Monthly Archives: March 2019

My favourite makeup remover

No matter I put on makeup or not, I use makeup remover to clean my face before using the cleansers everyday. Personally, I think this step is really important to make sure that there is no dust on my face. Today, I will share my favourite makeup remover- cleansing water and cleansing oil with you guys. Usually, I use cleansing water when I don’t have my eyelash extensions; if not, I use the cleansing oil (I heard that the cleansing oil is better on removing dust compare to the cleansing water).

Bioderma Sensibio H2O

  • Bioderma has made the cleansing water for different type of skin, you guys can check it out on its website! Also, sometimes Shoppers Drug Store has a pretty good deal-I believe it’s 2 for $30 (approximately) for Bioderma! Give it a try if you are interested in trying this product!

Bobbi Brown soothing cleansing oil

I know there are many different choices for the makeup remover in the market nowadays; however, Bioderma and Bobbi Brown are recently my top ones!! If you guys have other suggestions for the makeup remover, please share with me! I would love to hear it!! ❤

Process post_10 Multi-channel Marketing

Choosing and applying the best marketing strategy is the most important concept to introduce a product into the market. However, living in this “improved technology” generation, single channel marketing is no longer the best and only marketing strategy anymore. This week in class, we have Darren and Sarah from Capulet Communication to discuss about the importance of multi-channel marketing with us. Personally, I believe that the multi-channel marketing strategy does successfully help a company to bring its brand and product to its customers.

Myself as an example, I voluntarily work in my brother’s company to help them to hold the concerts- mainly singers from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in Vancouver. Yet, although there are many Asians in Vancouver, actually the tickets are really hard to sell if we do not apply the multi-channel strategy. To indicate, we have to apply different marketing strategy towards different targeting customers. For instance, we have to place many posters in different areas to inform about our shows; such as Asian markets and restaurants for people who do not usually use the internet and schools that have more younger Asians who might be interested in the concerts. Also, social media significantly are the main channels for us to promote the shows. For example, Instagram and Facebook help us to spread out the propagandas via the internet. To illustrate, whoever see our posts on the social media will share the information to their family and friends and so on. As the result, there will be more and more people know about our shows. Moreover, the one-by-one conversation is the most required service that we have provided to our customers. In this case, it is not only easier for our customers but also for ourselves to answer the questions regard to the concerts. Therefore, throughout these multiple channels to promote the concerts, we have successfully nailed the SOLD OUT show.

Ultimately, I have more understood the importance of the multi-channel marketing strategy after rethinking the process of holding the concerts. According to Darren and Sarah, if we want to favourably reach different audiences, achieve different marketing goals, we have to tell [our] story in different ways. In short, these multi-channels really help many companies to promote their businesses in this new improved technology generation.

rainbow

It’s hard to believe that this semester is already over, looking back it all seems like everything happened so fast. As 201 is wrapping up, I find myself reflecting on this blog and the state its in. I think overall I’m glad that I was able to make a return to it. When I left it last year it felt a bit unfinished to me, as if there was more I wanted to do. While at the time I didn’t have a lot of motivation to continue working on it, I’m glad I got the opportunity to this past semester. I got to take a lot of interesting photos that I was able to reflect on, and being in lecture provided me with a lot of valuable information should I ever decide to pick this back up. However I don’t see myself putting in too much work going forward. Maybe the occasional post every now and then, but I feel satisfied with what I’ve put up on the site.

As a small anecdote, this picture was perhaps the first one I took that really got me interested in photography as a hobby. I waited maybe 15 minutes taking photo after photo, not being satisfied until everything was lined up perfectly. It is also perhaps one of my favourite photos I’ve taken to date.

The beginning of an Adventure

1,004 klicks away

The beginning of an adventure

In July of 2018, I set out on a road trip through the United States with two of my best friends, Alex and Rune.  In just 16 days, we visited 10 states, traveled over 7,000 kilometers, and took hundreds of photos.  We were able to travel on a small budget by living out of our car, pitching our tent in national forests, and staying on friend’s couches.  

We had spent the whole day driving from Vancouver BC to make it to California by dinnertime.  Truth be told, Alex had been craving In-N-Out burgers for years, and when he expressed the need to have one of their burgers on the first day of our road trip, Rune and I laughed and agreed.  For those who aren’t familiar, In-N-Out is a fast-food chain that sources local ingredients and is ridiculously affordable and delicious.  They’re able to keep prices reasonable by only having a few restaurants and restricting them mainly to California.

Alex, savouring the fabled In-N-Out burger after years of abstinence.

After filling ourselves up at the northernmost In-N-Out – in Grants Pass – we continued our drive into California.  As the sun was slowly starting to set over the mountains, we were setting up camp in a little clearing. We had followed an old forestry road near Gasquet, in northern California, and drove as far as the terrain would allow our small Mazda to go. 

Prior to setting out for this road trip, we had familiarized ourselves with the rules of dispersed camping and had applied for all the necessary permits, which allowed for a lot of flexibility with last minute accommodations on our trip.  By last minute accommodations, I mean setting up camp in the middle of nowhere.  We didn’t plan to pitch our tent where we did and had gotten lost a few times trying to find somewhere to sleep, but it was the most perfect mistake anyone of us could have ever made.  

At night fall, we were all wide awake, too excited to sleep, and thinking of the adventures ahead.  The sweet summer air was warm and inviting, and the stars were the brightest any of us had ever seen.  We were so far from any city, on the side of mountain overlooking a lush valley, there was seldom any light pollution.  This was it.  This was what spontaneous wandering was about, this is what traveling was about, and this is what summers were made for.

That night, we started taking silly group photos, which became a consistent theme through our road trip, as they progressively became more intricate and ridiculous.  This night was the perfect start to our summer adventures.


Looking to recreate this starry photo?

