Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An Unforgettable Wedding!

On November 22, 2014, hubby and I together with Sir Steve went to Iligan City to attend the wedding of our colleague. The last single lady from our department is getting married on that day. All of us were very excited to see her walk in the aisle, marrying her long time boyfriend.

She is well loved by her co-workers, many of us were present in the event. Some came all the way from Cagayan de Oro City like us, and the rest who are mostly from Iligan City were there as well, including our department head and his wife.

We arrived 30 minutes before the wedding, we wanted to be early because we know that the wedding ceremony will really start on time. Take it from us, because hubby and I were married in the same church in 2008.

As expected, she was the most gorgeous girl in her wedding day, though the church arrangement was not that impressive (maybe because, the bride opted a simple one) the atmosphere was very much in love.

The funny thing was, we all waited for the priest to say “You may now kiss the bride”, I thought he forgot, but I think he intentionally did it to make fun with the newlywed couple; after all, he was their family friend.

Then came the pictorial, though it was not that organized (thumbs down to the coordinator), we all excitedly went to the altar when the “the colleagues of the bride” were called.

After that we were all busy taking photos of ourselves and later proceeded to the reception.

The reception was held in the grand hall of a hotel, the only hotel in the city that has a casino. It was actually my first time to attend an occasion in that hotel, and seeing the wedding hall was quite acceptable, the stage and the arrangement were nicely done.

The guests were welcomed with a lot of finger foods, stationed at the lobby of the 6th floor where the main hall is. Because we were already hungry, we picked some of the foods there like tropek, fried banana with sauce, cheese lumpia, and jelly and also took a cup of cocktail juice.

The actual reception started when the couple came in at 6pm, the hall was already full of guests, more or less 200 people. All of us were so excited to see them take their steps towards the stage for the cake cutting followed by the usual activities in a wedding reception.

By 7pm the guests were already advised to take photos first with the couple before proceeding to the buffet area. The foods served were chicken teriyaki, beef steak, 4 seasons vegetable, lechon, seafood spaghetti and fruit salad. Because I’m not that delicate when it comes to food, I tried all of them.

Attending a wedding as group is sure fun, we all enjoyed our meals while chit chatting for an hour. Imagine twelve of us seated at the same table, the same faces I see at the office every day. By past 8pm, we sought permission from the bride and went our way. We still had to take an hour and a half drive to Cagayan de Oro City.

We arrived home past 10pm. I was still smiling when I went to bed that night still thinking how happy the couple were and how in-loved they are.  But the story doesn’t end there.

The following day, our company nurse called up, asking me if I was okay, if I had experienced LBM. I asked her why, because I was feeling well the time she called up (around 11am), and she told me that she was going in and out of the toilet a couple of times already and thought that it was from the breakfast she had. Later, when our officemate D (the bride) called her up, that’s the time she realized it was from the food at the wedding reception. As our company nurse, she called all of us who attended the wedding, I was joking that I was too strong to be get affected, but later in the afternoon the pain started, I went to the toilet and boom! I was having the same! An LBM, stomach pain, FOOD POISONING! As of Sunday afternoon, almost 30 guests were affected, some were admitted to the hospital, including the bride’s mother and two siblings.

By Monday, the number was rising, fifteen of us who attended were hit including our boss and his wife. The last, update we heard from D was that 70 were already accounted. The bacteria took charge and went wild as early as Sunday morning. I had on Sunday afternoon and some had on Monday like my husband.

The couple talked to the hotel, and the management is willing to pay all the expenses incurred by the victims, like medicine, etc. And for those who are working and had to call for sick leave will also be compensated.

Though the hotel management, vowed to take responsibility as to the expenses, the pain, the hassle they brought to us because of their mishap cannot be compensated. I really pity the couple. They were supposed to be in their honeymoon (probably) right after the wedding, instead they were busy running around negotiating with the hotel owner, tending to the needs of the victims. Especially their family who were also affected and had to be taken to the hospital.

The wedding of the year turned out to be a very unforgettable one. A supposed to be a very beautiful event to remember became negative. Thanks to the hotel for being so irresponsible and lax in their services, especially in the food preparation and handling. I hope you learned something from what had happened and next time become vigilant to whatever services you are offering, especially when dealing with food because people's lives maybe at risk with just a simple mistake.

