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For what it's worth, it was worth all the while.

Of hopes and dreams

This was in present tense as it was drafted before the renovation was completed. -_-
Will have to follow up this post with the post-completion pics! </p>

Building our first home is very significant, and it is certainly not less memorable than our wedding day itself. Our wedding was one day for a life long marriage and the renovation similarly resulted in a house that we are to stay in for many years to come. It is the place that we are pouring our hard earned money into, wiping our savings. It is the place for which we chose every tile together, decided on the laminates, selected the furnitures and curated the paintings that are now hung on the walls of our love nest. It will be the place for us to eventually welcome our future baby. The place where our baby's cries will be heard and where our baby will crawl and take his/her first step. Where our baby will call us papa/mama. Where we will bicker and love, and worry together.

<p>I want to record down these memories because i know before we know it, our renovation journey will come to an end (Another 3 weeks!). Just like our wedding preparation, we so looked forward to the day we got married, only to miss the journey thereafter. similarly i believe it will be the same for the renovation process. i mean we are enjoying it, but at the end of the day, what keeps us going is the countdown to the house we built together. We cannot wait to move in yet we already miss the furniture hunting even though it burnt so many of our weekends. Human dilemmas.
Looking for the correct ID to work with was a long and tedious task. We started meeting up with various IDs in Jan this year and we met a total of 5-6 IDs, and met each twice. First time was to go through our requirements and the second is to see the quotation and assess whether their ideas were compatible with ours, whether we had chemistry and would feel comfortable working with them, etc.</p> <p>
Both of us like wood, and we like textures. Along with the fact that we are beach lovers, we thus wanted a "resort" theme for our house. Woody, white, beige, clean, spacious looking, etc. Just imagine a villa in Phuket or a resort in Maldives. We however wanted NO walk-in wardrobe (surprising? even tho i have alot of clothes and shoes i've nv fancied having a WIW because there would be dust and i find it impractical to take up 1 room), and also NO open kitchen (personal preference). We did wanted a platform bed, and a cover-up bomb shelter along with a HUGE shoe cabinet that is not at first sight a shoe cabinet (HAHAHA more on that later. drove my ID crazy). Our house must also be uniform through-out, so that it is kept to one theme (some people spent all the money in the living room and their bedrooms look nothing like their theme). Lastly R wanted to overlay both toilets, replace the toilet bowls, sinks and shower heads given by HDB. No mosaic tiles for us.</p>

So that was our (complex) brief to the IDs we met...

Some of the pictures I saved for reference. You get the idea... that it usually looks nice because there is a pool/lake/sea outside HAHAHA.

The first ID I contacted was actually the company that did Xiaxue's renovation. I cannot remember the company's name now, but you can easily google it. I like xia xue's house for 2 (personal) reasons: firstly i am a beach lover, although i would prefer a resort theme than a beach theme. And secondly, her whole house (except her pink room) is uniform in theme. the ID whom i met from this company wasnt the one who did her house btw. This particular ID Wi***e wasn't very creative, and the ideas she gave are the standard stuff. She's the template kind of person, either lazy or can't be bothered. anyway even though the quotation was pretty close to what we eventually signed but it's just the lack of confidence that she will do a wow job for us that led us to strike her off the list.

We then met with R*x from F**e Concept, whom we signed with eventually. On the first meeting he showed us a house that he did which wasnt what we had wanted. We wanted resort theme and he showed us what he looked like scandinavian-colorful theme. at this time, you might be thinking, oh no. but strangely enough that picture sparked EVERYTHING. he used black walls in the living room and colorful chairs around an open bar top. it was nothing we have seen before. hahaha. funny thing was apparently he asked then if i could accept colors and i said NO. now R and the ID both teasing me because I am the one who keeps adding colors to our home. Somehow R*x was the one who didn't follow our resort theme brief and ended up with our money LOL! He showed his creativity and sincerity early, and we really appreciated that he took pride in his ideas and dared to think out of the box (what we call "think like an ID and not act like a contractor").

The extraordinary part was that he unearthed what we truly liked. Because we like wood and textures, we always assumed we wanted a resort theme. however he had the foresight and proposed so many 'new' ideas to us that we fell in love with, at the same time, still maintaining the wood, textures and things we wanted to build. along the way while reading lots of Square Room and Home Decor magazines, R and I also realised that resort theme just would not be achievable to the standards we think we want (no spacious hdb, no high ceilings, no sea, no balcony...). the change seems odd yet so natural. The theme we eventually settled on is a 360 degrees change from our resort theme!!!! R*x tried his best not to recycle the ideas and materials (even tho sometimes we insist at what he thinks is common. I always tell him it's common to him cuz he is an ID but to me, it's new and innovative hahaha). Most importantly, he used our budget very well. We managed to do alot of things + capentry with the limited budget we had.

Third on the list that we met was Da**el from Id*** H**se. Well we met up with him because he did the renovation for R's current house (2 toilets and 1 room). He was around our age, and thus quite easy to talk to. he has some interesting ideas here and there but needs to be pushed/encouraged to explore further. However having worked with him before, we knew that he was 'bullied' by his contractors sometimes because of his youth and minimal experience and that means as customers we may get pushed back in terms of schedule or workmanship because he cannot win them over. the good thing about him is that he's upfront about practicalities and feasabilities of designs. he would not hide the facts from you but helps you understand the pros and cons to make informed decisions. He quoted us around 30k from the first round but alot of things we wanted were not included or were compromised. We then reminded him we still have budget to play with, so pushed him to rethink his proposal and quotation. however due to unknown reasons he took a long time to come back with the revised quote, and by the time we signed with our ID he still hasn't come back to us, so naturally we dropped him. any vendors who take too long to get back to you without any updates is a bad sign in our opinion. at least a "sorry i have been busy, i will come back to you by xx xx" is better than radio silence.

