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21 confessions of a clueless bride-to-be


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1. I don’t have a dream wedding.1 I didn’t dream up a fantasy since I was 10 or anything like that.

2. The closest thing I’ve imagined about the supposedly “happiest day of my life” is that it’s going to be a small, intimate one.

3. This gives my wedding organizer (WO) a lot of flexibility to work with, yet far, far too many options for me.

4. Peonies or carnations? Camellias or Davin Austin roses? Can I have all of them? Can I have just a couple of them? What are the other options? I mean, I’m good with anything as long as it stays within the concept.

5. Umm, what’s my theme/concept again? Whenever people ask me this, I have no idea what to say. It’s like trying to come up with an elevator pitch, but you can’t put yourself into the metaphorical elevator.

6. Today’s wedding industry: One bride, a million decisions, infinite vendors.

7. Wow, before I got engaged I had no idea a dress alone can cost as much as USD 55,000, which you only get for rent. A lot of times I thought of spending the money on getting a down payment for properties we like instead. At least that we can sell for rent.

8. I really, really don’t want to think too much about the dress. But I have to, because it appears that most brides do, and that my mom and my in-laws and everybody else cares more about it than I do.

9. Turns out, bridal expos are nothing but a waste of time, especially when you already have an excellent WO at your disposal.

10. Hassles are the worst. As much as I wanted cascading flowers on my cake, I’m agreeing with whatever you say is more doable.

11. I really hate waking up early just to have a discussion on cakes. And flowers. And lights and everything else. The idea of having my makeup done early on D-Day always have me grunting.

12. And no, I’m positive I don’t need a USD 9,750 vellum paper-wrapped, double-board. custom-designed, premium paper-printed wedding invitation card that everybody’s going to toss except me and my future husband.


13. My secret wish is to have the whole family assigned as a team to plan the whole wedding for me, and then I’ll just have to attend.

14. That’s right. Most of the time, I wish there’s somebody else who can make all the decisions for me. Heck, one time I even fantasized about some other girl that would fill the position of a bride on the wedding day. She will be my face for the day, and then later on I’ll take it from there to live with my husband forever after.

15. I really miss having face-time with my fiance where it doesn’t concern the wedding.

16. The thought of elopement has passed through my head at least a million times.

17. Most of the time I wonder, why do people make such a big fuss about weddings? I’m fully aware it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but the whole definition of “special” in this special day is exactly what makes each weddings unique and therefore, different. There are simple weddings and there are elaborate weddings. I just wish the spotlight on me is a little smaller.

18. If there’s one thing I’d want my guests to remember, it’s not the food, not the lanterns, not the lighting, not the centerpieces, and not even the dress – it’s the love that my fiance and I share and how it overflows the entire garden like the first golden rays of sunrise.

19. As the months drew near, I just can’t wait till the day is over. The pressure of all the attention, the pressure of wedding expectations, the pressure of having to be perfect for a full day. Pressure pressure pressure.

20. Heck with hair and makeup already. I’m up for any artist as long as it’s not too thick, not too different and just not not me.

21. I mean, for Pete’s sake I’m going to be someone’s wife. Like, for real. For good. For eternity. I don’t know how everything will turn out on D-Day, and by now you know I don’t give 2 cents on whether it’ll be a dream wedding or not, but this is not a dream and I’m so nervous, yet so excited for the ever after. Never have I imagined I would meet my soul mate, one that didn’t exist before he came to life, almost as if I conjured him up, and you know what … nothing else matters, because I am going to marry the man of my dreams.



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  1. Very well. I’m going to dream up a wedding on the spot: One that’s studded with candles and Christmas lights, a garden-by-the-ocean venue, a less-than-100 guests, an all-over blue-green theme with a rustic touch, a Vera dress that’s exactly like Hilary Duff‘s, Jimmy Choo’s Cinderella perfection, a Taylor Swift Love Story ‘do, lots of succulents and white roses, a free flow of white tea for everyone, vintage books and teapots everywhere, acoustics playing in the background, Taylor Swift surprising us at the wedding, and last but not least, a mini-pig donning a pearl necklace and a fancy headpiece as the ring bearer. Due to parents’ involvement, budgeting, and the unlikeliness of celebrities attending  and time, not everything on this immediate dream is possible. Some, however, are. And they’re really going to happen at the wedding. []
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He gets me.


© tinylittletea
© tinylittletea

Different people don’t always get along, much less opposites (at least, if we’re in it for the long haul). But differences aside, I think one of the reasons why people constantly argue is because we tend to want people to look into our circumstances more than we do assert our own perspective on the matter. We think that others get it from our viewpoint, but truth is, no two individuals see things the same way. We especially expect or assume this level of understanding from the people we believe know us best, and sometimes, these “Why don’t you get it?!” kind of arguments can leave a permanent scar.

If we stop for a minute and pull back to see things from the omniscient perspective, we’ll see how puny our own ego really is. It begs for your constant attention, its desires are fleeting. You can’t endow your full and complete trust into something so volatile. It’s so tiny and so vulnerable that it knows, it has to present itself as one ginormous vessel of pride. It pushes others around it to attend to its needs immediately, and while it’s capable, it’s not in its nature to become the first to shimmy out of its pride. It would go lengths to prevent others from seeing its small nature in all its nakedness1.

Now the billion-dollar question is, why not you be the first? Contrary to logic, breaking out of your giant vessel reduces neither you nor your existence. You’re just laying yourself bare – fully your small self and completely with your fragile thoughts and porcelain feelings. This way, people can see right through your soul. And this way, you don’t have to put the pressure on those who know you best to empathize with you. Stripped off your armors, it’s easier for you to get to the heart of one another2 without leaving scars, and that’s a good thing in His eyes3.


  1. Hebrews 4:13 []
  2. because of the begotten Son, who covers for you []
  3. Colossians 1:22 []
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Nota Bene




Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.

People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scare, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic.

(Gus’ letter to Peter Van Houten, The Fault in Our Stars)




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38 signs you’re with the man you’ll marry


© tinylittletea

1. He brings you porridge/soup when you’re ill.

2. He gets you to go see the doctor, even when you don’t want to.

3. Of all the people in the world, he’s the only one who knows “I’m fine” means the total opposite.

4. In fact, he remembers your prescriptions more than you do.

5. His plans always involve you.

6. When dining out, he prefers sitting beside you than across you (you’d be physically closer side by side than you would face to face).

7. He shares his food.

8. He lets you vent. Through the courses and all the way home.

9. Despite all your complaints, he likes to show you off.

10. His family and friends adore you.

11. He’s generally more open about his shortcomings than he does flaunting his riches.

12. He’s told you you’re beautiful when you’re sick and disgusting and haven’t showered in days.

13. After all this time, he still performs the customary “gentleman”-ly gestures (opening doors, helping you to your chair, offering his hand, etc), even when especially when you told him to stop.

14. It’s his chivalry and his quirky charms that get your heart beating faster.

15. You feel safe around him.

16. At the same time, you’re more adventurous when you’re with him.

17. He’s not embarrassed to give you a piggyback ride in public.

18. He teases you, like, a lot.

19. He doesn’t get uptight about leaving you alone or hang out with your friends.

20. He can make you laugh till you cry, even if it’s at yourself.

21. You have fights about the littlest things. The two of you disagree on so many things, yet he cares to fight all night.

22. He’s committed, a.k.a. he doesn’t run away from conflicts.

23. He’s capable of leaving his pride and ego at the door.

24. He pulls you in to his chest (near his heart) and gives you that much-needed hug whenever you start crying.

25. “Hate” is the code word for “I love you so much there’s no other word that’s equally strong or stronger than love itself”.

26. He puts your needs before his own.


27. You survived a long-distance relationship together. *

28. You have fun with him even in silence.

29. You’ll never run out of things to say. Though you feel like you’ve known each other all too well inside out, there are still moments when you surprise each other with your thoughts, decisions, and/or actions.

30. Up to this day, he still showers you with flowers, chocolates, and piggy toys when you least expect them. As time goes by, these gifts are getting lavisher than ever.

31. That said, he wasn’t expecting anything out of being with you other than your presence and company.

32. While you know can go on without him in your life, you can’t imagine ever going to be as happy and/or fulfilled.

33. He makes you feel (so much more than) enough.

34. You like who you are when you’re with him.

35. In fact, he inspires you to become your best.

36. You value the same things and trust in the same God.

37. He willingly accepts every inch of you, flaws and all.

38. Deep down, your gut is already telling you he’s the one.


* : A major bonus.



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Of soul mates and choices



Soul mates. The term often carries romantic implications in it, although it’s not always the case. I’ve spent at least half of my life finding mine1, only to find myself embracing a larger conception of the term now.

I used to believe in the notion that one person was supposed to complete us, somehow predetermined to be the only one to fulfill our lives. If you think about it, it’s a ridiculous and potentially dangerous concept to hold on to. What if said “The One” lives in another continent and you’ve never had a chance to travel abroad? What if you’re Peggy Carter and your Captain America lives in another century? And what if one day, you become so possessed by this idea that it eats you up, obscures your conscience, and drives you away from those loved ones other than this mystical “The One”?

Continue reading Of soul mates and choices


  1. as I revealed in response to one of the prompts during February 2013’s NaBloPoMo []
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Nota Bene




I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: A rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I’ve learned that regardless of your relationships with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, i usually make the right decision
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

(Maya Angelou)



This is one of the many wisdoms of Maya that I found particularly expansive to our casual definition of love – forget dating, forget romance, forget diamond rings and fresh hydrangeas – love is everywhere, and it is seated gently on the little things in life.



Make someone feel loved today. Happy Valentine’s Day!

P.S. 7 ways pandas taught me to say ‘I love you


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How to get him to become your personal mind-reader



Start by telling him what you want. Why you were angry last Tuesday night, how you’re not asking for his solutions and just his ears, and what you want to have for dinner on Valentine’s Day. If you don’t know exactly what you want, just break the silence. Tell him all the choices you have on your plate. Let him speak his mind. Stop him from thinking you’re giving him the silent treatment for some mysterious reason. Choices aside, it’s probably not the best idea to push all the decision-making responsibilities to your man. You and him, it’s a two-way street.

Whenever he disappoints you and you’re all too tired to explain what looks like the most blatant mistake ever, think about the last time you disappointed him so much that he let out a big sigh. Yes, it’s one of those “Let me get some air” and “Can we talk about this later?”. We, unlike men, like to talk. The more heated we get, the more we want to scream, “Why can’t you understand? You’re supposed to get me!!” Men are a different breed. After hours of heat, they need to reset the logical parts of their brain, much like your computer needs to cool off after all the energy it has sustained. You will never realize this in the heat of the moment, but when you’re overwhelmed with emotions, a few rational thoughts can make huge amends.

Also, stop trying to make things seem obvious. What might seem obvious to you might not necessarily seem obvious him. Instead, clarify. If you want him to buy you a dress, don’t say, “That’s the prettiest dress I’ve ever seen!” Say, “I’d like to have that dress some day.” Rather than starting an argument about the prettiest dress the both of you have ever seen, let him know what is it about the dress that concerns you: You want to have it some day. It doesn’t matter if he thinks it’s pretty or you think it’s pretty. He cares about you, not the dress. Don’t make him care about the dress. You know you want it and you hope to own it. Say it like it is. Don’t expect him to know you want it by saying something that doesn’t concern you about the dress.

On your anniversary night, you’re lacquered in your most kissable gloss and divinely sculpted in a Herve Ledger. You were expecting him to kiss you, with tongue, good night before you slide out of his car, but he didn’t. You’re mad, you can’t believe it, you’re upset – but don’t fret yourself. If you’re so upset (and/or somewhere between angry and horny) that you can’t even, keep a quota of 3 unanswered calls and 3 unreplied texts. True, nonverbal communication is the majority (93%) of what gets said, but it doesn’t give you a license to expect him to do the exact thing you want him to do, done exactly the way you want it to be done. Even if you’ve looked the other way and gave one-word answers to show your discontent, you still need to verbalize exactly what’s on your mind, preferably as soon as possible. He may seem unaffected by all your efforts to look good that night, but you don’t know how hard he tried to control his stutters and shaky knees. It doesn’t help either that men can’t read body signals like women can.

So if you want it, just ask for it. Pick up his call, reply his text, and ask for that French kiss. Don’t let him misunderstand you, and don’t even begin to exceed the quota. The worst starts to happen when you pile up the rocks for up to a week. Weeks easily become months, months become years, and years become a lifetime. You don’t want to build a life of resentment, only to look back and see a mountain you can no longer move, all because of the darn kiss. And I know, the way I said it – asking for what you want – sounds completely unromantic. But have you got any idea how much of a turn-on is dirty talk to men? It doesn’t matter if it’s only the first anniversary or your 50th, or if it’s a dome or a megalith standing between the both of you – all you have to do is ask. Now’s the time.



Most important of all, learn to let go of all expectations and start the straight talking. Honestly, gently, and lovingly like a lady. Choose to let him know what’s on your mind as best as you can, because no matter how well you think you know your man or how well you want your man to know you, he’ll never fully understand you, even if he want to. As Harper Lee once said, you never really understand a person until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. Likewise, you can’t, and will never, truly know what’s on his mind 99% of the time. Neither does his buddy nor his brother, and certainly not even you.


P.S. The truth about men and feelings.



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Last minute gifts: 7 things he actually needs


I’m guilty for giving something for my boyfriend fiance (still not used to the term) this Valentine’s, which you’ll find out what after the weekend. I always get him stuff he doesn’t need … like a black tea macchiato from KOI and Christian Grey’s tie. So here’s me bouncing off ideas for future gifts and a last minute Valentine’s gift for your man that he’ll actually use:

Screen shot 2015-02-12 at 3.00.08 AM

☑ Sennheiser OCX 685i Adidas Sports Series in-ear headphones for when he’s hitting the gym
DELL 1TB ultra slim and portable USB 3.0 external hard drive for carrying his digital data everywhere (now he’ll think of you everywhere he goes)
A casual V-neck knit blazer in grey for him to throw on easily over anything he wears everyday
VMV Hypoallergenics pre-shave barber oil that contains coconut derivatives, for you to finally stop kissing a cactus
SK-II men’s essentials set for him to finally get and keep a proper skincare regimen
A Batman-shaped wall clock, to console him for the fact that he doesn’t drive a Batmobile
A weekend spa getaway for two to get some air in Ubud, because you and I both know he needs a vacay, no matter how short



So which of these are you getting him for Valentine’s Day?



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