Pineapple Buns, Egg Tarts and Sausage Rolls!

For Christmas, Kim got Seth and I a baking class to make pineapple buns, egg tarts and sausage rolls! We just went today and had a great time.

The class was at The Mixing Bowl in Sheung Wan.  We had 8 people total in our class with one main instructor, Victor, and one more employee to help set up our materials and things. Victor was very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. We learned some techniques on how to properly knead dough and shape it into some nice balls for our bread.

One thing that I didn’t like about the class is that they measured all the ingredients for you in order to save time. He did tell us the ingredients for each recipe and said that we will get the recipes in an e-mail which is good. Everything turned out delicious although they baked the egg tarts a bit too long. We even had a little break in the middle where we had some scones and tea!

Wedding Ring Shopping

Wedding ring shopping is fun but exhausting.  We went to many big jewelry chains in Hong Kong like Chow Tai Fook, Luk Fook, Chow Sang Sang as well independent stores that make custom made jewelry. I had no idea in terms of what I wanted since I don’t really wear rings and don’t know my size so it was nice going into stores and trying out different kinds of rings. Once I found out what kind of style I was looking for, I looked at some online stores like BrilliantEarth.com, BlueNile.com and JamesAllen.com to compare the prices and found that online stores have a lot more options on the different styles of bands and they tend to be a bit cheaper. I found a ring that I loved on James Allen’s site so I wanted to see if they had similar styles in the local stores but they didn’t; many independent stores said that they could make it but it would cost more than what it is on James Allen’s site. Also, many stores didn’t have rose gold since it’s not so popular here. So, it made sense for me to buy it online!

After a lot of research, I’ve found that James Allen was the best option for me. One reason was that their diamonds are conflict-free diamonds. Many of the diamonds in the big chain companies in HK come from De Beers and they are proud because it’s a well-known company. I guess they never heard of the monoploid practices of De Beers and its history of blood diamonds. Another reason why I chose James Allen is that you can really zoom in to see all the inclusions of the diamonds and the diamonds are all GIA certified. After researching the ideal proportions of diamonds as well as the 4 C’s – color, clarity, cut and carat – I was able to use the filter feature and find the perfect diamond. I also found out that since I bought a rose gold band, the color of the band will reflect a bit in the diamond. That means that I was able to save some money by not purchasing a colorless diamond. Other advantages of this site is that they offer free international shipping, have a 30 day refund policy, and have 24-hour online customer service.

So a month after I ordered it, it finally arrived yesterday! I think the ring looks a lot better in person than the picture they have on their website. The website has this 360 view which makes the ring look a bit stretched out. Overall, I had a good experience with James Allen and would recommend it to others! Well, here it is!

Well, here it is!

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It came in this nice box.

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There is a bottom compartment that holds the appraisal, receipt, GIA certificate and a cleaning cloth.

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My ring!

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I guess when I really zoom in, the diamond looks dark but it doesn’t look like that in person!

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I’m very happy with this ring. Thanks Seth!

 

Here are some things that I have learned from ring shopping in Hong Kong:

  • the prices on the rings are not the actual prices (they will give you a “good” price)
  • the salesperson will expect you to buy it if you like it
  • don’t shop in busy tourist areas (aka TST) but instead, go to stores in the New Territories
  • many places do not resize silver rings
  • one place that do resize silver rings is Power Jewellery Company (19A Hankow Road, G/F., Han Yee Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong) and they did it for a reasonable price

 

 

Engagement

As most of you all know, Seth proposed in Prague on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2015 on the St. Charles bridge!

Before going on the trip, I had a feeling that he was going to propose since we’ve talked about marriage for a while. When planning our trip to Dubai, Prague, Vienna and Budapest, Seth kept telling me how we need to go on the St. Charles bridge in Prague for some sunrise pictures because it looked amazing. He kept sending me pictures of it and repeating that we had to catch the sunrise or at least sunset there. The day before leaving for our trip, he was debating on whether or not to bring the tripod, which was unlike him (well, he did buy that tripod for our Iceland trip), but he decided not to.

So when we arrived in Prague to check into our hotel, the woman said that we got the best room in the hotel! I haven’t seen the other rooms but ours was really nice. There were basically four rooms – a bedroom, living room, an extra room with a desk, armoire, vanity table, and a bathroom. Inside the bathroom, we had a jacuzzi and two separate sinks. I thought maybe this hotel has something to do with him proposing but he swears that he didn’t pay anything extra for this room; it was just a standard room. That night, we basically just walked around the downtown area for a bit and at a pub. We were exhausted afterwards because we were still not used to the time difference (7 hour difference) so we went to bed early.

Because we were still jet lagged, we woke up around 5am the next day and headed out for the St. Charles bridge to see the sunrise. It was a great time to see the bridge since there were hardly anyone there except photographers. We went the previous night and it was packed with people. We were taking some photos and then Seth asked a stranger to help take a picture of us. That was when he got down on one knee and proposed! The photographer wasn’t expecting it but was a good sport in helping us capture the moment.

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It was a perfect day and he was right, the sunrise on the bridge was beautiful!

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That’s a bit weird to zoom in so much on my finger….but here’s the engagement ring he got me! It’s a traditional Irish ring called claddagh and it fitting since he has some Irish background in him. It represents love, loyalty and friendship. The hands holding the heart represents friendship, the heart represents love and the crown represents loyalty.

Seth has a great memory on how I talked about how I think it’s crazy that some people spend so much money on a ring and aren’t 100% sure that their partner is going to like it so he got me the claddagh ring as a temporary ring. It was very thoughtful of him and we were able to choose wedding rings together!