2019: 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.

Personally, 2019 was over in just a blink, do you feel the same way? This year was pretty chill as far as my personal life goes but professionally, good lawrd. There were so many ups and downs. I’m lucky because most of these events were ups and I was able to survive really shitty situations! Let’s begin:

We started the year with a newborn and no yaya. Did I mention that I don’t have a fucking clue how to take care of a baby? I haven’t even held a newborn in my life before having Damien so you can imagine the kind of adjustment that we made throughout this journey.

It was sorta fun too because I got to know Damien more and more. And it’s quite liberating, caring for a newborn with no yaya, it made me appreciate mothers even more. My husband, was, of course, the real MVP. 

This year, I’ve grown a lot as a person and I’m gradually getting used to this parenting thang. Damien is such an active baby and good lord, he’s almost a toddler now!

Fam Reunion

There was discord in the family while I was pregnant and the only time I saw my family was after I gave birth when I let them see Damy. So them visiting the baby was like a mini family reunion of sorts. It was nice, seeing everyone and marveling at my son. He’s beautiful, after all.

I thank God that I had a healthy pregnancy because the people around me stressed me out. But you know, whatever, all’s well that ends well.

Losing the Baby Weight

There was also the matter of losing the baby weight. I gained 45 pounds while pregnant with Damien. A few weeks after giving birth, I lost 25 pounds. I had to wait for 6 months before I could work out because I was healing from the C-section. The first picture was taken in March 2019, three months after giving birth. I had no business visiting the gym at that time but I wanted to test the waters, so to speak.

The second picture was taken in September 2019. It’s funny because I didn’t really lose a pound in between these pictures. My flab turned to muscles, guys, I’m not lying. I was not dieting because I sort of like my new lifestyle now. 

Work became topsy turvy around Feb and March, I lost two long-time clients. Still grieving about it but I guess that’s how it is when you’re working from home, nothing really is forever. I was unable to replace these clients from March to September, can you believe it? To make matters worse, my then 4-year-old phone died on my birthday!

All these situations would’ve put me in a dour mood I didn’t really want to waste time feeling sad and moping around, we’ve got a mouth to feed. Around March, I decided to launch a couple of businesses, one of which is an online store. It was a really scary time because I wanted to save money but at the same time, I know I simply cannot depend on my other clients at that point. I just was not earning enough.

Granted, I was planning on launching the business in 2019 but my plan was to do it in July so I have enough time to save up. But you know, with the other clients letting me go, I had to act quickly. It was really a gamble, honestly. Though my businesses aren’t really earning enough for me to quit my day job, they gave me a bit of financial freedom.

The online store is at the point where it could sustain itself. I only need to market my stuff twice daily and I make enough for the month. The other business isn’t doing well, it’s just breaking even but that’s better than not earning anything at all. 

Now that I’m getting supplemental earnings, I’m not as worried about another client letting me go. I can maintain my lifestyle and keep the business going. In fact, two of the designer bags that I bought this year were from my business earnings, how cool is that? 

One thing that I realized after setting up my online shop, I no longer feel the need to buy more bags. It’s as if my focus is no longer to acquire these gorgeous bags but to earn more and save more money. That’s a true Christmas miracle.

Around May, I started getting it together looks-wise. I had a lot of time to do it but I was too distracted with my work issues that I didn’t do it until I have to. I had the ugleh pregnancy skin tags removed and then got a fresh cut + hair treatment. I felt like my old self again, guys.

Around June, we were preparing for Damien’s christening. I don’t like putting together an event, much more host the said event but I’m a mom now and I gotta do it. It was nice seeing some of the hubs’ friends because I know how much he misses them.

Here’s us together with the priest. And below is Damien with his perper before the ceremony began. 

I don’t have any pictures of the reception, which was set up in my parent’s home. I was so busy entertaining the guests, guys. But we’ve got pictures from the hub’s photographer cousin so there you go.

The succeeding months were a flurry of activities as I juggle work, an online store, and a baby. Also, my sister came home several times this month so we were always in the mall during these times. Here’s a random picture of the Lee siblings:

In November, we celebrated our 3rd anniversary in Clark Marriot and to put it mildly, the entire experience was not only a waste of our time, it was also a waste of money. Customer service sucks, read my bizarre experience here

Initially, we wanted to celebrate at Raffles since we had such an amazing time during our babymoon. But after spending hours stuck in traffic several drives back to the city, we thought it’s not worth going to the city at all. Bad move. Anyway, you live, you learn.

Before Damien, our December wasn’t as colorful. We don’t really bother with the decors. But this year’s different! We’ve got a tree and we hung Christmas stockings, the whole nine yards.

December is also my son’s birth month so we decided to book a stay at Marco Polo Ortigas for a mini celebration with his city-bound kin. We celebrated his birthday by booking rooms for his cousins and aunts. 

Marco Polo has two Christmas trees! We missed Santa by a few minutes. Not sayang because I can tell that Damien would cry at the sight of Santa, hahaha! 

We also hit the buffet, lol. Below is a pretty random picture of Damien after getting his first cut. I will upload the video on YT and then update this post with that video. My boy suddenly looked so big na!

On Christmas eve, we took pictures of Damien in his Christmas PJs. We decided to make his Christmas PJs a yearly tradition although this one’s totally unplanned. The PJs were given by his aunts! 

Here he was just a year ago!

And there’s our Christmas tree. This tree was decorated by my sister, my brother, and myself!

Instead of slaving away in the kitchen for our Noche Buena, we decided to order food from a caterer friend. We had roast beef, lasagna, rolled lechon belly, and baked salmon in garlic butter sauce. Too bad we didn’t take any pictures because the yaya is away and we had to eat inside the bedroom with our sleeping munchkin.

Yeah, I seem to forget about the pictures more and more. New Year will be spent here at home this year. We are planning on a NYE staycation next year and we will make this our little family tradition. We figured that we’ve spent Christmas with our relatives every time, why not spend NYE in the city and see the fireworks!

The clincher is that we are having another baby! That’s pretty much the reason why I forgot to publish my year-end review, it’s the pregnancy brain again.

Needless to say our hands will be full this year. I am already having a fabulous year and I know that it will keep getting better and better. Happy New Year to all of you! May we all achieve our goals this 2020, cheers!



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, a purse addict, and a budding mom-tepreneur. 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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