Sunday, August 25, 2013

Busy bee.

I've been really busy lately. It's only today that I realized I haven't written anything on this blog for so long! Let me fill you in, quickly, on what's been occupying my days...

- School work: at the end of my studies, I had one more paper to complete this Summer. It's all over since a couple of days, and I'm anxiously awaiting my result! Two diplomas in one year; it's been very busy, but all worth it of course.

- Related to finishing my studies: looking for a job! I've only applied to a few so far, because I want to try and find something that I really want to do, and can be passionate about every day. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but you can't blame me for trying (at least at first)!

- Planning our wedding! People always say planning your own wedding is a hell of a lot of work, but you always think "Oh, I'll manage, I have some spare time anyway". And I do have time, that's not the problem, but last week suddenly things went wrong, and I was not prepared for that. A change of venue because of a double booking, a whole lot of stress, but things worked out in the end. I was even surprised by how quickly we (myself, my family, and my husband-to-be) had fixed everything. So most things have been decided on by now, but there's still a few tiny details to get in order. Guess it will keep me busy for a little while longer!

- Cycling: one of my "new" hobbies. This Summer, my best friend and I have been going on a lot of random cycling trips, without a destination, just riding around. We've discovered there's a lot of our neighbourhood that we didn't know about, with lovely Narnia-like countrysides where we can get lost for hours (no joke, we rode around for more than three hours yesterday evening because we had no clue where we were. Got home safely though, no worries there, but I was completely exhausted). Tiny spontaneous adventures like these are the best!

- I've also been thinking about setting up a small shop on Etsy. I have been crafting so much lately (wedding invitations, cosplay stuff, and more) and it's something I really love doing. I'm just not sure what kind of things to put in the shop exactly... So while I brainstorm about that, I just keep on crafting some more. I'm not cut out to be a designer or anything, it will always stay a hobby for me, but it's one of the loveliest pastimes for sure. So why not do something more with it?

So there you have it! A summary of my life the past few months, and probably the next month to come as well. I do hope to find a job soon; something that will make me happy doing it every day. But if that doesn't work out for some reason, I'll always have my crafting to make me happy.
You can expect some more crafting updates soon-ish, because I'll be looking for some feedback. Until then, go and have some adventures of your own!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Time to get passionate!

It's that time again... end of thesis and start of exams time. My most creative time of the year, for some reason. And this time I realized... I don't really have something I'm crazy passionate about. There are tons of things that excite me and that I like doing, but nothing that awakes true, irrevocable passion inside me. And I firmly believe that everyone needs a passion!

So, time to get passionate. But about what? I decided to make a list with things that excite me, that I can talk about for hours, and that I spend my free time researching.

- Dancing
- Writing fantasy (and other) stories
- Photography
- Crafting in themes (usually fairy-like fantasy, or steampunk)
- And maybe something else I'll encounter along the way

After my exams - which is in eleven days, scary! - I will try them all out for a long time over a few days, and at the end I will see which one has intrigued me the most, and that's hard to not think about.
What do you think? Could this be a good way to find my passion, or not?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Abandoned places.

I have a strange fascination for abandoned places. Every time I come across a post on the interwebs like this one, I can easily spend an entire day looking up more background stories and other similar places. And I want to visit all of them, investigate the rumours more closely, and take amazing pictures like the ones I found before.
I'm not sure why they seem so fascinating to me. Part of the reason could be because they are just really great pictures, that can tell entire stories without words. Another reason could be that I'm a big fan of making zombie apocalypse scenarios in my mind, and a lot of these places seem perfect for those. It doesn't always have to be zombie apocalypse stories though, thinking about what happened there in the past can be just as exciting.

Ever since I've been a kid, I loved exploring empty buildings with friends and cousins. There used to be an empty barn near our house, abandoned for at least ten years, which we used to explore and make up ghost stories about. Even small bridges or tree houses in the neigbourhood were enough to fill tons of afternoons.
And every time we're on vacation in a place we've never been before, my friend and I go exploring places without roads (and sometimes with signs telling us to stay away, which we pretend we're not able to understand). To me, those make the best memories.

I'll leave you with this picture from last summer, when we were in Italy. We guess these were remains of some old war bunker. There were a lot of walls with stone steps scattered across a forest on a hill, with small inlets like this one.
Sadly, no treasure was found. And it was a scary place (lots of angry insects) so we didn't stay too long. But it was pretty cool to find something like this unexpectedly.

Italian WW fortress remains

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Yoga.

