Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday Valentines at McCluskey's

Valentines either came late for me on Monday or everyday is Valentines day. LOL. I texted the hubby stating that I was a bit down in the dumps. You see, I was checking my email and came across several notifications regarding friends on Linked In , a professional networking platform and decided to log in and checked it out.

Lo and behold, I was bombarded with ex-colleagues' profiles of them either an Assistant Manager or a Manager of some company. My self worth shouldn't be tied to my job and besides, I hated audit! However, it didn't stop me from feeling lost, confused and somewhat aimless.

I guess it'll be easier if I knew exactly what I wanted to do. All I know is, I would never want to go back to Audit. However, in the event, I do decide to go back to this field, I would still put in my 100%. Don't believe in doing things in a half past six manner. Despite one's feelings, start some thing and end it well. Well, here's to my hoping that I really won't have to resort going back to that area. Really dark times for me then.

Anyways, as I was saying, I was a little bit down thinking of my future and what job to have. I mean, I can apply all sorts of job but so far, it's been rather quiet and I do wonder if it's a smart decision to apply all types of job than just focus on one field.

Enough of the rambling.
So, Mr. C texted me back telling me to be ready by 5.30pm and that he will take me out for dinner and movie. Usually, we cook and have dinner at home as it is waaaay cheaper to do so. For just the two of us, we can cook a meal costing us less than AUD10 for dinner and Mr. C's lunch the next day! To eat out, it usually costs about AUD15-20 per person, then again, depending on where we go.

He really surprised me when he came back from work cos he bought me a small beautiful bouquet of deep pink roses. I've come to love all sorts of flowers here in Australia but roses will forever be my number one. They're simple and yet elegant oozing a sense of romance. To me, that is. ;p

Voucher from the Entertainment Book...
There's just something about the greeting of flowers that makes me happy. They're pretty and I can't explain why, but it just brings a smile to my face. However, being jobless and having to be the 'controller' of finance, I told Mr. C that his gesture is really lovely but he shouldn't have 'cos we should be saving money.

LOL. I did mentioned that I didn't received any flowers nor gifts on Valentines Day, right? Well, I was alright with it though receiving flowers then or any gifts would have been nice. And seeing how Monday was not a special occasion and yet, here I was, receiving flowers, dinner out and movie after!

Warm yum bread with creamy butter. SLURP!

The happy look with his beef

McCluskey's Bistro @ Knox Club on Urbanspoon

I have come to appreciate the simplest and smallest gesture from Mr. C. Despite him thinking himself a romantic, I assure you, after being his girlfriend for 10 years over and wife of 1 year plus, he really isn't one. Some guys are romantic like Timothy Tiah (co-founder of Nuffnang and super sweet on his Shorty). However, not many are.

I guess, it helps that we've been together for a decade before tying the knot. At least, we know what ticks each other off and what makes us happy. Then again, being newly weds, we bicker like an old married couple. LOL. Mr. C still gets amazed when he perceives I can read his mind and knows what he wants or what he is looking for. I, on the other hand, wishes that he can reciprocate in kind at times.

I am not saying that it is a must, or it's the best to be together for such a long time to have a successful relationship. Don't get me wrong. Every couple is different and how each individual in that relationship deals with each other makes the difference of whether they stay together or break up eventually. I gather if a couple decides to tie the knot despite courting for a year or two, they would feel more lovey dovey in a new couple sort of manner as opposed to a decade old couple like Mr. C and I.

Our love for each other is different than how it started out when we were in high school. I am not saying that our love has diminished over the years but it is more of a realistic, I accept all of you, the good and the bad kind of love. When you've been that long with one partner, your love evolves too to a different level.

Anyways, I asked him,"why all this awesomeness tonight?". And he said that when I texted him telling him I was feeling down, he wanted to cheer me up. Hence, the night out. And despite how we need to be more frugal in our spending, I feel blessed at his thoughtfulness.

Every couple has their ups and downs. No couple is perfect even if that is the front they show the world. Each couple has their own issues to deal with and even the most damaged couple can heal but only if both are willing to be honest and sincere, putting their petty feelings aside to give 100% to work it out instead of citing 'irreconcilable differences' to take the short cut out of the relationship.

