Extending the Holidays….


Ross surprised me last night by giving me my birthday/christmas gift.  Best birthday/christmas gift ever🙂

I was actually in “accounting” mode last night for our wedding funds, when he asked me to get one of the angry birds stuffed toy.  The toys were all stuffed under our pillows that when I lifted one pillow, I saw this…

I really thought it had chocolates.  I was thinking of whether I mentioned some type of chocolate that I really wanted from that store, but I couldn’t think of any.

I removed the staples one by one and saw a box inside.  I was about to say, “ay sana Kindle nalang…” when I took the box out and saw this…

Oh my God.  I instantly knew what it was.  And the first thing that ran into my mind was “How the hell did he order it?”

This is my new toy…



I’ve been wanting to buy a Kindle for a very long time now.  I miss reading.  But the prices of the books here in Singapore are just crazy expensive.  I couldn’t bring my books here because…where the hell would I place them?  I don’t even want to think about paying hundreds of dollars for a box or excess baggage.  It’s just not practical.

So I resorted to ebooks.  But it’s really a pain for me reading from a computer.  I tried using my iphone, and although it was okay at first (with all the swiping gestures as if I’m really holding a real book), the small screen was just difficult and painful to the eyes after a while. Then I remembered there was Kindle.  I started looking into it and instantly loved the ink look as if it’s a real paper.  Sadly, it can only be bought through Amazon using a US credit card.  I was thinking of asking my titas to buy one for me, but how would I get it from them?  Then Din told me that Qisahn was selling Kindles.  I checked their website, but their Kindles were $40-$50 more than the actual price from Amazon.

Anyway, I didn’t know that Ross has already ordered one.  How?  I don’t know.  I kept asking him how he ordered it, who ordered it, but he wouldn’t say a word.  Haha!  Thank you, bebe!!!

Kindle is love.  Unlike an ipad which I have to hold with both hands for me to read, I can easily hold this in one.  And I really really love the ink technology that they used.  It makes the texts very clear even if there’s not much light around.  OMG.  Kindle is love. Haha!!

Our last hurrah for 2011…or not?

Olympus Pen EP3

Ross has been bugging me for the longest time about buying a camera.  I want to buy too, but I don’t want to shell out a lot of moolah especially now that we’re saving for the wedding.

We initially wanted the EP2, but when we got the time to check out the stores and canvass for prices, all they had was the EPL2 (the one with the flash).  I didn’t like the material as it felt like I was holding plastic.  So we ditched that.

Now, there’s EP3.  I read good reviews about this, so I also toyed with the idea of getting one.   But I was still deterred by having to shell out a lot of money when we could just buy a simple, yet of DSLR-like quality digicam.

Then last December 31, I said okay.  Just to finish this, let’s go to Funan to buy a camera.  I was hoping to be wrong about the camera, that it wasn’t as good as others and Ross claim it to be.  Oh, but it was.  I’m not a photography enthusiast, and I know zilch about cameras except for a few things that I hear from Kim….but this one is good.  Really good.  I tested it out and the pictures were really clear and sharp.  Like a DSLR, you can manually adjust the aperture and ISO and other thingies, thus giving you a wide variety of options for your photos.  Its Art and Scene features allow you to make artistic shots.  You can also edit your photos on the camera itself (although I haven’t tested this feature yet).  Aside from the impressive photo quality, you can also change the lens.  I saw on their brochure that it has a fish eye, a wide angle and another zoom lens.  But we only got the kit lens for now because the cost of a new lens is the same as the camera itself.

As early as now, I have to say that it’s a really good buy.  We got freebies too:  a memory card, a hard case, a voucher and a skin for the camera.  We bought a filter for the lens and the uncle at funan gave us the screen protector for fee.  We just need a spare battery because its battery life is only less than a day and cleaning tools.

At least now, we can roam around the city and take pictures haha.  Di na kami mukhang kawawa🙂


We tested this camera out during the new year fireworks along Marina Bay.  The camera didn’t disappoint, except that the battery ran out halfway through the fireworks.  The fireworks, while it was beautiful, was, sadly, a disappointment.  It’s just not the same as Pinas’.  It felt like they had the fireworks just for the sake of having one.  Oh well.

