My shameless selfies & Interview with the’Instacollage’ team

Photos are reality and reality is just photos… says our generation. #sodeep#notbasic

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(On the bus)

Hey guys! It’s me Konni again(obviously) and I’m sitting around as usual, taking shameless, superficial selfies. But today I’ve brought to you something that isn’t usual at all too-here’s a rare opportunity: getting to talk to the masterminds behind a popular smartphone app.

Being a wannabe techno-geek myself, I got talking with Alex from ‘Team Instacollage’.

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K: Hey Alex! First things first- why did you develop the app in the first place?

A: Thank you Konni for crediting me as being the developer of InstaCollage ;). But, I am not the real developer of InstaCollage. It was developed by my friend, Lavi, about an year and five months ago, who is a passionate android developer and a great one. He developed this app during his college time, but there was no real reason to develop it. I joined him six months ago to turn InstaCollage into a business, which does not suffice with just collage making. So, right now, we are porting this android app to iPhone, which we are planning to release within 2 months.

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(But first-Lemmetakeaselfie! Used to be obsessed with that song by The Chainsmokers. Oh and my phone camera sucks(as you can see in photo above) so bear with me. This photo is from my high school graduation day when I was caked with makeup : )

K: Cool. Tell us a bit about your app.

A: InstaCollage, as the name says, it’s a Simple Collage Making App on Android. I do really mean it “Simple”. The app has pure Black-and-White interface designed to let you focus on the most important thing while making a Collage, i.e. your photos.

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K: Ooh. So that’s what differentiates you guys from other photo collage apps out there.

A: Yeah, existing collage apps miss this most important part. InstaCollage is packed with photo editing tools too, like Photo Filters, Photo Frames and Backgrounds, the option to add text to turn it into a collage story. We are also working on stickers which will be released within a week. Apart from just providing these features, the app provides smooth and fast interface to create collages.

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K: What type of grids do you have on your app? I’m not a huge Instagram fan but I definitely do need a trusty collage app for my Kakao Talk(guys, this is a huge chatting app in Korea) profile pics.

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(I took this photo today, a moment ago, before I took my shower(I still have a towel on my head, I never got into the habit of actually using a hair dryer). I lost a bit of weight recently-probably because I’ve been busy working.)

A: Well, by using InstaCollage, you will find that you can create only square collage grids, and we are not looking to remove this restriction. But we will add “Free Style Collages” as a separate feature in InstaCollage by the end of February. I request you to install it on your android device and experience it yourself, as that matters a lot for us. You can simply install it from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.photos.instacollage

K: Thanks, Alex. Okay, now I need to know how it’s being run. So that I can, you know, take some superficial selfies.

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(Like this one)

A: I hope by saying “how it’s being run”, you want to know, how app actually works. Follow these Steps:

– Choose a layout and then select the required number of photos, and in the end, user is taken to collage editing screen.
– or Choose few photos, then you will be directly taken to collage editing screen, where a random layout is shown and you do have the options to change layout while editing your collage.

K: Thank you so much for introducing us to your app, Alex! This is all for now but be sure to type in ‘instacollage’ on your Google Play Store if you have Android because WHO DOESN’T NEED A GOOD PHOTO COLLAGE APP IN THIS DAY AND TIME, Y’ALL. Especially in fashion-I often find that fashion is in-the-moment, but it’s the photos that last.

Hope you guys had fun making fun of my selfies XD

 

Hopeful.

Hopeful.

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She was hopeful; hopeful that she might someday be different. Maybe this wasn’t all. There’s probably more to life than grey slabs and repetition. Maybe one day she’d find that she could be more than her past. But then again, maybe not.

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I don’t know how to take photos but I tried.

Enjoy my photos with the lyrics of Thomston‘s songs. (Look him up on Soundcloud I swear he’s amazing.)
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Stepping right in to find out we were blind

Our vision was drowned by a burning sky

Caught in the daze you wore it so well

The hotter it got the less that I felt

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You’re holding it in, you say you’re okay

And I believe you

Feeling like we’re at the equator, I see you

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Dysfunctional in every way,

we drive all night and sleep all day,

Caught up in the conflict,

puts me on edge but I like the feeling

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I’m coming up don’t worry now

I’m too young to worry ’bout

Burning out

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But I need you

It’s hard to make you not forget that we need you

After all this time, I’m starting to see you

Convince me that you’re fine

Please

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Am I a pain in your side?

