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Decorating My Plain Rooms with Photowall Wallpaper

20 January 2021

Call it fate or a sign from the universe, but I was recently given the opportunity by Photowall, a Swedish shop that offers amazingly beautiful and quality wall décor, to actually do something about the state of my bedroom and living room, and giving them LIFE. Just to splash it with some colour.

I mentioned this in my recent post "Roundup of My Life in 2020" where I said that I am terrible at decorating or basically do anything about beautifying rooms because I don't know where to start... and that I've almost always opted for basic white things to pass as "decorating". And so, when Photowall approached me for a blog review collaboration (thank you!), I just knew that this would be the perfect time to get started on working to improve my room.

Here are some pictures of my bedroom before the magical transformation began:

As you can tell, the light grey-coloured walls (similar to our living room) are terribly plain although in daylight, it has this calming and gentle effect on me (very useful when I'm doing work and getting slightly stressed out). Furthermore, my bedroom is actually very small so initially, I thought having everything just plain would give the illusion that my room is bigger than it is. However, sometimes, you just have to get out of your comfort zone and test out what works better for your room. 

And so the wallpaper search began.

Selecting Wallpaper Design on Photowall Website

Wallpaper has never crossed my mind when it comes to beautifying my room. But I immediately had to change my mind when I saw the many, many beautiful designs available on Photowall. I was pretty much spoilt for choice and didn't know which one to pick.

So I called for my most reliable backup support - my mum. 

She should know what I need look for, yet, one hour-ish later, we weren't making much progress. Unless you count the fourteen "favourited" design choices that we saved to look at again later. We were practically drooling over some of their designs, it seemed that the options just kept going and going.

Luckily for us, we made the tough decision and selected "Brick Wall - White", which is this beautiful white-bricked wallpaper that gives me cosy-apartment-ish vibe with dark potted plants and elegant white/light brown frames. Suitable for both my bedroom and our living room. When we first saw this, we knew this was The One.

Filling in the Wallpaper Measurements

We dug out our trusty measuring tape from the tool box and took note of the measurement of my bedroom and living room walls. After selecting the wallpaper design that we wanted, the page transitioned us here: 

We simply typed in the measurements we had written down earlier (added extra cm to leave us room for adjustments later) for our wallpaper. 

The pink dotted lines indicate the tiles and in this picture, there are 16 1/2 tiles altogether for both rooms. Fun thing about Photowall is that you can adjust/drag the picture of the wallpaper around to suit your preference. 

Next, we needed to select if we wanted to have a standard quality wallpaper or premium. We went for premium because we have two adorable, highly unpredictable cats at home. For the sakes of the condition of the wallpaper in the long run, we selected the latter.

We also chose to get the wallpaper kit which Photowall kindly suggested that we consider putting in our cart. Luckily they did because I would have forgotten that I need equipment to put up wallpapers in the first place. Of course, this is totally optional so if you're interested to buy mural wallpapers from Photowall, you don't have to buy the kit if you already have your own equipment.

Then, we were left with selecting which method of delivery we would like. I opted for standard. The next part was to fill in my billing address and other personal details. And we were all done!

I failed to mention this earlier, but €537 was for wallpaper measurement that fit both my bedroom and living room walls. It will definitely cost you a lot less if you're opting for just one wall/room. Hope this clears things out!

Receiving the Photowall Wallpaper

I was totally surprised by how ridiculously fast the products arrived.

No kidding, I think it arrived roughly within the same week that I ordered for the wallpaper. And this came all the way from Sweden! I was expecting at least, I'm not sure, two weeks? Fastest maybe just over a week.

Leo (top) and Dessi (right) checking the parcels out

I really liked that. Then it was time to unbox the goodies! I had two special assistants to help me, Leo and Dessi. These are the things that came with the boxes:

1) First box from the top: equipment and tools for wallpapering. The other two consist of one roll of wallpaper and powdered glue in each box.

2) A closer look into two sections of the wallpaper we ordered.

3) Bringing out all the items from the boxes. Two rolls of wallpaper (1) and (2), and the rest were equipment and tools for wallpapering. There's also an instruction sheet as well!

And the Wallpapering Process Begins...

I was a nervous wreck the night before we planned on wallpapering my bedroom and living room (if things go wrong with the latter, our post-pandemic guests would definitely notice!). This was my FIRST ever experience at doing this so imagine me pouring over hours and hours of YouTube videos about tips to successfully put up wallpaper.

