Monday, February 29, 2016

House Hunters New York

So, we are in the market shopping for our first house. However, before we actually buy one, my husband and I are looking for a short term rental, a.k.a. "transition home" to give us a few months before we make our first major home purchase.

My sister-in-law joined me last weekend to look at rental properties and while it's exciting, it's also a tedious, tiring task which we hope to accomplish by mid-April... Am I being optimistic with timelines here?

While my husband has experience buying an apartment, I've never owned any kind of property before so this is a whole new world for me... I'm excited, nervous and am a hodgepodge of emotions! Any tips for a first time home buyer is more than welcome.

I will definitely update you on things but for the meantime, I hope you will enjoy my #ShortGirlProblem photo taken while I was checking out one of the properties over the weekend!

#ShortGirlProblems: I don't think I can live in a place where the mirror only reflects my forehead...

Friday, February 26, 2016

Why hiring our wedding videographer is the best investment we've made

When we I was searching for a vendor for our wedding video, I already knew in my head what kind of treatment I wanted. I was very particular on working with a partner who understands the concept of storytelling --- of being able to grasp the important moments of our day and packaging it to a short video that captures the heart of our story as a couple. Growing up in the Philippines, my dream wedding videographer would have been Jason Magbanua, an unbelievable talent who you need to book at least a year in advance for your wedding day. Actually, I've heard of couples moving their wedding day just so they can have him. I mean, check out his work, it's amazing.

Since life is full of beautiful twists and turns, I ended up getting married in NY and while Jason accommodates overseas clients, his fees doubles for such work so, that was not going to happen. However, since NY is a creative capital, there was a surplus of talents who are fit for the job. I actually searched for weeks before I stumbled across The Candi Project. Browsing through their portfolio, I immediately knew that these are the people that I wanted to work with. So, I scheduled an initial meeting to go over things.

I did not know what to expect on our first meet-up. Since they didn't really have a team photo on their website, we had to rely on the old school text method to identify each other --- You know, the "I'm here and I am wearing a blue dress" kind of "eyeball" exchanges. And, I was pleasantly surprised to see a Filipino! I swear, I had no clue that they were from the motherland as well. :) And, what's funnier is that Aenid (1/2 of the amazing husband-wife tandem) said that she knew Jason! What a small world.

Aenid was very professional, easy to talk to and she understood the brief and knew exactly what I wanted so, it was a quick decision. And, I must say that they are the best investment we've made in our wedding planning. Seriously. The video that they've produced for us is beyond beautiful and I'm not just saying that because I am biased. Check it out yourself.

So, if you're planning a wedding here are my 2 cents: 1. Never doubt it, get a videographer. While photo stills are great, there's nothing like reliving the moment with actual footage of the day itself. 2. Book The Candi Project. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Drugstore Digs: Purple lipstick without looking like I made out with Barney

So I have seen a lot of ladies in fashion rocking the purple lipstick. I've always wanted to try it but am too scared that I'll end up looking like I just made out with Barney (... that's the purple dinosaur for those who are waaay younger than me!)

Although, when I saw this wonderful Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid ad, I rushed to the closest drugstore to grab myself the purple tube, I mean look at how gorgeous the colors are!

Plus, if it doesn't suit me, I would have only wasted $8+ which isn't so bad. Soon as I got to Duane Reade near my office, they were all sold out. Fine. I'll buy it at the Walgreens near home. Got there, all sold out as well. I wasn't going to give up easily so I drove to another Duane Reade only to find out that they're all out of stock. Seems like everyone else and their mothers had the same idea as me. So, I decided to drive another 5 minutes to the CVS near town and lo and behold, I found the single, last tube --- it kinda felt like winning at that point. Wow. That ad must have earned millions for L'Oreal!

I must admit, I got a little nervous when I saw how Barney purple the tube is, so, I decided to buy another purplish Maybelline lipstick just to compare and got the Color Sensational Vivid Lipstick in Brazen Berry (905).

Note: No filters or camera flash were used on the photos to stay true to the color. Please excuse the blemishes as I try to give a very honest review!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Interracial Marriage Funnies

Being part of an interracial marriage is fun(ny). Brian and I have learned a lot about each other's backgrounds through the years. While he loves the Filipino culture---the positivism, resiliency and hospitality---there are some things that puzzle him about his foreign girl and her background.

Whenever he asks for explanations on certain things that are unfamiliar to him and I have no reasonable answers to them, I always chuck it to, "It's the culture." Well, here are a few cultural funnies that B has come to accept:

1. Filipinos love food

Because what's not to love?

"Have you had anything to eat?" is probably my culture's version of "Hello! How are you?" That's how we greet each other. Food is central in our lives. When B first visited the Philippines, this is something that he immediately noticed. Every relative or friend that he meets gives him a huge hug followed by the question, "Are you hungry?" or "Let's eat!" Being the kind soul that he is, he couldn't find it in his heart to say no to the offerings. One night, he came up to me and asked, "Miles, is there a polite way of saying stop shoving food down my throat here? I do not know how to say no so I eat everything even if I am full!"

Yes B, you will break hearts and shatter self-esteem if you reject our food.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

"George Lake"

Early 2015 was when I first heard about Lake George. That was around the time when my husband (then financé) and I were slowly getting into hiking as a new-found hobby. See, from where I come from, all lakes are named [Insert name] Lake and my brain has been trained to think that way too (for the last 30 years). So, naturally, when I brought up the idea of going to "George Lake" to my husband, he laughed hysterically, while shaking his head at who he lovingly calls, his foreign girl.

"It's Lake George," he corrected.

Potato, Potahto.

Unavoidably, it has since become an inside joke between us and till this day, I would still slip and call it "George Lake," you know, like, Ricki Lake.

So last Memorial Day Weekend, we made the 4-hour drive to Lake George. It was a little getaway for us since the week before that was a really stressful one. While the town seems to cater more to families, there were a lot of activities to do for couples like us. There are a lot of nice restaurants, a cozy wine tasting place called Adirondack Winery and, more importantly, check out the view.

It was a great escape from the stressful city life. We spent the first day of our trip just eating good food, hanging by the benches and taking in the wonderful scenery --- a slow, relaxing day so we can reserve our energy for the Prospect Mountain hike the following day.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sunny St. Lucia

I am writing this post during a record-breaking cold day in NY with the hopes of warming up my frozen soul. Despite the fact that I've been living here for quite some time, this island girl always craves for the warmth of the tropical sun every single winter. Just thinking about palm trees, pina coladas and crystal waters already brings a smile to my face and those thoughts immediately transport me to a special place called St. Lucia.

When Brian and I were thinking of our honeymoon destination, we both knew that it had to be an island getaway. We were selecting between islands within the Caribbean --- Bahamas, St. Lucia or Jamaica. Though the thought of lazing by the beach day in and day out was very tempting, especially after a year-long wedding planning, we both knew that we wanted to do more than sun-worshipping and that's how we came to the decision of going to St. Lucia.

The Pitons of St. Lucia

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