Site update: new theme

Site update: new theme

Just a quick message. In case you didn’t notice yet: I picked a new theme for the blog. I think I used the old one (Blogum) for almost 2 years and I thought it was time for a change.

What I like about this theme is that it is still clean and simple and has lots of space for the content. At the same time, the side bar is a bit bigger and it has a feature to easily add buttons for social media sites. I don’t use Pinterest so that won’t be popping up any time soon. What will hopefully pop up in the next few months is a Youtube button.

That’s right! I hope to do a few videos soon and I’ve decided to make a new Youtube channel just for blog videos. However, that’s all still in its conceptual stage and I have to figure out a few things when it comes to video quality. My camera films at HD quality for some reason, after editing or uploading them to youtube I lose so much of the quality. The raw footage looks tons better than the eventual Youtube upload. So if you have any suggestions regarding editing my videos for youtube (I already Googled, but still feel a little lost) feel free to share.

What do you think? Keep this theme? Go back to the old one? Leave me a comment down below!

(The comment button can now be found at the bottom of every post!)

Personal: getting back on track

Personal: getting back on track

The first week of teaching has finished and as you read this I’m gearing up for another one. After weeks, no months, of not being in front of a classroom, the first weeks of a school year are always the toughest. Add to that that I’m committing again to making better and healthier food choices, trying to pick up my old work out schedule and am about to graduate in a few weeks and life is just a little crazy right now. Crazy, but good crazy.


The first week of teaching went great. It was tiring though. I am currently teaching 22,5 hours a week and they’ve somehow managed to cram all but one 50 minute session into 3 days. So that takes some getting used to, as I’m making 2 days filled with teaching from 8.30 till 17.00 with just a lunch break to catch my breath almost halfway through the afternoon. Also, the first semester is always the toughest: class sizes are through the roof with 30 – 35 students in each class and I somehow have to try and learn all their names in the next few weeks. A few of the courses I’m teaching are also brand new for me so I’m still figuring things out as I go along. With all that said though, it’s great to be  in front of a classroom again. It beats grading by a mile.

Another thing that started again this week is dance class. They announced the new schedule in early August and I saw that one of my old dance teachers would come back to teach a new jazz class right before the one I have been taking for years. So I’ve decided to add that to my work out list. For now, I will have to skip Tuesday night at the gym as I will need my energy for my Wednesday dance night from now on: 2.5 hours of dancing is great, but also tiring. On Thursday my entire body ached as I hadn’t danced in almost 2 months.

Food wise I’ve been cheating a bit. I wanted to start a no sugar unless it’s a fruit or vegetable routine as of September but that simply turned out to not be feasible. I think I will first have to get used to my work and work out routine before I can start dabbling with my diet. I’m hoping to be used to it all by the end of September though, so I’ve now decided to simply start when I feel ready. Not at a specific date, but just when I feel good and not so tired all the time.

Last but not least, I now have a date for my graduation ceremony. As of September 20th I will officially have obtained a Research Master (or MPhil) in Language and Communication. Before that though, I still have to prepare a 15 – 20 minute presentation and then it will all be over. Three years of blood, sweat and tears will hopefully bear its fruit. I am not yet sure what I want to do next though. I started the program wanting to use it to give myself opportunities besides teaching and education. So once I’ve got my head wrapped around this semester and all my regular goings on, I will take some time to rethink my life and where I’m heading to.

But for now, I’m just going to focus on the here and now. First getting back into a routine, then my graduation, and then, hopefully come fall break, treat myself with a trip to London. I’ll see what life throws at me next.

Updated make up collection & storage

Updated make up collection & storage

A collection update. It was about time. The last time I showed this was almost 2 years ago and lots has changed since then. I purged quite a few sections mainly, but on the other hand, not so much has changed. I still store my make up collection in the same way and I honestly don’t want it to go anywhere anywhere else. Meaning: I’m not willing to buy other storage for it any time soon and so, if things don’t fit anymore, it means I simply have to throw things out or give them away. And yes, I know, it’s still a lot of make up, but I enjoy it and I like playing around with new looks and new products. Do I need all of this? No. Do I use it? Yes. Is it a hobby? Yes. Am I crazy? Yes, yes, yes, yes. So, now we got that out of the way, let’s get to it.

My make up storage space and what’s on top.

Ta-dah! I present to you: my make up station. Nothing has changed here. I am still using the IKEA Aneboda 3-drawer set to store my make up and the Anordna drawer inlays to organize it. It even includes the same desk organizer I also got from IKEA (but I forgot the name) and the Q-tip holder is from HEMA. Also: excuse the dirty brushes.

