Tag: Life

brush cleaning

I have this philosophy I apply with my art process.

The idea goes like this: The simple cure of an art block can either be a thorough cleaning of all your palettes and brushes, or staying away from the drawing board for a while.

What I’ve been trying to learn the past several months – the past couple years even – is knowing when to clean and when to step away. When to listen to my body and when to be stubborn.

Because sometimes when your body says “I’m tired. I don’t want to draw,” you listen to it. And other times, you don’t. Because maybe your body is tired and needs to rest, or maybe it just needs a little push.

Several days ago, I spent an entire evening cleaning my old palettes and water brushes. I probably spent more than an hour by our kitchen sink squeezing out the red watercolor stain out of one water brush. But that’s fine – time feels slow and forgiving when you’ve got nowhere to go like these past month.

I stood there silently. It’s already dry season now, where I’m from, and the nights are sweltering. I could feel a drop of sweat sliding down from my chin to my neck, the fan ventilating my brother by the dining table barely reached me.

Remembering that particular scene several days ago, that particular moment, I could liken it to cleansing your life or your head space. How much work it is. How heavy and uncomfortable you could feel while doing it. How it takes a while before the stain comes off completely (if they even do) and you return to a squeaky clean start.

Sometimes, cleaning up the messes around you is all you need to do to keep your sanity intact.

And sometimes, you are too overwhelmed to even clean them up. So much so, that all you can do is step away from them. Remove them from your view – if only for a moment.

I’ve been through both times. Heck, I’ve even been through both times at the same time.

When it comes to both my art and life and my mental well-being, I still don’t know the telltales of when to persist and when to quit.

All I could do right now is to listen, and to try.


Hello friends,

It has been a heck of a long time since I published a short pondering type of post. It’s weird to not care about readability or the SEO. I’m trying my best to ignore it hnggg.

I honestly don’t know when I would write another one of these – maybe immediately after this one or maybe four years after.

That said, I hope I too made you ponder, even for a while. And I hope you are safe and well wherever you may be.

Kate

February was more chaotic than last month, wow. | Side Notes

Yep. You read that right.

Remember when I said last month, I hope February was going to be kinder to me than January? February was like, “NOPE! Not gonna.”

On a more positive note, though! I have new graphics for Side Notes, whee! Figured it was about time. That old one was getting… well, old.

Side Notes is a monthly wrap up where I share the interesting, and incredibly inspiring things I found during the month that I couldn’t fit in any post. Expect awesome recs, awesome books and awesome bloggers.

Also expect: fangirling (lots of it) and a glimpse into my life — the happy, the chaos and all.

In the Blogosphere

Anne shared 7 gift ideas for those in a long-distance relationship. And I say, they’re all pretty wholesome enough for anyone in your life!

Brett talked about dealing with negative feelings and shared some awesome tips to do so healthily. Check it out!

In need of some self-care ideas? Jackie recommends doing something creative — like building a house on Sims! Read her post for 6 more awesome recs!

Lea talks about her life as a 28-year-old married woman with no kids. (Guess what question she always gets asked.)

Hafsa created a journaling party and it. Sounds. SUPER. AWESOME??? I want in so bad.

Is blogging dead? Ashlee thinks not. And I, as I write the draft for this on WordPress Classic Editor, so so agree.

Lauren talks about grief and how to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Apostolia shared habits to have a happy life and I’m taking notes.

Deze shares the 6 hard lessons she learned in her first two years as a married woman and it’s applicable to any relationships!

The Awesome Side of the Internet

The Internet can be a jerk sometimes, let’s all be real here. But it is also filled with authentic and incredibly inspiring human (and non-human) stories.

Someone made a music video out of Paint and it’s BRILLIANT.

You need to rewatch LoTR but with cats.

Someone’s gonna be a great lawyer someday. Case closed, y’all.

You know how last month my recommendations were both educational apps? Welp, today I’m recommending two of my recent fave series!

VIOLET EVERGARDEN

I’m going to put it out there: this is anime. And before you scroll further thinking, “Oh, that isn’t my cup of tea.” Hear me out first!

This anime series revolves around a young girl who knew nothing of life outside her military background. Now that the war is over, she has to learn what it is like to live outside the front lines of a battlefield. (Wow, someone hire me to make blurbs. I think that’s a fair, non-spoilery one.)

It’s a coming-of-age series, my favorite anime genre after fantasy and slice-of-life, and it is heartbreakingly beautiful. It may revolve around Violet Evergarden, the young girl I mentioned above, but it’s more than just her story. The entire series is jam-packed with stories about love and family and self-growth. Not to mention, the animation is just BREATHTAKING. And y’all I’m not just saying that because Kyoto Animation, my all-time fave anime studio, produced it.

You can watch Violet Evergarden on Netflix now. Please watch it. (And if you do or did, hit me an email or slide a DM wherever. I want to talk about this and none of my friends has watched it yet!!)

HEARTSTOPPER

This is another series I recently got into that I think not a lot of people generally know. Like Violet Evergarden, you would only know about Heartstopper if you’re in the community. (The anime community in Violet Evergarden’s case, the book community in this one’s.)

Heartstopper is a webcomic written and illustrated by YA author Alice Oseman. It’s about two adorable soft bois being adorable together. An openly gay boy who overthinks for a living, and a soft-hearted guy who’s still figuring out his sexuality.

That’s it. That’s the pitch.

