Life, beauty and food.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016 ☆

2015 is finally over. It may seem like it went by too quickly, but as I look deeper into it, it was one rollercoaster of a year! As much as I would like to say that 2015 had been a great year for me, I can't. Because, in all honesty, it was a challenging one. 2015 for me was kind of like a Chapter 2 to 2013. 2013 was the hardest year for me in all aspects and 2014 was like a break from it all, then came 2015, which was a continuation of 2013.. if that makes sense. This year, I decided I didn't want to write a blog post about my 2015 favorites, because I really wanted to talk about the real truth. It's rare to see people actually talk about the things that weren't really great through out the year. I'm not going to write about all the horrible things that happened to me this year, but I am gonna write about the things that I have learned all through out. 

This blog post was made in collaboration with my sister, Shirley. Check out her blog site and read about what 2015 has taught her! Enjoy. Love you! Here are 10 things I've put together that sums up my year..

1. You're only a failure once you've stopped trying.

I basically spent this whole year studying for an exam that seems like so impossible for me to reach. But I took it day by day. It is definitely hard to keep fighting for something that only keeps on failing and making you feel horrible and small, but then again, I was never a quitter and I never will be. No matter how many times people tell you you can't do something, you can! You are only a failure when you stop trying. The real success is getting up and trying again no matter how many times you've fallen. So if you're at the part of your life where you feel like something is impossible to achieve, it's not. Don't stop trying and don't worry about time. Everything comes to you in the right moment.

2. Don't worry about money.

Most of us these days seem to have one thing in our minds, and that is to be successful and rich, if not rich then mostly well-off. What if you had those things given to you one day all at once? How would you feel in that moment? This year, I didn't really earn a lot since I spent most of my time studying and not working. And you know what? It was okay, it really was. The reason why it was okay was because I didn't make it a problem. I didn't worry about it. I always and still believe that I have a provider that provides all my needs in times that I need it the most. I know that some people would disagree on this but if you honestly think about it, was there ever a time you felt like you needed something and somehow it was just handed to you? I'm sure we've all had one of those moments this year. I know I had and I'm very grateful for it. Once again, you are only given the things you need in the right time. There is a difference between needing something and wanting something. " Do what you love and the money will follow. "

3. You're appearance only matters to you.

This year, I have to admit, was the year I spent most of my savings on purchasing make-up. Not saying that spending your money on make-up is a bad thing, it's definitely not! Do whatever makes you happy! :) I love buying make-up and I love trying and experimenting on them, but, this year, I developed a skin allergy. And what specific part did it attack? My face! I'm not quite sure how it happened, it just did. I've always had sensitive skin, but this year was the worst for me. I woke up one morning with one eye severely swollen and it lasted about 2 weeks before it somewhat " healed ". After that, the skin around my eyes never really went back to normal, it was and still is so dehydrated. It has been three months since I developed this skin allergy and when I took a trip to the doctors, he said that it was dermatitis/eczema. The reason why I'm writing about this is because, although this situation seems so bad, I learned from it. Having the eczema on my face, I wasn't allowed to put any sort of make-up for about 3 months. Being the stubborn person I am, of course, I had some days where I did where makeup but for the most part, I didn't wear any. By doing this, I came to the realization, that it really didn't matter whether I had makeup on or whether I didn't. Most of our time is consumed by looking a certain way but you come to a realization that the way you look, only matters to you.

4. People's opinions are not who you are.

There are going to be a lot of people who try to tell you how, what or who you're suppose to be, but at the end of the day, people's opinions shouldn't affect you. Don't let people who don't know you decide what you're going to do with your life. You are in control and you decide which path you take in life. If people say you can't do something, do it. You can't change what people think about you, but you can change what you think about yourself!

5. Don't take people for granted.

Sometimes we tend to overlook the simple things in our lives. One of those being the people who are in them. There are moments this year, I have taken a few people for granted. Having done so, I realized how much they really mean to me. It's nice having someone around you who you could always talk to and know that they will always understand you no matter what. I have beyond thankful for my sister/bestfriend, Shirley and my life partner/bestfriend, Paolo. I would not have gotten through this year without you guys! I love you.

