Posted in Uncategorized, WEDDINGS

WEDDING ANNIVERSARY


The hardest decision I ever had to make in my entire life was to leave my parents behind after I got married.

I was too shy to include this clip in the original wedding film. But now, after 12 months of being away from family, I guess it’s quite fitting to relive the moment.

This short film that I edited features none other than the UGLIEST CRY you’ll ever witness in weddings. Our guests were laughing while we were reciting our vows. But when it was time to thank and honour our parents, apparently, there was not a dry eye left in the house.

I’m posting this in advance because my husband will be in transit from Manila to Zürich and I would like for him to have his own sentimental moment before he comes back home. Happy Anniversary, Babe.

Love and light, everyone! Cherish the time that you are together with friends and family.

 

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Posted in WEDDINGS

BRIDE AND BREAKFAST


The best wedding website in the Philippines featured our wedding!!!

I have been secretly dreaming of Bride and Breakfast.ph picking up our wedding because for me, that would be a nice remembrance and also a cool validation that we did a good job in planning our wedding details.

Sorry, we were already married in Switzerland so the Philippine wedding was more of a passion project for me.  I was really more into the details of it.

I did not have any coordinators while planning that wedding and I was kind of managing everything from Europe towards the last stretch. The added pressure made me really take full ownership of the “project” and I was determined to make it as well executed as possible.

I had 2 friends, D and V, whom I constantly consulted on Viber so I am sharing this milestone with them.

I’ve always enjoyed brainstorming sessions. I like coming up with ideas and shooting down those that are not aligned with the vision. I was in Advertising and Publishing after all. I was trained and paid to sift through ideas and implement the winning ones. Seeing what once were mere thoughts come to life gives me an inexplicable high. I have always reveled in the creative process.

I knew our photographer already uploaded our pictures on his site so when no feature came, I felt kinda sad. I have no shame in admitting that I was expecting one! Hahaha! Maybe this illustration explains how I really am with projects–

After celebrating 3 months of marriage,  I woke up one morning with people tagging me on Instagram pictures! To my delight, they were showing me the photos from our wedding that were posted on Bride and Breakfast’s Instagram page! My husband was the one who got a literal “rude awakening” coz I shook him beside me while he was so deep in sleep just to show the pictures! I was jumping up and down for joy! Achievement unlocked!!!

They liked our chosen rings! They also found the beach view amazing! They liked our intimate “almost kissing” black and white photo! Waaaah.

But what really made my heart happy was reading their blog caption!

Mike and Den’s wedding is pure class sprinkled with calm charm.” -Bride and Breakfast

 

And the title of the feature was “Caught up in the Classy”.

They got it! They got my concept! They got meeee!!! 

I have envisioned for us a beach wedding that is still very classy and elegant. Not too bohemian. I am chill but not too boho chill. I am also not hipster. I have always been the “classic with a twist” kind of girl. 

And so I chose really timeless elements like peach tones, Pronovias Spanish tulle gown, minimalist decor, etc. The location was also very calming to the senses. The ceremony was by the beach in an exclusive luxury resort and it was finished just before the sun went down so everyone saw the glorious sunset. 

“Gorgeous bridesmaids outfits, cute signage on the aisle, the most adorable invitation suite, and guest fans are just some details that are making us swoon. Now who wouldn’t have a good day after seeing this?”

It was a good day for us! And I hope that somehow, a bride-to-be out there gets inspired with the details of our wedding.

Thank you, Janna Simpao and the B and B team! Thank you for putting that yummy  cherry on top of our already delicious wedding experience! 

 

Love,

#denswithmike

 

Posted in FASHION, WEDDINGS

3RD ANNIVERSARY!


Happy 3rd Anniversary to CoolDetour.com!!! 🙂 

I’ve maintained this blog for 3 years now. I do not update it as often as I used to. And somewhere along the way, I decided to just update it whenever I get to travel or whenever my life has taken a significant “cool detour” worth writing about.

I’m keeping this blog for myself and for my future children. I write primarily to mark moments and process my experiences and emotions. I do not blog to brag nor do I write to appear like I’m an expert on something. I am just happy to throw my thoughts out there. I guess that’s really the essence of blogging — to have a log of all of your worthwhile moments and thoughts.

To mark another milestone, I’m gonna share with you how I got to choose my wedding gown. I’m not gonna show it yet but I will be posting photos of the “gowns that almost made it!” 🙂

*My official wedding gown is from Atelier Pronovias, Barcelona, Spain. I bought it from Mi Sueño Bridal Boutique owned by the pretty Pepper Periquet-Guanio.

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Before Mi Sueño, I went to Rosa Clara to fit their gowns from the latest collection.

I immediately fell in love with this very simple sweetheart cut gown with matching a-line skirt. The only thing I did not like about this was the squirrel-like embellishment attached to the left hip. I sent this to my cousin and he felt like it was lacking the “me factor”. I guess he found it too simple. I think simple is elegant though. Oh well, to cut the long story short, I had to let go of this gown.

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Also from Rosa Clara, this gown below made me consider something that has beadwork–

This picture, this moment, is very special for me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my Mama for taking time off her busy schedule to accompany me on my first bridal gown fitting. This moment will be forever etched in my heart. Thank you, Mama, for all your love and care for me. One day, I will be the one to take care of you with everything that I’ve got.

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I had to sleep on it before deciding. I also had schedules with fashion designers within the same week I visited Rosa Clara. A few of them had already sent their sketches even before I decided to pick an RTW gown and I am soooo very grateful for the effort they all exerted in creating these designs. If only I have enough patience to wait for something custom-made, I would have gotten a Filipino fashion designer to create my gown. But my heart and EQ are both too weak to wait a long time so I decided to just buy off-the-rack. I will just have it adjusted to fit me like second skin a few days before the wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I am still working with Filipino designers for our entourage, prenuptial shoots, and civil wedding.

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When it was about time to pay the gown in full, I went back to Mi Sueño and the atmosphere in that room can really make you want to try on more dresses. With the bridal assistant E’s insistent prodding, I tried on 2 more dresses. The one on the left is pretty but I didn’t want my chest to be covered coz it will be hot at the beach. This particular cut will also shorten my neck. The gown on the right though almost made me change my mind about the gown that I ultimately chose. I liked it coz it emphasised my curves.

But I am really not  a froufrou-skirt-wearing bride. I have decided earlier on that I am done seeing bridal gown skirts that are fluffier than nimbus clouds. I wanted to wear a dress that will still be in style in the next years to come. I think the froufrou skirt will come and go. It lacks the timelessness feel that I was gunning for. I don’t want my photos to look dated just coz my dress is reminiscent of a certain era. I want a classic cut that looks and feels ethereal.

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When I posted this on Facebook, my notifications wouldn’t stop beeping, I had to hide this photo again. Perhaps my friends thought that this was my official wedding gown. It’s from the same designer, Pronovias, but definitely not the same dress. I also got scared that the gown I chose will now pale in comparison to this gown. I just had to find comfort in the fact that I know in my heart that’s more me than this gown. Plus the lightweight feel of the gown I chose is priceless! 🙂

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For brides-to-be out there, I really recommend trying ready-to-wear bridal gowns. They cut the creative process in half and they ultimately already give you a preview of how you are gonna look like on your wedding day. No surprises. I have heard of too many horror stories about wedding gown failures and booboos that I’m just glad I got this out of the way early in the planning stage. I was able to focus more on the other details of the wedding once I got “bridal gown” checked on my Wed Happy app!

More gowns and dresses in my future posts! 😉

Excited,

Mrs. DCW-to-be! 🙂

Posted in ENGAGEMENT, PHOTOGRAPHY, PROPOSAL, RELATIONSHIPS, TRAVEL, WEDDINGS

THE EPIC MARRIAGE PROPOSAL AT THE ZURICH FLUGHAFEN (AIRPORT)


ANNOUNCEMENT

The DBF and I are ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!

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And I couldn’t be any prouder of how he planned and executed his proposal. It was so well-thought of and so full of meaning for the both of us. He couldn’t have chosen a better way of doing it. The timing, the place, the surprise… I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

Well, that’s not exactly true. Hahahaha. I have imagined it to happen in Paris, with the view of the Eiffel Tower. I also thought he would do it in Greece when he surprised me with a booked ticket to Athens. When I got no proposal in Athens, I thought to myself, maybe he’s gonna pop the question in Italy, or in Cannes…or Provence…or Nice. Or maybe in Monaco–our 11th new country to go to together?! But he didn’t.

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So I gave up on the idea. In fact, on the day that he proposed, I was talking with my cousin on Viber and was telling her that maybe the DBF is taking his time. Maybe he’s gonna grant me that one year that I asked of him (so I may put my MBA to good use and work again in Manila).

MORNING OF THE PROPOSAL

That morning in Switzerland, while doing the second batch of laundry and hanging the first batch onto the clothesline, I was talking with my cousin K over the phone. She’s also engaged to be married in 2015. We were talking about how life would really change once we tie the knot. I was telling her that I’m dreading the idea of juggling household work with a full-time career. And that all hell will break loose when on top of those things, we would have to take care of babies! Hahaha! I even told her that I’m kind of excited to go back to work in Manila coz I was really getting tired of the household chores in Zurich! LOL.

Anyway, weeks before that morning, I already knew that we were gonna meet the DBF’s best friend C, a flight steward from Swiss Air, at the Zurich Flughafen for an “Airport Tour”. I was told that the Swiss Airport has a really nice observation deck and that the tour has been arranged by C way before I even flew to Zurich. I also knew that after the tour, the DBF and I will have dinner at Restaurant Die Waid which was on top of a hill and overlooking the city. Thereafter, we were scheduled to proceed to the bar to meet some friends for his post-birthday and my farewell party (since I was gonna be leaving for Manila in a few days).

I had NO CLUE that he was gonna propose that day because 1) It was a Friday and he had work 2) He had to drive his mom to the airport during lunch time which made him pretty stressed out that day already 3) He even offered a colleague to ride with us from the office to the airport because she was scheduled to fly to London 4) He even made me buy a tank top to wear underneath my sheer top when we were already at the airport! Hahahahaha He was clearly not trying to please me that day!!! 🙂

THE REVEAL

I met-up with him at the airport wearing a black and cream ensemble. I had already put on eye makeup but decided to skip the lipstick for later.

The DBF led me to Check-in 1 where we usually go when we #flySwiss. He said that was our meeting point with C.

C called him several times and I kinda figured that C will be late. So I was just there, patiently waiting with the DBF. He was kissing my forehead. We were talking about stuff. I even asked him to check-out the tall and pretty girl who passed us by.

 

And then I noticed something on the digital billboard in front of us. It was my face…our picture…taken at the 30th birthday party he secretly arranged for me! Then I realized that the other pictures were images of us taken from different countries! It was like my Facebook page flashing right in front of me…at the Zurich Airport… for EVERYONE to SEE!

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And then I read my name: Denise! And my heart started to beat really fast and I felt like my brain was losing oxygen as it couldn’t really process (or it did not want to process) what my eyes had just seen! Hahahaha! And then I read it slowly, will… you… marry…me? I took two steps back (and almost fell!) when I realized that it was indeed a marriage proposal happening right at that moment! Then I turned to him and saw him kneeling and all I could think of was “Thank God for this man!” and moments from the past year together kind of flashed back before I could hear myself say with full conviction “Yes, of course!” I think I already answered even before his knee could fully touch the floor! hahahhahahhaa

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I just saw a glimpse of the ring. And I didn’t even bother to check it until after I said Yes! Proof that when you are being asked by the right man and when you are sure of your love and commitment to one another, nothing else will matter!

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But he did buy me a nice ring. 😉 The man I’m marrying really has good taste!

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Here’s the proposal video that was shot using the GoPro installed by our good friend A.

 

 

This wouldn’t have been possible without the blessing of our parents, the love and support of our family and friends, and most especially the cooperation of the Swiss Air and Zurich Flughafen officers (whom apparently the DBF approached and met with several times during the course of his proposal planning). The Swiss are very conservative so the DBF was told that this display will only be allowed this one last time.

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I can’t believe that he already bought the ring back in December when we haven’t even celebrated our first year together yet?! I can’t believe how sure he was all along. And I’m so grateful that he really tried to make this milestone a very special one.

I was thinking of all of these countries that he could have chosen. But why choose one country when you can propose at the airport– the gateway to all of those beautiful places!  I wanted someone to “hold hands and see the world with” and my dear boyfriend chose to propose at a place that was, is, and will be the starting point of all of our adventures together! It was truly perfect! It was so ME! It was so US! 🙂

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He really does his best in everything and All for Love.


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Extremely blessed,

d. 😉

 

 

 

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Posted in BEAUTY, DESIGN, FASHION, HAIR, MAKEUP, RELATIONSHIPS, WEDDINGS

TEA PARTY


BENCH SYSTEM
I was a nomad during my freshman year in Ateneo. Since my blockmates and I didn’t “own” a bench, we would squat at the ISO/SEC stairs in between classes. Sometimes, we would spend our breaks in far Sta. Lucia Mall. To this day I still don’t know the ending of the movie Perfect Storm ‘coz we miscalculated the length of the film and had to quickly go back for Sociology class! Pathetic, I know.

On some days I’d join my friend Rica and sit with the basketball players along EDSA Walk since her sister was at that time the girlfriend of a varsity player. It was hard to be the only 2 small girls in a bench full of 6-footers. We had to tip-toe and wave up high just to greet them. 🙂

MC BENCH
I couldn’t recall how or when a group of Ateneans from Miriam College High School ( MCHS, formerly known as Maryknoll) including myself gravitated towards each other and occupied one of the benches in SEC B. All 30 (plus or minus) of us now had a permanent bench we aptly called the MC Bench. Our neighboring benches were the “Holy Bench – from School of the Holy Spirit”, “PolSci Bench” and a bench we (secretly?) called the “Pogi Bench”. (Guess it’s not a secret anymore, huh? Hahahaha)

Now these girls and a boy (Hello, Jvic!) would talk about anything and everything under the sun during break. Fast forward to 2012, we still do the same but this time, during annual Christmas dinners, children’s parties, wedding receptions, and YOLO-themed birthday celebrations! 🙂

Tonight was one of those times. Tanya, the president of Handmaids of the Lord MC-Ateneo Chapter (LOL), celebrated her 30th birthday with a fabulous Tea Party.

FASCINATING TANYA
This party was 5 months in the making. It was the most awaited bench celebration of the year! (Aside from Ditas & Edward’s wedding in December of course!) In fact, I had to delay my flight a few days back just to be able to attend this fun party.

Tanya (who likes to be called by her “heiress name” Tatiana) urged everyone to come in a creative fascinator. Prizes up for grabs served as a good motivation to dress-up and wear a stylish headpiece.

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[The birthday girl Tatiana]

TIARA by TRACY DIZON
I knew I’d wear a piece from Tiara by Tracy Dizon. Tracy was our high school classmate who joined Project Runway Philippines. She found her niche in millinery–creating one-of-a-kind hats and fascinators. I’ve been her client since 2010 when I launched the bodycare line Sakurabella and asked her to create a kimono-inpired fascinator.

Tracy has had collaborations with top designers Veejay Floresca and Joey Samson.

Veejay and Tracy were both contestants at the Japan Fashion Design Contest
in Tokyo and Tracy said that it was Veejay who first believed in her work–

“Veejay gave me the freedom I needed as a designer to create pieces that will complement and not overshadow his gowns. He did not dictate how I should design a piece. Veejay would just give me fabric swatches and I’d take inspiration from that when creating a fascinator or a veil. He respected my own turf.”

Tracy’s pieces start from PHP 3,000 / USD 70. Her workers used to design for internationally acclaimed hat designer Philip Treacy. Tiara by Tracy Dizon is also now available in Tokyo, Japan.

Tracy’s design aesthetic is vintage meets kawaii. Since she graudated with a degree in Clothing Technology at the University of the Philippines, it’s no surprise that she now specializes in sourcing quality fabrics. She also works as a clothing stylist for TV and Print.

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[Designer Tracy Dizon wearing her signature cat eyes glasses]

Here are a few of Tracy’s beautiful designs:

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Here’s the interesting piece I wore to Tanya’s tea party:

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I won best fascinator!

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More photos from the party:

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[Ladies who Lunch]

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[MC Bench Couples]

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[My semi-despedida haha!]

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[Fabulous Ladies]

More photos by pro-photographer Dale Sta. Rosa.

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Photos by Jean San Juan:

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This tea party was prepared by Event Planner Kat Canillas and hosted by Atty. Vimari Villamor and ANC TV Producer Billy Jane Ramos for Atty. Tanya “Tatiana” Ramiro.

Your Royal Highness,
d.

Tiara by Tracy Dizon

For text inquiries only: 09275325815.

Facebook Fan Page HERE.

For hands-on party planning needs, contact
Kat Canillas
+63 917 897 5282

Posted in DESIGN, FASHION, MAKEUP, WEDDINGS, WORK

MAKEUP DESIGNORY


MAKEUP DESIGNORY
Not too long ago, I was invited by Makeup Designory to, take note, “audition” for a teaching post for their first ever branch in the Philippines. Makeup Designory is a known makeup school in America and Europe and they also produce their own makeup line. Luckily, I passed! I became one of the 6 Filipina makeup artists to undergo extensive training to be not just better makeup artists but certified makeup artistry teachers as well.

I’ve been conducting personal makeup workshops ever since.

I usually hold my classes on Sundays at the Pure Beauty store in Serendra since I have my day job from Mondays to Saturdays.

Here are some photos during my makeup classes:

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I enjoy teaching a lot because I also get to learn from my students.

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For instance, I discovered from one of my students that the Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler is perfect for handling and putting on fake eyelashes. Unlike other more famous curlers, Kevyn Aucoin’s has a wider opening that allows more space for the fake lash and real lash to enter. With that, you can avoid clumping or bending of the real lash which happens when you use a curler with a smaller opening.

Here’s a demonstration of how to put on fake lashes as modeled by my pretty student beauty queen/actress and now councilor Daisy Reyes:

1) Measure the length of the fake lash against your eye. Cut if longer than your lid.

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2) Curl your real lash.

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3) Apply a thin layer of glue on the edge of the fake lash. Make sure both ends have an ample amount of product. Wait for the glue to set for about a minute. Best to heat the glue using a blow-dryer. I find Duo’s and Nichido’s glue products effective and reliable.

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To avoid putting on too much glue, put a small amount at the back of your hand and glide the edge of the fake lash through the same mound.

4) Hold the fake lash at its tip using the Kevyn Aucoin curler and position it directly on top of your real lash. Put it as close to the lash line as possible. Use the edge of your eyeshadow brush to push in the fake lashes onto your lid. Best to push in the outer lash first then work your way inward.

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5) Wait to dry then slowly open your eye to check placement. There’s a slight discomfort at first as wearing a fake lash takes some getting used to.

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6) Using a black or dark brown eye pencil, line your upper lid and make sure all white gaps are filled in. For a more natural look, instead of putting line on top of your upper lid, put it underneath it. Apply mascara on both sides of the lash to ensure that the fake and real lashes will stick together.

7) Feel confident and work those peepers! 🙂

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Here are other photos from our fun class. Each student received a certificate of completion after the session.

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If you’re interested in joining our classes or if you have makeup questions, comment on this post or email me directly at denswithme@gmail.com. You may also call Pure Beauty at (02) 846 9016.

Learn something new today,
d. 😉

Posted in MAKEUP, RELATIONSHIPS, WEDDINGS

TRADITION



PASSION

The best thing about waking up early for work is when you know you’re going to love what you’re about to do.

Today, Saturday, I woke up at 4A.M. for a bridal makeup gig.  4 in the morning was way too early for someone like me who has a job that lasts for 10 hours everyday (excluding overtime, believe me!). Now folks, listen, nobody complains to me about being busy, okay? 😉

But as I’ve said, when it’s something that excites you and it’s something that fuels your passion, you get up and shake the stress away for it! Brrrring. It. On!

TRADITION

I was already inside the car with the bride when I saw Quinito, the toddler son of the bride’s sister Ichi. A few years back, it was Ichi I was in a bridal car with. Now her kid can already speak and calls her “Mom”. How time flies!

Bride #1: Ichi Apostol-Acosta

Makeup by Dens Congco

Hair by Ren Bautista

Photo by Terry Uy

A few years after Ichi’s Tagaytay wedding, I got a call from her sister Bubbles asking me if I can also do her makeup. Another Apostol sibling was getting married! Woohoo!

Bride #2 Bubbles Apostol-Reyes

Makeup by Dens Congco

Hair by Ren Bautista

Photo by Terry Uy

At Bubble’s wedding preparation, the eldest of all 6 siblings, Concep, already told me that she might get married in 2011. Not willing to break tradition, she told me I ought to be her makeup artist as well.

Bride #3 Concep Apostol-Dancel

Makeup by Dens Congco

Hair by Felicity Son

Photographer: Terry Uy

The Apostols through the years:

Three TMD weddings, three more to go to complete the roster!

Thank you, Apostol siblings, for the never-ending trust.

CULMINATION

You probably know you’ve met your match when during the wedding march and as soon as you see a glimpse of your bride, you find yourself bursting into happy tears.

And THIS is why I love being a bridal makeup artist! I get to witness life’s precious moments. I get to be part of something so special in two people’s lives.

That particular moment when you realize your search for someone you are willing to fight for no matter what is over, there’s probably a sense of calm that comes to you.

I was having a chat with a guy friend who just got engaged a few days ago and he said something really remarkable. He said, “I told A (his bride-to-be) that with her, I found something greater than love. It’s PEACE.” It’s not settling. It’s that QUIET CONFIDENCE  you have in the other person. It’s knowing in your heart that he/she will courageously choose YOU, come what may. It’s knowing that when push comes to shove, you will both try as hard as you can. And at the end of the day, you will try to understand and support each other. No quitting.

You can’t buy peace of mind. When you find yours, keep it close and don’t ever let go.

Much love,

d.