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Weekly Notes | 5

I abandoned another series again. Honestly, why can't I seem to stick to these kinds of things? And I don't even really have an excuse except that uni work has been piling up and I just haven't been in the mood to do anything beside that. But, today we went for a walk in the forest and my head has been cleared and here are a couple of things that have made me happy lately.

1. I have been in a bit of a rut when it comes to reading other people's blogs. I just haven't been excited to read anything lately. The only cure I know for that is to read through my favourite blogs of all time and Cider with Rosie will always be a firm favourite. I absolutely love reading her posts from the very beginning and I can't believe how much I miss her regular updates. These happy things this week are in her tribute.

2. The new tradition of going over to one of my best friends houses on Monday night and just drinking wine and talking all the things.

3. The beautiful weather and long dog walks. Especially the one from a few weeks ago where I took the pictures featured in this post.

4. I have a tendency of being a very closed-off and private person in real life. I don't really like to talk about myself and this week I've realized that actually I have made major steps in this department over the last couple of months. I'm able to hold conversations, talk about personal things and I just finally feel comfortable around large groups of people. It's probably one of my biggest challenges and I'm so happy that everything is working out for myself at the moment.

5. The prospect of snow and ice next week. I love colder weather, especially as it will hopefully be another opportunity to skate.

6. Finally settling on a topic for my dissertation.

7. And also deciding on some future plans and exploring the options I will have once I graduate.

8. Suits episodes.

9. Rolo deserts. They are possible the best things to exist at the moment.

10. Daydreaming about the future.

Here's to a great week.

Advice from my Dad

My dad is one of those people that doesn't talk much, but when he does talk it's usually about something important and interesting. I always make sure I listen to him when those moments occur. Sunday night was one of those times. He was bringing me back to my room after a weekend at home, like he always does. And we wound up talking about about privilege and the future. I expressed how lucky I am that my parents have been able to do so much for me and that I realise I'm actually super lucky to have them and to have had the upbringing I've had. It's one of those talks that I want to remember. The love and respect I have for both my parents is big and it's the same the other way around. And I realise I don't express enough how eternally grateful I am to have them.

My dad loves driving in his car. He brings me home every Sunday evening, even ends up missing the football because of it now and again. When I need a ride, he is always there to offer me one. He also pays my college tuition. He made sure I got my driver's license. He lets me borrow his car whenever I need it. Basically he and my mum are always there when I need them. And I told him I grateful I am for all of that in the car when he drove me back on Sunday. I told him how lucky I am that I saw mountains and went skiing when I was 5 years old. I told him how lucky I am to not have a student debt.

In return he told me that his biggest wish was that me and my brother would be set up for the best possible future we could have. He did all of that for us, because he wanted to make sure we got of to a good start. And I realise this is how most parents feel about their children, but it's still nice to talk about it now and again. He also told me that at some point he has to let us go. We have to do it on our own at some point, right? Even if we can of course always ask for their advice. He suggested that I should start realizing that now. College is often such a bubble. I forget that there is another world outside of uni that I should probably be preparing for. I will have to pay my own bills at some point and find the carreer path I want to take. My dad encouraged me to start looking, to start actively searching, for opportunities outside of uni right now. To fight for what I want. And to look into the future, internships and jobs for example. Even if I don't need them now. To be working towards a great future for myself. Sometimes it's good to have these kinds of talks to be reminded of that again.

This week's notes | 02

🎶Harder to breath - Maroon 5 🎶

Dancing the night away with friends over the weekend. Being awakened by the exclamation of IT'S SNOWING. Even if that was at 8 am on Saturday morning after only four hours of sleep. Walking home from a party when it starts to snow. Good company. Board games. Winning. Laughing. Singing.  Full hearts. A big weekend and a quiet week. Handing in your exam after days of revision. Cooking and catching up with friends. Singing along to the La La Land soundtrack and dreaming of Ryan Gosling and real-life crushes. Cups of tea and treating yourself to a desert of a square of chocolate. Your bed after a long day. Taking soaked-through jeans off and putting your pjs on before snuggling up in bed with a cup of tea. And lastly coming home to cuddling your puppy.

🎶Let This Moment Last - Rondé 🎶

This week has been both big and quiet, fast and slow. I had the most exciting weekend. After that it took me a while to get back into a routine. The weekend was still ringing in my head and adjusting to the quietness of everyday life took it's time. But there is something to say for both of them. Big moments need quiet moments as their counterpart. Just like it can't be December every month and January needs to happen too. These next few weeks are big on uni deadlines. And getting back to work is something I'm ready for now. It's weird to think I will start my dissertation in February and get my degree in July. What then?

🎶22 - Taylor Swift 🎶

Probably the hardest thing of writing this weekly series has been taking photos. This week I didn't manage to take a single good one and I had to resort to a stock photo. If you have any tips on how to fix that problem I would love to know. I hope you had a lovely week.

Running out of Time | University

Sigrid, Daphne and I in Marrakech, November 2016

I'm in my third year of university and wrapping up my degree this year and I seriously feel like I'm running out of time. It feels like every year my college experience gets better and better. Maybe it's because it always takes me a bit of time to get familiarized to my environment, but I can honestly say that this has been my best year yet. And I'm dreading the end of uni. I've been asked if I had some advice for new freshman or could share something about my college experience. And my experience will probably be different than any of yours, not the least because I study in a different country than most of you, but also because everyone's college experience differs. If I had one advice it would be to just let it happen and see what may. Just enjoy it, because it will be over before you know it.

Here's the good things that happened to me during my three years at university:

During the first weekend of my course I went on a trip with a couple of fellow students and the friend group I have to this day, comes forth from that weekend;

The study trips I went on: England, St. Petersburg and Gdansk;

In my second year, I moved out of my parents and into my own apartment on campus;
I fell in love with my major: human geography;
I got to participate in a university-wide honours program and got to hear a ton of interesting guest lectures;
I joined a student union and sports club;
I met the most incredible, inspiring people and made new friends;

I grew my confidence;
And I learned to cook;
The prospect of a trip to Budapest, two graduations and the prospect of another degree after this one.
There were challenging times, for sure, and keep in mind that college isn't for everyone. I've been lucky in many ways. I don't have a student loan. It's relatively cheap to study in the Netherlands, but I know so many others who aren't as lucky. University is expensive and especially in the US lots of students are in debt. If that is the case it can be worth it to look at refinancing options. And in other ways I've been lucky too. I love my course and I enjoy studying. I lucked out on my apartment and I made the most amazing friends. But even if that wouldn't have happened, I still think college is worth it. Because even if it's challenging, you will learn new things and it will (hopefully) make you figure out what you want from life. (Though I'm still not entirely sure myself yet). And you will miss your parents and friends from back home, but that will challenge you in other ways. It remains hard to grow up and step out of your comfort zone, but for me, college has been amazing. I wish I could keep doing this forever.

I have one more advice, that I feel is important to mention. I'd highly encourage you to do a course that you love. I have friends who went on and didn't do the course they wanted to do out of fear of not getting a job later on and they came to regret it. It's hard to study something for four years, when you don't like it or feel like you can't do it and aren't a 100% motivated for it.

This week's notes | 01

I'd like to introduce you to a new series: this week's notes. I'll be sharing the things that made me happy during the week along with the few songs I've had on repeat, too. In order to blog more this year, I figured it would be a good idea to add a regular feature in the form of a weekly happy list. I know a lot of people who do really great ones. I absolutely love them, but it never felt right to do one of my own. Or I'd do one for a few weeks and I would let it slip. I basically struggled to come up with an idea that would fit me. But now I think found it.

🎶 Dancing on my Own by Calum Scott

I've had this song on repeat for weeks now. It has generally been a pretty good week over here. Most of you will probably be back at work or school and I've been pretty productive too, yet have also managed to do a lot of fun things at the same time. First up on Monday we had the annual friends tournament at the local sports centre, where you basically invite your friends to play a tournament and introduce them to the sport you play on a regular basis. I've been playing Floorball for a good year now and it was great to show my best friends what I do for a sport. And then we went out for dinner afterwards, which was pretty great too.

Come to think of it, it hasn't been the clean eating start to January I'd envisioned, because I went out for dinner the next day too and grabbed a bite at the station before seeing a movie on Wednesday too. And this weekend won't help either. I'm writing this, just before I go away for the weekend and have a few parties planned.

🎶 Shape of You and Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran

I'm so happy Ed Sheeran came with new music today. I've had them on repeat all day and bloody love them. Revising just got so much better. Usually revising days suck pretty hard, but with Ed Sheeran on, Crazy Stupid, Love playing in the background and the prospect of going out tonight and dancing, made it a pretty great day nonetheless.

🎶 Angels by Robbie Williams
🎶 Valerie by Amy Winehouse
🎶 Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

The week between Christmas and the New Year is the highlight for my dad usually, because that is when the top 2000 is played on Radio 2 here in the Netherlands. It's basically the countdown to the New Year in our household with a list of the top 2000 songs of all time. I used to think it was for old people like my dad, but I enjoyed it more than ever this year. You know that feeling, when a song comes on that you completely forgotten about. That's what happens and I loved it. Then New Year's Eve was spent playing board games, eating oliebollen and just catching up with family and watching tv. We ended up still drinking wine at 3 in the morning, but it was fun.

🎶 A lovely Night and City of Stars from La La Land (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone)
🎶 Audition (The Fools Who Dream) from La La Land (Emma Stone)

Last but not least, Oh my god I saw La La Land on wednesday with my best friend and it was absolutely incredible. It might just top my all time favourite movie list. It was just so upbeat and uplifting, but at the same time really realistic too and it made me cry a couple of times. The message I got from it, was that you should follow your dreams, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices too and the choices you make will have a lasting impact. Still there is hope though, because while things could have been, life was still pretty great for Mia and Sebastian in the end.

As a consequence I've fallen in an Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling obsession, the La La Land soundtrack is on repeat, I'm telling all my friends to go see it and I'm debating wether I should go watch it again. All in all, life has been pretty great this week. How has yours been? And go see La La Land if you can please. Even if you think it isn't for you!

The End of the Year Reading List

One last festive picture.

Happy New Year and a very happy 2017!

I'm writing this on New Year's Eve, so it feels very weird to say this when it's still 2016, but I hope those few hours in 2017 have been treating you well. Some of you will probably be hungover, others will have had a nice evening in, but I hope you've all had a good turn of the year. New years day is always a bit of a weird one for me. We used to visit my great grandmother with the whole family, but since she died we have stopped doing that and now we might visit family or do nothing at all. It's kind of an empty day isn't it? I plan on using the day to catch up on my favourite blogs, maybe plan a few blogposts and I don't know, start revising or read a book? But if you're in need of some good reading sources, I've hit you up below:

I'm listening to Laura's advice and have spend this past week aimlessly relaxing and eating way too much food.

While listening to the playlist of all playlists: the top 2000, which is basically the soundtrack every year of the week between christmas and the new year.

Year reviews: Katie, Imii, Candice, Freya, Michelle, Amy Elizabeth, JennieEleanor, Lyzi and Ellie

Favourite blogs in 2016: A Girl Named Leney, Kelsey J. Barnes, Fox Socks, Beside the Danube, Pack your Passport, We are the Browns

A couple of 2016 book roundups: A year in books (part 1/2), 9 of the best books read in 2016

Thoughts for 2017.

I'm declaring 2017 the year of self love and this is a great checklist to start with.

And these are great feminist alternative new years resolutions.

I also absolutely adore Laura's new years resolutions. And Kelsey's too.

You can trust Katy to share some positivity from the challenging year that has been 2016.

Here's to a great year.


 I don't want to start my 2016 review with saying how challenging and difficult a year it has been, because while I've known challenging times for sure, I've also realized how incredibly lucky I actually am. I feel like this year has honestly been one of the busiest years of my life. I have not sat still at all. It all piles up. Once you say yes to one thing, a next one shortly follows and before I knew it my diary was packed beyond belief. I've even slacked on school work over the last few months, which usually I have the time to push for. This year has known some horrible moments and world happenings, yet personally it has been one of the best days of my life.

January. In January I attempted a month of daily blogging and did reasonably well all things consider. It was a quiet month. I went on a couple of day trips, Amsterdam and Den Bosch. Took blistering cold morning walks and generally spend my time being more active. I started playing Floorball more and more and took part in Adriene's Yoga Camp.

February. Usually February is my least favourite month and this year it was worse than I could have imagined. My best friend was on the brink of losing her dad and I spend all my time and energy trying to support her and her family. It wasn't a great time, however I'm so incredibly glad for the friendship bonds that have been strengthened. Another great thing about this month was the photography course I took part in.

March. In the beginning of March I attended a funeral, which was incredibly sad. But the month also featured great moments. My granddad turned 80, I went to Gent, celebrated Easter and played some more floorball.

April. April was exciting. My best friend and I took a well deserved break to Lisbon for a few days. It's such a cool city and I loved being able to travel some more again. We were also treated with some of the best spring weather and maybe most exciting of all. At the end of April we visited a farm and picked out a puppy that we adopted in May.

May. Taking Nala home with us was just wonderful. I had a relaxed break and spend my time getting to know our little pup and watching her learn and grow. This was also were I fell in love with Formula 1. Watching sports is one of my favourite things to do.

June. June started with the birthday of one of my best girlfriends. The weather was absolutely wonderful at the time and so I spend a few quality evenings in the park drinking wine in good company. I also went on a weekend away with my sports team, wrapped up another year at uni and celebrated my brother's graduation. This was also the month were I discovered Suits.

July. Three out of four weeks in July were spent volunteering at different summer camps for children. They were both the most incredible and challenging week of the year. I got a throat infection out of pure tiredness, but the experience was all worth it. I don't think I spoke much of it on the blog before, but it was incredible. I'm happy I could give those children a great holiday.

August. Olympics. A trip to London. Birthdays and bbq's. Generally a chilled and fun month, like August usually is.

September. Uni started up again. I was glad to get back into it. I followed an interesting course in shopping, marketing and city identities and I figured out what I want to do after graduation this year, I have a vague plan. Watching the Great British Bake-off was fun. Often my friends would come over and we would eat dinner, play games and catch up.

October. A month full of deadlines, but I did have a lovely evening playing old school board games. It was my mum's birthday in October too and my mum and I spend a day shopping and eating lunch.

November. November was busy! First up, after all my uni deadlines were completed, I visited Marrakech for a few days with two girlfriends. It was such a cool city, highly recommended. It was also my birthday and the month the Gilmore Girls revival was released.

December. Wrapped up the year celebrating in great company. With great friends and caring family members. This last week has been a well deserved break from everything life related. I should be ready to get back into action now.

Happy 2017.

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