Been sick since the last few days and my appetite has gone downhill.

Hubs took me to see a doctor, and I was advised to not take coffee anymore and eat more veggies.

Sigh. Never knew I would have to part with my Nescafe 3-in-1 someday.

So in a bid to eat more healthily, we chuck out the caffeine in the house (except his Nescafe pfft) and introduced this.

My SIL who's a doctor advised no-coffee for as long as it requires for my health, but says that decaf is OK. So the hubs went out one night to look for this - only to find it at the 7th store he went to. People don't really take decaf, I assume.

So far, the taste isn't so bad. Adding sugar works great to get rid of that "weird" taste. Since decaf isn't really caffeine-free (I just found out!), the coffee taste is still there but slightly different especially if you're prone to drinking coffee, you'd notice it.

So far, I'm coping well, surprisingly. Though I try not to take decaf as frequent as I used to take coffee, I tend to enjoy plain water more nowadays.

No caffeine isn't so bad.

Last Friday, Shahrul came home from work and told me about the khutbah he heard during his Jumaat prayer.

It was one of those rare days when he didn't fall asleep during khutbah. (he said so)

So when he was listening, the topic is about work and rezeki.

"I got really insaf when I listened to the khutbah. The Imam said that all those times when we were browsing internet, online shopping, doing basically anything other than work; we should really think about how it affects the rezeki we made with our time at work. Imagine if you spent 4 hours of work browsing internet out of 8 hours at work, that's already half of our daily rezeki and we're basically spending it not doing work, which is what we're supposed to do. That means it could be haram, in some parts of what we earn"

To be honest, I was impressed that he actually paid attention to this topic. To me, out of guilty conscious I wouldn't have listened to anything about this topic - it's what we do in daily basis, and we're easily guilty of doing so. I would always say it's OK, I do a lot of work-related stuff at home too, so I can compensate those online shopping activity at work by that.

You could say that, but how true it is applied to your monthly salary, is something arguable.

"There are some time when we feel like our du'a is not granted by God, or we're still so hopeless even after praying to God. These are the things that might have been because of those times we were not sincere in doing our work and not really earning the rezeki we got. That's why we need to look back on what we've been doing for our job, to earn that much salary every month"

He's always been a workaholic type, but I never realize he really takes all this by heart. Alhamdulillah for the lesson! I shall be cutting down the online shopping 9GAG browsing at the office now.

After all, we have the One we need to answer to, when our time comes.

If you have time, this is the transcript of the said khutbah at Masjid Tun Abdul Aziz, PJ by Sheikh Nouman Ali Khan.

Since last year, I've developed this new profound need to find batik stuff.

Forget modern kurung design, I'd be way happier if I could get a simple batik baju kurung (though will NOT get the matching one for the husband. I find them ugly.) which isn't good for my purse, because batik really cost a lot. A simple batik kurung which made from Terengganu batik would cost RM500+ in KL!

So recently when we went to Bali, we went to this big souvenir shop to get stuff for families and friends back home. It's a big store, and you can get so many things there from Bali homemade soap, kitchen utensils, beachwear and T-shirts.

I, on the other hand, found these.

As soon as I saw these, I didn't bother to check anything else out. They came in so many designs (almost 10 boxes full with these as they sell in bulk) and the husband had to wait hours for me to go through every box, to look for designs I like.

Settled for these, and am the happiest girl alive. I told him that I promised myself I'd buy less things for fear of excessing our baggage limit, so I bought three. Now I wish I'd bought more T.T

"You should've bought a whole box and sell them back in Malaysia for a good price"

I don't know if he was serious or just making fun of me, but now I wish I'd taken what he said seriously.

After we had our second reception in Dungun, he took me around his town.

He asked me what I wanted to get from Terengganu.

Batik for baju kurung! Cost a fraction of what we have here in KL.

I'm a happy girl.

The next day after reaching Bali, we were quite confident that we could go sight-seeing by ourselves - without any help from pak supir.

The husband, as sweet as he is - rented a vespa for us to go to Batu Belig beach from our hotel, but he actually doesn't have a motorcycle license so we had to be a bit cautious whenever we see any police around. But riding on a vespa with my husband on our honeymoon trip? The best feeling ever. Especially when it's been ages since I last rode a bike!

Reached Batu Belig beach (we found the place just by following the signboards and asking the locals, really went on full-mode tourist here) and was amazed.

