Sunday, 30 August 2009

Ayu & baby Johan Iskandar

We just came back from visiting Mummy Liza Idayu, who had safely given birth to a very healthy baby boy, named Johan Iskandar. He weighs 3.1kg and was delivered in Pusrawi KL. CONGRATS TO AYU & KHAIRIL

Mummy Ayu yang glowing dan happy jer

Kolat yg terencat and Ms Fantaghiro with her "Gollum" pose

Baby Johan Iskandar, born 26 August 2009

Me and Mummy Ayu

Me and Ayu were neighbours from both our parents home in Taman Perwira Gombak. She was emcee at my wedding, and I was the emcee at her wedding. She is currently teaching in SM Teknik Dungun. Again, congrats to both new parents. I'm sure they are both over the moon with their bundle of joy!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

When All Hell Breaks Loose

Some women shouldn't be left in charge. They get too emotional, and prejudiced. Most of the times they would hear about things in the office about something or somebody thru the grapevine. Then they get prejudiced about the person that were gossiped about. They would start to hate that person, eventhough they didn't have a direct encounter with that person! And that in turn would make the atmosphere in the office to be very negative as they would make their displeasure known to other staff *sigh*

Itulah sebabnya aku rasa perempuan kurang sesuai menjadi boss, terutamanya kalau yang dah "senja" sebab dah dekat nak menopause dan hormon pulak tak menentu. Lagilah emosional dalam segala hal. Itulah juga antara sebab aku nak pencen opsional pada umur 50 tahun kalau ada rezeki (dan kerana aku tak ambil opsyen 58 tahun!). Cuba tengok kak Yasmin dari Baking Project, dia ambil VSS pada usia 35 tahun dari bidang real estate dan kemudian meneruskan minat dalam hiasan kek. Baru dua tahun berkecimpung dalam bidang ini, dah terbitkan buku dan juga kelas deko keknya sentiasa penuh...

Begitu juga dengan mak aku, Kerabu Jantung. Pencen opsional pada umur 50 tahun, 8 tahun yang lalu. Masanya telah diisi dengan menghadiri kelas belajar bahasa Arab, dan Al-Quran, sehingga sekarang dia pula yang boleh mengajar orang mengaji. Sekarang dia ada minat yang baru iaitu blogging. Canggih tak canggih mak-mak zaman sekarang??!

Begitulah halnya dengan Sophisticated Office Ladies (SOL) yang dah senja ni. Hentikanlah acara gossip-mengossip dan dengki-mendengki kerana ianya tidak mendatangkan faedah dan hanya membuatkan anda lebih sakit hati, dan seterusnya menyebabkan tension & hypertension. Lebih baik gunakan tenaga yang masih ada untuk buat kerja & rancang masa pencen korang nanti. Kan ke lebih berfaedah???!!

P/s: Aku pun SOL jugak :p

Of Relationships & Good Friends

Ms Fantaghiro, Kolat and I were talking tonight about friends and relationships and I was reminded about something that happened back in Uni days. There was a very good lesson me and Ms Fantaghiro learned about good friends & relationships:

Cardinal rule: Never get involved in other people's relationship, even if they are your good friends.

We had a couple who were both our friends. Lets call them Jack and Jill. They were dubbed "UMBC" - "University's Most Boring Couple". Yep, you guessed it, they're like "belangkas", it was almost impossible to see the one without the other, unless of course, inside the dorm. They'do do things together, eat together, go places together. They were seemingly the most loving couple you've ever met. But like most couples, arguments do happen about some thing or the other.

One night, Jack was so upset at Jill that he began asking some of Jill's friends about her behaviour and other things that she had done. Some of Jill's friends thought that it was wise to lay all the cards on the table so that Jack would realise what kind of person Jill was. Some of the things said were better left unsaid. They began swapping stories about Jill. Maybe they think that this will give Jack a better insight on Jill.

Not long after swapping stories, Jack suddenly made up with Jill. The best part was that, Jack told Jill everything about what her friends spoke about her. The good, the bad and the evil...laid bare. Can you imagine the surprise Jill's friends felt? Those were the things that her friends talked about her behind her back. Both parties must've felt that they couldn't trust each other. Luckily, me and Ms Fantaghiro didn't say a thing because we didn't like to butt in personal matters, plus we were no relationship expert.

