxury to send a recap email like I always do. Even if I did, it will be few days later. And I hate this kind of inefficiency I am portraying.

I know, I am killing myself in setting such high expectations. Something that I need to overcome. I have been working like this for the longest time and doing things by myself is something I am used to. Now, I need to convert to a delegator, which what I have been doing, just in a smaller scale. Now, I need to expand the delegating and let go...

So far, I am making good progress *clap clap*. I begin to bring my team for meetings and they will then take it on and trigger me only something pressing that requires my attention. Don't get me wrong, I trust my team completely, this is just something I need to deal with. It's part of my development.

Deep in my heart, I am afraid I will loose the "being detailed" skill, I don't want to loose the skill in coordinating. Therefore, I know there will still be things I want to be involved in end-to-end. Just that I need to prioritise which projects that allow me to "continue practising" this skill.

It's not easy, but Insyallah it'll be easier...And I have a great team who are also helping to make it easier and grooming me to be a better leader. Alhamdulilah....

Signing off,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Married Young

I just came back from sending Baby to her tuition class. One of the question Baby always asked me is why am I not old like other people's mom. I know what she meant. During any of her school events, or at PIBG meeting, I often get comments from her friends or teachers or other parents on how young I am. That happens more frequent if I go to Mira's school since Mira is 15 therefore I am expected to be older like other parents who have kids my age.

No, it's not because I awet muda, or even the effect of anti aging cream I am using (which reminds me, esok nak kena beli new bottle since the current one dah nak habis, nanti habis kerepot muka tak pakai cream). It's more because I got married at a young age therefore gave birth while I was young too. 

Yes, I got married at the age of 21 (technically 20 as I got married 6 months before my 21st birthday). It was not an easy decision, not only to me, it was harder for my parents to accept. However, I know my better half is the right one for me so I proceed even to the dismay of my Abah and Mummy. Alhamdulilah, after nearly 16 years of marriage, my better half takes care of me really well. Even my Abah told me, he don't think anyone else can tahan living with me.

I must say, it's not easy. In fact, it was really hard. First few years of our marriage, life was really tough, both financially and emotionally. Dating someone and finally living with them is not the same at all. You begin to see sides you never seen before, which I think are mostly my ugly sides my better half did not know before he lafaz Aku Terima Nikahnya. 

I was only 22 when I delivered Mira, 23 when I have Ilham and by the time I was 25, before I know it, I have 3 kids, delivered Baby 2 years after Ilham. While I see my friends enjoying life, going to concerts, parties and socialising, I was battling with diapers, sleepless nights, working and cleaning our home in between. Knowing we can't afford a maid, made it even tougher. I am blessed with a husband who helps me and making all this manageable. 

I have no experience whatsoever taking care of babies. I remembered when I had to bath Mira for the first time, I freaked out. She was so tiny, I was so afraid I will drop her or even hurt her. What if while I bath her she slips and fell into the basin. And hundreds of other what if ran through my mind.

Nevertheless, I enjoy being a mom very much. It gives me loads of satisfaction knowing both of us raised our kids when they were smaller all by ourselves. I hardly can participate in any social activities. Even if I want to and plan it carefully, if one of my babies fell sick, all plans will change. I must admit, at times I just want to get away and run to somewhere I can be just by myself. What I usually did, take a half or full day off, buy a good book and sit at one quiet corner and read. Cheap and satisfying. Money was really limited back then, so spa, pedicure or manicure or facial was never an option.

Alhamdulilah, everything turn out well so far. Long journey to go but things look really promising. Kids are bigger (and now have different set of problems so never say "anak2 ko dah besar, senanglah", when they were smaller, it's different challenges, when the get bigger, that's another set of challenges) and I am still energetic to handle them and keeping up with their active life. As our age gap is not that huge compared to other parents, many things they do I can understand and now how to relate to them. We listen to similar kind of music (except for Mira who has yet to exit from her kpop phase, I love her so much but no way I can accept her kpopness), we can speak the same language. I am so thankful and blessed for all this.

Berakit-rakit ke hulu,
Berenang-renang ke tepian,
Bersakit-sakit dahulu,
Bersenang-senang kemudian...

May Allah continue to protect and bless us. May this happiness stays till Jannah..Amin...

