215 of 2015

Happy new year everyone!!!! Huh?! A 215 of 2015? Yes, this is a yearly post I do where I review my year. I did a 212 of 2012, a 213 of 2013 and a 214 of 2014. It features anything I deem worthy having a look back on: the good and the bad. Anything from trips to blog related matters, to personal and work related happenings: it all goes into the trip down memory lane of the year that was. I hereby present to you my year of 2015 in 215 facts. Let’s go and make 2016 the best year yet!

One of those memories? This view of Seattle. Click for more!

  1. 2015 was a year of ups and downs. (but then again, which year isn’t?!)
  2. Where 2014 was a bad year for me personally, 2015 meant a full recovery and a new perspective on life.
  3. At work my contract was prolonged for another year, with good perspective of finally being able to stay.
  4. As the year went on I felt better and better, though due to personal circumstances things didn’t move as quickly as I know they could have and I wanted to.
  5. For one, my dad was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition at the beginning of the year.
  6. He underwent open heart surgery in June and was in and out of hospitals for the remainder of summer.
  7. Luckily, just before Christmas we got the news that the surgery was a success and it is now time for him to fully recover and start a training programme to get back into shape.
  8. The months leading up to his surgery were hectic.
  9. I went to visit my parents every two weeks and the week of the surgery and went to the hospital daily.
  10. To make matters worse, my mom got a hernia too.
  11. She was doing better much more quickly, but it all made for very stressful times this spring.
  12. Luckily there were plenty of good things about spring as well.
  13. I visited my friend Alison in England.
  14. During May break, I went to England for 5 days, 4 of which I spent with Alison and her family, 1 I spent in London.
  15. The first day was spent exploring The Potteries.
  16. Day two as well, we visited the local museum and a real Tudor House.
  17. On one of the nicest days we visited Lladudno in Wales.
  18. There was a Victorian fair on including a parade.
  19. We took a train up the Great Orm and walked along the boardwalk.
  20. We played a few games in the arcade and had a delicious ice cream.
  21. The final day we spent shopping in Manchester.
  22. I took an early train to London.
  23. My main purpose was a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit.
  24. But I also hit up Oxford Street for a bit of shopping at Selfridge’s.
  25. I also went to plenty of concerts.
  26. I saw FKA Twigs, Sylvan Esso, Interpol, DeWolff, Team Me, Toro Y Moi, MØ and Purity Ring in the first 4 months of the year.
  27. Other concerts I went to this year are Nils Frahm, Portico, Kelly Clarkson and Years & Years.
  28. I had tickets but couldn’t go see Stars and Astronautalis.
  29. Work wasn’t too hectic for me around during spring, as I wasn’t teaching many lessons.
  30. The bulk of my teaching took place just before summer.
  31. This meant that once both my parents got semi-back onto their feet, work became super hectic and busy with lessons, class development, placement students and then finally I also taught English to some colleagues.
  32. The months before summer passed by in a blur.
  33. It lead to my putting working out on the back-burner once too many times.
  34. The result? Weight gain and a backache.
  35. The back pain went away once I went on vacation.
  36. One week of walking around cities and my sore lower back had magically disappeared.
  37. Instead of visiting my doctor, I now know that working out or at least getting enough movement will help me with my lower back problems.
  38. I did get a foot stool at work for those days where I am required to sit behind a desk all day.
  39. However, our offices have been changed and we now have couches and I love sitting there as they allow me to change positions more often.
  40. Weight gain is something I quickly deal with when I experience stress.
  41. I am still working on losing the pounds, but with my much more frequent workouts and better eating patterns I know that I will have dissolved them before spring. But more about my workout routine later.
