Marriage-My perspective on keeping it alive!

This is a slightly longer blog than normal! Hoping you guys don't get bored, but marriage is a pretty broad horizon and takes a little more time than most issues :) 

I got married July 12th, 2009 to Christopher Mark Quilala...my favorite person to ever walk the earth! Some of you may say, "You've only been married 2 years, you can't give advice!!". Yes, my marriage is still in the technical term of newlyweds, but my story runs a little different than most. A short back story to mine and Chris' relationship: We met when I was the ripe young age of 17. Fresh out of highschool I moved to Redding, and 1 month later we were falling in love. To say it was a fast whirlwind of emotions is an understatement. We dated for 1 year and were engaged for 3 months. Exactly 1 month after the wedding, we found out that we were pregnant!! Imagine our surprise (since we were NOT planning it at all)! From there we decided to buy a house, which required us moving in with Chris' Grandpa while we house hunted. So breaking this down...... In 1 year we got married, got pregnant, lived with a relative, bought a house, and gave birth to our daughter 2 weeks after we moved into our home! We have lived alone for a total of 3 months in our 2 years of marriage. Here is why I'm telling you our story.....

Everyone says the first year of marriage is always the hardest, but I have to say just the opposite! We had to rely on each other so much to make it thru the craziness of pregnancy hormones, home buying stress, and never having any alone time. All of that was completed during the beginning of trying to figure out what marriage even is! These learning experiences only drew us closer together, however scary it all felt.

Marriage is...

"DO or DO NOT, there is no TRY." (Yoda said it best!)

When it comes to common marital issues, trying to fix it just ain't gonna cut it!! Example: You either give the other person what they need, or you don't. Feeding love languages sounds cliche and repetitive, but it's a saving grace. Once you know your spouses love language, you have zero excuse to not feed into it. Be proactive! Keep their needs constantly on your brain! Rack your thoughts for new ideas to surprise, excite, and value your partner. My husband loves video games, so I took that as an opportunity to buy him every single game has, along with his Playstation and Xbox for birthdays and holidays. I make sure to NEVER tell him when he can or can't play, and because of that overwhelming amount of freedom that he has, he never once has turned away a chance to spend time with me over a game. I don't guilt him into doing what I want to do! It amazes me sometimes when I see wives on TV telling their husbands what to do without so much as a please! If they don't get what they want they either try to guilt them into it, or try to be sneaky and manipulate it into happening. Ladies...grow up!! Since when is it ok to control anybody, no matter who they are? You may wonder why I'm addressing this situation, and my only response is.... 90% of women say that they are in control in their home and wear the pants in the relationship. We live in a culture where feminism reigns. It's much more likely that a woman will control the man, than vice versa. So right now, I barely see any situations where the husbands are dominating their wives in a unhealthy manner. Ladies, why do we feel the need to be in such a degree of control? Why can't we just relax and let our husbands make their own decisions? Giving someone freedom is like giving them their joy! 
This all being said, my husband doesn't control me! We are a beautiful partnership of giving giving giving giving giving. I love having girl time with my best friends, and my husband GLADLY watches our daughter without me "telling" him to, or even asking! Let your spouse breathe...don't try...just DO IT!! Acknowledge and encourage your partner in every single way. There was a period of time when I was training to become a Pilates instructor when Ella was 8 months old. It required a lot of time and energy, along with taking care of my baby. I had to be at the gym at 5:30am, study and practice. I started letting the house get sloppy and forgetting to laundry. My husband being the amazing man that he is, pitched in constantly...but it started wearing on him. He travels a lot for work so it's a major bummer for him to come home to messy unorganized home! He ever so sweetly told me it was bothering him, and I IMMEDIATELY took action to make changes. Now my house is almost always perfectly clean, and Chris only helps because he wants to, not because I'm not doing it at all! I made a cleaning schedule and I barely miss a beat :) And I can honestly say, not a day goes by that Chris doesn't mention how thankful he is for everything I do to keep our house feeling tidy and homey! It was all in the way he sweetly told me what was bothering him, and then takes the time to encourage me when he saw the change. DO IT! 

