Life, Inspired.

Finding the beauty in everyday moments.

This is what this project is all about. It is a collection of portraits about people who serve as an inspiration to others as they elevate their ordinary lives to achieve more in their respective fields. These individuals have, in their own way, touched the lives of many (us, included) and have left a mark in the community one way or another.

Through their words and our images, we will endeavour to know what goes through their minds as they encounter the peaks and valleys in their lives. Spontaneous, “unscripted” moments happening in real time is the essence of this project, moments that are often taken for granted. We love to tell their stories through the images we take. 

We hope that through this project, we will be able to continue their work of inspiring others as well.

AMY PETERS

When I returned back from the Philippines last year (I was on maternity leave with our littlest one), there was a period of adjustment between family and work. Here, Dave and I only had ourselves to rely on (plus daycare at times), while trying to juggle everything in between.

We had several projects on the go, one of which is our “Life, Inspired” series. We started this project in the Philippines with the hopes of continuing it here in Nova Scotia – however, our schedules were just too tight.  Fast forward to a year later, we are finally happy to work on this series again.

What better way to start than to share a story of a remarkable woman, raising two boys in the beautiful city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Nowadays, social media has definitely occupied our lives. We find ourselves following celebrities, bloggers, restos/shops. Then there are ordinary people who have influenced our lives one way or another: moms, travellers, photographers, etc. collectively known as “online influencers.” This is how I came to know Amy Peters.

Amy worked full-time in Sales for a distribution company prior to becoming a mom. Her job was stressful, involved a lot of travelling in the Atlantic, so she was away from home a lot. 5 years later, she’s now very happy and content being a stay at home mom to Avery (almost 3 years old) and Archer (7 months). What I love about Amy is that she is such a real, everyday mom going through experiences I can relate to. I love how she focuses on the positive aspects of motherhood as well as the products she integrates into her lifestyle. 

Here’s what happened the morning Dave and I met this beautiful family.

Momma and her boys.

Momma and her boys.

Loved everything about this room!

Loved everything about this room!

When asked how her Instagram "fame" started, Amy shares that the discovery of Chatbooks contributed a lot to this. These are photobooks that print your Instagram, Facebook or Camera Roll photos (including the caption and date) into books automatically for only $8/month. 

I would get a pic of my boys, sort of put a caption that would summarize our day or our outing because not every moment in motherhood is pretty or perfect but we choose to remember the nice ones. We don’t want to remember the blow-out diapers or the crying in the car...
— Amy
Cute little Archer, 7 months old. 

Cute little Archer, 7 months old. 

Amy also adds: "A little over a year ago, when Archer was still in my tummy, I decided to make my private Instagram account public. When I announced that I was pregnant with him, I began meeting new people, mothers especially. We would take baby bump photos to document the growing bump and very quickly gained a lot of followers." 

Mommy and Avery, almost 3 years old.

Mommy and Avery, almost 3 years old.

When it was almost lunch time, we were lucky to have Amy's husband, Adam, join us for a few snaps with the boys.  

Now our time is spent with dirty diapers, meals and entertaining children — and I’ve looked back and think how different life was and how much more meaningful it is with the children.

Life was fun before but it’s so much more beautiful. It’s chaotic and it’s busy but I wouldn’t change anything.
— Amy
To be able to introduce my followers, moms like me (some local, US, Australia, all over the world), to these different brands, it’s fun because they look at me as somewhat of an influencer. I wouldn’t have known of these different companies if I wasn’t on Instagram. I found some really amazing baby products, especially. My niche is the baby mom world.
— Amy

When asked if she chooses the products she represents, Amy answers: "For the most part, children's clothes for example, 90% of the time I pick what I want. That way, it suits our lifestyle, our style. If I love the product, I'll photograph it and I'll post about it -- and then it works out better for the company as well." 

My house will never be spotless and my eyes are always tired. My life that I choose to share on Instagram is far from perfect but my reality is, that it is perfect to me. These boys keep me on my toes and make me a little crazy at the end of the day but ultimately, I’ve never been happier.
— Amy (Instagram post: August 14, 2016)

I'd like to end this post by sharing something that Amy posted on her Instagram account:

"Some days it storms, some days it shines. This is how flowers grow."  Pretty much sums up motherhood. Some days are sooooo good and other days, not so much but all in all, it's a beautiful thing.

Amy, thank you for sharing a piece of your life with us. May you continue to spread those positive mom vibes around.

And to all moms (and dads) out there reading this post, I want to encourage you today that even if it gets overwhelming, I pray that you understand that you're doing a great thing.

xoxo, Pring :)

CAT JUAN LEDESMA

When I first met Cat, she had this quiet confidence and grace about her. She had a certain level of sophistication which only she can pull of and I was instantly put at ease when we started talking. 

It was last March 2015 where I found myself sending an email to one of the Philippines’ top lifestyle bloggers, Cat Juan Ledesma. I was in the Philippines on vacation when I came across one of her blog posts. I find that her passion for writing/blogging, helping people and of course, her love for family are some of the many reasons why she fit perfectly into our Life Unscripted series. 

