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,