Now here’s the thing. I’ve read books my whole life. Consequently, I’ve read tons of books while on public transportation. But I’ve never — and I mean never — cried on public because of a book. Ever. This webcomic? It’s responsible for my first-ever public book tears. It is that good. You can read Heartstopper on Tumblr or in the Tapas app.

Little Victories – Kickass Stuff that Happened This Month

  • I landed my first ever full-time job, y’all!
  • I’m getting on top of my Twitter game, ey!
  • My sleep is now regular!!! (It really was the lack of a structured routine omg! Once I was working, I’m already asleep at 10pm and up by 5am the next day. Could still need a little tweaking as I want to spend a bit more hours on my blog… but I’ll take it!)

Little Detours – What Kicked My Ass This Month

(because we’re not perfect, and it’s good to share your awful moments)

  • My blog game and all other social media games are not as strong as the Twitter one. As you may have noticed, I decided to go on a hiatus halfway through the month.

Little Milestones – Things I Want to Achieve or Do Next Month

(because according to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, I am an Obliger and I need outside accountability to reach personal goals)

A MINI-REVIEW ON THIS MONTH’S GOALS
  • Make no bake cheesecake. ✘ I was on the verge of becoming broke so I’m doing a rain check on this one.
  • Get interviewed by 5 companies. ✘ This didn’t happen BUT! I landed my job on the only company I got interviewed so yay!
  • Finish writing and scheduling March’s posts. ✘ Still writing up March’s post. Oh well.
GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH
  • Create a routine around work
  • Set aside 5,000 php to savings (That’s about $100, give or take)
  • Write and schedule posts

Last Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

Eat fruit once a day. This didn’t happen BUT!!! I am eating fruit every other day so that’s a good start.

Next Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

Finish one book. If I said I didn’t have much time reading books on February, I’d be lying. I just chose not to read any books. Now, I want to just finish one book. If I could just finish reading one, I’m good.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

How was your February? Was it awesome or did it suck so bad? Share to me everything!

xx Kate

Photo from Ivory Mix

2018 New Things: An Evaluation (and what I want to do moving forward)

Last year – or one year and 17 days ago, to be precise – I published a post in which I announced that I will try to do 10 new things in 2018. And the result… deeply astounded me.

Out of the 10 new things I set myself up to do last year, I was only able to do one.

WOW, KATE.

But because I kinda want to make up to (deeply disappointed) January 2018 Kate, I will look further into each New Thing and torture myself in embarrassment at the same time.

This is going to be fun, y’all.

1. Finish a horror movie without running away. I didn’t even watch any thriller last year, wow. But I guess it was to be expected since I was extremely busy for my last year in uni.

2. Make no-bake cheesecake. In my defense! I was going to do this over the holidays. But as I was spending Christmas and New Year’s in my grandparents’ house and all of the people living there either have diabetes or high cholesterol, I decided to just do it when I get back to Cebu.

3. Enroll in an art class. This is the One New Thing that I got to try out last year. So I signed up for one of Craftsy’s art courses because they had a promo back then. The course I signed up to is Kateri Ewing’s Startup Library: Painting with Watercolors. It was ah-mazing. I love the teacher and it tackled watercolour basics which really helped me understand watercolour better.

4. Make a popsicle house. I can’t believe I forgot I had this as a New Thing! And my brother had a project where he had to build one, hng.

5. Go to the gym. I don’t wanna talk about it.

6. Participate in an open mic. I remember I had plans on doing this last April at a popular tea house in my hometown, when I went home for a long break. But I learned that they no longer have an open mic there which was sad. I also didn’t know any other place that holds an open mic. So there you go.

7. Pierce ears. Omg, I was going to do this! But again, I had no time. Also, I was supposed to do it with my best friend but I only went home twice last year. Again, sad.

8. Eat sushi. Again not much free time = no time to go eat out. I did try out eating Korean barbecue and kimbap for the first time last year. So that sort of makes up with trying out new food, yes? Yes. And for a picky eater, I’d say that’s a win.

9. Listen to an album from a genre I don’t usually listen to. Um… I don’t think it counts because it was only one song but I listened to KDA’s Popstars.

10. No chicken or pork for a week. This is the one that I was disappointed at myself the most, to be honest.

All that said, it was quite disappointing for my first ever New Things year. For 2019, I will be tweaking things a bit and just try out five. Also, I’m going to add in a monthly assessment section on my Side Notes every month for this.

Five New Things I’m Going to Try in 2019

1. Make no-bake cheesecake

I am adamant in doing this, okay??? My family think I can’t make food outside instant stuff and frying eggs and cooking rice. I’ll show it to them. Also I just think it’d be nice to finally be able to try making something no-bake. I’ve seen them on Pinterest and they just look delicious and seem easy to do.

2. No chicken or pork for a week

As a notoriously known meat-eater, this is another thing my family don’t think I can accomplish. They don’t believe I can live with just fish and veggies. But I want to prove to them and myself that I can do this. This one’s going to be hard, though. So I’ll probably create a meal-plan for this specific week.

3. Attend a yoga class four times

I honestly have no idea how I’m going to do this but I want to try. I’ll have to research on yoga classes near me that I can attend to.

4. Attend a live watercolour workshop

I tried enrolling in an online art course last year. This time, I want to see if I get out of my introverted shell more and interact with people with the same interest. It’ll be fun too!

5. Post five video on Youtube

I’m still not sure if I want to appear on the videos or do a voice over or… just make videos but I haven’t dipped my toes on creating videos for fun and not for a school project. So this is going to be fun and anxious-filled.

Other than these five New Things, I also have three Big Goals I hope to achieve this year:

  • Have a collab with a huge brand on my blog
  • Save up for the CMA Board Exam (which I hope to take either this year or next)
  • Write a 100-page book. (I have no idea what it will be right now, but I just want to write one hehe)

I WANNA HEAR FROM YOU!

Did you achieve your goals last year? What are your goals for 2019? Share them below!

xx Kate

An impromptu welcome back after my impromptu break! | December Side Notes

Why yes, I totally did go away from the blogosphere for one whole freaking month without a warning after posting that November Side Notes.

Was I sorry? Of course! Even just a tiny bit.

Did I regret it? Definitely not.

I thought November would bring out all the busyness of the year. But nooo. December is definitely the busiest I’ve been this year. All the Christmas shopping, all the clearance running… All the graduation shenanigans. Sigh. But that’s the thing. I’m okay with all of it.

Because YA GIRL HAS NOW OFFICIALLY FINISHED UNI Y’ALL.

I’ve also taken advantage of this month-long impromptu break by catching up on emails and creating blog posts and do all other online responsibilities I’ve set aside because I wanted to focus on graduating. I haven’t ticked all my delayed to-do lists but that’s alright. I’m going at it slowly.

Anyway, on to the post!

Side Notes is a monthly wrap up where I share the interesting, and incredibly inspiring things I found during the month that I couldn’t fit in any post. Expect awesome recs, awesome books and awesome bloggers.

Also expect: fangirling (lots of it) and a glimpse into my life — the happy, the chaos and all.

interesting finds

In the Blogosphere

Key shared a very personal post about experiencing post-partum depression and it’s such an inspiring read.

ALJ put out the most awesome holiday gift guide for this year and — welp, not that you’ll need it. But in case you need to shop for super duper late holiday presents, they’re your gals.

If you’re up for some wholesome holiday read, Devinder posted the most wholesome Christmas post I’ve read this month where she shared the traditions she and her family have for the holidays.

Marie-Celine wrote this short but super on-point piece on comparisonitis and we could all go for a little reminder today.

Corrie wrote this timely piece on creating transformative New Year’s resolutions that you can carry through past January!

The Awesome Side of the Internet

Yes, yes. I know. The Internet can be a jerk sometimes. But it is also filled with authentic and incredibly inspiring human stories. I always believe it only takes one kind heart for other kindness to join in 🙂

This kid is a goth in training and I have mad respect.

Seven-year-old shows her friends her new prosthetic leg and if that doesn’t tug your heartstrings enough, see how they responded *heart eyes*

McDonald’s created an anime commercial and it’s super kawaii (cute).

This girl is signing to her deaf father at a rock concert and my heart is swelling from so much love.

recommendations of the month
“Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee

The best Sunflower song I have ever heard y’all.

It’s so good vibes-y and super upbeat. All throughout November to December, I listened to this repeatedly on commute while going to school. It is such a great way to start the day on a positive note! Go ahead and listen! Also, watch the new animated film Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse, which the song is a soundtrack to. Haven’t watched it myself but you can be sure I will!!!

Chocolate Soy Milk

In case you didn’t know, I don’t drink coffee. *shields self from any attacks*

I have never really liked the taste of coffee. Also, my mom prefers we drink milk every morning, if we could help it. I was extremely busy these past couple months. In effect, I had to sacrifice my sleep. Because I don’t drink coffee, I try to get my dose of caffeine in other ways. I tried pure cocoa but that was bitter as heck. And I tried getting from cola but that’s wayyy too unhealthy and certainly not good for my hyperacidic-prone stomach.

But then, I remember my friend once recommended chocolate soy milk.

So I tried that and YOOO. To my fellow rare non-coffee-drinkers out there. This is the healthy caffeine option we need y’all! I drink either the Vitasoy Chocolate Soy Milk or the Vitamilk Double Choco Shake (which is a local product, yay!!!). Both are extremely delicious and they give me that small boost of energy I need in the morning.

the little things

Little Victories – Kickass Stuff that Happened This Month

    • I FINALLY GRADUATED Y’ALL!!! Finally finished four years in Accounting huhu. I actually wrote a super long Instagram post about it (shameless self-promo) and if you followed me on there, let me know so I can follow you back!
    • Got six cartons of Dutchmill from my Secret Santa (another non-caffeine drink I absolutely enjoy) and that makes me super super happy.
    • I am now, once again, surrounded by my favorite fowl ever: CHICKENS!!! (I mean, the turkeys of my neighbors in Cebu were fun to watch but nothing could top chickens for me hehe)
    • Finally bought cactus soil and pebbles for Cactus’s babies. But I just found out you don’t want to transplant cacti on the fourth quarter of the year since it’s their dormant period so April transplanting it is!
    • Sent out 2 guest post pitches! This isn’t what I hoped to achieve but I’ll take it. (Side note: you can check out my guest post about why having a creative hobby is important on La Ivana here)

Little Detours – What Kicked My Ass This Month

(because we’re not perfect, and it’s good to share your awful moments)

  • I had a pre-graduating breakdown and that meant puffy eyes on graduation day, oomf
  • Still have zero posts on buffer and I’m still scared
  • I haven’t touched any book in weeks wow

Little Milestones – Things I Want to Achieve or Do Next Month

(because according to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, I am an Obliger and I need outside accountability to reach personal goals)

  • Finish three posts for the month and send out two guest post pitches
  • Read and comment on 14 blog posts every week
  • Update my resume (hnggg)

Last Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

Be happy and stress-free. December was certainly stressful but the holiday vibes really got to me and I’m super happy.

