28 in 28 birthday list
Personal, Projects

28 in 28 birthday list [update 3]

It’s been a couple of months since my last update on my 28 in 28 birthday list, so it’s high time for a new update. These lasts months have been so incredibly busy. Thinking back on how much free time I had as a student, I definitely didn’t imagine working on personal projects and goals in my free time would get so hard. That being said, I’m making progress with some things that haven been on my to do list for years!

28 in 28 - Citytrip Rotterdam 28 in 28 - Citytrip Rotterdam

Read ten classics (either in English or Dutch) (2/10)

So far I’ve read The Stranger by Albert Camus and Crow by  Ted Hughes. I’m itching to start reading Peter Pan, but I find it very hard to make time for reading. It seems like there are so much things I’d rather do before falling asleep. At the moment I try to let it slide and to not stress about it, because I value getting relaxed at the end of the evening too much.

Go on five citytrips in 2016 (4/5)

I went on my fourth city trip in August. This time I went to Rotterdam with the Boy. We only went for two days, but it was enough to explore the city a bit and to get some hard earned relaxation. Rotterdam was really different from the normal city trip cities we explored before. It has no medieval historical centre and lots of modern and experimental architecture, which made walking around the city very interesting.

28 in 28 - Become a inhabitant of Ghent

Reach my 2016 blog goals

Another goal on the 28 in 28 birthday list I’m not trying to fret about, although things clearly haven’t gone well these past months. I rarely manage to get a blogpost published, although I write them and I take pictures. Just bringing the two together into a finished post is something I don’t get to. I should figure out an after work schedule so I can get to all the different things I want to do, but that’s not something I see myself do in the next weeks. Again, no stress, we’ll see where this goes.

Becoming an official inhabitant of Ghent (a Ghentian)

It took a while, but after patiently waiting for two months I finally got to change the address on my ID to Ghent, which, after living here for eight years, maybe wasn’t that long of a wait.

28 in 28 - Navigate the waterways in Ghent

Navigate the waterways in Ghent

In June I got a mail from the lovely people of Walkie Talkie asking me if I was interested in a concert by Zimmerman on a boat during the Gentse Feesten. I immediately replied I was interested, because who doesn’t love an acoustical session of a band while navigating on the water? It was as perfect as I imagined, with the sun shining, champagne and both good music and good company. I never imagined I’d be able to cross this point off my 28 in 28 birthday list this way (I thought I would need to hire myself a boat and steer it and pay for it). Sometimes life throws you a nice juicy bone and all you can do is be grateful for it and enjoy it completely. Which I did.

See 28 new (to me) movies

I haven’t been watching a lot of new movies. We went to see Finding Dory and also saw Zootopia. The only other film I watched in the past months is Elysium, bringing the total number of new movies to 10. Which is a bit disappointing. This doesn’t mean I haven’t watched anything new recently. We’ve watched to a couple of seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and recently I started watching Freaks and Geeks and got back into Penny Dreadful. With so much new series I need to discover and so much awesome content out there (I discovered Netflix), I think I’ll just binge watch series for the rest of the year.

28 in 28 - Getting my driver's license

Get my driver’s license

GUYS! I did it! I’m so happy I could cross this one of my 28 in 28 birthday list! After what feels like a century (but in reality is a decade), I finally got my driver’s license. I did my exam the last week before my theoretical exam would invalid and I past from the first time. Boom! I still don’t like driving, I’m not sure I ever will like it. I distrust every other driver on the road and I still feel anxious when I think about it (although less so when I’m actually driving a car). On the plus side: there’s a whole bunch of shops I can drive to now, without needing the Boy to chaperone me.

Get a tattoo

Getting a tattoo has been on a couple of these lists in the past years. I wanted one since for-ever, but finding a design that really fits me and the right artist (and not to mention the money) to actually get one wasn’t easy. I still don’t have a tattoo and I’ll probably wont get on this year, but I did find my artist and I am getting an appointment. The inking part will probably follow in april 2017. Still a long time away, but I guess I can wait a few months more.

So, that’s it for this update. After seven months of working on my 28 in 28 birthday list I managed to cross off only four points. Which isn’t good. But if I look at my list and at how little spare time I have, I have to conclude my past self was slightly delusional. That being said, I still have five more months to get things going, so I’m not giving up yet (although I am thinking of changing up things next year).

What's in my bag - Fjällräven Kanken edition

What’s in my bag? Fjällräven Kanken backpack edition

When I said goodbye to my life as a full-time student last year, I didn’t imagine needing a backpack ever again. For my working life I bought myself a nice bag in which my laptop could fit. It became clear very quickly that a no-backpack life wasn’t for me. I love taking my sketchbooks, e-reader, magazines and more when I go for a trip (because you never know when things might become boring and you need extra entertainment), so I started looking for one. And guys, I’ve found the perfect back pack for a packing mule like me!

I came across the Fjällräven backpacks a while ago. You can’t miss them, as they’re increasingly popular. And although I was a bit unsure about the quality, they made it to the top of my wishlist. So when I got a mail from the lovely people of Duifhuizen tassen en koffers asking if I was interested to review one of their backpacks it didn’t take me long to hop over to their site and start looking for a Fjällräven bag. I found the warm yellow one who’d stolen my heart and ordered it.

