Weekly Journal Spread (Jan. 30 – Feb. 05)

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I haven’t forgotten! I’m sorry I was just preoccupied with other things and I forgot to post this last LAST week’s spread but here it is! I may have to post last week’s spread too tomorrow to make it up with you. 😀

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highlight

I may have ran out of tips to share so I will now just be sharing the highlight of this week. Some of them are:

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So I sort of hosted a read-along on my Instagram of Sherlock novels and our first read is A Study in Scarlet (which I still haven’t reviewed – I will soon!)

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My books from Book of the Month club for February arrived and I am sooooo excited to dive into all of them!

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staycation

We spent our weekend south at Tagaytay and it was amazing! Missed fresh air! ❤

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And that is it! Talk to you soon for my next journal spread ❤

nikkidivider-3

 

 

 

 

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Adventure Blog: Climbing Mt. Daraitan

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Hey guys! So here I am nursing a sore body and taking a break from my nerdy self and showing off my inner adventurer self. Lol. So yeah, I went to climb a legit mountain last weekend! This is my second time and I failed to blog about my first 😦 (maybe i’ll try to when I gather all the pictures – for now let’s settle for this).

This will probably be helpful to my friends here in the Philippines who also wanted to try a little adventure this year, and who knows – my foreigner friends could find this post useful too should you decide to fly here 😀

Anyway, let’s get to it!

hiking

It is already our 2nd time to climb (me and my bf) so we know roughly by now what essentials to bring when we go on a hike! Here are the things you need to bring with you, but remember PACK LIGHT, you don’t want your bag to be holding you back:

  • WATER (sooooo important, we brought at least 1.5 liters and 1 liter of Gatorade)
  • FOOD (you may eat lunch before or after reaching the summit, you need energy so bring baon!)
  • JELLIES/SOUR CANDYS (I thought this was a joke but it really helps! It energizes you instantly when you’re already too exhausted to go on)
  • PLASTIC BAG (for your trash! never litter in the mountains please!)
  • CLOTHES (to change, by the end of the climb you’ll be sweaty and dirty, make sure you have clothes to change into.)
  • FIRST AID (like band-aids, betadine, alcohol, etc. – accidents may happen)
  • WET WIPES (for cleaning hand when it’s time to eat)

Optional:

  • Mosquito repellant (if you’re like me that mosquito loves to kiss, then you need this in the wilderness)
  • Slippers (if you’re not to confident that your shoes will survive the wild, go ahead and bring light slippers)
  • Gloves (I will consider this a must though since some rocks are sharp! but not everyone needs it so…)
  • Walking stick (it helps if you’re super tired but not really needed)

 

tanay

So I live in Manila, and Rizal is one of our provinces in the South so it will still be a few hours travel to get there. We traveled to Shaw Boulevard to meet up with my bf’s officemates who will be our companion in this hike. Luckily, one of them was able to rent a van that could transport us straight to Tanay. We paid 450 pesos/person which is cheap to be honest. I heard the commute from the town proper of Tanay to the actual registration area for hikers is excruciating so renting a van (especially if you are a large group like us) is definitely recommended. If not, you will travel by a Tricycle (and it’s a LOOOOOOONG uncomfortable ride). We traveled from Shaw Blvd. to Tanay, Rizal in about 2 1/2 hours.

We left Shaw at around 5:30AM and arrived at the registration site at 7:30 to 8:00AM. You have to pay for your tour guides which costs 500 pesos (that you can split with the group) and an environmental fee which I think is 75 pesos. It was already raining by that time unfortunately so we were all a bit worried this climb might be hard for us. We started the hike at around 8:45AM.

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The tour guide assigned by the Town officials will ask you which trail you prefer, the long or short trail. Different is this: Long trail is well OF COURSE longer but assaults isn’t that much compared to the Short trail that is 90% assault (meaning, majority of the path is steep). Almost all my companions are boys (in fact we are only 3 girls) and everyone chose the short trail..

