Friday, 30 July 2021

[CSM] Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better is on Shopee!

I have recently got to know that Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) is available on Shopee!

This is definitely a win/win situation for Shopee customers as you can earn more Shopee coins while doing a good deed! Look at the delectable merchandise they have onboard! Time to start shopping now!

This is mine, I have contributed to the fund!

Saturday, 24 July 2021

[Sew] 3D Fabric Face Mask

I've finally embarked on this pattern which I've discovered from the world wide web; from See Kate Sew to Sweet Red Poppy to Sotak Handmade and many more. After watching numerous YouTube videos of all the talented sewists sharing how to sew a 3D face mask using their own respective design or template, I've finally decided on combining a few to simplify and better fit us :-)

  1. The second time, after input from family, it turns out quite snug and small
  2. The first time which turned out big and loose fitting
  3. Lastly, after getting a friend's input, it has turned out exactly what I would have liked!
Apologies for the inconsistent numbering as I didn't realized the arrangement was the other way around for the right hand side ones. Anyway, this pattern is by far the easiest to sew compared to the cup and medical type face masks! 

What I've used:
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • silicon bead stopper
  • elastic band
  • nose wire

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

[MPOV] The Painted Hall Collection

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4/5
Published: 15/12/2018
Author: Anna Tan
Genre: fantasy, magical realism

Another pick for July's Book Challenge:
1. TBNT Book Challenge: A speculative novella OR a read with magical elements
2. Book Spin / Book Spin Bingo: letters T or A (Anna Tan)

This is a reread for me, you can read my initial review here:

The experience reading it a second time is different as, initially, I've read it over a span of a few years due to it's various release dates from the e-ARC I've received. Now reading it at one go from a book definitely had a much pleasant reading journey compared to earlier. 

This is a unique novel where the story is broken down by it's various phase of life. First one, When Wind Blows Cold, is based on Danis finding Hana. Next, The Flame of The North and Beneath The Rumbling Earth are based on both Mica and Hono, Danis and Hana's children. Last but not least, The Still, Small Voice is based on Hono.

Overall, it was truly an exciting journey for a simple kinda folklore with some magical elements. It is fast paced and straightforward which can be finished in 2 seating max but I did take a longer time to complete due to working from home. After finishing work, there are lots of home chores to complete too! Anyway, it has only 93 pages so you get the drift :-)

The remaining 27 pages is based on a trilogy the author is working on. Shattered Memories is part of this trilogy namely Absolution so you can get a taste of what to expect from it. Amok is the first release from the Absolution trilogy and I have read the e-ARC. You can check out my review here: 

All in all, Anna Tan's novels are suitable for all walks of life including young readers too. With it's easy to understand prose and attractive magical realism, I'm sure it will keep them, and even us, entertained until the end :-)

For more deets, you can check out her website:

Thank you again, Anna, for the opportunity to read and review your novels. I truly can't wait for the next Absolution novel!

Thursday, 8 July 2021

[MPOV] Sewing Face Masks, Scrub Caps, Arm Slings, and More

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.38/5
Published: April 1st, 2021
Author: Angie Herbertson
Genre: non-fiction, crafts, sewing

I've gotten this e-ARC from Netgalley as I was interested in sewing more other types of face masks.

This is my pick for July's Book Challenge:
1. TBNT Book Challenge: A speculative novella OR a read with magical elements
2. Book Spin / Book Spin Bingo: letters T or A (Angie Herbertson)

Interestingly, very straightforward with many templates and it's easy to pick up sewing even for a newbie. It is very thorough with proper instructions and pics that you won't get lost. Very easy to understand which is a plus as like many sewists, I may not know most sewing jargons. 

There are a total of 14 patterns to choose from, all practical projects. It does piqued my interests on the other projects which I have to find time and material to do it LOL! Perhaps later when I am not bogged down by work and life :-)

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Vanscent 4 ply face mask

In this post, I'll be promoting a new product which Nyc Nat Nook is proudly selling. For those who didn't know, Nyc Nat Nook is a part-time online biz where hubby and I are selling products that we believe in, including some of my handmade stuff.

Nyc Nat Nook is glad to be a part of this journey during this pandemic bringing this essential product to you. If you are looking for a good quality, sturdy medical face mask, Vanscent might be your answer. 4 ply and lightly fragrant with bergamot, this medical face mask is the first of it's kind. It is refreshing yet effectively compliant for use. Each face mask is individually packed for hygiene purpose. 

To know more, please click on the link below:

Price: RM23 for each box with 30 pieces individually packed.

If you purchase 3 boxes for 1 delivery address, postage is free within Peninsula Malaysia. However, you will need to top-up RM5 for East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak).

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Sarawakian Penan Handwoven Bags

I have always made it a point to donate or support a local charity during my birthday month whenever I could. Be it street donations to beggars or supporting local creatives, big or small, it is a way for me to give back to the community. Like the saying ''sharing is caring'', giving is satisfying in my book. 

This year, I have decided to support the Penan families in Sarawak. The creative Penan folks have been weaving bags for sale and I have decided to purchase a set of these beautiful handwoven bags! A set consists of 3 different bags weaved by 3 different women hence feeding 3 different families. It is such an awesome project lead by Yasmin who can be contacted via her Facebook page:

Yasmin has been promoting them tirelessly over the months I have been following the page and she has overcome many criticism especially from negative naysayers. I truly applaud her for continuously helping the Penan folks selflessly. It is a win-win situation where you can support a charity and also shop for a lovely bag for yourself LOL!

Here is mine :-)
Such a huge parcel!


Pretty bags in a row!!!

PS: If you are not genuinely supporting this cause or do not appreciate handmade, please refrain from buying. I've seen questions like ''What is it made of?'' and then not buying sounds half-hearted with a closed mind in my book. I cannot fathom why you would want to know the material when you are supporting a charity especially since it is handmade. If you did not like it upon receiving it, you could just give it away right?! I didn't mean to be rude or offend anyone but this is just my 2 cents.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

[MPOV] The Vagina Monologues

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.87/5
Published: January 1st, 1996
Author: Eve Ensler
Genre: non-fiction, feminism, plays

Synopsis from Goodreads:
I decided to talk to women about their vaginas, to do vagina interviews, which became vagina monologues...At first women were reluctant to talk. They were a little shy. But once they got going, you couldn't stop them. Women secretly love to talk about their vaginas. They get very excited, mainly because no one's ever asked them before.

Another pick for June's #bookspin #bookspinbingo with letter E or F (Eve Ensler)

I have always been curious about this book, mainly due to it's outrageous title, The Vagina Monologues, as though vagina could talk LOL! Anyway, the Asian upbringing in me was taken back a little whilst reading it, a bit of a culture shock kinda way, but after a while I get used to it. 

This book is based on real women's stories, their experiences and their monologues compiled by the author. The sharing of their discovery of their vagina, be it sexual or intimate, was quite profound and I am surprised that there are such support groups for this! Of course, only in the USA and not in Malaysia lah! Their stories were quite frank and straightforward that I could feel their anxiety or sadness or pain. 
I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting...
Aside from the vagina monologues, it's also about Female Empowerment or Girl Power. This is where violence against women came into view with the V-Day Movement. There are some sharing of such related stories too.
Eve Ensler, also known mononymously as V, is an American playwright, performer, feminist and activist. She is on a mission among so many other great and powerful women to help women accept their bodies.
The author credits her past marriage, rehab and therapy with helping her work through issues. A woman in progress, she pointedly never uses the word ''overcome''.
When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury and terrorise women, you destroy the essential life energy in the planet.

If you like reading on feminism or the likes then this would be up your alley. If you are curious like me, you must read with an open mind and not closed up rigid. Overall, this is an eye-opening read for me which made me love myself more.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

[MPOV] My Brilliant Friend (Book 1 of the Neapolitan Novels)

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.97/5
Published: September 25th, 2012
Author: Elena Ferrante
Translator: Ann Goldstein
Genre: women's fiction, Italian literature

My Brilliant Friend is the first book in Italian writer Elena Ferrante’s world-acclaimed quartet of Neapolitan novels, which documents the friendship between Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo. It was originally published in 2011.

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.

This is my pick for June's Book Challenge:
1. TBNT Book Challenge: A translated book OR written by a non native-English speaker
2. Book Spin / Book Spin Bingo: letters E and F (Elena Ferrante)

This is book one of the Neapolitan Novels quartet by Elena Ferrante. The story revolves around Lena and her neighbourhood, especially on her love and hate friendship with Lila. This book is about her childhood and adolescence, narrated in her point of view where she has typed it down into her computer. Here she shares her story from the day she met Lila, how their friendship progressed and eventually blossomed into the best buds they are today. 

This is not the first and I guess it will not be the last where a translated book got me nowhere. I'm not sure if it is due to the translation or what nots but I just couldn't get into the story, just couldn't grasp it nor resonate with it. It was hard for me to wear Lena's shoes and view it all through her eyes. I could imagined her speaking though with her slang. 

In the chapter of their childhood, there is quite a few reference of husband beating wife and children, brothers beating sisters, arguments between neighbours and drunken men fighting in this poor neighbourhood. It is similar to some of the TV series or movies I have watched hence I was able to relate here. Btw, this has been made into a TV series which I have yet to catch.

Lena does has a competitive streak which elevates her jealousy towards Lila and always wanting to be a step better though feeling inferior always. Both are relatively good in their studies but Lila had to stop schooling and started working for her family. However, she still goes to the library to read more. Lena does missed their friendship when Lila slowly distanced away from her then, leaving Lena to move on without her.

During their adolescence, Lila has blossomed into a beautiful young lady and all the legit bachelors came knocking on her door. Lena, however, became plumpier and not as pretty as Lila in her own view, which led to her being more inferior and lack of confidence, hiding like a shadow behind Lila but she still strives to be good in her studies. When Lila continues to befriend her again, Lena was happy to have her best friend back though with a kind of resentment at times or envy in another!

It is a complicated kind of friendship with many characters and subplots that were thrown in to make this poor neighbourhood dramatically alive. Through it all, I got confused, passionless, at times interested and a little intrigued. I do want to enjoy this acclaimed novel by Elena Ferrante but it is somehow not my cup of tea though I have persevered to finish it. It did reminds me of J.K Rowling's Casual Vacancy with a similar kind of scenario but of a different pace that I have DNF it. 

The author chose to write it like a screenplay, a memory play to be precise, with Lena reminiscing of her past with Lila and typing it into the computer. It did feels like a drama on TV but with the main character narrating the whole drama from her point of view only and the remaining characters are there to supply the drama with more chaos and friction, just like an actual TV drama. I guess I'm not in favour of such prose as such I got lost in translation, so to speak. I've speed read through just so I could finished and know how it ends instead of DNF it.

As this is book 1, the ending has a slight cliffhanger so you would need to have book 2 ready so as not to stop suddenly, like me now LOL! If you like melodramatic kinda novel like a telenovela then this quartet should be up your alley. Lena is like many of us, booknerds or not, who are insecure of ourselves, lack of confidence with the inferiority complex hence it is easily relatable on this point.
''They won't touch me, because I'm ugly and I don't have my period,'' she said, ''but with you they might. If anything happens, tell me.''

I looked at her in confusion. We were almost thirteen, we knew nothing about institutions, laws, justice. I went home. I realized that with those last words she had admitted that I was important to her, and I was happy.

Whereas Lila, starting in March, at sixteen, would have a husband and within a year, at seventeen, a child, and then another, and another, and another. I felt I was a shadow, I wept in despair. 

"Not for you: you're my brilliant friend, you have to be the best of all, boys and girls." - Raffaella Cerullo 


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