True Love Still Waits

My sister is finally married! It was nothing short of amazing and glorious and I thank the Lord for what He had set that day. At the age of 27, she married her first and last boyfriend. That’s right. Her first and last.

yan

Truth be told, my sister is an impulsive type. What she wants, she wants to get it right away. I think that’s part of her dominant personality. But despite that personality in her, there was one thing that she made sure to wait for–the man she would spend the rest of her life with.

In our generation today, everything is instant already even in relationships. Ever heard of instant boyfriend/girlfriend? But looking at my sister’s story, I can say that the line “true love waits” is still very much alive even at this time.

True love waits for the right timing. Actually, no one will be able to tell the exact and right timing in finding love. Only God knows that. But we have to understand that right timing requires being patient. More often than not, we jump into relationships without considering the moment. That’s why a lot of people would say that they met someone but just at the wrong time.

My sister waited patiently for the right time. She had a couple of suitors back when she was still studying but she knew that it was just not the right time to be in a relationship yet. School was a top priority, not love life. And this brings us to the second point.

122

True love waits for the right season. It’s so important to know the season we are in. If you’re still a student, your season is about being a student. If you’re trying to get a job, then perhaps your season is getting your career started. There is a right season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1)–season of being single, getting married, starting a family and the list goes on.

My sister met her  husband at a season in her life that she considered fitting already to engage in a relationship. She was already a nurse then and so was her husband. She was ready for it. And I think that’s how God wants us to be–to be prepared by Him spiritually, emotionally, financially, mentally and physically.

True love waits for the right person. The thing is, right timing and right season will not make sense if you don’t have the right person. You can be at a season for marriage but if you are with the wrong person, it’s never going to be easy. There is no secret formula to finding the one. That is why we need God’s leading in this area. I have actually written about this already and you can check it here.

I know we all want things to be fast. But may we remember to exclude love with that because waiting for true love has not gone out of style.

yanex

 

 

Advertisements

How to Start Brush & Calligraphy Hobby

I’ve always wanted to get into the brush lettering and calligraphy hobby. And finally, after practicing with just G-tech pen, I moved on to the real thing. But did you know that I only found the motivation to start the hobby after joining workshops? The truth is that I never tried the real thing because I don’t know how to start.

What should I buy? What paper should I use? Where do I even buy these things? It’s hard to start if you have no idea! I’m thankful for the workshops I joined here in Iligan because they were my stepping stones to this new hobby. Shoutout to Charlette for the modern calligraphy workshop and Patti for the brush lettering workshop. Thanks to them, I learned the basics. (shout out also to my workshop buddy, Kat! <3)

qwe

But if you want to DIY the hobby, that’s not a problem. No need to fret on where to start. I got you covered. *wink* So, okay, let’s get started!

Modern Calligraphy

You will need a nib, pen holder and ink for this. There are two types of pen holders–the straight and the oblique. Pictured below is a straight and this is what we used at the workshop to practice. I don’t have the oblique yet but it’s on it’s way. As for the difference between straight and oblique, the latter creates more angle.

IMG_1533.jpg

 

 

Now, with the nibs, there are various kinds available. However, I’m not familiar with them yet. I’m not even sure what nib I have been practicing with. I asked Charlette about it and she said most nibs are compatible with the Speedball pen holders. So, here’s a link to where you can purchase some. Although, there are those that are really small like the brause66 ef. My awesome mentor recommends hunt 22 and hiro 41 so check those out.

I forgot to take a photo of the ink that I have been using but here’s a link to the products available at The Craft Central, an online store for all your calligraphy and brush lettering needs. I’m not sure where Charlette got the ink for our workshop but I’m guessing it’s this one (check link).

Next is the type of paper to use. Sad to say, our standard bond papers won’t do as you will need a thicker kind. Look for a paper that is 90 gsm. Pictured below are the ones I’ve been using to practice. They’re both available in National Bookstore. You can also use 100 gsm. I also recommend printing a guide sheet for practice.  Untitled-1

The basic principle

Calligraphy is basically {upward stroke = thin line} and {downward stroke = thick line}. To create thick line using nib, just simply apply pressure. Here’s a video I found on YouTube.

