12 Years of Marriage : 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a


IMG_0592

When I came across this picture, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself.  I bet you are laughing at me already:) I know, I look pathetic in this picture — pathetically in LOVE!  This moment was captured by our dear friend & Groomsman Anthony P. 12 years ago on November 13, 2004.

Well, Mr. T and I had this thing called LOVE all figured out (I mean look at that picture of us 12 years ago:).  We were going to experience this “feeling” of great jubilation and sheer bliss for the rest of our lives.  And as long as we “felt” the LOVE, we were going to have a perfect marriage…Ladies & Gents, we were in for a big surprise.

Brides and Grooms-to-be, I truly do hope and pray you will experience the “feeling” for the rest of your life.  Chances are, from speaking with many friends, family, and those who married before me, the “feeling” of LOVE every single day of your life for the rest of your life is very slim.  Here are a few things I have learned from my journey of marriage, it may or may not be helpful to you but take it with a grain of salt:)

 I learned that feelings will come and go, but the ACTIONS rooted in LOVE will get you through almost anything — even an imperfect marriage like ours.  I also learned that people will change.  My husband and I change every single day.  Our daily experiences, our interactions with others, our feelings & emotions, thoughts, etc. change every single day…and it effects our marriage — positive or negative.  Also, I learned that men process information differently from women.  I’m complicated and Mr.T’s well…simple:)  Another thing I learned is our relationship with each other changes as it matures through the years.  For example…

Here we are in our early 20’s…that’s the 1990’s.  We dated 6 years before we married.

IMG_4773

Remember the early days of dating?  Well, when I look at this picture, I see two young naive people.  Two people who thought they knew what love consisted of…LOVE=butterflies in your stomach.  Those were also the days we would speak on the phone for hours…sometimes to the point we were mumbling words that made no sense…talking literally in our sleep.  Silly me, I would get so excited when he paged the number “10” on my beeper (yes, old school pagers were in:) cause that stood for Mr. T’s name (btw, his name is Tan)

pager

For you old schoolers, remember when you could spell LOVE upside down with the numbers 31707?  lol!

Well, below is the most recent picture of us.  When I look at this picture, I see two people who love each other with all their hearts and had to work extremely hard to make it work, sometimes even making mistakes.

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 12.41.23 PM.png

2016 Anniversary Date

  There were days when we were not on the same page about life but those were the times we had to work harder to try and understand the “why’s” of it all.  Or the times when children came into the picture and we became strangers because somehow life was about the kids. Instead, we had to try harder to find time to talk and get to know each other again.  How about when we got so comfortable in our marriage that we forgot how to treat each other with kindness and respect.  Often strangers were treated better than how we would treat each other in the home.  But we re-evaluated our behavior and worked harder to build, encourage, and help each other become better people.  And when one decides to make a career change for a better future (however long it may take – inside joke)?  Well, it just meant we had to work harder and pray harder to somehow find harmony and peace through the challenges of change.  Looking back, I do not regret going through the 12 years filled with tears and laughter.  We may have been tempted to walk away at times because the “feeling” of LOVE was lost but I am so grateful to stick it through because it opened my eyes to what LOVE (in action) truly means.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Cor 13:4-8a)

Well, Mr. T…Happy Anniversary!  I am so grateful for you and how much more beautiful you have made life.  May we celebrate 100+ more Anniversaries:)

Love, Ann

youtube  youtiquebridal pinterest pin

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to read “Growing Old With My Valentine”.

Q&A : Veil Making

Greetings Everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful day.  Today my husband Mr. T has been in my thoughts all morning because he is working on something very important…I am wishing him the best;)  Also, the weather is expected to rain and I am craving for a warm cup of tea.  So how is your day going so far?

Well, I am doing something a little different today.  I have compiled a few questions left in the comment section of my two veil tutorials, the Two Tier Bridal Veil and the Drop Lace Veil.  I decided to answer them in one short video in hopes that it will help the Bride as well as others who may have the same question.

