Monday, December 29, 2014

Alan and Joselle Turn 3

Today is our third year wedding anniversary!!! December 29, 2011 was the day I received the biggest and most undeserved favor from the Lord. It's the day I married my husband and my husband chose to be with me forever. Three years had passed, although apart, we cruised through it smoothly and still head over heels in love with each other, for that I'm most thankful! 

I know I've failed many many times as a wife but my husband never made me feel like a failure. Couple of weeks ago, I got one of the biggest scare of my life. My husband was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with dengue and I felt terrible cos I was not by his side to take care of him. Thankfully he recovered well and he's now back in shape just in time for the Christmas' festivities. During his illness, he never blamed me for not being there to nurse him and he keeps on telling me not to worry about him. Just me thinking of him to get well was enough for him. I really am blessed to have found such a nice guy and lucky to be loved by him beyond my imperfections.    

Next year and the coming years, babawi ako! I promise to make up for all my shortcomings. In 3 years, God had given us ample time to purify and make ourselves a better husband and wife. I've learned so many things on how to improve myself as a wife. I made so many mistakes that I will try not to do again. I can't promise to be perfect, but I will try the best I can to love, submit, and honor my husband perfectly as I promised the Lord. 

To you my dear Alan, thanks for holding on to our promise and sticking with me through out these years. I can't wait to finally see you and be with you for good, real soon! The best is yet to come! Oh yes! :) 

Happy 3rd wedding anniversary my love! Mwah! :)


xoxo,
Joselle

Monday, November 10, 2014

We serve God by the way we live

I attended and served in the Christian Life Program yesterday for our community. I can't remember how many times I've served in CLPs. All of them contains the same topic, sometimes same speakers but it becomes refreshing because each time, you get a different perspective depending on what you're dealing with in that certain time. 

One of my take homes was this, "First we serve God by the way we live".



Then I pondered, do I serve the Lord by the way I live?

  • Do I attend to the needs of the people around me or I'm too consumed of myself only? 
  • Do I tithe generously to the church, give donation to charities and give freely of my time to help the needy? 
  • Do I try to love the people who are difficult to love and show compassion and forgiveness to them? 
  • Do I park where I am supposed to park and not rob other people with disabilities or pregnant women? 
  • Do I show good example especially to my younger siblings or am I a bad influence to them?
  • Do I honor and respect my parents especially my mom or do I fail to show regard to her?
  • Do I use my time at work honestly or am I being a slug? Do I work beyond my hours and neglect quality time with my family or do I manage my time wisely?
  • Do I get easily angered when I am offended or do I remain humble and kind? 
  • Do I submit to and honor my husband or do I manipulate him so I get my way?
  • Do I lovingly correct my family and friends when they are wrong or condone their behavior?
  • Do I judge and say negative things about other people before looking on my own short comings?
  • Do I help in spreading the word and the love of God to the people around me or keep it all including the blessings to myself?  

I must admit, to be a Christian is never easy. We are not saved only by calling ourselves Christians and going to church every Sunday. The true test of serving and honoring God is by the way we live our lives, even when no one is looking at us. God sees our each and every step, and the state of our hearts. Whenever we carry out good deeds, God is delighted. Whenever we carry out wicked deeds, the devil is delighted. Whom do we want to please? God or the devil?

God loves us no matter what and His love for us is unconditional. However, when we serve and honor God, we allow His grace to enter upon us. Here is a simple analogy:

Let's say a little boy asks his dad for a few bucks. 
Son: Dad can I have 3 dollars, please?
Dad: Why do you need it my son?
Son: I want to buy a Magic card game.
Dad: Ok son, I will give you a the money if you get an A in your quiz tomorrow.
Son: Ok, I'll start studying now dad. 
(the next day)
Son: I got an A in the test Dad , can I get my money now?
Dad: Good job son, here you go and here's a confirmation letter. I registered you in a card tournament. :) 

When we serve and honor God, even in our own smallest ways, He acknowledges our faithfulness and fills us with His divine grace and blessings. He provides all our needs, even more than what we deserve, may it be materially or spiritually. The Dad could have just given his son the money for no reason but he wanted to give his son an important lesson. The benefit is not for the Dad, but ultimately for his son. By studying hard, he might get to a good university and get a better job in the future. Same way when we honor and serve the Lord with the way we virtuously live our lives. It's not for His benefit but for ours. The experience is humbling and the return is that we become a better person. 

xoxo,
Joselle 


Friday, October 31, 2014

32 Reasons Why I Love My Hubby


Surprise post it notes in Alan's bedroom door :)
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE.....


