Blog

1. Saya anak bongsu dari 4 beradik. Perempuan kesemuanya dan kesemua adik-beradik saya bermula dengan nama ‘Su’. Mereka ialah Suzalina, Suhani, Suhaida dan saya sendiri, Suraya. Ayah saya berketurunan Jawa dan ibu saya berketurunan Bugis. Saya mempunyai darah keturunan Cina disebelah ayah, sebab itu mata saya sepet. Ibu dan Bapa saya berasal dari Johor, kemudian mereka berpindah ke Pahang. Tapi kalau orang tanya saya berasal dari mana, saya akan cakap saya orang Johor! Sekarang saya bekerja di Kuala Lumpur di sebuah syarikat Badan Berkanun sebagai Setiausaha dan tinggal di Ampang. Kakak ke-3 saya meninggal dalam satu kemalangan jalan raya pada tahun 1990, 2 hari selepas majlis perkahwinan beliau.

1005232_10151523382572735_314967838_n

Bersama kakak sulung yang jelas mewarisi ‘darah’ cina daripada Arwah Ayah.

 1239758_10151577355837735_263457526_n

Bersama ibu, adik-beradik dan sepupu semasa Majlis Perkahwinan anak saudara sulung di Dewan Perdana FELDA

 1484384_10151781593087735_1307976924_n

Gambar kenangan semasa kecil bersama Arwah Ayah, Emak dan adik beradik. Sayalah yang paling kecil dalam gambar ini. Kelihatan didalam gambar ialah kakak sulong (duduk atas tangga paling atas), sepupu lelaki. Turut kelihatan Emak, Ayah, kakak kedua dan kakak ketiga. Gambar di ambil di kampung emak di Kampung Kuala Paya, Segamat Johor pada tahun 1982

2. Berkahwin pada Jun 2009 dan hanya mengandung selepas hampir 3 tahun menunggu. Berjaya hamil selepas berjumpa dengan Doktor Pakar dan melalui process ‘fertility assessment’. Mendapat ‘morning sickness’ yang sangat teruk sepanjang kehamilan. Anak saya Mohamad Shein Iskandar lahir pada 12/12/12 di Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre Kuala Lumpur. Cantik kan tarikh lahir anak saya? Semuanya secara kebetulan kerana saya boleh memilih tarikh untuk melahirkan anak saya kerana saya bersalin dengan kaedah caesarian. Saya menghadapi masalah ‘Placenta Previa Stage 2’. Anda boleh membaca pengalaman saya dibilik bedah disini. Satu pengalaman yang tidak mungkin akan saya lupakan sampai bila-bila.

 60027_10151117814897735_116329979_n (1)

Setengah jam selepas melahirkan Mohamad Shein Iskandar melalui kaedah cesarean.

487010_10151108409962735_1202923908_n

Sempat menghadiri Majlis Perkahwinan salah seorang sahabat di Sime Darby Convention Center 5 hari sebelum melahirkan anak.

3. Saya suka bersukan. Saya pernah mewakili Syarikat untuk FELDA Futsal FAM peringkat Kebangsaan pada tahun 2009. Walaupun kalah dipusingan awal, tetapi pengalaman bermain futsal di peringkat kebangsaan tidak dapat saya lupakan. Selain dari Futsal, saya juga boleh bermain Bola Jaring, Bola Tampar, Badminton, Bola Sepak Wanita dan menyertai Marathon. Selain itu juga saya suka melakukan activity outdoor seperti paintball. Jika mempunyai peluang, saya teringin melakukan ‘bungee jumping’. Selain daripada itu, saya juga berkebolehan untuk menari tarian traditional dan sering melakukan persembahan setiap kali Majlis Makan Malam Syarikat.

Sessi rehearsal untuk Tari Tualang Tiga

DSC_1760

Bersama rakan pejabat untuk persembahan tarian.

4. Saya suka memasak. Saya belakar memasak dari emak dan kakak sulong saya. Saya boleh masak masakan Melayu dan Western. Peminat nombor satu masakan saya semestinya suami saya! Anda boleh membaca entry masakan saya disini.

10403222_10152051640162735_2286023252334140201_n

Memasak ‘Sambal Tahun’ sejenis masakan Orang Jawa. Resepi dah cara memasak disini.

5. Saya pernah disahkan mempunya masalah Mild OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) selepas saya melahirkan anak saya. OCD banyak mempengaruhi kehidupan saya sehingga menjejaskan kesihatan saya. Tetapi selepas mendapat rawatan daripada doktor di Hospital, saya sekarang sudah bebas dari masalah Mild OCD dan menjalani hidup dengan lebih berkualiti, gembira dan sihat.

