Latching

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Three months, to be specific.

Perhaps I should not begin this with how time flies so fast, etc. But it really does. Just moments ago it was the new year and I was contemplating on what my goals should be and now it’s April and I have listed zero goals all in all. However, this is not the point of my post. I have things I want to recap:

23 is the new 14

I know I previously mentioned that I felt ancient after turning 23. This is not the case anymore. There’s this article that says we usually reach peak happiness at ages 23 and 69. Everything else is downhill from there. And I get it.

23, not 14, is the perfect age. Not too young to be full of naive idealism, and not too old to get pressured into getting shit together. This probably doesn’t make any sense to you. I guess I could put it another way: you know how when you’re young, you have all the energy & time in the world but no money & freedom, and when you’re old you have all the money & freedom, but no energy & time. Well, 23 is the age when you have everything: money, freedom, energy, time – the world is freakin’ yours. At 23 you can be selfish, sad, enthusiastic, reckless, and whatever else you might think of! It’s really truly magical.

Redefining happiness

Recently, I find myself thinking: you are worth more than your productivity. It’s like a little prayer for my sanity lol. I’ve observed that I always base my happiness on whatever work-related task I have accomplished on a given day. Not only is it superficial, it can also be toxic at times. I’m trying to get rid of this mindset. More importantly, I’m trying to get rid of the self-imposed pressure to be happy all the goddamn time.

There’s another article that I read that says different people have different default levels of happiness and sadness, which is mostly influenced by things we cannot control, like genetics. Meaning, a generally sad person could win the lottery, be happy for a while, then go back to being sad again. A cheerful person could experience a death of a loved one, get sad for a while, then back to being happy again. No matter how hard we try, we can only control up to a certain percentage of how we feel. It’s comforting to not feel lousy about feeling lousy, you know?

Now I’ve reached my quota of words to write. I initially wanted to write about HBO’s Girls’ ending (hence the title), ’cause it’s really the end of an era, but everybody seems to be writing about it, so. I plan to blog more, though. It helps me to put things in perspective. Future posts that I want to list so I don’t forget:

  • my first few months in Singapore + my new job
  • our new place (I just moved in with my boyfriend! Aaaannd my mom lol)
  • some design-related stuff, hopefully (takeaways on books like Lean UX, and retrospect on first quarter projects)

I also wanna try & do a one-week finance and/or food and/or fitness diary of some sort cause I’m just curious about these things. That is all!

I’ve moved!

No – I’ve not moved to a new domain (does this count as clickbait?) This blog has seen me as an obsessed college student blogging about her lessons, grow up to become an online-shopping addict pitting two beauty websites against each other. I am here for the foreseeable future. What I meant was: I have moved to Singapore!

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It feels only yesterday when I wrote my last post, two weeks after I had quit my job. But more than two months have passed! And boy was it busy. But it was all worth it because I got a new job. Tomorrow is my first day back, so today is my last day of funemployment.

My time off has not been put to waste, though. Here’s just a couple of things I’ve been up to (in no particular order):

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  • published my portfolio at celenajasmin.com. It’s still not what I imagined, but it looks decent enough to share
  • freelanced for two different projects which I hope I can share soon

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  • marathoned Star Wars for the first time! (Then Carrie Fisher passes away a few weeks after aforementioned marathon. RIP.)

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  • visited my friend in Penang and her lovely office at Piktochart + toured the lovely Georgetown
  • started eating vegetables (and less McDonald’s!) I’m serious. If you know me personally, you’d know how big of a change this is. It’s a real turning point. I’m not getting any younger and I have to start taking care of myself (now to sleeping early…)
  • Speaking of not getting any younger, I also turned 23 last November! I feel so ancient, but I at least feel that I’m also making better choices now instead of self-sabotaging and clinging to what’s left of my teen angst (I mean, as I’m writing this, I am also doing the laundry. So, beat that, 14 y/o self.)

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  • visited museums and art exhibits and hung out at countless cafés (what’s new)

…and did I mention that I got myself a new job! (I know I did, lol) I never thought I’d get to this stage. I always thought that when people say that it has been a long and challenging journey, they were overreacting, but it’s really the perfect way to describe it. Now I can finally be closer to the person that I love, after two years of being apart. *happy tears*

A Tuktuk Ride, A Design Sprint, and Other October Highlights

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From an exhibition about Hong Kong’s agri and aquaculture

Well, what a month it had been. One fourth of October was spent in Sri Lanka, two-fourths at home, unemployed. Read: I had quit my job of 2+ years! That job was my comfort zone, and stepping out of it, into an unknown future, is both extremely terrifying and satisfying.

I’ve had a lot of anxiety about it before, and I still do now, but the fact that I actually did something keeps me going. I guess it’s a little bit like a premature quarter life crisis. I am turning 23 and I don’t want to be spending my birthday in the same situation as I have in the past two years. It just doesn’t feel right. I have to be elsewhere, regardless if that place is better or worse. Moving on to other things…

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Coffee Project at Starmall Las Piñas

This cute coffee place recently opened near our house (about a 10-15 min jeepney drive away) and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it. I’ve always wanted to work in a coffee shop (idk, it’s just something I wanna do), and this place offers free wifi so it is beyond perfect. I can leave the house after lunch, order some green tea latte (the only good thing on their menu, trust me), and leave around dinner time. I love working there because I’m forced to actually get work done – or risk getting judged for hogging the outlet just for Facebook.

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Site Face-off: BeautyMNL vs. Sephora PH

Ahh, online shopping. I would say that it’s my latest ‘hobby’, but the more accurate term is “addiction”. I have spent the last three weeks burning so much of my money in online shops that I had to give myself a one-month ban on online shopping (unless I really need to or if the product is on sale). I could go on defending my impulsive and irresponsible tendencies but that’s for another post not what I’m really here for.

I’m here to rave about BeautyMNL, and to rant about Sephora PH. Not about their products or their service (I’m sure both are stellar), but about their websites. Spoiler alert: BeautyMNL wins almost all the rounds because I love that website so darn much.

Round 1: The Homepage (is where the heart is, bleh-heh)

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It’s understandable to want to have as many information in the homepage as possible, especially if it’s an e-commerce website. But it is evident that Sephora can learn a thing or two about simplicity. I am personally irked by that “Fast Forward to Black” banner at the top. As well as with their Search bar which isn’t really a search bar. You hover your mouse on it, and this appears:

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The call-to-action buttons in their banners are also worth noting. BeautyMNL’s CTA is in a clear and direct red button, while Sephora’s CTA blends too much to the design.

Winner: (surprise!) BeautyMNL

Continue reading “Site Face-off: BeautyMNL vs. Sephora PH”

Life Lately: Art, Batangas, and Other Stuff

Batangas: Nasugbu and Laiya

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The beach in Pico Sands Hotel

I have never been to Batangas before. And this month I went for two consecutive weekends! The first one is in Pico Sands Hotel with my relatives, and the second is in Playa Laiya with college batchmates.

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The beach in Playa Laiya

I’d like to note that for both instances, we went to the beach to play card games! My cousins and I played Cards Against Humanity and Avalon, while my college batchmates and I played Uno Spin. Damn I wish I can go to the beach every weekend.

Continue reading “Life Lately: Art, Batangas, and Other Stuff”

Things I Learned from the Tribute Page Challenge in FreeCodeCamp

FreeCodeCamp is a great website that lets you learn coding, among many other things. In between lessons it provides challenges to test what you’ve learned. At the end of the Bootstrap lesson are two challenges, the first of which is to create a tribute page in Codepen.io.

When I got to this part, my Twitter feed was full of praises for Hidilyn Diaz, a 25 yr. old woman who won the Philippines a medal in the Rio Olympics. I took it as a sign – and so I made a tribute page for her. Here’s what I did:

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Local Talent

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Illustration 1.0 – the fifth circle of hell, probably. (Photo by Edmer Bade)

The Filipinos are highly creative people. (It takes a certain level of creativity to try and find the good in the bad, like Filipinos tend to do.) This week, I accidentally stumbled upon some insanely talented folks who happened to hail from the same island as I do.

Music: Paolo Arciga

 i know it’s gonna be a long way down
but i’ll be on my feet again, soon

This song has been stuck in my head for days now, I kid you not. It’s no secret that Filipinos are great singers, but this is very far from the usual Whitney Houston/Beyoncé/Journey karaoke classics. His music holds back from all that intensity while still maintaining the sincere, unfiltered emotions. In My Blood is very optimistic, but in a sad way (lol). Check out more of his work on his soundcloud.

Art: Sasha Martinez

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Ahhh I recently just discovered her work while lurking the Instagram’s Explore/Discover tab. Everything is so lovely and otherworldly and very, well, tumblr (if you know what I mean). It’s like A Softer World (RIP) meets the Citadel. Her journals are my favorite. I think it’s a really nice way to organize stuff you couldn’t let go of because of sentimental value (concert and movie tickets, love notes, etc). Very inspiring stuff.

Design: James Cabrera

The Refinery29 brand is far from perfect, but in spite of its unparalleled obsession with the Kardashians, its problematic and clickbait-y headlines, I adore it. So when I found out (not sure how), that one of the designers of their app is a Filipino, I felt proud (don’t ask me why, okay, it’s a Filipino thing. See: pinoy pride). It’s even more inspiring to read about their process. From their Research Phase, to establishing KPIs, to finding a way to bring delight.

What an eye candy!

There’s definitely more local talented people out there, I’m sure. These are just the ones I stumbled upon this week alone. Looking forward to discovering more in the weeks to come ❤

Tech it or Leave it

Apologies for the title that is shitty and my lame attempt at being witty. That rhymed. /hides in a corner

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Unrelated illustration. Made it yesterday with some things I found on the innernets.

