Sunday, 28 May 2017

Invest in Containers

You know when it's that time of the year and Ramadhan is here, and of all the times in a year this is the time when you crave for soooo many things - melawan pregnant mums! Not only that, the first few days are confusing, you're both hungry and not so hungry, adjusting period.


And then your brother and SIL get you the cutest box of tea that you just had to try during Puasa time you know - like as if all these while you had no better time to try it out. 

Excited, I boiled water quickly. 

Put in a "Belle" in my cup. 

Poured the boiling water in. 

Took one and a half tea spoon of sugar.

Stirred. 

Ahhhhhh. Switched on Fashion Valet's website coz I heard there was Mel & Molly Flash Sale, whilst I waited for the tea to brew for about 2 minutes. 

Sipppppppp

What the fruit is this tea?! Masinnnnnnnn!!

Looked across at my kitchen. Felt a little nervous, rushed over to check. Now tak sempat , need to catch Imsak in about 5 minutes, so cannot drink anymore. 

Seriously guys, just a kitchen tip...never ever put sugar and salt into two same-looking containers ah!! LOL!!

Friday, 26 May 2017

To Transform and not To Change

Time just fly by, doesn't it? Before you know it, it's already Ramadhan tomorow! I always feel like Ramadhan is a magical month. Why? Because somehow, everyone is so much nicer than their usual daily self - probably less angry, kinder, less shouting, more accommodating....haha this sounded better in my head really. My point is, Ramadhan makes us feel a greater sense of wanting to become a better being!

I came across an article this morning on my way to client's office and it made me ask what the article had asked - what are the areas of my life that I would want to lovingly transform? Not change, but transform.

I've always wanted to be able to forgive and forget, but it's only human that you can forgive but you tend to find it difficult to forget. Especially when someone had hurt you for no reason. Don't youuuuu, feel that way too? Sometimes? Maybe? At times? :P

Anyway! That's exactly what I would like to work on, and that is to always forgive whoever had wronged me and ask Allah for forgiveness if I had wronged anyone intentionally or unintentionally, every night before going to sleep. To remove any bad feeling and anger from my heart and fill my heart with positivity before looking forward to starting a fresh new day tomorrow!

Secondly is to be kinder and not emotionally affected - like for example when something does not go my way, I sometimes feel a little frustrated and annoyed with myself. What I failed to remember is Allah is always the Best of Planners! We can plan everything out, but ultimately, Allah determines what is best for us. I deal with a lot of different people and characters during working hours and I came across this in this morning's article "Half the battle of dealing with other people is dealing with ourselves" which is so so true! So I've decided that I need to also work on this and always give myself a 5 minutes breather before putting my plans into action - whether to go out and grab a cuppa tea or make duas. To be more emotionally fulfilled from within :)

Have a blessed Ramadhan everyone!!!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Have some fun and never miss your prayers!

My heart is bursting with gratefulness right now for having such wonderful people who keep on inspiring and motivating me to chase for greater things in life. All this with a reminder to never miss prayers and to make sure I enjoy life all at the same time, Alhamdulillah!

Yesterday Mama reminded me that no matter how busy you are, you should never miss your prayers because at the end of the day, only Allah is able to determine what happens and what is best for you no matter how hard you work for something, it won't be your friends, nor your colleagues nor your relative or even your boss or any other human being who will guarantee you something in life, but Allah :)) Today, a few of us had lunch together and shared about what's been happening in life, and as we shared all the ups and downs, we all know that nothing is permanent and we should always strive harder! Don't feel comfortable when you've achieved that one thing that you've always wanted, push yourself and create a new starting point and once you've worked hard, you need to have faith that Allah has all the plans for you. 

I'm guilty too for taking work too seriously that sometimes I tend to forget. I'm always filled with so much anxiety when I know I'm going on a long leave, and I won't lie - I'm constantly checking my emails, scared I may miss any important email. I love my job, and I won't lie that I feel at ease when I'm in the office, only because everything is within reach. For example, if client calls to tell me they have a problem, I could assist them immediately whilst in the office. I'm impatient, I hate it when something comes up and it stays in my court for a long time, I like clearing things out of my court as soon as possible so that I can move on and focus on a lot more things!

