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24. 

“Be grateful and I will give you more”

Is one of the best sayings I’ve ever come across. Is one that I cannot reiterate enough of how significantly true that is. And is one that should be everyone’s life principal. 

Everyday I strive my best to always be thankful and grateful until I find so much ease in doing it. The best part is that I realise Allah indeed sends me more blessings the more and more I say my thank yous. 

So thank you Ya Allah for my 24 beautiful years in this world. Thank you for every little thing that you’ve blessed me with especially my family.

 

24 today yay! 

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Raya bakes 

Don’t know what happened to me but I’ve just found passion in baking. Don’t know for how long either but I’ll take it as it is now. Because I enjoy baking now, I decided to prepare raya goodie bags for my dad’s friends this year. It’s a yearly routine for him and he mostly outsourced cookies/cakes for all the previous years. Now that he has a daughter in law who is good at baking and a daughter whom he sees in the kitchen almost every week  exploring and trying out recipes, he got inspired to have everything homemade. 
My sister in law however has just started work again (like I said in my previous post) so she couldn’t commit to this request. Thank you to her support and tips, I took the task all by myself and came out with these goodie bags in the end. Nothing extraordinary and in fact very ordinary but I’m happy with my effort. 



Okay so in the goodie bags, there are 3 types of cookies (all very easy to make cookies): 

1) Thin and crunchy chocolate chip with walnuts cookies

2) Honey cornflakes cookies

3) Florentine cookies

And also a box of brownie each. 


They are safely delivered to all papa’s friends and what a wonderful feeling it is to receive sweet and appreciative messages from them for the goodie bags. Thank you for trusting me papa! 

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Happy 

I’ve been feeling so content since the moment I woke up from my sleep. I’m being careful when I say this but life never feels happier. I’m thankful to Allah swt for letting me feel this happy. It’s justified what they say, there’s always a silver lining behind every sad story.

People who know me cannot not have the impression that I’m generally a happy person, one without any worries. Truth is it’s not like that, not at all times at least. One of the keys to being happy is really in making peace with yourself. It’s about learning about you first, going easy with yourself and actually loving yourself by simply looking at what you have been blessed with. To come to this stage is not easy, it takes going through multiple challenges, disappointments, sad life stories etc. Instead of ranting and trying to avoid the pain, I find that what one can do best is to recognise it, endure it and finally just come out of it eventually. This way, you grow stronger and you learn more of yourself, what you’re capable of and then you just subsequently love yourself better. And when you do, you don’t find nonsense as nonsense anymore. You look beyond and you just feel easy and happy. Or in other words, you turn grateful. And a grateful self is the best version of yourself that you can be. Being grateful rejects or rather trashes out all the negativities that come to you if there are. 

I don’t want to jinx this but if I can share something useful for everybody then I will. I don’t know what I will feel tomorrow but I cherish what I feel today. So love yourself and be grateful guys. Do not compare your life to others, do not look down at yourself, do not hold grudges, do not feel sad. Instead see that you have enough, respect yourself enough to know that you’re worth it, let go of hatred and just be happy. Be happy for yourself. Your soul needs that healing. 

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Phuket

Salam and Hi everyone! Today marks the first day of Ramadan and I would like to wish everyone Selamat Berpuasa. Let’s all pray for Ramadan this year to be better than all the previous years and may this holy beautiful month of Ramadan bring us spiritual and physical goodness in sha Allah amin.

Today I’m going to share photos of my Phuket trip with family. Thanks to last year’s just before Ramadan trip (Sydney), the family agreed to sort of make it a yearly routine to have Pre-Ramadan vacation. This year we had either Maldives or Phuket in mind but we chose the latter as Maldives would not be as baby friendly (speedboats etc). 

Alhamdulillah it was a good trip overall. It could have been more perfect if my elder brother and sister in law (yes the newlyweds and will blog about their wedding within Ramadan) could join too but it was understandable as we planned it pretty much last minute. My brother had full flying schedules on that particular weekend and my sister in law just started work at the new workplace so it wouldn’t give a good impression to apply for leave right away. 

