my love story: an exclusive (naks! hahaha!)

i always imagined myself to be writing this piece in the morning of my wedding day. you know, a little piece of something to share with all the girls. but it was not possible. my mind was held captive over the whole wedding details, despite the fact i have 2 coordinators. hehehe.

so i am writing this (as i am so inspired..this pregnancy is so expressive.haha.) as my thoughts about love and relationship. i don't claim to be an expert. everything i am sharing here is God's grace.

i always remember when i was an awkward teenager, i never really cared about boys (crush, yes, to the point of silliness but it was just girlish silliness) until friends of yours had admirers and manliligaws. believe me, i had a lot of pretty friends and ordinary looking me started to question why boys won't have a crush on me. probably the highlight of my girl-y existence is somebody greeted me with a sweet message anonymously in our school paper. (though until now i still think it was a prank by some bored people, hahaha!) i never realized it until now but God was already working on me. yeah sure, i had self-image and boy issues, but with the grace and love of God and everyone who surrounded me, i never gave in to them. God gave me down-to-earth friends (who are still my bestfriends until now) to keep me company and enjoy life, a very supportive family, a zest to discover myself and about life - i never really had trouble being a suitor-less teenager. though i was a bit hurt, of course. hahaha.

came college. whoa. 3 out of 5 girls has a boyfriend. i had a very pitiful experience. hahaha. but i felt i had a chance to be noticed in college. i thought, "ang dami kayang lalake sa college, impossible walang magka-gusto sa akin." hahaha. but, it was not the way God wanted my love story to go. i graduated not having a boyfriend at all. i flirted, i tried to be close to boys, i swear - i even went through the phase of wearing slutty clothes - i tried to be aggresive and take the first move - nothing worked. that would have been depressing, but it was not. i had a lot of friends, i was busy with a lot of school activities - if i think of it now, trying to get a boy was just a bonus in everything i did in college. sure, my bestfriends and i would buy a galloon of ice cream and wallow in our boyfriend-less status, but it was not sad. ice cream was yummy, and the company was great. hahaha.

when i was on final year in college, i went through a phase of mild desperation. i really, really wanted to experience having a boyfriend. i never really shared it to everybody before, but i got myself a little fling. but as people would describe it, "it's complicated". even my best of friends were mad at me. he was involved with someone and he was a known chickboy. (hey, is chickboy still a valid term? hahahaha!) anyway, we spent time together alone, texted each other sweet stuff and the likes. my conscience bothered me a lot. it never felt right. and it never made me happy - not even once. it was kilig sometimes, yet it faded easily. deep inside my heart, i knew it was not the way i wanted.

when i graduated, i focused on my career. i was young and i wanted to learn everything i could that would make me successful. i am always thankful i got a job that taught me a lot of values - particularly patience (but that's another story, i guess, hehe..) and i learned from a really great boss and teacher. anyway, i was a dedicated worker. i literally worked my a** off. and honestly, i'm not getting any date invites. honestly, i kind of clueless how it feels to be asked out on a date. hahaha. it was probably my snobbish and and strict look. guys would be afraid , um, i think. haha. anyway, they really teased me that nobody would have a crush on an ogre. hey, i just remembered...oh gee. somebody actually confessed to me. he was a really great friend, we spent a lot of time together and he just confessed he was in love with me but he would not ask me to be his girlfriend because he is not yet ready ... i got so shocked with such confession, i avoided him for like a month. it was because i didn't know what to say. but, when i finally came to my senses, i told him that i just wanted to be friends first and we'll see. and we really did remain good friends until now. see, i told you i'm not an ogre. hahaha. anyway.....

and one summer, God introduced me to my soon-to-be husband. he was younger than me, and he managed to piss me off. hahahaha. i did not have a crush on him nor i had interest, but we had a summer outing planned that time and i was told that he cannot be reached through phone and i was like the one who strongly tried to find a way to be able to reach him. just to be clear, i was not interested in him. i just wanted all our volunteers to have a good time after the whole summer's hard work. and as they would say, the rest is history.

