Thursday, July 30, 2009

Journeys For Two 2009

The 2009 issue of 'Journeys For Two : Destination Weddings For The Stylish And Chic' hit bookstores and newsstands a few weeks ago. I believe that this 3rd issue of ours is the best yet and I am extremely proud that we managed to pull it off despite the fall-off in advertising budgets during these lean economic times, particularly for resorts, which form the bulk of our client base for a publication such as this.

As a publisher, we always strive to improve on the previous effort. And it is always fulfilling to see the final product come to fruition after months of toiling. For this effort, I must thank my collaborators - Eileen of Nupts & Such, Esta of Truly Harmony as well as Edward, Fiona and Suk Harn of weddingsmalaysia - all of whom played a part in helping me keep sane in my role as Editor-In-Chief.

For couples aspiring to wed or perhaps have wedding portraits shot at farflung destinations, this publication will be the catalyst for generating ideas and possibilities. Pictorial-driven, it offers many a splendid location that will be ideal for that dream wedding of yours.

Photo on cover shot by Perfect Moments Studio.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Music To The Ears

I was at karaoke last Sunday. One can throw caution to the wind and sing one's heart out when in the company of good friends. We don't judge, but we do snigger when someone starts on a wrong pitch or goes off-key midway through a song. That's what you can do in front of good friends - be silly. And there's lots of encouragement and applause too when we are screeching at the top of our voices trying to hit the notes that are way beyond our reach. All in the name of amusement.

If only Janet was there to see us sing with reckless abandon. Janet Lee is someone we like having around at wedding fairs. She is affable, chatty, enthusiastic. Most importantly, she humours us and entertains our requests when we ask her to sing. She gets us to sing along too sometimes, although we mostly only manage the chorus, and it has to be a relatively well-known song to boot. You see, we are rather hopeless with lyrics when there's no karaoke screen in sight. Still we have a good time.

Janet sings in English, Chinese and Malay, and her repertoire ranges from show tunes and arias to jazz and evergreen favourites. Some of us are planning to sing a Chinese number at an industry colleague's wedding later this year, though most of us do not read nor write Chinese at all. So I ask Janet for a tip. She sends me an mp3 of 'Ru Guo Mei You Ni' or 'Without You' in English. It sounds great but I reckon only she can pull it off, not us amateurs. So it's likely that we will go with the song that we originally chose during our karaoke session. Something with a simple, familiar melody and not too challenging but nevertheless appropriate for the occasion. Perhaps we'll ask Janet to come listen during rehearsals and let her have a laugh, at our expense.

Photo shot by Callista, courtesy of Janet Lee.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Joy Of Reconnecting

This photo is not particularly clear, probably due to the extremely slow shutter speed and unsteady hands. I am no photography-whiz but having been around professional wedding photographers for so many years, you tend to learn a thing or two. What is clear however, is the camaraderie amongst the subjects in the photo, most tellingly apparent when we observe the natural smiles on all our faces. The opportunity to have this photo taken presented itself last Friday, before the events of my most immediate previous post, which makes writing this even more meaningful.

Childhood memories are one of those few things that stay with us no matter what. They are untainted, formed during the phase of our lives where we knew not about the stress, prejudices and responsibilities that are part and parcel of adulthood. And these were the happy memories that made this mini-reunion with my classmates from primary school such a priceless one. We had not seen each other for more than 20 years (save 1 of them) but there were no walls, no barriers; just friendly banter and humorous musings.

Sure, it was only for a couple of hours. But if we make the effort, it could well be the spark that rekindles past friendships. Yes, conversations will in time move from the harmless childhood antics of ours to ones with more serious undertones. But isn't it what re-building frienships is all about? Learning more about one another after a long lapse, getting used again to the idiosyncracies that each of us bring to the table, and more importantly, realising how we, together as a group, make each of our lives that much fuller.

