In Photos: Lals and Gab sa Wakas!

The photos are in!

Thanks to MR Villar’s team, the wonderful details of my brother’s wedding were beautifully captured.

I am sharing with you a few shots by the official photographers of the wedding. Happy scrolling!

The DIY invites which the bride, Lalee, laid out/painted herself!
Lalee’s dress, with a print of her wedding on the left hand hem of the skirt.


The ladies in the couple’s entourage wore tops with Lalee’s painting printed on them!
The wedding cord of the couple, adorned with symbols that speak so loudly of who they are!


The wedding rings on Lalee’s paper flower bridal bouquet.


The beautiful bride!


One of the biggest revelations on the day of my brother’s wedding was that my dad apparently knew how to play the piano!
Close up shot of my dad playing ‘Bless Us All’ on the piano.
My dad being his complete goofy self to my brother!


Dessert table one: home-made pili balls, coffee panna cotta by the caterers Gorumet, and home-made chocolate ref cake!


Close up photo of the Cello’s donuts! The kids’ favorite was definitely the Oreo one.


Don’t they make a lovely couple?

Until the next wedding!


11 Years: Love Wins!

My kuya (older brother in English),  finally got married! We waited 11 years for this! Everyone, and I mean everyone, had been waiting to see him and my now sister-in-law Lalee, get married. So when the day finally came, we were all overcome with pure joy that not even the formalities of a wedding was able to cap. It was, as most guests had put it, a very genuine wedding.

Their DIY wedding invite with the bride’s painting of the wedding reception venue on one sheet, and calligraphy on the main sheet!
Sure, the videographers came in more than an hour late as they got stuck in traffic. Then maybe kuya ended up bawling behind my mom when Lalee started walking down the aisle (I would kill to get my hands on a photo of that!). Then there was the wedding ring. Lalee had a hard time putting the wedding ring on his finger. After a few seconds of apparent struggle, it fit and Kuya raised his hand ala Beyonce’s ‘Put a Ring on it’ to show to the guests that yes, the ceremony will proceed  as it were!

There may be a longer list of all the things that went [or could have possibly went] ‘wrong’ that day. But not a single item on that list, not even those I mentioned above, really mattered. Because on their special day, the only thing that had true weight was the celebration of their love. They made sure that their wedding day was theirs, a day that would speak loudly of who they are as a couple and of how big their love is for their families and friends.

It was a truly beautiful celebration and part of me still can’t get over the realisation that after months and months of the couple’s planning, everything did turn out as they should. That’s why I’m sharing the event here in my blog. Somehow, it won’t give the day justice should I just keep them in my social media accounts. 🙂

If you are a DIY kind of person, you will love the details that were put into this wedding!

For this wedding, I was assigned to style their dessert buffet tables, photo montage, and others. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to share all as I have limited photos from the event. But, I will share with you some very special highlights!

Photo by Carla Argoso
Photo by Sarah Mendoza
They had two dessert tables. One I assigned for the homemade desserts (The Mendozas love their sweets!) and the other, I assigned to the couple’s chosen ‘Wedding Cake’: Cello’s doughnuts!

Both tables were of a plain off white linen provided by the caterers, a burlap runner, wood works by the Mendozas, ceramic trays, glassware and simple white Statice flowers in mason jars. What completed the whole look were Lalee’s hand painted food labels, and of course the desserts (!), as you will see in the photos above and below.

Photo by yours truly
Photo by Sarah Mendoza

Even the kids enjoyed the couple’s dessert buffet! The little boy on the left, the son of our neighbor and childhood friend, had a scowl on because he hadn’t finished his meal yet and he already wanted to eat a donut, like my nephew on the right. Ha ha! Cute!

These are just a few photos I managed to gather from early social media uploaders (like myself). I cannot wait to see the rest! 🙂


The breathtaking DIY-ness of this wedding didn’t end at the reception. As a thank you gift from the couple, I received these personalised note cards!

I am grateful to kuya and Lalee for allowing me to do this for them. This was my way of being one with them on their special day, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Until the next wedding! 🙂


Projects: Giant Paper Flower Wall

The two weekends leading up to my older brother Gab and now sister-in-law Lalee, were spent for surprise bridal showers/welcome parties. Our side of the family wanted to officially welcome her into the family by hosting a surprise bridal shower for her. I have never planned a bridal shower in my life, ever. But I surprisingly had fun planning the event with my cousins.


I was assigned to plan out the decorations for the event. This means collaterals such as the event logo, e-invites, and others. To make the event extra special, I decided to create a giant paper flower wall. It was going to be the focal point of the event for two reasons: 1) My sister in law is a very artsy girl and 2) who doesn’t like a nice photo wall?




Creating each giant flower can be very challenging. I didn’t expect it would take so much time and effort! It took one whole weekend and two week nights for us to finish the wall, not to mention all the blisters that we incurred from constant use and abuse of a glue gun.  Ha ha, so much for foresight. It’s a good thing that my cousins went full force in this project, making the work so much more fun and lighter.


Even my not so artsy youngest brother joined in the fun, too!

Here are some tips in creating your flower wall:

  • If you want to be cost effective, buy cartolina paper to create your giant paper flowers. Cartolina sheets from National Book store are priced from Php 5 each to Php 10. Buy the thick ones.
  • Don’t settle for cheap or flimsy glue guns– two glue guns conked out on us during production.
  • To make the wall, stick the flowers on your thin ply wood using glue gun, not any tape.
  • Patience is key to have fun!

There are so many tutorials in making giant paper flower walls available in Youtube. To view the specific link I followed, click here.

Everything went great! The main activity was a make up 101 session by make up artist Eica Decepida. Since this year will be full of weddings in our family, we thought it might be a good idea for a crash course in DIY make up. Everyone was so interested and so involved!


2016’s 10 Best Memories

Now that the year is about to close, let me share with you ten of 2016’s best memories!


1. One of my best high school girl friends, Eica, got engaged to her long time boyfriend Byron! It was an afternoon filled with tearful joy and excitement!


2. Brian passed the BAR! After MONTHS and MONTHS of arduous studying in coffee shops, this guy made it! I can never be so proud of his attitude towards his failing the first time. He stood back up, left work, went back to studying and tried again with more determination and nothing short of his usual positive attitude. A no fuss, just do it kind of guy. [In photo: Brian’s sister Ate Jill and mom Tita Cynthia]


3. We made it official! I never fully understood what the phrase ‘It’s all about timing’ meant until we happened. It took heart aches, a disastrous night [we like to call whiplash night] back in high school, 10 years of not talking, a random catch up over coffee, 9 months of dating, and here we are, wiser, more honest with each other, and still each other’s great loves.  🙂


4. The closed silent retreat I attended this year, care of my Dad. I am ever so grateful to my dad for the opportunity he gave me to take time off from the busy world to just be quiet and have some time with my Maker. +


5. I work in a company that brings in international brands. So coming up with our very first local brand was a real challenge. But as I look back to the months that led to our opening in August, and how the store performed in the months after, I would have to say our team pulled through and we did well for our first local baby project!


6. When Ate April and Ozzy visited us in Manila from Malaysia! We ate [and ate and ate and ate], played, got sushi shirts and sushi socks, and even went on a very spontaneous trip to the beach in jeans and rubber shoes!


7. When I turned 27 and realized there’s no stopping time. So we ate Paella and had Sangrias to make a night of it. “What’s your resolution, now that you turned 27?” Brian asked. My resolution was, and still is, to be a lighter person–not just in weight [Ha ha!] but in thoughts, in always choosing joy above all else, in keeping my peace by being more understanding and being more forgiving. [This is where you pray with me: God save Aix! Hah!]


8. I SAW A BEAUTIFUL PEACOCK! In Kuala Lumper’s Bird Park!


9. When my sister got engaged (!!) right in front of KLCC! After months of planning between the Manila team and the KL team, everything went smoothly, except the part where we forgot to tell Ozzy. The boy was shocked and hurt when he realized something was going on without his knowing. That was the day Tita Aika learned that Ozzy is no longer just a little boy.


10. The perfect ending to 2016 was when my cousin got married to the love of her life. The ceremony and the reception were all carefully and beautifully planned, that I felt so honoured being part of their guest list! It was, for a lack of a better description, the perfect way to celebrate the love in our family this Christmas. 🙂

In 2016, we incurred losses, second degree burns, colonoscopies, etc. but the joy and love of family and friends as shown above made up for all of them.

Now we look ahead to 2017 with much hope and excitement for the endless possibilities the new year will bring. See you in 2017!


Projects: Table Lamp for the Bed Side

I have been relentlessly looking for a bed side table that will serve two purposes: 1) match the feel of my room and 2) suit well with my personality (whatever that is!). For a very long time, I haven’t been able to find one. Not because I didn’t have the time, my work almost always requires and allows me to actually be in malls. I just couldn’t find that one lamp that I would love enough to buy (not even my visit to Ikea Malaysia did the trick). IKR. WTH.

So I have been lampless for a good 2 years until a couple of Sundays ago, when I didn’t know what to do with my newly bought clear LED christmas lights. I thought I could put them all over my window, be all pinterest-y and create my own starry starry night window. But my mom (being my mom) strongly advised against it as it sounded too dangerous of an idea for her. Curtains + Christmas Lights = Fire in December? That’s just crazy.


I tried putting it around our Christmas advent wreath, it didn’t work because the wreath looked like it was pregnant with lights. Too bulky. Then I spotted a huge empty mason jar in the kitchen that even has “MILK” written on it and for some random reason, I chucked the whole string of lights in it. When I plugged it, voila! Instant table lamp!

The best thing about the mason just is that its cap has a removable top, making it accessible for the christmas light to reach out to a socket.


Guess what? It turned out great for me! I actually read at night with just this lamp on. 🙂

Cost? Php 129 for the clear LED Christmas Lights, available in National Bookstore.

Much love,


The 6 Things I went through to get to 27.

img_859127 years old. Whew! 

I always say I am not a birthday person and that I plan to just sleep through the day when it comes. Hah. What a lie. Truth is, I have only slept through my birthday once (back when I turned 23). And when I awoke, I jumped out of bed, went out of the house and involved myself in the guilty pleasures of personal shopping with my best friend. There’s something undeniably magical in birthdays. It just has to be celebrated: the promise of a new year to an old you.

  1. Kikay pero medyo sakto lang.

I would have to say my 26th year was the year I became more…kikay. And by kikay I mean the (almost) daily application of mascara and eyebrows which, to this day, manages to remain inconsistent. Ha ha! Not to mention, this was the year I had my most number of manicures (which, thankfully I am recently growing out of), and the year I had my first ever facial (?!).

2. The most number of visits to the hospital–signs of aging?

My 26th year officially holds the award of the most number of hospital visits ever in my 27 years of existence. I would have a plaque created but I couldn’t decide between the two titles to engrave on the thing: Incredibly Sickly or Incredibly Nuts.

Let’s see here. This was the year I accidentally burnt my whole back (starting from the nape to my lower back) with scalding water. This was also the year I had my first ever colonoscopy at 26! The icing on the cake was when I was prescribed glasses for near-sightedness. Thankfully it’s low enough for me to keep forgetting my glasses in uber cars, kuya’s car, or B’s car. Ha ha.

My take away from all of this? I have a lot. Eating more vegetables (other than french fries) is one of them.

3) Road trips, a musical, and a surprise visit!

The family road trips that stand out are my sister’s 30th birthday and our family’s pilgrimage to St. Josemaria Escriva’s parish in Gerona, Tarlac. Marcia Adams is never a bad idea to celebrate a BIG 3-0; and praying/snacking in an air-conditioned coaster with cousins and titas to and from Tarlac was VERY fun!

Secondly, there was Les Miserables. Don’t even let me begin on that!

Another highlight was when my eldest sister and our only nephew flew in from Malaysia to surprise my parents! My mom had just survived a mild stroke, and we were approaching papa’s birthday. When my mom saw them sleeping in my room (I was, for the duration of their stay, displaced to the living room), she went straight to me and almost gave me a kiss in her excitement! BEST 2 weeks EVER.

4) 10 pounds heavier and shared milestones

I won’t go into the details of all our shared milestones this year, but one very good example would be was when B passed the bar exams! Don’t get me wrong, he did all the studying. I was just his cheer leader and a happily welcome distraction every couple of hundred pages.

And yes, we gained 10 pounds since we started dating. We admit we have to do something about this.

5) Adding another year to friendship

Friends climbing career ladders, a girl friend who got engaged, another who passed the medical board exams, and witnessing from their accounts, that love always wins, it’s definitely a golden year for my friends and I.

6) Of dear friends that are etched in my heart

My family from the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will always have a special place in my heart. I had the privilege of singing with them during holy week this year and it was, as it always is, exhilarating to be part of such talented and driven men and women of the parish.

This year, we had to say good bye to someone I considered my dear friend and second mom. To this day, I still find myself wishing she was still here with us. I suppose when someone makes a very special mark in one’s life the way she had, there will be no getting over the loss. Of all the birthday greetings I would watch out for yearly, I did not receive one very important greeting this year: hers.

I’m sure she is watching over me and she would eventually take part in my daily conscience. When that day comes, I will welcome it with both arms, as I know she had wanted no less than to see me pleasing to the eyes of the Man above.

That’s a wrap! While my 26th year was an equally proportioned mix of heart-breaking, back burning (literally!), joyous events, I still arrive to the same conclusion: life is beautiful. Not eye-popping amazing, or heartbreakingly crude, just in its own right… beautiful.

Much love,