Then there was this OMG and still laughable story about the 4th ID from Me**r Squ**e. His name is Ja***. For all the IDs above, the first meeting took at least 2 hours to go through our requirements in detail. however Ja*** was done with us in 20 minutes. he asked very little specific questions in terms of measurements, said he was very concerned about social media because nowadays (facebook, forums etc) have alot of influence (on consumers), and that he had read my blog before we met up because my email signature contained my blog link and thus he knew what we like and dislike. at that point, both me and R were like "what?" inside us. that's kind of stalker-ish. R said to me "stalk my wife's blog and still dare to tell us" LOL. Okay nevermind. Even though we could not really click with him, we gave him another chance to present his quotation cuz who knows maybe he can come up with something good. He proposed (or kind of insisted) that we should hack the wall between the kitchen and service yard because it will extend the kitchen and that we should do a open concept kitchen even though we did not want to. Plus he told us that our budget was more than enough!!

At the second meeting, Ja***'s quotation came up to a good 10k more than the budget we gave him and which he claimed was more than enough. He seemed to have forgotten what he claimed.. okay nevermind. his ideas were mediocre (honestly can't rmb much of what he proposed), but he wasn't well prepared. Whatever sketches or layout proposals he showed us at the second meeting was what other IDs drew on the spot during our first meetings with them. and the killer sentence was when he proposed that we have shower curtains instead for our toilets because they are so small........ followed by laughter. thereafter, he also changed his mind and said he now proposes not to hack the wall between kitchen and service yard (errr... you proposed and then you killed it without good reasons or explanation to your client). when we asked him if a PE endorsement is required to hack walls, he wasnt sure and checked with his colleague (female) who was working at the next table beside us. i thought i heard him say "dear ah"... and dismissed as my ears gone bad... after his colleague affirmed that we do not need a PE endorsement most of the time, he turned to us and said "that's my manager... cum my gf". Okay, like TMI. He then tried to arrange a third session with us but inside us we knew we were saying goodbye to him. we were not comfortable with his working style, nor his personality. totally zero chemistry.

The other innovative ID we met was Ke*** from Spa** Se**e Stu***. He is actually an ID whom we admire very much as his works are unique and daring. He did not give template solutions and he is also a furniture maker. There were many things that he DIY for his clients, like buying table legs from Ikea and customizing the table top. He gave us unconventional and unheard of ideas, like building ceiling beams, wall pipes that act as bookshelves, and leaning walls and surprisingly his quotation was not that expensive. It was a very difficult choice to choose between his creativity and R*x's. The reason we chose R*x over him was because we clicked better with R*x. Chemistry matters to us because afterall it is a long period of working relationship and we wanted to be sure we chose someone whom we could feel comfortable with, in terms of discussing and rejecting ideas. Ke*** was extremely professional and so serious such that the discussion felt a bit uptight and we were worried we may not be able to communicate our ideas to him during the process. However we would recommend him if you like loft and industrial designs, which seems to be his expertise.

Lastly we met up with J**n from The 80s S***o. She was open and easy to talk to, and was also someone who takes her job seriously with 8 years experience in the industry. Honestly I like their designs very much. They have this knick knack ability to use simple ideas or materials that you don't usually associate with home decor, to demarcate an area or transform the space. However her quotation was the most expensive at around 55k-60k. Comparing the various quotes, their carpentry costs were like at least 10% higher than the other companies. Because we have alot of carpentry requirements, we were not willing to settle. However meeting up wtih J**n actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise even though we did not work together. She gave us a brilliant suggestion to enlarge the master bedroom, which we later explored with our chosen ID. We're thankful for her help unknowingly.

So yup, this long post sums up the selection journey. I screened the names of the IDs and companies because I believe different people might have different experiences with them. Anyway one bad ID does not make the whole company bad. My best advice is to look for IDs that have experience doing the theme(s) you like.

<p>So far so good.. i think we both feel that we made the right choice choosing R*x as our ID. =)
Posted by MintyVintage on October 21, 2014 at 11:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: Reno, renovation, Home

Moodboard for inspiration


These were the pictures that made up my moodboard for the renovation of our house. obviously this post is way lagging. I drafted it in June and am posting it in October. ^_^
We wanted a mix of scandinavian and industrial. The end results? Abit of rustic too! and once you add the home appliances and daily stuff, it looks like HOME.
Pictures are from all over the net - I do not own them.
Posted by MintyVintage on October 21, 2014 at 10:11AM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: renovation, Home

Waiting and fulfilling

After 3 years of waiting and looking at the ground from zero to 15 storeys high, we got the keys to our flat in late March this year. Here are pictures of the flat in its original, pre-renovated state. Honestly it is quite live-able with the tiles already provided (our project is a premium BTO), and we could have saved alot of money if we just buy furniture, not hack any walls, build the essentials etc. But when else to spend and really go all out for a house that we will love (rather than blah) but now (no kids and committment)?

I digress. Let's take a look at the flat.

Rolling pineapple into the house to HUAT!

View of the main door and entrance to kitchen, as well as the dining area.

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View of the living room and the full length windows (much love! more light!) Tiles provided by HDB for the living room are homogenous tiles with parquet skirting. We would definitely have preferred wooden looking tiles like Envorich but no budget to do so. Decided we could live with them. Also as you see, the opposite block is a distance from us as there are two roads and an LRT in between our project and the next cluster of neighbourhood (Which is where we stay currently at my in-laws')

Another shot. We are partially covered by two blocks so we don't get much direct sun shining into our house, which is good in a way. Won't be too hot. Also I like that they gave us white window frames instead of the usual black or brown ones which are not very pleasant IMO.


This is our view into the kitchen and service yard.

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The wall tiles provided in the kitchen are ceramic tiles, and the floor tiles are glazed porcelain tiles. Not our favourite kind of tiles but no budget to overlay them.

Ugly water pipes at service yard that are unavoidable in HDBs. I quite like the bi-fold door they gave though.

Walking into the master bedroom (i forgot pictures of the walkway), the tiles provided are timber strips/parquet (Apparently they are the same, just that timber strips are longer than parquet pieces). No issues with the flooring as it looks premium like condo. hahaha!

The room shot. Our MBR is flanked by the other block that partially blocks us as seen on the left, but on the right the view is unblocked and oversees the road.

Master bedroom toilet. The tiles are ceramic for both wall and floor. The wall tiles include some mosaic tiles, which we don't fancy but the white parts are not too bad lah. However we will be overlaying the master bedroom with new tiles because we want a nicer fit-to-theme toilet. The sink and toilet bowl, as well as shower head would be replaced too.

Close up of the sink in the master bedroom. It is useable but we want and need storage below the sink. So we will build a cabinet and have a top mount sink.

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The erm not so nice mosaic tiles.

The common toilet view. We initially wanted to replace everything here too. But due to budget, we eventually retained the floor tiles, the wall tiles (except for the side with the mosaic), and the toilet bowl. The sink and shower head will be replaced. Hopefully it will still turn out looking good (for our standards).


Posted by MintyVintage on July 01, 2014 at 5:16PM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: Reno, renovation, Home

Blowing the dust off my blog....

2014 passed by rather quickly. Already it is june! It is almost one year since I got married. Just amazing.
it felt like yesterday that we were doing all the wedding preps. and now we are doing the house preps.

anyway here's a shout to Agnes 자기야! i was so touched when she asked me why i havent been updating. i didnt know anyone was still checking this site. =) awww. 사랑해!!

super busy over the past couple of months with the design and searching and selection of ID for our house. we collected the keys in late march, and signed with the ID but renovation has only started this week because there were so much detail to discuss!! now the walls that we want hacked are gone! electrical works and plumbing are on-going. it has been stressful but extremely exciting as well.

in 6 weeks time we should be able to start moving in. omg. it is like a dream coming true! I will be blogging about bits and pieces of the reno and furnishing process so as to record these memories. But i won't be publishing them until we move in... as we would rather let pictures speak for itself!! hehe.

i also dont want to reveal the theme (although it is rather common). we started with resort theme (because we love beach holidays) but somewhere along the journey we realised the furniture and design we actually wanted to have was slanted towards the eventual theme we settled on. and also because resort theme is not going to be wow worthy in a hdb. resort theme will look good in places like pent houses, and big big spaces that are actually near the sea!!

<span style="font-size: small;">in other areas of my life, i also left tag and moved on to a sector that i have been thinking of joining for some time. it was and it still is a difficult journey to leave familiar grounds, especially when i am changing my job scope altogether. it is as good as starting anew. it has been almost one month and i guess i have started to adjust to things here. Environment is new, colleagues are not as cool, i dont get to wear the casual clothes anymore and i dont have a lunch clique that i join everyday. but i am telling myself to hang on, for the better salary, bonus and benefits. It is usually eerily quiet but then again i must have been spoilt by the sampatness of agency life. haha. i guess i will never get those back, but i am thankful to have experience those fun times before.

i really miss being able to wear jeans on thursday "just because" and maxi skirts and denim shirts to office. here it just doesnt feel quite appropriate even on a friday. But i think the hardest challenge for me is to change my mentality about the work. in fact i do feel quite lost and not sure where to start. and there is not much guidance. maybe i need to be alot more independent but surely there should be some direction? oh well, we will see how things go.</span>

for now, perhaps i should just take my time to settle down. and enjoy the time before the real work comes in.

wish me luck.

Posted by MintyVintage on June 06, 2014 at 5:45PM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Filed in: Reno, house, life, work | Related: Reno, house, life, Work

Looking back on 2013

<span style="font-size: small;">2013 was an important year in my life, with many significant moments.
And it has therefore become an unbeatable year.

It was the year I got married to the man whom I never dreamt of.
Went to my dream holiday destination, Maldives.
Spent the most amount of the money in my life for the above events.
Wore wedding gowns for the first time. Drove an Audi TTS.
Wore my Christian Louboutins for wedding.
Moved to Sengkang to stay with my in-laws.

Had the most memorable trip to Hong Kong together with Wenxin + shuen and en surprising me en-route, marking it as our first overseas trip after a decade long friendship.
Completed my first overseas run in HK which was also my first 10km run.
Achieved two more 10km for Shape Run and Great Eastern Womens Run.
Took up Korean language again.
Got closer to my knitties.

Bought myself a Prada bag with cold hard cash.
Got myself my dream Ferragamo classic varinas in black and red.

I started and ended 2013 on a good note and I am really thankful for all the blessings i've received.

I think 2014 will be very exciting too.
I am going to receive the keys to my own house!!
It is so surreal.
I can't wait.

Posted by MintyVintage on January 08, 2014 at 4:35PM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: love, life

An Nyeong 2014

<span style="font-size: small;">Hello! 2nd day of the new year 2014, and I think I will review my 2013 resolutions and of course make new ones.

Here's the list of my 2013 resolutions:
1. reach a stable 5 figure in personal savings (hope this will still be possible after spending on wedding + honeymoon)</span>
Obviously did not happen for personal savings - ashamed to say. Our joint savings is also back at a low 5 figure sum after the wedding and extravagant (but very worth) honeymoon in Maldives (which I will blog about soon)

2. run once a month and yoga once a week (i am still not the biggest fan of running on my free will so...)
<span style="color: #3366ff; font-size: small;">Next!

Kidding. I did yoga once a week most of the time, sometimes twice a week, but running.... errrr, 0 times except for runs.
3. join 5 runs (and collect 5 more medals!)
Safari Zoo run, StandChart HK run, Kranji Countryside Run, Shape Run, Great Eastern Women's Run - accomplished!

