12.31.2013

Happy New Year!

12.31.2013
As I am sitting here comfortably wrapped in my IKEA blanket whilst hearing all the kids play with fireworks outside and wait until my mom has made her delicious spring rolls before we head back to our little Supernatural/Grimm/Sleepy Hollow marathon I just want to wish you all a lovely evening tonight.

You must have heard and read this a thousand times but I cannot believe how fast this year has passed. Finally having my well deserved Christmas break I have had some time to just relax and let everything go by before heading into full student stress next week. My year does not have the best end and though I wonder time and time again why life is so unfair it has only made me want to leave this year behind. 

However, 2013 has not been just filled with sadness as I have had the opportunity to travel and made it to my MA university year among other wonderful things. Tonight I will celebrate the start of a new year with the family and though I do not know what to expect of tonight since we'll be going out I do hope it will be fun. Whether your year has been good or bad, I hope you will have a great and festive time tonight!

Xx

12.26.2013

Christmas!

12.26.2013

Hello everyone,
A very merry Christmas to you all. I hope you've had a wonderful couple of days, can't believe how quickly it went by. Sitting here behind my laptop on my birthday, yes the 26th, which unfortunately did not turn out well. Trust and love are rare and I have experienced  my fair share of wrongs but I will not delve into that right now. Before moving on to the jolly part of this blog post I also want to take a moment to pay my respect to my stepfather's grandma, a kind and lovely woman who sadly passed away on Christmas eve. May she rest in peace...






Whilst Christmas does not only contain joy and happiness we did have a Christmas tree that was surrounded with gifts. As last year, we all bought gifts for each other and there was hardly any place left to put more of them. I love shopping for Christmas for my family and I even had some ideas some time ago for some members of the family.




For my mother, I bought this shopper trolley as we always end up with too many bags to carry and she always wanted one. In the same practical manner, I got a USB stick for my sister since hers doesn't have that much capacity and her boyfriend a universal phone holder for in the car. It can also be used for MP3-players and all sorts of things. Really handy. As for my stepfather and brother, I just bought things I know they'll always love and appreciate. My brother got a whole bunch of snacks and styling items from me and I gave my stepfather two books, one about chess and one about soccer, as well chocolate. This wasn't any chocolate bar, but chocolate in the form of a keytool.

As for the wonderful Christmas gifts I received from my family:



My boss also gave all team members a lovely gift:

They're scented!
Christmas Day breakfast and dinner :3
Since the 26th of December here in the Netherlands known as the 2nd Christmas day is my birthday I also received some great birthday presents today. 


It is funny to see that both my brother and my sister and her bf went for owl-themed birthday presents. It is true I do love owls a lot blame Harry Potter and now I have a whole cute selection. Still doubting whether I should get my artsy on and paint the little owl statue. 


Still enjoying all the desserts etc. that were part of today's menu, I end this post. A tiny plus when no one shows up, more deliciousness for us, right? I hope you enjoyed your holidays, let me know what your favourite item is that you got.

Xx

12.22.2013

Outing: Food and Glowgolf

12.22.2013


More than a year has passed which means a new outing with my colleagues!

This time, a colleague and I had the honor to come up with activities and we opted for all you can eat at the wok followed by a nice game of glow-in-the-dark golf. Both activities are situated in the rather new Leisure Dome at Kerkrade which is basically an entertainment, or obviously leisure building with a cinema, game hall etc. I ate so much at the wok, we had three hours instead of two which meant more time to eat - it was delicious! Afterwards it was time for 'glowgolf'' and whilst we heard from several people that it was a one-time thing I really liked it. The whole concept was in this fantasy style which I am a big fan of and the walls and everything was just amazing to look at. I just kept making photos and photos. Here's an impression:


Xx

12.07.2013

Primark

12.07.2013

Tadaaaaa! Oh yes I went there... I visited the new and allegedly biggest Primark of the Benelux at none other than: Eindhoven. It was freaking cold that day and after waiting in the cold on the train platform in Sittard and a forty-five minute drive Aranka and Silvana, two of my friends, and I arrived. Prepare for the picture post - these are the items I bought:




Hahaha yes I was in desperate need for some warm winter items. Can you see the theme; ALL the comfy cardigans I could find.  A few days before I came to the realization that it's not even winter yet and I am already running out of winter outfits. So I put a stop to it. Furthermore I also got these items from Primark:


Did I scare you?


