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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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Dubai Part 7: The Yellow Boat Experience 

A short post today but it’s about one of the highlights of my trip in Dubai – the Yellow Boat. It was a really really wonderful experience and my suggestion is that everyone should do it (or any other boat experience). 

I saw the modern Dubai from a different lens and it was a gorgeous view. The tour guide also explained a couple of history behind the structures in Dubai.

My family and I spent the morning in the Mall of the Emirates for shopping and then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Yellow Boat Tour at 3.30pm.

Zachary, his grandparents and Uncle Man didn’t want to come along so it was the rest of us going then. From the hotel, we took a taxi to the meeting point which was at Dubai Marina. 




It costed us 200 Dirhams per person for a 75 minute tour. My BIL and sister went to the hotel concierge to book but they wanted to charge double the amount for one person so my BIL decided to check the rate online. Again that got all of us a good deal. Tip: Always buy online, they really have the cheapest deals. 

The following photos were taken while we were on the boat. 






Atlantis the Palm in the background located at the apex of Palm Jumeirah. It opened in 2008 and the opening ceremony costed USD200 millions. It showcased 100,000 fireworks and famous celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Charlize Theron, Michael Jordan attended the event. 


Burj Al Arab the 7 star hotels in the background. The hotel rooms are gold plated. There are also underwater rooms and underwater restaurant here. 

Hope I’ve given some ideas of the yellow boat ride. I’m going to leave this post with the video that I’ve shared below. Enjoy!​​

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Dubai Part 6: The Lost Chambers @ Atlantis the Palm and Souk Madinat Jumeirah

It was my sister’s conference day which meant she wouldn’t be around (and my BIL too). She had a paper to present at the World Finance Conference and apparently it went great, alhamdulillah. Kakak, if you’re reading this, I want to say thank you for making us proud yet again. 




While they were idle, my parents and my brother (as well as me) went to the Lost Chambers Aquarium to entertain Zachary. Note 1: There are 2 aquariums in Dubai – Dubai Mall and the Lost Chambers. The experience I believe is almost the same. 

The Lost Chambers Aquarium is located on the Palm Island or in exact, inside the Atlantis Palm Hotel. There you can find the famous huge waterpark too as well as Dolphin Bay, Sea Lion Point, Aquaventure, PADI Dive Courses and Marine Animal Adventures.

The ticket to enter I would say is quite pricy for the short experience but that’s how it is in Dubai. Everything is pricy and with the drop in MYR currency value that the exchange gap is wider. 

It was 100 Dirhams for one adult for the full experience and it was free of charge for Zachary (free for 2 years and below). I bought the full experience tickets but my tip for you is to purchase just the half experience ticket which costs 35 Dirhams. It’s really not much difference and you can see a lot already with that experience. To add is that to explore the whole aquarium takes about 30 minutes. 

‘The Lost Chambers Aquarium in Atlantis, The Palm takes visitors through a series of mazes and tunnels as they explore the underwater ruins of Atlantis. This imaginative aquarium houses some 65,000 aquatic animals, including 12 species of rays and sharks.’ – Viator.


On the taxi to Atlantis. Chubby cheeks.










​​

​Zachary really had a good time there! He looked really fascinated although he got frightened if we brought him too close to the aquarium. He warmed up soon after though and it was cute to see him looking bewildered and at the same time stunned. Zachary Zachary, your grandparents’ love for you is overwhelming and you are one lucky boy. 

We then visited the Mall of the Emirates after the aquarium for lunch. This mall is already huge itself and just imagine Dubai Mall. 


It has all the shops you need so if you find to move about Dubai Mall takes too much effort, you can head to Mall of the Emirates. 

My sister and BIL came back to the hotel at around 5.30pm and my BIL suggested us to visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah for light shopping, dinner and photo oppurtunity for the Burj Al Arab. 







‘Souk Madinat Jumeirah combines traditional Middle Eastern shopping culture of stands, barrows and stalls with a mix of boutique brands, home accessory stores, souvenir gift shops, luxury fashion and jewellery. It is also the home to over 24 restaurants offering cuisines from all over the globe, including Italian, Asian, Indian, Persian, traditional Arabic and Lebanese, French and American. All Souk Madinat Jumeirah restaurants and cafés have picture perfect views of the Arabian architecture, waterways or the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.’

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Dubai Part 5: Burj Khalifa

Okay, I’m back for Burj Khalifa post. 


The tour started anytime between 4.30pm until 6pm. I prebooked the tickets from getyourguide.com in KL so all I needed to do was to convert the voucher to valid tickets. My parents didn’t want to go up because of their fear of heights so they told us the young ones to carry on while they took care of Zachary. It was my BIL’s third time and my sister’s second time. My BIL suggested that we should opt for the evening/sunset session. It costed us an extra of RM800 than the other slots but it was worth it. Guys, if you plan to go on top of Burj Khalifa I would suggest you prebook your tickets. Getyourguide.com got me again the lowest deal than other tour websites (about RM200 cheaper). 

My parents and Zachary left Dubai Mall at 3.30pm. We stayed on as the entrance to Burj Khalifa was inside the Dubai Mall itself (note: Dubai Aquarium is also located inside Dubai Mall). We went for prayers first and and then to optometrist to collect my brother’s spectacles. They offered the ready-in-one hour glasses for customers so yay for that. I also want to add that the prayer rooms in Dubai Mall are everywhere. Literally at every corner. 


Got our tickets! 


The elevator to go at the top of Burj Khalifa. It’s on the level 125 (& level 124) and it takes 77 seconds to ascend up there.

And after 77 seconds..





Magnificent view of Dubai from up! 




At 5.30pm the sun set down and alhamdulillah all praises to Allah for the opportunity to watch it from Burj Khalifa. The building is 828 metres tall (830 meters with the tip) and that makes it the tallest structure in the world.




My BIL recorded the sunset and I’ve shared the video below.

​​​Watching this video again, I want to say thank you Allah for your blessings. You send worries and sadness but you also send light and happiness. It’s part of life and it’s what keeps life meaningful. I learn and learn and learn and I can only conclude that You are the Greatest. 

I’ll write about the Lost Chambers Aquarium soon. Thank you for reading and have a lovely day. 

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