I will share photos + videos and write stories in between and hope you enjoy this post.


It was a 4d3n trip and we flew with Malindo Air for our outbound journey and the flight took only over just an hour to arrive in Phuket. Taxi costed us 1300 baht (equivalent to RM170) but that was because they ran out of standard taxis. Expect half of that amount if you get the normal taxis. 

For our hotel, we stayed at Paresa Resort Phuket and the hotel was located on Kamala Beach. It was a really hilly drive up there as the hotel was by the cliff but the view I assure you was beyond spectacular. Kamala Beach if you must know is the quieter beach in Phuket so if you plan your Phuket Holiday to be more towards the fun type, I don’t suggest you stay here. However if you plan to indulge, relax and rest then I want to tell you that that the resorts around here are exactly what you’re looking for (Andara, Cape Sienna, The Naka, The Palms,  Hyatt Regency). Kamala Beach is about 20 minutes away from the tourist spot Patong Beach and you will find that you will reach Kamala first before you reach Patong. 






I took these photos from Paresa’s official website because the villas there honestly look like what they portray. Umm you know how they say reality differs from imagination? This one doesn’t do that. My family and I stayed at the two bedroom oceanfront pool residence and the photos up there are for this type of villa.

Every villa here comes with what they call a private infinity pool. Infinity I’m guessing is because of the straight and clear perfect view of the Andaman Sea from the private pool. I swam everyday because when else would one feel so at ease and peace to swim. It was also a huge pool and it would be such a miss if I didn’t take the opportunity to indulge. My mum who had not gone into any pool for years too broke the record by joining her children and grandchild swim. 




​Spectacular. Right guys? Waking up from sleep to know you would have this view to stare at could never get more exciting and refreshing.

My sister and I also managed to explore the resort and we both concluded that the reviews we read on TripAdvisor were justified. “Paradise on earth” – true. The perfect blend of green and ocean at every step and corner you take and explore, one can only keep falling in love. 











You see what I mean? Perfect view of the nature at every turn you make or every sight you take. 

Moving on to the last bit of this resort that I want to share, this resort is Muslim friendly in terms of the food served. They are not certified Halal but they have Halal ingredients and Muslim visitors can just request for Halal meat exchange for their meals. 

Speaking of food means I will now bring my writing to the topic of Halal food in Phuket. It’s really not hard at all to look for Halal food there what more if you stay in Patong. As my parents and I still preferred for a full 100% halal food experience in Phuket, we tried our best to look for certified Halal restaurants for our lunch and dinner. We googled and of course most Halal restaurants were found to be in Patong Beach area. The first night in Patong, we had our dinner at the famous  Kusuma Halal Thai Seafood Restaurant. Alhamdulillah, the food was great (sorry that there are no photos that I can share here). The second night in Phuket, we went to Pantai Halal seafood restaurant and I have to say that their food was just alright (sorry again for the unavailability of photos).

The third Halal restaurant that we managed to visit was Al Basha Restaurant which was also in Patong. It is strange that this Thai restaurant is run by the Middle Eastern people but one will be in shock at how good the food are. Please be careful of this restaurant though especially when ordering seafood. You must and must and must state your grams/kilograms right or else you will end up paying for what you don’t ask (or better they don’t ask you and just bring you a big plate of prawns). That aside, I couldn’t find any fault in the food served. Please also get your hands on their amazing Mango Sticky Rice, I’m actually salivating thinking of it right now. Hehe.


What else is there that is worth sharing hmm… 
Oh, car rental! Yes, if you stay a little far out, renting a car is a handy thing to do. Taxis can be pricy especially if you want to travel out from the hotel a few times. Imagine paying 1800 baht per day (RM225) for car rental than paying 1300 baht per day (RM165) for just a return taxi trip. You can also go to all the destinations you want if you drive on your own. By the way, we booked for our rented car via the hotel as it was unplanned. I tried searching online but most companies would show Phuket Airport as the pick up point. That was no way convenient for us as Paresa was 50 minutes away from the airport. So guys, please book your car in advance and start driving around Phuket from the airport itself. 

