Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding

I heard that some wedding industry colleagues declared a half day holiday yesterday so that they could all head home to watch the Royal Wedding. I didn't go as far as that but did leave work early and just made it in time to catch Kate Middleton enroute to Westminster Abbey. I remember watching Diana's and Charles' wedding as a child and now years later, I just had to do a post about Kate's and William's wedding.

Right after the ceremony, I texted my cousin Kiat Ken and asked if he was in the crowd. I received a call from him soon enough telling me that like us, he was watching from the comforts of home with another cousin of mine Lye Synn who has in London on holiday. He was much amused when I told him that my mum had been watching the proceedings since noon and it was now almost 8pm.

In the line of work that I am in, and I believe I speak for the majority of my industry friends as well, we relish such opportunities to witness these historic occasions that are filled with pomp and pageantry. They inspire us, they validate the work we do. And it is good for business that's for sure. So congratulations William and Kate. Here's a toast to you.

Photo of the British royals.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Sometimes a certain story plot in a TV series strikes a chord and makes one contem-plate the issue at hand. We watch TV for entertainment first and foremost but I think we can learn a lesson or two every now and then too.

Once in a while, I feel vulnerable and these are the occasions when I seem to be more susceptible to identifying with the issues that a particular episode is trying to convey. Rather than just brush it off as entertainment, I tend to ponder and deliberate.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have our insecurities, our inadequacies, we have our as yet unfulfilled aspirations, we have our fears. I'd like to think that being able to acknowledge such shortcomings is the first step in working towards redemption. Overcoming these nagging worries takes strength and courage, resolve, perseverance, determination and steadfastness. The will of the human spirit is what will help us along our way.

Contemplating by the sea.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Surprise Birthday Party

Leticia and Tze Han plotted a surprise birthday party for the former's other half Tjun Hong on Saturday and it paid off handsomely - the birthday boy was totally taken aback, in a pleasant way of course. It is always nice when such effort comes good.

I was priveleged to be invited to be part of the celebration and an enjoyable evening it was. Great company and much food at Essence at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur. An intimate party with good conversation peppered with anecdotes.

I always prefer smaller guest lists as was the case on Saturday. It gives everyone the opportunity to chat and connect on a more personal basis. And when the crowd is a circle of close friends, people whom we are familiar with, uninhibited meaningful conversations add to the merriment.

Photo of birthday candles.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Balanced Diet

I am trying my best to have a balanced diet and it is definitely a chore, albeit a necessary one. I am instinct-ively an unhealthy eater. I love decadent desserts, I love fastfood, I love super sweet teh tarik, my favourite style of cooking is deep frying, I like my food salty, I am not a fan of plain water, I don't fancy anything wholemeal, I love to eat out, you get the picture.

For the past year or so however, I have been making a concerted effort to be a bit more health-conscious food-wise. I am not extremely disciplined but I gather a bit of effort is better than none at all. And most regrettably, I have given up my all time favourite drink, Coke! It used to be a staple for me but it has now been relegated to once in a blue moon. Sigh.

Add to such an effort some regular swimming and I guess I am doing pretty alright. But one thing's for sure, I am always looking for an excuse to reward myself. Rewarding oneself, isn't that what the good life is all about?

New Year's Eve BBQ at my friend Bunny's.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bright Side

Looking at the bright side of things. I often offer this piece of advice to friends who are in need of hearing this. Wise words no doubt, but sometimes, it is much easier said than done. I too at times, find myself struggling to find that silver lining. It is during these moments that one needs to summon the positive outlook that helps us see the sunlight during overcast days.

Successful individuals often share tales of how optimism and self-belief have contributed to their achievements. Self-help books espouse the virtues of positive thinking. The Secret advocates the law of attraction. All these are universal values. If we care to spend the time looking more closely, we will identify with them.

So why do we doubt ourselves? We should instead have faith in ourselves. Be willing to embrace change. Be courageous enough to face challenges. Be lighthearted enough to see the good in bad situations that we sometimes find ourselves in. To see the bright side of things.

Photo of Leticia and I at Leticia's and Tjun Hong's wedding in Bali, Indonesia where the couple received showers of blessings. Photo courtesy of Jim Liaw Photography.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One Of Those Moods

I am in one of those moods, actually, I have been in one of those moods for quite a while now. I gather everyone goes through such moments from time to time, except the super-perky ones I suppose. I belong to the former.

My long time friends, and I mean those who have known me for more than a decade, would readily acknowledge that I have my moods. In fact, I have been rather infamous for them in the past. My friend Shirley insists that she can sense a scowl by the way I answer the phone. She says I have improved, but that's only because I make the extra effort when I see her name appear on my phone! And I have been in need of such extra effort of late. For many reasons, some personal, others professional, I haven't been in the best frame of mind the past couple of weeks. I deal with it as I best know how and I am sure it'll soon pass.

In the meantime, I surround myself with positive vibes. Exercise. Good food with friends. Indulging my sweet tooth. Wisdom from wise words. And a reflexology and massage are definitely long overdue.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We tend to get into a rut from time to time. This is more so especially when our lives revolve a routine. Work, eat, sleep, more work, the weekend; the cycle repeats itself over and over for the majority, myself included. Although I make it a point to have some leisure whenever I can during the work week, there always seems to be a pull to break out of the mundane and do more, things that nurture the spirit and feed the soul.

I have a variety of interests, as do so many of us. The perennial challenge is finding the time to throw ourselves into these interests. I envy many of our Western counterparts, those who seem to be able to leave everything behind for a couple of months to take on new challenges, to travel the world, to volunteer perhaps, to truly experience life in a different circumstance.

For me, the longest viable break I can take is probably ten days or thereabouts, and I do ensure these periods away from the routine happen, a couple of times a year at least. Human nature however always makes us want more. I am plotting to see if I can take a month off next year. It'll take lots of planning. Some of my friends think I won't succeed. That certainly remains to be seen.

Photo shot at Beach Republic in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweet Tooth

Yes indeed. I have a sweet tooth. Now you know why I have to do those swims during lunch time! Allowing myself to indulge means I sometimes have to sacrifice lunch to go for a swim to work the calories off.

Sherly of Tie The Knot came by That Special Occasion with a client for a fitting two evenings ago and with her she brought a gift. A cute gift I might add, with instructions to 'Take twice a day to keep the bridezillas away'. Thoughtful and creative. And the strawberry cake flavoured jelly beans? Let's just say I am overdosing big time.

It is always encouraging to see wedding industry colleagues come up with unique ideas. This is when we can tell clients 'you are paying for our ideas and expertise'. And originality doesn't come cheap, so there you go!

Photo courtesy of Sherly Aziz of Tie The Knot.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Confidence And Trust

My cousin in Hong Kong, Roy, will be marrying Ming in January 2012. When this news was conveyed to me during their visit to KL early this year, I offered them a gift of a wedding gown. They graciously accepted and I appreciate the confidence they have in my abilities. I say this because not all in my family have done so in the past. I always enjoy working on gowns for family members, it is fulfilling.

We have been discussing designs via email the past few weeks with sketches and photos sent back and forth. The design has now been decided and I am excited to embark on this project soon. Ming's kind words of 'I absolutely trust you' also makes me want to do my best.

I'll be heading to Hong Kong and China for a holiday come August. I intend to bring the dress along for a fitting then. It will be fun.

Photo of Ming and Roy shot in Kuala Lumpur in January.