I’ve found my dress!

With 6 months to go before the big day, I’m still relatively chill in this whole planning thing because most of our big ticket items have been settled!

I have also picked my wedding dress! :D

Being quite a picky bride to be, I have my own preference for my wedding dress (which I believe most brides will have as well):

  • No strapless gowns
  • No chicken coop (a.k.a petticoat – I really hate petticoats)
  • No bling.

I don’t fancy Taiwanese-style wedding gowns because most of the times they are a complete opposite of what I listed above and often times they are very OTT (over the top). That’s why bridal shops are out of the question ever since we started planning the wedding and I much prefer simpler, European wedding dresses.

I’ve had my eyes set on a Pronovias when I first started looking for gowns and found a boutique here in Singapore that rents out the said brand. Pricing was reasonable too (I found out that it was cheaper to rent it in SG than Jakarta, but I’m not sure whether the ones in SG were new or if they had been rented out to other brides previously – in Indonesia they call this: “second” as in “second hand”. Some bridal shops actually classified their gowns in different grades, depending on how many times have a gown been worn before).

After shortlisting 4 different boutiques (all of them conveniently located around the area where I stay in Jakarta hahahaha), I made a point to make my selection when I went home for Chinese New Year last month (which explains why I took 3 days of leave so I was in Jakarta for a whole week).

The first option was Phangsanny. To be honest, I’ve never heard about this until my cousin (who is currently planning her upcoming May wedding as well!) picked her gown from the atelier.

I gave them a call to see if I could come over and they politely rejected me, saying that they were fully booked for the day. Oh well, my fault for not making an appointment beforehand (later I found out that my cousin was actually there at the boutique having her dress fitted when I made the call hahahahaha).

So I crossed out Phangsanny. The second one was The Wedding Boutique, which is a pretty famous one and I have actually been there last year when I came back to settle on the wedding venue. Tried one gown that looks quite nice but that was it. Pricing was on the higher side (as expected). I was quoted IDR 28,000,000 for a gown (not sure if it was new). Initially they quoted about 30,000,000 or so but I asked for mother’s and bridesmaids’ gowns to be taken out since I wanted to have them tailor made anyway). I have actually never returned to TWB since then. Mainly because I wanted to explore other options before making my decision.

The third one was Inezia Chrizita. She is an upcoming local wedding gown designer who happens to be a family friend. I knew her when we were in primary school! But I’ve lost all contact with her ever since (our mothers are still in touch with each other because they are long-time friends). Her boutique also happens to be very, very near to where I stay.

Inez wasn’t there at the boutique when I came by, and so I was serviced by her very helpful assistant. I tried on a couple of gowns but unfortunately there was no one that really caught my eye. Well, there was an off-shoulder model which I quite like, but I didn’t fancy the heavy embroidery on the chest and torso areas. The dresses were pretty, but I still prefer the simpler ones.

The last one was Aurelle House of Brides. They carry the Pronovias brands, such as La Sposa, Pronovias and Atelier Diagonal – hence the reason why I wanted to check it out.

The lady (Ivana) was very helpful and picked a couple of gowns for me to try on after I told her my preferences. The gown I picked is a new La Sposa! It’s simple, elegant and with just the right amount of sparkles. It’s a sleeeveless and most importantly, NO CHICKEN COOP. Hahahaha basically everything I wanted in a gown.

She offered me a package of IDR 29,000,000 which consists of:

  • Rental of 1 wedding gown
  • Rental of 3 dresses for pre-wedding photo session
  • Rental of 2 bridesmaids dresses
  • Gown customisation (length customisation and if I ever want to add more blings, for example)
  • Veil, jacket (new made-to-measure)
  • Accessories + jewellery (rental)
  • A representative from Aurelle to help me with my gown on the D-day

Again, since my bridesmaids dresses are to be made-to-measure and I am gonna be having my pre-wedding photographs done in SG, I asked for them to be taken out and she also gave me further discount. In the end, the total price was IDR 25,500,000 and my mum very kindly offered to pay for it!😀

I’m very happy that my gown has been settled! One thing off my checklist.

On LGBT

So LGBT has been kind of a hot topic in Indonesia recently, I think mainly due to the case of an Indonesian entertainer who was reported of committing sexual assault to a minor of the same gender (male).

Because of that, articles about how to see if someone is gay and how to prevent your kids from being turned into a gay have been popping up like crazy!

