Wednesday, June 19, 2013

15 Things You Can Do to Strengthen your Marriage

Ever since hubby and I were dating, we would always make it a point to celebrate milestones in our relationship, however big or small it may be.  But when the kids came, one after the other, these little traditions seemed to be Herculean missions we could not regularly sustain! Even if we vowed at the start of our marriage to always make time for each other, we would most of the time skip our weekend moviedates so we can play with the girls or just be able to grab a luxurious afternoon nap. And the list goes on!  

So imagine my surprise when my hunny came home last night and brought with him the sweetest cake ever!  It was our wedding Monthsary - 56th months to be exact!  Lucky me!

Made me realize again how important it was to strengthen our relationship with each other.  Parenting oftentimes takes the priority and marriage takes a backseat as a result.  I always remember what a very wise friend told me when we got engaged... "Always take care of your husband and keep the love burning, because when the children are all grown up and have left the family house, it's just the 2 of you all over again!"  Wise word indeed!

Sharing with you an article I love from :

15 daily things to do to strengthen your marriage

Submitted in Marriage by  on June 07, 2013

Don’t think you have time for 15 daily things? You may be surprised to learn you are already doing simple activities that strengthen your marriage. Some of these other suggestions might involve small changes that can yield stronger love. Take a moment and consider these quick tips to help improve your marriage every day!

Cultivate love daily. If love is like a garden, then it needs food to grow. Think of these simple actions as the water and sunlight your marriage needs to keep love blooming.

1. Pray for your spouse.

2. Only say kind things about your spouse to your children, family, and friends. Even if your spouse never knows what you’ve said, doing so will strengthen your feelings for him or her.

3. Be loyal in your thoughts. Merillee Boyack explains in her bookStrangling Your Husband Is Not an Option, the dangers of "wistfully thinking of prior flames or comparing. . . spouses to other [people] and constantly finding them wanting. Both are disloyal. Both are dangerous."

Bring your best self to the marriage every day. When we feel our best physically, it helps our mental and emotional well-being. It also facilitates positive interaction with others, including spouses.

4. Exercise. Think of the benefits to marriage when partners have increased serotonin levels, good muscle tone, more energy, less stress, and greater self-confidence! In an article for, dietitian Michele Turcote states that “Aerobic exercise, including walking, running, biking, swimming (among others) seem to be the most effective at increasing serotonin synthesis in the brain. The optimal amount of exercise needed to enhance serotonin synthesis in the brain is 3 hours weekly, or 30 minutes most days of the week.”

5. Eat nutritious food. A balanced diet contributes to better moods and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

6. Get adequate sleep. In an article for, Ella Quittner reports that, “When wives have trouble falling asleep, the quality of their relationship with their husband suffers. The longer it [takes for]women to drift off. . . the more likely both partners were to report negative interactions with their spouse—such as feeling ignored or criticized—the following day.”

7. Take responsibility for your own emotions. It's easy to blame bad moods on those around us, but the fact is, no one can evermake you feel something. If you find yourself feeling down, make a conscious effort to cheer yourself up. You'll be happier, and your marriage will benefit.

Prevent daily disagreements. Husbands and wives can look to simple tasks that trigger arguments, and take action to stop them before they start.

8. Do the laundry.

9. Pay the bills on time.

10. Associate with friends who value marriage. Adults aren’t too different from teenagers when it comes to being influenced by peers. If a husband spends his lunch hour with buddies that berate marriage, wives, or women in general, chances are those attitudes are impacting his feelings about his own companion. If a wife maintains friendships with women who engage in husband-bashing for sport, the habit of finding fault with her own husband may develop.

Demonstrate love daily. What do you do with all that love you’ve cultivated? Show it! Find what speaks the most love to your spouse and be generous.

11. Pray with your spouse.

12. Make the bed together. If your morning schedule allows, take two minutes and make the bed! Think of your bed as a symbol of unity, and making it together as representative of the dedication you both have to your relationship. Or, if that's too deep, think of it as one chore off the list!

