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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

NOTE: This was posted last Thursday on my new blog 
I’m feeling hormonal today…I wonder if this is normal for people nearing a new decade in their lives! As I tried to examine my feelings this morning, if they are valid or just plain biological, I started to count my blessings. I just got a good health report (after a series of roller coaster emotions and paranoia!); i have smart and good-hearted children; thoughtful parents and siblings; funny and caring friends; i have Smirnoff (no, not the drink, hehe! She’s my 2-year old chocolate Labrador) to keep me company throughout the day when the kids are in school; I get paid doing what I love to do in the comfort of my home; i have a roof on my head; a comfortable bed and room to sleep in; we have enough food to last us for days; I have a car, though quite old, but still gets me to where I want to go; I have a dear cousin who’s always there to help me out; and I have a very good, understanding, hardworking husband who, though a man of few words, patiently hears me out on days like this. I know he doesn’t understand everything that I say especially when I get too emotional, but he is there to just listen and make sure that I feel it. I am richly blessed!
So after all the drama-queen-thingy speech this morning, I felt I needed to have some “me time” with God through Joel Osteen’s podcasts. Its my way of reconnecting to Him and listening to His words for me. And yes, He is all I need. I just wanted to be assured that “all is well”. And I realised that I just feel physically tired of doing the daily chores around here and lately, I haven’t been creating something. I MAGNIFIED them as if I have a huge problem when really, its just that I am plain tired and needed some crafty time for myself!  See how the enemy can ruin our day, and lives in general, if we allow one negative thought to take root! It really pays to COUNT OUR BLESSINGS and BE GRATEFUL because they drive negative forces away!
And so, I had to switch to “feel-good” mode. First, I decided to cook my comfort food: my Aglio Olio with Grilled Shrimps :)

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As I type this post, I’m feeling positive again…(bipolar lang any peg?! LOL!) and quite excited in the coming days! :) For some women, celebrating their 40th won’t be complete without new shoes, bags, clothes and make-up. But for me, I decided to enrol in my top favourite artist’s (http://kellyraeroberts.blogspot.com) mixed media e-course.


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I knew about this course last November 2013 but when I saw the course fee, I felt a bit discouraged, to be honest. I sent it out to the Universe and believed that it IS for me without thinking of how can I afford it. A friend of mine told me that anything for self-improvement is always a good investment! What an "enabler"! ;)

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A few days before the e-course opened, my hubby gave me the go signal to enrol in the course! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Truly, when you really want something and you send it out to the Universe, it will conspire to make it happen for you!
Its self-paced for for 6 months but I haven’t started mine. Hopefully after the kids’ final exams, I can start playing.
I chanced upon another favourite artist of mine (http://christytomlinson.typepad.com) will be offering her first ever watercolour class and when I saw it, I felt deep down that this is for me.
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The class opens on April 1. Now, this is one April Fool’s Day that I look forward to! :)
I have 2 more ‘LEARNINGS", one I’m taking in currently and the other one will be a day after my birthday that I’ll be saving for my post. :)
What book, short course or any hobby have you done/taken lately as a personal investment? When was the last time you counted your blessings? Love to you all!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

My First Illustrated Recipe: Aglio Olio with Grilled Shrimps

NOTE: I moved to a new home on the web months ago at: aireescreates.com but for some reason, I still see returning visitors on this site so I might as well update this whenever I can. Be sure to check out my new site as this may not be always updated. Thank you!
Last week, I managed to cook Aglio Olio with Grilled Shrimps. I was so delighted to garnish it with fresh basil leaves from my own garden that I took a picture and posted it on my Facebook. (it only means that my basil plant survived my black thumb! LOL!) A lot of my friends liked and commented on my post asking me for the recipe. I promised I will post it after dinner but I was exhausted after that I decided to post it the next day.
Saturday came and my migraine was starting to get nasty that I decided to just rest and try to sleep but the thought of my promised recipe kept me from sleeping! Ugh! And then OC-ness attack: I don't want to type the recipe with just pure text. It would be nice if I infuse some of my drawings and watercolor. Haha! This is what happens when OC-ness & ADD problems happen at the same time. You see, I should be doing something else more important and here I am starting another project again!
Anyway, I really had fun making this and I thought it would be nice to draw family recipes like this and frame them and give as gifts. Don't you think? Additional "career" eh?! Haha!
So here it is...hope you'll enjoy this simple recipe. I didn't include any measurement at all because it all depends on your taste. Start with just a little of chilli flakes if you're not into spicy foods then slowly add some more according to your taste. :)

