Sunday, April 24, 2016

Olivia Heloise's DIY Sheep/Lamb-Themed Baptism

I DIY-ed Olivia's Lamb/Sheep-themed Christening party in just three weeks - all while working a 10-hour flexible day job, taking care of household chores and attending to my baby and husband's needs. Man, I've never felt more exhausted in my life. Of course i had a lot of help from my creative sister, husband and cousins. We've made enough lamb cut-outs to last us a lifetime. 

I had this idea of a lamb/sheep-themed christening party when Via was born but we weren't originally planning to do it this soon. We figured it's better if she's baptized sooner rather than later.

I love how everything turned out! It was exhausting but seeing everything put together was worth it. So glad i went the extra mile to make her Christening day extra special.

Coincidentally, it was also Myk and I's 10th anniversary as a couple. We chose April 9 for Via's baptism so we have more to celebrate on that day.

Via's reception romper is from my favorite shop, BubbaandKokok and her shoes are from Saka Moccs. 

Photography by Esteban Balendres Laina

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Stay If You Want

Perhaps one of my worst traits is that I am highly intolerant to a lot of things (dairy not being one of them, thankfully). I didn't actually come to that realization until after I had my first job as an adult. I was in my early 20s that time. I remember being suffused with the need get out, as if my reality back then was a prison of my own making. I remember waking up, dressing up and battling the entire day with my heart at the pit of my stomach. I remember feeling stifled and lifeless, like an automaton going through the motions.  It wasn't long before I mustered up the courage to hand over my resignation, pack my things up and go home. 

A lot of people think quitting is the easiest route. It's not. In my case, it takes sheer guts and determination to admit you're not cut out for something. 

So many things have changed since then but I'm still the same intolerant person as that real world novice who cried a lot. The only difference now is that I'm old enough to embrace the decisions I'm making. If there is something I don't want in my life and is not doing anything for my personal growth, I purge it, no matter how unpopular the act is. 

I'm actually thankful I have this stubborn streak in me that refuses to settle, to be tolerant just for the sake of saving face. At least I don't go around in a state of misery.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't let society's expectations of you dictate how you're going to carve out your life, unless you want everyone else to be happy but yourself. Don't settle for the sake of settling. Live your life, in your own pace, with your own decisions. And if there are people in your life, no matter how long they have been in it, who are undervaluing your worth, don't be afraid to cut ties. You are in charge of what you deserve. 

PS: Have you noticed the golf theme in this outfit? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Take All My Money!

Dress: thrifted | Bag: Liz Clairborne | Shoes: Tutum

I spend so much money in February. Why? Because there's a month-long flea market that usually happens this time of the year as a part of my city's feast day celebration. So whenever I go out, there's just no way I can walk past the used clothing stalls and not stop and rummage. 

But that's okay because this is also that time of the year when I find a lot of vintage dresses for very cheap. Just yesterday, I managed to find a stall selling dresses for only a little over a dollar. I went a little crazy and went home with large plastic bags full of thrifted garments. This year, my haul is even bigger because I now have Olivia to dress up. Haha! 

People often ask me where I get my stuff and they'd be surprised when I tell them I thrift my clothes. It's not at all difficult for me to find the things I'm looking for because I have no competition. No one my age ransacks the vintage clothing rack and nobody seems to share my penchant for tea-length skirts. And because of that, I have a lot of untapped resources. 

A lot of people look at vintage and used clothing with disgust but not me. I find these clothes teeming with character. In fact, i find new clothes offensive. Most of the ones sold at our department stores here are made from chiffon (which i loathe with a passion) or some cheap fabric that wrinkles easily and tries so hard to be "current". And everyone shops there already so there's a huge chance you'll bump into someone wearing the exact same thing. So no, thank you. I'd take my dingy, moth-eaten vintage finds any day. 

