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Friday, 1 January 2016

2015 Year in Review

Happy New Year! The other day, a friend asked me, "What have you achieved in 2015?" Without hesitation, I managed to name at least 3 good things that have happened to me. I guess you could say that this was one of my luckiest years ever, and also the busiest. It was the year of many ups, and also some downs. Some of these things may seem trivial to you, but they definitely make up my fruitful year! Sorry this lengthy post came a little late, I'm aware that it's 2016 now but still, it's my yearly tradition to pen it down (and I hope it never stops). :)

Highlights of 2015...

1. Won an Invisalign contract worth RM20K+
I couldn't be more psyched about this. The other day a status from my Facebook Memories appeared that said "All I wanted for Christmas are.. braces!" And 6 years later, my wish came true, in an even better form. How crazy it is that things work out the way they do? I literally submitted my blogpost 6 hours before the deadline (Read about my entry for Nuffnang x Invisalign contest here) and never did I expect to win the contest, the biggest prize I've ever won in my life! You could say it's definitely life-changing too, I'm on my way to living with straight teeth for the rest of my life now. :p Initially, I was supposed to go travel to KL for my treatments but an orthodontist in JB was willing to sponsor my treatment instead omg. Truly, truly blessed. Follow my Invisalign updates here!

2. Graduated + PTPTN loan got waived
Well, technically I graduated last year but the ceremony was only held this year. Um, I've been meaning to blog about it for the longest time but simply could not find the time to.. I'll work on it ASAP, I promise (sorry to my friends who have been asking me about the photos LOL!). My family, both my grandmas and my aunt & uncle went up to to KL just to attend my graduation ceremony and I felt so blessed. As if graduating wasn't a big enough news, I found out that I was eligible to apply for a PTPTN aka student loan waiver and so I did. About 2 months later, I got the official letter saying that my application was approved, yay to being debt-free! Felt super lucky because a lot of my friends are still waiting for their letter, fingers crossed they'll get them soon! Many people have been asking me since then, how to apply for the waiver and again, I'll try my best and work on a post too, promise!

3. Landed my first job
Seriously, I'm on a roll here. One interview, and I nailed my (sorta) dream job, in my hometown too! A lot of people have asked me why didn't I stay in KL after graduating, but I'm a very family-oriented person so I made the decision to move home and find a job in JB, even though the general pay in JB may not be that high. FYI, I'm working as a marketing executive and I work around social media, something that I'm very interested in which makes the job that much more fun. But the reality of working life definitely hit me in the face as I didn't expect to be SO BUSY. It's still good though, I get to learn so much everyday and work around people who are ever creative, driven and friendly. :)

4. Started driving + owning a car
BWAHAHAH this one shocked a lot of my skeptical friends since they always made jokes about how I'm too short to drive. Who's laughing now! XD Because my workplace (used to be) quite far from my place, my mum decided to get a new car and transferred the ownership of her current car to me. So yes, you could say I technically own a car now and I have to pay for its maintenance, petrol etc. My dad was the one who taught me how to drive & park. After getting my driver's license, I lived in KL for 3 years and did not drive at all during my P License period, so you can imagine just how RUSTY I was. My dad's not the easiest person to work with, and I cried so much when learning how to drive LOL. Glad I progressed from that girl who could barely drive past 20km/h to someone who can drive almost anywhere in JB now (I'm still working on my parking though :p). Guess my biggest achievement was driving my good friends (colleagues too, and even my boss) around and they survived the ride everytime XD

5. Officially owned a blog domain, started my Facebook page & got a new blog layout
These are things that I've planned for a long time for my blog. As I've said in my post here, I didn't think my blog and I were ready yet, I was just waiting for the right time to take it to new heights. Really have to thank my friends for encouraging me to be confident in myself and my blog, that lead it to where it is today. Of course, would't have made it without the support of my friends, family and readers who constantly inspire me to write, even though I don't update as often now. It's also a mini achievement to me to hit 530 likes on my FB page in about 4 months. I have other plans in progress, but that's for you to find out in 2016! :p

