Friday, August 24, 2012

Big day!

Number of days till Joselle and Alan meet= 0!

Today is the big day! I can't contain my joy and excitement so I thought this special moment before we meet is going to be in my blog! Last night, I slept late as I had to prepare a lot of stuff before my flight to LA. As ashamed as I could be I have to admit I am a last minute packer. So I ended up going to bed at 1 am and had to wake up at 6 am to go to work. My flight is not till 7 pm but I'm crossing my tiny fingers that I make it on time despite the Friday rush hour. Hope I didn't leave anything behind. Here's a picture below that I took via Instagram. That's my well put together luggage. They say that I pack and organize well. That's a gift! hehe. 

The pink bag is my favorite toiletry bag. (Target)
The blue Clinique purse is for my accessories. (Mike's gift)
The black sequined purse is for my make-up. (Forever 21)
The bag which has a bra picture is obviously for my lingerie. (I suggest you keep your lingerie in a bag or keep it hidden in one of the compartments of your luggage so when the airport security request to check your things, it won't be too embarrassing). That's a gift from my dear cousin, Kristine.
And all of my clothes and shoes are below.

Now, Let me show you what's inside my hubby's luggage. He posted this via Instagram too.

Suitcase full of Filipino snacks and noodles! Hahaha. Those are pasalubong (gifts) from our family and from him. Thank you guys! Love you all!

On my next blog, I will give you more updates on our reuniting and more of LA escapades! Plus our SFC conference! 


One for all, All for BANGS!

Before another school semester starts for my sisters, I threw them a final feast and a make over last Friday. I've also been thinking of cutting my hair before my trip to California on Friday (today!) so my sisters and I went to this famous and hip Korean Salon in Duluth.  

The salon is huge and it's the biggest one so far that I've ever been to in Atlanta. The interior is very modern and the employees are all looking fashionable. The very second I stepped in, I thought to myself, it's my kind of place. They accommodated us very nicely although we came in a little bit late. There were many stylists working on that day so we didn't have to wait too long. Most stylists were men with edgy hairstyles so even if I wanted a girl to cut my hair, unfortunately, I was left with no options. However, the one who cut my hair, Garam, he did not fail me! I showed him a picture of the hairstyle that I wanted and he managed to pull that look off. Kudos!


After our hair adventure, I treated my sisters dinner at a Korean Tofu house a few blocks away. I don't know what is it with us but we are always craving for Korean barbecue! We love Galbi! And this place has satisfied our cravings! (:



For dessert, which my tummy always has room, we had shaved ice and milk tea! For FREE! Coincidentally, Suno had an event that night and they were introducing their new flavors of shaved ice and milk tea. It's a lucky day for us (:

Wow! I felt like we had a mini trip to Korea that night cos everything was about Korea. Good thing we didn't have to suffer long hours of travel. 

That was a fun sister bonding indeed! A much needed one too for them before they get buried with their hectic school schedules. I am so amazed on how dedicated my sisters are in their studies. On top of that, I am impressed on how they have been coping up well at school even though they weren't born and raised here. Moving to another country with it's diverse culture, way of life, people and other things you are not used to growing up can be a bit of a shock, and might get you lost along the way. However, with my sisters, as young as they were when they migrated here, they adapted easily yet kept their Filipino values in tact. Also, I am very impressed on how much sacrifice they had to put in just to commute to school. If you only know, you'll be blown away too. These girls are just so amazing! And they are my sisters! (proud moment with tears here)

I wish our Ate was with us that night. Since she's not, she made this collage of us four with bangs! Somehow made us complete. 

The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend.  ~Cali Rae Turner


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book 1: The First Years Together

When it comes to books, I always love reading Christian and inspirational books! The very first one I read if I can remember was “The Purpose Driven Life” book that I got as a present on my 18th birthday. Remember how that book got so popular in the Philippines at one time so I was so thankful to get a copy for free!! That book ginormously made a huge impact in my life as it started to make me realize and understand my ultimate purpose in life. At 18!!! And up until now, reading inspirational books uplifts me and inspires me to no end. Including inspirational blogs!

In my younger years, I was really not fascinated in reading. For me, it was a dreadful chore! After school and doing my homework, I would prefer watching anime and dramas than to read. I’ve never enjoyed digging to more books aside from my school books. However, to my surprise and for the love of the movie, I finished 7 chunky books of Harry Potter. I can say I got my fiction fix for my entire life. Lol. Also, I was addicted to Nicholas Spark's romantic novels and other feel good books. In other words, I was only selecting what I'd like to read because the books were at its primetime.

As we grow up, we change and in the spirit of growth and maturity, I search for reading materials that would help me grow as a person and would improve myself. Sometimes, I don’t even have to search because they would just literally pop out in front of me and surprise me. Like God would tell me discreetly, “Joselle, at this point of time in your life, you might want to read and learn this.” So God teaches me by showering me with books through my family and friends! God really knows our needs even before we ask :) When I was still single, Alan would surprise me with gifts and one of them was my favorite book, “Five love languages” from the author of Purpose Driven Life. By the way, Alan is my exact opposite because he loves to read and he really is a book worm so to speak. In fact, he has an array of books, mostly fiction. That’s how he became very literate I guess. Just so you know, he edits my blog and make sure all the grammar is correct. Hahaha. Thank you dear and for your gift of literacy! Aside from that, on our wedding, I received tons of marriage-help-books. I’m just so blessed with friends and family that up to this day, I would still receive surprise wedding presents :) A few weeks ago, one of my sisters in the community, Ate Myrtle, gave me some books which she read during her early years of marriage. She was just so sweet for remembering me.

The first book that got my interest was “The First Years Together, Encouragement and Advice for the Newly Married Woman.” Looking from the title, it sounded like a very good and fit read for me. I’m glad that its only 123 pages so I managed to finish it on one lazy weekend. In the book, the author explains how to overcome the challenges and problems that Christian women face in the formative years of married life. With keen insight, compassion, and candid illustrations from her own successful marriage, she gets to the roots of important issues like communication, romance, disillusionment, sex, birth-control, pregnancy, housekeeping, in-laws, finances, decision making in the home, and the differences between men and women. She offers tested, proven wisdom that has helped hundreds of Christians through the difficulties of the first years of marriage, turning those years into opportunities for a stronger, happier marriage. Christian marriage is the deepest, most gratifying human relationship you will ever experience, but it is also the most challenging. Marriage counselors consider the first years of marriage the most challenging of all, and the most important years for building a successful marriage. The book offers encouragement and practical help for making the first years of your marriage the beginning of a fulfilling, Christ-centered life together.

As of today, I’ve got one more week before Alan comes! Yipeee!  In the meantime, I might read another book while I wait. Also, if you are interested with this book, please do not hesitate to let me know and I’ll happily pass it on to you! However, I can only ship it within the US for you know shipping internationally is expensive. Sorry :( In the same way, if you have any suggestions on what book you think I might enjoy, please feel free to comment below. Maybe we can start an online inspirational book club! (:


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More Flood in the Philippines! We Need a Hand!

Whenever I watch the news to check on the current events from my hometown, these are what more than likely to come across..



Political warfare.



Sometimes I can’t help but to be critical. Who is to blame? What were they thinking?  It won’t happen if only they did this and that. They never learn.

However, last night was a different story. News drifted to my ears from the TV and popped out everywhere from my facebook page about..




Massive rains.

Death tolls.

Property Damage.

Last night, news was all about the devastating natural disaster that hit Metro Manila and some parts of Luzon. It is something that is beyond any acts of human being or out of anybody’s control.  No one’s to blame (perhaps a bit of shame to those who are oblivious about waste management). However, instead of being critical, I couldn’t feel anything but melancholy. It saddened me to see people’s houses submerged in flood, families stranded on empty stomachs and the cold, and unfortunate deaths of people from landslides and drowning. It’s not easy to see them suffering while I am sitting in the comfort of our home.

That night, I lay in bed and prayed, “Lord, please bless my country and comfort all the people suffering.”

This morning I opened my computer and checked my email. It seemed that God was trying to whisper something to me. I opened one email from a daily devotional that says..

“What lengths do you think Jesus will go to in order to bring you closer to him? If some unexpected things are going on in your life right now or if you are experiencing a few bumps in the road—or even a complete roadblock—try to look a little more closely. It’s quite possible you’ll find Jesus there, calling out a deeper faith and offering you a stronger experience of his love…..God is determined to deepen our faith, and there are times when he may use some unorthodox strategies to do it.”

I may not be experiencing the hardships of the present situation in my country but I feel that I need to do something.  I’m sitting 8708 miles away from Manila but my heart feels so close to it. The question is what can I do?

It is at these times when we must show and spread God’s abounding love and mercy to those who are in deep need. God generously provides for each and every one of us, likewise with a grateful heart, we should give back to Him through reaching out to the needy. By doing so, we get the opportunity to share God’s goodness and faithfulness to them. God wants to assure and comfort them through us as instruments that at the end of this, the sun will shine and everything will be fine.

