Thursday, July 19, 2018

Goodbye Christopher Robin

A happy melancholy





Last night we watched the movie Goodbye Christopher Robin. Personally, I would say I loved the movie. I love how they manage to capture the whimsy playfulness of the 100-acre wood, the sweet innocence of Billy Moon's (Christopher Robin) playtime with his father, author A.A Milne, and the aching, undivided love that is between Billy Moon and his nanny, Nou.



Also, I love how the movie is able to still sustain that sad, melancholic note of the whole story despite the easy, lovely, and cheerful landscape and setting; how a small child grew up feeling so unloved, so unimportant, and so betrayed. As if his whole childhood was taken away from him, and his life growing up was a misery being bullied and made fun of because of the book.

To those not in the know, the book Winnie The Pooh by author A.A Milne was inspired by his observations of his son's (Christopher Robin) adventures with his stuffed toys in their home in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex.





The movie touched my heart.

I would say that I am now a big fan of the book >_<


Before this movie, I have never taken any interest in Pooh. I just couldn't make sense of his physical being. Is he a bear? What is he? Why is his skin smooth and yellow? If he's really a bear, I couldn't brain the fact that there's no fur. I couldn't comprehend the very idea of Pooh. Apparently I was more familiar with the Disney version of Pooh. Since then I just rejected the very idea of Pooh. I didn't even get to meet and know the original version of it. A more teddy-like pooh which would have made more sense to me.

And somehow, I used to always sense some sort of melancholy to the story

Seems like I have been right all along. It was actually a sad, sad story. It's about finding comfort, in times of war. It's like a beacon of hope, when all else was crumbling. It's that light they seek, when overwhelmed by fear.


It's the idea of a warm, cosy, story-time... with everyone all snuggled up in front of the fireplace.








No wonder the book never left people's hearts. It's a book, written from the heart. Therefore, it will reach hearts.


Should get a copy of the book!




Love,

chika



Sunday, July 15, 2018

take a breather

and keep calm






This morning I managed to bust our car tyre on my way out to work. One of the rear tyres hit the road divider and busted. I even heard the tyre went pssssss.


It was a bummer and I felt so bad to have caused this unnecessary trouble. I had to take the day off and stay home. Big A needs to get the tyre fixed before tomorrow and I feel so so bad. I created the mess and he has to come clean it up for us.


Definitely not a very good start to the day.


However.


Since I've got so much time at home with Little A today, while dully scrolling through facebook I found a post about rezeki. And after reading through it I felt much much better.


It's about rezeki (sustenance) and redha (acceptance).


It's about how as muslims, we should be able to have the patience to accept the different kinds of trials that Allah bestows upon us. From my understanding, trials could also be regarded as rezeki as with it, we are tested and with tests, come the remembrance of Allah. With the remembrance of Allah then comes patience and acceptance. With acceptance, we will be rewarded. With patience, we could get into heaven. Reading this reminds me again of my favourite verse in the Quran.




But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. Allah knows while you know not.
2:216


Who knows just what dreadful mishap I may have avoided because of the incident this morning. Allah knows, while we do not know.

As muslims we are always taught to think and stay positive. Always take the glass as half full. Always have good thoughts and of course, good intentions. 

Therefore, I choose to stay positive and have acceptance on the fact that the tyre was only meant to be of good use to us up until this morning. And with it gone, we may have avoided a worse outcome somewhere along the way, and with that thought I will choose to be grateful.

Alhamdulillah. May Allah grant us all His mercy, protection, and blessings. May we always be in His good favour, and guidance.


What has reached you was never meant to miss you and what has missed you was never meant to reach you
-Prophet Muhammad SAW-



It really touches me how Allah taps into our lives and gives us subtle reminders when we need them most. It's His little ways of showing His love and mercy onto us.



Have faith in Allah and keep calm.







Love,


chika

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Tea People

My palette


I used to be an anti-tea person. I hated tea. I couldn't for the life of me understand how people can even tolerate tea, let alone profess to be a tea person. For me tea was just a yucky concoction of some dried ground leaves, sometimes made too bitter or sometimes too sweet. Manis leting.