we became friends, fell in love and seven years later, got married in a very beautiful ceremony and a month later we were blessed with a new life inside me :) (writing this is actually giving me tears in my eyes, hehe..)

so ladies, always have faith that God is writing your love story. God's timing is always perfect. sure, i had my share of unrequited love but i chose to move on and believe in better things to come.

second, never compromise your values. i could have gone wild just to have a boyfriend or any guy. i could have jumped to any guy who i think is interested in me, regardless of his intentions. but i did not. because i loved and respected myself too much. always believe that you deserve better. that relationship is always a choice - walk out if it makes you feel trapped and if it's not making you become a better person. yos and i always gave each other enough space to enjoy our individuality and discover our similarities.

third, make a mental check of things that you will never tolerate. for me, i never make an excuse for any mean attitude especially to waiters, to gay people and to other people. second, i always like a guy who is involved in activities that have social impact. and i would never tolerate a guy who reacts violently to petty things. even a guy who cannot control his vices. do you get what i am trying to say now?

fourth, enjoy life to the fullest girl. never think being in a relationship is the best of life there is, because it's not. give yourself enough time to discover who you are, meet a loooot of people, keep really good friends, be a good citizen of your country by volunteering and keeping yourself involved in activities that help other people. in short, love yourself - who you are, what you can do, and what you want to become. be a happy, positive person. only a positive person atrracts positive things.

looking back, i realized that everything is through God's grace. changing ourselves - especially our priorities, our financial decisions, our dreams - has been God's work. and we will always be thankful we were given the courage to allow Him to work through us. and we are still far from perfect, especially now as husband and wife, and soon, as parents. the task has increased a ten-fold. and everyday, it is a constant work for our relationship.

so dear girl, never fret. God is the perfect author of a love story. if you just let Him write it. we did and living the greatest story of all time :)

one of my favorite poems. i read it over & over again to remind me how precious time is.

How To Kill Time
Leo Rock, SJ

How do I kill time?
Let me count the ways.

By worrying about things
Over which I have no control.
Like the past.
Like the future.

By harboring resentment
and anger
over hurts
real or imagined.

By disdaining the ordinary
or, rather, what I
so mindlessly
call ordinary.

By concern over what's in it for me,
rather than what's in me for it.

By failing to appreciate what is
because of might-have-beens,

These are some of the ways
I kill time.

Jesus didn't kill time.
He gave life to it.
His own.

why i've decided to go organic...Go Human Nature!

right now, i am completely confident that my skin and the environment only gets the care it deserves. and more especially now that i am pregnant. it's been a year since i've decided to go organic and use only Human Nature products for my personal care products.

i'm not trying to push the idea of doing the same thing as me & my husband did, but try to read the chemicals you find in your shampoos, cosmetics and the stuff you use everyday - it is always good to be informed and make your choice :)

for more information on Human Nature products - products with a heart for the Philippines and the environment, click here.

special thanks to Ms. Joanna for sharing this over twitter. you can find the full article here.

The A to Z of Beauty Baddies

A for alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA)
Found in a wide range of skin care products, alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are usually derived from food products such as sugar cane. Products that contain AHAs cause shedding of the skin, although the extent to which it works depends on the concentration. High concentrations of AHA products are used in chemical peels and the Food and Drug Association (FDA) warns that that they can increase the skin’s photosensitivity.

B for benzoic acid (benzyl)
Widely used in the fragrance industry, benzyl is an aromatic alcohol that is also used as a preservative in other cosmetics. It has been cited as a cause of a wide variety of health problems and can be a respiratory irritant. Subsequent to an evaluation by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials Expert Panel (REXPAN), the International Fragrance Association set a standard that restricts the use of benzyl in fragrances.

C for chlorobutanol
Commonly used as a chemical preservative in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, continuous use of this nasty, which is usually made up of chloroform and acetone, can cause skin or tissue irritation. High exposure to chlorobutanol also carries a small risk of neurotoxic side effects.

