Squishy & Sweet

A year of learning

Jan 2 2015 8 Comments

Happy New Year to everyone out there! :D

It’s been a crazy year for me emotionally and family-wise, but things are getting much better. I wanted to start this new year with a fresh new look, a promise to actively update this blog, among other things.

It’s pretty funny how you can learn a lot about yourself by going through your old stuff, or by the way you craft things. Even by the way you handle stress, it’s pretty telling of a person (I don’t handle stress very well, to be honest). I also learned a lot about people this past year. Mostly negative things, but that won’t deter me. People that call you their friend then throw you in the dirt when they can’t get stuff for free, for example. Or people that run out of “uses” for you, as well.

We’re not chopped liver, you know? People have feelings.

On another topic, we’ve been having a lot of cat trouble. We took one of our kitties to the vet and ever since we got back (four days ago), our male cat’s been very aggressive towards her and the others. We’ve tried a lot of things, including secluding him, feeding them all tuna / food at the same time, brushing them all with the same brush, etc. It’s heart breaking keeping him locked away until we can get to the vet.

All that stuff aside, what did you learn the last year? What are your goals for this new year?

Safety Not Guarenteed

Mar 28 2014 6 Comments

This is an open letter to myself, so that I can come back and read it. And I’m not ashamed of writing this publicly.

Melissa, you’ve pretty much felt like a loser since you were fifteen years old. And even though you might’ve accomplished a lot since then, you’ve never felt that way. As the years passed, you’ve been dwelling on things you could’ve done and you’ll never do. But I think it’s time you just shut up and did those things.

Try to remember how you feel tonight. Full of optimism and motivation, and wanting to be a better person. The only thing stopping you is you. Take a deep breath and do what you think is impossible. Make it possible. Believe. You’re the only person- Thing -stopping yourself. Be more honest with yourself and put a hundred percent into everything you do. No one’s going to love what you do more than you. So you need to start believing that, too.

No more self pity. No more procrastination. Because no one’s going to hold your hand and turn you magically into the person you want to become. Only you can do that.

And, to top things off, our song is playing. This is a universal sign, woman. Go get the world.

A New Design

Mar 27 2014 2 Comments


Not much to say here. I thought I might motivate myself to blog (again) with a fresh coat of paint. It’s somewhat responsive (got a bit lazy. but it’s for me so it’s okay, right?) and black, white and purple. I created the backgrounds used as well, not that they’re too amazing.

So what’s been up? Not much to say. With the risk of sounding like a lame person, I’ve been pretty depressed and such recently so it’s been hard to motivate myself to do anything at all. I figured if I was going to have any kind of energy (be it negative or positive) that I should pour that into something productive. So, viola.

I miss blogging. I wish I was as in-love with it like I was years ago. But that can be said about the rest of my hobbies, too.

Chyrp: A mini How-To series

Dec 2 2013 14 Comments

First, a bit of background story.

Some of you have been asking me about Chyrp, a lightweight CMS project. So I decided to write up a few mini guides on here about what it is, why it’s so awesome, and how to theme it. I’ve been working with it for my upcoming portfolio’s blog and it’s been pure bliss to use.

So, what the heck is Chyrp, anyway?

No, Chyrp has nothing to do with Twitter (chirp, get it? badum ch!). Chyrp is a CMS, which stands for Content Management System. It’s lightweight (like a feather? eh, eh? see where I’m going?), meaning it doesn’t take up a lot of space on your hosting account and doesn’t demand a whole lot of resources from the server you’re running it on. It’s so lightweight, in fact, that you can run it without MySQL (more on that later).

If that all sounded like gibberish to you or made you scratch your head, it’s basically this. It’s like Tumblr and WordPress had a baby. And that’s what makes it so freakin’ awesome.

Gasp! Nothing is like WordPress / Tumblr!

The reason I say it’s a cross between the two is because of it’s ease of use. WordPress and Tumblr are extremely easy to just dive into and start blogging, and even make static pages for. Chyrp has a much lighter footprint than WordPress (have you checked your WordPress install lately? WordPress takes up a minimum of 13mb. chryp takes less than 2mb!). Like Tumblr, Chyrp makes use of a nifty templating language (Twig), which makes it less anxiety-inducing for newcomers. Do you remember your very first dive into WordPress theming? Yikes!

Chyrp, through “Feathers” (think of Feathers like different kinds of post types), let’s you do pretty much what Tumblr does. You can create image posts, video posts, audio posts, quote posts, link posts, chat posts, and even file posts. Each different post type can be designed to look completely unique from the other, or simply have a label saying “Text” for text posts, and so on.

Chyrp lets you choose what you want and don’t want in your install, right off the bat. You don’t want comments? Don’t enable them. You want just text posts? Don’t enable the other feathers. You want people to be able to “like” your posts? There’s something for that, too. You can make your Chyrp install a simple site with static pages, or run your next group blog on it. You don’t even need MySQL to run it. So you can take that 2mb folder and back it up to your computer with no problems.

What I’m trying to get at is that Chyrp is freakin’ awesome. Stay tuned for the next post, when I dive into installing it and setting up some features.

You can check out Chyrp at Featured image created by me, using Chyrp’s design colors.

My own personal “Shining”

Oct 24 2013 9 Comments

Up until recently we’ve been living in a small resort condo / weirdly laid-out room thanks to my fiance’s job, who owns the property and flew us out to Cali. We were there almost a month with no minor mishaps except for the occasional internet going out or kids trampling up and down stairs (possibly playing “Who can stomp around the hardest”, the sweet little cretins). Things were pretty smooth sailing. Nothing like a room that hasn’t been updated since the 80s to make you feel at home. Mmm, flowery sheets.

Then, one cold night around eight, the lights in our room flickered before finally giving out. Coming from Miami, this wasn’t anything new. We were practically trained since birth to deal with power outages. I even think it’s a heritage or culture thing for all Miamians to have Jesus and Mary candles under their bathroom sinks. Whipping one out for each of the family members like a flashlight, “Here’s your St. Lazarus, go read a book”. Point is, we’re used to it. So the hubs and I decided to walk outside and take a stroll. As soon as we cracked open that door, it was like a picture from an eerily beautiful nightmare.

It was snowing. Not just snowing, but a torrent of a blizzard falling down. And not only was it blizzarding, it was dark. The resort was completely blacked out. Not only was the resort blacked out, but the entire town was experiencing a blackout due to the first snow of the season. Just picture the scenario for a moment. You walk out from your home, and you’re greeted with two feet of snow at your feet and a silent, dead, bleak, pitch-black town. I whipped out my phone and shine the flash over the resort. It was like a scene from “The Shining”. An old, large resort in the middle of winter with no where for the tenants to run. You could maybe hear the scraping of an axe along the snow coming towards you.

It was pretty spooky. And awesome.

We made our way carefully to the lobby, trying not to trip in my crappy clearly-not-suited-for-snow shoes. Once we got there we greeted Jake, our humble front desk employee and gathered around the dim glow of green glowsticks, waiting for the power to return. To be honest, nothing of crazy proportions happened. Someone said a car slipped in snow and took out a transformer, another person mentioned maybe two (or even three) transformers caught fire, no one knows. All we knew was that we were flippin’ cold and wanted power back.

And so, our story ends with the power returning three hours later. No mentions of a fire, or calamities, or lootings. Just another day in a sleepy little mountain town.

Featured image taken by me. The morning after “The Shining”.

Reviving a beloved hobby

Sep 17 2013 7 Comments

Hello, hello! For those of you that don’t know who I am (all of you?!), my name is Melissa and I’ve been blogging since I was about fifteen (ten years!). Well, that’s not a hundred percent accurate since I took quite a few years away from the hobby. I previously ran (abandoned) my blog at, which is now going to be the home for my portfolio.

I felt that fits who I am, and it holds a positive, warm, inviting feeling for me. It’s my Twitter username, Tumblr username, just about every username online now. If it’s Mallowdrop, it’s most likely me. ;D

I am a freelance web designer (accepting work currently!), casual video game enthusiast, Doctor Who “Who Girl”, and own a bunch of crazy cats. I recently moved to California from Florida due to my fiance’s job relocation (huzzah!) and definitely feel like this is my time to revive active blogging for myself and improve myself as a person overall. I’m even considering new hobbies, such as photography and vlogging. Though truth be told, I’m a very shy person.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Let me hear ’em!

Featured image courtesy of Dracoart Stock.