The sea seems so much different from Malaysia's. The current is stronger, the water is blue-r and the sand is softer. There's a cafe by the beach, which serves fresh juices and various food so a lot of tourists seem to make it one of their lepak place.

These flowers spots are a common in Bali - it's how they perform their prayers to God.
The husband suggested we go here because of Lonely Planet's book - apparently it's a recommended trip to experience Bali. Basically we could walk all the way from Batu Belig to Echo beach for 4 km and pass by several noted beaches and water crossing, such as Nelayan beach (where the kampung nelayan is, so we could see a lot of boats) and Canggu beach (where there's a temple the Balinese would pray at).

It is said that the biggest challenge during this 4-km walk is this 1-m depth water crossing, where the current is strong and you have to cross it to go to the other side. 

Sounds easy, so we confidently walked through the crossing - but once the wave came, it was so strong that we were almost being swept away to the sea. I was practically screaming; afraid that I'd let go of his hand or vice versa and both of us would lose our balance due to the strong wave, and the fact that swimming is not allowed in that area just made it worse in my head.

If there was a moment of near death experience, this would be it. To me.

We managed to hold each other tight enough to overcome the strong wave and made it to the other side, but we lost both our slippers. Imagine two adults losing their slippers to the ombak! Super not cool WTF. Had to continue another 3-km slipperless T.T

The water crossing aka Devil's place. 

Reached a temple by the beach where they perform their prayers.

Managed to drop by some store to get new slippers and came back to Batu Belig beach. The cafe owner recognized us and said,

"Woah you guys survived the walk!"

Apparently it's not very common for foreigners to do that, since most of the beach area are swimming-prohibited WTF.

The cafe has this vintage yet modern feel, as you can see from the wooden tables and chairs and the big beanbag chairs for the tourists to lie on.

Spent the evening there, went back to the hotel for food (and good sleep after a tiring day). At night we decided to go look around the bazaar nearby for good deals.

I can't remember the name of this store, but their sunglasses are so hip I swear. Reminded me of Karen Walker's. The husband won't let me have them because they aren't cheap T.T

The thing about Seminyak is, the high-end stores actually aren't so cheap. Some of these sunglasses are nice but they cost around RM200+, and I'd rather spend that much on a known quality brand item rather than a random brand goods, however nice they are.

To go to Batu Belig beach, you can take a cab or rent a bike to go there yourself - just follow the signboard and look out for friendly locals who'd help you find your way. Renting a vespa would cost as cheap as 70,000 rupiah to 150,000 rupiah per day. Would prefer the vespa for an authentic Bali experience!

An Anonymous commented on my swedish meatballs post, generously leaving me a link to a new awesome website.

Been wanting to try microwave recipes since forever. You're my lifesaver, Anonymous!

So we went out last Saturday night for a make-up dinner Shahrul had to do due to his recent FB post (he made fun of me on a certain football topic. Well, forgive me for not keeping up with the football players' names!) so we dropped by Cold Storage to get eggs, french bread, cream cheese, thyme leaves and turkey slices because I wanted to try one of the recipes from the website.

So..this is how it turned out.

I should've used smaller coffee cup or more bread, I know. And as usual, I'm not good at first impression.

Still, it was good! Even though I decided to leave out the (bigger) thyme leaves and used the smaller ones, it was delicious nonetheless. Adjusted it at 600 W for about 3 minutes (because 450 W for 4 minutes was not enough) but had to frequently check the mug to see it it's not burnt. Also if you leave it too long, the bread will be too hard it won't be pleasant to swallow.

Fed him some (conveniently hiding the awful appearance from his sight), and after a while he said we shouldn't have it too much (1 coffee cup is enough) because he gets "muak" easily by it WTF -____-" Maybe it's because of the cream cheese? But cream cheese tastes so good?

"Fine, next time I make it don't ask for some!"

Second try, cake. Wish me luck.

(get the recipe here)

So I've migrated.

My Kerastase shampoo was out so I paid HairDepot a visit - a place I knew was selling Kerastase products.

Turned out they've stopped stocking the brand, so I was left browsing around the store. The salesgirl approached me and asked what I was looking for. She was friendly, so I told her everything about the products I've used which later came to a conclusion that I now only liked Kerastase's shampoo color-treated hair range (the one in pink bottle) while all other range did not really suit my hair.