IMG_1522

Samantha Tew
Nuffnang Community Team

FIVE FACTS ABOUT STYLEBYSYA

  1. I’m a nomad. My dad is from Johor. My mum is from Negeri Sembilan. I was born in Kelantan. At two years old, my whole family lived in Liverpool where we were neighbours to Wayne Rooney. At six, we moved to Ipoh. Currently, as I am studying in KL, I live with my husband here. So if you ask me “Asal mana?” I swear I don’t know the answer. Although, I’m comfortable being called an Ipoh girl having spent majority of my lifetime there. 123
  2. I’m a high achiever. Compared to my family, I’m the worst student. I do not enjoy the stress of exams or the confinement of the classroom. However, I have managed to score straight A’s for all major exams: UPSR, PMR, SPM. Currently, I am an intern under 1MDB-Yayasan Sime Darby ‘Work Grant’ Program which has a 4 year contract. My position is the Personal Assistant to the Head of Research, Postgraduate, Kuliyyah of Engineering. I am also on full-scholarship for law school. Did I mention I’m also a debater?
    234 345
  3. I have been wearing the hijab fully for as long as I have been a hijab blogger. Before 2014, I’ve been wearing the hijab on and off since primary school.567
  4. I love the arts. I’m a grade 6 pianist and a certified traditional dancer. I was cheerleading back in my all-girl school. I’ve directed plays back in school. I also directed the Mocktrial ‘3 Kalam’ back in Centre for Foundation Studies, IIUM. Currently, I am with The Classroom Project, a minimalist theatre production in IIUM although I have stopped performing arts.678
  5. I am adventurous and I love sports. In cheerleading, I was the flyer. I am also an avid futsal player. Everytime there’s a tournament in college, I would be first in line to sign up. People didn’t think I could play because I look ‘girly’. But in the court, I have a totally different persona. I love skiing although it cannot be done here. The thrill and the adrenaline rush is something I crave for. Having toned muscles like the Victoria’s Secret angels is a plus!789 890

 Remember to head over to www.stylebysya.com for more interesting fashion posts and stuff about me!

Till then

 

 

Denise Lee
Nuffnang Community Team

Tip #1: Be Yourself

I asked myself that as a blog reader, why do I like reading some blogs more than the others? What is it that makes my favourite bloggers well, my favourite?

XiaXue, Fourfeetnine and Cheeserland are my favourite bloggers, and they all have one thing in common- they let their personalities shine through in their blogs. As a blog reader, I want to read about my favourite blogger’s lives and get to know who they are. It doesn’t matter if they’re nice or nasty, showing their personalities on their posts breathe life into their blogs, and nobody likes to read a dull blog that says nothing about the bloggers themselves.

Translate everything that you are into your blog design, blog header, your ‘About Me’ column, and most importantly your blog entries. First impression is very important. Make it in such a way that the moment a reader visits your blog, they get a rough idea of what your blog is about and who you really are. What keeps a reader coming back for more is the desire to want to follow up on what’s new in a blogger’s life, be it new experiences that they share, new products that they’re recommending or new restaurants that they have reviewed. Give your readers something to look forward to, by first being yourself and letting them get to know the real you.

Tip #2: Quality Content

Now, this may be a little subjective. What is deemed as quality content to one may not be the same for another. To me, quality content is one with substance, one that is worth spending my time reading. One that interests me and adds value to my life, one that is crafted with thoughts and effort.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long blog entry. It could even be just a short ranting post, and if it is written in a sincere, personal way, I would enjoy reading it anyway. Blog about what you love, blog about what you go through, blog about your life.

For me, at this juncture of my life, I’m always blogging about my marriage, vacations and food! They’re everything I’m passionate about. And when I blog about the things I love, my readers love it too, so it’s a win-win situation!

careen1

I guess the bottom line is, quality contents are written from the heart and with effort. A reader can tell a half-hearted blog post from a genuine one, so focus on your content because that’s what’s going to gain you a new loyal blog reader, or lose your existing ones.

Tip #3: Quality Images

Let’s face it. We live in a world of superficiality. As much as quality content is important, so are quality images! In the age of Instagram today, people are becoming increasingly particular about what they see and who they follow. Put up low quality, badly taken images on Instagram, and you’ll stand a chance of being unfollowed immediately. It’s very real. Sad, but it’s the truth.

People want to see high res images that are taken nicely, which includes your lighting, framing, composition and basically the story that your photos tell.

