Category Archives: Lifestyle

4 things that happened in the past week #4

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Gastonishing
Seems one of my favourite (loveable no, entertaining yes) Disney characters is going through a rough time. In a few weeks time two videos of a Meet ‘n Greet with Gaston in Disney World went viral. In the first one a little girl named Isabella totally put him in his place, telling him “the Beast is gonna beat you and he is gonna marry Belle!”. In the second, a guy challenges him to do a push up-battle (which totally turns against him in the end). These videos sparked me to find more vids on YouTube in which this Gaston is featured and they all entertained me big time. Like the character, the actor walking the park as Gaston behaves like a total self-involved douche, but in the most funny way possible. There’s some signature lines he does that I find really amusing. After a meet and greet he often says stuff like “Pleasure to meet me, the honour was all yours.”
My, what a guy, that Gaston!

Hearthstone
Apart from some Tetris now and again, I have never done much online gaming or video games. As a kiddo we did have a Nintendo and I remember playing some Super Mario, a Darkwing Duck platform game (“Let’s get dangerous!”) and some Lion King Pinball thing which I thought was superfun. But, having two very fanatic older brothers meant I often ended up watching. In the past week I got into playing Hearthstone, a free online card game developed by Blizzard. It’s kind of a strategic game in which you let minions, beasts and other character “battle” with each other until you can “destroy” your opponents hero. Sounds lovely init? For me it has a similar feel as table top game Citadels, to which I got quite addicted to this summer (even when I kept losing). Best thing about Hearthstone is that you can chose a hero from 9 characters, and they all have different kinds of powers and different spells. There’s also loads of cards and decks to chose from, so it won’t get boring anytime soon. Oh, and it’s terribly addictive and awesome.

Soul Food
During my stay in the Netherlands over the Christmas holidays I went out for dinner at De La Soul, a small restaurant in the center Leiden. They serve what they call “soulfood”, which is, what I understood, a mixture of Creole, Caribbean and Cajun food. Whatever it exactly was it was absolutely savage and I can’t wait to go back there. De La Soul serves small dishes with a small-ish price tag so it’s a good idea to order a few dishes, much like eating tapas. Among other hings I had Chicken and Waffles for the first time in my life (I did not know this was a thing!) and some mac and four cheeses. Especially that last one was OMGSOYUMMY and I easily could’ve eaten like six bowls of that, no problem.

Bye, Bye Coat
My flight back to Dublin wasn’t my favourite one to date. After watching some HIMYM (yes, I have proceeded to do that!) at the gate I stood up to board, during which I must have forgotten to grab my coat to queue. Realizing I forgot it four minutes later, I confidently walked back to the bench I was sitting before to grab it, but it was gone. I spoke to a few staff members but nothing was turned in and there was no cleaning service around, so I can only assume someone must’ve taken/stolen it. It’s an odd feeling stepping onto a plane knowing there might be people there that might have taken something from you, unintentionally you start to look different to people.
Coatwise, it was a snazzy black and white TK-Maxx bargain and I felt really classy in it. Wherever you are, you will be sadly missed.
To cheer myself up I got an Aer Lingus snackpack that contained cheese, hummus, breadsticks, crackers and a Lily O’Brien chocolate. Not too shabby.

4 things that happened in the past week #3

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…Except that I’m a total liar and this is actually about like 2,5 week ’cause life’s crazy and I’m totes behind on this one and #yolo and okay I’ll just get cracking ’cause I’ve been taking so long to write this one up already.

Breath.

Christmas Shopping
Christmas is almost here, but the crazy Christmas shoppers have been around in Dublin town for quite a while now. Hunting for bargains, stocking up on mince pies and causing great hullabaloo over anything Frozen or One-Direction. These mad shoppers are often lugging around big trolleys that seem to just love anything feet. But who needs their toes around Christmas anyway, eh?
I made this picture in the St. Stephens Green Shopping Centre – it looked absolutely breathtaking there. Also, I thought it’d be relevant to start my Christmas shopping there as the Irish call Boxing Day (or “Tweede Kerstdag” in Duch) St. Stephens Day.

Epic Twitter Convo
Somewhere, somehow I ended up in a 2 hour long Twitter session with two gals that I used to study with. We were purely reminiscing about the good aul days we spent in Leiden, studying Comparative Literature. Although, as also came up in the conversation, we started out studying Comparative Literature but as the department decided to change the name of the Bachelor course halfway, we ended up with diplomas saying “Film and Literary Studies”. Allrightie then. Our classes were usually quite small so we really got to know our fellow students, and the lecturers were often quite interesting slash peculiar people. A few of the most noteworthy memories were…
-A lecturer we used to call “Cowboy” because he graduated on Western Movies.
-Coming out of a class and all we really remembered was the lecturer telling us that Samuel Beckett slightly resembles a bird.
-Whenever telling people that you study literature, they usually respond with “Oh, guess you have to read a lot then?” or “What can you do with that anyway?” (and occasionally, “What do you think of Twilight?”).
-If people were mad at each other all they would ever say was “You are just like a sick beech”, because it was a line from one of the first poems we analysed and it just sounded silly
-The lecturer who asked us what we were going to cook for diner. And told us we should definitely watch UP as it’s amazing.
-Everyone repeating lines from Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” to death because it was the first novel we had to read in our first year (and we were also slightly traumatized by it).
And the list goes on. It was an interesting time.

Tortelloni
I went to diner with my friend and her granddad in a pub and had, very  much unexpected, the best plate of tortelloni I ever had in my entire life. It had ricotta and mozzarella and mascarpone, sun dried tomatoes and olives and mushrooms and so basically pretty much everything that makes life beautiful. Exaggerating much? Nah, maybe. But it did result in me having a grand resolution for the new year.
Eat more tortelloni, obviously.

