Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Photos Gone Wrong?

So I was managing the files on my phone last night when I came across our Camayan pre-valentine get-away photos which reminded me of how poor financially surviving yet very happy Ralph and I are as a couple. I mean, of course this is under the context of us saving all that we currently have for the wedding. Which also means no budget for weekly movies for now, no fancy dinners, and no unnecessary loitering in Tom's World. 

On top of these restrictions, we are also not allowed to save up for our little not-even-considered-extravagant gadgets. I was never the techie one so I don't have problems with that. I'm good with my little Compaq notebook and android phone. See? No iPad (big or small or do you call that mini?), no iPhone, no DSLR. Ralph, on the other hand, used to have a camera (I think a Sony cybershot if memory serves me well) and a PSP. Both of which are gone to the bin now. Well, the camera was lost to negligence which literally sent him home from the office due to high blood pressure. I remember how terrible that event was that I had to rush to his house thinking I might find him dead if I come later. Lol. The PSP was just broken beyond repair. Another case of negligence.

Monday, March 25, 2013

DIY Wedding Invitations

I have not exactly been discreet about my wedding preparation. If you have been reading my posts, you are one of those in the know of this little DIY endeavor of mine.

Just to share with you lovely fellas, one of the things that really keep me busy lately is DIY-ing our wedding invites. Boy has it become a nightly thing. As in I am this close to getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to excessive Photoshopping (yehesss! as if I'm an expert. which obviously I'm not because otherwise I should have gotten things done fast and won't have to be lingering on PS for weeks now! Lol.) while right hand also gets shaky and sweaty at times due to so much handwriting (eew!) Aside from that I am the most frugal bride you'll ever meet, I also aim to make things a little personalized here so yes, this is so me to DIY things. (Note to self: future blog entry on all my other DIYs)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dissecting the Real Essence of Lent

I remember it has been almost  a year since I started this blog and one of the very first entries I made was in line with the then upcoming lent. Guess what? So as not to fail your expectation, I'm doing the same this year! Hurrah! Lol.

In the Philippines where most citizens are Catholic, people have different ways of celebrating this season. There's Fasting, Pabasa, Station of the Cross, Visita Iglesia, Flagellants, and Alay-lakad. While I'm no expert in the Philippine culture to discuss this, I grew up witnessing people following these traditions. Sadly, as I have mentioned in last year's lent entry, more than following the God of their religion, people become followers of the religion itself. This is the reason why either they do things they don't understand, or they fall to believing false teachings.

christianity versus religionI was a Catholic for the first 18 years of my life and I myself have experienced doing some of those. However, growing up, I must admit I hated the fact that there are things I should do or follow just to prove that I'm a good girl (esp. I really was not). I went to church every Sunday, completed the Simbang Gabi (I know this is more of a Christmas event but hey you get my point), prayed the rosary every night, confessed of my sin inside that cool amazing box, but at the end of the day, I didn't feel fulfilled nor did I feel I was a better person. Not to mention, I got tired of doing those things and still felt like God was so far away. They became dead-end routine to me. Until I realized what I was missing. I got tired of the religion, and so I started seeking for the relationship. And this is where the importance of the gospel emerges. When I found Christ in 2006 responded to Christ's call in 2006, it has been an amazing transition for me. I gained a different view of life and even a better view of myself. I realized how loved I was. I found what I was looking for and it's not religion -- it's a relationship with God, my lord and savior. I became a follower of Christ-- no longer your old religious girl but a new spiritual woman of God. Because of this, I got my fair share of the perks that Christianity has to offer.

1. Forgiveness. Psalm 103:12 and Hebrews 8:12 are some of the scriptures I had a hard time understanding when I was still starting as a Christian. I just don't understand how someone can forgive one's sin and totally forget about it. This came to me as a shock way back. I mean how can someone forgive me from sins I myself cannot forgive? If God is not merciful, I don't know who is.
Psalms 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

2. Salvation and Eternal Life. What I appreciate most about the kind of relationship I have with the Lord is that I am made aware of my weakness and His immeasurable strength. I delight in the fact that there is no amount of religious activity I can do to appease the judgment of my sins. No need to work hard for the salvation of my soul against the eternal fires of hell because He has already given it to us two thousand years ago, we just need to know and acknowledge this fact.
Collosians 1:13-14 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.

3. Storm-proof Life on Earth. When I started following Christ, I was faced with so many types of struggles -- persecution, financial challenges, offense, broken relationships, and a whole lot more I dare not mention. Christianity doesn't promise an easy life. Actually, it guarantees the otherwise. However, what's amazing about it is that a God-centered life is a guaranteed storm-proof life. Again, not storm-free, but storm-proof.
Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 

Christianity versus religion But why do we need these things? Why not settle to the kind of life that we have right now? Why do we need salvation anyway?

Well, if you are someone who doesn't believe (or at least care) in life after death, then automatically, this will not make sense to you. But thank you for reading anyway. Below are the BAD NEWS that we should know.

