Tag: Personal

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!


10+ Really Fun Things You Can Do Alone

So, hey. At the time of writing this, next week would be Valentine’s Day.

I’m sure some of you would be spending it with a special someone or with friends or the fam. But I’m also sure some of you will be like me, spending it alone. In my case, it’s just a typical day in the college life of Kate the Stressed Out College Girl. And I couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day passing by uneventful.

I’m a 100% introvert. Seriously. I’ve taken the Myers-Brigg Test three times and my Introvert-ness is consistently 100%. Which is probably why it’s not shocking to me that I love my alone time.

But I realized not everyone is comfortable in their own company. I know a handful of people who feel so awkward being on their own, they seek refuge in social media.

I guess the problem is some people think of alone and lonely as the same thing.

Friends, they’re not.

10+ Really Fun Things You Can Do Alone

And to prove it, I have a list of things you can do alone and not feel lonely. Because 1) it’s been soooo long since I made a really simple list post and 2) I know plenty so explaining them one-by-one would give you a 583209-word post. That’s more or less trilogy-length. And you wouldn’t want to read something that long, now would you?

Anyhoo, enjoy! 🙂

  • Read your favorite book
  • Take a short hike
  • Photograph things – You don’t have to be an expert and you don’t even have to use a professional camera. Just take a picture of something with your phone or a point-and-shoot camera. Remember that the point here is to enjoy, okay?
  • Watch your favorite movie
  • Draw something – Again, don’t stress over how unrealistic your drawing may look. Just enjoy the creative process 🙂 Better yet…
  • Create something – Any small creative projects are healthy! Not only do they keep your creative juices active, but they’re also quite relaxing. Take your pick!
  • Do some stretching
  • Blast on some good vibe music – And might I suggest to my fellow millennials, Disney songs? 😉
  • DANCE – Whether you want to do it in public or in the comfort of your home is up to you hehe
  • Cook or bake something for yourself – And to my fellow culinary newbies, try something you’re confident you won’t burn
  • Start a journal
  • Go jogging
  • Play an instrument – And if like me, you don’t know any instrument, just belch out some notes with your very own vocal chords
  • Clean your room
  • Play a word puzzle or even try the Rubik’s Cube
  • Go to a (safe) public place like the park or mall or the beach and people watch – I’m telling you this is way more fun than it sounds.
  • Star gaze – Look for a place near you that’s perfect for it, I’m sure there is
  • Stay at home when everyone else is out – Enjoy the quiet. This is my favorite thing to do alone and I’m seldom alone at home so I savor every chance I get.

These are gathered from years of personal experience and I’m someone who’s comfortable in my own company. Still, what works for me may not work for you. But try out a few of these things. Or even think outside the box and do something else entirely! As long as you are enjoying yourself; that is the purpose of this post, anyway.

And also, you never know what you’ll enjoy doing alone unless you do try, yeah? 😉

How do you make time for yourself? What do you best like to do alone?

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PS: You might like to check out 13 ways to be inspired or learn how boredom boosts your creativity.

You Don’t Need to Understand

You Don't Need To Understand | I share another story and why I no longer think understanding others is what we need to be compassionate to others.

Story time.

As a kid, I was the scrawny, quiet one lurking in the corner. And I was often misunderstood. I guess even now, I still am hehe but I accept that now. Back then, it bothered me so much.

No one, not even my family, could ever get me and that was what made me upset most of the time. That they didn’t understand. At one point, the whining turned into a self-pitying excuse. “They don’t understand me. Why?” became “They don’t understand me. Why bother?”

I isolated myself from a lot of people. Not physically. But for a long time, in my mind, I was alone in the world. Only I understand me, that’s what I always thought. It all comes back to the whole “I don’t rely on others a lot” that I told you a few posts back.

Related: What I Learned from Pushing Too Far

Now I ache for the younger me. I feel sorry she had to see the world in such miserable lenses. But I also don’t want to be like her anymore.

Recently, I see so many people who are similar to younger Kate. Misunderstood and suffering alone and living in fear that nobody will understand them.

