La Vie Parisienne… A Little Slice of Paris in Cebu City 

In case you’re already looking for a place to have your perfect Valentine’s Date with your significant other, I thought of sharing here with you this instagrammable food place we’ve already visited twice in the past few months. It’s one of the top restaurants in Cebu City which will give you that Parisian vibe. Aptly called La Vie Parisienne along 371 Gorordo Ave., we indeed felt transported back in time to the famous French city. And since we can’t yet go visit Paris right now, we figured, going somewhere that would make us feel we’re in my dream city is the next best thing to do. 

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Secret Civil Wedding: Becoming Mrs. Villanueva Part 1

It was supposed to be a “secret wedding”… We wanted our partnership to be legal and official even before we lay out all the plans for 2023, one of which is being able to do our dream beach wedding. Blame it to my “segurista” and OC personality, I just want everything ironed out on the legal front before the year ends. And I’m very grateful for the fact that Mahal has always wanted to marry me and supports me all the way, til forever and beyond… ❤

Actually, if we didn’t have the funds to do a beach wedding next year, a simple, “secret”, intimate civil wedding one is what we’ll really do. We are both introverts after all. I was even content to just have a piece of thread tied to my finger as a promise of his love. But thank you, God, for blessing us with a beautiful engagement, complete with an engagement photoshoot and engagement video shoot, and even an engagement honeymoon in Camotes Island which I’ll share here soon. We really feel so grateful plus I feel like such a celebrity (lol!) doing 2 kinds of weddings. Actually, even before J.Lo and Ben Affleck did their two weddings, doing the same had always been my plan… the two stars just beat us to it! Lol!

Didn’t JLo say

“Life is an art… and we are the artists… make it as beautiful as you want and create exactly what you want it to be…”

So that’s what we did!

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Oslob New Village Christmas 2022 Celebration

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

How’s everyone doing? I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season!

It’s been a year since Typhoon Odette hit us and just remembering that makes me feel all the more grateful because this Christmas, the weather has been good to us. Though it’s a bit cloudy and sometimes windy here in Oslob, at least so far, there’s no typhoon in the horizon. Thank you, God!

And so, we decided to celebrate our Christmas here at Oslob New Village. The original plan was actually to check in at a nice resort like what we used to do before in Cagayan de Oro but then we figured it would be more fun to celebrate it here at our own mini resort because we have Jona and Wenie (our staff at Oslob New Village) to celebrate with.

I created a vlog about it. Enjoy!

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BEHIND THE SCENES – The Making of Our Engagement Photoshoot and Teaser Video

This is the making of our engagement teaser video. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can check my previous blog post here: Our Engagement Teaser Video

Or head straight to my vlog. It’s a beautifully done romantic and fun video, and Mahal and I never get tired of watching it.

Before, I used to envy couples who get engaged and share their pre-nup videos and I kept wondering if something like that could ever happen for me. I wondered how they had done it? What preparations, sacrifices, situations did they face to reach that blissful phase in their life? Now that we’re doing it, and we’re doing it just the way we want the whole engagement and marriage done, I couldn’t be any happier! My time has finally come! Hihihi!

Actually, I had no intention of sharing the raw videos of our photo and video shoot but when I watched them, I realized how “bungisngis” we were, meaning, we were really just laughing all the time, enjoying each moment of the shoot, and just appreciating this wonderful time in our relationship.

Anyway, you’ll know what I mean when you see the video. So without further a do, here it is:

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Our Engagement Teaser Video

Mahal and I have been best friends since 2012, have been life partners since 2014, and have been formally engaged since April 24, 2022. Our lives have changed since then and with the hustle and bustle of running our businesses, homeschooling Tuz, and enjoying our lives to the fullest, it’s just now that I’ve had the time to share this beautiful engagement teaser video with you. Between the two of us, I am the more open one… like my life has always been an open book to the public. But because I want to also respect Mahal’s more introverted and private nature, I’ve slowly adopted this demeanor of his. I don’t immediately share now some stuff going on in our lives. But eventually, I do find a way to make them come out to the public… lol!

We’ve already watched this video a gazillion times and now we’re ready to share it with you guys. After all, our beach wedding is in 5 months and we really need to get things going.

By the way, this is just our post engagement video. It is not a pre-nup shoot yet so to speak. We just wanted to have a remembrance of how we got engaged and how lucky we are that two of the best photographers and videographers in Cebu City (in my opinion) were the ones who did this for us. They will also be the ones to do our Pre-Nup shoot this coming summer and we are so excited about it!

For now, enjoy our engagement teaser video.

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Holiday Musings [and a Recap of Halloween]

Our 2022 is about to end. I’ve been reviewing my previous blog posts here and my life has really been “more of the same” kind of thing. Just like last 2019, when I wasn’t even able to blog about our Halloween celebration because of my jam-packed schedule at work, with motherhood, and family! And it’s happening again this time of the year!

Don’t get me wrong though — I DO LOVE OUR LIFE AND THE LIFESTYLE WE’VE BEEN LIVING — it’s been the best year so far — so many celebrations, so many happenings, so many blessings despite the sleepless nights from my VA work, being a homemaker, and homeschooling our now 7-year old kid! So, I’m gonna give myself a little pat on the back here…

Jen 1: “You’re such a superwoman, Mommy Jennie!”

Jen 2: “I know… I know…” 😉

Anyway, I am not going to let 2022 pass by without documenting here my most favorite holiday. For those who have just started to follow me here, Halloween is my most favorite and Christmas comes second. Though I like Christmas, Halloween is just more fun for me with all the trick or treating, candies, and costumes. Don’t you think? So though it’s already December and we’ve started decorating our little home resort for Christmas (you can check my FB page for updates), sharing my favorite holiday here with you this late is better than never, isn’t it?

But before that, let me just give you a rundown of our Halloween activities since Tuz was born. Re-reading my blog entries here… Oh what a roller coaster ride it has been! So many trials, joys, financial troubles, and tribulations. From being in a long distance relationship with Mahal, to finally living together in my first dream home, to giving that up in exchange for living the hard kind of life at the farm, then back to city life and experiencing tiny home living and finally, living the beach kind of life which has always been my dream. It makes me all the more grateful for the life we have now because we are living our best life so far and we can’t wait for things to keep getting better and better…

(2014, 2015, 2016) Nuvali Night Sky Cinema

(2016) Thoughts This Halloween

(2016) Nuvali Night Sky Cinema 2016 Family Event

(2017) Halloween 2017: How to Let Go of Attachments

(2018) Halloween 2018 – Transformative Lessons and Realizations

(2020) How to Celebrate Major Holidays During a Pandemic: Halloween Feature + a Guide

(2021) The Root of Happiness (And How I Found It Around Halloween)

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Romantic Engagement and Fine-Dining By the Sea at Shangri-la Mactan

I’ve just been engaged! And it’s a different kind of engagement, way, way better that how I thought it would be… In case you’re interested to find out, you can check my 2 previous posts. This is about our unique engagement and this one’s about our bespoke engagement rings… 

For this blog post, I just want to make a special shoutout to Shangri-la Mactan for creating a one-of-a-kind engagement / romantic fine-dining experience for us. And in case you want a similar one, I’ll share with you the inclusions and how much a set-up like this can cost. Read on…

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OUR BESPOKE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

When it comes to jewelry, especially rings, I don’t like surprises. I want jewelry that I consider one-of-a-kind, truly beautiful, symbolic, and something that I will never get tired of looking at for the rest of my life. I think this is one of the reasons why Mahal doesn’t like surprising me. He wants to please me as much as he can and wants only what’s best for me and what can make me happy.

And so, we chose to have our engagement rings customized. Normally, it’s just the girl who gets an engagement ring, right? But as you may know, if you’ve been following me for a long time now, you know that I don’t follow the trends or what’s considered normal (lol!) I personally wanted us all to have one ring each to symbolize our promise to each other that we will soon become one legal family.

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF ENGAGEMENT

As J. Lo wrote in her inner circle newsletter “On the JLO: “Life is an art… and we are the artists… make it as beautiful as you want and create it exactly as you want it to be…” ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Growing up, I never really had a clear vision of what getting engaged and getting married should be like for me. I remember attending very few weddings during my childhood and teens and it always left me with feelings of lack and sadness coz I felt like I can never have that kind of wedding. My automatic negative thoughts were: “I’m too poor to be able to afford that.” “That will never happen for me”… etc. True enough, you attract what you think. Despite the amount of money I’ve had in my early adult years, I never had that kind of engagement nor wedding. 

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How We Celebrated Valentine’s Day Throughout These Years

I was planning to have a repeat of how we celebrated Valentine’s Day last year because I really liked it so much. But because we are in Cebu City today (we’ve been here since Feb. 11 doing a different kind of shopping spree and running some important errands), and we won’t be traveling back home until probably evening of Valentine’s Day itself, I just thought of sharing with you here some of the things we did to celebrate the love occasion throughout these years. 

This post is actually a long dedication to my Mahal, who stuck with me throughout all these many years (we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our best friendship this March and we are now on our 90th month of being together as life partners); who loved me and continue to love me through thick and thin; who, despite all my flaws and craziness, continue to show his patience, dedication, and commitment to me and our little family. I just want to declare to the whole world how much I appreciate everything he does for me and our son, and I thank God every day for him coming into my life…

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