Fashion Friday: New Year's Eve Breakfast

Friday, December 31, 2010

What I wore to breakfast today. 

Oh and Happy New Year 2011 in advance!
InshaAllah it will be a successful and blessed year for each and everyone of you.
 May we increase our iman and good deeds only for the sake of pleasing Allah swt. 

Blogger Girls' Day Out

Monday, December 27, 2010

I think a lot of good came from the Live Fashion/Love Music event by Yuna and Hana Tajima. For starters, the fans had a chance to meet the talented singer and increasingly popular designer. Then we had a sneak preview into Maysaa’s latest collection. But what’s awesome is that the event also brought bloggers together. For instance, another dynamic duo, Sue Anna Joe and Maria Elena, are now collaborating on a web show called ‘We Say Well’.

And if it weren’t for that event I wouldn’t have met Hana Fedora and Lia. Yes, that event marked the beginning of many wonderful friendships. Meeting someone you know from the blogging world in real life is a pretty new phenomenon for me. Judging a blogger from their blog is kinda like judging a book by its cover. Sure, there’s heaps you can tell about a person from what their posts are about but it’s the not same as knowing them in real life.

A person is a lot like a book.

A book has many pages while a person has many layers to their personality. You have to read their facial expressions and body language. You have to interpret their words and intonation. Just like a book, in order to understand the essence of the story you have to go through all the chapters carefully. With a person, in order to understand their personality you can observe the way they react to certain situations and see what makes them laugh and the issues they are passionate about.

Aimie, my long lost sister, lights up instantly when she talks about her son, Little Z. You may know her from her blog and if you don't, you're totally missing out! Just in case you didn’t know, she is half Arab half Malay; that’s why she stands out and looks so beautifully exotic. She grew up in Ipoh or as us Malaysians say it, Ipoh mali la! Her beauty secrets? She doesn’t have any. Or maybe she hasn’t shared them with me… after all they are meant to be a secret. However, as far as I know, this woman looks good effortlessly.

I knew Hana when she wrote me a lovely e-mail a few months ago. I’ve been following her blog ever since and from there I can tell that she’s a sweet, smart and determined woman. I mean, hello, she’s pursuing a PhD in Engineering. If that’s not determination and brains, I don’t know what is! After spending time with her I can now tell you that she’s brave, animated and outspoken. She loves tea without sugar and she prefers to take the stairs instead of the elevator at her apartment building in London. In case you're wondering, Hana Fedora is her actual name. Oh and I sincerely mean it when I say this: she’s prettier in person.

Lia blogs but she does it privately. She is quite a shy person but she is sweet and friendly. She doesn’t talk too much but just enough. Lia thinks being an IT person is boring but I have to disagree. Does Mark Zuckerberg ring a bell, anyone? The man she married turned out to be her good friend's brother. She is a mum to her 17 month old daughter, Nia and did I mention that she’s very understanding and forgiving? Let’s just say it has something to do with us not being so punctual lol. And her skin, oh her skin is so smooth and flawless mashaAllah. Thanks to her we had lunch at this very pretty café called 'Garden' at The Curve.

I love how they keep the tea warm

Pink rose tea: Almost too pretty to drink

Grilled Norwegian Salmon: An overall okay meal even though the salmon was a tad overdone.
If you're gonna order this tell them not to overcook it.
Or have the Barramundi fish instead. Hana's meal was so delish.

Hana likes to stick her nose in other people's..err... soup?

Soft Shell Crab Salad: Totally recommended! 

This is what happens when bloggers meet up

Checking out the stalls at The Street, Curve

Taking photos with the Xmas decorations and making Aimie cringe lol

No girls’ day out would be complete without dessert so we had New Zealand Natural ice cream. Of course. I mean, a little bit of NZ will always be in my heart… or in my tummy. I'm happy either way. 

Boysenberry ice cream

Then we had Tutti Frutti frozen yoghurt. For all the non-Malaysians reading this, you should know this about us: we’re absolutely crazy about food. If you hear anyone talking about people hopping from one café to another in one day to eat different types of food, they’re probably talking about Malaysians. 

Adding the final touches

Gummy bears, Oreos, peanuts and chocolate syrup

All in all, I’m gonna miss days like these when I’m back in New Zealand. I think Hana can relate. Once we’re back into our books life is tough! There's less time to keep the spirit of sisterhood alive and strong. I think it's  important for women to stick together, support each other and have a little fun. Otherwise, we'll just drown in our roles as wife, mother, etc.

