vendeur + my recent venture!

Hallo! Guess who borong-ed at Vendeur Festival in JB over the weekend das right so clever me me me! So the vital stats: think I spent about RM750 ($250) for 1 pair of pants, 2 shawls, 3 maxi dress/jubah, and about 6 tops. Not bad la hor? And now to convince myself not to shop for the next 6 months or so…

This year’s VF at Persada Convention Centre is a lot smaller than last year’s. Think we covered all the stalls in 2-3h? Boo, boring! Last year I think I spent 5-6h browsing thru the stalls, and the reason we stopped was coz money was running out and my sandals broke and we were worried it would get dark outside ahha. I’ve also not heard of 90% of the brands this year, but that one no biggie lah. As long as they sell decent stuff for good price, I’m good. Plus only a handful of Malaysian brands excluding the celebrity-driven ones have penetrated the Sg market.

Other than that the shopping experience was pleasant. It wasn’t too crowded and the sellers were generally friendly (some TOO friendly/enthusiastic even — sorry! so cerewet I know) so ok ah puas jugak.

Some photos from their official IG, Instagram.com/VendeurFestival. Photos taken by @akugraphy


there were quite a few guy promoters wearing their stalls’ baju haha. there was one who wore a maxi skirt and swooped down like a samurai warrior to invite us to his stall


it was war of the loudhailers and microphones as everyone promoted their deals! so kecoh.


the promoters from Maula Cosmetics, a malaysian brand. they sold serum and cleansers. bought their bb cream to try hee.

My friend and I agreed that next year onwards we’ll stick to KL Muslimah fashion festivals. And actually! Mood Republik organised a Year End Sale (YES) Festival at KL PWTC last two weekends! Wah if we knew earlier we would have changed plans seh. She said it looked good over Instagram. Haiz. So next year no matter who the organiser is, as long as it’s at KL PWTC, kiter goje. InsyaAllah kalau murah rezeki! *insert puppy dog eyes towards NG*

My friend’s husband grudgingly said “dah lah next year you two go yourselves.” 😂 

So actually, we extended our JB trip to a 3d2n staycay. Ikr, so semangattt. In early Dec I managed to snag us rooms at The Puteri Pacific (formerly known as Puteri Pan Pacific — same same but different) which is next door to Persada hee. Phew, considering the hotel (and all other JB hotels) ended up being fully booked over the long Christmas weekend.

Alhamdulillah everything worked out so nicely, coz NG’s friend invited us to his family’s JB home for a BBQ on Fri night (macam tahu aje!). And on Sat night, our friends joined us for dinner at Senibong and board games in our hotel room lulz. So all in all a great staycay. I mean JB’s so near, espesh Puteri PanPac (can’t shake off old name) which is like a stone throw away from the checkpoint, that I think it falls under “staycay” and not “holiday”. We paid about $80/night for the Princess Deluxe BUT I only just realised, while preparing this entry, that the hotel had upgraded us to the Executive Deluxe!!! no wonder our room was high up and quite big! *beams* Perhaps this is the advantage of booking directly with them instead of going thru Agoda… we got bumped up, hurrah!

That’s all i have to share about my shopping weekend. Moving on… a short advertisement:

calling make up addicts and beauty junkies!

remember my last entry where I shared how life has been idyllic? gatal me decided to start a little venture reselling/importing make up from the USA. mostly lip products from now, and some creme gel eye liners. these are on my Carousell and Shopee pages under @rafsiecakes 🙂

a quick comparison between the two:

Carousell – good if you already established a profile and track record. very easy to use.

Shopee – app is a little more complex. you pay upfront but Shopee will hold your payment from the seller until you have received your item. so a little more assurance there. the listings are not as varied as on Carousell BUT the huge perk is that they’re aggressive about attracting new users, so there are discount codes aplenty. discounts can be $3, $4 or $5 but ok lah kan!

I already have some listings published and a few more in my pipeline. there will be lipsticks in the $1x, $2x and $3x range, so hopefully there’s something to fit everyone’s budget and aspirations. hope to chat with some of you thru my Carousell and Shoppee accounts! 😉

my photobooth contest

from pretty early in the wedding planning process, i wanted to build a body of crazy funky images of guests from my photobooth, kinda like the ones below from Image is Found (US-based) — you can view more of their Crazybooth photos here.

CRAZYBOOTH_SYKES_004

(photo source: Image is Found)

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(photo source: Image is Found) CRAZYBOOTH_SYKES_008

(photo source: Image is Found) CRAZYBOOTH_SYKES_012

(photo source: Image is Found) CRAZYBOOTH_SYKES_014

(photo source: Image is Found)

what i love about the Crazybooth spirit is that they don’t rely on moustache props or speech bubbles to make the photos funny. their funny personalities shine so bright!

to encourage my guests to take such crazy and creative photos, i decided to hold a contest..! in the months leading up to the wedding, i discussed with my bridesmaids on how to design the contest. we asked questions like how would we collect entries? what are the categories? how would i follow up with the prizes, especially if the winners are not my friends but my parents’?

so we came up with a workflow involving voluntary participation (as opposed to us scanning all the images and picking out the winner), use of hardcopy (not via Instagram or hashtagging) and asking for contact numbers for easy follow up. i also asked for their help to firstly think of how we gonna do the photo wall (ended up using 3M hooks, twine, and small pegs) and secondly to help me keep the entries so they don’t get lost during the mad pack up.

photobooth workflow

i was so semangat that i even created a workflow k! inspired by the official workflow documents my team has hahah. 

contest publicity + Facebook event page

then i designed a contest poster which i printed on an A3 foam board (cost me $25 seh but okay lah, i wanted it to be sturdy and look pro) and also uploaded the soft copy onto Facebook. i mentioned in an earlier post about creating a Facebook event for my reception. the main reason why I did so was to have a platform to announce the results and let people view the entries.

since the event page was up, i also took the opportunity to publicise my hashtag and give directions to the CC (cos Tampines runs a potentially confusing Townlink system for its feeder buses, which not all estates have)

From Tampines Bus Interchange
– Take bus 293 (WEST Loop; green colour) and alight at block 819 which is also opposite St Hilda’s Primary School. If you accidentally take the other colour, you could remain on the bus for a tour of Tampines, I guess. However if your bus has a red “T” sign, you’ll be asked to alight when it returns to the interchange. Therefore, best to double check you’re in the right queue – don’t anyhow run for the 293 bus hor.
– Easy way to remember: you’re headed to Tampines WEST CC so take the WEST loop (not East loop) k!

what I posted on the event page. i was sooo worried about guests getting lost seh.

shortlisted entries

the theme of my photobooth is “PARTY…!” there were 3 categories: kids, couple or pair, and group. the prizes offered were $50, $80 and $100 vouchers respectively. i initially wanted to offer a little more but decided that i was too ambitious. i had planned to redeem the vouchers using my credit card points so i didn’t have to use cash. however, rezeki pengantin agaknya, it so happened that my insurance policies gave me $300 CapitaMall vouchers so that helped a lot alhamdulillah! my financial planner (ahem, also my husband) didn’t tell me about the vouchers when i signed up for the policies, because he wanted to surprise me (and his other clients lah).

i’m going to share some of the shortlisted entries, followed by my After Action Review (AAR). for both the categories below, we shortlisted the top 4 for easier decision making and also uploading :p 

Couple/Pair

Group

can you guess the winners? it’s the second and fourth shots respectively 🙂 I announced the results over the weekend and will be giving out the vouchers soon hee.

afterthoughts on my photobooth + the contest

ok lah, the photos were not as crazy as Crazybooth’s BUT i can see and appreciate the effort. generally my guests used the props heavily, though maybe this happens for all Hello Forever booths cos they sure have some funky selections! 