13. Talk. Be conscious of your spouse and make an effort to say “I love you,” or ask, “How are you today?”

14. Touch. When affectionate touch is absent from a relationship, a husband or wife can feel isolated. Let your spouse know that you know he or she is there!

15. Be a team. Remember you are on the same side, each working for the success of the partnership. Work together, and you'll be enjoying a stronger marriage in no time.


I blog with BE Write

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Brazilian Blowout Process

Got a lot of inquiries and requests for more info on my latest hair adventure - the Brazilian Blow Out!

So here are some of the stuff I stumbled upon while I was researching this new hair technology. Read on...

What it is...

Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Treatments are the most innovative and effective in the world…

Through the use of innovative and breakthrough bonding technologies, these treatments actually improve the health and condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle.

The end result is smooth, healthy, frizz-free hair with radiant shine!

What makes BB different from other straightening process?

They are the ONLY Professional Smoothing Treatment 
that actually improves the health of the hair. 
No Damage!

Entire in-salon treatment is completed in just 90 minutes!

No down time! The minute you leave the salon, you can wash and air dry your hair, and it will be smooth, frizz-free and radiant!

Results last up to 12 weeks.

Leaves hair smooth, shiny, and frizz-free!

How does it work?

1. Stylist will shampoo your hair with the Brazilian Blowout specially formulated Anti-Residue; Professional Shampoo to prepare your hair for the optimal smoothing result.

2. After towel drying, your certified Brazilian Blowout stylist will divide your hair into sections and begin to comb the Brazilian Blowout Professional Treatment through each section of the hair from root to tip; lightly dusting each section with the solution.
Solution will surround each hair shaft with protective protein layers to smooth and flatten the cuticle.

3. Stylist will then blow-dry your hair as straight as possible with a flat or round brush.

4.Once the hair is dry, the Stylist will divide the hair into four sections and begin using a flat iron to further 
straighten the hair in 2-3 inch sections.

5. Once complete, the Stylist will rinse the hair (no shampoo), towel-dry and apply the Brazilian Blowout Masque to further seal in the professional formulation. After 60 seconds, the stylist will rinse the hair once again and towel dry.

6. The Stylist will then apply the Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Serum to further seal the cuticle and assist in detangling the hair prior to the final blow dry.

7. The Stylist will then blow dry the hair straight one final time and style as desired.

You have smooth, frizz free hair in 90 minutes! 

I blog with BE Write

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Completely blown out by Brazilian Blow-out!

I seriously have hair issues ever since I could remember...

I have jet-black, thick, wavy, coarse to frizzy hair ever since I could remember. The kind of hair that makes you gasp in fright in the morning, as soon as you splash your face with water and see yourself at the bathroom mirror. It's that kind of hair that takes hours to blow dry and with the advent of the flat iron, at least an hour to tame it down but once exposed to heat and air, becomes frizzy all over again.

I've had my hair straightened since high school but it looked like a bunch of "walis tingting!" so when rebond became available in the philippines, it was a frizzy girls's dream come true! As a suki hair straightening addict, i have concluded that rebond is one of the most superior hair straightening treatment by far.  I've had my hair rebonded faithfully for the last 13 years or so...

Up until I saw 2 pink lines in my pregnancy test kit in 2010...  What a nice surprise that was!  Will tell you all about my trying-to-get pregnant woes in another post.  But despite all the happiness when you find out that there's a little one growing inside your tummy, I had to sorrowfully say goodbye to my wash and wear, long and straight rebonded hair for my baby's sake! 

I gave birth to the joy of my life, Kiara, on December 26, 2010.  Yes, just a day after Christmas. 

My labor kwento merits a separate post of its own. :)  I hesitated to get my hair rebonded since I was dead-set on breastfeeding my firstborn!  But 6 months into breastfeeding... there goes the 2 pink lines all over again!