Physically speaking, intimacy is a major part of marriage. It should be consistent (even if you've been married for 40 years!), not because of duty or need, but because of an expression of true love. I highly recommend that if there are any intimacy issues, seek counsel immediately. Hug, hold hands, and cuddle on the couch. An anonymous person said, "If your spouse likes to have their elbow kissed, you better become the best possible elbow kisser there ever was!!" Something as simple as proactively learning their needs can make all the difference in the world. I can't begin to express the importance of keeping yourself clean and beautiful. This goes for both men and women! Who says just because you got married it means that your spouse should have to deal with you letting yourself go? Brush your teeth, take a shower, and most importantly....go over and above! Keep that body in shape!! Style your hair, do your make up. Pretend like every day is your first date! :)

My final piece of advice, don't nit-pick. Especially in public!! There is nothing more than awkward than viewing a married couple in a fight, and nothing more embarrassing than having your flaws exposed in public. Value your spouse enough to address personal situations behind closed doors. It's no one's business but your own! 

Hope this inspires some freedom in your marriage, or gives you some tips towards your future :)



Beauty, Hope and how they fit together.

Your patience means the world to me!! I took a short hiatus from blogging, but I missed it so much! Mostly because I got an iPhone and I barely use my laptop anymore...sad. Here's a quick update on my life :) My gorgeous daughter turned 1yr old!! She had a butterfly princess party, and ate her first dessert...a Gluten Free Vanilla cupcake, baked by the one and only Kathrine Kunde.

After that came my birthday! I turned 22yrs old! I had a wonderful family birthday dinner at Anselmo Vineyards and then a great party with my girl friends :) 

I feel like every month I learn something new...every month holds a lesson/reminder of what God wants me to grow from. This particular month I have been finding new areas of beauty and hope! Things I never considered beautiful, are suddenly stunning in my eyes. Places I thought I could never find hope, are now overflowing with restoration and promise! Let's tackle the subject of BEAUTY first.

What is beautiful? What isn't beautiful? I try to make my list of things that are beautiful, larger than the list of things that aren't! Especially when viewing myself, friends, or family. Beauty and self esteem are a tricky subject, and surprisingly enough, over 78% of the human race view themselves as NOT beautiful! This statistic is based on a general poll. Can you believe that?! Our incredible species has somehow found it so difficult to recognize their own beauty. Why?!? My personal opinion is as follows: Being able to recognize our own personal beauty is hard because it has very little to do with our actual appearance, and everything to do with self value. Valuing ourselves is a decision we need to make daily! Valuing your life as being perfect and gorgeous is an act of worship. Why did God say that He formed us out of His own image? I believe He said that to remind us...it's not possible for us to not be beautiful!! It's so rude to think horrible thoughts about yourself, and then worship the Lord and tell Him how perfect He is! Everything He created was perfect...therefore you = perfect! A simple mathematical equation. I also believe that the more beautiful you think you are, the more beautiful you actually will look. It's a scientifically proven fact that people who viewed themselves as good looking had more of a glow to their skin and a brightness in their eyes. Those who viewed themselves as ugly and hopeless had duller skin and darker circles rimming their eyes. So here is where HOPE comes along...
 Give a person hope and watch their outlook change before your very eyes! Those same exact people who viewed themselves as ugly, were then repeatedly told how beautiful they looked. They were given verbal exercises that they read out loud about themselves. After just 2 days of constantly hearing and speaking about their self worth, they started to believe it for themselves! And wouldn't you know, their skin brightened dramatically and their eyes took on a new sparkle. 

Why do we want to feel beautiful? It is a natural and holy emotion! No, not conceited or haughty. The Bible clearly states that acknowledging your own beauty is a rejuvenating process! 
 Psalm 34:5 says, "Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed." How could you be ashamed of your appearance if you're acknowledging the fact that God made you?!
 Psalm 139:14, "I praise You, I know that I am fearfully and beautifully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Hello?!?! Your SOUL should know how perfectly He created everything, therefore how perfectly He created you!

I challenge you, oh gorgeous friends, to take the time to tell yourself the things that make you beautiful! Look in that mirror and recognize who you are. Examples: 
"I have such perfect collarbones! Wow...they are so beautiful and I look prestigious and poised because of them!"

"My nostrils are the shape of little hearts...how cute am I?!"
"My hair is so bouncy and soft, who needs Tresemme??!
It will most definitely feel ridiculous, and yes, it is pretty cheesy. But it's worth the results!! If you need a self esteem boost, the goofy act of talking to yourself is bound to make you feel better, in itself ;)

Your second challenge is to encourage someone else! Fill them with hope, remind them of their worth, and take the time to call out the gold in their lives. It's so easy to keep your thoughts buried in your head, instead of exposing them out loud. 

Have a wonderful time feeling beautiful!


Lyss' Blog Post Book Pick: God Loves Ugly by Christa Black


New York!