4. moisture my neck and mask weekly (now that i'm getting closer to the big 3-0, it's vital to protect the neck!)
Yes to moisturizing neck but erm, no too lazy to mask weekly. I thought I would do so after moving in with Roland, but sadly it is more like as-and-when.

5. learn a new language - korean (technically not new for me, but the fun is re-learning it with roland)
We did!!!!! Picking up korean again is one of my highlights in 2013, 재미있어요! Only regret is not doing it earlier. Enjoying the language, the dramas, the variety shows, and learning more about Korea's history and culture. I hope one day I will be able to speak it fluently and be confident to use it when speaking to Koreans. Now I mainly use it for code-talk with Roland and to understand some bits of korean shows and eavesdropping in Korean restaurants.

6. keep to $150 shopping per month ('pay myself first' rule)
<span style="color: #3366ff; font-size: small;">Referring to number 1, you will get your answer. :(:(:( This is damn hard to change.


<span style="font-size: small;">Resolutions for 2014
1.  I want to live in the moment. Live in the present and enjoy each day, because who knows how many 'next time' or tomorrow we have left. Naturally there are lots of things we take for granted everyday. But I want to change that, because I feel that relationships go downhill when you stop being thankful/grateful for what seems to happen naturally. Hence, each goodbye that I say to my loved ones, I now try to make the most out of it, with an extra hug or kiss, or extra words. And I always count my blessings, and focus on what others do for me, rather than what they don't or what they lack. And in 2014, I want to notice more, observe more, remember more, and be more mindful of the surroundings, of myself and my actions.

2. Be a better listener. </span>
I am definitely a talker and not a listener. But I've improved on this in 2013, compared to earlier times in our relationship when Roland would be talking and I would realise later that I don't remember anything he said. #guilty In 2014, I want to focus on being present, on really listening, on really enjoying my time with others rather than scrolling through my phone or drifting away to space. I want to borrow my ears to others more often and not just hear them, but listen to them.

3. Immerse in anything Korean for at least 1 hour a day - korean shows, websites, revision, etc - and get to Intermediate level by end of 2014.

4. Start saving $500 each month for my Chanel / Celine bag, whichever comes first. I should have enough spare cash by end of year.

5. Go for the runs that I missed in 2013.. ie. 2XU (which I've signed up already!), Adidas run (cancelled due to rain last year), Sundown 10km etc.

6. Drink one bottle of water everyday at work!!! I drink too little water.. more water will aid in better metabolism, digestion, better skin, etc. so YES to water, no to bubble tea.

edit - last one -
7. To be the BEST wife!!!
This spurred from a blog that I read. Basically the man expressed his love for his wife so much and so deep, it appeared that the wife is a very good wife, who puts his needs and feelings above hers, and always considerate and understanding even when things go wrong and a wonderful mom to their 2 kids. That made me rethink what kind of wife I am and would be... and I decided I want to be the best wife that Roland can have, so that if any day he blogs or tells others about me when I am not around, people will also think "wah she sounds like such a good wife!" lol. That blog became my inspiration to better myself as a wife and mother (in future). When Roland heard this he said "Then I need to have 3 wives... so that they can be good and better and you can be best." HAHAHHA. -_-

Okay, that's all else I won't even remember.

I will blog about the best of 2013 soon!

Posted by MintyVintage on January 02, 2014 at 5:45PM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: love, life

And on this day, we marry.

<span style="font-size: small;">It's almost 6 months since we got married. I typed the below post long long ago in July, but never managed to finish it. As the year 2013 is ending I need to post this before it gets trashed into the bin.


it's a month since 29/6. time really passed so quickly. </span>
How did my 2 weeks of annual leave ended so quickly? :(

Taking leave for 2 weeks is damn shiok, even though we were too tied up in the week leading up to the big day, running errands, gowns last fitting, meeting videographer and photographers, etc.

<span style="font-size: small;">The day before the wedding, we had a super long day..

- Woke up 6am to go fetch Isaac over.
- 安床: We got Roland's aunt and husband who is supposedly a blessed couple to come for this 'ceremony'. Basically they helped us to change the bedsheets to the new and red set that we bought. After this, I got my nephew Isaac to jump and roll on the bed, as he is 童子, supposed to bless the us with many children. Then a tray was placed on the bed, which included various stuff like charcoal, dried longan, red dates, lotus seeds etc for different meanings, and some angpows that are meant to be placed under the bed at the 4 corners. Finally we on the 2 bedside lamps that we specially bought - this is called 点灯. After this ceremony, Roland had to sleep in the living room haha.

- Went to collect my mum's IC from my house.

- Went back to Roland's house as he forgot to change his shoes.

- Sent Isaac to school.

- Went to ROM to collect our wedding cert, they were very efficient so we were out in 5 minutes.

- Went to Chinatown Point to collect Tshirts for Tooka Print.

- Went back to my house again to collect the things that we needed to move to my bro's house. As there happened to be a wake at my flat's void deck, we were not comfortable with the idea that it will clash with our wedding as the wake was unlikely to end before the wedding. I mean, it isnt sensitive to them as well, if the brothers come horning the car away right... I was quite depressed over it when I found out.. and initially my mother said it's fine to continue the usual plans.. both me and Roland didn't want to, afterall we planned so hard and long for this big day, and want to avoid any last minute things that could upset this. Luckily Mum gave in to my solution and my brother was very open to us using his house. for that, i am so grateful to him and Da-Sao for cleaning the house vigorously that night, and even buying extra fans and installed new lights for the wedding. They even offered their bed to me, but in the end I took Isaac's bed :)

- Went to collect the bridal car (Audi TTS) from Ace Drive, where we rented it from. The car is really awesome, I had to drive it out as Roland's license is less than 2/3 years. It was darn scary I tell you, because TTS is a very low car and I was afraid to scratch or damage it when crossing the road humps. Also not used to driving such an expensive car. Despite this, I managed to drive it home safely and am proud to say I drove a TTS before! :D

<span style="font-size: small;">- Drove the car down to Di Gio to tie the wedding car decor. Took about 45 minutes, and traffic was a bitch to and fro as it was Friday evening.