  • Next Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

    Try out one thing you haven’t tried before. I’m already thinking of trying out sushi for the first time but I need to ask a friend where the best sushi place in town is hehe.

    I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

    How was your December?? Do you drink coffee or not? What’s your favorite non-coffee beverage? Tell me all the things!!!

    xx Kate

    Photo from Ivory Mix

September is Half and Half, No In-Between // Side Notes

Side Notes is a monthly wrap up where I share the interesting, and incredibly inspiring things I found during the month that I couldn’t fit in any post. Expect awesome recs, awesome books and awesome bloggers.

Also expect: fangirling (lots of it) and a glimpse into my life — the happy, the chaos and all.

Half on-my-knees-crying, half jumping-up-and-down happy.

Half super chaotic, half super relaxed.

Half unaccomplished potato, half slaying-it-productive potato.

In my September, there were no in-betweens. Only halves of the extremes. Interestingly, the first half was where all the crying and chaos and unaccomplishments happened. I have this itty-bitty suspicion it’s like one of those light drizzles that’s left over after the huge storm that was August passed. *glares at August*

The second half, there were still a bit of chaos and a bit of crying and a bit of unproductiveness, sure. But it was all manageable. And frankly, with the degree of happiness, and chillness, and accomplished-ness that I felt on the second half. Those tiny bits of negative were irrelevant.

interesting finds

In the Blogosphere

Suktara shared some amazingly practical hacks for busy women (and we all need these, believe me.)

Ki’ara discussed why we lose our motivation and offered great tips on how you can keep it.

Brittany argued why it’s best to forget about finding your purpose and it is such an interesting perspective!

Are you listening? Alex talked about active listening – what it is and how you could benefit from it.

We can definitely find happiness in the little things which is why Joy listed down 25 small things she finds joy in.

Amber wrote a comprehensive guide on how to navigate stressful situations.

Lana bravely shared the darkest moment in her life, in hopes of helping others realize that they are not alone. Not gonna lie, this one’s my favorite post I’ve read this month. (And that’s saying something, considering I’ve read dozens!)

The Awesome Side of the Internet

Yes, yes. I know. The Internet can be a jerk sometimes. But it is also filled with authentic and incredibly inspiring human stories. I always believe it only takes one kind heart for other kindness to join in 🙂

<3 Somebody created this masterpiece that is the Avengers: Infinity War anime opening. It’s BRILLIANT. My geeky heart is in paradise.

<3 This tweet DID NOT make me cry. I’m not crying. You are.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

<3 If you want something totally adorable, scroll through this thread of cockatiels. Two is ah-dorable and the other one is downright funny. Watching these videos literally cured my cough.

<3 This comic about purple hair and imposter syndrome is TOTALLY RELATABLE. I can’t even.

recommendations of the month

Feedly app – For Keeping up with Your Fave Bloggers

My problem with the WordPress app is that it’s not so friendly with non-Wordpress blogs. And I rarely open Bloglovin hehe. Feedly is my favorite app to use when I need to quickly browse over all my favorite bloggers’ recent posts. And it has a super simple interface that even tech newbies can navigate!

Google Keep

I honestly don’t know what I would do without Google Keep. Honestly. Making use of Keep beyond just blogging is probably 80% why my second half of September wasn’t so chaotic. I use Keep to take notes on my academic works, putting links to refer back later, blog to-do lists and even reminding myself of my goals. Plus! I recently found out that I can open it on my browser. So when I need to make an outbound link to an article I referred in a post, I don’t have to do some Matrix maneuver with my phone! It is literally a life-saver!

the little things

Little Victories – Kickass Stuff that Happened This Month

  • I finally finished my application for graduation ahhh!
  • Joined in with a group of super inspiring ladies to work on something super incredible. (This one’s a secret for now 😉 )
  • Achieved my goals of reaching 950 followers on my blog and 90 followers on Instagram. Thank you so much to all of you!!! <3
  • I actually understood finance??? As a context, I hate finance. Of all my major subjects, I despise finance. And it’s so weird that I finally get the underlying theories behind some of the topics.

Little Detours – What Kicked My Ass This Month

(because we’re not perfect, and it’s good to share your awful moments)

  • Cough. Severe my-lungs-want-to-come-out-of-my-ribcage hacking.
  • I still didn’t do a lot of art this month. Still haven’t finished my Kate Harker illustration.
  • I still haven’t repotted Watson’s babies.
  • The rainy season. Which worsened my cough a few times.

Little Milestones – Things I Want to Achieve or Do Next Month

(because according to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, I am an Obliger and I need outside accountability to reach personal goals)

  • Reach 1000 followers on here before November 14th (but preferably on October) and 100 followers on Instagram
  • Do two full-color illustrations. The Kate Harker one and another cutesy weapon-yielding girl.
  • Join in on Inktober for 20 days tops.

Last Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

Read a Rumi passage a day. Nope. This didn’t come through at all. But! Sometime in the last week of September I was able to read a chapter of a nonfiction book a day. So can I’m calling that a 10% success? Yes or yes?

Next Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

Read a chapter of a nonfiction book a day.  I might as well continue on to this for October since I’ve already accomplished it in the last several days of September. Also hoping I’d finish a couple of nonfiction books this way.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

How was your September? Is there a goal you want to reach next month? Let me cheer you on!

xx Kate

August Side Notes: A Melting Pot of Sweat, Tears and Hurried To-Dos

Side Notes is a monthly wrap up where I share the interesting, and incredibly inspiring things I found during the month that I couldn’t fit in any post. Expect awesome recs, awesome books and awesome bloggers.

Also expect: fangirling (lots of it) and a glimpse into my life — the happy, the chaos and all.

The Japanese has this eating game called yaminabe.

Literally translates to “dark night (yami) pot (nabe)”, it’s a whole ‘nother level of pot luck where you and your friends gather around a cooking pot and, with the lights off, throw in whatever ingredients each of you brought into the pot. And you have to eat whatever you got.

That pretty much sums up my August.

Life just threw in whatever it wants into my pot and all I could do is eat what I pick up and get through it. It was a tornado of a month and I’m just glad it’s over.

On that note, there won’t be any #DrawMyBooks section this month because I only read one (ONE) book in August and I decided I’ll just put it together with next month’s books. It’s kinda sad but not entirely surprising. Our semester started this month so I spent most of August getting back into uni mode and juggling college and my creative hobbies.

But enough about that, let’s get on with this!

interesting finds

In the Blogosphere

Queen of Spreadsheets, Shealea, shared some ah-mazing tips on making use of spreadsheets to up your blogging game.

Rebekah talked about disability discrimination and how it’s still an issue today and you need to read it N O W.

Alex listed three reasons a good idea is optional in creating. And if you’re a creative, specifically a writer, this one’s for you.

Debbie discussed about relatable villains and questionable heroes and mentioned The Darkling so you could be sure it’s a great post. (No bias here at all.)

Jenny shared how she fits self-care into her everyday life, because self-care isn’t just the occasional mani-pedi session but something we need to incorporate into our daily lives.

Ashley wrote an amazing piece about finding closure when a friendship ends — and it is super relatable!

“It’s true that in losing a friend, you still go through the five stages of grief.”

Jade listed down five ways to increase your motivation when you’re struggling with depression.

Nancy mused about finding time for the things that you love and listed some of the things she makes time for. AND I’M ALL FOR IT.

Abi published this super empowering post on embracing your sexuality as a woman.

Phil talked about “The Urgent Rush” which is when parents get worried that their kids don’t develop a certain thing at a certain age.

The Awesome Side of the Internet

Yes, yes. I know. The Internet can be a jerk sometimes. But it is also filled with authentic and incredibly inspiring human stories. I always believe it only takes one kind heart for other kindness to join in 🙂

<3 This creative video I found on Twitter

<3 Ava DuVernay inspiring message

<3 If you watched Bear in the Big Blue House back when you were a kid, someone found the lost last episode of the series here. A guaranteed tear-jerker.

<3 These beautiful art by Hayley (@FrockMeImFamous on Twitter) and the touching story behind it.

<3 These precious boys dancing to the music of this precious violinist.

recommendations of the month

I Need To Start a Garden EP by Haley Heynderickx

Shoutout to my best friend for recommending this artist to me (she knows my music taste so well <3) Haley is an absolute fab, adorkable human being and her songs just bring me inner peace – the kind you would need when you’re going back to school. Give “Oom Sha La La” a listen. It’s such a happy song but also very honest. You can check her out on Spotify here.

Blogging Buddies Facebook Group

Created by the blogger fairy godmother, Ruth, this Facebook group is an amazing place to connect with fellow bloggers and ask for blogging-related advice and share tips as well. Thanks to this group, I discovered tons of awesome bloggers whose websites I wouldn’t have been able to stumble upon otherwise!

the little things

Little Victories – Kickass Stuff that Happened This Month

  • Got friends on all my classes, yay!
  • Started a blog Instagram account and reached 50 followers in two weeks, omggg??? (As a context, it took me 2-freakin-years to reach 100 followers on my old account)
  • Drank more water, whoop whoop!
  • Reached 500 followers on Twitter, whattt <3
  • Finished a month’s worth of art journaling! (contrary to popular belief, I’m not good with keeping up long commitments like drawing everyday for a month so this is really a huge achievement for me)

Little Detours – What Kicked My Ass This Month

(because we’re not perfect, and it’s good to share your awful moments)

  • My calculator game was off like you wouldn’t believe. As an accounting student, I need to solve long problems as fast as possible, and I was just a hot mess for the past few weeks while solving sample problems, ugh. Get it together, Kate!
  • I had a mini writer’s block and wasn’t able to write my September posts on time. BUUUT! I used a five-item to-do list every time I started to feel overwhelmed and it helps a lot!
  • I wasn’t able to create a lot of art.

Little Milestones – Things I Want to Achieve or Do Next Month

(because according to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, I am an Obliger and I need outside accountability to reach personal goals)

  • Finish my Kate Harker illustration.
  • Repot my cactus, Watson’s babies. (Still had to do this. I’m so sorry, Watson!)
  • Reach 950 followers on here.

Next Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

Read a Rumi passage a day for thirty days. (Wish me luck!)

Who’s currently your favorite artist? What were your goals in August? Did you achieve them? Share them all below!