1. You show me how its like to be genuinely kind and gentle. You inspire me to be a better person.

2.  You not only sang to me the words "I can show you the world" you rather took me to places I never knew existed and life has been shiny, shimmery, and splendid!

3. You don't care too much on your appearance but you still let me buy you clothes and dress you up.

4. You take pleasure of taking care of me and spoiling me with good gifts and good food.

5. You love and brag about my cooking.

6. You take me seriously, even my jokes! lol

7. You're up for anything I love. You made me so happy when we watched Gossip Girl together. haha

8. You are loyal. Like what Rihanna said, you make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world.

9.  You're forgiving and gracious to me. You never let the sun go down on your wrath.

10. You're a hard worker and trustworthy in what you do.

11. You let me be me, you love me for who I am and all my flaws, never controlling.

12. We have the same idea of romance :)

13.  I get butterflies in my stomach every time you sing.

14.  You know how I hate roller coasters but you encouraged me to conquer my fear. I feel like together, we can do anything!

15. You love being around your family and you love being around my family too!

16. You're intellectually humble.

17. You are so patient in waiting for me.

18. You lovingly correct me if I'm wrong.

19. You don't encourage me to quit rather you push me to my limits.

20. You're slow to anger, you never curse and use profanity.

21. I couldn't ask for a better engagement ring, proposal and wedding ever!

22. You run and chase after mamang taho for me.

23. You showed me the meaning of unconditional love.

24. You prioritize me. You put toothpaste in my toothbrush first before you. hehe.

25. You are willing to give everything up for me, your sweet kryptonite.

26. You keep me going.

27. You make the tea for us.

28. You give the best back and foot massages.

29. We have the same values and faith.

30. You never miss to remember special days in our lives.

31. You don't forget to end the day with a prayer and thank God for all the blessings.

32. You give me hope that the best is still yet to come!

Happy 32nd birthday to you my wonderful source of joy, my husband. Thank you for the kind of love you've given me. A love that is immeasurable and no doubt, boundless. I couldn't imagine how my life would have been if you didn't come in the picture. May our gracious Lord bless you with more happy and healthy years so that we may be able to enjoy to the fullest the fruits of our marriage. I love you and I miss you!



I'm so sorry I couldn't be there with you on your birthday but hope you liked my little surprise.Thank you Risa (Alan's sister) for being my hands and feet and for helping me come up with this awesome idea. Arigato! :)

xoxo,
Joselle
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

One more surprise! Here are messages from your dear GS buddies from Ateneo especially for you :)

Alan!

Happy birthday! I am happy to have met a kindred spirit in many ways – a fellow milk tea-lover, video and tabletop gamer, and frustrated professional singer! XD Thank you for being an occasional Japanese translator as well. Here’s to more game nights, karaoke nights, pig-out dinners, recording sessions, and live jams!

Wish you more love, laughter, and music. And I do hope you and GK rub off a little bit of your luck in love on me, so I can get hitched and we can finally call our little trio “The Married Men.” Haha!

Migs


Hi Al,

Happy Birthday! I am truly thankful to have you as a friend. Nothing gets you down and you're always game for anything. Thanks especially for being there whenever I need my board game fix! Speaking of which, we still have to do our grudge match to settle who wins the Cold War. See ya Friday?

I wish you many more birthdays and lots of luck with everything you've got lined up!

誕生日おめでとう。


Dear Al,

It's amazing how--after all those years--everything turned on one day of pure dumb luck. Of course, this was two years after you’d come back, so Fate was dragging its heels a little. Still, if it hadn't been for that happy accident:

The rest of us would probably still be dredging up all your namesakes through the magic of the Internet.

There would be no Chipmunks recording of “All for Love,” or, for that matter, no recording at all.

There would have been six fewer people for that picture at your wedding.

GK would probably have gotten struck down by the first chef who put in an errant shrimp or squid in the frying pan in Japan.

And there certainly would be no sitting around the table at Zaan playing Coup, with everyone spending a whole turn pretending to be the Duke and you finding out the hard way that Joselle never lies.

