Sunday, July 2, 2017

June is Over? Julying.

It has been one hella great ride of the first half of 2017. Oh, where do I start? So, I started this new hobby, bujo-ing, in short of bullet journaling. It is sort of like a planner, journal, to-do-list, all in one book and you get to design it any way you like. You can also add habit tracker, health tracker and anything like anything you want, yeah obviously because it's yours. One of the reasons why I started bullet journaling is because I don't like the ready-made planner lolz. It's not that I haven't had one, I did have one and planners are surely helpful for a busy (lol) person like me. Disclaimer: I am not really that busy person but I tend to forget things so planner/to-do list does come in handy. A big but here is, the layouts of readymade planners are kind of dull and I don't know I feel restricted with boxes and lines! So I figured out that some other people have been doing bullet journaling since forever and that is one brilliant idea! Plus I get to doodle and draw stuff as well hiks. So I bought my first blank notebook from Amazon that cost around 17 bucks (damn expensive I know but no regrets) and I spent like super crazy for stationaries. I got so excited to do calligraphy (sort of haha) and doodle, so I watched so many videos about bujo on Youtube and browsed Tumblr for starting. I fell in love with the cute stationaries (especially the ones from Japan!) and this is the problem with me. I am a person who is so easily fascinated (or more to hypnotized) by cute things and that made me spent a whole lot of money on pens and colored pencils. I have this kind of faith that buying them is an investment, too! Ha ha. I even bought watercolor and paint for no reasons! I don't even know why? I already had a lot of watercolors but yeah I just love stationaries! and I admit that I had to control my out-of-hand spending habits on stationaries. *trying hard* *pray for me* Ok so that's that and bullet journaling is seriously fun ya know. I feel more productive, creative and, more importantly, more organized. (and that is one of my 2017 resolutions)

My favorite pens

Two: I also started to live the healthy lifestyle. Ok big laugh. I will regret writing this later at some point of my life but whatevs. I started to go to the gym more frequent ha ha ha hahasdfghjkl and I walked to and from campus almost every day yup walking is good and I also start to eat 'healthy' ok not really healthy but healthier than before. I tried quinoa and eat more veggies than I did and yup it feels good. It feels good to sweat, too. That's why I go to the gym. but now that I am back home, it's already more than a month since the last time I worked out. I feel so unproductive, I need to find my way back to exercising and eat healthily. Ya Allah, forgive me for the ketupat rendang lemang satay lontong and every other food that are hard to resist! 

Another highlight of the first half of 2017 is *drum rolls* 
(You might want to skip this paragraph if you find kpop related stuff annoys you)
Three: I went to BTS Wings Tour in Chicago! This is actually my second kpop concert and I don't really go to concerts hu hu (no money and weak at memorizing lyrics so it's hard to sing-along are some of the reasons) I was actually planning to go to Got7's instead because BTS originally did not include Chicago in their US tour but they added it last minute so I had to choose between the two (not a rich kid). I am so glad that I bought a P1 ticket so I got to sit quite close to the stage and I could see my Suga oppa like not that close but close enough for me to maintain my sanity. (Didn't I warn you if you get annoyed with kpop stuff you better skip to next point?). Two hours of seeing them singing and dancing live were definitely not enough, I repeat, not enough. But yeah they are human, who gets tired too so... anyway, I think Suga noticed me cuz I was like waving and throwing hearts soooo hard hahaha (ok every fangirl has this kind of delusions like this so ok bye) oh we were not allowed to bring in cameras and videotaped the concert, so being a respectful fan I obeyed (some of) the rule and didn't bring my camera with me so my photos are not high res and videos? yeah full of screaming.

I don't even know how to feel at that moment and I cried hahha

Lookat dat boi in pink hahahasdfghjkl 
(photo credit goes to Syahirah my photos are crappy)

