Monday, September 9, 2013

On Married Life

Well, obviously after we recently got married, the first question on everyone's lips upon seeing us again is, "So.. how's married life?"

To be honest, I first heard that question from my parents, and somehow.. since my dad/mom kind of kept asking me despite repeated response of, "We're fine Dad, Mom, feels good now that no more wedding planning stuff", I suspect what they REALLY wanted to ask was, "How are you & Bryan getting it on making babies? Is everything alright in that department?" ><

Thursday, August 22, 2013

App recommendation: Simply Us

Wedding is about co-ordination, co-ordination, co-ordination (Well it's about flowers & cupcakes too but someone's gotta co-ordinate those!).. And at least one other person has to really be at the same page as you: The Fiance. Early on, I was a bit irritated as I was the one handling a lot of the appointments for the wedding vendors (meet photographer, meet hotel manager, etc) and sometimes he'd schedule to meet his buddies when I had not yet told him I need him on one Wednesday night, for example, or one of us simply forgot that we need to keep certain times free because we have wedding-related  appointments.

Would like to recommend one iPhone app that really helps with that. It's not a wedding app, but more of a calendar + organizer app, called SimplyUs. (And it's free for iPhone!)

Both phones download the app, then one of you invite the other to join the same SimplyUs platform, and voila!

First, you have the activity page where there are notifications of recent events added/ edited (and you'll get push notifications too, if your partner adds/ edit events:

One useful feature is that you can comment straight away below the event notification.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Breakdown of the Bride

Well, I did break down at different points of the wedding planning stage >< If you are a bride-to-be, just tell yourself that this is normal.... Wedding planning is such a roller-coaster of feelings!

In this post, I'd like to literally break down my feelings from the beginning to the process to the moments just before the wedding.. Brace yourself, readers!

10 - 9 months before wedding - just after proposal
Blissful feeling of 'Ah, the wedding's still a long way..more than enough time..'. Sparkle hypnosis induced by staring at engagement ring throughout the day. Browsing the internet for pretty wedding decor photos naively unaware of how much they cost. Finally started looking at Sg bridal magazines and got rude shock at how ridiculously bridal paraphernalias are!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Post wedding reflection

Being a bride-to-be... is, IMHO, one of the most stressful times of a woman's life >< That's also why I stopped blogging as the wedding day gets closer - thinking about one aspect of the wedding would set me off to think about all the other aspects not done yet and induce more stress. Not to mention, juggling work & wedding planning doesn't exactly leave time for blogging.

But! All's been done! And strangely it is now that I have a strong urge to blog about things so brides-to-be still in the midst of full on planning would benefit from it. Especially, those who doesn't have a wedding planner! ><

Firstly, keep in mind: All these will pass! And if you're doing this practically yourself, without a planner, the sense of achievement & ego boost in the end is pretty huge ;p

However, during the wedding planning itself, for me it was a lot of intense, shifting emotions, namely:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Choosing your wedding make up artist

In the earlier days of wedding planning, I thought a make-up artist (MUA) is one item I can save $$ on.. being not big on make-up, I thought it's most important that the make up be comfortable and natural, and that means I need less make-up = no need such a pro make up artist = save $$.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Weekend Marriage a.k.a Be Busy, But Keep Lovin'!

Fuh. Wedding day in 4 months' time. The wedding planning is going well, and the marriage planning is, well, is consisting of me summoning up fears then trying to logically quench them one by one.

Chief amongst those fears, is the fear that the awesome relationship I have with Fiance right now, the beautiful spark that we keep between us, will die a miserable death once marriage, career, kids *shudder* take their toll. Precisely because we know that a great relationship needs a lot of time and energy, I am afraid of... what will happen when we reach a phase in life where we have neither time, nor energy..?

Well, for now, it seems my fears have been allayed by this book, "The Weekend Marriage - Abundant Love in A Time Starved World."
 Yea, I know. Difficult to say if reading a book will really help me for a future I'm not even sure about, but hey, at least it kind of gives me a game plan, AND tell me it's possible. For my readers who are currently in a busy, busy relationship (being in Singapore, if you're not in a busy, busy relationship, then there's SOMETHING WRONG >< ), below are some tips from the book that hopefully might help.

 First off, the author pleads for a change of mindset. Getting increasingly irritated at your spouse? Feeling that all there is in your relationship is anger, hurry, pressure, arguments? Wondering if the person you loved has changed? Stop short of blaming your partner and instead, understand that perhaps, not only do you have less time together, the 'bad stuff' -arguments, misunderstandings, irritability - is crowding out the good times you used to have.  It's also because, when you started out, when you have disagreements, there is time to work things out, to talk things through, to heal... but increasingly when you have no time, you'll say, "We resolve things tomorrow".. while what actually happens is that problems and resentment build up waiting for that 'one day' that never comes. The author's variation of Murphy's law: "The less time you have together, the more things go wrong in your relationship."

So then, it's not you or your partner's fault, it's a time-pressure monster you are facing together called 'The Weekend Marriage' (I kid you not, this is the concept. But hey, it's a good one, to stop blaming each other and instead gear up to face a common enemy.) 

What to do next? Here are some steps to tackle that monster:

1. The FIRST PRIORITY is to schedule time to recharge each your batteries
Take care of yourselves first, since you won't be able to give to your spouse unless you actually have something to give.

2. Create one true connection a day
Understand that, in a weekend marriage, there's too much potential for irritations and too little time to solve every problem, and most often the prevailing feeling is one of disconnection. So start making an effort to really connect every day.. just one gesture, it doesn't have to be difficult or long. Maybe slower, longer kiss before work instead of a quick peck (45 secs instead of 5 secs!), or asking "Hey, how have you been feeling these days?" and really pay attention to the answer. Realize that, couples in a weekend marriage can't afford to put off connecting until they "have time", and instead have to make each moment count.

3. Abundant sex in a time-starved world.. how to do it with no time??
. . . . this is probably the only issue I've raised that Fiance is paranoid about, when we have kids haha (For the other ones, he was able to remain calm and tell me, 'we'll think about it when the time comes.. so why this one cannot remain calm? >< ) . .well there's a whole chapter in the book, but one of the concepts that I really like is, changing your mindset about a 'quickie'.. Most often, the concept of a 'quickie' is a quick intercourse where the guy would be physically satisfied, but it could leave one/both parties physically and emotionally unsatisfied as well. (Ahem, btw, I have no experience yet, quickie or no quickie, so this is based on internet research >< ) But hey, a quickie can be an 'intimacy quickie' too.. Maybe just hugging each other, having a shower together, cuddling together.. and this will help a couple connect so that when they do manage to have sex, it creates an even deeper connection as well.

4. Train yourself to make connections even when problems are simmering, even when you are mad at each other.
For this one.. I gotta say that Fiance is better at it than me, and it is really powerful stuff. Several times, when we were arguing, even when clearly I was mad at him and said hurtful stuff, he would do things like, hug me close, or say things like, "I want to work through this with you", "If we hurt each other so deep, that's because we care so much about each other." Those times when I was mad at him were also the times I felt so, so deeply connected to him and assured of his commitment to the relationship.

Hm, still lots of -IMHO -nice relationship gems inside the book, but I'll stop writing for now. Will follow up with another article soon!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Being Apart To Stay Together.. for Married Couples!

One relationship advice that keeps cropping up for dating couples is: "Don't spend too much time together," with reasons like keeping the relationship fresh and exciting, preventing couples from taking each other for granted, and maintaining the joy of being in each other's company.  All well and good.

Which is why, I'm kind of freaking out at the prospect of spending soooo much time together with Fiance after marriage. Right now, the mindset is that, our time together is time to do fun things, get away from work, and recharge each other, which works awesomely. On the agenda when we see each other (outside of capoeira training & chiropractic session) : cook together, watch funny videos, make out, talk about work, night swim, yoga from youtube videos, trekking, try out new restaurants, make out..wait, did I just mention make out twice? Ah, heck ><

FYI, we see each other at least 4 times a week, mostly because we have capoeira training & chiropractic sessions and it feels natural to spend time together afterwards, so I feel what we have is very much enough and am sure that doing what we do right now for the whole week will just burn the relationship out.

Funny thing, the night I thought I'd tell the Fiance this and find out if he also thinks it would be a problem, he told me he wanted to stay over but he'd bring his laptop so he could work in my place. I told him, sure, I have things to do too, so for the first time in 2.5years relationship, we'd be in the same room but 'ignoring' each other haha..

It worked out great =) Having the freedom of doing our own things and not focusing on each other was kind of liberating, and at the same time the closeness of being just across the room is comforting. He even managed to fold a paper aeroplane and launched it to fly right to my workspace:

Yes, my Fiance is artistic ;p

Still, I thought of some ways of 'staying apart' while being married (or being in relationship for a long time) :

1. Set up 'couple time', 'alone time/friend time', 'work late time' and stick to them
E.g 'couple time' is Saturday (like for us), 'alone/ friend time' Thurs night , 'work late time' Tue night. Other days, it's flexible time. It works because your partner knows what to expect & planning is easier (To guys, this help girls feel more secure & important in your life, as they know you have set aside time for them.) Plus, spending time with Fiance on Saturdays becomes something I'm really looking forward to that helped carry me through whole week. Likewise, scheduling 'alone time' and making it known reduces the chance our your partner interrupting that time slot.

