You only get to be a bride once

Throwback! On the eve of our wedding, I was absolutely sure that I would look like the most haggard bride ever. I was sleepless for weeks, my eyebags were the size of a half-moon, and I was worried about too many things. But then our wedding day came, and I never felt more beautiful.

I’m sure it’s a combination of things that made me feel beautiful that day—the love that surrounded me, the relief that the day I waited for my whole life has finally come, the affirmation that God makes things beautiful in His time.

But of course a huge part of my *ehem* bridal beauty was because of my Ate Imy‘s mad make-up skillz.

Makeup by Imelyn - Before & After

Our Wedding - Makeup by Imelyn

Our Wedding - Makeup by Imelyn

#nofilter, #nopostprocessing, only #makeupbyimelyn, yo!

Me? Vainly and shamelessly posting photos of myself like this? You know this rarely happens. In fact, Ate Imy insisted on including my picture in her portfolio of beautiful brides—the one that takes up the walls of her booth on bridal fairs—but I feel too shy (and undeserving!) to have my face up there.

I realized, however, that I owe it to her to take pride in the beauty that she managed to bring out in the mess that was me, on my wedding day. So this post is for her, for being the best sister ever, and the greatest make-up artist there is.

Dear future brides

My advice for you is this: get a really good make-up artist for your wedding day. Someone who will make you look beautiful without making you look like someone else. You will feel haggard and stressed out on the days leading to your wedding, and there are make-up artists out there who will hide your beauty in layers of make-up, making you look different and not like yourself.

You don’t want to look at your wedding pictures later and wonder who on earth that girl is. You want to be beautiful, but most especially you want to be you. And may I recommend to you Imelyn Sanchez Makeup Artistry. Her style is elegant, and natural, and very classy. Trust me, she’s really good.

She will have a booth setup at SMX Convention Center for the annual Themes & Motifs Bridal Fair this March 8 and 9, 2014. Come visit, and avail of her generous discounts. And tell her you found her because of my blog—that will really make her smile. :)

Read also:

Imelyn Sanchez Make-up Artistry 2014

Growing up with two brothers, I’ve always wished I had a sister, someone I could share clothes with, borrow makeup from, girl-talk with, laugh with. I was way into my 20s when God granted that little wish, when Ate Imelyn married my brother. This is not the first time I’m blogging about what a blessing and an answered prayer Ate has been to my family, and it’s definitely not the last time I’m going to brag about her (and her make-up business) in this space.

She truly is a gift, and I’m so proud of her.

Over the past weekend Ate Imy joined the annual Weddings and Debuts Fair at the Megatrade Hall, and of course my husband and I dropped by to support.

Imelyn Sanchez Makeup Artistry

Imelyn Sanchez Makeup Artistry

Imelyn Sanchez Makeup Artistry

Photographs in Ate Imy’s booth: (1) The make-up goddess, (2) With my brother and our not-so-little-anymore baby Isaac, (3) and with me and my husband.

She will also be at the Themes & Motifs Bridal Fair this weekend, March 8 and 9, at the SMX Convention Center. Drop by! She gives big discounts during bridal fairs! :)

Imelyn Sanchez Make-up Artistry’s new Logo & Branding

In preparation for these events, we’ve been working on re-branding Imelyn Sanchez Make-up Artistry for the past month.

Blush, Bronze, Pink
Design work like this doesn’t feel like work at all, not only because I’m doing it for my sister, but also because I love love love being able to put together pretty make-up colors!

This is our final brand board:

Imelyn Sanchez brandboard 2014

Imelyn Sanchez Business Cards and Brochures

I needed a lot of illustrator help from my husband to digitize the hand-drawn logo I made, and once again I swoon over how he makes me better at what I do, and how we can make greater things together. :) Team work, aja!

Her new branding in action.

Make-up by Imelyn

Make-up by Imelyn Brochures


Chasing Dreams - Creatives I offer web, logo, and events branding for creative people who dig dreamy and minimalist designs. Feel free to message me if you like what you see. Let’s create something beautiful!

6/52: There’s something about boxes

Photographs of my daughters, once a week, every week, in 2014. Week 6.

52 Week Project

6/52: Dawn & Rain

6/52: Dawn & Rain

6/52: Dawn & Rain

6/52: Rain

6/52: Dawn

This is where the twins decided to camp out while watching Veggie Tales one morning. Sometimes, this is also where they play, or have their snacks, or just hang out. I have yet to see any of them sleep in that box, though. When that happens, you bet there will be lots and lots of pictures!

More about Project 52 here. View all posts in this blog series here. Linking up with Jodi.

5/52: Sundays are fundays

Photographs of my daughters, once a week, every week, in 2014. Week 5.

52 Week Project

5/52: Dawn & Rain

5/52: Dawn & Rain

Dawn: Is the twin who’s always munching on food. “A foodie”, is what her Daddy calls her.
Rain: Is the twin who likes making facial expressions and smiling in front of the camera.
Dawn & Rain: Are like two opposite ends of a pole, and we love how different they are and yet similar in so many ways.

