2015-01-29

Decoden Phone Cases

I enjoy making decoden phone cases.
If you want a one, contact me and let me know!

Pink Dessert iPhone 5s Decoden Case

Chocolate Theme Nexus 5 Decoden Case


Hello Kitty Dessert Theme Nexus 4 Decoden Case


Pink Hello Kitty Samsung Galaxy S Duos Decoden Case



Rhinestone Phone Cases:
I don't make these anymore - at least I don't plan to anytime soon.

Rhinestone/Cabochon Nexus 4 Case

Rhinestone Pink Theme iPod Touch 4th Generation Case

2015-01-22

Capitola By The Sea

Visited and did some exploring at Capitola Village yesterday.

I had a meeting in the area later in the day so bb and I decided to spend the morning/early afternoon here. We walked around the entire place; however, we didn't enter any store or buy any food. We spent most of our time walking around the beach and taking pictures at the Capitola Venetian and ended up getting food from another part of the town. We had hot noodle soup which soothed my sore throat because I was just coming off of sickness. I just had a 105 degree fever two days before! ):



The Capitola Venetian - all the brightly-colored buildings!
You can see the detail of the walls in the pictures below.


Close-up of me with shades on because the sun was too bright~


Still squinting because sun or because I have a reallyyy cheeky smile haha


Must take pictures in front of the pretty walls. ^^


OUTFIT

- Sunglasses from Target.

- Combat boots from Target for only $18 after-tax!!

- Classic plaid shirt from Forever 21. This is my first time wearing this shirt after purchasing it over a year ago. I'm not a big fan of plaid or magenta though.

- Jessica Simpson jeans, which is the only brand of jeans I buy these days because I am so over the Levi's jeans back pocket pattern. Jessica Simpson jeans have no pattern on the back pockets, which in my opinion is classier.



Found a pretty wall painting while walking around the village.


Capitola Venetian is right next to the beach and the wharf, accessible via the bridge above.


I can't believe that I went to uni for three years and never discovered this area that's only ~16 minute drive south! It's a really cute place and if we had dressed accordingly and had more time, we definitely would have spent more time at the beach and wharf.

2014-12-29

My Past Blog Life

Surprise...? I restarted my blog.

This is going to be a long read so grab a drink and some snacks and consider yourself warned.



Addicted To Deleting

I created this blog in December 2008 and consistently blogged for 4 years. Last year I shifted from blogging (with photos, happy posts, etc.) to straight up ranting about my life and really emphasizing all of my troubles and insecurities which I will touch upon later, I promise. In July 2013, I was influenced to start using Instagram and keep in mind, I have still been using Twitter since April 2009.

So why am I pointing all of this out?

Because my time on all of these platforms have one thing in common: I delete posts like mad.

Here. I'll give you an idea of just how much exactly.

First of all, my Instagram account has never exceeded 60 posts because I keep deleting old posts. If I had never deleted anything, I should have about 90+ based on the amount of "posted" photos I have saved on the "Instagram" folder on my computer. Currently I have 57 posts.

My Twitter account has been cleared and restarted twice. My first tweet was on April 21, 2009 and from then until March 14, 2013, I accumulated 2,437 tweets. These numbers are based off a downloaded copy of my tweet history. Currently I have 486 tweets after clearing my history earlier this year.

I cleared my Facebook account recently, leaving only two profile pictures. It's now only used to communicate with people who only talk through Facebook Messenger. A lot of times I just want to deactivate my Facebook account but some people are lazy and only use that to communicate.

As for my blog, I have deleted old posts for as long as I remember. When I end a friendship with someone I practically eliminate their existence on my blog and every trace of their connection to me because I don't think they deserve to have the slightest chance of being "discovered" through my blog. (People often call me intimidating. I'm really not. I just take getting used/played very lightly.)

Today I deleted all of my posts (they are not reverted to draft, they are actually trashed) because I don't want to be publicly associated with the many personalities of the teenager me.




The Real Reason Why I Started Blogging

Many of you don't know why I actually started blogging. Since I knew about the Internet, I have always wanted my own website/domain. I obviously could not afford to purchase one at the time, so I figured starting a blog is about the same thing.

I don't remember details but one day I stumbled across a blog owned by a girl who is just 2 years older than me and another blog that belongs to a more famous blogger. Both bloggers are female, reside in Singapore, and make a living off blogging. They get sponsored for just about everything, get paid to do advertorials, get fame for looking pretty, and at the same time they blog about their lives and opinions and are excellent role models for younger people (except when they get plastic surgery and excessive tattoos). Of course the 16 year old me thought "wow, I want to be just like them!" (minus the surgeries/tattoos).

All I want is to be a role model that people (esp. younger girls) can look up to. 

And I (still) really wish I could have a personal photographer too haha. That's when I created this blog, got a DSLR, started really documenting the more interesting events of my life and all that. I also designed a few blog layouts to use before but not anymore.

I want to fast forward a few months to August 21, 2009 when I wrote a post that attracted many visits and 70+ unique comments (which to me is a lot!) and became the most popular post on my blog. Those of you who followed me since the beginning or found me through a Google search for which blog platform to choose probably remember my Blogger vs Tumblr post. (I sort of regret deleting that post now.. but what's done is done. I saved the original copy so if anyone is interested I will post a link to it later.)

I wrote the post (1) to show how the blogging industry is getting corrupted by the "re-blog" style Tumblr promotes, (2) to show that the term "blogger" is getting misused because everyone on Tumblr thinks they are a blogger (ha ha), and (3) because at the time Tumblr was gaining popularity and like literally everyone around me started using it.

Excluding the neutral ones, the comments were split pretty evenly 50-50 for each platform in case anyone was wondering.

This is an outdated subject and I'm not trying to create argument here so let's move on...

It wasn't until I put myself in my readers' shoes and Googled "blogger vs tumblr" when I realized my link was the top one for some time and that people actually linked to my blog and cited it as a source in their own arguments/comments/etc.

Here is a page that caught my eye before and again today: deleted tumblr.
I don't know this person but it is nice that he mentioned this little girl's post showed me the light and pulled me out of tumblr and linked to my post which doesn't exist anymore sorry.

Fast forward to February 2013 when I was at a low point in my life because I had one serious regret that only my closest friends know about. Life was not pleasant at all, and as consequence I started using my blog to let out my anger. When I would look back to the posts weeks later, I would feel embarrassed. I don't want people being able to access them so I deleted everything and then a few months later I started using Instagram and my blog died even more.

Fast forward to these past few months. I admit I have some serious self-hatred and pessimistic thinking and I've stopped hiding it. I am so open about it that I even scare myself sometimes. It is hard for me to talk about it without giving away details, but just know that the personal problems I face today are the same personal problems I have faced in high school. It all revolves around height, weight, appearance, lack of skill/talent, etc. All I used my blog for was to rant when something was wrong in my life, etc. I really want to change that.




Did I Get What I Wanted?

So by now if I haven't already lost your attention, you are probably wondering, did I ever get what I originally wanted out of blogging??

Cliche answer: Yes and no.

I never got free products for advertorials or anything like that, but throughout the process of wanting it, I learned that I live a very different and more structured life than the two bloggers I look up to. These are just my theories but I think in the US it is harder to make a living off freelance blogging (unless you are like super rich or famous in the fashion industry already) because the standard of living, especially in the SF Bay Area, is so much higher. I also don't think advertorials exist in the US because when average people "advertise" products it is usually because they have fallen into one of those pyramid marketing schemes.

Even though I didn't get to where I want to be yet, I had the chance to meet girls similar to me and read/follow their blogs. I admit that most of them make up the people I follow on Instagram; however, I do wish I could increase my following count but I only follow someone if we have some sort of connection and that they initiate some sort of interaction or if I actually talk to them in real life. I would initiate but I don't take rejection too easily (shhh).

I am currently using Instagram to build my brand and I meet quite a lot of people through it and I enjoy making those connections. And even through Twitter. For example, someone recruited me to be an officer for The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) guild because I play Skyrim. Yes I did end up joining but I didn't buy TESO so yeah, but ANYWAYS, below are some highlights from my past blog life.

1. I met one of my blogger friends when I went to LA for the Hello Kitty convention two months ago. We got our nails done together at Little Tokyo and it was my first time doing my nails. By the way, we have the same name!

2. In the past few years I became very close with a girl from The Philippines who is about my age. We've exchanged multiple packages and I made a decoden phone case for her. She is known as my Hello Kitty buddie.

3. Not sure if this one counts, but I met this guy online (story for another day, but all good things I swear) before I started blogging and when I started blogging, I opened up a private blog to rant at the time and only him and my bff had access it. And throughout the years, we've exchanged gifts and video chatted so many times. He is from the east coast and through university he became friends with one of my close friends from high school. I was able to meet him last year when he came to visit California with my friend! It really is a small world. We have so much history that this small space can't do it justice.

4. I have one blogger friend from Singapore who is like my little sister and I've also sent her packages before. Although we don't talk as often as we used to, I will still be here to comfort her through difficult situations. We both stopped blogging and we both delete a lot of photos off Instagram, why so similar..

5. Another blogger friend from Singapore who always encourages me and guides me through problems. We started out by sending long emails to each other but now we communicate via Whatsapp. She is always so happy and always tries to make me happy too!

6. This doesn't count towards my blog life (more like Instagram life) but I Skyped a little girl who discovered me through Instagram and who really wanted to talk to me not once, but several times. I think she's from The Philippines.

7. And everyone else that didn't get mentioned, but always interacted with me through Instagram or Twitter and left comments on my blog.. Thankful for all of you!



Fan Mail

Because I want to expose some of the really nice people I have encountered these past few years, aside from the list above, here are some emails I received from readers.

Other than "Blogger vs Tumblr", I only had one other post called Change that attracted more views than normal and it was when I reviewed a movie called The Town (2010) and reflected the story line on my own life. For some reason the commenters on this particular post were worried about me and one even emailed me! There is no harm in exposing the email and a low chance of him visiting my blog/seeing this anyway, so here it is from December 20, 2010:
I know you don't know me and I don't know you but through a very long chain of purpose driven events I stumbled upon your blog. I saw the entry about change and I began to feel a bit troubled. Partially because you are exactly where I was 2 years ago, a cycle of ongoing hopelessness. I don't know where you are in life exactly, but I'd like to give you a chance for true, unquestionable change. I'm not sure where you sit on the spectrum of spiritual beliefs and I'm not a religious guy by any means but, God loves you and wants to give you that change and love you desire. -Trevor

I appreciated this. Most of the comments on that post were similar to what this guy said about feeling troubled and hopeless. It's just nice to know that people have feelings and care about what I have to say.

Here is fanmail from February 7, 2011 from a girl named Jade:
Hey Tabitha!

I just wanted to send this little email telling you how much I enjoy your blog and look up to your writing. I somehow stumbled upon you blog and ever since I couldn't help myself and had to check it for updates every few days. You're a very good photographer and I love your sense of style, because it's kinda like mine that is, it's a bit tomboyish. I'm not fluent in English so, I'm sorry about that. I always wanted a blog of my own but could never bring myself to start one and your blog is an inspiration to me. Any tips about blogging or anything? Anyways, that was it and I hope this made you even a little bit happier. I just felt like putting my thoughts forward so sorry if this annoyed you or anything. Enjoy your day:)

I love fanmails/random comments from loyal readers; however, it is so much easier to contact me through social networking sites these days. New technology is making email obsolete, especially for the younger generation.

This is not fanmail, but I want to mention a comment that I remember from my blog. Anonymous said "You are beautiful, inside and out." I still don't know who wrote that. Maybe we know each other in real life or maybe we don't, but I think that is a compliment I will never forget even if it is from anonymous. Thank you, if you are reading this (although very unlikely).




Future

So there you have it, the history of my past blog life. My goal is to revive my blog and work harder on maintaining it--perhaps create a new blog layout? start taking more photos using my DSLR? or get a phone with a higher quality camera? improve my body and the way I dress?? I don't know. But I guess we'll find out soon. (:

If you read this entire post, wow really?? I could barely read through while editing. But what I really mean to say is I really appreciate it because it is people like you who motivate me to continue blogging (after I deleted restarted this blog).