I felt bad about the lack of entertainment for the guests, so I arranged for a 2 hours photobooth session. I am utterly grateful to vendors for taking in my last minute requests, I hate changes so I can imagine how they must feel. :/

Our expenses thus far:

Dinner: Estimated $21,000 before corkage
Cake, Favours, Cards, Flowers: $2,550
Hair and Make Up, Gown and Suit Stuff: $2,600
Chinese Things: $1,700
Photography, Photobooth: $3,200
Car Rental, Hotel Room: $1,000
Angbao Withdrawl: $1,000

This w is going to cost us at least $33,000!

I hate weddings.


Staying Alive!

So on top of dealing with actual w preparations, A and I have become transport, F&B and entertainment coordinators as well.

I wish there is someone else out there with my level of efficiency and organisational skills. That will make the world a better place to live in. 

vPost continues to win Part 2

I’m not sure if the mother is impressed or disconcerted with my little online shopping wins (in particular with the canned pork leg and safebox), but it was enough to tempt her into asking me to buy a dress for her online. Once again the merchant only ships within the United States, so I had to route the package to vPost. The amusing thing is that the warehouse is located Mississippi whereas vPost US is located in Oregon, so the package literally traveled across the country via Fedex!

A breakdown of the timeline:

08/06, 12:30PM: Placed dress order
10/06, 12:00PM: Merchant informed me that package was on its way
16/06, 5:00AM: vPost informed me that package had arrived
16/06, 5:00PM: Made payment for package
20/06, 12:30PM: Received package

I am constantly amazed by vPost, it is hard to imagine that it is run by the same company that oversees our abysmal local post.

If it is of interest to anyone, the item was a lightweight maxi dress and vPost charged me $32.14 for shipping. It was of little interest to me, since the mother was paying for it.

ShopBack + Redmart Part 2

This must be our craziest buy yet: we bought a freaking safebox online!

So after 过大礼 we realised we had amassed quite a handful of jewellery and suddenly getting a home safe seemed more of a need than a want.

We went to one of the Home-Fix stores to check out the safeboxes in person. Home-Fix largely carries two popular brands: SentrySafe and Yale. After some comparison, we settled on a model and were almost ready to find a sales assistant when this conversation came up:

“Do you think they will deliver?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s buy and carry home.”

“But it’s so heavy?!”

“If we order online, will they do free delivery?”

“I bet it’s cheaper if we order online!”

That’s when we left Home-Fix and proceeded to check online for cheaper alternatives. Yes, we are pariahs of the society.

Anyway, turns out Redmart carries the exact model that we were looking for! The price listed was exactly the same as in-store, so with free delivery (above $49) it was already more worthwhile buying online.

So let’s do the math again:

  1. Without giving away our safe model, let’s assume the list price is $300
  2. Returning customers at ShopBack are entitled to a 8% cashback on the final amount at checkout ($24)
  3. The DBS Live Fresh Card gives 5% cashback on online purchases ($15)

In total I saved $39, which is 13%! Free delivery also ensures that A doesn’t pull his back before the w, so all in all it was a good deal. I ordered some bottles of beers as well (non alcoholic and alcoholic because A cannot decide which one he is), Redmart actually stocks unique brands that can’t be found at local supermarkets!

I sound like a Redmart spokesperson, but I’m not paid to write any of this (I wish I was) (Redmart doesn’t know I exist). I love free delivery, and I love discounts!

(Sorry Home-Fix)

ShopBack + Redmart Part 1

In these past few months I’ve shopped online extensively for various reasons. Recently because of 过大礼 we had to purchase 14 cans of pork leg, so I took to the internet to find the cheapest source of canned pork leg.

The best solution I found was a combination of ShopBack + Redmart + Credit Card rebates. Redmart carries the Narcissus Pork Leg with Mushrooms at $3.95, which is the same as Fairprice. That combined with free delivery for purchases over $30 for new customers was enough to convince me to skip buying at Fairprice, but I went ahead anyway to compute the additional savings:

  1. At 14 cans of $3.95, my purchase came up to be $55.30
  2. First time customers at Redmart are entitled a 10% discount ($5.53)
  3. First time customers at ShopBack are entitled to a 10% cashback on the final amount at checkout ($4.98)
  4. The DBS Live Fresh Card gives 5% cashback on online purchases ($2.49)

So my savings totaled up to be $13, or 23.5%. That’s pretty neat, especially since no one bothers about the ceremonial 过大礼.

Additional thoughts:

  1. I like that Redmart lets me choose my delivery slots, although on the day of delivery the guy called to ask if he could deliver earlier as he was around the neighbourhood. Thankfully the mother-in-law was home to intercept the delivery.
  2. Some of the cans came banged up and didn’t look very presentable for 过大礼, but no one pointed that out so A and I kept mum. I suppose one cannot expect all items to be in perfect condition, and I’m willing to let that slide on the account of my 23.5% in savings.
  3. The DBS Live Fresh Card has some caveats that I am very certain A is not aware of, so for clarity’s sake I shall elucidate here: the 5% cashback is earned only if there’s a minimum spending of $700 in a month, and cashback is capped at $70. It means for any given month (for as long as the promotion runs), you should only spend between $700 and $1,400 in order to maximise the 5% rebate. Don’t you just hate Terms and Conditions?

Forehead bumps, and how to get rid of them

About 2 years back my forehead started breaking out in the form of tiny colourless bumps. They were obvious under sunlight and felt gross to the touch. Prior to this, I never had break out issues barring the occasional zit during my periods.

At that time my sister was visiting a beautician regularly for her skin issues, so I went along hoping that the sessions would eradicate those bumps forever. The beautician attributed the growth to “hormonal changes”, and prescribed Dermalogica products to combat it.

2 years later, the bumps were not lessening and they were making me very unhappy! So I took to the internet and did my own research. The bumps are in fact closed comedones, or white heads, a type of acne that forms when dirt gets trapped in the pores. Since this problem only started after A and I started dating, I surmised that him kissing my forehead was part of the problem. So I banned him from doing so for a period of time.

Then, forums introduced two miraculous products that I now swear by with my life: Nizoral and Benzac. Nizoral is an anti dandruff shampoo that contains Ketoconazole, used to treat fungal infections. People have reported that while using Nizoral to treat their dandruff problems, they realised that it also cured their acne incidentally! Benzac is already well known for it’s acne treatment properties, and armed with this new information, I went to the local pharmacy to purchase both items. A 100ml bottle of Nizoral costs about $25, while a tube of Benzac 2.5% is about $15.

It’s been 3 months since my experiment started, I am pleased to inform that 1) the bumps on my forehead are gone and 2) my mild dandruff problem is gone too! I haven’t felt so relieved in 2 years, and for that I have to thank the Internet Gods for bringing such precious information to me. The downside though is that when I lapse in my Nizoral + Benzac routine, the bumps reappear. It is apparent that I have not addressed the underlying causes for these whiteheads, but for now I am contented with keeping the situation under control.

How to get rid of those pesky bumps on your face:

  1. In the shower, wash your face with your regular cleanser. I use First Aid Beauty’s Face Cleanser Daily Treatment with FAB Antioxidant Booster.
  2. After washing, pour a tiny amount of Nizoral on your palm. Using your fingers on the other hand, dab the Nizoral on affected areas on your face.
  3. Close your eyes and wait for 3-5 minutes. Wash off the Nizoral.
  4. After shower, follow through with your regular skincare routine. Then, apply Benzac on affected areas of your face.

DIY: Hair Lightening!

Sometime back I had my make up trial with J**, she suggested that I get my hair coloured to 1) look younger (jet black hair looks auntie?!) and 2) show off her intricate hair braiding skillz. I have never coloured my hair in my entire life and was resistant to the idea of slapping more chemicals onto my hair, so the sister offered an alternate solution: do-it-yourself hair lightening!

It sounded intriguing and more importantly cost effective, so I set out to do some research on my own as the sister’s instructions were less than scientific, “you mix honey together with conditioner, put it in the fridge to set and then apply on your hair.” I found an improved instruction manual online, along with a simple explanation of how honey contains hydrogen peroxide, the ingredient to bleach hair.

The instruction calls for raw honey, cinnamon, olive oil and conditioner. I bought the first two items from the local supermarket. I had conditioner in the house of course, and for olive oil I used my existing supply of Ginvera olive oil. Total cost: less than $10.

After four tries of this method, I am pleased to inform that my hair has lightened considerably, to the extent that A has started calling me “ah lian”! I cannot show any photos for obvious reasons, but this is definitely something that works, and the good news is that the effect is very much permanent!

I’m going to do this for two more times, and hopefully J** will be satisfied with the results when she next sees me on the actual day.