  42. One of my biggest successes in 2015 must have been the course my blog has taken.
  43. I nearly doubled my total yearly views.
  44. My visitor numbers doubled.
  45. January 2015 was the first month I ticked off 10,000 unique visitors.
  46. Those stats have kept up throughout the year.
  47. The past few months my visitor numbers even topped 12,000.
  48. The busiest day on my blog was August 31st, with nearly 2000 views.
  49. The reason? My Miss Lipgloss goodie bag unboxing.
  50. But that is not my most visited blog post of the year.
  51. My most visited blog post isn’t from 2015 but from 2014.
  52. It is my review of the Catrice Absolute Matt eye shadow palette.
  53. It was viewed nearly 4500 times!
  54. The blog post with the most visits in 2015 that was also posted this year, is actually a tie.
  55. First there is the review of another Catrice eye shadow palette: the Absolute Rose palette.
  56. The other blog post is my review of MAC Mehr lipstick & soar lip pencil.
  57. Each received around 2000 views.
  58. They are my 6th and 7th most viewed blog posts this year.
  59. The top 10 of most viewed blog posts this year is round up with the following blog posts:
  60. No. 2 is my 2014 review of two YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks.
  61. No. 3 is my review of the TBS Aloe Vera skin care I posted in 2013.
  62. No. 4 is an overview of new Catrice products for fall/ winter 2014.
  63. No. 5 is an article in which I review the Make Up Revolution Flawless eye shadow palette.
  64. No. 8 is an oldie but apparently a goody. This 2012 review of La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Ultra still receives views on a daily basis.
  65. No. 9 features the only hair care product in this list. It is my favorite hair mask by Lush: the Lush Fluff Eaze Jasmin & Henna hair mask.
  66. The top 10 is rounded up by an overview of my blushes from 2011 (!!) and is the oldest blog post in the list.
  67. There were only two days in August where there were no blogs. I was recovering from my jetlag.
  68. Jetlag? Yep, I spent 3 weeks last summer travel through the US and a bit of Canada.
  69. It is one of my best memories of the year.
  70. I saw Kelly Clarkson live in New York.
  71. Sprained my ankle in Central Park.
  72. Took a boat ride to Staten Island to see skyline views.
  73. And took refuge in the AMC theater on Times Square to escape the heat wave.
  74. I sipped iced tea on Ocean Drive in Miami.
  75. Took a tour of the Everglades and held a baby alligator named Larry.
  76. Had a boat tour of the Miami Harbor and the homes of the stars which are located on islands just off the coast.
  77. I went down town only to find not much going on there.
  78. I shopped at Sephora and was promoted to VIB.
  79. I had a meal at Cheesecake Factory (yes, that’s a highlight!)
  80. I was nearly robbed at the beach but a kind local warned me of a shady looking man behind me.
  81. My beach trip was cut short by a massive downpour that lasted the rest of the day.
  82. Seattle was the place where I did a lot of walking.
  83. My hotel was located in China Town near a huge Asian supermarket where they sold green tea KitKat (yuck!) and Asian beauty products (YAY for sheet masks).
  84. The first day I walked all along the harbor.
  85. I went to Bainbridge Island.
  86. Pike Place Market was of course on my list to visit as well.
  87. If you ever find yourself in Seattle I can highly recommend going to the Old Curiosity Shop in the harbor. It is a neat fusion between gift shop and curiosity shop.
  88. I also visited Seattle Center, location of the Space Needle.
  89. I didn’t go on top of that, but rather walked over the Kerry Park for the amazing view you can see at the top of this blog post.
