Saturday, October 11, 2014

Revisiting Resolutions 2014

Can't believe it is already the last quarter of the year! Time always goes so fast.

At the beginning of the year, I decided to be super ambitious and make a whole list of resolutions to aim for this 2014. Definitely overshot the margin, but I am happy with the few things I have accomplished. Since we have nearly come to an end, I'll narrow it down.

Acquire job

I am grateful that I managed to get a sweet full time job that I'm decent at! (If I say so myself) 

I have to say I enjoy my time at work more than I ever imagined I would. Co-workers are friendly and are dedicated to doing an awesome job for their clients, so we all work together to create the best work for them. 

I'm putting my skills into good use, though I always aim to improve even more! Learned a lot this year and becoming faster at front-end development which is pretty cool. I feel a sense of accomplishment when completing more difficult projects - its like a game, where I can pass all the checkpoints to reach the next objective! #gamifylife

I would still like to learn more code when I have the time. Everything is always changing in the dev world. This month I unpaused my Team Treehouse membership, so will be learning/revising some concepts.

Get fit

This goal hasn't been that successful to be completely honest! In the beginning of the year, I was super pumped to keep it up but as things go - the passion died out really quickly! Coincidentally, it died out around the daylight savings in March. I started making excuses that I didn't want to walk to the gym at night time. 

I have since started this goal again! It's still bright after work, so there is more daylight to kill. Aiming for at least three times a week. Started to play some casual badminton with workmates recently - and hell, its much more fun than going to the gym! Yay~ let's do this. Time to invest in a cheap badminton bat? Yep.


Honestly, there are higher priorities for me right now. I would love to have some time to make a costume though. If I had three wishes, one of them would be to have more hours in a day to do hobbies! Let's see if I can make that costume by Armageddon time /o\ Maybe its a good idea to post progress here to keep up the motivations haha. 

C'mon Nico, you are a speedy sewer when you put your mind to it! #selfmotivation


Maybe I have become too busy to care and think about this.
Let me come back to this sometime. But yes, people's opinions still affect me. 

Not too much at work, while I'm in the code zone though haha :) Or around my close friends, and like-minded people.

More at family gatherings and group events I think /o\ I'm still the awkward turtle.

If there's a specific goal, I can talk fine. If its small talk, save me please!

The Rest

This year has been very much a work-oriented year. And from a month ago, independence!

But, its great! Even though I made that scary, long list at the beginning of the year ... I'm happy with the few things I accomplished thus far. I am glad I took the web development course. I am happy with that one thing - getting a job that I love and being good at it. If a shy girl like me can do it, I think anyone can as long as you are passionate about it! 


I am human, and there have been some downsides but that is okay. Better to focus on the positive things in life. Especially with the little time there is to chill! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Japan Day 2014!

In the weekend, I went to Japan Day! Had a great day enjoying japanese culture, eating japanese cuisine and seeing people again ^^.

There were quite a few cosplayers there who were helping out the Overload stand~ Ah, I love the atmosphere around the group ... maybe I don't know many of the people very well but they are always friendly and welcoming.

Since I did not have a cosplay prepared I was contemplating either wearing my Norway cosplay again, or wearing my go-to schoolgirl lolita outfit. I decided the latter, since I imagined the weather would be quite warm.

Here's Amey and I~

And *cough* obligatory selfie lol.

I saw and had a chat with some fellow cosplayers.

I ate delicious food.

There was a long line at the Takoyaki stand, but it was so worth it. Nom.

There was also this special samurai ramen for only $4! Also very yummy.

Navigating through the various stands~

Oh, looky there it's a Titan!

Traditional Japanese Dolls.

Portable Shrine.

Witnessing the cooking process of takoyaki! 

Sort of inspiring me to get out my pan out again to make a hopefully successful attempt haha.

A random balloon structure that looked pretty neat.

Professional ice sculpting!

I thought this stand had very cute signage ^^. 

I love how they incorporate mascots.

There was also this guy, who was singing a candyfloss jingle! I very much admired his enthusiasm, and it sold me the candyfloss haha. Haven't eaten candyfloss in so long that I almost forgot how good it tasted.

After going through the showgrounds a few times, we decided to take a break and had an attempt at Geocaching. We reached some cool spots that we never would have found if not for the directions~

Amey looking cool at the top of the hill.

The roots of this tree were pretty intricate, and nothing like I ever seen before!

