Monday, November 10, 2014

We serve God by the way we live

I attended and served in the Christian Life Program yesterday for our community. I can't remember how many times I've served in CLPs. All of them contains the same topic, sometimes same speakers but it becomes refreshing because each time, you get a different perspective depending on what you're dealing with in that certain time. 

One of my take homes was this, "First we serve God by the way we live".



Then I pondered, do I serve the Lord by the way I live?

  • Do I attend to the needs of the people around me or I'm too consumed of myself only? 
  • Do I tithe generously to the church, give donation to charities and give freely of my time to help the needy? 
  • Do I try to love the people who are difficult to love and show compassion and forgiveness to them? 
  • Do I park where I am supposed to park and not rob other people with disabilities or pregnant women? 
  • Do I show good example especially to my younger siblings or am I a bad influence to them?
  • Do I honor and respect my parents especially my mom or do I fail to show regard to her?
  • Do I use my time at work honestly or am I being a slug? Do I work beyond my hours and neglect quality time with my family or do I manage my time wisely?
  • Do I get easily angered when I am offended or do I remain humble and kind? 
  • Do I submit to and honor my husband or do I manipulate him so I get my way?
  • Do I lovingly correct my family and friends when they are wrong or condone their behavior?
  • Do I judge and say negative things about other people before looking on my own short comings?
  • Do I help in spreading the word and the love of God to the people around me or keep it all including the blessings to myself?  

I must admit, to be a Christian is never easy. We are not saved only by calling ourselves Christians and going to church every Sunday. The true test of serving and honoring God is by the way we live our lives, even when no one is looking at us. God sees our each and every step, and the state of our hearts. Whenever we carry out good deeds, God is delighted. Whenever we carry out wicked deeds, the devil is delighted. Whom do we want to please? God or the devil?

God loves us no matter what and His love for us is unconditional. However, when we serve and honor God, we allow His grace to enter upon us. Here is a simple analogy:

Let's say a little boy asks his dad for a few bucks. 
Son: Dad can I have 3 dollars, please?
Dad: Why do you need it my son?
Son: I want to buy a Magic card game.
Dad: Ok son, I will give you a the money if you get an A in your quiz tomorrow.
Son: Ok, I'll start studying now dad. 
(the next day)
Son: I got an A in the test Dad , can I get my money now?
Dad: Good job son, here you go and here's a confirmation letter. I registered you in a card tournament. :) 

When we serve and honor God, even in our own smallest ways, He acknowledges our faithfulness and fills us with His divine grace and blessings. He provides all our needs, even more than what we deserve, may it be materially or spiritually. The Dad could have just given his son the money for no reason but he wanted to give his son an important lesson. The benefit is not for the Dad, but ultimately for his son. By studying hard, he might get to a good university and get a better job in the future. Same way when we honor and serve the Lord with the way we virtuously live our lives. It's not for His benefit but for ours. The experience is humbling and the return is that we become a better person. 

xoxo,
Joselle 


Friday, October 31, 2014

32 Reasons Why I Love My Hubby


Surprise post it notes in Alan's bedroom door :)
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE.....


1. You show me how its like to be genuinely kind and gentle. You inspire me to be a better person.

2.  You not only sang to me the words "I can show you the world" you rather took me to places I never knew existed and life has been shiny, shimmery, and splendid!

3. You don't care too much on your appearance but you still let me buy you clothes and dress you up.

4. You take pleasure of taking care of me and spoiling me with good gifts and good food.

5. You love and brag about my cooking.

6. You take me seriously, even my jokes! lol

7. You're up for anything I love. You made me so happy when we watched Gossip Girl together. haha

8. You are loyal. Like what Rihanna said, you make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world.

9.  You're forgiving and gracious to me. You never let the sun go down on your wrath.

10. You're a hard worker and trustworthy in what you do.

11. You let me be me, you love me for who I am and all my flaws, never controlling.

12. We have the same idea of romance :)

13.  I get butterflies in my stomach every time you sing.

14.  You know how I hate roller coasters but you encouraged me to conquer my fear. I feel like together, we can do anything!

