Moving Out & Starting Fresh

For as long as I can remember I had been looking forward to starting uni and moving out. I am going to be honest, I have never enjoyed high school. You often hear peolpe say that high school is what you make of it. But that is not true. At least, it wasn’t for me. Especially the last few years were really tough on me. I was so ready for a change, for a fresh start.

I live in my new house with a couple of other students. I have to say, it takes some getting used to, but I’ll be okay. During the last few weeks of summer, my mum, dad, sister and brother helped me with my room. We went to Ikea, bought some nice flatpack furniture, which we then of course, had to build. (which was actually not as hard as I thought it would be!) I could describe to you in perfect detail how the days went and what we exactly did, but I took some pictures instead..

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All I know is that I am the happiest I have ever been. I don’t know why, but for some reason I feel so much more motivated to actually do something, to go out and meet new people. In high school I was the kid who hardly ever talked to anyone. I was always hiding myself, trying to make myself as small as possible. Mostly because I was terrified. Here, however, it’s totally different. It has only been three weeks and I have already made so many new friends. Every night I have a different party or get together and I actually enjoy them. I even joined two student clubs and one of their committees. If you were to tell high school me all of this, I would have never believed you, but here I am. All I am trying to say here is; uni is so much better than high school, I promise. I know it’s terrifying; going to a new city all on your own, but you should really see it as a fresh start. It’s an opportunity for you to start over. Don’t waste it.

How was your start of the new school year? Do you still go to school? Let me know in the comments!

Toodlepip! xx

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Gails Bakery // brighton & hove

If you have been following my Instagram or my blog lately, you might have noticed a fair few Brighton themed posts here and there. I hope you guys are not sick of them yet, cause I have yet another one for you today. I can’t help myself, I have fallen in love with Brighton and if you have ever visited the place, you might now how many crazy good and ”tumblr-esque” restaurants and food places they have.

One of these food places is Gails Bakery in Hove. I knew of the place because of Zoe Sugg, one of my personal favourite bloggers. She talked about the bakery on her instagram and in several vlogs so I thought it would be only fair if I gave it a try myself while in Brighton. And let me tell you, it sure did not dissapoint.

Not only did they have an endless choice of pastries, breads and sandwiches, the place itself also looked as if it came straight of an aesthetic tumblr.

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After we got our food, we decided to sit down somewhere upstairs. (near the window looking out over Hove’s big street) Let me tell you, the food might not look that great, it did however taste great. Really great. We even decided to grab some more food to go.

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So if you ever find yourself in the area of Hove or Brighton, you should for sure pay Gails Bakery a visit. I promise, you’ll love it!

Toodlepip!

Introversion

Introversion is a topic I have been very interested in over the past few days. For the ones who do not know what introversion is; let me explain. It’s essentially a personality trait. You can be an extrovert or an introvert. Although, you should not see it as black and white as I just wrote it down, it is more of a spectrum, really. You can be a little bit of both even. An extrovert is someone who gets their energy from being in a social situation. An introvert on the other hand, gets their energy from being on their own and is actually drained of energy in social situations. Ofcourse, these are only textbook definitions meaning that it is different for everyone. Not every introvert is the same, just as not every extrovert is the same.

That being said, I think I can safely say that I am an introvert. Although, I also have social anxiety which sometimes makes it a little more complicated and therefore the line between my introversion and my anxiety is a bit blurry. Important to note, not every introvert is socially anxious! (or shy) This one is important to keep in mind. Loads of introverts actually enjoy being social and are really good at it as well. However, the question for me remains: Which behaviour comes from my introversion and which one comes from my anxiety? I still have not quite figured that one out.

However, just this morning I came across a video by Savannah Brown in which she talked all about introversion and also talked briefly about an article online. Apparently, there are four types of introversion. Those four types are really what I wanted to talk about today.