Cat is a wife to film and TVC director Carlo Ledesma, and mom to two beautiful children: Fin, 2 and Nara, 5 months old. Aside from being a lifestyle blogger, she also works as a Communications Associate for Beacon Academy, has modelled for print and television in the Philippines and other countries and is currently a beauty expert for Calyxta.com

Two years ago, she moved back to the Philippines with her family after living in Australia for 5 years. “The decision to come back was also because we knew that once we started a family, our quality of life there would be different,” Cat shares. She has been blogging for over 10 years now. It started as something personal where she would share snippets of travel, snippets of her life. She wasn’t really looking for readers, but they came.  It wasn’t an easy adjustment during her first year back home. After a lot of soul searching, Cat realized that she wanted to focus on things she loved to do: take photos, write, and help people. That's when she worked with Martine De Luna, a blog consultant, who pointed her to the right direction and helped her revamp her blog, making it more professional.  

Here’s a little peek into her life as we shared one Saturday morning together talking about her passions, motherhood and having the partnership she’s always dreamt of.

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Motherhood for me has made me realize that a day is only 24 hours and you do need your sleep. Now that I have kids, it’s like wow, I’m not superwoman, I can’t do everything. My priorities are obviously them, first and foremost. You really need to invest time in them.
— Cat
What I love about Carl is that we really came to each other at the right time. Everything about it from the beginning to now was so sure. This is the best we’ve ever had it.
— Cat
Coffee 101 with Carlo and Fin.

Coffee 101 with Carlo and Fin.

Finding each other was one of the biggest blessings we could’ve had. It’s something I wish for everyone I love to find that kind of partnership where there’s a mutual respect for each other.
— Cat
Cat and Nara.

Cat and Nara.

We didn’t want kids who felt entitled. We wanted children who appreciated the blessings they have but are also willing to work hard to earn their own paths in life.
— Cat

When asked about who inspires her the most:

It has always been my mom. I’ve always loved her approach to life. She’s always said to me: Whatever blessings you do have, you have to share them. That’s what they’re there for. In that sense, I’ve always loved the way she approached the world with kindness . . . My grandmother, on the other hand, was a spitfire. She stood her ground, fought for things she felt was right . . . My life has been shifted by those influences.
— Cat
Cat taking some snaps of products she believes in, featuring them in her blog and Instagram account later on.

Cat taking some snaps of products she believes in, featuring them in her blog and Instagram account later on.

I love seeing people in love with their brands. I love seeing people who are very passionate about little things, about what they decided to pursue especially those that help others along the way, the ones that reach out to the local communities, empower them, enrich their lives with a trade. Those always get me excited to share. . .
— Cat

Cat certainly is a woman of substance. She has successfully elevated her life in her own way by giving others, particularly small business owners and local brands, a platform for them to shine. In fact, she and her friends recently started a movement, Try Local Ph,  promoting and creating more awareness about these brands. 

“I’m very happy with the way the blog has evolved where it’s still snippets of my life, it’s still a way for me to take beautiful photos if I want to and it’s also a way for me to introduce discoveries to other people and I like where it’s going,” she shares.  

Being the busy woman that she is, Cat has made it very clear that family always comes first. She is at peace with the decisions she’s made and has always believed in sharing her blessings. 

Life goes on, it can be beautiful. There are things to be grateful for. If I can share a little bit of my life and that makes someone feel enriched, empowered, then I think it’s worth it.
— Cat

To the Ledesmas, thank you for sharing your morning with me. It was insightful, to say the least, and definitely one I’ll hold close to my heart.

JOREM AND SHEILA CATILO

The Catilos are known to be one of the Philippines’ most sought after wedding/lifestyle photographers. A few years ago, I had sent Sheila a message via Facebook when Dave and I were starting out with our photography here in Canada. I stumbled into one of their works through a friend’s page and couldn’t help but be inspired by the images I saw. 

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MIRIAM QUIAMBAO-ROBERTO

"I wanted to write a book because I'm just so grateful for what God has done in my life. Before I met God, I was a divorcee, I was scammed off my life savings, my spiritual life was was nothing, my career was going down the drain, my life direction was going the wrong way." -- Miriam

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BLUE AND EMILY AVELINO

The thing that holds us together is because her faith in God is so strong that I get inspired. We’re grounded in the fact that I’m far from perfect, she’s far from perfect. We complement each other very well. We know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. Aside from the fact that she’s a really sweet, sweet person who accepts everything and makes me feel that I can be much better than this. ” -- Blue

 

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RICA PERALEJO-BONIFACIO

Rica was one of the first people I got in touch with regarding the Life Unscripted project. She is a wife to pastor Joseph Bonifacio, and mom to son Philip, 14 months old. Being a "work-at-home" mom, her typical day consists of blogging and taking care of Phillip.

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NEVA ARBOLEDA-SANTOS

Neva has been blogging since early 2000. What started out as a project between her and her brother, has now become a valuable resource for mommies searching for more information about parenting, especially when it comes to dealing with the joys and challenges of having children with special needs. 

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