Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grandma : 6th Anniversary

Today is the 6th anniversary of my paternal Grandma's passing. The extended family, those who are in town to be exact, gathered at the family home for dinner to celebrate her life.

My late father always reminded us that we must make a concerted effort to be present at all family gatherings. Auntie Anne emails a list of dates for such gatherings - festivals, commemorations - at the onset of every year and I mark them down in my diary. Seldom am I not present at these functions as I plan my schedule around these dates. The majority make the commitment but like in most families, there are those few who don't take it as seriously as they should. For the most part, there is no excuse really, since notice is given right at the start of a new year.

In any case, I suppose if I were to view it positively, less man more share when it comes to the food.

Painted photo of grandma in her more youthful days.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monthly Lunch

We lead such busy lives that sometimes we tend to neglect our friends. Bunny and I, and to a lesser extent LC, go back a long way. We've been friends for many, many years. Bunny and I started out as colleagues. LC did some design work for us when we were both in media. We've become good friends over time.

We've recently decided to meet once a month at the very least, all 3 of us. A monthly lunch so to speak. To ensure that it takes place without fail, we pen down a day for the next rendezvous immediately after a lunch date. So far so good. Our immediate aim is to lunch at every restaurant at The Gardens in Mid Valley. It will take us quite a while I reckon.

We reminisce about the past, talk about the present, and plan for the future. The future of course is what we look forward to. The many aspirations that we wish to achieve, the myriad of experiences that we hope will touch our lives. If we do not share our dreams, no matter how lofty, with our good friends, who do we share them with?

LC, Bunny and I at Purple Cane at The Gardens in Mid Valley, Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, June 28, 2010

28 June 2010

Dad would have been 69 today. We made it a point to observe his birthday by having a family meal of all his beloved dishes, prepared by Mum naturally.

Dad, a great fan of football, would have enjoyed the ongoing World Cup, although he would have been dismayed with the English team's performance. Mum and I have been watching some of the matches on his behalf, rooting for his favourite team but alas England is out!

We think of Dad from time to time, mostly of his humourous anecdotes. He'll be happy to know that we're all doing well and enjoying life to the fullest.

Photo taken with Thai students in Phnom Penh during our last holiday together in June last year.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


A lot of my close friends seem to think that my expectations are too lofty. That's true to a certain extent. I am not one to settle. I want the best. Having said that, what constitutes the best is relative. The best doesn't mean staying at a luxurious hotel when on holiday. It means putting up in a hotel that is clean and comfortabe, one that has character, one that is more intimate, one that is conveniently located, one that has affable staff. It doesn't mean always eating at the most expensive restaurants. It means having a meal at a restaurant that serves food that one enjoys, in the company of good friends.

I apply the same principle in my work as well as in my personal life. I don't expect to be perfect in what I do for a living but I do strive to achieve it. To always put my best foot forward. To shun mediocrity. I don't settle for sub-par friendships and relationships. Sub-par friends are best relegated to acquaintances. Sub-par relationships are best left behind.

Having meaningful encounters and experiences in life are what we should always aspire to. A cup of hot chocolate while waiting to board a ferry on the Bosphorus; now, that is one experience which deserves to be termed as one of the best.

Photo shot at Anadolu Kavagi in Turkey.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am in a unique position in the wedding industry. In my position as an editor of 3 wedding magazines and a wedding portal, I deal with industry vendors as my clients. As a designer with That Special Occasion, my clients are soon-to-be-brides. The former requires me to champion my industry colleagues whereas the latter necessitates that I look after the interests of the bride. I have to strike a balance which is not always easy.

The industry is always evolving. The expectations of couples vary, how vendors respond to these expectations change according to the circumstances. Suffice to say, the aim is to have a win-win situation for both parties. One thing is for certain though and that is, it is imperative that fellow industry colleagues support one another. Loyalty is earned. We may all run our businesses differently, we may have differing principles, but we should always stand up for each other. Only then can the industry progress.

Supporting one another means being open enough to accept the differences by which we run our businesses. One has to adapt to new business practices. One has to respect the artistry of the experienced, yet acknowledge the creative catalysts brought on by new entrants into the industry. In this day and age, one has to embrace technology more than ever, be willing to network and be confident enough to market oneself well. Truth be told, just relying on one's expertise is no longer sufficient. You either play along to market forces or be left behind. That's some food for thought I reckon.

Photo of gown by That Special Occasion, courtesy of Louis Pang Studio.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Relaxing Dinner

Going up to Penang for work is always a treat. Not only do I get to catch up with friends from the wedding industry as well as from my university days, I also get to sample the culinary delights that Penang has to offer.

I am a creature of habit and always go to the same places for 'makan'. This past weekend however, Suan Bee and C Hun, proprietors of Touching Hearts and Chymes, brought me to this place by the beach near Queensbay for dinner. The relaxed setting, the sea, the view of the Penang Bridge and Pulau Jerejak, the good food, great company including Kee Sitt and Sharon of Wedding Story, what more could one ask for?