Here’s when it’s necessary to do some homework. I never used to be one who knows how to take photos. My sister who’s 2 years younger than me belongs to the young Instagrammers group who happen to take really awesome shots and have the skills to edit them beautifully. She and her friends may not be bloggers nor social media influencers, but they have thousands of followers and high engagements on their posts simply because they put up quality images on their Instagram accounts! She always recommends me to follow her favourite Instagrammers from all over the world who take great, creative shots, and I learned from there.

Here are some of the shots from my Instagram account- @careentxy.

careen2

careen3

careen4

careen5

The shots and “organised messes” were carefully arranged and planned, and the ice-cream shot was perfected after adjusting the angles and focus again, and again, and again. It’s hard work, but the results are worth it in the end.

It’s also important to invest in good cameras. I’ve been using Sony RX100 for the past two years, and I must say that it has served me super well! It is compact in size, lightweight and easy to carry around for events and casual brunch dates! Most of my photos on Instagram are taken using the Sony RX100 or Sony Alpha 5000.

careen6

Find a good camera that suits your style, and invest in it! Everyone loves to see beautiful pictures! Quality images change the look of your blog instantly and makes it so much more attractive.

Tip #4: Be Consistent

This is something that most bloggers struggle with. When we have the blogging mojo on, we feel like blogging 5 posts in a row! But when we have the writer’s block, we stare at the ‘Create Post’ page for hours and still nothing fruitful comes out of it. Bingo? I know because I’m a blogger who struggles with this too.

It’s hard to be consistently churning out quality posts every other day, especially when tiredness and busyness kicks in, and you feel totally uninspired. This is when we, as bloggers gotta inspire ourselves. When I feel uninspired and uncreative, I take a break from blogging and go blog-hopping. I’ll read my favourite blogs and somehow after a while, I will regain my motivation and inspiration to blog again. Another way to inspire yourself is to remember that you have a bunch of readers visiting your blog every single day, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint them. Thinking of their relentless support helps me to pick myself up and keep on blogging.

Tip #5: Be Honest

This point is an extension to Tip #1. Be yourself, be true to yourself, be honest about yourself. Don’t lie just to put up interesting content on your blog. This could be about your own life, or about your sponsored products.

As a blog reader, I have no problem when my favourite blogger puts up sponsored posts/advertorials. In fact, I must say I do enjoy well-written, honest advertorials, and I follow bloggers to know what is new in the market! The key here is honesty. As bloggers, we’re public figures and social media influencers. With influence, comes responsibility. Our readers trust our tastes and preferences when it comes to the products we choose to advertise/promote on our blogs and social media. And because they trust us, they are willing to spend their money on the product with hopes that they too, can achieve the same results that we claim to bring in our advertorials.

careen7

La Senza, a brand I personally love.

Here’s when our credibility is on the line. What if it’s a product that truly does not work, or worse, brings about a negative effect after you tried it? For me, I would not shout about it if it does not work. And if it actually brings about a negative result for me, I would rather refund the payment to my client than to blatantly lie to my readers.

In my case, I’m public about my love for a certain smartphone brand. I’ve been approached multiple times to promote a competitor smartphone brand in the market which I do not believe in, and because I don’t want to lie and lose my credibility, I never accepted the campaigns. I would rather lose the amount of money than to lose my credibility. And trust me, blog readers appreciate honesty more than anything. I know because I’m an avid blog reader myself.

One way to know what a reader would like is to place ourselves in the shoes of a blog reader. It’s important to know what pleases our readers, because they’re the reason why we grow as bloggers and how we’re making money out of our blogs in the first place :)

That’s all from me! Do comment if you have any blogging tips that you’d like to share too!

xx

Denise Lee
Nuffnang Community Team

5 Facts About Me:

#1: I got married at the age of 22…

…to my first love, my high school sweetheart, Boon.

5 facts about Careen Tan - 1

Our younger selves, me at 15 and him at 19. Look at what puberty did to us. And don’t judge my fashion sense. It was cool 10 years ago.

careenwedding

We dated for 8 years before tying the knot. He popped the question on my 22nd birthday, and we got married less than a year later :) A lot of people questioned why I decided to get married at such a young age. Until now, I have no solid answer to that except for the reason that I felt ready, I knew in my heart that he’s the one, and we didn’t see why else we should wait any longer.