The other day, I said "I want to work hard and achieve this this this by what age, bla bla bla"... before my FIL reminded me that you should have some fun along the way too, go and travel and see the world. 

Sigh, parents, they just know what to say and when to bring you back to earth kan? They're really heaven sent! 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

YCM Hosting Tan Sri Wahid


When I think about it, it all began during my stint in CIMB London. Being the only Malaysian on the trading floor, I was allowed to start relationships with Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund and onboard them with CIMB when I started reporting to our London office. It was definitely one of the best portfolios to be receiving, although small, the rewards were great!

I came back to Malaysia and was placed at the GLIC desk to continue relationships with them here in KL and that was where I had my first presentation to Tan Sri Wahid and many many industry leaders. One thing I've always admired about TS Wahid was his way of sharing across his messages - always very clear in a very calm manner. So this year, Aiman and I had suggested to YCM to host him as a speaker. Afterall, he had so many experiences in the corporate scene as well as the government and as an UBER driver - there's a lot to learn from him!

Some of my favourite Key Takeaways from his session:
  • A good leader must be visionary, articulate, authentic, engaging and have unquestionable integrity
  • You don't have to be a typical "loud" corporate leader to be effective
  • Gone are the days when CEO just needs to tell people what to do in large organisations. CEO's today are also expected to go down to the ground, roll up your sleeves, be more hands on and provide appropriate guidance on how things can be done
  • Be PROFESSIONAL, HONEST, SINCERE and TRUTHFUL to your Board, Management, Colleagues and all Employees
  • Do not hesitate to say SORRY and admit your mistakes, and learn from them. We are human beings after all
  • Focus on the job at hand, your reputation will precede you
I just love it that the messages given above hit the nail right on the spot. In this competitive world we're in, sometimes organisations and individuals overlook these things in our rush to get to the top. In all these rush to compete in the working world, TS Wahid shared the few motivations that had kept him going which would be so useful for many of us :)
  • Work hard and work smart, go for distinction and pursue professional qualification if you are able to
  • Focus on your task at hand and do it well
  • Don't ever stop learning, and always use technology to your advantage
  • Keep innovating and think outside the box. Come up with solutions!
  • Embrace the 3 KEY ATTRIBUTES: Integrity, Competency and Humility
  • BE GRATEFUL. ESPECIALLY TO YOUR PARENTS
My personal favourite is being grateful, because when you stop comparing what you have with others and believe that Allah has written these rezekis in this world for you, you'd feel at ease, InsyaAllah! :)))

Malaysia could definitely do with a lot more leaders like him, thank you for inspiring all of us at Young Corporate Malaysians! 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Story of the two hardworking friends

I have these two close friends who are to me, the most hardworking people I know who love their jobs and they are amazing at what they do! It's both inspiring and motivating just watching most of the time.

But the amazing thing about them both is that one is a Mrs Problem-Solver -There's-No-Problem-In-This-World and the other is Mrs Planner-Things-Will-Go-As-Plan-Because-I-Have-Laid-Down-All-Options A, B, C.

Mrs Problem-Solver:
A driven individual who is just so so soooo amazing, she probably sleeps one-tenth of the amount of hours I sleep, never ever complains, always cheerful whenever we see her, never worry about petty things in life and she is always very rationale, grateful and an amazing person who still made time for all her families and friends. She can go on for hours without eating to make sure her goal is achieved whilst at the same time not neglect any family time.

Mrs Planner:
A driven individual who is just so so soooo amazing, she plans so far ahead that by the time the day comes for anything that she planned for, there is hardly any stress left for your adrenaline rush to feed on. A problem comes and she probably has Options B, C, D, E...Z for you and logistics for each alternative planned.

The one thing that amazes me is that there is no problem in this world that could bring them down. NOTHING! Give them a challenge and they'll solve it without any complains. Driven to accept challenges and always at the top of their games.