A brief description of the four types of introversion:

  • Social: This one basically means that you prefer to socialize only in small groups instead of large ones. Or sometimes you even prefer to be all alone. Important to know; there is no anxiety here, it’s simply preference.
  • Thinking: This one mainly focuses, not so much on the social aspect, but more on the thoughtful aspect of introversion. People who count themselves in this category are often introspective, thoughtful, and self-reflective. I liked how the article described it: “You’re capable of getting lost in an internal fantasy world,” “But it’s not in a neurotic way, it’s in an imaginative and creative way.” Think the dreamily imaginative Luna Lovegood, not the socially awkward Neville Longbottom. 
  • Anxious: This category is quite similar to the social one, however, this one is not so much driven by preference, but more by fear. Anxious introverts are uncomfortable in social situations and are often not confident about their social skills. Hence they seek solitude. However, according to the article, even when alone, the anxiety never really fades away due to over-thinking about what could possibly go wrong.
  • Restrained: This one in particular I find rather difficult to really describe. I used to be best friends with someone who I would most definitely count into this category. I suppose another word for this category could be reserved. The way the article described it was pretty accurate: Restrained introverts sometimes seem to operate at a slightly slower pace, preferring to think before they speak or act.

With these four categories all explained and well, I think I can count myself mostly as a thinking introvert. Even before I knew of these four types, I had always described myself as introspective and thoughtful. For example, you know those long car journeys where you sit in the back, headphones in, and you just don’t want the car ride to end? You’re just comfortably sitting there, daydreaming and thinking. Also, I love to reflect on myself and my life. I suppose some would call this ‘being dramatic’ but I simply enjoy looking back on my life or on certain moments, thinking about it and taking some sort of life lesson out of it. It’s just something I do, I guess. Lastly, Luna has always been the character in Harry Potter I related to the most, perhaps now I know the reason behind that feeling.

The article also comes with a test. ‘Which type are you?’ Very interesting, and in my case, also surprisingly accurate for an online test. It said I was, besides the thinking type, also the anxious type. I think this is the link to my social anxiety. I’m simply not comfortable with my social skills and the way I act in social situations. Therefore, I like to avoid them as much a possible. Which I know I should not do, because I’m missing out on good times, but I can’t quite help it, I guess. Although, according to the test, I was also partly the social type. Which, again, I think is accurate. Sometimes I simply prefer to be alone. Not because I’m anxious or scared, just because I want to. I prefer sitting in my room painting or drawing or writing, instead of going to some wild party. And honestly, I like being that way.

In today’s society, introversion is often seen as a defect. Especially in high school where everyone seems to only care about parties, friends and social status. Being an introvert in these surroundings is hard. However, I wouldn’t want to change it in any way. I guess I simply am who I am. Introversion is not a defect, it’s a personality trait. Although, I also think that we should not see this as an excuse to accept anxiety. Anxiety should never be something that is leading your life for you. However, I am planning on writing a whole post focussing on anxiety, so more on this later.

The fact that I wrote this whole post only proofs that I am, for the most part, a thinking introvert; reflecting on myself and thinking about who I am as a person. I hope you found all of this information this just as interesting as I did. Are you an introvert, if so; which type are you? Or do you see yourself as an extrovert? Or are you somewhere else on the spectrum? Let me know in the comments! Let’s talk about this!

Toodlepip!

This Is A Line //

This is a line and this line is mine.

And you will find that this line can divide

the kind and not so kind side of your mind.

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This is a line and this line is mine.

And you will find that on the unkind side of your mind

the light is very far behind.

You will also find that on this side of your mind

you are blind and unrefined.

Undermined by that unkind side of your mind.

You will fall behind. Out of sight. Out of mind. Unaligned.

But do I need to remind you

that even the blind, the unrefined, the unaligned, have a kinder side to their mind?

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This is a line and this line is mine.

And you will find that on the kind side of your mind

you are still unrefined and unaligned.

But now you will find that on this side of your mind

there is still some light left behind.

Now it is time to redefine.

Not this side or that side.

Not kind or unkind.

Just, your mind.

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This is a line and this line is mine.

And you will find that this line

is merely a sign of the human kind.

Nothing more than a concept from the mind

to define what is inside.

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This is a line and this line is mine.

And you will find that my feet and spine are not on either side of the line.

They are in fact on the line.

Because I am not defined by the two sides of my mind.

Instead I will combine the kind and the unkind

to create one mind.

You will find that when you combine the sides,

you are not assigned to either side of your mind.

You are in fact a free mind.

Unrefined.

Unaligned.

Undefined

and unfeigned.

– A poem inspired by another poem

How To Not Bake Christmas Tree Brownies

Guys… I tried. I really tried. But I failed. Miserably..

I wanted to make these really cute brownies shaped like a Christmas tree, decorated with some white chocolate and sprinkles. I really wanted this to be a high quality, good looking and proffesional post. That didn’t happen. Apparantly, you’re not supposed to put the brownie mix in a cake tray. It won’t come out after baking resulting in your kitchen being covered in brownie crumbs while you do an attempt at getting your brownie safely out of the tray. Also, you can’t colour melted chocolate with food colouring. It turns into this pulpy stuff. I don’t know why, ask the science side of Tumblr. Anyway, I failed. My brownies failed. But I thought you might enjoy to laugh at my misery so here it is anyway.

I started off okay. I had a box of brownie powder stuff and all I needed to do was add water and some butter. That was all. I thought I could do that. I mixed the ingedrients together and it looked alright. I still had hope that this was going to be a good blogmas day.

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I thought it would be better not to use the tray from the box because it was fairly small. I wanted a bigger tray. That way I could get more Christmas trees out of it. Reasonable thinking, right? NO. Always use the tray given in the box. It will go wrong if you don’t. Here is proof.

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I tried to stay positive. Perhaps I could still get some Christmas trees out of it. ‘It’s fine’ I told myself. ‘Don’t panic.’ So I managed to get 4 somewhat Christmas tree looking shapes out of the brownie crumbs. I had regained some hope. Little did I know, that bit of hope would very soon be lost again.

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That is when I started melting the chocolate. It all went okay at first. I melted nicely. But then I added the food colouring. The chocolate somehow ended up looking like poop. This is where I realized; maybe I should give up.

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But then, all of a sudden a thought came to me: perhaps I could cover the whole thing in chocolate, you won’t even notice the poopy consistency! Let me tell you, kids; it did not work.

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This is when I actually gave up. I decided to lie down in the kitchen floor for a minute. Then, while lying on the floor, I ate some of the remaining brownie crumbs. Then I went upstairs and wrote this post. Also, my internet is currently gone. I’m writing this without any wifi. I hope I will be able to fix it today. Otherwise that would be fail number three of the day. (I also failed my math exam today, that was the first fail.)

Anyway. I hope you either laughed at my failure here or perhaps you now know what not to do when baking brownies. I will see you tomorrow.

Toodlepip! xx

All About My Ukulele

Something I have fallen in love with over the past few months is my ukulele. I sometimes get questions from people online about my ukulele so I thought I could write a whole post on it today. Do know, I am not a proffesional nor do I know a lot about ukuleles. In fact, I hardly know anything. All I can tell you is how I have experienced learning the ukulele so far.

Why did I choose to play the ukulele?

I think the ukulele is not an instrument you immediately think of when you are picking an instrument to learn. However, if it’s your first ever instrument; a ukulele is a nice start. For quite some time I had the thought of wanting to play an intrument. However, I have always had the guitar in mind. Two songs that really encouraged me to pick up an instrument were Missing You by All Time Low and The Strays by Sleeping With Sirens. Both two of my favourite bands, both really great and meaningful songs. However, I never thought I would be good enough to be able to play a guitar. At this point I had discovered a few people on Youtube who played the ukulele and that gave some ideas. I thought perhaps the fact that a ukulele is a lot smaller than a guitar meant that it was also a lot easier to play and cheaper to buy. So I did.

Which ukulele do I have?

I have the Diamond Head DU-250 which is a soprano ukulele. There are four main ukulele sizes and mine is the smallest. Which one to get really depends on what you want to do with your ukulele. If you are anything like me and you had no idea there were different sizes you just want ‘that one you see everyone on Youtube play’, you probably mean a soprano or a concert ukulele. The concert one is a little bigger and has a harder sound to it. I advise you to do think about what you really want to do with your ukulele once you have it and try and find the right one for it. Prise wise, ukuleles can differ a lot. You have very cheap ones and very expensive ones. If you are just starting out, I would advice you not to but an expensive one right away. Mine was around 40 euros and honestly, I feel like it sounds just as good as expansive ones. Perhaps I have to do some more tuning but that’s okay for me.

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Is it difficult to learn how to play a ukulele?

