Skillsfuture fund

Alhamdulillah …. finally I decided to use the skillsfuture fund to enhance my baking skill.

Togehter with my friend Z, we both registered to attend 2 baking classes @ Zans Treats.

The first class was learning how to bake Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Cupcakes.

Final display of the class efforts

Even though I do have basic knowledge on baking but I believed and had found that I learnt more when I attended a proper class. During the class, via Q&A and shared tips by the Chef, our knowledge on baking skills were further enhanced. Of course as with any skills, practice makes perfect and so I must make sure that after attending these classes to make time to practice and improve my skills with time.

One of the many hands-on experience during the class

This first class with ZT went well. It was indeed a learning journey and very hands-on. There’s so much sharing and laughter as we learnt together.

Next week we will be attending our second class ….. learning how to bake Kek Lapis. Then next year, both of us, Z and myself, we decided to register for another class on bread making. We decided to do it next year so that we can look forward to new learning experience as time goes by.

Khalas!

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Sydney – The last 2 days

Okay, this will be the last post on my visit to Sydney. The 5th day, we spent touring the city …. hopping from one point to another.

One of the view along the streets

First stop was to scenic view of the Harbour Bridge, there were two stops that allowed us to see the Harbour Bridge, a close up look at it and another one slightly further away. Both views were fantastic!

Sydney Harbour Bridge

We also went to see the Sydney Opera House …. a pity we were not able to view the inside of the opera house. I would have love to join the guided tour.

Sydney Opera House

After which, we took a ferry ride from the Circular Quay …. the ride allows us to enjoy seeing the different views of the surrounding areas. Truly enjoyed the winds and movement of the ferry. I enjoyed being on a ferry or boat, hmm… maybe can consider taking a vacation cruise next time πŸ˜‰

The ferry

We disembarked at Pyrmont Bay and from there we took a slow and leisure walk right up to McMahon Bridge to Darling Harbour where our bus awaits us.

Part view of the park where we had our bbq

Once boarded the bus, we went to a park (sorry I could not remember the name of the park). At the park, a bbq picnic awaits us.

After greeting the wonderful chefs that had prepared the scrumptious foods for us, we happily helped ourselves to the foods. It was most enjoyable … .the foods as well as the view from the park were great.

Our chefs hard at work, barbequing the qurban meat for us (photo credit to Lin)

I could see children happily playing the swings and riding bicycles. It was a joy seeing the delights on the faces of the children πŸ™‚

There were many birds around the park and these birds were not shy …. always waiting nearby for scraps of foods.

After the bbq, it was a free and easy moment but I chose to go back to the hotel …. to rest and start preparing to pack my luggage for the next day, the 6th day was our last day in Sydney.

One of the 3 masjids we visited

We checked out around 10 am ….. boarded the bus and continue our last lap of the journey before moving on to the airport.

At one of the scenic beaches …. simply beautiful!

Such a delight! (photo credit to Lin)

We visited the beaches ….. stopped a couple of times for photo taking and at Bondi Beach, we had our lunch. A fish and chips meal awaited us. It was really good! I like πŸ™‚

Fish n Chips

A final stopped at a mosque and then it was to the airport finally!

Boarded the plane at 8.30 pm Sydney time and Alhamdulillah reached Singapore …. Home Sweet Home around 4 am in the morning.

Mesmerising view (photo credit to Cik M.)

My takes on the whole journey? Alhamdulillah … it was a good trip … the Sunny Island Travels did a good job, there were a few points that can be improved but hey! nothing is perfect. All in all I was happy and satisfied.

Personally, the ‘me time’ …. being alone was good for me, though I could not help every now and then, thinking and worrying about my husband and kids. The good thing about having access to technology was that it was easy to keep in touch. I had my eldest daughter reported to me daily and even had a watsapp call with hubby.

I’m grateful and blessed that I was able to fulfill part of my wish list. Still have 2 more places I wish to go ….. but I supposed have to wait, need to save up and see if there’s another opportunity given, insya’Allah!

Travelling does broaden one’s mind and perspective. Few things I learnt during my solo travel were to have the spirit of adventure …. be willing to try, have less expectations, do not complain instead accommodate the self to whatever conditions given, be brave and friendly.

