life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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asian representation

I have been on a “Asian phase” in my viewing habits this past holiday weekend. I have seen Crazy rich Asians on the movies, also watched To all the boys I loved before and is currently watching Kim’s convenience on Netflix. And it was glorious. I could totally relate.

check, check and check!

For the record, I have the (books) trilogy of the Crazy rich Asians, also the same goes for To all the boys I loved before.

It was good to have these, since it has been a while since Fresh off the boat. I do however associate Constance Wu to her role Jessica Huang (Fresh off the boat) a bit too much that seeing her as Rachel Chu (Crazy rich Asians) reminds me of Jessica Huang. -but maybe that is just me. 

this show gave me a lot of laughs

Since I am not really that much immersed in Chinese culture and tradition and has adapted a more “modern and eclectic mix” of thinking,  I find these shows mirror real life instances and feelings of me and my friends accurately. Watching these shows are like a slice of life as it hits so close to home with the general Asian values of frugality, filial piety, and the occasional family feuds driven by competitiveness. I just wish they keep on coming with Asian shows like these.

For now, I am going back to my Netflix maraton watching Kim’s convenience.

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travesty all over

Happy to report that I have been “healthy” eating a lot since I got market greens from Baguio.

I have made strawberry shrimp salad. Aka Pammy approved salad-that means its not exactly that healthy since I used quite a lot of butter on the shrimp. 

strawberry shrimp salad ala Pammy

strawberry shrimp salad ala Pammy -the cubes are cheese

I also made Sagada orange salad from Jo’s Sagada oranges.

Sagada orange salad

Sagada orange salad

Also cooked deep fried oyster mushrooms! -This is so yums! (obviously not healthy.)

deep fried oyster mushroom

deep fried oyster mushroom

After finishing off all the Baguio greens we got, it is time for CNY (Chinese New Year). Of course it is not CNY if we are not pigging out. *I am always pigging out. 

chinese style roast suckling pig

chinese style roast suckling pig

And because it is not a family gathering without family drama, I had loads and loads of drama. I think I had enough for a year, or five years even. That makes me very wary paranoid of family gatherings. Being made to feel inadequate by someone who turns out to be a hypocrite -is something that I could definitely do without. Maybe next year I will go hermit.

But not all is dour. My geraniums from Baguio that I thought would never thrive in Manila actually bloomed quite a lot even after subjecting it to stress due to travelling! -It adapted well to the warmer climate. 

My "stars and stripes" geranium from Baguio. My bestie Jo also got these.

A cluster of blooms from my “stars and stripes” geranium from Baguio. My bestie Jo also got this plant.

For now I will be seeking refuge from my tiny patio garden. Till the next post.


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shitty ghost month

Any idea about the hungry ghost festival that some hardcore Chinese people are into believing? I usually ignore far fetched superstitions like that but this year, this year was particularly shitty!

1.) Because this month alone I got hacked and lost money in the process. –I lost 5.5k. Had to go report everything, pay replacement stuff, fill up paper upon paper and reports and whatever, nobody cares. fml. There goes my social life fund. Just when I thought I can splurge and see my friends…

not cool

not cool

2.) Next, I ordered a bag for my cousin and ended up having to endure stress for four days because the online seller lied about sending the item and also the estimated arrival –I was so anxious to get the item before my (other) cousin goes to the US. It was going to be hand carried to the US.  Making me worry that I have to send it internationally! The bag cost cheaper than the international shipping rate. So it will not be worth it… I wanted to wring the seller’s neck! She even had the gall to say that she reserves the right not to answer to any calls and that she is not a scammer. All the while this shit was happening while I was…

the bag in question

the bag in question

3.) Sick –this time it was a happy combination of flu, colds and cough with dysmenorrhea thrown in just for fun. And because I am sick I thought I would sterilize my retainers…I ended up shrinking them –I cannot wear them (wounded gums!!!) and had to get new ones made. Fml. 

my kind of drugs

my kind of drugs

4.) Retainers -Dentist is away. Fml again.