Puts me on edge but I like the feeling,

Cause you’re the pain in mine,

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I can see your collarbones and baby I’m scared

Never thought I’d be so unprepared.

All of the photos were taken by myself. I tried to capture moments that stood out to me or gave me certain emotions.

And trust me- listen to Thomston!

#: photography, moments, beauty, fashion, Thomston.

The images above are property of Konni Kim.

Interview with YG KPlus model Eun-suh Cho!

She’s from the hottest model agency in Korea, YG KPlus, she’s on the latest issue of Marie Claire, and she’s only 17. I was able to reach her through fellow YG K-Plus model Jae-young Oh (thank you!).

Us both being students with school coming up the next week, our situation didn’t lead us to a face-to-face meet-up, but fortunately I still got the opportunity to have a chat with her online.

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K: Hi Eun-suh! I think I’ve seen you a couple times in brand lookbooks/catalogues! What type of work have you done so far since your debut?

E: Yeah, I’ve been in lookbooks and catalogues for fashion brands and I’ve also done a runway show!

K: Cool. From what age have you been modeling, and were you parents supportive at first? When and how were you admitted(?) into your current agency, YG KPlus?

E: I started modeling at YG KPlus this March, and my parents have always been extremely supportive of my budding career. I attended YG KPlus’s model academy and got into the agency as an actual working model on the last day of the academy program by passing an audition.

K; Is there a special experience or event that made you decide that modeling is the thing for you?

E: In 9th grade, I coincidentally came across a photo of the model Won-joong Kim(김원중). It made me realize how cool modeling can be and inspired me to become one myself. Ever since, I’ve been interested in the fashion world.

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…Well, he is called ‘God-Won-joong’ for a reason.

K: Right now you’re in the 10th grade, right? I imagine it must be hard to balance school and your modeling career. How do you do it? What’s the hardest thing about being a model and a high school student at the same time?

E: To be honest, I’ve basically given up on my studies, haha. I live in Chungju, which is quite far away from Seoul, so it’s hard to commute to and from modeling work. Also, since I’m a student it’s tiring to have to take all the steps to get official paperwork done to skip school to model on weekdays.

K: That’s understandable, I guess. When you have work in Seoul, do you go alone?

E: Yes.

K: Wow that does sound hard-although I’m definitely not a model, as a high school student living far away from school I think I get an idea of how annoying it must be… so what do your friends say about you being a model? They’re probably pretty envious, right?

E: They’re really interested in my career and they are envious, actually, because I already have a set path/dream, and that’s not common for most kids my age.

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K: Have you ever received negative comments or prejudices as a model?

E: No, never! Everyone around me was super supportive.

K: So how does this whole model agency stuff work? Seriously, there are teenagers that would kill to have a spot at a huge management company like YG KPlus. Tell us all what the modeling agency life is like! Is it worth it? In what way exactly does an agency like YG KPlus help you and your career?

E: Ever since becoming a YG KPlus model, I’ve definitely been able to access a wider variety of modeling opportunities and photoshoots etc than before.

K: How often do you visit the YG KPlus building? When you’re there do you get to see other YG models like Sung-kyung Lee(이성경) or Joo-hyuk Nam(남주혁)?

E: I live in Chungju, so I only go to my agency when I have time during my modeling work trips to Seoul. So far I’ve never seen Sung-kyung Lee or Joo-hyuk Nam there.

K: Are you allowed to freely say no to work that your agency makes you do?

E: I’ve never said no before.

K: What does ‘being a model’ mean to you?

E: Well, I just think it’s the thing I’m going to be doing in the future.

K: Then what type of modeling do you want to do in the future? Do you have a role model model (no pun intended)?

E: Yes, Won-joong Kim! Right now I’m hoping to walk at least one runway at Seoul Fashion Week.

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K: Lots of models are turning to other things like acting or singing, especially since modeling isn’t something you can do your whole life. Are you planning on doing that too, later on?

E: I am open to the option. I might try out other things later after lots of preparation.

