Sunday, 25 June 2017

Bridal Studio - Rico A Mona

For the longest time, we thought we were going to go a la carte i.e. we are going to purchase our gowns and suits, and engage our own photographer, florists, and make-up artists. Fast forward to a year after our engagement and we decided that it was just way too much trouble having to liaise separately with different vendors so we decided to book an AD package with a bridal studio instead.

Next came the extensive research about which bridal studio to sign the package with. We had dropped by Zwedding previously (while waiting for our omakase dinner at Teppei) and were completely blown away by how expensive they were. Definitely way out of our budget. So we took time to search through forums and narrowed down to the following bridal studios:
  • Labelle
  • Digio
  • Rico A Mona
  • BQueens
Aside from budget, I also looked through the various social media accounts of these bridal studios and got a sense of the designs of their bridal gowns. Generally I was most fond of the gowns at Digio and Rico A Mona so I decided we will check these out first. Rico A Mona was having their 8th year anniversary sale so I decided to make a booking to visit Rico A Mona. Was totally expecting to visit all the bridal studios in the list above but alas, fate had other plans and Rico A Mona was the first and last studio we visited!

I made a booking to discuss the bridal packages at Rico A Mona but did not ask for a specific coordinator. I was assigned to Yenn Yenn which turned out to be such a blessing because she is such a sweet and nice girl. If you would like to check out Rico A Mona, I would strongly recommend Yenn Yenn!

She sat us down and asked us about our general requirements. We told her we only needed an AD package because we had completed our first pre-wedding photo shoot in Japan (reminds me that I should do a review of Lavie Photography soon) and will be heading for our second pre-wedding photo shoot in USA soon.

She showed us the AD package and explained clearly what was included and what was not. Perfect, I love clarity. Thereafter, she led me to the changing room and brought out a few gowns for me to try! I think I tried about 5 or 6 gowns (a mixture of wedding gowns and evening gowns) before we sat down again to discuss the details of the package.

Rico's AD package is pretty standard and includes gowns, suits, flowers and make up. AD photography would be an additional $1,500 but we chose not to go with Rico's photographer for AD since we have another photographer in mind.

What I loved about Rico was that they did not have any weird "designer range" which required a top-up. I always found those bridal studios which charged for their "designer range" rather absurd. I mean, clearly you should pride yourself enough to purchase and rent beautiful gowns, right? Why would you segregate your gowns into different ranges and charge more for a specific range? Just sounds like a whole bullock of money-generating crap.

So we signed with Rico! Super glad with their service so far and love their gowns! Will update again after our AD. But first, here is a sneak preview of the gown and suit from Rico for our pre-wedding shoot in USA.

Friday, 23 June 2017



Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Garden Slug and Craftsmen Specialty Coffee

It had been years since I came by and I still remember the brunch I had with Stef at The Garden Slug back in the good old days. The place looks same same but different. I guess that kind of applies to everything that you return to after many years away. It is like looking at a piece of memory fraying away at the edges.

Stef and I met for brunch at the Garden Slug on a fine Sunday morning, mostly because we thought it was on Entertainer. Unfortunately, the Entertainer App could only be used for the mains, and the breakfast menu was not considered part of the mains so I decided to ditch the Entertainer App for something on the breakfast menu. I guess I was really looking forward to eggs and it felt a little disappointing to end up eating something else. 

So I thought long and hard as to whether I was going for the healthy egg option (the usual Eggs Benedict) or the unhealthy egg option (the Three Little Pigs). Eventually I decided that life was too short and I should just take a small risk this once so I went for the Three Little Pigs. It was really SO GOOD. Two sunny side-ups with ham, sausages, bacon, hash, and mushrooms. Granted, I felt like I really needed to go exercise after finishing every bit of the Three Little Pigs but I was so happy and satisfied after the meal.

