Cheers, 2017!

Monday, January 1, 2018

As cliche sounding as it is, 2017 went by like a blur.  Work took center stage. It was difficult to find time for myself which in fact was this year's biggest challenge. I still managed to find snippets of time here and there to nourish my own need for solitude. 2017, however, was packed with new adventures, perfect moments with Mr Sweetie, sweet moments of friendship with BFF, my family and my dear friends. 2017 was such a fast-paced year and so full of blessings. 

Me Time at Ruth's Chris in San Antonio, Texas in April, 2017

Here are the highlights of 2017:

1. Mom and Dad For The Holidays


My most precious presents of all this year and this holiday season are my mom and dad. They came to visit  from the Philippines to spend the holidays with us. It is rare that we all spend the holidays together as an entire family since my parents brought my siblings and me to the US as young adults. They arrived on December 15 and it was a fun family reunion at the San Francisco International Airport. Last time they were here for the holidays was in 2014.  An extra Christmas package is my 18 month old baby nephew who brings so much joy to my parents and the family. My parents met their youngest grandson at the airport on that day.

2. Margarita-Filled Nights in San Antonio, Texas

It was fun but it was nerve-wrecking. I went to Texas in April 2017 to present at a conference. The presentation was just for an hour but the anticipation and preparation that went with it were what gave me many sleepless nights. It turned out to be a good presentation. The best part was I asked Mr Sweetie to follow me for a vacation right after. We had 3 margarita-filled nights at the River Walk after he got to Texas.  We got a chance to see The Alamo and downtown San Antonio, and enjoy Texas bbq and TexMex. I also got to explore San Antonio on my own and had some nice me time moments (including a nice cosmo by the river one hot sunny afternoon!) while waiting for him to arrive. The Riverwalk and The Alamo were  items crossed off my Fabulous Life List. 

3. A Night in Las Vegas 

Right after Texas in April was another work trip to Las Vegas in May. Another stressful but exhilarating moment after a successful presentation. I stayed for one night because I am not a fan of Las Vegas. It was a great one evening, though, of dining, a lovely stay at the Bellagio (which ironically, I slept so well the night before my presentation) and shopping. Here is my post.

4. Sweet Staycation in Sacramento

Mr Sweetie surprised me with a weekend staycation in Sacramento, CA at the end of May to celebrate the end of two months of my stressful work travel. It was a beautiful weekend of  music at a concert, drinks and bar food and a lovely brunch. It was a hot yet lovely summer-like day in the spring.

5. A New Blog Was Born

It was a difficult decision to switch from Tumblr to Blogger as it meant that I had to leave my friends on Tumblr.  I have met so many  amazing people online whose talents and passion in photography, writing, poetry, cooking and arts have provided me with inspiration. It had become difficult to find the time to manage my Tumblr blog and I longed for a fresh start and a more quiet space on the web. After 3 years of posting on Tumblr, I said goodbye to the Tumblr community and  created "Autumn Bay Girl" (which started off by a different name.) Hardly anybody reads this blog but I am glad that I found a new canvas for creativity and self-expression. It is my quiet and happy place. (If you are one of the very few who visit, thank you and please say "hello!" I would love to hear from you!)

6. 2017 Was A Healthier Year For Me And Mr Sweetie

Miracles do happen as Mr Sweetie started working out -- like seriously working out. He gets up at 4:30 am to go to the gym. It meant less and interrupted sleep for me but anything to keep my man strong and in good health. This year I banned pastas, tortillas, pizza and Chinese food takeout from our house except as occasional treats. I started drinking cups of teas at night after he gave me David's Tea as one of my presents last Christmas. It translated to drinking less wine because I switched to delicious teas. I lost  4 lbs before Christmas from eating clean food (hardboiled eggs for breakfast, brown rice and veggies for lunch and just something healthy for dinner.) Okay, I gained those 4 lbs after Christmas *crying* but I know that I can lose them all over again.  The best reward? I got good grades on my physical exam this year. My sugar level is normal again and I am no longer pre-diabetic!

7.  Brand New  Jeep

Another item crossed off my Fabulous Life List is my brand new Jeep. I have always wanted a  Jeep and a 4 wheel drive. I had no choice but to buy a new car when I started to have car repair headaches. I got one in April and looking forward to winter so I can finally drive it in the snow. #wintergoals

8. Home Repairs

Ummm, when it rains it pours. I am talking about really expensive repairs. First it was the car then the house pipes.  Just like with the car, I had no choice. Now I am a proud owner of new house pipes and  a new toilet came with it as well! Grrr!

9. Favorite Date Nights

There were so many date nights in 2017 as we go out almost every Saturday.  Aside from the staycation in Sacramento, our date in Half Moon Bay is my other favorite one this year.


10. Favorite Girls' Moments

Hands down our wine tasting trip to Napa Valley, and our girls' holiday dinner at Tropisueno in San Francisco that I have yet to post.

11. Favorite BFF Adventure

Soo many BFF adventures with Heather from many coffee meet ups at SFMOMA, lunches in SF, holiday stroll but this year, our visit to the Museum of Ice Cream was up there on the fun richter scale.Stay tune for pink and cuteness overload post of our visit here.

12. My Favorite Day

My birthday present this year from Mr Sweetie was a day spent in Napa Valley.  Napa Valley is my happy place and it was a perfect birthday where we had a delicious lunch, foodie shopping, buying a case of Gamay Rouge from V Sattui Winery followed by dinner at my favorite restaurant, Mustards Grill.

13. My Proud Moments

I decided to manage my stress by  becoming the queen of punctuality during the second half of this year. With the trains always breaking down, being stuck in a crowded train almost everyday and coming to work late although my work is pretty flexible, I decided to wake up half an hour early. And what a difference those 30 minutes make! I get to put my make up on in my car, buy pastries for breakfast and take my time walking to the train station! Other proud moments are upcycling and   donating many clothes that I no longer wear or have never worn this year so others can enjoy them as well. Instead of buying new make up, I started using my stash first. No make up buying until I use what I already have.

14. Smartest Financial Decision


The smartest financial decision I have made this year is making a commitment of financial offerings to God. I am not there yet in terms of tithing. I pray that I get to someday. By giving to Him, I am so blessed tremendously in my life even though this is not the reason why I give.I give because I love Him.  Mr Sweetie and I have been protected from what could have greatly injured us or worse! Fees are all of a sudden waived for no reasons, presents come just because.... I am so honored to serve a faithful and generous God and I want to honor him with what I have. 

2017 was so full of blessings and beautiful memories that matter. It had brought so many stressors and unexpected expenses. I am thankful, that with all these life's hiccups, we are blessed with a good job, good health that enables us to get up to go to work every morning, financial stability,  a table that is laden with abundant food that are often shared with others and the love of friends and family.  

Most of all, we got the ultimate blessings before the end of the year. First, my dad turns 83 on December 26. On the same day on his birthday, he was taken to the hospital complaining of chest pain. He was kept for 3 days and was discharged with all the tests clear. I got to hangout with my dad all day on the 27th in the hospital which I have not really done since I was a little girl.  The tests show that he is actually really healthy for being an 83 year old, and healthier than many 40 year olds. We are so thankful for blessing my parents in their old age. In turn, we are blessed by their love and their youthfulness in their old age.

I hope and pray for more blessings of togetherness, good health and love in 2018. Having all of these, nothing else matters. Having our faith, the love of family and friends, life is good.

To those who visit my blog, wishing you and yours all the best in 2018. I wish the same for you as I wish for mine -- God's blessings, grace and protection. I wish you love, good health, joy and strength to overcome whatever this year brings. Have a very happy new year!

Cheers, 2017! Thank you for being a great year. Hello, 2018!

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