Saturday, January 24

Looking Forward: Tropical Vacation

It's official, only 28 days to go until good friend Jeanie and I fly to Hawaii for our much needed R&R.

Already parted with hard earned and not so hard earned moolah yesterday to pay for the deposit, we're just now waiting for confirmation that our cheapo hotel choice still has rooms. Crossing fingers and toes...otherwise this humble blogger thinks camping it out on the beach sounds like a brilliant adventure.

On a different note, I will be out for a week guys tending to my Kick-Off duties! Will let you know how the event I am handling turns out.
Cheerios Guys!

Wednesday, January 21

Wedding 101: The Wedding Planner

Wedding ceremony at my alma mater

I finally have a wedding coordinator. Or a day coordinator is the more appropriate word to use. Awhile ago I had lunch with long time friend Erika, who coincidentally runs her own wedding planning services.

Wedding 101 Q&A:
What do wedding planners do anyhow?

Depends on the services you availed. If you get their entire package, meaning their full wedding planning package prepare to just sit back and relax. All you have to do as the bride is look through gazillions of peg that they would present and the rest will be up to them. So no more racking your brains to come up with a concept or theme, no more endless canvasing for the best deals, no more headaches period. You give them your budget and they will try to work with that or worst case paint you a picture of your sad reality (you know if you're aiming way too high --- "Umm sorry big dreamer, you can't have your Princess Di wedding with a pauper's budget")

Rates for full wedding coordination normally runs from Php 48,000 to Php 80,000

Then there's also the day coordinator, which is the opposite end of the spectrum. I highly recommend every bride-to-be to have one of these, well as the bare minimum anyways. Unless your maid of honor really plans to be a maid for you on your wedding day, best to hire the professional to act as your psuedo-maids (of honor) and see that things run smoothly.
So what do day coordinators do?
Usually they handle all the last minute coordination with your suppliers. As day coordinators their involvement would actually commence as early as two months before (well for my planner it's like that anyways) Table arrangements, registration, and all the other headaches to be encountered will be turnovered to them.

Average cost would be anywhere from Php 20,000 to Php 25,000 for a minimum of 300 guest and additional charge for every 50 pax in excess.

Whether you go for a full blown package, a day coordination package or somewhere in between just make sure that you meet first with your would be coordinator. Try to get a feel if she will be a right fit for the wedding of your dreams. Seriously I have attended weddings with the most unprepared wedding planners, so best be wary when making your choice.

Detalye Weddings and Event Coordination

Must Try: Food Tripping with You, Me & Dupree

So the fiance, myself and Dupree just got back from having dinner at Nippon, the last on my list of Go-To-Japanese-Resto along Tomas Morato.

The verdict? Ho Hum... I'm not as thrilled as I thought I was going to be. Heard a lot of good things about Nippon. Unfortunately it failed to live up to the hearsay. Dupree had the buffet for Php550 and you can say that it was worth it - plate count-wise but in terms of freshness, there's a big question mark there.

The Salmon Sashimi was still frozen inside when served. The California Maki was missing the crabstick inside. Very poorly presented. (sad face)

Now that we have finished with our Japanese Eating Challenge, I wonder what's next on the list? Steak houses perhaps? Oooh the fiance would just love that.

Sunday, January 18

Trip to Boracay

As mentioned, I spent Christmas at Boracay with family and some friends. Work has been so crazy the past two weeks since the year started that I only found time to post about this.
December 25. Christmas Day.

Woke up really early to finish packing. Our flight was schedule to leave at 10:30AM and since it was Christmas day we of course had to hear mass first. Around 9:30 when mass has ended, we knew we were already running a bit late. Blond moment. I forgot that even domestic flights would require ID. I left my wallet on purpose and decided to just bring some cash and one credit card on my mini coin purse. I begun to panic and started texting my friends who were already there if they were asked for IDs.

Apparently credit card is considered as a valid ID this side of the planet. Whew!

We finally reached Boracay. Love the fact that SEA air takes care of all the transfers as soon as you land.

We stayed at my aunt's hotel, the Grand Boracay Hotel. It's located just besides Tides inside D' Mall. Perfect location for a bum like me. Few steps away from the hotel, you get rows of restaurants to choose from already. Hmm this plug should get me some free rooming there one of these days.
(photos of the hotel)

We pretty much just ate our way throughout the holidays.
1.) Aria - Has the Best Pizzas this side of Boracay

2.) Jonah's - 5th time back in Boracay but Jonah's is still my one MUST stop at place. Too bad they didn't have Avocado shakes when we were there.

