Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - A Year of Journeys, Not Travels...

*Re-post from My Comings and Goings blog.

Compared to 2012 where I had a dozen combo trips around the United StatesSingaporeGermanyIndonesiaUnited KingdomNew Zealand and the Philippines, I have only been to a handful of trips within the country in 2013 and one might say that this year was a letdown in terms of traveling. I agree that I have fewer travels, but I still consider 2013 as my best year ever - as it has held a lot of "firsts" and tons of beautiful memories on the road with my then beau and now hubby Raymond. Those moments are far more meaningful than just seeing places!

Here's a look back at My 2013 Planner which I let you took a peek at the beginning of the year. Overall, I was able to achieve that one thing to do monthly but not really in the months that I thought it would happen - but at least it happened and I enjoyed the journey!

JANUARY 5, 2013. I have detoxified and started a healthy living when I accepted my boyfriend's Forever Living Products and frequented our visit in Nuvali, Sta.Rosa to lose some pounds and get rid of my not so lovable love handles around this evo-living haven. We drive here weekly to get a feel of what it's like to actually live there since Raymond owns a house five to ten minutes away. Nuvali is my best kind of place to enjoy a smell of fresh air, water taxi ride, fish feeding, silent moments at the park and oppotune times to recreate our first date in Paseo de Santa Rosa.

FEBRUARY 24, 2013. Yes it is the love month and have hinted flowers, chocolates, a romantic meal and a weekend get-away with Raymond! I didn't get those on Valentines Day, but received them nonetheless for the whole month of February, wrapping up with a travel to Tayabas, Quezon to attend my friend's birthday. This is the farthest drive that we have taken where Raymond is in the driver seat and I starting to get used to sitting in the front seat for that holding - hands - with boyfriend while driving peg!

MARCH 7, 2013
Getting into His World. For this month of graduation and commencement, I stopped the "I" word and world by adding a new career and joining my hubby -to - be in his FLP business. We have driven around SubicPangasinanBulacan and Rizal to introduce our families and friends to health and wealth. I feel happy journeying into a new area, a foreshadowing of a new and exciting prospect of being together - forever (and in Forever Living Products!).

APRIL 30, 2013Prioritizing. Instead of enjoying the peace and quiet during the Holy Week, April was all about Successes - as a lawyer and as a new recognized manager of Forever Living Products! But I still have lots of learning to do and one of which is definitely prioritizing myself over my family. It is the deepest desire of my heart to have my own family and have a baby!

MAY 11-12, 2013 He's Getting Into My World. It's election time and we have done a great deal of traveling around the third district of Laguna - Sta. Maria, Mabitac, Famy, Luisiana, Pagsanjan, Sta.Cruz, Kalayaan, Pakil, Pangil, being the election lawyer for my friends Mayor Tony and Cindy Carolino. Raymond is getting a hand at lawyering!

JUNE 12, 2013Getting Engaged. It was not with a diamond ring or the kneeling down wedding proposal you get to read on books, but our engagement is a promise to continue where we left off on the exact month and date 22 years ago and never to be without each other afterwards. Raymond and I met during an Independence Day rally inside UP Diliman in 1991. After dating for three (3) months, he had to leave for a voluntary mission for two years and promised to come back for me. But he didn't keep his promise - and we had our separate lives. We only met last year after being gone for more than 20 years. On our first date, we just knew, without having to say the words, that finally “we have found that spark that we never lost, but always been looking for.”(Ikaelelo Gaosengwe).We headed to Boracay and Bacolod to celebrate getting hitched and for our first flight together as a couple! We enjoyed helmet diving, swimming, sightseeing, eating out and just being together!

JULY 20, 2013Our Pre-Nup Shoot. The birthday month of my hubby-to-be was the busiest in terms of road trips together. We were driving around searching for that Perfect Wedding Reception Venue which should be both affordable and available on our chosen date - September 21, 2013. We would like to commemorate the day that Raymond and I have last seen each other in 1991 which is also the anniversary of Martial Law and fell on a Saturday. With only a little over three (3) months before the big day and with a budget considerations, choosing Estancia Hotel Resort over choices like Love of Light and Glass Garden was the first and the most important couple decision we have made after getting hitched! The City of Tagaytay is a component city in the province of Cavite and only an hour or so away from Manila. Because of its cooler climate, stunning views of Taal Volcano in the middle of the Taal Lake(in Batangas), unique attractions and its proximity to our new residence in Silang, Cavite, Tagaytay is our runaway choice as venue for our wedding events. So on July 20, we had a super fun day - pre-nup shoot slash fiancee's birthday slash college GIRLFRIENDS reunion and slash Bridal Shower from Manila then Nuvali and Tagaytay!

AUGUST 3, 2013Wedding Invites & Food Tasting. We were busy driving around the Metro to hand out our CD case with CD wedding invitations to our friends. It is a D-I-Y Project that Raymond and I put together where we incorporated music in the invites. In 1991, Raymond used to bring me to Yamaha World Band Explosion concerts. When we met again last year, he serenaded me and composed songs for me that truly brought back memories of yesteryears. We used the song compositions as part of our CD and we traveled to Paranaque to record the songs. Before the month is over, we had series of food tasting for the big day and was back in Tagaytay!

SEPTEMBER 21, 2013A Journey to Forever. "On this day", anniversary of Martial Law, we started out our life together like we always dreamed and started a new journey, a journey that would lead us to forever…

OCTOBER 1 & 21, 2013First Birthday and Paper Month-sary. Who says turning forty is OLD and no FUN?Well it is very different but it is so much fun in the adult way as it was my first birthday with a hubby!We enjoyed our mini-moon at Manila Hotel and enjoyed lots of paper gifts that made us "lived happily FOREVER after"!

NOVEMBER 21, 2013Cotton-Monthsary. Ok, it's our second month of marital bliss and our feet (and car) take us to different hotels for series of mini - moons.My travel companions? Raymond, Cream Soda and Combos!

DECEMBER 21 & 25, 2013Leather Monthsary and Our first Christmas as a Couple. Yes, I still hit the bazaars (but not with a big tummy yet!)for those Christmas gifts. On our first Christmas eve as a couple, my whole family celebrated with us, as in all previous Christmases when I was still single.But this time, my hubby is in - charge!

This has been 2013 for me and for us!. But I know that "in the sight of God, it is not so much of what I have done or where I have been but much more to where I am willing to go"! (Elder Edward Dube). So,this 2014 we will continue to Look Ahead and Believe!

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Hubby's First Christmas Surprises!

So you all know what my first Christmas gift for my hubby is and wondering what I got on my part? Oh well, I've got nothing but a surprised GSM - Gadgets, Service and Music!

Gadgets for the Techie Me. Raymond knew that I love surprises more than anything wrapped! So a week before Christmas, he helped me decide and actually chose a new Nikon camera for me! I've been wanting a new camera since it is almost a year now when my Nikon camera broke (and I've been using his Xperia cellphone!lol) but I can't make up my mind what to get! His gift let me capture all our memories all year round!

Cellphone. Been craving for a new cellphone for weeks, one that has a dual sim, camera and wifi since mine (though still my fave gadget) is 4 1/2 years old now. I have looked at the Lenovo brand for a change and found something I like which is not very much, but the cheapskate me didn't want to shell out any money. So I considered just getting a postpaid line to enjoy the free Samsung Galaxy S III that comes with the P600 plan without any cash out, but in the end I decided to just be happy with a new camera, so Raymond got me my Nikon Coolpix. End of story? Nah. This morning, Raymond surprised me with a Lenovo A60+ that I have checked back three times at SM Fairview and said that is his real Christmas gift! I couldn't be happier!

Surprise Acts of Service. The night we were all busy with the house repainting, Raymond asked me permission to attend a meet - up with friends. I felt bad that he had to leave me that night. Little did I know that it was his way to be able to go home to our house in Sta. Rosa Heights to get some wedding gifts that we could use in our house in Valenzuela like ceiling fan, convection oven, cutlery set, dinner set and tornado mop. The next day, he went about helping in the house renovation.