I'm probably in between this because I like to plan things ahead of time but my alternative options may not be sufficient enough that I would need to be a problem solver on the spot. I love my job so much, but I still complain when things don't go my way sometimes, or find it frustrating that as you've planned for certain events to take place, other factors don't allow you to execute it. But when I remember these two, I'm always reminded that no problem should be the end of the world!

For that I'm always grateful I'm always surrounded by amazing people, driven and motivated all inspiring at the same time. I wished though that sometimes I could be much much much kinder (I'm so unforgiving when I discover that people are untruthful about what they do) and move on no matter how huge the obstacle may be. Sometimes I tend to waste time trying to piece the problems together and find out what happened hahaha!

So what are you? A Problem-Solver kinda person or a Planner?

Friday, 19 May 2017

Bangkok



Heaven-sent people who had helped me through my Masters days in London. Indeed they had created a home away from home :')


Bangkok was nothing short of amazing - from the people to their amazing cafe scene! But most importantly it was a trip to remember having been a part of this gorgeous bride's big day! Thank you for making me a part of your beautiful Thai ceremony P' Pak, so very very happy for you!
-
Truly a gem, she was always up for adventures in London and Europe, I dare say she's one of my main reason I'd go through Masters all over again and I'm forever grateful I met her at Imperial College! :))

Fluff KL's Final Pop Up

Our famous best seller: The Red Velvet Nutella 

Yup, you heard that right! We're planning to have one final pop up before Ramadhan and this time around, we're bringing in those awesome Maldon Sea Salt Cookies and something new

.

.

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Nutella Marshmallows!!

Tomorrow, from 2-4pm, we will be partnering up with Common Man Coffee Roasters KL in Taman Tun! So be sure to block out your calendar and come on over to grab your share . See you guys there! 
:))

Friday, 24 March 2017

Choose to be happy

Today, we live in a society where we tend to read too much into something.

A person of a certain race/religion commits a crime and people would think he/she represents everyone who are of the same race/religion. 

You carry a new handbag and people would assume you come from a really rich family. When in fact it's probably a cheap new bag that you had paid using your hard-earned salary. 

You write a congratulatory message to someone. People think you're sucking up. 

You're friends with founder of a company and people would think that you never pay for merchandises you get from that company. Or rather you must've gotten a huge discount just coz it's your friend's.

You get the drift. Why are we not trained to see the good in everything? So much so that we tend to have to take extra precaution in everything that we do, no matter how pure the intention. It doesn't mean that someone who doesn't complain have the most perfect life, and doesn't mean someone who is vocal and points out real mistakes hate their lives.

I personally am quite content with what life has to offer, the ups and downs. Secretly I think the stray cats I feed are part of the beings that made doa for me, hahaha! You may now think that's  hillarious, but realllllllllly. Those cats can secretly talk to God too I'm sure, in their own cat ways of course (I bet you're imagining the cats putting out their hands to make prayers) :D

I've always loved the verse from Surah Ibrahim:
"If you are grateful, I will surely increase you (in favour); but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe"

So choose to be happy coz none in this world is permanent, and never think bad about someone or something if you don't know the real story behind it :))


Monday, 13 February 2017

Honesty is the best policy

What ever happened to speaking to people nicely, rationally and without insulting anybody these days? It doesn't cost anything to be nice and speak kindly. 

So last weekend was our first pop up which we opened to the public. My oh my, the respond was overwhelming and we definitely did not expect such a great turn out from all of you, thank you thank you thank you thank you for the support guys, we really really appreciate it!! Apologies for all the shortcomings, and to all those who did not manage to get any and inconveniences that may have arised on that day. We will be sure to have more bakes and limit it for our next pop up! :)

Reason for this post was to share my first ever experience with personal shoppers (of course this does not apply to all personal shoppers). I believe that in anything that you do, there need to be honesty in your act - totally can relate when one is put in a difficult position when trying to impress specific parties. So prior to the pop up, we had not mentioned any limitations on cupcakes that could be purchased only because this is our first and we were not sure as to how demand would be like. 

