Tag: College

On Stereotyping and What Baby Step We Could Take To Defy It

Hey everyone! By the time you read this, I am currently groaning like a sick llama while being roasted by the fiery flames of Hell Week nose-deep in my textbooks and/or reviewing for exams.

And I will be until the week after next.

*whispers weakly* Please pray for my soul and brain cells.

Worry ye not! If I have the time, I shall take a quick peek in my Reader every now and then. 😉

So anyway! Because of college’s high demands, I’ve decided to schedule a couple of Katie’s Oldies but Goldies* posts. And I’ve recently dug out old posts of mine that are still relevant today. I edited and added a few things but the general idea of each post is still the same.

The one you’ll be reading below was something I wrote in 2015. (See what I mean by old???) And boooy, was I a hotheaded rant-loving beast back then. I’d like to think my character development centered in turning me into a Buddha-channeling rainbow unicorn tho hekhekhek


*I know I know. I could make some maddeningly good titles

It’s been 4 months since we moved to this kinda peaceful neighborhood that we live now. I was about to come to an overall impression that, “Hmm, this place is okay.”

Until I heard the first of many fights that our neighbors will have.

Look, I’m not saying our family is perfect–far from it. My parents have the occasional fights too. And even those were horrifying.

But one morning, my sister and I were alone in the house and the neighbors started fighting. At one point, I heard furniture crashing and the husband shouting something about how the wife deserves to be treated that way and women should act in a certain way.

Let me tell you now, I didn’t consider myself a feminist back then, when I first wrote this post. I thought I was brilliant, thinking of myself as a “part misogynist, part misandrist, overall misanthrope.” Now, when I think about it, I didn’t make any sense. Typical Kate.

"What if I got it all wrong?" | Stereotyping, Gender Equality, Inspiration, Twenty-something

am, in the very essence of its meaning, a feminist. But more than that, I am a person who is calling for equality among all gender. Men, women, transpeople… everyone. So you know. That’s one thing about me that changed in two years.

One thing about me that hasn’t changed in two years, though, is that I really don’t like the idea of “guys should do this and girls should do that.” This constant need to neatly place every person in a box.

I mean, everyone can have a fair share of everything, whatever gender they may have.

Guys can clean the dishes, too. And girls can be taught how to repair their own car. And transgender people can serve the military if that’s what they damn want.

But I live in a world where you hear these phrases all the freakin time:

“The wives should stay at home while the husbands make a living for the family.”

“You should take good care of the women because they are fragile and weak.”

“Leave the heavy works to the men.”

And it’s not just the men who contribute to the inequality among the genders. The women do too. Which, by the way, I talked about in a recent post about gender bias.

What I’m basically trying to say here is:

We have to be more conscious of what we think of others.

Be more aware of a person’s individuality. Yes, we have established stereotypes for every person based on how they look, how they act or how they dress. And these stereotypes have been imprinted in our mind for as long as we could remember. Which is why it is so hard to defy them.

So defying toxic stereotyping will require a deliberate second-guessing to the thoughts we automatically think of people.

This reminds me of what Rebecca of Hopelessly Strong said in one of her super-enjoyable emails. She told me how, when pronouncing someone’s name, she waits and listens to how it’s pronounced before she says it.

It’s a baby step but I think we need to be more like that when we meet new people. (We need to channel our inner Rebecca! 😀 )

We have to put a pause before that automatic stereotyping part of our brain starts functioning. We have to take a step back and think, “Wait a sec. What if I got it wrong?” And we could start opening to the idea that the person in front of you may not be as bad as your stereotype of them would imply.

Because more often than not, people are more than their stereotype.

YOUR TURN: What stereotype has people thought of you? How are you more than that stereotype? What baby step did you take to defy stereotyping? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Have an awesome day, awesome peeps! <3


8 Artists that Inspire Me to Be Better in Drawing (+ Whose Artworks I Fangirl Over Sooo Hard)

Role models. Y’all would agree that we all have at least three of those in our lives right? I mean, you know what I’m talking about.

Role models are:

+ People you look up to
+ People you hope you’ll become someday
+ People you hold high respect for
+ People whose works and achievements you fangirl over
+ And you fangirl over them so hard, these people basically turn you into this gal,

Image result for saikawa gif

Don’t tell me you don’t have that in your life. Like seriously. It’s totally okay! We can all be a little geeky here, I won’t judge 😉 I mean, how can I?? I practically declared myself a Universal Fangirl™. In fact, I welcome geekery of all forms here with wide open arms!

Having role models will help you to keep on striving for your goals. They give you the motivation to pump your fists and tell yourself, “You can do this! You can reach that level! Just keep on working hard!” Especially at times when you’re about to drown in self-doubt.

In my case, I have my own list of artists that I look up to and inspire me to keep drawing and practice and improve my art. While art isn’t really a top priority for me right now, it will always be an important aspect of my life.

I always try to make time to do a little doodle when I’m free. I especially like it when they share old drawings and you can see how much improvement they’ve had between the two artworks.

