Wednesday, June 09, 2021

5 things I learned from "No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God" by Jeffrey and Jennifer Aspacio


Since June is traditionally the month associated with weddings (in the Philippines, however, most weddings happen from October to February), we'll tackle a book on marriage this week. I picked No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God by Jeffrey and Jennifer Aspacio. Instead of a book review, I'll list down the 5 things I learned from the first book written by two of my childhood and church friends.


1. Woman was created by God to save man.

Haha! I'm half-joking. Actually, Jeff did mention in the book that Jen saved him from his foolish ways. So there's some truth there. God said it isn't good for anyone to be alone so He created a helper or a savior for each of us. No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God reiterates that that doesn't mean we should swoop in and change our spouses. We should still love and accept them for who they are.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is this helper-savior thing applies not just to man-woman, but to everyone. We need friends. We need others. I like to think God doesn't just magically rescue us from ourselves. He uses family and friends, even strangers, to help us out and lift us up with love. That's our mandate: love each other.  


2. You must be whole before you get married.

"You complete me" is a famous romantic line. I never fell for it, though. In fact, that scares me a little. I don't want a man who is incomplete and needs me to make him whole. That's an impossible task for anyone. You get married because you have so much love to give. Love - and life! - is for giving, not taking. No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God emphasizes that the wholeness of each distinct part of a marital union enhances the other. Marriage makes us better. When marriage makes us worse, that's because you were incomplete to begin with.

When I got married, it was after 8 years of dating. That's because I wanted to be sure of who I am. I was definitely sure Vince was The One for me, but I didn't want to saddle him with an insecure, frightened, whiny, immature, overcompensating girl. I waited until I was mature enough, confident enough, happy and completely in love with myself before I committed to loving him till death do us part. He was the same. In fact, he said he was glad we didn't get married when he first asked, a few weeks after we met. He said he was changing, too, and we're glad we did all those self-improvements and realizations while we were both unmarried. 

That's not to say you can't change and improve anymore when married, okay! As long as we're alive, change is inevitable. But it's easier to go through those changes together when you're both a whole person on your own. 

In my case, what really made me whole was my faith in God. His love for me was really the source of my confidence and peace. My marriage is not perfect (whose is???) but one thing that doesn't trouble us is insecurity. We know ourselves and each other so well that there is peace. Because we are both whole persons, there is no fear, no distrust, no doubt. And in any relationship, that is vital.


3. Husbands should also submit to their wives.

I loved that it was Jeff who wrote this section. It comes from a place of complete humility and - as mentioned - wholeness. He isn't afraid to say he, as the man, submits to his wife. For the world, that means she wears the pants but anyone in a happy marriage knows that a good marriage is one of equality. There is respect and admiration for each other, there is a willingness to serve each other.

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior." Ephesians 5:22-23. These verses have caused so much grief to millions of wives because people have interpreted it to mean unquestioning obedience. But as my husband always reminds me, we must always take Bible verses into context. Why did Paul the Apostle tell wives to submit to their husbands anyway? Actually, the first thing he said was in verse 21: "Submit to one another." The second was the admonition for wives to submit to their husbands which he follows up with the third command in verses 25-33: "Husbands. love your wives!!!" 

Yes, one verse telling us to submit to one another. Three verses telling wives to submit to their husbands, and a whopping NINE VERSES telling husbands to love their wives because she is the best thing that ever and will ever happen to him. Periodt! But seriously, it is more important for a man to value his wife because when he loves her completely, she will submit to him completely, too. No need to assert your dominance. Wives naturally respond to love. See, context. I am so happy No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God reminds us all of the context! Partnership and mutual submission. That's marriage.   

Many women have asked me how I can be feminist and also be submissive to my husband. You know, people misunderstand feminism so much. To be feminist means to have a choice. Women shouldn't be forced or prevented from choosing what's best for them. Before I submitted to my husband, I chose him. Of all the men in the world, he was the only one I deemed to be worthy of my love and trust. Because I know he is a good man and he loves me, I can let him be my partner in life. I can let him lead our family. Important words: "I let him." He lives up to that trust. You should know that I support divorce. When a man abuses his wife and kids in any way, then he is no longer a good leader and I believe a wife should withdraw her choice. (Note: The Aspacios don't support divorce.) 

