Keys to the Future


HDB has finally furnished us with a date for key collection! And that special date is the 7th of October!

I know it’s possible to request an earlier key collection, but honestly we’re far from ready to receive our keys. I don’t know why but we’ve been really taking our time (or procrastinating, rather) with the planning. I think much of it has to do with the fact that I’m still, after almost a year, recovering from the exhaustion of planning our wedding (which is almost a year ago now!). Also, knowing that planning for a house is probably going to be 100 times more exhausting just puts me off.

Have you seen that Doctor Doors commercial in between episodes of Renovaid on Channel 5? The one with this lady waking up in the middle of the night screaming like a mad woman? And it turns out that she’s having nightmares — about renovation? I thought that was frickin’ hilarious. I laughed my guts out the first time I saw it. But it got me thinking, hey, that could be me! And then I shuddered.

But now that key collection is just around the corner, I don’t think we can put it off any longer. Faz and I already have a general idea of how I’d like our house to look, but it’s time to get into the specifics like what kind materials we want and everything.

Faz, as usual, has agreed to leave the interior design ideas to me — on the condition that he gets to be in charge of the home entertainment system. I don’t see what’s the big deal about having a home entertainment system. Never having one never killed me, and to be honest I actually even think it’s a waste of money, but I’d better be picking my battles wisely. I have a premonition of myself liking a nice, expensive piece of furniture I can’t get out of my head — which of course Faz will happen to think is an absolute waste of money….

My interior design preferences have evolved over the years — from ‘industrial loft’ to now, ‘rustic scandinavian’.

I still do like the industrial loft concept, but I think the novelty will wear off and over time I’ll wish I had a warmer concept to my home. I’ll probably still retain some industrial elements, but I’ll keep them to a minimum.

I’ve never been a fan of ‘modern executive’ interiors with its sleek, shiny surfaces because it reminds me too much of an office and all the stresses of work. I want my home to be an escape — a laidback place to relax and unwind, which is why we’ve decided to do away with one bedroom to make for a bigger living room. The space will be mostly white, typical of Scandinavian interiors, but rustic with lots of wooden surfaces and earthy tones, and contrasted with thoughtfully curated pops of colour.

It may take a while before our house is fully furnished though because I think I’m going to be very picky about the pieces of furniture we buy. Every single piece has to count!

Seeing as to how we have yet to meet our ID to discuss our plans, I foresee that our house will only be ready for move-in by end December or early January. But the sad thing is that I’ll actually have to move out of my parents’ house earlier — as early as October! My brother’s getting married in November, and he and his future wife will be moving into my room. My sister, who is a sad case because she’s currently roomless and lives in a makeshift “room” in our study, will take over my brother’s former room. With all the rooms occupied, it looks like I’ll have to stay over at my in-laws’ for about a month or so while waiting for our house to be ready.

October is just next month, so I’ll have to start packing real soon! SOBS!

Can’t believe my time at my parents’ is going to be up…FOREVER. Moving out is truly going to be bittersweet. I’m absolutely elated to be starting this new chapter of my life with my soulmate, but I’m going to be miss everyone sorely. How do you go from years and years of living with the same faces — to suddenly living on your own?



2014: The most exciting year yet!

2014 is going to be a really exciting year for Faz and I!

Apart from forging closer knit relationships with each other and our families, we’re going to be planning for our first home, which is the next big project for us. We’re expecting to receive our keys somewhere in Q3 2014, but whether we’ll get them earlier is really anyone’s guess.

I know I should have already moved on to “house” mode, but I’m still stuck in “wedding” mode. I feel like I need to be done with all wedding-related matters like publishing all wedding- and honeymoon-related entries and getting our wedding photos printed before I can open a new chapter, y’know what I mean?

Some of the other things I’m looking forward to in 2014:

  • Whipping myself (and Faz) back into good shape! The rate at which we’ve ballooned these two months post-wedding is ALARMING, and it’s got to STOP. Time to participate in some races!
  • Spending our first Ramadhan and Eid as husband and wife.
  • A wedding in the family.
  • Parenting classes. I’ve no desire for kids at the moment, but I think we should be prepared for when it happens. And besides, it’ll give us something interesting to do instead of our usual movie and dinner dates.
  • Travelling. I don’t know how much travelling we can do with the house coming along but I’m hoping for at least ONE destination — not too much to ask, is it?
  • I really let myself loose these two months, but it’s now time to save like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Starting a daily gratitude blog to record the things I feel happy or grateful for as they come so that I can look back in life and remember only the good things. Case in point: I can only remember two things in 2013 — our wedding and the stress of wedding planning.
  • Work on my spirituality.

May this year be even better than the last for you, me and everybody! <3

La chambre nuptiale.

