Yesterday was a cycling day for me.

I went to my friend's house which is a 20-minute journey by bike (yes, I timed it! I have too much time..) and off we went to this small, down-to-earth shopping mall we used to go when during our first year here. Ah, memories.

We reminisced a lot about this place; since we've spent most of these 4 years together going to each other's house, cooking meals (which turned out a disaster, at least 60% of them. But it's the commitment that counts right?), lots and lots of useless shopping, childish confrontations, late night heart-to-heart talks, staying up studying, etc. We've been in each other's company for too long that sometimes we just feel like we've had enough of each other! Haha lol. But that happens, trust me. And in less than 2 months, we'll be in a completely different world from what we've been in for the last 4 years. It's weird to think we'll be off to our own way in the nick of time.

I guess that's life.
But yesterday was fun :) And fun of course involves food, people.

This is a 1280 yen set. I swear I've never spent that much on a Japanese food. 

I realize I've been skipping meals these past weeks (mostly dinner) in order to focus on my thesis/keep my lecturer happy (I honestly think the latter plays a major role here) and I can't seem to stop thinking about my FYP everytime I wake up in the morning. I mean, I installed two different apps (Magic Sleep and Relax Melodies. One is more useless than the other) on iPhone just so I can fall asleep better at night! If this wasn't a cry for help, I don't know what is.

Tired face? Check. Ambiguously smaller shoulders? Check. Eyebags? Check.

Am loving the sky. Snow always makes pictures prettier, don't you think?

Having mates who doesn't like taking pictures of themselves but loveee taking pictures of others is indeed, a bliss. Haha.

Woke up to snow and the sound of breezing wind. Sunday couldn't be more perfect.

Oh, I was wrong.

These reached my footsteps a while ago.

Now it's a perfect Sunday! :)

I haven't been on Twitter lately, because whenever I open up the Twitter browser I always have some sort of heart attack.

Everyone's been updating about their finals and thesis lately, and the fact that I care not one bit about either is freaking me out. Well, to be fair, I do care, but just not at the amount that I should have.

Because instead, I'm focusing all my energy on..these.

Graduation day (卒業式). And what I'm going to wear on that once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

And the fact that we're not going to have a chance to wear the graduation robe and hat doesn't help either.

Because in Japan, the graduates would wear hakama (traditional wear for the Japanese) or kimono or suits (though hardly).

(pictures from here)

No throwing the hideous hat to the air. No blue/black gowns.

Hakama is usually rented at saloons, and the girls would usually get busy doing the preparation (the hakama design, color, etc) months before the graduation day. You should rent the hakama 5 months before the ceremony or you would end up wearing boring suit to the event of your life while everyone else is wearing bright red, yellow hakama with perfect hair and make up.

Of course, I just knew about it last week after my Japanese friend had her jaw open when I told her "I haven't decided what dress I'm wearing on 卒業式 yet".

Ugh. I should've known.

So as wearing hakama is out of the question, I spent this weekend looking for a decent baju kurung. You know, so I would at least have a good time on the historic day of my life and not cry my eyeballs out for not having my mum that day or for having to wear my last year's Raya baju kurung.

And Mimpikita's kaftans are the best kaftans I've seen, so far.

These are from their latest Raya Collection line.

This is the time when I kick myself for not being the comfort Malaysia.

Am still thinking if I should just skip the whole thing and just do suit, or beg my mum to get one and post it to me. Considering how busy she is right now, I might have to do it on my own. Sigh. Is this what they call adulthood?

And the bad news is, I've had my heart set on this.

Or the simpler version might be nice, too.

Does anyone know if Mimpikita do international shipping? :/

"Shyness and modesty of men is an excellent virtue, but the shyness and modesty of women is even more so." - Hazrat Abu bakr (r)

"Modesty (haya) and maintaining one's honour and dignity are of primary importance in preserving the moral fibre of any society. This is why modesty has been called the ornament of a woman, which protects her from many sins and which prevents ill-intentioned men from daring to have bad thoughts about her. This haya has been made a part of her nature to safeguard her from being abused by immoral men." (Haya)

"Modesty is valued in Islam, for both sexes. Islam doesn't teach one to be 'shy,' Islam teaches one to respect the opposite sex and more importantly, to respect yourself. So in general when one (whether man or woman) does not raise their voice often, does not use vulgarities, does not say the first rude thing that pops into their head, is polite, does not back-bite, and does not like to argue for the sake of argument - that's a sign of excellent Muslim upbringing and is a valued quality." - (Yahoo!Answers)

Taking a break from CAD and hydro-cyclones leads to this.

