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Perspectives

I recently had a conversation with one my best friends Siu Ling and it was regarding the concept of “realising your blessings and to count on them”.

I must say it is so so true. I mean let’s ask ourselves – how many times in a day that we complain? I don’t think anyone at all has a complaint free day except for the few selected ones.

If the weather is too hot, we say it is too hot. If it suddenly rains and it halts us from doing what we have to do, we say why does it rain now. If the food we get doesn’t taste as good, we say the food is yuck.  If we drive and we come across impossible drivers, we curse at them. If work is too hectic, we say why is our job not as fun as others. Truth is, almost everyone will complain just about ‘something’ everyday.

As humans, I think it is fair to say it is fine to complain because we are driven by ‘nafsu’ or desire. We desire many things and mostly we desire for what we feel is best for us. However, what sounds right to me is that it is fine only to a certain extent. You should stop complaining when you feel it’s taking up your energy and when it drains the supposedly amazing self that you are.

Many people are wishing to be in your shoes. Many people crave to have what you have. Many people actually admire your life. I guess the actual problem lies in us being all about “looking up”. And guess what, I think the existence of social media is making it worse. For example, we keep seeing the top celebrities or some really wealthy Instagram people posting about luxuries that they experience and when we actually have enough, we tend to feel we don’t have enough. Simply because “oh I don’t have that but they have it”. At some point this is healthy if it drives you to be more motivated about life but the moment you feel negativity kicking in, red light there and it’s time to “look down”.

Truth is there are so many people wishing to be you. To have what you have. I recently went to Melaka with my friends and I couldn’t help but notice the kinds of people roaming around the street. While they struggle hard to ask for just a few ringgits from us to survive a day, we spend a few hundred ringgits on just one lunch or dinner. And yet we complain life is bad.

As I write this I am trying hard to remind myself too. I think I easily complain and whine when what seems hard to me may be nothing to the rest of us out there. Sometimes I feel life is difficult for me when difficult is actually what others would be so grateful of having. Extracted from Siu and I’s conversation as I was driving her to the airport:

“I think as humans, our tendency to be unhappy about things is just top notch. We forget to look down all the time. Best thing to do when in doubts or worries is to look down and realise our blessings and to count on them. That way, we would feel more thankful to God and feel that God has actually given us more than enough. And hey, be surprised when you find that life’s actually so good!”

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Mohammad Zachary’s Arrival

Almost one month of silence and I got several reminders from my readers to blog. My dad alone had reminded me twice about it “Ya, make sure you write soon” “Ya, blog is quiet for some time already. Blog soon”.

Okay, I do feel guilty for not blogging as often as I used to anymore. I would love to rant about how busy my schedules are everyday but I think that’s not a good excuse anymore.. So what I’ll do is I’ll jump straight to my sister’s labour story that I had promised to write about in my previous blog post.

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21 January 2015

“What? You still want to go to office? You look too heavy for that already” – everyone’s words to her when she said she was going to go to uni to do work.

“But I need to finish up my work. Just this one and I’ll feel so relieved to go through delivery and confinement. I can have lunch at home before I go to my office. Adik, can you accompany me to my office after lunch please?”

At that point of pregnancy, anybody would have said yes. She drove from her place in KL to Kajang (SIGH) and we left to her office after having lunch with the family. *Her due date was supposedly on 30 January but she delivered a week earlier and had we known this, it would be a goodbye to your wish of wanting to go to the office.*

“Seriously kak, I don’t know how you do this everyday. How come UPM doesn’t want to invest in elevators? And again, why did you have to choose an office on the 3rd floor?”

“That room was the nicest one available and I couldn’t say no to it. Hmm hang on, why are you the tired one? I’m pregnant and I’m fine”

“Well, I hardly exercise”

“Well, that explains why”

Hahaha. Okay don’t judge. I think I’m better now. Hehe.

