When companies are too efficient

I got a call today saying that my wedding ring was ready and I could collect it. The collection date was supposed to be end of this month whaaaaa?? On one hand oh my god my ring is reADY but on the other hand I don’t own a safe.

Is it weird to keep your own ring? As much as I love the mat I don’t trust that this ring will not go missing in his room.

Three down, many to go

So somehow this week we managed to settle two things (surprise! sloths apparently act fast when in some kind of… productive panicky mood) and I am well on my way to creating a full set of Google docs. I know, who am I??

Actually you know what, we settled three things because the mat freaked out that some of the hotels/apartments he saved in Agoda for our honeymoon are all booked so he decided to just book everything. I’m not even making this up, our honeymoon is settled. And our wedding is not. I don’t even know what to say. On Thursday I was in his room staring at apartments, chalets, hotels and a shed (that look cute and cozy and I was about that life until we see the outdoor pic and it turns out we would be living in someone’s backyard and the toilet was separate which explained why it was going for $45) and we’re like what the heck is going on why is everything booked on the days we wanna go? It’s not even peak period it’s not the world cup it’s not the nation’s 50th birthday what is going on??

Then when I met him yesterday he’s like ok I booked everything because I didn’t want to be houseless here’s the breakdown. Boom. The man knows how go full speed ahead when he wants to.

(Also on Thursday he discovered that I get whiny and make really bad jokes when I’m tired. But that’s a whole other story.)

The first thing we settled were the wedding invitations. I decided that somebody needed to start doing something and if that someone was me fine. A woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do. Seeing how I absolutely despise talking to people (how did I do mass comm for 7 years is BEYOND ME) I decided to start with the only vendor that the Landmark gave me that had an email – my wedding cards vendor.

I remember really liking some of the designs that they showed at the wedding expo back in January, so I figured it shouldn’t really be a stressful thing (coughberkatcough). Connie from T Dragon Cards got back to me in 2 days with some photos of the designs we could pick. Now if you go to their website it might look like something done up by a secondary school kid circa 2004 hosted by Angelfire but these fellas do cards for some big hotels. Like that banquet wedding package that’s $1080/table? They’re the card vendors. So they’re legit, just that their website is not.

You can order the cards online or you can go to their showroom to look at the cards. We decided to go down and take a look, and I’m glad that we did because there’s a difference when you look at the cards in real life and touch them. The mat actually was really keen on this card that looked black in the photo they sent us but in reality it was more of a dark blue. It wasn’t printed on blue card either, it was on white semi-matte card. So if you printed one side the back was white and if you printed it both sides the edges were white. I could tell he was disappointed about it and I was disappointed about it too because this was something that he took interest in and y’all there are some things he just does not care about (e.g. bridal). But at the same time I’m not blaming T Dragon Cards because they’re probably given an budget to work with and dark blue card most likely exceeded that budget.

We ended up choosing another design and topped-up additional cost for having double sided printing. For the record, they do have those traditional cards with the two page inserts but neither of us were interested in those. And we couldn’t just have one language because he was going to invite important non-Malay people and I wanted to have Malay on the cards because I’m not about the “kacang lupakan kulit” life. Also my grandmother would never let me forget my sins and will bring that up even at her deathbed.

One of my aunts couldn’t understand why I paid for the double sided printing when they offered me those traditional cards. She said that it’s just a card, people throw away cards. And she’s right, but you know what; I’m known as the girl that does design and I’m not going to put my name on a meh card and mail it out. That card better be aesthetically pleasing because I got a reputation to maintain. If all they offered me were meh cards I would design one myself. Is that petty and kind of bridezilla? Probably. Do I care? No.

So we’re getting the cards hopefully around September if the drafts turn out fine. Then I need to make space to store all of those cards and pray hard that they don’t get yellow spots by December.

The second thing we settled was the kurus rumah tangga. I’m not gonna lie, I kinda delayed this because when you attend this course it’s basically saying, this is real. Which I should be okay with but I’m kind of worried about it because I worry about lots of things. Like what if the guy asks me “So what is his favourite song?” and I get it wrong? I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s stressful like maybe the people we’re going for this course with know each other for donkey years and know everything about each other, including but not limited to what time they pee after lunch, how many days a week they snore in their sleep and how long do their shoes last. And I suppose in an ideal world I should know everything about the mat before I marry him but let’s be real you will never know everything about a person until you live with them. What if the people doing the course tell us “look man, you guys don’t know enough about each other” what would that mean? Am I stressing myself out for no good reason? I don’t know.

Anyway. Deep (or maybe not too deep) thoughts aside, on Friday afternoon while discussing about going to take a look at the wedding cards my brain decided it would be a good time to check out the timings for the course that were still available. An hour later we’ve booked one and all we gotta do now is remember to attend it.

Now that I’m sort of on a slow roll, I should probably settle my photographer and bridal issues this coming week.

Sudden panic mode

I’m kind of freaking out.

Idk is it because it’s 12am and my brain goes haywire after 11.30 these days, but I’m now worried that the wedding is going to be a mess. It could also be because my mom is not talking to me right now because of freaking berkat, because I want to see if there are more affordable options instead of what she wants. And it could also be me realising that it’s only 7 months to go and I haven’t gotten quite a few things done because wedding planning is the last thing I want to do when I come home from work or when I go out with the mat.

I now truly understand why my colleague said “I’ll never get married again because I never want to plan another wedding”.

Finish 17 in 2017 Q2

My first update here.

The last time I had an update for this project I had used up 4 items. This time I’ve only used up 1, but I’m not surprised in the slightest because most of these things have a long way to go.

