Sunday, September 27, 2015

Raffles College KL Fashion Show 2015

Last Friday night,  25 September, I was invited to attend the Raffles College of Higher Education Graduation Fashion Show 2015 at JW Marriot, KL.

Raffles College of Higher Education Kuala Lumpur (RCHEKL) was established in 1994 and is part of Raffles Education Corporation - the largest private education group in Asia-Pacific. Since establishing their first college in Singapore in 1990, the Group has grown to operate 3 universities and 34 colleges across 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region: Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Here is the best part, students have the flexibility to start their course in one city and transfer to another location to complete their qualification!

The graduation fashion show was an extra special event for the students as for many of them, it was their first time showcasing their work in full fledged fashion runway style with professional models, professional hair and make up in front of their family, friends and fashion industry.

With fellow bloggers at the front row
The best part about watching young designers is to look back in a few years when they have 'arrived' and have that moment where you reminisce about their fresh and raw beginnings. You sort of celebrate the journey together and feel proud of them. Well that's just me, the mama me =)

Just as I arrived I bumped in to an old friend Mr. Syomir Izwa Sen Gupta. I was very excited and approached him eagerly. He gave me a hug and asked me if I was pregnant again. 'Whaaaat? I just fell from walking on air'. "What?" and I began to rant about how I just had a baby and bla bla bla.I made it a point to gather my shattered ego and talk to him again after the show because I know it must have been pretty awkward for him as well. He probably didn't realize that baby girl had popped out already. Yes. I am thaaat positive! It's okay babe, I forgive you.. It's probably because I was glowing that you thought I was still preggers :p

Anyway, Syomir was there as a judge alongside Fashion Designer, Silas Liew and Fashion Editor, Kathryn Rao.

The judges getting ready to judge

The event opened with Paradoxical by Nana Ooi from Malaysia. The collection had an undeniably Japanese influence. Colours were electric blue, black, gold and white and design was kept neat and structured. It had a very distinguish regal feel to it.

Paradoxical by Nana Ooi

The second designer to show was Erica Lim. Her collection called Senshi saw models in all black warrior style clothing with belt embellishments. The uniqueness of the collection was that it was tailored with soft flowy material contradictory to its theme.

Senshi by Erica Lim
The next collection by Tania Saraswati called Psychedelic State was a stark contrast to the former collection we had seen. Bright bold colors and geometric patterns adorned this wearable collection.

Psychedelic State by Tania Saraswati 

Next we saw Marie Nardelli's collection called La Belle Epoque. Colours were deep bronze and black and fabric used was luxurious. The silhouette of the collection emphasized the female body reflecting the La Belle Epoque period in Western European history that was characterised by peace, prosperity, scientific innovations and saw the flourishing of theater and the arts.

 La Belle Epoque by Marie Nardelli

Quek Sh'un-Liann's collection titled Where Are You, Papa? Was a very melancholic. The theme was inspired by a daughter missing her father and creating paper versions of him. Colours were basic black and white with light weight fabric suitable for our local weather. The cuts were fitted on the shoulder but flared from waist down. One of my favourite outfits was from this collection. It was a white asymmetrical cut shift shirt dress

 Where Are You, Papa by Sh'un-Liann

Aneesa Alsagoff's collection was very sporty. It was called Inferno and inspired by Moritz Waldemeyer's 1000 Flames which is an art installation that reflects digital flames from a hexagonal surface.
Inferno by Aneesa Alsagoff

1000 Flames. Picture from

The following collection we saw was the most unconventional. It was by En Chi Koo who took inspiration from Frank Gehry's Dancing House to produce this geometric and asymmetric ensembles.

Moving The Lifeless by En Chi Koo

Dancing House. Picture From Hanim Zafar's Flickr Photostream

Distorted Reality by Lee Hui Mein was showcased next. The collection saw contrasting monochromatic shapes and colours brought together. It had a Korean girl group vibe to it.

Distorted Reality by Lee Hui Mein 

The SmoG of all the collections showed that day may have been the most relevant as we are being suffocated by the haze more and more. This was my favourite collection because of the theme and how the designer, Ng Jin Ying translated it to reality through her menswear collection. The signature piece of this collection was the windbreaker style jacket with a built in backpack. I can see many man's man nodding to this collection for sure!

