Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Rottnest Island

I shall forever remember this day as the day I cried myself to sleep (I'm laughing at myself now but that day, it was serious).

Let's rewind a little. Back when I studied here, in high school, all the kids would take a ferry to Rottnest Island with their friends to hangout, admire the beauty that is here...and get wasted (if you don't know what that means, then good). So I never made it there with them. But I heard all about their good times there, saw hundreds of pictures, and when my college friends went, they told me all about their unforgettable bike ride around this little gem of an island.

When I went back to visit Perth a few weeks ago, spending a relaxing day, cycling around Rottnest Island was something I definitely wanted to do. So the minute we arrived on the island, we went straight to the bicycle rental hut and were on our way. I was so excited to finally be there I couldn't stop smiling! Little did I know, I had agreed to a 20km bike route. Just a year and a half ago I didn't even know how to cycle. So this is me being all ambitious, hahaa. Every few kilometers, we would stop and just take in the beauty that Allah put on this earth. That was all good, but, when we were closing in at 10km, I could feel my legs aching like crazy and my muscles cursing me real good. But I looked back at my mum (who is turning sixty this year), and she was still paddling okay so I told my thighs to shush it and soldier on. At this point, every time we had to cycle up hill, I got off my bike and walked with it instead, hahaa.

By the end of the day, when we got home, I didn't want to move my legs even an inch, but a shower was necessary so I had to. My muscles were aching so bad it felt like a knife stabbing through it (or at least that's how I imagine it would feel). When I finally crawled into bed, I was alternating between laughing at myself and bursting out in tears because I just couldn't find a comfortable position to sleep in. The more I moved, the more it hurt, and I so went to bed with tears in my eyes and said to myself I'm never cycling again!

That was clearly just my muscles talking because I actually now really enjoy cycling and I'm on the hunt for the perfect one with a basket. I learnt something that day and that I was just not fit anymore! I can't make excuses that I'm too busy to put aside time to exercise. This body I have on loan from Allah needs to be given some attention too, and I guess that's one of my struggles in finding that balance in my ever day routine.

Anyway, I have to say subhanaAllah this was one of the most beautiful days I've spent outside. We looked up to the majestic sky, had the cool breeze brush our cheeks, dipped our feet in the most pristine cool blue waters and a had in front of us, the most picturesque sight. I'd do that day all over again if I could, tears and all, hehee. :)

Happy mid-week every one!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Grasping Gratitude

I woke up today feeling really inspired by the people in my life. Through their lives, I've realized that being grateful has little to do with just saying Alhamdulillah (all praise and thanks to Allah). Gratefulness is an attitude, a lifestyle. 

Ever day one of my sister wakes up to a hectic house of three children and another in her belly (without any helper I must add) and goes about her day playing with them, and happily cooking and cleaning too. A close friend that has a very very demanding work schedule with kids too, having to deal with major problems just about everyday. A relative that struggles to make ends meet after losing her husband. And a friend that is being tested with losing her baby and not being able to conceive still. These are just a few of them. Sure they have some down days, where the tiredness, stress or sadness kicks in, but it's their ability to look at the bright side of life, in their dealings with others and in their day to day speech that you can see positivity and that sense of gratefulness regardless of anything.

'Remember that He promised, "If you are thankful, I will give you more, but if you are thankless...
My punishment is indeed severe.'

Ibrahim : 7

I truly love this simple ayat which is actually an extract from Prophet Musa's (peace be upon him) sermon to his people after going through such a heavy test in their life. Allah reminds us that even if you showed just a little bit of gratitude and thankfulness, He will increase and increase and increase us in our life. And if you notice in this ayat, Allah didn't say specifically grateful to Him. He left it open as a way to tell us that our gratitude should be to everyone around us, our parents, friends, spouse, colleagues, employer, or anyone who have helped or impacted our lives in any way. Do something nice or say thanks to them when you can. Then, Allah swears to us that He will in return (because we were able to always find something to be grateful for), give us so so much more in our life; perhaps in us in our faith, wealth, success, knowledge, wisdom, happiness, children, the possibilities are endless. If it's beneficial for us, Allah will gift us with much more of it, don't you worry.

I really hope that Allah swt makes you and I of those who are constantly in thanks and gratitude to not only Him, but everyone that has inspired us and shown us how to live genuinely happy and to be thankful in this short life that isn't always picture perfect...though they make it seem like it is. Life really isn't always peachy like how we want, but they've shown me that there's always more to say thanks for. So here's to living that lifestyle of gratitude! :)

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Art Decor

Good morning! I'm so glad I finally found the pictures I had saved of this cake from last year. Out of all the cakes I've been asked to create, this is by far my favourite one. It was ordered for a local fashion and interior designer here whose work always exudes class and simplicity, so I tried to translate that in the balance of these clean structured lines and delicate ruffles.