Four: I took TOPIK test, short for test of proficiency in korean, level two and thankfully Ya Allah I got level four out of six haha. I am shocked myself! I did not even trust myself to score at most level 3 but my seonsaengnim kept saying 'Syazana I think you can get at least level 4' but I was like 'Sorry cikgu I don't think so, my korean vocab has a long way to go..' but yeah maybe berkat doa seorang guru kot I managed to get level 4. If you have no idea of what I'm talking about and are interested to know, here is the explanation. So topik test is one of the important tests you don't want to miss if you are going to apply to university in South Korea. (In my case, I took it because i don't have anything to do in my final semester so just for fun and at the same time I can evaluate(?) my korean language skills as well). The test, in general, has six levels and six is the highest. It has two categories, Topik 1 and Topik 2. If you register for topik 1 you had to score at least level 1 for a pass and if you register for topik 2, the minimum level to pass is level 3. Haha if you find my explanation is not making sense, you can google for a better explanation. What surprised me the most was my writing score. I was not prepared at all, literally, no preparation for writing section and my seonsaengnim told us we can just ignore the writing section since it's still hard for our level to write a prompt essay but I just gave it a try on the exam since I got plenty of time. I just wrote whatever came in my mind and I was not really sure if I understood the essay question well. And guess what? I scored above average (among other topik takers around the world) in writing! Whoops so happy *play Seventeen's Aju Nice*

I love spring 

Five: Of course, my graduation day (link)! Finally, all the hard work paid off and I am now still in the mode of job hunting. I got calls for a few numbers of interviews and I got shortlisted for some. And tomorrow I'm going to Kuala Lumpur for a medical checkup requirement. If everything goes well, insyaAllah I can start working asap!

Six: My favorite camera had to go for a hiatus *sigh* The lens is broken, so does my heart! I was so dumb to let my camera slipped off my hand and fell into the sand. Biggest mistake made. Now I can't shut the lens off *sad to the infinity and beyond* I asked around for a repair but all said it will take some time and of course, money. Maybe I'll send it to camera center (or whatever it is called) next week.

The very last photo I tried to take before my camera went completely off, you can see from the picture that I had shaky hands, feeling sad and broken

That is pretty much the highlights of what happened from January until June. I hope this second half of 2017 will bring me good things and a lot of other adventures to help me to be a better me *lol* (do people still say lol nowadays?)

Happy July.

Until next time,
Friday, June 30, 2017

Yup, I've Graduated

Happy Eid, everyone! How was your eid this year? Mine was simple but meaningful. It was also a sad morning of first eid since this year is the first year I celebrated eid without tokwan. He left us last October and I still could not believe that time has flown so fast. (al-Fatihah). I am also now home for almost a month hu hu and I quite miss the US already. Yep, I graduated from college last May and I don't know, it still feels surreal. Three and half years really feel short and I am already at another stage of life. Hello, adulthood. Please be nice to me.

The photos above were taken weeks before my graduation commencement and trust me there is no single okay-photo on my grad commencement day because ya Allah we've been to the hall (it's not exactly a hall but you get what I mean) from like 9 in the morning until 5 pm for three ceremonies! Belemoih baq hang. Attended Ain, Farhana and Moon's comm. in the morning, went to lunch, and then mine, Anis, and Wardah's started at 1 pm. Stayed until five for Nadzreen's. And the next morning was Laila's. What a weekend! Anyhow, everything went well. It's quite sad because my family could not be there but thanks to my Malaysian family here in Iowa I didn't bad at all. Mana taknya they screamed like super loud every time we, Malaysian graduates, walked in the stage. Thanks guys, yall da best! And...below are the photos on the day itself.. 

I got interviewed (so out of the blue)

Me and my graduating girls, missing Laila :(

With the super supportive mssui xoxox

And here is what I wrote someday when I was still a student, feeling so emotional about leaving (you may skip it's quite embarassing lolz) :

Today is my last day going to classes as an undergrad student. I haven't realized how fast time could fly and how short time is before I leave America for good until today. I am going to miss every single thing I experienced here. I am going to miss all the people I've met. I am going to miss all the lectures I had. I am going to miss all the local restaurants in Downtown Iowa City; Which Wich, Z'Mariks, High Ground. I am going to miss the nights I stayed up for exams and homework (but I didn't stay up that much tho lulz). I am going to miss S Lincoln St. Starbucks, where I went for half-priced coffees during exam weeks. I am going to miss the library, memorial union (IMU), PBB, Pomerantz Center, Philips hall, Van Allen (most of my Korean classes were in Van Allen), UCC Mall, Seoul Grill, Sushi Kitchin, Bubble Pop, and even CVS & Walmart. I am going to miss Iowa City's very unpredictable weather, super cold winters, rainy springs, windy falls. I am going to miss running next-door to Apt. 2 to ask for eggs, bread, chili sauce, ketchup, shawls, tshirts, shoes, etc. I am going to miss catching Free Shuttle at Van Buren stop 7101. I am going to miss the days I requested for Nite Ride and had to wait for almost an hour just to reach home. I am going to miss the days when I have to pray in either between bookshelves, stairs or IMU 2nd floor. (so glad they have praying room now!)
It is really sad to think that I might forget how all of those memories, I might forget my lecturers' names and how they look like, I might forget how thrilling it is to be a student here at Iowa, I might forget how yummy a Krab sandwich at Which Wich tasted like, I might forget how I upset I was when the Starbuck baristas didn't call my name, I might forget how happy I was whenever I was in Korean classes, I might forget how nervous I was when I had to MC events and did presentation in classes. I might forget how stressful I was every time I had to write research papers. I might forget how relieved I was when I got good feedbacks on my papers (trust me all Malaysian students tend to do a great job in writing papers i don't even know why). I might forget how fun it was to talk (or more to gossip/karaoke time) with my housemates until late in the morning. I might forget all of those things and yeah it is surely sad. *cry a river*

My everyday route *sad and cries*

Iowa City, I am going to miss you so very much. You got a very special place in my heart that no other places could ever replace. 

Until we meet again, Iowa. (play Downpour by IOI but male version)

Also, I would like to thanks my parents for supporting me and having faith with me, my family members, my annoying brothers, and sisters, my arwah tokwan, tok, ayoh, mek, my friends who made my days brighter, my housemates who bear with my laziness and annoyingness, my classmates who helped me borrowed their notes and pdfs, my teachers from primary school to high school who taught me from ABC, alif-ba-ta, one-plus-one-is-two, and along the way until I made it to the university. And of course, my lecturers in intec and uiowa who helped me throughout college and all. Seriously sincerely thank you guys thank you thank you thank you.

and last but not least, thanks Starbucks for all those coffees tho

Till next time,

p/s: I might write a post about my short grad-trip to the east coast but yeah... finger crossed
pp/s: I forgot to mention the credit for #2 #3 and the last photos goes to Justina
Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Birthday!

Who does not love birthdays? Ah, the cakes, food, birthday decorations, and the most important is, of course, the person whose birthday is celebrated! So I was browsing around the internet and I saw that Lazada is having their 5th birthday at the end of this March and what made me interested is the fact that they are giving presents to bloggers for their birthday, and I guess I could try for a luck! Oh, in case you don't know what Lazada is (which I doubt), it is a "secure and convenient online shopping experience with a broad product offering in categories ranging from fashion, consumer electronics to household goods, toys and sports equipment" (Lazada , 2017).
What do you love about Lazada Malaysia? 
Online shopping! Well, to be honest, I haven't had the chance to shop with Lazada since I live in the US for almost 4 years for studies. I online shop most of the time in the US since it is more convenient and easy for a busy student like me. I will return back home for good in about two months and I am so glad that we have Lazada in Malaysia so I can continue to online shopping without any worry. I went to Lazada website and I could not be more than happy to see that Lazada offers various product from all over the world with relatively reasonable prices and a lot of discounts! Oh, I also have a few friends who use Lazada and their feedbacks are mostly positive so I would say I can trust Lazada as a reliable online shopping platform!

Top three Product picks from Lazada Malaysia (your three favorite products)

I am addicted to K-Beauty skincare routine so this soothing gel would be a good catch! Can you believe it? It is only RM13.77!

I love coffee so very much I even dream of being a barista! I always brew my own coffee every morning and I am glad that Lazada has Mr. Coffee since they are one of the best coffee brewers out there. Can't wait to buy one when I return!

Perfect! I need to re-decorate my room when I return and I thought this simple, sleek, and cute desk would be a good investment!

How do you think Lazada Malaysia can improve?
Since I don't have any experiences shopping with Lazada, I am in a little place to point out on what to improve, what's good or not. So I played around Lazada website, looking for what could be improved but it's hard to find one since all things that I wish Lazada had, Lazada already has it! Be it free shipping, discounts, fast payment methods, delivery options, buyer protection..... and the list goes on. I am very sorry for not able to answer this question (too hard for me)

What is your birthday wish to Lazada Malaysia?
Hi, Lazada Malaysia! Happiest birthday to you! I wish you a long lasting life so that we Malaysians can enjoy the privilege of online shopping while feeling safe and sound from any fake sellers online. I also wish you will always be kind and generous so that we all benefit from the discounts you give. Here to your long life, cheers! *offer an imaginary drink*

Sunday, March 19, 2017

An Evening at Lake MacBride

As you may notice (or not), I've changed my blog template into a new one. Bought this new template from VefioThemes on Etsy yesterday and cleared up a few of my old immature posts from 2008 to 2010. I almost forgot that I used to blog so often back then until I looked back and realized that I wrote almost 200 posts in 2 years! and with this new template, I wish I will be more consistent in updating my blog and open up few things about my life *finger-crossed*. 

