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Dear Readers,

Sorry I haven't managed to write more of late. However, recently, I've started being active (more like addicted!) in Facebook. Add me, Julissa (probably the only tudung clad Julissa in Singapore) if you haven't already!


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BlackBerry Torch 9810

My contract ended exactly on my birthday last year, 22nd Dec 2011. But the stock for the phone I wanted, Sony Ericsson's Xperia Mini Pro, are long gone. So I was at a lost at what phone to buy. Two of my important criteria were:

1. Physical QWERTY keyboard
2. Front Facing Camera

But there were not many in the market with BOTH of the criterion. Its either 1 or 2 or OUT OF STOCK. GRRRRRR

On an impulse, I went to buy this Blackberry Torch 9810 when I passed by Starhub shop one lunch time. I tried it for a couple of weeks but decided couldn't get used to it. I'm going to sell it away or in exchange for an iPhone 4 or 4S.

Anyways, let me list down what I like about the BB:

  1. The keyboard is indeed very good. I LOVE IT.
  2. Even though the sliding mechanism seems fragile, I actually had a good grip of the phone, ergonomically speaking!
  3. The SOUND and alerts were very good. I hated iPhone's sound profile just up and down the volume. BB has sound profile for "Shhhh" "Vibrate only" to "LOUD" or whatever. and the LOUD was VERY loud, ideal for when you are outdoors and the silent is very discreet for when we are in the office. iPhone? in office, the softest is still too loud, the loudest not loud enough. GRRR
  4. I LOVE the option of HIDING ICONS and arranging in folders. You must know that I try to  be very organised when I have the time. I don't like a cluttered Desktop. Same goes to phone.
  5. The Youtube application is different from iPhone. There are also pros and cons to this difference. The Pro being that it is exactly like how you see in on the computer - ie you can search by USERname which u can't on iPhone.
I did not get around to syncing my phone but i heard it is very hassle free.

Basically the reason why I can't get used to BB is the Applications. People have warned me about it being a business phone and therefore not many games. I didn't really mind that part, so long as the standard FB, Twitter, whatsapp and youtube are available I'm good to go.
  1. What I didn't expect was that the applications also LOOK business-like. There was not much room for customization.
  2. I had problems with the social feeds... it was not loading? even after restarting bla bla bla... I even downloaded a 2nd twitter app but to no avail.
  3. I didn't like the email application doesn't allow me to view emails already stored in folders. Don't even get me started on the MESSAGES folder. It's like a notification window but it's like a duplicate all over the place! Eg: I already checked and deleted my email, but its not reflected in this Messages folder and I had to delete it again. Not efficient, is what I think. Ironic.
  4. I had a problem with the favourites and History of the Youtube application. Because it runs like a true browser, there's no thumbnail or even a description of your favourites and History... instead just the first few characters of the URL. How the hell do i differentiate them??
  5. And helloooo... is there really just ONE ALARM timing for the whole phone???
Maybe I'm wrong because I did not get to explore the phone much. But from the other reviews I read, seem like you need to get a lot of Applications to customize... say the notification light and whatever else..

Right now, my 2 year old iphone 3GS is dying... the battery can only last 3-4 hours with much use... if nobody wants to buy my BB i guess i'll just hafta make do with it.... =(

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How I Met My "Angel"

Some of you may have seen this photo on my FB - but this will be the full story of how I discovered this gem.

I still remember that fateful day 3rd of October 2011, my first sister, Ashley, begged and begged me to go with her to Wellness Express Studio (just across the street) for moral support on her first liquid lunch. I was totally dragging my feet to go there because I wanted to eat REAL FOOD. But because I'm a *cough* good *cough* sister, I followed along.

I just listened to what her coach shared with me about the benefit of good nutrition.. How the aloe concentrate mixed with water helps to clean your internal system, and how 500ml of their thermogenic tea is equivalent to running twice around the tracks. I did not doubt the product. What I doubted was the taste and whether it could truly keep me full. I did the free health evaluation but walked away free.

