Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Personal | Some changes...

Oh lordy! It's already December 31st... Which means a fresh new year is starting as of tonight! So.. yeah, as corny as it may sound, I came up with a few new year's resolutions. I never really had the need to have these resolutions, but this year I thought it would be very beneficial for me to try it. 

Get skinny
I'm not really thinking of losing a lot of weight, but I could eat a lot less candy and snacks. Especially the last few weeks I've been overeating big time. Oopsie..

Gain some stamina
Since I'm trying to lose a few pounds, I should also start exercising a little more. During the spring, I already started running, but then, one day I fell down the stairs and hurt my tailbone really bad! Running was just too painful. Quickly after that, we had to move house quite suddenly because me and my boyfriend live in 'anti squatting houses'. So yeah, we had little time left to run. But I'll start running again very soon. Really...

Spend more time with friends
I've noticed that I haven't seen my friends that much the past year. Such a shame, because being with friends is the best! So for the coming year, I'm determined to spend more time with my friends. 

Do you have any new year's resolutions or do you think it's a cliché? 
I wish you all the best for next year! Hope you're having an awesome time tonight!!  

Byee! xo 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Travel | Nara 奈良

Aahh.. beautiful Nara.
Famous for the deer (shika), deer cookies (shika senbei) and one of the three great Buddha's (daibutsu)!
The day we visited Nara, the streets were packed. We didn't know that there was a festival going on and that something special was about to happen that night.

These beautiful pictures were taken by my boyfriend :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Travel | Japan ♡ Antwerp?

When my boyfriend and I visited Antwerp, we both stumbled upon something surprising. Antwerp has a special connection to Japan! And as two Japanologists we feel like we too have a special bond with Antwerp now. ;) 
Anyways, we learned that this is because of a tragic story about a Flemish orphan boy, Nello, and his dog, who both live poor lives and eventually freeze to death in the cathedral of Antwerp. For some reason, the Japanese are crazy about this story, because it is widely read in Japan and since the 1970's multiple anime series have been produced.

These beautiful photo's were taken by my boyfriend :) 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Travel | Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社

In Kyoto you can visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha. It is the head shrine of the Inari spirit and it's known for its thousands and thousands of torii. 
These torii lead you all the way up a mountain, but I already had walked the entire day so I couldn't walk to the very top, I was exhausted! Woops..
Nonetheless, it was a great experience, and seeing all the torii lined up like that is really breathtaking.

These lovely pictures were taken by my boyfriend :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Personal | I'm scared ...

The last couples of weeks I haven't been feeling well. No.. I'm not sick or anything (pfew). I'm just in this period of my life where I have no clue of what to do. I'm feeling chaotic, unmotivated and I lack energy. 

At first I thought it was because of school. Right from the beginning of this school semester I noticed that I kept on forgetting my deadlines and that I had no clue of how to start with my Bachelor thesis. It was just complete chaos in my head. I made appointments with my mentor and talked about it with my fellow students. But even now, a few months later, I still feel unmotivated even though I sort of know now how to deal with my thesis. 

Then it struck me.. I lack direction, I have no aim in life. For the first time in more than 20 years I have absolutely no idea of what is going to happen after this coming summer. Hopefully at that moment, I have finished my studies.. but then what? I have no idea what to do. Get a job? Continue studying? I feel this pressure that I'm expected to know what I want in the future.. that everything I do at this moment is for something bigger in life. I feel ashamed that I have no answer ready when people ask me what I'm planning on doing in the future. 

And then there is this other tiny detail, something that has controlled me my entire life. I'm scared to step out of my comfort zone. I always have these wishes and dreams, but I never dare to actually take action and make them happen. I want to travel, improve on my photography, make Youtube clips, meet awesome people all over the world, improve my Japanese by actually talking to Japanese people!! But there is always this little voice in my head; "what will others think of me?", "what will my parents think of me?", "what if this is just a momentary thing and you end up having regrets?". I keep telling myself that I should stop worrying about that, but.. until now it hasn't really worked (sigh). 

