Be Happy

By She Said

Sometimes, we go to great lengths just to find happiness. But all it takes to be happy is gratitude.

New Adventures

By She Said, she said

We're so thrilled to share with all of you, the exciting things happening on She Said, she said! We are celebrating our blog's first year this January 2014 and we decided it was the perfect time to spruce things up on the site.

We've been having so much fun on this online journal of ours. It's such a wonderful, creative outlet and it has truly served its purpose as a gratitude journal as well as a happiness project for both of us this 2013. We have discovered that there's just so much we can do as long as we put our hearts to it.

We have no one else to thank but, you, our loving community of readers and followers who continue to encourage us by all your lovely comments, your support, and by just simply dropping by and reading our posts. We love each and every one of you!

In our commitment to make this blog better this coming new year, we've enlisted the help of some very talented individuals who we are blessed to have met this year!

 Meeting up with Martine De Luna of to discuss our blog's branding and purpose. She has taught us valuable lessons on how to keep our blog on the right track by having an editorial plan, and so much more. Thanks, Martine!

 We're giving the blog a make-over! Had so much fun creating this Brand Board to guide us with the new design and look we are going for.

Nikki Valenzuela is a freelance visual artist and illustrator. We love the logo she is creating for us and we are super excited for our upcoming creative collaborations with her. Check out her artwork here.

Watch out for the big reveal. Coming soon!

Holiday Table Settings

By She Said

I love pretty table settings and I'm excited to dress up our table at home in time for all the festivities this Christmas.

Early attempts at table setting for my sister's birthday dinner. I love using fresh flowers, fruits and sprigs. It makes everything look fresh and inviting.

There's a wealth of inspiration available online and I always take note if I come across something I like. Here are some of my favorites.

 Christmas settings don't always have to be predominantly red. The splash of blue on the set up (left photo) makes it light and fresh. I'm loving those salt & pepper servers too!

Simple wreath place setting using whatever plants you have in your garden and some floral wire.

Pretty in pink holiday setting.

A well thought of table setting makes guests feel special, puts everyone in a festive mood, and makes the food taste better!

Hope you are all enjoying the holidays with your family and loved ones. Just 14 more days and it's Christmas!

Favorite Christmas Treat

By She Said

One of things we look forward to during Christmas is having our fill of Elisen Gingerbread from Santis Delicatessen. It's available only during the holidays, so we make sure to buy some as soon as it's available beginning the middle of November. 

These traditional German gingerbread treats made with candied orange peel, coriander, allspice, cloves, cardamom, honey and almonds are spicy-sweet and delicious, perfect with tea.

There are many kinds of food that we associate with Christmas and these cake like cookies are one of our favorites. My late mom, Bianca's grandma, was the one who introduced us to these treats and it's become a tradition for us to make this part of our holiday eating. It's our way of holding on to memories of holidays spent with her. 

Every year, we buy ourselves a small pack thinking that would be enough to satisfy us because of all the other sweets we manage to stuff ourselves with during the season. But, we always find our way back to Santis a week or two after to buy more. We never learn : )

What have you all been eating this December? We'd love for you to share your stories with us!

Nurnberger Mini Elisen
available at Santis Delicatessen

Gifts Ideas For Book Lovers & Creatives

By She Said

My friend, Lyn, shared this link with me from I Love Gifting- a great site where you can find creative gift ideas as well as gifting tips which we can all use this Christmas season.

Here are some of my favorite gift ideas from the several gift guides on the site. Just click on the title image to view the complete list.

For your book worm friends.

Fairy Tale Bookends

Oscar Wilde Pocket Mirror

Gift ideas for your friends who are crafters, artists, photographers, and even bakers!

DIY Screen Printing Kit

Personalized Rubber Stamps

 Cake Decorating Machine

Letter Pressed Cookie Cutters

I'm sure all of us, if not many, have at some point received a gift that we cannot use or don't like. Here are some tips and things to consider on when and why it's okay to regift.

 Holiday Regifting: What's the Ethical Thing To Do?

I always have a fun time shopping for gifts for loved ones because I get an excuse to shop for myself too! Happy Holiday Shopping to all of you!

Inspiration Board: Holiday

by she said

Thanks to mom for putting up our Christmas tree and slowly making everything in the house look festive, I'm starting to get more and more into the holiday spirit! I can't wait to put my Christmas playlist on, go shopping for presents, and eat lots and lots of sweets : )

I made this inspiration board with cheery get-togethers with family and friends in mind. One of the best parts of Christmas is having a whole bunch of people you love in the same room with you!

 Me: Fornash Over-Sized Gold Twist Earrings, Mauro Grifoni Medium Fabric Bag, Eruca Mary Janes, Alice + Olivia Winnie Sequined Silk Top, Sheinside Pink Asymmetrical Shorts. 
Mom: J.Crew White Bubble Necklace and Lightweight Striped Terry Tee, Cynthia Rowley Bonded Legging, Isabel Marant Lara Ballet Flats, Julie Vos Milano Ring

I'm glad that mom and I can share clothes and shoes now since we're pretty much the same size. I can't wait to go on our annual Christmas date!


Paper Straw Wreath

by She Said

We usually start putting up our Christmas tree and other holiday decorations by the middle of November. We're running late this year, with not a single ornament in sight. And it's not because I don't have the time to do it, but more really because I haven't been in the mood to do it.

The recent disaster brought about by Typhoon Yolanda has certainly put a damper on my Christmas spirit. So, I got Bianca to get crafty with me this weekend to make these simple wreaths made out of paper straws and we put them up today. It certainly brightened things up for me and I'm hoping I get to put up the tree tomorrow.

Christmas is all about hope and love and what's in your heart, but a few trimmings around the house would certainly help warm me up for the holidays : )

6 inch cardboard ring
red and green art paper
36 paper straws- we used red and green striped straws
satin ribbons
hot glue gun
all purpose glue

1. Cut out a 6 inch diameter ring from cardboard to resemble a wreath form and cover with art paper.
2. Cut off 1-2 inches from 18 pieces of straw, leaving the rest at their full length.
3. Apply a dab of glue near the center of the wreath form and adhere a full length straw. Alternate with short and long straws until the wreath is completely covered. Let dry at least 3 hours or more.
4.Tie a bow using your satin ribbon and attach onto the wreath using a hot glue gun.