Since I am an introvert (though people who knows me would not have believed it of me hahaha) ….. being alone was never an issue to me. I strive being alone, am always comfortable just having myself as company ….. yet I am always open to befriend others. Thus, I was glad to gain not one, not two … but three new friends during the journey. These people were the closest to me during the whole journey. I missed them and occasionally we do keep in touch via the watsapp.

So khalas … have finally reached the end of my Sydney tales …. have no idea where the future will bring me to, I do not know when I can go for another solo trip but I shall continue to save and look forward to the next one πŸ™‚

Insya;’Allah!

Sydney – Day 4, 5th Sept

For the 4th day of the trip, we assembled at 8.15 am and made our way to Featherdale Wildlife Park. We spent about 2 hrs at the park and then we went on to Factory Outlet and Berkinhead Point for another session of shopping experience. I did not indulge too much in the shopping, hahaha I’m on a budget, so instead I just enjoyed the sight-seeing Β with my 2 new friends and photo taking activity with them, especially while at the Berkinhead Point.

The highlight of the day …. touching this cutie little Koala πŸ™‚

At the Featherdale Wildlife Park, I was able to touch and feed the kangaroos and koala. That was such an unforgettable experience. Love the feeling of the furs and the sensation of having the animals eating from my hand. Truly amazing! πŸ™‚

Wish I could bring them home Β πŸ˜‰

Can you spot the little ‘joey’?

Feeding time!

The day was well-spent and soon it was time to head back to the hotel …. to rest and have our dinner.

A view of the Birkenhead Point

So many yacht ….. πŸ™‚

PS: Alhamdulillah … I am indeed thankful to Allah s.w.t and to my hubby for giving me the opportunity to travel solo and have my ‘me time’. Β I do enjoy going on vacations with my family members but I find myself enjoying the most … at a maximum level while travelling alone. Β There’s such a vast difference, especially in the level of self-relaxation and I find learning many new things as I travelled solo. Β It’s an eye-opener experience πŸ™‚

to be continued….

Sydney – Day 3, 4th Sept

I woke up at the same timing as yesterday and by 7 am, our group made our way to the Blue Mountain. The journey was about 1 hour plus and our first stop was at the Lincoln’s Rock. The scenic view was amazing and simply breathtaking.

Love the view from Lincoln’s Rock. Breathtaking!

The moment I stepped out of the bus, the coldness from the wind could be felt right to the bones. I was glad I was wearing 4 layers of clothing …. it was very windy and very very cold.

Wonders of Allah’s creation … Subhanallah!

The view as I mentioned, was astounding! All of us had fun with our photo taking ….. so many different posed could be seen in action hahaha … πŸ˜„Β  All these despite the strong wind the blew all over the place.

We did not stay long over at the Lincoln’s Rock due to the very cold wind …. after which we went to Katoomba, Echo Point. Here we were able to view more scenic views, heard of the legend of the 3 sisters and visit the Aborigine Center.

Close-up view of the 3 sisters

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Its so peaceful!

From there, we went on to Scenic Skyway @ Scenic World and upon reaching Scenic World, we proceed to have our lunch. The Indian cuisines served were very good……very flavorful. πŸ‘

After lunch, we went on to ride on tram and cable car.

The cable car

The tram …. look how steep it is as it came down the slope

The whole day was spent at the Blue Mountain and it was a tired yet happy group when the day came to an end.

to be continued ….

Sydney – Day 2, 3rd Sept

Over in Sydney, the morning prayer time started at 4.48 am. By 4.20 am I was awake and after readying ourselves, we ensembled at 6 am for the tirp to the farm. Boarded the bus and it took us about an hour to reach the farm. The muslim-owned farm, owned by Global Ikhwan, was about 100 acres.

Beautiful view (foto credit to Cik M.)

Upon reaching the farm, we were greeted by the sight of small herd of goats, Angus cows and horses. Everyone was excited for the animals were friendly and we were able to touch them and pet them.

The herd of goats

Angus cows

The two white horses …. so friendly, I could not stop from petting them πŸ˜‰

Miniature horses …. simply adorable!

I love the farm house and its surrounding areas. There was a set of swing, which I had fun swinging as well as taking photos. Besides that, I had fun stroking and feeding the goats.

This pix is super cute … could not resist posting it here … taken during the feeding session πŸ™‚ (foto credit to Cik M.)

My oh my! the goats were very aggressive when it comes to feedng time hahaha…. the only thing I missed was riding the horse. Too bad! Maybe next time πŸ˜‰

A side view of the farm house

While I was having fun with the goats and other animals, the jemaah in our group performed their Qurban one by one. Alhamdulillah everything went smoothly.