So here they are, 8 of my favorite artists and how they inspired me to keep on drawing! 🙂

Jacquelin de Leon

Mermaids. Witches. Beautiful people in all shapes and colors. Tattoos. Badass females. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

I just posted a few new prints and stickers in my shop!! Im really excited to finally have my Kintsugi and Greenhouse pieces from my solo show available as prints! I’m also including a limited edition large hand embellished run of Kintsugi✨ (don’t worry I will be putting the originals up for sale soon) I also added some new glossy vinyl stickers including a mermaid, witch hand, Symmetra, and some new witches! Head over to jacquelindeleon.storenvy.com or click on the link in my bio to check it out! Thank you guys for sticking around and for all of your sweet comments! I’ll have some new art to post real soon☺️💕 . #illustration #jacquelindeleon #artistsoninstagram #artcollective #instaart #artoftheday #witch #stickers #symmetra #overwatch #kintsugi #watercolor #plants #plantstagram

A post shared by Jacquelin de Leon (@jacquelindeleon) on Jun 27, 2017 at 5:33pm PDT

There are times when I doubt myself when I use black ink as linings on my portraits. Often because there are so many artists out there who have non-black linearts or no lineart at all. But Jacquelin is such an inspiration to me and motivates me to just draw whatever the heck I want.

Alisa Vysochina

Pretty people. Cats. Dogs. Other cutie animals. Amazing attention to details. Super cute witches. And most importantly: CACTI AND SUCCULENTS!!!

🍂🍃🌿Greenhouse🌿🍃🍂 Check out my new video about creating and planning big illustrations, link in the profile as always 🍁 #watercolor #artistsoninstagram #illustration #greenhouse #patheticpowers #doggoboyfriend

A post shared by Alisa Vysochina (@alisavysochina) on May 8, 2017 at 9:57am PDT

See, ever since I could remember, I’m no good at drawing plants. My flowers are below mediocre and my trees are still like the kind you draw in first grade. It’s that awful. So seeing the greenery in her works motivates me to practice drawing more flowers and trees <3 <3 <3

*I have a thing with accents, okay??? Also, it’s soothing to hear her talk about artist woes and motivating fellow artists. They fill mah heart everytime.

Maruti Bitamin (aka Koyamori)

Beautiful and bold color combinations. Illustrations that make you feel like you’ve entered into a surreal dream world. SUPER CUTIE CREATURES <3 <3

Bioluminescence ✨

A post shared by @maruti_bitamin on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:30am PDT

Her drawings are always PACKED with details. And she always motivates me in taking more time into my illustrations and putting more details into them. I mean, who could make fishbones look so awesome??? <3 <3 <3

Charlie Bowater

Aghhh! The prints are here! This is my life for the next few days: signing and packaging this fat stack. I also never thought I would say the phrase ‘fat stack’ and yet, here we are. 👌🏻 #acowar #charliebowater #sjmaas

A post shared by charlie bowater (@charliebowater) on Jun 6, 2017 at 5:02am PDT

If you’re familiar with Sarah J. Maas, then I’m willing to bet you know who Charlie Bowater is. She is a bookworm and she creates these AH-MAZING fan arts of characters from novels. I came across her because… well, my Twitter feed is basically 75% bookish community.* And she created the Most Gorgeous fan art for the ACOTAR series and I’m seriously in love with them!!!

*Most likely because of joining in on too many bookish giveaway on Twitter. Hahaha! …haha…ha…I haven’t won anything.

Rebecca Ninig (aka ni_nig)

Beautiful girls and boys. Voluminous hair. That shading tho <3

And here’s another graphite commission. This character belongs to lymerikk (on deviantart)

A post shared by Rebecca Ninig (@ni_nig) on Jul 9, 2017 at 5:37am PDT

Ah,Rebecca Ninig and her super-awesome-I-can’t-handle-this-beauty-ashfjhdkl Instagram account. Have I ever told you how much I obsess over pencil sketches?? Like I’m sure you know how much of an art geek I am at this point but we can go further and let me tell ya: I LOVE PENCIL SKETCHES SOOO MUCH. And the way Rebecca shades her drawings…

 Image result for perfect gif


Another artist whose choice of color combinations I love so much. I notice Meyoco likes to use bright and pastel colors and together with her thin lineart, it creates this fluffy and airy feeling to her illustrations.


🍹🍹🍹 (art tools info: @pearlescentpink)

A post shared by meyoコ (@meyoco) on Jul 9, 2017 at 8:30am PDT

Griselda (aka lord_gris)

Pretty girls. Beautiful coloring. Her fan arts are gorgeous especially her version of Beth and Plum from Bravest Warriors.

What I loved most about her though, is that she is so supportive of aspiring artists. I mean, I’m sure other big artists are supportive of newbies as well but man, you should see the captions on some of her photos (you can have a taste of her inspiring goodie-caption below).

I was talking to someone the other day and they asked me if I ever felt pity for people, like if I looked at their art and thought “you’re never going to be any good”. I mean this was a non-artistic person so I think they thought some people blasted out of the womb with a magic paintbrush that they can whack on a canvas and the Mona Lisa pops out. So I said to them “heck no! Hold the phone! Let me get you my sketchbook from when I was 11”. They were shocked as they fllipped through it and said “wow I drew better than you when I was a kid.” Honestly most people drew better than me when they were kids. I just enjoyed drawing, so I kept doing it, and improved as a byproduct. When I say I believe in you guys I think it’s really easy to sort of shake it off and say “well she’s talking to everyone else, not me” but I am talking to you. If you’re making your art no matter what then I absolutely believe in you, because I’ve been through the same journey. I’ve never looked at any persons art and said to myself “well they’re going nowhere fast”. The only thing I look at is people’s attitudes. If they’re always talking about quitting then they’re probably going to quit, and that’s what’s going to keep them from growing. But anyone who is tenacious and perseveres is going to be so amazing at art. And I earnestly think that. And I want people to be kind and patient with themselves during the process because it takes a long time. But don’t ever think to yourself that just because your art isn’t where you want it to be then it’s hopeless. Keep going, never stop :3 #sketch #redraw #drawitagain #drawthisagain #moleskine #copicart #oldart #draweveryday #artsanity #dibujo #practice #autodesksketchbook #pencil #mechanical #doodle #scribble #improvement #fashion

A post shared by Griselda (@lord_gris) on Jul 8, 2017 at 1:09pm PDT

See??? How can you not be inspired by that?? *clutches heart* Her captions really inspire me to be better and keep on drawing <3 <3 and she’s never ashamed to share the struggles she has gone through and are currently going through as an artist.