 

How to Cope with Changes You Face in Life

How to Cope with Changes | Life advice, Life tips, Personal growth, Happiness

It was an ordinary morning. I woke up and started my day as I usually do: by opening the Pinterest app. That’s when I saw it. (more…)

How I Deal with Feeling Stuck in Life

Have you ever had that feeling when the Devil’s Snare is holding you tightly and you’re just… stuck? Except you’re not really physically stuck. More like mentally and emotionally stuck. In life.

Image result for devils snare gif

I mean. We’ve all been 11-year-old Ron at some point, amirite? (Source)

Feeling stuck in life sucks. I end up panicking. Always. And as much as a level-headed Hermione in my mind tells me to just relax, Kate, just relax, my first instinct is to be Ron: become sarcastic while panicking.

I mean, just off the top of my head, this ‘I’m stuck’ feeling:

  • Makes you feel like you’re not doing anything
  • And because you’re not doing anything, you feel useless
  • And this makes you feel worthless
  • Which lowers your self-esteem
  • And you end up becoming a mashed/couch potato binge-watching awful reality shows on cable.

I’ve been a mashed/couch potato binge-watcher plenty of times and I honestly don’t want anyone to end up in the same position as I have, so I’m sharing to you what I do when I feel stuck in life. Hope this helps! 🙂

Purge / De-clutter

Has the physical chaos around you added to all that tangled mess already inside your head and it’s messing you up?

Friend, you’re not alone.

I’m not a very organized person. I have piles of scratch papers and empty watercolor tubes and dried up pens all over my room that I don’t throw out until it’s been like months. So when my mind becomes a hot mess and gets too overwhelming, the mess all around me is like a fuel to the already burning fire.

This is usually the time when I grab a broom and a rag and have an impromptu cleaning spree.

I’m telling you: there is something absolutely therapeutic about de-cluttering your space and purging the mess.

And I don’t call it a purge for show. If there’s an article of clothing I haven’t worn for like a year, I throw it out or donate it. If my desk or shelves are filled with papers from months ago, I throw them out. My sister had this paper bag filled with newspapers that she supposedly was going to add to her portfolio (she’s a journalist) but it’s been gathering dusts since last year. So when my brother needed paper for their classroom’s recycled Christmas decor, I gave the paper bag to him.

Look through every nook and cranny of your work space and your bedroom. If you’re a semi-organized fellow like moi, you’re bound to find a mess or four. So here are some quick de-cluttering you can start doing now:

  • Dust off those spider webs in the corner.
  • Organize your closet. (I mean, do you really really need that knitted hat with pompoms you’ve had since third grade? Come on, Janice.)
  • Unsubscribe to newsletters that you don’t read anymore.
  • Change your bed sheets and pillow cases. (I mean. That feeling of flopping onto a clean bed? 11/10 would do it every-freakin-day)
  • Organize your bookshelves. In rainbow colors or by authors, whatever suits your fancy.
  • Throw away those old earphones that don’t work anymore.
  • Deal with The Chair™. (You know? That chair in your room where a pile of your dirty laundry sits? Tell me I’m not the only one with that chair.)

Be ruthless in your purging. When I purge I only follow one rule: if it doesn’t do any good to you anymore, it doesn’t need to occupy much space in your life. Throw them out. Let them go. Give them to other people who will make use of them. The act of cleaning and de-cluttering is a big help. And when you’re done, you’ve got so much more room to do more things. #Win.

Move / Take Action

There are so many things I didn’t get to do because I thought I wasn’t ready. And, listen, this is a very unhealthy thought to have, okay? Don’t be like me, kids.

Sometimes we get stuck because we have this mindset that we’re not good enough for anything. That we aren’t ready. That our skills isn’t enough to do what we want to do. It’s like you’re stuck in a quicksand made of all the negative self-talk you’ve created.

But you know what? No one’s ever ready for anything.

At this point, I’ve probably watched enough TED Talk videos and listened to enough motivational podcasts to know people rarely are completely ready when they start doing what they’ve wanted to do.

And you know what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that 🙂

In fact, if you’re not ready but you jumped in and started anyway, GO YOU! That’s brave and that in itself is something to be proud of—because you faced your fear and said, “I’m doing this anyway.”

Avoid Comparisonitis

Boy oh boy. This is probably a common problem among people in the Internet. Because, you know, social media.

We can all agree social media feeds on the little green monster living inside us, right? Seeing the fabulous achievements and gorgeous lifestyle your Facebook friends have, the glamorous travel-filled life of the people you follow on Instagram… All these make comparisonitis such an easy sickness to get. And comparisonitis can make you feel like you’re not good enough to do something. Which can end up with you feeling stuck.

When that happens, I want you to remember this:

Social media is a highlights reel.

People usually only post the good things that happen in their lives. The things “worth sharing.” (Except Twitter. Twitter is the John Bender of social media.)

Image result for john bender gif

This guy, I swear. (Source)

I remind myself this all the time. I forgot where I found it—I tried looking for it but my History tab and my memory are both jumbled mess—but I read somewhere that we all compare our real life to another person’s highlights reel online. And that doesn’t seem fair to yourself, isn’t it?

What the post said was so accurate for me that I whipped out a blank sheet of paper and wrote a line from the blog post that really stuck to me. I have it on my desk beside my computer where I can see it everyday.

