2013: The Year in Review

And just like that, we're down to the last day of the year. And I'd dare say it --- WHAT AN AWESOME YEAR!

I have to admit that I am grasping with the idea of blogging as I type this. Lots and lots of editing has been happening in my life --- that is with choosing what I want to share to people, a lesson learned when giving away too much, hide way too much.

It's always a very delicate balance.

2013 was my year of big leaps of faith. I think I've done quite a number of scary jumps this year, some are public, some best left under the hood. While mostly, I've stayed put, it was nice to have undergone several changes. Someone said that being 27 is like being in the golden hour --- you're not too young to be penniless, not too old to be falling asleep early at night. I've always been independent -- at least, for most of my life but it was only this year that I truly felt like I was in-charge of many things, most especially my life. I could finally own up to the good things to be my own choice, own decisions and own piece of work.

Thank you, 2013. I could give you a big, big hug right now. =)

Spending the year in an island far away in January

The First Time | February 14

Moving Day | March

Sunsets always appear different | Siquijor | March

Rocking on with Aerosmith.

That day in May

Always a favorite thing to do

My Mama and Me

Secret Garden

Fight for what you know

The beginning of a new relationship

Loving your own company but never isolating yourself

Celebrating with the people I love

Saluting the Sun

Going back to practice

Home is where you are.

And as part of my annual tradition, here's my yearender questionnaire:

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before? Swam without fear in open water.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Yes, more of fulfilled my goals, lived a healthier life, squeezed more lemons for my morning warm water, lived an active life.

3. Did anyone close to you die? No, fortunately.

4. Did anyone close to you give birth? None but I know a lot who did (from online) and I am happy for them.

5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? Someone to share this amazing life with, to travel with my family more often.

6. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? May 25th. I met someone I've wanted to meet for a long, long time.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Living independently, taking a leap of faith in a new job, doing scary things, letting go.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury? My left ankle has been sprained for the last two weeks but it's beginning to look normal today.

9. What was the best thing you bought? Experiences, concerts, musicals, dinners with the most amazing people in my life.

10. Whose behavior merited celebration? The friends I have in my life, my family for always supporting my decisions despite being faraway.

11. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Let go.

12. Where did most of your money go? Traveling, buying experiences, supporting friends, tithing {a thing I took seriously this year, I'm so glad!}, food, home stuff and new technologies.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about? NS. Moving in to my new home, meeting somebody I've wanted to meet for the longest time, meeting SJP, among many others. I'm obviously an excitable person =P

14. What song will always remind you of 2013? Stay and Wait by Hillsong United.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Much happier.
Richer or poorer? I've been richest than I've ever been.

16. What do you wish you'd done more of? Praise and worship God. I feel like it's not enough for all the blessings I've received. I wish to travel more and experience nature more, jump into more lakes and lie beneath more skies.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of? Being an anti-social human being. I didn't realize how much of an introvert I am.

18. How will you be spending Christmas? Spent it with some of the best friends I've met in this life, with their families, with love and lots of food!

19. Did you fall in love in 2013? Out of being in love, surprisingly. But love cannot come out of this heart.

20. What was your favorite TV program? Grey's Anatomy and Breaking Bad.

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Hate is a waste of time.

22. What was the best book you read? Louise Hay's books which were lent to me by Nic, Entre Nous by Debra Ollivier and The Defining Decade by Meg Jay.

23. What was your greatest musical discovery? Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson and all the hipsters of 8tracks.

24. What did you want and got? Pretty much everything in my 2013 want list. God is so good!

25. What was your fave film of this year? About Time.

26. What did you do on your birthday? Work! But I did have an amazing birthday dinner with all the friends I love, laughed lots and slept like a baby. Oh and we did go to Boracay for a long celebration.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? Classy with bursts of color -- as it has always been.

28. What kept you sane? The book of Corinthians, a small prayer every now and then and the thought that everything will come to pass.

29. Which celebrity figure you fancy the most? Tom Hiddleston.

30. Who was the best new person you met? See question #6.

31. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013? Let go.

I wish you champagne to toast, love to share, yummy food to eat, somebody to kiss {or hug!} this New Year's Eve. Happy 2014 to whomever is reading this! As for me, I'm off to Cebu to celebrate New Year's with friends before one of my very best friends gets hitched!