15. You love being around your family and you love being around my family too!

16. You're intellectually humble.

17. You are so patient in waiting for me.

18. You lovingly correct me if I'm wrong.

19. You don't encourage me to quit rather you push me to my limits.

20. You're slow to anger, you never curse and use profanity.

21. I couldn't ask for a better engagement ring, proposal and wedding ever!

22. You run and chase after mamang taho for me.

23. You showed me the meaning of unconditional love.

24. You prioritize me. You put toothpaste in my toothbrush first before you. hehe.

25. You are willing to give everything up for me, your sweet kryptonite.

26. You keep me going.

27. You make the tea for us.

28. You give the best back and foot massages.

29. We have the same values and faith.

30. You never miss to remember special days in our lives.

31. You don't forget to end the day with a prayer and thank God for all the blessings.

32. You give me hope that the best is still yet to come!

Happy 32nd birthday to you my wonderful source of joy, my husband. Thank you for the kind of love you've given me. A love that is immeasurable and no doubt, boundless. I couldn't imagine how my life would have been if you didn't come in the picture. May our gracious Lord bless you with more happy and healthy years so that we may be able to enjoy to the fullest the fruits of our marriage. I love you and I miss you!



I'm so sorry I couldn't be there with you on your birthday but hope you liked my little surprise.Thank you Risa (Alan's sister) for being my hands and feet and for helping me come up with this awesome idea. Arigato! :)

xoxo,
Joselle
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

One more surprise! Here are messages from your dear GS buddies from Ateneo especially for you :)

Alan!

Happy birthday! I am happy to have met a kindred spirit in many ways – a fellow milk tea-lover, video and tabletop gamer, and frustrated professional singer! XD Thank you for being an occasional Japanese translator as well. Here’s to more game nights, karaoke nights, pig-out dinners, recording sessions, and live jams!

Wish you more love, laughter, and music. And I do hope you and GK rub off a little bit of your luck in love on me, so I can get hitched and we can finally call our little trio “The Married Men.” Haha!

Migs


Hi Al,

Happy Birthday! I am truly thankful to have you as a friend. Nothing gets you down and you're always game for anything. Thanks especially for being there whenever I need my board game fix! Speaking of which, we still have to do our grudge match to settle who wins the Cold War. See ya Friday?

I wish you many more birthdays and lots of luck with everything you've got lined up!

誕生日おめでとう。


Dear Al,

It's amazing how--after all those years--everything turned on one day of pure dumb luck. Of course, this was two years after you’d come back, so Fate was dragging its heels a little. Still, if it hadn't been for that happy accident:

The rest of us would probably still be dredging up all your namesakes through the magic of the Internet.

There would be no Chipmunks recording of “All for Love,” or, for that matter, no recording at all.

There would have been six fewer people for that picture at your wedding.

GK would probably have gotten struck down by the first chef who put in an errant shrimp or squid in the frying pan in Japan.

And there certainly would be no sitting around the table at Zaan playing Coup, with everyone spending a whole turn pretending to be the Duke and you finding out the hard way that Joselle never lies.

We wish you more happy accidents and welcome turns of fate for you and Joselle this year, and in the years to come. We're very grateful that you came into our lives. Cheers and welcome to 32!

GK and Joy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Foodie Journey: Chili Garlic Butter Shrimp Saute

For young wives/moms and all the working men and women who do not have the luxury of time to spare in the kitchen, here's another quick and simple recipe that I would like to share with you. This should not take you more than 30 minutes. 

I've learned an amazing trick from my mom that added some twist to the shrimp. It's an old time trick that she learned from her mom also and that is marinading the shrimp in lemon soda. This adds a hint of sweetness and it takes out the lansa (fishiness) in my opinion. I've also realized that cooking the shrimp at home gives me liberty of deciding how spicy I want my shrimps. I'm not a big fan of chili but sprinkling a right amount of chili flakes gives the dish a nice kick. Best of all, its cheaper alternative of satisfying your shrimp cravings. Needless to say, for us Pinoys, this flavorful dish is paired well with a bowl of steamed white rice! 