As of this writing, my stomach is still rumbling from time to time, even with the medicine that our company doctor had prescribed. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

X’s 4th Birthday Celebration

November is definitely a very busy month playing a “mother role”. Just after our girl’s 1st Birthday, I’m already on the run preparing for our first born birthday celebration. A simple one compared to what we prepared for her little sister.

Since X is already attending SPED classes aside from his three times a week therapy session, hubby and I decided to celebrate also his birthday at both institutions a day before his birthday (November 14th) aside from the small celebration we had at home.

Hubby and I wanted to spend less, because we are running out of budget this month. So we opted to cook most of the food served for his big day. To start with,

We brought a homemade “sotaghon” for his teachers at the therapy center + bread, soft drinks and a cake from Red Ribbon. And later in the afternoon, half of the “sotanghon” was brought to his school for the parents and caregivers in the waiting area, + bread, soft drinks and ice cream.

Hubby and I ordered a separate ten (10) Jollibee Kiddie meals for X and his 9 classmates, the Jollibee watch that comes with it served as a small giveaway to the children.

If you’ve noticed the tarpaulin was way too overused, because I carried it and had it installed for the sake of picture taking. And the last stop of the tarpaulin is of course at home on his actual birthday, November 15, 2014.

We did not expect much guests for Xye’s birthday, we only invited those you are in the city and our neighbors. And like I’ve mentioned, we did the preparation ourselves, a sort of division of labor of the four of us at home (including our two house help).

Hubby arrived at 8am after his graveyard shift and cooked the lechon paksiw, lechon sisig and sweet & sour fish. My share was the beef steak, spaghetti and the “buko (grated your coconut meat) fruit salad. I cooked the beefsteak night before, and started early with the spaghetti and after that mixed the”buko” fruit salad. While, hubby did the cooking, I run some errand too, like, picked up the ordered cake at Red Ribbon Divisoria branch and fetched my sister-in-law and bought a case of beer at the outlet. Glady (Z’s Ate) on the other hand, inflated the balloons and decorated the wall, marinated the barbeque and roast them in the oven while Lanie’s share was the rice and the fried chicken.

Overall, the 4th birthday of our first born was successfully celebrated with love and personalization. And next year we’ll probably celebrating their birthday together. J

Monday, November 17, 2014

Jewel's 1st BEE-day Party Part 2: The Do-It-Yourself Party

The first part of the BEE-day party special of our little girl was about the three (3) major players in a Philippine party/celebration, and also I have mentioned about the untoward incident that had happened. This time as promised, here’s a separate post of the things I did myself, during the course of the party planning called the “My Do-It-Yourself party preparation”.

Balloons. After having three parties for my kids, I already learned from experience that, balloons alone are much cheaper when bought from local party suppliers in Cogon, do the inflating at home, than buying it already inflated. Imagine a dozen of 9” balloons + sticks at P75-P80, then getting an inflated one at P12-P15 per piece. I bought 3 dozen, 1 dozen each for colors black, yellow and white + 2 dozen of smaller balloons (white and yellow). 
If you’ve noticed that the black balloons are with polka dots? The dots are actually stickers cut in circles, then randomly stuck them in the already inflated balloon.

Decorations. All the decorations except the (the printing of tarpaulin) were all DIYs. I printed the letters, flowers, banners, and assembled them with the help of my husband and Jewel’s Yaya. And viola! The d├ęcor turned out BEE-ry cute!

Loot Bags. I’m one crafty mom that can easily make paper bags for any occasion. Like what I did for our son’s 1st birthday, I also made Jewel’s loot bags in two different colors. So that it is easier for me to identify which one is for the boys (black) and which one for the girls (yellow). I made a few, taught Jewel’s yaya how to do it, and she did the rest. While I was busy, doing other things. The paper bags are made from cartolina. Two (2) cartolinas is equivalent to 5 loot bags.

The bee-girl being playful while her Ate is filling up the loot bags.
Party Hats. I remembered that I needed to make the party hats on Sunday. Good thing I still have extra cartolinas left. Searched the internet for templates, print, trace and cut the traced line. The result was a conical party hat for kids and kids at heart. I pasted polka dots for contrast and added cuteness. 

Mother Bee & the Baby Bee
Tarpaulin. I was planning to eliminate the tarpaulin for a change after having them in the parties at all time, but the other side of the wall where the food will be placed will be too bare without it. Thus, I hurriedly did the tarpaulin layout on Saturday, morning and had it printed in the afternoon.

Invitation. Like what I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I did the layout and sent them electronically to our invited guests, via email and FB. No print outs for the invitation this time. 