Have a lovely day ahead! :)

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Red In The City

dUCk scarf / Love To Dress dress

Someone wise told me, if your dreams don't scare you, then they're not big enough. Alright, that someone was actually a poster on Pinterest, hahaa, but it struck a chord in me. 

About two and a half years ago, I started this blog and in my first entry under occupation, I shared with you guys that I was a cake decorator (still am alhamdulillah!) and that one day I'd like to still live my dream of being a designer. And, by God's mercy and love for me, knowing that this was my one true passion, He brought me to where I am today, the designer for Love To Dress. My sister who created this beautiful company has big plans for it and end of last year after much thought and prayers, I decided I was ready to join it. This is where I want to invest my time and creativity. 

I was on the floor of my bedroom the other day sitting on a mess of paper and fabric samples when one of my friends walked in the room. She looked at me and said, 'I can't believe you're finally doing this. Remember when you used to sketch dresses with slits up to our thighs. And you also wanted to design bikinis. What were you thinking? hahaa.' Hahahaa, okay now it's clear why God made so many hurdles for me to pursue my dream at a younger age. Anyway, that was the day I was choosing colours for the new Basic Fatihah I'm wearing here and I had an itch to choose a colour other than our favourite neutral shades and black. So I took a risk and chose this shade of red, something I usually wouldn't wear, but for some reason I was drawn to it. 

Fast forward to a month later, I visited the factory to check up on these samples and when I saw this red dress hanging beside the black and baby pinks, I smacked my head and thought I was crazy to pick this colour and who on earth is going to wear this. Well, what do you know? I guess I'm one of those crazies because after slipping it on, in disbelief myself, I chose this over the black one. (I never choose any colour above black you can ask my friends) But I felt comfortable in it, like it was just right.

So on my last day in Perth last week, I wore this red number down King Street with my close friend, and reminisced the care free Sunday's we used to spend there. This place hadn't changed a bit and perhaps that's what I love about coming back here; its undeniable familiarity. I'm a creature of comfort, but I realized I've also come a really really long way from my college days and have taken some tiny risks. I've dipped my toes in my dreams and living it bit by bit, by the will of Allah. I'm a little scared, but apparently, that's a good thing. ;)

May Allah swt guide us to where our true passion lies and let that be our means of livelihood because work that comes from the heart comes out much beautifully.

Photos by Nurul Fariza

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Every Little Counts

'On the day when every person finds all the known and unknown good they have done presented in front of them, they will wish all the bad/nasty things they have done to be as far away as possible from them. God warns you to beware of Him, but God is full of compassion and kindness towards His servants.'

Al-Imran : 30

You know how sometimes you do things without a second thought, like on auto-pilot. Like for instance, smiling or saying hi to your neighbour or stranger, giving your husband or child a kiss or hug for no reason, asking the aunty at the market how's her day, helping a stranger pick up something they didn't realize they dropped, or out of habit, walking into the masjid with your right foot. These little things we do, Allah mentions them in His book too, to remind us that every good we do, even those we don't remember or realize, out of His mercy and kindness, He remembers and will put in our basket of deeds. 

 So wake up everyday smiling, with a positive mind and know that every little counts in God's eyes. And if you happen to come by an opportunity to do good, big or small, go for it because you never know that that might be the deed that tips scale for your entrance to Paradise. :)

Cafe Hopping

My friend just opened a cafe and she'd love it if you dropped by to celebrate the opening of her little baby.

This Saturday, go! :)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Ivy Invasion

So there was an Ivy invasion in my room the other day. I had bought a whole of them from my favourite florist as part of the picnic decor I threw for a close friend and obviously brought them all home with me after. For days, I happily twirled ivy leaves around my bed post, bedside table, dressing table, around my shoe cabinet and evident here, around my cakes too. I probably went a little overboard but I love the rustic feel that it gave and waking up surrounded by some greens with the comfort of being inside. My niece who had slept over one night didn't feel the same though. 'Mimak (short for Mummy Asma') don't you think it's weird that we're waking up beside leaves.' Not at all! hahaa.

Anyway, I'm writing this post from our new studio for Gateauxlicious. We have just moved into a small new space where our sugar flower classes will be held. Classes were supposed to have started this month but there have been some delays in the preparation of the place and other unforeseen events. So it has been really hectic for both of us (but in an exciting and good way) with going back and forth to set it up and in between still baking and decorating wedding cakes. It's the good kind of tired you know. If you find yourself feeling exhausted with your work, try to remember why you love doing it in the first place, and Allah loves those believe and works hard in their career. Mum and I have some exciting times ahead inshaAllah! Hope you guys stay motivated with your work. :)