A Better Florist: Flower Arrangement Workshop Review

The workshop I attended was provided by A Better Florist.

Who doesn’t love flowers?

I love them but have never felt that I was “artsy” enough to arrange a bouquet. The closest thing I did was the bridesmaid bouquet for Audrey’s wedding last year but even so, I had no idea what I was doing (we only used baby’s breath).

When I heard about the opportunity to attend A Better Florist‘s Flower Arrangement Workshop on 11 Nov, I jumped at the chance to learn something new. My mum had attended quite a few flower arrangement courses and came back with many beautiful flowers arranged so nicely.

The workshop was conducted by Shirleen, a very nice and bubbly girl. After a round of introductions, we learnt about the flowers and leaves that we were going to use for the day. We were introduced to Forget-me-nots, Eustomas as filler flowers (flowers that fill up the space) as well as some leaves to make up a bouquet. The focal flowers that we were using were roses and carnations.

A Better Florist workshop

The style that we were taught was a nice layered style that is the trend now for Instagram or photography (I never really thought of the difference when I saw bouquets).

After demonstrating the first few steps, Shirleen left us to picking our own flowers and arranging them. I won’t go into too much details (do sign up for the workshop to learn!), but I really had fun picking my own flowers and arranging them! Shirleen walked around assisting us and giving us tips when she noticed anything that we should take note of. One thing I learnt was also that tape is a florist’s best friend!


A whole lot of flowers to pick and design your own bouquet!

Once the basic arrangement was done, we were taught how to keep the flowers alive and to wrap them up nicely with a burlap to give it a nice rustic feel and for a finished product!

Very proud of my completed bouquet here!

All in all, I had a great 2 hours learning how to arrange a bouquet of flowers and the technical stuff behind it. Everything was simplified in a way that would make you want to go out and buy a bunch of flowers to arrange them again! I can’t believe that I’d arranged a bouquet of flowers within 2 hours and will definitely be something that I would want to do again.

Thank you A Better Florist!

If you would like to attend A Better Florist‘s workshop, do keep a lookout at their workshop page here.

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I’m Married!

Yess finally! Haha
Finally because we started working on our wedding almost a year ago, and finally everything is done.
Despite us looking forward to this day for so long, it still feels better to have something plan being executed after thinking or working on it for so long.

I won’t go into too much detail, but thought I’ll log down our/my general thought process so that I can look back at it in future and/or hopefully it’ll help others.

The other thing I want to say is that, both our parents are pretty liberal in letting us plan the wedding. So all we did was update them with the progress.

We spent a total of less than $25k for the wedding + photoshoot. I won’t list the individual costs here as the quotes given by the vendor might be different depending on your requirements (which wouldn’t be fair for them if I listed their prices here). I would say these are value for money vendors – meaning they are professional and very nice vendors but not well known enough to charge very high costs, so do check out their portfolio and work with them if you find that you like their work.

What we wanted our wedding to be like
I’ve always wanted a simple and small wedding. BUT, not too small until there are only relatives, but one where friends that I want to invite can also come.

The thing is, this gave us a problem where the wedding wouldn’t be very very small. We ended up having a wedding with around 200 pax mainly because of the venue’s minimum number.

Venue
This was a difficult part – we started our wedding planning with this.

We started by looking at restaurants coz of our budget, but the thing is, we aren’t sure which restaurants are good.

We ended up going to a wedding fair at Vivo’s atrium in Jan 2016 (where we were hounded by some photography shop staff for quite a while), and noticed Orchid Country Club’s booth with their promotion.

The staff weren’t pushy, and the promotional package seem to cover almost everything that we need (other than food and venue – free flow alcohol, decorations, ang bao box, free guestbook, free room stay).

We didn’t sign on the spot but decided to think it through.
After thinking about it, we chose a wedding lunch to keep the wedding simple.

The benefits of a wedding lunch are:
1) It finishes fast – guests can go elsewhere or run errands after that.
2) If you’re doing gatecrashing, you don’t have to wait so long for the banquet.
3) They don’t usually rush the food, and guests don’t have to worry about transport.
4) It is cheaper.

We chose buffet, mainly because we didn’t want the lunch to drag too long. We love weddings that are short and sweet (I think the guests too).

Pre-wedding shoot
Our friends usually have their pre-wedding shoot near the wedding, but we decided to have our pre-wedding shoot earlier as it’s usually something major before the wedding.

