A Pinterest Wedding Surprise

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(Image: Amanda Roman’s Pinterest)

For all those who argue that romance is dead in modern days, we’ve come across the perfect story that can be the poster child for the 21st century tech-savvy love story. Couple in question? Meet Amanda Roman and Ryan Leak. And the unlikely place for this love story? Pinterest.

While I’m sure many of our brides are not alone in pinning their wedding inspirations on Pinterest, Amanda and Ryan just took things further — on overhearing Amanda that her dream was to get engaged and married on the same day, Ryan promptly planned their wedding according to Amanda’s Pinterest board titled “My Dream Wedding”, and popped the question on their fifth anniversary together!

The amount of thought that went into Ryan’s proposal practically blew our socks away — as if it’s not hard enough having to plan a wedding all by yourself, Ryan also delivered the proposal and wedding as a beautiful surprise to Amanda. That involved flying Amanda to Miami on the pretense that they were going to help a friend move, and of course, flying in all their loved ones to the same place on the sly! Just in case you’re wondering, Ryan also got ready all other items for the wedding, including Amanda’s gown and makeup/hair. Now, a man who can pick your dream wedding dress for you is definitely one for the keeping, we say!

For those of you who’re interested to find out more about this enviable couple, check out the documentary below!

Travel: Best Spots to Catch a Romantic Sunset in Kenting!

For all lovey-dovey getaways, there’s one thing that can’t be missing from your perfect itinerary — a romantic sunset. This week, W&T travelled to the southernmost tip of Taiwan, the wonderful beach town of Kenting, and sussed out the best spots for you to catch the magnificent sight of the sun dropping into the Pacific Ocean!

1. Guanshan (觀山)

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The beautiful mountain vantage point of Guanshan has long been an open secret for local Taiwanese tourists seeking out the magical sunset moment in Kenting. To get to Guanshan, your best bet would be to rent your own vehicle and drive up. (Otherwise, motorcycles work too, though slightly more tedious!) While you can jolly well enjoy the beautiful view from your vehicle, we recommend that you join other fellow sunset-chasers at the local eatery selling savoury kuehs at mid-hill. This is where you can enjoy premium seats for the sunset for as little as just slightly more than S$2! You can also strike up a conversation with the boss, who’s used to receiving tourists who’re after the view — he might just tell you (from his many years of experience) whether today’s sunset is going to match up.

2. Wanlitong (萬里桐)

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If you’re looking for a sunset view with a laid-back small town vibe, Wanlitong is the spot for you. Enjoy the glorious last rays of the day’s sun sitting on the ledge just by the roadship amidst the subtle hubbub of the local residents in the neighbourhood — the sounds of people coming home from a hard day at work; fisherfolk reeling in their catch at the embankment a short distance away; a family’s dog barking. And the best part? While we were there, there were only a few other people who were catching the sunset too. We reckon that this must mean Wanlitong is not a touristy spot, and that can only bode well for the romantic atmosphere.

3. South Bay (南灣)

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For all those who’re hanging out around town, or don’t have the transport to go too far, South Bay is your best bet for a convenient location to catch the sunset in Kenting. Conveniently located near the beach where most of your sea activities are at, and a stone’s throw away from many of Kenting’s accommodations, chances are you’ll find yourself at South Bay without even realising it. While the views are spectacular as well, the only downside is that this spot is a staple on all tourist itineraries and you might find yourself jostling for some space.

Do you all any other “secret spots” where you catch the sunset at Kenting? We’ll love to hear from you!

Travel: Cafe hopping in Bangkok – The Bookshop

Think gastronomic pleasure in Bangkok and the bustling city’s endless street stalls come to mind. The Land of Smiles however is cooking up a new platter of dining options – charming cafes serving satisfying food fare as well as much-needed respite after hours of shopping. Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you new spots to visit in your next trip to Bangkok.

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(Photo Credits: Wedding & Travel)

We had made it a point to fit The Bookshop into our itinerary after first reading about it on CNN Travel. Wowed by its decor, we had high hopes for this elaborately decked out cafe and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Located within a serene hotel-like residential area with blocks of sparkling white high-rise apartments dotted by manicured plots of lush green, it was as if we had stepped into a different world when my companion and I alighted from our taxi. The magic doesn’t end there.

Push open the glass door which says “The Bookshop” in a Harry-Potter-ish font, trust us when we say “Wow” was the only word we could master. The waitress who attended to us was probably too used to such reactions from first-timers and left us to take in the almost surreal display which at one go was simply overwhelming.

The cafe, designed by Ashley Sutton who also created cutesy cafe Mr Jones Orphanage, looked like a scene from one of American film director Tim Burton’s movies. From right to left, there was a staircase leading to nowhere, floating shelves and heaps of books moving up and down while suspended in mid-air. Throw in the black and white color theme of cast iron curves, mirrors on the walls, comfy arm chairs and soothing acoustic covers of various pop songs, welcome to wonderland.

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Moving books hanging from the ceiling.

To complete the experience, the menu is divided into sections like “Introduction”, “Chapter 1” and “The End” with food and beverage items having fun names and entertaining descriptions. For one, a cocktail named “The Plot Thickens” is described as “Full of suspense with a satisfying climax”. Fancy names aside, our meal was pleasant. Apart from coffee, we particularly liked our Truffle Mushroom Risotto, where every rice grain was coated with a rich blend of truffle and cheese.

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A must-mention is the bill served in a book wrapped in black soft leather. So before you hand over the bill, flip through it and have a good read or laugh! For ours was a collection of real-life jokes and fun trivia surrounding the various Presidents of the United States which left us chuckling.

We were the only two customers that afternoon, possibly because this chic spot is more introduced as a night bar, going from what we read on most blogs. But if you’re looking for a quiet moment over a cuppa, do pop by in the day. While the prices here might be slightly steep as compared to the other cafes around Thong Lo, the extravagant furnishings which provides one with a secret fantasy hide-out more than makes up for it.

We’ll be back, for sure.

The Bookshop
Sukhumvit Soi 38, Ashton Condominium (Nearest BTS is Thong Lo)
Opens daily from 11am to midnight
+66 2 187 4949 | www.facebook.com/thebookshop38

What makes a successful marriage?

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While we at W&T have always focused ourselves on helping you conjure that most memorable wedding, we are also concerned about what goes on after the big day. Unlike a wedding, marriage is for life and to quote philosopher Paul Tillich, “any deep relationship to another human being requires watchfulness and nourishment.”

Hence, we read with interest this article titled “Marriage Secrets Of Highly Successful Couples” published on Huffington Post. In it, ten secrets that will make up a long-lasting and blissful marriage are listed.

In our opinion, there can never be one fast rule or 10 conditions that applies to all but this article does provide some timely reminders. For one, we like how one of the secrets states this — Successful couples adhere to the 60/40 rule. Only when both parties learn how to give and take can a marriage work out and sustain.

Another good point raised is this — Successful couples never stop dating. After one gets accustomed to married life and especially when kids come into the equation, the element of romance usually gets swept under the table. When was the last time you relished the good old times with your other half?

What are your thoughts on the 10 secrets listed in this article by Huffington Post? Let us know what you think is a factor a successful marriage must have.

Lifestyle: Singapore Biennale 2013

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Looking for somewhere to go for your weekend date apart from the usual suspects? (Orchard Road, Tiong Bahru move over!) Look no further, as Singapore’s premier contemporary art show — the Singapore Biennale — is back from 26 October 2013 to 16 February 2014!

This year, a team of 27 curators from all over Southeast Asia came together to put together a show that is centred on the theme of If the World Changed. The theme was inspired by the ebb and flow of cultural interactions Southeast Asia has seen throughout history, no thanks to our geographical location, which serves as a link between the East and the West. This sense of rapid transformation and change has carried forward to today, and this year’s Singapore Biennale hopes to evoke us to reconsider the world we live in, and the worlds we want to live in. A total of 82 established and emerging artists from the region responded to this theme through their works.

Visitors can look forward to experiencing performance works by artists such as Sharon Chin (Malaysia) and Lee Wen (Singapore); paintings by artists such as Tan Wei Kheng (Malaysia) and Leslie de Chavez (Philippines); video works by Manny Montelibano (Philippines), Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam) and Khvay Samnang (Cambodia); sculptures by Tran Nam (Vietnam) as well as installation works by Shieko Reto (Malaysia), Nge Lay (Myanmar), Joo Choon Lin (Singapore), Leroy Sofyan (Singapore) and Oscar Villamiel (Philippines).

Instead of being exhibited in one single place, visitors can view the show at the many museums and cultural institutions located in the Brash Basah Bugis precinct. Some of the venues include: Singapore Art Museum, National Museum of Singapore, Peranakan Museum, Fort Canning Park, National Library Board, Singapore Management University and Waterloo Centre. (Psst, you can admire artworks for free at the latter four locations!)

If that doesn’t make for a fulfilling weekend of exploring and taking in beautiful art, we don’t know what does! For more information on the show and the list of artists, visit the Singapore Biennale website.