on the whole, we didn’t receive too many entries (i sorta expected more?) although on the bright side, i suppose this made judging easier. i also felt like my entire photobooth was under-used 😦 when i was on the pelamin, i noticed that the photobooth queue was non-existent so that made me feel a bit sad. especially since Hello Forever ain’t cheap…

i think one reason is cos the photobooth was in the back corner of the hall. when we drew out the floor plan, i thought it would be prominent enough but somehow with all the tables in the MPH, the photobooth ended up being slightly obscure. mama kraken was saying yesterday that on hindsight we should have placed the booth outside the MPH. haiz. i also got the DJ’s help to publicise the contest and encourage guests to take photos, but i think his messages got lost. partly cos he mostly spoke Malay (we had a quite a bit of non-Malay guests too) and maybe cos the mic/audio system wasn’t fantastic.

another reason could be that my kecoh aunts and uncles were hard at work helping to manage our berkats and helping guests find seats. i was counting on them to spam my photobooth too cos i thought they might like taking photos together + getting instant (high quality!) print outs but i guess they didn’t have the time/chance/mood. ahhh so sayang.

recently i wondered to myself if i should have skipped the photobooth and gotten videography instead. i had budget for only either, and at that time i was very excited to get Hello Forever on board. i also thought about how i hate watching myself on video. like hate, hate. but even after knowing the outcome of my photobooth … i guess i’m too much of a photography-loving person to have gone with videography.

are photobooths losing favour among guests? hmmm, maybe. i think you might give better satisfaction with Choo Choo Churros hahaha. since churros are the rage now. and CCC is so sedap compared to some other churro brands.

I guess I should take comfort in the fact that I gave my photobooth and the contest my best shot (no pun intended!). hopefully those who did use it had a good time and liked the print outs. no regrets, just learning points.

alsooo, here’s wishing everyone a blessed Ramadhan ahead. may we gain His pleasure and blessings through our ibadah. assalamualaikum 🙂 

the temporarily difficult days (part 2 of 2)

this is a continuation to the temporarily difficult days (part 1 of 2).

arrival of bed

our queen-sized mattress and bed frame arrived separately on Fri. the night before, I asked my dad to help dismantle my old bed frame and then I slept on my old mattress on the floor. then on Fri morning, I left my old mattress outside our door and mama kraken got the town council peeps to help us move it and my bed frame downstairs.

getting the queen bed was a novel experience because I’ve had the same single bed frame since I was 7. so macam very bangga lah gitu dapat katil besar baru.

back to Fri night. my mum took out the luxe bedsheet set that she bought for me and together we fixed it onto the mattress. then, she asked me to take a photo of the bed and send it to NG. which I did, though inside my heart I was like “but huaaaat, huaaaai??” lepas tu! she made me keep the bedsheet and she lent me her king sized bedsheet to use in the meantime. chey! all that hard effort for a photo opportunity only.

the dark patch isn’t your eyes playing a trick on you, but the sealant booboo that i briefly mentioned in my post about the room makeover.

that night I slept with my tissue box on my bed… just cos I could. haha! cheap thrill. ok but anyway more on the tissue box later.

bilik pengantin

so then over the weekend, my dad helped to drill the new curtain rods onto the wall. sampai badan berpeluh semua :/ I felt really touched when I saw him so hard at work heh.

I also enlisted the help of my engineer brother to help assemble my Kallax with me because I didn’t trust myself to understand the instructions lolol. it turns out that you probably do need 2 people anyway.

we also got a Taiwanese neighbour-friend to help sew the kain which my mum had bought from Arab St into curtains for the backdrop. this neighbour was off for a flight that night so she gave us same day express service! alhamdulilah. though my mum realised one of them was done wrongly and she had to unpick and resew. ow! but all settled now.

mama kraken and her two friends then transformed my room on Mon. when I got back from work and entered my room I was kinda speechless. like wahhhhhhhh. wahhhhhhhh. wahhh is this for meeeee?? they had even hung my new window curtains and put on the pengantin bedsheet set! the bedsheet was so bling and regal :’)

in mama kraken’s usual style, I had to remove the bedsheet and change back to the king sized one that night. lol. but ok, not complaining!

here’s a sneak peek:

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room makeover + invitation card woes

erhmagoddd, my room makeover is SO. MUCH. WORK. i feel like it’s as big an undertaking as planning the wedding day, can??!! you see, we are the type of household that owns 1,573,856 items so seriously trying to clear the things out was so, so painful. took me so many rounds. yet, the headache is not over because i’ve still got to think about how to reorganise my things once i have a roomie. for example, i like to dump my handbag and laptop bag in a corner of the floor every day. but once ninja groom moves in, like a bit not nice hor? hai.

