Are you secretly afraid of being independent?

Once upon a time, there lived a Princess who did nothing but sat there and sang of the day her Prince Charming would arrive in style and sweep her off her feet. Up till then, nothing went right for her. Her life sucked and her family, comprising of one stepmother and a couple of stepsisters (there might be more but she didn’t bother to count) made it their life mission to make her life miserable.

All this Princess ever wanted, was a man who could take care of everything and allow her to be a tai-tai. Sounds familiar? LOL. That’s probably coz such a thought had possibly crossed your mind at some point. Of course I won’t deny that I haven’t thought of that but the thing is I’ll probably get bored of sitting around and tai-tai-ing all day long. =x

Colette Dowling called this the Cinderella Complex in her book, The Cinderella Complex: Women’s Hidden Fear of Independence. In her book, Colette described how women tend to victimise themselves because they are secretly afraid of being independent and confronting this fear head-on. True, there are women who are very gung-ho and fiercely independent. But they might be secretly quivering inside for all we know. The moment they get a man, they immediately give up this fierce front and relegate themselves to the subordinate role of a wife. NOT that I’m saying wives are supposed to be subservient and all but traditionally, is that not what has been prescribed for the women?

This book was published back in 1981 so you might probably feel that such a concept is outdated and probably doesn’t apply to you. But in truth, there are still many educated women out there who harbour this secret desire to be taken care of and well-protected. This is probably linked to women being unable to step out of the comfort zone that had been bred into them since the Caveman Age. You know, when the women stayed at home to take care of the cave and kids while the hairy men went out to hunt.

If you’re a female reading this right now, did you ever have the secret desire to be taken care of by a man? It’s ok to admit you wanna to be taken care of by a man but sometimes, it helps to stand on your two pedicured feet too. =)

Otherwise, you’ll be asking “Who moved my cheese?” the next time a problem crops up.

Before I sign off, let me leave you with this rather amusing short from an anime called Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt. =x

Yes, I know it looks perverted and it might probably offend the very religious but watch it with a pinch of salt. Maybe a truckload full. =x

Take your life in your hands

A shiok life is a must-try for every person!

Thanks to a recent acquaintance I met, I picked up this book titled “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss. It’s about how you can reduce your working hours to a mere FOUR hours a week by delegating work and knowing what to prioritize. Items on that particular list would be things like emails and setting up meetings with colleagues or friends. Sometimes these things take up 80% of our time and we can’t even get half on our to-do list done. =x

It certainly is an attractive notion to work much less, enjoy life more but still possess the same earning power. Hehe…I think I shall make it MY goal to enjoy life in a more efficient way like Timothy. =3 Hopefully I can get to travel the world or even stay in another country like him for a few weeks too! Heh.

Another good knowledge resource I wanna recommend is this blog by the acquaintance I mentioned above. =3

Her name is Karen Leong and she’s a relationship mastery coach. She primarily does seminars for women who are looking to move ahead in their careers and personal pursuits. Check out her blog for tips on how to network and take control of your life. =3

Also caught Air Doll over the weekend…quite cute, although kinda random at parts. I guess this movie was really trying to illustrate how we tend to pass people by and not give them a second glance. If you didn’t catch the trailer I posted the last time, here it is again:

Oh and before I sign off, a food blogger who thinks he can get away with FREE FOOD? Either a publicity stunt or sheer arrogance, but utterly tasteless in my opinion. >.<

Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fantastical designer

I love fantasy. And I love costumes. I remember pretending to be a swashbuckling heroine on my bed when I was much younger, draping my blanket over my shoulders like some form of mantle. =3

That’s why cosplay was one of my things to do. Now that I’ve tried cosplaying at local events, I must say that it really takes discipline to actually make a costume and go around sourcing for materials. Just like planning a wedding, ya? Haha…

Anyways, I came across this website of a costume designer from LA, California and I absolutely love her designs. Especially this set of costumes from her masquerade fairies theme… Gorgeous, right?

She also does commissions so if you’re thinking of getting a unique gown for your wedding (instead of patronising boutiques that carry designs that all look the same after a while), you can get in touch with her! Just click contact on the top navi-bar. =3

Oh and if you’re wondering where to go this coming Saturday, do check out the Natsu Matsuri 2010. It’s a traditional Japanese festival held at the Japanese Primary School at Changi. Check out the details here. Do note that the yukatas that will be on rental will probably be gone by the time you manage to get into the school. The best option is to rent at The WearHouse or purchase your own set at shops like The Haru House (convieniently located at Far East Plaza and *Scape). You can read all about my experience last year here.

Me? I’ll be heading for the Japanese Film Festival to watch the OMGSOLDOUT Air Doll. Hurhur. Lucky my fingers were quick enough to book tickets. Keke…

Here’s a youtube trailer of the movie. Quite cute.

Yes, it looks hentai-ish but it looks quite interesting, no?

When there’s nothing to eat

Have you ever been in a situation when nothing selling near your house appeals to you anymore? The food sucks, the price sucks even more and the worse thing is you can’t even exert the strength to go further somewhere else to buy food they say is delicious and worth every cent.

So what to do? Me, I just see what I have in the kitchen and throw together a mixture of whatever ingredients I have. For example, if I have instant noodles and a can of Campbell soup, I’ll just heat up the soup and cook the noodles (without the msg), then mix them together to make a nice piping hot bowl of Campbell soup noodles. Sometimes I’ll even throw an egg into the soup so it’ll have an eggy taste. =x

AND it seems that Super Cook has the same idea as me. All you have to do is enter whatever ingredients you currently have and voila! You have the recipe to make food you probably haven’t tried before.

Go ahead and give it a try. I’m sure your mother would appreciate the additional recipes as well! =3

A spot of pampering

So I finally got myself an appointment with Polished Divas after purchasing the $10 for Manicure and Drink from Beeconomic. I went with my bf and we were pretty excited coz this would be our first experience in getting our nails done! Yes, I don’t really get my nails done coz for one, my daily life requires me to do stuff that are not really conducive to manicures so really no point in getting one but a nail pampering once in a while sounds really inviting. As for my bf, he was the only guy at the place but the ladies seemed unperturbed. =x

To add to his not so macho image, he even asked for an episode of Gossip Girls to put on the dvd player. LOL. Luckily the lady attending to us didn’t seem to be very disturbed. Maybe guys regularly come in to get their nails done and watch girly shows to boot. HAHA.

But anyways, we BOTH enjoyed the experience. It was a wonderful addition to my birthday too. =3 I should really go for more of such deals and I hope they put up more fun stuff that both myself and my bf can try! Keke…

Buy groceries for just ONE penny!

Being the recessionista that I am, I was searching online for money saving tips for ahem…a certain future event. And lo and behold, I came across this totally amazing lady who feeds her family of 6 on just A FEW DOLLARS a week.

I totally wu ti tou di (5 limbs on the floor – a Chinese phrase that describes A LOT of respect for someone) to this lady.

Is it even possible to do this in Singapore? T.T

I read all these amazing tips to save money that all seem to take place in America but strangely enough, none of these applies in Singapore. Could it be that Singaporeans are generally not up to saving on their daily groceries and such? =x

Or maybe the situation in Singapore is not so conducive to savings?

Show meh the money~!

My western readers not from Singapore probably won’t understand how the significance of the ANG BAO in the Chinese context. Well, no fear, I’ll explain in brief before I launch into today’s post. =)

Angbaos are basically red packets that elders use as a form of blessings they disperse to younger people. Unmarried people and kids are usually the recipients of such blessings that are meant to ward off evil, a tradition that originated from Chinese history.

Today, angbaos are given at important events such as Chinese New Year, weddings, kids’ birthdays etc. The amount given should be even to signify good luck and prosperity to the recipient.