Photo taken by a friend at Souled Out, Desa Sri Hartamas.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Taking Stock Of Our Lives

The sudden passing of Yasmin Ahmad makes one realise just how fragile life can be. It reminds us not to take life for granted. It prompts us to take stock of our lives. That we should appreciate our loved ones, family and friends. That we ought to put our best foot forward in whatever we do in order to achieve our aspirations. That we be grateful for the wonders of Mother Nature that greet us on our travels. That we consider doing good and contributing in our own way to society.

I admit to not have seen her award-winning films. But I have read about the accolades that have been showered on them. What I have seen are her festive season commercials. With underlying themes of humanity, unconditional love, mutual respect, harmony, they tug at the heartstrings and implore us to embrace such values for the better good.

Her work will long remain with us and having her as a fellow countryman has been a privilege. May she rest in peace.

Photo entitled 'Serenity' shot by my sister Suk Harn in Kyoto.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Keeping Friendships Alive

2 decades is a pretty long time to be friends. We were a group of 3 at boarding school in Adelaide, which expanded to 6 when we got to university. If I were being totally objective, I would have to say that our bonds of friendship are not as strong as they were before. Career and family have gotten in the way; even our yearly birthday celebrations have not taken place this year. Still I'd like to think that our thoughts are with each other every now and then, and that we can rely on the group for support whenever such a need arises.

Well, keeping friendships alive is not an easy thing to do. Like any relationship, the effort must come from all parties. I am normally one who takes the initiative to keep in touch but I am also one who knows when it is no longer worth my time to do so. So, some seemingly good friendships that I had, have gone down the drain over the years whilst newer ones have taken on a life of their own. A new door opens when one is closed I suppose.

Whatever the case, our group of 6 celebrates our 20th anniversary this year, and we are going away together for a holiday in August, at least 4 of us are anyway. The other 2 have just started a new restaurant business and without my being judgmental, can't seem to find a way to get a few days off. Being positive is a trait that has served me well, and I am looking forward to this trip like so many others we have been on in the past - Kangaroo Island, Langkawi, the road trip to the East Coast - all these more than a decade ago. The prospect of re-igniting our friendships is indeed something worth considering, and who knows, KK may just be the place to do so.

Photo shot at Street 240 in Phnom Penh.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taking Time Out

I was just looking at some holiday photos in Phuket that Jason of Floralsense Creation put up on Facebook and it brought back not too distant memories of the trip that I took there with my colleagues in March earlier this year. We make it a point to go somewhere together every year; Bali last year, Siem Reap the year before, Penang before that and our very first company trip to Haadyai prior to that. Trips such as these are not easy to plan as there are various personalities and characters to cater to, not to mention the diverse interests that each one has. Nevertheless, they are always worthwhile as it offers an opportunity for us to bond and let our hair down after a year's worth of ranting, usually by me!

But getting back to my point about Jason's photos and Ke Wynn of Whizarts' comment about him needing a holiday, I am a firm believer of taking time out every once in a while ... heck we deserve it! Folks outside our industry tend to think that what we do for a living must be a blissful occupation to be in. That couldn't be further from the truth, as most of my friends in the wedding circle will attest to. We face the same pressures, challenges, frustrations, difficult clients, just like in any other service industry. But along with it also come the good things that make our work so enjoyable. I try not to take for granted the pleasant experiences and the decent people that I come into contact with, and this disposition is what keeps me motivated.

As for holidays, whether it is a 2-week sojourn or a weekend getaway, it pays to be appreciative of such jaunts. We often come back revitalised and reinvigorated, ready to tackle the next wedding. And when we do a good job, well, there's money for more trips to come then! I, on my part, am very much looking forward to 2 trips in August ... but more on that in my next post ........