I hope you enjoy and try this out :)

Chili Garlic Butter Shrimp Saute   

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp red chili/pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried/fresh parsley 
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can lemon soda/Sprite
  • garlic powder
  • pepper


Procedure:

1. Marinade the shrimp in lemon soda for about 10 minutes.

2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a saute pan until hot enough to cook the garlic.

3. Put in the garlic and cook until golden brown. 

4. Add in the chili flakes.

5. Put in the shrimp and cook until the color turns orange.

6. Pour in just a little bit of the remaining Sprite and let the liquid evaporate.

7. Add parsley, garlic powder, and pepper as needed.

8. Serve and enjoy!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 3

We woke up late the following day so we could get our body well rested and ready to roll for day 3. Before leaving the hotel, we had to fuel up for another jam packed day so we had brunch first. The staff was so kind to serve us kaya toast, soft boiled egg with white coffee, Singaporean's traditional breakfast, even if it was not on their menu. It is a very simple meal but it is so good! I swore to myself that I'm not leaving SG without buying kaya!  

Trying out local food is really important for me because it gives you an understanding of their history and culture. 

Kaya toast is a well-known snack in Singapore and Malaysia. Kaya toast is prepared with kaya (coconut jam), a topping of sugar, coconut milk and eggs, pandan, and sometimes margarine or butter. It is generally served on toast, and also sometimes on crackers. It is considered a breakfast staple, and remains popular in Singapore. The dish is sometimes dipped into soft-boiled egg. Singaporeans and Malaysians often consume this food with a cup of tea or coffee. 
Many Hainanese worked on British ships as kitchen hands. When they settled in the British colonies now constituting Singapore and Malaysia, they started selling the foods which they prepared for the British, including coffee, toast, and French toast, to the local populations. They replaced the Western jams and preserves favoured by the British with native coconut jams. -Wikipedia



Surprisingly, we pretty much covered everything in our itinerary in a span of 2 days! So what better way to waste our time than to spend it in a happy place like Universal Studios! 

Alright guys, are you ready for this? Photo overload in 3,2,1!








We noticed there were plenty of Japanese restaurants and saw heaps of Japanese here in SG so with that being said, for dinner, we decided to have tsukemen at Bugis+. This was highly recommended by the hubs! 


Before going to the airport, we went back first to the hotel where we kept our luggage. We already checked out before noon but the staff was so nice and told us that we could take a shower and freshen up before we leave. We really needed a nice shower because that day was so hot. Thank you so much Ardennes for your extremely great service and accommodation! Please check them out guys! 

I don't have anything but only good words for this small but terrible country. Perhaps, the only thing that I noticed was some Singaporeans can be often cold in public. My husband told me that they even had to organize a campaign just to encourage the people to smile. On the other hand, I found myself smiling the entire trip because of good food, clean surroundings, fresh air, minimal traffic, fun attractions, and so on! So much more to be proud of and grateful for Singaporeans. Medyo mahal mga bilihin niyo pero ang smile libre lang :)

Of course, this trip wouldn't have been super fun without my hubby! Till our next adventure! :)

xoxo,
Joselle

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 2

What will you do if you stumble upon a quirky street like this and no one is around because it is too early? What else than to take a selfie! :)


Thank you to my awesome husband for making me look pretty on my photos. He knows my angle! hahaha. I can never ask for a better travel companion than him. When he's snapping photos of me, I feel  like I am Gisele Bundchen ;P


For shutterbugs out there, be sure to ready your cameras when you pass by Haji Lane. 


I have never seen a country so colorful! More colorful shots in Chinatown! 


Tip: if you are on a budget and want to shop for souvenirs and pasalubongs, don't look else where than in Chinatown.


