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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mama Moment: Heartbreaker?

First step, first tooth, first word...there's a lot of "firsts" that we wait for and celebrate with our family.  Aren't' we always happy to witness them?  But little did I know that there are also "firsts" that I am not looking forward too.  If you have a teenage child, you might know what I mean.  I didn't know it will come by this early...yes, my little girl broke someone's heart!  She's just 15, I thought she did the right thing.  

I know times are different now when it comes to getting into a relationship.  There's just too much pressure from friends; and kids nowadays are always rushing, most of the time, failing to make wise decisions.  I am just glad and proud that my little girl knows what's best for her.  But I feel for the boy too, I know he only has the purest intentions.  Oh well...we cannot stop these things from happening.  I don't know how I'd cope  if it's my kids' who will be heart broken. Oh dear God...please prepare me for that time.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Treasured Letters...

Bundle of letters from Papa Ben...

Dear Lord,

As you welcome and receive Papa Ben, please tell him that we already miss him.  I never got the chance to write him back.  Tell him I treasure his letters so dearly, especially the one he wrote me before Ferdie and I got married.  Tell him I am so touched and felt so loved every time I received a letter from him; more so, for the letters he sent Bianca and Raphael and even my parents.  Please hug Papa Ben for me, dear Lord.  And I thank you for you not making him experience pain; he was so peaceful when he left.  Thank you, dear Lord, for keeping him under your wings, giving him your comfort and love.  We are saddened with our loss, but we are also happy to know that he is at peace now...with You. Thank you, dear Lord.


My father-in-law, Papa Ben passed away last Wednesday.  Rest in peace, Papa Ben...
My in-laws visited us while we were posted in Singapore.
With Bianca in a resto in Singapore...(Bianca cried the most!)

I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I've posted about Xmas balls here and as I look around my house today, I noticed aside from the balls, I've got quite a number of trees as a glimpse of what I've collected all these years. 

The two standing trees in the living and dining room.

Some are old pieces that has become the family's favorite while others were gifts from  friends and family.  They may be of different color and material, but each one finds a perfect nook around the house.  I have favorites but I love them all!  How about you?  Do you like decorating with trees also?

I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Xmas Tree decors as centerpiece

Last Saturday, I hosted 10 Juliana's (our home address) first Xmas dinner for 2011.  It was for my girlfriends whom I worked with in the same company before.  Until 4 pm of Saturday, I was looking for an inspiration for the table setting.  I was starting to panic, the guests will be arriving in about two hours and table is not yet made and I still need to prepare pasta and salad!  I wanted it to be glamorous, festive and dramatic but I didn't want to spend for new decors.  

So I went looking around the house and found the black hanging screens  that we sell at i.m.home.  Thought it will be a great anchor for the table setting.  But still, nothing ON the table.  As I was putting out the plates, chargers, etc, I found purple napkins...BANG!  That created the black, gold and purple theme!  And where else can I get purple stuff?  I got lots from my jewel-toned tree!    I got my majestic bird, balls, baubles, beads and mini tree.  I think it turned out nice!  It was glamorous, festive and dramatic! I was happy and I finished just in time :-)

So next time you are setting the table, look around your house first before buying new ones.  Don't be limited with candles and flowers.  Now good luck to me for the balance Xmas dinners!  I hope I don't run out of inspirations!

I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Xmas Balls...

More balls... but this time it's my yummy cheese ball!  I thought I won't be doing it this year but it's hard to refuse friends who have made my cheese ball part of their Xmas dinner spread; while some graciously give them as presents to special friends and family.  And of course there are new friends who just discovered my cheese ball.  So how can I say  no, right?  So together with the help, we are again busy chopping, mixing, moulding and wrapping!  Just like last year!   So there you have it, it's not a decor scene for this post, but I still consider this a Xmas vignette in Casa Insigne!  (This is the third, so 17 more to come!)

I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Of Balls & Cones

Wooden Javanese teak bowl by the small Xmas tree.

 An old Oriental basket holds my gold balls and cones by the foyer.

All the carved golden balls goes to this pretty wooden urn in my powder room.