Ladies, go treat yourself to something that makes you feel special today. It can be anything and not necessarily expensive too. Even a fresh bouquet of flowers would be nice, don't you think? 

Fashion Friday: SATC

Sunday, December 26, 2010

When Aimie and I bumped into Hana Fedora and Lia (a mutual friend of Aimie and Hana) at the Live Fashion/Love Music event, Hana suggested that we should all meet up again just before she rushed home to get ready for her trip to Beijing. She’s such a globe trotter, that girl! Anyhoo, we scheduled a date a.s.a.p because Hana's leaving for London soon. We finally had our girls' day out at The Curve on Friday.

And I thought... Wouldn't it be awesome if I featured these awesome ladies in my Fashion Friday? 
They are all beautiful in their own ways mashaAllah!

SATC : Sisterhood at The Curve
(very clever of Aimie, innit?)

Hana in one of 2010's comeback trends: the playful plaid. I'm in love with her smile!

Lia knows it pays to be simple and let her funky print scarf steal the limelight

Aimie went 'nude' and looked très elegant in her 'capegan' (cape + cardigan)

And that's moi ;) I opted for the relaxed urban chic look.
Looking back, I think I should've worn a cardi or jacket with this outfit. 
I was in a rush and didn't really think it through. It happens!

Ahh Saskia, ma belle, my favourite bag right now. I adore everything about it.

Keep your eyes peeled for the juicy details of our girls' day out ;)

Photos are courtesy of the ever so lovely Aimie Bahirah

Hijab Tutorial: Everyday Style for Beginners

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This particular style was requested by the lovely Iva. I call it the ‘everyday hijab’ because this is the easiest, simplest and quickest style I know. It's perfect for beginners a.k.a. new hijabis. It also has a tidy look hence its appropriateness for school, college, interviews and other occasions of the like. When I am rushing out to somewhere this is the style I will most probably use. It’s so easy I don’t even need a mirror for it sometimes!

All you need is an inner, your favourite hijab (or shawl as some Malaysians call it) and a pin or two depending on the length of your hijab.

P.S. This floral cotton hijab is one of my favourites at the moment. I just adore its colour combination and its light and soft texture. The best part is I purchased it for only $11 in New Zealand. What a steal!

Beauty of Simplicity

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Quarter Life Crisis: An Update

Monday, December 20, 2010

I’ve asked myself and other Muslims this question: If you could be in front of the Ka’abah every single day to ask for God’s forgiveness and blessings, would that be enough to make you happy for the rest of your life? Or would you still want more?

I’m a great believer that everyone is in search for something paramount in their lives.

This search is reflected in everything that they do. It is reflected in the steps that they take and the choices that they make. My quarter life crisis was (and sometimes still is, I think it comes and goes) all about figuring out my search is. I’ve contemplated on how the world works and the way people treat each other these days. 

The cycle of life, survival of the fittest, the rat race.

This culture we live in has taught us that life is just one big competition. I’ve seen greedy people destroy the lives and futures of others, and indirectly and ironically their own as well, because they want an ego boost, power, money, a higher ranking social status and the approval of others. They satisfy their desires without thinking about the consequences of their actions.

Corruption (sins and disobedience to Allâh) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allâh) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allâh, and begging His Pardon).                                                                               (Surah Ar-Rum: 41) 

Popular culture doesn’t want us to feel good about ourselves and without even thinking about it we’ve become absorbed in an unhealthy way of life and thinking. Everyday we’re running, rushing, pushing and struggling to achieve all kinds of dreams and ambitions. At times we get too affected and caught up in all of it until we forget.

We forget about how we got here in the first place.
We forget about what makes us truly happy.
We forget about having a purpose.

Or we don’t know. We don’t know how we got here, what makes us happy or what our purpose is.

We all want success.

But who defines it for us and how do we measure it? Is money always the best way to do so?

I think as we grow older it’s important for us to re-evaluate and re-define ourselves and our goals as we go through different stages of our lives. At this point in my life what I really want to do can be summarised in one word.


I've decided that my ultimate search in life is inner peace and contentment. It doesn't sound very ambitious but trust me, anything that involves spiritual improvement isn't as easy as it sounds. I've been working on it and it's like having a tug of war inside myself. Trying to be a simple person is not so... simple. 

