Monday, January 26, 2015

Mika @ 18 .... Bits and Pieces

My daughter Mika celebrated her 18th birthday last January 4 which is nearly two weeks before the papal visit, which I think is a sign of good luck for her. Actually, we are having second thoughts on whether we are going to throw a big party for her due to a number of unforeseen events which took place last year. Mika herself is half hearted about her party but finally all of us in the family, (her dad and kuya included) decided that our princess deserved to have one. We came up with this decision for a number of reasons.  One, she is our one and only daughter, second, she proved to be a nice and disciplined girl, not giving us any head aches (winks) and lastly, she constantly get good grades in school. So, we just thought that giving her a nice and decent party wouldn't be a bad idea after all.

We spent nearly two months choosing the venue and conceptualizing the whole thing.  We are a family who loves designing, crafting and everything that's nice and pretty, and to top it all, we wanted to come up with unique ideas for her party.  You know, something that we haven't seen in other debut parties yet.  In short, we really wanted to make this event a very special one for her.

First, we came up with a unique concept on her invitations.  We thought of having some print outs together with a flip flop.  By the way, we have chosen her motif to be white and pink and so, we bought white flip flops for all the guests. We have chosen a pool side venue, so her kuya thought that this idea would be a perfect fit.  So there we go, we had the details about the party printed out and enclosed a piece of flip flop with the intention that the other half would be claimed by the guest right on the day of the party.

here is what we actually have:

After we have chosen a unique invitation for her, our next step was to plan for her photo and video shoot.  My son and the debutant herself are fond of making videos and they even joined school competitions on video making.  My daughter, with her group actually won first prize for this on a national competition and so, it is just expected that we will be coming up with a lot of video presentations all throughout the party and so we did.

We didn't hire a designer to decorate the venue, we did it ourselves.  The hotel just took charge of the basic set up of the venue and the foods, the rest is up to us.  We've chosen a simple but elegant design for the stage.

This is the night effect :

We also design her dessert table according to the color motif.

The table set up is plain and simple and was just adorned with twigs, fresh flowers and tea light candles.

The other half of the pair of slippers were distributed to the guests at the venue entrance.  We've inserted a thank you note which was personally signed by the debutant.

The guests were so excited to claim their slippers other half to be worn during the party.  it's so cute to see everybody wearing white slippers. :)

We also had a dedication table where guests could write down their birthday wishes and advises to the debutant and these written messages were all dropped inside a glass jar.

Instead of renting a photo booth, we made our own where guests could take photos of themselves.

We added simple decors all over the venue and the pool was just adorned with pink and white balloons.  We like it to be that simple.

Here are some of the other photos during the party:

 Her brother and cousins all dressed in white, all wearing their white slippers.

 Me in my white maxi dress. :)

Her last dance was her kuya since her dad wasn't able to come home due to work

Mika's opening dance with her escort

A souvenir shot with her best friend

Taken in the hotel lobby with the emcee doing the final touches on her hair

I considered my daughter's 18th birthday celebration to be a successful one based on the feedback we've received from our guests and relatives.  They were all pleased with the foods served on the buffet table and they all complimented the unique set up and concept of the party as well as the program.

I'm so happy and grateful that I was able to deliver a pleasant celebration for my one and only daughter.  She was so happy with the outcome of her party and can't thank us enough.  Her Dad was equally happy knowing that everything turned out well even in his absence.

Ahhh ... another manifestation of a mother's love!

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014.....A Year End Review

First of all, I would like to greet each and everyone of you a happy and prosperous 2015!  I know this post is kinda late.  We are already on the 2nd week of January and I am just making my post for my year end review for 2014 (sigh).  Pardon me but I was very very busy on the preparations for my only daughter's debut party.  I was a hands on Mom you know (wink) and I would do everything to ensure that every detail in my daughter's party would be super planned and organized.  Anyway, back to my year end review....

