Saturday, May 30, 2015

Late Birthday Recap

Even though I should have done this many weeks ago, I'm only sharing my birthday gifts and pictures with you now. It was quite a relaxed day and I also had a lovely little party a few days after. Anyway, here are some pictures!

If you're a long time follower of my blog you might have seen a very similar cake before. They had green ones in spring or for Easter or something, but when my birthday came round they had the pink again. Not complaining though, it is absolutely gorgeous! And it actually looked much better in my pink home than the green ever would have.

Tofu was a little disappointed he didn't get his own slice though. But he did enjoy the gift ribbons a lot! Anyway, I received some beautifully packaged items from a very dear friend. The bunny box in the first picture was hers too.

I didn't really mentioned this to anyone I invited to my party, but I was really hoping for gifts that didn't take up too much space, were useful or even edible.  Somehow they all picked out perfect things anyway. Like these chocolates!

Another edible gift was this awesome jar of cookie ingredients. I look forward to using it up, but I also enjoy the way it looks in my kitchen. So I'll keep it as decoration for a while longer... until the cookie-craving becomes too strong.

The same friend gave me an amazing notebook that has cute tabs, a zipper pocket and even little folders to hold pictures and loose papers. She also included some magnetic bookmarks that actually match the notebook very well.

These gifts were wrapped in a gift bag with a beautiful crocheted butterfly (which is now gracing my door). And inside I found not only the quirkiest knitting book I'd ever seen. But also an invite to a Burlesque Show! (Which I've always wanted to visit!)

Next up was another dream come true, or maybe more accurately… a nightmare averted. Growing up I just adored Joan of Arcadia. I had always remained sad about it getting cancelled, and I was also afraid I'd never get to see it again (because the DVDs weren't released here). I now have both seasons to watch over and over and over again. I'm so happy!

The same friend also gifted me this amazing owl shirt. I actually blogged about it a while back. It looked so pretty on the picture online, but it's even better in real life. The fabric has such an interesting blend of colors and it's super soft.

Lastly I got my first ever Lush gift box. It contained mostly items I had never tried before, and I'm loving all of them. The shower jelly smells amazing! And the shampoo will probably be a re-buy for me once I finish this bar.

I also got a few items that aren't shown here… some amazing Japanese cookies, a remote for my camera, and I'm actually still getting a nice new water boiler from my mom, but we haven't been able to go shopping for one yet...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lovely Movies: Big Game

Watching Samuel L. Jackson movies is pretty much a family tradition with me and my mom. Now it's not often we get to see him play a lead role on the big screen. So we wasted no time and went to see Big Game. It was awesome!

Not only was the other hero of this movie a kid, but there was a nice balance between a crazy plot and quite realistic action scenes. Yes, it was an over-the-top roller coaster ride, but some very silly things made it way more believable.

There was only one tiny thing that nagged me. This movie must have had a huge budget. So why was the framed wall of fame in the last scene a series of repeat pictures? Did they think no one would notice? It's all in the details, people! Anyway, don't let that little rant put you off. If you like Sam and you like action movies, definitely do watch this one!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Inside my Sketchbook

A while ago I posted my first Zentangle endeavor, it has since become a wonderful hobby that I practice almost daily. It's something I often do in the evenings, when I'm sitting in a waiting room or if I just have a spare moment.

Even though I still find it relaxing, I do have to admit that my earlier statement of it not having "any pressure whatsoever" is not totally valid anymore. I did cut myself loose from the book and am drawing more freely, but as a perfectionist I do find myself wanting to get better and better at it. I'm currently working on improving the 3D effect.

I'm not playing by the exact rules. I often make up my own patterns and elements, and I try out different shapes and sizes. I've also treated myself to a very nice pen set that has given me more options than just the 0.4 I started out with.

These pictures are all from my first sketchbook. I'm actually now on my third, so I might post a peek into that second book soon. Anyway, I thought it was a nice touch to tangle on the book cover as well, and I do love the result!

I also occasionally venture out of my books and try bigger scale tangles. The one below is quite large. It also has some shading that I think really makes it pop. Since, I've actually experimented with a bunch more shading techniques.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little peek inside my sketchbook. There will probably be more posts like this in the future as I have no plans of quitting this hobby anytime soon. In fact, I'm sure I'll make one or two more this very evening.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

King's Day Loot

This year I've grown a lot stricter about the number of items that enter my house, but I make exceptions on certain occasions. An obvious one was King's Day. The one day a year people sell their stuff for very, very low prices...

Now I did only get things I really really wanted. And I even got a few things for free. Anyway, I think I paid 5 bucks for this whole pile of books, not bad right? One of those books was already in an online cart for more than that.

And I can not tell you how many times I nearly bought a copy of The Great Gatsby… There were so many stunning covers that I couldn't choose! This one, however, is probably the prettiest one I've seen so far. And it even contained a hidden treasure. The book itself isn't old at all, but inside I did find a vintage snapshot of someone's vacation...

