Saturday, April 23, 2016

[[ I AM TIRED OF DIETING ]]


        
When I say diet, I mean eat-all-you-can diet.

          Food. Fooood. Fooooooood. Why though hast forsaken me? Drama queening aside, I have a love-hate relationship with food. I love eating but it doesn't love me back. I am a voracious eater, perennially hungry but looks like someone who starves herself like an anorexic. Weighing no more than 90 pounds, I am a constant subject to interrogations on whether I eat no more than half a nibble a day. Let me make the record straight. I do not starve myself to be skinny. In fact, I am trying my hardest to gain weight because I am aware that I am underweight. I want to have what my guy friend s call "bumper". It is difficult to feel like a woman when you are as flat as a pancake, if you know what I mean.

          There was only twice in my life that I gained weight. First was when I was studying in Northern Illinois University as an exchange student. In a month, I gained 13 pounds. That is no surprise since my daily diet consists of breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald's and at least three bars of Hershey's milk chocolate with almonds after dinner. I replaced water with soda. My favorite is 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew which I can finish in three breaths.

          But when I got back to the Philippines, I cannot maintain that lifestyle anymore for many reasons like we don't have McDo in Marawi, Hershey's is sold at around 30 pesos (i used to buy it for less than a dollar at the vending machine on the second floor of Holmes Student Center Hotel in NIU), and I realized that I can't fit well anymore in my extra-small clothes. I realized I am not used to the muffin top and the love handles. I realized that the shape of my face is so round like that of Judy Ann Santos when she was her fattest. I shrunk back to my normal self in no time.

          And then I missed being huggable. I obsessed over gaining pounds for the sake of looking healthy and well-fed. But I am an emotional eater. When my pseudo bipolar self swings into the depressive mode, everything loses its taste. My throat dries out and gulping down is a chore. I am tired of dieting, eat-all-you-can way. Say I am too skinny. Say I am anorexic. I don't care anymore.



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Youtube-Hosted Adsense for Blogger: How I Got Approved

Adsense for Blogs

When starting a blog, one of the concerns is how do we make the hobby become sustainable? Some of us pay for domains and hosting. Add the hours spent on writing content; if there is no way for the blog to earn a little, it will become counter-intuitive.

Good thing there are companies that offer to pay bloggers for displaying their ads. The most popular is Google's Adsense.



After going around forums and reading reviews, Adsense seems to be the best one out there. However, it takes some time for a blog to be approved. Many don't get approved at all.

My blog is barely two months with 30 posts when I applied, fortunately, it passed the screening and now I am displaying Adsense on this blog.

My fellow bloggers may be interested to know what I did to get approved. Here's how:

1. Prior to applying for Adsense for my blog, I already have one that is hosted by Youtube. I could have applied for a separate Adsense account for my blog but I could not as my blog and my Youtube are both hosted by Google. I can, however, upgrade the hosted account to a regular Adsense account by submitting the link of my blog and have it reviewed for approval.

2. Knowing that Google has certain standards in approving websites fit for Adsense, I did not submit my link prematurely. I did first the following:


  • Write quality content over a span of two months.
  • Write About, Contact Us and Privacy Policy pages. 
  • Have a top-level domain (ayeeshadicali.com instead of storiesfromsouth.blogspot.com).
  • Choose a clean and easy to navigate template.
  • Removed the other ads that I used to host (Bidevertiser, Media.net)


3. When I felt that my blog has enough content and has followed all the requisites for Adsense, I submitted my URL. I got a reply of approval 2 days later.

Adsense won't earn enough as I don't have that much volume of traffic yeat, but at least I know that my blog has some sort of monetary payback right now. I'm not totally wasting my time blogging. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

I will be writing more on the specific steps (e.g. Privacy Policy, quality content) as soon as I can.

Music Festival Season



To many artists, musicians, celebs, hipsters, Instagrammers, and music lovers, April marks the beginning of the season of music festivals. Coachella, this generation's Woodstock, is bringing the biggest stars this year: Elie Goulding, Of Monsters and Men, Foals, Years& Years, Joey BadAss, ASAP Rocky, Softest Hard, Guns N' Roses, Ice Cube, CHVRCHES. Moon Taxi, Zedd, Calvin Harris, Sia, The 1975, Flume and so many more.

Browsing through Maxine Magalona's Instagram account documenting her Coachella experience makes me jealous.

I can only imagine a crowd of millenials high with whatever that's making them high, big artists, flower crowns, sick instruments, sexy guitars like Amer Elites, hipster sunnies, parties everywhere, outrageous fashion choices, light shows, art installations, and everything that screams music fest.

This one is on my bucket list. I hope I am not too old when I get to go myself.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blogging with My Own Top-Level Domain

Blogging With Top-Level Domain

I am happy to announce that after two months of painstakingly building this blog, I now have a top-level domain of my own. Previously, the url of this blog is storiesfromthesouth.blogspot.com, it's quite a mouthful. Now, I am blogging at www.ayeeshadicali.com. Yey! It is a dream come true.


I wanted to have a top-level domain because...

1. Because  .com appears more professional than a .blogspot.com. It comes accross as being serious in blogging as the blogger invested in buying a domain. I am deeply grateful to Kai Darul of Lilpink-A Hijabi's Blog. for gifting me the domain. I don't have a credit card and she bought the domain name for me as a token of being online friends since forever. 

Domain names are bought from domain registries like GoDaddy.com, 1and1.com, and Namecheap.com. Mine was bought from Namecheap.com for a little over 10 dollars, good for 1 year. If your blog is hosted by Blogger, setting up a custom domain is a breeze. I can't be bothered by paid hosting in addition to buying domain name that is why I opted for Blogger instead of Wordpress.org. Most tech-savvy would argue of the merits of using Wordpress but I'd rather stick to Blogger because it isn't as fussy. 

2. Because having my own name as a domain name boosts my ego. You know, in the name of vanity. Kidding aside, one of the reasons I blog is that I want to market myself as a writer/journalist. Having a blog lets me have a space in the world wide web where I can showcase my body of work. Thus, because this blog represents my brand, I am naming it after me.

I am writing this as a reminder that on

April 17, 2016

I finally had my name as a top-level domain.

Here's to more years of expanding horizons and chiseling our own space online!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Vote and Help Global Innovation through Science and Technology Semi-Finalists from the Philippines make it to the Finals!

USA flag

U.S. Embassy Manila is pleased to announce that two of the semi-finalists selected in the 2016 U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I pitch competition are from the Philippines.


The GIST Tech-I pitch competition is an annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide.

Mary Christine Ong-Reyes and Corina Lisa Cruzare among the 102 semi-finalists selected from 51 countries. Out of the semi-finalists up to 30 finalists will receive a trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley to showcase their ventures and to receive intensive one-on-one mentorship and training.

Help Mary Christine and Corina make it to the finals by voting for them!

Mary Christine's idea, ParentUp, is a mobile app that helps parents with newborns obtain information and emotional support for their health and well-being from pregnancy to postpartum.Meanwhile, Corina's startup, Joomajam, is an easy-to-use educational activity pack that combines bilingual music, videos and games to spark multi-domain education and nurture lifelong learners.  You may view Mary Christine and Corina’s pitch videos here.

Voting began on April 1 and will continue until May 1. Please see this link for further instructions on how to vote.

For more information on the U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I pitch competition, click here.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

[[ IT RESUMES HERE ]]


Blogging will resume in this site. More personal stories that I can't write on my other blog.

Sittie Ayeesha Dicali