Monthly Archives: October 2017

Sweater Weather

Despite the beautiful weather we have been having lately (with the exception of a few downpours), the weather always deceives me as I step outside and feel that cold, crisp air against my face.

It’s time to pull out the sweaters and blanket scarves because the Vancouver fall/winter season is just beginning. To be honest, I’ve always preferred cozy sweaters and trendy coats over the rompers and off-the-shoulder tops. Below you can see my collection of sweaters in my closet, mostly ranging of neutral tones with rosy pinks in the mix. Majority of my sweaters are purchased from Forever 21 or Garage and surprisingly, Forever 21 sweaters have really held up for me considering their reputation for cheap clothing with mediocre quality. Recently, Garage has re-branded themselves and carry more of a “Brandy Melville” feel to their clothes, meaning that their fabrics are super soft.

Wearing a lot of neutrals make it so much more easier to put a whole outfit together because you don’ t have to worry about colour clashing outfits! You can always add a splash of colour through accessories such as a hat, a beanie or a scarf. It’s the easiest way out of having lots of clothes in your closet: neutrals are your way to go.

If any of you know me in-person, you probably know I love my Topshop long coats. In fact, I’ve made my annual Topshop coat purchase the past few years. It all started with my camel coat that I stumbled across in my local Topshop store and I fell in love with it. It was exactly the colour I was looking for and because Topshop carries petite-sized clothing, for once, the coat didn’t look too long for my 5’0 figure. It hit me at a perfect length without making me look like I was drowning in the thick coat.

Last year, I felt like I needed another one in grey and it became another staple piece in my closet. I found myself excited to wear these coats every year as the weather started dropping, and recently, I made my third Topshop coat purchase: ya gotta top it off with black! I’ve always had difficulties finding these coats without being too long or “oversized” on me but these coats fit me like a glove! The best part is that they are not too pricey (CAD $120) compared to other similar coats on the market and the quality is exceptional. Also, if you’re a student you get a small discount enough to compensate for the taxes!

I wore my black coat with my favourite charcoal marl sweater from Forever 21. To brighten up the tones, the slipped on a light wash knee-slit jeans from Topshop. Their Leigh jeans are my absolute favourite: I have abandoned my old jeans and completely converted to Topshop jeans because they are jeans that are closest to feeling like I am wearing leggings! Definitely worth the investment (which is pricier than other jeans but for the fit and feel? WORTH.) and I have never turned back to wearing any other brand of jeans.

I am planning to write about my closet essentials: Fall/Winter Edition so look out for that soon!

-E

Diets … (Remix post)

Header photo

Process post #8

Diets.

Sitting in a fast food restaurants like…

HAHA I know this is so horrible, I don’t have photoshop so I had to like erase the backgrounds of all these photos (WHICH WAS REALLY DIFFICULT) and collage them all together in a really sketchy fashion. But you get the point.

Unapologetically Me.

There are many people who run makeup and beauty oriented blogs. So, why me? Why am I here, writing this blog? Why is makeup an important enough piece of my life for me to center my whole blog around it? Where did this idea come from? What makes me any different from any other person playing with their makeup? Well, I’m going to tell you. You deserve to know who it is writing to you. I know I always feel more connected to the authors of my favorite content when I know them. So, this is me letting you get to know a bit about me so you can understand what I’m writing and why.

I grew up in a small town where I didn’t really fit in. My whole life, I’ve been loud, outspoken, opinionated, and somewhat aggressive. It wasn’t exactly the most accepted in the community where I grew up. But I made the best of it. At the end of middle school though I made the choice to switch from my small community to going to a private high school in the city. My parents were in support because they have always believed in me and wanted the best for me. So, I started going to high school downtown at an all-girls catholic school.

There were a lot of pros to making that decision in my life. The main one was many of us did not care about makeup or fashion. We were too focused on trying to get great grades and find time to sleep to bother. The daily uniform tended to revolve around sweats. The benefit of this was twofold: more sleep in the morning and not learning to rely on makeup to cover up my insecurities. I struggled through high school and puberty based insecurity and a whole other host of struggles without using makeup as a crutch. I believe this let me develop a very different relationship with makeup and beauty over my adolescence.

Believe it or not, I didn’t actually start really using makeup until I was 18 years old. I had used a product here and there for events and such, but I didn’t become invested in it until after I graduated from high school and had been forced to face most of my ‘I’m ugly’ demons. So, makeup was never, and has never become, about making myself more beautiful. My relationship with makeup is about one thing: self expression. I discovered YouTubers and bloggers, like Zoella and Tanya Burr, and started learning from them. I loved seeing the different things they would express with different types of makeup. It was inspiring.

The summer after my senior year I spent hours watching videos, researching products, saving up money, practicing techniques, and slowly but surely figuring out what I was doing. I love allowing my makeup to reflect what it is I am feeling. Makeup can send a message to everyone around you, whether they are your best friend or a stranger you pass on the street. It is a powerful form of art. And it is a form of self love for me. Because I do not allow others to dictate what I do and do not put on my face. My style is mine and mine alone. I am me and no one will ever take that away from me.

So, that is why I am here. Makeup is my passion. Makeup is my art. Makeup is a part of who I am and how I show myself to the world. Wearing makeup does not make me weak or insecure. It does not make me a liar or a fraud or shallow. I am here, writing this blog, in the hopes that inspires other people to express themselves freely and fiercely. I am a highly flawed person. But I do not let that stop me from being myself. And neither should you. Let’s be unapologetically who we are together.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

The post Unapologetically Me. appeared first on Beauty As Art.

Process Post

What would I do with my last hour of internet?

During class I heard people saying that their pictures are online or that their contact informations/personal informations are in their emails. The way people talk is like without internet, the world has come to an end.

True, I have many photos online but I also have copies of them on my computer. I might need to take time to save contact information. Just because the internet stopped, do that mean everything stopped? Could I not still print out photographs if I saved it on to a USB drive? If the internet stopped, do I not have access to my phone? I mean, as long as it’s charged… I can still pull up phone numbers.

Yes, without internet I would miss the convenience it brings me, easily searching on Google to resolve all my problems. Without internet I would become “free” to strangers to talk to me. Without internet… it’s not the end of the world. People survived long before internet we just have to learn how to survive like the “good old days”.

Therefore, my last hour of internet would just be saving content. Saving some blog posts that I like, pictures online, informations etc.

I believe there will still be television just maybe a little behind on the seasons. We still have a landline at home I can call my friends. I know how to send mails and write their address CORRECTLY.

Hey, without internet… one addiction out of the world’s problem.

Process Post: 10-31

I have no intentions of monetizing my website. I believe that because of the personality of my blog is about reflection, seeing advertisements on the site would create more distractions for viewers and will push viewers away. Personally, I often get annoyed with seeing advertisements while I am browsing the web, especially when I am looking at something that I am very much interested in. I also believe that the viewers of the blog who actually reads and reflect upon the post are seeking for something, and I believe that, when they are seeking for something, it is not the best time to show advertisements to them.

Lynn Canyon

Well the weather’s getting a bit chillier but that doesn’t mean we should hole up in our fuzzy blankets at home just yet! Before this winter kicks everyone’s ill-snow prepared asses let’s get outside. Specifically, to Lynn Canyon in the north shore. Here you will find the best, not to mention cheapest, alternative to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Given a ticket to the latter can run up to $30/person the free price tag of Lynn Canyon can’t be beat.

There are several different hiking trails for Lynn Canyon, I’ll be looking at the Twin Falls hike in particular. It starts off right away with a walk across the daunting suspension bridge. But fret not, it’s really not that scary, if you’re afraid of heights it’s still entirely doable, I just don’t recommend looking down!

