31/366: More of My Girls

I haven't been adding to my girls since... last Tuesday? Yeah, I've been that busy. Bummer. But, it'll only get better from this point (hopefully). I guess this comes with being part of the workforce.
Here's a round-up of some of my current girls (plus today's early hand-fart - yes, I mean fart). I have skipped soooo many days already, I'll need to paint them all together!

I TRY! I really do try to keep my schedule, but the previous nights have got me completely wasted. Really. Haha. I will find time to get back to this - but not during this week. Maybe Monday.

30/366: Pre-February Updates

Hey all!

Oh my gosh what an incredibly busy week this has been! So many new things experienced, and so many wonderful memories to take with me to the grave (that was a twist in my mood, haha). Obviously, my goal to post something everyday or at least every three days is no longer possible. (Dang, my 2016 goals are slowly crumbling, haha.) I could schedule my posts to keep this blog alive, but I feel like it's no longer what's actually happening at that exact moment the post is published. I feel like it takes away the realness of the post? I'm not sure - maybe I'm being too hard on myself.

It's almost February! That means people scrambling to find Valentine's Day gifts for their friends or other half during the first two weeks. Well, I'm not one of them. 

This Valentine's Day, I'm still focused on improving myself and my craft, which is why I want to produce something hand-crafted that's centered around a V-Day theme. Ugh. The busy life is all too real. Monday until mid-February will no doubt be the most hectic time I'll be spending in Nueca. I'm not complaining though, 'cause I'm doing what I love (and besides, I know how to relax myself when I feel like bursting already).

In regards to my career/skill path, I don't know where I'm heading to. Will I be doing more traditional work? More digital ones? More crafty ones involving glues and ribbons and such? Will I be going more into writing this year, or more into Web development? How about UI/UX? I DON'T KNOW.

We're still at the first half of this year, and I know there's heaps more in store for me (crossing my fingers to a vacation abroad!). Still excited, but incredibly tempted to "restart" my year come February 8th. Haha, but no, I'm not. I won't. 

Let's hope I find the energy to stay committed to post at least every one or two days.

27/366: Woman-Crush-Wednesday - Emilia Clarke

Since watching Game Of Thrones in the first season, I have grown incredibly attracted to Emilia, and after watching her interviews, seeing outtakes, and reading about her in magazines, my long-held suspicion has finally come to light. I am most definitely crushing on this goddess.

What an insanely gorgeous individual, wouldn't you agree? Sure, I first got hooked because of how lovely she looks, but she seems like an incredibly fun-loving, nice-to-be-friends-with person based on her interviews. She's a good sport, is fine with making fun of herself, and doesn't seem as stuck-up as a lot of celebrities can be these days. 

I'm obviously not the only one who finds her sexy and attractive - she was hailed as (Esquire's) The Sexiest Woman Alive last 2015, and I agree with them 100%. I think it's safe to say that no one would dare to think otherwise. 

She also has a lovely, lovely accent that is to-die-for. Here's a video of her being interviewed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Also, her brows, guys? Can we just take a moment to compliment how "on fleek" they are? I have thick brows like her, but I haven't done work on them or styled them in any way. She is a dream.

She also bears a resemblance to Olivia Hussey (Romeo & Juliet) which is always a good thing. They have an air of class around them and I find their movements very light and composed. She is just perfect

Anyone here share the same thoughts? 

25/366: Bedroom/Workstation #GOALS

Dysmenorrhea is KILLING ME right now (sorry for such a rude intro today, guys). I woke up today feeling great at around 6am, but by the time the clock struck 7, I could not breathe properly. Took a shower to see if that would alleviate the pain, but apparently, it just made me worse and cold. Not a great combo if you ask me. Bummer. 

YAS. Exactly. (Image from WeHeartIt)

However, my time of pain has led me to surf the web for an entire day, reviving my long-forgotten Tumblr and my often neglected WeHeartIt accounts. Suffice to say, today was quite productive on the "I-don't-care-about-life" end of the spectrum.

I've always had to share a room since the apartments we rent only have two (and if there's a third, it's used for storage) bedrooms - one for us and one for our helper/s. If I did have a room all to myself, I have chosen to get inspiration from the following interior designs. (Here's to that hope of getting that picturesque top to bottom glass windows and a huge amount of sunlight for those awesome Instagram flat-lays.)

I just LOVE the wall color in this room! The chair and carpeted floor are just bonuses to this whole room. I can definitely imagine myself just chilling in that corner by the window. 

I am IN LOVE with lights. I've done the same thing to my work station a few years before, but since it required dusting and maintenance (and the fact that I'm less on my PC than my mac), I took it down. A combination of cotton candy pink, white, and bright lights give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  I feel like I might be doing less work here though, haha.

