I remembered I had a blog

Remember I had a blog? Because I sure didn’t. Alright that is pushing it. It’s not that I had forgotten, I just that I forgot to care.

I don’t have a big vision behind this weblog. While you may see some categories on the side, I basically want to write what I feel like writing about. Sometimes I do dream of having my own online platform for a job, but if that’s ever going to happen I want it to be truly my own space on the internet. I don’t want to restrict myself any further and lay down rules of what I can’t write about.

Then why didn’t I write? I’m not even sure if I can say life happened. I’ve never stopped writing. I’m still working on my (debut) novel Intertwined and I’m actually a freelance journalist and copywriter now.

I start so passionately on these projects. This is my thirth blog that I really wanted to make it work. I may not have a vision, but I have a passion for writing. I’m the girl that can scroll to blogs for hours and hours. I watch vlogs of people talking about their lives for 20 minutes on a daily basis. Speaking about vlogs. I wanted to be one of those people too. You can just hear how driven I was in this video below.

This is my first video… and my last so far. I was serious about making this work, really. I even have ideas for videos. I filmed this at a friends’ home while I stayed over there while she was on a holiday. I had the whole space for myself and no one else to hear me while I recorded. In the video I speak about being afraid of putting myself out there, because I’ve been bullied because of it. I don’t think that fear is gone yet. I feel too awkward sitting in my own room and putting that camera on my face. I make up too many excuses why I can’t. Which is stupid, because this is clearly something I enjoyed. From the first idea that popped up in my head till the last second of editing.

I’ve even gotten some response from friends and acquintances on my first vlog. People said they liked it, even admired it. These projects I start are always to sustain my creativity, but it felt good to hear that other people liked it too.

Someday I’ll post again. I will be booktubing, recalling all my favorites of the month and I might even show you what I like to wear. Maybe I’ll be talking about issues that mean a lot to me, too. Let’s hope it will come to a device near you soon enough. Because the reason I don’t vlog and blog are my own fears. It’s the barrier I’ll have to overcome, even when I know I feel on top of the world when I’ve done so.

#100happydayschallenge update

I failed. I failed three times. I did manage to take a picture for 30 days straight, but on day 31 I was ten minutes late. It wasn’t because I didn’t know what to take a picture of. Actually, I had thought of a few ideas that day. I just pushed them off, because I was having dinner with a friend. Usually I’d stop and post the picture on Instagram but I always felt a little weird and unsocial doing that. Because the world should be around us and not on the screens of our mobile devices. But that’s what this challenge is about! It’s about finding something that made you smile, how small or big that might be. I didn’t expect any groundbreaking discoveries while I did this challenge and of course they didn’t happen. While I was making the pictures I didn’t feel any happier, but it was nice to take time to appreciate the happiness I was already feeling. Although on some days it was a hassle to think of something to photograph.

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I really didn’t know what to choose this day. So I just saw one of my favorite sweaters laying around and took a picture. This was one of the moments where I felt obligated to just post something instead of something that really made me happy. Thank god I also made some better pictures. Like a selfie I took in my Asami cosplay at the trainstation at the village where I grew up. This is a pretty conservative village, like most small countryside places tend to be. I always feel selfconsious when going out in cosplay in public, while I have every right to express myself. Especially my Asami cosplay since it feels so much better than any other c(r)os(s)play ever has! Yet I feel nervous because I know I will stand out in the crowd (even though that shouldn’t be very new to me considering I have very pale skin and a really dark haircolor).

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After 30 days of posting nonstop I did continue further. But after that there are still some gaps in between. I also noticed people really liked seeing what I could think of for this challenge in the first weeks, but after that I got asked how I managed to pull through a month of posting a picture every day. To my surprise it didn’t get annoying much quicker :). I’m stuck at number 59 now. I think I’ll continue making these because I do enjoy it. It is still a nice way to learn to see the small things in life. I guess I’m just bummed that I won’t get my photobook with my 100 pictures.

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This  was my latest picture. Follow me on instagram @rowwiie to see the other ones.

#100happydays challenge

I’ve been feeling a little down last week. During the weekend I’ve gone back to a negative place in my life where I feel like I’m obligated to go to once in a while (ooh, mysterious). I’m sad to say that it got to me a little bit.

