Essential Guide to Buying Wedding Gifts

Other than watching the bride romantically walking down the aisle, proposing a toast and witnessing the couple’s first dance, giving of wedding gifts is also among the traditions of Singapore weddings. Although giving gifts is definitely a generous and thoughtful act, it can also be confusing and a bit pricey.

To enlighten you on this somehow confusing wedding element, here’s a compilation of the common concerns when buying gifts for the newlyweds.

1. “Is it okay to give something that’s not in the gift registry?”
It is absolutely okay to give gifts that are not included in the wedding registry. The items in the registry are just suggestions from the bride and groom themselves, not obligations. A wedding registry is a guideline as to what the bridal couple needs and wants. If you prefer purchasing something else, it is still advisable to view the registry to have an idea of the style or the type of items the couple likes to have.

2. “Is cash better than gifts?”
It actually depends on the couple, because there are some who would prefer cash. However, gifting cash can be tricky, since there’s no appropriate amount to give. The best you can do, if you are not comfortable about gifting cash, go for gift certificate to a store at which the bridal couple has signed up their gift registry.

3. “Is there a standard price for wedding gifts?”
There is no proper amount to spend on a wedding gift for any guest, even the principal sponsors, and no one is obliged to give a particular type of gift. And that belief that the guest should spend no less than the amount of his or her reception meal for a gift is just another myth. Let your relationship to the couple and your budget help you decide for your wedding gift.

4. “Do I need to buy gifts for both bridal shower and the wedding?”
Unfortunately, yes. That is part of your responsibility when you RSVPed for both events. If buying two gifts is too much for your budget, consider getting a group gift with other guests who are having the same dilemma as yours to help lessen the cost.

5. “How long do I have to send my gift after the wedding?”
One year, max. However, ideally, wedding gifts should be shipped to the couple’s house at least two weeks before the wedding day, so they have the time to adjust what to include and what no longer needs to be in the registry. If you end up purchasing your gift after the wedding, make sure to do so right away. Otherwise, you’re likely to procrastinate, forget and remember it five years later, feeling so ashamed that you have not gotten the couple, who are close friends of yours, a thoughtful wedding gift.

If you are clueless of what to give your newlywed friends, just remember to give something that they can use in their new home, may it be kitchenware, bedding set or any decorative piece.

5 Places in SG to Cultivate Your Cultural Apprecia...

One of the perks of traveling is the in-depth first-hand experience of a place’s culture. From the informal things such as street art, to the religious and political sophistication, a place’s culture transcends the boundaries of time. Something that Singapore takes pride in, with all its lush array of cultural intricacies.

1. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
Opened in 2007, the temple’s name was derived from the sacred left canine of the Buddha. It’s believed that the tooth was retrieved in Kushinagar in India, where the Buddha’s funeral pyre is located. The temple follows the Tang style Chinese Buddhist temple design, which resembles hundreds of years of Buddhist art and culture. Public viewing of the Buddha Tooth Relic is possible but only from a designated area in the stupa. Regarded as sacred, only monks have access inside the relic chamber.

2. National Museum of Singapore
Serving as the best portfolio of Singapore’s identity there is, the National Museum of Singapore is worth the trip even before you set foot inside the premises. Housing Singapore’s lush history, its exterior rocks with a neo-classical merged with modernist architectural design. Dating back to 1887, the structure is undeniably one of Singapore’s icons in terms of architecture. Exhibits are held all year round. Cafes, restaurants and commercial establishments also cater to both tourists and locals alike.

3. Chinese Gardens
An island located in Jurong Lake, the Chinese Garden has a twin island known as the Japanese Gardens. These two are in the process of being developed into the Jurong Lake Gardens. The Chinese Garden contains culturally rich structures such as various pavilions and pagodas utilized during the Chinese Imperial era, way up in North China. The garden also contains a large bonsai collection. Another attraction is the live turtle and tortoise Museum.

4. Japanese Garden
Adjacent to the Chinese Garden, the Japanese Garden completes the Jurong Lake Garden. Pagodas are still present, but this time following the Japanese design. There are also picturesque arched bridges, stone lanterns, rock waterfalls and stone paths sure to catch visitors’ eyes.

5. Malay Heritage Center
Containing nine galleries of murals, multimedia displays and artefacts, the museum houses the rich history of Singapore Malays. The Malay Heritage Center was established in the Istana Kampong Glam. It was materialized through the efforts of Sultan Ali, son of Sultan Hussein Shah, approximately 160 years ago.

These are but five of what Singapore has to offer in terms of culture. Known as a collage of cultures in Asia, Singapore struck a harmonious balance of all of them. One culture provides a rich contrast to another culture, and they co-exist in harmony like the colors of a rainbow. Each hue distinct, complementary and blending just right with each other. Indeed, there is beauty in diversity. Singapore is proof.

5 Shoe Types Ideal for a Stroll

Often, our feet get the least attention when it comes to accessories. Yet in travel as well as everyday routines, they should have the most comfort. Any stroll would be cut short if your feet start killing you minutes after you’ve just walked out the door.

As long as our shoes match well with our OOTDs, we’re good to go. As they say, style is always over comfort. Or as far as fashion enthusiasts are concerned, that is. Here are five shoe types ladies must have when in the mood for a stroll in Singapore:

1. Flip flops
Since Singapore has a fairly warm weather most of the year, it’s just wise to give our pair of transport guys we commonly call our feet the breather they need. For travelers, this type of footwear is lightweight and goes well with outfits matching a sunny climate like Singapore’s. Easy to pack and easy to wear, it’s a win-win. For locals, it’s a usual must have for those last-minute strolls we like to squeeze in after a day’s work or on weekends. What better way to dress up than to dress down – comfy and stylish is the combo to go.