(UPDATE: Jen corrected me and said that divorce is Biblical. "Divorce sometimes is inevitable. Even the Lord allowed divorce, because of man's stubbornness. I still believe that nothing is impossible when it comes to working out a marriage, if both are up to it, but if it is bringing harm to the well-being of either husband, wife, even kids, and everything's [been] done, divorce is the way to go. Divorce protects the spouse and children, and it doesn't nullify the union. Alimony also takes care of the children's needs. Annulment is not very strong in this, if there is at all a clause similiar to alimony. I'm not familiar with our PH law on this. But I am for divorce.")  

In the same way, Vince also knows that he can depend on me for everything, he can tell me anything, he can be what he wants to be and I won't mock him or scold him or dismiss him. He is confident to serve me and our kids because I am the holder and guardian of his peace and security. I am keenly aware that this man trusts me and depends on me with his whole being. I should never do anything to betray him. If I do, I risk losing him - and he should leave a wife like that! (Note: Vince doesn't support divorce.) 


4. Wives are precious.

"Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life so that nothing will hinder your prayers." I Peter 3:7. Another verse that has caused trouble to women everywhere because people claimed that the Bible said that women are weak.

I love the etymology of the term "weaker" that No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God presents. It transforms a hurtful word into one that honors women.


5. To love your spouse is to love yourself.

Many people have a hard time with this. How can you put yourself first if you serve your spouse? How can you love your spouse if you love yourself? Ephesians 5:28-30 explains it: "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body."

Again, it's a wholeness thing. You shouldn't depend on another person to make you happy. But the most marvelous thing happens when you love your spouse and make every effort for their happiness - your spouse will do the same! So you're both making each other happy and that's so much fun, so satisfactory! It's a mutual pleasure exercise!

Again, it's a wholeness thing! If only one of you is whole, then the other will just take and take. But you can never truly fill up an incomplete person. You can try. And many husbands and wives do. But it is exhausting and frustrating. That's no way to spend the rest of your life so choose well. 

That said, and even though I said I believe in divorce, I also believe in not giving up on your marriage. Marriage can be tough. Jen wrote that it "should not be a place of struggle" but many times it can be. My own marriage went through some hard times, too (Vince denies this hahaha and says I make up my own problems when we have always been strong). Love and commitment save a marriage. So love each other. And commit! 

These are the 5 things I learned from No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God by Jeffrey and Jennifer Aspacio. Their book tackles many other topics, such as parenting and how to survive infidelity (from their personal experience bravely detailed in their book). You can definitely learn a lot more! Here are the many ways to get your copy:

For Kindle and international orders, buy from Amazon.

For Philippine readers, buy from Shopee.

To learn more about No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God, follow their Facebook page.

*Visit the blog every Wednesday night this June for my reviews of books written by Filipino mommies! Support mommies! Support literature! Support local! 

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Review: "I Am Happy" by Kim Espartero and various Filipino artists

 

June is when we celebrate our independence from foreign powers. Now that it's being threatened again, I think it's important we teach our kids the beauty of our country and our culture so that they grow up proud of being Filipino and fiercely protective of our sovereignty.

One way to do that is through books! So book review time! Today's literary feature is a small but mighty book called I Am Happy by Kim Espartero and various Filipino artists. 


I Am Happy is part of a series of books created for our Pinoy kids. The words are all about gratitude. It's really very simple. "I'm happy about this, I'm grateful for that." It doesn't lay on the patriotism too thick. It's just a happy list of things around us that we should appreciate - food, fun, sea and sky, family and friends. 


But the gorgeous illustrations on every page - each one illustrated by a Filipino artist - is a joyful exhibition of our country and culture! Nakakatuwa siya. So while you read to your child the words that hardly talk about the country itself, the pictures exploding with color and beauty will make you want to point out every beautiful thing about our country. Ipagyayabang mo talaga sa anak mo ang kulturang Pilipino - pawikan at parol, fiesta at saranggola, lechon at iba pa!    


