Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving, and to my international readers, I hope you all are having a great holiday season. I spent the first couple of days of my break making a video to commemorate Thanksgiving, which you can watch here. Strawberry Shortcake encourages her friends to state what they're thankful for, but in response she receives some very bizarre answers.

I will spend the rest of my Thanksgiving break relaxing rather than vlogging like I did last year. To clarify, this means that there won't be a Thanksgiving episode of Berry Bitty Vlogs this year (I'm debating whether or not to vlog Christmas), but I'm sure no one will mind. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy whatever time I have left before finals.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Update

I'll admit, it's weird acknowledging the month of October. Halloween is coming up, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and then 2017 will swoop in as if 2016 never happened. It's alarming how fast 2016 has gone by and likely that 2017 will travel at an even faster pace. Where has time gone? :/

Speaking of the holidays, since Halloween is around the corner, the thought struck me to play the Sims again. After all, I haven't played it since March, and at that time the game was really laggy which is why I haven't touched it in seven months. And this time, I wanted to try something different: I wanted to film my first ever let's play (I'm sure you can accurately assume it'd be about the Strawberry Shortcake characters). I spent all of Thursday night trying not to rip my hair out trying to set up a screen recorder until at last I did so with success. The next morning I tried opening Sims, and for one thing it was loading even slower than usual, another thing being that it crashed right when it almost finished loading. Since then, I've tried reloading the game, updating Origin, restarting my computer, and closing out other running programs, all to no avail. My saved game just refuses to open. After all the time and money I spent on that game, it's ridiculous that it would behave this way, but most of all I'm devastated because I wanted to upload my first let's play for Halloween, which would become the first of a short gaming series chronicling SSC and friends' adventures in Sims Berry Bitty City. Ugh. So now I'm both sad and fuming and desperately trying to fix my game before Halloween drops by in fifteen days. I've searched a few methods on Google, so hopefully they'll fix my problem.

It's tradition for me to upload a Halloween video of some sort to my YouTube channel every year, but at this rate I don't know if I'll have the time. My teachers keep dropping tests on me, and I'm still crazy busy with Project SSC and writing scripts, etc, for other projects. Then by Thanksgiving break I need to start on episode nine of A Day in Berry Bitty City. Yay.... Running a YouTube channel becomes very challenging when you're running everything by yourself.

In the meantime, I plan to try to get my game fixed and possibly record a Halloween skit in between my school schedule. I wonder if I can get it all done before my fifteen days are up. *GULP*

Update: I managed to get my game fixed and got my Halloween gameplay up in the knick of time! You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZqQsWAaVN0

Monday, August 1, 2016

6 Years on YouTube: My Journey So Far

Six years. That's a long time! It's tough to believe that my YouTube channel is as old as a child in first grade. So much has changed since 2010: I was younger, carefree, and uploaded low-quality slideshows and lyric videos about Strawberry Shortcake. Back in the day, I even uploaded a video or two of myself, but thank goodness they're gone from the face of the earth.

Fast forward six years, and you may have realized a lot has changed for me. Things aren't as simple as they used to be, nor are they as carefree, but I guess that's just a part of growing up: you lose your naivety and begin to see situations and people for what and who they really are. But in every circumstance and through the process of growing up, one thing hasn't changed: my passion for video-making. I remember back in 2009 and 2010 I'd spend up to nine or more hours a day working on a video. At the time, I didn't care about the quality of the content - what only mattered was that I had another video to showcase to my family.

Content-wise I have matured to a significant extent. Making videos is more like a business than a pasttime now, and unlike my younger self, if I'm not pleased with what I've created, I will scrap the whole thing despite how long it could've taken me to make it. YouTube is no longer a hobby for me - it's a lifestyle. It's really shaped my perception and has pushed my creativity to the limit. And when I see so many other youtubers finding success by following their dreams and doing what they love, they encourage me and help me to believe that one day I might attain the same.

Currently, my channel is still very small. In the time it took me to reach 2,000 subscribers (about 2 years), someone else would have already reached a million. Somehow, it's much easier for everyone else to grow their channels and fan base than it is for me, but I've taken the time to learn that it's okay. Success doesn't come by merely being popular, and let me tell you this, I've never been popular anywhere. I've always been the nobody in the group when it comes to anything, so you can imagine the feeling when just a handful of people tell me how much they enjoy my videos. The YouTube race can be gruesome, it can be exhausting, and if you've been on there long enough you'll understand the struggle that most users battle, the struggle of staying relevant. My videos aren't as popular as they used to be; with so many bigger name youtubers uploading Strawberry Shortcake videos now, my content very easily gets drowned out, and the end result is my channel staying in the shadows. It's a tough fight, but I come prepared. When I fall short of my goals, I'm empowered to try harder, and I won't give up until I beat the odds.

