Stop Saying I’m Lucky To Have Married My Husband – I’m Not

“Your husband is so nice to you. You’re soooo lucky!”

This must be the most common comment I’ve heard and if I get a dollar for every time I hear this, I’ll be very, very rich. (Pardon the cliched analogy.)

This comment frequently comes up when we talk about my cancer ordeal. Many people commended Keith for sticking by me while I’m going through the toughest time of my life one month into our marriage. And they said I was lucky that I had married someone who didn’t leave me in times of trouble.

keith juliet sirmione

To set the record straight, I think I have a wonderful husband…

I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. I love him dearly, and he loves me back, and I know there’s no one else better than him to fill the role of “Mr. Right” in my life. This being said, I don’t attribute marrying him or what he’s done for me to “luck”.

Winning the lucky draw? Yes, that’s luck.
Walking one step ahead before the bird decided to poop at where you were standing? Luck.
Catching the bus although you were late because the bus was also late? Yes, luck!

But marrying Keith? No, not luck.

keith juliet venice

Keith and I were colleagues for some time before we started dating. And while we were colleagues, there were many things about him that stood out to me. First of all, he’s the Mr. Nice Guy that got along with everyone, never played politics, and was always helpful and enthusiastic. He’s also meticulous, a keen and fast learner, extremely humble, and had a shrewd business acumen. While we weren’t romantically involved when I noticed these traits, I think they set the right stage for our impending relationship. It is important for me to be with someone that I could look up to, and that I could respect.

I have dated many guys (non-exclusively) before I dated Keith. And I think I’ve met enough people to know it when it “clicked”. Very quickly during the courtship, I could tell that Keith was someone who is very serious about his relationship when he gets into one. He was very interested to know more about me, about my values, and what I was really like. I was serious too. So we asked a lot of right questions during courtship, even before we were dating exclusively.

keith juliet cheese fondue

The Catholic Marriage Preparation Course that we attended helped us a lot too. While a lot of people go for the course only when wedding plans have already been made (you need the course certificate to book a church wedding), we made the conscious decision to attend it even before he proposed. To us, it was a “marriage preparation” course after all, so we wanted to make sure we have discerned properly, know that we are both prepared spiritually, before we even make any wedding plans. Keith proposed shortly after we finished the course, and I said yes without hesitation. It was a simple decision because the course and the time spent dating him had helped me recognise that he had the traits that I wanted in a husband: rational, dependable, loyal, forgiving.

What he’s “done” are part of our vows

The Catholic wedding vow is beautiful because while it’s succinct, it encompasses everything that a marriage should be: I, (name), take you, (name) to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honour you, all the days of my life.

keith juliet chamonix

“Not leaving me” while I was sick is really just basic 101 for fulfilling his vows. In fact, he has vowed to be “true to me” and to “love and honour me” no matter what. This is what a Christian marriage is about: it is a reflection of Christ’s love for His church, the husband represents Jesus in the marriage, and the wife, the church. Will Jesus ever leave the church even when she’s “sick”? Of course not. He will continue to love her, perhaps love her even more. Keith is called to uphold this high standard of Christian marriage life. It’s in our vows. (The wife has her part to play in Christian marriage too, but that’s a story for another day.)

And very fortunately or perhaps, unfortunately (pun unintended), it’s a vow that we have to make a conscious decision to say yes to every single day. Sometimes we may forget that love is not an adjective, it’s a verb. This means that you need to put love into action for love to happen.

So I’m saying again, I’m not “lucky” to have married Keith…

keith and juliet sirmione

…because marrying him was a choice that I made. And I discerned very thoroughly before I said yes to marrying him. It’s not luck, because it was a calculated, well-considered decision. And it’s not “luck” because what Keith has done – and he would also agree to this – is what he has vowed to do before God, me, and our loved ones. And as the man of integrity and honour that I know him to be, I know he will keep his vows.


It’s Probably A Phase, But I’m Currently In Love With All Things Black-And-Gold

Anyone here go through – what I call – “colour phases”? This means that for a few weeks or even months, your eyes are somehow only attracted to a certain colour and can’t resist buying everything in that particular colour. I know I do.

I’ve previously gone through a mustard phase, pale pink phase, emerald green phase, cobalt blue phase… I can go to one shop and grab three items in the same colour just because I’m on that “zone” during that period. In fact, I’m sure I can kind of tell how old things in my wardrobe are by their colours.

