2017: The Year in Review

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* It’s that time of the year when I round up all the wonderful, wonderful events of the year past and cram ‘em into a single post.

DON’T LEAVE 2017, I LOFF U! This pretty much sums up my feelings about this year. 2017 has been such a #blessed year for me and I’m pretty bummed to see it go! This year’s run cemented my belief that starting the year right is key to having an awesome year!

I did lots of traveling this year, which was awesome! My 2017 started with a road trip to the north to attend my best friends’ beach wedding. Carlo and Krisna are my best guy friend and my best girlfriend. I actually played matchmaker and it was so amazing serving as the matron of honor to the wedding. The 2-day prep was a flurry of activities. Apart from hand-crafting the boutonnières, flower display, and other stuff, I also did the bride’s make up!

After the wedding, it was off to Batangas for another road trip. This time to bond with Carlo’s relatives. I was with the hubs and one of my high school best friend, Danilo. Both road trips have their respective challenges but getting there was so much fun. These activities pretty much set the tone for the rest of my year.

In Feb-March, the husband and I celebrated our birthdays. It was a simple celebration at home because we were saving up for Hong Kong. I also gifted myself a new bag for my birthday. This time, I got the Givenchy Nightingale, a gorgeous all-leather purse in midnight blue. This bag was sourced from a Europe-based personal shopper named Madel and if you’d like to know how the deal went down, check out my review here.

Last April, the hubs and I jetted to Hong Kong for a mini-moon! Oh, it was such a joy traveling with the hubs! He’s my favorite travel companion now. We ate all the things and discovered the local sights! I even got to ride a double-decker bus for the first time!

In June I celebrated two things, Dimitri’s 8th birthday and the launching of my website! As you know, I dress up my cat once a year and in 2017, he was an Angry Bird pig, hahaha! As for my new website, it was hard letting go of Tina Bytes because I was basically starting from scratch. But after letting go of a client, I realized that having a .com website is a great investment. My friends at GoSMRK hooked me up with a new site and the rest is history!

It was during this month that I dropped by Batangas for the second time that year to celebrate the 60th birthday of Carlo’s mother. July to October was relatively quiet months but looking back (literally checking the vault), I did quite a bit of shopping, didn’t I?

In November, the hubs and I celebrate our FIRST wedding anniversary. Of course, we had to celebrate in style because this is an important milestone! We traveled to Davao and enjoyed much-needed r n’ r at Pearl Farm resort in Samal Island. Without exaggeration, this is the best resort I’ve been in. We were there for less than a week and it was pure bliss.

We also spent the rest of our vacation in mainland Davao to check out the local sights. We love the food culture and the wealth of souvenirs! I cannot wait to go back to Davao (Pearl Farm, watch out!)

My December was pretty hectic. Our annual Christmas shopping started late so we had to brave the Christmas rush. I loved shopping though! We also celebrated my dad’s birthday at Vikings, which was their first time. I thought the oldies had an awesome time and they’re literally planning another sojourn in Manille sometime in March. I was just happy to complete our Christmas shopping, to be honest. I hated the crowds, grabe!

We had to return to Manila on the 22nd of December, my first time to travel so close to the holidays. I usually avoid traveling anywhere five days before Christmas but we had to. Our seafood Noche Buena depended on it! It was quite an adventure, of course!

For our Noche Buena feast, the hubs grilled tuna jaw, salmon, and squid while I cooked the scallops, tiger prawns, crab, and the dirty rice. We finished off by browning our Christmas ham and setting the dips, bread, and drinks. Not pictured is the Christmas nilaga, which my family serves every year, as well as the chocolate pannacotta for dessert.

This year was also the year when we moved to our “new” house. Sorta because our new home is still part of our old home (both properties are in one compound). I abhor houses made from wood but this space feels like our own, you know? I don’t get that feeling with the other house so I had to go.

This is an old property that’s been left unoccupied for at least 5 years, however, so extensive renovations were done. Renovations took a while to complete and we’re still in the process of adding more furnishings but overall, this simple house is now our home.

The house’s age is showing but it is still in great shape. We spent the first half of the year just adding furniture and appliances so our funds were drained, dudes. Fun times. The kitchen is spacious though! It’s my husband’s favorite room. I love the bedroom, it’s where I chill out most of the time.

We went for a minimalist aesthetic with a hint of beach-y vibe.  I chose a white, light blue, and cobalt color palette so the space looks easy on the eyes. Hate the red flooring though, I think it ruins the look of the space. We didn’t focus on the frills at all. I did, however, indulged in artworks, photos, and quirky little decors, dressing the corners so our interiors aren’t too plain. A home without art is so very cold. Also,  all my books were on display because that’s what I’m all about!

We’re still not done with the decorations. We are still planning on adding key pieces, especially in the kitchen and receiving area. 2018 will definitely be a big year for us, as far as improving our home goes!

As for the professional side of things, having my own website was a great decision because it helped me land a couple of gigs. I’ve worked really hard this year and I believe, I’m reaping all the rewards. My goal for next year is to maintain this direction and I should have an even better 2018. Also, 2018 might be the year we’d try *really hard* to expand our family. Still not ready for spawning but who knows what the future holds.

2017 was a wonderful year and I’m so sad to see it go! I hope 2017 has been kind to you too! Happy new year, dear readers! Here’s to an even better 2018!

PS: This is my 10th year writing Year in Review posts! It means I’ve been counting my blessings for a decade, which kinda makes me feel old, hahaha!

Tina Lee

Tina Lee-Almazar is a writer with an insatiable appetite for all things bright, shiny, and beautiful. She's a beauty junkie, a shopping connoisseur, a book collector, and a purse addict. Tina has a long-standing (and well-documented!) but one-sided love affair with cats. Special talents include: the ability to eat again an hour after eating, shopping at 3 different malls in 1 day, and taking a 3-hour power nap every day including weekends.

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