So, yesterday evening I went to Lake MacBride, Solon, with my Malaysians friends here in Iowa for a BBQ. We actually planned a one-day camping trip, but we were too late to reserved tents and stuff so we resorted to a quick BBQ picnic instead.

Also got some delicious laksa (kudos to Kak Shida)
Homemade salsa dip *super delicious*

Romano cheese bread

The boys setting up a charcoal grill


Nadhrah, me, Nadzreen and Moon

Alia, Maisarah, Kak Shida, aunty Khadijah and Moon


We had to leave earlier than we planned to since the weather got super chilly and windy so sudden. 

I'll just leave you with pictures above since a picture is worth a thousand words, so yeah. AND tomorrow is the last day for spring break (oh God how time flies) and I haven't started on any of my homework just yet. Gonna watch a few Korean dramas and an episode of Sherlock Holmes on Netflix and procrastinate still. So, homework, see you guys tomorrow!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

So, What Happened In Korea?

Seorak-san, 2016

My final semester of undergrad is nearly reaching to its end in few months. Ah-ha in about two months to be exact. I don't know what should I feel about this. Well, of course, I can't wait to return home for good but at the same time, I feel so sad to leave the States; Iowa City in particular. Iowa City will forever have a special place in my heart and I will never forget how much I've learned here. I am so thankful for having this once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn so much about other people from different cultures. I also admit that my perspective towards Americans also changed after living here for about three years and a half.  Okay, now it sounds like I'm really leaving soon. 

No no no. That is not my purpose for today's post. I will save my 'Goodbye Letter to Iowa' in different post cuz today I feel like writing about the second part of my trip to Korea (in continuation of my previous post : 'Korea, What?' . I will just point out few places that left me quite an impact (hahaha dasar pemalas).

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Korea, What?

Hello, it's me! Happy new year to each and one of you, and may 2017 will be filled with blessings and loves. Yup, a year just passed by and a lot of things has happened in 2016. Well, at least for me. One of them is my super-unexpected trip to the land where my imaginary boyfriend lives (haha jkjk), South freaking Korea! I swear, I've always wanted to go Korea all my life and I finally got the (most golden) opportunity to visit Korea last summer! *singing K-pop in my head* 

Ok, to begin with, I actually took (and am still taking) Korean language at my university and it has been almost 3 years now since I started learning Korean. So last April, I participated in a Korean speech contest held by IC King Sejong Institute in collaboration with our university Korean Language &; Literature Department. Guess what?! I actually won the first place in the contest that I did not plan to participate pun at the first place. Kudos to Yoon seonsaengnim and my friend, Amira, who encouraged me to try out the speech contest. Hah, who would have thought that I could be so fluent in Korean, right? Nah, just kidding. I'm not that good. I guess that is what we call rezeki :)

Ok, so that's that. Got travel bags and few sheet masks as the prizes and I thought the prizes ended there. But boy, I was so wrong. During my summer break, my Korean teacher emailed me that King Sejong Institute (KSI) in Seoul wanted to see my Korean competition speech video but we didn't record it during the competition event, so I had to record it on my own and send it back to them. Well, I just did what they told without asking much (cuz, why not?) and also uploaded my video to youtube. You can view it here (Youtube) and you can also judge my Korean as much as you want. I know very well that I'm not that good in Korean. Ha ha ha ha...
P/s : do excuse my annoying face.

Few weeks after, my Korean teacher texted me that I could possibly go to Korea in September if the video I sent was selected by Seoul KSI. I was in a silent for a while, thinking "Wait, what just has happened and what was exactly my video being selected for?" but I could not deny that my mind and my heart was already filled with flowers and confetti and I felt like screaming my heart out (hah bet ya, I did scream out loud). Not long after that, my teacher contacted me again saying that I got selected as a participant in '2016 King Sejong Institute Model Learners Workshop' which means I got to go to Korea with a free return ticket and free accommodation!