DIY Winter Maternity Shoot: 37 Weeks

Being pregnant can toy with your emotions and affect your self confidence especially when you’re used to being small most of your life. It’s like one day you wake up and look at the mirror and there it is…that big bump and that large behind. Based on my first pregnancy I already knew that I wasn’t one of those women who carry their babies small, it’s always my behind and my belly that go first; the arms, the face and the rest of me follow.

At 37 weeks I knew I didn’t want my pictures taken because I was scared to see a planet in the photos plus its been snowing here in Indiana and all I wanted to do was stay warm indoors but my sister Pauline convinced me to do them, nothing fancy just some DIY project that we both could work on. And it just so happened that it was her birthday that day and she suggested that we could do my pregnancy photos, how could you say “No” to the birthday girl, right? So I took out my brand new portable makeup train case with the light-up mirror that Marco gave me for Christmas and had Pauline do my makeup.

I didn’t have anything to wear since this was an impromptu thing but having a theater background assured me that I could scrounge up some things I could use for the photos. I’d have to admit it’s not the best but I think it’s pretty okay considering that I didn’t have a lot of winter-apt stuff, I barely could fit any of my old clothes and we were chasing good lighting a.k.a Mr. Sun.

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So here’s what I came up with: my DIY Flower crown from years ago, Tassel earrings on sale at Walmart for $2, my thrifted fur find from a garage sale in 2007, a plain white tank top that barely fits me, a knitted sweater I thrifted from Goodwill, a tulle maxi skirt from the Philippines that doesn’t fit me at all. (unzipped skirt clearly not in photos,haha) and Zara nude flats that I risked in the snow (btw, they survived).

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…And we were lucky enough to have light snowfall while we were taking pictures.

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I’m sharing some of my raw and unedited photos just to continuously remind myself how beautiful and wonderful pregnancy is no matter how ugly I feel inside and out and after I give birth I’m going to make sure that I wear my ‘battle scars’ (aka stretch marks) with pride.

They say the biggest blessings come in small packages, I guess this little one is an exception because this tummy of mine ain’t nothing like a small package. Haha. I can’t wait to meet you my little Xavi.

~Mommy Rhea

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Cassie Turns Two: Taco TWOsday

I can’t believe our little baby turned two already. Before Marco and I started planning her birthday celebration, I already knew I wanted to make her a mini dessert table even if we weren’t throwing her a birthday party just to make her feel special. Its only been 4 months since we moved here in Muncie and I haven’t been exactly little Miss Congeniality so we didn’t really have any close friends to invite and I wasn’t too comfortable inviting the neighbors kids since we barely knew them and they were mostly older than Cassie.

At the end of the discussion we both decided that we’d still go to Great Wolf Lodge for Cassie’s birthday trip but we’d still throw a party, sorta like our late house warming/ mini birthday party for her and invite family and Marco’s co-residents (a plus if they had kids, haha). I figured that since we were doing a party anyway might as well come up with a theme and I instantly fell in love with the idea of a fiesta—its fun, its colorful and Mexican food is good and so convenient (or so I thought). Here I was planning a dessert table, I had no idea my husband was planning to cook the entire menu so this party ended up being a LOT of work. We did another Marco-Rhea teamwork and pulled it off.

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I know it isn’t so clear in the photo but the “CASSIE” sign was a last minute DIY project I did a few hours before the party. I covered it with green cut out crepe paper and added some pink mini flowers so they could like like mini cacti.

It was also my first time DIY-ing giant paper flowers and I even used construction paper because I was on a budget but I’m glad they turned out pretty okay. I just made them in different colors so they could go with fiesta theme.

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The fiesta inspired table cover I purchased from Amazon, and I’ve attached the link if anyone is interested. Just a heads up, this isn’t made with fabric but with plastic instead.

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We weren’t really sure if any kids were going to show up but I prepared a few goodie bags anyway. I bought those small bags from the dollar store, filled it up with some candies and small maracas, wrapped it in colorful wrapping paper and cut out some “thank you tacos” I printed out.

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I didn’t know where to get my cake, cupcakes and sugar cookies so I asked mamas in our local mom group and I’m so glad they pointed me out to Simply Patisserie. Chef Maggie made an awesome job making Cassie’s taco cake, flower and cactus cupcakes and taco, cactus and sombrero sugar cookies. You should them see for yourself.

Anyone here in local Muncie looking for a place to get their cakes and pastries I personally recommend Chef Maggie of Simply Patisserie and her rates are pretty reasonable. Just click the link above.

