Monday, May 30, 2016


Hubby and three of his (male!) friends recently embarked on a new journey. InsyaAllah, this new business partnership will be ready to be revealed by Ramadhan. As his wife, I am merely the cheerleader, supporting him from behind. Hence last week, I was right by his side while they were doing the product photoshoot. (And also to keep an eye on my handbags which were used for the day! *chuckles*) 

But seriously, I am supremely impressed by the amount of effort and dedication that these men have poured into making Sofhiaa a reality. Through their numerous brainstorm sessions, they managed the fabric and embellishment source, packaging design, printing, labeling, pricing, advertising and juggled many many other factors that are able to make or break a business. The only time I lifted a finger to help was when I came up with the name of the business and composed the words for their Thank You card.

Here are a couple of pictures that I managed to take during the photo shoot. (Okay fine, pictures of my handbags in action, instead!)

I am never one to make flatlays. Can you believe that this shot was styled by dear Hubby?

Hubby reviewing the shot.

Love how the gold and pink complemented each other.

Demure in turquoise and white.

Electric blue is always a favourite.

And my personal favourite, the tiffany blue.

The dream team; turning dreams into reality!

If you are itching to find out what Hubby and friends have in store, add them on Instagram: @sofhiaacouture. Happy styling!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Farewell May

I know, I know. I've been rather quiet in May. April was quiet due to the preparation for Aiden and Ian's birthday. So what's my excuse for May?

Truthfully, I've been busy with work. With the kick off of the first offshore campaign just a week ago, I've been busy firefighting last minute issues left right and center. I've even succumbed to synchronizing and pushing my work emails to my personal phone (which I suspect is the reason for the iPhone crash) because at this critical point of the project, people just can't wait overnight for an email response. Not only that, I'm due to mobilize for the second offshore campaign soon too. With the way things are progressing, hopefully I'll get Ramadhan onshore but will probably be spending the bulk of Syawal month offshore! *cries*

So other than the phone wipe-out, here are the highlights of May:
  • My eldest brother visited from US. He had a pleasant surprise for us (biarlah rahsia dulu) and in return we treated him to Fatty Crab and durians. It's been quite a while since the whole family gathered, so of course we couldn't resist taking a sibling photo.

  • A fellow gang pagar sekolah invited us for her daughter's wedding. We enjoyed the event very much, but the kids enjoyed it even more. They literally took over the photo booth. Here are some hilarious snapshots of the boys (and us!) posing.

  • Ian absolutely loves Angry Birds, so I took the boys out for the Angry Birds movie. I went in with extremely low expectations, expecting to just act as chaperon, playing with my phone to kill time. But surprisingly, I enjoyed myself! Believable plot and smart humor. Now I understand why the birds are so angry with the pigs! Ian sat engrossed in his seat for the entire two hours, and as the credits rolled he asked, "ann mowe tyme??" (One more time?) *giggles*

  • Last but certainly not least, the SPK gang had our last dinner out before Ramadhan. We chose to have buffet at Makan Kitchen, Doubletree by Hilton. It was also Ayu's birthday and yours truly was tasked with finding her a present. I scratched out branded toiletries and an Arzu scarf before finally deciding on a Chanel lip gloss. Here is a photo of Aiden and Ian making themselves at home at the Chanel cosmetics counter, and some photos from the night.

Here's to welcoming June!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The White Screen of Death

Bad news. My iPhone 6 Plus crashed.

I was rather gullible that night. Ian started groveling for the phone, putting his sad face on my lap. So I caved in, despite my battery being super low. The next thing I knew, the phone died and Ian was pissed. I plugged the phone into the charger and left it be.

Unfortunately ten minutes later, I found that it was frozen on the white screen with the black Apple logo. All attempts to reboot, hard reset etc didn't resolve it. I panicked! Hubby suggested that we leave the phone plugged to the charger overnight and hopefully it will magically turn on by the time we wake up. I was sooooo worried... So worried that it even played into my dreams! Three separate distinct dreams about me trying to revive the phone, the repercussions of the dead phone and the worry that clouded my mind.

