Monday, January 6, 2014

Happiness Starts With Friends

Even though we plan our dates ahead of time, it still ain't easy for us to have a get-together like this. But everytime we have one, it feels like we are never islands apart for a few months or so. And there has never been one boring and awkward moment catching up with these guys, you know. No need of expensive planned and listed activities to do to make it worthwhile. Set a date, have dinner, and the rest is history. So what more could I ask for than to spend a Christmas and year-end date with these crazy people? ...and giraffe? ;)

Yes, that yellow I'm-sticking-my-head-out-of-the-bag-is-Giraffe. And yes, her name is Giraffe.


I miss these girls already!! Aww.. Until the next get-together, and I mean the Surigao summer vacation, okay? 



Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year. New Life.

It's amazing how life sometimes catches you off guard... gives you something you longingly pray for at the best possible time. And you get so overwhelmed by the timing. Then you realize you are complete. Finally. That there is nothing else in the world you wish to be given of right at this moment. 

This new journey I will have to take on entails a whole lot of responsibility; but with my families, friends, and Argey behind me all the time, I know this one we can nail. And I wish you all will still be part of that journey with me, wherever you are in the world. Expect some drastic swings in the life of this blog, by the way. Though, of course, there is Jhet to keep us all on track. 

Happy New Year, lovies!

Dress - thrifted
Sandals - Crocs

Monday, December 16, 2013

That Elusive Sign

At times, when you are so torn between two equally weighty things, you just pass on to the universe the burden, and wait longingly for any indication of an answer. A sign. An elusive one, most times.

It's a predicament I try so hard to shove to the back of my mind, awaiting the time for me to muster all the courage in me to be able to deal with it. Later, perhaps. When I'm braver.

For now, though, I let life go on as usual - doing the same things every day and welcoming the littlest of shifts, which now seem hard to come by. Of course, the reward I get, coupled with hubby's sunny personality, makes everyday lighter and brighter. And I could not be more thankful.

Dress worn as top - borrowed from sister
Maxi skirt - c/o Ayala Center Cebu
Sandals - Hebe Manila

Friday, December 13, 2013

When in Eden...

Wow, it has been a while, hasn't it? I'm sorry for being MIA for, wait, months? Whoa! Now that that sunk in, I feel really bad for being an irresponsible blogger. The last months have been a chaos - deadlines, meetings, deadlines, travels, deadlines! Good thing there has not been any drastic change in the way Argey and I do things yet, now that we're married and all that, or else I would have fled. Like, really fled - run away like a madwoman from all the chaos. 

So, anyway, as I said, part of the chaos was the travelling. And when travelling, I always opt for loose-fitting bottoms, soft jeans, leggings, or skirts. You can say I've learned the hard way and now go away with tight jeans or fitted denim shorts when I travel.  

This was what I wore when we head for Davao City last Sunday. I wore this sweater, actually, to fight the freezing temperatures in airports and planes. We had to take the plane from Dumaguete to Cebu and the connecting flight to Davao, so I made sure I was cold-proof. It was later, in the skies between Dumaguete and Cebu, that I realize how stupid of me to have forgotten that we were supposed to visit Eden Nature Park in Davao that day. And sure enough, I was sweating like crazy when we had the tour. Good thing I was sane enough to wear this breezy skorts, or I would have stripped myself naked in Eden. Okay, I never would have... but we don't know what too much sweat can cause our brains.. teehee!

This was actually my sixth visit in Eden, but the place still amazes me. They have a new feature this year - the SkyCycle, which I dare not try, but the 'kids' went wild about. The food, as usual, is great; and the flowers in Rainbow Pass are in full bloom this time of the year. What a treat!

Sweater, skorts - thrifted
Sandals - c/o Robinson's Dumaguete

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hey Twenty Four

Janjie and I have been awol on the blog lately. Sorry you guys but we've been pretty busy with work, and catching up (with work) that we could now probably be crowned the busiest of them all. We'll make it up to you soonest, ayt? *wink!

So, while Janjie is enjoying her Mac experience in Davao, with some of the Pylon staff, I'm here celebrating my birthday. Yep she knows she has a lot of making up to do. Evil laugh! She loves me to death that she'll treat me out this weekend with all the sumptuous food and relaxing spa and more girl time. Love you too Janj! Haha!

