Mouth-watering Memoir

My paternal grandmother, Lucena Ravelo Lacho used to say, "Candy, I'm happy. You know, I just live the simple life..." It's true, if we are happy with what we have, we see the beauty in its simplicity. I miss her so much... I love her so much more.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Meme for March

Ok, I know technically it is still February, but it's fun to do memes (Lara got me hooked!) so we will do another one, starting... Right now!

1. What do you do when you see a penny on the ground?

I pick it up. No penny is safe once they've been spotted. Unless of course it belongs to somebody, then I pick it up and give it back to the (careless, I mean poor) owner.

2. If you picked it up, where does it end up?

In a piggy bank or a jar for pennies. It depends really on who in our family found it first.

3. When you think of a penny, what's the first word you come up with?

"Penny!" (Don't you?)

4. Do you prefer shiny or patina'd pennies?

Patina'd; only because I know that there's a possibility that it may be an older penny. Those are cooler, especially the earlier ones- before the Lincoln Memorial

5. Do you collect them?

Yes, and save them and teach with them. My dh is the more avid fan of penny collecting. I go through them more for the older ones.

6. Do you clean them first?
No, not normally, but I did wash my dh's huge collection while I was bored one day waiting for my classes to start. I washed them all with bleach and proceeded to sort them by decades. Did I mention I was bored? (Yes, I did do some laundry, the dishes, made dinner and checked homeworks in between...)

7. What would you rather get for a lucky charm, a penny or a shamrock?

Honestly, a penny because I know its value and I feel lucky to have that extra ".01" spendable cash in my possession, lol!. A shamrock, what would that do but wilt on me. Who needs that?

Alright, it's your turn... Try it and see how many pennies you'll notice after this meme. What do you think inspired this meme, a penny of course!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Romantic Meme

Another brilliant meme from Lara's blog.

1. Where did you and your husband (or boyfriend) meet?
San Jose, CA inside a Taco Bell. His friend and my friend flirted and next thing I know, we were sitting next to them at a booth and then talking at the nearby park!

2. How long before you kissed?
About after our third date; a stolen one. Then, after a month, we went up to Highway 9, and talked about where we're headed with all these dates, since I already have a kid and all, I wasn't comfortable acting like a highschool girl on a date (though I loved it, he was hot!) It turned out we liked each other a lot so we sealed it with a kiss.

3. Who kissed who first?
He stole one from me; I was adamant that we weren't dating and I guess it was his way of telling me otherwise. It was quite flattering. After a month, it was mutual.

4. How long from the time you met until you were engaged?
2 years + 9 months

5. How did he propose?
Actually, if we want to be technical, when we were dating for six months, he knew he wanted to marry me, but my "single mom" adventures kept getting in the way. No, I don't mean Lisa, it's the people around Lisa and I that made our dating difficult.
On July 31, 1996, he calls and offered to take me to work, but we stopped at his house first. He had to look for something which took long enough to threaten my work schedule. Then he asked if he can show me something- we ended up at our favorite park in a nearby city. He parked somewhere that overlooked a beautiful garden setting. He then asked me to help him look for his commuter mug. I found it under my seat; he asked me to open it and the ring box was in it.
When I saw the ring, I was speechless! But I also didn't try to say anything because on our 2-year dating anniversary, he gave me a promise ring and I didn't want to be presumptious. He took out the ring and asked me to marry him by saying my full name (though he won't admit to it) and, of course, I said yes! On our way to work, he treated me to a quick dinner and I was almost an hour late!
I got reprimanded, and then my manager asked why: all I could do was show him the ring. He paused and said, "Do not be late again. Congratulations! Now let me see this ring."

6. Did he pick out the ring or did you?
He did; he designed it for me. I wasn't a "big ring" kind of girl, so he designed this 14K yellow gold solitaire setting for a 1/4 carat diamond with one small diamond each on opposite side, diagonal to each other and the wedding band thinned out at the top with a graceful twist to hug under the diamond. It was perfect!

7. Do you still like the ring?
I do, but I lost it back in Mesa, AZ when I had strepthroat and fainted outside the urgent care after my exam. Someone from the ambulance or hospital staff must have taken it out of my finger just in case, but we couldn't remember who or when. I hoped that it was somewhere in the house.
I still miss it.... I was distraught over it for a long time, but then when we were packing to move to Texas and it still didn't turn up, he said that he'd rather lose the ring than me.
Then, on our eleventh year, on Valentine's Day, he replaced it with this...