K: It’s a well known fact that the modeling industry is packed with intense competition –have you experienced extreme competition against other models in your agency or against other agencies?

E: I just think, ‘what am I doing?’ when I see other 17-year-olds actively working as successful models and it makes me realize I should work harder.

K: In your opinion, what’s the most important factor to becoming a successful model?

E: I’m not yet in the place to dish out advice since I’m still learning myself, but I personally think a model’s ‘image’ is the most important thing.

K: So what’s your image?

E: Hmmmm….. Lively/cute? Lol I don’t know.

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K: What’s your strength, as a model in the industry?

E: My physical endurance.

K: Do you exercise and/or go on diets for your modeling?

E: I don’t diet normally but I do go on short-term diets before photoshoots. For exercise I just go to the gym.

K: Last question! What do you think the strengths/weaknesses of the current Korean fashion industry are, and what differences are there between the Korean fashion scene and the abroad?

E: Haha… I’ve never really thought about that before.

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Good luck to Eun-suh : )

I sneaked backstage at a fashion show!

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Ever felt the urge to break into the backstage of a fashion show and see what on earth goes on behind that runway? Well, worry no more-I’ve done it for you. And I didn’t get caught.

Behind the scenes; behind the spotlight

As some of you already know, for the past few months, I’ve been working for Korea Style Week, which is the more accessible, B2B(buyer-to-buyer) version of Seoul Fashion Week. This season’s Style Week took place in COEX(in Gangnam, Seoul) a few days ago, and I was invited(obviously, I worked for them). I’ve been to Korea Style Week a few times before, once two years ago having to sneak out during class to see the Korean designer Ko Tae yong (see post by young Konni about it here). I’ve evolved a lot since then, since I no longer have to sneak around to go to fashion events lest people should mock (everyone close to me now is very supportive of my fashion career). BUT on Sunday, I had the chance to feel that tingling feeling of secretly tiptoeing around to get a more intimate glimpse into fashion. I sneaked backstage during the Korea Style Week runway show!

I figured if I got caught I could pull out the ‘I worked for the Korea Style Week blog!’ card, although I think even so I wasn’t supposed to actually go backstage during the fashion shows.

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(this was the entrance.)

Okay, deep breath, I tell myself. This is going to be a fun adventure! I’ll just keep exploring until I get kicked out. After all, no one in the fashion world succeeds by following the rules, if there even are any, right? The moment I entered, I just saw a bunch of makeup artists lounging around with their phones, looking pretty bored. I walked past them, nodding and smiling as if to say ‘yeah, I’m just one of you guys, keep working, don’t mind me!’ (They stared for a while, probably because judging from my shortness and chubbiness they made out that I wasn’t one of the models, but I didn’t look chic enough to be one of the designers, so who was I? But they turned back to their phones.)

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(backstage. succeeded in entering without looking too weird.)

The first thing I noticed backstage was the models. Oh what beautiful, unrealistic creatures models are.

No matter how lovely, unique, or bursting with personality a model is, there’s one collective aura that they all share in common, and that’s the aura of intimidation. Even though it’s not the first time I’ve talked to a real live one(yes, the nuance IS that they’re a different species) I can’t help but give away my nervousness in the subtle tremor of my voice or my awkward smile as I ask for them to pose for a photo. Physical traits do certainly influence human interaction, I think, as I bend my knees, tilting my head to eye those long limbs through an old Canon Rebel.

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(models running around in heels, backstage. pretty artistic shot, no?)

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(It was scary to even ask them to pose; they were all at least 20cms taller than me in those heels)

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(a model making sure she’s ready to get on stage. I wonder how it would feel to look in the mirror when you’re a model. I wonder if they look at themselves and take their bodies apart, criticizing themselves for their physical flaws like most of us do.)

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Overall it was pretty hectic; after all, the main objective here is to GET THE MODELS ON STAGE, ON TIME, LOOKING FLAWLESS. No one really payed much attention to me because they were all busy doing their own thing, playing their part to keep the show running. It’s not as glamorous a process as I thought it would be.

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(the runway seems a lot more accessible and familiar from this perspective. Just a few stairs and you’re on the magical fashion pedestal.)