 And that's it! Love the boots they are really sturdy and comfy. I also love the details on the inside. And another theme which is basically my entire wardrobe: black. Yes I do love my dark colours. Obviously. We went in around two o'clock and came out of the busy store around five. YES three whole hours in the Primark. Insane, but so worth it.


I love this shop! It also was the first time I went to the fitting rooms and am I glad I did since I could leave half of the clothing items I had in the bag-to-walk-around-with-until-it-becomes-oh-so-heavy when I was done fitting. Afterwards we searched for food we could easily take and eat in the train and were even able to take a train earlier back to Sittard because it had a five minute delay. This turned out especially great for me because two of my other friends were coming over to watch The World's End at my place in the evening. So funny, how I spent so many days with nothing fun to do and then I have just too little time because of all the fun things that I had planned. Oh, how I love days like these!

Xx

11.30.2013

Back from... Amsterdam!

11.30.2013
A three-day trip to Amsterdam with a busy schedule was ahead of me. The second study trip of my Master. During this trip we were able to meet some of the people of the institutions that we were assigned to do research for. The case studies for the Marketing and Management course are: The Van Gogh Museum, the National Ballet, The Appel Arts Centre, and the Holland Festival. I had a wonderful but exhausting time. Finally was able to see more of the "touristy" and arts and cultural places or institutions. The days went as follows...

Wednesday - Day 1
Doubting whether I should go earlier and therefore on my own to Amsterdam to be able to shop and explore - but decided the day before I might as well just tag along with the rest. Our train left at 14:28 from Maastricht to Amsterdam Amstel, where we resided the next couple of days at Stayokay Zeeburgerdijk. As bare and practical as the rooms in the hostel in Berlin, I was with four others in a room for six. In contrast to the time I spend at the facilities of the hostel in Berlin, here there was barely time to see what things one could do. First stop: Theater Frascati where we had a nice meeting with two people of marketing, one of which was the head of marketing/communications, which was followed by the performance Love Songs by Fabuleus as part of the Breaking Walls festival. Although I really liked the concept - a group of youngsters who made 25 new love songs after having done research in everything related to love - it was too experimental for me.

Thursday - Day 2:
First stop: The Van Gogh Museum. I have always wanted to go to this museum and now I actually have. It was amazing to see works of art by Vincent van Gogh. We also had a meeting with the head of marketing/visitor research and someone from the education department of the museum. The visitor research they showed was very interesting to see and useful for the people who have this museum as case study.

The next stop was made up of three options: a meeting with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands; a meeting with the marketeer of Amsterdam Heritage Museums and a tour along World Heritage Site Canal Ring; a visit to the Anne Frank house. I chose for the last option as I always wanted to go to the Anne Frank house. We had some time in between so I walked through the city. However, when it was time to go to the Anne Frank House I was almost late. I had it all figured out - which line to take, where to walk to etc. - but there were some diversions. On arrival we went to a room where we had a meeting with an alumna of the Master who was now working in the international department of the Anne Frank House. After this it was time to take the tour. It has left such an impact of me. There were some instances where my emotions got the better of me and my eyes started to water. The small, thin, steep stairs, the videos with Otto Frank... it really made an impact.

Hereafter we had some free time. Being as exhausted as we were, two friends and I, went to a nice little restaurant where we ate some delicious pancakes and just relaxed there until it was time to go to the last item of that day: the Stedelijk Museum. Here we also had a talk with an alumnus and I thought it was nice to actually really see where some people who have done the study have ended up. Next to his talk, there were also two others who gave a talk - an introduction to the Malevich exhibition and the Alzheimer programme - and entrance to the museum. Although the art on display is not really the art I like, it was still interesting to see.


Friday - Day three: The final day was made up of a visit to the Muziektheater and an optional visit to the Appel Arts Centre. The Muziektheater was really cool to see. We got behind the scenes, were on stage, at the custome department and so on. It was great. We even got to see some of the performers practice which was just amazing. The talk was by the head of marketing of the National Ballet and the Nederlandse Opera as well as an alumna who was part of the online marketing department. The talks were not that newly informative which was a pity. After a nice lunch at the artists foyer, some of us had a meeting with someone of the Holland Festival. I did this as well since this was my case study for the Marketing and Management course. The meeting was... not really successful. I don't know if it was because of the language barrier (mix of international and Dutch students thus he was speaking in English) but there was some tension between most of the students and the things he said. It all sounded very elite and in the end the assignment we had in mind turned out to not be the right one. Being done with this meeting and extremely tired I just wanted to relax and did not go to the Appel Arts Centre. It also was not the kind of art I like to see so I did not go and instead did some old fashioned shopping. I know... I can't visit and not shop.

the stage being torn down at the Muziektheater
Some of the costumes we saw - the wooden details
were handmade upon the fabric - insane!




I grabbed dinner from several places - which you will see in a minute - including some delicious tuna sandwiches from Marks & Spencer. I wish we had one of those shops here, because well Marks and Spencer haha. Forgetting that it was Friday I was really surprised of how busy it was. However, I was fortunate enough to have a seat the entire way home.

The things I bought apart from my dinner:
- Sour Patch watermelon (for the Sour Patch Kids weren't there) and Pop Tarts
- An old fashioned diary I always wanted to have from the Van Gogh Museum
- Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me and Intense Care and Maybelline Color Show nail polishes in Burgundy Kiss and Midnight Taupe from a DA discount shop
- A pair of earrings and a ring of Brandy and Melville

My dinner: durum, sandwiches, fruit, starbucks chai tea latte
Although I was really really tired I had a wonderful time. My evening was not over as I went home and was off again to meet with some of my best friends which included a lot of chocolate and the film This is the End. Can't wait for the next study trip which will be a one-day trip to Brussels!

Xx

11.17.2013

Graduated!

11.17.2013

My official graduation photo xD

Woohoooo officially graduated! On the 24th of October I finally had my BA Arts and Culture graduation ceremony. All the hard work paid off. It was a fairly short ceremony - about one hour, an hour and a half tops - but then again I do not have any experience with this so it might be normal.

The outline of the graduation ceremony

My mom, being mom, took photos the entire day which was very useful since now I have more to show you. Thanks mom! Also, the official photos weren't made available until a few days ago, hence this delayed post.

Waiting for the ceremony to start

 The ceremony was interrupted with a music intermezzo by two Spanish musicians. Their performance was amazing and I was really captivated and moved by their music.

I wish I had recorded it

 After the ceremonial part we went outside to make, you guessed it, the group photo. It took some time but eventually everyone was out and after the photographer had positioned himself as well as addressed where we should stand the photos were taken. Leaving Maastricht,  my mom, stepdad, brother and sister went out for dinner at Salvatore's, and Italian restaurant in Hoensbroek.

To be honest I have not had the time to reflect or actually let it sink in that I succeeded that part of my life. I have the folder with my degree in a drawer... instead of hanging it somewhere or whatever is normal. This is definitely due to the fact that I was in the middle of writing a paper as the exam of one of my master courses. And after that... I don't know... I just didn't have the time, as lame as it sounds. Life passes by so quickly - in my case especially now - and I should take the time to think about the successful things, the good things. We all should. Went really melodramatic there but you get my point. There are so many times in one's life that are tearing you apart. Heck, there might be even more bad than good. Which is exactly why we need to cherish the moments that are good.

Xx

11.13.2013

Off to...

11.13.2013
Amsterdam!

Here I am being terrible at keeping my blog updated. I haven't even finished or continued my intended blogposts about Berlin and I am already off to visit a new city: Amsterdam. Yes, one of the reasons I choose the MA Arts and Heritage was for its study trips - I am not going to lie. Guilty as charged. So, the next stop is a three day study trip to the capital of the Netherlands. Of course I have been here before. Like any other girl I visited Amsterdam to shop. Whilst I have always wanted to see more of the city I never managed to do it. Visiting Amsterdam has always been a one-day trip and with a group of people with the intention to shop. I did however, visited different parts of Amsterdam with my bachelor study. This was also a one-day trip and included a tour in the Beurs van Berlage and some of the Amstedamse School [Amsterdam School] buildings. Thinking about it, I also saw the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest [Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra] in high school. How writing my blog helps me remember, who would have thought of that!

Anyways I am off... See you soon

Xx

10.20.2013

Berlin: Ampelmann

10.20.2013
 
The Ampelmann store. A store dedicated entirely to the little man in the pedestrian traffic lights of former East Germany. The Ampelmännchen acquired cult status and became a popular souvenir item in the tourism business after the fall of the Berlin wall.




I kid you not, they have literally come up with every piece of souvenir with this little man. From Ampelmännchen shaped macaroni to soaps and even its own drinks. It was great and funny to see. Nothing was too crazy. We arrived in this shop at around 7 o'clock in the evening, probably even later and it was still open. One thing I immediately learned: most of the shops in Berlin are open until 8. So useful!

10.15.2013

Back from... Berlin!

10.15.2013
I had a wonderful time in Berlin and will definitely visit it again soon. The trip to and from this city seemed long at first but we got through the time pretty fast by watching some movies. Yes I even noted them down. On our way to Berlin we had Despicable Me, Juno, and Hitch and on our way back we have seen Big Fish, Inception, and Shrek. The only movie I hadn't seen before was Big Fish. Bad, I know. A friend of mine always raves about this particular one and now I know why...

Over the next couple of weeks this blog will be filled with a couple of posts about Berlin. Simply, because putting everything in one post would be too long. Exams and a new period of classes are coming up and I am afraid my free time will become more limited. Fortunately, I have this nice journey to look back to. - Xx

10.07.2013

Off to...

10.07.2013
In a couple of hours I am off to... Berlin!

This weekend I have spent my time by working mostly, but in a couple of hours it is finally there: a study trip to Berlin. The study trip will be from Monday to Thursday and I am so excited! I would consider myself as someone who suffers from wanderlust as you might have noticed by some of the posts on this blog. I love traveling to places to explore cultures and cities and so on. I even enjoy the actual traveling from one place to the destination when you have a nice scenery. Being surrounded by nice people you can talk to as well as being able to look around and listen to some music is really relaxing for me. I love sitting in the back of a car and just sit back and get comfortable.

I just finished packing my suitcase and managed to fit it in my tiny suitcase. However, due to some last minute changes I had to rethink what I was going to bring with me. My black pleather jacket, scarfs and beanies were all being washed but not in time so they are all still wet. Now I have to settle with a white pleather jacket that my sister kindly let me borrow but to be honest I am no big fan of bright colours, especially when it comes to my jackets or coats. And I just really love my black one. Bummed about that but there is nothing I can do.

Berlin Berlin Berlin... I have read that going out in Berlin is really fun so I hope we'll be able to go out. Next to visiting some monumental and touristic places I would love to just have time to explore. Photos will definitely be made so if you want to be up to date with what I've seen make sure to check my instagram. Hopefully I will be able to upload some photos. Obviously a blog post will be made about it as well, because it is a great opportunity for me to rave about this city. My mom lets me borrow her camera so I can take lots of photos without being worried that my phones battery is dead. Can you tell I am excited? I bet you can.

Cannot wait to share my experience with you! I'm off trying to get some sleep (if any) and I'll talk to you soon.

Xx

9.29.2013

From BA to MA

9.29.2013
It is finally official! I have earned all the credits or ECTS for my Bachelor degree. This does not only mean that I made it through my bachelor but that I can also continue my Master study which I started with this month. Oh god, I am so happy the proof is finally there.

