Mornington with the girls

Startwithblack_Mornington-8

Meeting new friends is always exciting. When one of my friends asked me to join her and 3 of her friends for a girlie trip to Mornington, I could hardly wait. It is always so refreshing to meet new people, hear their stories and wonder how all our paths managed to cross bringing us together in this moment. When you think about it, there are billions of people in this world and for you to meet new friends, all from different parts of the world but somehow ending up in Australia on this one trip to Mornington – it’s rather chancy.

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Life Lessons in your 30s

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I recently came across an article on my Facebook feed titled “10 Life Lessons to Excel in your 30s”. To give you a bit of context, I’m not usually the type to step into a bookstore or library and head straight to the “self-improvement” or “self-help” section. However, when I saw this link, I couldn’t help but click on it – I mean who wouldn’t want to excel in their 30s right? I gave the article a quick flick and would like to mention 3 of those lessons in particular that resonated with me. They are not groundbreaking “life lessons” as such but they just ring so true… 

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J’s BIG 3-0 Surprise Birthday Party!

Startwithblack J 30 f

 There’s one thing I forgot to add to my 2013 list. I organised a surprise 30th birthday party for J a week before our wedding. I think I was already on auto pilot at that stage and feeling a little mental. Thankfully Cumulus Inc took care of everything and the service was just superb. Their function room was a little art gallery just right next to the restaurant and it was the perfect venue for the party of about 30 guests. The table arrangements, menu and drinks were all taken care of. I also hired a jazz trio (Downtime Jazz) to play some contemporary tunes during pre dinner drinks. They were fabulous!

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A reflection on 2013

London Eye

2013. What a year. I don’t even know where to begin. Perhaps I should dot point it:

1) Organised a wedding

2) Organised a second (overseas) wedding

3) Got married

4) Travelled for 3 months in Europe

5) Moved out of home for the first time ever

6) Renovated a house

7) Moved into a new home

8) Furnished my new home

9) Got promoted at work

10) Bought an investment property

And that pretty much sums up my 2013. I think. I suffer from memory loss at times. It was a crazy and hectic year for me and I think I’ve made more decisions in 2013 than in my whole entire life. It was a year of happiness and excitement but also a year of extreme lows. But overall, I would say 2013 was a pretty awesome year for me.

On Organising 2 weddings…

I have heard a lot of horror stories of people losing friendships and straining family relationships leading up to a wedding. I think that is just so sad as it is one of the happiest times of your life. Determined to not let this happen to me, I tried my best to lay out my expectations to my husband, J, and my family and friends and also vice versa. Just lay everything out on the table. Looking back, I think I did ok. I didn’t have a single fight with any of my bridesmaids throughout, who are the loveliest people on the face of this earth by the way, throughout the whole wedding process. I did however have some crazy fights with my mother. But who doesn’t? Thankfully, J and I had the same philosophy when it comes to organising a wedding. Our philosophy was if it was something we can do ourselves, we will do it instead of bothering our friends and family. I know some couples delegate a lot of things to their bridal party but we decided against that. My bridesmaids were there to provide me with opinions and help on the big day. My wedding day was one of the happiest of my life. It was smooth sailing with no major hiccups at all. Well, I might have forgotten a dance step or two but at least no one noticed!

Despite all I’ve said, I did lose a few friendships during this period. I have now realised that no matter what you do it is almost impossible to not lose friends during this stressful time. I had a ‘friend’ who rsvped to my hens party with “I don’t know if I can come, please remind me closer to the date”. This ‘friend’ did not end up attending my wedding as she was busy. I had another ‘friend’ who rsvped yes then no then yes again then no then yes again to which I replied – don’t bother. Then there was another close ‘friend’ who didn’t bother rsvping at all when she actually couldn’t make it. I guess it was not necessarily all bad as it is during times like these where you will truly discover who are your ‘friends’ and who are actually your friends.

Having organised 2 weddings, I’ve come to realise that the process is only as hard as you make it for yourself. For our Melbourne wedding, we stressed over every detail to make sure everyone had a great time. The people coming were important to us.  But for Malaysia, it was even worse! We didn’t know where anything was and finding good suppliers was next to impossible. In the end we just took a step back and did the best we could, and thankfully we got through it!

On getting married…

J and I never lived together before we got married and moving in together was a big thing for us.  Some people say they feel no difference being married. Whereas we felt like it was a major adjustment to our lifestyle. I’m from a rather typical asian family where my mum does almost every household chore there is to do. Living by ourselves meant a whole lot of cleaning, doing the laundry, ironing, grocery shopping and also a whole lot of cooking. We have to adjust to each other’s habits – that’s right J if you are reading this – don’t leave your wet towel on the bed please! But I think we are gradually getting the hang of it. We share most of the cooking but sometimes I just wish food would magically appear on the table. Yeah right. Oh, I must also mention this – buy a robot vacuum it is THE BEST thing EVER. Like EVER.

On travelling in Europe for 3 months…

This was one of the best trips I’ve been on in my whole life and also the longest. As you can imagine 3 months was  a long time to be constantly travelling. To me, it was rather intense. I mean when do you ever get to see someone 24/7 for 3 whole months. I’m not one who is constantly attached to J, we both have our own space and our own group of friends. So, travelling together for 3 months might sound amazing (and I must admit it was actually quite amazing and I had the best time of my life), but it actually also makes you learn a lot about the other person. We drove around Europe and visited some amazing places (will post some photos soon). We also had some major fights along the way but we learnt to let go quickly and it was all for the better.

On renovating a house…

Do not renovate your house whilst organising a wedding. I mean seriously, it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out right? Door handles, timber, taps, sinks, basins, toilets, tiles, appliances etc. I think I must be the dumbest person in the world to renovate a house and organise 2 weddings at the same time. DON’T DO IT.

On buying an investment property…

I don’t think I’ve ever budgeted for anything in my life prior to getting a mortgage. Getting married and having a mortgage really makes you think twice as hard and do three times as much soul searching before you decide to buy an “unnecessary” item. It is like a whole new life with new priorities.

Hope you had a great 2013.

Elle 

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