As early as 1pm, the queue started building up and by the time we opened at 2pm the line was starting to creep around the block, MasyaAllah you guys are truly amazing! We were definitely overwhelmed and we thought it would not have been fair to allow people to wait as we had expected that it would be sold out halfway through the line - so we calculated the potential purchase of customers from the front of the queue and told the rest about our next pop up. Of course we had visits from personal shoppers ("PS") who had a list of what to buy for their customers. Some of the PS were so very pleasant and civil, we totally loved serving them and going through their list with them whilst some were rather rude. So rude that they could stand at the counter and take in more orders on the phone whilst we had packed their existing list. 

Fair enough we had not limit the number of cupcakes this time around, but this PS had gone a step further to tell us off that he was in fact "creating business for us by buying a lot and yet we couldn't let him know before we opened whether or not we could cater for his request" in which we thought was unnecessary. I would have clearly read that as "I have taken orders for my customers and guaranteed them that I would deliver, so you'd better pack it for me"  haha!

I mean, all the other customers were ethically queueing, it makes them no special. If they really wanted a guarantee then they should have at least been the first 2 in the line ey? They weren't and yet they wanted a guarantee which I thought was not very professional. Without any shame, when they got to the counter, they wanted some flavours that were already sold out and we had mentioned that it cannot be replaced with other flavours to be fair to all the other customers queueing behind them to which they replied "This is MY JOB ok!"...."If you don't want to give then you can keep all your cakes!". 

Personally, I always always think nobody's job is easier than anybody else and NO, the baker packing the cupcakes does not have an easier job than the PS either. So I had politely told him that this is also our job to pack for you only what was on your list and nothing extra and if they did not want (to pay for it) then by all means, the rest in the queue were more than happy to purchase them. At the end of the day, we need to understand our job scope and how best we can deliver it. If I'm personal shopper myself, I would always let customers know that I am not able to guarantee you, but I will try my very best to get it for you. We need to be civil in order for this world to stay kind :))

Be nice always guys, and if you're angry and have nothing nice to say just don't say anything at all! :)) And pssst....don't be a keyboard warrior ok :D 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

A week early

So apparently Aiman has been planning for my birthday since end of December - he got help from my friends and colleagues so early in the year on gathering the people to attend and got on it with the invitations. 

I know it's never easy for him to do surprises for me, since we're always together and we tend to use his phone to take pictures I'm always taking his phone unlocking it and sending myself pictures. So imagine if someone he had invited replied at that exact time that I unlocked his phone, hahahaha! I've to say though, his effort was amazing! He went to the extend of renaming the people he invited to his imaginary colleagues' names - coz I don't open his messages from work. 

Funnily though, a week before the surprise party a friend of mine had messaged and said "Hey Als, sorry I couldn't make it to your party last night! Hope it was wild!!". Erm... what party Intan? Before she said she had actually wrote in the wrong group chat! hahahaha! And then on the day of the party itself (which was not my real birthday day), another friend what sapped at midnight to wish me happy birthday and even did a Birthday post for me on her social media and insisted that it was my birthday day! And then suddenly out of the blue, earlier in the week Mama suddenly suggested a cafe place which her friend said was nice.

...I just knew it, something was coming! :D So what did I do? Made a conscious effort NOT to play with Aiman's phone too much in January in case the surprise was spoilt by me, myself and I. All in all, turning another year older this year was perfect :))
Of course at the end of the party I stressed him out a little and asked "Eh you tai ajar xxx ke? How about xxx? and xxx?"

..."Your friends are sooooo difficult to gather did you know?! You guys are like socilalite forever busy!"

My advice is if you have crazy friends like mine, get a friend of mine to plan and you just direct :P

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Personal Statements

Recently someone had asked me how I had done my personal statement when I applied to do my Masters in London. I vaguely remembered I started one of it with something about numbers.

Like..."why is anything divided by zero undefined?". Think about it, you have 10 apples, but you divided it by no one - still got 10 la. No one touched it what. LOL!!!

I totally loved numbers can't for the life of me read long sentences or ever do Law when I was younger so my personal statements to universities were always about numbers. I applied for Masters twice in my life - first one was right after my Undergraduate days and another time was after I had started working.

First-time application: I had applied to a few universities in London (as I was studying in London at that time so it all felt very familiar) whilst at the same time looking out for jobs. At that time, market was rather bleak and the financial industry had just crashed which meant that it was more difficult to get a job in the UK. But heck, I applied nonetheless for jobs in the UK (what was I thinking, so many OxBridge students I had to compete with!), KL and Singapore. After a few months of late-night applications I received my first acceptance letter from King's College London to do Financial Mathematics and was so thrilled!!! And right after that job interviews came in and I received a few offers from a few companies. What do you do at that age right? I wanted to take that KCL offer but at the same time the idea of working sounded pretty cool!

Requested for a deferment from KCL and took one of the job offers in KL (Yup! I'm still here at the first job I had chosen to pick). King's College was nice enough to defer it for 1 year but at the end of the 1 year I had to decide - to continue with the management trainee programme or to take that KCL offer. I stayed back in KL to finish up my training and had to let go of KCL's offer for good.

Second-time application: another year later upon completing my training, I decided to give it another go. Applied to a few universities in London and Melbourne (Only cause Shura's there!). Got rejected by some, got accepted into some but my favourite was Imperial College London! Was shocked and excited at the same time, but I was loving my job at that time (and I have a huge fear of failing which means going back to being a student I would have exams!) which was a difficult decision to make. Spoke to a few people and I decided that I wanted to graduate from Imperial College and get a Masters degree from there - priorities in life haha! Had this unnecessary fear that I might not be as lucky third time round if I don't take this offer now! So much fear ah in my life? :P

But the funniest part was when it came to personal statements. During my first time application I had passionately written about numbers in my personal statement and wrote in there that "...my dream is to be able to work in a financial institution in the future" and I totally ended up in a financial institution. In my second-time application I had again passionately written about numbers and a little bit about my experience in the financial institution but again I had used that line..."my dream is to be able to work in Corporate Finance when I graduate"....and I did get into Corporate Finance during a restructuring in the firm.

DREAMS DO COME TRUE GUYS WHEN YOU WRITE THEM IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT!!! Mannnn good times :)))

Monday, 9 January 2017

Joined the Marathon

Now that we have closed down Double A to allow for more exciting things to happen (Ok, this so deserves a dedicated post!), Aiman and I suddenly had extra time when the new year started. So as what a normal human being with extra time would usually do- we had a Netflix marathon (did you really think I joined a running Marathon?) and oh my god it FELT SO D*** GOOD!

I guess the both of us have been working two jobs ever since we got married 2 years ago and never had that little extra time to really enjoy the extra time, if you get what I mean. I'm even watching Gilmore Girls back from Season 1! With a lot of visits to the pantry for snacks and coke and vitagen and then super ring and lays. Is this what weekend feels like? Hahaha so jakun!

But...I guess God knew us too well though, first weekend into the new year I had to go back to the office to work. The best part though was because we now have that little extra time, so Aiman waited for me to finish work so we could head for tea time after at a nearby cafe :)

Oh little blessings in life. Alhamdulillah for everything! Imma happy girl :)))))

Friday, 6 January 2017

Around this time


...3 years ago, I was busy stuffing as much as I can into a suitcase, sitting on it and trying to zip it up alltogether because I was physically exhausted! and I wanted so badly to go and have a big breakfast before I had to get on that flight back home to Malaysia, for good. It wasn't an annual leave or a compulsory leave. I was in transitioning from London office to KL's.

Time has definitely flown by so quickly, because that means I've been in my current department for 3 whole years now! Longest department I've served so far in my time in CIMB (minus the short secondment to CEO's office I had in between). Longest I've served before that was about nearly 2 before CIMB sent me to do Masters at Imperial College London.