We wish you more happy accidents and welcome turns of fate for you and Joselle this year, and in the years to come. We're very grateful that you came into our lives. Cheers and welcome to 32!

GK and Joy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Foodie Journey: Chili Garlic Butter Shrimp Saute

For young wives/moms and all the working men and women who do not have the luxury of time to spare in the kitchen, here's another quick and simple recipe that I would like to share with you. This should not take you more than 30 minutes. 

I've learned an amazing trick from my mom that added some twist to the shrimp. It's an old time trick that she learned from her mom also and that is marinading the shrimp in lemon soda. This adds a hint of sweetness and it takes out the lansa (fishiness) in my opinion. I've also realized that cooking the shrimp at home gives me liberty of deciding how spicy I want my shrimps. I'm not a big fan of chili but sprinkling a right amount of chili flakes gives the dish a nice kick. Best of all, its cheaper alternative of satisfying your shrimp cravings. Needless to say, for us Pinoys, this flavorful dish is paired well with a bowl of steamed white rice! 

I hope you enjoy and try this out :)

Chili Garlic Butter Shrimp Saute   

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp red chili/pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried/fresh parsley 
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can lemon soda/Sprite
  • garlic powder
  • pepper


Procedure:

1. Marinade the shrimp in lemon soda for about 10 minutes.

2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a saute pan until hot enough to cook the garlic.

3. Put in the garlic and cook until golden brown. 

4. Add in the chili flakes.

5. Put in the shrimp and cook until the color turns orange.

6. Pour in just a little bit of the remaining Sprite and let the liquid evaporate.

7. Add parsley, garlic powder, and pepper as needed.

8. Serve and enjoy!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 3

We woke up late the following day so we could get our body well rested and ready to roll for day 3. Before leaving the hotel, we had to fuel up for another jam packed day so we had brunch first. The staff was so kind to serve us kaya toast, soft boiled egg with white coffee, Singaporean's traditional breakfast, even if it was not on their menu. It is a very simple meal but it is so good! I swore to myself that I'm not leaving SG without buying kaya!  

Trying out local food is really important for me because it gives you an understanding of their history and culture. 

Kaya toast is a well-known snack in Singapore and Malaysia. Kaya toast is prepared with kaya (coconut jam), a topping of sugar, coconut milk and eggs, pandan, and sometimes margarine or butter. It is generally served on toast, and also sometimes on crackers. It is considered a breakfast staple, and remains popular in Singapore. The dish is sometimes dipped into soft-boiled egg. Singaporeans and Malaysians often consume this food with a cup of tea or coffee. 
Many Hainanese worked on British ships as kitchen hands. When they settled in the British colonies now constituting Singapore and Malaysia, they started selling the foods which they prepared for the British, including coffee, toast, and French toast, to the local populations. They replaced the Western jams and preserves favoured by the British with native coconut jams. -Wikipedia



Surprisingly, we pretty much covered everything in our itinerary in a span of 2 days! So what better way to waste our time than to spend it in a happy place like Universal Studios! 

Alright guys, are you ready for this? Photo overload in 3,2,1!








We noticed there were plenty of Japanese restaurants and saw heaps of Japanese here in SG so with that being said, for dinner, we decided to have tsukemen at Bugis+. This was highly recommended by the hubs! 


Before going to the airport, we went back first to the hotel where we kept our luggage. We already checked out before noon but the staff was so nice and told us that we could take a shower and freshen up before we leave. We really needed a nice shower because that day was so hot. Thank you so much Ardennes for your extremely great service and accommodation! Please check them out guys! 

I don't have anything but only good words for this small but terrible country. Perhaps, the only thing that I noticed was some Singaporeans can be often cold in public. My husband told me that they even had to organize a campaign just to encourage the people to smile. On the other hand, I found myself smiling the entire trip because of good food, clean surroundings, fresh air, minimal traffic, fun attractions, and so on! So much more to be proud of and grateful for Singaporeans. Medyo mahal mga bilihin niyo pero ang smile libre lang :)

Of course, this trip wouldn't have been super fun without my hubby! Till our next adventure! :)

xoxo,
Joselle

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 2

What will you do if you stumble upon a quirky street like this and no one is around because it is too early? What else than to take a selfie! :)


Thank you to my awesome husband for making me look pretty on my photos. He knows my angle! hahaha. I can never ask for a better travel companion than him. When he's snapping photos of me, I feel  like I am Gisele Bundchen ;P


For shutterbugs out there, be sure to ready your cameras when you pass by Haji Lane. 