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my blue purple hand bouquet!

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- Roland sent me home to rest around 8pm and then went to deliver Tshirts and wash his car for the wedding</span>

<span style="font-size: small;">In total, we travelled some 18 locations in 12 hours because we kept forgetting to bring this and that.

I was trying to fall asleep before 11pm, since I had to wake up at 330am... but I remember feeling nervous and excited.. called wenxin to chat for a while before i finally felt like i could use some sleep.

<span style="font-size: small;">Morning wedding 29 June (our 3rd anniversary as well!)

My shoes for the day! Christian Louboutin nude heels and red bow heels from taobao. what a contrast in price LOL.

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Mum and Dad veiling me.

Everything went quite smoothly I must say. Not long after I woke up, my makeup artist, Keith, arrived and started to prep my hair. Around 5am, my sister, mum and the jie-meis arrived and were busy preparing for the gatecrash. By 7am i could hear all the shouting and demanding outside, while I was waiting (perspiring under the veil) in Isaac's room.
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<span style="font-size: small;">I wanted to face-time so I can see what was happening but alas it just didnt work at that time! the jie-meis took videos and whatsapp to me instead. I was laughing while waiting..

</span>Some dress shots that I took while waiting :) Isaac was grumpy cuz he had to wake so early. Hehe.

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Finally the kiss shot when he was let into the room (which was Isaac's room).

</span></span>Some of my favourite shots... i look better at this angle hahahah!

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Brother shielding me with red umbrella...
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and i had to throw the red fan out of the car and not look back to symbolise that I will 嫁得好... (i was feeling quite teary cuz it feels like i'm being given away and cannot even glance at my family and friends haha!)

As we finished the gatecrash on time, we had 20 minutes to spare after the tea ceremony at his house. First thing is to eat tang yuan and then the removing of veil - these black & white shots are beautiful! :)

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Our Jie-Mei shot - this is after I changed into my qipao for the tea ceremony part II.

Walking to our car to go back to my brother's place for tea ceremony part II
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Love this shot of us! All the brothers did very well in the jump shots! hehe. and all the sisters are so chio.</span></span>
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<span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;">Cruising the roads in our rented Audi TTS was a dream come true. Audi cars are really stable and don't feel as light as our Honda Civic.. I was waving my bouquet along the way but it was impossible to stand up on the seat in that big poufy gown.. haha! i think my hair will just 'chui' as the wind was pretty strong.

Another of the heart-warming moments my photographer captured. Super love this pic with Isaac. </span></span></span>
<span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;">

</span></span></span><span style="font-size: small;">The tea ceremony at my bro's place took longer than expected as we were waiting for all the relatives to arrive and I had to change back from the cheongsam to the white gown so we were slightly late for the solemnization at 11am. When we reached Crowne Plaza Hotel, Roland went to the poolside first with the rest of our family and friends. The funny thing was that my father and I were hiding at one corner waiting to be cued by someone to march in, but my dear emcees and the hotel coordinator were waiting for each party to cue. -_- so we stood there for awhile and the guests were all silent...

<span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;" lang="EN-US"><span style="font-size: small;">


But when it was finally time to walk down the aisle with my father, i was sooooo nervous i didnt know where to look. The photographers and videographer said that i kept looking down at the floor as you can see from the pictures above! (act like shy bride?) My smile was so frozen LOL... Didnt help that there were some unexpected guests (R's relatives) so i felt like i was in foreign land... but i tried to focus on people i do recognise...it does help to have your friends there to smile and encourage you! It certainly wasnt like TV dramas when the camera focuses on the bride looking intensely at the groom... and the groom beaming like an idiot. haha. it was more step-by-step-看着办 to me.

Oh and our march in song for the solemnization is 最重要的决定 by 范围其.. Ultra love for this song.. ever since i saw her MTV and wedding clips... I just knew I would use this song somewhere in my wedding. The lyrics are very touching and meaningful. Although honestly on that day all the music seemed to become background music once I started walking down... too nervous i suppose!


我願意 每天在你身邊甦醒
就連吵架也很過癮 不會冷冰
因為真愛沒有輸贏 只有親密

Sadly our JP (Mr. Lee Ka But - he's a sweet old man who donated our angpow to Children Cancer Society on our behalf) disappointed us that day with his 'performance'.. He was asking Roland:

Will you, ___Roland____ take this woman ____Valerie___ to be your wedded wife, to live together in the legal estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, be faithful to her, so long as you both shall live? <span style="font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;" lang="EN-US">

<span style="font-size: small;">he stumbled and forgot the lines in blue, and there was an awkward pause of 5 seconds... eventually he just continued with "be faithful to her?" (his tone sounded like a question) and paused again and then handed the mike to Roland to answer.. both me and R were like 'omg..' inside us..

Then he proceeded to ask me a similar question, but he sounded as if he couldnt remember my name. i was holding my breath and finally let it out when he remembered. This time round he did said "so long as both shall live".

After we both said "yes I will", he told us to exchange rings and before i knew it he told roland that he may now kiss the bride. i was really puzzled at this point as I remembered during the meet-up prior to the wedding, we told him we had personal vows we wanted to recite, and he mentioned this would be done before exchanging rings and kissing the bride. I had no time to react cuz Roland then kissed me.. i then turned to the JP and told him we still had our personal vows. guess what he said? "oh, then you should have done so before the kiss..." like walaoeh, we waiting for your cues leh! So eventually he passed the mike to Roland and I..

My vow to Roland
You have been most patient, forgiving and comforting to me ever since we were just friends. You are the one I trust more than myself. And today, I marry you, my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, and love. Roland, I promise to be faithful to you, take care of you, encourage you, be patient and loving to you, and to grow old with you. I promise to always be honest with you, and share my dreams, my joys, or my sadness with you.

My dream is to have your kids, and build a warm loving home that you want to return to everyday. When we are old, and our children are grown, we will travel the world, visit the places we dream of, and call a dog our own.

You have given my past and future meaning. Thank you for choosing me to be your wife this very moment. I know I will be in good hands for the many days and years to come. I will love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.

It was quite an intense moment for me but the JP's body language made me feel like i was too lengthy :( oh well, at least we got to say the vows. we were just disappointed as we had thought that the JP would be so familiar with the lines already having had solemnized so many weddings, or if he wasnt, would have prepared a script to ensure he doesnt slip.

The moment i said "I do!" and him putting the ring on my finger.
<span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;" lang="EN-US"><span style="font-size: small;">

And the kiss <3

I like this picture... it speaks UNITY!

After the solemnization we took some shots as the pool side, and then it was time to catch the bouquet! dearest veron caught it (not like there was other contenders haha!). the photos below are so sweet!

meiho and emmy looking so happy in the background!! It's a very pretty photo of veron and me.. the flowers matched her top perfectly!! Get married soooooon lover! Be blessed with mintyvintage's bouquet. Love ya many many, and thanks for using this photo to make Christmas card for me!! yay!<span style="font-size: small;">

Parting shots with intimates missing Jane!

And with the best jie-meis and xiong-dis we could ask for :)

A pity we didnt have more time to take individual shots, as we had to rush off for a third tea ceremony with other relatives. When that was surprisingly done within 15 minutes, I was so hungry already. We went for a quick ramen lunch at T3 and then back to hotel suite to remove makeup and rest. The suite was very big and luxurious, but now come to think of it I think i didnt take photos of it :(

Here are some photos we took in between of ourselves.

My wedding dress has a very pretty glittery (under light) tulle/mesh outer layer... though it is not the kind of dress i had envisioned myself wearing but i guess it was one of the better choices i had. Sometimes what you like may not be what suits you... all the lace gowns i wanted all looked weird on me! so A line and poufy turned out to be more suitable on my frame. I was close to selecting a mermaid one too...

Night wedding dinner
</span><span style="font-size: small;">
Moving on to the dinner at night... My makeup artist came around 4pm, and I was busy doing the makeup and hair while Roland and the brothers & sisters went ahead to prepare the ballroom and do last minute set-up/rehearsals. I really loved the hairdo that Keith did for me! It was so romantic and feminine! I could let it all down the back or twist it to one side. And it makes my usually thin and flat hair look voluminous!

Received lots of compliments for this hair-do as well! :) Looks like Godilocks right?

In my ombre evening dress with the hair-do.

After my makeup was done, I wore my qi-pao and went to the reception first because I wanted to spend more time with my friends who came early. Many of them were surprised to see me cuz' most brides usually only appear during the march-in for a surprise feel... but I don't find that meaningful. I rather spend that extra time (I got around 30-45 minutes!) talking to my friends and taking photos together than hiding in the room by myself - which will be more nerve wrecking too! Anyway it turned out to be a good idea cuz things weren't so rushed during the dinner and I got to spend more time with each guest. Around 8pm I went back up to change with the help of my jie-meis and leemei they all, into my white gown for the march in.

This hair-do gives a very different feel from the morning right! feels like princessy.
And random - but i like our vase with blue dye water and purple roses that i bought from Taobao and ikea to personalise the decor.

First march-in was filled with anxiety!!! It's like all eyes will be on you, so naturally I got quite nervous. When the time came again I couldn't even 'hear' the march in song - Canon in D - very clearly except for the starting 10-15secs as we were waiting for the right time to march in. I guess it could be because 1) I'm too distracted by seeing my friends and the long march in 2) the clapping covered 70% of the music 3) I'm out of this world literally in another space of happiness and disbelief. But now whenever I listen to any of my march in songs, i will still somehow be transpotted back to that magical day and smile to myself. :D

It is damn fun to have confetti all over you.

Cake cutting (fake cake lah)..

2nd March-in dress with my hair curled to the side and it looks more glam. Chose this yellow bling one with a sexy X back.... (to my horror, my photographer did not take photos of my back.. Faint!!!!) 2nd march in song was "A Thousand Years" not because I am a fan of Twilight but I like the starting part of the song... 
<span style="font-size: small;">

It is more pastel yellow than the bright yellow in the above pic (with flash)... i never thought i would wear a yellow dress (again, alot of things never go our way) but it all turned out well. i still look good right!!! Hahaha buey paiseh. Roland looks good in his vampire tuxedo suit too, and the glittery bow tie added some interest to the suit. I prefer him in black as always. The white suit makes him look very pale... </span>

2nd march-in was alot alot more relaxing - just walking in and smile smile smile... my smile looks more natural here.

Yam seng time!! my dress makes me look very tall! (and my body very short haha)

After our speeches (which suprisingly i managed to deliver without crying), we went down to give our mums flowers.. that's when i couldnt control my tears.. even till today, when i see this picture and think back to that moment, I still get tears in my eyes.. if you notice my facial expression i was controlling like mad. My parents, being them, didn't reveal any tears throughout the day, or said much but i hope in their hearts they were touched by my thank you speech, and happy that their daughter was getting married. I wouldnt be me if not for them, and my little small heart cannot contain all the gratefulness i have thus it spills out from my eyes.

A hug to my father and I mumbled "我爱你"... who probably didnt know how better to respond, but i remember he patted my arm as if telling me 'it's ok'.... i am happy that these got captured on camera, cuz' i will have these moments to cherish forever...