This is how I display my previous years' collection of Xmas balls and cones.  They don't actually belong to the same color group but they look nice when stuffed in a basket or bowl, just the same.  How about you?  What do you do with your previous Xmas decor collection?  Maybe you can replicate this...I'm sure we all have those extra baskets lying around! ;-)

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

20 'til 25

'Tis the time to be happy!!  Just like a child, I am always excited when Christmas comes!  Last week, amidst the busy schedule, I was able to squeeze in two days to set up the Xmas tree and all the other decors that come with it.  Thought I'll share with you 20 Xmas vignettes around my home...So here's the first...
This is the same tree as last year.  Jewel-toned trimmings and ribbons adorn the tree.  On the foreground is our home made Advent wreath.  It's been a tradition for the last 5 years to make our own wreath as a family.  This is a good bonding time for the family and a tradition that is worth passing on to the children.  If you'd like to make your own wreath next year, you can check here for the tutorial.  

So how about you?  Have you set up your tree?  Would be nice to see yours!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Wifey Moment

Taken on our 10th year Anniversary.  Bohol.

Hello everyone!  How was your weekend?  Don't we all wish we have more 4-day weekends in the calendar?  And whether the weekend is longer than usual, it still doesn't seem enough, right?  Ours was spent simply at home...gardening, cleaning, sorting, watching TV and DVDs and lots of cuddling (loving as Rapha calls it!).  

And just at this very moment, I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful, healthy family.  And even more blessed for having a loving husband!  It's not our anniversary nor are we celebrating any special occasion.  I just felt writing about it.   I have a few of my Mama Moments posts here, here, and here.   So why not make a wifey moment post, right?  I know it sounds cheesy but what the's a good feeling and I want to share it.  So expect posts on my feat, adventure, journey (whatever you call it!) of being a wife in the future!  

For a starter...Just like in the hotel, I have my own turn down service every night!   No fail, every night, I lie down on a bed with the duvet folded just high enough to pull if I need to cover up, two pillows on my head and the bolster, placed perfectly where my legs rest.  And of course, the roller shade at the windows and sliding doors are rolled down, and aircon turned on, during hot days.  I'm not sure when this "turn down service"  started.  I think when I got pregnant the first time?    And it's been going on for 15 years!  Now, tell me, how many husbands do that for their wifey, every single night?  Truly I am blessed!  

Our teak bed...13 years old and counting!
Any wifey moments, you'd like to share?  I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Craving: Chocolates

I was having a quiet afternoon, all by myself in the study when craving for chocolate suddenly kicked it.  What to do?  It's a standing rule in our house not to keep chocolates in the pantry.  But I was determined to satisfy my craving so I went down and rummaged the pantry for whatever food morsel I can find to substitute for chocolates.  And look what I found!  A pack of chips ahoy!  It's not close to a chunk of dark chocolate that I'm dreaming of, but it will do.  Yay!  And it was really meant for me...there was only one cookie left!  I thought that was the best Chips ahoy cookie ever!  Cravings...check!!  :-)

What are you craving today?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The King of Crafts strikes again!

This is too cute not to share!  Do you remember my artsy fartsy Angel Raphael?  Click here and here to refresh your memory.  He's the recycle guy in the family.   Wrappers, boxes, paper, foil, sticks, caps, etc, name it, he has everything saved for his endless projects.  Last weekend, my boy was busy making these cool sunglasses.  

Can you guess what it's made of?  They're corrugated cardboard!  And you know what's cooler?  He brought it last week to school and a number of boys like it and placed an order.  So he didn't waste anytime and proceeded to work.  But the coolest part is, he is selling them  and 100% of proceeds will go to his class' Bigay Puso, a charity program that his school supports.  This year, the beneficiary of his grade level are the children of inmates.  It warmed my heart to see his excitement in making his glasses and he can't wait to count how much he can contribute to his class' piggy bank!  He is now thinking of other projects he can do to help raise funds for Bigay Puso.  

Packaged and ready for delivery!

Rapha's friends said his glasses can pass as Lady Gaga's accessories!  What do you think?? :-)

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, August 22, 2011

And I Turned One.

Hello!  Hello!  I know I'm like writing to myself now.  It's been a month and 8 days to be exact, since I last posted here.  So maybe 40andbeyond is already lost in the blogsphere!  Oh excuses, just plain laziness!  And add some forgetfulness!  I just realized today that my blog anniversary just went by, without me remembering it!  40andbeyond came out July 28, 2010.  So that makes the blog one year old!  So, it doesn't really matter if I'm religious with my posts or not, days go by, and blog gets old each day, and hopefully the second year will be more consistent.  I just have to put my little inspiration up there.  It's the same photo on my very first blog.  The very same thing that inspired me to start this blog.  So if you're still there, join me as I (again!) try to be more consistent with my posts!  :-)  You'll give me one more chance, won't you??

And by the way, did you notice my new background?  My kids keep telling me that my blog page is so boring, all white.  Of course, kids love color!  But those two angels of mine are my best and worst critiques, so I gave in and changed it.  Hope you like it.  I'm not really a blue person, so let's see how long it will stay that way. ;-0

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Home Alone.

This was my breakfast. Muffin with poached egg, chili con carne (leftover from last night) and fruits.  Thought I should take something heavy because there's just so much to do today!  Plus, I feel sad that I'm alone eating breakfast. :-(  Kids are both in school and hubby is out of town.  It was a hearty meal and I'm all energized now to work!  How about you?  What did you have for breakfast?  

It's Friday!  Where did the days go? One thing I noticed, I work better under pressure and  when there are deadlines to meet.  Are you the same or do you like working ahead of schedule?  Whatever style we have, we women are just so good at multi-tasking, right? We manage to do a lot of things in just a short period of time.  So to all mommies out there, have a great weekend!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Petit Blanc.

100th Post!  Wow, when I started blogging, I didn't think I can actually share as much, more so reach to a 100th post.  Incidentally, July is also the anniversary month of 40andbeyond!  Wow!  Time flies!  And since having reached this far is a milestone, I thought I should be sharing something special today.  And I can't' think of anything better and more exciting than talk about my  our new baby!  I know, I know, I was just talking about my newest baby about three months back, and now here I am sharing another baby!  What can I do?  They just keep on coming!  And I'm not complaining!  I am so thrilled, and I want you, my readers to be the first to hear about ... 
{petit blanc. adj.  small, white}

Small.  White.  "Frenchy". Carefully selected little things that will prettify any space in your home.  Together with three other beautiful ladies, we amassed a collection of candle holders, pitchers, baskets, mirrors, trays, frames, etc. etc.

They're too pretty not to share.  And it's not good to be selfish, right? ;-)  So, starting this month, you can have a piece of Petit Blanc!  We will be selling online and joining bazaars.   

If you are here in Manila, I hope you can drop by at Rockwell's Love Japan Bazaar on July 23-24 (Sat & Sun) and be one of the first to check out Petit Blanc!  Stay tuned for the next schedule of open houses and bazaars.

Can't tell you how excited I am!  And while you're at the bazaar, be sure to check out i.m.home also!  They will be side by side each other!  See you and wish us luck!  And oh by the way, a huge thank you for supporting 40andbeyond...all through the 100 posts!  I am more inspired to continue blogging and bring you Petit Blanc and i.m.home!  
Cheers to the next 100!

I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Monday, June 27, 2011

The Rainy Weekend.

How was your weekend everyone?  It was a rainy weekend in Manila and we're just thankful that typhoon Falcon has left the country already.  Glad everyone is safe and dry.  Caught up with reading (maybe I'll do the review on a separate post) over the weekend, and played a lot with our house guest CHIQUI!  Yup, she's here with us, and this is the longest stay so far.  We're already falling in love with her.  Have a good week ahead!

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flowers, Fleurs, Flores.

'Thought it would be nice to share with you some of the photos taken by my daughter Bianca during our Baguio trip last weekend.  She likes taking photos of flowers and she's actually good at it! And while I was browsing the album, I just realized that I am a flower person!  There's a lot of it around the house, in print, in different texture and material.  Take a peek of what I found around my home!  The photos on the left are Bianca's snapshots.  Enjoy and may this post bring you a little bit of sunshine amidst the rainy weather we have been experiencing this week (in Manila!).
My DIY clipboard with botanical print.   Embroidered bed linen from Vietnam.

