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Takin’ Love by the Horns: Meaty Goodness

31 Mar

[Warning: if you hate, hate, HATE grainy, low-quality photos, its best you skip this post. Also, I know, it’s not really “sheep” related, but I couldn’t resist the title.]

After I had a glorious half-hour massage, I hopped in the car with MC Chupacabra and we headed to the park in front of the Hunter Valley Gardens. It was dinner time! And what was for dinner? Well, this:

the don_cooking

The Don, cooking some meaty sate. You can see DoC Auto in the background there! Also, that little shelter back there is where we set up all the snacks, drinks, and plates.

You see, when I introduced Mr Big to my family, I told him he needed to try something called “sate” (said, ‘satay’, which is basically what it is). He told me that barbecues at his parents’ house usually resulted in burnt, unsavoury meat, so he tended to avoid barbecues like the plague. When he found out sate was basically barbecued (well, realistically, charcoaled) meat, he didn’t want to try it. I convinced him otherwise. The moment he ate the succulent meat off the skewer, he was hooked.

So it was no surprise that when I proposed that we have a big dinner on the Saturday before we get married, he suggested a sate dinner – it would be homage to my Indonesian heritage, and his Kiwi friends would be able to try it. I was aboard, but it all depended on my parents. They’re the “sate experts”. Mama Bighorn was uncomfortable with the idea. It’d be too much work before the day, and Mr Big and I could understand it. We told her it was no problem, and we could just go to a pub. Papa Bighorn was all aboard however, and managed to persuade her otherwise. Unfortunately, Papa Bighorn’s eyes are bigger than his stomach.

Guys, he made over 3000 skewers.

ALL THE MEAT

ALL THE MEAT. / Screenshots taken from a video by Family Friend T.

I love Papa Bighorn, but he tends to get over-excited. I was adamant that it would be WAAAYYY too much, but he was convinced that all the guests would eat at least 20 skewers each (spoiler alert: they didn’t). Needless to say, we didn’t end up cooking all of the skewers. So if anyone is planning on doing some barbecue thing for their wedding guests as a day-before dinner, please don’t do what we did and make too much.

(Plus side: if anyone wants to come over for a sate dinner, we have heaps of extras!)

The dinner started out relatively… well, disastrous. The sate hadn’t thawed, and by the time the guests started trickling in, nothing was cooked.

Thawing the meat

Papa Bighorn and Family Friend A thawing the meat out. / Photos taken by Family Friend T.

While I welcomed people, Mr Big was trying to get everything sorted with Papa Bighorn. Finally, when the meat did thaw, the thawed meat to cooked meat ratio was out of whack.

mnms_cooking

Mama Bighorn and MoH M&Ms. You can see why the cooking would take so long! We had about three or four of those grills going at once.

Honestly, the whole dinner was logistically screwed from the beginning. When the meat did get cooking, though, we had so many people at the burners ready to grab some meat:

grabbin some meat

Photos & screenshots taken by Family Friend T.

By the end, everyone was well-fed. There was a lot of mingling happening as well.

MINGLING

Photos & screenshots taken by Family Friend T.

Mr Big and I also took the time to give our parents their gifts. For Papa Bighorn, we got him a premium engraved barbecue knife set (including 2$ attached to the knife, you know… just because).

papa_gift

Photos from Mr Big.

For Mama Bighorn we got her a bottle of Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose:

tresor midnight rose

Via Lancôme Paris website.

Mumma Big got an Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea Gift Set:

elizabeth arden gift set

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Gift Set. / Via.

And finally, De Papa Big got a wine gift box, with a wooden case to hold a wine bottle in and tools:

wine gift set

Similar to this, but I couldn’t find the one we actually chose. / Via Dan Murphy’s.

We also cooked the meat off so that it would be easier to ship back without the fear of the meat going “off”. And we were met with a spectacular sundown.

waterfall outlook_view

I can’t show you the sundown, because it was on my phone. But what I can show you is this awesome shot by The Don of the view from the ceremony location. Isn’t it wonderful?

At the end of the dinner, I packed up my bags from the villa Mr Big and I was sharing, kissed Mr Big goodbye and held him for what felt like the longest time, before settling in with my girls at my parents’ villa. But that’s for another post!

Anyone else met with an unexpected logistical nightmare?

[All photos taken by The Don, unless otherwise stated.] recap-logoMissed a recap post? Catch up here!

The Bridal Shower / Kitchen Tea / One of the Most Amazing Parties Ever Thrown For Me

29 Jan

(Warning: this post is SUPER long, so if you don’t want to read it, I completely understand. Also, I realised that the title is like a poem. I’m a poet and I didn’t know it. I’m also lame.)

