Monthly Recap: August 2015

Picture Perfect

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I met up with Dani from Dani Reviews Things in Amsterdam

What's HappenedThe first part of August I was still in Germany. We visited Potsdam and Berlin and later on visited an uncle in Poland. The weather in Sweden hadn’t been really nice (no kidding, it was freaking cold). I packed tons of summer clothes and only a few warm clothes, but I ended up wearing my warm clothes. We decided to go to Germany where the weather was going to be really nice and I actually got to wear the shorts and tank tops I’d packed for the trip. Yay.

The day after I got home I decided to meet up with Dani from Dani Reviews Things. I met her through the Air Awakens Street Team I’m a part of (which was one of my best decisions EVER, because I made some new friends that I grew super close with through August). She was in Amsterdam and decided to meet each other (she was leaving the same evening so it was the only option) and who cares about being tired when you get to meet a fellow blogger you’ve been chatting with?! I was a bit nervous, as you don’t really know if you’ll have a connection in real life, but we hit it off right away. She’s the sweetest person ever, and has a wicked sense of humor, I had a blast.

August was also a month of buying a little too many books. I bought the Game of Thrones boxed set in Sweden. Then decided to try my hand at Graphic Novels and this turned into an addiction… I’ve read Saga Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3, Ms Marvel Volume 1, and I’m currently reading Lumberjanes Volume 1. Then I heard about Leigh Bardugo coming to the Netherlands in October and I absolutely love her Grisha series. Problem was that I’d read them as ebooks, and well, gotta get my books sighed, so I caved and bought the entire trilogy in hardcover. *winces* my bank account now officially hates me. I was constantly thinking “I already have so many books at home I still need to read”, but then I saw a bookstore and, well, the rest is history.

workoutsThis is something new I’ll be including in my Monthly Recaps. Last year I decided I wanted to get stronger. I’ve always been a pretty active person, I like sports and am always up for new experiences, but I just didn’t feel strong. And I truly hated that. So I made it a point to change that. I wanted to train more, and overall maintain a healthier lifestyle. There’s a wonderful community of girls all around the world doing Kayla Itsines’ BBG guides, and I’d been checking it out for a while, so I decide to just go for it.

I’d fallen a bit of the wagon during my holiday, so I decided to start at the bottom again and I just completed Week 2 of the BBG guide. Week 1 was tough. My muscles were on fire the entire week. My legs hurt, I could barely lift my arms, and sneezing (as well as laughing) was so freakin’ painful. It’s no joke. While I cursed myself for wanting to start this guide in the first place, I’m a huge believer in finishing what you starting, and I made it a point to remind myself that this was what I wanted. You’re not going to become strong and fit with a snap of your fingers, you have to work for it, and that means putting in the effort and conquer everything that stands in your way. I survived that first week. Week 2 was so much better. The exercises are still hard. By the end of them I’m sweaty and so freakin’ sore, but my body doesn’t hurt as bad as it did last week and that feeling is SO GOOD.

Funny as it is, I already notice some changes. I’ve been paying attention to what I’m eating. I don’t eat less, just healthier (and making sure I get the proteins I need), and I’ve been more energetic and happier. My focus is on becoming stronger, and I am getting stronger. It’s the best feeling in the world.

I might start including some posts about this journey on my blog as well. I asked before, and got a lot of positive reactions, so I’ll be slowly adding this to my blog and see how it is received. Maybe I’ll add some of my favourite (and least favourite) workouts, and share some of my favourite recipes. We’ll see. It all depends if this is something you’ll be interested in reading about *winks*.

