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Phy
Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
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Sunday, August 02, 2015

I Am Officially A Youtube Content Contributor!

Hello lovelies!

I would like to apologize for being MIA for the past one month. I will be sharing why with you in another post but for today, I would like to announce that I am (finally) a Youtube content contributor. Whoo hoo! I have wanted to do Youtube videos for the longest time and I did have a channel up a few years ago but I had to scrap it because the circumstances at that time wasn't ideal.

I have learned a lot about myself during this journey towards being a Youtuber. Again, I will be sharing more about this in the next post. For now, I would just like to unveil my first video ever on my channel.

        .

If you like this video, don't forget to give it a thumbs up. Also comment if you have constructive criticism to share. Would really appreciate your subscription as a support for my newest baby. Thank youuu!! <3 p="">


Love,
Phy

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How To: Steadily Gain Loyal Followers On Twitter

Hello hello there…


Today I will be sharing with you tips and trick on how to build a solid follower base on Twitter. Now, this is no “get thousands of followers quick and easy” kind of thing. As with anything worth its’ salt, building a loyal audience on Twitter requires time and effort. If you are willing to do the work, then keep on reading.

Before I start, I would like to share with you a little bit about my experience with Twitter.

In 2014, I had 200++ followers and one day on a whim I just decided to try and build the bulk of my Twitter followers. I didn’t have any strategy at all aside from following almost everyone that was recommended to me by Twitter with the hopes that they would follow me back. Sure enough, my followers increased to 500++ in a month 

Then I hit the 2000 mark on the number of people I was following.

You see, Twitter has a policy where a user cannot follow more than 2000 people until they themselves achieve 2000 followers. This is so as to prevent spammers from following thousands and thousands of other users unchecked. Since I couldn’t find a way around that brick wall I grew bored and decided to forget about Twitter.

Between then and now, I noticed that I would get new followers fairly regularly. In fact, I get an average of 5 new followers a week. The weird thing was, my number of followers seemed to have plateau between 590++ and 600++ when I should have achieved about 800 -1000 by now. This month out of sheer curiosity, I did a little research online and found the reason for that.

Turns out now people are pretty obsessed with getting thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram. Some people use apps and websites while others even resort to buying followers. The majority however would follow random people on Twitter then use sites such as Unfollowers.com to un-follow those who do not follow them back.

There are also those who would un-follow people even if they ARE being followed back. This is so that they would have a higher follower to ‘followee’ ratio. More followers give the impression that they probably have interesting things to say and are worth checking out.

That disheartened me a bit because it’s like lose-lose situation. Even those who ‘help’ each other by following one another randomly are losing out. If you are following for the sake of it and not because you are actually interested in that person’s tweets then nobody is really listening to each other. It’s kind of like having thousands of people in a hall all talking at each other with no one actually bothering to listen. 

So, I asked myself this question: How does one gain large number of followers on Twitter without losing one’s self? Or even better, how do I gain LOYAL followers? I decided to come up with a 'strategy' by doing some research, adding a few ideas of my own and executed it. It’s been 2 weeks and I have since gained almost 300 followers and reduced the number that I am following by about a quarter. 


Here are my tips and tricks on how to gain followers without selling your soul:

1.Establish the Purpose of Your Account
It is really important to take a few minutes and figure out what is the purpose of your Twitter account. Are you just going to post about your day, use it as a tool to drive traffic to your blog or a place to post inspiring quotes,etc.?

This is an important step because it helps to determine your content, the people that would be most beneficial for you to follow and your target audience. In short, it is the ‘lighthouse’ that guides you as you navigate through the waters of Twitter.


2.Set Shot-term and Long-term Goals
The next step is to create short-term and long term goals. This helps to motivate you to do the work required towards achieving them. It also enables you to measure the success of your methods on your own terms in a clear manner.


3. First Impressions Always Counts
A good Twitter profile is essential because it gives a potential follower his/her first impression of you. It makes the difference between that ‘Follow’ button being tapped or not. Create a Twitter profile that reflects you at a glance, make sure to have a photo and fill in the description bar with a summary of YOU.

My profile..


4. Be Active
This is a no brainer. On Twitter, absence does NOT make the heart grow fonder. In fact, you will just be viewed as dead weight. Nobody in their right mind would waste their follow ‘quota’ (which everyone is trying to keep low anyway) on someone who is rarely around to interact.

Also, start as you mean to go on. It is very easy to be overly enthusiastic and be on Twitter 24/7 and then burn out within one week or less. Instead, stick to a frequency that you can consistently maintain. I recommend a minimum of 3 times a day (once in the morning, afternoon and night time). This enables you to respond to any notifications ASAP and have an active presence overall.


5. Add Value To Your Tweets
People go on the Internet for 2 main purposes: to find a solution to their problem(s) or/an to be entertained. In order to get and retain followers, you need to provide content that fulfills one or both of the above criteria while being relevant to the purpose of your Twitter account.

For example if you are using Twitter to drive traffic to your blog, merely posting blog links and follow-me-on-bloglovin’/like-my-facebook-page Tweets is a one-way ticket to Yawnsville. To add value, post interesting articles, jokes, quotes and such that is relevant to the niche of your blog.


6. Network With Others In Your Niche
It’s always a great idea to build network with other Twitter users in your niche. The easiest way to find like-minded users as well as get to know them better is through Twitter chats. 

Usually these chats happen at a set date and time with different individuals hosting them each time. The host would pose a question and participants would answer them. Everyone will be able to see the questions and answers by including the chat hashtag in their tweets. 

By joining these chats, not only would you be meeting people who would be able to relate to you and your interest, you will also be able to learn from each other and be inspired. You might even gain friends for life!


7. Be Friendly and Sincere
Be friendly with other users on Twitter be it the people you follow or your followers. If you like their post then favorite it and re-tweet with a little blurb on why you like it. If they talk about their day, respond if you have something positive to say. Be sincere and be the person that you are offline.

Also, always welcome and thank your new followers. It will make them feel good to know that you took the time out of your day to compose a tweet expressing your appreciation.

Sincere friendliness is a rare thing on Twitter so it does go a long way at catching a person’s attention. Don’t be friendly with a hidden agenda though. Insincerity reeks and people will be able to sense it a mile away.


8. De-clutter Your 'Following' List
De-clutter the list of people you follow. There are a lot of sites that you can use to do this such as Unfollowers.comCrowdfireapp.com and Tweepi.com. It’s really up to you whether you want to un-follow everyone who is not following you back or if you’d like to manually un-follow only those who do not fulfill your specific criteria. 