On top of my storage unit, you will find some daily essentials: a cloth to wipe brushes, tissues, Q-tips, brushes and some bigger eyeshadow palettes. The black container is for putting in lipsticks when I’m on the go. It has a mirror and some Q-tips so I’m prepared wherever I am.

Palette wise this is where I store the Urban Decay Vice and 15th anniversary palettes, my MAC palette, my Z-palettes filled with NYX, Sephora, Catrice and Essence singles, my Sephora + Pantone palette from the US and a 120 palette for when I want to do something crazy. My brushes are from all over the place: Sigma, HEMA, The Body Shop and Real Techniques are the main brands though. My kabuki brush is by ELF.

Drawer 1: Lips, every day stuff and eyeliner

Now this has changed a lot! In the back there is a spot for back up products. I only keep back ups of mascaras though, so that’s not too interesting. Then there’s lip gloss and lipstick on the left. I used to have twice the amount of lip gloss and many of the lipsticks you see here are now gone: I purged my lipsticks after taking these pictures, but as you may have noticed replaced them very quickly. Another thing I purged since the last time you saw my collection are my lip balms. Since lip balms take ages to get through, I decided to throw out a bunch and also stop buying them. My goal is to one day finish all of these and I figured I have more than enough to last me a life time.

The two sections on the right hold my every day products and lip and eye liners. In the small section to the left I keep my sharpener, MAC lip erase, my favorite eyeshadow for highlighting, brow powder, mascara, eyeshadow base, etc. I also keep my Benefit High Beam and Mac paint pot in Painterly here as I tend to reach for these products most often. On the right you see my lip- and eyeliner section. Again something I purged majorly. Most of my NYX eyeshadow pencils have found a new home and I’ve only kept Milk, Slate and Black Beans as those were the ones I really used. Other than that you see pencil liners, liquid eyeliner, gel eyeliner and some glitter liners by Sleek.

Drawer 2: Eyeshadow

As you may remember: I’m an eyeshadow junkie and if you thought that what was on top of this drawer set, was it, you’re wrong. I still have a load of eyeshadow and it’s the only part I didn’t purge much.

In the back, on the left, are some pigments and older eyeshadows that I used to love but don’t reach for all that often anymore. In front of that are some single eyeshadows: mostly baked and mineral eyeshadows and some L’Oreal Infallible ones. All the way up front is my larger Dior palette which I bought on a boat once, my Sleek palettes, TBS shimmer cubes, and my Wet N Wild palette.

On the right hand side you can see some smaller eyeshadow palettes such as Urban Decay Naked 1 and 2, a Too Faced Naked Eye palette and my Inglot palettes. In front you can find even smaller eyeshadow palettes by NYX, Dior and Make Up Designory. Last but not least, I have a section where I keep my cream eyeshadows such as MAC paint pots, Benefit creaseless cream shadows and Maybelline Color Tattoos.

Drawer 3: Face products

Another section that was purged quite a bit: face products, with special attention paid to blush, which is now consolidated to the left side of this drawer. There are the Benefit box powders in their own little section, then ‘other’ blushes, such as cream blush and some colors which I don’t use as often next to that. The section in the front is where I keep blusher which I use most often. This includes: NARS Orgasm, MAC Margin & Solar Ray, NYC Color Wheel and my favorite peach blush by Shisheido.

The other half of this drawer is devoted to foundation, concealer and face powders. I don’t really do foundation and so I only have one real foundation (the Fit Me one I gifted to a friend because it didn’t work for me, so that has disappeared already) and then I have some BB creams, one of which is almost gone, and one which is a tad too dark for now. Then there’s a small concealer section and there’s a lone primer in there as well. In the front there are bronzers on the left, highlighers on the right and my MAC Naturalized Skin Finish Natural and MAC Prep + Prime transparent powder.

And that’s it! Kind of short and sweet and not including some of my more recent purchases, but you get the idea. Hope you enjoyed and have a good Sunday 🙂

Quick update on me (January 2013)

Quick update on me (January 2013)

Right now my life sucks. I’ve been on the verge of getting sick for weeks and now I finally have. Of course right in the weeks where I would be busiest all of January.

To top it all off, I’m also battling a bad case of insomnia (I am writing this at 4.30 AM – go figure). For some reason I can’t sleep. I sleep an hour tops and that’s it. And I have no real clue why. I used to be a very sound sleeper. It would take me a while to get to sleep but once I did you could blare your music right next to my head and I wouldn’t wake up. These past couple of weeks have been agony. For nights on end I sleep but not as deep or sound as I would like or should to be able to function to my full ability and then there is the odd night or two where I simply don’t sleep at all.

So add a throat infection, slowly stir in some insomnia and you have: Maaike who is rendered completely useless and if it’s something I dislike it’s being or feeling useless.

