Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter lunch :-)



Happy belated easter everyone! I hope you did not, unlike me, have to study for an exam that is a true waste of life. Perhaps it's because me and the fam spent easter with some old aged relatives who all liked to talk a lot about how they're 'working on their last chapter' what made me realize how short life actually is. Although this was kind of depressing to me, I think talking to old people is sort of inspiring. I have come to believe that when one has reached the last developmental stage of life, he will acquire some sort of mind set that will be accepting of his past life and future death. I hope that this will also happen to me when I am that old, so death wouldn't seem so frightening anymore (this is what makes it even more terrible when someone is to die at a young age). Why on earth do we celebrate the day on which the only man to have ever conquered death rose from his grave, while really in fact we all are seriously ill of jealousy of this particular man? Dumb idea. I have never really been into easter (actually all Christian holidays are pretty pointless to non religious people, but easter doesn't even involve gifts, so it seems even more pointless! - we will just stick to it because of the extra day off we get) but this year I took the chance to prepare us an easter lunch and try some new recipes that I suddenly came up with (I didn't even know my mind could do such a thing! Thanks brain) Usually I'm not really good at cooking, not good at all actually, so I usually avoid sharing any recipes on my blog as they are usually disastrous, but this time it all turned out so well - as I could conclude from all the praise I got from my family members) - and so I'm finally able to share some of my cooking with the world, hurray!

Here are all the recipes, in order in which I prepared them.

Quark with granola and other stuff
Gosh it's actually hard to come up with a name for my pretty foodies, so I will just name it after the ingredients that's in it, why not taking the easy road.

Ingredients: quark (but yoghurt should work too) - granola - honey - blueberries - pistachios - basil

How to: take a glass, put a layer of quark in it, add some honey, add a layer of granola, add another layer of quark, some more honey, top it off with blueberries, pistachios and a tiny bit of basil and you're done! Whoo!

Bowl of red fruit
Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in one big bowl of healthy happiness.

Deviled eggs
Well this is not really my own recipe, but my sister and I love it so much and we couldn't have a proper easter without some deviled eggs. It's really just boiling some eggs, cutting them in halves, putting all the yolks in a boil, mix it with mayonnaise, pepper and salt, and if you think it tastes alright, you put it back in the white egg stuff!

Smoothies
Really all there is in there, is bananas, kiwis, pears, and yoghurt. Put it all in the blender and see the magic happen. I don't know how much of each kind of fruit you'll need because I actually made my mum do the smoothies, but I guess it was something like 3 bananas, 3 pears and 6 kiwis and like one carton of yoghurt. It tasted really good for real.

Now put all that stuff in the fridge and move on to the next ones!

Sandwiches
Ingredients: white sandwich bread - Philadelphia herb cheese - avocados - mozzarella cheese -cucumber - rocket -

How to: get 2 pieces of white sandwich bread. Put some Philadelphia herb cheese stuff on both of them. Then put some avocado spread on top of it (make avocado spread by cutting the avocados in little pieces, putting it all in a boil and just squeeze it with your hands until it's somewhat spreadable). Fry some mozzarella cheese (like 4 slices on each piece of bread) in a frying pan, and put the mozzarella on top of the avocado spread. Then slice the cucumber and put like 4 slices on each piece of bread. Now put a small mountain of rocket on one of the two slices of bread. Finally the trickiest part: flip the piece of bread without the rocket upside down and put it on top of the other piece of bread. Now cut the sandwich in four pieces, and your done! It sounds harder than it is. Really it's just my way of explaining things.

Fried egg on toast with bacon and more stuff
Ingredients: white bread - fried egg - bacon - spinach - oregano - pine nuts - basil

How to: toast a slice of white bread. Fry an egg, don't flip it. Put the egg on the toasted bread. Fry some bacon, like 2 for each toast but if you love bacon like me than put like 8. Put two spoons of spinach on the egg (I used frozen spinach that you just put on the fire in a pan). Spill oregano and pine nuts all over it and use some basil for decoration.

That's all! Isn't that easy? And it's so good! Ask my dad. Or my sister. They're not quite so easily satisfied when it comes to food ;-) Let me know what you think! How did I do?!