Since I made it in my new year resolution that I'd no longer color my hair, I needed to find a shampoo which would treat my post-colored hair, instead of a range that would continuously treat my hair as "colored". So it's kind of in between range - one that is served for pre- and one for post-colored, if that made any sense.

Also, my hair gets oily so fast that a shower would last me at least a and a half day before the hair gets dull again (also because of the scarf - common hijabi problem) so I need a shampoo that will give strength to my already fine hair. Now that I'm married, I find it necessary for my hair to look OK-ish all the time for the sole audience at home and it's now double pressure to maintain my hair all the time. You single ladies should appreciate your single hood while you still can seriously!

Explained this all to her, and she suggested this strange brand I've never heard of before.

Tried this for 2 weeks now, and I've never loved smelling my hair this much. It's in between chocolate and coconut smell; I can't decide.

It's from Bain de Terre's nourishing shampoo line, which contains macadamia oil, argan and mono oil. Googled these two;

"It’s chockfull of essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that promote your overall health by moisturizing, softening as well as protecting your face and hair from sun damage – without harmful toxins and Parabens"

In the website, the shampoo is also promoted as paraben-free, which means it doesn't contain the paraben preservatives commonly found in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.

But for me, the reason I love this shampoo is because of the macadamia oil. The smell is so heavenly that even the husband noticed!

And I think, the shampoo adds more shine to my post-colored hair (even though I'd like for it to fade away asap) because he said,

"I thought you colored your hair years ago? It should be fading away by now right?"

..all the while staring at my head, probably wondering if he's seeing things. Or if this wife of his broke the new year resolution and paid the salon a visit when he's not looking. (Which she didn't)

With my previous shampoo, he didn't really noticed it (plus it HAS been a year since I last color) so I guess the shampoo has something to do with it.

Ooh, buying the shampoo and conditioner gets me a free product - a hair mask by Bain de Terre.

It says scalp refreshing, and I've never felt more refreshed. My scalp was left feeling all mint-y all day long like spilling a mint liquid all over my head and it kind of gives me the post-spa vibe. Which means I'm not switching to any other hair mask, really. Awesome.

The salesgirl told me most of her customers have migrated to this shampoo ("Kerastase is so expensive leh!"), and I have, too.

I'm seriously not a kid person.

So when I got married and got an extra 10 nieces and nephews by default from Shahrul's side, I got very scared.

Still, I think I'm lucky that he's a farr more kid person compared to me (his nieces and nephews actually call his name around the house and ask him to bring them around every single day and hang off his body almost all the time, I kid you not) but at the same time I'm really lucky too because he never force me to do anything similar.

Because whenever the kids are around me, usually all they'd be getting is silent treatment.

"Haii Mak Zatil!"
Awkward stare. Actually they call me Maksu Zatil, but one of them got confused and ended up calling me Mak Zatil.
"Maksu, kenapa nama Maksu Zatil?"
Awkward smile.
"Maksu, kenapa Maksu kahwin dengan Paksu?"  
Smile again.
"Maksu, jom lah main dekat luar"
Smile some more.

I thought it was just too rude to just smile, but I'm really really clueless on how to interact with kids. So after observing how Shahrul handled the kids (after a few days), I started to loosen up a bit.

Approached one of his nieces, who's around 3-years old.
"Hai Amni! Amni tengah buat apa tu?"
"Amni tengah buat ini lahhh *showed me what she's doing, which is clipping some small cloth on a railing, which I'm not sure for what purpose* 
"Amni buat apa tuuu"

I should just give up, shouldn't I?

But some of his nieces who are older, I find them more approachable. The eldest one is by far the friendliest; always looking out for me whenever the little ones are pulling down my top or poking me around for fun.

Last few days, we went to his brother's house to pick up the rest of his stuff. While I helped Shahrul packing the stuff, his nieces were around assisting us and entertaining us with their stories.

Now that I've loosen up a bit, I kind of get why people want to get more kids. They're so bubbly, for a start; and sometimes when you listen to their stories - they aren't so bad! Of course there would be tantrums and fights, but after a few minutes they would somehow make up and return to their normal self again.

Before we went home, the kids gave us our "new home present".

Got home and opened the gift - it was a bright pink frying pan (stainless steel!) with this note,

Totally made my day.

Ooh did I mention he has 10 nieces and nephews?


Made supper for the husband one night.

