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.

Morning Verbal Diarrhea

Lately I’ve been feeling a little down at times. While I’m partly blaming PMS (one of the most convenient excuses a girl can make!), I think partly it’s because some things seem to not be going smoothly and they are a little rough.

As easy as it is to allow myself wallowing in self pity, I tried my best not to do so and instead, thinking of how much I have and how much blessing I’ve been receiving every day really helps in switching my negative mindset to positive.

During cell group 2 weeks ago, a friend said something that stuck with me and it actually popped up in my head a few times lately. He said,

When I feel really stressed up with work, I think of how stressed up I was when I had just graduated with no job for a few months. I’ve never experienced stress in such intensity before and it was really bad. Therefore, whenever I think of that, I will feel grateful because the stress I’m feeling is because I have a job, not because I don’t have one.

It made me think and reflect back on when I was unemployed for a few months during my first year in Singapore. It was indeed really stressful to wake up every morning desperately applying for countless of jobs, having no income yet renting a room does not come for free. Damn stress ok! Some more need to eat instant noodles everyday, no wonder my hair became wavy HAHAHA no la kidding.

Definitely not a life episode I would want to repeat ever again. I think I lost about 4 kg of weight over that period of time o.O that’s one of the silver linings I guess :p (I have the tendency to lose weight when I am under a lot of pressure even though I eat like a pig at ungodly hours of the night)

Anyway, I could go on more about that part of my life but today’s post is not about that!

I’ve been listening to True Worshippers a lot lately. They help to lift my spirits up whenever I’m feeling low and this particular song really appeals to me lately:

Who sees my brokenness and carries me when I am frail and weak
Jesus it is You
Who tells the storm to rest when I am overwhelmed and cannot speak
Jesus it is You

So true!! This part of the lyrics is one that is easy to relate to. Sometimes I may forget about it when things went awry but Jesus is always there to support me whenever I’m frail and week ^^

Ahhh ok feeling better after a little bit of verbal diarrhea! Time to get back to work and tick off everything on my checklist today!

Engaged Encounter – Done!

We have finally done our Engaged Encounter weekend on 12 – 14 June 2015!

Some may think it’s too early as our wedding is on the second half of next year but it’s ok! We registered for the weekend back in January and even then, the earliest one available was in June!

Basically there are 2 types of marriage preparation courses that you can take before you get married in a catholic church: Marriage Preparation Course (MPC) and Engaged Encounter (EE). What differentiate MPC from EE is that the duration is longer (it spans across 6 consecutive weekends while EE only takes up 1 weekend) and I guess the material that’s delivered will be different from that of EE.

EE can actually be done by couples at anytime during their courtship (so if they find out that they are not that suitable, they can opt not to go to the next stage of life together), and MPC, as I understand it, is usually done after a couple is officially engaged.

I was actually down with a bad case of flu since Thursday and I thought if it did not get better by Friday, there was a possibility for me to cancel the session and if we did, we had to re-book the next available one in… no idea. Maybe 7 – 8 months from now?

I was still feeling under the weather when I left the house on Friday evening though. I had cold sweat and it did not help that the sky was crying buckets that night. Thankfully I felt a lot better after a good night sleep (those cough syrup really helps!) and so I could enjoy the weekend wholeheartedly.

There were surprisingly quite a number of non-Catholic. I mean, I know that EE is opened to non-Catholic (as long as your partner is a Catholic), but honestly I did not expect it to be that many. Not that this is a bad thing, though. On the contrary, I feel that it’s very sweet of them (non-Catholic) to follow their partners to this weekend 🙂

Anyway, I am not gonna talk much about the sessions, but all I can say is that, if you are going to get married in a Catholic church, do not hesitate to sign up for this weekend! It was quite intense though! There was quite a lot of topics to be covered in around 48 hours (it started on Friday evening and ended on Sunday early evening around 6pm).

Even if you have no plans to get married in the near future, going for EE will help you to discuss things that you may have never talked about with your partner before and discover more about yourselves.