2. Consider setting up 'Miss You Days' (it sounds super cheesy, I know. Suggestions on the name? >< ) It just means, have time where you really won't see/ contact each other. For us, thinking of changing one Saturday a month from 'couple' day to Miss-You-Day.. the point being, to experience that feeling of being apart and missing each other again!

3. Get used to the mindset that we don't have to just do things together when we see each other. We can do our own stuff, just in the comfy company of each other
As of now, I'm pretty bad at this. Having my Fiance over just awakens all those 'girlfriend instincts' - want to cook for him, cuddle up to him, etc. Also, I tend to think, "Ah, but if I just do my own stuff.. who's gonna keep him company..? and he came over to be with me! that's so sweet of him, I can't just leave him alone...", but after our 'working together' experience, I'm actually looking forward to doing it more often

4. Squeeze some productivity out of our time together
In fact, the issue of 'our time together = unproductive time' came up before and my restless self told Fiance let's have a list of things we want to do when we see each other. Him being him, said sweetly, "When I'm not with you, I'm in the fast-paced work environment, so many things to do and think about... when we're together, you make me feel so relaxed.. you slow me down, recharge me, so why must we call it unproductive time?"
Huks >< So next best thing, is doing 'productive' BUT FUN' things together. Recently, we've started doing yoga together (using yoga videos), and watching financial youtube videos to bulk up on our knowledge.. which works awesome since I ..ahem.. wouldn't have done it if I'm just being myself! Other things you can do might be exploring parts of the city while brushing up on photography skills, taking turns using the camera, cook together - make healthy snacks that both of you can bring to the office for those late nights.

5. Set up your 'own space' in the house
This can be as simple as what we did, putting another big table in the room for Fiance to work (my room, but soon to be our marital room..) . It becomes his personal space, to be set up and stocked according to his liking, so he feels he has proper workspace in the house. Meanwhile, my work table stays mine and I don't have to feel that I have to make any concession to my working space when he's around.

Perhaps The Reader has any other suggestions? =) (Need advice especially from married people!)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Financial questions for engaged (Singaporean!) couples

He went down on bended knee, you said yes, the wedding's coming up... what now? If you're like me, I'm refusing to 'rest on my laurels' after snatching a great guy, and am scouring books and websites for tips for a successful marriage.... A bit over-enthusiastic, I know, but hey, better over-prepared than under.

But, where to start? According to articles I read, amongst the top, if not the top marriage breaker: money issues. Furthermore, this being Singapore, the reality is that living and housing cost is prohibitively expensive, and I think engaged couples will do well talking about money issues early on. I mean, if it really does matter so much, you'd want to try finding someone as compatible with you as possible, and run from someone who has totally different views on money.. in an union as important as marriage, why stack the cards against yourself?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gown Hunt - Part 2!

Time to actually hunt the gown of my dreams after just looking at pictures =D

1. Find part of your city where the bridal shops are clustered (in Singapore, it's Delfi Orchard and Tanjong Pagar road)
2. Bring a girlfriend whose fashion opinion you trust (a lovely friend of mine volunteered her time and company! yay!)
3. Bring a good camera phone and be prepared to snap discreetly. This is useful as reference if finally you decide to do a made-to-measure gown.

Note: In some of the pictures below, the gown looks rather loose.. That's because bridal gowns are impossible to wear yourself (they have to be tied/ zipped at the back) and I had to quickly snap before the attendant came in to help me wear the gown!

Gown Hunt!

What's a wedding without a wedding dress, right?
Tell the truth, in the beginning I wasn't that excited about wedding dress... (Though many a bride will put this at number one on their list ;p ) because I equate that with too frilly, expensive, too much hassle to walk with, not gonna look good on me..

But then... I found out I'd underestimated the bridal industry.. Put some effort to look around, and true enough, the perfect -or at least almost perfect - dress will be there for you!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wedding jitters?

Ah, wedding jitters. Or should I say, marriage jitters, since it's really not just about the wedding. Fiance recently showed me an article about 'Runaway Brides' in Singapore, the story of a girl who jilted her groom, only told him of the decision right before she boarded a plane to Thailand, left him to deal with everything, then blamed the HDB and everyone else by saying, "You could  put it like this – the third party was HDB. I feel like I was forced to decide to get married early because if I waited until I was, say, 30 and ready to settle down, to wait another three to four years to get a BTO flat would leave me no time to start a family. Everyone told me that Ken and I had to hurry up and apply for a flat together and then quickly get married once the flat application was successful."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Engaged Ladies (Put A Ring On It!)

Wrote on a previous post that my Fiance want to have gold wedding rings, so we browsed through some google image pictures: