Muslim-world Problems…

I have JUST had the funniest conversation that can ONLY be had in the Muslim/Arab world!

Got a call from a mobile number that I did not know – I answered thinking:

???

“Assalamu alaikum Farah, this is Isa; I got your phone number from my sister.  I am friends with your brother and need to contact him but don’t have his number with me on this phone. Could you please either give me his mobile or pass on a message to him for me?”

Me: “alaikum salaam – um; I think you have the wrong Farah – I don’t have a brother….”

Isa: “oh – sorry… which Farah is this?”

Me: “that’s ok… which Isa is this?”

Isa: “its Isa XXXXX” (that’s obviously not his surname)

At this point I had worked out which Isa it is and we start to have a good chat (and a chuckle) as to who we are and ask each other’s respective family’s and how old our little babies are etc…

I got off the phone and could not help but smile and think: definitely Muslim-wold Problem!

Post baby body

Ok – so I know it’s been nearly four weeks since Amira was born and that I really shouldn’t be this hard on myself but I am HATING the post birth belly! I am sure that I didn’t expect to be pre-pregnancy weight right away but I certainly have been frustrated & annoyed by what seems the slllllooowwwwness of it all! This is going to sound like TMI I’m sure but I internally cringe at the way I feel my body looks now… Which can only lead me to imagine what hubby really thinks of what I’m looking like these days (I don’t believe him for a second when he says that he thinks I look “gorgeous” or “beautiful” – those are two words I am not feeling at all these days)!

About 10ish days ago I did the unthinkable and attempted to try on my Bardot skinny leg jeans – I don’t know what I was thinking; call my crazy but I was having a good day & thought I’d give it a go… Imagine my crushing disappointment when I could not button them up? I felt robbed, dejected… I know it sounds vain; okay it IS vain but being a new mum has made me realise just HOW much of who you are & what you look & feel like is taken by your lil bundle! Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t have it any other way but coupled by the things I can’t control; getting back into my (australian) size 8 jeans (I haven even thought about attempting to get into my black size 6 skinny kegs!) is something I feel I should be able to control!

Annnnyway – after another two weeks of cringing each time I opened my drawers (I swear those jeans were mocking me!) & having hubby tell me how beautiful he found me with me wanting to slap as I did NOT believe him! I decided to retry the jeans….

Whilst I can’t quite say I’m back to pre-pregnancy weight (oh how I LONG to get back that body!) I can tell you that I managed to get three of the four buttons up! The joy I felt at this is like winning a gold medal…

I leave out the fact that it did take quite some work to get the third button up & I did reeeeaaaaallllyyy have to “shimmy” myself into then with far more effort than I did before… But that’s NOT the point!

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Six Months Down – Pregnancy Update!

It is with great awe & amazement that I am already SIX MONTHS pregnant! Where oh where did the time go? I cannot believe that I am in my last trimester and that soon (inshallah) we will have a healthy baby!

But I think we need to address some key “issues”: the changes that come with pregnancy! What I find interesting is that before you’re pregnant, all these ladies/people say “oooh, when are you going to start a family?” and “there’s no joy like motherhood…”then the moment you do get pregnant the truth finally comes out… Is Luke they were ‘lulling’ me into this blissful ideal & no the truth is being revealed!

So in the spirit of my blog & brutal honesty I am gonna lift the lid on what it’s been like for me being preggers!

In the meantime here’s a little pic of me at 5 months! There is definitely MORE to come….

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Today’s Youth

You know that signs of aging are occurring when you find yourself lamenting at the incompetencies of today’s youth… and then you laugh at the sentence you just wrote thinking about how today youth may not even comprehend the MEANING of “incompetencies”.

Last Friday I bought a few lip glosses in the same brand in numerous different colours. I went home and tried a few and surprisingly found them better than expected (especially for the crazy cheap price paid!) and wanted to exchange one of the clear ones for a pigmented tube one….

I went to a different store after reading the receipt that said that they only refund faulty products but that they exchange within 14 days with a receipt + the product in original condition.

I must first say that whilst I should not stereotype, I am usually the queen of stereotyping my own (people) so I stand firm in my own personal allowance to stereotype others! in saying that this girl was NOT blonde – she did look somewhat “vacant” in the eyes and she would have been ion the 15-17 age group.

