Monday, May 28, 2012

Halal Food in Paris

Before leaving for Paris, I was a little bit apprehensive. I initially though that it would be difficult to find halal food in Paris and I'd have to resort to eating croissants and french bread (not that I mind actually because they're delicious) but truth be told, it is actually not that difficult to look for halal food in Paris.

We stayed near Anvers (one of the Metro stations), and our place, Le Regent Montmartre is like a stone's throw away from Anvers station (like literally a stone's throw away, you can throw a stone from Le Regent Montmartre and it would hit the stairs leading to the station).

And here we are, at Anvers.

So we're staying at the Montmartre area and when I looked up in, it seems that the nearest halal outlet is about 1.6 km away (that was one of the reasons why I was apprehensive, really). So when we settled down for the night at Le Regent, we decided to ask the guy at the lobby on where the nearest halal food outlet (fully expecting him to not understand the word halal but boy was I so wrong). He told me it's just around the corner. And the best thing is, he told me that there's plenty of halal food outlets just along Bd de Rochechouart (the name of the road at Anvers station, if you don't know by the way).

Here are some photos:

One of the halal outlets as we were walking along Bd de Rochechouart. It's closed because we were walking at 7 in the morning. Most shops open at around 10 am onwards.

Here's another halal outlet along Bd de Rochechouart. If I'm not mistaken the road next to this shop leads you up to the Sacré-Cœur (or known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart).

And here's another halal outlet along Bd de Rochechouart.

This is Mosquee al Fath. The nearest mosque to Le Regent. It's located at Rue Polonceau, off Bd Barbes (not far from the Metro station Barbes-Rochechouart). There's also a number of halal outlets along this road. The easiest way to look for halal outlets is actually to look for mosques, there's bound to be a halal outlet nearby.

This is the Great Mosque of Paris (Grande Mosquee de Paris). I can't remember exactly where's it located but you may want to click [here] for more info on the mosque. Oh, there's a halal eatery just around the corner.

And other than Anvers, this one is right opposite of Gare du Nord. So, if you're from London (like I was) you'd be arriving at Gare du Nord station. This shop is right opposite of Gare Du Nord's main entrance. How easy is that, right?

Actually it's not that difficult to find halal food in Paris. There's plenty of Muslims reciding in Paris (many of them are from Morocco). So, it's not difficult. Learning french is more difficult (I think).

For easy reference, you may want to check out my Facebook page [here], the halal guides are included in my photo albums complete with the restaurant's address (or the very least, directions on how to get there).

xoxo Mrs Fashionista

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1st Southeast Asia Women Entrepreneurs Conference 2012

I had an opportunity to attend the 1st Southeast Asia Women Entrepreneurs Conference 2012 for the past two day organized by Dewanita (the women's chapter of DUBS) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK). I must say, this is one of the best conferences that I've ever attended. The speakers were amazing and inspiring and best of all, the event was superbly done and it's awe-inspiring to see entrepreneurs from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the host country, Malaysia to come together for this program. Here are the photos:

Day 1. At this point I didn't know what to expect of this conference. But what I do know is that they have some amazing lineups like Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (keynote address), our own Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud for the opening ceremony and impressive entrepreneurs from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Semenanjung Malaysia.

This slide was taken from the presentation of Mr. Mohamad Yusman Ammeran, sharing with us two amazing TM products that could be handy to SMEs.As a representative of a telecomunications company, I'd have to say that I love the way the speaker did his slides, but what I noticed most is he kept emphasizing that he's not promoting TM products. Well, you are a representative of TM and you should be proud that you're promoting TM. Seriously, why emphasize that you're not? But still, I love his session and how TM's product (it's akin to iCloud by Apple) is actually very suitable to SMEs.

The crowd. BCCK is definitely a great venue for conferences. 

Our conference kit was inside this cute laptop bag. Definitely the coolest conference kit I've ever seen. Kudos to the organizers. The female population definitely has better taste than the male when it comes to conference kits. 

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Later that night we had a welcoming gala dinner that night and it promised a fashion show from Sarawak's own designer, Edric Ong and Malaysia's Queen of RnB, Dayang Nurfaizah.

Photo credit: Awang Fardillah

Star of the night, definitely Miss Dayang. Great performance and definitely a joy to listen to. 
Photo credit: Awang Fardillah

And this was our crowd. There were some Indonesian entrepreneurs from Bandung, Indonesia joining our table that night. Fashion shows are not really my forte (though I do love fashion) but I find Edric's style to be a little bit eccentric to my taste but I can still see myself wear some of his designs. Very ethnic, I can see a lot of Sarawak as an inspiration to his designs and I do love how the fabric and cutting looks very effortless and light on the model's body.

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Miss Dayang in action. There were definitely a lot of Dayang's fans in attendance during the dinner. She could hardly sing as fans mobbed her from left and right.

Photo credit: Awang Fardillah

Among the VIPs in attendance at the Gala.

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

It's good to be friends =).

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Post dinner and met Dayang out in the corridor. 

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Three is definitely not a crowd.

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

It's just me and Louie =). Remember in my previous post I mentioned that I was going to Paris? Well, we made a short stop to Louis Vuitton and I managed to snag a bag from its Vernis collection. What do you think?

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Some of the lecturers in attendance. Definitely pensyarah ayu, right? =)

Day 2. An eye-opening session with Ms Mamika Ito from Japan. Her company is called abundant women. They focus on helping women ge the most from what they do (isn't that excellent?). After attending her talk, it seems that getting a 6-figure income seems more achievable than it was before. Will look forward to trying it out in the future =). I love her Kaching dance and I look forward to trying it out whenever I get more Kaching!

