I Caved…

DH came home last Saturday with the most sumptuous feast from the Italian resto by the corner… totally no consideration for wide-eyed, famished, spaced-out women. 😆 I could not resist.

My dear friend Joan doesn’t like talk about diets 😉 but I will say this: there are a lot of things that I’ve learned in the past few days from this attempt to diet: Two, to wit:

1. Three hours of sleep and an empty stomach do not mix well. Nope. I was feeling quite spacey and ditzy, and had trouble focusing. At one point, dh said “do you realize you’ve been sitting there staring at your compy for the past X hours?”… I was “working” on a layout and here I use the term working very loosely because I have a sneaky suspicion that what I was really doing was sleeping with my eyes wide-open. 😆

2. Maybe I need to spoil myself less and deprive myself more. I mean, really, how bad is it to limit your intake? A very dear wise friend of mine, who was also my confessor for a good part of my life (and he baptized the last 3 of my children), once told me: “If you feel completely satiated and stuffed after a meal, then you know you’ve eaten like a pig.” Ouch. I need to learn to eat like a bird.

Thing is, I realize, this applies to a whole lot of other things in life also. We don’t really have to have everything to the maximum limit. In most cases, it must be good for the soul to restrain oneself for greater strength in the things that really matter. Balance is a good thing. A very good thing.

Now, Joanie, I will quit this talk and move on. 😀

Tagged! Again!

I’ve been meaning to do this tag from my dear friend Jackie, and while I was thinking of what to put in my tag, my friend Jeanne tagged me as well! So there I go: tag times two! Sorry, my dear friends who may not be fond of tags but are about to be tagged anyway by me 😆

Jackie’s Tag

These are the rules: You must post the rules before you give your answers.You must list one fact about yourself for each letter of your middle name. Each fact must begin with that letter. If you don’t have a middle name, just use your maiden name. After you’ve been tagged, you need to up-date your blog with your middle name and answers. At the end of your post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged and need to read your blog for details.

(Jackie is lucky: she has 2 letters to her middle name. I have SEVEN. But one letter repeats so I’m going to count that as one. There’s nothing in the rules that doesn’t allow that, right? hehe)

M – Mom. This is half of a huge part of what defines me (the other is Wife). For me there is no greater gift than being able to be mother five times over to the most adorable sons (even when they’re not being that adorable, I am ever thankful for them). Of course I can’t be mom without being wife, so that kind of works itself out pretty well in the gratitude department, doesn’t it? 🙂

A – Addict. I am addicted to digital design, digital scrapbooking, photography. I can sit for hours and play, play, play. Can’t help it. I’ve been pulled over to the Dark Side and have absolutely no regrets! Thank you Jes! 🙂

R – Rebel. The good kind though (I think). This must be the after-effect of being the youngest kid of 6 for 15 years (the only weapon of the designated siblings’ slave is rebellion). I know for a fact that if you want me to do something, you need to let me feel that it’s my choice; otherwise, I rebel. (Okay, so maybe I should have said Brat instead, but there’s no B in my middle name). Maybe R should also refer to Relent–yeah, yeah, after I rebel, I relent. hohoho. Does that make me a fake rebel? 😆

L – Lover of Life. Oh yeah. Love life and all there is to it, peaks and valleys (though I prefer peaks, thank you very much). I will always be grateful for my life and the lives that have touched mine, and grateful to have been granted the grace to see, and therefore be grateful for, all the bountiful blessings that have been given me and the people I love. I really don’t get it when some people complain about having a rotten life: I think there are always two sides to the coin, and one can choose to see the dark side of things and be frustrated, or seek the lighter side of things (no matter how difficult this may be at times) and be happier.

E – Explorer. I love learning. I love dissecting things, trying to understand what makes things work, trying to find a better way of doing something so that it’s more efficient and makes better sense. I love discovering the world. I think I would just die if a day passed where I didn’t learn something new. This is the reason I totally adore books, and why I can spend hours playing with Adobe. There is just such a wealth of information to be bitten, chewed, mashed, swished around, and digested. Mmmmm. Burp!