D for dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
Once found in nail polishes the world over, evidence of the deleterious health effects of DBP were so convincing that an EU Directive has since banned its usage in the cosmetics industry within the European Union. Despite this, it is still in use by the big name cosmetic brands in the United States, where many nail polish products on the shelves still contain it.
E for ethoxylated surfactants
These are used as foaming agents in soaps, shower gels and shampoos and can be identified on the label by the inclusion of ‘PEG’, ‘-eth’ or ‘-oxynol-‘ in ingredient names. They are prone to oxidation and once oxidised their products can act as a skin irritant, while frequent exposure can cause eczema.
F for formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is an impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives and has considerable health concerns attached to it. Formaldehyde was a widely used component of nail polish until recently, when EU health bodies limited the permissible concentration of formaldehyde in cosmetics to 0.2 per cent. Through inhalation of the vapours it releases, formaldehyde can cause breathing difficulties in those exposed to elevated levels and even trigger asthma attacks in those susceptible to it.

G for glycerin
Commonly used in the skincare industry for its moisturising and hydrating properties, in actual fact, glycerin has the opposite effect; drawing moisture from the lower layers of the skin to the top layers where it is held on the surface. In the name of keeping outer layers of skin moisturised, skin is literally dried out from the inside.
H for hydroquinone
Hydroquinone products are used for reducing age spots and blemishes; and it is also used in skin whitening products. Hydroquinone cream used to be used as a bleaching cream but has since been banned in the EU market due to it’s high levels of toxicity.

I for isopropyl alcohol
An additive that is mainly used in body creams, aftershave lotions and perfume, Isopropyl Alcohol can compromise your skin’s natural pH level and fatty acids, which acts as the skin’s primary defence mechanism against viruses, bacteria and fungal infection. High exposure to this ingredient has been linked to central nervous system depression.

J for jargon
Companies often mention the use of collagen and elastin as well as other well-known and impressive sounding additives, but they often have dubious effects. The reason for the marked increase in medical sounding terminology is its ability to dupe the consumer into thinking they’re buying into proven science when actually, it couldn’t be much further from the truth.

K for kajoic acid
The fact that this originates from certain types of mushroom and fermented rice means it is often seen as being a ‘natural’, and therefore harmless by-product. Marketed as a safer alternative to the hydroquinone as used in skin whitening products, it’s not without its drawbacks. Skin sensitisation is one such problem and can in turn lead to dermatitis.

L for lead
Lead is toxic contaminant and is found in a wide variety of lipsticks. The problems associated with lead include interference with a number of the body’s processes and its toxicity to organs and tissues. Concerns have also been raised about accidental ingestion through licking or biting lipstick-clad lips, although the lead levels are relatively low in most lipsticks.

M for mineral oil
Don’t let the name fool you; this additive has its origins in crude oil and is used by heavy industry as a metal cutting fluid. It can inhibit the oxygenation process of skin, hindering the release of carbon dioxide and resulting in skin that dries out all too easily. Particularly alarming is its use in a wide range of well-known baby oils.

N for nitrosamines
Although nitrosamines commonly crop up in cosmetics; due to the fact that they are impurities, they are not listed on product labels. The UK Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has classified nitrosamines as more toxic in more animal species than any other category of chemical carcinogen. It’s found (as an impurity) in a wide range of beauty products, including shampoos, and when washed down the drain, it enters the water cycle causing concern about traces of it in drinking water.

O for organic
Organic beauty products provide a viable, safe alternative to the chemical laden conventional sort. Labelling can often be confusing but the best way to be sure if a product is really organic is to see whether it is marked with the Soil Association symbol, which requires a 70 per cent minimum organic content. What’s more, it also ensures that no petro-chemical based or GM ingredients are used.