Have I mentioned that my #floorgoals are similar to this one? The lighting is perfect for photo shoots of my artwork and other things, and the amount of pink and grey on this arrangement looks so fresh to me. When I do get my own room, I'll be sure to consider the floor in this one. For sure.

Another Instagram-perfect lighting setup. The bed looks so comfortable! I mean, I like my bed right now, but do you even consider waking up to this? The photo grid on the wall is a perfect addition to the room, and - again - the lights by the window. White plays a crucial part to this - it makes me want to stay productive, you know?

As I said before, pink, white, and grey look SO good together. I'm not sure about the floor in here though, but that framed photo on the wall momentarily took the spotlight. So far, a common trait in all the bedrooms/workspaces is the amount of sunlight getting in. 

Do I hear a "typical designer setup" shout? I got sold on the lamp design on the wall. I'd want to have the table larger and wider for all my things plus PC and the mac, and maybe a lightbox built-in somewhere. Adding a wall clock would make this better for me, I think.

Yasss. Though I'd rather have an ocean or a forest as my view, this isn't so bad! I'm sure it has plenty of light during the mornings, and it displays a cool show of lights during the evenings. I'd put a lamp there on the left (pink, of course), and sheer curtains instead of dark ones. Oh, and perhaps a white table.

THE FLOOR. And the lights. I'm getting boho-chic vibes right here. There's more blue here, but it's not so bad! Of course, I'd rather have touches of pink instead, haha! The dreamcatcher on the right just settles everything.

There are heaps more interior designs I want to incorporate into my future personal space, but these are so far the closest to what I'm imagining it to look like. Just thinking about the future gets me all giddy and bubbly inside! 

I'd love to see some of your dream bedroom designs or work spaces! 

24/366: Personalizing Your Starbucks 2016 Planner

So you have your planner, and perhaps you're already using it to get organized every week. But if you're like me who wants to customize everything to my liking, you may want to personalize your planner. Here are some things you need to be aware of before starting your mini project.

A short history

So the yesterday, I was finally able to get my Starbucks 2016 planner (they ran out quickly here in Naga so we had to wait longer). In case you weren't already aware, Starbucks has partnered with Moleskine for their planners this year, and frankly, it was one of the main reasons I decided to spend sooooo much just to get one. For artists into sketching and other traditional mediums, the name Moleskine is no stranger.

Image © Inquirer 2015

Unfortunately, they only come in four colors: red, black, green, and white, and in two different sizes. Where's my baby? Where's pink? Haha. I am fully aware that the last color Starbucks will be giving their planners is pink, but I was hoping they'd have a way to get you whatever color you want and stuff. So much for hoping.

Given my need to personalize my possessions in any way I can, I opted to get the white planner. My original plan was to just do doodles on it using pens and markers, but the white canvass practically spoke to me about being all adventurous and taking a risk with the cover. Easily swayed, I am.

The canvass. 

Getting Ready

Before you start customizing your planner, you need to figure out (1) what design you want, (2) what materials you're going to need, and (3) if you have enough time to work through it patiently. It would also help to know how sturdy the material you will be customizing is. As this is made by Moleskine, I was pretty confident with the strength and quality of the cover.

The Process

Once you have your design ready, you need to decide what materials you're going to use. I knew right away that, based on the cover's texture, watercolors won't present vibrant outputs. All it would give your planner is a light, uneven, stain-looking tint. Not pretty. 

For the base, I used a Cherokee Rose-colored acrylic-water mixture (most parts acrylic) and a thick, flat brush to easily apply the base. If you decide to paint a base, make sure to be gentle when applying this because the material used for the cover turned out to be less sturdy than I had hoped.  Apply the base in one motion, leaving room for it to dry after every layer. Once you're satisfied with the base, let it dry completely. You want your planner to stay cute, and not flakey. 

You can also use Sharpies or other permanent markers to decorate. Again, be gentle. A heavy hand is something you don't want for this DIY project. The cover is tender, so any sudden digging or scratching motion will damage it.

Since the strap that came with the planner was green and the shade of pink I chose wouldn't go well with it, I filled-in the strap with a black permanent marker to tie the design together. (My palette was cherokee pink, black, and white. ) It depends on what you want your strap to be, of course. 

The finished product (sort of)

So after a few hours (and a miscalculation of the drying period), this is my design (which is probably 90% done):

90% done!

I love dreamcatchers - this blog used to be under that address, hehe. I'll be adding more to this until I feel it's complete, but I am definitely going to use only a white pen (used Signo) for the design. I might doodle a bit more and add more white dots, even at the back cover. I wrote my name in lettering at the back, too. (This looks better when the black strap is over it.) The paint job may look uneven, but I was aiming for a wood-like texture.

If you have any questions about customizing your planner, leave me a comment and I'll do my best to answer them and help you out. :) 

Have fun!

