Archive for the Musings by dR Category

Our Samoan Honeymoon

Posted in Musings by dR with tags , , on September 7, 2009 by dorinranee

This is a clip of our honeymoon in Samoa. We stayed at Sinalei Resort and was just pampered throughout. An unforgettable experience with the man of my life.

Our Samoan Honeymoon from Dorin Ranee on Vimeo.


Merging of Chan-Ranee

Posted in Musings by dR with tags , , , , on September 7, 2009 by dorinranee

We did it on the 9th May 09. I am now Mrs. Jeffery Chan.

The ceremony was short and sweet. I was aware of everything that was going on around me. There were just so many things I am so grateful for and thanking God on how things just worked out for us and for all the friends and family that helped made it happen. I just want to mention the following as a way to remember the effort that made our day special.

  • Family who traveled the distance from Malaysia to be with us on our special day. Mom and Dad in law, Don & Perli, Gloria and Nicholas and Unc William
  • Mom and Dad in law for helping with the invitation cards and deco. Also for cooking yummy food and taking care of us on the days leading up to the wedding.
  • Mom who did my wedding dress alteration and taking care of bits and pieces
  • My sisters Cindy and Merlin who took charge of hospitality for the reception after church ceremony
  • Annabel for helping me through out my wedding preps and for organizing the BEST EVER Hens do. I was seriously touched…
  • Graeme and Pam Smith – a missionary couple who miraculously could attend the wedding amidst their busy schedule in and out of the country. Graeme gave a wonderful memorable wedding message on the 7 keys to a Happy Marriage.
  • David and Anne Spratt – our marriage counselors who gave their time and warm hospitality sowing into our lives
  • Mark the vicar – our outstanding and very interesting celebrant
  • The wonderful girls Jo, Eunice, Ellys, Sharon, Ching, Siaw Hui, Charlotte, Lily & Rebecca for helping out so much with the food preps, at the ceremony and dinner
  • Jazzy for being the most angelic flowergirl
  • Nicholas for bringing in the rings for us – you did very well that day!
  • Ching and Marcus, Sam and Jo, Tony and Charlotte for ushering and welcoming the guests
  • Min – the wonderful floor manager
  • Sharon and Siaw Hui for taking care of setting up and deco
  • Sam and Aaron for being groomsmen and drivers. Totally appreciate it!
  • Matt and Paul for taking amazing photos for us
  • Tim and Steven for recording our special moments on video
  • Ken and Marcus; the fantastic duos who made the dinner reception flow smoothly. I still remember your jokes Ken. Awesome job.
  • Mr Lo and team at Sunshine restaurant for preparing the wonderful food
  • Edmond Koh – our pastry chef who made us our wedding cake – Croquembouche, a french traditional wedding cake.
  • Charmaine and the awesome quartet that made the ceremony livelier and memorable with the lovely lovely music. Thank you so much!
  • Cindy for taking care of the music
  • Cindy’s in laws and family – who helped prepare and clean up at the ceremony. Thank you!
  • Sophie for the lovely lovely caricature and the photo montage video. Miss you heaps!
  • Alyssa & Natasha for doing my makeup and hair. I look gorgeous thanks to you both.
  • All our guests for witnessing our wedding

Our day closed with a dinner celebration with about 50 of our closest friends and family with lots of toasting (with loud yam-sengs), laughter and reminiscing. Our tables were named ‘LIFE’, ‘Cezanne’, ‘Carpark’, ‘Garage’ and ‘St. Mark’s’ signifying important locations for us in our journey together. It is at LIFE church that we first met, at Cezanne cafe where Jeff asked what I thought about us, at his office carpark when we decided to date each other exclusively, in the garage on our chaise lounge where he got down on his knees to ask me to marry him and finally at St. Mark’s where we became husband and wife. 🙂

So how is married life? I got asked this question a lot. So here’s my answer: It’s super awesome!! It is really wonderful when you know that you married the right man at the right time. Jeff and I had our own confirmation and had God’s peace about marrying each other. There was an issue of fear that I had to deal with on my part – fear of relationship, fear of failing, etc but this was dealt with when I decided to let God be in charge. I stepped aside, took that step of faith into the relationship and never looked back since. Everything and I meant everything (wedding and life plans) just fell into place and intertwined beautifully. I could not have asked or imagined better. So how is married life? It is great. I have been enjoying living together; it really is like living with your best friend. Jeff has brought the best out of me. Married life has also taught me submission. I am still on the road of learning but I have already noticed how easily it is (compared to past relationships) to submit to him as my husband, respecting him and making decisions together.

