Wednesday, December 12, 2012

True colors

I hate it when science shows its true colors. For the past two months, a lot of things didn't work for me. My cells were not growing (despite being the easiest cell line to work with which made me feel really stupid), my experiments didn't work, and half way through my analysis I found out a major mistake and had to re-do everything which could take weeks to finish but we need the results pronto.

Story of my life.

I've been telling myself that I need a break, a retreat and after that I will be bouncing again. But truth is I just said that to make me feel better. Alasan. 

I really hope after this Christmas and New Year break everything will be right on track again. I need to have good results before I leave for my wedding leave. I know it's 4 months down the line but that's the nature of my work, results are in not in 1-2 weeks, but 1-2 months. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cheesiness alert.

We don't get to have long chats every single day, first because of time difference and second, well we both gotta do what we gotta do-work and study. So I cherish every single long conversation we have. It makes me feel like I am falling in love all over again. All the small talks we have just about everything under the sun, it's just so blissful. I get to know him a little bit better each time. And I don't mind getting to know him for another 1001 years to come.

It's not always rainbows and butterflies you see, especially when he gives me his 'piece of mind'  LOL. But those things keep me smiling everytime I think about it :D 

Thank you Allah for this gift. I shall cherish it till Jannah.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Inspiration boards :)

Sharing some of the inspiration boards I use as reference. If you must know, choosing a color palette is so hard! I keep changing my mind every now and then. So far we've nailed the colors for solemnization and 2nd reception (I hope so!). We thought we've got the 1st reception done as well, but me being a fickle minded person thought of changing it yet again :P Oh you know what, I didn't expect Harris to be so detailed about colors and stuff, but he surely surprised me there!

Images from here and here and Mr.Google.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hi-speed wedding preparation

Technically I have 5-6 months before my wedding, but practically I don't really have that much time to spend on the preparation. So last Aug/Sep when I was home for Raya and my engagement, I managed to cross out most of the major things on my wedding checklist. 

I had the most hectic weekend of the year on the Merdeka weekend. I spent 3 days in Penang (Tue-Thu), drove back to Ipoh on Friday midnight, met with the photographer cum videographer on Friday morning, wedding planner (sort of) for Ipoh's reception on the evening, went around Ipoh to look for outdoor photoshoot venue, took a bus to KL at 6 pm, arrived in Puchong at 9 pm. The next day, we drove to Melaka for a wedding, rushed back to KL at 3 to meet the designer at 5 but of course we didn't  factor in traffic jam when we estimated what time we should leave Melaka. There was a massive traffic jam at Tol Sg Besi, so we made a U-turn 100 m from the toll booth and took Bangi exit and continued our journey to Bangsar. In the end I had to make a call to the designer to move the appointment to 6, but was told that the boutique closes at 6.30 on Saturday. It was 6 and we were somewhere in Puchong. Both of us were silent, a lot was going through my head because that was the only weekend I'd be in KL, so I thought there was no way I could make my wedding dress with the designer. Harris was also silent, maybe in his head he was thinking he better not say anything, afraid that I would end up in tears if he asked me whether I'm okay or not. We reached the area at 6.15 pm, I got off the car, called the girls who were already waiting for me at Pappa Rich while Harris went around looking for parking. Met the designer, discussed about the dress, and she asked to come again the next day to see the sketch and also to take measurement. (pheww that was a long one).

Then from there Harris left me with the girls because we were having our sleepover that night. Went straight to Jakel to buy kain for them, then off to Kekngah's house. Nope, the day was still long after that. In the car we were busy planning for Kekny's surprise birthday celebration. Me and Kekya in one car. Kekny and Kekngah in another car while Kekna was in the other. We arrived at Kekngah's place still with no solid plan. Golek-golek a bit, gossip a bit, then it was already 12 am. We haven't had dinner yet because from 8 pm we couldn't decide whether to eat out or call in delivery. And, still no solid plan on Kekny's birthday surprise. With eyes half opened, we went to Williams Danau Kota, finally came up with a plan, and ate and talked like nobody's business. Went back home at 2 ish, continued catching up till 3 ish before everybody dozed off. 

The next morning, I had another wedding to attend in Bangi and this time we actually left early to drive to Bangsar and even arrived earlier than the appointment time, we couldn't see the designer right away. Had Tutti Frutti just opposite the boutique and slowly taking our time walking up the stairs when it was time. After the appointment, went back to Harris's place to get ready to take the bus back to Ipoh at 6. Reached Ipoh at 9, and poor Harris he had to continue his journey back to Penang. 