HIMYM
One of those sitcoms I never really got into. I watched one of the episodes last year (or was it the year before?), but it didn’t really do much for me. Mostly because it’s just not Friends, I assume. I just started watching it again and this time around I seem to appreciate it a bit more. I’m now at episode 11 and I think I’ll end up watching the whole thing in the end…Although I’m also slightly discourages by some peeps telling me not to get my hopes up as the end is supposed to be sooooo unsatisfying. Hmmmm.

That’s all, folks!


4 things that happened in the past week #2


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Soup and Trackies
Winter is coming and so I need a a bucket of soup, if not more. Soup is my best bud when it get’s chillier out and fortunately it’s very easy to make plenty of it in one go. I had so much to do this weekend (mainly finding pressies for my family) that naturally I decided to postpone everything, stay in, put on my trackies and chill out. Surely I’ll regret it later when I’m doing shopping and find myself in the middle of the crazy Christmas shoppers, but it was a beautiful weekend.  I made this broccoli soup (Simple recipe – click!) and it was just delish. I also made what I find one of the best starters on the flippin’ planet: filo pastry filled with some goats cheese, some pine nuts and a tiny bit of dried thyme. Do try, it’s savage.

Jason Segel movies
So…When you guys want to watch a movie but don’t know what you want to watch yet, how do you search for inspiration? By genre, year, director? I tend to go to IMDB and look through movies per actor or actress that I liked in a movie I saw before. Just finished with a Jennifer Aniston phase I decided to look for movies either written by  or starring Jason Segel. Forgetting Sarah Marshall has been a favourite of mine for a while and I wanted to check what else he made. The Five Year Engagement was quite fun too though very long, though I should’ve seen that coming really with a title like that. On a side note: he seems to appear naked in most of the movies he wrote himself. Swag, Jason. 

Knitting
I just started learning to knit today – and my god do I find it fun and addictive. I found myself “just doing a few more stitches” and then ending up two rows further having to force myself to stop. I just started a navy blue scarf, but who knows someday I’ll finish a majestic Weasley jumper.

Twitter
My Twitter account has been very quiet for a few years… Until last week. A few years ago I just sent out one Tweet, followed Evanna Lynch (fangirl, me) and a few others, but got bored after a few weeks and never looked at it again. Since last week, the lil white bird is the first icon I click whenever on an electronic device. I don’t know what exactly caused the switch but I’m having a lot of fun with it. Since actively starting to tweet last week I’ve had a discussion about gigantic Jaffa Cakes, had fun making up and posting puns, had a convo with a total stranger on the delivery time for parcels, seen the funniest and most stunning picures floating by and was kept very up to date on any news.

Want to say hello? You’ll find me under @AntwaV – or click on one of my tweets at the right of this blogpost :).

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When does stuff become shit? A blog on minimalism and a love for stuff


It’s been years since I first saw this sketch by George Carlin and I still find it as interesting as when I saw it the first time. It makes me laugh while at the same time it’s hitting one of my weak spots: stuff. I love me some stuff.

Pretty stuff, a bargain or treasure hunting at a flea market, big epic yes to that with a cherry on top. At the same time I fully realize stuff is not that important and could even lead to drag you down. We all know that feeling of coming home to a messy house because there wasn’t enough time to tidy up a bit, and how much more pleasant it is to come home to a neat place. Somewhere where you don’t tumble over a pile of books to grab something you need. I seem to sleep much better when my room is tidy, even though my eyes are closed (no shit) during the night and I’m not in consciously looking at my room. It’s just a more peaceful feel when it’s tidy.

Sitting here I know I have pretty much everything I need in life, materialistically. Bar a Volkswagen Beetle and a treehouse, but eh. I moved to Ireland with a big suitcase, a medium backpack and some hand luggage, leaving behind quite some stuff at my parents house. Mostly sentimental stuff, because there hasn’t been any moment that I can remember consciously that I was in desperate need for something I left there. Okay at times I would love to have a Harry Potter copy with me but in the darkest of times I should remember I could just run into an Easons and sort it out. From the stuff I have at the moment (leaving necessaries like clothing and toiletries aside) there is probably only 10% I actually actively use. The rest of it just sits about, usually for the prettiness or the sentimental value. I’m a sucker for sentimental stuff. I used to be not even capable of throwing wrappers away if the treat was really yummy or if it was given to me on a special occasion or by someone important to me. Thankfully I’ve gotten a lot better. Most of the time.

Stuff requires more stuff as well as effort and time. Stuff needs upkeep, cleaning, dusting, stuff can get lost and stuff can break and need repairing. If or when stuff piles up it’ll get in your way, eventually. Stuff can cause anxiety and stress and in extreme cases, depression.

When I heard I needed to move to another place, there were a few things that immediately sprung to mind. Besides thinking of how sad it will be to leave an estate with such a great chipper, how am I going to move my stuff, what if something breaks? For example, the trophy I won in a dance competition, how do I wrap or transport it? Even though I know a trophy is not the win or the joyous occasion itself but more like a metaphor, I seem to want to cling onto it as if it is. Had they given me a beer or a blanket instead, the feel of winning would have been pretty much the same – I had a fabulous day dancing and chatting with my friends, enjoying the atmosphere, did my very best and came out on top. Why do I feel the need to connect an object to that memory, and why is it now bugging me?

Is a flea market not just a collection of stuff that is proven not to be needed? What am I looking for?

So when does stuff become shit? When is a bargain a bitch? Also, which stuff will be a plague and needs to skedaddle, and what should I keep?

Brb, gotta sort out some stuff.