  90. For more views of Mount Rainer I went to the campus of Washington University.
  91. There I spent too much time in the university book store without actually buying anything.
  92. Finally I visited a chocolate factory.
  93. I also visited the EMP museum.
  94. Next up was a train trip along the Pacific Coast to Vancouver.
  95. My first day in Vancouver was sadly disrupted by my bank blocking my credit card.
  96. It took some time figuring out, but later that night I was able to fix it.
  97. I had to pay my hotel in cash, leaving me with no money for the rest of the day.
  98. Luckily I didn’t have many plans that day.
  99. I met up with family and they were very helpful.
  100. Next, I spent another day walking around.
  101. I took an airtrain to the Waterfront and walked all along Stephen’s Park back to my hotel.
  102. That pretty much took all day.
  103. I also booked a bus ticket to Whistler Mountain. Site of the Winter Olympics a few years ago.
  104. It was my first time standing on top of a mountain.
  105. I walked part of the peak trail.
  106. I also went on the gondola that runs from the peak of Whistler Mountain to its neighboring mountain and back down.
  107. This meant I had to overcome my fear of heights quite a bit.
  108. That night I watched the fireworks in English Bay.
  109. The last day in Vancouver was one of the most epic ones of the trip.
  110. I went whale watching!
  111. I was lucky to get a final spot on a tour and was out on a boat all day.
  112. It took 2.5 – 3 hours to find the whales and as long to get back.
  113. But once we found them, it was a real treat.
  114. The whales were having a get-together and the group of 70 or so whales that live in the waters between Vancouver and Seattle were almost complete.
  115. It was a great day and I had a lovely time.
  116. My final destination for this trip was Chicago.
  117. It would be my second visit to the Windy City.
  118. My first visit was in 2005 during a snow storm.
  119. So visiting this city in July made for a very different experience.
  120. My hotel was lovely and right on Magnificent Mile.
  121. My first day was spent walking around town for a bit and watching a movie.
  122. Day 2 was devoted to a long awaited visit to the Chicago Art Institute.
  123. I also went to a free concert in the park behind the art museum later that night.
  124. By this time quite exhausted, I spent my last day shopping.
  125. I got a makeover at Sephora.
  126. I stocked up at Victoria’s Secret.
  127. And then it was time for one full day of traveling to get home.
  128. This year I went to two Vintage parties, held by my friend Martine.
  129. In April I dressed up as a flapper girl from the 1920s.
  130. Last November, I decided to go for a war time chic look fro the 1940s.
  131. During this final edition I also served as a make up artist.
  132. It was my first time ever doing other people’s make up.
  133. During the first half of the year, due to my dad’s diagnosis, I also had to undergo some tests.
  134. Since my dad’s condition could be hereditary, they wanted to make sure my heart was fine.
  135. I underwent an ultrasound and had some other tests done.
  136. My heart was fine, but the cardiologist referred me to a lung specialist.
  137. I had to do a lung test.
  138. It is now official: I have asthma.
  139. After years of not knowing for sure, but always being on the verge of yes, no, maybe, it is now certain that I have a mild form of asthma.
  140. I was given extra medication, but I continuously forget to take it.
  141. Apart from concerts I also attended some festivals. Two to be exact.
  142. The first festival I went to was Psychlab in Eindhoven.
  143. I can now officially say that I heard so much psychedelic music in just two days that I have heard quite enough of it for some time to come.
  144. Highlights of Psychlab were: The Soft Moon, The Limiñanas‬, Kikagakumoyo‬, Mdoumoctor‬ and ‪In Zaire‬.
  145. Festival number two was Best Kept Secret: much more up my alley.
  146. Some highlights from Best Kept Secret were Royal Blood, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Pop Group, Weval, and Alt-J.
  147. While I was on vacation I received an e-mail from a Dutch beauty blogger.
  148. Miss Lipgloss had reached a certain milestone and wanted to have lunch with a few visitors and she picked me from the large number of contestants. ‪
  149. I had a good time and it was strange but fun to finally meet her. You can read all about it here.
  150. I spent some time after my summer vacation just focusing on getting back to work and getting back into a work out routine.
  151. Work has been going great if I may say so.
  152. I really enjoy what I am doing and I am in a great place work wise.
  153. Since the start of the school year I have been the team leader of the English team.
  154. My main job this year is to try and integrate English into the curriculum at large figure out with the rest of the team how best to do this. Challenging but fun!
  155. Teaching is of course still part of my core business.
  156. I mainly teach English to Attractions and Theme Park Management students.
  157. At the end of the year I was awarded a new task: since December I have become part of the exam committee.
  158. When it comes to work outs I have been easing my way back into the swing of things, but not too easy.
  159. I tried finding a substitute for my Monday spinning class, but to no avail. I will just have to try to make it on time.
