I’m Finally a Singer

Okay, that title probably confused a good number of you.

Those who have known me for quite some time now know that I’ve been singing most of my life. I was part of my school’s glee club and chorale all of my grade school and high school life and now currently handling that same high school chorale. I sing at my friends’ weddings, my mom’s work functions, in school programs, etc. So to most people, I’m a singer. But honestly, I’ve only been able to call myself a “singer” recently.

Until almost a year ago, every time someone would go, “So you’re a singer?” I would always just say, “Um, well… I can sing…?” Singing was something I had never done professionally at that time and I thought I hadn’t accomplished much in that field to deserve the title.

Several months ago, a friend of mine asked me why I didn’t do singing gigs. He thought it was odd that I didn’t sing as often and and as much as he thought I should. I love the stage, I love performing, I love singing, but I told him doing singing gigs never really piqued my interest. I’m used to singing with a group and singing solo for a living didn’t appeal to me mainly because I’m actually quite shy (cue gasps and eye rolls). I know, I know that sounds weird to most of you, only a few people know that bit about me, but it’s true. I may seem super outgoing and confident, but I can get really uncomfortable and awkward when I’m made to be the center of attention especially when it’s because of something people expect me to be really good at. That is the reason why growing up, my singing dreams consisted of either being part of an acapella group, or being a backup singer.

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My Struggles as a Multipotentialite

It’s been three and a half years since I’ve quit my corporate job to explore the (frightening) world of freelance and find my one true calling. It was and still is one of the most terrifying decisions I’ve ever made; one that I had to sleep on, cry over, and pray for for about a year. It was a difficult time for me and I thought finally leaving would rid me of all my stress and anxiety (from keeping a job I didn’t love), but boy, was I wrong.

The self-discovery journey was off to a great start. I was able to really focus on Sweet Mamita and since I had full control of my schedule, I was able to work on more projects on the side than I did when I was working full-time. However, a year into the freelance world, I hit a bump in the road when I realized that I still had absolutely zero clue about what I was really supposed to be doing with my life. I was completely disheartened. I was doubting myself a lot and I felt incompetent, but that was only until I learned about Multipotentiality (read full story here). Once I had come to terms with my being a multipotentialite, everything fell right into place and that’s when things started to look up.

“It must be awesome knowing how to do everything,” someone told me once. First of all, obviously I don’t know how to do everything because that’s impossible. I just have a lot of interests and I try my best to pursue each one, one way or another. I guess to some people that’s already considered doing “everything”. Secondly, truth be told, being able to do “everything” is not always as cool as it sounds. Even now with a more solid self-identity (and because this is real life) it hasn’t been smooth sailing for me. As with everything else in this world, being a multipotentialite does have its downsides.

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Conquering the Macaron

My sister SMS-ed me a few days ago and said, “Is there a recipe u wanna try that uses almond flour?” I immediately answered, “Yes! Macarons!” and the next day, she had dropped off a 1kg bag of almond flour at my house. It goes without saying that my sister is pretty awesome — thank you, manang!

French macarons are often confused with coconut macaroons because of the one-letter difference in their names, but the two could not be any more different from each other. Macarons (mah:kə:roh) are delicate and elegant almond-meringue sandwich cookies made with almond flour, egg whites, and sugar, filled with buttercream, ganache, or fruit curd, while macaroons (mah:kah:roon) are soft and chewy cake-like treats made with shredded or desiccated coconut.

The idea of making macarons has always intimidated me because it’s a fancy cookie and anything fancy is always finicky. They are temperamental and require great finesse to get just right. Unlike other cookies which textures you could alter to suit your preference, i.e., crunchy/crispy or soft/chewy, a macaron must come out a specific way.  A quintessential macaron cookie or shell must have a smooth, egg shell-like top, a textured ridge (that ruffled bottom edge called “feet”), and a flat base. It should have a soft, somewhat moist and nougat-like texture that melts in your mouth. Bottomline, it’s a difficult cookie to make, but Jam loves a challenge (and her sister is expecting macarons 😜), so bring it on!

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My First Time To Teach Baking

A few weeks ago, I was invited to be a speaker and to teach baking to high school students of my elementary/high school alma mater, Assumption College. It was for an annual event called Kakaibang Klase (KKK), where students are offered alternative courses they could attend in lieu of their regular academic classes. KKK is basically an enrichment program which aims to holistically develop students and to give them a glimpse of what it’s really like to be in a particular profession. My class was called “Baker For A Day” and I talked about my life as a baker and cake artist, shared some practical tips and tricks of the trade, did a quick demo, and taught the girls how to bake S’mores cupcakes!

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Truth be told, I was a bit apprehensive about agreeing to be a speaker. Sometimes I still feel that I’m not all that qualified to be teaching baking, but hey, it wouldn’t hurt to try, right? I have to start somewhere and this blog ain’t called Jam Tries Everything for nothing!

I taught two three-hour sessions which meant that I was on my feet for close to six hours; walking around to check each group’s work and talking non-stop. By the end of the afternoon session, I was beyond spent, but was super happy! My students had fun and they absolutely enjoyed the cupcakes.

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5 Often Ignored Makeup Musts

There are common rules in makeup application that most are already aware of and try their very best to follow, such as ensuring to get the right shade of foundation or curling lashes before and not after applying mascara. In this post, I want to bring to light makeup rules that are as important, but for some reason, are a little less popular. These are steps I’ve noticed a lot of people often skip or consider unnecessary, but are actually essential and must be followed or kept in mind by every makeup wearer and artist.

  1. Prepping the skinprep
    The key to a flawless, natural, and healthy-looking made up face is meticulous skin care and preparation. Skin prep is often ignored because aside from that it takes time, most think that having a really good foundation and/or concealer will be enough to achieve a flawless look. While there is some truth to it, foundations and concealers could only do and cover so much. Plus, with great skin, you wouldn’t even need to put much product on your face anymore and that’s a good thing. When it comes to makeup application, for me, less is always more.The following are four skin prep steps you must do before applying foundation:

    • Cleanse – It is important to rid your face of all oil and dirt before covering it with makeup. Skipping this step may clog your pores and cause you to breakout.
    • Exfoliate – Foundation on dry skin is a big NO. It clings to dry patches, making it very hard to blend out. Make sure to exfoliate to remove dead skin so your face won’t look flaky.
    • Moisturize – After exfoliating, ensure that your skin stays smooth and hydrated throughout the day by applying a lightweight moisturizer. Foundation will look best and will go on smoothly on a well-moisturized face. Careful not to overdo this step or your face might get too greasy! A pea-sized amount or two of moisturizer is usually enough for the whole face.
    • Apply primer – Aside from filling in fine lines on your face and minimizing pores for that extra flawless finish, applying primer helps your foundation last longer (less touch-ups!).

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