Sunday, September 10, 2017

Childhood Montage & Prewedding Video in Korea!

For our first march in, we had the childhood montage followed by proposal highlights. We videoed and edited the whole video ourselves! It was so much hard work! The ending part is very long because that was screened while we cut the cake and all that after march in haha. Forgot to edit before I upload.



For the second march in, we screened the prewedding video taken in Korea during our prewedding shoot! Still have very happy memories whenever I look at this video.



Enjoy!
For our morning highlights, go to:
http://www.estherxie.com/2017/08/wedding-videography-by-istudio.html

For other wedding related entries, go to:
http://www.estherxie.com/p/wedding.html

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My Taobao Wedding with Ezbuy

Today, I wanna share about some of the wedding hauls I got from Taobao through ezbuy!

Red bridal robe in the morning before I change into my first gown. I wanted to wear something nice instead of my usual sleeping clothes because I know the photographer will take photos! It is also silky soft and comfortable! Get it via ezbuy Prime https://ezbuy.sg/product/20000000212522.html



I bought plenty of these decor for the house! It's so much cheaper than getting from the retail shops in Singapore. Each piece is less than $1! You can get it via this link.


My own bouquet is from TheFlowerGodmother but for my bridesmaids, I got these white bouquets from at only less than $10 each via ezbuyhttps://ezbuy.sg/product/20000004548817.html




Wrist corsages too! Each is like few cents only!


Dartboard for one of the gatecrash games. Link: https://ezbuy.sg/product/20000004548841.html


My favourite buy should be this love nest ring holder during the solemnization! There is option to customize the wooden board inside but I decide the default is already nice. It's only $10+ and comes with several colours. Get it here: https://ezbuy.sg/product/20000004548823.html Something different from the geometric terrarium ring box that almost every bride is using nowadays.


Glittery gold pen to sign our marriage cert. https://ezbuy.sg/product/20000004548824.html


And carrot pens for the reception at less than a dollar each! Fits our garden theme just nice plus they are so cute! We didn't manage to get any of these back after the wedding though..... Wonder where they went. Lol. https://ezbuy.sg/product/20000004360374.html



Also got red packets from Taobao! Each piece at just few cents. There are many different designs available and I got mine here: https://ezbuy.sg/product/20000000232120.html

We placed our red packets in this nice pouch!


We also bought a number of things for our guo da li!
Tea set https://ezbuy.sg/product/20000003511444.html


Trays that came in handy.


Stickers. These are really useful! Usually for guo da li we put this double xi sticker on everything!


Ribbons


Also got plastic bags and canvas totes with the double Xi word!

Thank you cards for my bridesmaids...


Floral boxes for my bridesmaids gifts...



Why shop from Taobao? It's way cheaper because shopping directly from the country of origin helps to bypass any importer, exporter, distributor or retailed. I saved so much money by getting some of the items through Taobao!

I used ezbuy Prime, which gave me unlimited shipping fee at only $2.99 each time regardless the size, weight or quantity! Needless to say I compiled all the items in my shopping cart and only checked out at one go! Another benefit of Prime is that it includes all Buy-For-Me services such as Purchase, Inspection and After-sales support + instant upgrade to SVIP membership to enjoy 50% off agent fee!


Something special for you all, Free $10 Shopper Voucher when you register through this link!

More wedding related entries on: http://www.estherxie.com/p/wedding.html

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Berjaya Tioman Resort Diving Trip

Followed the husband and his friends to Tioman for a short diving weekend last month! With the exception of Maldives, this is the first time I'm tagging along with him on his diving trip!

We set off on Friday straight after work and took a mini bus into Malaysia, and then all the way to Mersing, before changing into a small speedboat which led us out to the middle of the sea to change into a bigger ferry that got us to Tioman. By the time we reached our resort, it was around 3am! I must say the journey was extremely tiring (traveling long distances in the bus) and uncomfortable (strong fan blowing constantly at me in the ferry -_-), to the point that I questioned myself why didn't I just stayed at home.

Well, all became better in the morning!

Berjaya is supposedly the best resort on Tioman island but honestly it just feels like chalet to me. Haha. I can't imagine what the other resorts are like.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Wedding Videography by Istudio

The very first time I saw a wedding video done by Istudio, it left a deep impression on me. It was one of the best actual day video I have ever seen. The editing, the pace, everything. It was romantic, yet not boring. It was funny, yet touching.

So when I was looking out for a videographer for my wedding, I used that video as a benchmark. I looked through some sites and while there are some that are not bad, there was nothing special enough like the one I saw on Istudio's page.

Eventually, I met up with Istudio and got to know more about their operations and was convinced to have them as our videgrapher.

Istudio is a big team based in Malaysia, with clienteles from Singapore as well as China. I liked the fact that it was not a one-man show, and I did not have to worry about reliability.

We had a total of 3 videographers for our wedding. To be honest, their packages are pricier than other videographers in Singapore but if you consider the quality of service, it is really value for money. I think that Istudio's major selling point is that it's a very experienced company and the quality is consistent. I like their editing best, they really know how to bring the mood alive.

We set aside a day before the wedding for a short prewedding video shoot for some clips to be included in our actual day video. We went to Macritchie Reservior for the shoot!


Here's our express video which our videographer Nelson managed to rush out for us within a short time! They even included our 1st march in into the video, shown right after our 2nd march in! So many guests told me they liked my video!


If you are keen, whatsapp Jacob from Istudio +60 12-725 9126 or email to enquiry@istudio.com.my for more details

Check out other videos by Istudio:
https://www.facebook.com/Istudio-Video-Productions-237718283815/
https://vimeo.com/user5053128

In my next entry I'd share our childhood + proposal video which we played before 1st march in and he prewedding video taken in Korea for our 2nd march in! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lobster Porridge at Wan He Lou



I just had an exceptionally satisfying and yummy weekend! Discovered four restaurants that I believe I would definitely go back again!

We had a great start to the weekend at Wan He Lou for lunch on Saturday, then Korean BBQ at Ju Shin Jung (omg why did I only find this place now? Best Korean BBQ ever!), Sunday dinner with my family at a value-for-money steamboat place in Downtown East (super good deal for the variety), and Beauty in a Pot with the girls on Monday night! Technically Monday is not weekend but it's continuous good food since the weekend!

Blogging about Wan He Lou today! Highlight is definitely their signature lobster porridge but the rest of the dishes were delicious too.

We started off with this plate of baked xiao long bao! Juicy skin with a juicy filling, a slight twist to the usual steamed ones.



Honestly I wasn't particularly interested at the Pan Fried Kurobuta Pork when it was served because it looked like any other plate of zhi-char stir fry but wow wow wow, besides being really delicious, the meat is very tender and has the perfect chew. Not sure how to describe but it's really surprising how a simple dish like this can be so good. It's a definite order for me on my next visit!


Crispy Lotus Root with Salted Egg! Unlike most popular options that go with Salted Egg (e.g. pork ribs, luncheon meat, fried chicken wings, etc), lotus root is a healthier and less oily alternative for those who love anything salted egg yolk. Thinly sliced and with the right amount of salted egg, I like how it's not like the usual creamy salted egg yolk, which made it so easy for me to eat slice after slice. So addictive! If only they sell it in snack packs!


Scallop with Cheesy Black Truffle Sauce, one of their National Day specials - it didn't have a strong truffle flavour during my visit but still yummy nevertheless. Scallop and melted cheese never goes wrong.


Another National Day Special, the Chilli Crab Pate paired with Poached Langustine features fresh prawns with our countries' signature chilli crab sauce. Their take on the sauce is mostly spicy with a tinge of tangy and sweetness.


And on to the highlight - THE SIGNATURE LOBSTER PORRIDGE. I was honestly not expecting much because I generally like anything with lobsters. The soup definitely won us over at first sip - I am not exaggerating. This must be the best lobster broth I ever had. I want to go back for more!

The description on their website is exactly what it is: The porridge is cooked Teochew style with loose rice grains swimming in rich golden soup enhanced with lobster roe and accompanied by bright springy lobster. A blanket of fresh spring onions completes the dish, resulting in a dish that is comforting and yet fresh without being too rich.