De-cluttering doesn’t only leave you more room to follow people who are in your niche, it also lessens the bulk of tweets you receive daily, enabling you to concentrate on tweets from people who you'd actually like to interact with.


9. Zone In On Your Target Pool Of Audience
Your content determines your target audience. One way to find your potential audience is through the influential Twitter users in your niche.

Websites such as Unfollowers.com and Crowdfireapp.com has a ‘Copy Follower’ option in them. The thought behind this option is like this: Let’s say you are in business and you’d like to gain followers who are interested in your product. All you have to do is key-in the name of your competitor’s Twitter profile in the search bar of this option. The site would then give you access to their followers with whom you can interact and hopefully drive to your Twitter profile as well.

Using that same idea you can go to the prominent Twitter accounts in your niche and follow/interact their followers and attract them to your Twitter account. Now some people might view this as an underhanded thing to do so it is really up to you whether you want to do this or not.


10. Gain Visibility
Let’s face it, the Twittersphere is an ocean upon ocean of information. Even if you have awesome things to say and share, being someone who is just starting out makes it difficult to get noticed, let alone getting your voice heard. So how do you go about gaining visibility in the Twitteruniverse? The answer is hashtags and mentions.

I highly recommend making a list of local Twitter accounts of brands and products as well as their frequently-used hashtags that are relevant to your niche/field. This is so that whenever opportunities arise and it is appropriate, you can mention a brand’s twitter user name and use the hashtag in your tweet.

Hashtags are a wonderful thing. When you click on a hashtag, you will find all tweets that use that hashtag and see what people are talking about in relevance to it. Most (if not all) companies have a set of hashtags relating to their brand and name which they use to know what people are saying about them. 

In a nutshell, hashtags allows big names to find your tweets and inadvertently, YOU. What’s more, if they like your tweet, they would respond to it by replying or even re-tweeting it to their thousands of followers! Jackpot!


I mentioned Nescafe Malaysia as well as used some of their hashtags, #NESCAFEMoment as well as #BlendandBrew, on Twitter and they replied to me! 


Nescafe Malaysia's Twitter account has 28.1k followers.

 Now the beauty about mentions is that whenever you mention a Twitter user name, that user will be notified about it. The downside is, well-established brands probably have hundreds of mentions each day and they won’t go through each one. So your tweet would probably still blend together with the rest.

This is why it is important to use both hashtags and mentions. Not only will the hashtags enable you to be found, you are also drawing attention to your specific tweet through mentions. It’s kind of like calling a person after sending them an email. It increases the probability of your email being noticed and not lost in the sea of emails of the receiver. Does that make sense? I hope so.



So there you have it, my tips and tricks on how to gain and build a loyal follower base on Twitter without resorting to desperate measures and dirty tactics. I really hope that you give them a try. It might be a bit slower but hey, slow and steady wins the game right?

Also, I would like to apologize if I seem judgemental on those who use er, alternative methods on gaining followers. I am just a big believer in being honest and true to oneself be it online or offline. When you do that, you tend to draw people who have things in common with you. I have met quite a few people on Twitter that I click with and I couldn't be happier. 

What are your tips on gaining Twitter followers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and don't forget to check out my Twitter. If you like what you see, don't be shy in hitting that 'Follow' button. :)


Love,
Phy

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Lifestyle & Beauty Lust List 2015

Hello hello..

I'd like to share with you today on things that I have heard so many good things about and would love to have for myself. Some of them are lifestyle items whereas others are (duh!) beauty related. So without further ado, let's jump right into it.


1. Canon Powershot G7X


I started having problems with my camera around December 2013. Half of the screen became blank and when I tried to turn it on again a month ago, the whole screen went fuzzy. After 4 years, it had come to the end of it's shelf life. So the past 1.5 years I have been using my phone to take photos for my blog. Sounds convenient enough but the reality is, it's triple the work compared to using an actual camera and there is always that risk of virus from the computer to the phone. 

I have been hearing a lot of good things about the Canon Powershot G7X. It's a compact camera that  gives quality shots comparative to DSLR minus the bulk. It is only about 300g in weight and can be used to make videos as well. Check out the review done here comparing between the Canon G7X and Canon S120 and you will see just how well the G7X out performs the latter especially in low light and at night.

Price: RM2,199.00


2. Asus Transformer Book T100


As a blogger, being able to post an entry online on the go is obviously a convenience that I'd love to have. For the longest time I have been wanting a tab which I thought would be the best light-weight tool to achieve that. However, I noticed that even with larger tabs, typing on a touch screen can be a challenge. Fortunately nowadays more and more brands are coming out with notebooks that can be detached from the keyboard dock to double up as a tab. 

The notebook that caught my eye is the Asus Transformer Book T100. Unlike most notebooks which is practically a tab that can be attached to a flimsy keyboard, the keyboard dock of this notebook contains internal memory and has a USB port. The screen is 10.1" and has a touch screen surface. Perfetto!

Price: RM1,399.00


3. English Pear & Freesia Cologne by Jo Malone


I am not a total fragrance junkie. I am fine with putting on perfume but it is not something that I strive to put on every time I step out the door. The English Pear & Freesia fragrance by Jo Malone however is so light, fruity and lovely that just makes me want to make it my signature scent. It is indescribable just how perfectly balanced the sweetness and lightness of this fragrance is. If you have a boutique near you, I highly recommend that you stop by and have a whiff of this scent.

Price: N/A 


4. Clarisonic Mia2 Skin Cleansing System.


Who under 40 has not hear about this? Like, really? Everyone and their puppies on Youtube has been raving about this cleansing system for years and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. It's gentle on the skin,claims to  remove impurities 6 times better than just using one's hands which makes it easier for skincare to penetrate the skin more effectively. Oh, and did I mention that it's pink? 

Price: N/A


5.  Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray


Having oily skin, makeup just slides/fades off my face like nobody's business. I have been really wanting to try this product since I first heard of it 5 years ago. It claims to help make makeup last for 16 hours and it also prevents makeup from settling into the facial lines, making it look better overall. A lot of beauty gurus on Youtube recommend it, even those with very oily skin so I think it has a good chance of working well for me.

Price: N/A


So there you have it, my very short list on what's on my lifestyle and beauty wish list for this year. What items are on YOUR wish list? So share in the comments section below.


Love,
Phy



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day - My Concern As A Single Mom.

Hello hello..

First of all I'd like to wish all men out there who really work hard at being the best father they can be a Happy Father's Day. For me,Father's Day is bitter sweet. On one hand, I am celebrating my father who has shed blood sweat and tears to raise me the best he can and has been by my side through the darkest moments in my life. Without him, I wouldn't have made it this far for sure.