But of course, the amount that one receives in such red packets has become an issue of contention these days. Just how much does one give to avoid appearing stingy or live up to the recipient’s expectations? Especially for weddings where guests are expected to pay and cover the wedding couple’s expenses.

Very stressful, right?

Here’s a helpful guide that has been making its rounds in emails:

Yes, people…we have a chart to show the different factors that could tip the balance. But really, in my personal opinion…must there be such a big fuss over the amount to begin with? I sometimes don’t understand the obsession over how much one receives during CNY, weddings or other events. The amount of angbao shouldn’t be a gauge of how important you are to the giver right?

I mean, if you’ve decided to invite so and so, it should be enough that he/she attends your important event with well wishes and blessings.

In fact, I’m going to copy/paste what I personally feel is one of the most insightful and wise opinion on the issue of angbao (in the context of a wedding banquet):

Ok, please allow auntie here to share some controversial views. Auntie here is 过来人 so hopefully my “insights” will be of some value.

1) Whether you hold tea party, banquet or some reception, don’t start with the expectation of making money. Do what you can afford. Because if you’re going to be stressed with money, you’re going to a) be a very stressed bride, and b) be very unhappy if some of your guests do not “pay” up to “expectation”.

With this starting point, just regard your reception as a “free” reception. Any angpao you receive will be bonus.

2) Given (1), it will force you to be really, really prudent about your wedding expenditure. Wedding is just ONE DAY. Unless you have some spectacular wedding featuring horse drawn carriage and fireworks, it’s just another wedding for your guests. You will, hopefully, begin to ask yourself why you spend so much on your package, why you need to fly to Europe for honeymoon, do you need to invite 1,000 people, etc.

3) Also, if you are financing the dinner yourself (i.e. don’t rely on parents), you can have FULL SAY over who can come for your wedding dinner. If your parents sponsor, then you have ZERO SAY. This is a very simple power struggle. The one with greater power (i.e. $$$) will have more say. If your parents don’t contribute, you can tell them to fly kite if they want to invite the entire village

4) Of course, a wedding dinner is also for your parents. I’m not suggesting that you don’t listen to your parents at all. However, there’s now a very legitimate reason to really trim your guest list. You want to have a wedding that is respectable, and your parents would like to be able to invite their friends and associates. However, unless they are some tycoon or millionaire (which means budget will not be a problem to begin with), they must understand that they need to trim down their guest list.

5) Holding a small, intimate dinner or reception is way way memorable than holding a grand banquet. The best wedding dinners I’ve attended (and I choose them very carefully) are the type that everybody knows everybody else. Like, I know the couple AND their family that type. The nicest wedding dinner I attended was a 10 table affair in a private room at Cherry Garden.

6) A banquet, a reception or a restaurant treat will be “worth the effort” if the people you are inviting are “worth inviting”. If the people you are inviting mean nothing to you, of course it will not be worth the effort. When I say “worth the effort” I don’t mean $. You want your close friends and family to celebrate with you, no matter how much or how little they pay. I really think this obsession with ang pao is getting out of hand.

7) NEVER NEVER GET INTO DEBT!

8) The simple rule is = the smaller the affair, the easier to handle, the less stress.

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Despite all that’s said, a wedding is invariably a family affair. It takes a lot of management and careful maneuvering so that everybody’s wants and needs can be taken care of as much as possible. You can never satisfy everyone, so be prepared for quarrels and compromises. But remember – IT’S ONLY ONE DAY. Keep that in mind when you’re faced with difficult situations.

Good luck!

By forum poster Cottagegarden from Flowerpod

Good advice, no? If you invite people for the sole purpose of making a quick buck out of them (despite the fact that their monthly budget may be busted), then sadly you’re gonna be one very unhappy person. =x

Might as well just hold a simple lunch/dinner and save yourself the aggravation. =x

Spend and give within one’s means, I always say. =3