Plus, every page encourages your child to think about what he is grateful for. It doesn't have to be about the country, of course. So the book, while short, is big on many things - gratitude for our blessings, love for country, and art and culture.


Highly recommend this book, mamas! Do buy a copy!

To learn more about I Am Happy by Kim Espartero and how to buy, check out Let's Be Super on Facebook.

*Visit the blog every Wednesday night this June for my reviews of books written by Filipino mommies! Support mommies! Support literature! Support local! 

Monday, May 31, 2021

A happy 9th birthday


Well, someone had a really good month! 


Iñigo turned 9 and we had so much fun celebrating the funniest little boy in the world! We had balloons and toys, cake and ice cream, and hugs and kisses. Just the kind of birthday party that we always have. 


I can't say much about Iñigo anymore. I'm not allowed haha He wants me to respect his privacy, but he did say he wanted Mama's friends to see how happy his birthday was. So here are a few photos of such a happy day!


It's his second birthday in quarantine. Second of a few more since vaccinations for kids start at 12 years old. He has 3 years to go. Till then, he stays home and stays safe. Lord, please let that be Your birthday gift to my not-so-little boy. Let him and his brothers be healthy and untouched by Covid forever. 


Bless him. Keep him safe. Nourish his dreams. Show him Your will for his life. Let him be this joyful and funny all the days of his life, which I pray to be full of love. Take care of my boy, dear God, on his birthday and many more birthdays to come. Amen. 

*If you do want to know what Iñigo's like, check out what I wrote about him on his 5th birthday. He's still exactly the same.

Monday, May 24, 2021

What's so good about my 2021! Plus, tell me yours for a chance to get a prize!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Hi everyone! I'm so thrilled to be doing a special giveaway this month. As you might know, it's my blog's 15th anniversary today. Yes, TODAY! Exciting! So Welch's wanted to celebrate by sponsoring a giveaway for my Loyal Readers! 

Thanks so much, Welch’s! 


I know it's only May and the world is still in the grip of the pandemic. But we're not going to let 2021 happen to us, ladies. We're going to make things happen instead!

Already, half the year is almost done and there's still much to be grateful for even in this, the strangest year in my living memory. I'm making today a chance to celebrate what I can be grateful for and because Welch's tag line is #ShareWhatsGood, I'm going to tell you three of the many reasons I thank the heavens.

Let me share with you what's so good about my life lately: 

1. My Not Invisible book 

My first book came out on Amazon in January, was on the bestseller list on its first two weeks, then came out as a paperback here in the Philippines and I've had hundreds of orders. I'm all sold out now! My author's heart is so happy. Thank you!

What's really good: 

I've been so grateful for is all the support, the encouragement, and the orders! People who bought my book shared their thoughts on Facebook and Instagram, some even did a review on their blogs. I've gotten lots of messages about how my book made them cry, made them feel they're understood and not alone. That means so much because when I was a new mom, I also thought I was so alone in all my feelings. So thank you for reading my book, telling everyone about it, and for telling me how you feel about Not Invisible.

2. Lean In Network Manila

Mommy Ginger and I started the local arm of Lean In organization, the global support network for women who want to succeed in life. We celebrate our anniversary this May, too! In the last year, I've met women who are so admirable and inspiring, so raw and honest, funny and encouraging. The miracle is every woman was like that even though all of us were struggling with the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. 

What's really good: 

I look forward to our monthly meetings because not only have I learned so many things and shared so many stories, I also found new friends at a time of isolation. So if you want to be part of Lean In Manila and meet new women who are all about encouragement and empowerment, please join us!

3. My blog!

I guess it's the pandemic. Maybe people are home a lot and they have more time now to read blogs? I don't know what it is but my page views have gone up again this past year. With the advent of social media, my blog's stats went down over the years but now readership is up again. I dunno what happened. I didn't do anything different. But I'm grateful!

