Weekend Snapshots

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weekends are the only chance I get to relax and even then I always have something to do. Apparently it's all due to genetics. According to the famous book, Eat Right for Your Blood Type by Dr. Peter D'Adamo, people with A+ blood like to find things to do to keep themselves busy. That is very, very true ya'll. My Mum has A+  blood type too and she is the busiest retired woman I know!

Now because I love all my readers so much I decided to share my weekend snapshots whilst writing an essay for one of my Politics paper which is due on Thursday. Oh yes might I add those with A+ blood are also chronic multi-taskers =D

Friday: My Lamb Pizola during Tasneem's farewell dinner, Paasha

Saturday: Fire performers during Earth Hour, Octagon

Sunday: Babysitting kids, Botanical Garden

Enjoying a jelly-tip ice cream by the duck pond, Botanical Garden

Peach Orchid, Botanical Garden

Peach Rose, Botanical Garden

Guess who sneaked into my shopping trolley?, New World Supermarket

P.S. I can't wait for the 1 week Easter Break starting this Friday! Finally, I get some time to rest do more studying because I have 2 tests right after the break. . . and I still love being in Uni, strange huh?

Fashion Friday: Laysu

Friday, March 26, 2010

One of the best perks about being a new hijabi is that my friends like to give me hijabs as presents! =)

My favourite ones at the moment are from my friend, Lamya. She is Omani and one of my closest friends in Dunedin. In fact, I'm even crashing at her place for almost 2 weeks while I wait for my mum to get back from Malaysia. She's been the perfect host... cooking and making sure I'm all comfy here. Thank you, Mya!

Anyhoo, she gave me 2 pieces of these fabulous things called 'laysu'. They're not meant to be worn as hijabs because they are very long compared to normal hijabs but it can be done by folding them in half or by creating the 'volume effect' as they are usually made of very thin material. The print or pattern looks ethnic yet modern and I am officially in love with the Omani 'laysu' because of their bright and bold colours.

Y'know what? I found a really good article about these pretty pieces here so I'm going to share an extract with you.
The laysu (also called a lusy) is a more casual version of the lahaf, hijab or shayla worn for more formal occasions. It is larger, brighter and bolder; it invariably sports a border on all four sides. It may be worn at home, among friends, on picnics or while running small errands. The loosely-woven material is cool and breathes even in the intense heat of the Omani summer. Bright colours and bold patterns give the laysu a cheery look. A beautiful new laysu is a sought-after item for Eid morning. Although traditionally the laysu does not usually match the outfit a woman is wearing, more recently laysus and dress cloth are offered in matching patterns.
The laysu is primarily an unfussy garment meant for comfort more than glamour, but sometimes the scarves are dressed up for special occasions with gold outlining, bullet-like metal embellishments, fringes or beads.
And this is what they look like...

I like this one so much, I did a major hijab faux pas by wearing it 2 days in a row.

This laysu covers 90% of Lamya's double bed!


Pretty in blue and tangerine

I love colours especially vibrant ones. I use them to express myself and to be creative. Despite what fashion magazines say I don't think colours go out of trend. It all depends on how you style yourself. Whether you wear a hijab or not and you feel like trying something new but you're not quite sure what, why not try a new colour? While you're at it perhaps make it a bright and bold one. But pair it with a neutral or dark coloured clothing item so that you don't blind people in the street!

Alice in Wonderland

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And so I finally saw Tim Burton's interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. I didn't know quite what to expect but I held on to my friend, Lamya's words : "It's a darker version of the real Alice in Wonderland". Plus, if you take a look at the director you can already sort of tell what you're in for.

Well, I don't usually like 'dark' movies but this was one pretty cool. In fact, it's more quirky with a hint of darkness. I enjoyed the visual effects, the actors (I noticed Tweedledum and Tweedledee were actually voiced and modelled after one of the guys from Little Britain and of course, the only and only legendary Johnny Depp).

And most of all, I really admired the costumes. Alice's dresses reminded me of the late Alexander McQueen's iconic work. They were out-of-this-world yet pretty. I looked forward to each and every scene with excitement whenever I thought Alice would've had a costume change. The costume designers did an oustanding job as even the White Queen's horse was well-adorned!