Thinking back, I never would have imagined being where I am today with my YouTube channel, even if I still have a relatively small influence. Six years ago, I imagined that by now I would have been done with YouTube and moved on to other things. I thought I would be much more independent, mature, and would have lost all interest in my Strawberry Shortcake toys, but obviously things turned out to be quite the opposite. I'm still very much the same person with the same passions. I may get older and wiser, but deep down I'm still the same little girl who wanted her own cartoon on Disney Channel (yes, that actually happened, which is funny because now I don't even like Disney that much).

These six years on YouTube have gone by very quickly yet very slowly. If I've come this far, there must be something greater in store, and I'm very curious and excited to find out what it is. I'll just have to continue to be patient and see where being a youtuber leads me. Will you join me on my journey?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Strawberry Shortcake Series in the Works for 2017?

Ever since the abrupt conclusion to the fourth season of Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures, fans have eagerly awaited official word about a possible fifth season. Not surprisingly, it's been a year since season four aired, and still nothing has been said about season five. A while back I discovered that voice actress and dancer Courtney Christine will take over three of the main characters' roles on the show, which at the time gave me hope of there being a fifth season. You can watch my video discussing the topic here.

Unfortunately, ten months later there's still no other news about the potential fifth season. Then in May of this year, it was suddenly announced that Strawberry's getting an all-new television series altogether, heightening my suspicion that Berry Bitty Adventures might not return for a fifth season after all. If you want all the details on this topic, check out my other video here. If Strawberry Shortcake's getting a brand-new TV series, I expect it to be ten times better than it's predecessor, but that's not what I came to write about today. Today, I'm going to tell you about my new Strawberry Shortcake series.

I'm sure you're aware that my series is merely fan-based and not affiliated with the real thing, so just clearing the air before anyone thinks I'm on the official staff or something. I've had recurring thoughts about how I can reach older audiences with my Strawberry Shortcake videos on my YouTube channel. The accepted standard holds that the SSC fan base is composed of babies and babies only - this is somewhat true in regards to what the franchise states is its target audience (little girls and their mothers, typically. No room for people like me), so I thought I'd penetrate the tight mold in an effort to break it. How will I do this? By making Strawberry Shortcake and her friends act more mature. Simple and mildly corny only begin to describe the episodic plots in Berry Bitty Adventures. It was painful to watch Strawberry and her friends spend an entire episode trying to figure out why their pets were afraid of their hats. That's why I'm making it a goal to have more relatable plots and to emphasize the struggles of growing up. Strawberry and her friends will deal with financial troubles, betrayal, and love triangles (Ick. I'm a little nervous to do that one. But hey, it's what everyone wanted to see in Berry Bitty Adventures while the producers tried to pass off Blueberry and Huck's relationship as purely friend-based, so I'm meeting the fans' requests), all while trying to keep up with society's trends. Part of my inspiration for including modern trends is the Strawberry Shortcake stop motion series Beyond the Box. It's a great example of creating content that appeals to more than just one audience, and they successfully did so without making it inappropriate. My series will take a step up from the official, but it won't be inappropriate; instead there will be a few jokes and implications an older audience will better understand. There won't, howeverbe any cussing or sexual jokes - that's just disgusting, and I would never want to put my audience through that (the most "cussing" Strawberry and her friends will do is shout random fruit names - perfectly appropriate, haha).

For now, the title of my new series will remain top secret until its release date. I don't know how many times I've created a title or concept for someone to later steal it and lie saying I copied them when it's the other way around. This being said, I also won't give away details of the episodes' plots until they're also released. I'm just staying on the safe side. I've thought about this new series non-stop since last Christmas, so I want it to be perfect - and I think, or at least hope, everyone will like it. Fingers crossed!

Before you go, be sure to check out Strawberry Shortcake and Huckleberry Pie's announcement of my new web series. They're just as excited about it as I am! Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/mirandashortcake2) if you want to find out when my new series will air! I'm aiming for early August.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lifestyle Changes

One thing I've been doing this summer is looking up recipes - vegan recipes, to be precise. Veganism is a large trend that continues to grow; I'm not usually one to follow trends, but once I discovered all the benefits of veganism, I decided it would be what's best both for animals and my body.

