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This is me.

December 31, 2012
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I’m always afraid to show my profile because I don’t want to be judged based on my appearance and religion. However, I do think my readers deserve to see me.

Thanks for reading chums!

And heck it, if there are people out there who decide to judge. God bless you. We can’t please everyone. Even the celebrities are not spared. Heh!


Goodbye 2012, Welcome 2013!

December 31, 2012
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Wow, back from my (long) hiatus – I did nothing, actually. Heh. So many things happened in 2012 and I must highlight the two best. The first is that I have officially joined the teaching force (after, well, so very long) (Alhamdulillah!). The second is that I finally got a chance to travel to Europe (big thanks to the husband, who took me along on his work trip). I’m a happy and blessed girl, I know!

I bid 2012 farewell (ah, the world didn’t end) and welcome 2013 with open arms! It seems compulsory to make new year resolutions so here is mine:

1. To be a better Muslim (and human being);
2. To be a better wife (actually kind of a moot as No.1 over-rides everything);
3. To be a better teacher;
4. To learn more and retain information better; and
4. To travel (some more).

Now, let’s hear yours!

Meanwhile, here are some traveling pictures to share!

20121231-110823.jpgThe beautiful village of Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Germany.

20121231-110831.jpgMy first time seeing snow!

20121231-110837.jpgThe tower for romantics, Paris.

I wish all of you had a wonderful 2012 too. So, go sit back and eat 12 sweet grapes as you wait for the clock to strike midnight tonight wherever you are!

Happy new year!


Happy 47th Birthday, Singapore!

August 9, 2012
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Well, well! Our little red dot of an island (aka. Singapore) turns 47 today! We are so very blessed to be born in a country which is rich – not in resources – but culture. We are all that we have and despite the numerous influx of foreigners (that our government requires), I hope our pledge that we recited daily for at least ten years of our lives is closely followed.

We, the citizens of Singapore,
Pledge ourselves as one united people.
Regardless of race, language, or religion,
To build a democratic society,
Based on justice and equality.
So as to achieve happiness, prosperity,
and progress for our Nation.

We are a melting pot of many cultures and working together in harmony is the essence of our Country’s success. I hope our government won’t forget it’s people, the natives if I may emphasize, and the thread that binds us all together.

Thank you Singapore, for an excellent education system that nurtures us to be on par with the rest of the world. Thank you also for providing clean water so conveniently, and one of the better transport systems around in the world (although words fail me of the frequent faults the MRTs have lately).

So, happy birthday, beloved Singapore!

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6th of Ramadan

July 26, 2012
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When my Instagram is empty, that means I’m hanging my pots and pans up – for the day. Yes, so today we have decided to break our fast at my MIL’s.

It’s really blazing this afternoon, but that didn’t deter me from layering some clothes. And I usually don’t take picture of myself, but I can’t help it today. It may be the fasting month, and many would be in somber mood. But to smile is charity and one should try to be happy because we are celebrating such a special month! I think, or I hope to think, that my outfit today reflects how I feel.

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Georgette shawl in Salmon Pink (No brand)
Short-sleeved t-shirt in Neon Orange (Esprit)
Long-sleeves t-shirt in Navy (Zara)
Leopard-spotted harem pants (Zara)
Floral brooch in Royal Blue (Diva)

And here was what we had for break fast:

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Mee goreng (Fried Noodles, Malay style)
Nasi Bukhari
Fried Finger Food
Toasts

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And chilled lychee drinks! Woohoo!


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3rd of Ramadan

July 23, 2012
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It’s 6:04 am here as I speak. I usually do not say awake this early (I have not been since the past 1 year after leaving The Office). I stir up usually later, enough to prepare my husband for work. Ye God, you think a grown man can’t do things on his own? Nah, you’re probably right. But some like being coddled. I like to think mine does. Hehehe…

Anyway, my first post on Ramadan this year seemed feeble and superficial. I mean, what was I thinking?? Ramadan is just about food and its preparation? I had a good thought about it earlier this morning as I did some washing. I was looking at a pot of gravy with two nuggets of potato. I contemplated if I should throw away those potatoes – they had been 2 days old, re-heated to their cores 4 or 5 times – as well as the gravy and clean up the stove. In my situation, I think nothing of those potatoes; I was too full to eat the last two morsels for sahur and if I throw them away, that would cost me close to naught, probably 5 cents. You can’t buy anything for that amount of money nowadays. Not even a trip to the public washroom. I was filling up my waste basket anyway and on the prowl, looking for things to throw just because. I then recalled I had thrown away a plate of macaroni and half a cup of bubble tea (my living drug) last night because somebody (me) didn’t finish up her meal and left them to mature. Back to the potatoes; in some other part of the world, there are people who have no food or get none. What would they give for that two nuggets, I don’t know. I probably won’t want to know. So many people have no access to drinking water, draughts or floods prevent them from having more fruits than they can enjoy, high cost of living caused them to beg on the streets, bad (bad, bad !!!) governments cause poor standard of living, mayhems due to bombings and killings and the list goes on. I think it’s time to hold back and think of wasting none, or less. Afterall, this is what Ramadan is about. To empathize with those less fortunate – feel their hunger and thirst, appreciate the luxury around us, reflect on our actions and of course, our spiritual practices.

I’ve honestly wasted a ton of food, and I reckon, there might be more if I don’t finish up the leftovers in the fridge when I still can. If you have the same situation of me, I urge you to reflect the same. Even if you don’t celebrate or practice fasting in Ramadan.

I’m not going to post what I had for break fast yesterday. I think the thought of wasting consumed me that I feel quite upset now.

Ramadan Kareem (Have a generous Ramadan), God’s will!


1st Ramadan in Our Home

July 22, 2012
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Yesterday in Singapore, it was the first day of the Muslims’ fasting month, Ramadan. I was delighted that the first day fell on a Saturday. It was my husband and mine’s first day to perform fasting in our own house. It was such a big deal for myself, yet not so much for the husband. I begged him to let us eat at home (not outside, not at my MIL’s even). I had created a menu for this month so that I won’t panic and would know what to cook (I’m a planner…I don’t embrace uncertainties well). :/

As planned, I had cooked a sweet treat called agar-agar gudir (palm sugar and coconut jelly) and butter chicken, thinking that we could get some garlic & cheese naans (Indian bread) outside. The latter didn’t happen because we were in a rush to get my MIL a ceiling fan. So when we got back, the only bread that was available was the square sandwich bread. Since I still have a garlic sesame paste, I used this to spread on a few bread squares and popped them into the oven for a few minutes. I thought everything was going well until breaking fast came and my teeth got stuck in the bread. Uh huh… You guess it! The bread was too-unbelievably-hard. Husband looked at me and I him. So he suggested to soak them in the butter chicken gravy. Hahaha! We had some biryani rice, which we bought, while waiting for the bread to soak up.

So, the bottom line is…no matter how much one plans on doing things, sometimes by the law of averages (and God’s will), things won’t go quite as expected. Like how I’ve set the alarm at 5am for this whole month, yet only to be woken up 20 minutes later today by my husband because the alarm didn’t ring (I did not select the days for it to continue ringing). There was no time to cook – panic mode – but thankfully, we had some leftovers given by my MIL yesteray which I had time to re-heat before sahur (pre-dawn breakfast before a fast begins) was over.

Today, I don’t think I’ll be cooking a main meal as we’re thinking I crashing my MIL’s iftar (gathering to break the fast). I might, however, make some dessert again. I’ll let you know later. 😀

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Our breaking of fast meal at home

We had a little surprise later last night. My husband’s cousin’s wife, Beatrix, baked us this lovely Red Velvet Cake with a Madagascar theme, bless her! It was the most delicious without anything overpowering. 🙂

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Cook: Caramelized Pears

May 20, 2012
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The husband is unwell today and after cooking some hearty chicken soup, I decided to make some caramel pears for a healthier version of the dessert.

