Being 23 isn’t so bad.

Guess who turned 23 yesterday? Me!

People might think being 23 is still young, but come on, who are you guys kidding? It is time to gain real responsibilities, face the future and actually act on whatever it is that you have just started planning earlier this year.

But being 23 is not so bad. You’re allowed to go to bars with a more mature looking face, people wouldn’t have second guessed you whether you’re already 21 or not, and you’re practically legal to do anything, even go to jail! Lol.

Being born in January makes you gain hope of your life earlier than anyone else, (well, unless you’re born earlier than me). I feel like it gives me a new perspective, like I can foresee the future and what lies ahead of me. Because I was looking forward to my birthday, and now that it is over, I can look forward to something else, something bigger.

My birthday celebration yesterday was phenomenal. I am gifted with an incredible husband that knows me inside out, that made it so memorable I can cry of happiness while reminiscing about it again.

He was the first to wish me Happy Birthday at 12am, and then we spend the whole night just talking and talking until 4am. I love when we spend time talking before we sleep, it’s just so relaxing for me. That morning we woke up late, but not too late, then we went to brunch at the Penn Stater Hotel, called the Gardens Restaurant. They offered a buffet which was so tasty, oh my god I feel hungry now.

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Right after brunch, he pampered me with a couple’s massage which is pretty awesome. I haven’t had the best massage experience so far, but this, hands down, the best massage I have ever felt. They even have me a facial therapy, which was so relaxing, I almost slept the way through. The place was right in State College, called the Artemis Massage Studio. I immediately fell in love with the place due to its ambiance and the environment, I could just spend hours there and just lay down waiting for someone to give me a massage. It was incredible, enough said.

Not enough with the surprises, Hafid pulled the best surprise yet last night when he blindfolded me and bring me to this amazing place to celebrate my birthday dinner with all of my friends. Oh my, I was so shocked and surprised that they planned it so beautifully and the decorations were so on point, it was the best and happiest celebration ever.

Imagine being blindfolded right after you got in the car, and didn’t know where you were heading and, suddenly, surprised! Everyone was there, without you even knowing the slightest hint about it. Well, initially I thought Hafid was bringing us for dinner, just the two of us, like we usually do, but it was a surprise to find out that everybody is there, celebrating it with you. It was the best feeling, ever.

Words cannot describe the situation was last night, I might just pour in some pictures. Enjoy! Thank you again to those who wish and celebrating it with me. It was the best.

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Declutter your New Year

I know, it’s a little too late for a New Year’s wish, but, hey, Happy New Year! I’m a bit sad this year knowing that my adult life will start in a few months time, but I’ll cherish what I’ve got.

So, I haven’t really figured out what my resolution this year is, yet, but last night got me thinking. I was watching this documentary of Minimalism and this idea struck my mind. I am going to go minimal with everything that I have. Okay, I’m gonna tell you how determine I am, because I am never this determine, well, at least not this year.

Okay, minimalism is keeping what’s valuable to you, and letting go of what seemed to make you happy once upon a time, but now you tend to have forgotten about them and they’re just there consuming your space in the house. Consumerism, people, is bad!

I know for you girls out there, this seems to be impossible to you because, hell yeah, I know we have emotional and physical connections to our stuff, especially our makeup, our clothes, shoes and basically everything that we own. But, I’ll tell you this, that feeling after you went through all your stuff and getting rid of things you don’t feel brings value to you anymore, is the most satisfying thing ever.

After the movie ended, I said to Hafid, “Since both of us can’t sleep, do you want to declutter your life with me?” And his face light up, we jumped out of bed and prepare 3 trash bags to separate the trash, things we would want to donate, and things we wanted to sell. This was at 2.00am when we started to declutter our things. The mission is ON.

We started section by section in the room and then out in the kitchen as well, and guess what, in this tiny space of ours, we successfully decluttered our life and managed to round up 3 bags of trash, a bag of donation, and a bag to sell. Imagine that!