I must say though I still love my job and find it as exciting as I did when I first joined. Department I am in is always evolving, why? Because we face clients and we get the opportunities to create conversations and do presentations (heck trying to sell a deal!) to C Suites and I still get the jitters sometimes. You know those butterflies in the stomach when you walk into a CEO's office and go "I sooo wnat this deal!!" -  it's crazy adrenaline rush dude! and it's fun! In the midst of all that you get to learn new products rather so often.

Or those deals that take more than a year to complete because it gets complicated as days and months passes by? Sometimes pressing for time which means you need to do a few sit visits in a short period of time and you're required to take odd-hours flights? Tiring, but fulfiling indeed coz depending on which industry you were covering at that time, you'll get to learn something new like when I first stepped foot in a fertilizer plant and nearly puked from the very very VERY strong ammonium nitrate smell.

No doubts there are ups and downs and that's only normal in any job. Nobody's job is easier than anybody else's, but I sure do have an awesome team and colleagues who never let a day passes by without cracking jokes! hashtagawesomecolleagues!

Sometimes it's not about winning the deal, but getting to know people out there - and my job allows me to do that and I'm grateful for that! :)))


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Be Kind Always

Some people feel the rain, others just get wet. Struggles. Appreciate your struggles, it will only make you stronger if you can get through it. Everyone has their own sets of struggles and often or most times, no one else will understand your struggles unless they are in your shoes. 

Case in point: Children who are disobedient to their parents would be the same people who would tell their own kids to be kind to them in the future. Why? Because they now understand that mums weren't lying when they said labour pain is enough for them to earn her kids respect for the rest of her life!

Same goes for different types of struggles. People may look happy, strong and jovial on the outside but we will never know what battles they're fighting within. Being kind would help a great lot for you know not if the people you help would be the people you run to for help in the future. Elderly is by far my greatest weakness today. I cannot see  them begging by the roadside or even see them eating alone - I feel so so sad I can cry! Like where are their children? I cannot even see elderly guards on duty. They should be enjoying some time off doing things at their own sweet time instead of guarding a jewelry shop shouldering a huge responsibility throughout the night whist eating biskut kering to stay awake :' ((((((  I always make an effort to smile and say hi to the guards at my condo and get them pizzas when we order delivery for ourselves. Sometimes I forget that they stay up night and day making rounds and sitting on that chair and escort guests to our unit just to make sure our safety is taken care off. And yet we sometimes forget to smile and say thank you even when we walk pass and sees him sitting there happily drinking his teh ais in that half tied plastic. Bless them for working so hard!!

I cannot even see people stranded by the roadside these days, I'd tell Aiman to stop so that we can help them repair their cars or at least give them a ride to the nearest safe point. Setback is we no longer can freely stop in the middle of the road at night to help, we don't know if it's safe and that stresses me out. Once I saw a dog so lost and hungry, I gave him Aiman's dinner coz I can't stop tearing thinking this dog is really stress and he needs food to have energy to go wherever he needs to go. We made a huge turn to find the dog again after that and fed him. Even dogs have struggles guys :(

One of my resolutions this year is to be kinder and to help anyone I can as much as possible. Kinder to anyone and anything as long as it doesn't cause me problems :))

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Goodbye 2016

Not sure about you guys, but I felt like 2016 was one of the longest years I've had...and yet I've not been able to blog as much as I would like to! Hardest year too I must say.

So many significant things had taken place in 2016 and I'm thankful for all the good, the not so good and the in betweens because I believe that things happen for a reason. Sometimes I think that there are no problems at all to begin with because Allah has decided for you to go through that event on that particular day for a purpose, at that time, and you are supposed to find a solution out of it after which you rely fully on Him! It's amazing that when you accept it all, things feel a lot easier to go through :)

There were big decisions that were made in 2016 that would shape what our 2017 and beyond would be like and I must say that some were really tough decisions to make - but very glad we made it.

This 2017, I vow to be a better person, be kind to others no matter what and to be true to my intentions at all times. It doesn't quite matter what others may think/assume you're doing (it for) but at the end of the day, only God sees the unseen and if your intention was good, then good it is in the eyes of God InsyaAllah.

Happy 2017 everyone! :)