Anyhoo, I had to squeeze this in in my super busy work schedule because it's-my-birthday-today-and-I-really-have-to. This is not so artsy really. Considering the new work schedule and biological clock, I only had to grab whatever I could find and poof! a floral skirt, pink tube top, belt and a pair of ankle strapped flats. And to complete the birthday themed post, luckily I found baby Zayn's balloons in her room. Thanks baby, I owe one!

To everyone who greeted me and made this day totally awesome, THANK YOU! To my friends, you know who you guys are, where's my birthday cake? Haha! And to my family who never fails to make me laugh the hardest, you made my day. Awww! Cheezy stops here na.. thanks guys! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's a garden out there

Because one of these days we will realize that our days are numbered and we didn't get the next chance to go and live all of our dreams. Our days are short and yet we live them exactly the same way every day, so there ain't no harm being more ambitious and dreaming even bigger aspirations. Let's chase the greatest of them and regret nothing just because we chose to be. Because life is like a garden of endless possibilities, we'll never know what we'll find until we go out there, face those fears and take those chances.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Right Way to Fly

Recently, Argey and I have been talking of going away for some quality time together.  Since the wedding, we haven't had much of a rest really, what with work and all of our other responsibilities.  So, yeah, we haven't gone on a honeymoon yet.  Sad.

Travelling to somewhere far and unfamiliar is just one of the things that we wish to do before the year ends. We have not done any long-distance travel this year yet (except for the usual Cebu trips) and it's almost the end of the year!  It's such a bummer considering we've had short vacations for two years in a row (Davao in 2011 and Los BaƱos in 2012).

So, for this year, we are planning of embarking on a get-away to one of these places that are included in our destination wish list:

1. Davao City
      - Though Argey and I have already been to Davao for quite a number of times, it will always be a special city to us, because, as you know, that is where he proposed.  (Wedding proposal story HERE.)  Maybe visiting Jack's Ridge again and that very spot where he popped the question will give us the same bliss we had at that moment.  Or maybe we can go on a little adventure together and head to Samal. Ah, the many possibilities!
Argey and I at Eden Nature Park, Davao, December 2011
2. Puerto Princesa
       - We have never been to Palawan yet, but we have heard of how beautiful and clean the province is. Perhaps, we can also go on a backpacking tour and visit the neighboring cities and towns of Palawan, as well.  Now that is just what we need right now: a little dose of ADVENTURE!

Photo from HERE

3. Cagayan de Oro
      - Ah, CDO! Going around CDO and visiting its beautiful waterfalls and caves will definitely be one romantic get-away.

Photo taken from HERE.

Unlike our previous travels together, this one will definitely mean so much more to both of us, since this will be our first as husband and wife.  We plan to make it as memorable, as fun, and as practical as our wedding day.  We plan to make the most out of it, without having to spend so much, of course.  Well, you know our mantra: "Doing more with less."

We all know how plane fare always eats up a large portion of our travel budget.  That is why a low-cost airline is our best choice. Oh, and speaking of low-cost and best choice, Air Asia Zest, the new brand name of the synergized forces of Air Asia and Zest Air, just announced that it now flies directly from Manila (NAIA Terminal 4), after moving its flights from Clark.

Now, AirAsia Zest flies from Manila to your favorite local and Asian destinations.  Choose to travel in the Philippines and visit the places you still have never been to.  You can also travel in Asia with AirAsia Zest and discover the wonders of our neighboring countries.  Do all these without having to spend so much on air fare with AirAsia Zest's signature low fares. 

If you've been following this blog, you'll know that if we sum up everything that's posted here, one word comes on top: PRACTICALITY, which in my dictionary means getting more, but spending less.  Fun and enjoyment do not always cost too much.  It's only a matter of finding the right way to spend.  And you are given just that with AirAsia Zest, THE RIGHT WAY TO FLY.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

DIY Wedding Tips

"Doing more with less."  This, perhaps, is what became our guiding rule in the wedding preparations.  Argey and I often talk about how other couples spend so much for their wedding and how we should never do it for ours. We agreed never to do something that will only taint our special day with an unpleasant memory - like spending all our hard-earned savings for instance.