Nota tapak hati *chewah* ~ About a month before our 16th Anniversary. Moga Allah terus memberkati.

Signing off,

Oh, I so wanna be Donna!

For those who watch Suits series would know what I am referring to. I actually enjoy watching court drama or investigative kind of series. I think the first court drama I watched was LA Law. I can still recall the series montage where the car boot was close and have LA Law license plate on it. That was so cool back then.

I also love watching Law & Order, CSI (my favourite now is the NY version as Horatio is getting too annoying and CSI Vegas without Grissom just lost the magical touch), Blue Blood (still can't believe Danny Whalberg of NKOTB has no hair!), The Good Wife, NCIS to name a few. Can't watch Criminal Mind though, too explicit for me. Scary!

So when Suits started, I fell in love immediately. Harvey the cocky lawyer, who is so full of himself and yet see talent beyond just a piece of paper called degree (and it has to be from Harvard, mind you), or Mike, A Harvey wannabe however, tried to show he has more integrity than him when he is turning into Harvey by day, or Louis, the guy the whole office love to hate, we have one like that in every office kan. Or for the ladies, wanting to be Jessica, an iron lady who have to keep on proving herself, Rachel who can easily be a top lawyer just by using her dad's name but decided to work her way up. Or your choice is like me, Donna, the awesome and amazing PA for Harvey. Her character is the most interesting one, in my opinion at least. The way she speaks, how she handles stressful situation, how she zasss back those who tried to be funny, is just so different. At times, when I watch her scene and relate it back to the work I do, I would secretly wish, why didn't I respond to some not so pleasant individuals the way Donna did. 

Suits also shows what office politics are all about. Would not want to elaborate on that since I am sure for those who are in working world would know what I am referring to.

I love Suits and can't wait for Season 3 which will start in June/July. As always, the end of Season 2 is another cliff hanger and a steamy cliff hanger indeed. That filing room scene which I am sure it will not be shown in Malaysia.

For those who have yet to see it, watch lah in channel 702, Diva. Can't remember when and what time, sila rujuk laman sesawang Astro.

Yes, I so wanna be Donna.

Signing off,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My princess turns 15!!

Today, though my princess celebrates her big day, I am the one who are feeling so old. How can I have a 15 year old girl, how did she get so big! And how did I get so old! Don't worry, this entry is not about me, it's my princess's big day so let this be about her.

Amira, fits the name which means princess and she is indeed our first born princess. When I got to know I was pregnant, the feelings were just to surreal. Nothing can ever described it. And how bless my better half and I felt, and nervous at the same time, not knowing what to expect.

When I delivered Mira, I was 21 years old. While others are still berjimba2, there I was in labour room fighting for my life, nearly 20 hours of labour pain to welcome our bundle of joy. She was just the cutest baby ever (yes, all parents say this to their babies, I got to say this 3 times Alhamdulilah). I can see my better half shivering while he whispered qamat to her small tiny ears. And that was one of the most wonderful moment in our life.

Mira has always been adventurous. She is not afraid to try new things. When she learned how to walk, she practised and practised for hours. She woke up in the middle of the night and kept on practising in the playpen until she gets it right. I was pregnant at that time with Ilham and I can sense that Mira just want to walk before her baby brother comes into this world.

Being a sister at such a young age helped Mira to mature faster. She is very independent. She not only can take care of herself, also of her siblings. However, surprisingly, as she gets older, she is more manja than Ilham and Baby. Perhaps making up the time being the adult in our family way ahead than schedule.

Mira is always so smart, always top of her class, getting straight As and now her smart streak continues byt being in Dean's List for 2 years in a row. I always wonder how she gets so smart, I don't think she gets this from me. Convinced it's from her Papa.

One thing about Mira, she is very stubborn. If she believes in something, she will do what she can to prove her point. Like now how he craze for K-Pop has been going on for nearly 3 years. No matter how others hate this, she ignores all the non believers and still feel this so called music is the best in the world. And being a smart person, she can now speak a bit of Korean just by learning the songs. Speaking and understand Korean mind you! And of course annoying the whole house along the way.

And today Mira is 15, she is a teenager. A very pretty young lady which worries my better half so much. What if she starts to have boyfriends, and when she starts to bring boys home to be introduced to us. Are we ready for that, or better yet, is her Papa ready to accept that his princess is all grown up. And of course, the biggest challenge is to get through Ilham who is obviously more protective towards his sisters than my better half.

