Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thought of the day...

"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet." ~ Sarah Louise Delany

Belated Bonne anniversaire to my sweet French sister, Rhonda, hoping you had the most sweetest birthday ever yesterday.

Since, I'm feeling quite French today, hop on over to another sweet friend of mine, Dionne's blog: City of Dionne...
where she talks about one of my favourite movies, Amelie and hosted a sweet Amelie Party...you will just love all the sweet details she created for her party...

I'm pretty sure you'll be inspired with all the beauty she put into this gorgeous party!

Well, It's raining cats+dogs today but seeing this photo I took with my sis, Mary Ann,

is really making my day a whole lot sweeter...

Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday...

bon temps...xoxox

Saturday, November 5, 2011

right time, right place, right love...

...it's fate... {photos found on internet}

"Life is the most spectacular show on earth."~Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

Just saw this beautiful love story...it reminded me of my own lovestory...one day I'll write about it...but I know about how deep love can go...I was there with my true love...
right time, right place, right love...it's fate...

{photo courtesy of labour of love-taken at Lake Winagra}

You had me at " when two people are meant to be together, they'll be together. It's fate."
~Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants.

go see this movie...read the book...you're going to love it!
♥♥♥ this inspirational love story

happy Saturday...


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Welcome November...always bring your own sunshine...

Photo taken by Labour of Love. Taken at UW Arboretum.

Today's weather was far from being the beautiful day as depicted in the above photo.
It was cold, dreary, wet and just plain miserable.
But if we could treat each day like it was something maginificent, wow...where would we be? More importantly, where would I be?!
I love quotes. I'm so happy to have stumbled upon the following quotes...they are truly words of inspiration and motivate me to accomplish much + have a great day! I hope you do too...

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine." ~Anthony J. DiAngelo

November’s sky is chill and drear... November’s leaf is red and sear.
~Sir Walter Scott

Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods. ~William Allingham

Good news, I finally mailed off my Pay it Forward package to a sweetheart on the West Coast.
Once things settle, I'll be able to post some pics of her lil' package and our Halloween soirees!
Whatever you do today, just remember to 'always bring your own sunshine...'

bonne nuit

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile...

{photo taken by Labour of Love}

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile. -William Cullen Bryant

October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.-Nova Bair

Here is my October 2011 Desktop Calendar. Autumn is one of our favourite season...we love when the leaves change into their vibrant + glorious colours. For a couple of weeks it hit 80 degrees...but today it has been raining like cats+dogs all day...

This shot was taken nearby UM-Wisconsin Arboretum. Two canoers just started their journey on Lake Winagra. I wanted to capture the Fall beauty...I truly love seeing all the different colours through my camera lens. It was a perfect shot!

What are you planning for this weekend?!

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the beautiful Fall weather! Until next time...

au revoir xoxo

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


lately this month, i've been watching a lot of superhero type of movies with my munchkins: Thor, Dare Devil, Electra, Transformers, Aeonflux, Indiana Jones, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Hornet, Harry Potter, heck, even Charlie's Angels. it's very fitting for this month as Halloween is just around the corner. don't you wish you could just have superpowers and get everything you wanted done?! sometimes having superpowers can help you ward off evil mojo + bad karma that negative people try to displace onto unexpecting souls. hmmm...what superhero would i be? what power would i want? well...

a few days ago, a friend on fb tagged me to do this fun meme:
1 - Go to wikipedia and hit random. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band. 2 - Go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. 3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”. Third picture no matter what it is, will be your album cover. 4 - Use photoshop or other similar free online photo editors to put it all together. 5 - Post it with this text in the "caption" and TAG the friends you want to join in...

i did everything, except #3 had me thinking about copyright laws and the owners of those pictures on Explore/Flickr. i found a cool picture (that was the third picture of Explore) of a woman in a long, white gown. her hair was wrapped around her face and her arms were wrapped around herself. it was gorgeous. i believe the photographer's name is Vanessa Ho. i added text to the picture and it looked great. but i didn't feel right using that photo without the expressed consent of the owner. so i deleted it. but i loved the title of my band: Flygirl and i loved the title of my first album: No bird soars too high, if (s)he soars with her (i added the word 'her') own wings (quote from William Blake). it got my creative juices flowing and i edited a photo of myself by using the pencil sketch option via photoshop and added the text and viola, a great poster/album cover was born (see photo above)...

