Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Moving Into A Smart Future

Good morning readers,

I know I haven’t made such a big deal out of it but I think I have mentioned before that I have recently just moved to a new place (A Fresh New Start). It’s been a slow and steady progress. We have been adding furniture slowly, bit by bit, to make this place as comfortable as possible and call it as our home.

However, I must be really honest and say that home appliances weren’t the first thing on the radar. What was the first thing we absolutely had to get? Yep, it was the internet connection. Haha. We also had the basic furnitures like the bed, sofa and dining table which we bought for the house two years ago.

Slowly, we then began to use some of the wedding gifts we received 4 years ago, including an electric kettle, sandwich maker, coffee maker and all the plates, pots and pans, the cutleries and kitchenwares. We then gradually bought an iron, and then a vacuum cleaner. Recently, we reached a milestone when we just bought ourselves a fridge, after living for the past two months without one. (Now I know how it’s like to live without a fridge). It is only when you have lived without something that you truly begin to appreciate more of that thing when you have it.

Having a fridge kind of excited me because it means that I can now cook, and that is something I’m looking forward to doing. I’ve blogged about my love hate relationship with cooking in (Cooking 1 : Ayam Masak Sambal Tumis).

It’s also sort of a weird coincidence that at a time when I’ve just begun to appreciate home appliances, I was invited to attend a convention held by Toshiba at the Genting International Convention Centre last week.

Since it was held at Genting Highlands, a few bloggers and I were required to gather at 8.00 a.m. sharp. We took a bus which was provided, and I sat next to and made friends with Melissa. We clicked instantly. The bus ride was fun because we chatted all the way up!

When we arrived, I was a little surprised because it was a huge event. I didn’t know what to expect as this was my first time attending a convention of this nature. The theme was “Smart Technology, Smart Future”, and we were blown away by all the latest technology on display at the convention. There was a press conference by Mr Hitoshi Katayama, the managing director of Toshiba, who explained that Toshiba is expanding its market in the home appliances segment.

Toshiba then launched their new L9450 Ultra HD 4K LED TV with Android, which I must say, blew everyone away. It was state of the art and pushing the boundaries of today’s technology! The screen was incredible and huge too. It comes in 84”, 65” and 50” inches and the quality of the screen is consistently crisp and doesn’t pixelate at all. It’s also an Android TV, meaning that you can download the latest android apps and play them on TV.

This TV can also support more than 28 video formats via USB and convert the quality of the picture to Ultra HD. After the launch of the TV, I think it took another 10 minutes before we managed to pick up our jaws from the ground. It was spectacular. And I immediately wanted one!!! My dream TV!

Everyone was then given a walkie talkie after which they separated us into small groups  and took us on tour.

We were shown Toshiba’s brand new refrigerator, their awesome new washing machine (with the mind blowing magic drum technology), their latest kitchen appliances, including their microwave oven and a cutting edge rice cooker (yes, rice cooker) which we were told could be used to bake cakes too. Yes, cakes. Oh, I also almost forgot to mention about their cool vacuum cleaner, which had the capability to detect dust termites. All of their appliances had sleek designs and I instantly had to have them all. Hehe.

Their Inverter Multi Door Refrigerator is really cool. It is my dream fridge now if ever I want to update from my current one. It has 6 doors for different items and it also has touch screen!!! It was kind of funny when Mel commented “Wow, can’t believe we’re excited over a fridge. It must be the age!” and I couldn’t do anything except smile and nod in agreement. I don’t really care what people say but that fridge was really awesome!

Light refreshments were served near the cooking appliances section, and since we were hungry, I guess we stopped by at the section a little too long, until we were “encouraged” to leave there as we kept on taking all the finger foods they were preparing. The duck was awesome! Hehe.

After the product tour, we were served a generous spread of buffet lunch. I was quite surprised that even Mr. Hitoshi was so humble, he patiently queued for the food together with us as well.

Thanks Tian Chad for this picture of our group!

Toshiba then held a lucky draw contest– and gave away 3 of their latest cutting edge technology TV. I was really hoping I would win the TV because I really wanted it. I know my husband would love it too. Our house is still TV-less. Hehehe. Another blogger won the TV, though. And I’m sure she was the happiest lady in the room too. The other two winners were from the press.

To console the rest of us who didn’t manage to win the TV, Toshiba surprised us again by giving us a “door gift” just before we were about to leave. What is this door gift? Check it out below:

This was the rice cooker I was talking about. Is this cool or what? Now I can bake rice and cakes in it. Maybe even rice cakes? Haha. It even says you can make sushi in it. Sushi. Yes! I love sushi!. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to use it. It’s a savvy kitchen helper, for home makers and also ladies on the go, like me. Thanks Toshiba! I’m also definitely going to fill up my new place with the latest Toshiba products. Slowly, of course. I’m not sure how much the L9450 HD 4K TV costs, but that is now my official dream TV, when I finally get round to buying one.

In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of the event.

Photo by Tian Chad

Photo by Tian Chad


Unzipping the Surprise : aere

Hello and salam dear readers,

Most of you might probably have known that I have been working hard on coming up with my new label, new baby, aere. :) I am just too excited to contain my excitement any longer. I will share with you on how I came up with idea of aere and my inspirations behind it here in my blog pretty soon. 

In the meantime, here's a sort of 'teaser' of me wearing two of aere's items: a zipper metal plated jacket over a multi function jumpsuit. I wore this to an event in Genting I went recently. Going to blog about the event right after this post too!

Anyways, since we are just starting up, I have decided to put aere's items online first. Can you guess where I'll be putting it in this early stages???

Yes, I will be putting it on Fashion Valet.

I am going to release the first batch of Collection 1 pretty soon. (Hint : Sometime end of this month). So, do not forget to follow @aere's instagram for updates! The items are really limited in the number of pieces so you wouldn't want to miss any updates :) 

By the way, Fashion Valet is running a contest in collaboration with FPX. Two winners will be chosen at random every week just by paying via FPX and hash tagging #FVpayviaFPX and you might win free merchandise worth up to RM800. 

The merchandise will be personally selected by FV's stylist based on what you bought, meaning that if you buy a long skirt, they might compliment it by giving you a stylish top to wear with your skirt. There will be a total of 16 winners.

I think the campaign has already started and some lucky peeps have already won. It's totally not too late to join because the worth of the merchandise to be won started from RM 100 and is increasing every week until RM 800! 

That's really cool, right? So if you haven't been using the hash tag you better start now.


Monday, October 20, 2014

A piece of cloth on my head: My Hijab Journey 3

In my previous post A piece of cloth on my head: My Hijab Journey 1 I shared about my mischievous past and how going to university helped to start my change in A piece of cloth on my head: My Hijab Journey 2.

I remember that when one of my close cousins said that she would wear the tudung when she gets married, I could not even imagine that I will be wearing it even after I got married. That was my perspective back then. And of course, there were a lot of comments saying things like “wearing the tudung is ‘kampung’ (for the people who stay in the villages) or people who wears the hijab are closed minded people.

I had my own doubts in my mind like :

 what’s the use of wearing the hijab because people already know of my past sins and will judge me on that? or

why wear the hijab because I’ll be labeled a hypocrite if I am still going to commit sins anyways?

which held me back from wearing the hijab. 

Who inspired me?

However, when I was in university, I was inspired by so many people who were properly wearing the hijab and practicing an important part of our faith. I met ladies who were real geniuses and dean’s list students, with perfect English. They were very smart people who were open, normal, funny, weren’t preachy or judgmental. I slowly realized it was me who was judgmental. It was my own judgmental views of people who wore the tudung which held me back, and I felt ashamed that I even had such a prejudiced and misconceived views. And I am a Muslim.

I was also blessed with a roommate who came from a totally different background than mine and it opened up my eyes to a different world altogether. It was shocking to me at first, but at that time, I was her first and only friend who did not wear a tudung. At that time, I barely had any friends who wore the tudung. We were worlds apart. However, she was not judgmental of me though. She accepted me for the person that I was and she touched my heart with her kindness. A lot of my changes came from her. She reminded me to pray and also read Quranic verses melodiously which made me want to learn the verses that she recited. She was one of the few persons who made me fall in love with the religion.

She was the angel who always reminded me when I forgot and she always corrected me with soft words and a lot of understanding. Even when her words cut deep in my heart and I knew that she was right, sometimes it would hurt my ego and pride and in my arrogance I would sometimes ignore her. And there were a lot of times that I really forget. There were times when I left my prayers without feeling guilty.  When I committed sins and did not repent.

I can’t imagine how she felt at that time being an older sister that I never had who had to constantly guide and remind me. We were roommates for four years. She really took care of me and I believe that Allah made us friends to guide me through her and I am really blessed to have known her and have her at that crucial point of change in my life at that time.

There were so many other inspiring people around me, but I’ll just mention one more: a hafizah (someone who memorises the whole of the Holy Quran) whose English was perfect and would always get good grades in uni and she did not even have to try hard like the rest of us to study (I suppose when you can memorize the whole Quran, everything else seems so much easier). But she was normal. She liked to play video games. In fact, she skipped university classes to play video games! She was awesome. She was funny too and she was also a kind friend.

I also started befriending more Muslims from all over the world in the university that I went to who had a totally different viewpoint from the common perception Malaysians have. To them, wearing the hijab was seen to be a beautiful and liberating choice. It was seen as something to be cherished. Something to be proud of. Something that is still relevant and not an outdated ideal. They were not apologetic about it. It was not a handicap or a nuisance.

It was something that changed my mindset. It helped me reduce the self-doubts that I had. Okay, okay. I know at this point, I still haven’t answered the question: what made me wear a piece of cloth on my head. Hehe. So what was the crucial point that made me change? I’ll share in my next post in this My Hijab Journey series. I promise!

to be continued...

(All photos were taken in 2007 at the university where I read law)