Coming Home To A Surprise

Salams everyone!!! God it feels good to be back, alhamdulillah. Back at home. Back at work. Back on the blog. Just back home basically. As much as I love traveling there's nothing quite like dropping your bags and snuggling into my LtD Lounge sweat pants and getting comfy on the bed.

I've been in and out of the country for the past few months and have been too unorganized to focus on getting the new house in order. So I was excited to come back from London knowing that I won't be going anywhere for the next two months, which is rare for me because I'm always thinking about where to go next as I sit in my uber on the way back home from the airport. But all I want to do now is stay in KL, go to work, and come home to my new place and start turning it into an actual home little by little.

Before I left for my last trip, my sister's room was fully decorated and oh-so-cozy because she's one of those super organized and always on the ball with everything. So she only took two weeks to sort everything out. Me on the other hand. Half my things are at the new place, and the other half, still at my mums place across the street. My bedroom had my bed, an indoor plant and a faux fur carpet I had brought back from Kmart from my previous Brisbane trip. There wasn't anything wrong with it. It was just really bare, lacked coziness, character and the feeling of home which is what I want.

I knew I wanted to add something to it. I had spent time on Pinterest but I hadn't found the exact look I wanted yet. And I realized that putting a room together is a whole other ball game compared to mix and matching clothes. The only thing I had stuck in my head from a few years go, was this picture of a living room that had one feature wall with a stunning wallpaper of a few large peonies blooming. And I showed that to Toots awhile back (if you're new to the blog, Toots a.k.a Ajjie is one of my closest friend/bestie).

A few days before I left for London, my mum randomly told me that Toots had contacted her to ask if I will be leaving my house keys behind. So I had a feeling she was going to do something like put on a wallpaper or something. But then I dismissed that thought because I knew just how busy she was with work, her son and also the fact that she was heavily pregnant with her second son inshaAllah (exciting!!).

Okay, I'm going to cut this story short because I talk too much sometimes and need to learn to just get to the point. The point is I came back that night from the airport, less than an hour to midnight tired and feeling quite down for a few reasons (one of them you'll read in the next post, the other because I left a few valuables on the plane). And all I wanted to go was go home and sleep so I could wake up the next day feeling refreshed and better. Vivy and Toots had other plans for me that night.

They had texted the day before saying they'll pick me up, but I texted back saying don't worry, it's going to be late and I just wanted to go straight back home. Of course they didn't quite listen.

As I stepped out of my Uber with my luggage I saw them two jump out of the car. Two extra cheery faces came to greet me at the gate in their pajamas. Ahh, sure felt like home. I thought they came to literally come get their Ben's cookies from me, lol. Turns out they had some surprises up their sleeve for me.

They followed me up to my bedroom pretending to help me carry up my luggage then opened my bedroom door. And there it was. My room all spring'ed up.

Makeover done right for sure.  They brought spring into my bedroom in a way I couldn't imagine to be more perfect. I LOVE my new feature wall. It wasn't the wall paper I showed her. It was even better. And, because last week I dropped my phone and my screen cracked so bad almost half the screen went black, they also got me a new one. I swear I almost wanted to cry. Almost. Okay fine I teared after they left just before I went to bed.

There really isn't anything they wouldn't do to make me happy. There were real Peonies too on my new dresser that night so the room smelt amazing. It wasn't even my birthday. It was just pure love. Sigh, what did I do to get such amazing people in my life besides my family. Alhamdulillah again and again.

I'm going to continue this post by reposting Toots' story from her side. Hope you guys enjoyed this long read (sorry, I swear it started off to be a quick short post, but you know how women are, they start with doing one thing and end up doing something else lol). See you in the next post inshaAllah! :)


The One with the Feature Wall

April 22, 2017 in Friendship, Interior

So, if you've been following my old blog you would know that i'm a sucker for two things - surprises and beautiful interior. I would spend dayss planning a surprise and my idea of the perfect chillex time is being on my bed, watching Fixer Upper marathon with Z #definitelythirty 

But what I've never done before is combining these two - surprising someone with a beautiful interior. So imagine how excited I was when I first thought of the idea and there was no one more suited for this then my long time buddy, Asma'.

This girl is just...something else. She goes through life with this unwavering faith that whatever happens is for the best. And just seeing how she deals with everything really is a reminder of what a special gem she is. And I thought she deserves a nice surprise.

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what a sweet friend is supposed to say.

In reality, what I really wanted to say is - she just moved out, her new room is empty and not instagram-able and it's screaming for some upgrade.  And in came her self appointed, interior designer best friend, BAHAHAHAHA.