I accidentally shrunk mine

I accidentally shrunk mine

5.) DIY fail –Never again Krylon! After having all these shitty things happening, I thought to just stay at home and just go craft something to keep me busy. I got a house shaped frame on sale and thought that we could spray paint it to match our color. We grabbed a can of krylon thinking it would do the trick, It ended up a lumpy uneven mess that we tried to sand and spray again and again. To think that brand was the most expensive spray paint can we got. Maximum failure.

never again!!!

never again!!!

The only thing that consoles me is that today is the last day of the shitty ghost month. Arrrggghhh!


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fall-ing rain

It is officially Christmas! Here in the Philippines (of course) as the “ber” month are here again.

I hate you traffic season! I also hate the sudden downpours!

And because of the impending Christmas season I am officially one stressed out cray-cray gal.  I STILL HAVE A LOT TO DO W/REGARDS TO MY WEDDING PREPS. Fretting about my permits for the prenup shoot. Still have my fittings and my entourage (kids) to monitor. Creating a home. Add the cleaning of our soon to be home, and its contents. Plus Feng Shui issues. (I still cannot understand Feng Shui!-Maybe I am not supposed to be Chinese?!) Or my problem with the existing bathroom tiles?-It is green and I dislike green. But, I have to find a way to live with it and work around that green bathroom. I spend every weekend of the last month at every home depot. Looking at paints, lights, tiles, sinks, fixtures and all those home stuff I never thought existed.

I now get excited at paint swatches. Go figure.

yes! paints

some of the paint colors I picked out. 

Plus, I have to fill the house with appliances too. So yeah. All the weekends has come to alternating home depot, our home, and appliance stores. Then I have to double up my workload to get by the holiday season without a hitch. Looking haggard and more haggard if that is possible by the second.

Oh and with the drop in temperature, I now have dry eyes that means I have to say bye to wearing contact lenses. Old auntie land here I come. Hah.

Leighton wears glasses too! I got new tortoisehells to rock daily.

Leighton wears glasses too! I got new tortoisehells to rock daily.

Now, if only I can add two to five hours on everyday to get all everything done…


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paper story: our invites

Kei gave me the free hand to create our invites. I count it as one of the perks of being a graphic artist, as I already have an idea of what I wanted our wedding invitations to look like.

But being Chinese we have to uphold certain traditions. Our Invitations have to be bilingual. Being quite of a rule breaker that I am, I know for sure that I am not going to have the traditional Chinese wedding invitation cards.

Sorry, but this is just so not us.

At home we have a shoebox full of wedding invites that look like this. T_T (photo from google)

At home we have a shoe box full of wedding invites that look like this. T_T (photo from google)

But I am not about to go out and buy generically designed cards. I am going to create my own, our own. And get it printed.

I wanted something simple: no letterpress, gold foil or emboss, but I wanted to inject color to make it look happy and not so plain and of course, it must look modern. So the cost would be lower, and also to highlight the design and color. And if the budget would allow, I also wanted it to be on pearlescent paper. So I went to ask my best friend Google for inspiration.  I found these.

invitation inspiration all photos from google.

booklet type invitation inspiration (all photos from google)

I like the idea of a booklet type invitations. Beacuse I have to write everything twice, one in English and one in Chinese. I need a lot of pages!

So, I took that idea and went to create my awesome, modern bilingual invitations. I made two designs and got Kei to pick one, so that everything has Kei’s approval from the design to the paper stock. 

I now present our draft/prototype! This was printed at home using our desktop printer and cream colored pearlescent board paper, and held together by two paper fasteners.

Bilingual ✓, color ✓ , pearl paper ✓=just what we wanted.

Bilingual ✓, color ✓ , pearl paper ✓ = just what we wanted.

Ours still feature the traditional Chinese symbol double happiness* 囍, which was modernized by making the 喜 “hug” the other 喜. Using soft colors instead of the usual red and gold gave it a more casual, romantic feel. Using pearlescent paper also made it look elegant. We also added bunnies inside!

*Double Happiness is a ligature, “囍” composed of 喜喜 – two copies of the Chinese characters 喜 () literally means joy, compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much like a real character may consist of two parts), and is pronounced as apolysyllabic Chinese character, being read as 双喜 (shuāngxǐ). -wikipedia

The invite was sectioned into three parts: The wedding- that includes everything about the ceremony. The Entourage- This page has everyone in the bridal party. Lastly, we have The RSVP- where we placed more information (what to wear, our instagram tags, facebook page…etc) regarding the event.

So, once we got our draft done, we got some of our friends (who has been-there-done-that) to check our handiwork. They thought it was the real thing! hahaha! It looked good. We had all the wordings down pat. One even commented that the look was so Pammy. I took that as a compliment. ^_^ Till we let one of our principal sponsors take a look of it. (Unknown to me, they are in the printing industry! *surprise surprise!* They would also like print our invites!!).

They asked us out for dinner meet-up they got us to choose paper stock for our wedding invites! So blessed! Just Wow!

Imagine our amazement when they handed over swatches of Prestige Paper Products and Fedrigoni Papers. They let us choose the one we like. I was over the moon! I love stationery and fancy paper! So many options all awesome paper! But we had to choose, and keeping in line with what we wanted we picked out Fedrigoni Papers for Indigo in Soho Sirio Pearl Polar Dawn.

It looks like this.

It looks like this. But the photo does not give it justice.

The photo does not give it justice at all. It has these iridescent rainbow flecks on a base of subtly shimmery cream paper. Prints and colors shows up well on the paper too! Awesome sauce pretty!

 Now all we have to do is finalize the texts inside of the invites as we have a lot of changes in those.  

 

-Need a Chinese graphic artist for your own invites? shoot me a message. ^_^


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signed, sealed, delivered – we have our primary sponsors!

When it comes to the wedding preparation and practices you probably noticed that we are kind of different. We came from traditional Chinese families yet we are non-traditional thinkers with a hint of modern style. This makes our families say that we think like Westerners. We take that as a compliment.

I would like to say that it is not like we disregard tradition, it is just that we are practical.

So, when it comes to the daunting task of getting the principal sponsors or the ninongs and ninangs, we still made it non-traditional. Rebellious moves on our end, as most of our peers have gone through this the traditional way.

principal

We have 8 pairs of principal sponsors. While to some that may be too many. But to us with a huge family that was the exact number. It even complies with the traditional Chinese thinking that 8 is a lucky number.  Split into two, that means four pairs from the groom’s side and four pairs from the bride’s side.

That being said, imagine visiting and giving each of the pairs these “required items”- pork leg, misua (very thin variety of salted Chinese noodles made from wheat flour), fruits, sweets and more importantly fabric/s to be made into a suit/ to be made into a gown.

Kei already had his prospects for his principal sponsors; I on the other hand only had two. The other two was chosen by my parents. Most of our prospective sponsors have been sponsors before. Meaning they have been through this stuff already. Most of the males own more than one suit; the ladies have had lots of gowns made for them too. We also doubt if they really enjoy eating misua?! I can imagine them saying misua again?!

Meaty Vegetable Misua - Photo from Knorr Philippines

Meaty Vegetable Misua – Photo from Knorr Philippines

And one of our couples is Pinoy! So how do we explain to them the Chinese tradition of getting primary sponsors? I don’t think they would know what to do if we gave them the pork leg and misua stuff…etc. They even called us up to ask what our motif is so that they could buy their suit and gown! Woah! Hold it right there! Because as per Filipino tradition, they pay for their own attire.

Kei and I decided on going with our own version of the tradition. A modern and practical solution for everyone involved. We are going to give out our very own: Principal Sponsor Kit. (Much like what I did with the bridesmaids kits, but for another purpose. See my bridesmaids’ kits here)

the principal sponsor kits

our principal sponsor kits

For the the males a nice long sleeved polo shirt with tie – they get to wear their own suit without having to get another suit made, for the ladies it will still be the standard fabric – only twist is that we not only gave out the fabric of our chosen color, we also gave them lace. As an added bonus, we also gave out details regarding the wedding along with our love story. How is that for being organized? hahahaha!

inside the box of the female sponsor's kit

inside the box of the female sponsor’s kit

We also traded the misua for most of the couples; it was replaced with us inviting the couple out to eat, like a double date. In the process getting to know them better and getting comfortable with them. Although we have 2 chosen sponsor couples are really traditionalist, we gave them the staple fare: pork leg, fruit, sweets and misua.

So far, the result of our rebellion has been positive. 

The males are happy that they get to save money by wearing what they have/or their favorite suit and getting a nice polo + tie to boot. The ladies are excited to get another gown made without scrimping on the budget this time! (The ladies have no competition as the males will not have to get another suit made thus nothing to worry about!) Three couples even called us up to say that we were very thoughtful for giving them a hassle free solution to preparing their attire for the wedding. Practicality wins again! 

 

*as of the moment all our kits are sent out save for one.


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Grab the dress and run

So, my prenup dress adventures in Divisoria continues.

If I learned anything from the dresses I got made from the place is that, look for another place, go buy rtw and grab the dress and run for your life.

If you have seen the past post regarding the topic, you would know how bad it is. So, I am not even going to post more hideous pictures. ( I already shamed myself enough.) I am also short of seven thousand pesos. -the cost of the two failed gowns. 

II feel like a child lost in the wilderness. (photo from favim.com)

I feel like a child lost in the wilderness. photo from favim.com

Out of the three dresses I got made at Divisoria, only two are technically wearable. And that my friend is a generous statement.

Realistically only one is ok to wear. 

The first was the red one. Maximum fail. Second is a lilac off shoulder that features a bit of appliqué lace and beading (if I may add.. it has a nice fit, and looks top notch) the other gown is a champagne deep V neckline with no beading that features a  lumpy back! (I don’t know if it was because of the zipper or the fabric was too small…It makes me look like I have a small bump on my back. Hello Notre Dame! Pun intended. Lol.) I don’t even know if I should cry or laugh when I fitted the dress.

the other gowns

expectation VS reality (click to enlarge)

So yeah, the lilac is wearable. And technically, the champagne one is also wearable if you disregard the fact that it will give you the “hunchback of Notre Dame” look. In reality, its just one gown that is OK.

Of course I am not expecting perfection as these prenup dresses are the guinea pig (testing) dresses. If the mananahi (seamstress) did well then I would get her to make the dresses for my entourage. But sadly none of them hit the nail.

All the dresses are priced at 3.5k each. Cheap, but also included cheap service. I got what I paid for. Lesson learned.

The horror of a dress-my red dress, I discarded that and got another red made. Also brought quite a lot of tulle lace fabric, for the making of the new, hopefully better red dress. Is now again, crossing my fingers that this will turn out ok.

I also scouted for another seamstress at Benavides. This time I went to Ysabelle. That is managed by a snooty-old-chinese-auntie that wouldn’t believe I was a soon-to-wed, I did not quite get the bride-to-be look. Since it was no use talking to someone who doesn’t believe me and I got challenged by her Chinese speaking skills, that were no match for my halting Chinese, I decided to go and enlist the help of my fluent Chinese speaking mum. lols.

So, I went back with the peg of the dress I want in hand.

No beading, not floor length, no lace, ivory color. I thought this would go for 4k max. Apparently not.

She wants 5k for the dress. With much haggling. We managed to get it lowered for 4.5k. Oh well, at least we tried. While taking my measurements, she asks why do I need the dress? I said I am going to use it for the wedding dance and also for my prenup shoot. Again she states that I look like a high school-er and is too young to get married. Then she asks for my age. I said 29. Chinese age? She lifted her eyebrow at me. No. Chinese Age I am already 30 or is it 31. She goes whaaaaaaatttt? And I just shrug. There is also a disadvantage as to looking too young.

After a week of waiting, I managed to go-see for the first fitting. I was grateful that this was nicely done. Really matched the peg I got her to copy. As much as I wanted to say only good things this time around… there is still a gripe. The color was not ivory. It was the lightest peach that looks similar to the shade of the lumpy champagne gown.

Maybe they have not found the ivory fabric and substituted it with the closest shade available. But the dress was made. So, I cannot complain, and again it was really pulido nicely done. Only consolation, if I do wear it for the wedding dance it would match my champagne shoes perfectly.

Now, I am off to look for an rtw, so that what I see is what I get. Wish me luck.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience. This is not a sponsored post. I paid for all the gowns including all the fail gown/s. 

**I conclude that to save yourself the stress, money and the heartbreak over your dress, better but the display gowns if you really want to buy at Divisoria. Or go to a different place. better shell out a bit more than get a gown you will not get to wear. 

***If you are really interested to see/know the mananahi/s (seamstress) I visited, the good one or the fail one, leave me a comment below and I will get back to you.