Quote of the Month“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.”
― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

On the Agenda

  1. University! September 7th university starts again. I’m really excited to dive into my second year, so many exciting new things to learn and seeing and just the regularity of having a schedule again. At the same time I’m nervous, because I’ll be taking a few extra classes and I’m hoping I haven’t put too much on my plate. I think I can handle it, but we’ll see how it goes!
  2. Queen of Shadows!!! I am BEYOND excited to read the next instalment in the Throne of Glass series, and I know, I just know it’s going to be so damn good! I know lots of people are as excited as I am, and I can’t wait to talk (read: gush and fangirl) about it with you.
  3. My birthday! Yes, September is my birthday month. Bake the cake and light 21 candles, because I’ll be turning 21 years old on September 20th.

How was your summer?

Monthly Recap July

Monthly Recap July was a pretty weird month. June hadn’t really been a fun month for me, so I haven’t really been in the very happiest of moods, but it’s also the official start of the summer. And therefore time to relax, unwind, and finally catch up on my reading challenge. At the beginning of the month I was about 18 books behind. I hadn’t been feeling like reading, and I’m not the one to force myself to read, so the number of books I was behind kept getting bigger and bigger. As of right now, I am proud to announce that I am *drum roll* only 7 books behind on schedule. Is that an applause I hear? Sounds like music to my ears, haha. I am finally feeling that holiday spirit, am relaxing, and finishing book after book. Hardlopen18 July I left with my family for Sweden. We traveled by boat (which was absolutely lovely *cue sarcasm* because I get terribly seasick). After the horrors of the boat journey were over, we arrived in Sweden to pretty rainy weather, so we drove all the way to Kalmar: the only sunny spot in Sweden, yay! I’d never been to Sweden before, and I didn’t really know what to expect, but the nature is absolutely stunning! And the best part was that there were running trails all the way around the campsite, through the forest and alongside the sea, so I was able to go on a run every single day. Loved it. Right now, I am in Potsdam, Germany. We arrived today, and as it is a city with a lot of history I am looking forward to exploring!

Little Highlights

    • Went to the movies with friends and watched Age of Adeline & Magic Mike XXL . I loved Age of Adeline. It had a bit of a fairytale-like quality to it, and it was cute all around. Plus, as a Dutch girl I gotta support Dutch actors (because watching Michiel Huisman on the big screen is just SUCH a hardship, haha). And watching Magic Mike… well, not really the best of movies, but totally a guilty pleasure.
    • Rewatched The Swan Princess. I was absolutely obsessed with Derek when I was younger and I was feeling nostalgic. It was a bit of an anticlimax, because it fell a bit short for grown-up me, but it was fun to rewatch on of my fave childhood movies.
    • I got back on track with my workouts!
    • Babysat my niece and nephews with my sister. Family quality time is ALWAYS a highlight in my book.

    The Stats

    Finished:

    Lux series (reread – 5 books): 5 stars

    Dark Element series (reread – 2 books): 5 stars

    Sweet Evil trilogy: 4 stars

    Daughter of Smoke & Bone: 5 stars

    Since You’ve Been Gone: 4 stars

    Stormdancer: 5 stars

    Moby Dick: 3 stars

    Started Reading:

    World After

    Every Last Breath

    Conclusion:

    I’ve read a total of 14 books (and still counting). I’ve given some pretty high ratings this month, but then again, it is my holiday and I was sure to pick books that I KNEW I was going to like. I needed to get out of that ugly reading slump. And so far, I think it’s safe to say: Mission completed!

When Professors include Song-Lyrics in Exams

First semester of the first year English Language is done. Exams are over with, and now I know that I passed all of them on the first go I can finally take a breather and think back. First thing that pops into my mind? My Language Acquisition exam. One of the exams I least liked, but brings a smile to my face nonetheless. Why? Well, the professors decided to include song-lyric texts in the exam.

Fun idea? Yes. Good idea? I don’t know. The thing is, my head is like a jukebox. Once I see (or hear) the lyrics of a song I like, it starts playing on repeat in my mind. Which isn’t the best thing to happen to you when you’re trying to make an exam in a space filled with students focussing on their exams, scribbling away furiously and *crickets* quietly.

Gosh, when I think back to that exams it brings a smile to my face. It was pretty hilarious. Because once the song-lyric is on repeat in my mind. I need to find an outlet (aka I need to sing, out of tune, to try and get rid of it), which was so not a possibility at the time. I felt like standing up and getting my groove on. Which would have been extremely hilarious, but so embarrassing.

singing

Needless to say, I finished the exam in record time (actually managed to get  a good grade even though the jukebox in my mind was on playing very loudly) and walked around singing ‘You and I’ and ‘This is how we do it’ the remainder of the day. Or remainder of the week really… that’s what happens when I walk around with song-lyrics in my head.

I guess we all have those moments where you have this song stuck in your head, but singing it out loud would be incredibly inappropriate. And that made me curious.

So tell me about your crazy, weird, embarrassing, or just plain hilarious experiences!

 

 

Late Night Blogging Inspirations

You just finished your homework, but stay up late because you desperately want to finish a book you’re currently reading (and loving). You decide to go to bed, because you have class in the morning. Then, when you finally shut your eyes and feel yourself falling asleep, inspiration hits.

sighI’m all for some blogging inspiration, but a little earlier would have been nice. But hey, what can you do about it?

Well, I do what I expect every blogger would do. I turn on the light, find a pen and some paper, and jot it down. Because if I don’t I ALWAYS forget. When I just started out I used to think that I would remember and continue falling asleep. Worst thing to do. Because there’s a 99,9 percent chance that I’ll end up forgetting all about it. So whenever inspiration strikes, I take notes. Doesn’t matter where I am, or how late it is.

As a blogger, I am always looking for new ways to improve. I think we all feel the drive/desire to make your blog stand out. I struggle with that. And I know I’m not the only one. But I guess that’s why I am always writing things down. I don’t write about everything I write down, so when I have no clue what to write about, I try to find something between the notes I took.

The main problem is that I can’t force myself to blog. I have to feel like writing to be able to write. Which makes it hard to plan ahead and schedule. And I find the discussion posts even harder to write. I don’t want to write about something that’s been covered by tons of other bloggers. I want to stand out a bit. And then there are periods that I am so busy with university that I have almost no time to blog. Which makes inspiration even harder to find. And that sucks (and is extremely frustrating).

I’m don’t think I am making sense anymore, but I guess what I am wondering is whether you struggle with this as well? I have some new ideas that I’d love to get started on (inspiration that hit at 01.00 *sighs*), but I’m not really sure if it’s any good or not. Or if it’ll work out. I know others must struggle with this… but how do you deal with it?

Who Knew This TV-Show Was THIS Good?

the 100

A few weeks ago I started watching The 100. I started getting curious about this show during the summer. I was in London with my sister to attend YALC and it seemed that all over Twitter people were talking about this show. Then university started and I felt like I couldn’t start a new tv show. So while I was on break I decided to watch an episode to see what all the fuss was about… and two days later I’d finished watching the entire first season. I haven’t even read the book yet, but that first episode was so incredibly good that I couldn’t stop watching. I am completely and irrevocably obsessed with this show.

And then there was Lincoln, and my obsession grew even bigger. Or more specifically: Lincoln and Octavia. The two meet, they have this strong connection, and pretty fast after that they’re getting hot and heavy. Sound familiar? Well, it seems like a perfect example of insta-love doesn’t it? But while this would annoy me to no end in books, I don’t seem to care about it in tv-shows. I have no idea why, but I ship them all the way. They’re some of my favourite characters in this show. Maybe it’s just because Lincoln is a badass and looks incredibly good. Maybe it’s that they have great chemistry. Or maybe it is the character development they both undergo. I really have no idea, but what I do know is that I binge watched all the episodes there are in under a week, and that’s fast (and quite possible slightly unhealthy).

I am so, so, so obsessed with this show and with Lincoln and Octavia’s relationship. I just love it. And can’t wait for the next episode to air!

Have you watched this show? What do you think about Lincoln and Octavia’s relationship?