We headed back and joined in the bon odori dance near the stage. It's some kind of traditional dance in the culture, and seems to incorporate a lot of hand movements.

To be honest, I was nervous about joining but then I was like "Oh, what the hell" and it turned out to be really fun to participate in. Should do this kinda thing more often ^^

You never regret the steps you take, but you always regret the ones you don't.

Here was my haul at the end of the day~

$5 Snack Pack from Japan Mart! I always enjoy looking at the cute food japanese food packaging. Sometimes, I cut the package carefully so I can keep and look at them again hehe.

Some books from the secondhand books stall for $1 each. 

Mostly children's books. Didn't realise that I bought a book about toilet training hippo until I tried to read it. Oh well, now I will never forget the word for poop in Japanese (うんち).

Not part of Japan Day, but since I'm a roll with posting pictures ..

I bought some Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyoujin) cellphone straps from Angie's group buy! Thanks to Angie for organising it <3

All in all, it was a great day!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Paramore and Frozen

On the 19th January 2014, I went to the Paramore concert in Auckland! I wasn't sure I was going because I didn't know anybody who wanted to come with me, but at Christmas I discovered that my cousin was a big fan as well so we decided to go together. We actually still do have a lot of the same music tastes, even from when we were younger. It was an amazing experience, and I was honoured to be in the presence of the band, and Hayley Williams' amazing voice! Her voice really is powerful and resonant live! She is such an inspiration to me! Not just her voice, but her style and fashion is really unique and adventurous, and she doesn't care what people think. The only thing I regret is not buying a General Admission. It looked like a lot of fun to be in the whole concert vibe.

Now present self is wishing past self wrote this all down the moment after arriving back home from the concert. Because I was so buzzing with energy and excitement that night. Haha, well there's the videos to help me reminisce the feeling.

( Paramore! )

The Opening Act, Twenty One Pilots was also very good! Their music style is quite unique from what is on the charts. I really like the mix of genres they have there, and the pumping beat. The duo did an amazing drum performance at the end as well.

Ended up watching Frozen twice! Once for regular viewing with Lunatarius and the second time on Waitangi Day again with Rinelle and Rolly as well >u<)b. The first time I watched it, I did not know what to expect. I just hoped it wouldn't be so 'kiddy' because the poster and trailer made it seem that way. When I watched it, I was mind-blown, and throughout the whole movie experience I was riveted with emotion. I was glad I brought tissues .. ALL MY FEELS! And who knew Kristen Bell could sing so well!? I was filled with awe. It turned out she was classically trained in musical theatre before becoming an actress. Frozen was a very heart-warming story, fueled with girl power and celebrates the bond between sisters. It isn't the first Disney animated movie where the girl rebels against order though. I feel Brave exerts this message more.

( Closet cosplay of Anna from Frozen for the Sing-a-long haha )

I liked how Anna was clumsy, and not typically princess-like. It kind of made her more relatable in a way. You always get a clumsy male character, but for girl they are usually meant to be composed and everything. She is a bit naive, yes but that's all part of the character development. She's been stuck in the castle all her life, and hasn't experienced what it is like to be in the outside world. The combination of her carefree spirit and her excitement about finally seeing the other side of the fence might have muddled with her mind. I guess she does take things a bit far though haha.

As for Elsa, it must have been very traumatising for her with the events in the beginning. I could feel how much pain she was feeling - about both having to hide her true 'self' and how she felt she had to keep a fair distance from Anna to protect her. When Elsa escaped and was able to truly let go, and be who she really was - she finally felt free. After all those years of hiding, it must have been a good release! There was a fair bit of character development for both of the sisters. Of course, the timing wasn't very realistic because in real life these things take a larger amount of time to shape up.


( "Hoo! Hoo! Big Summer Blowout!" - Oaken *shot* )

I can't get over how great the songs are~ I feel like doing some covers just for fun haha. Found a few easy chords for guitar that work for "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" and for the pop version of "Let it Go".

Last night I ended up playing for three hours. I'm surprised I still remember the chords since I haven't played properly in a month. Hurrah for muscle memory! Bb and Bm are still a bit hard to reach at the moment .. so gotta stretch those fingers~ I am not very good at guitar yet since I pretty much only use two basic strumming patterns for most songs, but it is fun to be able to play and sing at the same time.

Frozen Chords

 Do You Want to Build a Snowman
 Let it Go (Idina Menzel)
 Let it Go (Demi Lovato)
 First Time in Forever

INB4 slow at blogging.

Dear self, please update more often and then in thirty years you'll have a nice time capsule to look back to!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Super Cute Android Themes

When it was Boxing Day sales, I decided to finally buy that Micro SD card, and my phone has been happier ever since. Thus began my little adventure of customising it again!

I have then found different ways to achieve a cute phone, rather than just using the themes that are available in the (English) Play Store. It can be hard to find when you cannot read an Asian language.

I made a post about this at the beginning of last year - "Cute Go Launcher Ex Android Themes" and guess what!? THERE ARE MANY MORE CUTE THEMES OUT THERE! You wouldn't believe the excitement I felt when I discovered this. Sometimes I get amused by small things. I thought I was just limited to using the Peperico themes, and yes although they are cute .. I would like to try some non-penguin related themes as well. Yay, more cute apps for Android!

All these images are from the Google Play Store and do not belong to me.

Let's begin!

1) CocoPPa

This app has hundreds of different wallpapers and icons that you can choose from to make your phone cute. You sign up for an account, can follow artists and even share your own wallpapers and icons that you have made. If you are looking for more premium content, you can also purchase branded icons from this place too. It was originally made for iPhone but I am so glad they ported it over to Android too!


2) icoron

This app has a similar concept to CocoPPa, but only for icons. It might take some sifting, but you can find some pretty cool stuff here too.



3) PhoneThemeShop

This app was one of my most amazing finds. It is predominantly in Korean, so it might be hard to understand but they do have English for the main menus which is helpful.

It would be helpful to download GO Launcher Ex first as the themes use this app as a base. It looks like PhoneThemeShop is a directory for user made themes that are from Korea. Honestly, they are much nicer than most of the themes that I found in the main Google Play Store, and there are plenty quality free ones too.

Ways that you can customise your phone with PhoneThemeShop:

> Theme Package: Download themes for theme apps, such as GO Launcher Ex
> Messenger Theme: Download themes for various messenger apps such as Kakao Talk
> LockScreen: Download themes for various locker apps, such as GO Locker
> SNS Theme: You can also download a themed version of the Facebook or Twitter app
> Keyboard: Download themes for GO Keyboard
> SMS: Download themes for GO SMS
> Contacts: Download themes for GO Contacts
> Modify so much more! Even the battery icons at the top of your screen, its insane!

4) CUKI Themes

Yet another collection of cute themes!

Related Blog Posts

My other blog posts about Android Apps:

Other people have posted about a similar topic, so check them out too!


Hope you found this post helpful. I just love having a cute phone, and I want to share information to others to achieve the same, because I myself would have really appreciated knowing about these sooner too!

If I find some more awesome apps, I will be sure to update this page again ^^.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The 2014 Reading Challenge

That time again to document the books of the year~

I never actually finished 50 books, but it sure motivated me to read!
Oh those pre-teen years where I didn't even need a challenge to read books /o\

01) Looking for Alaska, by John Green
02) Paper Towns, by John Green
03) An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
04) Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie
05) The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
06) Bridget Jones' Diary, by Helen Fielding
07) Bridget Jones' Diary: The Edge of Reason, by Helen Fielding
08) Getting to know SEO, by Andre Kibbe
09) Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, by Holly Black (currently reading)
10) Divergent, by Veronica Roth
11) Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
12) Allegiant, by Veronica Roth
13) City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare (currently reading)
14) Drop the Pink Elephant, by Bill McFarlan

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Those Pesky Resolutions!

☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆ 
 HAPPY NEW YEAR !! ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

Wow, we're already well into 2014! It's that time again to make those yearly resolutions. I have been thinking about these since the end of last year, and honestly this post has been sitting in my drafts for a week .. but here we go~

1. Acquire a full time job and/or freelance jobs

Self explanatory really. And if the former cannot be done right away, then work on the contract and freelance gigs, portfolio, CV, and personal projects on the side so that I'll never be halting my productivity in this career path and never stop learning.

At least 40 hours of productivity a week. Time-track it!

(As much as I can, provided the circumstances)

[Objective Completed]

2. Get fit

I just joined the gym at the end of last year! (Before my Studentcard discount expired, oh boy am I cheap) Honestly, it was the discount that pushed me to finally join and heed way for fitness. I mean, I have no need to lose weight or anything but I am incredibly unfit, and since I am getting older I am starting to notice some flab appear since I sit on my ass all day. And, every time I walk up stairs or ramps, I'm always huffing and puffing.

