Monday, July 30, 2012

Our 10 Most Relaxing Movies of All Time

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

All of us enjoy watching relaxing movies.

Heck, we all enjoy watching movies. Period.

They bring us to another place and time, another dimension, another unique experience, and another level of thinking.

For this post, we share to you the films we enjoy watching on a lazy Saturday morning. We also included our favorite line/s and favorite song in each film.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Peace and Quiet Manifesto: 100 Ideas for a Life of Peace and Quiet

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

Living a life of peace and quiet has different meanings for every one.

For some it means a life of voluntary simplicity; of getting things in order and eliminating as much excess in life as possible.

For others, peace and quiet meant staying in the “backstage”; refusing to have leadership or prominent roles at home, in school, at work, or in church, and just settle for assisting in the background.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Come, Join Us for Coffee

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

Imagine yourself sitting in a patio sipping that cup of freshly brewed coffee…

enjoying that crisp early morning breeze and the calming scenery of green…

feet propped up on a stool, minding every breath that goes in and out of your nostrils…

thanking God for the blessing of allowing you to open your eyes to another great day… (sigh)


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Plain Haven is Now Open!

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

Hello, dear friends and readers!

After weeks of writing, planning, contemplating, and some more writing, planning, and contemplating, Plain Haven is now officially open. Welcome!

Put your feet up, sit back and relax as we journey to establish a place of peace and quiet this side of the web.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

It’s the Monday after Easter, and we’re celebrating National Heroes Day in the Philippines. It’s still a holiday and I’m here in our kitchen having breakfast, with my wife tending to our two-week-old son Rafa, while my five-year-old daughter Ryah is silently watching “The Secrets of the Furious Five.”

Some Thoughts on How to Become a Better Parent

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

My wife and I had our second child, our son Rafa, last March 24.

To be honest, having kids is an overwhelming feeling. It’s a mixture of emotions… on one side you’re so happy seeing them and being with them, then on the other side you tend to worry on how are you going to provide for all of their needs. On one side you’re thanking God for the blessings of becoming a parent, then on the other side you’re asking God for help to raise these kids the right way.

Our Family’s Simplicity Rules

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

We consider our family to be avid simplifiers or minimalists. Does that mean everything we do is minimalist? No, we’re not completely there yet, I believe it’s going to be an ongoing, lifetime process. But there are some little things or “house rules” that we implement in our family that I would like to share with you.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pace Yourself

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates

Our world is becoming more and more competitive.

‘Blank’ got a new PS3, gotta have one, too! ‘Blank’ is now promoted as manager, gotta get promoted, too! I saw the ‘Blanks’ at Sumo Sam in Facebook, gotta eat there, too! The ‘Blanks’ are now in Singapore, gotta get there, too!

And because of that, people are becoming more and more busy.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On Patience and Earning Trust

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

Mamu and Ryah

February 22 to 24, 2012: we went to one of Laguna’s hot spring resorts to spend some R&R with family.

My parents and siblings came home from Australia for a visit, and armed with everything we needed for a couple of nights, we were ready for a lot of fun, laughter and bonding.

It’s the first time my parents would meet my daughter Ryah. They did everything they can for her to warm up. I was amazed by how they let her get to know them at her own pace… talk about child rearing expertise. J

A Letter to Ryah

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

“Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.”—Lamentations 2:19

Dearest Ryah Denise,

God never ceases to amaze us thru the blessing of you. Even before you were conceived, we already have your name written in our hearts. Ryah, from Daddy’s name, Raymund, and a Hebrew word meaning love and shouts of joy; and Denise from Mommy’s name, Denielle, meaning God is my judge.

Our Love for Maki

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Writer’s Note: This was a re-post from my former blog, “Up on the Roof” at Thought I’d share it this weekend for your reading pleasure. Take care, everyone!

The more we get to know ourselves the harder it is to justify our quirks and habits. Fortunately the older we grow the more at ease we become with who and what we are.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

From Denielle

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

Raymund’s Note: Denielle gave me this letter on our third wedding anniversary. I wish to share it to all of you, with hope that you will find a few treasures in it. God bless us all.