Another great score was this record! It's in quite a good condition and only cost 50 cents. And even though it has me incredibly excited, I still haven't managed to take it for a spin yet. But I plan on doing so sometime this week!

One of the shows I really miss since quitting my cable is Castle. So when I found five seasons for the price of one new one, I didn't have to think for long. I've been binge-watching the episodes ever since. It is such a great show!

My goal for the day was to get some good deals on things that would entertain me for quite a while after. Especially tv-shows because those are a whole lot pricier new. Anyway, I consider this mission greatly accomplished!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Owl Things Considered

VaniLlamaArt makes breathtakingly beautiful and very original statement necklaces. They look so detailed and well made, and the idea of the feather-beads is very clever. I also love the way the maker plays with the colors.

I think the barn owls are absolutely adorable. I'm sure I'm not alone in that, because they have sold out. However, there is still another gorgeous owl in the shop at this very moment. One with some amazing color changes.

Anyway, if you like what you see here, you'd better keep an eye on the VaniLlamaArt shop. The artist shows some amazing skills with her polymer clay. She also has this incredibly intriguing insect set for instance… So check it out.

P.S. I just found out she has a blog as well! You can find it here.

Monday, May 25, 2015

(mtb) Enjoy What You Have and Stop Saving Perishables

When you acquire a luxurious or exotic item, what do you? Enjoy it right away and finish it up soon? Or do you save it for special occasions, use up tiny bits at a time, and finally throw it out because it has expired or dried up completely?

I've gotten better at it over the years, but -as I found while organizing- the latter still happened quite recently to limited editions/seasonal items I bought and savored too slowly or saved for too long because I kept waiting for the perfect moment. I've learnt my lesson and now use every awesome thing I own that might otherwise await a similar fate.

For instance, I had saved an amazing chocolate-scented all-natural body lotion, but I'm now using it a few times a week and am absolutely loving it! If I run out of it before a special occasion, I'm sure I'll survive. At the very least the pain of not having it then will be a lot smaller than the guilt and sadness I'd have when I'd have to throw it out.

Besides, special occasions are often exactly the times you forget to use those sorts of things anyway. In my experience I get too caught up in special occasions to even bother remembering to bring out the special treats I had been saving.

I just had a conversation about this with a friend. She uttered the very wise words "you are never going to regret enjoying something." So true. So true! So do yourself a favor. Use things now. Make every day a special occasion.

Are you naturally good at this sort of thing? Or is it a mistake you've made a lot too? If so, was it eye-opening at least? And if you have managed to shake this misguided habit, do you find it freeing as well?


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.

P.S. To keep the conversation open and easily accessible to everyone, I'll reply to your comments in the comments. 

Drumroll, Please...

 The Blippo giveaway to win three very Kawaii items ended a little while ago, but I thought I'd do a quick post to wrap things up. The winner has already been notified, and the lucky lady to receive these items was Sweet Tidings!

Anyway, be sure to check out the winner's blog. It is absolutely wonderful and actually pretty Kawaii too! And also pay a visit to Blippo if Kawaii items make you happy, because they have a ton of lovely things. From trinkets to edibles to useful things in cute colors and with pretty decorations. And all with free shipping worldwide!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Made My Day

Cher turned 69 yesterday and because of it there was a tribute to her on the Huffington Post. In it I suddenly spotted Michael Jackson, so I immediately searched YouTube. Turns out they did a Jackson 5 medley together in the 70s!

I had never heard of the clip, nor did I ever expect to see that combination. What a wonderful surprise! There's also a -very rehearsed- clip of little Michael at Sonny and Cher's but that wasn't hardly as surprising as them singing together.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Lovely Movies: Jimi: All is by My Side

Biopics are always hard. Apart for Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, most actors can't seem to really capture the person they have to portray. Now I can't say Andre Benjamin looks exactly like Jimi Hendrix, but he did do a good job.

One of the things that most impressed me was his voice, but he also had some mannerisms down and captured his essence quite well. Anyway, this film isn't perfect, but it did give a great taste of the whole 60s music atmosphere.

The director also put in some original childhood pictures and he sometimes did weird things with the sound of the movie, like mute it or put in other sounds. It made for a very interesting movie. So it's definitely worth the watch!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Giveaway Reminder -> Blippo

There are still a couple of days left to join in on the Blippo giveaway and possibly win some very kawaii items:)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Plans & Goals: May

I'm not too ambitious at the moment. It's not that I am dreading May, but I just don't think I'll be able to cross anything very big off my list this month. With that in mind, I figured I'd just make some tiny goals. I'd like to:

  • Share a few pictures of my birthday (presents).
  • As well as some things I bought on King's Day.
  • Announce a winner for the Blippo giveaway.
  • Go see Insurgent.
  • Finish part two of the Mistborn Trilogy.
  • Blog a few more "Making Things Better"-posts.
  • Put in more effort to meditate.
  • Eat some pantry items that are taking up space.
  • And hopefully cast on a summery knitting project.

I'd love to hear your plans too! What are you up to this month?


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