Monday, August 26, 2013

A Parent's Pride

Life has been a whirlwind lately. I haven't even gotten the time to sit down to blog till now. But I have been fairly active on instagram so at least I haven't completely disappeared off the face of the internet.


I did it.

I have finally made my family proud.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Inside Scoop: Hunt for MTV World Stage Insider

This post is brought to you by my excitement, sleeplessness and nerves. I have spent my nights in restless anticipation upon being informed of the contest. I'm assuming that I will not have had a proper dead-to-the-world sleep in a week but I believe I will feel more energized and alert than ever. Despite having till the 20th to submit my video, I've given myself till the 17th to complete my script, storyboard and video because early submission is my contingency plan.

Day 1
My sister in law sent me a link on whatsapp, telling me to check it out. I did. And was blown away by how I felt like it was meant to be. I squealed and fawned all over her - telling her I loved her best and that this is the best thing anyone has ever forwarded to me - and promptly started on brainstorming. 

I am first and foremost a blogger, but I have always been interested in the other facets of media and have always wanted to expand my social presence. Furthermore, a video would definitely attract more attention, regardless of how eloquent the blog post is written or how crappy the video is. So I started on coming up with a rough draft. 

The first draft will never be the final draft - wise words from my favorite tutor (who I have contacted to cameo in my video, but who knows if he'll agree!) - so I saved it and stored it away for later. For the rest of the day, I visualized the video-to-be and tried to come up with ways to be more creative yet at the same time, still me

This would be the first of many nights where I would lie in bed with my eyes wide open, scribbling ideas into my ipad. 

Day 2
I converted all my scribbled ideas into my script, fleshing it out and shaping it up. By the time I was satisfied, I started on my storyboard. It's not something you'd want to see because while I used to love to draw, it stays to this day, an unrealized potential.

The more I worked on the project I am becoming increasingly obsessed with, the more inspired I became. This is what passion is. This is why I would be unfit for a tediously boring office life. I need to be able to unleash my imagination - with the sky as the limit. I need to want to shine. Every time I get too excited, my heart starts to hammer in my chest and my mind starts to visualize me winning and becoming crowned The One, but I reprimand my brain which in turn, shushes my heart quite audibly and my heart rate slows for a while. But it understands I am superstitious. Don't jinx it. Shh.

I created all the animated titles and wordings I would need in my video - according to my storyboard. I made the opening scene as attention grabbing as I could and painstakingly in Adobe Photoshop. For the rest of them, I created through trial and error. I imagined it with music, I imagined it with footage. I showed it off on Facetime. I felt proud. But the problem is, I can't wait to start filming. To slake my excitement, I decided to start this post. 

By the time I went to bed, my head was bursting with more ideas on how to make it more intriguing. So I sent a tweet out:

Day 3
I went to scope out venues for my video and brought my camera with me to take a few shots of the sort of framing I want. I do not remember the last time I wanted something so much, but this is the first time I'm actively chasing it, with no fear of failing because in the event I do not win... It doesn't matter, because I gave it my best shot and it would have been a learning experience. I do not believe in "oh, at least you tried". It is the most pathetic consolation, ever. If you failed and all you took away from that failure is acknowledging the fact that you tried is laughable. Learn from it and grow.

I was unable to film as my boyfriend was away on a school trip and I have no tripod for my camera so I continued to edit the script and added what would become my opening sequence after the title.

To quell the feelings of urgency, I made a schedule for when I will be filming what scenes to ensure the video would be completed on time.

Day 4
I created the text needed for the opening sequence in the afternoon. Filmed & edited at night. Thanks to the boyfriend for being my human tripod and for being such a patient listener. Scene 1, done! :D

Day 5 - 8
Filmed the rest of the scenes except the closing scene and got all the release forms signed! Had to do a voiceover for one of the scenes due to high levels of noise please don't laugh at the failed dubbing. But watching the project come together truly is satisfactory.

Day 9
It's a wrap! Time to compile all the edited footage together and slap on some music and it's ready for submission!

