Thursday, October 11, 2012

Today's date: 11/10/12

Captured the above photo this morning as I was leaving the house for the office. Have a good day today everyone. It's the last working day for those in Kelantan. Looking forward for the weekend ;)

C'est la vie!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I just had my third potluck in three weeks today! Boy... I was already scratching my head on what to bring for my second potluck, let alone the third one! I actually put up on my Instagram about what to bring for my second potluck, and I got suggestions like chicken and mushroom pie, apple pie, pizza, cinnamon pulled apart bread... and even red velvet cake. One friend actually suggested an empty tummy, haha... that need not be reminded! 
I was once told that everyone will bring their best cooked dish during potluck so that they can show off their cooking skills. Haha... Somehow I doubt the concept applied to me, coz I surely do not have any best cooked dish. You see... I don't even consider myself a cook, coz most of the time, I cook only for myself and Mr Husband. And I normally prepare my cookings according to what are available in my pantry, freezer & fridge. More often than not, I would end up preparing a non Malaysian dish for potluck coz to me, they are the easiest. I've done cold potato salad, coleslaw, mushroom soup, shepherd's pie (twice), eggless caramel pudding and savoury muffins before. The only time I cooked a Malaysian dish (Laksa Sarawak) was when the said potluck was organised at my (then) place over a year ago. 
So, last night, after reaching home slightly before 8 pm, I performed my Maghrib solat, did my daily ritual of Quran reciting, followed by Isya' prayer, and I still couldn't decide on what to bring for the potluck today. Then, slightly after 10 pm, I went into my kitchen & started to prepare for the filling of my version of a chicken pie. Luckily I had frozen puff pastry blocks that I just bought on Sunday. Boy, that really came handy, coz I was not too keen to sleep late just to prepare my own pie crust! So, at the end... chicken pie was ready just before midnight. 
This morning, after Subuh prayer, I heated  up the chicken pie again, and suddenly, I had the urge to prepare another dish for the potluck: apple crumble! Haha... I prepared apple crumble in a jiffy, and off it went into my oven slightly before 7.15 am. I went into my room to make up my bed & went back into the kitchen to the smell of something burning! Owh no! Not my apple crumble! It turned out to be the wheat germ that I sprinkled on top of my crumble was burning at 180 degree C!!! I needed to make a quick fix, as Mr Husband would be ready in no time (He sent me to the office daily), so I spooned out the burnt wheat germ and lower down the temperature. Alhamdulillah, it turned out OK.
So here are my contribution to today's potluck:

Chicken pie & almost burnt apple crumble
Second potluck: Savoury muffins
First potluck: Shepherd pies
C'est la vie!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I survived a year without TV!

Yes! You read the title correctly... It has been more than a year since I have a television set at home. 
When we first moved (Well, Mr Husband moved first) to Kelantan, we took only our clothing with us. Then, when I came after my resignation, I brought along more clothes and some pots, pans and dinner sets just enough for our usage. We fitted in all the stuffs into the two cars that we had, so bringing along our television set was never a priority. Every time we took our car for our journey to the West, the car boot & back seat would ALWAYS full of more clothes and dinner sets, kitchen racks and knick-knacks, and other whatnots, but still not the TV. And mind you, our TV is not a 41" flat screen with the home theatre kind of thing, it's just (I think...) a 26" box! 
Mr Husband was never a fan of the idiot box. His life revolves around books, and with the evolution of internet & cyberspace, he spend most of his free time online. I, on the other hand, is a lukewarm TV watcher (As if there's such a description!) Well, I'm not a TV addict nor am a TV hater. I do watch the TV occasionally when there's a good show/ serial/ telemovie. 
I remember when the serial Nur Kasih was on show back in 2009 & on the day when the last episode was scheduled to air, my TV conveniently went kaput in the morning! I was actually on MC, recuperating from a very bad chicken pox at that time, but I hauled Mr Husband to Jaya Jusco Taman Maluri after Friday solat to get myself a new TV.  When I got home, I  set the TV up on my own, and I, together with what could be almost the whole nation, managed to see Adam and Nur Amina live happily ever after. Hahaha... Well, how could I missed the last episode after watching all the prior episodes religiously? But, one thing I must confess, I haven't even watch Nur Kasih The Movie... until today! 