Mr. C and I had our dark moments, too. It came to a point where I thought that things would never be the same ever again. That perhaps, it was best we both go our separate ways. However, I believe God has plans for both of us and it includes us both as one unit. Hence, we never parted ways. And here we are, happy as ever.

The veges that accompanied the beef

Yummmmm moroccan chicken risotto!
With the Entertainment Book, we've been out to try the different food of different places. We tend to go more for the eateries that offer 'buy a meal and receive a complimentary meal'. Anyways, this time, Mr. C decided to bring me to McCluskey's Bistro at the Knox Club just near our place.

The place was spacious and had a cozy feeling most likely due to the dim lighting. Chairs were a bit worn out as shown by the small holes and loose stitching but tables were clean and neatly arranged.

Service was impeccable. I should have gotten their names down. The blonde lady that took Mr. C's order and the redhead guy who served us our bread gave top notched service; inquiring if we needed anything, if we were happy with out food and the lady even offered to change Mr. C's yucky (imo) pepper sauce to something else.

Simply tasty and delicious!
All in all, we were more than satisfied with out food. We were happy. Portion was REALLY huge and of course, the meal was worth it with the 'buy one free one meal' voucher. When our food first arrived, our eyes were huge like sauce plates at the amount of food sitting before us. One of the eateries with generous portion, I must say AND with good food too! After all, it is pointless to have big portion but terrible tasting food.

Mr. C's wagyu beef was just delightful. It had a slight burnt taste on the outside accompanied with the insides being medium cooked of the right texture. This is my first time seeing such a big slab of beef for one serving. Usually, the vegetables are all in one plate with the meat but this place served the veges separately as the meat took up the whole plate. Too bad, the sauce wasn't as awesome.

My Moroccan chicken risotto was superb! The risotto consisted of arborio rice (a different kind of rice used to make risotto), sun dried tomatoes, mushroom, veges and slices of chicken tenders drizzled with something alike to thousand island sauce. First time seeing a risotto presented this way. Even the guest behind our table commented so upon receiving their Moroccan chicken risotto!

The rice was not as wet and creamy as most places but it was just as fragrant with the rice tasting of herbs, spices and mushroom with chicken stock. They were really generous with the chicken tenders, I reckon that 2-3 girls can easily share a plate and be full at the end of it. I couldn't finish mine and gave the rest to Mr. C! It's amazing how he could find space for my risotto in his tummy after consuming his meal.

My leftovers

Butter garlic

Fatty finishing my meal ;p

Lastly, Mr. C ordered stick date pudding for me! Somehow, it's become a ritual of sorts to try out this dessert whenever we head to this sort of establishment. So far, the best one we've had was in Dockland's Harbour Town Hotel. This one was pretty alright especially after the let down at Mocha Jo's the last time we went there with Miss Cutesie and her fiancé.

I think what made this pudding work was the sauce and the slight burnt taste. The pudding tasted good; slightly salty with burnt date taste drenched in butterscotch sauce and accompanied by whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. You really have to eat the pudding with the cream and ice cream. Especially with the ice cream!

It tastes heavenly when the pudding is hot and salty with the super sweet butterscotch sauce offset by the cool ice cream. I wanted to try my hand at this delectable dessert but realised I had baking powder and NOT bicarbonate soda as required by the recipe. Apparently, there is a slight difference according to google and using the wrong one can have different end results. So, I'll just have to wait for another day to give this dessert a go.

