16 Things I Learned in 2016

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Last year I made a similar post and this year I'm back with a 2016 version.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, 2016 was a tough year for me. I learned a lot of valuable life lessons last year and today I'm going to share them with you.

1. Pray more.
It might seem that He isn't listening but he is. I didn't go to church as much last year but I prayed. I prayed every day. At the start of the year, I prayed every time I felt like I was drowning... I prayed when I cried. I prayed when I was extremely happy. I prayed when I was frustrated. I prayed and prayed and prayed and the thing I prayed for the most was peace of mind because I was hurting so badly... God granted me peace of mind the day I realized that all I had to do was forgive myself.

2. Don't rely on others to make big life decisions for you.
I came to a point in my 2016 life that I was on the edge of an emotional cliff and I didn't know what to do. I started asking my family and friends for advice and it confused me even more... I learned (the hard way) that the only person who can make big life decisions for you is yourself. Trust your gut instinct.

3. Never stop on aiming to be better at what you do.
When I resigned from the hospital and made the decision to pursue baking full time, I also made the decision to better myself at my craft. I watched a lot of online tutorials, read a lot of baking related books, and signed up for a lot of baking and cake decorating related classes to get better at what I do.

4. It's okay to put yourself first.
My biggest 2015 downfall was always putting other people's happiness ahead of my own. Last year, I promised myself that I'd put myself first for a change. I started doing things that made ME happy. I started buying things for MYSELF. I started going out, not because others wanted me to, but because I wanted to. At first it made me guilty because I'm so used to always being a giver but then I realized that it's about time to make myself happy too. We all deserve to be happy.

5. Who you surround yourself with makes a difference in your life.
When you surround yourself with positive people, you tend to have a more positive outlook in life. When you surround yourself with negative people... Well, need I say more? From my family to my close friends, I've found that inner circle where I can truly be myself and be happy. When you surround yourself with people who love you and support your choices and aspirations, life becomes more meaningful.

6. Go with the flow.
I am a certified control freak so this is quite controversial for me. I like planning things and I like it when things go the way I planned but they don't always go down that way and I end up being frustrated. 2016's the year I learned to "go with the flow" and relax. I realized that there are some things that I just can control, things I can't plan on happening and I learned to be okay with that.

7. Learn to do things ALONE.
One of my biggest fears before was to be alone. I hated the thought of walking into the grocery or department store or even a fast food place alone because it seemed pathetic. 2016 was the year I conquered that fear. Now I am perfectly content to have a cup of coffee alone or stroll around aisles alone. I'll admit that it's lonely sometimes but I've gotten over it and I've learned to look at it from a different perspective. Now it makes me feel like I can be more independent.

8. Get out of your comfort zone.
Try out that new restaurant. Have your nails painted a bolder (than usual) color. Show a bit more skin. I always reveled in the familiar but I decided that the familiar was getting boring. So 2016 was the year I explored a bit more. Not a lot, but more than usual. I tried out new things like taking care of cactus and succulent plants, getting a new dog (my baby askal Max!), trying out new food, having my nails painted RED (a color I was afraid of), trying out new makeup trends and a whole lot more. Another way I got out of my comfort zone was when I started to open myself up to new people and got to know them more. EXPERIMENT. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE!~

9. You always have a choice, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
At 25, I've finally realized that I have a choice. I have a choice to be happy or sad. I have a choice on how I wish to live my life. I cannot live my parent's or sister's life. I have to make my own choices and live my own life. I learned that in any given situation, you always have a choice, so hopefully this 2017 I will stop using "I didn't have a choice" as an excuse.

10. It's okay to have standards.
It's okay to be picky. It's okay to want to have the best. It's okay to think of the long term pros & cons. It's okay to demand what you think you deserve. I learned to no longer settle for leftovers. People will judge you for having standards, believe me but learn to not give a f*ck about what other people think.

11. Always trust your gut instinct.
2016 was the year I realized that if only I had trusted my gut instinct more, I wouldn't be getting in messy situations often. So now I listen a lot more carefully.