Happy birthday my dearest princess sayang Mama, Mira. We all love you to the max and will always be proud of you. Our prayers for you to be successful in whatever you do and strive the best results for your PMR. Also to be anak yang solehah who are able to continue praying for us when we are no longer in this world.

Happy birthday Princess...May Allah continue to protect and bless you always...

Signing off,

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Online Business, to do or not to do

I have this issue. This issue usually happens when I am bored, or upset about something or frustrated when something don't go my way. And this is when I start to create new projects. Personal projects on my own. Usually it does not involved profit making elements, however, I thought of embarking into something different. Coupled with a natural entrepreneurship blood running in my better half's veins, we are experimenting to start our own online business.

After going to UK 3 years in a row, I see lots of business ideas. How branded items sold in UK are very much cheaper than sold here in our country. It's cheaper by at least 30% to 40%. Not everyone is concern about seasons and being up to date with fashion, so our target audience should be those who just want to have a feel on what it's like to own a Prada, Tod's, Gucci among others. Don't get excited yet people, we are still toying with this idea, nothing concrete yet.

Apart from that, baby's stuff are also lower in prices compared to those sold here. Avent bottles, Mothercare products, Fisher Price products are the items I have in my mind. It's like fulfiling my wishlists, buying branded baby's stuff. When our kids were growing up, we can't afford all those and settled with generic brand. So, it's a pleasure to make it affordable for those who can only dream to own one.

Another potential exploration are items from Indo China like Vietnam, Cambodia to name a few. Textiles would be the must have. Bandung used to be textile heaven however, recent years show textiles in Bandung are getting more expensive. It's not as cheap as it was before. So, market moves to Indo China.

No, I am not leaving my job and don't plan to this near future. I love what I do. This idea should it's materialised will be spear headed by my better half and I will play the supporting role. Putting my accounting knowledge into practise as well as learning more on how to market via social media. 

Again, this idea is still very much premature. Still in WIP stage. Lots of research and feasibility study needs to be done before we jump into this. I am excited though to launch this project. 

Doa2kan lah yer kawan2 :)

Signing off,

Endless battle to loose weight

I must confess, I am one of the most not discipline person I know. I wish I am more organised so that I can keep my life in order. I love structure in the way I do things, but at times, there are a couple hit and miss. Some think I am being too hard with myself but from the bottom of my heart, I totally acknowledge this is one of the things I seriously need to work on.

Let's see some facts in my effort trying to overcome this greatest challenge in my life. It's like a monologue I have with myself :)

#1 Myth vs Fact
Myth ~ Busylah, got no time to exercise. Morning meeting, afternoon meeting, evening meeting. Balik rumah do housework then pengsan

Fact ~ It doesn't take more than 20 minutes of my so called precious time. I spend more time on social media, So, 20 minutes should not be a big issuelah Liza

#2 Myth vs Fact
Myth ~ People around me sabotage my dietlah. Always like to ask me go out for makan, tempt me with food, how to diet like this

Fact ~ It's your mouth that food is entering, your teeth use to chew it, you stomach to digest. So, which part of it that require people to force you to eat. You can just politely say no thanks or still follow but order just sugarless drinks or fruits

#3 Myth vs Fact
Myth ~ I enrol in races so that I can push myself to practise and exercise. Otherwise, I will drop dead lah when I run

Fact ~ Yes, you did enrol but then you did not show up. Cause you claimed you are too busy on weekends, when you know you can manage your time better. Come on Liza, stop giving yourself excuseslah

#4 Myth vs Fact
Myth ~ Malaysia's weather not good lah. At times too hot, at times it rains. And with current safety issue, not safelah to run.

Fact ~ If you remember very well, you bought elliptical machine 2 years ago. Just do a mental count how many times have you use it. It's an achievement if the frequency is more than total fingers you have. 

#5 Myth vs Fact
Myth ~ It's my genes, I can do whatever I want to loose weight but my genes are as such, nothing much can be done

Fact ~ What a total load of crap! You were only 53kg before, and you have proven you can loose 8kg within 4 months if you want to. So, what genes again??