Oh well, I’m sure it will pass. I saw my doctor yesterday and he told me to just wait out my throat infection (oh joy, if there is something I’m not good at…) and he gave me something to help me sleep. Nothing too major though, but so far it doesn’t really seem to be working. It tends to do that for some people. But I’ve decided to give it a shot for about a week and then just go back to see my doctor and get things sorted out.

For now, I’ll just try to catch some sleep and hopefully I will feel better soon and I sincerely hope that all of you are doing a whole lot better than me.

Update on me – May 2012

Update on me – May 2012

The month of May is nearly over! At the beginning of the month I gave you an overview of what I was going to do and now I’d like to reflect on the things I’ve done this month and also my general well-being. This month promised to be busy and it was. So busy that I even had to make sure to step on the brakes just a little. Just a bit of a heads up before you start reading: it’s a long post!

At the end of April I wasn’t doing very good. The combination of my busy job, uni classes, a uni resit AND the job application process ended up being a bit too much. However, the first week of May was a vacation, which left me with plenty of time to rest up and get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately, due to my being tired and feeling out of it, I didn’t attend the Band of Skulls concert. I simply wasn’t up to traveling to Amsterdam to see them. The rest of the vacation was thus spent quietly with sleeping, shopping, a visit to the hairdresser and some visits to my physiotherapist as my back muscles decided to jam up again.

The rest of the month was great. I had a bit of a relapse during the Ascencion Day  weekend, but now everything is just fine again. I had friends over for dinner, where I made pancakes and the most delicious cheescake. I went to Antwerp for the first time in my life and my parents came over to visit me and I now have an amazing new desk chair. It’s all executive looking and super comfy. Apart from that I have been enjoying the nice weather we had over the weekend, I went to a 1920s party, had a BBQ with some friends, went to a birthday, read a book for the first time in months and I did go to three other concerts.

The first one was by Perfume Genius. They make dreamy melancholic music that you should just sit down for and listen to. The location of this concert was amazing. It was in De Duif an old renovated church in Amsterdam. It wasn’t a long concert. After about an hour I was outside again, but despite the short length it was amazing. The location definitely added to the atmosphere and made the music really come to life.

Another concert I went to was Tim Christensen and the Damn Crystals (TC/DC). I already wrote about TC/DC before as I have been raving about their album quite a bit. The concert was quite long, nearly 2 hours, but that’s because this band has been around for quite a long time. They played plenty of songs from their latest album, but mixed it up with some older songs. I really liked an older song which was called Time is the Space Between Us. Earlier in the day, the lead singer played a few songs in an acoustic set in my local record store so I also checked that out. Overall it was great music: fairly polished rock songs with a raw edge to them.

Tim Christensen & The Damn Crystals @ Paard van Troje

I had another concert last night: White Denim. This is a concert by a band of which I only know one song. I have one of their albums and I liked that but I haven’t listened to it enough to really know the music. I was therefore curious what they would do. As I am writing this before the concert took place, I cannot say anything on whether I liked it or not.

Lastly, work has been kind of crazy lately. Students are begining to feel the end is near and so some have started to panic. So my schedule has been filled to the brim with students wanting feedback or extra tries for final presentations. Luckily there are only a few classes left and then it’s time for exams which means grading. But I won’t have a tight schedule which I have to stick to, so that will make life easier.

University is also coming to an end for this year. In fact, I will have my very very last class this afternoon. Scary idea when you think about it. All I have to do is write two papers and then I can work on my presentation for the symposium in Berlin in August. And then I hope that I will have already worked enough hours on that paper to have finished my research training, which would mean that I only have my thesis left for next year. A whole year for writing a thesis should be enough don’t you think?

In a way I’m glad May is over, but I am also a bit sad as June will mark the end of a lot of things for me. But I have plenty of fun stuff coming up with more concerts, friends, work and school. All I know is that I will be keeping busy. How about you: what have you been up to?

***Update***: giveaway contest

***Update***: giveaway contest

Someone very rightly pointed out to me that you need a WordPress account to like posts. I wasn’t aware of this, so to make your lives easier I have decided to update the rules for the giveaway which I posted a few days ago. I will ALSO extend the deadline to make up for the lost days.

The rules are now as follows:

  1. Leave a comment saying you would like to enter and tell me what you like reading on my blog. Any feedback really: what would you like to see more of, what do you think I could do without. Just make it constructive so I have something to work with for the next 500 posts ;-) .
  2. Spread the word by tweeting/ facebooking/ etc. this post and add the link to the comment you’ll be leaving.

The deadline for entering has been changed to Sunday March 11th 5 PM CET. The contest is open internationally and anyone can participate. I will pick the winner using and will announce it on Monday the 12th of March.

You can head over to the original giveaway post by clicking here, if you’d like to see pictures of the prize.

Nail Polish Collection *Update*

Nail Polish Collection *Update*

I thought it was time to give you all an update on my nail polish collection. Because even though I decided not to buy any more polishes a while ago, I just can’t help myself with all those pretty colors that are being released all the time. I do have to say that I have become much more picky when it comes to which polishes I like and which ones I don’t like, but there is always room for more. Now some of these polishes were already featured in shoplogs before, but some of them weren’t and I definitely didn’t show you swatches of all of them.

OPI Silver Shatter Topcoat, OPI Royal Flush Blush, OPI Mermaid’s Tears, OPI Designer… De Better, OPI Warm & Fozzie

OPI Meet me on the Star Ferry, OPI Mauving to Manitoba, OPI Chicago Champagne Toast, OPI Cozu-Melted in the Sun

Gosh Forest Floor, Catrice Purpelized, Catrice Iron Mermaiden, Catrice Raspberry Fields Forever, Catrice Just Berried, Catrice Rusty but Sexy

Catrice Up in the Air, Catrice Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, Catrice Apropos Apricot, Catrice Let’s Mauve On, Catrice Lavenderlicious

Bourjois So Laque Tangerine Fatal, Rimmel I<3 Lasting Finish Black Cherries, Rimmel I<3 Lasting Finish Cranberry Zest, Essence Kings of Mints, Essence Be Optimistic, NYC In A New York Color Minute Canal Street,  NYC In A New York Color Minute Chelsea

China Glaze Holly-Day, China Glaze Strawberry Fields, Essie In Stitches, Essie Nice is Nice, Essie French Affair, Essie Coat Azure, Essie Topless & Barefoot, Orly Pink Lemonade

W7 Fuchsia glitter, W7 Blue glitter, W7 Green/ Yellow glitter, W7 Turquoise glitter, W7 Purple/ Pink/ Red/ Blue glitter, W7 Rose glitter, Ciaté Strictly Legal

Swatches of all these polishes:

19. NYC In A New York Color Minute Chelsea, 20. NYC In A New York Color Minute Canal Street

1. OPI Royal Flush Blush, 2. OPI Designer… De Better, 3. Rimmel I<3 Lasting Finish Cranberry Zest, 4. Rimmel I<3 Lasting Finish Black Cherries, 5. Ciaté Strictly Legal, 6. Gosh Forest Floor, 7. China Glaze Holly-Day, 8. China Glaze Strawberry Fields, 9. OPI Mermaid’s Tears, 10. OPI Warm & Fozzie, 11. W7 Turquoise glitter, 12. W7 Green/ Yellow glitter, 13. W7 Blue glitter, 14. W7 Purple/ Pink/ Red/ Blue glitter, 15. W7 Fuchsia glitter, 16. W7 Rose glitter

3. Catrice Lavenderlicious, 4. Catrice Up in the Air, 5. Essence Kings of Mints, 6. Catrice Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, 7.Catrice Apropos Apricot, 8. Bourjois So Laque Tangerine Fatal, 9. Catrice Raspberry Fields Forever, 10. Catrice Just Berried, 11. Essie In Stitches, 12. Essie French Affair, 13. Essie Nice is Nice, 14. Essie Coat Azure, 15. Orly Pink Lemonade, 16. Catrice Let’s Mauve On, 17. Catrice Iron Mermaiden, 18. Catrice Purpelized

15. Catrice Rusty but Sexy, 16. Essence Be Optimistic, 17. OPI Cozu-Melted in the Sun, 18. OPI Chicago Champagne Toast, 19. OPI Mauving to Manitoba, 20. OPI Meet me on the Star Ferry

12. OPI Silver Shatter Topcoat, 13. Essie Topless & Barefoot

If you would like to see the rest of my collection you can go to the following posts:

Nail Polish Collection Part 1: OPI, Ciaté, top & base coats

Nail Polish Collection Part 2: China Glaze, Sephora, Hérôme, Eyeko

Nail Polish Collection Part 3: Bourjois, Catrice, Maybelline & more

Nail Polish Collection Part 4: Diamond Cosmetics, E.L.F. & Random Polishes

Nail Polish Collection Part 5 – Swatches

Mini update: nail polish collection (Nail Wheel 11)

As you can see I have added some polishes, but nothing major and most of them you’ve seen before, but I just thought I’d be consistent and show all the polishes including swatches.

Some of my favorite colors that I have added in the past year or so are OPI’s Mermaid’s Tears, Essie Coat Azure, Gosh Forest Floor and CiatĂ© Strictly Legal.

What has been your favorite nail polish color?