Family Portrait

Last month, me and my husband celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary and he asked me on what I wanted for that special day. I told him that I’d like to have our family photo taken. Knowing that he cringes by the thought of it, I was glad that he agreed to my request. I told him that it is quite symbolic because in our 3rd year, we’re now 3.

For as long as I could remember, I’ve always loved photographs. To me, they are living proof of memories that we now cherish at present. It somehow is a time machine. It is a visual reminder that those things actually happened and that we can never take them back. We only have them in print to reminisce.

Being a kikay mommy that I am, I wanted to have”pinterest-worthy” photos and the person I know who could help me achieve that would be Jeff. It took time for me to make this blog because I had the hardest time in deciding on what to post. Everything was captured beautifully by Jeff of Saltandbleachit.

Pompom shorts, tutu skirts and feather bando by Sugarkissed.

Styling by yours truly.

1st Location: Tarsier Botanika, Panglao, Bohol

aThe Gonzales Family 2015-10bcdfgh

2nd Location: Panglao Bluewater Beach Resortijmk

We had the most awesome time shooting because we were so comfortable with him. Jeff takes photos without the need to pose and would capture candid moments that would definitely make your heart melt. ❤

For styling needs, feel free to contact me and let’s achieve your future memories. 😉

Till next!


Mommy Ria


Rhiandra Jeila Turns 1

So my blog became a tad bit quiet from the last post that I made since there has been no events to style with. Today, while I was browsing my Facebook, I came across a good friend’s comment on a photo of myself and my daughter to make a blog about the things I did for her First Birthday.

And then it hit me. How could I ever forget that day? Oh I still remember all the effort we put into that and the late nights of googling and searching for pegs to put it all together. Thus, I got up from my bed on this lazy, rainy afternoon and realized that I should have done this months ago… I’m hoping that you’ll learn something from this blog and how a mother’s love can move mountains (exaggerated para intense. hahah) 🙂

Before I start, I would like to share to you guys that her birthday was featured in Baby and Breakfast, a very popular blog in the Philippines. They feature events for babies and kids that specifically focus on Filipino talents. I’m a very proud Momma since we are the first to be featured that came from Cebu and as for the very talented photographer, Jeff of Saltandbleachit, this is his first time to submit an entry for a blog that’s famous nationwide and got featured. So this is pretty much something to brag about.. I mean, who wouldn’t? (Big smile on my face right now).


Moving on… Rhiandra’s birthday was on October 2, 2013. We decided to celebrate it on October 5, 2014 as it’s a weekend and mostly, parents of the kids that we’re inviting will surely have no work on that day. On this blog, I will list all the suppliers on that very memorable event and will focus on the itsy bitsy things that made it worth it. First off is her online invite made by yours truly.

Rhiandra's Invite

I decided that since everyone’s on Facebook, might as well send an online invite rather than spending on paper invitations that they get to throw away right after. This is the practical mom in me speaking right now. If you ask me on how I did this, I just found a template online and edited it to her party’s info and voila! I made a cute, customized, goes-with-the-theme and most of all, FREE online invitation. 🙂


Like pre-nup photos for weddings, babies these days have pre-birthday sessions as well. What better way to commemorate their cuteness than to have it permanently printed. In this digital age, this is one of the things that I am most thankful for because I grew up and remember my mom taking photos of me and my sisters randomly and now, looking back, I am beyond amazed of the changes that we had and the fun times we used to do while growing up. This is also why I prefer to celebrate Rhiandra’s monthly birthdays into monthly photo sessions instead of cakes. Here are her photos taken by Jeff Garban (click link for his own blog post of this shoot here).

There were 4 set/outfit changes. All were styled by me. Venue: Cafe Caw.

Rhiandra Prebday

Rhiandra Prebday2 Rhiandra Prebday3 Rhiandra Prebday4Words would not suffice for me to describe how awesome these shots are and these are only just a few. Jeff captures candid and authentic photos. That’s what I really like most about his work. He’s also very patient with kids and that’s a great deal to moms like me because we know time is of the essence for these photographers but he doesn’t see it that way. He knows that shooting a baby takes time and that’s what he just did to get these effortless, timeless shots. I vividly remember this day, that Rhirhi had to take a nap break for an hour but Jeff never had to complain about it. We just ate our breakfast and talked about things we both can relate to.


Personalized. This is how I pictured her party to be like. Though it may seem very small, details in parties really does matter. Like this personalized bottles for each guest at the party. I had to literally get drunk with Sola along with my family and friends just so I can collect 108 bottles in total for this to be put in reality.

What I did (together with my minions aka sister and Rhirhi’s yaya) were: sterilize them clean, dry them, cover them and keep thoroughly so no dust could come in contact because we can’t design them too early. Then we’d do this all over again for the next batch or set that we collect. When the week of the party came, that’s when I started decorating them. Attaching the paper doilies, print and cut the labels, glue gun the lace.. and on the night of the party was the easiest part.. To put juice in each and everyone of them. Gosh! Totally time consuming, but when I saw it displayed on each of the guests’ table.. It sure made a smile on my face because it looked so adorable and made a wonderful detail on the party. Some of my guests expressed their appreciation on the juice bottles and they preferred to bring them home because they find it “too pretty” to open and drink. By then I knew, the effort was totally worth it.

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Sola bottles turned into a personalized juice drink for each guest.

The following are more personalized details of the party:

Rhiandra Jeila's First Birthday-2
Official Instagram hashtag as part of the centerpiece. Made of wrapping floral paper, chalkboard sticker, chalkboard marker and printed straw.
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Instagram hashtag board made by the hubby. This was placed on the entrance of the venue.
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Chalkboard sign upon entering the venue. Hand written by yours truly.

For the loot bags, I made 45 pcs of these. Each were individually placed with paper doily, cut the tags into circles, punched holes to place the jute string as ribbons. Inside were random fun stuff that we used to enjoy as kids like plastic balloons, imported chocolates, bubbles, pencil, puzzle, and candies. All are by the way, color-coordinated (Blue for boys, Pink for Girls). 😉

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Personalized Loot Bags for the kids.

For most parties, they would take this off their customize-list as this is not really important but for me, little things matter. I personally wrapped these wooden spoon and fork (talk about eco-friendly and safe for the kids) into cute ribbon-shaped napkins, and wrapped a washi tape to hold them together. This also matched the pink and blue polka dot paper plates and cups (not on photo). Rhiandra Jeila's First Birthday-40 With so many things in mind, who would think to personalize this? Well I did! This was quite easy as I only needed to print a huge sticker and covered the front part of the pinata (…only to be ripped in a second. I know, I know.)

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Personalized printable by Rhiandra’s Ninong, Reylan Gayas of Milkfish Studio.

Yes, even the pabitin didn’t get away with my OC-ness. Had this cheap, bamboo pabitin originally wrapped in gold foil. I transformed it by covering with pink, white and blue crepe paper just so it would go with the theme’s color scheme. I also chose the prizes that were placed in it.Rhiandra Jeila's First Birthday-5 How can I forget these? Made them for an entire day (along with taking care of Rhiandra in between). Jeza (her yaya) and I tediously cut the letters in wrapping paper to cover each of the 3D Paper mache letters of Rhiandra’s name. This was displayed on her dessert buffet. It added a more personal touch, do you agree? 🙂Rhiandra Jeila's First Birthday-52 Now onto the most awaited part.. the venue. Many of you who were able to read the article from Baby and Breakfast asked if I literally did everything. Well if I had 10 sets of hands, why not? Of course I needed stuff to be done and executed. If I could, I would actually do everything but it’s just not possible. As the mother of the celebrant, I had to take care of myself too. Getting ready with a toddler is a bit challenging, you know. That’s why we had to be in the venue at 7:30am to get settled and started (the party started at 11:30am). It’s a plus that they have a VIP room that clients can rent for dress up for the party. At least we had a place for Rhirhi to rest or play while waiting for the time. I also needed to go early to beat the traffic and of course, I had to do the supervision that everything is in proper order before everyone arrives. So I hired the expertise of Ms. Therese Noynay of TLC (Talamban Leisure Center) just so I’ll have a helping hand in achieving the theme for Rhirhi’s birthday which was Floral Shabby Chic. I specifically showed her photos from how I would want it to look like and provided minute but significant details. Here’s the entrance:

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Hand-made paper pompoms surrounded the door, hanging floral buntings and the chalkboard I showed earlier.

The stage. This is the highlight of the party. I can’t thank Ms. Therese enough for making the fences because I specifically wanted them to be on the stage. The ceiling drapes were provided by TLC but the balloons, pompoms and lanterns were all provided by me. The “ONE” in the middle of the stage was used on Rhiandra’s music video (which you can watch here) and I’ve decided to incorporate it in the party. Those are the letters O, N and E that I took from her puzzle mat. Took out each letter, covered it with wrapping floral paper, and glued it to a cartolina-made paper fan. Easy-peasy but looks classy 😉

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Styro frame provided by TLC.

I also wanted to have a mini memorabilia but the small space in the venue makes it impossible to happen so I decided to incorporate it on the stage. I provided the monthly photos hanged on the fence and the frames on the table. The 3ft. letters that spelled Rhiandra’s name were made by TLC according to my instructions.

Pretty hues of pink, blue, white, polka dots and floral prints ❤

Next would be the amazing dessert buffet by the pretty sisters, Janden and Janis of Itsy Bitsy Cakery and Decors. They literally went out of their way and exceeded my expectations and created this really unique and pinterest-worthy dessert buffet. The guests loved it as well. Many took their photos with this as their backdrop (talk about dual purpose).

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Cake, desserts, sweets and styling by the Itsy Bitsy Cakery and Decors.
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Closer look on the cake.


To those who know me personally, they know that I’m a sucker for mushy stuff and one of my fave things to do is making AVPs. Even when my husband and I were still dating, I used to make some for him as a way to surprise him on special occasions. Rhiandra’s birthday surely was not an exception. Her ninangs actually reacted because the program seemed like it was a debut due to many audio-visual presentations. Though I know it was a joke, we all know that jokes are “half-meant” but it’s all good. We all had a good laugh. I just want to look back and share to everyone how blessed we are for having her in our lives. Here are the links of the AVPs in her party:

Welcoming Rhiandra – this is a video on how she came to life, when I was pregnant with her till her delivery.

Watch Me Grow – her monthly photo sessions in a slideshow.

365 Days of Rhiandra – a compilation of her videos, milestones in a form of a letter. I hope for her to read this one day and appreciate everything we’ve done for her.


Oh yes, I did the flow of the program. Not only that, I made an AVP for one of her games which is facts about Rhiandra. I prepared 15 questions and whoever answers them correctly, gets a prize. It’s a good way to keep the early birds entertained while waiting for the other guests to arrive. I also had to plan for the games and even the music. I compiled it all by myself. I remember Jeff asking me if who chose the music and I said, I did.. He said, it’s very nice and theme-appropriate. 🙂


This can be seen on the Baby and Breakfast (link above) but I’ll have to place them here for easier access:

Rhiandra’s Dress: Barbie Alvez Calunod

Rhiandra’s Head Dress: Christianne and Ivy of Sugar Kissed II

Host: Em Em Abutanmo

Venue/Catering: Talamban Leisure Center (TLC)

Coordination: Therese Noynay of TLC

Planning, Styling, AVPs: Mommy Ria

DIY Team: Rhinna Marie Epe and Rhiandra’s Yaya (Jeza)

Cake & Dessert Buffet: Janis and Janden of Itsy Bitsy Cakery and Decors

Entertainment: Magic Illusionist from Hannah’s Party Needs

Photos: Jeff Garban of Saltandbleachit

Video MTV: Lloyd and Khristine Seco-Bazar of ConceptEight Media-Events

Printables: Reylanand Dyan Daphne Dy-Gayas

To end this blog, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who made this birthday a success. To our relatives and friends outside the country who contributed for her party, thank you so much. Now, I’d like to leave you with the  fun photos that are the only proof of all the hard work I did together with my minions. I’m happy with how it all turned out and as exhausting as it is.. what’s more rewarding is that your own husband congratulates you and tells you that you did a great job. That’s good enough for me.

Can’t wait for her 2nd birthday this year! 🙂 1 2 3 4 5

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Love, from my family.

Till next!

Mommy Ria

Margaux Anne’s Pink Ombre and Gold First Birthday

When Ate Ann told me that she’s going to hire me for her daughter’s first birthday, I got so excited because that means I’m going to be able to prove myself on another task again.

Ate Ann specifically told me her budget and “Ikaw na ang bahala” were her words. At first thought I said to myself, “Wow, that would be great!” but later on I realized, “Oh no! What to do??”. There were so many ideas out there and being an indecisive person that I am, it would really be hard for me to decide on what to bring in the table.. especially now that I’m the person being relied on for another baby girl’s first birthday. It seems really simple right? But it’s actually a scary thing. You have to think about if the guests would appreciate what you’re going to put up there and that their feedback would greatly affect your future market (Yes, I’m also looking into that aspect).

Since the party still falls on the holiday season (December 27), I thought it would only be fitting to have a pink party with gold accent (Did I tell you how fan I am of the color gold? It makes everything look catchy and fabulous) but for it not to be a bore, I decided to make it in pink ombre and gold.

The idea seems uncomplicated but since I’m located here in Bohol, I must say it’s really difficult to find stuff around (especially in gold!). With determination and a little OC-ness, I found some materials in our little city that I could use. So enough talk now, here are the photos taken from my ever reliable iPhone (Ha! I’m mocking myself. Lol! I really wished I had a better camera to take great photos than just my phone. It sucks, really. Hopefully I can work on getting a camera come 2015 to document my work):

Work in progress

Trivia: The gold pompoms were hand made. The material was freaking sensitive, it easily tears! So we had to carefully peel off each page to avoid further damages. 

Got a visitor while working 🙂

Did I mention that it was overly windy that day? It did not reflect on the photos but gosh, it took us an hour to put up the stand and the curtain with the rod as backdrop before actually starting to decorate. Plus the uneven floor (High to low from left to right) was also a plus on the challenge. Finally, here’s the output:


Closer look:

3See those hanging cheerleader-like pompoms? It took us almost an entire day to meticulously cut the crepe papers and measure them so they’d be close to the same size, roll, then place tapes to be ready for hanging on this day. As for the big M initial in the middle, our house was full of gold and pink dust for days because they’re just quite difficult to shove away. Hahaha! But we had fun on making that one. Here’s the TEAM behind this work:

Top photo: Jeza, Me with Rhiandra and Jen Bottom photo: Jen, Rhinna and Jeza with Rhiandra

Many thanks to these ladies who helped me made my ideas come to life 🙂

Happy Birthday, Margaux! 🙂

and thanks to you, for taking the time in reading this blog. I’m hoping that I could inspire more people to DIY (do-it-yourself) but if not, you can simply shoot me an email or txt and we’ll talk about your stress-and-worry-free event/s in the future 🙂

Till my next adventure!

Mommy Ria

Elaine’s Pastel Candyland First Birthday

Hey everyone! Got so caught up with the holiday prep after this huge event that I only had the time to finally blog about it now. It’s just that I got so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start, what to say or how I’m going to summarize everything that won’t make my readers get bored (that’s you, of course!).

First of all, I would like to thank mommy Tash for fully entrusting me her daughter’s first birthday to a “first timer-less experienced-diy mommy” like me. Just so you know, a baby’s first birthday is quite a big deal in our culture so having been entrusted by someone’s baby’s birthday is an enormous deal for me.