Sticky Date Pudding

A really quiet and deserted Monday at Knox Village Cinemas
Highlight of the evening : Roses were pretty. Food was more than filling. Movie was enjoyable too.
We headed to Knox Village Cinema, just down the road to watch 'This Means War'. I've always liked Reese Witherspoon's bubbly girly demeanour although Mr. C begs to differ as I think her bimboticness in Legally Blonde was just too much for his manly sensibilities. LOL.
Chris Pine and Tom Hardy were pretty yum to watch in action, too! Mr. C doesn't think Chris Pine looked handsome though. I remember him from 'Just My Luck' that he acted with Lindsay Lohan and thought him cute since then. And when we see Tom Hardy, we remember 'Inception'. His British accent is drool worthy!
I was glad to see Mr. C enjoy himself. Although the movie was predictable, it's my kind of relaxing, enjoyable and entertaining movie; a mixture of action and romance though a little bit dramatised.
In fact, I preferred it over 'The Vow'. I was SO looking forward to that movie that it was kind of a let down for me. Perhaps the trailer built up my expectations coupled with the fact it had BOTH my favourite actor and actress; Channing Tatum and Rachel Mcadams.
And this sums up my Monday... thoughtful hubby and the feel of love.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Last Tuesday's wedding dress hunt

Although my wedding registration and ceremony with banquet has come and gone, it seems that I will be knee deep in wedding planning, if not, at least getting my hands 'dirty' helping out with friends' wedding. Organised Miss Lawyer's hen night and assisted in her wedding. Miss G's nuptials in June. Not sure if I'll be asked to help with anything. Miss Cutesie's registration in October and who knows who else...

And because I am currently awaiting some kind soul to employ a hard working employee me, it would appear to many that I have abundant of time on my hands. Well, appearances can be deceiving. Suffice to say, despite almost two years out of the work force, I have a lot of time at hand, but I am never bored. In fact, time seems to flitter past so fast that I find it hard to account for it!

I admit that after my stint in audit, this is a welcome reprieve. However, being out of a job for awhile, I do feel sort of aimless and poorish. My dilemma lies in my varied interests and what I would like to pursue or feel I should do. Well, I shall leave that post for another day.

Besides, retail therapy beckons and hence, my need for a job to fund my shopping cravings. Last week, I bought an AUD14.95 knee length dress from Temt - upper waist in white with the below in red - for Miss G's wedding in the middle of the year. Which reminds me, I've got to lose weight for her wedding. LOL. I failed to lose my desired weight for my own wedding, so, here's hoping that for hers, I'd fare better!
Anyways, back to unemployment and lots of perceived free time. I did mentioned umpteen times before how I have this tendency to ramble from one topic to another at a drop of a head. Wait. Or was it hat? Right.. it's hat, if I am right. Well, this is definitely one of those times.

LOL. Anyways, Sal has her off days usually on weekday and since I am not working, we hang out. Off late, she's been really into her wedding planning. So, we decided to head out to Southland area to have a look at a few bridal gowns last Tuesday.

We drove past Spurling Cheltenham near Southland Mall and went to this small shop called Be A Star which housed a variety of dresses; wedding and evening ones. Perhaps it's her petite frame, all the dresses Sal tried on suited her really well. It's just a matter of deciding what style she's going for.

Dress #1 The lacy mermaid

The lacy mermaid cut had a vintage and sexy feel... it also showcased her figure! Overall, I'd say my number one pick. However, this is IF you're not looking for a puffy, princessy gown.

Dress #2 The champagne satin

First glance, it was just alright but as the minutes passed, it started to grow on me. This one was more of an elegant ball gown look what with the main material being satin.

Dress #3 The tulle Puff

On picture, it actually looks quite good. This is a tulle puffed out gown. It has a longer bodice somehow making her look shorter when she's off the pedestal. Over here, she actually looks tall and beautiful as she was standing on the high pedestal hidden underneath the volumnous skirt!

Dress #4 Strappy gown

I like the bottom part of the gown but we both didn't like the straps on her. I reckon she looks better with a sweetheart neckline to show case her bosom and petite frame.

Dress #5 Soft tulle one shouldered dress

This one had a softer tulle. Hence, not as stiff and puffy as the picture before. This one however, is a one shouldered dress. But the lady of the shop mentioned that it can be removed or made to be sweetheart neckline. For this try out, we stuffed the straps in.

Dress #6 Romantic flowers and lace
This dress looked really dreamy with romantic feel. However, it was just too much going on with the flowers and lace all over the skirt. I think the designer should put either half or 1/3 the amount of lace and flowers at the skirt portion.

