216 of 2016

216 of 2016

It’s become quite the tradition for me to write up a giant list of facts of my year in review. I usually post these on January 1st, but I’m sure nobody minds me doing it a few days later this year. And this time I’ve decided to tag on a few new year’s resolutions/ a peek at some things to come in 2017 at the end of the post as well. Alright, since this blog post is going to be long enough as it is, I will just get to it.

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212 for 2012

212 for 2012

Source: weheartit.com

My year in review. In 212 short, random facts. In no particular order.

  1. I started the year sick.
  2. I was sick 3 times this year.
  3. One of my ailments were infected vocal chords. No picknick when you’re a teacher.
  4. My job informed me in March they would have to let me go after all.
  5. One month later, I had already found a new one.
  6. I went from English teacher, to English teacher trainer: from teaching English communicative skills to teaching linguistics, proficiency and sociolinguistics.
  7. Hayfever symptoms lessened drastically.
  8. I now only get shots to battle my hayfever once every 6 weeks instead of every 4.
  9. I know I don’t have gluten intolerance, but my stomach is simply weird.
  10. In February, I visited London for 4 days.
  11. Highlights were Temple Church and the National Gallery.
  12. Places I hadn’t visited before but did now: Spital Fields, Rough Trade East, Brick Lane, Temple Church, Covent Garden Market.
  13. My mom took me to see Swan Lake.
  14. I finished my classes at uni.
  15. All that’s left are one paper and my thesis.
  16. Tentative graduation date: June or September 2013.
  17. After 3 years, I will then receive my Research Master (or Master in Philosophy, i.e. MPhil.) in Communication and Information Sciences.
  18. I spoke at my first big conference in Berlin in August.
  19. This conference is the largest Sociolinguistics conference in the world.
  20. My paper was well-received.
  21. Unfortunately my paper will not be published anymore.
  22. My co-author and I are too busy to make it work so I now get to work on a different paper with him and still get a publication.
  23. I discovered over 1000 new songs.
  24. In 2012, I posted 329 blogs.
  25. That’s an average of 27 per month.
  26. On average, 7500 people visited this blog per month.
  27. The all time best viewed blog is Collective haul: Forever 21, H&M, River Island, Urban Outfitters & Primark (among others).
  28. It is also this year’s best viewed blog.
  29. Shoplogs and my nail polish collection are the best viewed posts overall.
  30. In March I saw Memoryhouse play Paradiso.
  31. Some time in September I developed an incessant toothache.
  32. I thought my tooth had broken.
  33. My dentist told me I simply developed a bad case of sensitive teeth and sent me home with a different toothpaste.
  34. Within 2 days my toothache was gone.
  35. At my old job, I interviewed and hired my replacements.
  36. My brother got his own apartment and I visited in April.
  37. 2012’s main highlight must have been my trip to the USA over summer.
  38. In April I saw Maps & Atlases in concert.
  39. I had to cancel going to see Band of Skulls because I was too exhausted.
  40. I learnt that working 32 hours, combined with full time studying and going to job interviews is a bit too much of a good thing.
  41. As a result my shoulders and upper back muscles jammed up and I had to see my physiotherapist to get rid of it.
  42. The last time I visited a hair dresser was May.
  43. May was a good month for concerts.
  44. I went to see Perfume Genius, Tim Christensen & the Damn Crystals, and White Denim all in that month.
  45. A good friend of mine threw a vintage 1920s/ 1930s party.
  46. My input was to dress up as a flapper girl. I wrote a post about my outfit, hair and make up.
  47. Another highlight in May was going shopping in Antwerp with my best friend.
  48. For one concert, I bought a ticket, but ended up not being able to go, because Ticketmaster forgot to send it to me.
  49. It was the Purity Ring concert on June 5th.
  50. The Purity Ring album is one of my favorite albums released in the past year.
  51. My number 1 album of 2012 is Alt-J – An Awesome Wave.
  52. 2012’s summer was awesome in my book.
  53. Not only did I visit the USA, but I also went to my first music festival: Pukkelpop.
  54. Two of my favorite concerts of the year took place in June: Marcus Foster and James Vincent McMorrow.
  55. I celebrated my birthday twice: once with family and once with friends.
  56. At the end of June and early July I had more parties and dinners than I could count.
  57. There were end of year dinners and outings with colleagues and ex-colleagues.
  58. But there were also dinners and gatherings at my new job.
  59. My birthday was in the same week.
  60. I spent 2.5 weeks traveling the US & Canada.
  61. In total I visited three cities: Toronto, Boston, New York.
  62. Highlights of the trip: Niagara Falls, Seeing whales, and the High Line.
  63. After years of pondering, I finally got a tattoo.
  64. The tattoo was done at Red Rocket Tattoo in New York City.