Let's try at least 3 times a week, to be realistic.

3. Create costumes for cosplay

There are some plans I have. Let's just see if I can complete them ^p^

Asuna and Kirito (with Lunatarius) from Sword Art Online which would require me to make two costumes /o\ I think it would be really fun to do a joint cosplay, and Lunatarius loves this series too so I guess this is more for him than me. But it would be awesome to try creating something more ambitious, because I tend to stick to the easier costumes.

Annie from League of Legends. I thought I might give it a go. She's awesome and her outfit is quite cute. Being short, I guess I can suit these youthful characters, and I better do it before I get too old! Haha.

Trucy Wright from the Ace Attorney Series. I cosplayed Trucy before in 2009, but the costume got misplaced when we were packing stuff to go to our new house. I was devastated at the time and got really emotional because it was the first costume I ever made. But alas, I'm going to make it again!

4. Care less about what people think

I have been getting better in the past few years, which I am really happy about. I have learned that the only person who can make your life awesome is 'you'. It's the actions you take, the decisions you make, the thoughts you have. You decide how your life is, not other people. Sometimes other people think that they can control how you feel through their anger or their negative opinions, but if you decide to be happy then you can be happy.

In the past, I let myself become affected by negative views and yes from time to time I still do. But I want to make the decision to be positive.

For example self, don't stop doing something because it might be considered 'silly', 'pointless' or 'childish' by other people. I feel like in this world when you're an adult, suddenly its almost socially unacceptable to do things other than adult things because it will seem like you 'have a lot of time on your hands' or 'immature'. I think as long as you are realistic, are mature in those important issues, and aim for or have a job that will generate income, then you can do whatever the f*ck you want in your spare time.

Maybe I'm feeling like a Nerdfighter haha. Well, I don't know if I am one but they say if you are wondering if you are one, then you probably are one. I have started to watch John and Hank Green's video blogs and they're pretty awesome. I love their presumed philosophy in life - to increase the amount of awesome and decrease the amount of worldsuck! All the while doing what you love, whatever that may be.

Edit: Whoa this video is SO relevant to what I just wrote about, starting from about 1:18


5. Speak more clearly

I would rather not elaborate.

But yeah, make a conscious effort to speak better in general. As much effort as I put into singing words clearly in my room.

6. Become more organised

This year, I have a lot of time tracking items that I will try to keep active. With a calendar, diary and use of the Google calendar as well. I want to make sure that I am aware of how I use my time and try not to procrastinate too much.

7. Read books

I did this for the past two years, and then end up reading a bunch of graphic novels instead. Well let's get this going again~ Aim for 50 books!

8. Keep in touch

Keep in touch with friends, through communication devices as well as meeting up from time to time. I am really bad at texting, so I think I should reply promptly more often as well.

9. Learn to drive

I am not getting any younger, and I need to get off my butt and drive properly. And not a half-assed attempt either. Like really drive, and get my effin' restricted already. Public transport used to be all I really needed, but I feel that its not going to cut it anymore. My main motivation here is to have more freedom, and to transport myself to work and faraway lands without having to rely on others~ I have a slight anxiety about this, but its got to be done.

This goal should actually be near the top : /

10. Save money, and spend it more wisely

Basically, try not to give into the temptations of the bright yellow sale sign.

11. Minor Resolutions

The goals that aren't really that important, but would be nice to do in 2014 and beyond.

  • Sew some clothing and make accessories
  • Keep up with digital drawing to maintain the skills
  • Practice drawing backgrounds
  • Catch up with television series that have been long overdue
  • Take more videos/photographs for memories
  • Guerilla art
  • Improve guitar playing skills
  • Improve singing skills
  • Create cover songs
  • Create an application
  • Illustrated website? *gasp*
  • Keep learning about new technologies (This is actually quite important!)
  • Blog more often
  • Try to keep my room tidy
  • Custom theme for this blog /o\ otherwise move to Wordpress

I feel like I am a bit ambitious with this list. It's like I want to be good at everything but its probably not possible, meh. It sounds like it will take some time. But I rather shoot for the moon and land among the stars, rather to just stand around in the dirt. Once upon a time, I stood around in the dirt being all afraid to do anything due to fear of scrutiny and I don't want to be like that anymore.

I apologise for the terrible analogy in reference to the dirt not really but it makes some sense to me~

And there's that lovely quote from Meet the Robinsons:

"Keep moving forward!"