#YearofHappy February and March – My Personal Approach

I know it’s already too late for February #YearofHappy post and overdue for March. Here are what’s required for both months:

* February – Go to a thrift shop or dollar store and buy the weirdest, goofiest, strangest things you can find – anything that makes you happy! Then, make a haul post or (better yet) a video sharing what you bought. Don’t spend more than $10 and remember to have fun!

March – Create an inspiration board using your favorite colors, images, or sayings. Haul out those old issues of Glamour and go to town! Hang it somewhere you will see it every day so that you can feel happy and inspired whenever you look at it.

* From October June

February- First off, I didn’t really get to have the time to stop by a thrift store to purchase some strange things. ✌ But here’s the deal, I did spring cleaning, and had stuff that really needed to go out since I haven’t used them for ages. Letting go of things that we always cling to but never used anyway is actually exhilarating and liberating haha! And yes, I’m talking about things that are still usable, they say, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” I’ve really had to think so many times before giving away stuff, I’ve had those convos in my head like “maybe you can wear this somewhere”, “but this reminds you of something really meaningful”. Nevertheless, if you haven’t used them up for such a long time, it’s time to let go especially for clothes. You see, we have tons of things in our homes that are really just sitting for ages and we don’t wanna part with them ever. But as one saying goes, “how can we receive if our hands are full”, I know that’s too deep to incorporate about donating, but think about the people who are fighting for survival right now, maybe receiving that old sweater of yours that’s been sitting in your winter clothes box for years is the only thing that can make a girl happy and warm. We can be a blessing to someone right now by letting go of things we haven’t used for a while. So the things, I have gathered after cleaning went to a donation box nearby my place. * I am not saying this to brag or anything, I am writing about this to encourage people, so that together we can make a big change and help others who are in need right now. Dubai is a city which has immense efforts towards charity and we can make use of that. There are different donation boxes and charitable organizations spread throughout Dubai like those below, and that can be placed few blocks away or next to your building:

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You can also learn about different charitable organizations in Dubai in this link.

Aside from being able to help, I also freed up some space in my closet and drawers which is a good thing. 😍 After all, this movement is about being happy not only on our own, but also inspiring others to be happy and be a blessing to someone. Smile, happy people let’s radiate positivity. ☺

March- this is the month that I lost my best friend Heizel, read more about her inspiring story here. But our loss is Heaven’s gain indeed. My heart goes out to her family, though mourning we all strongly believe that she is happy now with the Lord, smiling and no more pain from brain cancer. March is a tough month for her family, my family and me, but no matter how tough this month or even life can be, one thing is for sure, God works out everything together for our good, and He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. I may not have an artsy, colorful and creative inspiration board for this month, but I have managed to create some typography-inspired doodles on my planner below. Simple but it means a lot to me.

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Now, these #YearofHappy prompts for the month of February and March may be different from what it’s supposed to be, but I think they have just been more personal and more inspiring, and I think you can tweak things a bit anyways. Let’s always remember blissful people, to give back and be a blessing to someone, to hold, cherish and make most out of every moment while there is still time. I wish everyone a HAPPY and BLISSFUL year, how time flies, it’s almost April. 😍 If you want to do the #YearofHappy project, please feel free to do so and read more about it here.

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*Donation boxes photos from (1, 2, 34)

She is Heizel

I tell her my secrets, I tell her my problems, I tell her my mistakes and she didn’t judge me, we made plans for the future, we talk about how successful we will be someday. At night we giggle and talk about even the most nonsense things and we’d laugh, and her laugh, it’s contagious. It echoes to this day, that laugh will I never forget. When things get rough, she’d tell me “it’s okay, everything will be fine, we can do this.” She puts passion at what she does, she excelled, she achieved, during the most difficult times of her life, she stayed strong, she’d go out of her way to help you. She’s a friend, she’s a sister, she’s my best friend, she is Heizel.