Hiring event organizers can save you from all the troubles.  Event organizers are everywhere today.  However, if you want your day to be even more memorable and personal, organizing it with your man, family, and friends can truly make a huge difference.  It even is a great opportunity for you and your families to bond and get to know each other better.

So, the DIY concept was basically born along with our aim to spend less, without jeopardizing prettiness of course, and to make our wedding day very memorable, not only to us, but to all our guests as well.  We wanted the day to be so full of fun, colorful, cute, and picture-perfect - the perfect blend of an indelible memory.

Doing all the planning and organizing for your event entail a whole lot of time, patience and hardwork.  However, if you do it the right way, you will be able to avoid all the hassles and worries that it often goes with.  Here are some of the things that I learned and wish to share with you:

1. Think of a theme/concept.

How and where do you like to celebrate your special day? Your options can range from the traditional to the modern concepts to the crazily unique ones. Choose a theme that means something to both of you.  Your color motiff, venue, dress designs, decors, cake, and other details may then revolve around your chosen theme.  
DIY wedding shoes: hand-painted sneakers by my wonderful husband; DIY flower cones made of burlap cloth. 

Wedding favors for the VIPs are these melted glass bottles. The little bug cars are part of Argey's bug collection.

These DIY paper rosette balls were used in the church and as table centerpieces.

2. Set a budget.

Set a strict budget and make expenses in accordance with the budget set.  Be sure to include an amount for CONTINGENCY EXPENSES, because believe me, you can NEVER predict all your expenses.  Make a guest list early so you can make your budget for food accurate.  Also, NEVER assume someone will shoulder anything.  Prepare a budget that will cover all your possible expenses.  If someone volunteers to spend for something later on, great!  Then you get to save.

3. Never mention the 'W' word.

One VERY IMPORTANT thing that I also learned from all the wedding preparations is for one to NEVER mention the W word to suppliers.  If you do not personally know the florist, do not mention that the flowers you are buying is for your wedding day or you'll get charged a hefty amount.  This, however, is applicable only if you will do the flower arrangement yourself.  There are, of course, suppliers you can't hide the occasion from, but if you must, negotiate and come up with an amount first before mentioning the event. It's a matter of who gets to be sneaky first.

The only fresh flowers during our wedding are these pretty Baby's Breath flowers. They came in as sort of a bargain, really, because we purchased it in a large quantity, and the florist did not know it's for a wedding.

3. Start early. 

DIY weddings are strenuous and require a lot of time to prepare. Ours took three full months to prepare (that includes all the paperworks). When you start early, you can avoid all the stress that go with cramming.

4. Create a schedule.

Get organized. Plan ahead and create a schedule that you will then strictly follow.

Though both Argey and I are very busy with work, we make sure we are not delayed with the preparations by doubling our wedding tasks on the weekends.

This wedding planner and I had been inseparable for months. 

5. Enjoin family and friends.

Argey and I are super lucky to have supportive families and friends.  We are even extra lucky to be part of a creative circle of friends. Our families were tasked to do the paper rosette balls, burlap flower cones, doodles on the sneakers, accessories on my gown, fruit sticks, and a whole lot more. Our artsy friends, especially Jhet, helped make the boutonnieres, flower crowns, giant paper roses, and most of them painted their own shoes, too.  And then, of course, there are our lovely friends, who took photos and videos (prenup & wedding day).

Your DIY wedding will never be possible without everybody's help.  Imagine all the things you will have to handcraft, style, and design. Enjoining family and friends in your wedding preparation adventures is both fun and even more fulfilling. 

6.  If you plan to DIY your make-up, PRACTICE.

Whenever I get a few hours free on my weekends, I spend it trying on different looks for the day.  Instead of spending for one expensive make-up session, I decided to spend the amount instead in make-up products.  The amount for a session, honestly, went as quite a shock to me.  I did not expect that it would cost so much, considering how it only lasts for a few hours.  And, poof!  When you later wash off your face and hair, you wash off along with it the money you worked hard for.