The SmoG by Ng Jin Ying

Next we had another melancholic showcase through Reiko Poon Shi Hui's Painful Happiness. The material used resembled tissue where I thought symbolized the Pain part of the theme and the design element on the outfits seemed to be like sparkles on Happiness.

Painful Happiness by Reiko Poon Shi Hui 

When Niki Tan's collection 'Untamed' started to show, from the first piece itself my thoughts were retro, biker and wearable. The big umbrella cut skirt really honestly put a smile on my face when it bobbed up and down the runway.

Untamed by Niki Tan
The second last collection was a very romantic one by Lee Huei Wen titled Eternity. It was white, soft, flowy  and sensual. It was a matured look with a regal feel.

Eternity by Lee Huei Wen 

Last but not least, was 'Mama, I can't Sleep' by Michelle Li Yuan Ting. I wonder if it was purposely put right at the end to remind us that it is the end of the show so please go back and sleep. Colours were pastel pink and blue, grey and white. There was a lot of emphasis on woolly materials as scarfs. The cutest thing about the show was this model dressed up like Noddy. Well I know that using cute in a fashion review is a big no-no but come on..just look at the picture and tell Noddy right?
Mama, I can't Sleep by Michelle Li Yuan Ting

The show ended with prize giving...drum roll are the winners in pictures...

Second Runner Up.... Quek Sh'un Lian

First Runner Up ....Ng Jin Ying
And Numero Uno ! En Chi Koo

I applaud Raffles College of Higher Education Kuala Lumpur for putting on a show that was crisp and well organized with a high level of professionalism on par with industry standards.

With fellow bloggers

With Fashion Designer, judge and ol fren - Syomir Izwa

If you are are interested to find out more about studying at Raffles College of Higher Education or know anyone who would be do register to go to their 'UN:LOCK your creative future 2015' event.

Below are the event details:

Date : 19 - 20 December 20115
Time: 1pm - 5pm
Venue: Raffles College, KL

Featured Courses:
- Fashion Design
- Fashion Marketing
- Interior Design
- Jewellery Design
- Visual Communication
- Digital Media Design
- Psychology
- Business

Register Here or Call +603 2164 1059

First 100 registered early birds will receive a Special Gift

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How to Calculate Calories

I am on a mission to get back in to my old clothing. I have a huge luggage bag of clothes that I can't fit into. I am very happy that to date (after close to 5 months post natal) I have shed 15kg. Although nowadays I just eyeball the portions, previously I would diligently count every calorie that would enter my body even if it was 1 cracker!

So what are calories? 
Calories are the amount of energy your body will get when you consume a certain food. So, if you over eat the amount of calories needed, there will be access energy that will be stored in the form of fat. 

How many calories do I need a day?
How many calories you need really depends on a few things:
i.  lifestyle (sedentary, light activity, moderate activity or very active)
ii. gender
iii. age
iv. height
v.goal (lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight)

So, if you are looking at weight loss, you will need to eat less calories than you are currently consuming.

You can do a quick calculation on Calorie King. Choosing your lifestyle/activity level can be tricky, so here is some perspective from Calorie King, "Someone constantly chasing toddlers needs more fuel than an office worker." So if you are a SAHM, feel blessed knowing that your daily activity level is medium. 

If you are a breastfeeding mom feel double blessed as you need roughly 500 Calories more than usual depending on how much / how many times you feed a day. Sometimes I do try to cheat by throwing in an extra pumping session.

How to calculate calories?
For pre-packed items like milk, bread, chocolate and so on all you have to do is read the nutrition information. Always have a small weighing scale and measuring jug to ensure you are having the right portions.

How about food that you cook yourself? It is pretty simple actually. Let me show you an example that I have done for calculating Apple Crumble.

Ingredient Amount Calories (kCal)
Granny Smith Apples 6 480
Brown Sugar 200g 700
Butter 170g 1220
Whole Wheat Flour 160g 765
Total 3165
Serving 8 395.625

First, you need to know the individual Calories of the ingredients that  you use. You can check individual packaging of products to find out their Calorie content or you can use mobile apps such as Control My Weight, MyFitnessPal or do a quick search online.

Next, you total up the numbers and divide by the number of portions in one dish. There! It's that simple.

Once you get the hang of it, you will start to notice that unprocessed, fresh foods are very much lower in calories then their processed counterpart. So, reach for the chicken breast instead of chicken nugget.

