One year later...



Yesterday – 27th December 2011 – marked one year since my divorce. This past year, I have learned so much about myself and about life in general. It has been a year of growth, of revelation, of learning to have faith, of learning to let go, and of HAPPINESS :)

On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to give thanks to those who have played a role – big and small – in making this, such an amazing year.

First, I would like to thank my family. My parents, with their unbending support and unconditional love (and their free babysitting services) have been priceless to me. I truly could not have survived this year without them. Thanks, Mom, for your faith, trust, and love. Your passion, emotion, and commitment to family is contagious, and I’m glad to have been infected ;D And thanks, Dad, for your pragmatic and chillaxed approach to life. You are the yin to Mom’s yang. Together, you have shown me the true meaning of loyalty, solidarity, trust, love, commitment and strength. Your 28-year marriage (soon to be 29 on Jan 1!) has not been without challenges, but you two face them together and come out stronger, and that, I believe, is the key to a lasting relationship.

To my brother and sister-in-law, Iz and Aidah – I am constantly amazed by how loving, understanding, and passionate you are with each other, and I admire that. Iz, although we don’t see eye to eye on most things (seriously people, we agree on very few things, it’s a wonder we came from the same womb!), we know that we’ve always got each other’s back. I don’t think a lot of siblings can say that. And Aidah, I am so grateful that we share the same dress and shoe size. LOL just kidding (although really, I am glad about that). Mostly I am grateful to finally have a sister :D I imagine that our conversations with each other are what most sisters would have had their whole lives, and while I wish we could have been sisters all our lives, when it comes to your existence in my life, I say “better late than never”.

To Aidah’s parents (AKA my brother’s parents-in-law AKA my surrogate parents AKA my kids’ surrogate grandparents), Aunty Azra and Uncle Shukri. You have both given so much love, time, and affection, to my children and I. I am so grateful to have you in our lives, and to be able to call you family! Weekends without seeing you are simple weekends that are incomplete :D Such a wonderful, loving, generous couple  - it truly is a pleasure to know you both.

To my extended family – my cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces. Thank you for never judging me! You have NO IDEA how much this has helped me heal. Our family has had a dramatic few years, but for some reason, it has never tainted our get-togethers.  I look to you all as inspiration for how a family should be – although we can’t see each other always, we know that we can count on each other when it matters.

To my soulmate, Syan. Who knew, that in closing one of the most painful chapters of my life, I would enter one of the happiest? Your faith, support, patience, and love has been a driving force for me to achieve everything I’ve achieved this year. You make me so happy, and you remind me to slow down to smell the roses. Your creative energy inspires me constantly. Heck, YOU inspire me constantly! It makes me so happy that the children love you as much as I do – and that you love them as much I do. I look forward to more years together –  the four of us and maybe more ;)

Next, I give thanks to my “soul sistas” – we may not be technically related, but if friends are the family you choose, then dammit I have chosen some fantastic sisters for myself!

Maria, your enthusiasm and optimism reminds me to have faith that everything will work out in the end. We’ve known each other from the time we were schoolgirls, and now we are pretending to be grown-ups together ;D It’s fantastic.

Su-Ren, I appreciate your honesty and the fact that you are ALWAYS there for me…I wish I could say I have done the same, but I can’t, and for that I apologize. I can only hope that I can make it up to you in the coming years. Your sharp sense of humor belies the incredibly loving soul inside…I’m glad to know the latter.

Suri, you are one of the kindest souls I have ever had the privilege to meet, and yet you are also one of the strongest! I have so much admiration for you, and I hope you know that. I miss laughing…err, I mean, working…with you! Getting to know you has been such a joy.

Emelda, your sage advice and sassiness never fails to make me smile. These past couple of years we rekindled a friendship that was lost in the years following high school, and though I regret the “lost” years, I am so glad to have you in my life again now.

Fardia, you are my inspiration. This past year had been particularly challenging for you, and to see you go through the experience of caring for a sick child with such grace, strength and faith, AND care for three other children (and also that eldest baby AKA Amir)…it shows just what a gem you are. I share in your joy and relief following the news of Adam’s remission :D

And to my Sisterhood of Bunnies – Elly, Farid, Hanim, Ito, Jaja, Liz, Nadh, and Syaz – I love you gals, really. You have brought light into otherwise dark days, brought laughter in the midst of my tears, brought clarity in times of confusion. We come from many walks of life, and we are each so different, but somehow the dynamics just…work. I cannot thank you all enough for everything that our friendship has done for me! Our kids are growing up together, and I love all of your kids like I do mine…ours is a very special kind of friendship, the kind that will transcend generations, I just know it. May we be “hoppy” always ;D

Facebook and Twitter are strange worlds – they have provided me with support from the most unexpected sources! Thank you to the friends, acquaintances and even complete strangers who have sent me messages of support this past year. Knowing that my children and I have come into your thoughts for even just a second, gives me strength.

Here I’d also like to thank the single mothers or former single mothers who have inspired me – Kak Mas, Aunty Milah, Aunty Laila, Kimora (seriously tho), Kate Gosselin, Sandra Bullock, and a slew of others I can’t think of right now. You have all handled single motherhood with such grace – I can only hope I can reflect that grace in my own journey.