Thank you Cards. I also did the layout of the thank you cards and hubby did the cutting, and then attached them to the loot bags.

Oh the Flaglets, hubby did them but unfortunately I forgot to stick them on the small cakes that we have ordered separately. Sorry dear… Our worried minds were flying somewhere before the party started. 

BEE Dress for theBee-girl. I really, really want to make my little girl a crochet bee-inspired dress, I already started doing it one month before. But because of being so busy at work that left me exhausted when I arrived home, I wasn’t able to finish it on time. Thus, I bought a black tutu skirt @ P135 in Gaisano Mall and paired it with her old yet looking new yellow romper (that I have bought from an ukay-ukay), + a bronze pair of shoes also bought at Gaisano at P335.00.

Tsumami Kanzashi Hairclips. I thought I can’t make this pair of hairclips on time. Lucky me that the grosgrain ribbons that I have bought online has arrived on Saturday. Thus, past midnight on Saturday (1AM, Sunday) the Kanzashi hairclips were done. And just perfect for the BEE-girl.

Oh, and just 3 hours before the party, I hurriedly made this yellow flower + black star Swarovski bracelet for her. A perfect accessory for the her bee outfit. 

We have no hired photographer for the event, instead made use of the present friends that knows how to handle the DSLR and later asked Jewel’s Yaya to take some of the pictures. She is an all-around girl, and already knows how to use the camera (I taught her already how, so that she can that Jewel’s pictures at home, while we’re not around). I was not contented with the result, because we only have a  few photos.How I wished I hired a photographer for the event but the budget does not permit. Also, our minds shifted to somewhere else and forgot some of the things to be done during the event.

Having most of the items, decors, layouts, etc. done on your child’s birthday party is one heck of a tiring job, but in spite of those sleepless nights and hard work the feeling of fulfillment is immeasurable.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Jewel's 1st BEE-day Party Part 1

Months before, I already decided with the theme and excitedly planning my little girl’s first birthday party. I chose “HONEY BEE” as the theme not only because I love yellow, and anything yellow looks great to my fair skinned baby girl, but also DIY-ing the preparation seems to be an easy task. 

Like I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I searched, pinned and saved some of the ideas I can get in Pinterest regarding the BEE theme kiddie party or anything related.

Hubby and I decided to celebrate Jewel’s 1st Birthday at our humble home, because, the location is near my workplace, wherein most of the invited guests are my officemates (the department where I am assigned), whereas, husband’s colleagues won’t be able to join us because of the distance (Iligan City). Also, only a few kids were expected to join us, meaning we don’t need bigger space (like the function hall) for the additional activities, the same reason why I did not hire a party hosting. And just in case, the big boys will want to stay for “one or bottles of beer” they can do so.

Having a party at home, is indeed very easy to prepare, I don’t have to hassle myself in preparing or cooking the foods to be served because all can be done in one phone call.

The Catering. Catering packages not only include foods, but as well as free set-up, tables and chairs, and waiters. That’s what I got from the St. Ignatius Country Kitchen by Concon. The original package was P225.00 per pax minimum of 50 persons. Since, my budget can only allow me up to P200/pax for 50 people, which is equivalent to P10, 000.00, Ms Concon agreed to reshuffle the menu based on the choices I made, minus the drinks and rice. We just cooked the rice and bought the soft drinks separately.

The BEE Cake. I sent a personal message to Ms. Dexa of D’Cakes a week before and asked her to make the cake for me. A fondant cake + cupcakes with the “bee” design. Since, I was a returning client (she did Jewel’s Christening cake before) she gave the same package price (even with some of the cupcakes are chocolate moist as requested) at P3, 300.

Roast Pig (Lechon). A party in the Philippines is not complete without the lechon right? This time, we got the lechon for free. It was hubby’s brother who paid the lechon as his gift to her niece, the birthday girl. Approximate cost of lechon at 45-50 kgs is P5,500.Sadly, I don’t have even a single photo of the lechon, because we positioned it outside the house near the front door.  The lechon tray was too small to hold it, and the oil was dripping and might make the floor inside the house slippery. And also an untoward incident happened before the party had started.

These three plays very important roles in every party/celebration in the Philippines and I can’t personally do any of them, so I left them to the experts and concentrated on preparing the rest with the personal touch, so head to my next post for the Do-It-Yourself party preparation.
Meanwhile, regarding the untoward situation that arose during the event, husband’s brother in law had a seizure that caused him to fall and hit his head on the floor. Hubby and her sister had to rush her to hospital and thank God, it was not that bad. He was already conscious and doing fine when they reached the hospital, though he had to be admitted for further tests and observation.

