Thursday, July 30, 2015

El Nido, Palawan Philippines

You know I spent almost a month back in the Philippines in June, and aside from my Sister' wedding we attended, we also toured a bit in our beautiful home country!

And today, I just wanted to share with you one the breath-taking place we visited with my family
 - El Nido
On our way to our first Island stop

Just breath-taking up close

The beach going to a secret Lagoon
We visited 7 islands total on this Island Hopping expedition, and each one, as breath-taking as the the next.

Under water was also wonderful...

Hi Nemo!

Snorkeling photos from Shimizu Island

I even got to see a sea turtle, but alas, was too fast for me in the water! LOL!

Where we had our lunch - Talulah Island

I just had to share these beautiful islands with you since I was just blown away by all the natural beauty that surrounded me here.
I will definitely be back someday to visit and see the other islands ( there are total of 42, we visited only 7 according to our guide).

Sunset from our room

Next time, I'll share with you an interesting home we visited up North - a home of a former dictator/President!

I'll be very busy this weekend, 2 high school friends and their family are spending the weekend with us. It'll be very fun for sure, but also a bit 'chaotic' in our household!

Have a Great Weekend Friends!


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

From Tween to Teen - A Boy's Room Re-do

A kid growing up is a natural transition that WE are all faced with.
Be it YOU, yourself growing up, or be it your own child, it's a change both anticipated and "dreaded" (to some degree) by EVERYONE.

And with that change, comes some change too in their rooms.
Well, this one stemmed from a bit of "BED-SWITCHEROO" really.

First, with the new NURSERY, the queen-sized bed in the former guest room got moved to my younger son's room - then his bed, was moved to my older son's room which made his bed back into a bunk bed! Got it?!

And with this one change, the whole room just got to be re-done since it's one move after another, I know, you know what I mean. ;-)
I thought it perfect timing too, since my formerly tween son is now a teen and going to boarding school this fall  (sniff...sniff). His room will be an alternative guest room once he is gone since we still have the BASEMENT GUEST ROOM for such purpose.

Anyway, just a brief reminder of how this room looked before when we finished it for 
my first ORC (One Room Challenge ) back in 2013...

Our Tween Boy bedroom then

And here is what it looks like now...

See what I mean...
Having the tall bunk bed back made us move it to it's current location since whoever's gonna be sleeping above will get dinged from the close ceiling fan.

Got my bedding from TJ Maxx & Ross respectively, it's by Tommy Hillfiger
Seating/extra bed too!
This was where the former Study area was...

This is what used to be there

I also moved the repainted mid-century dresser that used to be beside the bed, across the current bed.

Proud momma hung his current Academic achievements above

I moved one of the book case that flanked the TV beside the dresser
Displayed too some of his medals here
Bookcase surprisingly remained organized
The Book Case I moved
Current Study area
I didn't want to move the wall art I made for above the bed (This is a FREE printable I made HERE),
so it stayed put where it was, but now above the study area.
Not much change in our Reading Nook

Overall, my son says he likes  the current set-up as well and still looks forward to using his room a lot when he comes home on weekends (he'll be studying in St. Louis).

As for me, I'm glad that the bed-switching worked out in the end for this room. 
But what about this room...

Yup, my younger one has outgrown Dr. Seuss (or so he says)
So I'm gearing up for decorating for another BOY TWEEN ROOM soon!

Wish me luck!

Have a Great Week!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bonsai Love

After our trip from the Philippines, we stopped over for a couple of days in San Diego.
Of course, with kids in tow, we had to go to the world-famous San Diego Safari Zoo.

I thought it was just all animals there, I was so surprised to see beautiful garden exhibits as well. 
One in particular, made me just swoon and got stuck in my mind all the way home - 
The Bonsai Pavillion.

Here are some of my favorites...

Foemina Juniper

Hollywood Juniper


Precumbean Juniper

Another beautiful Juniper

Ficus Forest

The whole garden is just magnificent and the San Diego Bonsai Club should be mighty proud.

And because of that I just have to have one in our home and you probably noticed them when I showed you our BLUE SUMMER LIVING ROOM .

My little juniper bonsai

 This juniper needs outdoor light too though. So I bring it out every 3 days for some sun.

I also have this other one...

I think it is what you call a FICUS Bonsai
 I got this one from IKEA years ago and it has held up pretty well!
I also got this for a song, so happy with this one too and definitely just great as an indoor plant.
No need for bringing it out into the sun, I just water it once a week and spritz some water on the leaves too whenever I remember. My kind of plant, LOW-MAINTENANCE!

And because of this new love, I've started looking at online Bonsai stores. 
The prices and shipping are pretty reasonable, but I wonder about the quality.

Any of you have had experience buying Bonsai online? Or any tips on taking care of these beautiful plants?

Have  A Great Weekend!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Neutral Summer Dining Room

Unlike my Blue Summer Living Room which I just shared with you all last week HERE.

Our dining room for this summer is quite Neutral.
The reason being, I wanted to display some of the things I bought from the Philippines in this space!

Let's take a look...

Except for some touches of green, this room is neutral territory all the way!

This beautiful abaca runner was my jumping off point.
 Abaca is a natural fiber that is commonly used in the Philippines, and I love how the leaves on the edge are embroidered on it!

Simple centerpiece with my brass candlestick collection and the glass coral I scored from WISTERIA

Simple glass shelves display
I got all the bisque urchin and shell votive containers also from the Philippines.
A lot got broken during travel, luckily for me, gluing them back together was a cinch and because of the pattern on then, not obvious at all!

My Buffet table vignette
I know it's quite atypical to display Santos in the Dining room. Not so in the Philippines where a lot of homes display a copy of Da Vinci's "Last Supper" or other religious imagery.

I scored the cross from WISTERIA as well, and the sheep is an Easter clearance find from TARGET.  The Santos Busts are genuine antique I bought in Vigan, Ilocos Sur - a northern province in the Philippines, one of the many places we visited there during our stay.

St. Paul & St. Agustin 
It's made of solid wood so it was quite heavy. 
It came from  huge old Statues acquired thru an estate sale of sorts. 
The body was in disrepair, but the heads were still beautiful and intact (lucky for me).

I love seeing these finds I brought home. 
Reminds me so much of my last visit to the Philippines.

How about you, do you like buying things for your home when you travel? What's your favorite travel find that you display in your home?

Have a Wonderful Week!


Friday, July 17, 2015

My Sister's Wedding

The main reason why I traveled 18,000 miles or so to the Philippines with an 8-month old baby was for my baby sisters wedding.

And of course, being my friends, I have to share with you all this really important occassion in our lives.

It's mostly pictures, but I hope you watch the short 3 minute video in the end so you can see what I actually witnessed for my beloved sister on this very memorable day!

All excited for the day to begin

To say that my sister is gorgeous, is an understatement. :-)
Moments before the big event with my sissy

A special member of the entourage - Sophia the flower girl and dad the umm,
Official "stroller pusher" LOL!

Small church filled with baby's breath all around

The Flower girls (my niece Alexa & Sophia) and the Bible bearer (my son Aidan), ring bearer my nephew Caleb
Our happy family
 The reception was just down the hill from the church, literally. And I love how it was decorated!

LED lights and chandeliers make it an elegant ceilingscape

The stage was also filled with lights and flowers

The tables were filled with gorgeous blooms like these

There were a lot of other fun stuff too like photobooths, fireworks and of course some dancing!

But the most important thing of course, is that we get to witness how a love is sealed thru the beautiful bond of matrimony! 

I love you sis, and to our newest family member, Marlon, love you too!

Here is a brief video of the important events that transpired thru that special day! 

Hope you have a Fabulous Weekend!


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