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photo grabbed from JD Ro (Facebook)

You see in this picture that our trail is CRAZY MUDDY! It was raining almost the entire time, which is thankfully not strong tho – just a drizzle, but still enough to make our path way wet and slippery. That was the biggest challenge: to climb without slipping and hitting your head in all those sharp rocks.

Path to the summit has only 3 stations, I think each station has at least a 45minutes to an hour gap away to each other.

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Here we are at Station 2 (Photo grabbed from JD Ro Facebook)

After reaching Station 3, there will be another 15 to 20 minutes steep hike all the way towards the Summit.

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And tadaaaaa! After 4 hours of that grueling, brutal climb – here I am at the top! We reached the summit at exactly 12 noon!

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Photo is taken by the Tour Guide

Having to stand at that peak is incredibly nerve wracking! I ain’t afraid of heights – but man this made my knees go weak! Haha. That is why my standing position there is sooooo awkward! But boy oh boy that view is WORTH EVERY FREAKING KNEE WOBBLING THERE IS! It’s beyond gorgeous!

If you are not very brave to take a picture in this part of the Summit, there is another area that could make up for it. You just need to get the proper angle. Here’s a group pic of us in that place:

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Or you can just simply take photos of the view. It’s too pretty not to snap. Instagram-worthy, I am telling you!

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GORGEOUS! ❤
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This place looks like a straight crop out from an enchanted forest with magical creatures or something. 
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I tried going to the farthest rock formation but the rocks i’m stepping in aren’t too stable and it will be a nasty fall if ever so… 😀

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thumb_iovz3917_1024Okay this I have to be honest with you, if you think climbing up is hard – THINK AGAIN. Going down is WAAAAAAY harder – my exhaustion almost ate me alive. Haha.

The main reason it was harder is because it’s still raining and going down on slippery mud is not in the very least ideal – it’s brutal! Almost all of us slipped or near-slipped in some way but thank God none of us had any serious injuries, just minor cuts and bruises.

Despite feeling tired we just went ahead because we have no choice but to go down right? Unless we want to stay there in the mountains come night – uhm, NO.

Going down probably also took as 4 1/2 hours at the most. The longest 4 1/2 hours of my life so far! Haha, I literally cannot stand without support at about 30 minutes before we’re over – I am almost crawling for my life. lol

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But alas, it ends, and here we are at this amazing river that we were viewing from the summit! We washed our mud-caked clothes and shoes there too!

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Photo grabbed from JD Ro (Facebook)
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Isn’t she lovely….
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Isn’t she wonderful… 😀
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I couldn’t stay long in the water though because I am freezing cold! It’s still raining at this point and winds are so strong! Yikes!

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There’s a store there near the river so we had hot Lomi first before heading back and bathed and changed our clothes there too. The walk to the tricycle bay is long too, it was dark when we already got there which is a bit scary but people there are nice so nothing to worry about.

We reached the registration site at around 6:30 and then we’re back to our rented van at about 7pM.

We arrived in Shaw Blvd. at around 9PM.

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And that is it for my adventure blog! Hope you enjoyed the view as much as I did! My pictures don’t do it justice though, I wish I could bottle everything that I saw – it was just magnificent.

If you want to see more of something like this check out my travel blog post last year here.

Until next adventure!

nikkidivider-3

 

 

 

 

Weekly Journal Spread (Jan. 23 – Jan. 29)

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Another one of my journal spreads! Enjoy! Blurred out a few parts though because I’m mysterious like that, lol no – I just got a little personal, that’s why haha.

In case you missed my first journal spread post, here’s the link to it.

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Updates on your journaling? Have you been doing it too? Isn’t it fun going back through your posts and seeing everything that has happened – sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago, other times it feels like it was just yesterday. The magic of writing down memories – whether it’s a good or a bad one, it happened and you’ve learned from it either way ❤

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I thought I’d share another tip for journaling:

  • Give TITLES to your day. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something that highlights your day –  and you don’t have to do this everyday either, just on dates that you feel doing so.
  • Write QUOTES. This has always been a journal saver for me. There are times that I’m in a journaling slump and nothing in the entire day eve mattered so I just write a quote or bible passage instead. I do write at least something that still made sense in relation to how my day went.. 🙂

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Until next spread! Talk to you soon!

nikkidivider-3

Top 5 Anime Shows You Need to Watch!

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Nobody’s too old for animes… I’m 20 plus years young (you do not need to know the exact) and I still watch them alright! I got no time for other’s BS telling us we should grow up, so here I am, recommending you my TOP 5 anime series or shows that you definitely need to watch before you die – well.. don’t die, but just watch these will you?

Without further adieu, here are the shows I love for you to watch IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER…

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So I am starting with the feel good show and there weren’t so many anime shows that made me all giddy and light than watching Kimi ni Todoke! Okay.. it’s romance, school life, comedy kind a show and if you aren’t a fan of those STILL, go and watch it! Haha, I swear YOU.WILL.LOVE.IT!

It’s about a girl named Sawako who’s being feared by her classmates because of her appearance (and not to mention her name sounds like the well-known girl from a horror Japanese film). Rumor has it that she could see ghosts and spirits but the truth is she is only a shy girl who also long for friends and companions. Everything changes though when the popular boy, Kazehaya began talking to her. She met new friends and people also see her real personality. Soon, love blossoms for these two and it is cute AF! ooops sorry.

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Okay, watching this felt like I was transported back to high school! It makes you feel young and in love! Everything about this show is just so lovable. I watched this like a hundred times already and more marathon to come in the future! If you are down and sad and don’t know what to do with your life, watch this – then at least something in your life is good (at least for about a quarter of an hour). And I want you to be happy so please watch this okay?

kimigenre

 

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shingeki

titan

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100 years before our story begins, giant humanoid creatures called Titans starts appearing and nearly wiped out all of humanity. They do not appear to need food and yet they instinctively attack and eat human on sight. Those who survived were forced to live inside three big walls – the outer called Maria, the middle is Rose and the innermost is Sheena. Fighting the Titans is the military which is divided into three branches: The Survey Corps who goes out of the wall to reclaim lands from Titans, although they were often mocked and called suicidal because of little progress and great number of death tolls; The Garrison are the ones assigned inside to keep peace inside the walls and guards civilian; last is the Military Police whose sole responsibility is to guard the Royal family.

All of what’s left of humanity managed to live at peace for at least a hundred years without even seeing a Titan until one day a Colossus Titan appeared after a lightning and breaches the outermost wall. The story then revolves around a boy named Eren and her foster sister Mikasa and their childhood friend Armin as they were forced to leave and all vowed to avenge what has happened to their home.

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I don’t think this is for the faint heart – if you don’t like shows that makes you nervous and gruesome and those that are full of deaths then I guess this won’t be your cup of tea, because this show is so full of it. I suggest you don’t get too attached to the characters because well, you’ll never know. But d*mn this show is sooooo amazing! So action packed and the story was just so well put! I swear the only thing that I disliked about this is WHERE IS THE NEXT GODD*MN SEASON?! It takes forever, I heard it’s to be released soon though.. Anyway, I’ve already read the manga. HA.

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fullmetal

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This story takes place in a world where Alchemy is the most practiced science. Alchemists with help of patterns called Transmutation Circles have the ability to create almost anything they desire, but they must provide something of equal-value in accordance with the Law of Equivalent Exchange. The only thing they are forbidden to transmute are humans and gold. The main characters here are Edward and Alphonse who lives in a rural town along with their mother and their father who later on left them for not apparent reason. A few years later when their mother died, they performed the forbidden technique of human transmutation in an attempt to resurrect her. As expected, the transmutation backfires and in law with equivalent exchange, Edward’s left leg and Alphonse’s whole body are destroyed. Edward then sacrificed his right arm to rescue Alphonse’s soul, binding it to a suit of armor with a blood seal. Their old neighbor and family friend who happens to be an automail mechanic made Edward’s arm and legs. Being skilled now in use of alchemy involving metal materials, Edward was then invited to become a State Alchemist – they are alchemist who work for the government and are automatically given the rank of Major in the military. Edward later on agreed in hopes of researching a way to bring back their bodies – especially Alphone’s.

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I actually didn’t expect that I will like this show but gods, I LOVED IT! It was sooooo intelligently written and intense and just WOW. It’s like nothing i’ve ever watched before. It will make you feel all sorts of emotions and grips you every single freaking episode. I just love it! One of the absolute bestest! I can’t recommend it enough, just watch it okay?

fmagenre

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fairy

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This takes place in a world called Earth-Land where places are full of mages. They form guilds to hone their magical abilities and apply them to paid job requests. A girl wizard named Lucy runs away from her wealthy home in hopes of joining Fairy Tail – a guild famous for its members’ overly destructive antics lead by Makarov. Luckily enough, she crossed paths with a member Fairy Tail, Natsu – a wizard with dragon like abilities and his cat friend called Happy who invited her to join the guild after overcoming an obstacle. They formed a team inside the guild and later on joined by Gray, whose power involves ice, and an armored wizard named Erza who is feared by many… and then their adventures begins.

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I am not a big fan of anime shows involving the use of magic but oh boy this show – I AM HOOKED. I was literally addicted and can’t get enough. This is that type of show that makes you feel proud, and your heart happy. So full of adventures and no dull moments AT ALL. Totally the bomb!

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Clannad revolves around the story of Tomoya, a high school student who does not have a very good relationship with his father. One incident that led to him dislocating his shoulders marks the even more drifting apart of their relationship. He tends to separate himself from the rest and comes home late every night which led to him being delinquent. He has a delinquent friend though named Youhei who he constantly hangs out with. At the beginning of the school year, Tomoya meets Nagisa, a year older girl but happens to be in the same year as his because she stopped during the previous year due to her sickness. She desperately wanted to join the Drama Club only to find out that the club was already inactive. Tomoya then decided to help her reform the drama club that led them to meet other people who turned out to be friends.

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To be honest, I wasn’t a very big fan of animes with this kind of drawing style, like that overly big eyes and antenna hairstyle (lol), but a random person – who I honestly forgot –  recommended this to me and told me that I will surely love it and the rest is history. I remember this being the very first anime that legit made me ugly cry. This show is deep and full of metaphors that were used so well. It stayed with me for awhile after watching it. Oh, watch the After Story too because that’s where it gets sh*tty and yet beautifully true. I swear the song will stick to you! 😀
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And you think i’ll stop there? Well, you’re wrong!

bonus

kimino

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This one isn’t actually a series – it’s a movie so I’m considering it as a bonus recommendation to you. I just can’t help not telling people about it when I have a chance, lol. And I won’t be giving like a summary because I think this is best experienced when you have no idea about it (just as I was). But I assure you – THIS IS AWESOME! The plot is uniques, the plot twist is genius.  I love it so much and I hope you will as well! It’s fairly new too!

 

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And that is it for my recommendations! Hope you watch these shows if you haven’t, and if you already have, well let’s just fangirl together! ❤

Talk to you soon!

nikkidivider-3

 

Weekly Journal Spread (Jan. 16 – Jan. 22)

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So last night (or this morning), while I’m trying to sleep because I’m insomniac af and reading comments on my Instagram, I noticed that some of you really like my journal and some are even requesting to see them up close. Funny thing is there’s nothing interesting about the things I write there though, just a couple of random stuffs I feel like journaling. I don’t do fancy bullet journaling and stuffs like that – I’m too random and messy for the likes of those. I mean I want to try but I guess now isn’t the right time just yet, cause my life is a mess. Kidding.😜

So let’s get into it shall we?

divider4materialsthumb_ppoo2094_1024 My journal was sent to me by the good guys from Klevercase. Loving it so so sooooo much! It’s Harry Potter inspired so why not?! I like how the pages are thick and it won’t leave any trace for the back page no matter how hard I write. Just love it!

And of course you need pens! Contrary to my colorful Journaling in the past, I am now opting for cleaner pages so I’m only using black normal pens here – let’s see how long i’ll keep this going. LOL.

Pens: Pilot Fine ballpen and Uni Pin 02 Fine Line in Pigment Ink.

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I know I should’ve started from the first week of the month but my Journal isn’t complete on those parts and I don’t want to be showing you incomplete spreads because DUH what’s the point?!😅

So here’s the spread from January 16th until the 22nd!

***BEWARE of GOT spoiler if you haven’t watched the show or read the book***

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tips

  • Try LETTERING! It will legit add character to an otherwise normal journal entries. It doesn’t have to be perfect, go to the internet and copy fonts that you like and start from there. 🙂
  • DRAW a little. I’m no draw-er (lol) but It try once every few entries just so that there is something a little more visual than my letters.
  • Use BORDERS! I looooove drawing borders, it does highlight parts of a certain day and is also really pretty to look at.

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And that is it! Give this post some love and comments if you want me to keep posting these kind of stuffs!

Talk to you soon!

nikkidivider-3

Book Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

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NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

Credits to Goodreads.com

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3/5 ⭐s

I’ve heard a lot of comments that this book is kinda like Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars and uhm… I don’t freaking know what that means. HAHAHA, sorry I am probably the only human in this planet who haven’t watched those shows. But yeah, if you happen to be a fan of those then this book will most likely interests you – I can’t say much about that though.

So this is what happened to New York a century later and people are living vertically – literally, in a tower with a thousand floors. In this world, the higher the floor you live in, the better life you have. The story revolves around 5 teens who all have their own problems and challenges despite the differences in their life statuses.

Let’s begin with the things I liked about this book: 

It is an easy read, I love multiple POVs so in some who will find this annoying, I actually enjoyed it.

The choice of characters I like because they are diverse. We get to see different races and ethnicity, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. I appreciate that unlike most YA books we’ve had in the past that concentrates on caucasian lead characters and straight people,  this book bended that ideology – BUT… (we’ll continue later)

That page turner and cannot-DNF-this thing-because-I-need-to-know-who-DIED vibe. No spoilers intended there because it is in the Prologue of the book – and yes someone somehow managed to fall from the top of that Tower and I needed to know who that is.

The living in the Tower thing is something that I have never read on any books before so that is definitely a good thing for me. The idea is unique as it is original.

 

Now, on to the things I didn’t like so much:

…Yes the characters were diverse but I do want to see more of that than just… THAT. I just felt like they were made as such that without much thought, I wanted them to have more sense and substance – well I think this is a challenge in diversifying characters. I just hope the next book will improve on this.

I know I said I like the choice of characters but it doesn’t necessarily meant that I have loved any of them. lol. I just find the connection lacking and I find it hard to relate to any of them – the problems were shallow, the exchanges in between characters aren’t so memorable, almost all of them were annoying.. it just didn’t hit me where it should have. I cannot name a single favorite character and that’s obviously not a nice thing.

The incest, OMG. If you know me and have read a bit of my reviews from the past, you would know how much Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma irked me. I’m just really not comfortable reading that kind of stuff. And what I also did not like is that it is trying to justify the “affection” for the sibling because they aren’t related by blood. I don’t really care about that, brother or step brother is STILL a freaking brother – and NO, I don’t find that romantic at all.

This book indeed ended with a cliffhanger but unfortunately, I wasn’t very excited for it. I mean yeah, that caught me a little off guard, like I really wasn’t expecting it to have a sequel in the first place, lol. But yeah, I do think I’d like to know what happens next but I’m not head over heels for it.

 

And that is it! I’d recommend this book if you like futuristic, unique plot line reads. Let me know your thoughts if you’ve read it! Yay or Nay? 🙂

Talk to you soon!

nikkidivider-3

 

How I Edit My Instagram Photos (Update)

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You asked for it and I love you guys, so here it is! This is How I edit my Instagram Photos version 2.o! 😄

If you haven’t seen yet, I have already made a blog post like this last year and a lot of my tips and tricks haven’t changed so you might as well check that out first before diving in to this one. Here’s the link.

My tips there in Instagramming in general from taking photos, proper lighting, to photo types are all still valid and I still practice up to this day so take note of those pointers alright.

My theme though has changed over the course of time and right now, I can say that I am really happy with my current feed *pat my own back*

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I am now going for a warm, earth-toned, vintage-y photos and it took me quite a while to be contented with the theme I want, but here I am so hooray! 😛

Now, let’s get going with the bloody detail of how I edit my pictures, shall we?
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Here’s an update to the apps I’ve been currently using:
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I mainly use VSCO for editing my photos, this is where I get my filters.

From my last blog about editing IG Photos, I told you I was also using the app called Phonto, that one was mainly for watermarking my photos which I don’t do anymore.

Additional apps that you see here are Filterloop – which I use for overlays sometimes;

Snapseed and Lightroom for fixing inconsistencies in photos like lighting, dark spots, over-exposure, etc.

Touch Blur for blurring out parts that I don’t want to show in my photos (like personal entries on my journal, etc.)

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I’m telling you again if you haven’t, to check my last blog about editing photos because quite the same process remained the same. Check it out here. (I have a legit tip on natural lighting there and things that will add character to your photos).

I use VSCO for filters and nothing more, and these are the filters that I am currently using:

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Fact is, I don’t really use a single filter in all my instagramming years. I always consider the lighting of the photo if a certain filter would look good on it or not. But these two series in VSCO are the ones I use most of the time – it’s the Aesthetic and Moody series. The Aesthetic I believe is free for download in the app, the Moody however I think I paid for it 😀

As you may have seen on my feed right now, I am going for a shadowy, warm and cozy vibes, so I don’t actually just rely on the filters itself, I also adjust the Exposure, Contrast and Temperature in VSCO settings per picture. I adjust all of these things according to my liking and test if it will look good on my feed, then go back again if not.

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overlay

filterloopA lot of people are asking me this, “what is that snowy thing on your photos”, “what are those white dust I see there”, etc. I’ve seen a lot of accounts doing this already but if you still didn’t know yet, you could use the app called Filterloop for this.

Just import your photo and go to Textures then click Dust – you’ll see different options there that you can choose from.

I sometimes use Adobe Photoshop for overlays if I’m not feeling lazy though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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extra

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Editing of photos doesn’t stop there though. Sometimes, lighting is not on my side so I use Snapseed to fix any inconsistencies and flaws that I see in my photos.

The app has a Selective tool to adjust a portion of your photos’ Brightness, Contrast and Saturation.

It also comes with a Brush that edits the Exposure, Temperature and Saturation of your photo.

Love this app (not a promotion, lol).

 

 

divider2bonusHere’s a bonus tip for you guys! I’ve been using an app that let’s me plan out my feed for the entire day – or even week (if you have taken quite a lot of pictures). I’ve got 2 recommendations for you, either use an app called Preview or Unum (both are free I think in the App store). It both works well and have the same purpose. I also recently discovered an app called Planoly which pretty much does the same only, it also schedules your post – I might as well give that app a try. preview

I personally use Preview (because I downloaded it first, lol) and satisfied with it to be honest. You can “upload” pictures in it and drag photos to change their position – and it looks just like an Instagram feed so you can kinda see if a photo will blend well with the rest of your pre-uploaded pictures. It looks like this (really just like an IG feed):

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As I always do, here I am to remind you that your account is YOUR feed so you do what makes you happy BUT….but, please, always be YOU. We have seen a lot of blatant copying in Instagram (not to mention outright stealing) that it honestly makes me sad because people who have passion in what they do only to be literally copied, will feel disrespected. I have no problems in sharing what I know and what I do but I also want to see people create a content they could call their own 🙂 I’m glad I inspire people and that they sought for my advise and I appreciate it, but sometimes, other people just do not know when they’ve already crossed the line.

So, in EVERYTHING that you do, always put your heart in it and it will reflect who you are. ❤

It took me years of countless changing of themes and filters, experimenting on pictures, looking for inspirations, combining pegs and all that – until I came to this. I suggest you do the same. 🙂

And that is it! I hope you learned something again from this post, let me know what you’d like to see next!

Talk to you soon!

nikkidivider-3