Wedding Inspiration: Greggy and Sunshine’s Boho Reggae Wedding

First of all, this is a total throwback.

By now, I must have made it clear how much I love weddings! And when friends ask me for tips on wedding planning, I always find myself having them watch a wedding video of a vibrant, do-it-yourself wedding that I know of.

It’s the wedding of my dear friend, Shine. I met her at work, where we were together in the same team, with another good friend who did my engagement shoot. It took me weeks before realizing that she was the Sunshine of a song I know from years back. The song, which was her namesake, was released by Bambu Spliff, where she played vocals alongside her husband, Gregory. If you’re a true blue Cebuano, you pretty much know this reggae band. Needless to say, music played an important role in Greggy and Shine’s love story.

Fast forward to 2012, the free-spirited sweethearts said their vows in a rustic, bohemian-reggae inspired wedding.

Upon learning of my engagement, Shine was quick to provide tips and share her own experience of the whole planning. She gave me the brilliant idea of having my own dress tailored at a lower price by buying my own fabric, as she did in her own wedding.

She was an avid DIY bride herself, doing her own make-up, making centerpieces through old wine bottles, and even creating her own floral arrangement! The bonbonnières were jars of jam with a whimsical tag, “Spread the Love. Thank you for JAMming with us!” See what they did there? One couldn’t really tell how much DIY or how budget-friendly the wedding was just by looking at it because it simply looked so fun and fascinating.

Official photos were taken by Erickson Herrera while the video was done by Tiano Evangelista, who’s bassist for Junior Kilat, also a prominent Cebu band. Both were good friends of the couple. It really was a celebration filled with loved ones, as Shine would recall.

And oh, the bride and groom sing an original composition in the video!

Now enjoy, get inspired as I did, and eat your heart out at how unforgettable the musical entertainment must have been on that magical night! ♥

10 Things I’ve Learned On My 10th Month of Marriage

Few weeks ago marked our 10th wedding monthsary. We did not celebrate it as DM and I are never the monthly kind of celebrators. The last wedding related celebration we had was for our .5 anniversary months ago, wherein we had a lovely intimate dinner. Now we are hoping to finally have some alone time for our first anniversary come July.

Unlike a monthly tally, we both believe that years are worth celebrating. And as we celebrate a milestone in our young marriage, I look back at the times I exuberantly tell my friends how well things are going whenever they ask about life after the wedding. At the same time, I realize how I tell the same people how exhausted I am with having to deal with another human being for the rest of eternity!

All smiles, but what’s life after the wedding? Photo by Airballoon Project.

It’s true what our wise elders say, marriage really is not a walk in the park. While there are a lot more experienced people whom you should listen to when it comes to golden words on how to strengthen a union, allow me to share my two cents on what marriage means for someone who’s new at it.

1. Marriage means learning to cook or at least attempting to. As young girls, we are taught that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and thus we are encouraged to be handy around the kitchen. But modern society has also empowered us not to be stereotyped. True and true. I agree with both but here’s my honest opinion: At the beginning of the relationship, your man must know you enough to realize if you do not cook and he must accept it. That’s the type of relationship I have with my husband. I know he understands. But at the same, if this is the case, this also makes your effort of trying to cook for your better half even more appreciated. You see, boys (and girls) are raised by mothers who always cooked for them. So home-cooked meals will always be synonymous to comfort and love. DM is a food enthusiast who loves to cook but he always express gratitude whenever I try to prepare something for him, even the most basic fried meal!


2. Marriage means learning to be a good listener. Among other things you need to learn in marriage is being a good listener. I often find myself going on and on on just about anything, from my friend’s engagement to my work complaints while my husband patiently listens. But when it’s his turn to talk about how he’s feeling so stressed and exhausted lately, I shake him off by saying he’s only overthinking. I realized one day (only because he told me straight up) that this can turn into bottled up emotions which will eventually be toxic in your relationship. Let him talk. If he wants to talk about the Cavs and Warriors, then so be it. You’ll have your turn to talk about Riverdale later.

