no shopping goal 2018: Q3 update

uh oh, end September means it’s time to do another round of confessions. my wrap buying ban is not going well AT ALL, so i think i will remove it for the last quarter 😳

i did quite well for like 3-4 weeks in Aug-Sep and then faltered again and bought 3 wraps within a weekend.

wraps and carriers i bought

• oscha matrix malibu 6 (returned!)

they released a pretty pink-orange grad and i was like, ooh how nice if you made it in the matrix pattern! and make in the matrix pattern they did, so i got it (felt a bit obliged.) but then i returned it about 2 weeks later coz i felt the blend wouldn’t be suitable for us despite it being so pretty.

• oscha roses candyfloss toddler cairis

they were running a sale for their carriers and i got one coz i’m curious and feel the need to try them all. and oh, the most famous babywearing youtube influencer (@wrapyouinlove) has one of these so i was like, i want to copy her too! but to be honest i’ve not used it much coz i still prefer wraps, but i don’t want to give up just yet.

• handwoven melodies bliss 5

this one came up in the local deal or no deal swap. i went to make an offer (ikr…WHY) and … it got accepted. omg, i panicked. apparently my price was just right. dang! should have gone lower 😝 but anyway i holidayed this piece sometime early this year and really liked it, and was also aiming for a piece from this weaver. speaking of which, THE right piece that i was lusting for became available for sale recently but i had to stop myself, aurgh. oh wells!

• woven wings droplets summer sorbet 5

i’d been resisting some of WW’s releases, telling myself to save it for their famous quad blend. but when this cotton/linen piece came up — in pocket weave which is the rage these days — i was like omo i WANT it. so i entered the draw, had a strangely good feeling about it, and true enough found out that i won an invoice.

• oscha roses michael 6

i bought this to replace my okinami nydie 4 which was same grad, same blend, just different pattern and size. used my 20% discount code that i’d been hoarding, so i feel less bad about it. it’s a wetspun linen piece and is serving us very well. currently one of my favourites!

• oscha matrix bifrost 3

i’m not really a rainbow wrap kinda person but when a preorder opened up i was like … maybe i can get this in a 3 🙈 so that’s what i did. it becomes ready in end October, so i’m really excited!

this quarter i sold 3 wraps. NG also suggested that i sell everything and keep only 2, to which i replied no waaaay. but i did list a bunch of wraps as a result of his comments lah, seeing which would sell. i still have some for sale and hope someone will buy them soon, so that i can return the money to my bank account.

have i ever mentioned how conflicted i am about wraps? on one hand i’m annoyed how i can’t keep to a buying ban. after each wrap purchase i’d tell myself “ok no more..!” and then. i have talked myself out of buying 2 wraps that i would otherwise love to own, but i should be talking myself out of more.

on the other hand i’m justifying to myself how this will only last a while, if i enjoy it i shouldn’t have to feel so bad about it… etc. i recently told myself to take a break from participating in the ootd version of woven wraps. a week’s break did wonders to change my mindset — it helped me feel more okay with wearing the same 2 wraps, and it made me appreciate my stash more.

then i also started feeling a little tired of holidaying wraps, so i told myself to take a break too. it was very liberating, though i eventually faltered when two people texted me to offer me their wraps. how to say no when people were thinking of you, right 😌

i also got an exciting opportunity to test a prototype wrap from Oscha. this was after whining that nobody in Singapore seemed to be selected during the couple of prototype casting calls, so i was really happy and excited and grateful for the opportunity! my friends teased me about being so excited but it really was a biiiig thing for me ☺️

clothes

hmmm, i think i was pretty good! i don’t recall buying any new pieces 🤔

shawls

i impulsively bought one of those trendy textured shawls from @nusheenurra tho now i wish i’d picked a different colour.

also a curved satin silk tudung (Inaya) and a chiffon piece (Muna) from @tudungpeoplesg.

and omg ya i caved in and bought a snood from @theduckgroup. it’s my first snood ever and i struggled with it coz it seems much bigger than the ones in youtube tutorials. but the drapes are really quite 🤤 and i get to feeling feeling vivy for the day.

