#GlennChelseaWedding: Wedding of the year

This is one of the happiest things that happened to me this year, or maybe even lifetime, to attend Glenn and Chelsea’s wedding in Jakarta.

Both Glenn and Chelsea are well known celebrity couple in Indonesia. They dated for 8 years before tying the knot.

I’ve known Glenn and his family for 17 years. Glenn was still a primary school student when I knew him. I have always been close with his family in one way or another, though there was a period that we lost touch. His family used to be based in Singapore, but they have gone back to Jakarta, while Glenn’s sister is now in Australia!

One day by chance I caught up with him and his mum (Auntie Linda) again. I was so happy for this reunion, we had so much to catch up. Since then, I have flown to Jakarta a couple of times to spend time with Auntie Linda. I’ve grown very close to Auntie Linda, so much so that she’s my Indonesian mama.

Earlier this year, Auntie Linda told me Glenn was (finally) getting married. I was shameless and asked for an invite! Everyday I was counting down to 1 Oct. His church wedding was on 1 Oct, and wedding reception on 3 Oct. However due to work commitments, I had to give the church wedding a miss.

Wedding invite!

Wedding invite!

Wedding invite

I flew in to Jakarta on 1 Oct evening, straight from the office to the airport. On the way from office to the airport, I was scrolling through Instagram for their wedding photos. There were so many of them with the hashtag #GlennChelseaWedding. I had to control my tears in the cab, I was so happy for them.

Auntie Linda was so sweet, she arranged for a makeup artist to come to the hotel and help me do my makeup and hair for the wedding reception. I stayed at Hotel Century this time because it was near the wedding hotel. Room rates in Mulia were too crazy for me to afford.

Ibu Mavis!

Ibu Mavis! Dressed in my favourite Ong Shunmugam cheongsam

I was told by the makeup artist Alvania that Hotel Mulia has a huge ballroom, and the makeup can’t be too light, or I will look too pale. It’s definitely the heaviest makeup I’ve had in my life, with 2 layers of fake eyelashes!

The whole wedding was carefully planned. Everything was so fairytale like! No wonder Singapore newspapers lollipop picked up Glenn’s wedding to compare it with AngelaBaby’s one! White roses, sparkling crystals, unicorns, swans soft music, you can feel the love and romance everywhere!

Large TV screen showing their prewedding photos

Large TV screen showing their prewedding photos

Glenn Alinskie

A selfie against the romantic backdrop

A selfie against the romantic backdrop

Inside the ballroom, everything else was spectacular too. It was my first time attending a wedding in Indonesia, and I’ve learnt that it’s a buffet standing fashion. I quite like it actually, you are free to go around the place, and pick the food you like! Food stations are set up everywhere, each time you meet someone and you like to mingle, you
can just stop anywhere, grab a bite, and chat.

Inside the ballroomHot food stationFoodCakes

The tradition in Indonesia is the couple and their family will be standing on stage to receive well wishes from the guests. I queued for more than an hour to go up! Chelsea is soooo pretty!

A wefie with the couple!

A wefie with the couple!

It was a busy night for the couple and their family, however they provided good entertainment for the guests. The couple had their march in, first dance, video recap of their church wedding. Besides having a good band whom sang whole night, Chelsea sang that night too! Too bad it was in Bahasa Indonesian. I didn’t understand a single word of it.

Awesome band who sang whole night!

Awesome band who sang whole night!

Although I was in a foreign land, but I felt very much at ease. And I was really glad to find some time to catch up with the Alinskie family. I entered the family area to catch up with Quenby (Glenn’s elder sister).

Quenby and I

Quenby and I

A group shot with Quenby's family and relatives. And the little boy is Quenby's son!

A group shot with Quenby’s family and relatives. And the little boy is Quenby’s son!

Auntie Linda and I

Auntie Linda and I

Before I left, I managed to grab a photo with Auntie Linda. Although we didn’t get to talk much that night, but I am really thankful to Auntie Linda for inviting me. It’s such an honour to share their joy. Weeks later, Auntie Linda messaged me to apologise that she couldn’t talk much to me at the wedding because there were so much going on. She really didn’t have to. I am not sure when I will meet her again, but I know we always have each other in mind. Thank you for your love, my Indonesian mama.

Day 16: #Celebratelife365

No matter how busy, there are 2 friends I will make time for. One being my buddy, and the other is my favourite chef.