  65. I figured that even if I end up hating it, I will still have the memory of getting it done in my favorite city in the world.
  66. On the trip I got to see my friend Arizar after 4 years.
  67. She told me she was pregnant only to contact me later in the year to let me know she’s having twins.
  68. After summer I tried being more social with friends and family.
  69. Since my uni classes have dwindled down I now have more time to hang out with people.
  70. In December I glanced at my agenda and found out that I’d had a social gathering every single week since September.
  71. Pukkelpop was amazing, but hot.
  72. I danced to Crookers,
  73. Rocked to Sleigh Bells.
  74. Slept through Stephen Malkmus.
  75. Saw Bjork, Stone Roses and Foo Fighters.
  76. And Django Django & Alt-J. My two favorite artists of the year.
  77. I discovered Willis Earl Beal and Isbells.
  78. Had a new chance to see Band of Skulls and took it.
  79. Was at Miike Snow while everyone else at the festival was at The Black Keys.
  80. Had a blast during Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.
  81. I finally settled my bills with the government after years of paying back excess subsidies.
  82. 2012 was the year for cleaning things up.
  83. I sorted through all of my insurance and memberships to see which ones had become redundant or could be done cheaper.
  84. On top of that I reorganized my entire living space.
  85. I threw out a bunch of old junk.
  86. Who still needs notes from high school 10 years after graduating?
  87. Reorganizing everything went in phases. I did a bit every vacation.
  88. I shopped a lot.
  89. I saved a lot of money too.
  90. In January I will have paid back half of my student loan.
  91. My new job started in August, but I first had to go to the conference in Berlin.
  92. So I could put off going to work by another week.
  93. To allow myself to get used to my new job, I took September off university.
  94. I started university back up in October.
  95. The first thing I did was tick off my Research Training, i.e. the Berlin Paper.
  96. After much agony, I found out I received top marks for it.
  97. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of myself.
  98. I got sick for a third and final time only 3 weeks into my new job.
  99. My new job taught me that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
  100. Things that annoyed me at my previous job are no issue at all now, but in return there is a completely different host of things I run into.
  101. Despite all that, my job is the best one I’ve had so far.
  102. It is challenging, rewarding and interesting.
  103. I have some great colleagues, although I miss some of the people who I used to work with.
  104. Organization wise though the place is a bit messy, but it keeps you on your toes.
  105. In October I went to my first Lush VIP event to get a first glimpse at this year’s Christmas collection.
  106. After my summer vacation, I found I had so much time that I started reading books again.
  107. I raced through quite a few, but am now stuck at Pride & Prejudice.
  108. My goal to finish it before the end of the year is simply not feasible.
  109. Not because it is difficult to read or not an interesting read.
  110. Quite the contrary: I love what I’ve read so far.
  111. I just lack the right amount of time to sit down and read the last bit.
  112. The fact that daylight is minimal doesn’t help.
  113. I had hoped that working closer to home would solve that problem for me, but it didn’t.
  114. I still get tired on the train simply because it’s dark outside.
  115. Before, I could dose off as it would take a long time to get home.
  116. Now, however, I’m home in 30 minutes and I have to watch out I don’t fall asleep and miss my stop.
  117. Which actually happened, miss my stop that is.
  118. Not because I fell asleep, but because I was so engrossed in my book.
  119. The book in this case was 50 Shades of Grey.
  120. Which is quite possibly the most addictive, yet at the same time most abominable book of the year.
  121. Another addictive read was The Hunger Games.
  122. Liked it, but didn’t love it.
  123. Another addiction came to an end: The Twilight Saga.
  124. Again: liked the last movie in the series, but didn’t love it.
  125. 2012 was a good year for movies.
  126. I saw 5 while on my summer vacation trip: Snow White and the Huntsman, Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Step Up 4 and Rock of Ages.
  127. One thing I did for the first time was go to a Baseball Game.
  128. I went to see the NY Yankees play the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
  129. Since I didn’t know what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised I liked it.
  130. After summer I saw even more movies. James Bond Skyfall for instance.
  131. I also saw Argo after winning tickets via the Warner Brothers Facebook page.
  132. Another thing I won this year was the Django Django CD.
  133. Concert wise I didn’t see too many things after summer.
  134. What I saw was cool though: Bon Iver and Radiohead.
  135. November proved to be the craziest month yet.
