Chateau de Bouthonvilliers
France, Marriage, Motherhood, Weddings

To The Guy I Married Twice

A Shout Out To My Hubby

My husband and I recently celebrated our five-a-half-year anniversary! For those of you who don’t know, we got married twice. We did not get a divorce and then remarried. (By the way, divorce is still not legal in the Philippines!) We just had two weddings. Why get married twice- you may ask? We had been in a long-distance relationship for two years since I moved to the U.S. for a cultural exchange program. The only way we can be together right away was to get our documents ready before the deadline for some important paperwork.

The first “ninja wedding” was in an intimate setting with very close family and friends. The first wedding really was the legal date of our marriage. Two days after the wedding, I flew back to America.  We were “married” and yet we were again embarking on a solo flight. At least for another six months.

In between the waiting period something terrible happened. I lost the diamond of my engagement ring! It was the worst feeling in the world. It never turned up even though I searched through garbage bags and cleaned through the whole apartment. But you know what? I had to move on. I bought a hundred dollar “engagement ring” at J.C. Penney and “owned it”.

Finally, after six months of painful waiting, my husband and I were back together…forever! The second wedding took place at The Glass Garden, Philippines.

Our First Wedding in 2012
Our Second Wedding in 2013 (c) Filterpan Photography

Why Two Is A Special Number

  1. Two weddings
  2. Two break-ups (that we survived, obviously)
  3. Two years of being apart (long distance relationship)
  4. “Two” engagement rings
  5. Two countries we moved to (U.S. and Italy)
  6. Two children (Leon and Lucas)

A Couple of Throwback Photos

My 18th Birthday

Traditionally, when a Filipina turns 18, her parents will throw her a huge formal party where everyone important in her life is invited. I had a huge crush on my husband, and I asked him to be my debut’s escort! Actually, he was my third choice because the first two backed out! See…everything happens for a reason! Ten years later, he became my “escort for life”! These photos were taken at Fernwood Gardens in Manila, Philippines in 2002.

Our Engagement (See the original ring)

So my hubby proposed to me in a garden restaurant. We were both so happy that we forgot to finish our dinner! I don’t even remember why we had leftovers because the food was so good.  If you are craving for osso bucco, you need to head over to Rustic Mornings by Isabelo! We both need to go back with our two little boys and I will order the same thing we had that night.

  • Gardens are our “thing” obviously! Fun fact: my name “Carmela” actually means “garden of paradise”.
JC Penney engagement ring
My “fake” $100 engagement ring

Cheers For Five Years! (Cin cin per cinque anni!)

Chateau de Bouthonvilliers
Ma Famille
(c) Hershey Neri

Mi amore…

The Lord has blessed us with two darling boys. I know that having children completely changes a marriage. It hasn’t been easy for us taking care of two toddlers. Life is now more challenging (and exciting) as we go through the early stages of parenthood. Parenthood is messy, and we’re and stressed out…but I know that this will make our relationship stronger! We can do this, babe!

Happy 5th and a half Anniversary!


Baci e abbraci,

Carmela (Bellissimamma)


Check out our LOVE STORY:  Storie d’ Amore Love Stories by Questa Dolce Vita! 

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fashion, Featured Women, Lifestyle

9 Inspiring Mommy Blogs in 2018

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos, the owners shared their photos voluntarily. No copyright infringement intended, and I acknowledged all professional photos.

Why I Started A Blog

I started my blogging journey in 2017, a couple of months after giving birth to my second son. At that time, I felt the need to have an outlet for my thoughts and feelings as I struggled to cope with the pressure and stress of motherhood. I blogged without expecting anyone to read any of my posts. As a matter of fact, I did not want anyone to know that I had a blog because I was not sure if what I was writing was “good enough”.

To my surprise, people were actually reading my blog! A few of my friends even encouraged me to go all the way and make it a career. After my family moved to Italy, I realized that it would be fun to write about our family’s expat adventures! That was when I decided to get my own domain via Siteground. I also joined the Influential Mamas Promo and Community Facebook Group and discovered mommy bloggers such as myself who share the same passion for writing and influencing.

As my way of celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8, I would like to share a list of mom blogs with inspiring stories and helpful resources. To make this more fun, these mommy bloggers also shared their wedding photos!


9 Inspiring Mommy Blogs in 2018

1. Stacey of Just Mommin Around

Stacey lives in Cape Cod and is a mother to two “wonderfully crazy little children”. She writes articles on motherhood, organization, parenting as well as product reviews of things her family uses.


Married in 2011

Photo by A Perfect Picture


2. Jhilmil of Mommy In Me

Jhilmil writes about parenting and lifestyle. She calls herself a travel maniac, marketing professional and contented human. She writes articles on traveling with children, play ideas, inspiring women, positive parenting and more.

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 4.23.15 PM.png

Married in 2010


3. Caitlin of Real Mom Recs

Caitlin describes herself as an adoptive mom, biological mom, slacker mom, Disney mom, and above all things, a real mom. She writes articles on motherhood, breastfeeding, and Disney World.


“This is from my wedding in 2009. I still love my dress (and my husband )!”


4. Kate of Homebound but Hopeful

Kate describes her blog as “one busy mom’s journey finding ways to feel fulfilled, productive, and connected, when stay-at-home motherhood was never part of the plan. Happily blogging from the intersection where children’s literature and design meet.” Read her article on celebrating family diversity.


Married in 2012


5. Rebecca of Mommy Takes 5

Rebecca says that you can lose yourself in motherhood. Her blog will help you “connect with the real you again”. Her blog has free resources on self-care. Furthermore, check out her article on 6 Day Clear the Clutter Challenge.


Married in 2016, Flowers by Bride & Bloom 

“One of my favorite wedding pictures, my dad tying the bow on my dress. It was a very special moment that we shared, he had tied all the bows on my dresses growing up, so I surprised him and asked him to tie the bow on my wedding dress.”


6. Yamy of Go Fam Go

Yamy got married on a very special date: 11/11/11. Go Fam Go is a multi-generation family travel blog. Join them on their adventure as they explore with a toddler and an elderly grandparent on dialysis. Search their blog for articles, reviews, and guides on different family vacation spots.



7. Ashley of Parenting the Principal

Ashely says, “I got married in June of 2011. We started the blog together originally but it’s become my baby. It’s about Parenting with an educational twist but we keep it real…as we are trying to navigate the crazy life of 3 girls under the age of 5. ” Read Why Children Need Routine and Consistency.



8. Ro of Travel Tiddlers

Travel Tiddlers is a Facebook Page for traveling with little ones. Ro says, “We have an 18-month-old son. We got married in Spain in 2015 as part of our family lives there and we love going there! (We live in the U.K.) Our venue was in a Vineyard and it was a perfect day!” 


9. Dawnmarie of Enjoying the Days

Dawnmarie’s blog is about her family’s travels and adventures together…and Disney World. She says, “July 19th, 1997 is when we got married, yet this picture is from July 19th, 2004. In 1997, we were away for the weekend and wound up getting married. We did not plan to elope. In 2004, we had a full wedding and a Covenant Ceremony. The theme was Seven Year Itch? Here is a switch. We are getting rehitched! We now renew our vows every seven years, and this summer will be twenty-one years!” Check out Disney Date Night Restaurants.


Dress by Christina Wu


More From Bellissimamma: My Blogging Journey (Bellissimamma)

Aside from being a mommy blogger, I am also a Dolce Vita Blogger! Are you a lover of Italy? Check out this link to find out how you can join the monthly linky.


A Marriage Quote from Love in the Time of Cholera

“Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was the time when they loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would present them with other mortal trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.”

– Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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