Sara Tepes (aka sarucatepes)

Gorgeous hair. Victorian/gothic-ish vibe to her drawings; kinda reminds me of Brett Helquist’s style, the artist who made the illustrations for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

6 of the princess drawings are up in my shop along with limited edition prints of all 12 of them, link in my bio! Use the code PRINCESS30 for 30% off if you wish to purchase all 12 of them. I will snap some better products pics of the prints tomorrow, it’s super late here ahh * * * #disney #disneyprincess #fanart #shop

A post shared by Sara Tepes | 18 (@sarucatepes) on Mar 24, 2017 at 8:29pm PDT

Sara and her works constantly remind me that your age is never a criterion on excelling at what you do. By the way, she’s around my age so she makes me pumped up to draw more <3

And just so y’all know, these are just like 5% of the artists I follow in Instagram and YouTube. But they are some of the artists that never fail to inspire me with their works. My People Who Inspire Me list is really long. I still haven’t mentioned the webcomic artists, and authors, and bloggers, and just about anyone else who inspire me. Maybe next time 😉

The point here is that: it’s good to have people you look up to, I like to think. You find the motivation and inspiration to do your best and keep working hard on what you do. Also: instead of letting yourself wallow in The Green Monster of Envy™, you could spread the love all around and not hurt your self-esteem, right???

FANGIRL WITH ME: Who are your role models? How do they inspire or motivate you?  Are you a Universal Fangirl™ like me? DO YOU LIKE SUCCULENTS??? (Seriously. I need someone to fangirl over succulents with stat.)

Have an awesome fangirling day, awesome peeps! <3

A Crucial Life Lesson I Learned from a Chicken

Hey everyone! I’m currently hitting the books, studying for my pre-midterm exams right now and I didn’t have any post scheduled for today. Hopefully, I’ll have a new one next Wednesday but in the meantime, here’s a short post I did… *checks the date* whoa, this was last year??? It’s that old?! Whaaaaaat

Ahem. Anyway. If you don’t know yet, I have an incredibly soft spot for chickens. And birds, in general*. I miss my chicken, Maui**, sooo much. And here’s a life lesson I learned from hanging out with them last year. Enjoy! 🙂

*And cats. And fishies. And bunnies. And dogs (so long as they don’t bark at me or bite me. I still have a bit of trauma from a childhood incident)
**I call her that because she has this tribal-like design on the feathers around her neck and Moana was the jam last year. She’s also a human-attention-seeker, much like Maui the demigod.

You read that right. I learned something from Scrabble before, this isn't unusual already, right? | Life Lesson, Inspiration

The chickens in my grandfather’s backyard all sleep in our neighbor’s fruit tree. It is the tallest tree and the one with the most numerous branches in their vicinity. It’s like their penthouse suite. Overnight security and so high up from the ground.

There was the youngest of all, basically still a chick, that I call Tom Hanks* and he wanted to follow the older chickens up in the tree. But he was still too young and his tiny wings couldn’t take him that far up yet. I watched him go farther and farther up. He perched on our neighbor’s wooden fence and tried to fly towards the tree. But he fell.

Later, he gave up and had to retreat to his old nest. He was sleeping on that nest that night.

Observing Tom Hanks made me think of the goals we set for ourselves and the obstacles we had to face in our lives.

I once mentioned that I don’t agree with people who said that you “only think” that obstacles are big. Like obstacles have some weird deceptive power that make them look big. “It’s all in our heads,” they say.

I think not. I think obstacles are big and they’re supposed to be.

Because maybe, when we were facing those obstacles, we were just like Tom Hanks (the chick above, not the actor); still tiny and our wings can’t take us anywhere far.

Maybe we had to fall several times before we reach that treetop-penthouse.

Maybe we still don’t have the strength to overcome those obstacles.

Maybe we still have to grow.

Because really, isn’t that how life is? No one joins the Game of Life and immediately starts at level 99. And not everyone starts the game of life altogether. You could still be at level 18 and you’re already comparing yourself to someone at level 50. Give yourself a break.

If there was something I’ve learned from Tom Hanks the chick, it’s that when you fall down, you don’t give up. You go back and rest. You get to live another day and grow.

Who knows? Maybe by the next sunset you’ll finally reach that branch.

Happy obstacle-conquering, awesome peeps!

*I call him Tom Hanks because among the five hatchlings, he was the only one to survive from getting eaten by huge field rats and cats. Basically the Castaway/Survivor, amirite??

13 Ways to Be Inspired and Pump Up Your Creativity

It is a problem any and every creative experiences at least like ten times* in their life:

Error 404: Inspiration and Creativity Not Found

(Did you mean pizza?)

Frustrating, right???

And so, I share to you 13 ways to be inspired and pump up creativity. These are things I found through the ever-wise Google, most of which has worked for me. Enjoy!

*this didn’t come from any real statistics, just personal experience haha

Are you recently uninspired and are totally frustrated about it? I know no one likes being an uninspired potato so I list 13 ways to be inspired and pump up your creativity. | Inspiration, Creativity

1 | Take a walk

Or if you’re up for it, do regular exercise. Did you know that taking a walk—or, essentially, letting your body move—helps in the improvement of your creative inspiration? Apparently, a casual walk can help you see things in a new perspective and voila! Inspiration!

So fellow non-outdoorsy peeps, y’all have no excuse not to walk, ‘kay? It could just be a walk around your house or pacing in your room or taking the stairs. So long as you give your brain that stimulating effect after a brief exercise, you’re good to go! 😉

2 | Listen to music

And I don’t just mean any music. I mean, listening to music that strikes you and your mind in a positive way.

Image result for metal music monsters university gif

Like has that ever happen to you? You hear a certain song and you’re just struck with this feeling? Like a crack appeared and light went in. The song triggered a gear inside your mind and made it whir into action. Have you ever had that?

Depending on the kind of music that you want when you’re in a particular mood at a particular time, your brain will be able to go into “mind-wandering mode” where most of our creativity happens. It’s like the Pillar of Creation is where stars are born, ya know?*

Here are three musicians that gives me that “struck” feeling:

Owl City – synthpop, experimental pop, beautiful lyrics

AURORA – ethereal music, enchanting voice, amazing lyrics telling stories

In Love with a Ghost – lo-fi indie music, no words but is incredibly soothing

3 | Take a picture of beautiful things

Because of the convenience that comes with owning smartphones, taking pictures of pretty things is something that we all do. But to be inspired, I do something else: I look at ordinary things and try to see the beauty in them. I think it’s a good exercise to have, not only creative-wise but also in my own personal positive mindset practice.

It’s a way to see things in a different, more imaginative perspective. Sharing those pictures to the world and having people appreciate it are all bonuses, to be honest.

4 | Immerse yourself in nature

Related image

It’s something I learned last year: nature can be the most relaxing and best companion you could have. It’s like you could throw anything awful to it, and Mother Nature simply absorbs it and gives you something more positive and beautiful instead.*

If you have a garden or live near a park or mountains or the beach, take a step out of your desk or your room and just bask in the beauty of nature. Take it from me, it’s therapeutic. 😉

*when you think about it, that’s what trees do, isn’t it? Suck all the carbon dioxide and glet out oxygen for us to breathe.

5 | Bring your pet outdoors

And stare at them lovingly until you feel relaxed. No kidding. A relaxed state can help your brain go into that “mind-wandering mode” I mentioned above. And yo, there are reasons why some facilities make use of dogs to help veteran soldiers and patients experiencing post-traumatic stress.

6 | Watch an educational video on YouTube

And yes, I don’t mean vlogs or comedy sketch videos or late night shows. I mean sure, maybe a video of these kinds here and there could spark an idea. But ultimately, these types of videos are usually meant to entertain rather than to educate. And they won’t be able to help you see things in different light and spark an idea and inspire you.

There are plenty of channels out there that aim to educate and share different perspectives. Here are four of my go-tos:

+ TED Talks / TEDx Talks – incredible ideas on almost every topic you can possibly think of.
+ TED-Ed – three- to five-minute videos that aim to educate people in a certain topic with crazy-good animation.
+ School of Life – They’re kinda like TED-Ed and I personally love their videos on psychology and society.
+ Button Poetry – My go-to channel for awesome spoken word poetry.

7 | Listen to interesting podcasts

I’ve had a good amount of blog posts published here that were inspired from a podcast episode. Thing is, whether you’re into business, writing or even the fashion or beauty industry, if you just take the time to search the topics you’re interested in, you’ll be able to find a podcast for it 🙂

Here are some podcasts that I love:

<3 Invisibilia – a podcast about the invisible forces that control human behavior. Narrative storytelling + scientific research = a must-listen podcast.
<3 TED Radio Hour – Because I obviously can’t get enough of TED, each episode is about a certain topic with guests who had a TED Talk related to said topic.
<3 Ctrl Alt Delete – a podcast by Emma Gannon about how the internet and social media has changed our lives.
<3 Radiolab – a show where the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

8 | Take a break

As Eliza sang to Alexander, it doesn’t do you any good if you’re too hard on yourself. You might end up getting burned out or too overwhelmed which is unhealthy. Getting too focused on a task is mentally exhausting so give your brain the break it rightfully needs.

9 | Read blogs

Because, ya gotta admit, reading blogs written by other people can spark an inspiration, don’t you find? Brain Pickings, particularly, is a favorite inspiration hub of mine. And yes, I love all of you awesome peeps’ blogs <3 I’ve discovered so many awesome blog posts and new blogs and I can’t wait to share ’em to y’all in this July’s Fourth Friday Fangirling! 😀

10 | Be mindful of your thoughts

Remember that “mind-wandering mode” I mentioned above? The birthplace of almost all of our creativity? That involves daydreaming and flitting from one thought to another.

Image result for daydreaming gif

So try to take notice of these moments and when a flitting thought inspires you, take note of it immediately. Remember thoughts can be like butterflies; they’re there one moment and gone the next. Daydreaming usually happens to me when I’m commuting or bored. Speaking of boredom…

11 | Try “Eat that Frog”

Remember the productivity technique where you have to start the boring stuff first? You could apply it to creative inspiration too. Yep, boredom can boost your creativity and I talked about how the heck that works. You can check out that post here.

12 | Take a step out of your routine

I’ve talked about how new perspectives can help you be inspired and unleash your creative awesomeness plenty of times above, right? Now, what easier way to see things in a new angle than to step out of your everyday routine. Maybe you can listen to an unfamiliar song or use a different route than your usual or learn something new.

13 | Be deliberate

Now if you really want to be inspired and pump up your creativity, you have to be deliberate about it. And when I say deliberate, I mean: don’t do things half-assed and flush away your glumness in the toilet. Instead of thinking “I can’t do this…” or “But this is how it’s supposed to be,” ask yourself these questions: “What if…” or “What other way is there?” or “How would *insert different person* see this?”

In other words, keep an open mind. Because an open mind would attract inspiration and creativity more than a closed one.

And remember, awesome peeps: inspiration and creativity are not infinite.

At one point, you’ll use up and exhaust them. So when that happens, frustrating as it may be, know that it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean that you’ll never see them again. The world is large enough to offer us many platforms for inspiration and creativity; you just have to find them. 🙂

Other awesome articles on finding inspiration you can check out:

50 Ways to Find Inspiration – Tiny Buddha
How to Unleash Your Creativity and Find Inspiration Today – Psychology Today
6 Places I Go Online to Be Inspired – yours truly

Your turn: How do you get inspired? Where do you find inspiration? I’m sure there are still more ways out there, so are there any that works on you that I haven’t mentioned? Do share them all! I’d love to hear about them!

Have an inspired day, awesome peeps! <3

5 More Places to Find Gorgeous Free Stock Photos for Your Blog

About ten months ago, I shared the places where I get gorgeous free stock photos that I use for my blog. You can see that post, which I edited to match my current “style guide”*, right over here.

A lot has happened to me in the last ten months. But obviously, my love for free stock photo shopping haul hasn’t faded one bit. I’ve been able to find and discover more places that offer super-gorgeous free stock photos. And I thought of sharing them to you. Because why the heck not???

*sorta, but not really. I dunno, “style guide” seemed like too fancy for what I do but I can’t think of any other phrase to use XD

5 More Places to Find Gorgeous Free Stock Photos for Your Blog | I share five more places where you can get super-gorgeous, high quality free stock photos for your blog! | Blogging Advice, Blog Design

A Quick Reminder on Licenses

Always, and I mean A L W A Y S, read the license terms of the website you’re getting your stock photos from. Is it okay for personal and commercial use? Or just personal use? Does the owner of the photos want to be attributed or not?

If you see the phrase “CC0 Public Domain” anywhere in the site, this means that you can copy, modify, and distribute any photo in the site, even for commercial purposes without asking for permission.

Sites that offer free stock photos always have such terms somewhere in their website. Maybe they have a separate page or it’s in the same page as the particular photo you want. I’ll do my best to identify a tl;dr version of each of the websites’ terms below but it always pays to check out the terms yourself. 🙂

Now that we got that done, let’s have the virtual itinerary for where you’re having your stock photo shopping spree, okay? Okay!

Styled Stock

Holy macaroni, the kinds of stock photos provided by this site is <3 If you’re a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, or food blogger, do check this website out. They have gorgeous styled stock photos that make use of white space (which I love) and are super drool-worthy! And if you’re looking for a stock photo in a particular color, you can search their site with photos in that color too!

Photos can be: used for commercial and non-commercial use, no attribution needed. But they greatly appreciate a link back to their site.


This site has a huge array of beautiful, high-quality photos. They’re kinda like Pixabay, when you think about it. But I also gotta admit: they have fewer photos that are like the generic stock photos with watermarks you usually see in Google Images compared to Pixabay.

Photos can be: used for commercial and non-commercial use. CC0 Public Domain. No attribution needed.


I recently discovered this site and I am absolutely in love with it!!! Their photos have this wonderful combination of heavy atmosphere and vibrancy…? I guess that’s the best way I can describe them. Another thing I love about Kaboompics is their search function. Other than giving you the capability to search a certain keyword, they also give you the option to choose either a horizontal or vertical image in a certain color. And you can also download your chosen photo in a custom width.

It also doesn’t hurt that the overall site’s design has a minimalist vibe to it and is very user-friendly. Not much ads crowding the entire page so <3 <3 <3

Photos can be: used for commercial and non-commercial use. Attribution needed. Redistribution of their photographs is not allowed.

Death to Stock Photo

This is another website I discovered a couple months ago. Their photos are being used by Spotify and Twitter, among other websites and apps. Since there are tons of photographers who collaborate with Death to Stock, you get different styles of photography every project. You can also sign up to their newsletter to get beautiful photo packs every month.

Photos can be: used for commercial and non-commercial use. No attribution needed.


I’ve always loved reading the blog posts on Ivorymix so when I learned that they also give free stock photos every month… well, let’s just say I’ve never typed in my email so fast before. Most of the photos I use as background for my graphics are from Ivorymix’s free stock photos.

Photos can be: used for commercial and personal use. Redistribution of the photos are not allowed. No attribution needed but is always greatly appreciated.

Your turn: Do you do your own blog photography? Or do you use stock photos like moi? I’m sure there are more sources for free stock photos out there, so do you know some that I didn’t mention? Share them all below!

Happy blogging, awesome peeps!