I guess that’s why I want to give the #100happydays challenge a shot. The next hundered days I have to take a picture of something that makes me happy. I think this is a wonderful way to learn to appreciate what I have and how lucky I am with all these good things around me. It will be my search for positivity, which is something I should strive for any day anyway. Even if I’ll be part of the 71% of contestants that doesn’t make it, I think it will be a good personal journey for me to go through.

But it won’t be just a personal journey. It’s also part of a little ‘experiment’ I’m doing with my fellow, brand new, magazine students. Someone that’s already doing it introduced this to our teacher and she thought it was a fun thing to do with people that wanted to participate with her. I was doubting to do this at first, but I’m going to try. Because I feel like this is a good way to look at what I have here. We’re going to see who’s the first that will ‘fail’. Even though I might not make it through 100 days I hope I won’t fail by learning to see the happy moments. Even on days when I’m off.

Dag 1: Ik ben na jaren weer bezig in Harry Potter 1 #nostalgie #100happydays #fhjtijdschrift

A post shared by Rowie (@rowwiie) on

I officially started today, so I’ve already got my first post up. It’s in Dutch because I’m posting it on my social network which I usually use to connect to my Dutchies. Are you guys interested in following this as well? If so, I could do one in English. Maybe I’ll keep you guys updated.

And if we’re talking about following things through: I should really post more blogs. I’m so bad at maintaining blogs even though I love to write the blogposts.

Favorites of the year: food

I have posted some of my favorite books and movies + tvshows of 2013 in past posts. I know we’re already in the second month of the new year, but I wanted to post these nevertheless. Who doesn’t like food?

Red velvet cupcake

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Photo by im-horngry.tumblr.com

These things are delicious. They are the perfect combination of sugary sweet with a little spice. I’d never thought I’d like cream cheese icing. These cupcakes are my go to whenever they’re in stock at a coffeeshop. I tasted my first ones at a little flea market. They were by Tea(Cup)Cake. I really think I need to go to one of their cupcake tastings now that I am thinking about those cupcakes. I think I bought two!
My love for red velvet isn’t limited to cupcakes. I tried some red velvet cake at Waterstones in Edinburgh after climbing Arthur’s Seat. Even after being very hungry and exhausted I was stuffed. With heavenly sweet goodness.

Fudge by The Fudge House

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Last summer I went on a citytrip to Scotland’s capital. When I had taken my first bite out of these I decided I probably would go back to Edinburgh just to get some more of these. I wasn’t a huge fan of fudge before this. I liked the taste, but prefered chocolate. Not when these came along. They were incredibly soft and tender. It really felt like a luxurious product. I really hold onto them for as long as I managed. That sums up my biggest fight against temptation of 2013 :P. I really recommend the Pistachio & White Chocolate flavour. I think it was my fave, although Mocha Coffee Cream was also pure heaven. Yep, it’s decided. I need to go back.

Happy Italy in Tilburg

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My best find of the year is this ‘fast’ Italian restaurant in my hometown. They serve the best pizza for a price range that’s about 6 to 15 euros. Hands down the best pizza I ever had and you know it means a lot when I say this. I mean, who can decide the best pizza? Pizza is always good. This one is great, though. The crust isn’t very thick, but this encreases the taste of the topping. All the ingredients taste like they’ve just been delivered. Also, this restaurant has a great interior design.

Pesto

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See that green stuff on my pizza? That’s pesto ladies and gentlemen, also known as the green paste that I need to put on just about everything. I got really addicted to this. I eat it with rice, toast, pizza, grilled cheesus and pasta. Anyone know any other uses for this? Maybe I just need to start putting it on my sandwiches with a spread of butter. I even order pesto when I’m out of the country like in this photo. It was taken at an Italian restaurant that has lots of store chains all over Britain. I think it was called Bella Italia, but I’m not quite sure. When I was in London last year we ate several times at this place.

Fish & Chips

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I heard so many good stories about Fish & Chips for years that I needed to try it. Usually when you hear a lot about something it gets hyped, but this was so good. The batter was crispy but defined. This place was in Edinburgh. They claimed to have the best fish and chips in town. Usually I’m sceptical about this, but after tasting this I’m not so sure. Guess I’ll have to try all the places when I visit again ;).

Sushi

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Photo by Stéphanie Kilgast

I would eat sushi all day, every day if I could. Too bad it’s so expensive. I love the fresh taste of sushi. My favorites are (spiced) salmon, kappa maki and grilled cheese sushi. You either love or hate this. I love it and try to eat it at least once a month. It’s just that good.

Homemade risotto

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I’m not the best cook there is, but this is one dish I serve with pride. As you can see I love my Italian food. I’d always heard about this dish, so I decided to make it. I modified a recipe I found online to my own taste. I frequentely make this. I use green union as a base, then I add the risotto rice, then comes the vegatable stock. Once the stock has really soaked into the rice several times I stir some red bellpepper and mozerella with it. That’s all there is to it. Unfortunately this takes 40 minutes to make.

Japanese curry

Another Japanese dish that I enjoy. I first got introduced to this several years ago when my Japanese studying friends introduced it. It’s supposed to be a no-fail recipe, but I couldn’t help failing a bit at it xD. Even if your dish fails it’s still super delicious. I use Golden Curry paste myself, because it’s the only one they have at my Asian supermarket. It’s good. I don’t eat a lot of potatoes, but I need them in my curry. It’s definately food that feeds you well.
These are my favorite food related things of 2013. Chocolate is a life favorite, so that doesn’t need its own category in this list ;). Do you have any favorite foods? Is there anything I must try? I’m always willing to try new things.

A thing that I didn’t like so much this year was Chinese food, because I got foodpoisoning for two days when I tried some. I still haven’t eaten any to date. I’m a little scared to try again.

 

 

 

Short hair

I am a natural curly girl. Maintaing my hair has never been easy. Everyone that has sleek hair might dream of having natural curly hair, but they don’t know how hard it is to take care of. I’ll admit that I couldn’t do it with my long hair.

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Here I am with long hair. You can see a sneek peak if my bewildered roots on my shoulder. Photo by Elize IJzenbrandt.

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What is this? Medusa’s hair?

I held on to my dream of having lush healthy long hair for too long. I wanted the glamorous curls that just weren’t do-able for me. I’m a lazy person when it comes to doing my hair and make-up.

Whenever I had a knot it took me three hours to comb it out. You may think I am over exaggerating, but I’m not. I counted the hours as they strolled by! My arm felt heavy ten minutes in. When I finally got a knot out, it would be back again the next morning. Granted, this only happened in the ‘last stages’ of my dying hair, but it was insane. Obviously I didn’t comb it that much (which makes curly hair really frizzy anyway).

I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, but I knew something had to stop. I decided to go to the hairdressers with a picture of short hair. I was worried that it wouldn’t fit my facetype or that I just simply hated it. I also wasn’t looking forward to wild curls that would curl up on their own will.

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IMG_0126 the sushi times

Here I am with my short hair! I have to say I am loving it more and more. I’ve also tried sweaping my bangs to the side and using a bobbypin to pin one side of my hair back. I keep on telling everyone that I should have done this more and more. It looks healthier and I can comb through my hair in a minute ;).

What is your hairtype? Do you have trouble maintaining it? What is the hair you wish you had? Let me know in the comments.

Favorites of the year: TV & movies

One of my internet pasttimes is watching girls talk about their monthly favorite things. There’s something really cool about seeing people talk about things they love. They get passionate and almost start to glow from excitement. It’s one of the best moods to see someone in, I think.
I have been thinking about doing monthly post about my favorites, but since I can’t even manage to post updates about what I’ve done every week, I think I’ll just stick to posting some favorites of 2013. Today I present the first part: TV & Movies.

Sherlock

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(fanmade artwork by Alice X. Zhang)

If there’s one show I’ve been loving this year it’s BBC’s Sherlock. Amber and I watched all episodes and we’re dying to see the new one. The show gives new life to a classical story in such a way that is Britishly humorous, thrilling and sometimes even gutwrenching. Amazing acting and screenwriting with really good cinemagraphy. I dislike reading reviews that say things like there’s only one thing I hate and that is that this series is too short, but I just can’t say anything else about this.

Merlin

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Yet another BBC show, but this is just too good. Merlin tells the story of the Arthurian legend in a whole new way. This time Merlin is not an old man, but a young lad that must hide his magic if he wishes to stay alive at Camelot. This BBC familyshow has really good character development, some good laughs, emotional scenes and above all: magic. I think I decided to start watching this in 2012, but I finished it in 2013 so it still counts. I’ve had so many fangirling Merlin moments this year. It was one of the highlights of a trip Amy and I took to Edinburgh (imagine all the puns we could make at Arthur’s Seat).

Legend of Korra

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No surprise here. I think about 80% of my blogposts so far have had some kind of reference to this animation series. The sequel to Avatar finally got its second season this year and I’ve been hooked again. Although watching back it did lack some character development. Nevertheless I love the way this show intertwines western and eastern point of views, has good writing overall, interesting ideas and really good motivation and political background – especially for a kid’s show. This year my favorite episodes were those of the first Avatar ever: Wan. These were executed really well and the story had about everything: a goal and a conflict for the character to overcome, with an everlasting effect on the world as they know it. I also love that the creators sometimes use real events as a message we can learn from.

Catching Fire

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This is by far my favorite movie of the year. It captured the feeling of one of my favorite books wonderfully. Catching Fire holds a really strong political message. It’s the parts about the oppressing government and the revolution that make this so outstanding. To me Catching Fire gives us a bit of a warning. Let’s not become like Panem. Sometimes I feel like the new generation tends to lose itsself with all the new ways of communication. Kids these days seem to have become more rude and selfish. Would they help others if it gets in the way of their entertainment? In a way that generation reminds me a little of the Capitol. Although Panem in itsself is a really impressive world that feels so real. As I’ve said before, the love triangle does contribute to the story but it’s not what it’s about. It’s about a girl trying to save her nation from the enslavement of the rich with an effect she is not fully aware of.
I’ll stop now. I could go on about this for ages ;).

Once Upon a Time

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If you haven’t noticed by now I like fantasy stories. Realms where I can escape and get soaked into imaginary problems are kind of my thing. Fairytales are no exception. I don’t remember if I started this show this or last year. However I’m still in love with it. It’s got the magical feeling of a fairy tale, but with a dark twist. The stories we grew up with get retold in a way you could have never imagined. Thankfully in the latest season they show that a villian is evil because that what the surroundings have caused. One of my biggest irritations in life is when people think a person is only good or bad. It’s shallow, childish and ignorant to think that way. I’m really glad more and more stories show that an ‘evil’ person isn’t all that he/she seems. Humans have more than one side to them.
Also, Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin is one of the best things to have happened in this show. His storylines are amazing. Man, that man can act!

Adventure Time

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I’ve only been watching this for about a month or so, but it’s way better than I expected. Adventure Time is a fun cartoon with nice popculture references and just all over epicness. It’s another ‘kid’s show’ but one with several layers. Finn, the last human on a land called Ooh ventures through the land with his brother from another mother Jake the dog. Filled with all kinds princesses, penguins, vampires and all kinds of weird but cool creatures. I guess you could say this show is a little weird, but that’s what makes it so cool. My favorite character so far is Marceline because she’s badass, plays bass, has daddy issues (seriously, I always like the characters with bad parents. Zuko, Asami, Murtagh from Eragon and now Marceline Aberdeer. I don’;t even know what’s up.) and actually has a really neat character design. I think I want to cosplay as her.

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Welcome to my Life 7

I’m getting worse and worse at keeping up with posting these updates, while I really do enjoy writing them. Last week was rather special since I got to see my idol. Of course there were the usual events as well.

Rebecca and I went to the muniment room once again on Tuesday. Things still aren’t speeding up for our assignment. We have to do some research about textileworkers from Tilburg, that lived there in 1900. We are currentely researching Peter de Kort and his offsprings. Some classmates of ours have had quite a success with their findings, but us… not so much. Although we did find that one of Peter’s daughters divorced, which was really rare in such a time. Couples were usually married for life, even when love had faded ages ago. It’s interesting to see what did move them to divorce. Especially because it was a big shame during those ages. Especially the wife much have been shunned by the community.

In preparation of a guest lecture on Wednesday I read the Dutch novel ‘Perfecte Stilte’ (meaning Perfect Silence). This was our first guest lecture for a fiction writer, which was a nice change. I went on to do this minor course called Creative Writing at my school that teaches solely Journalism, but sometimes I feel the focus relies more on Litary Journalism/New Journalism/Non-fiction. Which is technically not why I signed up for this half year course. I signed up because I missed a creative outlet in my Journalism classes and it seemed wonderful to focus on all sorts of writing assignments for a while. We ARE getting classes in which we have to write poems and get coached to help us with our fiction, but a huge part of the programme has to do with journalism. It’s not that I don’t like this, for I am majoring Journalism, it’s just that I was hoping to do something a little different for the past couple of months.