Boho chic meets Victorian vintage

I was actually very curious to see Anne Hathaway's performance in the movie as White Queen. My curiosity was crushed by her terrible acting. The first thing I thought of was the awkward Mia trying to behave more royally appropriate in 'Princess Diaries'! She wasn't convincing at all. If anything Anne Hathaway made the White Queen appear so affected and fake. If I was the Red Queen, I'd hate her myself. My favourite actor out of the lot would have to be Johnny Depp. He brings soul to the Mad Hatter's character. Also, there was a slight reference to Edward Scissorhands which I thought was pretty cool of Tim Burton. Be sure to keep an eye out for that. And for Mr. Depp's dancing skills.

The movie was also filled with both visual and verbal symbolic representations. I quite like how that made me try to analyse and interpret the characters and scenes as a means of making all the craziness relevant to my seemingly normal daily life. In this movie Alice is an individualistic and brave young woman who wants to make her own choices about who she is and how to live her life. Most of all, she wants to be able to trust her instincts and intuition. Who can't relate to that?

Alice In Wonderland has depth... in a Tim Burton kind of way. In order to immerse yourself in the storyline you have to leave some of your realistic expectations at the cinema's front door. This is a fun, wacky and creative movie and it's meant to take you to a place you've never been before. Tim Burton's idea of a wonderland is definitely not typical therefore it's definitely worth checking out.

And now I'll leave you with one of my favourite lines from the movie.

Mad Hatter to Alice: You used to be much more...muchier. You've lost your muchness.

How cute is that?

EDIT: Thank you Lamya for finding an image of this dress. I searched high and low for it!

When one mixes card tricks with a dress

New Layout


I stayed up till 1 am last night working on it. (Blogger's Syndrome lol)
So what do you guys think?

Kooky Update

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hi everyone!

I just finished 3 hours of lectures. 1 hour of New Politics and 2 hours of Advanced Communication Theory. That's right, 2 straight hours... no break, no nothin'. Sometimes I really wonder why the lecturer does that. It's known that the attention span of the average student is 20 minutes and the usual 50 minute lecture has already gone 30 minutes overboard so why quadruple that? I'm pretty sure my brain switched off for 5 minutes after the first hour.

Just a quick update! I am in the midst of changing my blog layout so don't mind the odd bits here and there. Last night I spent almost an hour trying to figure out how to change the font size for the date header. (Look above, it's tinier compared to the rest of the other fonts in the blog, grrr). This is the thing with HTML. You have to be so precise and careful. One small mistake and it doesn't turn out as it should be.

Also, I'm attending the Muslim Students' Association (MUSA) Sisters meeting tonight. Apparently someone nominated me as the sisters' Ameerah (equivalent to the brothers' President). You cheeky, cheeky person! I didn't see that coming at all. Well I don't know if I'll get the part or if I necessarily want it either. I mean, I do have a lot to juggle this year. However, I've decided to accept the nomination and see how things turn out. Whether the post is mine or not I'll help out with the MUSA Committee as I always have in previous years.

Lastly, I'm finally going to watch Alice in Wonderland! After tonight's meeting of course. I'm not crazy about movies but I feel like watching something artistically creative as of late.

I just noticed something on my blog. The header image of myself and my profile image appear to be looking at each other =P Ah, 3 hours of serious knowledge absorption has clearly made me a little kooky today.

Fashion Friday: Summer Love

Friday, March 19, 2010

TGIF and Jumaah Mubarak everyone =) What a week it has been! I've only been back a week and I feel like so much has happened. I had a test, class debate and to top it all off, I'm officially sick now thanks to a pretty drastic temperature drop a few days ago. Alhamdulillah it's sunny today but oh my it was freezing yesterday and the day before. It drizzled, rained and hailed! That's life in Dunedin for ya.

Anyhoo! On to happier things =) I've decided to start a 'Fashion Friday' segment in my blog. What better way to start the weekend then to blog about one of my biggest passions in life, right? I also have to start designing a new layout as yes, I've decided to wear the hijab for good, inshaAllah. So much to do so little time...

But now it's time to let the Fashion Fridays begin! When I arrived New Zealand last week I spent a night in Auckland. I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with my beautiful and vivacious friend, Shaymaa, who used to study in Dunedin. She now studies in Auckland where she gets to be with her family. Lucky girl!