Luckily, there is a way to help for those who are here in the US. Our ministry, Couples for Christ together with ANCOP (Answering the Cry Of the Poor), is accepting donations for those who were affected by the unfortunate event. Click here for more info on how you can help.

On Saturday, August 11, 8am, our community will be having the ANCOP WALK to raise funds that will benefit the less fortunate in the Philippines.  Please personally contact me if you’re interested to join.

Of course we can also help by always keeping them in our thoughts and in our prayers.

In my teeny tiny way, I hope I helped through my words! By my writing, I wish to serve and use my blog to connect and touch other’s lives. If we can all help each other with love, compassion, and by God's amazing grace, in any way we can, there’s nothing we cannot surpass.

God bless the Philippines!

I got this photo from Joseph Bonifacio (christian blogger) Like him, to see how the people respond to the situation, I couldn't be prouder to be a Filipino. 
photo credit: Paul Quiambao, location: UST

photo credit: Paul Quiambao, location: UST


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Otanjoubi Omedetou Sis!

Less than a decade ago in my hometown, I heard from my mom that there was going to be a girl about my age visiting her grandmother who lived next door to us. I was so excited because she was traveling from across a country I’ve always dreamt of visiting, Japan.  Also, I didn’t have any friends around my neighborhood so the news thrilled me away. I can’t exactly remember the details on how we first met but all I know was that I didn’t find it difficult to be friends with her because: number 1, she spoke a little tagalog; number 2, she had a warm smile (even when her teeth back then were zigzagged); number 3, she was wearing glasses so I thought she was pretty cool. I don’t know if it’s just me or if there are also other kids who wish they could wear glasses even though they enjoy perfect eyesight. :P  Anyway, we’ve gotten so palsy-walsy and amiably close right away. I turned their house into a go-to place to hang out whenever I got a chance. She would teach me some basic Japanese words and how to write my name in Japanese. At the same time, I taught her some Tagalog as well. We talked about everything and anything under the sun till the two of us somehow became chummy and inseparable.  However, since she was only visiting, it didn’t quite occur to me that she had to go back to Japan where her life was. She was preparing to go to a Japanese University at that time. I remember I felt so sick and missed school the day she left the country.  

Nevertheless, the computer, internet, even snail mails helped a lot in keeping us in touch. I remember on my 18th birthday, she mailed me a package all the way from Japan and that was my first package ever! I was so touched! Then one day, she wrote me an email saying her family and herself were moving back home and that she decided to study in the Philippines! I was so ecstatic that our friendship would carry on and it wasn't cut short. Since then, we hung out more and more and shared so many wonderful memories together. We called each other “Sis” because it felt like we’ve known each other forever. On one of our slumber parties in her room (we were like around 18 yrs old), this was one conversation I would never forget:

Joselle: Sis, I wonder how we can always be there for each other like real sisters do.

Sis: I know how! You can marry my Onii-chan! (kuya/big brother)

Joselle: Woah you must be kidding! :P

Fast forward 7 years, her brother and I got married!! No pun intended!

Little did we know that the silly joke would come to life and we would become real sisters! Sisters-in-law! Hehe. Certainly, life is so full of surprises! If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have known my husband. Appropriately, I made her my maid of honor for I couldn’t thank her enough for bringing the two of us together. Now, wherever life may take us, we know that we’re still going to be there for each other no matter what because we’re family!  

I am so thankful to God for letting our paths cross. No matter how far away I am right now, you will always be in my thoughts and in my prayers. On your birthday, I pray that God will always bless and guide you every single day. That your warm smile will continue to shine so that you can touch more lives the way you touched mine.  I am happy and proud in everything you do especially when you chose to walk genuinely with Christ. May He abundantly bestow you all your dreams and your heart’s desires. You’re one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met, inside and out. (Below is a picture as proof, edited by our little sister, Nerisa :)

Happy happy birthday Nina! I love you Sis! Daisuki! Best friends forever! (:

"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure."         -Sirach 6:14


Friday, August 3, 2012

Cold War

Between my husband and me, I admit, I am the talker. I do a lot of jibber-jabber. Usually, that's how girls are naturally made. Maybe the ratio would be for a thousand words I say in a day, his would only be a third of that. In all fairness to him, he's a good listener. So we complement each other well. However, when I get upset with him, he easily notices because I refuse to talk. In other words, I give him the 'silent treatment.' And that's the time he likes to throw jibber-jabber on me. More often than not, girls tend to constantly nag and snap when their strings get pulled by their men, but not me. Nah ah! I was never a confrontational type and I just like to keep my mouth shut whenever I get disappointed. I just wait for some kind of intervention that would make him realize his fault and later on apologize. Sometimes I even wishfully think that he should read my mind like a fortune teller so he would know what's bothering me. 

So last night, I had a sporadic emotional meltdown. Part of it might be due to weariness from a long day at work, household chores, and to women’s curse of monthly cycle. Yes, I’d like to blame it on those factors. Honestly, I can just count in one hand the times we fought because it’s really rare. My husband is the nicest person I’ve ever met. Like, if he didn’t meet me, he would probably end up as a priest. Hehe. Anyway, last night, we had a misunderstanding that led me in declaring what I'd like to call a ‘cold war.’ I call it cold war because not only did I give him the silent treatment, but I also gave him the cold shoulder. Last night was the only time in my life that I caught myself interested more in watching sports on TV (London Olympics) than talking to him. I just wanted to zip my mouth, shut him off, and sleep. I really don't get upset easily. My patience can be compared to a caregiver who looks after a patient with dementia. I am the kind of person who is slow to anger, and maybe that's why I sometimes tend to keep myself calm first and hold my horses because I don’t want to express myself when I’m mad. When people are in a rage, they can definitely mouth off brutal and hurtful words that later on they end up regretting. So I thought by keeping my mouth shut, I was doing him a huge favor. Then I went off to bed, leaving him still with a cold shoulder.

The next day, I woke up with a heavy heart. I felt well rested but my heart was uneasy. While I was driving my way to work, I was pondering on my actions last night and I knew there was something I had missed on. Before the wedding, remember that I mentioned in one of my posts that we had undergone a series of sessions in preparation for marriage? Our godparents told us through that course that it is not good to use the ‘silent treatment’ on your spouse. It is indeed a marriage killer! Now I completely figured out why. It didn’t do any good and did nothing but hurt and disrespect my husband. I swore to God to honor him but what have I done? I realized I was unconsciously manipulating him. That the only way to compromise was either he’d go my way or the highway. I thought I was teaching him a lesson but what lesson did it actually teach him? To always give in to my stubbornness and to please me and do whatever I want? I was being selfish and full of pride. I only asserted total dominance when God said, “wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)" Silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse and it not only hurts your spouse and yourself, but it scars the marriage as well. And that’s the last thing I want!

I started the war, therefore, I should be the one to bring it to an end. I had to let my guard down. So the next day, I decided to talk to him and apologize. I let him know what it was that blew me up and he apologized as well. I know and believe that he won’t do anything purposefully to hurt me. I’m so glad that both of us humbled ourselves down and got it resolved. Now we’re getting better and better in communicating with one another. Proper communication is the key! Also, communicating with respect and love! 
We gotta forgive as Christ forgives, move on, carry on, and for me, blog about it. Sharing is caring. Hehe (:

Also, if you can avoid the following when you and your spouse are having a misunderstanding, that would be awesome:

When there's something that bothers you about your spouse, tell it directly to him/her. However, should the problem be out of hand and can't be easily resolved then that's the time you can ask for help. Spiritual advice is highly encouraged. 

Alcohol doesn't help. Period!

Neglecting the problem and diverting attention to shopping to compensate your emotional meltdown to happiness will lead you to financial breakdown.

I hope somehow our experience would help you in your own relationship. Say no to Silent Treatment or Cold War. Always remember Ephesians 4:2, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” May God’s love and peace be with y’all.

Happy Friday!


PS: Keep in mind to always...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Angel Food Smoothie

It's the first day of August! For my first post this month, I want to blog about something different, light, and refreshing. So I thought I'd post about a recipe today. It's my favorite snack whenever summer rolls around and also it is something I love to have after working out (and my husband's too). It's my home-made Angel Food Smoothie.

I got the idea from a local smoothie store beside the gym I used to go to before. Sometimes, working out can suck all the energy you've got so we need a booster that can pick us back up. I think I paid around $4 + tax for a small sized cup and I thought if I just make this myself, I can save money and I can feed my folks as well. By the way, my lola loves smoothie too!

So I went to the grocery store yesterday and found a pack of fresh strawberries on sale, around $2. Bananas cost half a dollar per pound. And the rest of the ingredients like milk, sugar, and crushed ice are always available at home. Oh, and I also added a piece of mango for a Filipino twist. It's fun playing and experimenting with fruits!

In the Philippines, smoothies are popularly known as shakes and are available everywhere and they're cheap! Our country is truly blessed and abundant with all kinds of fruits. I miss home.

Anyway, all you need is a blender and all you have to do is combine the ingredients all together. That easy! It has its health benefits too. Try it and let me know if you have other recipes you wish to share with me. Maybe I'll do avocado next? My fave! (: