The Time I Did a Talk on Blogging with Wordpress

If there’s anything I’d want to be doing forever, it’s making an impact on anyone who wants to listen to what I have to say. So many things to learn, so many people who are afraid to act because they don’t know how to start. 

As an advocate of creative living, it’s my goal help guide those in designing the kind of life they want using creativity.

I’m so thankful I got the chance to do part of that last April 6 (my birthday!) to Business students from Ateneo de Naga University. At least 10 students and two teachers attended - just the right number of people for me to truly focus on what they need to know and what their dilemmas are.

With sir JR and ma'am Tin

After assessing their knowledge of and experience with Wordpress, we got started on what Wordpress functionalities are available, what can be done on the platform, the benefits of blogging with Wordpress, along with tips and advice on how to choose themes, optimize images, and create original content. 

It was an awesome 2-3 hours that was packed with insights on Wordpress and discussions on difficulties one might face in the process. Since this was an overview of the Wordpress CMS, we didn’t go into the domain and hosting details. 

With some of the students from the session

We ended at lunch time, so most of the students had to immediately leave after the session to grab lunch before going back to school. I had previously done a talk before, but this was a first for Blogging/Wordpress. 

The session ended well, and since I will be doing a Blogging 101 Workshop this coming May 20, 2017, some of them said they’d gladly come and attend to know more about hosting and domain purchasing. 


If you’d like to know more, email contact@theindymiss.com


Cheers to living creatively, one day at a time. :)

Scratch that last post - I'm back, baby.



OKAY OKAY OKAY.

Hold up. I know what I wrote, and I know what I said about moving. BUT (hear me out) I had a conversation with a few close friends today about The Indy Miss and where things would be going for the brand... and what they told me made a sh*t ton of sense. Let me elaborate.

Note: Also, I really want you guys to understand this, because established brand or not, knowing the what and the why are very crucial. Also, you guys are like family to me, and whatever this blog goes through, you're gonna know about it. :)


I started the end of February with two goals in mind: one, to move everything to a more mature blog under my name and two, rebrand the Facebook page and the rest of my socials. Fast forward to April, I'm thinking keep The Indy Miss as a personal little diary/blog and use the new one on focused topics like Design, Self-Development, and Tech News.

So why this sudden change?

For one, Facebook really hasn't let me change my shortname and page name on Facebook to a new one because it has a following already and two, maybe Facebook just feels like it already has Klout or something. So, If you looked up the Facebook page, it's still the Indy Miss, with a really weird About section and logo. It was no longer a steady brand, rather, it was a mix of two struggling personalities. I needed to act on it.

After the little talk with my close friends today, I got a clearer path, though not perfect. The Indy Miss has established itself as a review/lifestyle/personal blog, and never a go-to for strict design art, and tech resource, something www.oliviapenero.com is (I've been recognized on Medium as a Design writer because of this, so it must mean something, right?).

I'd like to apologize to you guys for being so out of focus and being crazy with how I've been doing things lately. I've got these insane ideas and sometimes, I go ahead without thinking. When I do, it's too late to turn back and what's left is the need to make something of it.

THE INDY MISS is back, and will not leave any time soon. Same content, more frequent (hopefully) and more me. No more barriers. :D

Thank you for understanding me through such a whirlwind. I hope you stay with me. I'm trying to get better, and I know it's only a matter of time until I get my ish together.


Listed: 2 Free Mobile Games You Should Download Right Now


Design and Experience. A great combination of the two results in an amazing game, app, software, gadget - you name it. During the whole of this month, I've been exploring the App Store in the hopes that I'd find a game worthy to fill the remaining memory of my iPad, a game I wouldn't delete after a few days 'cause I got bored with it.

I think I've found them. Two beautifully made games worthy of both your memory and your time (and money, if you're uncomfortable with even-numbered options). I hope you're ready, 'cause I still haven't gotten over these two. 

PinOut 


Pinout is a modern remake of the classic Pinball game, made even better with a hip soundtrack and amazing colors. It's got awesome sound effects, really cool levels, and is overall a very nice game. The game is playable on all levels under the free tier, but if you want to continue from a certain level, you'll need to buy the app for Php150, and that unlocks the "start from wherever" feature. 