I ignored whatever they were saying until I read this article, and I quote:

The leading psychiatric body in Indonesia is claiming that transgender people suffer from a mental health disorder and gay and bisexual people are at risk of mental health problems.

In the latest outburst in an increasingly divisive domestic debate on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, the Indonesian Psychiatric Association said transgender people “can be categorised as persons with mental disorders”, which it said “may cause suffering and obstacles in functioning as a human being”.

The IPA also said that homosexuals and bisexuals were in danger of developing a psychiatric disorder unless they “maintain their mental health by guarding their behaviour, habit, healthy lifestyle, and increasing their ability to adapt to their social environment”.

Seriously? First of all, transgenderism is NOT a mental health disorder! And to think this came from the leading psychiatric body? I really cannot believe this.

Oh wait, it is a mental health disorder, if you are still living in the 1970s, that is.

Now let me give you my personal stand towards LGBT: I am a Catholic and LGBT is considered a sin in Catholicism. Personally, I don’t believe LGBT is right, but I’ve grown to be acceptance to the community because, simply, they are humans, just like us. I believe I don’t have the rights to judge them just because they prefer same-sex relationships. Heck, even Pope Francis is tolerant towards the LGBT community. If he can do it, why can’t we?

“If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

I really like the above statement. Let me emphasise it once again: WHO AM I TO JUDGE?

My first encounter with LGBT was back when I was in university. Was I shocked? Yes, kind of. I won’t deny it. However, as shocked as I probably was, I never for once rejected them as friends. What was on my mind were things like, “How could someone be a lesbian / gay? What was the possible cause?”. I was curious, you see, as I didn’t get a lot of exposure in this area before I went to Malaysia to further my studies and then Singapore for work. So yea, I was simply curious but I didn’t look at them with disgust.

One of my good friends is a lesbian AND a catholic too. She and her partner go to church on Sundays. This is a very good example that is relevant to Pope Francis’ quote above. I’ve never judged her for liking the same gender and well, lesbian or not, it doesn’t make any difference in our friendship. She is a really awesome friend, she has good will and I love her! And she doesn’t have any mental health disorder nor is she at risk of mental health problems. Surprise surprise?

A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.

It was another excerpt from the Pope Francis article.

Anyway, Catholic church has been more welcoming to the LGBT community than it was a few years ago, which I personally think is quite heartwarming because, again, everyone deserves to be loved. If a gay / lesbian comes into the church and wants to look for God, shouldn’t we give them the space, accept and embrace them with open arms instead of snubbing them? We should help them in whatever way we can.

If you think it is a sin for them to be a gay / lesbian, let it be a matter between them and God. Why should we interfere?

My parents do not really think of LGBT as acceptable and I can understand that because back in the days, it was relatively uncommon and unheard of. However, for many young adults in this 21st century, if you condemn LGBT, please just keep it to yourself and don’t invite others to condemn the community as well. How would you like it if it happens to your own family members? Will you like it if they are ostracised from the society?

Earlier today I saw a post that has been making rounds on Facebook:

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Okay, I’m not sure which newspaper was this from, but let me translate it to English:

“The National Commission of Child Protection would like to remind parents to tighten up supervision towards their children to prevent them from the impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). Currently there are thousands of young kids and teenagers who are into same-sex relationship.

Signs of a gay:

  1. Takes selfie a la teenybopper
  2. Likes staring at a guy’s bottom
  3. Stares at the guy he likes intensely
  4. Takes care of his appearance
  5. Up to date with the fashion trend
  6. Smells good
  7. Wears makeup
  8. Wears an earring on one of the ears (usually the right one)
  9. Adores guys
  10. Wears V-neck shirts

Upon reading this, I burst out laughing cos it’s just so pathetic to the point it’s ridiculous I couldn’t believe it! I mean, look at #6???? So are you saying that a ‘real’ man is smelly, doesn’t take care of his appearance and wears crew-neck shirts all the time???

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

My fiancé wears V-neck shirts and heck, he looks good in them and yes, he is straight. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be my fiancé, would he?

#9 – Adores guys. So does it mean a guy who adores David Beckham for his awesome skills is considered gay? Does it mean a guy who adores Jack Ma for his amazing business acumen is gay? LOL oh dear!

Last but not least, someone in one of my Whatsapp groups forwarded the following message: 1

Some people really need to take the chill pill. They are just emojis, for goodness sake! Well, you can always look at them from a different perspective. Think of them as children in a family or love between twins or siblings. See, suddenly it looks much more positive, no? And anyway, emojis are supposed to brighten up your conversations, so let’s not make such a big fuss over it, shall we?