Besides playing with the animals, I had fun loving this little boy, Mu’az. Β He was sooo adorable. Not afraid of strangers and he took to me so easily πŸ™‚

Little Mu’az and me ❀

It felt so nice to be hugging a little body to my bosom …. so cuddly! Teasingly I told my two acquired friends, Lin and Sufi, that I shall named my first grandson Mu’az πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

It was great to be at the farm with everyone very friendly and after the activities, we were treated to a scrumptious lunch.

A plate of our lunch at the farm

By 2 pm, we said goodbye and proceed to Wyong Chocolate Factory. Spend a bit of time buying chocolates and then we made our way to Paddy’s Market.

The chocolate factory cafe

Over at Paddy;’s Market, we, the 3 sisters (Lin, Sufi and I), had a ball choosing souvenirs for our family members at home. We had fun selecting and laughing over our own antics in choosing the souvenirs. The souvenirs were mostly t-shirts, magnets, pens etc. I bought a few for my husband, kids, nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews.

After Paddy’s Market, we went back to the hotel and had our dinner. After that it was free and easy time. I chose to rest in our room instead of going out. Time to preserve my energy πŸ˜‰

to be continued …

Sydney – Day 1, 2nd Sept

My newly made passport

As I mentioned earlier, I went on a solo vacation trip recently. I have been back home for 2 days now. The face is slightly sun-burned and I got a cold yet Alhamdulillah everything went good and I had a truly great and relaxing vacation 😊

The solo vacation trip was to Sydney, Australia. I had registered for the tour in June 2017. The tour was organised by Sunny Travel and Tours Pte. Ltd., included performing Qurban in a muslim-owned farm as well as tours to various attractions in Sydney. It was a 6 days 5 nights tour.

View from the cabin (photo by Lin)

Our group of about 20 plus people departed from Singapore near to 4 am in the morning of 2nd Sept 2017. via Scoot. There was a 2 hrs delay and we reached Sydney around 1 pm Australian time.

This was my first time in Australia and upon reaching Sydney, I found that the weather was sunny and yet windy. The wind was so cold in fact I felt as if I’m inside the freezer. I love it! πŸ™‚

After the airport, we boarded the tour bus and went to a muslim-owned cafe for lunch. The name of the cafe was Cafe Nur Muhammad. Our buffet lunch consists of Malaysian style rice and dishes. All were tasty and piping hot.

The cafe

After lunch and a short walk to Darling Harbour, we proceed to our hotel.

View near the Darling Harbour

Our hotel, Central Railway Hotel was a small budget hotel …. nothing fancy but it was comfortable and clean. The only down side of it was that it did not have a lift. So if you happened to get any of the rooms on the 3rd or 4th floors, be ready to climb lots of stairs.

The hotel front view

My room was at Level 1, Room 17, which was actually on the 2nd storey. Since I’m travelling alone, I was placed together with another solo traveller. The lady actually travelled with her brother and wife but she had me as her room mate. Her name was Mainah and she’s in her early 60s. A retired teacher whom now had for sometime got back on the working force as a part-time teacher.

Alhamdulillah, we got along very well and I believe over the 6 days, we developed an affectionate relationship with one another. I missed her already for she’s very motherly.

Besides Cik Mainah, there were another 2 sisters whom I had acquainted myself with and we just clicked together … They were both in early forties and had been friends for over 20 years. They easily accepted me as the trio in the group and we had fun talking, joking and taking photos of one another.

After settling the check-in, we had our dinner in the hotel. Packed halal foods were delivered to us throughout our stay. The foods were indeed delicious πŸ™‚

On the first night, as a group we all went for a short walk after dinner to a supermarket called Woolworth. While on the way, we saw 4 live possums. The possums were so cute and since I’ve never encountered a possum in my life, I was so excited about it hehee…. πŸ˜„

At the supermarket, we all bought items for our breakfast since only breakfast was not provided in the tour package. Luckily, there were toaster, hot water kettle, fridge and microwave in our rooms. So most of us opt to buy breads, butter and cheese. For myself, I even bought mandarins πŸ˜‰

After such a long day, we finally went back to the hotel and by 9 plus, I was already in the dreamland and looking forward to the next day, a trip to the farm for the Qurban.

Part of the view near Darling Harbour

to be continued……