If you have any other questions on counting Calories, please ask away. I will be delighted to help =) Cheerios! Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Watercolouriminlove Watercolour Class for Adults

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. – Pablo Picasso

In simple and clear words, Pablo Picasso couldn't have said it even better. 

Last weekend 6 September, while little Suryanh was at his weekend school with his pops, I ventured out to learn something too! After giving Anna her last feed, I bid farewell to my little lady of 4 months and rushed off as she looked at me with her beady eyes. I was headed to 11, Jalan Senangin, Bangsar or fondly known as 'sebelas' (sebelas is a pop up living co-working space) to 'Watercolouriminlove' - a watercolour class for adults by 'Weekendiminlove'.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. All I was told to bring was watercolour and an open mind, owh and an empty stomach as there would be some good grub organized for us. Like really gooood grub!

Finding the place was easy thanks to Google Maps tho I think Waze would get you there all the same. It was located in a housing area with a lot of parking spaces.

At the entrance, I was welcomed by the founder of 'Weekendiminlove' and 'Watercolouriminlove' workshop guru, Ms. Atie Jaafar. After completing her first degree in Fine Arts Majoring in Painting, Ms. Atie first set foot in the industry as a graphic designer. 6 years later she became a lecturer and then completed her Master in Contemporary Art & Design both in LUCT (Limkokwing University of Creative Technology). Whilst Ms. Atie still teaches design and art subjects in LUCT, she does a myriad of freelance art and design related projects. So there - she has 15 years of experience, you know you are in good hands!

Grub by RootCellar and table set up by The Table Project
Eager beavers waiting for the class to start - Who may run in to a celebrity or two
As I walked in the entrance I noticed the artfully rustic food set up at the entrance and the full house class of eager beavers.

Water for drinking and for painting
Our art teacher The Artie Atie, started by asking in general what we want to take away from this class. I find out later in the class the answer to this question. She also showed us different watercolours, suitable brushes and paper types.

Doing the Graded Wash Tehnique

After doing the graded wash, just add salt. It will give some texture once you shake it off. My mom asked me if my 3 year old son did this -_-

There are many techniques in painting with watercolour but we learnt two techniques for a start. The first technique is called 'wet on wet' and the second is called graded wash. Once we were done with practicing we broke for 'makan' by Root Cellar KL.

Some of the unique eats by Root Cellar KL

So rustic the table setting by The Table Project

According to their Facebook page, 'Root Cellar KL is a project by chef and all round nice person, Basira Yeusuff in collaboration with a bunch of people who are also not too shabby'. Ain't that cute? The scrumptious food was laid out so appetizingly by The Table Project. I tried to mingle as much as I could but food got into my way or should I say mouth hehe. 

Ms. Atie & Ms. Basira - I love their artistic and quirky personality

The best part of joining events for me is the social aspect of it. Do you know that according to Health Magazine, having a robust social network that includes relatives, friends, and other relationships is one of the best kept secrets to a long and healthy life!

We stole a snap shot after lunch. (See how I dressed up my casual Sunday garb with red shoes and a statement necklace?)

Then we were back to business. Ms. Atie did a demo of how to apply the techniques she thought us earlier and told us that we are tasked to create our own masterpiece. 

Yasmin Hani and other participants look on as Ms. Atie is shows us how she creates a flower wreath.
Flower wreath in creation. Here is a fun fact - you don't have to wash your pallet, just add water to use the colour again!

Tada..done in a few minutes

We got to practice first before we started on the final copy. Thank god for that as I messed up my first trial. I added too heavy a colour when the paint was still wet causing it to look very muddy. 

The practice piece that I destroyed. 

Ms. Atie also advised us to relax and let it flow as watercolour is all about spontaneity. In real life I think this translates to "you will learn how not to be so uptight and anal about everything". Like seriously, just chill ... think of the bigger picture and let your mind and body motor skills? take you there. 

My subconscious inspiration
My painting was a tree. On hindsight, I remember being really mesmerized by a tree I spotted on the highway last week and snapping a picture of it. There must be something my subconscious knew and made a connection..I don't know, but I was indeed satisfied with my work. 

A more advanced student

Did you know that watercolour painting is a form of therapy? In the words of Ms. Atie, "Watercolour teaches you too be spontaneous, let loose, express & challenge yourself with every brush stroke. Just go with the flow, what ever will be will be. Mistakes are inevitable but that's okay..Just like life, you need to just do your best and be happy with it. C'est la vie..."