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gratitude Crafternoon

Being a work-at-home mom, my routine usually entails mommy duties in the morning until the kids leave for school then working on my pending projects from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. I would switch from local tv shows to CNN and BBC and Bio channel. After typhoon Haiyan swept Central Visayas, the Philippines became the center of news everywhere. Images and footages of the victims, survivors and devastated areas flash across tv channels. I began spending more hours tuned in to CNN instead of Lifestyle Network or HBO. I cannot help but cry seeing a lot of my countrymen died, children orphaned and families homeless, wet and hungry.
I've got to do something. I cannot just sit on my comfortable chair and just watch. But how? Usually, the first thing I reach for is my closet. Time to sort my wardrobe and give away clothes that I haven't worn for a year and some that I hope I would still fit in! Dream on! Next, my children's clothes. Next, my bed sheets. What else? Shoes, slippers, pillows. I felt it wasn't enough...giving away something you don't really need anymore is so easy. I wanted to put more of "myself" into what I am giving.

November 12, 2013 - During dinner, I explained my children about what's happening. Yes, they are aware. They've seen the news but I wanted them to emphatize. I told them how blessed we are to be spared from the damage of Haiyan and how we should always be grateful for what we have. But, gratitude does not end there. We should look beyond the walls of our comfort zone and see if there's someone whom we can share our blessings. At some point in our conversation I cannot help but be emotional and I cannot explain why. At least, my kids didn't tease me!

November 14, Thursday - A few more days passed by, every channel I tune in is all about typhoon Haiyan and Central Visayas especially Tacloban City. I don't know if its a hormonal thing or i am just getting old but I essily get emotional lately and find myself crying many times during the day. It wasn't just tears of sadness because of the devastation Haiyan brought my country and its people, but I am just overwhelmed at how everyone in every corner of the world is doing to help in any way they can - US, Austalian, British troops began sailing in to help, food supply from United Nations down to two "kariton" boys donating their day's earning. Haiyan may be the worst typhoon in the history of the world but sure it brought out the best in humankind - COMPASSION. I've never seen help in this magnitude only now. And seeing that, I felt SO GRATEFUL to everyone, Filipino or not, Catholic or not, rich or poor. The feeling of gratitude as if literally fills my heart and I want to explode! I need to express it or I might have a heart attack!
I can't sleep...I can't get off the words GRATITUDE and HOPE on my mind. Gratitude for the donors and the volunteers, hope - i want us to spread hope to everyone affected...we should be a beacon of hope for them.

"Hope is a good thing...maybe the best of all things....- Shawshank Redemption"

And I thought what can I possibly do? I don't have lots of money to donate. I wanted to volunteer but who will take care of my children when I'm out there? (My nanny of 12 years recently retired) I want to involve my children...to give something from our hearts...not just things we don't have but a part of us.
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I have papers (did i say i love papers?!), embelishments for cardmaking and scrapbooking, color pens, washi tapes and cardmaking is what I do best (invitations, technically speaking). Okay, let's make cards - Gratitude cards and Hope Cards. Gratitude for volunteers because more often that not, our focus is always on the survivors. We forget to acknowledge the great help those volunteers do in times like this. For now, the momentum to volunteer is very high but eventually, it may go down as they are humans, too, they get tired and emotionally exhausted since they are on ground zero and they have families, too, back home. We need to keep the spirit burning. I want to let them (the volunteers) know that we appreciate their efforts and a simple, handwritten and handmade card is a tangible proof of our gratitude.

Hope cards for the survivors...we hope thru these cards, they will be reminded that we think of them and there is hope. But when I told this to one of my bestfriends, about the idea, she said it might not be the right time to give them the cards. They are hungry, wet, maybe injured, no shelter...you know, they need the basic necessities in life right now-food, shelter and clothing. She has a point. Maybe not now. Maybe we can focus on the volunteers first.

I knew I just have to do this or else I would regret not doing it for the rest of my life. My husband asked me how can we possibly give the cards to the volunteers??! He has a point...I don't know! What I do know is that THERE IS A WAY, I may not know it right now but I BELIEVE By God's grace there will be a way even if it seems there is no way. I told him that question will not stop me from making this happen. I sounded a bit offensive/emotional but I apologized to him soon after.
I called up my 2 of my bff's and asked if they can come and bring their kids to join us on Sunday, 17th of November. I invited the "patintero" kids (not kids anymore!) in the neighborhood as well. I wanted to invite everyone in my friends list but I was a bit hesitant as I really don't have enough space in the house and no time for food preparation! I just knew we have to make this happen!