2. Gladiator sandals
If flip-flops just can’t stay still, you can always switch to more strapped-style sandals such as these. Not all strapped sandals go well with most chic outfits ladies prefer nowadays, so might as well try these stylish sandals that are not only good for long strolls, but also provide the elegance ladies must have at all times (or as much as possible, anyway). Usually paired with summer dresses or rompers, nobody will guess you’re trying to put comfort over style. Snug-fit to your convenience, it’s a practical choice for those long strolls.

3. Wedge
For those opting to have more height to add to their OOTDs, here’s a type of footwear sure to squeeze in height, comfort and style. Wedge sandals look pretty in any outfit, plus it keeps feet comfortably snug while indulging on those day-long walks doing shopping or sight-seeing. It keeps you stylishly up for social-media-worthy photos along the way, too.

4. Ballet flats / doll shoes
For ladies blessed with height, flats are always a go-to footwear for long strolls. Keeping your feet protected from the sun and other environment naturals, these shoes go well with both dresses and jeans. These types come in different colors, style and materials nowadays, and they’re always in as far as style is concerned. For travelers, these are lightweight so no need to worry about dragging around heavy footwear in your luggage.

5. Sneakers
Who says ragged isn’t pretty? These dress-down types of footwear can easily blend along with almost any outfit. Mostly coming in neutrals white, gray and black, these go-to footwear always make the scene when going for long strolls. They are always in-style, with comfort as top priority.

Five isn’t enough for any girl when it comes to footwear, but these suggestions definitely add to those long list of options that might just come in handy. Up for a walk through Singapore? Pick out your strolling shoes first.

5 Delicious Ways to Serve Pineapple

While the dispute about whether pineapples make a suitable pizza topping continues, the fruit remains to be a favorite among many people. As a matter of fact, the tangy-flavored pineapple has been incorporated in different meals. What started out as an experiment in the kitchen turned into something great; as the inclusion of pineapple as an ingredient has garnered a large following over the years. It is notably an adventure of its own.

Whether summer’s fast approaching or long over, there are different ways to prepare and serve pineapple no matter the season!

Grilled pineapple
Simply grilling pieces of the fruit already makes a great snack for the family. This is perfect to serve if you’re planning an outdoor picnic. If you’re feeling fancy, you can also serve it as a dessert along with a serving of sorbet or even as an entrée with a serving of scrumptious steak. The versatile taste of pineapple is perfect in satiating every taste and palate.

Upside-down cake
Pineapples on a cake? Why not. This sweet dish is considered a classic. Well loved by many, it is made best with fresh pineapple slices but if you’re on-the-go, canned pineapples will do the trick. You can search for classic upside-down cake recipes on the internet as a guide – but don’t forget to include pineapple slices, though!

Pineapple casserole
Another dessert idea, a pineapple casserole is a sweet, offbeat dish that will warm you up on cold nights! This is perfect if you want to taste some tropical zing even if it’s the middle of the chilly season. There is also no need to worry over ingredients. You may even find them in your pantry; such as cheese, butter, sugar, pineapple slices, and cracker crumbs.

Polynesian chicken
If rotisserie chicken is growing bland on your taste buds, time to kick it up a notch! Serve your nest chicken meal with a zesty pineapple dressing on the side. Tossing in some fresh slices of the tropical fruit is enough to make your dish sing. To complement the dish, serve rice and a tropical cocktail of your own choosing.

Pineapple jam
This is a delicious jam to pair with your loaf. Fruit jams make a nutritious spread on your traditional sandwiches. Make your mornings great by serving pineapple jam – which perfectly preserves the tropical pineapple flavor for the long weeks ahead. This is easy to prepare especially if you’re on the morning rush.

5 of Your Favorite Fruits and How to Tell They Are...

Fruits are generally a constant in every trip to the grocery. Who could resist the alluring selection every time you pass by fruit section? These shiny, juicy fruits are visually pleasant – enough to make consumers patronize them before they spoil, but there are times you’ll be surprised at their true quality when you slice them open at home.

As the adage goes, there is more than what meets the eye. To prevent any post-purchase regret, here are some useful tips to help you select the ripest, and tastiest fruit out of the bunch.

Don’t get discouraged by green colored pineapples. In fact, some green pineapples are ripe on the inside. Checking the general appearance of pineapples is a foolproof key to determine whether the fruit is fresh or not. A sturdy shell and bright green leaves are common indicators of a good pineapple. However, the real test lies in the smell. Good quality pineapples ideally smell sweet.

One trusty way to buy a good melon is to ensure all visible parts are relatively free of any blemish. The surface of a melon should be smooth. The texture of a honeydew or a watermelon, for example, should be matte than shiny. Cantaloupes, however, must be golden orange colored underneath its netting. Also, always check if the fruit has a sweet smell to ensure it’s not unripe yet.

It is often far too easy to be lured by shiny and juicy-looking strawberries. While that indicates good quality, actually, it’s not always the case. There are some sweet-looking strawberries which do not taste good at all. And so, colors aside, the scent must also be checked thoroughly (as is the case with other fruits). Check for the bunch of strawberries which smells the sweetest.

Checking the color of the peaches’ skin is one way to determine its ripeness. Peaches with white or green spots, particularly, are known to be unripe. It often requires a few more days for the fruit to turn completely ripe. Don’t forget to give each peach a (light) squeeze to confirm ripeness, too!

When it comes to selecting sweet red cherries, you’d ideally want to look for deep, highly-saturated reds. Check if there’s a stem still attached to the fruits and make sure it is bright green in color. Avoid buying cherries with wrinkles in the surrounding area, particularly where the stem meets the fruit.