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, when 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 told 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 time, 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 expresses 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 you’re busy #adulting, you will forget about your spouse. Don’t. Don’t forget to 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

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

DIY Pirate Birthday Party for the Little Captain

Nothing expensive, nothing lavish, just a lovingly prepped up first birthday celebration for the little man that made a big change in my life.

I couldn’t emphasize it more and I’ve finally turned into one of those people who just couldn’t stop saying how time flies so fast! Indeed, it feels only yesterday when I first announced that we were expecting, got comfortable with the whole pregnancy thing, received so much love at my baby shower, did the obligatory belly-flaunting shoot amid a threatening storm, finally gave birth, and welcomed our new addition into the Christian world.

DM and I have successfully conquered 365 days of being pooped on, peed on, paranoia, and arguments on whose style is better. And to brace ourselves for the rest of our parenting journey, we made it a point to celebrate with dear friends and family.

If it were up to DM, an intimate gathering with good food would have been enough. But of course, being the DIY mom that I am, I got overly excited on the little details. We decided to have a pirate theme party on the basis that Baby D gets so attentive whenever we read him Jake and the Never Land Pirates during bedtime. So he must likes pirates, right?!

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The event was held at home so it was quite challenging to eliminate Continue reading

A Human, er, Dog Named Dodo

Being the youngest in the family, I lived most of my life being the center of attention at home. Weekend activities would depend on what I feel like doing at the moment, the ice cream flavor was always “one color” because I was not open to trying other flavors except ube and mango, and all of my siblings were complied to bring me something whenever they arrive home, whether from school or from an out of town trip. I was always the princess!

Until Dodo.

Dodo came into our lives in 2006. After so much debate, my mom finally agreed to accept a gift from my dad’s friend: a Pomeranian puppy. Prior to his arrival, my brother and I were already researching for interesting name. Bruce, Schindler, Empress… but at the end of the long list of ‘good looking’ names was “Dodo”.

And the story of the new family addition, the new king of the household, began. Dodo has  become such an inspiration that a Tagalog poetry piece and a chapter in my published book were dedicated solely to him.

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Continue reading

Roses Ain’t Blue at Home

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My mother loves having plants at home, yet ironically, me and my siblings tease her about how every plant, regardless of the size and the kind, that comes her way, well… dies. But lately and amazingly, her plants (ehem, including flowering plants) are now surviving, growing, and in bloom even! ♥

#WhimsyWednesday

A Dad’s Queer Tale

Amid social norms and standards, one man struggled to prove that a father’s love is always unconditional.

Grabbed from Pinterest.

Grabbed from Pinterest.

What does it mean to have a child? When do you need to be a father? How do you qualify to be one? In a world where a father is presumed to be a strong, masculine figure who can provide for his family their basic needs, I could only wish I’m as conventional.

I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body. Or that’s what they think I think. In dictionary terms, I’m a homosexual. But to a four-year old boy, I’m a father. A few years ago, when coming out of the closet was not yet typical and when dating someone from the same sex was dramatically more than a taboo, people like me had no choice but to conform. Conforming to the norms for me meant going out with a woman. And it had been for a couple of years. It was not being pretentious or putting up a show, it was a supposedly safe resort to an already confused mind. I had dated three girls before I finally made it clear to myself that the reason why nothing would work out even with the most wonderful woman was because she was never a he. But a two-year relationship with a woman would change my life forever.

Dino* was conceived during that rocky stage in a relationship when you ironically could get a girl pregnant. His mother and I tried to fix things as soon as he was born, but it turned to be a vain attempt that only led me to have the child in my care. His mother left the country, allegedly “to save money until she can help raise Dino”. Four years later, the events would make me assume that she was never able to raise that money. She never returned. The first year from Dino’s birth began my gradual transition. It was an unsolicited game of fate that urged me to be confronted with a reality I have been escaping for so long. Having no woman by my side and feeling oddly good about it only validated Continue reading