And that was by far, the busiest weekend in my life. Everything was crammed to that weekend because it was my last weekend in Malaysia. I was a bit sad because Kekwa couldn't join us for the sleepover. It could be our last sleepover :(

But Alhamdulillah all the major things are now done, just waiting for the results (nervous!!). Hope everything turn out okay :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jakel with the girls.

I've always wished that on my wedding day I could doll up my girls in the same dress and all they have to do is sit around me, smile and simply be pretty :) Coz I malu malu kucing like that so segan to sit at the dais all by myself getting all the attention. Why do that when I can spread the attention to 9 other beautiful ladies hehe.

So off I went to Jakel again this time with the girls. I wish all of them could be there but of course it wasn't easy to gather 9 girls at the same time. It was raya season and everyone was still busy with open houses and whatnot.

Long story short, I already had the color in mind and we just had one hour to shop as we arrived quite late. I called the kakak who helped me with my purchase few days before, did some kenyit kenyit mata to the tauke/anak tauke/something like that, got the price quote I wanted and voila! 9 kain pasang ready for the girls. Hope they all like it and will look all pretty and dressy on the day :)

My beautiful companions :)

Konon-konon pening kepala kira budget lol.

Walked out from Jakel and found pasar malam. Cendol time!

p/s: God knows how packed that day was for me, will blog about it later :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Two is better than one.

Officially entered my second year on Oct 1.
Came back to work with a bad news-my mice recognized proteins instead of glycolipid.
Now brainstorming like crazy to set up another round of immunisation, hoping to get anti-glycolipid response.
In the meantime, I have been doing immunohistochemistry (staining of cancer tissue to see expression of antigen of interest). I once dreamt of being a pathologist. Thank God I didn't do anything to realize that dream; the work is tedious and boring, even though those tissues look kinda pretty under the microscope (I know I shouldn't be saying that because they are cancerous tissues, but still)
Hoping to get decent results before I can break it to my supervisor that I want another 1-month holiday in April. 

First time I did IHC I took almost 7 hours. 
Turned out we used the wrong kit.
 But the slides still stain beautifully :P 


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Jakel Trip No.1

To be honest, it was my first ever trip to Jakel. It's been years since I last (or my mom to be exact) bought kain pasang to make baju kurung for whatever occasions. So on one Monday morning while waiting for Ayah to finish his meeting before we could all go back to Ipoh (pheww that's a long one) I decided to pay a visit to Jakel Jalan TAR.

Objective: Kain pasang hunting for the family.

Since I am a chicken at driving in KL, I decided to take public transport to get there, dragging my mom along. So from Putrajaya we took the KLIA Transit to KL Central, then LRT to Masjid Jamek, and later used Google Maps to walk to Jakel (I had no idea where it is). Long journey.

To cut the story short, I managed to get kain pasang for both nikah and reception for my family. Mama didn't agree with the idea of me buying for everyone because she said I could save the money for something else and everyone could just buy in their own. But I thought bila lagi nak belanja family kan.

Initially I planned to just browse and not to buy because I'd be going there again on Saturday, this time with my girls and most importantly by car! Oh well, one can only plan. Not only I ended up with 12 kain pasang, but a bridal bedroom set as well! So heavy okay! Probably we were too engrossed with shopping that we forgot we came by train!

Luckily, Jakel was so baik they asked one staff to carry our stuff from the store to Masjid Jamek LRT. Nak jalan pergi LRT tu je yang jauh, after that we were all fine and made our way back to Putrajaya with full hands and happy but tired faces :D

Friday, September 21, 2012

Engaged :)

Happy 1st monthiversary to us! Yeay!

LOL, this entry is so long overdue. It's been a month since Harris and I got engaged, Alhamdulillah for His blessing.

I actually don't know where and how to start this entry-how we got together or the preparation or how the day went yada yada yada. If I combined all together it'll too wordy so yeah I'll save some for later. For now let's just talk about the day.

A little inside stories:

1. That morning, most of my family members (aunties, uncles, cousins included) had really bad diarrhea. My sister had it first on the evening of the 1st Raya and we blamed the mee goreng mamak she had for tea that day. Came morning the next day, I woke up at 4 am to use the toilet, then my mom went at 6. When everybody woke up, we checked on each other, we even called kampung to ask if anybody there experienced the same. It turned out that almost everyone at my kampung had diarrhea as well. We now know who the real culprit was, rendang ayam! So when my auntie came to our house that morning, she gave me pills to eat. Man, I was panicking the whole time. What if I really cannot tahan and want to use the toilet during the sarung cincin time? Lucky it didn't happen pheww. After the sarung cincin thing was done and most people were at the khemah eating, my auntie took me to a corner and gave some pills again, this time they were green ones. Two times, 4 pills down the throat, I thought I should be fine for the day. Boy, was I wrong! When most people had left, I sat down with my friends to fill my growling stomach, and just two 'suap' in, my stomach couldn't take it I had to run to the toilet, in that pink dress! In the end, I only had my lunch at 6 that day. Story of my life.

2. I wish I was creative and had time to DIY my hantaran. Since I lacked both, I let the expert to do it. All my hantaran were done by my dear auntie. She has a shop in Seri Iskandar called Rampai Sari. So you bride-to-be, if you need help like I did, you know where to find her :)

3.  Guess who made the hantaran for Harris? His dad! His mom told me that during the fasting month, his dad would make the hantaran deco little by little, after sahur and before Maghrib. He even sketched each hantaran! So impressive okay.

4. Why did it on 2nd raya? Well, not only we had it on 2nd raya, but my brother also got engaged 3 days after I did. Haha! Two celebrations in a week! Well it was because my auntie who currently reside in Australia wanted to attend both ceremonies and she'd be going back to OZ on the 6th raya. She's like our second mother so we wanted to fulfill her wish. That was why we crammed it all in one week. This year's raya didn't really feel like a real raya to me because we were too busy preparing for both ceremonies. A twist to our regular raya routines :) 

5. Alhamdulillah most people came back to us saying that the catered food was really good. We were so thankful that my neighbor's sister was willing to cater the food for that day. It was for 2nd raya where most caterer wouldn't bother to take small orders like ours (baik dorang pergi beraya, unless order banyak berbaloi la korbankan raya). If not, our plan B was to cook the dishes ourselves, in which would involve a lot of stress women in the kitchen. LOL.

6. Harris and I decided to just exchange food and the likes for our engagement hantaran. My mom made pineapple tarts, butter cookies and pulut kuning for me :) And she also made the cookies for doorgifts and cupcakes for the candy booth. Fully sponsored by Mamunchkin Homemade Bakery :)

OK lah, enough inside stories already. Time for pictures! I thought of posting pictures from the official photographer SSgraphy, but I was already here when the DVD came and my cousin will only bring it to me next week so for now these pictures are from my cousin's camera and my iPhone.

Pictures from the OP here.


Thank you to all my family and friends who made that day a memorable one :)
And to Harris Arisyi, je t'aime mon cheri :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

In a week or so

Planning for something big from far away can be quite stressful. Indeed it is VERY stressful! Especially when you have no control whatsoever over it, and all you could do is to depend on your best friends to make decisions for you and hoping that internet connection won't go cranky on both ends because Whatsapp and Skype now become your new BFFs. And of course, pray that Allah makes it easy for everyone involved and for all things to run smoothly.

But all the stress aside, it's actually still fun. Everything is done through e-mails or Facebook messages and replies go through while waiting for the bus, or while waiting for the doctor's appointment (like right now). And to see everything gets 'confirmed' one by one, sure bring smile to this face :)

A few things still need to be attend to. Well a lot actually. I can't wait to go home to finish what my family and friends started and wait for the day where I just have to sit and be pretty (luls).

Oh and after that, it will all start again :) Looking forward to meeting all the people I spoke to via e-mails :)

Miracle happens.

Looking back, it's almost miraculous that it happened.
I'm glad I followed my gut feelings and 'go against the flow'.
Thank you Allah for answering my prayer.
I couldn't be happier :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Every year, each PhD student will get to mentor two sets of students, 3rd year medicine students (Nov-Jan) and Masters students (March-August). They come to the lab to do a mini research project as part of  their respective degrees. So we, the PhD students are called 'bench supervisors' as our responsibility includes training them for certain laboratory skills they need to complete their mini project. They are attached to us based on the similarity of both our projects. And sometimes we get to steal their results too because it's so relevant to us! Haha. But of course, we would acknowledge each other :P

Since I just started in October and in no doubt I myself needed some training at that time, I didn't get to mentor the medicine students. I started mentoring a Masters student last March and yesterday was her last day. There were times that I felt the 'urgghhhss' and 'arrghhss' but overall, I am thankful I got one good student, not to mention she's pretty too luls. Gay much. She gave a box of Cadbury Roses and wrote me a lovely but funny note. In our many conversations I mentioned to her about me having to go back home after I finish PhD to teach, and told her how lousy of a teacher I can be. But in her note she said 'You're a brilliant teacher and I've no doubt you'll go far'. Awww that breaks my heart. But really this whole mentoring thing is a good training for my future teaching years in USM. Once, we talked about her future plan and she said she had none she thought of sweeping Tesco's floor. LOL. Since I am going to steal some of her results, she reminded me not to forget to mention her in my future paper (InshaAllah) while she's working in Tesco ;) Oh not to forget, because of her now I know the existence of Channel Islands called Guernsey and Sark because she's from there. 

Au revoir, Jade!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Diari Ramadhan 1433

2.45 am: Bangun sahur
3.20 am: Subuh
4.00 am: Tidur
8.00 am: Bangun, siap pergi office
10.00 am-5.00 pm: Work
7.30 pm: Masak for berbuka
9.00 pm: Berbuka 
10.00 pm: Maghrib
11.00 pm: Isya' and terawih
12.00 am: Tidur

A bit tight at night, 10 sebab me being a sleeping baby mesti nak tidur jugak before sahur. And disebabkan Isya' pun pukul 11, maka bila terawih tu rakaat nak hujung-hujung tu kadang-kadang macam di awang-awangan (if you know what I mean). But all in all, it's been a good Ramadhan so far. 18 hours? Passed!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't you worry, there my honey

We might not have any money. But we've got our love to pay the bills.

-You and I; Ingrid Michaelson-

Well we know that's unrealistic. Yolah sangat love boleh bayar bill. I stull love the song, nonetheless :P

Motifnya nak cakap pasal scholarship lagi and ada kaitan dengan 'don't worry' tiba-tiba teringat lagu tu lol.

OK let's get serious.

So another question I discussed with a friend not long time ago was regarding pursuing PhD but having enough fund/secured scholarship for Master level only. Fret not my dear, you are not too far from achieving your dream :)

Biasalah kadang-kadang kerenah birokrasi kan. Certain sponsors just want to sponsor up to Master level kononnya taknak take the risk if their scholars can't complete the PhD studies. Or that you've saved money just enough to enrol to Master studies.

Go for the Master studies. Masters in the UK usually takes a year or 2 semesters and in the last 3-6 months you'll be attach to some lab doing some research (speaking for science-related field). This is when you get to know people and potential supervisors for your PhD. Ask them if they have spots available for PhD studentship in the next academic year. And, going back to what I mentioned in my previous post, apply for the international student scholarship. By being a current student (studying Master), you increase the possibility in securing the scholarship, plus you'll get recommendations from people from within the university (your Master's lecturers/potential supervisors). Another thing is that they give discounts for tuition fee for returning students (ex-Master, now a PhD student). Win-win situation I guess?

This might sound obvious but hey I learned about it from my friends here who went through the experience, so not so obvious lah, at least for me :P

So don't worry about not having enough fund. Love can pay for school, NOT! There's a way, you gotta dig deep! Hehehe *get what the title is all about now??*

I can only think of another entry about this whole scholarship thing. So to keep this going I need your help to give me ideas/ask questions. I might not have answers to them but I will try to find them for you :) Help me help you, deal?

Till then, Salam.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

James Bond.

Education. Opportunities. Educational opportunities. These two have been my favorite subjects over these past few years. Whenever people bring up these topics to me, I immediately light up and feel so eager to engage in the discussion. Tee hee hee. *semangat habis* 

I've got quite a lot of questions from my friends but much to my delight, I've also received Facebook messages from acquaintances asking for information/advice on these things. Admittedly, I only know a tiny little fraction of the gazillion information out there, but when someone sent me a message telling me he got an offer to do PhD and thanked me for the advice/tips I gave him through this little space of mine, I felt really honored. I'm sure he first thanked Allah for He's the one who made it happened, but the fact somebody took my words seriously and gained from it, I couldn't be happier. Alhamdulillah.

So on one fine night (which was tonight), while having shower (if you know me I usually have my Eureka! moments in the shower), I decided to do this more seriously. If one person could benefit from my advice through private Skype sessions or Facebook messages (with my limited experience and knowledge, which may be outdated in certain cases :P), I might as well share it here so that more people could benefit from it, InsyaALLAH.

So let's cut to the chase. 

Where can I find scholarships that are not bonded? (The question was intended for postgraduate studies)

It comes down to where you want to pursue your studies and what level-Master/PhD. 

Master in the US/UK: I do not know that many local sponsors that are not bonded. I believe JPA only offers their ex-degree scholars to do Master under their sponsorship. It's a bit tricky with MARA because they keep changing their policy from year to year, which all comes down to whether they have money or not in that particular year (sort of) :P. With MARA, even though you are not bonded, you have to sort of pay a fraction of the sponsored amount after you finish (have to double check). CIMB offers CIMB Regional Scholarship where you are not bonded with them but as they say in their website 'you must contribute back to the region by working in any ASEAN country for a minimum of three years upon graduation'. As for Yayasan Khazanah, you have to work with Khazanah Nasional/Khazanah Linked companies or Goverment-Linked Companies (GLC) for a duration equal to the length of your study. Another sponsor which I just came to know about when I started my PhD is Islamic Development Bank. They give scholarships to nationals from participating countries (Malaysia included) and you must be attached to some organizations at your home country when you apply and must return home to contribute to your country.  

However, a great way to have a non-bonded scholarship is to secure International Student Scholarship from the university you are applying to. I think this was my biggest mistake. I always thought it's really competitive to get the type of scholarship so I ended up not applying. Well, belum cuba belum tahu. So while you are applying to the uni, might as well check their available funding and apply to the ones that are relevant for you, in most case the International Student Scholarship. 

PhD in the US: Good thing about doing PhD in the US is, the offer normally comes with scholarship, in which they would waive your tuition fee and they would give you annual stipend (for personal expenses). I am pretty sure you will not be bonded in any way with the offer. Murah hati kan diorang? 

PhD in the UK: Well, unfortunately, UK tak semurah hati US. You need to get some sort of funding before they can offer you admission to their PhD programs. Most of UK researches are funded by private organizations and these mostly are exclusive for EU/UK students. Non-EU students like us must find our own funding, and if you look from organizations from Malaysia, most likely it's gonna be bonded scholarships. But again, you can apply to International Student Scholarship from the university like I mentioned above. 

My advice would be to be proactive in looking for potential sponsors. They are a lot of sponsors out there, you just have to be aware of their advertisements and deadlines. Sponsors open their applications at different time of the year and they advertise in different ways (website, newspaper) so you really have to get on top of things. Take it from someone who always check websites just a few days after they close their applications :P.

CIMB, Yayasan Khazanah and Islamic Development Bank offer scholarships for both Master and PhD at top graduate schools.

CIMB Regional Scholarship
Yayasan Khazanah
Islamic Development Bank
Previous post: PhD: The Process

Salam :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sleepy Friday

Guess what?

I'm gonna put up my Western blot image again! Bahahaha. My blog has turned so nerdy nowadays. Fret not, it'll be colored with interesting posts in the near future *hint hint*

You don't have to understand it, enough to know that these two black and white pictures made me so happy this week! I have been working on it for almost two months, trying to isolate a pure sample, and voila! I finally got it! Alhamdulillah. Now the real challenge begins. But I'll only start to worry about it after I'm back from my holiday in September *wah macam dah boleh bercuti sekarang je kan*

On another note, Ramadhan is just around the corner. It'll be my first time fasting during summer time (kalau dipanjangkan umur). At first when I learned that Ramadhan is going to be in summer, I was like, 'Errrr, boleh ke ni?' But of course lah kena bolehkan jugak kan, takkan taknak puasa kot? Biasalah reaction manusia huhu. When I puasa 1 Rejab the other day, it wasn't that bad at all. Walaupun puasa from 3 am to 9 pm (roughly), tahap kelaparan tu masih boleh dibendung. Takde la lembik sangat bila tiba time berbuka tu. So yeah, lesson learned, tak payah nak mengeluh dulu sebelum cuba :| So sempena Ramadhan yang bakal tiba, I'd like to wish my Muslim readers, Ramadhan Mubarak! *wish macam artis*

Next time I post in here, hopefully it'll not be pictures of Western blots, but something really really different :P

Till we meet again.


Monday, July 2, 2012


Disebabkan kursus kahwin haritu draggy and at times a bit boring, 
played this on my friend's iPad, and have never stopped since then
Sebelum tidur, right after bangun tidur, tengah tengok bola, asalkan ada masa free. Apa nak jadi.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Have never been so impressed with Excel spreadsheet.
This is exceptional, not just because of the whole structure, but also because who made it.