 

I think I paraphrased this to make it shorter and fit the paper. So if you know where this is, let me know in the comments so I can fully credit them! 🙂

Somehow, reading this quote every morning or when I’m working on my desk gives me comfort. Knowing and constantly reminding myself that other people go through bad times too and that they also rarely share all this to the world makes me more empathetic, I guess. 🙂

How do you deal with feeling like you’re stuck in life? Share your wisdom in the comments below!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin

PS: If you like this post, check out why it’s okay not to have everything figured out and how to conquer creative block.


Friendly reminder that my blog birthday giveaway is still going on! You can win an art commission or a custom set of blog graphic elements including a blog header 😀

Interested? Click on the image below for more info.

blog birthday giveaway

I Stopped Figuring Out My “One True Calling” and Started Identifying My Calls

Here’s another Katie’s Oldies but Goldies! (HAHAHA I should really stop using that lame name now, I know. But I can’t help it somehow???)

Hey everyone! Just wanna let you know that at the time of editing this post, I’m still alive. Not as preoccupied and llama-wailing as last week, thank goodness. Saturday’s post miiiight be a new one. Might. If I find the time. Until then, I will be a lurker in the blogosphere whenever I find the free time to open Reader.

Hope y’all are doing great! 🙂 Now, onto the post…


I always admired how my sister knew exactly what she wanted. Like me, she devoured series like the Harry Potter series and A Series of Unfortunate Events when she was eight or nine. On her fifth grade, she was already writing her very own novel in an unused composition notebook.

By the time she was in high school and got exposed to the annual city-wide press conference, she started competing in editorial writing. That was when she realized she loved technical writing more than creative writing. She’s a writer for a local newspaper now and she still types fiercely.

And then there’s me.

Figuring Out Your True Calling | Life, Twenty-something, Career, True Calling

You know how as far back as kindergarten we were already asked what we want to be when we grow up? Back in first grade, I really put a lot of thought into this because we were supposed to tell it to the entire class.

So I weighed in my options. I was definitely not going to be a doctor because most of the class already said that. And you can’t have everybody be a doctor, right?? Who’s gonna run the country then? So you know what I wanted to be back in first grade?

A miner.

And I mean, that’s not an awful job in and of itself. I don’t think I’ll ever have the bravery those admirable miners have every time they go to work. But do you know why I wanted to be a miner???

Because I wanna give poor people some of my wealth.

*sigh* The Seven Dwarfs definitely contributed a lot in my way of thinking back then.

I’ve been blinded by old-school shine animation. And look how happy they are!!!

Funny how, when I think about it in retrospect, adults just ask this question because they find children already thinking of their future adorable.

Like six-year-old innocent Kate who is still free of any cynicism in her body.

But over and over, I am asked this question from grade school to high school and even now in college. It may have evolved into different forms the older I get but it’s still the same:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“What’s your ambition?”
“What are you taking in college?”
“What do you do?”

I’m now usually asked the third one. And when I answer Accountancy, it’s always followed by either, “Oh! You’re so smart then!” or “Wow! So you wanna be a CPA someday?”

And the thing is, I don’t think I’m that smart–I’m merely hanging by a thread at this point. And I don’t want to be a CPA. (At least not for long.) This question about my career is always a daunting reminder that I barely have a plan for my future.

See, we’re that consumed on thinking about career. We like to put this kind of expectations to our young folks, reasoning that they have to be ready when they step out into the real world. As if the world we young adults are living right now isn’t the real world.

Related read: I Don’t Think the Real World is Out There

But what if they still don’t know what they want to do? Most likely scenario? They get thrown with so many negative responses.

“What an irresponsible child.”
“Stop being indecisive.”
“You can’t keep playing your whole life, kid.”
“You shouldn’t be wasting your time.”

Don’t you think that seemed…. I don’t know, unfair?

Not everyone is like my sister. Not everyone knows what they want to do. Some of us are still patting our way into this dark maze called life. And you know what?

Not having everything figured out is okay.

And so, if you are also on the verge of wrapping yourself around the same thoughts I mentioned above, here’s what you can think instead:

<3 It’s not irresponsible to not know what you want. Not when the options could be too many for you to handle and you’re overwhelmed.
<3 It may seem indecisive, but I would rather weigh in my options carefully than pick a choice quick.
<3 It’s not playing if you are trying to think real hard about your career.
<3 And how can it be a waste of time when you’re trying to learn more about yourself and what you really want?

The awesome blogger behind Personal Dailies said it best in her post, “Do you know what you want to do yet”. That the first 18 years of life is not usually the ideal time to figure out your One True Calling.

We all go through similar things, sure. But when they would happen and how we would respond to them are all unique to each of us. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying everything first before picking out what you really want to do. I’ve come to the conclusion that life is a series of trial and errors.

There is no fix thing or an absolute solution.

And if, along the way, you want to change course, it’s your call. Which is what I’d rather want to do. Instead of thinking about my calling, I’ll just start identifying my call.

Kinda cheesy and lame, I know. But that’s just it. No one–not your family or your friends or the school or even Yoda–can tell you how to live your life or pinpoint to you where to find the answers you need. You only need one person. And that’s you.

TALK TO ME: Do you know what your calling is? Or are you like me and still mulling over your choices? Have you recently discovered your calling? If yeah, would you like to share about it? I would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

Have an inspired, whistle-while-you-work day, awesome peeps! <3


PS. Google Calendar says today is apparently Book Lovers Day*. So shoutout to my fellow bookworms! What are you reading today? Anyone read any book that taught you something career-related?

