Ah Gong’s Kampung: His Childhood, Our Wedding, My New Family


Mr Mode spent a large part of his childhood in his grandfather’s (Ah Gong) kampung in Malaysia; the place contains many beautiful and precious memories for him. I had only met Ah Gong once, when I joined Mr Mode’s family to visit Ah Gong during Chinese New Year. It was usually quite hard for my unmarried self to be with a family other than my own during the festive season, but Mr Mode and I had finally got engaged and I kind of had official reason to get to know his extended family in Malaysia.


Ah Gong’s kampung is 2-3 hours (without traffic jam) away from Singapore. No matter the occasion, you will look absolutely ridiculous and out of place if you dressed in anything more glamorous than my above #OOTD. Lol. Comfort > Style.


Mr Mode said this rusty swing has been around since forever and it’s where the most fun, the most heart-to-heart conversations, and the exchange of ideas have been made.

We had returned this time to hold the third segment of our wedding because many of his relatives do not own a passport and it was logistically difficult to have so many of them join us for our wedding in Singapore. Which was fine by me coz having a wedding in a kampung sounded fun and different! :smile:

In the evening, I changed out of my kampung gear, into something suitable for a simple wedding dinner.


This restaurant is probably the most glamorous restaurant they have in the vicinity. It’s where all kinds of events are held – weddings, celebration of 60th birthdays (hence the ‘寿’ word at the stage), family dinners, company dinners, etc. It looked like those I had been to in Singapore in the 90s.



Cooking With My Mother-In-Law: Steamed Herbal Chicken With Huiji Waist Tonic


They say too many cooks spoil the broth so with me behaving like a bulldozer in a China shop in the kitchen, I stood out of the way and enthusiastically watched whatever my new mother-in-law was doing.

My sole contribution to this cooking fest was using eye power and documenting the recipe so that I may one day cook this dish on my own when Mr Mode and I have our own home.

Nothing beats home-cooked food, really. That feeling of coming home from work, and being told “dinner’s ready” is the best thing one can hear, every day. So while I am still living with my parents-in-law, let me learn all I can! 😀

This Steamed Herbal Chicken with Huiji Tonic is surprisingly easy to make!

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • Half chicken
  • Sesame oil
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Ginger slices
  • Black fungus
  • Lily buds)
  • Huiji Waist Tonic

As you can see, there are absolutely no measurements for the spices and condiments coz when mothers cook and you ask them how much to put, they say ‘agak-agak’.

I tried to press it out of my mother-in-law and she finally said ‘maybe about half teaspoon for the sesame oil and pepper, one teaspoon of ginger slices’. (How to measure ginger slices in teaspoon?)

You also need to soak the dried black fungus and dried lily buds in water to soften and rehydrate them before use.

ike dried mushrooms and black fungus, you will have to soak them in water to soften and rehydrate them before use – See more at:
ike dried mushrooms and black fungus, you will have to soak them in water to soften and rehydrate them before use – See more at:


Go to the market and buy half a chicken, request to have it chopped into smaller pieces (it’s only at markets that you can do personalized requests). I learnt that if you want to cook curry chicken, you need larger pieces. For this dish, use smaller pieces.

Wash and marinate the pieces with sesame oil, pepper, salt, ginger slices, and Huiji Tonic. My mother-in-law left it for 15 minutes. Actually I think the longer the better, maybe next time I’ll try 1 hour, or even overnight as shown by some recipes online.


Then mix in the black fungus and lily buds.


I must confess this funny fact. I asked her what is the name of this (holding up lily bud) and she said something in Hokkien. Lol. So I wrote down ‘vegetable that is tied in a knot’. Then I Googled this whole term ‘vegetable that is tied in a knot’ and discovered that it’s called ‘lily bud’. Lily buds are also known as golden needles, which is called ‘gim zam’ (金针) in Hokkien.


Bizzare Dreams: Snakes, Exams, Crazy Boss

There are two types of dreams – the aspiration/ambition kind, and those you have during sleep.

I love daydreaming and believe it’s the doorway to creativity. Letting my mind wander, imagining myself to be in another time and space, it’s therapeutic escapism.

But I’d like to keep dreaming to just my waking life, that’s why it’s called DAYdream. I don’t like to NIGHTdream. I feel that dreaming is a waste of time and discounts the quality of my sleep.