After the egg on bread attempt, I wanted to try something western - meatballs (husband is contented as long as we have chicken in his meal, but I told him my meatballs taste better than chicken.) because recently I discovered this amazing meatball brand.

My colleague recommended this brand to me, saying she always prefers this whenever her husband craves for something other than rice and chicken. Tried it one day and I was sold!

Also perfect for the times when you're going home late after work and you're too lazy tired to drop by grocery store to restock your fridge. A box of these cost around RM10 for 20 pieces, and you'd just need 10 pieces per servings for 2 person - quite a bargain, don't you think?

IKEA meatballs who? Haha.

Bought the second box of these meatballs, went to pick him up after work and made this.

Doesn't look that tasty, but he's happy nonetheless.

"I thought it's going to suck..but it was goood!"

Sheesh way to motivate the wife.

I rarely ever wear skirts, but in Bali, if you're not in maxi dress or maxi skirts or sandals - you'd really feel out of place.

I wore jeans once when we went out to buy food, and the mat sallehs there were looking at me as if I was mad. To be honest, I felt like I was mad too - wearing jeans on a vespa ride isn't really pleasant.

So one day, after walking along the Batu Belig beach for 3 km (will blog in detail soon), we lost our slippers and dropped by a store to get new ones. That was when I found the skirt.

"Can I get this skirt? I don't have one yet"
"Do we have enough cash?" 

FYI, it was his answers to everything. 

So after calculating the rupiah we had, he agreed to let me have it.

It has a slit on each side, so walking wasn't so restricted compared to other skirts. I didn't have any tie dye items before but the color and design of the skirt are really cool - most of the items in my wardrobe are blue and soft pink anyway T.T

I doubt that I'd wear the skirt anywhere else other than beach, but at least now I have something to wear for beach holiday.

So we're finally done with both our receptions.

I find it so hard to blog nowadays - upon returning to KL from Dungun, we basically settled down to our new routine, and blogging unfortunately is nowhere in the equation. And cooking has taken a lot of space in my timetable that I'm still having mixed feelings about it.

But the one thing deserves a blog post? Wedding gifts!

Unevitably, we got some same items (3 different salad bowls!) but all were very well-thought of, which I'm so grateful for. We're quite lucky we have settled into our new house earlier so we kind of have some ideas of what we should get for the house.

Having been a newlywed, I wanted to hug all our families and friends for getting us these gifts and making our new life so much easier. If you need some ideas on what to get for the newlyweds, here are my suggestions :

We actually squealed at the sight of this - having been in the new kitchen my husband got me, I finally understood the value of these colorful plastic things. Especially if you're cooking daily, these are the essentials to fill up your kitchen with. I used these things for everything - to heat up food, to store leftovers in the fridge, etc.

Coffee pot/water jug set
Water is essential and is used frequently in the house, so we need to put it in something. And it's nice to have a matching coffee pot with matching cups to serve our guests.

Household cleaning products
For a newbie like me, I didn't really know how to choose the right products to use for our house, for a start. One of his uncles gave us these and I'm really grateful - saved us the hassle of Googling good cleaning products and browsing the entire cleaning products shelves!

I didn't have the time to Google good cutting utensils. So when one of our friends gave us a set, I assumed she's done hers and I trust her decision.

Electrical supply
Any would do. My SIL gave us a coffee maker and I'm through the moon because even how much I wanted one, I didn't have the heart to spend our money on a coffee maker, considering how we've survived 27 years of life without one.

Garment steamer
One of the things I've discovered after being married, is how difficult it is to iron a guy's shirt. Their materials are so different from the tops I usually wear to office - I can iron all the tops I own in my wardrobe, and half of his still take the same amount of my time. He even apologized profusely to me, seeing how the ironing task consumes so much of my time and energy.

So when my colleagues surprised me with this gift, I wanted to cry. So if you're giving a wedding present to a colleague or friend as a bunch, collect the money to buy this (priced at RM300 - 400, Philips)

18+ items
We received some which falls under this category which shall not be revealed here. But most of all, saved me the embarrassment of going to the "intimate" section HAHA.

Having been a newlywed, I wanted to smack myself for having spent all my money giving friends nice but useless things - seriously, you don't have to buy fancy things that don't really help them to start their new journey in life. Sometimes, its boring things like these that really help ease their transition. And there's no other greater things your friends can remember you by.


my brain dump.