On the other hand I am imagining a few years down the line, when Sophia will be going to school. Usually, whenever an occasion such as Mother's Day and Father's Day is around the corner, kids are required to make a card in arts class. I can't stop myself from imagining the instant when Sophia would realize that having only Mama, Grandpa and Grandmummy at home is not exactly 'normal'. Honestly, my heart cries every time I think about it and the questions and hurt that would come with it.

All I can do now is to pray to Allah SWT to ease the way in answering her questions the best I can. Most of all, I pray to Allah SWT to help me soothe her little heart. To guide me in letting her know that it doesn't matter what others might think of her, what's most important is what Allah SWT thinks of her. That Allah SWT had chosen her for this and has given her the strength deep within to face the challenges to come. That is doesn't matter where one comes from, it's where one is headed and how one gets there that matters.

To all fellow single mother's out there, I salute you comrades. This life we chose is not easy, often swinging between feeling extreme blessing of having our child(ren) be the light house guiding our lives to be better every single day and utter hell when your child (and you) get hurt by emotionally by the taunts and judgement by society.

That being said, if any of you single moms (including potential single moms) are reading this and ever feel the need to talk (about just about anything really) over a virtual cup of tea/coffee, please feel free to reach out and contact me via email phylliciarobert@gmail.com . I would love to hear from you and hope we can learn from each other, in shaa Allah.






Love,
Phy


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Phy Says: Sometimes It Is Those Closest To You Who Twists The Knife Deeper..

Hello all..

I have always prided myself in being as honest as I possibly can especially when it comes to my personal experiences. As I have mentioned so frequently with this 'confessional' type of post, I do it because I hope that it would help someone out there who might be experiencing the same thing know that they are not alone. Being honest requires me to be open and vulnerable about things that truth be told, I'd rather not expose at all if not for I feel that it is important do so.

When I wrote my post about being a single mother, I was prepared to receive backlash and criticism, mostly from strangers. Surprisingly I didn't and in fact, I actually received a lot of encouraging words from friends and family on my Facebook Page where I shared the link.

Then two days ago I received my first negative reaction towards that post and it came in the form of emotional bullying/manipulation. What shocked me was that the person who employed this emotional manipulation is no other that a person who is SUPPOSED to be close to me, who is SUPPOSED to understand the situation more than any other person in the whole planet.

This person went like,"I saw your blog post you know. You said that you'd be spending time with Sophia but you are not doing what you said you will". All because I passed bathing Sophia for having a relaxing cup of coffee  barely 15 minutes  after coming home at the end of a long, tiring day at the office. If that is not emotional bullying, I don't know what is.

To say that I am disappointed in this person is putting it mildly. Where other people chose to try and understand as well as encourage, this person chose to take the knife and plunge it deeper by twisting the knife. Just goes to prove that relations and closeness in distance doesn't necessarily equals to closeness to the heart and emotions.



Will I stop doing 'confessional' types of post because of this? No way. This just fuels my determination to stay true to myself. One stab is not going to deter me from doing what I think is right. It might provide this person (and others for that matter) with more knives to throw at me but then, this person is a bully anyways so it hardly matters no does it?

Have you ever had a person you supposedly could trust turned around and 'stabbed' you in the back? Share your experience in the comments section below.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Sabah Day Of Mourning - Remembering The Ranau Earthquake Victims

Dear all..

Today, 8th June 2015, is a day of mourning for Sabah as we remember and pay tribute to the victims who died on Mount Kinabalu due to the earthquake of 5.9 magnitude that occurred in Ranau at 7.15AM on June 5, 2015 local time. This is the first time that an earthquake has ever resulted in death in Malaysia. So far 18 are found dead and 2 climbers are confirmed missing.

When we in Keningau experienced the 'residual' effects of the earthquake at about 7.23AM, little did we know that disaster had struck Mount Kinabalu and all the climbers, guides and staff as well as the villagers were experiencing the most frightening day of their lives.

A tribute made in Kota Kinabalu City to the victims and a prayer to all those still on Mount Kinabalu whether missing or doing SAR mission.


1. Read about the harrowing experience of one of the climbers who survived the ordeal here. Reading this, I think if it had happened to me I would have just totally lost it earlier on especially the abseiling part as I am petrified of heights.


2. Photos of the Mountain Guides of Mount Kinabalu as they carried the injured and guided the remaining climbers back to the base camp. They are the Unsung Heroes of this tragedy.


3. Remembering the Mount Kinabalu Guides who passed away:

Robbi Sapinggi. He was injured during the quake yet urged the climbers under his care to climb on to safety while he waited for help to come. He passed on from his injuries several hours later. 


Joseph was found hugging two foreign climbers under his care in an attempt to protect them by being a human shield. Unfortunately, all three did not survive. Photo Source





4. The earthquake caused the Mount Kinabalu's iconic "Dongkey Ears" to break. 


Please lend your prayers and support to the mountain guides, climbers and rescuers still on Mount Kinabalu. If you are so inclined, please read this to know how you can contribute financially to the Mount Kinabalu mountain guides and their families as their source of income will be badly affected with the closing down of Kinabalu Park for an unknown period of time.

Thank you in advance for your help and prayers.


Love,
Phy 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Phy Says: I Am Mama, I Am Papa..

Hello there lovelies...

This story that I am about to share with you is very personal in nature. I know that some people might view this as airing my dirty laundry to the world. That is of course, not my intention. However, I have always believed in being honest in sharing my life's experiences because I hope that somehow, it would reach someone out there who might need to know that they are not alone. And for me, that's the only thing that truly matters in shaa Allah, Amin.

And so the story goes...

As much as I have missed writing in my blog, I haven't been doing so lately. The reason for that is because I have been experiencing a lot of frustrations at the work place and unfortunately it has spilled into other areas in my life. Let's just say I was (and still am) in a situation where am expected to swim across the sea in record time while having my hands and feet tied.

I must say that I didn't handle my frustrations very well. I'd go to work, go with the motions, get mad and after work instead of going directly back home I'd go to the library to read a book. It started innocently enough. I wanted some 'me' time, a break between being an employee during the day and a mum after that. However, as time passed by I started to read more and more compulsively, starting on another novel right after finishing one.

Eventually, it came to a point where I was reading more that one book (at my worst I was switching between 5 books!) at a time. I was spending more and more time away from home and inadvertently, away from Sophie. At home I'd continue to read, getting irritated when Sophie tries to get my attention the only way a toddler knows how; by throwing tantrums.