And as for a fitting song:

Death and All His Friends | Coldplay

Catch my daily posts via Live an Inspired Life on Facebook!

What Christmas {and 2013} Taught Me

Photo by Abigail Bautista | @thewanderingdakini

  1. Life can be hard for people with disability. Ever since I sprained my left ankle, and even if I know this is nothing permanent, I began to look for the small pockets of convenience in places I frequent. There are places with steep stairways and those that have smooth landings. Here's to hoping more public places give attention to people with disabilities.
  2. A new year beckons cleansing. My friends and I agreed to go cleansing together {somehow in the same period}. With this came the idea of cleansing our bodies of toxins, ridding our lives of regrets, people we really couldn't care less about, thoughts that don't do us any good, and fallen hopes. I say it's the best idea I've heard of in quite a while.
  3. When you're out of a crisis, you just know. Been reading Meg Jay's The Defining Decade and I couldn't help but reminisce the year that I was 25. I was living a crazy life, didn't know what to do with my life but hopeful. Today, my life is still not perfect but I am out of the crisis. I'm extremely grateful.
  4. It's not what you deserve. It's what you choose. Making the better best choice is probably one of the best gifts I ever gave myself.
  5. The road is winding and long --- but I am happy to be here. I'm so glad I made the choices I did this year {living independently, changed jobs, big ticket investments among others}. It doesn't mean that what I left were bad, but I do recognize that fact that people change. I changed, somehow, and I had to find and chase my way to happiness.
  6. Don't ever look back. Look up and move forward.

Coldplay | Death and All His Friends

Cheers to another year of making the best choices.
Catch my daily posts via Live an Inspired Life on Facebook!

Tara's Top 5 Holiday Movies

If there's anything I love about the Christmas season, aside from spending time with family, friends and colleagues {outside of work} is that I get to indulge in one of my life's pleasures, holiday movies. This year, I haven't sat down to really feel the holiday slowdown and watch these movies in the process but I will do that this week!

Ladies and {gentlemen}, this is my holiday movie list. What's on yours?

1. Serendipity | 2001.  I do not remember where I first saw Serendipity but I remember loving it the first time I watched it. I remember mentally taking note of its soundtrack {particular Bap Kennedy's Moonlight Kiss} and have watched it every year since then.

2. Love, Actually | 2003. Who doesn't like Love, Actually? If you ask me, Love, Actually set the trend for all star cast type of movies. So much love, so much funnies. And who doesn't love this scene?

3. Love Affair | 1994. Sigh. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

4. The Holiday | 2006. Life can really surprise you sometimes.

5. While You Were Sleeping | 1995. Hits close to home :)

Stockton Row Girl

Tough but delicate, subtle but bold--she is a beguiling creature, most alluring when she tries not at all. She will win you over in a whim with her charisma and her unawareness of the lasting effect she leaves on you. With a strong sense of adventure, she is always jetting off to a destination, fearless and without a care in the world. She is an otherworldly beauty, a presence to behold. A Stockton Row girl.

I was having an incredibly busy day when these otherworldly accessories came through the office reception. If there was anything I'd learned recently, it was to live curiously. And that life is so much more delicious lived when not being too obvious.

I realized, amidst the common and the normal that I do want different things, want to express words and communications apart from what is normally said. There's a crazy curiosity that lives within me. There will be days when I would rather give up, shut up and give in to the pressure but hey, this isn't me.

It can be pretty boring to be normal.

Don't be normal. Head on over to Stockton Row for their fantastic pieces.
Catch my daily posts via Live an Inspired Life on Facebook!

The Best Holiday Videos of 2013

I'm pretty sure you've seen these floating around your social media networks. If not, the holidays are always a nice way to enjoy the most creative, heartwarming videos made by various brands:

Apple's Holiday TV ad trumps Samsung's any TVC any day :)

WestJet's Christmas Miracle  {somebody cried watching this =P}

Coke's Ser Padres. That baby is ridiculously cute! {and according to friends who are parents, this is very true!}

Catch my daily posts via Live an Inspired Life on Facebook!