6. Staying Strong.

As each year goes by, life would seem to get a bit more difficult but that's not the case. It just adds more responsibilities. Responsibilities that make you grow and be who you are suppose to be. Things are given to you at a certain time because it shows that you are now capable of handling it. Whatever life throws at you, you take it, accept it and you choose if either you wanna keep it or let go of it. Either way, learn from it. You are much more stronger than you think you are, after all, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, am I right? :)

7. Accept the bad things in your life.

Life isn't always going to be sunshine and rainbows. It's checkered black and white, as they say, and that's the truth. Nobody leads or lives a perfect life! There's no such thing as a perfect life. I'm sure that everyone has their moments of ups and downs, but it is important to accept the bad/sad moments in our lives. I believe that situations like these happens in order for us to appreciate how much we have. I've learned to accept whatever situations comes my way and although it is a struggle, I've learned that I can't change what has already happened but I can change the way I react to it. A perfect example of this would be the movie, Inside Out. It teaches a great lesson about life and I think it came out the right time when I needed it to! ;)

8. Be Kind.

This is always a lesson every year, every day, every moment in my life. Be kind to people. No matter what. No matter what gender, race or whatever it is, be kind. When you're gone from this world, people won't remember you for your accomplishments, your success.. people will remember you for the way you made them feel and that's the most important thing in the world!

9. True success is knowing that there is always room for improvement.

Everyday is a learning experience. You can never know everything in this world and you can never know too less. You learn as you go. You can say a person is truly successful once they reached all their goals in life, but they still know that they have a lot of room to learn more!

10. God loves you.

When everything seems to not go your way or when you feel like you're on top of the world, there's someone who loves you in every aspect. This year, I have grown spiritually. I am thankful for the relationship I have with God and where it has taken me. It doesn't matter what religion you are, what matters is your relationship with God. Whatever that is, it is your own story to tell and it should only matter to you. You are loved and never alone in this world. 

That wraps up everything that I've learned this year. This year was a challenging one and although I can point out all the difficult times clearly, I can also point out the great memories I've made. I'm very thankful for all my experiences. I'm thankful for all the people I met this year, all the friends I've made and new places I've learned to love. Each year we grow, each year we realize and each year we transform to new beings! I think that is what's great about the new years, you can choose to have a fresh start, a new look on old things and a new attitude towards life. 2016 is going to be a great year and I hope as I write about what 2016 has taught me next year around this time, it'll be a wonderful year filled with more accomplishments and learnings. Here's to another year ahead of us! Here's to us growing and here's to us being open to life, whatever it has to offer! :) 

Happy New Year, you guys. I love you :)



Friday, December 25, 2015

Chai Sugar Cookies! ❅

Merry Christmas, everyone! :) Wow, how fast has this year gone by? Hehe. Christmas Eve, me and my sister decided to bake some cookies and what else is there to bake other than Tay's Chai Sugar Cookies! It was our first time trying out this recipe, more importantly, our first time baking from scratch! It turned out pretty amazing and so so yummy. If you are up for some baking this holiday season, definitely give this one a try! * Not recommended for those who are diabetic! * Lol. Enjoy!

Here is the recipe Taylor posted on her Tumblr :) 

The sugar cookie recipe was taken from :)

Giant Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

makes 1 dozen 4-inch cookies or 2 dozen 2-inch cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola or sunflower oil. I used almond oil.

1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for sugaring tops

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil, or grease generously with butter or cooking spray.

Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the vegetable oil. It may not fully incorporate with the butter, but that’s ok. Add the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg and vanilla, beating on medium speed until each ingredient is completely incorporated.

**Taylor's addition: after you add the egg and vanilla, cut one chai tea packet open and empty the crushed up tea leaves into the batter.

Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt all at once using a wooden spoon or the mixer set on low.

The dough will be soft.

Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes just so it’s easier to handle.

For large cookies, dollop 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. For smaller cookies use 1 Tablespoon for each cookie. Press the dough evenly with your fingers or palm to 1/4-inch thickness. Generously sprinkle sugar on top of the cookie dough.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes for larger cookies or 8 to 10 minutes for smaller cookies. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. The cookies will keep for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.

For Tay's Frosting:

Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with ¼ T-spoon of nutmeg, ¼ T-spoon of cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of milk or eggnog.

** The frosting could be a little wet at the beginning but as you let it dry on the cookie, it settles down pretty nice. So don't worry if it drips a little as you pour it (like we did!) it'll look pretty when it dries up a little ;)

350 degrees F is 180 degrees in C. You're welcome :)

Special "S" shaped cookie for "Swift" ;)

How yummy does that look?!

Here's a short clip I made just for fun! Hope you guys enjoyed this blog post and hopefully more baking recipes soon! :) Love you!


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