My mum started to complain about how I am always coming home late and never spending quality time with Sophie. My elder sister also commented that she notices that I am being less patient with the little one. Sophie herself has started to become prone to tantrums. Feeling pressured, I retreated deeper into my shell. The logical side of me knows that this compulsion to read was a symptom to a deeper problem. And the oh, the guilt towards Sophie was crippling! However, I decided to turn a blind eye to the warning signs and plodded on.

Then 2 days ago, I was at the supermarket in the stationery section when a man and his 2 daughters came along. Long story short, he was pretty indulgent towards his daughters especially the youngest one. She was hugging his thigh making googly eyes and trying to convince him to buy her something she probably doesn't need but really, really wanted.

Suddenly a deep feeling of sadness and disappointment washed over me and tears pricked my eyes. As I turned away from them pretending to inspect the pencil sharpeners I gave myself a mental shake and asked myself,"Why am I feeling this way? It's not like I don't have a dad.." I then realized that that wave of pain I felt was not for me but for Sophie. My precious darling doesn't know what it feels like to be indulged by a father and I don't know if she ever will.

In a moment that can only be described as being hit by lightning, I realized with all my heart to the core of my soul that I am her mama AND her papa. As the sole player in the parent band I have to play both parts. I have to bring on my A game and be what she needs, when she needs me. As a human being I will have bad days (or in this case, bad spells) but I can't afford to indulge in them. Most of all, I can't afford to run away and retreat into a figurative (nor literal) cave. I am all she's got. She NEEDS me.

I felt so ashamed with my behavior the past few weeks and I made a solemn promise to myself that I will be the best parent that I could to Sophie from then on. Alhamdulillah, I have strive to come home as soon as I could after work and set aside all distractions to pay my full attention to her. We did finger painting, tickled each other, sang Old Macdonald till we were bored and recited the countries that we were going to go on vacation together. We have even made up our inside jokes. Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful that Allah SWT has helped me to understand the full extend of my responsibility and to snap out of my pity party.

In shaa Allah, I will do my best to remember that moment of clarity in that stationery isle for the rest of my life. Amin.




Love,
Phy


Monday, March 16, 2015

How To: Achieve Soft, Smooth Skin (With Alternatives For Busy Bees And Penny Pinchers!)

Hello hello...

Among all my beauty fails in the past, one of them was to neglect scrubbing and moisturizing my body. I avoided using lotion because in the olden days they're pretty greasy. Then there is that icky, slippery feel on my hands whenever I need to wash them. As for body scrubs I was just too plain lazy to use them.

Last year however I decided to give the body scrubs and Body Butters from The Body Shop a try and I became hooked! Not only do they smell great, they did not irritate my skin either. That really motivated me to scrub-a-dub and moisturize about 3 times a week.

About a month after practicing this, I was scratching my shoulder and I was startled that my skin was so smooth. Really! I had never had such smooth and soft skin in my life! Terkejut sendiri ni.

Unfortunately, I ran out of 2 tubs of body scrub and Body Butter each within 6 months. I don't really go to the city that often so I had to find other alternatives. I think I have found a pretty affective routine which cuts cost and time in the shower too.

So the first part of this post is going to be a regular scrub and lotion routine and the 2nd part will be the low cost and quick alternative routine. Okay? So let's get into it.

Part 1
What you need:
1. Shower gel
2. Body scrub
3. Body Butter/cream/lotion

My current shower gel and body cream.

Start off with showering using the shower gel. Try to avoid using bar soaps that you can get at the supermarkets because it tends to dry the skin. Use a moisturizing shower gel if you can. Dove and Johnson & Johnson are pretty good options. I personally use The Body Shop shower gel because it smells good but doesn't irritate my skin.

After rinsing off the shower gel, take a palm full of body scrub and gently work it all over your body. Remember, be gentle. You are not scrubbing scum off the floor, just dead skin off your body. After you're done scrubbing, rinse it off.


The scrub I'm currently using.

By the way, there are 2 main types of scrubs; cream and gel. The former tends to be more moisturizing so use that if you have dry skin type.

Lightly towel dry (leave your skin moist) and apply half a palm of body cream all over your body. This helps to lock in the moisture of the cream onto your skin. Wait for about 3-5 minutes before dressing. *Is anyone laughing at the thought of lounging around naked for 5 minutes? Haha..*

Try to scrub once in every 2-3 days and moisturize everyday. If you make a practice of doing this, I guarantee that your skin will be silky smooth within the 1st month. Kena rajin la. Jangan mo berangan dapat kulit halus tapi duduk2 tiup2 kuku jak. Kan?

Now, we move on to the quick and convenient method for the Busy Bees and the Penny Pinchers.




Part 2
What you need:
1. Shower gel
2. Bath lily/ loofah
3. Nivea In-shower Skin Conditioner

For this method, soak the bath lily with water then drizzle a little bit of shower gel on it. Lather it up and briskly work it over your body (making sure your skin is wet before hand of course) in circular motions. The netted texture of the bath lily acts as the 'scrub'. Rubbing the skin in circular motions also helps to get the circulation going and will give it a healthy glow. When you're done, rinse all the lather off.

Next, apply Nivea in-shower Skin Conditioner all over your body then rinse. Yes peeps, you do not need to wait for it to 'sink in' for 5 minutes before rinsing. It's apply and rinse. Lastly, dry yourself thoroughly with a towel and you are ready to get dressed.

How easy and quick is that was? You of course, can use body cream/lotion after bathing in Part 2 to give maximum moisture to your skin but if you are really pressed for time, you can skip that step entirely.

What are your favorite bath products? So share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Love,
Phy
 



Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Phy Says: Of Lipsticks and Faux Pearl Bracelets - A Lesson In Letting Go

Hello dearies...

My sister once told me a story about a little girl who has a lot of toys and knick knacks that she loves. Among all her possessions, there is one that she prized above the rest; a pearl bracelet. Granted it was made of faux pearls but it didn't matter to her. It was precious all the same.

One day her father said to her,"I have something for you my dear. It's very special. But in order for me to give it to you, you will have to give me your pearl bracelet in exchange". The girl was initially excited about the gift until she knew that she would have part with her pearl bracelet in order to get it. Oh, how she longed for the gift from her father! But how on earth could she part with her precious bracelet?

She tried negotiating with her father. She would give him her best teddy bear in exchange. Her father smiled but declined gently. The next day she came up with another offer. She would give up her best doll in exchange for the gift. Again, her father declined gently. And so it went on for a week with her offering her father numerous other things in exchange. Each time, her father smiles, declines her offer and insists that it has to be her pearl bracelet. ''I promise that the gift will be worth giving it up for", he said.