Why was I so worried you ask? Because the last time I backed up my phone was nearly 2 years ago. *hidesinshame* #noidontuseicloud

Comprehending my worry, now?

The white screen of death.

Despite my super bad mood the night of the incident, sweet Hubby still accompanied me to the iPhone repair shop the very next day. Three possibilities for the cause of the white screen, affectionately known as 'The White Screen of Death'. One, faulty battery. Two, crashed system. And three, motherboard failure. They quickly ruled out battery issues so they tried wiping out and reinstalling the system to check if that was the cause. Fortunately, it solved the issue. Cheap solution too, as a motherboard failure would probably cost four digits to repair. But somewhat unfortunate, cos my worse dreams came true. They couldn't save any of the data inside my phone. There goes all the pictures, contacts and yummy recipe notes I made. *sigh*

However, I am thankful for some things.
  1. The last time I copied all my iPhone photos to my laptop was just before we left for Sabah. Hence Aiden and Ian's birthday party photos were safe and sound, and only the photos taken post end April were gone.
  2. A neighbour had a nano SIM card adapter readily available, so I was able to use my tablet as a temporary 'phone' throughout the entire ordeal.
  3. My last back up contained the bulk of my contacts so at least I wasn't starting from scratch, albeit it being two years too late. (Even my new boss' number wasn't listed and whatsapp flagged him as a spam contact when he tried messaging me! *giggles*)
Restoring from a back up dated 9th Oct 2014. *double sigh*

Soooo hard lesson learnt. Use iCloud wisely and be disciplined at backing up your phone. Need I say more?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Why the Hike in Electricity Bill?

Hubby, who is responsible for the bills around the house, has been lamenting for quite a while about the gradual hike in our monthly electricity bill. Since the money for the bill does not come from my pocket, I usually choose to conveniently shut one ear. *giggles*

Unfortunately, the hike apparently really bothered Hubby; to the point that he started unplugging every single electrical appliance around the house (save for the fridge) when not in use. Not just turning it off, but removing the socket from the electrical wall outlet too! Uurrggghhh… do you know how frustrating it is to have to crawl over and under various pieces of furniture just to plug the TV or the phone charger socket back into the wall… every single day???

In reality, all appliance plugged in will bleed some energy. This is typically called standby electricity loss as it is often associated with electronics in idle or standby mode. Unfortunately for Hubby, what we saved from just unplugging our appliances wasn’t significant enough to make a huge difference in our electricity bill. (But still, kudos to him for trying!)

Since then, he has shifted his energy (pun intended) to isolating other main contributors to the bill – in this case the air conditioner. Due to the recent hot and dry spell, we have had to rely on air conditioners to cope with the unbearable heat. Nowadays, we have to turn on both air conditioners at the ground floor (as opposed to one) just to cool the area. Not only that, we’ve resorted to lowering the temperature settings, increasing the fan speeds and using it for longer periods too. Hence, if we do not find a way to reduce our air conditioner use, it will always be the main culprit for the spike in our monthly electricity consumption, translating to a hike in our electricity bill. (Well, either that or Malaysia freezes over, in which case we will need heaters!)

Tenaga Nasional Berhad recently released a cool series of videos on helping us save our electricity consumption by utilizing some useful energy efficiency tips. And here are some tips related to air conditioners that I got from the TNB Energy Savings at Home website, which I subsequently shared with dear Hubby:

Keep your air conditioner filter clean to allow it to run efficiently and save more (and sweat less)!
Set your air conditioner between 23-25degC for optimum coolness with higher savings.
Set your air conditioner timer to switch off a few hours after you’ve fallen asleep to be more energy efficient.
Ensure doors and windows are closed when using the air conditioner, to help the room cool faster.

Also, some other tips that were quite an eye opener for me too:

Even if you’re a supermom, sometimes it pays to hold off the washing. Wait until you have a full load of laundry to reduce usage of the washing machine.