Moving on to less emotional moments... here's a shot after I changed into my 2nd evening dress. The ombre shades are very pretty right - perfectly suits my purple-blue theme in mind.. Love the drapes and pleats too..

With the TPJC girls 10 years on... these girls go a long long way with me!

And one with my favourite intimates girls! next intimate wedding will be Yingtian's! can't wait.</span>

My beautiful jie-meis, Jia'en, Constance, Sis, Shuen, and Wenxin
<span style="font-size: small;">

</span><span style="font-size: small;">One with the bestie! <3 Thank you for everything and anything you will do for me.

The pretty guestbook that bestie customised and personalised for me!! super love it. going to display it in my new house next year :)


</span>I'm still having post-wedding dreams though.
Last night I dreamt that the videographer didnt turn up at the wedding, and the whole event was in a mess.
Luckily in real life, the day went well and smoother than we could have asked for.

This post concludes the beautiful wedding i had. Even though there were a couple of things that didn't go the way I wished for (ie. i dont have any pics of my sexy back in the yellow evening dress, the solemnization process wasnt perfect..) i still thought that many many things went our way. And the photos turned out better than I could hope for (ie. not alot of fat faces and my makeup didnt look oily, etc). I was so thankful that day because the haze had somewhat disappeared and the weather was just perfect. no rain, nor too sunny. Heaven allowed me to have the pool side wedding I wanted to the man I dare not dream would be mine! :)

<span style="font-size: small;">Really blessed. :) When things get tough, I will look back on this post and recall the vows and memories we created, this day


Posted by MintyVintage on December 31, 2013 at 12:09AM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: rolandval, love, wedding

A can of mixed emotions

less than 3 weeks to go.
some sleepless nights.
some dreamy nights.

i am really excited.
it's hard to stay calm in my thoughts.
i can't wait our new life together.

at the same time, am utterly nervous.
need to look my best on that day!!
afterall, it is going to be the most significant day of our lives.
lots of photos will be taken.

also feeling sad that i'm 'leaving' my family/home of 27 years.
am entering a new and next phase of my life.

guo da li is this sunday. hope it will all be smooth.
can't wait for him to meet my 奶妈. i was really sad to know she and her family couldnt make it,
but i guess, alot of things are still remembered by the heart. ah-pek, can you see me from wherever you are?
your ying-ying (their nick for me) is getting married!! im sure you are smiling happily and will share my joy.
i miss you deeply... hear from me during the wedding speech ok?

an chuan is 1 day before the wedding.
isaac will come and jump and roll on the bed..
i dreamt we had a baby girl last night though... haha!

i hope we don't miss out anything during these remaining days, alot of last-minute things to attend to..
most importantly, i hope our guests will remember to turn-up, and less people telling us they last-minute cannot come. will upload the other photos after the wedding so as not to spoil the surprise :)

Posted by MintyVintage on June 11, 2013 at 6:45PM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: love, life, wedding

Gown Hunting

I am mad drowsy now but shall attempt to blog sense.
Anyway just drool at the pictures ok?</p>

Every girl has their dream gown in mind. Be it ball gown, mermaid, lace or A-line.

For me, my dream gown has a bare back or low back. I find the back really sexy.
These are the type of designs I envisioned myself to wear for the big day.

<span style="font-size: small;">


If I couldn't have that I thought I would go for lace covered backs.
Lace is so dainty and feminine. (Veron will sooooo agree)

<span style="font-size: small;">

Or maybe thigh splitting A-line gowns.
<span style="font-size: small;">

Gown hunting is the BESSSSSSSSSSST part of the wedding prep. but it was also the most stressful part for me.
The wedding day will be the day when all your guests will focus on you! How to choose 1 special gown that you will feel absolutely ravishing in? I simply could not decide. The problem is, I find that the gowns in Singapore (or at least in my bridal vendor Rico-a-Mona and Di Gio) simply don't look like any of those above. The designs are very far from my envisioned ones, and sad to say, my photoshoot gown and AD gown are not backless, nor lace, nor thigh-splitting. Singapore brides too conservative is it?? I was really upset about not able to fulfill my dream... but I came to realise there is no such thing as "THE GOWN". Just like there is no "MR RIGHT". It is all about balancing the pros and cons. Some dresses I love the train, but not the top,some dresses I loved the top but the bottom didn't fit. You just have to choose the one that you feel the most right with, just like your husband.. HAHAHA.

I tried on countless of gowns, and realised that lace looks bad on me, somehow too mature. Perhaps it's the type of lace that was used, but they were not delicate french lace, more like embroidery lace. The patterns were less subtle than what I would have like. And somehow most lace pieces in Singapore had high collars which didn't suit me (i came to realise my neck is pretty short LOL). I don't fancy ball gowns so that is the last style I tried. I discovered that my love for ruffles and pleats extended to gowns! This was the gown I selected for my photoshoot - it remains the only gown that I really "love at first sight". I wanted to try it when I saw it hanging on the rack, and once I tried it, I felt good immediately and had this WOW feeling inside me. It is not "the gown" as it wasn't what I envisioned I would wear but it was certainly close to being perfect as I really like what I saw in the mirror.

soft and fluffy!!

I also realised I didnt like those "X X X" cross-tie back, as it was so darn troublesome to wear. The gown is already very heavy and difficult to get into, so I asked for dresses with zips instead!

Some home-made photoshoot the night before the actual shoot. </span>

The bottom dress has a slightly low back with blings sewn on, but that was as close to backless
that the bridal shop had... #disappointing
I didnt wear this in the end for the shoot even though I brought it back home as I didn't feel good in it.

<span style="font-size: small;">

Here is how the front looked like. This gown is more grecian feel.

<p>As for the actual day gown that I have chosen, I shall keep in suspense!! :)</span>
It is beautiful in its own way, though doesnt conform to what I wanted at all..
Choosing the evening gown and cheongsam for tea ceremony was also another headache... sigh...
there were many choices and tons of colors, but realistically, I had to choose based on
1) what suits my body type
2) color
3) cutting and design
sadly what suitted me may not be what I like in cutting.
what i like didnt suit me...
basically I felt like I chose between the lesser of all the evils.
Oh well, i just hope i look good in them come that day! My itchy mind keeps thinking about retrying my gowns because I feel a little uncertain about my decisions. </p>

My advice for brides to find the best gown you can:

<p>1. Try plenty and plenty of gowns, even those that you don't fancy on first look.
Be open about different materials and cuttings. (mermaid actually flatters me)
sometimes it looks blah on the hanger, but WOW on you.
sometimes what is gorgeous on the hanger looks blah on you.</p>

2. Know what your body type suits and steer away from unflattering styles.
for example, i have a small bust so sweetheart tube top or low cut styles are no-no for me.

<p>3. Ask your bridal shop assistant for their honest recommendations and opinions.
usually they have tons of other gowns hidden, so letting them know what you like or dont like
will help them to bring out similar gowns for you to try.
4. Bring a girl friend and a pair of similar height heels that you would wear on that day.
(but not too many else there will be conflicting opinions as one man's meat is another man's poison)
Husbands-to-be are usually hopeless at giving opinions when it comes to crunch time.
the additional height also makes a difference to how you feel in the gowns. (stumpy vs elegant)</p> <p>5. Take photos (sneakily if you have to) when you try the gowns.
this allows you to remember how you look in them and make a better decision at home if required.
This is important especially for photoshoot gowns, as some gowns look alright in real life only,
but they have details that look great on camera, ie. trains, blings etc. </p> <p>
For photoshoot, you can always go all out for those feathery, bling bling, sibei complicated gown designs
because these spice up the photos. Leave the simple cuts to the actual day!</p>

Ending off with a drop-dead-gorgeous black gown from La Belle Couture, latest season.
I love their gowns alot actually but sadly they do not do rental of gowns only.
As my photoshoot package was with BryanJean, I could not use their services. :(

<p>Enjoy the gown hunting because I already miss it..
Wish I can restart this process. LOL.
It is the most fun part!! :)</p> <p>Will share some pre-wedding shoot photos soon.
#countingdown #rolandval
Posted by MintyVintage on May 27, 2013 at 6:40PM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: love, wedding

Nerve Wrecking Countdown - 38 days

"You are engaged. Your wedding day is fast approaching. You are excited, but you're also worried, anxious and scared. You are definitely glowing, though you're not sure if it is from joy or sweat.

It is impossible to know at the age of 20 or 30 or 40 how you will feel in 20 or 30 or 40 more years. Therefore, when you make the commitment to be with that same person for the rest of your life, it is scary. It is hard to know yourself so well, let alone how you will relate to another as time goes.

<span style="font-size: small;" class="pullquote">As the magical wedding celebration ends, it is only beginning for the couple.


Yet, if you trust that you are with someone you can speak with, someone who understands you, respects you, and shares the same vision with you, then, as scary as it is, you are doing it together. And knowing that you are not alone in this life-changing move, should be comforting and reassuring, though certainly won’t take away all the fear.

It is Hallmark, the photographers, the band, caterers and wedding hall that make us feel that the biggest part of marriage is the wedding itself. Somehow, that one day is made to be the focus and climax of all that is to come.

And because so many people are coming to celebrate with you, and these very same people have bought you expensive presents, it seems that for their sake everything is expected to be perfect. Needless to say, perfection is a pretty huge responsibility to be placed on two people that are about to make the biggest decision and commitment of their lives. But as the magical wedding celebration draws to a close, while it is the end for the guests, it is only the beginning for the couple.

The engagement period is a time of excitement. But more importantly, it is a time for preparation. And I don’t mean the preparations required to make the wedding. If anything, all these technical preparations can distract from the real work that needs to be done during this time. The engagement should be a time for self reflection, self-refinement and honesty, so that both bride and groom strive to become the best partner that they can be.

And though in our fairytale wedding story no one wants to face the reality, in truth it is a very difficult period, a pretty unsettling time filled with stress, responsibilities, and doubt. We are creatures of habit, not creatures of change, so it is only natural that something of this magnitude will be scary. Yet, when we ensure that we are thinking not only with our heart but also with our head, when we know that we are committing to a relationship with someone who shares the qualities, morals and direction that is important to us, then our fears are the normal fears that come with any new step in life.

So we must make sure that as we prepare for our wedding we take the time we need for ourselves. We must ensure that we are focusing on our personal learning, growth and development, not just taking the time for our pre-wedding parties, hair or clothes fittings. If we focus as much on our spiritual preparations as we do on the physical preparations, then we are laying the foundation for an enduring marriage, for a life of love, achievement and fulfillment--together."

<span style="font-size: small;">Extracted from <a href="http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/336071/jewish/The-Wedding-Jitters.htm">The Wedding Jitters

Recently, I have been feeling nervous every night, causing sleepless nights or bad sleep. The wedding is approaching fast and furious. I am excited, yet wish time could slow down. Its a mix ball of emotions. Ultimately it is the fear of the unknown future. As much as we are loving now, will we still be as loving 5, 10, 20 years and more down the road? will we still take the time to be together without the kids? how will kids change the dynamics of the relationship? will i, or will he change to be a stranger? It is this very fear that life and circumstances will change the very person we are now, today, and cause us to drift. I harbour no hopes that marriage is a happiness-only ideal, infact I expect it will be very trying, very arduous at times. I only hope at the end of every difficult period, we will still be hand in hand. There will be lots of exciting things to look forward to, like our new house (not looking forward to cleaning it though), our first baby, and all the new stuff to experience together in the next phase of life - bungee jumping?

Posted by MintyVintage on May 23, 2013 at 4:00PM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Related: love, life, wedding