Would you believe I had tried to set up an appointment with The Wedding Chateau on Hari Raya?

That’s how far down the list Raya is on my mind this year. I haven’t even had the time to get all sentimental about this being my last Raya as a single and how next year will be different. However I did bother enough to get myself an outfit, tee hee!  Well what can I say, shopping is always a pleasure!

Most wedding vendors take a backseat during Ramadhan, especially the last two weeks leading up to Raya so since there weren’t going to be much of meetings, I had scheduled a bridal bedroom revamp. Our new queen bed will also be arriving end August, so it was a good time to do it.

I didn’t opt for bridal room decor service because I honestly think it’s a waste of money. You pay a couple hundred bucks for it but at the end of the day you’ll have to return all the fixtures and your room will go back to the way it was before. To me, it seems more worth it to do it yourself.

So the original plan was just to 1) paint my room, 2) replace my curtain rod, 3) get new curtains and bedsheets and 4) some small and inexpensive room decor items but somehow the tasks mated and multiplied! It all started after we painted my room a light tiffany blue, when my brother suggested I get a chandelier, or something with more oomph as a focal point for my room….

I was swayed, so off we went to Balestier Road. Crystal chandeliers can cost a bomb so I initially thought of getting a cheaper acrylic one. But I guess I didn’t know any better because when we did manage to find one, I discovered why it was so hard to find — they were downright ugly, compared to the glorious crystal ones.

Weaving in and out of shops, we found that Strass Lightings offered the cheapest price after some negotiation. I scored myself a clear crystal chandelier at $230 + $35 installation fee, when the original price was $698!

And while the contractor was there to install the chandelier, we got his help to drill new holes for my new curtain rod as well. I had initally bought an Ikea drill only to realise no good drill would ever cost $39, and then borrowed a Bosch from my friend, only to run into a metal beam at the first hole. The contractor’s arrival was very timely, but he left an astounding amount of dust all over my room.

The chandelier installation also revealed a hideous black mark around where my previous light used to be, so we had to repaint the entire ceiling, a task I had underestimated. And of course, after that I had to clean my room again for the nth time in three weeks.

All this, when the original plan was to execute four simple tasks. So much for hoping my room will be ready in time for Raya — it’s the second week of Raya and it’s still not ready!

But I guess it’s safe to say the hard part (the painting) of the job is over, and my room’s coming together slowly but surely.

Thank god for a helpful fiancé and siblings!

Favour Fervour

Wow, I just realised my last wedding prep update was back in June. Six whole months gone — with nary an update! Tsk, tsk.

But fortunately that doesn’t mean we’ve been idling. In these six months, we’ve entrusted Ola Lola to doll up our gift trays, and booked a slot for our marriage preparation course with SuChi Success this coming January. That’s two less things to worry about, yay!

We’ve also been looking for tableware because the package we’re going to take with CJS includes only disposables (which Faz was initially ok with — are you crazy?!). To rent their tableware, it worked out to be $4/pax, which is ridiculous! We’re enquiring with a couple of companies, but until we sign a rental agreement, we think it would be better to hold off the booking for CJS first. And we can afford to do this only due to the fact that CJS is not so popular among Malay couples because it doesn’t cater traditional Malay fare. Many jaws have dropped upon hearing we haven’t secured a caterer yet. Relax, relax.

Another item on the checklist I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time working on is getting quotes for wedding favours.

It was clear we had to take matters into our own hands after looking at the options available in local favour stores online. The favours are all so cookie-cutter meh. While largely acceptable/presentable, they don’t make much of an impression.

Anyway to cut the story short, we’ve narrowed our options down to two items: loose tea leaves or honey.

Either of these would go so well with the theme of our wedding decor, which we decided is something along the lines of “The Enchanted Forest”. For this, Najihah picked out a palette of greens and antique gold, with accompanying pastel colours. I was practically hyperventilating when she presented the proposal to us!


I like this! The wooden dipper really completes the look, doesn’t it?
Source: The Knot

A simpler version with a piece of burlap over the cap with a tag secured to it.
Source: Creative Chatter

Loose Tea Leaves

Not sure about how the loose tea leaves will hold in the muslin bag, exposed to air. You can’t see the contents either. Probably not such a good idea, but does look cute!
Source: ideachic on Etsy

Or you could put them in glass jars like these. Just had to LOL at the tag. Get Teapsy! Hahaha!
Source: Quiet Like Horses

Now, this, is my ultimate favourite! Can’t find a justification for putting loose tea leaves in a test tube…does working in healthcare count? Not everything has to have a rationale right?
Source: The SoHo

This one looks less like a test tube. An alternative we can adopt, perhaps!
Source: HGTV

I’m leaning more towards the loose tea idea because a tube of tea leaves feels more solid in the hand than a small 30g or 40g jar of honey. If we were to pick loose tea, we’re thinking to have fruit tisanes (tea leaves with infusions of dried fruit) because it’s more colourful and looks more appealing.

