My Life-Changing 2017

Publishing a yearend blog post is something I do every year so I wanted to continue the tradition this year, despite being busy and sleep-deprived. However, this time around, I’ll keep it short because now, I have a needy newborn who requires my attention 24/7! (I am nursing as I type this)

2017 has been incredibly wonderful for me! Sure, things weren’t always bright and merry, but for the most part of the year, it was abounding in happy memories and thrilling milestones. 2017, at least for me, was the year when a lot of my dreams came true!

So many colorful and memorable events transpired last year, but I’d say these are my top 10 favorite moments from 2017:

1. Being a legit food writer
Free food + getting paid to eat the free food + seeing your byline published on a website. Hey, I can’t complain! I started becoming a contributing writer for, one of the biggest online lifestyle guides in the country and through this, I have combined my love for food and writing. Check out the yummy food finds I wrote about for last year.

2. Being featured online and in print
If you’re a wedding supplier and you get featured in Bride & Breakfast, THAT IS A BIG DEAL. So you can imagine how elated I was to be featured TWICE!!! Here are the featured weddings that I was fortunate enough to host for:

I also got featured in the September 2017 issue of MoneySense Magazine! wherein I shared about my work as a freelance event host, singer, voice-over artist, and writer. My mom used to read this magazine so you could say that she was proud that her daughter made it to its pages!

3. Hosting events
It’s really so rewarding to know that you contributed to the success of other people’s events! Some of the most noteworthy events I hosted this year:

Baby shower of Pauleen Luna & Vic Sotto:

Baby shower of Bangs Garcia & Lloyd Birchmore:

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I thought I was already on "maternity leave" since last week. Then, today, I was lying in bed in my house clothes while watching Game Of Thrones, when, suddenly, at around 4pm, I got a call from an event planner I've never met. She urgently asked me if I could host the baby shower and gender reveal party of actress Bangs Garcia and hubby Lloyd Birchmore… which was happening TODAY at 6PM!!! 😱 I had less than 2 hours to get changed, do my makeup, travel to the venue, and study the program! Everything happened so fast but I am so glad I said yes! 😊 Lloyd and Bangs are both wonderful and their happiness and excitement about their bundle of joy were so infectious. And now, as a soon-to-be mom like Bangs, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to be there for this big and special moment in the lives of these lovely parents-to-be and to be one of the first to find out that they are having… a baby girl!!! ❤ Congrats, @lloydiboi24 and @valeriegbirchmore! May God bless you both more as you venture into parenthood! Thank you to Princess Ramos of @eventsbymissp for the recommendation and trust (even though she has never even worked with me before!) and to my former bride who referred me to her. #HostingByNadine

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This surprise marriage proposal and wedding in one:

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I could say that this wedding is special because it was my last wedding hosting gig for the year (the last before I become a mom). But really, the bigger reason why this particular wedding is extraordinary is because it was a SURPRISE PROPOSAL AND WEDDING IN ONE!!! Yes, everything happened all in one day… and was planned in only 2 weeks! Robert and Aileen got married twice in 1988 — one civil wedding and one small church wedding. Since they were only college students at that time, a simple union was all they could pull off. Robert, however, knew that one day, he would give Aileen that dream wedding that she deserves. . . Two weeks ago, Robert decided that he was ready. So he and his daughter devised a plan to surprise Aileen. Yesterday morning, Robert said that he had a "meeting" in Sofitel and brought Aileen with her so they can just have "breakfast" there. He then brought his unsuspecting wife to a quiet spot overlooking the Manila Bay, got down on one knee, presented her with a ring, and asked her to marry him!!! It took a while before his stunned bride finally regained her composure and said "yes!" Robert then brought her to a room he previously booked, where Aileen had yet ANOTHER surprise waiting for her: her children, a wedding gown, a hair and makeup artist, and a photo/video team! She was getting married (again!) that same day!!! So last August 8 (8/8), a date that signifies infinity, Robert and Aileen said "I Do" for the third time in the presence of an intimate crowd of only 20+ people, and vowed that they will always be together on the #RobEenRoadToInfinityAndBeyond! . . How wonderful it is to have witnessed and played a part in such an inspiring and distinctive love story! ❤ Everything that transpired yesterday was truly a labor of love — a love of a husband for his wife, a love of children for their parents, and a love of people for the two people in love. . . Congratulations to the "newlywed newlyweds," Mr. & Mrs. Vergara! . . *Many thanks to Andrew Jariol of Framestream for recommending me! . . #HostingByNadine

