Since this seems pretty novel to me.. Let’s give this a go!
I’m on Dayre! Woohoo!! Here’s my address: Dayre.me/jayelleenelial
I still love Instagram and Facebook though.
I know it’s like 10 months after I got engaged…. but if I don’t put this up, I might never forgive myself OR be able to keep posting about wedding stuff.
There was even a write up by one of my best friends, Melody, on Wedding Guide Asia, but I believe my old abandoned blog deserves this story. (COZ I REALLY WANT TO LAUNCH INTO THE OCCASIONAL POSTS ABOUT WEDDING PREP. )
This was what I wrote like, a week or so after the proposal:
We have talked about our wedding, whenever that may be, for ages already. It was just a bashful lingering unspoken question mark as to when he would finally ask me. Okay, maybe not so unspoken. I try to cleverly mask it with a playful facade but with deep threatening undertones whenever I ask “When ahhh”. HEHE.
Due to our busy schedules, taking time off to go away together is rare. The first suspicion I had was a weekend in Langkawi back in December 2011. Nothing.
A staycation at Pan Pacific Orchard last October. Nothing.
Then he said, “Dear ah, for our anniversary this year we go Luna Bar and celebrate k?”
Luna Bar was the place where we celebrated our first anniversary. It was to celebrate a year of being awkward around each other, of only holding hands and nothing else. I remember having lunch with the girls at Su-Hsien’s house that Saturday back in December 2005 and they said “Oooh!! Your anniversary tonight! Shouldn’t you be excited?” I wasn’t really. A year on and we haven’t even had our first kiss yet. There was still this blushing wall of shyness between the both of us.
But it also happened that evening while looking out at Kuala Lumpur from 33 floors above. I have always thought of that as the moment our relationship really and truly began. Our first kiss got the ball rolling to many years of openness and intimacy.
So like with all the weekend getaways and staycations,I just let it happen. Because who knows right?! Arranged friends to cover for me at my weekend job, told my parents I was coming home… it was a lot of effort to take but it might happen, fingers crossed.
I just thought it *might* happen but I didn’t know for sure.
A couple of days before we were to go back to KL to celebrate our anniversary, I was rushing for my HRMIS submission. Only government people would know what that is and will shake their heads in pity. It is sort of like an online KPI submission thing, a government initiative to go paperless but hoo boy, it only works with Internet Explorer and the server is super unstable. Key in your password wrong twice and you’re ban from entering until you get your main office to reset the password for you. I don’t know who said this but I think one of my seniors or colleagues said “Facebook also got a lot of people enter everyday lah won’t crash also?”
Right, so, the only computer at home that has Internet Explorer was Chee Kiang’s desktop. He was doing his night calls so he wasn’t there to lunge for the computer going, “NOOOOOooooooooo” as I fired up the computer. I needed to use Word and I saw that under most recent documents was the file called “Locations”.
My eyes skimmed the top part of the word document and I saw a few words.
“Luna Bar”, “Camera 1″, “Karthik”…….
I panicked and immediately closed the browser and curled into a ball and started crying my eyes out. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT WAS REALLY HAPPENING!! I didn’t allow myself to read the entire thing as I have already spoiled it so much. Chee Kiang would have been so upset!
I calmed down after 5 minutes of wailing (i know, so drama. But I was home alone.) and started trying on dresses.
I tried to enter denial mode, to regain that element of surprise. But nothing could stop me from smiling at him that extra bit more, or stroking him lovingly whenever. hahah Not that I don’t always, just that I threw in and extra amount of affection as all happy girlfriends do.
I spoiled my own surprise on Wednesday before the proposal (8/12/12). I willed myself to believe that it wasn’t going to happen on Thursday. By Friday I could feel a slight nervous flutter in my tummy but somehow I was more calm than nervous.
By Saturday, it was THE day. There was still a possibility that it might not happen but there were just so many clues that I kept picking up on. Like when I ‘ter-saw’ his whatsapp messages. One was from Esther, one of my best friend of 13 years, who said, “Do you think Jo will buy it?” and also from his dad “Video ok. All Ok.” I hastily told myself, ALRIGHT. THAT’S IT. ENOUGH WITH THE CLUES! STAY! AWAY!!
We travelled back from Johor Bahru on Saturday morning as we had to attend a friend’s wedding dinner the night before. I saw him constantly typing away on both his Malaysia and Singapore phones. I pretended not to notice. I’m usually super kepo and will ask annoying things like, “Who ah? Why ah? Say what wor!” My oblivion was a sign that he probably picked up on.
As the hours trickled on, the nervous bubble in my belly was welling up. But every time I reminded myself that it was him, the one that I feel most at ease with, most in love with, most comfortable with, most safe with…. why should I be scared? I had him to accompany me throughout this very exciting moment!
When I arrived home, I picked up on another hint. -_- Already anticipating something would happen, my mother said “Tonight must wear nice nice okay! Remember to wear your false eyelashes… memorable occasion!” … I just pokerfaced back at her and looked away before her eyes started giving more away. No more spoilers! Noo!
On the way to Luna Bar, I would sneakily try to feel his chest for any increase in heart rate. The man was so calm it was unbelievable! I thought when a guy is about to propose, they clam up and go all quiet and nervous.
It has been about seven years since we last stepped into Luna Bar together.
How did seven years go by so fast?
He hugged me in the lift and asked, “How long have we been together?”
I didn’t know how to answer and just smiled awkwardly while snuggling into his shoulder. IT’S COMING!!
The lift opened on the 33rd floor and a shell shocked Daryl and Kim stared at us. They were part of the surprise and I guessed as much that they were supposed to be somewhere else with our friends and family. Without much expression, they muttered to each other “eh what are you doing here man”. If I was being how I am normally, I would pipe up and make a big hoo hah about how awesome a coincidence it was, bumping into close friends all the way in the middle of KL! But I remained quiet because I was really curling into my shy cocoon already with every second.
Chee Kiang would explain to you what my shy cocoon is. When he asked me to be his girlfriend the first time in 2001, I curled up into a ball, not knowing how to answer him. When he asked me to be his girlfriend for the second time back in 2004 , I curled into a shrimp position (as we were lying down on a bunk bed on a train to Langkawi). Oh, he knows my shy cocoon. Always mocking me about it. >:((
We settled in at the spot where we sat to celebrate our 1st anniversary. I’m not sure how much the skyline has changed since then but we could still see KL Tower and KLCC clearly and a little bit of Genting Highlands in the distance if you squint hard enough. This was supposed to be a predinner kind of thing where we would head on to a steakhouse Jalan Tun HS Lee for a proper dinner.
Daryl and Kim, who almost blew their own cover, came to join us as they were “waiting for their friends to arrive”. It was all a blur of catching up, prodding our jacket potato half heartedly, generally me being awkward.
We then got up to leave Luna Bar as the sun was setting (that was his excuse for why we should go to Luna Bar before dinner: to see the sunset!), I thought to myself, “eh? not here meh? Hmm.. this is turning out to be even more of a surprise.” I smile slyly to myself. Still being awkward though, mind you!
We went down the lift and he showed me this picture.
“I want to show you your anniversary present. During my grad trip, I put this lock on a fence in Paris which had many similar locks. We need to go back to get it!”
In my mind I thought he had prepared a treasure hunt thing for me that night.
We kept walking towards the exit and then he stopped for awhile and felt his pockets, “Eh dear, I think I dropped the keys upstairs. Check your bag see whether got or not!”
I dug around my bag a bit. No keys. Side sly smile from me again intermingled with awkwardness.
“Okay we go back up to see.”
When we got back up to the bar he said, “Alright, you check the seats just now, I’ll go look in the toilet.”
It was pouring cats and dogs and if you’ve been to Luna Bar, you’ll understand that there’s a possibility of getting drenched at various parts of the bar.
I dashed past a bit of rain to search for the keys and when I looked up, a huge bouquet of roses was placed on the bench. It was like they magically appeared!!
I turned to my left and he was walking towards me with a cheeky smile and Daryl was behind him holding a video cam!! As much as I was anticipating something the entire night, it still came as a surprise! Oh god the anticipation.
He said, “Look up there!” pointing at the mezzanine floor.
Through the rain and my giddiness and my inability to make out faces past 15 metres or so (bad astigmatism), I could see a group of our friends holding placards that said, “Jo will you marry me?”
Me being me I just went, “OMG who is up there?!? I can’t see!!”