By Chinatown is also a decent hawker center called Maxwell Food Center that sells inexpensive food and drinks. Here I found my favorite, Milo Dinosaur! Call me old fashioned or pre-historic (like the dinosaur...joke yun.haha) but I am trying to be real. Even if I am now in the US where Hershey's populates, I still love my Milo. I grew up drinking Milo everyday kasi. Milo Dinosaur is a drink originated in Singapore made of Milo (chocolate malt) with undissolved Milo on top. By the way, there is also another drink called Milo Godzilla! hahaha 

For lunch, I had another favorite of mine, X-I-A-O-L-O-N-G-B-A-O or soup dumpling. I definitely was in a food coma after lunch so we headed back to our hotel and took a brief nap. 


After a quick recharge, off we went to Sentosa. Sentosa is an island visited by many people known for it's fun attractions like Resorts World, iFly, Merlion Statue, Megazip, Universal Studios, etc. It's like their version of Disney World! 

My husband and I basked on the ff:

Skyline Luge- a unique wheeled gravity ride that provides riders full control over their descent on purpose built track.

Singapore Cable Car- Leave the hustle and bustle of everyday city life behind and take a scenic joyride onboard Singapore Cable Car! Nothing beats the thrill of taking off in your cable car and having a bird's eye view of the world below!


Tiger Sky Tower- Asia's tallest observatory tower. Offering panoramic views at 131 metres above sea level across Singapore, Sentosa and the Southern Islands, views from the Sky Tower promise to be both scenic and breathtaking.




Breathtaking view of SG from the cable car :)


For dinner, we headed back to the station (Vivo City) and ate at Food Republic. This time I had Cereal Chicken Rice. It's like putting chicken rice and cereal prawn together, double the fun! 


Second day was pretty awesome! 

xoxo,
Joselle



Monday, September 22, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 1

After my sister in law's beautiful wedding (Fernandez-Barbara) the newlyweds flew over to their honeymoon the next day. On the other hand, Alan and I, went over to the moon as well :)  We flew over to the land of chicken rice, chili crabs, cereal prawns, milo dinosaur, and home of Merlion, Singapore!

We landed in Singapore's main airport, the Changi International Airport. This was recognized the world's best airport and I couldn't agree more! Since we arrived pretty early, we spent a couple of hours and explored what this airport had in store. They showcased multiple gardens perfect for snapping selfies because of their beautiful landscaping. One of them which I liked most was the Sunflower garden. On the other hand, my husband was thrilled like a little boy to hang out in their gaming lounge. We played Xbox Kinect, Call of Duty, Prince of Persia, and Naruto fighting game on PS3. They also have an entertainment area where they cater a mini movie theatre. If you're looking for a R&R after an exhausting flight, they have a spa, gym, pool, prayer room, and napping area! I wish Korea and Japan airports where I usually stop over when I go home to Manila, provide these kind of facilities as they will definitely come in handy. One thing that can be quite a problem having such great facilities is missing a flight. haha.

After touring Changi airport, we picked up our luggages and took the MRT going to our hotel. You can pretty much tour the whole country using their efficient and reliable trains and buses. I love Singapore's public transportation. It's so clean, spacious, and did I mention they are efficient and reliable? hehe. I could only wish MRT and buses in Manila would be as good as Singapore's.         


For 2 nights, we stayed at an artsy, boutique hotel called, The Ardennes, located in Bugis which we booked via agoda.com. It was also convenient as it was only a few minutes walk from Lavender MRT Station. 


At first, I was a bit disappointed to find out that our room has no window. But to my delight, Alan showed me that what we had was better than a window. He grabbed a remote, pointed it towards the ceiling, and suddenly the sky was above my head. We had a moon roof in our room! It was perfect especially at night because we were able to lie down in the bed while gazing underneath the stars. Can't deny that my hubby is a hopeless romantic! :)

photo from agoda.com
Off we went to Singapore's shopping hub, Orchard Road after we checked in. 

Since it was lunch time and we were starving, we hurriedly grabbed a bite in Takashimaya food court and had my first chicken rice! The one I had was sweet and spicy Thai sesame chicken rice. So good!   

