Due to my terrible sickness (and partially poor planning), I had to put a hold on my resolutions to focus on recovery. SO this post is sort a week late — but like many lessons I learned from last year; better late than never!
I learnt so much about myself in the past year: I discovered what I was most passionate about and realized what I was capable of achieving. From a little soul searching and lots of hard work, 2016 was one of my most fruitful years and I thought I'd share some of the highlights:
I made an effort to step out of my comfort zones more often,
and it felt so good! Networking and social events can be scary and intimidating especially when you don't know what to expect. That used to always hold me back from participating. The good thing is, it usually always turns out better than expected just as long as you attempt to make the most of it and try to introduce yourself to at least one person in the room. It's a really special feeling to be able to connect with likeminded individuals and have other peers to relate with. I'm really glad I signed up for Vancouver's first XX+UX (the Google-founded event for women in design) this year, attended both formal & informal Instagram minglers, and is committed to an exclusive social club known as the "NDAC".
I am giving back to the community.
I learned the power of bringing people together and working towards a single cause. In 2016, I especially loved helping Faubourg with their annual 'National Macaron Day' fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation and volunteering at Save On Meats for A Better Life Van's Greasy Spoon Diner (ever since my first ever Greasy Spoon Diner experience) to support Vancouver's DTES. It's amazing what a difference we can make and all the things we can achieve when we put our minds together. I can't wait to involve myself with more non-profit organizations during the years to come.
I got published for the first time.
Being reached out by VancityBuzz (now Daily Hive Vancouver) to curate a list of my Favourite Matcha Treats in Vancouver was a huge milestone for me. My Instagram & blog was only a casual creative outlet for me just a few months prior to this so working with a publication with such a huge readership meant a lot to me! I absolutely love sharing what I love with y'all.
I reached my first year of motherhood.
It's crazy how Bailey impacted my life so immensely. Even with her loud snores, smelly gas, and picky eating habits; she's brought nothing but joy into my life and taught me the most simplistic form of happiness. Her energy is contagious and her loving personality has successfully converted me into a Stage 5 Crazy Dog Lady. I love spending all my time with her and will continually try to take her with me where ever I can.
I ran competitively for the first time.
In April, I ran the Vancouver Sun Run! This was a HUGE personal achievement. I've always loved endurance training and long-distance running but have never ran competitively. If it wasn't all the support from my wonderful work family, this 10k run would've been merely a thought still. I'm going at it again this year but I'm trying my best not to leave my training till the month before — let me know if you're a runner and would be interested in doing short laps with me!
I ate the best burger of my life.
Hands down, the best burger I ate this year was the (anything but Humble) Humble Burger by Chef Josh Gale — the patty was made with Wagyu short-rib & brisket, topped with cured foie gras torchon, black truffle sheep’s cheese, fried hen egg, smoked ketchup, bone marrow-naise, and all sandwiched between a brioche bun. I rarely enjoy burgers but let me reassure you that I devoured that monster.
I learned a lot more about wine.
and grew a hell lotta appreciation too! It's all thanks to my super encouraging NDAC family (who all turned out to be aficionados of the finest wines) — they taught me everything I know!
I saw my favourite duo, Oh Wonder, live.
The first song I discover from Oh Wonder was "Dazzle" and that was probably 2 years ago. Back then, I didn't really have a plan, took life by the day & lived in the moment, the song got me with its funky intro and I loved the idea of being dazzled. I started listening to their entire album on repeat since, and it never seems to get old! The concert was intimate and it really was the most beautiful & breath-taking performance I've ever experienced. I loved that everyone knew the words and was singing along to all the songs. I took a lot of video footage that night to make sure I could relive the moment again.
I designed an app and it received a platinum reward for "Best Designed App".
I've never been able to confidently say that I feel like I've found my place till now — It still feels surreal that I copped this incredible opportunity and I've honestly never been happier. I'm so proud of to be part of this team and I can't wait to see what the future holds. Thank you for taking a chance on me!
I launched my YouTube channel.
YouTube was always a platform I wanted to try out. I found myself getting involved in many film projects and helping out on the production side but I realized I wasn't happy. I had a vision and FINALLY decided to take action; I uploaded my first video in June.
I went pink.
All I thought was: I'm not getting any younger and I can't seem to get this idea out of my head so — its either now or never & why the hell not? Best decision of my life.
I spent my birthday with my family,
and I wouldn't want it any other way. My family are the closest ones to me. They've seen me at my worst, most likely judged (lets be real) but supported me through the roughest times with their immeasurable love and care. We often get caught up in our own lives, don't talk or see each other too often but whenever we do, it's like we never stopped talking.
Summer flew by —
Thanks to my naturally talented photographer friends (and special thanks to Rick) I have photo evidence of myself having lots of fun whether I'm on a yacht, at a dinner dressed in white, at a wedding, at an Interior Design Show or sipping champagne, watching Polo!
I collaborated & created art with both local, national & international brands.
One of the best things that happened to me this year was finding my passion and being able to balance my career with passion projects. I love nothing more than being creative and I'm truly so, so, so grateful for all the opportunities I've had. I can't wait to see what 2017 has to offer, I never want to stop learning!
I met a bunch of really great people, my kinda people!
With all these new projects going on, I met a bunch of really great people AND we have a really great time together! 2016 really surprised me — I'm really lucky to have met so many new faces & some of the most awesome peeps. I'm constantly surrounded by kindness, intelligence, talent, and mad hustlers! You inspire me. Thank you so much for shining so much light into my life personally and professionally. Thank you for all the laughs and your patience with me!
PS: Thanks Luis for that awesome snap of me in action!
I became a hair model.
OK, maybe not — it's super casual. #RealTalk though, I am SO blessed to have Eva in my LIFE. She's the most genuine, hard working hustler I know, SO damn talented, and my definition of #GirlBoss #goals!
I visited Purdy's Chocolate Factory and made neapolitan pizza.
That's definitely two down my bucket list. The iconic Purdy's Chocolate Factory is not opened to the public; this must be the real perk of being a blogger from Vancouver.
December was a Winter Wonderland in Vancouver!
It definitely felt like one of the colder winters we've had in a while but that came with its perks. The snow meant plentiful of traditional winter activities outdoors (you could say I'm getting pretty good at making snowballs), as well as many nights in with the best company, family gatherings and always an abundance of good food.
So there you have it — if you're still with me, kudos to you! This may be the longest blog post I've written to date. 2016 was definitely full of firsts, realizations, a fresh start and new chapters.
Thank you (again & always) so, so much for your endless support.
2016, you were amazing. Now 2017, how are you gonna top that?