20-23/366: Too much going on!

It's been days and my previous promise to post at least once everyday, two days, or three days max has gone down. It has been four days since my last post and I am trying soooo hard to not feel guilty. I did make a promise, and I already broke it this January. Now I see why a number of people want to start the new year on February 8 and consider January as a "test run" 2016. Should I just stop promising and do it instead? Yeah.

The past week has been crazy, both at work and my personal life. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do at the start of this week and time is RUNNING OUT on me. *Sigh. Considering my actions... I put myself in this situation. What can I do?! Aggghhh!

Luckily, I've been able to maintain (so far, huhu) my Drawing Girls 30 Day Challenge, though I could feel myself getting tired of drawing watercolor busts only. Tried using colored pencils again last night - can't say I'm happy with the way it turned out though. The fails of being an *artist* right?

© 2016 Veeyah PeƱero | The Indy Miss

I post them on my Instagram daily, so if you want to follow the challenge, you may follow me from there (link on the side). 

Thankfully, I got to squeeze in art farts this week, or I'd have screwed my challenge over. Haha. I have much more to say, but I'll save that for another time. Until then, have a great weekend!

18-19/366: The Face Shop

Okay, as much as I love pampering myself with beauty products (mostly make-up & hair related), I've never really spent much on things that take care of my skin after I take the makeup off. Sure, I buy moisturizers and cleansers, but not really a lot of masks and make-up removers. So today, (or rather, the other day) I'll be showing you some purchases of mine from The Face Shop and what/how I plan to work with them.

Let me just talk about their logo - like, giiirrll, it already looks so organic and chic! Haha. I've long liked their shop both the Body and the Face, but everytime I see their logo, I just become so happy. Haha. Okay, on to the post!

Herb Day Lip & Eye Make-up Remover

All my beauty products are waterproof, since I want my face to keep looking put-together even after I've gone through hell the whole day. Sadly, I've been resisting buying more waterproof items simply because it's always a stressful ordeal to take them off, as I relied on the basic removal technique (i.e. soft tissues + virgin oil + gentle eye-rubbing).

When I visited The Face Shop that day I just knew I couldn't leave without getting some of these babies. I figured if I was going to try something like this, I'd start with them.

Real Nature Masks (Avocado, Cucumber, Aloe, & Rice)

I've tried other masks before, but they weren't really doing the trick for me. I've tried pomegranate ones, charcoal masks, and others, but they always leave my skin feeling dry or heated. (Don't ask which brands because it will cause a stir, honey.)

The Face Shop had an offer of "buy three, get one free" so being the sucker that I am for these kind of things, I went ahead with the offer. I wanted to buy one of each, but they didn't have enough variation to get two offers. Bummer. But yes, I am very excited to try them out during this week. I was promised soft, cleansed skin, and I want to see if they'll deliver.

I've been in the "healthy, over-all self" mode since January 1, buying health bars, juices, and other random healthy things that are quite pricey but worth it. I've been cutting back on my meals and rice as well. I no longer eat rice for lunch if I can help it - unless the boss asks us to all eat somewhere - and even then I try to stay close to low carb, high-protein dishes. I've been drinking more water everyday and my daily walks to and from work have been incredibly fun and less taxing than I had imagined it would be.

I've said this in my first post of the year, and I'll say it again: This is my year. This is the year I improve myself in every aspect. This is it.

15-16-17/366: Drawing Girls 30-Day Challenge

I've been super busy. There's no longer time to write blogs every other day, unless they're scheduled. Ugh. Well, at least I have something to show for it somehow. Before I get back to responding to emails and putting on my thick skin as a front for the weekdays, here's some watercolor pieces I created during this week. I still haven't done the challenge for today though, haha. Hope you enjoy this!

Six days of watercolored girls, and I have 24 more to go. How splendid. (No, really.) Imagine if I had to do 30 guys... Now THAT is a challenge.

12-13-14/366: The-Automat-God & A Podcast

I am beyond ecstatic to share with you the things that have been keeping me busy the past few days, but all on my own time, of course. Presenting to you three books and one incredibly awesome horror podcast!

The Healer's Pact
Rating: 1/2

The Healer's Pact by Nigel Henry left me wanting more, though not in a way you'd expect. In this case, I felt like the author rushed the whole setting of the story and the characters - there was no time to take a breather or get intimate with the hero and heroine of the novel. In some cases, this serves a good purpose, but with this one, it didn't help the book's impact.

Story-wise, the world Nigel Henry created had a lot of potential. It seemed like the setting was thriving with history, something that was left (disappointingly) unestablished. We start off with the two main characters alone together, followed by an event that springboards the whole thing. I usually have no problem with these type of intros, but the way the setting up of the situation was handled wasn't the best.

