So, how was your January?

Like last year, 2016 seems to be whizzing past like a speeding bullet and before we know it, we’re already into the first week of February.

January was a busy month – socially, at least – for me. In the midst of pre-Chinese New Year dinners (I’ve tossed yee sang six times so far but still no fortune in sight), I celebrated the birthdays of a few good friends.

The grandest belonged to Datin Winnie Loo, director of A Cut Above Salon & Academy. The hairstyling maven turned 60 in style, throwing a Hollywood Glam-themed soiree at The Oak Room in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

The party gathered about 200 guests, amongst them family members, local celebrities and socialites. Loo had earlier requested guests to go all-out in terms of dressing; I matched my custom-made Bernard Chandran tuxedo with a gold bowtie.

As expected, there were many sequined gowns and sparkling stilettos in sight; I was watching my step the whole time as I didn’t want to step on some ladies’ long train.

The birthday girl herself looked resplendent in a gold Keith Kee number.

In her speech, Loo said: “I thank all of you for being here; you’re here because you’re special to me. When my friends asked me to throw a big party for my birthday, I said I would like it to be small and exclusive instead. In that way, I can at least take a photo and have a chat with each of you.”

She added: “Besides celebrating my 60th birthday, I am also celebrating my 40th year in the hair industry and I am happy to share this milestone with you.”

Loo joked that many of her friends reckoned her age “froze” at 38. (And to her credit, Loo does look much younger than 60.)

As she happily accepts the compliment, Loo stressed that a healthy mind and body and her passion for work are the secrets to her youthful demeanour.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by violinist Dennis Lau and Crystal Lee. The latter, a singer-actress who is also the goddaughter of Loo, sang the birthday song in different languages.

For the cake-cutting ceremony, Loo was joined by Lee, husband Datuk Richard Teo and son Marcus as she blew out the candles.

After Loo’s birthday, I jetted off to Langkawi with five friends for a weekend of sun and relaxation.

We were also there to celebrate the birthday of man-about-town Yun Wen Lai. He chartered a luxury yacht that sailed around the island, docking at Dayang Bunting where we had a delicious lunch on a private beach. We went jungle trekking and fed monitor lizards our leftover meal.

We also fell head over heels in love with upscale beachfront resort Four Seasons. Our afternoons were whiled away at its lounge, sipping wine while playing Jenga and Scrabble. With CNY just five days away, the mood for festivities will no doubt continue.

I will be ushering in the Year of the Monkey in my hometown Penang, and look forward to spending time with family, friends and yes, the food.

I sincerely hope your year ahead – and mine – will be filled with many more wonderful memories.

Ang pows and feedback can be directed to