Me: hi – I just wanted to swap this (at this point I take out said clear tube lipgloss) for this one (picking up coloured tube of gloss) – I have the receipt in the bag

Counter Staff: um – yeah – sorry, but like; we don’t do refunds here

Me: Yep – that’s fine; I did read that on the receipt but it says you can exchange within 14 days – I got this (*pointing to gloss*) yesterday and its still all sealed…

Counter Staff: oh… oookkaay (*VERY uncertain look on her face*), I’ll just need to check with my manager to see if I’m like able to do that

*the girl then goes to chat with a similar looking looking girl who looks about the same age… after a minute of chatting (which is fine) they both walk over to me*

Store Manager: So, um what was the problem with this gloss?

Me: nothing – I just want to exchange it for this other one as I wanted this colour instead

Store Manager: yeah – so, like we don’t do refunds here… it says so on the receipt….

Me: yep (I am still chatting to her as normal) – I don’t actually want to refund anything – the receipt says I can exchange. So I am exchanging this gloss for this other one which is exactly the same brand and price – just a different type…

Store Manager: oh ok then… (*looking at other girl now*) – just exchange it on the system

Anyway; it took the girl well over 5 minutes to figure out how to do it on the computer… at which time I stood there patiently wondering what has happened to the female youth and what possible hypothesis could be generated from their clear inability to do things that I am CERTAIN I could do (along with other staff I worked with at the time) when I was in the retail industry…

It led me to wonder about the possible options as to why I am finding this occurrence more prevalent:

1: Are standards to mental capacity AND ability to converse dropping within the recruitment process? Could this be because now all applications are all done online and that even then you are essentially just filling in boxes with your details? Therefore the HR department cannot properly glean that this person is in fact as alert as a pretty zombie?

2: I have noticed that girls are wearing makeup (as well as dyeing their hair) A LOT sooner these days and I am wondering if in fact all that bronzer we wear starts to permeate into our forehead and starts to kill off brain cells? This also helps to explain the mental capacity of the people in Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore and that show called Essex Style (all of which I adore watching as they all make me laugh!)

3: Is it all the hair product that girls use these days? It may be a ploy by large manufacturers to ‘dumb us down’ so that we are more susceptible to marketing mechanisms and therefore will spend more money… All that hairspray MUST affect more than just the ozone!

4: Does the movie “Clueless” have a lot MORE to answer for than we realise? Aside from the stereotype that Alicia Silverstone played let me TRULY clarify the idiocy of this: we in Australia do NOT sound like Americans… we have our own rather distinctive accent –WHY are our 15-17 year old girls sounding as though they belong in the valley? Can these girls PLEASE stop saying “like” SO much? Is that, like, possible? Like, at all?

I am not saying all those within this age group are over bronzed/tanned, too accessorised and don’t understand the concept of what a skirt is ACTUALLY meant to be about – nay; I have had and met some exceptionally articulate young individuals who are clearly going to make it beyond the perfume counter and are ACTUALLY willing to help… the sad thing is I find the ‘other’ variety far, far more depressingly prominent…

if this is the future of my yet to be conceived female children I can only think that I hope that unlike their mother they DO marry a petroleum engineer!

Showing Signs of Age: Piercings

Another thing i don’t understand and i think may be a sign of aging are those piercing ‘young’ people that expands your earlobe so that essentially there is a HUGE hole in their ear…. WHY?

If it satisfies a cultural norm; something expected of you from your remote African tribe than who am i to jude – this is what your tribe does… BUT we are NOT a Zulu tribe – last time i checked it was not part of western culture to have said piercings… but aside from that – they’re hardly bloody attractive! In fact – when i DO see someone with one of those HUGE holes in their ears i have an overwhelming urge to see how good my aim is try and throw something through it!

I once got to chatting to a fool person who had one of these piercings (in both ears with big metal ‘O-Rings’ in them) and had to ask a pertinent questions: “when you eventually want to take out the ring, will your earlobes eventually ‘shrink’ back to size?”

I was essentially told “no”… so does this mean that we are destined to see a WHOLE group of people in nursing homes/retirement villages or on the pension or in the park in 40years to come sitting there watching their grand kids play in the park with their walking stick along side of them AND these huge holes in their earlobes?

Am i the only one who thinks this trend is plain dumb?

Do men find this attractive?

oh la la - what big 'holey' earlobes you have!

Showing Signs of Age: Shorts & Stockings

Remember when we were school kids we never realised how annoying  loud we were when we were in a group – we may not have realised just how “annoying” we were… cue 5 – 1 years later and you’re either mid-way through uni or working full-time when one day; whilst on the train something strikes you… the gaggle of girls chatting about nothing really interesting are SERIOUSLY annoying! And that’s when you ask yourself; have they always been like that and is it only NOW you notice? And if so…. why?

Then over the next couple years you notice more and more; you get annoyed when school kids don’t get up for the aged, people with children or pregnant woman. You start to dislike school holidays… and you start to wonder about certain things you see in store(s).