But everything changed when I went abroad. 


Care for tea?


One of my friends' places had always served teh O whenever anyone came over. This particular place was the house my friends and I used to spend a lot of time just hanging out with each other. We used to get together in some of the freer evenings, just because, and made goreng pisang (banana fritters) together, while some of us got to making the obligatory sambal kicap that accompanies the fritters. It was during this time too, did I discover the bombastic pairing of these two food items. A combo that is very foreign to those from the more northern part of West Malaysia. A combo, once tasted you can never forfeit. Makan goreng pisang, mesti kena cicah sambal kicap. I kid you not.

And of course, the tea. It was also during these gatherings that my taste buds were slowly bent into accepting the flavour of tea. I discovered that tea, was not that bad after all.

From then on, I started trying different kinds of teas. Well, to say that I began to become a tea enthusiast would be an exaggeration though. It was just that I started opening up to tea, and all the flavour possibilities. I was a bit surprised at this too. I have always not been able to tolerate caffeine. And I have attributed my disdain toward tea to this. But somehow tea finally managed to pass my caffeine restriction level I guess? Maybe I got more mature and my caffeine tolerance increased just a tad? 

Well now, I'm still not crazy about tea. I wouldn't say I will be dysfunctional without my cup of tea (like coffee people do *eyeroll*) but a cup of tea a day, makes a dull day all the better I think.

I just simply love tea. And I am very keen on learning more about tea, and the art that lies behind it. The different kinds of leaves, flavour, steeping time, water temperature, etc. 



Ahmad Tea Jasmine Green Tea


For the time being, I would say that my most favourite flavour will be JASMINE GREEN TEA. And out of the two mainstream brands that I have tried (Boh and Ahmad Tea), I would say I very much prefer the latter. For me, I feel like the bitter taste of green tea is quite strong and more dominant in Boh, and Ahmad Tea tastes lighter, and the floral note is more prominent. Which is why I love it. I also love the quite elegant box design and the fact that it is very cheap. One box of 25 sachets like in the picture above is only RM 5 plus.

Well, it all comes down to your preference. But every now and again, a cup of warm Boh Jasmine Green Tea is all I need for that kick from robust green tea flavour. 



I love it when brands care to slip a little note in their product packaging.
I think it makes the products worth a little more than what they already do.


There's just something warm and comforting in a cup of warm tea, right before bed. I always have my chamomile or jasmine green tea right before bed. It makes me feel slightly refreshed, and all ready for bed <3



What about you. Do you love tea?









Love, 

chika



Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cat Love

Kitty


YES wat yu wan bish??


This plump little calico of mine, is one particularly clingy cat. Lola my weird (more on this in another post) tortie, on the other hand is more aloof and minds her own business, only coming up to me when she needs some loving from her hooman.

Due to some unavoidable circumstances, they now live with my mum. The transition was a bit hard for them, especially Kitty. Now though, they are much better and I am so glad to see them thriving. I miss them so badly, but after much consideration I believe this arrangement will be best for them.



Notice the scar on her side. We finally neutered her, but for some reason the Vet explained that they now perform the surgery from cats' sides, instead of cutting through their lower abdomen. What I could say is this way it took much longer and quite trickier to heal.


At mama's place, Lola enjoys her newfound discovery of the outside world. She used to love just hanging out high up on the window grilles in our apartment, looking out into the outside world. They used to only know each other back in my apartment. But now they live with a bunch of other cats in mama's place.

Initially, both Kitty and Lola used to be very hostile. After a while though, Kitty is now getting along well with all the other cats. Lola on the other hand, is still a tad cranky towards the others, and is still adjusting into the new social dynamic.








Whenever we are over at mama's house, Kitty would ditch everyone and everything else and just follow me around the house. Just like she used to do. It seems like I am forever her hooman <3






The only sad thing for now though is that Kitty and Lola are no longer the bestest buddies anymore. For some reason they now turn on each other. Kitty started it at first. She was super hostile and upset toward everyone when they first moved to mama's. Lola was of course, her easy target. They ended up seemingly hating each other, hissing and growling at each other whenever they come close.