It was his Valentine's Day gift for me! A beautiful 1/2 carat solitaire diamond on white gold surrounded by over twenty smaller diamonds. It's just beautiful! HE WENT TO JARED! He took me there to see if I can spot a similar ring to replace the original someday. I went through the whole store but didn't find anything that compared. Given, most were beautiful pieces, but I kept seeing the original wedding ring in my head that I wanted to cry... Then he says, "I know I can't replace that specific one, but what about this one?" and pulls out this gorgeous diamond studded band setting and asked me to choose a diamond for it. I couldn't contain myself; I was so nervous picking out a diamond, it took us another hour just to decide on one. There was a couple who were also upgrading their ring, and she told me, "get the biggest diamond honey and just pay it off slowly." Yeah right, lady! First of all this ring is already twice as thick as my original one, can you imagine it with a 2 carat bauble like the one she chose? (Hers was gaudy by the way, because she chose a big band filled with diamonds, but chose a bigger diamond that covered most of the ring! Ugh!!!)
The lady who set and cleaned my ring, called me about a delay but ended the phonecall with "we are all in awe of how beautiful this ring is! It's one of the most beautiful I've set, and I've been doing this for over twenty years!" It made the ring that much more special...

8. Where was your wedding and reception?
We were married in the Oakland temple, an hour and a half than our appointment because Charlie slept in! His parents wouldn't even wake him up for me. His mom said, "He has an alarm, I'm sure he set it. He'll wake up." This was 15 minutes before we were supposed to be at the temple and we were coming from San Jose- 1 hour away from Oakland! We also wed during one of October 1996's windy days! Charlie wanted my hair down... (you get the picture)
The reception was at our then future church ward. The carpet was perfect for our colors.

9. How many bridesmaids did you have, and who was your maid of honor?
MOH- My BFF Sheila in highschool; two bridesmaids- my SIL and Sis who refused to wear purple then saw the colors and said, "why didn't you just buy me a dress?"

10. What color were your bridesmaids dresses?

11. What was your bouquet made of?
White stargazer lilies, purple irises, lisianthus and ivy

12. Who gave you away?
No one; temple weddings do not practice such things. But I did seek the approval of my dad in the Philippines and asked my eldest brother to be there at my reception to stand in for him.

13.Did you cry during your wedding?
During the ceremony, yes! The whole time! I barely acknowledged anybody in the room.

14. What style was your dress?
It was something that a tall wide person would look good in; I thought it looked good as an alternate to my dream dress, but even my MIL said, "That looks too big on you, Carolyn!" Let's just say I wouldn't ignore the possibility of offering it in FreeCycle.

15. Was your wedding kiss sweet or sexy?
Honestly, I don't remember if we kissed or not. But if we did, I'm sure it was sweet, Charlie's very appropriate.

16. Who caught your bouquet?
One of my highschool friends; though Lisa was knocked down during that.

17. What flavor was your cake?
German Chocolate with buttercream frosting. It was delish! I insisted on it.

18. Did you smash the cake onto each other's faces or feed it to each other nicely?
Nicely; Charlie wouldn't have done that to me. I think I smeared some on his face though. LOL

19. What was "your song" that you danced to at your wedding?
Last minute, I didn't want to use any of the songs we've exchanged with each other, so I started looking for something different. I heard Mariah Carey's "When I Saw You" and it was perfect!

20. What did you serve your guests to eat?
His mom and some RS ladies took care of the food. All I remember is how much grapes we were able to enjoy on our first night together because they packed a big picnic for us since I was starved at my own wedding reception!

21. What did your friends do to decorate your car?
They trashed it with soap, cookies, lotion and whatever else that we couldn't even see out the windows! We spent our route to the wedding night suite in the car wash three times!

22. What was your favorite wedding gift?
My mom's wedding dress fund for me- $1000! (Too bad, I didn't get to use it on my actual dream dress...) Charlie loved the toaster oven that my work crew from another building pooled money for. I was their favorite Engineering Assistant Tech.

23. What was the worst wedding gift you got?
I don't know, I thought all were so cute and generous at the time...

24. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Disneyland; we spent three nights at this Best Western that overlooked Anaheim from the Honeymoon suite. It was very romantic.

25. Looking back, is there anything you would have changed about your wedding? A lot! Read "Different Is Good". You'll know why... But despite all of the mishaps, once we realized we were married, things just became something to "laugh at".

Friday, February 13, 2009

Read Lara's Blog

at OVERSTUFFED and get to know one of her friend, Misty's journey with her latest addition. His name was to be Isaac...

Social Metamorphosis

I still see how hard it is for me to bring more of me out there... This is a rather long missive, but I hope you read it all. It's my way of reintroducing myself to all of you. Enjoy reading; I'd love to hear from you.