The bridge itself is a rather narrow wooden plank bridge, it was built in 1912 and is situated 50 meters above the crisp waters of Lynn Creek, connecting you to 616 acres of beautiful rainforest. AFter the bridge, hang a right and follow the boardwalk over a much more stable bridge and you will be led to a breathtaking view of the falls. As it is one of the more, for lack of a better word, difficult trails (but it’s really not that hard) you will most likely have a quiet place to sit by the river and take in the views for a little rest. If you’re ambitious enough, climb down the steep riverbank for a nice spot and bask in the sun that’s hopefully shining that day.

This trail is open year round so even as we enter the darkness that is a west coast winter, you have no excuses not to go!

One hour left of internet – quick! Panic text your friends.

Header photo

Process post #10

In regards to my Google Analytics, there is nothing interesting. There is nothing interesting because I’m the only one who visits my site essentially. Ok that’s all. Oh except I saw that once someone from New York visited my page and I remembered that was when I shared my site with my friend who lives in New York because she asked me for an opinion on her site design (because she’s making one too) so we compared sites. Okay that’s actually all.

SO to talk about more interesting matters – how would I spend my last hour on the internet?

First of all, a lot of people brought up REALLY good ideas in class that I didn’t think about right away – such as downloading maps (same because I am directionally challenged), backing up their pictures/music/files, saving important information from emails/documents etc.

Personally the first thing I thought of right when the topic was introduced to us, I thought of my friend in New York. Internet has made it entirely possible for us to communicate with people worldwide almost instantly and easily. I can message her just like any of my normal friends (the only difference is I can’t see her in person) but I can also Skype or Facetime her whenever we want to talk “face-to-face”. Without the internet, I have no idea how I’d contact her. Or I guess I still could, as I mentioned in one of my older posts, I mentioned that my mom stayed in touch with her friend in New York by writing letters. But by the time I write her a letter and send it off, it won’t reach her until around a week later, and I tell her stuff about my life daily. I would probably send her letters that look more like essays and I can’t send her multiple letters the moment it happens, I would probably have to wait until I have a lot to tell her so I have substance to write about and not just send her a letter with one sentence (which would literally cost a fortune in postage). We have an almost 500 day streak on snapchat because that is our main means of keeping in touch – I can’t imagine not having that!! Oh I also remembered I could call and text her, but it would cost extra in an international plan – the point of internet is avoiding all that! But I guess if you can’t help it you can’t help it.

With that being first on my mind, I thought of my music next, I’d download all the songs that I haven’t so far (I use iTunes and not a music streaming subscription) so I’m not stuck with the same music forever (although I’m sure I could subscribe to music streaming devices – because they let you stream offline right??) so I guess that isn’t of upmost importance. I’m not entirely internet reliant on important things because I’m always skeptical of crashes and all that so I make most of my stuff available offline – such as using Microsoft Word instead of Google Docs, downloading files, printing important papers etc so when I think of losing internet, I think of mainly losing my means of communication, and that’s why I would want to reach out to everyone that I solely rely on through communicating through internet and tell them my “offline contact info” so we don’t lose internet then are never able to see each other again.

The Last Hour with the Internet

It is a scary idea to me.

My fear of losing Facebook, Youtube, news channels and other fun content that entertains me. This is when I know how the Internet has become an inseparable part of my life. But on a second thought, I think it is a good time to free myself from the overwhelming digital reality and put an effort into creating my real life.

It is easy for me to lose 3 hours online. It is almost an unconscious act. Imagine not picking up my phone once I wake up, won’t it bring me calm and peace? I will no longer be fed up with videos and news, pictures of friends, the urge of seeking attention.

All I wanted to do is to print out some of the beautiful pictures on my phone. Then, I will do nothing but wait for the second comes. I would like to feel how life would be without the Internet. Shall I start media fasting to get a taste of it? By then I will recognize the blessings of having the Internet.