By the end of the week the little girl had run out of other things to offer. So with a very heavy heart, she went up to her father and dejectedly handed her most loved possession to him. Her father thanked her and retrieved a box from his pocket. Turns out he had been keeping her gift in his pocket all the while, just waiting for her to surrender her bracelet at any time.

He opened the box and lo and behold, nestled in it's soft satin lining lay the most beautiful pearl bracelet she had ever seen. "The reason why I wanted you to give me your bracelet first is because I want you to have a better bracelet, made with real pearls which you deserve" he said. The little girl exclaimed over the gift and hugged her father while squealing in delight, her faux bracelet which she had been so reluctant to let go, forgotten.

There is a lesson to be learnt here but wait for it... Here is another story which happened to me:

MAC Cosmetics has a program called Back To MAC. It is basically a recycling program where you can claim 1 free lipstick (in Malaysia we can only claim lipsticks but I understand that in the US you can pick between a lipstick, lip gloss or an eye shadow) for every 6 items you've used up and returned to MAC. After a year I had finally scrapped enough empties to claim my free lipstick. I was planning on getting Quietone which I love so much and incidentally, was my first ever MAC lipstick. Unfortunately, it is no longer available.

After trying a few, I was considering the possibility of getting Lustering when I saw my sister trying Peach Blossom on herself. It was the perfect My Lips But Better (MLBB) color for her. I told her that she should get it but she declined. After inspecting Lustering on my lips further in the mirror, I can't help but feel that although I like it, I don't really love it. There is also the fact that I already have a lot of lipsticks anyways, most of which I am not actively using. I considered taking Peach Blossom for my sister but pushed the notion aside. She doesn't wear lipsticks after all.

However, once the thought had come to mind I couldn't seem to shake it off. It was like my gut feeling was telling me to get Peach Blossom for my sister and it was getting insistent with each passing second. A short while later, I decided to follow my instincts. My sister was very happy and posted about it on Facebook. My aunt who is very generous saw my sister's post and decided that I should have a lipstick of my own. I was to pick one from any brand I liked. I ended up choosing Chanel's Rouge Allure Gloss in 16 Extase which I am sooo happy to get. Much happier that how I would have felt getting Lustering for myself.


Okay, so why on earth am I telling you these stories? Well basically what I am trying to say is that sometimes we spend too much time and effort clutching and holding on (with a death grip) to things that we think we need when in actual fact we don't.

It is not limited to physical things either. Sometimes we hold on to memories, anger and hurt that does nothing for us. It's hard to let go of things, emotions and principles that no longer work for us but I personally have experienced proof that when we do sincerely let go of the unnecessary, we will have more space to receive better things, emotions and state of mind. I plan to let go more in future in shaa Allah and I hope that these stories have inspired you to do the same.

Have you ever had to let go of something you thought you never could and discovered that you were better off without it? Do share your experience in the comments section below.



Love,
Phy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Reading Challenge Activated!

Hello hello darlings!

Did you notice something different about my blog? If you look on the sidebar, I have displayed a Goodreads.com bookshelf on the books that I have read. It is by no means complete, I still have to update some more books. Isn't it pretty? I love how it is displayed. I am thinking of doing a bookshelf of the books that I am currently reading as well but we'll see.

I am also embarking on a reading challenge by Goodreads.com and I have set to read 25 books by the end of the year. I wish that I had signed up for it before I discovered the free reading site I mentioned before. I could have had 10 books under my belt already!

Anyways, it would be really great if you could join me on this challenge. You can set the number of books that you'd like to read in a year which is great. I think 2 books a month is a good goal but it's really up to you.

So what do you say? Come on board and let's get reading.




Love,
Phy

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Review: The Body Shop Shower Gel


Hello helloo..

You might not know this but I have an Eczema problem which affects my legs. It was so bad that I had to seek treatment from a skin specialist. One of the things I was advised to do was to avoid using scented soaps, shower gels or body moisturizers. Being quite the girly girl who loves all things that are nicely scented, I struggled with this dictate. I have disregarded the doctor's advise numerous times and paid the price of having to endure painful Eczema 'outbreaks' on my skin. In the end I accepted defeat that I will never be able to have a nice fragrant bath for the rest of my days.

2 years ago however, I was given a travel sized shower gel from The Body Shop because I bought RM200 worth of makeup. It sat untouched in my bathroom caddy for the longest time until one day, I decided to just throw caution in the wind and tried it out. I waited a few hours after my bath certain that I was going to have a painful few days ahead of me. 3 hours later, nothing.. The next morning, still nothing. No itchiness, no pain.

I tentatively used it again the 2nd day and the same thing happened. That's when I fell in love. I finally, finally found a shower gel that smelled delicious yet does not irritate my skin. Even though it might be insignificant to some but after using pharmacy-grade, non-scented body cleansers for years, to me it felt like splashes of color had been added to my life. For the first time in a long while, I felt free. I am not even kidding!

250ml, RM29.90

Would I recommend I?
Yeeeeessss!!! If you have sensitive skin or skin problems such as Eczema, do try the travel-size bottle first.

Would I re-purchase it?
Absolutely. Been using it for the past 2 years and still going strong, in shaa Allah.





Do you have sensitive/problematic skin? What bath product do you use? Do share in the comments section. 


Love,
Phy

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Dainty Pearls: Donuts, Online Novels and a Friendly Fairy..

Hello dearies..
It's been over a week since my last post. So sorry! I've been so obsessed with something (will talk about it later on) that there's nothing else I'd be doing if I have even 5 minutes to spare. Read on for an update on what has been going on in my life for the past few weeks.

1. I have unfortunately developed a craving for donuts. I'd be sitting at my desk doing my work and suddenly a fluffy, pillowy donut smothered with crunchy sweet sugar would pop up in my mind. Aaanndd I have been having 2 every day for the past few days. Oh Heaven help me!

2. I discovered a site where I could read online novels. This is not the kind of sites where only Sherlock Holmes or Huckleberry Finn are free peeps. No, no, no.. There's Sarah Shepard, Jude Deveraux, Mary Balogh, Anne Rice, etc. In the past 10 days I believe I have read 9 novels straight. It's so addicting especially for a bookworm like me! This my friends, is one of the reasons that I haven't been blogging of late. Huhu..

