Wednesday, December 30, 2009

[Diary of a Soon-to-be-Bride] - Countdown 1 Day!!

Hey lovelies! I'm so sorry this is the first post this week. It's been really hectic with the last minute wedding prep work, scrambling around to buy things, pulling together a seating plan... We wouldn't be able to do this without the help of our family and friends. And I'm so delighted a few of my Japanese friends made it here specially for us!

We just had our pre-wedding shoot yesterday with the wonderful Tec Petaja! T and I definitely had fun! Here's a sneak peek:

I'm afraid I'll have to take some time off here. After the wedding, we'll be heading to Paris and Barcelona. I simply can't wait. I'm gonna be missing you but I promise to be back in the end of January, so don't forget Cookie Cutter :). I'm wishing you a litle ahead of time: Happy new year!

I can't believe the big day is tomorrow. Wish me luck? I'll try not to trip and fall :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

It's the eve of Christmas eve! Christmas gives me this warm fuzzy feeling that no other festive day can. Because it falls at the end of the year, it's also the time when I pause to recollect on the year passed, resolutions made at the beginning, friends and family who have tolerated me for yet another year. This becomes the perfect opportunity to show them I appreciate them.

As much as I love the beautiful lights of the city and the decor that the malls have put up, I think one of the most beautiful way to spend Christmas is also at home, with the family, over a warm home-cooked meal (throw in a fire-place and it'll be most perfect). Regardless of how you're spending your Christmas, I hope that you experience the hope and joy of the season.

With all the wedding prep going on, I feel as though I've missed out on the anticipation of Christmas this year. But I guess it's not too late. So this will be my last post till after Christmas. I'll be back for a short while after that and it'll be the big day. So, happy holidays to you, dear readers. And I just want to add that I appreciate your being with me this one year. It wouldn't have been possible without you!

[images: Martha Stewart, Coco Kelley, We Heart it, Raspberry]

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Picnic and new friends

Hey everyone, I wanted to tell you about my weekend. I had a really event-packed Sunday and one of things I did was pop by for a picnic organised by Sarah and Melly. I didn't really know anyone before that but armed with optimism, enthusiasm and the hope to connect with some like-minded people, I made my way to the Botanical Garden that day. And boy am I glad I did! It was drizzling but that didn't stop a bunch of cool folks from turning up. We had fun and of course stuffed ourselves with yummy food.

Cupcakes made by Zulaiha from Ovenhaven.

Melly's Ada who actually looks kinda like her. Haha.

Thanks, gals, for a great Sunday afternoon! Hop over to Sarah's for more pics.

[images: Caili and Sarah]

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tranquility of the Season - Belle and Boo

Hi there, we’re entering the week of Christmas itself! Are you revelling in the festive mood yet? The malls were thronged when I walked through it during the end of last week! I didn’t dare head near one over the weekend. I hope you find time amidst the festivities to experience the peace of the season.

I’m loving these Christmas prints from Belle and Boo’s Etsy shop. They’re so simple. So tranquil.

[images: from source]

Friday, December 18, 2009

[Fashion Friday #6] - Naturally Japan

Happy Friday! Japanese fashion has always fascinated me. Initially, I thought Japanese fashion simply meant kawaii. But I soon realised there are subsets within this big label and they all differ significantly in style. You might be familiar with this natural look.

It’s back to the basics with linen, muted shades, comfy and simple designs. I’m liking these pieces by Lisette! They aren’t easy to carry off though. I tried to pull something similar together and ended up looking like I was going to go out in my sleep wear. What do you think of them?

Thank you for being with me this week and sharing my happiness as I prepare for my big day. I’m also feeling the festive mood in the air now. Are you? I hope you enjoy the weekend even as you busy yourself with preparations for the holiday season :).

[images: Lisette]

Thursday, December 17, 2009

[Diary of a Soon-to-be Bride] - Countdown 14 days

I returned home earlier this week to find a package lying on the table. Took a quick look on the front for the name and yippee, it’s for me! I LOVE receiving packages! It’s been so since I was a kid. Sometimes it’s the surprise, or perhaps it’s the sheer joy of tearing open a package, or maybe it’s simply the excitement of finding out what’s inside.

It was no different this time and I sure wasn’t let down.

It’s a wedding gift from the very sweet Jacqueline. She had learnt earlier in the year from my blog that I’ll be getting married and decided almost immediately that she’ll get me a wedding gift. Not just any gift but a HANDMADE one. You creative souls would know best the value of a handmade item. It’s the effort that goes into making a unique piece. Jacqueline made it extra personalised by embroidering mine and T’s initials on the pillow too!