i didn’t get rid of any shawl this quarter, tho i should, because my shawl basket is getting full 😬

baby clothes

picked up a unicorn dress from the market near my place. i also had a small carter’s/skiphop order because we needed a bigger school bag for Watermelon to keep up with her bigger packing list since transferring to the playgroup, so i added some clothes. still within acceptable limits, if i may say so myself :p

bags

i caved and bought the WW Be Light after deciding that i needed a good tote bag. i’ve been loving it so far! nice pattern, nice pocket, quite light … i’m happy. other than this i don’t think i bought any other bags… 🤔

knick knacks

i did a lot better this quarter, yay. glad my “home improvement” shopping spree phase ended. i did buy a couple of seemingly random things but these were mostly from Daiso and therefore inexpensive? hee.

i went a little crazy splurging on baby’s toys recently, though. there are more that i wanna buy but i think Watermelon is still underaged, so i’m forcing myself to wait wait wait. it’s so hard! 😩

i must say tho, that i’m liking how our toy collection is shaping up. my intention is to keep it to a small number of mostly open ended toys. bonus if they’re wooden, coz i’m crunchy/hippie like that 😬

reflections

i feel most guilty about the wrap purchases, especially after thinking about how much higher my bank account balance would be if i hadn’t bought so many 🙊 being less active in the community, sending out less travellers and reducing the number of wraps i was hosting seemed to help curb my desires. i’m starting to become more immune to seeing sales posts and photos of other people’s wraps, which is good!

Watermelon had a short clingy phase where she was more receptive to wraps, but at time of writing, she is avoiding them with a 5 ft pole. life…

september wasn’t a great month for my cash flow. i ended up feeling very broke, and a little scared for myself on how my spending habits were panning out. it’s only been a week since my october pay day, so far i feel a little more secure. i hope it’s not a short-lived phase, espesh as my future remains uncertain. i’m still undecided whether to take a break from work next year or to chiong in a new job.

i’ve started my SAHM fund as discussed earlier 🙂 have been consistently putting in funds every month. it’s only been 3 months so the fund is small, but i hope to slowly build it up.

i want to blog more but a) i don’t know what content to put out, short of talking about Watermelon 95% of the time and b) it seems so quiet around my WordPress app these days.

one more quarterly report for the year, insyaAllah! time flies by so quickly.

actual wedding programme (one day, separate receptions)

before I trash the docs in my wedding file (and make way for materials on reno!!) I thought I might as well share my admin prog.

I previously blogged about my admin programme and also the family meeting closer to date to discuss the programme. in the weeks leading up to the wedding, I think this admin prog was one of the most painful tasks, thanks to the disagreements I had here and there with ninja groom and mama kraken etc.

ok so here are some of the more interesting insights I had from my wedding admin programme:

1. squeezing a quick meal after nikah and before reception was a good move …

… which I can’t believe NG disagreed with during the planning stage. what! why! well anyway, ours was a 11.00am nikah, with my reception entrance at 2.00pm. so if we didn’t grab a quick bite then, I would have starved until 3.00pm or so.

for this post-nikah meal, I decided that we would eat at the common tables so that the cutlery on the meja pengantin wouldn’t be disturbed. assigned my bridesmaids to help scoop food for NG and me, non-hadang style. they did an overly fantastic job sampai kita tak sempat habis.

2. what happens right after nikah

NG and I united on our pelamin and did the salam, sarung cincin etc, while the guests ate as the lunch buffet opened for business. we had a small stream of close friends and relatives taking photos with us. and then we got bored because nobody was coming up to the pelamin. so we thought now would be a good time to go down. right? wrong! cos lepas orang dah makan baru dorang sibuk nak amik gambar. haha. we obliged a little before heading off to eat.

so yeah you may want to bear this in mind. either wait it out patiently on the pelamin till nikah guests have eaten and are ready to congratulate super newly married you, or you eat while they eat and resume photo taking when they’re ready. if that’s not too messy.

3. bridesmaids — an integral part of the admin programme

I believe a typical BTB thought process on bridesmaids goes like this:

just started wedding planning – “I don’t think I need bridesmaids. I don’t want to trouble or bore my friends.”

halfway mark of wedding planning – “eh cantik lah this photo of bridesmaids in matching clothes and the bride. I also want.”

days leading to the wedding – “yay I’m so glad I have bridesmaids to help me do the things I don’t want to do”

day of wedding – *batman voice* WHERE IS SHE?! I need her to do this NOW.

ha ha. but of course after the wedding, it’s all “thank you, sayaaaaang korang.”