But now that Kitty is much better, she seems to be trying to make it up to Lola though to no avail. Yet. Hopefully time will mend their friendship, and they'll be back snuggling up to each other again.


For now, they still need to be kept indoors and not allowed to roam freely outdoors without supervision since they are still very new to the outside world. They'll just be too naive and it will be too dangerous for them.





Love,

chika



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The View

Unforseen beauty



When you forget to loathe something, you will see the hidden beauty in it.





This used to be the part I hated most on our long drives from Kelantan to Taiping. The part after we pass the small town of Gerik, towards Kuala Kangsar. It has always felt and seemed endless, the long roads winding along rows of trees after trees, and hills after hills. It always felt so tiresome, especially in the night when you literally can't see anything around you.

However, our most recent drive through here somehow proved me quite wrong. I forgot to hate the road, and I saw and realised for the first time just how beautiful the view was along the drive.

The weather was light and breezy, with a slight drizzle when we approached Kuala Kangsar. I saw the beautiful hills engulfed in puffs of clouds, and the plethora of greenery lining the road. It was very beautiful and breathtaking. 

I guess the same goes for life. Maybe, just maybe. If we pause, stop, and take the time to forget to hate something. We will finally see, just how beautiful that something could actually be.




This reminds me of one of my favorite verses of the Quran.



"but perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. Allah knows while you know not"
Al-Quran 2:216





Be positive in life. Love, don't hate. A reminder for everyone, and especially for my cranky, easily-triggeredddd hulk-self  >-<





Love, 

chika

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sea Love

Can't help but love the beach





I haven't always been a beach person. I even used to not like the beach. But these past few years have seen me slowly falling in love with beaches. There's just something about the breeze, the waves, and the mildly salty scent of the sea... that spells escape. It's such a fresh and liberating feeling, just enjoying the sea breeze and watching the waves splash into white foams.

Today is the second day of eid. Whenever we are back in Kelantan, I will definitely want to visit the beaches. So it just felt right for us to also visit the beach on hari raya.

My favourites would be Pantai Cahaya Bulan (PCB) and Pantai Irama, Bachok. I personally think Pantai Irama is more beach-goer friendly as you can easily get over to the sandy area and the water's edge. We took the time to stop by at Pantai Irama earlier today in the evening, despite the roads being so jam-packed, almost to a standstill around the area.

Well, it was all worth it I would say (easy for me to say I wasn't the one driving. but whatever haha). Though I still hate how the sand creeps into my shoes/sandals and how they get soft, mushy, and sink with every step. Despite this, I still love the beach.

Little A turns out to be quite the beach lover too. When he was a baby, he used to be so terrified of the sand. Now though, he loves to play in the sand and adores the beach.




We bought him a brand new kite today since his old one has already got a tear in it. Big A is good at flying kites. Me on the other hand, can't even maintain a flying kite in the air T_T

We had fun today. But since we were there quite unprepared with any extra clothes and whatnots, Little A didn't get to play much in the water. So I guess we might bring him back here one more time, before we head back home to KL?





Anyway, we had a few glasses of air nyor, coleq, and lokching at one of the beachside stalls. In my case though, it was a few glasses too many of air nyor, that I felt so bloated and sick once we got to the car.

We left at around 7pm, and it was already getting dark. We were very lucky because right when we got in the car, it started to drizzle and in seconds, it turned into a big downpour. Since everyone was also leaving at the time, the road started to flood with cars and again we got stuck in traffic. But it was quite a calming and warm feeling, being in the car despite being trapped in the standstill traffic right by the beach with raging waters. Being all safe and sheltered in the comfort and safety of your car, while the world outside turns dark, mellow, and quite gruesome. It was such a comforting feeling. Like sitting by the window at home on a rainy day while having a warm cup of cocoa.







Love,

chika
















Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Raya Holiday

A long break from our everyday





Our Raya holiday starts today. We'll be traveling back to Kelantan later this evening. Hopefully the traffic won't be too bad. Though we're almost quite sure that the highway will be jam packed with cars.

Anyway, I'm so excited for this long break. And needless to say, can't wait for raya!

I'll be making my own ketupat palas this year. Usually I would only be stuffing pulut into the palas leaves. My mum would be the one doing all the real work; cooking the pulut. But this year, I will be cooking my own ketupat over at my in-laws'. My first time doing the cooking bit, and i am so nervous about it!

Let's hope that my ketupat turns out good.

And pray that our journey today will be a safe and smooth one. Aaminnn.



Love,

chika

Sunday, June 10, 2018

memorabilia

the very important, unimportant bits


Last night a conversation with Little A triggered a memory I have long overlooked. I was explaining to him how my late father used to be very strict on me during our english and math lessons at home. I told Little A how that did not discourage me, in fact it made me even more determined to prove myself better, and that I would study really hard just to show him that I could. I told Little A how once, when I was in high school, my English essay got picked to be one of the best essays. I told him how when I went home, I brought the essay with me and showed it to his late grandfather. With pride nonetheless. I told Little A I gave my essay to him.

Little A then asked me.


'Where did he keep it?'


This question was like a big pang to my memory. I then remembered how my father used to keep the cards I gave him. Secretly. Without me even knowing. I can't recall when I actually found his stash, but when I found it I was a little surprised and flattered. He kept, all the handmade cards I could remember I ever made for him, inside this small drawer in his cupboard. I never knew he actually really cared about those cards that much, let alone having kept them. But there they were, in a stash, inside his drawer.

The sight of his stash of cards flashed through my memory like a sudden bolt of nostalgia. And I could not help but feel that helpless sense of forgetting something important, but having lost every chance to grab it back. I wondered where that essay paper went to. Did I really let him keep it? If so, did he keep it somewhere safe? And where are the cards now?

When he passed, everything was a blur. Everything flashed by very quickly, while I was still struggling to catch up with the fact that he was suddenly gone. All the more important bits were taken care of, and all the more significant things were brought along.

But really, what of the less important things? Like his stash of memorabilia.





I realized it was now about 10 years too late for me to think about that important stash of his. And suddenly I missed him so very much.


Al-Fatihah.

My late Father.
1958-2008


May Allah grant him ease in the hereafter. May he be placed among the righteous, and may we be reunited in Jannah. Aameeen.




Love,

chika

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Rainstorm

What a liberating feeling





The other day, little A and me had to scurry through a rainstorm to our car. The wind was very strong, to the point that it was hard for me to even push the car door open from inside the car, so using an umbrella was definitely out of the question. I carried him all the way to the car as I felt it was much safer for him that way, and it'd be much faster. I was a bit terrified, because the wind was so strong. 

But then in the blur of the hurry, I caught a glimpse of little A, just for a brief moment, his face up, lit and open, looking up to the sky and embracing the rain and the wind. It was a new exciting and exhilarating experience for him. 

That view somehow made me feel quite liberated. It was a good, refreshing feeling.

Since he's much bigger now, I've grown to be more open about letting him be in the rain. Back then I wouldn't have let even ONE teeny speck of raindrop touch even his hair. Now I've realized that a little bit of rain really won't hurt him. In fact, I think it will do him a world of good. Also because he's bigger now.

I'm writing this up, because it's one of the most insignificant, significant moments.




Love,

chika

Monday, May 28, 2018

Harvesting dried flowers

Old, aged, and beautiful in every way


I used to be one of those girls who proudly claim to the world how I detest flowers. That was when I was very much a kid. But ironically, I slowly grew to adore them more and more while growing up.


This one is a new flower kiosk in Rundle Mall though, hence the hefty price. 


When I was still in Adelaide, I used to buy myself little bunches of soft pink or white gerberas from the Sunday market, had I gotten the will to wake up early enough to go there lol.

Now that we are back in Malaysia though, roses seem to be the most prominent fresh flowers around in flower shops. There are a few very good fresh flower shops here around KL but I still haven't got the chance to visit. I usually get my healthy dose of roses whenever we go back to my hometown Taiping. There's this one old bazaar with rows of Indian flower shops. I could get a bunch of roses there for very cheap. Usually they'd be around RM1.50 to RM2 per stalk, depending on the bud size.

However though, lately I have been utterly smitten with dried flowers. When they start to wilt and dry on their stalks in the vase, I notice the pretty little streaks of colors forming on the now wrinkly and saggy petals. They look so rustic, and a whole new level of lovely.




And it gives me great pleasure to snap these flowers off their stalks, as if I am harvesting them :)

Apparently when I did some research on dried flowers, I found so many beautiful artworks and keepsakes that people have done with them. There are also techniques and tips on how to properly dry flowers that will make them last longer and somewhat retain most of their natural color.


A few flower drying techniques:

This is more suitable for bouquets, and for robust flowers like roses, or small, long-lasting varieties like Lavender.
Best for individual gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, roses, and tulips. Helps preserve the color and structure better.
Most suitable for more delicate flowers like lilies.

More on the techniques here.


Tips:
  • Don't wait too long before you start drying your flowers as fully mature blooms will likely start to lose their petals in the process.
  • To help the flowers retain their colour, remove from sunlight or excess heat as soon as they are cut.
  • Keep away from moisture.
  • If using the air dry method, use hairspray on the blooms to make them last longer.





I have only been doing the air dry method because it's basically no work at all. I just leave them to dry on their own. Except for the harvesting part. Because if I don't do that, the roses will just droop and wilt on their stalks.

I am still thinking of what to do with these dried flowers that I have already gathered. I might put them in a mason jar. But I would love to have them arranged neatly in a shadow box. Any ideas where to find these in KL?



Prettyyy <3 <3



I mean look at this!! I am seriously in love with this idea. How can I not?? Where can I find a shadow box !





Love,

chika

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ramadhan Mubarak

1439 H


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.




Ahlan wa sahlan ya Ramadhan. Welcome Ramadhan. May Ramadhan this year be among the best in our lives. May we dive into it tainted, battered, hurt, and bruised only to come out cleansed, lifted, soothed, and healed. May this holy and blessed month of Ramadhan bring us barakah, peace, love, and mercy from Him. The All loving, All compassionate, and All forgiving. Aameeen.



Love,

chika

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

laundry love

Major laundry love


Since our little apartment will be ready soon-ish, we have been looking up home renovation ideas. The kitchen is definitely the most important-est part of my home. However, I am also very enthusiastic in conjuring up a neat little laundry for us to use daily. This little laundry will have to be both VERY practical, and somewhat pretty.

Needless to say, pinterest has been my major source of inspiration. After dozens and dozens of very chic, cute, sophisticated, industrial style or farmhouse charm or whatever kind of laundry that I have pinned, I finally found one that to me was and still is perfect in my eyes.

It fits the criteria we are looking for in terms of the size, the practicality, and it's very cute.




Laundry plus points:

  1. wooden worktop
  2. washbasin!
  3. pretty backsplash
  4. neat arrangement of washer and dryer 
  5. closed cabinets
  6. tall side cabinet for broom/eyesore-whatevers storage


And the apothecary amber glass bottles really completes the look. Though I am not too sure if those would be too practical for us clumsy and comot peoples lol. 

Anyway, to me this laundry is perfect. 

Might also consider a washer-dryer. What do you think? Is it a wise move or should I just stick to the old stand-alone appliances? We won't have any space to air our laundry outside so a dryer is a must.

I am also considering having some sort of folding door or heavy drape to cover the area. 

Sort of like this




Also, to have the ironing board attached to the wall





Wall mounted drying racks and ceiling mounted drying racks





Actually, this laundry is not too bad too




Well, except maybe i'd prefer all the cabinets covered.




All these amazing ideas aside though... I still need to get the price quotes before I could continue dreaming my laundry dreams lol. And not to forget, need to save LOADS of $$$


sigh. i wish money could just grow on trees.





Love,

chika















Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rainbow connection





someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection

the lovers, the dreamers, and me