Love the presentation of this lovely coconut dessert, which is coconut pudding topped with coconut ice cream in a coconut! It was a lovely end to our awesome lunch.


Conveniently located at the heart of Jalan Besar, the restaurant has a cosy and casual vibe offering the best of Chinese cuisine at the most affordable prices.



I would surely recommend Wan He Lou for good chinese cuisine, perfect for family gatherings! Already made plans with Clare to have dinner there on our next meet up and even the husband was so impressed that he suggested to go there for our next family dinner.

I have two $20 vouchers to give away to two lucky winners! Follow me on instagram and like the photo of the lobster porridge to win! www.instagram.com/theiceangel

WAN HE LOU
65 Maude Road (S) 208347
+65-6294 8057   +65-9138 6330

Opening Hours
Monday - Sunday

Lunch: 11am to 2:30pm
Dinner: 5am to 10:30pm

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Maldives



I had actually wanted to blog about our honeymoon in Europe first but looking at the number of photos I need to sort, I think I shall share photos from our recent trip to Maldives instead! I still have vacation photos from Melbourne last year, Genting earlier this year, Hong Kong from earlier this month and I'd be heading to Tioman and Japan next. Oh my goodness, the sheer amount of backlog makes me wanna hire someone to go to work for me so that I can stay home and finish everything asap. Haha. Actually, it's just procrastination lah, I like blogging but I hate the part where I have to "select photos, correct and resize photos, upload photos, copy and paste photos in sequence"; It's such a hassle especially for photo-heavy entries especially the last part! Sometimes I wish I can get someone to do this for me. I just wanna write, let someone else settle the photos!

So anyway, Maldives.



My husband is a big fan of diving and during our dating days, he once mentioned that he hopes to dive in Maldives one day. So in the midst of our wedding preparations last year, I was also secretly researching for this surprise trip. To make it special, I decided it should be for his birthday and did it this year because it's the first time I'm celebrating his birthday as his wife! And also because I kan-chiong. I cannot keep it inside me for another year. Haha.

The surprise was not easy to plan at all!

1. Air Tickets
Early this year, Tigerair had a very very very attractive promo and I almost purchased the air tickets there and then. Luckily, I am the type that prefer not to book things too early in advance in case of schedule changes and the sale ended while I was busy contemplating.

In the end I booked Singapore Airlines which was more expensive but it was the right choice because a month after purchasing the air tickets, we somehow had a conversation which led to him mentioning that his diving gear alone is 20kg already. We wouldn't have sufficient baggage if I had chosen Tigerair!

2. Dates

Another good thing that came out of me missing the air tickets sale, was the dates! I initially chose to go on his birthday week... and one fine day, he suddenly mentioned that he was having reservist the next day right after his birthday! Wahpiang! Heng ah, I didn't purchase those air tickets early!

In the end, I chose another weekend on his birthday month and decided to reveal on the first day of the month. I cannot do it too last minute because he needs time to pack his diving gears too. I couldn't do it for him because I have no idea what they are!

Then, I had to make sure that he keeps that weekend free. So when he told me his friend asked him to help out at his solemnization, I panicked. This kind of thing cannot last minute cancel one leh! I had to message his friend the next day to tell him about the surprise, so that he can find someone else instead. I was very sad for him when his friend withdrew his offer because he was so excited about it the night before! I decided to not take the risk and quickly told him that a hotel is sponsoring staycation for that weekend so that he can block out the dates :x

3. Applying Leave
I got his colleague to help apply leave and almost didn't manage to get it approved because it's a busy year for him. Am very thankful that his boss eventually let him go!

On 1st June, I gave him an envelope and told him his dad asked him to help him read. Inside are the air tickets and accommodation booking confirmations. He really seriously thought that it's work stuff until he saw his name on the air tickets! Hahaha.

SURPRISE SUCCESS!

A week later, we set off to Maldives!

There are many different islands in Maldives and some resorts require guests to take the sea plane from the airport, which sometimes cost as much as the air ticket from Singapore. Am glad our resort was only a 20 minutes away by speedboat!




