Experience the Blissful Month of Ramadan

Time flies, the blessing month of Ramadan 2015 will leave us soon, how have you been doing in this month? Have you been productive and value of the month of Ramadan? Have you anticipate for all the extra rewards and closeness to Allah?

Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained” [Sahih al Bukhari]

Ramadan Pray

Ramadan is that time of the year when even the most “non-practicing” Muslim is inspired to fix their prayers, to fast, to read Quran, to raise their hands in dua, to give sadaqah etc.

It’s a new beginning for many Muslim, it’s also an opportunity for us to go that extra mile no matter where we stand in our journey towards Allah.

Although we (maybe) fasting, Ramadan should be the most productive time of the year, spiritually, socially and personally for every Muslim.

Before Ramadan started, I think many of you have listed down things ‘to do’ and ‘goals’ to achieve in this blissful month. I did that as well.

One of the goals I set for myself is to finish read Quran from cover to cover, also remember the Surah (at least one) and some dua.

Mission accomplished!! Alhamdulillah, my #1 to do task in Ramadan achieved – Quran reading from cover to cover done .. can't believe I made it, well done! How about you?

Posted by Ann Liu on Saturday, July 4, 2015

This year I finish of reading Quran earlier than last year and its indeed has been a special Ramadan for me.

It is my first Ramadan in Malaysia with my husband and family, the first time performed 20 rakah of taraweeh prayer (with 3 rakah of witr prayer too) instead of 8 which I did while in Bangkok. Alhamdulliah, I feel awesome after done those intense prayers, and all things are going well.

I’m very grateful for everything I experienced of what pure love for Islam could be.

As Ramadan being the month in which Quran was revealed, it is important that we establish a strong connection and strengthen the relationship with the Quran.

By saying that, I want to share with you these beautiful words from Nouman Ali Khan regards to why does Allah compare the Quran to water?

Why does Allah compare the Quran to water?
Besides the fact that the Quran came down from the sky, it also brings dead…

Posted by Nouman Ali Khan on Tuesday, July 7, 2015

To stay connected to the Book revealed during this month, beside of reading it, you can also listening to your favorite reciters and/or reading easy translations and tafseer.

Ponder the meaning of the Quran and aim to carry out one ayah every day or to the best of your ability.

Listening to a good, medium-paced recitation is also a fantastic way to aid with memorization.

We are now in the last third of Ramadan. May all of us be persistent in hoping, praying and trying to be better Muslims. And I pray that we are able to purify our hearts and reach a new understanding in all that we do, ameen!

My Great Grandmother’s Three-Inch Feet

My greatgrandmother (on my father side) passed away when I was only 12 years old. In that time she was 91 years old.

She had “three-inch golden lotuses” feet that bound since she was a kid. Thus, even at 91 years old her feet were only three-inch long.

She was a very traditional, strict and serious Chinese woman but with a very kind heart.

3 niche feet I remembered when I was a little kid, she always brought me to the market near our house and bought food for me and the entire family. Because of her age and her three-inch feet, when she walked, she needed a walker to steady herself and keep her body balanced. She couldn’t walk that far, especially long distances for extended times.

My grandmother, however, also had bound feet, but hers were a bit bigger, maybe about four-inches. She told me it was because her mother didn’t bind her feet that long.

Later I learned that her mother started to bind her feet when she was four years old, while my great-grandmother’s feet bound when she was only two years old! So probably that explains why her feet were smaller than my grandmother’s.

In that time, my grandmother (on my father’s side) lives with my parents. Both of my great- grandmother and my grandmother didn’t go to school because their father did not allow, thus, they were never able to read or write their own name.

Beside other house-work they did, they also made their own beautiful three-inch golden lotus shoes.

I remembered every year, in the spring and summer when the weather started to become warmer, in the early evening, they would sit outside the house and make their own shoes and clothes while chatting with our neighbors.

3 inch lotus shoes

They spent their “leisure” time making elaborate shoes for themselves. I was so small in that time, what I did was sat beside them and help them ready the material, such as prepared the glue into the bowl for them to use. The glue was homemade from starch powder.

Because my parents were young and busy with their work, they sent me to live with my grandparents (my father side) since one year old (I live with them until 17 years old, then back to live with my parents). That’s why I got chance to spend my childhood and teen time with my great-grandmother and had lot of conversation with her.

She told me that I am a very lucky girl because in my time – I don’t have to binding my feet and face all the pain.

She said she cried a lot when her mother binding her feet, my grandmother told the same thing to me.

Their mothers were using strip of bandage ten feet long and two inches wide wrapped tightly around their feet to stop it from developing properly. The four small toes were broken and bent under the sole. The arch of the feet was bowed to make the feet shorter. The bandage was tightened each day and the feet was put into smaller and smaller shoes.

The process took two years to finish. By then, their feet was useless for walking far.