I’ve gotten a couple of quotes for both the honey and tea. I’ve yet to taste them myself, so I foresee this quest is going to take a while. In the end though, I guess the determining factor will be the price.

While we’re on the topic of favours, I thought I’d just put it out there: although I am largely impartial to the favours I receive as a guest to weddings, let’s admit it: there are some that are a little cringe-worthy.

Although your wedding day is all about you, do spare some thought about the recipients before you go ahead and do something so shamelessly narcissistic like print your names bound in a large heart on, say, the mugs you’re about to give as favours. Or worse — print your photo on them!

Personally, I think it’s creepy to be drinking from a mug with another couple’s names or photos on it. I don’t believe we have that kind of a relationship (even if we’re good friends) for me to be drinking from such a mug. Think about it. What if the recipient is someone you’re not even close to? The names and photos on the mug will be meaningless, and what is he to do with the mug then? Well, he might be compelled to use it if one day by some strange force of nature he woke up to find all his other mugs in pieces on the kitchen floor and yours was the only one that escaped unscathed (if I were him I would be really freaked out at this point, by the way). But until that happens, chances are your mug will be banished to the gallows (read: your store room).

But that’s just me. For some people, a mug is a mug is a mug. I, on the other hand, just find it really weird to be drinking from a mug with another couple’s name on it….IN A HEART! It’s like I’m defiling some sacred temple of love! Or like I’m some psychotic fan of your undying love for each other (think die-hard Edward and Bella fans, and how they would probably slit their wrists if Stephenie Meyer had decided to split them up at the end).

I get that you want to leave your mark, but couldn’t it have been done in a less narcissistic way that adds value to the mug for the recipient? Maybe the mug can have a nice design on it so that people wouldn’t mind actually using it, and your names can still appear but in a less obvious manner — like in smaller font or in a less conspicuous spot on the mug.


My Eid Twenty-Twelve

Eid Mubarak!

Hope everyone’s been having a ball of a time. I, on the other hand, have seen better days. I developed a throbbing headache a day before Eid, and it went on for a couple of days! I suspect I may have taken the spring-cleaning a bit too far. I took a week’s leave from work the last week of Ramadhan to help prepare the house for Eid. I didn’t think it would actually take a whole week, but it did.

My parents are such hoarders! The amount of stuff they’ve amassed over the last 28 years is just….unbelievable. It’s a challenge to convince them to throw stuff away. Sure, these things cost them money but if they’re just sitting there and eating into living space, then I think it’s just better to pass them on, seriously.

But it’s a lesson learnt. When Faz and I get our own place, I’ll make it a point to buy only the things we need. And if I want to buy something new, something old has to go. It’s the only way I can think of to prevent stuff from accumulating.

On the topic of Eid, I really enjoy looking at my Facebook timeline during this period. I love how colourful it is! It’s endearing to see people making an effort to dress up in Malay garb (polka dots seem to be in trend this year) and unite with family and friends over good food.

I must be under some sort of spell because for the first time in my life, I did not buy a single piece of clothing or accessory for Eid this year. Hell, I didn’t even set foot in Geylang to get the customary dengdeng and Ramly burger! Instead of buying our raya goodies like we always do, I also convinced my mom that we could bake them. Seriously, this is a breakthrough for me because I’ve never been thrifty type. Boyfriend, if you’re reading this, you should be proud because this illustrates my level of commitment! My hope is that one day I’ll finally be able to fully internalise thrifty living, making it a principle of life. Very tough to do, though.

What I’m NOT proud of is….that Project Wedding Body has taken a backseat! Instead of taking advantage of Ramadhan to lose weight, I took the bloody backseat. I’m very, very, VERY disappointed in myself. It’s such a waste because I was doing so well before. I’m back at square one now, having to work hard to build up my stamina — again. Especially after all the sugary stuff I’ve been eating. PFFT.

To make things worse, I totally forgot that the 10km Safra Bay Run that I had signed up for is on 9 September! That’s in two bloody weeks. And the 6km Yellow Ribbon Prison Run is just the week after. I thought I had a couple more months to go! I’m so dead.

Looks like I’ll have to redeem myself during the Great Eastern Women’s 10k in November. NO EXCUSES.

R is for Reluctance

So June is less than a month away now. If you recall, one of my 2012 resolutions was to book most of the important vendors by June.

