25 March 2015

Us Plus One

I was saying earlier that 2014 was pretty much a "blah" year for me. I thought this year would be the same, but it is turning out to be pretty exciting, with lots of things to look forward to. 

The biggest news is something we've been keeping to ourselves for a couple of weeks now. We definitely wanted to wait until we had a couple of scans and tests completed, and thankfully, everything is OK so far. 

Here's your first look at our little gift from heaven that's growing inside me right now. This was taken during our 1st trimester scan, which was also my birthday. Prior to this, our scans were pretty blurry (JP couldn't even tell which one's the head or the legs!), but this one was much better. 

At the scan, both of us were pretty much captivated by what we were seeing on the screen. He/she was moving--a lot! So much that the doctor had to wait for a few minutes to scan again, waiting for him/her to turn around and show his profile. 

23 March 2015

I Am Writing Again

Last year, I had this grand plan of moving my blog to a new platform, get a new design, and in blogging parlance: "grow my blog". I actually did that: moved my blog to self-hosted Wordpress and then spent weeks working on a design on my own. But I didn't get to exactly where I wanted to be.

Image from Lovethispic

I spent days and weeks poring over Pinterest, looking over other blogs to check out designs, but in the end, I felt overwhelmed by it all. All those pretty blogs exist and it seemed that they all have the same message, which worked negatively for me. Instead of inspiring me, I just felt that I had nothing else to say. I guess it's because I spent most of 2014 sad, wistful and totally disinterested--and that's not what I really want to remember here.

26 March 2014

Birthday Weekend in Krabi

For my birthday weekend, JP and I went to Krabi in Thailand. We were only there from Friday till Sunday, but going to the beach was a good escape from Singapore's hectic pace.  JP put me in charge of preparing our trip, and handed over his credit card so I can book our flights and hotel. Such a trusting husband, 'no? 

Longtail Boats in Krabi
traditional long-tail boats

21 March 2014

A Useful App For Procrastinators Like Me

Do you know that there different types of procrastinators? Check out what kind you are over here. I tried the test myself and found that I'm a Pinball Procrastinator. This means that I don't accomplish my tasks because I easily get distracted and do other things. I also like to bounce from one pursuit to another that I don't get to do what needs to be done now. Oftentimes, I get overwhelmed by too many ideas that it takes me a long time to get started, if I even decide to start at all.

Pomodoro App

Recently, I downloaded the Pomodoro timer and it has helped me a lot to finish my tasks. Let's say I want to write a couple of blog posts in 2 hours. I do all the things I need to do for my posts in 25 minutes (ie. draft, edit pictures, rewrite, etc). Then I take a break for five minutes, then come back and work on my blog posts again for another 25 minutes. Since I'm the type to get easily distracted (I often visit other blogs, look at Pinterest, or Facebook) this works perfectly for me. The timer makes me think I have a deadline, so I really focus within that 25 minutes. Plus, I actually look forward to the 5 minute break. 

Check out the principle behind the Pomodoro technique. It's quite interesting. What about you? What do you do when you feel like putting off your To-do list? 

19 March 2014

Speed Reading 2.0

I saw and shared this article about the Spritz reader on my Facebook timeline a couple of weeks ago, and commented that this is "Amazing". I read the article again and now I'm having second thoughts. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that it's going to get people to read (hopefully), but…is the reading  experience going to be the same? Try reading at 350 words per minute.

from Huffpost

When Kindle came out, I was totally sold on the idea, because it made reading more portable. I can store a hundred or more books into one device and switch between the books I'm reading. Apart from the fact that I was pressing a button, rather than flipping a page, the experience was still the same. Did it cut my reading time? No. I was still in control of my pace. I use it more frequently, even if I have iBooks.

Spritzer claims to make you finish a book in more than half the time you would usually take. Can you imagine finishing book 7 of the Harry Potter series in less than 3 hours? That will certainly be amazing. You can read a whole lot of books with that pace. Heck, I can probably cross out my bucket list of reading the top 100 books of all time in less than a year.

But reading (at least for leisure), is not about speed. It's about taking your time, letting your mind absorb the words and evoke some sort of emotion in you. Such a romantic notion, you'd probably say, but that's just me. Reading has to be about the experience, IMHO.

Would I try this device? Oh, definitely! But it looks like it will only come out for Androids for now. 

Read more about Spritz here.

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