Sometimes having a mild FYP breakdown is all you need to see the big picture. To get the wake-up call. To reach back to your faith.

InsyaAllah. One step at a time.

I was talking to my little brother last few nights.

We occasionally converse in Manglish (Malay+English) mostly because I love to tease him in English (I know he gets everything I'm saying, but he's just really bad with comebacks) and he hates it when I do that and he would resort to making fun of my English.

But during our last phone call, he suddenly decided to get into full-swing English-speaking mode.

The common problem with us, the Utara-ians; we can't pronounce the 'r' right (occurs mostly among the elders, though. We the younger generations are lucky we have TVs to learn) so apparently my little brother is one of them.
"..yeah I play badminton tell Shahrul to practice"
"..ooh can you ghead my mind?? ha ha.."
"..give me your Skype password, I want to spend your money, I don't have any money"
"..alghait, alghait.."

Oh in case you're wondering, the last part was 'alright'.

Repeat the conversation 40 times in your head. OMG I laughed so hard I think I might offend him at some point. Well nothing he hasn't heard of, anyway.

But deep down, I realize it was one of our best phone talks. Most entertaining, actually. We're so close that when we had a fight, he'd always come to me first eventually because 'there's no one to play with'. Growing up, of course me being the older sister always have to give in; even though I did smashed his PS3 controller once. Fighting over game and TV was our usual routine.

But over time, I had grown apart from him; being so far away from home. It was one of the things I always found solace in, freedom was all I needed, I thought. But later it's true, distance is a bliss. We became the best of friends, more than we ever did before.

I love how always manage to light up the situation no matter how bad it is. I love how you think every guy in the street are bad guys who'd cast gross looks at your sisters. I love how you're the textbook definition of over-protective. I love that you're always looking forward to picking me up at the airport. I love how you always act so grown up when we all know you're our little brother inside. I love that you make me feel worth looking up to when I feel like a big mess. I love your so-called funny jokes. I love how you would sulk everytime you have a fight with mum when you know very well you guys would make up 3 minutes later.

We talked for about an hour and before we hung up, my mum took the phone and said, "he would never say it but he misses you."

I miss you too lil' chap! :)

  • I had Doutor's tuna cheese bread for, like, the millionth time. Delish. Awesome.
 Doutor has the best cafe mocha in the entire world, I swear. Starbucks what?

I didn't know Hiroshima had this store! Actually went inside and spent hourss just trying to justify buying this and that, cause I know when I walked out of that store I'd have bought something and my brain won't agree with my heart.
So..I bought a cute planner for 2011.

Trust me, this is way better than buying another Hello Kitty pillows or mirror case..I can't buy another HK pillow, he'd throw a fit. Seriously. Though I might risk having my colleagues at work looking down on me for using a Hello Kitty planner, I know.

  • Watched The Green Hornet! It was awesome, though I'm not in love with Jay Chou's acting, it'd be a whole lot better if it was another Asian actor. At least that's what I think.

  • Had Golden Spoon ice cream for the first time. It's supposed to be 'low in calories and fat, high in calcium, high in protein, and it aids digestion' so I was looking forward to it (yes, I'm all about being healthy) and it wasn't so bad! I had vanilla and chocolate with waffles and cookies, but the ice cream doesn't taste like yogurt though. More like soft cream. And I can't justify spending 500 yen on a..soft cream. Still can't beat Cold Stone.
  • I think I have a thing for lights (or at least tree lights/illumination) cause I got excited when I saw these in a shopping mall.
    • But above all, because of this.

      This weekend was probably the breeziest I've ever had; we were constantly moving and spending every single minute going places we've been a hundred times and places we've never been before. Looking back, we were always like that - constantly moving.

      And I'm loving every single minute of it.
      Just got home, tired and sleepy and happy.