I really wouldn't mind spending a few more hours investing myself into the characters and the world they lived in. That's the point of a book, right? To jump into a new world and feel the characters breathe. Sadly, this was a novel that I found too short and underdeveloped.

The Automat
Rating: 

If there was a book I would reread on my off days, something short but quite warming, it would be this. It was a lot shorter than I expected (I finished a few hours after I started it - and I was at work!), and I'm not too fond of "novels" that turn out to be just tips of a pencil. But yes, as disappointed on the length as I am, I was still taken with the story.

The hero's history/background was laid out just enough for the readers to get a view of his life before and after events within the book took place, and you can't help but relate to him somehow, even though you haven't experienced the exact events in his life.

Surprisingly, The Automat started slow and steady but ended too soon. Imagine traffic just starting to move faster and faster until you realize you're already at your destination.

I had mixed emotions at the end of my read, although this was a sad, sad story. On one hand, you already have the feeling you know where the tale was going, but on the other, you're still quite clueless about how far the author (Cristina Martin) will continue teasing you with "what's next" or others. In general, this book was a solid 4 stars.

God Is Disappointed In You 
Rating: 

No amount of words will ever accurately describe my feelings for this book, though it wouldn't hurt to try and convey them to you, as I will be doing now.

You see, God Is Disappointed In You is not your ordinary humor, nor is it something made to "enlighten the spirit". In fact, it's a truly offensive, brilliant product. If someone is ass-drunk and filled to the brim with Biblical musings, with a heightened love to interpret what the Bible wants to talk about as brutally as possible, he would be named Mark Russell. The best part is that we'll find this perfectly adorable (I did, anyway.)

While most Christians would look down on me for enjoying this book, I'm taking it as it is - pure fun. It literally stripped down the Bible into short stories, not taking into account the core of its teachings and what it really stands for. You can't argue that it's still the Bible, can you? It's more... representative of it, but not exactly a mirror of it. At any rate, I'd often find myself bursting in laughter from a part I'm listening to (in Audible) and my brother looking at me questioningly. Since then, I have *defiled* my brother and have won him over to my side. We now thoroughly enjoy this book and laugh like hyenas together.

There's so much more I could tell you about this book, but the best part is experiencing it yourself. Describing it wouldn't give justice to it at all.

Tales From Beyond the Pale - Podcast
Rating:  x infinity

Okay, I went over-the-top with the rating - but if you're a horror/mystery fan like me and have been dying to find a podcast that is both well-written and wonderfully narrated/voice-acted, you'll be geeking out just the same!

Discovering Tales From Beyond The Pale was an accident, and the best one so far. I was randomly reading an article on a website about female murderers and upon scrolling, I saw this included in their article database. I figured I might as well read another boring write-up about the Top 10 Podcasts for Horror fans. This wasn't included on the list (since it wasn't a free podcast) but was so fortunately mentioned by the author in his introduction. I felt the need to click on the link and since then, I have been on my knees just listening to samples and buying full episodes/chapters in Audible. This all happened after lunch today.

If my words aren't enough to convince you, you can check out two of their full-length episodes (shown on at the image above) and listen in HD on this link. I guarantee that even non-horror fans but book/audiobook lovers in general will find their podcast very entertaining. The voice actors did an incredible job acting these out and the writers did as well.

I have a number of their books saved on my Wishlist at Audible for future purchase, and I've finished two episodes from my library already. Good thing we're getting paid at work tomorrow. Yes! Haha.

I must apologize for crunching all these incredible things in one post. They really deserve a more in-depth review I'm sure, but it just happens.

Thanks for reading this post and hope to see you on the next one! Ciao!

10-11/366: CalArts and A 30-Day Challenge

As promised, I'm back to my usual random-posting self, and although I'm feeling really off (have been for the past one-and-a-half days), I don't want to skip my commitment. I'm still not sure about how I'll be posting, but as long as I don't accumulate three days of silence, I'm good.

To get an issue out of the way, I'm still on a self-medicated diet, though I'm planning to go on a cleansing diet of fruits, veggies, and protein. Of course, I need to go about it gradually and not accidentally starve myself to incoherence. I've been slowly removing rice from my meals - I started with lunch (which has been successful so far) and now, I'm trying to get rid of eating rice during dinner time. Given that we eat around 7:30 pm, this shouldn't be a problem.

image from Google

California Institute of the Arts

This excites me so damn much, you don't even know. Like I said, this year will be my year. This means I'm devoting more time for self-improvement and focusing more on what I want to do. If you've read my first post for this year, I mentioned about having grand plans, and I intend to make those happen. Signing up for a short course at the California Institute of the Arts is the first step.