As time goes, Ashley updated me how she's been going there every lunch time that she was available and how she had lost 1kg after a few drinks. And the bell started ringing for me and i thought, "Why not just give it a shot? You've run out of other options. Slimming centre is too expensive. Don't have time for gym. Cant take slimming pills cos not BFing safe."

With that, I bought a 10-day membership pass to drink the shake-tails (chocolate/vanilla/tropical base shake + assortment of fruits) for lunch. After my 5th session, I discovered I actually lost 1kg! I actually was still not entirely convinced. I mean weighing yourself in the morning, you will often find you are 1kg lighter before breakfast. so 1kg was like... nothing.

And then they started bugging me to enter the Weight Loss Challenge to potentially win $1,000 / $500 / $100 / $50 / $50. You have nothing to lose, just fats! The reason why I was so reluctant was because I'm afraid I'd be lazy to make my shakes in the morning. I like drinking it for lunch when OTHER people made it for me. But what one of the operators told me kinda sink in, "You just need to work hard the first 3 - 6 months. After you've reached your ideal weight, you just need to maintain..." I took another couple of session to finally sign up for the WLC.

To make a long story short, I lost 5kg and 3% body fat by the end of the 1-mth challenge. I did not win but I still walked away happier than ever having lost so much and stayed motivated throughout the process, thanks to my sisters and my coach.

That was end of November. December was my "off" month due to my 2 weeks holiday to Turkey and Spain (To be blogged!!!). Surprisingly I maintained my weight with just one shake a day but A LOT of eating! I've lost a further 2kg as of today. and have another 6kg to go till 55kg.

I'm VERY DETERMINED to be healthy! *wink*

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We Shifted Office!

28th Nov 2011

After almost a year of nervous "anticipation", we finally shifted office across the street. We are the anchor tenant and have the naming rights to this building.

There are pros and cons to this new place, but one thing's for sure, I am sorely missing the old office. Here's a few reasons why:

Old Desk

This may look a bit impersonal because I had already packed all my stuffs

New desk
 A colleague aptly described the move from an Executive Apartment to a 3 room flat!
Bosses and us siting all in one row -_-
Cabinet cum walkway

In short, its very very terribly OPEN!
Old single cubicle toilet

One of the old cubicles with a ledge that I used to rest my head on to catch a wink or two

New sinks

They may look classy but another colleague said its too small that it creates lotsa splashes on the floor when we brush our teeth or take ablution

Well, at least there's one cubicle fitted with a washing facility

Old pantry

Futher inside

MASSIVE new pantry complete with microwave, real fridge and HUGE TV!

Ok so far, the only thing i'm loving is this pantry.

This new site is certainly "near" to the mrt bcos it is linked underground the train station, and there are many (almost 20?) restaurants and food shops at level 1 and B1 of our building... unfortunately, only 2 are halal and other shops selling fruits and yogurt or coffee that we can patronise. And because they are restaurants, they cost at least $10 for lunch -_- I miss my Dudu Cafe... I can get $1 meals if I want to!

We don't have good bus stop here too whereas we had 2 stops to choose from before and both equally near and convenient.

Ok ok... one another thing to be thankful for is... We have a "proper" place to pray now. I used to pray in my meeting room, that's ok it's comfortable but sometimes it is in use and I had to use the bigger meeting room with see-thru glass panels or use the stairs. Here, the cleaners offer us the use of the tea room with a huge sink to do our wudhu' and we can even lock it! Now, I can pray at ease instead of constantly hoping (even in the midst of prayer) that no one will enter the meeting room. HAHA.

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Tufeil's Weaning Complete!

It was on my birthday on 22nd Dec last year when I finally finally decided enough was enough. I am not letting Tufeil any of milk anymore! Don't mention about the pain and discomfort and lack of sleep from his 2 hourly snack through the night, but its more for both our mental well being, I imagine. LOL

Anyway, we just came back from our Turkish/Spanish holiday and were terribly jetlagged. I took one day urgent leave that was followed by the Xmas long weekend to recover from it. And so I thought, let's kill two birds with one day and take this opportunity to wean Tufeil off.