Over a year ago, she was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, prior to that she’s already had 2 operations to remove the brain tumor and later last year, she eventually lost her sight. It hurts me that I wasn’t there beside her during her most difficult times, I wasn’t there to listen so I am the first person she tells about the struggle like we always used to. This time, it’s not just about school stuff, boys, lip gloss and nail polish- this time it’s brain cancer. But you know what, I witnessed her strength though we were miles apart, she fought, she stood, she sacrificed, she cared for the people around her, her life is a blessing to many, she laughed and she smiled. But on March 09, 2015, she went to be with the Lord. I was reading her sister’s Facebook status about that and I can’t move, I feel like I was just dreaming, I can’t believe she’s gone too soon. Until now, I can’t believe she’s not here anymore. I can’t believe that when I visited her when I was on vacation in January, that’s the last time I will see her smile in person. It will never be the same without her and her laugh. I have a lot of “I wish” I had done this and done that, but it’s too late. Her life taught me many lessons the past week. Not only her life but her sisters’ lives, she has 2 younger sisters that grew up with us too, they’re like my real sisters. They are Michelle and Mirish, both of them together with their family demonstrated great strength, more than anyone Michelle and Mirish stood by Heizel’s side juggling work, studies and discipleship ministries altogether. Sleepless nights, tearful devotions and pleading time with the Lord to heal their sister, plus other extra responsibilities, I could not imagine myself going through all those situations with a smile on my face and great faith in my heart that believes God’s got everything under control like they do, it must have been so difficult. How could for the life of me complain about small, petty stuff in life and feeling sorry for where I am right now- how pathetic and stupid could I be where on the other side of this planet I have my best friend and sisters persevering, fighting hard and flaming the faith when in the eyes of the world they are passing through a difficult, draining and hopeless situation?!!! I know! We are oftentimes like that, we take our life for granted when in fact we are blessed in every ways, we feel offended by someone, we dilly dally in our faith just because we don’t get things to work our way, we feel that God is far away when we are the ones drifting apart, we feel disappointed over the littlest things in life.

She is Heizel, she will always be in my heart, her memories will stay with me forever, she is an inspiration. We are deeply saddened that she is gone, but we are all rejoicing that Heaven has gained her and is walking joyfully with God, with her eyesight back to see Paradise’s majesty and without any pain but only happiness, also with her earthly dad whom they lost 5 years ago to heart attack, I know these sisters have been through a lot. Despite everything that has happened in their lives, they acknowledge boldly and openly that truly God has proven Himself faithful, that He has never left their side and He has never abandoned them. Til their sister’s last breath, God has manifested His goodness to them, that even though it’s been very painful, God is the one who comforts them. Michelle said, “even though what we have been praying for has not come to pass, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t hear us or He doesn’t want us to be happy. All He wants is for us to surrender everything to Him because He has a better plan than what we would have wanted to happen. God’s thinking is far from our own, His ways are different. We may not understand it but if we trust Him wholly, forever we won’t be disappointed. Yes, it is difficult to move on, it’s difficult to lose someone but God’s grace is abundant. God’s love is unfailing. We will lose everything, house, business, job, money, friends and family but God’s love is always present. Whooo! Even though it’s difficult, painful, and crazy, just TRUST GOD! Whooo! I am now excited, excited for how we will start again, stand up and see God’s surprises along the way of moving on. Thank you to everyone that helped and supported. We will always be grateful.”

Gosh! What great faith is that?!!! She is only 20 years old and Mirish a year younger, but their faith and courage will serve as great examples to people around them like me. Let their story inspire us, to live and not just exist, to create value through our lives and to never take things and people for granted. Show the people around you that you care and you love them before it’s too late, we never know when they’ll be called to rest.

Heizel, I may not be there most of the time but always know that I love you, always. I am so proud of how strong you are and how brave you fought your battle, you will always be in my heart. Though it will never be the same without you, I will radiate your smile and positive energy, your memories will always be with me, my childhood is perfect because you’re in it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. You are now happy, well and smiling, no pain and pretty again. You will be missed. Thank you for everything. We will continue to fight brain cancer. To me, you will always be Heizel. 