Ingredients

2 pears, pitted and cut in 4s
2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
5 tablespoons of brown sugar
Some soda (like 2 dashes)
A pinch of salt

1. Melt the butter/margarine in the saucepan.

2. Sprinkle salt and add the pears, making the fleshes touch the pan.

3. Drizzle the brown sugar over the pear quarters. Close the lid and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes.

4. Turn over the pears so that the other sides could be caramelized and leave for about 5 minutes. Serve hot with ice-cream and crushed peanuts or cookies!


One day

April 14, 2012
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As you all must know by now, my favourite book is I Love Capri, written by Belinda Jones. Her stories are based on her travels especially to exotic places like Italy and Coasta Rica.

If given a chance (or making one myself), I’d love to visit the following places, which I heard and read so much about.

20120414-164502.jpg Capri

20120414-164511.jpgLake Como (where George Clooney lives!)

20120414-164518.jpgVenice

20120414-164524.jpgAmalfi Coast

God’s wiling that we will get to visit these beautiful marinas one day. 😊


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Make: Buttercup, Fuchsia and Brown Card

March 16, 2012
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Sorry everyone for I’ve been long gone. Not gone anywhere but gone busying with life. Hahaha!

Today, I’m just going to show you all a scrapbook card made for a friend. Not telling who until the days comes for the person to open it up!

My resources are:
American Crafts papers
My Mind’s Eye – On The Bright Sight Cardstock papers
Spotlight buttons
Creation Stations lace ribbon
Tombo Pit Tape U
Martha Stewart glue pen
And scraps from previous crafts

I used Tombo tape for all paper-paper sticking and ribbon/lace-paper sticking, and MS glue pen for the buttons-paper. However, at times when the buttons are too heavy on the paper and do not stick, I rely on the Tombo tape instead. However, both stickig products are good pals for scrapbooking. I’m sticking to them (pun intended, haha!).

If you have chipboard letterings and shapes, you can stick them to decorate the front and insides of the card. You must be wondering why there are 6 rectangles inside. Well, when we do celebrations here, I’d like to take pictures using Fujifilm Instax Camera which print on smallers version of the Polaroid films. So the rectangular space is perfect to become borders to the films when we stick within the rectangles.

Hope you enjoy looking at these!

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Bake: Everybody’s Bread Pudding

December 6, 2011
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Today my husband and I fasted in remembering 10 Muharram (Day of Asyurah)(for the Jews, they remember Moses and his troops crossed the red sea, for us Muslims, we remember Moses too and other great occurrences in our History).

So, to make it feel like a celebration, I’ve decided to make a bread pudding. Well, not just anybody’s bread pudding. It has fruit jam, peanut butter, Nutella, raisins, and chocolate chips. It’s for everybody! It’s great especially for kids and those young at heart. Heck, it’s for anybody, hungry or not. 😉

I’ve to make a disclaimer here. The recipe is from Allrecipe, but after watching Nigella on tv sometime back, I followed her way of spreading not only jams on the breads, but peanut butter and Nutella as well.

In the pictures shown, I baked half the recipe.

Ingredients

6 slices day-old bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
40 gm raisins
40 gm chocolate chips
4 eggs, beaten
475 ml milk
100 gm white sugar (you may want to reduce this amount because it’s already very sweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Bread Spreads:
Peanut Butter (Skippy’s Chunky)
Fruit Jam (St Dalfour’s Four Berries)
Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.

2. Cut the bread into triangular halves.
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Spread jams, peanut butter and Nutella on the halved breads (both sides). (What I did was to divide the bread halves into 3 portions – so there would be 4 halves for each type of spread. Get a medium sized bowl or rectangular pan and place the bread halves alternately – jam, peanut butter, Nutella and so on.)

3. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. Sprinkle with raisins and chocolate chips.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture. Let it stand for about 5 minutes.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.
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Oh the smell is so delicious although it looked a bit burnt. But that’s how I like it!

Please note that the original recipe serves 12, and this tastes great on its own or with vanilla sauce! Happy trying!


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