All in all, I think trying on gown after gown (which I never had the chance to do as I just bought mine off online) can be a real headache especially when all the gowns start to look and feel the same and you simply forget how you look in the first dress, or the second one, or the third and so on... what with the no photography policy.
I was happily snapping photo after photo for Sal as reference, to jog her memory and to help her decide which she thinks look best on her when at the end of the dress try out, the lady in charge of the shop told me I wasn't allowed to take any photos.
Hence, we didn't take any at Spurling's after our lunch 'cos I reckon policy is the same at most bridal shops then. I get the reason behind it but I think it's a real pain for bride-to-bes to crack their brains racking up the memory of how they look in each dresses.
All in all, it was a nice experience going bridal dress hunting. I only wished I could go for Miss G's and Miss Bubbly's when her time comes. That's the thing of moving across countries and leaving one's friends behind, one also gets left behind in everything else. ;(
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Miss Lawyer's wedding : The Wattle Park Chalet

Yet another wedding post folks. Hang in there...
Continuing from the previous post about THE MORNING.
We were late to the venue about 5 minutes, give or take. Upon arrival, guests were ushered out to the garden and the ceremony pretty much started soon after. It was a garden wedding and my first time attending one, a Western Wedding too! Everything was just interestingly beautiful and touching. Definitely a lot of wonderful moments.
Miss J said that everything went on pretty well during dinner time but I told her this,"for us, the bridesmaids, it was pretty much smooth and good but for the bride, she'll notice everything and somehow, something will not be perfect.". Speaking from a bride's perspective and it is true!
I am not saying as the bride, we want to pick the nitty gritty details of the day apart and just look for an excuse to say the day wasn't perfect but it is because of the need of wanting the day to be perfect that one can't help but notice even the slightest imperfection!
Mostly relevant to brides and not grooms because men in general are laid back and can't be too bothered about details they deemed insignificant to their wedding which in a way, they have got the right approach to their own wedding. LOL. Just enjoy the day and bask in all the attention and love.
Mona the Celebrant did her thing. Guests were welcome from far and near. Letters from bride to mum and groom to parents were read out loud and especially the bride's letter brought tears to many pair of eyes especially her own and her mum's! I had to hold mine in check as the tissue I had in hand was for the bride and none left for me! ;p

Quips and advise from best man, groomsman, bridesmaid and friends were also announced for all to hear. The words 'abusive' and 'crippling' were linked to the bride, unfortunately and much to her slight embarrassment. Vows were exchanged and according to Miss Lawyer, Mr. CL wrote part of it and it was lovely though I can't quote them word for word now. During rehearsal on Thursday, when they did a mock practice, I felt so touched by their vows that I almost teared. Almost being the operative word. LOL.

Groom's mum's prayer for the couple was yet another touching moment. And finally, the signing of the papers making Mr. and Mrs. CL legally binding to one another! ;)

Us, in our lilac bridesmaids dresses
It was a really sunny day albeit a tad too warm. I was sweaty a little bit (not mentioning where) and I really feel for the guys in their jackets! It is a Western Wedding and very much formal despite it being an outdoor event. Many were shielding from the sun and sunnies were used to shade ones eyes.

I guess a sunny weather despite the warmth is a welcome sight as opposed to gloomy skies and showers that were Melbourne's weather for the days leading up to the wedding! I prayed everyday that it would be beautiful sunny day with cool breeze. Am still waiting for the cool breeze but definitely not complaining. ;p

After the ceremony, a quick photo group shot was done. The photographer was just amazing and very well organised. From the moment we arrived in the vintage car till after the ceremony, from the group shots to the bridal party shot leading up to the dinner time and after, I reckon they managed to catch lots of good moments and also especially just the bride and groom!

The photographer was friendly, concise and engaging as she directed people where to stand and the pose she wanted. She asked the bride and groom to kiss, put hands around each other etc and I think it is important as #1 the bride and groom would be reeling from all the activity of the day, #2 to be greeted left and right by friends and family, each wanting to take individual photos with and/of them and not forgetting... #3 you are after all paying the photographers to do their job which is to #4 take lots of pictures of the day.. of the bride and groom with respective family members and with friends, of course.

