The year is coming to an end, so as is tradition, I will make a blog post where I sum up all the things that happened in this year. And this year a lot of things, happened to there's plenty to talk about.
Time to adult?
2018's theme was graduation and moving into the next phase of life. In February I started on my graduation report and last November I finally graduated. It hadn't been easy, but I did it, and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I also got a full-time job at what I think is quite possibly the most fun marketing agency in the world. I love the job and love my colleagues, so it doesn't really feel as work. It does feel weird though, to be a working "adult". Somehow the past few years went by really fast and I'm not sure if I know what I'm doing. But I'm making it work.
Travel, travel & more travel
2018 was the last year I had my free student public transport card, so naturally I combined this with the fact that I hardly had classes. I travelled lots through the county and met with many friends.
But I didn't just stay in the country. I went to London Comic Con, which was my third time attending that. It kind of sparked my love for cosplay again and motivated me to finally make my first cosplay. Previously I would buy or commission them, but now I wanted to make one myself. And I did. I wore my Scarecrow cosplay during Dutch Comic Con and got so many compliments! It really made me happy,
I travelled even further and went to Moscow, Russia with my younger brother during the Summer. I loved the city and spending time with my brother was great. I really love to travel and I hope I can continue travelling in 2019.
Apart from getting creative with cosplay, I started exploring my abilities to create things. I told myself to write a poetry book in 2018. Not publish it, just write it. And I did so. I still have to finis things up, but most poems are in a word document right now. I do plan on publishing it, I'm just not sure how yet.
Apart from writing, I also went back to visual media. I started creating videos again and started spending more time with my camera to take photo's as well. I do really hope to continue this in 2019 if time allows it.
Lastly, I tried out acting. I did a few small jobs but eventually realised that I wasn't qualified enough and not motivated enough to follow more lessons. So I let that go. But it was fun to be an extra, though! And I'm proud of myself for trying.
Welcome to the exciting world of me
2018 was also the year where I started becoming myself more. The past couple years I became more and more myself and found my style. But this year I decided to let go of all fear and just 100% be myself. To accomplish this I had help from a psychologist to help me deal with my self-esteem issues. Because the winter of 2018 had been extremely rough, with many very heavy depressive episodes and suicidal thoughts. I'm doing much better now, though, and I'm showing it. I found my style, started wearing face paint simply because I think it looks fun. I stopped suppressing my tics and odd habits. When I listen to music in public I'll dance along and playback and move my head without caring if people are staring. Basically, I stopped trying to be something I'm not, and it's the best thing I've done in years. People accept me, and if they don't they're simply not worth my time.
So what will 2019 bring for me? Well I'm hoping to get that poetry book finished. I hope my webstore will grow more. I'm saving up for a car and I'm hoping to move out of my student flat and get my own place. I'm just excited to fully transition into an independent adult life, although I don't view myself as an adult yet. 2018 has been a rollercoaster, and I hope that 2019 will give me room to finally breathe and flourish.
What about you? What are your hopes for 2019?
A while ago I was casually scrolling through my instagram feed when I got an ad for a beautiful t-shirt. It was white with little "worms" in all sorts of colours on it. I decided to check out the page the ad came from and instantly fell in love with the clothes I saw. The page belonged to Mokuyobi. So when Black Friday came around I took my chance and ordered two t-shirts from them. Today I got them in the mail, so I'll be doing a short review.
Mokuyobi is a clothing brand based in Los Angeles, USA. They make super rad clothing and accessories with fun prints and designs and honestly? Everything they make is to die for. I'm currently saving up for one of their watches and backpacks. I say saving up, because their items are quite pricey. But I understand that that's because they manufacture everything in the USA and because it's original designs. I don't know about you, but I'm more than willing to pay extra for the unique.
ORDERING, SHIPPING & PACKAGING
I ordered 2 t-shirts: the Noodle Doodle tee and the Jan Casper tee. I wanted to order more but my budget wouldn't allow that, sadly. I am subscribed to Mokuyobi's newsletter and thus I got a 20% discount code as a subscriber, for the pre-sale of Black Friday. Ordering was easy and went smoothly. So then I just had to wait for the package to arrive. Coming from the USA, I knew it would take longer. In the end it took about 3 weeks to arrive. I did have to pay a customs fee, but I usually have to do so when ordering from the USA so I knew that beforehand.
The shirts were packaged in a regular shipping plastic bag, or whatever you'd like to call those. It's those plastic shipping bags clothes always come in. If you ever bought clothes online, you know what I'm talking about. Anyways, when I opened it I saw they included gifts! I was honestly so happy with that. They included stickers, a Mokuyobi enamel pin & one of my fave candy! Also the cards they included with information also looked super nice, so that was definitely a plus.
I ordered both tees in large because I'm tall and I like tees with a loose fit. The material feels nice and gentle. Thin, but not of bad quality. Not at all, actually. The tees feel like they're high quality. The fit is also really nice. The length is perfect (even though I tucked them into my jeans) and so is the amount of bagginess I had hoped for. The colours are super bright (just how I like 'em) and absolutely stunning. Now let's just hope my washing machine won't fuck them up.
I'm very satisfied with my order, from start to finish, and I'm super happy that I found out about this brand. I think their designs are one of a kind and definitely suit my daily style (which is wearing so many colours people's eyes start to burn). I will definitely be buying from them again (I have an entire wishlist by now) and I recommend this brand to all those who want to spice up their wardrobe with some colour.
A while ago I was contacted by a jewellery company called Civion with a sponsor request. They said that they wanted to send me a jewellery piece of my choice if I only paid the shipping. Before I agreed I looked into it because I know this is a known scam, but the site seemed legit, there were people on instagram who tagged the store in a photo of them wearing the jewellery, and there were some positive reviews. So I figured, why not?
Two weeks later I received the choker I had chosen. It was cute, but I immediately recognised that it was cheap quality. The description of the choker did say "lightweight" but that does not equal cheap. I wasn't sure what to do with this because they expected me to make a post about it. I didn't wanna lie about the quality but I also didn't want to get in trouble with the company (because I'm a wuss). But when I found out where they most likely get their item from, I decided it was time to write this post (and make a video).
I typed in "triangle choker" on Aliexpress and I found the exact same choker I received for $0.35. They sell it for about $32. That's an insane amount of profit they make. I then thought "maybe Chinese companies stole their design" because I didn't want to jump to conclusions. But when I found a lot of their items on Aliexpress I became pretty convinced that they do indeed get their items from there. Either that, or their supplier is scamming them. But it's disappointing nonetheless.
If you wanna know the full story + get tips on how to avoid being scammed like that, check out the video below.
I've never been a good sleeper. Even as a young child I struggled falling asleep. Until this day I can't take naps and I can only sleep when lying down. And even then I struggle. For me this is caused by my autism, which caused a melatonin deficiency. Melatonin is the substance your body produces when you're going to bed. It tells your brain you're going to sleep. My body doesn't produce enough of it, so when I don't take my melatonin pills it takes me up to two hours to fall asleep. Even with the medication it often takes an hour, and I've had countless of sleepless nights. But I learned a lot from those nights, and I want to tell you what I've learned.
1. Don't look at your phone
Now, I'm not gonna tell you not to use your phone an hour before you go to bed, because most people do this anyway. What I mean by this is that if you can't seem to fall asleep you shouldn't look at your phone again. By doing this you expose your eyes to light, which will only wake you up more. Also, if you're going to tweet or message people, your brain goes from its resting state to having to do things that require focus. So once again you're activating yourself more. So if you can't fall asleep, don't look at your phone.
2. Don't look at the time
This trick I learned from my parents. Often when you can't sleep during the week, you're gonna look at the time and think "Oh crap, I have to get up in 5 hours!". If you do this you're gonna stress yourself out, and what happens when you're stressed? Right, you're more alert. So turn your alarm clock the other way so you can't look at it. Just try not to think about the time.
3. Get up briefly
If you've been in bed for an hour and stil feel wide awake, get up for a minute. Go to the toilet (only use minimal lighting in the bathroom), drink a bit of water, go watch the stars briefly, and lie back down. I've found that after I've gotten up I fall asleep not long after. I'm not sure why, but I think it kind of pulls you out of that "I gotta sleep I gotta sleep I gotta sleep" mindset and sort of resets it for you. Kind of like a second attempt. A fresh start.
4. Exhaust your mind
Apart from a melatonin deficiency, I also have ADHD. This causes my mind to be extremely active all the time and sometimes my body as well. Often I can't sleep because my head is so full and active. My thoughts go rapidly and I can't seem to clear my head. So over the years I developed techniques to exhaust my mind a little. The one I used most when I was younger was to read (with dim lights). By reading I had to focus on something. Eventually I would quit when I found that I could barely focus on the words anymore. After that I usually fell asleep within half an hour.
The second trick, and my most used one to date, is to count backwards from 100 while lying in bed. When doing this you ask your mind to focus on the counting. I do this slowly and usually the beginning is easy. It's when I get to 40 that I really have to try very hard to focus. I always make sure to make it to 0. If it went really easily I repeat it as much as necessary. Usually this calms my mind and I fall asleep about twenty minutes later. I think the most important part here is to find something to focus on. Sometimes I make myself focus on my breathing. You just need to distract your mind from your thoughts.