After a sumptuous lunch, we wasted no time and went straight to Gardens by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay is an integral part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden". The stated aim is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. -Wikipedia

There were multiple attractions in the Garden but we chose what was closest to our hearts, the Flower Dome. If Alan and I will have a chance to renew our vows, I want our reception held here! hahaha. Like the flowers, our love continue to blossom each day. 


Next to our list was Marina Bay. We were in a jungle earlier and in one minute we found ourselves standing in concrete. Sorry Alicia Keys because Singapore is the real "Concrete Jungle" for me! hehehe :)

Located at the Southern tip of Singapore, Marina Bay is a 360ha development designed to seamlessly extend Singapore's downtown district and further support the city-state's continuing growth as a major business and financial hub in Asia. For more info. check out their website at: http://www.marina-bay.sg/vision.html


All that sight seeing made us so hungry! Luckily, we found this famous restaurant, Jumbo Seafood, around the area. My hubby also found this highly recommended restaurant from Wikitravel and we had to put this in our itinerary. When traveling, we like to immerse ourselves in local cuisines so we just rock exploring food like Anthony Bourdain . hehe. Back to the restaurant, there was a long queue which just showed that this place was the bomb. Their specialties were chili crabs and cereal prawns. It's kind of a splurge but it's worth it! My hubby doesn't normally eat crabs because he's too lazy to peel the shell off but to my surprise, he showed no mercy to the crabs. On the other hand, my favorite was the cereal prawns. I liked how they made the prawns so crunchy and sweet. Both perfect with a bowl of steamed white rice. Nom nom nom.  

THE HIGHLIGHT FOR DAY 1! LOL :D

xoxo,
Joselle

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Matron of Honor to Bride

I know all of you will agree that Nina looks very stunning in her dress and Marvin’s barong looks like a million dollars :) You two look extra ordinarily great together. 

For anyone who doesn’t know me, I am Joselle, the sister-in-law of Nina and her BFF. Today, I am no longer her BFF because I am now giving that role to Marvin. 

I’ve known Nina for 10 years now but it seems only yesterday and I feel like I’ve known her forever. She was the reason that I found my soulmate, her Kuya Alan. 

Nina has the most genuine heart and has no pretenses. She’s humble, warm-hearted, beautiful in the inside and out, and a woman who has great love for the Lord. 

When Nina told me she was going to break up with her former boyfriend of 2 years because she wanted to go through her state of life discernment with Lingkod ng Panginoon, I was tremendously proud of her. It wasn’t an easy thing for her but she bravely and selflessly put God first before herself. In honoring the Lord before anything else, she was pleased to know that her vocation was for marriage and blessed to be pursued by a likewise faithful brother in the community who is no other than Marvin. 

Nina also told me that they have never kissed on dates and that their first kiss will be on their wedding day. Her kuya and I were left astounded. We couldn’t believe that it still happens nowadays. We have nothing but great respect for Marvin also for protecting and keeping my sister pure before marriage. I believe that if a husband loves God, he will love and respect his wife even more so like how Christ loves the Church. 

You two are indeed a match made in heaven and it was even proved better when you exchanged vows to each other. We know that this marriage will last a lifetime and will be enjoyed to the fullest because you keep God’s word close to your hearts.

Nina, sis, I’m so happy for you. I am glad that through this community that you are blessed with, you found your soulmate and your true best friend forever. The greatest thing about the sacrament of marriage, especially with God in the center of the relationship, is that every time you see the love of your life, you see a glimpse of heaven. Whenever I am with your kuya, I see Jesus. I feel truly loved by God with the way he treats me. Life seems serene no matter what challenges may come our way.  And I wish you both the same. That every time you look into each others eyes, you see that glimpse of heaven on earth. 

Nina, it is a real honour to be your Matron of Honour. I am deeply moved and so blessed for even being your friend, and even more so that you granted me this opportunity. Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, could you please stand and raise your glasses once again for Nina and Marvin.

xoxo,
Joselle