I'm sorry for this blogpost and this has depressed you, but I know I'm not the only one and I'm hoping that we're able to help eachother. On sunday there will be a way more positive blogpost!! :)

Thank you! xo 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Travel | Wakakusa Yamayaki 若草山焼き

Every year, at the end of January, a complete mountain in Nara is being set on fire.
This has been a tradition for hundreds of years and its origins are said to lie in a disagreement over the boundaries of Kofuku-ji Temple and Todai-ji Temple.
Nowadays, it has turned into a festival and before the mountain is set on fire there is entertainment and gorgeous fireworks.

These lovely pictures were made by my boyfriend :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DIY | Candle in a jar!


Hope you're having a awesome day!

For today I thought It'd be nice to do another DIY for you guys! My last DIY was an autumn collage, but this time I'm going to make candles!

So.. you may recognise this, your lovely candle has burned out but there is still some wax left. Such a waste to throw away! So why not make new ones out of this leftover wax?

What you need:
- Some leftover wax
- Empty jars or glasses
- 100% cotton trings
- Scissors
- Long skewers
- A pan to heat water in
- Tin can (or a smaller pan that fits into the other pan)

Step 1
Melt the wax in a bain-marie (make sure you get rid of the last pieces of wick).

Step 2
When the wax has melted completely, dip the cotton string that has been tied to a skewer in the wax. This will be the wick of the candle.
Lay the skewer on top of the jar/glass so that the wick hangs all the way to the bottom. 

Step 3
Pour the melted wax into the jar and make sure that the wick hangs right in the center.
Put your jars in a place where they can cool and nobody accidently can bump into (cleaning wax from the floor is not something you want to do, trust me...*sigh*)

Step 4
As you can see in the picture above, it may happen that the wax starts to sink into a hole after a while. No problem, this is normal and you can just pour some more wax into this hole after the candle has hardened a little. 

Step 5
After the candle has hardened out completely, you can take off the skewers and cut the wick so that it leaves approximately 1/2 inch above the candle.

TADAAAA!! Your candle is done and ready to be lit again!
You have protected the world from extra waste!
You go girl (or man)!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Personal | My favorite vloggers

Happy sunday everybody!!

For today, I thought it'd be fun to share with you a few of my favorite vloggers. I have been following them for quite some time now, they all have their own blogs and they have been my inspiration to also start a blog!

Have fun!

♡ British vloggers 
These are some of my favorite British vloggers, they give us a sneakpeak into their lives and show us what they're up to on a daily basis. 




♡ J-vloggers
Apart from the British vloggers, I also follow a few J-vloggers (they vlog about their lives in Japan). They show us the Japanese culture and everything Japan related. 



Rachel & Jun

Do you follow vloggers on Youtube?
Who are your favorites?
I'd love to know! :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Personal | Winter Addictions

Winter is coming , no actually its still here kinda lol spring is coming hehe just now making my Winter board hehe :)

It's already December guys! Wow...
Because the days are getting colder and darker lately, I have been confronted with the fact that I have a few addictions which tend to develop whenever winter gets near..

I need to have candles.. everywhere and all the time. 

And except for regular candles, I also need to have scented candles.

Tea.. I can't drink enough tea when it's cold. Most of the time I just drink it because it's a hot beverage and not so much because I like it (is that weird?)

Chocolate.. and homemade chocolate milk with marshmallows. I. LOVE. IT. 

Decorations. Whenever Christmas starts peeking around the corner I feel the urge to decorate my room with anything 'Christmassy'. 

Whenever it's getting cold, I start to wear layers upon layers of clothing. Sweaters, socks and warm slippers are my favorites. 

Do you have any winter addictions?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Travel | Vienna's Fairytale

Winter in Vienna #HipmunkBL

I have to be honest with you guys, I'm tired.. tired of school, tired of deadlines, tired of doing the same thing every single day. 
I want to get out of this stressful period, and go on a trip. I want to relax and experience new things.

So, lately me and my boyfriend are thinking about going to Vienna this winter! 
Just thinking about going to Vienna and turning my thoughts away from all the homework and deadlines makes me tingle inside!

I want to experience all the beautiful and crazy architecture, like the Hundertwasserhaus...

... and feel intellectual in the National Library. 

Austrian National Library-Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Revisted by Wick Sakit on 500px

I want to walk through its fairytale-like streets and alleys...

Vienna (Austria) I bet you could walk through these street and just hear the music. Well I could and am going to do just that-Note to self-See Bucket list

... and be amazed by the greatness of St. Stephen's Cathedral and other churches.

Vienna, Austria St Steven's was the first gothic cathedral I had ever been in - took my breath away!  And we got to hear the organ

And ofcourse.. I want to shop!! I haven't been on a decent shopping spree in ages (sorry to my boyfriend hihi). 

Have you ever been in Vienna?
What did you like the most?

Have nice day today!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Travel | Lovely Leiden

Happy sunday everybody!

I started going to university three years ago, which meant I had to move from a little town in the east of The Netherlands, to a city in the far far west. I moved to Leiden, and I instantly fell in love with it. So today I wanted to give you a little photo impression of this beautiful city. 

Windmill 'De valk' (The Falcon)

Oude Vest


De Rijn

Another view on 'De Valk' 

Oude Rijn

De Burcht

View on the Hooglandse Kerk

Just a nice view of the city

View on the city hall

View on the Nieuwstraat

Another view on the Hooglandse Kerk (I love it, it's so fairytale-ish)

The front of the city hall

Have you ever been to Leiden?
What is your favorite city?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review | Books ♡ October/November

Books have never played a big role in my life. I always find myself having troubles with choosing a book and when I finally do have a book, I sometimes just forget that I'm reading it, and when the story isn't exciting enough from the beginning I just put it away and leave it on a shelf to catch some dust.. 

BUT, a few weeks ago I thought to myself: "why just not start reading again" and I decided to pick up some books and this time I would keep reading even if the first five pages aren't that appealing. So let me give you a quick overview of what I have been reading since then. (Disclosure: I am in no way experienced in giving proper reviews so bear with me as I just let you know what I think.) 

KITCHEN - Banana Yoshimoto
"Kitchen is the story about Mikage, a young woman who is left without family after her grandmother's death. She moves in with a young man (whom she barely knows) and his transsexual mother. Death, loneliness and love are the main themes in this story, just as in Moonlight Shadow, the second story in this book." 

I bought this book for two main reasons which may seem a little stupid; 1) it's written by a Japanese (and because I'm studying Japanese it appealed to me), 2) it was dirt cheap, I got it for just €1,-. 
After reading it, I can't really say whether I like it or not. The book was really well written and easy to read, but it lacked something. Normally I like my books to build up to some kind of climax where all bits and pieces fall into place and everything becomes clear, but this book doesn't really have that. Especially the first story is more or less a description of Mikage's life without anything substantial happening. Fortunately, the second story does have a moment supreme, but I won't tell you because I don't want to spoil it! 
So I'd say that this book was easy to read, but I'm not sure if I would read anything more of Banana Yoshimoto. 

HAVEN OF OBEDIENCE - Marina Anderson 
"Twenty-something Londoner Natalie Bowen is envied by many, but her personal life is a disaster. Men can't cope with her career succes and Natalie thinks she'll never find real happiness. 
Then she hears about an exclusive weekend retreat called The Haven, a place that specialises in introducing people to pleasures they could never have imagined. Shocked at the idea, but unable to resist finding out more, Natalie decides it's time to put her fears behind her. 
Once at The Haven, Natalie meets the enigmatic and disciplined Simon, a man who is used to getting what he wants. And Natalie may very well have met her match..."

On the front of this book is a sticker that says: "Devoured Fifty Shades?" Well yess, I actually have! So I was super excited to read the book, but it turned out to be quite a disappointment. I got the feeling that miss Anderson just wanted to profit from 'Fifty Shades's' success. There was a lot of sex, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT! Now, I don't mind the frequency, but the book just lacked sexual tension. The main character, Natalie, is forced to have sex with complete strangers.. and she does it.. without much hesitation. Err.. isn't that a little weird? In Fifty Shades fireworks were basically shooting from every page, the main characters were longing for each other so bad! But in this book? Hardly. 
Such a disappointment this book was.. :( 

"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten."

I bought this book because there was such a craze about it. After hearing so many positive things about both the book and the movie. I decided to buy it and give it a try. I haven't finished it yet, but my expectations are high! I also haven't seen the movie yet, so don't spoil it for me, please!! 
Until now I really like this book, I feel like Hazel has a similar character to mine and the way that Augustus is portrayed makes me smile a lot.
I can't wait to read more of it! But again, please people.. don't spoil it for me! :D

Do you have any suggestions on books I should read? 
Which books did you really like? 
I'd love to know!