I know, I know. I am full of excuses. I can do this if I want it real bad. If I don't do it, perhaps I don't want it bad enough. New mantra ~ ignore the temptation, exercise consistently!

And Baby told me a good quote from her favourite cartoon series, Boboiboy couple of days ago 

"Batu ini macam alasan kamu. Nah, batu dah dibuang jauh2, alasan dah hilang" *or something like that, she did it better*

Happy Tuesday peeps, let's at least try to lead a healthy life shall we?

Signing off,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Liza Can Cook ~ Ayam Masak Merah

This entry is long overdue request from Gina, who have been asking for the recipe Ayam Masak Merah from me. Sorry dear for the long delay. Honestly, I am not that good with this recipe stuff. Usually when I cook I just campak2 jer. Let me try to give this a shot ya. By the way, of all the food I cook, this is Ilham's favourite. That is why I always cook this.

This ingredients are suitable for family of 5 servings (aka my family :) )

Half chicken, cut into medium sizes
3 shallots grinded 
3 garlics grinded
30 dried chillies, boiled and grinded
quater of small bowl of tamarind juice
2 lemon grass (smashed as the root)
1 big onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into 4
Salt and sugar
Brown sugar

How to cook

1. Add tumeric powder and salt to the chicken. Fry the chicken, half cook
2. Once the chicken is done, tumis the shallots and garlic that has been grinded.
3. Add the chilli paste and continue frying
4. Add tamarind juice, together with salt and sugar. Also add brown sugar. Continue to cook until the mixed look red and shiny
5. Add the haf cooked chicken. Make sure it's fully cooked.
5. Add big onions,tomatoes and lemon grass

Yes, you are done. I can't seem to find Ayam Masak Merah photo, what I have is combination of this dish with other dishes I cooked that time.

So, Gina, hope this is ok. Please do let me know if you need more info from me. I'm not a good cook, just love to cook :)

Signing off,

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Loving my MBA Journey!

When I was thinking through whether I should start enroling myself for MBA, there were loads of considerations came to my mind. Whether I can cope with my life as a wife and a mom, whether my brain can still receive any learnings as I considered myself old and my brain can be quite rusty, not to mention my brain memory capacity may have reached the threshold and may not be able to absorb any new stuff. To be honest, work was not of my concern at that time, was going through rough journey at work and to put it nicely, I got no work at all! :)

So, I applied for 3 universities, 2 local and 1 oversea that has a campus here in Malaysia. I was thinking I'll decide whether I should go through with this or not when I get accepted. Apply dulu, belum tentu dapat. Dah dapat baru pikir larat ke tak.

To my surprise, I got accepted to all 3 universities. Yes, I have self esteem issue. Never thought I am good enough to be accepted, especially by a foreign university that has good ranking in the world. How can I say no to this. So, I decided to pursue.

I can't say it's easy, it's very hard actually. Juggling so many things at the same time. Trying to be a good wife, mom, daughter, inlaw, boss, colleague, employee to name a few of my roles in life. Some may empathise and try to make the journey easier for me, while some just choose to be difficult, as to them it's not their problem. But the main thing is my better half is extremely supportive and always there to listen when I reach my breaking point. I am blessed as my current employer supports my dream and my boss is a good boss who gives me breathing space and try to make the journey less painful than it's already is.

However, I must say I am very lucky to have such amazing classmate. In my cohort, class of Jan 2012, I am the only female. My classmates are very helpful and at times protective of my well being. They care genuinely and the best thing is we acknowledge we are here to learn and not to out do each other. This makes the journey less stressful. We remind each other to make sure everyone attends classes, we also help if any of us are stuck with our assignment or exam preparation. Yes, I am definitely bless to be together with amazing individuals from all walks of life as my classmates. 

The last 3 days were fun actually. Managing International Business System is the name of the subject and sounded complicated. But, thanks to all my classmates, I enjoyed every minute of it despite feeling the stress at certain point, especially pressured to digest 5 case studies and doing research to know how to tackle each and every one of it!

I always reminded myself, with good nawaitu, Insyallah akan dipermudahkan...

2.5 semesters down, 3 more semesters to go! Closer to my dream studying in Oxford!