My only problem now is closet space. I'm toying with the idea of selling some of my stuff online but with everything going on in my life right now, I'm not so sure I can keep up. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Through the Blur

turtleneck top, dress, beret: thrifted | shoes: Something Borrowed 

If your level of busyness is indicative of how successful you are, then I am CEO levels of successful. Man, my life is full of this and that. People seem to think that just because I work from home, I have it going easy. But no. I earn my own keep and take care of my family at the same time and it's taking a toll on me - physically, at least. It has come to a point that on my birthday, I wished for 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep instead of new things (I might have wished for extra pairs of limbs too but I'll bite my tongue). 

But with the lows come the highs. I'm all about balance, you see. I took some time off last Monday to buy food for Olivia's 2nd month celebration and sneaked this outfit shoot. I wore this only for a little less than three hours! ha! But it's a good feeling, although I've been swamped with guilt the entire time. Has any of you moms ever felt like you don't have a right to be out and about when your baby is left at home (with a sitter, of course!)? Or is that just me? Haha!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bright Light

Floral pinafore dress and turtleneck top: thrifted | Ashton Brogues: Tutum Shop | Bag: Borrowed from my sister | Beret: from an online shop

I managed to salvage these photos. The lighting looked awful in my camera because we shot this at an unholy hour in the early afternoon. Surprisingly, I liked the hazy and overexposed effect. 

It's so nice to finally have a semblance of my old routine back. The first week after giving birth, my inner control freak was miserable because of how erratic our schedule was. Although we're still short on sleep and we're far from having our old schedule back, we have managed to establish a routine so my control freak tendencies were temporarily mollified. 

Blogging helps me stay sane during these chaotic times (and one gummy smile from my baby, of course). I'm so glad I didn't quit this blog, even though I've been tempted to do so many times in the past. I'm also thankful to all of you, my blogger friends, who welcome me back every single time and seem to be genuinely happy that I'm posting again. You can't imagine how great that feels. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Changes, Changes, Changes

Me blogging again is no easy feat. In between the blur that is feeding, diaper changing, snuggling and juggling work life and mom duties, there's pretty much only enough room to pee and take a bath. Not to be mistaken as whining though. Motherhood may be a tough job but it has rewarded me in ways nothing else has. For instance, when I'm up at 3:00 in the morning, feeding the baby and lamenting the fact that I'm once again going to function throughout the day like a zombie, my baby gazes up at me with drowsy eyes and throws me off-kilter with a brief, bedimpled, gummy smile, I melt into a puddle and fall into her baby trap. It feels great to be needed.

And then there are the trying days - the days when you second guess all your decisions knowing that it's going to affect your little one, the days when your feelings of ineptitude are confounded by the opinions of the people around you.

If you have plans of being a parent someday, be prepared for unsolicited advice, even from people you barely know. Just yesterday, my husband and I were dining at a restaurant we frequent, baby in tow, when a waitress approached us. She thought her one year of experience in the motherhood department holds enough weight for her to admonish the husband about how he's carrying the baby. Oblivious to my curt replies, she proceeded to chastise me about drinking cold beverage so shortly after giving birth. Never mind that we got the go signal from my doctor, you know, the actual expert in this matter, because the old wives' tale of what not to eat and what not to do are too deeply ingrained in our culture to ignore.

Don't get me started on the many times I was asked if I'm breastfeeding and that I should, without question, breastfeed because it's the best for my baby. As if I don't know that already. As if I live under a rock and hasn't seen every formula commercial saying breastmilk is still best for babies. I know they mean well but this reminded me of what Jessica Alba said before - that parenting is the easiest thing to have an opinion on, but the hardest thing to do.

That is also not to mention the many post-pregnancy practices we have here that are borderline ridiculous. Don't eat citrus fruits. Don't wring out your baby's clothes or she will become a grunty baby. I mean, in what dimension is that actually a reality?

I don't claim to know it all. In fact, even if I spend all day googling things that I'm not sure of, parenting is still going to be a process of self-doubt. But day by day, as I learn what makes my baby content, I gain confidence. It's a learning process where I stick with my instincts and trust my judgments. 

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