Thursday, March 24, 2016

Finally the Bride

How fortunate am I that I have enough amazing women in my life to make choosing bridesmaids a difficult decision? Not to brag, but I have more than my fair share of ladies in my life who really understand and care about me. Childhood, middle, high school, college... Years later and they are still the best friends I could ever hope for. Already, with still many months to go before the wedding, they have all been supportive and patiently answer my unending questions. After all, by the time I walk down the aisle, I'll have stood my each of my bridesmaid's sides at their weddings! So in some ways, it's paying off to be the last; I have lots of experience to draw from!

For the bridesmaids gifts, as with the groomsmen's, I wanted to make use of the arts and crafts supplies around the house and test my DIY skills. I made the boxes out of card stock; the initials were stickers from my sister's scrapbooking phase; and the plethora of ribbon is what happens when you're a former cheerleader!

I found really cool patterned tape also from my sister's stash that I used on the inside of the boxes. (Similar here.) The cards were from Target. The jewelry was my own, which I get partially made in the Philippines. Each girl got a different, dainty piece of jewelry, either a bracelet, earrings, or a ring. I even made the little jewelry display card also from card stock, and a fancy hole puncher (a la my sister of course!)

I always knew I wanted to ask my bridesmaids with paper dolls, but obviously they had to be stylized. They were more time consuming then I initially thought, but I had a lot of fun illustrating them! I love the way they look like they're moving when it's opened up. It looks like a group of girls having a good time!  Hopefully, it's representative of what's to come!

Friday, March 18, 2016


I am at my parents' house for a couple of months before I move to Seattle in the summer. It's a little bizarre being back here, and I kind of ended up here by accident. I decided to spend some of 2015 in the Philippines working on my non-profit and other projects, and I am happy I did. It's the latter part where my plans got a little murky, particularly when it came to my career. My personal life was at all time high; JP and I, did, after all, get engaged! Naturally, when that happened, it didn't seem like a good idea to go back to New York. And while I'm reluctant to let my doubts float around on the world wide web, some times I wonder if that wouldn't have been the worst thing-- to be away from JP for a year and continue to work in fashion.

I have complete faith in life working itself out and the universe conspiring to help you achieve you personal legend and blah blah blah blah. But doubt happens.

Here in Jax, I basically occupy the entire left side of upstairs. I've been sorting through shelves, boxes, and the like, coming across things I've accumulated over the last decade from high school, UF, and New York. This evening, I stumbled upon some of the work I did at Parsons: color theory projects, sketches, CADs. Honestly, I was a little impressed with myself. Parsons was tough. It was miserably hard. But I loved it. I look at my work and can see that I was both motivated and inspired.

I know most people could not fathom why I would go to fashion school after graduating from Florida, but I do not wish that any of it happened differently. It made makes me happy to think about all that I've experienced because of the decisions I've made. Right now, NO. Life isn't exactly what I thought it would be. Lucky for me, I have the ability to change that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wedding Proposals - Not Ours!

I've always thought the ideal engagement was 9 to 12 months, but I am actually loving our long engagement. I've watched a lot of friends get married over the years, some in 4 months, others YEARS! And in my observation I've learned how important it is to enjoy the process.  What started out as a sprint is now a leisurely stroll around the block, and I get to stop and take in all of the sights along the way.

There are seemingly thousands of decisions to make, and JP and I are trying to make each one meaningful not just for us, but the people involved. We have loved taking the time to let people know how special they are to us. I thought I'd share how we asked our family and friends to take part in our special day.


In Filipino weddings, there are ninongs, which are also referred to as "sponsors". In the actual wedding, they serve as witnesses, but in many cases, also serve as a type of godparent to the couple. The couple usually chooses people (often older, aunts and uncles) they can go to for guidance; those they admire and hold a high level of respect for. 

To ask our ninongs, I made custom cards and wrote personal notes to each of them.  Our ninang, Natasha, is a professional photographer (who is awesome)! I used a picture she took of JP and me at another friends' wedding, and designed and ordered the cards on Walmart's website. So easy! But it made our ninongs feel extra special. 

It is such an important role, so we wanted to express the impact they have already made in our lives. Frankly, with the wedding being in the Philippines, we weren't sure how many would actually make the trip. We were so surprised and moved by those who have already graciously accepted. We already feel extremely lucky and loved.

Ring Bearer

William is one of our favorite kids, ever, so much so that JP and I are afraid we may not love our own future kids as much lol! I know I'm not really supposed to say things like that, but it has been absolutely delightful watching him grow. 

I painted him a ring-shaped card on bristol paper I had. The ring shape was very important, because William's favorite thing at the time was shapes, especially circles! He's already starting to read, so I made sure to write the words nice and big for him. 

In his package, JP and I included a Gator pillow pet, because duh, Go Gators! Knowing that his dad, and sometimes his mom, reads to him before bed every night, we got him a book, Love You Forever. I, myself, have fond of memories of this book from my childhood, and always try to get it for any new moms and dads I know because it is just very sweet. I almost cry every time I read it.


This was pretty fun to make. JP and I love How I Met Your Mother, so the idea for the groomsmen's card came from that. I know it's not terribly original, but we added a personal touch by making the "article" about peculiar situations they've been in together. With JP's WILD past, he kept it PG for my sake ;) The only one that was a little different was Mikey's, his younger brother's. They have such a special bond, just any old story wouldn't do. Instead, JP found a quote that reflected their relationship.

For the groomsmen and bridesmaids cards, I tried my best to use supplies I already had around the house. Thanks to my sister and because of the art supplies I acquired at Parsons, I have a small Joanne's in my parent's home; an elementary teacher would be thrilled to have so much at their disposal. 

I printed the cards on résumé paper to make it look a little old world-y, then used spray adhesive to stick it on ivory card stock that I cut in half. It wasn't perfect, but it was for a bunch of boys, so I knew they wouldn't care/notice.

We wanted to get them a little something, so bought them brass cuff links with their initial.


Well, I have lots of pictures for this so I'm going to save it for the next post :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Advantages: Home and Away

Philippines. It started out as just a blip on our radar. Did it sound awesome? YES! Feasible? Eh... So we set our sights on more practical wedding locations.

When JP proposed in August, we were looking to get married in late summer, Labor Day Weekend, specifically, and we felt like we were racing, no, sprinting against time. Time was of the essence. We were up against a whole stampede of bride-and-grooms-to-be who also wanted our venue, on our date, because summer in Seattle is perfect.

We looked at venues for weeks and found the perfect venue and the most perfect, sweetest chapel, available on our perfect date. What wasn't perfect was the price. Not wanting to settle for a place we (mostly I) liked, not loved, we forfeited the summer wedding race to re-work our game plan.

Seattle was out. Different city, different season, but a new set of couples to combat. Because what's just as perfect as Seattle in the summer? Florida in the fall. New perfect venue, the chapel I grew up in, and a new perfect date (the Gator's bye weekend, obviously). The price improved, kind of. When you go to the hometown, you got the hometown crowd. You do the math.

What do we do, WHAT DO WE DO?! Panic mode: ON! Ononononononononon, so ON! I found the budgeting and the guest list so stressful we considered our immediate family in Hawaii. I have the spreadsheets to prove it. But my friends are everything to me. They are my family too.

JP and I debated on and on for weeks on end, considering all options.

We were back to the Philippines. Everyone knows how much I love it, but it's what JP said about it that got me. It was something along the lines of, "I want to show everyone how special this place is the way you showed me." I was sold. We know it'll be tough to get our family and friends to travel halfway around the world to a place that isn't any where near the top of their travel list, but we also know there are a few that will try their damnedest to get there anyway. Those few are enough. And we hope to make this trip meaningful and memorable for you.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Un-Wedding Dress

I remember trying this dress on when I was younger, mesmerized by its beauty and details. This was not my mom's wedding dress. She didn't have the wedding of her dreams by a long shot; she hardly had a wedding dress at all. But this one, she has always treasured. I completely forgot about it until last night, & part of me wishes I'd thought about it sooner. While this will not be the dress I walk down the aisle in, it represents so many things: culture, tradition, family & my parents' American Dream. I'm certain I'll find a special place for it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Lucky Number Thirteen

Love the Facebook memories feature thing. A lot of significant things seemed to happen on or around this day over the years.

Seven years ago, I was cheering on the Gators to victory at the BCS National Championship.

Six years ago, I started Parsons in New York.

Three years ago, I moved back up north and into my apartment in Jersey City.

Two years ago, JP and I were on our first big trip together to Southern California, Las Vegas, and Honolulu.

Today, well, this particular day isn't very exciting, but this past year has been. 

I traveled to India (solo!) and saw the Taj Mahal, Akshardam Temple, and the Pink City. I celebrated Holi with a former Miss India and Baliwood stars. I sailed in the Arabian Sea, and rode along the Queen's Necklace, and visited factories, beaders, and markets (the not so glamorous parts of the fashion industry).

From there I flew to the Philippines to continue my non-profit work, and to explore other opportunities there. I never thought I'd get JP to make a trip over there, but he did, and I was able to share with him everything about that country that I love so much.

As if that wasn't enough, at the end of JP's apartment hunting trip to Seattle on a chilly August morning, at the top of the Space Needle overlooking his new job, his new place and his new city, he asked me to begin a new chapter with him. JP asked me to marry him.

So it's okay that on this specific day in 2016, nothing spectacular happened. Because this time next year is going to be the most special day of all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sleepless in Seattle

This might be the rain talking, but this is what I have to say about Seattle so far:
  • Seattle homeless are definitely scarier than New York homeless. This is because around here, everyone kind of dresses like their homeless, so you don't realize that they're really homeless until they are one foot away from you speaking tongues and/or screaming obscenities.
  • Driving isn't terrible in the city; public transportation isn't terrible in the city. Neither are great. 
  • If you're in Seattle proper, it is walkable in theory. Then your socks get wet.
  • Seattle restaurant industry has got nothin' on New York's. You can't get away with bad service there. You never know who you're serving or who they know. You just wouldn't last.
  • Umbrellas and rain boots are dead give aways that you're not from here. If I ever start to dress like I'm from here, take my homeless looking clothes away from me and burn them.
  • Construction is rampant. Cranes are so much a part of the landscape and decorated with holiday lights.
  • They say the PNW has the best summers. I'll re-evaluate my opinion then.