The YouTube tips definitely helped me but I think the wallpaper quality that Photowall sent me made it so easy for a super beginner person like me. There were ready cut-out indicators for each strip of wallpaper that fit perfectly to my wall. The glue was easy to formulate and worked well for me while I adjusted the paper on the wall. It wasn't overly sticky or didn't rip any of the paper as I tried to slap each strip on the wall.

When the first wallpaper strip was successfully glued, we were ecstatic. Even Leo (below) liked the new change to the wall! Seeing how good it looked, we kept on going with the rest!

Roughly 2 hours later, we were done with the wall and it looked just UH-MAZING. It feels like there's so much more light in my room for some reason, really brightens up the environment in here. The ceiling fan was on and I was worried that the wallpaper would slowly peel off. Fortunately, none of that happened. It stayed on beautifully like that.

My Bedroom:

My Living Room:

Another 3 hours later, the second room is done! It looks wonderful! Completely transformed.

So again, here is a comparison of what my room looked like before and after we set up the wallpaper. The difference is so big. It almost doesn't feel like my old room anymore.


 ✨   After   ✨

My Final Thoughts with Photowall

I absolutely loved the whole experience with Photowall, from being spoilt rotten with the many beautiful designs on their website (they have mural/photo wallpapers, posters, frames), to their super fast delivery and the process of wallpapering itself.

The quality of the paper was also good, crisp and easy to stick on the wall, even for a beginner like me. The tools were complete and I used all of them and they each worked perfectly fine. The brush that I received helped me to do everything so much faster and pushing out possible air bubbles beneath the wallpaper before pressing them on the wall. 

I have almost nothing to complain about in regards to Photowall. The experience has been a whizz and I'm still shocked at how easy and fast everything had been for me over the weekend. I'm in my room now and I can't help but steal happy glances at the wall from time to time. It really looks great and I'm glad that I chose to go with this weekend project at decorating my once dull cave-like room. And our living room? Looks like a little a cottage house!

A special big thank you to my parents as well for helping to see this project through. I was so tired after the day was over but we all loved how the rooms looked!

Get a 25% Discount at Photowall!

Through this collaboration, you can now get a whooping 25% discount on any of your purchases at Photowall with my discount code syazwaniizzati25! Take this chance to game up your room look with this limited offer that ends in February 21, 2021.

Roundup of My Life in 2020

10 January 2021

This is a pretty long overdue post now that we're closing the first (or is it the second) week of January 2021. Let's just say that throughout last year, it was mostly me trying to figure out what day it was. No joke, the number of times people had to correct me is mind-boggling. Time moved either super fast on some days or dreadfully slow. You simply can't choose... it's like controlling the weather.

Of course, despite how things went on in 2020, I collected some good and not-so-good things over the year and this is a post to summarise the main things that I can remember from the top of my head. I hope you'll enjoy it!

  • Made my room more habitable as I was rarely home when the semester opened. I can't for the life of me decorate my room because I unfortunately don't have the knack for it. Instead, I chose to make it as cosy, tidy and practical as my skills allowed me to.
  • I set up a snug workspace in one corner of my room. I'm so proud of it!

Presenting to you... tom yam carbonara inspired by Shazzaidun from YT

  • Stayed cooped indoors which to be honest, I'm not proud of. Since MCO started, I honestly have not been outside very much. Not even to chill out in our garden which my parents tend to carefully every day.

  • I was going through my final and fourth semester of master degree in 2020. I had online classes once a week on top of balancing my studies with my final research report. It was really, really tough because at the time, that was our first full exposure to online distant learning and then coping emotionally with being indoors.

  • When ODL started, my mum, sister and myself modified the main living room to become one workspace area. We pushed the coffee table aside and had our desks organised like an open office thing. It was sooo cool and honestly, it felt good that we were working while still had each other's company.
  • I graduated! The feeling was and still is AMAZING because it made all the hardships, the good times and bad worth it.
  • We couldn't go on with our convocation. It was during that small sweet gap when MCO was lifted and things looked like it would become better and events and ceremonies were happening everywhere. Cases were going down, everybody was complying to the SOPs. Our convocation was merely one or two weeks away before we were informed that it was postponed till next year (2021) when things are more stable.
  • Had amazing groupmates who were all super smart in whatever they do. Really grateful that we worked so well as a team. I had lesser things to worry about because of their support.

