Friday, August 9, 2013

leaving the nest

tomorrow we are moving into our first home as a married couple.

the apartment's painted white, scrubbed clean, its cabinets & drawers lined and floors pine-sol'd.

having this little apartment would mean:
- homecooked meals
- less time commuting, which means
- more j&m time
- more crafting
- more entertaining with friends
- exploring toronto without the hassle of taking the 404 + DVP (booyah). looking forward to using this guide!
- being able to use our wedding presents

can't wait to build new memories here. one more sleep.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

happy birthday, johnny!

This post is a few weeks late but I wanted to share the cake that I made for John.

John's 28th birthday was a bigger deal than normal because it was the first birthday that we got to celebrate physically together as a married couple AND since we started dating 6 years ago.

I am more of a cupcake person, so when I decided to bake a three-layered red velvet cake I was a little nervous. I went through several blogs and found the best one, which I have shared below. Baking the cake was actually really enjoyable. I baked, assembled and iced the cake in three days. Hiding the cake from him was the more difficult task.

What did I learn from all this?
- mise en place is really important, especially if you're doubling the recipe
- take out the butter first thing in the morning or the night before!
- not to be too bent on getting the icing really smooth because I made a bigger mess of it. I had to re-ice the cake until it finally came out like this.

If this is your first foray into cake layering and icing, you might find the following resources really helpful:

Hummingbird High
Michelle's Red Velvet Recipe
she shares tips on how to make red velvet really red

Completely Delicious
How to Build a Layered Cake
making a layered cake without leveling

A Pair of Pears
Bunting Cake Topper

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Monday, June 3, 2013

(re) united and it feels so good.

it's been more than a year since i updated this poor little blog. last time i updated it was still in the middle of wedding planning!

photo courtesy of the amazing Jeff & Lisa
head on over to Jeff & Lisa's blog for more pics
here's our wedding video by the talented Bob Nicolas

planning a wedding in manila was pretty tough. it involved sewing up a hundred ribbon wands, sleepless nights, coordinating mockups via skype and numerous emails back and forth (i have to admit though that i miss waking up to emails about the wedding!) but despite the little stresses it all came together beautifully. walking down the aisle was pretty nervewracking but seeing john at the end of the aisle steadied me and i just wanted to run to him and give him a hug.

we have been married for 6 months now and am learning so much about john and being his wife and am loving every. single. second. of it.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

a wedding update

Following the bridesmaid fittings last Saturday was my wedding gown "try on", which was basically to try on the dress after having ordered it in February. The first fitting where alterations will be determined won't happen till October. I have to admit that a few days after buying the gown irrational fear slowly crept into my heart. What if I bought the wrong gown?!? Should I have tried on more dresses? Is the dress not "fancy" enough for the church? But when Ashley from Ritche unzipped the bag and exposed my dress, I fell in love with my gown all over again. I've decided to name her Audrey. Audrey is unfussy, simple and elegant. So things are slowly coming together. Trying on dresses with the girls is turning things into a reality. My entourage list is finally done and I can now send in the invitation drafts for approval. Which means we can start printing invitations soon. I have to admit that I've had several bridezilla moments since I've gotten engaged. Since the wedding is all the way in Manila, I would stay up till the wee hours of the morning emailing vendors and getting some wedding planning done. The stress manifested itself in thinning hair and pimples (at my age!) and the occasional bursts of tears (yes, I am the biggest crybaby. I cry and tear up at everything, even commercials or that episode of How I Met Your Mother with the teacup pig. I want a teacup pig) One of the best advice that I received is from my best friend (whose first year anniversary is coming up in a week!) who told me that when things are not going as planned, or planning is becoming stressful instead of fun, to remind myself of why I am marrying John and of that long awaited "I do". I'm still learning let things go, to give in more and to be more detached. I still care deeply about details but I no longer obsess about them. I've stopped checking my iPhone multiple times a day, waiting for my wedding coordinator and stylist to email me. My hair's thicker and my face has cleared up. I still cry, but mostly just little tears and they're now tears of excitement, or tears after watching a Bob Nicolas video.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

the dress + the veil

I can add two big fat red check marks on my list - my wedding dress and my veil.
No offense to other brides out there! But nothing could have dragged me into a bridal store - visions of squealing girls and heavy hideous gowns and crying bridezillas came to mind. I wanted to get my dress made. But at the request of john I dragged myself to Ritche on Avenue road with my parents and sister in tow yesterday morning. Let me tell you that i was more excited about having breakfast at Mcdonalds.
A lovely lady named Anna helped me out. Since I was unprepared, I flipped through a binder of dresses and marked them as i went (i never leave home without floss and post-it page markers), as the girls next door oohed and ahhed over their friend bride-to-be.
Anna brought in five dresses. I tried on the first and second but didn't really like them.
Oh, but the third dress! When I tried it on, I just knew. And that's when i started crying. I didn't even have to try on the others.
Anna clamped me up and I went to show my parents. My sister (also the MOH) and mom started crying and my dad tried not to look because he wanted to reserve all his feelings for the day of.
Anna showed me some samples of veils and I fell in love with a chapel veil lined with lace. It was quite a splurge but I wanted to make sure that the veil is as translucent as possible in pictures.
I gave Anna multiple hugs, thanked her profusely and left feeling even more excited. All my prejudices of bridal stores were dissolved that Saturday afternoon.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

wedding progress.

i haven't blogged about wedding progress at all.
and since our neighbor is inconsiderately shoveling snow and scraping ice off their driveway at this ungodly hour here it is.

january 4, 2013 is the official date!

the following are finally booked:
- church, santuario de san antonio
- reception, north forbes pavillion
- strings, leggiero
- photographer, jeff+lisa

the next big things that i would really like to cross off in our to do list:
- wedding coordinator, third party - i am really hoping that we get them. they were recommended by lisa (our photographer)
- caterer, i prefer k. by cunanan but john has other ideas
- the wedding dress - to buy or to get it custom made, that is the question. i don't want a traditional, puffy vera wangy dress. i need something that i can crazily dance in. i am definitely not changing out of it for the reception, so it has to be gorgeous and comfortable at the same time.

i know that we have a little over a year (1 year and 5 days) so why do i feel like i'm behind? i am really trying not to worry. as someone who plans events and who would like to do that as a career i can't stand it when i don't hear from vendors right away or when information is not readily available online. i have to remind myself that not everyone checks their email every 5 minutes like me and that i just need to be patient and to trust that everything is going to be okay.

i am really, super duper excited though. 5 years of ldr and in a year and 5 days we can finally close that gap between us.

and lol, just for kicks. this cartoon says it all:

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Monday, October 31, 2011


john finally asked me to marry him. SWOON. FINALLY FINALLY. october 30, 2011. he asked me at the bluffs, by the water, at sunset. we have been together for 5 years now. 5 years of phone calls, skype sessions, text messages, facetime, handwritten letters, packages, weekend visits, tears at the airport. now the question is, how do you plan a wedding in a city that’s in a different time zone? i can see myself staying up late nights, just to talk to vendors. i think this is the most stressful (?) part of the planning - finding the perfect venue that can fit your guests (yikes, speaking of stressful, i think this is the huge stressor yet! the guest list!), your taste and your budget. nevertheless, on january 4, 2013 i finally get to marry the man of my dreams. :) i can’t wait to say i do.

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Monday, August 15, 2011


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in espana.

we are finally in madrid and it didn't take long for me to fall in love with the city. it must have been plaza de espana, or the churros con chocolate at the chocolateria de san gines or the rowdy crowd at the james joyce for the barca vs madrid game but last night did it for me.
here are some pics for now.
will follow with more.

the view from the apartment

the view from the apartment

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

3 more days

till we fly to madrid!
i am so excited.
but first things first...the packing must be done. as you know i have an aversion to packing. i don't know why. i'm looking at this heap on my bed (with a bag of miss vickie's. argh. argh) and thinking, it just can't be done. harhar.
i need one of these things:

bbt, season 2, ep 1

where does one get a contraption like that?

anyway, we've been planning this trip for months and it's now all coming to fruition. i don't think i'll be able to sleep a wink on thursday night!

benedetto y father javier, see you soon! :)

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

spring cleaning.

cleaning my room never fails to drive me nuts and always takes me at least a day to do. now that life has slowed down a bit, i've decided to roll up my sleeves and tackle my room, with gretchen rubin's 10th commandment in mind: "do what ought to be done".

i'm starting off with all the visible clutter - remnants of a past crafty life, altoid tins (i don't know why i thought it would be cool to start collecting them), empty rouge coco #19 lipstick tubes (why do i keep them???), bank statements, etc....then work my way to the closet.

(confession: i have a hamper of folded clothes from when i unpacked from my vacation. in december. gak.)

it's going to be a long afternoon. so for those spring cleaners out there, have a snack, put some good tunes on (katy perry? hehehe), open the blinds and bust open that window. then start your engines.

have a pleasant weekend :)

2 1/2 bags of garbage
2 bags of clothes for donating
1 pile of crafty stuff sold at a garage sale
1 clean happy room.

it took only 7 hours to do. geez.

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