Music. Before Christmas Eve while I was all busy wrapping my little gift for him, he went downstairs to prepare the sound system for our Christmas program. After a little while, I heard "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" from some carolers, but I didn't bother to look at the windows since I already gave the coins to my sister -in-law to give to all carolers. My mother came to my room and asked me to look out the windows. I was surprised to see my hubby with his guitar and all my 11 nieces and nephews singing me Christmas carols.

Indeed, my husband knows exactly the perfect gifts for me - and that is a gift of himself for a Christmas that is memorable, fun and stress - free.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My First Christmas Gift To My Hubby!

My Husband and I have only been married for a little over three (3) months so it's our first Christmas as a couple! I thought long and hard for the gift that will carry through our whole marriage. But since the gifts we purchased for our wedding were hard enough to come up with, I went for a gift that is simple, inexpensive, something I can put under our Christmas tree but definitely something he loves! What fits the bill?

My hubby loves Trailmix - the candy-coated chocolates (M & M's kinda!), peanuts, dark raisins, and almonds we got from S & R. We served them during our wedding reception and my hubby loves it so much. It has become his favorite snack!

So I wrapped a pack of Trailmix in Christmas wrapper, included my favorite wedding picture of us with a letter giving him hint of what he is getting.

Postcript: Hubby opened his gift in our bedroom, and claimed his most wonderful elf wifey this Christmas! (wink* wink*)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sending Out Our Wedding Thank You Cards: Photo Standees.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING Everyone! It's true that we do not have the same pressure as Americans or Canadians during Thanksgiving Day! But Americans or not, we ought to give thanks since it is a commandment by our Heavenly Father in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ("In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you").

So as newlyweds (who have just celebrated our cotton month-sary!), we have a lot of reasons and a lot of people to be thankful for so we are sending out our THANK YOU CARDS! (*finally, *finally…lol)
Our Wedding Thank You Cards is again a D-I-Y project! It is a postcard size souvenir pictures of the recipients and our hand - written message of thanks on photo standee. Here's some of the sample wordings I found (with the help of M. Google.thanks!).
The memories from our wedding day will always be treasured. Thank you for sharing in our joy. Mhe-anne and Raymond
Our wedding would not have been complete without the support of our parents.Thank you for sharing our day Mama and Papa! Mhe-anne and Raymond
Your presence at our wedding has added much love to special our day. Your gift has brought us joy and will help us build our life together. Mhe-anne and Raymond
Thank You for being a part of our joy in such a special way. Mhe-anne and Raymond

Monday, October 21, 2013

First Month-sary As A Couple: Paper!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda - Isidro

"Here's to a joyous marriage and a sweet forever" - Haidi 

It is our first month as a couple so I kick-off a monthly blog post of  our month-sary celebrations following the same theme ideas as that of wedding anniversaries. So for our first month-sary, there could be no better gift than a book - What We Wish We’d Known When We Were Newlyweds by John Bytheway courtesy of our friend Haidi Fajardo, since the traditional first anniversary gift is paper!

We plan on reading this book throughout our marriage and heed its advice that - “Marriage isn’t any big thing, it’s a lot of little things. Acts of kindness every day create a happy marriage.” 

Following the advice, we received and gifted each other a lot of little paper things that truly made our first month-sary a day to remember. We received a box of Krispy Kremes from Elder and Sister Staton, a free Rudy Project watch from Canon, a box of Swiss Miss chocolates for Red, a box of make - up set for me and a simple flat iron for us when we are staying at our home in Nuvali. 

Honey, cheers to ten (10) more, simple yet happy month-saries, before we celebrate our first year of marital bliss! I love you!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Our Wedding Favors is Forever!

When I say that our guests' favors at our wedding is Forever, I mean that literally! Yes, we have given away souvenirs from Forever Living Products (FLP) where Raymond and I are recognized managers since April 2013. These natural and organic products are not only functional and useful gifts, but they also get along perfectly with "Our Journey to Forever" wedding theme!