EVIL: Mom, daughters jailed for torturing boy


this is just wrong. evil in the purest sense of the word.  completely unforgiveable.  and yet, the court seems to think that the abusers will be good as new after a few years of imprisonment.  talk about justice.  the boy suffers permanent disfigurement, for god’s sake!  a few years in jail does not even equate to one-eighth of what he suffered from them.

by Alvina Soh

SINGAPORE – Members of a family who repeatedly tortured a 10-year-old relative over two years and left him permanently disfigured were yesterday sentenced to jail.

The boy – who started living with his grandaunt and her family when he was four, after his mother went to prison – was beaten repeatedly, burned and had his fingers cut. District Judge Liew Thiam Leng described the case as “one of the worst cases of causing grievous hurt”.

Yesterday, the boy’s 44-year-old grandaunt was jailed five years. Two of her daughters, aged 20 and 24, were sentenced to 20 months’ jail each.

The grandaunt’s youngest daughter, 14, was sentenced earlier this year to probation. Her ex-husband will be sentenced early next year.

The court heard the boy was hit last year on his mouth with a hammer, causing a tooth to fall off and his mouth to bleed.

This was after his grandaunt found out he had finished some fried rice meant for the family.

A few months after the incident, the boy was again abused for allegedly stealing food and playing with the knobs of the gas stove.

His grandaunt asked her three daughters to restrain the boy while she splashed hot cooking oil on his face and body. She also cut his fingers with a pair of scissors, and pressed a hot iron and ladle on him.

After she caught him allegedly stealing food again, she tied his hands with a cable tie and taped his mouth with scotch tape.

The boy now suffers from facial deformities, including a distorted lip margin and a flattened nasal bridge.

In mitigation, the family’s lawyer said they were facing financial difficulties. The grandaunt, who used to work as a cleaner, was “not a heartless person” and “merely wanted to frighten” the boy, the lawyer added.


are you freaking kidding me???  frighten the boy???  are you freaking dumb?  how in the world did you ever get into law school and finish it?


The boy, now 10 years old, was subject to a variety of abuses, including having his fingers cut with a pair of scissors, being burnt with a hot iron, and being beaten repeatedly. -AsiaOne

SINGAPORE – A mother and her two daughters were sentenced to jail on Wednesday for a series of horrific abuses committed on a boy who was staying with them.

The trio pleaded guilty today to causing grievous hurt to the boy, now 10 years old, The Straits Times reported. The 46-year-old mother received a five-year jail term, while her daughters, aged 20 and 24, were jailed for 20 months each.

The elder daughter, who was convicted on another charge of cheating a cleaning firm of some $2,300, was jailed an additional two more months, ST said.

The youngest daughter, 14, who was also involved in abusing the boy, pleaded guilty on Dec 1. She is currently in remand at the Singapore Girls’ Home, awaiting a probation report due on Jan 12 next year.

During the period between 2009 and June 2011, the boy was subject to a variety of abuses, including having his fingers cut with a pair of scissors, being burnt with a hot iron, and being beaten repeatedly.

On one occasion, he was scalded with hot oil for eating up all the food in the house.

During that episode, the mother asked her three daughters to hold the boy down while she used a ladle to pour hot oil on the boy’s face and chest. She subsequently told her daughters to turn the boy over, so she could splash the hot oil on his back.

The series of abuses has left the boy with multiple burns and with scars which may cause permanent disfigurement.

The boy’s abusers do not just include the woman and her two daughters.

The woman’s 45-year-old husband allegedly splashed hot water on the boy. He is currently out on bail. His pre-trial conference is scheduled for Jan 20.

The boy is now in a welfare home and attending school, ST reported. The identity of his father is unknown, while his mother cannot be located.

As his birth was not registered, he does not have a birth certificate. He was first sent to live with his grandaunt after his mother was jailed when he was four.

The abuses began in 2009 and continued even after the family moved from Hougang to Rivervale in 2010, and then on to a rental flat in Ang Mo Kio.

The boy escaped from the home on June 18 and was found by a medical social worker two days later wandering outside the Ang Mo Kio – Thye Hua Kwan Hospital.

