Thursday, December 26, 2013

new look

I am giving this blog a new look for 2014 by adding a few bright and colourful links on your right --->

The colours scream "CLICK NOW!!"

Hotel Review : Holiday Inn, Malacca

I have spent 3D 2N in Holiday Inn Malacca during my office's top management meeting. I was there not because I am one of the top managers ;p I was there because of a unique assignment. Anyway, let's talk about the hotel first. 
Love the room. Love the colour combination. You can choose between SOFT or FIRM pillow. 
Linear arrangement. Just like most of the hotels I went to before (except for Tokyo, Singapore, Adelaide and a few others). Since I didnt have to do work at night, it is fine. Or else, doing work beside a huge television is quite a struggle.

The food is great.
Es.sense Kitchen.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Invisible Pen

Nabil requested for an invisible pen for quite sometimes. I bought it for his birthday earlier this month. In fact, I bought 6 for my other sons, nephew, niece and cousin Jaja. I just drew something on the brown paper. Can you see it?
Click the light and voila! 
Then, they were experimenting with other materials such as wood, MY LEATHER HANDPHONE COVER and of course, SKIN. (Aunty Ani started it first ;p)

Some observation

During a wedding last weekend... A wedding photographer made a rude remark to the wedding cake maker in front of me and a few others,"You shouldnt put too much icing on the wedding cake. I could only taste the icing when I ate it. That kind of cake is only suitable for a birthday party".

First, the baker never commented on your photography technique especially when you captured a shot from below and make the groom's nostril as huge as a sinkhole in Bosnia.

Second, you should respect others' area of expertise. As far as I am concern, the baker has been on TV a couple of times and featured in newspapers and a lot of magazines. 

Third, MAYBE the groom ordered that kind of cake? 

Fourth, why on earth did you ate the wedding cake while no one else touched it, not until the event ended later that evening?

What I like most about the baker is...he just smile.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Food : Chicken Fajitas. Again.

My parent-in-law staying over at our home last weekend. I really like it when they are here. I love to see them playing with their grandchildren and perform congregational prayers together. Everyone seems so happy and I felt so blessed.

I made them chicken fajitas for breakfast. I grilled chicken keels and caramalised some onions. I also made honey mustard sauce with black pepper.
I put in a lot of green and tomato. 
Usually my husband is the one folding the tortilla whenever we made chicken fajita but that morning, he was entertaining my in laws so I have to fold it myself. First try. They were terrible. LOL. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Meet Elly, the Box Monster

Nabil made this on Saturday.
I keep empty breakfast cereal, toothpaste boxes and all type of boxes in the kids' room so they could do something creative with it anytime. 

Nabil googled some cute monster images on Saturday morning and he came across a cereal box monster art project for kids. He straight away gathered necessary equipment and start working on it. I helped him to wrap the box.
He coloured the eyes, cut it off and pasted it on the orange box. Then, he drew the mouth and the stylish hair.
After that, he added six i-dont-know-what. Fins? Hair? Ears? But, it is so cute.
The end product, meet ELLY.
I am proud.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities

3 December every year is United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I have soft spot for United Nations since I have been working with/for them for almost 8 years.

I am sharing interesting photos during my trip to Perth, Australia. Unlike other people who enjoy shopping or eating while traveling abroad, I personally love to capture the details and observe the locals. 

Some interesting details for person with disabilities at Point Fraser, Perth. Upon entering the park, I was impressed by the folded space adopted by the designer which in the same time, accessible for the person with physical disabilities and wheelchair. All ramps are of perfect gradient! I went there with my Deputy Minister and I could tell by the look of her face that she was so surprised seeing me running up and down the ramp, whenever there was a ramp (it is A LOT when you have a folded space).
The repetition of railing and tactile pavements makes a good visual impression and does not seen as a facilities for persons with disabilities. 
The reason being is that they use a lot of repetitive elements in the park, so the special facilities appear to be as part of the concept.
I love the fact that they use different colour, texture and material for the pavement.
Story-telling about the past, in Braille, for persons with visual disabilities. I love how they turn the seat into an interactive element in the park.
They also have the history-telling in Australian aboriginal language and English. 
Another subtle presentation of the history. They even have it on the ground!!! Awesome idea in turning history into the landscape element. You will learn a lot as you walk further into the park, regardless if you are a person with disabilities, aborigine, local or tourist (provided that you understand English ;p)
And lastly, of course, the famous Liberty Swing for wheelchair users. 
Happy International Day of Persons with Disabilities!
Let's have more of these facilities in our country!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lazy Saturday : Apple crumble