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Novermber 17, Sunday - After hearing mass, we just ordered lunch since we have to prepare the tools and materials for cardmaking. I never thought I have so much stuff to last a lifetime until I started putting them out! LOL! At least now I will put them to good use. :) My kids prepared iced tea (that's the least we can give for the cardmakers!) and we have a jar of Sticko and some assorted nuts. By 2 pm, people started coming in and soon enough everyone is busy making their cards! I secretly shed a tear feeling overwhelmed with the kids' support and the time they are willing to give for this when they should be somewhere else probably malling with friends. I am just so GRATEFUL. I told myself, I can die now, but no, no Lord, not now. I still want to travel the world! :)
Here are some pics of our Gratitude Crafternoon. Special thanks to my new friend, David, whom I bugged last Friday night to come up with a nice wording for e-vite since I'm already a scatterbrain. He's also the one who coined Gratitude Crafternoon - thanks, David!









"God would never start something that He could not finish."

I believe that God has put this whole idea in my heart and He will arrange things in our favor. True enough, when I thought of asking Mayor Len Alonte-Naguiat, a friend of mine, to connect me to possible person/s to give the cards to the right people, I got an immediate reply- that she and her constituents will be going to Villamor Airbase the next day to bring in some doctors to check on the survivors flying in from the affected areas. She offered to bring the cards to personally hand over them to pilots and other volunteers who are in Tacloban and Cebu.

November 18, Monday - I met Len at her office and gave her the box of cards we made. Finally, I was able to give her my promised gift for her birthday last year!







November 19, Tuesday - woke up with an Instagram notification from her. Everyone who participated was excited to see that our cards have reached the right people. If only we could make more....
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Nevertheless, I am more than grateful to everyone to participated and helped out in making this happen.

Maraming, maraming salamat!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My New Home: Everything I love under one roof

Come and visit my new home @ http://aireescreates.com
No, its not Paris (not yet, hehe!), but a new website for everything I am passionate about. And finally, after 3 days and sleepless nights of ftp's and resetting my server, my site is up! This is big deal for a Wordpress newbie like me so give me this moment. :)

I want my new home to be a place for your creative inspiration and would it be nice to feature fellow crafters as well. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks you will get to know them. For now, I am sharing the things I'm most passionate about - handmade paper invitations, scrapbooking, mixed media and other paper crafts and some snippets of my life.

May I invite you to take a look at my new home at http://aireescreates.com - comments and suggestions are welcome as its still a work in progress. Thank you!

AND, don't forget to SIGN-UP for updates and freebie alerts. I'll be hosting a giveaway soon. Thank you!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Oh, hello blog! (long post!)

Its been more than a year since I last posted here. Ever since I came back from the States, life has been B.U.S.Y. I must admit, Facebook and Instagram provided an easier venue to post status and photos. But there is something about blogging that makes it different from the two - I can write whatever I want, in a more personal way just like a journal/diary. I don't have to think about how many likes I get...just plain ol' "journal writing" for me to look back someday I have record of a time in my life.
Anyway, here's a rundown of the happenings from Sept. 2012 - present. (I have poor memory so I am just writing here the most I can remember! LOL!)

  • September 2012 - hang out most of the time in Washington, DC frequenting Anthropologie (lots of eye-candy and inspiration here!), Urban Outfitters, Gap, Paper Source, Papyrus - most of the shops in Georgetown! I didn't shop much but mostly feasted my eyes on colors, patterns and designs to keep me inspired (but my brother has been picking up a lot of boxes from Amazon and Joann's 2-3x a week!) I've been hooked to Instagram and gained new crafter friends that I look forward to meeting as soon as I get back to the Philippines.
  • October 2012 - Back to home base. Joined a craft fair in Manila and finally showcased my Collage wallets and passport jackets. They were almost sold out and I got featured (along with other crafters) on TV5 segment for gifts for Christmas. I joined Craft MNL's Etsy Party and met fellow handmade crafters I "met" in Instagram. A few weeks after that, I joined a Craft Soiree in QC. It was a different kind of high to spend a day with fellow crafters - not necessarily paper crafters - but all sorts.


  • November 2012 - Joined Hey Kessy's Washi Party in QC. It was FUN! Met some more fellow crafters and we spent the day indulging ourselves with washi tapes! Yes, we are members of WTA - Washi Tapes Anonymous!