So, let me break it down to you, first, we went through my makeup. I owned a decent amount of makeup for everyday use, I think my collection of makeup is just enough for me to use everyday and in that section, I don’t need that much decluttering going on. But, in one of the cabinets, I found a ridiculous amount of empty makeup boxes that I just kept for no use. Well, I have this habit of keeping makeup boxes just because it’s pretty, like my Kylie Lip Kits, or my Tarte palette box, you know, that sort of thing. Hafid made me throw them away and I was devastated at first, but seconds after, the feeling of easiness filled my heart and I felt that decluttering feeling that minimalists have been talking about. Aha.

The next section was my wardrobe. Oh God, I swear this was the hardest thing I had to do in my life. As you would guess, I did not entirely declutter my closet because, let’s face it, I need my clothes and it does bring value to my life, so I cannot object to that. Things that bring value to me are the things that make me happy. And the point of going minimal is to make me happy, see where I’m going with that? Haha. Also, I know Hafid made me throw the empty boxes away, but if you know my obsession with dUCk scarves, I WILL NOT BE GETTING RID OF THOSE BOXES, thank you very much. Those really brought me happiness as long as I can remember. So I kept it, towering high in my wardrobe. 🙂

That’s basically my section of the house, and others were Hafid’s. He did some decluttering too, which was an accomplishment for him because he also has emotional attachments with his things, but now, we are much happier and it is a great way to start off our last semester of college. Kudos to the both of us!

So, declutter your life, and ask yourself, “Does this bring value to your life?”. If not, get rid of it, and your life will be much simpler and happier.

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Good luck in getting rid of your stuff! (I am never getting rid of the dUCk boxes. LOL)

 

Things YOU should consider while making travel plans (part 2)

Planning a 3-week vacation itinerary is not as easy as I would imagine, I swear, having to cope with schedule, weather, attractions to go to, accommodation, budget, and pretty much everything else is hard. Luckily I have my very own OCD husband who made sure everything goes as planned and the way we wanted it to, to make sure everyone had fun. But oh well, not 100% things can be certain it will go according to plan, but when we look back at what happen, it actually made me laugh a little, because it was pretty dumb.

  1. Make sure you choose an Air BnB with (MANY) reviews before actually renting it out.

Before anything, I just want to point out, that I made this decision on renting out this Air BnB. So, it was all on me.

On the first night they landed in JFK, I was super excited, right, my family came to visit me in the US and of course I wanted the best for them. Anyhow, we booked an Air BnB, a whole house with 3 bedroom, Hafid and me, my parents and my brothers. Let me remind you, they just had a 36 hour flight from KUL to JFK, so you can imagine how tired they are. So, we drove to this house and from the outside, it looked normal, but little did I know, the house was so bad on the inside, not to mention they forgot to list that there was a cat roaming around the house freely. Why is this so bad? Well, I have cat allergies, and my parents just cannot stand all the fur lying around the house and the bed, the house was not cleaned prior before our arrival, the kitchen smells so bad, the house was a disaster. That night, my mum couldn’t sleep, Hafid and I were struggling to sleep because our whole body was itching, and boy, that was a memorable first day alright.

2. Inspect weather conditions, thoroughly.

Need I remind you that Mum is someone that cannot stand the cold, no, I am not talking about the winter cold, she can’t even stand AC cold. So, it was a bad idea to encourage her and step out of the car in DC because it was extremely chilly. The weather looked fine, it was about 10-13 C which was okay, supposedly. But they also forgot to mention that the wind’s speed was 100 mph! (Exaggerated but somehow true) Which was bad. So, although you think you know what’s going on, you may actually not. I can’t even stand that cold of a weather and unfortunately, I also dress up poorly; I wore a 1 layer of clothes and a jacket, with no other layering or protection from the cold. We were all freezing to death and the only place we feel like staying in was either our hotel room, or the minivan.

3. Make sure that your hotel room has a microwave. 

This is important why? Because when you’re travelling with two hungry hulks (make that 3! Read:me) you would want to bring extra Berahim or Maggi especially in the cold to prevent you to fully transform into Hulk 2.0. The cold really does make you hungry and a microwave could really help feed you. Okay. So, one of our night, we booked a decent hotel suite, that could fit up to 6 adults. Everything was perfect except there were no microwave! That night, thinking we booked a hotel with a microwave, we ‘selamba’ skipped our dinner  and that night everyone was so hungry we were forced to make food using the boarding school version. Those who were in boarding school, this would be an ‘aha!’ moment for you. Lol.