I wanted the room to be very much like Asma' - she has a classy taste, but it's not those generic ones you see everywhere else. It's always one of a kind and yet, on point. She was leaving for London for a business trip, so i thought those 7 days that she was away was the perfect time for me to get my stuff together. 

A pronto discussion with Titts over Whatsapp to finalise the details and bang, we're game! We had it all planned. Her room will be simple and classy - black, white with a little sprinkle of gold. But she will have a huge statement wall to set the wow factor and make her room not generic. And Asma' loves black, so we wanted to risk it...and paint her wall black!

The only problem then was finding a talent to handpaint the wall. Bless my sister and her contacts from @eventsbyazzwaa, we got to know @yaulacap who does wall paint and chalk paint. To be honest, I was a bit nervous and skeptical to engage him at first, I mean a black wall could go really wrong and make your room look smaller and ugly. On the flip side, the right wall can do wonders.  But the moment he started sketching, my doubts dissipated into thin air. I knew he was the perfect guy for the job. Seriously, you know talent when you see one and this guy sure's got talent!

If you know me well, you know i'm a sucker for all things white - no matter how unpractical it is. So I was pretty fickle about turning her wall black. And the moment they started with the first coat, i almost screamed stop but had to brace myself. 🙈

The start of it all....

The start of it all....

Totally regretting it at this point....

Totally regretting it at this point....

But then when things started coming together, I had butterflies in my stomach and I knew this inshAllah was going in the right direction :)

Even unfinished, it looks so beautiful already!

Even unfinished, it looks so beautiful already!

At 75% completion, I knew Asma' will love it.

At 75% completion, I knew Asma' will love it.

Now, when you have a legit feature wall, you don't need much anymore. My initial idea is just to turn her other wall into a full size wall mirror to make her room feel more spacious. But apparently that was gonna cost a bomb so scrap it, I don't love her that much. Ikea and SSF it is 😂 😂 😂

Off to IKEA I went on a Sunday and it was the worst decision of my life. It seems like everyone on the planet was there and I could barely make it pass the crowd. Tried to get some people to help me with my mirror and table but all their staff were occupied. Almost gave up until someone magically appeared to help this 5.5 months pregnant lady out. Paid, and all ready to leave when i realised the dresser would not fit in my little Wucii.

-____________-"

So I had to call for Grab XL to bring the furniture to Asma' and Wucii left IKEA, empty without any of those purchases. #uselessWucii

I managed to get Uncle Dad to help with the dresser, @yaulacap to paint her mirror black and white (because it was initially green and I had to buy them because thats the only color left) and even dropped by SSF a few days after to get her a stool.

The stool was a funny story, because I wanted to get her gold legged stool with fluffy white covering. But they only have fluffy stool in silver or a gold stool with blue cushion. -_____-

If I buy the former, I will have to spray paint it gold. And if I buy the latter, I have to cover it with white faux fur. Couldn't decide between the two stools, and Tiits was useless cos she said both were pretty so I ended up buying both. Thank god for birthday month discount! 😂

Back at home, I started my first DIY project and cut some white faux fur to cover the blue cushion and walla, my gold-white-fluffy stool was good to go! The other stool is now just sitting in my living room, untouched. 🙈

On Thursday, we wanted to pick Asma' up at KL Sentral and surprise her but she wasn't the easiest to deal with. First she said her bags are too heavy so she's just gonna Uber home, then when we said we'll meet her at home she said she's too tired and will just see us tomorrow

-_________________-"

Being the understanding best friends that we were, we told her we totally understand and that she should have a good rest...all that while we got ready to go to her house. Hehe. Titts in her kaftan and me in my #LtDLounge at midnight, on a weekday. Sigh, such is love.

She was so surprised to see her stubborn best friends at her house when she arrived, and gave us what we really wanted. Ben's cookies from London, baby! ❤ I dont think she had any idea what's in store for her, even when she was asked to close her eyes and walk into her room.

Her response was just one to remember, and even though we didn't stay very long because we were all ready to crash in bed, I would definitely remember this for the longest time to come.

Enough with the ramblings. I share with you here the final product of our Project X :D

Can't get over the gorgeousness of this wall <3

Can't get over the gorgeousness of this wall <3

Showing her love over instagram. Sure dude, just get me more Ben's cookies this August.....

Showing her love over instagram. Sure dude, just get me more Ben's cookies this August.....

There is something very fulfilling about making other people happy and I hope it is always my mission to make my loved ones as happy as they have make me, if not more!