  • I was going through a breakup so my mind wasn't in the best place. Somehow, as fate had it, I had the rare opportunity to rekindle my friendship with two amazing friends and we supported each other through thick and thin. We were apart for a couple of years and when we finally got back together, I realised that we've changed. A lot of things have happened but it didn't change our friendship. Really thankful to have these gems in my life.
  • Built an amazing circle of friends who talked of books, girly things and anime!
  • And talking about relationships and friendships, I got so teared up seeing my batchmates and friends getting hitched!! Look at our 1995 & 1996 babies all grown up! Others have climbed up the ladder in their career, got their master's degree scroll like me, doing their PhD and so many other amazing things. Despite the pandemic and how much I know it affected us all, I'm proud of us.

  • Our home would not be a home without our two floofy goofballs - Dessi and Leo. I've talked about Leo quite frequently in the past because he's the new addition to our family. They made the pandemic and staying indoors a lot bearable. You just can't stay miserable for long when they're around!

  • Just before I was done with my studies, I was kindly offered a research assistant contract job at my faculty. I was thrilled and a little nervous if I could meet the expectations placed on me. This would be my first official job that comes with a pay slip and I really wanted to do it well. I've learned so much from my team, sharpened my research writing skills, liaising with people related to our study etc. It's an unforgettable, valuable experience.
  • My proofreading and translation business sort of skyrocketed during MCO. There was always the occasional projects coming in and I was arms deep in work. I liked how busy my schedule was because I felt like I was progressing, constantly doing something to keep myself occupied. 

  • I had the best engagements ever with those of you who followed my blog in 2020. Nothing can honestly beat the feeling when I received comments from you to any of my posts, be it a feedback for what I wrote, sharing personal experience or stories, or even a hello! It felt great that my posts could somehow cheer someone up or are relatable to others.
  • I received attention from amazing sponsors towards the end of last year. When I first started blogging, I never once thought in my head that what I post could make me that noticeable, especially to gain the trust of brands to collaborate with me. I'm really thankful to them for putting their trust in me, I truly had a fun experience reviewing all the products that I received. 
  • Revamped my blog look. It was SO worth it. I spent a couple of hours that one night going through Etsy and seeing these super adorable, aesthetic and breath-taking blog templates and themes. I particularly poured a lot of my time in the discounted area (gurl was broke) and then I found this theme! I really, really love it. It gives my whole content a fresh look, a little on the girly side which I like and most importantly, it's simple.

Thank you to everyone for being a huge part of my 2020! I couldn't have experienced all this without all of your continuous support, love and prayers for me. I hope to do better, to give more back this year. See you in my next post! 

My Best Buys in 2020 (No Regrets)

31 December 2020

With the year coming to a close at long last, I can finally create a list of some of the best things I purchased in 2020. Mind you, this didn’t happen overnight (my purse would have shrivelled in horror if I did that) and I took the extra measure to make sure what I wanted was also what I needed.

I had to take some time to think hard of what I actually bought for myself these last couple of months. I didn’t make any special list of items I bought to track my spendings because over the course of 7-9 months that we stayed dutifully indoors, time seemed to move ever so slowly and I might have forgotten some things that happened this year.

Of course, just because I wasn't outside most of the time in 2020, it didn't mean I had no plans of my own from indoors. I took myself online shopping for things I needed but had put on hold for a while. And they turned out to be some of the BEST decisions I’ve made in my two decades-ish of living on earth.

Let’s start!

1. New phone + Cute casing

Where do I begin with this one? Just before MCO started on March 17 (I will always remember this date), my old phone - a sturdy pretty Lenovo, had a "little" accident. For the first time in my life, I broke my phone when it crashed smack on the rough concrete ground as I was stepping out of the car. And out of all the two sides that it has, it fell on its glass screen. You can guess, it did break although the phone remained working but it made reading texts and typing almost impossible.

I decided to save up enough money to buy a new phone to replace the old one. I got myself a Realme 6 for roughly around RM1,300 about a month after the unfortunate incident and I haven't looked back since. I really love my current phone, I have bigger storage space, it doesn't lag, battery charging is a whizz and I can play a couple of games in here when I have the free time. The phone itself launched some time around March-May so when I had it, it was pretty new. Luckily for me, I managed to find a cute phone casing on Shopee for RM15.78 to keep my phone safe (lesson learned from my not-so-lucky Lenovo). It's the prettiest phone casing I've had and it's still intact on my phone!