This was our to do list:
1) Photographer – we choose a freelance photographer recommended by a friend, mainly because the price fit our budget and the photographer’s portfolio was pretty good.

We worked with Ivan from LightSmith LLP, and I say he exceeded our expectations.

2) Dress – In photos, as long as something looks decent, you don’t need to spend too much money on it. I spent S$100 on a dress from this shop on Qoo10. It exceeded my expectations and all I had to do was to bring to a tailor to edit it (she charged me $5 only).

3) Location – I wanted something outdoors as I didn’t like the indoor decorations and stuff. I saw some pictures of Coney Island and I suggested that.

4) Makeup – Ivan (our photographer) recommend using this app called Vanitee to look for a makeup artist. I didn’t like his recommended ones but ended up finding this makeup artist Mint Gooi from Casaminto. You can find her portfolio here: Casaminto Makeup.

Mint was very professional and friendly and she knows her stuff. That’s the most important thing. I had spoken to another makeup artist prior to her and the other lady told me that she could do the makeup at Coney Island in the morning. Mint told me that she won’t be able to do it as there won’t be any electricity for the hair curling irons which was true.

We took the pictures in March 2016.

Wedding Dress
My thought process was this: People won’t remember what you wear a year later. Believe me, I don’t remember most of my friend’s weddings except roughly the people I sat with. Ended up buying another dress from the same Qoo10 shop. This was slightly expensive ($125), and I bought the wrong size the first time – do leave me a comment if you would like to purchase the unworn dress from me.

Justice of Peace (JOP)
We wanted to go for a lady JOP, and I let Eugene do the contacting. He did it quite last minute (and I mean 4 months before the wedding), so we didn’t get our first choice. I felt that this was a blessing in disguise however, as our JOP that we got on the actual day was Mr Mike Tam Chee Wah. He has a good sense of humour which our guests all commented that he was a good JOP and some of them have actually asked for his contact details. He was also very nice and gave us advice on what to do. We had originally only wanted one march in (after our solemnization), but seeing that there were many guests already there, he suggested that we have a march in before our solemnization which I felt was a nice touch to our wedding. We highly recommend him as your first choice if you’re looking for a solemnizer.

Brothers and Sisters
We kept it simple and asked 3 of our closest friends (in my case, my sister and Eugene’s sister plus one of my good friend who have been there for me for years – Meow Ling), to help us.

There wasn’t any gatecrash so it was even easier.

I remember Eugene’s brothers asking what to wear on the actual day and I told them it’s up to them, which made them super happy lol.

Program on actual day
This was done up with reference to a few other files that we found online as well as our own experience at weddings and how we wanted it to be like.

We kept it simple since there wasn’t any changing of dress – only one march in, video montage as well as speech and toast.

Photographer/Makeup
We kept to working with Ivan on the actual day as his price was reasonable and his professionalism was there.
Same goes for Mint!

Deco/wedding favours
This was part of the wedding package with Orchid Country Club, so all we did was to make decisions and choose.
We chose espresso mugs as well as passport holders. Interestingly the passport holders were the more popular ones!

Photobooth
I’d worked with Happy Gorillas on one occasion and had used their photobooth at a friend’s wedding.
The good thing about their photobooth is that the pictures are not small. I understand having credit card sized pictures, but they’re so small that I can barely see the pictures properly. And if you see how people keep the photos, if they’re big enough, they will put it on display at their home, their desks etc.
Value for money prices as well and they allowed for customization of the frame!

Live band
Lastly, live band for the guests!
If you’ve been to buffet weddings, you’ll know that they are boring. People eat at most 2 rounds and they get bored and sit around doing nothing. Hence, we decided to hire a live band to entertain the guests.

We booked Jeremy and Sky from Merry Bees (they work with a few other companies as well I believe) and topped up for Jeremy to be the Emcee as well. I was very worried about how it would go on the actual day (because I saw a friend’s emcee that he booked from a vendor screwing up his whole wedding) but his professionalism was just amazing!! I needn’t worry at all. His singing was also very good and a lot of friends raved about the band after the wedding!

We almost wanted to confirm with another vendor with regards to booking someone else for the band, but they turned out to be super unprofessional and we gave up trying after a month trying to confirm with them. Do comment with your email address and I’ll let you know which vendor.

