2021: The Year in Review

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2020 was the pandemic year and 2021 was the year of living in the “new normal,” whatever the hell that is. I will say, that this year was all about renewal.

I was pretty optimistic at the start of the year because while 2020 was such a terrible year for most people, it wasn’t so bad in my case. Never lost jobs and actually made the business even more profitable. I expected 2021 to be a better year because the vaccines are here and I thought we’ll all go back to doing normal things again.

Well, things didn’t really turn out the way everyone expected, did it? We still dealt with lockdowns every few months and couldn’t go anywhere! We’re still scared of the virus because we spent the most part of the year unvaccinated due to the slow roll out in my country.

And just when things were looking up and we were planning our birthday celebration, the Delta virus emerged and terrorized the entire population. It’s crazy. We stopped working out by February and didn’t come back until August. In between these months, we spent our time at home with the kids and working remotely.

The good news is that work and business are doing great. Of course, these were uncertain times so, at the back of my mind, I was always waiting for the tide to turn. It didn’t, thank God and Universe. I do keep a wary eye on any developments that might otherwise tip the balance in the favor of chaos.

Now off to bright and shiny thangs!

I started the year with several jewelry pieces. Actually, they were reworked because my old wedding set is unwearable with my sausage fingers, lol I suppose this pretty much foreshadowed the new business that I was planning months later, selling jewelry – but I’m getting ahead of myself.

In February, we celebrated our upcoming birthdays with a  quick family trip to the Hilton Hotel. It was fun because this was the first time that we took Damien out of town during the pandemic. I also got myself several gifts for my 38th birthday. Y’all… I’m about to turn 40 soon, I cannot believe it.

Anyhoo, self-care was pretty big in our household this year. From April to July, I spent most of my time pampering myself – getting facials, fixing my hair, going back to the gym, dieting, etc., just because I feel that the past 3 years were all about growing our small family and not as much about taking care of myself also. So with the encouragement of my husband, I’ve decided to really get into the whole self-care bit and liking it so much. It’s a lot of work but I somehow feel so much better about myself.

Oh, and I bought another bag. I feel like with all the uncertainties of 2021, which feels like an extension of 2020, I will take my time with the final bag that I will get. The 9th in my collection is a Celine, I got the heritage print and if you want to know more about it, read it here.

The end of the second quarter and the third quarter of the year are always my busiest because these months I feel the most alive, TBH. Talking about BER months babes.

Early in September, my cutie second son, Rocco turned one. We planned a grand celebration at the Hilton Hotel just because we enjoyed our first stay so damn much but stupid Delta virus came and ruined everything. We were forced to stay at home and celebrate his first milestone with a little feast. It was fun despite it being a toned down event. The children are quite happy with the cake!

By October, I’ve started going back to the gym with the hubs. It was a lot of work and there were days when I wonder why I keep punishing myself by showing up but hey. Still working out. I’m not losing weight though, hahaha! But still… baby steps!

Around this time, I’ve also launched my new biz, I’ve started selling jewelry. It’s hard to get this one going but I’m very optimistic about it. Fingers crossed!

By November, we’ve celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! We went to the Hilton to celebrate this milestone and gifted each other with pieces of jewelry to commemorate the event. The hubs got me a 5 stone ring, which symbolizes 5 years of wedded bliss (naks!) and a pair of earrings.

I got him his and hers ring in rose gold. I’ve commissioned an artist for the ring overseas and honestly, the ring was the fanciest that I’ve ever seen.

December came rolling in and we planned another Hilton weekend getaway for Damien’s birthday. This trip is supposed to make up for the canceled September trip to celebrate Rocky’s first birthday. It’s just us and the yayas.

As per our tradition, we started handing out gifts to our friends and family two days before Christmas. The hubs drove the kids around town in matching Santa hats and gave out the gifts to their aunts, uncles, and lolas.

This year, we decided to cook. Or more specifically, I decided to cook. We were supposed to order out but decided against it because the dishes we wanted are not available on most Christmas menus. I went ahead and cooked herb chicken and baked salmon in lemon, garlic, and butter.

We also bought a sizable bone-in ham for Christmas, which is the star of our Noche Buena. Funny enough, we didn’t get the bone-in ham last year because we couldn’t afford it  (we can afford it but we didn’t want to spent that much money on it, is what I’m trying to say) but this year, we’re finally able to get a proper one without being nanghihinayang about it.

Isn’t that amazing? Life does get better!

We also had roast beef, lasagna, which we ordered at a nearby Pancake house cuz hubs says they make the best roast beef.

The kids are much easier to manage without the yayas these days. Damien is turning out to be a well-adjusted toddler. He is a lot calmer and easier to put to bed. Rocky is still getting there but for a baby, he’s such a trooper. So calm, so easy to put to sleep although requires feeding every other hour throughout the night. So we had some time for ourselves during Noche Buena to put everything together!

… and there you have it, another one of my yearly recap. No matter how challenging the previous year has been, I’m always optimistic for the year ahead. Thank you so much for watching this space and I wish you safe and fun holidays!


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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