Also, here are some other articles on early career decisions for youth. Just to let y’all know that, if you’re feeling it, you’re not alone 🙂

Young people are having to take career decisions too early | The Guardian
The Immense Pressure of Career Choice | Psychology Today
I also shared three reasons why it’s okay not to have everything figured out. You can check that post out here~

*I mean… let’s face it. Everyday is Book Lovers Day, amirite???

 

 

Compassion, Train Tracks, and the Comment Section (+ I Have A Question) | Fourth Friday Fangirling

Less intro, more fangirling. Okay? Okay!

Let’s do this!

In this month’s FFFs, you have compassion, the comment section train, and train tracks. Oh! And I have a question for you at the end :D | Fourth Friday Fangirling

All Over the Blogosphere

Inspiration and Motivation – Valerie of This Vegan Life’s latest post, “Life is Actually Easy,” gave me an interesting perspective on the difference between inspiration and motivation. She also reintroduced me to meditation, which I’m thinking of doing again soon.

{About blog: This Vegan Life is a vegan lifestyle blog by Valerie Cody. Here, she shares not only scrumptious recipes for vegan peeps but also ways to have a more spiritually grounded life. I also love the vintage collage feel of her feature images.}

An Alternative RealityThrough sharing a fun fact about train tracks, Ellie of Ellie’s Blog wrote a thought-provoking post on tradition and how we generally lack the ability to step away from “what works” in “The Distance Between”. It’s brilliant and a must-read!

{About blog: Ellie’s Blog is a personal blog by Ellie, a 23-year-old from New Zealand. She writes about opinions, self-help, travel and poetry. Another great post you should check out of hers is “The Generation of Instant Gratification.” I know right??? You could already tell it’ll be a brilliant post 😀}

“Faith Crisis”In this absolutely amazing post by Kate of Aroused, “Faith Crisis,” Kate opened the door in my head as I thought about religion and politics and how we have lost faith to institutions.

{About blog: Aroused is a creative blog by Kate (aka calmkate. So that’s def not me) Not being biased because we’re namemates here, but her blog is a total gem. She shares photographs of beautiful everyday things and writes thought-provoking posts and poems like this one}

ReflectionA beautiful short story from My Life Online’s Becca, “A Personal Story” will definitely resonate to anyone who is struggling with accepting a part or parts of their selves. As someone with a low self-esteem and has an issue with self-confidence, this shook and moved me.

{About blog: My Life Online is a blog by Becca. She has now moved to a new blog, Becca and Beyond.}

All Over the Rest of the World

Nur HudaYou probably knew about this already because things like these get featured on news real quick. But anyway, in case you didn’t know: remember when authors got together to hold an auction for the victims of the devastating Grenfell Tower Fire? One of the authors who joined is the amazing Philip Pullman who pledged a named character for the second part of his upcoming book series, La Belle Sauvage. It’s an amazing lot to bid, right? Then one James Clements posted this:

James Clements bid on Authors for Grenfell

The response? An amazing comment train of people adding to Mr Clements’s initial bid. It was overwhelmingly good and I got teary-eyed just scrolling through the comments section.

Responding with Kindness In this Twitter thread by Sierra Abrams (@sierraiswriting) she shared a story on how she responded with kindness to a person who deserve it the least. It’s an inspiring story and worth the scrolling, trust me 😉

A Not So Perfect LifeI recently subscribed to Emma Gannon’s podcast, Ctrl Alt Delete. One of the first episodes I’ve read is Episode #58: Sophie Kinsella – A Not So Perfect Life. And being a HUGE Sophie Kinsella fan, I couldn’t just NOT listen to it. And I did not regret it one bit.

This episode talked about how social media has changed our lives and the emergence of our glamorous online lives. That, and Sophie Kinsella’s writing process. Which is interesting to listen. Plus *whispers* her accent and Emma’s accent are wonderfuuuuuul*

*yep, I’m still obsessing over accents. Not ashamed of it one bit.

What I Am All Over

Personal Achievement: I am so proud of this drawing that I finished editing for-web this month. I’m slowly trying to put more effort and attention into backgrounds plus I’m getting better at painting leaves 😀 Still have to work on painting flowers but celebrate the little victories! <3

Music: ラ・ム・ネ (ra-mu-ne) by Snail’s House (Such a happy music! Listen to it below)

Poetry: “someplace silent” by Kiya of Flawed Silence (obviously not being a total fangirling unicorn here mehehe. PS Kiyaaaa I miss you, you wonderful unicorn youuu <3)

Photo:

I found this through Brain Pickings; made by Wendy MacNaughton and Courtney E. Martin. If you want a print, you can buy one through here. All proceeds will be donated to Hedgebrook, a rural writing residency for women.

So I Have A Question:

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. But I’m not really sure how many of y’all use Pinterest. So I’m going out on a limb here…

Would you like to join a Pinterest group board where you can discover new blogs and promote your latest blog posts?

I notice so many wonderful Pinterest-worthy blog images that go with all your amazing posts. And I kept thinking how totally amazing it would be if you could extend your reach to Pinterest. Also, hehe, I want to discover new blogs. I did all the blog-finding tricks up my sleeve—Twitter blog trains, searching for tags on Reader, other blog’s comment section… But I’ve discovered that my best way of discovering new blog is through Pinterest. Obviously, because I’m such a Pinning Wizard™.

Anyway, it’s just an idea that had been simmering in my mind for a while now. Let me know what you think! Or I’ll just crawl back to my cave of awkwardness.

Happy weekend, awesome peeps! <3