Wooden bucket that holds the TV remote control.  My favorite lamp by Anna Chandler.  (Remember my very first post?  This lamp is part of my collection of her work.)

Bianca's current bed cover, flowers, bees and butterfly print from Ikea.  Another Ikea find, big throw pillows on the TV couch.

My pretty rosette pillow from British India.  One of my Singapore souvenir...antique red Tibetan cabinet that houses candles, and other home decors.
Would you say you're a flower person too?  I know some find it too girly but I think it adds prettiness to any corner of the house, be it in print or fresh cut flowers.  

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Wishy, Washi Tapes

My pretty washi tapes with my handmade pompoms.  And yes, i love my cake plates and I use them for anything.  You will find them all around the house!

Japanese tape.  Fabric tape.  Cotton tape.  Printed tape.  Fancy tape.  These cuties got all these names, but they really are called Japanese washi tapes!  Aren't they pretty?  They come in a wide variety of colors and prints.  When I first saw them in a blog, I 've googled them and found them here and here.  (They're expensive though!)  But I just got to have them.  And I was lucky because around that time, Bianca, my daughter was in Japan.  Talk about perfect timing!  What's the next best thing that happened?  Of course you guessed it!  I asked her to get me some and like a good daughter she always is, she got me 7 rolls of washi tapes!  And I was a happy mama! :-)

I use these tapes on almost anything, on my board, to seal envelopes, to post reminders, etc.  Because they're made of fabric, they don't destroy the paper and they stick on fabric as well, just like the dish cloth I covered my mood board with.  (See photo above.)  Are you beginning to like them too?  I bet you are!  Or maybe you have your own collection already?  Tell me about it, I would love to see yours.

Oh..its  Friday already!  Yay!  And double YAY, because it's a long weekend!  And the family will be up to something really exciting!  Happy weekend everyone!

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sunny Thursday

My current favorite song!  Such a perfect company for a Sunny Thursday like today!  I can't help but smile while listening to this song and feel so blessed!  "Give me, give me, what I want...I want sunshine!"  I hope you enjoy the song as much as I do!   Snapshots from my garden this morning...

Water globes!  The perfect company for water plants!

Quiapo water plants...prettifies the garden!

What makes you smile today??  It's almost weekend...and it's long weekend!  Woohooo!!!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Hello!  Are you still there?  It's been a looong time!  What have you been up to?  As for me, been busy with i.m.home  and there's another one coming up but I can't reveal just yet.    Anyways, I missed blogging, and surfing the blogland.  I have not read my favorites for quite sometime now! But the urge to write kicked in, as soon as I received my new book!  Yay!  Thank you Amazon!  I've been patiently waiting!

DECORATE is co-written by Holly Becker of Decor8.  She is my all-time favorite blogger and  her blog was actually one of my inspiration in coming up with my own.  I admire her passion for design and blogging.  She writes in a way that is so casual and yet, inspiring and motivating for  (relatively) new bloggers like me.  I wonder where she gets her energy as she travels around the world, and yet is able to make her blog so personal.  She is an amazing lady!  So in case you haven't checked her blog, which may not be the case because Decor8 is super popular, please drop by and be inspired with her posts!  And be sure to check on her book too!

Decorate is fully packed with photos that will make you swoon and for sure, you will be itching to start fixing an area or two in your own homes!  I love that the authors included floor plans of the featured area, which is very helpful in visualizing the layout of the featured space.  I've finished browsing the whole book and now I will go back to the first page and devour every page, making sure I don't miss any detail.  This is a must have book for people who love to decorate.  And one last thing why I adore this's very real, it speaks to you and make you think of the pieces, small treasure, souvenirs, etc,  that you already have and how to create vignettes that will give warmth and soul to your space.  All the featured homes have their own personality and are actually "lived-in", unlike some decorating books that contain perfectly done, made-up spaces that seem to tell you "I'm all for show..."  So don't delay anymore, get a copy of DECORATE now and be a fan!

And if you got a copy already, which part of the book is your favorite?  Tell me about it.  Mine is the section on Attention to Details.  Those small details really make the difference!   I would love to hear your thoughts!
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