Two important lessons here:
One: Some men are jerks and can never be trusted completely;
Two: Never be in the way of two lovers quarelling, or it may backfire to you!

Which was what happened in the story above. Never get involved in other people's personal matters even if they are your good friends. You never know when somebody is looking for leverage. Even if you are a relationship expert, you should refrain from commenting so biasedly or comment at all if you think you may be trapped in a tricky situation. Don't offer free advice, especially to those who didn't ask for your help. Your friend may not be comfortable with you intruding in their personal matters, and commenting or forecasting the outcome of the relationship. I know I don't. Let your friend live his/her own life, they don't need to know what's going to happen in their relationship. Even if they ask for your help, be sure to dish out your advice carefully. You don't need to be a know-it-all person.

Be a friend, not their guidance counselor :p

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Today, Yesterday and the Day Before

Today is Adam's birthday, my brother's son. He turned 1.

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 31.

The day before was my Hisham's birthday, my younger brother. He turned 28.

I wanted to write about it yesterday, but so many crazy things happened yesterday. I finally got the transfer order to MYCEB, effective 1 September. Bonda wasn't exactly enthusiastic about it. I had gotten an earful from her since she found out last week. I had to play the innocent victim in all this.

This year is the most I've gotten birthday wishes from friends and family. Thank you Hubby, Kerabu Jantung, Kolat, Ms Fantaghiro, Azura, Cik Lili, Zaza, Fairdaos, Karen, Karene, Mei Phing, Kak Yaz, Kak Norizah, Edy, Shasha, Aza De Kaza, Kak Lin, Gojie, Awang, and others...

Last night, I went out to live my life. Ms Fantaghiro and Kolat treated me to Sushi King and Coffeebean.

Cuppies sold by abang gentle we found outside Coffeebean Ampang Point. The deco was made from Royal icing and the muffin was made from kind of Brazilian coffee/choc (can't remember the details). per box is RM10. Ms Fantaghiro bought one for me coz she was supposed to buy me some cupcakes in Pavillion.

Sushi! What more can I say!!
Kolat mengediks and Ms Fantaghiro doing her boring post

Oh, Liza Idayu smsed my from Pusrawi wishing me happy birthday while we were in Coffeeebean. Apparently she's having contraction and can't wait to get into labour. Will call her to find out her baby status.
Interesting birthday I would say.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

These are a few of my favourite things

There are some things, be it organic or man made, which we love so much that at any time we will not refuse to enjoy it. These are just a few of my favourite things:

1. Cats
I found this cat under a makeshift jetty in Pulau Lang Tengah last year

Doesn't matter anytime of the day or wherever I am, I'd be the first person to spot the cat under the table, a sleeping cat or a cat mewing or washing itself. Doesn't matter if it's a cute cat, baby kitties, a mother cat, a cripple cat, a kurap cat, a carik-gaduh cat, my heart always skips a beat spotting a cat. I would always find ways to pat the cat or at least call its attention to me. Maybe I was born with a cat detecting-radar. Who knows. But I know that I will be attuned to cats forever. I miss living with a cat. *sigh*

2. Islands & beaches
Pulau Lang Tengah

There's nothing like the seductive beckoning of an island urging you for a swim in its clear water, to walk its sandy white beaches, to taste the salty wind in your face, to have the feeling of being totally free from all your concerns. My mother grew up by the sea. I grew up loving the sea, but at the same time afraid of the deep, dark waters. But still the sight of beach or island would excite me...I'm longing to go to a nice sandy beach and just relax there...

3. BooksThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

To hunt and find the perfect book to read is a bliss in itself. Always preferred books to magazines. Its weird how some people I know would shy away from a good novel. To totally immerse yourself in a good book, to feel it taking the space in your head till everything else becomes obsolete, and then to finish it. That's satisfaction!

4. MusicMust have music to function in daily life. Music for work, music for driving, music for cleaning, music for relaxing. Can't live without music. 'nuff said.