To recap: I had to resit my thesis due to a new stricter rule. The grade publication deadline for this resit was 13 September. On 6 September I received an e-mail of my supervisor which included the new feedback form; I passed this time. However, over the weeks it still was not progressed in the system. In the end, it appeared the e-mail with the feedback form was not received by the exam office even though my supervisor sent it to them. All in all, the problem was fixed within a day (after having to wait for over 2 weeks) and the result was there. Now it is just waiting for the official statement that I am graduated and can register for the graduation ceremony. *excited*

- a short post about what is going on in my student life
Xx

9.22.2013

Jumble Sale

9.22.2013
This week I have not been feeling my best. Actually, I have not at all been feeling comfortable in my own skin. Why? Well, let's just simply say.... because of life. I do not want to get into the details for this is a worry-free post. One of the things I do when I am not feeling myself and am left with some extra cash is shopping. Which I did and treated myself with this:


Yes that is a nice composition of ALL the things I bought. Some time ago I read that the inexpensive shop, Big Bazar, sells Revlon make up for €2,99! Items for purchase are usually items that are being repackaged or that won't be in the standard collection any more but nonetheless I was finally able to get my hands on items of Revlon. (In the Netherlands it is nearly impossible to buy make up of this brand, only online) As I was able to find some free time in the busy life I have at the moment, I came home with a lot more than anticipated.

List of items I got:
Revlon Lipgloss in 04 Nude Lustre and 21 Pink Crystals
Revlon Custom Eyes Mascara 001 Blackest Black
Revlon Just Bitten in Forbidden and Twilight
Revlon Colorstay in 05 Hazelnut
L'Oréal Paris Infallible in 205 Powerful Ruby and 206 Irresistible Raspberry
Maybelline Natural Accents Eye Shadow 93 Sunlit Bronze
Calvin Klein Sheer Creme Eyeshadow in Retro Bronze and Sheer Nectar

BUT that is not all. I just came back with my parents from a jumble sale here in Hoensbroek. For all the prejudiced people out there reading this: Experience first, judge later. My mom and I love visiting these nifty small and even the bigger jumble sales out there in towns people otherwise would just drive through just to get somewhere. Finding vintage items, reminiscing about toys, albums you used to have and even finding treasures or just simple things that are handy to have. Instead of throwing all their stuff away or to keep it in their attic these people actually do something with it and besides getting rid of it, they also receive some money for it in return. Smart, right?

For example, it is because of a second hand shop that my sister and I went from having too little storage room to one extra to a complete set within a week.


Todays purchased items include:

A polaroid camera. Me and especially my sister love having these vintage/old cameras, whether they work or not. If you follow me on Instagram you can see that she has a full shelf on the wall stacked with them. I am still trying to figure out if this one works because I have been wanting a real and working one  for so long.

This nice jacket for more formal occasions

This "beauty box" my mom thought was handy and is cute to have

And last but not least this little ring with a moon and a star

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you ever visit second hand stores or go to jumble sales?
Let me know in the comments below!

Xx

9.15.2013

Antwerp

9.15.2013


Yes! As you can guess, my friends and I went to Antwerp on August 31. Not only as a nice shopping trip but also as a great ending to the summer break. To be honest we spent equal and maybe even more time travelling than actually being in Antwerp. Nonetheless it was a wonderful day.

Top things on my list of shops to go to? FOREVER21 and Brandy Melville. I love Brandy Melville and was able to introduce this cute clothing brand to my friends. Of course I could not leave the shop without trying some of the items on and I left with a nicely filled paper bag.


The lovely items I got from Brandy Melville

And there it is: FOREVER21, one of the many shops I have only visited online. I was surprised with the outline and the way everything was placed. Especially the floor with accessoires. Instead of the outline of a big retail store, the accessoires were placed in different sizes of bowles and displayed in such a way that it gave the feeling of a cute little boutique.


Another mission was to find a bubble tea  bar and filled Luikse waffle. Unfortunately I found neither. Better luck next time, because I definitely want to head back to this city for more shopping (obviously) as well as seeing the city as such. I love finding little stores, restaurants as well as looking at the architecture and discover more of the culture in a city.

My new bag from NewYorker

As for now... I am fully back to student life which can be seen by the delay of this post. Not that I ever was fully out of the feeling of being a student with my thesis resit and its consequences during the summer break, but now it is full ahead regarding my Master education.

I hope you all have enjoyed the sun and had fun during the summer break. I definitely had some great days to look back to. Sad to say Autumn is coming up pretty fast, at least weatherwise here in the Netherlands, but that also means comfortably sitting wrapped in a blanket whilst reading a book or watching your favourite TV show with a cup of tea.

Xx