Postcards: Bali, Jakarta, Fujian

I get butterflies in the pit of my stomach everytime we are about to go overseas. As soon as that day arrives, it’s “F**K THIS I’M OUTTA HERE!!” mentality. I love that feeling of excitement & anticipation of trying out new things, seeing new sights & being mind blown over culture. This time, I went back to Indonesia (Bali & Jakarta) to visit my family, as well as spending another week in China (Fujian) to visit my sister-in-laws side of her family – with our new family! Now that I’m back home & started work, my chest tightens over the thought of leaving our families- which really only felt like yesterday. I find myself constantly thinking of my mom, dad, sisters, brother-in-laws, nieces, nephews…and my sisters-in-laws family. When you leave a hotel room, you leave without attachment- well perhaps with a little remorse that you are not in that nicely decorated room with that great pool anymore. But there’s just something about leaving a ‘home’. I start to wonder about the time over there & try to guess what they are doing at this very moment. Do you guys do that too?

Here are some pictures from our trip.

We stayed at the wonderful Presidential Suite at Villa Seminyak Estate & Spa which is only a 5 minute walk away from the main shopping strip of seminyak & close to Seminyak beach if you catch a cab. We were lucky enough to be able to drive around in Seminyak ourselves

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC[My dress is from Rosebullet]SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC[These pretty little offerings are part of daily practice of Balinese Hinduism & are a common sight in the streets of Bali- usually perched outside a shop or house doorway. They are to worship the Gods/ spirits present in Bali beliefs]SONY DSC [Back at my home in Jakarta]SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC [I’d have to say there is nothing better that Indo street food. Seriously]SONY DSC SONY DSC [Chinese New Year decoration in Chinatown strip of Jakarta]SONY DSC[‘Gerobak’ rickshaws anyone?]
SONY DSC[In Chinas Fujian Province]SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC [Wearing Kathmandu Jacket, Thermals, Dimepiece beanie & Salvatore Ferragamo booties]SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC[Wearing same outfit as above, but inner Zara Knit similar here, Boots similar here & Oroton aviators]
SONY DSC SONY DSC [A small hike to see a beautiful waterfall which I believe is in Putian- though exact location & name/history of waterfall unknown]SONY DSC

[The old school hallways which I will strangely miss]
SONY DSC[And this face]

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Elly + Graham

WOW! It’s been 2 weeks since our wedding and I’d do anything to relive the whole experience again – hands down, one of the best day of our lives & something we’d be sure to remember years later. It was everything we had hoped for plus so much more & we could not thank everyone enough- those who attended & those who wished us well over social media etc. Really, thank you.

After 10 years of first being introduced at a school formal (thanks Andy), we thought what better place & opportunity to show our family & friends the venue where we first met- The International of Brighton. We decided to marry in Summer on a Saturday. After a worrisome rainy week, we were blessed with a cool cloudy morning & a sunny afternoon. We wanted the date to be easy to remember in future- 20.12. 2014, just like our engagement date- 12.12. 2013 and we wanted it close to Christmas so our families will be together during this festive season. Truth be told, we planned this date ‘strategically’ so that when we are older & have children (and grandchildren), what best way to celebrate our wedding anniversary along with Christmas & having family over, no matter where they are 🙂

I spent the night before the wedding at the Clarion hotel which was close to home- thanks to one of my Bridesmaids Michelle who arranged this for us. We had a spacious 2 bedroom suite which gave us plenty of space to relax, a good bed to sleep in & get ready in the morning without distraction (before 4AM by the way) I gave my bridesmaids matching robes in different colours to get ready in from Etsy, matching bracelets from Colette, as well as Pandora rings in their birthstones as thank you gifts. I couldn’t ask for more perfect bridesmaids. You girls rock! G on the otherhand gifted his boys a set of customised leather bound flasks with their initials & customised bullet head cufflinks (all from Etsy) to signify a toast to his ‘stags’, at the same time incorporating his personality.IMG_6405 IMG_6435[Getting my hair & make up done with Michelle]

We started off the morning at mine for Chinese Tea Ceremony or ‘Teppai’ in Indonesian, but before that, my girls & I had planned games in the theme of Border Security & Quarantine for the boys. I actually got this theme idea from a wedding documentary that aired on SBS. It documented weddings from different cultures & it turned out that the Russians have similar traditions to us! The boys arrived with a beautiful Rose Pink 1959 Fleetwood Convertible Cadillac from the Caddyman (the bridal car) & a cool stretch Dodge from Exotic Limos (bridal party) I’d have to make a special mention to Heinz, owner of the Caddyman business who did a splendid job of driving us around, making us feel very special & ensuring we were very comfortable & welcome in his beautiful car. He consistently asked if we needed refreshments or nibbles, or if I needed a scarf to shield from the wind & if we needed the hood of the car up in case it was too hot, as well as giving us a red carpet to walk out on. G & I were super impressed by his gentlemanly behaviour- That nice, classic romantic charm you only see in movies 🙂IMG_6737