When the models are all lined up and the show starts to heat up, it gets quieter backstage because everyone’s so focused on monitoring the show. The director was constantly running to and fro, waving a bunch of papers with the show schedule and details around. She had a pretty intense look on her face, and she was busy talking to each person about precisely what they were supposed to do at exactly what time.

But of course, none of this frenzy is reflected on the actual runway. All we usually get to see is the models calmly doing the catwalk, looking like they’ve got their stuff together.

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(The outfits were colorful and totally weird, but I like weird.)

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(and then there are the people that have to sit and take care of all the digital stuff, lighting, sound, photography etc.)

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After getting a few shots of the models and the people that do all the digital, techno-work (bless those people! no one ever seems to notice them but they work so hard to put important parts of the fashion show together), I wandered around to observe everything else.

A box filled with ‘밥버거'(rice burgers; a pretty popular snack/meal here in Korea. They’re literally burgers with rice instead of bread.) at the entrance raised my eyebrows; I thought models didn’t eat fatty foods, especially during show season. But then a scene from The September Issue where a pin-thin model cheekily looks at the camera during a shoot and eats pie(pie! The ultimate carb-filled, gluten-loaded, evil food! I’m being sarcastic.) comes to mind, reminding me that we’re all human and should all be let off the hook to eat whatever we want sometimes. (And I enjoyed that thought as I munched on my Burger King burger after the show. I have an unhealthy relationship with their long chicken burger.)

I was trying to get a shot of the rice burgers to show you guys when I was interrupted by something much more intriguing-A BACKSTAGE MODEL FIGHT! Well, okay, it wasn’t a fight, it was just a conflict. But I was still excited. I witnessed a model surrounded by girls, shouting to another model across the corridor about something related to the sequence that they were supposed to do on the runway. The atmosphere turned from hectic and lively to serious-mode, and I heard some of the staff trying to figure out what to do with the runway sequence. “We can’t have the lights turn off without the model on stage!”, I remember the stage director saying. I’d imagined model fights to be much more physical or loud, but from my experience(of sitting around on the big black electric sound boxes(amplifiers?) for an hour or so-yeah, I know, such a foundation to judge) conflicts backstage were more…civilized.

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Amid the messy stacks of clothes and hangers and personal belongings of staff members, there was another large group of humans, other than models, that intimidated me. The designers. These were the people that I was actually dying to talk to, rather than the models. I love talking to people about their creative process and inspiration for their craft; believe me, talking to someone about their art really reveals a lot about a person’s life values and perspectives. However, as busy as they were, they looked so immersed in the show, making sure their creations were properly represented to the public eye, that I just couldn’t get myself to pop their ‘bubble’ of concentration. What I did get to to, though, was ask a designer for a photo and exchange blog addresses! Hopefully I’ll get to properly have a separate conversation with her soon.

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(designers dress fabulously, obviously.)

As thrilling and exciting being backstage a fashion show is, sneaking around gets exhausting after a while. I went out to enjoy the many exhibitions by brands.

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A brand called LUVX seemed to be the main show here. They had a giant, weird booth in the middle of the whole exhibition hall and are actually pretty well-known among younger Koreans, considering the fact that I’ve seen their designs before, and I’m usually the last person to know about new hot Korean brands that idols are seen wearing.

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Walking around on my favorite dirty old pair of Skechers, I saw some designs (and people) that I really liked.

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(She caught my eye because she was tan, unlike most Korean fashion-conscious people these days (everyone here dotes on the classic pale Asian face), and because she had mint-blue highlights on the hair beneath her ears.

“So you’re here all day?”

“Yeah, you can take shifts but I don’t have a partner here so I’ve taken care of this booth each day, all day.”

“Isn’t it hard?”

“It’s doable. But don’t take pictures too close up; I haven’t got any makeup on.”)

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(I have no idea what ‘IRONY PORN’ means and, honestly, I really don’t want to find out)

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(model off duty!)

Overall, last Sunday was a glorious day filled with fun, thrill, and awe…which left me with sore feet and utter exhaustion (I’m usually a total insomniac but I fell straight asleep after coming home from Korea Style week), but that’s okay because it was a meaningful experience, both in terms of my fashion career and my life as a whole.

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And speaking of my fashion career, I’ve started working on my eBay partnership this week!

Wouldn’t be possible without you readers. I love you!

Intimate Conversations

Honestly, my life feels so stagnant and dull right now. It’s the same routine over and over, and I really just cannot stand monotony. No big projects, no big events, just day after day of overly peaceful, mere existence to the point where it almost hurts. Seriously, not doing anything hurts. But not having anything major on my hands does have one single advantage-it brings out the little things I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed if I’d been busy. Here are some unretouched, raw photos I took of my sister today and raw, fairly intimate conversations I’ve had over the past week.

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(while ice skating together last Wednesday)

Me, carefully tiptoeing and clutching onto the railing for dear life: Aren’t you scared that you might fall over?

Sister, laughing, whizzing past: Well of course I might fall over! But then how are you gonna do anything?

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My mother, on me:

“She’s a free spirit.”

(Quick shout out to my mum: Mum I know you read my blog, my ‘I’m a coward’ post was on your phone yesterday)

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A teenage dream’s so hard to beat
Every time she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighbourhood
Wish she was mine, she looks so good

-Teenage Kicks by The Undertones-

This song is my ringtone right now. Makes me wanna just drop everything and dance and not pick up the phone.

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Dad: I can’t believe you might be married in only ten years’ time! Time flies.

Me: I’m never getting married.

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The best thing about this outfit on my sister is the plaid. I love plaid. Whenever I see someone walking down the street wearing plaid, it’s like, damn we would be so good together we would be soulmates.

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Me, to my crush: So when are we gonna meet up again?

Crush: Um, I dunno. (and then proceeds to not reply for days)

(#yesIknowmylifeissad #whoswithme)

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Best friend: But I think YOU need to stop pretending too. It shows in your facial expressions and the way you talk. Stop trying to act all emo and tough.

Me: I guess it’s my self defense mechanism. I hate feeling vulnerable. I try to put up a strong front.

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Me: Did you know that I have dimples, when I laugh?

S.O.: Did you know that I have dimples?

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Me, to myself: Stop worrying. Get up and do something.

The story of how I fell asleep and missed my interview with Pixie Lott

Hey readers,

I feel like, because it’s hard to find an avid fashion blogger my age in Korea, lots of people tend to think I must be an incredibly amazing blogger. The thing is, whether I’m interviewing America’s Next Top Model models, hosting collaboration projects, or talking to magazine editors, I slip up a lot. And I mean A LOT.

For example, the other day I was supposed to be interviewing Pixie Lott, but I FELL ASLEEP AND MISSED IT.

Yep, you read that correctly. I just literally could not attend the online webinar BECAUSE I WAS FRIGGIN SLEEPING. IN MY BED. And this is THE PIXIE LOTT we’re talking ’bout here.

So here’s what happened. Recently I found a blogger community newsletter in my heap of emails. There was a link to attend the online Q&A session with Pixie Lott, hosted by the brand Magnitone. Of course, being a Pixie Lott fan, I applied. As I waited in anxiety and anticipation, I received an email informing me that I’d made it; that I’d been chosen to participate in the exclusive live webinar session with Pixie Lott. At that point I could practically imagine the looks of utter shock and admiration on people’s faces when they found out about it. Tingling with excitement, I posted this on facebook.

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And people were in awe, as I’d expected.

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I was too busy basking in the glory of being the first person among my friends to be able to exclusively interview someone as famous as Pixie Lott, that at first I did not realize that the Q&A session was in three hours. I was probably the last person put on the list.

I honestly freaked out when I read the words ‘Reminder: the exclusive Q&A session with Pixie Lott is in three hours(4AM)!’ in my business inbox. I’d been studying at school until 10PM that day, I was tired, I needed a shower and a nice few hours of sound sleep. A short internal conflict occurred in my head-should I stay up until 4AM and talk to Pixie Lott, or should I just forget it and get some sleep? After a split second, I decided that the former would definitely have to happen, because, who knows, this could be my big break, right? You never know in the blogging world.

So I drank my coffee, washed my face, and sat at my desk to prepare myself for the painful three hours of cruel, wearisome waiting in anticipation and irritation from severe sleep deprivation that were to come. I did everything to keep myself awake. After all, I couldn’t let my readers(you guys) down, and my friends were counting on me to nail this Q&A session and tell them all about it.

AND THEN guess what I did. I got a little drowsy, so I thought, ‘just 5 minutes…yes…I’ll just close my eyes for just, just…5 minutes’, and then I WENT TO MY BED. Now there’s one thing you need to know about my bed-it’s the coziest, softest, most sleep-inducing patch of space on planet Earth. It’s truly a fine bed. And as I lay down, I kept telling myself, ‘Everything will be fine… I’m sure I’ll get up before 4…’ BUT NO.

NO, NO, NO. JUST. NO. I DID NOT get up before 4. In fact I did not get up at all until the clock struck 7:10 AM. I opened my eyes, got straight up, stared at the clock, rubbed my eyes, then stared some more. The clock definitely said 7:10. I panicked for a while, even thinking, ‘well..well…maybe the webinar isn’t over! Maybe I’ll still get to talk to Pixie…’ But I regained my logical thinking skills, muttered some bad language about how I was such an idiot(WHICH I WAS), and went back to bed, because, you know, maybe it was just a big bad dream(which it wasn’t).

And that’s my story of how I almost, just almost, interviewed Pixie Lott. My friends were totally bummed when I told them, of course. My mother just laughed at me. I was mad at myself for a while but then, oh well.

This post was supposed to be about my almost-happened interview with Pixie Lott, but since it didn’t happen, here’s my reflection on the whole situation.

Thinking back now, firstly, I’m beginning to realize it’s not that big of a deal. #YOLO. Just kidding. That hashtag is overused. But seriously though, take that in for a moment-You Only Live Once. If I only live once, I wanna make mistakes, especially while I’m still young. I’m only human. There’s no point dwelling on the past and getting angry all over again. It’s a waste of precious time. Secondly, while I do need to forgive myself and move on, I also need to learn from my mistakes. Me missing the interview chance was totally my fault. I cannot blame anyone else for it since it was just the result of me being an idiot. Blogging and tackling school work all at once is turning out to be harder than I thought, and I do struggle. However, since I made the conscious choice to continue on with my blogging career, I need to start being more responsible for it. I need to improve my time management, primarily.

I also need to focus on the essence of my blogging. I always told myself that I didn’t want to be the type of fashion blogger that just posts photos of Chanel and Givenchy, accepting unhealthy fashion ideals and passing selling them on to the public as if those standards are the ultimate rules of fashion, conforming to trends without critical thinking. However, these days I often find myself thirsty for opportunities with famous, popular people that might give me my ‘big break’. It’s ridiculous, I know. I need to focus on my writing; my posts, which express my true colours and insights, and stop floating above my conscience, swimming on the edge of glamour and undeserved fame. This is my confession and promise to you guys that from now on I’ll remind myself each day of why I’m staying up this late(or NOT staying up, in the case of how my Pixie Lott interview went down, haha) and take myself to the beginning whenever I feel like I’m becoming too obsessed with the shallow glittery stuff. Because I believe I can make a positive change and contribute to the development of self-expression.

I love you guys. Thank you.

The friend that looks amazing in her soccer uniform and sneakers

Hey readers,

The time has finally come for me to show you guys the photos I’ve been taking with the new camera that my friend Jen lent me.

I took loads of photos of my friend Jiyeon. She has a unique look, an interesting sense of style, and an easygoing attitude, so she makes the perfect model to work with. The sunlight was just perfect when we were taking these photos.

So this is what we managed to create after about two hours of light bickering and fooling around with the camera(which was a Canon DSLR, by the way).

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The one above is my personal favorite. It was hard to get the right angle though.

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“Why are they always telling me to sit?”

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I love photos of natural, honest moments, like the one above.

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Thanks : ) Don’t forget to leave a comment!

Picnic in the woods

Hey readers,

Although I’m not a big fan of being in the sun (UV RAYS! UGH!), I must admit that the right amount of sunlight and a green, nature-filled background can create amazing photos. Here are some photos I took with my sister on a picnic.

Keepin’ it simple with a white oversized shirt and black shorts.

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To like or comment on this post, just click the title of this post and scroll down to the bottom : )

Have a lovely day!