NG and I spent the Good Friday public holiday painting the room to my new choice colours of white + grey. we’re not pro painters so it is a little comot here and there, with some booboos related to sealants (say what?) and accidental paint on the wooden panels but whatevs. i’m just happy it’s done. done! woohoo. the day has finally arrived.

i would have loved to get a professional painter to spare us the trouble, but my dad wouldn’t hear of it. then i heard from mama kraken that the charges for painting one room is easily $500 (not sure if true or not). if so, then I guess okay lah, it wasn’t a bad idea to DIY. $500 is a lot of money, espesh when i’m trying to boost my honeymoon shopping budget!

what’s next is to arrange for the delivery of the new bed and mattress (which we ordered way back in Oct) and buy a nightstand and new rack from Ikea. then, mama kraken and two of her friends will help do up my bilik pengantin. although NG and I are not getting solemnised in my house, mama kraken has always insisted that i must have a nice bilik pengantin for the occasion. what occasion ah? my wedding and marriage lah. you know, in case you were thinking of something else.

backtrack a bit, when i was younger i used to dream of getting solemnised in my house because after all, i have spent all my life staying here. (word has it that my family moved in the day after newborn me was discharged from hospital) but when the realities of wedding planning started, i realise NO WAY are we going to clear up the house man. as it is, cleaning up one room was already a slooow torture, what more the common areas? *does the big X sign furiously*

so back to my bilik pengantin — mama kraken already helped buy nice bedsheets for me when she went to Guangzhou two years ago. back then, our wedding date was not confirmed yet but she was already … future-ready, to borrow the public service’s term. huhaha. then last year, she helped me buy new curtains from Guangzhou too. phew. thank god for mama kraken cos i really have no shred of energy left to bling up my room!

also, since we are on the topic. recently i stumbled upon Dalillah Ismail’s bridal chamber from when she got married last year:

wah, love this! the sweet colours, the ruffles, but most of all, the mannequin. though i really have no business having a mannequin in my room lol. i mean, she’s a personal style blogger so i think she can pull it off… but not me.

me vs parents: wedding card drama

anyway! it’s the busy period for parents and me as we distribute our cards. so just to recap. my wedding is for 1,000 pax. initially, i thought of printing 550 (500 + 10% contingency) cards. but mama kraken asked me to print 600 instead so i was like ok, ok. (my dad likes to say “for some people, it’s one card one person!” he’s said this at least 3 separate times. anybody’s parents too?) after the cards had arrived, my mum asked for 400 cards so i gave them to her. then i took 150 for myself, and guarded the extra 50 cards.

yesterday, my parents asked me to find out how much it is to print extra 100 cards. i was like whaaaat! that’s 700 cards for a “1,000 pax” reception!

i’m not disturbed about printing extra cards: pay, and you will get them. i’m worried about the human jam. will there be enough food? will there be enough seats during crunchtime? sigh. some more, when i was distributing cards to my colleagues earlier this week, i was all “bring your family!” “bring your wife!” “bring your husband!”. wah, if i had known that my parents guest list was going to be bigger than expected, i wouldn’t have gone out to ask my colleagues to bring their plus ones seh. some more, colleagues are likely to make arrangements to attend my wedding together so majority would have been fine without their plus ones, i feel.

mama kraken said if the guest list turns out to be 1,100 pax instead, she’ll update the caterer. i know from reading ex-BTB blogs that a ballooning invite list is one of the more common conflicts with parents, so i knew there was no point arguing about this. plus, my parents are paying for food so i also don’t have the right to tell them what to do. i just bitterly told NG that whatever, even if there’s a shortage of food or seats on the day, i’ll just keep smiling on from my pelamin. these situations will be for my parents and their orang kuat to settle, not me. heh.

though hopefully, with Allah’s blessings, such things won’t happen in the first place. i mean, must believe in abundance right? luckily mine’s not a combined event or there could be friction arising from this.