What's really good: 

Well, it's the 15th birthday of Topaz Horizon. That means 15 years of happiness as a writer! My blog also made it possible for me to have a new career when my magazine one died, allowed me to stay home and be with my babies because of the brand sponsorships I got (thanks, brands!), brought me to many fun and beautiful places with my family, and made me able to experience new products and food I'd never have imagined or only dreamed about. Thank you! 

Most of all, I met so many friends online who became my friends IRL. You, my dear Loyal Readers, made my dream life possible. Thank you so much!

There are many other wonderful things about this year. Our pet hamsters have given us so much joy. My neighbors have formed a close-knit community we didn't have before quarantine. I've reconnected with old friends I've previously been too busy to talk to. I've probably chatted with my Amper family more than I ever have in years. And of course, my husband and my little boys - they've been so great! 
   
Now it's your turn!

Tell everyone what's so good about 2021. Just one thing! And you will get a chance to win these:


The prize includes:

1. 1 big bottle of Welch's 100% Grape Juice - for your heart health! 
2. 2 small bottles of Welch's 100% Grape Juice - to boost your immune system! 
3. 2 bottles of Welch's Cranberry Juice Cocktail - for your daily dose of antioxidants!  
4. 1 bottle of Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice - to celebrate your win! 
5. 1 copy of my book, Not Invisible: A Memoir - for a sneak peek at my life as a wife and mom for the last 10 years! 

I will also slip in a surprise beauty product!!! 

How to join:

If you have Instagram, do these:

1. Share a photo either as a post on your IG feed or even in your IG Stories (please set to public so Welch's and I can see!). That photo represents your answer to my question: 

"What's so good about 2021?"

2. Tell everyone about what you're grateful for this year. It can be a person, a pet, a thing, a place, an event - anything! As long as it's a good thing and worth celebrating. Your post can be short or long but make sure you...

3. Don't forget to use the hashtags: #Grateful #ShareWhatsGood. Very important!

4. Follow @welchs_ph and @francesampersales. Tag us on your post so we can see!

If you have Facebook, do Steps 1-3 above but kindly follow and tag the pages of Welch's PH and Topaz Horizon Blog instead.

I'll choose 3 winners* on May 31, 2021. One from Instagram, one from Facebook, and one from my Facebook Live tonight at 9 pm! Yes, just head on over to https://www.facebook.com/TopazHorizonBlog for my 15 Questions Answered live streaming! 

That's it! Thanks in advance for sharing your story of hope and gratitude! Can't wait to see you #ShareWhatsGood about your year, too!


UPDATE: Announcement of winners!

CONGRATULATIONS!
Yvette Carla Soriano         Mafeth Madrigal-Molina          Iza Therese


*Winners must have a Philippine address.

This post is brought to you by Welch's. Welch's 100% Grape Juice, Juice Cocktails, Sparkling Juices, and Fruit Snacks are available in all leading supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores. You can have your favorite health drink delivered right to your doorstep! Visit the Ace Food Service website, or place your order in the following online groceries: Metro Mart, Lazmart, and Waltermart.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Keds is on sale and I so want to buy!

First, this isn't a sponsored post. I wish it was haha! Anyway, Keds. If you've been following my blog for a while now, you'd know I love Skechers. It's really the most comfortable shoes and busy-mommy me needs comfort! But around 3 years ago, busy-mommy became I-want-to-be-stylish-again mommy and so I got Keds. (I still have Skechers for working out and for days I need to run around all day.) 

Well, my husband bought me the plainest white sneaker of Keds. He wanted to get me something more special but I was thinking about how I can wear that plain white Keds with absolutely anything - jeans, slacks, dresses, even a satin-and-lace outfit that I didn't get a photo of! So its basic simplicity allows me to be stylish and comfortable so it's really the best Keds shoe anyone should own.

Anyway, I'm subscribed to their online shop. I wish I wasn't because every week I torture myself with looking at their shoes. I love ALL their shoes, especially when they had collabs with Taylor Swift and Kate Spade. So gorgeous! Okay. Maybe not all. Not a fan of their boots because I'm not a boots person. But everything else I wish was in my shoe closet.