so, i guess the universe is telling me that if i were to be a superhero, i would be 'FLYGIRL' with supermagnificent and unbelievable speed, intelligence, power , strength and of course the natural ability to FLY.

with that being said, this one superhero (ha~moi!) has been a busy lil' beaver...we've decorated our lil' house with neat + stylish Halloween decos (will take some shots soon)...we're going to be making our lil' mummy cups (see this post for mummy goody cups + more Halloween ideas) for their treats to give out to their lil' buddies at school and i've been scouting our town for our next family portrait photoshoot location. i'm also preparing to send my 1st 52 week mail out of town + a long-awaited package to someone special. whew...i'm just exhausted reading all the things i have to get done.

well... i hate to talk and run, but duty calls...until next time! mwah~Flygirl ;)

Monday, October 10, 2011

52 Weeks of Mail Love...

A sweet friend, Anastasia, wrote about this special event in FB. She is a beautiful artist and also loves letter writing and receiving mail from all over.
I instantly fell in love with this idea!

I love letter writing, receiving letters from pen-pals and just checking the mailbox for any sweet surprises from special hearts across the world. Call me old-fashioned. But whatever happened to sending mail through the postal service? In this fast, high-tech world, I think people have forgotten how to be civil to one another. I think the Etsy Creators have got a great idea.
Bringing people closer together by a simple surprise in the mail. I like it.
I'm participating in this event and I'm starting with a person that has been waiting for something from me for 3 whole years. I don't know where those years have gone. All I know is that LIFE got in the way (esp. with my Hubby deployed to the Middle East-life was hectic for sometime.) So, to get back into the groove, I'm preparing a lil' package to this special heart. They should receive it before Halloween. I'm determined to mail it this week. I'm getting everything ready and I'll post a quick picture of it before the week is out.

Check out 52 Weeks of Mail here for more info and check out the other FBers looking for pen-pals. Great way to connect!

Also, through FB, here is another Artist, Jenny, (The Modest Peacock) who writes a great post about how and why she's participating. She also gives out fab links to other places to connect with and find some great pen-pals!

If anyone would like to send me their snail addy (mail address), I would be happy to send mail from my lil' world to you. Just let me know your snail addy by sending me a quick e-mail at labourof_love at hotmail dot com or you could send me your blog link and I could contact you through your blog.
(Please no weird, stranger-danger types.
Just real, wholesome+good hearts, PLEASE!)

Looking forward to sending my lil' something to that special heart soon...
Hope you will join in the fun too!

Until next time... bonne nuit!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

once in awhile...

is it already the last weekend of September... where does the time go?

there's already a chill in the air...leaves are falling...warmer jackets are being put on...

what a weekend...fall clean-up, packing summer stuff up and getting into the fall groove...

looking forward to creating something special for someone who deserves a
lil' surprise~i haven't forgotten...just wishing time was on my side...this surprise will hopefully make it in time for one of our favourite holidays...Halloween!

In the meantime, the munchkins, dear hubby + i had a sweet family dessert date...what a nice way to mark the end of summer...
Do you have any traditions to mark the end of Summer and welcome Fall?
Here's to a delicious end to summer...
au revoir hot sun, bonjour crisp, fall air!


Friday, September 16, 2011

what love can build...

16 years ago...you and i exchanged vows in my childhood church...

you're my best friend. you're my one and only.

look what we've built together...we've gone through so much together.
we have so much history together...i look forward to sharing many more years with you
and our lil' munchkins...i love you for eternity...
mahal kita...Happy 16th anniversary mahal!
je t'aime

Monday, September 12, 2011

blueberry love...

hoping you're having a good monday...

love blueberries, don't you...

these are sugarfree mini bluecakes i made for my lil' guy...

have to run but will post recipe soon.

happy september!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Those Special Hearts...

{image found on internet, I inserted words + heart banner}

{created by me: labour of love}

{created by me: labour of love}

10 years...

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was early morning, I was downtown at work in Chicago, when a colleague had his tv on in his office and said something weird was happening...World Trade Center was on fire...then we all saw the second plane hit the second tower...burst of flames, black smoke, we were dumbfounded, and utterly scared for those trapped in the buildings and the horrible thought that something terrible has gone on...then my hubby called me and said something I will never forget...
"Terrorists hit NYC and America is in danger"...I thought I was in the twilight zone...
he then told me to get out of work and meet him on the train to go home...

That day changed the world forever.

I will never ever forget the many hearts that were taken. Life cut short for so many innocent people. Lives lost in a second. Families torn. The world in chaos. The kind hearts that helped. The very meaning of unconditional love pouring out to so many...

Today, I will always remember all those special hearts...our Heros...

September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten.

My three little miracles were created 2 months after this tragedy...and I am truly grateful to God. He brought us hope among the darkest day...and I will continue to keep those special hearts in my prayers...
as the loves of my life keep burning bright lights for the future...


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stormy Tuesday...Anyway...

Today is Tuesday. Today is stormy. Today is all about "Anyway..."

I stumbled on to one of my friends' facebook status and this is what it said:
Words to live by: If u r honest, people may cheat u. Be honest anyway. If u find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good u do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, it is between u and God. It was never between u and them anyway. (attributed to Mother Teresa, based on Dr. Kent M. Keith...borrowed from my friend, Kristie...)

1. This version was found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa (*) The verses above was reportedly written on the wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her. And some sources say that the words were written on the wall in Mother Teresa's own room. However, these words are based on a composition originally by Kent Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way.

2. Here is the Original Version:
The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith:
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith"The Paradoxical Commandments" were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders.

This was perfect for today. I needed this to remind me of who I am...
What I am all about...Honesty, Integrity, Goodness.

Thank you, God. Thank you, Mother Teresa. Thank you, Dr. Keith. Thank you, Sweet Kristie.

Merci Beaucoup xoxo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day...Natural Beauties

Tip of the Day:

When someone says, "Oh, you don't have to get me anything. Especially flowers. They're too expensive and they'll just die in a day anyway!" Don't believe them. Flowers will always put a smile on someone's face. Especially if they came from someone you care about. Flowers are God's natural wonders of beauty. From a small seed, beauty erupts at the right time and will display such amazing + vibrant colours and shapes.

For longer lasting flowers, just take care of your flowers when you receive them. Cut bottom stems at an angle. Remove some of the leaves from the flower bunch. Put them in water, add flower medicine (or crushed tylenol). Remember to keep your flowers away from air conditioners or heat registers. Change the water everyday and cut the ends off on an angle.

Now, go ahead and surround yourself with these natural beauties and enjoy every moment!

oui, oui!
jo xoxo

Monday, August 15, 2011

a shining example to the human race...Merci Beaucoup Mondays

VIRGIN MARY and baby Jesus at the Courtyard of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, L'Erable, Illinois
photo by labour of love

For many Christians, especially the Roman Catholics, Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and parts of the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglicanism, today is The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary~August 15 . (information from Loyola Press here and Wikipedia over here .)

Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was born without sin, was taken, body and soul, into the glory of heaven on this day. Because of Mary's role in God's plan of salvation, she does not suffer from the effects of sin, which are death and decay. Mary is the first to receive the fullness of the redemption that her son has won for all of humanity. The Church, therefore, recognizes Mary as the sign of the salvation promised to all.

Mary's faith enabled her to recognize the work of God in her people's history and in her own life. Her openness to God allowed God to work through her so that salvation might come to all. Mary is a model and symbol of the Church. May we be like Mary, open and cooperative in God's plan of salvation.

A Catholic Theologian, Ludwig Ott, viewed Mary as having completed her life as a shining example to the human race, with the perspective that the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race. (information from Wikipedia here )

Merci Beaucoup, Sweet, Blessed Virgin Mary for having faith in God and happily accepting God's plan. I pray that I can continue to have Faith and continue to do God's will, just as you had.

until next time
bonne nuit,

jo;) xoxo

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hello August!

This summer surely is going by so fast! Maybe because the munchkins and I are absolutely busy every single day. Not one day goes by where we aren't doing something or going somewhere. I guess that's good in a way. It keeps us hopping. But it prevents me from updating my social media outlets big time...July went by like a flash. I do have photos to prove it but I just haven't had the chance to upload them. Soon...I know I sound like a broken record, but I promise myself that I will post soon.

Last month we went on a mini-vacation to Michigan, with my very creative sis, Mary Ann (whom we lovingly call Reya). We stayed at my sis' good friend's, Joanne's sweet B&B and went to another of my sis' good friend, Angela's BBQ&Pool Party. It was beautiful. Their homes were absolutely divine!!! A much needed getaway! Sooooooo very, very, very...Hoooooooooooooot but very beautiful! Joanne and Angela surely made us feel so welcomed. Thank you so very much ladies for sharing your homes, your weekend + your hearts with us. The munchkins and I loved every minute!!! I met some wonderful + Creative Soules...so much inspiration going on...(again, I took some great pics of our trip...and will post soon...)

We also had the chance to visit the Sketchbook Project when it came to Chi-Town. We met so many wonderful artists that I can't wait to share some great photos of their work and photos of the artists themselves! We met this mother-daughter duo from Indiana. Ann + Kelly . They are the sweetest duo ever!!!! Their journals were so beautiful and inspirational. Please check Kelly's post to see more of their fabulous visit to Chi-Town over here... (I will hopefully post my pics soon of these amazing women and our visits)

I hope you are all enjoying these dog days of summer and having a blast with your loved ones. In the meantime, please enjoy the above desktop calendars for August (sweet french vanilla angel cuppies & lazy summer days=sunflower) (and sorry about my late July photos~delicious blueberry puffs w/ blueberry lemon tea~yum!)

until next time... au revoir...

xoxo jo

Friday, July 1, 2011

Parades, Fireworks, Stars+Stripes...oh my!

cheerleading camp. done!
my lil' gal is one jumpin, flyin' cheerleader to be...she loves all her flip-flops. all those gymnastic classes sure has helped her physically and mentally.

So proud of you, sweetie! until next year...GOOoooooooooo Shioban!

now, in a couple of hours, it'll be parade time over here. the munchkins are excited!

we're decorating their bikes with red, white + blue...this year they'll be able to enjoy some sparklers + snap poppers. my lil' guys are so cute.
they read the boxes of these lil' firecrackers and said:

i+s: "Guess what Mommy?"

j: "What is it munchkins?"

i+s: "It says not good for kids under 9. And guess what...we're the big 9!!!! Whoo-hoo! We get to touch these mini sparklers + poppin' thing-a-ma-jigs!"

j: "Rah-Roh...me thinks I created 2 monsters..."

well, better get our sparklers on...we're heading to some friends house for some birthday celebration + early 4th of July partying!

i'll post photos of our weekend soon.
in the meantime...hope you have the best + safe 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

merci beaucoup...

can't believe June's ending...like i've been saying all year long...where does the time go?!

this summer is flying...loads of stuff being done everyday!

so much has happened this June but running around with munchkins in tow to all of their summer activities, really leaves me no time to update this lil' blog of mine.

when i get the chance, i'm going to share some photos of some of the
neat things we've been doing this June.

first, the kiddos celebrated their 9th b-day in memory of our sweet Angel Sinead.

this year's theme was "Fear Factor." they (we) had a blast!
then, we ended the school year on June 13th-yay!
now, everyday, the kiddos and i have been busy with science enrichment programs, get-fit camps for kids, gymnastics, cheer tumbling, cheerleading camp, pom-poms, hip-hop, guitar, youth club commission, swimming, parties, playdates, zumba (thxs kristie for discovering this!), bootcamp (thxs coach luch for the serious, motivational+energetic program) , walking track (thxs cath/jen for the inspirational walks/talks)...and more...
the month of june had so many birthdays, including mine + my sweetheart. it was very low-key celebrations. those special peeps of mine who remembered and sent sweetness our way will always be treasured in our hearts. thank you very much for making us feel so special!

oh, yes... in the midst of all the chaos...new friendships have been formed.
it's good to know that there are still nice+sweet peeps out there.
i'm just lucky to have this opportunity to share some great times with them.
i want to thank these special hearts for taking the time to wish me well.

hoping you are all enjoying these beautiful days of summer...until next time!
bonne nuit

