15-Minute Dinner: Vietnamese Pho Noodle Salad

It's been super busy these days running around and meeting numerous deadlines. What a crazy week! Besides, the weather is getting hotter too, which is not helping at all.

On busy and (hot) days like this, I love to try something quick and refreshing. That's how I came across my friend's recipe: Vietnamese Pho Noodle Salad, which consists of chewy rice noodles, aromatic Vietnamese cilantro, crunchy roasted peanuts and yummy roasted chicken. It's so quick to make, just 15 minutes and dinner is ready. Any leftovers can go neatly inside a container and bring for lunch next day. (I am lucky if there are any leftovers at all)

My friend, Nancy is a leader when it comes to helping busy modern women like us to save time in the kitchen. She definitely saved my time! Check out this irresistible new dinner idea, you will love it:

via: http://imadethisdish.com/

From the Bottom of Our Hearts, Thank You!

We would like to thank all the people who had been part of our second wedding (first was civil), which was held at St. Michael Chapel, right across Eden garden resort,   last April 24 @ 10am. This was only attended by 21 adults and 6 kids, excluding 3 photographers and 2 make-up artists. Ninety-eight percent of the attendees are all family members because we decided to have a simple, intimate, and family-exclusive wedding.

The people behind the success are the following:

First, Mr. Jack Javier, Ronan's long-time friend, and who is working in the US right now. Thanks for the help dude.

Also to Ms. Mimi, St. Michael in-charge, for helping us reserve the chapel knowing that St. Michael is mostly reserved for couples who avail the Eden wedding package. Thanks for the suggestion and advice.

To Virgin Delos Remedios, San Lorenzo, and San Pedro parish for approving our wedding requirements.

To Father Al Botero, presider of the wedding ceremony and the St. Michael GKK priest, for the heartfelt homily and advice. He truly appreciated the simpleness and the uniqueness of our wedding. He even asked my husband whether he is an Irish because Irish people love to have a solemn wedding.

To King Perez and company, for tirelessly shooting us starting from 6am to 5pm. He had captured 1600+ pictures. Your talent and creativity are admirable. You are highly recommended.

We also thank Marla Santos and Jopay, our make-up artists,  for the wonderful job. We all woke up at early dawn (3am to be exact) and they started putting makeup to us. The output was still impressive despite a few hours sleep due to the annoying and persistent noise from the creaking window in the pine lodge where we stayed. (I thought I was the only one who noticed it but everyone did hehe). You also managed to catch up even in the cramming time.

To Auntie Arlene Cornista, my ninang, for the flower arrangement.

To Teresings boutique located at Magallanes St.,  for our wedding dresses. The bridal gown looks simple yet elegant.

To Zipsite family headed by Ma'am Maida and Sir Roy Barrientos for granting my husband, Ronan,  to leave from work. Thanks for your support and understanding.

To my employer Cathy Yeatts, for the support and for gifting us extra $$. It helped augment to our wedding expenses.

To my brother and his family all the way from Bukidnon, Algee and family, Papa Roy and Family, Auntie Delia and Family, Auntie Arlyn and Family, Mama Alice and Family, Mama for the all-out support, and lastly Pons, a last-minute invitee and the instant groom's man.

To Eden resort for the warm accommodation.

To the resort's shuttle cab drivers who patiently transported us back and forth,  passing through a bumpy and dark road knowing that pine lodge was very very far from the main (10-minute drive).

To all our friends for the well wishes, many thanks.

Above all, to Jesus Christ our Lord for the bountiful blessings, without Him, we can do nothing.

Once again thank you and God bless us all.


-Jeni and Ronan-

Does my face sound familiar?

No, I didn't join the latest and the most trending show in Chanel 2 today "My Your Face Sounds Familiar" (haha).  It was actually a pre-wedding hair and makeup test which I asked from my hired beautician to do before the final wedding.

I told him/her (actually she's a gay), to make me the most beautiful and gorgeous bride in the planet (hehe).

So here are the outputs of my newly-transformed self.

According to her she uses MAX factor make-up. (Hmmm e di wow) In fairness, it was apparent that my face looks glowing and the color just tones to my complexion. Sorry I didn't have a before-photo to compare.

Side View

Back View Showing the Hair Style

I was amazed of the make-up trick. I have originally a cute short nose but now it is a bit taller. 

When I arrived home, I let my hair free, dressed up, and posed as attractively as  I could.

As much as I want to try different makeup styles, her first touch is just perfect for my needs.

The Wedding Shoes Plus a Reward

Days to go before our wedding,  and I am extremely busy preparing for everything. One of the things that makes me/us busy (of course husband is included) is scouting for wedding shoes. Since I am a kind of kuripot (stingy), we try to look for cheaper shoes as possible to fit in our budget of 2,000.

So what comes to my mind is go to Abreeza Mall since I learned from a friend that they do have sales from time to time. Also, I used to buy shoes there for Chesska and I always got bigger discounts. However, when we got there in the shoes department, I never saw any wedge shoes (because I didn't know how to walk with high-heeled shoes hehe) with discounts so we made a round to some boutiques to take chances.  There were 1,000-below shoes, but I didn't like the style and I could tell they were old stocks so we went back again to shoes department.

I am picky when it comes to shoes and it really takes me too long to decide.  I know my husband hates waiting as much as others guys do out there (hehe). But good to know, I found right away Gibi shoes, and it suited my style.

It was dimmer when I took photos of it. 

Yes it is just too simple but I will just attach little accents like glittery flowers or ribbons so it would appear much like wedding shoes. (hehe)
I know I am the type of woman who never keeps up with the Joneses, but for this special occasion, and also as a reward for myself since it's been a long time I last bought a new pair of  shoes, I grabbed the Gibi shoes for 1, 200.

Of course, let me share with you the shoes my husband bought, Russ brand for 1,500.

Of course, Chesska's shoes from Smartfit for P795.

All of our shoes cost  3,495, so I have to augment more amount because we fell short. Well, it's ok for as long as they serve the purpose.

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The Wedding Budget

As the queen of practicality, we try to keep our church wedding as simple as possible.  First thing first is to consider the wedding budget.

I was being upfront with my husband by telling him,  if you wish to have a lavish wedding, "better forget the wedding". Or if you will borrow money just to impress others, "better forget me (hehe)"

Starting a married life with debts is terrible, and I don't want that to happen. Though we have been together for 5 years under one roof, we try to keep our life debtless.

I know my husband will completely agree with me because he himself is a king of frugality.  That is actually our common denominator.

So during our talk, we first decided to prepare a budget of 50k. But after breaking down all the details, we found out that we fell short. So we stretched the budget a bit to 70k including the contingency funds.

We only invited 32 guests and they were all families and the closest relatives from both sides because we just wanted the most intimate, simplest, and the most exclusive-experienced wedding.

We decided not to invite friends and co-workers. However, we told them beforehand so they would not be offended.

Let me share with you the detailed breakdown of our wedding budget.

As you can see, a large amount of our budget went to Virgin delos Remedios church for the process of our requirements alone. I was surprised that our payment would not include the choir and decor.  As I compared notes from Sto. Rosario Toril, they should have been included.

In my opinion, we should have paid much lesser amount because we are the ones following up and climbing up the mountain where St. Michael is situated. It appears to me that I double-pay for the church.

Well, I didn't complain. It all just left me hanging.

Also, if you notice,  we didn't allot budget for rings because we would just re-use our old rings used during civil ceremony. Nor we have budgets for invitations, giveaways, and cake. I told you it's not an old-fashioned and traditional wedding (hehe).

Lastly, since husband and I are not showy nor fans of corny things, we decided not to have wedding programs. We will just enjoy the remainder of the day for postnup and the guests will also enjoy nature-hopping, swimming, and eating in the eat-all-you-can buffet. I am pretty sure Eden garden will not disappoint them. hehe

That is all folks.

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Hunting "Green Wedding Motif Combo" Online

A friend of mine once suggested that I would pick green as my wedding motif for it is the lucky color for the year.

It's not because my friend suggested the said color then I would also devotedly follow.  It's because green has something to do with my personality.

First, green symbolizes ecology which has connection of my being a nature-lover gal.

Green also represents peace and contentment. I am the type of person who has strong aversion with disagreements, quarrels, and conflicts. As much as possible, I want a stress-free life.

Those are a few things about me that has connection with green.

And speaking of wedding motif, green finally ended up as my top-pick.

However, green has many relatives (hehe).

So I found myself searching online about wedding motif using green. So,  I saw mint green, lime green, dark green, emerald green and the like.

Here are my top picks.

1. Mint Green, with a Combination of Gold, and Peach

Photo Credit: Click Here

2. Lime Green with a Combination of White

Photo Credit: Click Here

3.  Apple Green with a Combination of White

Photo Credit: Click Here

4.  Emerald Green with a combination of White, Ivory or Coral 

Photo credit: Click Here

5.  Lime Green with a Combination of Fuchsia and Black

Photo Credit: Click Here

6.  Apple Green with a Combination of Purple and White

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7. Green with a Combination of Yellow and White

Photo Credit: Click Here

Ahh. They are all pretty good but I am still undecided which color combo stands out the most.  I would love to play around with three color combinations, lime green as the main color since I have just rented dresses for my bridesmaids and flowers girls last Saturday.

Our venue will be at Eden Garden Toril, and obviously we are surrounded by nature. And I want colors that will complement with the earth tone.  I have only two weeks left to decide which color combo looks simple yet elegant and fab.

Help me choose.

Catholic Wedding Requirements

Husband and I initially and mentally schedule our wedding sometime in May this year.  But we cancel the schedule off until we complete our requirements. But as soon as we iron out everything this month, we decided to make it earlier than the scheduled date. Hopefully April.

Even though we have been married in civil ceremony, a common practice by couples who are facing financial woes - we can't deny that - , but there's nothing more sacramental and more solemn like the church. As Christians, we believe that Church is the right place to hold a meaningful and joyful celebration to be blessed by God and witnessed by families who shared the same faith with the groom and bride.

Since we desire to wed in the Church, of course, we have to obey the Catholic Church processes. Ours will be going to take place at St. Michael Chapel near Eden Garden, Toril.  During my inquiries, the stuff from Eden told me to coordinate with Virgin Delos Remedios church regarding the requirements since St. Michael Chapel is under the jurisdiction of the former.

Before I move on, let me share you St. Michael's chapel which was taken last Saturday .

Ok, let's go back to the wedding requirements:

1. Baptismal Certificate (groom and bride)

Request this certificate from the parish where you were baptized, and ask them to indicate that it is for marriage purposes.

2. Confirmation (groom and bride)

Sad to say, I haven't been confirmed. My mom confirmed that I haven't really been confirmed. Nah! Since Virgin Delos Remedios doesn't schedule confirmation regularly, they told me to have it in San Pedro Church since they do it every last Sunday of the month.

I  got the confirmation certificate two weeks after the confirmation.

3. Church Interview (groom and bride)

We first signed up the form provided by the Virgin Delos Remedios , followed by an interview from the catechist. We were asked individually the reasons of getting married.  How long have we been as sweethearts, etc.? Are we sure of our intentions? Her pry was based from our answers in the form. Our supposition was that it would take her longer examining but when she knew we were already married in civil, it was somewhat shortened.

4. BANNS (groom and bride)

I was clueless what Banns really means until I learn today - since I Google it - that it is a public announcement (written or oral ) in Church of proposed marriage. BANNS will be released by Virgin Delos Remedios parish one week after the church interview.  We submitted the BANNS along with 2x2 picture to San Lorenzo Church, the parish we are actively and directly involved in. BANNS is also required if you wish your marriage to take place in another parish like we do.

5.  Identification Data Sheet (IDS)

You obtain the IDS from the chapel where you belong.  In our chapel, we were obliged to pay monthly dues and membership fee before the IDS will be signed by the leaders of the chapel. For some, they may require you to join the "kasaulugon" for weeks.

6. Pre-Cana Seminar (groom and bride)

Virgin Delos Remedios allowed couples to attend Pre-Cana seminar from the other parish.  Since San Lorenzo parish is nearer from our house, we decided to attend the two-day seminar there. Pre-Cana is a course of consultation a couple must undergo before they get married in the church. It tackles different aspects of married life.

The certificate of attendance will be released one week after the seminar.

7. Marriage License  

Since we have been married in civil for years, we will only submit the marriage certificate. Just bring original and photocopy.

8. Wedding Fee

If all the requirements are ready-to-go, you have to pay 4, 200 pesos for Virgin Delos Remedios Parish and another 12, 900 for St. Michael Chapel if your wedding goes under the Eden Wedding Package. The Eden wedding organizer will take care of everything including the chapel rental, booking of wedding date, church decorations, and flowers arrangement.

As for us, we didn't avail the Eden package because the cost was outrageously high. So we personally went to St. Michael GKK and coordinated with the chapel in-charge named "Mimi" to have us booked for the chapel. Here are the fees:

Chapel Rent - 2, 000
Choir - 2000
Stipend for the Priest- (any amount or donation will be accepted; not required)

Last but not the least, we decided to decorate the church ourselves to save extra money.

Friendly advice: Secure first the requirements before you secure the wedding date and reception to avoid unnecessary problems in the future  After all, it is not the reception, nor the date that matters, it's the ceremony. 

That's all folks. I hope you find this post helpful.

I would be forever grateful if you help my blog grow by liking my facebook page here. Your single click means a lot to me. Thank you so much.