I tried to give my bridesmaids meaningful things to do because if anyone has been an idle bridesmaid, you may have found it boring and not a good use of your time. I believe that close friends love to know that they can contribute to our wedding, love to help, and love to be needed by us.

in my mind, my bridesmaids’ duties eventually worked out nicely and equally. some helped with pre-event conceptualising e.g. photobooth, kickstarting the birth of my hashtag, helping me choose baju. the two that weren’t as involved in preps due to work/travel, spent a weekend rehearsing a special performance for me. and the one who couldn’t be too active on that day because she has a baby to look after, was the one who gave me emotional support in the weeks leading to my wedding. being the only married bridesmaid, I could talk to her about wedding prep woes and anxieties on being a wife. alhamdulillah for everything falling into place. trust Allah swt :’)

apart from assigning tasks here and there to them, I also requested them to help me layan guests who are our mutual friends. by layan, I mean to chat with and catch up with them, and invite them to eat more more more. (my bridesmaids come from different circles, with some overlaps) I thought this was clever (sorry, masuk bakul angkat sendiri, I know) cos it was win-win. my bridesmaids get to sit and talk to friends as an “official duty” without having to feel bad that they’re not “helping” or “looking busy”, and my guests get to feel warmly received (I hope!). cos the ironic thing about Malay weddings is that it’s more of a place for you to catch up with mutual friends than with the couple themselves! hence I sent my bridesmaids to catch up on my behalf. anyway I think this worked too well cos when it was time to leave for my outdoor shoot, I couldn’t find them. lol. semua bersepah.

4. the devil is in the details

unless it’s super close to the wedding, say less than 50 days, one might easily dismiss a detailed programme as the works of the bridezilla. and then you try to visualise your programme. and you realise that all the bridezilla details are in fact, necessary. haha.

some details to look into: who’s gonna get into whose car? (you don’t want an orang kuat to feel forgotten or left behind) who’s going to hold on to your NRIC and marriage prep course certs before the nikah? who will jaga your duit hantaran and dulang items after? who will hold on to your house keys for you? who will liaise with the groomsmen on the groom’s arrival? do you want your DJ to page for relatives for photo taking? do your parents want to take photos with you after your sanding? (mine didn’t, ok… said they would be too busy greeting guests at peak hour to run up and take photo with us) will your groom fetch you to go to his reception? (unfortunately this also cannot be assumed… kwang kwang kwang)

on with the programme

ok lah, that was a lot to download right? so here’s my one day, separate receptions programme for reference. the order of the smaller items got mixed up a little (much to my annoyance) and we had to play by ear for photo taking and lunch, but the programme largely stayed the same. no regrets!

the underlined timings reflect the agreed timings. NG had his own bujang programme (probably involved a DOTA game or two in the morning, ok kidding) so we made sure to at least have these key timings synced.

for my admin programme, I created a table in MS Word with 4 columns: time, programme, action by, remarks/advance preps. this is the non-admin versh, which should be enough to give a rough idea 🙂

07.00am – call time for mak andam at bride’s house

09.00am – breakfast served at venue
09.15am – bride leaves home for venue
09.30am – majlis khatam quran

10.30am – end of majlis khatam quran
10.40am – agreed time for bride’s and groom’s delegations to meet

11.00am – akad nikah, sarung cincin etc, photos with bride’s and groom’s parents, photos with bride’s and groom’s nuclear families, photos with guests, bride and groom to grab quick meal with bridesmaids at common tables

12.00pm – RECEPTION OFFICIALLY STARTS
12.30pm – bride and groom leave for outfit change. bride to change at venue’s changing room, groom to change at his house.

1.00pm – start of Hello Forever photobooth
1.50pm – bride to be seated at dais

2.00pm – agreed time for groom’s delegation to meet. hadang, silat performance by bridesmaids.
2.30pm – start of pelamin photo taking with guests

03.00pm – cut cake + makan + go photobooth
03.30pm – resume pelamin photo taking

04.00pm – bride’s thank you speech. bride and groom to salam-salam guests. end of photo booth.
04.30pm – bride and groom leave for short photo taking session around venue.

05.00pm – RECEPTION OFFICIALLY ENDS
05.30pm – start of tear down
06.20pm – those involved in bride’s delegation to groom’s reception to go to bride’s house to wash up

intermission
04.45pm – bride and groom to head back to respective homes. bride to eat, remove make up, shower, pray.

05.25pm – start of make up round 2

groom’s reception
07.30pm – agreed time for groom and wedding car to arrive at bride’s carpark. bride’s delegation to gather at void deck. to meet again at *landmark near groom’s reception*
07.45pm – bride and groom march in with bride’s delegation

10.00pm – end of groom’s reception

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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the temporarily difficult days (part 1 of 2)

hallluuuu. last week was personally a difficult week for me. lots of irritation, frustration, anxiety, and a bit of loneliness and sadness. so drama right? memang.

thankfully, the weekend turned things around. here’s a recap of some of the … memorable … incidents, and also some of the recent achievements/milestones.

incident 1: hair salon

the short story is that I was very, very annoyed when I turned up for my hair apmt on tue night, only to find out that the stylist was on MC … and they didn’t tell me. I left the place fuming, though I recognised at once that this was a test, albeit in the middle of already testy times.

so I made a new appointment for Sat. and was pleasantly surprised to find my hairstylist crush assigned to me. woohoo! the story is that back in 2007, I got a haircut by this particular lady at the same salon. later that year when I was in another salon in china, the stylist flicked through my hair and commented, language barrier and all, that my previous stylist was good. so I was like wau. she must have been really good for another stylist to say that! now this lady is a senior hairstylist, so I always assumed that requesting for her would entail additional charges. hence I was v happy to ‘randomly’ get her cos I thought I was getting a good deal for my money ah.

it turns out though that there are no extra charges to request for her. and that her only off day is on Tue! so even if my original apmt had worked out, I would have been assigned a different stylist and not her. ma shaa Allah. I felt so silly for being upset when the end result turned out to be even better. hehe. thank you universe for your beautiful arrangement! I’m really loving my hair *blows kisses*

also, do request for Yvonne if you happen to be at Reds @ Tampines Mall. she does a pretty mean job with her scissors 🙂

incident 2: mattress supplier

okay this incident doesn’t have such a happy ending. one afternoon I called the mattress shop to ask if I could come at 6.45pm that evening to pay my balance through credit card. the customer service rep, a young-ish girl whom I had been liaising with on delivery (a bit painful also), seemed bochap about it and said yeah yeah just come before 7.00pm.

so that day I cabut-ed from work slightly earlier and rushed down. at paya lebar MRT, I got a little lost because they closed one of the exits. so I wasted time trying to find out the alternative way to get on the other side of the road. (I ended up tapping in just to get to the correct exit … and then the escalator wasn’t working! sian.)

I was running late and panicking a little. so at 6.50pm when I was a few bus stops away, I called the shop to ask if they could wait for me cos I’m going to be there reaaal soon. no answer. called 2 more times — still no answer. when I alighted, I raaaan the 200m from the bus stop to the shop like a fool, with my big handbag and laptop bag. I had a bad feeling about it … and I was right.

the shop was closed.

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tailoring my own songkets: part 3

alright so here’s the final instalment of my tailoring my own songkets story. guess what? there’s a twist:

my tailor went missing in action.

with my gorgeous, rusty red kain songket.

and mama kraken’s $300.

we had already passed to him our kain songket and measurements back in Apr 2014, and the plan was to visit him in Feb for final fitting. my mum had also passed her kain for her baju mak pengantin later towards end 2014. in Jan, he first messaged my mum to confirm our trip, and to update that ninja groom’s baju dah siap. then, he messaged again to say that he was facing an emergency, and that he needed 3 million rupiah (about $300). he said that if my mum was able to help him, he would deduct from the duit upah that we needed to pay him anyway. so mama kraken agreed to transfer the money.

after that, he disappeared. in the days leading up to our trip, mama kraken was trying to get in touch with him to confirm that we’ll be meeting him etc. our tailor keeps changing numbers so it was frustrating for her to try contact the right number. she was really stressed about it, repeatedly sighing to herself at home, and saying her dua out loud for Allah swt to let us find him in Bandung. for some reason though, I was calm about it. I told mama kraken that plan B is to just rent from my mak andam the songket outfit (lor). I think it was good to not join my mum in getting stressed, or both of us would just be feeding off each other’s despair and playing victim and getting more upset. macam tak productive ah.