Actually, I consider 2014 as a challenging year for me.  Why did I say so?  It's because this is the first year that I would be staying and working at home.  It is a kind of life that I'm not used to as I was a slave of the corporate world for about 20 years, I guess.  I'm used to the challenges and thrills of handling people at work, facing pressures, working with people of different nationalities and of course, living away from home for about 7 years.  I told myself beginning of 2014 that if I'm able to surpass 2014 without facing financial problems, going into debts and going out of my comfort zone and the kind of lifestyle that I used to have, then that means, I made the right decision to stay at home and enjoy life doing what I enjoy most and being with the family.  I was quite worried at first as this will be the first time that I will stop working as a full time employee.  My husband is still employed but we used to share expenses at home and we both finance every project that we have at home like repairs and improvements.  

But as I've said from my previous post, there are few things which happened unexpectedly this 2014 like the death of my brother followed by my Mom.  My Mom was under my care for about 20 years and obviously I was in charge on basically everything about her.  When she was hospitalized up to her burial and interment, I shouldered 95% of all the expenses.  I spent quite a lot and this translates to touching my emergency fund.  Then there came the 9 days, the 40 days, All Souls day, Christmas, New Year and just recently, the debut celebration of my only daughter.  You could just imagine what I went through financially. :)

To my surprise, everything passed just fine.  I was not really financially burdened.  I did spent a lot but surprisingly, my emergency fund was not totally depleted.  I had occasional online gigs which add up to my fund and I was able to manage household expenses quite effectively that I could keep some spare every month.  It's not really big but it does add up to my fund, so it's not at all "money out" which is a good thing.

What I've learned from this experience is to believe in myself and trust the Lord. Before I resigned from work, I did consult HIM and He gave me His answer.  Then, I trusted my decision because I knew that it is with God's approval.  What I went through this year is no joke.  I've been through a lot, but I managed to face everything without much difficulty.  I grieved on my loss and everything that goes with it but everything seemed to pass off so easily.

Now, I'm even more inspired to welcome 2015 as I knew that my journey in life will continue but God will be there with me all the way.  If I'm able to go through these things that happened to me in 2014, what more in 2015?

I'm just so excited about it......just believe!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Timing Is Everything

My hubby's colleague is getting married this coming February to his foreigner boy friend.  This is actually her second marriage as the first one, for some reasons failed.  She already got two daughters from her first marriage but she also wants to start a new life with her fiancee and have another baby with him, if possible.  She's a bit worried about this baby issue as she is already in her late 30's.  She knows for a fact that having a baby at this age is quite risky.

Timing when to baby dance is one of the most important thing to take note when you’re trying to conceive. The best time to get pregnant is when the woman is fertile. How will she know she’s fertile? There are many options nowadays to detect ovulation. According to, a woman can detect ovulation by using a basal body thermometer to track her temperature, she can also use an ovulation predictor kit or an OPK, and she may also use a free fertility calculator app available online. Whatever a woman uses to track her ovulation, what’s important is when she knows she’s fertile, it is important to not lose that opportunity to try to get pregnant. That is the best time for the sperm to be able to catch the egg for more chances of conceiving. 

As a friend, I just want to wish her good luck as me and my hubby witnessed how she did her best to give love a second chance and start a new life with her new found love.  I know that being a mother is so precious and having children is indeed a blessing from the Lord.  Our friend deserves to be happy and we'll do our part to advise her on whatever is necessary to ensure that she would have a new baby.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Dinner

What I long to experience this time is a Christmas dinner complete with a stage performer preferably a ballad singer who could entertain me with his or her songs.  That, together with a sumptuous dinner will be perfect for a Christmas celebration.  I've been telling my kids that I am looking forward to watch a dinner concert in the near future.  This type of concerts are usually held in Manila, so it very unlikely for me to attend one unless I happened to be at the place during a particular concert that I like.  Hopefully, one could be organized to be shown at Subic, so I could attend and this will be a simple dream come true. :)

It won't be much to my kid's preference, but I also love to watch a show with artists playing saxophones.  You know that type of saxophone using synthetic reeds? That would be awesome!

Anyway, a series of mini concerts will be held at the River Walk of Harbor Point Ayala Malls this whole month of December, so probably it would be nice to be able to see one.  I will certainly mark my calendar for this series of shows.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Beginnings...

I did not expect that this year will turn out to be a shaky one for me.  The demise of the members of my family came as an unpleasant surprise.  Everything happens in a snap of a finger, it never crossed my mind that I will lose my elder brother and mother one after the other within a month.  It was a terrifying experience.  Exactly a year after I resigned from my work abroad, things came unexpectedly. My Mom's health has deteriorated a lot until she gets totally bed ridden for a couple of months prior to her untimely death.  Well, my Mom is already old and I have long prepared myself that one day, I will lose her but I did not expect that this will happen very soon.  I managed to stay at home for one whole year with her before she passed away which became a consolation to me. Given a choice, I wish to have spent more time with her.  I hardly spent time with her as I was always busy working. Admittedly, we did not have a perfect relationship as we also have our own share of disagreements and misunderstandings, but I couldn't deny the fact that I still love her just the same.

From this bad experience that I had this year, what saddens me me most is the fact that I was not able to make it up with my brother.  I hardly seen him for years.  Fortunately, I managed to talk to him 2 months before he passed away but this does not satisfy me.  I felt that I should have done more to spend more time with him in a more meaningful way and for this, I felt so sorry.

From these experiences, I realized one thing.... time is really gold, and it shouldn't be wasted on harboring ill feelings towards other people, more so if those people are the ones closest to your heart. Admittedly, I was not communicating with my siblings for years due to some personal issues but all what I had inside my heart vanished after this experience.  Losing two people who are very dear to me is not a thing to be happy about, but the fact that this has opened new doors for renewed relationships is indeed a reward.

This new beginning has opened my eyes in a number of ways, and I vowed to correct my mistakes and what I have failed to do.  God is really good and I thank Him so much for giving me a new life.  Now, I have more reasons to smile for ahead me are more meaningful memories that I would cherish for a life time.

"At the end of the day, a loving family should find everything forgivable."
Mark V. Olsen and Will Sheffer 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Best Selling Musical Equipment

Time really flies so fast.  October is about to end, we are nearly approaching Christmas season and everybody is just so excited about it.  It will be a month for parties, reunions and celebrations. Mommies will be very busy in the kitchen and teen aged kids will be going to a lot of parties.  If we want to make our parties more exciting and fun, using the best musical equipment is a must.  It's now time to shop for more sophisticated products as these will be on a bargain soon.  Some online shops like Musicians and Friends are offering their best selling amplifiers and you could always have a chance to get a complete list of their products on sale.  We could write down our names together with our respective addresses and Send for our free catalog.

I'm sure it would be great to have everything complete for a series of parties to be thrown during the holiday season.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Caring For Your Feet

I regularly go for manicure and pedicure.  I love to have my nails done and for me, it's part of my get up, however I do not regularly go for foot spa.  Although I would admit having this kind of treatment once in a while, I do not really put much effort and concern about my feet.  Because of this, I suffered from cracked heels.  Little do I know that just like our hands and arms, feet should also be well taken care off.  After all, it is the most abused part of our body, yet when it comes to proper caring, it is always being neglected.

I do wash my feet regularly, in fact I do it few times a day.  I normally wash my feet with soap and water and I make sure they are clean before I finally go to bed.  However, I think I lack on moisturizing my feet daily.  I never put lotion, oil or foot cream every night which I think should be the right thing to do.  Now, I make sure that I apply lotion or petroleum jelly and wear socks before I sleep which I believe is necessary to seal in the moisture.

I don't have problem wearing the right foot wear as I always make sure that what I wear is comfortable enough for me.  I also seldom wear high heels as I'm already tall.  I think because of this "cracked heel experience", I will now be more careful in taking care of my feet particularly in using the right products to moisturize my feet.  I would also consider going for foot spa treatment on a regular basis.

Caring for our feet is as essential as caring for other parts of our body and should also be a priority. 

It would certainly be nice to have a happy feet. :)

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