Hi. It’s me. I’m still here.

Today this blog turns 14 years old. When I was 14, I had my period for the first time (I was SO relieved because I was the last girl in the class to get her period, I seriously thought I had some weird, inexplicable illness), and I also had a major crush on a boy for the first time.

This is how this blog has been, just like a 14-year-old, going through all the freaky hormonal changes, alienated by her mainstream peers, somewhat lonely, slightly emo, inadvertently enigmatic and occasionally suicidal.

Every year I feel a little reluctant to write this post on this date because every time it feels like I’m writing its will. Its last words. But it is something I just have to do.

Frankly I have been updating way less than I’ve loved to, and it’s not really that I’m so busy that I don’t have the time to, that’d be a bad excuse. In fact I’m having a lot more time to myself compared to a few years before when I had a toddler pulling my pajama and an infant strapped to my chest on top of leaky boobs and a kitchen on fire. It’s just that I’m taking more time off the internet and spending more time for… trying to also live a non-internet a life, I guess?

I saw this advertisement on a table of a hipster hostel in Bali a few days ago.

And then I thought to myself, the online world is not my scene anymore. I travel so much yet I have very little things to share nowadays, because I feel that the audience are so satiated with their never ending feed to scroll through and a gazillion things the internet is demanding you to explore (“I think you will like this yawning cat video CLICK ON IT BEFORE I SHOW YOU MORE RAINBOW ACAI BOWLS!”)  that nothing ever seems to impress anymore. (Do we really need more donut unicorn floats?) I really miss the time when we travel just for travel, and take a nice photo and think that it is nice instead of having to try to make it look a lot nicer that it actually is. Now everyone will have to spend the entire trip scoring that Instagenic series of color-coordinated, filter-embellished curated feed. It’s also altering the way I see the real world because now every time I look at a travel photo I will have to mentally equip myself with a de-filterizer to try to imagine what it actually looks like before all the editing. I’m not sure if this make traveling more or less exciting.

Admittedly I try to keep with that whenever I can, because it’s a necessity for anyone who’s trying to survive in the game, like free wifi in hotels. (Seriously? These people still charge for wifi??) But this shift of focus in social media is also taking a huge chunk of fun out of it that I honestly enjoy Instagram a lot less these days. I’ve also failed to keep up with all the new features and stuff. (TV? What TV. The only TV i’m interested in are ridiculous Japanese variety shows that make their comedian eat nothing but tiramisu for one week.) But I think I enjoy IG stories the most, because I can still be myself, I can post the most awful photos (dying mosquito??) and the most unpleasant snippets (another mosquito trying not to die) yet I see people enjoying what I share. (Unfortunately many mosquitoes have been harmed in the process of making these IG stories. I apologize for it.)

This February, I have made a promise to myself (and as my gratitude to all who have stayed loyal to this blog and its social media extension) that I’d make myself useful and stay true to #Cheesieapproved – by recommending only products/service that I genuinely like, including products that make mosquito die mysteriously. I think I have kept to it so far and I will continue to do so. Of course that also means that I will have to lose out on many opportunities (I will never be able to milk money out of Shieldtox now), but that’s okay because new challenges and chances will always come. So will mosquitoes.

And in year 2018, I think have easily won the Most Unglam Aunty Influencer Award hands down. (If you think someone can beat me to it please let me know, I’d like to learn a thing or two from my Senpai Aunty bloggers lol.)

Have you seen the products I have endorsed in this past year? Instead of collaborating with glam beauty names and endorsing stylish fashion brands, I am advocating floor cleaners, dish washing sponges, laundry detergent, kitchen towels, vacuum cleaner, sanitary pads and toilet washlets.

(Seriously, have you seen any other influencer who has to deal with so much cleaning and scrubbing and mopping and wiping and dirt-removing AND SO MUCH TOILETS or not?

And it is okay you know why? BECAUSE I FREAKING LOVE THESE STUFF. AND JAPANESE WASHLETS ARE WORLD BEST. I like supporting world best.

I have never thought that promoting a duster would make me so happy. And do you know anyone else who is making a living on the internet scrubbing the toilet?

(Actually, you don’t even need to scrub if you use this product. That’s how time has change, y’all.)

AND I AM PROUD OF MY TOILET CLEANING SKILL.

I may as well be The Toilet Blogger :D, you think that’d work?

Also? I’m also about to promote a life-changing dish washing product. You are welcome. Now I just need a Japanese cling wrap company to ask me to be their ambassador and my resume will be complete. Anyone can pull some plastic films… I mean strings?  I’d be so Glad® to seal a deal like this. Keep the auntiness rolling. Play it fresh. Nice way to wrap up my aunty blogging career.

(Pro tip: Glad® sucks. Use Saran Rappu or Kure Rappu instead. Buy it as souvenirs for your friends when you visit Japan. They will thank you.)

So. bad puns aside.

I think I can no longer measure up to producing visually inspiring photos because I only know how to do one type of make up and I only have a total of 3 sets of outfits that I am confident to wear without feeling ridiculous and I don’t know the relationship between aperture and focal length and I don’t know how to clone the sky and flowers for painting-looking photos.

But I think I still have other things I can share that could be useful for someone out there.

For example mixing weird ingredients into a pasta. (Someone told me tuna and broccoli sounded like a disaster combo before she actually tried it.)

I never thought a lazy recipe that I recreated from a Japanese cooking show could get near 3000 saves.

(Hey all the 200 of you who saved this but didn’t give me like. You are stingy, make me look unpopular and I hate you.)

(Just kidding. I like you and please like me back.)

If half of these people actually cooked the dish (successfully or not), it means that I have kind of, sort of determined what 1500 people served on their dining table for themselves or their loved ones on at least one occasion.

I think that’s freaking amazing, not Martha-Steward-amazing, but still kind of, sort of quite amazing.

Now the question is, did anyone laosai from the pasta? Haha.

Anyway.

HAPPY 14TH BIRTHDAY, BLOG.

Blogniversary questions every year.

This time I want to ask a different question.

1.Like huh why are you still here?

 

Thank you again, this year.

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BONUS:

Here’s the screenshot of the Story that you guys missed (I’ll spare you the snippet of a Balinese mosquito catching its last breath). The brand is Kincho, and I bought it from Rakuten Online. I was tipped that Matsumoto Kiyoshi (drug store in Japan) sells it.

You are welcome.

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