Recently, I’ve been having dreams I NEVER had in my life.

Dream #1: Squeezed By A Python


(A poorly photoshopped image of me as python prey which makes zero sense because it means I have nothing below my torso. HAHAHAHA!!!)

This post was in draft mode all these while until this crazy dream I had this morning. I saw in my dream a PYTHON in the sink of my parents’ home and it RESPONDED to the name ‘Mango’. ‘Mango’ is the name of Mr Mode’s toy poodle. =_=

Maybe I am a descendent of Slytherin and can speak Parseltongue.

We have a blue basin back home, which made the sickening colors of the python even more contrasting and intimidating.

I called it, and its slit eyes on a little menacing head popped up from within the basin.

Then I dreamt that I dreamt that the snake slid toward and wrapped itself around me in a life-threatening embrace.

(That wasn’t a typo, it’s Inception.)

My mum went to get a chopper and….. *HATAAAK!!!* suddenly I awoke.

Dream #2: Exam Stress

The last time I had an exam was 5 years ago, in 2009. At the end of the paper, I took a moment to soak in the momentary liberation, in knowing I never have to take an exam again. (Of course, there are other tests in life, but you know what I mean – the school kind of exam.)

Just 2 weeks ago, I started to have exam dreams.

One time I dreamt that I was late for an exam, another time I dreamt I had completely forgotten I had an exam, and yet another time I dreamt I could not finish my paper.

My heart was pounding, I could feel my brows furrowing, and suddenly my eyes flew open in shock.

Even though it’s a huge relief upon realization that it’s nothing (or is it?) but a fleeting dream, horrifying was the reality of my heart racing and mind under immense stress.

I woke up feeling like I didn’t sleep at all. Spent the whole night in an exam dream and woke up to reality with a head the weight of a boulder.

Dream #3: Lost My Job

One day before my encounter with the snake, I lost my job. Both dreams.

I was in an unfamiliar environment, about to enter a meeting room, and this faceless lady who supposedly was my new boss, told me in her shrill voice “Sometimes I work until 1.30AM”. She wasn’t very friendly.


Bride Guide: 6 Pre-Wedding Treatments Every Bride Should Pamper Herself With


One of the best things about being married is being able to write and share advice from personal experience with brides-to-be. Heh heh.

It was really tough being a bride-to-be, with endless errands to run; I also wasn’t the best student to tick against a checklist.

General wedding coordination aside, of which my wedding planner Nicolle from BigLittleDetails did an excellent job, I was more of a ‘let’s roll with it’ kind of bride-to-be when it came to prepping MYSELF for the BIG DAY. I had a rough idea of what ought to be done, but because I didn’t want to stress myself out with yet another timeline, I tried to start early.

Most brides handle the bulk of wedding preparations and it can be VERY STRESSFUL, but remember you want to look your best too, so don’t forget to pamper yourself! It’s once in a lifetime, after all! Avoid cramping too many things to do too close to the wedding day as the result would be litany of problems that could have been avoided.

So here are 7 pre-wedding treatments I personally think are most important. 😀 Contact details and discount codes at the bottom of the post!

Pre-wedding Treatment #1: Trial Makeup & Hair

I must have been asked “Are you going to do your own makeup on your wedding day?” at least a hundred times.

“No”, I replied. It’s my BIG DAY and I didn’t want to stress out trying to create the perfect bridal makeup on myself. Besides, I can’t possibly do my own hair and it’s really silly to get a MUA to do only my hair.

Zennie was recommended by Danny L, and in my opinion, anything that Danny recommends must be UPZ. :)

It’s important to convey the look you are looking for and best if you can show your MUA pictures to support the idea – Pinterest is a great source. Also let your MUA know the location and time of event as these factors will play a part in creating your ideal bridal hair and makeup.

I wanted a more princess-in-a-garden look for the first gown since the lunch session would take place in a beautiful garden. For the second gown which would take place at night in a country club restaurant, we decided to go for a bold, red lip.

This was the trial hair for my second gown. Head piece from Danny’s studio. It ba-da-blinged gorgeously on the wedding day.