From Denielle

Dear Baby,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

12 Reasons Why We Are Stressed (And How to Beat Them)

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

“Stress is perceived in the mind, suffered in the human spirit, experienced via the emotions, expressed in behavior, and held in the body.” - Anonymous

There are so many reasons why people get stressed.

Surprisingly, most are self-inflicted.

Here are twelve:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Learning Contentment

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Contentment is basic in simplifying. Most of the people I know are always looking for something better. A better house, better car, better clothes, better job, a better cellular phone… the list is endless. It’s as if all these things are requirements to become a better person.

Reasons Why I Drive Slower

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

I used to be some sort of a maniac on the streets. I get frustrated when vehicles in front of me are slow, which keeps me from driving fast. Driving was such a stressful experience.

How I Lost Weight to be Fit and Healthy

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

If you’re overweight right now and unmotivated to change, then you’re definitely not alone.

Importance of Budgeting

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

A budget can be one of the most effective ways to decrease anxiety, tension, and stress, if done right and with the right motive.

Declutter Your Home

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

photo from

A home that is simple, clean, and uncluttered takes away so much stress, believe me. Try to imagine when you walk out into your living room, uncluttered, without toys, books and all the other extra things all over the place. It gives your heart a peace and calm while greeting the day.

Waking Early

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

I love to sleep and wake up late. But time came when I decided to wake up early not only for health reasons, but also to get ahead of my day. And I was wonderfully surprised that rising early also reduces so much stress.

Simplify Your Priorities

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

A hectic schedule is a sure way of causing high stress, I guarantee you. I learned this the hard way. Not too many years ago, my life was full of commitments. I had too many activities that I had no time for the things that I really wanted to do, no time to fulfill my purposes and goals in life, and no time for my family.


Post written by Raymund Tamayo

This is one thing that I highly recommend you.

Imagine talking to the most powerful person in the universe, and He cares about you. That’s what prayer really is. When we communicate with God, we do so on a one-to-one basis with no intermediary. We can be fully honest with ourselves and with God. You can’t fake a prayer, because the only one you would be cheating to is yourself.


Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Raymund's brother, Roy

Most of us tend to take this gift for granted. I recently learned the habit of “conscious breathing”. I found out that it can transform our lives. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I just stop a moment, take a few deep breaths and get going again.

Be Still

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Be still.

For a moment.

Feel your breath coming in and going out. Listen to your thoughts.

10 Simple Things I Do to Reduce Stress

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

I believe that having a stress-free life is impossible. Stress is a response to challenges in life, and a life without challenges is too boring to go through. That is why I put in the title of this post “reduce” and not “eliminate,” because I believe some stress is actually healthy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Between Love and Respect

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

My husband and I have been married for more than six years now and it is not something to drop jaws open, but life has certainly thrown us quite a number of lessons to make things a little lighter as we go on. One of which came from a book we were reading a few months ago: a woman’s basic need is to be loved by her husband; a man’s is not love but respect from his wife.


Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Most of us give up too easily in nearly everything we attempt or hope to do. Designing a bridge takes talent, building it, muscle and diligence. Each of us has those qualities in one measure or another. Why is it we can identify these talents so easily in others but find it hard to discern them in ourselves?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Remaining in Love

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

photo by Ethel Valerio-Navarro
There are moments when we long to be able to help someone whom we love very much, when we long to be the bright sunny day that would take them away from the day’s troubles, but we can do nothing. Circumstances do not allow us to be with them, or the person is closed to any kind of assistance or support.

Our Theme Song

Posted by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Ultimate Love Language

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

photo from

We have heard of the five love languages mankind has been utilizing to communicate affection to those they deeply care for. May it be one of the five, a combination of two, three or four, or even the whole lot, these expressions assure us of the love we need and would like to give to the object of our affection, sincere or true.
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