Yoga is amazing. It seems to be something I've been missing my entire life, without even realizing. It's the perfect combination of physical and mental work out, two things I could always use more of.
I started about a month ago, an hour and a half every Friday evening together with some family and friends. One of my aunts is actually teaching our small class, which is great. This way I don't have to deal with lots of new people and strange teachers (which is always hard for me). And so, there's more room to just be myself and do the exercises without worrying what other people think, or if I'm doing something wrong. I just do, (almost) without thinking.

At the end of each yoga session, we meditate for a bit. I've never been really good at emptying my mind and all that, but after the exercises, somehow it's a lot easier. The first time I actually shed a few tears from experiencing the joy of meditating like I never have before. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it felt amazing. Like I suddenly understood everything about my tiny, insignificant life, my place in the world and my purpose here.
Sadly, this feeling doesn't last. After the class is over, I start thinking again, concerning myself with everyday issues and other non-important things. But I return every Friday, and feel inspired again.
One day, I'll get the hang of it. I'll learn to balance these two lives: the everyday practical one, and the all-surrounding spiritual one. I hope.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rainbow cake.

Saturday, for a friend's birthday (the wonderful Laura), I made a rainbow cake!
I've never made one before, and to be honest, it's quite the adventure.

I used Martha Stewart's recipe combined with my own ideas, and some Google skills to find out where to get all the ingredients. 
Turns out, you can't just use any kind of food colouring in rainbow cakes! They need special gel based colouring stuff, to make the colours so bright and flashy. Luckily, there's a specialized shop nearby that sells all kinds of baking equipment and ingredients (which I only found out about because some online shop suggested I go there). With red, yellow, and blue, I was all set to start baking!
Halfway through the baking process with three layers finished, I have decided this is one of the most fun cakes to make ever! It's so colourful and sweet, even if it's a lot of work having only space for one layer at a time in my tiny oven. An entire afternoon filled with baking, and some writing in between: my weekend is made.

It turned out great, and even people who don't particularly like cake in general were very fond of it. Sadly I forgot to take a picture, but I might get one later from Laura.

Rainbow Cake Adventure: success!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

On wedding dresses.

Decisions are hard. Especially about really big things, like your own wedding.

I went dress shopping (well, just looking and trying on actually) yesterday with my mum and sis. It was really fun to try on some real wedding dresses and feel like a princess and everything, and I did find one dress that I really liked. There's just two things that bother me.

One is the price tag. Wedding dresses (and honestly just about most things about weddings) are really expensive, and it makes me a bit uncomfortable spending so much money on "just a dress that you can only wear for one day in your life".
The other is the fact that maybe it isn't "special" enough. Like every bride, I'd love for our wedding to be something unique, and the wedding dress is an essential part that contributes to all the uniqueness. I know some people who are really good at sewing, so maybe I should ask them to help me with (read: do most of the work) making one? But then again, what if it's too hard, and I just decide on something easier and less special because it's less frustrating to make, but I'll end up regretting not having the dress I really wanted?

What do you guys think?

Friday, January 11, 2013

2/4.

I'm halfway my penultimate exam period, and I feel great! My 4 exams are pretty well spread over 3 weeks, so I'm not nearly as stressed as usual. (Except for the issue where I started grinding my teeth all the time. Not sure where that came from.)
This gives me lots of time to reflect (and some to procrastinate, sadly) and think about how much I love studying, and my courses, and looking forward to doing something useful with all of this. My studies inspire me and encourage me to look up more details or different applications. It's been a long time since I felt this way about studying and learning in general.


So, all in all, life is looking good, and I feel like I'm well on schedule with everything! If only a few years ago I would have realized how happy I would be right now...

To everyone whose life isn't going particularly well right now: don't worry. Somehow, if you really want it, things will work out. And it will be worth it. Just remember to keep people who make you better as a person close to you, and lose the others. You will hardly remember them in a few years.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I can totally HTML.

(And also CSS and PHP and SQL.)

I just made a small website with a database and a search engine. For those of you who don't know me: not that I'm bad with computers, but I don't think I know much about them that the average user/gamer doesn't. So I never thought I'd be able to do this, to be honest, but I did have some help from my wonderful fiancé.
Between all this time of studying and cramming information into my head that I'll probably never use again, actually creating something feels good! I learned something new, and I made something awesome with it: a small library, with my own books in it. 
Working on these kinds of small, new projects is just what I need to keep myself going. Exam times are always hard; studying isn't really my thing. But I love my studies, so in the end it's all worth it.

Sorry for the not-so-useful post, I promise there'll be better stuff once exams are over. 17 days to go!
And to all those in the same situation: don't give up! Remember, you have no one to prove yourself to, but yourself!