When I first started playing my ukulele, it was the hardest freaking thing ever. I struggled a lot. But then I remembered something. I have this 5 Seconds Of Summer DVD in which Michael, my favourite member said: ”I almost gave up on playing the guitar cause it was so hard to do. I am glad I didn’t give up.” This is something that always motivates me whenever I struggle to play. Even famous guitarists struggle. Just don’t give up. Keep practising. Keep getting better. I have to say, I still struggle. But I keep practising everyday and I keep getting better everyday. However, to answer this question: No, the ukulele is in fact not a difficult instrument to play. It just takes some getting used to. Fairly quickly I taught myself a few basic chords and strumming patterns and with that I am able to play so many different songs. If you are new to playing an instrument, a ukulele is a great start.

Why do I enjoy playing the ukulele so much?

I like playing the ukulele. However, the thing that made me love it was Twenty One Pilots. As you may know, Tyler also plays the ukulele. Seeing him play it and hearing his songs motivated me a lot to improve. In all honesty, if it weren’t for Twenty One Pilots, I would have probably already gotten bored of playing. Not only do they have a lot of great songs to play on the ukulele, Tyler also taught me something important. I am a very emotional person. That is just a fact. Whenever I feel any negative energy inside me, whenever I feel a negative emotion, I can go and use that negativity to do something negative. That is and always will be an option. But how about we take that energy, that focus, and aim it at something else. Something more positive. Take that energy you have and use it to create. I use my ukulele to aim my emotions on something positive instead of negative. That is what I love about playing.

How do I learn to play new songs?

I am a self taught ukulele player. I have never had any lessons nor do I know how to read music notes. Here are some places I like to go to learn new songs:

  • www.ukutabs.com On this website you will find ukulele chords to so many songs. You can also transpose them to make them easier if you need to. It’s easy to use and understand so you can get started right away.
  • The Ukulele Teacher Probably the best ukulele channel on Youtube. The ukulele teacher has taught me most I know about playing the ukulele. He explains chords, strumming patterns, tuning and even more.
  • Matthew Hedges A slightly smaller channel and not just ukulele tutorials, however very useful to me sometimes. Like me, Matthew is a massive Twenty One Pilots fan so he has some tutorials on that. Watching his, or anyone’s covers can be very instructive too. It might give you some ideas to play and if you look closely, you might even be able to see which chords to play.
  • Isabelle Hyde  She is probaby one of my favourite people ever. She is so talented and once again, a Twenty One Pilots fan, like me. So most of her covers are Twenty One Pilots songs. She has, in my opinion, a very creative way of playing songs. She uses strumming patterns you wouldn’t think of right away. That is why I love watching her covers to get some inspiration and ideas to play songs myself.

Some tips on how to play the ukulele.

The most important thing before you start playing is tuning your ukulele. I struggled a lot with this. I find it very hard to hear when exactly my ukulele is tuned in the right way. I would advise you to either get a tuning app or an actual ukulele tuner. This has helped me a lot. Tuning is obvioulsy done with the tuning keys. The basic way of tuning is G-C-E-A. Meaning that if you hold your ukulele, the string closest to your face is G, the next one C, and so on.

When you are just starting out, the basic chords to learn are F, G, Am and C. These are, first of all, very easy to play and, second of all, very common. You can play so many songs with just these four chords so make sure you know them.

Besides chords, strumming pattern is also important. It’s the thing you do with your other hand basically. You will see that strumming patterns often look something like this: dddudu. D = strum down. U = strum up. Some basic strumming patterns that you can use for most songs are: DDUUDU & DDUDUDU. I started strumming with a guitar pick. For me this was easier. Especially very quick strumming patters are easier with a guitar pick. However, at the moment I prefer to use my thumb to play. It gives a softer sound which I like more but the way you like to strum is totally up to you.

All of these tips are nice. However, there is one thing that to me, is the most important thing to know. Whatever instrument it is you play, know that there is no wrong or right way to play it. Music is self expression so whatever it is you need to be able to express yourself, do it. Don’t let anyone tell you, not even your favourite band member or your own mind, that what you are doing is wrong. The only way to know if you are playing your instrument right is by asking yourself the question: do I truly enjoy playing? If your answer is yes than you are doing it right!

I hope this post was somewhat helful and that I answered at least some of your questions. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below! You can also tweet me, or snap me, or ask me on Instagram if you like.

I will see you tomorrow!

Toodlepip!

My Insta Feed

I am failing at Blogmas…. Okay, here is the plan, I am going to upload two posts today and from now on Blogmas is not going to fail anymore. I promise! Yesterday was just the most stressful and busy day. I am in the middle of a finals week, forgive me.

Anyway.. I often see bloggers upload posts about their instagram feed. In all honesty, I don’t really know what they do with it, but I quite like looking at people’s feed so I thought, perhaps you’d like it too. That is why today I wanted to talk you guys through some of my favourite pictures on my Instagram. (you can obviously also follow me on Instagram. Click here, my friend)

I have had this period where I was obsessed with making my feed match perfectly. It still matches, somewhat, but I am focussing less on it to be honest. I feel like it limits my uploads a lot so I am trying to be less picky about my instagram theme and just upload whatever I want to upload.

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First picture I want to talk about is the one with the tea lights. Not too long ago I wrote a little poem here on my blog. (which you can read here if you haven’t already) And it was basically about people who cannot enjoy Christmas due to mental illness or any other reason. I think this is something we don’t think about enough. Christmas is always seen as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, but just imagine; is it still wonderful if you would not have a family to go to at Christmas? Is it still wonderful if you see everyone smiling and everyone laughing, while you are dealing with depression? Is it still wonderful if you do not have the money to celebrate it in the way you’d want to? Is it still wonderful if you are sitting in front of a huge Christmas dinner while dealing with an eating disorder? I have only named a few examples now but I feel like people often don’t realise this sort of stuff. Mental illnesses, physical illnesses or whatever it is some people are dealing with;  don’t take a break from tormenting you. It stays with you, even during what is supposed to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. Like I said in the caption of this post: If you are celebrating Christmas this year with a genuine smile on your face; know that you are very lucky to be in that position. If you’re not; know that you are not alone and it’s worth it to stay alive and keep trying. There is hope and light for you too.

Another post I would like to talk a little bit about is the Starbucks one. I know, how basic of me, right? I was just in an incredibly good mood that day. I don’t know if this is a thing that happens all over the world, but here in Holland, if you are in the last year of high school, you can get a day off of school to go check out a university of your choice. This is basically meant for the people who are almost sure of what want to do after high school, but just to be 100% sure, you can go to the university you want to go to and see if you really like it. You get to go to classes and you get to see the common room of the study direction you want to go in. I don’t know what it was, but for some reason I liked it so much. The people were so kind. They truly seemed like the people I would hang out with. It just made me really happy to see that perhaps I had found a place that was right for me.

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First picture I want to talk about of this collection is the upper left one. What is that? You might think. Well, my friend, let me explain. I was at a local Christmas market and all of a sudden, I saw the cutest dog in the world. I just really love dogs okay, don’t judge me! Anyway, I wanted to take a picture of it but my heart just couldn’t handle its cuteness. I can feel your judgement through the screen, but I swear, it was the cutest dog I had ever seen. It was a black pug puppy wearing a red Christmas jumper. You understand me now?

The one next to that is a bit of weird one too. It’s finals week. We all know what that means: procrastination. My friend sent me a picture of her arm on which she had drawn some of Tyler’s tattoo’s. This picture is simply me joining her by drawing on one of Josh’s tattoos. Gotta love finalsweek.

Next up is the middle picture on the bottom. If you have been following my blogmas this year, you have already seen this picture however, I decided to use #myFBRstyle on instagram. People who use this hashtag have a chance of being featured on the official Fueled By Ramen Instagram. (the record label of too many really cool bands) And guess what? I am probably going to get featured!! (well, they asked me of they could use my picture and I said yes so..) Anyway.. I thought this was kinda cool so I wanted to share it with y’all.

Lastly; ‘we’re broken people’; a lyric from a song called Screen. This lyric means the absolute world to me. For me it means that it is okay to be broken, it is okay to not be okay. To hear a room full of people all chant this one phrase is probably the best thing ever. It just shows me that I am not alone in whatever I am going through. This message is really something I try to bring across to all of you too. That is why I posted it and wanted to share it over here too. I might do a whole on this one day. Who knows?

This post was something slightly different but I thought it could be fun to give it a go. I hope you enjoyed it! If you did then don’t forget to give this post a like (yup that’s a feature on here) or leave a comment down below!

I will see you tomorrow!

Toodlepip!