My Two Cents on Failure (+ How to Deal With It)

Note: This post was something I first wrote and published nearly a year ago. Having read it now, I realized how much it still resonates to me to this day. I’ve edited a bit of the post and added some things but the point still remains the same. Enjoy! 🙂

In this success-driven world that we live in, failure is something we’d rather not experience. (Like at all, please??)

It’s something embedded into our minds as early as when we were kids. We don’t like seeing the red marks on our paper because our parents don’t, right? We spray away failure like we spray away mosquitoes.

But something surprised me when I Googled ‘failure’ for this post. I was immediately bombarded by links with the same theme:

It’s amazing how the idea had spread over every industry like a wildfire. But it had the most tremendous impact in the competitive fields of business and arts. You’ve seen and read the success stories. And they all have that same format.

“I’ve had 10 failed projects in my career… BEFORE BUILDING MY MILLION-DOLLAR ONE!”

“My 499th audition gave me my big break!”

“After 18 years of searching, I’ve finally proven the existence of unicorns!*”

This tells us that persistence will pay off. And that’s great! It motivates people not to be disheartened when you fail. Besides, failure is needed for us to thrive. It’s a core ingredient in trial-and-error. And it lets us know what not to do to be successful.

However, this “failure is the secret to success” bit can also further feed that success-driven mentality, deliberately deceiving yourself that failing will actually bring you nearer to success.

And that’s not at all good yo.

My Two Cents on Failure (+ How to Deal with It) | I share what I think about how "failure leads to success".

Romanticizing failure does not necessarily make you any closer to success.

I mean, I totally agree that it’s a great way to not get discouraged and not go total Eeyore mode, giving up on life. But there’s a fine line between encouragement and false hope.

The thing is: not everybody will succeed. And failing? Sucks.

When I graduated in high school, I subconsciously brought with me this reassurance and certainty that college will be the same. I was like, “College? Pssh, cake.”

Dear past self: They’re. Not. The. Same.

If high school was Super Mario Level 7**, college is Flappy Bird. No levels. Just pure agony.

And that cold water of reality didn’t splash onto my arrogant face until my second year in college. I didn’t reach the cut-off for a major subject and I was bummed. No, scratch that, I was more than bummed. I was devastated.

It was like a super-confident bump car driver who likes to constantly flip his hair tried driving a ten-wheeler truck for the first time. And he ends up clutching tight at the wheels and crying for his mommy.

So I’m not gonna argue with you. Failure hurts like Gordon Ramsey telling you that sunny-side egg you cooked isn’t even worthy to be served to dogs.

It hits your self-confidence and shatters your spirit. And to someone currently experiencing failure, being told “everything will be okay” may not be the best mood-lifter. And neither is the rhetoric of failure leading to success.

See, success may come later. But failure needs to be dealt now.

So sure, you may reach success afterwards. May. Meaning there’s a possibility that you won’t. And I’m not trying to be Jenny Rain Cloud here. It’s a fact.

For most of our lives, success is something that we will accomplish in the future. But failure can happen any minute and it’s experienced at present, so you deal with it now. If you don’t, failure doesn’t lead to anything good at all.

So then, Kate, how do we deal with failure?

Great that you ask. Here are three things you could do:

<3 Don’t think that the entire universe is ganging up against you. Believe me, I’ve been there. I’ve had my fair share of years being an angsty kid and thinking everybody hates me. They don’t–or… not all of them do. Every person you’ve met has faced failure to a certain degree.*** And the universe is just being the huge thing that it is. In fact, leave the stars alone; they’re minding their own beautiful twinkly business yo.

<3 Think, instead, of what lessons you could take away from failing. Remember that 4-step cure I shared for missed opportunities? Missed opportunities are kinda like failures too. And it always helps to see that even the most awful things have a positive takeaway you can carry your whole life. Lastly…

<3 Give yourself the time to feel all the awful. If there was one thing I’ve learned in Pixar’s Inside Out, it’s that there is nothing wrong with feeling the negative things. It’s okay to feel bad.

There will be happy, colorful moments (like when you’ve proven unicorns are real) and there will be sucky ones (like when you realize you were just dreaming).

So really, it’s okay to feel bummed out or even devastated that you failed at something you’ve worked so hard for 🙂 Use up an entire box of tissues, if you must! But when you’re done, get up and start moving.

Because at the end of the day, success won’t come to you. You run towards it.

After having my pity party for like a day or two, I had to get back on my study desk and hit the books again because I had that comprehensive exam to face.

I passed said exam and I’m contented now. I even have this newfound determination to put in more effort into my studies 🙂 And I realized, I probably won’t have such a huge character development if it weren’t for failure.

And here’s the catch.

Yes, failure may lead to success. But for that to happen, you don’t just give yourself encouragements and confidence-boosters. You have to put in some hard work and effort, too 🙂

That’s how the bump car driver learns how to drive ten-wheelers. That’s how you cook a sunny-side egg that will have Gordon Ramsey on foodgasm.

That’s how you will grow.

Your turn! What is your biggest failure in life so far? How did you cope and rise out of it? Share what you learned!

Have an inspired day, awesome peeps! <3

Other awesome articles to read about this topic:

Challenging Success-via-Failure | Psychology Today

How Fear of Failure Destroys Success | Lifehack.org

*Who do you think was the pathetic potato who said that? (raises hand)
**Is this the underground lava level with that dragon???
***Unless, you know, that person is a newborn infant. Then protect that precious lump of baby fats from failure until he’s all grown up to handle them!

How to Heal Your Discouraged Heart After a Missed Opportunity

You know how they say you need to grab an opportunity once you see it? Well bugger, sometimes it’s easier said than done.