To my students, who are also a source of inspiration for me. You make my job feel like it isn’t a job at all. I don’t think I can ever fully explain how much joy teaching you gives me :) And to my bosses and colleagues – we are a special bunch for doing what we do, and I have so much respect and admiration for you.

To the folks at Orphancare – thank you for letting me be a part of Orphancare. Each time I volunteer, I am overwhelmed with sheer happiness. What you are doing is AMAZING! To the babies whom I have fed, changed, and cuddled each time I’m there – I hope that for at least those moments that you spend with your Mama Adrin, you feel loved and cherished…and I hope that you continue to feel that way as you enter your forever families :D Please know that caring for you is an absolute treat, and I will never ever forget each and every one of you.

Also, I have not forgotten my fantastic babysitters! These are the girls who take care of my boys when neither my parents or I are able to – Edura, Hanis, Nina, Chacha, and Bee. You have all become a part of our family – our boys are very lucky to have such a great bunch of girls who love them so much ;D Same goes to the folks at Aqil’s school – all the teachers have done a great job with him, and both he and I feel right at home when we are there :D Thanks also, for my “frequent face” award *LOL* Oh, and I can’t forget Lesley, our fantastic housemaid who is such a great help, and a wonderful soul.

To my (currently on indefinite hiatus) band, The Casual Passengers. Our time together is pure joy – y’all are an awesome bunch of guys and its such a pleasure to work with you. Penang was DOPE.

I would also like to (surprisingly, I am sure most of you might feel) thank my ex-husband Farhan and his new partner Sinta, as well as Sinta’s two daughters. Farhan, we have had a lot of conflict in the time we have known each other, but as co-parents, we have remained civil and have always managed to put the kids’ happiness first. Sinta, during the times where my children spent time with you, they had nothing but pleasant experiences, and I am glad for that. I should also thank Sinta’s parents, who are, coincidentally, close family friends of ours, who have helped care for my boys when they have visited.

Last but definitely not least, I would like to thank my two sons, Aqil Arfan and Afraz Alman. You two are the loves of my lives. Aqil, with your compassion, affection and intellect, and Afraz, with your zest for life, “carpe diem” attitude and sense of humor…you two never fail to amaze me. I am SO PROUD of the both of you, and so GRATEFUL that I get to see you grow. The truth is, there have been days where the two of you are the only reason I am grateful to be alive. I love you both so so so much…you both mean everything to me. I am so privileged to be your mother.

And with that, I would like to now thank…myself. Adriana, this past year has taught lessons that you would not have learned otherwise. Thank you for learning to love yourself, and learning that it is okay to ask for help when you need it. Take this as a reminder to love unconditionally, to have faith in the people you love, to be grateful always and to try and spend more time with those who matter. Stay strong, stay glam ;)

So, 2012: Bring it on!


Such an inspiration :)

The last time I saw or heard of Muhammad Zhariff was when he tried out for a reality singing show...I think it was Malaysian Idol? Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a picture of him in a copy of today's Berita Harian (it was totally by chance - I don't even read this paper usually).



Muhammad Zhariff was born without arms. And yet he has found a way to lead an fulfilling life - by anyone's standards! He has a degree, he has studied overseas, he has worked with various NGOs for years and he now runs his own company. I know many able-bodied 30-year-olds who haven't achieved even half of what he has! Heck, I don't think I'd be able to say I'd achieve that much when I'm 30!

What's most inspirational about him, though, is not his achievements. While that is admirable, the quality that jumped out at me from the TV screen the first time I saw him, and today again in the newspaper, is his perpetual optimism. This guy is tirelessly positive! He hasn't let any of his perceived "shortcomings" become an excuse for failure. 

We're all prone to bouts of self-pity every once in a while (I've just had a week of that, thanks to a particularly nasty bout of respiratory infection), but when we are exposed to the successes, dedication and unending positivity of people like Muhammad Zhariff...well, what excuse do we have not to do everything we dream of doing?
What I am trying to say, in a nutshell, is that we always need to stay vigilant...never take our blessings for granted, and never let our shortcomings get in the way of fulfilling our full potential. Let's try to live every day with these thoughts in our head, and hopefully our kids can be a generation of people with this kind of attitude ingrained in them.

(P.S: You can read Muhammad Zhariff's story here.)

Sock bun curls - using baby leggings!

Ok, so the world of Pinterest has been booming with pictures and how-to’s for the sock bun curls (some examples are here and here). I had some free time (read: was terribly ill and had to stay home) for the past couple of days, so I thought I’d try it out!


1. You know those baby leggings that you use on your kids, like this?



Well, that’s what I used! The instructions on the links required that you cut out the toe end of a sock, basically making it an elastic tube, and then rolling it up so that it looks like a scrunchie. Using a legging just means one less step. (I turned the legging inside out so that the cute print is visible, so that's why it's optional - doesn't make a difference to the outcome.)



2. I put my hair in a sock bun while it was damp, not wet. So towel-dry your hair or let it air-dry for about half an hour before you put it in a sock bun.

3. You could also use a curl-enhancing serum of some kind before you put it in a sock bun – this is what I did when I tried it a second time, and my curls lasted longer.

4. Leave the sock bun on overnight and wake up to effortless curls! To make sure the bun stays put while you toss and turn as you dream of going on vacation with Ryan Gosling (What? Of course that's not what I dream of...no way...nu-uh...*awkward cough*), put a second rolled-up-legging around the bun.


I personally prefer the result after a couple of days. The curls were way too floofy right after (in my universe, that is indeed a word). I gave it a day and it settled down into more natural looking curls. I seriously love this method of curling hair now! So incredibly easy!

Soap & Glory...A girl's best friend [[my first post as star blogger for ShopShip!]]



At a meet-up with friends a couple of years ago, the hot topic was makeup. That’s where I learned about Soap & Glory, a fantastic UK brand which had unique items at affordable prices and (a point that makes it extra attractive) cute names for its products.





Case in point: The Sexy Mother Pucker. This was the product that my friend had shown me which got me hooked on Soap & Glory. Hilarious name aside, this product really works to moisturize and plump up lips. The tingly burning sensation may be too much for some, so those who are sensitive could start off with the regular-strength Mother Pucker glosses. But for those who can stand the heat, it’s the Sexy Mother Pucker XL for us! You can layer it under or over your regular lipstick, or wear it on its own for a Sexy natural sheen…


Or you could use it together with Marvelips! This lip pencil & highlighter pencil comes in a neutral rosy shade that is flattering for pretty much all skin tones. It’s really easy to use – just use the colored end to fill in your lips, and dab the highlighter end at the middle of your lower lips and on your cupid bows (trust me on this one – it’ll make your lips looks really pouty and sexy ;D).


Another product that I now can’t live without is the Arch De Triumph. I’m a stickler for well-groomed eyebrows (it keeps your look polished, dontcha know?), and this product is such an easy way to achieve a natural groomed look. Just used the subtle taupe-colored end to fill in your eyebrows and the highlighter end along the bottom of your eyebrow arch. Blend, blend, blend, and then thank me for letting you know about this awesome product. (You’re welcome)


Luscious lips and neat eyebrows can’t distract people from noticing one’s dark under-eye circles, though. That’s where Trick And Treatment comes in! This multi-purpose concealer (it’s a quick-fix cover-up AND long-term dark circle corrector!) is creamy, so it blends really well. Dot it under your eyes and blend  – you’ll see a difference immediately!


And last but not least, I want to talk about the magic of Hocus Focus (Ha! Geddit? Magic? Hocus Pocus? Hocus Fo… ok I’ll stop now). This product is touted as an “instant visual flaw-softening lotion”, and while it is that, it is also a great highlighter and makeup base! The way I use it is to mix it in with my BB cream or moisturizer for a natural, glowing, JLo-ish base. Then I add on those fantastic eyebrows, zap off those under-eye circles and pucker up my pout, and I’m all glammed up, Soap & Glory style!

You can get these wonderful products from Soap & Glory through ShopShip, an amazing personal shopper service that allows you to order items from the UK and have them sent to your doorstep in Malaysia - especially useful if you want to order from a company that doesn't ship here. All you have to do is:
  • Look for your favourite items
  • Fill in their order form - downloadable from www.shopship.co.uk
  • Pay via MEPS Bank Transfer or Credit Card
  • Done! Your goods will be delivered to you.
Don't forget to check out their blog at http://www.shopshipuk.blogspot.com to check out other recommended items, and "like" their http://www.facebook.com/shopship for updates on ShopShip. Enjoy!

I'm gonna be a guest blogger for ShopShip UK :D

ShopShip UK is a unique new personal shopper service that allows you to shop for things in UK and have them sent to you, wherever you are in the world - and I am very proud to be called a guest blogger for their blog! I'm joining the likes of Mia Suraya in promoting items from UK retailers that we feel our audiences would like, that either don't ship internationally or charges a bomb for shipping.






So, why use ShopShip? Well, I don't think I could have said it any better than what they say on their website!

  • Its FREE. We don't charge you anything for our service. You pay for your items and shipping. Thats it!
  • Save money. Many brand items are cheaper here than back home, not forgetting the year round promos.
  • Variety. Designs, sizes, collections – The product ranges here are wide.
  • Exclusivity. Stand out with the latest of everything available only to the UK.
  • Speed. Have your items with you in three working days.
  • Service. ShopShip is #1 for Customer Love. You don’t deal with robots. You deal with us.
I'm so looking forward to recommending new, useful, GLAM products to y'all! Be sure to let me know if you find particularly awesome gems that I failed to catch with my (old, old) eyes k? And don't forget to follow the ShopShip blog at http://shopshipuk.blogspot.com for more product recommendations, and "LIKE" their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/shopshipuk for frequent updates on their latest promotions! As a matter of fact, they are having a FREE SHIPPING promotion going on right now - do check out the ShopShip website for more information! Enjoy :D