Finished

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RICH Argan Oil Elixir – YAS THIS IS GONE! After the halfway mark I went through it a lot faster than I expected. This product did almost nothing for my hair. It tamed major frizz and major poof but there was still frizz and poof. My ends sometimes were still feeling dry. Never buying this again.

For reasons unknown I didn’t include in the last post that I finished up the Sally Hansen Nail Polish Remover?? I’m pretty sure I used it up before April.

We’re halfway there!

Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips
Goal: Finish

vaseline

From the outside it looks like there’s still a lot of product and practically no progress, but the inside is half cleared. I love how my lips are super moisturized when I use this. The stickiness in the morning if I don’t scrub my lips, though,  I don’t love so much.

Dior Addict Lipstick in 871 Power
Goal: Finish

dior-lipstick

I used up more than I expected, especially since mid June I got so sick of using this I started using other lip products more often. Like I’ve said previously, it’s a nice formula but it’s not my favourite colour. I just want to finish this up so that I can use other things that I like better (ahem Primark matte lip) without this just sitting around in my drawer not getting love.

Still gotta werk

Caudalie Moisturizing Mask and Glycolic Peel Mask
Goal: Finish

I was busy focusing on using up a lot of sheet masks because I was getting uncomfortable at how many I had, so I didn’t do much with these. I used the moisturizing one once, it was nice. Still keeping to my goal to finish these because I believe it can be done since I’m left with only 3 sheet masks.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus 
Initial Goal: Use half | New Goal: Use 1/3 

clinique-lipstick

I was still not using this even when I put it with all my daily makeup, so two weeks back I told myself I was going to use this at least once every week. So far I have worn it twice and it works. It flatters my skin tone but it makes my teeth look yellower than it does, so I try to remember not to flash my teeth too much when I use this.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray
Goal: Finish

clinique-spray

I used up almost half of this in Europe where it was dry af and my skin felt blessed by this. I forgot it for the first 4-5 days of the trip which is a shame because I’m sure I would have used more – Amsterdam was very cold and dry. I’m now going to try to use it up at work where the air-con blasts down upon me.

Colourpop Super Shock Cheek in Between The Sheets
Goal: Finish 1/3

colourpop-blush

I was trying to use up the sides and slowly work inwards because I heard that cream products dry out faster if you start using them up from the centre, but it didn’t work out. I’ve learnt that Colourpop pans are pretty shallow at the centre and deeper at the sides, but I’m not mad about that because I like using this. I’m glad that I put this in the project because I now know I actually like cream blush more than powder. Who would freaking imagine, especially after years of “beauty gurus” and magazines telling me that cream blush was more suited for dry skin?

Colourpop Lippie Stick in Konichiwa 
Initial Goal: Finish | New Goal: Finish 1/2

colourpop-lipstick

There is waaaaaaaaay more product in this lippie than I expected. I use this on days I wear more cool toned clothes (usually purple) because I find it really clashes with my skin when I wear warm toned clothes. Colour aside it performs beautifully – doesn’t smudge all over my chin, fades evenly, doesn’t stain my lips, doesn’t dry my lips out. If only Colourpop had a retail outlet so you can really see what something looks like on you.

Palmer’s Hair Removal Cream 
Goal: Finish

hair-remover

I’ve only used this on my legs once since it brought my dry skin back with a vengeance when I used it two weeks in a row. I’m willing to have leg hair if it means I don’t have painful, cracked dry skin. The one time I used it I didn’t suffer, though, so I will slowly work through this.

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in 170 Natural Beige
Goal: Finish

foundation

Considering how little foundation I use everyday I am proud of how much I’ve used up. I enjoy using this because it gives off a really natural finish – like my friend couldn’t tell I had foundation on. It could be because I use a thin layer all over and then a 2nd thin layer in some areas, but it works really well for me since I’m not about that full coverage life. I just wish that it held back some of the mad shine on my forehead.

Silkygirl Perfect Sharp Eyeliner 
Goal: Finish

This is trash. There is no other way to describe it. It takes forever to dry down so that you can draw over it without moving product around. I don’t have time for that in the morning. Nobody got time for that. I know my eyelids aren’t as smooth as they were when I was a teenager, but this eyeliner just keeps giving me jagged lines. Transfers so bloody easily. I actually use less eyeliner now because it’s too much effort.

Sleek Contouring and Blush Palette 
Goal: Hit pan on bronzer

sleek-bronzer

This is truly the bronzer than never ends. I use this almost every single day and I still have not hit pan. Good to know that I’m getting my money’s worth.

Overall thoughts for the 2nd quarter

This project has taught me quite a bit about my makeup preferences. Because I liked using the Colourpop blush so much, I’ve been finding myself pairing this with one of their highlights in the similar formula. I also tried using one of the highlights as an eyeshadow and it worked out really well. I am worried that these products will go bad on me soon since I started using them around Nov/Dec last year and I’ve heard many people say that the shelf life is around a year.

I’ve also learnt that those damn hydrating sprays are definitely not for me. I keep forgetting about the Clinique one over here because our climate isn’t so dry to the point that I want to reach for it.

6 down, 11 to go! Here are my goals for the next update:

  1. Use Colourpop Konichiwa at least 10 times
  2. Use 1/2 of the Clinique hydrating spray
  3. Use 1/2 of the Vaseline lip balm

Empties – Q2 2017

I actually started drafting this post on the first week of Raya when I finally got an off day, but I didn’t manage to finish this and I’ve been either playing catch up at work or going visiting every night (until today I’m still trying to understand why I had so many houses to visit??) so here I am, in mid-July, talking about all the things that I’ve finished up throughout the past 3 months. (Longgg post ahead)

I do these posts because I want to know what works for me and what doesn’t so that I can make better shopping decisions in the future. Seeing how much I use up also shows me how long it takes for me to finish something and hopefully prevents me from buying backups or stocking up on a type of product because “I might run out of it” (I am super guilty for doing this with lotions)

From this post onwards I’m also going to be including the price of these items so that when I look at this post at the end of the year I can look at how much I had spent on all the things that sucked and remind myself to stop impulse buying when I’m at Watsons/Guardian. You may think oh it’s just Watsons it’s not Sephora or MAC but no… when you think “oh this is cheap” you buy a lot of other things because they’re all “cheap” and when the cashier says “So that’s $87.50” you’re like where did my money go????