Today's bride should put more weight on practicality than short-lived luxury.  Today's bride is independent, creative, resourceful.  So, think of the things that you will definitely need help with and the things that you can do or learn to do yourself, but, of course, NEVER jeopardize beauty and quality.

In addition, practice hair and make-up sessions can be a great inclusion in your bridal shower activities, too!

The girls and I prepping for our post-nup shoot.
7. Create a checklist and meet with your committees.

Create committees with your trusted friends and family members to ensure every detail is taken care of.  Luckily for us, we have a group of young, active brothers and sisters - the Pylonites - to always help us.  We requested them to help us in the venue set-up and in ushering our guests.  A few days before the wedding, Argey and I met with them, discussed with them their tasks, and gave them a check-list to guide them of the things that they need to do.

8. Have every moment captured.

You only get married once (that's the case where I live, at least), so be sure you have everything documented and captured beautifully.  Not to be biased towards hubby's career, but I personally believe that photography and videography is what every couple should invest in.  Wedding days become a total blur to every couple.  Believe me, everything was all a blur; but, good videographers and photographers can capture all the important moments and can turn them into a lifetime memory.  Give your pretty dresses, beautiful decors, and lovely guests justice by making sure they are captured wonderfully.

Wedding photographers and videographers are everywhere these days, so be sure you hire only the best.  Ask people you trust who they recommend or check the artists' portfolio to know whether their style suits your taste.  Meeting with them is also necessary to discuss your preferences, their packages, and shoot schedules.  A meeting with them also breaks the ice and eliminates all the awkwardness that photo and video shoots often come with.

Here are the names I would always be proud to recommend, go check them out!

   - EdXPhotography
   - Hermz Larong
   - Archivus
   - Tatsuo Productions
   - Fusion Films

The husband is also a wedding/events photographer - Argey Designs & Photography.

The Gang: (from left) Chamberlain of Tatsuo Productions, Tita Hermz of Hermz Larong Photography, Ivan of Fusion Films, Eisen of Tatsuo Productions, Troy and Edward of EdXPhotography

9. Get some peace and quiet together the night before your big day.

Ah, your last night as single souls!  Now, that deserves good food, a quiet evening, relaxing massage, and a stress-relieving hot bath; and Argey and I made sure we get all that.  We have worked our asses off for eight freaking weeks in a row, so we think it would be just right to culminate the preparations (and to prepare ourselves for our big day) with some quality time together.

The night before is very crucial to your special day.  If you do not get enough sleep, you may end up groggy and moody on the day.  You may also want a good, heartfelt talk with your man before you officially seal your marriage bond.  Talk about how you envision your marriage to be like and assure each other that you will both work to keep each other happy and fulfilled.   

10. Carpe diem!

Enjoy! It is one of the most important days in your life as a couple.  I think one thing that couples often fail to do is to let things be and just try to enjoy all the imperfections.  Leave everything now to your suppliers, your committees, your ushers & usherettes, and, of course, to God.  

Argey and I both agreed to welcome errors and imperfections openly.

- The saxophonist only played halfway through the bridal walk!  Smile and get the guests' attention, instead.
- Grandma didn't wear the dress you bought for her!  She looks good in what she's wearing, anyway.
- Keeya got so nervous, she forgot her prayer! Uh, I love her nonetheless.
- It's getting darker and the program's still long! Just quickly scratch the other parts.
- Uh-oh, the wind's too strong for the flying lanterns! Light them, have pictures taken, put off the light, move on.

There is no such thing as a perfect event, only organizers and guests open to the imperfections.  If you try to correct everything, you only ruin them more.  Your disappointment over the errors will also be documented and reflected in your photos and videos.  Now, you wouldn't want that.  Enjoy your day and your guests will mirror that.  

No matter what the concept you decide for your wedding, what matters most is making it a lasting memory. Add touches of your personalities and interests into your theme to make it even more personal.  You do not need to please anybody.  It's your day; do whatever pleases you.  Most importantly, you do not need to spend so much. After all, it is not about how many guests you have, it's about who among these guests really matter to you.  It's not about how expensive your clothes are, it's the presence of the ones wearing it that's priceless.

So, how do you want your wedding day to be like?