10 Things You Need to Know After Getting Engaged

SPRING (1)After two years of dating Mark, he finally sealed the deal! Mark proposed April of 2013 and we tied the knot January of 2014. Back then, I actually had no idea what being engaged feels like, so here’s a list of my experiences – the fun and even the awkward ones days after Mark popped the big question.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RING

Days after posting on Facebook that Mark and I were officially engaged, everyone wanted to see my hand. Good thing my nails are always clean.

THE WEDDING DATE

Everyone wanted to know when the wedding will be right then and there even if you still had no idea where to start on your planning.

THE PROPOSAL STORY

You would probably tell this story like a hundred times.

BUDGET

All couples have a budget set on their wedding, but the big surprise is – you would always go beyond the budget. I had no idea weddings are so expensive.When I got engaged, I really wanted to invest in the wedding business! I couldn’t believe that a wedding host would cost as much as Php 15,000.00!

YOU’RE PLANNER IS A LIFESAVER

You would definitely need a planner and post its in all colors! Months before the wedding, most, if not all of our weekends were already blocked. Seminars, Food Tasting, Meeting with your Suppliers, the lists are just endless.

INVITES

People you hadn’t seen in decades would want to be invited. I accidentally bump into a college acquaintance when I was in a mall, and she asked if she could go into our wedding. I just smiled and told her I haven’t created our guest list yet. It was kinda awkward, really. Months after, I had learned to tell people that we have limited number of seats and we cannot invite everyone we know even if we wanted to. It’s a good thing that people understand the situation we are in.

LEARN HOW TO SAY NO

You just need to be firm and tough sometimes. My parents wanted to invite their friends to our wedding because they’re afraid that their friends would feel bad not being invited. I said yes to a couple of people, but needed to decline some of their request. I discussed with them how much the cost of the wedding will be and if they insist on inviting people, Mark and I would need to apply for a bank loan just to grant their request. Would they want us to start in the red line after getting married? Its okay to politely say No to your parents as this involves your future with your husband. Just talk to them and soon, they’d understand.

THE MAGIC Ds

Two magic D’s you would learn after getting engaged – DIY and DIVISORIA! This will help you save a lot, plus it’s a fun experience too!

BREATHE. RELAX. ENJOY.

Being engaged is a once in a lifetime event too, so it’s best to enjoy it. Do not be too hard on yourselves planning for the big day. I remembered Mark and I got burnt out with all the planning that we decided we needed a wedding break. A weekend without any wedding planning involved. No wedding talks, no wedding appointments, just us! It was a break both of us needed.

LOVE. LOVE.LOVE

Being engaged made me feel so loved, not only by my fiancé but by the people around me. A lot of people were supporting us all throughout the wedding preps. I actually had two surprise bridal showers from my girlfriends which was a lot of fun!

So if you’re engage now and you’re soon to wed, just seize the moment and enjoy everything! When you look back, you just couldn’t imagine how you were able to surpass all the planning and chaos, believe me!

Enjoy the wedding preps! Oh and Congratulations and Best Wishes in advanced! 🙂

 Love Chezkie

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Thank you, 2014!

I always say that 2014 is my favorite year because I became a wife and a mother. I know it is quite late to post my supposedly year end blog, but hey, it’s better late than never, right? Here are the five memorable events of my 2014. 🙂

MandC tied the knot!

After three years, Mark and I were finally married. That feeling when you walked down the aisle and see the man of your dreams in tears was just surreal. My first dance with my husband was truly unforgettable. I just couldn’t believe that everything was happening. The wedding was memorable because all of our friends and our loved ones were there. It was worth all the stress we needed to go through. 🙂

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Batanes Adventure

For our honeymoon, Mark and I went to Batanes. It was the perfect place to be. 🙂

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Our First Car

Hello there, Shinichi! Welcome to the Family! 🙂

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FYI: I named our car Shinichi after my favorite anime Detective Conan.

Ama joined Nanay in Heaven

The greatest man I had ever known passed away. I will forever miss you, Ama. Now you and Nanay can continue your love story in heaven.