I am bound to return to this haunt ... creature of habit you see.

Photo of where I had dinner whilst in Penang.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I first came across the song 'Hallelujah' on one of those 'Oprah Moments' on the Hallmark Channel on Astro. It was performed by The Canadian Tenors with a special surprise appearance by Celine Dion. It is a really beautiful song.

Having done some research, I found out that the song was originally composed and sung by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen way back in 1984. I subsequently Googled the song and found a number of different versions, all sung in a different style but nevertheless retaining the beauty of its melodic phrasing.

Here are 3 such versions :


Photo of The Canadian Tenors & Celine Dion on Oprah.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dumpling Festival

My late father always stressed the importance of family ties, and he always insisted that we all be present at dinners to celebrate Chinese festivals as an extended family.

True to form, we gathered for a pot-luck dinner last night to mark the Dumpling Festival or Dragon Boat Festival to some. A great variety of food as always, and great company to boot.

The photo here is of Auntie Nga, Auntie Mary and my cousin Ruth a.k.a. Perut Besi a.k.a. The Ruthless Eater. Do check out her blog here.

Photo shot at SEA Park, the family home as we call it.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Yes, I've been branded difficult many a time. I've also been branded sensitive, the bad kind. True, I've been known to delete numbers from my handphone of some of those who have not kept in touch for 3 months or more.

One of my pet peeves? Getting a text or call from someone who hasn't kept in contact for some time, and the first thing he or she asks for is a favour. At least have the courtesy to ask how I've been getting on first.

I suppose this is just one of the many idiosyncracies that I have. Those who know me well will attest to that haha!

Photo with my good friend, biz partner and long distance shrink, Anna, shot in Hong Kong last month.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Sometimes we need to be uplifted. We need to be reminded that much is possible if we put our mind to it, if we are willing to take a chance, if we can cast aside our fear.

Many a time, we let opportunities slip us by, for one reason or another. I have of late been making a conscious effort to not let this happen. So I take action when an opportunity arises. I do my best to banish doubts. I will myself to keep the faith.

Yes, we need some uplifting from time to time. So watch this, then this and then this. Inspiring don't you think?

Photo shot at Rice Teras Cafe in Tegalalang, Bali, Indonesia.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Work In Progress : Journeys For Two 2010

I've been proof reading and re-proof reading Journeys For Two : Destination Weddings For The Stylish And Chic. After having gone through much angst over this 2010 issue, I am looking forward to it being published next month. But before that can happen, there is still some tweaking to be done.

My ever enthusiastic friend Eileen, also the Editor of the publication, has been instrumental in keeping me optimistic whilst we went about creating this upcoming issue. The soft economic climate has put a damper on advertising budgets but we've soldiered on and I must say that I am pretty happy with the outcome.

Kudos also to Edward who has patiently withstood my demands and numerous changes to the layout. He will attest to the fact that I am a nit-picker when it comes to attention to detail. If I do something, I'd like to do it well. And as long as we've given our best, which may not always be perfect, we can hold our heads high.

Photo shot by Stories by Integricity Visuals at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, courtesy of Touching Hearts.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Letting Go

Sometimes I plan too much. I envision too often. I dream too profusely. It is sometimes said that when one strives to attain something so badly, it often just refuses to eventuate. But when one decides to let go, to relinquish the yearning, it comes to fruition.

So, this I shall try to do. It's not in my nature but I shall try. I will remind myself of 'Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining'.

To have faith and to let fate take its course.

Photo of the pool by the spa at Maya Ubud Resort & Spa in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bin's Birthday

Here's a photo of my close friends and I from uni days, The Flinders University Of South Australia to be exact. This was taken years ago during Bin's birthday dinner at the now defunct Sizzler's in Marion, a neighbourhood just next to our university.

Of the 6 of us, only 4 are in KL and we have continued to celebrate our birthdays together all these years. Last night we had a meal to mark Bin's birthday, another milestone in our lives.

Don't think we have aged that much ... perhaps just a little rougher round the edges haha!

Photo courtesy of Elsie Wong in Hong Kong.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I get paid relatively good money for what I do, be it in publishing wedding magazines or designing wedding attire. We offer a personalised, niche product and service, and I'd like to think that my industry colleagues and I know a thing or two about weddings. We do not profess to know it all but for those of us who have been in this industry for quite a number of years, we can be certain of what works and what doesn't.

Which begs the question ... why would some clients pay you good money and then not listen to your advice? Every once in a while we come across clients who think they know best. They originally appointed us because of our expertise, knowledge and experience but end up wanting things their way, some of which granted, are good ideas whilst others are just plain ridiculous.

This is my tenth year in the industry and I've come to the conclusion that it is not worth one's while banging one's head against the wall. I will continue to do what is right but if certain clients decide to go their own way, well good luck to them. Enough said.

Cindy in a simple and beautiful lace gown I designed, if I may say so myself! Photo courtesy of Covershots.