My sister took around 3 hours to get her work done and I had that one feeling that she was due very very soon. You know the tips they share about promoting easy delivery – climb stairs. My sister did that everyday and she was one of the most active pregnant ladies you could see. “Dr, why are you still not on leave” – students and colleagues.

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22 January 2015

I woke up really early on that particular morning. 4.30am to be exact. I’m an early riser in nature but I would usually still be in my dreamland at 4.30am. I got bored and decided to watch online dramas while leaving my phone to charge. At 5.30am my mom opened the door and said “Ya, let’s go to the hospital”.

“Hospital? Why ma?”

“You didn’t read the text Kakak dropped us at 5am? Her water broke at 3am”

And then.. All the hustle bustles began. I was already jumping in joy but I knew God was watching me and it wasn’t pretty really so I put myself back into reality and straight away took shower, prayed, recited Quran verses for my sister and got ready. My sister told us not to rush and she too would be off to the hospital only after Subuh as her contractions were not severe yet.

I saw a text from my brother in law at 6.40am and he said my sister’s dilation was already 5cm. My little knowledge of ‘pregnancy and childbirth’ told me that that was already huge! I ran to my parents’ room and told my mum about it and “Gosh, that’s so soon already so fast! I thought Kakak said minor contractions only” – Mama.

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I urged my mum to be quick and we left the house at 7.20am. The worst time ever but we would weather anything for you kakak and baby nephew. Alhamdulillah, we arrived at the hospital 1.5 hours later (Morning jams in KL = 1 hour delay) and was directed to the labour ward. The hospital policy gave the option of either having the husband or mother accompany the patient in the labour room and my mum knew in advance that she did not want to be by my sister’s side for two reasons:

  1. She couldn’t afford seeing my sister in pain
  2. She knew her son in law was the best person to be there

If you noticed the screenshot, my BIL mentioned that the baby was expected to be out by 9am. I thought this prediction was helpful although it did result in making my mum and I felt super duper anxious. 9.30am still no news from the nurse, 9.45am still no news, 10am still no news, 10.15am and stilll no news. I think I saw my mum tear up a bit while she roamed around in circular motion reciting duas and zikir. She was so so worried and the anxiousness and worries finally came to a stop at 10.37am when “Uwaaaa” rang the bell.

“Ya, did you hear that?” “What is it ma?” “Baby’s cry. That’s him. That’s my grandson!”

There was a cleaner around us that time and she helped confirm it “Yes yes, baby’s definitely out”. My mum’s smile was so so priceless. My dad being the awesome time coordinator that he is got to the hospital ON TIME (I think 3 minutes after the cry).

My BIL came out from the labour room shortly after and I could bet I never felt so excited to see him. Read: wanted to hear his words of assurance. Hahaha. Sorry BIL. We rushed to him and he made it all better by showing us a picture that he captured fresh of my nephew! My feelings that time, subhanAllah, indescribable.

He continued to say “One person can go inside now, maybe mama can go”. And like a flash, my mama was gone..

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Okay, I forgot to highlight my big family here. My dad made an announcement on the group chat before the delivery and thank you again for the thoughtful wishes and prayers. I am eternally grateful to Allah for granting us all a very close family bond.

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And now here goes the first ever picture of Mohammad Zachary bin Mohammad Bazil (taken by daddy)!

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BIL’s family arrived at the same hour and it was really sweet to see the proud grandparents visiting their grandson at the nursery.

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Now on to my sister.. Sigh. I am proud of you. I really am. Being the most ‘manja’ in the family, you came out of that zone and proved to us how strong you were. The first glance that I had of you in your designated room after delivery made me feel weak. You looked so so pale. But you made it kakak. A normal delivery and you gave birth to a healthy baby boy without the help of epidural that you had always aimed for.

Thank you so much Allah for smoothening her whole journey.

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FullSizeRender-4Jiddi and Nenda’s love for you is overwhelming, that your aunty and uncles can 100% confirm

So to my fighter Kakak/Best Friend,

You’re officially a mother now and I know for sure you will be a great mommy to Zachary in shaa Allah. Thank you for bringing the little one into this world. Love you a lot.