If you’re reading this on the lookout for something to try, keep in mind that I have:

  1. combination skin (oily T-zone, sometimes dry af cheeks),
  2. pores that are constantly clogged, and
  3. possibly sensitive skin, because a lot of products break me out and they’re the painful kind of breakouts not just closed comedones

This month I’ve used up S$165.89 worth of products and decluttering S$41.14 worth of products. This amount is based on what I paid for these items, i.e. samples and gifts are S$0.00 and the cost of items from beauty boxes/sets are calculated as “price of box / no. of items” instead of price per ml.

MAKEUP

This quarter I didn’t finish any makeup items which clearly shows how slowly I use up makeup even though I wear makeup at least 5 times a week. I’m not really surprised since I finished two big ticket items in the previous quarter (a lipstick and a foundation) and nothing else was close to being finished back in March. I am, however, getting rid of three lip products as they have all gone bad.

Colourpop Satin Lip in Echo Park (S$8.57) was a little drying for my lips but nothing too terrible. The smell was chemical-y from the get go but one day I opened it up and it smelt bad. I haven’t even had it for a year.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Perky (S$8.57) was horrendous. It was so drying that I couldn’t even wear it for more than 20 mintues because I felt like I was going to damage my lips if I wore it for a full day. I tried combining it with less drying liquid lipsticks but it still felt uncomfortable. I noticed one day that it actually started to separate and when I opened it the smell was super nasty. I bought this and Echo Park back in November, which means these fellas only have a life span of about 4 months in this climate. Ridiculous. Never repurchasing Colourpop liquid lipsticks.

One of my Clinique Chubby Sticks in Mega Melon (S$24) had gone bad – I brought it to Europe with me and it didn’t do its job at all. It got flaky and smelt pretty waxy and I decided it was time to let it go. This has taught me to not buy backups of something that I love unless I’m really low on the one I’m currently using. Serious heart pain having to toss this.

CLEANSING

cleansing

H&M Gently Does It Cleansing Wipes (S$4.90) | These were so good. Saturated up till the last piece, which rarely happens for wipes in this kind of packaging. It’s so much cheaper than the Simple wipes and it removes my makeup just as well. I’m currently trying to wean off wipes but if I need some in the future I’d buy these again.

Swisse Micellar Water (S$8.15) | I was drawn to this because it had a short ingredients list and I couldn’t get it in Singapore (I got this in Australia). There is a cucumber smell since it has cucumber extract, but after a while I got used to it. This removed my makeup as good as the Bioderma and Garnier one. If I could find it here at this price I would repurchase.

Guardian Cotton Wool Pads (S$1.53) | They get the job done. I have 2.5 packets to go, not purchasing any cotton wool anytime soon.

SKINCARE – FACE

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Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum (Sample) | This saved my skin in Europe. My skin is infamous for suddenly becoming drier than a damn desert in Europe even in early summer let alone this year’s absurdly cold spring. This serum isn’t too thick so my skin absorbs it quickly and I can do two thin layers if I really need to. Back home this keeps my skin nice and hydrated even when I use a tiny amount. This shit is not cheap though – on the Chanel website the full size is USD$110!! – so I’ll just stick to these travel sized samples I sometimes get.

Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (Sample) | This reminds me more of a more cream than a gel, and it’s one of the few cream moisturizers that doesn’t break me out. It’s a little thick so if you have these samples you should cut the tube in half because there is so much product in the corners that you can’t squeeze out. I think after I cut the tube I used it for at least another week. In a cold and dry climate it works very well but in this humid country I don’t think it’s really worth buying since other cheaper moisturizers I’ve tried work well too.

Innisfree The green tea seed cream (Sample) | I got this as part of a welcome pack together with a serum, an eye cream and a sheet mask. I think I got maybe 3 uses out of this. It broke me out pretty badly, the kind of pimples that were super inflamed and they hurt. Would not purchase.

Innisfree The green tea seed serum (Sample) | I don’t remember anything about this serum except that it also broke me out. Would not purchase.

Chanel Sublimage La Creme Yeux (Sample) | The eye cream that makes my panda eyes bearable. This claims to plump the skin and reduce appearance of dark circles and I agree it fulfills those claims. I don’t know why the full size is in a tub because this packaging is so much more sanitary and practical. A little really goes a long way – I use literally a pinhead of product. Going to be sad when my samples run out because I don’t want to buy the full size, I’m afraid it will expire before I’m done.

Innisfree Bija Cica Balm (Sample) | This is a very recent addition, I got this on Tuesday in a trial kit that Innisfree was giving out. I’ve been curious about the claims of this product so obviously I ran to the nearest store when I found out they were giving the kits out to members. This is supposed to be for 1 use but unless you are using it all over your body or you have a really, really big face there is way more product in here. I used it 6 times, so there’s no way that I’m using it incorrectly – my face would have been a mess if I slathered all of this on for 1 use. So far so good, but I’m going to continue using the other 3 samples before I decide if I should buy the full size or not.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (Sample) | I have two more samples of this so I’m going to continue to test this out because I’m not too sure what this actually did for me. The consistency is thicker than the other serums and it doesn’t really feel like it’s being absorbed into my skin. Maybe I’m using too much? Will update when I’m done with the other 2 samples.