Which brings me to the reason of this post – i LOVE fashion; i visually devour my Shop magazine each month and LOVE when next stock comes into stores… I love colour and shopping centres and new season items and Sale signs…. but there is something things i don’t get!

I understand the concept of a ‘perennial’ clothing item – I used to work in retail and I “get” that some items can be worn in summer, winter, autumn and spring… but then there are items that are NOT perennials; items that are CLEARLY either winter or summer…. like a bikini – clearly summer right? like stockings are for colder climates – it’s not really something you would wear at the height of summer weather.

PLEASE explain to me the concept of shorts… with stockings?? I do NOT understand how this is meant to be “in” now – how this meets the conceptual requirements of winter attire? HOW? I mean, let’s think about it – shorts are summer attire… stockings are not… my logic is this: if it IS too cold to wear shorts then HERE is a novel idea… wear PANTS! Especially when you see said wearer wearing maddeningly shot shorts + thick stocking + thick jacket/cardigan + umbrella (as its raining)… i don’t care if its in; it does NOT look right – i think perhaps if i must allow the possibility of the shorts and stockings combo it would be with fishnets – only because fishnet stockings aren’t really stockings are they? They don’t actually provide any warmth… but then unless your a burlesque dancer; shorts + fishnets + heels are generally not what one wears out… well; unless your Brittany Spears and you’re off to shoot your new video clip!

Am I the only one who thinks this? is it a sign of my age that I look at this and think – WTF?

Any thoughts?

Anything in the fashion world lately that you’re left thinking – “what the??”

I Get Things Done!

Its been awhile since I wrote anything – thanks so much Tasneem for bringing to my attention my lack of writing and updating! I don’t think it’s been all because of the “Hiba situation” as for the most part she is certainly out of my mind!

So what else has been happening? Lately I have been engrossed with the “Family Bali Trip” – comprising of roughly 3 weeks in Bali. We are all going from different lengths of time: we all leave together, Adam and I, Tony and Teena (my in-laws), Charles (Mr A’s uncle), his wife Sam and their 2 children + my best friend Susi. Charles, Sam and the 2 as well as Susi are staying for 10 days, once they leave Tony & Teena then stay on an additional 2 nights and then once they leave Mr A and I stay on for an extra 5 days for us to (finally) have our alone time! We are SO excited!

Let me tell you that planning this trip has been an effort in amongst itself! my mother in law is a social butterfly – which is both great and tiring; I am a helper and like to organise things (I think it comes from having to arrange and organise everything for mum in recent years PLUS a knowledge of if I arrange and organise things then at least I know it gets done!) which means that a LOT of running around was done!

When we first thought of this trip as being a group excursion there was a point where it was getting bigger than Ben Hur – Teena and Mr A kept inviting people and family with other people consistently emailing me to find out how much to would cost, changing dates, asking a million questions about the hotel… you catch my drift! At one point the people count was at 14 from numerous other states in Australia…. My poor travel agent deserved a bonus for all the constant changes I was having to arrange!

Not to mention the issue of payments! OMG – do you think all payments were made on time? hell to the no! Do you think that I emailed and SMS’ed everyone saying “next payment is due on XY date” – of course…. Do you think this occurred? No! Ethnics I tell ya – we are on a timetable all of our own – its almost like a due date is purely a guide and definitely flexible! Apart from Susi everyone made payments late – the funniest thing is Susi and I are the youngest (do all the arrangements for both Mr A & I – hehe; aren’t I a good wifey?)! It must be because we both work for government departments that has ensured our timeliness – that or the fact we both come from ethnic backgrounds where we are keenly aware the stereotype is that we are never on time with anything and have thus decided to rebel the stereotypical ethnic mentality!

So FINALLY everything was booked and paid for! I picked up all tickets – Teena then asks me if I have arranged holiday insurance for us all and how are we getting to the airport! Hmm – me thinks my keen organisational skills have rendered everyone else in the family inept to do anything else!

Mr A overheard this discussion along with the ‘list’ of things that Teena has planned to get done whilst in Bali (but that is another story) and decided to intercept:

Mr A: what are you doing mum?

MIL (mother in law): What do you mean? There are just a few things I need to get done while we are away and I just wanted to make sure if everything for the trip was organised…

Mr A: no, that’s not what I mean – I married her already – she’s my support crutch not yours… get your own!

MIL: what are you going on about?

