Bullet Point Mondays: About Last Weekend

  • So The Moffatts, ultimate boyband of my youth, were in Singapore last Saturday as part of their farewell tour. My sister and I figured it'd be a shame not to go; after all, their pictures did adorn every single inch of our room's walls. ("Ano bang kademonyohan yan (What in the devil is that)?!?" my grandma would ask whenever she entered.)
  • On the one hand, it's like I was back to being a giddy teenager ("Where are your classmates?", I asked my sister, referring to her colleagues), and on the other hand, it's practically a Titas of Manila convention (Singapore chapter). In case you're not aware, the band has not released an album in like fifteen years, so they haven't really accumulated any new fans since then. In fact the only person in attendance not over twenty was literally an infant. I too, am wondering why someone would bring her newborn to a concert but I try not to judge too much
  • It was not a great concert, by any stretch of the imagination (the aging process has not been kind to Scott and his vocal chords), but admittedly it was so very amusing. Like, wow, at one point in my life I thought this was cool. My only regret was not being able to wear this shirt. It would've been so perfect!
  • I have to say I am happy and thankful that at the height of my concert-going days, smartphones and selfie sticks were not yet a thing. Gah. If I wanted to watch the band through a teeny tiny screen I would've just stayed home. 
  • The following day we had lunch at Shimbashi Soba in Paragon (probably the only mall in Orchard not inundated with people on a Sunday). Quite pricey, but their noodles are fresh and hand-made. We ordered the seasonal yuzu soba, and it was seriously, seriously good. Like maybe-we-should-also-have-dinner-here-later good. 
  • Last but not least, the hype for Bake cheese tarts has died down (no queue in the Ion Orchard shop!), which meant it was time for us to try them. The verdict: good enough to risk the migraine, but I wouldn't queue for more than five minutes. 
Have a great week ahead!

The Eight Stages of Wedding Planning, According to Me

* May or may not have happened irl *

1: Sweet sweet fantasy, baby

You just got engaged, and everything is possible.

Peonies, peonies everywhere.
Brunch reception, a la Gossip Girl.
Haute couture wedding gown.
The Vitamin String quartet.
Fireworks, and a chocolate fountain.
Monogrammed table linen.
And a little bit of DIY (thank you, Pinterest), because every wedding needs a ~personal~ touch.

2: The Wedding Forum Wormhole

You subscribe to every single echo chamber bridal forum known to man. This is your life now, for the next twelve months. You get very useful tips, like what aspects of the wedding to invest on.

Invest in the coordinator, as they will make or break your wedding.
Invest in the food, because that is all the guests will remember.
Invest in the rings, because you don't scrimp on jewelry you will wear forever. Or until your fifth wedding anniversary when you decide to upgrade, but you don't know that yet.
Invest in the photos, because that is all you get to keep in the end. Apart from the rings.
Invest in the bridal gown, because, let's face it, it sets the overall tone of the wedding.
Invest in the bridal car, because the dress, which sets the tone of the wedding, needs a grand entrance.
Invest in the entourage dresses, because if they look cheap, you look cheap.
Invest in the music, because it sets the tone of the wedding. Not as much as the bridal gown, but still. The gown might need some help.
Invest in the flowers, because nothing ruins the tone of the wedding more so than horrible flowers. I mean, your dress worked so hard!
Invest in the makeup artist, because duh.
Invest in the band, because that is all the guests will remember. Wait, that was the food. But they will also remember this. THEY REMEMBER EVERYTHING.

You know what you can scrimp on? Your meals, for the next twelve months, so you can trim your weight down to that time when people thought you were either anorexic or on drugs.

3: Reality Hits

You start tallying the costs and realize that the only way you could afford it is if you can somehow get rid of that one extra zero at the end. You consider selling your kidney. Your church can only fit half your guests. You've been dieting for a month and you've only lost half a pound. Maybe if you manage to sell your kidney you lose half a pound more, but no prospects so far. Also, apparently kidneys were not as expensive as you thought.

4: Bargaining

You decide you don't really care about the flowers, after all. Peonies schmonies. And the guests don't keep souvenirs, do they? As long as they're well-fed... You forego the photo albums (who keeps physical albums these days, anyway?) and the prenup video, so you can save your entourage from having to wear ill-fitting infinity dresses. Your girls love you, but not that much. And string quartet? Psssh, your guests can entertain themselves.

There are still no takers for your kidney, so the designer wedding dress would have to go as well.

5: Decisions, decisions

After weeks of research, you have finally picked out a photographer. No really, this one is it. But wait, this other photographer is getting a lot of praises in two of the seventy-five bridal forums. Maybe you should consider him. Oh look, the first one just got featured in a bridal blog. You really should book him before someone snaps him up. You send him an email. He does not reply! It's already been, what, five long minutes? Why won't he reply? Maybe he's already booked! You were too late! You should have booked him months ago, when he was 0.001% less popular! What were you thinking, "sleeping on it"?!? That other photographer's not as good. In fact he's crap. Okay he's not crap, but still. Why did you have to get married in December? Everyone's getting married in December. There's too much competition! Maybe you should change your wedding date. Someone contacted you about your kidney, so maybe it's alright to let go of your downpayment... Oh look, he replied. Still available. Yay.
{Repeat 20x}

6: Ctrl+Z

You have booked all your suppliers, and you're 100% convinced you've made the wrong decision for every single one. You spend the coming weeks stalking the works of other suppliers and hating yourself for the hasty decision-making. One Friday night as you scroll through your instagram feed you find the ~perfect~ photo. This is it, you think. This is what I should have booked in the first place. You start rehearsing your script to explain to your groom why you're losing thousands of pesos in downpayment (and why it's a good idea), until you check the photo owner. It's your original supplier.
{Repeat 20x}

7: @#$%^*$!!!

