Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On the road again.....

Yup! I am on the road again, this time to Ipoh and Kedah.

I have written about my Ipoh trip that coincided with my birthday on the 8th on June and the dinner I had with Janet, but I did not get to show photos of the hotel where I stayed in.

While in Ipoh, I stayed at Impiana, or formerly known as Casuarina. It is said to be a 4-star hotel, but I heard many complaints from my colleagues who stayed at the hotel with regards to their service, and the hotel room itself. A friend of mine had her costume jewellery stolen while we were there.

I was told that the hotel had gone through some major renovation, but still the room did not actually look like it was newly renovated, especially the bathrooms. My complain was the food served for breakfast. They had served bread, yet there was no toaster and the Sambal Ikan Bilis was so salty and dry like it was re-cooked over and over again over many days and served to us over and over again throughout the 3 days that we were there.

I am glad that the lunch served was nice that some of us even helped ourselves to seconds.

I would only stay again at Impiana only because it is the only decent hotel in Ipoh. I was told that the others are far worse. But, we might just be trying out The Heritage Hotel when we go to Ipoh again next month for NNC’s July Stitching Bee and my hubby’s 10km run. I just hope that it will be a better hotel, but already I have read a few bad comments on the hotel online. So? Hmmm.......

Anyway, last week, I was on the road again, this time to Penang and Kedah. I took a flight into Penang on the 16th of June so that I can visit some of my project sites before heading to Kedah for a function, but not before we dived into some juicy and yummy durian! *grin*

I visited 3 projects in Penang, and then drove to Alor Setar to visit another project site before I checked into Holiday Villa.

Wow! This hotel is lovely despite it being quite old. The bellboy told me that it had just refurbished a few months ago, and it was obvious that it had gone through some major renovation.

I really liked the hotel room, though the view from the room wasn’t so great. LOL! *grin*

After waking up at 4.30am to catch a 7.30am flight and visiting 4 project sites, followed by a discussion after dinner, I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillows. The room being so cosy just made my sleep much more comfortable, as I sometimes suffer from insomnia when travelling and would get up at 3.00 or 4.00 am and not being able to sleep again until it’s time to get up! LOL!

The next morning I attended a function to officiate an orphanage by His Royal Highness the Sultan of Kedah.

I would have taken a photo of when the Sultan was already seated during the ceremony, only that at the last minute, the protocol officer made me sit right across from the Sultan throughout the function. So, I had to sit prim and proper and definitely taking a photo of the Sultan when you are just seated right in front of him is a big No No and against protocol! LOL!

Seen here are some of the female orphans from the orphanage preparing to sing in the function while waiting for the Sultan to arrive.

I was also invited to have lunch with him, and again I could not snap a photo. I should have handed my camera over to a junior officer, but it slipped my mind to do it until I was already seated in front of the Sultan! LOL!

Having lunch with the Sultan was a very big honour but at the same time, I had to eat ever so prim and proper that I left the function feeling very hungry! LOL!

When I dropped by Pekan Rabu to buy snacks to take back to Kuala Lumpur, I bought myself a packet of fresh bahulu to eat while waiting for my flight as the airport in Alor Setar has no Golden Lounge and the snack counter has yet to operate.

I had actually planned on meeting up with Radha while I was in Alor Setar, but our timing was out. Radha was busy at work when I arrived in Alor Setar on the 16th of June, and on the 17th of June, I had to rush to the airport to catch my 3.20pm flight after the function. Radha was still at work and by the time she got off work, I had already arrived in Kuala Lumpur! LOL!

Maybe another time when I am in Kedah again.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Missing Abang

Err...since when did I have an abang, a brother? LOL! *grin*

WE had an Abang when this cute orange cat called our house his home some 3 months ago when our back neighbour left him and his 4 siblings who were hardly a few weeks old to go off for their Chinese New Year holiday. They came over to our house looking for food.

Ever since then, Abang and his sisters have been my son’s and our companion each evening when we come home from work and my son from his Atok’s house.

Even my hubby would spend time just looking at them play and he said many times that we can sometimes learn from the animals when we saw how caring Abang is towards his sisters who still crave for attention when their mum left them when the sisters were still very much ‘infants’.

Seen here is my hubby giving the kittens their bath. Such are our attachments to the kitties.

My son rushes home to see then, and I wake up on the weekends hearing them meowing in the kitchen asking for food. They are such a joy to watch although I do sometimes get annoyed when they start doing their business in my vegetable garden! LOL!