So fast forward 9 months after... It's now 2012 and I have just given birth to my 2nd baby girl, Kaedi, a couple of months ago.  She's the sweetest pink bundle of joy!!!

While it's definitely a joy to be a mom, I was dealing with post partum depression, and was desperately freaking out about my hair.  Exactly  27 months after my last rebond session, my hair was definitely freaking out and my long locks were screaming SOS!

I spent hours researching and stumbled upon a new hair technology called The Brazilian Blow Out!  After getting the go signal from both my OB and Pedia (yes, according to the two docs, its perfectly safe for a  breastfeeding mom!),  it was a toss between Rebond and Brazilian Blow Out!

Here"s my PRO and CON list for Rebond and Brazilian Blow Out:


  • Proven effective to straighten hair permanently since chemical treatments transforms the hair structure
  • Lasts really long - around 6-10 months for me depending on hair growth
  • Have my suki Rebond stylist:  home service with cellophane sets me back P3,500 with my ultra thick frizzy long locks
  • Done in the comfort of my home
  • May damage one's hair - never experienced it but it some experienced split ends and excessive hairfall
  • Super long procedure - i always have a 6 hour rebond procedure because of my super thick hair
  • You can't rebond color treated hair so it's just cellophane with hair color tint that washes out in a few weeks
  • Strong chemical scent
  • You can't wash your hair for at least 3 days


  • Does not use chemicals to alter hair structure
  • Smoothens hair and eliminates frizz so hair appears straighter
  • "Through the use of a Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex and a proprietary polymer system, the Brazilian Blowout actually improves the condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle. The end result is smooth, healthy, conditioned hair with radiant shine" - Brazilian blow-out website
  • Brazilian Blow Out Zero - no formaldehyde content
  • You can apply BB to color treated hair
  •  You can wash your hair and take a bath right after!
  • Takes about 90 minutes!
  • relatively new in the market and i have not known any success story yet other than testimonials in the internet
  • super pricey!  I had my hair quoted in different salons and it ranged from P12,000 (exag right?!) to P5,000.  There are BB promos in the internet that average around P2,500 per treatment but I opted to go to a reputable salon in case something goes wrong with my hair!
  • Had to go to the salon, my suki stylist does not offer this yet 
  • Lasts for a short time only, 2-4 months tops!

The clincher for me being the OC mom that I was the fact that you can wash your hair right after the treatment.  I didn't want my 2-month old Kaedi to smell anything from my treated hair, despite BB being formaldehyde free and all.   And despite the go-signal of both my OB and Pedia,  I switched to formula feeding for that night to be really really sure.  I just pumped for 2-3 feedings and threw away the breastmilk!

For the first time also, I was able to color my hair.  Since my hair was jet black, I chose a subtle dark brown shade so my hubby and the people I know won't get shocked!  Wonder of wonders!  Coloring does make your complexion fairer, and takes years of your face! 

I love the effect of BB coz my hair is straighter but not the walis tingting kind of straight hair.  It just falls softly, still has a few waves here and there.  Parang its a good hair day everyday and that you were born with naturally soft straight hair!

At the end of my maternity leave, I was all set and ready to face the pressures at work.  And I was greeted with all praises and compliments (tally so far is 108 as of today!). "You lost so much weight!" "Blooming ka"  "Ganda mo ha"!  

Some of my colleagues would just stare at me quizzically and ask, "Did you do something (to your face, body, fill in the blanks) when you were on leave?" and to the super kulit question they ask "So, what did you do nga?"  They really couldn't figure it out!

I just give them a wink and a knowing smile... I bat my eyelash and tell them "Breastmilk is still best for babies!"

Who knows, i might go back to rebond in a few months.... but now, when asked about Brazilian Blow Out, I say, Love it!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Finding Happiness

Let's take a quick break on wedding themes, though I have tons of ideas I yet have to share.