  136. On top of a big pile of exams and grading my drains decided to clog up.
  137. It took 3 weeks to get it all fixed.
  138. Much stress and stink later, I could finally do my huge pile of laundry.
  139. Summer was a good time, but also proved to be challenging diet wise.
  140. I ate and drank everything I felt like.
  141. This resulted in many a sleepless night due to stomachaches.
  142. But it also caused me to gain weight.
  143. Eating anything and everything combined with little to no exercise is simply not a good idea.
  144. I got back into the swing of things in September.
  145. With more regularity in my day because of work it is easier for me to plan meals.
  146. Also with a regular schedule I was able to work out 4 times a week.
  147. I quit hip hop class.
  148. Instead I now take spinning classes.
  149. I still do jazz dance, body combat and body balance.
  150. I came up with some new delicious salads: egg salad and a salmon/ blue cheese combo.
  151. For the first time in my life I made old fashioned Dutch pea soup.
  152. A food obsession this year was Caramel Hot Chocolate.
  153. I visited the Winter Efteling with my family.
  154. In October I attended another vintage party.
  155. This time it included the 1940s.
  156. I went for a 1940s pincurl wave look with glamorous Hollywood make up.
  157. I rewatched all seasons of CSI.
  158. One of my favorite movies this year was Cosmopolis.
  159. Another movie I finally saw and loved was Un Prophète.
  160. This year I spent quite a bit of time trying to make more posts about language.
  161. These are the most difficult posts for me to write.
  162. Getting all that’s in my head down in 500 – 1000 words is simply impossible.
  163. Language posts take me the largest amount of time and planning.
  164. My song obsession for this year was Marcus Foster – Shadow of the City.
  165. For the first time in a long time I visited my parents for more than a day.
  166. Over Christmas I stayed with them for three days straight.
  167. It’s good to go back to your roots!
  168. I’m still going strong on the low carb eating.
  169. In fact I’m eating fewer carbs than when I started.
  170. I have completely cut pasta and potatoes from my diet.
  171. The only thing I’ll have is the occasional bit of rice when I’m having sushi and the odd slice of bread.
  172. I experienced a bout of spontaneous customer service after ranting about a discontinued product on Twitter.
  173. It happened not once, but twice.
  174. I squealed like a school girl when I watched the Backstreet Boys performance at Good Morning America including Kevin.
  175. Youtube became my go to place for when I’m bored.
  176. Another obsession of my mine in 2012: nail polish top coats.
  177. This led to my being super uninspired to create nail art looks as it’s so quick and easy.
  178. One of my best experiences of the year was taking a few dance classes at The Broadway Dance Center in New York.
  179. It was tough, but so much fun.
  180. For the first time ever I started to experiment with hair care products.
  181. I also went on the look out for the perfect day cream.
  182. My birthday present to myself was a new digital photo camera.
  183. My favorite TV series of the year was The Newsroom.
  184. In November me and some friends went to the Impressionist & Van Gogh exhibition in Hermitage.
  185. Dresses became my new favorite clothing item.
  186. I created my first ever lookbook.
  187. I’ve been trying to come up with some new ideas for the blog.
  188. Some ideas I have so far: do more reviews on my favorite beauty products.
  189. Do an ‘How I Style…’ series.
  190. Create a youtube channel just for the blog and make more videos.
  191. I found a new location to take pictures.
  192. Tea is still an obsession.
  193. My favorite is still the Eucalyptus and Menthol by Twinings.
  194. In the past year I also started appreciating some black tea: Yunnan & Vintage Darjeeling.
  195. I threw out a bunch of nail polish.
  196. You can expect an updated nail polish collection in the new year.
  197. I started using foundation.
  198. I tried taking more time for taking pictures for blog posts.
  199. I’ve been busier than ever but it doesn’t always feel like it.
  200. Only now that I’m writing up this blog, it dawns on me.
  201. The gym has become a major part of my social life in the past 6 months.
  202. I now spend there at least half an hour to an hour extra on Fridays and Saturdays just to chat to people and grab a cuppa.
  203. This year flew by in no time.
  204. 2012 was a great year and I’m thankful for every minute that I lived it.
  205. It would not have been possible without the great people who were in it though.
  206. I would like to thank everyone who’s been part of it for being there.
  207. Be it online or in real life. Close by or far away.
  208. Old friend or new acquaintance. Colleague or student.
  209. Commenter or lurker. Follower or one time visitor.
  210. Know that I appreciate you and all the moments we’ve spent together.
  211. I hope that the new year will have us make many more memories together.
  212. Here’s to an equally good or maybe even better 2013!