Since downloading the game, playing it on the free mode, then purchasing the app, I've become addicted. I love the colors, I always look forward to the soundtrack of each level, and I just have tons of fun. I play it when I'm bored or have time to spare before a meeting at work, and that usually puts me in a good mood for a while.


Dancing Line


Music is life (or part of it), and if you're a fellow music lover, this app will make you happy. It's based on tempo and the beat of the song, so you have to listen very carefully to each track (headphones are highly recommended). It's very clean, simple, beautiful, and calming. The first time I downloaded it, I spent hours trying to finish everything, to no success. The game gives you 15 cubes to use for each time you play (or attempt) a track. It automatically regenerates after a few minutes so you don't have to buy more cubes.


If you're me, however, and want to finish everything now and just like hoarding blocks, you can purchase them within the game. If I remember correctly, it's Php 49 for 50 cubes, and Php 149 for a 24-hour, unlimited play-time. This purchase is optional though, so you'll still get to experience the full game for free. It's definitely worth a go.


Any apps you've discovered recently that you like? Let me know in the comments so I can check them out too! :)


Quickdraw With Google


I love games, and if my Steam library is not an indication of that, I don't know what is. Of course, I don't limit myself to just PC/Mac games, but for this post, I'd like to show you a game similar to "Draw My Thing", if you're familiar with it. Instead of humans guessing your drawing from the other side of the globe, it's Google's AI. Introducing, Quickdraw.


So what does it do? To play the game, you must draw the object given in under 20 seconds. As you draw, Google's AI continuously spews out words to guess the object. There's 6 drawings per set, and after each set, you can see which items the AI wasn't able to guess and why.


Last week, the game told me to draw something impossible. Right after giving me the object to draw, it crashed, making me think that it was an error and the system had never intended to give me that task. 

Like, how the hell am I supposed to draw the friggin' Mona Lisa in under 20 seconds?! Holy cow. Even my workmates found this funny. I haven't come across this ever since that first time, and I'm really curious about how people went ahead with this. If this was part of the system, how did it determine if the drawing was The Mona?


So yeah, if you have time to check it out, I suggest you contribute to this little AI study Google is conducting and help technology get a better grasp at intuition and logic. :)

25 Lessons from 25 Years of Life



Hi guys! Gosh I'm old. Haha. Kidding. So I've spent previous birthdays throwing parties or something similar, and this year, I thought I'd give back to my readers, my friends, and people who stumble upon any of my socials by relating what I've experienced and things I learned from them. Like they say, the best way to avoid mistakes is learning from another person's experiences. 
25 on 25: Life Lessons
Olivia | The Indy Miss

If you're more of a reader, I've listed the points I mentioned in the audio above. Here are the 25 things I’ve learned in the 25 years of my life. (I talked about more things on the audio post so... haha.)

 

1. APPRECIATE EVERY EXPERIENCE.

Even the negative things that have happened in your past helped shape who you are now. Learn to acknowledge these experiences, even the most hurtful ones. Realize that no matter how big or small, positive or negative, they changed you.

 

2. SPEND YOUR MONEY WISELY.

When you do this, you get to save. When you save, you make your future self happy. I think the key here is rethinking each purchase, assessing if you need the item or if it's a want. Just think: each dime you spend now, you owe to the bank account of your future self. While I have yet to master such a feat, I'm trying really hard to save. Pastel, cute, random items still get the best of me though.

 

3. DO NOT COMPARE YOUR LIFE TO THE LIFE OF OTHERS. YOU WILL NEVER BE HAPPY.

The person you're comparing yourself with went through something totally different from you. If you're chasing the life of a person you deem successful, you'll never be happy! Just because another person is able to go on frequent trips abroad, doesn't mean your life sucks. Be happy with what you have now. If you're sulking because a friend of yours has found his calling, chill! You might find yours in a little while. Don't rush success. 