I am still waiting for my wedding photos but if I am not wrong, Mr. C and I only kissed once and that was him giving me a peck on my cheek! I don't recall taking a proper picture with my brother nor having any portrait shoots with Mr. C! ;( Despite the wedding taking place two months back, I still have lots of post-wedding issues to deal with. In fact, I semi wish (I know it's crazy) I could re-do everything and perhaps, get it right this round. LOL.

Oh well, the idea of perfection can be idealistic and poisonous eh.

The vow

Scallop with asparagus and cherry tomatoes
So, weather was good. Checked! Celebrant was smooth and clear. Checked! Groom and his men was there and ready. Checked! Bride and her maids were all pretty. Checked! Vows were uttered fluently albeit a teary tone. Checked! Friends and family looked happy with canapés and drinks. Checked!

Dinner reception began about 7pm with the bridal party entrance lead by the parents, the groom's men and bride's maids. There was a minor hiccuped whereby Mr. CL's parents went in before the DJ announced them but it's alright. However, I do take slight offence that he mispronounced my family name!

I know it can be tricky to pronounce 'NG' without any consonants but he should have verified before hand the actual pronunciation. LOL. He pronounced my family name as Neng and I only know someone else who has ever called me that and up till this day, it has stuck! ;p

Quail buried under some sort of peas with tomatoes
Entres were either quail or scallop. I decided to play safe and have the quail. After all, it falls under the chicken family doesn't it? And how hard it is to make yummy chicken?? Turns out, it isn't easy as the quail was a tad dry whilst the whiff of the droolsome scallops assailed my nose from Miss Lawyer's platter rendering me to salivate.

My choice for mains, salmon atop asparagus
After that, it was speeches from Miss Lawyer's brother (a really well delivered one), the father of the groom (short, sweet and humourous), the best man and the groom, himself. Next up was the mains. The couple never had the chance to sample their dinner as they were going about greeting and saying their 'hellos' to the guests.

Medium rare beef surrounded by sautéed mushrooms

Risotto for the vegetarians

The happy bride 'dipping' during her bridal waltz
There was some delay in the program of the night as many wanted to talk to the couple and have their photos taken with them. Finally, the DJ got them to cut their lovely three tiered white wedding cake with lilac ribbons. I managed to hook up Miss Lawyer's loooong train to her back before then allowing her to cut the cake and proceed with the rehearsed bridal waltz.

Half way through their waltz, the best man and grooms man led Miss J and I to the dance floor to showcase our box foxtrot that was never rehearsed and bear in mind, it was Miss J and my first time meeting the two guys and vice versa.

Thanked my lucky stars that my dance partner was more down to earth and we ended up in a comfortable swinging left to right and back to left in a relaxed swaying manner, you get the picture. The other dude was trying to be more 'free' and wanted to 'winged it' in his own words. Not sure what he did but let's just say, I was glad he wasn't my dance partner. LOL!

Second song onwards, the dance floor was open to the guests. Mr. C had to come and claim the dance with me or I would've been stuck with the best man the entire evening. Dancing with Mr. C is funny because he.just.can'! I give him points for trying though.

By then, my feet was hurting like crazy and I had to beg reprieve. Time flew by pretty fast for the evening signalling a time happily spent. I was worried with my seating at the bridal party's main table, he would be bored as he only knew two other people at the wedding apart from the bride and groom. All in all, Mr. C had a good time and it was all good. In fact, I think he had a better time getting to know people.

To cut the long story shot, we, the guest saw the couple as they 'rode off into the sunset'.

Western wedding is different in that sense amongst many other things. For ours, a Chinese wedding, we the bridal party stood by the entrance and saw our guests off as we shake each and everyone's hands thanking them for attending our wedding. Miss Lawyer's western wedding saw the guests all crowded around to say their goodbyes to the couple and see them off!

Mr. C and I stayed back and helped with the tidy up, saw the bride's family safely into a cab and dropped some of the friends at Carlton and made our way home. It was a loooong day and a tiring one.

After all the hassles and what not, it was a beautiful occasion and who knew 10 years ago that I would be able to witness my friend's wedding, last weekend night. A truly blessed night. Mr. CL was ever gracious and grateful for all the help they'd received and I can see that they are both happily in love and found their happy endings with one another.

Now, they're on their honeymoon. A moment to relax, rejuvenate and destress before they slowly make their way back to Malaysia for their second wedding!
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Make Natasha Yap our own Malaysian Youtube Star!

You must be wondering who on earth is Natasha Yap...

Wong Fu Productions ring a bell. Joseph Vincent and even the Jayeslee sisters but Natasha?

Who is that??! Siapa perempuan ini??

Well, I came across her own composition, "If you would" from Sarahktw's blog. Natasha's voice is clear, sweet and interestingly good for a Malaysian unless the person recording, Sue is doing an amazing job of enhancing Natasha's voice. LOL.

Check out the song and tell me what you think. The song's lyrics may be simple but it still is sweet and relatable. Looking at her, she actually reminds me of my friend, YC's girlfriend. LOL.

If you're not convinced of her potential, check out her rendition of The Band Perry's "If I die young". I hope to see more covers from her and who knows... she might appear on Ellen Degeneres show. After all, other Youtube stars such as Joseph Vincent have appeared on her show and won 10,000 dollars from the talent competition.

We're always so busy supporting people from other countries, paying bucket loads of cash for their songs and tickets to see them but we tend to forget that we have our very own local talent in need of our support.

In recent years, there's been a steady increase in talent such as stand up comedians Douglas Lim, Quah Jen Han and Phoon Chi Ho, wedding photographers & videographers and off late, interesting production of short clips and singing from independent individuals.

So, do your bit, check this girl out and if you like her singing... leave a comment to encourage her and spread the clip. ;)

Hope to hear more of her and from her! And kudos to Sue for the well done video clip for "If you would". I like how she zooms in and out, focuses on Natasha and parts of it, on the guitar etc.

Miss Lawyer's wedding : The morning

Warning ahead... this is going to be a loooooong post on Miss Lawyer's special day. So, run if you're bored of wedding posts already!!
Last Saturday, I was in Crown Metropol, in Miss Lawyer's room taking turns with the other bridesmaid and the bride to have our hair and make up done up. When I reached after a longer journey than usual, no thanks to the massive jam caused by roadworks on Monash Freeway, Miss J (the other bridesmaid) informed me that Miss Lawyer was out having her nails done only for me to glance at my nails and realised I FORGOT TO PAINT MY FREAKING NAILS!!! ;(
And I saw that Miss J's nails were coiffed and dressed up as pretty as you please in French manicure outfit! Boohoo to me!
Oh well. I was supposed to paint them the night before but it slipped my forever absent mind! Anyhows, it was too late to get them done and I wasn't willing to fork out money to hop on a train or tram to wherever Miss Lawyer was to pay dunnohowmuch just to get my nails done for a few hours. This is small luxury unemployed people have to think and rethink and then, forgo. Double ;(
I was hoping to get my hair done up in some romantic loose bun because I think it'd make me look slimmer in my strapped, long lavender or was it lilac coloured dress made by the awesome Kris of That Special Occasion!
Ok. To clear any confusion, I currently reside in Melbourne and was in Malaysia end last year for my own wedding reception. The week or two before my wedding, Miss Lawyer sprung a surprising question to me and I agreed to be her bridesmaid! For that, I had to get my measurement done by Kris in order to get my bridesmaid dress, go for fittings and hopefully get the dress before I flew back to Australia and this was through a span of 3 weeks or less!
Kris was friendly, efficient and professional when he took my measurement before my wedding and the first fitting after my honeymoon. And was just as amazing when he did my second fitting (because I prolly ate too much after my wedding and during my honeymoon, gorging myself with Thailand and Malaysia's awesome delicacies that I couldn't fit into the dress ;( ) before I took off for Melbourne and all on a tight deadline mentioned above AND despite the rampant public holidays of the season.
I have nothing but only good things to say about him and his service.
The wedding gown made for Miss Lawyer may have looked simple and even the bridesmaids' (our) dresses but when she wore the gown after getting her hair and make up done, she was stunning. Having her silhouette, of course helped, and I now know it's all thanks to her mother's slim genes. If I only I had them, too! LOL. I just knew that Mr. CL was going to have a tough time taking his eyes off her!