3. Sophie has been really into this story book called Friendly Fairy. She would ask me or my sister to read it aloud to her repeatedly. I dare say that I have pretty much memorized that story and so has Sophie. Whenever I read a line she would finish it for me. It's totally infuriating (having to read it repeatedly) and adorable (Sophie finishing the sentence) at the same time.

By the way, Sophie is able to speak more clearly now. If she doesn't want something then she'll say "Don't want", etc. She is still more on parroting what people say to her (which she catches on so fast that we were always refraining from swearing in front of her - something I am most guilty of when driving). Also, she has learnt to blow her nose! Yay!

4. I am most interested in de-cluttering my makeup stash (and my room in general). It's so hard though especially the high end makeup items because they're like my babies. However, I must say I haven't given much thought to the makeup items that I have sold to my colleagues back in September last year, nor do I remember most of them which goes to show how little those items had meant to me.

Also, if I am to be honest with myself, the mountains of magazines are starting to give me a headache. I buy about 2-3 magazines a month and I am currently keeping ones from year 2013 and above. I want to donate them to the library but I had thought to browse through them first to get inspirations for this blog. It's been several months and I have yet to do so.

I have half the mid to just donate them all RIGHT NOW and not buy anymore since I have yet to even sit and enjoy reading a magazine back to back at a leisurely pace in years. Frenzied flipping of pages so as to complete a magazine before a pair of little hands come to tug them out of mine and destroy them (given a chance) does not make a relaxing reading experience.

5. The Black List Season 2 is back from it's mid-season break (who takes a break after 8 or 9 episodes though? That's so absurd) and Reddington is of course as smooth and suave as ever. I think he's Elizabeth Keene's dad for sure. What do you think?

How has 2015 been treating you so far? Do share your experience down below in the comments section. Toodles!




Love,
Phy

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: Nivea In-shower Skin Conditioner

Hello hello there..
Today's post is a review of Nivea's In-shower Skin conditioner. I have 2, one is Intensive with Almond Oil and the other is Whitening with Camu Camu. I purchased them last year and I think I have used it long enough to do a review.


What does Nivea say about it?
"A revolution in time saving and moisturising, our In-Shower Body Lotion gives you that silky-smooth feeling all day, every day. Simply apply to wet skin, rinse and towel dry as usual".


What do I think about it?
The first one I bought was Intensive with almond oil. It has a classic Nivea scent. I didn't like using this product initially because when I rinsed it, my skin felt really slick. Imagine having put on cream on your hands then washing them. That's how it felt. I really had to fight the urge to keep on washing until the slickness is gone because this is how the product works to moisturize the skin. That feeling goes away after toweling dry though, leaving skin soft and smooth

The Whitening with Camu Camu was launched later and of course I purchased it to try. I find that the texture is lighter than the Intensive option and I really love the fruity scent of it. I didn't include a photo of the product itself because you won't be able to see the difference in consistency. You can only feel the difference when you rinse it off where the Intense is slicker than the Whitening.

I really enjoy using both of them. I used more of the Intensive product than the Whitening due to the cold spells that I have been experiencing in my area. It cannot replace actual lotion or cream (much less my beloved The Body Shop Body Butters) but it does afford me the occasional lapse. If you want to maximize moisturizing your skin, you can always apply body lotion after using this in the shower.

Intensive with Almond Oil: RM16.90 (250ml), Whitening with Camu Camu: RM24.90 (400ml)


Pros:
1. Moisturizes pretty well especially the Intensive option.
2. Affordable.
3. Pleasant scent.
4. Can be used to maximize skin's moisture with the help of body lotion/cream.

Cons:
1. The slick feeling after rinsing can be uncomfortable.
2. It leaves the floor of the shower pretty slippery. The floor needs to be rinsed to get rid of the slipperiness.


Would I repurchase this product?
Absolutely! Although, I hear that a new product is being launched in this line so I'd probably be trying them first. Hehe...


Have you tried it? Do you think that this is just a gimmicky product? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Toodles!



Love,
Phy

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: The Body Shop Body Butter In Early-Harvest Raspberry and Vineyard Peach

Hello there,

I did a review and comparison on The Body Shop Early-Harvest Raspberry and Vineyard Peach Body Scrub a few days ago (read about it here). This time I am going to be reviewing the Body Butter of both ranges.

As with the body scrubs, I do not have my own photos of the products because they got deleted from my phone. I can't re-take the photos because the products are all used up. Hence I am using photos from The Body Shop Malaysia's online site.





What does The Body Shop say about them?
1. Early-Harvest Raspberry:
- Contains Community Fair Trade Shea butter and raspberry seed oil to effectively moisturize skin, organic soy oil rich in essential fatty acids to repair skin's moisture barrier, Community Fair Trade organic Babassu oil to soften skin and helps restore suppleness.
- Provides 24-hour hydration.
- Suitable for normal to dry skin.
- Sweet raspberry scent.

2. Vineyard Peach:
- Contains wild peach extract, Mediterranean peach kernel oil, Community Fair Trade (CFT) Shea butter and CFT cocoa butter from Ghana, CFT beeswax from Cameroon, CFT organic sesame seed oil from Nicaragua and Brazil nut oil from Peru.
- Provides 24-hour hydration.
- Leaves skin softer and smoother.
Buttery texture.
Quickly absorbed.

200ml, RM60.90


What do I think about them?
I absolutely loved these Body Butters! They really do live up to their 24-hour hydration claims. I only have to moisturize once every other day with these babies. There are of course some differences between the two. I mean just look at the list of ingredients. Vineyard Peach has such a long list you'd think that Early-Harvest Raspberry was a step child.

Okay so what are the differences? In terms of scent I prefer Early-Harvest Raspberry. It's light yet sooo delicious, like raspberry cream. The Vineyard Peach has too strong of a smell for my liking that it almost feels invasive if that makes any sense.

Texture wise I also prefer Early-Harvest Raspberry because it is ever so slightly thicker than the Vineyard peach yet absorbs more quickly. Vineyard Peach tends to linger on the surface of the skin longer and that can makes for quite an uncomfortable experience. By the way, Vineyard Peach is also for ormal to dry skin types.


Pros:
1. Early-Harvest Raspberry:
- Lives up to it's 24-hour hydration claims.
- Thick, buttery texture.
- Quick absorption.
- Delicious smell.

2. Vineyard Peach:
- Lives up to it's 24-hour hydration claims.

Cons:
1. Early Harvest Raspberry:
- None that I can think of.

2. Vineyard Peach:
- Doesn't absorb very quickly into the skin.
- Very strong Peach scent (a plus if you really, REALLY love the smell of peaches).