Having a mom and dad, which were previously long time ago in a boarding school, it is amazing how they agreed to making maggi in a huge bucket while flooding it with hot water! And where would this hot water come from, you may ask? Well, the coffee maker, of course! So, lesson learnt, read the hotel description carefully before booking so no one would starve to death. Other than that, it was a pretty cool experience.

4. Do not use the elevator in times of an emergency. Not a myth. 

No, I did not use any elevator in a fire emergency, of course, but Hafid almost did. So, while we were on vacation, we chose to stay at various Choice Hotels, and to fit up to 6 adults in a room, we would have to book a suite which costs around $150-ish per say. But in a town, I forgot where, we stayed at the Home 2 Suites by Hilton, so we thought it was like a wow moment for us to stay at one of the Hilton hotels. But read this, once we were in the hotel room, trying out new clothes we just bought from the outlets, a fire alarm went off! And what makes it funnier is that we stayed in an accessible room to have a larger space, but mainly it was for the special needs people with wheelchair, blind or deaf. So there was this additional flashing of lights in the room on top of the loud fire alarm.

My family were calm at first, they were like, “Oh, this must be a mistake, and someone might have tripped the circuit or something.” And they casually changed into another pair of clothes as the alarm went off. Need I remind you that this alarm sound is so loud and disturbing. Little did they know the fire alarm has gone off because there was a fire in the building. Me, having to watch so many American movies, knows the drill. Cehh.

I’m so hyped up, trying to apply everything that I know from movies into this current situation. So, I was like, “Okay, guys we have to go down now, this is not a fire drill, it is a real fire, the one we can die in.” Thank goodness, then, they panicked. Everyone started grabbing all their essentials, like phones, and clothes, and scarf and everything they could get their hands on to head down to the parking lot. Then this happens: Hafid trying to use the elevator, with his logic, “There is no fire in the elevator.”

We argued for a split second, and I said, “In movies, they were asked to use the stairs, not the elevator, it is dangerous in times of an emergency.”

Then Hafid was like, “Why, why, how do you know there is a fire in the elevator, it is safe.”

Moments before I counter argued another movie-reason, the hotel security shouted for us to go down the stairs quickly while he was holding the door. So we head down and everyone was outside in the cold, wearing PJs with a sleepy face. It was about 11pm at night.

Not long after that, the police, fire department and a sheriff came from the scene and everyone was amazed at how fast they came. This is how fast they came to the scene, our car has not even reached its highest temperature of heater, and they already came with the police lights flashing all over the place. Malaysia should really learn this from the States.

Thankfully, there was not a serious fire, only someone irresponsible that had recklessly smoke in the room, that made the smoke detector goes off, and then the fire alarm. It was a relief, and everyone went back to the room after.

5. Book your ticket in advance, online. 

Living in the 21st century, please use the technology gifted to us and make full use of it. While visiting many, many tourist places and attractions and especially as Christmas and New Year coming really near, it is as if people from all over the world is trying to go the places that you are going. So, instead of queuing up for a ticket for 2 hours, you might want to get it done online because it is quick and easy. Not to mention you can plan your whole trip before hand as well.

So, this happens to us in New York, when we were at Rockefeller Center trying to get to the Top of the Rock. We bought the tickets online but I didn’t know that there was a time schedule to follow. So I brought my parents into the heart of the Big Apple and they waited for 2 hours just so that we can schedule a time to go up to the attraction place. It was a huge waste of time and I single handedly blame myself for it because I did not do enough research of the place that we are going to. But luckily after that, we still went through and everything went smoothly as planned.

I swear everyone was so lost because they didn’t know what to do at that time. I feel bad for us, but experience is an experience. And mistakes were learnt.

6. Lastly. Make extra sure that your rental car is insured at all times. 

Travelling in the US is a tad bit challenging because of the weather, you may not know if the roads are slippery or whatever could happen while you’re on the road. So, insurance comes in handy every time you want to travel. It may cost your car to become expensive, but it is the best security measure of all time.