I was bored and I WA-ed my friend telling that I feel like eating apple crumble. In the next five minutes, I found myself peeling apples in the kitchen +__+
Nabil, as usual, in-charge of dicing the apples. (yes, there is a pear in the photo but we didnt put it in the apple crumble. Nabil ate it). I used 2:2 ratio (red : green) so the sourness of the green apple will balanced out the sweetness of the apple+sugar.
Nicely diced apples with a hint of cinnamon powder.
I prepared the crumble. I still need a lot of practice. I never made perfect crumble. It is not even near-perfect ;p
After 45 minutes. Tada!

Lazy Saturday : Special beef gulai

My late grandma used to cook this special beef gulai.

(From wikipediaGulai is a type of food containing rich, spicy and succulent curry-like sauce commonly found in Indonesia and Malaysia. The main ingredients might be poultrybeefmutton, various kinds of offals, fish and seafoods, and also vegetables such as cassava leafs and unripe jackfruit.)

I am so fortunate because I was living with her since I was small and throughout secondary school (after my grandpa passed away), I cook dinner with/for her every single night. We will discuss on recipes and ingredients or sometimes, she asked me to cook whatever she feels like eating (most of the time - spaghetti bolognese and nasi goreng belacan). Sometimes she will asked me whether I am up for a challenge. It means that she wanted to cook something difficult and it usually takes a longgg time. I never turned her down :) That was when my passion for cooking started. And it was not easy cooking for the expert. 

Traditional food, in particular, Kelantanese dishes are quite hard to make, well, at least for me. I manage to learn a few from her. This is one of them. I made it last Saturday. Special beef gulai. nope, it's not kerutup, it's not gulai darat. i dont know what it is. that's why I called it special.

Early in the morning, I started to prepare the ingredients. It took me almost one hour to process the meat.
I made the paste from scratch. This is the key process. The whole thing will go wrong if you are not doing this process right.
After blending everything and cook it for a few minutes in the pot, I put in 2kg of diced beef. Then I add some water and coconut milk before let it simmer for 3+ hours. I checked the gulai in between doing laundry, mopping and feeding the kids.
I sent some of it to my parent's. If my aunt knew I cooked this, she will arrived in 5 minutes with a huge tupperware. lol.

It supposed to have more dried chillies, but considering my kids will eat it, I use less. BUT, it doesnt taste the same. It should have more chillies.

Al-Fatihah for my late grandma.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Last minute organisational chart

I started to feel that entries and photos on food slowly taking over this ART blog.
But after thinking about it for a while.... Cooking is a form of art. Food photography is totally an ART by itself. So, there you go. 

I was invited to a management retreat last week. The task given is simple. Mindmap the whole thing. It was such a fascinating event. I wanted to share everything about it in this blog but I didnt know where to start. Hmm...

Anyway, I will start with this. The last minute request for an organisational chart. The instruction given was simple - produce a huge hand-drawn organisational chart, with no names and a bit of space, large enough for people to stick their dots. This is the sketch. How are you going to translate that? :)
This is what I came out with within the time stipulated. I printed their photos from the net. No names, right? I got help from Ustaz, Mufsi, Aju and Mr Zainal to draw some lines and colour the block letters because I was mapping a discussion at that time. Thank you, guys. Although it was hard to control the outcome when 4 people were working on single sheet at the same time (different strokes, wrong colour coding, etc) but the SecGen said it is perfect. 
The exercise. Senior officers should indicate their involvement under specific programmes and pillars by sticking coloured round stickers with their initials, under the activity leaders' photos. By the end of this exercise, they will be able to see how they relate to others' work and how they could contribute in helping the leaders to achieve their desired outcomes and KPIs. Sounds complicated, right? Just focus on the chart, that's the main thing I am telling you about now. Let them deal with the complicated stuff.
The completed exercise.
Love the dots!

Food : SIL's visit

Last weekend, my SIL and her family staying over at my house. These are the breakfast. Quesadilla. Special request from my BIL. He likes it very much. Angel hair spaghetti and beef bolognese with extra everything (beef, mushroom and cheese), and peeled rambutans.
My SIL and her family went out around 11am, so, for lunch, I only prepared grilled kerang and grilled mentarang for my family since we had a heavy breakfast earlier. 
To tell you the truth, I am quite worried when I have people staying over because I didnt know whether they like my cooking or not. Well, maybe because we had no one staying over before. After my FIL and MIL moved to Kluang, we had family members coming every weekend (my MIL will arrive tomorrow for two nights stay. And she'll come again the next week. My SIL and BIL came last weekend. The weekend before that, they all came together..).

I guess after a few rounds of entertaining them, I will be okay. InsyaAllah.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My cousin's wedding : The Day

We went to the venue, Perangsang Templer Golf Club, early, around 10.00am (arriving at 10.00am is considered early if you have 4 kids). During the rehearsal the night before, we tried our best not to let the kids went out of the ballroom and discover the swimming pool outside. BUT, on the wedding day, we had our early lunch at the poolside. Hmmm....
The kids begged for a dip in the pool. I didnt bring their swimwear and my husband just started the outdoor photoshoot with the newly-wed which usually takes about 1 to 2 hours, so... I have to say NO.

To my surprised, my cousins went back to their house in Gombak to grab a couple of shorts and drive back to the golf club so my sons can have fun in the pool :) Awwww.... how nice...
I know it supposed to be an entry on my cousin's wedding but it came out differently. Anyway, Selamat Pengantin Baru to you!

My cousin's wedding : the rehearsal

My cousin's solemnization ceremony was held on 7 Nov 2013.

My husband, as usual, was in-charged for the make up artist, wedding dress and photography. She said my cousin is thus far the easiest bride to work with because she picked her wedding dress in only 5 minutes. I am so thankful no bridezilla exists in my beautiful family.

I was the Master of Ceremony cum the floor manager for the reception. I was so excited to see the ballroom during the rehearsal.
I've MCed a couple of national and international events before, but that was my first time doing wedding. It was truly a nerve-wrecking experience because I could totally ruined someone's beautiful wedding day by reading the wrong lines (I read the script from my smartphone screen - it is so tiny..) or pronouncing their names wrongly (I have trouble pronouncing the groom's name). Nevertheless, the rehearsal went well. Both families were happy with the script and with the whole flow. yay.

These are the photos of floor manager of the rehearsal (my husband) in action:
He is very particular about the whole movement, they way they walk, position, posture and all because he is trying to capture the best photo for the event (and because the newly-wed were still quite awkward holding each others' hand). When it comes to work, he is very serious. I am not surprise when [a couple of times] people hired him to be a photographer for akad nikah, they ended up asking him to also be in-charge for the whole process - who sit where, when to pass the ring, what's next..

He is not just a photographer.


It has been a while...I know.
A lot of important events happened, one after another and believe me, I HAVE A LOT TO WRITE. I am going to start with Rambutan. A juicy non-climasteric tropical fruit. It is slightly grape-like and gummy to the taste.

My SIL and her family spent a night at our house last weekend. They bought a huge bag full of freshly-picked rambutans. I put them in three fruit baskets. No one eats them. As usual :)
Kids didnt know how to open it. Adults would find it too messy or they only choose the good-looking ones, so I peeled off the rambuts and put it in the refrigerator. Just like my mom always did. So instead of 3 huge fruit baskets on our dining table, I ended up with only 2 medium-sized bowls of chilled rambutan flesh in the refrigerator.
Did you know that chilled rambutans are so delicious?? It finished in one hour. Yup, the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


My SIL bought this cow for baby Nazmi. Nabil loves it very much. He took a photo and ask me to put it in my blog to thank Aunty Ani.

So, here you go :)
Thank you, Aunty Ani.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Factory visit : Motor Teknologi & Industri

My unit have organised a visit to MTI facilities in Rawang involving a few relevant agencies a day before the whole sepsis incident. MTI is a remanufacturing facility. Remanufacturing is an industrial process that restores used goods to a "like-new" condition, with warranties. It requires complete disassembling of the core - to the smallest parts and components, thorough cleaning process, re-assembling and testing. It is a new emerging industry worldwide (although it is already a matured industry in some countries like US, UK and Mexico) and Malaysia is currently building the industry from the ground up.
I love my job.

My brother's reception

From my seat.
Such a beautiful event.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My brother's solemnization event

25.10.2013, 9.00pm.
Welcome to the family, Shazni.
Beautiful setting
My husband in action (the one with white sampin).