Thursday, September 27, 2018

7 lessons for working mamas from "An Open Book: Thursdays with Nanay Coring"

I just finished this lovely little book, An Open Book: Thursdays with Nanay Coring. It's a short biography of National Book Store founder, Socorro Ramos. And when I said it's a little book, I meant it's a short and fast read, written in simple language that both kids and grown-ups will appreciate.

I think if you're a mom looking for books to inspire your kids, this is a good pick. If you're a working mom looking for inspiration, then this is definitely something that can encourage you. I read it in an hour and I found myself highlighting passages and writing my thoughts on the margins—Yes, I write on my books. For me, when I do that, that's always a sign it's a good book!

Every chapter in this book tells the story of Mrs Ramos, lovingly called Nanay Coring—from her impoverished childhood, her whirlwind and enduring romance with her husband, and how she lived through the great war to how she built her business again and again and still remains to this day the massive force behind the country's biggest book store and stationery supplies chain.

Each title of the 14 chapters highlights what the Ramos matriarch wants us to learn from her life. Here are Nanay Coring's advice and life lessons:

1. Live simply.
2. Never surrender Corregidor. (You'll have to read the book to understand this advice.)
3. Remain humble.
4. Knowledge is power.
5. The more time you spend at the store, the more you know.
6. If you work hard, nothing is impossible.
7. Always be on time, if not early.
8. Never show signs of weakness.
9. Be known as a good person, not a rich person.
10. It takes time to build something.
11. Happiness is helping people.
12. Rely on your own gut feel.
13. Always pray.
14. Read more. Know more. Earn more.

Aside from those life lessons, I picked up 7 other tips from Nanay Coring. Here they are:

1. Remember what's important.
Nanay Coring was from her father's second family. She lived through the war. She saw her business fail several times. So even when she became massively successful, her values remained the same: Don't forget where you came from, and take care of your family. That's it.

Throughout the book, she constantly reminds her children and the reader to work hard but to not forget your husband and children. Eat meals with your family. Talk with your family. Go out and spend time with them. Being busy with work, Nanay Coring and her husband Jose only had Sundays free. So they used that time to reconnect with each other and their kids by going to church, eating lugaw and siopao at Ongpin, snacking on fruits, candy and tsampoy.

Unlike what we working mamas are told, it doesn't really take a lot of time or money to make an impact on our kids. We don't have to be with them 24/7, we don't have to be their sole caregiver, we don't have to take them on out-of-town trips every weekend, we don't have to give them "the best" a.k.a. expensive shit. I see this so often these days! Moms who over-schedule their kids or spend every single minute with them, or demand their husbands to jet off the whole family somewhere exotic every weekend or so "to make memories." How exhausting. How frantic. How mom-guilty.

Relax! Remember what's important! They need us to love them. That is all. We don't have to prove it so much. We just need to eat a meal with them every day, give them hugs and kisses, and make simple memories. My husband was lucky enough to come from a well-off family, but it's their dinner-time stories he tells me often about, or how their garden overlooked their school and their mom waited there, or their trips to the grocery. I hardly ever hear about their annual shopping jaunts to Hong Kong, even though as a girl from a poor family, that was what impressed me most. So keep it simple.

2. Don't call for trouble.
See my note there? Haha. How indeed! Also, since I'm very confrontational, I'm noisy and argumentative. In the time of social media, how do you keep quiet about your food, your trips, your shopping, your kids, your career, your political views???

So my takeaway here is don't ask for trouble unless you're ready for it.

3. Have integrity in everything you do. 
This isn't easy. Sometimes we really mean we'll do the job, attend the meeting, be at the event, pay the bills. But life happens. Traffic happens. The kids happen. But it should be our guiding principle in work, in parenting, in marriage, in politics, in EVERYTHING. Have integrity. Be true to who you are and what you value. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

4. Give people what they need.
Many moms ask me what business can they start so they can work from home. Many mompreneurs I know started their business because they needed something no one was providing or a product no one was selling, and they decided to just fill that space. I like how Nanay Coring also figured out that people sometimes don't know what they need and you have to tell them. Create your customers!

I love that advice because sometimes I have a great idea and then I think, "Maybe I'm the only one who needs this." But Nanay Coring is proof that marketing can be as simple as telling people, "This is my need, and this solved it. Do you want to try it out, too?"