Realized that I had to reshoot a scene because there was a minor detail in the original shoot which I overlooked. BLERGH.

Day 10
Sliced my thumb open right before reshooting, hence the huge bandage in the phone scene and none when I'm actually talking into the phone. It's quite a funny story, actually. Once I cut my thumb, the blood dripped all over the place and my boyfriend and I just stared. We called a couple of clinics but none of them were open and I didn't think the cut merited a trip to the emergency room so we put on our jackets - with me holding my thumb with a wad of tissue all the way to the nearest pharmacy and got some antiseptic then we came home and did the shoot. I originally wanted to use my bf's hand to do it cos I thought his hands were girly enough but they turned out so huge and manly on the screen so meh. And now the inconsistency is killing me!!! But hey, at least it's done. Good night!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Diet: Adjust your Mindset

I've gone on a 8 week diet - which will gradually become a lifestyle - with one of my best friends so we could motivate each other. We're following a very strict regime which I won't share yet because I want to be sure it works and be able to give helpful tips and recipes!! :)

There has been a few hardships, but with every obstacle, you can either choose to succumb to it or overcome it.

Limited food variation? Get creative. 
The diet we are on has a very limited food palette for the first two weeks, so we end up eating breast meat most of the time... And there is only so many ways you can season or cook it.  I started the first few days with salt & pepper. Then I began adding soya sauce and chilli flakes and forced myself to come up with new recipes. Just because you're limited in ingredients doesn't mean you have to limit your imagination.

Inconsiderate friends (or family)? Stay motivated. 
I have pretty supportive friends. They do not force me to consume anything that I do not want to and even tries to accommodate my diet. However, my friend has been pressured by her friends to join them for a night out and even gotten mad at her because she is trying to improve herself. In my opinion, it is incredibly selfish because her friends are making her feel bad about something which should be positive! If you have a friend who is dieting, please don't bring them down by mocking them, sabotage their regime by tempting them with food or convincing them to eat food which is not part of their diet because if you do, you're an extremely selfish, disrespectful, inconsiderate person and a shitty friend. If you have inconsiderate friends, here's what you have to remember: Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter. So don't feel bad if the people around you are being dicks, because at the end of the day, you are doing this for you and you are important.

Starting to crave for everything and anything? Mind over matter. 
The one thing I ask myself all the time is, "What is more important? The junk food I've wanted for a while, or the body I've always wanted?" And that's not to say I haven't fallen off the bandwagon, I do. But after I do, I make up for it by exercising a little bit harder and reprimand myself with, "Was it worth it?" Sometimes it is, but most of the times, it isn't.

Furthermore, once you've toned down and have achieved your dream body, maintenance will come much easier. Of course this doesn't mean that you can get away with gorging yourself silly day after day (and I'm pretty sure many people who have gone on a strict diet will start to feel sick if they eat too much junk - before I even heard of this diet, I cut down my carb intake and when I ate too much rice, it made me feel bloated and uncomfortable) but it would mean that you can afford to eat whatever you want occasionally. Think of it as working. Once you've earned a substantial amount of money (attained your goals), you will be able to spend more (eat) without being afraid of going broke (putting on weight) but if you splurge all your money (eat like a pig)... It's a no wonder you don't have any money left (become a fatass).

* * *

Also, some things I'd like to remind everyone:

Be self aware, not self conscious. 
Do not feel ashamed about wanting to get into shape. Everybody had to start somewhere and if you never start, you will never get anywhere but if you never even notice that you have to be somewhere then... I would suggest you look in the mirror and decide if you love the way you are. If you do, good for you. If you don't... Please read the first line of this paragraph.

Do not judge. 
I hate it when people think that they are superior just because they've made (or think they've made) some right decisions in their life or because they think they look better than others. Just because you've worked hard doesn't mean you should show off. Also, everyone's goals are different. Some people - like myself - may prefer a slimmer, less muscular body while others may prefer an athletic build. I absolutely hate it when people try to impose their own ideals onto others - "you are too big" "you are too skinny" "your arms are not muscular enough" "your abs are too ripped" bladeeblablar! There is no right or wrong because perfection is subjective.