So yay! Another thing to be checked off our to-do list! 😀

Dumb T-Rexth

Another month has just left and June is here! Wait, what? I thought Chinese New Year has just passed not long ago?!

Life’s been going on as per usual, with quite a number of activities in between. This weekend, I’ll be going for a baby shower on Saturday noon, followed by cycling late afternoon. Sunday afternoon is reserved for Mag & Eugene’s housewarming! So excited, looking forward to this weekend! 😀

I was RSVP-ing for a friend’s wedding this November earlier and I realized that I will be attending 2 weddings in November and Daisoman will be attending 3! All on 3 consecutive weeks! November is like a really good month for wedding after all, I guess.

On a completely different topic,

Was at Great World City after church earlier and we went to Motherworks just for fun. Actually it was more like I wanted to go in lah hahahahaha cos I love baby stuff and the real reason was that I wanted to take a look at hand puppets hahahahahaha I love hand puppets and making small play with them! 😀

Then we saw this dumb-looking T-rex plushie…

DAMN CUTE!! Hahahahahaha

Daisoman and I immediately thought of the T-rexth meme:

Made with Square InstaPic

LOLOLOLOL!

He then started to move it as if it was dancing (both of us like to do that to stuffed toys), so I whipped out my phone and start recording…

 HAHAHAHAHA I was trying hard not to laugh!!

Wedding Prep: Wedding Bands

Ermm… yea, we’ve gotten our wedding bands last Friday! Talk about kiasu or efficient or what? Hahaha!

We were walking towards the Orchard MRT from Wisma Atria when I spotted the big ‘Up to 50% Sale!’ in front of Soo Kee’s entrance at ION Jewellery Street. We had actually found a pair that we liked 3 months ago and the helpful Sales Assistant there actually wrote the model number on their name card, but I didn’t have it with me that day. The SA who attended to us tried to help by asking how were they looke like, whether they were white gold or platinum, etc. I did try to look for them too but to no avail. So they showed us a couple of different rings and we narrowed down our choices to 2 pairs: the first pair is made of platinum and the other one is white gold.

Now personally I am not really into platinum as they tend to look duller than white gold. We tried them on and we finally decided on white gold. It’s a Jac Laurent for Daisoman and half eternity band for me. Better still, they are a few hundreds cheaper than our initial option AND there was a 20% discount for the Jac Laurent one 😀

Engravings are being done at the moment and we’ll be able to collect the rings in 2 weeks time. Come to think of it, looking at the speed of how we settle things, some people may think we are getting married this year instead of next year. Hahaha!

So far, we’ve settled the following:

  • Venue
  • Catering (haven’t finalized the menu though)
  • Decoration (have yet to meet the decorator in person to discuss, but at least it’s a lot easier now)
  • MC & Entertainment (same status as decoration)
  • Wedding bands
  • Church  booking + priest
  • Wedding favor (erm.. as in we have found what favor we want and Daisoman has designed the box for it as well)

Soo Kee Jewel Pavilion
#B2-66 ION Orchard
Singapore 238801

Wedding Prep: Venue

Daisoman and I went back to Jakarta on Thursday night with one intention: to settle on a wedding venue! We’ve narrowed down our options to 3 and so, we went to check them out personally on Friday. These are the 3 places we went to (on chronological order):

1. The Palms Ballroom

Located literally 15 minutes away from Daisoman’s house, this ballroom is located on the 5th floor of Mal Taman Palem. The shopping mall itself is nothing fancy. In fact, it’s rather old, but that’s not the point. I heard the ballroom has been renovated awhile ago and it actually looks okay (though it was empty when we were there and they were just setting up for a seminar). There are 5 halls available (2 big ones and 3 smaller ones) and with the amount of guests we have, it will take 1 of the big halls and all 3 smaller ones.

Price was okay too and one of their catering partners is the one that we initially wanted to go with: Bali Indah.