“Go up and see laaa”
I got up the stairs with my big bouquet of roses and they were all there!! A handful of my closest friends and our family members all cheering!
I was of course a little bit dazed and was slow to absorb all the effort he made. I suddenly noticed they were all wearing JO.CK tops! In pink and blue!!
According to him, pink and blue are to represent Team Kitty and Team Tiffany. Since I kinda go a bit mad at Hello Kitty accessories and Tiffany coloured items. :’) He knows me.
There was a LOT of glitter on the placards. :’)
And then there was a bubble machine. A BUBBLE MACHINE!!! Later on I asked him how come he decided to put a bubble machine and he reminded me that when we were at Marina Bay Sands a few months back, the gigantic bubble machine started spewing out bubbles during one of the evening water shows..I told him, “DEAR. SO MUCH BUBBLES!! This is the moment!! You can propose now!!” He remembered. :”’)
Anyway, after settling down a little, he brought me over to wear the bubbles had its maximum effect, took my bag and placed it aside and said, “Now for the important question…”
He got down on one knee and took out a velvet dark navy box, “Jolene Lai, will you marry me?”
A real life diamond ring was right in front of me. I started to well up and found myself digging at the ring, it wouldn’t budge out. Realizing that I was digging at the ring for quite a bit, I stopped because I probably looked quite desperate doing so..hahaha..
After he placed the ring, it was all a blur to me! As I told him later, I don’t think I even said yes. HAHA!
Yup. Had it resized since Chinese New Year already.
My mum is probably the happiest here..haha.
Our wonderful friends who helped out that night.
Some pictures of the gang as they waited patiently upstairs before our supposed arrival, haha!
So yeah.. that was pretty much what I wrote almost 10 months ago. If I were to continue writing from where I left off, I might not be able to sum up exactly how I felt afterwards so I will just leave it at that. ALSO, it has been a wedding year. Friends’ wedding, planning our own… oh god. I overdosed on wedding stuff until some months I give myself a couple of weeks off to not think about anything wedding related.
Nonetheless, I absolutely love the whole conceptualising stage, the ideas that are flowing, some DIY projects here and there.. all that I have been sharing non-stop on facebook and instagram. So thought why not put it on the blog too… as and when I feel like it!
Just for my friends on Facebook, I decided to come back and blow the dust off this old blog to have a platform to do a mini tutorial on how to make your own Instagram magnets!
From my Sticker Monster days, I have plenty of left over A4 magnetic paper. One side is magnet and the other side is of a paper kind of material! Fits right into my HP Inkjet printer. Those were the days when I had big ambitions to make pretty magnets for the sticker business. Those days are now long gone.
ANYWAY, yes so you will need:
A great addition to our already brimming with magnets fridge!
I was ecstatic when these epoxy squares arrived in the mail!
The first step is to scan the epoxy stickers. We need the dimensions of these squares in order to know how to size the Instagram pictures!
Fire up photoshop and get the actual pixels of the image. This shows you the exact size of the square when you print it out.
After getting the Actual Pixels, open up Image and go to Image Size. Select Document Size’s dimension in millimetres. The numbers will come up automatically. 25.57mm by 25.23mm. I’m not that anal so I’ll just place it at 25mm by 25mm.
Open up one of your Instagram (Square!) pictures and change the image size according to the size of the scanned epoxy square sticker. As you can see, I made it at 25mm by 25mm. That’s my new dog Beezer by the way! Angel is still alive and kicking.. and kicking Beezer whenever she gets the chance.
In true Jolene Lai fashion, I can get quite excessive with the things I do. So open up all your favourite Instagram pictures! Resize it all! (I used automated action. Go google it lah. Malas wanna explain so much). Open up a new empty document and go for 1000pixels by 1000pixels. Start copying each image and pasting it in.
Woot!! All done! You can print preview and see if it will come out nicely.
Printed it out! I think there’s something wrong with my printer or the quality from the facebook pictures I saved. Maybe should try directly from your Camera Roll (or SD card if you are using Android!), might be clearer, who knows.
This is the fun part! Take your epoxy stickers and place over each square picture.
Flatten it down. No need to worry about air bubbles but just give it a few presses for good measure!
Love the bubble, glossy, 3D effect!
This will make great gifts. You can go on tumblr and steal inspirational quotes by teenagers or crop out gorgeous pictures on Pinterest uploaded by bored housewives. Anything can be made into epoxy magnets!