Do not try to fit into a size 0, fit your size well. 
A lot of people have this misconception that they must be a certain size - without taking into consideration that everyone's bone structure and body shape is different. I would much rather fit a size 8 with no back fat or muffin top than a size 0 with flabby arms and cellulite! Some people just aren't meant to be a certain size or weight and not everyone will be able to get prominent collarbones, shoulder blades, hipbones or thigh gaps so check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Take a walk with Nifty Fifty

I went for a walk today to try out my new Canon 50mm f1.4 lens (nifty fifty is apparently a nickname coined by photography enthusiasts for 50mm lenses and also what convinced me to buy a prime lens, I was thinking that a type of lens which has earned a positive nickname from the community is definitely worth something). Took me long enough to finally give in and purchase a lens because I always believed that the lens will only be as good as the photographer which, I'm sure, holds some truth but there is only so much your kit lens can do.

All the photos were post processed with Wnison's Autumn Novel with slight alterations except for this one:

This one's for you Zard! I know how much you love lavender. This photo is completely unedited. The only thing I did was to add my blog url and resize the picture.

Anyone able to tell me what plant this is? Looks like mistletoe to me lol but don't hold me to it. Mistletoe's something I've read about in story books but have never actually seen.

Supposedly my lucky number but I've always fancied 7.

Again, I have no idea what this is but I'm assuming it's a weed.

The girl came out of nowhere and honestly scared the hell out of me. When I snapped the photo, she wasn't there... But when I previewed the photo and looked up, she was! Amazing. My lens gave birth to a human!

I think that it is virtually impossible to take bad photos with this baby. I am wonderstruck by it's capabilities to create beautiful bokeh. I am also in disbelief of my own stubbornness for not purchasing any lens for the past 49782379852 years I've had my dSLR for.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Sasatinnie Ginkgo Moisturizing 3D Stretch Mask & Green Tea Oil Control Soothing 3D Stretch Mask

"Specially formulated with organic ginkgo extract and cactus flower extract, promote cell activation and provide intensive moisture to delicate skin. Containing hyaluronic acid and antarcticine, can instantly recharge moisture to skin deeply, promote hydrated appearance with firmness and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Tranexamic acid and hydrolyzed milk protein, provide powerful anti-aging and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Skin reveals its moisture and smoothness."

"Enriched with ECO green tea extract, it effectively provides anti-aging and anti-oxidant effect and protects skin cell from damaging by free radical. Red algae and brown algae extracts, it effectively promotes cell activation and DNA repair. Chamomile extract and witch hazel leaf water are natural healing properties that help skin soothing without irritation, provide balancing action on sebum production. Reveals skin radiance and vitality."

The masks are slightly stretchable, so you can manipulate it to suit your face shape and thus, the ear hooks are rather comfortable. But no matter how I stretch it, the mask just won't cover my nose and the air pockets on either side of my nose is quite irritating! So I wouldn't say that the stretchable technology (if you can call it that) is as advanced as the Garnier Perfect Fit which I absolutely adore.

Anyway, on the the effectiveness of the masks. There are no noticeable instantaneous results, my skin is just as dehydrated and oily. But perhaps it is just overshadowed by the b.liv masks I previously reviewed.

Green Tea Oil Control Soothing 3D Stretch Mask
I found no change in oil production whatsoever after the first application. The only difference I noticed is that my complexion seemed slightly less dull in the mirror. But there has been no changes significant enough for me to notice.

Gingko Moisturizing 3D Stretch Mask
Similarly, I did not experience any positive effects from this mask. My skin is extremely parched due to the dry winter air and this did nothing to alleviate the symptoms of my flaking skin. I suppose we should also bear in mind that perhaps this mask was not designed for use outside of the tropics? Regardless, it doesn't suit me, which brings me to my conclusion.