My Masterpiece - not too shabby :) 

During the duration of the class I found out from different people why they took the class...

1. Can do own designs without having to commission it out

2. To learn some formal things about an informal hobby 

3. Learn a new skill 

and the sweetest ... 

4. to design their wedding card together (ngawww =x) 

This sweet couple are going to design and paint their own Wedding Invitation

The day ended with photo op and everyone receiving a goody bag. Everything from the venue, menu and delivery of this class left nothing to complain about. In fact, I was telling a friend that it was very hispter without even trying to be. There was art in everything. I left feeling very satisfied and accomplished.

We are all proud of our masterpieces

Sounds exciting?

- Checkout Weekendiminlove's Facebook and Instagram page, drop them an email at to join a class. 

- The class is priced at RM150. This fee includes palette, acid free paper, goody bag and the designer food you will be enjoying. All you need to do is bring your choice of watercolor and paintbrushes. Just make sure they are watercolour paintbrushes yea.

If you have any questions for me please leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Educated Housewife? HEARTS may be for you.

'I feel being a housewife is one of the most noble and toughest jobs in the world. However, I didn't go to school to just do the dishes, laundry. be a chauffeur and whatever all my life. Maybe I enjoyed it for awhile ..... suddenly there was this void. I asked myself... would my kids grow up and say "I'm proud of you mom?" Or the question should be would I want my daughter to be like me?' 

'My kids have grown up and I don't feel like I have a purpose anymore...'

'After my husband passed away, I am the sole breadwinner and also have to take care of my children'

'I want to work from home but don't know how and where to start'

'In my free time I bake cakes for friends, I wish I could expand it further and make some decent money from it. It would be nice if I could make some extra income so that the whole family can go on holiday'

Sound familiar? Then the HEARTS programme maybe your answer...

What is HEARTS?
Housewives Enhancement And Reactivate Talent Scheme

As the name suggests, this program by HRDF (Human Resource Development Fund) aims to train educated housewives to enable them to work from home or under flexible working arrangements.

What is HRDF?
It is an agency under the Ministry of Human Resources, Malaysia

So... why is HRDF giving free training?
1. To promote active participation in the economic growth while maintaining status quo as housewife / homemaker
2. Upgrade housewife / homemaker knowledge and skills to be self-employed and work from home
3. Assist in increasing the percentage of employable women participation in the labour market from 46% to 55%

How Do I benefit from this training?
1. You can still maintain your status as a housewife / SAHM and work at your own pace
2. You get value added skills should you return to employment
3. Extra income for you and your family

Cool! So.. How Do I know if I am eligible?
1. Married / single mother
2. Not in active employment
3. Tertiary education - at least Diploma Level
4. Age between 25-60
5. Malaysian Citizen
There... easy right? 

What Programmes are offered?
1. Translation & Editing 
2. Train the Trainer
3. Web Development
4. Graphic Design
5. Social Media Management
6, Simplified Internet Marketing
7. Green Islamic Cleaning
8. Halal Assurance Quality Level

From the briefing I attended, it was mentioned that the first 2 programmes mentioned above are the most popular. Option 3,4 and 5 would be suitable for those who are already doing small home businesses like baking or selling clothes online. Option 7 and 8 are good as they are relatively new fields with small competition though I reckon you would need to be a Muslim to choose those.

All programmes consists of 2 modules. You have to finish Module 1 which is preparatory for Module 2 and it is mandatory. Let me tell you a secret... It is most definitely not your boring ol motivasi sekolah =p It will blow your mind!

Oh, just in case you are thinking that as a SAHM you have no time for one more headache, here is some motivation. I met this phenomenal lady who is a SAHM mom and blogger. She runs her home without a maid, with 4 kids (2 are twins and 1 was sickly but due to her positive and fighting spirit he is better now ) and her husband works out of town! She told me it's her passion that fuels her... she packs them all up and brings them to events since she has no help to care for them and writes at night when the kids are asleep. She is one superwoman and I bet we all can be! (if we want to). Here is her blog if you are curious.

SO If you are interested or know of anyone who could benefit from this training, just fill up the form in this link and they will get back to you.

If you have any questions for me please feel free to ask away in the comments section.