Summer last year, I was on the ProBlogger Job Board searching for potential work as a freelance writer. I saw this job for a positivity blog and I’m like

this is my moment anna kendrick gif

So I wrote an email to the owner of the website and… completely forgot about it.

At that time, my grandfather was having consecutive nose bleeding and we were all worried. Anything beyond what was happening was shoved to the back of my mind. It was two days later when I got to check my email again. The positivity blogger had replied, interested (like “I think you’d be a great addition to our writing team” interested) but I didn’t respond so he found a different one.

A missed opportunity, among many things, is both discouraging disheartening.

I mean, off the top of your head, what missed opportunity can you think of?

  • That job promotion you’ve been working on for months was postponed.
  • A classmate already submitted a project idea similar to the amazingly brilliant one you’ve formulated just minutes earlier.
  • The only book you still don’t have in a series was on a big sale. AND THE LAST COPY IS IN THE HANDS OF SOMEONE ELSE ALREADY IN THE COUNTER.*
  • And like 96000** other examples that I’m too lazy to enumerate.

How do you feel about them? Discouraged? Heartbroken? Heartbreakingly discouraged? Like you’ve gone total Eeyore mode and thought there’s no use working hard because the opportunity is gone already?

Image result for eeyore there's no use gif

Yeah, that’s how I felt.

In. Every. Freakin. Missed Opportunities.

But I decided to change my way of responding to missed opportunities. I guess you could say it was one of the positive mindset exercises that I did while on a heckuva long break last year. And here are the things I did.

Just so y’all know, these are the things I did for myself. I never guarantee they work the same way for other people. Because as I always say, we are all unique individuals. 🙂 I hope you’ll take something away from this, still 🙂 Enjoy!

*And you just know that person doesn’t need it as much as you do, right?
**Please tell me someone actually knew that?

How to Heal Your Discouraged Heart After a Missed Opportunity | Missed opportunity means a discouraged heart. I share my 4-step cure to heal that heart.

Step 1 | Suck it up and absorb the blow

Let that discouraged feeling settle onto you. Run through it on every angle. Let yourself feel every awful thing that you can possibly think of feeling at times like these. Break down if you must, especially when it’s a huge opportunity. Use up an entire box of tissues or four. Just… let it all out.

I have this mantra, “Absorb everything now, squeeze them out later.” And I do squeeze them all out.

See, there’s nothing good about bottling things up. Bottling up can make you feel physically heavier. I should know: I was once the Queen of Bottling Up*. So if you feel awful or you’re upset, find a channel to let all that out. It’s better to do it now. Kinda like when you’re cleaning fresh wound, you know?

*It was part of my Puberty Angst Package apparently

Step 2 | Accept the loss

After sucking it up and letting the possible waterworks run its course, accept the loss.

It’s called ‘missed’ for a reason. Being glum about it won’t help you in any way. It’s kinda like bottling things up. And hoarding those negative emotions is never good for your health. In fact, it may just affect you badly. One thing that may come out of not being able to move on from a missed opportunity is cynicism.

And I get it, acceptance can be hard to accomplish. Especially when you’re trying to accept something awful like a missed opportunity. This is why I drain out all the awful feeling firsthand. It makes the accepting part easier.

Step 3 | List the bright side

Yes, I know. That is such a cliché phrase. But when I say bright side, I don’t just mean to look at the good things that happened when you missed an opportunity. I really mean list them down. Often, it’s the experience and the lessons that I’ve learned that are the good things. And I’d either mentally list them down or write them.

In the case of the positivity blogging opportunity, here were the lessons and mental-notes I made:

+ Make gmail app notify you of new mails every 15 minutes
+ Create a habit of checking email at least once a day
+ But don’t be too addicted to it, mkay? 🙂
+ Lesson 1: Always know that there are other fishes in the sea, and you’re not the only qualified person for a job. Which is why…
+ Lesson 2: You work harder to be indispensible

Listing down the lessons and the mental-notes you’ve learned also helps you to see the light in an awful situation as missing an opportunity. PLUS! This can also help you move on from said opportunity. #Win

Step 4 | Remind yourself that it’s not the end of the world

The thing is: when we think of opportunities, we instantly assume they are hard to come by. Like one is an extremely rare purple jackalope that you must chase to the ends of the earth to catch. And if you don’t catch them you go:

Image result for sad gif

Yes, opportunities aren’t common. But they aren’t so rare that missing one meant you’ll never see another again. Opportunities are like (hold on, let me think of an analogy—okay I got it!) blue whales.

They’re huge and precious and not something you’ll see every day. Know where to find one and work your butt off to achieve and see them. And even when you’re already there working very hard and you still got zilch, stay patient.

You might just get gloriously splashed.

Your turn! How do you heal your discouraged heart after missing an opportunity? Share your story below!

Have an awesome day, awesome peeps! <3

What I Tell Myself When I’m Hesitant on Moving Forward

What I Do When I Hesitate on Moving Forward | We all have been in that "pause" moment just as you're about to step forward. I share what I do when it happens.

It could be as trivial as taking a shower at four in the morning when the water’s ice cold. Or maybe a step forward to personal development like making the first move at befriending someone (if you’re shy like I am that’s a huge leap).

OR, it could be something monumentally life-changing like changing career paths or being honest with myself.

What I Do When I Hesitate on Moving Forward | We all have been in that "pause" moment just as you're about to step forward. I share what I do when it happens.

There are–and will be–moments in your life when you’re standing at a pause. Maybe you’re standing at the edge of a cliff, or facing a forked path. The gist is: once you take a step, there’s no going back. You won’t be the same person as you were before. Because even the slightest change in you makes a different you.

Believe me, I know. I’ve been there. I’ve been in an edge or a fork several times now; I expect I will be several times more in the future. And I tell myself something when I’m at that “pause” phase. So what’s that?

“You can do this, Kate.”

Just that one line. Really.

I only noticed this recently, like several weeks ago. But I know I’ve been saying it too myself a lot. (Especially at four in the morning :D) For some reason, giving myself a mini cheer is, oftentimes, all the motivation I need. There’s something utterly wonderful at being your own best cheerleader.

I am the one pushing me forward.

Do you have a mantra that helps you move forward?

Happy Saturday, awesome peeps!


3 Self-Love and Inspiring Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson


Heyy! How are you? Like seriously, how are you? Is school or work or life itself treating you well?


Honestly, I had nothing planned out for today. But then I opened my Pinterest and came across a lovely quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It moved me.

And with a little search on Goodreads (which is a great source for quotes, by the way) I found two more. I also made some quick graphics below for those of you who may need any of the quotes and want to post it on their wall.

I plan on creating my own quotes print someday too but I don’t have the time right now. Hopefully, next month during our summer break 🙂 Anyway, here they are!

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”


“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”


Have a nice day, awesome peeps! <3

Why Toxic Relationships Are Like Tooth Decay

Hello hello, you lovely person! Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, ey! And I’m continuing onto my love-themed Wednesday posts.

In the past two Wednesdays, I talked about inspiring love and loving others in general. Today, I want to talk about relationships. Particularly, those that hurt you in the same way that Voldemort made Harry’s Hogwarts life miserable every-freakin-year for seven years.

Why Toxic Relationships Are Like Tooth Decay | Combining a friend's story and something I learned in the shower (as expected), I give you this slightly bizarre comparison and an advice.

“Um. We kinda get that from the title, Kate? But what does tooth decay have anything to do with this?”

It’s simple really. Let’s start it with this friend of mine. We shall call her Rose.

Rose was in a relationship for two years. And it was a toxic relationship. I would know because she reached out to me several times. Once she even called me crying about how he hurt her and how pathetic she was.

But I couldn’t understand her.

Why won’t she just break up with the jerk? If he was hurting her too much, then there’s no point working things out, right? But she told me she loved him and she can’t do it. And I decided right then that I’d never understand such thing.

But I was wrong. I did understand, kinda, because I was in a similar position. And what did I likened to Rose’s toxic relationship?

A five-year tooth decay.

My very own li’l Lord Voldemort.

Yes, I know. Maybe you’re disgusted at me right now and thinking why in the world would anyone hold on to something like that for too long?!

Funny, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I listened to Rose’s woes.

The thing is, I had an incredibly sweet tooth that resulted to plenty of tooth cavities when I was a kid. But the toothaches didn’t come until second year in high school.

One part hurt like the devil every time I ate. It instantly ruined both my appetite and day. And I suffered from it for five. Freakin. Years. And it was amazing how I had so many excuses why I wasn’t getting rid of it: I don’t have time, dentist can’t take it out for some reason, too busy with high school then incredibly busy with college. See? Plenty of excuses. But you know what’s the worst and most pathetic excuse I frequently use?

I can’t do it.

I don’t understand why I can’t. It’s not like I loved the little decayed devil or find it valuable to me. But that’s the thing with toxic relationships and long-time tooth decays, I recently learned.

You feel like you can’t do anything to get rid of it permanently.

I’m not really comfortable going to the dentist because, holy macaroni, they can be scary! And oftentimes, I reasoned that the ache was just temporary.

The irony wasn’t lost on me.

I didn’t understand why the heck some people won’t just end their painful relationship–it’s easy and they can do it, can’t they? But here I was nursing my own version of a toxic relationship.

So. What can you folks learn from this?

You have a choice

Whether you choose to stay or let all those hurtful things go is all up to you. But remember to give yourself a little self-respect. I guess, subconsciously, I felt like I was punishing my younger self for being selfish with all the candies–man, I was so horrible I even locked my sister out and gorged on a whole pack by myself!

So see, don’t do the same.

(Both being selfish with your fam and punishing yourself)

Don’t allow yourself to be burdened by pain just ’cause you feel like that’s what you deserve.

I mean, I loved Perks of Being a Wallflower but that “love that we think we deserve” part gives so much room for unhealthy self-deprecation. I think there’s a difference between repentance and self-affliction.

Because things like tooth decays and toxic relationships? If you hold onto them for a long time, they gradually become a part of your life. And suffering from them becomes a sort of habit.

And that’s as scary as Lord Voldie.

Outside these two, there are plenty of other things that can give you pain like abusive and stressful work environment.

And so in the end, I guess this post is also a bit about loving yourself.

It has been three months since Rose finally broke up with jerko. She was miserable at first and the egotistical jerk kept indirectly harassing her through Twitter. But she’s happy now.

It was around the same time when I finally went to the dentist to have the decayed tooth taken out. The first few days felt awkward to feel this gaping hole where the teeth had been.

But now I feel no pain and I don’t feel its absence anymore. I guess gums heal just like hearts do, right?

What would you do if something constantly kept hurting you? Got some advice or awesome thoughts? Share them below!

Have a love-filled day, awesome peeps!