Summer Style

It is hard to believe that we are halfway past July.

For me, the calendar pages are flying and we are less than a month away from my son TURNING THREE!! We just got done with swimming lessons (his first) and are now looking into preschool.

I know. Crazy.

For those of you who can relate, I hope you are finding ways to remain stylish this summer despite the busyness and the time fastness, and everything else that comes with the territory of being a Mom, and especially a New Mamma.

I know by the time August comes, many of you just want to think up cooler weather and welcome crisp autumn air.

Trust me, I do get those thoughts, too.


But in the spirit of slowing things down, enjoying the moment, and wanting summer to last just a tad longer, here are some poolside and BBQ style inspirations to help you plan around outfits for the rest of the summer.

Courtesy of Stella & Dot.

Because the last thing a New Mamma needs is to stress her attire and accessories to wear to that next summer gathering.

And I DO firmly believe that every Mom needs to dress up every once in a while, if just for the sheer fun of it, summer or not.

Enjoy these looks…

Aren’t these all gorgeous, mom-worthy, and most of all, effortless?

And please, DO contact me if you: are curious about Stella & Dot / want to host an ONLINE trunk show (and earn FREE jewelry!!) / live in Arizona and want to host an ACTUAL trunk show (and earn free jewelry as well!!) / are interested in this amazing, uberly fun, uberly stylish opportunity in being a work-at-home entrepreneur like myself (no need to be an Arizona resident there!)…

It has seriously been SO rewarding for me that I just have to share the style and the opportunity.


17 Years in the U.S. (!!!)

Today is a significant day…my family and I have been in the U.S. for 17 years!

Through the years I’ve seen the hand of the Lord work in my family’s lives…so many blessings. We’ve moved many times within NJ, and then cross-country here to Arizona. We came in as immigrants from the Philippines, and now are all U.S. Citizens.

I just look back at this date every year and–though it was sad (SUPER sad, actually) to leave our dear family and friends in the Philippines–I know my parents just wanted the best for us (and they always told this to us many times throughout my growing up).

My siblings and I…we didn’t always agree with my parents’ decisions (about coming to America, moving many times in Jersey, even moving TO Arizona), but I know they both WORKED SO HARD to be where we are today.

At the end of the day, each day…

It. All. Worked. Out.

For the BEST.

So here is a photo from when we first arrived in the U.S. 17 years ago (no laughing please!!!)

My siblings and I (from L-R)...11-year-old Anna, 9-year-old Tedi, 3-year-old Kara, and 13-year-old Me.

This is a part of our family’s history…a part of Miguel I wanted to share with him. My parents are first-generation immigrants, my siblings and I 1.5 generation (didn’t know there was such a term, see definition in Wikipedia here), and Miguel–the first grandchild of our family–is the first of our family’s second-generation. It is all quite interesting when you look at it all historically.

What special part of your family’s history have you passed on, or would you like to pass on, to your kids?

Monday Morning Thoughts

As you both lie in your sleep, I look at you and your dad on this early Monday morning. He loves it when you’re in the bed with us. He lets you get away with a lot.

You are his best friend. And he is yours. You encircle and enrich his world. And he does yours.

You bring endless smiles and laughter and energy into our lives.

Yes, you tire us out, too. At times to the point of exhaustion…(especially Mommey).

But we would not have it any other way.

You are our son, whom we are thankful for every day.

For the life, the laughter, the love.

There is never a dull moment since you came into our world.

Photos taken from our Flagstaff day trip this month.

Intentional, Professional Motherhood

I’ve recently stumbled upon this wonderful blog of Beth Hendrickson, author of Belle Squeaks. In one of her posts on BlogHer, called Hope for the Stay at Home Mom (a must-read post for my fellow stay-at-home New Mammas out there), she suggested this book called Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie C. Martin.

How I wish I've stumbled upon this book sooner! Lord knows I need it.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost a year now. And though there are marked improvements in my ways of mothering, I still can’t help but feel like a novice most days (a TRUE New Mamma, inside out!)

That’s really not great, considering my son is almost two.

I guess there would always be new things that come up, new experiences to face, and new lessons to be learned. I get that. But just like in the business world, I feel like I have to be educated to better my craft (with said craft being MOTHERHOOD, no less.) Just like in the working world, I need to be able to KEEP UP with my mothering (that is to say, be able to keep up with myself). In short, I want to be an intentional, PROFESSIONAL New Mamma.

Coz Lord knows I am doing quite a few things wrong…

– Like how Miguel is still sleeping on our bed (and the three of us have gotten so comfortable with this arrangement that none of us are making any efforts–for now–to move him to his room and in his own bed).

– Like how we have no established routines, except if you can call naptimes at 6 PM and bedtimes past midnight a routine.

– Like how I envisioned our days to be on some kind of normal schedule (I even created a family schedule for us!), but somehow we’ve just been on a non-schedule schedule.

So I have this book on order through Amazon. And I can’t wait to read it!!!

IT probably won’t fix/solve what I’ve listed above (which I’ve learned to embrace in lieu of frustration).

But I’ll take any insight I can get.

The Day We Hosted Our Annual Family Reunion

This weekend was choc-full-of-activities, not just for Miguel, but for the entire family. It was our turn to host the annual Jacob Family Reunion. It’s an event that’s been a year in the making, officially starting with the arrival of our out-of-town (or more like out-of-the-country) guests last March 30th. My aunts Amy and Maila, along with her fiance Jens, flew in from Norway, and we’ve been busy taking them out shopping, dining, and casino-hopping since they arrived.