Current phase? Definitely black and gold. And I like it in all kinds of forms. Not a good thing for my wallet.

Baroque-style dresses (I don’t care if it’s passé), but yes, please!

black and gold dress 1

black and gold dress 2

black and gold dress 3

I’m also in love with black and gold shoes. Just look at these!

black and white shoes 1 black and white shoes 2 black and white shoes 3

I only have two pairs of black and gold shoes, one of them is a pair of Ferragamo flats that I’m wearing to death. I have this suspicion I’m going to see more black-and-gold shoes in my cabinet.

And just look at this Michael Kors timepiece!


Oh, it doesn’t help that Michael Kors actually have more than one watch in this colour combo. Like this one:


And this obsession doesn’t stop at fashion (and that’s a huge problem). I’ve also been checking out nail inspirations that involve, obviously, black and gold designs. These are some of those I have my eyes on and have every intention to recreate them over this weekend or something. Which do you think is prettiest?

black and gold nails black and gold nails 3 black and gold nail 2

And I haven’t even talked about eye makeup looks:

eye makeup 3 eye makeup 2 eye makeup 1

I can’t say no to these.

Share with me: Do you go through any colour phases? How do you cope with it? Finally, which of these items/looks do you seriously think I should indulge myself in?

10 Reasons Why I Fell In Love With Clementi After Moving From Ang Mo Kio

I read an article circulating on social media about why Clementi is the best place to live in. I agree. But my husband and I both thought the article didn’t manage to give justice to exactly how wonderful Clementi is, and I’ve been challenged to do a better piece.

Just some background: I’ve stayed in Ang Mo Kio almost all my life, and never in my life have I thought that I was going to ever move to Clementi. The closest I’ve ever been a Clementi-er? When I was studying in NUS. But very reluctantly (at first), I gave in to my husband’s request to ballot for a place here, and we got it on our first try. Because I wasn’t used to it at all when I first moved, I didn’t like it. I missed Ang Mo Kio so much. Now that I’ve settled down for a year, I’m ready to show my love.

So, how do I love Clementi? Let me count the ways:

1. It’s super convenient

Because of where it is at on the MRT line (one stop from Jurong East), people tend to have the impression that we are in the West. To be fair, we are probably better described as South-west.

See? That’s definitely not WEST.

The other article said we are 20 minutes away from Yishun by MRT, well, that’s quite a stretch. (It makes me wonder if the writer has ever taken the MRT.) But it doesn’t matter, because who cares about going to freaking Yishun anyway?

We are, however…

  • just a 30-minute MRT ride to Orchard Road (15 minutes only if you drive, and I know because I do that every day, and you can skip all the ERP if you want)
  • board a JB-bound bus at Kranji MRT station within 20 minutes (20 to 30-minute drive via Tuas Second Link to Malaysia)
  • 30-minute bus or MRT ride to VivoCity (where you can get to Sentosa, and 15 minutes if you drive)
  • the nearest NEL station is just seven stops away at Outram Park, and the nearest Circle line station is two stops away at Bouna Vista

2. There are many good educational institutions nearby

If you’re planning ahead for children, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no lack of good educational institutions nearby: Nanhua Primary School, NUS High, Nanhua High, and National University of Singapore are all here. Not too far away (approximately 15-minute drive), you have Hwa Chong Institution, National Junior College, and Nanyang Girls’ High.

3. So many cool places to hang out at

When I stayed in Ang Mo Kio, the “coolest” place I hang out at was probably at Bishan Park (where there are cafes available). But after moving here, I find myself spending my weekends at Holland Village and Rochester Park, where there are many nice places to wile my time away at. Some nice places Keith and I spend time at:

  • Sixty40 at Rochester Mall, a nice bistro-bar that offers live music from Thursday to Saturday. We’ve heard Alfred, who does mainly country music, play there one night and it was good. He also does pop songs, take dedications and entertained us with his great imitation of singers like Elvis Presley. He’s a lot of fun to hang out with because he’s very humorous. The prices are reasonable, and you can find decent food and alcohol there.
  • If you, like us, really love live music, another place you can hang out at is Wala Wala, in Holland V. Most people already know about this, so I’m not going to elaborate.
  • W39 is within Clementi, and is a hidden-away bistro and bakery that is very popular, despite how difficult it is to find parking lots there. The food isn’t fantastic, we think, but it’s a good “hipster” joint to hang out at.

These are just three examples but really, there are so many more just within the Rochester Park and Holland V area. And if you need any more convincing, well, my Starbucks at Rochester Park looks cooler than your Starbucks. (That’s where you’ll find me working on Daily Vanity either after breakfast or after dinner on the weekends.)

4. Food, glorious food

Building on the previous point, there are also lots of good food to be found in or near Clementi (who says you only get good food in the East?!)

  • There’s a famous rojak place at Clementi central. The uncle mixes the rojak so professionally, it’s a joy to watch him. He’ll also try to sell you his signature dried squid. Our honest advice: just go for the rojak. The squid is not bad, but just a little too pricey. The rojak is worth the queue, though!
  • Right beside the rojak stall is a famous tutu kweh stall that also sees long queues all the time.
  • While you’re in Clementi central, might as well queue at the Blk 448’s hawker centre, home to a famous satay stall. At the same hawker centre, you’ll also find a famous fish porridge stall. This stall doesn’t have a queue, but you typically have to wait for 20-30 minutes for your food. It was the best porridge I’ve tried.
  • Did you know that the famous Maxwell Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice has a stall in Clementi (at Blk 450) too? At the same coffee shop, you’ll also find Golden Rooster, which sells yummy fried and BBQ chicken that my husband loves. Tian Tian usually sells out by around 7pm, so make sure you visit early.
  • We also have Botak Jones in Clementi (Blk 325)!
  • Go to West Coast market and look for the delicious duck rice ($3 for a set meal consisting of braised duck meat, tofu, egg and herbal soup). In the morning, don’t be surprised to see a long queue forming at the fishball noodles stall. We don’t particularly like it, but obviously, the queue says otherwise for many others.


  • Travel further to Bukit Timah and don’t forget to visit Udders Pancakes, which my husband and I absolutely love. Next to Udders Pancakes is Kim’s restaurant, which we heard serve really good Korean cuisine. (We haven’t tried it ourselves.)
  • If you’re a prata fan, Clementi is your place. Prata Planet (Blk 320) has one of the best prata to offer in Singapore. You can also check out Niqqi’s Cheese Prata (it’s where we used to go to when we were in NUS, but it doesn’t seem so good anymore) and Al-Azhar Eating Place at Bukit Timah, which is highly recommended too.

5. There are many pasar malam

I noticed Clementi West often holds pasar malam. I estimate it to happen around once every three months. I haven’t seen one in my Ang Mo Kio neighbourhood for at least 10 years. Where else can you get Ramly burgers in the neighbourhood?

6. It’s in Jurong GRC

Tharman. ’nuff said.

7. You have the sea near you too

Those who like water bodies will appreciate that the West Coast Park. The VivoCity waterfront, Keppel Bay, and Labrador Park are also a stone’s throw away. Sentosa is near too (see point 1). I like places with water bodies because I find it relaxing to be near them. This is a personal bonus for me.

8. Malls and more

I can have access to these shopping malls within 10 minutes: Clementi Mall, City Vibes, 321 Clementi, West Coast Plaza, Star Vista, Rochester Mall, IMM, Jcube, Westgate, JEM, and Big Box.

9. Home to award-winning HDB estate

The estate I stay in has won at least three awards, from what I understand. I don’t really know how often are HDB estates given awards – not that common, I suppose. Because it was in the news and there was a documentary that talked about it. One of the awards is the annual Fiabci Prix d’Excellence award, which is apparently a highly-regarded international award. On a separate note, did you know that on the plot of land where Casa Clementi now sits, they’ve found a bomb left behind from World War II?

10. A piece of cross that Jesus died on can be found in Clementi

This relic is securely kept in the Church of Holy Cross in Clementi, hence its name.

You tell me, where else in Singapore is more holy?

5 Things You’ll Need In Your Makeup Stash For Halloween

Halloween is an exciting day for kids because they’re going to receive lots of candies; as for adults, we can look forward to dressing up in the most flamboyant way, without being judged. There are going to be tons of makeup tutorials giving you ideas and teaching you how you can pull off different creative looks this Halloween, and I’m sure you already have your favourite YouTubers to get this covered for you. So I thought I’d just share some essentials that you can start stocking up now to achieve the Halloween makeup that you will be wearing on 31 October.