Monetization

As of right now, I do not feel confident enough in my content to monetize my site.  For monetization, a site must be updated quite frequently.  As a busy college student, I already have trouble doing weekly process posts.  However, in the future, I might monetize my blog.  To do this, I could instal google adsense and have ads on my homepage.  I do not love the look of this though, so as an alternative I might use Amazon Affiliate links.  This is a program in which you get rewarded when someone uses your link to buy anything from Amazon.  I feel that this is a better option for me because I can ensure that the ads I use are related to my content.  For example, if I was to photograph a trip I took, and post about it, I could link to a suitcase (or something else I used on the trip) that my audience could purchase.  To  monetize my site, I also have to make sure I have enough time set aside in the day to update my blog.  I cannot make money by not posting.

My Last Hour on the Internet

I don’t think we realize how much of our lives depends on the internet.  I use the internet for everything, from searching up bus schedules, to catching up on my favourite TV shows.  I also use apps such as google drive, and dropbox to store a lot of information.  So much of my life would be different without the internet.

What would I do with my last hour of internet?  First, I would download all of my photos that I have uploaded to google drive.  As someone who enjoys photography, it is important for me to be able to see my past work and grow from it.  The next thing I would do is download a few episodes from Netflix.  They recently introduced the option to stream offline.  I would do this because I do not have cable, but I would still like to keep up withe my favourite shows.  The last thing I would do is give my phone number to those I only connect with via Facebook messenger, email, or i message.  I would still like to be connected to my friends without the internet.

I feel that the majority of my friends would do similar things with their last hour.  I know a few people who would suffer a lot without the internet, as I never see them without their phones.  My sister, who is  huge music fan would spend her entire hour downloading music.

Acromegaly – Diagnosis

Summer of 2015, around June/July, I was diagnosed with acromegaly.

Mayo Clinic stated that acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that develops when your pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone during adulthood (and NO, this is not the reason why I’m tall “especially for an Asian”, my height is in my genes). The side effects include increase in bone size in your hands, feet, and face. They say acromegaly usually affects middle-aged adults… (funny, I’m clearly not there…)

Acromegaly is suppose to be uncommon and because the physical changes occur gradually, the condition often isn’t recognized immediately: sometimes not for years. If not treated promptly, acromegaly can lead to serious illness and even become life-threatening.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acromegaly/symptoms-causes/syc-20351222

————————————————————————————————————

Previously, I was diagnosed with PCOS (google it), hence I was referred to a gynecologist. My doctor decided to schedule MRI scans, one for the pelvic area and, surprisingly, one for my brain (I think this was done back in 2014?). And viola~ they found a “mass” in my pituitary gland. The doctors love to call it a “mass”, it’s less invasive than calling it a tumour because people are quick to relate tumour to cancer.

My gynecologist then referred me to an endocrinologist who said that I possibly had this “mass” in my head for a while and it is not doing anything. As that was my first MRI, we would continue with annual MRI to compare results.

<FAST FORWARD 1 YEAR (2015)>

Before I set off for my Asia trip, I saw my endocrinologist and explained to him the changes I’ve noticed in my body. I must say, I’m thankful that my endocrinologist had previous experience/knowledge about acromegaly because after hearing my symptoms he said that the “mass” is probably active, in the sense that it is releasing GH (growth hormone) and that I mostly likely have acromegaly. Usually the first step of treatment is surgery. *Crying* the first thing I asked was “You have to cut my head open?” and my endocrinologist laughed and gave me a brief idea of what the surgery will be like (NOT cutting my head open!). However, there is still a test I must do before he can fully diagnose me with acromegaly… the glucose test.

The glucose test is where they take my blood test on an empty stomach. Then I must chug this disgusting, orange, thick, surgery drink, wait an hour for another blood test and then another hour after for another blood test. Sounds simple?… should be done with 3 pokes right? for 3 blood tests… NO! I got over 10 pokes, have them wiggle the needle inside me while I was in tears and yelling “OW OW OW OW OW!!!”, and even the blood transfusion patients felt sorry for me.