      Anyway, my dear friend Sarah Munir featured me in her Fashion Blog post; which is so sweet of her cause I'm nowhere near fashion blogger like the other bloggers in the list. Thank you Uted!! (Btw, do you realize you, me and Vivy were dormmates at one point?? How many years has it been already? Haha)

      Go check out her blog, she's a fashion blogger and an ex-schoolmate of mine. And yes, we have our own pet names - her Uted and me, Oren (one is slightly not-so-famous than the other, she's probably the only one who called me Oren. NOT because my face resembled an orange, mind you.)

      I need a new pet name, pfft.

      I read a book famously known as it made its way to being made a film, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. And I really enjoyed it; so much that I decided to give her second book, Her Fearful Symmetry a try.

      Remember this post?

      Well, right now I can blissfully say I've just finished reading the book. (I don't usually take that long to finish a book, but FYP had been tormenting me lately that I have to prioritize)

      And once again, Audrey Niffenegger had me.

      From Instagram app - Been using phone apps to transfer photos from phone to computer because I'm just too lazy to use the traditional-USB-cable way.

      "The endurance of love animates this gothic story set in and around Highgate Cemetery, in London. When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her estate, including an apartment overlooking the graveyard, to the twin daughters of her twin sister, from whom she has been estranged for twenty years. When Valentina and Julia show up to claim their inheritance, they soon discover that Elspeth is still in residence, in ghostly form. Niffenegger’s writing can be wearyingly overblown, but she has a knack for taking the romantic into the realm of creepiness, and she constructs a taut mystery around the secrets to be found in Elspeth’s diaries and the lengths to which she will go to reunite with her younger lover. It’s no small achievement that the revelations are both organic and completely unexpected." - The New Yorker

      I can safely say, now that I've read the book, I don't ever want a twin sibling anymore.

      This book primarily describes what it would be like to have a twin, and as much as I've always thought it'd be fun, it is actually scary. Personality is all that matters; once you lost that you can never get it back. I finally understood why my twin friends always seem to be the opposite of each other all the time.

      I am thoroughly in love with this book! Audrey's writing is superb, this book basically proves that The Time Traveler's Wife wasn't a fluke. She's got style, baby. I like how she puts element of suspense on every corner and still got me going (I don't like mystery books, hence you'll never see me holding a Sidney Sheldon book).

      It's refreshing to read such a different book from usual; I think this book is just what I need to escape from reality (lab, FYP, lab, FYP) these days.

      The one thing I realized, though - is how she likes to play with death scenarios, just like her previous book. Of course, it's only fictional so you ought to have a very good imagination skills to adapt with her.

      Am not going to say any more since some of you might yet read the book, so go and have the read of your life. It might start a bit slow, though (if you haven't read for a while, like me).

      Next book.

      I remember buying this book at my uni's coop during my second year here - just for the sake of getting more points on my student card.

      I'm such a geek.

      A few weeks ago, I watched Black Swan after so much fuss being made about the lead role which played by Natalie Portman.

      Watched it on a Saturday morning, and I had to spend the whole weekend getting over just the shock of it.

      If you're easily traumatized, don't watch. But you'll be missing the best physiological thriller by far, with incredibly beautiful acting and special effects.

      Black Swan is a great movie even if it scared me sheytless.

      "Nina: I had the craziest dream last night about a girl who has turned into a swan, but her prince falls for the wrong girl and she kills herself. " - Black Swan 

      The movie is basically about a ballerina, Nina (Natalie Portman) who struggles to win a leading role 'Black Swan', which is initially for another ballerina (Mila Kunis). In order to win the role she has to sink deeper to her 'dark' side as asked by her director, but later she slowly turns to her evil side and loses her mind.

      This movie left me feeling like..screaming at something. But be warned, some scenes might not be suitable for you poor straight lads! Haha.

      Well, as it turns out - Natalie Portman won an award for Best Actress at Golden Globes yesterday for this role! Should've seen this coming.

      Go and watch it, if you dare. I mean, just think about it. Natalie Portman. Mila Kunis (who reminded me of Angelina Jolie I don't know why). Winona Ryder. Lesbians. What could make a better combination than that?