To end my post, I’m gonna repost the quote again to serve as a reminder for all of us:

“If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

8 Months To Go & Wedding Shoes

It’s now end of January, which means it’s slightly more than 7 months to our big day and…. a lot have yet to be settled!

Let’s recap what have I settled on so far:

  1. Venue (inc. food, entertainment, photo booth and decoration)
  2. Make Up Artists for both holy matrimony and reception
  3. Wedding bouquet and boutonniere for holy matrimony (DIY! hehehe)
  4. Bridal car for the reception
  5. Wedding shoes
  6. Wedding bands
  7. Photographer + Videographer
  8. Choir for holy matrimony

Ermm…. that’s all I think. We still have quite a lot to settle hahaha! I’ll need to settle on my wedding dress when I am going home for CNY next week, and something that’s equally important… CONTACT LENS! I’m not gonna be a blind bride throughout the reception nor look geeky in my black-rimmed glasses while I’m all lady-like in my dress (I hope).

I have yet to muster up the courage to try on contacts because it’s just scary!! Actually I did try it a couple of years ago when I was back in Jakarta for holiday. Acuvue was having a roadshow in a shopping mall near where I stay and I decided to give it a try. I think I took like 10 minutes trying to insert the lens into my eyes. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and I carried on shopping without any difficulty and it actually felt pretty comfortable!

However, I had major difficulty removing them out of my eyes!! I went back to Acuvue to get some direction on how to take it out. I tried and tried for a good 20 minutes before I finally gave up and asked one of the staff to remove them out for me -________-

The thing is, every time my hand was coming close to my eye, it gave a natural reaction of blinking AND it doesn’t help that I couldn’t seem to pick out the lens properly -___-

So yea, I HAVE to do it this time, for real. Because I did try not wearing glasses during the last 2 times I became a bridesmaid and I had a terrible headache at the end of the day.

The idea of removing contact lenses seriously freaks me out! I’m actually considering to get a SoftSert applicator (or a similar one from another brand), but not sure if it will actually help. I think it will, otherwise what’s the purpose of it, right? Oh man, this is just a small issue but I’m actually super worried about it! Everyone who wears contacts have always told me that removing it is easy peasy, but inserting it is harder. Not for me, unfortunately.

Lobob

This is a Lobob applicator, one that I’m considering of buying (I already have it in my Amazon cart hahahaha). Not sure why but the SoftSert website doesn’t seem to exist anymore?

Anyway, let’s move on to happier things!

I’ve actually gotten my wedding shoe last year, which is Melissa Queen II in white / gold:

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I actually wanted the Vivianne Westwood Anglomania series:

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but I couldn’t find it.

Til one day (just a few weeks ago, actually) I was randomly browsing for Melissa shoes on Amazon and…

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😀 My eyes grew big from excitement! Not Vivianne Westwood but it’s equally pretty! So I quickly placed an order and it arrived a week after.

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It’s really very cute hahahaha

Oh, the reason why I bought flats instead of heels is that I can’t really stand (pun unintended) wearing heels. Most of the time I will be limping, feeling like throwing the shoes as far as I can (cos my toes and balls of feet will be very painful). To date, there are only a few pairs of heels I’ve ever owned that were very comfortable for long period of wearing.

And I am all for comfort > style, so I want a pair that will allow me to walk around comfortably on my big day, especially when I am mingling around with my guests😀

Now that I’ve got the heart shoes, the Melissa Queen will be used as part of my sang jit gift.

(A lil trivia: do you know sang jit is the Hokkien for 送日頭 (Sòng rì tóu). The full term is actually sang jit-thau, and it is abbreviated as sang jit. It is how most Indonesian chinese called the bethrotal ritual, despite of their dialect background.)

Happening December

It’s been almost a month since my last post. So… what has happened in between?

For a start, I’ve since resigned and taken up a new role. I tendered my resignation on the first week of November. Funny thing was that I received the new job offer on Toshi’s last day at work (it was a Friday) and I threw in my letter on the following Monday. It might be quite a shock for my bosses because, well, one of my colleague had just left and here I was, tendering my resignation technically right after that. I felt quite bad but I had to resign quickly. Why? Because my new company wanted me to start on the November 30th! My new boss definitely understood that I wouldn’t have had finished my one-month notice period by then, so they kindly pushed the starting date back to December 7th.