Anyways…

Results came back, I have acromegaly, summer 2015.

Process post #8

When it comes to monetizing my site, I see a lot of both positives and negatives.

Obviously, it’s nice to make some extra moolah, and my site has a layout which is very accommodating for ads, so it should be a no-brainer to have ads on my site. For some reason, though, I feel like it would make my site seem un-authentic with ads blaring down the side, and I’m wary of colourful ads becoming the focal visual point of my site, instead if my content.

I did try out Google ads, however I got an email back saying I didn’t have enough content to do so (you’re bang on, Google). I may try again once I’ve got more content posted, but for now my focus is definitely on just getting posts up (which has been hard with my schedule!).

When it comes to analytics, I definitely see both sides of the coin as well. I personally run the social media accounts for my workplace, and the data which Facebook ads provides to me is crucial in the marketing decisions I make. Realistically, though, I know that it’s ridiculous how much info these sites provide to advertisers: I’ve heard many stories about creepy specific ads and even have a few myself.

In regards to my footprint, I only really make a concentrated effort to alter my data trails when I know it directly affects a purchase I’ll make. For example, I’ll delete all of my cookies from travel sites after I visit them in order to get better deals once I do decide on a trip. I’ll even sometimes purposely over-search for certain topics in the hopes of getting an ad which is relevant to me and I haven’t seen yet: for example, I’ve been shopping around for hoodies recently and am looking specifically for some sort of soccer-themed one. I made sure to google “soccer hoodie” and other variants multiple times in hopes of getting relevant ads from brands and stores I may not have seen before. In this case, I’ve not only thrown in the towel: I’ve dumped my entire laundry hamper in.

A Changing Audience

Well hello to across the world. Because apparently I have a bit of an audience in Russia. I’m not entirely convinced those page views aren’t bots but if you are really people how rad is that! If you are actual people maybe I’ll try and start tailoring some content towards you guys, although I’m not enitrely sure that’s what you would want either. Are you coming to my website because you want to learn about the Pacific Northwest?? In that case I will keep on posting as I am. This might be a situation where commenting on my posts would come in handy, it would also reassure me that you’re real and this entire post isn’t just a conversation with myself.

 

Many thanks to whoever comments!

Week 8 Process Post

Do I want to monetize my site?

I do not want to monetize my site. The main reason is that I want visitors to feel calm and relaxed when visiting my website. Random advertisements popping up on my website is the last thing I want to add into my blog. In fact, flashing advertisement would only ruin the mindful mood I try to build. Another issue I am concern about is that whether the advertisements could relate to the content of my blog. Well-being is a personal topic, it is not easy to find relatable commercials.

Data through Google Analytics

Currently, I am using google analytics to gather data for my website. I am able to collect some useful data through this plugin to give me insight about the behavior of my viewers.

Pages/ Session & Bounce Rate

From the data I collected, I know that my audience visits 1.7 – 2 pages/ session and the bounce rate is 57.14%. This means that most of my viewers spend time on reading my home page and occasionally click into my blog posts to leave a comment. Having a low bounce rate makes sense to me because I have all my posts full length posted on the home page and I group my blog posts within simple categories. It is not necessary for my viewers to click through a lot of pages to read my blogs.

Acquisition

In terms of the acquisition, all viewers found my website through a direct link. The result tells me to put in more effort to promote my website through social media, for example, Facebook and Instagram are places I can draw in more audience. People who visited my blog are located in North America and they use either chrome or safari to browse the website. I design the website base on chrome and I do not realize that my audience would use other browsers to view my website. I was worried whether my page content and elements would show up distorted in other browsers. I immediately checked my website through other popular browsers using both laptop and iPhone, and glad to know that the layout and presentation of the website are compatible with all browsers with different sizes.

What I think about data trails

I have mixed feelings about leaving data trails when using the internet. Through looking at Google Analytics data I understand that data trails could provide useful information for the website owners to gain insight into their audience’s behavior. However, knowing that my online behavior is recorded without my consent makes me feel like I have been unknowingly supervised. But I wouldn’t limit my footprint. The website owner could only get anonymous information. The data are just numbers summarizing the behavior of a pool of audience instead of addressing the audience individually. That is why I would not limit my footprints because I understand that the data are not used to invade my privacy but provide an insight or idea what kind of audience the website owner should focus to draw in and how they could improve their website.

Process Post #week 6

Reflection from Peer Review #2

First of all before I even start writing the main body of this post, thanks again for Kimberly’s review of my blog which suggested many great ideas on how I can improve in details!

See what I See” Tab

Kimberly mentioned in her last review that there was “too much scrolling in his photo section and that he should make them smaller so he can fit more and enlarge them as needed”. When she made this suggestion, I had not yet created the “See What I See” tab. What I did was putting all images in footer 1, which is located at the bottom left of the page and visitors had to scroll all the way down in order to see them. If some of them are not patient enough to finish reading a post, there would be no chance for them to see the images. 

As I was reconsidering the positioning of the images, I realized that those images all show precious moments of mine that I really want to share with others, so those images deserve a separate tab. By creating a separate tab, visitors will know there is a section specifically for images, like a gallery, once they enter my blog, as they will see in the menu bar just below the header image.

Kimberly also mentioned the inconvenience of scrolling down to take a brief look of the posts at the homepage of the blog, which can be done in a list or grid just like in her blog. However, this is unfortunately restricted by the blog’s theme. I think the only possible solution to this is to add suggestions of ‘recent post’ or ‘feature post’ at the sidebar.

‘Canton Pop Music’ Tab

I’d like to explain a little bit about this page, as Kimberly seemed not understand the rationale behind. Setting up this separate page for canton pop songs is only to echo with the ‘weekly canton pop song selection’ at the homepage. So if anyone happens to like the weekly selection and wants to learn more about canton pop music, that’s the page for them. It contains 3 more songs and there’s translated lyrics with the first song. This page works like ‘weekly selection’ that its content changes over time and will include my personal favourites.

Other Changes

  1. I’ve changed the background color back to white. I changed it to black just to test how it is going to affect the general feeling and reader-friendliness. But yes, as Kimberly said, white is a lot better even though black does not affect her reading my posts. A white background matches better with my header image. 
  2. Obviously, now my blog has a new site icon as you can see on the header image and at the tab on the top of the browser window.

The design is simple and the rationale is clear – Hong Kong and Vancouver – so I simply merged half of each flag together. Interestingly, both of the flags are in red and white, and both contain a kind of plant in the middle. Next to the maple leaf is a five-petal Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia blakeana) flower (洋紫荊).

Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia blakeana) flower. Source: https://kwgls.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/the-beautiful-hong-kong-orchid-trees/

 

Process Post 10-24

For my remix, I decided to be creative with the American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. I decided to incorporate a Star Wars theme into the photo because it was on my mind as the eighth episode is to be released in December of 2017.

Process Post #7

For this process post, the task was to ‘remix’ something. Unfortunately, I’m not the best music or video creator, however I am a whiz at editing pictures on Microsoft Paint.

For my ‘remix’, I  decided to make a thumbnail for my ‘happy pasta’ recipe using Microsoft’s most brilliant invention.

I started with a copy of this copyright-free image on freeimages.com. To remix it, I decided to make the photo exponentially better by plastering my ugly mug on it.

I went into Word and copied/cropped/removed the background on a photo of my face, coloured it to match the background, and then used everyone’s favorite artisic tool, Word Art, to slap some text on the picture.

Just like that, a simple picture of spaghetti was transformed into a beautiful thumbnail.

The end result is pretty inspiring if I do say so myself: