21 on 21

I want to post this before I forget, especially when the memories are still relatively fresh in my mind and my heart is still super happy and full from everything. Close friends would know that I’ve had a whole lot of ideas re what to do (or not to do) for my 21st – ranging from throwing a twenty onesie party (!! I still think it is a brilliant idea), to throwing a yacht party to not doing anything at all. And all these while, having a little cosy dinner was never really a consideration.

It was only about a week or two before my actual birthday that I decided that I should have a mini dinner with family and close friends to just thank them for doing life with me. It was a huuuuuuge struggle to find an appropriate venue. A few other venues that I initially contemplated were:

1) The White Rabbit – I ruled it out mainly because the cost of dinner per pax was way above my budget and lunch time was not as viable an option
2) Nosh at Rochester – This was v high on my list of options
3) Spruce at Tanglin Hill
4) Potato Head Folk – I really really wanted to hold the dinner at the rooftop because I initially envisioned having a rooftop party, complete with fairy lights. But the minimum spending per head was once again a bit too much for my budget.
5) North Border at Rochester

This was how I imagined a rooftop party to look like 

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The above venues are all lovely but I had an idea of what kind of dinner party I wanted.

A whimsical, garden party, complete with fairy lights – something like this. Cheap-Outdoor-Party-Lights

So I tried to look for that in all the venues. That’s why Nosh was pretty much perfect but I decided against it in the end because their outdoor dining would have been non-exclusive dining and I wanted something a little more private with my family and friends. So in the end, I decided on UNA, at One Rochester. And it was perfect. It’s a funny story how we discovered UNA. One week before, were actually on our way to Nosh to look at the venue at night (at that time I was pretty set on Nosh) but we saw the fairylights at UNA (which was v near the parking lot) so we went to take a look. I looked through the menu and I was sold because you can order a WHOLE SUCKLING PIG???

Thought through it over the weekend and on Monday, four days before the actual dinner, I went down to UNA with my mum to confirm the venue and the menu for the night. Because we wanted something more private, Jean-Philippe, the head chef and one of the shareholders of UNA said that I could use the little gazebo that they had. For the decorations, I told him that fairylights would be nice and he said that he could throw in some drapes too. I wasn’t expecting the place to turn out like this… but it turned out much better than I’d expected :”) It was really beautiful, I was so pleased!

So here’s the little gazebo, with fairylights and the spiderweb drapes (I think that’s what he called it) and of course, the stars of the night ❤ v thankful for friends who set aside time to spend my birthday with me even though exams were in 3 days time for most of us :”)

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Some photos of the food 🙂 I think I was too stressed to appreciate the food but my friends enjoyed the food and there was a lot of good feedback about the food so yay 🙂

Paella – UNA is a spanish restaurant so we had 2 types of paella and a pasta version of the paella

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I think this is the cheese ball (I don’t know what it is actually called) that Vee loves and says “it is like a cheese bomb. It explodes cheese in your mouth” 

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The suckling pig was actually quite significant. Thought of the AC folks when I was ordering it because we wanted to eat suckling pig when we were in Boracay! But somehow, we never got to try it. So when the pig came out, I walked over to the AC boys and told them that we finally get to it it and Tecky tried to guess what pig jokes Theo would be making (about me…) if he were here. Wish all the .17 folks could have made it too 😥

Post-dinner, everyone was so stuffed and we still had a round of churros + the cake cutting. So my mum suggested cutting the cake first. She also ordered some champagne so that everyone could toast after the cake.

Ordering the cake was completely serendipitous. Initially, I had a dream cake in mind and I was going to order it from a church friend’s girlfriend. But she had two back to back orders for the following day and could not make it and I ended up finding out about Cake & Wildflour and I am so glad I did. The cake was amazing :””) A huuuuge thank you to Charissa who was so patient with all my requests and for making me such a lovely cake.

The beautiful cake 

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The magic surprise centre of the piñata cake!! 

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And after showing the food, place and cake, here are the important people who spent my birthday with me :”) Appreciate and love every single one heaps!

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I was a bit bummed that in the excitement of taking photos and cake cutting and showing everyone the suprise centre of the cake + having to suddenly make a speech and being lost for words, we’d forgotten to take a massive group photo 😦 But that’s alright! I still have my polaroids etc. to keep with me.

On instagram, when I posted a collage of everyone, I’d initially wanted to throw in a few lines from Run River North’s Growing Up but I figured it would be too sappy. But since this is my blog and I can say anything I want, here goes:

“Growing old feels like you’re giving up your soul/ I rather give it freely to the ones that I call home.” 

So blessed to be able to have these people in my life ❤ (Also includes the US, AUS and UK folks that I wish I could have spent my birthday with too!)

And then instead of going home to study, M came to pick me to hang out for a bit. He was somehow under the impression that my birthday was on the 22nd so he was waiting for it to turn midnight till I told him my birthday was on the 21st (and almost over). But I am thankful for the time spent with him too 🙂 For not having to spend the last few hours of my birthday studying and just for being able to lounge in his car listening to Taylor Swift, watching movie trailers, eating Maccas and just having fun. It was really a great way to end to the night :”)

The past two weeks of being 21 has been mostly filled with studying and exam prep but I’ve also had to plan and think about life and what to do post law school, mull over moral dilemmas (lol) and I am sure that life will be exciting. And I am v thankful to have only the best people to do life together with. Truly, to God be the glory, the best is yet to be! #TBIYTB

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