2. Brand new laptop

Excuse the mess. I was so excited to open the box when it arrived!

This was perhaps my biggest purchase... like ever. It's not every day I fork out thousands of ringgit for a single purchased item. In my case, I was stepping into a new unknown territory and not going to lie about this, my fingers were shaking before slamming the BUY button. It was truly a thrilling and nerve-wracking experience but it had to happened (at least for me). I've longed to have a laptop that could balance between my work and my newly founded interest in gaming. 

The HP Pavillion Gaming 15-ec1036AX was one of the options I had surveyed before making the purchase on Shopee. It cost me RM3,599 which came with the laptop, backpack, free gift mouse and several documentations. I've been using this laptop alternatingly for almost over a month between my old laptop (still working fine but needs frequent charging) and I loveeee it. I got no issues using it for work and gaming was a total breeze. The only issue I have with it is how loud the internal cooling fan can be but since I mostly wear headphones, it doesn't bother me that much.
Shope: williamlee90

3. Makeup/Skincare Trolley

Supposedly, this trolley/rack (call it whatever you like) is used in the kitchen to hold bottles of spices etc. or small ornaments and books in the living room. But for me, it looked like the perfect item for me to organise my entire makeup, skincare and other self-care collections into. Initially, I didn't have a beauty table or special wardrobes to systematically store all of them. Instead, I had a small makeshift table to squeeze all my belongings and hoped they didn't fall off when I was going through my skincare routine. 

This trolley was RM49.80 (excluding postage) but I had a small discount from a sale in December (that was such a crazy month for shopping). I'm currently loving my choice for the white version because a large part of my room is already white to begin with and for someone like me with very poor creativity in decorating my room, it was no brainer to just stick to white. The trolley comes with other adorable colour options as well; black, pink and blue.
Shop: fnsstore 

4. Super large mousepad (I wish I'm overexaggerating this but I'm not)

Also featuring my current read: So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, a truly great book. Might write about my thoughts of the book soon!

Since I've been working from home for the last couple of months, I tried to make it my mission to have my workspace as comfortable and pleasing to me as possible. My table used to be completely bare of any decorative or functional items save for my laptop, a wireless mouse, notebook and a water bottle. I couldn't stand any sort of clutter while I was working so I didn't think I needed anything else to help put myself in the mood to work. However, as time went on, I realised my wrists and elbows would hurt whenever I worked on my laptop for too long and I needed something to cushion them so I didn't get dark bruises on my hands and arms. 

I bought the "smallest" mousepad with cute cat prints that the store had (I think the biggest one would cover my entire desk!) and a cool night starry one for my mum as she also works from home. I absolutely do not regret getting them because it does add a little colour to my dull white table while I'm working and seeing cute illustrated cats... well, it's super therapeutic.
Shop: tamshow017

5. (Red) Headphones

At this point of writing out this list, I realised that I really lacked some things which I thought were essentials. If we're talking about headphones, I didn't exactly have one of my own unless you're counting the one I borrowed from my friend over MCO. I had some savings to spare for a good and decent headphones and after much surveying (this is super crucial for me, I can take a whole week just making sure I'm getting the right item. It's torture), I made an order for the Kingston HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset 7.1 through Shopee (again). I wanted a red headphones since it's my favourite colour, but alas, they were out of stock. I resorted to a black version with a simple splash of red. I like that I can choose to detach the microphone stick when I don't need it and nobody had anything to complain about the quality of my voice over calls and meetings.

6. Books!

When the most recent Big Bad Wolf book fair commenced earlier in December, you know I couldn't possibly miss it. I've been struggling to restart my reading habit again after months or maybe a year of not finishing a single book. I missed the feeling of reading, flicking through each page, letting my imagination run and then the best part, closing the book after finishing it. It almost feels like an accomplishment. 

I bought a total of 8 books (plus one, which I accidentally bought two copies of) and I'm currently reading two: So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson and The Lost Landscape by Joyce Carol Oates. Both are non-fiction which pretty much surprised me because when I checked the other books that I bought they mostly belong in that category. 

I think that pretty much sums up some of the best purchases I've made this year. There are others, like skincare and cosmetics but the items that I've listed here feels like they deserve their own post.

What about you, what purchases in 2020 do you not regret buying? Let me know in the comment section! 

