There’s just something about I hadn’t planned a visit to Pottery Barn in Central Square, BGC. I just happened to be walking around and was suddenly and ever so positively quite taken by what I saw from the store entrance. A Pottery Barn sort of Christmas had just arrived along with the company’s VM. I had arrived on the actual day Pottery Barn PH was unboxing Christmas!
Mini Christmas houses sold for charity. If you place a flameless flickering light inside it comes alive with warmth through the windows. Most if not all are over Php1000.00
I made two purchases, one is their Jingle decorative throw pillow with bells on it and “jingle” inscribed in red gothic lettering and when you shake it you really can imagine Santa Claus and his sleigh arriving, it isn’t super affordable at Php1900+ but it was just too unique for me to pass up on for the house. This is the one Pottery Barn’s VM from the US, Dean told me was “really cute” while he was arranging pieces in different areas of their Central Square store in BGC.
I first set it on a wooden loveseat bench we have on the second floor and though the look was minimal the pillow made all the difference and brought a chic sort of festive vibe to the area.
The minimal festive look outside our master’s bedroom
The other, the “All is Calm, All is Bright” Silent Night themed throw pillow (Php1600+) is my utmost favorite and they sell the pillowcase separate from their Php595.00 pillows. It just jumped out at me when I saw it in store (although, to be honest it is very easily DIY-able …with a canvas case and some acrylic paint perhaps) and I liked how it was so tastefully designed.
So I got two “Silent Night” pillow cases for the house, one for our living room and one for my bedroom. This is how the pillow looks in our living room at the moment.
I transferred my warm white LED Fairy lights from my vanity dresser last year to my bedside, stringing it up across my clear beaded curtain and laying the excess along the sill of my main window which is alongside my bed. So this is what my bedroom (or at least the side with the bed) looks like now.
With my main ceiling light switched off the less tiresome but bright enough glow of the fairy lights is just enough for reading or great calmer ambience for when having a massage or watching movies on my laptop. I get excited before each sunset now for the chance to switch on my lights. I still want to be able to shoot a pre-evening sunset shot with the lights on…I think that might look particularly marvelous. The staff told me that day when I was about to leave that what I saw wasn’t even half of the stuff they needed to unbox and more shipments were coming in. I think now might be a good time to sneak a peep at Pottery Barn in Central Square BGC and see what new Christmas items have arrived!
“8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” JOSHUA 1:8 (NLT)
I’m not surprised that for many of us the idea of Bible-reading is automatically slapped with the hashtag #boring or brushed off with the neutral “Whatever, I’m livin. He’s with me'” shrug. I named this post Between My Highlights, because He made those areas between my USUAL verses our special meeting place. In a way in my life He’s met me most deeply in between my triumphs and victories, not just amidst celebration. I wanted my experience to touch on a gaping hole in modern Christianity, which is we don’t actively pursue what’s for us in the Bible. We want someone to tell us what’s in it, but we often don’t want to look ourselves. We have one so we say we have one, or sometimes two even, or perhaps just the app for Sundays and connect group days. The revelation for me was if you don’t read your Bible to know Him, or just reading through the verse then closing it without meditating, I don’t feel it can be quite called praying as a WHOLE, because prayer is supposed to be a conversation, not a one-way street with a shopping list in hand, and sometimes what He has to say won’t fall on your head from your ceiling or appear on a billboard or jeep, it may already be lying in wait within the pages of His Book in addition to that still, small voice. We commune with Him in prayer and a massive part of communicating with Him is reading His Word, because unlike the still small voice that we sometimes “think” we hear you can return to the verses He reveals to you over and over.
“Humor aside, I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put Him. We have kept Him at a distance, and then when we are in need and call on Him in prayer, we wonder where He is. He is exactly where we left Him.” – RAVI ZACHARIAS
The truth, folks, is just before this year I was a serial non-Bible reader. Yep, my YouVersion Bible app kept sending me that “would you like to take at least 5 minutes to read…” alert over and over for two years and I’d feel so nagged by it before. I preferred my real Bible but I wouldn’t really meditate. I used to pay attention to it just on Sundays but now…recently, I’ve been completing the app plans like wildfire. I look forward to them. I don’t expect a badge or a trophy or a “good for you” slap on the back, there just really happened to be a turning point sometime around Feb to March early this year, and I’m just thankful that God changed something in me, I pray for good. In the past I agreed with that Joshua 1:8 verse above because I knew I ought to, hellooo, I’m a believer I should, but I didn’t do it, meaning it didn’t really reach me deep down. I would peak in reading and dip quite quickly when life was going well. I quipped certain verses to encourage friends and write in my journal (so easily because my parents were Navigator affiliated family evangelists from when I was 2). We can sort of thank the media for all the pop-ups, IG accounts, Tweets, sites and feeds with inspirational quotes and Scripture which we don’t seek out but encounter ‘coz otherwise we starve unconsciously. “Newsflash” as Judah Smith says, that’s not really knowing God. You don’t really nurture a friendship with your best friend by hoping you see their status in your feed today. We reason out “Oh, I saw two verses in my feed today, that’s already seed that’s going to grow in me…” true, yes I agree, but what delights the Lord is when we love Him with all our mind, heart, and soul…and love isn’t passive, love is active, a commitment to love is a priority. Read more to get the full post and of course I’ll include an embedded video.