Here’s why: Hafid rented the car for 3 weeks and Alhamdulillah nothing happened to the car while we were on our journey heading south. He rented it using Capital One, and this credit card has a 15-day period of insurance coverage that we didn’t know about in the first place. So, on the last day before we want to return the car, we hit a beaver. Yes. We killed an animal, which I think looks like a beaver and we thought nothing happened to our car. Little did we know, it was a monster beaver size of an armadillo! The front bumper of the car was damaged and we only noticed it until we got home. The front bumper split in half and there was some fur still attached to the bumper when we inspected it. Yeah, it was a legit accident.

We tried calling the credit card company and they said the coverage only covers for the first 15-day period and we were doomed. The cost of the repair was nearly $1500 but luckily we managed to settle it and everything turns out fine.

So, take my word for it. It is worth everything, including your time and money. And don’t make the same mistakes that I did because you won’t like it. I swear.

Post-Florida Syndrome (part 1)

My parents came for 3 months and that’s the reason I stopped blogging for a while, being all touristy with the fam.

I didn’t know how emotionally and physically attached I am to my family until they left right before New Year’s Eve on the 30th of Dec. Being the only daughter and the eldest do make a difference, especially when I left home at a young age to study. I thought that ‘phase’ was gone but a parent-daughter bond can never be broken at any age, even.

So, I was sad to see them go, hopefully still seeing them for my graduation this year. (I’m graduating, guys!) Soooo excited, but scared to face the future as well.

Here’s why I’m having a weather depression. My mum came to State College while it was snowing, they met Mr Fresh Snow. Not that super cold, but cold enough to make the bottled water in your car freezes kind of thing. But Florida, though, the weather was awesome, warm, but not too warm, windy but chill. Ahhh I don’t know how to describe it, pretty much like Malaysia’s weather, adding some NY winter weather to it, mix it up together, but lastly, putting some ice cubes, just to make it a so-so temperature feels. Get it? Like usual, my mom cannot stand the cold in PA, she freaks out and hid herself in the hotel room until it was time to head south. Oh, my dad had the time of his life, driving around in the minivan while it was heavily snowing, he had fun, I assume. Although I did not tell him how dangerous it was, nonetheless, everything was fine, thankfully.

So, our family road trip begin, we drove down south and made stops in DC, Savannah, and finally Orlando! What a relief, I was starting to develop feelings of knocking my brothers’ head when he asks “Are we there yet?” every hour before arrival.

All in all, we had our typical family vacation with bits of hiccups along the way, and THAT is what I feel like blogging because, let’s face it, you don’t wanna know everything that happened because you can google most of it. We basically when to the most tourist-y place you can imagine. So, the next post will be focused on how things didn’t go as planned, even though I swear Hafid made 100% sure that everything would be perfect. Lol. (He’s a tad bit OCD with travel planning I swear, we can break into an argument if something goes wrong along the way!)

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DUCK CONTEST

I love two things in life, being photographed by Hafid and  my collection of dUCk scarves. Others, maybe comes down to third and fourth on the list. Then, the duckgroup open a competition that involves these top 2 things on my list. Hmm wrong move, guys wrong move. Haha.

Having Hafid who loves taking my photos and my duck collection, made us somehow super hyped because the winner of the competition gets the whole collection of the world map duck and also, wait for it, a free business class airplane ticket for two to where ever they want in the world. Amboi. 

But honestly my main target was to just post for photos and rely on Hafid to make me look good. The prize is just a bonus if I win. Good photos make me smile. I love spending time to do make up, dress up, just to have a good photo.

So, for the duck contest, we came up with a theme, to do something different from other people. I’ll show you a couple (or all) of it later on. Kinda cool. But you should see the entries of the competition, people are taking it so seriously onto the next level. There was one that was levitating, and flying, and swimming, wow, you should just see it for yourself. Damn creative man these people.

But somehow I feel the competition’s rules are too vague, people can practically do anything they want with it, a flatlay, a collection of your duck boxes, or basically anything that you want. I still feel there’s a catch, like, they have their sets of rules and criteria that they want but do not tell the public.

Not hoping for anything, though, but I feel good about having good photos. Hee. May the person with the good photos win. Amen.

 

DUCK SYNDROME

I don’t have a hobby, until recently, established Raya 2016 in Malaysia.

I mentioned Malaysia because if I haven’t gone back during the summer, I wouldn’t have been obsessed with collecting the dUCk scarves. I blamed it all on my outing to Pavilion one fine day.