Would I recommend them?
Yes, especially my beloved Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Butter. The Vineyard Peach is good if you are absolutely and most utterly bananas for peaches (wait, what?).

Would I repurchase them?
You know what? I really I would have no qualms picking up another Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Butter before even trying the rest of the permanent range. It's that good people!


What is your favorite body moisturizer?



Love,
Phy


















Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Phy Says: One Of The Most Important Parenting Lesson An Ad Had Taught Me..

Hello there..

My elder sister shared this ad and tagged me. When I clicked on the link, little did I know that it would affect me so deeply. I've watched it 7 times and cried each time. You see, it has quite a close link to my previous post where if I could, I didn't want Sophie to ever have to get hurt in any way. I do however know that sheltering Sophie is not the answer and that I need her to learn and take it in stride (which she is already doing).

Watching this video really drives home just how important it is for us moms (and dads) to teach our child(ren) to be strong and persistent, to get up on their feet every time they fall or get knocked down in life so that they could achieve victories,big and small. Most importantly, in order to do that, we as parent(s) need to be strong and persistent as well to be the best teachers for them. In shaa Allah, Amin.

Enjoy the video and feel free to to cry and hit the repeat button...


There's also another one here and here but I think the one above is the best.. :)



Love,
Phy


Monday, January 19, 2015

Phy Says: Overprotective Tiger Mama

Hello there..

As a child, I was a very quiet person. Put me in any spot in the house with a toy and I could play by myself  for hours. I was comfortable with my own company and was scared to make friends. Sophie on the other hand LOVES to befriend other children. What makes me sad is that because of where we live, she doesn't really get a lot of opportunities to do so.

 Making friends at a bookstore...

Whenever she sees kids when we go out she would be so happy and wants to befriend them. Some are recipient while others are not. Two days ago we were in one of the gift shops where a pair of the owner's kids were running around playing catch. True to Sophie's way she immediately joined in the game. The kids were older than her, I think about 6-7 years old.

They were not really keen on Sophie suddenly joining their game and after a while they ran up the back stairs to lose her. Sophie wandered around a bit confused and said,"No friends?" Oh.My.God. My heart broke into a million pieces. I almost went to the back stairs and shout,"WEH BUDAK! TURUN KAMU SEKARANG MAIN SAMA ANAK SY!" (Hey you kids! You'd better come down here and play with my daughter OR ELSE!). But of course I didn't and couldn't do that.

Thankfully Sophie is a tough cookie. They did it several times (coming out to play then hiding from Sophie) but she didn't cry at all. When the time came to leave she didn't put up a fight. She just took my hand nicely and we walked away. Needless to say, this mama cried in the car. Dramatic perhaps but it just made me remember just how mean and cruel kids can be, how 'Project Runaway' it is (one day you're in, the next day you're out.. just because).

I don't want Sophie to get hurt or to experience betrayals but of course that is wistful thinking. It is something that everyone has and needs to go through. As my elder sister (who witnessed my shameless blubbering in the car) said, what I need to do is to teach her to not feel rejected when such things happen and instead, focus on finding friends who like her for her. In shaa Allah, that is what I intend to do. Alhamdulillah, I believe that Sophie has a strong heart and a wise mind which will be a good foundation for this life and all it's cr*p (and wonderful things) that goes with it. Amin.

What is your best and worst childhood memories involving friends? Do share in the comments section below.



Love,
Phy

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review (And Comparison): The Body Shop Early-Harvest Raspberry and Vineyard Peach Body Scrub

Hello hello dearies,

As you can see from my mile long title, this is going to be a review and comparison post between 2 body scrubs from The Body Shop's Limited Edition Range; Early-Harvest Raspberry and Vineyard Peach. I purchased them back in May and June 2014 respectively.

Here's the thing though. I had taken photos of these products for reviewing purposes but I procrastinated. Now that they are all used up and thrown out, by some evil twist of faith all the photos in my phone was erased. So I do not have my own photos to show you (sob!) so I just took photos from The Body Shop Malaysia's online site. Lesson learnt? Do not procrastinate AND make a backup of blog post photos! Sigh.

Aaanyywaayys.. Let's get on to the review shall we?




What does The Body Shop say about them?
1. Vineyard Peach:
- Contains wild peach extract, Mediterranean peach kernel oilorganic soya oil and organic babassu oil from Brazil as well as marula oil from Namibia. The last 3 ingredients are under Community Fair Trade practice.

2. Early-Harvest Raspberry:
- Contains products with refreshing textures, enriched with wild-harvested Community Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia which leaves skin feeling soft and smooth for up to 24-hours.

Both body scrubs:
Lifts away dead skin cells
Stimulates skin surface micro circulation
- Leaves skin feeling softer and smoother
- Early-harvest raspberry and delicate peach scent respectively.

200ml, RM66.90


What do I think about them?
These scrubs are different in terms of texture. The Vineyard Peach is a creamy scrub whereas the the Early-Harvest Rasberry is more of a gel based scrub. The former also has a distinctive, delicious peach scent whereas the latter has merely a plastic-y scent to it (a bit disappointing really).

From what I can see, the Vineyard Peach uses peach kernels as it's scrub. The scrub 'bits' are pretty much uniform in size and very comfortable to use. The Early-Harvest Raspberry has a sugar/salt scrub base and has raspberry seeds as well. Unfortunately the raspberry seeds are a bit too abrasive for my liking.

Pros:
1. Vineyard Peach:
- Lovely scent.
- Creamy texture that moisturizes the skin.
- Small scrub 'bits' making it comfortable to use.
- Easily washes off in the shower.

2. Early-Harvest Raspberry
- A decent scrub. Skin feels smooth after use.
- Easily washes off in the shower.

Cons:
1. Vineyard Peach:
- None that I could tell.

2. Early-Harvest Raspberry:
- Skin feels smooth and soft for about 12-hours, not 24-hours as claimed.
- Raspberry seeds can bee too abrasive.
- Has a weird, plastic-y smell.

Would I recommend them?
I would recommend the Vineyard Peach Body Scrub for sure. Not so much the Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub.

Would I repurchase them?
Yes but only after I've tried all the other body scrubs available at The Body Shop. By the time I do that this range would probably be off the shelves because it is limited edition.


I hope that this review is useful for you. Last I saw (in December 2014), both ranges are still on the shelves so check them out before they're gone.


Love,
Phy








Thursday, January 15, 2015

What I Learned From Successful Local Bloggers

Hello hello..

When I first started blogging, I didn't know that people could become famous and make it into a career. When I did, I wanted to get a piece of the cake too. A gazzillion following, sponsored trips and products, TV and magazine appearances? Give me a piece of that action.