Spring in London

Love To Dress dress / Zara coat / dUCk scarf / Chloé bag / Mel & Molly heels

Let's just put it out there that this was the first time I've seen London with spring as its backdrop. I fell in love harder than I fell for this city back in February. Spring there is so overwhelmingly beautiful, I can't even. I was crushing it on another level. I had butterflies and everything. Even Paris didn't look this handsome.

Well, I was just too happy to be back in this city. Kaksue and I were there for work first and foremost, but there were some days we were having way too much fun that it felt like, 'Work what?'.

We stayed just minutes away from Notting Hill, which was ideal since I was in need of inspiration. And the amount of eye candy around there was truck loads of inspiration to last me the whole year! I've been wanting to explore Notting Hill for the longest time, but wasn't able to because back in February our schedule was so packed, so we only stayed nearby our apartment in Kensington.

So many of the cafes I wanted to pop by were located in this neighbourhood, so it was meant to be. And seriously, I can't even begin to describe just how smitten I was with the row of pastel houses, and contrasting coloured doors they had on. Some even had a huge cherry blossom tree on their door front, like this one right here. We came across this street on our way to get some Chai latte that chilly afternoon, and I had to do a double take and go back there a few days after.

I can't wait to see how it looks like there in August. Hopefully with warmer weather so I can roam about the streets of Notting Hill again with just a flowy summer dress, minus the coat. :)

Thank you to LtDs ex-intern Farah, whose partner is an amazing photographer, who happened to be there in London too for the same event I was there for. So they woke up early that Sunday morning and helped me capture some of these amazing shots.

Photos by Syahmi Azman

So enough of me. Here's one of them. Thanks Farah and Mie for that fun morning and letting me shoot you guys too! I missed being behind the lens.

Forever Sisters

So if there's one thing that people always get confused with is that they think I founded Love To Dress. It's not me guys. I wish I had it in me to be an entrepreneur. Not just yet. It is indeed my elder sister Kak Sue, also famously known as @Sumigolightly on instagram lol, who created this amazing company.

Anyway, I was so honoured that Havehalalwithtravel.com decided to feature both KakSue and I. This would be the first interview we do together. I love the questions they asked and I think this is as honest as it gets about how it is like working with each other.

I’ll forever owe my sister for opening this path for me and allowing me to really explore my creative side. For allowing me to wake up to a job that I love and not feeling any kind of Monday blues. I’ve learnt so much from her and will continue to learn what the scarifies are you have to make as an entrepreneur. I've seen her at her lowest and you really need self-belief, courage, and strength to do what she does. To be able to start over when things fail. 

I hope you guys will get to know us a little better in the interview below and follow @havehalalwithtravel for more interesting articles on Muslims trotting the globe and places to check out on your next travel. ALSO, click here because we collaborated with them so you guys could win an RM150 voucher. Just read below and answer the question they asked on the picture of Kak Sue and I, on their Instagram page here. All the best! :)


Sisters in Faith and Fashion – Meet Sumayyah and Asma’ from Love to Dress

The Nasaruddin sisters, Sumayyah (also fondly known as Sumi) and Asma’ are on a mission to answer the needs of  urban Muslim women everywhere, with their feminine, fashion-forward yet modest dresses for every woman’s wardrobe through their brand Love to Dress.

Read on to find out more about how these talented sisters manage working together and bring their brand to life!

1. Tell us a bit about yourselves, and what it’s like working together.

Sumi:

I am Sumayyah, the second of 4 sisters. I’m a cheerful, dreamer and ambitious person. This makes me very curious about things and easily trust people. I like this about myself. Most of the time, I like to do things with my husband because he’s my best friend and he believes in me the most.

Asma’:

I always surprise people with my true self. I am very laid back, disorganised and a klutz mostly. I am without a doubt an introvert, and one that is highly receptive to visuals. I shut down at the sight of numbers, hence why I am the Creative Director not the finance director, lol.

Sumi:

Working together with Asma’ has been very challenging and I have yet to understand where the journey will lead us. She’s the most talented person I’ve ever met. She has the capacity to create a world that is visually enchanting and beautiful. I on the other hand fight to create a world where beauty lies from within. Together, we make a good match where in fact, both are equally important.

Asma’:

Working together has been both the most rewarding and challenging experience for me because both of us are such strong personalities. I have learnt so much from her and it has helped me grow.

We have many disagreements. And sometimes we have to agree to disagree. But at the end of the day, what matters is the bigger picture and we have the same vision which is to serve the Urban Muslim Women globally. That we are truly passionate about and on the same page.