Firstly, was to get a change of scene. Me and Tufeil slept with my mum in her room while my dad had to sleep in mine. For the first 3 nights he didn't sleep till 3am. Dad helped to entertain him and mum helped to shush him when he woke up. He tossed and turned tossed and turned but finally he was too tired and fell asleep. If he woke up and cried for milk i just kept telling him "Mummy's milk is sick" and he would understand.

On the 4th night, we graduated back to our own room. He went to sleep watching videos from the computer. Luckily I have a wireless mouse so i could still lay down with him while at the same time click Replay on whatever is his favourite Youtube video of the moment. Initially I thought that its better to just play a longer video / movie for him so that he can fall asleep easily because there's not much excitement of changing to the next video or whatever. But turned out the opposite is true. A short video of say... 3 min is most ideal because it remains exciting even if you replay 5 times and usually by the 5th time, Tufeil would have fallen asleep.

I was a bit worried that school was about to reopen and his sleeping pattern was still not corrected. But the day before we went out and he got so tired he slept early. and by early i meant 12mn. And then slowly after the first week, his bedtime crept earlier and earlier till now he sleeps at 9.30pm back to usual timing before being weaned off. However, at this point of writing, he's been waking up at around midnight, cried like crazy just as I was about to go to sleep too that I couldn't pacify him. He let himself out, cried at the hallway waiting for my mum to open her room door and slept with her. Although I was relieved to not have to listen to him cry... i found myself not able to sleep without him on the bed with me =( It's been two nights like this. I hope it gets better.

Yes, I totally feel disconnected ever since I stopped breastfeeding him. In good times, i would bear hug him, tickle him senseless and everything but once he started crying, i just switched off. I don't know why he just won't be pacified by me and want his grandparents instead. But then again, kids are clever, they know how to play you. For eg: Tufeil, at bathtime, if it's my mum who brought him to the toilet, who would cry asking for me. And if it was me, he would ask for my mum. Aiyoooo!!

Anyways, immediately following the successful weaning, I had to work late a couple of nights and didn't really get to spend time with him. And our bond, to me, grew distant. When he was having fever, I thought, "Nahh it's ok... my mum can help to take care of him" I did not feel the urgency or need to be with my sick son. Is there something wrong with me? To be clear, i did take childcare leave on the 3rd day and he got well soon after.

So for the record, Tufeil was 2yrs 9 months old when he finally weaned off the Bmilk.

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Helpful Helper

Alhamdulillah ALL thanks and praises to Allah who has answered our prayers to get a good helper.

We were close to exasperation. With 6 adults and 3 kidsamong us, we couldn't manage to keep the house settled for more than a few hours. The laundry is always piled high. Hair balled up on the floor. Toys EVERYWHERE! It was terrible.

It was finally agreed that we need to get a helper and we got a recommendation to get from Lemann Employment Agency.

In the beginning, we got one while my parents and I were away on holiday. She only worked 5 days. My sister was a bit sad because she was very good at cleaning. But because she was not flexible with our extra requirements like ferrying between two houses since my sister's children will be at my mum's and donning the hijab and no off days, we felt it was for the best that she left.

We were quite apprehensive about getting the next one. Because we are only left with onechance to change, we truly hoped we got the right person. Again, all praises and thanks to Allah, Wati joined our family just before the year 2011 ended.

She is about 7 yrs older than me, lost her husband to cancer while she was at work overseas earning money for his treatment, has one grown up married daughter. She sold everything she had had in Indonesia and now she's working for her retirement age. She's soft spoken, very caring and has a can-do attitude. whilst we think her housekeeping are not top of the range, we are very happy that she voluntarily and happily helps us with the chores as well as some springcleaning.

With this, I feel less guilty to work overtime or over the weekends because I know my mum has a lighter burden now with Wati to help here and there. In fact, I'm actually going on my first holiday totally ALONE. No baby. No family. In February to KL for 5 whole days! It's a shame that it couldn't be anywhere farther and more exotic but I'm attending a seminar and I don't imagine I could go at all if it weren't for that seminar excuse.

So there.

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