So, how did I live without TV for the past one year? 
When I came here 'permanently' last year, it was 2 days before the holy month of Ramadhan. So, I filled up my time with things that Muslims normally do during Ramadhan. Watching TV was probably the last thing I had in mind back then. After Ramadhan, I started my contract as a postdoc. Since I'm involved with new field of subject for my postdoctoral project, I had to read a lot to catch up. So, again, watching TV was not a priority. But, I got hooked and addicted to the internet, in the form of Facebook (shame on me!) and blog hopping (shame on me twice!). So, there you go, internet keeps me sane! 
Some time earlier this year, I picked up a hobby of reading the Malay novels. So, ever since, most of my free time: while waiting for my husband to pick me up at the office... after doing all the household chores during the weekend... before I go to sleep at night... I read. Other than experimenting new recipes, facebooking, blog hopping, of course! And lately, I've got another passion that is online-related (Duhhhh!): Instagram-ing. It is sooo addictive that I now snapped photos anywhere, anytime, to the horror and chagrin of Mr Husband! Hehe...
A friend of mine with 3 growing kids and an infant also had survived a year without TV. She removed the idiot box from her home when she realised that she need to organise her children activities according to the TV shows that they were watching. She has since managed to get her children to be more disciplined, organised and they are able have more time to do more meaningful family activities.  Another friend of mine also recited almost the same tale. Her colleagues at her previous office, now play educational games with her children instead of being glued to the couch in front of the TV.
When I put up the status that I survived a year without TV on my Facebook, a number of friends responded in disbelief. I know, who wouldn't? Even I was (and still am) surprised that I have survived this long! What started as something unintentional, has gone a long way... albeit not deliberately. But, I can surely say that, even without the idiot box, my life has been enriched, fulfilled and complacent, nonetheless.

C'est la vie!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Last year, after series of solat Istikharah, I tendered my resignation from a permanent job at a prominent research institute. Some called me bold, some called me brave, some even called me stupid! But I was determined to leave simply to be with my husband. I know should I stay & be apart from my husband, I wouldn't be happy, no matter how much I was earning then. I then became a stay-at-home-wife for almost 3 months, a 'grace period' which I enjoyed & treasured much ;) 
In October last year, I started my contract as a postdoc at the School of Medical Sciences, USM Health Campus Kubang Kerian. I wanted to learn something new, and being a postdoc would enable me to achieve that, besides adding a little bit more 'weight' to my CV. However, the downside with the contract was the salary that I'm earning now is 10% less than what I got before. Also, I'm not entitled to any salary increment according to the latest SSM salary scheme, besides not entitled to any bonuses. I ended up being underpaid! ;( But since my initial niat to become a postdoc is to gain knowledge & learn new things in a new field, I just pushed aside everything & carry on. 
Starting from May this year, I was weighing my options: either to continue my contract as a postdoc (and ended up being underpaid for at least another year), or try applying for the post of university lecturer at USM. USM is my only option as I still want to be in Kelantan. UMK is not even an alternative as it 'rejected' me last year! But which School in USM, since the Health Campus Kubang Kerian has three different schools: Medical Sciences, Dental Sciences & Health Sciences. Alas, Allah made my choice easier, as I got to know that the School of Dental Sciences (PPSG) is looking for a lecturer in biochemistry. I tried my luck applying & went for an interview on the day of Nisfu Syaaban (5th July 2012). Alhamdulillah, on the 26th of Ramadhan, I got an email from the HR personnel at PPSG that I got the job & the official offer letter will be sent soon.
Finally, last week, on the 18th of Syawal, I got the offer letter. Alhamdulillah, I will be paid 26% from what I'm earning now, and 13% more than what I used to earn from my last job! Syukur Alhamdulillah dengan rezeki yang Allah beri! I still remember my husband's words before I quit my previous job: "InsyaAllah rezeki ada di mana-mana. Yakinlah dengan Allah." Indeed! 

“...for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out. And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” (Surat at-Talaq, 65:2-3)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Salam Aidilfitri

Semoga puasa kita tahun ini diterima Ilahi,
Dan kita semua beroleh taqwa yang tinggi,
Semoga madrasah Ramadhan mendidik hati,
Mempersiapkan diri meniti hari,
Diucapkan selamat menyambut Aidilfitri,
Salah & silap harap dimaafi,
Ikhlas dari kami berdua suami-isteri.