Whoever thought a NEW Filipina cosmetic brand like Happy Skin could make the world-class waves that they have in just one year? I never would have guessed that Happy Skin would be able to penetrate the market this relentlessly and in the most positive way. A year has gone by and we celebrated at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery yesterday, we who have stood by them, offered support, and watched them grow are prouder than ever. Congratulations, Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, we continue to stand by you! Happy Skin’s online store at HappySkinCosmetics.com by the way is now officially operational WORLDWIDE. Mabuhay ang mga Pinay!
Here’s a sneak peek at some of their new stuff with full reviews to follow
Many I’m sure did not have the slightest suspicion early on that a Pinay beauty brand would ever so suddenly and FINALLY give Filipino women what they deserve, a range of better cosmetics manufactured with close supervision that give payoff and safer formulas. I’m already making the positive comparison between them and Bourjois, the well-loved French drugstore brand, we’ve got our own brand that stands at par and it is Happy Skin! Congratulations, girls. Can’t wait to take pictures and show my readers your new items!!
A little quiet over here yes, been a bit more busy as a bee would be, so it’s no wonder I’ve been hovering over these and pruning them to my heart’s delight. A tip for keeping flowers perky is to not just immediately dunk them in a vase of water as is but to do so after first cutting the bottom tips of each stem at a diagonal angle so they don’t clog up when touching the bottom of the vase. Also trim any leaves near the bottom of the stems so they don’t drown and rot in the water making the water bad for the flowers to take in. Once you do this and leave them for a few hours so they can drink, come back later and touch the petals you’ll notice if some of them were wilting when you first bought them they’ll suddenly feel perked up. To keep flowers alive longer do the same diagonal trimming of stem tips every few days (daily if you’re OC) and change the water everyday to every other day.
“Delight yourselves in God, yes, find your joy in him at all times. Have a reputation for gentleness, and never forget the nearness of your Lord. Philippians 4:4 JB PHILLIPS version”
I inserted a blossom as a garnish into my Sola iced tea this morning to cheer myself up (for mum flowers make sure it’s only the blossom, no stems or leaves). I popped the airtight cap on the bottle first for safety, drank a bit to make space, closed it and shook up a storm to get foam and poured it into a glass, tada, al fresco worthy iced tea. I’ve been a bit under the weather deep inside, so apologies for the sudden calm over here. God is faithful and He’s been bringing me closer to Him in ways I never thought possible. As it turns out I needed a bit of diagonal trimming myself. On the brighter side, there’s something real exciting by the way I have to show once I receive the photos, can’t wait to share that with you.
There was an inspirational video last night that somewhat moved me to pieces called “Restless” a small group series based on the book by Christian author and inspirational speaker, Jennie Allen. It was posted in December 2013, so it isn’t that ancient and I’m glad both the teaser and message are in HD video. There was a sacred romance behind it, but it wasn’t about relationships, it was about something Greater. Here I’m first posting the animated book teaser and at the end of this post is the actual 20 minute motivational message that I really recommend for ANY woman no matter who you are.
How many of us women know that regardless of what age we’re at, whether married or not, whether we’re corporate career women, small time entrepreneurs, or bound to the home sometimes even in the midst of having everything we need or whether everything is in its place or misplaced we find ourselves restless? Something kind of revealing occurred to me from last night to this morning. If your childhood was laced with the fantasies of Disney’s now overtly commercialized princesses take heart…there was so much more meaning behind them than you realize, it wasn’t just about selling you Disneyland. Notice. We all want more, something deeper, and we shush ourselves when we feel that way.
“Just around the riverbend…”
At the very, very peak of their questioning, despair, the burgeoning of these princesses’ hearts or whatever it was that set off their situations…something greater and bigger than they expected lay in store for them and if you look at the whole story it wasn’t just about their own happy ending, it was always about something GREATER for everyone’s good needing to be set right, too. Sometimes it’s just about to happen and sometimes, or many times honestly, it takes time, trust, and patience for your adventure to arrive. However you need to be seeking and posted in the right place, and trusting and believing in the right Person, and that is Jesus. You’re allowed to disagree with me and I’m allowed to share what I believe in :).
In Jennie Allen’s beautifully and simply edited video message she mentions at one point she was newly married with a good, sweet husband and a baby and yet she was staring at the ceiling…restless. I’m sure some of you who are new Moms have felt this way sometimes. Sometimes the restlessness is not about our not being content enough, it just means your heartstrings are being pulled for God’s purpose. He never wants to just stop and sit comfortably, of course He wants us to enjoy life, but there’s more to it than just being comfortable, there’s something greater, it involves stretching and that is more than okay, it’s amazing and we are loved by Someone everlasting who will make it happen, but we need to shed all fear, He can do that for you. The part that moved me most in her video message was from YouTube clip time 19:03 til the end in case you don’t have time to watch the whole video. Before that she quotes from Hebrews which was a life changing passage for me this last season which I had to believe. Take a 20 min break and Watch this video.