Every bride should go for a trial hair + makeup session. My friend who didn’t have a trial session hated the hairdo she received on the day itself and had to scramble to look for one at the last minute.

It’s also important to look like yourself, only much better. Take photos of yourself from all angles after the trial session to see if it looks good on camera, and let your MUA know if there’s anything you’d like to tone down or tune up.

Pre-wedding Treatment #2: Hair Coloring & Treatment

Unless your current hair style is horrible and you have a dysfunctional relationshipwith your stylist, stick to the one you know can give you the best cut, color, and treatment.

I’ve been with Salon Vim for many happy years and no one else knows my hair better than they do.

I had my hair colored and treated 5 days before the wedding so that the hair color and texture would be in tip-top condition.

Stick to a safe color, like browns and ash. I know pinks and purples might seem very tempting for a young bride who wants to sport a ‘different look’, but trust me, 20 years down the road you’ll be happy you kept it safe.

Pre-wedding Treatment #3: Microdermabrasion & Skincare

I have my current skincare routine in this post if you’d like to check it out. Other than purchasing skincare products from Dr Joyce, I also go to her for Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peel. I’ve done it only twice in a year and for the periods in between, her prescribed skincare have been sufficient to keep my skin in good condition.

I did my second Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peel a month before the wedding, to allow the treatment to work its magic and time for the skin to heal in case of side effects. The only side effects I get are a bit of redness and dryness. They usually subside in a week.

I do not recommend facials, I will never recommend facials in this lifetime. But if you choose to have one, allow 2 weeks for your complexion to settle.

Also, if you have an existing skincare regime that works, stick to it. It’s not worth the curiosity of trying new skincare products and running the risk of sending your skin into shock when it’s so close to your wedding day! No bride wants to be spotty or blotchy!

Pre-wedding Treatment #4: Teeth Whitening

I had my veneers done a year ago at Orchard Scotts Dental by Dr Jerry, and they have been LIFE-CHANGING. The comparison pictures in my posts will give you the full story.

Smile Makeover Part 1

Smile Makeover Part 2

You can do many things to your face, hair, body, but it’s always the SMILE that makes the biggest difference.


The veneers are on my upper 8 teeth, and I used a home whitening kit for the lower teeth. I had my tray custom-made at OSD and all I have to do is pump out the gel on the tray and wear it for the night. I wear the tray faithfully every night to minimize teeth grinding.

If you’re going to invest in one cosmetic treatment, make it teeth whitening. However, please get them professionally whitened or at least seek your dentist’s approval if you intend to buy over-the-counter products. Some are able to whiten the teeth simply because the chemicals erode the outer layer of your teeth to reveal the unstained layer beneath it. Overtime, your teeth get thinner and teeth sensitivity is no laughing matter.

Also try to avoid drinking coffee, dark sauces and red wine in the weeks leading up to the big day to reduce teeth staining.

Pre-wedding Treatment #5: IPL Hair Removal

Ever since I started on my Ginza Calla journey to remove all unwanted and unsightly facial and body hair, I’ve begun to appreciate the benefits of being hairless at all the right places. No more grey shadow on the upper lip, no more having to epilate every other day, no more struggling with a very unsexy ‘Southern Bush’.

I chronicled my Ginza Calla journey in these posts, do check them out coz there are discount codes for my readers at the end of each post!

Ginza Calla 1

Ginza Calla 2

Ginza Calla 3


Pre-wedding Treatment #6: Vocal Lessons

I hope there will be pictures of me singing to my husband on our wedding day! People don’t cringe when I sing, but neither am I a singing superstar. I’m just your average once-in-a-long-while-patronize-Kbox kind of singer. Lol.

A bride’s got a million things to do, so I went for the Hark Music Express Vocal Course and learnt many singing/breathing/presenting techniques in TWO days.


It was quite an interesting and memorable experience, not only because I felt that I’d improved, but also saw how my course mates improve tremendouly too. There was a guy in class who was really quite bad at first (off pitch, off tempo), but when it came to the final performance on stage in front of our family and friends, HE IMPRESSED. Everyone thought he improved the most and I was personally very touched by his determination to get better at singing – he was always practising during breaks and at every opportunity he could find.

Being given the chance to sing on stage in front of an audience helped prepare me for the surprise I wanted to go my husband on our wedding day. I’m only able to mention this now coz the wedding is finally over. Haha.

