Party DIY: Bloom, baby, bloom

We may not have the four seasons in our country but for me, Spring came in the form of a baby shower in honor of such gracious parents-to-be, Colleen and Gary Viray.

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Catalina Gabrielle, the precious baby that the couple is expecting in a month, deserves only the prettiest details for her first-ever social celebration. Coordinating with Mommy Colleen was very easy. She was clear on wanting pink but was open to ideas on the execution of a dainty and feminine party theme.

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What can be more girly than flowers? Flowers in various shades of soft pink! For this party, I made door monograms with faux flowers (that can easily be removed so the letters can be re-used and styled according to need), custom stationery with water-colored flowers for the tables, and water-colored sign-up canvasses for guests.

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My good friend Carlo Valderrama helped me mount the photo lounge with a floral frame and birdcages, a medley of flower garlands and paper lanterns for ceiling décor, and the simplest but most chic flower fringe backdrop shared for use of With A Flourish’s dessert buffet. Carlo is my angel. He has assisted me in most of my styling gigs and because he gets my design aesthetic, work is faster and more fun!

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Putting together party accessories and landscapes for family and dear friends’ special moments gives me so much joy. Thinking about the smallest details and making sure that the hosts get to take home party memorabilias to remind them of the special day is one that I do not mind poring over. It is such a blessing, too, that the families I have styled parties for are very considerate and extended helping hands. Their commendations and words of praise are truly encouraging. Who knows, I might just really consider this as an income generating endeavor.

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Baby Catalina Gabrielle, may you grow up to be exactly as your name suggests and more. I pray that your life will be an expression of God’s messages for all those who surround you. We’re very excited to meet you, Tali!

Photos by Carlo Valderrama, Colleen Carlos-Viray, and Gary Viray

Dessert buffet table set-up by With a flourish by Sarah Bautista-Abano

 

Mateo’s Restaurant Cafe – Finding a New Home

Perhaps each one of us has experienced moving houses at least once in this lifetime.  To put all memories in boxes, which will later on be re-opened in a new home, is easier said than done.  The apprehensions, the thoughts of what-was-left-behind, along with the exciting dreams of what-lies-ahead, are all there in the air surrounding the personal items and physical objects we have packed in boxes.

It was just a month ago that I started this blog with Issa, pushing ourselves to put to life the ideas we have talked about, when I suddenly had to move homes.  Well, it’s not me moving houses personally, but the resto cafe my business partners and I conceptualized for almost as long as its soft opening.

We closed Mateo’s Restaurant Cafe at Malakas Street and is in the process of relocation.

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If anything, Mateo’s had a pretty good run. From Spanish lessons, Crochet  and Inking workshops,  Engagement Proposals to an actual intimate wedding reception, baby showers, bridal shower, baptisms, birthdays, and Halloween parties, we are thankful for all those who celebrated milestones and special events with us. To all our dear families, friends, and guests who have at one point dined and celebrated a special occasion at Mateo’s, here is a BIG and heartfelt THANK YOU.

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If you missed to try Mateo’s before, do check out the features it had from various online sources the past months:

Mateo’s Restaurant Cafe on SPOT PH

Mateo’s Restaurant Cafe – Featured by FoodBitesPH

Mateo’s Restaurant Cafe – Featured by Wander Twins – traveling all the way from the South

As they said, the food is great, and the story behind Mateo’s lives on.   At the moment, Mateo’s Resto Cafe is hidden like a treasure chest, boxed and tucked away, and waiting, no, clamoring, to be re-opened. It is in the process of finalizing a new home, which will take a few more months perhaps.  Announcements will be made online through Instagram (IG: @mateosph) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/mateosph).

Please do watch out for updates and announcements on our re-opening!:)

Reconfiguring Dance

2015 is all about making things happen. For me it also means dancing again.

Prior to getting married in 2013, I was dancing professionally. I was then teaching dance, teaching Sociology and Anthropology, doing admin work for Ateneo, and dancing on top of planning my own wedding. The difficulties of flitting from one role to another eventually caught up with me and I got burnt out. I chose to let go of dance because it required so much time for training and rehearsals. I used this time instead to make a home— I tried cooking, learned home cleaning hacks, and DIY-ed home decor.

I turned to Zumba, barre classes, and yoga to keep fit. I take dance classes every now and then but have not fully committed to dancing again apart from my ballet teaching engagements. Noticing that I was no longer asking him to bring me to the dance studio, KC suggested that I go back to dancing. Today, I am doing just that.

DIY Wall Decor for the bedroom by Issa M. Ramos

DIY Wall Decor for the bedroom by Issa M. Ramos

I am doing a full dance class today (and am mighty scared for tomorrow’s body pains). I am excited, too, because I will be dancing with very good friends Ea Torrado and PJ Rebullida of Daloy Dance Company.

Daloy Dance Company is the newest dance commune in the metro composed of artists from various practices of music, theatre, and dance. They offer a fresh take on dance and theatre through performances that “re-shape contemporary dance by debunking existing stigma and offering new perspectives and possibilities”.

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Ea Torrado, Artistic Director of Daloy Dance Company Photo by Tuchi Imperial

 

With the guidance and leadership of Artistic Director Ea Torrado, Daloy Dance Company has been enjoying performance and collaborative opportunities locally and abroad. They are putting together RECONFIGURE this February in partnership with FRINGE Manila and De La Salle- College of St. Benilde.

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Reconfigure by Daloy Dance Company Feb 19 3PM and 8PM and Feb 22 3PM and 8PM College of Saint Benilde – SDA Theatre

 

According to Daloy Dance Company“Reconfigure is a twinbill production featuring Ea Torrado’s Dysmorphilia, which premiered at Imaginarium: A Multi-arts festival of the Absurd, and PJ Rebullida’s The Sky Changed, showcased at the WIFI Body Contemporary Dance Festival. Compounded to evoke transformation, manipulation and conscious change, Both works continue to unravel the forces at work on how the body is presented and consumed in relation to ideas of self-perception and symbolic rebirth.

Dysmorphilia Costumes by award-winning Multimedia artist-designer, Leeroy New”

Where: College of Saint Benilde – SDA Theatre
When: Feb 19 3PM and 8PM and Feb 22 3PM and 8PM Php 300 -ticket price

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Jomelle Era, company member of Daloy Dance Photo by Tuchi Imperial

 

If you’re like me looking to rekindle an old flame with dance or if it is part of your new year’s resolution to try something new, please consider Daloy Dance School. Daloy Dance School offers an array of movement-oriented classes. Most classes do not require previous dance experience so adult beginners need not worry. Check out Daloy Dance Company’s website for information on class schedules.

I am blessed to have this opportunity to re-visit a previous purpose and passion. I will write about my first day back on the dance floor next time. For now, wish me, my lola bones and sleeping muscles, luck to get through class! Toi, toi, toi!

 

Photos by Tuchi Imperial for Daloy Dance Company

Party DIY: The Promise of Metamorphosis

What excites me most about crafting for parties and events is the challenge of coming up with something fresh —something that’s not completely ripped off from Pinterest and Tumblr but come up with end products that are totally social-media-post-worthy. I think about themes and motifs for days and choreograph the dance of found objects and art materials in my head and later on with my hands.

For Elijah’s first birthday, Lala had the brilliant idea of having “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” as the party theme. I was familiar with the story and had done movement exercises for it for my beginners’ ballet classes. Transposing the famous story into visual and tactile magic was something I could not pass up.

Lala and I met several times to discuss the most feasible and economical way of DIY-ing the décor for Elijah’s party. Hiring a party stylist can cost an arm and a leg these days. Using good old art materials and basic skills can save you a LOT of money.

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We used materials that are readily available in the market such as Japanese paper, crepe paper, straw string, barbecue sticks, Styrofoam, and yarn. We made tissue paper pompoms, crepe paper table skirts, and yarn pompom caterpillars. The caterpillars were such a hit that guests took home all those that were on display.

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We livened up the desserts station with balloons, colored art paper, fuzzy wire, real plants and fake foliage that I had lying around the house. It’s also wise to buy sweet snacks from the grocery and set them up instead of hiring a supplier for desserts buffet. This way you’re sure of what you’re serving your guests and also have better control of your budget.

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Thank you, Lala, for allowing me to do happy craft projects for Elijah’s first birthday party. To see/make things shift in shape and in purpose and become another kind of beautiful gives me an ultimate high. I am excited for you and your own very hungry caterpillar ELIJAH and am observing in joy as you both morph into your best selves yet.

Photos by Deneb Villanueva

Behind the scene photos by Issa and Lala

Fairies and Folks

This is the haven of two women who both decided that it is time to share their passions to the world — may it be dance, theater, crafts, workshops, wife-hood, motherhood, books, travel, or documenting everyday stories of Filipino folks.

Authored by Issa Mijares – Ramos and Lala Jara – Tuazon, who bonded over their passion for performing arts and their love for breathing life into ideas.