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Monday, March 28, 2016

My all time fav films


I’m a real sucker for watching the same damned film all over again and again and again. Some of them I love so intensely that I just can’t get enough of them. Each and every single time I watch them again, I feel like I notice different things that I hadn’t noticed before, but even if that wouldn’t actually be the case, I would still love watching them again just because watching them feels like immersing into delightfully hot water filled with rose petals and bath foam sloshing over the rim of the bathtub onto the marble floor where thousands of burning candles dimly lit the majestic room. Watching these films pretty much equals becoming absorbed in pure happiness. I’m sure this is an extraordinary subjective experience that I have, but I think that some people might recall similar feelings when watching films that they think are remarkably marvelous.

Now there are multiple films that I can get really fan-girly obsessive about, but there are these few films that are in my favorite list for many, many years and in these years I have watched only one that could outdo them, which will be the very first mentioned on the list below. This may also be due to the fact that I spend more time watching the same films than discovering new ones.
Even though this selection of all time favorite films has been invariably much, it is not as if I don’t like any other film than the ones mentioned in this article. Not at all – there are many films that I love a lot and that I indeed have watched many times over again, but still - there’s nothing on my all time favorite films.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Just hearing Audrey Hepburn sing Moon River makes me want to quit writing this article and hop on the couch to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s again. Audrey Hepburn might be the very reason why I adore this film so much. To be exact - the way she plays her role of Holly Golightly in combination with the mysterious and highly interesting personality of this character. I like her elegance in combination with her somewhat impulsive way of doing things and her confusion about the world. Then, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a romantic movie, but it portraits love in a different and unique manner, more beautiful and mysterious than anything you usually see in typical romantic movies nowadays. In the end of the film you might feel like it’d told a story and revealed all that was to know, but there are many questions that remain unresolved, and even though I am usually not amused when a film leaves you with terribly aching questions, I think in this movie, that is exactly the thing that makes it so great.
Funny thing is that I have never ever read the book as I’m almost just as scared of reading a book on which a film that I love was based, as I am of watching a film that is based on a book that I love. I might just be scared that the book has actually too many details that will ruin the feelings that I have for the movie, but I hope that once I'll finally read it, the book will enlarge those feelings instead of reducing them.

Thirteen (2003)
It might seem unlikely, but when you put a Twilight actress and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke together, you get one of the best films that I have ever seen. The film is loosely based on things that happened to actress Nikki Reed, also Rosalie in the Twilight Saga, when she was 12 to 13 years old, and written by Catherine Hardwicke in only six days. It’s not just the story that I think is so good, but also the way of filming is incredible: filming effects modify accurately as events become darker. Thirteen tells the story of 13-year-old Tracy, a girl that gets more and more depressed by her own life of being unpopular but smart in school, having divorced parents with a former alcoholic mother who is struggling to support her family, and Evie, who happens to be the most popular girl in school. Through some events, the two girls become friends and Tracy becomes involved in Evie’s world of sex, drugs and other illegal stuff. Evie’s influence makes Tracy change a lot in behavior, and when the movie continues, the girls get more and more out of control. Even though she tries to, Tracy’s mother has a lot of trouble intervening in her daughter’s bad behavior……And I’m just not going to tell you anymore YOU SHOULD WATCH IT. It’s even better when you think of the fact that this was a low-budget movie and still it’s excessively better than some of the films that were expensively produced. Like, most of the clothing the girls wear in the film came from their own closets, and they began dressing more similarly the more the filming continued, even though this was not specifically asked to them. And more of those facts that can be found on Wikipedia – and this kind of information only increases my impression by this film.
I think this might have been the point at which I started to become interested in adolescence, and especially in the psychology of adolescence (before watching this film I was mostly interested in physical changes that are characteristic for puberty) around age 12. And voilà, here I am, studying Psychology at University with a focus on developmental psychology, and particular, adolescence. This film is to blame. 