For our female guests, we gave away Forever Aloe Lips (P189.38 retail price)put inside a small satin pouch in either red, blue, yellow and white (our Philippine Flag inspired color motifs) (P5.00). Forever Aloe Lips is more than just a lip balm! They are my handy solution /companion (aside from Red!) to ensure kissable lips (lol), and provide soothing relief for cold sores, insect bites and cuts because of its pure aloe vera ingredient.

For male guests, we gave away Forever Hand Sanitizers(P188.70 Each w/o the discount), also in Philippine Flag-inspired colored pouches. The Aloe Hand Sanitizer is another must-have for me and Red in our journeys! Oh, how I love its lemon and lavender scent! And because it is pure aloe vera, our male friends are sure to go germ - free while their skin are moisturized because of its honey.!

For our principal sponsors, we gifted them either with Forever Moisturizing Lotion (P513.16), Forever Aloe MSM Gel (P1,113.90), Aloe Heat Lotion (P513.16) and Forever Aloe Jojoba Shampoo (P604.80).

Our Wedding Favors may appear too expensive for "giveaways" but our guests are very special (and have traveled a great deal to attend our wedding)so we don't mind spending a little more on favors!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Attendants and Their Dresses: Mismatched But Trendy & Cohesive!

Because we are quite old (but look young lol) when we got married, we wanted to forget tradition and not have attendants to stand by our side during our wedding. But I felt that I owe my single friends some kind of participation in the biggest day of my life, more than just being there to give us gifts. So finally, I decided to have five (5) bridesmaids - Tes Calingacion, Marie Olivare, Del Ocado, Aimee Fernandez & Charina Jornacion and five (5) groomsmen - Jomar Ramiso, Leonilo Cabuyao, Aries Leonor, Mc Joseph Casimiro, and Aaron King Fernandez.

Despite my hesitation for having attendants, I was very sure that I want our bridesmaids to feel comfortable in their dresses! With their varied ages, tastes and styles, however, it would be a daunting task to satisfy each of the girls and still have a cohesive attendants' look on our big day. The solution? I provided each of the girls with the fabric (in the same color) and I let them choose their own styles!(and their own tailor and paid for their dresses as well! lol). The result was amazing as the girls look beautiful, confident and radiant during our big day!

For the groomsmen, I provided each of them with the vest in the same fabric and color as the bridesmaids and neckties in either red, blue or yellow colors. And to complete the Philippine Flag motif ensemble, the groomsmen were asked to wear their long sleeved white polo and black pants! The groomsmen were handsome in their own right!

And our wedding? Well, it is trendy (and didn't cost us much!). Yes, mismatched attendants' dresses are "in"!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Wedding Photo Wall

Despite our small wedding budget, Raymond and I wanted our big day to be unique and memorable by incorporating wedding elements that would easily jump a recall to our guests. So instead of opting for photo booths which I've seen in almost all of my friends celebrations and not just weddings, I was drawn to the idea of having a personalized wedding photo wall!!
Photo Walls are quite common in many foreign weddings I've read about, but haven't really seen one here in the Philippines, at least at the weddings I have attended.
I was very happy that our ninong Pert Delacruz of Jopers Inc.(who gifted us our framed wedding invitations) just knows exactly how to construct an amazing photo wall. And he made it for us for free!
Ms. Lyra Paz immediately sent me two wallpaper designs to choose from. It was exactly what I have in mind, different picture frames design that matches our framed wedding invitation that Delfin (also of Jopers Inc.) have made for us. We chose the pink shade wallpaper and just requested to indicate the words A JOURNEY TO FOREVER Raymond & Mhe-anne September 21, 2013 Tagaytay, Philippines in the final lay out.
Our photo wall was a sure hit! Many guests have told me that it was such a great idea and their first time to see a photo wall on weddings!
For those who would like to have a wedding photo wall constructed (not for free of course haha), you may visit JOPERS INC.. Their fifteen years experience in advertizing and working with wood, acrylic,plastic, metal, wire, and multimedia assures you of a creation that are of great impact just like our personalized Wedding Photo Wall that stand out at our big day!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Twelve (12) Personal Touches For Our Wedding

