Cherished Memories

Ibyang + Instagram = Ibyangram

While my instagram photos are shared on my twitter page and sometimes on my tumblr and fb page, I would like to have a monthly dump of ibyangrams on AWCL too. It is thru instagram that I share everyday moments and random finds. I use instagram as my real time mini-blog. Every end of the month, I’ll be choosing a couple of photos from my instagram and share it here because I have something more to say about a certain ibyangram.

September was such a busy month! But wow, it was one of our most productive yet. Work took so much of our time for the past weeks that even on weekends, we have committed our Sundays to a project we’re working on together. It also involved doing something for the community: voting on the national elections and being called for jury duty. September was a festive month too! We were blessed to quietly celebrate the Husband’s birthday and Mooncake Festival at home, plus spend time with friends whom we haven’t seen in ages. 

Sorry for the not-so-regular posts. I have days wherein the word “hectic” is an understatement. I face challenging tasks at work which sometimes result to long hours that whatever’s left of my night, I spend it doing important chores at home and de-stressing (either I walk on the treadmill or curl up in bed with a book). Blogging is still one of my favourite habits. I feel incomplete when I don’t get to sit down and write. Writing is one of my creative outlets and it’s something that I terribly miss when I never get to do it.  

Good news though, one of the things the Husband and I are busy with involves this blog too. We bought the domain a year ago and this year, we decided to do something about it. Hubby and I are currently designing the site and maybe finally launch it before the year ends. I hope you watch out for that because we are working very hard in making the design of as attractive and user-friendly as possible.
So that’s a little heads-up on what I’m up to. I have so much to write about, I hope you bear with some blog inactivity on some days. I hope these September Ibyangrams will help make up for days I never get to publish a blog post. Enjoy and I hope your September was fabulous too. Let’s welcome October with delight!

Having a drink on a Thursday. With the boss’ consent, we head to the pub for some Apple Cider after our department’s quarterly meeting. 

Early Voter. We had the national elections scheduled on the 7th September but in order to get the task out of the way and avoid the big crowd on election day, I went to a polling precinct on a weekday and voted early. During elections, voters are given an option to vote early, either by sending their vote via postal forms or going to a polling precinct two weeks prior to election.

Surronded by Love. It’s a gift when you feel loved when you’re with your best girlfriends. 

Jury Duty. This was a source of anxiety for me that clouded my mind for days. I was anxious because I don’t want to be picked as a jury due to work. I was anxious because it was my first experience to be called for jury duty; I have no idea what happens in court. On the day I came to court, I was nervous. Luckily, all cases that day pleaded guilty so we were all sent home. We have served our duty for the day and all we did was wait to be called. Although it never came to the point where I became a jury for a case, it was still an unforgettable experience.

Hubby’s Birthday Cakes.The Husband wanted a very quiet celebration and that’s what I tried to give him….and cakes! I gifted him with four cakes!  Michel’s Vanilla Sponge Cake, Max Brenner’s Chocolate Souffle, Adriano Zumbo’s Malt & Teaser Cake and of course Moon Cake! haha. 

Our first TV’s last night at home. We bought this reliable TV from a friend for only AUD$250.00 and it has served us well for the past four years. I was sentimental to let it go simply because it was our first TV. It’s presence in our home reminds us of how we began our married life together. 

The Smart TV is smarter than me. The old TV was replaced by a smart TV which left me in awe when I saw it. It’s huge, can record TV shows, has a 3D feature, has WI-FI so I can use apps in watching stuff on TV, connect to social media via apps, use it for Skpe, read blogs. I love it! 
I was once a cheerdancer. I got tagged in FB by a former mate in college to one of our cheerdancing photos so I shared it in instagram too. One of the best times of my life. Being an athlete taught me the value of discipline, teamwork, camaraderie and help others develop their potential. Most of all, I found friendships that lasted beyond the competitions we participated in.

Philippine Tourism Ad under Sydney’s blue skies. Always makes me smile when I chance upon these ads from the Philippines.

Seeing Something Pretty. Our first time to be at Ryde Park and I saw this pretty structure with the blue skies as backdrop. 