I’m still doing account management (my previous role was in project / account management) in a tech start-up (my former boss joked that I seem to love start-ups so much hahaha). The difference is, of course, in the product that the company builds and it’s an Australian company.

My last day was on the first Friday of December and I flew to the new company’s headquarter in Sydney on the wee hours of Monday. So technically I had no break whatsoever during the transition (the same thing happened to me before I joined Circus. My last day at eYeka was on a Friday and I started at Circus the following Monday).

So the next thing that happened, I was in Sydney for (almost) a week.

For work training, that is, but I did go out every evening after work. Hahaha! It didn’t help that I have a family friend who lives in Sydney and they were very excited to bring me out since it was my first time in the city. I shall write a separate post just for this. All I had to say is that, Sydney is wonderful! I truly enjoyed my time there, both the work and the leisure.

And the most exciting happening this month is definitely Christmas!!! My most favourite festive season ever!😀 I will be writing my report on Christmas decoration at Orchard Road soon as well.

2015 has gone by in a flash and I am very thankful of everything that has happened. I believe 2016 will be an even more awesome year!😀

I can haz Whaley on my phone now

I asked Daisoman to help me adapt my blog banner design to phone wallpaper (I just love it that much cos it’s super cute!) and this is the result:

Locked screen: Whaley is asleep at night (see that snot bubble?) with his nightcap!

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Home screen: It’s day time and Whaley is awake and ready to play!

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Hahahahaha soooo cute I’m gonna stare at my phone all day now :p

Koala visa approval + Daisoman’s EP

Haven’t got to pen this down…

So I was checking out Daisoman’s EP application status on Monday (Nov 25) just out of curiosity since it’s been almost 3 weeks and the last status we saw was “Pending input from vetting agency”. The boss of his new company had already given MOM a call so we were hoping that the application would be expedited rather quickly.

Lo and behold, my eyes went big when I saw the status: APPROVED.

YAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! I was so so so happy I called him right away. Wanted to prank him a little and told him in a somber voice as if it was declined but I guess I just couldn’t contain my happiness. Praise the Lord!😀

And about 15 minutes after, an email came into my inbox.

It’s my Australian visa grant letter! Wow wee! Approved in just 3 working days!!😀

Double happiness and celebration for us hahahaha (ok la the celebration is more for Daisoman since his is way more important!).

So now he’s just waiting for the official offer letter to be sent to him while for me, I’m serving my last 2 weeks of work in my current work place!

The 3rd Koala Visa Application

Went to VFS this morning to submit my Australian visa application. Can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I last applied for one! I honestly felt my Perth trip was not too long ago, but in fact it’s been more than 2 years! (My very first Australian visa was done when I was 11 years old)

So what’s different now? For a start, they no longer accept application at the Australian High Commission. They now do it at a dedicated visa centre called VFS where they partner with the embassy for visa application, and their service covers a variety of country, e.g. Australia, NZ, UK, Russia, etc.

My previous submission took quite a long time (almost 2 hours if I remember correctly), but that was mainly due to me needing to make a copy of ALL stamped pages in my passport (more detailed story in the hyperlink above). So this time I remembered to make a copy of all stamped pages in my passport, and I also submitted my previous Australian visa AND my old passport with all the stamped pages to show more travel history (cos my current passport is only a year old and it’s not really full yet… excuse to travel more? Hehehehe).

I arrived at the centre at 8:30 this morning, had a security guard checking me and my bag’s content, took a queue number and went inside.

I only had to sit for about 2 minutes before my number was called. They have quite a number of counter so that really helps with the crowd control.

Another thing that’s different now is that I had to give them my passport as well for biometric registration (previously it was not needed). So after submitting the documents and paying the fee (S$148 visa fee + S$42 processing fee = S$190), I waited for about 10 minutes before my number was called to one of the biometric registration rooms.

Once I was inside, it was the standard stuff: verification of personal detail, fingerprints recording, and photo taking. All in all, it only took about 3 minutes and the staff handed me 2 receipts: one for the biometric registration and the other one for the visa application itself.

And I was done! I checked the time and I only spent a total of 26 minutes there! So efficient, I like it!

I applied for business visa this time, so the processing time should be within 5 working days. I hope it goes through smoothly and I can fly off early next month!

Oh, this application actually happened because… I accepted a new job offer from an Australian start-up! So yea, I’ve tendered my resignation at Circus and my last day would be in 2 weeks time.