I want to be better at balancing my chase for dunya and Jannah because let's be realistic, I don't think I can ever completely abandon my worldly desires. I will always enjoy the finer things in life and some fun and entertainment. At the same time, I yearn for genuineness. I search for it in everything that I see and in the eyes of everyone that I meet because I believe I deserve nothing less than truth and authenticity. Because of that I don't ever want to lose sight of God and Jannah. I believe that the overconsumption of anything can lead to this therefore the balancing act is of utmost importance in order to live healthily - spiritually and physically.

I also believe that there are only two things that truly belong to us in life. Our relationship with God and our spirit. By spirit I don't mean our soul. The spirit is where our drive, free-will and character are derived. It comes from the type of heart you have - good or bad. As Tariq Ramadan once said, "It is not because you are poor that you are good. It is not because you are rich that you are bad.  It is what is in your heart." Think about it, everything we have can be taken away in a split second. Nothing lasts forever in this world and there’s nothing we can do about it. However, we will always have a connection with our Creator if we choose to have it and strengthen it. We will always be strong-spirited if we believe in ourselves and in Him.

These two elements also define who we are, unconditionally. It's not the family we come from, the clothes we wear or the house we live in. Sure, these things help to build our image and form our identity but they don't define us. When you think about the person who has touched your heart or inspired you in life I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that it most probably had nothing to do with their wealth or looks, or anything like that. And when we face Judgement Day someday, Allah surely will not judge us on the basis of such superficial things either.

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).                     (Surah Al-Hujraat: 13)

What I've learned from my quarter life crisis is that I'm not going to have my whole life figured out at the age of 23. What I do know is I don't want to live my life according to other people's standards. I don't want to take part in any social climbing competition. And what I can tell you is I've done all this before and it didn't lead me to a happy place at all. I just want to make the most of my life by being a good person, having passion for all that I do, staying true to who I am and by simplifying life as much as I can. Hopefully enough to say, "If I can pray in front of the Ka'abah everyday to ask for God's forgiveness and blessings that would be enough to make me happy for the rest of my life."

Live Fashion / Love Music 2010 ft. Yuna and Hana Tajima

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh you have no idea how buzzed up I am today.

Wait a minute, let me pinch myself. Did yesterday really happen?

Aimie and I attended the Live Fashion / Love Music event by Yuna and Hana Tajima of StyleCovered and Maysaa at Solaris Dutamas yesterday and I still have adrenaline running through me. I’m still star struck and speechless from meeting Yuna and Hana, otherwise known as “Huna” to the absolutely gorgeous and bubbly Aimie.

The day was filled with drama but the good kind.We were late (thanks to me!). I blame KL for being massive and for changing all the time. Seriously, the roads never stay the same. The show was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and we arrived fashionably late at 3.30 p.m. As soon as we entered we bumped into some of Aimie’s friends who told us that the room was already full and there was no way we could get in. The next best thing was to wait for the meet and greet session which would be after the event. We heard people had started lining up at 10 a.m. *jaw drops*

We met Hana Fedora, Azzah, Tahirah (if you’re reading this, I’m not sure if you have a blog or not, yes you do!) and so many other bloggers there.

They were all really sweet and friendly and it was so exciting to meet all these pretty people in person! I’m so sorry if I can’t remember all your names and if I didn’t talk much. In my defence I was in quite a daze to be in a sea of beautiful and fashionable hijabis. I felt so... plain and ordinary! I left the girls for a few minutes and when I came back they weren’t in the same spot anymore so I called Aimie and she told me she was at the entrance where her husband dropped us off. I walked out but she wasn’t there.

And then I heard a voice. It was a man who stood by one of the doors. He wore a white shirt and a crew tag. He asked, “You! It’s just you right?”

“Uhm….. yeah,” I replied nervously wondering what was going on.

“Ok, ok, come in, come in! Just come through here,” he explained with a tone of excitement in his voice.

I felt like a little lost lamb so I just walked through only to realise moments later that I was inside. I GOT INTO THE EVENT! Un-be-lie-va-ble! Then guess who I saw inside? Hana Fedora, Aimie and the other lovelies were all standing there.