Mr A: my wife does stuff for me – that’s the rule; get dad to do stuff for you! if you tire MY wife out with organising stuff for you who’s going to help me? no one – ask dad; that’s why you married him…

MIL: But tony doesn’t speak Indonesian and he won’t want to come everywhere with me…

Mr A: that’s not my fault… you have to make him… she’s mine… and you can’t have her all the time…

Haha…. Mr A has a thought process all this own!

Oh how things (unknowingly) change…

This afternoon Mr A took a candid photo of me getting ready in the bathroom – it was purely him being a tool and not something i want the blogsphere to see. BUT in saying that, i scarily noticed the “slight” shift in what was on my bathroom table.

I – like most girls like to look my best. I (as a rule) do like some luxuries – some, not many – just a few to make me fell a lil special and let Mr A feel like his with a lil princess… without being high maintenance. I love MOR’s body butter – i am completely and utterly devoted to their Pomegranate line and insist that NO OTHER BRAND DOES IT BETTER! Every other day i apply the MOR butter on my entire body – i alternate between that and Nivea Q10 Body lotion (simply because i like it – yes, i may have been suckered into the marketing about Q10 but it is grossly cheaper than the MOR body butter). I cleanse (with Garnier Pure – i have oily skin), tone (with Lush tea-tree mist) and moisturise (Olay Special Effects – i mean they DO say that it fights the 7 seven sign of aging – who am i to argue with these statistics??) twice a day. I include a primer (because it is a crime NOT to prime) into my morning repotire (Model Co/Rimmel – I alternate) and bless the person that came up with powder mineral foundation! On nights out i ‘luxe’ it up a bit and use Bourjois’ Mousse Matte mineral liquid foundation….

And then things slowly started to change… In the search of trying to find make-up that would keep my shiny face NOT being shiny without having to touch up every other hour I scoured the web and makeup artists I knew to see what they recommended. I trawled websites for hours and reviews from http://www.beautyheaven.com.au/ to http://www.makeupalley.com/, Bubblegarm and ever so simply Googling “great photography make-up”. My quest led me to try and locate online stores that sold these products so that I could do it all at the touch of my fingertips – I went into Myers and David Jones on the hunt for new products – I was so ardent in my search that I am still unabated until I am certain that I have found the perfect combination that WILL render me speechless… as well as flawlessly oily-less.

And this is what I noticed… I am now no longer a mid-range gal.

Priceline was my one stop shop – it was my fortnightly essential location… now, whilst there is still a strong desire to go there regularly I notice I am racking up less points… First it was the discovery of MAC’s Prep & Prime… SOOOO much better than the Model Co and the Rimmel – alas those 2 sit now in the back of the drawer. Then came the end of the little pot of MAC Matte Gel which they gave me to sample… I begrudgingly had to admit defeat and proclaim that I DID like it… and had to buy said tube. Next was my change from Olay Special Effects moisturizer to Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel – my heart both soared and plummeted as it mattifed my face to pure perfection and required only ONE touch up at the end of my work day!!!! And then today came MAC’s Studio Fix… with the quiet intention of me returning to the MAC counter next week to get the matching liquid foundation! I forgot to mention that I am secretly hoping to try MAC’s “Mineralize” Oh the shame of it all… that THIS is what I have become now… That whilst I lament at the additional costs that i KNOW that this will create i am inspired by the sheer awesomeness of said products! That even as i type this i am wondering when i will next be able to steal a moment and try Smashbox’s Photo Finish Light as i hear it is fantastic for photos!

The oh so WORRYING thing is that when I mentioned to Mr A how much MORE this up keep would cost I thought he would tell me that I was dreaming; that this would be a ‘one-off’ and that post wedding party my skin and bauty regime would return to my once coveted L’Oreal but no – the guy LOVES it… I cannot believe how strange he is!

For the ladies out there – what is your makeup splurge?

PS I “forgot” to mention that i am slowly (but surely) overhauling my makeup brushes – meaning i have purchased a newer better Kabuki brush and am now aquiring more brushes than you can throw a brush at! Hehe

My Bridesmaid; The Single White Female

Remember how I mentioned a little while back that i was having bridesmaid issues? The one i called bridesmaid-zilla? Well – at first one of my girlfriends (Kerri) mentioned that she was behaving very ‘single white female’ and whilst i may downplay it on some level i think that there may actually be some substance in her need to be a little like me…

We went out to dinner last Wednesday night – FINALLY! But i won a small battle of getting her to go someplace I wanted to go – every single time we catch up it is ALWAYS somewhere near her neck of the woods… and she is almost always inevitably late – the weird thing is she actually finishes work early to pick up her little girl from school – i don’t get how she can be so late? One time we were meant to be at a shopping centre/mall at 5.30pm (close to her place). I KNOW that traffic is a bitch on a Thursday night so i left work 15 minutes early to get there on time – which i was (right on the dot if you must know). So i call her at 5.30 to see where she is – she tells me she is running late and that she is so sorry but she will be there closer to 6pm – whatever. I am the type of person that when you tell me you’re going to be late i have no problem with it; I just like to be kept in the loop. Mr A calls me at 6.15pm to figure out what time i’ll be home and if i’ll want dinner – i tell him i still waiting for her and he goes off! Telling me that i should just leave – that he cannot believe that i have waited already for 45 minutes. But she finally arrives – at 6.45; over an hour late from her original planned time that she arranged – i got a dismissive ‘I’m sorry’ and how her feet are killing her as she’s been running around all day.

*Sigh* Thank God for patience…

So imagine my surprise when she ages to said venue and is actually on time! I am floored! All in all we had a lovely time – i would love to think that she’s turned a corner; we’ll see! Although there were some comments that i felt really don’t need to be said then and there – like telling your girl that she isn’t coming to my wedding but i don’t want her there. This poor little girl looked at me with big brown eyes and i could not believe that i had to justify myself to her – “sorry sweetie; we aren’t having any little kids at the wedding reception”. Her comment leads me to believe that she is truly her mother’s daughter;

“I don’t care”

I responded with how there would be no children there and that she would probably be bored if she was there – again she smiled and said “i don’t care”. I mean really – why can’t mum just tell her that it’s a grown-up function?

Things between her and her man are going well now which is great – and also a reason why i know i haven’t heard from her: I am the fix it gal of her relationship; it is assumed that as Mr A is a convert and her hubby is also a convert and that i have been with Mr A longer that i will know how to work her man; sadly my extensive repertoire of oddball men have equipped me with many a valuable lesson – PLUS my ability to have handled and live with my own mother every day has fostered in me an unsurmountable amount of patience, persistence and ability to paraphrase until you TRULY understand what it is i am trying to tell you!

Anyway – as per usual I digress. She made a comment claiming that after months of bliss she and other half had a slight fight in a Tiffany & Co. store in Melbourne as he would not buy her a necklace that she insisted she have – so much so that she would pay for half of it… the irony of it is; its the silver version of the T & C necklace that Mr A gave me that HE bought from Melbourne. She made the comment that her man ruined her T&C experience and wanted to know how i got Mr A to get me my necklace? I told her that He just wanted to surprise me and that that’s just the way Mr A is (because he is – in no way did i ask him to buy me anything from T&C). I then went on to mention that it was a lovely necklace and that Susi had one just like it – that I had gotten for her birthday last year. She was not impressed “why didn’t I get something from T&C for my birthday?” I mean really – WHO asks this question? It was right on the tip of my tongue to mention that she in fact did not even remember my birthday this year and that i still have not heard a peep about it! But alas I let it slide and told her that I’ve had a rather intense 12-18mths and that Susi has been a ROCK through it all and that nothing has been too much for her – my bestie deserves MORE than that T&C necklace (i love you Susi – mwah mwah).

Aaah – I guess we’ll see what else she’ll replicate now from me…

What People Think of Me…

In the last couple days I have apparently discovered that a few people’s perception of me is different to what my own perception of me is… and let me tell you that it has made me second guess a few things…

On Saturday the MIL (Mother In Law) and i went to the function centre to talk to the chef there about the menu for the upcoming wedding reception. While we were waiting for our coffee MIL saw a hand-drawn picture and asked what it was. I told her that i needed to talk to the cake people and tell them that i was going ahead with the cake that we had discussed. She took a look at the picture and asked me if this was my cake – i said to her tat it was and described a little more about the cake looked like. After a moment she smiled and chuckled…

Me: what’s so funny?

MIL: oh sweetie – honestly it’s nothing… *laugh* its just that you are so over the top aren’t you?

OVER THE TOP!!!!! That is how I am thought of?????

That night i asked Mr A if he thought i was ‘over the top’ – he replied with telling me that i was slightly over the top but that he loved it and that he wouldn’t mind if i was more over the top – he thinks that it means that he looks after ‘his woman’ and was more than happy to be perceived a little OTT (Over The Top) as he was a little OTT himself (he is – bless him).

So it got me thinking – maybe… just maybe comparative to THIS society’s view of the norm i may be a little over the top – but if this people saw what the Gulf culture was ALL about they’d bloody realise that i am CONSERVATIVE by comparison!

I mean really – so i want a five tier wedding cake… and so i want each tier to actually be a double cake… really – is THAT over the top?

Gee – I suppose I should be grateful that i left out the cake would have a row of crystals on the bottom tier!

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