Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Of Huka Falls and a wedding dress

I'm packing my bags. My flight home is at 630am. My shuttle will come at 310am to take me to the airport. I'm sleepy but excited too. I'm so excited I can't concentrate. I miss my family. My sisters are back in Malaysia. Diana flew from Glassgow 5 days ago and Farah arrived from Sydney 6 days ago. My brother will be home for the weekend too. Yeay! Finally all of us will be together again. This is exciting. The bride comes home last. Well, I am the princess after all :p. I have exactly 10 days before the wedding. *nervous* I can't wait to hug mama and daddy. They've done so much for my wedding while I am away.
There's still so much to do. I haven't decorated my room or any of the dulang hantaran (presents for the groom set up on trays) yet. I haven't found nice goodie bags for the VIP but I already know what I want, so it shouldn't be too hard to find. Oh, I haven't tried on my dresses and I do want to go for a spa before the big day. I hope I will have time for all that. InsyaaAllah all will be well.
I have two dresses to wear on the wedding day. White for the solemnization and then tiffany for the reception. I chose the colour tiffany because I was inspired by the colour of Huka Falls. Huka Falls is about 5 hours drive from Wellington. It's so beautiful that one has to fall in love when one sees it.
Take a look for yourself...

 The water is crystal clear. Beautiful beyond words. Subhanallah.
The photo below is my dress. Well, the material of my dress to be exact. I wanted the colour of Huka Falls but that's the closest I could find. It will do, right? Those on top of the material are french laces which are so beautiful but oh so expensive, so I didn't buy them :p. Well, I didn't buy them all.

Well, I'm not going to spoil everything now. This is just a sneak peak. Oh, don't get your hopes too high on my dresses. They are truly very simple. Okay, time to continue packing. Pray for my safe journey home. I have a long way to go. Wellington to Sydney, Sydney to Singapore, Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. May everything be smooth sailing. Ameen.

Monday, 18 May 2015

End of Season

Winter is coming. It reminded me of a poem I wrote last year. It's called 'End of Season'.

End of Season

Birds are singing,
This melody of mine,
In the ears it keeps ringing,
Keeping true to the rhyme.

The ink is running dry,
Yet I have not written,
A single love song to cry.

Nothing lasts forever,
Trees start to wither,
It’s the season of fever,
Preparing for the changed of weather.

Birds breakaway,
Taking the song along,
I begin to wonder away,
Will they be long?

fwy 040414

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Penray Gardens, Otaki

Pick your own fruits! Fresh from the trees. I've been to this place twice last year. It's about an hour by car from Wellington. I like going during the summer because strawberries are in season then. Oh yes, I love strawberries. Actually, I love all types of berries, even gooseberries! I also love picking apples. They're really cheap if you buy them from the orchard. My favourite apple type is braeburn.
Some photos at Penray Gardens...

 I find this sign hilarious. I didn't know 'cili api' is Asian fire chillies in English.
Going to this garden is a good family activity. Actually, it's a good activity  between girlfriends too. Have a nice weekened everyone!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Butlers Chocolate Cafe

This is my favourite chocolate shop in Wellington. I know, I know... please don't lecture me. I know I'm supposed to be on a diet since I am going to be a bride in 15 days, but one cannot help herself. I have been craving for chocolates for weeks now. Finally I can put this craving to rest. I promise there will be no more chocolate or other junk food before the wedding. I do want to look good. Who doesn't right?
Some photos of my yummy treat.

Butlers' signature waffle with choc syrup and vanilla ice-cream 

Butlers' signature hot chocolate. It's really good.

 What I love about this cafe is, it overlooks beautiful old buildings. Neat isn't it?

Okay, exercise time. Hehehe... wish me luck. :p

Friday, 15 May 2015

An invitation for you

If you're my friend, you would have gotten an invitation card from me by now. If you haven't received it, wait for the postman. I'm sure it'll come soon, InsyaaAllah.
Many asked me where I did my card. Well, I didn't go to a store and buy a design from any shop. I actually had it custom made for me. Since I'm in NZ, it's a bit difficult for me to walk in a card shop in Malaysia and choose a design. Actually, I did look up some card designs from some online stores but the designs were not to my liking. I want something simple but sweet. Thus, I contacted my friend, who is a graphic designer to design a card for me. I told him how I want the card to be and I showed him some samples (via email). On top of his busy schedule, he agreed to help me. After a week, he emailed me the designs. I was surprised he designed not just one card, but three cards for me.
Take a look. Lovely isn't it?