It was a Sunday afternoon when these photos were taken, and we just got home from church. I love taking pictures of them on Sundays because of two things: (1) They’re wearing their Sunday best (you gotta love dressing up twins!), and (2) I love keeping remembrances of Sundays, specially when they’re spent the way they should be—with family.

D and I took turns taking photos with the twins, and I love love love these moments he captured. Priceless!

5/52: Rain ith Mommy

5/52: Dawn with Mommy

It’s so hard to pick which photos to share! Needless to say, there are more versions of these where they came from:

5/52: Dawn, Rain and Mommy

5/52: Dawn, Rain and Mommy

5/52: Dawn, Rain and Mommy

Of course, the ones with their Daddy are filled with tickles and laughter. #myheart! Reminds me of this post, and ohmy, how they’ve grown!


5/52: Dawn & Rain

Also, I can’t help but add, I’m crazyyyy about these photographs of Rain:

5/52: Rain

Told you she’s the twin who likes making faces. :)

More about Project 52 here. View all posts in this blog series here. Linking up with Jodi.

Chasing Dreams 2014

Can you feel the winds of change softly blowing? February is almost over and I’m still in the process of trying to wrap my head around how fast this year is unfolding. The past week was particularly difficult for our family too, with my Lola passing away.

We celebrate her life and we rejoice that she’s in a better place now, but there’s just no easy way to deal with death. Especially that of someone who’s been an important part of your life growing up. The past weeks felt like life was put on hold, and it took some time before our schedule eased back to normal. In fact, even until now I’m still catching up on some backlogs.

On a positive note, Lola’s life motivates me to continue living mine with passion (my one word for 2014), and to keep chasing my dreams. So. It’s back to regular programming in this space, and here’s what I’ve been working on for a while:

Chasing Dream’s New Branding Board

Chasing Dreams Branding Board

It’s been a long time coming. Sometime in September last year, I attended one of Martine’s blog workshops called Branding Bliss. It was a timely follow up to the first Write On Workshop I attended, allowing me to really reflect and act on the purpose of this blog moving forward. As a culminating activity, Martine encouraged us to create an inspiration board that captures the vision of our blogs, as well as our identity as bloggers.

I’ve been quietly (and sporadically) working on relaunching Chasing Dreams since then. And  well, here it is.

To some of you who have been following this blog for a while, I’m sure you’re no stranger to my constant tweaking of this blog’s layout, design, and colors, depending on my mood and the time of the year. I’m restless like that. All these years I never really thought about my personal branding and the importance of maintaining one, to think I’ve been in this online business for years. I create branding and content strategy for clients, but never thought of seriously doing it for myself.

For the first time in years I can actually say that I’ve put some thought to this particular design “tweak”. I couldn’t say, however, that this one is for good because I still want a hand-drawn logo, and I’m foreseeing some major changes happening around here come mid-2014. In the mean time, this works for me, and I love that it inspires me to be more creative and to publish more posts. :)

Color inspiration

Color Inspiration: Mint, Blush, Gold

I’ve been obsessing with the color gold lately. I’ve had this Pinterest board made of pink-and-gold pins for months, and I finally found an excuse to go for it. Initially, it was just pink, blush and gold. But it felt like missing something, so I tried a pale shade of blue, and I loved how it all turned out.

Mobile Responsive

One of the other obvious things you’ll notice, in case you’re viewing this with your mobile gadget is that, Chasing Dreams is finally mobile responsive! *fireworks* Now you don’t have to squint your eyes when you’re reading CD from your mobile phones or tablets. Ahhh, so many hours spent just making this work! As someone who reads a lot while in transit, mobile responsive sites make me sooo happy. I hope it makes you a little happy too, in case you chance upon my site while mobile.

The other changes that you can’t see yet, well, you’ll notice them as they come along. And I probably won’t tell you about those anymore, you’ll just.. see them for yourself. So.. now that housekeeping is over, expect a flood of 52 Week Project catch-up posts. Also, expect great things from Chasing Dreams this 2014.

P.S. I offer branding, logo, and web design services for creative people who dig dreamy and minimalist designs. Feel free to message me if you like what you see. Let’s do something beautiful together. ;)

[DISCLOSURE: This post was originally published in December last year, but since I made some changes to my branding board and blog layout at the start of this year, I felt the need to revise this post and re-publish altogether. Thanks for bearing with my OC-ness. Hee.]

Thank you, Lola

Lola Joving

Lola Joving, February 15, 1924 – February 9, 2014

May 2005. I just graduated from the University—no job, no money, no bank account even. All I had were big dreams, loads of optimism and a burning desire to make my dreams happen.