P for parabens
Parabens are used for their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. However, they have been proven to penetrate the skin and shown to mimic the body’s own hormones, disrupting important endocrine functions. The biggest risk posed by parabens comes from long-term exposure, including regular use of skin creams and lotions. Be warned: methylparaben has been linked to the premature skin aging. Oh the irony.

Q for quaternium-7
Not only is it toxic and highly allergenic, it also causes the release of formaldehyde. A 2009 report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics entitled No More Toxic Tub, presented third-party laboratory results showing that many baby care products are contaminated with this hyper-toxic ingredient.

R for resorcinol (also dihydroxybenzene)
A carcinogen found in a wide variety of products, including shampoo, acne treatments, cleanser and aftershave, resorcinol can have neurotoxic side effects and is particularly damaging for the liver. It’s also an irritant and worse, is hugely poisonous for marine life if washed down the plughole. One to avoid at all costs.

S for sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
Is a chemical that can be found in shampoos, hair conditioners toothpastes and body wash- so predominantly in products you would expect to ‘foam up’. It has been known to cause the skin to flake and to separate and cause roughness of the skin. By denaturing skin proteins SLS can have a drying effect. The reason why such a damaging chemical is used in things such as shampoos and toothpaste is for the sole reason that it is a cheap additive that causes that familiar foaming.

T for triclosan
Added to products to fight bacteria, triclosan is widely used in hygiene products. In Britain alone, we use between 60 and 90 tonnes of it per year but its safety credentials have come under scrutiny due to a study conducted by the USA's Virginia Tech University, which showed that when mixed with chlorinated water, it produces chloroform gas - lethal in high doses and a probable carcinogen. Don't panic too much though: the amount generated was less than the concentration present in a swimming pool.

U for urea
Rarely do the worlds of agriculture and beauty collide, but in the use of urea – a compound found in urine – they do. In farming, it’s used in fertiliser as an additional source of nitrogen. In beauty, it’s used as an antibacterial preservative and is found in just about everything, although hair removal creams such as Veet tend to contain higher levels of it. Although the amounts used in cosmetics aren’t high enough to cause problems, concerns have been raised about urea’s ability to alter the structure of skin; allowing other chemicals through in larger amounts.

V for VP-Methacrylamide
A polymer used in mousse and hair gels, VP-Methacrylamide isn’t particularly worrisome in itself, but is often contaminated with toxins, carcinogens and other things you definitely don’t want on your skin. Although it’s still used in the USA, Europe has banned it.

W for white petrolatum
A close relative of petroleum jelly, white petrolatum is made from – unsurprisingly enough – crude oil. While it does have proven protective qualities, its close relationship with non-renewables along with unconfirmed reports linking it to breast cancer make it one ingredient that’s best avoided.

X for xanthan gum
At its most basic level, xantham gum is a type of fermented glucose with astonishing powers of thickening – a trait that’s made it an invaluable tool for beauty product manufacturers. Often found in food stuffs under the name, E415, xanthan gum is problematic for anyone with a wheat allergy, and can cause cramps, bloating and diarrhoea in sufferers.

Y for yohimbine
A naturally occurring substance found in Yohimbe and snakeroot, yohimbine is used in diet products and anti-cellulite creams. Often sold as a herbal diet pill, and frequently as an aphrodisiac, it has significant side effects including anxiety, nausea and insomnia. In high doses, it can cause seizures and renal failure.

Z for zinc acetate
A chemical compound commonly used in acne treatments and nappy creams, zinc acetate is closely related to zinc oxide (found in sunscreens) but not nearly as harmless. Along with having a negative impact on the immune system, it can also cause asthma attacks and aggravate underlying lung conditions.