After, we went to G’s house for another tea ceremony there. I then changed into my white wedding dress from Benjamin Roberts (with much acrobats) & walked down the stairs with my girls holding up a sign that read ‘Just Wait Till You See Her’. G was at the bottom waiting for me. He wore a custom made 3 piece blue tux from Oscar Hunt. We could not thank the team- Julz & co. enough for entirely hitting the spot on the design we wanted & to make the whole experience so fun! They listened to each of our concerns, down to Julz reading my facial expression- what I liked & didn’t like. We’ve never been to a design & suit fitting more fun than that! We were then off to take photographs at the Parliament House & Treasury gardens. Sadly we did not make it in time for Brighton beach but nonetheless we had fun along the way (though our feet tend to disagree)IMG_6620IMG_6619[Bridal party taking a break]

Soon it was time for the big walk down the aisle. The courtyard outside our reception area was set up beautifully & I was loving the lush green leaves that shaded the guests from the sun. I walked down to a classic 60s hit ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E.King & we were married by our “Freaking AWESOME” (quote from G) celebrant Sally. Sally is a real life sweetheart who is super down-to-earth. She made an effort to get to know both G and I as a couple & her attention to detail was superb. To be honest I don’t know how anyone can be so patient with G’s tardiness, but she was 🙂 From our first meeting down to our rehearsal, she made it entirely easy for us all & was organised to the next level 🙂 I cannot recommend her enough!IMG_6659 [Our DIY welcome board. We wanted something slightly different. Thanks to bridesmaid Sandra for the easel & chalkboard pens!!]IMG_6543[Our celebrant Sally regramming a photo of our Wedding Program cards]

After the ceremony, guests were served with an impressive 3 tiered tower of fresh oysters, prawns & canapes. Drinks were on constant rotation & we had an open bar for the entire duration of the night! Because I’m a ‘dessert’ fiend (I have holes in teeth to prove it) it would not be entirely right without incorporating a Candy Buffet where guests could fill up boxes of our favourite treats to take home or scoff on the spot. Thank you to the team from Candy Buffet Co for setting up such a splendid display & customising it as per our wedding theme to a T! If the sugar high was not enough, guests were also served alternating mini dessert platters of Tiramisu, Mocha Tart, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream & Orange Blossom Panacotta, Lemon Tart with Blood Orange Sorbet. On top of that, our guests get to bring home boxes of our Chocolate Ganache wedding cake.IMG_6491 IMG_6525[We used polaroids of us kissing as our cake topper]

Instead of a ‘First Dance’ G & I wanted to play wedding reception games so that our guests could get involved & boy oh boy did they get involved. I guess we don’t kiss & tell & I’ll leave it up to my guests to remember this night with much laughter….and booty shaking 😉 The night was filled with some good & bad dance moves along to awesome tunes by our DJ & friend Kimber. Thanks for making it so fun! From the entrance songs, to the sleazy bumps & grinds!

I loved everything about our special day. Nothing can beat having your closest family and friends in the same place at the same time. To top it off with a beautiful setting, great food and drinks, the best tunes, amazing weather and the love of your life, it really was a dream come true.

Here are some of my wonderful suppliers who I cannot recommend enough:

Venue: The International of Brighton– a recently furbished chic & contemporary venue who really took care of us & our guests. We were so impressed with their quality, patience & service. We had our own server/butler? lady called Jan who was like our fairy godmother! She ensured we ate our fill, offered top ups & that our requests were fulfilled. The only negative I’d have to say was, they threw out our DIY placecard holders even though I have advised that I’d like to keep them.

Photographer: WeiWei + Gary from aWeiding (read my previous post here) These 2 work together like perfect chemistry- my Mac & Cheese of the day. Gary brings a cheerful mood & his easygoing personality makes you feel at ease- especially when taking photographs! Wei2’s professional demeanour & photo styling gives you assurance that the photos will turn out beautiful, just like those from her blog here. Can’t wait to see the final product! They took some polaroids of our day as shown below!

Videographer: Euwing + Win Nee from With Love Videography.

Make Up & Hair Stylists: Michelle, Yuki & Jojo

Grooms Tux, Vest, Bowtie & Pocketsquare: Oscar Hunt

Grooms shoes: Aquila

Groomsmen Suit: Andre J

Groomsmens Shirts: Saibu no Akuma. Tony & Paul are the nicest guys you’ll meet out there! (read my previous post here) They helped G customise the groomsmen shirts, from the fabric, the type of collar, to the pattern/colour inside the collars & under the buttons. The groomsmen shirts also had initialised cuffs to personalise each shirt to each owner. Definitely check them out!