And to our ever dearest Zachary,

You are an angel. You have opened up the windows of rezeki and brought tremendous joy to our family in just a month. May you grow up to be a great Muslim to God and religion, a responsible son to daddy and mummy, a loving grandson to Grandpa & Grandma and Jiddi & Nenda, a generous nephew to your aunties and uncles (HEHE), a wonderful family member to your extended family and a good friend to all your friends.

We love you so much already and happy growing up, little boy.

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Kakak’s Birthday/Baby Shower

I told my sister I wanted to write this post closer to her due date and her response was “What? Basi la cerita ni nanti. I don’t understand how your mind works sometimes dik, you should write now” –.–

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June 2015

Before I start writing about the afternoon tea party which I’m sure everyone knows about (due to heavy pictures load on your Facebook news feed and Instagram timeline), I would like to share a little story about how we first found out that my sister was (is) pregnant.

There were I think 2 false alarms for her pregnancy before the third correct alarm. She got married in January 2014 and she made herself clear that she and my BIL would only start considering having a baby after at least a year or so because they were both not ready yet. That was fair enough because my sister still had another year to go for her Phd studies. And so, a year passed by and I remember returning to Bristol first for my final year exams before she did 2 weeks after for her Viva. It was not all so different yet the first few days until she started getting hot flushes and constant anxieties + restlessness. We thought it was nothing much and then there we were planning for what we referred to as our final ‘Sisters’ Europe Trip’ before we flew home for good. It was such a last minute plan and that got our parents saying No in the beginning and decision overturned after we convinced them that ‘Ma pa, if we don’t go now, when else to go.’ Hehe.

Few days after, we were already in Italy and that was when things really got fishy. She was constantly hungry and it meant the impatient ‘I want food NOW’ Nur. She also could not stop saying how tiring the whole trip was… = stressed Nadia. The trip was of course fun nevertheless.

Our flight back to Malaysia was 2 days after our return to Bristol and then there was I being such an aunty telling my mom ‘Ma, it’s really strange this time. I think she’s really pregnant’. My mom did not want to be so hopeful and let my words pass. I think it was a week after that my mom and I helped my sister buy the pregnancy test kit from the nearby pharmacy. My sister came back home after work feeling all nervous in all its essence and she performed the test. I was in my room that time feeling as agitated as her and then she called out ‘Adik adik, come here’ ‘What kak, what?’ ‘I think I’m pregnant. Look at those lines’ ‘Huh what line what line are you talking about?’

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My sister’s hands were too shaky already that time and then I took the instructions flyer and the lines made sense all of the sudden. ‘Ya Allahhhh alhamdulillah, you are pregnant!!’ I got out from the toilet straight to my mum and said ‘Ma in shaa Allah you will really be a grandmother!!’ and god I think that was the first time I ever saw my mum jump – too excited eh ma? Hehehe.

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November 2014

29 weeks pregnant already! My sister always used to mention about wanting a baby shower and my mum being her traditional self said NO. I convinced her that our definition of baby shower is not actually baby shower, it is more of a simple small get together between friends with nice decorations. She still was not very happy and then we considered ‘Solat Hajat/Melenggang Perut’. My sister and I however read about Melenggang Perut and did not really enjoy what we read and so we called the idea off. We discussed further of what to do and then I told my sister to just leave it all to me. We agreed to have a small personal event between just her and her friends but without her knowing all the details. Told our mum about the idea of which she agreed to and our dad decided to have a small solat hajat at our house with few Habibs. That solved it all because we would want a solat hajat ceremony first before anything as my parents always remind us to first do the priority before anything.

I texted my BIL that the Melenggang Perut/Solat Hajat was not happening anymore and I wanted to organise a small event for kakak and friends. My BIL did not really favour the idea and wanted at least both sides of the families to be around and so we both collaborated for the event. We targeted around 30pax before our families cancelled on us and said we should just carry on with just friends. That reduced the number of pax to 20 and I did half of the invitations and my BIL did another half.

