Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013 Retrospective

a 2013 retrospective graphic

This is the first time I'm doing a recap of my entire year, bookish and personal, on this blog. It's tremendously exciting to be able to share what my 2013 looked like with this little (visual) walk down memory lane.

January 2013 collage

January 2013: The cold weather enticed me into staying home most of the time where it was warm and cozy. There were a lot of marathons (Supernatural, which I have yet to finish, and old episodes of CSI), and a lot of binging on junk food. The only times I ventured out of the house were for work,  church, helping out my friend Joe by walking his dog Anthony and the big New Year's party.

February 2013 collage

February 2013: One of the first things that happened this month? I attended the Teen Flights of Fancy event at Books of Wonder, where I finally met Jodi Meadows. Other than that, I flew home to the Philippines for two wonderful weeks. I got the opportunity to catch up with my family and best friends and my then-fiance/now-husband. It was a nice reprieve from the weather, particularly that snowstorm that arrived hours after my flight took off. My friends were all wonderful about getting together and celebrating my trip with me. I also co-hosted the Book Blogger Love-a-Thon with Katelyn, where the hashtag (#LoveAThon) was trending on the day I flew back to the US. [P.S. Watch out for the 2014 edition of the Love-a-Thon!]


March 2013: The weather was a bit testy, but that didn't stop me from enjoying myself! I had random dinners with friends, special St. Patrick's Day treats, movie dates, a birthday celebration for my best friend Pat, and finally got to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The biggest event of my March, by far, was attending various events for the NYC Teen Author Festival, where I got to meet a lot of authors, and hang out with a lot of my book friends too.


April 2013: The weather was clearly more spring than winter. You know what that means for me? ALLERGY SEASON. Sadly, I was cooped up at home recovering from being really sick a lot of the time. In all fairness, that definitely helped me read a lot of books, experiment with nail polish and talk to the loved ones I left back home in the Philippines. When I did venture out into the springtime, I appreciated the beautiful colors that were starting to seep into all the scenery little by little.


May 2013: The weather got warmer, and pollen count went down, so I was up and about again. Honestly, once the weather gets warmer, being outside is more inviting. So, it's really no surprise I did a lot more things this month! I met Lauren Graham, watched In the Heights and reunited with Gaby early on in the month. I also went to the YA Icons tour and watched Once the Musical with some of my favorite people! Plus, BEA began at the end of May, so that was certainly a whirlwind of activities and hangouts.


June 2013: Lots of fun things happened in June! BEA was one of the big ones, including the awesome Book Blogger Picnic I organized with Katelyn, Andrea and Jen. [Look out for the 2014 picnic!] I also hung out a lot with friends, bookish and real life, particularly going on food trips. It was also an honor to be the official blogger for the NYC stop of the Fierce Reads tour! But one of my favorite memories of this month has to be getting to see Demi Lovato perform live during the Good Morning America summer concert series with Rachel.


July 2013: With summer comes more shenanigans, and July was no different. I watched Matilda the Musical with Rachel, and the show was pretty phenomenal. I also watched First Date and Peter and the Star Catcher, which completed my Broadway trio for the month. There were also lots of food trips with friends, a beach trip with some fellow bloggers, a mini-bachelorette party and a fabulous send-off for me with my blogger friends!


August 2013: I flew home to the Philippines in order to be there a month before my wedding (!). It was nice to have some time to relax and spend quality time with friends and family (which obviously involved a lot of food, as you can see in my collage). My sister Mel and I also got it into our heads to organize our personal library in our parents' house (which took us two days, mind you). I celebrated my 24th birthday in my hometown of Bacolod, filmed my pre-nup video and had an awesome travel-themed bridal shower!



September 2013: I just had to make two collages for this month, because I thought my wedding deserved a separate one. Anyway, one of the earliest things that occurred in September was the wedding weekend, which we all affectionately call "Our Greatest Story". (You can check the #ourgreateststory hashtag on Instagram for photos and videos!). We had a welcome dinner, a beer pong party and a despedida de soltera to start. But my wedding day was just incredibly magical and beautiful and even more wonderful than I could have imagined!

September is also the month that I went on a Tagaytay trip with the instabarkada (which roughly translates to "instant group of friends") and family, moved in with my husband (and discovered he does marble nails beautifully), stayed in Astoria Suites for a week during which there was a sleepover, watch Rihanna's Diamonds World Tour and went to Singapore for my honeymoon.


October 2013: Half of my October was spent in the Philippines. There was a second trip to Bacolod, where I mostly hung out with friends! We went up to the mountains, off to the beach and just ate a lot of good food. In Manila, Macky's church threw us a wedding reception for the people who couldn't make it to Bacolod, and it was lovely. I spent lots of time hanging out with my family this month, mostly because I knew that mid-month, it was time to say goodbye! My sister and I flew back to New York together. One of the first things we did was go pumpkin picking at Demarest Farms and celebrate Halloween, followed by a visit to Central Park.


November 2013: Fall was fully upon us come November! I loved the colors of the leaves. My sister and I attended Ed Sheeran's Madison Square Garden concert; it was phenomenal because he's just so talented. We also supported my friend Kristi when her indie film aired at Tribeca Cinemas, and I took Mel to see First Date on Broadway. We ate more yummy food, and hung out a lot in New Jersey (for Thanksgiving, in particular). The best part of November? Seeing my friend/college roommate Rachel in the Big Apple!

december 2013

December 2013: It got seriously cold in December, with temperatures dipping into the negatives based on the Celcius scale. Still, the snow was beautiful! Plus, it's hard not to be all warm and fuzzy when you get the opportunity to hang out with amazing friends and family. My 2013 is drawing to a close with extreme levels of awesome because my family (mom, dad and my baby sister Rachel) have joined Mel and I in New York for the holidays! There has been shopping and eating, shenanigans and shows, road trips and dinners to boot. We've been having so much fun together, and I really wish time would just slow down and not move by so fast.

Thanks for joining me on my walk down memory lane! Stay tuned to find out what my to-do list/goals/dreams for 2014 look like in a separate post that will be going up at some point this week.

YOUR TURN - What are your favorite memories of 2013? Is there any particularly awesome event that you'd like to share with me?

19 comments:

  1. What a wonderful 2013 you had, Alexa! I sure hope I'm able to meet up with you at BEA in 2014! I think the highlight of 2013 for me was getting engaged to the love of my life and returning from my blogging hiatus :)

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    1. I really hope we get to see each other at BEA 2014, because that would be awesome! That's a very special thing - getting engaged - and it totally deserves the highlight. I'm also really excited that you're back to blogging too!

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  2. I'm so glad you had such a brilliant 2013! All those pictures look fantastic, and it's great that you got to visit the Philippines. Your wedding dress is beautiful. :) I hope you have more special moments in the new year!

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    1. Thank you, Sam! Being home twice this year was wonderful, and I'm so thankful that it all worked out the way that it did. And thank you for your kind words about my dress! My best friend did the preliminary sketch for it, which made it more meaningful to have it brought to life.

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  3. This is such a cool way to document your life. It looks like you had a great year. Yes, your wedding dress is absolutely beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Rachael! I'm honored by the compliment on my dress. I loved it so, so much as well. It was my dream dress come to life!

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  4. This is beautiful! AND SO ARE YOU!
    Gah I am tearing up reading this so I have to go now thanks bye.
    oxoxo

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    1. Lisa, you are the sweetest <3 <3 <3 Thank you for being so awesome, and for sharing this post on Twitter too! Lots of love to you, the Mr. and baby Lucy xoxo

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  5. This was seriously such a lovely post, Alexa, and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading/looking at it! Although I can't even imagine how long it took to put together. ;)

    It really does seem like you had an awesome year. Even though the weather got you down sometimes, you were still really able to have such a blast! Those wedding pictures are GORGEOUS, and it looks like things are going so well for you two! <3 I'm also super jealous that you got to see Matilda in Broadway and that you got to go to BEA. New York life seems to be so wonderful. *dramatically sighs*

    I hope your 2014 is filled with even more awesome memories! <3

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    1. Aww, thank you Aneeqah! It took me a while to get all the collages done, but I think it was totally worth it in the end.

      Thank you! I'm still so happy about my wedding, and how wonderful it all turned out. I hope you get the chance to go to BEA And Matilda for yourself someday, as they are pretty darn awesome!

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  6. Love this!! What a year you've had!! <3 SO MUCH HAPPY.

    And dude...I can't imagine how long this took you. I did one similar to this a couple years ago and the photos were totally not even has intricate as this and it took FOREVERRRR. But what a lovely way to look back at the year!

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    1. Thank you, Jamie! <3 It took me quite a while to get it together, but I am so happy to have put the time and effort into it. It's given me something pretty to look back at for 2013! :)

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  7. This post is absolutely lovely. This is such a creative way to look back on the year. And looks like you had a great one! Here's to a new year :)

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    1. Thanks, Vy! 2013 was a pretty amazing year for me, and I'm happy to share the highlights :)

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  8. This makes me so, so happy for you. I enjoyed going to ALA and YA'LLFest. I'm going to remind myself it's okay to be me this year.

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    1. ALA and YALLFest sound like AMAZING events, and I hope I can attend one or both of those events one day (and perhaps meet you)! It's definitely okay to be you, and I am rooting for you to totally be able to do that this 2014 :)

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  9. Yay for such a wonderful 2013! I hope that 2014 is even better for you - and that it brings you and Macky into the same city :)

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    1. Thank you, my dear Hannah! I really hope that Macky and I are settled and living in the same place before this year ends. Happy 2014!

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  10. I love this post and the collages - and what an amazing year you had! I hope 2014 will be even more wonderful, and that you will go on being as lovely as you are. <3 I'm happy we became friends in 2013 and I hope we can go on doing fun things together this year as well. While 2013 was mostly very intense (and not in a good way) for me, blogging and meeting you and other bloggers and making friends has been one of the highlights of my year. Let's hope 2014 will be amazing!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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