It's been so long since I've written, and I apologize for that! The past 3 weeks have been a whirlwind! I packed up my baby Ella and hopped on a plane to New York City to attend a program for Pilates Mat Certification. Say hello to your friendly neighborhood Pilates Instructor!! I passed a 2 week intensive of Anatomy and Physical Therapy along with Beginning and Intermediate/Advanced Pilates Mat Work. Most people have asked why I went all the way to New York City, to which my answer is simply...WHY NOT?! I have been training for 10 months in core strength and endurance with the goal of becoming a Pilates Instructor. When I felt I accomplished the required strength, I found an amazing school called Core Pilates NYC  and went to work! Done and done, baby.

The subject of this blog needs to be about one thing and one thing only. ENDURANCE. 

Endurance manifests itself in so many different areas of life. It's important to condition your heart and mind to be prepared for anything that comes your way. Here are a few examples of how I've been conditioning myself:

-- Emotional Endurance
-- Physical Endurance
-- Relational Endurance
-- Spiritual Endurance

Emotionally, I try to stay off of roller coasters! Keeping your thoughts at a consistent pace, relaxing your heart before God, and releasing the tension from your days helps to make your daily rides smooth. By keeping your thoughts at a consistent pace, I mean...don't freak out in your head!!! Take control of your mind and don't get overwhelmed! Balance your emotions by stopping yourself from finding negativity, and search vigorously for optimism!!

Physically, I keep myself healthy and strong. I believe that when God said, "Your body is a temple", He meant it in the most literal sense. I choose to eat foods that are not processed or chemically altered, and I enjoy it! I try to eat food in its most natural and organic state, the way God created it to be. I chose Pilates as my form of exercise because it promotes total body health. Not only do you achieve long and lean muscles, you also strengthen your spine and joints for overall vitality.

Relationally, it takes a lot to be a friend! Love shouldn't have to be an effort, but sometimes it is. Forgiveness and not taking offense are some qualities that need upkeep. Give your friends and family the benefit of the doubt before assuming the worst. Love always thinks the best! When conflict arrises, stop and think before speaking. Check your heart for offense, and choose to speak in love. A soft answer will always turn away wrath!!

Spiritually, go deeper! Find your ability to accomplish all of the above listed by connecting yourself to the One who holds peace. Take time to find where God is in each situation, and don't let anything stop you. It's true, our days are so busy! Time goes by so fast, but the only way to see optimal results in your daily life is to start here. Bill Johnson spoke one sunday morning at Bethel Church about supernatural sleep. Your day starts with your sleep! I take my time with God every night before I go to bed, so that I can align my dreams with heaven and wake up refreshed in the Holy Spirit. Ready to take on the world!

Here's a few photos of my trip to New York! Enjoy!


Find out what you want in life, and learn how to ask for it.

I am working on making a more "official" blog, so stay tuned for the launch this week! My sweet friend from across the country, Jessica Gatlyn is helping me re-design my website on blogspot...can't wait to share it with you all!
The past week has been a whirlwind of emotions, but life seems to send me in spirals continually, so I shouldn't be surprised! Lately, my days are filled with productivity and it feels so great to be actively pursuing things I want. I have been learning about living a proactive lifestyle. No, not the acne medicine! ;)
A proactive lifestyle demands your attention! It requires you to claim who you are, and spend your days being just that. Every Thursday I meet my friend Becky Johnson for iced coffee and lunch at the Jesus Culture offices.

The topic of discussion inspired me to write this very blog. Becky had a desire to be involved in ministry with Jesus Culture, and 3 years later she's an employee! She volunteered at events, interned under one of the leaders, and kept pursuing something her heart wanted. Learning how to ask for what you want is hard. It's easy to write christmas lists for your parents or friends, and normally you get exactly what you asked for. It's also easy to journal to God asking Him to make things happen. The hard part is asking people around you to help catapult things in motion! Sometimes, all it takes is learning how to ask a friend or leader for help and they will probably surprise you. It all comes down to courage, faith, and confidence in who you are.
Last week I found out that I got accepted into a Pilates Certification School in New York! Want to know how that happened?? I asked my friends and family for help and support, and now I'm on the fast track to teaching classes here in Redding!
My incredibly wise dad is a Pastor at Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, CA. Growing up he always encouraged me to go after what I wanted and take nothing less than the best. He taught me how to be a princess, and see myself as a princess as well. There is a difference once you realize who you are. One of the most inspiring things he ever said to me still resonates in my thoughts daily! I plan to use this simple reminder in my daughters life as well.
Why would you eat crumbs off of the floor, when you can sit at the Master's table and eat the feast?
It's so simple, yet entirely profound! I can't settle for anything less than the best because it's obviously right there in front of me! Even if what's already been promised as yours isn't in your hands yet, approach life like it is! Put a spring in your step and a smile on your face :)


I love fitness. I love working out and feeling my muscles tremble from exhaustion. Call me crazy, but nothing gets my day off to a better start than a good exercise session! I started working out 2 weeks after I gave birth to Ella, lost all the weight in 2 months, and regained my EXACT body type in 3 months. My stomach looks exactly same as before I got pregnant, if not better! I decided to work out, and I saw the change it created. I continue to exercise now because of the health benefits and the energy I feel! I normally work out 6 days a week, for about 1hr. Whether it's cardio or pilates, I enjoy it all the same! Just last week I ran for 52min straight, just to see if I could :) I don't have any way of tracking how many miles it turned into, but I'm guessing about 5miles. For me, that was HUGE. That was the absolute longest and fastest I had ever ran for, and it was a blast. It's not very fast for some people, but I hate running normally so it was a big accomplishment. Try it out! It's super invigorating. My friend Kathrine Kunde is a great inspiration to me for fitness and wellness. Check out her blog here!

My life is a series of decisions, and none of which I regret. When we proactively decide on an action, the result is bound to happen. As I explained above, I decided I wanted my exact body back so I made it happen. I enjoyed the entire process! Sure, it was hard work, but I don't regret it at all. I decided this morning that I was going to get the laundry done, and I made it happen. I remember being very afraid of decisions, because it inevitably will make a change occur. I was scared of my decision to move to Redding, CA...I left my family, my friends and essentially my entire life. Looking back on it now, it was one of the hardest choices I ever made, but it was so worth the result. I gained my perfect husband and my perfect daughter in a perfect city that makes me feel alive! I had no idea what would happen and I was potentially making the worst choice possible. Thankfully, it turned out to be the most vital point in shaping my future. I made lots of bad choices in the process, some of which wounded my family deeply. However, I consider it all to be a learning process. I chose the most incredible outcome, but lost a lot in the interim. My family lives in Los Angeles still, and planning time to see them can be so difficult. Ella gets to see them once a month, and that's heartbreaking. I'm trusting that one day, that will change.

Hello friends, welcome to my life.

I invite you to walk into my life! I think that blogs should be vulnerable and honest, so if you're looking for the real dirt on Alyssa Quilala, here it is! I decided to start a blog because I have a massive desire to write a book one day, hopefully sooner than later. Although, I haven't decided what I want to write it about. So for now, this blog will be a mash up of my thoughts, ideas, opinions, and experiences. If all goes as planned I will potentially have a subject for my book soon!
For those of you who aren't involved in my daily life, here's a quick run through of what's going on with me!
I'm 21. I grew up in Los Angeles, CA with my gorgeous sister Carly, raised by my amazing parents Dante and Darlene. I got married July 12th, 2009 to my perfect husband Chris Quilala. I bought a house with Chris on April 29th, 2010. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Ella Amarise on May 7th, 2010. I have the most faithful and encouraging friends. My life is all around awesome.
This past week I got to meet up for coffee with my friend and spiritual covering Erica G. She finally got to meet my little Ella Q :)

I have a HUGE value in my life for relationships, and I am constantly learning how to cultivate them. It's so easy to let my days, weeks and months go by without connecting with the people I love. Erica has always been able to really see me and when I spend time with her she draws out the gold in me. I learn so much from her! Sadly, she lives 8 hrs away! Some points from our uplifting coffee date include:
1. Serve! Whether it's your job, your friendships or your family...serve, serve, serve! When I feel disconnected or far away from something/someone that I value, I find relationship in giving.
2. Pray! I have never said a prayer in my entire life without tears springing to my eyes. There is so much that happens in a single prayer that is bigger than the words spoken...whether you see the result of what you're praying for or not. The main reason why I pray is because of my heart. It makes me feel alive in who I am and draws out the deepest parts of my being. I learn so much about myself in prayer all because I'm learning about God. If I know who He is, I know who I am. Simplicity.
3. Invest! When you take time to invest in something that you care about, your identity will spark and thrive. Find out what your passionate about and fight for it! It's so easy as a busy wife and mother to forget about things that are important to me. If there is one thing I've learned from being a mom it's that MY TIME MATTERS! It's ok to be "selfish" and want things for yourself. The truth is, it's not selfish at all. When you value yourself, you can better value your husband, your children and people close to you. For me, I'm investing my time into Pilates. I want to be a Pilates Instructor and my goal is to be certified by April :)
Here's to the beginning of something great! I'm off to bed.