Taqabbalullah minna waminkum.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On your mark... Get set... GO!!!!

Malam ke-20 bermula malam ini,
Ayuh saudara2 ku, kita mulakan misi,
Jangan disia-siakan peluang yang Allah beri,
Setahun hanya sekali kesempatan ini,
Memburu Lailatul-Qadar yang dinanti-nanti,
Malam yang lebih baik dari seribu bulan,
Amal ibadat kita lipat-gandakan,
Juga sentiasa berdoa memohon rahmat Allah dan…
semoga beroleh keampunan,
Atas dosa-dosa lalu yang telah dilakukan.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ramadhan Kareem

Alhamdulillah, InsyaAllah, in two days time, we will be granted the chance to meet up with Ramadhan again. For my husband & I, this will be our second Ramadhan in Kelantan. Last year I was a Stay-At-Home-Wife (SAHW), and I cooked almost everyday, except for the first 2-3 days of Ramadhan because we haven't got our gas connected to the stove yet & on 2 other days that we had iftar with my husband's office mates. 
I truly enjoyed spending Ramadhan last year as a SAHW. Alhamdulillah, being a SAHW then, permitted me to spend my day time reciting the Quran, after every prayers, and I woke up for qiyammulail almost everyday, especially during the last 10 days of Ramadhan. I didn't really savour food from Pasar Ramadhan (PARAM), even when I was living in Cheras, cause to me, the food from PARAM normally tasted bland & blergh. I would only frequented PARAM for 3 special dishes: bubur lambuk, popia basah & tepung pelita. I normally cook during Ramadhan, be it only simple dishes. Being in Kelantan, with distinct palate & tastebud, my husband and I didn't even have the urge to go to PARAM last year! And of course, last year, we didn't have any bubur lambuk, popia basah & tepung pelita for iftar. 
I still remember the Ramadhan of 2010, where my Mama & arwah Papa spent the whole Ramadhan @ PPUKM. I left the office at 5 pm sharp & literally 'berpencak silat' in the kitchen at home. I would then packed the dishes for my Mama & arwah Papa, and later, my husband & I would get in the car to send the food to them, and we would reached home for iftar just in time for the Maghrib adzan! It was tiring but rewarding, cause my food was cooked with care & love, and definitely, hygienic. This year will be our second Ramadhan without arwah Papa. Of course, during this special holy month that his absence is explicitly felt! When he was still alived, every Ramadhan, arwah Papa would fixed colourful lights around the front porch our house, and our house would be the brightest in the row! He would also be the one who bought Raya cookies, specially ordered from his old friend. Last year, our front porch was not the brightest, and we didn't order Raya cookies from his old friend. Al-fatihah to my dear Papa.

Sadness aside, here are a few pantuns that I penned down in less than an hour. They are definitely a reminder for me, and I sure do hope everyone would get something to ponder out of the pantuns. Wallahualam.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,

Mari kita muhasabah diri,
Bersungguh-sungguhkah kita selama ini?
Melakukan ibadah bekalan di akhirat nanti.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Tanamkanlah niat di dalam hati,
Beristiqamah mendirikan solat Tarawih dan solat malam hari,
Bertadarus Al-Quran, dan bersedekah, lazimkanlah diri.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Semoga disambut penuh kesyukuran dan keinsafan di hati,
Juga belajar mengekang nafsu diri,
Tidak membazir berbelanja di Pasar Ramadhan sesuka hati.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Sudah tentu Raya lambat lagi,
Janganlah asyik berfikir tentang kelengkapan duniawi,
Lailatul Qadar berusahalah kita jejaki.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Bersama-samalah kita berdoa kepada Ilahi,
Semoga ini bukan Ramadhan yang terakhir sekali,
Supaya berpeluang bertemu Ramadhan lagi.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Peringatan ini untuk diri sendiri,
Andai terasa, saya menyusun sepuluh jari,
Kekhilafan diri harap dimaafi.

Ramadhan Kareem to everyone!

C'est la vie!