Brush Lettering

For brush lettering, you will need the following: brushes and ink/watercolor. I’ve been using the waterbrush pen (middle) and so far, it’s the one that best works for me. You can purchase it here.

IMG_1524

You can use a watercolor pad that is available at National Bookstore. But since it’s a bit pricey just for practicing, you can use the 90 gsm paper. You can get any kind of watercolor. I like the watercolor palette that Patti gave to us at the workshop. Not sure where it is available but the tubed watercolor is available at Daiso.

The principle used in brush lettering is similar to calligraphy: Up=thin, down=thick.

pp

And that’s it. You can now start writing and brushing away! I’m loving this new hobby although it’s really testing my patience. So far, so good. Practice makes progress indeed. 🙂

IMG_1534.jpg

 

This Is Why I Proposed

Hey guys! I’m taking the backseat for this post as my now fiancé, Coco, is going to be taking over. As many already know, we got engaged last February and it was such a memorable day for us. And after almost 3 months, here he is sharing to you all his thoughts.qqq

Hey there! This is Coco and I finally proposed to Charm after 1 year and 7 months of being together. You might ask, “Isn’t that a little too fast?” Well, it looks like it but I can give you three out of the many reasons on why I finally decided to pop the question to my then girlfriend now fiancée.

Actually, there are several reasons including my love and admiration for her. But what I want to share right now are not just mere reasons but lessons I’ve learned along the way as a man pursuing a woman. For starters, proposing to Charm has a lot to do with how I see my parent’s relationship. 

 Growing up, I’ve seen the love and affection my parents shared with each other and for me that’s a blessing that I will always be thankful for. Maybe at times, like any other couple, they also have misunderstandings, but primarily, I have seen their relationship being strong. In fact, they just recently celebrated their 27th anniversary! For that reason, one of my “#relationshipgoals” is to have a relationship with my future wife somewhat same as theirs.

And so, packed with inspiration from my parents and of course, right timing and a confirmation from God, I knelt down on one knee to ask Charm to marry me because:

I want a relationship with a purpose. Guys, if you are now in a relationship or if you are still pursuing a girl, ask yourself this question, “Why am I dating or pursuing her?” Maybe some of you would answer “I’m just in love” or “I am bored being single” or “for curiosity’s sake.” Some might even just date to try out as many girls as they can. But real men do not do that, only immature boys do. Real men protect the dignity of women.

sd

 

I’m not saying I’m clean and perfect in this area. I had my share of  pursuing with a wrong heart and a wrong purpose during my boyhood. At some point, we all had the wrong intentions in the past. But the good news is that we can still change to be the real man that God wants us to be. If we’re dating already, then it means that we are no longer young boys!

2 Timothy 2:22 says, “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

God wants us to be real men, and real men pursue a woman with the intent of getting married. If marriage is not the goal, then there is no sense in getting into a relationship. Real men have a relationship goal to marry and not just play games with her.

To all the ladies out there, if someone is pursuing you or you are dating someone, make sure to ask him, “Why are you pursuing me?” “What direction are we going to?” If the purpose is shallow, you know what to do.

I’ve found a wonderful woman. Men, we all want it, right? A wonderful woman to spend the rest of our lives with. But how do we really define a wonderful woman? Some may define it as Liza Soberano while some may say Pia Wurtzbach. Well, whoever they define it as, I define it as Charmaine Montes. Yihee! (haha)

Ladies, you are all wonderful (read Psalm 139:14). But nothing is more wonderful than a woman who is secured in Jesus. A wonderful woman is someone who  does not define herself with what others see on her–make-up, body, clothes, etc. She does not let her past define her and she doesn’t take self-pity because she knows that she is made and loved by a King. Also, a wonderful woman for me is someone who is still secure without a man because she knows her worth.

Men, I know, I know. We hope of marrying a woman who has the physical beauty and all but honestly, that’s actually just a bonus. The main deal is when you know her heart is set for Jesus first. My encouragement is that as men, have a relationship goal of finding a wonderful woman who seeks her identity from Christ rather than from the opinion of others. Where to find her? Pray for it, bro.

We’re on the same page. Being on the same page together–sharing the same values, beliefs, goals and principles in life–was a real deal for me. I knew that if I’m going to marry someone, it would have to be someone whom I can walk with along a journey with Jesus at the center. I believe that if the couple has an intimate relationship with Jesus, all the ultimate relationship goals will just follow.

qwe

A relationship with Jesus as the foundation may sound too “churchy” but nothing beats a God-centered union. When two people both understand the love of Jesus, loving each other would be easier. I’m not saying that it’s going to be perfect but Mark 10:9 says, “What God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Actually, without Jesus at the center of our lives, none of the ideal relationships that we could think of would be possible.

 

 

3 Bridal Shower Tips

My older sister is getting married in a few days and I’m actually quite excited as this is the biggest festivity in the family yet. But as you all know, before the big day, there’s always the bridal shower first to celebrate the last few days of the bride’s singlehood.

1_zpssleah78k

 

We did an early shower for my sister last month and I’m actually happy to say that though it was nothing very grand, everyone had fun especially the bride. As the maid of honor, I never realized how daunting organizing can be but I’m so glad we were able to pull it all off. So, if you’re a maid of honor or perhaps the friend in charge in putting together a bridal shower, here are three tips I can share to you:

Pick a theme. My sister requested a dressy and heels night so I thought of the theme “Beauty” to match with it. There are several ideas you can go for—I’m thinking Boho Chic, Masquerade, Lingerie Night (for the daring ones *wink), Spring Tea Party, Hawaiian & BBQ and the list goes on. You can also pick a color scheme and from there you can plan on.

FotorCreated1

Pack the party with games. This will depend on how far you can prepare but the key is to make sure everyone will have a chance to have fun—in short, everyone must be involved! In my opinion, the best one we did was the “Best Gown Ever” game wherein three teams created a masterpiece dress out from tissue paper. There are so many game ideas available online but we did simple ones which were “How Well Do You Know the Bride,” “Scrambled Words,” and “Charades.”

FotorCreated

Pinterest is your best friend. For all your design, game and whatnot needs, the good old site will be there for you. If you want to go all out, Pinterest has awesome ideas. If you just want to keep things simple, you can always improvise. You can also check out Google for extra ideas.

DSC_0423

Here’s my Bridal Shower outfit of the night—a print on print ensemble. It may look like a one piece but they are actually two pieces of clothing that are just match made in heaven. .

DSC_0456

Can’t wait to blog about the actual day. Countdown is one week from now! ❤

(Closed) Fashion Giveaway!!

I’m not a fashion blogger but I am so privileged to be part of this little giveaway collaboration featuring my friend and fashion blogger Katrin Lapeña of Katwinvasion and Iligan’s most trusted online shop, Xina Maldita.

GIVEAWAY

Xina Maldita is actually owned by Sheena Prete. She started her online shop when she was just in college. And though she’s a nurse by profession, she chose to pursue the business life because her customer base kept growing and growing. It goes to show that a lot of ladies, including myself, love her items so much. I’m actually an avid buyer because aside from the cute and trendy pieces, the price range is the bomb. Everything is affordable yet very worth the purchase.

DSC_0901

When Sheena asked me to pick one for the giveaway, I had a hard time choosing. Thankfully, Kat recommended this cute gray Kylie Jenner-inspired semi-cropped top. It just goes to show this friend of mine knows her trends. So to those who are looking for some fashion inspiration, do check out Kat’s blog. She has also blogged about this giveaway already. Check it out here.

1

DSC_0888

For the giveaway, get to win this gray top and Kat’s navy cropped top and skirt coordinates. All you have to do is:

  1. Follow Xina Maldita on Instagram: @xinamaldita
  2. Follow Min Montes (Cup of Thoughts) on Instagram: @cminmontes
  3. Follow Katwinvasion on Instagram: @katrinlapena
  4. Like Xina Maldita on FB: facebook.com/Xinamaldita
  5. Like Katwinvasion on FB: facebook.com/katrinlapena
  6. Comment below your name and email address in this post.