The dress of the day

Boutonnière for the mother... or rather lapel corsage.

Bridesmaids bouquet that I got to take home!! wheee...

Bridal bouquet with lovely lilac roses complimented by Austin Roses and Orchids
Miss J and I didn't look too shabby in our dresses too! LOL. The colour was really sweet, not my usual choice of colour but it was picked, in line with Miss Lawyer's wedding theme: lavender and peach. Even her flower bouquets from Joanie of One Wedding Wish was absolutely gorgeous in lilac and peach!

Joanie studied accountancy but instead chose to pursue the wedding industry. Yet another fascinating case of 'chasing one's dreams'. Just like the celebrant (the person officiating the wedding in civil ceremony) for the event, Mona was simply efficient and amazing. I really loved the way she spoke, clear as crystal and yet soft spoken befitting the engagement.

She knew her stuff, that's for sure. I could tell with the tips she gave the bride and the groom before hand (that I was not briefed for my own wedding by my celebrant prolly because he was a guy) such as 'take deep and slow breathes' , 'remember to savour the day... the moment 'cos it's going to go past in a blur and you get to live it only once. So, take your time'.

She had a bad experience (hope I got this right) with her celebrant for her wedding and never want any couple to have such sour encounter. Hence, her being a celebrant on the side. For Melbourne Brides planning their wedding, I would really recommend her. And she also has a lot of references and advice to offer you! ;)

Ok. Back to the wedding. ;p

I tell you now, future brides-to-be, IMPORTANT WEDDING PLANNING TIPS #1 flowers ARE important on your wedding day because you WILL notice the prettiness and WILL definitely lament after the wedding IF you found the bouquet lacking. I know I did for mine. Sometimes, people might not notice the flowers but often than not, it adds to the whole wedding look especially when the bride walks down the aisle, holds such gorgeous creations at photo sessions and throws them to potential future brides.

Once again, the bridal bouquet... was simply beautiful. And I think despite the somewhat hefty price that comes with their services, One Wedding Wish or rather Joanie definitely did a pretty darn good job! Just browsing their site itself, I find the ideas, the creativity inspiring.

Sadly, I didn't get the opportunity to take photos at the wedding venue especially of Joanie's other awesomeness such as the bicycle with drink stations, wishing tree table and what not 'cos as a bridesmaid, my one and only priority of the day was... Miss Lawyer. Making sure she was hydrated, her wedding dress' train was always spread out for good pictures and that her make up was fine amongst other 'duties'.

You can check out the blog for when Joanie gets to blogging about it. So all pictures snapped by me were at the hotel (in this post) and waaaay before the wedding! Any taken during the wedding ceremony and dinner (the next post) was by her friends that I took off their FB.

IMPORTANT WEDDING PLANNING TIPS #2 Another important aspect of a bride-to-be's journey in a bid to look gorgeous for her day is the make up and hair styling! Oh shoots! I forgot the MUA's (make up artiste & hair styler) name! Karen? Something starting with 'K' and one syllable, if my memory serves me right. DARN IT! Hate it when I struggle to jog my failing memory. LOL.

Anyway, she was friendly and another interesting story. She has her qualifications in dentistry but did a related course to make up and hair and the rest they say, is history. It really helps as she gets to be with her children Monday to Friday (instead of having to work only to pay for day care services) and works on clients during the weekends whilst her other half plays mummy. So, win win for all. She gets to be a mummy and be there for her children and yet, have her day out making a difference in a bride-to-be's important day!

Instead of the typical flower headpiece, Miss Lawyer opted for two little bows and I think it was a nice change that suited her well. IMPORTANT WEDDING PLANNING TIPS #3 Dare to be different and be open to try new ideas and who knows, you may very well start a new trend!

I know I've said it before, but I just have to say it again (and no, I am not getting paid at all for all this good raving) that Kris from That Special Occasion did a wondrous job regarding Miss Lawyer's wedding gown and on a really, really tight time frame! Don't be fooled by the simplicity of the gown... sometimes, less really is more! I love the different touch of the bow at the back as requested by the bride-to-be. At first glance, I felt it was too much going on but it grew on me. Bows are so pretty and cutesie!!

It was a simple design with the top being laced V shaped with a body of mermaid cut in satin complimenting Miss Lawyer's figure. I think her hair, make up and just really her, worked the dress.

Being semi perfecionist, I had to adjust and readjust the bow just to get it right. The right side was stubborn and refused to stand proud and pretty. Finally tugging and tucking, I got it to look even, matching and even as the left side! It really does make a difference how long and how fat the bow is. Well, maybe only to me but I take my bridesmaid duties seriously. ;p

IMPORTANT WEDDING PLANNING TIPS #4 Make sure you have an emerfency kit ready! It helped that we had emergency tool kits all packed by the bride (usually Maid of Honour or bridesmaids do this) and ready to be used such as bobby pins, double sided tapes, emergency safety pins, breathmints etc. You can get the checklist online, just Google it and picked the most comprehensive one you can find.

As there was no before-the-wedding shots by the hired photographer of the day mainly because it costs more $$$, I tried my hand taking a few. I reckon I could have taken more if I was not the bridesmaid. Still not happy with my own skills as a photographer. Definitely need to be more discipline to pump in the time to read, research and snap more to improve my skills.

IMPORTANT WEDDING PLANNING TIPS #5 And ladies who are planning your wedding, DON'T forget to get your manicure done the day before your wedding! Make sure you get a hardy one done unlike mine that never did dry properly resulting in two nail surfaces suffering little chips during the night. I hear shellac polish dries fast and thoroughly making it longer lasting according to Miss J.

Lastly, like the dress,IMPORTANT WEDDING PLANNING TIPS #6 the shoes are just as important. As it tends to be hidden under one's volumnious gown what with the length of dress being long, the assumption is it appears out of sight hence, no one will notice. You will be surprise how many pairs of eyes do actually take note of the shoes' colour and design!
Most importantly, make sure you've padded the soles with comfy gel cushions and practice walking in your shoes the whole week prior to your wedding. It is vital to break your shoes in so that it doesn't bite you on your wedding day, the day that you'll be on your feet perpetually the entire event!
For my wedding, once I took off my shoes after everyone had left, I felt like my legs died on me! I had blisters from constant rubbing with the suedeish back cushion that was meant to prevent my foot from slipping out which in the end, didn't really work 'cos my right foot did come out of the gorgeous Wittner bridal white shoes (just a teensy bit) at one point walking towards the stage and causing blisters to boot!
You'd think I would have learnt from my past mistake and not repeat it for this wedding. Oh boy. The silver Nine West shoes I got on sale from DFO in the city that I wore for Miss Lawyer's wedding - initially meant for my wedding but didn't match my dresses - crippled my poor toes. I literally couldn't feel them after withstanding 5 hours of the excruciating pain walking, running around the bride and dancing with the best man that I just had to take them off.
Even then, I was dragged onto the dance floor by Mr. C and later on, Miss Lawyer's really friendly and great dancer friends! Her friend even took off her shoes to accompany my shoe less state. So sweet. But I had to bow out to rest my tortured feet.
A vintage car accompanied by really poor air conditioning with a friendly Colonel Sanders lookalike driver ferried me, Miss J and Miss Lawyer to the venue summing up the happenings before the wedding at 5pm in Arlington Wattle Park Chalet.
I did warn you this was a looooong post right? ;p
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Lent and fasting

I'll be out today bringing a friend I met back home in Malaysia who'd be visiting from Queensland around city. Definitely will help with my no FB and no milk tea diet. I'll just have Char Koay Teow or Ying Thai's yum Tom Yam Sai Sen and try out the coffee cafes!!!
Wheee.... Ok. I am making light of Lent but... it's serious stuff and I am serious about it.
I find it a struggle squelching my urge to post any good article's or blog post on FB! My sister whatasapped me saying I should fast from all social network including Plurk and Twitter since it's similar concept. Gosh. I'll try FB first for this first week and see how things goes. ;)
Taking the train into city soon.
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