Hiew is finally back to Singapore after being away for 2 years, but he is travelling all the time now, and this trip back is not a permanent one. Our friendship dates back to 2008, and that was my first job after graduation. We met at work, and by some miracle, we became closer. I trust him to cook for my family during Chinese New Year, especially when my brother was sick. I needed to trust the person who is preparing the meal. The food doesn’t only needs to taste good, it also has to be prepared in an absolute clean and hygiene environment. And I trust Hiew to do it. When he was still the head chef at Mandarin Oriental Cherry Garden, I celebrate my birthday at the restaurant every year, and he would prepare all my favourite. (And I still want his 炒面线! When will that day come?!)

A very silly me when he was in Las Vegas. I was watching television on a Sunday morning, and I saw snippets of his interview. I couldn’t help but start tearing. I missed this guy so much!

Finally I had the chance to visit him in Las Vegas last November, and I was so happy to see him. Long flights, one transfer after another, and I was just counting down to see him.

Knowing that he will return to Singapore this March, it was another countdown.

Endless buffets in Las Vegas, so I decided to bring him to eat local food. I normally don’t eat that much. But I guess good mood makes anything possible.

We went to Tong Ah, and he decided to have Assam Fish Head Curry. I’ve eaten at Tong Ah so many times, but this dish is a first.

Assam Fish Head Curry

After that I brought Hiew to Mad About Sucre, because I wanted him to try the cakes there.

Coco CitronPassion fruit

It’s said that food draws people closer and I have to agree. It was a food programme that brought us together, and the love for good food that brought us closer. Also, I learnt alot of cooking skills from him, always asking him for tips!

Friend, wherever you are. I will hunt you down. 这辈子你别想逃!

#Celebratelife365 #Thrive

It’s a date!

Counting down to 415pm. I can’t help but feel excited.

Edgar Tang replied to my mail, and we have arranged to meet.

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How I feel now is a fraction of what Edgar felt about meeting Timothy Ray Brown- The Berlin Patient.

“Sleep your way to the top!”

Quoting from Arianna Huffington, “sleep your way to the top!”. A lot of us are sleep deprived now. We always hear such lines , “There’s too much to do!”, “I’m too busy!”, “I wished I could sleep more!”.

Before Ms Huffington had her burnout, sleep has always been very important to me. Quality sleep that is. And that’s why I agree with her, sleep is just so so important. Less sleep= less productivity.

Our jobs require us to think a lot everyday, and it is a lot of brain power. To expand the additional brain capacity, I must say sleep is a catalyst to help us achieve that.

We sleep better, we think better, and we work better. So, let’s sleep the way to the top together!

#Thrive!

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Keep Baking and Optimize

Every year without fail I’ll bake pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year. It’s a recipe passed down by my ex-neighbour. There’s no secret to my pineapple tarts, I’ve shared the recipe with so many people.

Everyone tells me my pineapple tarts are so buttery and delicious. Some tried my recipe but they can’t achieve the same results. The only reason I can think of, it’s the mood and heart you put into the tarts.

I used to bake a lot more, not just during Chinese New Year period but also during Mooncake Festival, Christmas etc, and I’ll bring to school or office to share with friends and teachers. My teachers from Nanyang Junior College can share those sweet memories.

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In December 2014 edition of National Geographic magazine, it talked about food as a culture, and how it brings people together. It’s so inspiring and relatable. It was mentioned that when you cook for people, you need to feel happy, so the food will be delicious, and the people eating it will be happy.

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While my pineapple tarts are already so well received, I want to make it better. Baking is fun, I enjoy it, and making the taste better can be so rewarding. And my happiness can be shared with people who eats the food.

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So this time round, I experimented how to make pineapple tarts taste even better. Optimize. (So says a digital/social person) I looked around for a different brand of butter, and modified the baking temperature and times, of different permutations to see what works better. Jolly fun.

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No one taste is perfect, but the result was encouraging. Becoming better is a continuous process, regardless of what it is. I’ll continue to bake and optimize. Mission: To share good food and happiness with love!

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祝福是一种幸福

或许大家已经忘了,我在大学是修中文系的。听说读写,当然难不倒我。

最近有很深的感触,旁观身边的人事物,不禁觉得祝福他人其实是对自己的一种幸福。

已经过去的事就让它过去吧。耿耿于怀,只是对内心的一种负担。你不但得不到快乐,还会带来许多悲伤。

一个人幸福与否,其实是一种态度。想着不开心的往事,与噩梦缠绵,无法释怀,这样的心态,只是在惩罚自己。

我很欣赏台湾励志作家何权峰,他的佛学观念,给了我很多启示。我从他的文字学到了很多。

“祝福”和“幸福”,看到他们共同之处了吗?