and now, to soldier on for the rest of the preps. so…much…work. just over a month to go!

designing my own invites: part 1

designing invites is one of my major DIY undertakings, so here’s part 1 of my experience.

first, let’s establish my card size. I’m going for an A6-sized card when closed. in other words, it’s a quarter of an A4 paper. and when you open it, it’ll be A5 i.e. half of an A4 paper.

front cover

I have a talented cousin who draws super well. so for my front cover, I asked her to help draw an illustration of ninja groom and me on a pelamin hee. in the moodboard that I shared with her, I even included this nurita harith dress that I once saw IshQ post, which my cousin then drew something similar on me. if I do end up selecting that dress, it would be very cool! but it all depends whether the dress is available during my weekend and whether it’s within my budget lah right.

I’ve posted the front cover mood board before, but let me post it again:

kraken wedding invite moodboard

I think the front cover is pretty crucial since it’s gonna be people’s first impression when they see the card, so I’m glad I got it out of the way really early. it was such a smooth process liaising with my cousin. alhamdulilah :’)

inside pages

I wanted the layout and info of my inside pages to be clean. no squeezing of text or cluttering of info. so to achieve this, I designed my inside page to be 1 x portrait, instead of 2 x landscape. Malay text on left, English text on right.

I looked to my ex-classmate’s wedding invite for inspiration. feeling bad, I even smsed her to “confess” that I was shamelessly copying hers so that when she sees my card, she won’t be like, “eh ini macam aku punya dulu eh?” haha. alhamdulilah, she was very supportive of the idea. she was like “bagus kan! senang untuk orang tua baca”.

so a tip to those DIY-ing cards is to keep those invites that you like, for easy referencing (copying) later!

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lessons from work on wedding planning

I’ve been learning a lot of hard lessons at work, and thinking what I can apply to wedding planning. my biggest lesson from the month of January (and early February) is the merits of being more kiasu (afraid to lose) or “KS”, as my manager refers to it.

I think the term kiasu tends to have a bad nuance, but I’m learning that it’s better to have all my bases covered than be half-hearted and pre-sumptuous — only to be caught unprepared later. And that all this checking and double checking actually takes hard work, so being KS is almost a virtue. And it’s good to over-estimate and plan for contingencies, cos sometimes you will really need them. And when you do, you will feel thankful and relieved that you decided to be KS.

I’m still a bit sore about my stickers, I guess. And thinking which parts of wedding planning I should be KS about, to save myself from future heartaches later.

anyway. mama kraken and I met our decorators at our venue on Mon. we had asked if we could meet earlier (otherwise the apmt would be closer to March) because we’re DIYing our guests’ table top decor and also making the bunga pahar for the pelamin, so my mum wanted to be able to have more time to plan / change plan, etc.

I was quite excited about the appointment in the weeks leading up to it, though I also felt some dread cos I was expecting that after our discussion, we would find that we needed to top up for this and that. however! the price tag remains the same so yay, syukur alhamdulilah. however! the apmt wasn’t that exciting after all. we basically just reconfirmed the details of the concept that we had discussed last year in April (nine months ago!) I whined to ninja groom that they didn’t start off by reconfirming that the decor concept remains the same and he was yalah, they expect you to tell them if you want to change, what. meh. I did have half the mind to change concept to something safer ok! I initially had some concerns about the look and the materials that will be used to make my pelamin backdrop, but during our discussion I managed to tell them what I didn’t want, so hopefully they get it and all will be ok.

everything we discussed was still abstract: we will put flowers here. we will hang cloths there. we will fix scallops here. so it was a bit hard to feel excited cos I don’t know whether my visualisation is the same as theirs! skali bukan eh. they explained that they have stopped providing sketches for the time being while they sort out T&Cs to prevent any misuse. so ya I feel like I’m at their mercy. just have to trust their taste and delivery. the corporate part of me says “noooooooouuu” (with a bit of Australian accent at the end) and “I need assurance!” while the muslimah in me goes “tawakkal je, sis.”

meh. I feel so conflicted.