That Extremely Late Year Ender

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When it comes to year ender posts, this has got to be one of the last that will come out. However, I still wanted to do it for reasons that are quite sentimental.

The past year was indeed something a lot of people would like to forget. I admit that there were some things that did leave me feel gutted despite being physically (and somehow even figuratively) detached from them. Like the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Alan Rickman as well as news of violence all over the world and of course, there’s politics – but I wouldn’t go into that anymore.

Despite all of those things, 2016 ended up being good year for me personally. It was a year that brought me a lot of good things. From my career to my relationships, it’s been pretty great and I’m nothing short of thankful.

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The C Scare

Last October, I got the fright of my life – just in time for breast cancer awareness month. I imagine it would be nicer to say that I’m only writing about it now because it took me a while to get over it. It sounds more dramatic, doesn’t it? In reality, I just didn’t have the time to do so. I’ve never been the dramatic type – well, at least in public.

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Expat Life: On Making Friends and the Struggle for Something of My Own

It’s always a lot harder to do this when you’re older, no? But let me back track a little.

When I first moved to KL with my husband, I would have to admit that while I was looking forward to our new adventure, I found myself feeling sad during the first few months. This is probably the first time I am ever talking about this. But I guess, it’s time.

I was in a different country with no friends, no job to keep me occupied, and nothing to do for the first few months except scour the internet for interior design inspirations and trying to nail down a ‘look’ for our new home. A job that I was even sharing with my husband who also has a passion for interior design and homeware. (A post on this later, I promise)

I won’t say I was homesick as I have always been very capable of adapting to a new place. I didn’t get the urge to hop on a plane back to Manila and I was hell bent on making it through whatever it was that I was feeling.

It’s the first few weeks or months where you have nothing to keep you busy that are the hardest. I was on my phone a lot – a lot more than usual – bugging my closest friends from home and egging them on to tell me about what’s been happening back home. I was in the mall a lot during office hours, window shopping by myself and thinking to myself – for the first time ever – that it would be nice to have a friend around.

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Marriage: How we got our dream wedding without breaking the bank

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Practically everyone at my wedding!

Four things: Lots of research, careful planning, friends and family who love us dearly, and a teeny tiny bit of luck

When my husband proposed on February 2013, we got into planning our wedding right away. We had a theme, a budget in mind, and 8 months to get everything in place. Sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? But truth be told, wedding planning isn’t as bad and excruciating as some people might think. It was actually a breeze for the both of us. (I didn’t turn into a bridezilla at any point in the planning and even on the wedding day!)

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Nope! No bridezilla! Though I did cry – a lot – during the ceremony.

With a husband who gets a kick out of planning along with friends and family who were ever so supportive, we got what we always wanted. A very classy (if I may say so myself) and intimate wedding with just our closest family and friends where we were able to talk, laugh, and mingle with everyone which made everything just oh-so special.

Plus, we were also able to go on a honeymoon in Singapore and Bali within the wedding budget! How much did everything cost? Php 250,000 (Conversion rates: MYR1=Php11.04, EUR1=Php51.92, USD1=Php45.69)! Which is basically unheard of in the Manila wedding circuit these days.

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Stormy weather! But the skies cleared up a few hours before the ceremony! 😀 #MeantToBe 😉

In fact, someone who writes for a wedding magazine found out about our wedding, saw the photos, and was eager to write about it for a feature on intimate weddings. However, when I told him how we did everything by ourselves and how much money we saved by not going through planners and all the people in the wedding business, he told me he couldn’t write about it anymore. Why? Because the magazine will lose advertisers. 😛

So I won’t go into detail about everything as this is not a timely wedding guide anymore since it was two years ago. But I hope what you read here will be great advice to anyone who’s in the planning stage! 🙂

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Musings at 26 (and lots of #Throwback Instagram photos!)

I celebrated my 26th birthday two days ago and I just want to share with you guys a few musings I have on turning yet another year older. 😉

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When I turned 21 a few years ago, I told myself that I would stop counting and just tell everyone that I’m 21 – FOREVER. Pun intended. 😉

However, I never truly stopped counting.

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Random Thoughts and Happenings 2

Things that have been happening lately compiled into one blog post. Get ready for the word vomit! 😉

Home Alone

The husband is off to another work trip and this time, he’s going to Davao, in the Philippines for a couple of days. I’ve always been an independent person but I don’t think I will ever be used to him going on work trips and being gone for days. Knowing that he won’t be coming home for lunch and at around 7pm (yes, the people at the Philippine Embassy in KL work long hours) feels weird for me.

Also, I do tend to worry and I’m not that used to sleeping alone anymore. The teddy bears on our bed are actually there for a reason, you guys. 😉

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Personal: The #DearMe Tag

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Been seeing the #DearMe videos all over YouTube done by my favourite vloggers and I just think that it’s such a great idea/initiative for women’s day/month! I know I’m kind of late to the party and this would have been executed better through a video blog but my video editing skills are not good enough. 😛

1. Always be kind

Even though people around you aren’t. There are times when your patience will be tested and your faith in humanity will be blown into smithereens but don’t let yourself be jaded. It will take years before you can change that way of thinking.

2. You don’t have to conform

When I was a kid, I would often be teased because I was the ‘different’ one. I was extremely thin and white (to the point of being pale), I had curly hair (straight hair was in), I preferred to read by myself during recess rather than play, and come high school, I still preferred to read instead of experiment with makeup during class and flirt with boys. Yes, your eyesight will be very bad by the time you’re a junior in college. You will feel bad when other kids would tease you. But! Eventually love wearing glasses and contacts. And those big eyes, curly hair, and white skin will eventually land you part time modelling jobs as early as high school and you will earn extra money from it. All your reading will end up giving you a wild imagination and that will make sure you are never bored – ever.

3. It gets better

Related to number 2 – don’t worry. Your awkward phase will end. Some of those mean kids who teased you when you were in primary school will actually tell you you’ve got pretty eyes and hair by the time you get to college and it would be a gratifying moment when you tell them that you’re not interested. 😉 You will question yourself why you were ever insecure about those body parts ever. You will have the time to experiment with makeup the summer before college and you will thank yourself later on that you preserved your skin for as long as you can from the harsh chemicals makeup has (except for those few times you enjoyed trying it on for school programmes). That summer before college will also be about change. You will be more sociable and you will actually start to like having friends and going out. So, primary school Carol. Don’t ask yourself why your interests are so different from the cool kids. Don’t even try to conform. There will come a time for everything and later on, being the school nerd will be cool. Other kids will start worshipping Harry Potter and Star Wars and you will wonder why they do that now when everyone thought it was uncool to read those thick books and talk about light sabres when you were 8 years old.

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