Just have to share this email I got from a friend. Since many of us are in a constant search for happiness, and some, sadly take their entire lives looking for it, here are 15 ways you can try to be happier. I realized though that happiness is really not a formula nor a specific answer to a century-old question. It's not a result of a high education nor the amount you have in your bank account! I realized that it's really a decision and frame of mind... Really, one chooses to be happy!

Easier said than done right! But the list below starts you off to the happiness path. Definitely not easy for an OC like me... But I try to do it one at a time... This long read is definitely worth it!

Choose to be happy!

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Wedding Checklist - More Wedding Themes

Here's the checklist that we used for our big day:

  1. Pamamanhikan
  2. Set the DATE of the big day!
  3. List of Godparents, Sponsors, and Entourage
  4. Your Wedding Theme: Color Motif, theme concept/idea, your wedding dresses - groom, bride, entourage, immediate family and sponsors 
  5. Your Wedding Ceremony:  Church Venue, Officiating Priest/Officiant, Required Documents, Ceremony Proper, Misalette, Choir/Quartet/Mass Songs, Paraphernalia, Wedding Vows
  6. Your Wedding Reception Venue: Caterer, Reception Menu, Reception Program, Your Wedding Cake Supplier, Reception Songs, Your Audio- Visual Presentation, Tokens and Favors for sponsors & guests, entertainer/s, program host/s, other wedding traditions
  7. Save the Date and Formal Invitations, Your Wedding Website
  8. Your Guest List
  9. Your Wedding Rings/Bands
  10. Important Wedding Suppliers: Florist, Photographer & Videographer, Designer, Stylist & Make-up Artist, Wedding Coordinator, Cake Decorator, Choir/Quartet/Entertainer
  11. Round of Parties: Bridal Shower and Bachelor Party, Engagement Party, Despedida de Soltera, Rehearsal Dinner
  12. The Honeymoon
Read on for some of my wedding theme ideas:

Princess Diaries

A princess/fairy tale/ happily ever after wedding theme is all about magic and drama.  You may incorporate the following elements in a Happily Ever After wedding theme:
  • princess ball gown for the bride 
  • tiaras for the bride and entourage
  • loooong veil and train - can be held by cute little flower girls while bride is walking down the aisle
  • butterfly release or rose petals sprinkles as soon as bride walks down the aisle
  • vintage car or horse with carriage transportation for the bride and groom
  • incorporate the theme in the invitation and wedding cake
  • carriage place cards which can double up also as wedding favors
  • roses and roses and roses!!!
  • fireworks display at the end of the reception program 
  • play love songs from famous disney princess movies
  • learn the waltz for your first dance!
  • grand entrance of bride and groom during the reception

Memoirs of a Geisha

Cherry Blossoms, the national flower of Japan, is considered to bring prosperity and goodluck.  Here are some top of mind ideas if you're planning a cherry blossom themed wedding:
  •  soft to deep pink color scheme and can be combined with chocolate brown
  •  break the all white gown with a silk sash and cherry blossom embroidered details
  •  Parasols can be used by the entourage in lieu of the usual flower bouquet
  • Wedding favors can be sandalwood fans or chopsticks
  • Decorate with japanese lanterns, you may opt for white japanese lanterns or lanterns of different hues
  • since the real cherry blossoms are hard to source (they only last 1 week) and not worth the price that you want to pay, you can create the illusion of having a cherry blossom tree in your venue by asking your florist to create paint a small tree branch brown or white, hang tea lights and place small pink silk flowers.  This tree can be the focal point in your wedding venue.  Rather than a traditional guest book, you can ask the guests to hang their wishes on this tree (see leftmost pic below). 
 We actually used this concept for our own wedding.  Printed some of our wedding icons on different colored special paper, punched the topmost part using a heart-shaped puncher and tied a ribbon at the end.  We placed these on the guest tables along with metallic pens so guests can write their well-wishes.  These were hung by the guest on our "tree of love".