And I also see a lot of people who are too preoccupied with what they believe in, what they think are right and how things should be, that they don’t have space in their hearts or minds to see things in any other angle. Seeing these people clash against each other in a confusing mess, that familiar thought from my childhood resurfaces, if only they understood each other…

I had to stop myself. Because I realized now that the idea of people perfectly understanding each other? Sadly, that’s not possible.

You Don't Need To Understand | I share another story and why I no longer think understanding others is what we need to be compassionate to others.

See, there’s something I learned not too long ago.

Our experiences are our own. And so are our thoughts.

Okay, make that everything in our mind.

Everything in our mind is our own.

No matter how many people claimed to have similar experiences or ideas or thoughts that you have, these will never be exactly the same as yours. Kinda like how we have our own unique set of fingerprints, you know?

And that’s just how it is.

The reason why younger Kate’s grand ambition of Everyone Perfectly Understanding Each Other won’t ever come true is because we inherently can’t. We understand things in our own ways. And so we see and comprehend seemingly similar things differently.

So if completely understanding everyone is not possible, what will happen to us? Is a compassion to many people not possible, then?

Are we forever cursed to chaos and messes brought by misunderstanding and, ultimately, hatred? (That sounded like a line from a blurb of a YA fantasy lol)

The answer came to me in a form of a photo shared on Twitter.


Of course. Respect!

(Side note: I swear, I was tearing up when I read that letter. I had to stop myself because I was in the middle of a class at the time.)

I particularly love that line: “…they did not need to understand, but they did need to show respect.” Because in that one line, this anonymous teacher from Massachusetts, who wrote this letter to the amazing Uncle Rick, gave me the answer. And it’s so simple.

You don’t need to understand everyone. You don’t even need people to understand you. You just need to respect others, whoever they are and whatever circumstances they’re in.

Because that, my awesome and beautiful friends, is the best way to show compassion to people you don’t understand.

How will you show respect and compassion to a person today? 🙂

Have a passion-filled day, awesome peeps! <3


To The Brave Risk-Takers who are Doubting Their Selves

To the dreamers who dream of wonderful things. To the young hopefuls discouraged by the cruelty of the world. Who were told to “just give up” because their big ideas are too big for this world to carry.

To the once innocent child, whose hopes were raised and whose hearts were spoon-fed with “dream big”s and “you can do anything”s, just to grow up with crushed dreams and doing nothing.

To the people courageous enough to take risks but have wallowed their selves in self-doubt.


Keep on dreaming.

Fill your heart with hope and believe in yourself. The world needs more of you.

And in the words of the Cecil Beaton:

cecil beaton quote

Have an amazing day, awesome peeps! 😀

Coming Back from Patrick’s Rock (A Quick Update + A Big Announcement!)

Hey guys!!! You must have thought I went to the bottom of the ocean or something, didn’cha? Did you miss me?

No? Oh. Okay.

Well, before I go back to Patrick’s rock, let me just say some things and I’ll start with The Most Dreaded One:

Next month, I’ll be going back to college.

Aka: Going to be drowned with homework and projects very very soon.

Aka: Not much time for blogging.

That said, I’m ditching Mondays in my blogging schedule. This is so hard for me because I so love Monday Motivation posts. But we have to make sacrifices, Kate, says my Gandalf subconscious. And anyway, I’m not gonna stop posting inspirational/motivational topics.

Which is why Wednesdays are going to have a mishmash of inspiration and passion posts from November onwards. Saturdays are still going to be for helpful and creative posts and I’m still having end-of-month creative reviews.

Speaking of which, look out for the end of October because I’ve got an awesome surprise for you! *grins excitedly*

…Well, it’s not really so awesome. Or I don’t know. You decide, I guess.

And now for my BIGGER announcement:

I’m changing my blog name.

I’m telling you right now, this decision was The Hardest one I’ve made so far in this blog. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and Plethoric Thoughts is something that stuck with this blog for nearly two years. Next November I will be celebrating my 2nd Blogiversary and I’ve been considering some big changes here. Changing my blog name was one of it.