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Liz Audrey

I gave birth and became a mother to a beautiful baby named Liz Audrey. Now I know what love at first sight means.

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Thank you Lord for an amazing 2014! I am truly blessed! 🙂

 Love Chezkie

Fifteen Gifts for your Significant Other

May is my boyfriend’s birthday month. So every year, I had been struggling to buy the perfect gift for him. After three years of being together, I am running out of creative ideas on what to buy for him. I feel like I already gave him most of the things that he wants that I can probably afford.  So for you girlies experiencing the same issue every year, here are fifteen more ideas to give your boyfriend, partner in life, and significant other. 🙂

Enroll Him in Classes

This tip was given to me by my ever so brilliant manager. He’s very passionate with learning new things, so he told me that this is something he would appreciate. Cooking lessons, Dance Classes, Yoga Sessions – whatever you think would work for him 🙂

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Reasons Why I Love You

This maybe a little out there – but hey, this still works. Just add a little twist to it 🙂 Does not necessarily have to be about Love always, you can state reasons why your partner makes you happy, why you wont let him go, his cute and lovable habits, and many more. As long as it’s not negative. You can write it in a notebook, coupon cards, or game cards. Just be creative!

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Subscription

This would be a reminder of your love for him – every month! May it be a gym membership for a year, a subscription of his favorite magazine – may it be Time Magazine or FHM.

Outreach Program

The Gift of Giving is just priceless. Choose an institution that you know is close to his heart. The elderly, orphaned children, or people with special needs. This would also be an eye opening and an unforgettable experience for the both of you.

Surprise Party

Did it last year and it was awesome! Try to gather  his closest friends and surprise him. Trust me, his smiles, laughter and the clueless look on his face is worth all your hard work.

Throwback Birthday

Ask his closest friends and relatives to write down their favorite memory with your significant other. Did this just this year – and it was another fun experience too. Common denominator with all their letters is that  my boyfriend was  a good guy and a cheapskate! 🙂

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Shoes

Trust me, all men love shoes! 🙂

Scratch Map from Quirks

If you guys love to travel, this is a cool gift. My good friend showed this to me as this was his birthday present for his lovey-dovey. The deal is you need to scratch off the countries you had already been to. There are also some travel tips and trivia for some of the countries. You can also write down the music you had listened to, highlights of the vacation, and the friends you had met within the trip.

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Scratch Maps available at Quirks for Php 1050

Instant Getaway

Now this may take some time to plan and if you are on a tight budget you also might need to save up first. Tip? Wait for a seat sale that many budget airlines are offering and book that flight! A day tour at Cebu just to pig out and take photos would be an unforgettable experience.

Mini Me

Who does not appreciate personalized gifts?

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Mark’s Mini Me

His Hobby

Give him something related to his hobby – if he’s into golf, basketball, or playstation. Good thing my boyfriend does not like any of these things,  so I purchased a Lego set for him instead 🙂

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Guilt Free Shopping

Take him somewhere you think he would appreciate and buy him whatever he wants.

King of the Day

Make him the King of the Day – treat him to buffet and to a spa for a free massage. Eat, Relax, and Enjoy!

His Favorite Home Cooked Meal for the Week

If he’s working and he always have problem deciding which fast food chain he should buy his lunch from, then this maybe a perfect gift for him. Spoil him for a week by cooking and preparing his work lunch for him, inclusive of delivery of course.

Relaxing Weekend

This would be my favorite! Book a hotel or schedule a sleep over and just do nothing. Just eat, laugh out loud and watch DVD marathons.

So there goes my Top 15!  Any ideas? Feel free to share 🙂

Spread the Love!

Celebrating Valentines Day

While other couples are stuck in a traffic jam, made their reservations, busy looking for somewhere fancy to eat on this special occasion, Mark and I decided to go to work. Valentine’s Day hasn’t always been a big deal for us – well, except the first one where he surprised me with a visit with tulips on his hand 🙂

Luckily, Valentine’s Day landed on a Thursday – my work-from-home day, so after work, I headed straight to Alabang were Mark is currently working. He wasn’t surprised – as after two years of being together, I think he already assumed that I will visit him, by hook or by crook.