Here it goes: well, I didn’t know that a dUCk store was just opened a few days after I reached Malaysia. Before this, I had a favorite hijab brand that I bought in Ampang Park. Favorite in my definition is owning almost all the colors of that particular chiffon scarf and that’s it. I love it, it was my length of scarf and I wear it everyday. Period.

But, this obsession that I developed over a few months ago, is ridiculous. I started trying out a few duck scarves, Georgette range in Oreo was my first duck. I bought it because it’s in black color and what could go wrong with trying a ridiculously luxurious scarf for once right? Well, EVERYTHING COULD GO WRONG. Now, I’m obsessed. I’m pretty sure people couldn’t understand my obsession with this scarf, some would say, it’s just a scarf, why is it so expensive. And I know the target market is not for students like me, but I work to get most of it, so I would pat myself a pretty good job well done for earning it.

I know people would joke, saying “This scarf could prevent you from the hell’s fire, is it?”. Hmm I don’t know. But I feel satisfied wearing and owning them. So, I say, why not. It’s not because its luxurious that I want to buy it, its just the feeling of satisfaction owning something so exclusive and pretty. I fell in love immediately. The experience from battling for it, (yes, it’s called a duck battle – it’s real), buying it, waiting for it to arrive, and to open the package and get that scarf inside. All of it, the experience, is what I’m obsessed about. I rarely have a hobby, but this hobby is insanely ridiculous I have yet to do. It’s so satisfying that I cannot stop, it’s like I’m addicted.

But I’m glad I did. It’s wonderful to own one. But I swear on all my scarves, that if you ever get involved, you’ll get addicted. Not to buying it, but to owning it. But also, maybe you won’t because you have that self-restraint. Hat’s off to you, my friend.

NEW BIG 10 CHAMPIONS – WE ARE!

As a Penn Stater, it is a huge mistake not to participate in the anticipation of watching a football game, and especially the BIG 10 Championship which by the way, Penn State won!

I know I’m not much of a sports fan, but Penn State football, I cannot. I cannot contain my excitement because this is HUGE guys, HUUUUUUGEEEE!!

Okay, so Penn State was against Wisconsin, and we were losing hope when Penn State was behind 21-7 before the 2nd half. And Penn State is a team that’s well-known for being a great second-half team, meaning, they get hyped late, but win anyway. They were so far behind and suddenly, BOOM! 38-31 FINAL SCORE!

Everyone expected that Penn State could win, but I guess I wasn’t expecting that Penn State will win. I was overjoyed, I screamed and shout (like the usual me), jumped around and I still cannot believe that Penn State won.

Well, secretly I believed that I have this ritual that I follow every time Penn State has a game, that I should NOT be watching them play offensive and only watch the game when they play defensive. It actually kinda works. That’s what I did for the game against Ohio State, Iowa State, Michigan State and this, Wisconsin. So I guess they should be thanking me for winning. Aha! (No, I’m just kidding)

So, here’s the thing, whether we win or we lose last night, Penn State students will have a riot. A huge one. I swear this is the second riot I have been to here at Penn State and these people are crazy. I have no idea why we are filled with such violence last night, it’s not like we lost to Wisconsin. It’s terrible what went on yesterday. But I cannot lie and tell you it’s no fun, it’s so exciting, that we almost got shot with a paintball gun by a police. I swear I am not lying to you.

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Police went full force on this riot and there were thousands of students last night roaming around Beaver Ave just screaming “We Are! Penn State”. Some were chanting “We want Bama!” and of course, as a senior, I joined and had fun.

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It was something I never thought I would do, but looking at all of us yesterday, our Penn State pride was something I was so proud of. Although it shouldn’t be this way, but riot with police forces are so much fun.

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There were so many people and it became so violent that police were with horses, big tanks of pepper sprays and paintball guns just to clear the roads and intersections. These students are drunk, hyped up, and violent they even broke a lamp post and stop signs. Yes, we witnessed that right in front of our eyes. It’s just unbelievable, but we cheered anyway.

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I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but Penn State won guys, and this is my senior year. It is so worth it! Go Penn State! I am, for one, so proud of you! USA! USA! USA! We Are!

All pictures were taken by @afidmo.