One afternoon, Lola handed me Php1,000 as an advanced birthday gift. I was elated! Php1,000 was not a small amount in 2005, and it was just so random that Lola would think of giving me money. A great cook, Lola’s usual birthday gifts to us were something edible, not monetary.

I knew exactly where to spend Lola’s gift. Long story short, it was the money I used to apply for my first ever passport. Mom and Dad didn’t even know that I was applying for one. (You can read the long story here.)

Lola never found out how big of an answered prayer she was to me at that time, or how important her role was in making some of my greatest dreams come true. Her gift took me places, and I’ll forever be grateful for being a recipient of her love and generosity.

March 2012. My husband and I got the surprise of our life when we found out we were having twins. I never expected it, never prayed for it, never crossed my mind. We didn’t know we had twins in the family, and while it was undoubtedly God’s hand that made it happen, we Google-d and analyzed for days how it was biologically possible that we conceived twins.

Two months later we found out that there were indeed twins in my family. Specifically, in my Lola’s side of the family. It was genetic, after all.

Lola and my Dad are now home in heaven, but they left me probably the greatest inheritance they could ever give me: This twin-bearing genes I carry, which gave me Dawn & Rain. In essence, a part of them lives on in my daughters, and someday Dawn & Rain will know that they came from a line of generous, kind, twin-bearing, Jesus-loving people.

A life well lived

This past week was a time of mourning and rejoicing at the same time. My Lola passed away Sunday morning, in her sleep, just like she wanted.

You know, some of the greatest surprises in life are the stories you hear about a person after she has passed away. Good or bad, it’s like getting to know the person in a whole new different light, and you wish there’s more time for you to get to know her even more. We heard a lot of stories about Lola this week from people whose lives she touched, and I couldn’t help but feel sooo proud and blessed that she is my Lola.

She would have been 90 years old today. I will always miss her, but Lola’s life ended the way it should—people praising the Lord for a life well lived, celebrating the happy memories she left behind, and rejoicing for the lives that were changed because of her.

Including mine.

Thank you, Lola, for my passport money. And for Dawn & Rain. And for being instrumental to making some of my greatest dreams come true, even the ones I didn’t know I had.

Friday Five: Heart-shaped Stuff

I can’t help it. There are just too many hearts everywhere I look, I had to make this little collage of hearts. Even though Valentines Day is not really my most favorite occasion, I don’t feel angsty about it either *cough* like I did when I was younger *cough*. In fact, I appreciate the heart-shaped thingamajigs, the love notes, the edible flowers, and the excuse to be keso for a day.

Besides, don’t you just love seeing these in your Pinterest feeds?

Friday Five


Valentine proposal / Wrapped with love / Lovely nails / Edible love letters / Heart-shaped earrings

We’re probably just going to stay home this V-day (we haaate the traffic!) just like last year. Maybe buy a pizza and watch a downloaded movie. I guess when you’re older (or when you have kids), you realize that V-day is just another day, and you can make any day Valentines Day.

I’m excited to make V-day projects with the twins, though. They’re just too young for that right now, I’ll have to wait a few more years.

But for those of you who want to turn on the love mode, here are

5 Valentines-y things you can do this February

1. Propose! Ha! Proposing on Valentines day is too cliche it becomes.. unexpected. Your girlfriend will certainly anticipate a nice romantic dinner, but not a proposal. (I know I won’t!) So surprise her by choosing V-day (of all days!) to propose. My friends at Matus Jewellery currently have a Valentines Day promo, check it out!

2. Wrap little presents with love. This is your chance to cut out little hearts and put them on your gift packaging. I love how she did it.

3. Paint a little heart on your nail. A little heart on your love finger will do. But if you want something more festive, you might want to see these nail arts.

4. Bake hearts. Instead of Valentines day cards that will just gather dusts, or tacky picture frames and teddy bears, give away something edible instead. Like edible love letters. Or whales.

5. Heart-shaped earrings. Get yourself a pair of heart-shaped earrings in your favorite color, and wear them the whole year. Or a necklace. Really. You don’t need it to be V-day to wear these pretty little things.

This Love Thing

All these heart-shaped things are pretty, but lately I find myself unable to wrap my head around the very essence that these symbols represent: Love. I mean, seriously. Love is such a beautiful and complex thing! When you feel love, it literally keeps you going, like nothing or no one can stop you. And what a wise God we have, for allowing us mere mortals to feel this thing we often can’t describe with just words. More so, to be recipients of it! 

This month is a good time to be reminded why we love and why we’re loved in the first place:

We love because He first loved us.

Just a little something I did while on a quick break from work, inspired by the colors of the inspiration board above.

How about you.. why do you love?

Free Downloadable Mobile Wallpapers

I made this for personal use, but in case you want to use this wallpaper too, you can download it for your gadgets here.

Chasing Dreams Valentines Day


To download, right click on the link and click Save: Ipad | Iphone 4 | Iphone 5.

Have a love-filled weekend!

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