Pink Hair

Happy Tuesday! I spent my Monday battling div floats in CSS, so that was "fun". Check out these illustrations from Hsiao-Ron that caught my eye. I mean, how can they not? Love the soft pastel palette and delicate depiction of these pink haired girls.

Everday's new. Sometimes there's excitement, sometimes it's uncertainty. Most of the time it's chaos, but I'm strangely at peace with myself. No matter what, my heart will be the compass and I'll follow it, wherever it leads me.

"Eventually, everything connects" - Charles Eames

peony petals river


Kick Off

Some notable reads, eye candy and tunes to kick off the busy week ahead:

1. Django Unchained. Watch it, if not for Tarantino + Western combo, then watch it for Leo.
2. Sanpshots of Berlin through the lens of In a Pavilion blog.
3. I confess, I'm secretly an introvert, scoring 17/23 from the list. I'm just an awkward cookie.
4. Do you also fancy the simple farm life? Molly Yeh will show you how it's done.
5. Discovered Hiline. Alternative, more valuable Nespresso capsules for my fellow espresso addicts.
6. "Stooped down and out, you got me beggin for thread to sew this hole up that you ripped in my head" - BANKS. She's a goddess, truly.
7. Think tequila boozy summer, think margarita, watermelon and popsicles. Think of this brilliant recipe. And if that's not enough, check #popsicleweek for 40 more variation.
8. Dreams change, sometimes we need the hustle, the freedom. Sometimes we need the structure or another creative environment. Whatever it is, it's important to continuously soul search for the path that feels right for you. Kate's story really resonated with me.
9. Danielle's #truthbombs are like the fortune without the annoying cookie, plus you can deliver it straight to your inbox. I enjoy reading them every morning.
10. Finally, this Wild Culture mix: "I’ll say I told you so but you just gonna cry. You just wanna know those peanut butter vibes" - Glass Animals

egg-on-top Umami-fries Umami-burger Burger crave all week. Umami Burger on Union Street, San Francisco. That truffle cheese and shiitake mushroom!

This weekend, my aunty from New Jersey is visiting, plus there are a number of events that friends are hosting to make the most out of whatever's left of this hot Canadian summer. They say keeping busy is good, but sometimes being busy can also be the worst form of distraction. So I'm back to list making in my moleskin at the start of each day and beginning of each week. I've come to terms that I'll never be a routine kind of a gal and I never want to be, so it's crucial to set realisitc and achievable to-dos daily. Knowing how sporadic my day can be, it's been really helpful. What I'm really missing now is the ultimate to-do Android app that embraces the simplicity of TeuxDeux, one that I've loved when I still had the iPhone. I've tried many (Todoist, Wunderlist,, but nothing stuck. I'm currently using Pushbullet and love its ability to push list/notes/links to and from your desktop and mobile devices. What are you using to organize your to-dos? I'd love to hear them.


Muir Woods

Where did July go? It seriously went poof in the air. Last weekend, the start of August was filled with so much excitement at Osheaga festival in Montreal. After seeing a sea of people and being herded like little sheep, it's nice to be back in solitude and in open space with nature. I've been waiting for the right moment to post these pictures, and the timing seems perfect now as I'd really appreciate some green in my life.

Aidan and I explored Muir Woods a while back. It's only a 30 minute drive from San Francisco and a magical escape from the city. I'll always remember how serene and magnificent it was to be surrounded by giant, tall redwood trees that stretches into the sky. We also went early enough to catch the morning sun ray peeking in. I can almost smell the forest as I'm reminiscencing the warm embrace of mother nature.

horizon onroad coast shine-through tallness shine-through2 ferns trunk shadow grass-closeup horizontals upwards straight-up skinny 4-trunks A little note to self: learn to "detach" and live in the present.

Detach from fixing the problem you claim yourself to be, because you're not that.
Detach any sense of conformity and instead, carve your own path.
Detach from over-planning and seeking control or else you will loose the real magic.
Detach any promises you've outgrown. Let go and move on.
Detach the guilt that often comes from any change so you can gain drive and focus.
Detach from what the world asks of you and find your own questions for yourself.

Looking back, July was the month of learning to "detach" oneself from unnecessary feelings. Specifically, break apart from associating one point to another. Stop at point A, put a period on it and break away. I had to refrain myself from making any "closure", because ultimately, in the end, you can't control the outcome of a future that isn't even here yet. So c'est la vie!


Enjoying July

The image below was a photo manipulation project from... geez, years ago. I passed by this exact barn building yesterday where the picture was sourced and I had a nostalgic moment, so I went through my archive and dug up this image. Is it a gateway to a new world or an end of a journey? I'm not sure and I've already forgot what the intention or story behind this piece. Regardless, it's kind of reflecting how I feel at the moment. Just a paper boat going with the flow on a shimmering path and enjoying the scenic, magical view of it all.

mushroom gateway Here's a couple of notable things I've enjoyed in the past week:

Wearing: I thought it was time to change up the eye makeup game with less eyeliner and more natural eyeshadow shades with TheBalm's Nude'tude palette. So far so good!

Snacking: This recipe combined two of my favourite things in the world: greek yogurt + guacamole. It's so genius, I can't believe I haven't thought of it before.

Creating: Dabbling into a new studio software - Sketch 3. I'm hoping this can replace illustrator and improve the flow for future projects. It's been a smooth transition so far and all the features are very intuitive to use.

Training: West coast vacation mode is officially off and gym mode is on! I love how I can stuff all my essentials (phone, cards, keys) on the go in this flip belt without any hassle. It's great for running, which I'm training myself to get into at the moment. (5k by autumn?!)

Listening: I know you'll judge me, but G-eazy's my Drake substitute these days. Also, I couldn't resist Jeni's sultry voice. Then, to contrast, this string cover of Laputa is on constant replay as well.

Admiring: Mia Hollow's poems and pictures, alternating on her instagram feed. In terms of new blog discovery, I've been living vicariously and daydreaming about the island life through Corina's blog. She creates the most beautiful and fluid hand letterings ever.

With my sleep and diet back on track, my energy has also returned, so I'm hoping for more amazing finds this week. I hope you're enjoying your week so far as well.


The Circle

pink flower Insomnia, jet lagged and mentally exhausted from all the goodbyes and welcome-back-errands in the past couple of days. I can't believe it's Friday already. Personal projects are finally rolling out steadily and I have good feelings about the way it's going. Now I just need to master razor sharp focus and get more sleep! Here are some bits and pieces of the ever peaceful San Francisco, oh how I miss you already.

gum stain cereal castro star jacket boudin bacon cupcake omlette street jazz street car uniqlo straight lines simple salad red velvet macaroon deli view

On the plane ride back to Toronto, I finished The Circle by Dave Eggers. It is a very interesting read that left me feeling very unsettled (in a good way). The protagonist is a 20-something female customer support in a large tech company. Even though the story was set in a more utopian society of the near future, her work experience was very relatable. The second half of the book was where it turned interesting and kept me on edge. The protagonist was challenged by this statement: "you sit at a desk twelve hours a day and you have nothing to show for it except some numbers that won't exist or be remembered in a week. You're leaving no evidence you lived. There's no proof."

What really intrigued me was the preception of "life experience" through all kinds of digital exchange which I'm so guilty of. Yes, you're letting the world know amazing places you've been with multiple check-ins, upvoted only on opinions that concur with your values and left footprints through comments, pictures and emoji smiley faces. All the sharing made online seems passionate and progressive, but that shouldn't be how we remember these important events. It should really be experienced by all five senses if not more. It should tug at your heartstrings and evoke some kind of sentiment, good or bad. Just something to think about:

"Did you ever think that perhaps our minds are delicately calibrated between the known and the unknown? That our souls need the mysteries of night and the clarity of day? You people are creating a world of ever-present daylight, and I think it will burn us all alive. There will be no time to reflect, to sleep, to cool."


Knots & Squares

A new beginning! The Annzilla blog has officially left the Wordpress sphere and into the new shiny shiny platform of Ghost. It is a very simple and straight forward CMS with double pane windows displaying markdown textbox on one end and having a realtime preview on the other. So far, I've been really enjoying it. It is built with one focus in mind - content. Forget about all the software bloat in Wordpress, all the fancy tools you don't ever end up using. You have all the basic tools here for your blogging needs. Of course, it will never replace Wordpress and offer the complexity and customization it can do, but since I'm keeping everything simple, I'm so glad I made the switch (with Aidan's help).

I want to live everyday with intention and purpose in mind. Get rid of clutter and things that will distract me. I think the same goes for this blog as well. I hope to write with sincerity and let this blog grow into something bigger and better!

1. Wool cushions from Toast to fall into when you feel like a cuddle
2. This bracelet from Alex&Ani symbolizes boundless wisdom and compassion, I need it as a constant reminder
3. Because, it's Bill Murray, drawing by Torey Erin
4. This walnut serving board would be good for any bread, cheese and Wine occassion
5. I'll always support homemade basket crafted from local Portugese artisans
6. Something about this mug from the 1940's design is very attractive

While on the topic of growing this blog with focus and intention, a constant challenge for me is to remember that people's intentions are good. They might not express it in a way that make you feel respected or cared, but you just have to remember (lie or pinch yourself if you have to) that their intention comes from a good place. I had a Gollum & Sméagol moment yesterday and it tored me apart. I understand the root of people's anxiety and fear, that it's a combination of their past experiences crossed with personal values and ideals. As much as I'm grateful to hear that people are thinking about me and offering me advice, it does not help, nor is it applicable if the message is not putting me in real consideration of the situation. It's like shooting your darts blind, it ends up selfish and hurtful. Sure, you got your message across, but to what point?

So what do you do when you feel like you've been misrepresented and resentments have started to grow? My first instinct was run away from it all and plot foolish plans of retribution. Then, I realized this could only be a temporary satisfaction. So I tried to think from a neutral stand point. Why do I feel this way? Am I not looking for what I wanted to hear as well? I wanted people's opinion to care for "me". Is it not equally selfish?

Indeed, this is not a case to win or lose. The moment you try to find any leverage over the other person, you're doing exactly what they've done to you. So let's look beyond that, what's my intensions here and what's theirs? Are they both based off of good thoughts but conveyed differently? Even if we can't agree on the methods or what's "right", the outcome doesn't change unless you let it, right? This quote really hit home for me:

"Practice being kind instead of being right."

My stomach was tied up in knots and squares. The stubbornness wouldn't budge and I failed to see the good intentions behind it all. I know I haven't been my most agreeable self and it kills me to think that I'll be spending my last couple of days here in San Francisco being upset. Nobody's making an enemy out of anyone. Silly isn't it, when it should be so simple.

Remember your/their intentions and focus on the good.