The crowd is definitely attentive. Mamiko adds a very positive vibe to the crowd and I love the fact that I can feel her positivity flowing and reaching out to each and every one of us.

One of the participants asking a question to Ms Mamika.

Ms Mamika listening attentively. She's definitely a great coach and mentor. Had an opportunity to speak to her personally and I must say that she's a very good mentor. Without me realizing it, in the span of 5 minutes, she managed to coach me into identifying the underlying reason for my business. Thank you Mamika!

Afternoon session with Harasha Bafana from Singapore. She has a new program called the Hawa network to help woman entrepreneurs. She's an emotional lady, but I don't mean that in a negative way. She very passionate at what she does and from looking at her I know that she's the kind that gives her all. Ladies, check out her Facebook for more details on the program. The Hawa Network is an excellent place to get support (especially emotional support and motivation and inspiration) in what you do and how to be better at what you do.

Branding. Definitely important. Not only in business, but even in your personal life. We are our most important advocator so who best to market ourself than ourself, right?

Me and Harasha. Will definitely be looking for her once I get full swing as an entrepreneur. I am inspired by what she shared with us, her experience in the F&B (food and beverage) industry in Singapore by establishing Samar (a restaurant she co-manage with her brother) and what she learnt from Samar and of course from her failures that made her grow into who she is today.

And this is Mariam, my assistant. She just graduated from her Bachelor in Accounting last week. Am proud of her =). 

Mamiko's Ka-Ching system. For those who are aspiring to be entrepreneurs, or even those who already are, you should join this conference (the next one, I mean). 

It was definitely a great conference. Well done and kudos to the organizers. Will look forward to future events by DUBS and Dewanita. Who knows, I might be a member in the future *wishful thinking*.

I am definitely sorry that I didn't get any photos of Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz. Her keynote address is definitely a very powerful address. I'll never forget her comments of leaving the comfort zone. And one thing for sure, I hope I can be as great and knowledgeable a lecturer as she is (she used to be an economics lecturer at UM). She is definitely my icon =).
To women and learning. We certainly strive to do better and be better.

xoxo Mrs Fashionista

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Malay Wedding: When a Miss becomes a Mrs, congratulations to Khairul Bariah and Sail

I received a call in December 2011 from a friend of mine, Khai asking for the wedding details of my wedding preparation. It's the wedding season and definitely a good cause for all of us to be jolly. And these are the photos of the journey leading to her wedding. Enjoy the photos!

First up: Hen night.

The Hen Night deco and photobooth stuff were done by Sherry. If she ever starts up an event/ entertainment company, we'll be her first customers. She is seriously good at these stuff. 

The theme: COLORFUL inspired by Rio (thank you Sherry for pointing it out), I initially wrote Ice Age *duh*.

Bridal shower survival kit.

The bridal shower survival kit contains... some things need not be named *cheeky grin*. But the whole list is available here in Sherry's blog, if you're curious

Custom made bridesmaid bracelet corsages. KLS, no it's not Kimora Lee Simmons, it's actually Khai Loves Sail (who is the groom, just in case you're wondering).

Matching bracelets. Yeay!

Bride to be, definitely having a lot of fun during the bridal shower. Bridal headband was custom made by Sherry and is super pretty =).

The bride to be even had her own sash. Kudos to Sherry. Wonder when she had the time to prepare all these, they add a wonderful touch to the party.

Had our dinner at Carvery. So should we need to be served, we just have to flash these 'Serve Me' chips. Maybe I should have one of these for me at home *wicked thought*.

As shown on photo. The other side of the 'Serve Me' chip is 'Thank You' a signal meaning 'I'm full, thank you very much'.

And we also had some photobooth fun, also courtesy of Miss Entertainment Extravaganza Sherry.

Next up: Wedding preparations.

Two nights before the wedding. Khai wanted fresh flowers (I told her that even if you'd bought plastic, you'd end of throwing them in the rubbish bin anyway and the real ones are sooo much better!). Oh, you're wondering about these ladies? They're the pagar ayus (aka bridesmaids).

Sherry showing off her craftmanship. She and Vina kept hogging the scissors. Note to self for future weddings:Bring more scissors.

Voila! The end result. Nice, right?
Last, but not least, the Wedding.

The Wedding dais. Fresh flowers and birds. The wedding dais was made by Anafie Creation (correct me if I'm wrong).

Can't see the birds? Here they are! They're hidden between the flowers. A personal touch from Khai for Sail. Why? Cause Sail loves birds. Ain't it sweet? =)

Alat Merenjis.

Wedding gifts from the groom. Oh, hello Louie!

The groom.

The Bride, giving consent to her father.

Aku nikah kan dikau dengan Khairul Bariah Saifulbahri...
Aku terima nikahnya Khairul Bariah Saifulbahri...

Post solemnization du'a recital. It's official. She is now Mrs Sail =).

Something different. A traditional Sabah wedding custom.

First official photo as a wedded couple.

Post wedding solemnization photo session.

The train.

Pretty =).

I wasn't able to shoot as many photos as I liked as I was on official bridesmaid duty. Lovely wedding to a whirlwind short mere-4-months wedding preparation. We did it! Hurrah!

Congratulations to Khai and Sail and am looking forward to your bundle of joy *hugs*.

xoxo Mrs Fashionista