N – Night Owl. I can function on 3 to 4 hours of sleep (well, as long as I don’t have an empty stomach). I love the quiet time and the darkness around; so conducive to thinking and creating art. Maybe this has something to do with having a buzzing household with five rambunctious boys when it’s daylight… or maybe I just like burning the midnight oil. Or maybe I just love my playground friends so much that I make it a point to be awake when they’re awake on their side of the world. 😆

E – (okay fine, I’ll be fair and do the other E as well 😆 ) Everything-that-happens-is-good Believer. (Is this really pushing it? 😆 ) Did you ever notice my blog header? Take a look above: Right over there, at the top right side, you’ll see my mantra: “It’s all good.” It really is! Sure there are some really yucky things in life, can’t avoid that. (After all, will one know the sweet joy of laughter without having tasted the saltiness of tears?). But I really believe that behind every cloud there is a silver lining. I guess it all stems from faith, that precious gift: I truly believe that my father God loves me with a personal love (just as He loves you with a personal love), and that He will allow unfortunate events to happen to His beloved ONLY if there is a greater, better good that can come out of it. It is our task, therefore, to find what that greater, better good is.

Alright! Jackie, you would be proud of me! Got all seven facts done! Now I tag my dear friends (who I hope will still love me after I’ve tagged them 😆 ) Veevs, Linda, Laurie, Heather, Ann, Dawn, and Kelleigh (welcome to the playground tag game, kel!!! 😛 )

Jeanne’s Tag

Jeanne’s tag is a different kind, a very heart-warming one:

The idea behind this tag game is different from other tag games. Rather than look inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for three blog friends. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to do so. In addition, be sure to go to the blog of those you are blessing and leave a comment on their blog to be sure they check yours!

Okay, this is really hard to do, limiting the number of people to three, because there are truly just too many people who need to be counted on this list (and a good number of them don’t even have a blog). Maybe the tag limits us to three so that we can remain in the blessings of those whom we haven’t tagged? 😆 just kidding. Couldn’t resist that. >heehee<

Seriously though, Jeanne, thank you for your oh, so kind comments on your blog. It is always a GREAT thing to receive warm fuzzies unexpectedly, and you gave me warm fuzzies enough to last an entire year and then some. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart too.

Alright, my three people (and those whom I’ve left out… you’re in my heart, you know that).

Lisa. Lisa is a darling friend, whose latest venture has been taking up the cudgels of providing the playground challenges. Lisa is my personal hero, because despite her battle with trying to keep from losing weight (what I would give to be able to donate my excess to her), she is nonchalant about her health battles, never drawing attention to herself, and manages to maintain a great sense of humor and a matching concern for others. Where others would’ve withdrawn and buried themselves in concern and worry that could be justified, Lisa is amazingly brave and continues to live life to the fullest. She is awesome.

Deb. Deb is just a fountain of never-ending warm fuzzies and is my most constant blog-bench visitor, there from the very start when there were just a handful who would come sit on my blog-bench. She is so generous with her kind thoughts and her kind comments, and she never has a negative thing to say. I love positive people! Deb, like me, has a houseful of children (well, okay, she has more than me), and counts them all as blessings. I love that about her. She has had more than her fair share of trials and tribulations, and has just been through so much these past months… yet she continues to struggle against the raging winds. This aint no weak woman here. She’s a wonderful girlfriend, and she knows she’s going to get humongous hugs from me the moment we meet. She is awesome.

Kari. Kari is The Boss. Man, can this woman get things done! (Okay, actually by tagging Kari I need to tag Laurie and Tori as well, because they complete our PP group, but I’m so generous, I’m going to leave Laurie and Tori for Kari to tag, hehe). She is way organized (OCAR Queens, unite!) and takes it upon herself to make things happen. I love that. Way back when she took the U&R course and I was moderating, I already knew she had The Boss in her. She’d also most likely win Mom of the Year award, the way she takes on 15 children in her home at one time (and not for a birthday party of her child, noooo, just a regular generous thing to do, you know?), the way she bakes cookies for everyone, and continues to do her one million and one motherly things to do. Seeing her photos of her Christmas tree up on her blog inspired me to get my butt into action putting ours up as well. 😆 Kari is amazingly thoughtful, and she’s quiet when she does her generous acts: love that too! She is terrific.

Note now that I would tag everyone on my playground if I could, including my two dear friends who flat-out refuse to have blogs except the virtual ones (Joan and Jana, you know who you are) and darling Veevs (except I already tagged her above, so it would be cruel to do it again, hahaha!). I would tag every single one of you who have taken the time and effort to leave such kind words on my blog and on my 4shared site. I would tag every single one who has deemed my freebies worth working with; it is a true honor that you choose to download them. I would tag every single person who has crossed the path of my life, because I truly believe there are no accidental meetings, that everyone you meet even for a split second changes your life and adds to it in ways you cannot even dare to dream of. But because we are limited to three, I hope the rest of you realize that you are dear, dear, dear to me and I love you to little pieces.

The Latest

Here are the latest layouts I’ve come up with. Not very productive compared to my LOAD January days, hahaha! But you don’t want me to go on and on with why… so without further ado, here they are:

J’s School Page

NOTE: My son’s school required mom-and-child collaboration to do a page of his Artwork for their school yearbook (he graduates this year from Senior Kinder… man, does time fly!!!). It was easy scanning in his artwork, but extracting each letter of his penmanship was not. (And yes, Kari, send me your kids’ penmanship and I’ll extract them for you… in exchange for Jessica’s new book. LOL!!! just kidding. I’d do it in a blink for a song, you know that).


Kim Christensen’s Spelling101 Papers, Overlay, Stitching; Katie Pertiet’s Folder Frame, Special Tag, On the Edge Flourish; Andrea Victoria’s LoveFrame freebie (heart extracted); Amber Clegg’s Postage Date Stamp; Lisa Warren’s Staple; Sara Carling’s Aero Leather Tags

DD Scraplift Challenge

Journaling reads:

high five, n. slang … 1. a gesture of greeting, elation, or victory, in which one person slaps an upraised palm against that of another person; 2. a group of five adorable boys with the uncanny ability to make their mother’s heart soar high up in the sky every single moment of every single day


Amy Teets’  Whity Tighties paper; Katie Pertiet’s Ledger Grid; SnapFrameEdgers; StampedMoments (Loved); JenniferAdams Donelly’s accessories (recorder buttons) – recolored; Deanna Patterson’s Stitched Ribbon; Raechel Knight’s Black Friday Stitching (recolored); Michelle Coleman’s AntiquatedSwirl; Pattie Knox’s BasicFeltAlpha; Andrea Victoria’s Nutrition stamp; Atomic Cupcake

NOTE: This was done as Lisa’s first PSF challenge, which was a scraplift challenge from Designer Digitals (one of my top favorite sites and shoppes!)

No Place Like Home

{ You can click on the image for a larger view in case you want to read the journaling… }

CREDITS: Multi-photo Template, PerfectMoment Frame by me; Everything else from Paint-the-Moon aka Annie Manning’s Chloe’s Treasures kit. Many of the photos of my country are stock photos from various sites, including gettyimages, wayfarer, lonelyplanet and corbis.


This layout was my answer to Lisa’s other challenge to do a layout on our hometown (amazing layouts on our playground gallery!) Just wanted to put in a few details about the photos, for the benefit of all my playground friends who want to come visit (you’re welcome, and it’s an invitation that has no expiration date, remember!)

Top Row:

1st photo – cobbled streets of Vigan, Ilocos (northern part of the archipelago)

2nd photo – Banaue Rice Terraces, which has been called the 8th wonder of the world (sorta in the same league as the pyramids?)