Lolita (1997)
The story told by “Lolita” might appear strange to some of you as it is about a man who is obsessed by young girls, basically a pedophile. And he’s especially obsessively interested in “Lo”, whom he, by dumb luck, is legally allowed to take care of, and a sexual relationship between the two evolves. In the movie Lo is portrayed as a happy and outgoing little brat, who seems to enjoy their strange relationship, but who reads the book will come to realize that it’s actually pretty said how she is pretty much blackmailed sexually, as she is an orphan who depends on her obsessor – at least that’s what I think, because it’s not really clear how Lo really feels about the pedophile. It might be love after all. I read the book a while ago and even though I remember that I enjoyed reading it, the film has left me more impressed. I think Lo’s character, or the way she is portrayed in the film, is what got me most, along with the way she dresses herself, plus the way the whole film was shot – aesthetically valuable. In the movie, Lo and the pedophile drive around the country together, revealing a beautiful view of 1950s America. When they finally settle down somewhere, tension between the two increases. Lo gets annoyed and bored with the pedophile, and also starts to desire some more independence. I don’t know why but I seem to be very much into films that are in some way a bit disturbing, but are filmed beautifully. I like the eye candy details in this film, I like the acting of actress Dominique Swain, I like Lo, I even like all the background music – this is the type of film that is such a pleasure to watch even though it is a bit disturbing when you think about it.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)
It is so incredible how Sofia Coppola turned The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, that I recently finished reading, into a movie. All the vibes throughout the film are just on point. This movie is filmed so creatively and arty, but it accurately captures the right feelings that the story is supposed to transmit. This is another film that will leave your brain filled with questions, but again in a pleasant way. One time I went to an art house movie theatre where they were showing The Virgin Suicides and afterwards you could have a debate about the movie in psychoanalytic terms. As I think psychoanalysis is interesting I decided to go and I found myself in the middle of this group of mainly fifties who all happened to be, or have been, a psychologist. Nevertheless, I, as an underaged layman, was the one mainly pointing out suggestions on the motives of the five teenage sisters who have killed themselves in the story – sorry for the huge spoiler but what would you expect from a film named “The Virgin Suicides”? So, the thing about this film is, we see a couple of events from the point of view of some neighboring boys who happen to know as much as nothing about the feelings, thoughts, or even the lives of the five sisters, so we don’t know anything about them as well. We just see the events like facts, in the same way the boys experienced them, or probably had heard about them, so the five sisters are five equally mysterious creatures and why they would kill themselves we could only speculate on. The sisters are raised in an extremely religious environment, having a authoritarian mother and a pretty hopeless father, and it seems plausible that after they get locked up in the house by means of ‘protection’, they get severely depressed and end up putting an end to their lives. Perhaps they, being raised in such an extreme catholic way, believed heaven must be a better place than their lives so they may have decided to go there by means of an escape. Perhaps one of the more dominant sister, supposedly Lux as she is the most remarkable one of the sisters, pushed them all into it, being more manipulative than the film shows. Maybe, because the five sisters were locked up in the house together, felt connected in such a way that if one wanted to leave this life, they all wanted to follow. It probably also has something to do with their age, feeling confused about life, which is made even worse by their family life, and also the strict way by which they are raised, so they must not only feel trapped in their own house but probably also in their own minds. It’s hard to explain this film in just a few words because there is so much to know, especially about the characters, but we learn so little about them and their motives, so this story only leaves us guessing. Maybe after all I do like to guess. My favourite book (Wuthering Heights) also leaves the reader with a lovely big pile of psychoanalytic questions. I don’t think I would love it just as much if all those questions were answered. 

Let me know if you have seen any one of these films and what you think about them, and more importantly: if you can think of a film that could beat these of my list!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cabaret: Najib Amhali



Hi guys! A while ago Mitchell and I went to see comedian Najib Amhali perform in his show "I AMhali". As I happened to know that Mitchell would love going to one of his shows, I got us tickets by means of a Christmas present (just seeing that look on his face when he realized what I got him is so precious). There were only a few of this season's shows left, so we had to drive quite far to get there (Almere), but it was totally worth it. The overall story of the show was about his own life from the moment that he started to want a child until the moment his first son was born - of course including a lot of nonsense but hilarious stories. I thought it was crazy how he sometimes said something, then said a whole lot of other things so you forgot about the first thing he had said, and in the end he came back to the thing he said first, and it all made sense - I thought that was brilliant. There was also a lot of music involved. There was a band and he also did some songs. He did a lot of imitations, and joked a lot about the fact that he's from Morocco (I guess that's what he's commonly known for, but it works I must say). We pretty much had an entire night filled with laughter. It was my first cabaret ever, and I think I should attend some more in the future - a successful night is guaranteed. I hope this show will be on videotape or youtube anytime soon so we can re-watch the show and re-live the night. Have you ever been to a cabaret performance?