3.) Steak House - The brother has been all about the Steak House since we got to Boracay. Unfortunately it takes forever for food to be served that the whole romance with the place fizzles after some time.

4.) Hey Jude - Nice chill spot. Cool music + live DJing on going.

5.) Gasthof's - Yummy yummy seafood! It's hard to get a seat. And if it rains, well you either finish your food in the rain or you forget about it. Guess what we did.... :)

Beach Fashion???
Tank tops, bikinis, scarfs, board shorts, and nerdy glasses?!?

When we got to Boracay, my contacts went haywired. And I had to throw them away. That left me no choice but to wear my geeky glasses everywhere. Thank God I'm engaged!

Wednesday, January 14

American Idol Kicks off Season 8

I am an American Idol geek slash freak. Except for season 6 wherein the show went snoozefest with boring contestants that I had no choice but to skip the season - I pretty much saw every episode of AI THRICE since season 1.

January 14 was definitely red marked on my calendar. AI premiered finally! Thank you Jesus!!!

Day 2 Pheonix Audition

Kara dio Guardi - The New Guy

There's a new judge in town. And she bites! When the bikini wearing contestant (Katrina Darrell) belted out a seemingly good rendition of an uptempo song - she instantly puts her down. Claws out now! Even more claw scratching when she issued this disclaimer "This is not one of those, oh she's pretty that's why I am saying this.." lines. When Ms Bikini wearing contestant attempted to raise the pitch a notch higher, Ms thang' judge decided to sing along with her to show her up. Unfortunately Ms Bikini wearing contestant proves to be a bitch as well and decided to talk/claw back. "Your demonstration wasn't any better" She quipped. Snap!

Asides for that tension filled moment - one thing notable about tonight's episode is the annoyingly perky 16 year old Lea Marie. Who apparently is a huuge fan of Ms Thang Judge - go figure. I seriously cannot stand perky people. But yes, I have a bunch of friends who are like that whom I have learned to love and accept them...(Meaning: I put on my Ipod and take my early morning coffee to shut out evil perky spirits before my ears are ready to handle such monstrocity) But anyways, back to AI... Seriously this Lea Marie girl gave me the creeps. She was too happy, too giggly. Jumping around and smiling - I really wanted to let out a loud "Hell Yeah" when Simon said afterwards that there wasn't a second during that audition when he wasn't annoyed.
Ooooh one thing Ms Thang did good was that - somehow - by her sheer presence alone - Paula decided to get her act together. No more loony nonsense statements from her - well, at least for now.

Monday, January 12

Wedding 101: The Church Decision

Ok, so the fiance is about to give up on me. I seriously saw him sighing in frustration when he realized that the aforementioned decision to go with Mary the Queen as the venue for the ceromony is apparently still up for discussion.

I love MTQ. I remember Sunday masses there when I was younger. But the stubborn bridezilla in me is strongly attracted to St. Pacracious at Paco Park. The fiance and I went there today. Unfortunately, the park is closed during Mondays and Tuesdays. Good thing I was able to sweet talk the guard into letting us in and take a peak. (Ahhh nothing beats a desperate bridezilla-to-be!) Once again, seeing it made me realized that this place can defintely work for the theme I had in mind.
Last year, it was still open for the November 29 slot. Crossing my fingers that it will still be once the fiance and I get this whole church thing sorted out.
MTQ rate: Php 15,000 (comes with a free organist and choir)
Located at Madison St., Greenhills West, San Juan
Tel Nos.: 722.9711 to 15,722.1826

Sunday, January 11

Here Comes the Bride..

Just got back from 145 Fahrenheit with some of dear Fiance's friends. Talk soon turned to future family life and of course the wedding. I have been so busy lately with planning our Sales Kick-off that I haven't been much of the bridezilla wedding planner I once was.

I sometimes get uncomfortable when people start asking me about the day after the wedding. And no I am not talking about the honeymoon, rather what happens after you guys are already married. It's this whole new world that you have absolutely no clue about sans what you saw from your parents and the TV. I don't even know if I want to continue working or start up my own business. Little major things like that scares the hell out of me for now.

And so while I continue to ponder about soon to be married life's challenges, here are some fluffy wedding detailing that I absolutely am adoring...

Table setting at my sister's friend's wedding.
Venue: Sofitel Hotel
Stylist: Have to get back to you on that one... :)

Saturday, January 10

What Made 2008 Great!

No year has come close as being more life changing than 2008, no year YET. And while we are well into our first week of 09, here are some highlights of the year that was...