Here are the questions:
*{0:27} Where would I purchase the hair combs?
*{0:47} Can you please show us how to cut the veil so that it will cascade?
*{1:52} My style of veil is the drop veil with embellishments on the lace, so for the reception if I pull it back I’m afraid the embellishments are not going to be seen and it will seem as if I wore the veil the wrong way. Can you suggest something?
*{2:53} This question followed my circular lace drop veil…Can I do this with 3 yards of tulle and make a larger veil?
*{3:45} I would love to purchase your veil kit but I would like to create a longer 54″ veil in the style of the single tier ballet veil, what do you suggest I do?
A: At this time, I have the lace veil kit which includes 3 yards of my exclusive delicate eyelash lace and 54″ width tulle. Please email me for more details at youtiquebridal@gmail.com

Feel free to view the following as well:

(1)Two Tier Bridal Veil: https://youtu.be/5vd9wzzY-gs
(2) Drop Lace Veil: https://youtu.be/_6-1WBhMIr8

Also, I just want to thank Angela Rae for encouraging me.  As you may have read in my last post, I am fearful of doing live interviews.  I am okay with recording myself doing work and then voice-overs, but there is something different about talking to the camera.  Is it just me?  Please tell me I am not the only one uncomfortable with this. lol!  I know it’s trivial for most, especially Angela whose experiences include being a news anchor and interviewing big names like Oprah.  She is now on a new journey of expanding her professional life.  Her dream is to bring women together from different cultural backgrounds and experiences, build a strong network of support, and then empower and give them a voice to go out and make positive change.  Well, imagine the excitement I felt when Angela asked me to do an interview?  Yes of course I was super excited!  BUT….talk to a camera?  Ummm…  Well I have to admit, it was a wonderful first interview experience.  Thanks Angela for alleviating my nerves and being patient with me.  Because of the interview with her, I had the courage to do this Q&A video which I recorded right after finishing our interview.  I would love to share more about Angela Rae and the interview in the near future…stay tuned!

Hugs,

Ann

youtube

2016 Update

Greetings Everyone!

I know it’s been awhile since the last blog post but I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebration.  Many wonderful things are unfolding behind the scenes and I will share them with you as they happen — I am super excited!
black dot veil

Just to give you a quick update for January, I am currently in the phase of editing a couple of hair adornment tutorials as well as filming the process of sewing my classic sheath dress (sponsored and inspired by Sew Much Fabric).  To get glimpses of the projects, feel free to follow me on my IG account or FB.  Also, I compiled quite a few questions regarding veil making from my YouTube viewers.  I would like to answer them personally on one Q&A video but first, I have to get over my fear of talking TO the camera.  I have gotten too comfortable with the voice-overs…So pray for me! 😉

Well, here’s to 2016!  Let’s jump into the new year together and get over any fears that may be holding us back (for me it’s talking to the camera and failing at it, what is it for you? Feel free to share in the comment section below).  Let’s release the fear together and start making wonderful things happen for 2016…READY? SET…GOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

G

 

😉

youtube

“In The Zone” : The Classic White Shirt

white shirt photo

           The Classic White Shirt sewn by Ann Ngo

Have you ever tried to edit one week’s worth of filming down to one minute?  If you have, let me in on your secret because “In The Zone” was one of my most challenging projects of filming and editing.  Let’s just say….lots of scenes were left out.  But all in all, I am proud of the hard work put into it and I hope you get the idea behind what I am trying to share.

Before I go into the explanation of “In The Zone”, I would like to thank Andrea @sewtofit and Rosalind @sewmuchfabric for the opportunity to be part of their collaboration project, the Wardrobe Fit-Along Series.  I was invited to be the “petite” body type for sewing The Classic White shirt.  Since I was the petite mannequin, I got to witness Andrea fit and alter the tissue pattern as well as fit the final fashion fabric on me.  It was a lot of fun!  She did everything for me except sew the actual white shirt —- that was my responsibility.  Btw, it would have been nice if she did that too;)  So my short video “In the Zone” starts with where she left off.  Basically, the fabric was held together on my body by pins at the beginning of my video.

Just a kind note, this video is not a tutorial.  You will see only the process of sewing my classic white shirt.  I just wanted to share the thoughts and emotions I go through when working on a creative project.  Just curious, have you ever done something you love and find yourself lost in thought, time, and space?  I do this all the time when I am doing something I am passionate about.  My husband and children have to somehow snap me back to reality — sad, I know.  In the video, I hope you catch the rising and setting of the sun through my window.  I literally sewed till the late hours of the night and would wake up the next day before the sun rose to work on my white shirt.  Even if I was tired, I had this hidden zeal to complete the project.  Have you ever felt that way?  Share with me below what gets you lost in thought, time, and space.