2. Love to Dress is all about empowering women to achieve their dreams while maintaining their modesty. Can you tell us a bit about how the brand started?

Sumi:

No. Actually I am not modest at all bahahha. Love to Dress was founded because when I read the Quran, I felt very empowered. I dreamt about a world where Muslim women such as myself can achieve anything they want to, no matter how silly or insignificant it looked.

I had an NGO background that taught me a lot about building a community and working for a greater cause. But I picked business as a vehicle because there is a family member of mine who is in need of a lot of money.

3. What is the motivation behind your collections? Is there a particular design philosophy that you follow?

Asma:

With each collection, before I start creating the mood board, I always Immerse my thoughts with the fact that clothing was given to us as an honourable gift from God, first sent down to Adam (peace be upon him).

That fuels me every time. And then I go back to the core aesthetics of Love To Dress; sleek, tailored fit and timeless. I rarely look to what is trending, and more to the archives of great fashion houses.

Sumi:

Asma’ nailed it.

4. What’s your personal favourite piece from all the LtD collections so far?

Asma’:

I find this one of the hardest questions to answer because I have a favourite with every collection.

Sumi:

LtD lounge.

Asma’:

But if there’s one piece I can see myself wearing even ten years from now, it would be the Pleat dress from our Fall 2016 collection where we debut pieces for work. I love the black and brown colour equally.

The cutting is sleek and tailored fit, signature to LtDs aesthetic and the subtle pleat detail makes it a timeless piece.

5. Your travels always look so picture perfect on social media. What’s something that your followers might not know about you when you’re on the road?

Sumi:

Maybe she/he is talking about Asma’s Instagram account. Bahahahaha….

Asma’:

That I actually don’t plan much of my trip. I usually only have a few things on my must-visit list and the rest is whatever I come across unexpectedly as I explore casually. And that I always carry a pair of flats with me in my bag to switch with my heels. I enjoy walking and exploring a city by foot but I also know walking in heels for over an hour is just asking for trouble.

6. What are some of your essentials when travelling?

Asma':

My camera as I really enjoy vlogging and I see a place so much through my 50mm lens, a book I’m currently reading (I like bringing them along and reading it during my travel as it allows me to attach an added memory to it) and my lipbalm. Nobody wants dry lips.

Sumi:

Packing list, LtD Lounge, fleur snoods and my trench .

7. The two of you are not only sisters and co-workers, you’re best friends! Tell us something most people don’t know about your sister.

Sumi:

Asma’ is not my best friend, although I wish she was. She has other people that she gets along well with. It’s a miracle that she wants to work with me. I am very, very, very grateful for this.

Asma’:

That we are very very different in so many ways; our personalities, the way we look at things and our style aesthetic for example. It’s hard to think of what people may not know about my sister because she is such an open book. If you follow her on her ig and insta stories you will see her brave honesty. Though perhaps one that can’t be seen is her generosity to her friends and family. So much of what I have is because of her.

Sumi:

What people may not know about Asma’, is that she is my mother’s ‘machai’. No matter how inconvenient, demanding or complicated it gets, she always finds a way to be there for mum. She will bend and stretch herself to the maximum for people that she loves. I have, on more than one occasion, taken advantage of this. For example, when I first started LtD, there was an ‘epic’ dress called Vintage Jannah. It was far from what you see LtD is now, but because she wanted to help me, she OOTDed in it. She would do ugly for me. Now that’s love. Bahahahaha….

8. What are your favourite places to travel to and why?

Asma’:

New York still sits at my number one spot. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a distinctive vibe and energy about this city that can only be felt when you’re there. It gets you moving.

London because there’s something so cozy about it. Perhaps it is the charming neighbourhoods that are so inviting, ridiculously affordable cheese and comforting chai lattes that make me want to one day live there.

Australia because it feels like home. I grew up there (throughout high school up to uni) and my sister and her family live there so it really is somewhere I look forward to visiting every year. It is my home away from home.

Sumi:

Anywhere with Chia (husband). Cause he buys me a lot of bags, tells me I am a good person and makes me laugh like mad.

9. What’s the one thing that you must-do in any country that you travel to?

Asma’:

Go to a park. Ideally spend at least half a day there soaking in the fresh air.

Sumi:

Same like Asma’. Park!

10. If you could give any advice to young Muslim women who wish to walk down the entrepreneurial route, what would it be?

Sumi:

Believe in yourself no matter what.

Asma’:

I don’t regard myself as an entrepreneur but I can confidently say that knowing your strength and weakness can take you so much further to make your vision come to life. Find someone that compliments your strength and fill in the gaps of where your skills are limited. Be prepared to live your vision and stay very focused on it.

11. Can you give us any tips on how to take the perfect OOTD while travelling?

Sumi:

Bring Asma’ along. She can make anyone look good. Bahahaha…

Asma’:

Always shoot under natural light and it helps to snap a picture at a place you are actually inspired by or have enjoyed time at because your true feelings will show in your expression. A natural and genuine smile is the cherry on top of that travel ootd. 

12. Fill in the blank: Our hope for the world is that _____

Sumi:

we are happy.

Asma’:

we realize that God has created us all with unique talents and capabilities, and that we should use it do something for another person other than ourselves.

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages to win yourself 4 x RM150 vouchers from Love to Dress! (Giveaway ends on 30th April, 2017 2359H GMT+8)

What's New

Okay, here's the deal guys. I don't even know how to start this post because it's been way too long since my last post that I accidentally let the blog subscription expire. Sorry guys. Some of you even sent me private messages to let me know. Thank you so much for that! Silly silly me.

So here's my attempt to do a recap of what's new with me ever since my last post:

1. I fell in love.

2. Love To Dress launched a new uber feminine collection with a colour palette that got me smitten with pastels and twirling around the city in skirts. Shop Spring/Summer 2017 here.

3. I've moved into a new house with my sister. Okay, I've actually only moved my shoes into the new place, the rest will happen next weekend inshaAllah. My mum still refuses to accept that her youngest is growing up. In her eyes, I'm still eighteen years old. Oh yeah, my new house is right behind my mums, and I told her I'm still sending my laundry to be washed at hers, lol.

4. Okay, number 1 was so misleading. I fell in love with a city, not a person. Yet? I fell in love with London to be precise. Went there last month for London Modest Fashion Week (which I will share in my upcoming vlog) and didn't want to leave. I say this most of the time with almost every city I visit, but this one was different I promise. So different (in a good way) that I asked God to please let me meet someone that will somehow end up bringing me back here again and again, lol. Women and their prayers. Thankfully, I'll be going back in April for another Fashion Week, phewhh.

5. I FINALLY have a new scarf style. I know this is not even news-worthy, but I have been feeling so bored with my previous style for almost a year and just could not find the right flow and way to wear it with minimal effort and pin. It wasn't till after my London trip that I found a new style that I'm super loving. I've been wearing it daily and super feeling it. You can see it in the post here ;)

6. And last, but definitely, the one I'm most excited about is, I've started a YOUTUBE CHANNEL! Never did I think I'd have the guts to do this, but I had this thought lingering in my mind for months and months. And decided I was just going to rip the bandage off and just do it. I hope you will get to see another side of me in my vlogs and other videos. I love creating content and giving a different perspective of something. Tonight will be the first one that goes up. A 'Get To Know Me' video which I hope you will have fun watching. You get to see me get all nervous.

So I think that's about it. I want to wrap up this post with a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have been following me on the blog. And I hope you'll continue to follow me along on this new exciting YouTube adventure. You can subscribe to my channel HERE. But don't worry, I will still continue to write and share my thoughts here on the blog as my passion for writing isn't something that will ever go away inshaAllah. I just think it's time you get to see a more animated 3D me :)

xx,

Asma'

Draping With A Dress

Love To Dress dress / dUCk scarf / Chloé bag

One of the things I enjoyed most at the London Modest Fashion Week weekend was seeing the diversity of different women. I almost couldn't stop staring at the beauties I was sitting opposite to and spoke to after the shows. See in Malaysia, the majority of Muslims are Malay. So being able to be in a space filled with Muslim women from all sorts of ethnicities with different coloured skin tones and style interpretation was like candy to my eyes.

And to my surprise, some of them follow LtD on instagram. Ahhh, LOVE. But back to them. I was so inspired by the many ways they styled their scarf and their interpretation of fashion. I wish I managed to capture more footage of the street style I saw on my London vlog, but I was living in the moment and forgot to record it all.

So this led me to my long awaited moment of figuring out a new style to wear my scarf. I've been in a scarf rut for almost a year, cracking my head on how to wear it different. I tried a few, but they either required too much thought or too many pins. I wanted easy peasy with minimal pins. And so I got this. Thanks to the ladies I met there, this chilled drape vibe is what I'm feeling every day now. And paired with this flattering Picot waist dress, it just went all too well together creating an effortless flow.

Ahh, I've missed posting. Till the next one, have a lovely day everyone!