      But there are things you should know :
      • Don't fall for those reviews saying you should watch Black Swan - you shouldn't.
      • But if you decided to watch, don't watch it alone. Never watch it alone, in fact.
      • Ask your girlfriends to tag along.
      • Avoid sitting beside an older man - or you'd risk feeling creepy during those lesbian, guy-and-girl scenes.
      • Don't watch the graphic scenes - bury yourself in your hands or you'd risk thinking about it forever.
      • Don't have a big meal before seeing the movie, cause you'll definitely have that queasy sick feeling by the end of the movie. 

      After all, I'm sure every girl can relate to its famous quote by the very dark role - I just want to be perfect.

      Did I mention we had our last Illumination/Dreamination (again!) sometime during new year?

      Yeah, we can't have enough of it.
      I just got the group pictures from Wani just now, and realized I haven't blogged about it yet. Went to this Illumination with him too before our little trip to Kyoto, but going there with 2 straight guys and 3 'we're-such-models-everyone-take-our-picture-pleaaasee' girls was a bit different.

      Definitely not romantic.

      Yeah, one of the little quirks of traveling with your other half is, NOBODY CAN TAKE YOUR PICTURES TOGETHER so you ended up with loads of pictures of you alone. Or him alone.

      HAHA tired of us yet?

      But I gotta say, Japanese people are very friendly when they realize you're a tourist. Just act like you're completely clueless and insert a lot of hand movements, batting eyelashes and show them the camera; they'll surely lend you a hand. Or maybe it was just the annoyed Japanese man trying to get rid of me.

      But with an SLR gang, it was an entirely diferrent experience. Same Illumination and place, though.

      Oh those grins. Haven't smiled like for a while! Hehe. (note to self : gotta get better hold of that shawl, it was going everywhere that night due to the strong wind. Hence the messy look.)

      Anyway..despite the look I had on those pictures, today had been a big agony. I came home shivering from the strong, extremely cold wind - and ta-da - a terrible migraine 2 minutes later. Swallowed Panadol Actifast (which claims to absorb twice as fast to relieve pain - my arse) and nothing works. I guess I have to take that Tiger balm to sleep tonight.

      Did I mention how PMS can kill?

      And yes I would kill to have those Illumination carefree nights, again.

      (some pictures credit to Wani)

      Heard noises outside the house, went to peek, it's the first snow this year!


      (despite having seen snow for 3+ years already..I'm such a noob for a final year student)

      Yes, I went all jakun and took pointless (not to mention artless) pictures of snow right in the middle of my Die Hard marathon. Oh, have I mentioned this is gonna be my last winter here?

      Expect more pictures after this HAHA.

      These days, opening my blog email's inbox has been my number one favorite thing on my list. I've gotten emails from lovely blogger friends/fellow bloggers (I still refused to say readers, it's just weird..or maybe I'm such a weirdo) and they really made my day! Thank you :')

      During my first stages of blogging, I was torn between keeping it private or public. The horror of my mum finding out this blog keeps me in between; but being a girl, whenever I see something that triggers my inner girly radar I'd always want to put it up here and share it with the world. (whether or not the world wants to know) So at times I just can't make up my mind, hence the public-and-private-and-public-again phases.

      I never want to make blogging some sort of competition, or a medium to bash other people. I try to minimize the negativity but being human, I might've crossed that fine line between freedom of speech and negativity. So I'm sorry, and I hope I can stay blogging the way I feel decent enough for me to go on in this blogosphere that has taught me so many things; discovering new things and people has never felt so blissful.

      So. Keep the emails and questions coming! :)

      Anyway. I happened to come across this lovely blogger with an exceptional sense of humor (I'm sure everyone thinks so) through my friend's blog. A fashionista hijabi (or hijabi fashionista? I honestly don't know. Bear with me.) with a sense of humor, Maria Elena is Greek Helen.


      I've actually read her blog before she wore the hijab through Ezzah's blog when she tagged me in Black & White contest, and I see that she was tagged by Maria, and when I saw her black & white picture I was all "omg the picture is soo pretty..". Then I went through this bloghopping hiatus (yeah..occasionally) and only recently after reading her blog I realized she was the black & white picture girl. (OK don't hit yourself I'm not making sense with the sentence here)

      But in all seriousness, I've never encountered someone as entertaining as her. Am loving the accent and attitude! I even make my boyfriend watch this PMS video OK HAHAHA.