And what will this blog be called by November? You may ask.

*drumroll please*

So if you check your Reader or email and see this name, please know that it’s me. Okay? Okay.

So how are you? Are you considering some changes in your blog? If you want someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate on contacting me! 🙂

Happy blogging, awesome peeps!

You’ll Be Just Fine

Hello, everyone! I know Mondays could be hard a lot and like Garfield, many of us hate it. But I also know that bad days in general don’t choose when they’ll pop up. Personally, I’ve had a bad Friday at least once in my life.

So I want to share to you all a lullaby I discovered on Spotify. This is an original by a Youtuber named Kenzie Nimmo. It’s so good and so comforting. Besides, who doesn’t love a really simple and soothing lullaby, right?

Happy Monday, awesome peeps! 💃

What To Do If You Accidentally Press The Send Button

We have an overcast sky here and the rain just stopped. It’s so cozy and I don’t want to do anything today. But I got this crazy idea for a blog post and it cannot wait a day more.

Has your thumb ever had its own consciousness and suddenly you pressed send in the middle of typing your replies?

I did. Many times. My thumbs are unreliable. One time, I was writing a blog post using my WordPress app but I accidentally pressed “Publish” instead of that gear icon. Not only that, it got published twice. What the heck is wrong with my thumbs? I had to delete both abominations of a published post and continue writing, grumbling at my thumbs while doing so.

The same goes when I’m commenting on a post and when I hit reply/send midway, I’m like

I want to show an example made by my good blogger friend and inspiring human being Kiya of Flawed Silence.


She didn’t just handle the embarrassing pressed-send-accidentally scenario really well but I could also relate to her a lot. Then a couple of days ago, I found a rather cheeky solution.

Basically, all you have to do is to disconnect your Internet connection while the WordPress app is loading the unfinished comment/post. That’s what I did the last time it happened (which was last Wednesday), it would say error and go back to being a draft. If this happens on your computer, just close the window as fast as you can. Better to start again, I always say.

There you go! This is a completely random and not-so-helpful post but yeah. 😅 

And if you can’t help it and it’s already out there, relax bro. Do what awesome Kiya did and coolly embrace your fingers’ clumsiness. There are far graver mistakes to make. So don’t worry, at the end of the day, you’re still alive. 😉

Happy typing, awesome peeps! 💃

Mistakes and Little Victories

Hey guys! Caitlin at A Little Daydreamer started out The Ultimate Blogging Challenge and I plan on participating as much as I can. Today’s the first day and it’s all about getting to know each other better. Basically, you create something that represents yourself and lets people get to know you better. Here’s mine.


These…are my stuff.

Not everything I own but some of the things that I think could represent me well: Art.

I love art so much I can probably write an ode to it. Just give me a few weeks.

I started out tracing Disney princesses when I was around seven or eight. You know, like you put a thin bond paper over a certain printed illustration and just trace the lines? Yep, that’s how I started. And oh man, I boasted my traced works like they were Mona Lisa.

When I started drawing without guide, I drew girls with really huge eyes and long wavy hair and really long legs. It was a style I got from my bro’s nanny. And when someone pointed out my drawings’ legs were too long and they look like messed up Bratz, I started reassessing my works and fixing what needs to be.

Then in fifth grade, I discovered Youtube. There were tutorials on how to draw anime girls and anime hair and anime bodies. I was a sponge trying to absorb everything.

This summer I’m trying to learn watercolor and *sigh* all of my works are junks. You can’t see it but the drawing book underneath the tubes and pens? That’s my practice book with all the distorted and failed attempts at painting flowers. But I’m still trying to draw them better.

I tried landscape-ish paintings. And while they look kinda okay in this picture (thanks to VSCO), they’re still a little messy-looking. You see that white thingy between the trees in the forest painting? That’s supposed to be a white wolf. But then my aunt saw it and she was like, “Is that a cat?”

And I said, “No! That’s a wolf.”

“Well, are your pine trees too small or your cat-wolf too big?”

“It’s a dire wolf spirit,” I muttered sheepishly. “It’s supposed to be big.”

My first attempt at a galaxy print in my drawing book looked like a mixture of red, blue and violet ground meat. It’s horrendous but I’m still trying.

And that letter K? While I love art, I’m not really a craftsy person. Took me one whole week to finish and used up all the masking tape. Should’ve created a template instead of winging the measurements.

So before I further embarrass myself, I guess what I’m trying to say here is: I’m nowhere near as great as those dudes and dudettes in Saatchi or DeviantArt. But I can be. Someday. Hopefully.

See, I don’t believe anyone started out in life as a fully fledged expert. We were all noobs at one point. I’m still a noob in watercolor and crafts. And my anatomy still sucks. But I’m trying to be better every day, learning things through my mistakes while celebrating the little achievements.

And I guess that’s also how I take on life: just trying to be better every day.

So yeah.

My name is Kate and I’m a work-in-progress. 🎨:)

18 Lessons I Learned in 18 Years

So. It’s my birthday today. Would you look at that, I’m now 18. Hurrah.

It’s not that I’m glum about it, don’t misinterpret. It’s just that…I guess as you grow older, birthdays just becomes this small detail in your life that people around you feel obliged to be happy about. Or I dunno, maybe that’s just me…

Holy heck, it’s my freaking birthday. Why am I so melancholic? Arrrggh. Keep it light-hearted, Kate. Srsly. This whole Comprehensive Exam preparation is really getting on my nerves. -_-

What I am happy about are these:


  • Google greeted me! With awesome delectable cakes…that I can’t even eat. But oh well, Google greeted me! Isn’t that awesome? 😀
  • One of my bestest friends ever (Hi Quexy!) reminded me how cool it was that the whole world is celebrating something on my birthday.
    But here’s the thing: somewhere out there, someone’s celebrating your birthday, whenever it is. And the world is finding new ways to celebrate something every single day. By the way, happy Easter Sunday/ National Cherry Blossoms Day, everyone!
  • Said best friend (Hi Quexy!) sent me the most awesome multiple SMS birthday message ever~ <3
  • Two of my awesome closest college friends send me Facebook messages that made me speechless. In completely different ways…Because there’s this…


    And there’s this…

    goat heart.

    I dunno how to feel with this… (And yeah, yeah. I said screw anonymity but it applies to me. Not my friends.)

  • I’ve finally finished my part in the company study. The concepts of which I have only an inkling of knowledge of. Crossing fingers for the oral defense. X(><)X
  • I have the same birthday as Keira Knightley and freaking James Potter!!! To think that J.K. thought of creating a character with a birthday same as mine is just so…💕

Anyway, I remember watching Jenna Marbles’s 29 Lessons I Learned in 29 Years and was inspired by it thinking, “Hey, I wanna do that on my 18th birthday!”

Because there’s nothing better than reflecting back on the path you’ve taken and comparing where you’ve been to where you are now. Right? And also, I don’t feel old. And I wanna feel old today (see #16 below for why) so looking back on how I was for the last 18 years was a pretty good idea. So yeah. Here are 18 lessons I learned in 18 years.