Will update with pictures once they are sent over!

*Note: we gave various amounts of Ang baos to our vendors, JOP, brothers and sisters as well.

Would like to thank all the vendors and everyone who helped out at our wedding (25 Feb 2017)!

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Masterchef Dining & Bar Singapore 2016 (1 Dec 2017 Dinner)

I’ve been watching MasterChef since 2013 when Eugene introduced the series to me.

That was the year Luca Manfe won.

Ever since then, I’ve never missed a season.

When I saw that MasterChef Dining and Bar is coming to Singapore, I was very excited. I remember when I saw the list of chefs coming though it only listed Masterchef Asia’s winner Woo Waileong (yes I watched that when it was on Channel 5) so I decided to wait and see if anyone from MasterChef USA will be coming.

Then! I realised a few weeks back that Luca was coming!! I wasn’t sure at first and commented on his instagram just to check:
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And guess who the other chefs are? Audra Morrice, MasterChef Australia (and judge of MasterChef Asia) and Woo Wai Leong, MasterChef Asia! I watched MasterChef Asia when it aired on TV and honestly it was very apparent which will win.

Anyway, it was only until after the press conference last week that I decided that I had to go. Despite the price, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to try out the food!

I sent the link to Alexis, and she saw that if we could gather 6 people, there would be a discount! Initially, most of our colleagues rejected us as they felt that it was too expensive – luckily, there are some foodies among us (and home cooks) who also knows about MasterChef and came along!

Finally 1 Dec came!
We excitedly went to Intercontinental Hotel Singapore’s Ash & Elm restaurant after work and waited for a while before they let us in. Once we went in we were asked if we wanted sparkling water or wine (both chargeable).

I don’t want to go into much detail, but they had a Mystery box challenge and a contest before the dinner. Audra was the emcee and the chefs introduced their dishes and inspiration for it.

The menu:

Food pictures (in order of the menu)!


Luca’s famouse Rabe Ravioli!


Leong’s dish – very life changing. I will never eat a better pork ever again


Best dessert ever!!

We approached Marco Pierre White (or MPW) first for pictures because Audra, Luca and Leong were busy in the kitchen. We were a bit intimidated at first because… Well he’s the Godfather of chefs. We took only 2 menus for him to autograph after a picture with him and he said, “where are your menus?” so we hurried back to take the rest of them. Haha. He’s extremely nice by the way! At the end of dinner, when we had took pictures and autographs and was walking out, he actually stopped chatting with his friend and came over to thank us and shook all our hands. 👍😊😊

Our group had a long chat with Waileong (which included a small tour of the open kitchen). I think Alexis (being her usual self) drove him crazy hahaha. It was fun though and we gained some tips from him about eating at expensive food places.

Meeting Audra was just inspiring. Especially when all I know about her was from MasterChef Asia’s episodes as well as some reading up after that. Her 2 dishes were 2 outstanding ones and I really hope to be able to get her recipe book someday and cook her dishes.

And finally Luca! Meeting him was just awesome! I gave him 2 tissue paper packs (aka napkins) and he kinda featured the group of us on his Instagram Stories lol
I’ve been a fan of him since MasterChef 2013. He’s the nicest person ever (remember him sharing butter with Jessie?? And garlic?). Even in real life he’s friendly despite the fact that he’s probably jetlagged and very busy.
If it were other MasterChef USA cast, I would most likely not want to go.

Overall, it was a great experience, and I think much better than having fine dining at a restaurant. You won’t be able to take pictures or get an autograph with the chef at a fine dining restaurant! My colleagues had fun too – which made it even better. 🙂 The organizers did well and everything was fun even though I honestly felt intimidated at first.

I wish I’d won some of the autographed recipe books though!

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The Soup Spoon Taste Brazil Preview Session

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I had the opportunity to attend the preview session for The Soup Spoon’s Taste Brazil launch on 13 July.

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Brought my sister along as the fiance had dinner with his friends and it’s my sister’s birthday week.

There are 8 soups that will be launched under the Taste Brazil season of which 4 will be launched first from 14 July to 4 Aug 2016 (which we got to try), and the next will be from 11 Aug to 1 Sept 2016.