De-clutter your fridge to allow cool air to circulate more efficiently.

Choose a cold wash over a hot wash, as the latter makes the washing machine work harder.

Check out TNB’s other bright ideas by visiting this link. There are also a total of 20 energy efficiency tips on their website, which will definitely help you take a chunk off your monthly electricity bill. 

Good luck!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Shooting for Brownie Points

Slightly belated but hopefully not too late! Happy Teachers' Day to all the wonderful educators out there. I have personally come across several wonderful teachers in my life, but one certainly stood out from the rest.

Miss Jeyanthi. She was not only my class teacher at Form 2, but also my Maths and Science teacher during my lower secondary years. She was quite the character... exceptionally 'garang' with a heart of gold. Despite her stern demeanor, her teaching ways were really effective. Jangan berangan la tak buat her subject homework. A fond memory of her was how the entire class would all freak out whenever she walked into class and started drawing lines on the board. Yes. Lines. Those lines were meant to separate each row of desks into a team. She would then read out a Maths question and each team will send a representative to race to the blackboard to solve the question. Points would be given to the team rep that finishes first. It was so stressful, because if you got it wrong, your entire team would be penalized!

Since she was extremely superb at teaching, my mum sought her out for tuition classes. So that was how me and a couple of friends started going to her house twice weekly for tuition. My mum would drop me off in the morning, and after tuition we would all walk to the bus stop to take the bus to school. 

After graduating from high school, I lost all contact with her. I met her briefly twice after that - once when I found out that my cousin was attending her tuition classes (I sneaked in at the end of her class and surprisingly she still remembered me!) and the next time was at the BBGS 2009 Gala Reunion in Pavilion (the first time our alumni gathered at the location where our alma mater used to stand).

Anyway, back to the original intent of the post! Every year I would make baked goods as presents for Teachers' Day, with a matching personalized message to boot. (Other than last year, as Aiden's teachers were both vegetarian so I bought Crabtree and Evelyn teabags with the message "Thank You For Being a Tea-rrific Teacher!") So this year, I made Congo Bars... but struggled to find a suitable message. I found a particularly good one for cookies (Thanks For Making Me One Smart Cookie) but by then the Congo Bars were already in the oven. I contemplated using one for Brownies (Shooting for Brownie Points) but decided against it cos it was more suited for Valentines Day... shooting Cupid, geddit? So in the end, I decided to be boring and just use a generic one I found off the internet.

Sorry Ian, no school yet for you so you just have to watch and learn.

Aiden didn't know the names of all his teachers (!!!) so Mummy jugak yang kena pegi find out.

Cute mini Congo Bars nestled in individual wrappers.

Thank you teachers, for your dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work in shaping these young minds into the future leaders of tomorrow.

Food for thought: "Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions..."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Date Night

Hubby and I arranged a date night last Thursday. (Khamis malam Jumaat, anyone?) *giggles*

Since Hubby has been recording late work nights these past few weeks, we decided to catch a midnight show. Usually Hubby doesn't entertain my request for chick flicks, but surprisingly this time he conceded when I requested to watch AADC2. (I guess Dian probably had something to do with it?)

Andddddd we both really enjoyed the movie! Hubby will never publicly admit this though. (To quote, when asked how he found the show, the only thing he said was "At least I didn't fall asleep in the movie!") But the fact that he agreed to review and dissect the storyline, on our way home after the movie; is concrete proof that he enjoyed it as much as I did!

