Saturday, April 11, 2015

New Kindle books to read

Like most book lovers, I was on the fence for a long time deciding if I should go digital or just stick to my printed books. I noticed that as my collection was steadily increasing, it became more cumbersome just to choose which ones to bring when on a trip; and my hubby was also reminding me to leave precious bookshelf real estate for him. In spite of those things, I still loved the tactile feel of books, being able to scan, skim and well, smell them when freshly opened...aaahh!

My Kindle, my love, my friend...

I guess the thing that led me to really consider digital was my limited mobility due to childbirth. I definitely couldn't spend as much time in book stores as I have before. Oh and the fact that there are a lot of titles that are not easily available here. So the Kindle it is! Ever since I got my Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, I've been seriously hooked!

In the past year alone, I have downed several titles. My favorites, which I finished in two weeks tops, were the Neapolitan Novels of Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name & Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay). Touted as a trilogy but from what I've read so far, seems there'll be a next one. I've been waiting for the fourth installment but September couldn't come too soon! Oh please let there be book four!!

So that is why I'm searching Amazon's digital shelves for new reads that could tide me over till Ms. Ferrante's next Neapolitan novel is out! :)

Here are some of the best-selling Kindle e-books...oh I do hope they are G-O-O-D!


Photos courtesy of Amazon 

So I think I'll start off with Nicholas Sparks' The Longest Ride. A romance novel couldn't hurt, right? From the editorial reviews, this love story really seems promising. Oh I could not wait to have this story unfold in my Kindle pages :)

"Ira Levinson is in trouble. At 91 years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage. 
A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward - even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans - a future that Luke has the power to rewrite... if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first. 
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart."
Alright, ta-ta for now! I better finish this before they roll-out the film version!

Enjoy reading guys, let me know which ones you'll choose from the different best sellers below :) And maybe next time Mommy Meowmeow can host a book club for you, watcha think?

The Girl on the Train: A Novel
No Ordinary Billionaire (The Sinclairs Book 1)
Trail of Broken Wings
The Altar Girl: A Prequel (The Nadia Tesla Series)
Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic Book 1)
The House at Riverton: A Novel

**In the spirit of full disclosure, there are affiliate links on this post, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands :)

Friday, April 10, 2015

How to choose photos for your Wedding Album

The past few months have been so much about photos, albums and basically capturing beautiful memories! With our wedding album in the works, it's now coming full circle. Indeed, from bouquet to baby.

So why is this album getting settled nearly three years from our wedding? The long-running task in our to-do list. Oh believe me, our parents have been reminding us non-stop about it too! And even our photographer, Jeri of Reality Box would send us reminders now and then. Now let me make it clear, the delay is in no way the fault of our photographers. In fact, they sent us the photo DVD's in less than a month from the wedding. Photo-finish! 

The short answer is this: it isn't easy to choose just 150 photos from over a thousand images! I guess photographers know this too so they also offer to do it (the choosing) for their clients. BUT, we still wanted that personal touch so we stuck with choosing for ourselves. Plus, life happens. I mean, 'married life' happens...so many changes and just so many new things to do and deal with!

Our Wedding Album Lay-out Proof from Reality Box
Of course, of course, because we want you to enjoy your albums much earlier than us, I'll be sharing some tips to help you with your own journey.

How to choose photos for your Wedding Album:

1. Proper allocation is key

A thousand photos...my, my, how do we even start? Siyempre I consulted with my hubby on this and we agreed to have some measure per 'event' that happened during the wedding. It also helped a lot that our photo team was able to segregate the photos; hence, it was easier for us to choose.

Each couple will have their own preference as to the percentages assigned but it might be useful to know which to include. Or which aspect to focus on. Or just to ensure equity in exposure. For us, we made sure to have the following:

     A. Preparations
          - Details (like the gown, bouquet, rings, etc.)
          - Bride's preps 
          - Groom's preps
          - Family & Entourage

     B. Church
          - Details (floral arrangement, altar, other details unique to your ceremony venue)
          - Wedding March
          - Actual Ceremony
          - Guests
          - Portraits

     C. Reception
          - Details
          - Food! Hahahaha :)
          - Program
          - Guests

     D. Post-nup
          - Portraits etc. 
          - After Party

2. Choose photos that best capture the memory you had that day

Each wedding is unique. Well most of the time, it doesn't even end up being the one that you planned. And that's okay. If I wanted to, I could name a number of things that 'went wrong' on our wedding day. But I choose not to focus on those anymore. 