3rd photo – the famous Manila sunset

4th photo – a wonderful expanse of beach in Palawan

Second Row:

1st photo – Tagaytay, southern getaway about 45 minutes from the city, with great mountain air and lots and lots of greenery; love this place!

2nd photo, top: Taal Volcano, in Batangas, known as the world’s smallest volcano (it also is a volcano in a lake with another lake in its crater, and yes, it is active)

2nd photo, below: Intramuros, once called the Walled City, which is like the fort used to defend Manila during the 300 years when we were a colony of Spain

3rd photo, top:  diver with a pawikan, or sea turtle (great, great marine life in our country!)

3rd photo, below: map

4th photo: Manila Cathedral at night (one of the biggest and oldest churches in the city, standing there since the time of the Spanish occupation)

5th photo, top: Bibingka, one of the most delicious Filipino delicacies (I could make a whole layout and then some on Filipino food!) – this is a sweet rice cake which you eat piping hot, with butter generously spread (and immediately melting around it), with lots of melted cheese, including kesong puti ( or “white cheese,” made from the milk of carabaos… extra special around here), and salted red eggs, and with ground fresh coconut meat on top to complete the gustatory experience. Mmmmm!!!

5th photo, below: “Dinagyang Festival” in Iloilo (I initially thought this was the Ati-Atihan festival… but with all the feasts and festivals around here, the constant is the beautiful colors and merry spirit that fills the town).

Third Row:

1st photo – Mayon Volcano, known for its perfect cone (well it used to be completely perfect; now some eruptions have made it not so perfect, but it’s still the closest to a perfect cone in the entire world)

2nd photo: Palawan huts by the sea

Fourth Row:

1st photo: city lights at night showing the Makati skyline

2nd photo: Boat on its way to Boracay, a famous tourist spot known for its talcum-powder-like grains of white sand and long stretches of calm blue waters… it’s not as private and unoccupied as it used to be more than 20years ago when I visited it as a newly-out-of-college kid, but it’s still awesome anyway

And because of this…

layout, I made a multi-photo template that I want to share with you! (Thank you to all those who have left comments on the items that they normally use; I hear ya!!! So here’s one for those who said they like templates! 😉 )

{ Click on image for larger view }

LivEdesigns Multi-photo Template No. 1

I tried to make it as versatile as possible, so it’s a really simple template: has the grid and the photo blocks which you can clip your photos to so that you can crop-without-cutting (hit CTRL-G to form a clipping mask if you’re using PSE; hover your mouse between the mask and the photo layer and ALT-click if you’re using full version).

I’ve also included the text path in the freebie… just double-click on the text, CTRL-A to highlight the entire text and type in your own text. You can change the font size, the font color, and the font type as you wish, using the usual way.

Oh, and of course it’s a layered template, so you can shift things around to make it work for you as you want it to. (Just remember to give credit! 😉 ) Don’t worry about the black background layer; just pull in your own paper and turn off the eyeball icon on my background layer so that it’s just your paper that shows through.

Hope you like it!!! Here’s where you can download the template. Thank you in advance for the love you leave on my blog.

Now… this has been another looooooong post, so I need to get back to doing the stuff of real life. 😉

Have a happy day, my sweeties! (((hugs)))

23 thoughts on “I Caved…

  1. I love love LOVE reading your posts because you write about everything. And I enjoy looking at stuff you’ve created because they’re all so beautiful. Thank you for the template and for sharing what you’ve shared in this post 🙂


  2. Thanks so much for the template! You are so kind, and with such an abundance of creativity! Thanks for asking about my son’s lasik; the follow-ups spread out pretty rapidly here, first 1 day, then 1 week, then one month, then 3 months, then 6 months, then 1 year. He’s just about do for 1 month, so I’ll have to nag him till he ANSWERS THE PHONE! But I think he was pretty pleased pretty quickly. I can’t believe they don’t give you valium! That would make it a deal breaker for me (if I could have lasik, that is!) Thanks for telling us more about your country. . . such a beautiful place!