This week, my inbox declared that Keds was on sale. And so I clicked on the email. And then I clicked and clicked and clicked! 

So many fabulous shoes on sale! Sadly, most of my choices were already sold out on my size. I especially want these:

And this was the last click:

Hala! Should I buy all three? Or all nine haha? Parang dapat one only kasi I don't go out of the house naman. Three pairs are too much for quarantine huhu. Tell me which one to get! Thanks!


Friday, May 14, 2021

Mama of littles, you can blink, you can breathe

Possibly one of the best pieces of advice given to me when I was a new mommy more than a decade ago was, "Don't blink." 

It was also one of the worst. 


The advice was meant well. Don't blink. All this is fleeting. You won't want to miss anything. Your kids will never be this small again. Stay present. Don't blink.

And I really really tried hard not to blink. Even when I had yayas, I couldn't let my guard down. I didn't want to miss anything. I didn't sleep for 8 years! So when despite all that, when the boys' first words and first steps were witnessed by their Papa or their yayas, instead of me celebrating the milestone, I anguished over the guilt of not being the one to see it first. Because I was their mother. I'm supposed to be the one to see it all happen. I'm the front and center. I'm the hands-on, must-be-there mama. To miss anything means I was a bad mom.

Well, fuck that. All that pressure was the one making me a bad mom!


I finally realized I'm not just their mother. I am more than their mother. And even if motherhood is probably the most important thing I'll ever do in my life, I'm not going to be a good mother if I don't sleep and if I don't let other people help me.

So I blinked. In fact, I slept. I trusted my husband to be a parent, too. I trusted my kids to be on their own and to do things on their own. And I found that I could finally breathe, free from the pressure to be forever present, to never blink.

Listen, young mama. It's true. All this is fleeting. Tomorrow, your not-talking baby will suddenly say, "Dada." Tomorrow, your crawling baby will stand up on wobbly chubby legs and walk. Tomorrow, your child won't need you to spoon-feed him, or wash his butt, or dress him. He'll want to talk to his friends instead of you. He'll close his bedroom door. He'll forget to kiss you goodnight. 

And that's okay. I love Facebook Memories because I get to be reminded of how adorable my kids were. What those pictures fail to show is how desperately exhausted I was from keeping my eyes wide open all the time. I know now it's not healthy to obsess about missing any of it. I had to look away from them and look at me, look at my husband, look at the rest of my life, and also take care of those aspects of myself. And when the other parts of me were flourishing, my kids looked at me, too, and saw more than just a mama. That's important, too.

People told me all the time back when I was going insane with the sleepless nights and the "don't blink!" guilt-inducing comments, "You will miss all this! Just you wait!" Well, almost 11 years later, I am happy to say I don't miss it at all. I'm relieved. I'm glad it's over. I'm happy I'm no longer stressed out with the constant vigilance. I'm healthier because I sleep now. I did it. I succeeded. I survived. And while I will always love my boys' baby and toddler years, I am so happy that part of my life is done. 


Next: pre-teens, then the teenage years. I'm going into this next chapter blind but also determined that we, all of us, will survive it, too. I'll just tell myself that while all this is fleeting, I need to take a step back once in a while, relax more, trust more. Breathe.

That said, this song remains one of my favorites. It's about making the memories last but also letting go. It's okay. Let go. That's what parenting is all about anyway.



Friday, May 07, 2021

7 reasons why I'm happy to be an old mom

I'm 44 and mommy to little boys. If I had gotten pregnant at 22, I'd have a kid in college now! Since more and more women are delaying marriage and motherhood, I'm in pretty good company. In Europe, the average age of first-time mothers is 29.9 years old (source). In Japan, it's 30.7, in South Korea, it's 31.4 (source). But the older generation, specifically my father, had insisted I should've had my kids early, like when I was 22. When I turned 27 and was still unmarried and child-free, my Papa told me to get pregnant already to force Vince to marry me. That was sad because I think he started telling me to guard my virginity since I was 7 (parents, please stop tying your daughter's value to her virginity!) and then 20 years later, that integrity was thrown out the window all because Filipinos believe only motherhood is the point of women's lives.

