Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Trip to Kuching Sarawak

Assalamualaikum wbt..

Last year I managed to score tickets to Kuching, Sarawak for a mere RM308 inclusive ourself and our little one. I wanted to cover Borneo and can officially say that I almost have, hehe! We will try to reach Sabah soon.

 Hey hey gfs, am travelling again with my old folks, they seem to be taking me everywhere they go thesedays, how boring! Text ya when I'm back. Peace!! :D

We stayed in Ariva Getaway Kuching which was a 5 minutes drive from the Waterfront. The room only cost me RM130 per night and it was pretty decent. Small but very cozy. 

We also rented a Saga BLM to take us around for only RM80 a day. It was the cheapest rate I could find. Taking cab within Kuching is very expensive that is why we opted to drive ourselves..makes it a whole lot more fun exploring too!

First stop on Friday when we arrived was to check out the Waterfront area. We sat by the River and ate some Cucur Udang for snack. Their version seems to be very different but it turned out to be pretty good that we ordered another plate. 

Kuching Riverfront.

The view of the Astana from the riverfront.

There are choices of taking a cruise too to check out the area. We opt for the river cruise and it cost us RM19 per person. 

One of the things I made sure to properly research was where to eat. Kuching may not be the most exciting city we've been to but at least the food was DELICIOUS! Now I totally understand why those who are from Sarawak are totally proud of their food. 

Just one of the MUST-EAT when you're in Kuching..I present you Kolo Mee! This was the halal version. 

On the second day we went to Sarawak Cultural Village, SCV which is located about 30-40 minutes drive from Kuching city. 

Sarawak Cultural Village.

Today children, we shall learn about the various cultures in Malaysia! Its one of the things that intrigues us wherever we go....we are always keen to know what's the culture like in that particular city, how people live, what they do for money, what they eat and the list goes on. 
The drive was quite scenic. We finally arrived and then realized this is where the annual Rainforest World Music Festival usually takes place. Cool! Entrance is RM60 a pop, which is VERY pricey in my opinion. Half the price of our airflight tickets yo! It breaks down to RM10 per house that you will visit in there. When the guy asked if were Malaysians, I really thought we'd be given a discount but NOPE. Guess I should stop being a typical Malaysian who always expects discounts? Heh!
Ah yes hence hubby's look, lol. Would have been a waste to turn after that long drive so we pressed on.

First stop the theatre of Sarawak cultural show. The stage is beautifully set in a brilliant ethnic musical theme of bamboo poles, thatched huts and exquisite traditional arts. Soon, a prologue of traditional Malay dance ensued, followed by a casting ensemble of the much-revered Puteri Santubong  and Puteri Sejinjang danced their heart out while narrating the legendary story of these two beautiful princesses. 

Then, on stage came a dance ensemble from the Orang Ulu tribe, with the men dressed up in a peculiar fashion of colourful long skirt which dancing of welcoming ritual to guests to their longhouses. We had so much fun watching the Iban warrior made his lone appearance with his dance performance of Ngajat Lesong. He called up a girl to join his performance on stage and teach her few step of Ngajat Lesong. Next in line was dance performance from Melanau tribe for their Tarian Menyak and Penan Warrior for their dart performance. 

Later then after lunch we went to Chinese house. Most of the Chinese people here are likely to be Hakka or Foochow descent.

Then, we move on to the Malay House. The only house yang kene bukak kasut :) Rumah Melayu kann...

They were also making Kuih Kapit/Kepit in this house which were up for sales and my fatty hubby made me bought few packets!

The third house was the Melanau House, which was my favourite.

The house is so massive and regal looking, like a mean ass monster truck. 

Ready for our Melanau exploration..
Melanau is differ from most because they eat sago in preference to rice. Sago palm originally grew wild in the coastal swamps, and they are cultivated. We had the opportunity to try the 'Lempeng Sagu' which were made fresh by the Melanau lady.

The lady explained to us while some Melanaus are Muslims now, they still can live in harmony with the Christian in the long house. They just cook separately, for obvious reasons. But seriously, I can't imagine one whole family occupying ONE room! They also offer home-stay in each house, just incase you might be keen. Think I would most definitely pass on that. 

Next up, Orang Ulu house. Never knew they existed.

We saw the amount of stairs to climb and freaked out. Plus the weather was SUPER hot and we were sweating like a rain shower at this point I just wanted to end the tour. haha!

We walked along and found a Penan House, if one could even call it a house. The shy nomadic Penan live in the dense jungle of Central Borneo. I seriously doubt the 'shy' part coz do check out their outfit yo. Just a loin cloth to cover those modest bits. Wonder the cloth is so long though, hmmm :)

5th stop was the Iban house. Weather was getting unbearable at this point I might add. 

FYI, about 1/3 of Sarawakians are Ibans; while some of them lives in town or houses, a large number of them still prefer longhouses.

Last and final stop, woot- the Bidayuh House.

Sweaty sweaty smelly people. And yes we actually drove back all the way to hotel after that just to shower again before meeting my Unimate, Wani at the popular 'makan spot' at Top spot Food Court

So its the end of our Sarawak Cultural Village tour. Despite the weather, we still enjoyed every bit of our education. So hope you enjoyed the little tour, you better..coz I just saved you RM60, hehe!

Top Spot Food Court

During dinner, we went to Top Spot Food Court (which is located just behind our hotel), and we met Wani, her husband and her two girls. It's been awhile since we last met three years ago. She was my coursemate back then in Uni and she now work as a lecturer in Uitm Samarahan. Yep, we realized we didn't snap any pictures because was too busy handling our little one during dinner. Sigh :(

Kuching Cat Monument

On our last day in Kuching, we went to the Riverfront again just to capture our memorable short trip with our little family. Here us at Kuching Cat Monument.
Just so you know, Kuching was voted as the healthiest and the cleanest city in Malaysia, as well as in the world, which recognised and awarded by both United Nation (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO). Like seriously, this is no joke. Kuching is really clean! 

India Street Kuching

We then proceed to our next destination to India Street for souvenir shopping for family and friends. Here, you can get a quality T-shirt with a very cheap price and I highly recommend you to visit this place for souvenir shopping. 

Dayang Salhah Cake House

If you're driving to the Astana, make sure you drop by the famous Kek Lapis shop in Kuching called Dayang Salhah. Alot of people actually take the boat across just to get here. They also deliver to those in KL-joy! I highly recommend you the Chocolate Cheese, Cadbury Cheese, Kek Lapis India, Azura Layer die for, literally! I bought back close to 10 packets and they nicely wrapped it up for me. It price ranges from RM10-13 for small packet. Didn't help that my bag was 2 kgs over-weight despite packing minimum items into my main luggage. 

They are very generous with their samples..the more you try the more you'll want to buy. True story. 

Orchid Farm

While its too early for our flight back to KL, we decided to go for another place which was the Orchid Farm. Admission fee is free and its open everyday except Monday. My little one insisted to took her photo while strolling around the farm. hehe!

So that said, there are no other trips scheduled until February perhaps. Hope the next few months whizz by quickly coz the OCD in me actually loves packing for trips!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Work to Live?

Assalamualaikum wbt..

What is one of the very first questions that comes out of someone's mouth when you meet them for the first time?


What do you do?


I hate that question. Why can't it be, what is your favourite thing to do? or what is your hobby? or what is your passion? For a lot of us, our job really doesn't say much about our personality or our values in life. Sometimes it is just something we do to provide for our family and to be able to really "live" life.

In Malaysia, why are  we raised to measure our worth based on our careers and how much money we make? Why can't it be more about who we are and what makes us happy?

It's unfortunate that I've spent so much of my life stressing out over "what am I gooing to be when I grow up?" - and I still stress out sometimes (evidence here, here and here). But you know what? I am determined that this doesn't happen with my child. I am determined to teach her to embrace life. To teach her it isn't all about what you do to make money or how much money you make. It's about living a happy life. It's about loving your family and enjoying as many minutes out of the day as you can. If you can find something you are passionate about and make money- GREAT. But if you can't? No big deal. Find something you are content doing and then spend your extra time exploring your passions and making your free time really count.

Work less and live more. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bad day at work

Assalamulaikum wbt..

To put it simply, today sucked..big time. I won't go into the details because it's stupid. It was just one of those days that seemed to drag on and on and all I wanted it to do was come to an end. I am really working on being a more positive and optimistic person. And I'm pretty dang smart, so when I feel like I'm suffering I can logically think about how irrational I am-that there are people all across our planet suffering WAY more than I could even imagine. Usually this will snap me out of my funk. This along with a good prayer. 

But some times you just have a day where no matter how hard you try, you just can't find the good. the only solution is to wallow in self-pity for a while and then sleep it off. Well that's all that works for me usually. Oh, and a nice hot shower at mommy's place and sweet hot chocolate doesn't hurt either. 

Okay, enough Negative Nancy venting for me. In one final attempt to cheer myself up and put today behind me, I leave you with my favourite Instagram I've taken to date..

I love this. My little happy feet. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Assalamualaikum wbt.

I just wanna share this because it's so hilarious and remind me of my little

Happy hump day!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Trip to Penang

Assalamualaikum wbt..

I think this is the week of pure relaxation and indeed is a WONDERFUL week! We had a two weeks holiday last month and took a road trip from Ipoh to Penang. We left out on the 5th day of Eid around 4pm. The drive went really well. Aulia' slept most of it and we didn't hit much traffic. When we got there, we all got settled in and just hung out! Aulia' had hard time going down for bed. Wednesday we hit the beach at Batu Feringghi. It was so nice being right on the beach because Aulia' lasted all of maybe 30 mins, haha! She ate the sand, which drove me nuts! We only took her back out there two more times before deciding it was just too much work for 15- 30 minutes of fun. We brought her to Penang public pool and she LOVED the pool though. She floated around and kicked her little legs. Hubby and I had a blast and didn't complain once that we were not spending all day on the beach. After had breakfast on Thursday, we hit the Penang Hill and got T-shirt for Aulia'. Those were the two must dos on my list while we were there. We went out for ice-cream twice. Hubby met his Uni mate and his wife while strolling at Penang Hill. Its really nice to bump into an old friend after 6 years of graduation. We also went to Gurney drive hawker center to have the infamous pasemboq and Balik Pulau for durian. Our visit to Botanical Garden was awesome coz Aulia' can watch the monkeys in less than 1 meter away! We first ride on the tram and went for one round, then took a slow walk up to the sloppy hill where tram doesn't go through.

We decided to come back on Friday instead of Saturday like everyone else which was a great decision. We had done laundry through out the week so we only had one load when we got home,SCORE! We were all unpacked and relaxing by Sunday afternoon which was great. We went for grocery shopping in the evening and we relaxed some more. Perfect way to end a vacation!

Here is a big photo dump from the week.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Once a dress now a top

Assalamualaikum wbt..

The other day I quickly picked out this 6 m/o flower dress (Original from  Disney Store) to prettify my vain baby up and then realized the dress already short!! This is one of my favourite dress anyho and she only wore it for a few times. No way no how that dress would passed off as a dress coz her diapers were peeking out!

She was 6 m/o when I bought this dress and I thought perhaps this dress were to share the fate as some of her clothes where it has sat in the cupboard for far too long, neglected to the core and by the time I thought about it, it was too late coz Aulia' was way past the age of wearing it. It usually would be too snug for her. 


Since she could still fit nicely into the 'dress' (the problem was the length, not the width for a change this time, heh) I quickly salvaged it by putting on a nice pink pants for her so that her diapers wouldn't peek out. 

I should match it with leggings shouldn't I? Oh leggings-every toddler should have one, I kid you not. 

Without the pants, can you imagine what a sight this world would be with her white diaper with a bear printed on the back would look like for the world to see? Heh.

Phew, thank god for the pants ma says. And it also got me realizing how tall my little baby has shot up. Prior to this, we used to hear 'below average' in height from our Pead every single freaking visit. It used to worry me till no end coz I would pray so hard hoping she wouldn't end up short and fat like her father she wouldn't end up short. I used to even massage her legs and pull it lightly in bids of making her tall(er), lol. 

