Spiderweb Swing (Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art)

spiderweb swing

Yesterday my husband and me went to Bedok Reservoir Park for an evening run. It’s my husband’s second time running at this park, but for me I have been coming here since my childhood. There is also a playground for children at the park, but the playground constantly changes through the years. I discovered yesterday that a new swing has been added to the playground family. What I love about it was the spiderweb-like pattern chains making up the seat of the swing. I have never seen this kind of swing before, and I thought it was a lovely work of art on its own.

(Also, I could not help but played on the swing for a while before starting our run! :P)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

To the Mothers in My Life

mothersday
My mother in pink, while my mother-in-law in green during my wedding day.

It’s never too late to dedicate a post for the mothers in my life.

To my mother, thanks for loving me unconditionally and raising me with so much love, strength and determination. Your perseverance, adventurous nature and love of knowledge inspires me every time. I love you.

To my mother-in-law, thanks for accepting me unconditionally and raising a son who is the best husband I can ever ask for. Your sweet and gentle nature, tough yet soft-heartedness of being a mother of 4 boys amazes me. I love you.

Another mother that played an important role in my life was my grandmother. She took care of my siblings and me while my parents worked, making sure we were always well fed physically and spiritually. She taught us how to recite the Quran from an early age and her cooking always makes me crave for more. I love you.

Alhamdulillah for my mothers, and all our mothers, and grandmothers, and perhaps possibly even aunts who were involved in mothering us in the process of growing up.

Happy Mothers’ Day.

Playing in the rain (Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring)

Playing in the rain (Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring)

In Singapore 1st May is celebrated as Labour Day and it is a public holiday. No Spring here either so here’s what I was up doing last Thursday. Attending a Sisterly Fitness Camp which started on Wednesday evening and ended with a 4.4km briskwalk from Masjid Al-Khair to Choa Chu Kang Park the following day. It rained halfway, but it didn’t stop us from the walk. We just took out our ponchos and marched on in the rain.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring

On Top At Lindis Pass, NZ (Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top)

This week’s topic is perfect for me since I’m in the midst of blogging about my honeymoon in Queenstown, New Zealand. So I will share three perspectives of this week’s theme based on the trip, of pictures that I have not shared in my previous posts.

1. On our way from Tekapo to Wanaka, my husband and me passed by scenic Lindis Pass, which was one of the filming spots for Lord of The Rings.

ontop3 (1)ontop3 (2)Β  ontop3 (3)

2. The view from our accommodation in Queenstown for the last day, Reavers Lodge which is located at the top of the hill. Challenging drive up due to the steep slope, but breathtaking view from up here.

ontop1

3. And lastly, me enjoying myself climbing on top of a tree in Queenstown Gardens.

ontop2

Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top

If you’d like to read about my trip to Queenstown, head on here or click these links below (I still have 3 more stories to go though):

  1. Kiwimoon: Exploring Queenstown (Day 1-2)
  2. Kiwimoon: Mesmerizing Milford Sound (Day 3)
  3. Kiwimoon: Starry, Starry Lake Tekapo (Day 4)

The Happy Wanderer goes to New Zealand!

Inspired by Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer

Salam and Hello all, I’m back! πŸ™‚

(Did anyone miss me? Haha…)

Let’s see what’s happened during these past couple of months?

Firstly, I got married Alhamdulillah. πŸ™‚

bus stop
Yup, that’s my dashingly smart-looking husband in a formal suit during our outdoor photoshoot. πŸ˜€

And then flew to Queenstown, New Zealand for my honeymoon.

20140226_090003_mard
Super LOVE the breathtaking sceneries in Queenstown, New Zealand. I would love to go there again!

My husband and me went on a self-drive trip for our honeymoon (kiwimoon, which I will refer to) so when I saw this daily prompt, it got me inspired to write. It’s such an amazing feeling when inspiration strikes!

What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

I would say that my travel style is a mixture of both itinerary driven as well as being flexible enough to adapt to changes in travel plans.

As it was our first time traveling together, we spent a lot of time planning and researching for the trip. Our travel plans included an itinerary since we would be moving from one place to another (around Queenstown, Tekapo and Wanaka), so we needed to follow a schedule as we would be checking in and out of hotels etc.

However when we were in the towns itself, we let ourselves wander happily and didn’t stick to specific timings or needing to follow every step. We had some places in mind that we wanted to go, so we just went with the flow. Like, on our second day in Queenstown we decided to go up on the Skyline Gondola, explored Queenstown central and then decided on a whim to go on a hike up on Queenstown Hill.

Reading bloggers’ travel posts on NZ really helped me a lot for the planning of the trip, so InsyaAllah, I will blog more about our kiwimoon soon. πŸ™‚

Trolley + Art (Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition)

Trolley + Art (Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition)

I was walking along Arab St the other day and I saw this piece of art along the walls of one of the shop houses.

Two kids had been painted on the wall and then two trolleys had been attached to the wall such that it is positioned to show the two kids having fun in their respective trolleys. I can so imagine this scene in a supermarket! Why, I might even have been one of them when I was a kid in a supermarket with my parents, once upon a time. What a creative way to infuse art into the everyday!

Honestly I’ve walked past this before, thought it was “hmm, interesting,” and moved on. I’ve never really noticed and observed the juxtaposition of it all until this week’s photo challenge. The combination of the metal trolleys, the cement wall and the paintings made the contrasting effect into a really fun work of art.

Loved this week’s challenge as it made me notice contrasting things I would have usually just walked past.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Happy Tioman Memories

tioman sunset

My favorite holiday was when I went to Pulau Tioman during my childhood years. I went with my dad, mum, younger brother and youngest sister. I was only 14 but for some reason I remember the trip vividly. Perhaps because I learned to snorkel for the first time during that trip, or because I have a memory of clinging onto my dad for dear life in the waters (although I was wearing a life jacket) or because I was just feeling happy and excited during the holiday. We don’t need a specific reason to be happy don’t we?

We departed from Singapore to Mersing via bus. The journey was about 2 hours, after which we took a ferry from Mersing to Pulau Tioman as the island is only accessible via sea transportation. My siblings and me were so excited that we were going on holiday! No matter how busy my parents were with work, they will always make sure to bring us on a holiday at least once or twice a year during our school holidays.

As for us kids, it didn’t matter how near or far they brought us, as long as it was a holiday and it was out of the country. Sometimes we would go just as one family, and sometimes we would go in a bigger group with the rest of my cousins, uncles and aunties. Alhamdulillah, I have happy memories of my childhood holidays which I have to be thankful for my parents for planning and organizing these trips for us.

At Tioman Island, we stayed in this very rustic 2-bedroom chalet with one bathroom. I remember seeing big ants in the bathroom (like I said, very rustic…) and avoiding it while showering. Surprisingly, I wasn’t very scared of it, just a little squirmy haha. It was also football season so I have a memory of my dad going to the open-air restaurant watching the match (there was no TV in our chalet, hotel policy – must be the no distractions kind of chalet) together with a couple of guys while we hung around enjoying the cooling sea breeze. Ahh I also remember the delicious seafood that was served, it was so fresh and yummy.

Recently, I went to Tioman Island again in 2011 and was pleasantly surprised to find that the resort had been expanded and renovated. In addition to the chalet, they added more types of rooms such as honeymoon suite and deluxe chalet which comprised of 2-storeys; this was where we stayed for my recent trip with my cousins. However, I am glad that although they have expanded the place and have had more visitors these years, the quality of the island still maintains somewhat the same as 10 years ago.

Renggis Island, where we went for snorkeling, still had beautifully maintained corals and clear waters. I say this because this is different from Manukan Island in Sabah, where the influx of visitors have led to a deterioration in the quality of corals and snorkeling experience there isn’t fun because you can’t really see anything much due to the less clear waters. But I guess that is just for the overpopulated tourist spots in Sabah because I do know that Sabah has amazing waters as well and I have not experienced it yet – like scuba diving at Sandakan one day please.

Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past

Grand Elephants (Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand)

grand elephants

Well, it’s not everyday you see elephants strutting down the street like they do in Krabi.

Apologies for the photo quality, but I managed to capture this while in a moving van, being amused at a sight I had never seen before living in an urban country like Singapore. The elephants look so grand compared to the motorcycles!

Taken during my trip to Krabi, Thailand in December 2010.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Love is Being Together and Being Apart

Today my “Don’t Be Sad” class has come to an end. Ustaz started off the first weeks of class with “Live”, and then “Laugh” and then coming to the end of the sessions, the topic was about “Love”. Which explains why there has been a transformation of sorts over at this blog! But so far, I am loving this makeover.

And last Saturday, I went to the Muslimah Discourse and Afternoon Tea organized by Halal Universe, a networking event discussing about women and smart investing. My main purpose of being there was to cover the event, but I also wanted to learn and gain knowledge of investing the halal way. Alhamdulillah, my article came out in the papers today and I will share more soon InsyaAllah.

Anyway, I came to the session with some blank name cards so that I can fill in manually and give to others. I do it manually instead of printing because I just prefer it this way for now since I don’t have an official business. So I also included this blog as my website details and as I was writing the website address on a couple of those name cards I realized it was becoming a tad too long. The current address sounds better to me and yey, I am liking it so far too.

My next Travel Tuesday series will be my Krabi-Phuket trip in 2010. I love these photos of two birds we came across when we were cycling at Phuket, Nai Yang area exploring the village…

krabi birds 1

krabi birds 2

krabi birds 3

Truly fits the current love theme of this blog doesn’t it? The pictures itself tells a story that only both the birdies know of…