Friday, April 24, 2015

Finding Vivian Maier

The story of Vivian Maier is extremely interesting, as is the story of how her work was quite recently discovered. I was very intrigued by the documentary about her stunning work and the unusual circumstances of her posthumous fame.

Eight years ago John Maloof found a random box of negatives in an auction. He was blown away by what he found and ended up tracing the rest of Vivian Maier's pictures, her life's story, and bringing her work to the public.

I was very sad to find out I actually just missed an exposition of her work in my city, but I only found out about her after that had closed down. Either way, this documentary was well worth watching. It has it's darker moments as well, but it was just incredibly captivating to hear all about such a complicated and solitary photographic genius.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

(mtb) Decluttering: Starting Easy

For as long as I can remember I've had a hard time letting go of items. And I also really loved the thrill of getting something new. The perfect recipe for a vicious cycle… a cycle I'm now breaking by making downsizing my belongings a new priority. I started with something that's easy for me to part with. Toiletries.


I had (ok, have) quite a big stockpile of skincare and cosmetics. However, I read that you can not keep those things for ever, studies show even sealed ones "go bad" eventually. So I went through my stuff and threw out the vast majority of what I had. Open bottles that had been in my shower forever and that I either didn't like or that had begun to look a little dodgy; Lush products that had expired years ago; any usused things I had had for way too long… (I figured that if you know a certain store/brand has had a few label changes since, it is probably time to throw it out.)

There were also things that were still good, but I knew I would not get any use out of them myself, because I switched to natural products. Most of those I've already given away,  the small remainder I'll offer to other people soon.

I care about the environment a great deal. I recycle, try to eat as organic and animal-friendly as I can, and to waste as little as possible. Throwing something in the garbage is a huge deal for me. But I flicked a switch recently. Where I can I will always sell, donate or give things away, but if something is useless to anyone else and I'm only hanging on to it and letting it get even older, I'll have to throw it out eventually… So why not cut out those extra 3, 5, 10 years it would be lying in some cupboard taking up precious space, and just throw it out now?

Hopefully soon I will have minimal stock and only things in use that I actually like and that are working for me.

I'd love to hear from you! Are you in the same situation? Is it bugging you or is it more of a dormant problem? And do you think this is an easy place to start, or would you tackle something else first?


In "making things better" I share what is helping me better my life while hopefully inspiring others in the process. It might include things that either don't apply to you, or that you disagree with. That is fine too. Read it, think about it, and decide for yourself whether it can also make things better for you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Owl Things Considered

If you do any drawing or painting you might be familiar with the stress of a blank page or canvas. So how Tommy Craggs doesn't get overwhelmed when he sees a blank tree, I have no idea. But he sure knows how to work magic.

If you're worried about the trees... He never cuts them down for the purpose of carving them, he uses dead pieces, found after storms for example, or trees that had to be cut for woodland management. So there's no harm done.

From what I gather, he is a self-taught artist that used to work in forestry and decided to put his skills in wood to a more artistic use. And as you can see, he likes to make owls! He does many other animals and scenes as well though.

You can follow him on Facebook to stay updated on his new works. Or check out his website for a beautiful gallery of things he has made in the past. Also, if you live in the UK you might be able to see him work at events sometimes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Giveaway Time! -> Blippo

Today I have some great news for those of you that were very excited about my recent Blippo review. Because they are back with a new batch of items, this time for a giveaway!

One winner will receive a pack of caramel panda cookies, a pink OMG kerychain and some watermelon hair clips.

Good luck!

Monday, April 13, 2015

"I rock mom jeans, cat earrings, extrapolate my feelings..."

There's really no excuse for waiting so long to post this fantastic video. I found it last year and have been coming back to it quite often since. Not only is it a catchy song with a great message, but the video is also absolutely wonderful!

Even if you weren't aware of it, I'm sure you've heard Mary Lambert singing in Macklemore's amazing Same Love. Another great song with a great message! Anyway, she's so nice and genuine in interviews too, so check her out!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: Blippo

The Kawaii Box is a lovely subscription service I got to review at the end of last year. Their makers also run an online shop called Blippo. It is full of cute things, four of which I got sent to review for your you today. Let's get started!

Blippo carries a lot of different squishy charms. When I got my Kawaii Box I got a cute Rilakkuma, and this time around they sent me this adorable panda. It reminds me a lot of a mochi, because of the shape.

More pandas! Because I also received these chocolate cookie balls. They have a soft almond filling on the inside and a cute panda design on the outside. They were tasty too! Needless to say, I ate them and they're all gone now...

Apart from pandas you will also find a lot of nail art supplies on Blippo. Fake nails, nail polish, rhinestones, stickers… you name it. I received some little heart sequins. They can be put on wet nails polish and under a clear top coat, after the base layer has dried. The packaging shows that you can also use it for crafts or other decoration.

And finally, something very cool…! We all know the iconic Hello Kitty ears and bow. They've been used in all sorts of designs, but they work exceptionally well in these "beauty scissors". I've always known them as nail scissors, but perhaps they turn out to be a lot more versatile than I've given them credit for in the past. Time will tell.

Lastly, they also tucked a complimentary key chain into my review package, which was a very sweet touch.

Final Verdict

As you can see everything was really cute! And overall my two experiences with Blippo (and Kawaii Box too) have been absolutely wonderful! The shipping is not only free worldwide, but it's also always a lot faster than I expect, everything is packaged securely, and there is just something so friendly about the company in general.

So if you love kawaii items, Blippo is an excellent service to use. Especially if you otherwise have a hard time getting your hands on cute things from Japan. I've found them to be affordable, reliable and just plain cute!

P.S. I've been given these items for review, but haven't received any money or other incentive to write any opinions other than how I really feel about the products.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

"L'amour est comme l'oiseau de Twitter…"

Being a blogger, it is perhaps strange that I have very mixed feelings about the internet. I absolutely love the blogging community, but do think that other social media are heading in a scary direction. This animation shows that so well.

I've never been extremely fond of Stromae, but I really do appreciate he is using his fame to send out a wake-up call like this. The music video is beautifully made too! And the story makes such a great  -and haunting- full circle at the end. But what else would you expect from the maker of the amazing animation gem that is Les Triplettes de Belleville?!

P.S. If your French isn't as strong either, you can get this extra in-depth translation of the entire song here.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lovely Movies: In the Land of Women

This movie gets quite mediocre ratings online, but I think that mostly has to do with wrong assumptions. If you look at the poster/DVD, you'll expect it to be some sort of teenage high-school love story. Well, think again, my friend.

There is some romance in it, but to me that's not the main focus at all. It's much more about profound human connections. On one end of the spectrum there are family ties, on the other, short-lived but life-altering friendships.

I first saw this on a plane, never forgot it, and actually just saw it for the third or forth time. It struck a chord with me even more this time around. There is just something very honest and profound in this story. And well, Meg Ryan.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Plans & Goals: April

April is tends to be an exciting month for me. It's when we usually have at least some summery weather and there's my birthday as well as the national holiday King's Day (formerly known as Queen's Day). This month I hope to:

  • Enjoy lots of fruit and a bit of ice cream.
  • Really follow through on my new blog plans.
  • Do an exciting review!
  • Go to the first concert I've seen in ages.
  • Do something fun and impulsive.
  • Visit some sort of farmers or crafts market again.
  • Sell/donate a bunch of stuff.
  • Tidy my wardrobe.
  • And have a great time on my birthday!

What do you hope April has in store for you?


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