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Most of the stuff on the dessert table were from Dollar Tree— the colorful plastic bowls, the purple vases and the bright colored faux flowers. Also on the table you can spot my DIY Taco Pi√Īata, I figured since I made one for her first birthday might as well make her one this year and just make it into a birthday tradition.

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DIY Taco Pinata Details up close

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I wasn’t sure if I was going to make her do a smash cake so I decorated her high chair just in case. I kept it simple by cutting various sizes of different colored crepe paper and I hung it around her tray. I also purchased a giant cactus ballon from Amazon…I mean why not?

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We ended up not doing a smash cake, she decided to pick a cupcake and eat it on her fiesta decorated high chair. Fair enough.

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Of course I had to somewhat decorate the dining area, I figured since Marco wanted to go all out on food, I could do a little bit more on the decorations. Haha.

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Literally everything you see on this table Marco cooked/baked/prepared, I just assisted him (a little bit).

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Here’s Cassie blowing her candles.

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Yay, we actually had a bunch of kids come to her party. She had fun playing with them even if most of them were boys. ūüėÄ

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For someone who hasn’t made a lot of friends yet here in Muncie, she still ended up getting a bunch of presents. Thanks to all our family and friends local and overseas for spoiling our little girl on her birthday and making her feel special.

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Last but not the least, here’s a selfie from me and the birthday girl just coz we were twinning. Hope y’all had a wonderful time going through the details of Cassie’s fiesta themed party, thanks for allowing me to share this with you. If anyone of you is throwing a fiesta themed party and is needing some help with DIYs or decorating or maybe you just have a few questions for me, just comment or shoot me an email I’d gladly help in anyway I can.

~Rhea

 

Costumes, Candies …Cassie.

The Autumn season is quite enjoyable but what I really look forward to is the Halloween part of it,¬†sorry to say I enjoy it more than I do Thanksgiving. It might just be the fun and the flair of Halloween that attracts me to it, nothing to do with the origins whatsoever. I’d have to admit it¬†is tempting to enjoy the horror movie marathons they play on tv for the entire month of October, (I think I could binge-watch those) but for me its mostly the fun of dressing up or thinking of what or who you want to be for halloween. Halloween is an excuse to be a kid again, to allow your imagination to run free and play dress up; play pretend.

Technically, this would fall as Cassie’s first “real” halloween, I wouldn’t count last year since she was only a few days old when halloween came around. And it actually works that she’s an October baby, all the more reason to go crazy on her birthday. Haha. I can only hope that she grows up to enjoy the halloween festivities as much as I do—the costumes, the candies, the parties and all the works. I’m starting her young.

Here are Cassie’s costumes in a nutshell, although Mommy didn’t have time to DIY, I think we still came up with pretty good last minute costumes from her closet.¬†Yes, we don’t repeat costumes.

COSTUME #1:

Frida Kahlo

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COSTUME #2:

Pebbles Flinstones

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COSTUME #3:

(this is pushing it but….) Native American Girl

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St. Angela Merici Catholic Church Trunk or Treat

Our church, St. Angela Merici Catholic Church held their annual Trunk or Treat and Cassie and I went as Mommy and me Frida Kahlos. Head dresses were DIYed by me ofcourse. We darkened our eyebrows but erased our unibrows, Marco said I was pushing it. Hahaha.

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Some of the car designs at church

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Grandmy, Mommy and Cassie after Trunk or Treating

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Halloween Town at Sugarland Town Center

Our first time to take part in Halloween Town and it was packed! ¬†It could’ve been a more pleasant experience for us but I guess we just weren’t used to being around that many people and the lines were crazy long. Too long to wait for candies and freebies if you ask me. It was fun seeing all the kids in their costumes though, I’m a sucker for cute babies playing dress up.

We went as the Flinstones this year since I found a good deal from some mommy who was reselling her costumes as a family. Marco and Cassie fit perfectly in theirs although I had to make some adjustments on my costume, everything worked out. Not only are store-sold costumes over priced but they’re usually flimsy and the wigs are outrageously tacky, I had to wrap a scarf around it and pass myself as a ¬†“posh” Wilma Flinstones.

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Cassie is grandy’s girl

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Look who we bumped into

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Pebbles “beautiful eyes”

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And…it’s this girl’s birthday so we had dinner at the Hibachi Grill per the birthday girl’s request

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Sienna Plantation Trick or Treat

I was running out of costumes for Cassie and on the actual day of Halloween I made her a feather headdress that matched one of her rompers and passed her off as a little Indian (Native American) girl.