 

4. WHO YOU WERE AT 20 DOESN’T DEFINE WHO YOU ARE AT 25.

Your mentality changes as you explore more of life. If you were a stuck-up little Miss Priss at 20 (ugh, me) who thought partying was for punks and wild kids, that thinking will change. You'll meet more people who'll share their views, and the more you hang out with them and explore the world, the more you'll change as well. What you once thought was incredibly disagreeable might turn out to be something you enjoy in a few years. 

 

5. FAME ISN’T EVERYTHING.

I used to believe that if I only had fame, I'd be happy and get everything I want. I used to think that if I became a famous designer, it would be okay to bask in the fame and not really care about anything else. Well, fame shouldn't be your goal. Fame is a way to spread your message or advocacies, and it should go way beyond just being popular. Use it to influence other people and help them reach their potential.

 

6. THE WORLD ISN’T ALWAYS LOOKING AT YOU, SO LOOSEN UP.

I don't mean 'go wild' when I said loosen up. I used to be so conscious about everything - my looks, my actions, how people see me - just everything. Whenever I would step in a room, I'd feel every judging stare so I'd put on a persona to hide behind. Well, here's what I'll tell you now: not everyone who looks actually sees you. Don't stress yourself out and be overly anxious on how the world perceives you. Relax, have a bit of fun every now and then. Just make sure it's legal. 

 

7. WHEN YOU WANT SOMETHING, GO GET IT. DON’T LET FEAR CONTROL YOU.

If someone had forced this onto me as a teenager, I knew I would've done more and achieved more. I had been such a shy person for years that I mistook fear for shyness. The truth is, I had been so afraid of rejection & making a fool of myself that I rarely reached out to any opportunity. There were so many, and I was so afraid of messing up. Here's my tip to you: if someone is trying to open a door for you to do something good, don't reinforce it with steel and weights. Open it, do it. I learned the hard way.

 

8. DREAM AS BIG AS YOU CAN.

Don't let others tell you otherwise. Dreaming is free, so why not dream the largest, craziest dream you can? Don't stay within your country or your comfort zone. Go out there and show the world what you've got! Don't wait for the time when you're ready and people have moved on from you, to someone else who did it right the first time and took the chance. 

 

9. MEET LOTS OF PEOPLE. DON’T LET YOUR SHYNESS TAKE THE BEST YEARS OF YOUR LIFE.

Again, I wish someone had talked me into believing this in my teens. So many opportunities lost, so many people unmet, so many regrets. It never hurts to greet a stranger when you are in an elevator together, or maybe smile at someone you lock eyes with at the mall for a few seconds. What are you so afraid of?

 

10. DO NOT STRESS OVER SITUATIONS IN YOUR LIFE THAT CANNOT BE CONTROLLED.

You can't control the weather, so why stress yourself out when a good dress is ruined by the rain? You can't control traffic, so why will you rage when you're stuck in the middle of one with no way out? Your energy will be better used doing something worthwhile, like being thankful that the weather is cool and only your dress got the beating. Maybe sing a song or two in your car in traffic and tell yourself you really can't do anything to speed it up. How you respond is key. 

 

11. DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ENTITLED TO EVERYTHING. 

You're not the center of the world. Don't think that just because you have the money or the connections, you have the right to say anything and everything you want. Just because you feel like you worked your ass off at college, doesn't mean the world owes you a stable job and high salary. You have to work for it.

 

12. LEARN HOW TO WEED OUT TOXIC PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE.

I wish I could've done this sooner. I could've saved myself from trying to make them like me when all they were concerned about was themselves and how I could help them. I have nothing against helping out others, but when all we talk about is you, you, you... I think I have to draw the line. Toxic people are Negative Nancies. Look for people who will inspire you and push you towards fulfilling your goals.  

 

13. BOOKS ARE BETTER THAN BOYS.

Do I really need to explain this? Every book is a different adventure, a new learning, a new experience. Boys are, well, boys, but a book does a lot more than make you smile and feel elated and wanted (not saying that's all boys do but I think you get my point). Invest in books and discover the world.

 

14. HATING ON THINGS/PEOPLE DOESN’T MAKE YOU COOL.

Why do people hate on other people? Is it because they really don't like them (with valid reason) or because they're just going along with the crowd? What you like and don't like talk about you as a person. Hate is such a strong word too, and besides, your energy could be put into saying positive things about people you do like. If you don't like a celebrity, why would you go to their channel just to leave a hate comment? Waste of energy.

 

15. LOSING YOUR FOOTING FROM TIME TO TIME IS OKAY. 

We can't always have our sh*t together 24/7, every day of the year. There are times when we want to chill and admit to ourselves that, "hey, I don't know what to do, but I'll think of something". It's OKAY to be lost. It's okay to screw up from time to time. Just don't stay there. Make sure you get back up and have people around you to help out. 

 

16. INVEST IN YOURSELF. IT'S TOTALLY WORTH IT.

For the past year, I've been investing in online classes, seminars, and workshops, and I know more now than I did a year ago. I've realized things about myself, what my strengths really are and how I can help others find theirs. Learn as much as you can now, and your future self will thank you so much for it. The more skills you know, the more doors are available for you to open.

 

17. DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE WITH WHERE YOU ARE NOW.

"The more comfortable you are with a job you don't want to be doing, the harder it will become to leave it and chase your dreams." (Business Insider) 
It's not that I don't like or enjoy what my job is right now - It's just that I know I could be doing more with my time. I love the people I work with, and the environment I'm in every day at work. I learn so much, and have used those learnings a few times in my work and other engagements. The thing is though, if it's the reason you still haven't pursued your dreams 100%, I think it's time to reconsider.

 

18. ALWAYS SAY "THANK YOU".

You could [literally] save someone's life or make their day better. Never brush off what these two words can do to someone. You've really got nothing to lose. It's not like you embarrass yourself every time or subject yourself to judgement. Little things matter. Being grateful matters. 

 

19. IF YOU GET A CHANCE TO CHANGE THE WORLD, TAKE IT.

I regret not grabbing opportunities when they were presented to me, simply because I didn't feel adequate or worthy for the task. Not many people get tapped to help their community or country, so when someone asks you to do a workshop or talk about something you love, don't shy away. Grab it. Change the world.

 

20. YOU REALLY CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE, NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY.

Sadly, not everyone will appreciate your efforts. What you can focus on is caring for the people who you do please, and put your effort into becoming better at what you are doing. If you have a boss who likes one thing and coworkers who like another, find a middle and work from there. Don't feel like you have to impress everyone to be successful. You'll end up in a battleground you have zilch control over.

 

21. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY. THEY WON’T ALWAYS PHYSICALLY BE THERE.

So much truth in such a sad thought. I'm sure everyone wants their family to be complete forever, but reality is harsh. While you still can, spend time with the people who matter, make memories that will get you through the days when they're no longer there, make them happy, and fulfill their dreams if you can. You wouldn't be where you are without your family, biological or not. Cherish them. Love them, and tell them.

 

22. AN ATTITUDE OF PROCRASTINATION WILL GET YOU NOWHERE.

If you keep putting things off for later, you'll be oweing your future self a lot. What you can do now, do today. It's stressful to be doing so many things, and piling them up for the "you" tomorrow is such a douche move. If you want to fulfill your goals and live your dreams, don't procrastinate! Me a man/woman of action! I haven't perfected this, but little by little, I'm making up for all those days I've procrastinated. It's hard, but it's worth it.

 

23. NOTHING IS PERMANENT. CHERISH, LOVE, & APPRECIATE WHAT MATTERS. 

Like I said previously, not everything will remain. What you have now, be grateful and use it to motivate you and others. Learn from what you experience, take care of the people and things you have been entrusted with, and acknowledge every little thing. You might not think something is important, but a few years forward, that event or person might have been a crucial element into what you will become. 

 

24. DON’T SETTLE FOR A MAN/WOMAN JUST BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS IN A RELATIONSHIP.

Don't give in to pressure, whether from friends, family, or society. You know yourself better than anyone, and just because your peers are getting married left and right, or getting hook-ups left and right, doesn't mean you're a bore or you're missing out on "all the fun". Take things in stride. Relax, enjoy being single. When the right one comes along, you won't have to struggle with your "status" or happiness. Everything else just follows. 

 

25. YOUR AGE SHOULDN’T KEEP YOU FROM DOING WHAT YOU LOVE.

I know people who are in their 40s or 50s but are still pursuing their dreams. As a good friend of mine said, age is just a number, and shouldn't define your capabilities. There are plenty of 20-somethings who perform as if they're in their later years, while some seniors party like teens on acid (uhuh, seen people like that). Don't let your age define you! You're more than a number. Remember that.

Wherever you are, know that there are people out there who are experiencing the same thing or who have been on a similar road in the past. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for advice. Learn from other people and don't make the same mistakes they've done. :)

A Laid-back Saturday

A few little happy things happened today, and I'm really thankful I got to spend a weekend the way I figured it would play out. So, what did I do today?

TED TALKS & SKILLSHARE CLASSES

Like I mentioned in the audio post on my previous blog, I'm really into self-development. I try to gain knowledge any way I can - audiobooks, ebooks, online courses, online videos - you name it. 
This morning until a little after lunch, I sat in front of the TV, had my Apple TV turned on, and watched quite a few TED talks related to technology (AI), happiness, and time management. While doing that, Skillshare was also open on my iPad as I downloaded an art class for offline viewing. Point is, I was really on a roll with learning as much as I could today.

One video I watched was about time management, and how no one is ever truly busy to do something. While I won't give the details (I'd love for you to watch it below), the general idea is that what we don't have time for are usually those that we don't see as priorities. An example the speaker, Laura Vanderkam gave was a woman who, after a work day, discovered their water pipe had blown and had filled the basement. She had people come fix it in the next days, and it took quite a bit of her time - 7 hours throughout the week, in fact.

Her point was that, if you had asked that woman at the beginning of the week if she had extra hours to, say, do yoga, she would have replied with a "no", like most of us would do. However, she was forced to make time to make sure her water pipe was fixed, making that event her priority. What we prioritize take our time. It's not that we don't have time to do this or that - it's just that we don't want to do it and don't really care for it that much.



BAPTISM DINNER AT QUE PASA

Today was also the baptism of our boss's daughter, Casey. Such a cute, chubby, little angel. Haha. It was the first time I ate at Que Pasa since I rarely visit Naga's Centro, and to be a little honest, I was underwhelmed with the food. My mom could've done 100 times better. Anyway, I really wasn't there for the food, but to appreciate Casey's baptism. I did the invites and plant toppers for her little event, and seeing it in print was really cool. Got myself a plant as well, haha. The presence of my workmates made the whole thing even better.




KAPENAGA BEER SESH

After we left Que Pasa, four of us felt it was too early to call it a day, so we initially planned to hang out at Starbucks. One of us suggested Kapenaga, a small cafĂ© that was a walk away and one I haven't tried yet. It looked really cute from afar, so I was excited to check the place out.





They hadn't been open for long, so we didn't expect too much. Few desserts were available, wine, sodas, and beer. It was cuter when we got inside too, and I fell in-love with the wall they had, along with the tables and hanging lights. If only I could get that same setup for my room. :(

Since we had just come from dinner, we could only think of downing beer, in which we experienced a bit of a mix-up. I didn't want the flavored San-Mig as it tasted like juice more than booze (no Heineken so I had to settle), so I told my workmate to get me the original one. The total order was one plain beer and three flavored ones. When we got them, one of us said he wanted the plain one as well. In the end, I had to drink the juice. Haha. It was a cool night either way.


So now, I'm in my room, battling it out with the internet. It hasn't been stable and ever since the huge storm we experienced during the new year, I haven't had a decent connection. This pisses me off because one, I can no longer commit to online side-hustles the way I could before and two, the Apple TV, Netflix, TED, and Youtube have mostly become less frequented (which dismays me).

I really wish the internet would get stronger soon. I'm missing out on so much. To end on a good note though, I'm meeting my friend "the bae" tomorrow morning before she conducts her workshop, which we usually do. Haven't seen her in a while so I'm glad we'll get to meet up with other mutual friends. :