Hi guys!

On December 15, 2013, an overcast Sunday morning met me and Mr Big. Mr Big and I needed to go shopping. One of the things on the purchase list was undergarments for the dress I would be wearing to my bridal shower/kitchen tea which would be on that afternoon.

Now, I had no idea what was happening. All I knew was I had to be ready by lunch and MoH M&Ms would then be shipping me off to the location. I was also told to wear something “that sort of matched your favourite Disney princess”.

Mine is Belle (you’ll get the reference later).

belle_yellow dress

Taken from the Disney Wiki.

So off to shopping we went. We spent a good three hours there, where we got other shopping out of the way (yay!). Once Mr Big and I were promptly “shopped out”, we proceeded to head back home.

After some “alleged communication mishaps”, we finally got back home at 12.30PM. I was greeted by a rushed MoH M&Ms, who dragged me upstairs to get ready. I quickly shoved my dress on, did a quick onceover for my makeup, and then hurried downstairs.

I remember turning to MoH M&Ms and saying, “Uh, what shoes do I wear?”. She did the blink-stare and then said, “Wear whatever. Just make sure it’s comfortable. Also, get a drink.”

Get a drink? Weird demand, but ok, I did have a cup of coffee waiting! I moved into the other room and was met with 13 familiar faces.

SURPRISE!

Me_Shock

It’s’a me! Looking shocked. Also, yellow dress! I love that dress.

My thoughts went something like: “OMG! I think I’m at my bridal shower!” to “Don’tcrydon’tcrydon’tcry”.

Hive, I’m glad to report that I didn’t cry (I got really close though).

Unbeknownst to me, my girls had been setting up the bridal shower at the house all morning and planning this amazing party for months. The setup was breathtaking.

There was a snack table, with crackers, sandwiches and assorted goodies for lunch. They even placed my favourite Assassins from the game franchise Assassin’s Creed.

snack table 1

Image taken by BM Superhero.

snack table 2

Image taken by BM Superhero.

snack table close up

We had leftover sandwiches after the party. They were delicious. / Image taken by BM Superhero.

The setup for lunch outside was equally as spectacular. They had three different tables – each with a different “centrepiece”. On each place setting, they got a Lindt chocolate, a jar of jelly beans labelled with the guests’ names, a bangle fastening the napkins (which I’ll explain later on), and a wee jar of Nutella:

japan doll table

Image taken by BM Superhero.

wolverine table

Image taken by BM Superhero.

michonne_table

Image taken by BM Superhero.

place setting

A close up of the place settings, including the bangle and the jar of jelly beans.

The dessert table was my favourite and I’m so bummed that I didn’t eat more from it. From what I did manage to grab between socialising and bridal shower games was absolute deliciousness. They even had a Belle and Beast/Adam figurine which we used at the wedding! The rose in the centre was mine, a gift from BM Cupcakes and Superhero when they went to the Disneyland in Hong Kong three years ago.

dessert table_front

Image taken by BM Superhero.

dessert table_side 2

Image taken by BM Superhero.

dessert table_side

Image taken by BM Superhero.

After I entered, the girls got started. I was given a glass of mimosa by BM Cupcakes and jacked up in proper bridal gear fashion by MoH M&Ms.

jacked up

Getting my tiara on (literally). Also, mimosa = yum.

BM Cupcakes then did a brief introduction, ushering everyone outside for lunch. The spread was spectacular and delicious! It was pretty darn obvious that the girls had thought long and hard about what food to get and how to set up.

Now before I launch into the games, I’ll let you guys know that there were quite a lot. So I’m going to make it easier and split them into sub-headings!

The First Game: Bangle Swap!

During lunch, BM Superhero explained the first game of the day. Every girl had one bracelet at their place setting. And fastened with a mini peg to this bracelet was a piece of paper. On this piece of paper were a list of words commonly used in weddings, including “Aww”, “Stressed”, “Excited”, “Bride” and “Groom”, “Dress”, and “Amazing”. There were more, but I can’t think of them at the top of my head.

Basically, if anyone was to use these words during the course of the bridal shower, and get caught by another girl, they would pass their bangle off to another person. At the end of the bridal shower, the girl with the most bangles won a prize!

I got caught out literally 5 minutes into the bridal shower when I said the word “amazeballs” (which is an offshoot of amazing, doh!). Funnily enough, a majority of the girls forgot about the game as we played the other fun-tastic games, and at the end, there was an average2 bangles per girl to those who remembered.

The winner was Friend Bee, who had three bangles at the end of the shower!

bangle swap 1

Friend Bee (on the right, in the white floral dress) catching out BM Proper (on the left, in the black cardigan). It was funny.

bangle swap

Grabbing the bangle. Friend Bee was the first to catch someone out. You can see why she won!

The Second Game: TP Wedding Dress

I’m pretty sure everyone knows this game!

Basically, you get several rolls of toilet paper and make a wedding dress. Some variants put the bride in the TP wedding dress, but we did another variant. We split the groups into their respective tables from lunch (so, three groups all up!) and had each group choose a model. This model would then be used to design the TP wedding dress. I was the judge to choose the winning group!

And guys, it was a hard choice.

tp girls

The models, MoH M&Ms, BM Proper, and Friend MARs. / Photo taken by Friend Wonderland.

As you can see, all the groups put in quite a lot of effort on the dresses. BM Proper’s dress was especially hilarious as she looked pregnant and was playing it up when the girls did the “runway walk”.

I was laughing so hard. I wanted them all to win!

In the end, Friend MARs’ group won because they ingeniously used the napkins to add pops of colour:

the winner

See the yellow “obi” and bow? It impressed me. / Taken by Friend Wonderland.

And this was the winning group:

the winning team

From left to right, Friends Mads, MARs, Wonderland, Whovian, and Chumballs. / Photo taken by me on Friend Wonderland’s phone.

The Third Game: “How Well Do you Know Your SO”, otherwise known as the “Chubby Bunny” Game

At the end of this game, I hated marshmallows.

Basically, my girls asked Mr Big some questions about our relationship. Some of them were relatively easy (“What was the day you first met?”), and the rest were just obscure (“If you could relate yourself to an animal, what animal would you be?” – FYI, the answer he put was “penguin”). With each incorrect answer, I had to shove a marshmallow in my mouth and let it sit there until the end of the game.

There were 20+ questions.

I think I only got, like… 4 right. My awesome girls had deliberately made the questions obscure just so I would look like this at the end of the game:

chubby bunny

Chubby Bunny! The most UNFLATTERING photo of me EVER. This is how much I love you guys. And if you guys are wondering why there’s a peg on my boobs, that sash would just not stay up…

So, yeah, I had very full cheeks, guys!

The Fourth Game: Pass the Parcel.

When this game was announced, I was thrown back to days in primary school when I would play this. It was awesome playing it, especially as BM Superhero’s choice of music was my kind of music (Fall Out Booooy)!

I unfortunately didn’t win anything, but I didn’t care. It was pass the parcel folks. That’s all the mattered! 🙂

The “winner” of this game (i.e. the final recipient of a prize) was Friend Whovian who got a sweet portable little speaker system.

pass the parcel_the winner

Friend Chumballs (left) and Whovian (right).

This was possibly my favourite game from the day and it will come into play when I launch into my recaps.

During this game, the girls and I thought of “10 Commandments for Marriage Life” and listed them down. Friend Whovian, who’s married to GM Swarley, was able to give me loads and loads and loads of options. She also stated that she would seriously consider doing it herself (if you’re reading this Whovian, we can totes brainstorm together :)).

10 commandments

BM Proper writing down the 10 commandments in a notebook as we brainstormed.

After the brainstorming was done, by BMs went through and refined them for the wedding day.

This game was really fun and I really do recommend it for bride-to-be’s who want to inject some humour into their day. I’ll just divulge that Mr Big’s reaction to this at the reception when we got married was hilarious!

The Sixth Game: Celebrity Husbands

The final game was full of hilarity. This technically happened after the “faux-to booth” we had at the bridal shower, but to make it easier for you guys to follows, I’ll divulge it here.

All the girls, sans me, got a scrap piece of paper. They each wrote who their “celebrity husband” would be (e.g. Justin Bieber (yeah…), Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Michael Buble (he was popular choice), Benedict Cumberbatch, etc.), and then folded it up and put it in a hat. I then had to guess who of the girls went with each celebrity husband.

celebrity husband

My “who-the-heck-likes-this-guy” face.

I had a 50% hit, because some of the girls gave it away and others were a little obvious (for example, Friend Wonderland and her diehard love of Thor/Chris Hemsworth). This is another one of those recommended games, because I had SO MUCH FUN.

The Photobooth

Finally, we had a photobooth at the bridal shower (or “faux-to booth”). This was so.much.fun and I have to give a HUGE shout out to Friend Sahara for setting this up. Not only did she take amazing photos of the day (most of the photos were taken by her), but the photobooth was so amazingly fun.

Here are a few of the fun shots:

photobooth_champagne

Mr Big calls this the “That’s My Girl” shot, because I downed that glass of mimosa in one go. In this photo, from left to right, there’s Friend Whovian, Wonderland, Chumballs, MARs (who’s hidden behind me) and Mads.

with mama

A photo with Mama Bighorn. She played a big part in hosting the party.

bms photobooth

My BMs and the best girls in the world. From left to right, Groom’s Homie Oddball, BM Proper, Superhero, Miss Big, Cupcakes, and MoH M&Ms.

group hug

A group hug from all the amazing girls. Top row: BM Proper, MoH M&Ms, Friend Bee, Chumballs, Mads, Cousin Witty, Groom’s Homie Oddball. Bottom tow: Friend MARs, BM Cupcakes, Mrs Big, Friend Wonderland, Whovian, BM Superhero, and Friend Sahara.

All-in-all, this was the best.party.ever (equal to Mr Big’s 25th superhero birthday bash). All my BMs, my girlfriends, and my family played a significant part in getting this all together and I couldn’t have asked for better people in my life.

(All photos taken by Friend Sahara unless otherwise stated.)

Shooting Each Other… Out of Love!

2 Oct

AUTHOR’S EDIT: If you guys don’t know my process, I write out my post a day or so before I put it up, re-read, edit, re-read, and then re-edit. This ensures that it flows well, it’s not too long (like some of my previous posts have been) and I don’t accidentally say something stupid. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that to this post and I’ve upset some people, so I’m going to make sure I stick with my process. Sorry to all those I’ve upset. I promise it won’t happen again.

Before I get into the fleshy part of this post, I’d first like to say that my bridesmaids have been supportive of me throughout this entire process. I sprung the “be my bridesmaid” thing on them, and luckily for me, they accepted. They’re all going through different stages of their life, including buying houses(!) and navigating through the ick that is breaking into corporate life. They are, honestly, the best girls I could ever ask for, and all of them are awesome in their own right.

Pretty recently I was told by my bridesmaids that they can’t throw me a Hen’s party, but they will be throwing me a Kitchen Tea. Despite the fact that – yeah – I was a little bummed, I totally understand why they can’t. Two of them are trying to or have just purchased a house (one for investment; the other to actually live in), one of them has only recently got a steady job which they are excited for, and another one of them is under the age of 16!

I am excited that they’ll be celebrating with me through a Kitchen Tea. I have the date but I’m not too sure what else is happening apart from tea, cupcakes, sandwiches, and, I think, games! It sounds like its gonna be fun, and I’m just waiting on details now. I appreciate all that these girls are doing for me! And I should really communicate this to them more often.

As an aside, I just found out the Kitchen Tea, Hen’s Night, and Bridal Shower are one-in-the-same, events going from morning-to-night to celebrate the bride’s last hurrah. I didn’t know that! Sounds exciting. 🙂

At the same time, GP isn’t exactly sure he’ll be having a Bucks. One of our friends offered, but they’ve only recently opened up their own store, so his schedule is pretty busy. The other is currently in Barcelona, Spain. And the third recently bought an apartment with his long-time girlfriend. A majority of GP’s groomsmen are in New Zealand (including his Best Man). So to GP, with all the busy that’s happening, and the distance from the majority of his side of the bridal party, that meant foregoing his Bucks.

To be completely honest, though I’m a little bummed that I won’t be getting a Hens, I’m okay to forego it. My bridesmaids will be planning something epic. I just feel bad ’cause GP – as far as we can tell – won’t be getting a Bucks.

And then last Sunday we went paintballing.

Now for those who haven’t gone paintballing, it’s – for lack of better word – awesome-as-nuts. It’s adrenaline-packed, gun-toting, Roadie-running fun!! After going through a few matches, shooting each other, and just having overall fun, GP and I decided that we really wanted to do this as a pre-wedding thing! And what better than a combined Bucks and Hens! In this way, we’d get the numbers from the combined group rather than a single Bucks party having to share it with a group of teenagers they don’t know (trust me – it’s not that fun…).

The only problem is we gotta figure out who would be willing to come, where to go, and whether or not we can have a ‘private’ paintballing party! I also want to include my little sister, Groom’s Homie Oddball, into the mix, but being 15, she’s just shy of the 16 age minimum.

What does everyone else think? Who would be willing to go on a combined Hens/Bucks and shoot each other with paintballs? 😀

Wedding Rambling – A Random Post

27 Aug

I’m in MELBOURNE folks!

This may sound a tad bit strange, but – having lived in Sydney my ENTIRE life (so far) – I’ve never been to Melbourne. And I’m here now, yay! So far the trip has been pretty fabulous, and we’re staying in a serviced apartment, so I don’t have to worry about starving or having to buy myself a meal. Even so, it’s about a 5-minute walk to the nearest stores, so I’m in a pretty good spot. Unfortunately, we’re pretty far from the central city (and I really wanted to check out the café scene – I LOVE COFFEE).

Anyway, let’s get onto wedding stuff, yes?

I’ve heard news from my bridesmaids and MoH that I shall be getting a bridal shower. They say it’s gonna be good, and I can’t wait, but a part of me really wants to know what’s going on! They’re keeping it a secret (which, you know, duh!) but at the same time, I’m anxiooooooous. I’m not Type-A at all, but this wedding thing has caused me to be more obsessive re: planning.

I also found that, unless I plan it myself, I won’t be having a Hen’s (which I’m totally ok with you, albeit a tad bit pouty). My bridesmaids don’t have the expense for that, which is fair enough, so I’ll have to figure out whether I: (a) can be bothered planning a hen’s night for myself (which sounds pretentious to me), or (b) just let sleeping dogs lie and be happy with what I’ve got so far.

Still thinking on it, but hen’s night = more expenses, so I’m leaning more towards not having one. A slumber party with wine sounds like an awesome idea though!

Anyone else have any ideas?

Also, I’ve been in chats with my fiancé and we’re deliberating the pros and cons of a garter. We won’t be doing a bouquet OR a garter toss (to us it’s a stupid tradition) but when will I ever get a chance to wear a garter (and not be looked at like I just came from a BDSM dungeon!)?

What’re your thoughts? 🙂

A hectic weekend!

15 Aug

Hey all!

So, the in-laws have left for Brisbane yesterday, which means life resumes back to its normal routine. The weekend was hectic but awesome. On Friday we ate at an Italian restaurant, “Gemelle Ristorante“. To all those who live in Australia, specifically NSW, I recommend you visit the place. The food is DIVINE. The dessert is DIVINE. The service is excellent and the ambience is beautiful. Parking isn’t too hard to find (there’s parking just down the road and a parking lot right next door).

On Saturday, GP, the in-laws and I went out shopping, first going to the Liverpool markets. After eating a bunch of awesome stuff we then jetted off to Cabramatta to pick up the cake (this will come in later!) and show the in-laws around. I took GP’s momma to look at flowers and was glad to find she loved them. Both papa-P and momma-P enjoyed the ‘Pappa Roti’ buns and milkshakes too. We then jetted off to my parent’s place for the *insert fanfare* ENGAGAMENT PARTY!

The engagement part was a success, something which made me extremely happy. The food was awesome, the entertainment was awesome, the drinks kept flowing and I got to see friends who I hadn’t seen in so long. I was also extremely happy to find that everyone enjoyed the cake my ma and I picked out. It was a white sponge cake with taro filling and fresh fruit on top. They all enjoyed it, even those who don’t normally eat Asian-flavoured cakes. I don’t have many photos from the night but it was a great night and I wouldn’t have changed it any other way.

That brings us to Sunday. My parents, GP’s parents, GP and I headed up to the Hunter Valley. That’s where we want to hold our wedding and we had a look around at different venues. We also bought some bottles of wine, cheese and visited the Hunter Valley Chocolate shop to ask about chocolate favours! Overall it was an awesome day and the weather stayed nice and warm throughout most of the day (with some wind, but not much). We’ve wittled down our venue choices to the Tamburlaine Organic Winery and Mercure Hunter Valley Resort. Both are absolutely stunning! That night we went to a Chinese restaurant known as “The Eight“. Their steak with foie gras is SO GOOD. They also do an ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS Peking duck. It was the parent-in-laws’ (elect) first time eating Peking duck and they loved it, which made my papa really happy.

On Monday, I worked in the morning so I didn’t get to hang out with GP and his parents at the Parramatta shopping centre, but I met them there and we headed off to my parents’ place for some traditional Indonesian sate (satay). It was a relaxing, awesome post-engagement lunch. After spending a few hours there we headed back home for a movie (John Carter – a must watch!) and then headed off to dinner at Top Ryde – an awesome steak bistro called Hurricane’s. After a huge dinner (I was so incredibly full!) we headed back home and went to bed.

Finally, on Tuesday, papa-P and momma-P left for Brisbane for the rest of their holiday. Unfortunately, GP left for Adelaide that night, so I’ve been staying with my parents for the meantime. But the weekend was awesome! 🙂