Me, Myself and I

It's nice to be able to take something out of my pot, a blog about my tablescape adventures. Thanks, Pink for the challenge...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

C is for Charity

I love reading Lara's blog. Her and her other amazing friends or throngs of followers, come up with the coolest memes that I just had to bring on to my blog. It was fun to read what she came up with (I love the larynx one), so I hope you do it and see what you can come up with.

Man, I don't know how many things I LOVE can come out of the first letter of my name, but I guess I'm off to a good start with Charity since it is also likened to Love in the scriptures! Yay!!!

("Brain", help me out here... You had your fun at Walmart. Now time to earn your keep for something else other than bargains, ok?")

Charity. What can you say that it doesn't already imply? It oozes of kindness, compassion, patience, sacrifice and all things good. How can you not want to have it in your personality file?

Jesus Christ. He invented Charity with Heavenly Father, for us. 'Nuff said.

Charlie. My mahal or beloved in Tagalog (Philippine language). He's everything I asked for from Heavenly Father and more. I love him, love 'im, loooove him! How can you not love a guy who whisks you off to the sky on the first date? Or tells you, he thinks he loves you because he wants to give you the world after only a month of knowing you and proves it?

Chocolate. First it's yummy; the darker the better for this Filipina! Not to mention all the "good" stuff to love like it being labeled an aphrodisiac or happiness booster. Even without all the hype and nutrition goodness, I'd still eat it. Have you smelled one lately? (I seriously agree with "Brain"; she thinks it's the original ambrosia of the gods...)

Centerpiece. This is actually one of the fun aspects of tablescaping that I love! Being on SS Creative to see what could go on the table to enhance the dining adventure, nothing beats that cruise! The sky is the limit, flowers are no longer the only holder of this awesome title. I should know I've made a few in my lifetime.

Children. Just like Lara, I love my children best, but since I was a kid, I felt compassion (hey, another C!) for all the little ones. I think maybe that's why my fave calling of all is Activity Days and Nursery. Love playing and teaching them, though just as nervous about teaching these souls closest to our Lord and Heavenly Father. As for my three little ones, I can't get enough of them, especially when they fall all over themselves trying to sniff me! (apparently, they miss my smell while they're in school. Gotta love that!)

Cars. What a great and inspired invention! Though I love walking, cars certainly help with reaching otherwise far destinations that may just be adored in pictures! I think I was born in the era of cars because there was no way I could've survived without them. Though I don't drive myself, I've funded quite a few, so yes, I have a certain level of love towards these marvels.

Christmas. Remembering the Lord's humble beginnings always make my heart pump faster with gratitude and humility. And that is a good thing, I realize how lucky I am to be here, knowing and studying of His mission, for me and all of us. It is my favorite time of the year, hands down.

Cleanliness. What else is there to say?

Courtship. I love this phase of falling in love. The heart-melting first impressions, the romantic dates, the love notes and the copious amounts of time spent in the bathrooom looking just right for that special someone. I feel like that when Charlie tells me we're going out somewhere nice. I feel courted all over again.

Wow, I came up with 10 C's! Alright! I'm sure I can come up with more, but I don't want Blogger to shut down this blog, lol!

Why don't you try? And if you LOVE shopping at Target, try your luck at my other blog, What Now? Tablescapes. I'm closing the Giveaway at Midnight tomorrow!

(Thanks, "Brain"... I knew you'd come up with some good ones.)

Now, it's your turn to list all of your LOVES... ("Brain said so." :-D)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Room by Room Feng Shui- Master Bedroom

Feng Shui your Budoir just in time for Valentine's Day!

When it comes to our Master Bedrooms, we need to make sure that it is the room that should envoke tranquility, harmony, love and passion between any MARRIED (man and woman) couple that shares it. So here are some tips you can do to bring some immediate rush of romance into this special place.

1. Box up all those papers cluttering the room. Either get beautiful lidded containers or baskets and stack up nicely in the corner if you can't take them out.

2. Find inexpensive solid colored sheets- red, pink or white. If white, accent with romantic colors or your fave shade.

3. TWO is the color of unity and love, so make sure to place things of two in your room- pictures of two blooms, two hearts, picture of the two of you, or a statue of a couple.

4. Bring out the extra pillows- accent your bed for romance, so fluff up those suckers and place them in the center for a focal point.

5. If you have a mirror facing the bed, find a way to soften it by temporarily covering it. Nothing kills a romantic evening than to start criticizing yourself in front of the mirror. Make the two of you the focus of the bedroom.