MASKS

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LipHop K Mask Vita C Skin / LipHop K Mask Vita F Skin / LipHop Black Cheers Rice Nourishing Facial Mask (S$1.93 each) | Got these when Guardian was having the 3 for 2 promo. They were ok, nothing special. My skin felt hydrated afterwards but the next day it was back to normal. Would not repurchase any of these.

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My Beauty Diary Platinum & Pearl Brightening Mask (Gift) | This had two pieces, one for the top half of my face and one for the bottom half and part of my neck. It had earholes so that the mask didn’t fall off, and my chin area looked a little firmer when I took it off. Of course, that result was temporary. The interesting thing was that it didn’t do much for my face but it made my neck look much brighter! I’m torn about this because I had a few huge pimples on my face soon after I tried this (no surprises there), but my neck looked great for like a week or so. If there’s something just for the neck I would be super down to try it.

Royal Skin The Animalian Mask Fox (S$3.92) / SNP Beijing Opera Aqua Mask (S$3.90)| I tried these for the novelty. The SNP one had so much essence I could spread it all over my body twice, but not sure what good it did. Both were fun masks but I wouldn’t purchase them again because I didn’t see any changes to my skin.

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HEMA Self Heating Face Mask (S$2.61) | I bought this in Amsterdam out of curiosity because I had never heard of a self-heating face mask before. It is the strangest thing. It’s supposed to be a clay mask but it has a very smooth texture and isn’t very thick. The instructions say that I have to apply it to a wet face so the mask gets more watery and doesn’t dry down like how other clay masks do. The self-heating thing is also weird. The mask heats up when it reacts with water, so after you apply it on your face the sensation fades after a few seconds, but when you wash it off parts that you touch get warm again. I guess it would feel nice in colder weather, but there’s no reason for any heating mask here. Skincare wise, it did nothing for my skin unlike other clay masks. Would not repurchase.

Nature’s Bliss Hydrating Gel Face Mask in Lychee & Pomegranate (S$1.48) | This had a very unique consistency. Appearance-wise it reminded me of kelapa parut with santan. The smell of lychee was nice, even though sometimes it felt a little overpowering. This is definitely not a 1 use sachet though, so ignore the instructions to use up the entire packet for 1 use. I kind of regret doing that, because it wasted so much product. This mask is supposed to slowly be absorbed into your skin, so the mask slowly disappears, but when you apply too thick a layer your skin might not be able to absorb all the product. I have another one in a different scent that I’ll try using multiple times. If they were sold here I might repurchase.

Forgot to take a photo Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask Green Tea (Sample) | I think the green tea line just doesn’t work for me. Got some serious pimples, would not purchase.

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Simply Bye Eye Bag Hydro Gel Eye Masks (S$2) | These were probably trying to imitate the high-end gel eye masks but my goodness this was terrible. Felt incredibly heavy, were very uncomfortable (to the point that I woke up to peel them off and fell back to sleep immediately), and the next day I saw more wrinkles under my eyes instead of less. Dark circles still prominent, no difference. Such a waste of $2. I didn’t bother using the 2nd set because I don’t want to screw up my undereye area again.

BODY

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Bath & Body Works Cup of Warmth Lotion (S$6.63) | I bought this in Malaysia when it was on sale for RM$19.90 (usual price 65??? Or some kind of absurd price) because it reminded me of the old school Body Shop Almond milk lotion. It’s not the exact scent but close enough to make me feel nostalgic. I got a little sick of the smell towards the end of the bottle, but people that stood close enough seemed to like it (the mat thought I smelt like chocolate). As a lotion it did great. My legendary dry patches were tamed and my skin was always soft. I was quite surprised it did so well, I expected it to perform kinda meh like the VS lotions. If there was a scent that wasn’t this strong, I might repurchase another B&BW lotion in the future.

Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream (S$5) | Claims to be high intensity, but my fingertips felt dry after I use this too often. Go figure. Bliss products aren’t cheap either, I got it at $5 cause it was on sale. The smell is nice, but not worth repurchasing.

Healthy Care All Natural Paw Paw Balm (S$8.47) | What on earth is this product?? Who approved this?? It was tough to work with – it was a little too thick to squeeze out of the tube properly, it didn’t spread very well on my skin which meant that I had to use a lot of product on one area, but then it just sat on top of my skin and didn’t even moisturize my dry patches. Because of how oily the balm was, the tube became pretty oily since I was switching hands trying to squeeze the product out. The packaging also says that the balm is harder or softer depending on the climate, which makes me go ‘wtf’ because I live in a tropical climate so if the balm is so tough to work with in this heat, how insanely difficult will it be like to use this in the winter? Can you even squeeze it out of the tube then? Overall a huge miss and I’m super disappointed since I thought it would be a more natural alternative to my other lotions.

Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish (S$4.62) | Claims to be like a spa treatment and the smell is certainly very ‘atas spa product’. However I feel like I had to use a lot to feel like it was actually scrubbing something, and since it’s not cheap I won’t buy the full size.

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream (S$7) | This was a great lightweight lotion. The smell isn’t really for me, but it did the job. Would not repurchase because of the smell.

HAIR

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Liese Blaune Creamy Foam Colour (S$17.90) | This is my go-to when my white hairs get out of control. It’s so much easier to use than the cream hair dyes. The pack comes with two bottles, you mix the liquids in both bottles together, screw the pump cap on and you’re good to go. The hair treatment included is also insanely good, my hair is incredibly smooth for about a week afterwards. The only setback is that you have to use all of the product at one go, so it’s a bit of a waste for me since I really only need to touch up my roots. Liese has since brought out a cream dye that can be kept for several uses, I might try that out in the future and hope to the heavens that it’s better than the Cielo version (which started fading away after a week and became a hot orange mess).