12. Stop living in the past.
The start of my 2016 greeted me with the most painful heartbreak ever and as the months went on, I kept replaying memories in my head. I'd feel so down and so lost but then I realized that it was my own doing because I kept living in the past. If you keep dwelling on "what has been" you will not be able to enjoy the "what could be"... Keep pushing forward, live each day fully, and always look on the bright side.

13. Ideas come and go. Write them down!
I've lost really good ideas on so many occasions because I forgot to write them down. Always keep a small notebook and pen with you. Or for those techie millennials out there, just whip out your phone, right?

14. Never assume.
When in doubt, always ask. It's confusing (and painful!) to assume things. Just be honest and upfront.

15. Don't give up no matter how many times you fall.
This one's self explanatory.

16. Don't allow anything or ANYONE to be your source of happiness.
We are all in the pursuit of one thing - happiness. How do we become truly happy if we rely on something, or worse, someone to be our only source of happiness? Be your own source of happy. Be genuinely happy for yourself through all of life's ups and downs.

Well, this wraps up my post. How about you? What did you learn during 2016? Comment down below!~


Twenty Seventeen! - (Late) Year End Thank You's

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2016 was THE toughest year for me. I went through a massive heart break, I lost some friends, I realized that some family members aren't worth the time, I doubted my baking skills and felt like Sugar Works was about to fail... The list goes on and on but I survived through it all with the help of family and friends. This post is dedicated to them!

I've been doing year end thank you posts for a couple of years now and since today's the 1st of January 2017, I know I'm a bit late but it's better than never, right? So let's get started!

First off, a big thank you to God. As cheesy or cliche as it sounds, I'm thankful for the fact that during the times I've been so down, God sent me angels (family and friends) to pull be back up on my feet. He has showered me with so many blessings that I can't even count them out anymore and I know that all the trials He put me through is because He wanted me to conquer all my fears and inner demons and become a stronger person.

Next, thank you to my family. Daddy, Mum, Kiddo, Lola & Lolo, you've been my stronghold, my rock. You guys were the ones who constantly reminded me that I can make it through the year and that all the challenges and hard times will pay off. I appreciate all the love and support you've given me especially since I've decided to pursue my baking career on a more full time level.
Thank you for never giving up on me.

Yaya Malou & Mamang Melit, thank you for being my second mothers. I wouldn't have survived all those hours of housework without you both helping me out. I'm especially thankful for all the times you both have taken over while I'm busy with all the baking orders and cake decorating. Thank you for taking care of me and my family and for constantly being there for us.

Thank you to my true friends... I have only a few but I know they're there till the very end. I can't type out all your names but the ones who I will mention on this post deserve this special mention... Thank you Shanne, Antonette, Yvette, Chynne, Ate Kiamee, Trisha, Jelz, Ayi & Nico. 2016 was more bearable with you guys in my life. Thank you for being there when I need you guys the most. I know I don't need to mention every little thing you did for me but know that it was all appreciated. I love you guys to bits!

Thank you to all my other family members, family-friends and friends who have made 2016 more enjoyable. Looking forward to making more memories in 2017. Special mention to my tita viejas for always being there for me...

Also a big thanks to all my Sugar Works clients, baking suppliers & baker friends - special mention to Ate Michelle and Charlene... All those cake orders kept me sane throughout 2016. I loved conceptualizing, baking and decorating each and every cake or cupcake order I received and will always remember them fondly.

Last but definitely not the least... Thank you A. Thank you for the heartbreak that made me realize that I can be on my own, that I can be an independent woman, that I am human and I commit mistakes and also get hurt. Thank you for breaking my heart and leaving me because that's what motivated me to get my shit together and not depend on a boy to make me happy. I've realized so many things once the heartbreak started to subside and now I can say that I'm a better person. There are days that I THINK I still miss you, but I now realize that what I miss most was the feeling of having someone special in my life. It's okay, now is not the time yet. I wish you luck in all your future endeavors A. Sincerely...

PS : I'd also like to thank all the boys, guys & men I've talked to or dated this year. Some were actually interesting dates, and the rest were just majorly fucked up. I'm not rushing, I'm just enjoying the ride and going with the flow.

Cheers to the New Year everyone! May 2017 open more opportunities for us all!