5. A good bargain

Aye, I am a sucker for bargains. Why buy only one when you can get two at a discounted price? Or get one free when you buy two items, the more the merrier! The cheaper the better :) Ladies (and maybe some men), you know what I'm getting at.

And there you have it: my favourite things:)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Cake Deco Class with Yasmin Sanusi

Yasmin Sanusi's book on caked deco using fondant

Salam Ramadhan to all..

Yesterday was our cake deco class with Yasmin Sanusi, organized by Aza De Kaza who is Puspanita's Pengerusi Kraftangan & Keusahawanan. The class was RM190 for a 5-hour session and there were 15 participants in the class. We were taught how to make cupcakes, buttercream icing, how to ice a cake, decorate cupcakes with 6 different designs - Elmo, teddy bear, clown, swirl, rabbit, and one decorated with coloured piping gel. More info on cake decorating class can be found on Yasmin Sanusi's website.

I'm not really a fan of cupcakes but the ones that Kak Yasmin baked in class was the yummiest and fluffiest I've ever tasted. It was a basic yellow cupcake recipe in which she substituted vanilla essence with orange flavour. She'd also taught us how to fill in piping bags with buttercream, some neat tips on how to soften or harden the buttercream, depending on what you want to decorate. If you want to make a sitting clown, then you should harden the buttercream by sifting in more icing sugar, you know its stiffer when you spoon just stands in the icing. If you want to make some delicate motif like leaves, then add more milk to soften it.

Aza De Kaza with her cupcakes. During the class, she kept saying "Ini bukan bidang aku!" And look how her cupcakes turned out! I believe anyone can do it, just need to learn the techniques

Soon to be mummy, Teena with her cupcakes. She also made some of the most beautiful roses in the class.

Mother of four - Kak Lin, proudly displaying her decorated cake and cupcakes.

All in all, it was a fun and quite tiring 5 1/2 hours of class, but we did learn a lot! Kak Yasmin did a really good job teaching us the decorating techniques. Now I know what's its all about, I can decorate my own cupcakes! Next, I would like to learn cake deco using fondant with kak Yasmin, which she I believe is more of her specialty. Look in her website and you'll see many creative things that she had created from fondant such as the burger cake and cactus cupcake.

*FYI: Cake and cupcakes that I decorated yesterday were given to my neighbour who have 5 children, they were so delighted to see the decorated cupcakes:)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Balik Kampung : Rompin

Cat in a tree

Kerbau berkubang

Calm before storm in Teluk Gorek

Mami's kitties

Kenduri favours in Kuantan: Dadih & apples

Gamelan group for kenduri in Kuantan

Not much of an entry, just to share some pics which was taken during the school holiday last June. My favourite pic of the lot is the kerbau berkubang. He kerbau was just sitting there in the lovely mudhole when I took this pic. It was a bit unnerving because I was afraid that the kerbau would get up and charged at me! But he didn't move, instead he gave me that precious pose. Not a common sight in KL.

Cerita Semalam, Hari Ini dan Esok

Semalam (Isnin):
Semalam merupakan hari yang paling panjang dan masa berjalan begitu perlahan sekali!
Pukul 8 pagi: Sampai jer ofis dah terasa panas, air-cond tak terpasang macam biasa. Rasanya takderlah awal sangat aku sampai, dah ada orang lain dalam ofis ni. Biasanya Putrade (PWTC management) dah pasang air-cond, sedangkan exhibition kat bawah air-cond dah pasang full-blast. Ada yang dah telefon Putrade, tp hampa dengan jawapan mereka. Kononya generator rosak. Ada yang kata, kerajaan nak jimat duit, jadi tak pasang air-cond. Gila hapa. Takkan la seluruh bangunan Menara Dato' Onn takde aircond. Kami semua tak dapat berfungsi dengan betul, bengong semacam kepala hotak ni sbb tak cukup oksigen. Sampaikan Prof Amran yang datang jauh dari UTM Skudai pun buat statement kepala otak dia akan jam kalau aircond takder jugak petang ni bila dia buat presentation dalam bilik dengan 30 orang. Seorang Professor pun boleh buat remark macam tu, bayangkan lah kami yang terpaksa berada di ofis sampai pukul 5.30ptg ni :p