Signing off,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Liza Got Taste ~ Melaka oh Melaka, There Goes My Diet

During our not so recent Melaka trip, as always, we were on food hunt. We usually would want to try new places so that we can have some variety. And of course prior research was conducted so that we can put all this in our itinerary. Yes, we are dead serious about all this!

This is what we enjoyed.

Day 1

This is Chicken Rice Ball located at Jalan Melaka Raya. We always wanted to try this however, it's difficult to get the halal ones. Thanks to Google, we found out there's one halal outlet in Melaka. Wanna get more details on this, go to this link

Dinner time, we had this delicious Curry Laksa at the hotel we are staying. Refer to this post on the location ya! 

We had our jalan2 at Jonker Street and came across this unique egg like ice cream. Just RM 3 each and really nice!

Day 2

We had breakfast and enjoyed this Lontong Berlauk at Melaka Raya as well. Don't ask me which shop, tak ingat lah. But memang sedap!

Lunch was at rumah pengantin and after jalan Jasin, we got hungry again and had dinner at Umbai, the famous seafood place. Variety of food was ordered and we left with satisfied tummy!

Day 3

On our way home, we dropped by the famous Coconut Klebang Shake, which is much much better than Harlem Shake (bad joke). And if you ever go there, please please please try the Nasi Lemak Bungkus. One of the best I have tasted so far.

So, there you go! There are so many other food outlet in Melaka like Roti Canai Terbang and Asam Pedas Claypot. So, explore and indulge!

*And I am day dreaming where is our next Jalan2 trip will be...*

Signing off,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We Never Learn, Do We?

Before I start, please be informed this entry is more for me to remind myself. It'll be good if people I care about would also get some takeaways so that we know how to take care of ourselves, our family and to stay safe.

Have you read the news yesterday. The headline speak for itself.

"Car stolen with child inside"

How can we continue to be so careless. This is not the first incident children were left unattended in a vehicle with the engine running. And this is not the first time children were abducted just because we were rushing for something. It's fortunate in this incident the child was left unharmed. I can't even imagine what would happen to the child if the perpetrators would do something really bad to her. Alhamdulilah, in this case, all went well.

However, not everyone can be as lucky. So, parents (me included). Learn from this and please let this be the last case we hear.

Let's also remind ourselves, never to put our bags on the passenger seats, be it on our left or at the back while we are driving. Put it at the car boot. It may be inconvenient but at least it's safer. Smash and grab is happening on daily basis, we all read it somewhere, either from the newspaper or via social media. So, why do we still do this. I know, I am guilty at times, again due to rushing for something and so far I have been lucky and have not been added to the statistics. 

One more thing, motorcyclists. Why do you make your handbag visible? This is really dangerous. Snatch thieves have no mercy. They kill if they have to. They will not hesitate to push you off the moving bike and may lead you loosing your life. Again, this has happened many times, yet, we still hear about this. Even yesterday, while I was driving home from work, I saw few who did just that. Why oh why?

So, why do we still do this? Why do we still make the same mistakes which have harm others? 

We Never Learn, Do We?

Signing off,

Monday, March 25, 2013

People will always have something to say

I think it's an open secret we live in a society where no matter what we do, there'll be leading questions that will follow. Like when we are single, we'll be asked when are we getting married especially if our peers or worse our siblings are married. Then when finally found the one and get married, of course we'll be asked when we plan to have kids. When we have kids one after another, we'll be asked if we don't have anything better to do, asik beranak jer. And when we stop producing, we'll be asked when are we having the next one. Muda lagik, beranak lah banyak2. Yes, it will never stop!

I love traveling. I prefer to spend my money on seeing places rather than buying materials stuff. I love observing people's culture, enjoying their food (though can be a challenge to find halal version for certain food) and seeing their way of life. That is why our family travel every year to some where. No, not because we are filthy rich, it's more because we spend our money towards that route.

I was asked couple of days ago in a very sarcastic manner, the question goes like this. 

A : Keje pangkat tinggi, takkan bawak Viva jer. 
Me : Viva pun ok. It gets me to where I need to go.
A : Ye lah, jalan sampai Europe, takkan takde duit nak beli kereta best skit. Nanti pegi meeting, pangkat Chief tapi bila parking tengok naik Viva jer
Me : Well, I just don't invest on things that depreciate (being a typical accountant)

Just when I thought holding high position in an organisation is enough, actually. not really. Now I am being judge by the car I drive, what clothes I wear, what handbag I use (I finally bought a Prada, not because I succumb to pressure, more because the design is so nice and the price was cheap for a Prada), where I eat and so on. When the actual fact is, all this comes from my hard earned money.

We prefer to spend our money taking our kids around the the world. We prefer to invest on something that appreciate, just that we don't announce it to the whole world. We prefer to eat at home, trying recipes of food which we feel it's too expensive to be consumed outside. That is just how we choose the way we live our lives. And we are happy with our choices.

So, people, don't be loosing sleep over what people think of you and qestioning the way you lead your life. They don't know you, they don't know what makes you happy, they don't know anything actually. They can just talk and comment. At times, they may not own any mirror at home if you get what I mean ;)

I am happy, my better half is happy, my kids are happy, my parents and inlaws are happy. And to me that's all that matters. 

Nota tapak kaki - blogging makes me happy. I plan to do it more frequent, Insyallah.

Signing off,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

She'll forever be our Baby *though she is 12 today*

For those who knows us would know we call our youngest as Baby. We have been calling her that since the day she was born and that name has been stuck with her. In fact, she calls herself Baby too. And today, this Allah gift to us turns 12, and how we wish we can slow down the time knowing she is growing up way too fast.

I still can recall very clearly the night I delivered Baby. We were lucky salary came in early that month, March 2001. We just finished our last minute shopping for baby's stuff. Since two of our older kids are not that far apart from Baby, most of their items can still be used which means we don't have to worry too much about additional expenses. Back then, our income was not that high. We rely so much on our monthly salary, it's the only time we can buy things beyond our day to day expenses.

I remembered I was at my parent's house. It's a normal practise, wherenever I am about to deliver, I will be at my parent's home. It made the logistic arrangement much easier. Should I need to rush to hospital in the middle of the night, Mira and Ilham's well being are well taken care off. 

That night I was watching Academy Award's delayed telecast (back then, there's no live telecast of such event), around 2am. I can feel the pain on my abdomen but it was not that bad and I can still tahan. But when the contraction suddenly become few minutes separated, I don't feel too good about it despite knowing the pain was not that great compared to my earlier pregnancies. I am lucky my mom is a nurse and she can tell. So, she knows the time has come for us to greet this new bundle joy into our life. She kept on reminding me not to push, or face the risk of delivering at the traffic light near Motorola. I don't want my child's place of birth stated as at some junction or under some bridge. Tak bestlah!

We arrived at the hospital at 3.30am and Alhamdulilah, Aliya came into our life at sharp 4am. We welcomed yet another blessing from Allah. Aliya completes us as one family.

Raising Aliya is not hard. Aliya is always curious and she speaks her mind. Like today, when she saw there's a clown at her birthday, she was not too happy about it. She said to me, this party is to celebrate her birthday, her input counts and she should be consulted since her friends are the major population of the party. Yes, that's Aliya for you.

Aliya is not girlish. She don't own any dolls, Barbie or another brand. She loves WWE wrestling, that she wanted to have that as her birthday theme, which of course I bluntly disagree to. She loves adventure like riding on roller coaster or a bicycle. She enjoys all that. Aliya used to be a picky eater when she was younger. Alhamdulilah we managed to solve that situation. She now enjoys her food. To Aliya, seeing is believing. Talk all you want, but talk is cheap.

Those who knows Aliya would realised how unique she is. She is resourceful, love to challenge and being challenged. Aliya loves challenging herself too, a go getter indeed.

And today, my sweet little manja busuk Aliya is 12. Still the same Aliya who is smart, attentive and willing to challenge herself in doing this she knows she can't do. That's our Aliya aka Baby.

Dear Aliya - we wish nothing but your happiness and success. We want Aliya to be great in whatever she does. Aliya knows what she wants and she'll find ways to achieve this. Very minimal guidance required. On the other hand, Aliya kuat merajuk! Sentap saje!

Heres's wishing our dearest Aliya for her happiness in this world and here after. And Ya Allah please protect her, open her heart not to miss any prayers, and never neglect her family. As I see her progressing, Aliya carries her own identity and branding. Aliya is not afraid to be different. 

Papa, Mama, Kakak and Abang loves you so much. Jangan kuat merajuk ok! And Aliya will forever be Baby Kecik Mama....May Allah protects you always..Amin....

Happy 12th birthday Baby kecik Mama....

Signing off,

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Liza On The Map ~ Ada Apa Dengan Melaka (A Long Overdue Entry)

This entry may not be the latest, this happened in November 2012, where we were in Melaka celebrating my 36th birthday. A friend got married that weekend in Melaka so we thought might as well we spent the weekend there. We always love Melaka especially yours truly who studied in Melaka for 2 years back in my MRSM days.

We chose to stay at a boutique hotel right in the middle of Jonker Street. When I say right in the middle, that's exactly what I meant. The hotel is located right in front of the stage where cultural performances take place here. It's called Jonker Boutique Hotel, a small but cosy hotel which have good cafe downstairs. If you you ever come to this part of Melaka for makan, make sure you try the curry laksa, it's delicious! 

Though it's not our first time here in Melaka, we still find there are so many things we can do here. Staying in the middle of Jonker Street really helps to keep us occupied at night. Going to the night market is such an interesting experience. You can find so many interesting stuff sold here. For foodies, this market also sells lots of food, however, most of them are non-halal. So, we did not get to enjoy any. Kids enjoyed ice cream instead. We walked around the area and love seeing the view of Masjid Kampung Kling at night. Such an amazing mosque, built ages ago.

The next day is the jalan jalan melaka day. We went up the Menara Taming Sari, yet again. We just can't get enough of the Melaka town from here. We were early, so the queue was none existant. In fact, we were the first to board the ride. We also yet again visited Stadthuys and A'Famosa. In the interest of time since we have a wedding we need to go to, we did not get to go to Bukit St Paul or enjoy the river cruise. Next time Insyallah. 

Melaka is also known for their amazing spread of dishes. Asam Pedas, Ikan Bakar Umbai and Klebang Shake were those we get to enjoy during this round. Next entry, I will try to feature all this awesome makan place.

If you have not been to Melaka, it's about time you do. Put this on your checklists of a must go to place. You'll be amazed and would want to come back again. We definitely will!

Signing off,

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Devil Wears Prada

It's about 5 months since I started my new role. Being a leader is not something new to me, I have people reporting to me before, but this time around it's different. The stakes are higher, accountability is more intense  and I have more things and people who I need to take care of. It helps that I love what I do so I am taking this challenge one day at a time.

Funny enough, I was watching The Devil Wears Prada on my flight back to KLIA. It's not my first time watching this movie, but somehow, perhaps due to aging, things I learned from this round of viewing was different. Before this, I was watching this movie from a subordinate point of view and now I am watching this movie from a boss point of view trying to find resemblance of my character with Miranda Priestly. And do I want to be Miranda Priestly. 

Well, I was and still is labeled by some of my ex-subordinates as someone who are mean and inconsiderate, not wanting to hear other people's views (read - their views) and many other words which they associate with me. To certain extent, I am Miranda Priestly to them. To be honest, that don't bother me that much. Cause I've labeled some of my ex bosses as one before. So, it's fair for me to be labeled that way.

You see, human behaviour works that way. We always forget what we received the moment we failed to get what we want. If we made 10 requests and 7 got accepted while 3 got rejected, we tend to remember the 3 rather than the 7. We forgot how we landed the job, how the same person who open the door for us to be where we are not as a person who did just that, we only remember how our ideas or the way we do things got rejected. Well, it's human behaviour, and I am quite ok with that. I must confess, I was once like that. However, perhaps I am little bit different cause I still remember and forever grateful with the people who open doors for me. Yes, they may have rejected some of my ways or ideas, but I always remind myself, they are the door opener, and without them I will not be who I am today. My mom always taught me to look things at the bright side and always remember the good people do to you and not focusing too much on the not so good things. 

And now, being higher in the company's food chain, I begin to see why some decisions are made. I begin to have some appreciation on how I felt I was victimised before, when actual fact it was to guide me to be a more productive employee. It's guiding my passion so that I don't forget the end goal. It's like how you appreciate your parents better when you become one. That's the feeling. 