I have never seen a country so colorful! More colorful shots in Chinatown! 


Tip: if you are on a budget and want to shop for souvenirs and pasalubongs, don't look else where than in Chinatown.


By Chinatown is also a decent hawker center called Maxwell Food Center that sells inexpensive food and drinks. Here I found my favorite, Milo Dinosaur! Call me old fashioned or pre-historic (like the dinosaur...joke yun.haha) but I am trying to be real. Even if I am now in the US where Hershey's populates, I still love my Milo. I grew up drinking Milo everyday kasi. Milo Dinosaur is a drink originated in Singapore made of Milo (chocolate malt) with undissolved Milo on top. By the way, there is also another drink called Milo Godzilla! hahaha 

For lunch, I had another favorite of mine, X-I-A-O-L-O-N-G-B-A-O or soup dumpling. I definitely was in a food coma after lunch so we headed back to our hotel and took a brief nap. 


After a quick recharge, off we went to Sentosa. Sentosa is an island visited by many people known for it's fun attractions like Resorts World, iFly, Merlion Statue, Megazip, Universal Studios, etc. It's like their version of Disney World! 

My husband and I basked on the ff:

Skyline Luge- a unique wheeled gravity ride that provides riders full control over their descent on purpose built track.

Singapore Cable Car- Leave the hustle and bustle of everyday city life behind and take a scenic joyride onboard Singapore Cable Car! Nothing beats the thrill of taking off in your cable car and having a bird's eye view of the world below!


Tiger Sky Tower- Asia's tallest observatory tower. Offering panoramic views at 131 metres above sea level across Singapore, Sentosa and the Southern Islands, views from the Sky Tower promise to be both scenic and breathtaking.




Breathtaking view of SG from the cable car :)


For dinner, we headed back to the station (Vivo City) and ate at Food Republic. This time I had Cereal Chicken Rice. It's like putting chicken rice and cereal prawn together, double the fun! 


Second day was pretty awesome! 

xoxo,
Joselle



Monday, September 22, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 1

After my sister in law's beautiful wedding (Fernandez-Barbara) the newlyweds flew over to their honeymoon the next day. On the other hand, Alan and I, went over to the moon as well :)  We flew over to the land of chicken rice, chili crabs, cereal prawns, milo dinosaur, and home of Merlion, Singapore!

We landed in Singapore's main airport, the Changi International Airport. This was recognized the world's best airport and I couldn't agree more! Since we arrived pretty early, we spent a couple of hours and explored what this airport had in store. They showcased multiple gardens perfect for snapping selfies because of their beautiful landscaping. One of them which I liked most was the Sunflower garden. On the other hand, my husband was thrilled like a little boy to hang out in their gaming lounge. We played Xbox Kinect, Call of Duty, Prince of Persia, and Naruto fighting game on PS3. They also have an entertainment area where they cater a mini movie theatre. If you're looking for a R&R after an exhausting flight, they have a spa, gym, pool, prayer room, and napping area! I wish Korea and Japan airports where I usually stop over when I go home to Manila, provide these kind of facilities as they will definitely come in handy. One thing that can be quite a problem having such great facilities is missing a flight. haha.

After touring Changi airport, we picked up our luggages and took the MRT going to our hotel. You can pretty much tour the whole country using their efficient and reliable trains and buses. I love Singapore's public transportation. It's so clean, spacious, and did I mention they are efficient and reliable? hehe. I could only wish MRT and buses in Manila would be as good as Singapore's.         


For 2 nights, we stayed at an artsy, boutique hotel called, The Ardennes, located in Bugis which we booked via agoda.com. It was also convenient as it was only a few minutes walk from Lavender MRT Station. 


At first, I was a bit disappointed to find out that our room has no window. But to my delight, Alan showed me that what we had was better than a window. He grabbed a remote, pointed it towards the ceiling, and suddenly the sky was above my head. We had a moon roof in our room! It was perfect especially at night because we were able to lie down in the bed while gazing underneath the stars. Can't deny that my hubby is a hopeless romantic! :)

photo from agoda.com
Off we went to Singapore's shopping hub, Orchard Road after we checked in. 