3 ptg: Aku dah tak boleh bernafas kerana udara tak cukup. Bau kepam karpet dah naik ke hidung, ditambah lagi dengan bau-bauan badan manusia yang berpeluh, lagilah tak boleh bernafas. Nasib baik aku ada kipas kecik atas meja, tp tu pun tak membantu sangat. Terasa panas dan kepam sampai ke dalam tulang. Ada orang cadangkan tutup lampu untuk kurangkan kepanasan. Kami semua menghitung masa jer nak balik. Dengar kata, hari esok mungkin akan sama jugak. Ya Allah! Ini baru satu hari takder air-cond, macam mana lah panasnya Neraka Mu?

Hari Ini (Selasa)
Nasib baik air-cond dah pulih macam biasa. Baru lah terasa selama ini aku take for granted the simplest things in life, like running air-cond when you reached the office. Hari ni rasa mcm bersyukur air-cond dah kembali mcm biasa.

Waktu makan tengahari, aku dgn Aza De Kaza memanjangkan kaki ke Lorong Haji Taib 1 untuk ke kedai "Bake with Yen" sbb nak cari barang-barang keperluan untuk menghadiri kelas menghias kek dan cupcakes yang Puspanita anjurakan pada 21 Ogos ni. Kak Yasmin dari Baking Project akan menjadi instructor, cupcakes yg dia hias semua cute & creative terutamanya cactus cupcake. Nanti dah lepas kelas kak Min, baru aku akan upload gambar2 cupcakes yang aku hias....can't wait!!

Pic taken from Baking Project

Esok (Rabu)
Takder apa-apa yang menarik akan berlaku esok, diari aku pun kosong. Cuma Immediate boss aka BONDA nak bincang pasal laporan kajian yang aku dah siapkan, lepas tu nak buat follow up meeting dengan Department of Statistics. Sambil-sambil buat kerja Research, aku moonlighting dengan MYCEB. Tak kisahlah asalkan semua jalan...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Ops K.E.T.U.A.T

Saya telah mengalami pertumbuhan ketuat di muka lebih dari setahun, dan mungkin anda tak perasan kerana kedudukannya saling tak tumpah macam tahi lalat manis di bawah mulut sebelah kiri muka saya. Saya sebenarnya dah sampai tahap "pain threshold" 4 bulan yang lalu apabila telah mengambil tindakan drastik dengan membuang ketuat tersebut dengan pemotong kuku. I know its crazy but I can't help it. The two previous docs that I saw was dibelieved that this condition occurs on the face, and conveniently said that the salve for warts is out of stock! Lepas jumpa doktor2 tersebut saya dh jadi bosan dan buat keputusan untuk membiarkan sahaja ketuat saya. Tetapi bila ketuat ni tumbuh kembali dengan lebih besar dan tangan saya lebih gatal untuk mengutilnya sehingga berdarah, maka saya ambil keputusan untuk berjumpa dengan Dr Baharom atas saranan rakan sepejabat saya Natasha. Berikut merupakan kronologi Ops K.E.T.U.A.T.

20 Julai 2009
Saya telah pergi ke Klinik Dr Baharom di Sentul setelah mendapat maklumat dari rakan sekerja, Natasha mengenai keberkesanan Dr Baharom membuang ketuat di kawasan sensitif, terutamanya di muka. Setelah satu jam setengah menunggu, akhirnya pada jam 11 pagi saya berjumpa Dr Baharom. Orangnya kecil molek dan sangat efisyen menjalankan kerja. Rata-rata yang datang klinik dia ramai yang sakit gout atau sakit sendi. Lepas dia examine muka saya, dia telah memberi empat suntikan bius kebas di sekeliling ketuat saya. Tak sakit pun rasa mcm semut gigit jer...