I pretty much grew up on meat - meatloaf, roasted chicken, hamburgers - you name it - so I know this transition might be difficult, but I'm willing to make the change. Before I make any official decisions, I'm gathering a ton of vegan recipes and trying them out to see how I like them. There are plenty of helpful YouTube tutorials with recipes to give the vegan noobs an idea of what they can eat once they cut meat and dairy products from their diet. At the same time, from trying these recipes I can further teach myself how to cook, which will come in handy by the time I'm off on my own.

To my relief, there's a vegan substitution for just about any non-vegan food. I was delighted to find cakes, cookies, biscuits, brownies... okay, I admit, I've mostly been looking at desserts, but I've been looking up other dishes, too, I promise! ;) When I start advancing with my cooking skills, I'm thrilled to learn how to make my own pizza! And the best part is that while I learn these recipes and get to eat all of this delicious (hopefully) food, I'm also going to improve my health. It's the best of both worlds! I am going to miss some things about not being vegan (if I decide to go all out. If veganism doesn't work for me, maybe I could at least become a vegetarian?); my guilty pleasures are white cheddar Cheez-Its, sliced cheese, and ice cream. I can't imagine living without these things, but I'm sure I'll move on from them eventually.

I tried my hand at some vegan pancakes today, and to my surprise they turned out really well! I have to say, they don't taste exactly like regular pancakes (probably because of the banana. Yeah, not a big fan of cooked banana, but that's beside the point), but it's still a good alternative if I have my mouth set on some buttery hot cakes. Do they look mouthwatering?

I'll continue to try vegan recipes and see where this path to veganism takes me. Keep you posted!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Summertime Endeavors

Here it is again: summer vacation. After a stressful semester of school, I'm applauding for summer's return even though I can't believe I've been on summer break for nearly a month now, and this brings me to my current predicament. I want - no, need - to spend my free time wisely, but honestly, I kind of just want to nap all day to catch up on all the sleep I've lost during the school year. It's very challenging not to fall into the trap of laziness.

So what do I have planned this summer? Not much, really. I'm fantasizing about a tropical vacation on the beach or strolling the streets of New York City, but if you want an accurate image of what I'm doing, visualize me in my bedroom working my butt off filming some new videos. That's just it - I have so many ideas for new videos that I have no idea where to start. I literally have video ideas I thought of three to four years ago that I still want to film, and on top of that I have three new series I want to start, a possible movie in the works, and various other skits and discussions that I keep pushing to the side. Plus, don't forget I have to work on episodes nine and ten of A Day in Berry Bitty City. Gosh, I'm getting a headache just thinking about it all. Throw in some script-writing, set-making, and clothes designing, and my days are pretty much packed.

That's what's so hard about managing a YouTube channel: I have to do everything myself. Come to think of it, I'm pretty much a one-person production team. I can only work on my projects one at a time, and if I dare try to work on several at once, it'll be utter chaos. Then I have so many ideas that I chuck out the window because they tend to fall into the lower viewership end of my channel. I need to dedicate my time to my big projects, but sometimes I don't know what they are anymore. As of now, my A Day in Berry Bitty City series is the only semi-popular thing on my channel, so if I dedicate a heap of my time starting another Strawberry Shortcake series or even one about Barbie, would they garner similar ratings? I guess I won't know unless I try.

I also really want to get back into writing this summer. I haven't done much of leisurely reading or writing in quite some time, and they were both activities that I couldn't get enough of when I was younger. Since the internet has pretty much taken over my life, I've neglected setting aside time for my past hobbies. What I'm finding strange is that lately I've been pretty bored with the internet. It's a daily hassle just to find something to look up, as a majority of sites hold no sentimental value anymore. I never thought it'd reach this point; I remember back in my preteen days the internet was my outlet to experience the world and spend endless hours finding content that made me laugh and inspired me to create some myself. Sadly, most of the people who inspired me are no longer on the internet. Right about now, reading a good book sounds far more enjoyable than surfing the web. It's funny how the tables have turned.