Raymond and I were pretty hands on in planning our wedding so that explains why the temple, Philippine Flag, music and love for pictures stood out as main themes of our big day! Let me share Twelve (12) Personal Touches (for now!) that make our wedding unique and memorable!
1.We opted for a Philippine Flag - inspired motif for the chairs skirting and over-all look of the reception venue, not only because our wedding day fell on the anniversary of Martial Law, but it was mainly to reminisce our meet - up on Philippine Independence Day celebration in June 1991 and our engagement on the same day last June 12, 2013.
2. Estancia Hotel Resort's reception hall has the traditional all - white look that goes along with our Journey to Forever theme, a reflection of our deep desire to be married for eternity (now or a year later). To keep the elegant feel, we chose white as the over-all color for the table covers, chairs and our couple back drop, accenting only by the Philippine Flag color flowers of red, blue and yellow.
3. In keeping with the Philippine Flag inspired motif, my shoe diva friend May Merdegia Rogers gifted me with floral - painted Drusilla pumps by Nine West for that flirty statement at every step when we tied the knot!
4. Raymond always give me flowers when we were dating. On his birthdays, I'm the one who gets bouquet of flowers with a dedication that says "these flowers may fade overtime but my love for you would never ever.I love you very much".So for our wedding, we said it with flowers too! Like the Medieval tradition of a Knight wearing his Lady's colors, each flower has its own meaning. YELLOW signifies new beginnings and happiness, BLUE is the universal color of peace, truth and serenity and RED means I love You and can also mean courage and passion..
5. I carried a Crystal Ball Bouquet lained together on Magical Staff instead of the usual bridal bouquet. This go along with our Journey To Forever wedding theme since the magical staff represents the journey and the crystal ball bouquet reflects future lives together. When the crystal ball bouquet is lained together on a magical staff it signifies the union of our life together in a beautifully combined future as a couple.
6. We made photo opps more fun and exciting for our guests with personalized wedding photo wall featuring differently framed photos from our prenup shoots in Boracay, Bacolod, Nuvali and Tagaytay.
7. We chose a couple holding a picture frame for cake topper which serves as memento of our special day for years to come. The cake topper was designed by Sofia's Cakes and is consistent with our picture - framed wedding invitations and photo wall. For a more personalized look, the bride's dress was designed to look like my original wedding dress design and color of bouquet reflect our Philippine Flag motif colors of red, blue, yellow and white. The groom's attire is patterned after Raymond's suit without the vest.
8. Our "A Journey To Forever" theme is carried all through out the reception with personally designed table number place cards. I used a picture of the Manila Philippines Temple and a quotation of LDS apostle Joseph W. Whirtlin printed on framed background for a more coordinated look.
9. Our Journey Cake made for us by our good friend Raquel Delos Santos  is a four - layered white fondant cake, with a road to symbolize our journey and each layer adorned with a vehicle in our Philippine Flag - inspired colors. On the first layer is a blue jeepney since Raymond and I met on June 12, 1991 inside the University of the Philippines Diliman campus and the UP Ikot jeepney there was blue. After two decades of separation, we met again on June 29, 2012 and Raymond visited me at home with his white motorcycle. Since then we have been together aboard our red SUVs and our goal is to buy a yellow Genesis coupe as Managers of Forever Living!
10.Music played an important part in our dating years. Raymond used to bring me to Yamaha World Band Explosion concerts in 1991. When we met again last year, he serenaded me and composed songs for me that truly brought back memories of yesteryears. We used the song compositions as part of our CD that we included in the CD case wedding invitations.
11.To shows Raymond's personality as a lead soloist of the band Radio Crave and who plays the guitar very well, I had my old guitar double as a Guestbook . It was a sure hit, and a wedding must-have that is unique and didn't cost us anything.
12.True to its musical feel, our emcees Jojo wearing a GROOM tee and Alexis Aubrey Riguerra in her BRIDE shirt opened up our wedding celebration with a Glee inspired performance of “Marry You” while my nephews and nieces enters the hall with dance steps. Then for the grooms' entrance, Jojo sang "Marry Your Daughter" while Annel Faith Fernandez sang our wedding theme song "A Thousand Years" for my walk down the aisle with my parents.