Invitations sorted out (had some disagreements with my BIL before it was all good again) and then there were ‘Venue, Food, Decorations and Cake’ to attend to. My BIL initially opted for Double A Cafe as the owners are his friends but the price was a bit too high with what we would be given and so we changed venue 2 days before the event. Thanks to my BIL because he managed to secure Bistro 160 at Grand Millennium Hotel KL and we received a much better deal there. We had to inform the guests of the venue change and we were lucky because everyone was just so lovely with their ‘still yes!’ replies.

I sorted out decorations and I did what we all do best now – search through Instagram hashtags. I found two planners but the first one was already booked and I was lucky the other one wanted to service us. The result was hmmmmm a truly satisfied customer!

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Amazing job done, Thank you Kak Nurul *insert flying kiss and love is in the air emoticons*! I really did not say much to her except I wanted baby blue/white for the theme colour. That also involved changing my order from initially a candy buffet table decoration (for Double A Cafe) to personalised individual pax decorations. Really great that my BIL sent me pictures of what baby shower for afternoon tea party usually looks like or I would have not amended my order otherwise. For those looking for event planner, you can search on Instagram @wondermamacandybuffet. They do catering services too!

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The food consisted of the desserts trays + scones and we had tea or coffee for beverages. The whole team especially Nia were incredibly friendly and their service was first class. My BIL was one happy customer.

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Birthday cake was by again one of the bakers I found on Instagram @suezcakez. I recommend going to Kak Sue as she is so fast with replies and is generous too, thank you again Kak Sue!

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Next in line would be pictures of my beautiful preggy sister with her husband and friends (and me and CP). MP, if you are reading this – I am so sorry I did not call to invite you, Abang Aiman and Ayyash. It was really because we did not want to trouble you as you just got back from Langkawi and to make another trip to KL we thought would have been so tiring.

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Kakak and her Hubby

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Kakak and Bondi

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Kakak and Kak Nini (both pregnant mommies to be/best friends)

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Kakak and Kak Lyn

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Kakak and BIL with the newly married couple Kak Mariam and Abang Affan

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Kakak and I with Kak Ira, Fiqa, Hana and Hani (Hani not in picture)

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Kakak and I with Kak Nini and CP

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Not kakak but CP and I stealing her spotlight

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And then they envied the picture and took back our spotlight (mommies to be won of course hehe)

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MP we definitely missed you!

Alhamdulillah, it was a wonderful wonderful birthday/baby shower afternoon tea party and it was really satisfying to hear and see how happy my sister was with the whole thing. Kakak, BIL and I would like to thank you so much friends for spending your afternoon with us and we apologise again should there be anything you found not right!

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Thank you thank you thank you, May Allah bless us all <3

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Father’s Day 2015

I’ve had this picture of my handsome dad for a good few months now as my wallpaper. Or maybe half a year. It’s always either his picture or my mum’s picture or both but this picture is too charming that it has stayed the longest on my screen. There is also a sight of my mum so fair enough there right mommy? (and a tiny sight of Che my grandma)

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I dedicated a post for my mum and although I’m a day late doing it again but for my dad, nothing changes the fact that I we love them both equally.

Pa, thank you so so much for your never ending prayers. I believe that our greatest strength in life that Allah has blessed us with is you. You are our backbone, our pillar of strength, our strongest support. You work so hard until you tire yourself and yet you still continue because you want to provide us with the best of things in life. Just like a mom’s unconditional love for their children, you too are the definition of unconditional love of a father for his children. Not only are you that kind of a father, you too are the perfect definition of a perfect husband. A love like yours and mama is a love so pure and beautiful that I absolutely have so much admiration and respect for.

Thank you for taking care of us so so well and thank you for all your hard work, energy and time. Thank you for never giving up on us and for loving us the way you do. You always say thank you to mama for bringing us up because you’re not based at home much due to work (you are always around to us) but I think all of us should thank you the most because we are who we are today because of you. Allah is so kind for sending us you, so kind for showing His kindness and love through you. We’ve seen how Allah keeps testing you until you hit the lowest point in your life but you never lose faith in Him and you pull yourself back together because of Him and your family every single time.