But, about 3 weeks ago, the mother delivered two more kittens in our back kitchen. We didn’t even get to see the little ones before she took them away when the kitties were just about a week old.

During that first week after she had the kitties, she was hostile towards her other kittens but not Abang. Abang was the caring one, and I think, because of that, when she took the little kitties away, Abang must have followed her to where ever to take care of them like he did when the mother left her 4 earlier kittens at our house in the care of Abang some 3 months ago while she went gallivanting to God knows where.

Now Abang is nowhere to be seen. The 4 kittens still come daily for their food, and the mum would pop in from time to time, but without the two new little kitties and Abang.

My heart yearns for Abang. I cannot help but wonder where he is and if he is okay.

I just hope that where ever he is, with or without his new siblings, he is okay and whoever has him will take good care of him. I miss him, and I hope that someday he will come home to Mummy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Brazilian birthday treat!

As promised by my hubby, last Saturday, 12th of June, 2010, my hubby took me out on a birthday treat. He wanted it to be different from the usual treat we would usually have at Victoria Station, The Dome or Outback Steakhouse. He decided that we should try Brazilian instead.

So, we made our way to Damansara Jaya to a restaurant called Carnaval Churrascaria. It is located in the same area as Atria Shopping Complex, should anyone be curious to want to give this restaurant a try.

It is buffet style, and you can take anything you want at the salad bar which also serves rice and other accompaniments, but, the highlight of the restaurant is not what’s served at the salad bar, but, the food that comes to you on a skewer served by the waiter and waitresses.

They come to you every few minutes to serve you all kinds of meat, garlic bread and pineapple on a skewer. The foods served on the skewers are unlimited for as long as they come up to you and you can eat as much as you want if your tummy can take it.

For drinks, we had Calamansi with honey and lime. Seen also in this photo are the sauces for the meat.

I had to stop eating even before they could come around for the second round as what was served up on the skewers were really a lot. They had grilled Garlic Lamb (my hubby had 3 servings of it!), beef, chicken, sausage, chicken ham, lamb (which was really delicious!), garlic bread (which was also very yummy!) and pineapple. I think there were more but I just can’t recall anymore, and my tummy was so full that I had to get up and walk around! LOL!

My son ended up having diarrhoea the next day due to eating so much food that night! LOL!

Thanks, hubby, for the birthday dinner treat with a difference!

I don’t mind going there again for the second time, only this time I am not going to take so much of the food from the salad bar so that I can enjoy the food served on the skewer more!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Birthday presents and birthday treats!

I was in Ipoh on my birthday, 8th June 2010, attending a conference. My hubby had driven me there with my son on Sunday, 6th June. My hubby left with my son on my birthday itself as he had to work the following day. It was sad that he had to leave, of all days, on my birthday itself, but I understand that he has other commitments to attend to and he promised me that he would treat me to a good birthday dinner on Saturday after I come back from Ipoh.

As he left Ipoh in the morning while I was still in the conference, I came back to an empty hotel room during lunch, and I felt a pang of sadness, missing my son and hubby tremendously. What a way to spend a birthday! *sigh*

I couldn’t help but cried *grin* the minute I heard my son’s voice over the phone, but had to keep my cool as I did not want my son to know how much I miss him as it might affect him too.

My son had given me a soft toy cheetah the day before which he made my hubby buy for me at The Lost World of Tambun, a theme park where he had spent the whole day with my hubby the day before. The cheetah too looks lost and forlorn, so that makes two of us feeling lonely! LOL!

There was a family dinner organised as part of the programme for the conference, but since my own family had gone home, I did not feel like joining the dinner. I am glad that at least I had made dinner plans earlier with Janet.

Janet picked me up at precisely 7.15 pm and we made our way to this restaurant called Restoran MP in Greentown.

It offered all-you-can-eat BBQ Steamboat Buffet, complete with ice-cream and many other desserts. I would have taken some photos of the food that we ate, but since we were seated quite centrally, I decided against it as I did not want to end up being told off by the waiter/waitress like what happened at this restaurant in Kelana Jaya when we went there for my father-in-laws birthday in February.

I think many people are still very ignorant of the power of IT and the publicity it can bring had that restaurant (in Kelana Jaya) allowed me to take photos and blog about it. I was practically promoting the restaurant free of charge! But, I guess the Manager just lost his chance, and for sure, I am not going there anymore!

