I am the kind of person who love surprises (pleasant surprises only of course!) and because of that I love surprising people I love as well. I am big on remembering and celebrating birthdays as I guess I was deprived of that as a child. My parents don’t remember birthdays and they don’t celebrate with us as well.
If you know me well, you would know that I treasure friendships a lot and I would always try my best to show how much I care for the person especially by doing something special like remembering and celebrating their birthdays.
You may have heard about the 5 Love Languages. It’s often used to reference romantical relationships but what about friendships? Can knowing someone’s love language help us to be a better friend? Definitely! Over the years, I have learned that it’s not only my husband whom I need to pay attention to and read better, or even my 4 kids but I need to listen to my friends’ needs, desires, and preferred channels of affection. That way, we can offer each other better support, feel more connected, and grow our friendships through it all.
Michelle and I have discussed about our 5 love languages as well so that we both know how we like being loved and how we expressed our love. Quality Time was the top of her list followed by Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation and Gifts.
Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Affection, Gifts and Words of Affirmation. Dr. Gary Chapman wrote about them in his book, The 5 Love Languages. If you don’t know about your top love language, you can find out by completing the quiz online on his website.
My friendship with Michelle @thechillmom started in November 2017 when I met her at a parenting retreat organized by Nestle at the Le Meridien Sentosa. She was the host for the event and I was one of the participants. During the retreat I got to know a few other amazing moms and dads from the event and it was really quite a memorable weekend for all.
I found out that Michelle is actually a mother of 3 kids, an inspiring mommy blogger and she is also an aspiring author. Coincidentally I was also in the midst of publishing my book Sleep Baby Sleep! when I met her and she was busy with her book aptly called The Chill Mom. So anyway after the end of the retreat we exchanged IG handles (not phone numbers anymore nowadays) and since she was the host I messaged her to see if we could organize a reunion for the mommies after the event. Somehow it was hard to get all the moms together for coffee or brunch so we just decided it was easier to meet up just the both of us. She invited me and my kids for a rock climbing session with her kids and that’s when we started getting to know each other better.
I would say our friendship blossomed pretty quickly as we shared very similar values and outlook in life, we are both mompreneurs and we enjoy inspiring other moms out there to find their own passion and purpose as well.
Anyway only after about a year into our friendship, I decided to ask her when is her birthday. I found out that her birthday is on the 31st Jan. At that time when I asked her about it she replied “Why? Want to count partner’s feng shui? Haha!” That’s Michelle for you, I really enjoyed her sense of humour too.
Being a good friend, I started asking Michelle what does she like to do for her birthdays, how did she celebrate her past birthdays and she couldn’t seem to remember what she did even for last year! So I thought to myself okay I am going to make her 39th birthday a memorable one so she will remember it hopefully for the rest of her life! 😁 And this of course, as I thought to myself would need to have some element of surprise to make it a memorable one.
So after gathering some info from her I found out that she enjoys singing karaoke. So I devised a plan to include a staycation in there so she would be completely surprised as that is something she would not expect at all. (Hopefully!) I told her that I planned to have KTV and then dinner with her so that this busy mompreneur of 3 would keep her schedule free from midday to night time.
I asked Jenny the founder of Ladies Club and SG Baby Club whom Michelle and I met during Ladies Club 1st year anniversary in March 2018 if she would like to join me to celebrate this wonderful birthday celebration together. And Jenny agreed to the invitation immediately as she really liked the idea of celebrating our friendships together as not just moms but as mompreneurs too.
Jenny suggested we booked a room for karaoke at one of her most favourite karaoke places K.Star. To be honest I have never heard of K.Star before. So before we booked, we checked out the place together to make sure this is what Michelle would like to sing her hearts out in.
To my delightful surprise, K.Star is a beautifully decorated and Singapore’s first ever themed karaoke place. The location is super convenient too, it’s at Level 5 of Orchard Central. Each of the 25 rooms are uniquely styled and offered lots of instaworthy opportunities. The entrance alone is so pretty and you and your guests will be greeted with a giant TV screen featuring all the music videos and a big retro microphone. The entire place is very tastefully decorated and that’s definitely a plus for us ladies who love to post on our Instagrams! If you are like any of us, please don’t delay anymore…book your room at K.Star with your friends and sing your hearts out while looking really good at the same time!
For Michelle’s birthday, we informed the staff that it would be a surprise for her as she wouldn’t expect the room to be decorated with balloons and all for her birthday. The room that we booked is the cutest karaoke room I have ever seen! If you are a big fan of the South Korean messaging app LINE then you would love to be in our room. The room was filled with all the cute plush toys characters from LINE. My personal favourite is the big Brown bear which was huge!! Check out how cute the room is! Personally I didn’t want to leave cause I just want to keep singing all night long and taking loads of photos to post to my social media.
After singing for a couple of hours, the friendly staff of K.Star surprised Michelle with a mini birthday cake and they even helped us turn on the Happy Birthday song so we could sing along with the help of the lyrics…cause you know it’s not easy to remember the birthday song lyrics (sarcasm detected! haha!) Our birthday girl enjoyed herself tremendously as you can see from the photos.
After singing our hearts out we proceeded to Shangri-La hotel to have Italian food at The Waterfall. The restaurant serves Southern Italian cuisine to showcase the freshest seafood and pastas. We ordered Burrata Pugliese, Pomodorino, Crudo Di Parma as our appetiser and burrata is considered one of the most delicious specialities of dairy production in Andria. Creamy stretched curd cheese is served with seasonal sweet tomatoes, Mediterranean herbs and slices of Parma ham. For our mains we ordered Trancio Di Salmone Alla Griglia Con Crema which is roasted salmon steak served with leeks stew and sautéed with vegetables and Zuppa Di Pesce – the chef’s signature seafood stew which is a must try for all seafood lovers.
The friendly staff at The Waterfall then surprised Michelle with a lovely birthday cake – chocolate mousse cake which is her absolute favourite and a birthday song. So again Michelle got to make more wishes for her birthday.
After our dinner, the big surprise of the night had to be set in motion. Jenny ordered our Grab and in the meantime I asked Michelle if she was game. She said yes. Guess she had no idea what we were up to. So I told her okay, then we will blindfold you. She was in disbelief upon hearing that – as no one has ever blindfolded her and she didn’t expect us to have more surprises for her after KTV and dinner. We decided to blindfold her in the car as we didn’t want to attract too much attention while waiting for our Grab to come. Soon after our Grab driver came. She hopped into the car and even lamented about where we are kidnapping her. Anyway once she got into the car, I was afraid she would see the destination on the Grab driver’s smartphone so I told her to put on her blindfold right away. The blindfold that Jenny bought is pretty good as it came with a long flap that prevented her from peeking underneath. During the entire car ride, Michelle tried to guess where she was going, she knew we were still in Orchard road somewhere…but she had no idea where we were taking her. Even the friendly and wise Grab driver tried to throw her off guard by saying we were near Mt Faber! Haha. And he also added “It’s very hard to get friends like these!” What a wise and friendly guy.
As soon as we arrived at our destination – the Concorde Hotel, Michelle thought she could open her blindfold but we rejected her request. She was wearing high heel shoes and she was worried about steps and falling over. We told her not to worry, there were no steps and I was holding on to her hands tightly to guide her slowly to our room. The whole ordeal was quite a hilarious scene, the hotel doorman was absolutely baffled by the sight of 3 crazy women – one with a blindfold, and the other two laughing like mad while filming the entire scene on our iPhone. There were a lot of people in the lobby lounge area by the way, but I tried not to make any eye contacts….haha…Michelle said she was glad that she had her full mask on so no one could recognise her.. Well lucky for her but not so for Jenny and I!
Anyway we needed to take the lift to our room and somehow during the commotion, I accidentally led Michelle to the wall or perhaps the lift door and she lamented again “Why did I let her walk into the wall??!!” Jenny and I couldn’t stop laughing and to be honest, I had no idea how that even happened in the first place.
As we slowly inched our way to our room, Michelle said, “This is definitely unforgettable experience!” and she wondered if we planned this during our lunch earlier before our KTV. Well, Michelle, this entire thing took more than 2 months of planning as we needed to coordinate with a few parties to make things work. I also liaised with her hubby, Nick to get his approval as he need to look after the kids and for him to pack all her stuffs necessary for the overnight stay. We also sent a packing list to him so he could pack and drop it off at the hotel earlier that day.
As soon as we reached the hotel room, Michelle took off her blindfold and we shouted, “Surprise!! We are having a staycation!!” Michelle’s face said it all. She was in total disbelief and couldn’t believe that we managed to surprise her. She asked so many questions.. “What am I going to sleep in? Does Nick know about this? What about my skincare? Which hotel is this? Am I really not going home? Who’s going to send my daughter to school?” Fortunately we got everything sorted right down to getting her beautiful pajamas which The Beau Dreamers have kindly sponsored us as well so we could look ever so glamorous before we slept.
We shared the entire birthday surprise from start to finish on our IG Stories and if you are keen to see the entire day highlight you can check it out on IG @sgsupernanny Surprise @jennylee_2012 Friendship highlights on our profiles separately.
Good friendships are rare and hard to come by especially once we entered into this journey of motherhood. Quite often we juggle so much in between being mothers, wives, daughters and even sisters. We have so much things to do but yet it’s also so important to show our love for our friends who quite often are the ones who are there for you to hear you rant about the stress of life in this day and age. Only our friends truly understand what we go through as they are probably going through the same things as we do and they are the ones who can truly relate to our life’s ups and downs. Showing our friends we love them is very important!
Special thanks to our husbands for their love, support and understanding that us moms do need a momscation every now and then to celebrate our friendships and to have some nice relaxing girlie time so we can recharge and be the best wife and mom we can ever be.
What are your top love languages? How do you like to receive love from your friends?