Mommy Tash with Baby Elle

Now moving on to what you’ve all been waiting for, here are the details of Maria Elaine’s birthday:


The fence and the stage were made just for this big event. All the paper rosettes were hand-made. Elaine’s name and the cupcake styro decorations were made from Cebu and were flewn by the celebrant’s lolo via a private plane (during the typhoon Ruby). That’s how special Elaine is! 🙂

It was the first time for me to make balloon pillars (and balloon arc – not on photo).. and my my! It was really hard! I realized that I still have a lot of things to learn about balloons and hopefully through time and experience, I’ll be able to perfect this skill. But just a little info, I’m not really a fan of balloons (a few won’t hurt though). I think they make a party more festive but having too much would make it too traditional. My goal for Dainty Love is to create parties that are unique, special and most of all, personalized.

Cupcakes are love ❤

Talk about personalization, here’s Elaine’s chair dressed in rainbow tutu and her number 1 stage centerpiece.

High Chair Tutu c/o Mommy Tash | Floral 1 Stage Backdrop (DIY)

..and how cute are these candy paper lanterns that lined the top part of the stage fence? 🙂

Top: Candy Paper Lanterns | Bottom: Dessert Buffet Backdrop
Dessert buffet and area for gifts
Cake by Charmaine Dumadag-Usares
Dessert buffet details
Pretty cupcakes by Frostings (by Shoebel)
Pretty cupcakes by Frostings (by Shoebel)

I almost forgot about the paper pompoms here. They’re also made from scratch. The total number of pompoms used in this party was 85. A few were bought, but the rest were hand made. Notice the flying balloons that looked like ice cream? They look delish!

Centerpiece for the guests

What is a candyland party without candies? The kiddie tables’ centerpiece is of course a mini candy machine with colorful bubble gums (how yummy!) and check out the cutlery arrangement wrapped in paper doily. Color coordinated for boys (blue) and girls (pink).

Kiddie Table Set-up

Party favors are a must for birthday parties. See how these actually complement her theme. More mini candy machines for the little guests to take home and how sweet is their name tags? Necklaces made out of fruit loops, arranged in rainbow colors 🙂

L: Party Favors | R: Fruit Loops Kiddie Name Tags

An outdoor party like this wouldn’t be complete without a huge inflatable for kids to jump around.

Courtesy of Sparkles

Looks like the birthday girl had so much fun on her big day!

Happy Birthday, Elaine! 🙂

This party was a “make-or-break-it” for me. Imagine, it’s the very first event I’ve done and it’s not just any other party, it’s a HUGE one. As an aspiring mommypreneur who only wishes to share my ideas to other moms, I’m just glad I made it with the coordination of mommy Tash and my “team”. All the effort and hard work were put together and acknowledged. Now I’m more confident in working next time. You see, everything is a first for me in this new venture. That’s what makes it challenging every. single. time.

*All photos were taken by the amazing Nog Bernido.

Till my next adventure!

Mommy Ria

Styling Assignment: Kiddie Corner

Last Thursday (November 20), a close family friend (practically relatives!) went home to spend her birthday here with us in Bohol and we went swimming with my little doll to the hotel where she’s staying. Then I got a call from my husband who sounded quite frantic because he said his new office’s kiddie corner needs to be done by that day. I knew I was going to help him set that up but I didn’t realize that it’s going to be THAT urgent. We only had a few hours because it should be ready by the next day for Toyota Tagbilaran’s Inauguration so right after our late lunch at the hotel, I headed straight to his office.

We shopped around the city and find what we could use. We only had a specific amount of money allotted for the project so we just had to think fast and come up with a presentable set up, one that can be used by both boys and girls and of course it should be something in which kids would actually enjoy when visiting. So here’s the final output.

Basketball stand, small pool with colorful balls and hoola hoops 🙂
Kiddie table set up: Coloring books and crayons, write and erase toy. On the chairs: Hard bound short story books for kids to enjoy reading.
Here’s myself with the final output 🙂

I would like to thank the staff of Toyota Tagbilaran for helping me out. This would not have been made possible in just a few hours without extra set of hands to help me set this up. Till my next styling adventure!