I had a hard time choosing which one I want. In the end, we chose the third design. My mum took the softcopy in a pendrive and had it printed at a card shop. The card shop charged us 60 sen for each printed card plus envelope.

Now, my friends have received the hard copy of my wedding card. They touched it and felt it. Guess what? I haven't. I guess I'll be the last person to see and touch the hardcopy of the card. Isn't technology wonderful? I did all that via email. Thanks to my mum, dad and sister for helping me get the cards printed and posted. Love you guys to the moon and back. 

If you want a card like mine or your own design, please contact my friend. He is open for business. Search for Hisham Abdul Halim in Facebook and drop him a message. Here is his link:

All the best! xxx

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Keep writing and dream of fish and chips

It's raining cats and dogs. I'm stuck in the office since last night. A little bit bored right now, plus hungry. I'm craving for fish and chips today (god knows why) but I can't go out since it's raining. I still have lots of work to do before heading back to Malaysia. I love my life no matter what. Alhamdulillah. This is normal for me though. #lifeofaphdstudent
So, keep writing or reading while waiting for the rain to stop.
Photo taken from here.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Makara Wind Farm

Last weekend, my friends and I planned to have a picnic at Makara Wind Farm. When we reached there, we decided to have the picnic elsewhere because it was too windy. Duhhh, we were at the wind farm. Of course there's lots of wind. The view from the Makara peak, however, is stunning. Subhanallah. Pictures don't do justice. I love looking at the ocean. It's so calm yet mysterious.
Some photos from me...

We ended the trip to Makara with an ice-cream. Mine is hokey pokey. Will come back to this place in the future. InsyaaAllah.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Somewhere between here and there, I found you

Today is special. There are a few reasons for that. The reasons are listed below:
  • It is special because it's my fiancĂ©'s birthday. Happy birthday, darling! May you have a lifetime of happiness with me by your side forever and ever. How does that sound to you? :)
  • It's my first time wishing him happy birthday.
  • It's his first time getting a birthday wish from me.
  • From now onwards, we will be wishing each other's birthday.
  • It's my first time posting his photo in this blog.
  • It's his last year celebrating his birthday as a bachelor.
I can go on and on with the list, but I'll stop there.

This man has turned my world upside down and sideways too. All in a positive way of course. We became friends in November 2014 and a few months after that he proposed and I said, YES! (So obvious, isn't it?).

We crossed each other's paths several times, only we didn't know it at that time. We went to the same events and functions but I never noticed him, nor did he notice me. One morning, I looked through my Melbourne 2009, digital photo album and guess what? I found a photo of him in the background. How crazy is that? I can't believe he photobombed my photo! He was studying at RMIT at that time and I was on holiday :p
Well after he proposed, things seemed to unfold itself. In a blink of an eye, I have a ring on my finger. Everything happened so fast and now here we are, counting days until the big day. InsyaaAllah. Make prayers for us. We are embarking on a journey full of trials and tribulations. May we be strong enough to defeat the challenges ahead. Ameen.

Thank you everyone for the well wishes.

This photo is taken from the World Wide Web.
Happy birthday, baby. Sorry I can't be there with you but we can have a post-celebration, okay? See you soon xxx

Much love, Hana.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Reminder to everyone who is reading this. Mother's Day is in two days. Send your mum flowers, chocolate or cards.
What I love about mother's day or father's day is that, I get to pick out cute cards for my parents. This year, I selected this postcard for my mama...
It's a picture of "In the hammock" by a famous German artist named Hans Thoma (1839-1924). I don't think mama had a hammock when I was a baby and I certainly don't have blonde hair, but those are not the reasons why I like this picture. I like it simply because it's a beautiful picture of a mother who fell asleep while taking care of the child. Even though she is asleep, her hand is still holding the baby to make sure the baby is with her.
Now, I don't know the real story behind the painting. You have to ask Hans Thoma himself for the explanation. I just like the whole concept.
According to my mama, I was a very clingy child. She couldn't go to the toilet or kitchen without me crying my heart out. I am assuming that mama also had a hard time sleeping because of me and this photo reminded me of her (and me). *wink*
I love you mama, to the moon and back. Always and forever.
Lots of love, your princess.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Crab Shack

I'm going to introduce you to my favourite seafood restaurant in Wellington. The Crab Shack is located in the Wellington CBD, right at the harbour. Pretty romantic place if you are thinking of a date with your husband/wife. It's a bit pricey too, thus you can't eat here every week, unless you are loaded. My friends and I only eat here when we have something to celebrate about.
So why do I like this restaurant? Not only do they have halal meat (yes, they have other food besides seafood), their food is also exquisite (to me, that is. Other people may have different opinions). The food is so good that I sometimes daydream about it.
Here are some photos of my favourite dish. Prepare to get messy...

 Paddle crab, squid & fish and chips.
 That's our 1kg paddle crabs
 Got to share this pot of chili-garlic crabs with friends.
 The giant chips, 'steak fries'.
 This is my favourite! The shack stack.

The Shack stack. Two rosemary & garlic sirloin steaks, layered with roasted field mushrooms & caramelised onions served with gorgonzola cheese sauce, potato hash & chipotle slaw.
Dessert time! Ice cream and hot banana split.
Snowman ice-cream from the kid's menu.
I told my friends, if they ever come to Wellington, I'll take them to dinner here. But don't cry when you dream about the food once you're far away from Wellington. Now, don't tell me I didn't warn you *wink*.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Bride to be

In the midst of studying, I am also preparing for a wedding. In twenty-five days, InsyaaAllah I will be married. I am nervous, I won't lie. I don't know if I'll be a good wife, a good daughter or a good daughter-in-law. I do hope I will be a good woman, regardless of my status. But I'm only human. What if I make big mistakes? How do I stop myself from being angry and too out spoken? How do I divide my time for my husband, my parents and my in-laws as well as my PhD work? There's so many things running inside my head but I can't let that bog me down.
Alhamdulillah, a friend gave me a great book. The 'A gift for a Muslim bride' book by the honourable Sheikh Muhammad Haneef Abdul Majeed is an excellent gift for brides to be, single women and even for married women. It talks about great women of the past (eg: Sayyidah Khadijah RA), how to reduce anger, how to comfort your husband, five qualities of a pious wife and etc... All these topics can help you prepare yourself for marriage and becoming a pious woman, InsyaaAllah.
I am now on Chapter 10 and I find it hard to put this book down. It is now my bedtime story. Jazakillahu khairan sister for giving me the book. May Allah reward you tremendously and may I benefit from reading it.

On another note, my friend, Aini, and I are going to have a Bachelorette Night out next weekend. We're going to watch 'La cenerentola', a Cinderalla story in an Italian Opera version. Can hardly wait!

These pictures were taken at a new cake cafe called 'Sweet Bakery & Cakery'. It's a cute girlie cafe located in Karori. I love the interior of this cafe and I can see myself going there many more times in the future. InsyaaAllah.  

Monday, 4 May 2015

Dockside Restaurant

The weather was perfect yesterday (Sunday). It was hot and sunny from morning. My schedule was fully packed until bedtime. In the morning, I went to Sunday classes at the mosque and then had a really BIG lunch at my friend's house. She's a Palestinian so she made lamb khabsah with crispy bread and chicken. I couldn't say no to that! It was really good and I had no word to describe the taste. It was that good. But sorry I don't have any photos of the meal.
In the evening, I had a dinner date with my Malaysian friends at Dockside Restaurant. We had a seafood platter for four people. Wow too much eating yesterday. I consider yesterday to be my 'cheat day' even though I think I cheat every day. Nevertheless, it was fun and I'm not sorry I ate too much coz you see, I went for a jog at 7am this morning to shed off yesterday's meal :p
Some photos at the Dockside Restaurant...
 The restaurant is located at the harbour...

 so you can enjoy looking at the sea while eating...
Seafood platter. There's oysters, prawns, mussels, salmon, olives, breads, dips.
 I love the mussels.
The seafood platter was okay. It was quite nice but it wasn't 'out of this world' kind of thing. After we left the restaurant, we couldn't help admiring the beautiful full moon. See for yourself. Beautiful isn't it?

Full moon.
Because I didn't do any PhD work yesterday, I am working my ass off today (or at least, trying to).
Until later. xxx