Highlights of 2008

1.) Obama winning the elections - Ok, I am not Michelle or American for that matter but I seriously felt chills down my spine when Barrack Obama's name was officially declared the President elect of the United States.

2.) Bunjy jumping - Ah sigh, brings back such wonderful memory. All 3 minutes of it!! (4 second free fall and the rest dangling upside down screaming like a freakin' lunatic) It's definitely a personal high as I have always been afraid of heights. I think if I wasn't this uberly yabang person I wouldn't have gone through with it. Note to self: do not advertise to every living soul, weeks before you leave for Macau, that you are planning to do something crazy. It makes backing out that much more painful.

3.) All-in-One with MAGGI - Yes! This year I was finally able to have my very first brand stint for Nestle. I have been working for about 3 years since graduation, and I have always known that Brand Marketing is where I wanted to end up at (if I do decide to stay on the corporate world). From attending top secret recipe productions to shooting of TV and other print commercials, my MAGGI stint was really one of the mor exciting work opportunities I have had.

4.) Living by Myself - Spoiled pampered me always had the maids to take care of my every lazy whim. But this year at least for a few months I got a taste of what it is like to be "independent". A lot of cup noodles were purchased, cigarettes smoked and cellphone line burned. The first few days were oh so tough. I missed the family, the boyfriend and all the comforts of taking a shower in your own bathroom. (Seriously I was wearing my slippers inside the bathroom because I didn't want to stepped on those tiles at the hotel) Add to that, I really couldn't leave the hotel at night, because I was by myself without a car so there was a lot a star gazing going on there. Now that it's over, I am glad that I was assigned to South Luzon 1. Once again I think I have earned millions of stories to tell the grand kids about what an absolute klutz and freak their grandma was.

5.) Vacation. Vacation. Vacation. - Every year the friends and I plan our much needed and much deserved summer trip (although sometimes this is pushed back as late as June/July) Last year, we were all aboard for the Asian Cruise. To spice it up a bit, this year we decided to rent out a resort in Davao. I always love it when the entire gang can come along. It makes travel arrangement such a hell - because how do you plan for 25 people without getting a headache, right?! But just the same the different flava makes it all worth it. After Davao, we unexpectedly decided to fly to Macau and HongKong. Nothing tops running around HK for some last minute shopping spree (good thing we made it to the last ferry ride) Just last week, I was back in Boracay after 2 years of not feeling it's powdery sands on my feet. Sigh - wish I could be Canadian and take a year long vacay with pay!

6.) Getting Engaged!!! - Who knew one small thing can mean so much. Once dear Fiance popped the question and slid the ring down my not so tiny finger I knew that we have officially taken this gigantic step towards our future. It was the sweetest proposal I have ever heard. And I know that may sound totally unbashfully biased coming from the proposee, but seriously I believe that the fiance's proposal plan is way up high on the world ranking. We are now half way through with our wedding preparations. And it's absolutely scary to think that 10 months from now there would be some name changing action that will happen. Gotta learn how to cook!

Wednesday, January 7

I Spy with My Eyes

What I wore at Pammy's shower... trying to channel a different era.

Top: White silk top from Mango
Skirt: Balloon sequenced skirt from Details
Shoes: White Gladiator Stilettos by Stella Luna

I Want to Sleep like a Normal Person

I couldn't sleep at all for the past few days. Blaming the 12 day holiday for screwing up my sleeping pattern. Although i must admit, yesterday i couldnt sleep for a completely different reason. Was panicking just a few hours ago that this event we had scheduled for today wont be pulled off without a hitch. So like a total Nazi, I was texting my very accomodating Venues and Logistics person to ensure that breakfast et cetera et cetera would be served for this event at 3 in the morning.

Yes, I should stop taking coffee after 4pm.

Monday, January 5

Another One Takes the Plunge...

One of my closest and dearest friends got married at Taal Vista, Tagaytay last week. It was such a lovely intimate ceremony. Guys and girls were just welled up in tears from boksu’s touching message.

Here’s the bride in her Inno Sotto gown

And the entourage wearing Michi Calica’s design.

Sofie the Pooh turns ONE!

Sigh...after months of planning – Sofie finally turned ONE!!! Hooray! Never thought that volunteering to be a party planner would take up so much of my time…

I had to cut out 60 Winnie the Pooh invites TWICE! Because I had oodles of time when I first created the design and suggested that we do a pull-out invites. Bad idea – unless you’re not D-I-Y-ing.

I love how the day turned out. The cake was just so fun and kiddie-friendly everyone wanted to gather around the table and try to take some photo op.

Where: Le Souffle Rockwell Club
When: December 21, 2008