February 2015 Recap: Highlights and Announcements

I usually don’t do this type of post but February 2015 is truly a month to remember for me. A lot has happened personal-wise and web-wise and I have decided to write a quick post to share some of the memorable moments with you. :)


Publication accepted

Post-Doc: done and over with! The most rewarding part has to be when I learned of my work being accepted for publication in Virology. It wasn’t an easy ride. There were times when I thought I wasn’t going to make it but I kept reminding myself that I can do this! Hard work, determination, and positivity *will* get you far. Trust me on this. :)


Engagement. After 11 years, he finally proposed! The proposal was sweet and memorable. I thought I was going to cry (you know, like in movies) but surprisingly I didn’t. I couldn’t stop smiling, though! :D The ring is beautiful and exactly “my” style but I had to have it re-sized twice (I don’t wear rings so he didn’t know what my ring size was, lol).

Canon Rebel SL1

New gear. I received this as a Valentine’s Day gift. I love everything about it so far — the white body and matching lens, ease of use, performance, and portability (it’s much lighter than I thought!). I haven’t had time to play with it much yet because I’m waiting for Spring. Right now it’s just too cold and there’s really nothing but white snow outside. 


Beauty Influencer's Sunday Column

Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column. BISC has finally launched! BISC is a network of beauty influencers that come together on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month to share their opinions on beauty- and blogging-related topics. See example here and here. If you would like to join us, please leave your name and email below and I’ll get back to you when we have available spots!

HelloJaa Facebook Fanpage

Facebook fanpage hits 1k. Thanks everyone who liked Hello Jaa on Facebook! I didn’t think I’d ever hit a thousand followers on any of my social media so this is a big milestone for me. I was going to capture a screen shot when it hit 1000 but it happened when I was sleeping. LOL Next to hit 1k would probably be my Instagram. Seriously, thank you so much for your support! :)

Urban Decay Naked Concealer Facebook Share

Mentioned by Urban Decay. For the first time I experienced what it was like to have too many people coming to your site at once. My server went down within minutes of Urban Decay sharing my Naked Concealer review on their Facebook and Twitter page. Good thing my host was able to bring my site back online quickly! Pheew! Thanks for the memorable event, Urban Decay!

The big announcement

Pattaya Beach, Thailand
See you soon, Thailand

After much deliberation, I have decided to move back to Thailand. The idea is both exciting and terrifying because there will be a lot of uncertainty. I have zero plans of what I’m going to do or where I’m going to live. But as terrifying as it sounds, I have to admit that it’s quite liberating to have a chance to “reset” my life again. I’m looking forward to it actually!

I’m in the process of packing my stuff and my goodness, the amount of things you accumulate in 5 years! I don’t know if I will be able to bring all my makeup with me so I might be doing a blog sale within the next week or so (if I have time). Not sure if anyone of you would be interested?

Also, I might not be able to update Hello Jaa and return comments as often as I’d like for the month of March but I’ll try my best to drop by when I can! Regular posting will resume in April — promise! :)

And that’s a wrap! Thank you for reading this far! If you have any moving tips or blogging-while-you-are-moving tips, please leave them in the comment section below! 

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  1. says: Alice

    Hey Jaa! February has definitely been a month filled with love and caring, especially in your case. I’m so thrilled for you to move back to your home country! Starting off a new slate must be so scary but exciting at the same time! I wish you a future filled with new challenges, lots of love and memorable adventures. You deserve the best and hard work does pay off – that’s for sure!

    X Alice

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks so much Alice! It’s going to be scary for sure but I’m also looking forward to all the challenges and unknowns! Hopefully things will get settled in quickly because I know I can’t stay away from my blog for too long! I’ve become addicted to blogging. :D Thanks again!

  2. says: Sunny

    Hey Jaa, whoa February really was a huge month for you! Congrats on the engagement, the UD mention, and the paper!

    And wow, moving back to Thailand! That’s huge! Best of luck with that!

  3. says: Sheila

    Congratulations, Jaa! I’m so happy to hear about all the awesome things that are happening with you. Even though I’ve only discovered you recently, it’s been incredible reading your posts and looking at your photos. Good luck with your move and I hope to see more of you once you’ve gotten settled in :)

    1. says: Jaa

      Hey Sheila! Thanks so much! I’m glad we’ve found each other through blogging! How’s your photography setup going for you so far? I hope you’re having fun experimenting! :)

  4. says: WendyS

    wow! What a month you’ve had. Congratulations on so many things! Best of luck, and thank you very much for the reviews, etc. take care, and happy life!

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks so much, Wendy! February was a great month for sure! :) I’ll still be around but until April, I probably won’t have time to update my blog as frequently as I’d love to. A happy life is exactly what I need! :D

  5. says: brenda

    Wow Jaa congratulations on..well all of it!! Your such a lucky girl, and you deserve it, you’re one of the sweetest people i’ve met in blogland. I hope you will enjoy Thailand and make it your permanent home with your soon to be hubby. Goodluck!!

    1. says: Jaa

      Hey Brenda! You’re one of the sweetest people I have met through blogging, too! I love reading your comments and I always look forward to them! :) I’m excited to go back to Thailand but I doubt it will be permanent. I’m always moving. I’ve never lived anywhere longer than 5 years so we will see!

  6. says: Natsu

    Congratulation kaa! P’Jaa! I’m really happy for you. February was definitely a big month for you. I see that you have made a big change about life. Welcome back to Thailand naka, my favourite blogger! :)

    1. says: Jaa

      Awww thanks so much ja, Nong Natsu! :) :) It means a lot to me! I’m excited to go back to Thailand! I can’t wait to go to MK. Haha.

  7. says: Lena L

    Oh wow, so many wonderful things! Congratulations, Jaa! :)
    Thanks for sharing with us. I am sure there will be more of good things to come to your blog and to your personal life. All the best. xoxo

  8. says: Laarni

    Big congratulations, Jaa! That’s a lovely ring! I also did not cry when my husband proposed to me. Hahaha. Anyway, I know that you love moving so I think this move will be as easy as 1-2-3 for you!

    I got no tips, sorry, I don’t like change! Oh dear. :P

    Good luck on your new adventure!


    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks, Laarni! I wish it was easy as 1-2-3! I’ve moved several times but it’s still a pain in the butt every time! :D

  9. says: Erin

    I’d totally buy a Chanel Notorious off you if you have one. I think a blog sale is a good idea. I’m sure all of us would love a crack at your stash!

    As for all the accomplishments, it must be dizzying! What a spectacular month! I mean unless you won the lotto or got pregnant (maybe), I’m not sure how it could get better!

    The ring is beautiful!

    1. says: Jaa

      Hey Erin! Thanks so much but I probably won’t have time to do blog sale anymore. I still have more work to finish at the University and I haven’t even started packing yet! So many things to do and I’m freaking out! LOL! Sorry!

      1. says: Rachelle

        ;-) I’ll let you know if I visit Thailand again! Haha which part are you moving back to though??

        (Btw if you don’t mind I can buy the stuff that you wanna clear too, might be easier since you have my contact and address ready!)

  10. Dear Jaa,
    what a lovely time of the year to remember. February is supposed to be short but it seems like you used everyday and minute out of it. Everything sounds lovely, a new life back at home, marriage, success, how exciting!!!
    Congratulations for all of these and keep us posted whenever you have time. Don’t stress yourself too with the blog, sometimes life takes over, that means you are living well!

  11. says: Liz

    So many changes! All great, too – very exciting. :) Congratulations again on your engagement and good luck with the move, Jaa! I’m happy for you. <3 <3 <3

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks so much, Liz! Right now I’m feeling relieved, nervous, excited, terrified, and stressed out, all rolled into one!! So many things to do and I don’t know what to do first! LOL

  12. says: Agata

    Congratulations on all those wonderful events, Jaa. I am really happy for you! Once again, he did good- the ring is beautiful!

    What made you decide to move back to Thailand? Is your fiance moving with you? That’s very brave and I wish you the best of luck. If you need a new home for your makeup, well, you know I am here. Ha ha.

    1. says: Jaa

      I miss the heat for the most part! I’m so done with cold weather. LOL! Then I miss my family, friends, and food! And SHOPPING MALLS! LOL! Did you know that in the city of Bangkok alone, we have well over 160+ shopping malls? CRAY CRAY! ;D I’ll see what I can do about my makeup! I hate to give away or sell used makeup.. it just doesn’t feel right!

  13. says: Dee

    OMG..where to begin!! FIRST of all..CONGRATULATIONS on ALL those things and the some Jaa. You are SO hard working in every possible way …in everything that you do – I cant think of anyone else who could deserve this more than you. Im sure youll be super successful no matter where you live/what you do ! Ive been wanting to visit Thailand for a long time, so…settle in fast so I can come visit hehe. CONGRATULATIONS to you and your Fiancee again as well :) xoxox

    1. says: Jaa

      OMG it would be super awesome if you could come visit!! I’ll take you to all the shopping malls and Asian makeup stores! Hehe Thanks so much for your kind words, Dee! You totally made my day. Hugs! <3

  14. says: Olivia

    I’m so happy for you, Jaa! For every amazing thing that has happened and that you worked hard for! I hope the coming times will bring you good memories ^_^ Good luck with the move and everything! Don’t worry, we’ll be waiting patiently c:

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks, Olivia! I’ll still be around but I won’t be able to update daily this month. Comes April, though, I hope to be back at full force! :D

  15. says: Rachel

    Congrats on everything Jaa!! You deserve all the happiness in the world!