on the morning before we flew off, we got confirmation that our tailor had indeed disappeared. our relative who lives in Bandung had helped to look for him at home, but the house was empty and advertised for sale. when he called the number listed in the ad, it turned out to be the tailor’s recently divorced wife, who also didn’t know about his whereabouts.

when mama kraken broke this news to me, she was calm about it. I think she redha already. I thought it was admirable that she was gracious about it, saying that she sedekah the money to the tailor and that she hopes the money helped lift him from the difficult times that he was facing at that time. ma shaa Allah :’)

and then we flew to Bandung over the CNY weekend

the story didn’t just end there. when we reached Bandung, our first destination was the tailor’s house. I turned to my mum and asked “why are we going there eh?” she said “ye tak ye eh” and turned to our relative and asked why we were headed there -__- but anyway it was decided that since we’re there, we’ll just check it out.

so it was empty, as expected. and here’s where the taichi started. we called ex-wife again to tell her that we reaaaaally only wanted our kain back. she insisted it was not with her, and gave us the tailor’s sister’s number for us to try see if she knows his whereabouts. called sister who said she’s not heard from tailor, and that we should check with ex-wife cos they are still in contact. we also chatted with the neighbours, who threw in more leads (gossip) which confused us further.

the next day, my mum made friends with a makcik at the surau, who suggested she makes a police report against the tailor. so we called the ex-wife to threaten that we’ll report this matter to police — since we have black and white proof of the bank transfer –if the tailor doesn’t return our cloth by the next day. then we also called the sister to relay the same message since we dunno who’s telling the truth. then the two ladies spoke to each other since their words crossed.

only then did things move. ex-wife said oh, kraken’s cloth is with tailor’s friend. I can meet you at outlet mall X and pass it to you. we rushed to said place and waited for a bit, only for her to say that she’ll drop the cloth at my relative’s house the next morning instead. all this time, mama kraken was really hoping her cloth would be found. between two of us, think she wanted her kain more than I did. for me, I gave up already. but for her, she kept saying she “terbayang-bayang” nak kain dia. and how she bought similar cloths for her orang kuat, and the irony is that they will get to wear their kain but she won’t get to wear matching with them. we had already bought her new, nicer kain lace on our first day in Bandung to make a replacement baju tapi nak jugakkk yang hilang tu. (side note: my sis and I don’t quite like the kain that went lost. we’re not sure why mama kraken loves it sooo much :p)

alhamdulilah, ex-wife did return my gorgeous, rusty red kain songket the next morning as promised. she also gave us her side of the story. she brought other kain, but alas, it was not mama kraken’s one. (“baju tu macam untuk dangdut aje,” she told us later privately)

also, ninja groom’s baju was cut but NOT sewn. haish. my share of the kain songket was not cut yet and can be salvaged to turn it into a baju kurung, but his is burnt ah.

so yeah, that’s the end of my tailoring my own songkets story. sayang eh? from two to one to zero… I always imagined coming back from my Bandung trip with exciting pics to share. but I guess it was not meant to be. what a harrowing experience… but at least we tried our best. makes for good wedding drama about 2.5 months to the day, heh.

tapi takpe lah, in shaa Allah with difficulty there is relief 🙂

what to do when you lose money in wedding planning

know that you’re not alone. and that lots of BTBs have lost our deposits, either because they found better deals elsewhere; or it turns out their vendors cannot be trusted; or like mine, disappear. of course we try our best to prevent such things from happening, but once it has already happened, try your best to keep calm and know that sometimes external circumstances are beyond our control. maybe it’s a test from Allah swt. or sometimes He takes away our worldly possessions to help cleanse our wealth, and so that He can replace it with something much, much better. Wallahualam. have faith, and keep strong! 🙂 though I know it’s easier said than done…

and now I wait for my mak andam to contact me on my outfit selection. sigh. feel like asking them again when’s my turn but I don’t want to be *that* bride. hopefully everything goes smoothly, in shaa Allah. ❤

what time is it? it’s tanjak time!

alright, so to continue the updates on tailoring my own songket, ninja groom’s tanjak (headgear) has been sent to the tailor! i was in KL over the weekend, so i brought the little square-ish shaped cloth to the same shop where we bought the kain from, to have the tanjak made.

for some reason, i recall there being lots of types of tanjak-s during our first visit to the shop. however, when i was back there again, i realised there were only two types of folds/designs among the many displayed. it’s just that the shop displayed tanjak-s in many different colours which is maybe why it looked like there were so many different options to choose from. chet! cheat my feelings.

so the two options i had were: tanjak negeri sembilan (the common one in Singapore, i thiiink?) and tanjak negeri selangor (if i heard the guy right!!!).


tanjak negeri sembilan, also known as Destar Dendam Tak Sudah (not kidding! nama best eh?) (source: mutaqinqubra96)


tanjak negeri selangor, also known as Tengkolok Belalai Gajah (source: mutaqinqubra96)

[note: tanjak, tengkolok, and destar are the same things. something new learnt!]

i was quoted RM50 for Dendam Tak Sudah (switched to its precise name since it’s so much cooler) and RM80 for Belalai Gajah. see the thing is that the height difference between ninja groom and me isn’t that big. but i mentel, insist on wearing heels. so i thought of going for the latter so that it would give him a lil height booster, lulz. also, to me it was something different, and you know how we mentel BTBs just want to do something different sometimes.

however my two shopping partners, one of which was my 7 year old niece, preferred Dendam Tak Sudah so i went with that instead. it takes only 3 working days for it to be ready but alas my trip wasn’t long enough, so i think we’ll probably collect it in Feb/Mar, insyaAllah.

i was supposed to also get the shop to make his bengkung but unfortch i think we had accidentally passed the bengkung cloth to Upik, so we’ll have to figure something else for that.

if anyone’s interested in the shop, the address is below. it’s in Plaza City One (a small mall), down the street from Semua House in Masjid India 🙂

Mina Enterprises (M) Sdn Bhd
No G5, Plaza City One, Jalan Munshi Abdullah
50100 Kuala Lumpur

while i was googling for tanjak pics, i learnt that there are so many other types of tanjak-s, and that there are specialised tanjak-makers out there. if i had a kampong or ancestors in Malaysia, i would have followed my raja’s style just for the fun of it. but my family doesn’t have ties to any Malaysian kampong, only an Indonesian one, so i don’t feel any motivation to follow a particular state. sayang!

further reading

also, if anyone’s interested to read up or see see pics of the different types of tanjak-s, here are three educational blog posts that i found:
1. Saudagar Tekua – Jenis-jenis Ikatan Tanjak, Destar, Tengkolok
2. mutaqinqubra96 – Tengkolok Raja2 Melayu
3. Mimbarkata – Jejak dan Warisan: Tanjak Melayu

enjoy!

mattress shopping + travel hacking

on Monday the public holiday, I was soooOOoO lazy to do anything. berangan aje nak buat ni nak buat tu, but in the end I was so lembik. one of the grand plans I made was to brave orchard road on a public holiday to go check out the mattress/bedding sale at robinsons and takashimaya after seeing their full page ads in the papers. both department stores were running long weekend sales that ended on Monday. I’ve always been intrigued by such mattress sale ads, thinking to myself that I must check them out when the time comes.

and so the time to shop for a mattress came… I’ve ordered our mattress! I feel a bit embarrassed that I’m such a kancheong spider when it comes to buying our mattress. to explain my kancheong spider-ness, I must first tell a long story about why…

kisahnya begini: we are on a quest to travel hack. what (the hell) is travel hacking, you may ask. it’s basically the art and science of collecting credit card points/miles to earn yourself either a free air ticket or a free upgrade to business class. it’s no novel idea of course, but there are dedicated travel hacking communities out there who track the best promotions/credit cards/methods to earn miles. cos some credit cards give better mile rewards than others. some retailers give better mile rewards than others. and some hotels give better mile rewards than others. so travel hackers try to suss the best deals and strategise which cards to use and where to shop so they can accumulate thousaaands of miles to later claim the perks.

ninja groom and I are new to this whole travel hacking thingamajig, but we are gonna do it anyway. it’s too soon to try claim a free ticket for our honeymoon, so instead we’re aiming to use our points for the year-end NZ trip that he’s planning with his friends in 2015. I recently signed up for the AMEX Krisflyer Ascend Card, and if I can charge $10,000 within the first three months, we can enjoy pretty good returns (about 48,000 points, insyaAllah). of cos $10k IS a lot to spend (and pay on time!) within such a short period so I do get a bit anxious trying to pull this off successfully.