  160. Dance classes also started back up in September and I have been having as much fun as ever doing that.
  161. In September I also went back to Combat classes.
  162. I used to take Body Combat weekly, but then came 2014 and the hell that was and I was simply too tired and weak to do it.
  163. It took me the majority of 2015 to get some of my strength and endurance back. Enough to make it through an entire class anyway.
  164. I’ve been loving it ever since.
  165. The latest addition to the schedule and something I have only been able to do once this year, is a new weight lifting routine.
  166. It is a full body weightlifting routine that tackles all the important parts.
  167. I found I am capable of doing more than I thought, but that also led to a lot more muscle pain than I ever had.
  168. I don’t think I could move very much the day after.
  169. I’ve also been getting regular massages at my gym.
  170. And I have also been tackling some extra yoga classes.
  171. It wasn’t until fall break until I did something ‘fun’.
  172. Apart from shopping with my mom in Utrecht, I got my window replaced and read Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)’s latest novel.
  173. Come November, I got back on the social train.
  174. Together with a friend I did dinner and a movie. We went to see the latest James Bond movie: Spectre.
  175. Then there were two weeks back to back that were crazy.
  176. In one weekend I attended a pop quiz and solved an escape room.
  177. A week later I had dinner at a colleague’s place and had Vintage party no. 2.
  178. Around the same time my best friend called to see if I wanted to attend the Years & Years concert. Her sister called in sick and they had a ticket left. It was a spur of the moment decision but a good one.
  179. For Sinterklaas me and my family kept things simple and we just had some dinner.
  180. My mom gave us money to buy a Christmas sweater.
  181. We all wore it to our Boxing Day family dinner.
  182. I attended the I Love Beauty Event with another friend.
  183. But I also spent some time being sick.
  184. I had an ear infection during fall.
  185. Had a throat infection just before Christmas.
  186. And I spent part of spring sounding like Barry White as my hayfever made me lose my voice.
  187. The end of the year I spent my Christmas vacation cleaning and clearing up.
  188. I pretty much spent the final days of 2015 cleaning up so I can start afresh.
  189. I reorganized my wardrobe and did a complete closet clean out.
  190. I replaced all my old crockery that was old and cracked with new items.
  191. My jewelry rack is now a lot less cluttered and features items I actually love and want to wear.
  192. Of course getting rid of stuff means you have more space for new things.
  193. So I spent some time shopping in Amsterdam, at home and online.
  194. Be on the lookout for the shoplogs that are coming your way soon!
  195. In total I read 29 books.
  196. TV Series I watched: House of Cards, Suits, Narcos, Broadchrush and The Newsroom.
  197. Mainly, I’ve just been spending too much time watching Youtube videos.
  198. My favorites to watch are decluttering and collection videos.
  199. Other videos I watch are beauty and fashion vloggers I am subscribed to, capsule wardrobes and minimalists and in the latter half of the year I have also gotten into Booktube.
  200. I was able to spent plenty of time on my blog this year.
  201. For my birthday I bought a new camera which has improved my picture quality greatly I think.
  202. I took massive amounts of pictures for the blog during my summer vacation.
  203. This caused a memory card to literally fry itself and it now no longer works.
  204. Thankfully, I can still export the pictures, but my camera no longer saves any images to the card.
  205. Blogwise I have also been trying to make some more videos.
  206. It takes some figuring out, but with the new camera it is a lot easier to set things up.
  207. What has been harder is to take pictures for lookbooks.
  208. The angle of this camera is different from my old camera, so I am still trying to figure that out.
  209. What I love most is that my blog has grown so much in the past year.
  210. Not only do the stats show me that, but I also find that there is more interaction with my visitors: that is you!
  211. More people have been following my blog, liking blog posts and leaving comments.
  212. Thank you for all your interaction, sweet comments and follows.
  213. It really puts a smile on my face to see that it seems I am not the only one enjoying what I am doing on here.
  214. Thank you for visiting my blog!
  215. Here’s to making 2016 our best year yet in all aspects of life, be it work, personal and blogging!

Happy New Year!
What was your year like?

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