Wedding Services Mentioned

Hair & Makeup – Zennie Casann

Gown & Bridal Services – Danny L

Hair Salon – Salon Vim. Get 10% off for chemical treatments when you quote ‘Juli/Bun Bun’

Microdermabrasion & Skincare – Dr Joyce Lim

Teeth Whitening – Orchard Scotts Dental

Hair Removal – Ginza Calla

Vocal Lessons – Hark Music. Quote Bunbun and receive a special discount of $80 for all Hark Music courses.


Alright! Let me know if you have any questions and remember to pamper yourself! It’s once-in-a-lifetime! 😀



La Fatte Bridal Studio 法蝶婚紗會館 – Taiwan Pre-Wedding Photography + FAQ






I’m Mrs Mode. Teeheehee.

After posting some pictures on my Instagram of our pre-wedding photos shot in Taiwan by 法蝶婚紗會館 La Fatte Bridal Studio (pronounced as la-feet), I’ve been receiving more enquiries from you guys asking anything from the price of the package, to accommodation, to destinations.

I hope to be able to answer most of your questions in this post! :)

We Went To Get A Pillow

I’d like to say we did a lot of homework – thronged forums for reviews, met up with many photographers, compared prices, looked at samples, discussed what we wanted, and the sort.

Truth is, we happened to have dinner at a neighborhood mall and wanted to buy a pillow. While we usually avoided those enthusiastic people from bridal studio booths, it was quite a coincidence that both Mr Mode and I were interested to listen to a guy from La Fatte who approached us.

La Fatte is entirely Taiwan-based, meaning they do not have a physical presence here in Singapore. The photos looked great, the service staff were friendly, and at the spur of the moment, we signed the contract. I know, totally impulsive.

Shortly after that, I suffered from buyer’s remorse. For many months following, I was worried that we had been scammed coz it was way more expensive than what people in forums paid for other Taiwan photography packages. I was even MORE terrified after reading horror stories about couple having to pay thousand of dollars in addition due to hidden costs.

Odd thing was, there weren’t many reviews on La Fatte Bridal Studio. A few good ones, zero bad ones. I didn’t know what to expect! But when I looked through the photos posted on their Facebook page, my suspicions and worries were kinda eased coz most people wrote their Thank You’s in Chinese. I reckoned they were really popular in Taiwan, but not so much in Singapore. I guess it’s also coz they don’t have a physical presence here.

So away we put our fears and flew to Taiwan early this year! Right before Chinese New Year, in fact. We hoped to catch the beautiful cherry blossoms, yet wanted to be back here in Singapore to celebrate CNY, so we couldn’t stay too long in Taiwan.

If you have the time, it would be better to be over and done with the photoshoot first, then stay on to party. We had a hard time resisting temptation from all the Taiwanese street food!

We stayed in Taipei for 2 nights, traveled to Taichung for the photoshoot, then returned to Taipei for 1 night.


One Month To Our Vintage Garden Wedding!


We are LESS THAN ONE MONTH away from the wedding! SAY WHATTT!!!! *panic mode*

We started planning sooooo early (1 year ago) that we actually lost a bit of steam along the way HAHA, and only really got on track about 3 months before. So actually, planning a wedding in three months is pretty do-able!

That is, if you’re really not that fussy and prefer a run-of-the-mill wedding.

Not that I have anything against one of those. In fact, if he had a choice, Mr Mode would prefer to just have our names signed on construction paper, presented to HDB for recognition of a lawful marriage, and call it a day.

But I would probably most likely definitely berate him for the rest of our lives for not giving me my dream wedding. So this wedding is really for him, to spare him the agony of my nagging. BAHAHA!

I don’t want a cookie-cutter wedding, which explains why I took great effort into ensuring all my wedding sponsors are one of the best in town. 😀

Wedding Decorator – Rosette Designs

One year ago, while researching on wedding decorators in Singapore, I came across Rosette Designs. The photo gallery containing collages of their works left a deep impression but I left it as that as it was too early to plan anything and we didn’t even have our wedding date finalized yet!