I had a lot of left over candies ¬†from Cassies birthday and decided to do a last minute buffet-style trick or treat table to make it look more enticing . Mom dressed up as a Chinese lady (yes, we definitely have Chinese blood so we’re not being racist) and she had to guard the table since some of the kids tend to get a lot more than they’re supposed to.

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The first ever pumpkin that Marco carved

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I joined in the fun and dressed up as well

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And this is what happened when the kids saw our halloween candy set-up

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A mommy and Cassie selfie before we took her out trick or treating

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 This little Indian girl is a halloween-naturale.

Who says the fun stops when you become parents? Marco and I are definitely am not out partying on halloween night like we used to but at least now I have two more people to dress up other than myself. Dressing up as a family is so much fun, I’m blessed to have a husband who is down for anything and let’s not forget, the CANDIES! I’m hoping Halloween is something my little family would look¬†forward to in the years to come. Happy Halloween, my little Cassie.

~Mommy Rhea

Ahoy, It’s a Boy!

Here’s another DIY dessert table that I did for Ice’s shower, Marco couldn’t come with me today since he was studying so I had to drive an hour away with Cassie. It’s a good thing she slept most of the time during set-up or else setting up would’ve been totally impossible.

Thanks mane for trusting me with this and allowing me to indulge in this current obsession of mine, hahaha. Thanks also for going out of your way to get the props for the shower. I think it went pretty well considering that we had a time limit to set up and take things down. Sorry we missed out on the candies for the giveaways. Anyway we can’t wait to see baby Jake!!!

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I actually came up with 5 nautical invitations for the baby shower but Ice ended up liking this one the most.

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DIY food labels for the baby shower’s¬†menu.

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We missed out on the candies…o well. Sorry mane.

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Even the chocolates were picked, they had to be just red and blue.

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All nautical—from the cake, cupcake toppers, cookies and french macarons.

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The diaper cake table

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Tita Jasna’s DIY nautical themed diaper cakes.

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The blooming mommy-to-be posing with Jasna’s diaper cake.

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Posing with Tita Jasna’s DIY diaper cakes…wish you could be here.

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Cassie and Olivia, baby Jake’s future play mates.

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The entries for the baby clay molding contest, Tita Roxi making sure her entry makes it to the Top 3.

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The winners of the clay molding contest, Roxi won first place.

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Sailboat centerpiece for the tables with Roxi’s winning “piece” haha.

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The lovely couple opening their gifts after the baby shower festivities. ūüėÄ

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Had fun with this little one taking pictures with the wonderful nautical props.

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Cassie, my little sailor girl.

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The whole crew…all out support for the new addition to this family. We can’t wait to meet you baby Jake!

~Rhea

Cassie’s Baptism

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Cassie’s Baptismal Invitation

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Since most of Cassie’s Godparents are from outside the US, we had to look for other ways to ask them and this is what we resorted to

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Cassie fitting the baptismal wear (excuse the sleepy eyes) that has been passed down from generation to generation (in Marco’s side). Marco’s abuelito¬†even wore this during his own baptism. I know I have a thing for the old and the vintage but this gown takes the cake.

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Cassie right before the baptism

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Father Joy presiding the baptismal rites

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Our little girl didn’t even cry

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With Ninong and Ninangs that were present

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Our Big Family after the baptism

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Our little family—Welcome to the Christian World, Cascas.

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My DIY Dessert Table for Cassie’s Baptism

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Thanks Sandils for the lighting and the balloon arrangements!

Thanks Ninang Pauline and

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Hands down to Rico for the best macarons in town and Tita Jemima for Cassie’s cake.

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My DIY Cassie’s “wall of fame”. Haha.

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A picture with Cassie and Daddy later that day. Notice the macarons and cake pops are already gone.

Marco and I wanted Cassie baptized when his family came to visit Houston, we even attended the pre-Jordan class right before I gave birth, but Cassie was only¬†a few weeks old when they visited¬†so we decided to schedule it for a later date.¬†We wanted it done before the end of the year but our parish, St. Angela Merici, advised us that the schedule was a bit hectic due to the holidays so the soonest they could schedule us would be after the new year. We went with January 3rd instead and I’m glad we did because it gave us time to prepare.

We didn’t really have a theme for her reception at home but then when I started gathering whatever we had to decorate the house, a little bit of “vintage” would pop up every now and then so I decided to work with what I had and it turned out better than I expected. ¬†Thank you so much to all of our neighbors and family friends who made this possible and of course mom and pop (grandmy and grandy) for going all out and allowing us to have Cassie’s reception at home.

There’s a lot pf people who love you Cas! Welcome to the Christian world our little girl.

~Mommy Rhea