Well, when I decided to be a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t realize the challenges that laid ahead.  One of the first things I learned is that I needed to get things done efficiently.  So guess how I got efficient with styling my hair?  I would quickly roll it up into a bun or tie a quick pony tail.  And somehow throughout the day, it would eventually become lopsided.  Well, it’s time to let down my hair!  lol!  I wanted to give you a glimpse of the change I am going through, from the rolled up lopsided bun to letting it all down.  I’m actually tempted to cut it all off, but I’ll save that for another day;)

So here it is, my one minute video of being “In The Zone” and a glimpse of the change I am going through as well as the sewing of my white shirt.  It is finally time and this is my way of announcing that I am back at work full time.  If you are curious, follow me on my adventures!

Love,

Ann

The Judging Room : Elsik High School Design Competition 2015

IMG_7750

Abby Rey -Elsik High School Design Teacher, Rosalind Gaither – Sew Much Fabric

Yay! I’m on the news.  Okay, a speck of the back of my shoulder got on the news;)  lol!  Really, this was such a fun event for me.  There was fashion, youth, and community…how much more can I ask for?

At this time, I just want to thank two awesome ladies who made this happen — Rosalind with Sew Much Fabric and Abby, Elsik High School’s Design Teacher.  Because of their partnership, they were able to open doors and help support teens in the community that may not have been able to afford basic sewing supplies.  They are the people taking action and making a difference in our community.  I am so honored to be a part of this in some small way.  Feel free to watch a clip about Rosalind and Abby on channel 13 (and look out for my shoulder at 1:47 lol!):

http://abc13.com/education/businesswoman-teams-up-with-hs-to-save-art-of-sewing/675451/

************************

The Judging Room

I thought I would share a little about the Judges’ roles in the Design Competition.  I believe most of the audience attending the “Lights Camera Fashion Show” was curious as to how we came up with the winners.  All they saw were 3 ladies sitting at the front of the stage and at the end of the show, in a matter of 5 minutes, came up with the winners.  There is definitely more to it:)  Let me share my wonderful experience of being a Judge….

judges

The Judges {Photo courtesy of Mollie Vu Cagulada}

On the day of the show, I arrived at Elsik High School around 11am.  I had a reserved parking spot just for me — talk about feeling special:)

IMG_7353

Next, I checked into the school and was led up to the Judging Room where all the dresses were laid out.  This is where the Judges study and analyze the designer’s portfolio and garment construction.  We would check seam finishes, machine stitching, closures, hems, and overall construction.  This would take a couple of hours to view and study all the dresses.

IMG_7360

During this time, the Judges were well taken care of.  If there was anything we needed, Ms. Jeni took care of it.  Thank you Jeni!!!!!  Then around 2:45 we started interviewing each Designer one by one to learn more about them and their “Hollywood” themed inspiration.  This is my favorite part of the whole event – when we get to speak to the teens directly about their hopes and dreams for their future:)  After meeting with all the Designers, the Judges got together to discuss the top scores for the portfolio, garment construction, and interview.  Sitting in the room all day can turn you a little silly so here’s our silly selfie:)

IMG_7598

Michelle Barnes – Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Community Artists’ Collective, Rahill Raheem – Handbag Designer, Jeni Daniel – Natural Path , Ann Ngo (me:)

The audience starts to arrive around 6:30pm to enjoy the Mocktails and the “Lights Camera Fashion” Show officially starts at 7pm.

In order to choose the winning garments, we check the fit and look of the garment on the runway.  Then once again, the judges come together at the end of the show to discuss who should be the winners by summing up all the points for Portfolio, Construction, Interview, and Runway.

fashionshowtallying

The Judges discuss the winners {photo courtesy of Mollie Vu-Cagulada}

And there you have it, the winners are chosen:)

fashionshowdressthatwon

First Place Winner {photo courtesy of Mollie Vu-Cagulada}

Fashion Show Winners

5th Place – Long Red Dress, 4th Place – Red & Black Lace Dress, 3rd Place – Black Fringe Pleather Dress, 2nd Place – Black Sequins Dress, 1st Place – Lilac Dress {photo courtesy of Mollie Vu-Cagulada}

Here are the special highlights from the night:)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day:)

Ann

youtiquebridal pinterest pin youtube

You are a Princess : Girls Ministry

princess crown

You are a Princess. Photo from Pinterest.