I've been trying to keep my hands busy while I'm not working on my next video. I can't help but feel guilty for not working on videos like a ninja, filming and editing until my hands cramp and my eyes are sore. I think A Day in Berry Bitty City episode eight is partially to blame. I had no idea that producing this eleven-minute episode would take such a toll on me. Filming went fine for the most part - it was the editing that was a disaster. My editing software decided it would throw a rock on my back and refused to open my project file after I'd worked on editing that episode for three straight days. I'd gotten pretty far with it, too, just to practically lose it all. I managed to find a loophole and at least got a majority of my file back, but I had to reconstruct the audio since for some unforeseen reason all my voice acting was entirely deleted from the episode.

If you haven't seen A Day in Berry Bitty City episode eight yet, you can check it out here:


As I was saying about keeping my hands busy, I sewed Huckleberry Pie some new clothes. He was tired of wearing his same old prince outfit, so I decided to do him a favor. I need him for a new video anyway, so making his everyday outfit was necessary.

Yeah... it doesn't look perfect, I know. It did turn out a bit better than I expected, to say the least (you might not want to look at the back of his jeans, though). Now Huck can become a regular cast member! I'd much rather he wears this instead of that tattered-looking shirt he wore in the A Day in Berry Bitty City 5-Year Anniversary Special. That was the first draft of his outfit, and clearly it looked awful (I tried to hide it, but it's still visible enough. If you want to see what I'm talking about or if you're just interested in seeing Huckleberry's interview in general, be sure to check out the second anniversary special on my channel).





That's about all I can write for this blog post. I guess I'll spend this Sunday afternoon updating my site and writing some scripts if I can convince myself to do it. Who knows, I may even work on a story of some sort. Speaking of stories, one of my friends on YouTube is writing her own Strawberry Shortcake fanfiction, so you should definitely check it out! She's really sweet and her story adds an epic, cool twist to the SSC world. You can check it out here: http://www.happilyeverafterofficial.blogspot.com.

Catch you later!           

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Start of a New Chapter

These last few months I've been pulled left and right, up, down, and sideways. Sometimes making decisions can be one of the most difficult tasks, and in the process you may feel lost. But when you look at the big picture, what lies beyond the clouds, your dreams don't seem that far from reach.

At this point I'm getting super excited, and that, my friend, is because it's March, and that means that spring break is drawing near! I didn't realize how much free time I had last year until I started this semester of school, so thinking about having a whole nine days off sounds wondrous to me.

If you're tracking the design of my blog, yes, I did redesign it - again. I just can't make up my mind on these types of things. I'm nearing an endpoint to its constant changes, though I really need to start researching those htmls....

Back to spring break, I'm going to try my "berry" best to utilize my time wisely; that means working extra hard on new videos (including episode eight of a certain something something...) while still fitting time in to work on my writing and perhaps play around with Strawberry Shortcake and her friends again on The Sims 3. Let's see how well this goes for me, as I have a horrible habit of getting distracted by a marathon of YouTube videos.

I even have multiple new web series in mind that I'm having a thrill writing. I'm not spoiling any titles or themes, but they're going to challenge my filming and editing skills tremendously, and I'm willing to take the challenge. One of them in particular is the same one I hinted about in one of my previous posts, and so far I'm about three scripts in. Writing the humor and visualizing the cinematography is really fueling my inspiration!

And then, once spring break is dead and gone and summer vacation rolls around, I definitely want to dedicate that time to grow and enhance my YouTube channel. Pretty soon, it should become the channel that I always dreamt of having, and as the days pass I'm learning more and more about filmmaking and different editing techniques. Soon enough I can finally introduce the projects I've kept hush about all these years.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Blog Layout & Back to School

Happy New Year! Alright, I'm a bit late on that. To ring in the new year, I went the extra mile to give my blog a fresh look - I'll tell you this, it was more frustrating than I ever could have imagined. I should really learn the html codes to create custom content, only I haven't yet dedicated endless hours to try to navigate my way through them. I'll only touch on how much I messed up my blog trying to redesign it. After the hardships I faced getting it this far (yeah, I'm aware it still looks simplistic. Don't judge my layout skills - I'm still new at this), I think it'll be a while before I try anymore *ahem* experiments.

I'm sad to say that school resumes for me tomorrow. Christmas break was here and then it was gone, and I'll miss being able to spend the day in my bedroom instead of in a classroom or the library.

I suppose I should go now. The 5-year A.D.B.B.C anniversary special is still in progress and is now in its editing stages, so hopefully I can get that out of the way so everyone can finally watch it. To be honest, I think going back to school will motivate me to work on my videos since my lack of free time helps me realize just how precious it is. Bye, guys.