And that’s it! With six easy steps, you get one entry for a chance to win Xina Maldita clothing! We will close the giveaway on March 5 and randomly draw one winner on March 7.  Good luck girlies!  (This giveaway is open to Philippine residents only.)

 

 

Single Is Not Equal To Ugly

Hello beautiful single ladies!

I hope you had a blast celebrating LOVE day because I sure did! I went on an eat-all-you-can sushi buffet at Ramen Yah with the bf/bff and we were so stuffed I thought I promised not to eat sushi for a month after (but of course, that promise is all gone now that I’m hungry again).

img_0199_zpswp33bpvz

Anyway, I hope that whether with or without a date, you had looked your best last Sunday. Not because you’re trying to impress someone or you’re on prey mode (say what?) but because you know that single is not equal to ugly. What am I trying to say here?

Well, have you ever had that notion wherein as a single lady, you just don’t care with how you look? You don’t give a care because you’re not trying to impress anybody anyway. Perhaps you have a firm confidence that you are beautiful no matter what. If you are that person, let me say that your notion is very right.

Inner Beauty > Outward Beauty

It’s true that we should never try to impress people with our looks. It’s also true that we need to believe that we are beautiful no matter what others say because that’s what God says about us. He said that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made..” and His “works are wonderful.” He also said in His Word that:

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3,4)

It means that inner beauty is still the most important thing no matter how cliche it sounds. Outward beauty can never surpass a beautiful heart especially one that is aligned with God’s.

flowers_zpsjmeuscuk

One becomes greatly beautiful on the outside regardless of flaws because the beauty on the inside is radiating through. And the thing is, we can never find this kind of security anywhere else except in Jesus.

Inner Beauty + Outward Beauty = Desirable

But does this mean that it’s okay to not care about our physical looks? I don’t think so. We also need to do our part. Just like what Michelle McKinney Hammond wrote on her book titled “What To Do Until Love Finds You”:

“A lady-in-waiting should always look the part whether a knight is in sight or not. After all, you never know when he’ll appear. And when  he does, spiritual plus beautiful equals highly desirable.”

I wish I can write down the whole chapter of the book here because there are so much things that I wanted you to read but since that’s obviously impossible, I urge you to grab a copy of the book and read the entire thing. I promise you won’t regret it.

So what now?

There are several ways that we can do to look after our physical appearance and it varies from one woman to another. The important thing is that we never lose the willingness to fight the good fight of personal upkeep. So, here are few of the ways I think we can do to keep our outward appearance on fleek. *wink*

EXPLORING THE WORLD OF MAKEUP. Don’t get me wrong. I still believe that natural beauty is better. But let’s be realistic and admit that makeup is almost every woman’s weapon against stressful nights, haggard days and archenemy pimples and breakouts! If you’re not into all those cosmetic stuff, I understand because I too sometimes have no idea!

makeup_zpszd0bpuoj

But get your basics on (read: eyebrows, blush, foundation, lipstick) and you’re good to go. Don’t be afraid to explore! Also, I bet my sisters out there would agree that MAKEUP is FUN! The key is not to overdo it and to remember that your identity is not in how good you look with it

KEEPING IT HEALTHY. Okay, I’m guilty with this one. I don’t have a healthy lifestyle and I’m not proud of it. But once in a while, I do try. Sometimes, I go to the gym to get me some exercise. I try to control my eating habits.

gym_zpsqtkxkdc2

I try to eat healthy. I try to sleep early…okay…I fail at that most of the time…but the point is, do something to stay healthy! Feeling good on the outside should start with feeling good on the inside and sometimes that’s all it takes. I better start living on this one too.

PAMPER & BEAUTY TIME. When was your last salon visit? When was the last time you had your nails done? When was the last time you visited the spa? I know this can be expensive but once in a while (if you have the budget), treat yourself to some pamper and beauty time. Or if you think you can DIY, why not? Don’t let the busyness and stress of the world drain out the beauty in you.

PASSION FOR FASHION. Well, not really passion. I just wrote that because it rhymes and I personally think that the way we dress up plays an important factor in our overall look. The truth about fashion is that it’s a personal thing so it should never make you look like you’re dressing up as someone else.

But try doing a wardrobe check and see if you ought to need a wardrobe update. I’m not saying throw out all your clothes and buy new ones (although you can actually do that if you have loads of money. lol). Just try experimenting or exploring according to your style and preferences. And if you need help, there are thousands of sources out there that you can turn to for reference.

Here’s a good news:

I’m going to hold a giveaway and it’s going to be a collaboration with my fashion blogger friend Katrin Lapeña of Katwinvasion and Iligan’s most trusted fashion online shop Xina Maldita by Sheena Prete. Fashion pieces are at stake so stay tuned for the official giveaway announcement.

Until then, stay beautiful ladies! ❤

 

 

 

 

The Beautiful Single Life

 

I’m a little late in welcoming the second month of the year because I’ve been so busy but nonetheless, hello February! This month is such a perfect excuse to go all out in writing about love and relationships so before we reach the 29th of February, that’s what I’m going to do.

And first on my list:  Talk about the beautiful single life.

As you all know, Valentine’s Day is coming up and I’m sensing that there are some single ladies out there who are sighing because they are currently “zero” in the “love life” area. Some may be even worried that they won’t receive anything. If you are that person, I’m going to tell you this–Stop it!

I’m not making you stop because it’s cheesy or corny or pitiful but because I want you to understand that singlehood is a very beautiful season and February 14 is just a day that will go by so quickly.

THE SINGLE LIFE STAGE

There is so much to love about being single and it will take a whole book if I’m going to write everything down. But just remember that this particular stage in life is a time that you can never get back once you get married or have children. Bye-bye to freedom, to I-can-do-whatever-I-want moments, to staying up late, to spending 90% of your budget to food, clothes and makeup, to making own decisions–you know what I mean. In short, “When the spouse doesn’t exist, you can’t hurt them with your selfless, impulsive decisions.” (Marshal Segal)

CAMERA

I’m not putting a bad light on marriage here as if it is a scary place. Of course, not! It’s a beautiful season on its own as well. I dream to get married soon but I recently realized that before that day comes, I want to be able to maximize my single life–you know, the feeling of no big commitment to someone else yet.

And even if I am in a relationship right now to an awesome man, I consider myself single by papers and before God. That’s why I don’t want to act “wife” to him yet because that’s not a role I am called to do already. I am technically still single and I love embracing that fact. At this point, I want to savor every moment of the single life stage.

THANKING GOD FOR THIS SEASON

The truth is, sometimes I get impatient and try to ask God to let me move on to the next season already. But I realize that I have got to hit on the brakes! If I spend lots of time thinking so much about marriage, I might miss the good things in my current season.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to think about getting married and all. In fact, we should be praying about it as early as possible if we desire so. But I realized that where I am right now is a season that God has placed in my life to revel in and enjoy. Before, I say “I can’t wait to get married!” Right now, I’m praying, “Lord, thank you for this season of waiting. Let me enjoy this moment while preparing me at the same time for the next one.”

I read in one of Rica Peralejo’s blog post that “each season is beautiful and purposeful.” I couldn’t agree more.

as

And at times I get impatient, I go back to the word in Ecclesiastes 3:1:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”

If you are single, do not fret and do not rush. The Word says, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

If you have been waiting for Mr. Right for so long already, do not worry. Use the time to reflect and be aware of how God is moving in this time of your life. God has a purpose for you in your current season. Find it out and embrace it.

If you are in a relationship with someone but not married yet, enjoy the season but at the same time treasure the person that God has blessed you with.

If you are dateless this coming Feb. 14, no problem, it’s going to be on a Sunday. Have your date with God in church. :p