    Your blog is one of the best beauty blogs out there, so don’t be surprised when people start swarming your site! You are so thorough with your reviews and your photos are AMAZING. Whenever I’m interested in something new, I check in here and Temptalia because I know y’all will tell me the truth and give me the most accurate pictures of what I’m getting. That means SO much to me when I have a limited budget to spend on beauty!!

    Best of luck with your move – we’ll all be waiting for you when you come back!! :)

    1. says: Jaa

      Hey Rachel! Thank you so much for your support and kind comment! I hope you know it means the world to me! :) I try to make Hello Jaa the best I could and I’m glad it has been a great resource for you. Hugs! <3

      P.S. I have been enjoying your nail posts on IG, too! You have the cutest yet wearable designs. I've been inspired many times! :)

  16. What a bunch of nice stuff!! Don’t even know where to start. I already said it on Instagram, but congratulations on your engagement! And the 1k followers! And the mention by Urban Decay! And the post-doc! And the moving to Thailand! Best of luck with that, actually. :)

    If you do a blog sale I’d be all over that if you ship internationally! Lol.

    1. says: Jaa

      Haha thanks, Carla! I don’t think the blog sale is going to happen anymore. I just don’t have time. I still have things to finish at the University, and then we still have to sell everything in the house and then I still have to pack! Ugh. I shouldn’t have waited till last minute!! >.<

  17. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT, SWEETUMS!!! I’m so happy for you, ladybug! You had the best February EVER!
    Is it weird to think I’m going to miss you when you move to Thailand even though we don’t live close within the US and we’ve never met in person?! I think it might be, lol! But good for you for taking a chance at the high school dance and making a big change! Wow! My fingers will be crossed that the move goes easily and you’re able to find a great job that you’ll love and a fabulous living space with your new fiance! ;) How does moving to another country work as far as what you can bring?? How many suitcases can you take on a plane?!? I have so many questions! I’ve moved around a TON – never out of the country though – but my moving advice would be to keep your most treasured, irreplaceable makeup items in your carry-on. And a little trick my friend Stephanie Eva taught me is to put a cotton square in your powder compacts to cushion them for travel! IT’s a simple but genius tip that works so well! Gosh, so much to be thankful for this month! Much love and the absolute BEST of luck to you, doll! <3

    1. says: Jaa

      Hey Kristen! No, it’s not weird at all because I feel the same! I know I’ll miss all my American blogger friends here so much, yep, even though we have never met! It’s not going to be easy to find a nice place and a good job but one thing at a time right?!

      Right now we are just sorting through things we absolutely need to bring with, the rest we will either donate or sell. We are shipping most of our stuff back by sea because you are only allowed to bring so much on the airplane (50 kg and only 1 suitcase/person).

      I’m taking all my designer makeup with me for sure. I’d cry if I ever lost my TF collection! LOL The cotton square tip is genius! It makes a lot of sense, too! Thanks for sharing, Kristen! Hopefully one day you can visit me in Thailand. We have well over 160+ malls in Bangkok alone. Come come!! LOL!


    1. says: Jaa

      Oopss… I’m sorry but I won’t have enough time to do blog sale anymore. Still so much to do at work and I haven’t even started sorting through all my stuff yet, let alone packing! I’m panicking! HELP!!! LOL!

  18. says: Shelby

    Hey Jaa! Congrats for all your accomplishments over the month of February! Your blog is a major inspiration for me, and I always love hearing great things happening to my favorite bloggers!
    Best of luck for all that’s upcoming!

  19. says: Angela

    So many exciting changes/events for you! Congratulations on everything (and here I thought 7 years for a proposal was a long time!) You are well on your way to even more wonderful things :>

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks so much, Angela! :) 7 years is a long time! Are you married now? How is a married life different from a bf/gf life for you? I’ve been with him for so long I don’t thing there will be any difference once we’re actually married. LOL

      1. says: Angela

        Still not married and now at 9 years this year LOL. At this rate we’ll probably hit 11 years as well before we actually get married :P I know what you mean – we don’t even live together but it basically feels like we’re an old married couple.

        1. says: Jaa

          LOL it’s not a bad thing really! I often wonder if things are great the way it is now, why change? My bf and I seem to have this same mentality and that’s why we never rush to get married. LOL

  20. Really a month to remember! Congrats on the engagement, the publication and on deciding to move.
    If you have a spot on beauty influencers for another NC 20 Blonde, I would be interested. In my favour: I cover (Anti-)ageing and being a mom from experience, which may give a new approach sometimes

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks so much for your interest! I have added you to the list! :) BISC is still at the very beginning phase. I’m still fixing and changing things here and there but once I have everything settled down, I’ll definitely start adding more bloggers! :)

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