March 23, 2018

Growing up, my parents had an open door policy (they still do). We always had people at our house and people staying with us. My mom is the epitome of hospitality and serving others in her home is her love language. I loved it growing up because our home was the hang out place. I had friends over all the time and they would stay until the early hours of the morning hanging out. Not only that, my mom’s cooking is the best, so not only did everyone have a place to hang out, but she made sure everyone was fed. All the while, being a working mother (she’s a nurse), she definitely has multi-tasking down. And sometimes, when my friends had problems, my parents were their listening ears too. It’s something Ben and I have admired about my parents, but have never been able to adopt ourselves.

Part of it is that Ben and I are much more introverted than my parents. We are also much more routine. My parents are spontaneous people and rules and schedules confine them, whereas I can’t thrive without a plan or schedule. Also, it’s typically a cultural thing for Filipinos to be so open and community minded, and this is where we have a bit of culture clash.

I was at a party the other day, with my parents and friends, and one friend told my mom, “Auntie Lolet, anytime you want to invite me over, I’m free.”

My mom replied, “You know we have an open door policy, just come over.”

Laughing, my friend said, “What happened to Ruby? She didn’t get that.”

Lovingly, my mom responded, “She’s getting there.”

And it’s true. I’m slowly getting there. It looks a little different from how my parents practiced it, but Ben and I are getting there. About a year ago, Ben and I shared the load with some others in our church family and we rotated hosting a family of 4, who did not have a home, in our homes for a couple months. In the fall, my parents came to live with us a several weeks while their house was getting remodeled. Then, this past winter, we were so encouraged by another family that took in an elderly gentleman battling cancer, who we used to go to church with, and had him over for a couple weekends. Most recently, we took in a friend of a friend, who was struggling with some things, and they’re currently living with us. You might not be able to pop in our home and hang out until the wee hours, but God’s been slowly breaking down our walls and teaching us how to love others with what He’s given us (and ultimately all of what we have belongs to Him). We certainly can be generous because God’s been generous with us.

I share this not to boast (far from it), but to encourage that if you hospitality is an area you want to grow in (but are scared or don’t know what to do), don’t lose hope! Keep being open to what it really means to love others and let God do the work in your heart. I still wish I had my mom’s natural giftedness in this area, but I’m thankful that God keeps molding and growing me and Ben. I love this article “Would You Let a Stranger Live With You?” and its call to live out our faith with Christ as our prize.

Did you grow up with an open door policy? Do you have one now?


March 22, 2018

Paper Plate Crown

9″ – 12″Paper plates (we used these plates)
Gem templates
Card stock

Starting at the center at the back of the paper plate, cut into 8 equal triangles. Fold each triangle up. Print out the gem template and cut out gems to be colored, or print onto colored card stock, and glue onto each triangle.

My little queen would gladly declare ice cream every day, and I don’t mind that one bit! My girls are always playing dress up, so we wanted to come up some
crowns that are easy enough to make with things probably already lying around your house.


March 21, 2018

Parenting tweens means preparing them for all the body and skin changes. We’ve started noticing these changes for a couple years now, so we’ve been working on helping the girls develop good habits on how to care for themselves. We got the deodorant and hair washing thing down, and now we’ve been working on the skincare aspect. That’s where C’est Moi Beauty comes in. C’est Moi Beauty (pronounced, “say-mwah” – French for “It’s Me”) is specifically designed for young delicate skin types and made for tweens and teens ages 8 – 16 yrs. They’re all about cleaner, healthier and safer choices for their skin (and all their packaging is recyclable and sustainable!) , and since I’ve made the switch to clean product for my face, I’m glad my girls can do the same too.

Growing up, I had very dry skin, and Ben, had very oily skin. We both can see our skin types in True and Brave (True’s like Ben, while Brave is like me), and we’re both glad we can help prepare them on how to care for their own skin. We showed them how to wash their face with C’est Moi Beauty Gentle Foaming Cleansing Gel (took them a bit of time to get the groove of gently massaging a small amount of gel in a circular motion). Also, when we need something quick, for when we’re on the go, the C’est Moi Beauty Gentle Cleansing wipes work wonderfully. After, they moisturized with C’est Moi Beauty Gentle Moisture Lotion, and of course, they topped it off with C’est Moi Beauty Gentle Mineral Sunscreen Lotion. I’ve always been big on sunscreen and started wearing it daily since the 6th grade, so of course, I’m making sure my girls protect their skin and do the same. Face wash (or wipe), moisturizing lotion, then sunscreen are the essential basics in good skincare for me since I was 10, so I’m hoping to pass it on to them too. I certainly value knowing exactly what I’m putting on and where it comes from, and all C’est Moi Beauty is made with natural and organic ingredients and made in the USA or Europe. Woot!

The girls aren’t big makeup wearers yet, but C’est Moi Beauty has that area covered too. The only time the girls wear makeup are for theater performances when they need a little color on their face while on stage, so we’ve been using the C’est Moi Beauty lip gloss and cheek palette to subtly enhance their color for those occasions. I’m glad there are gentle products that are made for their delicate skin. Their lip gloss and makeup offer healthy alternatives for those wanting to have fun expressing themselves with makeup, and I admit to using some of their lip crayons on myself (they’re so nice and creamy). All this tween stuff is new to us (read my post here). There’s so many areas that we are learning to navigate and skin care happens to be one of them. Skincare is important to me as I get older and I want them to learn the importance of taking care of their skin too. To get your hands on some C’est Moi Beauty products for your tween/teens, head to Target or C’est Moi.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of C’est Moi. The opinions and text are all mine. I appreciate the time you spend in this space, the support you give me, and the brands I partner with.


March 19, 2018

I’m an introvert, but an extroverted introvert. Ben, on the other hand, is an introverted introvert. Over the years, we’ve learned how to come out of introverted-ness to love others. We know we need people in our lives… speaking truth, sharing burdens, serving others, confessing struggles, so you can’t really do that in isolation. I help pull Ben over to being an extroverted introvert sometimes, and if you met us in person, you’d for sure be surprised that we are introverts, especially me. We love people and are thankful for the community of people in our lives, but after spending time with people, we need to recharge by ourselves. It’s funny how that works. We also find our extroverted friends curious because they draw energy from being with people, and that’s just something we can’t relate to.

We’re also thankful we’re the same, so we don’t really have that tension of being opposites. I can imagine it would be a struggle to have those two opposites in a relationship, and while I’m sure it works, I’m sure there’s some squabbles that come along with it. We have our own squabbles too, but it doesn’t relate to being opposites. Our fights usually come up in our culture clashes, but that’s another post for another day.

Are you an extrovert or an introvert? As far as we can tell, we have 4 little introverts on our hands. I wonder if that will change with time.


March 17, 2018

This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

Taxes are done! Woot!

The girls are so cute playing “Golden Years.” I think I have artists and entrepreneurs on my hands.

Thankful for Glow’s progress in reading. She’s a math girl (my one and only), but she’s starting to like reading. YAY!

My BFF is such a blessing as she’s been sending food to help ease our crazy weeks of late. Also, thankful for everyone in our community. It takes a village to live life.

I can’t do the bangs thing, but I love this hairstyle. Makes me want to go with my natural waves instead of put foam rollers on my head every night.

Such a great pair of high-waisted jeans. I found 2 really good ones this week. One will make it to the shop, but I’m probably keeping the other.

Our front yard edible garden is coming along. I need to share an update!

Trying out this Shea Butter Shampoo for the first time. I like the smell of it so far.

Enjoy your weekend! We’ve got birthday parties and house projects this weekend. How about you?


March 16, 2018

I’m thankful for this family of mine. We’ve been weathering a lot lately, and learning to go with the plot twists that God’s been throwing at us (and more that are sure to come). The girls have been so gracious with some of recent changes going on in our home, and with all the busyness of the past few weeks too. I think we’ve all been going 100 mph, but I’m hoping we get to slow it down a bit this coming week.

These are our photo booth pictures from our family day to the Date Festival a few weeks ago. I love that we can still all squeeze into the booth (and will keep doing so for as long as we can), and I especially love the second photo on the strip of Ben and me. If I could, I would gladly give him googly eyes all day long, so I think that photo captures how much I’m still enamored by him. Believe it or not, almost every day I make him retell me the story of how we met (or I’m the one that does the retelling). I really love being married to that guy. Marriage and family life is definitely full of happy chaos, and we happen to be a pretty thick season right now, but there’s so much grace. We are very thankful for the abundance of grace that God has lavished on us, despite how undeserving we are.

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