Since it was lunch time and we were starving, we hurriedly grabbed a bite in Takashimaya food court and had my first chicken rice! The one I had was sweet and spicy Thai sesame chicken rice. So good!   

After a sumptuous lunch, we wasted no time and went straight to Gardens by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay is an integral part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden". The stated aim is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. -Wikipedia

There were multiple attractions in the Garden but we chose what was closest to our hearts, the Flower Dome. If Alan and I will have a chance to renew our vows, I want our reception held here! hahaha. Like the flowers, our love continue to blossom each day. 


Next to our list was Marina Bay. We were in a jungle earlier and in one minute we found ourselves standing in concrete. Sorry Alicia Keys because Singapore is the real "Concrete Jungle" for me! hehehe :)

Located at the Southern tip of Singapore, Marina Bay is a 360ha development designed to seamlessly extend Singapore's downtown district and further support the city-state's continuing growth as a major business and financial hub in Asia. For more info. check out their website at: http://www.marina-bay.sg/vision.html


All that sight seeing made us so hungry! Luckily, we found this famous restaurant, Jumbo Seafood, around the area. My hubby also found this highly recommended restaurant from Wikitravel and we had to put this in our itinerary. When traveling, we like to immerse ourselves in local cuisines so we just rock exploring food like Anthony Bourdain . hehe. Back to the restaurant, there was a long queue which just showed that this place was the bomb. Their specialties were chili crabs and cereal prawns. It's kind of a splurge but it's worth it! My hubby doesn't normally eat crabs because he's too lazy to peel the shell off but to my surprise, he showed no mercy to the crabs. On the other hand, my favorite was the cereal prawns. I liked how they made the prawns so crunchy and sweet. Both perfect with a bowl of steamed white rice. Nom nom nom.  

THE HIGHLIGHT FOR DAY 1! LOL :D

xoxo,
Joselle

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Matron of Honor to Bride

I know all of you will agree that Nina looks very stunning in her dress and Marvin’s barong looks like a million dollars :) You two look extra ordinarily great together. 

For anyone who doesn’t know me, I am Joselle, the sister-in-law of Nina and her BFF. Today, I am no longer her BFF because I am now giving that role to Marvin. 

I’ve known Nina for 10 years now but it seems only yesterday and I feel like I’ve known her forever. She was the reason that I found my soulmate, her Kuya Alan. 

Nina has the most genuine heart and has no pretenses. She’s humble, warm-hearted, beautiful in the inside and out, and a woman who has great love for the Lord. 

When Nina told me she was going to break up with her former boyfriend of 2 years because she wanted to go through her state of life discernment with Lingkod ng Panginoon, I was tremendously proud of her. It wasn’t an easy thing for her but she bravely and selflessly put God first before herself. In honoring the Lord before anything else, she was pleased to know that her vocation was for marriage and blessed to be pursued by a likewise faithful brother in the community who is no other than Marvin. 

Nina also told me that they have never kissed on dates and that their first kiss will be on their wedding day. Her kuya and I were left astounded. We couldn’t believe that it still happens nowadays. We have nothing but great respect for Marvin also for protecting and keeping my sister pure before marriage. I believe that if a husband loves God, he will love and respect his wife even more so like how Christ loves the Church. 

You two are indeed a match made in heaven and it was even proved better when you exchanged vows to each other. We know that this marriage will last a lifetime and will be enjoyed to the fullest because you keep God’s word close to your hearts.

Nina, sis, I’m so happy for you. I am glad that through this community that you are blessed with, you found your soulmate and your true best friend forever. The greatest thing about the sacrament of marriage, especially with God in the center of the relationship, is that every time you see the love of your life, you see a glimpse of heaven. Whenever I am with your kuya, I see Jesus. I feel truly loved by God with the way he treats me. Life seems serene no matter what challenges may come our way.  And I wish you both the same. That every time you look into each others eyes, you see that glimpse of heaven on earth. 

Nina, it is a real honour to be your Matron of Honour. I am deeply moved and so blessed for even being your friend, and even more so that you granted me this opportunity. Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, could you please stand and raise your glasses once again for Nina and Marvin.

xoxo,
Joselle

Monday, September 1, 2014

Somewhat Housewife

Recently, I get to be what I always wanted to be. A HOUSEWIFE.  

I'd like to share my sentiments and give you updates on how it is like being a somewhat housewife. I say somewhat housewife because I get to do this for a few weeks only, too bad. hahaha.  

Here are 10 things I enjoy doing:

1. I wake up next to my husband every single day and I don't worry if I'm late at work or that deadline that I have to finish. I just wake up and kiss my love good morning :)

2. As soon as my husband leaves, I run and work out.

3. I have longer chance to do my prayer time after a nice exercise and refreshing bath. 

4. I eat and enjoy my fresh pandesal with queso de bola and occasionally, taho!

5. I enjoyed volunteering to cook.  I cook lunch for my retired father in law, eat with him and discuss about his new endeavor and other sensible topics. I wish I could have done this with my papa but since my father is no longer with us, I'm glad I get to this with Daddy.

6. My favorite, I take afternoon naps! 

7. I read and able to write blogs.

8. I cook dinner for the rest of the family members and brunch on weekends.

9. I'm glad when my husband gives me a break from home and asks me out for a date night.  

10. But if I have no plans at all, I'm just glad to welcome my hubby and greet him "okaeri" (welcome home in Japanese) when he arrives home. He's appreciative of the fact that for a month, he's not suffering from and coming to a wife-less home.

That is the day in the life of a superficial housewife. I'm glad God allowed me this break and understand that being a housewife takes a lot of patience and understanding.

In Manila, crazy traffic jams, inefficient MRT (it used to be nice but now it's falling apart), overcrowded public transportation, long working hours are some of the realities you have to bear. My husband will normally get up at 6 am, leave at 6.30 so he can get to Taguig from QC not later than 8 am. That could have only been 30 mins if there's no traffic. He's only suppose to work till 5 pm but if there's a need to work over time, he's required to stay for a couple more hours. So he gets out at 7 and commute for another couple hours so he gets home at around 9 pm. We only have more or less 2 to 3 hours of quality time before he dozes off to sleep. 

Back in Atlanta, I get off at 5 pm, I go to the gym for an hour and eat with the entire fambam at 7pm. I've been way too spoiled with the Southern lifestyle I guess. It's nice to eat dinner together as a family and catch up on each other's day. I think it is essential. I'm glad my employer has great respect and gives value for time with family. 

With my husband arriving home late, I need to adjust. It's not his fault that he gets home late. I am absolutely sure he works late not because of greedy intentions (like getting a promotion or a raise). No matter how badly he desires to come home to me, he's not able to do so because of his work demands. When he works, he gives his best so he won't leave till he gets his job done. Then after a stressful day in the office, he has to deal with the pain of long commute. 

I'm a bit irked and sad about it but I need to be extra understanding and patient.  As hard working as he is, the last thing he wants is a nagging and needy wife. I should not be jealous of his work and should be grateful instead for being a great provider. So in return, I need to please the hubby with my home cooked meals,  relaxing massages and some TLC from the wifey. hehe. 

The heart of her husband trust in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:11-12



xoxo,
Joselle 










Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Afternoon Tea Party!

Hi everyone! I am back in Manila my friends! I'm very blessed to be home once again and be reunited with the love of my life.

Anyway, the ultimate reason why I am here is because my BFF/sister-in-law, Nina, is getting married and I wouldn't want to miss this once in a lifetime event for the world. Moreover, I was also humbled when she asked me to be her matron of honor :)

The past few days I spent in Manila, aside from having some quality time with my hubby (hehehe), I was busy planning for her bridal shower with the help of her sister, Nerisa, and all of her family and friends. When I got married, my family and friends threw a very memorable shower for me and it was one that I would never ever forget in my life so I thought how nice it is to pass this feeling to another bride to be.

The theme of her bridal shower was Afternoon Tea Party and the concept came from my older sister, Ate Joyce. I've been also wanting to experience afternoon tea myself and that's why my eagerness to put together this party was very high.

Before organizing the party, I did my research and googled away some food and decor ideas. Youtube and Pinterest came in handy :)

Nerisa, the bride's younger sister/maid of honor and also my little sister in law, went with me to Divisoria. Divisoria market is a flea market that can be found at the heart of the capital, Manila. To be honest, I've got quite mixed feelings for this place. Before, I try to avoid going to Divi because I heard few horror stories like pick-pocketting. But now, I appreciated Divi more because I had a nice experience shopping and haggling around with my sister in law. The only place I know in Divi is 168 mall but there were things we couldn't find inside the mall and we were clueless on where to go. However, the people were very friendly so we asked for directions and they pointed us and showed us exactly where we needed to go. There was this section in Divi called Tabora. It's a street dedicated for weddings and other special events! We got what we needed for a great deal and we came out of Divi safe and sound. The only tip I could give is to not wear flashy clothes if you want to go to Divi. I didn't even put make up on. haha. I wore simple top, shorts, and tsinelas! (flip flops) It is also hot and a lot of walking is involved so make sure to dress up comfortably. 

After Divisoria, we went to Dapitan Market. Another place to go to if you're looking for materials you'll need for catering and special events. We were looking for a three layered cake stand to put the afternoon tea sandwiches into and was lucky to find it there. Going to Dapitan, we passed by Dangwa, a place where you can get different kinds of flowers in bulk perfect especially for weddings.


For the decor, Nerisa and I with the help of some of our artistic family helped us achieved this dainty and cute table set up. We were happy to see the look on the bride to be's eyes.  She seemed surprised and pleased :)




For food, since it's an afternoon tea party, we thought of making finger food like hor d'oeuvres. Everything turned out good and it was so easy to make. I made deviled eggs, egg sandwich, cream cheese sandwich, crackers with cream cheese and strawberry preserved. Mommy served fruits and cheese, Tita Clair made spicy tuna sandwich, Mayey made oreo truffles, and some guests were so nice to bring more food like doughnuts and empanadas. They were light but we were so stuffed! 



For the program, and what made the shower most special was honoring her. We put words that best describes Nina's character in the doughnuts and explained why we chose those words.



In the evening, we had another batch for the rest of the family and I cooked Penne Pesto Cream Pasta. It was a wholesome, fun, love and spirit-filled day!

9 more days Sis till the big day! :)


Thanks to all of you who helped us make this shower a special one to our beautiful bride to be, Nina. Special thanks to our preppy tea master, Alan! hehehe.




xoxo,
Joselle





Monday, August 4, 2014

A Letter to Mommy from Son and Daughter in Law

The first flower that comes into my mind when I think of my mom is a Sunflower because she is a cheerful person.  She is hard to ignore because of the bright aura that surrounds her.  And she always enjoys the good sides of life like the sunflower enjoys the sun.



Surprisingly enough, mom's birth flower is also the Sunflower according to the Japanese.  The Sunflower has flower words or meanings like Radiance and Loving Care in Japan.  I think this is also true for my mom.  She has a radiant personality and gives us her love and care everyday. 


The Sunflower is known by its name because it always faces the sun.  This way it fully receives sunlight and gets the energy to grow tall.

I think what this teaches is, to fully receive grace, we should always face God, our sun, and that we must have a positive attitude in life.  My mom has been like this and I am grateful that we have received the same grace through her.


So mom, thank you for your love and care and may you always be the radiant Sunflower that you are!


Happy Birthday!!!



xoxo,
Alan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Mommy,

I am so grateful and blessed to be your daughter in law. Thank you for trusting me to care for your one and only son. Alan has grown to be a good, kind, loving, intelligent, righteous, God-fearing man and I will be forever grateful to you for teaching him such values.

My two sister in laws, Nina and Risa have grown to be both graciously kind inside and out, and no doubt it is because of your loving upbringing. I hope I would be able to raise our future kids the way you did. Daddy is blessed as well to be your husband for giving him your superseding support as a wife. I hope I would be able to give Alan all the support that he needs too. 

Not all gets along well with their mother in laws for many reasons but not us. You've never demanded anything from me and never have I felt that I am not good enough for your son. Thank you for accepting me, treating me and loving me well.

I honor you for being  a mother so gracious, generous, selfless, simple, and most of all, godly. 

I love you and happy birthday! :)


xoxo,
Joselle

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Real Housewife of Atlanta

Tita Cathy is not only my pastoral leader but a dear aunt of mine. For her birthday, we honored her on our household meeting and I would like to share it to my blog (with her permission also). 