which brings us to why I bought my mattress so early. heh. it’s one of our big ticket wedding expenses that I could charge to a credit card. when faced with the risk of failure, I realise I get uber kancheong. I could theoretically put off the purchase to late Oct or Nov, but I needed my peace of mind! so I thought I would use the public holiday to start shopping for our mattress.

criteria for mattress

1. must be comfy
2. like very comfy
3. like favourite place in the world kind of comfy
4. comes with a 10-year warranty
5. preferably latex
6. below $2,500
7. can be paid with using AMEX (rhymes!)

the shopping experience

I’d heard about Tilam King from fellow BTBs but I procrastinated on checking whether they accept AMEX. I was kinda worried that they didn’t, since Visa/MasterCard are more common in Sg, and I thought that they might be an industrial warehouse kinda business that would not accept AMEX.

but then I googled. and as if the Tilam King people knew what’s on my mind, I found this FB comment:

so then we decided to ditch Orchard Rd instead and head to Tilam King. my parents came along since they were shopping for kids’ berkats in the Kaki Bukit warehouse area (another story for another day, else cerita tak habis2 eh?). the famous president’s namesake wasn’t around, unfortch. I would have loved to meet him and feel his passion for his business hurr. nonetheless we were attended to by his sales manager, after waiting for quite some time for him to finish layaning earlier customers. unfortunately he was the only staff around, though a fellow and jovial customer offered to show us around ahahaha.

there weren’t too many options to choose from in their showroom (just 5, as listed in their blogpost), which is also kinda good lah. otherwise I’d be faced with decision fatigue. I had googled about mattresses only the night before, and based from what I read, it seemed like latex mattresses would be best for Singapore’s humid weather. so in the end I chose their house brand’s latex mattress. it was way below my budget BUT after buying the bed frame, it came back to the same thing haha. initially mama kraken said she would pay for the bed frame, which we would leave in my parents’ house when we get our BTO. but then she changed her mind and decided that we should just buy our bed frame furrealz. I didn’t expect bed frames to be so expensive sia :(. but since my mattress was much cheaper than expected, I shan’t complain. we also got two free pillows, which I topped up a bit to upgrade to another type which ninja groom raved about. the sales rep also threw in a free giant bolster to thank us for waiting hee. as advised by mama kraken, i paid a deposit of slightly over 50%. i wanted to pay full, since i’m trying to hit a target here, but she was more wary i guess. overall I thought mattress shopping would be a teeny bit more fun cos we get to lie down on all the different mattresses, but it was ok ok je. just wanted to get it over and done with.

delivery and the room makeover plan

delivery date (I wanted to type estimated delivery date, macam baby pulak eh) is “Apr 2015”. I purposely kept it vague. ideally I can revamp my room first i.e. throw 60% of things out and repaint walls for the first time in 8 years, then move my single bed to where the queen bed will be, and then get the queen bed installed closer to D-Day. haish. just thinking about the impending room makeover is making me feel super stressed!!

oh well, cross the bridge when we get there. for now, my mattress and bed frame are settled! yay.

on wedding bands

(source: Blue Nile)

the first time I saw an eternity ring, it was on my ex-boss’s hand. it was big. it was bling. and it was oh so white. every time I visited her office in the two years, i would sneak glances at her ring, never getting sick of it.

so i’ve kinda set my eyes on having one. a full one, no half measure. but a part of me knows that it’s just a want and not a need. plus a year ago ninja groom already coughed out money to buy me a solitaire as an engagement ring even though he was still a student(!). when I was a student I was poor like hell cos I didn’t have the discipline to save a single cent or the motivation to work harder for more money. thus the sensible thing to do now is not expect him to spend his hard earned savings from his first year of work to give me a lavish ring. actually, mama kraken doesn’t even think i should get another ring. i guess engagement ring + wedding ring is a relatively modern concept that didn’t exist back in her time.

also, ninja groom loooooves educating me about the de beers marketing ploy, how they engineered the demand for diamonds, and that it’s not really a precious stone yadda yadda yadda…

anyhow, the plan is to get a plain vanilla wedding band that I can wear almost 24/7. i used to wear my couple ring almost all of the time but these days I sometimes forget to wear my e-ring out. cos opening the lid of my jewellery box is like, another step in my morning routine, which I forget half the time. paiseh paiseh. after reno is over, insyaAllah i’ll save up to get my own eternity ring. though recently ninja groom threw in surprise of the century to joke/say/promise that he’ll get me one for our 10th year anni. awww! can it be 9 May 2025 already? let me install another countdown timer on this blog. haha hashtag shameless. hashtag melampau. hashtag now that’s jumping the gun.

we’ll most likely be ordering our rings from blue nile later this year, since they have super plain rings which I want. then we’ll also probably engrave the poetic tagline (for lack of a better word) that he came up with when we got engaged. it’s four words, so the first two will be on his and the last two will be on mine. excites!