Jewel’s 1st Birthday celebration ended great in spite of the incident. Though we forgot some of the things we need to do during the party, we are still very thankful to our Lord God for the blessings, for our friends who made time to celebrate with us and for the people around us who helped us make the event possible. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Jewel is turning ONE!

If you are in town on Monday, November 10, 2014, we are inviting you, our online friends to come and join us, in celebrating Jewel’s 1st Birthday! Yep! Our little girl will be ONE year old!

Planning a birthday party for our children is one exciting MOMent for us moms, right? Some spent many months in the planning and preparation for the grand milestone celebration of their little ones. In my case, I have started collecting ideas from the internet, particularly Pinterest and have pinned them in my Pinterest board, as to the theme and preparation 3 months back but had started the DIY’s just 2 weeks ago.

After juggling from one idea to another I finally, decided to use an easy and cute kiddie party theme for our little girl. She’s having a “Bee” theme party!

Honestly, I’m not sure if we have kids present because it’s a Monday, and our invited guests are mostly adults, and that their kids are in Iligan City and cannot attend. But still, I wanted it to have a touch of “kiddie party” even with just a 1 sure child guest, husband’s 4 year old nephew.

So far, the party planning is more than half-way done. The following DIY’s that I personally designed the layout (of course with some of the cliparts taken from the internet, credit goes to the original designers), and with the help of everyone in the house, are mostly done;

Birthday Banners (I have tried looking for ready made banners with the “BEE” theme here in the local stores, sadly I have not found one); 

Flower Birthday Decors

Flaglets for the cupcakes that I’m going to order today.

The In-BEE-tation that I have sent through email, and posted in the Facebook event that I have created.

The Tarpaulin, that I have finished just a while ago and will be printed later.

And, the Thank You Tags for the loot bags that still need to be cut.

 So far, that’s the update of the cute BEE party on Monday, a party that is simple and with limited budget. Everyone at home is busy bees buzzing around for things that needs to be done.

I still have to go through my checklist of some of the things that I might forget. And will do the general cleaning today and tomorrow because the celebration will be done at our humble “BEE HOUSE”.

I hope I can do my Comment Exchange before I’ll be offline until Monday. But in case hindi ko magawa (habol na lang ako sa Tueday Mommy Maye ha..)  

Bye for now and please look forward for "the after the event story" which will be posted next week, I hope so..

Have a Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Frustrating yet Thankful October 2014

October 2014 ended with all of us, suffering from the attack of annoying viruses. First, I was struck by the influenza virus, then Z’s caregiver was hit by the Varicella virus (chicken pox), X’s caregiver was slapped by flu virus as well, later X had a 39C to 40C fever followed by cough and colds few days later, the husband was kissed by the colds and now our little girl has a fever.

Can you imagine how sickly our abode was? But in spite of the sicknesses that hit all of us, I still have many things to be thankful for;

1. The newly contracted HMO provider of our company, that allows us to avail the insurance even for out-patient unlike what we had before. We had consultations + laboratory for the two kids for free as our individual dependents

2.  Our former “helper” (X’s caregiver) who left us because of personal reasons, agreed to stay with us for 10 days while Z’s caregiver had to recuperate from chicken pox.

3. X’s high fever was due to viral infection and not dengue that I am so afraid of. 
4. Our available leave credits that allow us to stay at home while the kids are not well.

 5. Z’s Pedia’s assistant that always accommodates us with just a text away, that means we don't have too long for our queue.
Also, before “the attack of the virus”, October was quite an interesting month, for me and the whole family, because;

6. I finally got an oven, though small and electric operated (looking forward how much our electricity bill had increased) still it did serve the purpose. 

7. A hand mixer to accompany me and the oven in our baking adventures.
8. The internet, for all the readily available, easy to follow recipes.

9. Free trip (though work-related) to Metro Manila, I was able to see my former colleagues and friends there.

10. X attended his school’s first semester culminating activity and wore a “Muslim” costume that was still considerable as an African Dashiki for his assigned country “Togo”.

October had a lot of ups and down for us, and no matter what I’m still thankful that we survived our everyday with God’s graces and blessings. We know that He is always there to guide us and keeping us safe at all times. 
Before ending this post, a little reminder for all of us...
Have a Nice Day!