“福”字,的确。

学会祝福他人,你会得到幸福。

放点心思学会放下仇恨,对所有的人抱着美好的愿望,你会发现往后的日子你很容易就会得到幸福。

祝福是一种幸福

心中没有怨恨,你的日子会很好过。

Imperfections

Your worth is not determined by others. You are worth based on who you are. You don’t live life in pain or happiness based on the scores other people give. People may view you with imperfections, but don’t let it get to you. Take the feedback constructively.

There’s no need to punish yourself with unhappiness or anger experienced by others. It belongs to them, not you. Instead, create happiness so that you can share to cheer unhappy people up.

Perfection, imperfection, all so relative. We all know milk is good for healthy bones growth, but it’s toxic to those lactose intolerant. It’s the same logic.

Yes everyone is different. But everyone deserves to be master of their own life and destiny.

10 Things I do to Thrive!

This is a busy weekend. There is a big pitch, and I only have the weekend to work on the strategy deck. Submission is on Monday.

Image created using Canva

Image created using Canva

However it doesn’t mean life will be a wreck. Being a firm believer of #Thrive, there are things you can do any day to make the day positive. 10 things I do today to thrive:

1. I walk at least 10,000 steps today. (Numbers from my Fitbit Flex.)

2. I drink at least 1.8l of water. (Similarly, I monitor this using my Fitbit Flex.)

3. I spend at least 15 minutes reading a good book. (Current read: How Google Works by Eric Schmidt & Jonanthan Rosenburg)

4. I watch one Ted video.

5. I get at least 15 minutes of sun today. (Sun helps us produce Vitamin D for the body. Don’t forget your sunblock too!)

6. I help someone in need.

7. I take some good pictures.

8. I spend at least 15 minutes reading the latest National Geographic magazine. (I have the annual subscription on my Ipad.)

9. I will celebrate life.

10. I write a blog post. (almost done!)

Happy weekend everyone! How do you #thrive?

Wearable tech: My Fitbit Flex

It’s said wearable tech will be one of the highlights in 2015, with many new brands and designs. More powerful devices, with better aesthetics.

I’m quite happy with how my Fitbit Flex looks like. I do find the range of trackers from Fitbit looking quite pleasant. Not too rugged for a lady’s everyday wear, even for Fitbit Charge.

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My Fitbit Flex

I love my fitness tracker device, though there are things that I feel can be better. If only I don’t have to remove the tracker and charging takes place with solar energy. As long as one is in the sun, the tracker will absorb the energy. And this encourages people to get out and walk more!

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Fitbit Flex is charging

I always feel strange when my tracker is charging, because I know I will miss out on steps taken, calories burned, and that day’s recording won’t be so accurate. (Call me obsessed!) That’s why I hope for a device that will not required you to remove the tracker from your body at all to charge.

There are so much for such trackers to catch up. Things such as heart rate tracking, better sleep monitoring, capturing calories intake without having the user/wearer to input manually. I’m hoping for a tracker that can detect sleep automatically, from the time I fall asleep, sleep pattern and quality, and what time I should wake up. I’ve read in a Huffington Post article that sleep comes in 90 minute blocks, if you wake up at the end of the 90 minute cycle, you will wake up feeling fresh.

It will be exciting times ahead for wearable tech. I’m looking forward to see one that will better suit my needs. (And price must be affordable too! I’ve got my Fitbit Flex really cheap during Amazon Black Friday sales!)

For now, I’m happy with my Fitbit Flex.

The opposite of love

A good friend once asked me, what is the opposite of love. I answered “hate”. I was wrong.

“Indifference”, is the answer.

There will be hate when you still love, or has feelings for the person. You still care, that’s why your feelings for the person felt different.

People in your life come and go. We all have such experiences. I no longer feel anything for the ex-husband, the past doesn’t haunt me.

I’ve learnt to let it go. People can be angry, upset with me, and it doesn’t affect me. I cannot please everyone in the world. I don’t have to punish myself with other people’s anger. There is no need for such transfer of pain.

Wisdom doesn’t come with age only. It comes with experiences and learning from them.

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Taken on my 29th birthday, I celebrated a new chapter in my life.