Currently Reading

If you follow me on Instagram stories, you'll know just how much I have been loving this book. I've lost count of how many times I've shared it and for a good reason. If you haven't picked it up yet, please do kay. You'll love it too I promise. It's basically a compilation of letters written from a father to his son, and other young adults alike.

As you can see, the book is titled, Letter To A Young Muslim. Even though I'm not that young anymore, I can safely say that I am definitely young in my journey of exploring and learning what it means to live my life with this faith wholeheartedly and to let it empower me to be the best person I can be.

I actually had another two chapters left but I accidentally left it in the plane on my flght back from Dubai last week :( Will go pick it up again today or tomorrow because I NEED to finish this book for sure.

If you're living in KL, you can get it at Times, BSC or Kinokuniya, KLCC okay.

Let me know what you think once you've picked it up! :)


'You are correct in thinking that if someone is going to change the world for the better, then it is you. I believe in you entirely and I think you can. I just want you to be aware of a few things before you embark on a course that might lead you down the wrong path.
The binary world is not the only Islamic world you can live in. There is much more gray in between the black and the white and the ulema and other scholars present us. And the gray is where you develop intellectually and morally. The gray area of uncertainty and doubt as to what is right and what is wrong is where you discover your own right to think for yourself and to participate in the construction of our ethical world in practice. This is where I believe you will be able to serve this world and the next - in being a thinking, ethically directed young Muslim.'

- Omar Saif

#NotJetlagged

For the past week, my jetlag has been on another level. It was either I didn't sleep at all or got only two hours of sleep. It's no wonder my skin has been acting out as well.

But last night was amazing. It was the first night I went to bed at my usual hour (eleven-ish) and had a good nights rest. I woke up so happy and energetic this morning, feeling like my usual self again, and it felt so soooo good. I got back into my usual routine; went to the neighbourhood mosque with my uncle dad for fajr (mum is away for a conference), had my early morning reading time, Facetimed with my sister and the kids in Brisbane, had breakfast and even managed to squeeze in a blog post before my ten o' clock meeting with my LtD girls. Ahhh I love productive days like these.

I spent the rest of the day with my family. And the highlight was when I had a spontaneous painting session with my niece Raissa. We were both nervous but I reminded her that there is no right or wrong when it comes to painting, let's just let our hands go with the flow. It was so much fun! She's sleeping over tonight (fast asleep now as I write this). My plan for her tomorrow morning is to get her to write down her thoughts or whatever it is she wants to write. She's such a book worm and has read more books than I have in my lifetime, but I want to find the writer in her too. She's destined to be in the creative world when she grows up. I can feel it. And I'd love nothing more than to help her explore her creative side.

Alright, it's less than ten minutes to midnight. As tempted as I am to edit a vlog (because I have so many footages to upload) I know sleeping now will allow me to have another early and productive day tomorrow inshaAllah.

So it's goodnight for me now. Hope you guys had a lovely day too.

Gosh, it sure feels good to be back! :)  

Frayed & Ruffled

So the other day I was scrolling through my Instagram feed (you know, the usual), and I saw @songofstyle wearing these pair of frayed denim with a hem that was shorter in the front, and longer at the back. Now normal people (i.e my mum, eldest sister, most of mankind) would be like, 'What on earth is going on with her jeans? Why are they uneven?' I, on the other hand, immediately went googly eyed and felt like I needed it. At the same time, Zara had just launched their online website. Yes, us Malaysians can now shop Zara in our jammies and have it delivered right to our doorstep (TROUBLE). And what do you know, there they were, one uneven hemmed denim after another as I scrolled down their 'jeans' category.

I paused for a second and made myself promise that I will not put anything into cart because I have three perfectly good pairs of denim that have served me well and this month was not the right time to be buying anything new. Moments like this, my mind starts to question life. Like why do bills exist? Why can't I just not eat for two weeks and put that money to other useful things such as these pair of jeans? Why am I not married so I can swipe his debit card for this? lol.

That moment of nonsense passed and I started thinking. I really want this but I can't add it to cart. And then! I remembered that I have a perfectly good pair of wide leg jeans that I barely use which I got from h&m three years ago at half price. I think it was the colour and extremely long length that put me off wearing them (i'm not the kind to alter things once I buy them). And I think when it comes to wide leg jeans, I just like them to be dark denim. So I had a light bulb moment to DIY them rather than they sit and rot in my closet.

Okay, so I didn't DIY them myself. What happened was, the next day, I brought them to my pattern maker at office and said, 'Maryam, I have an emergency task for you.' With a serious face, she gave me her full attention. I showed her this reference picture. 'Maryam, I need you to make my denim dreams come true before I fly out in a few days. But to do after working hours of course.' *reminds self that she has actual work to finish first*

I came back to the office the next week and there it was, my old wide leg jeans transformed into my very own asymmetrical pair of jeans. I knew I hired her for a reason. I mean for Love To Dress, of course. lol

So if any of you are digging this look too, there is always an alternative way to get it that doesn't involve you having to not eat for a week or not pay your rent/phone bill. Rummage through your wardrobe for an old something that can be your new something. I promise you won't regret it.

I have been wearing my old new pair so much. It has become a staple this past month. Wore it to brunch, wore it to the office, wore it to eat paper thosai and my favourite pairing that I did with it was when I wore it on the second day of London Modest Fashion Week.

Here's a closer look at the look I wore that sunny morning. :)

Love To Dress shirt / Deborah Henry x Fashion Valet off-shoulder top / dUCk scarf / Valentino bag and heels / DIY-ed jeans (similar pair here)

I paired them with my other wardrobe staples; LtD bell sleeve shirt (which will be restocked as many have requested yay!), my can't-live-without black scarf and my go-to heels. But my favourite part of this look (besides my DIY-ed frayed jeans) was this stunning off-shoulder ruffle top from the Deborah Henry x Fashion Valet collection. Thankfully it comes in black. Phewhhh.

Have a lovely lovelyyy weekend you guys. Till the next post!

Photos by Syami Azman

Β 

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. πŸ™ˆ

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 πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚

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! πŸ˜‚

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. πŸ™ˆ

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 / ChloΓ© 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?'. And, okay here goes, there was something else I was looking forward to being back there. It was to meet someone. Yes, there was a someone I was supposed to meet. It's been awhile, guys. You get my drift right?

Before I continue, I'm actually going to try my best to keep this real short, as compared to my previous so-called short post, lol. Okay here goes.

About a month and a half prior to this, I kind of met someone. He emailed. We spoke a little. We met up. We liked each other. (Gosh, I almost never like anyone, but him I did) And our work happened to have brought us to London during the same time. So naturally, we agreed to meet up again there. I'm not going to lie, I was really looking forward to it.

But as fate would have it, we didn't end up meeting each other.

Something happened that made me feel really uneasy and my instinct was telling me that I shouldn't go through with seeing him. It was a hard decision to make. But I knew if I met him against this picture perfect spring backdrop, it would've clouded my judgment even further. My gut feeling was telling me perhaps he isn't open to serious just yet. I know this concept of getting to know someone for the purpose of marriage is still foreign to some, but it makes sense to me. And I felt like he wasn't on the same page as me. And I sure didn't want to fall for someone who isn't. If I did, I knew I was just setting myself up for a heartache.

Plus, God gave us instincts for a reason right? Why dismiss it.

Reluctantly, I decided to stop talking to him, left meeting him off my must-do list and decided to enjoy this trip regardless.

Thankfully, last week, 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.

So, I didn't get to take a walk here with someone, but I sure did get to capture some of these amazing shots, lol. That's more than enough for me, for now.

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.