6. Candles accentuate romance and strengthen passion, so get them in different sizes and spread them in two's around the room. Of course, be safe about it...

7. Don't forget to air out the room before you start any "redesign", to cycle in the good chi and cycle out the stagnant chi. Dust the shelves and vacuum the floor.

Keep the passion alive by leaving the candles and sheets for about a week. Remembering the passion from the night before can lift up your spirits and spread the love around to the other rooms of your home.

Alright, go and attract love and passion into your Master Suite! That's what that room is for! Go on, go on!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Some cards you just can't forget...

I've always been fascinated with greeting cards...

When I was in 6th grade back in Laguna, Philippines, I found some old Victorian type greeting cards that sparked a business for me to earn some "secret money" for when I was hungry. I started to fold copy papers into four and from one of the corners, start to trace the Victorian print. Soon, I had so much that I had my own designs. Around Christmas time, I sold each card for 10 sentimos (cents) and made about 5 pesos. To most people, it wasn't much, but to a hungry kid like me, it felt like hitting the Lotto! No one knew about the money, not one, only me. Of course, it didn't last because of the Philippine econony as it was, but the mixed emotions stayed with me throughout my life, even now...

Fast forward to a few years ago... I made these cards for the lovely females in my family and no one else- so far. I've tried, but I haven't been able to.

This is my favorite; it was for my Mama Lucing (Lucena) who taught me the beauty of living a simple life, no matter what life throws at you. I miss her so much...
This is the outside and inside (below) of the Thank You card I made for Charlie's mom for her birthday to show her how much we appreciate her.
These two are for my niece in Elk Grove and my sister in San Jose.
This one was for my in-laws' wedding anniversary, February 12th. I made them a matching envelope.

This last one, I made for my own dh (I know... not a female, but he loved it!)

I think I'm addicted to that "Lotto effect" feeling of making a card for someone or something significant- each of these ladies are significant in my life, including my niece Taryn. I made one for her, mostly purple, because we share the love of purple- she the lighter variety, me the darker end of the spectrum. I made her a card out of my shade to show her how much I love her, but in all of that outpouring of love into one card, I completely forgot to take a picture! Maybe next time, I'll take one.

I hope you liked them too...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Different is Good"

I subscribe to Netflix, so today I perused through the "instantly watch" and found Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell. Have you seen it? Did you like it? I loved it!

I was fixed on the desk chair watching Phil Connors (Bill Murray) live the same day over and over, as well as go through the phases of confusion, defiance, acceptance and self-redemption while winning Rita's (Andie McDowell) heart in the process. It took several weeks of being slapped, conning and undoing all that he did wrong and even became a hero in efforts to bring tomorrow.

By far, in the movie, this is my most favorite line:

"What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?" (Phil to Ralph in a bar)

A fellow blogger, Pink Ink had a similar post about Groundhog Day's phenomenon according to this movie. And I left a comment about how I would change my wedding day. Thinking more about it, I still would change this "what should have been the most special day of my life" event back in 1996.

First the flowers; I chose mine but it really wasn't reflective of anything that would be memorable for me or Charlie. I crammed in too many flowers, got a cascade that was too long. For a moment, I forgot how short I was. I WOULD CHANGE IT TO A NOSEGAY OF WHITE TULIPS WITH A SINGLE DEEP PURPLE BLOOM IN THE MIDDLE. THE OUTSIDE OF THE BOUQUET WOULD BE SURROUNDED BY FREESIA GATHERED BY A DEEP PURPLE RIBBON.

The pictures; there weren't enough! I didn't get a shot with my school friends or any shots of me and Lisa OR more of Charlie and I. When we finally saw the pictures, most of them, I didn't like. I would have loved to see more random shots. I WOULD CHANGE IT TO ONLY FAMILY SHOTS WITH A PRO SHUTTER BUG AND HAVE DISPOSABLES ON EACH TABLE FOR RANDOM BUT DEFINITELY MORE PICTURES!

My hair; I didn't have time to go to a salon, I didn't even have anyone to come and help me with my hair. I didn't even get any sleep! I WOULD CHANGE IT TO ASKING SOME SALON OWNER NEARBY TO COME OVER AND DO MY HAIR- TIGHT FRENCH BRAID WITH WISPS ON THE SIDE. I'D ALSO PAY HER TO SHOW UP AT THE RECEPTION TO DO MAINTENANCE FOR PICTURE TAKING SAKE.

The menu; Charlie and I couldn't decide on the menu and didn't know if I or him took care of it. So glad his mom sought the help of other sisters in RS to bring and maintain the food and table. People asked me if I chose the food, though very delicious and all I had to say was, "that was Charlie's department". I didn't even know if we would have food. The one Filipino food I ordered, came late and it was smaller than I expected. Of course, my family gravitated towards that and it was gone before the other guests arrived. It was embarrassing! Thank goodness his mom took care of it. I WOULD CHANGE IT TO SAVORY FINGER FOODS LIKE TEA SANDWICHES OR CANAPES THAT ARE PERFECT FOR AFTERNOON TO EARLY EVENING RECEPTIONS, BUT START OFF WITH SALAD, END WITH FRUITS AND CAKE.

Bridal lunch; I was the last one to sit at the lunch table after we arrived from the temple to the reception site because I was waiting for Lisa to arrive who rode with my maid of honor who got lost after taking a wrong turn. But our first guest was my boss, so I had to get up and start the reception line while the others ate and was nourished. The worst part, no one, not even my own groom, asked if I was hungry. Mind you this was me awake since 5:00 am, only had one meal, and on my feet until 8:30 pm! I ran to the kitchen as soon as the last guest (that wasn't a Mathews' family friend) left and begged the good ladies in there to please, please give me some food- in tears! I stayed there until someone looked for me. I told them to hide me so I can eat. Oh yeah, I was sooo mad! I WOULD CHANGE IT TO HAVING AN USHER LEAD MY BOSS TO THE BUFFET TABLE, HAVE HIM GET SET UP WITH SOME FOOD, I TAKE MY PLATE OVER TO HIS TABLE, CALL CHARLIE OVER WITH HIS PLATE, AND WE EAT TOGETHER WHILE THE OTHERS ATE AT THEIR OWN TABLE.

My cake; it's one of the few only perfect things that day (the temple and my family there the other). I designed it under constrained budget. I WOULD CHANGE IT TO A BIGGER ONE, MORE ROMANTIC LOOKING, BUT LEAVE THE FLAVOR (GERMAN CHOC) THE WAY IT IS.

My dress; oh, I can't believe, I resorted to that dress! It never suited me, but it was supposed to be the more inexpensive alternative to my $1000 square neckline, 3/4 sleeve with a bow, princess-style bodice beauty that my mother gave me money for. I WOULD BUY MY DREAM DRESS AND NOT LISTEN TO ANYBODY TELLING ME OTHERWISE.

My honeymoon clothes; I ran out of time to do any clothes shopping before and after the wedding. I packed clothes that I normally wore to work (I know, ewww!) and my lingerie. I'm glad that Charlie didn't want anyone using the real camera to take our pictures. (Yeah, no honeymoon pictures, another blooper!)I WOULD CHANGE IT TO SHOPPING FOR BETTER SWEATERS, JEANS, HOT BOOTS, GLOVES, AND BETTER SUPPORT TO LOOK THE WAY I WAS FEELING- IN LOVE AND HAPPY TO BE MARRIED!

Just like Phil said when tomorrow finally came,
"Something is... different... Anything different is good."

Since we can all dream those wonderful what ifs without disturbing the now, it never hurts to examine life and wonder "what if..." because someday, even in the near future, you may just get your chance to change things for the better...

Happy blogging!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

5 Things...

I got this from Melissa Minson's blog


5 things on my to-do list for tomorrow:

1. Go pick up our new dining table
2. Help hubby assemble table
3. Do laundry
4. Go get potatoes to bake
5. Go to Marshall's to find some ramekins

5 things I would do with a million dollars:

1. Pay off annoying big bills
2. Buy land and build dream home on land
3. Complete my wedding china and crystal
4. Visit China, Spain, Philippines, Canada, Italy and France
5. Put money in different CDs

5 places I have lived in the U.S.:

1. Sunnyvale, CA
2. San Jose, CA
3. Gilbert, AZ
4. Mesa, AZ
5. Carrollton, TX

5 jobs I have held:

1. Great America amusement park- Cashier / Lead / Restaurant Supervisor
2. Sizzler- Cashier
3. Exxon Mobil- Cashier
4. Komag, Inc.- Manufacturing associate / Mfg. Lead / Prototype Engr'g / Standards Prototype Engr'g Assistant / HR Departmental Hiring Consultant
5. McWhorter's office supplies- Cashier

5 pictures from 5 years ago: (2004)
Christmas at our house in Williamsfield campus
Thanksgiving dinner in campus
Halloween party at Williamsfield Elementary, across from our house
Serena Shores apartment, just before we moved to ASU campus.
Chuck E. Cheese; Jasmine's 5th bday celebration

Ok, your turn!