It was quite eventful this past weekend.  I got to be a judge for a High School Design Competition on Friday (which I will share more later this week) and on Saturday, I got to speak to 27 beautiful young ladies about the importance of self acceptance and self love.  I know I mentioned this before, but I just love the Youth!  I love their energy, what they have to offer, and I see so much hope in them.  If possible, can I ask anyone who reads this to keep the teens in your thoughts and prayers?  Pray that they will accept their own unique self, their gifts and talents, and how they are meant to use their gifts to serve others.  I feel that if each of them realizes how special they truly are, they can make our world a better place.

Well, I got to share my challenging journey of self acceptance this weekend.  If I could share my story of faith and self love through music, it will be through my playlist below.  Feel free to listen:

If you know any teen(s) or young adults in need of prayers, please list their first name below in the comment section.  I would love to have our community keep them in our prayers.

To the beautiful young ladies this past weekend and to those reading this post, remember, you are perfect just as you are, you are loved, and you are the daughter to the One True King.  And to this, I bow down to you my lovely Princess.

Love,

Ann

Sneak Peek : Be Your Own Valentine too:)

Near the turn of the New Year, I went birthday gift shopping for a couple of my friends and family.  As I was paying for the gifts, the sales person behind the counter asked, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?”  I was caught off guard because one, I never had a sales person ask me that before, and two, I didn’t have any….yet.  I replied that I didn’t make any resolutions.  He was quite shocked.  At that very moment in my head, I quickly asked myself , “what would it be if I did?”  The song “Try” by Colbie Caillat came to mind.  I responded to him, “If I had one, I would like to just be comfortable in my own skin.  I want to stop comparing myself and accept myself as I am.”  He actually loved that response.  And you know, I did too:) I want to be comfortable in my own skin.

You will find that I randomly post songs on my blog.  They are songs that speak to me during that period of my life.  So I posted “Try” in the past.  You see, I went through a phase where I felt “less than.”  Social media and the internet world has been a love hate relationship for me.   In one moment, I can get inspired by the world of Pinterest and Youtube.  And in the next moment, I can feel that my work is not good enough or I am not good enough.

If you are anything like me, I love Pinterest.  I can search and pin away the alluring world of bridal and couture.  And let me tell you, it is a GORGEOUS world! I can get lost in it for hours.  The dreamy photos, the beautiful lighting, the gorgeous models, the details of a dress, and even the feel of the image is just breath taking.  I was so lost into it that it started making me feel “less than”:(   I began to tell myself that I needed a new camera to record, I needed better lighting, I needed this, I needed that…to the point where I found myself blocked from any creativity or from going forward with a project.  On top of that, I started receiving a wave of mean comments on Youtube.  Don’t get me wrong, I receive many lovely messages as well but for some reason, when you read a mean one, it tends to stay on your heart a little longer.  At first I was hurt (since I’m a people pleaser and highly sensitive), then it got to a point where I received so many that it became a joke.  I know this may sound strange, but now, I am thankful for the mean ones.  It made me look into myself and to the core of my existence.  It made me again ask myself why I am creating and producing tutorials.  And to be honest, I love what I do and I simply want to help others.

So even if my work does not meet others’ standards, I know I gave each project my heart and soul and no mean comment can hurt the core of my spirit.  It may sting a little but I’ll get over it:)  So although I am still on this journey of self love, I learned that I need to stop comparing, stop feeling “less than”, and that “I am enough.”  I need to love myself (not in the context of vanity), but in the context of appreciating and accepting my imperfect self.  Although there is always room to grow and improve, I need to know that “I am enough today” and that sometimes, I need to be my own Valentine too:)

So may you find self love in the healthiest sense and appreciate all that you are.   And if you are not there yet, know that “I love you.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO,

Ann

ps. Here’s a sneak peek of the next project:)

double tier veil