In addition to the wedding pillow she told me about previously, she made me a matching pouch as well! Look at that cute wooden button with Jacqueline’s logo!
Thanks, Jacqueline! I love them. A LOT.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Warm toes - Collegien

So we don’t get winter over here but that hasn’t deterred folks from wearing boots or buying that really cool winter coat or turtle neck (Yeah, the air-conditioning in some offices are really cold). We don’t want to be left out when the rest of the world is preparing for these cold months (except for down under).

You know, I’m one of those whose fingers and toes get icy really easily. Yes, even here in Singapore. Imagine my glee when spotted these really cute slipper-socks, Collegien! If only I were still living in Japan, these would be perfect! Yes, they come in kawaii designs too! Hmm… my flooring here in Singapore can get a little chilly at times too :p

It’s not wrong to say these French-made slipper socks are sure to inject cheer into the cold days at home, right? They are ergonomically designed and has a molded “breathing” rubber sole. Ahh… I can imagine myself sitting on the sofa with a hot cup of cocoa, wriggling my toes in these super cute socks. I just need a fireplace to make the picture perfect!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

[Diary of a Soon-to-be Bride] - countdown 16 days

Last Sunday was a special day. It was Guo Da Li day for me, otherwise translated as the day when formal betrothal takes place. It’s a tradition that’s still being observed in Singapore today albeit with some modifications.

In the old days, the bridegroom will be accompanied by the “matchmaker” to the bride’s family home. Gifts from his family will be presented. The bride’s family will receive the gifts as a sign of acceptance of the marriage and will in return present the dowry to the groom’s family. In modern day, the gifts offered often differ.

Traditionally, the brides receive a sewing kit from her family as part of the dowry. Whilst this is often done away now, I told my parents I still wanted it. Yipee, sewing threads in a myriad of colours, shiny new needles and a new scissor for my future sewing projects! These are contained in that red heart-shaped sewing box. The tea set on the right would be used for the tea ceremony on the actual wedding day morning.

T arrived at my place that day alone (without a matchmaker. Haha) and had to make multiple trips to and fro his car since he was carrying the gifts himself. Good work-out! Given my love for all things old-school, we had agreed that I would get traditional bridal cakes instead of the cakes/tarts that many couples have now. My bridal cakes (2 boxes displayed on extreme right) came packaged in red boxes (auspicious colour of course) and contained several kinds of sweet snacks—peanut with malted candy, seasame and peanuts, sweetened rice crackers etc. These boxes of bridal cakes would then be distributed to the bride’s extended family members. Yes, traditional betrothal gifts included fresh livestock meat. Don’t start throwing daggers at me *dodge*! I don’t eat meat myself! Anyway, my family returned some of it, kept some and distributed some.

Hand-cut double happiness character on the oranges and almost everything everything else.

Interestingly, I had a chat with a Mainland Chinese friend who’s residing here recently and was surprised to learn that many of these traditions are no longer practiced by them back home! He noted that Singapore despite all our modernity, is still quite rooted in the traditions of old in this respect! Having the Guo Da Li reinforced the notion that the big day’s approaching! Soon! The thought is kind of surreal. I had fun :).

What are the special/interesting traditions you observe in your culture for weddings? I’ll love to hear them! By the way, these wedding countdown posts are not boring you, I hope? I'll still intersperse them with our usual design-related posts :).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Drawers with Stories - schubLaden

Hello lovelies, great to have you back. It's always nice to have you here to welcome a new week with me. It may feel lonely at times sitting here in front of the computer typing away. But it's nice to think that I am in fact not alone because you are reading over there, wherever you are. I have some little tidbits for updates on "Diary of a Soon-to-be Bride" but let's leave that for tomorrow, shall we? I feel like talking about design today. It seems like I haven't posted an interior-related post for a while (is it?).

Let's talk about vintage drawers. What do you think of them? Have any at home? Did you get them from that awesome flea market, salavaged it from the dumps, or was it handed down to you? Me? I love them. The wooden ones, of course. I love them the more when they boldly wear their distressed look or are adorned with an ornate looking handle. I always thought simply stacking the drawers alone one one top of another would make a lovely piece and a talking point.

schubLaden, a unique shop in the Berlin-Kreuzberg´s Graefedistrict takes it a little further. Taking its name from the German word for "drawers", these people create new furniture from unmated vintage drawers by building new shells to encapsulate the repurposed drawers. The simple designs of the shells are interestingly juxtaposed with the antique drawers, throwing the latter into sharper focus. Each unique furniture piece is signed, numbered and features drawers that tell a story all their own.

