The Big Secret

hello lovely

Hello friends!

So it’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated here, and for those of you who have been wondering, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. I’ve just been quite busy!

Busy doing what, you ask? I’ve been busy planning my wedding, my friends!

So I’ve debated a lot whether or not to share my news on my blog. I’m quick to share poems and daily qualms but wasn’t sure how I felt about sharing something so big on here, which is why I refrained from sharing the news of my engagement a few months ago as well.

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I’m a pretty private person. I don’t like to flaunt my life on social media. And so that’s why I didn’t post any pictures or make any announcements on my personal accounts or on here.

But with the wedding date being decided and then coming up so close, hiding it felt strange. Even hiding the engagement felt strange over the past few months (if you noticed me talking about being distracted, that was why!), especially since some of you have been reading this blog since I started it in the summer of 2011 when I was fresh out of university and in my creative book publishing program. Some of you were there when I wrote about struggling with my decision to not go into book publishing. Some of you were there when I wrote about completing my third and latest manuscript. Some of you were there when I wrote about deciding to go back to school again. And some of you were there when I struggled through a hectic year of teacher’s college.

And so I realised I wanted to share my news with you all. :)

The past few months have been kind of crazy and exciting and wonderful. If you remember me talking about the summer being life-changing, you now know why! And now looking forward to the next few months seems like it’s going to be another roller coaster ride.

After being newly engaged, I kept thinking that one day I would wake up and it would have all been a dream. But the wedding is only two and a half months away, and my new reality is finally dawning on me. It’s not a dream and I feel like the luckiest girl ever, alhamdulilah.

I haven’t really checked in with my emotions yet. I’m just so crazy busy with wedding planning that the reality of what’s going to happen hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m so caught up with the details that I haven’t really thought about the big picture. Saying goodbye to life as I’ve known it over the past twenty five years to embark on a new, unknown chapter is both so scary and so exciting.

As a writer, being able to express myself in the written word has always been tantamount to me. But as wedding jitters have taken over the creative parts of my brain, being able to share my thoughts with you all on this blog is such a blessing.

But if I start sounding like a crazy bridezilla as December approaches, not you know why! And please forgive me in advance.

As always, thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Review: While Beauty Slept

while beauty slept

Elise Dalriss is shocked when she overhears her great-granddaughter reading the tale of the beautiful princess who slumbered in the tower and of the handsome prince who awakened her, for she knows the story is not that simple.

And so she begins to recount the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty to her young great-granddaughter, warning her that it is not nearly as happy or glamorous as the fairytale.

Elise is not the heroine of the tale, but instead the daughter of a poor family who sought work in the castle after the deaths of most of her family. It is there that she catches the attention of the lonely, beautiful Queen whose barrenness makes her cry every morning, and the King’s powerful aunt, Millicent, a calculating, magnetic woman. It is at the castle that Elise rises in the ranks until she is a powerful lady’s maid to the Queen, gathering secrets along the way.

As Elise recounts her tale, it becomes clear that she was no mere bystander in the classic tale of the sleeping princess, but an active participant in the destruction and saving of a kingdom. (more…)

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Book Funk

I have a confession, dear friends: I’m in a book funk.

This is definitely not the first time this has happened, but it seems like the longest book funk I’ve ever experienced. Usually I whip through my pile of library books and am constantly on the search for new books, but lately I’ve sunk so deeply in a book funk that my pile of library books just sits unread on my desk.

For those who aren’t readers or book lovers, you might be wondering what exactly a book funk is. Let me explain.

A book funk is when you don’t feel like reading. You begin books but don’t finish them. The plot excites you initially, but when you start reading, it fail to grab your attention. You’d rather watch TV (gasp!).

Yup, my book funk has reached such awful depths that sometimes I’d rather watch TV than read. I’ve never preferred TV to books, but lately, all I’d rather do is marathon episodes of The Mindy Project (which I have finally finished) rather than read.

Working in a bookstore makes this book funk infinitely harder, especially since there’s so many new and exciting books being released in Fall, yet I just don’t have the attention span to begin and finish a book these days. So I add them to my ever-growing ‘to-be-read’ pile but make no attempts to chip away at it.

So I’m turning to you, wonderful readers, to ask for book recommendations. Is there any book that recently had you staying up into the early hours, turning pages? If yes, please let me know!

I am currently reading While Beauty Slept, a Sleeping Beauty retelling which I am LOVING so far. But I’m afraid of regressing into my Book Funk after finishing it, so I need recommendations! Let me know if you have any book recommendations.

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Recipe: Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Hello friends!

So yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe, but I’m here to rectify this today! I haven’t been experimenting as much as I’d love to in the kitchen lately and have been sticking to tried and true favourites (at least with baking). Do you guys remember my ‘Summer Bucket List’? Yeah, that kind of got abandoned in the craziness of summer, but I want to go back and re-evaluate it so I can get back to experimenting in the kitchen!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but my ultimate comfort food is a chocolate chip cookie. If I’m happy, I want a chocolate chip cookie. If I’m sad, I want a chocolate chip cookie. Luckily for my cravings (but not so good for my attempts at dieting), there’s a Starbucks in the bookstore I work at, and so a chocolate chip cookie is never too far away.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

More than chocolate chip cookies, I love things that are mini. So when I saw these Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe popping up all over Pinterest, I knew I just had to make them!

Bite sized, and stuffed with chocolate chips, how could you resist these cute cookies?! You could (and probably will) eat four or five in one go and then they’ll all be gone before you know it!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

So check out this mini chocolate chip cookies recipe and bake up a huge batch of these cute cookies to enjoy with a tall glass of milk! :) (more…)

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September

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Hello friends!

Is it September already?! I can hardly believe how quickly this summer went by!

Yesterday was such a strange day as I watched my brothers enjoy their last day of summer before getting ready for the first day of school. And even though I’m not going back to school this year (thank God!), I was still hit with a wave of nostalgia from the past year. For those of you who don’t know, I just graduated from teacher’s college in the Spring, and so school was pretty much on my mind the whole year.

Over the past few years, I’ve always come to regard the first day of school as a return to routine, even before I went to teacher’s college. I’m not sure why this is, but there’s just something about the first day of school that has been wired in my brain as a new beginning and a fresh start. And so I’ve traditionally used to as a turning point in my own life, after the craziness of summer, even when I haven’t been physically returning to school, to make new goals and get back to business. And this year’s no different.

This past summer was one in which I got very little done; a lot was going on and I found it hard to focus. I spent the first half of summer feeling guilty about this, about not writing or accomplishing any of the other goals I had set for myself, but quickly I realised that sometimes you just have to let go. I have a hard time doing this, and usually spend a lot of time feeling guilty, but I tried to change this this summer. I enjoyed myself as much as I could, knowing that once September came I would become focused and get back to work.

And so I spent the day yesterday making a list of goals for myself for the month. As some of you might know, I love making lists. But they’re usually vague and just titled ‘to do’ with no indication of when I need to accomplish them by. But this time I made my list just for September and now, I find that my list is a lot more manageable. Instead of just writing ‘start writing next novel’, I’ve written ‘begin drafting next novel’ because I realise that that’s a more realistic goal for the month. Hopefully making smaller goals for myself will help me feel more accomplished.

Over the summer, I stopped using my personal planner, because things just sort of happened on a whim. But in my attempt to get more focused and get more done, I plan on going back to writing things down, even things I hope to accomplish each day. Naturally I felt that a new (cute) agenda was necessary for this! :P

Anyways, I hope the beginning of this month finds you all well. I hope you all had a relaxing and restful summer!

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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