just to share personally, there are actually products out there that claim of being natural but check the ingredients. it still has the chemicals that are listed here. then it's not natural. Human Nature declares all the ingredients use and always include their natural seal, which makes it more credible. after a year of using, my skin feels better now. even my husband can attest to that. so make that choice of being healthy and at the same time be proud of your country's world class product :)
i can actually go on and on about Human Nature, so just ask me if you are interested :)


on giving birth videos...UNLIKE.
lately, i found myself watching some documentaries regarding pregnancy. i am always curious as to what is happening inside my Dash's world and i want to know as much as possible to make it comfortable for the both of us. and i can't help but check some birth-giving videos which i should not ever, ever, ever do. after watching 2 videos of a woman giving birth, i think i got so nervous i got scared. what was that?! i usually don't get scared or get sick over gross videos, but those videos were really scary...for me. alright, i won't do it again. i promise to think only of good things about giving birth.

on food.....LIKE and UNLIKE. my taste buds are not in their usual state. i hate the taste of fish especially if they really smell bad to me (but i have a liking for fish fillet, hahahaha!), the taste of pomelo is not so good anymore, even veggies? i am starting to get the feeling of not wanting to eat them. but i still eat veggies because i know Dash needs them. i just have to eat a little longer because i have to settle them in my stomach. just this morning, we had steamed veggies of squash, string beans, ampalaya, eggplant and okra. i had to cut them up so that i could just eat them. and when i arrived at work, i just had to vomit. *sigh*

no salt. a mom told me to stop eating salty food to avoid bloating.

less sugar. this is more difficult. i'm suddenly scared of getting gestational diabetes. *sigh*

so much to learn still. i am still in awe how my mom handled everything :(

Love on the 8th of July: Wedding Details (just a few)

i have a few wedding details to share (and it's actually 2 months ago..hahaha!) ... anyway, been really busy blogging about my baby bump so i guess i wanted to blog about something new. i miss preparing for my wedding and i miss looking for ideas. ok, i need to coordinate a wedding now. haha. all photos courtesy of my friend photographer, Ronald.

my hubby's footwear
it was supposed to be a kind of formal thing but there was no available shoe size for him and truthfully, his feet does not look good on the suggested footwear. so we thought, why not go a bit unique? and it really looked good :)


my bouquet
one of my favorites from my wedding. i super, super love my bouquet. honestly, i am not a fan of flowers. up until now, i cannot remember the type of flowers they used in my wedding, except for the roses, i guess. when i hired Ronald (a really good florist), i told him that i will not be picky on what kind of flowers he will use, as long as he use the white & green combination. if he wishes to combine colorful ones, it's OK as long as its colors of spring. i have not been disappointed.

the bridal gown and groom's suit
for this really beautiful creation, i would like to give a round of applause to my friend, Frida. i have no design in mind actually, because i did not want to look so trying hard to copy bridal gowns. so i placed the fate of my gown to Frida. just so you know, i met Frida in a school activity and she has been making me designs just for fun and i never thought she'd actually design my bridal gown. it was so simple yet beautiful. and really, really gown is lace and i really love it. and i love it because it showed my butt very well. hahahaha. i picked the design of my hubby's suit in a bridal magazine. i wanted both of us to be white because i wanted everybody to be in earth colors. so the bride and groom really stood out from everybody else :)

our stage
i always loved the vine thingie from our Human Nature events that's why i asked Ronald to make it for me. haha. our stage is really nice. i love the earthy feel and how natural it looks. even yos told me that he felt bad annoying me for paying such amount to the florist. so guys, don't ever try to fight a bride when it comes to floral arrangement decisions. hahaha.

but what i really love about our wedding is that all our suppliers are our friends. it made arrangements with them easier. it was so fun working with them. that's what made our wedding preparations fun. i still have a lot of details from other other photographers, i'm just waiting for my copy.

kinds of movie watchers you should not watch a movie with.

my patience usually runs out while watching a movie with this kind of people:

1) people who take the suspense out of the movie (it’s either they have seen it and watching it again with people who have not seen it yet): “hala, hala, kana na sunod…mao na jud na..!” “tan-awa na, mao na ang pinka-lingaw diha..”

2) people who ask a lot of questions despite the fact that they are already watching it (is it because they cannot understand the movie? or out of habit?): “ha? unsa daw ingon niya? ngano na daw to? unsa iyang ingon?”

3) people who wants the movie to be narrated before they watch: “unsa ending? mamatay siya? magdayon sila?”

4) people who ask this question at the end of the movie as if they haven’t watched: “ha? naunsa to? ngano to?”

forgive me, but you are taking the fun out of my movie.

now i have an answer to the question, kinsa imong ginapaglihian?

it's been two months and people always ask me if i am "making lihi" over something. and i am proud to say that i am not. but who would have thought i'd have an answer on my 11th week? haha.

yos is going on a field work starting sunday (yesterday) until saturday this week. and would you believe it, i cried like crazy last sunday dawn because i did not want him to leave. and on that same day, i always wanted my husband beside me. i hugged him like crazy the whole morning and i felt really sad when he left the same morning. *sigh*

and i felt really low that day. evening came and i was watching a chick flick and when a sad scene came, i was engulfed with an unexplainable sadness and longing...for my husband. i did not finish the movie and cried myself to sleep because i really miss him. our Dash really wants his daddy. and the really thing is, i could not sleep because i want my husband.

well, that answer the unending question. hahaha. but i'm really feeling a bit low today, i swear. just want for friday to come.

the most beautiful sound in the world

i just wanted to share that i went to the doctor's for my monthly check-up and i just heard my Dash's heartbeat today. it took a while to find it but praise God, we did. deep inside i was a bit nervous and i kept telling myself, "Come on Dash, let us hear it..." and we did :)

i wanted to cry when i heard it but i got shy with the doctor so i saved my sentimental reactions going back to the office. hahaha.

it was indeed the most beautiful sound i ever heard in my life :)

oh Dash. you are really there. mommy and daddy is going to take good care of you :)

i think i have super powers..and other stories in 9 weeks!

i have learned to deal with the hunger pangs. i eat as much as i can.

i managed the frequent need to pee. i am now used to waking up twice every night.

but the most amazing one i have that i cannot seem to decide to love or hate is my heightened sense of smell. it's useful and sometimes, it just gets in the way. haha. lately, i am loving the smell of durian. it just smells so sweet and delicious. in fact, i was getting my afternoon nap that i woke up to the smell of durian. and it was just a fruit shake. impressive, huh? (i seriously feel like i have a super power smell! haha!) but one of the unpleasant thing about this "super power" is that a certain smell could just send me off. i always lost my appetite during lunch because of a very nasty smell that our plastic containers seem to carry all the time. my husband doesn't notice but i had to chance containers just to get away from the really awful smell.

i really have aversion to the smell of rotten food, uncooked seafood and other rotten like scents. huh. nothing is missed by my super powered nose. even the slightest smell is caught. hubby is testing me sometimes, just for the fun of it. hahaha.

i don't have morning sickness BUT i have a very selective taste buds at this point. i hate eating anything for 3 consecutive times. i hated the taste, smell and sight of pomelo. and it's supposed to be my favorite fruit, (and add to the fact that it helps my very erratic bowel movements..), i could not stomach it. but i got back to eating it because i read somewhere that our bodies don't store vitamin c, so we need to restore it everyday. oh dear. our Dash just loves variety. that's why i told yos not to constantly feed me carrots, i might hate it for the next 6 months.

another change that i am so worried about is - my low tolerance for cold. i am actually very proud of myself - i can take a bath at 4AM with pure cold water. even if it's raining that time. i can swim in a beach at dawn, without getting any cold. and i would even wear a two-piece suit.

but now?

i get chilly even at 10 in the morning - with all the sun. it takes me 10 minutes to settle myself in the bathroom, just to get used to the chilly air. hubby is complaining i take too long to take a bath. i cannot even stand airconditioning. i usually wear a jacket inside the office. friends who already gave birth told me that it's usually very warm for pregnant women. but not for me. i get upset stomach even with the slightest cold. *sigh*

so many things to learn for mommy, Dash.

- FriendS -