  1. Disney lies. Birds–no, animals–will not approach you just because you’re singing. Or in my sister’s case, trying to feed the chickens with leaves. Imagine a girl trying to prove to her little sister that “chickens eat moringa leaves” and chasing the chickens around the yard. Man, that was a highlight of my early childhood days.
  2. Cartoons and animations are not only for children. NEVER.
  3. Sometimes, curiosity makes the cat a smarter cat. If you’re curious about something and you wanna learn it, go! Best case scenario, you’ll be invited to The Ellen Show. Or win a Nobel. Worst case scenario…you’ll learn something new. Be it something mind-blowing or totally unnecessary. You learned a new thing. That should count for something…right?
  4. Vegetables will never taste good when you’re a kid. But you’ll learn to appreciate them when you grow up. Trust me.
  5. Getting below 85% (or A) is not the end of the world. It took college to make me realize this.
  6. It’s okay that you like something kids your age don’t. This lesson is still something I’m learning today. If you like something, others’ opinions shouldn’t really matter.
  7. Maybe you won’t have many friends, maybe you’ll have few great friends.
  8. Listen to your mother’s advice. When she said not to touch that tiny red bump on your cheeks, don’t touch it. Or else, you’ll suffer more than 5 years of acne scars. Kate.
  9. Your quirks also make you who you are. Embrace them.
  10. Related to #9, you don’t need labels to be you.
  11. Even if your photos aren’t Instagram-worthy, it’s okay. So long as they’re packed with great memories.
  12. So what if you like something ridiculous or silly? Michelle Phan is obsessed with Sailor Moon but that does not make her any less awesome. Love what you love. #TeamUnicorns
  13. You can’t make everybody like you. You won’t like everybody. But choose wisely the people you are willing to waste and spend time with. <– Look at that. I sound like some old philosopher.
  14. Change will never be something you’ll expect. And that’s okay.
  15. We’ve all got our own pace. So, really, there’s nothing to “catch up” to others. Especially when studying, Kate.
  16. Appreciate sleep. You’ll get less and less as you get older. Until you’re retired and all you have to do is sit on a rocking chair on your front porch yelling at kids. I can’t wait to be old.
  17. You will get there, wherever you wish or dream to go. I promise, you will. Do your best and have faith on yourself.
  18. And if at rare times that you don’t, maybe you’re meant to be somewhere better.

5 People That Inspire Me To Write Poems (And Have Given My Mind Word-gasms)

Ever experienced reading a quote or a phrase in a book or a whole stanza and just reacted like,


I have always been vocal with my love for books and words in general. I mentioned my undying love for words perfectly woven to create lush ideas and trigger deep emotions. And I might have aspired to finish writing a book (which I’ve achieved back in high school) but I’ve never thought of myself as writing poetry. When I was in a sophomore in high school, I was appointed to create a nutrition poem which will be our class’s entry for the contest. Along with one of my friends, we winged it and just made every last word of the line rhyme.

It was fun but it was nowhere poetic or meaningful. And the shocking part is…we didn’t place. No really, it was not shocking at all.

But ever since that “!(____)You, You(____)Me” poem and creating that Writing/Creativity blog, I’ve been considering writing poems. And I’ve had dozens of hundreds (of thousands) of people who aspired and inspired me to do so but here are the top 5.

  1. Christopher Poindexter

    For those who doesn’t know who Christopher Poindexter is, click here. I’ve seen snippets of his poems in Facebook via Word Porn, Mind Porn and Great Minds. Of all the many typewriter poetry images I’ve seen of Poindexter, I have forgotten what the first one was. But I always know a Poindexter-fingerprinted poem when I see one (and it’s not just through the typewriter format of the images). His poems are always filled with the right dosages of poignancy and hope and, most of all, love.
  2. Pablo Neruda
    I learned about Pablo Neruda through reading Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and I loved him ever since. His works have always been so straightforward in conveying their messages. And yet (despite or maybe because of their straightforwardness) they have the capability to throw you off against waves of emotions the way No Face was rocking helplessly against the waves created by the train.
  3. Charles Bukowski

    Charles Bukowski is ruthless and gritty and romantically fragile. I love him and his works. I haven’t read any of his novels and novellas but I’ve read tons of his poems and that one above, The Laughing Heart, is my favorite.
  4. Adam Young (a.k.a Owl City)

    You might argue with me on this and I’ll be happy to entertain people who disagree. There’s just something about the way Adam Young creates lyrics (which I’ve quoted dozens of times in Twitter and Facebook). It’s funny how the first time I heard Fireflies, I thought the lyrics was lame. Not anymore. However, the charm of his lyrics certainly would be lacking without his mind-blowingly light-hearted musical arrangements.
  5. Oscar Wilde

    His witty prose and way with words certainly appealed many people. But what I ove most about Oscar Wilde is how he could pull off rhyming poetry without looking lame. (Because heck if I could do that.)