Use a low aperture, a slow shutter speed, and a tripod. Typically, night shots will require you to have a higher ISO as well. While a high ISO might brighten your image, be careful when using it as it creates more grain and degrades the quality of your image. These were the specs for my image:

Focal Length 18; 15 second shutter speed; F3.5; ISO 800

What to do in Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is one of the most popular Hawaiian destinations simply for the reason that can offer almost every different side of the island life that Hawaii offers. With Honolulu and Waikiki Beach being a more metropolitan version of Hawaii and the North Shore representing Hawaii as a surfer’s paradise and more remote island destination, Oahu really does have it all. This past December my family and I decided to visit this island for the first time, and it easily became one of my favourite places I have ever been. Here’s some of what we did with our week on this beautiful island and ideas for what you can do on your visit here as well!

Visit The North Shore

The North Shore of Oahu is most of the islands most popular destinations outside of Honolulu, and for very good reason. With endless beaches and surf centred communities, the North Shore is this pinnacle of living the island life. Much unlike Honolulu, the North Shore offers a relaxed and serene atmosphere for visitors and locals to enjoy. If you’ve come to Hawaii to surf an enjoy some incredible waves, the North Shore is where you’re going to want to be as it’s home to some of the worlds most prestigious surfing competitions such as Billabong’s Pipemasters. If you’re not a surfer don’t worry, there’s many other activities to occupy your time here including shopping at local Hawaiian stores and a never ending amount of amazing food such as The Sunrise Shack for smoothies bowls and Matsumoto’s for shaved ice!

Waimea Bay & Valley

Waimea Bay & Valley are also located on the North Shore, but deserve their own attention nonetheless. Waimea Bay is an incredible beach to spend the day soaking up the sun on, and right across the street is Waimea Valley which is a great little hike to a pretty incredible waterfall. This hike is perfect for those of us who aren’t really hikers as it’s a very easy walk through some of Hawaii’s most beautiful nature that ends at one of my personal favourite swimming spots which serves as an amazing reward for the “hike” over there. Waimea Valley is also a historical landmark on the island of Oahu so while you’re taking in the beauty of the island and all it has to offer, you can also learn about the history of the island and how it came to be.

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach is on the east side of the island and is that incredible white sand, bright blue water beach that you went to the island hoping to find. This beach is perfect for relaxing in the sun or spending the day indulging in various different water sports making it the perfect beach for everyone to enjoy. For those of you who love a good hike, right by the beach is the Lanikai Pillbox hike which can be followed up with some well deserved time laying in the sand. I don’t want to sound dramatic but this beach is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen and definitely should not be missed if you find yourself on the island of Oahu anytime soon!

Hanauma Bay

I’m going to be honest, I was a little skeptical about going to Hanauma Bay as everyone that I had spoken to about it said that although it was beautiful, it was always way to crowded to actually be enjoyed. They weren’t wrong about it being crowded as this is definitely one of the islands most popular tourist attractions but despite the crowds I think this was one of my favourite activities we did that week! With some of the most beautiful and colourful fish and coral reefs, Hanauma Bay is the islands most popular and incredible spot for snorkelling. Even if you don’t plan on snorkelling, the beach alone is beyond worth the visit as it’s one of the most gorgeous areas of this island.

Diamond Head Memorial Hike

Another very popular tourist activity on the island of Hawaii is the Diamond Head Hike. This hike is a bit more difficult than the one at Waimea Valley but is still suitable for beginner level hikers. I’d recommend doing this one as early in the morning as possible as it does get very busy during the afternoon with tourists and hikers, but even if you can’t get there early the hike still worth the trip! The view of the island from the top of Diamond Head is uncompareable and absolutely breathtaking, plus you’re getting in some quality exercise on your way up there, does it get any better than that?

Spend the day on Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is without a doubt the most popular area on the entire island, and reasonably so. This beautiful, long stretch of sand and water is an amazing place to spend a sunny day as it’s got a beautiful view, endless amounts of amazing restaurants right on the beach, world class shopping and exciting water sports to keep you occupied for a day (at least). This beach in my opinion is the definition of the word fun and is a must see while you’re on the island. I came to island dying to go surfing again, but as I am far from a professional I was too scared to take on the gigantic waves on the North Shore so we opted to surf on Waikiki Beach instead which ended up being the most fun we had all week!

I hope this has helped those of you planning a trip to Oahu decide on the things you want to do while visiting the island!

Oregon Coast Video Diary

After our visit to Portland this past fall we made our way out to the coast for a night to enjoy the beautiful and serene views of western Oregon. Instead of outlining this amazing trip through words, I’ve decided to share a video travel diary that my extremely talented best friend Miranda Anderson and I made while we were visiting the Oregon coast, enjoy!

Essay 2

When I was 17 years old, I started my first blog. I have always had a passion for writing but never had an outlet to do so. When I started university, I finally found my way to sharing my art. It started with writing an article for SFU’s newspaper, The Peak, to finding my voice in Her Campus at SFU.

The truth is, I have been waiting 3 years to make it into this Publishing 101 course. I felt like it would be the start of something new for me and finally make me feel like I have a platform for my words to be read. And it did.

I have always known I want create a publication that feels like a safe place for people to turn to and generally keep them entertained. I had a few goals going into creating this blog: Writing in the dark under the stars. Navigating life, Discovering New Music, Discussing Pop Culture, and Showcasing Other’s Talent. I have leaned towards lifestyle, music, personal stories, and serious themes. By serious, I mean talking about taboo topics people may not see often. I have a 3 part series planned for a future post that discuss the question, “will we ever truly know who anyone is?.” answering the question, digging into wondering if we will ever know who we truly are, and ending with finding yourself amidst all of this.  

One example was the article I have written about “Intersectionality.” It follows the story of Jennifer Harris being removed from her university basketball team due to the fact she is a person of colour and over the assumption she is gay. It is a story that is the perfect example of intersectionality that not many people seem to know about. I plan to learn more about these stories and inform my readers of them in the future. I also plan to talk more about life and the acceptance of some things not going the way we plan often.

Overall, I would say that I have created my publication in, as Amanda wrote in her peer review, a digital diary type of experience. It is about life, the ins and outs of the world, and genuinely enjoying what life throws at us. It would imagine my audience is for people of all ages, but I can also see it being catered towards people still finding themselves and looking for someone who relates to their situations.

Through my articles about a hair care routine, nostalgia on the past, lessons I have learned through my teenage years, and even my album reviews, I would say that I am addressing my imagined and real audience through captivating posts. I always made sure that I include an “aesthetic” so to speak photo and ensure my paragraphs are separated and easy to read.

My design includes large squares of photos that summarize the story I am about to tell. Thanks to my first peer reviewer, Maggie, suggested I change my background image to something that does not let the words get lost in it. That suggestion helped shape the way I see my blog and the way that it presents itself.

I take pride in the content I produce. I make sure to write about topics I enjoy and that I know other people will enjoy. I plan to produce more content that is challenging yet entertaining. Informative is more like it. The content I have provided thus far is more lifestyle based. I want to take a turn and make this blog be reflective of my 20’s. I am 20 years old and already feel like I have been through more than enough to keep me going for awhile. I personally enjoy story times, so I would like to incorporate more.

Google Analytics was really useful in terms of figuring out what I needed to do in order to boost my views. It was interesting to learn about the details of Google Analytics, such as bounce rate, and felt like it gave me that push to create the content I want to. I mainly kept my articles to this class and my friends. My friends have provided me with so many positive comments and thoughts. They genuinely enjoyed reading my posts, or so they say. It was not until I went into the analytics and tried to figure out how to boost my engagement and views. I finally took the plunge and posted the link to my article in my Instagram bio and gained 37 new viewers. I learned that people will read my posts when I promote them and they are most active in the mid- afternoon and early evening. This feature helped me gain the motivation I needed to carry on with my blog and reach as many people as I can.

Reflecting back to when I started this blog and writing in general, I have always been afraid to share my work. It reminded me of the article by John Suler that discusses the “You Can’t See Me (Invisibility)” section of our online disinhibition. I always hid in the behind my screen, as he explains “in many online environments other people cannot see you.” (Suler, 2015, par. 6). It is easy to hide who you are through your posts, but I have always made my posts personal, making it near impossible to hide my identity.

I find it ironic as I am afraid for some people to discover my work and read it. I believe moving forward, I need to understand that if I want to make it as a content creator and for the future of this blog, I need to start sharing my work. There really is nothing to lose if people I know start finding out about this blog. I am proud of what I post and would not post it if I felt like I did not want it associated with me.

Overall, my goal for this blog is to keep posting content I love and continue to expand my writing. I am very happy that I was able to get into this course. All of the lessons I have learned in lecture and from the guest speakers are areas of writing and producing content I never would have known about if I did not take this course. There is so much more to creating a blog than it seems on the outside. The analytics, incorporating transmedia channels, collaboration, marketing, and the list goes on. I will take every lesson I have learned in this class and move forward with this blog. I cannot wait to look back on this blog at the end of my university career and see where I am now.

May I continue writing and expanding my work through the creation of this blog and carry these lessons from Publishing 101 with me through these starlight adventures.

References:

Cook, Emily. (2017). Emcookxo.wordpress.com. Former Blog. Retrieved from: https://emcookxo.wordpress.com/.

Cook, Emily. (2019). Starlight-adventures.com. WordPress Blog. Retrieved from: starlight-adventures.com

McCrae, Amanda. (2019). Peer Review #3. Peer Review Blog Entry. WordPress. Retrieved from: http://www.amandasadventures.ca/academic/peer-review-3/

SFU, Her Campus. (2018). Emily Cook | Her Campus. Online Magazine. Retrieved from: https://www.hercampus.com/user

Suler, John. (2004). “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Retrieved from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

Su, Maggie. (2019). Peer Review #1. Peer Review Blog Entry. WordPress. Retrieved from: http://mlovetoshare.com/poisel/peer-review_1/. http://mlovetoshare.com/poisel/peer-review_1/.


The post Essay 2 appeared first on Starlight Adventures.

Starlight Adventures: Community Guidelines

Community Guidelines for starlight-adventures.com

The goals of starlight-adventures.com are to assist readers and contributors to maintain a safe space and an entertaining environment. I want to create connections that are mutually beneficial to both parties and promote collaborative involvement and opportunities.  

In order to achieve these goals, it is important for all of us truly create this safe space with our shared interests by following these guidelines:

Guidelines

  • Treat others online as you would treat them in real life
  • Be tolerant towards other’s view points and respectfully disagree when opinions do not align
  • respect the privacy of those sharing
  • communicate with courtesy and respect

Do not

  • make personal attacks on those contributing 
  • post prejudiced comments or profanity
  • avoid: name calling

Others

  • Stay on topic: keep all discussions relevant to what is posted 
  • If you see something, say something in a respectful manner
  • Always strive to be as supportive as possible in every discussion or post shared
  • No self promotion unless discussed otherwise 

This is overall a safe space and platform for those to share their opinions and new ideas that could be beneficial to us all. 

If needing to discuss any of these guidelines or wanting to contribute an idea, please contact me here. 

Featured Image Reference: My personal account on Canva designed by me

The post Starlight Adventures: Community Guidelines appeared first on Starlight Adventures.

Thank you, next.

It’s crazy to think that my undergraduate career is wrapping up within the next couple of weeks. It’s been five years of blood, sweat, and tears, but looking back on it now, it was so worth it. I have learned many life skills that were beyond my major, gained valuable knowledge on Elementary education (my major), and acquired so many wonderful memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Saying that though, I am beyond ready to move on and see what is next to come in my life! In the words of Ariana Grande, time to say “thank you, next” to SFU and my bachelor’s degree!

I do want to shout out this class, PUB (Publishing) 101, as one of my favourite classes I’ve taken at SFU. I truly appreciate the course designers who believed students’ work is worthy and valuable enough to be put out there and read by the public, as well as taken seriously by academics. Creating work that will not only be read and critiqued by our professors and TA’s, but the public via the Internet, gives our work a sense of greater purpose than simply for a grade. So thank you, Suzanne and Ellen, for believing in us and recognizing that students’ voices deserve to be heard not just within the four walls of our classrooms, but for everyone to hear as what we have to say is valuable. I never thought I would ever write a blog, until I took this class, and now I have discovered that my voice matters too. 🙂

I created this blog in hopes of spreading kindness and encouraging people to practice empathy for others. If I have inspired at least one person to spread kindness in someone’s life, then I have achieved my goal! I truly believe kindness as a ripple effect, as demonstrated in this comic I stumbled upon on Facebook:

Image from: 4amshower

I plan on continuing my blog past this course, however I am going to take a well needed break for a little while! I’m not sure how long it will be, but I definitely want to continue writing and putting my thoughts on the Internet. Even if no one reads, I’ve discovered it’s a cathartic way of organizing my thoughts and figuring out my stance on big issues, as well as a venting outlet, and who doesn’t like venting. 🙂

Always remember that everyone is just doing their best in this big, wide, weird world and that we’re all humans who crave love and belonging. Be the positive light in someone’s day, the answered prayer, the spark of joy. Let’s all change the world, one act of kindness at a time!

Process Post 11 – The joy of public shaming

This week in class we watched a TedTalk by Jon Ronson where he discussed peoples’ tendencies to behave like a lynching mob on social media when it comes to perceived injustice, as well as the joy people get out of this public shaming. Jon Ronson discussed a particular case of a woman named Justine Sacco. Some of you may remember her as the woman who made a tweet before getting on an airplane from London, England to Cape Town, South Africa that utterly dismantled her life during the span of the flight. She was a public relations worker in New York with 170 Twitter followers. However, her story is proof of how fast word can travel, especially on the Internet. The tweet that ruined her life was this:

Image from: Jon Ronson TedTalk

Upon arrival in Cape Town, Justine turned on her phone to discover that she was the world wide #1 trending topic on Twitter. It turned out that one of her 170 Twitter followers sent Justine’s tweet to a journalist who then retweeted it to his 15,000 followers, and spiralled from there. Jon Ronson actually emailed the journalist a few weeks after the incident and asked him how it felt to do this, and he exclaimed it felt “delicious.” When I heard this, I was immediately enraged and knew I wanted to discuss this on my blog. How could someone say the destruction of someone’s life felt “delicious”?!?!?! Then, Jon Ronson began to show some of the tweets that were sent to Justine, ranging from demanding her to be fired from her job, to wishing AIDS upon her:

Image from: Jon Ronson TedTalk
Image from: Jon Ronson TedTalk

Jon Ronson had a suspicion that Justine’s tweet was actually not meant to be racist. He met with her a couple of weeks after the debacle and asked her to explain the joke, and she said that her intention was to mock the bubble Americans live in when it comes to their knowledge of Third World countries. Clearly, it was not interpreted that way.

Although I do feel that Justine was in the wrong and could have worded her joke much differently to convey what she was trying to say, I don’t believe she deserved to have her life torn apart because of it. I understand how her tweet was misinterpreted, as it’s nearly impossible to detect elements like tone and body language over Twitter that help with interpreting a message, but she made a mistake. Jon Ronson mentioned how it was interesting that someone tweeted, “somebody HIV positive should rape this bitch and then we’ll find out if her skin colour protects her from AIDS” (8:10) as that person received no public persecution whatsoever. So why when we are joining in a mob mentality do we all of a sudden deem this disgusting behaviour appropriate? I can’t imagine any sane person having the courage to say something like this to Justine’s face. However, when we have a mob of people doing the same thing, and we can do it while hiding behind a computer or phone screen, it makes dehumanizing someone a lot easier, and we may even feel a bit of joy sitting back and watching somebody’s life crumble right before our eyes.

While watching this video during class, one of my initial thoughts was, “what if Justine was just doing her best?” I know that may sound like I’m giving her too much of a break, but that is the mentality I live by and also what this blog is centred around, so I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t ask myself that. Once again, although she could have worded her joke way better, the intended meaning was misinterpreted. I do believe that she made a mistake, but we all have made mistakes and bad judgement calls. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised that everyone on Twitter that night was so quick, and excited, to call someone out for their wrongdoing. It’s much easier to do that then take a minute to ask ourselves, “maybe she meant something different by that tweet” and giving Justine the benefit of the doubt. Instead, responding in ways the Twitter users did that night makes us feel better about ourselves; that we’re not the only one who has flaws and makes mistakes. Jon Ronson put it beautifully when he explained that the Twitter users that night were trying to call out someone’s misuse of privilege, essentially something good, however the phrase “misuse of privilege” is becoming a free pass to tear apart anyone we choose to. In attempting to search and find the “bad guys” in our world, we are utterly destroying innocent peoples’ lives, and feeling good about it. I ask this of you: next time you see something online someone has said that bothers you or even enrages you, like Justine’s tweet, take a minute before you respond and ask yourself if you were standing in front of that person with no one else around you, would you still say that comment to them? If the answer is no, don’t post it. Also, ask yourself if there are other ways of interpreting what they said. Who knows, you may have saved someone’s life.

Essay 2 – Semester in Review

As the semester comes to a close (as well as my degree) it’s time to do some reflecting on the work I’ve completed in PUB 101. While reflecting on my blog and the semester for this essay, I couldn’t help but feel proud of my classmates and myself for the work we’ve completed. My classmates and I not only created this semester-long project for school, but we were given the opportunity to showcase the potential and talent we have as university students to the Internet world. I am incredibly proud of the unique content my classmates have created. I look forward to keeping up with their blogs and seeing where they go with them!

I wanted to create a blog on the topic of kindness because I saw (and still see) a dire need for positivity in our current world. Reace Mok, one of my classmates who wrote a peer review on my blog said, “her topic is extremely timely, as in the age of cyberbullying and Trumped-up racism, stereotyping and hate, a little kindness is a fresh and needed concept” (Mok, 2019, para. 8). Reace’s comment was exactly my thinking at the beginning of the semester when brainstorming blog topics, and thus began The Kindness Lifestyle. The target audience for my blog is everyone, as I don’t believe kindness is limited to a certain type of person; it’s universal. However, due to kindness being associated as a female trait, I believe my blog attracts mainly females. Based on comments and feedback I’ve received, this rings true as they are almost all from females. I believe I’m addressing my target audience, which is everyone, through my content as it remains focused on the universal topic of kindness. However, I could improve on making the design universal, specifically more gender neutral, as currently my blog design could be considered more on the feminine side. It’s interesting though because my classmate, Tobi Cheung, who wrote a peer review for my blog said that, “[my] blog style matched the topic [I] [am] writing about, the colours were soft which [is] very welcoming and [has] a calmness to it” (Cheung, 2019, para. 2). Tobi said that my blog design matched my topic and since most people would consider my blog to look quite feminine, does this mean that kindness is in fact associated with femininity based on Tobi’s comment?

Designing my blog was one of the most exciting, yet difficult parts of the creation process. Just as I was content and proud of what I had created, with the help of a WordPress tutorial on YouTube, I read Travis Gertz (2015) article, Design Machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse. In his article, he discusses the pressing issue with the design of websites today; they all look the same.

Image from: Louder Than Ten

After reading Gertz’s (2015) article and seeing the collage of images shown above, I realized that my website falls into this “digital design homogeneity,” as he describes it. I was discouraged seeing that my design was nothing new or original as I worked hard on it, as well as received many compliments. However, I did keep the design for the duration of the semester. As the semester closes and I have more time to become familiar with WordPress design, I will try and redesign The Kindness Lifestyle to be more unique and more of a monopoly, as one of our guest speakers, Trevor Battye, described what our websites should be.

Trevor Battye also showed us a video by Peter Thiel where he discusses the importance of being a monopoly in the business world (Independent Institute, 2015). Although he focuses on businesses, his ideas can also apply to our websites. Thiel believes that as a creator, your work should be so unique and one of a kind that it does not have any competition (Independent Institute, 2015). In this sense, I believe the content of my blog is on it’s way to being a monopoly, but definitely not with design yet. Sofia Sullivan mentioned in her peer review on my blog that, “nowadays you don’t typically see blogs [on] this subject [of kindness]” (Sullivan, 2019, para. 4). As I continue to build my blog, aiming to be a monopoly will be a priority when making decisions about content, but especially with design as that is what makes websites stand out to viewers.

Reflecting on my thoughts of publication at the beginning of the semester compared to now, I will say they have changed quite a bit. I still believe that what people post on the Internet should have purpose and be productive (at least most of the time), however over the semester I have gained more respect for certain platforms like Instagram. Although I still see the majority of people using Instagram in a pointless manner, I also see the potential it has for purposeful content after what we’ve learned in this course. The most significant thing I learned in this course is that although almost everyone in the world can be a publisher with the technology we have, it’s much more difficult than it appears to be for that exact reason. Creating an innovative idea that is a monopoly is difficult to do with so many people trying to do it every day. However, I hope with my blog I provided value in the sense of inspiring my readers to think differently when it comes to kindness as well as provide them with a glimmer of positivity.

References:

Cheung, T. (2019, February 27). Peer Review #2: The Kindness Lifestyle [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://tobisroutine.com/posiel/peer-review-2-the-kindness-lifestyle/#comment-19

Gertz, T. (2015, July). Design Machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse. Louder Than Ten. Retrieved from https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines

Independent Institute. (2015, March 6). Peter A. Thiel | Always Aim for a Monopoly [Video file]. Retrieved from http://libanswers.snhu.edu/faq/8628

Mok, R. (2019, March 18). Peer Review – 3 [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://rerouted.ca/academics/peer-reviews/peer-review-3/

Sullivan, S. (2019, January 30). Peer Review [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thebeautyblondie.com/posiel/peer-review-2/

Shop for a cause – Autism Awareness Month

Throughout the year, Stella & Dot partners with foundations and charities to raise money for those in need.

So, since April is Autism Awareness Month, they’ve partnered with the HollyRod Foundation in support of those living with Autism. A portion of sales made from the purchase of the Brilliance Wishing Bracelet will go to the foundation.

I’d like to sell as many of these beautiful bracelets as I can! Let me know if you’d like to get your hands on one. Don’t wait too long!

Brilliance Wishing Bracelet
Thank you for supporting autism awareness.

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What to Pack: Summer in Europe

Planning on spending your summer vacation in across the pond travelling throughout Europe? If you are and you’re not quite sure what to pack, don’t you worry, I’m here to help. European summers are going to be hot and they are going to be busy, so packing as light as possible is going to be essential as nobody wants to be hauling a suitcase bigger than they are down crowded cobblestone streets in 30-40 degree heat so in order to avoid that, I’ve divided this post up into three sections must haves, could haves and don’t haves.