Photo entitled 'Calm Waters' shot by my sister Suk Harn at Puget Sound, Seattle.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Potential For More Intimate Celebrations

A few of us were invited by Rama V for dinner last night, courtesy of Natasha of The Peak Xperience who coordinated the invites. Hooi Joo of Table 10, Shen Yi of I Do Weddings, Patrick of Exes Studio and Sidney of Big Boys Oven were among our small group of diners who had the opportunity of good company and great food, in a charming setting. Although we are all in the wedding industry, it is not always possible for us to meet socially, particularly when everyone of us is so busy with our own work and personal lives. It took the organisational skills of a wedding planner to get us all together for an evening out.

This is not the first time I have been to Rama V. Though not a regular, leisurely dinners with friends, a business dinner and even a date have been my previous encounters at this exquisite fine-dining Thai restaurant. I am not a qualified food critic, but suffice to say, the epicurean in me, always finds the food here to be authentic and very much palatable. The visit this time was however augmented by the presence of its new owners, Andre and Danny, who joined us for dinner. Rarely have I seen 2 persons so passionate about the food they serve, and it was an absolute pleasure sampling the variety of starters, mains and desserts that came our way throughout the evening. Lighthearted conversation was the perfect complement to the food and company, and whilst we did listen intently to Danny's insightful account of 2012, it did little to dampen the fine spirits we were in.

As to the pertinent question whether Rama V would make a good wedding venue, I would say that the potential is definitely there for more intimate celebrations. Patrick remarked that he shot his first wedding at the restaurant many years ago. So, it has always been in our midst. All it really needs is a re-introduction to the wedding market. Last night's laid-back yet sophisticated dinner was clearly a step towards that.

Photo shot at Rama V.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fate Deals A Hand

Things happen for a reason I believe. There are times when fate deals a hand that results in us finding ourselves in the most unusual of circumstances. When this occurs, we really hope that we end up in good circumstances rather than the opposite.

A case in point ... Ms Chew, I like to call her our 'Group Finance Director' (although we can't afford to pay her a sum that stands up to the title), has been a good friend since my days at Limkokwing Integrated, and has been our accountant from the day we started our first company, That Special Occasion, who now also helps us out with weddingsmalaysia. Then there's Patrick, a uni-mate of mine, who over the course of coffee with Elyse (another uni-mate of ours) and I after an alumni function, ended up taking charge of the Chinese edition of our weddingsmalaysia publication. Who would think that 2 individuals from different parts of my life, with no experience in the wedding industry initially, who eventually met whilst working with me, would then become business partners in a wedding-related company? It has happened, and I am truly excited for them.

It is never easy starting a new business venture, more so now in our troubled economic times. But their newly-formed outfit - Budget Brides - I feel, will be well received, in particular amongst those who have smaller wedding budgets. The concept is a solid one, the motivation is at an all time high. The challenge really is to put the idea in motion and get it off to a good start.

Bonne chance Ms Chew and Patrick! I'll be there to lend a hand when you call.

Photo courtesy of Budget Brides.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nurturing Business Relationships

Over the years in my capacity as designer at That Special Occasion as well as Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of our portal and publications under the weddingsmalaysia banner, I have had the privilege of establishing business relationships with many in the wedding industry. Most of these relationships I value tremendously, as we have become friends along the way. The support I get from some of these people whom I consider friends more than industry colleagues now, is enormous. I in turn reciprocate, as I believe that building and nurturing such relationships are catalysts in ensuring that like-minded industry players remain supportive of and loyal to one another.

By and large, it is encouraging to witness the cooperation and collaborative efforts that continue to evolve among service providers who are part of the 'weddingsmalaysia family'. They represent a sizeable portion of the wedding industry and to have them compete with one another, yet are able to remain on friendly terms, is testament to the strong bonds that have been fostered, with all efforts leading to a common good.

To my friends in the industry, I say 'much thanks and kudos'!

Photo shot at Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Passion And Meaning

I was watching an episode of 'Chef Abroad' on Discovery Travel & Living a couple of hours ago (yes, I do have time for some TV!) and was totally enthused by the passion of the chefs at Cafe 150, one of many f&b outlets at Google's headquarters in California. The enthusiasm by which they go about creating a new menu everyday, how they wax lyrical about the freshest of produce, their goal of making staffers happy at every meal and their sincerity in supporting local farmers are what dream jobs are made of I believe. I had read all about it in 'The Google Story : Inside The Hottest Business, Media And Technology Success Of Our Time' some years ago, but somehow, the audiovisual narrative of a TV programme makes it seem so much more real and authentic.

How many of us really feel that much passion for what we do? Only we ourselves have the answer. The search for meaning in what we do for a living is a constant one, and hopefully, we all find what we do worthwhile every now and again. I myself seem to be getting more socially aware, partly due to the influence of my cousin San I guess. He is someone who has strong convictions on issues ranging from the environment to animal rights, exercise to eating healthy. Some of his views have rubbed off on me somewhat, and I've been having ideas of late about how to incorporate some of these into my personal as well as work life.

So you see San, I do listen! Let's see if I make any progress soon.

Photo of dinner at the NGO-run Romdeng Restaurant in Phnom Penh.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I am often deluged by work ... ok, I am always deluged by work. For the most part it is by choice, at least subconsciously. I seem to go from project to project, bringing to fruition the many inspiring ideas that constantly come to mind. Thing is, I hate to see a good idea go to waste, which is why I keep striving to make good the brainwaves that I get so very often.

There are times however when I just need to rest this brain of mine, and funnily enough, these are also the times when I find myself being nostalgic, reflective, even melancholic. I tend to reminisce a lot when I am not on the go. Tender moments, thrilling escapades, moving encounters, all these experiences make up who we are. I am truly fond of re-living these memories, be it the good or the not-so-good, for they remind me that life is not all about work.

The photo that accompanies this post brings back wonderful memories of a carefree day in April 2008. How often do members of 3 different wedding-related companies - That Special Occasion, Pretty In White and Louis Pang Studio - get to spend a day together on a beautiful island, off the coast of Sabah? Not very often let me tell you. That's why I reminisce...

Photo shot by a stranger on Manukan Island in Sabah.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Virtual Treasure Hunt

Some months ago, the idea to run an online treasure hunt came to mind, which I shared with Shumita Chaudry of Chocolate Mousse over a cup of coffee. Now 5 months later and we have jointly launched 'A Virtual Treasure Hunt : An Online Search For Wedding Goodies'. The concept that we envisioned was to create a campaign that would be an enjoyable experience for couples, and at the same time enhance their wedding planning process by pointing them to our industry colleagues who are potentially vendors they can appoint. Of course, the ultimate aim was to offer exciting prize packages, not only 1 but 16, in the hope that they would be catalysts towards encouraging enthusiastic participation by couples who are soon-to-be-wed. Such sponsored prizes we also felt would come in handy in these economic times.

Developing the contest took much time and effort. The support from our industry colleagues was the motivation that kept us focused. The challenge was for us to craft a hunt that would be relatively easy to navigate, yet be sufficiently challenging as well. I think we have achieved that. We hope that couples will now embrace the contest fervently.

Once again, much thanks to our friends in the industry, as I so often and aptly describe as members of the 'weddingsmalaysia family', who have thrown their support behind this endeavour. And to those of you out there who will soon be tying-the-knot, explore, enjoy and be inspired ...

Photo courtesy of Acadia Card.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A New Abode

I attended a housewarming party this evening. Good friends celebrating the new abode of a fellow pal by indulging in a homecooked meal and great conversation is a nice way to spend an evening after a hectic week. Food and conversation aside, being an invitee to such a party is a compliment. It is a testimony of the amity that binds us in friendship.

We often take for granted an invite to a friend's home. But if you think about it, such a gesture signifies an invitation into the personal realm of the host, as the home is really a private sanctuary. It is a place where we feel secure. A dwelling that puts us at ease. A refuge that provides us comfort. It is also a haven of tranquility where we can put our feet up, unwind and have peace-of-mind.