“Sha! Come here!” ushered Aimie and Hana with their beaming faces. They looked surprised and happy to see me inside too. We all stood there with amazement and disbelief as we waited for the show to start. A few fleeting moments later Yuna came out, the crowd cheered and she performed superbly. Superbly, I tells ya. I had never attended one of Yuna’s live shows before and I was completely star struck. Her voice is velvety, comforting, crisp and full of life. Wow. It’s no surprise why she’s become such a superstar. If you’re a fan, you ain’t heard nothin’ until you’ve heard Yuna live. That’s pure Malaysian talent there. I’m so proud of her.

After she serenaded us with her hit songs we were told that the fashion show was about to begin. They played a documentary about Hana Tajima-Simpson and her label, Maysaa to build up the anticipation. Not long after, the models walked out with these gorgeous outfits and I could see the entire room was captivated.

Yuna, the song bird sang impeccably.

Being interviewed about her dress. Yes it's a Maysaa design. 

Maysaa documentary 

One of the many beautiful Maysaa maxi dresses

Stunning bright red dress
(Ignore the yellow tones as that's just a reflection of the lights)

One of my faves - look at all the colours!

My top pick. It's so chic and elegant. Very Maysaa, indeed. 

Ethnic print - told you they're hot right now. 

However, everybody couldn’t wait for the moment that the one and only Hana Tajima-Simpson will finally make an appearance.

That moment came. We rejoiced and cheered her on.

Then the event ended. It felt like too soon, too fast because we couldn’t get enough of Yuna and Hana. The girls and I reluctantly settled for the meet and greet session that we were told about earlier. Some left because it was quite a day for them. Hana Fedora, for example, had to get ready for her trip to Beijing. Aimie and I walked around the area. I bought myself a Maysaa top and said hi to the ever so popular and fashionably quirky Shea Rasol.

Maysaa pop-up boutique

We also bumped into Sue Anna Joe, another famous blogger who is a talented photographer and a mummy all in one! We chatted for quite a bit, got to know each other a little better and took photos with each other. She is so cute, just look at her! 

With our goodie bags.

Feeling thirsty and quite famished, Aimie and I decided to go to a café to grab something to refuel ourselves whilst waiting for the meet and greet session. We ended up staying at the café for a little too long! Yup you guessed it, we were having our little catch up session. When we returned to the place Yuna and Hana had just left to do a couple of media interviews around the corner.

“At least they’re still here,” Aimie and I thought because when we asked the crew members if we would be able to meet the two of them after their interviews and they said it was possible and so we waited for more than an hour like the die-hard fans that we are. We ended up chatting with Yuna’s manager and cousins who were all part of the crew and they were very friendly and accommodating. We felt like part of the family, in a way. Then we were told that Yuna and Hana were outside, Aimie got up and walked to the door in front of us.

“They’re here, Sha!” she said. I joined her by the door and there was Yuna. The slim and lanky superstar was in front of us and she gave us hugs and thanked us for coming. Trailing behind Yuna was Yuna’s cousin walking hand in hand with Hana Tajima. Yes, Hana was coming to meet us. I wanted to float in air at that very moment.

“Oh you gorgeous girls,” said Hana to Aimie and I as she hugged us.

Did Hana just call us gorgeous? I almost fainted.

I apologised for being speechless and star struck. I mean, who wouldn’t be? Yuna and Hana were talking to us. Just us. No other fans around. I felt so privileged. I told them the event was amazing and how we had the best time ever. Hana thanked us and said she was going to be in KL for another month. She is super sweet in person, by the way, and of course, drop dead gorgeous. Aimie and I wished Yuna and Hana the best with their careers and after some photos were taken we had to say goodbye. It was after 7 p.m. and pretty late for us. It was a long, rushed day but it was all so worth it because everything worked out perfectly.

How could I not have been star struck? These girls are overwhelmingly gorgeous mashaAllah.

Alhamdulillah for a day I will never forget. Congratulations to Yuna, Hana and the entire team for organising an incredibly successful event.

Visit these girls' blogs for more photos:
3 F's
Belog Mimi
Count The Thread
Ena Photography
My Amethyst
Sputnik Sweetheart

(if you blogged about the event and want to be linked as well do let me know)

P.S. Aimie, I’m so happy I got to spend the day with you, my beautiful sis! Everywhere we turned people were so mesmerised by you and they just wanted to talk to you. You really are a special and amazing woman. Thank for you for a wonderful day.

And a special thanks to my Mum and sister, Melissa, for making yesterday possible for me. What would I do without family?