#AliAnaFamille ~ Tasmania Part 1

Tasmania. An underrated destination but full of fresh goodness and sceneries. Although its just an hour flight from Melbourne, we never had plans to visit until recently, a group of friends went as a getaway and could not stop raving about how beautiful Tasmania (to be specific Hobart is!) This will be our first time traveling with another young family (which happens to be my cousin, Khai; his wife Ana and lil 5 month old K). We didn’t know what to expect and although we have travelled with Ayden earlier in the year to Singapore and Malaysia, he’s 3 months young then. An interesting road trip adventure we hoped it would be!

After weeks of researching, we decided to embark on the Great Eastern Drive – 4 hours road trip on the East of Hobart. Stretches of beaches, great seafood and a good road trip all around! With two infants in tow, we decided to base ourselves in the middle of the Great Eastern Drive; Bicheno! Which is roughly about 2-2.5 hours from Hobart Airport. Hence we would be about 2hours apart to the both ends of the great eastern drive and back down to the start.

It was a long anticipated trip for us. On the day we met at the departure lounge of Melbourne Airport since the cousin flew in from Singapore to Gold Coast, while transiting in Melbourne to Hobart.So it was a coincidence that we were on the same flight to Hobart. The flight was good for Ayden as it was his nap time, hence, he slept while i fed him in the plane. Once we arrived, Cramped with 4 adults, 2 infants and heaps of luggages in our white Mitsubishi Pajero that we rented from Thrifty; we set out on our drive.

I must say through experiences, most of our guests who comes from Malaysia or Singapore where their children were not used to being restraint in car seats have quite a hard time adapting to the Australian Road Safety laws whereby infants and children needs to be in a car seat at all times. But i completely understand since they are just not used to it. No-one likes to be restraint when they never had to previously.

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Back to our drive. We reached Hobart about 6:30pm, got our luggages and crammed everything and everyone into the rental vehicle, and by the time we left the airport it was almost 7:30pm! I must say i didn’t realised how small Hobart Airport was! As we set on our 2.5 hour drive,i must admit it was quite a scenic drive as the sunsets and through the lushes green. Yes 2.5hours with two infants can be a horror especially towards the end. Thank god K was asleep since its her nap time while Ayden was enjoying the ride until the last half an hour when he start to get restless and since i wasn’t sitting next to him, it was hard to calm him down. Thank god his snacks and nursery rhymes work a treat with Ayden.

Finally, (with a sore butt and cramped body!)we reached our lodging, Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park. As most of the Airbnbs were all taken up, i was actually very happy that we got to book this accomodation as it was very much affordable and conveniently located. We’ve got the two bedroom cabin. I never expected the cabin to be as clean, modern and nice as it is. Definitely, recommend this place to anyone who are traveling to Bicheno and looking for affordable lodging.

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Next posts will be more of our road trips to the surrounding areas!

xoxo

ana

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And Allah is the best of planners

Her Facebook post got me to tears, I’ve never been in her shoes but I am sure I will be a wreckage. I was literally sobbing hard while trying to put Ayden to sleep. Yet another night of meltdown, another round of fight. The battles we are facing with this lil one. His bedtime, that I will leave it to another story another day. But her post made me realise…

Every phase of our lives has been planned out, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful events were laid right in front of our eyes. Despite the challenges, we will always hold on to a thread called Hope. Hope that things will get better, Hope that our lives will improve, Hope that we will receive what we have been praying for, Hope that we will be protected from tragedies. But sometimes that thread of Hope is there to make or break you.

Make you to give you the strength to overcome the barriers, the ability to trust him that his plans are better than your dreams and the capacity to see the positive outcome of the situation. On the other hand, Hopes can break you into blinding your mind that you are in a much worst situation than what you are in, weakens your soul and crumble your faith. That part is the worst crater to fall into. I call it a crater because in the long haul; like the Volcano; you are unstable, emotional and you will accumulate all these anger awaiting to erupt. Insecurities began to sink in and in due course, you will start to become a pessimist. Been there and done that.

People always say look at the bright side of life. Always be grateful. Always look at the Positives. Once you blabber about your fate or be sad, people start to attack you, provoke you saying; you are not grateful enough. You don’t trust God enough. You don’t count your blessings enough. Enough said, all they are saying is “YOU ARE UNGRATEFUL!” Really Sad. Was talking to a friend the other night about Positivity, On some days its just hard to lift your head and smile to the world. In all honesty, I personally think it is okay to cry sometimes. It’s ok to have those cloudy days. Although you and I know some days you need to create your own sunshine but if you don’t, I think it’s perfectly ok.

I learnt during my transition to Motherhood how important it was to Tawakkal and Redha. We are in God’s eyes. He is the one that starts and ends our struggles. For you know, that best things are coming. It may not be now but it will be sooner than you think. Bigger than you think and the best it will ever be.

Indeed, the only way I breathe knowing that verily, with hardship come ease–and like all things of this world–this too shall pass. Love this excerpt from Yasmin Mogahed.

xoxo

This is for the people that matters ❤️

Finally sitting here and enjoying my view of Ayden napping. Sometimes it’s just so hard to take a breather when you have a child that needs constant attention due to his phase of separation anxiety these days, it gets… wait for it…


Yes and someone is up!

(2 hours later..) 🕦

Here I am continuing this entry. In between the time Ayden woke up, he had his playtime yet still fussy, we ended up in a meltdown to get him to bed early. In the end, we both slept! This is our never ending dramas together EVERYDAY. Ayden and I! Tonight Mum 1 Ayden 0. Lucky night.

So dear friends, I’ve developed mind-texting-reply syndrome since the beginning of motherhood now. You know when I received a text and in my mind I replied your text but in reality I did not. And on occasions when I browse my messages and realised that “GOSH I DIDNT REPLY HIS/HER TEXT AND ITS BEEN TWO WEEKS!” Sorry Filzah 😫 the list goes on..  This has been happening a lot lately and I deeply apologise 😔 it was never intentional! It’s not like I have a lot on my mind, only God knows why?

Impromptu plans are always the best! Back in the day prior to February 2016, We used to call/text each other up and meet up in the next hour or later in the day for whatevs. I sincerely DO miss them days. Now it seems like impromptu plans needs to take place the week before. When I received texts like these ; “Hey lets meet up for dinner in the city tonight!” We have all these different scenarios unfolding in our heads, ‘Is there enough time to come home from work; get Ayden ready and pack his stuff? What’s the weather going to be like? How do we have to dress Ayden? Naptime issues? Things to pack? Carrier VS Pram? How’s parking like at the venue? Is it far for us to walk hence need the pram? On most occasions, we managed it pretty well. But on some days, we struggle to get out of the door just because. So my friends, if there are days that we couldn’t make it to your invite, please accept our apologies.

Sometimes I get carried away talking about motherhood, diaper change struggles and whatnots. I just can’t help it. Deep down please do know that I still get excited talking about Justin Bieber concert that’s happening next year, still go crazy over Zac Efron and Channing Tatum and wish that I am Chrissy Teigen on some days! So these will soon pass, please don’t hesitate to ask me out or include me in your convos and invites, I still crave for my girly time. Big time!

Motherhood may have taken over my life like a storm but do know I am still the same person as I am before. I will still be there for you the best I can, be it a listener or a friend to talk to. Things maybe a tad different that I tend to tow Ayden everywhere with me now but I will still try to meet you as much as I can. I deserve a lil bit of sanity too!

So for whatever shortcomings I have thus far, please forgive me!

xoxo

Love is…

The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they’re out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’ sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind, love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it’s seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship. 

xoxo

PBC Baby Expo

So finally had the time to blog about the PBC Baby Expo that we went to in August. Was down with a chest infection all last week which has now spread to hubs and bubs 😦 Boo! I still feel guilty spreading it to the family.

We decided to go to the PBC Expo on the last day, Sunday with Filzah and Darren. It wasn’t overly crowded. Usually, I would print out the exhibitors’ map of the expo and highlight the different stores I want to go so as not to waste time/money/focus but this time we decided to explore the whole expo with the excited first time expecting parents.

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What a way to start the day, we head to my favourite, the only and a must have Bum Barrier Spray go to provider, Nenni and Tom. Had to stock up of course! That was first on our shopping list! How lovely, they even expanded their range of products to baby baths and even a Paw Paw balm which I’ve fallen in love with!

As some will know, Ayden gone and still going through a phase of vigorously scratching his head when he is tired! When I say vigorous, I mean he scratch it so deep, it bleeds! Painful to see. I’ve clipped his nails, buffed it and had to have SAFETY mittens on all the time! So the PawPaw balm was a life saver in treating those cuts and made them heal quickly! Great job ladies xx

I was also looking forward to get the banana brush for Ayden. Heard it’s a major hit for teething babies! So we got the baby banana brush and the toddler one too since it was on special! 2 items for $25! And it work wonders! Ayden loves it! The only teether that he plays for along time..

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I am quite surprised that none of the major baby carriers were at the Expo; particularly Ergobaby and Stokke! I was very excited and keen to check out the new Ergobaby Adapt and the new Stokke® MyCarrier™. Guess the only way to try them on is to make a trip down to baby bunting!

It seems that there were heaps more samples given out at this Expo than the previous expos and what’s more interesting is that there are some booths that encourages event goers to give a gold coin donation for their charities in exchange for a bag of samples. I really like that idea!

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Especially with Ayden started on solids, the team at Nestle were very knowledgeable and addressed my concerns regarding the Nan Formula and Cerelac product range. We even scored free samples too! Unfortunately, the Wheat and Prune range did not sit with Ayden and he end up having constipation each time. 😦 Heard that some infants may take it well and some don’t.

To end the day, we did scored good bargains at the Baby Jogger booth, We got the snack tray and the rain cover for the Mini GT. So that was great ! It was on our shopping list for awhile. It was a good day overall. Looking forward to the next expo!

xoxo

ana

Carpe Librum Singapore

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A quick shoutout to Carpe Librum Singapore! I am so proud of my good and close friend, Azura and my junior in Secondary School, Huda for creating a wonderful business set up for their love of books and reading.

Who is Carpe Librum?

They specialise in curating a bi-monthly book subscription box called the “Librum Box”.

The Librum Box is a thematic book box that consist of 1 book and 4 or 5 other book inspired merchandise.

The book is picked carefully based on the chosen theme and is a current bestseller, new release or a special edition of an all-time favorite title.
The box is curated by the owners, Azura & Huda or a special guest curator.
Each box is retailing at $35 (inclusive of personal delivery to your doorstep).

I reckon it’s a great idea! For all you avid readers out there or running out of gift ideas? Why not gift a friend a Librum Box. Well, who doesn’t love surprises in the mail?
Biased. Not at all.

Check out the July/Aug librum box, can you spot the local twist! Its great especially in conjunction with Singapore National Day just passed! I would have subscribed if i was in Singapore!

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If you are interested in their Librum box and wish to be on our mailing list, simply drop them an email at carpelibrum.sg@gmail.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to find out more!

Here’s a link of a fellow blogger and avid reader unboxing the Librum Box!

Rants, Reflect and Recover

I haven’t had a rant in ages. Oh wells, there was quite a few things clouding my mind. So I try to put my thoughts in one entry. Just hate to spread this negativity but I needed to vent.

Recently I was invited to a bridal shower that is 1.5hours away from us or if by public commute would take me 2.5hours. She’s not in any groups of friends of mine that I can hitch a ride or anything. If she is, I am so more than happy to go out that way!

If those who knew me, I bring Ayden with me everywhere. I try to limit instances where I leave Ayden with my in laws. I just feel guilty enough to let them look after Ayden while Ali and I are out having a good time. So I try to minimize it whenever I can.

The Maid of Honor, (or that’s who I think she is!) advised me that it won’t be taking place in Melbourne and so advised me to catch a V Line (Train – Public Transport). Maybe if she was a little concern or bothered, she would at least ask me where I lived when I mentioned that “xxx is way too far out for a Mummy like me who doesn’t drive”. And maybe if she knew I am taking a 1 year old with me too. But I won’t blame her because she doesn’t know me. But if I were her, when someone said that “It is quite far for a Mummy who doesn’t drive to travel publicly” I would instantly ask where do she lives and if she’s thinking to bring her son/daughter. But then again, I am overreacting but I reckon it’s just unfriendly the way she handled it..

I did even add in, that I am happy to chip in for the Bridal shower (it’s the least I could do on top of showering her with her bridal gift! Yes because I love her that much!) And she declined it in the most polite way. But if that’s what I want to do, I reckon she would just let me be apart of it even when I couldn’t make it. Grrr

Maybe this is just my hormones talking. But frankly I find this whole conversation unfriendly. I have been to several bridal showers and I have hosted a handful myself. I try my best to accommodate to everyone, and for those who can’t make it I genuinely try to help them if they still want to be apart of the Bridal shower. Most of these girls who can’t make it will want to partake in anyway possible for their fellow bride to be.

 One rant down.

So I am pretty sure this happens everywhere in school, workplace, life, etc. I am pretty sure us Humans always overlook things. But I find it funny how people don’t include you in their activities, work projects, part of their lifestyle and they have the cheek to ask for your help for something big!

Where are those other people in your life that you have been parading around with? Where are all these people that you have that you came running for our help when it comes to something you need done? So convenient aren’t we?  But at all other times when you don’t need us you just accidentally “forgot” us? I said “accidentally” because I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you did.

I won’t want to further elaborate but I think we should reflect. I may fall as one of them at one stage or another, yes you make mistakes but you learn and become better. But this happens too many times for some. That they need some sort of a wake up call. Insya Allah one day they will. But for now, please reflect before you do anything. What are our shortcomings? How can we be better?

End of Rant. Looking forward for the weekend and spending time with the fambam!