I am sorry if I am not the most perfect daughter to you but thank you for always being awesome. We always admire and respect every word that you utter and that being said, you are the definition of a role model. To follow your traits and mama’s wouldnt be easy but I trust we are learning and doing it everyday.

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And so, Happy Father’s Day, papa. The person who would not let his children go camping during schooling years (I remember there was one time that my camp was compulsory and he made me come back home every night and he would send me again to the camping place first thing in the morning and brought me donuts by the end of the day because he knew how picky I was with food before) and the person who is never calculative with us and takes us for great holidays every year. And of course, the person who loves good food too much and hence continuously brings us for great lunch/dinner sessions.

May Allah truly bless you pa and may He grant you the Highest of His Jannah <3

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Back in Malaysia

Touched down Malaysia safe and sound on Friday evening as a university graduate, alhamdulillah and in shaa Allah. It was really sad leaving Bristol but I guess that is life, it goes on. I’m again very thankful for the wonderful 3 years in Bristol that Allah made me experience, thankful for every kindness and all the blessings that He showered me with. I now look forward to what awaits me (excited to write about it very very soon!) and I pray for Allah to guide me through all that I’m about to embark on.

I’m posting some pictures of my sister and I’s last day in our rented apartment for 3 years that I took before we handed back the apartment keys to the awesome landlord (for my future reference).

1Missing you already, The Crescent.

 

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5Our shipping boxes that have already been shipped.

 

FullSizeRenderThis serene and breathtaking that I will miss.

 

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IMG_6333Bye bye house :'(

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And now, pictures of our last plane ride home as students (so emo, I know). Goodbye Bristol, Goodbye UK. I promise I will be back.

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Post Exam life

Greetings!! Hope everyone is having a great day so far, put a smile on that face now ^.^

So, I had my last last ever exam last week which means I am now done with my degree in shaa Allah! When my friends and I first stepped out from the exam hall after that last exam, we felt strange.. Like huh… No more classes no more having to go to library and no more studying… We had that sense of freedom and we were wondering what we would be doing to kill our time. Some of my friends already secured jobs here so hooray and congratulations guys, I’m so proud of you! As for me, in shaa Allah, I will be starting my work soon enough or maybe I have actually started at some point. I shall spare the details for the next post and my upcoming posts will be a lot about what I will actually be doing after this with my BIL, BIL’s cousin and sister. Let’s hope and pray that all will go well! For now, I’m just going to post pictures of the 1 week degree free kind of life that I’ve been having so far.

FullSizeRenderFresh out of the exam hall face. Love my girls!

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So much love for this fine lady right here. She came only during final year but I fell hard for her.

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Looks like I won’t be seeing Mahir for a long long time. I’m grateful to have our paths crossed Mahir and I wish you all the best in your BPTC next year in shaa Allah!

On 15th May, I had a farewell dinner with few of the classmates (most of them did not turn up!) and lecturers. Our class is pretty small with only probably 30 full timers so we are quite close to one another especially after the Berlin field trip last year. Thank you for the memories, guys!

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Thanks for organising Hana and Leon!

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Oh I did not mention about my sister’s return on the 13th (yes that was right after my exam!). It’s really good to have her back and we are now in the process of moving out kind of packing while she prepares for her Viva that is due to happen on the 25th. Good luck kakak! I have full faith in you, you always manage and do very well. I’m again grateful that we came here at around the same time and at the same place and we are/will also be done at the same time in shaa Allah.

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We had our Bristol appreciation weekend and actually took a real stroll around the market. Having lived in Harbourside, we sometimes forget how wonderful Harbourside is especially during weekends. We will really really miss you Bristol, you are the best city to live in the UK, indeed and you will forever have a special place in our hearts.

Thank you God for this beautiful path that You planned for me. I was always about London and London and London before I came here for my studies and did not really enjoy the fact that I would be doing my degree in Bristol. Little did I know that Bristol would give me so much happiness and contentment. I love every bit about my university and my life here alhamdulillah.

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I brought my sister to The Cosy Club Bristol and she loved it. Everyone should visit The Cosy Club because the name itself is self explanatory, cosy… and the restaurant’s interior is so charmingly English!

Okay I should get going now. I’ll be back writing soon again hopefully for something very interesting. Good day ahead, lovelies!

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Final coursework

*Insert tears emoticon* please excuse this meaningless post because it is meaningful to me and it is a must that I have this written in case I want to reminisce in the future.

I cannot believe that I have just submitted my final piece of coursework for my final year degree which was by the way a tough one for me. I feel so emotional! And soon enough I will be facing my final examination for my final year degree before I’m officially done (in shaa Allah may all go well).

It’s been a wonderful wonderful journey and I for one am a proud UWE-ian. I love my university so much, I don’t even have the appropriate words to describe how amazing it is. To me good education comes as a package – good lecturers, good friends, good environment and good facilities. UWE has all of this and it has given me amazing degree experiences – I have not a slight regret. Thank you Allah for your beautiful plans for me. If I were to count the blessings that you have showered me with, it would honestly be all over. I never had real trouble living my life here in the UK and even if they were, it was all very fair and I trust You always have the best of plans for everyone and me.

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Okay, so I decided to submit my coursework at 1pm (for no proper reason).. I shall now leave it to God and for whatever grade I get or whatever degree class I achieve, I will remain grateful and keep counting my blessings.

Simply because that’s the key of happiness in life. In shaa Allah. Time for some de-stress now. Hello shops..

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Examinations season

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I’m back in Bristol for a week now and had gone through one examination so far, alhamdulillah. That then means I’m left with one final coursework and final examination before my degree life ends, in shaa Allah.

There isn’t anything much to update hence the silence but I received a visitor here recently. A friend whom I had not meet since Standard 6 (literally since UPSR time) is on her backpacking trip and she put Bristol in the list because of me – I’d like to think it’s because of me hehe. I brought her around Bristol and it was such a good catch up. Just like Ina Amran, I feel that Alia and I bond well too and I can’t wait for a catch up session with her soon in Malaysia.

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Sometimes, you really do meet people you never thought you would meet again. And the best part is, you feel they are God sent to you because of the sudden unexpected good vibes they bring to your life. I personally for one have experienced this with few old friends and am thankful to Allah for that.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend and I wish you a good week ahead!

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Home bound

FullSizeRender-2Arrived in Malaysia safe and sound on Friday evening, alhamdulillah. I came back with my sister whom did not actually plan to return home but something really important came up and yes, both of us are back in the beautiful Malaysia now.

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Worried about my work now because one can never really do much work when one’s home. My dissertation is due in 3 weeks and I would like to think that I’m on track but anything can just delay my progress (which I can’t afford to do because I have another piece of coursework to write and I have to prepare for exams too) so I should hope and do my best and may Allah ease everything for us all.

On another note, the flight was alright although I could not sleep as well as I usually did before. I noticed Malaysia Airlines has brought some positive changes in its management which I feel strongly are necessary so good job new management! Will always support MAS no matter what people say about it. Now, did you know that MAS serves really good maggi on board, guys?

IMG_3912What I always look forward to.

I’m back to my usual morning routines with my parents that I totally love. It’s probably the best part of the day and not to mention especially during weekends because Adik joins us and we get to buy our favourite Cakoi and Keropok Lekor from Pasar Tani and eat them fresh at OldTown White Coffee.

IMG_3965Please don’t put on weight, Nadia..

I hope everyone has had a good weekend catching up with sleep, family and friends. I’m still jet lagged but everything is well so far – had good lunches with the family on both Saturday and Sunday,alhamdulillah.

Now, let’s kill that Monday blues alright, lovelies? Wishing you a splendid week ahead be it at school, work or even at home!

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