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 Baños 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. We wanted to make our wedding day very memorable, not only to us, but to all our guests as well.  We envisioned the day to be so fun-filled, colorful, cute, and picture-perfect - the perfect blend of an indelible memory.

Doing all the planning and organizing for your event entails 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?



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Grammarly and All Things Pretty

I use Grammarly's plagiarism checker because it always pays to be original!

I remember the first time Jhet and I decided to open this blog. Our goal then was to only document our daily personal style choices and create an avenue for all the other pretty things that interest us. We did not quite expect that this simple 'hobby' could later turn into something more worthwhile and open tons of opportunities for us.

Since this blog's readership has gone wider and wider with time, we realized that 'our' blogging already entail a whole lot of responsibilities. It has already transitioned from being our personal blog to being our readers' and the world's, too. With this transition and added responsibilities come a remarkable amount of courage, too, since we can never avoid and stop people from finding something wrong with what we write, and worse, with how we write it.

Grammar and responsible blogging have to always go hand in hand should we wish to stay and decide to leave footprints in the wide blogosphere. Perhaps, some of you are pretty confident with your grammar; however, if you are one who wants a perfectly ironed out sentence construction, excellent word choice, and a plagiarism-free article, then you may be happy to know about Grammarly.

Grammarly is an automated proofreader, grammar coach, and plagiarism checker in one. It checks a wide range of articles - from simple blog posts to academic essays to dissertation. It's a dream come true for aspiring writers and even practicing writers who want to ensure error-free articles. Imagine all the cost that you can save from hiring a proofreader! Imagine feeling always confident with the articles that you post and make public! Imagine all the wonderful possibilities ahead of you with Grammarly!

Indeed, Grammarly will now be FTP's partner in our relentless quest for more pretty things to share to the world.

Bridesmaid Duties: Jheck + Janjie

Jheck and Janjie's wedding was simply a blast! It was a colorful, unique, fun and out of the ordinary wedding. Finally something different for once. The girls were bridesmaids slash flower girls  and the guys were groomsmen slash ring, bible, and coin bearers as well. See? Oh, and don't forget our cute little outfits to match the not so traditional celebration. Artsy ain't it? Not to mention everything is almost DIY. 

We were also doing our own hair and make-up by the way. Told you everything was do it yourself! And we did, thank goodness, pull it off quite beautifully! Whew. Not to mention the power interruption on the big day got us delayed on the hairstyle department, but we still made it to church just in the nick of time. 

Oooh, sexy back! Hehe! And that's our floral crowns I'm holding :)

Why do these lashes take too long to put?

And since it was Janjie's big day, I was asked and begged and forced to do emcee duties. Even Keith was asked and forced and begged. Well he was more on forced. Hah!

Rereading the script before curtain call?

Remember my DIY collar necklace tutorial? See it here.

Giant paper rose and hand painted sneakers.

And tadah....bridesmaid duties done! *wink!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Missy No More: The Pre-Nup Shoot

Alright, here is my last pre-wedding story post before we go and talk about the details of our wedding. Argey and I had two sets of pre-nup shoot. We were actually planning for a third using our DIY stuff as props and styling them Etsy style, but we just ran out of time. Two weeks before the wedding (the time we planned to have our third set of shoot), however, we just found ourselves either too busy or too tired to do it. Then, Ed of EdXPhotography, offered his amazing talent and did a pre-nup shoot with us. He, as you know, also took pictures during our wedding day, and I know I could not thank him and his girl, Bernadette, enough for this. It's kind of hard to take in really, that he, one of Dumaguete's finest photographers, did all of these for Argey and me.

To see the full set, click HERE.

However, before this shoot with Ed, Argey and I already had a DIY pre-nup shoot of some sort. It was just the two of us plus Jhet and Keith, whom we asked help from since there are angles that are quite impossible to take with only a tripod. Jhet and Keith really are our ultimate life savers. No kidding.

The shoot took place in one hotel room, one that would be perfect for the pictures that I was thinking then. I wanted it to be fun and intimate in a dream-like setting with a wash-out background and us in white shirts.

Here's some of my favorites:

We then disarranged the hotel room's fixtures to make it a little appropriate for our second set.


Now these ones below are the real DIY photos. These were taken the morning after. Argey and I took advantage of our remaining hours in the hotel and took some more photos. Here are some of my favorites:

It's amazing how people still compliment Argey and I for our "beautiful" and "unique" wedding. Of course, there are also those who have gotten used to what is practiced and do not understand our theme, even family members at first; but their love and support are way bigger than their belief for the traditional.

We may have raised some eyebrows with our choice to be indifferent, but as Pope Francis once said, "The youth should make a mess in this world." So there. That's us making a "mess" - one that we know we will never ever regret, one that we know we will always be happy to look back at.


© For All Things Pretty