Yummy Desserts at My Goddaughters’ Parties. Kids parties are always fun even for the kids-at-heart like me. Such parties are a good excuse to indulge in delicious cakes. 

Tweethearts Reunion. Yup, it definitely felt like a reunion of sorts because we haven’t seen each other for a while. So happy to caught up with my lovely friends. 

Fancy Meeting Vera. Social media has definitely made the world smaller. Vera is one of my IG mates and it turned out we have a common friend in Sydney. We were introduced at my goddaughter’s party and I found out we lived in the same area. Yay! 🙂
The Husband and I. Sometimes we go home from an event with no photo of us! Most of the time, we’re busy taking photos during events that we never thought to have a photo together. We’re glad our friend was able to take a photo of us at a party we attended. 

My Peace Lily now has two flowers. And they blossomed in time for Spring!

Stop and smell the roses…even if busy. No matter how tired I may be when I go home from work, I take time to appreciate the little things that make the world pretty. Thank God for flowers!

Pine Trees by the beach. Early morning breakfast at Brighton-Le-Sands. Such a relaxing view.

Trees Make Me Happy. I love them! 

Sunshine on our Cuppas. Saturday morning, out on a beach with my favourite person in the world. 
Boiled eggs and sweet potatoes to get us thru an all-nighter. We had a working weekend on the last weekend of September. The Husband and I sometimes take in design projects that we do on top of our 9-5 jobs. It makes our life crazy sometimes but we enjoy it. Last Saturday, we had to work til wee hours of morning as we needed to present something to the client on Sunday. We pulled it thru and the client was happy with our efforts. Whew!
And that was September for us. It was an overwhelming month for us but we’re grateful for busy but rewarding days.

September means two things in our household: the Husband’s birthday month and Mooncake Festival. We’ve made Mooncake Festival a part of the things we celebrate in a year. This is one of our food favourites and at the same time, we are fascinated by what the celebration symbolizes: abundance and togetherness. So a few weeks before Mooncake Festival, I make sure I buy us a box of Mooncakes. Our favourite is the Casahana brand. 

Like last year, we got the Pandan Delight and Toffee Coconut

Mooncake Festival Celebration at Home

On the night of Mooncake Festival, I brought out the mooncakes for dessert and prepared tea at the table.

Mooncake Festival Celebration at Home

Since Mooncake Festival happened two days after the Husband’s birthday, I put a little chocolate biscuit in between the mooncakes and put a candle in the middle.

Mooncake Festival Celebration at Home

When I called the Husband to the table, he was surprised to see the lighted candle. He was amused when I told him to make a wish and blow his candle, and that making another wish two days after his birthday is still valid. (Well to me, making a wish everyday is valid even if it isn’t your birthday! :))

Mooncake Festival Celebration at Home

We only finished one mooncake that night as we were full from dinner. We enjoyed the Pandan Delight, a flavour we love because it has salted egg in the middle. 

Mooncake Festival Celebration at Home

The Toffee Coconut was eaten and very much savoured over the weekend. It is the Husband’s favourite as it is very-chocolatey.

How did you celebrate Mooncake Festival?

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Spring is here! My favourite season when nature comes alive with colour and vibrance. Days will gradually become longer and temperatures will be warmer. Spring equates to two of my favourite things: beginnings and transitions. I love it most for the abundance of Cherry Blossoms blooming. To see its beauty is such a fleeting moment but it teaches us all to be grateful for the now. 
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
The Husband never gives me flowers. Instead, he brings to me to places where I can see my favourite Cherry Blossoms. I’m in love with them. I squeal in delight when I see them. I get “kilig” when I seem them on TV. So the Husband took time off work and brought me to Auburn Botanical Gardens for the Cherry Blossoms Festival. It runs for two weeks every year, usually between the 2nd to 4th week of August. That’s not yet officially Spring time but it is when the Cherry Blossoms come out. 
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
The Contrast of Winter and Spring. 
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013

It was our second time to come to the Cherry Blossoms Festival. Last year, we had a Sunday picnic under the Cherry Blossom trees. This year, we opted to visit on a Friday, a weekday so that there would be less people. There were a number of people that came and went in the morning but the volume wasn’t as many during weekend. It was definitely easier for us to take photos.

Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
P127Cherry Blossoms Festival 20130437
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
We saw a group doing a photoshoot. The ladies looked lovely in their Kimonos.
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013

Other than Cherry Blossom flowers, the garden had other lovely flowers. When I sorted our photos, I noticed that I seemed to have taken lots of pink flowers. 

Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
Cherry Blossoms Festival 2013
P12703Cherry Blossoms Festival 201398
We didn’t stay long but we’re happy to have experienced seeing Cherry Blossoms once again. We had fun appreciating nature, see flowers in bloom and feel the falling Cherry Blossoms on our shoulders.

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Spent another Thursday off work with girlfriends. This time we celebrated the birthday of Jasper, one of my friends’ beloved dog.
Jasper turned five years old this month and we’re so happy he’s still one happy, healthy dog. We hope he stays that way for a long time.
Food was abundant as per usual. We all brought something to share with everyone. We started off with Bruschetta for appetizer.

 We had Asian Noodles and Pesto Pasta–for long life! 🙂

I cooked Pork Binagoongan while one of our friends brought Charcoal-grilled Chicken (no photo). 

Dessert was special as well. We had Custard Cake and Cupcakes topped with Meringue which were perfect with coffee and tea.

Before we went home, we all had a cup of Taho (sweet tofu with caramel and tapioca pearls), a great finale to a day of fun times, great conversations and good food.

This month,A Wife’s Charmed Life is celebrating its 6th birthday in the blogosphere. I sometimes look back at the journeys this blog has taken and I always wonder in awe at how much it has grown and how much I’ve grown too as person. So as a gift to my beloved readers, let me share a special moment that happened on my birthday six months ago: attending Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk at the Sydney Opera House where I also got to meet her.


Elizabeth “Liz” Gilbert is intelligent, funny and endearing. Her aura illuminates with such positive energy. Listening to her talk about her life and advices when it comes to following one’s passion was a very inspiring experience.

I love Liz Gilbert. Her book Eat Pray Love brought a lot of sense to me and thru it I learned the missing link in my life then which was the value of balance. It was a dream come true to see her and learn a lot from her stories. 

The best part was I got to meet her too! She did this talk three days before my birthday in January this year and it was one of best gifts the Universe has ever given to me. When we met, she complimented me that I have a beautiful name (she referred to Ivy) and then greeted me a “Happy birthday!” when I mentioned that she is fate’s birthday gift to me. It was so surreal! 

Elizabeth Gilbert, Life After Eat Pray Love (January 2013)

Here she is signing my old Eat Pray Love book. 🙂

Elizabeth Gilbert, Life After Eat Pray Love (January 2013)
I’m sharing a video of her talk at the Sydney Opera House below. It’s lengthy but it’s worth your time. However, if you have no time to watch just yet, here are some things I learned from Liz Gilbert’s talk:

On her life:
Writing is her only talent, she does it good and had always been her path.
She’s experienced life in Wyoming as a ranch girl.
She’s gullible…she easily believes in everything.
She enjoys the company of men as men are more interesting.
She describes herself as an introvert trapped in an extrovert body.

On writing 
When writing, one should have a particular person/audience directed to .

On writing Eat Pray Love
It was a letter to her friend Darcy. 
It’s her most intimate book as it is her story but she had no regrets writing it, it is a great blessing to her life.
The best thing that has happened during her journey was the 4 months she spent in India as she finds a peace resolution to herself.

On overcoming that judgemental voice
Be more stubborn to that voice; quiet that voice so your own voice will come out.
Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself.
Push hard, be relentless because it has to be done.

On making your dreams come true
Anything challenging is worth doing.
It is your passion, it is your responsibility.
Stop complaining.

On empowering women
We as women need to constantly be realistic perspective on how far we’ve come in such a short time.
Relax and don’t be hard on yourself.
It doesn’t help when society dictates what women should do etc. but there are new freedoms.

Last year, the universe gifted me with Roger Federer. This year, it was Liz Gilbert. Words cannot express how much I’m truly grateful for these inspiring encounters. Moments like these will always warm my heart.

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