Bowties & Pocketsquares: The Tie Bar

Brides Dress: Brides of Melbourne

Brides Reception Dress & Bridesmaids Dresses: White Runway

Brides Shoes: Miu Miu

Bridesmaids shoes: Range from Aldo, Nine West & Forever New

Centrepieces, Brides Bouquet & Buttonieres: Balwyn Events. The only negative was, our centrepieces were missing their crystal hanging beads (shown in picture). Not sure if this was the neglect from Balwyn Events or the International. IMG_6654

Cake: House of Elegant Cakes

Candy Buffet: The Candy Buffet Company

Celebrant: Sally Hughes

Photobooth: Photoyolo These guys were awesome. The design process for the printout was a little slow & frustrating though, since it took multiple times to re-iterate to the designer (all over email as well) what you want in your photo printout. The photobooth side of things were great since you can fit 6-8 people into the booth. Photo quality & lighting was also great! Guests could also have the option to leave video messages! At the end, they gave us a beautiful big album to store all photos + 2 CDS with soft copies & videos.

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Cars: The Caddyman & Exotic Limos

Stationery & Accessories: They were either DIY, sourced overseas, or from Etsy, Ebay, Typo & Wedding Paper Divas etc

Wedding Favours: Pink Frosting

Below: A couple of polaroids shots from Wei2 & Gary. Loving how the photos came out so vintage like our parents wedding photos.

Elly001 Elly002 Elly003 Elly004 Elly005 Elly006 Elly007 Elly008 Elly009 Elly010 Elly011

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Countdown to Christmas

There are certain aspects of my childhood that bring me just as much pleasure now as they once did many years ago…and Christmas is one of them. Woo!! It is officially December & my Christmas spirit is high. Besides the excitement that our wedding is about 3 weeks away, I am also looking forward to be surrounded by family & the warm fuzzy feeling Christmas always brings. Shopping malls & quaint shops have already decorated their windows with Christmas colours, baubles & snowflakes. There are gift ideas & promotions all over, and grocery stores have long played christmas carols that always evoke a sense of nostalgia for me (my fave is ‘All I Want For Christmas’ by Mariah Carey) Here are my gifts ideas this year 🙂
Countdown to Christmas
[ Clockwise from top left: Picnic Basket set for 2, Oroton beach towel, Funny Coffee Cup cover, Travel Bar for picnics, camping, bbq events, house parties etc, NARS cosmetic gift set (love this pink!), Mobile phone charger in lipstick shape, Mobile phone charger, Ted Baker cosmetic bag, Selfie stick, Coffee Table book]

Little Details

Last week seemed to drag on & each day I faced a new obstacle. So I spent the weekend indulging in some of my favourite repertoires which is brunching at new places with people I love. It’s a great way for me to embrace the weekend & alleviate any stress I had been feeling the past week, both at work & home- at the same time, a great way to discover & sample great food. I got to spend some quality time with my little sis who I wish would stop growing up sometimes. She doesn’t know yet, but I learn so much from her than she probably does from me. Whilst wisdom from our elders is enriching, it’s also refreshing to hear perspectives from someone younger & be reminded of the little details we old farts often forget about. Hope this week goes smoothly for you all.SONY DSC[Cute corridor from Santucci‘s]SONY DSC[Wearing my usual outfit weekend staple- White waffle knit from Zara, Cotton On Polka Dot jeans, Sportsgirl wedges & Alexander Wang rockie]SONY DSC[Mismatched chairs- an idea I hope to replicate in our new home]SONY DSC[My n ew obsession- Sportsgirl white platform that I got for less than $40!!)SONY DSC[Santucci’s ‘Magic’ Brew]SONY DSCSONY DSC[Alphabets in the brick wall]SONY DSC[Cute ‘Genie-esque’ recycled liquor bottles]SONY DSC[Rustic Omlette]

SONY DSC[Little sister who is not so little anymore]

Best of September 2014

This September came & went so quick that it didn’t even feel like I experienced it.
Besides the nice weather change sans the crazy wind, it was nice to see spring colours pop up around the gardens & Melbourne slowly turning into a more sunlit place where the days are longer.
This September was occupied with the more eventful Falls Creek Snow trip, Wedding cake hunt, a Fathers Day picnic at Yarraville Gardens, Kanye West concert, a girls night in, Waffle Hunt & Wedding DIYs, to the more mundane & tedious tasks such as looking for the best mortgage for my new investment property. There were also overdue catch ups, birthdays & new births…September could not be much sweeter.. How was your September this year?

Tip: I love this App! It’s called Hey Day & it categorises all your photos into timelines. I can always see what I did say… September last year in one folder!

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[This month: Outside Bikes Direct, Falls Creek, New Spring Zara Knit & Portman nude wedges, House being torn down, Birthday at Chimac, baby Oliver, Malaysian Curry Fish Head at Kuala Lumpur, doughnut shaped chocolates]