CalArts is offering Fundamentals of Graphic Design via Coursera, and it is everything. You can take the class for free or pay for a genuine, recommended-by-CalArts, certified-course-grad certificate. The latter is priced at $59, and they also offer "scholarships" or financial aid to those who apply and are approved. The course has just started and deadline for enrollment is on January 16, so if you've got free time and want to improve/learn a new skill, sign up now at Coursera.

The 30-Day Challenge

If you know me well, you'd be aware that 30-day challenges and I have not been friends. We've been trying to avoid each other like a plague, but I always keep coming back to it. I can't count the number of times I've started a challenge then got bored with it after a few days in.

However, the new year requires me to step up my game. Starting today, I'm doing the Drawing Girls 30-Day Challenge, where you're given a girl type for each day and it's up to you to interpret the theme.

Todays theme is a normal girl, and I've finished the drawing around an hour ago. Since it would be really boring to just post one drawing a day and a short description, I'm thinking of uploading them by batch, weekly. I'll be posting everyday on my Instagram instead, which is where it belongs for the most part.

So many exciting things happening, and it's only the second week of January! I can't wait to see what other things I'll face in the coming weeks.

9/366: And the world comes crashing down

I'm disappointed at myself.

The task was simple enough to do, but there I went, still messing things up and not verifying things like I should.

Though I could say, "But that's not really my job here" or "I don't have enough training for this", it'll be invalid because (1) I chose to try to do the task, and (2) it's a simple effing task. Out of all the things that I could mess up, it had to be that one.

The real world is much scarier than I was told it was. Scarier in the way that each action I do and those that follow mark what happens next for me. One mistake and it could jeopardize everything.

I know I'm not making sense here, and for privacy's sake, I'd rather not clarify things.

I know I can do this, but I just don't get why there's always something I forget or miss in the process. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? What's going on? I'm not good enough? Maybe. Maybe I'm not cut out for that. Maybe I should stick to design instead.

I don't know what to do anymore. I hate, hate, HATE disappointing people. It makes me want to disappear and start a new life as a different person. It's a fact that I don't want people seeing the incompetent side of me, but it's getting more complicated.

I'm scared. Just a few hours ago, I was feeling accomplished and great, but now? Ugh. I just want to hide and cry in a corner. I was not built to accept my being disappointing and incompetent well.

Sorry for the sudden negativity you guys, but I needed this. I'll jump right back to happier themes tomorrow, but my heart and mind is really beating me up right now. I needed to let this out before it consumed me.

I hope I can redeem myself soon.

7-8/366: New Look, New Challenge, New Stuff

I went through a phase last night, and the outcome turned out to be a blog redesign and a visit to my old Goodreads account (which I ungraciously abandoned in September 2013).

You may have noticed the different look already, but believe me, I still might change this around the last week of January. I can't seem to stay contented with the way my blog looks because I always find something missing or unattractive as the months go by. Even when I code my own design, there's still something wrong with it, but I can't figure out what. (Fact: Would you believe I changed my blog theme multiple times curing 2015 and more so during 2014? If I had screens of those designs, you'd scold me for being too loose with my design choices. I'll try my hardest to love this new theme, but you can never tell what my mood and nights of reflection will do to me. Let's hope for the best.

As for Goodreads, I've decided to "re-orient" myself with their yearly Reading Challenge. I would've set my goal higher (maybe 60 books or so) if it weren't for my unstable work load. I think 30 books is very doable. I've picked out 6 books to start with for now, including C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity. I've begun reading another book on my list titled The Healer's Pact by Nigel Henry, and it seems pretty solid so far.

If you'd like to join the challenge, head over to Goodreads and join in!

On another note, I've made some pretty impulsive purchases this week. I'm really embarrassed over my loose spending control (or lack of), but I promise you, I'm trying to stay away from online stores and going out. "Trying" is a generous word here.

The Sailor Moon Pocket Watch

Arguably not even a "pocket" watch, this was a great find. Since my watch-necklace from Oman stopped functioning, I've been wanting a replacement for a while, but haven't gotten around to finding one I liked. As you may all know, there's nothing you can't find online.

When I picked it up from the post office (along with the other necklace below) after the new year, I had no idea how cute it would look. Sure, it's not something I'd wear everyday, but for special occasions and walks out, it's a solid accessory to complement any style (aside from punk, I presume). It doesn't weigh too heavily, but you may feel some weight from time to time.

It's also very cheap. Very. At just $3.95, and with free shipping, this was a steal. Sure, it could take as long as 35 days to get to you, but it's free shipping. I could care less about the ETA of the product as long as I get it. A very nice purchase indeed.

Hermione's Time-Turner Necklace

Another special buy. Perhaps the only reason I ever watched Harry Potter movies was the fact that Hermione (a.k.a. Emma Watson) was in it. Who doesn't love her, right?