The beautiful view that greeted us upon reaching the resort.


Such a gorgeous background definitely calls for OOTD time.


I knew that the scenery was going to be especially pretty so I made sure to pack nice clothes for the vacation! I selected some pieces off Tobi.com (Free shipping on all orders to Singapore!) and brought along three which arrived just in time for me to pack into the luggage before we left for the trip! One of them is the teal floral dress above. Chose it because of the unique colour and pretty prints! Matchy with the pristine waters!



For our accommodation, we experienced two options!

What is Maldives without staying in a overwater villa? However, they are very pricey and one night can go up to a thousand dollars or more. Hence, to save money we stayed in a beach bungalow for one night before moving into a water villa for the rest of our vacay. I'm glad we did that because both accommodation had its own beauty.



Here are photos of our super nice water villa! I was actually surprised at the well-maintained condition inside... I thought it would be very "chalet" like most beach resorts but its definitely hotel standard. Extremely clean, comfortable, and modern!







Imagine waking up to this view right outside your bedroom. LOVE is the only word here.

]

The walk back to our villa. Feels so peaceful and away from the rest of the world :)


*Warning* Massive photo spam below. I couldn't resist!



Seriously, anyhow take also nice! This is why I have so many repeated scenes in this entry. I couldn't decide which one is better so I just post all!






Okay lah insert one photo of the husband before continuing with more photos of myself. Haha.













Love how we could jump in for a swim anytime we want. We did that several times during our stay!



The only gripe we had was that the waters below our villa had a rocky sand bed and so it was painful to walk barefoot in it. The first time we went into the waters, it was almost impossible to swim without touching the rocks but after that we realize it's because of the low tide at that particular timing! Afterwards we swam during higher tide and it was better. Snorkeled a little and saw lots of fishes swimming around! 


Took more photos around the premises! Gathering more material for Instagram... I definitely took enough to last an entire month. Hahaha! Spent several thousands on this trip, must make full use of it!









The Superior Beach Bungalow was good too! Buggy rides are provided for all guests so we had no difficulty getting around even though our room is located a distance away from the lobby. Imagine our surprise when we got on a random buggy to go back to our room and the staff (i don't recall any prior interaction with him) knew our room number even before we said it! I asked if they remember all the guests and he said ya, most of them. Am very impressed!

I personally think the beach bungalows are perfect for couples who want some privacy. It's quieter here compared to the water villa area (we had a unit facing the back of the island).





Newly wed married offer~ Wine and fruits! We forgot the wine and left it there when we moved to the water villa the next day!


The bungalow has a spacious bathroom and an outdoor shower attached!


The back door leads out to the beach!



THIS VIEW. Imagine this right outside your back door. So pretty! Best thing is, this stretch of beach is very private because most guests use the main beach at the island front so it's like we had the whole beach to ourselves!


Very clear waters!



And if you prefer some shade...


Moving on to our main point of the trip - Diving for the husband! There's a dive center on this island and he booked almost every single diving session available during our trip.






Spent most of my afternoons on the rocky boat waiting for him to finish his dives. A diver's wife is no different from a fisherman's wife (except that I don't get to eat fish after that).

So to make good use of the time.... I took many many many photos. Haha.







Him going onto his night dive at the house reef~  This session didn't require us to boat out so I was able to roam freely on land~


Happy husband!


We also did other activities!

I didn't want to spend on Jetski because I already tried it in Bintan before. So, we used the money on this thing called Seabob, which is almost like Jetski but with our body in the water. It's around SGD 65 for 15 minutes so it's also quite pricey but new experience so quite worth it lah! The machine is slightly too heavy for me though, so it was hard for me to control. Purpose is to actually go underwater with it but I prefer to stay afloat. Hahaha. The husband had fun zooming around the waters with it!


Shark feeding time~! The crew threw in huge pieces of meat and the sharks came in to feast. Quite scary actually cos it's happening within the same lagoon as our water villa! They disappeared back into the seas after that.