5. Check your breathing
I just said that sometimes I focus on my breathing as a distraction, but what I'm actually doing it applying meditation techniques. This helps you relax. Breathe through your stomach (so to say, just make sure your stomach rises and falls and not your chest) and focus on that. Focus purely on breathing calmly. If you can't sleep because you're stressed about something, this will help you feel more relaxed. But in any case it's a good thing to do.
Do you have any tips? Comment them below!
Guess who's back? Well.. Guess who has been back for about a month but was too lazy to write a blogpost until now? That's right, me. I went on holiday to Moscow with my younger brother and had a great time! And based on my experiences I will give you some things to keep in mind when travelling to Moscow (or any other big city).
1. The language barrier
Before we went to Moscow I already was informed that not many people spoke English in Russia. I was expecting to have to keep things simple in terms of communication, but what I was not expecting was that most people did not speak one single word of English. This made things quite difficult. However, I did come prepared. I downloaded an offline Russian dictionary app and I downloaded the Russian dictionary on the Google Translate app. Especially the latter is great because not only does it allow you to translate offline (since we didn't have wifi in most places and data was too expensive), it also allows you to use the camera function to live translate signs and other written things. This helped us on a few occasions. So if you go to another country with a foreign language I definitely recommend doing this.
2. Finding your way
There is one app that saved our asses during this trip: citymapper. Citymapper is an app that allows you to get around in a city of your choice (it goes by location). It works on wifi but what I did was to save all possible trips for offline use when at the hotel. The evening beforehand my brother and I would pick out three things we would be visiting the next day and I would map out the entire route and save all public transport trips in the offline mode of citymapper. Even when offline it tracks your location so that when you have to walk from a busstation to the actual address it can give you the route and tell you where to go. It shoes the possible public transport options as well as the duration of the trip. At one point I found that it also gave me reminders like "get off at the next stop". I definitely recommend that app for travelling anywhere.
In Russia they use Russian roubles. Now if you're used to a currency like Euros, Dollars or Pounds, you'll very quickly find that everything is super cheap. We managed to do groceries for around €12 which here would've cost us at least €20 if not more. However, it's easy to get lost in this and end up spending way more than planned. So I advice you to beforehand calculate how many roubles is one Euro/Dollar/Pound/whatever it is you use. You can check the currencies online. By doing this you can quickly calculate how much something approximately costs before buying it. I also advice paying with cash. Not that my card didn't work, but it helps you keep better track of how much you've spent. And only get cash at actual banks, not random ATMs on the street. This goes for any country, honestly.
4. Watch your stuff
I always take a small backpack with me when travelling because I always carry things like a water bottle, food and a power bank. However, I keep my valuables close to me. In Moscow I kept things like my phone, debit card, cash, passport and hotel keys in a small travel bag that was hanging around my neck. This way it'll be very hard to steal. Also a side tip for the photographers out there: buy a camera holster. It saves a lot of neck pain.
5. Enjoy the city!
Going to Moscow or any big city can be stressful because you don't know the way, the language or how dangerous it can be. I have to admit, the first day I'm always a bit nervous because of these things. But after that I completely relax and just have fun. So try to let go of your worries and just have fun! Also try some of the local food and buy a cheesy souvenir. There's nothing wrong with being a typical tourist.
I also made a vlog documenting my trip, which you can watch below!
It's been a while since I've done a lens review. I haven't really had time for them. But Klenspop was kind enough to send me a stunning pair of coloured lenses: the Mojito Green lenses from the brand Lenspop. So without further ado, let's get into them!
I'm not going to discuss the packing, shipping and communication because it always remains the same (I've done a lot of Klenspop reviews in the past). So let's get right to the lenses. When I got them, my first thought was "wow, these are super light! Are they even gonna show on my eyes?". The answer is: yes. They do show. Very well.
The colour on my eyes is absolutely stunning and it looks pretty natural. Like I have very intense green eyes, which I love. I can definitely see myself wearing these casually.
The first thing I noticed about these lenses was that when I put them in, they immediately felt comfortable. Often the first ten minutes of wearing coloured lenses are quite uncomfortable due to my eyes having to adjust and the lenses kind of itching. But with these I didn't have that at all! They felt very nice.
After wearing them for a day I found that they remained pretty comfortable but that, just like with many other lenses, my eyes would get pretty dry and the lenses would start to itch a little bit. However it's more comfortable than many other lenses I have.
I would give these lenses a 9/10 because they look amazing and are quite comfortable. I'm not sure how they would look on someone with brown eyes, since they're pretty light. My guess is that it would give a green glow. These lenses are great for casual wear but could also be worn for cosplay. I will definitely wear these more often!
*this is a sponsored review, however my opinions are 100% honest
It's been a while since I last dyed my hair. After having had my hair blue around this time last year, I decided to let it grow so it could get healthy again. A couple weeks ago I deemed it healthy, and thus I bleached and dyed my hair again. I used a brand I haven't used before: Lunar Tides. I decided I might as well review it!
Lunar Tides is a brand that sells 32 different shades of hairdye. They made this many shades so you can easily find the colour you're after without having to blend different dyes or using diluters. Their dyes are 100% cruelty free and they are vegan.
I chose the colour Solar Flare, which is orange. I've never had orange hair and I figured I might as well give it a try. I first bleached my hair with Manic Panic's vol 40 bleach kit. After that I applied the dye. The dyes come in a jar of 4 oz, and for me that means I can use it twice. The packaging looks very cool. It has a witchy vibe which I love! It smells great and I always apply it with my hands because I'm unable to use a brush properly (I just suck at it).
I found the dye incredibly easy to rinse out. I've had brands where I'd be rinsing my hair for fifteen minutes before the water came out clear. With Lunar Tides, it took me about three minutes, not to mention that it smelled great. It has conditioner in it (or at least that's what it seems like) which makes my hair feel pretty soft and smooth. The colour came out a lot brighter than I expected (it's brighter than it looks on the photo's) and at first I wasn't sure what to think. However, I now love it!
When my hair gets wet it doesn't bleed, but I do smell the dye which is very pleasant. As long as you don't shampoo your hair the colour remains. When applying shampoo the colour fades a bit, but that's normal for most dyes. I do feel like it fades less quickly than other dyes.
I definitely love this brand. They have a lot of colours to choose from and the dye is just great. I got myself some pink dye as well so after orange I'll be going pink. Ordering from their site when outside the USA is expensive because of the shipping costs. For people living in the Netherlands: Attitude Holland sells the dyes as well. For others: check to see if you can get it from alternative shops or other places where you can buy unnatural hair dyes.
I think I'm getting better at posting this series more regularly. Once again, I've found lots of cool songs that I want to share, so here we go!
1. Binky - Fireflies
Recently I got back into folky songs. I usually listen to them around the winter, but this one (idk if it's actually folk but it sounds like it) has more of a summery vibe!
2. Sjowgren - Seventeen
When I first listened to this song I went "Holy shit, this is really good.", and honestly I still think that. I have yet to listen to more of their songs, but I have to share this one!
3. Fuvk - Anywhere
Recently I've been listening to Fuvk a lot, since their songs are really calming and often very cute. This one is my favourite!
4. CupcakKe - Barcodes
When I first listened to CupcakKe I wasn't sure what to to think, but now I love her! She's a sex-positive female black rapper and she's really doing such a good job!
5. Marian Hill - Down
This song starts out really calm and then has a nice beat. I really like those kind of chill vibes that this song provides.
6. Flight Facilities - Foreign Language (Personal Touch Remix)
I'm a sucker for a good remix, and this one is one of those! It really gives me summer vibes and instantly puts me in a good mood.
7. Class Actress - Journal of Ardency
I found this song through the tv series "Barry" (which I really recommend watching!) and honestly it's sooo good!
8. Young Mister - Anybody Out There
This song is honestly so good (I say that about all these songs, but they're all just amazing). The singer's voice is really nice to listen to and the song has good summer vibes.
9. Phoebe Bridgers - Georgia
This woman's voice is so incredible, and it makes me wonder why she isn't world famous yet.
10. Soap & Skin - Me And The Devil
I found this song while watching DARK (another recommendation!) and I fell in love with it honestly.
11. BØRNS - Dopamine
This song just instantly puts me in a good mood, and I don't understand how I've never heard it before. It deserves way more attention!
12. BINGLE - Coming Home
This is one of those songs that I imagine listening to in a car with an open roof (that I wish I could afford) while driving to the beach. Good vibes.
13. Jaded - Pancake
These kind of songs are really nice to listen to while walking for some reason. Makes me pick up my pace a lot while feeling like a badass.
14. Castlecomer - Fire Alarm
And last but not least, some Indie Rock. Rock is always good.
Got some song recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!
Lately I've been cleaning out my closet to make room for new clothes. Luckily for me, I got sent this cool t-shirt by Storedogdog! So let's review that, shall we?
About the store
I've known this store for about two years now and have personal contact with the owner. The store started because they used to supply for Inu Inu (and the following words are exactly why you shouldn't support them) but Inu Inu scammed them for a lot of money, leaving the owners of Storedogdog with a lot of items they couldn't do anything with. So they decided to start their own store and sell the items for a better price with free shipping. Inu Inu had been selling the same items for super high prices, and when they found out what Storedogdog was doing they tried to shut them down (which is super immature). Also Inu Inu claimed to have original designs but later turned out that only half of those were actual originals. The rest was sold by Storedogdog too so it came from a Chinese supplier.
The owner (and the rest of the team) of Storedogdog is always super helpful and replies as fast as possible. They are willing to reship items free of charge when it gets lost and want to make sure your order arrives safely.
Shipping and packaging
Storedogdog always has free shipping, which is awesome! It's usually pretty quick as well. They ship from China and I believe I got my order in like a week. The longest I had to wait for their package was 2 weeks, the average is about 10 days.
It's always safely packed and I've never ordered any items from them that turned out to be damaged.
I really love stripes and colours so this shirt is something I fell in love with. I had hoped it was a cotton shirt, as I find those a bit nicer to wear in warmer weather, but it turned out to be synthetic, so that's a bit of a bummer. However, it's of good quality and I think I will be wearing it quite a lot.
I really do recommend this store, as it's one of my favourites and I have a really good experience with it. The owner works very hard on it and you can definitely see that pay off. However since this store carries Asian fashion I want to give a warning to always look at the sizes. They are Asian sizes and thus smaller. If you want this shirt, you can buy it here.
*this is a sponsored post, however, my opinions are 100% honest.
I like learning languages. I'm not saying I'm good at it, or that it's something I spend loads of time on, but from time to time I like to sit down and learn new words in a foreign language. Unfortunately, I can't afford (or sometimes even find) a teacher, so I have to do it myself. This post will give you an overview of tools you can use to learn a language. I used Chinese as an example because that's what I'm focused on right now, but you can apply it for any language.
Most people know Duolingo. I have used Duolingo in the past, but I found that I didn't learn the things I wanted to learn and that it also often didn't offer the languages I was looking for. So I found Memrise. It's very similar to Duolingo but it offers way more courses. It even has a course for sign language! It has a website as well as an app, so you can use it on multiple platforms.
For Chinese, I found a handy offline dictionary that I used a lot when I was in China. It has an Chinese to English and English to Chinese function. When I needed something and didn't know the Chinese word, I just typed it in and showed it to the other person. Apart from using an (offline) dictionary for travelling, you can also use it to look up words for your study. I think every language has a dictionary app. It's a very good idea to add one of your target language. I also use it to translate words I come across so I can learn them. For those learning Chinese, this app is called Pleco.
Tumblr is actually a really good source for language knowledge. I simply typed in "learn Chinese" and I found hundreds of posts with lists of words and their translations, as well as grammar lessons from people who are fluent in Chinese. Sometimes there are even blogs dedicated to a language.
HiNative is an app where you can ask questions about a language to natives and other learners. Simply add your target language and ask a question. Usually you get an answer within an hour. You can also do voice questions, asking for opinions about your pronunciation. Other than that, you can also answer questions from people learning a language you're fluent in. It's kind of a community forum and it's very helpful!
5. Popular media
A very important one is to listen to songs in your target language and watch films and series that are in that language. By listening you can pick up a lot of things, especially, if you have lyrics or subtitles on hand so you can connect words you hear to their meaning. What I do for Chinese is to watch live streams in an app called UpLive. Live streaming is very big in China and some people are making a living with it. I usually just watch the live streamers and try to pick up words. Right now I don't understand 95% of what they're saying but I did learn a few new words just by watching live streams for like 4 hours. Also the chat box in the app helps me learn Chinese characters.
This is a website made for making friends to learn languages with and write letters to. I have made a couple friends here, one of which I ended up meeting in real life! You can make a profile and add which languages you know and which ones you want to learn. You can search for people by things like age, gender, country and language. If you find someone who you want to connect with you can send them a message. Having native speakers to turn to when you have questions is very helpful, so if you don't know any native speakers, this site can help! I do have to add a warning to this, though. I usually search for females (or at least people who are not male) because 8/10 males that come into my inbox are just looking for a relationship. There are exceptions, as I have made some male friends too. Luckily you can add a setting where you can filter who can message you. But don't let it stop you, because this website has a lot to offer.
Do you have any platforms to add? Let me know in the comments!