Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Belated Easter

Work has been mad! I’ve been coming in early, staying late and every time I leave my desk for a few minutes, I come back to 20 new emails waiting for me (and this are excluding the Facebook updates!).

So much has happened – holidays, wedding plans. And I’ll try to post as much back dated stuff as possible.

For those who celebrate Easter, Happy belated Easter! I went to church but didn’t get to go on an egg hunt but I did colour some bunnies. See!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Boycotting Courtyard Garden

After about 2 months of calls and meetings with Courtyard Garden, we reached an agreement so Paul and I went over there yesterday.

As I could not contact the F&B Director (which is the norm cos he hardly calls me back even though I leave several messages and call his mobile phone), I met up with one of his managers instead.

Azman was really nice and suggested several some options on how I could do the set up and to save money too. As I took out my credit card to pay for the deposit, Azman went into the office to double check that 18th October was available.

He came out shortly only to tell me that that date has been taken. I was totally taken aback. After 2 months of talking, calling and meeting, how can this be?

I then asked if the other couple has paid the deposit? He said no but he still can’t give the place to me yet until the other couple decides because their name is on it and mine was not. To be fair, he said that he’ll give them 3 days to decide.

I still don’t understand why the F&B director didn’t put my name down on that date. Even if he wasn’t sure, by talking to him so often, doesn’t it show that I was seriously interested and wouldn’t he check on the date I wanted. This is so unprofessional. As a director, I thought he'd be more on the ball. Guess I should have expected this for someone who doesn't return calls, is hardly around, doesn't offer suggestions, has one word answers for all my questions and is not passionate about events, parties or weddings.

But what else could I do? Poor Paul. He didn’t know what to do to cheer me up. So he bought me a Japanese dinner with my favourite cheese sticks and even tepanyaki waghu beef. That was yuuuums!

And this morning, a colleague, Sharon, came to me with good news. The original place I wanted to hold the wedding was Passion Road which was situated at the same row as Courtyard Garden. It’s a bungalow which only caters to events. They do not operate as a restaurant. As the directors are florists and interior decorators, Passion Road is absolutely gorgeous! And they really know how to host a party. However, when I started inquiring, I found out that Passion Road either closed down or moved. But I couldn’t find out where. So the next best choice was Courtyard.

And now Sharon tells me that Passion Road moved to Jalan Yap Kwan Seng. She even gave me all the contacts. I called them right away and 18 Oct was still available. Is this a sign?

Just in case the incident with Courtyard happens again, I temporarily booked the date. As they only operate during usual working hours and I’m not in town this Saturday, I’ll only be able to go have a look for myself next Saturday. But the pic on the website look gorgeous. Go see for yourself. In fact, it looks as pretty if not more so than their old premise at Damansara Heights.

Their menu prices are more expensive than Courtyard. And their beer barrel corkage and band cost are higher too. However, the place is already decorated and all I need to do is to make some slight additions. So at the end, the price for Passion Road is only slightly more expensive than Courtyard Garden.

I’m so excited. Especially after the shock and disappointment from the previous night. I can’t wait to see the place.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thanks to the Wedding Sponsors & Chief Fairy Advisor

I’m actually enjoying planning the wedding now. With the headache of securing a venue out of the way, I can concentrate on the fun bits and right now the fun bits are the wedding theme and receiving sponsors.

On the wedding theme, it’s going to be either “The Secret Garden of the Fairies” or “Fairies in the Secret Garden”.

The moment I mention the fairies theme to any girl friend, the reactions I get is “Aaaaaaaargggghhhh! Really??! So sweet! Okay okay I’ll go look for a dress to match the theme. Aaaaargh! So Nice!”

Well, most of my girl friends anyway except for Michelle Who Stays on The SeaShore who just said “Oh. Okay”. But then again it’s hard to get a shriek out of her except when she’s drunk too much coffee or when a client pisses her off. Hehehe!

Can u imagine Kinky Blue Fairy’s reaction when I told her? She sheiked. And mind u we were seated right next to the speaker and the band at A Li Yaa. She says that she’s not going to do any work this week and will instead research on fairies. She’s also going to lend me some books on fairies. Don’t be jealous Fairy. This is my wedding as it is your area of expertise. You can be my Chief Fairy Advisor! Take this as a trial run before you have your own wedding! You’ll know every fairy element by then!

And as for the sponsorship I have a lot of close friends and contacts who want to be more involved in the wedding rather than just show up as guests. And my mum has a lot of contacts and friends in high places.

So far, the following people and brands will be sponsoring:

Annie Wong Couture : 1 wedding down, 1 cheongsam and 1 cocktail dress (okay maybe 2 or 3 since they’re all so gorgeous and I can’t decide). She’s been friends with my mum from before I was born! She has been waiting a really long time for me to get married so that she can make my dresses. Thank you Aunty Annie!