The court has imposed a gag order on naming the parties involved, to protect the boy’s identity.

note to self


what i truly truly want in my wedding:

  • to see ross at the end of the aisle
  • all of my friends and family (except for a chosen few) to be there and witness everything
  • to really have a nice time knowing that ross and i are finally married
  • to know that people did not just go there for the food.  that all of my invited guests would actually be at the ceremony.
  • for all of my suppliers to do well…  i know i don’t need for them to be exceptional (although that would be great), but i simply don’t want to be disappointed.  i just want them to perform and deliver what needs to be delivered.  i don’t want to replay in my head what happened at my wedding and realize that this particular supplier did not deliver what he’s supposed to.  
  • for my guests to be happy and well-fed

i should remind myself these.  always.  or until december 8.


i got ross to say yes to my country/rustic-themed wedding because i know that it reflects what we are. laid-back home bodies.  a couple who’d rather spend christmas day inside our room, watching downloaded movies and tv series episodes of ghost fighter and dexter and american horror story and new girl.  although my OCD and/or shopaholic episodes attack once in a while, i’d still rather have wine and cheese at home.

thus, the theme.  i figured it’s the perfect theme for us.  the only reason i wanted a them is for our wedding decor to have a central element.  para lang in some sort of weird way, kahit pano organized yung wedding namin.  and so i started researching for country/rustic-themed wedding details.  and boy, were there a lot.  there were so much that i wanted it all.  then i read this blog:  a practical wedding.  and i was enlightened.  obviously, we’re not having a budget wedding.  getting manila hotel doesn’t count as a budget venue for a reception dinner.  BUT.  we want, and we are striving to, to stay within our set budget.

so, i’m letting go of my paper mills and paper lanterns and ikea lanterns.  as for the flowers, i’ll ask pat if she can give me peonies-look-a-like haha.  because i really really want peonies.  i’m not a biggie on roses.  if the price is right, we’ll just probably get her for the entourage.  then we’ll just get the loose flowers from manila hotel and collect the old jars/vases at home.  [in my opinion, manila hotel centerpieces are a complete turn-off.  i know they are just sticking to the filipiniana look and feel, pero naman, sana they could improve their centerpieces.]  the church flowers will be the ones provided by the church.  yup, even though paco park church will only be replacing the flowers once for the afternoon weddings, i’ll just keep it at that.  tutal naman, one hour lang kami dun.

no more props for the photo ops.  it’s just us.  and the moon.  that’s enough for me.  hopefully there will be a moon and stars because the wedding ceremony will end at 6pm.  the prenup will be handled by a good friend who’s also a photo hobbyist.  no will-you-be cards.  the save-the-date will be sent online so we don’t have to buy inks and paper.  we’ll be making and printing our own invites as well.  it will be as laid back and as casual as it can be.  for my gown, i think i’ll stick with nana mene, unless she stopped making dresses already.  no offense to divi loyals, but i really don’t like going there.  the crowd literally makes me dizzy.  if nana mene is not available, then i’ll look for an affordable, but reliable, designer as a last resort.

as for the accessories, we’ll probably just buy ready-made stuff from the store.  easier that way.  besides, the cost will just be the same if i do them myself or if i have them custom-made, materials and labor, etc.  everything else that i couldn’t think of for now aren’t probably that important.  hehe.

wake-up call: stop reading wedding blogs!


