For the past three years I made it a point skip the New Year’s resolutions and just pick one word that would help me align my plans and goals for the year. In 2014, my one word was passion. Last year, it was pursue.
Can you tell, based on those two huge words—pursue and passion—how intense the past 2 years were for me?
Don’t get me wrong, the past 2 years were amazing in every way and I can only be grateful for all of it; but there were many times also that I had to pull myself together and fight through the overwhelm and burnout.
Her name is Caitlin Soleil Lucas, or Caitie. She is 3 years old and diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer.
It all started with ‘insect bite’-like rashes that showed up on her legs last September. This progressed to critical symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, enlarged spleen and liver, abnormal CBC and chronic diarrhea, among others. Caitie has since gone through a series of procedures and tests for life-threatening diseases, including bone marrow aspirations and blood transfusions.
Because of the rarity of her condition, Caitie’s family had to go through the agony of not having a diagnosis for over two months, and therefore not having a definite treatment plan. Finally, after transferring to Singapore to seek more advanced medical testing and treatment, the doctors have arrived at a diagnosis.
She is diagnosed to have Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia, a rare form of leukemia that affects 1.2 out of one million children ages 4 and below. Continue Reading
I think I may have hit one of the lowest points of my life at the start of this year. No I wasn’t feeling heartbroken or devastated or anything that alarming. Instead I was feeling indifferent and lethargic and uninspired like it’s so hard to move and do anything at all.
And so I faced my responsbilities like a robot since the beginning of the year, and while I do get tasks done, I know I haven’t really been doing my best. Continue Reading
There are pros and cons to being a blogger AND a designer at the same time.
The good thing about it is, I can design this blog however I want, whenever I want. I can quietly tweak blog design details throughout the year, and/or schedule a complete makeover when I feel it’s time for one.
The bad thing is, I struggle with priorities. It often feels like an identity crisis of sorts every time I think of these two things I’m passionate about—writing and designing. Which one should I spend more time doing? Which one do I enjoy more? Can I do both in equal portions and be good at both things at the same time? (Still trying to process the answers to these questions.)
In any case, I realized that redesigning the blog periodically is as important to me as the actual creation of content. Designing this blog is part of my creative expression, and therefore an essential part of my creative process. I guess that’s why, when I was feeling drained and uninspired at the beginning of this year, I kinda knew that it was time for some design therapy around here.
Once upon a time I took a whack at tablescape styling. Some of you will remember my short stint setting up candy and dessert buffets back in 2013. (Allow me to refresh your memory, ehem.)
I was really fascinated with event styling at the time, except I knew I could only manage styling a table and not an entire venue, lol! So my husband and I started a dessert buffet business and it was sooo much fun. I loved that people actually wanted to pay me to style tables haha. And while we had to let the business go after a year (because events were taking over all of our weekends, for one), my fascination with tablescapes went on, tucked away in the corners of my Pinterestboards.
Fast forward to 2016 and my friend Sheila told me about School of Styling‘s launch and invited me to go. The idea that a “School of Styling” now exists in the Philippines is such a great news, and it was even more exciting for me that the first set of workshops was all about tablescapes and table setting. I knew I had to be there! Continue Reading
When our plane landed at JFK after 23 looong hours of travel from Manila to New York, I heaved a sigh of relief. Finally! It’s our first time back in NYC in 5 years, first time to go there as a family, first long flight with the twins.
As we unbuckled the girls off their seats and prepared to step out of the plane, one of the girls, Rain, happily exclaimed, “We’re home Mommy let’s go!”
The truth is, if you told me 5 years ago that I would be calling New York “home” in this lifetime, I would have laughed in your face and dismissed the idea outright. To me New York has always been a mysterious city, and sure, one of my favorite cities in the world. It held some of my greatest memories, marked important milestones of my life and our story, and hey, I sure would love to keep coming back! But to call it “home” was, at one point, the farthest thing from my mind.
But something shifted somewhere, and New York has become the very thing I never thought in my life it would be. Maybe because I found love in this strange city and we all know how love can make anyone feel grounded. Or maybe because I have learned to see “home” in a whole new light.
Maybe the fact that I didn’t really want this to begin with, that makes being in New York feel.. right. After all, I have known God to work exactly this way. He has a knack for changing hearts and orchestrating circumstances that take us right where He wants and needs us to be, even if it means parting oceans with a rod and defeating giants with a sling. Continue Reading
There was a bit of a confusion, even disappointment, upon receiving our Playbills and seeing someone else’s name beside “Kei Kimura”, the story’s charming and fierce female lead who was supposed to be played by Lea. After all, I’m pretty sure many of us Filipinos went to see Allegiance because of her. I saw many of our kababayans gathered in the lobby of the Longacre Theater before the show, whispering to each other about Lea’s absence.
But the show must go on and the disappointment immediately disappeared soon as Elena Wang, Lea’s understudy, took Kei’s spot on stage with remarkable confidence and grace, nailing it one scene after another. I was curious to see how she would handle “Higher“, a song that was composed especially for Lea, but oh my wow, Elena totally killed it and won me over.
She didn’t just “fill in” for Lea. She totally owned the role, and it made me happy to have witnessed just that. Continue Reading