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Birthday gifts :)


DANIEL WELLINGTON Classic Sheffield watch // LUSH Charity Pot Hand- and bodylotion // MAC Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara Double Effet // MAC Lip Conditioner Hydratant Pour Les Lèvres // Pieces of soap // Basket, teacups and cactuses // Wostok drink (Aguja de Pino), glasses and Mevrouw Cha tea 

Hi guys! So when I celebrated my birthday last week I was rather spoiled. My actual birthday had already been on the 3rd of March and on the day I went out for dinner with my parents and boyfriend. My parents will get me a backpack for my Thailand trip this summer (I still have to pick it out myself) for my birthday, and my sister got me these two MAC products as seen in the pictures above: mascara and lip conditioner. I already love both. The Lush hand- and bodylotion was an early birthday gift from my mom when we were at Lush and I told her even though I come down there a lot I don't own anything from that store because I'm poor, so she wanted to get me something as an early birthday gift so I picked the cheapest product I could find, and it's actually an amazing product plus all the money goes to refugees in Lesbos. Then the biggest surprise came from Mitchell. I had strictly told him not to get me anything, especially not something expensive, as we had to save the money for our trip to Thailand. So that night, he handed me over a cute little note, stating that he did get me something, "a cute little gift". That cute little gift turned out to be an actual Daniel Wellington watch that I had been wanting for ages (and he knew that!). I couldn't believe my eyes when I unwrapped his gift and saw what he had gotten me. I was very much but very pleasantly surprised. I'm so happy with it that I hardly dare to wear it, scared of possibly loosing or breaking it. What means the most to me, is that his gift shows how much he cares for me. I mean, he must love me, must he not? Or else he must be an idiot to get me something so utterly beautiful!

Last week it was time to celebrate my birthday with my dear friends who I love a lot, and again I was really spoiled with a lot of gifts, including some vouchers to go out for dinner, visit the zoo and go to a festival this summer. The next day, me and four of my girlfriends were having a sleepover, and that's when they gave me their gifts, including the basket with the teacups and cactuses (I don't think it was their intention to put those plants in the cups but I kinda liked it that way), and the drink and glasses as seen in the last picture. The teacups also came with matching plates but that's where my Albert Heijn vegetable gardens are standing on right now. They got me the kind of stuff that I really like a lot, and I guess they know me a little somehow after all. That's why I love my friends.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

HOTSPOT Rose's



Rose's in Arnhem is one of my all-time favourite restaurants. I remember when I was there for the first time and had the most delicious venison steak I've ever tasted in my life. Their menu changes regularly, so last time when I went there with my dad, I don't think it was still on the menu. It wouldn't matter anyway, since we had to pick from a different menu, because we had a movie arrangement, so we got a 3-course-dinner plus movie theater tickets for a really good price. (Afterwards we went to see Leo Dicaprio's The Revenant and although I was told by many of my friends  it was a rather boring movie, I thought it was rather thrilling and interesting. Both me and my dad are history fanatics and we like almost everything that has something to do with the past, so if this movie is historically accurate, I am certainly very enthusiastic about it, but if it's not, I wouldn't even bother. Though all the shots of infinite nature were absolutely marvelous).

I like to go out for dinner with my dad. I have inherited my passion for eating out (is that actually a thing?) from my dad and he taught me to be very critical when it comes to restaurants. Sometimes when we are in a foreign country for a vacation, we might walk for two hours straight until my dad has found the perfect little idyllic restaurant to eat at - it might take long, but in the end, great quality is guaranteed. It's not just the menu he looks at before picking out the restaurant, it is also the ambiance and interior inside, as well as the location of the restaurant by itself. Like, next to a busy road full of speeding cars is a no-go, as well as wicker or plastic chairs on the terrace. When inside, service is inspected carefully. Like, a restaurant with good service would always pour your drink while standing on your right side, and always half a glass. Of course it is not always like that, and sometimes the food can make up for it if it's not. But he taught me to not be consent too easily, and that's how I learned to appreciate restaurants that actually put in work to make its customers happy, not just for the money.

What I like most about Rose's is its amazing interior that creates a great ambiance along with the background music and burning fires. The baroque styled interior is both colourful and classy. It's not just fun for dinner, but also to come down there with friends to have a couple of drinks while sitting in huge armchairs in front of the fireplace - too bad the place is in Arnhem and who of my friends from Nijmegen would ever voluntarily come down to our rival city for a drink while we have so many places to have a drink at in our own town? Nijmegen should have a place like Rose's. We could very much use a lounge slash restaurant with baroque themed furniture down here!

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