Friday, February 19, 2016

Sirao Flower Farm

I know it's been so long since my last real blog post, but I feel like I should write about this beautiful "little" flower farm up in the hills. :)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Expect The Unexpected

And so it begins. A look-back on the year that was, and reflecting on what's to come. The first thing I want to say is HA! I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!! :D I did get what I had been hoping for! Read on ;)

What happened in 2015:

1. Started the year on a bittersweet note because I said goodbye to my cousin and his now wife, my best friend. But, ohhh, they got married!!! :)

2. Went on a trip with a good friend of mine to Hong Kong at the beginning of the year. It was good because it was the first time that only both of us went out of the country together. And we were able to spend some quality time before she headed back to the States.

3. This girl is officially off the market! 😁 Haha. Okay, I got a bit "kilig" typing that just now. But it feels good. It feels good knowing that last year, I already knew this was going to happen. I was SO SURE. I didn't know 100% who it would be, but I had a hunch already. Even though there was a battle going on in my mind because on one hand, I felt like there were signs. And on the other hand, it seemed too good to be true.

4. I finally went to Japan!! Another place to tick off my bucket list. After seeing so many people experience the place, I was able to do so too. And I can't wait to go back! Even though the people there don't speak English, it wasn't that hard to go around.

5. I had the privilege of being a "crew for a day" at the Logos Hope ship. It was a really fun experience even though we didn't really do much work and stayed for about 3 hours. I was able to meet a lot of people of different nationalities and backgrounds who were working on the ship and it was inspiring hearing about their stories. It reminded me that I shouldn't be afraid to try to get out there and try something new. Push yourself to be better.

6. The highlight of my year though was being able to travel to Australia with my boyfriend to visit our closest friends! That was such a great trip and we were able to bring back so much memories. ❤️ Looking forward to the next visit!

7. I finally launched White Label Bridal (Cebu branch) around April this year. Business had not been as "booming" as I had wanted it to be, but I know I need to hang in there. Slowly but surely!

What I'm thankful for in 2015:

- the chance to serve the Lord through the Children's ministry. Although I took a break at the end of the year, I'm hoping to refuel my passion for the kids and continue my work with them.

- friends who came and never left, friends who care and new friends who seem like old friends now.

- God's guidance with White Label. It may not have gone the way I wanted and expected but I know He has better plans and I just have to trust that He will deliver.

- blessings upon blessings upon blessings!

What I'm looking forward to in 2016:

1. For White Label to prosper and have more clients. For me to have my business grow and maybe for many other business opportunities!

2. To see my extended family grow and look forward to new family members :)

3. A better year filled with more and more "surprises" and experiences

4. I hope to get a clear idea of where my next church should be, if I should stay or go. And for a deeper and stronger relationship with my Lord and Savior :)

I don't think I could ask for a better year, or a better way to see my story unfold. All I can say is, patience really is a virtue and the reward is the sweetest when you wait on God's time. :) I can see it now, a glimpse of the future and of His promises. And they are good!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I hope 2016 will be your year! ❤️

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I Think It's Time

As 2014 comes down to a close, I realize that the years go by so quickly every single year. When the year is just beginning, you feel like time is going so slow. When it gets to the middle, you think "Hey, time is picking up." And when you get to December, you say "Where did the time go?" So, yeah. Story of all our lives. This year has been a little bit more interesting than the previous years though. So... read on. :)

What happened in 2014:

1. Attended my first ever church camp! Better late than never!
2. Strengthened friendships and I hope they will remain strong!
3. Opened my doors to friends whom I didn't really care for before. It has been an eye opening experience.
4. Finally I kinda know what my dream job is! Opening an RTW boutique for wedding gowns next year and I could not be happier! I am one step closer to becoming the career woman I always wanted to be!
5. I am now a Sunday School teacher!!! And it is such a joy to be working with kids - ages 4 to 6. Yes they can be a handful though and some days my energy level just goes from 100 to -1,000 in a span of 2 hours but it's really rewarding especially when your students just hug you or appreciate you. Have I mentioned I really love kids? :)
6. After 5 years, finally another high school classmate tied the knot this year! And we got to experience a Boracay beach wedding at that!
7. About 4 of my friends are engaged and I'm expecting so many weddings next year. I'm so happy for them!
8. Was able to go on a local trip (to Ilocos) with friends and I tried sand boarding and (kinda scary) ATV around the "desert".
9. I am now a proud aunt of 2 beautiful nieces - 1 from each side of the family! The coming years will also be baby-filled and I am sooooo looking forward to that! *I love kids*
10. I've been more active in Church and serving more through Sunday School and occasionally leading Praise & Worship. To God be the glory!
11. I feel that this year I have grown even closer to God and I love it! I am looking forward to next year and how sweet our relationship will get. :)
12. There were a few tries but they did not last very long. I guess they were not the right ones yet.
13. Another place to check off of my bucket list. I finally went to London! It has been on my list for quite some time and I am glad that somehow, I can tick off these places one by one.
14. I was able to see one of my friends from Beijing. I rarely see her and I was so glad she came to Cebu during Sinulog. It was a bit difficult to meet her but we prevailed.
15. Made a pact/vow to myself on January 25 and until now, I have kept my promise. That was a "no turning back" moment for me which I'm glad I decided on. It has made me a better person.
16. 3 of my close friends have left Cebu in search of work elsewhere, which has been bittersweet. You know that it's for their own good and you are happy for them, but also you can't help but be selfish and think "why is everyone leaving?"
17. This year I have reached my ideal weight. Looking back at past pictures I did not realize I grew to a size that was considerably "fat" in my dictionary, although it's just actually a bit chubby in real life lingo.
18. This year was also the first year I helped out during Vacation Bible School - sort of like a week long "class" for kids in Sunday School.

