On the 8th of September, 1pm, I was happily cuddling up to Flo, our backs facing the porch, indulging in Brooklyn99 on Netflix. It also happened to be the last episode of Season 4 (which is all Netflix has to offer as of now). 13 minutes in and there was the jarring bang of our sliding doors being opened. I sat up in shock, wondering who in the world was trying to ‘break in’.

Turns out, it wasn’t so much a single person. There were four of them. My three closest girlfriends – Les, Pearl and Amanda, and Pearl’s husband YJ who had been tasked to be our driver for (part of) the day. They excitedly clamoured in while surprise continued to surge through me, and I was ordered to pack an overnight bag.

I was still trying to register what was going on as I started stuffing a bag full of clothes and toiletries. We were only supposed to meet the next day for a resin workshop and dinner so what’s going on? Where are we going? What about Pascal’s birthday dinner? There was a strange calm and surreality as I emerged back into the living room only to have Flo ask if I wanted to have lunch before leaving. I did. So all six of us trooped over to a zichar restaurant just behind our condo for some simple fare. Then, we all piled into YJ’s car, Les doing the honour of blindfolding me, and off we went, leaving my dear fiance behind.

About 15-20 minutes later, the glare of daylight nearly blinded me when the blindfold was removed and there standing before me, was W Hotel in Sentosa. A STAYCATION!!!

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I actually mentioned before to Les about possibly having a staycay but with all of us having something or other on in the weekends leading up to the wedding, I thought it’d been scrapped but she remembered and the other two helped make sure it happened.

Check-in took a while and we were led to the Retreat Room which is only open for guests’ use on weekends where there’s free flow of coffee/tea and cookies. We relaxed there was Amanda tried to get our room settled. Then, as we were leaving to go upstairs, surprise #2 came in the form of a manicurist – Rebecca (@flutterytips).

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I ‘stole’ these photos off the IG stories of Amanda and Pearl. We each had our turn getting our nails prettied up aside from Pearl who already had hers unicorned.

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By the time our manicures were done in turn, we sat around waiting for time to pass before we made a move to head for dinner. The girls went to Vivocity while I headed for Duxton Hill but some high end grub.

When I arrived back at the hotel at 11, 11.30pm, the girls had this bunting up…

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As well as identical sets of PJs, and some hen’s night games.

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After getting changed into more comfortable clothes and making a nest for myself in bed,  I decided that staying in would be nice. So we all washed up and jumped into our pyjamas, played a game of “How Well Do You Know the Bride” (very very well it seems!), was introduced to Bare Bears by Lesley before we all started slipping into dreamland around 3am.

Oh wait. But not before we took some mandatory photos of ourselves in our comfy pyjamas, in front of the backdrop they then unveiled to me…

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Balloons the read “Bride to Be“, with more balloons and a balloon that spelled “love”. The ‘e’ in ‘Be’ apparently burst in the blowing process but no matter because I still know what it meant and I was really blown away by the effort these three put into making my day so very special.

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Couldn’t ask for better girlfriends who have been with me through every up and down.

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Especially Pearl who’s one of my oldest, bestest friends. I am incredibly glad that she’s still a part of my life and that she stayed even when I was at my worst. There are few friends who can live up to the true meaning of friendship and I am so blessed to have Pearl.

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We wiped the sleep from our eyes only after Lesley’s alarm rang off around 11am, indicating that she had to get ready to go for a quick client’s meeting. While she dashed off, the rest of us packed up and got ready to check out. But not before some photos in daylight with the hard work my dear girls had put in the night before…

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Lots of Snapseeding went into these because of the lighting coming from the back.

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I reckon it didn’t turn out too bad aside from the pixelation in the shaded areas.

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One more for love!

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Before we departed, we made sure to claim our complimentary drinks from WooBar as compensation for our time waiting for check-in the day before. We managed to swap morning alcohol for coffees and teas.

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Then we all scooted off to meet Les at Gallery+Co at National Art Gallery for some late late brunch i.e. lunch.

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Salad greens with Salmon, Okra, Shitake and Mixed Peppers with Corn. I had it with a side of their sambal and that sambal was packed full of punch. The fish was done ok although a touch rarer and I would have been even happier. Prices at this cafe are quite reasonable considering it’s right in the city centre but be prepared to wait for your food especially on weekends. Also, they take reservations which I highly recommend.

3pm, we had a date with Resin Play. I think I can speak for everyone that this was the highlight of our time together. We were taught the fundamentals of resin by Elaine, the resin expert, and while we were eager to get started, there was an small air of nervousness at the fear of potentially messing up our final pieces.

Cheeseboards and coasters waiting to be decorated.

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A short, succinct briefing was given by Elaine before a quick demonstration.

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So pretty!

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Then, it was our turn!

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Looking at these pictures make me think of ‘The Alchemist’.

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Serious faces on.

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Some coloured resin goes on the boards followed by blowing to shift the colours.

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We had about a 30min time frame to get our boards decorated because the resin starts to set and it gets more difficult to move around.

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The first pour is always the most nerve-wrecking.

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I think this was the longest period of quiet we had over the weekend.

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Lesley’s bold, very oriental inspired colours coming together.

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And my finished piece!! I went with safer tones of white, blue, lavender grey and rose gold.

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And my coaster.

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It was helluva lots of fun at Resin Play. Before we knew it, our 2 hours were up. Elaine was a wonderful guide and she also doubled up as a pretty skilled photographer.

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Our pleased as pie faces with our masterpieces.

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I highly recommend going for a resin workshop if you’re looking for something fun and creative to do with friends. Elaine also holds workshops making resin jewellery which I was quite keen on but it’s a two-day course. Otherwise there are shorter ones like the one we went for. The resin takes a couple days to fully set so we had to leave the boards there and pick it up a few days later, although Elaine does offer courier.

I really had a blast! I love how therapeutic sitting there and working with the resin was – much like painting and drawing.

Dinner was at Chikuwa Tei at Mohammed Sultan Road because I got to choose and I chose Japanese!!!

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Pearl and I shared this bowl of uber fresh bowl of Chirashi Don that was filled with generous cuts of sashimi.

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We all shared a big bowl of Seafood Nabe as well and Teriyaki Black Cod which was full of tasty, fatty goodness. I forgot to take more pictures of food and of us because conversation started flowing and sometimes, it’s more important being in the moment and enjoying that time with the people who mean so much to you. 

Every once in a while, I sit back and I wonder why God has blessed me with so much. I guess as Florian said to me before, when someone chooses to give you something whether you deserve it or not, you should receive it with gratitude and not say that it’s not what you want, that it’s unnecessary. In a similar vein, God has showered me with blessings aplenty and I ought to embrace them. I hope that just as Pearl, Les and Amanda have been with me through thick and thin over the years, that I too have been as reliable and supportive a friend to them now, and always.

Thank you girls, for spoiling me rotten. And for loving me. I love you all back! XOXO

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