Seeing as there are better designed masks which give me better results, I will not be repurchasing these Sasatinnie masks. Perhaps it takes constant application to achieve results. If you're the sort that believes in slow long term skin care rather than those quick fast results, maybe you should give this a try. I know a few people who prefer slow results because they believe that the quicker you attain it, the faster you will lose it and deduced that if you gain it slowly, it will last.

What are your thoughts on that theory? Share in the comments below!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

♥ 050813

I've been trying to organize my blog posts and I've successfully sorted them into 9 categories:

It is very simple to do so I do not intend on making a tutorial for this but if you would like me to, please tell me in the comments below and I'll get it up within the week. Also, let me know if you are after a tutorial on how to create the graphics in Adobe Photoshop, the HTML coding for them or just everything. :)

Also, I made sigs for each of my categories which will be linked to its respective category! Pretty neat, huh? What can I say... The devil is in the details.

Anyway, I'm really sorry to my Imotiv followers if my old blog posts are cluttering your Imotiv feed due to my relabeling of blog posts. I've emailed the Imotiv team before about why old posts are showing up in the feed after it is edited and this was their response:
Your posts gets bumped up into Imotiv's feed because of the method by which we pull content into our feeds for readers. When a post is updated, it is essentially considered 'new' and our tool will automatically pull it into our feed. At this moment, there is no way to stop our search tool from doing so, and we hope it doesn't pose a problem to you.
Not very ideal for me because I occasionally reread my old posts and tweak them (should definitely learn to stop) but I do love their commenting system (which, granted, could use some fine tuning) because they send notifications straight to your phone once someone comments on your post or replies to your comment! I love it because it's so fuss free.

However, I have taken down the Imotive commenting system from my blog because I want the comments to be on my actual blog instead of being tied to a 3rd party app. So if you've noticed that your comment has disappeared, don't worry, I haven't deleted them. They are still available from the Imotiv website/app.

So just a quick post tonight to let you know what's up and not to be alarmed if you see my posts getting bumped up in your Imotiv newsfeed once in a while because that'll just be me, editing again.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

♥ 010813

I got my belly rings from the US today!!! I bought them online about a week ago and I'm really surprised how quickly they arrived in Melbourne!

I pierced my navel back during my rebellious years and bought tons of navel rings - preferring sparkly and dangling ones - which I lost progressively as the novelty wore off. And then I just couldn't be bothered until I came across this gorgeous belly ring recently:

Isn't it gorgeous?! Too bad the website which sold that belly ring had a limited range (and killer postage!) so with my passion for belly rings rekindled, I went in search of a site which would give me a better selection. And this is what I bought:

This is set with amethyst and it will be my party ring because amethyst supposedly inhibits intoxication. BAHAH. I'm a lousy drinker so if this works, I shall never go drinking without amethyst. Ever. However, this is the only belly ring I was disappointed with because it looks like such a pretty delicate shade of lavender but turned out to be a rather dark purple - unless you hold it up to a light.

I've always like BCRs, but I wasn't very comfortable wearing them because they look like they would hurt you easily like snagging on things and such. So this seemed like a nice compromise! :D

I thought that this is very sweet and girly. The candy is actually quite tiny, at only 1/2 inch so it's pretty damn cute.

This is elegant, isn't it! Unlike those tacky diamante-set cherry rings. This cherry ring actually looks pretty classy. And the pink is a lighter shade than what I expected and has less of a fuchsia tinge! Light pinks make me so happy.

It's got minuscule glitter like snow and it is slightly iridescent & glowy. It's prefect as an everyday barbell, without being too plain or meh.

I like the use of the delicate wiring and the pink stone. But if I get the chance, I will definitely trade the two metal feathers for two real mini pastel pink ones!

TEEHEE. I thought it would be cute to wear this during CNY - if you know what I mean. The rest of their casino collection didn't appeal to me, and even this one is just tolerable.

This one's a steampunk dreamcatcher! How cool is that? Old world meets pop culture. It's handcrafted and a quality piece. I love the idea of its chains which look loose and haphazard but is in fact, quite secured to the frame.

Another steampunk inspired design. It reminded me strongly of The Infernal Devices so I just had to get it.