Jeff and I are looking forward to our KL wedding reception next year – to celebrate with friends and family that could not make it here for the ceremony in New Zealand. We have not set a date yet but it would most probably be in May. We are in the midst of planning it.

That’s all for now for my musings… 🙂

Birthday @ LG

Posted in Musings by dR with tags , , , on March 6, 2009 by dorinranee

Aww… how sweet. My LG (lifegroup) celebrated my birthday with a surprise cake. One week later and still celebrating. @@~~ really touched.  Thanks to you lovely people. Life is indeed more fun and joyful with great caring friends. Anyway, we had a good time discussing about our goals for 2009 for our activities. Sam introduced something he got from City Harvest Singapore. It’s called S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals; making Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Realistic – Time framed – Expectation Management – Revelation goals. I may be able to put it up here and share my goals with you! In the meantime, here’s some pics of us that night.

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And steamboat at Aaron’s place last Saturday. Oh how I missed hanging out and the weather was just perfect for a night in. It was windy and cold and after the hot steamy steamboat we watched ‘Yes Man’. 🙂 Hilarious. And we indulged in sticky date puddings and after that a surprise birthday cake!! Awww… 🙂 I was going to make my 30th a huge bash somewhere with everyone there but just did not have the time to get around to organise it. Too busy with wedding preps and the business. But I thought this is actually what I love and I think it’s far more meaningful. Family, friends, food and lots of laughters.


Oh, had a pre birthday celebration with Annabel and Ding as well. Ding, a friend from uni was in Auckland for a week for work and it was so good to catch up after the many years leaving uni. He’s getting married in December this year. Woohoo!


This is my favourite photo with Jeff. 🙂 Thanks hon for organising some of the ‘surprises’. he he.


My Valentine!

Posted in Musings by dR with tags , on February 20, 2009 by dorinranee

We had one of the most enjoyable impromptu dinner on V-day. Grabbed some salmon steak, mussels and oyster and yes, my beloved Moscato wine while we were doing grocery shopping. And voila! Our favourite seafood with my (now his too) favourite sweet wine.


I got the EA Grant!!

Posted in Musings by dR on January 20, 2009 by dorinranee

Praise the good Lord! I finally got an email from the officer at WINZ (Work and Income New Zealand) and he said the grant of $11,000 has been approved for my business. WHEEEEPEEE!! I was telling myself to feel every ounce of joy when I was reading the email. And I literally fell to my knees to give thanks to God because He deserve the worship and praise. Yea! The interview last Wednesday with the vetting agent went very well and only lasted half the time as expected.
I can’t wait to shop for the business. Styling manuals, ghd styler, makeup chair, vanity lights, canvas blocks, more props, more makeup woohoo!!
Thanks to all the wonderful family and friends around me for their moral support and prayers. Thanks to mom for cooking all those yum meals and excusing me from house chores. He he. Thanks to JC for even cooking me dinner when I’m tied up with writing the business plan. Thanks to Kimberly for that muscle conditioning in that last week of submission. Thanks to all of you whose ongoing concern really helped me through. Sharing this joy with you means so much to me than celebrating alone. 🙂 Love you all long timeeee kekeke!
***Wedding preps!
The date is all set for 9th May 2009. The church is booked, the dresses bought, flowers ordered, vendors chosen, honeymoon confirmed, guest list written… just moving on to invitations now and other details. Hope to get as much sorted in January. It’s great planning for your own wedding. Jeff and I are enjoying every bit of it. 🙂