One year later, after researching on plenty of wedding decorators, I went back to Rosette. Haha! If you take a look at their gallery, you will know what I mean. :)

After meeting Hellen, principal designer of Rosette, a couple of times and conveying the theme I have in mind, Hellen put together a mood board. I’m SOOOOO looking forward to our wedding day deco!


I think it’s very important to set the color theme right. Even if you don’t have a strong theme eg. vintage/glamorous/colorful/rustic, at least have a color theme so everything looks more cohesive.

Choosing the color theme was quite fun for me coz I like to mix and match textures and colors. But don’t worry if you have no idea coz Hellen will be there to guide you!

Bun-Bun-Makeup-Tips-Wedding-Sponsors_Rosette-Designs_3.1 Bun Bun is finally donning a wedding gown! Heehee!! I love the groom! Hellen and the team nailed the essence of Mr Mode – the hair, eyes, mouth. And we’re the same breed of alien coz we both have 4 ears.

Wedding Photographer – Confetti Peektures

I wanted a photographer who could understand and bring out the beauty of our wedding theme. It sure wasn’t easy finding one.

Actual Day Photography

‘Vintage garden wedding’ doesn’t really explain in full how I envision the wedding theme to be. It’s more than that. We are holding it at a vintage venue, but we don’t want an overkill of all things old and granny. We want it to be romantic, but with a bit of fun, a pop of color, and in accordance to our personalities, a more light-hearted and fun vibe! The photos must reflect these!

I found in Confetti Peektures the perfect photographer – Angie! When we met to understand my concept and discuss what Angie can propose, I was over the moon that she could get what I want. She has way more photos in her iPad so I would recommend meeting up with her for a discussion.

I love that Angie captures emotions very well (you can take a look at her gallery). Some couples like photographers who take glorious scenery but I prefer those who focus on emotions and expressions coz they’re the hardest to capture and the most precious.

Casual Pre-wedding Photoshoot

Mode and I met in secondary school and we wanted to eternalize this memory with pictures. So today we went back to school for a casual pre-wedding photoshoot, to re-create childhood memories. HAHA! It was a little nerve-wrecking to write an email to the school to ask for permission. Thank goodness they were very nice and granted us that.

We got our uniforms re-produced to the way they looked back in 1999 and found old-school white shoes and socks too.




Step-By-Step Latin Ballroom Stage Makeup Tutorial


Of course, you know that this look is not confined to the perimeters of Latin Ballroom Dancing, right? I just entitled this post ‘Step-By-Step Latin Ballroom Stage Makeup Tutorial‘ because, well, this was my look for my very first Latin Ballroom performance! 😀

I photographed the steps for this look on the second day of a 2-day show as the check-in time was later for the second day. First day was a mad rush! Had to check in early in the morning for stage runs and rehearsals.

One reason for making a detailed tutorial for this look was because it really isn’t a complicated look. I completed my own makeup within 30 minutes (35 minutes, tops? I didn’t time myself but it didn’t feel very long) and if you were to follow through the steps below, you’d definitely have people complimenting your makeup next time. ^_^*

Another reason is that the only difference between this stage makeup look and my usual looks is the intensity of colors, and I have plenty of makeup tutorials here. So don’t overthink! It’s not that difficult. :)

The third reason is that I haven’t done a step-by-step tutorial in too long a time. HAHAHA! The last one was this.

I’m gonna jump right straight into eye makeup because while most people have minimal problems applying foundation, they are stuck when it comes to eye makeup.

These were the items used on my face, I think I forgot to place some more items like concealers. It’s actually not a lot…….. it just LOOKS like a lot. Lol. You probably won’t need most of what are shown here if you’re a minimalist.


Step 1: Prime your lids

Stage-Makeup-Tutorial-For-Asians_0 Naked eyes

Stage-Makeup-Tutorial-For-Asians_1 Eyes primed with UDPP

I primed my eyes with Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden, a matte beige. You can use any eye primer of your choice, as long as it does the job of making your eye makeup last longer and enhancing the colors.

Here are other recommendations:

(Click on the links to see where you can get them)

If you do not own an eye primer and do not have time to get one, your concealer or cream eyeshadow (Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow review here) can double up as an eye primer, provided it does not have too much slip or too little moisture to hold the eyeshadows up.

Step 2: Set the base shade

Shades used:

Not shown here is MAC Shroom.