From time to time, I seek solace at a spa. A massage or foot reflexology in serene surroundings is a perfect antidote to a stressed-out soul. But at the end of the day, home is where the heart is. It is where we truly feel a sense of belonging.

Photo of Spa Bliss in Phnom Penh.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Do It Well Or Don't Do It At All

My faith has been somewhat restored after the ranting of my previous post! I was speaking with my friend and fellow wedding industry colleague, Anizah of TrulyScrumptious! at the opening of The Gallery at Cyberview Lodge Resort & Spa last evening, and we both concluded that when taking on a task, it is really better either to do it well or to not do it at all. Halfhearted attempts invariably end up with mediocre results. And that's not the way to do business or live one's life, for me anyway.

Being second rate does not appeal to me, so I seek to be the best I can be, whether in my personal life or in my work. Work hard and play hard is one of my mottos. Sze of Creative Clicks mentioned in passing whilst at the same event that I seemed to be having quite a number of holidays this year. And that's true to a certain extent. If I go on a business trip, I make it a point to add-on an extra day at the end just to have a little bit of time to explore the surroundings in the hope of discovering something new or perhaps to just relax and be refreshed, in preparation to tackle the frenetic pace that awaits back at the office. If on holiday, I take my time to take in all that the destination has to offer, well, at least the attractions that catch my fancy. No group tours for me. I much prefer planning my own itinerary with my trusted Lonely Planet guides.

Back to my conversation with Anizah, I would have to say that she is certainly a person who 'steps up to the plate' when a challenge is thrown at her. Yes, we complain to one another every now and then about how exhausted we are with the demands that are placed on us, but at the end of the day, we share the same work-ethic of wanting to deliver the best for our clients. In return, we are rewarded with a sense of achievement and pride, and that really, is what it is all about.

Photo courtesy of TrulyScrumptious!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Common Courtesy

Today is one of those days where I find myself asking 'What has happened to common courtesy?' And to be blatantly blunt, I am extremely frustrated. I fail to understand why some people find it so difficult to respect deadlines and respond to reasonable requests in a timely fashion. Many of us claim to be professionals in what we do, and see ourselves as individuals with integrity in our dealings with family, friends and workmates. But really, how many of us live up to such lofty standards that we set ourselves? Granted, no one is perfect, trying hard however, makes up for the imperfection, and I truly hold such persons in high regard. The lackadaisical are the ones that get on one's nerves, mine in particular. Patience is not one of my virtues. At some point, a certain straw will break the camel's back, and when that happens, all hell will break loose.

To counter such negativity, it is once again time to think happy thoughts. Spending time with cousins whom I grew up with on a holiday in Langkawi last July is one such thought. I could do with another get-together like the one in the photo soon!

Photo shot at Frangipani Langkawi Beach Resort & Spa.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Discoveries And New Ideas

I am one who is always on the lookout for new discoveries and new ideas. Be it on my travels or just around town, I keep an eye out for interesting stores, appealing restaurants and cafes ... you get my drift. The photo on the left is of one such discovery in Phnom Penh - D's Books. I think that the quote says it all really when it comes to travel.

Anyways, I was at Kota Damansara today for meetings, The Strand at Kota Damansara to be precise. I was punctual - I am always on time, but some of the others were running late, thus I had some time to kill. A rather attractive store signage and window display across from where I was parked caught my eye and piqued my interest. So, into kookoobee I walked. Purveyors of 'Home, Fashion, Lifestyle', the merchandise on display were quirky yet chic, some with relatively affordable price tags. For a recently opened establishment, I thought it a pretty good place for those artistically-inclined. They apparently also offer other creative services, so it will be interesting to see how it evolves when all their products and services are rolled out. I shall request permission for a photo the next time I visit and will report on their development in a future post.