6. Opportunities to work with new brands (local & international) + featured!
One of the biggest brands I've worked with this year was Honda. Thanks to them, I was able to drive on the highway for the first time as well to test drive their all-new Honday City. It's my first sponsored trip, hopefully there's more to come in the future? :p Another brand worth mentioning is home developer Elysia Park Residences whom we've had a mini photoshoot with. I also got my first ever hair sponsor and got my craziest hair colour yet from Muse Hair & Scalp Specialist, and plucked up the courage to do laser facial for the first time, thanks to My Skin Gym Medical Clinic & Spa. This year, I've also had the opportunity to work with some international brands such as Sudio Sweden, Soufeel Jewellery & JOW Fashion, a Dutch fashion line and I'm grateful that I managed to reach out to some international readers. I also got featured in some places like several Malaysian OOTD accounts on Instagram, guest posting on Free Malaysia Today's lifestyle section, VOUCH Magazine and Clozette's Weekly Roundup, to name a few <3

7. Did water-rafting & rock-climbing!
These are one of those resolutions that you did not set out to achieve, but it just happened along the way. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried new things that I'm proud of. Part of the Honda trip itinerary was to go water-rafting at Gopeng. I didn't want to do it at first (sibeh kiasi), but I'm glad the other bloggers encouraged me to otherwise I would've missed out on one of the most interesting experiences of my life! I did fall into the water once but other than that, I survived and it was so fun! I also went rock-climbing for my company's team building activity and although I didn't manage to conquer the 10-ft wall, I did do other things like get over my fear of heights, climbed a 5-ft high wall and did a sorta tight-rope walk. So yea, quite an active year for someone who usually doesn't exercise :p

8. 1000 days & first couple's trip with le bf
Ok things are starting to get a little cheesy here HAHA. We've hit the 1000-days milestone and had a mini celebration. Sometimes I still wonder how I stand his lameness, and how he stands my non-chalantness. LOL. Trust me, I still don't know How to Girlfriend after such a long time.. I'm forever grateful to have his support no matter what and it's not easy as we barely go out on dates this year because we're both so busy. Seriously, most of our dates is just me working on my laptop while he studies beside me. -_- Earlier in the year, we also had our first trip together to Malacca, and he also flew to KL to accompany me for work once. Hopefully, we'll be able to travel to more places together in the future :) x

9. Travelled to many places 
Speaking of travel, my family and I have been on many road trips this year, albeit locally, thanks to the long weekends whee~ Even though they were only day trips around Johor like Kluang, Pontian, Kukup etc to Jalan-jalan Cari Makan, we manage to have a good time everytime and stuff our tummies silly. The quote, "Time spent with people you love is never wasted" is truly apt because even though I usually have to finish up my work even on weekends, I never regret the times I've put work aside to spend time with my family. Guess what? This year was also the first time my cousins & I drove to Malacca together (I've been there 3 times this year), makes me think how grown-up we've all become and how hard it is to spend time with my childhood besties now that we're on different sides of the world. I had a mini getaway at Port Dickson with my uni friends & a company trip to Desaru too. The highlight would definitely be our overseas trip to Phuket this year after 2 years of not leaving the country (Singapore doesn't count lah). It was one of the best trips ever! Ok I promise I will definitely blog about that, been procrastinating too long already XD

10. Met up with old friends & made new ones
My friends are an important part of my life. Some people are shocked that I still keep in touch with my friends from primary school and I'm super proud about that! How many of you can say you've had friends you've known almost all your life, eh? I've literally met up with friends from kindergarten all the way to university, friends that I haven't met in years. These meet-ups don't happen often, and I always cherish them. The best part was during our primary school gathering where we still remember all the things that happened, and the school song (!!) even after 10 years of leaving school! I've also attended like 6 weddings this year, all from friends who are elder than me and it feels quite surreal to see your friends looking so blissful! I think I'm lucky that I can befriend my colleagues at work too, making new friends doesn't hurt. Forever grateful to have a group of best friends that are there for me in every milestone of my life, these are the people I know I can count on no matter what :)

As with any good thing, there has to be bad sides to it for you to truly appreciate the good parts, right?

This year was also one of the busiest year of my life. I am constantly working that I seemed to have lost myself along the way. Sometimes I don't know what I want anymore, I just keep on working and churning out pieces that I don't feel are like me at all. I'm in front of the computer almost 24/7. I've mentioned it many times on my blog as well, I needed motivation, determination & inspiration to keep doing what I'm doing. I broke down so many times because I don't know what I'm doing and all these stress is giving me anxiety. The most used phrase of this year was "No time." Everytime someone asked me what's up with my life, I'll say that I'm busy busy busy. I'm sick of that, and this year, I'm trying to change that. We all need work-life balance after all.

Because of my busy-ness, I tend to neglect my blog too. If you noticed, I hardly update nowadays even though I have many posts on hand :( I feel so bad for the clients lost too because I don't get to reply emails on time. I have less than 10 #carinnxootd posts updates this year, how can I still call myself a fashion blogger right lol. I'm sad to see my blog views decline this year, but I know that there is still a chance to salvage this. I definitely need to be more disciplined this year not only with my blog, but with my life overall.

This year, I've also had some setbacks. My laptop finally died on me after 3 good years. I kept saying that I want a MacBook and even though I saved up enough for it, I know I won't have the time to set it up or learn how to use it so I've yet to get it yet LOL. Excuses, Rinn. I've also spent quite a lot of money on repairing my camera lens which was spoiled not once but TWICE. Super annoying, which led to me delaying many posts as well because I insist on taking good, clear photos. I bought quite a lot of stuff this year too, so one of my resolutions for 2016 will definitely be try and save more money :x

When I was younger, I used to think that resolutions are useless, but now I feel that they are quite necessary especially now that I'm turning 23. It's time to take better control of my life. So here are some of my resolutions for the year. Most of these are for my self-improvement and I don't consider them as resolutions, I see them as a lifelong habit. I'm also quite greedy and ambitious hor, listing so many resolutions for myself? Lol. Regardless, no matter how trivial, I'm just gonna list it down:

- Be a nicer person overall. Just gonna put it out there; I don't know what I'm good at or what I'm passionate about. I want to be able to find a cause that I'm passionate about, and give back to society. I see my bf being friendly to people like cleaners & guards, and I want to be like that too. Before I judge or criticise or rage (I tend to do that a lot..), I'd like to take a second to put myself in their shoes because ever since I started working, I know that it's not easy being in the service line. Smile more, say hi to people. Curb that resting bitch face LOL.

- Be more disciplined and manage my time better. I'll admit, one of the reasons that I'm always busy is I tend to sleep or watch YouTube videos too much so definitely have to control that. Little things like not sleeping with my contact lens on and not being late, keeping to deadlines are part of this resolution as well. Perhaps I should start keeping to a planner RELIGIOUSLY. I'd love to have more times to do the things I love and not be buried in so much work or blog-debt. I promise to update my blog more often and more timely as well, yea?

- Rant less, appreciate more. 'Nuff said. I'll post up a little quote and my #SpotofJoy on Twitter everyday, promise! 

- Travel more. I would love to save up enough to travel to different places, be it alone or with my loved ones. I'm still young so if not now, when? Hopefully, my plans this year will fall through and you'll see me outside of Malaysia more! Lol. Travelling is always good, it helps you learn more along the way and help you find yourself too. 

- Read more & write better. For the sake of improving in my career, I'd like to find more time to read more, be inspired & deliver the best I can. I'm also working on improving my writing style so bear with me ok? I promise to stay true to myself though, just working on a better way of getting information across :D

- Learn photo & video editing skills. I picked up Photoshop and video-editing skills on the job, but I am constantly looking for ways to improve on these skills. Hopefully, I'll get better at it and.. use it to take my blog to greater heights *secret*!

- Take better photos. Haha ok this is quite quintessential to me as a blogger XD I'm trying to improve my photography skills, maybe use less of the Auto mode on my camera and actually use its DSLR function for once LOL. I also hope to be more disciplined with my Instagram feed, hopefully it will help me gain more traction..

- Don't be camera-shy! What?! I'm camera-shy meh? You might think I'm very vain already, what with my face plastered all over my blog and Insta HAHA but seriously, I'm shy wan guys~ I don't have the courage to vlog or appear in videos because I dislike how I look or sound in videos. I hope that I can step out of my comfort zone this year and try my hand at vlogging (Snapchat is helping me with that though) and perhaps sing more too? I used to sing a lot in high school and college, don't know what happened along the way...

- Follow a strict skincare routine. This may seem trivial to you, but it's quite vital to me because I got so lazy this year that I don't even apply anything on my face before I sleep now. As a result, my skin has suffered, though thankfully, not as bad as my teenage years. There was a period of time where I did follow a strict skincare routine and the results were amazing, I want that back. It's a blessing to have good skin, which means I can spend less money on makeup right? (HAHA right) So yea, I want good skin so I have to be hardworking! HUHAK.

- Have better posture. I realised I have a bit of a slouch, wanna try and combat that by sitting and standing upright & properly.

- Learn how to do different hairstyles, apply eyeshadow and do my brows. Hahaha again, this is something that you may think isn't important but I really want to improve my self-image. Sometimes I myself get so sick of the same boring hairstyle, I wanna have hair like you see in those tutorials you know? Will try lah, but I don't have much hair to work with XD Believe it or not, I don't know how to apply eyeshadow for my semi-hooded eyelids too, so I'm working on that, as well as finally finding the way to perfecting my eyebrows! I'm excited to come up with different looks to suit different styles :D

So yea, thank you for reading my super duper lengthy post! If you've read the whole thing... WOW! *clap clap* I'm not bragging or anything, I just really wanted to share my joy with you guys. I wrote down everything from the bottom of my heart and I hope that you can feel my honesty & sincerity. This has really been a trying year for me but it made me realise that if you work hard, your efforts will definitely be rewarded. I'm truly thankful for all the opportunities this year. Count your blessings, and pray that the good parts are brought forward every year. So many things have happened because of my blog, and I'm glad I kept to it. It's a year of discovery, a year of learning and I'm so excited to see where 2016 takes me. I'm forever thankful and blessed for all the love and support I receive everyday. I know I have the potential to do better and I hope to improve myself, my blog and my life overall. In a nutshell, I hope everyone has  great year ahead, with more smiles than frowns! <3


  1. You have an amazing 2015! Wish you with more blessing and happiness for 2016! Wot woot carinn!

    1. Thanks, Sab! It's great knowing you in 2015 too! All the best in 2016 too, can't wait to see mini you ;)

  2. Wah your 2015 is so eventful! You're correct, it's really important to strike a balance between work and life, work play and enjoy hard! Hopefully you will have an awesome 2016 ahead yo!

    1. Thanks babe! I'm sure yours is equally eventful :) Yup, hope my 2016 won't be such a mess anymore haha. Have an awesome 2016 too! <3

  3. me too! I could hardly proceed when I dun have camera in hand. Seriouslly, the outcome using handphone and camera is so damn different, if we are someone particular. hhaha.

    and happy new year to you!! wish all ur resolution will come true this year!! another 361 days to go!

    1. You understand me! XD Happy New Year to you too, have a great year ahead! x

  4. Give me five, my parking very cacat also,hahaha! Happy New Year, Carinn, hope we can meet up in 2016! :)

    1. High five XD I don't think I've met you the whole of 2015 leh 0.0 Omg we MUST meet!


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