Perfecte Stilte is a novel by Thomas Verbogt. He is not a well-known author in The Netherlands, apart from the right circles. That has nothing to do with the amount of his work or the quality of it. I was really impressed by his novel. Verbogt doesn’t waste many words on events that have nothing to do with the story. He doesn’t spend pages of useless descriptions nor long dialogues. He uses exactly the right amount of words to capture the essence of the story. The way a character speaks changes from person to person. Verbogt told us that he dislikes writers that always write the same kind of dialogue. That’s not how people talk in real life, so that’s not how it should be in books. This was a fact that I’ve never noticed before, but he’s so right. I’ll definately remember this advice. For all the writers out there. He had a few other good tips: set a wordcount for each chapter and delete words when you’ve written too many (this will get rid of any unnecessary descriptions), create suspension by letting your character have a secret which you slowly unravel and try building your characters before writing the story. Thomas always works on the characters before deciding his plot. This way he actually knows the people he’ll be writing about and can decide exactly which choices they’ll be making. Genius!

His novel Perfecte Stilte deals with heavy subjects such as suicide and abuse. The content doesn’t feel as heavy, because he doesn’t spend a lot of words on the drama. This makes the book feel less judgemental and heavy. The lay-out also helps, since there are a lot of spaces in between the sentences. He specifically asked this of his publisher.

Wednesday was a good day. After this interesting guest lecture it was time for Maria Mena. I’ve written about it in this post, so I won’t go into full detail here. Maria is amazing. She wowed me with her lovely voice and honesty. I’ve grown up with her songs and can sympathize with most of them. Maria Mena is one of my biggest influences as a writer. I still strive to be as open with my feelings as she can be.

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I wasn’t a huge fan of her new album Weapon in Mind. Not to say that I didn’t like it, but it weren’t the honest gutwrenching ballads she presented me with. Instead her new material has some beats that have more of a dance vibe. Some of the songs sound less like a cohesion, productionwise. However they were great live! The beats really brought a more intense dimension to the performance and had me slightly shaking my hips and nodding along to the music. I had such a great time that I am seriously considering going to her live concert in my hometown Tilburg in February 2014.

On Saturday my mom and I went to do some phone shopping. At the moment I was torn between the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini or the iPhone 4S 8GB. I couldn’t quite make the cut, so we postponed it to next Saturday. The deals really aren’t as good as two years ago when I got my Samsung Galaxy S Plus. Back then there used to be huge Christmas sales, but nowadays they don’t exist. Also, the subscriptionfees nearly aren’t as cheap as they were back then. Shucks. I’ve currentely decided on getting the iPhone, which will cost me 7 euros more than my current subscription. The poor student in me is not happy.

On Sunday Amy and I went to visit my dear friend Irene in Maastricht. We got into christmas spirits by visting Magisch Maastricht, which had a ‘christmas fair’ and ice skating facilities. After that we went to a bookstore in Maastricht, which is known as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. This branch of Polare is settled in a 700 year old church, complete with the beautiful windows and columns. If you’re ever in the area do pay a visit. All bookstores need to be treasured, but especially this beautiful example.
Irene, Amy and I spent the rest of the day catching up with some tea, hot chocolate and apple pie, eating Japanese curry and watching Wreck It Ralph. Unfortunately we had to catch the train home sooner than we hoped. I was a bit hesitant about traveling a total of 4,5 hours by train, but I’ve not regretted it one bit. I’m blessed to have such real friends. Whenever we get together it’s like no time has past. It always feels like the old days. Thanks for being there.

And with that December has begun. Which means it’s the last month of the year. It also means NaNoWriMo is over and I failed miserably. I did however push the boundaries and wrote an addition to the story that will make the hearts race of any fangirl of some specific pairing that I will not mention because it’s unlike me and very embarrassing.  I used it as comedic relief, but I’m still not exactly sure why I wrote it. I guess I’m just into trying things that I’ve always was so resistent to try as a writer. I’ve yet to figure out why this is exactly, but I am interested in learning about things that I I somewhat feel embarrassed about, dislike or cannot understand. That’s why I decided years ago that I would write about a boy that played with the hearts of girls.

December is very exciting, because it’s a month of festivities. And it’s my birthday. Have I mentioned my birthday? I’m turning 21 and for the past twenty years I’ve always gotten a little too excited about birthdays. I have to not so subtly mention it in front of my friends, so if you’re reading this, don’t say I didn’t warn you.