5. Care for people.
Smile. Be considerate. Be thoughtful. Open doors for clients and assistants. Give your customers and messengers a cool drink. Say thanks.

6. Be proud of your work.
Whenever I feel guilty about being away from my kids, I tell myself to shut up. As a work-at-home mom, I'm not even away from them often. Once a week maybe, for 4-6 hours. That's not a lot so I shouldn't feel guilty for the time spent away from them, especially since that time was used for one or both of these reasons: (1) I earned money, (2) I refreshed my mind and spirit doing something I'm good at.

Many times in the past, when my kids see me tired from meeting a deadline, they say, "Mama, I'm going to work one day so you won't have to." And I always say, "That's nice, but I like my work. I like using my brain. I like making my own money. I like work a lot!" So now my kids don't equate work with bad things. They see that it's not easy but it's something I'm proud of, that provides for our needs, and that makes our comfortable life possible.

Except for when I worked at the Senate, I'm always proud of what I do, even when people sneered at it. And when you're a blogger like me, people are always sneering at you. It's so funny that when I tell people I'm also an editor and a beauty writer, they kinda relax into a strange relief: "Oh, you have a real job." Then when they find out my blog still makes more money than any other "real job" I hold, they protest again.

I refuse to be ashamed of my blogging. It puts food in my children's tummies, it's not corrupt, it's not stealing. So as long as you have a job that helps people and your family—whether you're a janitress or a CEO, be proud of it! Your children are proud of you! 

7. Do what you're best at.
Throughout the book, author Cecilia Ramos Licauco who is also Nanay Coring's only daughter, says that her mother wanted to be other things. Nanay Coring wanted to be a doctor. She also wanted to be a singer. Instead she became an entrepreneur and succeeded in it so massively.

The lesson I got there is we all have dreams and sometimes we can pour our whole lives into making those dreams come true, and sometimes we can allow life to tell us where to go. As a young girl, I was determined to make my dreams of becoming a magazine editor-in-chief come true. And it did! But as a mother, the latter is what's true for me. I had a job with crazy hours that demanded I wear stylish clothes and sky-high heels, I had babies who only wanted to breastfeed, and yayas who kept resigning. I couldn't juggle my dream job and my kids! So I let life take over. I became a stay-at-home mommy, I blogged about my boring/crazy mom life in the most raw and honest ways, which people seemed to like a lot. Blogging was so successful that—tada!—I registered it as a business.

I never dreamed of becoming a mom and a blogger, but those are what I am now. And guess what—these roles fulfill me more (and blogging pays more, too) than anything I've ever done before. So maybe when we as moms feel life is passing us by and our dreams aren't coming true, maybe it's time to look at our life, dream new dreams, and see how we can make this mom life work for us instead.

If you want to get a copy of An Open Book: Thursdays with Nanay Coring, it's available at all National Book Store branches. You can't miss it. It's always by the cashier! You can also leave a comment on this post and first one gets my copy! When I'm done with a book, I sometimes give it away. I wrote on this one, though, so if that doesn't bother you, then it's yours!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Here are 5 careers that involve remote working

While everybody wants a steady source of income for their daily bread, not everybody wants to work in an office every day. Many people thrive in a social and supportive environment an office provides while others need a space to properly focus on their work. When I was still a magazine editor, I went to the office to manage the operations, consult with staff, and meet with publishers and advertisers. But I went home to write and edit because I needed absolute quiet for those tasks.

If you also prefer isolation and silence to be able to work or you just can't find the energy to dress up just to work (like that lady up there haha), then you might be looking for a career route that offers the potential for remote working. Maybe it doesn’t even need to be entirely remote; perhaps you’d simply like the possibility of being able to work from home or your local coffee shop on the occasional Monday. If that’s the case, then you're in luck! There are soooo many things you can do from home, from a studio, from a co-working space, from anywhere you like! Here are some careers—from geeky to creative!—that often involve remote working.

Online seller
Sell anything! You bake? Sell baked goods! You love scrapbooking? Sell stationery, stickers and washi tape! You love shopping? Sell what you have and buy more to sell again! You like painting? Make greeting cards and sell them! You have a lot of junk? Sell them all! You can sell on Carousell, Lazada, Shopee, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Instagram. You can also build your very own beautiful online shop (this is still a dream of mine!).

If you speak more than one language, then this is a skill that you should definitely be using in your career. Whenever I check out Jobstreet or Linkedin, they're always looking for Mandarin-speaking, Japanese-speaking, and Korean-speaking anything! Because they need everyone they can find for all sorts of jobs—from masseuses and hotel receptionists to casino managers!

There are also so many remote working opportunities for translators. You could work for a translating company or simply translate web pages, books, and articles online. The point is that you have a highly valuable skill, and you don’t need to go into an office to put it to good use. In fact, you could even become a freelance translator. There are many opportunities in this industry.

Arts and Crafts
If you think this is just a hobby, then think again! I know that there are hundreds of fonts readily available online and in programs these days, but if you love calligraphy, you can make money doing wedding invitations and café menus. If you like macrame and knitting, make pot holders, sweaters, tablecloths and sell those on Instagram. You can give workshops, too! Everyone wants to learn a new skill or explore their creative side, so take advantage of this interest and make money from it!

Software development
Given that software development involves interaction with computers more than interaction with people, there are plenty of companies that offer developers the option of working from home. If you can submit your work via the internet then you don’t need to be in the office 24/7. It’s also a very stable career in itself. Businesses always need software developers or web developers to help them with the technical aspects of their operations. Technology is vital to the modern-day business. And the great thing about software development is that it applies to so many different industries. All businesses use computers or the internet in some sense (even if they just use it for the upkeep of their websites).

It all depends on the type of work that interests you. If you’re interested in the financial industry then you might even want to look into careers in that sector. You could look into Forex software development opportunities. Do some research if you’re wondering “what is Forex trading?” because it could be a very rewarding career option. The point is that it helps to know a bit about an industry, even if you’re simply going to be creating the software. You’ll be able to do a better job if you know what customers want. That’s something to bear in mind if you pursue a career in software development.

Another stable career that often involves remote working is writing. I'm a writer—I can confidently say that, yes, you can make a good living off words. There are plenty of different routes you can take with this kind of career. You could consider pursuing freelance writing. You can write articles for magazines and online news and magazines. If you like working with brands, you can write the content of company websites. If you have a marketing mindset, write press releases and ad copy. You can also write the speeches of CEOs and politicians. You can write e-books, real books, movie scripts, theater plays, comics. You can blog! The list (and agony!) is endless for us writers!

These are just 5 options and I made sure they cover different skills. Of course, all of these careers requires an entrepreneurial mindset. You’ll be creating your own business so be ready to deal with the government and pay your taxes on schedule (Taxumo helps me a lot!). The hassle of taking care of these government stuff is worth it, however. You own your time, you do what you love, and you make money, too!  

*This post contains affiliate links. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Looking for fulfillment? Here's how to change your life 100%

Do you ever feel like there's something missing in your life? Maybe you feel like you're not doing enough or you're not experiencing life to its fullest. To be very honest, we moms really should rethink that feeling because with kids to raise, a marriage to keep, a home to run, and—if you're a working mom like me—a job to do, there's already more than enough on our plate and a huge purpose to live out. Let's tell ourselves every day that being a mom is a lot! 

But I know that awful feeling that life is passing you by. Or, more accurately, your life is being poured out to your husband and kids and you fear that you have nothing left for yourself. And you want something for yourself. I get it. That's why I insist on blogging even though I can't find the time and energy for it now that I'm so busy. I still keep going at it when I can because it's mine. It's my little space in the world—my thoughts, my voice, my convictions.

If you're thinking about how to make your life more fulfilling, there are several things you could do to be happier.

Find New Hobbies
Having things to do in your spare time should help you feel like there's more in your life that you can enjoy. Okay, moms usually don't have spare time, I admit. But if you look very hard, you can find little pockets of time you can devote to something only you can enjoy. Your hobbies can help you learn new things, meet new people, and perhaps even make things that you're proud of.

I love watching home shows on Netflix, for example. It's my new thing. And I'm picking up a lot of helpful information on tending plants, arranging furniture, design ideas, and even making your home earn money! I'll blog about this soon! 

Volunteer Your Time
If you want another way to make the most of your free time, consider finding a way to volunteer. There are lots of ways to volunteer your time to causes that you want to support. You can volunteer to drive the carpool. You can help out at your church events. You can hug kids at an orphanage. You can bake or cook food for the street kids. You can also use your professional skills to mentor students or new college graduates or help a charity or nonprofit.

You don't have to even leave your house to donate your time. I support World Vision. I don't have the time to actually go and distribute school supplies to our less fortunate students. What I do have is a blog and writing skills, so I help World Vision spread news or calls for help whenever they ask me to. It's just a few minutes of my time, but every time I finish a blog post about my World Vision advocacy and share it with my followers, I feel very good inside!

Travel with Your Kids
Okay, travelling with kids is not fun haha Moms find it very stressful because we have to book hotels that are family friendly, buy the cheapest plane tickets, plot out a child-friendly itinerary, look for restaurants that have a kids' menu. The list is endless!

But travelling is a great way to expand your children's world view and try lots of new experiences. In fact, minus the stress, I enjoy travelling with my kids because my old and jaded eyes see the world through their eyes and so I get a fresh perspective on people and life. And that's always a good thing!

Because travelling for a family of 5 can be expensive and stressful, I don't even plan on going to another country. I just bring the kids out to visit a museum, a park, a city out of town. We eat street food (on the street!) or check out a new themed restaurant. Whether your trip is near or far, you can always see and do interesting things. You'll meet a diverse range of people and see life from lots of different perspectives too—and doing this with your kids make it all the more meaningful.

Change Your Career
If you need to work to live, your career might as well bring you fulfillment. It's a big part of your life and your time, so it's worth making sure that you enjoy it. Some of the most rewarding careers can be found in the nonprofit sector, where you can do worthwhile work.

*Infographic Design By USC Online

Friday, September 21, 2018

Need a washing machine? The Electrolux UltimateCare washer dryer is here!

I've said it many times: Doing the laundry is my favorite chore! But it only became that way when I got an Electrolux washer dryer in 2015. Before then, I'd literally spend the whole day doing the laundry.

Yep, that's one whole day. It starts with sorting the clothes, babad sa bleach, kuskos sa mantsa, then throw into the old top-loading washing machine. Because the old washer/spin dryer used so much water, yung una at pangalawang banlaw, I do by hand sa malaking planggana. Then the final rinse with fabric conditioner is sa washer ulit, then spin dry by batch kasi if you pack in it, it won't spin. So mga 2 to 3 batches yan. Then hindi pa masyadong tuyo so sampay pa after. Literally the whole day!  

But when the Electrolux TimeSaver came into my life, my time was truly saved and I got back my precious hours and my life changed. Yes, this is a love story!

So when Electrolux invited me to the launch of their FashionCare Campaign recently, I just had to go kasi I want to support a brand I've believed in since I was a child. Plus, I wanted to spread the news so that my fellow mamas na hirap na hirap sa labada will be rescued from this chore!

True enough, at the event where we were served the most delicious lunch, we found out about Pinoy moms' struggles with laundry, thanks to the Mommy Mundo community:

"When asked about what fabrics they were afraid to wash using their washing machine, 67% of the respondents say that they are afraid to machine wash their silk clothing, followed by delicate wear (52%), cashmere (40%), and wool (39%). 

"Among the top reasons why women hesitate to put their clothes in washing machines are more than half of them (58%) think it might ruin the clothes, while some think that machine wash can cause fabric shrinkage (17%) or fading of colours (4%). 

"When it comes to doing laundry, women worry about more than just cleaning. Fabric care remains one of the unfulfilled needs of women as 77% of them look for fabric care features when they buy washing machines, and among their top 3 laundry concerns are pilling  (himulmol) of clothes, stubborn stains and misshaping of clothes – two of which are related to caring for the fabric." 

As an Electrolux washing machine owner, I'm here to say that I now never worry about my delicates, shrinking, color fading, and stains. It's not exaggeration to say that my washing machine washes my troubles away. In fact, confession time, I even get calm and relaxed when I watch my clothes spinning round and round. Talagang I love doing the laundry! 

Three people who also love their Electrolux washing machine are Electrolux Philippines FashionCare Ambassador Rajo Laurel and FashionCare Council Members Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Janice Villanueva. They put the new UltimateCare™ washer dryer to the test when they threw in their designer dress, silk scarf, and wool jacket. While the machine did its work, the three ambassadors gave advice on how to care for clothes (for example: Put beaded and embroidered items in a pillowcase before putting in the washing machine). 

By the time they finished chatting and we our lunch, the clothes were done and dry! Here's what the Electrolux personalities had to say about the UltimateCare™ washer dryer:

Amina Aranaz-Alunan: "I could keep using this over and over again thanks to Electrolux’s UltimateCare™ washer dryer which has features that care for delicate pieces and keeps them looking new and vibrant."

Janice Villlanueva: "I used to hand wash wool sweaters like this one because I was afraid it would get stretched out of shape. So I’m excited that the Electrolux’s UltimateCare™ washer dryer can safely wash woollen items and make sure they look their best."

Rajo Laurel: "I know that Electrolux understands how important our clothes are to us, and I’m grateful for it. I feel safe knowing that my clothes are in good hands with Electrolux’s UltimateCare™ washing machines."

So, mamas, if hirap na hirap ka na sa labada at kailangan mo na ng washing machine who will not just clean and care for your clothes but also save you time and money, then you must check out the Electrolux UltimateCare™ washing machines that come with UltraMix™ technology. Whether your family's clothes are soft shirts and hardy denim to Sunday best and designer duds, they'll come out of the washer dryer still perfect!

Here are more reasons why you should consider getting the Electrolux UltimateCare™ washing machine:

1. The UltraMix™ technology gives women the results of a hot wash for better stain and dirt removal, yet uses a lower, gentler temperature. Detergent and water are pre-mixed in a special chamber before the beginning of the cycle to maximize cleaning power at a lower temperature. It delivers deeper clean and 31% better colour care, to ensure your favorites look newer for longer.

2. Besides the powerful yet gentle cleaning of UltraMix™, Electrolux UltimateCare™ washing machines extend the life of clothes with Vapour Action, designed to soften fabric while reducing allergens by up to 99.9% that’s gives women the assurance of better care for your clothes for years to come. The Woolmark certified cycle approved by the Woolmark Company, the global authority on wool, will safely launder these precious garments. 

3. Electrolux UltimateCare™ washing machines also has Eco Inverter technology that offers high energy efficiency that reduces energy consumption by 75% and save time by 44%. Women can also enjoy the flexibility and convenience to toss in forgotten items during the washing cycle with add clothes feature. 

4. Because of the FashionCare campaign, Electrolux is offering several great deals on its washing machines, with offers up to 25% off on selected front load washing machines and washer- dryers. Women can also avail of selected Electrolux Front Load Washing Machines and get 25% off on an Electrolux Front Load Dryer. Also included is a free stacking kit and installation valued at PhP 3,049 with this fantastic bundle deal. Promo period runs from July 1 to September 30, 2018. 

To learn more how Electrolux can help keep favourites clothes looking new for longer, vist at and follow @ElectroluxPhilippines on Facebook and Instagram. Per DTI-FTEB Permit No. 7072 Series of 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Vito is 8!

A month ago today, the boy who changed my life forever celebrated his 8th birthday. The great thing about having many kids is you have an instant party anytime, all the time, but especially at celebration time. And a birthday is always a party at our house!

Three little boys so happy to celebrate! I love these three kiddos. They are the happiest little creatures I've ever met. Reminds me not to be so serious.

For his birthday, all Vito wanted was a rainbow cake and a day at Kidzania. So that's what we did. We got him a Red Ribbon rainbow cake that I decorated with Minecraft icing buttons and candy confetti. And we trooped to Kidzania so the boys can pretend to be grownups for a day.

We didn't realize how strange it would feel for your son to not ask for toys anymore. Vito asked for an experience, a day of fun. No physical reminders of his big day, just memories. 

And maybe that's the first sign he's not a little boy anymore.

Here he is quietly contemplating his birthday wish as we all loudly sing him his birthday song. Thinking about his wish is the only time his face grows serious. I wonder what he was thinking of at this very moment. We never ask. A birthday wish is the only secret they can keep, I tell them. And they usually do keep it to themselves but blurt it out anyway hours after.

This year, Vito didn't reveal his birthday wish. We never ask, remember? But this year, because he didn't say anything to me at all, I couldn't help it. A few days later, I finally asked. "What did you wish for when you blew out your birthday candle?" "I didn't wish for anything, Mama," he said. "I already have everything I want." *heart melts* "Everything?" "Well," he finally said. "I want more Skylanders but I can ask those from Santa."

He still believes in Santa. Vito still believes in Santa Claus! He's still my little boy!

Look at that boy. How did I ever make such a perfect child? He's a reminder every day of how good life is, how our family is a celebration of love and grace, how blessed I am. All I have to do is just look at him and his brothers. But I'm usually too focused on chores, work, getting things done... And so I forget.

Look at that boy, I say to myself when I finally look up from all I need to do as a mother. Just look at him. And never forget how amazing life has been especially these past 8 years.

Happy birthday, my sunshine! You are our joy forever!

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Frances Finds: Basic Invite for fabulous invitations!

It's always party season in our side of the world but when the -ber months come rolling around, there's a party almost every other day! Hello, September! And I'm already getting lots of invites to events. Now that my kids are in school, I have a little time now so I'm going to try to attend all (?!) the parties I'm invited to. It's always nice to see old friends and meet new ones!

An unforgettable invite from IG: @theinspirationseekers C and L

I noticed everyone sends save-the-date notices and invitations through Facebook Events these days, and it may be because I'm from the 20th century but I really seriously frown on that. For really special occasions (like weddings!), the invitation should be sent over mail or handed over personally. The invitation tells your guests so many things. Aside from the who, what, when and where, it also tells your guests if it's a formal affair or a fun get-together, if they need to dress up or dress down, if it's a social media moment or if it's strictly private. The invitation sets the stage for the event to come and should therefore be thought out and delivered with care.

Because I'm such a fan of "Shop for anything online!", let me tell you about this amazing website I'm currently crushing on. It's! I just discovered it last week and I'm going over everything, not for party invites, but for design inspiration for a possible blog makeover. Basic Invite lets it possible for you to create truly custom invitations—no art director or artist needed. Just look at these pretty samples:

Simple and personalized with the couple's happy photo
Loving the floral design and matching envelope and seal sticker!
Friendly fonts and an ombre background. Simple but stylish!
Clear and chic invitations! Imagine it against your photo or the place where you'll get married (ex. beach)!

Beyond gorgeous, right? The ones above are all made on Basic Invite (I got them from the site!) and they're just a showcase of how you can design wedding invitations online. If you do it on your own using this fab website, you can really let your personality show. Your colors, your style, instantly!

For example, if you have a no-nonsense personality like me, you'd love the stark look and classic design of this invitation. To some it may look boring, but I appreciate the fact that I'm not distracted by so many design details that I lose sight of the important ones.

You're bound to find something you love because there are over 800 wedding invitation sets on Basic Invite. Each set includes "save the date" notices to wedding invitations and enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs, and even matching "thank you" cards!

There are also so many kinds and colors of envelopes! And I'm not talking about just colors. Just look at that envelope above with its matching design of flowers and leaves! I love how Basic Invite understands that when it comes to envelopes, we have to make our invitations stand out even before it is opened. I also like the matching sticker—just peel and seal!

Basic Invite also allows customers to order a printed sample of their actual invitation first. This lets us see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before we ever have to place our final order.

Aaaand if you're setting up your own wedding website, Basic Invite also offers free wedding websites that are completely customizable! These wedding websites are mobile friendly and super easy to use. You can instantly upload everything your guests need to know—all of your wedding details, the best photos of your prenup shoot, your wedding registry, a map to your venue with directions. A website is a great place to collect all the information your guests need so they wouldn't need to ask you and distract you from your wedding planning!

Now, I've been married over a decade so I'm not designing a wedding invitation suite anytime soon. I do know that the -ber months is the wedding season so consider this post as a little public service announcement in case you're looking for wedding suppliers or a bit of inspiration.

But if you're a mommy like me (and most of my readers are!), then you'll love the greeting cards, event invitations, and stationery available at Basic Invite, too! Just look at my sample holiday card!

I love how everything is completely customizable! There are almost unlimited colors and with real names, not font color codes like #FFD700 for Gold. On Basic Invite, there are many kinds of gold and for my card, I chose the gold named Christmas.  Of course! Anyway, this is not the final card. I need a better family photo—preferably with all my children smiling at the camera!

I suggest if you've just gotten engaged, planning to throw a party, want your own personalized stationery, customize yours today with! Use the code 15FF51 at checkout for 15% off!

For more inspiration on invitations, cards, and stationery for all occasions, check out @basicinvite on FacebookPinterestInstagram and Twitter

*This post is brought to you by