RICH Pure Luxury Rejuvenating Argan Oil Elixir (S$9.90) | I am so glad this is finished. I really didn’t see any improvement to my hair with this product. It didn’t tame my frizz either unless I used it before and after blowdrying my hair, and even then it wasn’t that great. The smell is much nicer compared to the rosehip oil I’m using now, but if we’re talking about synthetic oils I’d rather buy the Hask hair oil that is much cheaper and showed results.

TEETH

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Keeko Coconut Oil Pulling in Lucky Dip (S$41.29) | I’ll be writing a separate post on this because I have many thoughts and things to say about this fella. The final verdict – most likely will not repurchase due to price

Pearlie White Chor-Rinse Antiseptic Mouth Rinse Plus (S$12.90) | I’ve mentioned how I have a real love-hate relationship with this fella in my last empties (more hate than love) and my feelings about it remain the same. I don’t have to use it anymore since the dentist has given me the clear for my wisdom teeth stitches, and I am definitely not using this again unless forced to.

I’m mostly left with full size products now (masks aside), so it’s going to be tougher for me to use things up for the 2nd half of the year. But I’m glad that I’ve used up a lot of smaller items so that I don’t have to lug all these samples with me when I move next year. I’m hoping to finish up 20% of what is remaining, fingers crossed that I’ll succeed!

Busy busy bees

Hope your Ramadan has been going well and that you are ready for Hari Raya! I haven’t been posting for the past few weeks because my nights have been busy. By the time I actually have time to myself it’s at least 10.30pm and I get sleepy by 10.45 if I’m not going for round 2 😛

I finally have some time so some quick wedding updates because quite a bit has happened this month. I really didn’t expect any progress and was planning to go full steam ahead post-Ramadan but I have no idea what has gotten into the mat (not that I’m complaining). He’s been on the ball and I feel kind of guilty because I’ve been so busy at work that I can’t contribute as much as he has been lately.

Suddenly, a photographer

The first shocker was during the first week of Ramadan when he told me that he wasn’t sure if we should be using his friend as our photographer. I was quite surprised because he was so sure about it since we went ring shopping. His friend takes really nice photos and was offering to do it as a wedding present – that’s a pretty good thing, right? So why are we letting go of the good thing?

Turns out he’s concerned that said friend was going to take an eternity to edit the photos and that we would only get the pictures a year later. So he could still take nice photos at our wedding, that’s no problem at all, but the mat felt that it was safer to get an official photographer. And considering that the mat wants to save every single cent he possibly can for the honeymoon instead of spending it on the wedding, I have deemed this a legitimate concern.

However, due to truly terrible time constraints this month, I’ve only managed to drop an email to one photographer asking for their rates – and unfortunately they were not available on our wedding date. This has led me to being mad paranoid that every good photographer isn’t going to be available but I am also a naturally pessimistic human being so I’m hoping to the heavens that we can find someone.

Money, money, money

Then the second week of Ramadan we started discussing outstanding items and how much more are we going to have to spend on things outside of the package we currently have with The Landmark. Turns out it is quite the list. At the top of my head, I know we gotta get:

1) Photographer + videographer (my mom wants a wedding video. Let the lady have it she only has one daughter)
2) Top-up desserts – The Landmark is only giving some kuih talam, if we want anything else we’ll have to bring it in ourselves
3) Pre-marriage course
4) Tok kadi
5) Wedding rings

And we have to follow up for the:

1) Bridal – do we really want Fatimah Mohsin? Still on the fence cause I’m flip flopping like roti prata. And apparently the mat didn’t think that he was going to get his clothes from them I’m done
2) Decor – got to contact vendor
3) Berkat – got to contact vendor
4) Invites – probably the most urgent one right now since that’s got to be ready by December

I also have to introduce the mat to Spotify. He’s still stuck in the “do a mix tape” era bless his heart.

Doing rough calculation it accumulated to a total of $30k, which is a ridiculous sum that makes me wish we just didn’t give a shit about society and just got married by the beach and gave everyone thank you popcorn for coming. Or maybe thank you Indomee. I really like Indomee.

A legit WTF moment

So after that discussion, the mat chased for the berkat list. We were supposed to get a list of the different berkat The Landmark was offering so we could decide what we were going to take, if we have to top up if necessary, but we haven’t heard anything since March when I asked for more details of the vendors.

The first round he got a company name and a contact person but no list. There was supposed to be a catalogue but there there was nothing in the email, so he chased again. In the meantime I took a look at the company’s website and… I gotta say. I didn’t have high hopes. I was kind of like “…really?” Whatever I saw looked very generic and (dare I say it?) cheap. But I was like never mind, maybe the catalogue would have other things, we can’t assume, blah blah blah.

Then the catalogue arrived.

I have never been so underwhelmed and so unimpressed.

I thought whatever I saw on the company’s website was cheap, but almost everything in the catalogue made the products on the website seem acceptable. You know what, I’m going to say it – I was upset. I was upset that I had waited five damn months to receive a catalogue full of wedding favors that I would never give because if I received them as a guest I would be pissed. I’ve received better berkats in 1999. If I knew that this was what they were offering, I would have just went searching for berkat straight away I wouldn’t have bothered.

To quote my mother, “Nak kasi tapi tak sincere”.

I couldn’t accept any of that so I told the mat that I wasn’t impressed by any of that, and he wasn’t that hyped about it either but he felt that if we didn’t take something it was going to be a waste because it wasn’t going to be replaced with anything else (this was added into the expo package, they made it clear that if we didn’t take the berkat there would be no replacement). Which I understood but nothing was looking good.