Well, I must have been inspired by the find as both my meetings went well thereafter. The 2nd one in particular, which was with Patrick and Elyse, both uni-mates of mine at Flinders, the former also part of the weddingsmalaysia team. A business idea that I had proposed to them some months back has been gestating all this while but I came away from the meeting with a glimmer of hope that it may actually take flight, on a small scale for a start. Am keeping my fingers crossed! If all goes well, I hope to welcome Elyse into the weddingsmalaysia family soon. There is only so much I can do and an extra pair of hands can do wonders I believe.

Photo of D's Books in Phnom Penh.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Contemplative Mood

I had initially intended to blog about the fact that contrary to popular belief, I do take some time off during my off days to relax and chill ... see photo on the left? Ha ha! But come evening, I found myself in a contemplative mood and thought that perhaps a frivolous, fun VCD would lift my spirits somewhat.

2 choices were before me - an episode of 'Mind Your Language' or 'Confessions Of A Shopaholic'. I decided on the latter since my colleague at That Special Occasion, Louisa, had mentioned about the series of books that she was reading. Indeed, it was lighthearted, even endearing. Having said that, the movie still left me in a contemplative mood, albeit a more positive one. You see, the auction scene towards the end of the movie where the protagonist had to reluctantly part with her green scarf struck a chord. Letting go of something dear may be diffult, be it a loved one, a business venture gone bad or perhaps a cherished aspiration that is impossible to fulfill. However, by letting go, we free ourselves from binds that stagnate us and allow ourselves to open new doors and embrace new opportunities. And who knows, what we let go may just return in a better, more appreciative form.

For those of you who have watched the movie, well, you now know that I am a sucker for good endings!

Poolside at the Royal Lake Club in Kuala Lumpur.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Thing About Wedding Fairs

What I love about participating in wedding fairs at hotels is the opportunity to connect and strengthen ties with industry colleagues in an intimate setting. Sure we are there to meet soon-to-be-wed couples, our potential clients, but for the most part, we also thoroughly enjoy being able to mingle with one another.

Put 30 or so wedding professionals all together in a hotel ballroom and what you get is a room full of enthusiastic chatter about weddings past and soon-to-be-executed business strategies. Along with these come frustrating tales of difficult clients and the necessary steadfastness and tenacity to see these thorny weddings through. Most importantly, it is really a time to encourage one another and share ideas about how to enhance working relationships.

weddingsmalaysia-organised wedding fairs are also inherently different from those at shopping centres. They are far more personal and warm, cosy even. And there is a laissez-faire nonchalance among our wedding partners, therefore not subjecting visiting couples to any pressure or hard-core sales antics. Instead, what couples experience is a laid-back, casual atmosphere to browse, chat with service providers if they wish and appoint vendors when they find the right ones.

A cute setting by The Peak Xperience.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Importance Of Perseverance

It's sometimes a wonder what a little chat with an industry colleague can do to lift your spirits and enthusiasm. I had 2 today!

Esta, wedding planner extraordinaire of Truly Harmony in Singapore, is in town for a holiday with her other half, and we took the opportunity to have lunch and catch up. Being our media representative in Singapore for our publication Journeys For Two : Destination Weddings For The Stylish And Chic, there was much to talk about, considering that the 2009 issue is currently being printed. It is always a pleasure to spend some time with Esta. She is full of ideas and perennially fervent about improving standards of delivery. More importantly, she is a person of integrity and we have enjoyed a trusting working relationship amid the challenges we have faced in producing what is going to be the 3rd issue of the publication. Still, we soldier on, and together with our editor Eileen of Nupts & Such who is now based in Phnom Penh, it is really an intra-Asean effort.