I did my research and found out that a lot of bloggers were playing with numbers by joining link parties (I think that's what they call them) and posting up to 3 times daily on their blog. At first I thought that it was a good idea but when I see that among their thousands of followers, only 30 were commenting and with singulars words such as "Cool", "Nice", "Pretty", I knew that wasn't what I wanted.

You see, what I want is an audience that follows me because what I say touches them, appeals to them. And let's face it, blogging every day and blog walking hundreds of people daily is too time consuming especially when you do it out of obligation and not sincerity. There's just got to be a better way to find people who like me for me and who are interested in what I have to say. It might not be thousands of people, but that's alright.

So I looked into all the local blogs that are doing exceptionally well and I feel that I have learned the most from these 3 blogger below. If you are interested to know the lessons I've garnered, keep on reading.

**Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if any of what I write below is misinterpreted by me. I got these info from following them for years and reading as well as hearing them being interviewed. Bukan saya yang interview sendiri, research semata2. Again kalau ada misinterpretion, please correct me in a polite and graceful manner. Thanks. 



Dr. Fatin Liyana Asri of honeykoyuki.blogspot.com
Personally, I dub her the Elle Fowler of Malaysia. Why? Because she has that je ne sais quoi which appeals to everyone, making her rise to fame an (almost) effortless one on her part. She doesn't have a long blogroll and she rarely replies comments. After completing her studies and while she was doing her Medical Housemanship she rarely ever updates her blog but people still flock to it hoping for a new entry. I myself experience a rush whenever I know that she has a new post up. So what did I learn from her?

1. Write about what you'd like to read
Dr. Fatin once revealed that she writes about what she would like to read about; tips on beauty and weight loss, fashion, recipes, etc. She wants her blog to educate people in a laid back manner, kind of like talking with a friend.

2. Love what you do
Dr. Fatin loves to blog because she also treats it like her online diary. She documents her travels, her studying for an exam. She said that it helps her to remember things that she would have probably forgotten. She also used it to share her life as a student on foreign soil with her family especially when she first started out blogging.

3. Don't let fame consume you.
Dr. Fatin Liyana won the Best Celebrity Blog for Malaysia Social Media Week in 2012 besting Hanis Zalikha who is a model, actress and beauty queen. She and her blog was listed as the Top 6 Fastest Rising People and Top 5 Blog in Malaysian respectively back in 2011. However, she still seems to stay grounded and her essence remains untouched as far as I could tell.

4. Know what's important and prioritize accordingly
Dara magazine to the teenaged Muslimahs is the equivalent of Seventeen magazine to an American teen. To be featured in it and to be on the cover was a dream fro Dr. Fatin. However, she put her Medical studies in Bandung, Indonesia first by only doing shoots during her semester break. It only made Dara (and other magazines) want her more. She has been featured in the magazine as well as become the cover for it. Several time in fact.



Yuyu Zulaikha of kupukupukecik.blogspot.com
Yuyu Zulaikha is a 4ft 10" woman with a huge personality. She really puts herself out there, sharing openly about her experiences good and bad about studying and growing up in Langkawi. She is funny, witty and loves using silly metaphors to describe things and actions as well as feelings. From Yuyu I learned that...

1. Own who you are
Acknowledge your background and remember where you come from because that is what makes you well, you. You may think that you are boring but the world is large and everyone's life experience is different so share a part of yourself to the world.

2. Be yourself
Yuyu is the type of person that I am sure everyone has met at least once in their lifetime; the petite chatterbox. Some people might like that and there are others who don't but that's her and she's not changing herself. Although there are more review and promotional content now on her blog, Yuyu's personality shines through in each and every entry. Just like her, we should let our personalities shine through in and not worry about not pleasing everyone.

3. Got a flaw? Make it work
Yuyu is a petite little thing but she makes that part of her brand and her identity. Her blog name itself, 'Kupu-kupu Kecik' means small butterfly and it works with the overall feel of her blog. She has several modelling gigs under her belt too and in a way represents the petite in the local fashion industry. How cool is that?

4. Be close to God/ Believe in the greater good
If you believe in God, nurture that belief. If you don't believe in God then be positive and believe that there is good in the world. Rizqi (good things) comes when you are are open to anything that comes your way good and bad. When things get rough, you know it will get better and when things are good, you know it doesn't last and won't stick your nose high in the air.



Rayyan Haries of www.thebigsmallboy.com
I have the honor of meeting Rayyan face to face and to hear his story. About 11 months prior to us meeting he had flunked his TESL course and lost his scholarship. He took all the money from every bank he had (amounting to about RM2K) and backpacked across South East Asia. He had been blogging under the lifestyle genre for about 3 or 4 years at that time. He changed his genre to travelling and the rest was history. Here's what I learned from him..

1. Sometimes, it's just a matter of a little tweaking
Despite being a lifestyle blogger for 3-4 years, he only flourished when he switched to becoming a travel blogger. In less than a year too! So let us dig deep, what speaks the most to us? Is it lifestyle? Is it food? Let's find our niche, dive right into it and see where it takes us.

2. If it is meant to be, nothing and no one can stop it..
Australia was one of the countries which Rayyan applied for University for his scholarship but as you know he did not make it. About 2 months ago he landed in Melbourne and gallivanted around Australia until a fortnight ago. He was meant to go to Australia, just through a different avenue and later than expected. See how wonderful life can be?

3. Working with what you have and making it awesome
As with Yuyu Zulaikha, Rayyan doesn't fit into your typical mold of  what can be categorized as 'a looker'. He's not tall nor is he buffed. He is chubby and has a bubbly, almost child-like personality (I love how wholeheartedly he gets excited over things) which works very well with his blog 'The Big Small Boy' or 'The Cute Backpacker'. His size has become his asset as a lot of people he met along the way remember him because of it and in a good way too.

Now, while all 3 bloggers taught me mostly different lessons, there are a few things that I think they have in common which can be beneficial for all of us to know:
1. They stayed humble from the beginning to now.
2. They used their popularity to help the less fortunate (Rayyan volunteered in Leyte Island , Philipphines in the wake of  Typhoon Yolanda and Dr. Fatin sold clothes to donate to Gaza victims).
3. They went into blogging with with no expectations.
4. They blogged from the heart (Rayyan personally gave me this advise too).
4. They aim to educate the public with their niche respectively.
5. They work hard to get where they are today in their own ways.

What are your favorite well-known blogger(s)? Have you learned anything from him/her/them? Share it in the comments section below.



Love,
Phy