3. Marriage means giving your partner time for his/her hobbies. While we’re in the topic of NBA, always be reminded that boys will always be boys. My husband likes cars, video games, sports, the whole big boy package. I’m actually grateful that he has his interests and hobbies because I understand how men need some release just like how some women resort to pampering and shopping. Plus, I’d really rather have him stay at home playing PS4 all day than having  to wonder what time he’d be home after a beer night with friends. A happy wife is a happy life. But you know what can make a happy wife? A happy husband that wants to reciprocate his wife’s tolerance!


4. Marriage means never losing the intimacy. We’ve heard about this and it’s very true. There will be days that, with all the things that go through your mind while your busy #adulting, you will forget about your spouse. Don’t. Don’t forget to Continue reading

Cebu Food Trip: American Diner Feels at Luncheonette

It was one of those (many) moments when I’d crave for good bacon.

I begged my husband to take me anywhere just as long as I get to devour crisp, juicy strips of the sinful meat. Lucky for me, he never complains whenever I have this specific yet vague food requests. He actually enjoys the challenge.

We ended up at Luncheonette. We were on or way home from work so it was just accessible, being located at Robinsons Cybergate. We always had it in our list of places to try and my craving was a sound excuse to finally tick it off the list.

Luncheonette is part of the trusted Abaca Group, alongside Maya, Tavolata and others, so we knew right then that we were in good hands.

The first thing that I noticed was the Continue reading

Carcar Food Destination: A Taste of Heritage at 1878 Restaurant

Turning old, private homes into restos has been a welcoming treat for food enthusiasts in Cebu. We’ve seen a lot of this in the city and a quick trip to the outskirts will tell us that this trend is spreading like wildfire altogether—much to our delight of course!

We occasionally head to DM’s hometown, Carcar, on weekends. Some few weekends ago, we stopped by the new “must-visit” spot in town, the 1878 Restaurant. We’ve been seeing it in our news feed so we thought of checking it out since we were already there and it was just walking distance from his aunt’s home.

My lovely mom, charmed by the quaint facade.

It’s not at all a surprise to see old houses in this town. In fact, DM’s family lineage has a couple of century-old houses still standing to this day, one of which has been declared a national heritage. Structures like this has always been part of Carcar’s charm.

1878 is an ancestral home of the Sato family and as you guessed it, the house was built in 1878. You’re welcomed into the secret garden-ish door and right away you’ll notice the stoned walls, heavy wooden furniture, and hanging plants and bulbs everywhere.

Notice the upcycled tires.

Continue reading

Mood Board: Living The Dream Living Room

I have always enjoyed visualizing my dream house. As a little girl I made my own doll house out of used boxes and old magazines. I’d cut out pictures of beds, sofas, and others and stick them on a cardboard so they would be sturdy enough for my dolls. Then one day my brother introduced me to The Sims and life became even more wonderful! It was quite a personal accomplishment to come up with furniture pieces and wallpapers that bring life not only to the rooms but to the people who dwell in it as well. Literally, because good home items boost your Sims’ moods. *wink

My dream living room has got to have a fantastic view, like this favorite nook of mine in my brother’s home in London.

For a long time I’ve had these themes and palettes in mind that speak of my personality and carefree lifestyle. But ever since I became a wife and mother, details of my dream home also  evolved. I often look around our house and think of the many ways it can be improved. And because dreaming is, as you know, free, I revel in making my dream home immaculate, most especially the living room! After all, the living room is where you can bond with the whole family on weeknights and entertain your guests on weekends.

A must-have for me is a huge but cozy couch where my husband and I could cuddle with our two-year-old son. Ideally low and cushioned on all sides for our little one to safely use, and big enough for a few guests.

Arhaus.com

The couch has to be white so it’ll always look clean and tidy. Photo from arhaus.com.

Pop of colors! I’m crazy about throw pillows and these patterned ones will look perfect against the white sofa. The elephant is for my son who loves pointing at pictures of elephants. Photo from arhaus.com.

My family will be watching some Disney or Marvel movie on a simple yet functional media stand that matches the color of the couch, like this one from Scandinavian Designs.

Must look great even without the entertainment itself.

A round coffee table will take center stage between the couch and media stand. I especially like this one from Arhaus because Continue reading

The Thrifty Bride: 8 Ways to Save on Your Wedding Expenses

It’s just the third month into the new year but I already know at least seven couples who have been engaged! With my own wedding just less than a year ago, it’s a welcome treat that friends come to me for queries on processes, supplier referrals, and even tips. It makes me feel useful as I know how confusing planning a wedding can be.

Throughout the process of sharing Pinterest boards, Google spreadsheets, article links, and retelling the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of wedding planning, I came up with a list of the different ways you can cut your wedding cost. I had to be un-influenced so I made sure not to search online for other tips and to only rely on my experience. This way, it’s honest and more relatable to brides-to-be, especially in Cebu.

So here goes:

Look for a White Dress, Not a Wedding Dress
This was one of the things I was really overwhelmed with. When you start looking for a wedding dress, you’ll realize the huge discrepancy of bridal dresses vs. regular bridesmaid dresses or any dress for that matter. I actually tried an experiment wherein I asked for a quote for a white party dress and then later asked for a quote for a bridal gown. Aesthetically they didn’t differ much but labeling it as a bridal dress really made a big difference. If you find a regular dress that you feel like walking down the aisle in, grab it! Remember Kitchie Nadal’s 800-peso wedding dress? It’s all about feeling confident in it.  Another trick you can try is to purchase your own fabric and then have your dress sewn by an expert seamstress. Nothing says personalized more than that!

Get an On-the-Day Coordinator Instead of a Full Planner
First of all, don’t get me wrong, you can very well ask assistance from your most reliable girl friends or family members. I did and it went well. But as many a movies have taught us, it’s not always ideal to have a friend do the entire wedding planning for you, unless if that friend does events planning professionally. Aside from the fact that it will only create superfluous drama between the two of you, individuals who are not used to this kind of responsibility can get lost in all the commotion and may not be as comfortable with dealing with the suppliers as a professional coordinator would. I have truly learned that the best gift you can give to yourself on your wedding day is a coordinator. Like really! I heard of brides who had to deal with last-minute calls from caterers or other vendors while in the middle of being made up because some things did not go as planned. Now you wouldn’t want that, do you? No BS but I honestly did not feel any disarray on my wedding day because I had a coordinator who dealt with them. To save cost, hire an on-the-day coordinator to oversee the flow of the entire day instead of getting a full planner. Your on-the-day coordinator will most likely be hands-on even days before the actual day. You won’t really be needing any professional help with bookings or meetings months before the wedding. You only need one day to be a stress-free bride.  

DIY Whatever You Can
Do-it-yourself weddings have become a trend not only because it’s a great way to express your creativity but also because it’s an excellent means to save cash. I applied as much DIY as my prowess and time would allow me on my wedding and it remains to be one of the smartest things I’ve done in my life! There are lot of items that you can DIY. Buy some Continue reading

Loving Lately: Monty and Jimmy Jones’ Imaginative Adventures in Kazoops

He’s a boy with a big imagination. Meet the pig who’s truly a sensation!

This first line of the opening song always delights me! Ever since my LO has gone past the “baby stage,” I have been on the lookout for toddler-friendly shows. We’re trying to limit his time being exposed to any sort of gadget, so whenever we grant him his TV time, we wanted to make sure it’s something worthwhile for him. By worthwhile, I mean packed with values and ignites his interests.

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The Kazoops family just returned to Netflix for season 2 early this year!

And then we found Kazoops! This animated series from Netflix follows the adventures of Monty, a curious boy and his smart pig friend, Jimmy Jones. Our own inquisitive little boy instantly liked the show perhaps because of it’s vibrant colors. The artwork was simply unique, we noticed. When you look closely, the characters looked like they were shaped from clay and you could even see some fingerprints on them at times. Our attention was later caught by Continue reading