DIY Project: Personalizing Christmas Stockings from an P88-Store

My father always tells people that I was one child that never believed in Santa Claus. He also said that I used to watch wresting on TV and kept telling my brother that I was so sure they were all acting. But that didn’t mean I never enjoyed such fictional characters, Hulk Hogan included.

I remember looking forward to getting my candies from our Christmas stocking the next day when I hear my dad come home late at night because I knew he had sneaked them. Now married, my husband is a strong believer of the Santa Claus tradition. I don’t think I’m supposed to reveal this but he actually believed the good ole jolly man existed until he was ten years old! Isn’t he precious?

Anyway, that makes me totally on board with passing on the tradition to our little one, who’s turning three years old two days before Christmas! And right now he’s at the age of really appreciating presents, from unwrapping boxes to pulling out the item to saying “thank you.” It’s now his turn to get quite excited to wake up every morning. Everyone in the house takes turn in secretly putting simple gifts inside his stocking and you know it’s the grandparents’ turn when Santa is giving more than one item!

But since all my siblings (a Christmas miracle to have them all in one city!) are coming home for the holidays with their families, mom and I decided to put up more socks for the other little tots. I knew I was going to personalize them but I did not expect to get them at a really low price. Apparently, all stockings are out of stock by this time of the year in the big shops. So I ended up—and thankfully—at Daiso, a Japanese store of thingamabobs, where I scored not just 1 but 4 stockings for only PHP 176.00!

Buy 1 take 1 for only PHP 88.00.

Since the stockings are already in glittering shade, I decided to simply add the kids’ names and that would be it. The only things you need are:

  • twine
  • glue
  • hardbound book/heaving object
  • and the ability to finish it despite having a toddler who keeps interrupting

Simply stick the twine using a glue to the fabric, spelling out the names or any design you want to do. Before it Continue reading

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! ♥

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

The Ultimate Bride Gift: The Day He Decided to Tell the World About Us

Something amazing happened today!

My husband surprised me this morning with a Facebook post on my wall, sharing a link to something I have not expected: a blog post of our wedding story in the Australian wedding blog, Modern Wedding.

I cannot say I did not have any idea about it at all. I like to claim that I kinda did. I knew he had something up his sleeve when he asked me or literally had me answer questions about our wedding randomly for 2 days. It felt like a joke but I honestly thought he was planning to make a scrap book or something, so as to impress me with his crafting.

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Instead, he got me this! The gesture was one thing, but reading his thoughts in print was another. It’s surreal, it’s sublime. It’s something only he can pull off!

So here it is, a glimpse at how my DIY preparation went and a look at the the day  I will forever treasure—the day I married the man who makes my dreams come true.

WEDDING YOUR WAY: QUEENIE AND MICHAEL’S CUTE DIY DAY
http://www.modernwedding.com.au/wedding-your-way-queenie-and-michaels-cute-diy-day/

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Also putting here our official SDE video by Glen Ducante!  ♥

 

Not Your Ordinary Bride: One Ceremony, Two Celebrations

Something beautiful happened around this time a year ago. I can’t believe it has been a year as the memory of Tara, one of my dearest friends, tying the knot with the love of her life, Jude, still feels so vivid to me.

I say it was beautiful for two reasons. First, being that theirs was an against-all-odds kind of love story that ended happily. And second because Tara was a total DIY bride whose wedding turned out just as she wanted it to be.

The couple opted for an unconventional wedding. It was a civil ceremony with two separate celebrations.

Karaoke Party

The ceremony was followed by an intimate lunch at Music One, a karaoke bar in the city. It made so much sense since the bride’s family was an ensemble of good singers and musicians.

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Naturally, Yoyi’s Pastries and Desserts provided the cake and other sweet treats at the gathering.

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Tara’s mom, a DIY apostle herself, made the elegant, vintage-y bouquet, personalized ring boxes, and the guest book.

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We got to take home the champagne glasses we used during the toast since they also served as the wedding giveaways for all the guests. Classy!

It was an honor not only to be one of the (reads: one of two, ehem) legal witnesses at Continue reading

Bronze Charms and Bridesmaid Tokens

Behind every sane bride is a team of stressed out bridesmaids.

That’s according to me.

In the past months, I have questioned myself on why I have to submit to the meticulous process of DIYing most of the details of my wedding – from centerpieces to giveaways to invitations to so many other things. And the only answer I could come up with is because I just want to. It means adding more than just personal touch to the celebration, it’s really making the event my very own.

Thankfully for other tasks that need attention, I got my ever reliable squad to back me up. Some of my BMs are not in the country (or in the city), but they’re just as helpful.

So as a simple token for their assistance (and for even accepting the role and taking care of acquiring their own dresses!), I made sure to include these simple gifts to the DIY list.

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To be clear, these are not all bridesmaids. Include is the maid of honor and the other three are my female secondary sponsors, essential when having a Catholic church wedding

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Found these in my craft room. Zero spending and they’ve the perfect color!

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The boxes are handmade. You can find lots of box tutorials in Pinterest.

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Got these pretty charms from krafty.kaeratana.com.

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Sneak peek of the really simple tokens I hope my girls would love.

Special thanks to my Kaeratana team for all the DIY support. More posts on our DIY wedding projects soon! ♥

Straight from the Hearty Stationery

I once read this book authored by Nina Garcia, The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own, and there was one item on the list that had me nodding in agreement – apart from the LBD and the perfect white shirt. It wasn’t the motorcycle jacket nor the fishnets, it was the monogrammed stationery.

In this day and age, one could hardly receive a written note or letter, which can be kept in a memory box to fade and be appreciated twenty years later. But at least I’m assured that that’s something my man cannot say for himself. Thanks to my sister, I got my very own personalized card set as a Christmas present three years ago.

I just started my blog then and it really was a sweet surprise to see it printed on something! It made it feel official. Since then, I’ve been using it on DM’s birthdays and our anniversaries. It’s my subtle way of reminding him of how classy I could be and of my imaginary empire.

Fast forward to today, I have used up most of my cards and I have now changed my blog (name) when I acquired a personal domain. So, this post is actually a shout out to my sister, whom I’m hoping could read between the lines. ♥