I’d like to believe that I’m not a very superstitious person. However, I also can’t help but think that some part of the universe is involved when the tv show I watched, the book I read, and my actual life all share a common theme.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished reading Microserfs, a book about a group of ex-Microsoft employees who moved to Silicon Valley to form their own startup company. Last week, I watched two seasons of Silicon Valley, an HBO sitcom about a guy who left his job at a huge tech corporation, to start.. guess what. His own startup company. And currently, I work for a startup company that also happens to be a Microsoft Partner and distributor. It’s divine providence!

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Or maybe like one of those convoluted conspiracy theories you read online (side note, I came across this Swiftgron theory that says Dianna Agron and Taylor Swift dated! Swiftgron sounds like a Pokemon but whatever, I ship it. Speaking of which: we went on a Pokemon Go adventure in Singapore and it was awesome!)

Anyway, the universe may or may not be telling me something. But hell I love it when coincidences like these happen.

On Microserfs

I initially read this book thinking that it’ll be like what The Internship is to Google. Endless tales of free food, bean bags and awesome facilities that will make you hate your packed lunch and your 2.25 sqm cubicle. But, thank goodness, it’s not. It’s very much closer to reality, which says a lot, considering that it was a life before Facebook, iPhones, and Google (well, technically, Google was only three years young in the year the book was published).

Some interesting details to note:

  • Apple once sued Microsoft — and lost.
  • “Why do we always underestimate our shipping schedules?” This. Aside from coding, I am inclined to believe that developers are also very fond of digging their own graves by setting unrealistic deadlines.
  • “A good piece of technology dreams of the day when it will be replaced by a newer piece of technology. This is one definition of progress.”

The moments when the characters pause to reflect and ramble about random stuff are my favorite parts. But that is just one of the many good things about this book. The story is solid, and you finish the book feeling optimistic somehow.

On Silicon Valley

And then there’s Silicon freakin’ Valley. This show. Funny, but also stressful as hell. I mean, I don’t know why I’d expect anything else from the same channel that gave us Game of Thrones, but man I was not prepared for this.

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“I booby-trapped the house with corporate resources!” I have very mixed feelings about Jared, but this is a good one.

Richard, the CEO of Pied Piper, just cannot catch a break. It is one obstacle right after the other, and I think it’s more stressful than GoT because it is all too familiar! I’m rooting for him so badly! (Except when I sneaked a peak into Season 3. It seems like he is turning into another anti-hero Heisenberg type of thing.)

Some interesting details to note:

  • In the world of tech, Manny Pacquiao — champion boxer, singer, basketball player, and, most importantly, homophobic Senator (insert sad disgusted face here) — is still, unfortunately, a big figure.
  • “I don’t know about you people, but I don’t want to live in a world where someone else makes the world a better place better than we do.” LOL
  • I just had a realization that HBO was willing to produce a show about five guys who aren’t exactly attractive! I mean, why can’t they do this for female leads? Look at HBO’s GIRLS. A show about four women, okay. But all of them are white, and two of them has to be really freakin’ attractive. (I’m not saying I hate GIRLS, I love that show, it’s just a perfect example for my point.)

Then there is the real life. Last Saturday I attended Google I/O Extended Cavite. A couple of weekends ago, I attended this Basic Javascript workshop in the Mozilla Community Space in Makati. Currently, I am working on a mobile scanner app, a new workflow for a current software, AND a new revamped version of that software. It’s a handful so I guess I gotta get some sleep.

Moodboard: Not-so Neutral

 

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One perk of getting older is that you get a better idea of what you like and don’t like. It did not escape me that all the things I’ve been browsing recently have the same look and feel — all neutral tones and feminine styles (florals and skirts all day, everyday).

So I felt I just had to do this moodboard. Enjoy!

Design Agency: Saturday StudioThe simplicity and elegance of their work make me feel a certain type of way.

Blog: the leedayStumbled upon this blog just recently, and I am happy (slash ashamed) to report that I’ve read every single blog post here. The nice pictures and the lovely cafés… these are the stuff of dreams.

Shameless plug: my own websiteI designed and developed this under construction page, okay. It’s going to be updated real soon, so maybe watch out for that.

Designer: Amber AsaySo many eye candies!

Style: totally crushing on this skirt from ZaloraI plan to buy this in at least 2 different colors. I need it in my life.

Website: Hart & Vine. Aside from their divine logo, their website is so tastefully designed! It’s inspiring.

 

 

 

Life Currently: Last of May

It has been a while since I did a ‘life currently‘ type of post and I kinda missed it. There are so many happenings this month and I figured it’s the perfect time to just do it.

Bae-ler trip!

I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this pun sooner, but me and K spent the first week of May in Baler. I organised everything so he didn’t know where we’re going (who said women can’t surprise their boyfriends?) We went surfing, biking around town, and walking off our full bellies. (PSA: Baler has the best pizza I have ever tasted — the Tuyo + Bawang + Kamatis pizza from Angela’s Cafe.) More on our Baler adventure on another post.

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