Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thank God for 2014

What a productive, fun-filled and lovely year it has been. T'was an amazing 2014 indeed!

We're looking forward to a brighter, happier, and healthier 2015.

Happy New Year and yes, see you next year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 YearEnder Post

And just like that, 2014 is coming to a close and we'll be ushering in a new year before the weekend. It definitely was a fast year for us as we have been busiest this year! As new parents (for the second time), I think we are awake most of the time and as cliché as it may sound, we really need more time to do the things that we needed to do.

Before I go on and rant about the bittersweet journey of parenting, let me round up our 2014, our joys, this year's highs and lows and a whole lot more. Here it goes!

This year we hosted 5 dinners! Jane's Birthday, Ashrie's 5th Birthday, Lia Ahryn's Welcome Party and another one for her Dedication, and a Christmas Dinner just last weekend. By the way, below are some photos from the last party:

We went home to the Philippines on the earlier half of this year and visited Malaysia on the latter part. We had one staycation in Singapore too.

We had relatives who stayed with us for three months. And I can't thank them enough for their help and support. It was also during our lowest point this year when Jane was on bedrest and even confined in the hospital for weeks. And with the lowest point came our greatest joy when the family welcomes the arrival of Baby Lia.

What a colorful year indeed. Life has been full of adventures, trials, simple joys and pleasures. The important thing is to end the year, start another year and go through the year with thankfulness in our hearts to God who brought us through.

With this, I greet you a Joyous New Year that is full of hope, love and gratitude. See you next year!

Lia Ahryn's 7th Month

Lia turned 7 months old last Sunday!

This month, she made a huge leap physically as her teeth begin to show and at the moment has three! She can now sit, crawl, and very energetic as ever.

Her hair continues to get thicker and longer and the mom needs to either clip it or even do pigtails.

She can now call "Mama" but I am still waiting for her to call me. She also learned to give high fives!

I just love it when she smiles upon seeing me. Coming home from the office and seeing her smile, seeing MyGirls happy is the most rewarding, most satisfying feeling in the world.

My yearender is up next. Cheers!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Tablescape and Menu

I was shopping for new dinnerware but bought a pair of food domes instead. I told myself I will definitely use it for this year's Christmas dinner. It is German-made, stainless steel, heavy, and the small acorn handles were made of brass. The contrast between their colors and textures makes them more interesting. They are beautiful and inspiring indeed.

It was my inspiration for a Woodland-themed Christmas tablescape. After the white and gold tablecloth was laid out, the sets of four white plates, flatware, napkins, and glasses were placed on the table, the setting then needed a tall centerpiece.

As I do not have fresh flowers at that time, I utilized what we have at home. I took these rustic-looking hurricane lamps from the living room (these are from Dimensione which we flew in from our most recent trip to the Philippines) and layered it with an antique marble artichoke bookend, a pinecone in a small glass cloche, and extra christmas tree ornaments. I also added a pair of votives with red candles for a punch of color and glow.

As final touches, we made a wreath of fresh willow leaves, tucked small branches in the centerpiece and slip a single branch tip on every napkin ring. This was then accessorized with a red holly berry each. And it's all done!

Now a beautiful table deserves good food to be served. And Jane as usual did not disappoint. Her Christmas menu is a delight to the senses, in sight, in scent and in taste. (The following images were grabbed from my Instagram feed.)

She served a three-course meal starting off with a delicious, homemade Creamy Mushroom Soup and Garlic Bread as appetizer.

Main course was Pan-Seared Porkchop and Mashed Potates with Red Wine Reduction Gravy.

And lastly for dessert, we had a helping of a Crisp Apple Strudel and Ice Cream.

Drinks include Red Wine, Spiced Apple Drink and Iced Lemon Water. The meal was sumptuous and definitely satisfying.

As a final hurrah for 2014, we will be hosting a dinner for a few friends later tonight. We are also celebrating Baby Lia's 7 months!

Then it's the New Year next week and schoolyear opening. And yes, it falls on a Friday! Why not make it Monday instead? Anyway, what a busy year it has been! Should I make a yearender post? I'll think about it.

So now as our "Feliz Navidad" is done let me greet you with the remaining half of the song, "Prospero Año y Felicidad"! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Our Christmas Celebration 2014

We've waited patiently for Christmas 2014 and now it's history. But the happy memories we've created will remain even when we're long gone.

How lovely it is (and how convenient it has become) to see families gather for this special occasion. Homes were decorated, tables brimming with festive food and families taking "groufies" in matching outfits! Although each family has a unique tradition for their celebration, the important thing is that we know the Reason for the season. With that in mind, everything will be meaningful and worthwhile.

Traditionally, Filipinos celebrate the Noche Buena feast with a lavish serving of festive food on the table to be shared by the whole family. For us however, due to lack of preparation as I still need to report for work on Christmas Eve, we decided to have a Junk Food Extravaganza. We had pizza, fried chicken lollipops, donuts, soda and chips!

Jane cannot wait to give her presents and we opened them all even before Christmas! She gave toys to the kids, and I got another G-Shock and a bottle of Bulgari perfume. It was great fun indeed!

I have hidden my surprise for Jane but since I received mine, I also handed my presents to her. It was a number of accessories and a pair of Tiffany earrings! I'm glad that she loves it. Seems like the "when in doubt, give jewelry" thing really works.

On Christmas morn, Ashrie opened the rest of her presents, this time from me. I gave her books, an Aurora doll which is her favorite Disney Princess and a Princess Aurora costume to match. She liked it, but I think for now, she likes her alien-looking Furby more.

And to cap off the night, we had a special dinner prepared by Jane. And I'll tell you more about it in a separate blog post.

For now, let me greet all of you a very Merry Christmas!

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