Two years down the road, did I regret marrying young? Not at all. I have the same freedom and support I had from him pre-marriage, and I’m glad that I have the luxury of time, honeymooning and travelling for whole two years before deciding to try for a baby. We love kids and wish to have 3-4 children, so here’s to hoping we get preggers soon! :)

#2: I am the eldest of 7 sisters.

5 facts about Careen Tan - 2

I know, you must be counting how many there are in my family now! This is my family, my amazing parents and 6 sisters whom I love very much.

When people ask me, “How many siblings do you have?”, my reply is always, “Erm, plenty.”

How is it like growing up in a big family with all sisters? Let’s just say it’s a slumber party everyday. The house is always abuzz with chattering, laughing, screaming, and occasional cat fights. *reow* But it’s always fun. We replay chick flicks like Mean Girls, Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids every day to the point that we can memorise and recite the scripts at any given time. That includes our youngest 6 year-old sister!

When I moved out after the wedding, I had a massive withdrawal syndrome because my new house seemed so awfully quiet without my family. I slowly got used to it but I still miss them always, and we’ll make a point to have family meals together weekly.

#3: I was once a kindergarten teacher, dance instructor, coffee barista and freelance model

Growing up in a big family, there is sure to have lots of expenses. And being the eldest child, I’ve seen how my parents sacrificed to give us the best, which is why I value money and have always believed in working to gain experiences and earn some pocked money, even if it’s just a little. At least I could cover my own personal expenses and lift some burden off my parents’ shoulders. I stopped taking allowances from my parents since the age of 16 when I started working as a part-time hip hop dance instructor, and have been working various odd jobs ever since.

You can say that I’m the type who cannot sit still because I can’t bear the thought of wasting time. At every semester break, I would apply to work at any place that I feel could give me a good working experience that offers decent remuneration as well. So yeah, in my high school days, I worked as a part-time kindergarten teacher and a coffee barista at Coffee Bean for a couple of months while teaching dance classes, and freelance modelling, working at events and earning from some blog advertorials in my university days.

5 facts about Careen Tan - 3

Seventeen Magazine, Feb 2010 Valentine’s Day issue.

I slowly moved into being a commercial talent for magazines, TV commercials and print ads, started emceeing for events and also start up an online fashion boutique (www.chiqfliq.com) all while I was still studying.

5 facts about Careen Tan - 4

Citibank Rewards Print Advertisement

5 facts about Careen Tan - 5

Kellog’s ‘Special K’ TV Commercial with Carmen Soo

From the time I gradated from my Communications degree programme until now, I’ve been working on my blog, emceeing for events and running ChiqFliq.com consecutively. I never regretted working while studying as it taught me to have discipline and proper time management. I always encourage my younger friends to work while they’re still young because experiences are valuable and are yours to keep forever. Make the best out of your youth!

#4: I never bought a luxury bag. 

Taddaaaaaa. Shocker. Yes, I never bought a luxury bag before. You must be thinking, “Aiya, husband buy maaaa.” But no, I always tell him not to. Before you start judging me, let me just say that I have nothing against people buying luxury goods. I, for one, love looking at the latest luxury collections and am always tempted to get my favourite Prada bag for myself. Whenever I think of doing so, I just can’t bring myself to actually buy it. I’ll think about how much it costs, and how I can actually spend that amount on my family instead and where I can actually go travel with that money!

Let’s say my Prada bag costs RM5k, with that amount I can travel to Tokyo for 10 days and spend freely. Prada bag or travel? Travel, hands down! So yeah, that’s the reason why I still don’t own a luxury bag until today, even when I could already afford it from many years ago. The only atas bag I own is a Longchamp Le Pliage that was sponsored.

Maybe few years down the road I might get myself one when I have extra money lying around. But for now, work, family, food and travel are my priority. Yes, I am very practical and unglam one. Haha!

#5: I’m crazy!

Okay, crazy as in not the mentally deranged kinda crazy, but…you know what I mean. Beneath my prim and proper exterior is a crazy chick who doesn’t mind getting all ugly for the sake of fun! I get super excited when I’m tasked to act in a challenging role, a character that requires me to put my self-consciousness aside. My favourite actresses are Phoebe from F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect and Zooey Deschanel. Zooey Deschanel’s weirdness is just too awesome! And my secret dream is to act in a sitcom such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and be placed in a role such as Phoebe. Okay no longer a secret now, but you get the idea.

Here’s the craziest thing I’ve pulled so far.

If you’re crazy like this too, we can be best friends ;)

That’s all from me for now! More on the blog at www.careentan.com.