He then asked the vendor what else they had and the vendor said that we could choose something from the website for “a small top-up”. And so my mom and I went through the website trying to find something, and finally we all settled on these salt and pepper shakers that were kind of cute (they were like peas in a pod, and I thought at least this represented us: he loves peas, I love stupid puns/idioms(??) like this). Of course, I knew I had to see this with my own two eyes before agreeing because if it was shit quality I wasn’t going to spend my coin on something that I’m settling on.

The next day he told the vendor we were keen on that and how much did we have to top up?

$1.60 per piece. One. Sixty.

That’s not “a small top-up”. My cousin’s berkat is cheaper than that and she’s getting something she actually likes. I told him I didn’t agree to that price and thank god he agreed that it was ridiculous so we’re now looking at other things. He found Pocky that cost $0.85 but my mom thinks Pocky is a little juvenile for adults so the next time I meet him I’m going to have to break that news to him. And that she keeps mentioning tea so let’s just get that and get over it.

I was intending to contact the vendor for the invitations so that I had something to update the makciks during Raya (I am 100% not looking forward to the upcoming interrogation), but again no time this week, so I guess I gotta just say “Oh we’re doing it soon!” and that’s it.

And that’s what’s been happening for the past month! I guess compared to other BTBs this is not even much drama but considering how our wedding prep has been stagnant for a while this is a lot. And there’s more to come when we start meeting vendors after Raya, when we sit down with his brother who’s our unofficial wedding planner, and when I bring my bridesmaids into the fray. I don’t know if I’m excited or dreading this. Maybe a little of both.

Choosing my engagement ring

I was initially hesitant to share my experience choosing an engagement ring because this is not a story where I look at Etsy and see all the pretty rings there and I go look for something similar in store or the mat goes to a jeweler to get it custom-made (that’s what my dad did for my mom’s wedding ring). But it’s also not a story where money is tight and I have to give up my dream ring. It’s a story that I haven’t seen online (at least among Malay BTBs) which made me have my reservations putting it up on the Internet for everyone to see.

It’s been 5 months since I got my ring so I’ve gave it some thought and I think it would benefit some people who end up in a situation like mine.

When the mat and I started seriously talking about getting married, we didn’t see the need to get engaged. To us, an engagement only means “I chope you” but it didn’t change anything else. “I chope you” could have been important if I had a pesky suitor who didn’t know the meaning of no (looking at you, Malaysian dramas that think that a man’s refusal to say no is supposed to be romantic) or if he had some girl throwing herself at him every other day, but it was just the two of us doing our own thing. So the initial agreement between the both of us was each of us gets a wedding ring.

And then the parents got involved and were appalled because their children didn’t even know meminang was a thing and that led to me needing to get an engagement ring. It’s not necessary but his mother wanted me to have a ring. So I figured okay, let’s look for engagement rings.

Personally, I have never seen the appeal of a diamond engagement ring. Growing up no women I knew owned a diamond ring. My grandmother has a plain gold ring. My mother’s ring was inspired by Cartier’s Trinity ring. I saw a lot of gold rings (some with coloured rocks, some without) in the Malay community. To me, the diamond ring was more of a rich Chinese thing, a mat salleh thing.

As I grew older I learnt about blood diamonds, that a diamond’s value drops drastically once you buy it, that the concept of a diamond ring to show your love only got popular in the early 1900s thanks to DeBeers’ iconic slogan for their campaign to get people to buy their diamond rings. And I was like WELL THEN I might as well get a ring with a pretty stone that I actually like.

So that’s what I planned. We set a budget for the ring, I went to Etsy, and after a few weeks I pretty much had the top 5 rings and we were at that point of “to buy on Etsy or to get a jeweler to do something similar?” We were concerned that the ring might not fit me right but I had read online that many people went to get their ring finger measured at a store and then provide the Etsy seller the ring size. He was searching how much it would cost us to resize the ring if shit happens.

He told his mom about our plans and she was weary about ordering the ring online because she was afraid we’d get cheated. After that discussion, she gave him a catalogue. I asked him if she wanted us to buy from that specific store and he had said “No la just a suggestion. We can still look around.”

We decided to consider looking for/doing up a similar ring. We found a company that could customize the ring and my colleagues chipped in about how much we should be paying.

And then one day he tells me that his mother wanted me to specifically have a diamond ring and she was going to pay for it. She had been going around looking at diamond rings and she’d seen some that she wanted me to try on.

I’m going to pause this story to say this: This is legit proof that you cannot rely on your fiancee to interpret what your future MIL is trying to say. Ladies, trust your damn gut. Your mat will not realize what is going on until it slaps him in the face. 

She wanted me to have a diamond ring because she had one and she feels that it’s a must-have. She wanted a ring that would last me decades, like hers, and it had to be of some standard. The older generation still see diamond rings as a big deal, and she had decided that her future daughter-in-law was not going to buy her ring from some shady seller online. No, she was going to buy a ring with a certified diamond that was going to impress everyone who sees it.

Was I upset that I now had to go look at rings that I had no interest in and eventually had to pick one? Yes. I’m not going to lie, I was frustrated. But was it something that I was going to have to swallow and make the best of it? Yes.

Now at this point, I know a lot of people are going to be like “Oh my god what??? Gurl you can’t just accept it it’s something you’re going to wear for the rest of your life!!” And I could have done that but then it would have soured my relations with his mom. And you might disagree but having a decent relationship with your mother is law is important. Unless you are only going to meet her once a year at a family gathering and she doesn’t have any impact on you or your spouse’s life for the other 364 days, you cannot have a screwed up relationship with your MIL. It will affect your relationship with your spouse because it’s his/her mother. She will always have an influence on them.