We held this reunion in honor of my maternal grandparents, the late Amado Marasigan Jacob, and his wife, Verania Liwanag Jacob. Though they could not both be here for the event (Lola Vering, in her old age, decided to forego traveling all the way from the Philippines, and instead just await her children’s visit this coming June), we made sure their presence would still be felt by all who attended.

The stunning Jacob couple--my grandparents--Verania Jacob and the late Amado Jacob.

This is the banner I designed for our reunion…

On the days leading up to the reunion when we were not happily gallivanting with the family, I kept busy putting together the welcome bags for our reunion attendees. Here are the contents of the attendee giveaways

The giveaway bags included Jacob’s Creek wines with a custom label, custom dog-tag key chains, Jacob Reunion t-shirts, Norwegian chocolates and sardines (pasalubong from our Norwegian delegates, no less!), Arizona caramel corn, and various colored bandannas to indicate each attendee’s team for the games. We placed all items in a reusable recycled tan shopping bag.

Here is a picture of the finished product:

Our attendee giveaways. Yup. If you're should have come!

Besides the giveaways, there were also preparations we made for the games, entertainment, and getting the house in order for the event. Of course, the rest of the family contributed a LOT in making this reunion a success. We all pooled in money from each member of the Amado-Verania lineage (down to great-grandchild Miguel) to financially support the entire reunion. Not only did the money go to the giveaways, but also to the food, drinks, party supplies, game props, and prizes.

While everyone cooperated in ensuring the reunion’s success, the weather unfortunately did not. It got briskly cold for Arizona’s standards the night before the reunion, when the rest of our out-of-town guests arrived. And it poured rain through the morning of, leaving our backyard too wet and mushy for any outdoor activities. We did not let this stop us though. Instead we brought all the games and partying inside, beginning on the night prior to the reunion.

On the night before the reunion, we…

...had dinner and drinks.

...welcomed our Elders.

...played card bingo.

...greeted Great Uncle Manoling a Happy 84th Birthday.

...took group pictures.

...took MORE group pictures, this time with Tito Jens' butt in the way. Hilarious (You HAD to be there).

And then we took EVEN MORE pictures. As if they weren't going to see each other the next day!

The official day of the reunion was Saturday, April 9th. We started with food of course. Then we handed out the welcome bags so everyone can put on their shirts and their team bandannas.

And then we proceeded with the games, starting with a getting-to-know-you ice-breaker game of M&M’s (a non-team game). I went around the room and asked each family member to get a handful of M&M’s from a bowl. Some took only a few pieces, while other dug into the bowl…LOL. Only after everyone has had a chance to get some M&M’s did I tell them what they were for. For each piece of M&M that they took, they have to say something about themselves. Of course, those who took a LOT panicked and laughed it out! Hahaha!!!

Tito Jens won this game: I am Jens. From Norway. I live in Oslo. In Norway. I come from North Norway. I am engaged to Maila. Also from Norway. LOL. He said a whole lot after that, but I can’t remember them anymore.

And then came Uncle Manoling’s turn. He called for a few moments of silent prayer for all those family members who have departed and those who were not with us, which tugged at my heart because I so wished my Lola Vering could be here, and then Lolo Daddy (Amado) who is no more, but who lives within all of us in spirit.

One thing Uncle Manoling said about himself was he in fact was the attending physician who assisted my Mom in giving birth to me, my sister Anna, and my brother Tedi. So we would not be here if not for him. Which made me cry some more. Good thing we paused for pictures, which was a good diversion…

We then surprise greeted our parents, for it was their 30th Wedding Anniversary that day.

After this we had a team game where each team had to put together a family photo puzzle, and the youngest family member in each team had to name the person/persons in their photograph.

We then took a break from the games and ushered in the entertainment.

Tina Turner came to dance.

In between the dancing, Tito Jens proposed.

The Chicago delegation proved, "It's A Beautiful Life!"

We proceeded to "Just Dance."

Miguel decided to join in the fun!

And then we continued the games

Egg Relay

The Mummies. LOL!!!

And then DANCED some more…


Miguel's own dance


Ocho Ocho

We took a break to take some photos

And then proceed with our next and final game of…PUTUKAN NA!!! This is the game played in the Philippine game show Willing Willie, a variation of balloon pop.

After this last game we all just hung out, had some halo-halo, sung Karaoke, and enjoyed each other’s company. We celebrated with the family well into midnight, and this reunion proved to be one of the most fun family gatherings we’ve ever had, and we are proud to have hosted it. =)

Family Feast

This was a significant Thanksgiving Day for us. For one, it was my first Thanksgiving with my family in years. Having Terrence and Miggz with me and my whole family made it that much more special. It was also our chance to celebrate a big dinner as a family because we (me and my boys) will be flying out to the Philippines in three days and won’t be back until February. In short, it was our Thanksgiving-Christmas-and-New-Year’s feast with them combined.

It was so nice to see everyone pitching in towards dinner…another first. My brother, Tedi, bought a sumptuous lump of meat that my Mom made into a delicious pot roast. My sister, Anna, brought home a ham that my Dad glazed and prepared for dinner. I made my favorite black-and-white brownies that everyone loved. My sister, Kara, helped prepare the mashed potatoes. And Te got to finally make his famous turkey that I have been bragging about for ages.

Terrence woke up early and labored for hours on that bird until it was perfect. Sure enough, the feast he cooked for us did not disappoint. My whole family raved about how delicious and yummy and memorable that turkey was (I knew they would love it!). Of course, it won’t be complete with all the sides we all prepared.

Here are some pictures from the Guerreros’ first Thanksgiving with the Mogols:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

%d bloggers like this: