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Archive for the tag “creative woman”

Don’t Do These Seven Things When Planning Your Wedding


waiting bride 2It is important to set priorities on your wedding budget. To maximize your money, here are some things you shouldn’t do when planning your wedding:

1. Entrust your photography to a novice.

I understand that you want to save money but planners would agree to save on some other things – not on your wedding photos. Cheap, bad photography is like building a sand castle. You will hate it when you want to relish wonderful wedding memories and all you have are bad photographs. I see this happen to many people. One particular friend hates to recall her wedding day just because she hates the pictures she entrusted with her cousin. It will be a waste of everything you have invested on. Stay within your budget when planning your wedding, but by all means, splurge on your wedding photographs.

2. Spend a fortune on your wedding gown.

All brides dream of the most beautiful wedding gowns. This does not necessarily mean, however, that your gown should suck-up your budget. Your guests won’t care what brand or label you wear. You can just borrow, rent (sorry!) or find gorgeous but discounted gowns. You will wear the stuff only once so investing huge on it when planning your wedding is not necessary.

3. Serve lacklustre food.

Don’t settle for less when planning your wedding reception, especially on food. Your reception meal is your treat to your guests. Get the tastiest food allowed by your budget. If you can’t serve a hundred guests with a delightful feast, cut your guest list in half. It’s better to have a few but delighted people than invite everybody and not be able to treat them well.

4. Buy a gorgeous but awful-tasting wedding cake.

I have seen too many cakes that looked fantastic but tasted horrible, my wedding cake included. Pricey extras on the exterior are nothing if your cake tastes like plain pudding in sugar-coating. Some wedding cakes are not even real but mere decorative facades made of Styrofoam (can you imagine that?) You can’t even eat them. Don’t laugh at me; I have seen many of those. For heaven’s sake, your wedding is not a show. Go for taste.

5. Struggle to get a professional videographer

If money isn’t an issue, then by all means go for all the brilliant camera lights but if your budget is tight then the decision is already made for you. Several hundreds or even thousands of dollars are too much for a wedding video. Your best friend or relative can tape the event for you. Just brace yourself for a shaky presentation afterwards. Remember, you can always look at your wedding photographs, and that’s all that matters.

 6. Spend twice on flowers.

Flowers are beautiful but your budget can get out of hand. Read this: recycle. Again, recycle. If you have two different places for the ceremony and reception, you can use your flower arrangements in both venues. You can do the same with your balloons, candles, and other decorations. If bouquets of flowers are too costly, get a single stem for each of your bridesmaids and table centrepiece. If flowers are not an option, get balloons instead. Candles are beautiful decorations, too.

7. Neglect your reception music

The music you play at the reception determines the atmosphere. Don’t let just anybody blast off cheap music from his boom box. It’s your wedding; choose people and things that can help you have a memorable and enjoyable wedding celebration with people close to you.

Be creative when planning your wedding so you can keep the costs down. You are supposed to enjoy your wedding day. For more ideas, comment on this post or like me on Facebook so we can discuss.



The Rewards of a Stay at Home Working Woman

photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

It is official –  I’m now a certified stay at home working woman, are you?

It took me several weeks to finally get used to it. I have been a working woman for almost 27 years, particularly a working mom for eight years, and I loved my job. In fact, nothing could ever separate me from it whether I get paid or not; except this inner stirring to do something else, or more accurately, a lot more other things. If I were to discuss those, we would get past 100 web pages.

I used to dislike staying at home both for good and bad reasons. For one, I won’t have a monthly salary, another, I will miss my office friends and still another, I will have to quit doing what I have always done for almost 21 years. There are a lot more reasons but, honestly, the most challenging is staying home with my two grade school boys. You read it right. Two grade school boys – they jump on my toes, scribble on my books, climb on our dining table, climb our windows, play basketball in the bathroom, mess up with the neighbour’s cat, run on the stairs, play with the stove, beat each other up and run and yell all the time. The list is endless, and attempting to write it can already make me all stressed-out just yet.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my kids. They are two terrific little guys I’m starting to hang around with more often. In the midst of my most stressful adjustment days, I see a twinkle in their eyes just because I’m almost always beside them and I learn a lot of precious little lessons. I guess there is just a lot of transformation going inside. Of the things I enjoy about being a stay-at-home mom, these four top the list.

1. Get to greet the kids at the door when they get home from school

Only a few moms get to do this. That classic moment like the one we usually see on TV, when my kids run and shout, “Mama!” and I spread my arms to hug them, and then ask, “How was school today”?

I can do that every day, and still feel like a first-timer every time.  Whenever I see my kids smile their sweetest, I feel like a loving mom in a feel-good old movie. I think I need more of this loving experience because it refreshes me. I’m also starting to like it when I can closely look into their needs every day. How about the stress? Oh, well, I’d get used to it if I couldn’t avoid it. The smiles on my kids’ face are priceless.

2. Get plenty of rest both for my mind and body

I needed this one so bad. I guess everybody does, but not everybody decides to enjoy it in a world that is so busy. I still work – on my own terms, and I think I’m entitled to it even for just the moment or maybe extend it for a while. Ah, just the thought makes not only my body, but also my mind breathe. I just feel I need a long-overdue rest after 21 years. Resting is good because, as one friend puts it, I can get back to my life purpose and re-define what I am really designed to do. Rest is not only for a stay-at-home working woman, it’s for everyone.  Let me ask you, have you taken a good rest lately?

3. Get a clearer perspective on the path I’m taking

I once joined a survival camp at one of the tallest mountains in Lambunao, Iloilo. It was such an awesome adventure, but turned out more than we figured out. We ended up not quite ready to climb. I saw a fellow camper, actually a rescue team volunteer, pass out. He was pale as paper, panting and almost unable to speak at the first stop. It was a difficult hike to the top.

We found it necessary to rest in the middle of the long trek and consider two things: get all the way back to the plains and go home, or go ahead to the top where the resting place, a nipa hut, and a group of waving younger campers who made me a bit insecure for getting there first, await us. We chose to go ahead, and reached the top. When you’re on a journey, it is good to step back once in a while and get a better perspective of how far you have gone, and gather all the strength you need to reach your chosen destination.

4. Get to work – and earn when I want, where I want

The months without regular work and a regular pay are not the best. I and my husband have been through a lot. Cutting down on living cost was impossible because there was practically nothing left to cut down. I have learned, though, that when we ask God for daily bread, He does not necessarily give us money or material things because such cannot sustain nor satisfy, but He gives us creative ideas, lots of creative ideas not only for ourselves, but also for others. I’m currently working on those creative ideas and I feel like a bird free from the cage, a goldfish out of the bowl. Both ends will finally meet.

I’m getting back to my small home-based business (very slowly, but getting there), and I still have a lot more businesses in mind. I failed on these things several times, but they kept haunting me, and until now I had to face those failures. I’m back with more time, more creativity, more faith, and more hard-earned lessons in my pocket. I also can work better on my blogs now, I occasionally get clients as a freelance writer, and I just got hired to do an amazing work-at-home job (I will write about it in the following months) that fits my personal purpose, interest and skills. Now, I’m looking forward to my first pay-day.

I can go on and on, but I like to ask you about your own work experience. I know things don’t always work the same way for everybody. Which one is more applicable to you, to have a work-at-home job, or work in a physical office condition? Write a comment on this post and let us discuss, or like me on Facebook for updates on this useful topic.

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