Thursday, December 30, 2010

I love...

Giving myself a reason to draw something everyday and to also reflect on what was good about my day, all in an effort to get my creative juices flowing and to be positive. Let's see if I can manage to keep it up!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bent Objects

Just discovered a new site to follow. So clever & cute. Love it! I linked the one below, it being around the time Christmas trees are being retired for the year and whatnot. And now we know how they spend their off-time =)

(Found on bentobjects)

Monday, December 27, 2010

X-mas 2010

The 老公's (mini) X-mas present:

A replacement battery for his dead cell phone so that he can retrieve his old contacts (his charger doesn't work and the original battery is dead).

I had wanted to make an elaborate wrapping for it just 'cause I love wrapping gifts, but I didn't want to make him feel bad for not getting my anything since we agreed to defer our gift-exchange to a later date (the battery was less than $5 so it was more of a gift of "trying-to-make-his-life-a-little-easier") and I also ran out of time so I just re-used a small chocolate box I had kept around and wrapped it in kraft paper and put a bow on top.

On another note, I recently picked up some new studs from the Banana Republic outlet. I felt like I needed to reward myself for bracing the mall in the last week before Christmas (never again!). They came out to $7 with the in-store promotion, which was quite exciting.

Why I love them: they're small and modest, but they still carry a bit of sparkle with the dimpled silver finish.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

File management

The 老公 and I have been talking about consolidating our digital data to a solid state drive + one mega storage drive, which has inspired me to spend some time today to clean up the files on my laptop and external drive to ease the transition later on and also for general sanity's sake. Though the files that I still refuse to properly sort through are my old work files and my job application folder (I've probably got a thousand variations of my resume all the way from 2008 up until 2010). I've decided that dealing with my backed-up photos & movies and general desktop cleaning is about all I can handle right now.

So things I am doing to clean up my laptop:
  • Filing files into their proper folders that have been dumped into the "misc" folder over the past year.
  • Deleting records of things that have passed, like old flight itineraries, proof of online credit card payments.
  • Deleting duplicates of files that were copied over from my external drive & making sure they are properly filed as I go.
  • Loading photos that are in loose folders on my desktop into iPhoto.
Things I am doing to clean up my external drive*:
  • Uploading photos into iPhoto.
  • Uploading music into iTunes that I don't already have and deleting music I have no desire to go back to again.
  • Transferring movies I want to keep onto the media PC & deleting ones I don't want anymore.
  • Uploading archived files (pdfs, spreadsheets, docs) I absolutely don't want to lose into Google Docs for extra back-up. 
Things that the 老公 and I both need to do down the road:
  • Consolidate our iPhoto libraries.
  • Delete bad/not meaningful photos from our library.
  • Upgrade the storage for each of our Google accounts.
  • Upload our photos to our Picasa accounts for back-up.
In doing this little "spring cleaning", if you will, to my digital "stuff", it's felt so refreshing. I would say it's been as liberating as spring cleaning is for me in the material world. With 2TB hard drives available now, some might wonder why I bother. I think a major driver is my move to simplicity. I'm trying to cut down my possessions, both virtual and material, to things that serve a clear purpose of either a practical one or an aesthetic one. I think it's going to give me a new perspective that will be enlightening and refreshing, but still challenging since I've always struggled with letting go of stuff. It is a personal challenge that comes at a good time too though as we prepare for our move out to the Rockies in the spring.

*note: the goal for me here is to clear as much as I can off of it by either deleting or transferring the files somewhere else and then do a full back-up of my laptop afterward, while having faith that neither the external drive nor my laptop will crash in the interim)

**We decided to forgo flickr as our photo back-up option for the following 3 reasons: 
1. I don't think we take enough photos/videos to warrant the need of unlimited storage etc. and given such, probably wouldn't use enough of the $25 flickr upgrade to make it worth more than what we would pay for 20GB of storage for each of us under Google, which is only $10 total. 
2. I've read that it's easier for people to download photos from Picasa, which if you're intending to share with friends & family, is something you'd probably want.
3. It's linked to our google accounts, which makes life just a touch simpler in terms of less log-ins to remember and having one central account that manages our email, chat, phone calls, text messages, documents, and photos.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas

We're coming up on our second California-Christmas and again, I just don't feel it. I've seen lights up around town, been to the busy malls, baked cookies, and I just don't feel that Christmas spirit that I think is only possible when you have the cold and snow and parkas and mittens.

But anyway, speaking of cookies: I made a few batches of the oatmeal chocolate chip Almond Roca cookies that I made with Holly last year!
They turned out less than epic though 'cause I used the supposed "top" oatmeal chocolate chip recipe found on allrecipes.com (I would so not rate it to be at the top). Super annoyed. I completely forgot I had saved the recipe in that old post. Sigh. I guess that means I need to make another batch! Oh, and those cookies in the back are mint-chocolate chip. They became mint-chocolate chip because we found out at the last-minute that we didn't have enough regular chocolate chips, so I had to sacrifice our Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Dark Chocolate squares that I had picked up recently, but it was totally worth it.

So with the files for minted finished, I was itching for something else to work on and how perfect it was that K. & C. gave birth to little baby Logan recently =) I had been meaning to wrap the little baby gift I got them for the longest time (I think it's been sitting on my shelf since she reached the 30 week mark... yikes!) and finally I was inspired and whipped up a bit more of my hand-stitching goodness. The colors didn't turn out the way I was envisioning (gradient of blue colors) as I didn't have enough variation in thread color but alas... I think the overall effect is still decent, yeah? Of course my favorite element is the smiling sun, peaking over the cloud =)
 Next project: "wrapping" the 老公's x-mas gift. I'm not really sure it can constitute a gift, but it's the thought that counts...? And I'm not really sure you can call it "wrapping", so much as "deferring"... I'll post when I figure out what to do and after he gets it.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tuesday

Tuesdays aren't usually anything special, but mine was this week. In addition to finding out my design was an editor's pick on minted over the Thanksgiving weekend, I discovered I was also voted as the Best Newbie! I am ridiculously excited!

And then... at our weekly ultimate game, I caught two winning points! It sounds much more amazing when you find out that this was only the second official ultimate game I've ever played. Sadly though, I was so ecstatic with joy after my first point that I was jumping up and down and landed on my ankle in an unpleasant way and now the top of my foot near my ankle hurts when I walk :S In Chinese we call that 樂极生悲(le ji sheng bei), which means "extreme happiness begets sorrow".

But the 悲 aside, Tuesday left me elated =)

Wednesday, however, was not so successful. Note to all the people doing mail merge in Microsoft Word: make sure you are in .doc mode and NOT .docx mode!!!!!