I could certainly use a few of these!

[via Furfin. Images: schubLaden and furfin]

Friday, December 11, 2009

[Fashion Friday #5] - Out to the Seas

Vogue UK January takes to the high seas with its editorial titled "Blueprint". Love the nautical and navy inspired pieces!

I know it's kinda cold in many regions right now. So maybe this will perk you up a little as you go about your Christmas preparations this weekend! See you soon, ya?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

[Diary of a Soon-to-Be Bride] - Countdown 21 Days

You know how I love shopping. Even if I were to walk pass the malls en route somewhere else, you can bet my eyes will be drawn to the pretty things in the shops as if they were each a north and south magnet. Without fail, there will be a squel of "that's so pretty!". But you know what? I realised that when pressed for time to buy something or when I actually have a legitimate shopping list, I have such a hard time buying! And then suddenly, shopping is not as fun anymore. I know! It's crazy, isn't it? Do you experience this? Please tell me what you do to get round this.

Well, this is exactly what has been happening. I need a pair of wedding shoes. The ladies at my bridal boutique have been very patiently telling me again and again to get my shoes soon (I always reply with a pathetic "erm...not yet"). This is so that they can verify exactly what length my gown should be made to. So I set myself a deadline of finding that elusive pair of shoes this week.

Brides in Singapore typically go for a strappy white pair of heels with some shiny, glittery stuff on it. Since I knew I was getting married, I've decided that I won't go for a white pair and no glittery stuff, please. Whoever said that brides can't wear coloured shoes. And I also want something that I would wear after the wedding. So, I went about the wedding shoes hunt. I visited LOTS of places. I must have crossed that undertunnel at Orchard MRT at least 4 tiimes on the same day! But no, no wedding shoes for me. You won't believe the heels in the shops these days. They are ridiculously high! I mean I need to actually walk in them, not just pose for pictures on the red carpet like celebrities do. By the end of the day, I was feeling exasperated more than anything else.

The search continued to the second day (yesterday). It saw me venturing outside town and then back to town again. And then, just before the "cut-off time", I found it! It's not what people would think of when they say wedding shoes. But I like it and no one's going to stop me. It felt right when I put them on and I like how it stands out. So there, the search is finally over. And boy am I glad! Oh, how does it look like? Here:

Yes, they are black (supposedly inauspicious in our culture) and not strappy or glittery. But I think it rocks! What say you? Any thoughts on how wedding shoes ought to be like? Ok, now on to the other things on my to-do list. Later, lovelies!

p/s Thanks for all your well-wishes in the comment section of the previous wedding post :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A house by the sea

Look at these....

That first image took my breath away. And I'm still waiting to exhale.

I still dream of a house by the sea. With the sound of waves to wake up every morning to. And witness the sun floods the eastern horizon with glory.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lovely DeArt

In a small city where the sleek minimalistic look is still all the rage (it’s so passé, folks), looking for alternative interior décor or furniture (meaning anything non-minimalistic) is no small feat. A foreign friend who has been residing here for about 5 years recently bought an apartment. He casually asked where he could shop for nice furniture and interior needs at decent prices. He knows there’s the ever-reliable Ikea but where else. “Yes, definitely Ikea! And then erm…” I was stumped! Yeah, sure there were a few places carrying interesting furniture but they usually exceed the budget of us ordinary folks. Embarrassingly, I couldn’t come up with another name! Me, the self-proclaimed interior lover! Sigh, there really is a dearth of such shops here and it results in many like me who end up with Ikea showroom-liked rooms/apartments. (We love the Ikea people but no, they don’t pay us.)

I was shopping around for some wedding-related items recently when I spotted this shop in Thomson Plaza. If you like country/Victorian/rustic/girly, you’ll be interested in Lovely DeArt. Stepping into this little shop is like entering into another space just because the shop looks so different from its neighbours. Not exactly huge but it is filled from bottom to top with items. Lots of pink and other warm colours!

Look at these lamp shades!

I am so in love with this sewing machine which is actually a sewing box! I still think of it every now and then. Sigh…

Like it? I blame my iPhone for these bad quality images though :p