As you can see, I am more active on Instagram than my blog here. So do follow me on Instagram!
As the meme proposal played in the background at Tim and Aud’s wedding, my high school buddy Marcus turned to Chee Kiang and said, “This Tim ar, spoil market for all of us man! After this, girls want a better and bigger proposal and must have video lah, must be viral lah, must have pictures lah! I think I need to have like a video camera strapped to my forehead to record every moment already to top that!” Though amusingly frustrated, he said it in such a good natured way that it just sums up the playful prodding that goes on between couples in long term relationships. In their mid to late twenties I might add. Ahem. Don’t lie. You and I, we are one of those couples.
The gorgeous deco at Tim and Aud’s wedding.
Observing the way Marcus lovingly, indirectly teased his girlfriend Stacy with the above statement, it resonates in so many of us long term couples who are constantly being mindfucked by all these awesome proposals and facebook announcements complete with blings. We can’t help but wonder for ourselves the lure of this last stage of the game before we settle down to become a proper family.
To a certain extend it is peer pressure, but mostly it is a reminder that your time is coming, for both the girl and the guy. You know it’s coming but you continue the pretense of not expecting and not thinking. Though I am guilty of shaking his shoulders screeching, “WHEEeeennnn my TurnnnnnnnnN!!!!” whenever a new facebook engagement announcement pops up. *shy*
Traditionally, there are certain things that girls will expect their guys to do for them. A proposal that comes with a ring. A grand declaration of love. So many girls out there like to claim that they are not like the next girl but deep down we all are. We might break a little at the thought of the amount spent on a piece of jewelry but we bite our lips and close our eyes and just be thankful that there is actually someone in this world who thinks you are worthy of a diamond ring.
A close friend was so practical that she even went ring shopping for her own engagement ring! She gave the ring back to her boyfriend and told him to surprise her when he felt like the time was right. “And when he did…..it was magical.” she gushed. The two of them are proof that you can make it special even if you know it is coming.
I’ve always had this impression that if you talk about it, think about it, nag about it or even lust after it, a marriage proposal might come off as being fake, a little too staged in fact. It’s probably one of the most awkward times in your life…even more so when you have been with this person for SO long! It is inevitable. But to think about when that moment would come, why should it even come? Don’t you already know the answer? Why do you even have to ask?! Get up! Get up!! Shy only!!
Often times the girls are made to look like we desperately want to get hitched and the guys running for their lives at the mere whiff of marriage plans. I initially got stuck writing this blog post. I was out of it for so long that I just didn’t know if what I wrote would ever make sense like how it once did. I told Chee Kiang to go to bed first because I *think* I might want to write something.
“Blog?!?” his eyes wide opened. I haven’t touched my blog for over six months.
“NO. It can be anything. A facebook note.. an article for a website somewhere … something.. YOU GO TO SLEEP LA. Don’t kepo.” I paiseh-ed, shy because I always told him that I’m so done with writing here. But sometimes when the inspiration to sit down and tap away at the keyboard hits you, I find myself back here.
He said he woke up this morning, turned on his iPad and found nothing on my blog. “You said you wanted to write one! About what leh! Tell!”
I didn’t want to tell him because it sounded silly but I slowly let him in on it and surprisingly he had his two cents too. He acknowledges that guys are bombarded by peer pressure and have a one step back approach when it comes to proposals, weddings and the whole shebang. Girls are always already knee deep in wedding preparation before the guy has even proposed. (You should see my pinterest boards. .____________. Not proud of it, but the wedding ideas are so pretty!!)
He believes that a proposal can be genuine and special even though the couple has been together for a very long time and are living together. I mean, that was my question to him, like wouldn’t it be weird for couples like us? You are practically family and on some days, squabbling like brother and sister because of the close proximity. It does seem like an entire show and dance that you know you don’t really need to act out and that it should just be about the two of you. But with a dash of guilt thrown in, you know that you want it to be the most unique one that will be the game changer. The next benchmark!
A super sweet proposal that would make anyone tear is every girl’s dream. We love creativity and effort. It’s the same concept as the one we wanted you to apply when it was your turn to surprise us with sweet homemade valentine’s day gifts when we first started dating. Make it something unique, something us.
And lastly, don’t forget to get it down on video.