      And the fact that she, too, is a chemical engineer is

      OK, so I'm trying hard to sleep (no the guys next door don't bother me anymore, trying to get the sleep they lost last night I presume) but I just can't get these outta my head..

      The oh-so-beautiful silk Armine scarves.

      Me : (quickly copy-pasting the URL and send it to dear boyfriend) OMGG cantiknyeeeeeeee *batting eyelashes*
      Him : I think I saw these a lot dekat Pasar Payang..

      Pfftt. Buzzkill.

      I see a lot of shawls trend these days, what more with the ever-expanding Malaysian fashion bloggers' influence that creates a phenomenal transformation of the youngsters. I swear, I might faint upon my arrival at KLIA this March, seeing just how different Malaysian girls are now. I mean, tudung bawal?? Who wears that nowadays? Hehe. (a true tudung bawal-lover at heart)

      So I've seen these scarves a lot in hijab-related pictures and articles, but I didn't know they're actually a Turkish brand called Armine. I don't know how long they've been in the fashion world, but the scarves are amazingly beautiful.

      (and why, oh why the models are always so flawlessly beautiful..)
      My favorite of all.

      I love how the way the scarves make the models look so polished and elegant and understated; you can see not a single accessories used yet they can pull the whole outfit together. (or maybe it's just because of the pretty models.) I love accessorizing but maybe not on my head and hijabs; so a very well-patterned shawl is perfect for me.

      And when it's silk, it's perfect.

      Except for the price. $55 a piece. That's almost 4600 yen. Can I get this for an early birthday present please to-whom-it-may-concerned? Hehe.

      But considering the quality, I don't mind investing in these gorgeous pieces. Yes, I call that 'investment'.

      Definitely my favorite right after Vela :)


      I hope I'm not bothering you with this sudden mail.

      I know you're probably having the time of your life partying like it's 1999 cause I CAN HEAR THE SONGS (BACKSTREET BOYS?? SERIOUSLY??) but unfortunately unlike you, some of us actually have to have a good a-home-therapy rest.

      Especially me, after spending the whole day drawing and scaling like no other (AND I HATE DRAWING, NOT MY FORTE) my head is spinning in a crazy-ass roller coaster ride I can feel the whirlwind and everything, my hands feel so heavy I can barely type, my eyes are two huge donuts with the horrible eyebags I've ever had.

      So do me a favor and shut up your party. Yes I know I'm not making any sense. JUST SHADDAAPPP ALREADY.

      And by the way, your outdoor karaoke is against the law, since your outdoor is the tiny little space right outside my window (and the road, of course) so I can sue for invasion. But I won't, cause I'm a perfectly good non-citizen with great freaking deal of understanding.

      Unlike you.

      So please, take your party somewhere else before I open the window and English curse you. It'd be bad cause you won't get a thing, I promise.

      See? Still keeping my cool. PEACE!

      Your not-so-happy neighbour.

      If people asked which young celebrity I probably most envious of, I'd say Emma Watson. Anytime.
      She's got nice skin, fabulous hairstyle(s), fabulous fashion sense, sexy accent, great brain.

      Young celebrity, mind you.

      Not to mention her brilliant Burberry ads not so long ago.

      Back when she had her iconic long lock
      That guy is actually Miss Emma Watson's brother, Alex Watson. I'm sure you can tell, her brother is like the guy version of her! Gorgeous..(I'm at risk of sounding like a pedophile here, I know)

       Probably my most favorite among all her pictures. her whole family this good looking?

      So totally in love with her. My Tumblr used to be filled with her pictures' reblogs!
      (and her brother's, too)

      Oh yeah, in case you're wondering, this post came from spending hours raiding my wardrobe and found 2 trench coats (1 was bought two years ago and worn ONCE, 1 was from my sister after she came back from NZ) have to be worn before going back to Malaysia, and trench coats led to Burberry and Burberry led to Emma Watson.

      Things that I do in my pastime. Very informative.


      my brain dump.