Anyway, here are our comments to the movie. (Spoilers ahead!)
  1. We loved the storyline. No cliche endings, so that was a huge bonus.
  2. There were no flashbacks to the first movie, although the scene where Cinta rubbed her lipstick off did pay homage to the original.
  3. We both thought that the reason why Rangga left Cinta was a bit weak. It could have been more catastrophic (like his dad died or something), but Hubby pointed out that Cinta pointed out the same to Rangga. Hence maybe the weak reason was intentional?
  4. Is Milly really pregnant or was that made up because she gained weight? Nevertheless she provided great comic relief throughout the entire movie! Well done to her!
  5. Beautiful cinematography. Loved how the movie showed a different side of Yogyakarta. 
  6. Hubby thought that the tiff Cinta and Rangga had in the middle of their road trip (when he assumed her fiancé came from a wealthy family) was a nice twist. Without it, the journey would have been too perfect (and too easy). 
  7. I loved the fact that Cinta didn't immediately change her mind for Rangga right after her return to Jakarta. The fact that the movie gave her some time between then and her arrival to New York, implied that she gave it a good long thought. 
  8. Last but not least, Hubby actually suggested an improvement to the movie! He thinks Rangga should have named his cafe after Cinta, to show how significant she was in his life. Also, he should have scribbled the 'gift' poetry for Cinta on his cafe napkin so that Cinta will discover this. (And the plot thickens... *chuckles*)

I am convinced that Hubby will be a movie producer in his next life! *kidding*

Anyway, if you haven't watched AADC2, you really should do so. If you have, what do you think of Rangga? Is it just me, or is his hair thinning?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, ladies!

I hope every one of you had a great day, being pampered by your loved ones. I am currently writing this post in a hotel room in Johor Bahru, having landed in this state just an hour ago. 

I took the last flight out of KL, hence I did get to spend a good part of Mother's Day with the kiddos. How did they celebrate me? Well, as usual - my boys just love 'winging' it last minute. So as I woke up this morning, I discovered that everyone was still fast asleep. (Apparently Hubby slept at 4am watching football.) I fiddled with my phone for about 40minutes before Hubby stirred, opened his eyes, looked at me and exclaimed "Happy Mother's Day!" and then bounded out of bed muttering something about making breakfast. 

Aiden and Ian woke up from all the racket and crawled into my bed. After a lot of cuddles and kisses, Aiden joined his Daddy to make breakfast while Ian and I sang the ABC song on repeat in bed. ("Ann mowe tymeee!" aka one more time he says!)

Fifteen minutes later, this arrived on my bed:

Well basically, Hubby ransacked the fridge looking for any thing he could present on a plate. He found some nuggets - left over from Aiden's dinner. Kuih koci durian - something I had purchased from two days ago. Semperit bedazzled with hearts - Ian's birthday present (and favourite snack) courtesy of my SILs. All those plus hot dogs wrapped in cheese and scrambled eggs. But he did such a great job plating the whole thing! Major love for my man! *kisses*

We then attended an aqiqah where I caught up with my BBGS girls (all mothers!) and then returned home, packed, and left for the airport for an early Mother's Day dinner. Eden was no gastronomic feast (in fact it was slightly disappointing) but their stir fried tenderloin with crispy almonds somewhat made up for it. 

Someone shared this on Facebook and it struck something in me:

So to fellow mummies out there, may Allah reward all that we do for our kids with Jannah. InsyaAllah! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Suntanning at the Beach

I know, I know... I promised an entire post about Aiden and Ian's Star Wars party. But when you're given a choice between enjoying the beautiful sandy beach with blue skies (as per picture above), and turning on your laptop to shortlist the hundreds of pictures from the party... The former wins hands down!

I had a short work assignment in Kota Kinabalu, hence I took the opportunity to organize an island getaway with the family. I arrived on Wednesday with the kids and we spent the next day just literally doing nothing other than swimming, sunbathing and eating. Hubby arrived on Thursday night and that marked the start of our family island adventure.

On Friday morning we took the boat to YTL Pulau Gaya Resort and since our arrival until now, I've been basking in the warm sun, tanning at the beach, snorkeling in the sea, enjoying the fabulous food to my heart's content and just simply enjoying quality time with Hubby and the kids.

I will definitely write a review about this place as I am supremely impressed with the service. They have definitely wowed me! Two thumbs up for YTL Pulau Gaya Resort.

Until then, I hope you're getting your fair share of the sun too!

An extremely rare smile from Ian.
Take care,
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