I also had the opportunity to have a tete-a-tete with Lyn of My Bridal Florist later in the afternoon. Lyn had come by That Special Occasion to pass me some prize vouchers for the 'A Virtual Treasure Hunt : An Online Search For Wedding Goodies' contest, which we will soon launch, and we ended up conversing for about an hour. I've only known Lyn for a couple of months, but I've gotten to know her better over many a meaningful conversation every time we meet. One pertinent trait that I identify with Lyn is the importance of perseverance. We share a similar story - leaving the corporate world for the uncertainty yet exhilarating experience of running one's own business. And once that path is taken, there is no looking back for most. Resolve and determination are the basis from which we draw strength and courage when faced with daunting tests. So here's to moving ahead with steely determination Lyn!

Inspiring conversations such as the ones I had today are always invigorating. They elicit a sense of purpose, a vital ingredient in making one's business endeavour a success.

Photo courtesy of My Bridal Florist.

A Team Effort

I often get asked, 'How do you oversee so many ventures and projects at once?' And the simple truth is that I have a great team of people, at weddingsmalaysia, That Special Occasion as well as The Wedding Hub. Granted, I can at times be difficult to work with, been branded a dictator, micromanager, an obsessive and compulsive workaholic, I'd like to think that on the whole, I'm still pretty much a team player. My business partner, Anna, who's taken some time off to be in Hong Kong with her expat hubby and daughter, has always maintained that I am an expert at barking instructions. I am sure my colleagues at That Special Occasion miss her calming influence when I get ranting. Louisa, my co-designer, now that Anna is on sabbatical, together with Linda, our longtime assistant as well as the team of seamstresses and beaders, bear the brunt of the relentless pace, and are the pillars that support the operations at the boutique. Meanwhile over at The Wedding Hub, Helen is the 'rock' I rely on to manage the one-stop centre as well as the array of personalities we have as tenants, whilst Fiona is the one who diligently churns out our monthly workshops.

On the publising front, both online and print, I am lucky to have a small and dedicated team. My team of 8 at weddingsmalaysia - Edward, Kenix, Patrick, Priscilla, Keith, Eileen, Cordelia and Faridah -take care of a portal and 4 publications, a relatively big task actually, considering that all of them have other business interests and only take on the portal and publications on a project basis. It is their passion and commitment that have made our titles so well-regarded in the wedding industry. I also appreciate the efforts of Integricity, who ensure that our back-end IT needs are well taken care of, and of course the encouragement and support of the industry, who are catalysts for us to do even better.

I truly believe that no one can work in isolation. Despite the occasional tiff, working together towards and attaining a common goal is what makes it all worthwhile. And did I say I was quite the workaholic ... as evidenced by the time of this post haha!

Oh! How could I forget Ms Chew ... the one who reminds me to keep an eye on the dollars and cents!!

Pictured with Louisa and her gown creation.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Simple Things In Life

Tuesday, 30 June 2009, was the 5th anniversary of my paternal grandma's passing. As in previous years, the entire family gathered for a meal at the family home to celebrate her life and to remember her. The Wong family is known to be avid eaters and we have a party whenever an opportunity arises. A further boon is the fact that we have great cooks in the family, a legacy left behind by both my grandparents. We are therefore always spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner parties, from the most fancy of dishes to the simplest home cooking that equally satisfy our voracious appetites. And it is sometimes the latter that is most enjoyable. For many, it was the 'Curry Chicken eaten with Bread' that stood out. Unpretentious and lip-smackin' good, though a bit too fiery for me, I guess it also brought back memories for my parents, aunts and uncles, who now often reminisce about 'those good ol' days'.

Indeed, the simple things in life sometimes bring us the most joy. I have a friend who spends quality time by himself every Sunday morning with a coffee, a doughnut and a good book. Another, rides a bus round Penang every weekend with his toddler daughter. For me, all I need is a travel magazine and either a pool or a beach.

In our harried lives, we often fail to slow down and smell the roses. Perhaps it's time to start doing so, one step at a time. Teh tarik anyone?

Auntie Mary's Curry Chicken.