Category Archives: Engagement
Had some friends over for dinner for a (mini) engagement celebration.. decided to make some Mushroom & Truffle Risotto with some asparagus and chicken thrown in for extra measure. It’s actually really easy to cook, just time consuming. The only downside was that I over-estimated the amount of ingredients and we ended up with more ingredients than actual risotto, haha! It was delish though, but next time I’ll hold off on going crazy with the truffles.. I think I added too much ;) Very nice and hearty meal though, and decadant especially with the awesome chocolate dessert from La Renaissance!
Mushroom & Truffle Risotto, with a glass of Pinot Noir
Wonderful chocolate gateau from the French patisserie – but of course!
Random bits of dessert. We got the nougat from Hamilton Island – it is awesome!!
The Frenchies :)
We get in on the action
Even better action ;)
Over the weekend, Chris and I did the 10km Camp Quality charity run. Or at least we tried, but failed miserably :P First of all, it was after a week’s worth of partying and very very very late nights.. so getting up before 6am(!) was just brutal. On top of that, it was dreary, drizzling, really windy, and super super cold!! It was like winter came out in full-force :( Feeling none-too-inspired, we still dragged ourselves there and started running.
Unfortunately, my knee’s been acting up in the past few weeks and was really sore straightaway, and gave up and caved in (bloody painful!!!!!) around the 4km mark. Pathetic, huh? I tried to continue running but Chris insisted we stop so we ended up walking back to the main meeting area, tail between our legs. Was so very sad that we had to give up, and so frustrating that we made such an effort with the weather and didn’t even feel one bit exercised! :(
Goodies to start you off
It was coooold! Check out the guy behind me in gloves ;)
So since we obviously fail at being fit & healthy, we reverted back to doing what we do best – cooking and eating ;) Made a simple Beef Stroganoff for dinner and Chris made garlic bread with his home-made garlic butter – it’s absolutely divine!! No recipe because I basically just threw everything together in the saucepan. It did turn out delish though :)
Softening the onions
Chris wearing my apron (*lol*), preparing the garlic bread
Add in a dash (or in our case, almost the whole carton) of sour cream…
Beef Stroganoff with Garlic Bread
Closeup of Chris’ homemade garlic bread, mmmm
Our little romantic dinner, just the two of us :)
The first day I got back to work, my very very lovely girl friends sent me a big bunch of super colourful flowers! So delightful, thanks so much girls :) They’re featuring front-and-center on my dining table and are lasting absolute ages – 2 weeks now and they still look just fine. Anyway, so we had 2 dinners – one outside at Bite Me Burger and the other at my place, making homemade pizzas… mmmmmm!!
Gorgeous bunch of flowers on my office desk
Pretty at home on the dining table
At Bite Me Burger @ Bondi, where they have a wider selection
LOVE how the sauce is on the ceiling ;)
The biiig menu
Crayons for the kids
Onion rings, OMG these were divine!
A very decadent ‘topless’ burger
Deeeelicious flourless chocolate cake
It was blimmin’ freezing outside, plus rainy, plus windy. All our umbrellas broke :(
Pizza night at my place!
In they go…
Wine glasses boasting my cute donut wine charms from Etsy
Totally delicious pizza, if I do say so myself :P
Pizza + wine = mmmm
My lovely girl friends!
A little-known fact… Chris bought the ring back in Feb when he was getting it made, but obviously I didn’t know. Anyway, about a month or two ago, I was chatting with a girl friend about engagement rings and we were looking through the designs that caught our fancy? Guess which design I picked out? The EXACT one that Chris bought me :P Great minds think alike, hehe! It does mean a lot to me ‘cos it’s really nice to know that the guy I’m marrying knows my taste to a tee :)
Anyway, after The Proposal, Chris was really keen to still head out to our “celebratory dinner”. I wasn’t particularly in the mood to eat.. considering we’d only just pigged out on cheese and wine, and my stomach was doing total flipflops in excitement over the proposal :P Chris was insistent, so I decided I’d just eat light and have an entree or something.
Set amongst tropical landscaped gardens and overlooking the Reef View pool, The Pool Terrace Restaurant is chic but casual. Lit by candlelight, it’s was a lovely restaurant for us to just enjoy and bask away in our ‘newly engaged’ status :) Again, I was surprised at how fantastic the food was.. I selected the Tasting Plate which was basically “surprise” dishes consisting of whatever the chef thought was best and freshest. The food was great, but the portions were too small for the price IMHO ;)
Which meant I of course had to steal some of Chris’ :P He’d selected the Eye Fillet steak served on a bed of croquette potatoes, asparagus and porcini mushroom suace. Topped with a delicate truffle butter. That steak was friggin’ AMAZING. It was fat and thick but was absolutely tender and cooked perfectly.. was actually better than the steak we had at The Steakhouse earlier in the trip :P
Dessert was Sticky date pudding with pistachio ice cream which didn’t look too exciting on the menu, but I’m damn glad we’d ordered it because it was AWESOME! Warm and fudgy and moist.. beautifully matched with the pistachio ice cream. Too bad the resturant’s not in Sydney too!
The Pool Terrace Restaurant
Our 1st photo post-engagement, ‘cept it’s so flashed-out and we look so tired!
My tasting plate
Some kinda tart, and some risotto/truffle ball
Super tender beef with a strawberry
Smoked salmon and seaweed, and scallop at the back
Eye Fillet steak served on a bed of croquette potatoes, asparagus and
porcini mushroom suace. Topped with a delicate truffle butter.
Sticky date pudding with pistachio ice cream
CHEERS TO OUR ENGAGEMENT! :)
Picture-perfect view from THE BALCONY, the next morning
I could stand out here for hours…….
Chris’ video of THE BALCONY :)
And that’s the end of it… A wonderful holiday that I’d anticipated would be something that would totally rejuvenate us and it was all that and so much more :) It’s been an absolute whirlwind of craziness since we’ve returned, with engagement celebration dinners, hanging out with friends.. and of course, an engagement party coming right up!
But THANK YOU so much for all your well wishes and thoughts. It means a lot to us and really put a smile on my face reading through your comments :) It’s nice to be able to share this with you, and also quite nice to be able to talk about something for a change, since my blog is pretty much about nothing interesting except for a few food pics here and there ;)
And do I have anything planned yet? The answer to that (very frequently asked) question is… NO! Nothing at all – not even a date, or a venue, or bridal party, or theme colour, or anything at all. I’ve never been the girl that dreams of her wedding and has got everything planned/imagined.. so it’s all quite overwhelming for me and to be honest, I just wish everything would be over and we were already married – that’s kind of the part I want the most, and not really months and months of planning/stress just for one day. Pressure, much? Eek!!!
Chris said, “Put on your pretty dress for dinner”.. and I figured that was a good idea since 1) it was our last night there and 2) we were going to a nice restaurant where we could sit el fresco style outside. After a few minutes of me moaning that we shouldn’t spend too much on dinner, I finally put on my dress and brushed out my hair. Was wandering around putting on my shoes when Chris asked, “Hey babe, can you wash this knife so we can return it downstairs?” because we borrowed a knife to cut the cheese during our indoor-picnic. “Yep, no worries”, so I took it to the bathroom to wash it.
When I walked back out of the bathroom, Chris was standing out on the balcony, taking in the view. It was almost at the end of sunset, so it was pretty dark except for the sparkling lights by the pool downstairs and along the pathways. I walked out and stood at the glass balcony doors and he turned around, saw me dressed up, and smiled at me.
I stepped out onto the balcony and he enveloped me in a big hug. We both turned to look out over the ocean, quiet for a second as we listened at the waves crashing against the sand.. just taking in the view.
“Isn’t this just perfect?”, he asked.
“Mmmm…..”, I murmured, a bit distracted and entranced instead by the sights and the sounds.
Then…. then… a series of events unfolded, but I can’t really remember it very well because I was in COMPLETE AND UTTER SHOCK the entire time.
But basically, next thing I knew.. Chris was looking down, his left hand cupped around something. It was pretty dark (especially since he was practically cuddling the thing!) so I didn’t really know what was going on.
“We’ve been together for a really long time now…”, he said. Then went onto a little speech that I absolutely can’t remember!!!! :( It had something to do with him wanting us to have many more years together, growing old together, etc, etc.
At this point, I was half un-fazed, because we’ve talked/gushed about stuff like that before. But also half had my heart jumping up into my throat, because I was starting to piece things together and realise what was happening (yes, it took my brain this long to figure out). I hadn’t uttered a word or sound this entire time.
Then he opened the box and nestled instead was ONE SPARKLY RING.
He got down on one knee.
“Will you marry me?”
Yes ladies and gentlemen, that was my eloquent response to my boyfriend trying to propose to me. Was just too stunned to really think straight! So my very next sentence?
“Erm.. are you serious??”
“YES!!”, he said
At this point I had pretty much half-collapsed out of shock, and was about to fall right off the balcony. I was leaning on him (he was still down on one knee and looking up expectantly at me) and just gaping in complete surprise.
“Oh hon…. YES! YES!!”, came my response, finally :)
And so he put the ring on my finger… and thus we begin the next stage of Us.
The full realisation of what just happened didn’t really hit me until much later, since we made a pact not to tell anyone whilst we were away. We wanted a little bit of “us time” with this beautiful ring our little secret. It was probably the part I treasured most – that we had this secret, something special that could never be taken away from us.. and no one knew it yet :)
And The Ring?
I find it almost too incredible to believe… but designed it himself and got it made at Percy Marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’d never dared step foot into Percy Marks before – with their double-door entrance and security and the way the boutique looks, I’d always felt it too inappropriate and daunting to go in. I’m completely floored that he would not only have stepped inside, but worked with their designer Meriel on The Ring. Apparently “Meriel is a recent winner of a 2007 Harpers Bazaar, Diamond Guild Award. Their painstaking attention to detail is unmistakably Percy Marks”, so my Ring was in good hands teehee! :D
Many months ago, I lost my gold Tiffany & Co ring, that I wear on my ring finger on my right hand. We searched high and low for it, but never found it. Turns out, Chris had stolen it to get the right size :P Still, despite that, it was still too big for my unnaturally thin fingers, so we had to get it resized down to a size 3 (AU “F”). Despite that, still very impressed he went through that effort and had the foresight.. and super pleased I didn’t lose my T&C ring after all :P
I had no idea, but he’d been planning the proposal for ages.. he purchased The Ring allll the way back in Feb this year, and kept the secret the entire time! I later found out he’d wanted to propose when we were in Switzerland/Singapore but that trip got cancelled (remember that?).. no wonder he was do devasted when that happened.
What I was most touched by was when I found out he’d already talked to Mum and Dad about it last month when they were visiting. They went out for lunch together one day and talked about it. I’m a traditionalist so asking my parents first is really important to me, and I just think it’s wonderful that he did that :) I think it means a lot to Mum and Dad too.. and a very smart move to get their blessing first!
So the date we got engaged is 8 June 2008.
Brilliantly, Mum and Dad got engaged 8 June 1974.
And that, is just SPLENDID :)
After (yet another) hearty breakfast, we headed out to the jetty to catch our boat for a day trip out by the beaches, for some sun, surf and snorkelling. Little did we realise that the boat (which I envisioned to be a chic little yacht) was actually a feisty red jet boat! There were about 20 of us and we had the TIME OF OUR LIFE on that thing. It was absolutely awesome, by far the favourite activity/event I’ve been on in quite a while. It was like a roller coaster ride, and the wind was so strong our faces felt half-blown off afterwards, haha. The best bit was a MEGA bump bump bumps the boat did, every time we rode a wave and came crashing back down. It was the best adrenalin rush, and absolutely fun. I want to do it again!!
We stopped first at Whitehaven Beach – rated Most Photographed Beach in Australia. With crystal-clear aqua waters and over 7km of beach stretched along Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach boasts bright white pure silicia sand – so absolutely fine and delicate. It’s a gorgeous place, and very few people were then whilst we frolicked, which was great! I hate crazy tourists running amok – I like to be the only one doing so, haha ;) We wandered around, pranced around in the ocean, kicked a ball around, and generally had a lovely outdoorsy time enjoying the beach and surf.
BREAKFAST…. oh yummy
Waiting for our boat
Our cheery red jet boat
All ready to speed off
INSANE bumper jet-boat ride ;)
Aaaaand we reach!
Beautiful turquoise water
On Whitehaven Beach
My superman ;)
Hurray for beautiful beaches!
Gorgeous super-fine white sand
The bushwalk/trees is just meters away
Cute picnic area
Peeling off the clothes to go for a swim!
…but not before kicking a ball around
I lack hand-to-eye coordination ;)
Chris doing a cartwheel
Standing around doing nothing in particular..
Feeling rather small in a biiiiig beach
Slooooowly and bravely getting into the water, it was kinda cold!
Chris’ video of the beach……. with me jumping around like a maniac, for some reason
After that, it was off to Chalkies Beach for some snorkelling!! I bought 2 snorkel sets for the occasion but silly Chris forgot to bring 1 of the masks, d’oh. Was so excited to go snorkelling but because it was by the beach, the water wasn’t clear enough and the sun went behind some clouds.. so everyone gave up in about 15 mins, LOL. Chris and I persevered and were last ones out of the water, but it wasn’t that terrific. I wouldn’t bother doing it again, or at least next time go right out to sea to snorkel instead of trying to do it by the beach! We did see coral and fish but nothing amazing. Hence why no photos ;)
When we got back to the hotel, we ate MORE food at the free markets (WOOOOOOO!!!!!) and then lounged around by the pool. Then we decided to go on a bushwalk, along the famous trails at Hamilton Island. We brought along our wine and cheese, with the intention to bushwalk to a secluded area that overlooked a small beach, and picnic there. Little did I know that Chris had popped in the engagement ring box into the paper bag, and I had held onto the bag for a few mins without realising it was in there the whole time!
His intention was to have a wine & cheese picnic in a private area, then propose. How romantic! Except it was not to be… When the shuttle neared the area, we saw a big group of people dressed as pirates (!). Chris kept complaining that they would be there and annoying us, and I didn’t see why it was such a big deal. He said afterwards he was really annoyed because he couldn’t propose when there were silly rowdy pirates around :P Then on top of that, it started to drizzle… AND I fell fast asleep in the shuttle…. so we ended up taking a round trip and he woke me up when it reached the hotel, haha.
So we ended up having our “picnic” in the hotel bar, which was very nice since we were under cover and warm when it was raining outside as the sun was going down.
Chilling in the pool
Waiting for the little resort shuttle to take us to the bushwalk area
Having drinks & snacks at the hotel bar
But of course, it was after our little indoor picnic, when we went back upstairs to our room at sunset, where the VERY BEST part of the entire holiday happened……. :)