Reflections on 2008

Posted in Musings by dR on January 7, 2009 by dorinranee

Finally I got down to this; it has been on my mind for days and I’m one who need to put things to order through my writings. This would serve as a closure to 2008 and prepare myself mentally for this new year before me. 2008 for me was a year of decisions and preparation. In January I decided to break away from a relationship that I know was not intended for me. I also decided that I would get myself involved in a Lifegroup at Life Church so I could do life together with like-minded friends. That decision has brought many wonderful friends who are dear to me now. Also it was great opportunity to be assistant leader (with Jeff) to Sam and Eunice for the lifegroup. I felt that God has just gifted me with the most amazing and interesting people to share life with. There’s Ellys, Jeff, Eunice, Lily, Sam, Aaron, Matt, Jo, Annabel, Esther and a whole lot more to mention. I’m also thankful for old friends who kept in touch like Sophie, Clara, Charmaine, Jacklyn and Rachel. You girls are super awesome! From there, StyleCulture had also taken shape. Things in regards with StyleCulture became more defined as the months go by. It was definitely a progressive journey and one that I enjoyed very much. It had its share of doubts and hard-knocks as well but through those it has helped me steer through better and make me realised my passion for it. Through it I realised I can live out my calling (that is to love people) and I know for sure that this is the best thing for me in this season of my life. As for WORK: I was made redundant from a legal firm in August. When it could be depressing and fearful for me, I was actually feeling relieved from not having to do a boring job for the sake of surviving. It was like a prayer answered. Two things have come out of that; one – I could put my focus in growing the business where I get work satisfaction and joy; two – the opportunity to go for an Enterprise Allowance business course that is fully funded by the wonderful government of New Zealand. Had I resigned from the job I would not have that opportunity and would not be receiving support under the Unemployment Benefit. Had I been in Malaysia, I would be dreaming if I could get support for living if I lose my job. The RIGHT place at the RIGHT time. Nothing better than God’s provision and timing. Through the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ course under the Enterprise Allowance program, it helped me put together a comprehensive business plan; yessss, the blue print to StyleCulture. I’ve slogged at it for 6 weeks and have put every detail there is to make it a viable business plan. With that, I have the opportunity to get a grant of $11k from WINZ to give a kick start to the business. I am yet to hear back from WINZ… but believing for good things anyway. 🙂 In regards to preparation; I completed two business courses, diploma in Image Consulting and a Certificate in Makeup Artistry and have a mini portfolio to show as well. 🙂 So that’s all thumbs up for me here. In regards to LOVE – cupid’s arrow found me alright. It started off as a great friendship which went to the next level of courtship and at the turn of this new year, an engagement! Jeff is the most wonderful gift of all and when I said YES to his proposal, there is no hint of doubt in my mind and I know I am ready to spend my life with him forever. What people say about opposite attracts rings true; but for the joker I am, Jeff surprises me with his own antics as well. I feel so fulfilled… *I’ll save the rest for my speech at the wedding* My family have also finally moved closer to the city in Albany. Oh my gosh, this is like a 2 years of prayer answered. All the petrol that I’ve burnt, the whinging and whining and complaining every time I travel the lonely stretch of motorway to Orewa is now… over. Hooray to Cindy and Peyman for getting a great house for the family. Well done, well done! Thank you God as well. Yea, I think I covered most things now. My head feels lighter. 🙂 See, such a great effect. Overall I am absolutely happy and thankful for 2008; the things I have set out to do and done; the things that have come to pass in very unsuspecting and unexpectant ways. I look forward to this year with courage and God’s grace. It will be another year of unprecedented abundance, sowing and reaping and great harvesting. It will be an exciting year for StyleCulture and for Jeff and I as we set out to plan our lives together.

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

Posted in Musings by dR on January 7, 2009 by dorinranee

It’s been a wonderful 2008, the year StyleCulture took form. Only God knows the journey of how it came from an idea of online beauty directory to a makeup and styling photography business. I originally had BeautyZone in mind and had worked on it since the December of 2006. From what started off as a business idea has now moulded into my passion and my joy. Yes, 2008 was a defining year for StyleCulture’s start up with the collaboration of Jeff Chan Photography.

From the first project with Claudia in April that later on saw our portfolio grew to a rich and diverse collection. With each photoshoot we were awestruck with our work yet recognizing ways for improvement for our next shoot. Friends and family were great support and we know we could not do it better without them. A deep appreciation goes out to each one of you; thanks for believing in us, thanks for recommending us and thanks for being part of us. A special thanks to Eunice who have contributed in her special section – Fashion Geek. I am still looking forward to go op-shopping with her. 😉

Looking back, I am thankful for the ups and downs of the year. We learnt through trials and bumps of the journey to polish our skills and services. We thrive on when our models are totally blown away with their images. We feel happy when they are happy. It was a year of unprecedented abundance even in the midst of sowing into the business.

This year we believe will see us sowing much more in growing our skills so that we can be the best to give each model their own individuality in their images and take away an experience only unique to StyleCulture. This year would prove to be more challenging as well as exciting. It has already begun on the 1st of January… with an engagement proposal from Jeff for my hand in marriage. *wink wink* *romantic sigh* YEEEEHHAAAA!


Oh yes, this year will also see the beginning of a wedding photography portfolio with our first project in March. It’s especially exciting as both Jeff and I are also in the midst of our wedding preps. It’s the best way to relate to our clients! 🙂

So Hello 2009! May it be a year full of returns and good harvest. Here’s a motto worth living by: ‘Do everything as though you’re doing it for God’.

With love,

Dorin Ranee

P.S. I’ve moved DorinRanee Muses and The Merry Meals categories to a personal blog Clucking Ducks. You can find the link on the right menu. 🙂