- I honor her for her great faith in the Lord. She's one of the gracious women I look up to. Her words of advice and encouragement are wisdom from above. I couldn't forget what she told me when we first moved here in the US. She said something like: Do not make your relationship with your boyfriend your world cos when you and him fall apart, your world will crumble as well. Instead, make God your number one and whatever happens, you'll be fine. Now my boyfriend we're talking about is my husband. Alan knows God is my first love and my husband is my last :) Our long distance relationship survived because we acknowledged that apart from Him, it just wouldn't work. 

- I honor her for her kindness and gentleness. People who doesn't know her fully might think of her as snob maybe because of her chinky eyes (hahaha) but to those who know her personally, she's the nicest woman you'll ever know. I don't know how she keeps her cool when surrounded by 4 children, her husband, her grandson, her parents, her sister, her nephew, a dog, and a cat all in one roof. Her love for her family is truly unconditional and knows no bounds. 

- Lastly, I honor her for her simplicity. She dresses up simply and modestly, she doesn't carry designer bags, she drives an old car she's a very humble lady but simply beautiful, inside and out. She doesn't need expensive things to validate her worth because her heart is set to what truly matters. Her relationship with God is her greatest treasure.   

I wish you happy birthday Tita Cathy. May you never grow tired of inspiring other women and may the Lord continue to use you to spread the joy. Thank you for the pastoral care, inspiration and light you bring to us.



xoxo,
Joselle


Friday, August 1, 2014

Affirmation

In retrospect, if my husband met me before I knew Christ, I don't think he would like me. I am completely a different person back then. (Thank you Jesus for your saving grace!) Back in my juvenile days, my old self would curse, would put others down with hurtful words, would bully, would dishonor her parents, and say other stupid-unkind things without thinking. I've never realized how much trouble I've done and relationships I've broken because of my tongue. 

My husband, on the other hand, is very gentle, kind, sensitive, and polite. When we met, I was already on my journey towards having a relationship with the Lord and so my choice of words started to change. He told me he liked me because I was nice. I was like, really? me? nice? wow! Not even my family would say I was nice. It is really by God's grace that a person can completely change. After college, I started attending bible studies, prayer groups and it had a positive impact in my life. I realized how unbecoming the way I communicated before. It wasn't like Christ at all. Through daily prayers and surrounding myself with positive people, I became more pleasant. Likewise, I attracted a nice guy! :)

Words can either build or destroy a person. Growing  up, we were 4 girls with interesting hormones raised single handedly by my mom. When she's stressed out and getting attacked by high blood pressure, she would blurt unpleasant words and we grew up thinking it was normal. Our mom loves us so much and would give her life for us so we know she only tried her best to discipline us. Parents only correct their children because they love them but adding unkind and punitive words is unnecessary and ungodly. I grew up to be very insecure because I lacked affirmation that I was good, I was beautiful, and I was loved. And this also made me awkward in affirming how much I love someone. How can you give what you don't have?

When my sisters, mom and I moved to the US, we joined a community and our relationship bloomed like never before. We still occasionally fail in affirming love to one another but it had gotten a lot better. We had gotten closer. We now give cards with warm messages and gifts every birthdays and special occasions to one another. We go to mass together every Sunday, eat together every supper and are more open to one another. Affirmation is still an area we really need to work hard on and we cannot do this alone. We have to constantly pray for humility and God's grace.     

With my husband, I am bombarded with daily praises and affirmation. I have never been celebrated and cared for. He makes sure that my love tank is full with affirmation. He tells me he loves me everyday and his love for me grows stronger each day. He is the cheesiest husband ever (and I'm the cheesiest wife) and I am totally buying it. 

Husbands, pursue your wives everyday like the way you courted her. Wives, affirm your husbands because there's nothing better for a guy than us wives boosting their self worth. Let us respect and honor one another with our words and through this, we honor the Lord. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10.

When the time comes that God grants us children, may we shower them with love and kindness. May He guide us in every step in discipling them. May God use us purposefully as an instrument to let them know how much they are precious to Him. May we demonstrate to them how much their daddy and mommy loves one another. May we show them an example of our love for each other that it may inspire them to find someone that reflects the same love.   

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:6 NASB)

 xoxo, 
Joselle