As for Phuket attractions, it was disappointing that I did not get to visit Phi Phi Island. This was because we were contemplating everyday if that should be in our itineraries considering Zachary was there. My brother and I decided to go just the two of us in the end but we were too late already (lesson learnt: don’t ever listen to my brother. He was convinced we could book on the day itself when I clearly said tour agencies required at least a one day notice). We were leaving the next day so there was no way we could go. 

However, to make up for the lost of Phi Phi opportunity, we went to Paradise Beach. So glad we had a car with us so it was done on an ad hoc basis. We googled for beaches that had snorkeling activity and it showed us a few beaches that offered it. We opted Paradise Beach because that looked most convincing only to find ourselves rather disappointed with it. My brother said no to snorkeling right after seeing the beach water so we basically only spent less than an hour roaming around there. Please do not get this information wrong though. It’s a great beach for many other activities, it’s just not great for snorkeling. Hehe.


Later that night which was also our last night in Phuket specifically, I dragged my brother to accompany me to watch cultural shows at Phuket Fantasea. They had either the show only or show with dinner buffet options and we went for only the show because we wanted to have dinner with family. For your information, the dinner buffet at the restaurants (they have two restaurants) inside Phuket Fantasea have halal food options too. Phuket Fantasea is basically like a theme park so you don’t want to come too late even if you’re just there for the show. 




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​So yes, I think that is it from me for this blogpost. Can’t believe I took almost two hours to write all of this. I will leave this post with more random Phuket photos and videos. Thank you for reading and Selamat Berpuasa again! 







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2017

2 weeks into 2017 and I’ve been happy. Plain happy. And busy. Plain busy. I’m thankful of the fact that I feel this way. I’ve been closer than ever to my family and I’ve been a good friend to all my good friends now alhamdulillah. What I mean by this is that I am getting better at keeping in touch with friends especially those that really matter. At this age, I know who are the true friends and I vow to treasure them better. In shaa Allah in shaa Allah. (I have the tendency to jinx things that I say but in shaa Allah hopefully not this time hehe). 

Oh yes, I started the year with baking. Which now reminds me that I’ve also been baking since I got back from Dubai. I realised I needed to do something useful (when I’m not in Sabah) and I remember the interest sparked when I had this really nice banana cake somewhere and I told my mum I wanted to bake the cake. Since then, I knew baking could be that one hobby that I was looking for. I mean I did bake before but it wasn’t a hobby. 

Anyway, I baked a fondant cake for my sister and BIL’s anniversary (4 January) and also cupcakes for my brother (3 January). I have to highlight that baking does get messy when it does. I’m however not complaining and I’m enjoying my time discovering, improvising and trying new methods and techniques each time. Pray for me that this will be ongoing!

Next birthdays for this month will be my brother in law’s and also Zachary. Yes, he’s turning 1 so so soon and how did that even happen. This time last year you were still in your mummy’s time eagerly wanting to enter the world. Now you’re just.. Zachary. The cheeky cheeky big boy that you are. Hehe. We are planning for a birthday party for him together with his daddy, uncle Man andddd.. Nenda and Jiddi’s 30 years Anniversary. 

That said, it will be another busy week for me but I’ll be sure to update this space about it, I promise. Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead! 

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Page 365 of 365 of 2016

And it will be Page 1 of 365 of 2017 in just a few hours from now.

Time really flies really fast lately. It feels like the day has just started and then suddenly it’s bed time already. What goes on in between is the time you go through the everyday life and grow as an individual. 

That said, I must say 2016 has been the year I’m journeying through the reality of life the most (a bit cliche since that’s what should happen every year). I learnt many invaluable life lessons and I’m grateful for each one of them as they have shaped me to become the person that I am today. Although it got difficult when it did, it was overall a wonderful great year. How could it now when I became an aunty to a cheeky nephew of mine. That compensated for every mishap there was in 2016 if there was. 


To my dear readers whom I know and don’t, I want to apologise for my wrongdoings be it via my actions or through words if there are. Being a blogger, I may sometimes virtually sound insensitive to you but trust me that I don’t ever mean it that way. 

I pray all of us get to have a blessed and great 2017 and may it be another best fulfilling year of our lives, in shaa Allah. 

‘May your days be as glittery as Diamonds, May your companions be as good as Gold, May your heart stay as green as Emerald, and May your soul remain as pure as Pearl.’

Happy New Year 2017 guys.

Love,

Nadia 

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Illegal Driver

Soooooooo, I finally finally realised that my driving license expired 3 months+ ago on my birthday… Which means.. I’ve been an illegal driver on the road for 3 months+. Nadia Nadia… My aunty, Umi and I went to a government office yesterday and she left her driving license to the security and then she took it back on the way out. It came to my mind how come my license was still the older version. That was when it finally finally clicked to me and I straight away took out my purse to check the expiry date of my license. 

‘Oh my god Miiiiii, you know what?’ ‘Whattt my dear?’ ‘My license expired! Thanks to your license I found out mine expired’. She laughed but still let me drive around oops haha. 

But anyway the feeling wasn’t the same anymore. I was feeling uncomfortable. There I was confidently handing around my license to the security guards when I went to my friends’ apartments and such for the past 3 months.. There I was driving unprettily (when I was rushing) and such for the past 3 months. Tsk tsk. I thought God really wanted to tell me yesterday and to have me renewed my license right away because we had to go to another office in another town after and while passing by the area, I actually saw a small post office. I told Umi and she without any hesitation said ‘Kak Ya, you better do it today. You understand right? This reflects back on our work’ ‘Yeah faham, okay mi’. 


The queue wasn’t long at all and I got my license renewed in less than 20 minutes, alhamdulillah. Apparently you can renew for 1/2/5 years. The cost of renewal for 1 year is RM30. Mine is 5 years for convenience sake (and for forgetfulness sake). Oh and there’s no penalty fee for late renewal (up until 2 years I think). 


Tadaaa. I’m back to being a legal driver now until 2021 (28 that time.. Gosh).

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Dubai Part 10: The End

Anddd we are back in KL safe and sound alhamdulillah. We arrived home at about 3pm on Monday and managed to unpack all our luggages on the same evening. I had to do another packing for my Sabah work trip on Tuesday and here I am in Keningau now. World does feel small at this instance. 

Anyway, Zachary’s been down with fever and he was restless during both flights but strong boy made it. Mama Ya prays you get well soon baby boy. 


We were at Terminal 1 – Dubai International Airport and the shopping there was great although KLIA is definitely a much nicer airport. 




Our flight got delayed and we were lucky we arrived in Bangkok just in time for the next flight to KL. We managed to slot in a quick lounge break session to feed Zachary. They served some Halal hot snacks so good job again Thai Airways. 


So yes that’s all from me about my Dubai trip. It’s back to work for me now and thank you for reading. Xx 

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Dubai Part 9: The Compilations/Wrap Up

Leaving Dubai soon and we are currently at the airport. First and foremost, thank You so so much Ya Allah for the beautiful one week I had here with Your greatest blessings for me – my family. 

I believe in the saying that when God wills, things will flow smoothly. That said, this vacation has been nothing short of smoothness and convenience. The flight, gorgeous and spacious family suite, food, tours, people and all else. Best thing was we got almost all great deals when we least expected them. Alhamdulillah. 

Truth is it’s been a hectic few months for me and this trip has brought up my spirit to a new level. I know life = continuous cycles and while it’s happy now it may be the opposite the next second but I’m learning to ride on and be grateful for everything. That way I’m sure I’m a happier person.

Anyway to wrap up my Dubai trip postings, the last 2 days in Dubai were spent on shopping and sightseeing around the hotel area. The hotel is located on Jumeirah Beach which is just a walking distance to the famous The Walk JBR. I was so busy doing other things that I sort of missed out on the nearest attraction to me. Apparently The Walk is one of the best spots here in Dubai. 

The rest of this post would be a compilation of photos that I took using my iPhone and Nikon J4 (and from my BIL’s camera too). J4 was my 22nd Birthday present from my family in support of my part time blogging ‘career’. I usually carry it around when I travel out for holiday purpose.




Going to miss our daily gym routine and then straight to breakfast lounge. 




Wake up uncles! 








Power couple 

The Walk 

Will miss this amazing amazing hotel. Almost zero complaint. 


Thank you Dubai for your hospitality! I promise I’ll be back someday. 

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Dubai Part 8: Desert Safari 

Ooookay, it won’t be a long post again but we are at the most interesting part! 

I think everyone who plans to visit Dubai will include Desert Safari somewhere on top of your to-do-list. It’s the same for me and in fact I’ve been saying I want to go for Desert Safari experience for ages already. I’m very thankful to Allah indeed that I finally got to come to Dubai as it’s one of the cities that I’ve always wanted to visit and I’m grateful that I got to tick off Desert Safari yesterday. Alhamdulillah.

It was only my mum, brothers and I going for it. My dad didn’t want to join for both reasons that it didn’t interest him and it wasn’t a good idea for his wellbeing (a bit rocky and bumpy experience). Initially it was my sister’s spot but because our mum actually wanted to go but didn’t want to say it (Hi Ma tak mengumpat), we made her follow in the end. My BIL was firm about not wanting to join as both him and my sister had gone there during their honeymoon trip. 

There are many tour agency websites that offer Desert Safari tour and they have a few range of tours. The differing part I suppose is the number of activities involved. The more there are the longer the duration. I took the shortest one – 5 hours but trust me that it covered almost all already. The price for one person was less than 200 dirhams which I thought was reasonable. Oh, I prebooked from getyourguide.com website again. 

At 2.40pm the tour guide came with the Land Cruiser (very punctual) and then we went to fetch 2 other members for the same tour at a nearby hotel. At 3pm the driver started the drive to the desert site. It took roughly 45 minutes to get to Sharjah and we stopped near a small shop for a quick break. Anddd we came back to the 4wd looking like these..


Ya habib ya maulana


My mum wore mine because my dad wanted to see how she would look like in it. We thought you could pass as an Arab, ma. Hehe.

What happened after was the start of the fun. They called it dune bashing. It was a little bit nerve wrecking but the joy surpassed that. My mum was holding on to me for quite some time until she got the tune. I think I laughed throughout because of how bumpy but fun the 25 minutes of the desert-driving was. 

Some photos we took in the desert: 







After the photo stop, the driver made the way to the camp site. There were many other tourists around the area too and all of us were from different tour companies. 

My brother did the ATV ride and it costed 100 Dirhams for 15 minutes. The pathway that they could use was rather restricted and small so only if you wanted the experience of ATV I would suggest for you to pay for it. 



There was free of charge camel riding and my mum wanted to do that. I’m naturally scared of animals and I was frightened at the sight of it but I did it anyway, thanks to my mum who kept convincing me that I should. I thought that would be my first experience so that helped too. 



Weird feeling inside me but yay for ticking this off! 

It was only 5.30pm and we walked to the camp area to have light refreshments before the free BBQ dinner. However, my mum and brothers didn’t want to stay until 8pm so we missed out the dinner, belly dancing show and such. My mum had a tooth pain too so we really wanted to go back to the hotel. I asked around and the driver was so kind for wanting to drive us back before the finish time. 




That’s how the camp looks like basically. You sit at your designated space and then enjoy the BBQ dinner there. 

I’m going to leave this post with a video (as always) I took of the 4wd drive/dune bashing. I’ll come back with another one or two final posts of my Dubai trip as it’s coming to the end already. 

Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend! 

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