What I'm thankful for in 2014:

1. I'm thankful that this year I have found friends who double as accountability partners who have helped me with my walk with the Lord.
2. Every year I always think that the next year will be my year, BUT this year I believe that God has given me wisdom and discernment to truly understand that I was just being naive all those years. So I'm thankful for every little thing - heartbreak, broken expectation, shattered dream - that happened this year because it has prepared me to become better.
3. I'm super thankful for all the blessings! This year I got to change some parts of me that I did not like and I'm getting on the road to betterment.
4. Again, I gained even MORE friends. God doesn't seem to be running out of people to put in my life any time soon, and for that I am forever grateful!

What I'm looking forward to in 2015:

1. I'm so looking forward to my business growing and being prosperous for 2015! I'm excited to see how this goes.
2. Seeing my close friends get married and many more getting engaged!
3. Seeing my own dreams coming to life and getting my happy ending as well. :)
4. More trips to new and unchartered places where we've never been to before.
5. More trips to see friends too since some more friends are leaving :(

Funny enough, this time I think I'm sure. I think it's time. (If it doesn't work out I will be laughing at myself at the end of next year for being so bold and assuming about the future but whatever. I will feel the shame and embarrassment later on. Haha.) All roads lead up to this moment. I think I am ready. And so, 2015 will truly be my year.

In 2015, Valerie will get all that she has been hoping for! 


Monday, December 29, 2014

Prom: The Little Black

Normally, the first color that would pop into my mind when I think of gowns or even clothes to buy/wear would definitely NOT be black. Coming from a Chinese family with strong family values and traits, the color black is definitely a no-no. Ever since I was little we were told not to wear black. I could only wear black bottoms – skirts, pants, shorts, shoes, but not tops or dresses. I don’t know why but that’s tradition and I got used to it

                But I realize that probably 90% of the population favors black more than any other color because of its slimming effect. The only downside to black is that it absorbs heat which makes it a hard color to wear during the summer months. So for my last post I will dedicate it to all things black!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Prom: Long and Strong

One of the themes I love during prom season is anything formal. Since I rarely go to parties that require me to dress up in long gowns, I always jump on the chance when invited to a formal event. I see it as a time to get out of my comfort zone and get out of my element and dress up, like I’m attending a movie premiere or the Oscars!

                As I mentioned in my previous post, I love sexy necklines and halter type dresses and anything sheer. Pickedresses seems to have all that and more, in long gowns! For me, the way to be sexy in a long gown is by the details of the dress. Maybe a bejeweled belt to bring a little sparkle, or a fully beaded gown with sheer details, the list goes on. Read on to see the long gowns that made me squeal with delight!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Prom: Itsy Bitsy

Normally when I think of prom, I think of ball dresses and long gowns. The way the dress falls to the floor and you walk around swishing and swooshing the end of your dress, as if you were a princess. But there are other options as well to prom dresses. I know that long gowns cost so much more than a short dress and many of you may want the option of buying something cheaper since you might probably be wearing it for only a night. I browsed through PickeDresses website the other day (guilty as charged) and I found so many great choices for short prom dresses. I know I’m probably excited about a season that I don’t even get the chance to attend anymore. But every year I enjoy looking at pictures of those who have been to prom – people I know from younger batches, cousins, and friends.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Prom: The Dream

In just a few weeks, Christmas will be here and I’m really excited about all the gifts and all the eating!! But aside from that, I’m much more excited about Prom season! Aren’t you?

            I remember my first prom. I was a senior in high school and a guy from another school invited me to be his date. We didn’t have prom at my school (which totally sucks because I really really love prom!) so I was ecstatic when someone gave me that chance. I was actually invited to 2 proms but they were just within a span of about a week from each other so I ended up wearing the same dress.

Isn’t it annoying when you can’t seem to find the perfect dress? You search from store to store, but it’s either they don’t have the color you want or they have it in a different design, different length. Sure, you can have your dresses made by your local designer but it’s also a hit or miss. There was one time I had a gown made for my graduation ball and it was so bad. It was too simple and pointy in all the wrong places. I hate it when they just can’t seem to get your dress right.