Anna aka Souperchef Anna, who’s the chef behind the Soup Spoon, was sponsored a trip by Sadia (the sponsor for the event that we attended as well) to Brazil where she got to eat and learn the different Brazilian food and how they’re cook so that she can come up with new seasonal soups. I was really excited to be able to meet her as I really really love Soup Spoon and have followed her adventures on Instagram for a while. When we sat down, we were given hibiscus tea (one of my favourite teas) and while Anna shared about her trip to Brazil, we were served the food.

We were presented with 4 soups (the first 4 that are being launched) to taste, and they are namely, Mocofava My Version, Beef Feijoada (fay-zwah- da), Vegan Caldo Verde Curried and Pumpkin Mango & Prawn Bitsque.

Mocofava My Version

Mocofava My Version

One of my favourite! It’s made of beans, some curry spice, carrot puree and chicken collagen. It was inspired by Chef Rodrigo of Mocotó restaurant where Souperchef Anna tasted the soup and created her version of it. It comes with a soft boiled egg. The curry powder was really fragrant along with the beans. It was my first taste of Brazilian styled food and it awoke my senses!

We were given a pack of this to bring home and my dad absolutely loves it as well and asked me to get more if possible.

Beef Feijoada

Beef Feijoada

“Black bean soup!” the first thing that came to the minds of both my sister and I when we tasted this. Souperchef Anna had told us that quite a lot of Brazil food uses similar ingredients as us and this is one good example. The all too familiar Chinese-styled black bean soup is now presented to us in a different way – thicker, with beef and (most interesting of all) orange bits. The orange bits brought about a burst of acidity and flavour when you bite into it which excited my tastebuds. I was a little worried when I saw that chillis were in the soup but it wasn’t spicy to me (trust me when I say that I’m usually bad with chillis).

Vegan Caldo Verde Curried

Vegan Caldo Verde Curried

We rarely get to eat kale here in Singapore because they’re expensive (I once bought a bunch for SGD$9!), so I was excited to be able to try a vegan version of the Caldo Verde curried made from kale. It has vegetarian bacon bits topped to it which brought a little bit of crunch to it. I don’t think a lot of people finished this however, but I pretty much like vegetables (along with any kind of food) so I finished it all.

Pumpkin Mango & Prawn Bitsque

Pumpkin Mango & Prawn Bitsque

I was excited to try this as I absolutely love the Soup Spoon’s Prawn Bitsque when it came out during Christmas (and also introduced a lot of my friends to try that). Mango in a soup? It was absolutely delicious! The prawn bits were generous and there were quinoa inside as well which made the soup really hearty and full.

Other than the 4 soups, we were given a treat of Chicken rice made from Sadia Chicken and coconut mousse!

The recipe for the chicken rice can be found here in the E-magazine by The Soup Spoon on Souperchef’s Anna trip to Brazil.

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I really enjoyed my time and I think perhaps it’s time that I get my blogging habits back again 🙂

TSS Brazil soup tasting

Source: Instagram @souperchefanna

Find out more about the Brazil soups here: http://www.thesoupspoon.com/promotions/promotions-souperinspirations/

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T’was a bad day today

I wanted the next article to be something else, but I’m feeling so upset and horrible right now that I really need an outlet to vent.

For people who know me, the thing I hate the most (yes hate even though it’s a strong word) is being accused of things that I did not do.

Today, 2 people that I look up to accused me.

I haven’t felt so bloody upset in a while. First I was accused of giving slip shoddy work because of lack of time – which totally wasn’t the case (it was a conclusion after a discussion and we wanted to re-use design because the design was good instead of re-doing new ones); and then I was accused of trying to dig too much into someone’s work process in a bad mood when I was just asking.

Look, do not question my work ethics. I do not do things because of lack of time. Sure, I do have ideas that save time but I did send for approval before going ahead (which was given).

Also, if you have the opinion that I will have a bad reaction to something and you project that thought at me, don’t bloody get mad.

This is pissing me off.

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Evelyn Glennie in Singapore 2015

Three years ago I watched Evelyn Glennie in Singapore. Back then, I’d only played with a Symphonic Band/Orchestra (just every Sunday, non-professionally).

Fast forward 3 years on, I’m taking a break from my Symphonic Band practice, and I’ve explored and played with different people and bands the past year; I’d auditioned and failed in about 3 bands, but also had the opportunity to play in different bands for their performances. Still, I lack self-confidence most of the time, and struggle regularly on whether I should continue playing or give it up, as I know that as compared to professionals, I can be nowhere as good as them.

