Happy 2017 everyone! I hope this year brings a lot of blessings and good things to you and your loved ones. I like to review my past year at this time, so here we go!
Here are my most notable events of 2016:
Arguably the beginning (or second or third) of the notable birthdays! 18 is a big deal in the States ("you're finally an adult! But no drinking!") and though I spent the actual day alone, my friends and I made up for it a month later!
Thailand is one of my favorite places in the entire world (both Bangkok and Krabi) and Mom and I absolutely had to return for our final trip during our time overseas. It was just as magical as it always is, and I will continue to love Thailand.
We may not have had a Homecoming dance at my high school, but we made up for it with the magic of our prom! The night before graduation, my friends and I had so much fun at the actual dance....and then let loose dancing the night away at our after-party.
I finally graduated High School! Gosh it seems so long ago now, being in high school. Our valedictorian's speech was so touching, a speech truly written for our graduating class, and we were all grateful for the box of tissues someone thoughtfully passed around.
Italy (with my best friend!)
A and I have been planning this trip to Italy since, literally, the sixth grade. It finally happened this year after we both graduated high school. We visited Venice, Florence, and Rome....and it was everything we've ever dreamed of! (This is also when we got our tattoos!)
Family Beach Week 2016
Family Beach Week is always one of the highlights of my year and this summer was no exception! Sure, you get a lot of chaos and noise and trips to the grocery store when your whole family moves into one house for a week.....but you also get a hell of a lot of fun!
I started college this year! With all the excitement and drama of moving back from the Philippines, traveling with Amrita and with family, preparing for college--I barely had time to get excited about being a college freshman!
My friends helped me create one of my most popular posts ever!
Inspired by the folks over at Tommy John, my Autumn Lookbook post has become one of my most popular in the entire history of my blog! My friends all helped me out by modeling for me and taking photos with me! I have such talented friends and I'm so grateful to everyone for helping me out!
My favorite food of 2016:
These yummy, delightfully-easy-to-make ginger cookies are crinkly and sugary and a bit spicy--all around a good cookie in my book.
Bohol Fruit Smoothies
Mom and I took a weekend trip to Bohol and one of the definite highlights, besides the fact that you literally walk on the beach anywhere you go, were the banana and mango smoothies I enjoyed anytime we passed this smoothie shack displaying a beautiful display of fruit.
My high school's annual International Food Festival was always a highlight of my year and my final Foodfest included, as always, some incredible food, fun games, and great talent! Oh, and don't forget the fireworks!
One of the treats I made for my teachers to put in their end-of-year gift baskets became an instant favorite of mine and I look forward to the next excuse I have to make it.
As always, Thailand is one of our favorite destinations and one of the biggest reasons is the food! Thai food is some of my favorite cuisine, Pad Thai Goong, Tod Mun Goong, papaya salad, curry...mm it's all amazing and I'm making myself hungry.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies
This creamy, chocolatey, melt-in-your-mouth-y cookies have earned a permanent spot in my recipe book, and they should in yours too!
Lots and lots of Italian food. 'Nuff said.
Here are the best trips I took in 2016:
My final APAC was an especially special one, as I was the captain of the girls' team! I was so proud of how all the girls did and my final APAC, complete with the most wonderful host family in Hong Kong, was a complete success.
If you're looking for a place you can walk literally everywhere barefoot, eat, drink, and snooze on the beach, and basically do nothing but eat and sit--look no further than the friendliest, sandiest beach town of Bohol.
I've said a lot about Thailand already so, to save being repetitive, I'll leave it at my favorite things about Thailand: food, people, scenery, culture, beach, everything.
Venice, Florence, Rome
Again: food, culture, scenery, people, my best friend, no parents, tattoos, a young drinking age....everything the perfect trip needs!
My favorite things from 2016:
I'm not sure why I love this photo so much but it's one of those works of art that just stays with you for some reason....do you have any of those?
I've been a fan of Troye since his Youtube days until now that he's touring and performing his own music! A very talented, and very kind, soul that is definitely worth exploring.
Forever 21 Swimsuit
I actually own this suit and I absolutely adore it! It's sexy without showing off (what I consider to be) my problem areas, and I get so many compliments on it!
Color Pop lipstick has often been cited as a much cheaper alternative to Kylie Jenner's expensive lip kits. Color Pop creations are highly pigmented, last all day, and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $6.
Etsy is a treasure trove of handmade creations and I found several mermaid crowns that I'm currently coveting. I'm hoping mermaid crowns replace flower crowns as the next cute trend, honestly.
Grace and Frankie
Since I started watching this Netflix series, I became an ardent fan. Witty and really real at points, Grace and Frankie will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. Definitely worth the rollercoaster.
And finally....my favorite Instagrams of 2016!