I’ll end off this ring talk with photos of how we measured our ring sizes. the story is that blue nile has a sizing chart PDF which you can print and check that it’s to scale. the prob is that when I printed per their instruction, the line that was supposed to be 30mm showed up as 29.9mm. it. just. fell. short. plus, ring sizes differ by like 0.3-0.4mm. let me say that again – 0.3-0.4 MILLIMETERS. now I am potek plus rabun and very selenge so I don’t trust my naked eyes to tell whether my ring size is 15.7mm or 16.1mm. all same same but different to me!

soooo my enterprising ninja groom brought his dad’s VERNIER CALLIPERS hahahah. remember lower secondary science lab sessions??!! my science teacher used to call them “wernier callipus”. oh i never thought i would hold one again…


using the top blades to measure the inner diameter of my couple ring


reading says 1.515cm, buuut the ring is supposed to be higher up, so this reading is still a little off

the sizing chart

tailoring my own songkets: part 2

heads up to fellow BTBs who plan to tailor your own outfits — figuring out bridal packages could be one messy affair.

veteran bridal houses like fatimah mohsin makes the calculations less complicated… they simply charge a premium on top of their packages for each of your own outfits you wear. easy to understand, but feels expensive.

with versari ade and ishQ, it’s less straightforward, but still workable. you pick your basic package based on the outfits you need to rent, and then you top up roughly $150 to borrow their accessories (unless you intend to buy your own costume jewellery to match your outfits), and then you also top up for extra hours if needed.

the rep for VA was very patient with me as we tried to work out the details. my situation is more complicated because insyaAllah my wedding will be a two day event (sat: nikah and bride’s reception, sun: groom’s reception). if I recall correctly, VA has a policy where you can’t get mak andam services alone. meaning to say that I would need to rent at least one outfit from them for Saturday and Sunday each, in order to get their mak andam. because I want to tailor two songkets, this means that I would need to have 4 outfits: nikah, Sat sanding, Sun sanding 1, Sun sanding 2.

not that’s it’s a bad situation, just that initially I was considering just having 3 outfits.

back to the VA rep, we based our calculations on a 2-outfit package, then added two sets of accessories rental, and extra hours because my 2-day reception is definitely longer than what they provide in their package. with ishQ, it was a similar “formula” / pricing structure. and in both cases, it seemed like I only had to pay extra $100-$200 to rent a fifth outfit, by opting for the 3-outfit package instead and adding the extra accessories (no need to top up as many hours).

but kak nora said 1 sanding outfit after my nikah is just nice so that we don’t have to rush so much. so 4 outfits it is.

$$$

all in all, my bridal package combined with expected tailoring costs is higher than I initially budgeted. especially if i’m going to be mentel and top up for a designer outfit with ishQ (helloooo syomir izwa). I suppose one way to make tailoring your own outfits more budget-friendly is to hire a freelance make up artist instead. hopefully one who has accessories, else you’d have to buy your own or do without, if you don’t mind.

the other strategy, which I’m striving for, is to sell the outfits to a mak andam/bridal house after my wedding, to help recover costs. this one is a risk though, I’m not sure how easy or difficult it will be. and already it influences the type of baju I will tailor e.g. I ruled out tailoring a maxi dress cos it’s less versatile once it’s customised to my measurements, and I’m still mulling over lined sleeves as I plan to use lace. lined sleeves would be convenient for me, but could have less resale value because it’s less versatile, i dunno.

*insert hoobastank song And The Reason is Youuu…*

despite the higher costs and effort that will go into tailoring my own outfits, I’m still going ahead because I thought it would be a fun thing to do with my mum. we’ve been tailoring our baju raya-s, so this would be taking it to a new level. I just hope Nov-Dec 2014 will be manageable insyaAllah, cos it’s gonna be crunch time. invitation cards designing and printing for me, berkat hunting for her, tailoring baju for us. ganbatte!

now we rilek aje.