What Happened With I Stopped Reading Wedding Blogs

Remember back when East Side Bride was my first wedding graduate ever? Her first piece of advice was this:
1. Don’t go overboard with the wedding blogs. I know‌. right? They will give you a complex.
At the time, I knew it was good advice, but I wasn’t quite ready to take it. I was still at the sucking-in-wedding-inspiration-with-a-straw point. In fact, I might have been mainlining wedding images into my veins. But whatever, it was TOTALLY HEALTHY, and I DID NOT HAVE A PROBLEM, thanks. I was reading wedding blogs, I was buying wedding magazines, I was under the impression that I needed to maintain some sort of physical wedding “binder,” whatever that was, and even though I was very unclear what I was supposed to be putting into it, I was carefully sticking in images and forms and the like. I was on the job.
But then, one day, something changed. I noticed that 9 out of every 10 wedding blogs/magazines were not making me feel excited about our wedding, they were making me feel tired and overloaded and like I wasn’t living up. Another white dress, another set of favors (and you know favors drive me over the edge), another set of bridesmaid dresses. So I decided, I was going to take East Side’s advice, as an experiment, and stop. I took every wedding blog that didn’t make me feel excited and engaged off my reader. Done.
At first, I didn’t notice anything much. I felt safe and comforted in my little wedding cocoon. I felt like we were all in this together, and everything was going to be just fine. I started feeling very secure in our choices. But I didn’t think much of it. So one day, I was sitting in front of the computer, a bit bored, and I decided to browse on over to some big-wedding-media.
And my eyes popped. You should have seen the astonished look on my face. After a few months of no contact with standard-issue-big-wedding images, the type of weddings you often see had gone from seeming aspirational – what we were all supposed to be living up to – to flat out bananas. Everything draped in pink? Lots and lots of things that inexplicably matched? Endless handmade details all woven together into a overarching theme? Chandlers in the TREES? Instead of seeming delightful and quirky and well thought out, all of this seemed totally out of hand.
Now, none of this is to say you shouldn’t read wedding blogs (achem). None of this is to say you should all have weddings just like mine, or just like each others, or that you can’t have chandeliers in the trees if you want to. BUT. BUT. I think it’s important for each of us to think about what wedding inspiration we’re consuming, and how it is making us feel about ourselves. I talk a lot about how we should find a way to not judge ourselves as we’re planning our weddings, and I really believe that. But I do think that the big-money, big-time, big-energy, One Perfect Day, Your Big Day, The Best Day Of Your Life, The Details Really Matter concept of a wedding that is taken as un-questioned gospel in large parts of the wedding world is damaging. I think it is actually emotionally warping, and is bad news for our sanity, our relationships, and our wallets. It takes our eyes off the prize, it makes us focus on parts of our wedding that really don’t matter (like the favors) instead of focusing on parts of our wedding that really do matter (like the ceremony, or spending time with our loved ones). I think it’s damaging because it makes brides think that they are less-than when they can’t live up to the $100K weddings they are being spoon-fed.
So. Take a moment to think about what wedding magazines you are reading, what wedding blogs you are reading, what images you are consuming. If they are making you feel good about yourself and your decisions, and giving you inspiration and energy, keep reading them! But if you find yourself thinking, “Those brides are out of my league” or “I’m never going to live up to that” or “I’m just not that chic” or “Oh my god, we’re so not doing this right” or “I really want this simple quick wedding, and I guess that’s impossible.” Then step back. Because you are amazing. And you’re going to do it your way, and that is so much better than doing it someone elses way.
And if that’s still not enough, East Side Bride just followed up with some tips for when wedding blogs are getting you down. Yeah. She’s a smart lady.
Now go spin around in your dress, boogie around your living room to your favorite song, kiss your partner, and pour yourself a drink. I think that’s the feeling you’re going for.
*Not all wedding blogs, obviously. Just wedding blogs that didn’t make me feel excited to be myself.


ross will definitely agree to this.  and i do to.  ever since i started reading wedding blogs and signed up for W@W, i’ve been slowly formulating in my head a wedding that i consciously know, while it would be fantastic and memorable and wonderful, is out-of-budget.

ross was right.  having no dream wedding at all opens my mind up to a whole lot of things, which then makes me want to have everything that i find cute and pretty and want-able.


i need to clear my head and go for the essentials.  only.  signing up with manila hotel as the venue for our wedding reception has already taken off a lot of our plate (i.e. bridal car, centerpieces [but i couldn’t let go this one – their centerpieces are a complete put off for me], accommodations, etc.). so i think we should only focus on the other important things now:  the gowns, suits, flowers (we might just have to stick with flowers for the entourage; and just get the loose flowers from the hotel), thank you gifts and invitations.  the save-the-dates, i’ve already commissioned (haha, commissioned daw!) kim to do that.  the invites, ross and i are going to make and print it.  i would love to have it letterpressed, but no can do.  lights and sounds, we’ll just stick to what the hotel provides as well.  we can do an upgrade, but only if the videos requires it to.  as for the cake, we’re really going for a cupcake tower.  we just need to find a very very affordable baker.  as for the other details, we can probably tweak/improve/overhaul them…but i cannot afford to be a bridezilla.  we still have airfare expenses to worry about.

from a practical wedding