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The debut of Sorsogon Governon Robert Rodrigueza & his First Lady, Grace:

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Bea, the daughter of Sorsogon Governor Robert Rodrigueza and his stunning wife Grace, just showed her guests at her 18th birthday bash that she is ready to "BeALady"! The elegant black-and-white affair held at the Marriott Grand Ballroom was exceptionally majestic, from Bea's big reveal until the jaw-dropping display of the hanging chandelier cake. Since the debutante is a big music buff, she got what she wanted: a night of beautiful music and great performances by her friends (including Fatima Lagueras of The Voice Teens Philippines), her doting father, her sister, and Bea herself! Happy 18th birthday, Bea! Thanks to Day One Project for the recommendation! #HostingByNadine #BeALady18

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This gorgeous and unique wedding:

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Carl and Mica's gripping love story is like a real life romcom. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, everything is great, but then, their relationship hits a bump on the road. Girl moves to New York to try and live her own life. After some time, Boy realizes he still loves Girl. Girl realizes she feels the same way. Boy takes a chance and dashes to the Big Apple for a quick 3-day trip to express his love for Girl. Girl immediately drops everything, packs her bags, and comes back home to the Philippines with Boy… and goes on a spontaneous road trip to Cebu with him the day after their flight! . . Exciting? Well, that's just the beginning of their story! Their YOLO romance continued, which later on led to more exhilarating escapades… including Carl's death-defying paragliding proposal to Mica! These adrenaline junkies also had action-packed pre-nup shoots which involved hot air balloons and ATV rides! . . Since they are both thrill-seekers, they wanted their wedding reception to be just as fun and exciting as their love story and personalities. With a psychedelic LED dance floor, a huge wedding cake that showed the couple's photos using projection mapping technology, gift certificates for the UCM ATV Park for the game winners, a very entertaining and cinematic wedding film, and the couple's unforgettable song and dance number, the guests at Carl and Mica's wedding were in high spirits! And of course, everything about their special day was beautiful — the people, the setup, the speeches, and the couple! Congratulations to the gorgeous pair, Mr. and Mrs. Arevalo! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of your greatest adventure yet! #HostingByNadine #AlwaysBeenMiCarl #OhMiCarl

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This grand Gatsby party:

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Beside me are the two humble, down-to-earth, and generous owners of the DDBS Group of Companies. When you meet Delia and Darwin and they're not in these fancy outfits, you would think that they're just regular people like you and me. They're very simple and not at all ostentatious. But at last night's Gatsby party, they donated PHP 500,000 to Caritas Manila. They gave away PHP 10,000 to the person who won Best in Costume. The loyal employees who have been with the group of companies for 5, 10, and 15 years took home PHP 15K, 20K, and 25K respectively. 25 early bird awardees each received PHP 500 SM gift certificates. And 10 lucky people won an all-expenses paid trip to El Nido, Palawan including 3D/2N accommodations at Doublegem Beach Resort, roundtrip airfare via Airswift, and a 1-day tour of the famous islands and lagoons! Whuuuut?! Delia and Darwin have been blessed with success for 25 years, and instead of being greedy and keeping all their money to themselves, they decided to share their blessings and give back. ❤ They are really inspiring! #HostingByNadine #DDBSGroupAt25 #eventhost #eventhostph #eventhostmanila

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This Doctor Who-themed wedding:

This dreamy wedding held at Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort:

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The groom writes about the most brutal sports for a living (he is one of the most prominent boxing and MMA writers in Asia) yet he puts the "GENTLE" in "gentleman." The bride, despite being the only girl in the family, grew up not being a princess but a fighter — an independent and strong lady. Carlos and Dana are really a MATCH made in heaven! This travel-loving Singapore-based couple's destination wedding held at Stilts Beach Resort in Batangas was strictly a "family and closest friends only affair." The result was an even more relaxed, fun, and genuine event! I feel really blessed that I got to be one of the lucky suppliers chosen to work on this intimate yet grand and beautiful wedding, alongside some of the biggest names in the wedding industry! Thank you very much, Mr. & Mrs. Cinco! ❤ May you see more of the world together! #CMxDA #HostingByNadine

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Block screening of Fifty Shades Darker:

4. Going to blogger events
Blogging not only fuels my love for writing, but it has also taken me to places last year! I had a lot of fun, and that was the most important thing.

Moderne Culinaire Academy Launches Partnership with Malaysia’s KDU and Berjaya Universities
Zalora Philippines Celebrates 5th Anniversary with the Zalora Style Awards
Glitz and Glamour at the 2017 E! Bloggers Ball
Breastfeeding and Newborn Care Class at the Parenting Emporium

5. Celebrating 2 years of marriage with Mike

My marriage with mike certainly isn’t perfect but its a happy one. I’m grateful that our love and relationship have only gotten better and stronger with time. How lucky am I to celebrate two years of togetherness with the most important man in my life? Our celebration this year was a thousand times more simple ad low key than last year (when we traveled to Vietnam) but we didn’t mind at all, because we had more reasons to be happy this year. (That’s up next!)

6. Getting pregnant
Mike and I were over the moon when we found out that a baby was on the way! We were targeting 2017 to be the year when we would try to have a little Puff or Fluff. Of course, with my PCOS and thyroid condition, plus the fact that we’re not exactly young anymore, we expected it to be harder for us. But I guess it was really our time to have a baby because after just 2 months of trying, our greatest wish came true! It was also a smooth and generally easy pregnancy so I still got to enjoy doing the things I loved doing… and Mike was lucky that I didn’t have any crazy cravings at odd times of the day!

7. Babymoon in Palawan
Last year, I was set to go on three international trips: a spontaneous Taipei getaway with my best friend (we had already booked our tickets), a 45-day stay in Macau where I was supposed to work as a gondolier at The Venetian (a job I held in 2011), and a trip to Bali for my mother-in-law’s birthday. But when I found out that I was pregnant, I had to scrap all those travel plans because I didn’t want to risk the baby’s safety. Luckily, I had previously won a 3-day / 2-night stay in Astoria Palawan, so Mike and I went and celebrated our babymoon there, just relaxing and living it up before our tiny human took over our lives and our schedules! We had an amazing time! Though an international trip would have been fun, experiencing the warm Filipino hospitality and service and discovering a lovely retreat in our very own country was also a fantastic experience!

Read: Babymoon in Astoria Palawan 

8. Baby Parties
So many fun (and pretty) celebrations were held to welcome our baby! We had a simple Gender Reveal wherein Mike and I found out together with our family if we were having a boy or a girl (it’s a girl, just what Mike wanted!). Then, my sister Alexa and my friends Aspe and Alessa threw us the cutest baby showers. The amount of preparation and effort that went in to mount these events for our little girl was proof that she is special and immensely loved.

It’s A Girl! (Our Baby Gender Reveal)
Baby Shower #1 with Family for our Fluffy Space Princess
Baby Shower #2: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

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Our little one is so loved! Last Sunday, my sweet baby sister @alexailacad organized a pretty and pink baby shower for me, Mike, and of course, Baby Smith. The night before the shower, she partied and killed it at the Star Magic Ball, but still managed to wake up really early in the morning the very next day so she could set up all the decorations. Thank you, Bebe! We really loved everything — especially the super cute Adventure Time cake for our 'Fluffy Space Princess'! Great job, tita Alexa! . We'd also like to thank my Mom @dinamadarang (the very excited first-time lola). She really went all out with the 'showering' and got so much great stuff for Baby! Thank you, Mommy! . . And of course, to my wonderful family who spent their Sunday with us and made us and the Baby feel special, a big thank you!!! They all dressed up in pink or white, my titos and titas cooked so much amazing food (as usual!), and spoiled Baby with so many cool gifts! Special mention goes to Tito Ed who helped Alexa with the 'ingress.' Thank you so much!!! I really do have the best family in the world, and our Baby is so incredibly lucky to belong to this family! We love you all! . . . * Desserts are from Alexa's friend Elaine * Balloons and decors are from @standeecrafty * Cake is by @shakevillela of Shake & Bake #FluffySpacePrincessAdventure #PuffAndFluffAdventure #babyshower #babygirl

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"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Do you know how loved you are?" 🌟 To our baby girl, this beautiful baby shower is proof that you are loved immensely! 💖 Yesterday, our sweet friends threw the most adorable party for me, @migwashere, and our Fluffy Space Princess, and although we had a feeling that this shower was going to be out of this world, nothing could have prepared us for just how perfect it all really was! 😍 It reflected my love for pink, colorful things, and pretty desserts, and it was casual, fun, and intimate, just the way Mike and I wanted it! Guess you can say that our little one is going to be born under a lucky star! 🌠 . . Thank you so much to @christina.asperilla and @alessadsanjuan for putting so much effort and pouring so much love into organizing this incredible baby shower! . . Thank you @punktures for hosting (thank God I didn't have to host my own party! Haha!) and @abalajonbea for coming early and helping with the decors! . . To our dearest and closest friends, thank you for spending time with us and for making our colorful party even more colorful! 😘 To those who couldn't make it but sent their gifts for our baby, we really appreciate it! . . I'll share more photos and blog about this once I get the official photos from our photographer! Can't wait!!! ❤❤❤ . . Special shoutout to: ➡ @heyholidayph for the gorgeous styling! Can't get over how grand the place looked! ➡ @dcupcoffeerepublicph for our cool venue ➡ @james.besalo for capturing this memorable event through his lens ➡ @sugarcornerph for the darling desserts! Everyone was swooning over the unicorn cupcakes and the cake! ➡ @popsndecos for all the pretty props! . . #FluffySpacePrincessAdventure #PuffAndFluffAdventure #babyshower #twinkletwinklelittlestar

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9. Maternity Shoot
I know it’s totally unnecessary to have a maternity shoot but this was my only indulgence during my pregnancy. Who knows if and when I’ll get pregnant again? Pregnancy was one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened to me and I wanted to preserve this part of my life forever.

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When a couple announces that they're having a baby, it's usually the Mom that gets all the love and attention. (And why not? Who has to push a watermelon out after 9 months of carrying her?! Haha!) But today, on his special day, I want all the attention to be on my wonderful husband. 💕 I don't know how I could have gone through this whole journey without him by my side. He patiently accompanies me to all the check-ups and sits through the 2- to 3-hour wait for our turn at the doctor's office, makes sure I'm always healthy and safe (he gets angry when I forget to wear my face mask in crowded places. Hehe), and supports me all the way. In every smile when great things happen and every breakdown when things get a little too much for me to handle, he's always there. He would gladly make sacrifices and put my and the baby's needs above his own. So if you're wondering why and how my pregnancy has been a happy and easy one, I can tell you that that has A LOT to do with Mike. Happy birthday, @migwashere! 😘😘😘 My other birthday gift for you is still baking, but hey, at least she let you watch The Last Jedi in peace! That's HER gift to you. 😂 Love you! 📸: @jesspanajonphoto #birthday #happybirthday #ilovemyhusband #husbandappreciation #decemberbaby

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10. Having my own family
On December 21st, 2017, on her exact due date, we welcomed our healthy baby girl Andromeda Eve Smith into the world, and our lives were never the same again. I have always had a soft spot for babies and have always known that I wanted to be a mom.  Now, I have a loving husband and a precious daughter, and I couldn’t ask for more, really. I am complete.

2017 — it was life-changing. I am eternally grateful to God for this blessed and  wonderful life and am positive that 2018 will be just as great!

Happy New Year!

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  1. Ana says:

    Andi’s like the cherry on top! 🍒 Kyuut!!! When did you get time to compose this? Hehe. What an eventful year 2017 was for you. May you shine even brighter in 2018. Hugs!

    1. Andi is definitely the star of my 2017! 🙂 I started composing this last Jan 2 but only got to publish it now. Haha! Happy New Year to you and Marco! Here’s hoping 2018 will be a great year for all of us 🙂

  2. John Snow says:

    This is truly amazing and impressive. A super fantastic Mom, great achievements by the year 2017.

  3. Great post, thanks for sharing

  4. Kyla Jocson says:

    I’m so happy for you. I’m wishing you and your family the best! 🙂

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