While I was there she took me to Mo Mo Tea for some bubble tea as I've never tried it before. Then we went to Eastern Beach and had a magical time! It was an amazing way to start my year in NZ this year as it made me realise again how much I love NZ's landscape and scenery and how peaceful this country is.

Anyway, Shaymaa, who is an avid fan of Lady Gaga by the way, looked so pretty with her summer maxi dress mashaAllah so I've decided to feature her in my first Fashion Friday post. Check out the sweet bronze headband she wore on her hijab that day too. Everything matched so beautifully and she deserves to be featured as one stylish hijabi.

I had an amazing time with Shaymaa. It was also the first time I wore hijab in NZ (apart from going to the mosque) and from that day onwards, I never left home without a hijab. Thank you Shaymaa for making it such a special day for me. Lotsa love from me!

Me with my almond milk bubble tea and yes this was taken after a 10 hour flight. I slept during most of it but I was still pretty tired.

Elegant and pretty

Feather print on Shaymaa's maxi dress


Being in NZ is pure bliss

Hey You're Back! But Something is Different About You... Hmmm...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Salam and a big hello to everyone!

I’ve been back in Dunedin for a week and I’m so sorry for neglecting my blog during the entire time. I missed the first week of Uni therefore there was a lot of catching up to do. I’m all settled down now and I have my first Pol Sci quiz this Thursday. My holiday is officially over! But I’m happy to report that I love being back in New Zealand. This country is truly a 2nd home to me and I appreciate how peaceful and relatively laid-back life is over here. Plus I'm very relieved to get away from the blistering heat of Malaysia. I can tolerate Dunedin's warmest days but not Kuala Lumpur's!

I’m also delighted to tell you that I’ve worn the hijab (headscarf) for an entire week as well! I’m honestly very surprised with myself. I’ll tell you why. Firstly, a year ago I never would have imagined myself sitting here in the library or anywhere in campus with a hijab. I mean, I’d wear it to the mosque for prayers but to wear one full-time outside the comfort zone of the Al Huda Mosque is quite an achievement for me. Secondly, for me to seriously consider wearing a hijab at this time in my life and in a Western country is quite a challenging feat. However, I’ve decided to think of it sort of as an adventure and try it for 2 weeks to see how I feel about being a hijabi before I commit to it. At first I was extremely afraid of what other people would think of me. Friends, lecturers, classmates, the lady at Countdown supermarket… you name it. But I keep telling myself that I’m doing this for myself and for various reasons as I have utmost faith in the Almighty.

So how did this whole thing start in the first place?

Well, I’ve been thinking about it for the past 3 years but I became more serious about it recently. Ever since I came to New Zealand I started learning about Islam more than I ever did in my life. I guess being born as a Muslim made me quite a passive Islamic ‘thinker’ and I didn’t question or think much about it when I was living in Malaysia. I used to say religion is for the later part of life but slowly this has changed. The more I learned about Islam the more I saw its beauty. A lot of its teachings made sense to me therefore Islamic values weren’t hard for me to incorporate in my life. Having said that, the hijab was still something I thought I’d never be able to wear full-time because I was afraid it would make me stand out way too much in a Western environment. No one in my family ever told me I had to wear it so it was never forced on me. That itself shows how Islam is not about compulsion.

Anyway, after my recent trip to the Holy Makkah (Mecca) I went back to Malaysia and went on with my usual life. However, I started to feel uncomfortable for me not to cover up in front of random people in public. I asked myself, “Why am I showing my hair and my sensuality to these people?” The answer was pretty straightforward. I wanted society’s approval. The common perception is: If you look beautiful everybody likes you. I was at a point in my life where I was over dealing with superficiality - friends, fashion and just people in general. I no longer wanted to be the kind of person people wanted me to be. I just wanted to be me and have people like me for who I am - my values and personality. My sensuality has nothing to do with people liking me for me.

A lot of people have this misconception that hijab is just about covering the hair. It isn’t. Hijab encompasses everything from our speech, behaviour and the way we dress. It’s all about being a modest and self-respecting person. So okay, why not just dress modestly then? For example, stop wearing short dresses and show less of my curves when I go out in public. Why must I cover my hair? There is a debate that covering the hair is not obligatory for Muslim women as the Qur’an states that women should cover their chest. But the Qur’an also states that Muslim women should also conceal what is beautiful except in front of their family and close relatives. A woman’s hair is her crowning glory. I love my hair and I treasure everything that I like about myself therefore I want to be modest about it. It really is as simple as that. And as my dear friend, Chloe, mentioned when we met last week, back in the good old days women did cover their hair but as time progressed their dressing became more and more revealing. Women started to show their cleavage and what not, therefore that verse in the Qur’an telling women to cover the chest is due to the fact that women were already covering their hair then.

My decision to seriously consider donning the hijab has nothing to do with my family or a man forcing me to do it. In fact, I asked my mum what she thought of it and said she doesn’t mind either way as long as I don’t dress revealingly in front of men (who are not family). My late father also never mentioned I should ever wear it. I think it’s also really important for me to highlight that I haven’t changed much as a person. I’m still the same old Sha who is friendly and outgoing, loves fashion and make up, and hanging out with my friends. The only difference is that my priorities have shifted a little bit. I no longer place superficial needs above what really matters in life. That includes being friends with fake and superficial people and trying to make myself to be someone I am not.

My belief started in my heart and slowly it started to materialise physically. The more I had faith in Islam, the more I believed in the importance of honesty, kindness, compassion, sincerity and prayers. All I’m doing now is adding modesty and humility to that list. When I was in Makkah I prayed for God to make me a better Muslim and now here I am doing what I thought was impossible. Most importantly, I have to note that I’m happy to wear the hijab. It’s the kind of happiness you find after sincerely doing a good deed for someone else but different in a way because that someone else is me =) Anyway, I hope that answers some of your curiosities if you had any. I’ll write a post about my experience and the different reactions I received by the end of the 2nd of week of my ‘adventure’, so stay tuned for that. Adios amigos!

P.S. Thank you for all the lovely comments you’ve left on my last post. You guys are just fabulous and your kind support means the world to me.

Goodbye Malaysia

Friday, March 05, 2010

I just found out that Miss ProudDuck and myself have something which is called Blogger's Syndrome. What's Blogger's Syndrome you ask?

1. You possess a heightened sense of responsibility when it comes to updating your blog. As you are incredibly busy during the day you are willing to stay up, even if it means until 2 a.m., just to update your own little corner in cyberspace.
2. You constantly think of possible blog material and thoughts such as these are not uncommon - "Ooh I'm so gonna blog about this!".
3. The amount of photos you take has significantly increased ever since you started blogging and this is caused by symptom number 2.
4. You talk about your blog when you meet your friends and then they catch the bug and decided to start blogging too.

Blogger's Syndrome is contagious!

My flight to New Zealand is TONIGHT and I've been so occupied the past 1 week. Sorry if I haven't replied to your comments and messages. There's just no time for it right now. I shouldn't even be online but I managed to sneak a few minutes in. My schedule is crazy busy and honestly, I haven't had enough sleep but I plan to do so during the entire 10 hour flight to Auckland, thank you very much! I spent the last 2 days doing some last minute shopping. By the way, I've never disliked shopping so much in my life. It was tiresome, rushed, I got into an argument with my mum and my feet hurts from all the walking.

I'm really sad to leave Malaysia... I don't think I'll be able to hold back my tears at the airport. I had the most amazing summer holiday ever and I'm grateful for everything - the smiles, hugs, tears, stress, laughter, excitement. My thoughts are all over the place right now so forgive me if this isn't coherent. I'm listening to 'Glitter in the Air' by Pink and I'm getting all sentimental and emotional! Thank you everyone for everything. You know who you are. I pray that everything goes well for all of us this year and hopefully we'll be able to see each other again end of this year. I'm gonna miss ALL OF YOU!!!!!!! ='(

Anyway let's focus on the good times! I had my farewell dinner with my closest friends @ Bijou recently. It's my favourite restaurant in KL at the moment. (Sorry for the terrible picture quality!)



What I ordered - the grilled steak sandwich. It was yum!


Long time buddy, David! We were classmates when we were 12 and he used to be shorter than me. Look how grown up he is now lol. Thanks for reading my blog, Dave!


Oh if you're wondering why I'm wearing hijab a.k.a. the headscarf in these pics... it's because I'm sorta practicing to wear it full-time someday when I'm completely ready. Why? I'll blog about it soon!

Goodbye Malaysia! I will definitely miss you!!!!