My first successful attempt at snorkeling! Quite a feat considering that I can't even swim hehe. All thanks to the husband who was pulling me along in the right direction throughout! Happy to experience the underwater wildlife with him! Didn't bring my camera underwater, only have his video which is in the vlog above! Also, serves me right for wearing full makeup to snorkeling because both my fake eyelashes fell off inside my mask while I'm in the middle of the sea. Hahaha. It's quite enjoyable though... Looking forward to more snorkeling sessions in future!


Dolphin sunset cruise! Machiam sit on the dive boat for the entire afternoon not enough, still sign up for evening cruise! haha. Saw plenty of dolphins but they were so fast that it was impossible to capture on the camera. Caught it on video though, do check out my vlog above!





Children's playground which we played at for a little while~ There was also a tennis court, bicycle rental, and more which we didn't get to utilize. People say that Maldives is very boring, but our day was filled full with activities and not enough time! haha.


Swimming pool which we didn't care about because the sea was right at our doorstep. Hahaha.














Self-timer shot!


Add on some filter... is it got more feel?



Walked past this quiet beach at the side after our snorkeling session and it's so pretty that I went back just to take some photos!





Italian restaurant with an ocean front.




I was very happy to find fried chicken on the buffet line because I was craving for it!





In the day above and during dinner time below.



There was a performance while we had our dinner!


Another night we tried the restaurant at the lagoon.



This restaurant was much more quiet because its main diners are those staying in the water villa nearby. Food options are lesser too... But I liked it because they serve lamb chops!


We went back during the day and it's so pretty!









Tried this dish called "Mashuni". It is a typical Maldivian breakfast composing of tuna, onion, coconut, and chilli finely chopped and mixed with grated coconut. Oh I realize that they have ALOT of tuna! Almost all the fish I ate there was tuna. Even the fish and chips is made of Tuna meat!




We saw these set up along the beach.... Romantic leh!


On our final night at the resort, we stayed in our water villa and ordered room service.


The best thing about the meal besides the view, was the iced coke in our wine glasses. It's overpriced coke though, because we took it out from the mini bar. Haha. But we were in self-pampering mood at night so nevermind lah. Nothing beats ice-cold cola.



Am wearing this Haven Rose Crop Top from Tobi! Just thought it fitted the beach setting perfectly. Comes in Olive as well but I chose rose because I wanted the pastel feminine look. Took the opportunity to take some shots around the villa in this pretty off shoulder piece! Love how it pairs so well with denim.






The resort was more than awesome but I'm glad we also took some time to experience life in the city area! It's quite a huge contrast but a good experience because afterall, resorts are full of tourist and we don't really get to meet or interact with locals.

We stayed a night in Noomoo Hotel in Hulhumae, which is just a short drive from the airport. Although it's officially a 4-star hotel, honestly it can't compare with the 4-star in Singapore lah. It's just a simple and small hotel, but the rooms are clean and the service is professional (staff made the effort to learn mandarin and we were also served a welcome drink upon arrival). There is free wifi too! The walls are quite thin though, the kids next door were screaming early in the morning and we had no choice but to tolerate it.





Didn't notice there's a balcony till the next morning before we were about to check out. Haha.




Breakfast at the diner next door!



Simple breakfast food + freshly fried eggs.



Took a morning stroll around the vicinity! Am wearing another piece c/o Tobi.com - Layla Rose Floral Print Romper. I especially like rompers with this fitted cutting as it's very flattering. Not too tight, not too loose. I think it'd be a staple in my wardrobe because it's perfect for casual days when you don't want to look too dressed up but still want to look good! The fabric was soft to touch so it's very comfy too!









Was left with a grand total of USD5 so we tried to look for something that is USD5 at the airport. Happily looked at the wide number of choices on the cafe menu only to realize that all prices are before 6% tax. In the end we bought something that is USD4+ and received 5 dollars in Maldivian rufiyaa. USD5 in exchange for 5 Maldivian rufiyaa!


And... I'm finally done with this entry! Omg. Thought it'd be fast but I took so many days to finish this post. Hope you guys enjoyed it! :)

For more travel stories, visit http://www.estherxie.com/p/wander.html