Saturday, December 27, 2014

Blissmakerie: The prettiest and most inspiring party I've ever seen

Early this month, I was one of the women Martine de Luna of the inspirational blog, Make It Blissful, invited to her thanksgiving event. She called it Blissmakerie, a gathering of the women she's worked with or helped in her five years of blogging.

I was surprised to be there honestly (with my constant date, Piero, see below), because while Martine and I are friends, we've not actually worked together. I've long wanted to work with Martine to improve my blogs, but I got caught up in babymaking bliss (that's my kind of bliss!) so I put my sessions with Martine on hold. I also focused on family this year, what with two little boys and pregnant with the third to take care of with no yaya (we did finally get a housemaid)! With so much of life happening, I completely lost focus on the blogs.

But I don't regret any of this blog neglect. In fact, it was a conscious decision. Life was happening very quickly and I just had to live it! While many readers may have disliked the sponsored posts na sunod-sunod, I didn't mind. It was either sponsored content or no content. I had lost my "blogging bliss," as Martine would say. Many reasons. Other bloggers brought me down. A difficult pregnancy. A new baby. Just me and my husband raising our boys, which left us completely exhausted. New jobs. All of these left me with no time or energy for blogging outside of sponsored content.

Blogging became another job, although it remained a job I loved. While I consciously distanced myself from writing about my life (I was feeling very fragile this year), I was thankful that I didn't have to completely give up blogging thanks to my dear sponsors who gave me reason (and compensation!) to keep on blogging.

At Blissmakerie, however, my passion for blogging was rekindled. Seeing how Martine grew her blog and her brand, how she collaborated with other bloggers and brands, and helped grow other bloggers' online homes was just the inspiration I needed to shake up Topaz Horizon and Topaz Mommy. I began feeling that old excitement and thrill of sharing my life with you all. I also started dreaming again, visiting old plans I had for the blog. Read this October 2013 post  about my plans for 2014. The last paragraph says:
So that's what I plan to do this year and next year: blog. Grow the blogs, be more purposeful in my writing, get to know my readers more, build my reputation as a credible and honest blogger. Maybe these steps will help me in the next stage—empire building!—or maybe the next stage is more babies and just settling down to be a simple housewife. Who knows? Whatever it may be, I welcome it!  

Well, we now know that 2014 was just all about babies! But I also went back to magazine work so I didn't become a housewife. I did still remain a blogger. And for 2015, that should be my main focus (outside family, of course!).

Anyway! So let's look at this amazing Blissmakerie event so you get an inkling of how it inspired me to blog blissfully again!

The gorgeous venue was at Scarsdale Artisanal Delights ( along Shaw Blvd. Just look at that styling done by Constance Events Styling (! So pretty! But not sickeningly saccharine. Feminine but not girly. Sweet but elegant. I loved it! So pretty! I really told Constance Styling that if I have blog events next year, I'm totally getting them (if I can afford them, that is!).

My place at the table, marked by a Christmas ball with my name and exquisite macarons from Fat Fingers Sweet Treats (

Scarsdale meant it when they added Delights to their name. The scrumptious food was truly good! And I am really maarte with food! I loved everything on the menu!
This pudding a la mode was beyond fabulous. It just had enough simplicity in it to be comfort food (which it is) but it also had just a bit more eye-widening sweetness and texture so that it's not just any old pudding. Must go back for this!!!

Martine invited about 20 of her friends, clients and collaborators. I had a lovely time meeting old friends and making new ones. I like this whole concept of collaboration that Martine dreamed up. Part of what discouraged me in blogging was the suddenly fierce competition and cliques. You know that scene in Mean Girls, that "You can't sit with us," scene? So high school, right? Well, it happened to me at an event. I was so shocked. I walked away, hurt and humiliated. I couldn't handle it! Buti na lang the print media table scooted over and made room for me. Print media are the nicest people!

Then I realized at the Blissmakerie event that not all bloggers are bitches. Many blogging women are wonderful, too. Inspiring and creative and passionate. They use their time online to help other women, to build up, to share. These are the women I want to be with!
Make It Blissful's Blissmakers
Martine's celebrity clients.
Martine with Rissa Trillo of Happy Skin, which sponsored some raffle prizes

After an afternoon of good food, conversations and creative fun, Martine gifted each guest with the darling box of bliss. My Blissful Box, which was a pink polka dot sweetheart from Print Café (, contained these lovely things:

  1. watercolor postcards from Bloom (
  2. tags and postcards from Craftsmith (
  3. Hurraw lip balm from Cutieverse (
  4. olive room spray from Heima (
  5. products from Philosophy (
  6. a vanilla bean from The Vanilla Company (
  7. a vanilla bear and products from A Vanilla Story (
  8. foldable flats from Yosi Samra (
  9. nail polish from Zoya (

I had a blissful afternoon, Martine! Thanks for inviting me, feeding me, and giving me my Blissful Box. And thanks for rekindling an old love that had been smothered by new loves (a.k.a. baby boys!). I have big plans for the Topaz blogs. With Piero a little older in 2015, which may mean I'll have more time, I can finally make my dreams for my blogs come true!

To know more about Blissmakerie and Martine's reasons for throwing such a pretty party, click here.

*all photos, except the ones from my Instagram, are from Shutterpanda Photography (, used with permission from Make It Blissful.

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  1. what a lovely event! and that blissful box is awesome frances! can't wait to see what your plans for your blogs are next year. :)

  2. Yeah, what a lovely event. I think I need some inspiration for blogging, too. I hope I'd be able to get Martine's help in 2015... :)

  3. I loved every minute of our corporate events here; the party had several wow-factors - dark wood floors, strictly candlelight, a perfect room for an intimate party.

  4. Thank you, Frances, for being at the Blissmakerie! Of course you had to be there — you're one of my first blogging friends, one of my first inspirations as a blogger, and one of the best bloggers I know!!! Thank you for being my touchstone here in the online world. You've really challenged me year by year to be an authentic writer, a good blogger in every sense of the word "good". I hope 2015 and beyond will let us collaborate, as friends and as bloggers! Who knows, right?! I'm here for you, too! Trust that I'll be going to you for mommy advice too after I give birth!!! Happy new year!!!


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