I envy professional musicians – they get to hone their skills everyday and do what I wish I was good at. Some of my friends (both professionals and non-professionals) know that I’m going through this and they told me not to compare this way.

When Parvin told us that she was able to meet Evelyn Glennie and ask her questions if any, the first question that I had was again the above – What would she advice a non-professional percussionist who knows that she isn’t as good as a professional even though she does her best to work on her skills as best that she can?
Evelyn’s answer (as conveyed by Parvin) was this: There’s no such thing as non-professional percussionists. We are all the same and equal whether we are professionals or not. The most important thing is that we need to explore and understand people’s feelings and try to understand what life is all about. We are here to share our beautiful stories of life through our performances to the audience. Even the audience has some stories to share.

I think this was the best answer that I’d received. I was reminded previously about how we should connect with the audience through our performance but this was the best reminder. I’m really thankful for Parvin to ask my question too! 🙂

This time, I attended Evelyn’s performance with Carol and Parvin – 2 brilliant percussionists that I get to play with. It was Carol’s first time watching the SCO (my 2nd time) and just like my first time watching them previously, she was in awe. There were 2 other soloists – Yu Hong Mei who plays the Er Hu (her music accolades are really amazing), and Han Lei who plays the Guan Zi. I’m intrigued by the sound of the Guan Zi – the lower one with elements that makes it sound like the clarinet, and the higher one which sounds a little like the saxophone.
Pretty much was a good reminder to myself about music.

And we finally finally got a picture with Evelyn Glennie herself!!!
She’s really really nice 🙂

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Thank you for inspiring all musicians as always!

I really really love playing music. This is why I haven’t given up yet.

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Dear you

I’m not sure if you still visit, and I haven’t updated in ages.

I’ll just leave this open for one of us to stumble upon. Just so that you can read this. Please bear in mind that I am not trying to air our issues to the world.

Today something similar happened again, something that I thought we solved 2 months ago. I really wanted to ask why you don’t follow the agreement we had then, but I know that you probably won’t listen today. I’ll bring this up another day when we are both more awake.

We really need to solve this. And I really want to stop crying.

Love you still.

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I am misunderstood

I am misunderstood.
Everyone thinks I’m angry but no one tries to understand me.

I have pleaded for help.
So far only my family and now my bf has agreed to help.

I am misunderstood.
I am not angry but I don’t know that what came out was rude.

I mean what I say.
Unless I am joking or trying to tease a person.

I have never told lies or not meant what I said unless it was an unconscious behaviour.
And it wasn’t conscious today.

Sometimes I wonder why other people I know can say the same thing and no one thinks that they are rude. Sure words like “guai lan” or “fierce” is used to describe that person but no one says that they are rude. I don’t understand and sometimes I do think that it is not fair.

Then I think further and I guess it’s because I chant, and through this chanting I am changing and I have people reminding me.

I only seek for nicer reminders that don’t make me cry. I am already harsh with myself most of the time and it is affecting my life, confidence and esteem. Thank you for doing your best to help me.

I never said that I am perfect. I am doing my best to improve and be better.

I only ask for nicer reminders because making me upset will not make me remember – it is only temporary that I do if I am upset. Being nice to me (because everyone else treats me like shit), I can.

Thank you for helping.

I am misunderstood.
I wish I am not.

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SG Postcard Project 2015 – First Shoot

So… I got into the Singapore Postcard Project 2015! Wow! Quite happy about it though I was a little upset at first because of the way certain communications were handled. The NLB staff was nice about it after I provided some feedback..

The group was really nice. The girls were all younger than me. We had a walk at Scape yesterday and took a few pics. It’s honestly quite tough to think out of the box and compose properly since the last time I took pictures were at a show. I need more practice honestly >.< Okay will post one of my favourite picture:

Really hope to learn a lot from this! 🙂

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:(

Let’s take a short break from talking about my aligners to let me vent a bit.

Do you know how I feel right now? Fking disappointed.

I agreed to let you go for a bit of drinks with your colleagues and you came home near drunk, reeking of hard liquor and I had to fking walk here to your place myself. At 12 midnight.

I rushed home from my jam and collecting stuff just to spend more fking time with you because you have your reservist next week. And this is what I get.

How can I not be selfish in future? This is what I get for trusting you.

And yes I will post this. Because I can and because I am not at the wrong.

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