Considering that I absolutely love motherhood (most days haha), I ought to agree, right? Nope. I am oh so glad I delayed having babies for as long as I could. But to answer the question, well, if I had known it would be this ridiculously amazing, well... I still wouldn't have done it. I know who I am and the mid-20s Frances would never have appreciated motherhood the way mid-40s Frances is being blown away by it every day. 

(I'm also being battered by it. Maybe if I had been a young mom, I'd have had more energy?)
 

Here are my 7 reasons why I am so relieved and happy I'm an old mom:

1. I became a somebody before I became a wife and a mom.

I don't mean I became famous. I just mean I became my own person - not someone's daughter, not someone's wife, not someone's mother. I became me. I learned who I was and what I wanted in life and was able to achieve all that on my own and without the guilt of choosing between career and my family.

I'm a mommy now and you know what? I will always choose family over career. But sometimes I wonder if I have this conviction only because I had the privilege of having enjoyed a career without having to think of anyone else. I can say easily now that between an important meeting and picking up my kids from school I'd pick my kids. But that's because I've earned the position - I can dictate meetings now, say no, and my career will be fine. If you're 23 with a crying baby and a demanding boss... that sounds horrible. 

2. I'm wiser and vastly more patient.

Less selfish, too. Less drama. More love. More kindness. Not saying that women in their 20s can't be wise, patient, selfless, and kind. I'm talking about ME. The Frances in her 20s wasn't really a nice person. She was all about herself and I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I was a kid, I had fun, I had a whole decade just catering to me, me, me. And that was glorious!

But those years also taught me a lot about the world, relationships, family, money, and the fleeting brevity of life. So I was able to make mistakes and learn from them and the only one who was affected was me. I became softer, more humble, kinder, more forgiving, more understanding, and compassionate. So when the babies finally came, they had a mommy whose heart had become tender from all the blows of life.  

3. I'm old enough to know that I'm not missing out.

I met Vince when I was 22 and he was 25 and we had a blast growing up together. We pursued our passions separately, and there were times we didn't see each other for days, even weeks, since we were so busy with our own lives and dreams and careers. And you know what? All that shit was fun but I don't miss any of it. So when I became a mom and was at home for days and days on end, the partying photos of other moms didn't make me feel bad. Been there, done that. 

4. I love my body now.

It's ironic that when my body looked its best (late 20s to early 30s), I didn't like it. I kept comparing it to other bodies. It was always sick. I was too busy to appreciate it. But aging and maturity made me appreciate how my body makes me do the most amazing things. I got pregnant, gave birth, recovered at lightning speed, breastfed three babies continuously, carried heavy babies for hours and hours, ran after little boys, and kept house and home for them all on an average of 4 hours of sleep a night for the last 11 years. How I'm still alive, I do not know! My body keeps going and going. It's my favorite miracle. 

5. I had so much sex!

The thing with having children - though we love them so very much and we will literally die for them if needed - is they're the result of lovemaking and now they prevent us from making love. Cue the sad violin music.

My husband and I miss those days and nights when just one look and we become undone. Now, we just look at each other longingly and nothing happens hahaha Thank goodness we had those pre-parent YEARS when we could make love all day long and all night long!

6. I actually like kids now.

Loyal Readers who have read this blog since 2016 know I never wanted to be a mother. I had many reasons, chief of which I don't really like kids. I don't hate them. I enjoyed my brief career as a preschool teacher, for example. But the best thing about being a teacher/babysitter/auntie is you can enjoy the cuties for a while then return them to their parents. But now, in my old age and because my kids made me fall in love with them and anything that vaguely resembles them in size and shape, I love kids!

7. I met new young friends.

I mentioned that in other countries, women are having kids at a later age. Here in the Philippines, it's still a young 22.8 (source) so many of my mommy friends are younger than me. And while I'm glad I'm an old mommy, I can see that motherhood isn't just for oldies like me. Young moms have so much energy and devotion and creativity! I don't know why! Youth??? 