And yes, I am posting our pictures and memories in here, for everyone to see, for everyone to be touched, encouraged and inspired.

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You will always be remembered Heizel. Nothing is impossible with God.

February Instagrams & Updates

Heya! How are you guys all doing? My February Instagrams are here, apologies for posting late. Let’s see what’s Bliss been up to last month.

Mykel and Rea, one tonight. 💑💕 #glorytoGod #fortheirlove #michaelandreatillforever

A post shared by Joy Lorenzo (@joielorenzo) on

Michael’s and Rea’s wedding is the MOMENT of February, their intimate wedding has truly inspired me to live and love. Btw, the bride has started to blog, read more about their love story and faith here in this link.

The bride. #beforeandafter #stunning #michaelandreatillforever 02.07.15 👰💏💑❤️

A post shared by Joy Lorenzo (@joielorenzo) on

I get ecstatic over this, thinking she’s my first bride in Dubai. To many more! #aspiring? Yes, and dreaming.

Our church talked about LOVE the whole month, and I let you into a snippet of my journal, where apparently God also tells me personally to love more. Yup, that says “No man/woman/date can ever make your Valentine special. Only God does.”

How sweet. Thanks roomies! #Godblessallofyou #happykiddo

A post shared by Joy Lorenzo (@joielorenzo) on

You guys, I have got the sweetest roommates really. I received an arm candy and a Victoria’s Secret perfume for Valentines. 😍 Even if it’s not Valentines, they’re the most generous. I am inspired.

I'm grateful to You for today. Productive and happy day. Let's spread good vibes and love. Only love. #thankyouGod

A post shared by Joy Lorenzo (@joielorenzo) on

Shameless selfie it is! 😝 February has kept me inspired, productive and living. So many plans for the future, and it gives me joy knowing that I am not alone in my journey.

My January book which is overdue. And yes, poor thing I haven’t finished my February book yet, gotta be more organized with my time. I highly recommend this book by the way.

The boyfriend gave this to me to try out. He loves pampering as much as I do. Well, they’re still sitting on my spa kit, haven’t used them, March is the way to go! What are your spa-night essentials? Share with me down below.

 

I am still making my way around this blogging thing, not that I haven’t blogged before, I did have 2 blogs about a different subject and now I kind of what to change things a little bit. Change is good and it is challenging me. I hope to keep up with it, and inspire people. After all, this blog is my open jar, kind of like talking and sharing with you guys, well virtually. I have blog post ideas in mind, still finding inspiration for some, planning out my future blog posts and just enjoying the moment. If you have suggestions, constructive criticisms and questions shoot them down below. Will be happy to keep in touch with you guys.

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A Letter To My Mom On Her Birthday

Ma, today is your 51st birthday! Yay! I will forever be thankful to God for your life. This post could be cheesy, but I don’t really care after all this is my letter to you and I’d write on this blog post for as long as I want, because I cannot write enough of how beautiful of a person you are.

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Love

I want to thank you for loving me, thank you because no matter how stubborn I got, how disobedient I was, whether I do the right thing or wrong thing, you love me still. And you are always there to tell me that I can overcome my own struggles and that I have to stand, brush it off, learn and move on with life. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you that you will always be proud of me. After all, I wouldn’t have made it to where I am now without you.

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Acceptance

Thank you for accepting me and not judging me, you are the first person I can always approach no matter what the situation is in my life (even though I haven’t realized that until lately). Thank you for guiding and helping me when I am at my weakest, thank you for making sure that I can finally stand up strong again and face life.