And hey readers, thank you soooo much for following me this year and reading my posts, engaging with me. I had a blast in this platform, probably the best in all my years of blogging. Happy New Years!

[Relationship Series] Coming to Terms with Myself

16 December 2020

I'm not sure what sort of post this one will be but I think it's one that I know I can't put off in my drafts forever. At some point, it has to come out and I have to sit down and write about it. I also want my readers and friends to know that it's okay to be real with yourself, with every inch of the beautiful and insecurities that makes you... you. 

I really wish to wake up one day and realise that I'm fully contented with how I am. I just can't fathom how amazing that would feel if it were to come true one day. Just when your mind resets itself and you realise you have very little to no issues with yourself. It would probably be comparable to waking up early in the morning without a buzzing alarm clock to annoy you so early in the day, and you'd have a few small moments to just stare contently at the plain ceiling above you, not thinking of anything in particular. Just happy.

Either I watch way too many movies about how people wake up like this at the start of the scene or this is just how I've always envisioned what a calm fulfilling life would be like. 

Consistently working on yourself

I came across Suraya's weekly blog post last week (I LOVE her posts, I've never missed once) and one of the articles that she mentioned called "You Don't Have to Work on Yourself Forever" really struck me. I read through the entire width of the post, I had to lean back after I was done digesting everything and I realised that I've been nurturing this habit of always looking at myself like I wasn't enough. There was just always something not quite right about a part of me that I wasn't happy to look at. 

Perhaps the worst part of the situation is that while maybe the world sees me as a perfectly promising human who can give a lot back to others, I rarely see myself with that amount of potential to do just that. I've been telling myself that I'm not yet "complete" until I get these sets of skills that everybody seem to have and prosper through it, I can't be enough until I land my dream job within the next month, I'm not close to perfect until I can stand on my own two feet and not feeling bothered by what I think people have to say about me. 

I've set so many preconditions about how I think I should be that I don't realise where I am now is good enough. I'm not saying I should feel contented to stay within my safe zone forever, but I want to reprogram how I think and appreciate the small and big feats I conquer each day. To feel that I can celebrate myself for who I am and not see her as a work in progress project.

As the You Don't Have to Work on Yourself Forever article goes:

“You are not a project, you are a person. You are allowed to just be. This whole thing is optional, you are under no obligation to make yourself do it.”

Being 'OK' with failures

As much as I want to change to becoming better, I have to also be realistic with how life works... and with myself. At some point, I have to realise that when I'm met with setbacks or my progress is slowing down or deteriorating, it doesn't mean that I'm failing. It just means that it is an opportunity for me to exercise how I can handle tough situations and learn a side of me I didn't know about. I have a whole life to live through insyaallah at figuring myself out that this shouldn't feel like a race or worse, a school exams (gosh no). 

Sometimes, I have to take a breather and look back to how far I've come and see for myself all the things I've done. I think I've achieved a lot of things to get to where I am now, but all these worrying have put them in my blind spot until I can't see all the achievements I've made. 

I'm quite critical and harsh to myself because deep inside, I know I can be the best but I'm also afraid to believe in that. I think that is the problem because it pulls me back from just jumping out to the next opportunity and going with the flow. And when I crash and burn, I don't acknowledge that pain and the feelings that come with 'falling' because I have this mindset, that the pain I feel is not valid compared to what others go through. which in my viewpoint, is selfish for me to think I'm hurting when others go through worse. 

I've forgotten to be kind to myself as I've tried to be towards others. I've disregarded from prioritising my feelings when I should instead of looking away and hide them under the rug - pretending that they don't exist. I haven't changed for the better as much but at least I'm beginning to see that I have a chance. I hope what I'm going through is somewhat relevant to others who sometimes feel a little lost, questioning where they should be in life right now when really, that totally depends on you.

Personal update:

Hi everyone! Wow, it's been a pretty long while since I last typed anything in here, hasn't it? How's everyoneeee? Initially, I had thought of taking a small break from blogging to collect fresh new inspirations but somehow, that plan went down the drain and it dragged on for 2-3 months. It was totally unintentional, I kept thinking that it was just last month when I uploaded my recent post. My bad, this lady really needs a blogging calendar to keep herself up-to-date for real. Anyway, I hope you guys loved what I wrote today. I want to be real with myself, something I've been running away from for a while. I hope you all stay safe and feel free to drop your thoughts below!