Must Haves:

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is going to be your absolute best friend during the summer in Europe as let’s be real, you’re going to be spending more time outside pounding the pavement and enjoying everything this beautiful continent has to offer than you will be doing anything else. For us Canadians everything is going to be more expensive once you’re there so be sure to bring your own sunscreen, it’ll save you a couple dollars and isn’t going to take up much room in your bag.

Money Belt

Europe is known for issues with pickpockets, so a money belt is going to be vital in ensuring you keep your money and important documents safe. Sitting right on your waist and underneath your clothes, a money belt is the perfect way to keep your important items somewhere you don’t have to worry about them being vulnerable to these sneaky thieves. A money belt will also be much cooler and easier to carry than a big purse or backpack in the high temperatures and beating sun. Be sure to be careful about where you’re storing your passport as well, sweat and humidity can easily cause water damage to a passport which could make your trip home a lot more difficult than it needs to be, having a waterproof money belt to store your passport in can easily prevent that!

Outlet Adaptor

Something that many first time travellers don’t realize when travelling to Europe is that there outlets are completely different than the ones that we have here. Adaptors are super affordable on Amazon and I recommend investing in a universal one so then no matter where you travel you’ll be set and won’t have to keep repurchasing new ones! If you have multiple devices that you’ll want to be charging at the same time, bring a small extension cord with you as well so you have room to charge more than one or two things at a time.

Light, breathable clothing

Light and breathable clothing is going to be a lifesaver throughout your travels. Not only will these clothes keep you cool, they’ll also be easy and lightweight to fit into your luggage. Light clothing won’t hold as much moisture such as sweat and humidity, and therefore will also not need to be washed as frequently which is always nice when moving from place to place.

Comfortable Sandals

When travelling Europe in the summer, a comfortable pair of sandals is going to be most important type of shoe you bring with you. Sandals that you can walk all day in are super important to have as after a day of non stop adventuring, you’re feet are going to get sore. In my opinion sneakers or running shoes aren’t ideal in the summer as you’re feet will get too hot and they are a pain to take on and off every time you want to stick your feet in the water.

Hats

Having a hat with you is a super easy way to keep yourself cool and safe from the sun. Hats are also a large part of European fashion, so having a fun and cute hat to wear as you travel around will help you fit right in with the locals!

Could Haves:

Backpack/Purse

Having a second bag in Europe isn’t essential and many people would warn against it, but if you plan to be carrying around multiple things everyday such as your camera, a book, a journal or anything else along those lines then having a small purse or backpack to wear around would be a good idea! Otherwise a money belt should be more than enough for your money, documents and phone.

Reusable Water Bottle

Big plastic water bottles that you can purchase from any corner store or market are cheap and a lot of the time recommended when travelling in Europe as drinking tap water can sometimes be worrying, but if you have room having a reusable bottle can be super handy to have and easy to refill.

Journal

These will undoubtedly be some of the most amazing days of your life, so having a journal to document your memories and experiences in is always a great idea if you have room for it. Although I doubt you’ll ever forget the trip and the time you spend in Europe it’s nice to be able to write down the smaller moments and the feelings you experience as those are something you might not immediately recall.

Towel

Towels are available at most hotels and can be purchased almost anywhere, but there are places that you won’t have one when you need one so if you can spare the room and avoid having to buy one over there to use for the beach or pool, bringing a towel from home can be very helpful!

Don’t Haves:

Valuables

Leave any valuable items that you aren’t going to need at home, this includes the necklace that has been passed through your family through generations and any unnecessary electronic devices. As mentioned above, Europe is known for pickpockets and thieves so don’t risk losing these meaningful items if you don’t need to. As you’ll likely be moving from place to place, it’s also very easy to lose items in the process or accidentally leave them behind so save yourself the worry and keep those items safe at home!

Thank you for reading, hopefully this helps those of you planning a trip to Europe this summer with your packing!

Greece in May (Part Two)

Continuing on from the first post I wrote about my trip to Greece this past May, after we left the beautiful and quaint island of Paros we sailed through Aegean Sea over to arguably the most popular destination in Greece, Santorini. Santorini is a place that I have dreamed of visiting ever since the first time I saw Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants many, many years ago and to my pleasure, my dreams of Santorini were not only fulfilled but surpassed. We’ve all seen photos of this beautiful location, but the photos do little justice to the magic that this place brings in real life.

Upon arriving to the island, we drove down to the Black Sand Beach where we were staying for the duration of our stay in Santorini to drop our bags before heading over to Oia to enjoy dinner and the world famous Santorini sunset. After navigating our way through the bustling and beautiful streets of Oia, we found the coveted lookout point for watching the sun go down over the island where we set up camp to enjoy some drinks and gyros. I don’t want to be dramatic, but the sunset we witnessed this night was one of the most magical moments of my entire life. This entire night I couldn’t help but be in complete and total of awe of what I was seeing and what I was experiencing. This was one of those moments where I had to keep pinching myself and reminding myself that this was real life because it simply seemed too good to be true. After the sun finally set and Santorini became illuminated under the night sky, we made our way back through the narrow and lively streets to turn in for the evening.

The next morning we woke very early and ventured back to Oia to see all the beauty this town had to offer in the daylight, and again, we were far from disappointed. We spent the first half of our day on the island exploring the streets and shops of Santorini and returned back to the lookout point we had been at the night before to take in the incredible view one more time before we moved onto other parts of the island. After we had taken in the last bit of our time in Oia, we travelled back towards our hotel and spent the afternoon on the Black Sand Beach and enjoying some of the local cuisine that was offered. To end off an amazing day and stay in Santorini, we again spent the evening on the Black Sand Beach after a barbecue dinner and pool party at our hotel playing games and drinking ciders out of the corner store drink cooler, which ended up being a fun filled night which I will never forget.

The next morning it was time to head off to our final Greek island, the island of Ios. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when heading to Ios as I had never previously heard of it, but this island ended up being the most perfect way to end off an amazing and crazy busy trip. With its white sand beaches and beautiful bright blue waters, Ios is the perfect island for relaxation. We stayed at Far Out Beach Club which is an apartment style brand new hotel that is located right across the street from an amazing beach and many fun water sports. After spending the first day on the beach soaking in the European sun and sand, we spent our last full day on the island swimming through caves, snorkelling over shipwrecks and hanging out on our own private beach that we took boat to for lunch. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end our time on the islands than relaxing by the beach and enjoying the last bit of time we had with some of the amazing people that we were fortunate enough to meet on this trip.

The next morning we boarded our final ferry back to Athens where we spent our last night before flying home. Once we reached Athens we had one final celebratory dinner with a stunning view of the illuminated Acropolis. This was a trip that I have spent my life dreaming about, and I am so grateful that I got to do it at the age of 18 with my best friend by my side. These were without a doubt the most incredible two weeks of my life which I will never forget. For those of you reading this, I highly recommend making a visit to Greece at some point in your life. You absolutely not regret it.


Last PUB201 Class

As the spring semester comes to an end, so does PUB201. I am very glad that I decided to take this class and I would recommend it to anyone. I have learnt so much about marketing and how to brand myself. I had always been interested in creating something that had to do with something that I was interested in. It has shown me that I am able to create content and that I actually got views. I have decided that I am going to try to keep my blog running once PUB201 is over because I am interested in blogging and I want to keep it up.

I am excited to keep up my blog throughout the year and I hope you guys keep reading!

xx

My Top 3 Influencers For Style Inspo

Do you ever wake up feeling some type of way, wanting to look good but have no clue where to start?

Well, if that’s ever the case, I’ve got you covered! These are my top 3 influencers to turn to whenever I’m feeling fashionably uninspired.


#1. Kicki Yang Zhang

 

 

This Berlin-based Chinese girl is changing the game of fashion and style. She is fearless, fun, colourful, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. On top of that, her Instagram feed is so on point. Everything is so visually pleasing, and colour coordinated. So if you ever feel like you don’t have enough colour or art in your life, just check out Kicki’s Insta!

 

 

 

 

 

#2. Yourgirlneens

Yourgirlneens’ full name is Nina Huynh. She was raised in San Francisco, and now li
ves in Vancouver, BC. The first unforgettable thing about her is her beautiful pink hair. On top of that, her style is ON POINT! Puffy jacket, bucket hat, thrift items, she could pull of anything! Nina’s instagram includes mostly her styles and things that she is working on. But if you want to really get to know Nina, you got to check out her youtube channel. It has lots of different content, from lookbooks, to Q&As, to Vl
ogs, to challenges, and more! Her video editing skills is amazing, and so is her boyfriend!

 

#3. Song of Style

 

Aimee Song is one of the most elegant ladies out there. She is classy, flawless, and living her best life. Whether you are going on a date, or attending a gala, or even packing for Europe, whatever it is that you are planing on doing for the day, you could find some inspirations from scrolling through her Insta feed. Aimee was actually one of the first fashion influencers that I’ve ever followed. I remember how proud I was about her Asian heritage, and how I felt i finally had someone more relatable to myself to be inspired from. She also has a fashion lifestyle blog if you are looking for more of her and her style!

 

 

 


Who are your favourite fashion influencers? Comment below and share with me!!

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Let’s Start Integrating!

After my recent process post focusing on my Google Analytics, I noticed how lost my visits are. They were decent, but not as a high as I know it could be.

View count from March 12-18

I decided to just take the shot and promote my blog to my Instagram followers. And it made all the difference.

View count from March 19-25 after promoting articles on my Instagram Story

I had gained 37 new users over the span of a week.

Using social media platforms can really impact how much of a following one has and how many views we are able to reach

Something I think I need to take note of is: consistency.

The reasons why people gain a steady following and consistent views is because of how often we post and how much content we produce and promote. 

I want to start posting more frequently. Whether that be posting more articles or posting more on social media, I feel that this will help me gain more readers. 

I want to start incorporating Instagram in terms of promoting my articles on my story so then people can easily access them through the link in my bio. I am more interactive on Instagram with my followers so perhaps posting photos related to my posts can help as well. 

Utilizing hashtags on Twitter can help me relate and reach more audiences. I want to start posting my articles on Twitter that have to do with music so then people who have fan accounts for certain artists will read them and hopefully provide feedback and support. 

Twitter is very versatile and I believe this platform has the most room for growth and I plan to focus on these trends and post more. Perhaps tagging who the articles may feature can help as well. 

The one transmedia channel I need to integrate is Facebook. I have way too many family members on there and do not want them reading all of my articles. I feel like there will come a time where I will start promoting them on there. I think I will share this  blog when the course ends to show off all my work I have done through this semester.

I also had an idea to promote my blog on groups I am part of on Facebook. 

Overall, my main issue is my insecurity. I feel like people may judge my work and not truly support me. But honestly, that is just part of life.

I want to be a content creator so I need to get over this fear to get anywhere. 

I plan to work towards integrating more social media platforms to promote my work and even collaborate with some others. 

If all goes to plan, look out for me on your social media platforms sometime soon!

Featured Image Reference: @Keti_98 on weheartit.com

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Process Post 10 – Risky is safe, safe is risky

This week we had Darren and Sarah from Capulet Communications to share about affordable marketing in a multi-channel universe with us in class.

I worked in a PR agency as an intern for five months last summer. I mainly had to do clippings for our clients, mainly luxury hotels and resorts. I scan newspapers, magazines and screenshot online articles, social media posts when they got coverages. I realise that almost all our clients have several social media platforms to publicise themselves, mostly Instagram and WeChat (for the Chinese market). Part of my job includes helping the clients to look for influencers that match their brand images, and I realise that most of them are active on multiple social media platforms to develop their online self. Most influencers are active on Instagram as a platform to interact with their fans and audiences, while they use websites or YouTube channels as a relatively passive platform to allow audiences to know more about their work and private life. This is indeed a great way to increase its traffic.

There are a growing number of brands who rely on social media to expand their influences and reach a greater variety of audiences, even for reputable hotels who have a long history of development. They use attractive images, usually instagrammable spots in the hotels, and uses short captions to attract people’s attention. People now prefer bite-sized information rather than wordy passages, it is challenging for the PR to bring out the distinctive features and hotels’ selling points by just a few sentences when drafting for captions. There is so much information online and everyone can place ads, thanks to Google and Facebook. PR must, therefore, develop a gimmick or something authentic that creates discussion in our society.

If marketers and PR only stick with safe options, they would always be mediocre. Darren shared a quote today in class – “Risky is safe, safe is risky.” This not only applies to marketing, but also to our lives. We should take a step forward to leave our comfort zones, make bold moves and risky decisions to stand out from the crowd.

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PHOTO PROMPT: Domestic Re-Imaginings

A simple exercise to improve your visual eye, without leaving the house.

The premise is pretty straightforward; if you’re in a photographic funk, parameters are your best friend. These images were created within the constraints of my own self-imposed challenge. In just 15 minutes,  I produced over 30 images without leaving the house (therefore averaging less than 30 seconds per image). What can be gained from this kind of activity? By imposing limitations to time and setting, I was able to explore unique choices in content that may not have occurred to me otherwise––achieving this creative mindset is sometimes trickier than you would think.

This is both a useful and liberating exercise for anyone looking to expand, reinvigorate, or practice compositional techniques. For myself personally, there have many upsides the more I have trained my artistic mind to approach the world in this way. Because oftentimes when I am in the midst of a creative block, this is due in part to existential struggles that are infiltrating the rest of my day. So the beauty in this exercise is that it is also a kind of mindfulness strategy as well. Life is a little easier when we can see the beauty in our humble surroundings. 

TIPS & TECHNIQUES:

Here’s what you should keep in mind to get the best outcomes:



  • Use a convenient, portable camera instead of a fancy one. This allows you to focus on the frame instead of technicalities such as ISO and depth of field. (I used my phone.)
  • Imagine that you are creating a sculpture or an abstract painting.
  • Investigate all possible angles: top-down, bottom-up, and eye-level, amongst others. Approach things abnormally. 
  • Combine those unusual angles with odd cropping. Ignore perceived beginnings and ends of objects.
  • Turn your attention towards appealing combinations of texture and negative space.
  • Avoid pre-grouping images in your mind as you shoot. Avoid thinking about thematics or symbolic interpretation. This is about producing and following instinctual impulses.
  • Remember, these images don’t need to be capital-A artworks. It’s okay if you never show these to anyone. But I don’t recommend deleting these; stash them in a sketchbook, virtual or printed out.
THE AFTER: Groupings & Gestalt

Although you can leave this activity after the shooting stage, I recommend taking a moment to review the photographs. I find it useful to bundle these images and begin to experiment with their interactions amongst one another. Personally, I find this secondary stage to be very relaxing and rewarding, so I encourage you to arrange and rearrange your snippets. Good consider-ations include colour palettes, textures, and leading lines. If you’re confused by that last term, hopefully the images down below
give you an idea of what is meant by this.

When grouping your images, consider the famous Gestalt principles relating to perception. In case you’re unfamiliar, these are very helpful guidelines when it comes to UX and design more broadly. (Check out DePaul University’s online resource for more detailed information––the site design itself is extremely outdated but it does provide comprehensive explanations with art historical examples.)

Though all the principles may be at play, I want to draw your attention to a few key interactions:

First, closure tells us that our brains seek out a connection, regardless of whether the elements touch. So we read all these images as one, in part due to their proximity as well. Both closure and proximity are virtually inevitable due to my snapshots up being lined up in this row/column structure (something to be aware of if you choose differently).

However, you will find that various potential arrangements within this structure will provide equally varying levels of compositional success. What you should aim for is a good sense of continuity, so that proximate images almost “talk” to one another as the eye flows from one area to the next. Again, have a look at my visualization of exactly this, below. 

Overall, experimenting with the order of your snapshots within a grouping structure can lead to a really satisfying visual impact. 


Enjoyed this post? Check out my other photographic challenges:

FIGHT CREATIVE BLOCK: 3 Unusual Experiments in Photography

Catching up with old friends

It’s my second solo trip and this time I’ve picked Toronto – a city where two of my best friends from primary and secondary school life. They immigrated to Canada over 6 years ago and rarely go back to Hong Kong. It’s my first time to visit them in Canada, in fact, it’s my first time to visit friends in a foreign country! The last time I met with them was already 2 years ago when we first entered university. That time we talked about the struggles of adjusting to uni life, reminiscing the good old days in secondary school. Two years later today, we are one year away from graduation and we start discussing worries of stepping into adulthood – internship, graduation, life and etc. It’s shocking how fast time passes which we are about to step into a new stage of life. We started to think more about our future and in a more mature manner, it was different from the time where we did silly stuff together in primary and secondary schools, but I am glad that we’re witnessing our growth despite our long-distance friendship.

Hope to see them soon in Hong Kong!

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Mini Assignment 6 – GIF!

via GIPHY

It’s almost the end of the semester and I’m trying to get myself together. Wipe my tears, take a deep breath and continue on my term papers. Hang in there guys, just several more weeks to go!! (This semester goes faster than I expected!)

p.s. One of my friends always says I’m good at picking gifs when texting, so I’m really excited when I get to make my own gif for the assignment! Can’t wait to send it to my friends!

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