I had that in my mind when choosing our photos. I wanted it to be real - and not a photoshop version of events just so I could conform to what I considered as 'normal'. And so if you happen to view our photos you'd see there my muddied gown and shoes...yep, very much real!! Besides, the story of (at least) the wedding would not be complete without details and other happenings such as these :)

However, there is always a possibility that not every moment you consider as important will be captured by the team. Sometimes, a lot of things are happening all at once. So I guess prior discussion is important to at least let your team know which moments they absolutely have to document. 

Did you DIY a lot of pretty details for your wedding? Let them know! Did you want a photo of you struggling to pee while wearing your gown? By all means let them know too! It's important to have that agreement so that you will not be left wanting after the event. 

3. Spice it up!

Depending on your taste you could ask them to photoshop or process the photos further. But, it will take more time and might cost more. 

As for us, we just requested for them to add wedding/marriage quotations (we submitted it already!! hehehe) as accompanying text to the photo collage. So we added these romantic quotes from movies, poetry and we also included a few Bible verses. As my hubby and I agreed, it would be a nice touch to the photos, to further evoke the feelings we had that day, and the feelings we still hold till now. Besides, there would be mini-albums for our parents and we're guessing it'd be a constant display in both living rooms. It would be a nice token for them and their guests to read of our love story and to hopefully help pray for our happily ever after..
Cheesy quotes such as: “I fell in love with you because of a million tiny things you never knew you were doing.” to Bible verses such as:  “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not boast. Love is not proud. Love is not rude. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects. Love always trusts. Love always hopes. Love always perseveres. Love never fails.” are all accounted for.
I love that even our wedding album is wrapped in prayer :)

4. Just do it!

Total number of days it took to choose photos: 2-3 days
Total number of days it took to choose quotations: 1/2 day
Total number of days it took thinking about this task: 2 and 1/2 years!!!

Imagine that! This had been such a huge mental burden for the past few years. Guilt would sweep over us whenever our parents would follow up about it. We were similarly embarrassed whenever our photographer brings up the topic. Regardless of the things that happened in between, we'd like to apologize for the delay and the inconvenience. 

I'm just glad we're now about to finish with this so we can move forward to other things. So dear readers, just do it! I know it's really "painful" to have to choose just 100-150 photos from a ton of gorgeous ones but think about it this way: the sooner you finish and get it out of the way, the sooner you can breathe easy.

So...which ones actually tell your story? You can segregate them already like I mentioned above. OR just choose the ones you like best - no categories, no numbers, no percentages. Purely based on what makes you feel great or what looks very pleasing. And then go through your choices and eliminate the others in any number of ways...as you process your feelings about it (including what happened during your wedding; or, just the pictures themselves). Believe me, it's such a cathartic activity. Ohm.

Mentally belaboring about it is difficult enough; the thought of another unfinished business, it would just keep holding you back! So I say just roll up your sleeves, get your feet wet and start sorting and choosing. And if you decide to showcase more photos than what your photographer offers, then maybe you could negotiate with them for more pages (of course at an added cost), or you could DIY an album yourself. Problem solved! :)

Best of luck to all of us! We're sooo excited for our album! :)


Photo and video coverage by: Reality Box

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Zara's Baby Gatsby 1st Birthday Party - MTV

Can't get enough of Zara's Baby Gatsby party? Well I've got great news for you...the party's video coverage is already here!!!! Woo-hooo!!!! :) While we cannot upload the whole event coverage, we'll be sharing with you this happy, tip-tappy (is that even a word??) video made by Shutter Count.



Haaay, super sulit...worth it lahat ng effort and gastos hahaha :) As some of you might have read in my earlier birthday preps post (Planning for a first birthday party), Daddy A was heavily policing our expenses for this event. He immediately gave the OK for the photo coverage but was doubtful with getting one or even accepting a sponsorship/gift for the video thinking, "kailangan pa ba talaga iyon?" I'm really glad he finally relented as I told him that it'd be something that Z will appreciate and watch over and over again. Totoo naman, from when the DVD's were delivered last Friday, we might have logged more than 100 views already....and it's been barely a week pa lang! Hahahaha :)