Selepas setengah jam, saya diarahkan ke bilik Ops kecil. Mata saya ditutup dan dada saya diletakkan penebat supaya tiada kejutan elektrik semasa ops laser dijalankan. Bila mata saya dah tutup barulah rasa berdebar sbb saya tak pernah menjalankan rawatan laser. Lagi-lagi bila mata saya ditutup, suspense sbb saya tak dapat tengok apa yg doc buat pada saya. Dulu pernah gak saya buat small surgery, local anesthetic jugak mcm yg ini tp mata saya tak ditutup, maka saya dapat tengok di atas siling bila doc mengodek-godek badan saya. Sama jugak masa buat root canal, mata saya tertumpu pada siling sbb ada pantulan imej dan saya dapat tengok apa doc buat. Tp kali ini berbeza, lagipun bahaya sbb rawatan laser. Silap terkena mata, buta pulak nanti.

Mula-mula doc godek ketuat saya, rasa mcm dia potong permukaan ketuat dan tarik2. Tak rasa sakit kan sbb dah bius, kebas. Lepas tu doc laser muka saya, ngeri gak. Ada bau benda terbakar, mesti sbb kulit saya yg dibuang. Pastu doc godek2 lagi, rasa panjang akar ditarik sampai ke gigi saya, ada lah kira2 panjang dua ruas jari. Panjang tu...pastu doc laser lagi beberapa kali, godek2 lagi dan announce dia dapat keluarkan akar ketuat tu...pastu doc jahit lubang yang ditinggalkan ketuat, panjangnya adalah sekitar 1cm seperti gambar dibawah:

Doc kata jumpa dia balik lagi 8 hari nak buang benang. Muka saya dah macam pirate hardy har har....tapi tak boleh lebih 12 hari, takut bernanah..takder pantang apa2, mandi and amik air semayang macam biasa. Doc bagi anitbiotik dgn ubat tahan lapar/buang angin sbb saya sihat sangat katanya.

1 Ogos 2009
Baru dapat jumpa doc lepas balik kursus emcee seminggu di Melaka dengan Sharifah Shawati. Doc tanggalkan benang pastu bagi ubat untuk sapu dan vitamin C untuk makan supaya kulit cepat sembuh. Lagi doc timbang berat dan bagi ubat tahan lapar sbb saya baru hilang 1kg, ni ubat kena makan 6 kali sehari. Amik darah untuk uji kolestrol. 9 Ogos kena jumpa doc balik.

6 Ogos 2009
Bekas ketuat dah beransur pulih. Bagi saya scar akan sembuh tak lama lagi, so tak kisah lah. Just teruskan sapu ubat dan makan Vit C. InsyaAllah scar akan hilang.

Demikianlah laporan Ops K.E.T.U.A.T untuk makluman tuan-tuan dan puan-puan sekalian.

Dah sudah tutup fail!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the best emcee of them all?

Last week, I was fortunate to go to an emcee course conducted by Ms Sharifah Shawati from Adamaya Consultant Sdn Bhd. For those of you who remembers her, she was one of TV3's newscaster, still active as a host for the reality show: Wanita Melayu, and now a certified image consultant, an entrepreneur and mother of two, Adam and Maya.

My first impression of her: she is much, much beautiful in person, is always immaculately dressed, with fine coiffured hair, very articulate and have a pleasing personality. In short, she is the most humble and easily approachable personality I've ever met. She's earnest with her advise, and not pretentious like most.

I must confess that I can be very awkward around celebrity, sometimes I don't know how to react: should we gush with admiration, or play it cool or be distant? It all depends on the celebrity, if they are open and friendly, then you can approach them easily. With Ms Shawati, it is quite effortless, maybe because she was our consultant and trainer and she approached us with that warm smile of hers.

Penyampaian sijil and Ms Shawati was kind enough to give us each a copy of her book:
Imej Diri Anda Aset Anda

Emcee extraordinaire, I hope;)
I was told by Ms Shawati that my voice got the "X-factor" that would be good for commercials and voiceovers.
Wah! Kembang mak!
Lepas ni aku pulak yang famous kalau dapat buat VOs *berangan*

Mr Zaini, the vocal projection coach who made us realized that almost everybody can be taught the technique to use their vocal effectively, and ultimately be an emcee or even sing!
But I still sucked at karaoke heh:p

Azah before the makeover

Azah after the makeover, done by Eddie the makeup artiste.
He used Crayoline (?) foundation, made her eyes smoky, super thick eyelashes, chopped and curled Azah's hair.
The result: Azah looked like a million bucks! Macam newscaster pulak!!

Our syllabus during the courses consists of image consultation with Ms Shawati, vocal projection with Mr Zaini, mock emcee for an event, script writing (buat sendiri with guidance from Ms Shawati) and finally makeover. It was fun and educational, and we learn what kind of an emcee we can be, is it just an announcer, or a witty emcee, a serious emcee, etc.

An emcee needs to think on her feet in case something unscripted happens. Ms Shawati used real life examples to test us during the mock emcee session, such as power trip so the emcee has to project her voice to the audience, or how to calm the crowd if its too noisy, changes in programme - how does the emcee adapts to it. It's not easy being an emcee, but it comes with experience and after years of doing it. Most important the emcee must arrive early to check her venue, expected crowd, test mike, and she will keep the ball rolling as the master of ceremony.

Gosh, it's not easy to reach the level of poise that Ms Shawati has exude together with her abundant charm. I aspire to be like her someday. Chaiyo! :)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Water + Lemon = FRESH!

Image taken from Tupperware Malaysia

One thing that I loved more than clear soup is....lemon slices in cold water! It's just so damn refreshing, especially in these hot, hot days. I've always been intrigued by Tupperware's catalogue supplied by Aja, my SIL-cum-Tupperware dealer, with images of tumbler full of water with lemon slices immersed in the cool, cool water. Never had the guts to do it, coz I was afraid that the water would turn bitter with the lemon + skin soaked for long periods... Boy, was I wrong! I had a couple of leftover lemon slices, courtesy from the Lemon Chicken Rice takeout from Pak Li's Kopitiam near my house. Waste not, I always said. So I washed the lemon slices and dunked them in my 1 litre Tupperware tumbler and let it cool in the fridge for a few hours. The result was HEAVENLY!! and I had reused the two slices of lemon again and again, still fresh and lemony, so kira ok lah tu...haha sungguh perak dengan air rendam lemon, tapi itulah hakikatnya tuan-tuan dan puan-puan....cubalah hari ini!! Tp ingat, tak payah letak gula pun dh best gila. Beats drinking plain water, and suitable for those who are trying to wean off sugary drinks. Don't add any sugar! You don't need the extra sugar.

Thank God my blood sugar is normal!

Torn between two

Is it the love of the work or is it because you are familiar with it?
I am in a stay in the current division or go back to the job that I'd done for the past 6 years. I thought that I had enough of MICE, maybe I needed new environment and new experiences, because I was getting sick of all the haggling, and begging, and negotiating, and the last minute requests, and the lack of manpower.
I thought that I needed to get away from all that..
But then I discovered that I was good at my old job...
I am still tuned in to the updates, industry people giving updates, old contacts been calling me, I think I missed the old division...and perhaps the action.
I am currently serving in Research Division. The new division did not have clear direction and purpose, we were neglected from attention and care of the it feels as if me and the others have no purpose working in the division. Research is a different ballgame altogether, it's more technical what with the programme that we need to learn like SPSS, or forecasting. It is exciting in a different way, but maybe I was not fully trained for that.
I must confess that I am getting sluggish in the PR department, not getting as much action as I was used to. Not that I missed all the late night dinners & functions. My life is more calm and organized now, which is not a bad thing. But more than ever, I think I cared about doing the job properly, and I am confident that I can be better at MICE than I was before.
The only problem is, I have not been inducted into MYCEB yet, and I am sort of doing illegal job for my former boss, ZHS. My immediate boss is vehemently against the idea of me going to MYCEB because she didn't want her staff to be pinched, after a few others were done the same.
Admin Division was not much help, delaying the transfer for months when a formal request have already been made. Instead they offer the position to people who were not willing to join MYCEB, and it also has become a dumping ground for officers who just came back from overseas and had nowhere else to go. MYCEB needs experienced people in MICE to go because the work is just piling up. Anyhow, maybe I am in a dilemma ethically, but as far as feelings go, I can't wait to go to MYCEB!