Brunei Darussalam

ROSES ARE RED, SOBAS ARE GREEN

Although Valentine’s Day has become a universal celebration of love and romance, it’s not every year that we have Valentine’s Day coincide with Chinese New Year where red has greater significance than just an auspicious colour. Valentine’s Day is by and large celebrated with roses, lots of roses, and a romantic night out in town. With so much chemistry and electricity in the air, perhaps we could toy with the idea of a national candle-lit evening (it just makes sense!).

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While roses tend to overwhelm the senses, no Valentine’s Day celebration is ever complete without a good hearty meal. Reminiscing a year ago today, I took the entire afternoon to get my surprise ready—the gifts and the food took about 6 hours of preparation, from memory and because we decided to dine-in, Japanese cuisine was high on the radar. This year, however, with so much food we’ve had this Chinese New Year not forgetting just last night at Kaizen Sushi celebrating my son’s birthday, my wife said she’d love to have me cook her favourite Cha Soba (Japanese Cold Green noodles for the uninitiated). Sobas we had together with not-so-little Jewel who also digs Japanese food.

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In continuing with my little tradition of roses and Ferrero Rochers, I came up with this surprise this year. Two big petals red roses (third rose for my mom, also an annual tradition) from a trusted florist, I found the heart-shaped gift box and the FOREVER pendant completes the theme! I think there’s nothing more meaningful than personally creating a gift specially for your loved one!

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The timing couldn’t have been better. I had the gift styled for a short photography session before setting it up on her dressing table. I had the blinds drawn to keep the sunset rays out and switched off all lights leaving just that one spot light on the box. Just as I was about to wrap things up, my wife walked in and her reaction was simply priceless!

In 6 months from now, we’ll be celebrating our 12 years anniversary. Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Two week later after the roses have dried out, I had them spray painted gold and they ended up with a bronze effect as you can see in A GOLDEN TOUCH.

All images © Jan Shim Photography

27 thoughts on “ROSES ARE RED, SOBAS ARE GREEN

  1. I need to take some advice from you…Nice presentation! Is it really necesary to take your girl out on the town? How expensive does the place have to be to really let her know she’s special? Just curious. Its my first real Valentine’s with someone special and I had no idea what she was expecting. Needless to say, I don’t think I passed the test with flying colors…

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  2. In my context, brokenheartedseoul, i would say that ladies appreciate things that are done personally for them. If you can cook, all the more it’s BETTER!

    Ladies find men who can cook really charming! and you score more points! If you can afford to bring her to a really nice expensive restaurant to dine in, great! I’m sure she’ll like it.

    But if you can’t, do something for her. Cook a simple meal, pasta or macaroni cheese or SOMETHING… Set a candlelight dinner setting table with a bottle of chilled wine, put some jazz music for the background and surprise her with a small bouquet of roses, you’ve passed the test with excellent score! 🙂

    As for Jan, those roses look gorgeous! I wish i had a stalk!

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  3. Well brokenheartedseoul, from a women point of view, Valentine’s day is a rather special day for their other partner to show how much they love them.

    However, even the really simple action can make the girl feel being loved. You do not have to take your girl out to town and well, being Valentine’s Day, I am sure almost every good restaurant is fully booked so why not go for a alternative?

    Cook a meal for her! I am sure this would be a pleasant surprise for her that you actually put in the effort and cooked a meal for her!

    Expensive place to dine at? Well, why not create the mood yourself? It could be at home, by the sea or even in a park! Moods can be created with candles and some nice jazz music in the background!

    Roses are a MUST for this day! She will feel sad if you did not give her roses! On Valentine’s Day, I dare say almost every woman walking down the street bound to have a bouquet of roses or even a stalk of rose so, do not let your girl feel left out!

    But remember that the most important thing is the thought that really counts! For me, I believe every single day with my other half is a Valentine’s Day! Shower your unconditional love and care to her and be there when she needs you and everyday will be a valentine’s day!

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  4. Jan, that’s sooooo beautiful. 🙂 Well thought out gift. I am sure that you scored some major points!!! haha!

    brokenheartedseoul ~ please don’t be so broken hearted. Valentine’s Day is just a day to remind us how special our significant other really is to us. Every day should be Valentine’s in my book. It’s really the thought that counts on this day. I actually know a guy who chooses to not celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb 14, but rather, the day after. He boycotts the commercialism of it. His wife supports his decision. We, of course, always gave him lotsa grief!! haha. Honestly, not all girls are into fancy dinners, flowers, and celebrations. I am sure that you’re just hard on yourself, worrying about every single detail. That’s understandable because it was your first Valentine’s together. Have you ever considered that she might actually had a great time? 🙂 I am sure that things turned out better than you thought.

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  5. Not only to brokenheartedseoul, to all the guys out there…as long as u r loving, caring and gentlemen to make your special ladies feel so..so special in u. U don’t have to spend a lot money in expensive goods or gifts or travelling..just a priceless surprise hug and a soft kiss..hulala..that could easily melt their hearts. As simple as that..guys! But ofcos if u have so much extra budget, i don’t mind to accept your gift..heheheeee

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  6. Wow, as it stands, you have serious feedback from four women! They all want you to have a good night and the rest is up to you, being yourself! And, if you’re unsure about being yourself, go watch the movie HITCH on being smooth (but I guess it’s bit late for that now!) Just kidding. These women have publicly shared priceless insight that’s easy to digest and it all boils down to a couple of things.

    Ladies find men who can cook really charming! and you score more points! If you can afford to bring her to a really nice expensive restaurant to dine in, great! I’m sure she’ll like it.

    Jaslyn’s a teacher she’s always handing out points but hey, this is one great pointer to start. I can cook but I don’t think I can say I have a love for cooking but being able to dish up a meal certainly has its advantages. From time to time, my wife would come up with something she hasn’t eaten in a while and I’d be excited to give it a shot. It also helps to have a daughter who loves her dad’s cooking too so I’d be cooking for two fans. Once, I attempted a new dish which said beforehand that I wasn’t sure if it would taste good and said I would try to improve if it wasn’t tasty. My daughter has such a sweet tongue and I’ll never forget that moment. She tried the dish and was quick to point out that it already tasted good and that I didn’t have to make it any better! (melts hearts).

    Set a candlelight dinner setting table with a bottle of chilled wine, put some jazz music for the background and surprise her with a small bouquet of roses, you’ve passed the test with excellent score!

    If I were doing all this for the very first time, I think the very idea of setting a candle-lit dinner would make me very nervous and chilled wine and jazz music might just push me over the edge! But hey, there is a first time for everything and the road to romance may not be smooth at first. Like anything practice, practice, practice!

    As for Jan, those roses look gorgeous! I wish i had a stalk!

    Thanks! I didn’t make those. Hee! You can pick one up from your nearest florist (Jan doesn’t get hints). There are many more Valentine’s Day or something more important I call E-day as in ‘Everyday’ I’m sure you will get one soon. Click on the Zodiac 2008 button to see if romance is in the charts this year 🙂

    Roses are a MUST for this day! She will feel sad if you did not give her roses! On Valentine’s Day, I dare say almost every woman walking down the street bound to have a bouquet of roses or even a stalk of rose so, do not let your girl feel left out!

    If you subscribe to the commercialism of Valentine’s Day then a rose is an absolute MUST as it’s succinctly put by Priscias. Though prices are generally inflated that one day of the year, I prefer to build my own gift idea for my wife.

    But remember that the most important thing is the thought that really counts! For me, I believe every single day with my other half is a Valentine’s Day! Shower your unconditional love and care to her and be there when she needs you and everyday will be a valentine’s day!

    That’s exactly my thought too although in the context of brokenheartedseoul it wasn’t always like this. Like many, I used to dine out until I got sick of the template dinning experience and decided to cook, candle light or otherwise, it’s “the thought that counts”. See how people love keeping scores! 🙂

    Jan, that’s sooooo beautiful. Well thought out gift. I am sure that you scored some major points!!! haha!

    I scored major points alright, made the mistake of drinking coffee close to midnight to post the pictures while the fire is still strong and ended up ‘Sleepless in Seria’. I think it must have been close to 2.30AM before I actually scored some snore points. No laughing matter this one.

    It’s really the thought that counts on this day. I actually know a guy who chooses to not celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb 14, but rather, the day after. He boycotts the commercialism of it. His wife supports his decision. We, of course, always gave him lotsa grief!! haha.

    The “thought that counts” remark echoes and I am glad to know allerged commercialism of this rosy red day hasn’t changed the people’s values! Like your friend I used to think Valentine’s Day was silly and overly commercialised but unlike your friend, it quickly dawned on me that it was even sillier to deny my wife of the pleasure of anticipation when she comes home from work! Life, as I know it, is way too short so why fight a good thing? Sure, prices of roses shoot up but they’re still not that much more expensive. One stalk or a dozen bunch is an individual expression and that’s not commercialised at all.

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  7. Jan..well done! u r so thoughtful, inexpensive and simple gift this is what i mean..something that u create, something that u spent time in doing it to show that u r sincere to do it for her..big hug for u Jan 😉

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  8. Thanks Syl, I think spending an entire afternoon coming up with ideas and then going out to town to look for the materials is warranted. When I couldn’t find them in Seria, I visited KB and found what I needed. Each year, I have two common items to play with—the red roses and Ferrero Rocher chocs—and the challenge is to present them in ways not previously done before.

    I would pick out 3 roses except this year for what I had in mind, I went with 3 single big ones, two for my wife and daughter and one for my mom. Valentine’s Day has become a day to express love not only for your other half but also the other women including the little one in the household. I would my daughter hand the rose to her grandma.

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  9. Envious and Jealous! Wah.. nothing in the world beats homemade gifts and the effort one puts in to prepare a meal.

    That is simply priceless!!

    And I thought romance was dead!

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  10. Auntie Shim is so lucky!

    I’m easily bought for his handmade cards.
    Nothing beats doing nothing but just lay beside the love one I guess.

    And I just hate it when V-day is commercialized by those cunning vendors.

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  11. Valentine’s Day is just one out of 365 days. Whether this is a day of heightened romance or the day many broken hearted loathe, who said money cannot buy love! But it takes only a little bit of money and a lot of initiative and ideas to put something together that in the end money cannot buy.

    Having said this, I celebrate another occasion I call E Day. That’s E for Everyday where we get to spend the remaining precious hours of each day with our loved ones, be it our girlfriends, wives or children, however short. Life is too short to wait for the weekend or job retirement to make the most of one’s existence!

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  12. Hi Jan,

    Sorry for dropping by now only. Been busy. Not excuses this time. 😛

    Anyway, I like your idea of coming up with simple and inexpensive gift. That’s the best thing a man can do to make his loves happy. Having someone to actually spend time in searching and preparing the gift in such a special way will make one feels so precious and pampered. Having such a “SPECIALLY FOR YOU” type of gift is something so memorable (especially when it’s from someone you love).

    Roses for me is not a must as it’s not my favourite flower. I would be more touch if he will get me my favourite flower on this special day instead of the commercialised ROSES.

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  13. Having someone to actually spend time in searching and preparing the gift in such a special way will make one feels so precious and pampered. Having such a “SPECIALLY FOR YOU” type of gift is something so memorable (especially when it’s from someone you love).

    Hello Drifting Cloud, thanks for your very kind words. I do what I can.

    Roses for me is not a must as it’s not my favourite flower. I would be more touch if he will get me my favourite flower on this special day instead of the commercialised ROSES.

    With your interests in Traditional Chinese Medicine and an expert in cupping therapy, dare I venture a guess that your favourite flower may be the Monkey Cup? 🙂

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  14. Comment moved from Solitary Confinement.

    Thanks for your email!

    Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner. To answer your question, ummm….Valentines Day went okay. I need to be a lot more prepared next year, but at least I could learn from this year what is expected, you know? She got me an amazing gift and spent a good amount of money. I was blown away!

    Tiger

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  15. Woah, brokenheartedseoul, V day this year went well after all!
    Am sure you are really blessed having to receive that amazing gift from her! 🙂

    I’m sure you’ll do well for next year’s V day! Just go with that gut feeling of yours for the preparation. Remember, just don’t try too hard to impress. Do it from your heart. 😀

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  16. Oh Man! Your missus is sooooo blessed! $$ doesn’t buy love (unless you ended up with a materialistic other half). It’s the personal touches that mean everything…

    Re the topic “Men cooking”, not all men possess that talent :p But if you’ve got it, flaunt it! Use it to your advantage hehe.. but if you don’t got it, I suggest staying away from the idea… hehe…

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