  • December 2012 - I tried to finish orders for my Collage wallets and passport jackets and invitations by the 2nd week so I can reserve the last 2 weeks for my family. I just want to enjoy the Christmas season with my family and friends. Lots of eating (as we, Filipinos, love to eat!) and chatting. I hosted our annual Christmas party with red, black & white theme and lots of DIY crafts like buntings, placemats (with our daughters as little helpers in stamping) and washi-fied paper cups, paper plates and wooden spoons and forks. We decided to serve only "healthy" foods and veer away from the usual "fatty & high-calorie dishes". Shrimp garlic pesto, baked salmon, fresh fruits, not-necessarily-healthy-but-oh-so-yummy fish sticks and infused water. Friends from the US and Australia "joined" us for photo-op via Facetime. :) On the family side, we drove down to a resort in near Taal Lake for some bonding moments with the kids.

  • January 2013 - Did a lot of crafting - sweet reunion with my stamps and ink pads! Made some postcards. My washi tape collection grew to 116 rolls (exclusive of the duplicate designs) in a span of 4 months and that earned my place in Philippine Daily Inquirer's article on washi tapes. I joined some fellow addicts, este, crafters during the photo shoot.
  • February 2013 - Joined the Condura Skyway Marathon again. This is our 2nd year and this time, hubby decided to fly in from Singapore to join me and my son for the weekend. We ran 6K this time (level-up from last year's 3K) We decided to book a room in a nearby hotel to avoid the hassle of securing a parking space on the day of the event. Actually, we booked there for the buffet breakfast for 2, haha! Monday after the marathon, hubby and I were just 3 hours flight apart on our way to Singapore. I'll be spending 3 weeks with him eating out at our favorite restaurants, go scrapbook supplies shopping, run and I, will be meeting up with former colleagues and crafter friends.
  • March 2013 - A week after I came home from Sg, my parents arrived from the US for a 1 month vacation. I've been driving almost everyday for them so my crafting took a backseat. Its our birth month, too, so a lot of eating and reunion with friends filled this happy month. :) I managed to squeeze in a Macaron Class at Enderun, too! But I guess I have to put off baking this until I tweak the recipe to a lesser-sweet one.
  • April 2013 - After my parents left for the US, I met up with 2 friends in Manila. One for lunch and one in the afternoon. I haven't seen them for years! It was so good to reconnect with them - never-ending chats and ideas. A few days after, I got sick. This usually happens to me after a month of driving for my parents. As soon as I recovered, I signed up at the nearby gym. This is another DARE for me - with the excess pounds I gained after months of eating out (and lesser runs), I just have to do it NOW. I tell you, its NOT EASY but its all WORTH IT. Started eating right and I can see the benefits. I feel lighter and have more energy which is what I actually needed for the next 6 weeks of driving (again!) and going with the kids for their summer classes. In addition to that, I had to work on a pending order for my handmade collage passport jackets and wallets (which is a LOT! #thankful) for an Australian client. April has seen us attending the Balik-Bukid Country Fair - it was our first time and it was F.U.N.! We even won in the Family Category for the Mud Dash Run! :)
  • May 2013 - Loui's taekwondo class has been extended! So is my driving! :) But its ok. I'm proud of her. So many times we asked her if this is the one she really likes to pursue and she proved it. She earned her blue belt and even scored points against a brown belter! I resumed my crafting adventures and this time made a wish box for a friend's client to be used on her 50th birthday. It was something I haven't made and I'm glad they liked it. I've been going to the gym regularly now and my body has adjusted to the routines - TRX, spinning, Zumba, weight training and plyometrics. I've always wanted to paint but I was not confident enough since I didn't have any formal art class so I enrolled in an online art class called "Daring Adventures in Paint" by Mati Rose. It was fun. I learned how to just let go of the fears and inhibitions and just paint! Hubby came home for a 2-week vacation and that meant frequent eating out! We booked at a hotel in Tagaytay for some bonding moments with the kids (and more eating! waaahhh!!!)

  • June 2013 - A week after hubby left, it was my time to leave for Singapore again. Sort of a "vacation" for me after 3 months of driving and killing myself at the gym (lol!). But before I left, I had to make sure the kids' school stuff are in ready. This year was kinda different - I taught the kids how to cover their books with plastic - something I've been doing by myself for the past 7 years. I guess I'll be in semi-retirement soon. ;) We celebrated Loui's birthday with her taekwondo classmates. And the books I'm currently reading, I had to pick just a few since I expect to bring home a lot of stuff I left in Sg. It was heartbreaking for me to leave my washi tapes, books and stamps for a month! haha! Looking forward to Central Thai for their veggie spring rolls, pineapple rice and lemon chicken; organic pasta and meatballs from Ikea (our neighbor!) and teriyaki chicken chop in aglio olio pasta at Hot Tomato and rosti and pizza at Marchè. And not to miss is our favorite shrimps at Glutton's Bay. Also, this time, we went to see Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands. I finally gave in and got myself an iPad mini. Now blogging comes easy (easy daw o! haha! I'm actually typing this post on my laptop!) Of course, I can't leave Singapore without a new set of pens, washi tapes, stencils, books and scrapbooking stuff! :)
  • July 2013 - Started the month learning Wordpress. I've been meaning to move my blog to a self-hosted Wordpress site since it offers more flexibility when it comes to design and functionality. Plus, I'll be working on my supplier's website...really excited about this coz I know this will be a great help in their marketing efforts. I stopped going to the gym but continued with my diet and running...I just don't have the time right now since I will be leaving for a trip down south for a week to gather stuff for the website and do some product development as well. It was a fun trip! Managed to run uphill with friends and then took a dip at the clear river. It was my first time and I was just glad that I did it. After swimming, we had freshly-picked buko juice. Oh, i love this place! Got stranded at the airport for 18 hours due to bad weather condition. Thankful for my iPad and power bank for they kept me sane throughout my entire stay. I came home with a box full of lansones from my friend. I've never eaten lansones this much in my entire life! Yummy! But not everything was fun this month....I had asthma attack after a I came home and that kept me from working for a couple of days. At least, I'm thankful that I don't need to be confined in a hospital this time. A week after, my former bride client who became a very close friend of mine came home for a vacation. We, together with our common friend, went to see Side A Band live at 19 East. Wow! Its been 21 years since I last saw Joey G. sing but his voice has not changed a bit. Galing!
  • August 2013 - Busy month! Worked on invitation orders while doing the website but I am #thankful. Hubby came home for a long weekend and we booked in another hotel for a much needed break. After he left, back to work which means Wordpress, Photoshop, printing and assembling of invitations. In the midst of busy-ness around here, I still find time to be with friends once in a while and I've been spending a day/week at Starbucks bringing my work with me. Its my way of finding my center and gathering my thoughts. I call it "a date with myself". :) Though I haven't been back to the gym, I've been running regularly 3-4x a week at 5K. This month, me and my BFF's had a mini reunion with our friend whom we haven't seen for 20 years! Typhoon Maring left some parts of my town devastated and under water. We were blessed enough to be spared but others were not as lucky. In this time of great need, I've seen how we, Filipinos, are ready to extend help to those who need it most.
  • One last note, I DARED myself to finally join the rally #MillionPeopleMarch. I was not able to join the EDSA Revolution back in 1986 coz I was just 11 years old. But this time, I have to. I am fed up with all the corruption happening in my country and its time to take stand. And I am glad I did it.

I will soon be migrating to Wordpress and this blog will be transferred to a new domain. Hopefully it will be up by 2nd week of September 2013 (not 2014!). The blog header is a sneak peek of what to expect in my new website - a collection of all my loves, my passion. Hope to see you there soon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shop is NOW OPEN!

After checking out handmade online shops and even trying to put up a self-hosted online shop (my OC-ness kicked in and I wanted my own design of the entire set!), I still went back to good ol' Etsy! Its good for now for a number of reasons: established online portal for handmade sellers; secure payment via Paypal and easier to upload my products.

Take a peek at my shop:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/aireescreates
I'll be adding more wallets and other handmade products soon. Kindly bear with me. Thank you for supporting handmade artisans like me. :)

Friday, August 03, 2012

Setting Up Shop Soon!!!

I used to have an Etsy shop but I wasn't able to maintain it for years because I wanted to focus on my handmade invitation business and family life. And besides, our mailing system in the Philippines back then was a pain in the neck, lots of red tape, sad to say but I think it has improved quite a bit and I can see more and more Flipino online sellers.

One of my goals for 2012 is to revive my Etsy shop but I am also looking into other venues like Big Cartel or my very own online shop. I've been out of the loop for quite some time in Etsy and I think I need to "review again" hence, its been quiet up here.

But in my collage wallet area, mojo is still up and I've been making them every week. I just haven't posted them up yet since I am in the midst of thinking where to sell them online. Anyway, here are 2 of my creations I made 2 weeks ago.

Collage Wallet #11 - Eiffel

Here's the close-up:





Collage Wallet #12 - Postmarks
Close-up:





To all who expressed their interest to buy my collage wallets, I will let you know as soon as my shop is up. Soon! Thanks for your patience. :)