The second reason why I kowtowed was because she meant well. It might not be what I want, but if it is that important to her to the point that she went to look at rings during her free time and take down the models that she thought were worthy to be put on my finger…fine. It wasn’t as if she asked me to downgrade. In some ways I guess you could say it was an upgrade.

That being said, I am certainly not suggesting to be a pushover. Some things you can kowtow and agree, but some things you might have to take a stand. The mat’s mother was not a happy camper when she found out we wanted to book The Landmark, and my mother was not a happy camper when she heard we wanted to have a wedding dinner, but it was something that the both of us really wanted and they would just have to deal. And they have. You just gotta figure out which fights you want to go all out for.

Eventually we went to two jewellers: Meyson Jewellery and Poh Heng. I got my ring at Meyson for the following reasons:

  1. Price. A diamond at Meyson vs a diamond at Poh Heng had a price difference of about $2.5k. PH’s rep told us that they use only D grade diamonds and was very proud of this, but frankly unless everyone is going to inspect your ring under a magnifying glass the human eye is unable to tell the difference between a D, an E, and an F grade diamond.
  2. The reps at Meyson were very informative. They explained everything, like they had actual charts. A device that lets you look at the serial number of your diamond. The mat asked them about princess cut diamonds and they explained that while pretty, the cut didn’t show off the brilliance of the diamond. You couldn’t shine your ring at someone’s face and blind them.
  3. To me, there was a better selection at Meyson. If you want a massive two carat ring then go ahead to Poh Heng cause that’s where it’s at, but the one I went to had one 0.5 ring and the rest were 0.7 and above. And the rep was pushing me to buy a 1.5 carat ring that I could legit use as a weapon. I didn’t even bother to ask the price.

It came down to two rings that looked almost identical, just that one was a slightly smaller D grade and one was a slightly bigger G grade. The G grade was almost $800 cheaper, and I couldn’t tell the difference between the G and the D. Even the rep was like “To the naked eye there’s no difference”, and joked that a few years down the road I could ask for an upgrade for my anniversary anyway.

I got the G grade diamond. It might not be the D grade that Poh Heng bro boasted about but it’s still pretty damn shiny, it can probably scar someone who tries to attack me, and it even came with a magnifying glass for anyone who wants to inspect it up close.

More importantly, I’ve gotten used to it. Today I’m not thinking about that emerald that I saw on Etsy, or those engagement and wedding ring combos that form a beautiful design when worn together. I’m okay with my ring. Weirdly enough, there is some sort of higher standard when you wear a diamond ring? Someone once asked if I was going to get married at a void deck and another person said “Void deck? Have you seen her ring?” Which is problematic but you know, you..uh… take the backhanded compliment (?) and then educate them about how expensive void deck weddings are these days.

And I guess what I’m saying is that you might not be able to have everything you want during this process, and that’s okay. We deal, we move on.

 

Wedding inspiration no 5 – the BHLDN round

For some strange, strange reason, I suddenly feel the urge to have that dreamy, Pinterest-perfect wedding. Which is dangerous because that way leads to possible excessive spending and the need to have the perfect floral arrangement on every table. Dangerous.

This also translates to the outfit I mean…

…As you can tell there is an aesthetic that I am drawn to.

So here I am suddenly having feelings and guess what? BHLDN appeared on my Instagram feed. One thing led to another and I ended up on BHLDN’s website. It’s still as pretty as I remembered. It also has a lot of things that make me have even more feelings.

Let’s start with the gowns. For the record, I am well aware that I can’t wear all of this, but I am drawn to the elements of the dresses – the colour, the beading, the embroidery etc. The dusty rose / rose gold / millennial pink aesthetic is 100% me right now. If I could convert 3/4 of my wardrobe to those colours I’d be set for life.

blogaurora

Aurora is very much the classic white dress with a little oomph. I think the beading saves this one from being a snooze, and that’s kind of what I go for on a day-to-day basis.

blogbarton

But then again I also hear that Fatimah Mohsin lady telling me that the bride can’t be dressed so simply, so the Barton ups the glam factor but still maintains the simplicity that I love. For real, make this long sleeved and it is highly likely that I am sold. The beading at the waist makes me feel so satisfied.

blogcecelia

While I am on the fence about Cecelia’s embellishments, I am on board with the colour and cut.

blogramona

This Ramona gown is here solely for the wild tulle skirt. If I was going to get married in a garden this would be the kind of gown I would go for.

blogsierra

I love love love the length of the Sierra’s train. Not too intense, but still there. I feel like if the train on my dress is too long I’ll step on it and fall. Seeing how I’ve stepped on my own kain before and almost tumbling down it is definitely possible. And the flowy sleeves are so pretty.

blogsol

This was the dress that I saw on Instagram that gave me life and opened the gates to this madness. THAT LACE THO?? It is so incredibly pretty and dainty and I want it. However. I’m kind of disappointed with the front of this Sol dress because my first look of it was from that back and it was incredible so I had mad high expectations for it. To me, this is very much a “Take my pics from the back” dress.

blogsunvalley

If the Sun Valley was a long dress instead of a short one, I would be absolutely sold. Flowy, muted pink, fair amount of bling, loose sleeves so that no one knows the real size of arms…yes to all.

blogitalandelia

BHLDN also has separates for you to purchase to form your own unique wedding outfit (that might really look like a gown unless you squint closer), like this Itala and Delia combo.

blogwythenamora

And this Wythe and Amora duo – could you tell that this was a top and a skirt if I didn’t mention it? I love how the colour of the embroidered flowers match the skirt. It’s details like these that pull me in. I also really like the shape that this outfit gives…but am I willing to wear such a silhouette that demands a flat stomach aka I must wear a corset and that means I can’t eat much? I’m not sure tbh. Probably will depend on how great my butt looks.