Sure, being an old mom has its downsides. I don't have the energy I had in my 20s. I'll still be paying for college tuition in my 60s. But those I can brush off. What I'm sad and desperate about is I really really want my kids to marry young so I can dote on my grandkids!!! What the what! Yep. That's the only thing that bothers me about having kids late. If my boys take after us and also get married in their 30s, then I'd be in my 60s before I see my grandkids!

Now, am I saying women should have kids in their 30s? No. I think you should do whatever makes you happy and be a mommy whenever you're ready. That can be 22, that can be 33, that can be 45. In my case, I was 33. To be honest, I didn't think I was ready (is anyone ever ready hahahaha). But I guess I was because I had already lived my selfish, carefree life, have the requisite loving and committed relationship, have the home, and had the money in the bank. So what was I waiting for? Thank goodness I missed a few pills and got pregnant!



Thursday, May 06, 2021

Pre-order your Not Invisible Experience Kit!

This month, Topaz Horizon is 15 years old. FIFTEEN YEARS OLD! Imagine that!

Last year, when we all thought the quarantine would only be for 30 days, I had planned to celebrate by holding a little party with 15 of my most Loyal Readers. But more than one year later, we're still prevented by the pandemic to see each other. It is what it is and we have to celebrate every day we're alive and healthy... and turning one year older!

Happy birthday, Topaz Horizon! 

So, for this blog's 15th birthday, instead of a party, I just chose to commemorate it by publishing my first ever book, Not Invisible, a collection of the best posts from this blog and from my now-hidden mommy blog Topaz Mommy. Thank you so much to the hundreds of people who enthusiastically supported my debut book! 


I shared on my social the special gift box I created for the media. As a PR professional, I figured it would be a good idea to enlist bloggers and press to amplify my book and blog. Instead of a press kit, I called it an Experience Kit because reading my blog and my book is an experience! Everything in my kit enhances that experience. I was so happy when the mommy bloggers unboxed their kits and loved it!

So many of you asked if the Experience Kit was for sale. Some suggested that it can be my blog anniversary celebratory event. And you know what? I think you guys have the best ideas! So let's make the Topaz Horizon x Not Invisible Experience Kit available to you, my Loyal Readers!

#unboxing


The Experience Kit is just P750! Each box includes one book, one Topaz Horizon scented candle, a nap dress, and a golden bookmark. Plus I'll slip in a surprise beauty product in each kit!


There's a little guide on how to make the contents of the kit enhance your reading pleasure.


I really thought over the contents of this kit super carefully. At first, I wanted to ask my blog sponsors to stock it but then I realized that I wanted everything in it to be just about you, me, and reading. 


The candle smells soooo good! Even unlit, the sweet and feminine scent wafts everywhere. I tried many scents but my husband and kids said that this particular fragrance reminds them of me best. 


The daster, a.k.a. nap dress para sosyal haha, is super soft and comfy. Perfect for settling down in your bed or favorite chair to read my book or my blog! The dress design in each box will be random but they will all have shades of orange.

The Topaz Horizon x Not Invisible Experience Kit is so simple but I lovingly created it for you! So I hope you order a kit! Just fill out this form

Please don't forget to check the box and indicate how many kits you want to preorder! 

I'm accepting orders from now till Sunday, May 9, 2021. So I know how many books to reserve and dresses to order! The Experience Kits will ship out on my blog's 15th anniversary, May 24.

And on that anniversary week, I'll also be inviting everyone who bought my book and the Experience Kit to a virtual book launch where we can talk about the experience of invisibility and how we can deal with it in a constructive manner. I'll email the link to you a few days before the launch.

I'll also have a little Facebook Live on May 24, 9 pm, just to say hello and thank you to all of you in my squeaky voice, and do a giveaway, too! 

Happy 15th birthday to Topaz Horizon - to me and to you! We made all this happen but it's really you who kept me going. Thank you for loving my stories and my family all these years. God bless you!