Although I was a bit hesitant to buy a brightly coloured backpack, it’s certainly no fluke. I already mentioned the bag in my first salary wishlist and when I (finally) get my 30 Day of Creativity images on the blog, you’ll see it pop up again.

What's in my bag - Fjällräven Kanken edition

Pretty much perfect

One of the reasons I love this Fjällräven Kanken bag so much is that it’s incredibly light. It’s not too big, yet still has space for all my things. Another thing I really love about it, it’s the way you can open it up almost completely. This is extremely handy when you’re trying to fit in all your things (or when you’re using it for travelling light, which I’m planning to). I also love that you can use it as a back pack or that you can use the handles on top to use it more as a regular bag.

I also discovered you can order an inset for holding camera equipment, which makes this the absolute perfect backpack for any blogger. The only negative part about the back pack is that it has not inner pocket for your keys or wallet. It has a small pocket on the outside, but I’m not trusting enough to put my valuables in there.

What's in my bag - Fjällräven Kanken edition What's in my bag - Fjällräven Kanken edition

What’s in my backpack?

So, what’s usually in my backpack? I took pictures at two different times and there are a couple of things I never leave the house without.

  • My trusty Fossil wallet, who’s been with me for years and is still going strong
  • My phone, like hello, obviously!
  • My handmade traveller’s journal / day planner / notebook. This used to be a day planner which I never took with me, but since adding the notebook I bring it along. Before I carried different notebooks with me, but the traveller’s journal replaces them now
  • My sketchbook
  •  A pencil-case. I’m using a Hema one at the moment, which I liked because it was very flat. Even though I’m trying to take only the bare minimum it started filling up over the months
  • A couple of other things. I always bring my headphone buds (for listening to my favourite podcasts), a refillable water container and a book or e-reader.

What's in my bag - Fjällräven Kanken edition

What’s in your bag most of the time? And are you a back pack person too?

This post is a collaboration with Duifhuizen.be who asked me to review one of their products. All opinions stated in this article are my own.

Urban Jungle Bloggers - One plant, three stylings
Interior, Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle Bloggers – 1 plant, 3 stylings

You might not know this about my house, but it’s filled with plants. I absolutely love decorating with plants and I believe a house without some greenery feels empty. So imagine my delight when I discovered Urban Jungle Bloggers. They’re plant-loving people like me and they urge bloggers to take photos of their beloved botanical friends. June’s theme was 1 plant, 3 stylings, which inspired me to do a little photoshoot.

I tried coming up with three completely different styles for one of my smallest plants. The star of this photo shoot is my cute Peperomia. I picked it up a couple of months ago and I adore the textured leaves of this plant. It’s really easy to care for, so if you’re looking for a small and air-cleaning house mate, consider adopting a Peperomia.

For my first plant styling I used the blue walls in my studio as inspiration and I went a bit bohemian.

Urban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylingsUrban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylingsUrban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylings

For my next style I tried to go the completely opposite way and went for clean, black & white, with a dash of green.

Urban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylingsUrban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylings

Urban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylings

And last, but not least, I went to my living room for inspiration. I’m not sure what style this is, but think natural history museums and lot’s of greenery.

Urban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylingsUrban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylingsUrban Jungle Bloggers - 1 plant, 3 stylings

If you’re familiar with Urban Jungle Bloggers, you might notice I’m a bit late with this blog (the photos have been in a blog draft for more than a month :O), I still had a ton of fun styling my little Peperomia.

My Favourite Podcast
Blogging, Tips

My favourite podcasts

Last year I discovered the joy of listening to audio books. Being able to get lost in a story while you can still do things like cook, clean your house or drive is pretty amazing. I always felt a bit sad that I couldn’t listen to my favourite blogs. I want to do so much different things so reading blog posts always seems the last thing to do. Podcast started gradually filling the niche blogs left and today I’m sharing a couple of my favourites.

The first podcasts I listened to where Psychobabble (with Tylor Oakly) and Not too Deep by Grace Helbig. Both are comedy podcasts. While I still like listening to them, I discovered much more awesome podcasts. I’ve seen a steady rise in popularity in podcasts since I started listening to them and I feel like this, together with video, is something  we will see more of in the following years on blogs. Which is awesome, in my opinion.

Being Boss podcastBeing Boss was the first non-comedy podcast I started listening to. That definitely doesn’t mean it’s a dry, boring show. It is thé show if you want to become a creative entrepreneur and are looking for inspiration or good advice. The hosts of Being Boss, Kathleen and Emily, are two sassy ladies, with tons of entrepreneurial experience.

They often have guests on the show, so you get tips and stories from a variety of people. One thing they all have in common though, whichever field they’re from, is that they’re all successful entrepreneurs.

After listening to Being Boss for a while I got interested in other podcasts about being a creative entrepreneur and I stumbled upon Raise your Hand, Say Yes by Tiffany Han. While Being Boss is also an inspirational podcast, in Raise your Hand, Say Yes it’s all about starting, about Doing Things. Tiffany basically talks about everything in her life and manages to get me inspired. By the end of every podcast I just want start on some project (but then I get home and I’m dead tired #realitycheck).

The Freelancer podcastIf you’re not into long podcasts about the entrepreneurial lifestyle
The Freelancer might be just up your alley. Host Paul Jarvis puts his ideas out into the world in 6 to 15 minutes. He talks about all things freelance life, from how he got started as a freelancer, to how to get clients, owning up to your mistakes, how to stay healthy or how to deal with difficult clients.

Paul also has pet rats and he calls the people who support him and understand him the most his “rat people”.  He also has a little rattie as his logo. All of which he immediately gets bonus points for.

My favorite murder podcastMy most current discovery is My favorite Murder to which I’m basically listening non stop these days. My Favorite Murder is a humoristic show about, you guessed it, murder. Not the regular garden variety murders, only the most mysterious, fucked-up or intriguing murders out there.

There aren’t many episodes yet (28 at the moment), so I’ll be going through some serious withdrawal in a couple of days. The show hosts are two funny and very real & raw ladies, who perfectly walk the line between indulging into their curiosity about murder and making funny remarks about it.

I also got a couple of other show lined up that I really want to check out. Especially Creative Peptalk; Make it, then tell everybody and Invisible Office Hours.

Do you listen to any podcasts? Anything you can recommend?

Last week in pictures

Last Week

It is Sunday, which means I’m posting an overview of my most recent Instagram photos and I’m telling you all about what I’ve been up to in the past weeks.

I fell of the blogging band wagon for the past couple of weeks. I’m still (yes, still -__-) adapting to the working life and I had a couple of weeks with bad/almost no sleep (the heat, mosquito’s,..),  and lot’s of Pokémon GO playing, among other things.

Last Week - I went to Graspop
I went to Belgium’s biggest metal festival: Graspop. It was a very wet weekend, but even with all the mud and the rain it was still a lot of fun!

Last Week - On Wednesdays I wear pins!Last Week I also went to the open day of the drawing academy I followed a course at this year. I used the opportunity to enroll for my second year illustration & comic drawing.  I’m looking forward to it a lot!

Last WeekLast WeekLast Week - First day of the Thirty Day Creativity Challenge I started my Thirty Day Creativity Challenge in July. It’s been quite the challenge and I didn’t manage to completely keep up with it, but I still plan on finishing it completely.

Last Week - I visited the Harry Potter expoLast Week - I went to the Harry Potter ExpoLast Week - I went to the Verbeelding Bookclub Meetup At the beginning of July I had a very busy weekend planned: I went to the Harry Potter expo on Saturday and came back to Brussels the next day for the Verbeelding Bookclub Meetup. I had a blast at both events. The expo was a bit of a fangirling moment for me and, although it found it a bit short, I really loved seeing all the props and the costumes. On Sunday I met all the lovely ladies (and one lovely gentlemen) of the Verbeelding Bookclub. It was a sunny afternoon and time went really fast while we talked about everything from living abroad, books to blogging.

Last Week - with extra catsicalls Last Week - with some extra cat pics on topI had a little photoshoot moment with Shrödinger a couple of weeks ago, when he was being super cute and sleepy. I’ve been sprinkling the pic in my IG feed once in a while.

Last Week - I got some brand new Nuuna notebooksLast Week - I got my own Harry Potter book collection
I bought myself a couple of presents the past couple of weeks. I got introduced to the Nuuna notebooks a while back. They look and feel so nice, so when somebody hinted they were available at a discount, so I couldn’t say no. I also got my own copies of the Harry Potter books in the fabulous Signature edition.

How has your week been? Did you do anything fun? Started a new project maybe?

Thirty Day Creativity Challenge
Inspiration, Projects

July 30 Day creativity challenge

It’s officially summer now, which in my head stands for long lazy days and getting slow from the heat. I thought I would probably get a bit lazy with my sketching, so I made myself a thirty (actually thirty-one) day creativity challenge for July. And yes, you can participate. In fact, it would be pretty awesome if you did!

In the past I already did a drawing challenge and a photography challenge. This time I decided I didn’t want to make it too hard. This challenge is all about being creative and it doesn’t matter how you do this. If you want to make 31 pictures that is awesome. If you want to switch between collages and finger painting that is equally awesome. It doesn’t matter how serious you take this or how much time you spent on it, the only thing that really matters is that you push yourself to be creative every day.

I came up with 31 daily prompts, which I (and hopefully you too) will use for daily inspiration. Click on the image to see a bigger version of the image (or click here for the Dutch version).

Update: Upon request I made a printable version of the Thirty Day Creativity Challenge. You can download the English version or the Dutch version.

Thirty Day Creativity Challenge
I’ll post my creativity challenge creations daily on my Instagram account and I might put up an overview of my favourites once or twice during the month of July.

Let me know (in the comments below or on social media) if you’re going to participate.
If you want to share your creations with me, you can use #createinjuly on social media, I’d love seeing them! (or if you don’t want to share your creations publicly, just sent me an e-mail)