Who can forget the veil?

blogveilninette

The Ninette veil + Sol gown = perfection from the back. I haven’t seen Malay bridals do this kind of veil though, most of them are just mad long with little to no bling. The shorter ones I’ve seen on Instagram end at a weird length and makes the outfit look incomplete. It could be the way the fabric is cut – a lot of it is straight across instead of the gentle curve this veil has.

blogveilsonnet

A handpainted long veil screams Pinterest worthy. The Sonnet would be the perfect veil for a laid back wedding aka the wedding that is not mine.

blogaccwintergardencombs

While I know I want the veil for the nikah, I’m not completely certain on a veil for the walimah, especially since so many stores now have pretty accessories like these winter garden combs.

blogshoesvictoria

Now we talking about the serious stuff.

Shoes, even though they are hidden under the pouf of a skirt, are important. If Singapore’s wind decides to turn up for the wedding uninvited, you bet I’m gonna be exposing some quality footwear (even if it ends up to be my 3 year old Charles and Keith heels. Those heels make my feet look important and make my legs last for days).

The Victoria heels are pretty lace heels from the 1st photo in the mosaic above. These are what I consider aspirational wedding shoes – shoes that theoretically, in my head, are the ideal pair for a bride. They are white and lacy and delicate. They are madly photogenic. They are also not practical for daily use, and if I wore this to people’s houses for Hari Raya everyone will know that these were the heels I got married in because it is such a bridal shoe.

They are also very, very pretty and if I had the money I would buy them.

 

blogshoescandace

I have been toying with the idea of wearing wedges instead of heels for the added support, but I might actually be more likely to end up tripping on my gown in wedges. These Candace wedges are glorious though.

blogshoeskierna

In the interests of my feet, I’ve also been looking at lower heeled shoes like the Kierna. These are pretty bridal, but I can also see myself wearing this again and again to many occasions – going out, to weddings, even to work. However. The mat is pretty damn tall. Like I’ve worn five inch heels next to him and I still gotta look up a little kind of pretty damn tall. And while I am more than ok to be shorter than him, I am not ready to appear midget-like in wedding photos. These are real first-world problems.

So that’s what caught my eye over at BHLDN, and I’m surprised that I wasn’t drawn to the serious bling that I saw in belts and other hair accessories. Shows how your tastes can change so quickly.

 

To kompang or not to kompang?

I’ve always imagined my wedding being either Malay af or Indian af, or mixed Malay/Indian af. Then the mat came round and he didn’t want Indian af because it meant that we also had to go Arab af, so I figured ok, Malay af it is (minus the karaoke. and the gubahan. and the pulut kuning with the red egg. and the – ok just Malay.).

And THEN last week there was a wedding at a nearby void deck and they had the most enthusiastic kompang group I had ever heard in my life. Like there was remix and there was a very passionate cowbell player and I was impressed and my mother had a headache. She told me “How your wedding going to have kompang?? It’s an enclosed area, at least this is open.”

And it struck me that I didn’t even discuss this with the mat. We have no kompang, and our wedding is in March next year. Fabulous.

I’ve read the ex-BTB blogs, I’ve talked to my cousin, I stalked Cozycot before they conveniently shut down the year I got engaged and truly needed a bridal forum so I’m pretty aware that people book kompang like 2 years in advance. They stalk the kompang group FB/Instagram/Snapchat etc. Yet here I was stuck with no kompang.

Of course, I could go without the kompang. That’s obviously possible…but what would I enter my walimah with? I hate Maher Zain, but I also feel a bit weird walking towards the pelamin with an English song (macam kerek u know?). Basically, all my life I’ve attended Malay weddings with kompang, I cannot imagine how else the pengantin will enter the walimah.

So I asked the mat if we were going to have a kompang group and he was like “No, for what? Just use music ah.” And then he went on about no clubbing music (probably afraid that I was inspired by my friend), no Hindustan music (which I probably will have to fight for), just use a mix tape. That conversation went astray so I guess I will have to address it again. Soon. Ish.

My mother had previously suggested kompang recording, because we are cheapskate like that, but fading it away as we sit down on the pelamin is going to be…kind of strange I think. I mean I could enter in a paalki carried by 6 men but that would be awkward for everyone involved including myself because I’d be worried they will drop the paalki. And we can’t enter via motorbike because the venue is on the 5th floor (he was very into that idea when we were looking at Grassroots. My mother still goes on about it.)

Oh my god I cannot believe I’m worried about kompang what has my life become. Okay next time I meet him gotta discuss this. Among like, 5 other things. I should probably write down a list I might just forget by the time I wake up tomorrow morning.

Wedding inspiration no 4

Salam Ramadan everyone! Hope everyone’s first day went well. There’s something about this month that makes me calmer and more productive, and I’m always looking forward to the rain (unless I’m in office and I can’t sleep, of course).

I’ve decided not to go by weeks when it comes to my wedding inspiration posts because oh my god am I terrible at updating or am I terrible at updating? For the past month since I was away, I ran off to Europe with my friends for my final epic single trip before the wedding. I expected to be my regular self (aka give no shits about whatever was happening back in SG), instead I ended up pining for the mat by the end of the trip. Ridiculous. I was done with myself. This is what it means by love makes you stupid.

And then I came back to backlog of work and I’ve finally sort of managed to clear it, just in time for Ramadan. So here I am now, finally updating the blog.

While I was away I was still saving photos on Instagram and looking for inspiration, so here is everything from the past month (which is…quite a bit hee).