Downside: It is considered far for guests around Jakarta and transport arrangement for my extended families who will be coming from out of town will be quite a hassle.

2. JIExpo (Jakarta International Expo)

This is like the ultimate venue for exhibitions hahahaha. They do rent this for weddings but they have no wedding package. Means we can only rent the hall on its own and they have a bunch of partner vendors for catering, decoration and entertainment from whom we have to choose (there are extra costs if you would like to get your own vendors aside from their partners).

They do have Bali Indah as their catering partner and Lili Vicky for decoration (which we both like), but the hall that will fit our guests is already booked for our date, so nope!

3. Klub Kelapa Gading

My family used to be members of the sports club (then called Kelapa Gading Sports Club) for many years back  when I was in primary school all the way until I was 24/25 I think? So we pretty much know how the ballrooms, food and facilities were like. The last time I came here was a few years ago, so I was surprised when I found out that they have actually renovated the stage in the grand ballroom and it’s now bigger (wall-to-wall)! The public toilets have been renovated (again) as well and it is now so nice! Andddd they now have their own car park building!! Which is so awesome cos it used to be quite a pain finding a parking spot whenever we went for a wedding here cos there was not much space, but it shouldn’t be a problem now!

Their wedding package is also quite comprehensive (which is good cos it means there are less things on our list to settle!) and they gave us quite a few bonuses too.

Both Daisoman and I were more inclined to this venue since the beginning actually (although I have to say I wasn’t really excited with the idea of having my wedding here initially a few months ago cos I was just rather bored… I mean, I used to come here countless times and attended so many weddings here before, and it’s near my house, so yea. But after looking at the package again, I gotta say I like it!).

So we actually made our decision … 30 seconds after we stepped out of the venue HAHAHAHAHA. But we didn’t put in the down payment right away. Instead, we went back the next day to see the decoration (there was a wedding going on then, so we could see the ballroom decorated in all its glory) and put the down payment afterwards.

YAY! So happy that the biggest thing on the list is checked!! We also managed to go to The Wedding Boutique before making the venue downpayment to enquire for prices. Didn’t even plan for it, but I managed to try on 2 gowns as well. Both were from Jasmine Bridal. They stock up on Pronovias and St. Patrick too. I was eyeing 2 Rosa Clara and a Pronovias as well at a wedding boutique here in Singapore. I thought their prices were expensive ($1,600 for a Rosa Clara and $1,900 for the Pronovia), but after I knew the Pronovias rent fee at The Wedding Boutique, I would say it’s a lot cheaper in Singapore! Surprise surprise!

You know how they said that a guy would have a jaw-drop moment when they see their lady trying on a wedding gown for the first time? Well, I was hoping for that but unfortunately it didn’t happen.

What happened was, I was trying on the first gown that was selected by the sales staff: a semi-mermaid gown that looks quite pretty. So I put it on and when I turn around, I noticed that it was super backless! Hahahaha as in… backless all the way down to my waist. LOLOL! And the fact that it is too loose for me does not help in making me look at least prettier. So when they drew the curtains back, Daisoman was like… poker face. HAHAHAHA it was so funny though! I didn’t think it was nice either and when I asked him, “What do you think?”, his immediate response was… “Ermm.. I think there’s another gown just now right?”

HAHAHAHAHA!

So I went on to try the second gown and… I like it!! Daisoman likes it too! 😀

It was a semi-mermaid gown with no bling embellishment! I like simple dresses and I do not want those super poofy dresses where you need to wear a petticoat underneath! (I refer to the petticoat as chicken coop wtf).

No picture cos there’s no deal with the boutique yet, but yay! Find a gown that I like! Gonna be looking to perhaps 2-3 more boutiques before I make my decision. I’m not taking a bridal package, btw. Not a fan of thick makeup and strapless dresses. I have no idea why most of the bridal shops here stock up mostly on strapless dresses! I hate strapless dresses. It feels like it’s always gonna fall off and if the fitting is bad, armpit fats out for show yo!

Ok, more updates as we go along! 😀