Archive | May 2015

Planning for a Wedding

My husband and I had our civil wedding in Austin, Texas last November 8. We did most of the preparations ourselves, from the invitations, decor (my husband even climbed the tree to hang the paper lanterns 2 hours before the ceremony), flower arrangements, bouquet, and song selection. Our friends helped in taking pictures, his uncle took the video, my friends picked the food from the caterer, his dad cooked sausage and brisket, and his family helped clean up the place after the wedding. It was a really memorable event because everybody contributed and helped us with the planning, preparations, and execution.

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Four months from now, we will get married again in the Philippines. This time we won’t be as ‘stressed’ as we were during our civil wedding. Although it was a good experience to have our DIY wedding, it would be great to just relax, have a good time and let other people take care of everything. We are having this second wedding for my family and closest friends. I want to walk down the aisle with my Papa and Mama.

It’s still hard to plan for everything because I don’t have a wedding coordinator. I rely only on connections, relatives and friends who are willing to help, and of course, Facebook. Just a little tip to people who owns businesses – especially wedding vendors: Get your business known worldwide by having a Web presence. It doesn’t have to be so sophisticated, all you need at the minimum is a Facebook page and you’ll have an opportunity to do business with practically anyone around the globe. In my experience, I found vendors through word of mouth (friends’ recommendations). They would tell me the name of the vendor, I search it online or in Facebook itself, and voila! Just a simple message opens up a good business relationship. 🙂

For those who are planning for their own wedding, this is my checklist:

1. Set the date. The date is really very important because you need to check if the venue is available and you need to make sure that your chosen vendors are available on the date. Most importantly, you need to make sure your guests can block their calendars for your event – especially for those who need to travel and book flights.

2. Set the budget. I could not stress this enough. There needs to be a budget. Once you and your partner have set a budget, you can then work around it and proceed with the planning. It will really help you choose your vendors. I know a lot of people splurge on their wedding. I have nothing against them. If they have the money, why not? But for ordinary people like me,  we need to set a budget – and stick to it! Don’t be easily swayed by vendors who just want you to spend more.

3. Choose and reserve the venue. Once you have carefully selected the venue, book it for your event in advance. Don’t wait until someone else reserves the date you have chosen because you will be forced to settle with a possibly more expensive venue or something that is just your second choice. You will end up regretting and wanting to kick yourself in the butt. 🙂

4. Do your gown shopping and fitting. Your gown doesn’t need to be expensive; nor does it need to be made by a well known designer. As long as you look beautiful, elegant, and comfortable in it, that’s great. You’ll know it when you see and feel it. 🙂 Also one tip: ivory color is more classy and elegant than super white ones. Super white wedding gowns look cheap… Use Pinterest to look for styles, designs, and inspirations.

5. Decide on the food. Check if you guests have special preferences – cater to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. If possible, do food tasting so that you can guarantee  you will like the food.

6. Take care of the legal and church requirements. Okay, this is probably the most important step of all. Without these, your wedding won’t be legal and binding. Do your research. Find out what the requirements are and be diligent  enough to gather all your documents and your spouse’s. Take time to attend necessary seminars and learn from them.

Family Drama

Almost my entire life, I have struggled to give a better life to my family. I have always dreamt for my parents to live in a nice house, be debt-free, and just be comfortable. I also wanted my brothers and sister to finish school, get a job, and be independent. As an eldest child, I have always felt responsible for my family’s welfare.

But no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I support them financially and emotionally, I realized that I don’t really hold their future. I don’t make decisions for them and what they do with their lives is beyond my control. But sad to say, I am still affected by the consequences of their choices and actions.

When I learned that my sister got pregnant again for the 2nd time, not even a year after she gave birth to her eldest, I felt really disappointed and upset. She’s only 17 for crying out loud! I’m really mad and I can’t do anything about it.

Maybe it’s just because I have my period right now, that is why I feel so mad and have a hard time of letting it go. Argh. So disappointing.

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My Pick: Thrive by Arianna Huffington

I have started reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington and I am truly pleased with the book.

I got it right when I needed it. I was super stressed and have been feeling burnt out from work and life in general.

It helped a lot that I was given a 6-week course guide for the book. The guide gave me chapters to week for each week and some activities to help me remember the important topics of each lesson. I absolutely recommend this book!

I will be updating this post as I finish each weekly lesson.

Lesson 1: Sleep and Meditation

  • Key takeaways:
    • Take time to meditate to clear up your mind and improve your focus – keep your performance at optimal levels

    • Make an appointment with yourself to get enough sleep – mine is at least 7.5 hours
    • Dreams can help you connect to your innerself
  • Action Items:
    • Meditate for at least 15 minutes everyday – I still find this hard to incorporate in my daily routine but I find it really relaxing and energizing when I do
    • Sleep for at least 7.5 hours a day

Lesson 2: Disconnect and Walk

  • Key takeaways:
    • Take time to relax! Unwind and disconnect from electronics (phone, tablet, laptop) to connect to the people around you and more importantly, to connect with yourself

    • Walking helps
      • Make you more creative
      • De-stress

      • Make you healthy mentally and physically
      • You deal with depression
    • Don’t think while walking, notice everything around you
  • Action Items:
    • Walking as an alternate to my daily exercise
    • Make sure to disconnect and relax at least 30 minutes before going to bed
    • Turn off notifications from apps