1. We are all sinners. Because of the first fall (remember Adam & Eve in the garden of Eden?), we are born sinners. Our kids are born sinners. Ever wonder as a kid why you have mastered lying to your parents or classmates without having anyone to teach you? Whoever said that kids don't lie lies. That's reality, friends.
Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away,  they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

2. We cannot save ourselves. Because of our unholy nature, we cannot redeem ourselves. We need someone who is holy and blameless to save us from the judgement of our sins. I'll try to use the simplest illustration I can think of for this one. Say you disobeyed your college professor's instruction and failed to submit your final paper on time which will merit you a failing grade, say 5. Your professor, trying to be considerate without being unfair to those who were able to comply, then asked you to submit a make-up project so he can give you a passing grade for that particular major subject. Will you be submitting a mediocre project? Something that most of your classmates have already submitted before? Or you'll prepare the best that you can, maybe something unique, knowing that this is the only way you can gain not only a passing grade but an excellent grade of 1? Same is true with Christianity. The grade of 5 means eternal death and the professor is God. The only way God (the professor) can give us eternal life (grade of 1) is if someone holy, blameless, and righteous (excellent special project) sheds his blood for the humanity's redemption.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Hebrews 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

3. We are object of God's wrath. Most people do not realize that while our God is loving, He's also just. This means He hates sin and He won't tolerate sinners. Yes, He is merciful and gracious, but he is also a God that punishes those who will fail to follow His word.
Ephesians 2:3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

4. Hell is real. Hell is more than a mere imaginary place we create to use as threat to those who have offended us. Hell is not only a place of misery and punishment, but also a concept of eternal separation from God. I don't know about you but though the prior sounds painful, the latter sounds more unbearable to me.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment

Christianity versus religion

I hope by this message it's now clear why some of the traditions I mentioned in line with celebration of lent is unnecessary if not irrelevant. Don't you think it's an insult to the Lord that we think what He has done is not enough that until today we are still trying to use good works (if those are good) to save ourselves? Can't we just be happy & thankful that it's done? No more need for torture, self-denial, and sacrifices. No need to pretend holy during only a particular week while continue sinning the rest of the year. Again, aside from the blood of Christ, NOTHING can purify us.

 In this note, I'll leave you with one last scripture which I hope we ponder on not only during lent, but for everyday of our borrowed life.

I hope you all have a blessed Holy Week ahead  (long weekend yes!) and a fun time with your family and loved ones! ♥

Suggested Reading: The True Meaning of Lent

Friday, March 15, 2013

World Sleep Day

Apparently, today is World Sleep Day. Happy slumber everyone! I feel like I have so much to do with this kind of "holiday" because I myself am a big sleeper. No matter how much I love hanging out with friends, talk endlessly, read books, or even movie marathon, when sleep time arrives (and that's around 8pm-9pm), I automatically lose power. Regardless of my degree of busyness, one of my obsessions is still to make sure I get at least 8hrs of sleep everyday. It's very rare that I pull an all-nighter because of this. Not only do I hate the feeling of puyat (lack of sleep) because it literally makes me brain dead the next day, I also love the feeling of getting my mind off the things I have become busy about the entire day that has passed. For me the best way to do it is to sleep. Studies also show that humans can last for days without food or water but not long without sleep.

Anyway, the real intention of this post is to promote my very own small business. The Monster Hug Pillow!

What a best way to sleep but to be surrounded by this humongous hugger! Order now!

Visit & Like Monster Hug Pillow's FB page.
Also, you may view the rest of the details here.

C'mon, you know you want to have one. ♥

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Another Photoshop Attempt

Today is another milestone to my photo-editing career (if any). Haha. I'm just so happy to report to everyone of my progress in learning that awesome thing next to video games that is Photoshop!

whatchasay whatchasay? like? love? just OK? haha

See? If you remember, my very first attempt was our wedding monogram creation. And today, I was able to make my very first blog header! Isn't that fantastic?!

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My kind of diet

Due to that there are so many things to do in such a little time, I am unable to go sweat some tummy fats lately. I think it's been two weeks since I last went out for a jog.

To compensate for the lost chances to burn, I tried another technique to lose some. I was never the diet person. I know nothing about those different types with different names. All I'm very familiar with (and i'm not even sure if nutritionists consider it as a type of diet, how do you categorize an eating habit as diet anyway?) is the After-6 which basically means a person can eat all he likes as long as it's before 6pm. After 6pm, he should be in a complete abstinence to any solid intake until the next morning.

Personally, that won't work for me because I have a gastric condition which I have to be very mindful about. My stomach can't be empty for a long time or I'll start vomiting and then die. Kidding. I'll faint first, then struggle for a couple of hours before dying. Srsly.

OK seriously serious now fellas. I present to you my not so unique nor interesting diet. The fruits-for-dinner diet!


This was my dinner last night.
 A bowl of sliced apple and watermelon.
I realized having fruits only for dinner has other perks on top of getting relatively lower calorie intake. First, I don't feel bloated. Second, I don't feel guilty. Third, it also helps me wake up in the morning. Why? Because it's so light hence I tend to feel hungry in the morning even when the reality is that I still have a significant amount of glucose in my system from last night. Lastly, you don't seem like dieting at all! :D

I'm an eater. As in I get hungry every other minute so I have to have something to munch on everytime to line my stomach and stop the acid from going gaga when it's empty. Sadly, I can't eat all kinds of fruits because I also have to avoid the acidic ones. Mostly the sour ones like my favorite mangoes (both green and yellow), strawberries, oranges and ponkans, among others. But I'm just glad there's apple to comfort me, banana to cheer me up (yes friends, I eat banana now!), watermelon to make me feel special, and avocado to encourage me. These are the frequent ones that I devour on. Lol. I hope someday I learn to love veggies too. I eat veggies, but only the select ones like those found in the typical house salads of fast-food and nearby restaurants.

Baby steps fellas, baby steps.

Bellini's in Marikina gets one more chance

Last Friday night, no we didn't dance on table tops nor we took too many shots. Lol. It's very unusual for Ralph and I to go out during Friday nights because he usually has work except for this particular Friday when he had his schedule adjusted for our Prenup Photoshoot the following day. For lack of better place to go (as in for some weird reason, we didn't know where to hang-out), we decided to go to Bellini's in Marikina. Yes, there's one along Shoe Avenue in Sto. NiƱo, Marikina City. It's easily spotted beside Savemore supermarket.
Obviously, the restaurant's interior and cozy ambiance is one of the reasons you'll go back.
Not to mention the continuous live piano performance in the background.
So this was what I got because I'm no red sauce baby. It came with 2 slices
of pizza which I transferred to Ralph's plate because I'm no pizza babe either.
Bellini's breadsticks which I interestingly super liked.
My fiance who in a couple of months will be ze husband la mienne
I never had the chance to try Bellini's in Cubao Expo. Being a One More Chance freak (if you remember that epic John Lloyd-Bea movie which lines I already memorized after watching it a gazillion times, Bellini's was the barkada's favorite hang-out place), it has been one of the items in my bucket list to try this restaurant but I just never got the chance to because it's not the most accessible place for me.

After having experienced their branch in Marikina, I decided I really should try the one in Cubao. I just didn't quite like what I had last weekend. First, the pasta tasted weird. Like it has been cooked yesterday and that they just microwaved it. It has an odd smell, too. I couldn't even consider the chocolate flavored milkshake OK at the very least. I could have made myself a Milo shake and get at least satisfied. Theirs was just too sweet and sweet. I tasted nothing but sugar. The pizza, I won't judge 'cause I'm not in the best position to say anything about something which I'm not particularly fond of in general.

Don't get me wrong, I love Italian cuisine. I'm a very huge fan of pasta, hence my obsession with Cafe Lidia. I just thought that it wasn't the best night for the cooks? Or maybe I was too tired and my taste buds have already shut down? See how I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt? Haha. It's because I still dream of having an amazing dining experience in this rather pop restaurant which they say serves the best authentic Italian cuisine in town.

The verdict? I'm giving Bellini's one more chance. ♥

Monday, March 11, 2013

Engangement Session: Episode 2 by WreuelN Photography

When Ralph and I got engaged, we knew it wasn't going to be an easy planning ahead because we were not financially prepared. But what can we say? Our God never leaves us as promised in Psalm. " For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever.." Funny how we, as a couple, already submitted to the fact that we might not get any more of those wedding nice-to-haves. And prenup photo-shoot was one of them. Yes, generations before us, people get engaged and get married without these things: prenup shoot, wedding stylist, cakes that stand taller than the bride, wedding coordinator, photo-booth, and even an engagement ring! See how simple and practical we are? We just really want to get married is all. But the Lord did not let us settle to no nice-to-have pictorial. He made a way :) He even gave us not just one!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Throwback Friday!

This is blogger, not Instagram so yes, I'm doing it Friday :)

Guess who this cutie pie is?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Engagement Session: Episode 1 by Der Kunstler Photography & Design

It's officially out! I'm just so excited to share to everyone :)


Some of the photos from our recent Engagement slash Save The Date session.

Where: Oregon St. Greenpark Village, Cainta, Rizal (Basketball Court)
When: March 3, 2013, Sunday, 9:00am-11:00am
Photos by: Yvette Lising (Der Kunstler Photography & Design)
Hair and Make up (or lack thereof) by: Yours truly

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Subsequent to finishing the 3-day Pre-marital Seminar & Counseling (aka Engagement Seminar) in Victory Ortigas, Ralph and I made sure to follow our wedding preparation timeline by accomplishing the application of our marriage license immediately.

Since not all municipal halls would recognize Victory's Engagement Seminar certificate, we opted to go to Pasig City hall to apply for it though the original plan was to go to Marikina City (where Ralph is a resident). We didn’t have the time to check if they would accept our certificate of attendance to the said required seminar.

Below is the list of requirements and the corresponding guide on how to acquire them.


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