And I am ok for some to feel I suck as a boss. Like I said, at times, I feel like that about my previous bosses. And I am also ok for those who refused to acknowledge me as someone higher than them. Again, it's human reaction towards certain decisions. I'm cool with that. I am ok for them to mock me, undermined my credibility and 

Nevertheless, I will never limit myself to keep on improving, at least to motivate the majority and focus my energy in developing those who wants to be developed. That's the amanah that has been given to me and I am determine to carry that through, Insyallah.

And, yes, I am ok that they unfriend me from their FB. I would do the same if I were in their position, I guess :)

In The Devil Wears Prada, so who do you see yourself as ; Miranda, Andy, Emily or Nigel. Or perhaps opportunist like Christian. And remember to watch the movie again when you are in a management position one day. You'll see the difference.

Signing off,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

And it's time to go

As we are packing and about to leave the apartment which we have been staying in for the last 10 days in Bayswater, London, I reflect on how this trip is the best trip I have had so far. It's not the first time I'm in London but it's the first time I am in London with my kids. My better half was in London with me last year, so this year, it's just awesome having all four of them with me. And this is also a demo to see if the decision I am about to meet is something they are ok with. 

This 12 days, we spent most of the time together. Except for few days that I have to go for classes, the rest was 24/7 with my family. No distraction. We talked and shared so much. We laughed and cracked jokes. We shopped and enjoyed walking. Yes, we walked A LOT! Which is a normal thing when you are in Europe.

Now, it's time to leave. Though we miss home, I can say that I am sad that we are leaving. I have always love London and of course my love is extended to Oxford, the place I can imagine I live in. I am already planning to come back, and I have not left yet!

Bye London! Bye UK! We shall be back!

Signing off,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#Medan2013 ~ Eye Opening Family Holiday Experience

Started couple of years ago, since we can financially afford it, we started taking our parents for holidays. We took them separately, one trip for my parents, one trip for my inlaws. And so far, our travel has only been in Malaysia.

This year, acknowledging time constraint, me juggling with work, home and study, I suggested to my better half to take both of our parents for one same trip. He hesitated at first, afraid we may take more than we can chew. I convinced him otherwise. And to make it more interesting, let's go to Bandung & Jakarta.

However, after consulting friends, we changed our destination to Medan. More manageable it seems. Traffic not too bad. More suitable for much more senior traveller. So, Medan it is. 

I am not going to write about the whole 4 days 3 nights adventure. That can wait. I want to write what this trip taught me.

It taught me ;

1. How blessed I am to have 2 sets of parents who love me unconditionally. Who have been with me through good and bad times. Who supported me through my darkest hour. And at times I forgot all this and care too much about others who don't even matter. Those who choose when they would want to be with me. Those who choose to judge me and throw conviction without even wanting to understand the whole situation. I should stop giving this bunch of goons any airtime. 

2. How blessed I am to have a wonderful man I call husband. I watched him this 4 days taking care of both my parents and his. Making sure everyone is comfortable. This one time, our parents were tired and sat down to rest at Dunkin Donuts Medan Mall. My dad and mom wanted carbonated drinks and Dunkin don't serve them. He went on searching for that drinks until he managed to give them to my parents. Also, making sure they are safe and protected. I am once again convinced this is the man I want to grow old with. 

3. How blessed I am to have well behaved kids. Who don't throw tantrums, even when they were very little. Who are not demanding and follow the flow. Who have small requests like a dip in the pool or 2 hours of internet usage before off to bed. Ilham is like his Papa, making sure his grandparents are comfortable. All 3 made sure their grandparents were served when we have buffet meals. All Atosk, Wan and Nenek need to do is just tell them what they feel like eating and food is served! I am definitely blessed.

So, I know for sure, despite all the nonsense I have to deal with on daily basis at work (not to mention those who have nothing better to do than making my work difficult) or other places out of home, I will forever have an awesome family I can go home to, something not many people have. I have their unconditional love, see me for who I really am and not what's on my name card or some email announcement. Who will constantly have me in their doas, making sure I succeed in whatever I do (and I am pretty sure, I am who I am today because of their doas). Who have always been there when others disappear. 

In total,

Flight ticket - Approx RM3000
Tour Ground Package - Approx RM6000 (full board)
Shopping money for parents and self - RM5000

Total eye opening experience....PRICELESS.

Alhamdulilah, I am no doubt definitely blessed.

Signing off,