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Care & Teaching

Thank you for taking care of me throughout the years, thank you for caring even we’re miles apart, thank you for caring for me even when I am least aware of it. Thank you for taking care of Dad and my siblings, thank you for tirelessly making sure there’s warm water for us to bathe, even warm enough when the weather’s cool, thank you for telling us where to find a specific household item and for pointing out the that we should always return it to the same place where we found it (makes life so much easy). Thank you for always yelling that I cannot wash my legs and feet right after hours of wearing my heels and whatever kind of footwear (even though when you yell, I’m already there disobediently splashing water). Thank you for making sure we’d always have that crease-less and immaculate uniforms. Thank you for teaching me how to cook my first Chopseuy and Tinola through Facebook chat and phone calls. Thank you for teaching us that the way to entirely clean the bathroom and kitchen means to turn it upside down, wash everything our eyes see, wash floors to ceiling with bleach and detergent and make sure everything is squeaky clean and sparkling. Thank you because you care enough to lecture us about hygiene that we have to not let our bums touch those nasty toilet bowls, that we have to use tissue paper for touching everything in a public toilet by everything I mean flash button, cubicle lock, faucet knob and toilet handles.. uhmm a little OC I guess, but I love you for it. Thank you for ever fascinating us with your round the house calls, when all you wanted to call is a single person, but you nevertheless still mention all of our names. Your goofiness is the best everr! 😛

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Sacrifice

Thank you because while we peacefully sleep you are there thinking about every details in our lives making sure that all are proper and organized and not a thing is missed or overlooked. Thank you for laying your life down for us to serve us in the most humble way I have known. Thank you that you always made yourself available for us, for putting yourself last and prioritizing us in everything. You are one of the best examples of being selfless.

Parenting

Thank you for partnering with Dad to be parents to us and for raising us in the best possible way, and I would never imagine it any other way, just perfect. Thank you that you and Dad taught us about the fear of God, discipline, respect, humbleness, generosity and how to love other people, and you know most of these are not handed down to us in verbal but by mere living examples that you both demonstrate, your lives powerfully speak and move within me, my siblings and the people around you. Truly parenting is one of the biggest responsibilities and I salute you for that. Thinking about parenting makes me afraid, but it makes me more excited to be half as good of a parent as you.

I am looking forward to another glorious 51 years, and more and more! I declare and believe God’s goodness and unending favor and blessing over your life in each aspect of it, supernatural breakthroughs will even be far greater than what God has manifested in your life during the last 51 years. May God grant the desires of your heart according to His will more than you can ever ask or imagine. I am beyond blessed by you Mama, you are the greatest mom in the world, I know everyone says they have the greatest mom but I truly believe that Joy, Joseph, Jp and Jade have been blessed with the world’s greatest mom.

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Happy happy birthday Mama, I love you so much! Your date of birth deserves to be celebrated with our births, because without you we wouldn’t be here. Cheers! I will always be your little Joy-joy. :*

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Wedding: #MichaelandReatillForever

Yesterday, February 7, 2015, was a special day for both of my friends Michael and Rea. Rea is from my music group at church and Michael is from our church as well. Yesterday, was the day they pledged their love to one another in front of their families and friends and have become one before God. They have inspired me with their love and have been a blessing to the people around them, truly God’s grace and love for these two are immeasurable.

I am blessed to have been chosen by the bride to do her hair and makeup, now I am not saying I am an expert in beauty and hairstyle, this is just my interest and I am still learning from it, and this will always make me happy. 🙂 Fact: Rea is my first official bride in Dubai, (I have done makeup and hair for a bride before but that was still during college days when I was still starting with makeup.) and I am very happy and grateful that she has given me trust on her big day. Witnessing their beautiful union is a blessing and doing the bride’s hair and makeup is just a plus for me. Their wedding is one of those moments that reminded me that truly life is beautiful and God has intended for us to enjoy it. Onto the photos, shall we?

Before and after makeover photo of Rea.

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Her updo.

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The stunning bride.

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And Michael, the dashing groom.

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This moment. Need I say more? The picture speaks a thousand words.

I will not deny, I got emotional last night and was reminded of the following:

1. Life is not perfect but it is beautiful. There will always be struggles along the way but God has given us a life to live and enjoy, to love, to take risks, to struggle and to overcome. We have a life to live to the fullest, a life we can take chances with, a life to spend with our loved ones in laughter, tears and in dancing. Imperfection is what makes this life beautiful after all. Let alone imperfection and make the most out of every moment.

2. It takes a lot of courage to commit. It takes everything perhaps, you, your whole being, every bit to your core to entrust yourself to a person. But hey, they say love is a powerful thing, love enables us to open and devote ourselves to the people around us, especially to that one person we choose to spend our lives with. Thanks to God’s love, it changes us, it gives us courage and enables us to love and to risk. So hats off to you Rea and Michael for being so courageous. 1f44f

3. Passion. I was moved by people’s passion. The newly weds’ passion for each other, the band’s passion for their music, The families’ passion for the bride and groom. Jai, my friend, Twin, and sister from another mother, the wedding planner’s passion for her dreams. It’s that force that drives us, motivates us, that powerful emotion that pushes us to pursue and push harder. Michael and Rea’s wedding is one of the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to, not just because of its theme, decor and setup, but because of the people who have become part of it, because of the people who have passion. And one of them is Jai, from Jaiful and Her Happy Cheek, I commend her for the beautiful work she has done last night and all the other people who has assisted her throughout. She really did a great job for her first hands-on wedding, she is an aspiring wedding planner and I know she’ll make it far with the dedication and heart she has. This girl has always been a blessing and encouragement to me. Last night, she struck me most with her passion and thought that if you and I continue to fuel that driving force in us, we can create wonderful and stunning masterpieces of life. Below are photos of the wedding from Jai and I highly recommend her.

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Vintage and rustic themed wedding c/o Jai.

Credits to Ken for the following photos:

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A blessed wedding indeed! Thanks Michael and Rea. Cheers!

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#YearofHappy: Sending Love to Myself

Year of happy

I happen to stumble upon Kriselle’s (of Livin and Lovin) post about a link-up called #YearofHappy, hosted by Lizzie of OctoberJune and Allison of AllisonLeighann.

Every month, they will post a new prompt to inspire happiness and optimism within the participating people, and even just readers and followers. I was inspired by the concept since being more happy and positive is included in my 2015 goals. So ride along, live your life to the fullest and be your brightest self this year. Who knows, you might just encourage and inspire someone who is battling with sadness or depression, as they say, happiness is contagious. 🙂

It maybe a little late, but better late than never. So, what is January’s prompt? Write a love letter to yourself.

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Dear Joy,

2015 is going to be a great year for you, your family and loves with so many things to look forward to. Way to go, you have finally come back to blogging like the old times, I knew this is what you always wanted. You’re expecting breakthroughs from God, you’re seeking Him for more major life decisions and you’re pursuing your many hidden passions, I know you can do it. Don’t ever think you cannot, you’re blessed and you have what it takes. Whenever you hear voices inside your head that say, “you cannot do it”, say “I can for I am strengthened by God and I am more than a conqueror in Christ”.

Do not be afraid of what other people think and will say to you. After all, in everything you do, there will always be people who will try to discourage you, criticize you, judge you and put you down. There’s no one who knows yourself better than you do, so you go girl!  Live out your life and stop existing. Live it to the fullest.

Don’t be afraid to try and of failing. Just do it and you will learn and feel glad to know that one day you will look back and say, “I have done that and I have no regrets.”

Don’t be afraid to open up yourself, it’s time. Isn’t that the purpose of this blog? Share your ideas, share your blessings, share your life to others, God may use it to encourage other people.

Stop worrying, for once, you have had so much of that in the previous year. It’s time to let go of your fears, doubts and worries. Leave everything up to God, seek Him always and everything will be taken care of in His hands even if you don’t feel it. 😉

Stop comparing yourself to others, you are wonderfully made and you are unique as you are, you have a special purpose, there’s no one who can live your life and your purpose better than you. Be the person God intended you to be. Be YOU!

Do not try to please men, you will only fail. Stop trying to live by people’s standards and expectations. It’s okay don’t stress yourself out.

You are passionate and strong, live your life to the fullest, let go of those fears and be limitless, don’t let other people bring you down. And one more thing, your thoughts, do not let them hinder you from becoming who God intended you to be. You have so much more potential than you think you have.

Everything will be okay. 😉

Open the jar and live it up girl!

Much Love,

Joy