It feels big on my neck, but paired with a plain tee or a simple top, it looks fitting.

Starbucks Tumblr

Can I just say how hard it is to choose just one Tumblr from a variety of incredibly cute designs?! (THAT was a mouthful.) I literally stood in front of the display trying to figure out which tumblr I wanted and kind of annoyed my brother in the process. I kept asking him that, if he were me, which would he choose? I settled for one of the porcelain ones, though I'm planning to get two more (they're in PINK, damn). Ugh, the struggles! Yep, definitely buying two more.

I also stopped by KFC at the mall and got myself a Limited Edition KFC mason jar for no apparent reason. It only cost and additional Php 50, so I thought, 'why not?'. If only my "why nots" were as rare as blue moons.

I'm planning some big things this year, and God-willing, I'll have the funds and discipline to achieve them. I'm still learning to control myself and getting out of the college-spending system is taking longer than I expected.

Also, I'm struggling on choosing between having two days per post or one post per day. I'm not sure which would work best for me yet, so please bear with my inaccuracy, haha.

'Til tomorrow!

5-6/366: T is for Throwback and Tattoo

(Before you reprimand me for skipping a day, let me tell you - it was intentional [cough, cough]. We good? Thanks.)

There are two reasons I unified days five and six today, the first being this day marks my 6th month at Nueca (hooray) and second, I have a number of things to share with you that deserve to be crammed into one post (though this last reason was probably invalid to begin with).

But yes, SIX MONTHS, baby!

I feel like I deserve to go to Starbucks tonight and order a latte or something. Or maybe just buy something online (like a skull-shaped shot glass or a Baymax Bobblehead). Six months may not be much, but it marks something special. It marks an "almost-there-but-not-yet" checkpoint in my career and I'm just so happy to have found work near home.

To give you a little history (or if you'd rather read my post about it, click here), I spent a month in Manila, rented a condo, spent too much money, got slapped in the face by life, and still came out jobless at the end of 30 days. The only reason I came back to Naga was because I had applied at Nueca and got an email with my interview date. That only reason turned out to be everything.

I'm loving work, it's nothing short of a miracle that I ended up at Nueca. On that fateful day in the first week of July 2015, I knew this had to be it. My first job. My first step to the career I've always imagined myself having. Six months and I still like it. One can argue that the salary isn't the strongest point for my choice in workplace (I could be at Gameloft right now if I went through with it, haha), but it's a great feeling to be designing without a stuck-up boss hovering over your shoulder and demanding I meet unrealistic deadlines. I'd prefer that over a huge paycheck any day.

So yes, I'm officially 6 months old with a lot more months ahead. :)

T is for Throwback

While taking a break today, I found myself searching random places on Google maps (Street view). One of those places was Australia. Throwback on a Wednesday? Sure.

I'll be doing a video, talking through the places I went to while I lived in Berala, Sydney, Australia later in the week (perhaps earlier), but for now, here are some shots with a short description of each.

Jack and Jill Park (I think it was called that), the place that got me frustrated with my parents. Eight-year-old me had been wanting to play here after school and was always being promised that the next day or next week, I would. I got to play here though, so that was the end of an almost-fit.

Whenever mom had to stay late at work, me and my dad would buy Fish 'n' Chips (basically, one whole grilled chicken with potato fries on the side, wrapped in foil, fresh from the oven) for dinner. It makes me quite sad that the place is now only a memory, albeit a good one.

Finally, here is a photo of the flat we stayed at for two of the three years we stayed in Australia. We lived at the top floor, and that window was my room's. It was also where I would look out and sing like the Disney princess I always wanted to be, haha! I miss this place so much.

T is for Tattoo

Okay, beloved family and incredibly strict aunts, uncles, and grandparents - by tattoo, I meant temporary ones. I'm too much of a 'good girl' to actually get one, and it would make my O-Positive blood "un-donatable". So chill, family.

I've been looking at tattoo shops online which sell tattoos that would last from 1-2 weeks, and I'm fast falling in-love with a few of them. I've been debating with myself (for at least two months now) about which design and from what company, but the one I really want is too pricey. That's without shipping too.

I don't know, I'm not being selfish in wanting to get temporary tattoos, right? Right? I don't know. I already ordered a nose ring a few weeks back anyway. Why not?

You see, there was a purpose for the skipped day. Having too many good things in one post makes me feel really great inside. Although I'm sort of missing these places and experiences, it was worth the early throwback.

Is there a place you would want to revisit, even through Google maps? I promised beyond Google - I'm going back to this place, and I'm bringing my family back with me.


4/366: Staying True to my Promise

It's the fourth day of the year, but work and other responsibilities are making my promise difficult to achieve. I want to post everday this year on this blog, with actual content that will help other people and myself as well. I'm afraid to say this post is not one of them.

Yes. I am typing this on my phone while lying in bed, with only a lamp on my bedside, Audible reading me "God is Disappointed In You", and the constant whirring of the air conditioner in the background.

It's just one of those days that I get a headache once i get home from work, and though i had planned to do more work after dinner, i could only open Messenger and drink meds. Seems like my cold needs more time to cope with the weather.

A better post awaits tomorrow, certainly.

3/366: Insurgency

There are only three things that help me relieve stress - music, books, and games. There's one game in particular that I've grown very fond of (and so has my brother) since I purchased it on Steam around the first or second week of December last year.

The game is called Insurgency.

It's a First-Person Shooter (FPS) type and is similar to Call of Duty and Counter-Strike, although the latter two are much more popular. I really didn't intend to get it, but after reading very positive reviews and looking at camera shots and video demos, I decided to give it a try. 

I bought the game for Php 419.95, but it's currently on sale on Steam for only Php 142.78 (66% off)! Though the price drop came a week after I bought it full price, I have no regrets. The game has been amazing so far (and for a game released January 23, 2014, it already has nice graphics to go along with the gameplay).

Actual in-game screens from my session:

Believe it or not (from the obvious displacement of the shot), I killed this guy. Had a little trouble shooting and screen-capturing at the same time, that's why.

Ah, yes. I was defeated in this round. Yes. Uhuh. Yep. *Hides in shame*

This is playable across platforms, and I have Insurgency installed on my PC and my Mac. Although I love the big screen of my PC, I'm more comfortable playing on my Mac, surprisingly. I've enjoyed lots of FPS games on the former, but this time around, FPS feels better on the smaller machine. Maybe it's just my setup. Maybe not.

This is just one of many games I have on my Steam library, but it's definitely a favorite. I have Pewdiepie: Legend of the Brofist (review post here), Mirror's Edge (which I have yet to play), LIMBO, Fistful of Frags, and others. I don't limit myself to just FPS and arcade - sometimes I play visual novels and puzzle games for fun as well. I just like FPS types more.

I wanted to do a short gameplay video to show you guys, but I just haven't had the time to do so. Now that work is resuming tomorrow (I love my job, but I'm starting to feel like a standard 9-7pm schedule is not for me), I'll have less time to do one. Not that I'll let it get in the way, haha.

If you want to try something new for the new year or want to try playing on Steam, I highly recommend purchasing Insurgency. I think the discounted prices are for a limited period only, so get a copy before it goes back to its original price (though again, it's worth it either way). 

You can also add me on Steam - just search for theindymiss and you'll see a cartoon girl picture on the list. I'll add you back and we can play multi-player mode. ^__^

Until tomorrow! 

2/366: Why 2015 was a GREAT year

There's no doubt that 2015 was a year of firsts. My first job, my first defense ever, my first taste of independence... Today, I'm listing down the biggest events (no order) of last year and saying a few words about why it was chosen. 

1. Senior Project Defense

I will never forget this day, to be sure. February 27, 2015 - not your average Friday. It was the day all of us soon-to-be-graduates in the Animation course would show their demo reels to a panel for judging and/or revisions. I had been trying to go out of my way to insert something 2D animated to break the 3D and motion graphic "mindset" of our teachers, but making sure all the required portions were there at the same time made it difficult. 

All of us were dressed in our best business attire, notebook and pen in hand to write down notes while the assessment went on. I wasn't prepared at all, but I am equally thankful I passed the first time. I literally cried when I learned I would be following two of the best students from our batch. Thank God I'm done with it.

2. Graduation Day

Of course, how could I forget my own graduation? Yes, the togas were hot. Yes, the caps did nothing to make our attire comfortable. Oh, and yes, I finished with honors. I'm proud to say my days of studying and hard work (well, with a little procrastinating and malling here and there) paid off. I graduated Cum Laude, which I think is okay for the amount of effort I put in. What if I had given my 100% though? Haha. I wonder. The date was March 28, 2015.

3. First Solo Domestic Flight

As much as I want independence, every "first" makes me nervous. It was the same when I had to travel to Manila from Naga via plane to attend my cousin's wedding. I had just started my driving lessons too, so add that to the factors that caused my jitters. I didn't have time to pack what I really needed, so armed with my laptop bag and a few personals, I headed to the airport. By the time I arrived in Manila (delayed by an hour or two), it was too late to actually shop for what I wanted. I rushed to get formal attire before the mall closed (with my aunt's help) and hit the sack as early as I could (though I wasn't really able to get much sleep).

4. Renting a Condo in Manila

This was the most challenging, most fun, most stressful, most independent situation I had ever had to face, ever. I wrote about this on my article regarding my job hunting experience (see link in the next point), that I had to quickly learn how to manage my money, to save, and to stop from bawling every night because I was too far from my family. Even now, I'm still struggling, but I'll get there eventually. 

I was pushed into independence by my own thoughtless decisions, and I had to face the consequences. I chose what was happening, and if I was given the chance to redo that period, I'd still willingly go through it. I learned a lot in the month of June (the length I stayed), and though we spent thousands (sorry, mom and dad) to get that unit, I will forever look back to the time I was forced to grow up.

5. Job Hunting

The struggle, though, the struggle. The day after graduation, I was immediately welcomed into the "Unemployed" category of young professionals. I was scared to disappoint those who've placed such high value on my skills, so I just applied to every job I was qualified for. Abroad, local, online, you name it. I had gotten responses from almost all of them, but something held me back. Until now, I still don't know why I didn't say 'yes' to the first job that I got offered (contrary to what we were taught). Read about my job hunting experience here

6. Getting Employed by Nueca

God is really full of surprises. I went to Manila looking for a job there, when all I had to do was look in my own backyard. Nueca came at the time I thought I would be stuck where I was for the year. I didn't doubt I'd get a job before the year ended, but right then? Not at all. It was July and most of my batch mates had gone into freelancing (as I was, too). I wanted experience in a real office, so as much as I was more comfortable online, I didn't settle. On July 6, 2015, I was officially hired.

I am so, so glad that Nueca was there. I knew in an instant it was the perfect place for me at the time since it was only a short walk from our home, it paid almost the same as I would've been in Manila, and my boss is a former teacher in Ateneo. What an awesome surprise. 

7. Numerous Online Freelancing Clients

2015 was also the year my presence in the freelancing world was felt. I signed in to a lot of online websites like Upwork, Online Jobs PH, and Freelancer, and it's just amazing at how many people need others to work for them. As of now, I am still doing a little freelancing (mostly writing jobs) and have earned a lot since I started (saving the money isn't really a skill I possess yet). 

It just humbles me that my work displayed in my online portfolio was enough for them to reach out and take a chance with me. It's a learning process everyday, and even if freelancing is amazing, it has its downsides as well. I've had almost-clients who acted like jerks and had incredibly "superior" tendencies. Once I knew it wouldn't work out, I cut the deal and moved on. 

8. The Indy Miss Social Branding

I had always wanted to brand my work with something that says "me" all over it. Last year, I finally set things in motion and invested in that identity. 

I bought my own domain, decided my color palette (pastels and light greys to white), bought a blog template (I just didn't have time and enough skills to design my blog the way I really wanted it), I set up a Facebook page for my blog and one for my art stuff, joined communities on Twitter and Instagram, fixed my portfolio, and (recently) set up a Paypal Business account for online payments (my old one was problematic - dang, Paypal, get your head on right). 

This is still a process I'm in, and I know I'll be tweaking more of my brand this year to fit what I do best and what I want to be known for.

9. Determining my Blood Type

It turns out that I'm an O+, and that it's very common to be one. However, because of this, I now know that my diet has to change based on what works best for my blood type (my mom isn't buying it though). I am now determined as ever to develop a fit lifestyle and keep doing it. Losing weight has not been easy, and even though I previously went to the gym, my pounds have returned since I stopped, if not added more to my previous weight. *Sigh. I need to get back to the gym. 

What are those things you are thankful for the past year? I'd love to know about them!

1/366: No More Resolutions

It's 2016. It's freaking January 1, 2016.

Yet again, we are thrust into another year, a clean slate to work on, a new 'life' to improve. It's always been the same process for me since 2012: Create a list of New Year Resolutions and stick to the plan. The process has always never faltered either. I create a list, I stay on track for a month, and then... I end right back to the old me. As if I was ever new to begin with, right?

I keep telling myself change is a mindset. I now believe it's way, way more. Changing is more than just setting your mind to it, more than telling yourself it's time to move forward. It's a sacrifice you're willing to make, to let go of some parts of you to give way to a better you. Saying you want to change is like saying you want to get a new haircut - just saying. You need to DO the change to feel the change.

So this year, I am no longer creating "New Year Resolutions". Instead, I'm focusing my energy into S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

It's something I got from this website, and found that the genius behind the plan was so simple, I swept right passed it in the previous years. (There's a little 'me' for you.)

So what are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive

There are three things I want to accomplish by the third quarter of this year. Before the year ended, I had set my mind to those three goals (NOT resolutions) and I know achieving them will be a hell of a ride. I know I'll be disappointing people with my decisions, and I'm well aware that I might lose some friendships and experience insane longing for my family (hint, hint), but all these things will make me better. 

Independence is key. No more hoping, just doing. 

This is day one of three-hundred and sixty-six (hello, Leap year). This is my year, the Year of the Monkey. (Well, if did believe in the Chinese Zodiac, but whatever. Haha.)