1. Ultra black eyeliner


Whether it is to dress up as a zombie, a vampire, or a witch, ultra black eyeliner to either create dark under eye circles or the goth look, is a must. Besides using it to line your eyes, eyeliners are also very useful for creating motifs such as fake tattoos, cracked lines, stitches, or scars on your skin.

Tip: To make sure your eye makeup last longer, layer some black eyeshadow powder on top of black cream eyeliner.

2. White face powder


White face powder may not be a staple in your usual makeup routine, but when it comes to Halloween makeup, white – yes, sheet white – face powder is super useful! Use it for looks like the dead geisha, porcelain doll, or zombie.

Tip: For a more convincing look, you’ll probably need to powder up your neck area too.

3. Bronzer

cat halloween

Contouring is an important technique particularly for Halloween makeup in order to give your face more definition or to emphasise your cheekbones (so you look more gaunt). It can also help you create the face shape that you’d like to achieve to look more like the character you’re dressing up as.

Tip: The bronzing powder that you pick should come in a shade that’s approximately two shades darker than your actual skin tone, so that the blending will look more seamless.

4. Faux blood

halloween blood

The most fun part of Halloween makeup? Blood! Even if you aren’t very creative, you can simply do the makeup that you’re used to doing every day, and then smear blood all over to achieve a gory, scary look.

Tip: Allow the faux blood to drip naturally to get a more realistic look.

5. Glitter

glitter zip halloween

If you find (faux) blood too gory, you can consider investing in glitter for a odd but glamorous look. The above image, for instance, shows you how you can replace where it is usually blood, with glitter, to give a more futuristic touch. The above example looks like an alien that’s wearing human skin. Very neat!

Tip: Be more generous with your glitter application because it’s definitely going to come off throughout the day as you perspire.

abandon girlfriend for boyfriend1

Enough about Bro Code. Here are my proposed Girl Code rules!

You probably know what “Bro Code” refers to: a set of rules or etiquette to follow if you’re a guy, towards your other guy friends (aka your “bros”). Some of the Bro Code rules I’ve heard include: Never date your bro’s ex-girlfriend, and never tell your bro’s girlfriend what nasty things he did last night.

I think girlfriends ought to have a set of rules that governs their friendships too. I don’t know if there are any “official” ones going around, but these are what I think should be in the Girl Code. Feel free to let me know if you think there are any other ones!

1. Your girl pal’s current boyfriend’s exes and her exes’ new girlfriends are never as good as her


2. Discreetly let your girl pal know about the vegetable that’s stuck between her teeth as soon as you see it. This rule also extends to mascara smudges and lip stains on the teeth. Like, when this happens:


Like, when this happens.


3. “Like” all her selfies. (Unless she’s posting too excessively, then tell her privately to stop.) Tap “like” all the way, like this:


Just keep tapping "like".

4. Don’t ever get pissed off at her and not tell her why, thinking that “she should know it what“. (She’s not your boyfriend! Then again, you shouldn’t be doing this to your boyfriend!) I mean, like this:



5. Ex-boyfriends are off-limits.

ovaries before brovaries

6. Be happy for her successes and let her have a moment. For example, if she says: “I’m getting a promotion!”, the response should be “Congrats! You deserve it because you work so hard! Tell me about the new role!” and not “Sigh, I wonder when my boss will ever appreciate what I do…” (and spend the next one hour talking about your work woes)



7. If you stop hanging out because you started dating, and even if you meet, he’s the only one you ever talk about? STAHP.


abandon girlfriend for boyfriend1

8. Take care of her when she’s drunk and make sure she’s not in danger. (Although I’d even say, you should stop her from drinking before she gets pissed drunk.)



9. Don’t ever harbour the thought of up-staging her at her own wedding. You’ll have your day!



10. Be honest at the changing room. Don’t ever allow her to buy something you know look horrible on her.


hell no

 Any other rules you think we should add?

Selfies Are Not That Bad. Here’s When I Think They’re Good

Selfie: A word that didn’t exist until recent years (it only made its way to Oxford Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2014) and is a big part of so many people’s lives these days.