I have no idea on what to give him this year though. My first option was to give him a shirt – but I am afraid of getting the wrong one again and it will just end up on his cabinet because he won’t wear it!

I went to Fully Booked before going to school and I accidentally saw this book on their display:

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All About Me by Philipp Keel. It’s a Self Help Book, more of a slum book for matured people I guess. The questions were easy but kinda tough to answer.

Of course, I would like for him to answer the book – so I can read it. It’s a nice gift for the people you love. I would also want him to answer the book and read it let’s say five years from now just to see if he still has the same answers 🙂

Read reviews over the net for this journal and here’s what I found:

I feel it’s a fun and painless way to connect with yourself and to revisit and see how you have changed over time.  – Briggite Rodriguez

This was very fun and kept me busy for a few weeks. I would like to another one in a few years and compare them to one another. – Amanda

I did this in 1999, and I want to get another one and do it again and compare the two. – Tracey Jasperson

Turning 27

I just turned 27! 🙂  I celebrated the eve of my birthday with my closest friends, had a movie date with my boyfriend, and dinner with my family on my actual birthday. I am not a fan of big celebrations. If I remembered correctly, the last time I invited friends for a simple birthday dinner was seven years ago. I just felt I have a lot to be thankful for and there are a lot of reasons for me to celebrate 🙂

I am the happiest that I am surrounded with the most positive people I know which had helped me juggle everything that I need to do in my life right now.

I am happy that I have a job – though stressful at times it is just beyond fulfilling. I am blessed that I always meet the best office mates who always turn out to be my good friends even after work 🙂

I am happy that I am able to study again. I love learning and meeting different people who share my passion.

I am happy with the two year relationship I share with Mark. Thank you for showing me that great love stories do come true.

Looking back, this is everything that I had wished for years ago. Thank you, Lord for an amazing 27 years! 🙂

Surprise Birthday Bash. The Story.

A few weeks ago, I planned a surprise party for my boyfriend’s 26th birthday. It was a bit stressful but oh so worth it. Just so I wouldn’t get caught, I buy the things that I need for the much awaited surprise during work days before my shift starts. So there are days, when I report to work carrying a big bag with me with balloons, birthday banners and decors. So just in case you are planning to throw a surprise party for someone you love, here are some of my tips:

Know who to invite

I was thinking if I would invite all of Mark’s friends or just a specific group but I decided to go with the latter since I am not so sure if both of us can deal with entertaining all of his friends in one day. I believe this decision is the safest so no group would be out of place during the event and the party would not seem so stressful for the celebrant as well.

The Invitation

Thanks to Facebook sending invites now is easier than ever. If only Facebook exists when I celebrated my 18th birthday years ago! I created the event a month before my target date, so I would know ahead of time who of his friends would be available, and for them to save the date for the event.

The Place

I rented a suite at Astoria Plaza for Mark’s Party. I had three options then, Linden Suites, Millenia Suites and Astoria Plaza. I decided to go for Astoria because I do not like the elevators at Linden and the receptionist at Millenia Suites was not very accommodating when I called to inquire about their services. Lucky for me, Astoria was a good choice. Their rooms were the same as the photos and I was not disappointed at all. I was also satisfied with their service J Two thumbs up to Astoria!

The Food

For the food, I decided to just leave it all to Ambers since they are not so expensive and kinda popular especially for us, yuppies. I ordered their House Specialty, Palabok and Pichi Pichi, Lumpiang Shanghai, Barbecue, and Chicken Lollipop. Also, my good friend, Joyce provided us her mom’s specialty, Beef Caldereta as a gift to Mark.

The Decors

With Joyce’s help, I made a tarpaulin, for Mark’s birthday banner. Since the check in time at the hotel was 2pm and the party is at 3:30, I only have more than an hour to jazz up the place. The pressure is on. Thanks to my girlfriend Joycie for helping me out and for understanding that I can be very masungit when I’m under pressure. For the party decors, I only have two birthday banners and balloons. But I suggest that if you have time, tassels and ribbons are kinda cool too!

Party Needs

I bought Party Hats, Noise Makers and Party Poppers to make the party more fun   and so the Surprise part for Mark would be a little more exciting! I also purchased colorful disposable cups, plates and utensils. I bought Cars themed party favors since it’s the only choice I got at Toys R Us. Mark has no favorite cartoon character and Cars is the clearest and safest choice.

The Lie

So you won’t get caught, it’s important for you to construct a believable lie. Well, since I am not pretty good at the lying part, I just told Mark that as a birthday treat, we can have a relaxing weekend at Astoria. Good thing that Mark is not hard to please – and just the idea that the hotel has a swimming pool made him very excited.

I am very happy that the party was a success. It was fun planning it and it made me the happiest seeing my Mark very happy. My biggest thanks to my good friend Joyce and Mark’s friends for making it all happen. My appreciation and happiness is just beyond words.

Secrets to a Happy Relationship

Oh well, I am not a relationship guru – and I do not try to be. Its just that Mark and I are celebrating our one year and six month anniversary today. Kinda weird for some, but half a year is worth celebrating, right? Anyways, its been a while since my last post, and I am in the mood to doodle just anything today – since the work load is kinda light. So there, below are my list to a happy relationship (well, it worked – atleast for us):

1. Surprise Each Other
Who doesn’t love surprises? A gift even with no occasion just shows how thoughtful one person can be. Surprise visits at the workplace can turn a tiring shift into something unforgettable. I believe that surprises plays an important role in a relationship. I love surprises – giving them and receiving them. That extra thoughtfulness in you would just make your partner feel so loved.

2. Distance = a chance to appreciate each other
Remember the old cliche you’ll never know what you got till its gone? This is so true. Sometimes when we lose someone, we missed them and realize their worth. My partner has been my officemate for the past year, and after I resigned, I appreciated our skype conversations, our lunch dates, and our weekends more. Sometimes, it takes an absence to value presence.

3. Learn the language of love
A hug, a kiss, holding hands, eye contacts – whatever works for you. If the moment comes when you feel like hugging someone, hug them. Or when you want to say your I love you’s and get so mushy – do it. Never miss an opportunity to show someone how you feel.

4. Be proud of your partner
She chose to be with you – so you better be worth it. Don’t be ashamed to post your photos (that is not too intimate to share) on facebook, or hold her hands in public. Being proud of your loved ones is not too much to ask.

5. Learn how to say compliments
If she looks pretty in her new floral dress, or he looks so cute with his new haircut – say it. Everyone loves compliments no matter how they deny it plus it feels good because you’re getting it from someone special.

6. Do something different
Doing something different does not necessarily mean it has to be expensive. Just be creative and learn to have fun. You can visit your alma matter, eat street foods, ride a bike together, lay on the grass, and just be totally crazy. Anything new can be exciting.

7. Respect Space
If he needs to have time with his friends, respect that. When he’s out on parties, I think its best not to bombard him with text messages. If he loves you or thinks about you, he knows you are an SMS away. If he does not feel comfortable sharing Facebook Passwords and stuff like that, give him that space. Trust is the key here.

8. Be Faithful
They say that trust when lost is hard to regain – so take care of it once you have it. Although some women forgives and forget, more often than not – the pain remains inside their hearts. Don’t be the reason why she’d end up hating men.

9. Acceptance
No one is perfect so stop looking for the leading man in the chic-flick you just watched in your boyfriend. Your boyfriend may not fill your bedroom with post its of reasons why he loves you – but he might do something a little more spectacular than that. Learn to appreciate the little things – thank him for sacrificing hours of sleep so he can visit you at home before his shift starts on Valentines Day. Thank him for finding a perfect restaurant to eat on your Sundate! Its the little and realistic things that matters. Accept him for who he is and who he is not. No one’s perfect – even you.

10. Love Completely
Love like you’ve never been hurt before. The best feeling in the world is to love and be loved. If you’re lucky enough to find someone to love, take care of it. It took me twenty five years to feel what its like – and it sure is worth the wait.

Something to think about:
Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.