See you in mid-November

October 25th, 2014 by Cat

I finished one of my October goals! If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen it already, but here is my most recent cosplay. It is Rhyme from the DS game, The World Ends With You :)

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I’m pretty picky when it comes to accuracy when making my costumes, and probably even more so on simple ones. It’s easier to spot mistakes when it’s so simple looking! I decided to sew and dye the shirt myself because I couldn’t find an existing one with the proper fit and color to alter. I also sewed the shorts and hat. If you’re interested in the construction details, please see my cosplay blog!

Work has been pretty busy lately because we were coming close to a release date. Every time I thought things were going well, something would come up and change that. We also ended up doing a night release that started at 8PM and ended at 11PM. (Fortunately, we’re able to do these remotely from home now.)

Even though it’s Saturday night, I checked in a code change because it bothered me that I broke one of the builds. Fortunately, I do these things because I want to and not because I feel pressured to. Our work has flexible schedules that allow us to figure out what works for us (within reason). I know not all industries or jobs can do this, but when it comes to software developers in a tech company, I really feel like this is the way to go.

People who like to work in the mornings can come in early and then leave early. People, like me, who are not morning people can come in later and leave later. I mean, if I were forced to come in early, I would sit there being unproductive because I’m too tired to think. Instead, I can come in when I feel fully rested and get a lot of work done.

There are days where I don’t work the full 8 hours either. If I’m at a good stopping point or have hit a wall, it’s better for me to start fresh the next day with a clear mind. Then there are days where I work extra because of a deadline, so it balances out. Because of this flexibility, I don’t feel frustrated or bitter if I work after hours.

But, I still tend to be a workaholic. I read an article that said many people are afraid of taking vacation because they’re afraid of work pile up afterwards. This is pretty much me, especially since I’m a team lead. I don’t check in code during a vacation at least, but I still check and respond to work email because I want to keep on top of things.

And so, I have the next two weeks off from work, and I should treat it as such. I’m taking a break from work, blogging, and most things online. I’ll still be on Instagram so feel free to follow me and see what I’m up to. See you in a few weeks!

The making of apple pie

October 18th, 2014 by Cat

I love pie, but I really don’t make it enough. The problem is the amount of food. My husband and I shouldn’t eat a whole pie (I almost said “couldn’t” but then I realized that wasn’t true), and it’s also not enough to share with my coworkers (I double my cookie and cake/cupcake recipes for work). Having people over is pretty much the perfect time.

This morning when we went to do yard work, we saw that apples had grown in on our apple tree! Today also happens to be when we’re hosting a football watching party, so it was the perfect time to make some apple pie :) This is a recipe my mom has been using for several years, with a few modifications by me.

The first thing I make is the dough because it needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before it’s used. Homemade dough may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy and uses very little ingredients.

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When it comes to cookies, cakes, and frosting, you usually start with room temperature butter because it allows more air to be beaten in. For pies and tarts, you typically use cold butter, and it’s easier to use when cut into smaller pieces and slowly added into the mix. My mom does this part by hand, but I like using my stand mixer with a flat beater. (A large food processor would work as well.)

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What’s in my bag, #3

October 10th, 2014 by Cat

I’ve actually done this meme twice now, but the last time I did it was… 4 years ago! Of course, my bag and contents have changed since then, so here it is again :)

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1. I’m currently using a LeSportsac Deluxe Everyday bag. When I first got it, I thought it was too big, but my mind quickly changed after seeing how much I could put in it. It has several compartments too! I no longer stand in front of my door, searching for my keys for like 5 minutes, because I have a special place for them now.

2. 3DS and case – have to StreetPass!

3. iPhone 5S

4. Gum – usually 5 Gum in Cobalt.

5. Headphones – often useful in public places when using my phone or 3DS.

6. Wallet – I like these big wallets to hold a bunch of cards. I’m a sucker for those free rewards cards you can get at places.

7. Small things like key fob for work, chapstick, lip gloss, and eye drops.

8. Reusable bag – never know when you might need it, especially since plastic bags are banned in my city. (Not a complaint, by the way. I liked the move to using reusable bags over plastic.)

9. Keys – I keep my house and car keys separate. That was handy for the time I locked my keys in the car and was still able to enter my house for the spare.

10. Sunglasses

11. Panasonic Lumix LX5 – a nice compact camera that can shoot in RAW and allows for full manual settings. Most of my food photos are actually with this camera since I always have it in my purse. It’s stored in another LeSportsac bag.

I also carry a few other items not pictured like medicine, tissues, and a copy of my car insurance (useful for car related things like rentals or renewing registration).

If you haven’t done this meme yet, I recommend doing it! It’s fun to see what everyone is using and carrying in their bag :)