Took a bus down to Craftsmen Specialty Coffee for a cup of coffee and to continue our chat after brunch. I had my usual flat white while Stef ordered the interesting cortado. We took a long while to understand the difference between the piccolo latte and cortado before Stef eventually decided to ask the barista. It appears that the only difference was that the cortado was served in a special cortado glass. So interesting, learning new things everyday.

The Garden Slug
55 Lor L Telok Kurau

Craftsmen Specialty Coffee
2 First St, Siglap V

Sunday, 11 June 2017

11D8N Eastern Europe Tour with Chan Brothers Day 2 - Dresden (Germany), Prague (Czech Republic)

Hotel breakfast was decent and we checked out in the early morning for our long drive to Dresden. It was a bright sunny day with clear blue skies and warm sunshine. So different from our first day in Germany. The drive to Dresden was nice, accompanied by music from our tour leader's sound track. Watching the large fields as we zip along the highway was amazing. I love long drives and sunshine. 

Reached Dresden in time for our pork knuckle lunch at Loewe which was a cozy little restaurant in a glasshouse. The pork knuckle was not bad but too big for my small Asian appetite. Ended the meal with a mug of beer before heading out to explore the small Christmas market beside Loewe. We were given some time to shop around the Christmas market on our own before returning to the bus for our ride to the old town in Dresden. 

There is something about blue skies and bare branches in winter that makes me incredibly happy.

The old town of Dresden beside the Elbe River was so so beautiful. The opera house, the Zwinger (former execution grounds in the palace which was also where I lost my lens cap), and the Saxony Wall which showed the rise and fall of the kingdom. The architecture was truly amazing.

We were given some time to walk around and explore the old town. Eva (our tour leader) gave us some suggestions about the places to go in the area and we wandered off in the direction of the shopping mall. Alt Markt-Galerie Dresden was an indoor shopping mall where we ended up doing a bit of shopping and, most importantly, using the toilet. Had to pay to use the toilet (we learnt over the next couple of days that we had to pay to use the toilet almost everywhere in Eastern Europe) but the toilet was clean and well-maintained so that was good. 

We wandered off to the Christmas market beside the shopping mall and walked around a little. The feeling of Christmas in the air was so magical and electrifying. We bought a bratwurst and enjoyed the warm sausage as we made our way back to the coach at the allocated time. 

Dresden was such a charming place. So glad there was a stop in this town because I doubt I would have visited Dresden on my own. 

After a long drive and a stop at Macs (where everybody hopped off the bus to use the toilet and grab some snacks), we arrived at Clarion Congress Hotel Prague where everybody had a buffet dinner at the hotel's restaurant. The buffet was so disappointing though. The selection was extremely limited and, because there were two tour groups queuing for dinner at the same restaurant, we had to wait forever before it was our turn. We finished dinner quickly and visited the shopping center which was located beside the hotel. The supermarket Billa was well-stocked and the Marks & Spencer had such great prices so we bought a bunch of stuff and went back to rest. 

Check out my post on Day 1!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

FOC Sentosa

For AA's farewell, we decided on brunch at FOC Sentosa. I was feeling a little under the weather, having just caught a flu bug and still struggling with a bad throat and cough. But I was reluctant to reschedule because it was always tough to find a date when all of us can make it and I did not want to be a wet blanket. So we went on with our brunch date at Sentosa.

Hitched a ride from AA and drove into Sentosa. It was a cool and cloudy Saturday so there were not many people out on the beach. Ahhh I miss the beach. I miss the wind, the sand between my toes, the warmth as I sit under an umbrella with a book, and the crashing of the waves against the shore. I sincerely think retiring on an island in Thailand would be such a bliss.

We were rather late for our reservation but, thankfully, they kept our table for us. Helped that the place was not crowded yet. Guess nobody wanted to head to Sentosa on a cloudy day with the grey clouds threatening to release their fury anytime. 

No sangria for me since I was still sick so I took coffee instead.

Patatas Bravas. Crispy potato strips with delicious sauce.

Scrambled eggs with Iberico Ham. More potato strips, this time with eggs and ham.

