Recap: February 2017

March 1st, 2017

February was both a stressful and productive month, which consisted of a few late work days due to emergency hotfixes. (Yay for being able to work from home and do a production deploy from my couch.) On the bright side, my teams released with a few large features, so it was great to see everyone’s hard work out there. I also took one of my teams out for a team outing, and that was a good stress reliever!

And of course, February is known for Valentine’s Day. This year I baked heart-shaped mint chocolate chip cookies for my coworkers, and I bought heart macarons for me and my husband from our favorite bakery :) We also bought some marbled beef rib, which my husband cooked into gyudon (beef rice bowl). Aahh, we love donburi (rice bowls) so much.

I’ve been productive with my hobbies too. On the photography side, I finished post processing my last photoshoot from a recent Anime convention, which was a Code Geass one:


I also finally joined a new stock photography program. I’ve been meaning to do it for the past year, since I wasn’t happy with the other program I tried. I kept hesitating because I couldn’t decide on which program to join, and I wasn’t confident that my style fits stock photography. It’s not that I question the quality of my photos. It’s that every photography genre has its own style, and I haven’t taken photos with stock photography in mind. It’s a shift in style that I have to learn.

So, I took my first steps. I chose Fotolia/Adobe Stock because it’s reputable, and I could use my existing Adobe account. I got my first photo approved already! I’m excited to give this a try during the breaks where I’m not doing photoshoots.

As for cosplay, I gave myself a fresh start by doing some cleaning. I cleaned my sewing room a bit and hand washed a few costumes and wigs I used recently. Then I did a quick project:

I made an onigiri pillow! I wanted to make one like Yuri in Yuri on Ice has :) It sits on my couch now, and it’s sooo soft.

Lastly, February was a good gaming month. I finished Tomb Raider (PC), Rayman Legends (Wii U), and Firewatch (PC). Three games in one month! (Yes, one was very short, but whatever, it counts.)

As for my February goals:

  1. Subscribe to at least 5 charities – Complete! I am now donating monthly to Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Water.org, World Wildlife Fund, ACLU, and Planned Parenthood. The donations range from $15-30/month, totaling $130/month ($1560/year).
  2. Finish going through the Ember guides – Almost! I completed both tutorials, but I didn’t finish reading the other guides after them.
  3. Draw something – Sort of but not really? I have an idea for a Haikyuu series of drawings and started with Iwaizumi, but I didn’t like how it turned out. Time to try again.
  4. Clean my desks – Complete! My work and home desks are still a bit of a mess, but I threw away a lot of things, wiped them down, and organized them a bit.

By the way, I’d like to point out that just because someone writes about donating to charities, it doesn’t mean they’re trying to guilt trip you. Do what you can. If it means volunteering time instead of donating money, then that’s cool. If it means only donating a little bit, then that’s great too. It all adds up, and even a bit of money helps charities/non-profits purchase the supplies they need. No need to get defensive about it.

Now for March goals:

  1. Start an Ember project – Now that I somewhat have a grasp of it, I should apply what I’ve learned.
  2. Clear out at least half of the “box” room – In January, I made a goal of unpacking everything in the “box” room, which I completed. Since then, I haven’t done much with it. I need to really clean it up now.

I know it’s only two, but those will take a lot of time. Now for the next month! I will be celebrating a few birthdays, mine included ;) I also have a short trip planned at the end of the month. Have good March, everyone!

14 Responses to “Recap: February 2017”

  • Kya says:

    Man, those macarons are so awesome. :D That is great that you were able to submit some photographs and one has been approved already. I can understand it being hard to get the style for stock photography, but maybe that is something that would be more appealing to your snaps. You can always take more with different audiences in mind. I hope they sell really well. :D

    The onigiri pillow looks perfect! :D

    Best of luck with your march goals. :)

  • Amy says:

    Those macarons are so cool! It’s so lovely that you bought them for Valentine’s. We just melted some chocolate to dip sweets into. The beef looks amazing, also.

    I’m always in awe of your photography! I struggle to take a half decent photo. Yours are always flawless! Good luck with the stick photography venture, I’m sure you’ll do great.

    Congrats on completing three games! I’d struggle to complete that many in a year!

  • Michelle says:

    Wow, you’ve been busy in February for sure! Good job in completing those three games! Omg. Are you getting the Switch? That Code Geass shoot looks awesome! ^^

  • Rezina says:

    Omg those heart macarons are so cute! I like that they added tiny little messages on them. It’s like an edible valentine’s day card!

    I like the photoshoot that you did! I love Code Geass!! The ending makes me really sad though… so I can never re-watch it because the ending kills me every time >.>

    And congrats on nearly all your February goals! I remember you mentioning that you also wanted to fill up your sketchbook, so it’s cool that you made it your goal to draw something. I can’t wait to see! haha

  • Georgie says:

    Yay for reading up on Ember! I made an effort to do a bit more Angular stuff in February, but now we have a new female engineer on our team who is more experienced and while she is brushing up on Angular I will be learning, so we’ll walk through it together. :)

    About the charities, I agree. Not everyone can afford to donate as much as you are donating, and not everyone has money, or even chooses to donate. I used to never be interested in donating apart from the ones where you get an incentive like a badge or pin (because I liked to collect them) but these days our company encourages volunteering so I’ve been more active in that. I personally feel good that I am supporting charities I care about.

    Sounds like you got pretty creative in Feb. I love the onigiri pillow! 🍙

    I really like rice bowls too. There is a place near my work that does them for like, less than $10. That is pretty cheap for Sydney. ;) I spend $7 on a rice bowl and added kimchi. SO GOOD. I even like just ontama bowls (egg).

    I thought you made the heart macarons yourself, Cat. Shame on you 😆 – just kidding. But I actually really like the look of your heart-shaped mint chocolate cookies. I like mint chocolate, but funny that a lot of people don’t like the combination!

  • Claudine says:

    Sounds like you had a productive February, good for you! :) I’m so excited to see your work on stock photography, I agree that it’s different from what you usually do but hey, it’s good to try new things! Congratulations on getting your first photo approved!

    Best of luck on your March goals and hope everything goes well! :)

  • Tara says:

    Sorry to hear February being a stressful month, but on the flipside, yay for it also being productive? XD I love it when workplaces/company work together well. Good on you for taking out your team on an outing. Those are needed every once in a while.

    Your Valentine’s treat all sound yummy! I would love to have tried your mint chocolate chip cookies. They sound so good! The macarons and the gyudon looks delish, too!

    And HOMGGGGG!~ That onigiri pillow! AHHHHHHH! The YOI fangirl in me is squealing! That is so awesome, Cat! XD Can I commission you for one? XD XD XD

    Yay for the donation! Those are some great orgs, and I think it’s wonderful you will be donating so much! <3 Your desk looks awesome, btw. So clean!

    Have a good March!

  • Pauline says:

    I was actually inspired by your last goal of cleaning up your home and work desk to clean mine! Haha xD I can confirm that both my desks are super clean – I didn’t see how bad it was getting until I read your post and was like, wait a second, I should have a look at mine own! :P Love your set up btw!

    February sounds like it’s been awesome for you! Well done on completing all you wanted to. Thats really awesome you got V Day treats for everyone, it looks yummy!!

    I’m glad to hear you still kept up with your hobbies, I LOVE COde Geass. One of my favourite animes :D

    Have an awesome March!

  • Chynna says:

    I love the mint chocolate chip cookies! They are so cute. And the gyudon looks delicious. I am hungry now!

    Good luck with the stock photograph program! Hope it goes well for you :)

    You should make more onigiri pillows because I would DEFINITELY buy them!

    Hope your March goals go well!

  • Nancy says:

    It’s awesome when you get to work from home! You save time from having to drive to work and getting ready. (You still gotta brush your teeth, though). X’D.

    I would love to try your baked goods some day! The heart macarons look adorable and delicious! The Gyudon looks major delish (kudos to your husband for his legit cooking skills). It’s great that you joined a stock photography program! I’m excited to hear more about this :).

    The onigiri pillow is adorable! Your choice of charities sounds great! Glad to see that you’re supporting all sorts of causes! I love how neat your desk looks!

    I agree with you about charities posts. Whenever I mention that I donate, I am not trying to guilt trip people to do the same. People can do whatever they want to do. It’s good to do something- whether it’s making cards for sick kids, volunteering, donating money, or anything outside the scope. There’s no need to attack or feel attacked by any method of “donating”. Every little thing matters. The fact that someone is doing something is respectable enough. I prioritize my time into other stuff so my way of donating is through some money :).

    Good luck with your goals this month!

  • Liv says:

    Oh my those Valentine’s macarons are adorable! Thanks for sharing your February and it definitely was a productive month! I recently learned that food photographers actually fake the food they are shooting so it told me a little bit about how people do stock photography but I wish you the best on your peek into the field! Lemme know where I can find your photos. :)

    I think I saw your onigiri pillow on Insta/Twitter haha, it’s so cute!

    Congratulations on subscribing to the charities, my favorites too! Was there someone who tried to blame you for guilting them? That’s just irresponsible. I actually am also trying to donate my money somewhere – I am currently financially tight but that just makes it a better time to be generous to those who have less than me.

    • Cat says:

      I’ll probably share my account once I have more photos! Right now, there’s just one lonely photo there, haha.

      As for the charity note, no one was blaming me, but I frequently see people trying to explain why they can’t or don’t want to donate in response to posts like mine. I feel like it misses the point of people sharing where they donate to. We want to bring awareness to the causes we care about, not make people feel bad. There’s no need for someone to explain to me why they don’t donate because I’m not judging!

  • Ongaku says:

    That pillow is so cute! I need to do stuff like that to try and get myself back in the mood to sew. My poor sewing machine is getting dusty. XD
    That is awesome that you got your first photo approved! It’s cool that you are doing so much with your hobbies again. I need to get my rear in gear haha.
    Those cookies are so cute!!

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