The entire binding process was very painful! But they have no choices and they couldn’t do anything since they were born in to a big family.

They told me, in that time, a girl with a three-inch feet will be considered as perfect and beautiful.

3inchfeet Girls from a poor family could never afford to have bound feet because they need a pair of strong broad feet for hard work.

Three-inch feet are a symbol of women’s status and identity in the old China. It was a symbol of wealthy. For the wealthy it was status and proof of a girl’s worth.

Both of my great-grandmother and my grandmother’s feet are just slightly larger than cigarette box.

In the old China, foot binding was designed to literally keep women in their place, it regarded as property. Without someone hold or support them, they couldn’t walk more than a few steps, this guaranteed they weren’t going to get anywhere unless they were willing to crawl.

This tradition painful art practice has been last one thousand years in China.

The practice of foot binding finally declared illegal during the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

I missed my great-grandmother and my grandmother very much, missed the nice time that we spent together. When I live with them, I like to watch their feet because their feet so small and so cute (even smaller than my childhood feet).

Until 4 years ago (before she passed away), every time I went back to visit my grandmother, I still watch & touch her feet .

When every time when I think of them, I was wondering if the practices of foot binding still exist today. Where am I then? What my feet will look like – maybe I get two-inch feet instead of three, huh!

Eating Healthy Meals Can Help You Lose Weight

Weight gain over a period adds up can cause serious health issues. Once the cycle of putting on a few pounds every year starts, it’s hard to stop.

If you are one of those who are begin your weight loss challenge, try to look at your present weight loss goals as an investment in the future of your health. This is not just about fitting into a favorite pair of jeans, it’s about living longer in greater health and happiness.

In the process of dropping the pounds, be cautious of the food you take, especially those foods that claim to be fat-free or have no trans fats.

These foods may have tons of sodium or sugar that will hinder you in your lost weight goals, thus, be sure to read the nutritional facts before buying it.

Save calories all year-long on the drinks, as well as the meals.

how to weight-loss

Have a diet soda instead of a sugary soft drink

Other non-threatening drinks for dieters include low-cal ice tea, sugar-free lemonade and the always-trustworthy water.

If you’re making a weight loss diet for yourself, make sure to read food labels. Just because something is labeled “non-fat” or “diet” does not make it good for you, and often these foods are really quite high in calories.

Check the serving size and calories and see if it’s really that great for your diet.

In addition, also see a doctor when deciding to create a diet and exercise regimen.

A doctor can tell you if you have special needs or if you need to watch out for certain activities. Sometimes weight gain is caused by hormones or thyroid malfunctions. A doctor’s diagnosis can possibly prevent months of disappointment.

Be aware of the ‘weight loss plateau’

This is when your weight loss suddenly stops for no reason.

It is very frustrating, but the only thing you can do is to tweak your diet slightly or alter your exercise routine. Sometimes all it takes is cutting a few extra calories or walking that extra mile.

If you shake up your routine somewhat, you will find that you overcome the plateau and progress will return.

Slow the pace to lose more weight

You may not realize the harmful effect that eating fast can have on your health. The faster you eat, the slower your body is signaled that you have eaten enough. If you eat more slowly, than your body will be able to more accurately send you the signal to stop eating.

Set up your goals before you start your diet

You might find easier to stay motivated and keep track of your progress if you make your goal to fit into a certain dress size or have a certain waist measurement and not reach a given weight.

Hopefully you are now mentally prepared to take on the challenge of losing weight with determination and vigor. You now have a plan of action in mind and reminders of it posted on the door of your refrigerator. Today you are armed with the knowledge you need to help your weight loss program and meet the goals you have set for yourself. Today you are ready for your weight loss success!

Success With These 4 Ds

Time is flying faster than ever, hope your 2015 is going well.

I was very busy since the new year started, beside work on the year 2015 ‘to do list’, clear up the unfinished tasks, sign up some new courses and schedule out the new plan (etc), there are many things and lots of changes in my life as well, anyway.

By saying it, if you haven’t got connected with me on Google+ and Pinterest, let’s get connected.

Also, I haven’t seen you show up on Facebook for while, hopefully to see you back on board soon.

So what is your 2015’s plan? I am not talking about your new year resolutions, it is more about what you want to do, to achieve and to move forward to a better life.

In 2015, turn your ego loose and focus on fundamentals. Here are the 4Ds I would like to share with you, as long as you work on them, your dream to success in 2015 will become true.

Determination

Let’s talk about determination. As I know, many of you have been truly determined to succeed in the things you do, you have worked hard on them, and some of you have succeeded, some of you haven’t.

how to success See, life is like rolling stone, it is different and changing every moment, sometime it is sunshine, sometime it is storming, sometime it is in the shade.

We all face difficult and challenge time, but it’s your attitude to the situation that matters, not anything else. Your attitude can either bring you down or raise you to greater heights.

In the other words, inwardly, you need a strong ego, otherwise you’ll believe all the people who say that you don’t have the talent, or there’s too much competition, or simply that you won’t succeed is true.

However, it is always good to be humble on the outside and believe in yourself.

Different

Every minutes, hours, days and years are different. New challenges will always come, changes will happen, whether it is happen for good or not so good, just accept, go with the flow and be thankful.

And don’t forget to make sure your experience is focus on being more effective instead of just more efficient.

Eliminate the noise and focus on the most important tasks at hand: just do it and get things done!

Difficult

Whatever the field you are working in, I believe you have been through and experiences lots of changes in the past years. Combining these changes with the changes to the economy, it is not easy for many people to get by and/or to get their products or services out there for people to see, especially for people who are selling stuff through the Internet.

Speaking of selling products online, competition is very high in this industry, however, do not be intimidated by the big guys, instead, leverage them – focus on your audiences, subscribers, prospects, customers and improving their experience. That means develop and produce high quality relevant content for the target groups. As competition for attention increases, shortcuts will continue to falter.

So difficult doesn’t mean impossible. When things change, you have to change as well.

Deadlines

Bundle the word ‘deadlines’ with the word ‘goals’ together will be more powerful and effective.

I don’t know about you, for me, one thing that I always found helpful is to set specific smaller goals with deadlines to meet, narrow the scope, write them down on the paper. Sometime I also use images, pictures etc and post them to my vision board to got me reminded on the things I have to do.

When you are facing the difficult time, calm down and do not allow those situations take control, be determined, set goals with deadlines and Just Do It! The results really turn out amazing.

To succeed in 2015 is the same as to succeed in 1915 or 2115, it is not a big deal, just like we know there will be gravity, water will still be wet, there are laws that don’t depend on predicting the future.

Finding that ‘wow’ and present it to the world with your unique personality, and do it sincerely.

Now is your turn, hope you find this short notes helpful. Let’s make 2015 the best year ever – for your life, study, business or whatever you do!

Experience the Yummy Chocolate Cake in Making at Kangar

After heard so many people talking about Laziz Home Bakery’s delicious bakery and pastry, I decided to go pay a visit at their shop.

This bakery shop is in the Kangar, some of you guys may or may not know, some of you may never heard about this place. Let me briefly tell you bit about Kangar first.

Kangar is the state capital of Perlis, Malaysia. It is in the northernmost point of Peninsular Malaysia and is situated by the Perlis River, it is surrounded by fields and farms.

Perlis province is Malaysia’s tiniest and is home to a variety of natural attractions. Kangar, is the smallest state capital in Malaysia and its inhabitants are mostly farmers and civil servants.

Kangar Perlis, Malaysia

The state by itself makes an interesting little stop as you either head into or out of Malaysia, like go to Pulau Langkawi or Thailand.

As you can imagine Kangar maybe the state’s little capital, but the royal family and Sultan have their residences in Arau (royal capital), some 10 km away. Padang Besar, which is one of Malaysia’s gateways to Thailand is about 30 minutes’ drive from Kangar.

KTM’s railway line also runs through the state and eventually crosses into Thailand at Padang Besar, a small international border crossing south of the major Thai transport hub of Hat Yai.

Kangar Perlis Malaysia

Once you’re in Kangar, you’ll see the town center is spread out along Perlis River and its tributaries bubbling down from the mountains in the north.

A couple of shop house-lined crisscrossing streets and lanes compromise the town center. The small town square together with Pasar Raya shopping complex is the most happening area, with banks, a post office, small roadside restaurants and a crowded KFC that’s open 24/7.

A beautiful place, right? :-)

Ok, now let’s go back to my experience the yummy chocolate cake in making at Kangar.

The exactly the site of Laziz Home Bakery is at No. 11 Medan Niaga 12, Behor Indah, Jalan Behor Pulai, 01000 Kangar Perlis, Malaysia (long address).

Laziz-Home-Bakery-Location

The shop is small but they offer many different kinds of bread, cakes, beverage, pastry and etc.

I heard many people talking about their products – the yummy taste, high quality stuff, as well as care and friendly service they provided, so I decided go there and give it a try.

Yes, there are various products in the shop, all look great and hard to choose which one to go for, finally I had Puding Karamel, Blueberry Cheese Tart and Red Velvet Cupcake, the taste of these products are really good and delicious.

Laziz Home Bakery Pastry

They also have lots of cakes sell in the shop. However, since I am not a cake person so I didn’t buy.

The good thing is while I was there, the chef Nabilah is about to make a made by order chocolate cake for her customer. I was curious about the cake making process, after talking to her, she let me go in to her kitchen to take a video. Ahhhh, how wonderful is it?

I was amazed by her skills, with less than 10 minutes, the cake done (it is an impossible thing for me to do).

Here is the video I took, have a look :-)