Mommy Ria

Mama’s 60th

They say turning 50 is golden but I thought, 60 is more fun for various reasons. Firstly and most essentially, you get to have your Senior Citizen ID/Card which entitles you to 20% with almost anything! Movies, fares, and FOOD! 😀 Just imagine how much you can save by having that card in your hands. Another reason is that here in our province (Bohol), our beloved mayor have this program to give out a birthday cake and a cheque of P500 to every person who turns 60. Ain’t that nice?

So now that Mama’s 60, I came up with a thought of giving her a surprise. A party would be too much, but since I’m still new in this field.. I wanted to try if I can actually put up a dessert buffet for her. With the help of my Ate Rizza (who was in charge of the funds), younger sister, Rhirhi’s yaya (Jeza) and her sister (Jen) for extra hands, it was made possible.

Jeza gave me an idea to make the surprise early in the morning since it would be very difficult to keep her out of the house within the day. It was the best idea so when she wakes up, she’ll come out of the room and we’ll all shout aloud, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” (..and so we thought. That was how I pictured it out hahaha! You’ll know why later). The night before her birthday, I came to a realization on how tiresome this will be.. Well guess what? We only had 2 hours of sleep not because of setting up, but because I tried to make cake pops for the first time (yeah, what a great time to decide on doing this). We spent 3 hours on the cake pops. I really wish I took photos so I could share it with you. I’ll try to make another one and blog about it.

Anyways, here’s the fruit of our labor:

L: From afar, R: Up close


My experimental cake pops 😀
Got the idea? Emphasizing on ‘Sucks’ coz we actually suck on lollipops when we eat them, right? 🙂 Cornix! Hahahah!
R: Plain cake pops and mallow pops L: Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting by Frostings

Now let me share a bit of a story behind how this cake came to be. I specifically wanted a quilted red base and a second layer which is made of the 60 red candle topper. Supposedly, the flowers should have been white roses instead of these but I had no choice.. There were only red roses left in our flower market at that time. When I placed the red candles on top of the cake, I realized that white would’ve looked better with it but I can’t change it anymore because it was already 8pm when we picked up the cake and cupcakes from Maam Shoebel of Frostings. Now I understand why careful and imaginative planning is clearly important when setting up a dessert buffet. Going back to the cake, I think it’s not bad as how I imagined it to be 🙂

Moist Chocolate Cake by Frostings

Now, for the big surprise! Since we spent all night preparing for this, we slept at almost 2am.. Mama woke up at 4am and SURPRISE!!! We were sleeping in the sala just to make sure we can wake up early but our alarm clocks failed us badly… We didn’t get to wake up first before her. We were the ones who got surprised! Hahhaha 🙂 but seeing Mama’s face, was all worth the headache, the secret sign languages and the putting up of ideas just to make this work. Here’s her photo:

Mama’s priceless smile 🙂
Papa helping out to light her 60 candles 🙂
Make a wish, ma!

Oh, did I say that we manually puffed the balloons? Yes, all 32 of them 🙂 All for the love of our dearest Mama.

So what can you say? Give me a feedback. I’d love to hear it.


Mommy Ria

Maria Elaine’s Prebirthday Shoot

Yesterday was the last leg of Elaine’s photo shoot. We had to set this one at another day since Elle was already exhausted and sleepy the last time. I’m so ecstatic to share the official photos captured by Nog Bernido. I’m really happy with how they turned out.

Candyland set up



Mommy Tash wanted to see Elle in a superhero costume. She looked so happy being a Darna, doesn’t she? 🙂
Elaine’s Shabby Chic set up

5 6

Elle doing the duck face! What a cutie! :)
Elle doing the duck face! What a cutie! 🙂

That was a wrap! Please do send me a feedback on my first ever work as a Photoshoot Stylist. I would really appreciate it so I can improve more. As you know, I’m no professional in this field but I’m doing my best to make mommies (and babies) happy. I’m looking forward to making more set ups with different age groups soon! Maybe a newborn perhaps? That would be a dream 🙂


Mommy Ria