Sunday, June 5, 2011


summer has come early this year...record highs in the 90's for early June...but that's ok...it's a nice welcome after a long winter. it's also been such a stormy spring but i like the rain~just not tornados or hurricanes...with all the natural disasters going on in our world today, i think it's been affecting how people act in society. i mean, lots of stuff has been happening around my neck of the woods. kids almost done with school. it's been one rocky school year. no, not about their grades but about their social well-being. people can be strange. we've been dealing with crazy stuff this year. i don't like to bring negative karma to this lil' ol blog of mine but sometimes letting off steam can be a good thing.

just a simple question: why in the world can people be so weird?!

our lil' family is doing our best to maintain happiness amongst all the bs. no one can take our happiness away. here's a message to the negative person that's been bothering our family:

"hey you...yea you... the one that has been stalking and sending negative karma our way...it's NOT WORKING!"
we're still here in this world and we're as happy as can be... here's to you my sweet lil' family...thank you for being you and being great troopers...i love you my sweet family...here's to a great summer to come...exciting things will be happening for my munchkins...will post pics soon...until next time...enjoy the sweetness of SUMMER!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

2nd attempt to post: Easter, Bunnies, Eggs...oh my...

blogger had issues last week. they made a general statement of apology + promised restoration of lost data. however, my posts/comments/pics haven't been recovered. i haven't heard from blogger and rather than waiting for my prayers to be answered, i will try to remember what i posted and do my best restoring my 5/12/11 post (i apologize in advance for being redunant in posting my Easter happenings...please bear with me...):

After Easter Sunday Mass, my lil' munchkins were ready to get down and gritty for the Egg Hunting...but of course, i had to get my annual Easter outfit pics...here are my lil' princess+prince:

such a pretty lil' princess! i wish designers can create a lil' number like this one in my size...love the classic look + the robin egg blue colour is stunning... (this lil' number came from TJ MAXX)

oops...i think my lil' prince is growing like a weed...i've got to let out the jacket + pants...you're growing too tall, sweetie...
but you sure look handsome!

my beautiful mom + her grandkiddos...such a sweet pic!

i really love this gorgeous headband from Ulta. Fit for a princess...worth every penny for her an early b-day present.

here's my lovely family...sweet Angel Sinead is smiling down on us...miss you, sweetpea!

been busy designing my lil' sis' new bakery website. Gail, is quite the avid baker. One day she'd like to own her own brick+morter shoppe...but in the meantime, she's made 1000's of cuppies+baked goodies. i've been capturing a bunch of her work on film + love capturing her delectable treats + styling them for photo shoots...i love still-shots + graphic design...wish i could turn back time + majored in that in college...

now, off to our Egg Hunting Festivities:
here's Shioban enjoying some of the cute things she found in her Easter Basket...

Ian just couldn't wait to get out of that suit...
here they are with their loot:

my Pop+Mom came over to have Easter Brunch with us. My Pop made his delicious Pork Butt Roast and scrumptious Chicken Wings. i attempted to make this ham with pineapples, cherries and cloves. it looked gorgeous but i wasn't impressed with the taste. the family liked it but i like it to be more juicy with loads of carmelized flavour...

here's Ian teaching Shioban how to use their new "Twistable Crayolas," my lil' artists-to-be!
both the kiddos are such hams! Shioban looked at me and said, "Hey, Mommy...did you get us these baskets or did the Easter Bunny give these to us..." ruh-roh...me thinks this is the last year of them believing in the Easter Bunnies, tooth fairies, Leprechuans, Santa...you name it...well it was a good 9 year run, huh?

the Easter Egg Hunt was a blast! they never get tired of finding treasures, that's for sure!
i think counting their loot is the best part of the hunt.i made these Easter Peep wreaths...i wanted to hang them on our 2 front doors but the doors have a southern exposure and the sun would just have a field day with all that marshmellow and then the ants would start marching on in...
we also made Easter Eggs...we forgot a few in the colour wash and when we took them out, they turned out to be absolutely darling! isn't it cool that a mistake can be so neat?

amazing colour, huh?! sometimes mistakes are a good thing!

well, that was our fun-filled Easter Weekend. hope it was 'hopping' for you too!

(let's hope this post sticks around awhile...)

bon temps!