Voodoo and Shell Shock obviously didn’t come in this form. I depotted them from the Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette. I’m so glad I did! Wouldn’t wanna lug Vice 2 around. Too bulky and fragile!

Apply Shell Shock – highly pigmented metallic silver – all over the lids. Go higher than your natural fold, you will be blending it out later.




My First Dance Performance: NUS Cactus Viva Latinus 2014


I started writing this post with the intention to incorporate a full makeup tutorial plus some photos of the performance and what went on backstage. Turns out there were WAYYY TOO MANY! The step-by-step makeup tutorial will make the next post then!

That was the ending pose. SPOT ME! 😀

To get to the ending pose, there were weeks and weeks of training. Nobody in the team would know how it feels to do this at age 30.

When those sweet young things say they’re tired, they go “Aw… I’m tired. YAYYY!! Let’s do it again! ENERGIZER BUNNY!!!”

When I say I’m tired, I mean “FTS. I WANT TO GO HOME“. It’s really not easy, I tell you. But it was a promise to myself, that I would perform on stage before I hit 30. Okie, I am 30 by year, but technically only 29+ by month.

Anyhoooo, mission accomplished and achievement unlocked! 😀

Our dance item had a 70’s theme, hence the colorful leg warmers, leotards, sequined skirt and belt, and big poofy hair.






It’s funny that when they asked during practice who was performing on stage the first time, my hand was the only one raised. Wah, kids these days have so much exposure and courage. Must be the milk powder.


The Best Engagement Anniversary DIY Gifts


Yeeks! What have I been doing to cause such a huuuge gap between my first post of the year and this? Oh, you know, nothing much, just: preparing for my Taiwan wedding photoshoot, flying there, being there, coming home, attending a 3-day dance workshop, helping with house-cleaning for Chinese New Year, celebrating Chinese New Year… and KAZAAM!! I haven’t been blogging proper for a few weeks!

On account of my tight-like-my-pants-because-I’ve-been-eating-too-much schedule, excuse me okie? 😀

You can follow me on Instagram (@bunbunmakeuptips) and more recently, Dayre (@bunbunmakeuptips), for more frequent updates, but my blog is a platform I shall never forsake. So stay with me!

Mr Mode and I spent 1 January 2014 at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. We haven’t been here for AGES! I don’t think we’ve even been to Botanic Gardens together before. It was just so out of the way for us North-Easteners.

The Circle Line has brought about so much convenience. We alighted at — wait for it — Botanic Gardens station and taa-daa >> Botanic Gardens!



It was a combination of a cool breeze and a slight overcast that made the stroll so peaceful and enjoyable.

Cooling weather = Happy Mr Mode

Hot weather = Super Pek Cek On-Fire JEEBABOOMZ Mr Mode

I’d like to say romantic things like ‘Being together was all that mattered’ and ‘No bad weather could dampen our spirits’, but the reality is that the Mister is a 24/7 angry polar bear. HAHAHA!!


Since when did Botanic Gardens become so beautiful? Should have taken more pictures of the flora and fauna.




Taiwan 2013: When In Taiwan, Stay In A Minsu


Every year my friends and I would go on a holiday…. DURING MONSOON SEASON. Hahaha!! Last year we went to Phuket. That’s because the tickets are much cheaper and because we booked our Taiwan flight tickets one year in advance, it came up to only about SGD200+ per person! Usually a Taiwan round trip would cost at least SGD500+. And I’m talking about budget airlines.

Our itinerary:

  • From Taoyuan Airport to Miaoli
  • From Miaoli to Taichung
  • From Taichung to Taipei

橄榄树 民宿 – Olive Tree Min Su

The 民宿 (min su – homestay inn) in Miaoli was the most beautiful place I’ve ever stayed in. I stayed in a minsu before, some years ago, but it was just an okie minsu, like nothing special.

But for this one, it was love at first sight the moment we arrived. I was so awestruck my vocab suddenly shrunk to only “SO NICE!! SO NICE!!” Hahaha!




橄榄树 民宿 – Olive Tree Min Su


I love the little potted plants that were everywhere. Greatly inspired by Olive Tree Minsu. In my own home I shall have many little potted plants. And random little decorations that will take me forever to clean and I will give up and one day throw all of them away.