But look at her now, officially above average in height as confirmed by her pead during her last visit a few months ago, wohoo!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Potty Training Level- Beginner

Assalamualaikum wbt...

There comes a time where a mother would talk about the most awkward subject (oh say about poo, the color of poo, more poo to name a few) that she would have never dreamed about talking when she was single/younger/without a child.  That's what motherhood does to you and with that, today I'm going to talk about Aulia' training from diapers to panties which weirdly enough is a very proud mommy moment ok. 

That's right, my baby doll, who is already TWO last month is working hard for diapers off!

Her potty training started at 22 months thanks to my mom's initiative. As it is, Aulia' gets bad rashes from pro-longed diaper wearing so whenever she's at home, my mom would let her wear pants without any diapers on. 

Anyho, we would take Aulia' to her blue throne every 30 minutes or so. Make no mistakes as there have been cases where she's just let it go. So yes, mopping off pee on the floor was quite common. There were a few times I took the mop, gave it to her to clean up after herself, lol. It wasn't all easy at first convincing her to pee on the potty and I have to tell her like so many times "Aulia' nak sheeshee please tell ibu okay".

Am I a big girl now or what?!

Long story short, after a while, she got used to it and her peeing time went from 30 minutes to 1-2 hours each time. She would still sleep in her diapers coz around 2 onwards, her pee seemed to have doubled up in volume!! Look at me, talking about pee and pee volumes, lol. There were instances of her maximizing out one single diaper in a record time of 3 minutes!! I remember putting in on her, went on to do my makeup and when I checked again-it was FULL!

Can kids pee alot or what?! There were times I used to wake up to very wet pants and bed sheets coz her diaper had been filled to the brim and I felt so bad seeing my baby sleep in her pee infested diaper and pants! But what can I do if she pees so much right?

Then about a month ago, I noticed how dry her diapers would be every time I changed it at night. Like only one diaper was needed the entire night and even then it's usually dry or peed on very little. From that, I knew it was indeed time for an upgrade! Or downgrade-whichever way you wanna see it as :)

So I put a Disney mini mouse panties on her which she picked it out herself. So after getting her that, we just went with the flow (no pun intended) and hoped she wouldn't pee on the bed! I told her repeatedly not to 'mess' it up by peeing on it. I think on some level that helped coz she does love her Disney panties constantly telling is how pretty they are, hah. 

But for now, the hubby is just happy with the idea that we can cut down on diaper expenses real soon.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Aulia' and the mirror

Assalamualaikum wbt..

Aulia' is such a hoot these days. We are loving this "2 years old" phase where she talks and talks all day long and never tires of it. It's especially fun trying to interpret. We are probably the only ones who can understand her :) The other day she chatted with herself in the mirror for a good 15 minutes and I caught almost all of it on film. Don't worry, this clip isn't 15 minutes long! Just a few excerpts of her conversation with herself.  

I think 45 seconds in is my favourite, when she starts making faces as she points ever so seriously at her reflection. I obviously need to get her more little friends and do a better job at coordinating play dated before she starts thinking her reflection is her friend :o

Sunday, September 1, 2013

First September

Assalamualaikum wbt..

Some goals in mind for September! Some are still unchecked from my new years resolutions! I have given up on No. 1 and No. 2 since I've been promoted earlier this year, but guess what I'm not that lucky when all of our team was seconded to a new company under the Group with a new lady boss last week-that is sure terrible! So I am  letting out my 'feelers' starting this month.

My lil family is going for a lil getaway to Kuching end of this month. Our last vacation was last month when we took a road trip to Penang and I think there's no other trip schedule until February next year, perhaps:)

I've been doing a lil research recently on Aulia's playschool for next year and I've already got few in mind. But hubby seems a bit reluctant to enrolled our daughter to 3-hours-a day montessori playschool and said that we should wait another year or two or three for the program.

 So, only 4 on this list, I should be able to do that! Happy first of September!

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