  3. Oh, too much to comment on again! :p

    I’ll do the tag in a LO. OK with you?

    LOooooooove your LOs. The hometown one blew me away with all the beautiful photos. Did you take them? Because seriously, you should start looking into making postcards if you did! 😀

    Thanks so much for the beautiful template!

    On the diet thing. Here’s my recipe: Eat real meals, three times a day. Don’t skip breakfast. Have two healthy snacks in between meals. Drink a lot of water. Have three our four servings of fruit a day. Have veggies with every meal, cooked and raw. If you do this you will find that your need for sweets and snacks will lessen. You won’t have any room for it and your blood sugar will not be plummeting. I lost 17 kg (37 pounds) that way last year. And I’m keeping it off the same way. 😀


  4. Now tell me Liv did you have one tiny little bite of the Italian feast??? You would be proud of me as I had a salad for dinner last night and bought some fresh fruit for snacking. No promises here but I am thinking about the d***ing word. I may still surprise you and pull of the amazing feat of turning this body into some svelte looking model thing and you won’t even recognize me in Chicago. Well one can have dreams right. Ha Ha. Love your LO, love your template and you know I love you. Kiss, Kiss.


  5. Do you have any tissues?! We’re all out cuz we’ve been so darn sick here and now I have tears welling up in my eyes!!! I can’t say thank you enough for your kind words – I needed them this morning like you wouldn’t believe 🙂 You know how much I love you, right?! Now, Deb may claim herself as your #1 fan because she’s known you longer … yada yada yada … but I think if we had to arm wrestle for it I might be able to take her 😉 Although she also has a house full of boys so she’s probably pretty strong – maybe we should organize for it!!! I can keep track of details like nobody’s business!!!

    Love your template & LOs, too … already left some love in the gallery 😉 You amaze me ….

    Well, I’m off to make Valentines for 3 little girlies (so I can keep up with my Mom of the Year title)! And I’ll be posting pics of the project we did with the babysitters group this month very soon so be on the lookout!! **MWAH**


  6. I love this template! You made me cry with your kind words. Remember me – the cry baby. Now to figure out who to tag hehehe. Thanks again for all your freebies. You know we love them.


  7. Thanks so much for explaining what all the pictures are – you really live in such a beautiful country. Love the template – you are so talented and thank-you for sharing it with us.


  8. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! I love templates and especially ones that have multiple photos because I have SOOOOOO many photos that I want and need to use. This is perfect … just like it’s maker!!!!! Love ya girlfriend!!!!

    I adore finding about new things about you. Makes me feel that much closer to ya sistah!!! Mwah!!!

    You always do the coolest LOs!! These are no exception! Keep ’em coming. They are wonderfully inspiring.

    (blushing here) Thanks for the super kind words. I proudly claim the honor of being your #1 fan! My day is incomplete if I haven’t been able to warm your blog-bench. You always lift me up with your amazing perspective of life and it’s priorities. Now, if I can only live up to your opinion of me. Thanks Liv … I Love You! Now I have to hurry and tag some more girlfriends while I have sooo many to choose from.


  9. Thank you so very much for the kind words and for the great template! You continue to amaze me with all that you are able to accomplish and create. The layouts are fabulous. Those pictures, breathtaking and your heart, pure gold!

    Two simple words used to convey so much…thank you!


  10. Thank you so much for your template! I’m thinking of putting it to use in my DD toddler book (I usually make a 1-2 pager of monthly highlights–so lots of photos). I also enjoyed seeing yourself explained a bit more in your middle name.


  11. Ohhh yeahhh, Im the first! Just leaving a quickie THANK YOU for the cool template!! And remember, Chill and Relax and Rest up and log off once in a while matey! You are doing way too much!!


I'd love to know what you're thinking :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s