Your wedding dress is too plain. Yes, you said you wanted a plain dress. But this is too plain.
Your tell your stylist you want copper details, and he shows up with a gold sequined runner.
You don't have an arrhae. Also you don't know what an arrhae is, exactly.
You fly home over the weekend for a very important "seminar" that you need for the license. When you get to city hall, the person conducting the seminar is... elsewhere, so they decide it's not that important and give you the license anyway
Your coordinator still thinks your theme is rustic, even if your peg board says MODERN in big bold letters.
Your mother tells you she only has 40 guests and then sends you a list of 80 people, not including +1's.
A tropical cyclone forms and threatens to make landfall a few days before your wedding. Your caterer calls to tell you they might not be able to put up tents because the wind is too strong.
Your maid of honor's dress does not fit, and she blames you because you keep inviting her to eat out.
You have your nails done under horrible lighting and what looked like a gorgeous taupe in the salon was actually the color of poop.
You have absolutely no idea what to do for your first dance.
No one has RSVPed, but you knew that already. No one RSVPs.

You start looking forward to the day after your wedding.

8: #TeamNoSleep

You only have two hours of sleep because you spent the entire night wrapping presents for your entourage (as it turns out, furoshiki is not as easy as the YouTube videos make it out to be). You open your hotel room doors and let the makeup team in. Ten seconds later and you're in front of the church, veil flapping in the wind, clutching a hastily put-together bouquet because your florist got confused and sent you the wrong one. Your photo and video team are desperately trying to keep people out of the shot, your coordinator is furiously whispering on her headset, and all you can do is breathe.
The church doors open.
Your groom is ugly crying.

Totally worth it.

Chasing Lights

It's hard not to fall in love with Iceland.
I could not think of a more perfect place to usher in the new year, and our new life as a married couple as well. ^^

Granted, the dead of winter is not the most ideal honeymoon weather - we had so many layers on we couldn't even manage a hug - but we did end up utterly, utterly smitten.

We stayed in this really neat little concept hotel called Reykjavik Lights. I have been all about concept hotels lately and this one, with its Scandinavian decor and rain showers (which I am also a sucker for), is a clear favorite. Not the most convenient, though, as it's a bit far from the city center, but most of the time we were on tours so it was not too big of an issue.

We wanted to keep our itinerary relaxed and maybe just a tad bit lazy (it is our honeymoon, after all) so apart from a couple of pre-bookings we mostly just played it by ear. Icelandic weather is notorious for being unpredictable, so it also was nice to have the flexibility to move things about. Most tours can be booked on short notice, anyway, and they pick you up directly from the hotel; it's all very convenient, really.

Our favorite trips were with GeoIceland. They operate relatively small tour groups, the guides are fun and knowledgeable, and the buses are clean and roomy. They also provided crampons to keep us from slipping on the icy footpaths (people were slipping and sliding and just getting completely wiped out everywhere we went, so these were lifesavers).

A definite highlight of this trip was the Sólheimajökull glacier walk.
Anything that involves glaciers, really, is a sure win for me, but my goodness! It was absolutely breathtaking. I could probably stand there for hours, just taking in the majesty of it all. Pictures don't do it justice, words don't do it justice.

Now to address the elephant in the room: we did see the Northern Lights! It took us three tries, and hours upon hours of shivering in the bitter cold until the universe finally decided we were worthy. We have actually given up at that point, having waited for hours to no avail, and everyone was already asleep as the bus made its way back to Reykjavik. And then without warning all the lights on the bus suddenly turned on, accompanied by shouts of "Lights! Lights! We have lights!" and immediately every single person on the bus sprang into action and made a mad dash outside. Unfortunately what was promising to be a spectacular show was overrun by clouds in no time, but we'd have to be content with what felt like a mere glimpse.

I do wish someone told me it was prettier in photos than in real life. At one point I was convinced my camera was making things up because it would register this pretty green stripe when all I can see is gray. It's almost like cheating, except I don't know how I'm doing it.

The Blue Lagoon is one big giant tourist trap - it's near the airport, it sells ridiculously overpriced products, and, in a country with no shortage of jaw-dropping, disgustingly beautiful natural wonders, is completely manmade. I am also not the biggest fan of hot springs, or frolicking in the water in general. And yet every single moment I spent here, I loved.

A steamy hot outdoor pool in subzero temperatures is not exactly my idea of relaxation, but I am so happy to have been proven wrong. Worth the initial panic of having to shower naked in an open-plan cubicle with complete strangers (years and years of Catholic schooling have lasting effects, see).

I can't wait to go back.