A Cut Above : Hair and possibly make up. My mum and Winnie Loo are makan kakis and always meet up when my mum is back to catch up and of course, eat.

Montecom: Videography. I shot a few Olay and Rejoice TVCs with them and they’ve been so generous to do me this favour! In fact, Daniel Wee of Montecom was one of the first people to offer his services as a wedding gift!

Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB): Guinness & Tiger barrels. My lovely and generous clients!

And the latest sponsor is Diageo! Diageo has just been set up in Malaysia. They own Guinness around the world along with other premium brands such as Johnnie Walker, Baileys, Tanqueray and various single malt whiskeys. I met the MD, Samuel Tiger Woods, last Friday at Sin Cyn’s birthday drinks at Ali Yaa. We met during a Diageo training programme where we welcomed him warmly to Malaysia in the best way the beer girls knew how which is to “Drink!” Samuel Tiger Woods has promised to sponsor a few bottles of single malt whiskeys for the wedding! Yay to Tiger and yay to Diageo!

In a show of gratitude to for everyone’s generosity, they will get:

- mentioned during the speech

- their logos on the back drop

- their logos on the wedding website

- their logos on the e-invitation card

- mentions on

The guest list will comprises of friends from the advertising industry, friends in the fashion line and media too. So the brands would get good exposure to the right kind of crowd too.

Yup I’m really planning this wedding like an actual event. I’m using all the tools I know how to do my job well. It is after all the ‘biggest day in my life’. I can’t wait for the pre pro meetings and technical reccces to begin!

Happy Birthday Sin Cyn

Sat 8th Mach (election day) was Sin Cyn’s birthday! Happy birthday Cyn! We brought her to lunch at Bijou and had lovely birthday cup cakes in Nutella, Cream Cheese & Chocolate and Peanut Butter flavours from Bisou. And at night, we had drinks at Ali Yaa in Damansara Heights.

May all your wishes and fantasies come through Sin Cyn! We love u. Hugs.

BN Is Humbled

And the opposition wins! But who knew that it would be such a big win? The loss of 5 states by BN was a total shocker. So was the loss of Sharizat, Samy Vellu and Koh Tsu Koon! Regarding Samy, the people wanted him out for the longest time and he refused. So it’s really time to go. Was past the due date actually.

Certain members of the nation are really upset. But the younger people in urban centres are jubilant. This is unpresidented. BN who has been the ruling party for more than 50 years have been slacking and no longer care about what the people have to say. There were a few individuals who really did help the community and is loved by the people. But unfortunately they were with BN and sentiments regarding BN are at an all time low. Well the people have spoken. Power to the people!

It’s an exciting yet scary time. The 3 opposition parties have different manifestos especially DAP and PAS. How would they be able to work together? All we have known all our lives is BN’s rule. And we know we don’t like it. While we don’t know how the opposition will fare, we do know that the party in whom we trusted for the past 50 years has let us down. So it’s time to hand over the reigns. I just hope that DAP, PKR and PAS are able to work it out among themselves and fix the issues which BN couldn’t and bring Malaysia to greater glory (without wasting our hard earned money on whimsical stuff).

The stock market is down 70 over points and has been suspended. UMNO is having an emergency meeting.

Real issues need to be fixed and fast. I just hope that peace will be maintained.

Keep safe and let’s see what happened in the next few weeks.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Elections 2008

For those who are voting tomorrow: Think about our future in this country. Think about what we don’t like about this country and who has the power to change it. Read more about all the parties, what they stand for, what changes they want to make and whether they’ve delivered on their promises in the past. Those voting BN and the opposition are split nearly 50/50. However, more than 30 over % are undecided. I’m hoping they vote for the opposition, whoever they may be in your jurisdiction. BN will surely still win but let’s give them a run for our money (it's our money that's being used to print and put up the posters & banners, close roads to hold 'ceramahs' and shoot & edit TV commercials) and deny then a 2/3 win!

Loving Grey's Anatomy

I was watching a season synopsis of Grey’s Anatomy last night. It was hosted by Denny Duquette (screen character) / Jeffrey Dean Morgan (real name) who didn’t have that much screen time as in the number of episodes but played a pivotal role in the show especially in the live of Isobel Stevens / Katherine Heigl which inevitably affected the lives of her good friends who were also interns in Seattle Grace Hospital.

The show has flashbacks on the many memorable moments and some of my favourites are:

Meredith having a one night stand with a man the night before she started her internship at Seattle Grace only to walk through the doors on her first day of work to find that the very man she slept with was Dr Derek Shepard, her attending. They then proceed to fall in love in the following episodes. Until complication arrives when it was known to all that Derek is married and his hot wife was going to work at Seattle Grace.

Meredith yelling at Dr Shepard in the stair well “Don’t look lat me like that!” to which Dr. Shepard asked “Like what?” and she replied “Like you’ve seen me naked”. And Dr. Shepard just smiles and gives that dreamy look of his.

Christina Yang telling Burke that she will marry him only if they make it a quiet affair by having the signing ceremony at City Hall. She also cited “And no veil. I don’t want to get married with a mosquito net over my face”. Personally, I love Christina Yang / Sandra Oh best. I love her competitive character. Sandra plays this role so well that you’re feeling every exact emotion she’s portraying as Christina. I remember a scene where Christina was crying non stop and I couldn’t help but cry too.

Dr. Bailey knowing that she’s called the Nazi by the interns and maintained her stern demeanor even when giving birth!

The entire episode where the hospital had to deal with a patient who had a bomb in his body.

Isobel Stevens looking like a princess and total babe in a dark pink gown as the lift doors close on her as she makes her way up to Denny’s room after he proposed to her.

Isobel cutting Denny’s LVAD wire in a desperate attempt to get him a heart as he was contending with another patient who was 17 seconds earlier than him in putting in a request for a heart. This then caused him to die while she hoped desperately that Dr Burke Preston arrives with Denny’s new heart in time but not knowing that Dr. Burke Preston was shot and was bleeding out at the entrance of Seattle Grace.

The arrival of Mark Sloan to Seattle Grace who was formerly Derek Shepard’s best friend until he slept with Addison, Derek’s wife, who was also working at Seattle Grace in Neo-Natal.

The coining of Mc Dreamy (Derek) vs Mc Steamy (Mark). And then there was Mc Vet!

Ah. I love Grey’s Anatomy and can’t wait to buy the box set for the new season.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wedding Venue, Hair & Make Up Sorted. Wedding Theme?

Wedding plans are finally falling into place. I mean specifically the cocktail wedding. Hehehe. Gotta be very specific when I blog about the wedding. Or should I say weddings.

I spoke to over a dozen venues and they are either too small to accommodate the number of guests I want, bad service, not a conducive layout for a wedding, too far away, in a remote location, not good food or too expensive. It’s been 2 months since I started looking for a location and I was ready to tear my hair out.

I found Courtyard Garden to be the best venue in terms of location, availability of valet and parking lots, spaciousness, the ambience (it looks good as it is and will need less decor and flowers to transform it to a truly magical place) and price. However, the person in charge of events was always MIA and took a week to get back to me with answers to my questions. And they won’t let me bring in barrels of beer despite me willing to pay corkage. GAB is going to sponsor the beer and if I can’t bring it in, what am I going to do with a few barrels of beer. Not to mention I’ll need to buy from Courtyard which always costs a lot more money than bringing your own.

So I prayed and I prayed asking God to please open some doors and let me find a perfect location to hold the wedding of my dreams.

And wala! Yesterday I called Courtyard again and the guy not only responded but was incredibly helpful and pleasant. And he even agreed to allow me to bring in the beer barrels.

So we have a winner! Courtyard Garden it is! Finally! I’m so glad. It’s such a load off my mind. Now that I have the location, I can start planning the flowers, d├ęcor, finalize the guest list, plan the seating arrangement, go for food tasting and choose the menus, design the back drop, brief the videographer and photographer, pick the music which suits the theme and talk to the DJ, preview a few jazz bands or string quartets, decide on a theme … now the fun bits start!

And the other good news is that A Cut Above will be sponsoring my hair & make up. That’s another RM1,500 saved! It’s good to have good friends (and have a mother who is good friends with people in high places).

I was just thinking about the theme. Since it’s going to be in a garden setting and my cocktail dress is soft and flowy, the theme can be Garden Fairies! For the girls anyway. The guys can be elfs (or gnomes) ROTFLMAO!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

We Started Out With 100 Guests

I met up with Melvin Tennis Star for lunch today.

Since he is planning his wedding and is feeling stressed with the planning and I’m going through the exact same thing, we decided to meet up and bitch about it. From our conversation, I’ve learn one thing.

When it comes to weddings, all parents are LIARS!

When the engagement happens and the wedding planning commences, the bride and groom will usually ask both sides of the parents what they want, need and expect.

And the standard answer is:

“It’s about the 2 of you. It’s your day. Do what you like”.

“As long as the both of you are happy, we’re happy”.

“It’s your wedding. We’re only here to support you”.

Paul and I started out wanting to invite 100 close friends and relatives. We started planning our guest list and at the same time, also asked both our parents for their list, reminding them to keep it small.

Paul’s parents came back with their list. They wanted 17 tables. That means 170 guests! And this was the minimum and cut down numbers.

My parents did not respond yet but if Paul’s parents want 17 tables, my parents should have the same amount too. This meant we now have 34 tables and that’s not including our friends yet. But we gathered that out of that figure, some won’t be able to make it so we should end up with a little over 300 guests.

Due to the big numbers, we first approached the various 5 start hotels even though we really didn’t want a typical hotel set up. Anyway none of them were available on 18th Oct except Westin but their tables cost about RM1,800 each. If we add alcohol and corkage, the cost would be more than RM200 per person. All parties agreed that it was way too expensive so we started looking for Chinese restaurants. I really didn’t want one of those low end restaurants with holey bright red table cloths so we looked at Ming Room, Noble House and Flower Drum. We finally settled on Flower Drum. But they asked us to take 40 tables instead in order to secure the entire banquet hall to ourselves.

By then it was getting too Chinese Wedding Banquetish for me and I still really wanted my cocktail party. So my mum asked me to go ahead and do the cocktails too.

Then my dad says that he lives in JB and his friends are there so he wants to host one there.

Not to forget we’ve also got the tea ceremony and brunch session.

In conclusion, we started off with 100 guests ………………. and ended up with 4 wedding session with a total of 700 guests.

Parents are liars.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My First Wedding Shoe

I know I said that I won’t buy any more shoes till April 2008 but this purchase was justified!

After walking past Nine West three times over the course of the last one week and looking at the ‘50%’ discount screaming at us, Sin Cyn and I finally went in with an intension to buy.

Carrying a coloured print out of my wedding dresses, we perused the shelves for a matching shoe. We found a pair of reddish purple heels at RM369. So after 50% discount, it was RM184. For Nine West shoes, that is a great deal!

And after all, it’s going to be for the wedding and not for everyday use. What a great buy! I’ve been told to start shopping early as it’s not easy to find the perfect shoe to match the perfect dress. Now I just need to find a silver pair and a gold pair to match the other dresses.

Monday, March 03, 2008

DAP's Political Rally

DAP had a ‘ceramah’ (political rally) last night in Taman Tun which starts at 8pm. I was all geared up to go and was all excited as this was my first political rally. I was just only learning about Malaysian politics but was eager to learn more. But at 6pm, the sky turned dark and I could literally see black clouds envelop the city and moved towards me. The sky reverberated with thunder and lightning. Then the clouds moved in.

I couldn’t help but wonder is BN got their bomoh to send the rain to discourage people from attending the DAP rally. Hahaha!

The skies finally cleared about an hour plus later. I didn’t want to go but Marsupial said to just go and see anyway. So Paul and I got into the car, drove there, parked about a mile away and met up with Marsupial at the mamak which had a good view of the field where the rally was held. Teresa Kok was speaking in both English and Cantonese which I thought was a really smart move. DAP’s supporters are mainly Chinese and many of them converse in Chinese. But his election is different as the younger ones who did not care about the political scene before are now being more aware and these are the new votes the opposition needs to capture. And these younger voters are more urban and likely to be English educated. There were a lot of people in the field, at the mamak and milling around the 5-foot ways. We were listening and discussing among ourselves about our opinions.

Then it started to drizzle. Lightly at first. Then it was a total downpour. People scrambled to the 5-foot way. We were still getting wet but people stood there anyway, straining their ears to listed to the different speakers. Those true supporters were out in the field right in front of the stage. Some with umbrellas and some without. The rain was heavy. The ground and people were all wet but the crowds just kept on coming and gathering. I felt a sense of solidarity with all the wet strangers around me. At about 10pm plus, the crowd was massive. Someone estimated that there were more than 5,000 people.

I don’t know much about politics but what I gather from friends and peers is that for this election, vote anyone except for BN. This means DAP, PAS and Keadilan, depending on which party apart from BN you’re given a choice to vote for in your constituency.

In the previous election, the people were excited about Pak Lah coming on board and believed he will lead the country to more greatness. He seemed to anyway, in the first few months. But the energy, gusto and leadership which he seemed to possess seemed to fizzle off. People feel cheated and realized they made a mistake.

This is going to be an interesting election indeed. I’ll be glued to the TV on 8th March to watch the voting updates from all around the nation.

Monkeys at Vila Manja

The spa on Friday at Vila Manja was wonderful. 8 of us arrived and created such a ruckus while smoking, exploring the villa and choosing the essential oil we wanted for the massage. People go to spas to be relaxed and pampered. We were there to monkey around. But then again, that’s what we do ALL the time! That’s why we were able to plan such a fantastic company trip which resulted in the spa session sponsored by the company!

Here are some pics.

4 hours of foot spa, hot stone massage, aromatherapy full body massage and organic facial. And thereafter chocolate fondue and red wine. Ahhhh … if only every Friday could be this bliss.

The spa was pretty good and we got a great deal. We went for the Manja Indulgence Party which is where 6 or more people can book the entire spa to themselves and have a spa party! It was only RM300 nett per person for all the treatments we received. Of course individual packages would be more expensive. They also cater for bridal showers, hen nights, baby showers and even weddings!

In fact, I’m waiting for a quote from them on a wedding.