Believe it or not, because of the sheer number of guests we wanted to personally thank for coming and catch up with, we were not able to participate and watch Chayno's games and magic show. Plus the fact that Z was a little baby droola during her party, we also needed to tend to her. So it's really nice to finally be able to just sit back, relax, pop the DVD and re-live the experience. At times we'd say in unison, "may ganun pala nung party?"  :) Kaya ngayon even Z's grandparents have their own copies na rin, which I hope they will enjoy watching over and over as well. Shout out to our friends and relatives, if you want to watch it in HD, you better come see us here. Unfortunately, due to the file conversions, the Vimeo file is not as HD as it should be..but we're learning! :)

Ooooh and I also love the song they used! Super fun, youthful, catchy and just an all-over pick-me-up song! It's entitled STAND OUT by Sabrina Carpenter. Shutter Count team was the one who chose it and grabe, super bagay lang :) If you look at the lyrics of the song, you'll find that it also has a very positive message. Values like having confidence, believing in yourself, being true to yourself, being courageous despite the odds, just keep marching on, celebrating a person's uniqueness, breaking new ground - these are just some of the things that we also want Z to embody as a little lady. 

Thank you so much Shutter Count team for this MTV which is nothing short of amazing. Great work, guys! :)

So what are you waiting for? Click on that play button now! Enjoy! :)

Youtube Version




Vimeo Version



Zara Mireille Turns 1 - Baby Gatsby Party MTV from Andrew Lim on Vimeo.
25th of January 2015 | Alveo Celadon Park, Manila
Video coverage & editing by: Shutter Count (https://www.facebook.com/shuttercount...)
Song: STAND OUT by SABRINA CARPENTER

Blogged here: www.mommymeowmeow.com


"Stand Out"
Don't sweat on the little things just
Keep your eye on the bigger things cause
If you look a little closer
You're gonna get a better picture

Your heart beats like a marching drum
It's telling you to keep on walking on and
You gotta find a little fire
Shine your light a little brighter
You and I were meant to fire like rockets in the night

Keep your head up
Shoot the clouds down
Throw it all in
Break your own ground

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud
And if your gonna take a stand
Stand out

Life is our game
We can go play
Shake up the rules
Don't be afraid

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud
And if your gonna take a stand stand out

Stand out
Oh oh oh oh
[x4]

Stand out

Jump on to the roller coaster
Up up, now
We're getting closer
We can be the silver lining
For every treasure that is hiding

We're coming on at the speed of light yeah
Boom boom
It's like dynamite
We're gonna start a revolution
Don't stop keep moving

You and I were meant to fire like rockets in the night

Keep your head up
Shoot the clouds down
Throw it all in
Break your own ground

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud
And if your gonna take a stand
Stand out

Life is our game
We can go play
Shake up the rules
Don't be afraid

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud
And if your gonna take a stand
Stand out

Stand out
Oh oh oh oh
[x8]

Stand out

Be the voice
Be the cause
Be the change
Be yourself
thats the best you can be

You and I were meant to fire like rockets in the night

Keep your head up
Shoot the clouds down
Throw it all in
Break your own ground

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud
And if your gonna take a stand
Stand out

Life is our game
We can go play
Shake up the rules
Don't be afraid

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud
And if your gonna take a stand
Stand out

Stand out
Oh oh oh oh
[x8]

Stand out

Vendor Listing Reference

Venue: Alveo Celadon Park Function Rooms A & B  |  Caterer / Stylist: Passion Cooks Catering  |  Cake: Sugarplum Pastries  |  Photographer: Happy Folks Studio  |  Videographer: Shuttercount  |  Host / Magician: Chayno  |  Mommy’s dress: SURCO by Vien Resurreccion  |  Baby’s red party dress: a gift by Ninang Vien Resurreccion of SURCO  |  Daddy’s suit: BKS Couture (Boy Kastner Santos)  |  Headpiece and Boutonnieres: ETC Handmade Goodness  |  Hair and Make-up: Chinky Tanjangco and Wheng Diva  |  Lights and Sounds: Metromix  |  Photobooth: Incredibooths  |  OTD Coordinator:Madison Events  |  Chocolate souvenir: Unit 16 Sweets  |  Food carts: Ice Cream by Pinkerton; Fries, Ice Scramble and Cotton Candy by Sweet Services  |  Paperie: Invitation by Nicci Wiedman of Paper Street Press; Menu card, dish card, tarps, chocolate layout, wish card by Caren Resurreccion; Table numbers, memorabilia table pictures by Mommy Meowmeow; and Printing by Printlane


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