That’s going really well. -.-

To date we’ve secured the venue, photographer and videographer. We’ll talk about our choices later on a sidenote, but yes, ONLY these three! I am beginning to panic a little.

After self-disecting my very muddled brain, I now know the true reason why I’ve been putting off making appointments with vendors.

Apart from general indecisiveness (which bridal company to choose, how many outfits I want tailored, etc), I found out that I am actually RELUCTANT to splurge on a half-day affair.

Right now, I would say I’m about 60% reluctant. The remaining 40% is basically me being a brat stamping my feet, going “NAK JUGAK!!”.

Heck, who am I kidding. Ok, it’s the other way round.

Still, 40% reluctance is a stronghold. It’s almost half! Every time I think of how the money can go towards supplementing our plans for our house (I’ve grand plans for this too, much to the boyfriend’s trepidation), the percentage goes up. And then when I think of wedding celebrations — the many people I treasure around me sharing our joy, pretty dresses, how smashing everything in its entirety will look in photos — well, it goes down again. It’s very volatile.

I have a feeling we’ll end up at the “NAK JUGAK” end of the spectrum — simply because my heart wants it. We’re trying to cut down on costs, but it’s really hard because we’ve already cut out the frivolous things and cutting any further would mean a compromise on quality (plus there are a few aspects of the wedding that I just can’t persuade my heart to let go). The reality of it is that I think I would be more upset if we didn’t go ahead with these things than if we chose to scrimp on it. Furthermore, money can be replenished but you only get married once. And I mean, it’s not like we’ll be spending an unreasonable amount to begin with…

/sends doe-eyed looks the boyfriend’s way

Gah, a rather pointless post, I know.

What kind of decorator are you?

While we’re on the topic of housing, decor and the likes, here’s a fun quiz on Oprah to find out which decorator profile you belong to.

What Kind of Decorator Are You?

My score was 25, and this was my decorator profile:

“You don’t make outlandish decorating decisions, but your home is definitely you. Try experimenting with new looks, becoming even more responsive to your own vision and less driven by the approval of others.”

This is relatively true.

It’s true, I’m not an outlandish person. I do like to be different — but a brand that’s some levels safer than outrageous. And whilst I do tend to seek approval and attention, I’m one to do it subtly — not in a manner that demands attention.

I wonder what profile the other half belongs to.

Speaking of him! It’s been 57 days since his last post. *raises eyebrow*

Like hamsters at a pet shop.

I am officially aghast at how small new flats are.

Thanks to a friend of ours, we were able to view his brother’s newly-moved-in 4-room flat in Sengkang. His flat was of interest to us because it shares the exact same floor plan as the ones in the Costa Ris project — and also the 4- and 5-room BTO projects in Tampines.

Just how many new HDB projects share this very crappy floor plan, I wonder. Toilet right smack in front of the bathroom sink?!

My first reaction when I stepped into the flat — at the risk of sounding like a total diva, complain queen or whatever but I’m not about to lie — was that of horror. I wasn’t expecting the living room to be that small from the floor plan. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve mistaken the whole flat for a 3-room!

Just to be clear, I’m referring solely to the size of the flat. The living room didn’t feel like the living room of a whole house — just a part of it. It felt more like a chalet or like a small hotel room where you’d stay a few days, not where you actually live.

I sat on the couch, feeling a huge disconnect with the house. With the government. With Singapore.

Crappy floor plans, influx of foreigners (not racist, just feel Singapore’s losing its original identity), skyrocketing prices of housing that are shrinking in size….what the hell, Singapore? This isn’t the Singapore I once swore never to leave!

Anyway, point is I felt really claustrophobic. The home is supposed to be a retreat, a place for you to wind down. But I could never give birth to inspiration within those four walls.

That is, unless I add more walls by breaking down the bedroom next to the living room. But doing this ensures we can’t live there for long if we plan to have children. And we do.

This is where the disconnect extends into a dilemma. I’m thinking if we should get a resale flat instead. This’ll save us the hassle of having to move again after five years, and after having grown attached to our house (despite the major space constraint, I’m pretty sure we’ll manage to make it look fantastic). Then there’s also the question of whether we’d be ready to finance one in two years.

It’s strange, though. The boyfriend, who is grizzly-sized, doesn’t seem to mind the small space! I strongly think that his excitement has clouded his judgment.

Somehow the rest of the house didn’t matter as much to me as the living room because the latter’s the first thing people see when they enter the house. It’s where people congregate and hang out, so it’s got to be nicer and more spacious. The rest of the house is already so small — I need to have at least one area where inspirations can be born.

Despite my gripes, I still really am looking forward to it. There is absolutely no doubt my anticipation far outweighs my anguish. Our house may be small, yes, but I promise it’ll also be nothing short of fantastic.