See you all next year!

2012 beauty & make up favorites

2012 beauty & make up favorites

As much as I love music, plenty of posts on this blog are devoted to beauty and make up as well. So I thought it would be apt to show you my beauty & make up favorites of the past year. My one condition for making this post is that I must have purchased the product in 2012. If they have been favorites for a longer time, chances are I already wrote about it before. Most of these products have not been featured in reviews yet, so if you care to see one, then please let me know. I have picked products in all categories: hair, shower, skincare, lips, face and eyes. Not all products I like are in the pictures as some are long gone by now. I will still list them in the text though. Enjoy your read!

Hair products:

2012 has definitely been the year where I started to discover hair products. I’ve never been too much of a hair person. But since I’ve been trying to let my hair grow out, I want it to be long and healthy looking. Not dead and like straw. My discovery of the year: leave-in conditioners and hair masks. My favorite by far has to be the leave-in conditioner by Kerastase that I bought from my hairdresser in May. A good second place goes to the L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary hair oil. This is what I’m currently using. I also fell absolutely in love with Jasmin & Henna Fluff-eaze hair mask by Lush. It smells amazing and leaves my hair silky soft after I use it. Another favorite is the Lush shampoo bar in Squeaky Green. My scalp became agitated after using a different shampoo and this thing nicely solved my problems. It foams like there is no tomorrow and cleans your hair very thoroughly without being aggressive.

Shower products

My only addiction when it comes to beauty products: shower gel! I simply can’t get enough of them. I’m absolutely in love with Lush’ Flying Fox, but I finished that ages ago and since I have so many lying about I decided against buying it just yet. Other than that I’ve falling absolutely in love with the Bath & Body Works shower gels I bought in the US over summer. Twilight Woods smells amazing and it’s infused with shea butter making it creamy and not very drying on the skin like other shower gels sometimes do. Another favorite is the Lush Almond & Coconut smoothie. Also creamy and smells delicious. I can’t pinpoint what it reminds me off, but the scent reminds me of my childhood. Double win!

Skin Care & Perfume

I’m not too adventurous skincare wise, so nothing too special going on here. I already wrote about my love for Angels on Bare Skin by Lush and in their Christmas collection they now have Bûche de Noël. Same idea, only creamier, thicker and much more suited for dry, winter skin. Love it! Another favorite I bought only last week, but I think it is a winner. Most eye creams give me itches, sit on my skin or irritate my eyes. Last week, I purchased the Nutriganics eye cream at The Body Shop and I instantly fell in love. It’s rich and creamy, leaves my under eye area silky smooth and seems to work marvelously well. Last but not least, I’ve included a perfume: the Lush Ginger perfume. It’s definitely not a scent for everyone but I love it.

Eye make up

My favorite make up item has to be eyeshadow and I bought quite a few again this year. Favorites are the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. I prefer it over the Naked 1 and whenever I want to make a neutral look it’s this palette I take out. In addition, I discovered two microshadows by The Make Up Store in Jubilee and Tribecca. Two gorgeous highly pigmented eyeshadows that glide on like a charm. Last but not least a budget favorite: the Cover Girl monoshadow in Tapestry Taupe. Great basic color that only costs a few dollars in the US. Not in the pictures but also one of last year’s discoveries is the Maybelline the Falsies Flared mascara. It makes my lashes full and accentuate them in just the right way.

Lips & Cheeks

This year was the year of the MAC lipstick. I think I purchased at least 5 of them in the past year. To represent that obsession I have included MAC’s Amplified lipstick in Impassioned in the picture above. I wore it most together with the Matte lipstick in Pink Plaid and a Lustre in Lovelorn. Another MAC lip product I discovered and loved instantly was Lip Erase in Dim. I have very pigmented lips and wearing lighter colored lipsticks used to be a feat, but no longer. Cheeks wise I only have one real favorite of the year: Physicians Formula Happy Booster in Warm. For a bit of instant glow to the face with a subtle color, this has been my go to color since summer.

Face products

Three MAC products yet again, but very rightly so some of my favorite of the year. 2012 is the year where I finally started using foundation and in which I found the perfect concealer. The foundation that accompanied on my maiden voyage in the land of liquid face make up is MAC’s Face & Body foundation. It is a bit on the sheer side, but easy to build up and with a very natural finish. For concealer I switched from the Studio Sculpt to the Select Moisture Cover for summer. It’s lighter and blends so easily, I simply kept using it because the Studio Sculpt one now feels so cakey. To set all this liquid make up, I have started using the MAC Prep & Prime transparent pressed finishing powder. My job has a climate controlled air conditioning system and caused my MAC Mineralized Skinfinish to look cakey at the end of the day. I told the make up artist about it and she give me this white, light weight powder. I’m in love: it sets my make up, mattifies my face AND makes my make up last without it looking cakey. I’ve had it for 4 months and I’ve already hit pan too!

And that’s it’s my favorite beauty and make up products for 2012. What are yours?

Favorite music of 2012

Favorite music of 2012

2012 was a good year for music. It saw follow ups on previous albums by some of my favorite bands and put a bunch of new bands on my radar as well. I did a quick check and in 2012 I ‘discovered’ over 1000 individual songs and more than 50 albums. I had a post up which involved music in one way or another at least once a week and most of the time these posts featured my current favorite songs. If you click here, you can find all of my music related posts in one go.

I already listed my favorite albums of the year for my local record store, but I thought I’d reiterate that list for you here. My 10 favorite albums that were released in 2012 are:

1. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave

2. Django Django – Django Django

3. Purity Ring – Shrines

4. The Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

5. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal

6. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

7. Choir of Young Believers – Rhine Gold

8. Boy – Mutual Friends

9. The XX – Coexist

10. Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg

Not mentioned in this list, but still albums I listened to quite a bit throughout the year:

1. Marcus Foster – Nameless Path

2. Band of Skulls – Sweet Sour

3. Beirut – The Rip Tide

4. Ben Howard – Every Kingdom

5. Boy and Bear – Moonfire

6. Com Truise – Galatic Melt

7. Ed Sheeran – +

8. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for my Halo

9. Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise

10. Other Lives – Tamer Animals

Song wise I have a few I’d like to point out as well. Most of these have already been featured in older posts or are taken from some of the albums mentioned above. The bottom line is that I had these song on repeat some time during the year. You can click each song to hear it/ watch a youtube video.

Villagers – The Waves, Braids – Peach Wedding, David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who, Alt-J – Tessellate, DIIV – Doused, Veto – Duck, Hush and Be Still, Tennis – Origins, Eaves – Benmidji, Summer Heart – Come with Me, Tender Forever – You have the Woods, Magic Wands – Warrior (The XX Remix), Ricky Eat Acid – Only Girl, Bravestation – Colour us with Youth, Purity Ring – Obedear, The Daylight Braves – Summer at Last, Marcus Foster – Shadow of the City, Django Django – Default, James Vincent McMorrow – And if my heart should somehow stop, Choir of Young Believers – Hollow Talk, Sundrenched – Icecream Truck, Tours – Grand Lux, Sleigh Bells – Demons, Alt-J – Something Good, Ben Howard – Call Me Maybe (cover), Grizzly Bear – Sleeping Ute, Isbells – Baskin’, Memoryhouse – Old Haunts, The XX – Reconsider, Woodkid & Lana Del Rey – Iron (Live), Zulu Winter – We Should be Swimming.

These are my favorite songs for 2012. What are yours?