Anyway, back to the dinner with Janet, the only photo I managed to snap was this plate of mini cakes Janet had taken for me as she wished me Happy Birthday. *smile*

After dinner, Janet showed me around Ipoh town and the area where she is staying. I realised that Ipoh isn’t such a small town after all! LOL! I thought that the only shopping complex in Ipoh is Ipoh Parade, but I also found out that Ipoh has a huge Jusco and the area surrounding it was so full of life! *grin* It seems that the area where we first arrived in Ipoh was the old town area which was more subdued, it being where most of the offices are.

Janet sent me back to my hotel at about 10.30pm, where, after a good warm shower, I headed straight to bed, hugging my cheetah.

Thanks, Janet, for such a lovely dinner! See you in July when we have our next Stitching Bee!

When I got home the next day, after a much needed rest from all the travelling and two whole days of sitting in a conference and going project site visiting, I opened up the much awaited birthday presents which I got at the Bee in May from Rose, who is my partner for the Birthday Gift Exchange, and from Janet and Margaret.

From Rose, I had received this box full of treasures filled up to the brim with a pair of slippers, two balls of pink yarns, a plastic container for knicks and knacks, a Lizzie Kate chart, a chart for beading works, 3 skeins of yarns, a packet of beads, a packet of needles, a length of pink and brown fabric, a birthday card and this very lovely pincushion.

Here’s a closer look at the lovely pincushion/biscornu. I just love this pincushion and it is already sitting in my showcase of all the lovely things my stitching friends had given me.

From Janet, I received this lovely handmade set of beaded necklace and earrings, a mini birthday card and a lovely piece of pink fabric. I must go through my closet to see which clothes will suit this lovely set of jewellery!

From Margaret, I received this very lovely pinkeep, 2 pieces of pink fabric, and a packet of dark red ric rac.

Here is a close-up of the lovely pinkeep.

Thank you, Margaret, Rose and Janet, for all the lovely gifts!

Next posting – the birthday dinner treat from my hubby!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A year older!

Err...are people usually happy when they get a year older? I dread each year when it is my birthday because I feel like that even though a year had passed, yet, I still have yet to achieve many of the things and target that I have set myself in the last 40 odd years of my life.

Yes, I have achieved my ambition to become an Architect, a profession my late father had wanted to become, but instead he became a lawyer, or, rather taught law. Though I am not actually practising as one (as an Architect), but, I have experienced all the stages of the design process and I have designed many buildings before I got promoted to become a Design Manager, and after that, a Project Manager.

I thank God for all the blessings that He has given me. I have a wonderful and loving husband and a great son! Although I miss my late dad very much, but I am very thankful that I still have my mum and I hope that she will still be around for a long time to come, staying healthy and happy all the time.

I am thankful to have such wonderful siblings. Although we rarely meet, everyone being so busy with work and so on, but we know that we can always count on each other should the need arises. I am also thankful to God for giving me such great in-laws. I am blessed indeed! Syukur Alhamdullillah.

I am thankful too for all the wonderful friends who have been with me through thick and thin, through sickness and in health, through happiness and sadness. You are all true friends. I couldn’t have asked for more. You all are great! Indeed I am blessed.

The first 6 months of this year has been full of challenges and crisis on the office front. I felt like I was tested to the limit, so much so that there was a time in May when I just felt like throwing in the towel. I felt like I don’t want to work anymore. It wasn’t worth it. I felt so unappreciated and no one seems to understand what I was going through. It was tough.

I prayed and asked God to give me lots of patience and strength to go through all the crisis and challenges, and I thank God for giving me that strength and patience to go through it all. Though the crisis at work has not totally subsided, but, at least I am beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I hope that that light at the end of the tunnel will shine brightly, as bright as the morning sun, and hopefully very soon too.

I have been crying flood of tears for too long. It’s time for the rain to stop to give time for the sun to shine on to dry up the path for a brighter future, God willing, insyaAllah. And that is my birthday wish. I also hope to always be surrounded by all the people that I love and always be in good health and wealth so that I am able to do all the great things that I love to do, and that includes to someday set up a small craft business for when I am retired from the government service.

Hmm..... would I be too old by then? Nope! My 72 year old mum had just set up a business running a guesthouse just days ago! Congrats, Ma! I wish you lots of success!

