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What 2014 has randomly taught me..

  • No one is promised tomorrow. Life is short and ought to be celebrated every day. Be wise with how and who you choose to spend your life and time with.  Neither one has an undo button, so cherry-pick good memories over regrets.
  • Family is family.. notwithstanding distance and time, come rain or shine. Nonetheless, family is not always blood. They are the people who matter most to you and you, to them. They are the only people who will not only celebrate your success but will also empathize with your defeat. They show up uninvited to your pity party and will choose to get stuck with you in that yucky pit but will also drag you out of there!
  • True friendships do not require constant chitchat and togetherness. Infrequent hi’s, hello’s and how-are-you’s will suffice to express sincere thoughts and concern. Catching up will happen seldom but when it does, it certainly surmounts distance and time difference.
  • No matter how hard you try, you can never please everyone. People are not always appreciative and grateful of your efforts, great or small. That is perfectly alright. Smile and keep at it, anyway... You are blessed to be a blessing.
  • Unmet expectations often result to disappointment and heartbreak.  Spare yourself from added insult to injury by managing your own emotion, reaction and attitude. You are not in control of people’s actions but you are certainly the chief executive officer of your own. Choose to shrug the disappointment off and carry on. Life doesn't end there.
  • A grudge is not worth holding on to. The pain and bitterness will only rub you of peace and joy. Rather than allowing yourself to go through the same agony over and over again, learn to let go and let God. It will take time but only God can truly heal.
  • Choose to give, rather than lend, without strings attached. Just make sure you are helping rather than enabling bad spending habits. Be honest if you cannot afford it. Relationships are best preserved when money matters don’t get mixed in with it.
  • Social media is mostly superficial. The grandest vacation photos and the most impressive shout out do not entirely tell a person’s life story. The thumbs up, the gratifying comment and the sweet talks do not define relationships and true friendships.  Be cautious with your connections and guard your heart against that green-eyed monster named envy.
  • God loves you and unanswered prayers do not prove otherwise. Broken dreams do not delimit His omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience. He is God despite your circumstances. So when things go amiss the way you planned them to be, fear not. Simply pray- it’s more and is most effective!  Learn to surrender to His will and trust His ways.
  • Be grateful and be contented with what you have in your life. Acquiring power, fame or more possessions will not fill the emptiness nor fully satisfy your life. Appreciating what you already have will make you realize just how blessed you are.

That pretty gold dress..

I have not been diligent to prove my love for sewing nor re-purposing clothes this year. Rather than enumerating a million and one excuses to get myself off the hook, I will attempt to make up for my lack of sewing posts this year.

My heart swelled with very sweet compliments about my outfit, especially the pretty dress, in my previous post. Contrary to what it seems, the dress did not cost me an arm and a leg. A local clothing store recently closed so the owner held a garage sale to get rid of everything. Price tags were at a whooping $5 each.
Lucky me, huh??  I thought so too, but only if I find something that would fit my petite frame…We went shopping anyway, anticipating great deals to be sent to the Philippines.  Then.. lo and behold. This pretty gold dress shyly smiled at me. I could not dare resist such beauty so I smiled back and approached her. Surprise, surprise, it is EXTRA SMALL too. I instantly fell in love! The hubby painted mixed reactions on his face the first time I showed him my new love. It was the perfect dress but unfortunately, wasn’t the perfect size.  Although I could not convince him that it’ll fit me, the very attractive price made him agree, that if all else fails, I could always resell it on Ebay. Sounded fair enough but I was decided to make the dress suit my tiny self. By hook or by crook, if I say so...
I wish I took before and after pictures of the dress but.. who had time to do so? The upper body was tad bit loose and the length wasn’t  very ideal for my height. It was too long to be a midi yet too short to be a maxi.  Sooo, for 1 and 2 above, I took each side of the torso in, through the sleeves, by approximately an inch.  I love how the skirt puffed and flared charmingly so I left it as is.. And 3, I folded the hem thrice to attain my desired and still modest length. 
I am so glad it worked out well, even when I altered the dress very quickly rather than carefully. I decline paying full price for clothing that needs alteration for my size but anybody wanting the dress can purchase it  here, not for $5 though!

And yes, there goes my little secret about that pretty gold dress.

Oh hello, December!

I browsed through the calendar, trying to recollect how time flew by so quickly. I remember blogging the preceding entry in a panic-y mode, with the high hopes of updating this blog as soon as we come back from St. Louis. That, obviously, wasn’t the case. No effort or any attempt was made. NADA!

I have been working like a dog on weekdays, by choice, and kept myself engrossed with church stuff on weekends. In between, I’d catch myself under the weather.  I’d like to blame it on the weather transition from the summer hot to the winter cold. Uhhm no, sadly, no fall occurrence, as far as I am concerned. But maybe, I am to blame for enduring as much stress I can… Uh-huh. ‘Nuff alibi, I hear.  

Just wanted to check in and make it known to the blog world that I’m still alive and kicking. Oh yeah!

Exploring the East Coast (Part 3)

I was told that without experiencing the Big Apple, one can never really claim having been to America. I’ve been here since fall of 2007 so guess I’ve never really been to America until this road trip! It was nice to see the its skyline from afar but the city was overwhelming in actuality. Our navigator acted up on our way to Queens from Niagara and brought us to the 34th St of the eminent, Manhattan. Traffic felt like home, where rules are widely accepted as suggestions resulting to chaos rather than order. Most if not all areas we’ve explored were densely crowded, probably, not just with visitors but including the locals relishing the weekend.
Above collage only contains some of sites we visited. I will have to post the rest of the pictures in Facebook or this entry will end up talking about New York City entirely. We probably have not covered all the tourist spots, mundane or prominent, but that’s okay. That’d be a good reason to visit again.  We’re equally happy and grateful for the experience. Thanks to Jackoi and Monic for their very kind hospitality and accommodation. We long to return the favor when you come visit us in the Midwest someday and hopefully soon.
Philly did not make much appeal to me until we got there. Not only did it play a significant role in the declaration of US independence, Philadelphia has also served as the temporary capital of the United States at some point.  Our tour of the Independence National Historic Park started at the Liberty Pavilion. It felt unreal to actually see and touch the iconic Liberty Bell.  What I thought was an ugly emblem of the postage stamps was actually one of the bells that historians believed to have rung in an affirmation of the country’s independence. Then there’s the well-preserved Independence Hall, where Congress meetings were held to evaluate the US Constitution and even declare the American independence.
Washington DC was our next point of interest. Been there four or so years ago but our time was insufficient to explore and enjoy the place. Hubby and I were fortunate enough to have friends from Baltimore, approximately an hour away from DC, who warmly accommodated us in their humble abode. Thanks to the Catayas family and Garcia couple. We are doubly blessed with your generosity of sharing your home with us. We truly look forward to share ours with you too.
We missed our schedule of the Pentagon tour that hubby had reserved almost a month prior to our trip. Our drive from Baltimore was delayed due to unexpectedly slow flow of traffic. Nonetheless, we pursued to pay our respects to the heroes of the 911 attacks. 
In DC, the Capitol tour was most remarkable for me. The interior design of the building was amazingly and impressively rich in history. We were hoping to get up to the observation deck of the Washington memorial but tickets were sold out. Then again, there’s always a next time! We strolled, hung around the area for quite a bit then finally took a picture took a shot of the Lincoln monument building before heading home.
Lastly, we could not resist the urge to stop over Kentucky, which I’m glad we did! It was beyond wonderful to see family and friends. Wish we could have spent a longer quality time with everyone but gotta do what we gotta do, come back home to reality.

Our East Coast road trip wasn't flawless but I can't complain, not at all. Too blessed to be stressed, humbled and forever thankful for the Lord's protection, travelling mercies and provision throughout our trip. Just as it is written, He sent an Angel before us, to keep us in the way, and to bring us into the place which He has prepared. - Exodus 23:20