Signing off!

xx

Denise Lee
Nuffnang Community Team

Yen (aka Baby Sumo) blogs at Goodyfoodies about food, travel, hotel reviews and kids stuff. Here are 5 lesser-known facts about her.

Yen 1

#1 Cooking from a young age

I started cooking when I was about 7 years old. I am starting my kids young too – my son who is 4 years old now started baking/cooking in the kitchen (with supervision) since he was 2+ years old. And he’s loving it!

And since we’re on the topic of cooking, one of my favorite chefs and inspirations, Gordon Ramsay follows me on Twitter 

Yen 2

#2 I love travelling

I used to live in the UK for 7 years before moving back to KL. Happy that I got to visit so many wonderful places in Europe (just to name a few – Spain, Germany, Luxemburg, Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Venice)  and all over UK while I was there. My two favorite places are Scotland (the beautiful sceneries) and London (musicals, Michelin restaurants and visiting all the touristy places).

When I was pregnant with our first child, Hubby flew me from London to Kuala Lumpur on Business Class and later, when I was pregnant with our second child, he flew me First Class on Malaysia Airlines on the same route . Unfortunately for me, I’ll be flying Economy Class from now onwards as I am not planning to have any more children.  :P

Yen 3

#3 I love photography

I bought my first DSLR after the birth of our first child (so I can take lots of photos of our baby girl). That was about the time when I started taking lots of photos of food.  And thanks to my love of food photography, I got into food styling a.k.a making food look good and appealing on the plate. I guess it has now become a hobby of mine.  I also love taking photographs of nature – flowers, insects, sunrise, birds.

I love Instagram. Been using it since the app first came out. It’s become a routine for me to post at least one photo a day, so do follow me @babysumo for daily photo updates. 

Yen 4

#4 I have a double-degree

Most people are surprised to hear that I am a housewife with two degrees under my belt – a First Class Honours in Engineering as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Surveying from two reputable universities in UK.  I am proud to be a full-time mum to my two kids now.

Yen 5-2 

#5 Urban gardener, music and yoga

I cook a lot of Western food at home and Western cooking usually calls for lots of fresh herbs. For that reason, I started a herb and fruit garden.  I find great joy in harvesting basil and making my own pesto as well as roselle to make jam.  Yup, gardening is therapeutic and very rewarding. Try it.

Yen 6

I like listening to music when I blog. Puts me in a good mood. And I do yoga to keep fit and healthy.

Samantha Tew
Nuffnang Community Team

Hello Nuffnangers! If you have been following us closely, you will definitely not miss out our Featured Blogger Of The Month – Karen Kho. A new addition to our Nuffnang family, we have her with us to share some interesting facts about herself this week.

Who is Karen Kho?

Karen Kho is a fitness and lifestyle blogger. She’s definitely a fitness addict who likes to share her fitness tips on her social media, and aspires to motivate her followers to lead a fitter, healthier lifestyle.

Karen Kho

#1 Capturing the Moment Before It’s Gone
I love playing with light and photography, capturing some of the amazing scenes and moments that I see. Perhaps it matches my personality, that I love the quietness and stillness of waiting for the perfect moment for the shot. We can’t stop time, but photos can save the moment and turn these special times into unforgettable memories. Although I’m not a professional but I am working hard to improve my photography skills.

kkho-2

#2 Music Makes Me Happy
I used to learn piano and violin when I was younger, but I’ve stopped for more than 10 years. I still keep my piano and occasionally play with it whenever I’m home. I think it’s the best way to release stress.

karenkho1

#3 Secretly An Introvert
I’m not good at expressing myself and I’m shy too. That is why blogging, photography and music seems to be one of the ways to express and share my feelings to the world. It might sound weird but I want to share my thoughts with others in a different way. It could be because I don’t have any siblings, hence I have no one to talk to. I always wanted to be understood and hopefully I can meet someone who’s like me.

karenkho3

#4 High Achiever
My friends always say that I’m too aggressive and competitive and I stresses myself out all the time. This is mainly because of the people around me. It is very difficult for outsiders to understand because I’m a very insecure person.

Karen Kho

#5 Scraping Off The Bucket List
There’s a bucket list of places that I want to visit. I want to explore the world. I want to visit all the places on my bucket list before I grow old. One of my dreams is to earn more money, retire young and to bring my family and my loved one on a great leisure trip, to enjoy the lifestyle together.

kkho-3

Want to know more about Karen Kho? Read more about herself and her fitness journey at her blog: www.karen-kho.com

You may also check out Karen Kho’s profile here.

Xing Yi Wong
Nuffnang Community Team

Category

Archive

Latest PostRSS