So, nothing is impossible when you set your mind to it!

I am looking forward to a great year ahead and many more great years to come!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kenari Villa Gueshouse is open for business!

Planning to go to Kota Bharu this school holidays? Bringing the whole family for a wedding in Kota Bharu but can't get enough rooms in the hotel to house everyone? Want to stay in a house away from home? I may be able to help solve your accomodation problems!

Come stay at Kenari Villa Gueshouse at Lorong Merican, Telipot! It is located behind the Rennaisance Hotel, Kota Bharu and Billion Shopping center.

It is a double-storey semi-detached house with 7 bedrooms, all with attached bathrooms and a playground for the children to unwind. No, make that a place FOR YOU to unwind as the children are out playing in the playground! LOL! *wink* It is just the right place for the whole family to relax and enjoy.

You definitely don't have to worry about where to park your car as the car porch can house 5 cars! Definitely just the place to stay when you come from outstation to attend a wedding.

To save cost of buying food, you can cook your own food as the house is equipped with a gas cooker and a refrigerator, and don't worry about having to bring back your dirty laundry as the house is also equipped with a washing machine. Now doesn't that spell a house away from home? *smile*

Come stay at Kenari Villa, and the houseowner cum Manager cum you name it - my mum *grin* - will make your stay a comfortable one!

Read here to know more or to make reservations!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Door gifts and lucky draw gift

I should have posted on this a long time ago but I kept getting distracted by the other activities that I wanted to blog about. Even though it is like 2 months...err...make that 3 months behind in the news, but I still want to blog about it as I must show off *wink* all the lovely things I got in the Door Gift bag for the Anniversary Meet.

So here they are......

It really got everyone excited upon receiving them and were acting almost like little kids getting a bag full of sweets! LOL! *wink*

I wish to thank everyone who contributed to the door gifts. Thank you so much!

As if getting the great goodies in the bag was not exciting and lucky enough, I got even luckier this time around when I drew the lucky number for a book on felt flowers courtesy of Diane who had sent it through Margaret with a request to have it drawn during the Anniversary Meet.

Diane thought that the book would be just perfect as we had just completed making felt flowers as part of the requirement for the Anniversary Gift Exchange.

Here's the front of the book.

I just love the book! I can already imagine what I want to make, only I don’t know when I am going to make them! LOL!

Thank you so much, Diane, for the book! Hugs!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Can I tempt anyone to have Ikan Bakar with me? *wink*

I was in Melaka two weeks ago, and since by the time we were done with the meeting, it was already 7.30pm, we decided to have dinner before heading back to Kuala Lumpur.

This was the spread we ordered.

Doesn't the spread look delicious? Yum! I am licking my lips and swallowing my saliva just looking at the photos! LOL!

Here are the two people who followed me on my trip to Melaka - Shah in white and Afifi.

While we were there ordering our food, I managed to just catch a glimpse of the sun setting.

It was a beautiful sight and so serene. I missed by just a few minutes to take a photo while the sun is a little bit higher. Oh well!

Friday, June 04, 2010

In need of a book to read

Err.....not that I am saying that I have not been doing any reading lately, no!

I have not been reading any novels lately actually. I am too busy spending time reading my piles of letters, contract documents and what nots related to work. *grin*

I have, on my trips for work, in the plane, been reading plenty of Readers Digest, though that does not actually count as real reading, huh? *grin*

Anyway, what I am saying when I said that I am in a need to read is because I have just received....well, not really JUST RECEIVED...I received it about a month ago actually, but I just could not find the time to blog about it. Or, rather, I was not in the mood to blog, what with the crisis at work that does not seem to want to subside... *sigh*

Opps! Digressing again, am I? LOL! Anyway, I was involved in a Bookmark Exchange last month organised by Zarina at NNC. I actually received mine during the NNC Anniversary Meet in March, but we were not supposed to open it until the 23rd of April in conjunction with World Book Day. Err....did I get that facts right, Zarina?

I was so busy on the 23rd day itself that I finally only opened it the next day after almost everyone at NNC had already opened theirs! *grin* Sabariah must think that I am not excited enough to receive from her! *blush* Do know, Sabariah, that that is definitely not the case! I love receiving gifts! Who doesn’t, right? LOL! *grin*

Anyway, I received from Sabariah two lovely bookmark and a fat quarter in pink! Take a look! Lovely, right?