I won’t call myself a selfie-fanatic, but I can see why people are hooked on them. We used to rely on others to take a photo for us, and the chances of it turning out as a good one is probably 50:50. Now, with the help of front-cameras and flip screens, we are able to see ourselves and snap a picture according to what we think look good enough to be immortalised as a photo (that we ultimately post onto social media). Another up side? Unlike getting someone else to take a photo for us, we can snap as many photos as we like, without frustrating the photographer.

First selfie I took after I finished my chemotherapy treatments. I had been very self-conscious about having no hair, brows and lashes, so I haven't taken photos for a long time before this.

First selfie I took after I finished my chemotherapy treatments. I had been very self-conscious about having no hair, brows and lashes, so I haven’t taken photos for a long time before this. Here, I wore a wig, drew on my brows, and wore eyeliner to conceal the missing lashes, and stepped out of the house for the first time, on a “first date” with my husband after the storm.

While selfies, like Justin Bieber, may be the biggest thing of the decade as far as Millenials are concerned, they also have a bad name for being synonymous with egoism and narcissism.

I admit duck-faces annoy me, and humble-braggarts – those that post a random selfie with a caption that says: 3 people asked if I were a celebrity today – make me mad. I am also not appreciative of Facebook albums that are made up of nothing but 100 photos of you making faces at the camera in the same room, on the same day. But selfies aren’t always bad, and these are when I think they’re great:

1. They serve as a motivator

Fitspo (short for fitsporation) that are posted as a record of your fitness or weight loss journey don’t just inspire others, but more importantly, help you to keep on track. Because you feel more pressured into showing progress and keeping to the regime, it makes you more motivated to work hard at the gym. What’s not okay, though: gym images with full-on makeup; just so you know, exercising with makeup destroys your skin.

2. They are an ice-breaker

Most people wouldn’t believe this, but I am really shy with strangers, and have to try very hard to warm up to them. However, when someone says “Hey, let’s take a selfie!” at appropriate times, it immediately breaks the ice. After all, huddling just to fit into the frame and laughing over the attempt to get as many people as possible in the picture makes for some good interactions. What’s more, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask for your new friends’ Instagram handle or to make Facebook friend requests afterwards!

3. They are a good momento

taiwan selfie

Breakfast at a beautiful hotel we checked into at Taroko Gorges in Taiwan. This was taken during my post-chemo celebratory trip with my brother, and is a “selfie with a story” for me.

I’m not talking about the 100 photos that you took in your room, but those that truly record the events you want to remember, like your best friend’s 30th birthday party or your proposal. Now that we are all armed with smartphones with front cameras, it makes life easier for solo travellers who might want to get a photo of a beautiful moment with themselves in it. After all, what’s the point of snapping a photo of only Eiffel Tower when you can probably find thousands of them on Google images? But hey, none has you in it, so that’s unique!

Too Lazy To Wear Eyeshadow So I Invest In Lipsticks Instead

I know I’ve made a resolution to wear eyeshadow more frequently this year, but somehow this just didn’t work out that well. Instead, I find myself wearing lipstick more often – it’s a much easier way to jazz up makeup, without committing as much time, effort and money, compared to eye makeup, I think!

Call it makeup porn, but one of my favourite things to do these days is to browse Instagram or Pinterest, looking new lip colours I can add to my growing lipstick collection. I’ve been seeing lots of photos taken by the beauty community, showing off their Stila lip products (especially the liquid lipstick!) and I just can’t get my mind off them.

There was a time I got tired of pink lipsticks, but somehow my preference towards them seems to be returning. I imagine this to go well with a frilly dress:

Stila 4

And this in coral shade melts my heart! While I have a huge lipstick collection, I don’t think I’ve had anything that’s in the coral shade yet. I’ve seen some of my friends wearing this shade and I thought that it looks very flattering on Asian skin tone and makes skin look brighter and more rosier.

stila 1

Some people may find this an overkill, but I absolutely love purple lipsticks. Like the red lipstick, it adds a glam factor to makeup, yet it’s not as cliched as red – you know what I mean? It’s surprisingly not that hard to pull off also. As long as you make sure that your brows are properly filled in.

Stila 2

And finally, classic red!

Stila 3

More than sharing with you, I’m actually taking these as my personal “tear sheets” to add to my wish list. Hahaha!

I’m actually thinking of hitting Sephora soon (there’s just no time to go anywhere with so many things lined up in my schedule), and then I realise that Stila makeup is sold online too. So I might not have to head out after all!

Which colour do you think I should put at the top of my wish list?