Squid Ink Paella with scallops and prawns. Love the paella! Thick delicious squid ink and chewy grains of rice. 

Turns out the waitress was AA's friend and she kindly arranged a dessert for us! This came like a giant Ferrero Roche and tasted just like one. What a special dessert!

You could choose to sit outside on the veranda near the pool and the sand but we chose to sit inside because it looked like it could rain any minute. If the weather was slightly better, I would definitely like to try the outdoor seats!

110 Tanjong Beach Walk, 
098943 Sentosa Singapore
Phone: +65 6100 1102
Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Friday 11.30am to 11.00pm
(last kitchen order: 9.30pm, Fridays: 10.00pm)
Saturday & Sunday 11.30am to 11.00pm
(last kitchen order: 10.00pm, Sundays: 9.30pm)
PH Eve: 11.30am to 11.00pm
(last kitchen order: 10.00pm)
PH: 11.30am to 11.00pm
(last kitchen order: 9.30pm)

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Joo Seng Teochew Porridge

So this happened months ago but I just got around to blogging about it. Since then, AA has left and joined another agency, and the only time I managed to catch up with her over dinner, I was like 2 hours late, no thanks to work. But that is life and we all grapple with it somehow.

This was on a nice hot Saturday afternoon and we met up for Top 1 Noodles at Beauty World. The lunch outing was fraught with difficulties. First, we were stuck in the car park because the barrier was faulty and then we were stuck in a horrible jam. When we finally reached Beauty World after more than an hour, we could not find parking so we had to circle the parking lots thrice. When we parked and got to the food center, TOP 1 NOODLES WAS CLOSED. Both of us could not believe our luck. 

So we crossed the road and had Joo Seng Teochew Porridge instead. AA's recommendation and it was good! Good variety of tasty dishes and the place was relatively quiet so we could sit around and chat (read: bemoan about life). Prices were ok, though not the cheapest, but I guess nothing at Timah can really be considered cheap. Nice way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon!

14 Cheong Chin Nam Road

Monday, 22 May 2017

They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds.

So today was one of those days when I really needed a drink. But I am sick and coughing like my lungs are going to give up on me so I cannot drink and can only curl up in a corner and bawl my eyes out. And now that I am done with that, I have decided to just type away. This is going to to come out like a stream of consciousness and maybe I will delete this tomorrow. But hey, I should not be ashamed of myself in this weak shitty state. If you are reading my blog for flowers, pretty sights and the untrue side of social media, stop reading now. I have no lies to feed you with tonight.

I heard this story sometime ago:
One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’
My Evil Wolf has been growing stronger day after day for a long while now. The little voice, the gnawing thought that I am lousy, that I am not good enough, that nothing I do will ever be good enough, that little voice has been grow louder, stronger, and more real each time I feed it. And it has been so easy to feed that voice nowadays. So many people have been helping me feed my Evil Wolf these days. I used to have a strong Good Wolf. Strong enough so that I know when people are just being mean, unhelpful and demeaning, and not let them get to me. I learnt early on in my job that people can sense weakness, and once you are weak, you are dead because people will just go in for the kill. Applies in the jungle, applies here. So my Good Wolf was always strong, my mind was always strong, and I know what I was doing, where I was going. 

I don't know what happened but one day the balance tipped. And now here I am, in a sad pathetic ball, not knowing how I got here. A little like being drunk except that this is reality and I did not drink a drop. 

At my saddest moment today, I went to Bugis and bought a kebab from my favourite kebab store Stuff'd. I have never realised it before but today I noticed that there was a quote on each kebab! And mine was so apt...
They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds.
Evil Wolf says, "Please, woman, you are a rotting corpse. Just accept it and do your part as an organic fertiliser."

Good Wolf says, "See? You are a seed. One day you will grow into a big strong tree and you will thank the people who buried you."

I will feed the Good Wolf tonight. Even if it takes all the strength I have left, I will feed the Good Wolf tonight.