My partner for this exchange was Paul. I wanted to do more, but, as usual, I left things to the last minute and ended up doing the bookmark at the 11th hour, finishing it only at close to 2.00am the night before the Anniversary Meet as I wanted to pass it on to Zarina to pass it on to Paul as it is supposed to be a secret partner exchange.

I am truly sorry, Paul, for such a lousy finish to the bookmarks. If I have time, maybe I will make you another one, or maybe, to make up for it, I will make you something else. Anyway, I still hope that you will enjoy using it to mark your favourite read.

By the way, in answer to your question as to the printer I had used to print out the bookmark, it's a HP Deskjet F4280. It's really good. It's a 3-in-1 printer. It's a printer, scanner and copier all in one!

eerr.....do I get paid for promoting the printer? LOL! *grin*

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A baby bag and a fully Free Motion Quilted baby quilt – A first!

Yeap! I did a first in terms of doing up a baby bag and a baby quilt which is fully free motion quilted (FMQ)! Something I have been wanting to do (FMQ) for the longest time, but wasn’t confident enough to do it!

I have never done a baby bag before, although I have wanted to do one when my brother Ayis had his daughter, Fatin, more than 2 years ago. Instead, I gave his wife a tote bag as I felt that I wasn’t confident enough and was running out of time to make a bag for Sufia, my SIL, before she was due to deliver in March 2008.

But, this time around when my SIL, Eina, gave birth to Adam on 5th March 2010, I was quite firm that I needed to do this bag. I had wanted to initially make a tote bag for my SIL, Eina, even before she delivered, but as I was going through a lot of crisis on the office front, I could not get myself in the mood to sit down and make one. I wasn’t in a creative mood to design.

But when Adam was born with Crouzon Syndrome, an occurence of one in every 25,000 people, I knew I had to make something special for him. He came into the world being special, and so, it was the least I could to do as a show of moral support to my SIL, Eina and her hubby, Rushdan, as they will be going through a lot of trying times as Adam goes through many corrective surgeries to enable him to live a normal and healthy life.

He had just gone through his first surgery at only 47 days old. He will be going through another one in two months time, and many more after this until he is about 8 – 10 years old. May Allah give Eina and Rushdan lots of strength to go through it all, and may Adam be able to go through each surgery with success. Amin.

I started on the bag in early April 2010 but put it on hold many times as I find myself mentally and emotionally exhausted almost everyday that I come home from work with a crisis. I thought that I would not be able to complete it as the crisis at work escalated in early May 2010. But, when Adam went through his first surgery on 22 April, 2010, which coincidentally was also Aiman’s birthday, I pushed myself to complete it.

I completed the bag in the first week of May, and immediately started on the baby quilt.

Again, when the crisis in the office worsened in mid May, I pushed the quilt aside and did not touch it for another two weeks, spending a lot of the time in tears as my stress got simply too much to handle that I almost felt like throwing in the towel .

But, each time my hubby or I spoke to my SIL to inquire about Adam’s health, it was heart-wrenching just listening to her tell about what Adam had to go through that I forced myself to push my crisis aside and start concentrating on completing the quilt.

After I had done the top of the quilt, I contemplated whether I should just quilt the quilt in-the-ditch like I always would so that I can just get it done and over with. But, as I looked at the quilt, I thought that since this is a baby quilt, this is as good a time as any for me to give FMQ-ing a go, with the hope that my SIL Eina will not scrutinize the quilt too much! LOL! If ever the FMQ-ing turn out lousy, at least it is going to be a piece that my SIL will be able to just chuck it out of sight in a few years when Adam has outgrown it! LOL!

I spent many hours doing the free motion quilting, and enjoyed every minute of it as I see the FMQ coming to life, so to speak, as I quilted it. I took many breaks as advised by many of my quilting friends to avoid getting any shoulder aches and to ensure that my stitching stays consistent.

I must say that I am very pleased with the outcome. I just love the variegated thread that I had used and just love the effects it gave to the quilt.

Here is the other side of the quilt which matches the inside of the baby bag.

Of course you can't miss the AZNIQUE label! *wink*

I just can’t believe it that I had actually managed to fully free motion quilt it! It was something I have wanted to do it for ages, and I finally did it, through the crisis at all! LOL! I am so proud of myself. I should give myself a pat on the back, right? LOL! *wink*

I don’t know if I would have the guts to fully FMQ a queen size quilt though! *grin*