Port of Lost Wonder

Enjoyed our family time on the eve of Daddy's birthday at Port of Lost Wonder, Sentosa --- a nice place for family bondings, picnics and water play. 

It was first time for us to not worry about Kuya wandering off because Miguel stepped up and took charge! In the photos you can see that they are always together as they would wait for each other all the time! At one point, when the lifeguard talked to Kuya about something, Miguel was there to the rescue, ready to explain about Kuya's autism. HAPPINESS OVERLOAD. I couldn't help but get teary eyed to see that happening.. we can think of it as the boys birthday "gift" for daddy :)

Port of Lost Wonder is open everyday, with $15 entrance fee per child on peak days and holidays and $10 on normal days. FREE entrance for adults. 
More photos here

It's a decision to love life. Every minute of it.

Today, It was just the boys and me as Daddy went biking at Pulau Ubin and Mae enjoyed a day off. Which means, WORK day for me. Ha.

The day started quite not so nicely because I was waken up by a bad dream, some negative thoughts about Kuya's mood swings lately..  and I smell PMS.  But at 41,  I am becoming so good at loving my life, no matter how hard it is sometimes that what started to be a bad day ended with a bottle of red wine and this blog post.. My day wasn't so bad after all...

I arranged flowers, washed plates, cleaned the house and I loved it. 

I baked. While I finished some backlogs for work. 

I fed the boys. I ate with them. I played with them. I loved it. 

We... I mean, I sorted toys, books, flash cards... and we all loved it. 

Yes, life may be hard at times. But it can still be beautiful, happy, colorful. If you DECIDE it to be! 

Not in the photos: 
Miguel's beat box performance
Miguel preparing Milo for Kuya
Kuya's fascination with his old photos
Wine with hubby
chat w/ team
week 6 planning
my teal manicure hahaha! 

Heavenly Father, you are my life, and to be with you is the fullness of joy and peace and life; in your loving care for me, I am never truly alone. Help me to live in the certainty of your love and presence each new day. - Praying With Saint Luke 

Dear Papang and Mamang...

I honestly dont like the fact that you are in the hospital now. But I believe you feel happy and very blessed. My prayer is that you will always find pure peace in your heart... and the kind of happiness nga indi ma kuha sa tawo, sa kalibutan and even sa facebook... our love for you is so much more that what can be seen and said. Know that you did and gave the best thing any parent could give to their children --- FAITH. God is so merciful and loving and we have witnessed that because you guided us and you did so well in transmitting your faith to us. For me, that is worth more than all the riches this world can ever give. Thank you for being you. Thank you for everything. Thank God for all his mercy and love to our family manifested in all the struggles we have gone through, the tears and the laughters... life could have been boring and shallow without all these.

We love you our dear parents. If you love us enough to want to stay longer in this world and spend more years with us until you reach your golden anniversary, please be extra careful with what you eat (the jollibee take out made me upset, I cried) please be mindful of your sleeping time, take your supplements religiously and avoid stressors that could further harm your health such as carrying heavy stuff.. etc.

We wish we could be with you today, to visit you in the hospital. I could bake a delicious cake. Miguel and Kuya could sing karaoke. And this day could be as perfect as a rainbow. But God placed each of us where we should be at this moment and we have to trust Him and be grateful.

Happy 43rd anniversary! We love you very much.
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Benjo, Rujim and Migs (and Mae)

Best. Ever.

First post of the year ...  is about the best thing ever that happened last year. 

For some of you who may not have been following me long enough, my eldest son, Rujim has Autism. We celebrate everything about him, good or not-so, which I believe helped him so much. He is now almost 10 years old.  We don't always have the best days but  he is growing happy and adjusted. 

Last year December 20, we celebrated Rujim's really special milestone. I want to call it the biggest blessing for our family last year --- he received Jesus Christ through the Sacrament of Holy Communion. 

It was unbelievable. 

It was hard not to cry. 

Best moments were when he received the Host and when he read a prayer in front of everyone present. I wanted to jump and cry and I didn't know that to do. I was just too happy.

We want to thank the Parish of Saint Anthony under Father Terrence, the teachers and catechists Marilyn and Prema and also our newfound friends, Sharra's family who also received the First Holy Communion most of all to God,  for making this very important day possible! 

And of course, I want to thank Sizzix for giving me the tools I need to personalise Rujim and Sharra's  prayer booklets. Would you like me to share with you how I did it? It's very simple, you can do it too! :)

My inspiration and startng point were these pastel chalk inks and the flower wooden stamps. I just randomly stamped on the folded A4 cardstock, which would be the booklet's cover. 

Then I die-cut 2 different sizes of ornate shapes using the Sizzix Bubbly Framelits and my Sizzix Bigshot. It's too easy to do this. Just layer a "sandwich" made of Sizzix Cutting Pad, Magnetic Platform, the paper, and another cutting pad... then roll it through the machine! Done!

When all the shapes I wanted to use were ready, I adhered the white ornate shape over the front cover, using foam dots for dimension. 

 I stamped the words "First Holy Communion" on a smaller, kraft ornate... and layered it on top of the white. 

Here are finished books, bound with jutes that match the kraft color.  I added stickles (glitters) and dewdrops to prettify it :) 

I hope I inspired you today as much as making these and writing my thoughts inspired me. Happy 2016 everyone! 

- GeN 

Supplies Used: 

Sizzix Bubbly Framelits
Sizzix Bigshot
Sizzix Cutting Pads
Sizzix Magneting Platform
cream, white and kraft cardstock
chalk inks
flower stamps - Hero Arts

Wrist Corsage in 3 Steps!

You know what I love about these Tattered Pinecone and Jumbo Tattered Pinecone dies from Sizzix? Because I can use it to make not just pinecones but pretty flowers too! 

So I used it to make a wrist corsage for one of my Thoughtful Crafts customer. She wanted silver with any color for accent and I thought it would look prettier to add flowers made of white cardstock and vellum paper. 

I always start my work with a clean surface, with all the materials in mind. I don't necessarily use all of it in the end because I never plan what to do.. I just go with the flow, enjoy the trial and error process. It works for me. So here you can see I have my Bigshot machine, dies, glitter cardstock, lace, adhesive. 

It always starts with cutting my shapes. And you need to layer the 'sandwich' made of Sizzix Cutting Pad + die + material to cut + and the second cutting pad. Roll the sandwich through the machine, and get the perfectly cut die-cuts in seconds! 

Next is to roll the die-cuts to make the flowers. You can find the detailed instructions on how to do this here

So pretty! And the silver leaves ... love it!

So these are the wrist corsage in 3 very easy steps: 
1. Die-cut with Sizzix.
2. Roll and assemble the flower and leaves. 
3. Attach to a layer of ribbon and laces, add pearl and stickles!

Done! :) 

By the way, here's an extra story... 

The boys are here at home. All. The. Time. Because it's school holidays until January. It's impossible to concentrate haha. And since I needed to post this blog, I went into hiding in the bedroom while they were playing outside. Guess what happened next... 

They followed me. They just follow me everywhere! LOL. So if I can't run away from them, I better have selfie with them :D

Have a great weekend! - Gen 

Sizzix Sneaks + Chorizo Memories

Good morning! Let's eat :)

I think the reason why I love this food, despite knowing it is really bad and sinful is that it brings back memories. I remember sharing this with my siblings when I was young, the feeling of "wanting more but can't have more" because there were five of us who will share a dozen. My brother, Jong would be so naughty he would hide his share under his rice and let all of us finish ours and when we do, he would take it out and eat it so slowly while we all watch him. Hahaha! 

Now that we are all grown up and have families of our own, I learned to make chorizo (thanks to my highschool classmate Mae Philline for the recipe!) I can have tens of dozens of chorizos anytime I want and can only wish to share it with my siblings whom I miss very much. Life. 

Anyway.. here are some sneak peek photos of my blog post for Sizzix this month.  Go and take a look! :) 

I have a feeling I'll be posting more personal stuff more often from now on :) I miss doing that... See yah!

Gifts With Love

Christmas is almost here! And next to being with family, cooking our favourite meals, decorating the house and wrapping gifts are the things I look forward to. There is something in wrapping gifts that makes me happy. But  when I need to wrap more than 30 little gifts just for my son's classmates, that's another story! 

That's why I love Sizzix so much... it makes things happen :) 

With Bigshot Plus Machine and its accessories, it is so easy to make these boxes. Once you picked the papers you like, go ahead and cut the shapes needed and to do this, you just need to follow the user-friendly instructions with illustrations found in the package. the Sizzix Thinlits Plus Pillow Box Die I can create gift boxes in seconds! 

Basically, you assemble the "sandwich" which is composed of the following: (bottom to top) Bigshot Plus platform + Bigshot Plus Adapter + Cutting Pad + paper + second cutting pad. This sandwich will then be run through the machine... and what comes out are perfectly cut and scored pillow die-cuts.

Just need to fold and glue the ends and the pillow boxes are ready! The boxes measures 6.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" --- quite big enough to wrap a regular size present. 

You can decorate it with tags, die-cuts, stickers... 

Or butterflies and buttons.. 

And ribbons of course! 
This very Christmas packaging will make any simple handmade gift a lot more special .. they won't know you made it in seconds :) 

Happy wrapping! 

Bigshot Plus Machine
Sizzix Pillow Box Die
papers - Carta Bella

Impossible Is Nothing With Sizzix :)

It is such a great feeling to do the impossible and I have to thank Sizzix for always being a trustworthy companion in such events of my life. Here's the story... 

Today is Children's Day here in Singapore and I only realised it yesterday when I saw a fellow mom, post her DIY sneak peek for children's day. I was instantly in panic mode because I know how much task I needed to finish yesterday and today.. There was totally NO TIME for a single card. What more for 34 cards? *collapse* 

So last night, I cancelled one meeting for this. I had no choice. Mommy duties always come first. And then, it was  time to use those mommy ninja moves! I wanted to create something quick and simple but spells "HAPPY" so I picked this all time favorite of mine, the Sizzix Originals Happy Phrase Die and all the sunshiny yellow cardstocks I have. 

Most of the time, I do not plan when I create. I love it the most when I do it that way. So there I was, mass producing the word "happy" without really thinking what to do next! Oh my!

"happy" x 34 :) I'd like to tie each die-cut with a baker's twine, but that didn't feel right :D so I looked around my scraproom... 

... and found my old  project life cards that have been gathering dust. Picked the ones with colors that are perfect for the sunny happy die-cuts. I love it! I was able to glue the words on 34 cards in minutes!

Just needed a little stamping.. and it's done! Instant cards for 34 kids that they can keep, paste on their notebooks, or use as bookmark.

Because a gift doesn't need to be complicated and extravagant... as long as it is made with sincere love :) Happy Children's Day! Not just to our kids but to us too.. because it is nice to continue to be childlike... and have a childlike faith. Peace and love to everyone! 

Sizzix Bigshot machine
Sizzix Standard Cutting Pad 
Sizzix Originals Happy Phrase Die
Assorted Yellow Cardstocks 
Project Life - Midnight
stamps - American Crafts
Archival Ink - Ranger